through a continuance of it; to complete Shakespeare's works, with equal if not fuperior elegance. The engravings,' he adds,

for the remaining plays, are nearly finished, by a select number of the most ingenious artists ;' which with the letter-press, will be published early in the Spring, in three additional volumes.

.* One thing we would hint to the Bookfeller, with respect to the beauty of his impression. The edition, no doubt, as to the paper and the type, is far from inelegant: but we imao gine it would be more uniformly pleasing, if the tedious recommendatory catalogues of Mr. Bell's books did not appear, as they do, at the end of almost every play; (welling the volumes with their disgustful repetitions. In the second edition, we hope thefe very improper supplements to SHAKESPEARE will be wholly omitted, or confined to their proper station, at the end of the volume.

[ocr errors]

ART. XIII. Miscellaneous and Fugitive Pieces. Small 8vo. 2 Vols.

9 s. Davies. 1774. UCH may be said in favour of collections of small de

tached tracts, and fugitive pieces; and much has been, with great propriety, said on the subject, in a discourse * prefixed to the Harleian Miscellany. That learned and ingenious Writer has observed, that there is, perhaps, no nation in which it is lo necessary as in our own, to affemble; from time to time, the small tracts and fugitive pieces which are occasion. ally published : fot, beside the general subjects of enquiry which are cultivated by us, in common with every other learned nation, our constitution, in church and Itatë, naturally gives birth to a multitude of performances, which would either not have been written, or could not have been made public, in any other place.'

• The form of our government,' it is added, which gives every man who has leisure, or curiositý, or vanity, the right of enquiring into the propriety of public ineasures, and, by consequence, obliges those who are entrusted with the adininiftration of national affairs, to give an account of their conduct to ale most every man who demands it, may be reasonably imagined to have occafioned innumerable pamphlets which would never have appeared under arbitrary governments, where every man İulls himself in indolence under calamities, of which he cannot

That discourse is now detached from the eight large quartos to which it originally belonged, and is here reprinted as a tract deserving a place in a miscellany confiling of the smaller, occasional, un. connected productions of ingenious men. It appears, from the style, to have been written by the very respectable Author of the RAMBLER.

L 2


promote the redress, or thinks it prudent to conceal the unçası. nefs, of which he cannot complain without danger:

The multiplicity of religious se&s, tolerated among us, of which every one has found opponents and vindicators, it is farther observed, is another source of unexhauftible publication, almost peculiar to ourselves; for controverfies cannot be long continued, .nor frequently revived, where an inquisitor has a right to shut up the disputants in dungeons, or where filence can be imposed on either party by the refusal of a licence.'

This very sensible observer proceeds to remark, that we are not to infer, from the foregoing premises, that political or religious controverfies are the only products of the British press. • The mind,' says he, once let loose to enquiry, and suffered to operate without restraint, necessarily deviates into peculiar opinions, and wanders in new tracks, where she is indeed fometimes loft in a labyrinth, from which, though she cannot return, and scarce knows how to proceed, yet sometimes makes useful discoveries, or finds aut nearer paths to knowledge.'

With respect to the happy talent of humour, in which the Eng. lifh are said so much to excel, that a greater variety of hụmour is found among the natives of England, than in any other country.- Doubtless,' says he, where every man has full liberty to propagate his conceptions, variety of humour must produce variety of writers; and where the number of authors is so great, there cannot but be some worthy of diftinction.'

These, and other causes afligned by our Author, have, he concludes, contributed to make pamphlets and small tracts a very important part of an English library; nor are there any pieces upon which those who aspire to the reputation of judicious collectors of books, bestow more attention, or greater expence; because many advantages may be expected from the perusal of these small productions, which are scarcely to be found in that of larger works. These advantages are, by our Author, here enumerated; and he shews in what manner the historical, the religious, and other enquirers, may receive benefit from the study of pamphlets and small tracts : but for particulars, we refer to the discourse at large.

The collection before us, however, is not entirely composed of pieces which have originally appeared in the form of pamphlets. The most considerable articles, and the greatest number, are extracted from much larger compilements than the present; to the voluminous, and in many respects the valuable, mass of materials contained in the Gentleman's Magazine, the Editor is peculiarly obliged. It is well known that the comprehensive genius to whom we have ventured to assign the preface to the Harleian Miscellany, bad, for many years, a connexion with that Magazine; and as it was the principal part of our Editor's design, to collect the fcattered productions of Dr. J's justly admired pen, his first resort was to the literary storehouse abovementioned, in which thofe detached performances were depoSited. From these ample ftores, and from new editions of some very reputable English authors, he has accordingly. selected. several well-written pieces of biography, viz. the lives of Sir Francis Drake, Dr. Sydenham, Boerhaave, Roger Ascham, Sir Thomas Brown, and Peter Burman ; not overlooking that of Edward Cave, the original projector and successful conductor of the Magazine above-named.

Befides these biographical pieces, we here meet with several other tracts afcribed to the fame excellent writer; some of which originally appeared in the form of separate pamphlets, others as prefaces to books; among which we observe a trad entitled, A Revieto of a Free Enquiry into the Origin of Evil; which we always understood to be the production of a reverend gentleman who is not here named, and who, perhaps, was not even thought of by the Editor t.

