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mons, but that the representatives of the last branch of that power should be chofen, not by all the people indiscriminately, but by a certain number of them, duly qualified. Those who are thus qualified, elect the members of the house of commons. But these members, after being thus elected, are the reprefentatives, not of their electors or constituents only, but of the whole body of the people. They are as really the representatives of a man who is not worth a groat, or even of a pauper, as of the richest landed proprietor.'
The representatives in parliament may have a regard for the interest of the non-electors, as a prince in an unlimited monarchy for various classes of his subjects; and, in both cases, application may be made to the superior powers by petition : but the attention to these petitions will be very different from that which must be paid to those men, who in case of refusal can disinils their trustees,
We are not surprised that our author should continue in the same strain, and tell us, that the people have representatives in the house of lords.' Various classes of the people may have, and really have, great interest in the house of peers : but it is the excellence of the constitution, that the power, rights, and privileges of the three parts are well defined, and that it is the interest of the whole to defend that of the nation. That inierest may not always be understood ; and the rights of the people may be better protected by the lords than by the commons; yet the lords no more represent the people than the late monarch of France represented his clergy,
What does it matter, though one district fend twenty or thirty members to parliament, and another only two or three ; if, which is the fact, each member be a representative of every individual in the kingdom, and the affairs of one part be as well taken care of as those of another ? The public business of Scotland is as well taker care of as that of Cornwall; that of the counties of Perth and Angus, as that of the county of Fife; and Manchester is in a more flourifhing condition than Old Sarum.' P. 225.
None but a Scotchuan could reply to this answer. They who are acquainted with the representation in the southern part of the island know, that from the nature of man it must matter a great deal. The representatives of Cornwall and of Scotland cannot for a length of time have the independent fpirit of the members of the counties and large towns of England. But Mr. Thomas would do well to define representation and equality; and he will then see the absurdity of his remark, that all the people are equally represented, though a part only choose their representatives.'
Our readers will easily see the tendency of the work, froin the few extracts which we have given ; and they perhaps will not be surprised at the vindication of abuses, or at a seeming defire of increasing them. On the subject of the test-act, the author thus speaks:
• We are all equal in being at liberty to choose our own religion: nor are any of the legal disabilities which any difsenter may lie under to be complained of. No man suffers any posia tive lofs by such difability; no man is, by such disability, injured in his person, property, or good name; he is thereby only excluded from voting in election of members for the house of commons, and from holding certain offices under the crown: restraints, which can affect very few in comparison with the body of the people, and which are imposed on those few for the fafety and tranquillity of the state, that is, for the good of the whole. Dean Swift observes, “ that it is absurd, that any person who profesieth a different form of worship from that which is national, mould be trusted with a vote for electing members in the house of commons. Because every man is full of zeal for his own religion, although he regards not morality; and therefore will endeavour to his utmost to bring in a representative of his own principles, which, if they be popular, may endanger the religion establihed; which, as it hath formerly happened, may alter the whole frame of government." The fame or a similar reason may be assigned for the other fort of legal disability the dissenters lie under. · When those reasons cease, there is no doubt, that all restraints of this kind will be removed. But let it be observed in the mean time, that, with regard to the choice, and the innocent profesion and practice, of our religion, we are all as free as thought; and, in this, we are all equal.' P. 166.
If the writer could produce no better reason than that of dean Swift for the legal disability of diffenters, he thould have been filent; for wlry should we be obliged to tell him, that the test-act does not prevent difsenters frorn voting in parliamentary elections ?
We feel great regret in pointing out these, as we could do several other inaccuracies; for every endeavour to make wen pleased with their situation is laudable; and the author seems to have had that end in view. But he should also have confantly kept in view his title, the cause of truth;' and should not have been tempted to deviate from it, by his zeal for the present fyftem. Some extenuation we might have excused; but we cannot give fanction to misrepresentation, Who, for instance, can feriously approve the following paso sages?
• Indeed, kingly government of some fort is, perhaps, the only kind of government to which there is, in scripture, a divine fanétion given. Very far would I be from insinuating, that other forms of
government are illegal, when compared with the word of God, ot that they are founded in what is unjust or wrong; but if we cared fully perufe the bible, we fhall find, that it is kingiy government chiefly, perhaps only, which has there the divine fančtion. At least, that fanction is there given to that form of government in a manner in which it was never given to any other.' P. 256.
. It is a very curious and striking fact, that God should, in a fupernatural and immediate way, have established among his ancient people, a form of government very like that which he hath, in the ordinary course of his providence, established in this land. And, in this respect, we, as well as they, are a peculiar people, a pation highly, favoured of the Lord.' P. 276.
But, notwithstanding the strange notions with which the work abounds, such a vein of piety runs through it, that our readers will be pleased with the author, if they have a sufficient share of patience to give it a complete perusal.
Confiderations upon the State of Public Affairs at the Beginning of
the Year 1798. Part the Fiift. France, By the Author of * Confiderations, &c. at the Beginning of the Year 1796." Svo.
