« ForrigeFortsett »
ne me souviens pas, mais qui étoit fils du prevôt des Marchands, Turgot. On parla beaucoup d'administration, ce qui d'abord ne m'anima pas; ensuite il fût question de l'amour des François pour leur roi. M. Turgot prit la parole, et dit—" Cet amour n'est point aveugle, c'est un sentiment profond et un souvenir confus de grands bienfaits. La nation, et je dirai plus l'Europe et l'humanité, doivent à un roi de France, (j'ai oublié le nom) * la liberté ; il a etabli les communes et donné à une multitude immense d'homme une existence civile. Je sais qu'on peut dire avec raison, qu'il a servi son intérêt en les affranchissant; qu'ils lui ont payé les redevances, et qu'enfin il a voulu par la, affoiblir la puissance des grands et de la noblesse : Mais qu'en resulte-t-il? Que cette operation est à la fois utile, politique et humaine. "_Des rois en general, on passa à Louis XV.; et. le même M. Turgot dit que son regne seroit à jamais celebre pour l'avancement des sciences, le progres des lumieres et de la philosophie. Il ajouta qu'il manquoit à Louis XV. ce que Louis XIV. avoit de trop, une grande opinion de lui-même ; qu'il étoit instruit ; que personne ne connoissoit mieux que lui la topographie de la France ; qu'au conseil, son avis étoit toujours le plus juste ; qu'il étoit facheux qu'il n'eut pas plus de confiance en lui-même, et ne plaçât pas sa confiance dans un premier ministre approuvé de la nation. Tout le monde fût de son avis. Je priai M. Quesnay d'ecrire ce qu'avoit dit le jeune Turgot, et je le montrai à Madame. Elle fit à ce sujet l'eloge de ce maître des requêtes; et en ayant parlé au roi, il dit, " c'est une bonne race.
Perhaps, without intending to throw the slightest imputation of an artifice or an intrigue upon M. Turgot, we may be
permitted to suspect, that this conversation was designed to reach the royal ear, through the faithful Mad. du Hausset. These are necessarily the means of influencing courts and their policy in an arbitrary government. In England, M. Turgot woulă "have attacked the ministry openly in Parliament, or through the press. In France, he was obliged iw speak at the waitingwoman of the King's mistress.
There are many traces in this. Journal, of the alarms which thinking men felt, even at that time, at the state of publick affairs, and their conviction that some dreadful catastrophe would one day be rendered inevitable by the blind obstinacy of the Court, and its pertinacious refusal of all propositions for a reform of abuseş. After some short and inefficient administrations had succeeded to that of d'Argenson and Machant, the Duc de Choiseul, as is well known, was appointed, and carried on the war for the last four years, to the ruin and discomfiture of the French arms,
VOL. XXX. NO. 60.
He was, however, the greatest of all Mad. de Pompadour's favourites. Different persons view the same character in various lights. A grave writer describes him as a petit-maître sans talens et sans instruction, qui a un peu de phosphore dans l'esprit.' But our Journalist, seeing him with her lady's eyes, explains at once the cause of the favour he enjoyed, and of his remaining so long in the three highest offices of the state, in spite of his constant failures. • Ses maniers avec elle étoient les plus aimables du monde, respectueuses et galantes; il n'étoit jour sans la voir.' Her brother and her physician thought very differently of him; they agreed with the grare writer.
. Ce n'est qu'un petit-maître, dit le docteur, et s'il etoit plus joli, fait pour être un favori d'Henri III.' Le Marquis de Mirabeau entra avec M. de la Riviere. Ce royaume, dit Mirabeau, est bien mal ; il n'y a ni sentimens energiques, ni argent pour les suppléer. Il ne peut-être regenèré, dit la Riviere, que par une conquête comme à la Chine, ou par quelque grand bouleversement interieur. Mais malheur à ceux qui s'y trouveront ; le peuple François n'y va pas de main morte. Ces paroles me firent trembler, et je m'empressai de sortir. M. de Marigni en fit de même, sans avoir l'air d'être affecté de ce qu'on disoit. Vous avez entendu, me dit-il ; mais n'ayez. pas peur; rien n'est repeté de cequi se dit chez le docteur ; se sont d'honnêtes gens quoiqu'un peu chimeriques; ils ne savent pas s'arreter. Cependant ils sont je crois dans la bonne voie ; le malheur est qu'ils passent le but. J'écris cela en rentrant.
But the King, and the former favourites of either sex, received a very solemn warning to the same effect, in a remarkable anonymous letter sent to them mysteriously, as well as to the Police. Our Journalist has kept a copy of this piece, which is written with a force and clearness worthy of Junius, but perhaps in a more chaste style, and with less of mannerism. We conclude our extracts with the introduction of the letter, which is addressed to the King.
• Sire-- This address proceeds from one who is zealous in your service. Trụth is always unpalateable, especially to princes. Habituated to flattery, they only see objects in those colours which are pleasing to their eyes. But I have meditated and read much; and I here offer to your Majesty the result of my reflexions. You have long been living invisible in the hands of persons who had an interest in preventing you from being seen, and making you afraid to speak. All direct communication is thus cut off between the sovereign and his people. Shut up in the recesses of your palace, you become daily more like the eastern emperors; but think, Sir, I beseech you, of their usual fate. You will probably rely on your troops ; and so did they
-But he who trusts to this resource, and makes himself only the king of the soldiers, is doomed, ere long, to see those soldiers feel their power, and abuse it. Your finances are in the utmost disorder, and
most states have owed their ruin to this cause. The ancient com. monwealths were maintained by the spirit of patriotism, which united all their citizens together for the general safety. In our times, mo, ney has become its substitute; this is now the universal agent, and you have it not. The spirit of purse-pride infects all parties, and domineers at court; every thing has become venal, and all ranks are confounded. Since the dismissal of Messrs d'Argenson and Machant, your ministers are without genius, and without capacity for business. You alone are blind to their inefficiency, because they bring to you the work of clerks somewhat abler than themselves, and pass it for their own. They carry on the business by experiments from day to day; but there is nothing like a government. The army is disgusted with the changes in the military adıninistration ; and the best officers are retiring from it. A seditious spirit shows itself in the Parliaments; you betake yourself to the resource of corruption, and the remedy is worse than the mischief; it is introducing vice into the sanctuary of Justice, and infecting the noble parts of the State. Would a corrupted Parliament ever have braved the fury of the league to preserve the crown for its rightful sovereign?
