Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Mr. Sherlock's letters from Vienna are amusing :- they talk much of Beaux and Belies, good eating, and pleasure in all its forms. The objects, says he, that peculiarly Atrike a, stranger in that city, are the affability of the court, the magnificence of the entertainments, and the beauty of the sex. This is the sum and substance of his three letters from Vienna, which are Mort, and would have been reduced to nothing, had it not been for the three pretty faces of the Countesses Ditheim and Wurmbrand, and the Princess Lichtenstein ; and for the two excellent tables of Prince Kaunitz, and the Baron de Breteuil: these descriptions receive a small seasoning of a more intellectual flavour, by some very cursory accounts of Metaftafio, of the Pope's Nuncio, and of Sir Robert Keith

But that which furpasses any thing of the kind we have ever seen, is his letter from the Hague. By his account of the climate, of the manners, and of the state of the arts in HolJand, we conclude, for his honour, that he has passed but a few hours in that country. He talks of the Flemish painters with a degree of ignorance, that we pardon in an enthusiast for the Italian schools: but we cannot so easily lavilh our indul. gence on the decisive and imperious tone with which this igno. rance is accompanied.-It happens often, indeed, (and no great marvel !) that a true Dilletanti, who comes from the Vatican, Bologna, and Parma (and meets in Holland with the ignoble representations of degraded nature, that we find in a Brower, an Ostade, and a Jan Steen, and the infipid ones that are exbibited in the pictures of a Teniers), may be prejudiced against the Flemish and Belgic artists, and be little curious to see their productions. All this is colerable, though it be rather a kind of bigotry in virtú: But it is intolerably rala in Mr. Sherlock to say, in print, of the Flemish painters in general, that they servilely copy nature in her unpleafing aspects,-that none of their pictures excites a desire of seeing it a second time,-that the antique is in their esteem a ridiculous thing, -and that an artist, who followed its tone and manner in Holland, would die of hunger, All this is exaggerated, and favours of illiberal prejudice :- it is not true. The real connoisseurs, who have seen the representations of rural nature by Adrian Van de Velde, Bet, Carle de Jardin, Wynants,-those of private and domestic life by Gerard, Dow, Metzu, and many others of that class-not to speak of Rubens and Van Dyke, who were born only in the next neighbourhood of the Seven Provinces, will find the decifions of Mr. SHERLOCK neither just nor candid.

Mr. SHERLOCK's panegyric on the English Ambassador at the Hague is warm and juft; and it would have lost none of its merit and truth by being less exclusive. It leaves the reader to form conclusions with respect to the Dutch nation. We know

[ocr errors]

herchants Lock tells his will please him e merit of Sir Jolihed

little of Holland in its present state : its prosperity seems to be of a more obscure kind than in former times, when its rulers and ministers were as magnanimous and high-spirited as its merchants were active and industrious.-As to its present state, Mr. SHERLOCK tells his correspondent, that there is only one object in that country, that will please him, and that is Sir Joseph Yorke.' We have the highest idea of the merit of Sir Joseph, who js the worthy branch of a family illustriously distinguished by capacity, genius, talent, and virtue, and who (as we know from good information) does honour to his family and country, by his eminent abilities as a minister, and his humane and upright character as a man. Nevertheless, we cannot but suppose, that our Author is chargeable with injustice and exaggeration in the exclusive terms only one object. We should be as sorry, as we are unwilling to believe, that a country, whose history, in time past, exhibits such fhining examples of patriotism, of valour, and of public and private virtue, should at present have nothing worthy to attract the eye of an observer. We do not like to see a whole people wantontly annihilated in a single phrase, by a man whose information seems to be very imperfect..

The letters from Rome are the most interesting part of this col. lection : they contain several strokes of elegant criticism, and a very good defence of Shakespear against the sarcasms of some Frenchmen. The letters from Naples are not totally infipid, though they are very far from being instructive. In those dated from Ferney, we picked the, almost, bare bones of Voltaire's conversation with the men of learning, tafte, or curiosity, that visit him in their tours. Of these pickings we shall give here only the following, which we think savoury and found : HUME (said Voltaire to Mr. Sherlock) wrote his History that he might be praised; RAPIN, that he might instruct; and both gained their ends. - Lord BOLINGBROKE had something commanding in his air and voice : In his works there are many LEAVES, but little FRUIT, they are full of wire-drawn and intricate sentences, and phrases, that one despairs of getting at the end of, - ,

Upon the whole, from several splendid pieces, that strike us in the patch-work of these letters (which are more miscellaneous in their contents than those of any other traveller known to us), we conclude, that Mr. SHERLOCK is a lively, singular, sensible man, who has a good taste and a warm fancy. At the same time, it must be owned, that these letters convey very little instruction ; ånd we do not believe, that among the generality of those who peruse them, the Author will obtain the end he seems to have proposed to himself, by selecting a small number from two hundred, viz- that they might be read twice.

