Page images
PDF
EPUB

recommending, from Ecclef. vii. 8. what is much wanted in the prefent ftate of our country and of Europe, political prudence, calmness, and moderation. By adverting to thofe circumftances in our hiftory which this anniverfary is intended to bring into recollection, and by combining them with the inftructive leffon read us by the diffracted ftate of a neighbouring country, the Right Reverend preacher takes occafion to urge the neceffity of guarding, with peculiar vigilance, against total fubverfion and anarchy, while attempting to amend ur improve. He fpeaks of the French in terms becoming a chriftian Bishop; contemplating their fituation with fentiments of pity, and praying for their happiness and peace. We deem it fome praise of his fermon that it only requires to be thus briefly noticed.

Art. 45. Preached before the Hon. House of Commons at St. Margaret's, Westminster, Jan. 30, 1794. By the Rev. Thomas Hay, A. M. Chaplain to the Houfe of Commons. 4to. IS. Walter. Similar to the preceding in its tendency, and certainly not inferior in point of compofition. Taking his text from Ifaiah iii. 5. Mr. Hay is led to mention the great object of civil government, the fecurity of individuals from the oppreffion of each other, and to paint the evils which must neceffarily refult from the diffolution of law and authority. As fuch anarchy must be the dread of every good citizen,—whenever the public mind is agitated, the maxims of caution are peculiarly fea fonable. Mr. H. warns us against the extremes of fanaticism on the one hand, and of irreligion on the other, and endeavours to keep us in good humour with our government and religion. We, (fays he,) among ft all the nations of the earth, are diftinguished for the poffeffion of a mixed form of government, in which the powers of each branch of the legislature are plainly defined; and withall fo admirably conftituted, that by the mutual controul and counteraction of its feveral parts, it precludes the evils and infures the benefits, attending each of the three forms of which it is compofed, in their fimple and unmixed ftate; a fyftem extending protection to all the various members of the community, eminently marked by its energy, its wisdom and its virtue. We are poffeffed of a reformed religion, established under the aufpices of learning and moderation, equally remote from fuperftition and infidelity.'

Mr. H. does not forget to urge the neceffity of virtue in individuals to give effect to thefe good inftitutions.

CORRESPONDENCE.

To retract an erroneous opinion is a duty which we owe both to the Public and to ourselves; but to revoke, as erroneous, a position which we know to be well founded, would be a desertion of truth, and a ftretch of complaifance which we think our carrefpondent Vindex Veritatis too reasonable to expect. He tells us that Mr. Belsham's Memoirs of our Kings of the Brunfwic Line fupport the affertion which we ridiculed in our review of Mr. Gerrald's publication in favour of a convention, viz, "That the purchafe of two German duchies by George I. produced a Spanish war." We have again looked into thofe Memoirs; and an attentive perufal of the part of them that relates to this business has not only confirmed us in the opinion which we have already

delivered,

delivered, but has alfo made us greatly wonder how Vindex Veritatis could poffibly conceive that the credit of Mr. Betfham was in any degree affected by the ridicule which we threw on Mr. Gerrald's statement. Had the propofition been, that the purchase of Bremen and Verden had involved us with Sweden, or that George I. was too much influenced by his predilection for his German dominions, we perhaps should not have thought of controverting it; what we afferted, and what we repeat, is, that it was not this purchase which brought on us a war with Spain. The origin of the war with Philip V. is thus flated by Mr. Beliham, pages 142, 143. vol. i." By the treaty of Utrecht, the kingdoms of Naples and Sardinia were ceded to the House of Auftria, together with Milan and the Low Countries; and the island of Sicily, with the title of King, to the Duke of Savoy. The pride of Spain was, however, deeply wounded by this forcible difmemberment of her monarchy, though the experience of almost a century had fhewn how little acceffion of ftrength the really derived from the poffeffion of thefe detached and remote provinces, or rather how great an increase of weakness. Cardinal Alberoni, prime minister of Philip V. a man of a lofty and afpiring genius, which delighted to form hold and dangerous projects, at this time entertained the chimerical hope of re uniting to the monarchy of Spain the kingdoms and provinces of which she had been divested. And the Emperor being actually engaged in a war with Turkey, the Cardinal embraced the opportunity to equip a formidable armament, which failed from Bareelona June 1717, and landing at Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, foon made an entire conqueft of the island; pretending as a reafon for this invafion (the purchase of the duchies of Bremen and Verden by George I. No; but) the previous violation of the moft pofitive engagements on the part of the Emperor, or to adopt the haughty language of the court of Madrid, of the ARCHDUKE:"-For it feems that Spain had not recognized him as emperor. Mr. Belfiam, in a note, gives a copy of the Marquis de Grimaldi's circular letter addreffed to the minifters of all the foreign courts, which contains all the grounds on which Spain thought herself justified in going to war: but not a word is faid in it either of Bremen or Verden, of Great Britain or Hanover. So far we have the authority of Mr. B.'s Memoirs for saying that Spain did not go to war with this country on account of thofe duchies. Why then did the declare against us? The fame Memoirs tell us that the took that step in consequence of the destruction of her fleet by Admiral Sir George Byng on the coaft of Sicily; nay, it appears that, independently of this action, which surely might well be called a declaration of war, the first formal declaration of hoftilities was actually from Great Britain. Mr. B., in his account of the confequences of the English naval victory, having ftated various particulars, thus proceeds, vol. i. p. 150. But the court of Madrid exclaimed in the most paffionate language against the conduct of England, as contrary to the law of nations, and a flagrant violation of the most solemn engagements; and orders were iffued at all the ports of Spain and the Indies, for making reprifals upon the English; in confequence of which, war was formally declared by England against Spain, which was foon followed by a like declaration on the part of the Regent of France." From all this it ap pears that we have Mr. Belham with us, when we say that Spain did not go to war with us on account of Bremen and Verden.

