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Art. 31. The Liberty of the Press confidered; addressed to Lord
Quicksand, imploring his Protection. By Magna Charta in Weeds. Svo.
Warm, rhapsodical declamation in behalf of liberty in general, and the liberty of the press in particular. We approve the patriot, but we cannot praise the writer, whose zeal outstrips his judgment, and sometimes even leaves both sense and grammar behind : as where he fays - If our present governors had any latent designs against the liberty of the press, they are in so much want of money, that there is no danger from them, because they well know the vast revenue arising from the fale of the news-papers, magazines, and.other free thoughts, would be much lessened, &c.'
Possibly the mistake in the above passage may have proceeded from some accident of the press; and we the rather suspect that this is the case, because we find no other flip, of equal magnitude, in the pamphlet. Art. 32. The Report of the Lords Committees, appointed by the
Houfe of Lords to inquire into the several Proceedings in the Colony of Masachusett's Bay, in opposition to the Sovereignty of his Majesty, in his Parliament of Great Britain, over that Province ; and also what hath passed in this House relative thereto, from the first Day of January, 1754. 8vo. 2 s. Bingley. 1774.
Be it known that we disclaim all critical jurisdiction over the house of Lords collectively; being content with thewing our power whenever we can catch a ftraggling peer fauntering alone in the fields of literature: where it is as presumptuous to carry a pen without a qualification, as it might be deemed for a lackland reviewer to carry a gun over any of their terrestrial manors. Art. 33. The Advantages of an Alliance with the Great Mogul.
In which are principally considered three Points of the highest im. portance to the British Nation. 1. The immediate Preservation, and future Prosperity of the East India Company. 2. The legal Acquisition of an immense Revenue to Great Britain. 3. The Promoting a vast Increase in the Exports of British Manufactures. By John Morrison, Esq; General, and Commander in Chief of the Great Mogul's Forces ; Ambassador Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary to his Majesty George III. King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, &c. 8vo. I s. 6d. Cadell. 1774.
It is said that great wit to madness is allied. It may be said that madness seems, in a variety of cases, very nearly to border upon wit. There is fomething plausible and dazzling at first sight, in the reveries of this pompous and opinionated Commander in Chief, and Plenipotentiary; but our men of business of all parties have in general smiled at, and neglected them. We think the pamphlet, however, amusing; and ihould kave read it with more pleasure, if it had been intitled the adventures of John Morrison, Esq; Gene, ral, &c.
The enterprizing spirit of Mr. Morrison may be very proper in an officer; at least, one who is to advance himself in the Eat Indies ; but his plan of an alliance is laid down on too large a scale fos his political genius, He views things only in their firk and immediate
effects. . One age would produce consequences, upon his own principles, which would destroy every end that he proposes. His proposal should have been, that the King of Great Britain, now governing a country become almost bankrupt; and having great trouble from the humours of an obstinate people, should set off with his council, parliament, army, and navy ; settle on the banks of the Ganges ; enter into an alliance with Shah Allum; play the devil with all the Soubahs, and Nabobs, and Rajahs; and establish a mighty empire in the East. We think this as practicable as General Morrison's plan, and much more sublime and clever. Art. 34. A Collection of Letters and Ejays in favour of Public
Liberty, first published in the News-papers, in the Years 1764, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, and 1770. By án amicable Band of Well wishers to the Religious and Civil Rights of Mankind. 3 Vols. 12mo. 9 s. bound. Wilkie. 1774. It is well known there are many excellent essays occasionally to be met with in our numerous morning and evening papers, which me, rit preservation; the collection of which was the original, and best, idea of monthly magazines If from this specimen, the fashion should succeed, of fugitive writers reprinting their scattered lucubrations, we shall quickly be as well furnished with volumes of temporary controversy, and miscellaneous essays, as we have, for fome years past, been with novels : the only discouragement to such publications may be, that they will probably appear more interesting to the writers, than to the public; who may have been fufficiently gratified with their firit appearance on the immediate occasions. Even the merit of the celebrated Junius will not long survive the memory
of many little transient circumstances, so happily glanced at by a keen wit, the edge of which will be blunted, when the occasions are no longer understood.
The subjects of these let:ers are various, but chiefly consist of ani. madversions on the conduct of the English clergy, the late tenderness of the church toward papists, the appointment of a Romih Bishop over Quebec, the scheme of introducing episcopal government in the other colonies, the controversy concerning a reformation of the thirty-nine articles, the character of Abp. Secker, &c. We are told that the far greater part of these letters owed their existence to the accidental meeting of a few gentlemen, at a place of public resort in the fammer, of the year 1764 ; who though unknown to each other before that time, were not long in mutually disclosing their common attachment to the principles of public liberty: Art. 35. An Ellay concerning the Epablishment of a National Bank in Ireland. 8vo. I S.
