[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

effects. One age would produce confequences, upon his own prin-
ciples, which would deftroy every end that he propofes.
His pro-
pofal fhould have been, that the King of Great Britain, now govern-
ing a country become almoft bankrupt; and having great trouble
from the humours of an obftinate people, fhould fet off with his
council, parliament, army, and navy; fettle 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 eftablish a
mighty empire in the Eaft. We think this as practicable as General
Morrifon's plan, and much more fublime 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 an amicable Band of Well wifhers
to the Religious and Civil Rights of Mankind.
3 Vols. 12mo.
9 s. bound. Wilkie. 1774.

It is well known there are many excellent effays occafionally to be met with in our numerous morning and evening papers, which merit prefervation; the collection of which was the original, and beft, idea of monthly magazines. If from this fpecimen, the fashion fhould fucceed, of fugitive writers reprinting their fcattered lucubrations, we shall quickly be as well furnished with volumes of temporary controverfy, and mifcellaneous effays, as we have, for fome years pait, been with novels: the only difcouragement to fuch publications may be, that they will probably appear more interefting to the writers, than to the public; who may have been fufficiently gratified with their firit appearance on the immediate occafions. Even the merit of the celebrated Junius will not long furvive the memory of many little tranfient circumftances, fo happily glanced at by a keen wit, the edge of which will be blunted, when the occafions are no longer underflood.

The fubjects of thefe letters are various, but chiefly confift of animadverfions on the conduct of the English clergy, the late tendernefs of the church toward papifts, the appointment of a Romish Bishop over Quebec, the fcheme of introducing epifcopal government in the other colonies, the controverfy concerning a reformation of the thirty-nine articles, the character of Abp. Secker, &c. We are told that the far greater part of thefe letters owed their existence to the accidental meeting of a few gentlemen, at a place of public refort in the fummer, of the year 1764; who though unknown to each other before that time, were not long in mutually difclofing their common attachment to the principles of public liberty. Art. 35. An Effay concerning the Eftablishment of a National Bank in Ireland. 8vo. I S. Robinson. 1774.

This Author appears to understand his fubject; but we think he writes rather unfeelingly, when fpeaking of the national funds, he fays, Were the public debts annihilated, it may be alledged that feventeen thousand stock-holders would want fubfiftance; but more than feventeen thousand other subjects would then gain a livelihood; for I fuppofe the fame taxes ftill to be raised and spent in the nation.'

The pamphlet is wholly political, and of fuch a nature as not eafily to admit of extracts or abridgement; we shall therefore only


lay before our readers the Author's concluding paffage: The eftablishment (of a national bank in Ireland) comprehends three great objects, the furnishing money to borrowers on more reasonable terms, the railing the grand pledge of land in Ireland one fourth or one third more, and the affuring to the whole community the never failing value of the fmall diminutive pledges that are daily paffing from hand to hand, all of which would contribute greatly to advance the opalence, and confequently the power of the ftate. As the subject I have treated of is extremely intricate, I hope for indulgence, in cafe fome part of my reafoning fhould not have that convincing evidence which I have ftudiously endeavoured to throw on all of it. Every thing tending to illuftrate 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 poffibly 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 deftruction of the public funds, to which numbers have entrusted their whole fortunes, concerning which this Writer appears to fpeak 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 Obfervations on the Prefent State of the Kingdom, with respect to its Trade, Debts, Taxes, and Paper Credit. 8vo. 6d. 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 fhall con. tent ourselves with one extract from this preface to the 3d edition.


Ever fince the revolution, (fays the Author) Paper-credit and taxes have been increafing together.-When moderate, these promett trade by quickening induftry, fupplying a medium of traffic, and producing improvements. But when exceffive, they ruin trade, by rendering the means of fubfiftence too dear, diftreffing the poor, and raifing the price of labour and manufactures. They are now among us in this ftate of excefs: and, in conjunction with fome other caufes, have brought us into a fituation which is, I think, unparalleled in the hiftory of mankind.-Hanging on paper, and yet weighed down by heavy burdens. Trade neceflary to enable us to fupport an enormous debt; and yet that debt, together with an excess of papermoney, working continually towards the deftruction of trade.-Public fpirit, independence and virtue undermined by luxury; and yet luxury neceffary to our exiftence.-Other kingdoms have enacted fumptuary laws for fuppreffing luxury.-Were we to do this with any confiderable effect, the confequence might prove fatal.-In short, were our people to avoid destroying themselves by intemperance, or only to leave off the ufe of one or two foreign weeds, the revenue would become deficient, and a public bankruptcy might enfue.-On fuch ground it is impoffible that any kingdom fhould ftand long.A dreadful convulfion cannot be very diftant. The next war will fcarcely leave a chance for escaping it. But we are threatened with it fooner.-An open rupture with our colonies might bring it on immediately.'