46

Our correspondent, however, may perhaps say that, if George I. had not purchased thefe duchies, he would not have fupported the Emperor; and that, if he had not fupported that prince, we should have had no war with Spain; that he took part with the Emperor for the purpose of procuring from him the inveftiture of these fates; and that,

confequently

confequently, the purchase of them was the primary cause of our war with Spain. This we deny; and we infift that, had this purchase never been meditated, we should not have been the lefs engaged in that war. Leaving Hanover totally out of the queftion, if England were interested in procuring for the House of Auftria the possession of Sardinia and Naples, was the not interested in preferving thofe dominions to that Houfe? Was not the bound to it by every confideration of good faith and policy? Was it for the fafety of Great Britain that the power of the Emperor, the only one which could then be effectually oppofed on the continent of Europe to the House of Bourbon, should be attacked at the fame time by the Turks and the Spaniards, and be exposed to the danger of being crushed between theni?" He must be a forry politician indeed, who could not difcover various important grounds of juftification of the part which Great Britain took on that occafion, without beftowing a thought on the paltry confideration of fecuring Bremen and Verden.

If it were the purchase of these duchies that made us interfere between the Emperor and Spain, what purchase had France and Holland made, which induced them to take the fame step, and to join with the courts of Vienna and London in forming the famous quadruple alliance? None. Did they confederate with us for the purpose of fecuring Bremen and Verden to the Elector of Hanover? This would have been an act of complaisance unparalleled in the annals of politenefs; Holland certainly understood the value of money too well to fquander it in proofs of condefcenfion; "and the finances of France were in too difordered a flate to allow the Regent to go to war with Spain merely to fhew how ready he was to enrich the Elector of Hanover.

That the purchase of Bremen and Verden had nothing to do with our Spanish war in the year 1718, is evident from Mr.Belfham; an author whofe authority we are so far from impeaching, that we appeal to it for fupport; and we recommend it to Vindex Veritatis to read the valuable Memoirs published by that gentleman, before he again afferts that honest Shippen was fent to the Tower for commenting with feverity upon the fact, which Mr. Gerrald ftates to the public information.” Had Vindex Veritatis read, or understood, Mr. Beltham, he could not poffibly have made fuch an affertion. We will give two extracts more from the Memoirs; which, we truft, will convince our correfpondent himfelf that he ought to retract his own opinion, instead of calling on us to retract ours; and that, if Mr. Beltham has any caufe for complaint on this occafion, it is not against us, but against the Champion for Truth who attacks us. The cafe of Shippen's commitment to the Tower is thus ftated, vol. i. p. 151, 152.

"In the feflion of parliament which commenced Nov. 1717, the King had in his fpeech affured the two houses, that his endeavours to preferve the public tranquillity had not been unfuccessful........A con fiderable reduction of the army was in confequence propofed on the part of the minifters, who contented themselves with moving for 18,000 men only for the fervice of the enfuing year. Even this force was deemed by the oppofition very unneceffary, and an effort was in vain made to limit the number to 12,000. Mr. Walpole, in particular, declaimed, with much energy, on the dangers of a standing army in a free country... ... And Mr. Shippen, in the courfe of a very able speech, declared the expence attending the army to be the smallest objection to it. The chief argument against it was, that the civil and military power would not long ftand together. Far from being neceffary to our protection, he apprehended fo great a force to be inconfiftent with our fafety. In certain circumstances an army might be necessary,

bat

but in fuch circumstances it was only to be chofen as the leffer evil; for that abstractly confidered, it was an evil, every lover of liberty must acknowledge. I know, faid this inflexible patriot, that thefe affertions interfere with fome paragraphs of his Majesty's fpeech. But we are to confider that speech as the compofition of the minifters and advisers of the crown, and we are therefore at liberty to controvert every propofition in it, particularly those which feem calculated rather for the MERIDIAN of GERMANY than of GREAT BRITAIN. But it is the infelicity of his Majefty's reign, that he is unacquainted with our language and CONSTITUTION."