• Rev. Dec. 1779.

Hh

MONTHLY

MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For D. E C EMBER, 1779.

POLITICAL Art. 14. A short History of the Administration, during the Sum..mer Recess of Parliament. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Fielding, &c. 1779. T HE Writer is even with the Historian of Opposition, during the

I laft Sefion, from whom he seems to have borrowed the bint of his title-page *; and, like him, hash, perhaps, • drawn his bow with too much strength, and overshot the mark.' They are both able Writers, but we credit neither of them in the violence of their blackening representations. One ascribes the impending ruin of this country to the a&tive malignity of the anti-ministerial party ; the other gives a monstrous catalogue of the enormities of adminiftration, from whence he deduces the inevitable destruction of the British empire, unless we are faved by a speedy change of minifters, as well as meafures. It may be so; and perhaps we should hazard nothing by the experiment. Yet, after all, it is the opinion of moderate men, that our ministers at home, as well as our commanders abroad, have been more unfortunate than criminal.—The voice of Moderation, however, is not likely to be heard, amidst the din and tumult of the times. Art. 15. Anticipation, for the Year 1779. Containing the Substance of his

M y 's Speech to both H- s of Pop the Opening of the approaching Session ; together with a full

and authentic Account of the Debate which will take place in the H e of C- ns on the Motion for the Address and the

Amendment. With Notes. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Bladon. 1779. · O imitatores ! fervum pecus. This, like most imitations, is much inferior to the original. A few gleanings of humour the Auchor bas collected; which, however, are so poor and scanty, that they deserved not to be presented to the world in the formality of a separate publication. Art. 16. Anticipation continued. Containing the Substance of the Speech intended to be delivered from the

T e to both Houses of P rm -t, on the Opening of the ensuing Sellion, To which is added, a Sketch of the Debate which will take place in the H-se of L-ds, on the Motion for the Address and Amend. ment. 8vo. Is. 6d. Bew. 1779.

This is a still bearer imitation of Mr.Tickell's admirable pamphlet, of ludicrous memory. Sed quantum diftat ab illo ? Art. 17. The Cabinet Conference; or, Tears of MiniAry. PRE

SENT the King-Duke of Richmond-Earl of Shelburne-Lord · North, Lord G. Germaine. 8vo. 15. 6 d. Kearlly. 1779.

Another thing, of the Anticipation kind : ill imagined, and worse written.-The Author makes his Majesty become a convert to the opinions of the Duke of R. and Lord's.' In consequence of which,

* For our account of she Short Hiftory of Opposition, feç Review, July, p. 68.

che

the Lords N. and G. G. are turned out. The firft of these events is just as likely to happen as the second. Art. 18. A Letter to the Right Honourable Lord Viscount H

on bis naval Conduct in the American War. 8vo. is. Wilkie. Cbarges the noble Ad (as his brother, the

G i , had been charged before) with the most palpable and criminal negligence and miscondud, in regard to the prosecution of the American war; leaving the Reader to account for it, if he can, from connexions with opposition at home,- from secret favour to the American defection, from views of private intereft,-or from the co-operation of all these unworthy principles. The several charges are diftindly drawn from a series of wellknown fa&s; and they are urged with great force of expreflion :-ibe greater, perhaps, for the care with which the intelligent Writer avoids all personal abuse and scurrility. Art. 19. An Address to the Representatives in Parliament, on the

