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and that Dubois found it very difficult to prevent him from taking this measure. When advised to make use of the military to fupprefs an infurrection, which had taken place on account of Law's infamous bankruptcy, he faid, that the people had fufficient reafon for their refentment; that they had fhewn great patience in bearing fo much provocation; that, had he been born of plebeian rank, he would have diftinguished himfelf by defending the people, who were oppreffed, against the government; and added, that he would exert all his endeavours to prevent a rebellion: but that, if it happened in confequence of the bankruptcy, he would put himself at the head of the people, in oppofition to the miniftry, in order to preferve the King.
One of the moft interefting pieces of information contained in thefe volumes, is that which relates to the prifoner in the iron mask, concerning whom fo many conjectures have been made. This fecret was extorted from the regent by his daughter, who difclofed it to the Duke DE RICHELIEU. From the account here given, it appears that this unfortunate person was the twin brother of Lewis XIV. born eight hours after this monarch, and who was the unhappy victim of fuperftition and jealoufy. His father, Lewis XIII. being weak enough to give credit to a prediction of fome impofters, that, if the queen fhould be delivered of twins, the kingdom would be involved in civil war, ordered the birth of this prince to be kept a profound fecret; and had him privately educated in the country, as the illegitimate fon of a nobleman: but, on the acceffion of Lewis XIV. the young man gave indications of having difcovered his parentage, of which his brother being informed, ordered him to be imprifoned for life, and to wear a mask, to prevent his being recognized.
The fourth volume contains the hiftory of the administration of the Duke de Bourbon, and of part of that of Cardinal Fleury: the miniftry of the former was remarkable chiefly for the ambition, the intrigues, and the rapacity of his miftrefs, Madame de Prie, who governed him, and proved at laft the cause of his difgrace.
The perfonal character of Fleury was much fuperior to that of his predeceflors: but the part of his adminiftration, here related, is difgraced by the cabals of worthless and intolerant priefts. In fhort, almoft the only pleafing and refpe&table perfon that figures in the whole work, is honeft Barjac, who was valet to the Cardinal, and to whom, on account of his influ ence with his mafter, perfons of the highest rank did not scruple to pay their court. The air of importance, which he affumed, was accompanied with a degree of humour, which rendered it APP. REV. VOL. III, diverting,
diverting, and of good fenfe, which conciliated respect. He always fpoke of himself as if he had been the Cardinal's colleague in office; and, in order to obtain promotion, it was ne ceffary to folicit his favour: but to do this with fuccess, a certain propriety of behaviour was requifite; for he had too much difcernment and integrity not to despise and reject fervile adula. tion, and interefted meannefs. A nobleman, who folicited a favour, paid his court to Barjac, with a fervility, which gave offence to the worthy valet. The peer invited him to dinner, placed him on his right hand, and, in a strain of fulfome flattery, afcribed the profperity of the ftate to his wifdom. Barjac, difgufted with this adulation, rofe up from table, put his napkin under his arm, and, taking a plate from one of the fervants, placed himself behind the nobleman's chair: the confufion, which this occafioned, may eafily be conceived: but he infifted on retaining his place, faying, "Though a peer of France chufes to forget his rank, in order to pay his court to Barjac, Barjac ought not to forget it; nor fhall your lordship obtain the favour which you folicit, unless you will allow Barjac the honour of waiting on you."
Whatever gratification the curious may derive from this work, thofe who look for rational entertainment will be difappointed. The anecdotes recorded, are not those of wit and humour, but of grofs vice, and infipid libertinifm. We must, however, do the writer the juftice to acknowlege, that, though fcenes of this abominable nature occupy too many of his pages, and on which the Duke DE RICHELIEU fometimes feems to dwell with a complacency that reflects no honour on his character, they are related without any of that colouring, which tends to inflame the imagination, and to corrupt the heart.-The contemplation, neverthelefs, of a court fo vicious, and of a government fo deteftable, is highly painful and difgufting; and the only useful purpose that it can answer, is to ferve as an antidote to the baneful eloquence of thofe writers, who difgrace refpectable talents, by employing them to mifrepresent and ridicule every fentiment of freedom, and by pleading the caufe of monarchical tyranny, and of aristocratic oppreffion.
ART. XVIII. CAROLI GODOFREDI WOIDII, Notitia codicis Alexandrini, cum variis ejus lectionibus omnibus. Recudendum curavit, notafque adjecit, M. GOTTLIEB LEBERECHT SPORN. Svo. 476 Pages. Leipzic. 1790.
HIS republication of the late Dr. WOIDE's preface to his edition of the New Teftament* from the Alexandrian MS.
* See Review, vol. ixxvi. P、 545•
contains not only what might be called his Prolegomena, but alfo the whole of the various readings which he has added. Where M. SPOHN differed in opinion from Dr. WOIDE, or where he thought him to be in the wrong, he has freely, yet modeftly expreffed his fentiments, partly in notes, partly in a pretty long appendix to the fifth and fixth fections. His principal objections are directed against the pretended antiquity of the Alexandrian MS. In various inftances, he has endeavoured to vindicate Wetstein's opinion on this fubject; and after having produced many proofs of omiffions, interpolations, and inconfiftent readings, which are to be found in the MS. and which expose the careleffness of its writer, he thus expreffes himfelf:
Quum hæc omnia pretium et auctoritatem Codicis Alexandrini, in re critica, valde minuant, viri doctiffimi, qui hunc codicem laudarunt, a vero videntur aberraffe. Quo jure poteft codex, qui tot vitiis fcribarum, tot omiffionibus, tot additionibus, ex margine in textum intrufis, tot lectonibus abfonis fcatet, fic extolli, ut ex eo lectio confirmetur, vel in textum recipiatur? qui toties cum codicibus corruptis confentit ? qui fere femper Vulgate latine verfioni adbæret?' &c.
