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immediately retreat. Open not your hearts to every profeffion of friendship. They, whose friendship is worth accepting, are, as you ought to be, reserved in offering it. Chuse your companions, not merely for the sake of a few outward accomplishments for the idle pleasure of spending an agreeable hour ; but mark their disposition io virtue or vice ; and, as much as pollible, chuse those for your companions, whom you see others respect : always remembering, that upon the choice of your company depends, in a great measure, the success of all you have learned ; the hopes of your friends; your future characters in life ; and, what you ought above all other things to value, the purity of your hearts.' · This specimen may be sufficient to shew what advantage youth, in general, may derive from an attentive perusal of this work; and surely to those who had the good fortune of being educated by Mr. Gilpin, his Lectures must be peculiarly useful, and can scarce fail of making a due impression upon their minds, as the jaft words of a fincere and justly esteemed friend. X. FOREIGN LITERATURE. (By aur CORRESPONDENTS.) FRANCE.

ART. I. PRINCIPES de Morale, de Politique et de Droit Public,

puisés, &c. ou Discours sur l'Histoire de France, &c. i. e. Moral Political Discourses * on the History of France. By M. MOREAU, Historiographer of France, Vols. V. VI. and VII. 8vo. Paris. 1778. Price 3 Livres 12 Sols each Volume. This excellent work (which deserves that title, notwithstanding its defects, and which is the production of perhaps the best writer, at this day, in the French nation) does not decrease in merit as it grows in size. The volumes, before us, carry equal marks of that learning, taste, genius, and virtue which we formerly applauded in those that preceded them; yet we are still obliged to lament the attachment of such a writer, and such a man, to the odious system of absolute monarchy,-a system at all times pregnant with evils and oppreffion, and which, in its execution, so often separates entirely the interest and glory of the monarch from the interest and well-being of his subjects.

In the fifth volume we have a very interesting account (rendered such by our Author's excellent plan) of the strange revolution which deprived Childeric of the crown, and placed Pepin on the throne of Clovis. We must suppose that M. MOREAU possesses a very high degree of virtuous and publica {pirited intrepidity, when he ventures to' teach, as conclufions

* The literal translation of this title would run thus : Principles of Morality, Politics and public Law, derived from the History of our Mozaroby-or Discourses on the History of France.

from

from the revolution now mentioned, fuch political doctrines as these, that the most fatal of all maxims for sovereigns is that which engages them to accommodate the rules and principles of their government to the circumstances that occur, and that their strength, dignity, and consistence, as well as the true happiness of their subjects, depend on three qualities, the real supports of the throne, beneficence, constancy, and justice. The semainder of this volume contains a great variety of observations relative to the public tribunals, -magistrates and magiftracy, the administration of justice under the feudal jurisdictions, nobility, and other subjects of that kind.

The fixth volume opens a more splendid and pompous scene : it exhibits the surprising feats, it discloses all the wonders, of the reign of Charlemagne, and amidst the contradictory ac-. counts which different historians have given of that great prince, represents him as a wise sovereign, a warrior, a conqueror and a legislator, the greatest man of his age, and the last hero of his race. Few have represented the character of Charlemagne in its true point of view; and, indeed, there have been, notwithstanding the contradictions that reign in the present aspect of huinan nature, few characters'that exhibit such contrasts of thining qualities with odious defects. Voltaire has exaggerated the latter with a more than equitable degree of asperity, and without a proper indulgence for the spirit of intemperate zeal, which so generally disfigured the Christian reli. gion in that period of superstition and barbarism, which is not entirely extinguished in even our age of improved knowledge, and which never will be totally suppressed, while the passions, pride, and ill-humour of men mingle themselves with the cause of truth. M. Moreau exposes, with good humour, and good sense, the falsehood of Voltaire's representation of the matter under consideration. The lenity with which that writer judged of the conduct of the Roman general who invaded Britain and committed the Druids to the plaines, and the severity with which he condemns the conduct of Charlemagne towards the Saxons, do not escape him.

The discourse that follows the reign of this great prince con. tains a multitude of excellent reflexions and instructive discus. fions, concerning the rights acquired by conquest in general, and those of Charlemagne in particular,-concerning the influence of religion in foftening the ferocity and improving the manners of men, by the admirable lessons it gives of humanity and justice, as also concerning the military art, and the state and manner of composing the French armies in the eighth and ninth centuries.

The seventh volume, though not inferior to the preceding, so far as the display of capacity and talent goes, pleases us much P4

less,

less, on account of the dry and uninteresting discuffion's into which the spirit of controversy and the desire of demonstrating that the Frerich have always been saves, have carried out Author. Some modern writers of the first rank have main. tained, that, in the earlier periods of the French monarchy, the most absolute of its princes were no more than the first citizens or members of the republic, and that the present government in Great Britain is the iniage of the government of Charlemagne. This hypothesis, if it be an error, our Author is justified in combating, from the regard he is obliged to pay to historical truth; but we are sorry to see him opposing it, as an error fatal to the glory and prosperity of the French government, as if it could ever tend to the true glory and prosperity of any nation to be subjected to the absolute power of an individual, and as if it were not palpable that, in such governments, the interest of the monarch (i. e. his pleasures, his avarice, or his tinsel-glory) is promoted by the inisery and oppression of his subjects. It is pleasant, indeed, enough to maintain that the well-being of twenty millions of souls ought to be totally intrusted to the direction of an individual, in consequence of his being born of a certain man and woman.-The truth is, that M. MOREAU has here laid down his dignity as a virtuous and patriotic citizen, and put on a mask to appear at Court.