We here must close our account of this curious Journal, and of the volume to which it belongs. If, in the course of our remarks upon
French intrigue in former times, we may seem to have dwelt much upon the vices of the old Government, it is only because we feel the importance to France and to England of correct notions being entertained upon the subject. There is a senseless and a profligate party in both countries, whose efforts are, without intermission, directed to the praise of the old, and the disparagement of the new order of things, established among our neighbours. Nothing but the grossest ignorance can obtain a hearing for such miserable folly on either side of the Channel. But it is the duty of every friend of his country, and of human improvement, to contribute his efforts towards withstanding and exposing the attempts thus made to effect a counter-revolution, which could only, if it succeeded, leads through confusion and slanghter, to a renewal of systematic misgovernment and oppression. Ilappily, indeed, its success now seems wholly out of the question; but the attempt would ensure vast temporary misery to France herself, and would endanger the peace of all her neighbours. How far the present government of that country is the best of which the nature of things will admit, is another question, into which we forbear entering on this occasion. We are disposed, however, to regard it with a very favourable eye, and to give all credit to those who have of late so steadily administered it. Certainly its prodigious superiority over the former constitution is too manifest to admit of a doubt; and those who are impatient to see it still more nearly resemble our own, should reflect, that ours was not the work of contrivance, but of time; that there is an essential difference in the present political character and habits of the two nations; and that the peaceful continuance of the existing order of things, by preparing our neighbours for a still greater share of liberty, will, in all human probability, ensure to them the possession, with the capacity of enjoying it.
ART. IV. 1. Observations on the Geology of the United States
of America. By WILLIAM MacLURE. Philadelphia, 1817.
8vo. pp. 127. 2. An Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology. By
PARKER CLEAVELAND, Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and Lecturer on Chemistry and Mineralogy, in Bowdoin College. Boston, 1816. 8vo. pp. 668.
logical Journal, published in America by Dr Bruce of New York. We hailed the appearance of this work as a proof of the attention that had been excited to this interesting branch of sci nce, in a field so sure to yield an abundant harvest; and it was with regret that we learned, that a Journal which promised so well at its outset, had very soon been discontinued.
We have now great pleasure in introducing to the notice of our readers, two very excellent publications, which abundantly prove that the study of Mineralogy is pursued with no less eagerness and success in the United States, than it has been for some years past in most of the countries of Europe. There is not perhaps any department of science which, at the present time, merits a greater degree of attention in that great and prosperous country, from its various practical applications to some of the most important sources of national wealth and power; and the more especially that, from the limited researches already made, Nature appears to have added, in abundance, some of her most valuable mineral productions to the other internal resources which she has lavished in that part of the world.
The geological part of Mr Maclure's book was first published in the sixth volume of the American Philosophical Transactions, in the present edition there are some additions and corrections, besides two new chapters, which the author informs us in his Preface, are • an attempt to apply Geology to Agricul
ture, in showing the probable effects the decomposition of the different classes of rocks may have on the nature and fertility of soils. It is the result of many observations made in Europe and America, and may perhaps be found more useful in the United States than in Europe, as more of the land is in a state of nature not yet changed by the industry of man.'
Mr Maclare appears to be very thoroughly conversant with his subject, and to have studied with great attention the geological structure of a considerable part of Europe. He is a disciple of Werner; but we recognise him as such, more by the descriptive language he employs, than by his theoretical opinions. His general views are much more enlarged and philosophical, than is usually met with in the geologists of that school; and, like most of those who have had opportunities of extensive observation, he has found that the theory of the Freyberg professor is of a very limited application. The following remarks in his Preface are a sufficient proof that his geological creed is not that of Werner.
• In all speculations on the origin, or agents that have produced the changes on this globe, it is probable that we ought to keep within the boundaries of the probable effects resulting from the regular operations of the great laws of nature, which our experience and observation have brought within the sphere of our knowledge. When we overleap those limits, and suppose a total change in Nature's laws, we embark on the sea of uncertainty, where one conjecture is perhaps as probable as another; for none of them can have any support, or derive any authority from the practical facts wherewith our experience has brought us acquainted.
While we acknowledge the valuable information which this little work.conveys, we cannot bestow any praise on the manner in which the materials are put together. There is a great want of method and arrangement; for, although the author has laid down a very good plan, he has not adhered to it, but has mixed up one part of his subject with another, so as to cause consider, able confusion; and, were it not for the accompanying coloured map, it would often be very difficult to comprehend his descriptions. In attempting to give a sketch of the contents of the book, as we cannot afford the same assistance to our readers, we shall not follow the author in these deviations, but preserve the order in which it appears to have been his original intention that his observations should be set down.
Along the eastern side of the Continent of North America, there runs an extensive range of mountains, generally called the Alleghany, in a direction nearly NE. and SW, between the rivers St Lawrence and Mississippi. The most elevated parts of the range are in the North-eastern States: the White Hills