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the Short History, &c. But our Observer (after a satirical discussion of the point) nxes the performance on Mr. Macpherson, the celebrated Editor of Offian's Poems; and he, probably, is not a bad gueffer, but ftill it is only g efs-work.
Whoever was the writer of the Short History, he is here moft acri. moniously attacked, by an opponent who will neither allow him principle nor ability ; which is, surely, going a little too far. The Diforian of Opposition is, unquestionably, a man of excellent parts : and this, we think, muft be allowed him by all judges of writing, whatever they may deem of his motives or his candour.- As to the answer here given to his pamphlet, it is minute and tedious; but it contains some very just and material ftri&tures. The Author seems particularly desirous to invalidate, in some degree, the evidence given by General Robertson and Mr. Galloway, relative to the conduet of the war in America, before the Committee of the House of Commons; which evidence having been eagerly taken up by the ministerial wsicers, has proved the basis of several notable pamphlets on that side of the question : Vid. our Political and American Articles, for several months past. Art. 15. A Mort Defence of the Opposition; in Answer to a
Pamphiet, entitled, “ A short History of the Oppofition.” 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Almon. This is a serious, candid, and solid refutation of the Short History:
a performance, of which the following general notice is taken, by the present Writer, in the conclusion of the tract before us : viz. [ shall now only make an observation on the evident design of the author, in his Short History, which is, plainly, to keep alive party disputes, at a time that is more proper for action than debate ; to decry the characters of some of the most upright and virtuous mea in this nation, and by depreciating their merit, to enhance that of his own friends and patrons. Conscious that the conduct of these last will not ftand the telt of examination, he sees that nothing can keep them much longer in their station, unless he can establish an opinion to the discredit of those who have opposed them.'
The Short Defence is written with less vivacity than the Short Hif tory; but we really think the former has greatly the advantage in point of argument.-- What the Author has said on the importance of the freedom of parliamentary debate, deserves to be particularly at. tended to; the same may be said of his decisive refutation of the popular notion that the rebellion in America was fomented by oppo. fition. We must add, that he has clearly thewn, that America was • uninfluenced by any other causes than her own sensibility.'
AMERICAN CONTE s T. Art. 15. Letters to a Nobleman, on the Conduct of the IVar in tht
Middle Colonies. 8vo. 2s. Wilkie. 1779. To this tract the following advertisement is prefixed :-- An attempe has been made, in the House of Commons, to establish the following propofitions : " That the revolted Colonies are naturally so strong as to be impracticable by war,--that their inhabitants are almol universally disaffected to the Britith government, -and that she
force sent over to suppress, the rebellion has been, by no means, equal to the object."
• This attempt, as soon as made, appeared to the Writer of the following Letters to involve several matters of the utmost consequence to the nation. It was intended to conceal from the public eye the shameful misconduct of the American war,-to place to the account of administration all the national misfortunes, which were founded only in that misconduct,-10 prove that the rebelliou cannot be fuppressed by the force of this country-and, of course, to demonstrate the disgraceful necessity of suffering two thirds of the British territory to be dismembered by rebellion from the dominion of the British ftate.
• To prove the reverse of these propositions; to place the present national danger to the account of chole co whole conduct alone it can be with justice imputed, and to expose to public view an attempo so inconfiftent with the safety of the empire, is the design of publishing these Letters.'
In the first Letter the very able and animated Writer discusses the strength and practicability of the middle Colonies, in respect to military operations. The Author frankly professes that he has no idea of any country being impracticable in a military sense; he confi. dently maintains, ' that every country, however iirong, will afford musual and alternate advantages to contending armies ; while supe. rior kill, force, and exertion alone, can ensure success ;' and he de. monstrates that in skill and force the British army had, beyond all comparison, the superiority.-Our Author, however, must allow, that in a country naturally strong, and difficult with respect co situations, an army acting on the defenfive, will, in many respects, have greatly the advantage over an enemy who must proceed offensively, or give up the object of the war. This Letrer writer, neve theless, con. cludes, from the military operations which actually have been carried on in this part of the country, fince the commencement of the present unbappy war, that the Colonies in quettion cannot be deemed wery trong or impracticable;' and that, in fact, our armv, under the command of General Howe, have not experienced any material difficulties on this account: -' We have seen, lays he, the British army penetrating into the heart of this country in a circuit of near' 200 miles, from Long Island, by the White Plain, 'o Trenton, and from the Elk Ferry to Philadelphia in defiance of che ute most efforts of an enemy perfectly acquained with the ground; and we have feen that army taking, wirn ease and little lois, every strong poft posseffed by the enemy, who have always fled on its ap. proach.'
