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ings of nature at the fight of human fufferings, were formed, by the fpirit of the fuperftition which they had adopted, to a national character more gentle than that of any people in America.'
In our next Review we fhall give an account of the policy, in colonization, which has been adopted by the Spaniards; with fome reflexions concerning the hiftory of America.
The Excurfion. By Mrs. Brooke. 2 Vols. 12mo. 55. fewed. Cadell. TWO of the principal characters in this novel are Louisa and Maria Villiers, nieces of colonel Dormer, a gentleman of fmall fortune in Rutland, but nearly related to a noble family in a distant part of the kingdom. The remains of their fa ther's eftate, after paying a heavy load of debt, produced about three thousand pounds, which, with a genteel education, and a more common fhare of beauty, compofed the whole patrimony of our amiable orphans. Though virtue formed the bafis of each character, yet nothing could be more different than the features of their minds. Louifa was mild, inactive, tender, romantic; Maria quick, impatient, sprightly, playful. Louifa fancied Happiness repofed on roses in the fhade; Maria fighed to pursue the fugitive goddefs through the brilliant mazes of the world. London, in her eftimation, was the only place, where beauty and merit were allowed their fterling value. About this time he was to receive a legacy of two hundred pounds, left her by a relation, which he was to employ in whatever manner fhe thought proper, without being accountable to her guardian. This was extremely favourable to her wishes, and the refolved to spend the winter in the capital. Having, with fome difficulty, obtained her uncle's confent, 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 she pleafed herself with the idea of furprifing her by an unexpected vifit. Upon her arrival in London, the found, to her inexpreffible disappointment, that Mrs. Herbert was then at Paris. This circumftance threw her into fome perplexity, and, in a very short time, into a variety of company and connections, which form the principal incidents in the hiftory of her excurfion.
The first perfon, 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 poffeffion of two thousand pounds a year. As the people of diftinction in the country fhewed no very ftriking propenfity to cultivate her ladyfhip's
ladyfhip's acquaintance, the very fenfibly determined to refide in London, the feat of true hofpitality and univerfal benevo~ lence; where any lady, who has a large houfe, an elegant carriage, well dreffed footmen, will play gold loo, and now and then give a fupper, 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 fociety, confifting of an heterogeneous mafs of well-dreffed gentlemen, felf-made captains, ladies of equivocal fame, neglected coquets, antiquated virgins, dowagers on the fhady fide 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 fmile without being pleased, to carefs without affection,' to profe's a friendship for the man he regarded with averfion, and respect and efteem for the woman he beheld with contempt; to drefs vice in the graceful garb of virtue, and conceal a heart filled with the deepest defign, under the beauteous veil of honeft unfufpecting integrity. He had fucceeded in making him one of the most pleasing men in the world; he had not abfolutely failed in making him one of the moft artful. This nobleman addreffed himself to Maria with that infinuating respect, that graceful eafe, that gentleness of manner, that foftened tone of voice, that mixture of every thing feducing, which good fenfe and good breeding equally dictate 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 amufed herself with the idea of their hearts having been formed for each other. This delufion continued for fome time, till fhe 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 expofe the pernicious maxims of a celebrated writer, who recommends diffimulation and gallantry, as neceffary articles in the education of a man of fashion.
Mifs Villiers, by her acquaintance with lady Hardy, and her fond hopes of being married to lord Melvile, had been led into expences, which foon exhaufted her little exchequer. In this
crifis fhe determined to pursue a fcheme, which, fhe did not doubt, would be attended with fuccefs. In her retirement in the country fhe had written a tragedy; and, having read with tears of undiffembled pleasure, feveral warm and elaborate encomiums on the acting manager of the theatre in Drury Lane, she was charmed with the idea of his extenfive benevolence, and difinterefted protection of the drooping mufes, and already anticipated the honour and advantages the fhould receive, by fubmitting 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 prefent age. This gentleman read it with admiration, immediately fent it to the manager, and foon afterwards waited upon him to receive his answer. The dialogue on this occafion 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 repulfes, to which genius has been often obliged to fubmit.
Difappointed in her expectations from this quarter, and preffed by fome peremptory demands, fhe wrote a note to her friend lady Hardy, in which, after apologizing for trefpaffing on her friendship, of which the had already received fo many ftriking proofs, the entreated her ladyship to lend her a hundred pounds, till fhe could order a remittance from the country. Here the author, in the behaviour of lady Hardy and lady Blaft, gives us a very natural picture of mere fashionable friendship, and of thofe mean and mercenary fouls, who are utterly incapable of a fincere affection, or an act of real generofity.
