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brought into place, and others, going out, be gratified with penfions ; fhould prodigality univerfally prevail, the public accounts, year after year, remain unfettled; every minifter, and every parliament Prove unwilling to correct this or any other abufe of trust in relation to the public money: defaulters and peculators be connived at and protected; and few men appear defirous to leffen the fund, of which moft might hope to be partakers, and the national debt be increafed with lofs and difgrace to the nation.
Should a party, in oppofition to ministry, raise a violent out-cry, and threaten impeachments; and to appease them, fhould the king change his miniftry; fhould change fucceed change, but all changes of men caufe little or no change in meafures; and in whatever hands, this party or that party, whig or tory, the nation réceive no real advantage.
Should the national force become feeble and unfuccessful, and its councils fo fluctuating, that no nation would enter into alliance to affift us; fhould thofe things which ought to be tranfacted fecretly, be difcuffed publickly, and in confequence almoft every scheme be fruftrated; fhould debate and delay take place of decifion and difpatch, our enemies be put upon their guard, and the most favourable opportunities for public advantage and honour irretrievably loft.
I fay, fhould fuch things unfortunately happen, we may again, perhaps, as in the time of Charles I. find a fet of men forward to erect themfelves into a formidable party, and bold enough to declare, that their practices are conftitutional; and that the nation can only be governed by fome great and powerful party, or what they may call a coalition or connection of parties. Such times, it is hoped, are yet far remote: but whenever they arrive, if they fhall ever happen, let it be confidered, whether, when the strength of the
ftate has become only the power of private citizens,' the conflitution would not be loft; whether, if our force were difunited, it might not be easily broken; and foreign and domeftic enemies alike overpower the ftrength of the nation and whether it could ever be advifable to annihilate monarchy, for a fyftem of government, which promifes a want of uniformity of conduct, and confe quently of allies; a want of fecrecy, unanimity, and decifion in refolving; and of difpatch, firength, vigour, and confiftency in execution (and without thefe circumftances, no protection can be afforded); and which, finally, making that mercenary which ought to be honorary, encourages parties, incites faction, and promotes profufion.
Whenever thefe things fhall come to pafs (if unhappily for us they ever do come to pafs), and the nation fhall enjoy neither the Strength of monarchy, nor the virtue of democracy, we may be af fured fuch will be certain figns that the principles of government are corrupted; and we need not wonder, if our dominions at a diftance be loft, or thofe nearer home revolt; that disturbance prevail in every quarter; and, in a mart fo plentifully ftored with preferment, fo great a traffic be carried on for places and penfions in a
word, that the profits and emoluments of a rich and noble king dom, like the fpoils of a conquered country, be divided among the very perfons, to whom it looks, in vain, for fecurity and protection.
In former times, when the nation was divided into different parties, court and country, roundheads and cavaliers, pétitioners and abhorrers, whigs and tories, royalists and republicans, each fide carrying their opinion to excefs; violent tories were for abfolute monarchy, violent whigs for no monarchy at all, but a democracy only; and, as a humourous writer ftates it, that between two thieves, whig and tory, the nation was crucified.
At length, both parties were convinced by bitter experience, that either extreme was pernicious. The royalists difcovered, that abfolute monarchy was tyranny; the republicans, that a democracy was tyranny and anarchy both. No longer governed by paffion, reafon refumed her feat; each fide relaxed from the rigidnefs of their for mer principles; and, inftead of facrificing their country to their party, they agreed, at the Revolution, to facrifice their party to their country. The two parties were to be melted, as it were, into one. The cause of liberty was not to be built on the narow mean bafis of party, but on the broad folid foundation of the public good. The odious diftinction of whig and tory was to ceafe; and we were to enjoy the benefit of the monarchical as well as the democratical branch of the constitution.
• Let us then follow the example fet at the Revolution. Let us not attempt to fubvert; let us rather ufe our endeavours to support the conftirution; 66 a noble fabric, the pride of Britain, the envy of "her neighbours, raised by the labour of fo many centuries, re"paired at the expence of fo many millions, cemented by fuch a "profufion of blood:" and which has flood the fiege of so many ages, and fo many adverfaries, domeftic and foreign.
