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paradoxical, shook the fabric of social morals by the aid of the passions, and dismifled his political pupils to the licentious liberty of nature, with empty exhortations to yirtue and freedom. From these prolific sources of mischief have sprung the dogmas which have tinged the changing aspect of the Gallic revolution with alternate absurdity and horror-the natural equality of man, and the denial of a fuperintending providence. The Deity, after a temporary deposition, was indeed again recognised, for necessary purposes, by the French legislature ; but Equality has uniformly maintained her ascendency over the revolutionary system. Sometimes the versatile goddess personates a fansa culotte, butchering a priest; sometimes a poissarde, demande ing the head of a national representative : now the rolls in the blazing equipage of a money-jobber, and now assumes the appearance of a young married man going to join the troops of the fourth requisition : fometimes the invisibly superintends an Italian or a Dutch contribution, and sometimes conceals herself in the plume, or epicurises in the sumptuous palace, of a director.

To investigate the nature and operations of this powerful. agent is the purpose of the present work, to which, begging excuse for the length of our preliminary remarks, we wilt immediately conduct our readers.

M. D’Escherny, in his advertisement, alludes to the important operation of the term equality in the French revolution, and informs us, that it was his intention to have given the word for a title to these two volumes, as the most piquant and interesting that could be chosen, but that, being apprehensive of intimidating many worthy readers from the perusal of them, by a title fo congenial with the recollection of crimes, he adopted that which his work now bears, in order to facilitate his views in writing it, and to preclude suspicion of his intentions.

In the preface, he observes, that these volumes are to be regarded as a continuation of his Correspondence of an Inhabitant of Paris,' which, he intimates, was favourably received. To the work which is now before us we are extremely well dispofed, as it discovers confiderable talents and moderate principles—a valuable combination, not very frequently found in political productions. Of the author's disposition the following remarks afford a specimen.

By philosophers I Thall perhaps be called a bigot, and by bigots a freethinker: by royalists I shall probably be considered as a republican, and by republicans as an aristocrat: for men of the world I may prove too abftra&t, while readers of deep reflection may think that I have

written too much for men of the world. I hope, however, that I may be able, in consistency with my principles, to preserve that just medium which facrifices' nothing to clamour--that medium fo barren tó writers who are influenced by vanity, but so valuable to those who have no other with than to be useful—that medium which difpleases parties, and excludes the author who observes it from their patronage during his life, and perhaps from their notice after his death. I have resolutely sacrificed self-love, and, risquing contemporary neglect, have steadily fixed my view on three objects--the public good, truth, and posterity.' · The writer's talents are respectably displayed in his Eloge on Rousseau. This is, for the most part, a delicate and well-conceived irony on a state of nature, and, by an implied reductio ad absurdum, strikingly exposes the fallacy of the speculations of the Genevefe philosopher.

We present our readers with some passages on the subject.

Rousseau was altogether composed of sensation, and was profound only in fenlibility. He excelled in the knowledge of the dispositions of women, who are by nature beings of sensation. To obtain this knowledge, he had occasion only to search his own heart; an inexhaustible fund of feeling gave him the power of enchanting the sex; and his own temper often discovered the caprice, suspicions, and little weaknesses of women. Let us observe how his genius supplied materials for his skepticism-he fighed for truth and virtue ; and not perceiving either in the world that surrounded him, he was led to doubt of their existence. By an astonishing fi&ion, he endeavoured to find them in ignorance and instinct, in their two negative states; for ignorance and truth are two notions which exclude, each other, and simple instinct is incompatible with virtue. Perception, of neceffity, intervenes; and there can be na virtue without knowledge and cultivation ; yet, by a dex. terity, not less admirable than new, both ignorance and instinct become instruments of discovery in the hands of Rousseau. Archimedes only wanted a place for fixing his engines, in order to move the world'; and what he desired, Rousseau accomplished." He fled from the moral world to a state of society impossible to be realised, and totally dif, ferent from any in existence---that is, a state of nature. He there found a place for fixing the metaphysical lever by which he wished to shake our whole system of morals, and overturn áll our ideas. If we closely inspect the contexture of all his works, we may perceive that he has effected a revolution not so much by ere&ing as by destroying: he beats-down, he overturns, he tramples, he breaks ;

But, whenever he destroys, something new is created. It is this art of creating by destroying that characterifes Rousseau, and ftamps him as an original genius, without equal and without model. He may therefore be regarded as the founder of a new system of negative pbilosophy, important in its confequences and utility beyond all other philosophical systems.'

• It is on the study of man in his various relations, that the knowledge of his happiness in fociety depends. The parts of a machine must be separately well known, in order to direct their co-operation to one purpose, and to be acquainted with the adaptation and" strength of the {prings by which it is to be moved. The most useful and interesting study is obviously that of man.

