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Art. 39 Modern Breakfaft; or, All afleep at Noon. As performed at the Theatre Royal in the Haymarket. 8vo. 1s. Debrett. 1790. The first word in this little drama is "Zounds!"-The audience took care to fupply a fimilar conclufion, and cry " Damn it!” Art. 40. The Theriad, an Heroi-comic Poem: To which are fubjoined, fome Mifcellaneous Pieces, and Notes. By a young Gentleman. 8vo. pp. 135. 58. fewed. Lowndes. 1790. On our first inspection of this volume, we knew not whether to wonder most at the exorbitant price, or at the date of 1790, in a book which actually folicited our attention when 1789 had fome months of its career to run. How cruel is it in the author thus to rob the year of its glory in ufhering forth his publication; and how mortifying to us, to be obliged to break through our fettled determination, and to give an opinion of a work which is not even yet published +!
The Theriad takes its name, we are told, from gic, Gr. a beast. In the year 1765, the papers were filled with accounts of the depredations of a wild beaft in France, chiefly in the Pays de Gevaudan, in the province of Languedoc. This famous beaft is the fubject of the poem.'
We are forry that we cannot fay much either in praise of the beast, or of the poem in which he is here celebrated. We are tired with the flippant fmartnefs of the verfes, and difgufted with the pert attempts at wit in the notes.
Of the remaining pieces, none can claim any great share of our commendation; and the Ode to the Supreme Being,' though well intended, deferves cenfure.
Art. 41. Obfervations on Mr. Paley's Theory of the Origin of Civil Government, and the Duty of Submiffion. 8vo. pp. 50. 15.
This writer maintains, in oppofition to Mr. Paley, that civil government did not originate in patriarchal, or military authority, but in that kind of convention which is called the focial compact. The difpute appears to us wholly nugatory for the important queftion is, not in what manner any civil conftitution was formed, but whether it be expedient, (that is, for the good of the people,) that it fhould be continued. If it appear otherwife to the majority, there can be no doubt, that, in whatever manner it was originally established, the people, for whofe benefit alone it fubfifts, have a right to diffolve it.-Politicians, in France, feem, now, to underftand this fubje&t better than many among us.
Art. 42. Political Obfervations on the Teft A&. 8vo. pp. 61. 15.
If it can be proved that the Teft Act is a wife political measure, the morality of statesmen will teach them to disregard all arguments
i he dedication, to Mrs. Piozzi, is figned Henry Siddons.
gainst it, which are drawn from confiderations purely religious; now, it is the object of the pamphlet before us to establish this propofition. The author endeavours to fhew, 1ft, That the Teft Act is a part of the conftitution, and that in the higher and stricter sense of the term; and confequently that the repeal of it will be a material change in the conftitution; zdly, It appears from fuch inftances of hiftory as are properly applicable to the fubject, that when two religions are fuffered to exift in a free flate, it is expedient that the ftronger of the two fhould have the exclusive posses. fion of the executive powers of government. 3dly, That the repeal of the Test Act would increase the power of the popular part of the conftitution, befides producing fome bad effects; and therefore, that its continuance is neceffary to preferve it in its prefent ftate.
Though the author has difcuffed thefe points with great ability and ingenuity, yet he has in feveral places laid himself open to objections, which may be stated by those who are more affected by the Teft A&t, than we reviewers.
This writer, in the last part of his pamphlet, ftrongly controverts the great principle of the Diffenters, on which their argument for the repeal of the Teft A&t chiefly depended, viz. their right of eligibility to civil offices. Moo-y.
Art. 43. A Speech on the Repeal of fuch Parts of the Teft and Corporation Acts, as affect confcientious Diffenters: intended to have been delivered before the general Body of Diffenting Minifters, at the Library in Red Crofs-ftreet, December 22, 1789. By John Martin. 8vo. pp. 30. 6d. Stockdale.
Mr. Martin, though a confcientious Diffenter, profefes himself unfriendly to the application of his brethren, for admiffion into civil offices. He tells them that a natural right to civil poffeffions may be difputed. He reminds Dr. Price that he had no previous right to the freedom of the city of London presented in a gold box. True, Dr. Price would fay: he would however add, and which is to the point, "I fhould have thought it an hardship when my fellow citizens were difpofed to confer on me this mark of their favour, to have been incapacitated by a decree of the state from receiving it, and that for no crime."
