Page images


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Alfred's A peal. Containing his Address to the Court of King's

Bench, on the subject of the Marriage of Mary Anne Fitzherbert, and her Intrigue wills Count Bellois. 8vo. Printed for the Author.

It might have been expected that Mr. Withers' imprisonment would abate the arduur of his mind on the subject of his late profecution ; but, insiead of producing any such effect, it feems only to have whetied his vehemence. In the pamphlet now before us he takes an animated review of his trial, and persists in justifying all that he had ailirmed of the conduct of Drs. Fitzherbert. Csmmercial Tables : exhibiting a vienu of the Weights, Measures,

Coins, and Monics of France, compared and equalised with thoje of Great-Britain. By a Britisis Merchant. 45. 6d. in Boards. Vilkie.

These tables seem to contain every thing neceffary in our rommerce with France ; a nation, perhaps, which we shall soon learn to distinguish with the most partial regard, and with which cur political union may in future be uninterrupted. We have cxainined a few of those parts which we are chiefly cont.ected with, and find them clear and accurate. We have no doubt of she whole delerving the same chara&tcr, Caratters of the Kings and Queens of England, selected from different Histories. Vol. III. By J. Holt. 8vo. 45. Robinsons.

In our LXIId volume, p. 477, and the LXIVth, p. 483. refpe&tively, we noticed the firit volumes of this work. As we approach nearer our own times, it becomes more interesting, and we have read this third volume with great pleasure, perhaps sith fome improvement. Theological Tracts in Verre and Prose. 8vo.

Crowder. We have read these tracts again and again, in different hu. mours, and with various fancies; but, in good truth, we know but what to fay of them or the author; he talks sometimes senibly, but even in his lucid intervals he is unequal, and occaliona ally deirtical; then again he is trifling, and in turn, wild, or abfurd. Eren in the title he says, in some of the tracts, it is tried to thow, that the kingdom of Heaven is governed by men, who are among us, and alive like ourselves.' Somewhat of this kind occurs in the Essay on the World;' that we have guardian angels, who have archangels for their guardians; and that the Deity embodies fpirits, which we distinguifh by the vaine of ghosts, are opinions frequently repeated. Ibu ughts in the form of Maxims addresied to Young Ladies on their

firft tablishment in the World. By the Conniefs Dosvager of Carlilie. Small 8vo. 25. 6d. Cornell.

Though some of these Thoughts,' may appear at first trifling, we have found none, but what we think may be occasionally wietol. Whle whirling in the vortex of fallion, young ladies re.


fiet only when folly, impropriety', or something worse, resulting, perhaps, at firit from veniai treipatres, drives them to obfcurity, and gives them opportunities for thinking, without ihat it ite of mind which makes thinking pleasing or talutary. We have mark. ed a few of the countess's maxims, which we thail transcribe. They inculcate, in every page, crue delicacy, proper conduct, and judicious diuinctions, in some of the most difficult predicamenis of a lady's life.

• Suffer not any, unauthorised by affinity, to be frequently Tipeating the criticisins of the wirid on your conduct ; 01 trifiing occalions it is feldom corrective, but it never fails to four the temper.'

• Letno such exprellion fall from your lips, as low company, no body, because your rank in life may feparate you in general from fociety of lower degree, but perhaps poffefsing {uperior merit to that you are connected withi.'

• Shut your ears against every prejudice which the long fervices of persons about you, may encourage them to aliempiin fpiring you with.'

• It is a jufliti.ble pride, if any may be deemed such, to conceal our joys or our forrows from them that are incapable of understanding their causes.'

• A good manager, and a notable woman, proves but too often to be a very unpleasant being in fociety: there duties thould be performed in the circle of their own donestic sphere, and are never to be boasted of out of is.'

Allume po mafculine airs; to support neceffary fatigue is meritorious, but real robustnes and superior force is denied you by nature; its semblance, denied you by the laws of decency.'

• Obstinacy in dispute becomes habitual; beware of it, it will infendibly degenerate into passion, and passion degrades a woman.'

. Be not prone to imagine that the arrows of farcasm, so of. ten and so heedlesly thrown out in mixed companies, are always pointed at you ; it is abfolutely necessary to affume a decent courage in numerous focieries, for too nice a sensibility deprives the owner of any degree of defence against insult and arrogance." The Debate in the House of Commons, on Mr. Beaufoy's Motion

for the Repeal of such parts of the Test and Corporation Acts as affeat the Protestant Dilenters. On Friday the 8th of May, 1789. 8vo. is. 61. Johnson.

These debates, we are informed, hare been collected from the memory of different persons, afined by the most authentic accounts delivered in the newspapers. They have the appearance of being genuine. To the debates is added a list of the members of the house of commons who voted for going into a comitice to confider of the repeal of the Corporation and Tett acts, on the 28th of March 1787, and likewise a list of those members who voted for going into the fame committee, on the Eth of May 1; 89.

Is, 6d.

An Addrefs to the Elofiors of Great-Britain and Ireland, on the

approaching General Election. By an Independent Freebolder. 8vo.

Walter. The author of this address professes to be a zealous advocate for the purity of the con Ritution, and a parliamentary reform in both kingdoms. His admonitions, fo far as they relate to the integrisy of ele&tors, are fentible and well founded ; but sometimes intermixed with observations which seem to favour more of popular and vague opinion than of truth and justice.

