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ings of nature at the fight of human sufferings, were formed, jy the spirit of the superstition which they had adopted, to a national character more gentle than that of any people in America.'
In our next Review we shall give an account of the policy, in colonization, which has been adopted by the Spaniards ; with some reflexions concerning the history of America.
The Excursion. By Mrs. Brooke. 2 Vols. 12 mo. ss. fewed. Cadell. TWO "WO of the principal characters in this novel are Louisa and
Maria Villiers, nieces of colonel Dormer, a gentleinan of small fortune in Rutland, but nearly related to a noble family in a distant part of the kingdom. The remains of their fa. ther's estate, after paying a heavy load of debt, produced about three thousand pounds, which, with a genteel education, and a more than common fhare of beauty, composed the whole patrimony of our amiable orphans. Though virtue formed the basis of each character, yet nothing could be more different than the features of their minds. Louisa was mild, ina&ive, tender, romantic; Maria quick, impatient, sprightly, playful. Louisa fancied Happiness reposed on roses in the shade; Maria fighed to pursue the fugitive goddess through the brilliant mazes of the world. London, in her estimation, was the only place, where beauty and merit were allowed their sterling value. About this time she was to receive a legacy of two hundred pounds, left her by a relation, which she was to employ in whatever manner she thought proper, without being accountable to her guardian. This was extremely favourable to her wishes, and the resolved to spend the winter in the capital. Having, with some difficulty, obtained her uncle's consent, the purposed to place herself under the protection of Mrs. Herbert, a young widow of fashion and character, with whom she was intimately acquainted. Maria would have immediately communicated her design to her friend, but the pleased herself with the idea of surprising her by an unexpected vifit. Upon her arrival in London, she found, to her inexpressible disappointment, that Mrs. Herbert was then at Paris. This circumstance threw her into some perplexity, and, in a very short tiine, into a variety of company and conneQions, which form the principal incidents in the history of her excurfion.
The first person,' with whom our heroine became acquainted was lady Hardy, a woman of low extraction, but at that time the dowager of an ancient baronet, and in possession of two thousand pounds a year. As the people of distinction in the country shewed no very striking propensity to cultivate her
lady ship's ladyship's acquaintance, the very sensibly determined to relide in London, the seat of true hospitality and universal benevelence; where any lady, who has a large house, an elegant carriage, well dressed footmen, will play gold loo, and now and then give a supper, may with very little difficulty make her way into genteel company. Lady Hardy aspired to the bon ton; and was become one of the principal ornaments of a society. consisting of an heterogeneous mass of well-dressed gentlemen, felf-made captains, ladies of equivocal fame, neglected coquets, antiquated virgins, dowagers on the shady side of fifty, and gamblers of almost every denomination.
At one of lady Hardy's routs, Miss Villiers fell into the company of lord Melvile. His father, lord Claremont, had spared no expence or trouble to improve and adorn his person, polish his behaviour, cultivate his understanding, and corrupt his heart. He read him unceasing lectures on the universal depravity of mankind, and the supposed total selfishness of the human heart. He taught him to smile without being pleased, to caress without affection, to profeís a friendship for the man he regarded with aversion, and respect and esteem for the woman he beheld with contempt; to dress vice in the graceful garb of virtue, and conceal a heart filled with the deepest design, under the beauteous veil of honest unsuspecting integrity. He had succeeded in making him one of the most pleafing men in the world; he had not absolutely failed in making him one of the most artful. This nobleman addressed himself to Maria with that insinuating respect, that graceful ease, that gentleness of manner, that softened tone of voice, that mixture of every thing seducing, which good sense and good breeding equally didate to the man, who wishes to gain the heart of a woman. Our heroine was charmed with this gay phantom; an attachment commenced; the thought his lordship the most amiable of mankind; and the amused herself with the idea of their hearts having been formed for each other. This delusion cons tinued for some time, till she found herself on the brink of infamy, and perceived, that she had only been the object of his lordship's dishonourable intentions.
This character is admirably calculated to expose the pernicious maxims of a celebrated writer, who recommends diflimus lation and gallantry, as neceffary articles in the education of 2 man of fashion.
Miss Villiers, by her acquaintance with lady Hardy, and her fond hopes of being married to lord Melvile, had been led into expences, which foon exhausted her little exchequer. In this crifis the determined to pursue a scheme, which, she did not doubt, would be attended with success. In her retirement in the country she had written a tragedy; and, having read with tears of undifsembled pleasure, several warm and elaborate encomiums on the a&ting manager of the theatre in Drury Lane, The was charmed with the idea of his extensive benevolence, and disinterested protection of the drooping muses, and already anticipated the honour and advantages the should receive, by submitting her performance to his patronage and protection, For this purpose she put it into the hands of one of the most judicious critics of the present age. This gentleman read it with admiration, immediately sent it to the manager, and soon afterwards waited upon him to receive his answer. The dialogue on this occasion gives us a humorous representation of the illiberal maxims of government, adopted by his theatrical majesty, and a striking idea of those humiliations, those mortifying repulses, to which genius has been often obliged to submit.
Disappointed in her expectations from this quarter, and pressed by some peremptory demands, she wrote a note to her friend lady Hardy, in which, after apologizing for trespalling on her friendship, of which she had already received so many striking proofs, the entreated her lady ship to lend her a hundred pounds, till she could order a remittance from the country. Here the author, in the behaviour of lady Hardy and lady Blast, gives us a very natural picture of mere fashionable friendship, and of those mean and mercenary fouls, who are utterly incapable of a sincere affection, or an act of real gene. rofity.