Let us improve upon the plan established at the Revolution. Let us not only prevent the crown from doing harm, but enable it to do good. Let us give due weight to the houfe of commons, but let it not be fuch as to destroy the balance of the conftitution. Let us more strongly confirm two of the first principles of the government, by endeavouring to procure ftrength for the monarchical power, and virtue for the democratical
It is our opinion that the author of the work before us, is governed by motives of public virtue. But in general we imagine that he is too favourable to the power of the crown. It alfo appears to us, that he is not always fufficiently informed with regard to conftitutional points; and it is obvious to us that what he has written on the fnbject of feodal tenures is exceedingly lame and imperfect. His errors, how. ever, though they are often very palpable proceed not from defign or any improper intention. He is a real friend to his country; and the impreffion he every where communicates of his integrity is most commendable.
As a writer or compofer he affects not any fhare of praife. Nor are his talents in this line of any importance. He
writes without art, and with no knowledge of compofition. His manner is open; his arrangements unfkilful; his diction familiar. He is a good citizen; but without any pretenfions to philofophy, or literature. His reading is choice without being extenfive. His views are liberal without being practicable. The goodness of his heart is more apparent than his judgment; and his judgment is better than his penetration. He has a natural fund of good fenfe; but it is unaffifted by any difcernment in bufinefs and affairs. His enfibility as a fubject and a man afford the most entire fatiffaction; but he no where exercises any force of genius, or any depth of political wisdom.
ART. IV. Travels into Poland, Rufia, Sweden, and Denmark. Interfperfed with hiftorical Relations and political Inquiries. Illuftrated with Charts and Engravings. By William Coxe, A. M. F. R. S. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough. 2 vols. Royal 4to. 21. 28. boards, T. Cadell.
(Concluded from our Review of March.)
N his fecond volume Mr. Coxe gives a full and interesting account of the Revolution of 1762, which placed the prefent Emprefs Catherine on the throne of the Ruffias. His hiftory of Prince Ivan, who at his birth was appointed Great Duke of Ruffia, who, in the first year of his age, fucceeded to the Crown, and in the fame year, was depofed by the Empress Elizabeth; who was imprifoned for life, and put to death in his 24th year, exhibits a melancholy picture of human nature, unimproved by education. The anecdotes of Count Munich, a fkilful and gallant military officer, who fuftained a rigorous banishment of 20 years, with an unbroken fpirit, while it amufes by the difplay of a fcene as new and as wild as almoft any in romance, ferves eminently to illuftrate the power of religion to raise the mind above the depreffion of prolonged fuffering.
Mr. Coxe has been attentive to the objects that came within the reach of his inquiries, and they are highly worthy of attention. The new code of Ruffian laws-the prefent state of cultivation in the Ruffian empire-the different ranks of fociety, nobles, clergy, merchants, burghers, and peasants-academies of fciences and arts-literature-popu lation, and revenues-military, naval, and commercial affairs-mines, canals-and the ftate of religion. While he treats these subjects, among various folid obfervations, and much interefting and ufeful information, the reader is
every where ftruck with the wife policy and liberal views of the present Emprefs, who is folicitous to extend fully as much liberty to every denomination or clafs of her fubjects as they are capable of receiving, or as is confiftent with the authority of a defrotic gevernment..
The following mode of affeffing merchants, merits the attention of legislators:
'The merchants are diftributed into three claffes. The first comprehends those who have a capital of 2000l.; the fecond, those who poffefs 1000l.; and the third, those who are worth rool.
By the 47th article of the celebrated manifefto of graces, as it is called, which the Emprefs conferred upon her fubjects, at the conclufion of the Turkish war in 1775, all perfons who chufe to enter themselves in any of these claffes, are exempted from the poll-tax, upon condition of paying annually one per cent. of their capital employed in trade to the crown. The extent of their capitals, however, is not rigorously inquired into, for it entirely depends upon the merchants to name the oftenfible fum which they are fuppofed to be worth; as a perfon poffeffing above 2000l. may enrol himself in any of the inferior claffes, or even in that of the burghers, if he chufes to pay the poll-tax rather than one per cent. of his capital, and be entitled to no more privileges than they enjoy.
