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ous; and, after a variety of remarks, he protested against the peace as insecure, because it restored our enemies to their former power, and as inadequate, because the territories which we retained out of our numerous conquests were greatly disproportionate to those which we furrendered. Notwithstanding these strong objections, the house, by a majority of 254, sanctioned an address which represented the preliminaries as pregnant with honor and advantage, and entitled to the hearty applause of the public.
• The report of this address from the committee rekindled the debate; and the speech of Legge was not unnoticed. He observed, that the negotiators had not even attempted to dissolve the dangerous union of the house of Bourbon ; that the fishery granted to the French would prove to them a mine of wealth ; that the restitution of the settlements in the West Indies to them and the Spaniards, would quickly re-establish the commerce of both, and provide ren sources for a new war; and that, before the British acquisitions could be rendered valuable, this nation would be subjected to the risque and burthen of a new course of hostilities, amidst the pressure
of an enormous debt. After other speeches, the address was confirmed by a renewed division, in which the court had a plurality of 164 votes.
• This signal triumph of the court may astonish the reader, when he considers that the peace was unpopular and dissatisfactory. It may, therefore be proper to intimate, that the lavish disbursements from the treasury, the multiplication of places in the household and of other employments, and the allurements of liberal promises, had a great effect in softening the stubbornness of the members of the senate; that Pitt did not exert himself in forming a party against the peace ; that the early declarations of many persons of distinction, alleging the necessity of a peace, relaxed the firmness with which they and their friends would otherwise have opposed the obnoxious articles now adjusted ; that the provincial gentry were desirous of an alleviation of their burthens; and that many individuals were induced to acquiesce in the pacification by the hope of regaining the royal favor, which, by opposing the favorite measure of the court, they might have irrecoverably forfeited. These were the causes of the extraordinary majority of votes by which the preliminaries were approved.'
Our historian censures the whole of Lord Bute's conduct in administration, and appears to impute to his public influence at one time, and to his secret influence afterward, many of the unsuccessful transactions of this reign. Though we by ro means admire this minister's character, nor approve his conduct, we still think that the picture here drawn of him is overcharged:
• No minister, Dr. C. observes, 'ever underwent a greater severity of censure and sarcasm than this nobleman. That these attacks, in many respects, partook of abuse and calumny, every person of moderation will be disposed to allow; and it must, at the same time; be admitted, that the portraits drawn of him by his advocates ex
ceeded the bounds of truth *. His abilities were not of that nature which would have qualified him for thc chief direction of the affairs of a nation. His mind was more adapted to petty, trivial, and narrow considerations, than to the comprehension of great objects. His principles were adverse to the true spirit of the constitution, and to the maxims of genuine liberty. He was haughty, yet mean ; obstinate, yet timid ; fond of profession, yet faithless and ungenerous. His manners were those of a pedant, rather than those of a gentle.
He affected a taste for science and a love of virtù ; but did not possess any great portion of learning or knowledge : he was, however, an encourager of those attainments in others.'
On the expulsion of M. Wilkes from the House of Come mons, on the question of general Warrants, on the application for a repeal of the test and corporation acts, and on those quéstions and measures which eventually separated the colonies from Great Britain, Dr. Coote has uniformly espoused the cause of liberty, and has maintained liberal sentiments with moderation and good sense. On the most important of these subjects, we find the following remarks:
• The expence of protecting the American colonies being considered by the ministry as burthensome to Great Britain, it was resolved, that the inhabitants of those flourishing settlements should be compelled, by the authority of parliament, to contribute more considerable supplies to the relief of the parent state, than had yet been exacted from them. The only duties to which they had been hie therto subjected related to imports and exports : but it was now proposed, that internal taxes should be levied upon them, at the discretion of the British legislature. This scheme has been generally attributed to Grenville; but he probably received instructions on the sube ject from the earl of Bute, and, as a financier, completed a plan which the favorite had previously concerted with those courtiers who, while they were styled the friends of the king, did not always act as the friends of the people, though the true interests of both are undivided. When the commons, in the last session, voted the exaction of new commercial duties from the colonists, it was intimated, in a distinct resolution, that it might be proper to subject them to stamp-duties. This scheme of taxation was so far from being approved, that loud clamors immediately arose ; and the discontent which was produced by the endeavours of the ministry (oppressively exerted) for the prevention of illicit trade, was highly inflamed by the prospect of severe burthens, imposed by legislators who were not constitutionally justified in the exercise of such authority.
« * Of this class is Dr. Smollett's panegyric. that writer) a nobleman of such probity as no temptation could warp;, of such spirit as no adversity could humble; severely just in all his transactions ; learned, liberal, courteous, and candid ; an enthusiast in patriotism ; a noble example of public, an amiable pattern of domestic virtue." It may be observed, that the Doctor had weighty reasons for thus flattering his countryman.'
“ He was (says
The provincials, thus irritated, anxiously waited the result of the alarming intimation of the commons. It was apprehended by many, that they would not submit to the new scheme; but this consideration did not deter the court from persisting in it. The king, when he had re-assembled the parliament, did not make express men. tion of the affair, but alluded to it, by signifying his reliance on the wisdom and firmness of the two houses, in the promotion of a due
respect to the legislative authority of this kingdom,” and in the establishment of such regulations as might best connect and strengthen every part of his dominions.”
• A series of resolutions, imposing a variety of stamp.duties on the king's American subjects, were at length proposed to the house by Grenville. The colonial petitions against the scheme, and the arguments of the senators by whom it was reprobated, were entirely disregarded; and the bill which contained the resolutions became a law.
