« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
ing what care I ever had of your eftate, and how refpectfully I dealt with thofe which both by the laws of God, of nature, and civil policy, wit, religion, government, and honefty, you, my dear, is bound to; I pray and befeech you to grant to me, your moft kind and loving wife, the fum of 2600l. quarterly to be paid. Alfo I would, befides that allowance, have 6ool. quarterly to be paid, for the performance of charitable works: and thofe things I WOULD NOT, neither WILL BE, accountable for. Alfo I WILL HAVE three horfes for my own faddle, that none fhall dare to lend or borrow: none lend but I, none borrow but you. Alfo I would have two gentlewomen, left one fhould be fick, or have fome other let. Alfo, believe it, it is an undecent thing for a gentlewoman to ftand mumping alone, when God hath bletted their lord and lady with a great eftate. Alfo, when I ride a-hunting, or a hawking, or travel from one houfe to another, I will have them attending, fo, for either of thofe faid women, I MUST AND WILL HAVE for either of them a horfe. Allo I will have fix or eight gentlemen; and I will have my two coaches, one lined with velvet to myfelf, with four very fair horfes; and a coach for my women, lined with cloth, and laced with gold; the other with fcarlet, and laced with filver, with four good horfes. Alfo I will have two coachmen, one for my own coach, the other for my women. Alfo at any time when I travel, I will be allowed not only carroches, and fpare horfes for me and my women, but I will have fuch carriages as fhall be fitting for all, orderly, not pettering my things with my women's; nor their's with either chambermaid's; nor their's with wath-maids. Alfo for laundreffes, when I travel, I will have them fent away before with the carriages, to fee all fafe. And the chambermaids I will have go before, that the chamber may be ready, tweet, and clean. Alfo for that it is undecent to crowd up myfelf with my gentleman usher in my coach, I will have him to have a convenient horfe to attend me, either in city or country. And I must have two footmen. And my defire is, that you defray all the charges for me. And for my felf, befides my yearly allowance, I would have twenty gowns of apparel, fix of them excellent good ones, eight of them for the country, and fix other of them very excellent good ones. Alfo I would have to put in my purfe 2000l. and 200l. and
fo you to PAY MY DEBTS. Alfo I would have 6000l. to buy me jewels, and 4000l. to buy me a pearl chain. Now, feeing 1 have been, and am, fo REASONABLE unto you, I pray you do find my children apparel, and their schooling, and all my fervants, men and women, their wages. Alfo, I will have all my houfes furnithed, and my lodging chambers to be fuited with all fuch furniture as is fit; as beds, ftools, chairs, fuitable cufhions, carpets, filver warming-pans, cupboards of plate, fair hangings, and fuch like. So for my drawing chamber in all houfes, I will have them delicately furnished, both with hangings, couch, canopy, glafs, carpet, chairs, cufhions, and all things thereunto belonging. Alfo my defire is, that you would PAY YOUR DEBTS, build up Afhby-houfe, and purchafe lands, and lend no money, as you love God, to the Lord Chamberlain, who would have all, perhaps your life, from you. Remember his fon, my lord Walden, what entertainment he gave me, when you were at Tilt-yard. If you were dead, he faid, he would be a husband, a father, a brother, and faid he would marry me. I proteft, I grieve to fee the poor man have fo little wit and honefty to ufe his friends fo vilely. Alfo he fed me with untruths concerning the Charter-houfe, but that is the leaft; he wifhed me much harm, you know how. God keep you and me from him, and any fuch as he is. So now that I have declared to you what I would have, and what it is that I would not have, I pray, when you be an carl, to allow me 2000l. more than now I defire, and double attendance.
AT a moment when the queftion of
invafion is agitated in all companies; when more ferious indications of fuch an enterprize are given on the other
fide of the water; and when more ferious apprehenfions of it are conceived on this, than at any former period, you will not perhaps refufe to give place to a few obfervations on a fubject fo truly interefting, and concerning which the opinions of our countrymen are fo enormoufly at variance.
The true-born Englishman, on whom Mr. Burke beftows the well merited praife of cherifbing bis prejudices, thinks he has clofed the debate, when he has bluntly asked, If we have not a fuperior feet? Entrenched up to the chin, in this formidable pofition, he fmiles with equal contempt at the alarm of his adverfary, and at the preparations making on the coaft of France.
