Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

'Lord NORTH-PTON "A traveller! by my faith you have great reafon to be fad: I fear you have fold your own lands to fee Other men's; then, to have feen much, and to have nothing, is to have rich eyes, and poor hands." SHAKESP.

GAY.

"Tis application makes the afs." The last line is the Author's motto. Art. 31. An Hiftory of Jamaica and Barbadoes, with an authentic Account of the Lives loft, and the Damages fultained in each fland, by the late Hurricanes. To which is prefixed, A Sermon, preached on the melancholy occafion, at St. Clement's, Lombard Street. 4to. 2 s. 6 d. Davenhill. 1781.

The principal confideration which recommends this difcourfe to general notice is, the profeffed defign of it's publication; viz. The Benefit of the West India Sufferers. Whether the Sermon was ever preached appears doubtful, at leaft.-There is no St. Clement's church in Lombard-Street; and as to St. Clement's, in Clement'sjane, near Lombard-freet, we cannot find that any fuch difcourfe has been delivered there. This however is not fo material as the certainty that the profits (if any) arifing from its publication, will be applied to the fervice of the fufferers, for whom we are told by the anonymous author, it is intended, and this we are affured, on private information, is a truth.

There is fomething ingenious and fenfible in the difcourfe; and the style is good: it is a mixture of reafoning and declamation, attended with quotations from the claffics, &c. But who would expect a kind of philofophical enquiry into the original and prefent itate of Man, in a difcourfe immediately defigned to awaken and promote a free and liberal contribution to a large number of our fellowcreatures, whofe diftreffes plead for inftant affiftance and relief? Towards the end a little notice is taken of this purpofe,-which we fhould have thought the great object in view, throughout the whole; and the fuppofed preacher concludes by urging, with fome warmth, a liberal donation.

The title page of this pamphlet might induce the reader to think that he should meet with a fatisfactory account of the two islands which have lately been defolated in fo dreadful a manner: but this iliflory, as it is called, confits of no more than eight or nine pages, of common information.

We have thus endeavoured to give our readers fome idea of this questionable performance. To affilt the diftreffed is a laudable and excellent motive, and far be it from us, in the fmallest degree, to difcourage a purpose of this benevolent kind. Numbers, we doubt not, would be moft willing to purchase this or any other pamphlet which they were certain would promote fuch a good end; and many may be inclined to think it fill preferable to beftow the whole of what is afked to the direct purpose of the charity, without any deduction for the price of a pamphlet.

Art. 32. The Life of John Donellan, Efq; who was executed

at Warwick, April 2d, 1781; for the Murder of Sir Theodofius Boughton, Bar. Written by Captain Murphy. Svo. 1 S.

Wenman.

From this account, it appears that Capt. Donellan, was the fon of the late Lieut. Col. Donellan,-a gentleman perfonally known

to the writer of this article ;-that he was formerly an officer in the 39th regiment of foot;-that he was about two years in the fervice of the Eaft-India Company, from which he was difmiffed under circumftances of difgrace; and that, on his return to England, he was appointed director of the amufements at the Pantheon in Oxford-street, where he became acquainted with the Boughton family. The rest is fufficiently known to the Public.

Art. 33. The Trial of John Donellan, Efq. at the Affizes at Warwick, &c. Taken in fhort hand by Jofeph Gurney. Folio. 2s. 6d. Kearfly, &c.

Art. 34. The Proceedings at large on the Trial of John Donellan, Efq. for the Murder of Sir Theodofius Boughton, &c. Taken in fhort Hand by William Blanchard. Folio. 2 S.

Almon, &c.

Both thefe fhort-hand writers have the character of accuracy fufficient to recommend their publications.

Art. 35. The Cafe of John Donellan, Efq; impartially confidered; abftracted from the Man or the Crime; but only as to the Law, &c. By a Lawyer. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Dodfley. 1781. It has been often remarked that men's ideas are so much influenced by their peculiar habits and purfuits, that the fame chain of facts prefented to different perfons, will fuggeft to each of them a very diffimilar, if not an oppofite, train of thoughts. The late trial of Capt. Donellan has been the fubject of a good deal of converfation. It has likewife been frequently canvaffed in print; and it was matter not wholly unworthy of fpeculation to observe, how much every perfon confidered it after his own way. The moralift was startled at the depravity of the human heart, that could fuggeft the perpetration of so foul a crime as the poisoning a near relation,-his wife's brother,under whofe roof the prifoner lived;-making the mother the unconfcious inftrument of her fon's death,-and after his condemnation attempting, with his dying words, to fix the guilt on her, and to render her infamous for ever. The ftudent of medicine was led to inveftigate the different nature of poifons, their operation and their effects: hecatombs of unfortunate animals were facrificed to prove, by cruel experiments, the most fanciful theories: while the good housewife, on her part, felt the most serious alarm for the whole culi nary fyftem, and refolved to put no more laurel leaves in her cuftards; for the diftillation of laurel leaves the found was poisonous and fatal. Lafly, not to multiply inftances, the lawyer betook himfelf to the reports on cafes of murder; in order to contraft or to compare the circumftances that appeared on the prifoner's trial, the conduct of the judge who tried him, and the fpecies of evidence offered to the jury.