25. Rivingtons. 1798. The same. Part II. Upon the Instructions of his Majesty's Plenipotentiary at Life, and the Indemnity of Great Britain at the
Part III. The Domestic State and General Policy of Great Britain.
In the first part of these considerations, the author endeavours "to throw some light upon the affairs of France, for the purpose of considering her ulterior means of injuring this country, and the probability of the eruption of a civil war in her own bosom. The patience of the people, in fubmitting to the late violations of the constitution, is a strong argument against the latter; and there is no other safe and honourable way, he thinks, of confidering the French at this period, than as the most powerful nation in Europe, placed under the control of the most defpotic goverement. That government, he affirms, is hostile to peace for the sake of perpetuating its existence. With regard to the internal state of France,
he maintains, that population has greatly decreased, though he does not specify in what proportion; that agriculture has failed, and that the specie which the French have been obliged to pay to other nations for grain, has diminished the capital in money, although what has accrued from the conquered countries may have in some measure supplied this deficiency; that their commercial capital is almost totally lost, either seized and expended by themselves, or possessed by this country, and that their foreign relations are of no moment, with an exception of those territories in which the terror of their arms and the corruption of their principles have unnerved and dissolved the energy of the human character. These are the points upon which he wishes to fix the attention of the British public; and upon these, he thinks, we cannot reflect without feeling all thore proud and consoling sentiments which ought to make us bear patiently our fhare in the general calamity entailed on mankind by the ambition of France.
In the second part, we meet with a tedious declamation againft the projet of peace offered by lord Malmelbury at Lifle.
" IP (says the writer) we examine the project which has been rejected at Life, we shall find that there exists no longer in any cabinet of Europe a basis or design of peace, that is not founded in the complete abandonment of its ancient system, or that is any thing else than a new plan for its division and spoliation. Even England, the generous and impartial arbitress of its fate, and the protectress of its liberties fo often, appears there in the character of one of its plunderers; meek indeed, and moderate, and self denying, and declining still the invidiousness and the full reward, of a crime of which she more than divides the meanness and the guilt,' P. 8.
Hệ thus writes, we may suppose, to vindicate his impartiality, and
prove that he neither courts popularity nor favour,' and that hespeaks the language of no party.' He must, however, have fome opinion of his own; and, from the following passage, we may judge of his sentiments,
Could we have restored the antient limits of Europe, we would seek no aggrandizement; could we maintain the balance of power, we would desire no other strength nor fecurity-; could we preserve a îngle certain alliance on the continent, we would trust even to the chapter of accidents; could we bring back France to the status quo, we would not go out of it ourselves ..... This is a peace that we will buy at any, price;. we will pay the confideration of it for all the world.'
As an apology for the disgraceful projet offered by our minifters, it has been faid, that they despair of the public spirit, and doubt the resolution of the people under the inevitable hardfhips and pres, sure of a prolonged State of war. To this he answers, in the first
place, that they have it not in their power to terminate the war; and, in the next, that the state of public spirit is not so properly their excuse as their fault. He asks, with great justice, whether any care has been taken to satisfy the public mind upon the enormous expenditure of public money, and whether the quota of income, subscribed by persons in the highest stations, has been such as could encourage a liberal contribution from private fortunes.
The obnoxious negotiation is resumed in the third part; and we are afterwards brought to the voluntary subscriptions, which our politician allows to have been liberal and patriotic, notwithstanding the late and niggardly return from those whose duty it was not only to be generous, but to give the example of generosity, and in spite of ministerial and noble avarice which closed the foodgates of national liberality.' Here he asks, 6. Was this a time to affert the divine right of pluralists in their offices, and the sacred tenure of fees and emoluments? Was this a time to dispute of metaphyfacal freeholds, and deny the power of the public over the public purse? &c.' This is bold language from one who is a Itrenuous supporter of the present administration. Yet who first made use of it? Who endeavoured to procure to the people a fatisfactory account of the expenditure of their money? Who called upon placemen to contribute to the public exigencies? Those very members of oppofition, whom our author stigmatises as men who would precipitate the ruin, revolution, and subjection of the empire.
The remainder of this part is employed in complimenting the people on their spirit, and recommending a system of economy in all departments of the fiate. At the conclusion, the writer gives a summary of his opinions; and this is the most valuable part of his labours. If we have transcribed less from these pamphlets than their feeming importance demanded, it is because we found it very difficult to fix upon any extract in which the sentiment was not so oppressed with a redundancy of words, that the passage would have appeared a specimen of the style only. After allowing that the author's great inerit is an incessant flow of words, sometimes elegantly cholen, but frequently familiar and inaccurate, we are compelled to add that no writer in our time betrays a greater portion of vanity. Egotism predominates through the whole; the consequential I sometimes provoking ridicule and sometimes difgust and it is not easy to decide whether the affected humility or pert arrogance of the pamphleteer be most ludicrous. Thinking that the whole world has an eye upon him, he apologises where no complaint preceded, and promises where no performance is expected. In his pamphlet which appeared in '1796, he spoke as president of the council. In these pieces, he counsels king and ministers as submillive pupils who will patiently take his cenfure, and grant to him what they have refused to 10 inconsiderable body of the representatives of the people.