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lution, after a lapse of years of blood, and every species of infamy and atrocity which can degrade or brutalize man, has established any thing but a military despotism, under which the greater part of Europe nov groans. We may here, with a small variation, apply to the writer what she herself says on the defenders of Lewis XVI. ́ « We are led to suspect either that we have hitherto mistaken the meaning of terms, or that conscience is a more accommodating principle with the partisans of revolution' than with other persons, or that the still, small voice' of conscience is too feeble to be heard amidst the beautiful, the sublime, the stupendous, the terrific, &c. &c. explosions of the revolutionary volcano." What are the fruits of the lady's boasted Revolution, which we have seen and felt, and which we now see and feel? They are rapine, devastation, and massacre, the violation of every social tie, whether domestic or public, the philosophistical, and short reign of some, the atrocious mobarchy of others, the extermination of every man of worth, and who was respected in France, the exaltation of all that is vile and despicable, the murder of Louis XVI. and the reign and adoration of Buonaparte. The Revolution promised at once to deliver mankind from evils which the natural progress of society was lessening every day; while, instead of the accustomed rod of power, it has produced the scorpion lash of despotism. The lady seems to have a sort of suppressed consciousness that every thing is not yet as it should be; but dear Revolution still dwells at her heart, and she wishes us to look forward with the eye of faith to the blessed Millennium which is—to come-when? ad Græcas calendas. We fancy that the world has seen and felt enough, not to have very sanguine expectations of sailing in the revolutionary "seas of milk” nships of amber." The storm still rages with undiminished violence, and we must wait with fortitude and resignation till the Almighty voice shall bid the waves be still. The writer is, or pretends so be, a Brissotine, and that party, she confesses, was republican. How ean she, then, say, that all is as it should be in France? How can she have the effrontery in her book to give it the appellation of a " Republic" She was formerly a writer of verses, and has, perhaps, beeu tempted by the Abbé Delille to "go a whoring after Baal," to worship in the high places" of the Corsican son of Ammon*. For
We give him this appellation, as we imagine that he, like Alexander, would wish to have sprung from a nobler stock than he can now lay claim to; and that, like him, he would have had no scruples in sacrificing the peputation of his mother, always supposing that she had a reputation to Jose, to an origin more suitable than his own to the imperial dignity. It would be an enterprise worthy of the savans who went to Egypt, to discover an ancient MS. wherein it is announced, that an Arabian girl, of the tribe of Koreish, and impregnated by the well-known potency of Mahomet, had been brought a prisoner to Corsica, and that there was
this tergiversation she has the example of her party to offer. She herself informs us, that the faction of Brissot, when they found, though they had ridden for a moment" in the whirlwind" of their own raising, that they could not "direct the storm;" finding that their darling engine, the mob, had been seized by Robespierre, Marat, &c. proposed to coalesce with royalty. There is some difference, it is true, between these coalitions; that of Brissot and his party with Lewis XVI. is somewhat more respectable than H. M. Williams's with the Despot of France; but the difference springs only from circumstances; the motive to both (self-interest) is the same.
Led away by our attention to the translator and commentator, we had almost forgot to give our readers an idea of the Letters themselves. The volumes contain the Correspondence of Lewis with his Ministers, and other persons, from 1774, till he was shut up in the Temple. They every where evince a heart replete with general benevolence, and peculiarly solicitous for the happiness of France; they display, too, an acuteness of mind, and soundness of understanding, which a great part of the world is not disposed to allow him. But they, at the same time, lay open that want of self-confidence, that yielding to other, and worse counsels, that want of prompt and vigorous decision, which rendered. him unequal to the guidance of the helm during the revolutionary storm, in which he perished. He foresaw, he predicted the result of the demagogue machinations; yet from an aversion to blood, he could not be persuaded to oppose timely defensive force to offensive violence; he therefore, necessarily, lost his crown and life in the contest; and since that period the Rights of Man, the holy Right of Insurrection, and the right of the strongest, have drenched Europe, in blood; and the regenerators of the human race have not left a single right of man unviolated.
