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Servants and creatures of the Crown no longer exists. But had the rank

by the indelible character of pobility, neceffarily have a majority of its mer. the equal patrimony of all their child. bers feptennially or triennially nomi. ren, from the poffibility of their must nated by the King? Yet it would still remote descendants being restored to yield to the French Upper House of the general mass. The nobles of M. Calonne ; for the monied and conEngland are a Senate of 200. The mercial interests of England, which nublefie- of France were a tribe of would continue to be represented by 200,000. Nobility is in England the Commons, are important and foronly hereditary, so far as its professed midable, but in France they are comobject, the support of a hereditary parably infignificant. It would have senate, demands. It is therefore de- been a government where the Aristo, scendible only to one beir. Nobility in cracy could have been strong only France was as widely inheritable as against the people, impotent against the its real purpose, the maintainance of a crown. This second arrangement then privileged caft, prescribed. It was is equally repugnant to the theory of therefore neceffarily descendible to the British conftitution as the firit. all male children.

There remains only fome mode of There are orber points of contrast selection of a body from amidst the {till nosa important. The Nobleffe pobility and clergy to form an Upper of France were at once formidable House, and to this there are insuper: from their immenfe body of property, able objections. Had the right of thus and dependant from the indigence of forming a branch of the legislature by their Patrician rabble of cadets, whom a single act of prerogative been given honourinspired with servility and fervili, to the king, it must have strengthened ty excluded from the path to indepen. his infuence to a degree terrible af dence. They in fact posiedled ( large a any period, but fatal in the momeat of portion of the landed property, as to be political reform. Had any n'ade of justly, and almost exclusively consider eledion by the provinces, or the legifed as the oded interest of the king laturę, been adopted, or if they bud dom. To this formidable property was been yested with any control on the added the revenues of the church, nomination of the crown, the new dig. monopolized by their children. The nity would have been fought with an younger branches of these opulent aaivity of corruption and intrigue, of families had in general no patrimony which, in fach a national convullion, but their honours and their sword. it is impossible to estimate the danger.

They were therefore reduced to seek No general principle of selection, luch fortune and distinction in military de; as that of opulence or antiquity, would pendence on the Crown. If they have remedied the evil, for the exwere generous, the habits of military cluded and degraded nobles would fervice devoted them from loyalty ; if feel the principle, that nobility is the they were prudeat, the hope of military equal and inalienable patrimony of all, promotion devoted them from interefta By the abolition of pobility, no noblethe king.-How immense therefore man was degraded, for to degrade is and irrelistible would the Royal in to lower from a rank that continues fluence bave been in elections, where to exist in society, No man can be the majority of the paters were the degraded when the rank he poffefled What would be thought in England of nobility remained in the mode of of a House of Lords, which, while it which we have been speaking, the represented or contained the whole great body of the nobles would indeed, landed intereft of the kingdom, fhould in a proper and penal fopfe, have been )

degraded

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degraded, the new dignity of their prizes far more fatal than resentment former, peers would have kept of an indignity that is at least broken alive the memory of what they once by divifion, and impartially inflicted poffelled, and provoked them to enter on the greatest and most obscure.

Memoirs of the Life of Dr Robert Henry, Author of the History of Great Bri.

tain,' written on a new Plan.

fon of James Henry farmer at that station till his death. The deMairtown in the parish of St Ninian's, gree of Doctor in Divinity was conNorth Britain, and of Jean Galloway ferred on him by the university of daughter of Galloway of Burt Edinburgh in 1770; and in 1974 he rowmeadow in Stirlingshire. He was was unanimoufly chosen moderator of born on the 18th of February 1718; the general assembly of the church of and having early resolved to devote Scotland, and is the only person on rehimself to a liierary profeffion, was cord who obtained that distinction the edicated firft under a Mr John Ni. first time he was a member of assembly. cholson at the parish-school of St Ni From these facts, which contain nian's, and for some time at the gram. the outlines of Dr Henry's life, few mar-fehool of Stirling. He complet- events can be expected to fuit ed his course of academical itudy at the purpose of the biographer. the university of Edinburgh, and af. Though he must have been always terwards became matter of the gram- diftinguished among his private mar-school of Anaan. He was licen- friends, till he was transated to Edinfed to preach on the 27th of March burgh, he had few opportunities of be 1746, and was the first licentiate of ing known to the public. The comthe presbytery of Annan after its erec- poiition of fermons must have occue tion into a separate pryfbytery. Soon pied a chief part of his time during after, he received a call from a congre his residence at Carlisle, as his indufgation of Presbyterian disenters at Car- try'in har, station is known to have i.lle, where he was ordained in Nov. rendered his labours in this depart1748. In this station he remained ment easy. to him during the rest of 12 years, and on the 13th of August his life. But leven there he found 1760 became paftor of a diffenting con- leifure for other tudies; and the knowgregation in Berwick upon Tweed. ledge of classical literature, in which Here he married, in 1763, Ann Bal. he eminently excelled, foon enabled deriton, daughter of Thomas Bakler- him to acquire an extent of informaton furgeon in Berwick 3-by whom tion which qualified him for fome. he had no children, but wiih whom thing more important than he had he enjoyed to the end of his life a hitherto in his view. large share of domestic happiness. He Soon after his removal to Berwick, was removed from Berwick to be one he published a scheme for raising a fund of the ministers of Edinburgh in Now for the benefit of the widows and or¥ember 1768 ; was minister of the phans of Protestant diffenting minifchurch of the New Grey Friars ters in the north of England. This from that time till November 1776; idea was probably suggested by the and then became colleague-minifter prosperity of the fund which had, al