Mr. Martin asks, Is it confiftent to unite fubjects so distinct as "civil rights and matters of religion" in the fame request? Is it confiftent to talk in fuch ftrong terms of right and at the fame time to adopt the language of fupplication ?'
Thefe queftions may be answered by two others: Is it confiftent to fay church and state? Is it confiftent, when a person thinks himfelf kept out of his lawful inheritance, to petition Chancery for redrefs?
Mr. Martin may wish to keep the Diffenters poor that they may be pious but on the question relative to the Teft laws, he reasons wide of the mark.
In our Review for June laft, p. 239, we gave an account of a letter to Mr. Martin, relative to this pamphlet, which we had not
REV. SEPT. 1790.
Art. 44. A Letter to the Author of the Review of the Cafe of the Preteftant Diffenters*; with a fhort Addrefs to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of St. David's. By Sir Henry Englefield, Bart. To which is added, an Abstract of, and fome general Obfervations upon the Laws now in force against the English Protesting Catholic Diffenter. 8vo. pp. 66. Is. 6d. Elmfley.
Being decidedly of opinion that religion, as well as philofophy, is naturally independent of the civil magiftrate, we could wish that every fyftem of the one, as well as of the other, were left to stand
on its own merits, without being propped by exclufive privileges, or militated against by profcriptions. On this principle, we think the catholic have equal reafon with the proteftant diffenters to complain of the injuftice of our laws. From their religion, the state cannot feriously apprehend any danger. Let the zealous proteftant ufe all the weapons of reafon and fcripture against popery, but let him not derive the fhadow of affiftance from that most difgraceful of all auxiliaries-perfecution. We would recommend to proteftants, this addrefs of Sir Henry Englefield, in behalf of the English catholics. He makes many juft obfervations on the Review of the Cafe of the Proteftant Diffenters. He thinks "the Review, &c." fo defective both in its statement of facts and in its arguments, that he cannot believe it to be a work of the Bishop of St. David's, to whom fome afcribe it; and he calls, therefore, on his lordship publicly to difavow it, that the credit of his abilities might not stamp a reputation on the pamphlet, to which it is not entitled. Art. 45. The Diffenters' Plea, or the Appeal of the Diffenters to the Juftice, the Honour, and the Religion, of the Kingdom, against the Teit Laws. By George Walker. 8vo. pp. 44. Is. John
Mr. Walker first mentions the principles on which the Diffenters proceeded in their application to the legislature, for the repeal of the teft laws; he then states and examines the principles on which thefe laws have been defended. He must be allowed to be an able advocate for the Diffenters, fince he thoroughly understands the queftion, writes well, and argues with great clofenefs and difcrimination. On the principle maintained by the oppofers of the repeal, "that government has a right to prefcribe the terms on which the will extend her favours to any members of the fociety," he thus comments: There is a strange confufion of ideas in this argument, and it would be well, if our opponents would previously understand the nature of government, and what it is that Diffenters afk of the ftate. A government, that is founded on the principles of juftice and common good, has not that difcretionary power, which every individual claims in the management of a private estate. The eftate of government, in whatever form this eftate appears, is a trust committed to the governor by all, and to be returned to all, in the way of equal protection and equal favour, where equal fervices and equal merits fupport an equal claim. That in a civil view, and it is the difcriminating character of government that it ought to know
*See Review for February laft, p. 231.
no other view, the Proteftant Diffenters have equal merits and render equal fervices, is a truth, which is admitted by all. As an individual man, in exercifing the freedom of chufing his own religion, is not released from the obligation of juftice to every fellow man; fo neither is the ftate, when the adopts a state religion, at liberty to narrow the debt of equal justice to all the fubjects of every defcription, who can anfwer the teft of civil allegiance.' go Art. 46. An arranged Catalogue of the feveral Publications which have appeared relating to the Enlargement of the Toleration of Proteftant Diffenting Minifters; and the Repeal of the Corporation and Teft Ads: with reference to the Agitation of thofe Questions in Parliament, from the Year 1772 to 1790 inclufive. 8vo. pp. 70. 15. Johnson.