Robinson. 1774. This Author appears to understand his subject ; but we think he writes rather unfeelingly, when speaking of the national funds, he says, “ Were the public debts annihilated, it may be alledged that seventeen thousand ftock-holders would want subsistance; but more than seventeen thousand other subjects would then gain a livelihood; for I suppose the same taxes ftill to be raised and spent in the nation.'
The pamphlet is wholly political, and of such a nature as not easily to admit of extracts or abridgement; 'we shall therefore only
lay before our readers the Author's concluding passage: 'The eftablíthment (of a national bank in Ireland) comprehends three great objects, the furnithing money to borrowers on more reasonable terms, the raifing the grand pledge of land in Ireland one fourth or one third more, and the assuring to the whole community the never failing va. Ice of the small diminutive pledges that are daily paffing from hand to hand, all of which would contribute greatly to advance the lence, and consequently the power of the state. As the subject I have treated of is extremely intricate, I hope for indulgence, in cafe some part of my reasoning should not have that convincing evidence which I have studiously endeavoured to throw on all of it. Every thing tending to illustrate the nature of the circulation of the blood is yet far from being analized; nevertheless all the world are now convinced, that-life depends on that circulation; and that it is much better for the body to have the veins filled with blood than with water.' The last fentence may posibly refer to the excess of paper money on private credit. But however hurtful or fraudulent that may have proved ; nothing can be more unjust or vile than that destruction of the public funds, to which numbers have entrusted their whole fortunes, concerning which this Writer appears to speak fo coolly in the paragraph above quoted. Art. 36. Additional Preface to a Pamphlet, entitled, an Appeal
to the Public, on the Subject of the National Debt; containing Objervations on the Present State of the Kingdom, with respect to its Trade, Debts, Taxes, and Paper Credit. 8vo. 6 d. Cadell. 1774.
We shall refer our readers for a particular account of Dr. Price's appeal to the 46th Volume of our Review, p. 402: and shall con. tent ourselves with one extract from this preface to the 3d edition,
Ever fince the revolution, (lays the Author) Paper-credit and taxes have been increasing together. When moderate, these promote trade by quickening industry, supplying a medium of traffic, and producing improvements. But when exceffive, they ruin trade, by rendering the means of subsistence too dear, distresing the poor, and raising the price of labour and manufactures. They are now among us in this state of excess : and, in conjunction with some other causes, have brought us into a situation which is, I think, anparalleled in the history of mankind.-Hanging on paper, and yet weighed down by heavy burdens. Trade necessary to enable us to support an enormous debt; and yet that debt, together with an excess of papermoney, working continually towards the destruction of trade. -Pub. lic spirit, independence and vircue undermined by luxury; and yet luxury necessary to our existence.--Other kingdoms have enacted fumptuary laws for suppressing luxury.-Were we to do this with any confiderable effect, the consequence might prove fatal.-In Mort, were our people to avoid destroying themselves by intemperance, or only to leave off the use of one or two foreign weeds, the revenue would become deficient, and a public bankruptcy might ensue.- On such ground it is impossible that any kingdom should fand longA dreadful convulfion cannot be very diftant. The next war will scarcely leave a chance for escaping it. But we are threatened with it sooner. - An open rupture with our colonies might bring it on immediately.'
MISCELLANEOU S. Art. 37. A Critical Enquiry into the Legality of Proceedings come Sequent of the late Gold AG : Reflexions on the said Ait ; Explanations respecting Debasement : And casual Remarks on the Nature, par Value, and Apportionment of cur Gold and Silver Coinage. 8vo.
