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• That the high, unbending, unaccommodating tone, which we have been accustomed to hold all over the world, and which the personal be. haviour of our foreign ministers has generally rendered ftill more unpalatable, is in the ext; me foolish at all times, and particularly unfit for the present aspect o: "things, needs not be proved by a single argument, or illustrated by one example. Nor is it less obvious, that the feelings and the language of Unciliation, of moderate views, of calm and temperate dignity to our nemies, of friendly fincerity and frankness to our allies, are the feelings and the language moft subservient at all times to our highest interests ; moft confiftent with our true honour ; and most agreeable to the situation in which the affairs of Europe, as well as of England, are placed in the present crisis,? p. 206, 207. .
A more particular delineation is then given of the system which ought to be pursued at home and abroad, as adapted to our perilous situation. The chief points touched upon are, the employment of able men in our foreign diplomacy; the reform of our West Indian colonies, by the abolition of the slave trade, and the relaxation of the navigation law; the recurrence to a wise and pacific, and, if it be possible in that country to talk of justice, a just system of policy in the East; the reform of abuses in our domestic administration ; and the improvement of the Catholics in Ireland. But the grand change of all is, the recommendation of pacific views, with which the work concludes, and to which, indeed, every page of it leads by irresistible arguments. This passage forms our last extract, which we give with a sincerity of joy, proportioned to our wishes that such counsels may at last prevail, and to our desire that the world may now be saved, while it is yet possible, by the restoration of tranquillity.
• It is, indeed, abundantly clear, that the state of our affairs, domestic as well as foreign, enjoins a strict regard to the conciliatory fyftem in general, and prepares us more especially to expect, in such a peace as may be confiftent with our real honour, the highest advantages, both to our own interests and those of Europe at large. With regard to the conti. nent, it has already been demonstrated that nothing but mischief can possibly accrue from a renewal of the late unhappy war. What then is likely to result from things remaining in their present unsettled state? Will the enemy, so long as we refuse to give him peace, fo long as we prevent our allies from treating, so long as we do not use our influence to bring about a negotiation—will he abstain from reaping the thousand advantages of his present fituation ? Will he submit to all the evils of warfare, and forego all its gains ? Will he unite in his plan all the losses of war and all the constraints of peace? This would be too close an imitation of our own conduct with regard to Spain. Unhappily we cannot expect to be imitated in our European tactics. Our East Indian policy will suit him better. He will go on conquering such of our allies as continue hostile ; uniting with those whom he may intimidate,
or allure to share in the plunder of the rest ; ftretching his creations of kings over the North of Germany ; aggrandizing those whom he has made in the South ; extending his dominion in Italy over the islands, and from Italy ftriding onwards to the East.
Jam tenet Italiam, tamen ultra pergere te it
A&um, inquit, nihil eft. • To all this prospect of loss, from a senselessziolongation of a war which has unfortunately reached its natural concjusion, the enemies of peace can only oppose certain vague indefinite fears of the dangers with which they conceive
' a peace to be pregnant. First, they imagine that good or even fair terms cannot be expected ; then they think the enemy will not be fincere ; next, they dread his taking the opportunity of recruiting his resources, and especially of restoring his navy; lastly, they expect that he will take us by surprise, and attack us when he is sure to fucceed. In all these apprehensions, however, there is a great deal of misconception, and no small inconsistency. As to the terms, we must first see what he offers. It is indeed very evident, that we cannot expect such favourable conditions for the Continent, as if we had not plunged it into the late 'war, and occasioned the ruin of Austria, the conquest of Naples, and the aggrandizement of France and her depend. encies. We cannot hope such terms as the present administration would have gained, had it been formed two years ago. But it is equal. ly clear, that, if the enemy finds his advantage in peace, (and.if he does not, we need neither expect it nor defire it), and if he estimates, as he must, the high spirit, and unconquerable valour of this country, he will make no proposals which can dishonour us. He will even tempt us to overcome our repugnance towards him, and our contempt of his new authority, by some favourable concessions. Then, with regard to his sincerity, we may safely conclude that the same motive which leads him to think of making a peace, will induce him to keep it- the motive of intereft ;- for what can he gain by a tranfient peace, except the paltry cession of a few islands, which we shall always be able to retake, with the troops and shipping he may send thither, so long as our marine is superior to his ?- Next, as to his recruiting his resources, and particularly his navy, this he most undoubtedly will attempt to do. We must lav our account with it. We mean to recruit our own army, and he muit lay his account with that. But does it follow, that he will be able to acquire a navy equal to ours during the peace? Where are his seamen ? Where are his officers and pilots? Where are his Nelsons ? Should the peace last for ten years, which is unfortunately a high estimate, how much would England gain in her commerce, her finances, her colonial and domestic economy, her military system, her foreign policy! And France, too, would gain somewhat in several of these particulars. Her trade would increase, and she would acquire colonial establishments. Would not this make her much less warlike? Would it not be utterly incompatible with the military conscription, the most formidable feature in her present aspect ? Would it not render her less military in peace,
and more averse to war, the greatest of evils to a mercantile and colonial nation? But could her navy in ten, or even twenty years of peace; possibly grow up so as to match our own? Should we not, at the end of such a happy period, enter upon the war with our commerce augmėnted, our finances cleared from debt, our wealth more able to supply our neceffities, our navy more numerous ? And would not this be the very same thing with beginning a new series of brilliant victories over the navy of our enemies ?. Besides, with the restoration of our continental relations, and the improvement of our army, might we not fairly expect even success on shore, as well as at sea ? 'Why is not France averle to peace
from her fears of our commerce increasing, and our army being established on a new system? Why then should we, who are as courageous as herself, dread the progress of her trade, and the reestablishment of her marine ? But to all such fears' one answer may be given-they prove too much--they prove that peace can never be made, if they disfuade us from making it now; they have no application to this particular time,- they are apprehensions of all times,
-and they go to involve the world in one eternal war. P: 212-217.
