and having excited no jealousies in the Netherlands, William and his subjects, mindful of our unparalleled achievements in the most memorable of wars, and conscious of the powerful support which he and his Britannic Majesty can mutually yield, as well as of that which they may with equal confidence expect from Russia, will not only avoid acting like dangerous rivals, but promptly lend their aid whenever the general welfare shall call for it. It is in this way, that the Princess Charlotte has, at so early an age, consolidated the interests of two nations, whose firm concord is essential both to themselves and to their neighbours. Ought H. R. Highness to reject another Prince, with a view to the prosperity of the nations over which she is destined to reign? She must take Counsel's advice.

But if the best securities for the continuance of peace be the rendering of impartial justice to the miscreants of France; and the matrimonial alliance between Russia and the Netherlands: the greatest risks of its interruption will depend on the insufficient dispensation of justice to those vile characters; and the petty insults, not the spirited aggressions, which British subjects will every season experience from the citizens of the United States. If the French find it practicable to stir, they will stir in good earnest, and will instantly put us and all Europe upon the alert. But the Americans will cheat, and kidnap, and imprison our fellow subjects, and encroach upon both our territories and those of our allies, and, by way of explanation, trump up lame stories, which they will tell in their own confident way, and then insist upon our being satisfied. A quarrel with Napoleon Bonaparte was never half so much shunned by the British Government, as a difference of opinion with James Madison.

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ART. II.-The Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon, Esq.
(Concluded from Vol. 1.)

WE closed our former remarks with the second volume of
this collection, which contains the diversified correspondence
of Gibbon with the more distinguished of his friends. The
reader will enjoy a treat in the perusal of the letters which
passed between him and Crevier, Allamand, Breitinger and
Gesner; they are entirely confined to classical subjects, and
were written when Gibbon was between the age of eighteen
and twenty-one.

The contents of the third volume are principally historical. The most interesting articles are the Antiquities of the House of Brunswick, and outlines of the History of the World from the ninth century to the fifteenth inclusively. Much of the characteristic manner and labored-diction of the author of the Decline and Fall of the Empire, may be traced in these early attempts at historical composition. But there is a subject to which we attach very great importance, and which excites a deep interest from the national object which it embraces, viz. the article which closes this volume entitled, An Address recommending Mr. John Pinkerton as a person well qualified for conducting the publication of the Scriptores Rerum Anglicarum—our Latin Memoirists of the middle ages, accompanied with explanations by Mr. Pinkerton himself. While Muratori has immortalized his name and redeemed the character of his country, by rescuing her early historians from oblivion; while the veteran Benedictines with Dom Bouquet at their head, haye claimed the gratitude of their country by employing their talents for the same purpose; while Germany, Denmark, and even Spain have profited by the encouraging example so set them; how comes it that our early historians have been so shamefully neglected? Of the early chronicles of British events, the few that have been published ate incorrectly printed, and are become excessively scarce. When the productions of fancy or science are swept away, new poets may invent, new philosophers discover. Works in divinity, medicine, and the belles-lettres, if lost, may be recovered or exceeded by the efforts of succeeding generations. But if an historical fact once perish, it is gone for ever.


"Instead" says Gibbon with laudable warmth " instead of condemn ing the MONKISH HISTORIANS-as they are contemptuously styled, silently to moulder in the dust of our libraries; our candor, and even our justice, should learn to estimate their value, and to excuse their Enperfections. Their minds were infected with the passions and errors of their times, but those times would have been involved in darkness, Id not the art of writing and the memory of events, been preserved in

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the peace and solitude of the cloister. Their Latin style is far removed from the eloquence and purity of Sallust and Livy; but the use of a permanent and general idiom has opened the study, and connected the series of our ancient chronicles, from the age of Bede to that of Walsingham. In the eyes of a philosophic observer, these monkish historians are even endowed with a singular, though accidental, merit; the unconscious simplicity with which they represent the manners and opinions of their contemporaries: a natural picture, which the most exquisite art is unable to imitate."

To this we may be permitted to add, that the knowledge of the ancient part of our history is not only curious in itself, but necessary to make us fully acquainted with the modern. To a philosopher, as well as to the votary of fancy, the ancient part is the most interesting, from the strong and uncommon views of human nature to be found in it. What object, then, could be more worthy the attention of the great and the learned, than a correct series of our ancient historians, arranged with the judiciousness, and illustrated by the acuteness of an accomplished critic and scholar? And why was not the intimation of Mr. Gibbon duly received and carried into effect? Mr. Pinkerton answers in a letter addressed to the noble Editor of these volumes, and bearing date 24th October 1814.

His (Gibbon's) last great plan would not have expired with him if a war of twenty-four years had not engaged the whole attention of those distinguished characters, who could alone promote such an extensive design. At present, it is hoped, it might be resumed with some prospect of success; and among our monuments of triumph, this literary temple might be erected to the ancient glory of our country.”

We hail the omens of the last sentence with delight, and sincerely hope that the bright and cheering prospects now opened to our country, will prompt to the commencement of the patriotic task. Mr. Pinkerton is characterised by Gibbon as a man, "the volatile and fiery qualities of whose nature have been discharged, and there remains a pure and solid substance endowed with many active and useful energies." To the objection that such a work will surpass the powers of a single man, and that industry is best promoted by the division of labor, Mr. Gibbon answers:

"That Mr. P. seems one of the children of those heroes whose race is almost extinct, that hard assiduous study is the sole amusement of his independent leisure; that his warm inclination will be quickened by the sense of a duty resting solely on himself; that he is now in the vigor of age and health (this is written 1793); and that the most voluminous of historical collections was the most speedily finished by the diligence of Muratori alone."

