Billeder på siden

in quest of riches ?' It is, that they may return to display their contequence, and to draw the attention and the sympathy of their "countrymen, at latt. It is the social principle which gives its chief value to wealth. Without a country, without a social circle to observe and to join in our prosperity, there would be no incitement to adventure, no motives to raise mankind from favage to polished life. But the love of their country, those charities, in the stile of Milton, which, by the aftociation of ideas, raise an affection for their native soil, at once excites a spirit of enterprize, and calls home the successful adventurer, after all his wanderings, to the seat of his earliest and dearest connections. If these connections do not, as in general they do, fix men to their own country, they, for the most part, reclaim and attac'

e fugitive. To apply thefe obr jons to the question that led to them. The social habits and endearments of life will, for a long series of years, either keep our capitals at heme, or, by different channels, remit their produce:

Again. Either the intercourse between England and Ireland; will increase, or it will decrease : for it cannot be stationary. If it shall increase, a fimilarity of manners, habits, and sentiments will increase also. The two nations will more and more coalefce with one another, until at last they shall be joined, like England and Scotland, by a national union. The strength of the one kingdom will be the strength of the other, National antipathies will wear away; and the channel which seems destined to divide, will, sucki is the power of art! ferve to facilitate both social and commercial communications.

If, on the contrary, misunderstandings and jealousies hould grow between the fifter kingdoms ; if the weaker should seek and find the favour and alliance of some powerful neighbour on the con tinent, foreign connections and habits would gradually estrange the kingdoms from one another; antipathies would revive and multiply a principle of discord would repel the English from Ireland, and the Irish from England ; and in this case there would be no room for complaints concerning the migration of capital. On the whole, if a good understanding with Ireland, fhall strengthen into a political union, the jealousy of trade will diminish and die atvay. If, which Heaven avert, a total separation should ensue, the present commercial regulations would be, to all practical purposes, merely waste paper. They would serve indeed to convince the speculative politician, that animal antipathy is able, in some instances, to frustrate the moft liberal, falutary, and just defigns.

As we have considered the question concerning the apprehended Auctuation of English capitals to Ireland, on the principles of general politicks, influenced by the general principles of human nature ; so we shall now consider it on the more circumscribed views of maa nufacturers and merchants. It is a very difficult matter for a manufactuer of


and extera five business to call in his debts, to wind up his affairs, to transport kis raw materials, and instruments of labour, from one try to another. On an average it is computed, that this cannot be done by men in trade, without a sacrifice of a third part of their whole stock ; not to mention the danger of altering in some mea.


sure the firm, and varying the situation of their houses ; cir; cumstances, intimately connected with the fale of goods, and that are far from being matters of indiiference in the command of a ready market. If from reasoning we seek light on this subject from experience; we shall find that it is difficult to form any general conclufions concerning the conduct of mankind from that of others placed in what we apprehend to be similar situations.

As it is easy for the mathematician to combine ad infinitum the various proportions, and to discover new relations among lines and figures, but difficult even by the aid of geometry to penetrate into the nature and to measure the powers of matter and motion : so it is easy to speculate concerning the principles of human nature; but difficult to foresee the course of conduct that any man or fociety of men will pursue in any given circumstances. In Scotland, labour, provifions, house rent, and other articles are nearly as cheap as they are in Ireland. Navigable rivers, bays, and inlets of the sea, render Scotland an inviting scene for cominercial enterprize ; and the Scotch are more fitted for the various pursuits of industry than the generality of the Irish. Yet, although Scotland has been united to England for near a century, how little of English capital has been laid out in the establishment of manufactures in that kingdom? The iron manufacture at Carron, established by adó venturers driven to try experiments from neceffity, and a concern held by fome Englismen in the falmon fishery at Aberdeen, are the only instances of any importance, of English capital being employed on the north fide of the Tweed. Reasoning, therefore, from this fact, we should be inclined to conclude, that there is no great chance of the English manufacturer crofsing St. George's Channel, on account of the privileges of trade granted to Ireland.

But when we turn our eyes to the present state of Canada, we are tempted to draw a quite different conclusion. An almoft total ex: emption from taxes, allures to that extensive region new settlers from the new skates of Americasmarting under impositions ten times more severe than those which, at the expence of a civil war, they fought to avoid. Perhaps the Americans have more of the spirit of adventure than any other people. They are afloat, as it were, on the great ocean of the world. And, as it is easier to give a new direction to any body once in motion, than to move a body at rett, fo the fpirit of migration is perhaps stronger in the new than in any part of the old world.