[ocr errors]

The Writer of the pamphlet before us ftyles himself a Lawyer; and profeffes" to confider impartially the Cafe of John Donellan, Efq; abftra&tedly from the Man or the Crime." He entertains no doubt of the enormity of the crime, or of the guilt of the man; but is of opinion, that it was not proved to a jury by that clear and decided evidence, which the fpirit of the English law requires to affect the life of a prifoner, but barely by fuppofitions and inferences. He cenfures in very harsh terms the conduct of the judge, both in his charge to the Cc z grand

grand jury, and in fome parts of his fumming-up to the petit jury, as having violated the humane and liberal maxim of our law, "that a judge ought to be counfel for the prifoner;" and he quotes fome cafes to fhew how cautious a court fhould be in condemning any man on the evidence of probabilities only. We have no objection to his doctrine on this fubject, provided he means the evidence of light or remote probabilities. But the whole depends on the degree of weight or ftrength that is fairly due to the circumftances aggregately taken; which can never be precifely afcertained by words; and muft therefore be, and very properly is, left to a jury: We think the learned judge's obfervation to the grand jury is warranted in found fenfe, as well as found law, when, in fpeaking of the crime with which Donellan ftood charged on their callendar, he tells them, "It is a crime of fo peculiar a nature, that it is generally committed with the greatest fecrefy; and over which the offender always makes use of every art and cunning to throw a veil. It is your duty, gentlemen, to throw off this veil, and fift the bufinefs to the bottom. You are not to expect vifible proofs in a work of darkness: you are to collect the truth from circumftances, and little collateral facts, which, taken fingly, afford no proof, yet put together fo tally with, and confirm each other, that they are as ftrong and convincing evidence as facts that appear in the broad face of day."

The whole of the charge to the grand jury however gives great offence to this author; and indeed there does appear in it a more anxious anticipation of the circumftances attending the prisoner's cafe than is ftrictly proper in a judge, who is fupposed to know nothing of the facts to be proved, till they come judicially before him: but as to the writer's numerous cafes and quotations that are produced with a good deal of malignity, to fix a ftigma on the judge, they are either unfairly quoted, or wholly mifapplied. We never heard, nor do we believe any lawyer ever maintained, that a judge in his charge to the grand jury, can be, or ought to be "of council for the pri foner." In this flage of the bufinefs it is neither proper nor poffible. He is only to lay down the law. They are left to apply the facts; and to fee whether there is fufficient ground to put the prifoner on his trial. Nor do we imagine, that even when the trial comes on before the petit jury, the judge is under any obligation to train or warp facts to fave an offender, of whofe guilt fatisfactory evidence appears in court, as there molt plainly did in this cafe, both to the judge and jury; for the latter only deliberated a very few minutes before they brought in their verdi&t.

Folio.

3s. Bell.

Art. 36. A Defence, and Subftance of the Trial of John. Donellan, Efq. Published at the Requeft of his Sollicitors, Meffrs. Inge and Webb. As the Author of the foregoing Pamphlet only takes occafion, from the trial of Capt. Donellan, to draw fome judicial inferences, and defcant on the law upon the subject, abstracted from the fa&t;

this writer, on the other hand, principally difcuffes the facts; and endeavours to prove that the prifoner was innocent of the crime for which he foffered. He floutly affirms in limine, that there was no proof of the unfortunate young Baronet having been poisoned; and that his death ought rather to be attributed to an apoplexy; as an apoplexy would have produced the fame fymptoms; and that the

2

young

young man's father died by that disorder; and that this is hereditary.

We have read this laborious performance (confifting of upwards of Ico folio pages, clofely printed) with confiderable attention; and except the ingenuity and addrefs of the writer, we fee nothing in it to merit the notice of the Pablic. We confefs we are not converted by it. We really believe that Sir Theodofius Boughton 'did not die of an apoplexy: and affirmatively, we believe that he was poisoned; and that Capt. Donellan was justly convicted of the murder. Art. 37. A Journal of First Thoughts, Obfervations, Characters, and Anecdotes, which occurred in a Journey from London to Scarborough, in 1779. 12mo. 2 s. 6 d. fewed. Bowen.

