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pocia, and a thousand others. Who, amidst bis blaze of figures and altisonants, observes that the mind of Harvey was devoted to St. Vitus, that his ideas are perpetually dancing the hay, or that his language is obscure as the time-caten epitaphs upon his favourite tombs.

ing reported that his patient had in- vinced that nothing more convenientjured the abdominal muscle, the wife ly conceals dullness and ignorance repeated the information, slightly than metaphor, antithesis, prosopochanging abdominal into abominable, Rabelais, sensible that the great end of language was to puzzle and confound, petitioned for entrance to a monastry with such dexterity as to be utterly incomprehensible: this he was the better able to perform in being master of some ten or a dozen languages: to a Greek, who first ap- It may sound ridiculous to assert peared to answer his inquiries, he that a style incumbered with words spoke high Dutch, to a Dutchman is attained with more felicity than Italian, to an Italian Welch, to a that which has simplicity and ease for Welchman Syriac, to an Assyrian its basis: yet so it is: and I have it Spanish, to a Spaniard Sancrete, and in short succeeded to such admiration as to be bastinadoed from the grate for an impertinent.

I maintain that mankind have a natural relish for obscurity, else how happens it, since all write with a desire to be read, that books are hourly published, designedly free from all perspicuity and order; I say designedly, for that they are not necessarily so is evident by the usual afterbirth of a volume, consisting in notes, annotations, remarks, additions, allusions, and explications, which, were it not to flatter the prevailing bias I speak of, might just as well have been incorporated with the work itself.

from good authority, that those who write with least ornament and circumlocution set down their ideas, at first, with great verbosity and length, and upon a review of their language, to the great waste and injury of time, are forced to reduce it to conciseness and precision. It was upon this principle that a celebrated Frenchman apologized for the length of his letter, by saying he had not time to write a shorter.

If then your ideas be poor and vulgar, let your language be sonorous and splendid, as they who have the emptiest pockets wear the gayest clothes; for no one in his senses ever imagined a low thought adorned with Again, if any one have so little flowery diction to be still a low judgment as to write with the small- thought, any more than he would est clearness or certainty, a swarm of esteem a clown in lace a clown, or a commentators immediately surrounds weak man in impenetrable armour him like gnats about a candle, not still a weak man. If your notions be indeed to extinguish what light there few and scanty, your expression is, but to increase it-a proceeding by no means incongruous to their design; for, as nothing Blinds sooner than too much light, so an author is best obumbrated by explanation. Sensible of this, they seize upon the most selfevident and luminous parts, and artfully encircle them with the rays of Hlustration, till the mind, aching with the dazzling brilliancy of its objects, can distinguish nothing. Hence he who, from some unaccountable prejudice or defect in taste, would understand what he reads must shut up all expositions of his author, as the philosopher closed his eyes that he might see the better.

As best productive of obscurity and confusion, I would advise a rigid application for the acquirement of the florid and turgid style, buing con

should be copious, voluble, and luxuriant, as you may observe that they who have the thinnest legs wear the greatest number of stockings: nay, if your ideas be ever so excellent, neglect not the art of indistinctness, for as virtues are seen to most advantage in adversity, the shade of life, good sentiments are best observed in obscurity, the shade of writing. Prosperity and perspicuity are sunshines, which, by setting objects in too glaring a point of view, perplex and confuse the eye of observation.

To conclude, as some dishes at once satisfy and excite the appetite, so obscurity, whether you wish to be or not to be understood, is alike desirable, and they give no mighty proof of their good sense who think otherwise.



Nalli negabimus, nulli differemus justitiam."

The REAL STATE of FRANCE in the nibals, where he landed, and what Year 1809; with an Account of the were his feelings when he first found Treatment of the Prisoners of War, himself upon his native shore, the and Persons otherwise detained in France. By CHARLES STURT, Esq. late M.P. for Bridport, resident in France before the War, and detained nearly Seven Years as a Hostage. try in a balloon or a fishing boat, and 5th edition. pp. 168. 1810. that he is not actuated by the com

grateful effusions that escaped him on this occasion, &c. &c. &c. On the contrary, leaving his readers to suppose he might have reached this coun

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W HEN Mr. Pitt, of immortal men feelings of humanity, he comes memory, in the anguish of his directly to his point, and give us to mind, exclaimed, "Oh my country," understand, that instead of being opthough it is not probable that he had pressed by unnecessary severity and its weak writers as well as its weak the most rigorous confinement, as it defenders in view, still it is much to would appear in the sequel, he has be apprehended whether the former been, no doubt, at his case, at his will not ultimately do it more injury reading several publications, English than the latter. This reasoning may of course, and that an opinion probably apply to many of the pamseems to be gaining ground here that phlets faunched in this new war of France is a happy nation, that the words; but to none more appropri- People are contented with their ately than the present production, change; that the price the revolution called "The Real State of France in has cost the nation in blood and trea1500," and said to be written by sure has been well worth the object Charles Sturt, Esq. lately a resident attained; and that the arts, internal in France. His name, however, is to commerce, and agriculture, flourish in a wonderful degree; and that to do away this misrepresentation is the object of the following sheets."

the work; and provided the assertions be palatable, and the time of publication well chosen, it was not to be supposed the public would be so cri- This pamphlet, it is hoped, will be tical as to entertain doubts on a na- a terrible warning to Bonaparte, not tional subject. Yet, to believe the to imprison any more Englishmen of reality of the picture this work con- such abilities as those of Mr. Sturt, tains, it would be necessary for us to for, though confined to Verdun, and undergo a kind of magical transfor- for several months closely in the mation. Almost every thing is so fortress of Bitche, it seems he could differently represented by Mr. Sturt see every thing that was passing elseto what it has been by preceding where, just as if he had been present! writers, that it is of course necessary For instance, "the soldier with his to believe, seriously, that hitherto we great whiskers, and his sabre draghave been under the highest degree ging along the ground to the annoyof deception, with respect to the in- ance of every one." And so by these terior of France; and therefore, if it means, as Mr. Sturt says, “the solwere possible, in order to appreciate dier has all the law on his side, if law the value of the supposed Mr. S.'s ex- it can be called." As to the poorer clusive information, we ought to drink sort of people, they are (again it largely of the waters of Lethe, and seems) honoured with the title of la forget nearly every thing we had read canaille, which Mr. S. thinks "the and heard of before respecting France! most opprobrious and contemptible Consistently with this idea of im- term in the French language!" It is plicit faith and perfect confidence in true that he adds, just after making the writer's assertions, it was thought these assertions, to correctness of quite unnecessary to satisfy the rea- style I renounce all claim." dera natural curiosity to know when and by what means Mr. Sturt escaped eat of the hands of these French can

We should rather suppose it hyperbole than falsehood, when Mr. S. claims credit for the truth of his state

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ments respecting France at large; because, notwithstanding his close confinement at Bitche, &c. they are, he says, "formed from my own observations on innumerable occasions:" he adds, 'I have been supported in ail my assertions by hundreds of my countrymen, who have travelled through the interior of France."-Where and when he gave these numerous audiences to his countrymen is not mentioned. He adds, "I want, however, no support; I have seen the misery and distress I describe with my own eyes." Still astonishing! who can now say that miracles have


As to the superior talents of Bonaparte, Mr. S. is perfectly amusing and agreeable, and very justly confines them to the things of which he has simply heard. He says,

"I hear so much on these topics from some of my countrymen, that I should almost be tempted to believe they had been favoured with the order de legion d'honneur. I own I am not one who view him as the consummate character and great man which so many conceive him to be. His conduct on the overturning of the directory and establishing himself first consul, was marked with indecision aud personal fear; and if it had not been

for the bold and decisive character of

his brother Lucien, he would have consulted his personal safety by a flight, which he had actually commenced: he was forced back, agitated, pale, and incapable of speaking. Lucien, who filled the chair, barangued the assembly, and dissolved them, while Napoleon was surrounded by the grenadiers. It was Lucien Bonaparte then who fixed his brother on the destinies of France, and no bold and daring conduct of his own. Numbers who were present, and some members of the assembly have frequently declared to me, they never saw a man betray so much agitation and alarm as Bonaparte did on that


"His desertion from his brave troops in Egypt marked him deficient in greatness of soul, and of generosity towards an army which had planted so many laurels on his brow on the plains of Italy. It was a base and dishonourable Hight. The massacreing

40,000 Turks in the battles he gained in Egypt, with veteran troops opposed to a poor Mahometan rabble, deficient in every thing but courage, was nothing to boast of. But when this vapouring_general tried his fortune against European troops in Egypt, he met with nothing but discomfiture and disgrace. His attack of St. Jean d'Acre, shewed him deficient of even military talents. It dishonoured him as a soldier.

