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ration. My mind underwent a ftrange revolution. I no longer diftin& ly knew where I was, or could diftinguish fiction from reality. 1 look. ed wildly and with glaffy eyes all round the room; 1 gazed at the fi» gure of Mary; I thought it was, and it was not, Mary. With mad and idle action I put fome provifions on her plate; I bowed to her in mockery, and invited her to eat. Then again I grew ferious and vehe. ment; I addreffed her with inward and convulfive accents in the language of reproach; I declaimed with uncommon flow of words upon her abandoned and infernal deceit; all the tropes that imagination ever sup plied to the tongue of man feemed to be at my command. I know not whether this fpeech was to be confidered as earneft, or as the Sardonic and bitter jeft of a maniac. But, while I was ftill fpeaking, I faw her move-if I live, I faw it. She turned her eyes this way and

that; fhe grinned and chattered at me. I looked from her to the other figure; that grinned and chattered too. Inftantly a full and proper madness seized me; I grinned and chattered in turn to the figures be fore me. It was not words that. I heard or uttered; it was murmurs and hiffings, and lowings and howls. I became furious. I dashed the organ into a thousand fragments. I rent the child-bed linen, and tore it with my teeth. I dragged the clothes which Mary had worn, from off the figure that reprefented her, and rent them into long ftrips and fhreds. I ftruck the figures vehemently with the chairs and other furniture of the room, till they were broken to pieces. I threw at them, in defpite, the plates and other brittle implements of the fupper-table. I raved and roared with all the power of my voice. I must have made a noife like hell broke loofe; but I had given my valet a charge that I should not be intruded upon; and he, who was one of the tallest and ftrongest of men, and who ever executed his orders literally, obftinately defended the door of my chamber against all inquifitiveness. At the time, this behaviour of his I regarded as fidelity; it will be accounted for hereafter. He was the tool of Gifford; he had orders that I should not be disturbed; it was hoped that this fcene would be the conclufion of my existence. I am firmly perfuaded that, in the last hour or two, I fuffered tortures not inferior to thofe which the North American favages inflict on their victims; and, like those victims, when the apparatus of torture was fufpended, I funk into immediate infenfibility. In this ftate I was found, with all the lights of the apartment extinguifhed, when, at laft, the feemingly ftupid exactuefs of my valet gave way to the impatience of others, and they broke open the door. Vol. III. p. 248-253.

The reft of the ftory may be comprised in a few words. Gifford, whom Fleetwood had conftituted his heir, becomes impatient to enter upon poffeffion; and, finding his patron's conftitution proof against mental diftrefs, he attempts, with the affiftance of two ruffians, to murder him in the foreft of Fontainbleau. As all Fleetwood's fervants were in Gifford's pay, they faw this tranfaction take place without interference-a circumftance which

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ART. XVI. Ancient and Modern Malta: containing a Defeription of the Ports and Cities of the lands of Malta and Goza; the Hiftory of the Knights of St John of Jerufalem; and a particular Account of the Events which preceded and attended its Capture by the French, and its Conqueft by the English. By Louis de Boilgelin, Knight of Malta. 3 vols. 4to. G. & J. Robinson, London. 1804.

IN order to fornt a proper estimate of the importance of the island of Malta in the prefent crifis of European affairs, it is neceffary to confider the wide field of action which the Mediterranean prefents to the ambition of the prefent Ruler of France. Had his darling fyftem of aggrandifement been fomewhat more equivocal, had he even availed himself of common diplomatic address in mafking the defigns he had in view, the miferable rock,' which he has himself taught us to appretiate, might now have been inftrumental in forwarding thofe plans which, we truft, it will long enable us to baffle. But fearcely was the ratification of the treaty of Amiens exchanged, before the whole of his alarming fyftem became vifible. The unwarrantable acquifition of territory on the continent, the infulting report of Sebaftiani's miflion, and his own barefaced avowal to the British Ambaffador, clearly evinced, that his extreme anxiety to difpoffefs us of this poft, previous even to the fulfilment of certain preliminary ftipulations, arofe from another motive than the mere defire of executing the tenth article of the treaty.