The spirit, the essence of the commentary may be concentred in a few words. The commentator lays hold of every real or seeming unsteadiness of the King, in his transactions with the revolutionists. These she attributes solely to the want of principle, and spreads them out, and dwells on them with much exultation and complacency;" while she is most solicitously careful to keep a profound silence as to the measures of his opponents, which were so various, and so con
undoubted proof of the lineal descent of Buonaparte from this noble source. But it is supposed that they venture not as yet to produce the MS. as the will of the great man on this subject has not hitherto been signified to them. Some conjecture that, from his frequent appeals to Fate, Buonaparte would rather make choice of a Pagan progenitor, and that, to claim kindred with Alexander, he has, at the proper time, determined to ascertain his filiation from Jupiter Ammon. While others, with no less probability, maintain, that he only waits till it be convenient completely to unpope the poor Bishop of Rome, when he will publish to the world his legal descent from that truly sublime personage Judas Iscariot.
tradictory, that it was impossible to adhere to any fundamental prín ciple, either in opposing them, or complying with them. Not a word is said of the laws that were enacted, only to be violated; of the constitutions which lasted not a day, but melted away before the constitution of the next hour; or of the incessant encroachments on their own decreed rights of the crown. Was it proper, as a King, who had the good of his subjects at heart, to submit implicitly to the violators of all compacts? Was it possible not to regret many of his forced compliances, and to endeavour to counteract the mischief they had occasioned? According to the moral code of this lady, whoever does not comply with the extorted promises made to a highwayman or housebreaker, is an unprincipled scoundrel! But, perhaps, her maxim is not a general one, and is only to take place when the question is between monarchs and revolutionists.
As a specimen of the Letters and Commentary, we insert the following Extract, premising that the lady's republican orgasm does not here burst out so violently as in most parts of her publication. The victory was gained, and she thought it decent to drop a few crocodile tears over the prostrate foe. The letter was written after the attack on the Thuilleries, on the 10th of August:
"I am no longer King! The public voice will make known to you the most cruel catastrophe. . . . I am the most unfortunate of husbands and of fathers!.... I am the victim of my own goodness, of fear, of hope... It is an impenetrable mystery of iniquity! They have bereaved me of every thing: they have massacred my faithful sub. jects; I have been decoyed by stratagem far from my palace; and they now accuse me! I am a captive: they drag me to prison; and the Queen, my children, and Madame Elizabeth, share my sad fate.
"I can no longer doubt that I am an object odious in the eyes of the French, led astray by prejudice . . . . . This is the stroke that is most insupportable. My brother, but a little while, and I shall exist no longer. Remember to avenge my memory, by publishing how much I loved this ungrateful people. Recall one day to their remembrance the wrongs they have done me, and tell them I forgave them. Adieu, my brother, for the last time! "LEWIS."
Had a like attack been made by the loyalists on the National Convention, had the result been the death of all the members, as the the 10th of August produced the murder of the King, and had the Monarch, as the majority of the National Convention evidently did, sanctioned this outrage, how very eloquent and pathetic would H. M. Williams have been? On the present occasion, all is passed over without notice. It seems it deserved none. It was only a King to whom violence was offered. It was only a King whom it inevitably led to the guillotine; and to throw away a thought on a matter so very
very trivial, it appears, is below the dignity of a true republican mind. Let us see, however, what she does say:
"My brother," says Lewis, "I am no longer King... I am the most unfortunate of husbands, and of fathers."-The most unfortunate of husbands, and of fathers!-Unhappy Monarch! amidst the loss of empire, of all the world calls greatness, the objects of his tenderness twine around his heart, and inflict its deepest anguish. Fallen from his high estate, pierced by the sharpest arrows of calamity, it is here that the iron enters into his soul!-Whenever we have occasion to contemplate Lewis XVI. in a domestic point of view, we feel every sentiment of sympathy awakened in his favour, and lament that a mind, susceptible of the best affections of our nature, should have become the victim of those very affections, which, in other circumstances, would have been virtues, but which, in his situation, produced the effect of crimes. His conjugal attachment led him into the most fatal errors, which terminated in the most bitter calamities. That sentiment, by its cruel seduction, destined him to suf fer the pangs of remorse, almost without the consciousness of guilt; since his mind seems to have been penetrated with the sense of every duty which he neglected, and with the sacredness of every obligation he violated. He loved the people he betrayed, and disapproved the projects of their enemies, with whom he irrevocably linked his fate. Unfortunate and misguided Prince! while abhorrent at the idea of shedding one drop of human blood, he condemned himself to call upon the coalesced powers of Europe to arm against his country; and millions have perished in its defence and while he seems to have appreciated power and greatness at their true value, and to have felt the worth of being loved, he suffered himself to be dragged from the throne to the scaffold, rather than re Bounce despotic empire, and be hailed the father of his people."
