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at all. No other sovereigns ever were, or, from the nature of things, ever could be, so perfectly. Indifferent about the happiness or misery of their subjects, the improvement or waste of their dominions, the glory or disgrace of their administration; as, from irresistible moral causes, the greater part of the proprietors of such a mercantile company are, and necessarily must be. This indifference too was more likely to be increased than diminished by some of the new regulations, which were made in consequence of the parliamentary inquiry. By a resolution of the House of Commons, for example, it was declared, that when the fourteen hundred thousand pounds lent to the company by government should be paid, and their bond-debts be reduced to fifteen hundred thousand pounds, they might then, and not till then, divide eight per cent.upon their capital; and that whatever remained of their revenues and ncat profits at home, should be divided into four parts ; three of them to be paid into the exchequer, for the use of the public, and the fourth to be reserved as a fund, either for the further reduction of their bond debts, or for the discharge of other contingent exigencies which the company might labour under. But if the company were bad stewards, and bad sovereigns, when the whole of their nett revenue and profits belonged to themselves, and were at their own disposal, they were surely not likely to be better, when three-fourths of them were to belong to other people, and the other fourth, though to be laid out for the benefit of the company, yet to be so, under the inspection, and with the approbation, of other people.
It might be more agreeable to the company that their own servants and dependants should have either the pleasure of wasting, or the profit of embezzling whatever surplus might remain, after paying the proposed dividend of eight per cent, than that it should come into the hands of a set of people, with whom those resolutions could scarce fail to set them, in fome measure, at variance. The interest of those servants and dependants might fo far predominate in the court of proprietors, as sometimes to dispose it to fupport the authors of depredations, which had been committed in direct violation of its own authority. With the majority of proprietors, the support even of the authority of their own court might sometimes be a matter of less consequence, than the support of those who had set that authority at defiance.
* The regulations of 1773, accordingly, did not put an end to the disorders of of the company's government in India. Notwithftanding, that, during a momentary fit of good conduct, they had at one time collected, into the treasury of Calcutta, more than three millions sterling; notwithstanding that they had afterwards extended, either their dominion or their depredations, over a vast acceffion of some of the richeit and most fertile countries in India ; all was wasted and destroyed. They found themselves altogether unprepared to stop or resist the incursion of Hyder Ali; and, in conlequence of those disorders, the company is now (1784) in greater distress than ever; and, in order to prevent immediate bankruptcy, is once more reduced to supplicate the assistance of government. Different platis have been proposed by the different parties in parliament, for the better management of its affairs, And all those plans feem to agree
in supposing, what was indeed always abundantly evident, that it is altogether unfit to govern its territorial possessions. Even the company itself feems to be convinced of its own incapacity fo far, and leems, upon that account, willing to give them up to government.
The language in these additions, as in the great work to which they belong, though clear, nervous, and precise, is not embellished with those artificial decorations, which might allure superficial readers into this line of speculation. Yet no writer was more capable of all the embellishments of composition than Dr. Smith. But he seems to have been of opinion, that, in such speculations, such embellishments were not admissible ; and that an inquiry, addressed to the underftanding of philofophers and statesmen, ought to reft entirely on intrinsic merit, and is, when un-adorned, adorned the most.
The word prohibit, which fo frequently occurs, seems to be constructed on some occasions with a latitude not per-., fe&tly agreeable to the English idiom. Instead, for example, of the phrase, prohibited to be imported, * we should prefer prohibited from being imported, as more consonant to the analogy of English grammar. Hinder to for hinder from, is a common Scotticism; and, we apprehend, prohibit to, for prohibit from, stands in the same predicament. If so, we have detected perhaps the only Scotticism to be met with in these volumes.