Be that as it may--he has, as it appears to us, clearly proved the fact. He had proved in the preceding discourses the monarchical power of the French kings, and he proves, in this, by new authorities, that such a power had always been possessed by Charlemagne; that the legislative power was vested in, and exercised by him alone; that this power was never lodged in the pleas or in the asemblies, which were first held in the month of March and afterwards in May; that the people had no representatives in that assembly, and therefore that Charles magne was not the first member of the republic, but the inonarch of France, in the fullest extent of that term. Indeed absolute power in excellent hands may render a people happy; but such hands are so rare, and there is so little probability of seeing a series of such hands at the head of any nation, that the people are authorised to secure their liberties and property by the bulwark of a wise and a free conftitution; and it is in this that the glory and prosperity of a nation properly consist.

It would appear by our Author's account of things, that Charlemagne did not prostitute his power to the purposes of tyranny and injustice, but employed it in establishing order and union among all the departments and members of the state. The transactions of the council of Francfort may be alleged as an objection to this favourable account of the reign of Charlemagne ; but our Author calls what happened at that

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Foreign CORRESPONDENCE.

217 council a dark moment, a transitory error, occafioned by the ignorance of the times, or rather by the seduction of some false politicians. This prince (says M. MOREAU) was the friend and protector of learning, and learned men: letters were cultivated in his dominions ; morals were respected, and his subjects were happy. Not less admirable in the minute details of his domestic economy, than in the general administration of his vaft empire, he turned an attentive eye to all those objects that could be employed as instruments or means of promoting the public good. He appeared as great when he ordered his ftewards to sell the eggs of his hen-roofts, or the superfluous produce of his garden, as when he distributed among his subjects the riches of the Lombards, and the immense treasures of the Huns, who had plundered the universe.

In the second part of this volume, which is disengaged from the dry polemical discussions that rendered the first somewhat less interesting than the preceding discourses, our Author unfolds the principles that animated and directed the government of Charlemagne, and shews the basis on which he founded his plans of reformation. His plan is expressed in three words, which convey a pretty clear idea of it, -union in all the parts of the state - liberty in them all-and authority over them all. This was the great design which Charlemagne formed, and carried into execution. He restored peace and union between the clergy and the nobility, and conferred upon the French a degree and kind of liberty (according to our Author) which they had never enjoyed or known, either in the marshes of Germany, or under that tyrannical administration, by which the kings of the first race provoked the seditious licentiousness of the grandees, and trampled on the rights of the people. The kind of liberty, meant by our Author, confifted in this, that the courts of justice were multiplied, that nothing was transacted in the councils of the prince, in the courts of the higher magira trates, nor in those of the cities, without the most mature de. liberation; and that a new order of inspectors called milli, or envoys, were appointed to set limits to the arbitrary power which the magistrates had usurped. But this kind of liberty. was, indeed, no more than a wise and beneficent application of absolute power, and M. MOREAU destroys the precision of language and confounds the nature of things, when, in confequence of all these regulations, he says, that Charlemagne rendered the French free, in the only sense that man ought to be fo. No nation is free, that has not, in the privileges of the people, the means of providing for and securing the continuance of their well-being, and the permanent enjoynient of the essential rights of human nature. These may be maintained by the absolute power of a good prince, and may be destroyed by

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the absolute power of his successor, so that absolute power is, properly speaking, incompatible with true liberty.--Nothing, indeed, can be more eloquent, more beautifully faid, more pathetically expressed, than our Author's description of the liberty which a wise government procures to a nation, and if all monarchs were models of wisdom, we might fubmit to his servile system, and say-come-we will accept of happiness and well-being, from whatever hands it may proceed.-But as men --and more especially as monarchs are so palpably far from being what they ought to be, all the eloquence of M. MOREAU on this subject is nothing more than the impertinent froth of a servile courtier, who is blowing gorgeous bubbles to dazzle the multitude, and that, with objects before his eyes, which thew the odious fallacy of his doctrine in the strongest light.

M. MOREAU knows very well, and he has the candour, at least, to own it, that, by all the regulations above mentioned as so friendly to French liberty, Charlemagne augmented instead of diminishing his personal power and authority; for he was the main-spring which directed those establishments that were formed for the good of his subjects. It is also true, that the well-being of those subjects attaching them by bonds of gratitude to their prince, who made them feel the comfortable effects of (what we may call) a temporary liberty, must naturally have given a high degree of well-acquired consistence and folidity to his government and authority. All this gives our Author an opportunity of shewing in a very beautiful and affecting manner, that a fovereign cannot dispense with the attachment and co-operation of his people, whose liberty (truth will out even in contradictions) is neceffary to the purposes of the most absolute monarch, if he means to reign with dignity and true glory.Good M. MOREAU-Naturam expellas furcâ licet usque recurret.

In treating of the legislation of Charlemagne in its connexion with all the departments of the state, and all the springs of the political machine, which he had under his direction, our Author Thews what this prince effectuated with respect to religion, its doctrines, worship, discipline and ministers, and also with respect to the instruction and morals of the nation ; the part of this ninth discourse, that relates to the laws of Pepin and Charlemagne, is reserved for a subsequent volume,-with other interesting materials.

II. Recherches Historiques et Critiques sur l'Administration publique et priveć des Terres chez les Romains, &c. i. e. An Hiftorical and Critical Inquiry into the public and private Administration of

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titude

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* We are at some loss for an English term, equal to the comprehenfive sense of the word Adminiftration in the original; which scems to

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