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Art. 37. A Critical Enquiry into the Legality of Proceedings confequent of the late Gold At: Reflections on the faid A&; Explanations refpecting Debafement: And cafual Remarks on the Nature, par Value, and Apportionment of our Gold and Silver Coinage. 8vo. I S.

Owen. 1774.


This enquiry, as far as it immediately concerns the late gold act, is founded on the following preliminary obfervations; 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 fum is 31. 178. 108. 2; but this is not the twelfth part 5760 grains, or a full pound weight troy. And hence it is inferred, that 3 1. 17 s. 10 d. is not the true value of an ounce of coined gold, though it is the ftandard value of an ounce of bullion; and that thofe who fell light money ought to receive gold of equal weight: whereas the light money that is fold at the bank is only paid for in current guineas, fo that the feller has not an ounce for an ounce, but is defrauded' of the difference; and if he is paid in full weight guineas, he lofes the legal allowance of remedy or counterpoife, or one of them, as it may happen. Our Author likewife objects to the arbitrary determination' of the weight of current guineas; for he apprehends, that the diminution, which is at fix grains to-day, may be at four to morrow, and fo on to the total annihilation of all he is worth. This, he harshly denominates a 'grofs impofition on the public, firft bearing down the market by forcing on it a flood of fight guineas, then making it neceffary to fell fuch guineas at the low market price, under intrinfic value. In the profecution of his enquiry he obferves, that, if the government coin ten thousand pound weight of gold, and from each pound weight, deduct 224 grains, there is taken from the whole 38 lb. 7 oz. 10 dwt. 20 gr. amounting to 1691 guineas, or 1775 1. 11 s. the which fum in every 10,000 pound weight coined, is fo much proportionally loft to each individual, who fells or pays light gold at 31. 17 s. 10d. the ounce; befides what they may lofe in future, by taking of current guineas not wanting quite fix grains, when ever the board of treafury fhall pleafe to dictate an allowance of a lefs 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 15500cl. raised on them by appropriate duties, it is evident, beyond contradiction, that tax is paid twice over; but into whofe hands the benefit comes of the above difference, it is prefumed the parliament will call in question :- hence a queftion refults, what becomes of the 224 grains counterpoife, deducted from each pound of coined gold? I can readily answer the queftion, in refpect to the bank, the refiners, and other pedling purchafers of light guineas; but to whofe account the 22 grains is placed,' by thefe who take light guineas in the receipt of taxes, at 31. 17 5. 10 d. the ounce, is not apparent: becaufe, if that is not accounted for, the public pay the charge twice over, in the 15,cool. and in


The 7 oz. 291. 8 s. 5 d.

[ocr errors]

10 dwt. 20 gr. is not included in this calculation : is to be added.



the counterpoife; and if accounted for, is equally an injury to individuals; funk, perhaps, into fome private parfe, by a very new project, very little to the honour of the treasury, or the magis fama quam vi of the ftate: And very different from the reputation and rectitude of King William's miniftry, who to par the counterpoife 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 counterpoife; that is to fay, had weight for weight in coined money. But that miniftry had a Newton and a Locke to confult, who were not only knowing, bot impartial, and difdained to advife the pitifal finking the deduction on the people.'

From thefe fpecimens 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 courfe of this enquiry are just and pertinent, though not always expreffed with that decent refpect for men in public ftations, nor with that grammatical propriety, which we might reasonably expect. There is an obfcurity

our Author's reafoning, and an inaccuracy in his language, which the attentive and candid reader must condemn. Art. 38. A Difcuffion of fome IMPORTANT and UNCERTAIN POINTS in Chronology, in a Series of Letters, addrifled to the Reverend Dr. BLAIR, Prebendary of Westminster. By John Kennedy, Author of the Complete Syftem of Aftronomical Chronology, unfolding the Scriptures. 8vo. 15. Davis. 1773.