The late Dr. Johnson used to observe it as a fort of national characteristic, that the Scottish writers in general were extravagantly addicted to the praising of one another. I And we believe the remark is not altogether without foundation. Yet, we will venture to affirm, that this work of Dr. Smith has not been the subject of extravagant eulogium, when it is pronounced, by a writert of his own country, to be, “ a work which will, probably, in future times, be referred
to in political fcience, as the first just and systematic account, that has appeared in any language, of the princi
ples of public economy and the phænomena of com66 mercial states.”
* Vol. II. Page 254.
An opposite propensity seems to belong to a distinguished historian.See. Dr. Stuart's observations on Dr. Robertson's History of Scotland.
Efsays on the History of Mankind.
I 2mo. I 28.
Art. III. Anna ; or, Memoirs of a Welch Heiresso Interspersed with Anecdotes of a Nabob, 4 vol.
formances which are fictitious, from the natural and inherent dignity of the human mind. The affairs of the world, he conceives, are too limited to afford to man a complete satisfaction. He must make excurfions into the regions of fancy; and he must seek to improve upon nature. The theory of this great man, is ingenious; and perhaps it is well founded. But it is to be inferred from his reasonings, that fictitious writings would be the more perfect in proportion to their extravagance, and their diffimilitude from real life. This, however, is by no means the case. For though it is permitted to the novelist to employ a high colouring, and to exhibit a more perfect or a more depraved nature than consists with exact justness, the charm of his work muft ever consist in a happy probability, and a fortunate resemblance to real life.
The performance before us exceeds in no common degree the mass of novels which are every day obtruded upon the public. It deferves, on this account, to be more parti'cularly distinguished. The author avoids those gigantic inventions which can only surprize. He employs himself to move and agitate the affections, by a fable whích holds out imitations of living manners, and which displays characters which are frequently to be met with. His relations, drawn from observation and experience, instruct while they amule. We feel all the emotions which actually operate in society; and applaud, in the survey of a full and connected picture, that talte, capacity, sensibility, and knowledge, which must have been possessed by the artist.
But while we bestow a general approbation upon the vo"lumes before us, it is our duty to remark, that they furnith every where lessons of virtue ; that they inculcatc a pure morality; and that the author, fufficiently rich in his natural resources, had no occasion to excite the interest of his readers, by addressing himself to the imagination and the senses. The youth of both sexes may receive from the present performance an entertainment that is at once tender and moral. *. As a fpecimen of thefe volumes, we shall lay before our readers the first or introductory chapter.
" The latter end of September, Mrs. Clark, a widow woman, whose narrow circumstances obliged her to let lodgings, was fo fortunate (as the then termed it) to have her apartments tak ather own price, by a very good-looking middle-aged man ; who, to obviate any doubts that the might have respecting his being a stranger,
advanced a month's rent, and preparing her to receive a fick woman and a child, desired her to provide a nurse for the former, as the engaged to superintend all the attendance he wished for himself and the latter : and having given her a couple of guineas, to lay out in what necessaries might be immediately wanting, left her, to fetch the woman and child.
• The stranger had dropped no hint that the person who was to occupy the apartments was his wife, neither had he said she was not so. Mrs. Clarke was scrupulous and particular in her own princi. ples; but her lodgings were empty; they had unluckily been fo all the summer : the winter was approaching ; during that season the had seldom tenants for them, and necessity rendered her less inquisitive than in more easy circumstances the would have been ; The was prevented asking questions, by the fear of having them answered in a way that would oblige her to forego an advantage the could not well do without.
