the name of the author may perhaps have given some currency to his opinions among those who are incapable of discerning either the mischievous nature of his principles, or the futility of the arguments by which those principles are defended.

He was fortunate in his first choice of a subject, and the public regarded with a liberal and becoming partiality the efforts of a man, who in a place and in a profession not supposed peculiarly favourable to such studies, had cultivated polite learning with tolerable success. When nothing is expected and something is produced, that something is sure to be rated above its value.Surprize comes in to heighten admiration. In this way Mr. Roscoe has obtained for two moderately good books, a reputation which, although already on the wane, we suspect still to be higher than that which he will maintain in the eyes of posterity, when the circumstances to which he owes it shall have in some measure ceased to operate, and his works be left to their intrinsic merits. Those merits however we should not have felt ourselves particularly disposed to question, if he had not availed himself of whatever authority he may have derived from them, in order to propagate doctrines which we consider it to be among the foremost of our duties to resist.

We agree with Mr. Roscoe in thinking it probable that the war can no longer be carried on without greater sacrifices than it has hitherto required-such as will materially affect the comforts of every individual, and put to a very severe proof the good sense, loyalty, and fortitude of the people of England. It is evident that nothing short of a clear and thorough conviction of their absolute necessity, can induce them to endure these privations with patience, and prevent them from expressing their discontent in such a way as would completely overpower the wiser part of the community, and compel the government to purchase a short respite on terms which would in effect lay us at the feet of France: and we therefore regard all these attempts to shake that conviction, (which, we rejoice to say, is still pretty universal,) and all these whining declamations about the miseries of war, as so many blows aimed (unintentionally, to be sure, as far as Mr. Roscoe is concerned,) at the honour and independence of the country; and we feel grateful to the distinguished statesman to whom this lamentation is addressed, that party feeling has not prevented him from maintaining out of office those doctrines on which he acted when in power; and that he has not shrunk from his share of whatever unpopularity may hereafter attend the prosecution of a contest unavoidable in its commencement, and the continuance of which, as the experience of every succeeding year has proved, it assuredly does not depend upon any wish or effort of ours to determine.


ART. VI. The History of Ancient Wiltshire. By Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. Folio. Part. I. London. Miller. 1810.

IT T is one of the advantages belonging to the present day, that men of rank and fortune have many objects, unknown in ruder times, to wean them, not only from sensual gratification, but also from amusements, not perhaps actually criminal, yet gross and inelegant. Duties there always were in that rank, as in every other, to be fulfilled; but the demands of duty are never unremitted: and when the peer or opulent commoner had discharged all that he owed to his country in parliament, or on the bench, and all that was due to his family or dependents at home, many irksome voids would remain which could scarcely be filled up but by the pleasures of the chace and the table. But if in this condition of life, a man happened to be born with nerves too weak for such boisterous amusements, or if some portion of native taste, aided by education, happened to have given him a relish for intellectual enjoyment, the country presented an universal void, and neither conversation nor pursuits at all congenial to such a spirit were to be found but in the capital. Still, however, superior minds were condemned, for the most part, to their country houses, with no resources but what were contained in a dull domestic library for before the reign of Charles I. no family perhaps visited London from inclination alone; the nobility were compelled (for all was then compulsion) to attend their duty in parliament, and the members of the lower house, who generally left their wives and children in the country, never considered themselves as domesticated any where but in their family houses. In the reign of his son, a philosophical spirit began to spread among the higher ranks, experiments were tried in London only, conversation took a more elegant and scientific turn, and a great literary society was formed; these causes attracted from their country seats the graver and more inquisitive, while the prodigious improvement, which in that dissipated reign took place in theatrical representations, held out an equally powerful lure for migration to the gay and the thoughtless; but these were serious evils.-The absorption of talent and morals and influence in the capital where they are lost, and the subtraction of all those qualities, to which the yeomanry and peasantry of England had immemorially been taught to look with respect, were deeply felt. The country gentleman out of parliament is no where in his proper post, but at his country house. Where the lord of a village is resident, subordina



tion and good manners at least are maintained; in many instances even yet personal authority and example are exerted to better purposes. The produce of an estate is immediately returned to those by whose labour it has been collected, and, in one view or other, pernicious indeed must be the example diffused by that family, whose presence is not better than its absence. Let us hail then the astonishing improvement which has of late taken place in those intellectual stimuli, the love of nature, of rural elegance, and lastly, of antiquarian investigations, which are every day sending men of opulence back to their country seats, not only in their immediate operation, as so many sources of happiness and virtue to those on whom they operate, but in their consequences as benefits and blessings overflowing on the whole community. Compare, for example, the difference between the condition of a manor in the hands of a neglected and indigent tenantry, racked to support the luxury of a lord, who never condescends to visit them, the want of attachment and respect to an immediate superior, the miserable and exhausting husbandry which such management produces, with the situation of the same place and people, in the hands of a resident and skilful agriculturist; compare again the innocent, the useful, and beneficent conduct of a country gentleman so employed with the outrages and havoc committed by his Nimrod grandfather. In the one case we shall be struck with the advantage of country residence above that of London, in the other with the happy change of manners which has taken place in the country itself.