If we except a little amufing chit-chat and Shandean fentimentality, this meagre, Journal of thoughts may be pronounced a trifling fuperficial publication. The Author, we apprehend, travelled in too much hurry to fee what was to be feen, or to learn what was to be known. He does not appear deftitute of tafte, but rather to have wanted attention, as well as time.

Art. 38. Friendship ftrikingly exhibited, in a new Light, in Letters between Meffrs. D. Henry and J. Nichols, Managing Pro prietors of the Gentleman's Magazine, and D. Bond, late Printer of that Monthly Mifcellany, with an Introductory Narrative, Notes, and Obfervations. 8vo. 1 s. Bew. 1781.

Mr. Bond, late Printer of the Gentleman's Magazine (a Mifcellany which we have always held in efteem) here exhibits to the Public, his complaint against the Proprietors, for having [as he reprefents it] in an unfair manner deprived him of the printing that periodical work notwithstanding that he had, in full affurance of the work remaining in his hands, taken the houfe, and purchased, at a confiderable expence, the materials of Mrs. Cave, who printed it formerly. But what is this to the Public?

Art. 39. Thoughts on the prefent State of the Prisons of this Country. Exemplified by a Plan, adapted to the Objects of fuch Confideration. By J. Leroux, Efq; one of his Majesty's Juftices of the peace for the Counties of Hertford and Middlefex. 8vo. 1 s. Dixwell.

Contains many just remarks on the very bad conftruction, and fcandalous mifgovernment of our prifons, with judicious propofals for remedying both thefe notorious evils. Mr. Leroux declares, in a Note, at the end of his pamphlet, that fince this tract was written, and not before, he has feen a very valuable work-by John Howard Efq.-Had he feen it fooner, he perhaps had not ventured to exhibit this feeble attempt'-fo he modellly expreffes himself, on the fame subject, to the Public; but as fome thoughts are contained herein, not to be found there, and as the plan materially differs, he flatters himself the publication will not be ill-timed.'-It certainly can never be ill-timed; for too much attention cannot be paid to the fubject; nor can the inconveniences complained of be too speedily removed.

St. John's Gate.
Ce 3

POETICAL

POETICA L.

Art. 40, Select Portions of Scripture, and remarkable Occurrences, verfified for the Inftruction of younger Minds. By Thomas Gibbons, D. D. 12mo. I S. Buckland. 1781.

We believe no head but Dr. Gibbons's, or the Ordinary's of Newgate, would have conceived an idea of inftructing and entertaining younger minds' by a relation of fo many fhocking stories as he hath here put into ftill more shocking verse.

The King who loft his thumbs and toes,
Confefs'd amidst his bleeding woes,
A righteous God to him had dealt
What feventy Kings from him had felt.
Abimelech his brother flew,

And heav'nly vengeance on him drew,
A woman fends a forceful ftone

Full on his head, and crufh'd his bone.'

Crush'd his bone! The Doctor means,

crack'd his skull;' but skull

would not rhime with ftone, and the poet was reduced to Hobfon's choice!

The undeferving Naboth fell

By Ahab and by Jezebel:

On the fame fpot where he was flain,
There the dogs drank his gufhing vein;
By Heav'ns juft doom the eager hounds,
Lapt the blood fpouting from his wounds.
Haman erects a gallows high

Where worthy Mordecai fhould die;
But there in infinite difgrace

The haughty wretch Supplied bis place.

This poor Doctor's imagination is haunted with spectres of whores and rogues. Amongst the former, he meets with a ftrumpet drefs'd in loofe array,' whofe vocal powers are described by him in a manner fomewhat peculiar.

Her fpeech not honey's felf more fweet:
Her accent loud.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

As to the gentry of the latter clafs, he seems to have ranfacked the Tyburn Chronicle for anecdotes of curs'd attempts' of wretches,' monsters,'' mifcreants,' who were

Or,

doom'd in fhame to die

And their remains to rot on high:

having hung their hour,

The hangman to the furgeon's pow'r
Yielded the corpfe-

To ftrip the flesh from every bone,

And leave a naked fkeleton.

Excellent inftruction and entertainment for younger minds!'

But though Dr. Gibbons, when playing with Children preferves an unrelaxed folemnity of vifage, and talks, in language truly woeful, of harlots and rakes fuperlatively bad,' thieves, murderers, jails, allows, gibbets

And hell's abyss of miferies;'

yet,

« AnteriorContinuar »