Letter [I. inquires how far the general disposition of the inhabitants of the revolted Colonies, was, in reality, hostile to the British government; and he appeals to facts, of the utmost no'osiery, ia order to the har a very great MAJORITY of the people are well affected to their sovereign, wishing for notbing more cordially than a se union with the mother-country.-On chis head, however it is to be feared, we have been 100 often milled by fallacious inform 4tion; and perhaps our Author is himself among the number of the deceived,
The third Letter contains a warm, spirited, and very critical rea view of our manner of prosecuring the war in the Colonies of NewYork, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; in which the Author totally condemns the whole conduct of the honourable Commander in Chief, as nothing better than a series of the most egregious blunders, negli. gencies, and, in short, every species of mismanagement of which an incapable general can possibly be guilty. In a word, the accusation here brought against Sir W. H. is couched in such ftrength of language, and appears to be so powerfully supported by undeniable facts (as far as we, at this diflance, can judge of them), that we cannot help thinking the General's reputation highly concerned in this bold impeachment of his characier and conduct; and that if neither he, nor his friends, offer any vindication of his proceedings while at the head of our army in America, the world may be apt to conftrue such filence * into an admission of the charge.- And we are afraid, notwithstanding the good opinion we have entertained, and Jepeatedly expressed, of this Commander, that the mildest censure which men will then pass upon him, will be expressed in the words of our Author,-" That he preferred the pleasures of the Long-room and the Faro-table, to the prospect of glory, and the duty which he owed to his sovereign and the nation.'
To the three Letters is subjoined an Appendix, consisting of what may be called American State-papers; and which are here given as illustrations and proofs of the arguments used by the Author, in the Letters. No 1. contains Extracts from the Instructions to the Representatives of the different Colonies in Congress, Sept. 1774. From which we are to infer the averfion of the people, in general, to the violent measures adopted by that body. No II. exhibits a View of the British and Rebel Force operating in the Middle Colonies in 1776, 1777, and 1778; Thewing the great and constant Superiority of our Army, in Numbers, as well as Appointment, Discipline, &c. From all which the great question naturally arises—" Whence, then, our inadequate progress in the war ?" -The Author is at no loss for an answer ;-and administration fand's fully exculpated :which, possibly, was an object of which the ingenious Letter-writer was not unmindful. Art. 17. Considerations on the American Inquiry. 8vo. 1S.
Wilkie. 1779. A performance fimilar in its design to the foregoing Letters, but written with less asperity. The Inquiry alluded to in the title-page, is the late parliamentary examination into the proceedings of our army in America, under the command of General Howe.-It has been much insisted on, that “ it is impoflible to subdue the Colos nies." The main intent of these Confiderations is to prove the false. hood of that affertion.' The Author writes nervously, and reasons as well as can be expected from such information as he and the rest of our bome politicians are possessed of: but his chief source of information seems to be Mr. Galloway's evidence ; on which, however, ot bers
• An appeal to the evidence produced by Sir W. H. before the House of Commons, on the American Inquiry, will scarce be deemed satisfactory by the readers of this severe investigation.
Whisk we should be cautious of laying too much stress : it being obvioolly Mr. G.'s interest to persuade this nation to continue the war at all events. And this may possibly be the case with most of those vebement writers, who are loudelt in the cry of havock, and are the most eager to let slip the dogs of war : For, when peace returns, where will then be their IMPORTANce and their GAINS? Swift pronounced party to be “the madness of many, for the gain of a few." Change the word party for war, especially civil war, and the maxim will lose nothing of its energy. Many competent judges of the subject, in this country, as well as all moderate people in the Colo. pies, are now convinced, that from a peaceful and honest intercourse with North America, we have every thing to hope that is valuable to a commercial nation ; while, from a war with America, we have nothing to expect, but a continuance and increase of that enormous expence of blood and treasure which hath already seduced a great and fourishing empire, to a moft alarming appearance of declenfion! Art. 18. An Address to the People of Great Britain. 8vo. 6 d.