And as long, indeed, as we are fure that the French government carry their views to nothing fhort of the conqueft of the island, we have a tolerable affurance, alfo, that they will not land an army on our fhores while we have a fuperior fleer to cut it off from all fupport, reinforcement, or retreat. But if complete fuccefs be not their object—if it be merely their meaning to ravage our coaft; to spread a dangerous alarm through the country; to fhake the paper foundations on which the fortune of the ftate repofes; or to establish themselves in fome ftrong poft, by way of cutting off part of our refources, and converting them into the fubfiftence of their own troops; in that cafe, it would be no eafy matter to fhow how our fuperior fleet can defeat their purpose, unless we fuppofe it gifted with ubiquity, or furnished with a fufficient warrant to imprefs the winds.
By the conquest of Belgium and Holland, the French may be faid to have completed the investment of our island; and this the bold and fagacious Dumou rier confidered as a proper preliminary to the invafion of England. There is not now a wind that blows from the heavens, that would not bear them to fome part or other of our coaft: but there are a great many that would oppofe the paffage of our fleet to the quarter where its prefence might be neceffary. Let us fuppofe, for inftance, that the French, by fecretly fending a fquadron north-about, to reinforce the Dutch, gain a fuperiority in the German ocean; as long as that fuperiority lafts-and it will last as long as an eafterly wind may prevent our fending an additional force to thofe feas-fo long will our coaft, from the North Foreland to the farther extremity of Scotland, lie open to their MONTHLY MAG. No. VIII.
attempts. It would be tedious and needlefs to multiply examples of this fort; every man who has the least nautical knowledge, can ftate, or conceive a variety of cafes in which the the French can make a run over to this country, unless we keep greater naval force ar fea, in every point, than they can collect in any one; and that is plainly impoffible.
But their debarkation, how will that be effected? Fifty thousand men are not landed in an hour; and the fleet which might be unable to prevent their com ing to our coaft, would destroy them be fore they could effect a footing on Englith ground.-Not if they come over in fmall craft, accompanied by a flotilla calculated to run into shoal water. When once there, they might effect their landing, with little moleftation from the fide of the fea. Kept at a distance by their great draught of water, our line of battle fhips could only witness a debarkation which it would be utterly out of their power to prevent.
It appears, then, to be undeniable, that circumftances may occur, in which the French may fucceed in landing troops on this island, in spite of a superior fleet. If a folitary army were to debark, they might certainly be confidered as enfans perdus, fent on a forlorn hope indeed; for our fleet, when once apprized of their pofition, would put fupplics, and reinforcements, and a retreat quite out of the queftion. But from the known abilities of the directory, and the system of warfare they have adopted, it may be conjectured, that after draw ing our attention to one quarter they would direct their efforts against riety of others, and take their chance for being able to effect fubfequent debarkations, during that diftraction of our fea and land forces that would acceffarily enfue.
But it is highly probable, that their intentions to invade us, like their preparations for a defcent, were never fe rious, till they contemplated the poffibility of rivalling or outmatching us on our proper element. I know very well that it is a fort of herefy to doubt the omnipotency of our marine. But be it remembered, that in 1780, the combined fleets of France and Spain, drove Sir Charles Hardyup the Channel; and that in 1786, Lord Howe was obliged to run between Scilly and the main, to avoid a fupe. rior force. Nor fhould we have been able to have shown ourselves in thefe feas 4! L
during all the latter part of the conteft; nor fhould we have dared to relieve Gibraltar, in the laft quoted year, if the Dutch had cordially united with our enemies; but, fortunately for us, the powers above detained their fleet in the Maefe and the Texel.
At the present moment, Richery's and the Toulon fquadrons, are faid to amount to 21 fail of the line. The Spaniards, according to all the accounts we have received, have fitted out more than double that number. The Dutch have alfo a confiderable fleet; and the French have a force, either lying at Breft, l'Orient, and Rochefort, or failed from thofe ports. Were all this ftrength mustered in one place, it would, in the prefent difperfed ftate of cur marine, amount to very fearful odds, againft which we might contend, with the hope, but without the certainty, of fuccefs.
The next queftion that occurs is, where are they to land? This will be better folved by the engineers who have furveyed the coaft, than by me. In every fpot on which they have erected batteries, and they are numerous, they have admitted the practicability of the attempt, without fufficiently guarding against it. Many of thofe batteries might foon be filenced by gallies, gun-boats, and other veffels, whofe eafy draught of water would bring them clofe in fhore; and as a large proportion of them are open in the rear, they could oppofe no refif tance to an enemy, when landed, in force. As to myself, I have little doubt that if a general engagement at fea were to terminate to our difadvantage, the enemy would ftrike at the vitals of the empire, by failing up the Thames. As far as Tilbury-fort, I believe there is no refiftance that a strong flotilla would not overcome, I am aware, that every fuch idea is ridiculed by General Lloyd. The Dutch, fays he, failed up the Medway with twenty fhips; but it is a folly to fuppofe that an enemy would attempt to fail up the Thames. But he forgets to say why it is a folly to attempt the forcing a paffage up a river lefs defended, and more cafily navigable, than the Medway, and with which multitudes of foreign feamen are as well acquainted as our felves.