The encouragement thus given by one who was so competent a judge, ought not to be lost. Let the literary character of our

age be effectually redeemed. While old plays and black letter pamphlets are rapidly reprinted and greedily bought up, let our neighbours no longer have it in their power to accuse us of neglecting the more manly and austere province of ancient national literature.

In the fourth volume we are presented with Gibbon's celebrated Essai sur l'étude de la littérature. This production has long been so well known to the public, that it would be improper to make observations upon it. Suffice it to state, that, independently of the maturity of mind displayed in a work published at 22 years of age, it is written in the French language and with a purity to which (Mr. Beckford the author of Vathec excepted) we believe no Englishman has attained.

Among the critical essays which fill the remainder of the volume, that on the character of Brutus is prominent from the vigour and spirit with which it is written. We shall indulge in a few extracts, as they bear upon questions recently and generally discussed.

"The memory of Cæsar, celebrated as it is, has not been transmitted down to posterity with such uniform and increasing applause as that of his PATRIOT ASSASSIN. Marc Antony ar knowledged the rectitude of his intentions. Augustus refused to violate his statues. All the great writers of the succeeding age enlarged on his praises, and more than two hundred years after the establishment of the imperial government, the character of Brutus was studied as the perfect idea of Roman virtue.. In England as in France, in modern Italy as in ancient Rome, his name has always been mentioned with respect by the adherents of monarchy and pronounced with enthusiasm by the friends of freedom. It may seem rash and invidious to appeal from the sentence of ages; yet surely I may be permitted to enquire, in what consisted the DIVINE VIRTUE OF BRUTUS? ---- The justice of the memorable Ides of March has been a subject of controversy above eighteen hundred years, and will so remain as long as the interests of the community shall be considered by different tempers in different lights. Men of high and active spirits, who deem the loss of liberty, or sometimes, in other words, the loss of power, the worst of misfortunes, will approve the use of every stratagem and every weapon in the chase of the common foc of society. They will ask how a tyrant, who has raised himself above the laws, and usurped the forces of the state, can be punished, except by an assassination; and whether the circumstance that most aggravates his crime, ought to secure his person and government. On the other hand, the lovers of order and moderation, who are swayed by the calm of reason, rather than by the impetuosity of passion, will never consent to establish every private citizen the judge and avenger of the public injury, or to purchase a temporary deliverance by the severe retaliation that will surely be exercised on those who have first violated the laws of war. The fate of Cesar was alleged to color the edict of proscription; and perhaps the generous ambition of the younger Guise would have been startled at the his great revenge against the Admiral de Coligny, and other leaders of a party, whom not NO. X. Aug. Rev. VOL. II. I


without reason he accused of his father's murder. We may observe that the assassination of tyrants has been generally applauded by the ancients. The fate of a great empire is usually decided by the sword of war; but against the petty usurper of a Greek or Italian city, the dagger of conspiracy has been often found as efficacious an instrument. The same doctrine is as generally condemned by the present nations of Europe; influenced by a milder system of manners and impressed with a deep sense of the bloody mischiefs perpetrated both by the Catholics and the Calvinists during the alliance of religious and political fanaticism."

After proving that Brutus had solicited employment under Cæsar, and received from him a promise of the office of first in rank of the sixteen Prætors, with the honorable department of the city jurisdiction, likewise of the consulship for one of the ensuing years, Mr. Gibbon adds;

"Could Brutus accept the honors of the state from a master who had abolished the freedom, and who scarcely preserved the forms of election? Nay more, by soliciting these honors Brutus solicited a public occasion of engaging his fidelity to the person and government of Cæsar by a solemn and voluntary oath of allegiance. A few days before the execution of their fatal purpose, these patriots all swore fealty to Cæsar, and protesting to hold his person ever sacred, they touched the altar with those hands which they had already armed for his destruction.' Relying on these assurances, the dictator dismissed his Spanish guards, and neglected every precaution. He could not persuade himself that those whom he had conquered would be brave enough, or those whom he had pardoned base enough, to shorten a life already sufficient either for nature or for glory. By those men he was flattered and assassinated. Such solemn perjury cannot be justified except by the dangerous maxim, that no faith is to be kept with tyrants.

It was only for usurping the power of the people that Cæsar could deserve the epithet of tyrant. He used the power with more moderation and ability than the people was capable of exercising; and the fiomans already began to experience all the happiness and glory compatible with a monarchical form of government. To this government Brutus yielded his obedience and services during three years before he lifted his dagger against Cæsar's life. What new crime had Cæsar committed, which so suddenly transformed his minister into an assassin? He aspired to the title of king, and that odious name called upon the descendant of Junius Brutus to assert the glories of his race! Such a regard to a word and such insensibility to the thing itself may be excused in the populace of Rome; but to a philosopher of an enlarged mind it was surely of little moment under what appellation public liberty was oppressed."

Such are the reflections which Mr. Gibbon offers on this interesting topic. The whole of the Essay merits an attentive. perusal, especially in these times-in which reputed patriots as well as monarchs ought to be held amenable to the candid inquisition of truth.-Of the other Essays contained in this volume, the most interesting to the classical reader will doubtless be those on The minute Examination of Horace's Journey

Appian. 1. II. p. 494.

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