Imatges de pàgina

done respecting ecclesiastics, and on the other with the state of their West India Naves, shows that it was a rash inconsiderate undigefted attempt.

The supposed intention of the king to escape to Metz cannot at present be elucidated. From the circumstances in which the king and queen were, it is probable, that such an attempt was in contemplation. If it was so, however, the idea must have been suddenly conceived at the dinner of the officers; for if it had been planned previously, they would not have appeared there, or they would have taken advantage of the moment of returning loyalty to put it into immediate execution. There are some insinuations of a plot against the person of the king, and it is hinted, that he might have been urged to the escape, and, in the tumuit that might have ensued, been destroyed.

This plot is attributed to Mirabeau, whose object was to raise the duke of Orleans to the regency, and ultimately, perhaps, to the throne. The eventä, which brought on and terminated the removal of the king to Paris, are yet little known. Our author leans to the account given by Mr. Burke from M. Lally Tollendal, and admits only, that the centinel recovered from his wounds, and that the searching the queen's bed is a fact not clearly ascertained. .

• Mirabeau, at the very moment of the Assembly's depariure for Paris, proposed an address to the provinces, in which it was metaphorically said, that now as the vessel of public business would “ proceed in its course more rapidly than ever.” Tliis proposal excited indignation'in many minds, as it seemed to convey a manifeít approbation of the plot formed to force the national aflembly into Paris. Mirabeau was looked on with abhorrence by one pasty, with suspicion by all, and the slender reed on which he had tried to lean failed him at once. La Fayette had neither furgoitea nor forgiven the disobedient spirit of his troops on the 5th of October; he certainly attributed it to the Duc of Orlean's agenis, though we know not exactly on what proofs he grounded his opinion; and he has certainly drove the Duc of Orleans into his well-known journey to England, though we are not acquaint: d with the private conversations that passed on the occalion. It was attested before the Chatelet, that when Mirabcau heard of the Duc of Orleans's resolution, he abused him wiih all the energy of the French vulgar tongue, and concluded by exclaiming, “ He “ does not deserve ibe trouble that has been taken for his fake !" Mirabeau, in his speech of defence against the Chatelet, owned, that" indignation made him utter indiscreet and insolent speeches," without confelling precisely what they were.' · Various circumstances, which show the intimate connection between Mirabeau and the duke of Orleans, are added in dit.

ferent ferent parts of the work; and many reasons to think that Mirabeau, in all his propositions to the affembly, was not actuated by that patriotic, disinterested spirit which he always professed to feel. In the amount of the king's civil lift, and the declaration in favour of Spain, 'he was neither the friend of liberty, nor of his country.

The attack on nobility, on the armorial bearings, is very properly represented by our author as a studied insult, and not lefs affecting, because the latter was a trifling object. We always considered it as mean, unmanly, and injudicious. It was the business of the assembly to conciliate all parties, to engage all in the general cause: the nobles were laid low, and some might, at last, have assisted them; the whole united, might have at least teized them, and retarded their great work. They are struggling at this moment with the consequences of this rash act. The remarks on the internal regulation of the administration, and the committee of mendicity, are worth transcribing.

. The internal administration of the government and police of the kingdom may be ranked under this head, and the division of the kingdom into municipalities included within the districts and answerable to them, whilst the districts are includeded within and answerable to the cle&live administrations of the eighty larger de partments; this divifion, I say, this gradual scale of elective powers, has been the subject of, to some writers, unbounded ad. * miration. But where is the highest point of this political scale,

and to what power are the eighty departments answerable ? This is somewhat like the question which is said to puzzle an Indian philofopher : “ the world is supported by an elephant, the elephant by a tortoise -- Very well, but how is the tortoise supported?"

• Ii will appear to all who read the debates of this laft spring, that the national assembly have often felt this difficulty, however their friends in England may have disregarded it. They dare not entrust any effectual power of controul to king or minister, and to erect any body of magistrates, with power to call these petty republics to account, would be aristocracy, a word more odious to a Frenchman's ears than despotism itself.

" Whilst the subject of internal police is mentioned, it may be proper to observe, that the assembly, who have scornfully rejected that independence of judges which even republicans in England have never attacked, have frequently shewn a disposition to adopt our . Tystem of poors rates, that part of our internal government which Called, can hit upon any plan that can reconcile humanity, æconomy, and the due encouragement of industry, may they prosper in their views ! England, in this instance will not deny that it may be outdone. But first let a native of England be allowed to tell the French democrats a truth, which few Englishmen will deny. The internal management of our parisbes is one of che molt democratic parts of our constitution, and at the same time one of the moit abused. The churchwardens and overseers elelied by the TiersEtat of England, and answerable to that alone, are frequently accused of gross corruption, litigiousness, and inhumanity. And on the whole, the best-managed parishes, and those where the poor are most kindly treated, are those that are superintended by landed gentlemen of considerable property and family long resident in the neighbourhood, that order of society at present so perfecuted and degraded in France.

fpeculative writers have most questioned, and for which a hundred plans of reformation have been proposed, though none have been yet carried into execution. If the committee of mendiuity, as it is


An account of different riots, the fupineness of the affembly, and the different events, which conclude the year 1790, we need not particularly detail; they contain no very important event; but our author's reficctions are judicious, and we might occasionally transcribe with approbation, or animadvert a little on different pafages, if our limits would admit. In the Appendix to this first part, there are various documents and illustrations of the narrative. There is a curious distinction in the attention which the assembly paid to the different ftates of America. In reply to the compliment, on account of their wearing mourning on the death of Franklin, their complaisance to Peniylvania was unbounded : to the other Itates, not so purely democratical, the neglect of a form was deemed sufficient to induce them to preserve a sullen silence.