As feveral of the opinions I have flightly indicated here, are directly in the teeth of the author I have just quoted, I fhall take this occafion to fay a few words of his book. When he called it a Rhapfody, he, no doubt, meant rather to imi
tate Marshal Saxe, who intitled his military works a Reverie, than to stamp upon it a character of abfurdity: but while it bears ftrong marks of talents, and military knowledge, it appears to me in many places abfurd in the extreme. After having witneffed the fpeed with which our troops on many occafions penetrated through the woods and wilds of America, as well as the rapid progrefs of the French through fo many hoftile countries, I can never believe that an enemy who fhould debark in England would not be able to advance above a mile or two a day. Nor after the distance the Highlanders advanced in the rebellion of forty-five, in which the author was concerned, can I give credence to his allertion, that an army of 50,000 mer. would certainly perifh by famine or by his infallible attacks, with a trifling force, upon their line of operation, before they could make their way forty miles into the country. Neither can I understand how our hedges, fo eafily cleared by a few field-pieces and howitzers; or hillocks, ditches, and copfes can render this country impenetrable to the French, after feeing the Alps and Pyreneas fink before them," and the immenfe forefts and rivers of Germany oppose no valid obftacle to their furious career.
It would be well for all those who read this book, to which its author's name and the times have given popularity, to recollect, that the excellent py and intriguer who wrote it had made his peace with our government, and was become a penfioner of the state against which he had committed fo many offences. As it was written at a time when the terror of an invafion was prevalent, and as he councils the ftockholders to lay afide their fears, it is not unreasonable to conclude that he was counsel for the defendant, and paid for his opinion.
While I expofe opinions of fo different tenor, I admit, that it would be dangerous to fpread a panic alarm, that might drive us to defpondency, indecifion, and defpair: but it would be ftill more dangerous to be lulled into a false fecurity, or to truft to infufficient means of defence. Our boafted wooden walls, confidering the term as applied to fleets of great fhips, are certainly an excellent rampart; but there are two that I conceive to be better ftill. The next beft is a flotilla, which could follow the enemy into fhoal water, and being rendered by its oars in a great measure independent of the winds, could carry
On the Philofophy of Helvetius.
confufion and deftruction among them when attempting to land. It is not, however, by fcattering a few gun-boats, of very little force and bad conftruction, upon different parts of our coaft, that we can hope fuccefsfully to oppofe an enemy who are employing myriads of artificers in the building of small veffels, and whofe fhores, from the Texel to Bayonne, refound with dreadful notes of preparation! But the best of all, and indeed the only certain way of faving us from the horrors, or at leaft from the wretched confequences that may refult from an invafion, appears to me, as it appears to many others, to be the forming of a general militia of the nation; and the adoption of fuch political meatures as may induce all parties to rally round the government. No fteps of that kind feem to be taking; and I lament to fay, that, in the mean time, the lives and properties of the British nation are committed to the winds, and to frail compages of boards. Navibus cafibus vita populi Romani permifeft. Sept. 14, 1796.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
IN your Magazine for June, a Correfpondent, who figns himself M.H. has defended the system of Helvetius, and afferted that nothing can be more monftrous and hypothetical, than the notion of a child (whofe mind having received no impreffion, is a total blank, without a fingle idea) being born with a power of difcrimination, a correct judgment, &c.”
The philofophy of Helvetius has become very fashionable in England. I, however, believe, that all arguments deduced from experience and analogy, are directly in oppofition to it. Two individuals-fay the advocates of this fyftem, would be precifely fimilar, if they received precifely the fame education; that is, if they fhould be precisely in the fame fituations, and the fame circumftances; now this can never take place. Thus, they affert what they themselves acknowledge never can be proved.
Materialifts and Immaterialists are agreed, that the brain is the organ of thought; we have no bufinefs now with the enquiry what it is that thinks-a point which never can be proved, and of which the proof, if poffible, would be ufelefs. The brain, however, is the of thought, as the eye is the organ of vifion; the point, then on which this fyftem refts, is, that the organization
The opponents or Helvetius believe in innate aptitudes-not innate ideas. In the fame manner as the organ of fight is formed with different degrees of ftrength in different perfons, they affert a difference of perfection in the organ of thought. I have known a child catch a tune before he could articulate a fentence, though his brother never difcovered the leaft inclination for mufic. Now the education of their ears, had been precifely the fame; for their mother had fung the fame fongs to both in their infancy.