Of the philosophers who have devoted themselves to that study, each has chosen a track descriptive of his own talents. Locke; possefling that intellect which reasons with itself, descended into the depths of his mind for the purpose of analysing it : he therefore reflected all other minds from the surface of his

Malebranche, a more adventurous but less certain conductor, elevated his fpeculations to the fountain of all thought, and, considering the human mind as an emanation from that source, placed his mirror of reflection in the bolom of the Deity. Others, like Tacitus and Montesquieu, neglecting such metaphysical views of man, have solely attended to his moral character. Tacitus does not fo much defcribe the manners of a simple and rude people as satirise his countrymen-the diffipations, the vices, and the crimes of Rome, were naturally contrasted by the unpolished probity of the Germans. The foul of a Persian transported into Paris, is the mirror from which Montesquieu has reflected the varying habits of the French, their follies and their'vices.

« These two methods of observing and describing men are admirable: they ingeniously exhibit every feature with its requisite relief. By a contrivance nearly similar, but executed in a grand style, Rousseau has reflected the qualities of an imaginary being on an existing model, not of a particular nation, but the whole fyftem of humanity. The refult of the experiment is worthy of the grandeur of the idea. That writer, in his imaginary model, has included the whole of the relations of man to nature the most elevàted point in which it is posible to confider the human species.

The genius of Rousseau was distinguished by the rare quality of contemplating the object of his reflection in

conceptions. After having considered the immense and di versified fabric of human establishments, he involved all of them in one common proscription : he took the reverse of all received ideas; and, as they are a mixture of truth and erfor, of opinions rational and absurd, he applied reason in favour of these, and against the others. Two great effects resulted from these contrasts-the detection of evils to which the best institutions are liable, and the discovery of advantages which remain concealed annidst prejudices and abuses."

Upon the topic of equality, the author makes these res marks:

* Equality is destructive of liberty, becaufe its existence is merely transient. It should rather be suppressed by the law than by force; for a legal inequality protects liberty, while an inequality produced by violence overtarns it. A differ. etice of ranks and conditions is so inherent in a body politic, that no law can destroy it, and establish equality of rights. Inequality would certainly take place in defiance of the law; and where is liberty when the law is violated ? It is better therefore for the law to concur than to struggle with the necessity of things, and present the fpectacle of a perpetual defeat. The question may be reduced to this point. Inequality is a neceffary evil: is it better that it Thould be established by force than by law?"

This is the queftion of equality in a nut-shell. What & waste of many sage and soporific speculations on the fubject !We proceed to extract a concise and accurate critique on the Contrat Social of Rousseau,

« In the Contrat Social I can perceive nothing but mague and arbitrary principles, obscurities, forced turns of expreffion, and fubtilties substituted for the frankness of reason and the conviction of evidence. It explains none of the phænomena of the system of civil society; nor does it reafon upon doubtful cases. The rights of life and of death, and of keeping persons in slavery, are not accounted for and Rousseau himself does not difsemble his embarraffinent, when he considers the right of pardoning, which he attributes to the sovereign, meaning the general will: this right he is unable to reconcile with the apparent impossibility, that the general will should be occupied with an individual and determinate object.

As a flattering coincidence with the opinion of our au. thor, we are induced to mention the circumstance of Mr.. Fox having said in the house of commons, that the Contrat Social was à book which he had attempted, but in vain, to read through.

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M. D’Escherny afterwards combats many specious maxims of the revolutionary school, with found logic, and an' apposite use of historical examples--He notices the commer cial prosperity and the social happiness of Great Britain, which he attributes to the form of our government; but mentions, as a defect; that there is not a fufficient number of nobility interposed between the commons and the king.

The following unhappy contrast occurs among fome fpirited fketches of scenes in the French revolution.

• I have seen a thoughtless, gay, and frivolous people fuddenly transformed into Romans, afeting lofty language and all the austerity of republicanism, and exercising cruelty, not lavishing praise, on their victorious generals; but have seen them quickly return to their natural dispofition, employ their legislation upon fhows, imitate the licentious ness of Rome, not its liberty, and choose the Saturnalia for their conftitution. I thought that I beheld, as at Carthage in the time of calamity, sacrifices of human blood renewed in the country of the arts and the sciences, and that I saw a people, seeking from the slaughter of 8900 victims, fly to victory under the standard of the infernal powers, to whom the facrifices were offered.'

The discipline of the republican armies has appeared not Wery reconcileable with the tenets of political disorganisation, which they have been made the powerful instruments ef defending and propagating. Our author thus ftates and folyes the difficulty.

• The foldier of equality recognises no fuperior, and consequently cannot be termed rebellious. If he should be punished as such, the republican army would rise in its own defence. How then, it may be asked, can the democratic soldier be reduced to that obedience without which war cannot be successful? A single word performs this operation to a iniracle: every member of the army who in his station does not immediately execute the orders of his commander, is punished with death as an aristocrat, of as guilty of counter-revolutionary conduct; and thus, by a mere word, discipline and subordination are established. O powerful influence of terms! The epithet counter-revolutionary checks the traitor, awes the foldier Into obedience, and restores victory to the republican fag. The epithet revolutionary produces effects still more aftonishing : it excites einotion similar to that of a tempeft; the people ferment, and rise in a mass; all France precipitates itself, like an overflowing torrent, on its frontiers and the formidable armies opposed to it on every side, are. To more than flender reeds, cbliged to yield to the impetu.

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