A feries of calculations, purfued with great labour, in the view of afcertaining the true coincidence of the Julian with the Egyptian year, and confequently of difcovering a very material error in the chronological computations of the famous Abp. Uther, by which our modern chronologers have been generally misled. A mistake of four years in eftimating the age of the world, is a matter, in one view, of little confequence, as it bears a very fmall proportion to the whole interval of more than 5700 years from the era of the creation, to the prefent times; yet it must neceffarily 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 fucceeded, is fubmitted to the judgment of the public.

As Dr. Blair has followed Ufher's computations in the conftruction of his elegant and useful tables, our Author addreffes his enquiries and fuppofed difcoveries more immediately to him.

In this intricate and laborious inquiry, he propofes to examine feveral lunar eclipfes, recorded by Ptolemy in his Almagest, and to in. veftigate, by a calculation of thefe eclipfes from his data, the months and days of the Julian year, correfponding, aftronomically with the months and days of the Egyptian year, affigned in the Almageft. The first of thefe eclipfes is related by Ptolemy, to have happened on the 29th of Shath, in the year of Nabonaffer 27, which our Author



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

affigns to the year of the world 3287, whereas according to Abp. Usher's account, it coincides with 3283: fo that in this inftance, there is a difference of four years.

It would require more room than we can allot to an article, in which many of our readers will think themselves little interested, to prefent the public, through the medium of our journal, with the regular procefs of our Author's calculations, and to give them a fair opportunity of judging, how far we may rely on the principles which he adopts, and the method which he purfues. Dr. Blair, however, and fome other altronomers to whom the province of reviewing these letters primarily belongs, and who are addreffed by Mr. K this purpose, will, we apprehend, think it worth while to examine the juftnefs of his computations and conclufions. It is unquestiona bly of great importance to trace the correfpondence of the Egyptian to the Julian year; and Mr. K's attempt will on this account be very favourably received.


Art. 39. An Historical Account of Coffee. With an Engraving and Botanical Defcription of the Tree. To which are added fundry Papers relative to its Culture and Use, as an Article of Diet and of Commerce. Published by John Ellis. F. R. S. 410. 3 s. 6d. (With the Print coloured, 4 s. 6 d.) Dilly. 1774. We have no account of coffee earlier than the 15th century: an Arabian manuscript informs us, that it was first introduced into Aden, a city of Arabia Felix, by mere accident. Gemaleddin, the mufti of this city, recollecting that he had feen it used by his countrymen in Perfia, had recourfe to it in an illness, and found great relief from it. Among other good effects he found that it prevented drowziness without doing injury to the conftitution; and on this account, he recommended it to the Dervifes, to enable them to pass the night, with greater attention and zeal, in the exercises of devotion. His example gave it reputation, and it came into general ufe. Before this time, coffee was hardly known in Perfia, and little used in Arabia, where the tree grew. From Aden it paffed into feveral neighbouring towns, and was much used by the religious Mahometans. By degrees it was drank in great quantities at the public coffee. houses, where the people affembled and purfued a variety of amufements, which gave offence to the rigid Mahometans: and government was obliged occafionally to interfere, and to restrain the use of it. In the year 1554, coffee became known to the inhabitants of Conftantinople, and was publickly fold in a coffee house, elegantly fitted for that purpose: and though it was condemned by the Mufti, in confequence of the clamours excited against the prevailing use of it, coffee was ftill drank in private houses; and the officers of the police allowed it to be fold, on paying a tax, and under certain restrictions. It was not long, however, before thefe reftrictions were removed, and the fale of it became more general than it had ever been. It is reckoned that as much is spent by private families in the article of coffee at Conftantinople, as in wine at Paris. The custom of drinking coffee is fo general, that you are as much fo#licited there for money to drink coffee, as you are here for money to drink your health in wine or beer: and among the legal caufes of divorce, the refufal to fupply a wife with coffee is one, Coffee K k

REV. June, 1774.


[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »