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This is an attempt to characterize the peerage, by pointing re-
Occasioned by a Charge given to the Grand Jury for the county
This trifle, like the thing to which it refers, is of no value. It
every Word; or, a System of Reading on a Plan fo entirely new,
This appears to be a very curious performance. It is written by
By Mrs. Boys. Dedicated by permission to Mrs. Hastings. 2 vols.
This novel partakes of those defects, which we are but too often
hesitate to pronounce the performance extremely superior to the majority of books of this description which we are obliged to perufe. The plot is ingenioully formed, and the incidents are accompanied with the reflections of a sensible and cultivated mind. The modesty of the author is conspicuous : fhe avoids all attempt at the pathetic, and she has not aspired to much refinement of character and exquifiteness of humour. But on the other hand, her denoument is conceived with peculiar felicity, and executed with a mastery little inferior to any thing of the kind that was ever attempted. Art. 36. The Stone Coffin ; or, A new Way of making Love.
A Poem. Dedicated (without permiflion) to Lady C4to. Is.
Cattermoul. And a new way of making titles too, my good friend! But, it seems, the heroine was willing to out-do “ the famous Queen Dido, “ that was enamoured of a brazen bull.” In a word, the author having poured out his eternal nonsense for twenty pages together, now thinks to expiate his offence, by facrificing decency at the same shrine, at which he had before sacrificed common sense.
For the ENGLISH REVIEW
[For JUNE, 1785.]
fitions for regulating our commerce with Ireland, the parliament of that kingdomn adjourns, doubtful of the course they ought to pursue till they know our determinations ; and keeping still a watchful and jealous eye upon our conduct. The infinite mula tiplicity of confiderations that mult be attended to, and which the apprehensions of manufacturers force upon the attention of the legillature, joined with the rivality of the two nations, lay such a foundation for debate and altercation, as seldom occurs even in the councils of free and enlightened states. As a great part of the reasoning on this intricate subject consists in conjecture and anticipation of contingencies, it might, like the metaphysical disputes of the schools, afford to the various subtlety of the human mind matter of debate, not for one century, but for ever. For where are precedents to be found in the history of these or other kingdoms for settling this new conjuncture of affairs, if you proceed upon justice or the law of nature and nations ? or by what certain criterion are we to judge concerning the effect of laws involving so vaft a variety of fluctuating and unforeseen circumstances, if you
upon the principles of utility, and national advantage ?" The minister foreseeing endless debates, and aware of the importance of a quick decision, haftens the business all that is in his power. If prolonged argument tends to sharpen the tempers of individuals, and fects, and parties, even where the subject of debaie is iwi mingled with any real, or rater
isible interest or advantage ; much more is it to be apprehended, tl at the humours of rival nations will be foured by continued contention concerning matters of the greatest moment, and whose difcussion infallibly tends to stimulate and inflame the passions both of avarice, and national pride and emulation.
If no preliminaries, if nothing fubftantial be fettled between the two kingdoms before the recesses of the two parliaments, there is ground to apprehend, that the jealoufies of the manufacturers Thould unite them into such a compact and formidable body as would in the end defeat the views of the present administration. But whether this event, if it should ever happen, ought to be regarded as a subject of triumph or of regret, is a matter of doubt and uns certainty. Where national antipathies prevail, and real or imaginary oppofition of interests, treaties of commerce extended on paper with the nicest caution and art are of no avail. It is power alone that gives efficacy to laws, whether over states or individuals. Individuals of the same society and under the same governments, pay
obedience to the laws because the authority of the fovereign is able to enforce them. Independent kingdoms watch for opportunities of evading treaties by fophiftry, or breaking through thein by violence. Written agreements between nations are not observed longer than conveniency requires ; nor survive for any length of time the humour and the varying circumstances in which they were made. There is no common head to give harmony to the different members of one body. As for the powers that guarantee political settlements, their interests, for the most part change, as well as the situations and passions of the parties in whose cause they interpose their mediation. Ireland, effentially independent and divided from Great Britain, owns not any third power of controul in any dispute that may arile between the nations. Where then is the utility of commercial regulations ? Formal compacts upon a thousand points, fome of them of no mighty confequence, prefent as many opportunities, and temptations too, of bringing the force of the commercial treaties to the trial, and defying the authority of the British legislature. It would have been better policy, perhaps, to have left the Irish to themselves, to have sufiered the mercantile mania, like that of their Volunteers, to sublide through time, or perhaps, in imitation of the prudent conduct of the Irish parliament towards those armed affociators, to have opposed their brifkness with resolution, while their tempers should have been managed with flattering praises and kind exprefTions.
But, in the political conduct of England towards the fister kingdom we inay discern, how naturally men run from one extreme to another, and how difficult ja matter it is to balance the paflions, and restrain and regulate the impulses of the mind, so as to pursue
The conduct of the Irish parliament, in speaking foftly to and of the Volunteers, while they rejected their petition for a reform, is at once a counter-part and latyr on that of the English ministry, with regard to the Americans. The English government talked in a threatening and contemptuous tone, but neglected the moment of action,
without turning either to the right or left, the strait way of reason.
In the present conjuncture of affairs, a permanent union between Great Britain and Ireland is to be effected only by a national union. In process of time, this, there is some reason to hope, will be effected. And certainly it is easy to foresee that England and Ireland must henceforth be more united, or more divided than they have ever been. If they thould be more united, and one head should call forth the energy, and direct the movements of the whole, the British empire might perhaps yet rise to an envied pre-eminence among the nations. A pre-eminence more durable than that from which she has lately fallen, because, it is presumed, that experience has now taught her political wisdom and moderation. Scotland is a kingdom greatly inferior in natural fertility and fituation, as well as in number of inhabitants, to Ireland. And it is casy to trace a considerable share of the prosperity of England to its union with Scotland.
If, on the other hand, there should be a total separation between the kingdoms, that separation would not only affect the interests of Great Britain. It would materially influence the balance of power in Europe. Neighbouring nations, like neighbouring Lords and and Chieftains, are generally at variance with one another. There was not a village in New Zealand which Captain Cook, with his companions, visited, but exhorted him to destroy their neighbours. This principle of animofity is by no meana dependent on ideas of interest, and seems to be common to mankind, with wolves, and tygers, and other ferocious animals. The natives of Nantucket, who live
folely on oysters and other shell-fish, with perhaps a little fruit and the spontaneous productions of the earth, are divided by a ridge of_hills, into two nations, though derived from the fame origin. The inhabitants on the west side, and those on the east, are animated against each other, on no other account than that of the natural barrier, by the moit furious and implacable hatred, which ever and anon breaks out into the fierceit hottilities. Now if there is such resentment between neighbouring nations, where there is no real oppofition of interests, much more may we expect, that the most violent contests will divide Ireland and England, if a fameness of government Ihall not melt them down into one social and friendly empire. If a division between the two kingdoms should take place, then that would happen which has uniformly happened, and now obtains on the face of the whole globe. Nations separated from each other by the intervention or interjacency of a nation, hostile because contiguous to both, would be friendly to one another, France would take part with Ireland ; Spain and great part of Germany, with Great Britain. This new order of affairs would involve a great many other powers, and effect both various and memorable revolutions,
ENGLISH MANUFACTURES. The present embarraflıment with Ireland has furnished an opportunity of discerning some features, hitherto perhaps unnoticed in the characters of different classes of people in England. The class, or in the fasħionable stile of parliament, the description of men who are the most alarmed at the Irish propositions, are the manufacturers. As this numerous body form the great support of English prof. perity, so when the interest of England seems to be opposed by that of another country, they are the most zealous and active in the public, because it is their own cause, The merchant compared with the manufacturer, is, to the prefent grand businefs of parliament, indifferent. The merchant is not so much confined as the manufacturer, to one spot. He is more a citizen of the world. If he does not find employment for his capital in one channel, he looks about for another, It is no great matter to him, provided he can find a ready market for his goods, whether they be exported or imported, in Irish or in English vessels, The work-houses, the materials, the instruments of the manufacturer, cannot be so easily moved as bills of credit. They are so many cords which bind him to the soil, He is less a citizen' of the world than the merchant, and more of an Englishman. It might therefore be expected, in case of any convulfion that the safety of the state would depend more on the efforts of the manufacturing than the mercantile interest.
It is true, that all patentees and monopolists, among whom we are to rank, and in the very first place the West India merchants, are as much awakened by the present conjun türe, as the most sharp-fighted manufacturer from Birmingham or Manchester. But this is not the case with the merchant at large, and forins not any exception to our general re:zioning, The price of provisions and other articles are intimately con