most.

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most 30 years before, been established riod, it arranges, under separate heads for a provision to ministers widows, or chapters, the civil and military hif&c. in Scotland. But the fituations tory of Great Britain; the history of of the clergy of Scotland were very religion ; the history of our conftitu. different from the circumstances of tion, government, laws, and courts dissenting minifters in England. An. of Justice; the history of learning, of nuities and provisions were to be fe- learned men, and of the chief feminacured to the families of diffenters, ries of learning; the history of arts; without subjecting the individuals (as the history of commerce, of hipping, in Scotland) to a proporcional andual of money or coin, and of the price of Contribution, and without such means commodities; and the history of manof creating a fund as could be the ners, virtues, vices, customs, lansubject of an act of parliament to fe- guage, dress, diet, and amusements. cure the annual payments. The a Under these seven heads, which excuteness and activity of Dr Henry tend the province of an historian furmounted these difficulties; and greatly beyond its usual limits, every chiefly by his exertions, this useful thing curious or interesting in the hiland benevolent inftitution commenced tory of any country may

be

compreabout the year 1762. The manage- hended. But it certainly required ment was entrusted to him for several more than a common share of literary years; and its success has exceeded courage to attempt, on so large a scale, the most fanguine expectations which a subject fo intricate and extensive as were formed of it.

The plan itself, the history of Britain from the inva. ROW fufficiently known, it is unnecef- fion of Julius Cæsar. That Dr Henry sary to explain minutely. But it is neither over-rated his powers nor his mentioned liere, because Dr Henry industry, could only have been proved was accustomed in the last years of by the success and reputation of his his life to speak of this inițitution works.' with peculiar affection, and to reflect But he foon found that his reg. on its progress and wuility with that dence at Berwick was an indoperable kind of satisfaction which a good n an

obstacle to the minute researches can only receive from the labour of which the execution of his plan love and of good works."

required. His fituation there excludIt was probably about the year 1763 ed him from the means of consulting that he firlt conceived the idea of his the original authorities; and though Hiftory of Great Britain ; a work al. he attempted to find access to them ready establidhed in the public opi- by means of his literary friends, and pion ; and which will certainly be re with their affistance made fome pro. ga. ded by polterity, not only as a grefs in his work, his information was bok which has greatly enlarged the notwithstanding fo incomplete, that (phere of history, and gratifies our cu- he found it imposible to prosecute his riofity on a variety of subjects which plan to his own satisfaction, and was fall not within the limits prescribed at laft compelled to relinquish itby preceding historians, but as one of By the friendship of Gilbert Laurie, the molt accurate and authentic repo. Efq; late Lord Provost of Edinburgh, fitories of historical information which ard one of his majesty's commissioners adopted by Dr Herry, which is in- ried the filer of Mrs Henry, he was disputably his own, and its peculiar removed to Edinburgh in 1768; and advantages, are sufficiently explained it is to this event that the public are in its general prefące. In every pe- indebted for bis prosecution of the

History

in of the juft seve,

History of Great Britain. His access claim indulgence, and is still lefs en. to the public libraries, and the means titled to credit from the public for of supplying the materials wbich these any thing which can be alcribid 10 did not afford him, were from that negligence in committing his manu. time used with fo much diligence and fcripts to the press; but confidering preseverance, that the first volume of the difficulties which Dr Henry surhis History in quarto/ was published mounted, and the accurate refearch in 1771, and the second in 1774, the and information which diftinguilla third in 1777, the fourth in 1781, his history, the circumstances which and the fifth (which brings down the have been mentioned are far from beHistory to the accession of Henry ing uninteresting, and inult add conVII.) in 1785. The subject of thefe fiderably to the opinion formed of his polumes compreheads the most intri- merit among men who are judges of cate and obscure periods of our hifto. what he has done. He did not prory; and when we consider the scanty fess to study the ornaments of lanand scattered materials which Dr Hen- guage; but his arrangement is uniform19. has digested, and the accurate and ly regular and natural, and his style simminute information which he has ple and perfpicuous. More than this given us under every chapter of his he has not attempted, and this canwork, we must have a high opinion not be denied him. He believed that both of the learning and industry of the time which might be spent in poihe author, and of the vigour and lifhing or rounding a sentence was a&ivity of his mind: efpecially when more usefully employed in investigatit is added, that he employed no ing and ascertaining a fact: and as a amanuensis, but completed the manu-' book of facts and folid information, script with his own hand; and that, supported by authentick documents, excepting the first volume, the whole his history will stand a comparison

buok, such as it is, was printed from with any other history of the same pe * the original copy. Whatever correc. riod.