"At the battle of Marengo he was equally wanting of that decision which characterises a real great man. For, after having been beaten, and having seen his army fly, instead of shewing a mind full of resources and vigour, he was forced from the field of battle, frantic and bereft of all reason, not knowing where to go, or how to make the smallest attempt to recover bis directions, when Dessaix appeared disaster. His troops were flying in all with a reinforcement of 10,600 men. He censured Bonaparte for his conduct, in terms harsh and violent, and recovered the lost battle. I have immediately charging the Austrians, heard it declared by many officers who were in that battle, that Dessaix

did not receive his mortal wound from an enemy.

he lost the flower of his imperial "At the battle of Asperne, where whom he feared, he again lost his guard, and one of his ablest generala head, and was perfectly frantic. It of himself, his army, and his empire. was to Messina he then owed the safety

"Surely in these four great crises of his life, the want of judgment, coolness, and self-command, which he is well known to have exhibited, prove him to be very deficient in what constitutes a really great character. I cannot but consider his rising to his present power, more to be attributed to the extraordinary circumstances of the time and to the talents that surround him, than to any commanding genius or ability of his own.

"It is to be recollected that it was not one man who composed the famous Dictionnaire de l'Academie. That work was the result of the labours of forty, in the same manner many have contributed to the creation of the present state of France, both civil and military. Bonaparte has assisted little

in producing that great colossal power, attentive reader; viz. that though though circumstances have placed it these reflections are, some of them under his direction. He has had a literally, and others in substance, weapon put into his hands, which it taken from English_newspapers, was scarce possible to wield without yet, in respect to the French mode success." of treating our prisoners, not to mention the testimony of private Mr. Sturt proceeds thus, "The cruelty exercised towards English pri- have recently stated facts in direct persons, the newspapers themselves soners of war, and the hostages, shall opposition to Mr. Sturt's assertions. form a consideration distinct from the The liberation and kind treatment of picture I mean to exhibit of the real a number of fishermen taken by the situation of France; and I shall be French, belonging to one of our much disappointed if my countrymen Kentish ports, is one of these circumdo not, one and all, feel indignant at stances. An event still more recent, the wanton barbarity practised against all ages and sexes."

was an act of the French Emperor, in person, when, as a reward for the exertions of several of our seamen at a fire, they received their liberty and a sum of money, each man, tantamount to their pay for six months.

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But though the charges brought against General Wirrion, the commandant of Verdun, may be well founded, yet, as the writer is every where running a comparison between Mr. Sturt implicates the GendarEngland and France, he should have merie in the same censure which he known that General Wirrion was re- bestows upon the French military for moved by his government; and that cruelty towards the English. It is, complaints elsewhere against the go- perhaps, the first time such a charge vernor of a prison, the very name of has been brought. Mr. J. Worsley, which used to be disgusting to an in his Account of the State of France Englishman, could not effect his re- and its Government, &c. who had moval! It is probably to Verdun also been detained as a a hostage, and alone, that Mr. S. wishes to contine published in 1800, speaking of the the particular charge, that our coun- Gendarmerie, observes, "In some trymen were lodged in filthy stables, instances our countrymen have been often without straw, confined in close ill used by them; but it must be conplaces, not permitted to go out, and fessed, that, in general, they have nothing allowed but bread and water. met with humane and liberal treatBut he goes on to assert, "that in ment. The English, he says, in some towns they were secured in general, having been indulged in loathsome civil prisons among wretch- taking one of them from the place ed animals (what animals?) dying where they were arrested to the town with disease and filth." The seamen where they were to be confined, in too, like the French conscripts, "have these cases, as it was an extra service, been conducted from one extremity they were expected to pay, for a of France to another, chained by the horseman six livres a day, and for a neck, feet, &c." Now this may be footman four.-The author was rethe truth, but not the whole truth. quired to pay three louis for the inBut, because in England we frequent- dulgence of having one of these for a ly see recruits that have deserted, and companion, who was an intelligent others walk handcuffed along the man, and from whom he derived streets, and thus conveyed from town some of the information which is to town, could we therefore give cre- now communicated to the public." dit to a French prisoner, who, on As to the political reasoning of this getting back to his own country, writer, it may be appreciated by the should assert, in general terms, that frequent insinuation, "that the peorecruits for the British army were ple of France and the enemies of conveyed from place to place in Bonaparte can have no hope but in irons. One circumstance, not- the hand of a second Charlotte Cordé.” withstanding the nullity of many of By way of conclusion, also, in p. 137, the reflections which this pamphlet a hope is expressed, that "a fanatic contains, will very forcibly strike an may arise, and put an end to the life