With refpect to the ftipulation which provided for the re-establishment of the ancient government, it was evident, that under the exifting circumftances it could not poffibly take effect; for the refources of the Order, almoft annihilated by the alienation of its continental eftates, were totally inadequate to the fupport of fuch an establishment: the Knights had loft (if, indeed, they ever poffeffed) the confidence of the Maltese; and even if thefe formidable objections had been obviated, an infurmountable bar ftill remained, in a want of fecurity for the future independence of the island. Whilst his Confular Majefty was imperiously demanding the execution of the treaty of Amiens, the whole treaty of Amiens, and nothing but the treaty of Amiens,' he forgot, or at leaft did not chufe to remember, that he required what it was not poffible for Britain to grant; for there were certain powers called upon, in terms of the treaty, to guarantee the 10th article. Of thefe, fome, it is true, nominally acceded to the measure; but they did fo at the very moment when they were appropriating ahofe eftates without which the Order of St John could not pof

fibly fubfift; and Ruffia, the greatest of them all, pofitively refused to accede to the propofal, except upon conditions totally inconfiftent with the letter and the spirit of the article. Under these circumstances, had Great Britain confented to evacuate the island, what would have been the probable confequences? Excluded for ever from the Mediterranean, we fhould foon have heard, with unavailing regret, of our faithful ally the King of Naples being fuperfeded in the throne of the Two Sicilies by fome member of the new royal family of France. Deprived of the means of exercifing any effectual interference, Britain must have remained a quiet fpectator of the difmemberment and partition of the Turkish empire, the colonization of Egypt, and the fubjugation of Barbary. Amidst the ardour of conqueft, France would not have overlooked the opportunity afforded her of acquiring confequence as a maritime power. Her monopoly of the Levant trade would have afforded a conftant fupply of feamen; and the Toulon fleet, no longer overawed by the detefted prefence of a Nelfon, might have cruized unmolefted from the Straits of Gibraltar to the banks of the Black fea. It may be faid indeed, that the jealousy of Ruffia would not have permitted her to remain a quiet fpectator of all thofe ufurpations; and the obfervation is probably juft; but the mutual intereft of the two powers might have dictated an arrangement by no means favourable to the general interests of Europe. Without fpeculating on the probable confequences of an attack upon our Eaft-India poffeffions from the fide of Egypt, we conceive that our mercantile and colonial interefts would have had fufficient ground of alarm, in witneffing either or both of the above enterprifing powers exclufively poffeffed of the fertile fhores of Egypt, Barbary, and the Morea.

In whatever light we view Malta, its value to this country cannot be too highly appretiated. As a military poft, affording us the probable means of watching and defeating the defigns of France, it is, at this period, inestimable; and as a commercial station, calculated to facilitate our intercourfe with the Levant and Black fea, it poffeffes every advantage; for where can a more defirable fituation be imagined for a depot, than an ifland placed in the centre of the Mediterranean, containing fafe and capacious harbours, and poffeffing the most complete lazaretto in Europe?

Monf. de Boifgelin indeed regards this,ifland in a very different light. In his eftimation, it is no otherwife important than as it is connected with the Order to which he belongs. Like a true Knight of Malta, he labours to prove, that the age of chivalry is not gone; or, to ufe his own words, That the Order of Malta has for years past distinguished itself for piety and military exploits in as illuftrious a manner as during the most renowned

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ages of ancient chivalry.' Making every allowance for the prejudices of the author, we cannot conceive any thing more abfurd, than his continued attempt to prove, throughout a work unwarvantably fwelled out to three quarto volumes, that the abolition of the Order will be a real detriment to the interests of religion and humanity; and that its restoration is indifpenfably necessary to the happiness of the Maltefe, who cannot poffibly exift under any other government. Poftponing, however, the confideration of this fingular inftitution, we proceed to lay before our readers a fhort abftract of that part of the work which more immediately relates to the island.