As we do not intend to anticipate the reader's curiosity in the perusal of this history, we shall pursue the narrative no farther, only giving this general intimation, that our amiable heroine is at last united to a man, infinitely more deserving of her virtues than lord Melvile.
Sone excellent lessons of instruction, besides those we have already pointed out, may be drawn from the history of this excursion, which is very properly calculated to deter young ladies from launching out into the world, and affecting the ton, without discretion.
There is that delicacy of satire, that liveliness of imagination, that warmth of expression, that beautiful variety of colouring in this performance, which distinguish the former publications of this agreeable writer,
Tbe Trifler; or a Ramble among the Wilds of Fancy, the Works of
Nature, and the Manners of Men, 4 vols. small 8vo. 125. Sezved.
Baldwin. THE HE two first volumes of this work appeared in 1775, but
by some accident escaped our notice, till the two next were published this year. The Trifler is desirous to free his countrymen from the infipid constraints of fashion, to impress them with a disgust of the vices and follies of the age, and above all to initiate them in the rational enjoyments which arise from giving a free course to the warm, impaffioned feel. ings of the heart. Sensible of the taste of the times, the author of the Trifler has clothed his reflexions in a pleasing variety of little incidents which keep the reader's attention awake.
He displays an uniformly generous heart, free from prejudices, and endowed with a great fund of sensibility. The beauties of nature afford him real pleasure, and always diffuse in his breast a happy serenity; whilst the love of mankind gives life and vigour to all his pursuits, and endears his maxims to the virtuous reader. In general he copies his characters pretty closely from nature, but sometimes admits the cari. catura, or suffers inconsistencies to escape him. His chemist, his experimental philosopher, and his fanatic, are of the former kind, though perhaps the absurdities of philosophical and political empiricism, which are now at their meridian height, may excuse the severest lash of satire. Of the other defect mentioned, Philario and the landlady afford instances.
Sometimes we have found the subject frivolous, the ob. servations trite, the stile mean; but, for those faults, the au. thor atones, in other parts of the work, by many valuable refle&tions, expressed in a new, striking manner. We would recommend it, however, to Philario, to leave off cursing and swearing upon every trifling occasion, fince, exclusive of religion and moral principles, this habit does not become a man of sensibility, and cannot but give him pain in the reflection,
The desoltory manner of writing, seems so closely connected with the nature of Trifles, that it will probably avail nothing to recommend a small degree of alteration in this refpe&t. We may venture to assure the author, that this would be the way to quiet his apprehension of being called an imitator of Sterne. What a pity that we are always obliged to check the frowardnels of authors who only imitate his faults !
It must be acknowledged, however, that among the numerous volumes of amusement which fill our monthly cataJogues, we feldom meet with any, which have fo much me, sit as the Trifler.
FOREIGN ARTICLES. Le Publicole François, ou Memoire sur les Moyens d'augmenter la
Richelle du Prince, par l'Aisance des Peuples. Paris. THE object of this writer deserves recommendation, as many of
his views are useful, though not all of them equally practicable. He begins with a concise estimate of the several administrations and inerits of Sully, Richelieu, Cromwell, Mazarin, Colbert, and Cardinal Fleury.
Sully, fays-he, confined his views to an almost mechanical fyftem of frugality. He had no idea of that political economy that has . raised the power of our neighbours to so high a pitch, nor of that relative power which, in the actual system of Europe, decides every thing. He treated France like an insulated world, in which the sum of gold was to bear no other relation but that to the state itself.
Richelieu's conduct instructs princes to be cautious with regard to the schemes of aggrandisement suggested by their minifters: who generally treat the state as a mere chinera ; and have only their own fame or fortune in view.--- Urged by his reputation, Richelieu eagerly seized the means which he found, as it were, ready at hånd to weaken the power of the great, and that of the house of "Austria. Consequently he determined the genius of the nation for the land-service. --The same cause which, in its principle, prevented the formation of the French marine, afterwards precluded her estab. lilnment on a solid foundation,
• Cromwell determined the English for the sea service, and more effećtually than Richelieu could fix the French for the land service. The English marine rose above that of other nations; and the genius of its founder will, for a long time, over-awe the rivals of his country, if it be true, that mistakes in the administration of mari. time affairs, are the only ones that cannot be remedied by dint of money.
• Under cardinal Mazarin, confusion prevailed every where; the åfcendency of the minister reduced every body to filence, and the 'king's generosity ratified his administration after his death.
• Colbert, better skilled in political calculations, more fertile in expedients, more dextrous than Sully, understood the proportions of the several natures of taxes better than he. But, if he raised an immense structure, he gave it no foundation ; none of bis institutions ever acquired folidity. He favoured arts and manufactures at the expence of agriculture, which ought to be the basis of all commerce ; finally, he created artificial resources for a country that only needed to avail it felf of its natural ones.
• To cardinal Fleury, that fcheme equally magnanimous and impracticable, of bringing France to a fixed point of pacification is ascribed. But could that scheme enter into the head of a minister by whom the French marine was finally destroyed? The first springs of wars are always operating from abroad: how could the nation avoid being carried away by the current of events? The great object of politics, therefore, is to obviate the confusion which neces. fary, wars may occasion in the finances, and to avoid certain wars.'
in his system of political economy, our author afligns the first rank to agriculture ; and observes, that it has declined in France, from various cases, which he points out, together with their remedies. Vol. XLIV. July, 1777.