tions were made on it, were inserted But Dr Henry had other difficulby interlineations, or in revising the tics to surmount than those which reproof-sheets. He found it necessary, lated to the composition of his work, indeed, to confine himfelf to a first Not liaving been able to transact with copy, from an unfortunate tremor in the bookteilers to his fatisfaction, the his hand, which made writing extreme five volumes were originally publishe. ly inconvenient, which obliged him at the risk of che author. When the to write with his paper on a book · first volume appeared,

was cenfured placed on his knee instead of a table, with an unexampled acrimony and perand which unhappily increased to such feverence. Magazines, reviews, and a degree, that in the laft years of his even newspapers, were filled with life he was often unable to take his abufive remarks and invectives, in victuals without allistance. An at which both it

the author and the book tempt which he made after the publi: were

e treated with contempt

and fourcation of the filth volume to employ tility. When an author las cnce luban amanuensis did not succeed. Nesmitied his works to the public, he lias ver having been accustomed to dictate no right to complain his compositions, he found it iinpoffi- rity of criticism. But Di Henry had ble to acquire a new habit; and though to contend with the inveterate Tcorn he persevered but a few days in the of malignity. In compliance with attempt, it had a sensible effect on his the usual custom, he had permitted a health, which he never afterwards re- fermon to be published which he had covered.--An author has no right to preached before the Society in Scot,

land

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historians of the present ages

land for Propagating Chriftian know- ceeded. The book, though printed ledge in 1773 ; a composition con- for the author, had fold beyond his raining plain good sense on a common most fanguine expectations; and had subject, from which le expected no received both praise and patronage reputation. This was eagerly seized from inea of the first literary characon by the adversaries of his History, ters in the kingdom: and though, and corn to pieces, with a virulence from the alarm which had been raised, and afperity which no want of merit the booksellers did not venture to purin the sermon could jułtify or explain. chase the property till after the publiAn anonymous letter had appeared cation of the fifth volume, the work in a newspaper to vindicate the Histo- was established in the opinion of the Ty, fron some of the unjust censures public, and at last rewarded the auwhich had been published, and assert. thor with a high degree of celebrity, ing from the real merit and accuracy which he happily lived to enjoy. of the book, the author's title to the In an article relating to Dr Henapprobation of the public. An an. ry's life, not to have mentioned the fwer appeared in the course of the fol- opposition which his History encounlowing week, charging him, in terms tered, would have been both affectaequally confident and indecent, with tion and injustice. The facts are fafhaving written this 'Tetter in his own ficiently remembered, and are unforpraise. The efforts of malignity fel. tunately too recent to be more midom fail to defeat their purpose, and nutely explained. That 'they contrito recoil on those who direct them. buted at first to retard the sale of the Dr Henry had many friends, and work is undeniable, and may be told till lately had not discovered that he without regret now that its reputation had any enemies. But the author of is established. The book has raised the anonymous vindication was un- itself to eminence as a History of known to him, till the learned and Great Britain' by its own merits; and respectable Dr Macqueen, from the the means employed to obstruct its indignation excited by the confident progress have only served to embellish petulance of the answer, informed its fuccess. him that the letter had been written Dr Henry was no doubt encouragby him. These anecdotes are still re-ed from the first by the decided apmembered, The abuse of the Histo- probation of some of his literary fy, which began in Scotland, was friends, who were allowed to be the renewed in some of the periodical pub, most competent judges of his subject ; lications in South Britain; though and in particular by one of the most to refer to the candid observations of whose history of the same periods English critics,) that in both king- juftly possesses the highest reputation. doms, the asperity originated in the The following character of the first lame quarter, and that paragraphs and second volumes was drawn up by and criticisms, written at Edinburgh that gentleman, and is weil entitled were pripted in London. The fame to be inserted in a narrative of Dr spirit appeared in Strictures published Henry's life. Those who profess on the fecond and third volumes ; a high esteem for the first yolume of but by this time it had in a great mea- De Henry's history, I

may venture fure loft the attention of the public. to say, are almost as numerous as those The malevolence was fufficiently un. who have perused it, provided they derfoud, and had long before become be competent judges of a work of that fatal to the circulation of the periodis nature, and are acquainted with the cal paper from which it originally pro, difficultics which ar:end fach an es

der,

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