• In two hours from the time he left her, a hackney coach fet down at her door an elderly woman, in the last stage of a consumptíon, a pretty little girl of three or four year old, a portmanteau, a small trunk, and the aforesaid gentleman. Luckily, Mrs. Clarke was a woman who made a point of fulfilling her engagements ; for the assiduity with which she had prepared their rooms, and procured a nurse, was rendered necessary by the extreme weakness of the poor invalid, who was directly got to bed, and a neighbouring apothecary fummoned to her assistance
· The gentleman, with apparent concern, waited his decision, and on a physician being recoinmended, begged (being, as he said, a stranger) the apothecary would give him the address of the most eminent ; adding, that he would go himself to procure his immediate attendance. As soon at he was furnished with directions, he set off in hafte, accompanied by the apothecary, and Mrs. Clarke was beginning to scrape acquaintance with her little charge, when her attention was called to a bustle at her door, where she miet, to her surprize and concern, Mr. Linton, the apothecary, returning, af. fifted by some accidental passengers, with the lifeless body of her new lodger. A vein was immediately opened, but withour effect, a fit of apoplexy had put a period to his existence ; he breathed no more,
• The confusion such an event raised in the house, reached the fick person, and the nurse incautiously telling her the cause, it threwa her into faintings, from which she never recovered sufficiently to speak to be understood, although she lived three days.
Among others whose curiosity was excited by this awful and fatal circumstance, was the Rev. John Dalton, a popular preacher, belonging to a methodist conventicle in the neighbourhood. Mrs. Clarke as well as the nurse were his constant hearers, and begged his prayers with the dying woman; who, a short time before the expired, gave proofs she was sensible of his facred function and her own situation, by making figns to have the infant and trunk brought her, both which she put into his hands, and appearing then more composed and resigned, was, in a few moments released out of her pain.
· The trunk appeared heavy enough to quiet in some measure the apprehensions of the reverend teacher; otherwise, the facred bequest, and the solemn manner in which it was made, would not have been the most acceptable thing in the world to him. Poor Mrs. Clarke, as soon as the found the could not disturb the dying woman, began loudly to lament, herself, at having a couple of people to bury, of whose names, connections, and even country, she was ignorant, and whole baggage was too trifling to answer the funeral expences, which would half ruin her to defray, having a very fmail pension, as widow of a carpenter of a man of war, and what the could make of her lodgings, to support herself and daughter, who The had put apprentice to a milliner.
• This reflection suggested the idea of searc'uing the pockets of both the deceased : in the man's was found a gold watch and chain, with three feals, viz. a coat of arms, a crest, and a cypher, H. T. seven guineas, some filver, and a small key, which Dalton tock as belonging to the trunk, and having half opened it, he shut if again immediately, declaring it was full of old papers, which he would look over when he got home, and as it had pleased the Lord thus fignally to deprive the innocent child of its patural friends, he would take the present care of her himself,
• To be sure, he had a large family of his own, and hard enough he found it to support them; but what of that? Deeds of charity, like those of virtue, were their own reward; nay, he would farther he would take what effects there were, and pay all the expences of their respective funerals, and every other that was already incurred; if there was enough to reimburse him it was well ; if not, God would pay him. The women were lost in admiration of his piety and charity, when, to avoid the censures of evil-minded people, he directed them to take an inventory of the things, the property of the defuncts; a prudent precaution, though not abfolutely neceffary, for the witnesses were well acquainted from memory with every particular, but that which he said required none, viz. the small trunk, which he suffered not to go out of his own hands.
Having given what farther directions he thought proper, a coach was ordered, in which he conveyed the child, the trunk, and him, self, to his own habitation.
• When Mr. Dalton said, he had a large family of his own, he had (which was not always the case) spoke the truth; having a fat, handiome wife, five daughters, and two sons, with a small income, so that when he got home, Mrs. Dalton was not over sensible of the neceffity there was for this extraordinary exertion of a charitable disposition in her husband; to say the truth, though nobody could preach it better, or enforce it with stronger arguments, there was very little of that meek-eyed virtue in the Doctor's (as he was called) practice ; it is therefore not to be wondered, Mrs. Dalton was both angry and surprised at this first instance of that amiable virtue : he foon, however, contrived to reconcile her to the trouble and ex. pence of this little addition to her family, and when after communing with her husband, she icoked at the sweet baby then atleep, it was so lovely, and had something to genteel, fo above the common