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Art. I. Present State of the Spanish Colonies ; including a

particular Report of Hispaniola, or the Spanish Part of Santo Domingo; with a general Survey of the Settlements on the South Continent of America, as relates to the History, Trade, Population, Customs, Manners, &c. with a concise Statement of the Sentiments of the People on their relative Situation to the Mother Country. By William Walton, Jun. Secretary to the Expedition which captured the City of Santo Domingo from the French; and Resident British Agent there. 2 vols. 8vo. Lou

don, Longman. 1812. А MONG those who have suddenly received the inspiration of

authorship, few were ever placed in a more favourable situation than Mr. Walton when he produced his book on the Spanish colonies. He had lived from his early years in Spain ; he knew the language of the country; and was thoroughly conversant with the manners of the inhabitants. He had stolen, it appears, many hours from the commercial pursuits in which he was educated, to employ himself in collecting such information about the country as its actual state and the nature of its government would allow. Scarcely had he arrived in England when an insurrection broke out which threatened Spain with the loss of her richest possessions, while she was nobly

struggling for freedom against the oppressor of the Continent. The people of Great Britain, who considered the cause of Spain as their own, could not look on with indifference, whilst the Spanish nation was on the eve of forfeiting the hopes of her own liberty by imprudently engaging in a destructive war with her colonies. What were the grounds of so ill-timed a contest, whether it could be avoided, what might be hoped or feared from the character of the contending parties, were questions universally canvassed; and whoever could add to the scanty stock of information which we possessed upon those heads, was sure to be listened to with interest.

But unluckily, Mr. Walton was too ambitious to be useful. Instead of the humble detailer of such facts and observations as the contracted scenes before him readily furnished, he aspired to be




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