This enquiry, as far as it immediately concerns the late gold act, is founded on the following preliminary observations; viz. that a pound weight troy is 5760 grains, from which deducting 22. grains, there will remain 5737 grains, which produce 44 guineas, or 461. 14 s. 6d; the one twelfth of which sum is 31. 175. rod. 1 ; but this is not the twelfth part 5760 grains, or a full pound weight troy. And hence it is inferred, that 31. 17 s. 10 d. is not the true value of an ounce of coined gold, though it is the standard value of an ounce of bullions and that those who sell light money ought to receive gold of equal weight: whereas the light money that is sold as the bank is only paid for in current guineas, so that the seller has not an ounce for an ounce, but ' is defrauded' of the difference ; and if he is paid in full weight guineas, he loses the legal allowance of temedy or counterpoise, or one of them, as it may happen. Our Author likewise objects to the arbitrary determination of the weight of carrent guineas ; for he apprehends, that the diminution, which is at fix grains to-day, may be at four tomorrow, and so on to the total annihilation of all he is worth. This, he harshly deno.. minates a 'grofs impofition on the public, firft bearing down the market by forcing on it a flood of light guineas, then making it necessary to sell such guineas at the low market price, under intrinfic value.' In the prosecution of his enquiry he observes, that, if the government coin ten thousand pound weight of gold, and from each pound weight, deduct 22 * grains, there is taken from the whole 38 lb. 7 oz. 10 dwt. 2o gr. amounting to 1691 guineas, or 1775 1. 11 s. the which fum in every 10,000 pound weight coined, is so much proportionally loft to each individual, who sells or pays light gold at 3 l. 17 8. jod. į the ounce ; besides what they may lose in future, by taking of current guineas not wanting quite fix grains, when ever the board of treafary fhall please to di&tate an allowance of a less number of grains in the guinea ; a matter, for certain plain reafons, not far diftant. And as the 22 grains is paid for and allowed by the public out of 15600cl. raised on them by appropriate duties, it is evident, beyond contradiction, that tax is paid twice over ; but into whose hands the benefit comes of the above difference, it is presumed the parliament will call in question :'-hence a queftion refults, what becomes of the 22 $ grains counterpoise, deducted from each pound of coined gold? I can readily answer the question, in respect to the bank, the refiners, and other pedling purchasers of lighe guineas; but to whose account the 22 grains is placed,' by those who take light guineas in the receipt of taxes, at 3 l. 17 s. 1od. the ounce, is not apparent: because, if that is not accçunted for, the public pay the charge twice over, in the 15,cool. and in
• The 7 02. 10 dwt. 20 gr. is not included in this calculation : 291. 8 s. 5 d. į is to be added.
the counterpoise; and if accounted for, is equally an injury to in. dividuals; funk, perhaps, into fome private parse, by a very new project, very little to the honour of the treasury, or the magis fama quam vi of the state: And very different from the reputation and Tectitude of King William's ministry, who to par the counterpoise in the receipt of taxes, allowed fixpence in the ounce : and to balance the deficiency of those who brought light filver into the mint, had "two-pence the ounce, and the benefit of the counterpoise ; that is to fay, had weight for weight in coined money. But that ministry had a Newton and a Locke to consult, who were not only knowing, but impartial, and disdained to advise the pitifal finking the deduction on the people.'
From these specimens our readers will form no very high opinion of this critical enquirer's talents as a writer; and probably no very favourable one of his abilities as a calculator and financier. Many of the reflections however that occur in the course of this enquiry are just and pertinent, though not always expressed with that decent refpe& for men in public stations, nor with that grammatical propriecy, which we might reasonably expect. There is an obscurity in our Author's reasoning, and an inaccuracy in his language, which the attentive and candid reader must condemn. Art. 38. A Discussion of some IMPORTANT and UNCERTAIN
Points in Chronology, in a Series of Letters, addressed to ibe Reverend Dr. Blair, Prebendary of Weftminster. By John Kennedy, Author of the Complete System of Aftronomical Chronology, unfolding the Scriptures. Svo. is. Davis. 1773.
A feries of calculations, pursued with great labour, in the view ef ascertaining the true coincidence of the Julian with the Egyptias year, and consequently of discovering a very material error in the chronological computations of the famous Abp. Ulher, by which our modern chronologers have been generally misled. A mistake of four years in estimating the age of the world, is a matter, in one view, of little consequence, as it bears a very small proportion to the whole interval of more than 5700 years from the æra of the cre. ation, to the present times; yet it must necessarily affect many subordinate æras, and more especially that coincidence of events, which is marked out in our most approved chronological tables. Mr. Kundertakes to point out and rectify this mistake; to determine, by means of this correction, the true year of the world, and to remove many difficulties which have hitherto perplexed the general fyftem of chronology. How far he has succeeded, submitted to the judge ment of the public.
As Dr. Blair has followed Usher's computations in the construction of his elegant and useful tables, our Author addresses his enquiries and supposed discoveries more immediately to him.
In this intricate and laborious inquiry, he proposes to examine feveral lunar eclipses, recorded by Ptolemy in his Almageft, and to in. verligate, by a calculation of these eclipfes from his data, the months and days of the Julian year, corresponding, astronomically with
the months and days of the Egyptian year, asigned in the Almaget. The first of these eclipses is related by Ptolemy, to have happened on the 29th of Shosh, in the year of Nabonafer 27, which our Author