We here meet also with Dr. J.'s celebrated plan of an Englih Di@ionary, in a letter to Lord Chesterfield ; also the Doctor's preface to the folio edition of that Di&tionary: to which are added his proposals for printing the dramatic works of Shakerpeare, and his preface to his edition of that Poet. His differtation on Pope's Epitaphs is likewife to be found in these volumes, together with some prologues ; London, a póem; and the Vanity of Human Wishes these poetical pieces were, however, before collected in Dodfley's Miscellantes. · Among the productions of other writers, we have here fome pieces by the Reverend Dr. Franklin, Mr. Colman, the late ingenious but unhappy Robert Lloyd ; and the Battle of the Wigs, written by that arch fon of humour Bonnel Thornton, as a kind of additional canto to Garth's Dispensary. This Mock-Heroic was firit published in 1768, in ridicule of the disputes then fublifting between the regulars of the College of Physicians and the licentiates. See a farther account of this merry performance in vol. xxxviii. p. 142. of our Review.

An advertisement informs, that a Third volume of this Miscellaneous Collection is in the press; with which the Editor will pollibly give us a general preface to the whole, there being none to the present volumes.

• Of Dr. Ji's talent for this fpecies of composition, the Public hath long been in poffeffion of an excellent fpecimen in The Life of RICHARD SAVAGE

+ Since this Article was composed at the press, we have been as[ured that Ds. Jo has acknowledged the tract here mentioned.


[blocks in formation]


FOREIGN ARTICLES intended for our last Appendix (published with the Review for January) but omitted for want of room.

ART. XIV. Détail des Succes de l'Etablissement, &c.-A Detail of the Success

which bas attended the Etablishment formed by the City of Paris in Favour of Persons drowned, &c. By M. P. A., 12mo. Paris. 1773

HE accounts wbich have been published of the beneficial

consequences that have attended the laudable endeavours. of the Society formed about six years ago at Amsterdam, for the recovery of drowned persons, appear to have excited the attention of several other communities or states; particularly in different parts of Germany, France, and Italy ; where fimilar. institutions have been formed, either under the immediate direction, or the patronage of government. To promote, as far as was in our power, the benevolent and truly patriotic designs of the Amsterdam Society, by extending the knowledge of their plan, we have formerly related their success, and expatiated pretty largely on the rationale, or grounds, on which it was founded *. It will therefore be sufficient for us to observe with respect to the present publication, that it contains an account of the regulations that have been formed and published at Paris, under the direction of the magiftracy, in behalf of persons who have been drowned, and a circumftantial detail of the different cases which have already fallen under the cognizance of this recent establishment. These regulations have already been productive of the perfe& recovery of fixteen persons, out of twenty, who have, in the space of five months, been drawn out of the water. The greater part of this number were reputed to be dead, and would, a few years ago, have been treated as such, in consequence of the fingular and absurd police, and prejudices, which seem long to have prevailed throughout a considerable part of Europe, with regard to accidents of this kind; and which were calculated to deprive the unfortunate patient of the molt distant chance of recovery.

* See the Appendix to our 45th vol. page 556, and to our 47th, page 552, and our Review for October last, page 309–311.

A R T. XV.
Sraité du Suicide, ou du Meurtre volontaire de soi-même. Par care

Dumas. A Treatise on Self-murder, &c. 8vo. Amsterdam.
F self murder be a crime; as it certainly is; as much as

lying with a neighbour's wife, or any other immoral ad; every attempt to demonstrate its criminality, and to expose its natural deformity, is highly commendable, and may be useful


[ocr errors]

in proportion to the ftrength of the effort that is made. The misfortune, on this subject, is, that hitherto wit and talents have generally appeared in favour of vice. This may be owing to a common infirmity of human nature; a disposition to embrace or reject altogether a set of principles or opinions which in general it approves or disapproves. Suicide is a crime according to the doctrines and sentiments of all the Christian churches. With those who, on whatever principles, have renounced Chrif tianity, it has been very much the custom to oppose that system, at all points; and particularly to adopt the opinion that suicide is allowable, and even in some cases a duty.' Those who have set themselves to controvert this opinion, have very abfurdly done it on the principles of the Christian religion, which their antagonists do not acknowledge ; and those who defend it, defend it on principles which Chriftians affect to despise. They may thus fight on to'eternity ; without even coming to blows : a common practice among theological and moral disputants.

| The Author before us is a believer; and he argues accorda ingly. This would be very proper, if Chriftians held a contrary opinion. But, as this is not the case, we apprehend it is so much labour loft. He however ventures manfully on the enemy's ground; and is not afraid to take up the weapons of philosophy and reason. We have seen them better wielded ; but we commend him for his courage; he cannot help his want of strength.He treats his subject in the following manner :

After having defined suicide, he shews that a man ought not to dispose of a life which he has received from God, without HIS leave; and that God has not given any such leave.-He. tben considers the evils which result from the nature of things, Thews wherein they are useful ; and strenuously combats the opinion, that they, in any case, imply a permision from God, to put an end to our lives.--After labouring this point through feveral chapters, he considers the instincts of Nature and the judgments of reason as always leading us to preserve and not to destroy ourselves. This brings him to the pretensions of those sects of philosophers who countenanced or allowed of suicide ; reserving however his main strength for some modern apologies which are thought to have done credit to this practice. The first of these, is the famous apology for suicide in the 74th of The Persian Letters; the second is, an apology of the fame kind in The System of Nature; and the last is an argument advanced in the celebrated Nouvelle Heloise. We shall give the Reader some part of what the Author has here urged against Mr. Rousseau.

• In the 21st letter of the third volume of Eloisa, the Author reduces the question concerning suicide to this fundamental proposition : “ To seek good, and to avoid evil, in that which does not injure another, is a right of nature. When life.

« ForrigeFortsett »