Malta is fixty miles in circumference, twenty long, and twelve broad. It is mentioned by Homer in his Odyffey, under the name of Hyperia, and was originally inhabited, according to fabulous hiftory, by a race of giants. About 1519 years before Chrift, the Phoenicians, conceiving that it might be rendered a useful commercial station, feized upon the island, and established a colony on its fhores. In procefs of time, it was taken poffethon of by the Greeks, from whom it paffed fucceffively into the hands of the Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals and Goths, Arabs, Normans, Germans, French, and Spaniards, with whom it remained until the year 1530. At that period, the Emperor Charles V. ceded the perpetual fovereignty of Malta, and its dependencies, together with the city of Tripoli, to the Knights Hofpitallers of St John of Jerufalem, who, having been expelled from Rhodes by the Turks, were at this time wandering over the Mediterranean in queft of an afylum. The reasons which induced Charles to adopt this measure are thus ftated by the author.

This politic prince, whofe prudence equalled his activity, confi. dered thefe poffeffions in a very different light from his predeceffors, who had ever regarded them as of fmall importance to their dominions. --To command the Mediterranean, to fecure the coaft of Sicily, to threaten that of Africa, and to interrupt at pleasure all commercial intercourfe between the two feas, in the centre of which they were placed, were objects of fufficient importance for Charles to be well aware of the great advantage of poffeffing these two islands. His po licy alone would have induced him to profit by fuch a circumftance: but his forefight extended ftill further; for fearing thefe important places might, in future, be taken from his fucceffors, who, being obliged to attend to the centre of their dominions, or to the oppofite confines, might not be able to keep a force fufficient for the defence of Malta and Goza; and, at the fame time, reflecting of what impor. tance fuch a conqueft would be to his enemies in the political balance of Europe; he determined to place them in the hands of fome power, which would be particularly interefted in preferving them, and which, without being able to annoy any other ftate, would be refpected by all

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Added to thefe confiderations, he found it very advantageous to fave the expence of 340,000 French livres, which his treasury was obliged to furnish for the maintenance of the different garrifons it was neceflary to keep in the forts and caftles of Malta, Goza, &c. He in confequence made choice of the order of St John of Jerufalem; which, having been driven from its principal place of refidence, had been wandering on the coaft of Italy.'

The author having examined the different monuments of antiquity, which he illuftrates by plates, proceeds to a topographical defcription of the iflands, Malta at prefent contains two cities, and twenty two cafals or villages. Valletta, the present seat of government, fo called from the celebrated Jean de la Vallette, its founder, was built after the memorable fiege of St Elmo. It is fituate on a peninfula formed by two admirable harbours, one of which is exclufively appropriated to a quarantine establishment, on a very extensive fcale. The town and harbours are defended by the most stupendous fortifications, of which a very faint idea is conveyed by the indifferent plates accompanying the author's defcription. Yet, to the eternal disgrace of the Knights of St John, thefe fortifications, calculated, as we know by experience, to refift every thing but famine, were, in 1798, furrendered without even the fhadow of refiftance. Whether the French owed their fuccefs on this occafion to the imbecility of the government, or to the treachery of certain individuals of the Order, the conclufion is the fame, that the Knights of Malta are unworthy of being again entrusted with fo valuable a depofit.

Valletta is diftinguished by a general air of regularity and grandeur, and by the number and magnificence of its public buildings. Of these the most remarkable are the palace of the Grand Mafter, the hotels of the different languages which compofed the Order, the library, the hofpitals, and the church of St John. The magnificent ornaments which adorn the latter are minutely defcribed. None of these, however,' fays the author,were fpared by the French; who, from the first moment of their arrival, began to carry away, during the night, every thing made of gold or filver, in order to convert them into ingots.'

Amongst the paintings which adorn this church, is noticed the celebrated altar-picce of Michael Angelo Caravaggio; but we are furprised that the industrious author omits a very curious anecdote connected with it, which is related in the life of that artist. It is faid, that whilft Caravaggio was purfuing his ftudies in Italy, he happened to quarrel with a perfon of fome distinction, who availed himself of the fuperiority of his rank to vade the challenge of the painter. Quitting the place, Caravag

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