The writer here, in a tone of hypocritical commiseration, accuses the Monarch almost of every crime of which, as a King, he could be guilty. This may pass with the society which she keeps at Paris: but we believe that the impartial and unprejudiced will join with us in saying, that he did not betray the people, but that both he and they were betrayed by the revolutionary demagogues; that he did not call forth the coalesced powers against his country, but against a faction, that has led that country through a sea of blood, and through unspeakable horrors, to more than eastern despotism; and that, instead of losing his life for his attachment to despotism, the whole tenor of his life gives the lie to the false and malignant accusation.
But enough of the lady and her work.-The energies of Brigittina Williams are much too sublime for us: how they harmonise with those of Mr. Stone, and her other Parisian associates, we will not pretend to say. Our wonder, however, is excited by two things: 1st, How she ventures to display them under the superior imperial energies of Bonaparte. And, 2dly, how she can submit to live under a government, which is certainly not auspicious to her, to Thomas Paine, or to the French regenerators' Rights of Man.
Besides the Letters, these volumes contain some other compositions
on both public and domestic affairs. We have not paid a critical attention to the translation, taking it for granted, that a person so long domesticated in France, and now a veteran author, must be able to perform with sufficient accuracy the task she had undertaken.
Essays on various Subjects. By J. Bigland. Doncaster. 2 vols. 8vo. 125. Sheardown. 1805.
THESE Essays contain a variety of subjects; and their merit is as much varied as their matter. In all that relates to religion and morality, we generally agree with the author; we say generally, for, though Mr. Bigland is himself a friend to the National Church, and though we are also friends to moderate toleration, we do not think he enforces with all the energy he might, the precept of Pythagoras.
Αθανάτως μὲν πρῶτα θεὸς, νόμω ὡς διάκειται
But in some other points we differ entirely from him. In the manner also, as well as the matter, we find something to praise and some→ thing to censure. We shall try to justify both our censure and our praise, by soine extracts taken from the Essays, in the order in which they occur; for of a miscellaneous work of this kind there can be no analysis.
In the Essay on National Establishments in religion, the author, we think, very properly observes, how much better it is to live among those with whom we agree in the more essential parts of Christianity, though we may differ as to forms, than with those who are entirely unbelievers. These are Mr. Bigland's words:
"If he considered how much more eligible a Calvinist, a Quaker, or a Catholic, must find it to live among Christian Protestants, whose morals are influenced by the doctrines of the gospel, than among men who are destitute of religion, conscience, and morality; or how much more agreeable it must be to a Protestant to live among Christian Catholics, who agree with him in the belief of the same general essential, and fundamental doctrines, and the same obligatory precepts of Christianity, who have the same moral ideas as himself, make the same distinction between virtue and vice, and expect the same remuneration of their deeds, than among men who are totally unacquainted with these things, and whose inclinations are the only rule of their actions, he would view the difference of situation in the same light as a person who investigates the principles and considers the effects of civil legislature, sees the difference between a well regulated community and a horde of barbarians, ignorant of moral order, and under no legal restraint."
All that we object to in this passage, are the expressions Catholic and Christian Catholic. We know this is the common language of the day; but it is new. We profess ourselves to believe in the holy Ca-tholic