Cadell. 1779. A warm and seasonable exhortation to the gentlemen and commonalty of these kingdoms, to exert themselves, at this threatening juncture, in defence of their country, againd the hostile attempts of its enemies..
E A ST. IN DIE S. Art. 19. A Speech intended to have been fpoken at the General
Court of the East India Company, May 28, 1779, on the Opening the Trade. 8vo. 18. Bew.
Strongly recommends the surrender of the Company's charter, for the laudable purposes of opening the commerce of the East to all his Majesty's subjects; of chereby enabling them to support his government; and of rescuing the Indian provinces, now unhappily subjected to us, from the tyranny of the Company's fervants, by placing hem ' under the regular adminiftration of the executive pou er of the itate, whose long established laws are so well known, and so well adapted to prevent or punilh any abuse in the immediate servants of the crewn.'
This pamphler is written with a generous warmth, and a compaffionate feeling for the sufferings of the numerous natives of Bengal, &c. who have been too long groaning under the yoke, the avarice, and the rapacity of the English :-of a vile, corrupt race, who seem to think that no people on earth but themselves have a sight to the protection of equal laws, or she free enjoyment of the common blessings of nature.
If any of our Readers should think this censure of our Eastera plunderers too severe, let them read this honest pamphlet, and then view them in a more favourable light--if their hearts--if yirtue, justice, and humanity, will permis chem,
Art. 20. A candid Examination of the Reasons for depriving the
East-India Company of its Charter, contained in 's The History aod Management of the East India Company, from its Commencement to the present Time *.” Together with Strictures on some of the Self-contradictions and historical Errors of Dr. Adam Smith, in
his Reasons for the Abolition of the said Company. 8vo. 1s. 6 d. • Bew, &c. 1779.
Defends the exclusive charter of the Company, chiefly on commercial principles founded in local circumstances ; but what are such principles, if they operate against the common rights of humanity? -This candid Examiner seems to combat the Writers above mentioned, (and “The Philosophers,”. again it whom he is particularly · piqued) with more captioufne's chan candour; and he appears to plume himself on having convicted the excellent Adam Smith of Some inconsistencies in his reasonings. But if ten thousand errors could be found in the writings of those who and forth in the cause of truth and justice, the principles of cruin, and of justice, will jemain eternally the fame.- Will the cold blooded arguments of those who vindicate the Company's rapacious agents and servants, Jellore to life the many thousands of poor Bepgalians who have milerably periined though the wickedness of our Ewropean Nabubs?
DRAMATIC. Art. 21. Albina, Countess Raimond; a Tragedy, by Mrs.
Cowley: As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in the Haymarker. 8vo. Is. 6 d. Dodfley, &c. 1779.
From the preface to this tragedy we learn, that it was in its very infancy severely reviewed by certain theatrical generals, who having refused the fair militant of Parnaffus comfortable winter quarters, The resolved to try her strength in a summ r campaign, in which, however, she does not seem to boast of any agnal iriumph. To drop the metaphor,-how Mrs. Cowley's play might appear in the representation we cannot say, but if it was delivered on he ftage exa&tly as it is printed, we think there are many scenes, as well as paffages, extremely reprehensible; and almost sufficiently so to juttify the rejection of che piece by the managers of Drary-Lane and Covent-Garden theatres, if we had not perused several plays produced under their auspices much inferior to Albina.
The tragedy of Albina is, on the whole (notwithfianding a bril liant paffage here and there, one particularly towards the conclufion of the fiiit Aa), crude and deficien. 'n its fable, characters, and dic. rion. Much is borrowed, not rery judiciously, from other popular tragedies; and wile the Authoress is labouring to prove that the main incidents of her piece have been unaccountabiy a ticipated by the writers of Fatal Falsehood, and the Law of Lombardy, we might refer all the parties to Shakespeare, and remind them of Much Ado about Notbing-the bafis of their aisputes and performances.
• For an account of “ The History," see Review for April last.