For thefe marked expreffions, taken down by Mr. Lechmere, and which were fated to be a fcandalous invective against the King's perfon and government, Mr. Shippen, refusing to give any explanation of them, was committed to the Tower. The expreffions were highly conftitu tional; Mr. Shippen's whole fpeech was calculated to fhew the danger with which the conftitution of England was threatened by a ftanding army: but, with all our attention to it, we are not able to discover fo much as an allusion to Bremen and Verden, nor a hint that the purchase of thefe duchies had occafioned our war with Spain. To prove that Shippen was not committed" for commenting with feverity on the fat which Mr. Gerrald ftates," we will quote Shippen's own declaration, recorded by Mr. Beltham, vol. i. p. 327. In a parliament holden long after, viz. 1733, an attempt was again made in the House of Com mons to reduce the number of the ftanding army. Mr. Horace Walpole afferted that the number of troops then proposed was neceflary to fupport his Majefty's government, and would be neceffary fo long as the nation enjoyed the happinefs of having the prefent illuftrious family on the throne. Mr. Shippen, among other things in anfwer to this declaration, "faid that His Majefty KNEW how much the nation was loaded with debts and taxes-and how inconfiflent it was with our conflitution to keep up a flanding army in time of peace. Mr. Shippen, being called vehemently to order for thefe last words, declared himself peculiarly unfortunate; for that, in a former parliament, he had incurred the fevere difpleasure and cenfure of that houfe, for afferting that the late Monarch was unacquainted with the constitution; and he now gave high offence, by declaring that his present Majesty was not unacquainted with the conftitution."

We prefume that Mr. Shippen knew for what he had been committed; and, if he here ftates the caufe correctly, Vindex Veritatis furely ought to make the amende bonorable to Mr. Beltham, for aferibing to that author an affertion which he never thought of making, viz. “that the purchase of Bremen and Verden had involved us in a war with Spain in 1718; and that Mr. Shippen was committed to the Tower for having commented with feverity on that fact;" an affertion which, if he had made it, we certainly fhould not have paffed unnoticed in our review of bis Memoirs.

·

+++ We can affure A Suffolk Freeholder' that his appeal to our candor and impartiality would not fail of procuring from us a manly and ample apology,' if we were convinced that we had ignorantly misreprefented him, and hastily mifled the public;' and, if we refufe to make the defired apology, it is only because we are fatiffied that we have not wronged him. He refers us to a publication in fupport of his statement, on which, if its contents be fuch as he deferibes them, he ought to discharge all his refentment, for it has un-doubtedly mifled him. We certainly would fpare time to read that

publication,

publication, if the tafk had not been rendered unneceffary by this circumftance, that the Reviewer of the Suffolk Freeholder's work (fee Rev. for March, p.343.) happened to be prefent when Mr. Fox made the speech in queftion; and, from the evidence of his own ears, he can take upon him to fay that nothing can be more unlike the original than the copy on which it appears that the Suffolk Freeholder has founded his obfervations. As it was the with nearest our hearts to be just to the public, to our correfpondent, and to ourselves, we refolved to take the opinion of fome friends who alfo heard Mr. Fox deliver the fpeech in queftion; and we had the fatisfaction to find, that their recollection of it tallied with and confirmed our own idea of it. Had it been otherwife, we affure the Suffolk Freeholder that we would have been, if poffible, more ready to make him reparation than he can be to require it. All that we can do at prefent, is to advise him to be more caatious in future in the choice of the documents on which he intends to build a charge against any public man. We are perfuaded that he muft have been misled by an erroneous account of the fpeech to which he refers; for it is a fair prefumption that the man, who exacts an apology for a misreprefentation, is himself incapable of wilfully mifreprefenting another.

We are pleased to find that an obliging correfpondent from Berwick, whofe fignature is J. or S., agrees with us in his idea of the proper punctuation of the line in Othello: Put out the light and thenPut out the light! but we have not room te infert the explanation which he gives of the line fo pointed.

++ Medicus, of Jedburgh, requests us to point out the exact title of a work to which we have alluded in another article: but our memory does not ferve us in this particular, nor do our Indices avail us. We only recollect the tendency of that publication.

·

In reference to our query in the note † p. 173 of the Review for February, Dr. Beaufort informs us that he literally made so use at all of any of the printed maps of Ireland,' in constructing his new one; and that, with regard to Rocque, he only quotes topographical maps of two counties which that geographer furveyed. This explanation is due to the Doctor.

IIS Mr. Buchanan's letter is received: but we have not yet had leifure to perufe his new work.

* The communication from Mr. G-r, of the R. E. A. Office, is acknowleged, and fhall receive attention.

*q* Oar notice of other Letters is unavoidably deferred.

In the last Review, p. 245, l. 15. from the bottom, for project dies, r. projects dies; 253, 1. 25. for Vexatis,' r. Vexatio; 256, 1. 18. for above,' r. below; 263, 1. 20. for pale thee,' r. pall thee.

·

"

« PreviousContinue »