Another attraction, which the taste and information of the present age have communicated to the country, though less useful perhaps, at least less immediately useful, though more elegant, is the spirit of planting and ornamental gardening, together with the kindred pursuit of botany. A third, to which, in point of utility, we scruple not to assign an important, though far subordinate station, is the modern pursuit of topography. To this, when taken up by a man of rank and fortune, he will generally communicate much of that liberal spirit and feeling which belongs to his place and education; the terms gentlemanly knowledge, indeed, are become proverbially contemptuous :-but we think, very unjustly. To the opulent and dignified aspirant after topographical fame may properly be remitted much of the patient drudgery and profound investigation, which we have a right to require of the closet antiquary, or the scholar by profession; but in another quarter, our demands upon him increase in proportion; from such an antiquary we expect active, expensive, and personal surveys, together with liberal patronage of the fine arts, connected with his undertaking; the employment of accurate draftsmen, ornamental printers and first rate engravers. Of these fitnesses, and of

of the expectations which would necessarily result from them, the author appears both in the present and a former instance, to have been peculiarly sensible. Traversing the dreary mountains of Wales, taste in Sir Richard Hoare operated as a stimulus equally powerful with the crusading spirit of Giraldus; with the same enthusiasm, though with less enterprize and exertion, he has now explored the innumerable barrows of his own interesting country. As the editor of Giraldus, he transformed a neglected and unadorned duodecimo into two of the most magnificent quartos which the press and the graver could supply. As the antiquary of ancient Wiltshire, he has now produced an earnest of his future favours, exhibiting specimens of typography perhaps unrivalled, and of engraving, less picturesque indeed, (for the nature of his subject would not admit of picturesque effect,) but more exquisitely finished than those which adorned the pages of his Giraldus. In the former work, however, he had only the second merit of an antiquary; that of having traced and illustrated the footsteps of another in the present he is entitled to the first; he is a discoverer in the strictest sense. Yet it must not be dissembled that both these works, meritorious as they are on the whole, have considerable faults. With the defects of the Giraldus we have at present no concern. Those of the ancient Wiltshire are principally in the threshold of the work; and we trust it will not be thought invidious, if, for that reason, we assign to them the first place in our animadversions. Vestibulum ante ipsum, appears the well engraved and characteristic face of Mr. William Cunnington, the author's humble friend and co-adjutor, together with the following extraordinary dedication in capitals.


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'To Mr. William Cunnington, F. A. S.

Men illustrious for their noble birth, conspicuous character, or distinguished literary abilities, have, in general, engrossed the homage of dedications; but on the present occasion I shall deviate from this long established custom, and gratify my private feelings by paying a tribute that is due to justice and friendship.

'To you, therefore, Sir, who first projected the plan of this history, and by your interesting collections and important discoveries, encouraged me to pursue it, this work is most gratefully and appropriately dedicated.'

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This worthy man, we believe, is now past the power of feeling either pain or pleasure upon earth, though he lived to peruse this singular address. What he thought on this occasion, we pretend not to conjecture; suffice it to say, that unless his feelings were of a different texture from our own, he was not superlatively delighted. Most readers will remember the effect which Pope's ill-judged epithet, low-born,' produced on the mind of Mr. Allen; but this

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instance is even more unhappy, in as much as the inverted and indelicate compliment is more varied and expanded.-From the Baronet's former address, prefixed to his Giraldus, we were prepared to expect something uncommon of the same species here, and something uncommon we have found. In an analysis of the sentiment called delicacy, which is found in some hearts, it may fairly bear a question, whether the officious and immoderate flattery of an inferior, or the gracious and coarsely avowed condescen sion of a patron, be the more intolerable.

The work commences with an introduction of thirty pages, to which is prefixed, in capitals, of which, either for the purpose of ornament or emphasis, the worthy baronet is extremely fond, this oracular motto, We speak from facts not theory.'-Nothing surely could be more unfortunate than the choice, or at least the collocation of these words; for it is in the introduction alone, that the author, unhappily for himself, indulges in that very spirit of theory, which is here disclaimed, and for which, assuredly, he is not eminently gifted, either by nature, or the train of his studies. In the body of the work he has every where proved himself an accurate observer, and distinct reporter of facts. From this unlucky abandonment of his own principle, he has rendered the introduction extremely weak and assailable. It is not that Sir Richard Hoare has in this chapter collected what had been again and again assembled before, namely, all the scattered notices to be found in antiquity with respect to the first population of Britain, the names and situation of its tribes, and the manner of its aboriginal inhabitants; as this is in some sort a national work, such a repetition was more than tolerable, it was becoming, and in its proper place; but 'tecum habita et noris quam sit tibi curta supellex,' would have been a seasonable caution to the author. He should here have confined himself to facts recorded by others; as he has wisely confined himself in the body of the work to facts of his own observation. He should have remembered the convincing force of reason, or bewitching wildness of imagination, with which these few data have been expanded by Whitaker, Stukeley, and Borlase. It is not for a man of ordinary abilities to touch the confines of their Druid temple:- within that circle none can move but they." Whether these strictures are harsh or unfounded the reader will be enabled to judge for himself, from the following specification: My present study is to consider Britain in its earliest and most savage state: and perhaps a more just, spirited, and appropriate account could not have been given of our primitive Britons, than the following one given of the Fenni, by the masterly hand of the historian Tacitus, Fennis mira feritas, foeda paupertas, non arma, non equi, non penates, victui herba, vestitui pelles, cubile humus, sola in

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