There are many points which M. SPOHN has fuccefsfully controverted but there are others, where the admirers and defenders of the Alexandrian MS. have, in our opinion, loft no ground.
On the whole, we think that this feparate publication of Dr. WOIDE's preface, and of the various readings, will be very acceptable to thofe, who either could not obtain the work itself, which begins to be scarce, or who cannot afford to give that high price for it, to which it is rifen. Wend....n.
ART. XIX. Exemplum Typographie Sinica, &c. i. e. A Specimen of Chinese Typography, in which the Characters are reprefented by caft and moveable Types. By JOHN GOTTLOB IMMAN. BREITKOPF. 4to. 6 Pages. Printed at Leipzic by the Author. 1789.
ΤΗ HIS fpecimen confifts of one table, containing twelve Chi
nefe letters; there are three more in the title page; and all of them are very diftinctly reprefented. The author dedicates to GERMANY, the inventrefs of printing, this new exertion of mechanical ingenuity, and promises to give, at some future time, a farther account of his invention. Gil...s.
ART. XX. De l'État de la France, prefent et à venir: i. e. Confiderations on the prefent and future State of France. By M. DE CALONNE, Minister of State. 8vo. About 500 Pages. 6s. Boards. Spilfbury, London. 1790.
F the fituation of France be interesting, fo also must be this important publication; which, examining into the difficulties formerly fuftained by that kingdom, compares them with its prefent ills; which places the meafures, that were proposed for its relief, in oppofition to thofe that have been adopted; and which, looking forward to the refult, contrafts the probable event, with that which might have been expected. On thefe heads, whatever may be the value of M. DE CALONNE'S private fentiments and political reafonings, (which we shall proceed to flate and examine,) we must allow that his information is extenfive, and likely to be true: his publication, as was juftly faid of it*, in contradiftinction to that of Mr. Burke, is not indeed a piece of poetry; and although we may, as we most effentially do, differ from the author, yet defiring liberty not only for ourselves but for others, we can never applaud that perfecuting fpirit, which would injure the man, because it does not adopt his fentiments: we cannot fee the propriety of enforcing truth by actions at law; nor are we aware of the policy of defending freedom, by means of intolerance and oppreffion.
In his introduction, M. DE CALONNE enters into a juftification of his conduct in publishing his fentiments. He asks whether it can be fuppofed that any particular with for defpotifm could have guided his pen: he doubts that any one ever poffeffed fuch a wifh, unless he were perfonally interested in the event: nor can it be imagined, he adds, that, enjoying an afylum afforded him by a free people, among whom he has refolved to end his days, he can entertain a defire to fee his country in flavery. His fole motive is the hope of being eminently, ufeful.-To this we have nothing to object: we can have no reason to doubt the goodness of his intentions. One obfervation we must offer, which requires no other proof than what every reader may eafily find; it is, that the author, from his intimate connexion with the tubject on which he treats, too often becomes a party in the caufe. Inftead of the cool reafoner, we have the ardent and interested abettor. His partiality to men is equally evident; he is the determined antagonist of one fide, and the warm panegyrift of the other; and while he expatiates on the happiness
By Earl Stanhope, in the Houfe of Peers; who, at the fame time, advised that the author fhould be legally profecuted, for having, in this work, published a libel on the King of Great Britain.
which would have attended the measures that he recommends, he defcribes, with every poffible exaggeration, the few scenes of bloodshed and mifery which have accompanied the prefent revolution. The mifery that has been produced, and the blood that has been shed, may perhaps be urged as giving a fanction to M. DE CALONNE's fentiments, which are moderate, and, in general, not unfavourable to liberty: but it is a bad plea for thofe, who, by multiplying grievances, forced the people to refiftance; for, to whom are the ills chargeable? Not to the people who actually commit them, but to thofe who impel them. to the commitment.
The grand intention of the work before us, is to inquire into what has been done in the National Affembly of France; and to fhew the dangerous confequences which either have. refulted, or are likely to refult, from their proceedings. The author next endeavours to point out the mode which ought to have been followed; and which alone, if now adopted, can, in his opinion, enfure their profperity.
He begins his work with fome general cenfures on the conduct of the Aflembly: he reprefents the members as difplaying their eloquence in idle debates about the rights of men, while their king was kept in captivity, and the kingdom abandoned to plunder; while public authority was deftroyed, and public juftice unheard; while the most atrocious criminals escaped, and innocent men were punished, &c. &c. Such, he exclaims, has been the end of this boafted regeneration: they should have established rational liberty; they have introduced unbridled licentioufnefs they should have protected property; they have violated it in every way: they fhould have limited the feveral powers; they have confounded them together: they should have reftored the finances; they have ruined them.-This is bad; and the future is not better.-There is no probability, he obferves, that an affembly, conftituted like the prefent, will reconfider its refolves; and the continual progrefs toward excefs can never be the way to return to moderation. The affembly too has blocked up all paffage to a return, by declaring that their conftitutional decrees can never be altered. Nay more-their fellow citizens are required, by a civic oath, to bind themselves to fupport a conftitution which does not exift: they are to fwear that this unfinished and unknown government fhall be eternally refpected, &c.-but enough of this declamation; for this is merely fuch: let us attend M. DE CALONNE in his expofure of thofe effential defects, which, according to him, render the principal operations of the affembly ufelefs, and impoffible to be executed.