of a man whose whole conduct has an attention to strict justice impos'been one scene of perfidy, oppression, sible!" and cruelty towards every nation he has ever interfered with."

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One merit

This writer may, if ever any reproaches should arise in his own mind, But, if Bonaparte be deficient in reflect that he is not the only bad his morals, and lost to all human feel- advocate, who may have contributed ing, it seems his pious generals and to the ruin of a good cause. Howsoldiers are fatigued, worn out with ever, one of the most singular circumsanguinary wars, which they find lead stances attendant upon this pamphlet, no nearer to the blessings of peace professedly written in France previous than at their commencement. The to February last, is the manifest allugenerals," it seems, who are becom- sion which it contains to the state of ing excellent divines and casuists, parties, &c, and the sentiments of the feel that murder and plunder, how friends of Sir F. Burdett, arising from ever successful, produces neither tran- events of recent date. quillity to the soul, nor respect from after all must be allowed this writer; mankind." This is like asserting, he has found an object for the present that merchants, tradesmen, &c. how- war! It is so great and worthy of its ever profitable their avocations are, author, as he tells us in page 69, feel, nevertheless, that they do not "that the French, who are not in produce tranquillity to the soul," and their hearts enemies to England, dethey would therefore be happy to voutly hope the nation (the English) unite with the people" to destroy the may accomplish it, viz. " consumer of their merchandise and peace established on principles of mumanufactures! In page 68, we are tual interest throughout the globe." told that "the senseless cry of liberty To which we add,-Soit ainsi. of the seas and freedom of commerce is treated in France with great levity. Give us peace with England, say the people, and the liberty of the seas follow." In the very next page we are · informed that the French regime, or government, constantly frightens and agitates the soul of every man in the nation; so that if the levity of the French just before spoken of be founded, they laugh, tremble, and reason all in breath!


At length, compeiled to admit that our gallant countrymen in Spain receive the kindest and most generous treatment from the French," page 89, he would have it believed that other feelings, besides a principle of honour, operated in this instance, viz. the dread of retaliation, just as if the English, who have so many prisoners in their care, could retaliate in Spain only, and in no other place!

a universal

W. H. R.

A SHORT TREATISE on the PASSIONS illustrative of the HUMAN MIND. By a Lady. 2 vols. 12mo. 1810. T would not be easy to support a complaint for want of variety in this work. Numerous are the subjects which are touched upon. All the passions of the human mind, good and bad, noble and insignificant, with something like magical rapidity. generous and mean, pass before us There is plenty of assertion and little inquiry. We are expected to believe, but we are not previously convinced. There is much confidence in the writer, which is not always supported by corresponding merit.

Yet we have perused these volumes with some degree of pleasure. Some parts are good; and the best of the whole is the difference of character

between man and woman. The conThis author's attempt at a vindica- tending claims are impartially bation of the seizure of the King of lanced. Before, however, we speak Denmark's fleet is the lamest imagi- of the body of the work, we will adnable; he having found it necessary vert to the Introduction, in which are to qualify it by admitting, "that it is two or three things not exactly as to be lamented, that justice in poli- they should be. tics is too seldom considered, and the At p. xxxiv, the writer says, "no terrible times we live in, and the daily transition can be more monstrous encroachments of Bonaparte render than that from the army to the

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