As we do not intend to anticipate the reader's curiofity in the perufal of this hiftory, we fhall purfue the narrative no farther, only giving this general intimation, that our amiable heroine is at last united to a man, infinitely more deferving of her virtues than lord Melvile.
Some excellent leffons of inftruction, befides those we have already pointed out, may be drawn from the history of this excurfion, which is very properly calculated to deter young ladies from launching out into the world, and affecting the ton, without difcretion.
There is that delicacy of fatire, that liveliness of imagination, that warmth of expreffion, that beautiful variety of colouring in this performance, which distinguish the former publications of this agreeable writer.
The Trifler; or a Ramble among the Wilds of Fancy, the Works of Nature, and the Manners of Men, 4 vols. Small 8vo. 12. ferved. Baldwin.
THE 'HE two firft volumes of this work appeared in 1775, but by fome accident escaped our notice, till the two next were published this year. The Trifler is defirous to free his countrymen from the infipid conftraints of fashion, to imprefs them with a difguft of the vices and follies of the age, and above all to initiate them in the rational enjoyments which arife from giving a free courfe to the warm, impaffioned feelings of the heart. Senfible 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 difplays an uniformly generous heart, free from prejudices, and endowed with a great fund of fenfibility. The beauties of nature afford him real pleasure, and always diffuse in his breast a happy ferenity; whilft 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 clofely from nature, but fometimes admits the caricatura, or fuffers inconfiftencies to efcape him. His chemist, his experimental philofopher, and his fanatic, are of the former kind, though perhaps the abfurdities of philofophical and political empiricifm, which are now at their meridian height, may excufe the fevereft lafh of fatire. Of the other defect mentioned, Philario and the landlady afford instances.
Sometimes we have found the fubject frivolous, the obfervations trite, the ftile mean; but, for those faults, the author atones, in other parts of the work, by many valuable reflections, expreffed in a new, ftriking manner. We would recommend it, however, to Philario, to leave off curfing and fwearing upon every trifling occafion, fince, exclufive of religion and moral principles, this habit does not become a man of fenfibility, and cannot but give him pain in the reflection.
The defultory manner of writing, feems fo clofely connected with the nature of Trifles, that it will probably avail nothing to recommend a fmall degree of alteration in this refpe&t. We may venture to affure the author, that this would be the way to quiet his apprehenfion of being called an imitator of Sterne. What a pity that we are always obliged to check the frowardness of authors who only imitate his faults!
It must be acknowledged, however, that among the numerous volumes of amufement which fill our monthly catalogues, we feldom meet with any, which have fo much me-, rit as the Trifler.
Le Publicole François, ou Memoire fur les Moyens d'augmenter la Richeffe du Prince, par l'Aifance des Peuples. Paris. .: THE object of this writer deferves recommendation, as many of his views are useful, though not all of them equally practicable. He begins with a concife eftimate of the feveral adminiftrations and merits of Sully, Richelieu, Cromwell, Mazarin, Colbert, and tardinal Fleury.
Sully, fays he, confined his views to an almoft mechanical fyftem of frugality. He had no idea of that political economy that has raifed the power of our neighbours to fo high a pitch, nor of that refative power which, in the actual fyftem of Europe, decides every thing. He treated France like an infulated world, in which the fum 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 fchemes of aggrandifement fuggefted by their minifters: who generally treat the ftate as a mere chimera; 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 hand to weaken the power of the great, and that of the house of Auftria, Confequently he determined the genius of the nation for the land-fervice.---The fame caufe which, in its principle, prevented the formation of the French marine, afterwards precluded her eftablifhment on a folid foundation.
Cromwell determined the English for the fea fervice, and more effectually than Richelieu could fix the French for the land fervice. The English marine rofe 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 maritime affairs, are the only ones that cannot be remedied by dint of money.
Under cardinal Mazarin, confufion prevailed every where ; the äfcendency of the minifter reduced every body to filence, and the 'King's generofity ratified his adminiftration after his death.
Colbert, better skilled in political calculations, more fertile in expedients, more dextrous than Sully, understood the proportions of the feveral natures of taxes better than he. But, if he raifed an immenfe ftructure, he gave it no foundation; none of his inftitutions ever acquired folidity. He favoured arts and manufactures at the expence of agriculture, which ought to be the bafis of all commerce; finally, he created artificial refources 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 afcribed. But could that scheme enter into the head of a minister by whom the French marine was finally deftroyed? The firft fprings 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 confufion which neceffary wars may occafion in the finances, and to avoid certain wars."
In his fyftem of political economy, our author affigns the first rank to agriculture; and obferves, that it has declined in France, from various cases, which he points out, together with their rémedies.
VOL. XLIV. July, 1777.
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