* In support of this bill, Grenville argued, that the colonists were as completely subject to the jurisdiction of the parliament, as were the inhabitants of Great Britain ; that their chartered rights did not exempt them from that authority ; that the very nature of their situation implied a subjection to the control of the grand legislative body of the empire ; that nothing could be more reasonable than the des mand of contributions from the provincials for the exoneration of the mother-country from the expence attendant on the protection of her children ; that the sums which would thus be raised would be solely applied to the defence and security of the provinces ; and that the new taxes were in themselves light and equitable. Charles Townshend was also an advocate for the bill; and he condemned the ingratitude of the colonists, in refusing to make returns of submission and duty for the fostering care and generous indulgence of Great Britain, and in opposing the just claims of the legislature, the authority of which, over every part of the empire, could not fairly be controverted. Lieutenant-general.Conway (who had been deprived of a post in the household, and of the command of a regiment, for voting against the court in the question of general warrants,) strongly denied the right of the parliament to tax the Americans. They were entitled, he said, to all the privileges of Britons ; one of which involved an exemption from all taxes, except such as should be decreed by their representatives. No impost, therefore, could constitutionally be le. vied in the colonies without the sanction of the assemblies, except for the purposes of commercial regulation. Other speakers, while they admitted the right, disputed the expediency of the measure, and recommended an acquiescence in such grants as the provincials, at the desire of the crown, might be disposed to make. By some of the members, the taxes in question were affirmed to be unreasonable and oppressive, without regard to the authority which imposed them; and Colonel Barré ventured to predict, that the provincials, who were known to be jealous of their liberties, would firmly and even inflexibly oppose the views of the court.
That this bill was unconstitutional, and consequently unjustifiable, is an opinion which we are ready to adopt. The colonists, with an ciception of the case of commercial duties, might claim a right of
being solely subject to the pecuniary demands of their assemblies, on the principle of the close connection between taxation and represento ation; and the denial of such a right was an instance of tyranny from which a British parliament might have been expected to refrain. The provincials might justly have alleged, that if even the enjoyment of parliamentary representation did not shield the community from a course of wanton pillage, they could have had no security against the exercise of the most flagrant rapacity and oppression, by senators who would themselves be free from the burthens which they would im, pose.'
The concluding book of this history reaches from the rupture between Great Britain and the colonies, to the peace of 1783; and throughout the whole of it, the author shews a marked disapprobation of the measures and counsels in which the war originated and was conducted :--but his account of this unfor: tunate difference between the mother-country and her provinces is not so circumstantial, nor so detailed, as the importance of the subject demanded, and the variety of materials admitted.
The objection of being too concise is also applicable to the account of the riots in London in 1780; which were as disgraceful to the police of the city, as they were destructive to the lives and properties of numerous individuals. The author's short statement of so remarkable an occurrence is inadequate to the purposes of information, and seems to proceed on the idea of the reader's previous acquaintance with the subject.
The topic of the American war, and, indeed the narrative part of the history, are concluded by very candid observations on the peace of 1783.
A short view of ecclesiastical affairs, a catalogue (for it scarcely amounts to more) of eminent literary characters who have distinguished the different periods of our history, and à concise account of the progress of the arts, will also be found in these volumes.
After the ample extracts which we have made, and the observations which we have ventured to suggest on different portions of the history, it is scarcely necessary to characterise the general merits of the work. We cannot, however, conclude the article without declaring that, in our opinion, Dr. Coote deserves high rank among our historians for correctness and impartiality ; that his information is accurate ; that his senti. ments are liberal and moderate ; and that his style is in general easy, perspicuous, and occasionally elegant.
Forty-five engravings, chiefly from the hand of Heath, and five maps, decorate and illustrate these volumes.
ART. VIII. A Voyage round the World, performed in the rears
1785–1788, by the Boussole and Astrolabe, under the Com. mand of J. F. G. de la Pérouse : published by Order of the National Assembly, under the Superintendence of L. A. MiletMureau, Brigadier-General in the Corps of Engineers, &c. &c. Translated from the French. 4to.
pp. 6oo in each. With a folio Atlas of Plates and Charts. 51. 55. Boards. Ro
binsons, &c. 1799. IN in the preface to the first English edition of this work, the
public were apprised that other translations were in preparation; and indeed it was reasonably to be expected, that the just celebrity of this enterprising but unfortunate navigator should encourage such competition. As we have already given an account of the voyage, and of the former translation, in our Appendix to vol. xxvi. p. 517. and in vol. xxvii. p. 292 and 399, there remains little room for remark; except to notice the particular merits of the version now offered to the public.
In each, it has been endeavoured to render the copy faithful; and (except some of the plates, which were left out in the 8vo edition already noticed) to omit nothing which the original contained.
The present translation is on a more enlarged scale, has occupied more time, and has been executed at greater expence, than the former. It is handsomely printed on royal quarto ; and the separate volume of plates contains the whole of the charts and drawings that were given in the Paris edition. The charts are engraved by Neele, and the plates chiefly by Heath.
We shall avail ourselves of this opportunity, to give our readers the character of M. de la Pérouse, as drawn by the French editor ; which we did not quote in our former account, and now copy from the volumes before us, as an interesting addition to preceding extracts, and a specimen of the present translator's abilities :
• Hitherto I have considered La Pérouse only in his military and naval capacity; but he deserves equally to be known for his personal qualities : for he was not less fitted to gain the friendship or respect of men of all countries, than to foresee and overcome every obstacle which it is within the power of human wisdom to surmount.
• With the vivacity common to the people of the South, he united a pleasing wit, and an evenness of temper. The gentleness of his disposition, and his agreeable gaiety, rendered his company always desired with avidity: on the other hand, his judgment having been matuced by long experience, he joined to singular prudence that firmness of character, which is the lot of a strong mind, and which, increased by the laborious life of a mariner, rendered him capable of attempt. ing the greatest enterprizes, and conducting them to success.