The test pamphlets, pro and con, are become fo numerous, that it was thought neceffary, and with good reafon, to make a catalogue of them, together with thofe published on the diffenting minifters' application to parliament for the relief of Proteftant diffenting Minifters and School-mafters, in the years 1772, 1773, and The intention of this before us, is to preferve a general and collected reference to what has been written on both fides of thefe queftions; that whenever the ftudies of an individual, or the future measures of any body of men, fhall lead them to renew and profecute the inquiry, they may, the more readily, have recourse to the facts and arguments adduced on the late occafions.'
It appears, by the firft part of this catalogue, that the diffenting minifters' application gave rise to 42 publications; and, by the fecond part, that the application for the repeal of the Corporation and Teft Acts, had, when this catalogue was made, produced no less a number than 96. Since that time, others, as our readers will perceive, have been fent from the prefs; nor is it poffible to say when the various teft warriors, who have enlifted on this occafion, will be tired with skirmishing.
The preface contains a brief detail of the efforts made, during the period mentioned in the title, in favour of religious liberty. The pamphlet alfo contains the addrefs of the Diffenters' committee, after their late defeat, to the People of England.
EDUCATION, SCHOOL BOOKS, &c. Art. 47. The Female Reader; or, Mifcellaneous Pieces in Profe and Verfe; felected from the best Writers, and disposed under proper Heads, for the Improvement of young Women. By Mr. Creswick, Teacher of Elocution. To which is prefixed a Preface, containing fome Hints on Female Education. 12mo. PP. 400.
35. fewed. Johnson.
This compilation is profeffedly formed on the model of Dr. Enfield's ufeful collection, The Speaker." The pieces are arranged in a fimilar manner: but are, for the most part, fuch as are not contained in that work, nor in its fequel. A confiderable part of the volume is particularly adapted to female readers, and is fuch as may be used with advantage in female fchools. The editor has very properly introduced into the collection many religious pieces, and
among thefe, feveral extracts from the fcriptures: but it may be doubted whether fome of thefe, particularly the paffages felected from the Jewish prophecies, will be commonly understood by those young perfons for whom this collection is defigned. E.
Art. 48. A Syftem of French Accidence and Syntax. intended as an Illuftration, Correction, and Improvement of the Principles laid down by Chambaud, on those Subjects, in his Grammar. By the Rev. Mr. Holder, of Barbadoes. Second Edition, greatly enlarged by the Author: with Notes by G. Satis. 8vo. pp. 414. 3s. 6d. bound. Dilly. 1790.
The former edition of this work received our hearty approbation*, and we have little more to add to what was then faid, but that it now appears with farther advantage. Mr. Holder having been informed that it might prove more ufeful by having an accidence prefixed, has been induced to undertake a compilation from Chambaud, comprehending thofe rudiments of the language, which learners must acquire before the treatise on Syntax can be of any ufe. Ia doing this, he has made as few alterations as poffible, having only aimed at greater perfpicuity and brevity, and at a happier arrangement than, he conceives, is found in the original work. Hi. Art. 49. Geography and Hiftory. Selected by a Lady, for the Ufe of her own, Children. PP. 370. 3s. fewed. Law.
Amid innumerable works of this kind, we have not found any thing in the performance before us, worthy of recommending it to very particular attention. To felect from Guthrie's Grammar, is like abridging the Iliad: yet, as a performance which conveys inftruction in a small compass, the work is worthy of recommendation.
Art. 50. A Treatise on Theatres. By George Saunders. 4to. PP. 94. and 13 Plates. 10s. 6d. Boards. Taylor. 1790. The project of erecting two new theatres in London, renders this a very feasonable publication; and whoever happens to be employed in these undertakings, will receive many useful hints from Mr. Saunders's work. The form which he recommends as most proper for fuch edifices, is not materially different from that anciently adopted by the Greeks and Romans; whose theatres, he proves by experiments, were the best adapted for conveying found, and for enabling the fpectators to fee the performance. The work is illuftrated by thirteen plates, which are rather more elegant than the author's style.
The following obfervation concludes the work:
I cannot help repeating that it is in our power to have a theatre fuperior to any exifting; but I defpair of feeing a magnificent one erected till undertaken by a company of perfons of rank and fashion, whofe influence and example would foon produce a fum
* See Rev. Vol. lxviii. p. 281.