The inftance of the Jefuits, which Helvetius adduces, may be applied against his fyftem: it is a well known fact, that their preceptors watched with the utmost attention the difpofition of their pupils. One of them was believed incapable of attaining any kind of knowledge, till his tutor tried him in geometry, and he became a celebrated mathematician.
Is the brain always exactly of the fame fize and shape? Are the ventricles always exactly of the fame fize? Is the medullary fubftance always exactly of the fame confiftence-fo that the vibrations may always be propagated with equal swiftness ? Thefe queftions muft all be decided in the affirmative, before it can be proved that all men are equally poffeffed of intellectual powers.
September 2, 1796.
a bare frigid recital of events; or borne, by the ftrength of imagination, into the unfathomable depths of fpeculative refinement: of the latter of thefe, how. ever inimitable in other refpects, Davila is a confpicuous example of the former we have daily inftances; but the hiftorian who is free from both thefe faults, and to whom this power may with juftice be attributed, is Hume.
I have been induced to offer thefe remarks by way of introducing to your notice a subject (as it appears to me) by no means accounted for by the profeffed hiftorians of those times, viz. the abdication of Charles the Vth, emperor of Germany, and the refignation of the Imperial crown to his fon, Philip Ild. Robertfon, in his Hiftory, attributes it to the declining state of his health; a fpecious reafon indeed; yet it is highly improbable, that in fo active a breast as that of Charles the Vth, ambition fhould aver have been extinct but with life.
The uncorrupt, the ever memorable Sully, in his Memoirs (a work replete with acute obfervations) attributes the emperor's refignation to difappointment; and this, from a review of circumftances, appears to me to be the true reafon. Flattered, as Charles had ever been, with the hope of univerfal monarchy, the cruel blow of Maurice, elector of Saxony's revolt, was doubly felt: difappointed in his hope of making the Imperial dignity hereditary in his family; and difgufted with the bad ftate of his affairs with respect to France, now exerting herfelf with renewed energy, under a young and ambitious monarch; he was convinced, that the hope of obtaining univerfal dominion would never be realized. His hopes being thus deftroyed, which he had been fondly cherishing during the Patter part of his reign, he determined to refign his power, before it fuffered farther diminution; and that his defcent might be as remarkable as his rife had been fplendid, to finish his long career of turbulent ambition in the gloomy melancholy of the cloifter: that he might give the world an inftance of magnanimity not inferior to the boafted philofophy of Dioclefian.
If this reafon fhould not appear to be the true one, I truft that fome of readers will communicate one more conclufive.
St. Jolm's College, Cambridge, May 13.
To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
THE recent conquefts in Italy by the French armies, has recalled to my mind fome thoughts I have long enter tained, relative to the paft viciffitudes, and the probable deftiny, of that beautiful country: On reading the hiftory of Italy, and of the Italian language, and on obferving the revolutions of the arts and fciences, it is difficult to avoid perceiving the ftrong refemblance between Italy A perfon tho and ancient Greece. roughly acquainted with their hiftories, will likewife find, that the courfe of civilization and of decay, has been nearly the fame in both of them. I am confident, that the publication of these ideas, at a time when Italy is probably about to undergo fuch very important changes, cannot fail to be agreeable to your readers. will, therefore, exhibit a kind of comparative map of both countries, in the four great periods of their respective histories.
First period. Termination of the Termination of the Trojan war; the heroic dark age, towards the age; tyranny and abufe year 1000; earls, marof power in the feveral quiffes, and dukes, tyrannize over the people, fovereigns. and abuse their power in the name of German emperors.
The Greeks, irritated, rife in infurrections; erect commonwealths, and establish the Amphictionic league.
Games, feafts, facrifices, in great requeft among the free Greeks.
By Lycurgus and his laws, Sparta acquires the greatest weight and a thority; he becomes the feat of justice and virtue, and the common centre to whom the other states refort in their wants or differences.
Athens, the rival of Sparta in military valour, furpaffes her in arts and politeness. Themifto
Freedom is purchased or reconquered; Pifa and Genoa become free cities; the confuls fucceed to earls and dukes; league between the Italian republics in the year 1167.
Horfe-races, military exercises; laws and ftatutes; bravery follows liberty.
BLASTOS. cles, Miltiades, and noa obtain great victoothers, as well as Leoni- ries, but their Themif das, great generals. Wife tocles had no good hif ; commeree, colo- torian, Learned inca