This alteration in the mode of affeffing merchants, is productive of great advantages both to the crown and to the subject; the former receives, and the latter cheerfully pays, one per cent. of their capital, as well because they are by that means exempted from the poll-tax, as because they are alfo entitled to additional immunities. It is alfo a juft impoft, as each merchant pays according to his fortune; if his profits increase, his affeffment increases; if they diminish, his contribution proportionably diminishes. With refpect to the general interefts of the nation, it must be confidered as a mafter-piece of judgment and found policy. It excites industry by holding up to the people a principal of honour, as well as intereft, to be derived from the augmentation of their capital; and it af fords an additional fecurity from arbitrary impofitions, by pledging the good faith of government in the protection of their property.It is likewife productive of another very effential public benefit, by creating, as it were, a third eftate, which, as it increases in wealth, in credit, and in importance, muft by degrees acquire additional privileges, and gradually rife into confequence and independence.' The peasants of Ruffia are divided into two claffes: Peasants of the crown. 2. Peasants belonging to individuals. The former inhabit the Imperial demefnes, and form about the fixth part of all the peasants in Ruffia. Being under the protection of the Sovereign, whatever oppreffions they may fuffer from Imperial officers or bailiffs, they enjoy a greater degree of fecurity and protection than the peafants belonging to the nobles. Many of them have been franchifed, and permitted to enrol themselves among the
merchants and burgeffes. Peasants belonging to individu als, are the private property of the landholders, as much as implements of agriculture, or herds of cattle; and the value of an estate is estimated, as in Poland, by the number of boors, and not by the number of acres.
The following account of the means by which Ruffian peasants may obtain liberty, and the advantage that is taken therefrom by the Emprefs, to extend the sphere of liberty in her dominions, furnishes an example of the prudent "manner in which that great Princefs mixes a neceffary regard to the privileges of the noblès, with a strong defire to confer the bleffing of freedom on the great body of her fubjects.
"A peasant may obtain his liberty, 1. by manumiffion, which, upon the death of the mafter; is frequently granted to those who have ferved in the capacity of his immediate domesticks; 2. by purchafe; 3. by ferving in the army or navy; for a peasant is free from the moment of his enrolment, and continues fo whenever he obtains his discharge: and in all thefe cafes, the Emprefs has facilitated the means of obtaining freedom, by waiving feveral rights of the crown, which, in fome measure, obftructed this acquifition of liberty. Although her Majefty cannot alter the fundamental ftate of property, by conferring upon the peafants, as individuals, any material privileges which might infringe thofe of the nobles yet fhe has not neglected their interefts, but has iffued several laws in their favour, which have given them fome alleviation.
"By allowing them to fettle in any part of her dominions, and to enrol themselves among the burghers or merchants, according to their respective capitals, he has given a stability to their freedom, and afforded the strongest incitements for the exertions of industry. She has repealed thofe oppreffive laws, which forbad, in certain diftricts, all peasants to marry without the confent of the Governor of the province, or the vayvode of the town, who usually exacted a prefent from the parties. The Emprefs, by abolishing this tax upon the rights of humanity, has wifely removed, as far as lay in her power, every obftacle to marriage.'
Among Mr. Coxe's remarks, and the facts he relates in his Travels into Sweden, we meet with thefe:-He makes it appear probable, from a ftriking affinity between the Hungarian and Lapland languages, that the Hungarians and Laplanders are defcended from one common ftock, the Huns. For this information he is indebted, as he is for what is most valuable in his publication, to certain authors, who wrote in Latin, and who are but little, if at all, known in this country. He gives a fuccinct narrative of the changes in the form of the Swedish government; and particularly of the nature of the conftitution established at the Revolution of 1772. In oppofition to Mr. Sheridan, who, in his "History of the late Revolution," afferts, that the King of Sweden is, "no ENG. REV. May, 1785 Y