CONTINENT OF EUROPE: The deposition of the Grand Vifier, a man of great abilities, and though a friend to the arts that are best preparations for war, a constant admirer of peace, together with the privileges accorded by the Porte to the French on the Black Sea, are circumitances which lead the restless minds of politicians to presage an attempt to expel the Russians from the Crimea. It is certain that the feeds of animosity between the courts of Petersburgh and Corftantinople, are deeply planted; and that a war between these great powers cannot be delayed for any great length of time. It now appears, that if the late peace had not taken place between the Turks and Russians, the French would have been put in



potle:lion of the island of Candia. The alliance between the Porte Ind France, is now cloter than ever. It would be very difficult, and almost impollible for the united arms of both Turkey and France, to drive the Rullians from the Crimea.* But it is not the interest, and it will not be the inclination of the political court of Versailles, to suffer the Ruffians to make farther incroachments on fo promifing an ally, It is evident, that under pretence of supporting the falling empire of the Ottomans; the French will seek, and probably obtain, a firm establishment in the Turkish dominions.

A jealousy of Turkey and France, with views on the territories of the former, unite, for the present, the Ruilians and the Austrians. Couriers, accordingly, very frequently pass between Peterfburgh and Vienna. The great powers which at present dividë Europe, and indeed govern the world, may be reduced to fix-the House of Bourbon, the Austrians, the, Ruffians, the Turks, the English, and a natural confederacy between the Dutch and the House of Brandenburgh, at the head of an union among different princes of Germany.

The Scheldt, as we have uniformly thought, will undoubtedly be opened, with a few infignificant restrictions to the Auftrians. Peace will continue between that people and the Dutch. But the Emperor, more busy and perfevering, than bold and decifive in action, will probably keep his great army on foot, and watch for an opportunity of reducing under his power, that early object of his ambition, the palatinate of Bavaria.

* The French could not transport troops to the Crimea, without an immense expence. The Russians can send forces thither with the greatest ease, and in the greatest numbers.



For JUNE, 1785.

[ocr errors]

ART. I. An Inquiry into the Fine Arts. By Thomas Robertson,

Minister of Dalmeny, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Vol. I. 4to. 18s. boards. Cadell. London. 1984. To treat of the arts, whose chief object is to please, as a

philosopher and a man of taste, to investigate their nature, to display their particular beauties, to fix their boun. daries, and thus establish a rule by which the critic is to judge, muft surely be deemed an arduous undertaking.Many parts of the subject are of a nature so shadowy, and unsubstantial, that they are not palpable, but to what may be termed the most exquisite ideal feeling. And, supposing an author endowed with this uncommon gift of nature, yet much previous knowledge and reflection are necessary to give certainty to its decisions. To judge of painting, for example, that we possess the seeds of taste is not sufficient, the eye must have been long accustomed to the various excellencies and defects of a multitude of artists, before we can determine as we ought. Without this, when we speak upon the subject, though we may have read all that has been written from Pliny to the present day, we shall only repeat the ideas of others; or, if in such unfavourable circumstances, we venture to give a judgment of our own, the result will often be exttavagance and absurdity. We mean not by this to insinuate, that the present author has not prepared himENG. Rev. Jane, 1785.



self with the most anxious industry for the task he has undertaken. The arrangement of his work prevents us froin deciding fully upon this at present. The voluine that now appears, is entirely devoted to music, which, from its nature, may be as completely attained at Dalmeny as at Rome, for at both places the works of the great ma' ers may be equally perused. Upon this subject he appears to have been sufficiently induftrious.

An introductory discourse “ On the principle of the fine Arts, and a plan for treating of them,” precedes the discusfion of his principal subject. In examining the principle of the fine arts, he follows the idea of Sir William Jones, in opposition to Aristotle, and the common opinion ; denying that thoy are imitotive; but in treating this fubicct, he seems to be combating a phantom which he himself has raised. For those who maintain that the arts of poetry and painting, for example, are imitative, do by no means affert that their perfection confifts in a servile imitation of nature. The

poet and the painter, on the contrary, may cull from that great store-house, may superadd ideal beauties or des feets, may diminish, exaggerate, diftort; and thus call into existence something that never had a local habitation nor a name ; but the pluilofopher will discover the embryo of this child of the fine arts in the prolific womb of nature. It is asked with exultation by our author, " Upon what model " did Euripides and the old poers form the Cyclops? " Shakespeare's Caliban a copy?”

?!” We have as little faith in the actual existence of Caliban or the Cyclops as Mr. Robertson, and yet, according to our tense of imitation, we can say that they are copies from nature. There the poets found deformity, malignity, cruelty, and the other materials, which make up the forin and character of these poetical beings, and molded them by the hand of fancy. It may likewise be observed, with regard to the two instances produced by our author, that, before the poetical birth of Caliban or the Cyclops, their prototypes exitted in the popular opinion. The intercourte of witches and evil spirits, was believed to produce, though not the very monster of the tempest, yet beings of a kinilar kind long before the birth of our immortal bard. Shakespeare's Caliban is not therefore, in a strict sense, the child of fancy, but a copy, not indeed of what really did, but of what was believed to exift, which, for the purpose of our argument, is exactly the same thing. Tothe same caure must we attribute the origin of “ the Cyclops of Euripides and the old poets ;” for there is no doubt that a popular belief in the existence of such a being, mast be first cftablithed, before the being can be pro



« ForrigeFortsæt »