The second part carries on the narrative to the dissolution of the assembly ; but the facts are better known, and more clearly ascertained : prejudice has not interposed her coloured veil, and atrocity has nothing very odious to hide, except at Avignon and Charpentras. The philosophical humanity of the asiembly spared the lives of robbers, and decreed the puniliment of death only to murder and high-treason. Their trcasonable code, in its bloody form, is condemned by the historian, as no laws are to liable to be wrested to the purpose of faction and cruelty. At the fame time, they took from the king the power of pardoning or comniuting the punishment; a neceílary step, when the king and the people are in oppofite partics. The flight of Louis, the resignation of M. Fayette, and his breaking the mutinous company of grenadiers, rettored the nation to a little firmness and reflection. The conduct of the assembly became more conciliating, the troops obedient, and the riot of the 17th of July was crushed with


firmness and spirit. We have little hesitation in adding, that if the former afiembly could have continued two years longer, the revolution would have been establithed with tolerable secur rity: at present, its disjointed, ill-connected parts, rather than foreign opposition, seem to portend its ruin.

. The assumption of fovereignty, shown by that part of the conftitution which prevents a charge till four successive affem blies shall call for a revocation, or till the period mentioned for the revision, is considered by our author as improper; inconsistent with the first professions, and useless, if the people, at any period, choose to inrerfere. But this subject would require much discussion : it was neceflary, perhaps, to give the innovating fpirit time to cool, to suffer the proposed code to be fairly tried, and to repress every eager impetuous reformer. . The house at last broke up, and ' a more remarkable surrender of absolute power has never, it is added, taken place fince the abdication of Sylla, though Sylla's abdication has not absolved his memory from the guilt of usurpation and tyrannical government. This insinuation is not commend able: it is, indeed, in many respects reprehensible. The delegates were chosen by the people, they struggled with defpotism, and they conquered. Numerous were, undoubtedly, their faults, but they did not betray the truit reposed in them; and, if they exceeded their instructions, it has not appeared, that their conduct has been condemned by their constituents : ihey have sunk into the rank of private citizens, if not inno. cent, unaccused, and if not always meritorious, unmolested.

The subsequent reflections display the judgment, the learning, the penetration of the author, and it must be owned, that in these he appeared a writer of no mean rank. We can only notice a few of these concluding observations. He profe{Tes himself an enemy to innovation, whatever is the government, and is unwilling to sacrifice tranquillity to a fancied perfection, or even a real melioration, if it be sought in the fields of civil conteft. That these events will retard the progress of liberty, as he seems to think, or, that the revoluc tion in France will not prevent future wars, are opinions not equally clear. We suspect thai, in both these opinions, he is mistaken ; and though we ought to praise the cxtent of learning and the perfpicuity of reatoning, with which the last is fupported, we could thow, if the limits of a Journal admitted such difquifitions, that his instances and arguments are not always applicable to the present state of society. The observations on the revolution in Poland are very judicious and proper. The effects of the revolution on the neighbouring countries, particularly Liege and Avignion, are not, in,


deed, very inviting : the revolution of Avignon is detailed at some length, and a horrid tale it is. Humanity shudders at reflecting on these first fruits of universal peace, and if among these, the riots of Birminghamn be reckoned, the view will be more dreadful. Whatever may in the issue be proved against the churchmen on this subject, must certainly be ultimately referred to the unadvised rash language of their opponents.Language did we say? It was more, for those who could endeavour to draw partizans from the remotest corner of the kingdom, who could correspond with every insignificant club of artists, who could unite all these into one body, at one moment, under pretence of celebrating the French Revolution, at a time too, so near to thai when a numerous assembly had drawn the nation into the most inminent danger, can (carcely be fupe posed to have the affairs of France only in their view. They prepared an earthquake, but it was lost in a distant clap of thunder, whose direction was very different from what was ilitended. We have only room to add, that our author quotes some doubtful paffages, which appeared in the democratic journals of Paris at that æra, and hint at an impending inTurrection in England: they may, however, have been accidental.

The Statistical Account of Scotland. Drawn up from the Communicaiicies of the Ministers of the different Parishes. By

7. Sinclair, Bart. 2 Vois. 8vo. 125. boards. Stockdale. 1791. 1 T appears that about two years ago, fir John Sinclair circli

lated among the clergy of the church of Scotland a variety of queries, for the purpose of elucidating the natural history and political state of that country. His original idea was, to have drawn up from their returns a general statistical view of North Britain, without any particular reference to parochial districts. But he found such merit and ability, and so many useful facts and important observations in the answers which were sent him, that he could not think of depriving the clergy of the credit they were entitled to derive from such laborious exertions; and he was thence induced to give the work to the public in its present shape; distinguishing the different parishes, but independently of any geographical, or other mode of con: nexion between them.

Sir John Sinclair obferves, that it would have been more desirable to have had the accounts of the different parishes arranged by presbyteries or counties, for the purpose of connexion, and to prevent repetition, where the circumstances of the different districts were nearly similar. But it was not to

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