State of the Nation. 8vo. 19. Almon. 1779. After a display of the nefarious and studied arts of administration, to misrepresent and blacken the cause of opposition, and to fapport their own ruinous system, the Author, with great earneftness, and in no contemprible language, points out to the representatives of the people, at the opening of the session, the principal and immediate objects of public concern—the war with France, Spain, and America. He wishes parliamerrt to consider the two former, only, as the ene. mies of Great Britain ; and he advises, that by a decisive vote, the latier shall be declared free and independent; and that the King be addressed to withdraw his troops : by which measure, the Americans, he apprehends, will be assured of our good faith and fincerity. The natural consequence, he is strongly persuaded, will be, an happy union between both countries. For his reasonings on this subject, we must refer to his Address; as well as for what he says on the conduct which we ought to pursue, in regard to the dispute with Ireland ;-into which he enters circumstantially. He argues in favour of the Irish claims; and concludes his pamphlet with the following paragraph :

When you have considered and disposed of the two material objects which have been mensioned in the beginning of this letter, America and Ireland, you will be at leisure to investigate the causes which have hurried us to this brink of ruin; and when you have difcovered the movers or promoters of them, with the same spirit which has given liberty and peace to a continent, and the participation of commercial benefits to your fellow-subjects, you will execute that final ad of justice, which will be a worthy accompaniment to such an exercise of your power, and which will be revered by a grateful pofterity!' Art. 26. An Address to the People of Great Britain, on the Møet

ing of Parliament. 8vo. is. Cadell. 1779. . Among the other arts of administration, we have often heard complaint made of their employing their literary emissaries to impress the minds of the people with an idea, that patriotism is mere pretence ; that the active assertors of their liberties and rights are only the tools of faction; that obstruction to state-measures is nothing but sedition; and that private interest is the read motive, while нь 2

public public good is the specious language of those of our nobility and gentry who diftinguish themselves, by what is called Oppofition, in either House of Parliament.-Thus, “ by scattering the seeds of diffidence and mistrust, if administration can induce the people co withhold their countenance from those who by their meritorious services are in full pofleflion of it, the consequence appears certain, that the contempt of the patriot 'will counteract the effect of his services; and the advantage and security proffered by him will be rejected, because the hand presenting them is become fufpected."-Something like this is observed by the Author of the tract which is the fobject of the preceding Article; who likewife adds, that by thus continuing to treat the minority with ridicule and contempt, the ministerial party flatter themselves that the people will, in ime, be drawn in to conclude, as an undoubted fact, that the profession of patriot. ifm has its foundation only in private advantage, or personal enmity; that the patriot of this day would be the tyrant of to-morrow; and that All are united in the approbation and pursuit of one arbitrary fyftem of power."-_Thus will the deluded people be perfuaded to disarm their champions ; not once recollecting that when she mastiffs are muzzled, the wolves have nothing to do but to ravage the fold at their pleasure.

The Author of this Address to the People, harangues them in the strain above alluded to. According to him, the nation, whatever it may imagine, is happy in a miniftry almost faultless. He seems indeed to question whether any part of their conduct be reprehensible; but if, in any thing, they are to be blamed, it is, that instead of Jopping the branches, no stroke has been aimed at the root of rebel. lion ; that the voice of fedition has been suffered to prevail in the very heart of our kingdom, unnoticed, and unpunished; that traitors and incendiaries have not been dragged forth to public view, and facrificed to public justice.'-This is openly and bravely faid; and we have only to regret that the worthy Author has not favoured the Public with the names of those incendiaries and traitors' to whom he alludes ; for, doubtless, if he knows that such men are among us, he could tell who they are.- If ever his list appears, we hope such names as HAMPDEN, SIDNEY, RUSSEL, or even poor ALDERMAN CORNISH, will not be found in it. We have only to add, that we perfectly agree with this admirer of our most excellent adminiftra. tion, in admiring their lenity.' See p. 15. Art. 21. Addrefs to both Houfes of Parliament. 8vo. 1 $.

Murray. 1779.
The perufal of this little piece of zealous loyalty reminds us of
Scene's in past times, when the purlieus of Grub street were not ug-
known to Martinus Scriblerus. Take, Reader, a sample :

Enter BOOKSELLER.
Book. Well, Sir, have you finished the third seet?

AUTH. Not yet, Mr. Curl; but I hope to send you feven pages of copy before the end of the week; which you will eaily bump ext into fixteen of your print. · Book. End of the week!

2 d s, Sir, the House will be up before we mall be ready to publish, and then, perhaps, it won't felt enough to pay for advertising! If this is to be the case, pray how an I

« VorigeDoorgaan »