We now take leave of this most important tract, which we have done little more than faintly describe to our readers ; and which, both for the magnitude of its object, and the merits of its execution, would, we are fully sensible, have deserved a more able review. But we conceive that the extracts which we have given, and the abstract which we have resorted to, when the original could not be laid before our readers, may have the effect of spreading more universally the knowledge of its contents; happy if, by our humble efforts, we shall succeed in our earnest wish to aid those salutary effects, which we think it cannot fail to produce upon the minds of men in this eventful crisis. The only parts of the author's doctrines in which we do not heartily agree, are those, we are sorry to say, which are of a consolatory nature. We do not think he has at all exaggerated the dangers of war, but we cannot help suspecting that he has underrated the dangers of peace; and, desponding as we have no doubt he will appear to many of the sanguine spirits of this country, we only blame him for giving too flattering a picture of the hopes and resources which remain to us.
ART. XVI. Leonora. By Miss Edgeworth. Two Volumes.
. pp. 580. London, 1806. MISS ISS EDGEWORTH always writes with good sense, and with
good intentions : but this is not among her best doings; the story is neither very probable, nor very interesting ;---most of
the characters are rather sketches than finished portraits; and there is a want both of persons and of incidents, which produces a degree of languor not to have been expected in so short a work of so animated a writer. There are not many persons, we believe, in this country, who stand in need of the lessons it is intended to teach; and perhaps it is not altogether calculated to produce much effect upon such persons. All the lessons which it does teach, however, are salutary; and all the effect it can produce, must be favourable. It is chiefly for this reason that we have thought it worth while to give a short account of it.
The story is that of a wise, virtuous, well-bred English husband, who is seduced from the most amiable wife in the world, by the arts of a Frenchified coquette ; and after having run the whole career of unlawful intrigue and gallantry, has his eyes opened to the true character of his seducer, and returns penitent and humiliated to his generous and forgiving consort. This is a very narrow foundation, our readers will perceive, for a novel in two volumes : but it is easy to discover, that it was not so much the story, as the moral, that Miss Edgeworth was anxious about, and that she intended this fable merely as a vehicle for those disquisitions on affected sensibility and conjugal duty with which it is very copiously adorned. The work being thrown into the form of letters, gives her an opportunity of introducing these with great felicity and success; and she has put together a number of remarks and reasonings, which we have perused with great satisfaction and delight. The evil, however, we think, is scarcely of so urgent a nature as to make us set any extraordinary value upon the remedy. The affectation or the indulgence of excessive sensibility, is no longer the vice of our countrywomen ;-they have been pretty well laughed out of it; and, we believe, no tolerably well educated young woman of eighteen, would feel any thing but contempt and derision for such effusions as fall from the pen of Lady Olivia. The fashion has gone down now to the lower orders of society i and we dare say there is still a good deal of raving about tideless blooded souls, overwhelming emotions, and narrow prejudices, among the abigails and dealers in small millinery, who read novels, and sip ratafia upon the borders of prostitution :But as it was not for such patients, we presume, that Miss Edgeworth compounded her cordials, we scarcely think she will find much occasion for them in the world she takes charge of.
The character of this sentimental lady and her French friend, we do not think very well drawn. Both are caricatured, and their views and follies so clearly marked, as to render it quite improbable that they should impose upon any person of common observation or knowledge of the world. The French picture is the
best, and has certainly a number of national traits, that must have been derived from modern observation; but we did expect something more highly finished from the historian of Lady Delacour.
We complained, on a former occasion, of the partiality which led Miss Edgeworth, in all her conjugal portraits, to give such an unreasonable share of merit to the lady; and we cannot easily forgive her upon this occasion, for having made her English wife in all respects so much more amiable and respectable than her husband. At the same time, we must own that she makes some amends, by inculcating the duties of submission, gentleness and obedience, in a most zealous and orthodox' manner. Both in the tale of Griselda, and in the work now before us, she has been at much laudable pains to hold up to ridicule and contempt, the magnanimous pretensions of those who are commonly called women of spirit ; and to point out the gross folly and impropriety of that vindictive and irritating temper of mind, in defence of which we have heard so many ladies grow eloquent. We think, indeed, that she has attained a far juster notion of female than of male excellence; and hope sincerely, for the sake of our sex, that fortune may soon introduce her to some masculine model, from which she may be enabled to draw a worthy companion for Lady Leonora and the rest of her accomplished heroines.
We have not room to present our readers with any of the nar. rative parts of these volumes; and, in truth, they would not be very intelligible, without a long introductory explanation. As a specimen, we rather give some of Miss Edgeworth's general remarks upon modern female philosophy.
• Ataste for the elegant profligacy of French gallantry was, I remember, introduced into this country before the destruction of the French monarchy. Since that time, some sentimental' writers and pretended philosophers of our own and foreign countries have endeavoured to confound all our ideas of morality. To every rule of right they have found exceptions, and on these they have fixed the public attention by adorning them with all the splendid decorations of eloquence ; so that the rule is despised or forgotten, and the exception triumphantly established in its stead.'- They put extreme cases, in which virtue may become vice, or vice virtue : they exhibit criminal paffions in constant connexion with the most exalted, the moft amiable virtues. Thus mak. ing use of the beit feelings of human nature for the worst purposes, they engage pity or adıniration perpetually on the side of guilt. Eter. 'nally talking of philosophy and philanthropy, they only borrow the ferms, to peplex the ignorant and seduce the imaginative. They have their fyftems and their theories ; and in theory they pretend that the general good of society is their fole immutable rule of morality, and in pradice they make the variable feelings of each individual the judges