[ocr errors]

CORRESPONDENCE. WE are sorry when we find that we have given pain to a refpectable man. Mr. Ashdowne complains with so much temper, that we are unwilling to refuse him that title; but we are utterly ignorant of the grounds of our offence, and have not been able to discover it after looking over our volumes of laft year, as well as laft Number. If he will be more esplicit, our anfwer Mall be more satisfactory. Whatever be our own opinions, we endeavour to examine the works of a different complexion with candour and impartiality: those who are awarc of a bias can beit guard againit its influence.

THE Belle Widows' (we should have said. Belles Widows") review of our article entertained us. She thinks that to have attracted our censure is a proof of excellence : a la bonne heure. Such excellence will always be treated in a fimilar manner,

WE are obliged to our correspondent at Hackney, for his remarks. Our rule is founded on the general marketable value of a livre, which, in common 'reckoning, is ten-pence, and twenty-four livres are supposed to make a pound fterlivg. A ready way therefore of dividing by twenty-four is to take the half of one welith. This is the usual method of reckoning on common occations, independent of the rate of exchange, and it consequently gives the roit ready corresponding value of fums. Our author is correct in faying, that in our Review for October last, p. 317, we should have said above 14 millions, for 340

milli :os of livres is more near to 14 millions sterling than to 15. In the other correction he is not equally accurate : though ti of 80 be 63, half of that is 3}; and half of the twelfth of 70 millions of livres is equal to astri=2;} mil. lions. The first fraction then is sufficiently near to warrant our conclufion, especially fince, from the nuure of the rule, the whole fuin inuít be less than the exact value.

A reader of the Critical Review may be "fired that are meane no disrespect to Dr. Towers in the lives of the Biographia alligued to him. The error Mail be correcied in our second Article,





Esays on the Nature and Principles of Tafie. By the Rev. Archibald Alifon, LL. B. F. R. S. Edinburgh. 4to. 16s.

in Boards. Robinsons. WHILE HILE the analysis of the various emotions of the hu

man mind was yet unattempted, tafte was placed on a throne, and dictated in the decisive tone of a despotic monarch. Aristotle, who first made philosophy subservient to the pleafures of the mind; and by a regular logical investigation, taug us not only how we were pleased, but when we ought not to be so, did not proceed farther than those attempts which the judgment could decide on; and his appeals were chiefly made to our judgment, and were deduced from works of acknowledged merit. In these it was often easy to give the reason for our approbation; but various parts of poetical invention, various flights of a brilliant ardent imagination, eluded his fkill ; and ar beft, it was a partial and an incomplete view. To explain the nature of that principle which we call taste, is not only necessary to distinguish the emotion which rises in our minds, and, as Mr. Alison with strict propriety observes, to separate it from the accidental causes of pleasure, but to examine the powers by which it decides, and the sources -from which it is drawn. Aristotle chiefly examined one of these sources, poetic imagery, and traced it up to imitation : this is indeed a varied subject, and in his writings it is dilated with kill; but in a metaphysical view, much more remains to be done. In more modern times, we may mention Dr. Gerard's work on Tafte, and the more valuable remarks in Dr. Blair's Lectures; but whoever has proceeded far in this investigation will soon discover that the subject has hitherto been imperfectly pursued.

* Taste (says Mr. Alison) is that faculty of the human mind by which we perceive and enjoy whatever is beautiful or sublime in the works of art.' We dare not say that this defini. tion is erroneous, for it is so general, that error is almost impoffible. Perhaps if he had said, perceive and discriminate whatever is beautiful and sublime in the works of nature and Vol. LXIX. March, 1790.



of art, it would have been more unexceptionable ; for taste does not imply enjoyment, and it is applicable to natural scenes, as well as the labours of the artist: in each too, it is often necessary to discriminate parts executed with taste, from others where the exertion of that faculty is not equally confpicuous. Discrimination is also an essential requisite, fince it implies judgment; and the man of taste mult be a man of judgment; or, from frequent contemplation, have acquired the habit of discrimination, which is often substituted for it. Mr. Alison next observes, that, in enquiring into the principles of tafte, it is necessary to investigate the nature of those qualities which produce the emotion; and adly, the nature of that faculty by which the emotions are received. Yet some enquiry into the effect produced on the mind when these emotions are felt, must, he thinks, be premised; for, with the emotions of tafte, other accidental emotions of pleasure are often excited, either those which arise from other qualities of the object, those of agreeable sensation, or those general ones which arise from the exercise of our faculties. There is one other source of accidental pleasure which our author has omitted, or has not employed in the sense we affix to it, though it is a more copious one, and more frequently occurs to confuse our experience than any other, viz. the circumstance of association ; for what we have enjoyed in a situation otherwise delightful, we feel to be beautiful and advantageous in itself. The first preliminary part is the object of the present volume, and Mr. Alison goes no farther than to ascertain the effect produced on the mind. The two Essays, therefore, in this volume, are on the ' nature of the emotions of sublimity,' and on the subli, mity and beauty of the material world.

Our readers will, probably, by this time have perceived, and if they should chance to recollect what we have formerly observed, they will foon discover that by taste we mean a quality very different from that which Mr. Alison purposes to examine. In our remarks on tafte, we had occafion not long since, to attempt analysing this fleeting indeterminate idea; and we thought that it consisted in an acute perception and an accurate judg. ment of those parts of a body or subject which were beautiful, and we may now add, sublime. This we have hinted above, and the necessity of judgment in establishing the pretenfions to taste, we need not again infift on; the acuteness of perception, and perhaps its accuracy, mut be equally undisputed, We do not perceive that any peculiar quality of the mind is necessary to explain the decisions of tafte, strictly and accurately considered. Like some other mental exertions, the pe. caliarity does not depend on new powers, but on a modifica

« PreviousContinue »