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established toleration,-of that religion, that they precisely and repeatedly mention as James's object-and, so far as religion was concerned, the king of France's object in affording him pecuniary aids. This long argument, and the topic connected with it, the invariable and predominant design of Charles the Second and James to establish themselves in a complete despotic power, lead Mr. Heywood into a series of extremely curious investigations and disclosures of the base characters and intrigues of these two sovereign personages. It is a most melancholy reflection, and it haunts a thoughtful reader throughout the exhibition, that great nations, the assemblage of millions of beings with minds, may be prostrate under, and even worship, the authority of the meanest vilest refuse of their own nature.

But we are reminded it is time to end this article, already become, we fear, tedious and tiresome, though we have scarcely proceeded through half the Serjeant's performance, and have hardly even alluded to one principal section, in which Mr. Fox is most completely and unanswerably vindicated against the Observer's imputation of injustice to Sir Patrick Hume, whose defence, the Right

Honourable Author alleges as the principal object in making his book. Indeed the Vindicator's task is, throughout, accomplished with a completeness almost beyond example; and Mr. Fox now takes his rank decidedly among the most accurate of historians. We are glad of it; and may well give ourselves credit that the pleasure arises from considerations independent of all political partialities. A man in the Observer's circumstances should have perceived it to be a matter of extreme delicacy to censure a work, especially a posthumous and unfinished work, of Mr. Fox. The very least that might justly be claimed in such a case was, that time should be taken for the most careful examination of the points intended to be disputed ; that some moderate degree of that solicitous balancing of evidence should be practised, for which Mr. Fox himself was represented as so remarkable ; that there should be a most exemplary modesty, a cautious resistance of every temptation to boast and parade about official accuracy; and that whenever any advantage was deemed to be gained against so strong a man, it should be recollected how difficult it was to keep an advantage against him when he was alive. How much the reverse of this has been the Observer's conduct, we need not again remark; but never did presumption precipitate itself to a deeper fall.

We ought not to have omitted, in the preceding paragraphs, one of the most remarkable of Mr. Heywood's successes.

In noticing the famous bill for the preservation of the person of King James, Mr. Fox suggests that there has been something much resembling it in later years. Mr. Rose will not allow that any such instance can be found; and yet, amidst this denial, cannot help adverting to the act of the 18th of December, 1795. Mr. Heywood prints the two acts beside each other; and their substance, and in the most material parts the very expressions, are the same!

[December, 1809.]

Characters of the late Charles James Fox, selected, and in part written,


Very few pages of the original part of this work could have been read by any one at all acquainted with the style of Dr. Parr, without confidently guessing at the real name of Philopatris Varvicensis, even if the introduction had not avowed that the work is from the same hand as the noted preface to Bellendenus. The avowal is made in a singularly inartificial manner, purporting that this author has the permission of that author to insert a part of that preface, and that the authors are one.

It may be deemed an act of condescension, in one of the first scholars in Europe, to take a collection of extracts from newspapers, magazines, reviews, funeral sermons, and fugitive poetry, for the basis of an ample literary structure, which was to display the attributes and decorations of all the orders of literary architecture. The proceeding is certainly no inconsiderable proof, that an author may be very learned, intimately acquainted with his subject, and an enthusiast concerning it, without necessarily despising every thing that has been written on that subject by his contemporaries. The talents and acquirements of Philopatris will be the more freely applauded by every reader, from their being unaccompanied with any signs of the superciliousness, jealousy, and

envy, which have often so seriously deducted from the claims of men of learning and wit.

An impartial execution of the humble office of making such a selection, whoever had undertaken it, would deserve to be acknowledged, we think, as a service to the public. Apart from any consideration of the literary qualities, good or bad, of the pieces forming this miscellany, it compels us to allow it some degree of importance when we reflect, that if we could ascertain all the readers of each of the pieces, it is a very moderate computation that more than a million of persons have read or heard read with real interest, and with a decidedly approving or disapproving opinion, some of the composition contained within these hundred and sixty pages. We have therefore within this space a portion of writing, which has engaged an extent and a degree of attention which may probably never be excited in the same brief space of time by any set of critical, moral, and biographical essays on one subject, that we shall ever again see brought together. It is also reasonable to believe, that, under the aid of that state of national feeling which was produced by the solemnity of the occasion, these pieces may have had a greater effect on the popular mind with regard to its views of what may be termed the morality of politics, than any other equal quantity of temporary productions. They will, besides, when thus collected, and preserved for another age, in a richer portion of classical condiment than probably any other person than this editor could have furnished, remain an amusing and instructive record of the kind of political and moral sentiments entertained, at the period when they were written, by a large proportion of our nation, as well as a tolerably competent memorial of the qualities of that wonderful man to whom they relate: and it is agreed on all hands that a very full memorial ought to be transmitted to posterity, since the subject is such a person as they probably may never see.

The collection contains a great deal of good writing, though but few specimens of the highest order. In the sum of the effect of all these delineations, the reader will be in possession of a bold and substantially just idea of the man, provided he is sufficiently instructed in Christianity to make, from his own judgment, certain corrections in the moral lights and shades, in touching which very few of these numerous painters seem to have recollected or cared to direct a single look toward the standard of character held forth in revelation. A man like Fox, it


should seem, is quite beyond the cognizance of Christianity. But this point we may slightly notice a page or two further on. To say that the prominent lines of Fox's character are justly drawn in many of these pieces, is no very high praise ; the distinctions of that character being so strong, obvious, and simple, that a very moderate degree of skill was sufficient to discriminate and describe them. It may be easier to describe the Giant's Causeway or Mount Ætna, than many of the most diminutive productions of nature, or most trifling works of art. It was said of Fox's countenance, that the most ordinary artist could not well contrive to fail of producing some tolerable likeness of features so marked ; and, in the same manner, even the least accomplished of the thirty describers of his mind, here brought together, has found it easy enough to tell of his vast comprehension, his natural logic, his power of simplifying, his unaffected energy, his candour, his bold and plain language, and his friendly, plain man

In point of dignity the subject was worthy of Mackintosh, whose celebrated eulogium is inserted among the rest ; but at the same time its obviousness was such, that all the dulness of Messrs.



be labouring and contorting itself, to the pain and pity of all beholders, to bring out something that should seem knowing, and philosophic, new, and fine, could not miss the substantial truth, and has not prevented their perceiving nor their saying, though in the most affected and pompous idiom, just the same things that have been plain to every body these forty years. It could not be supposed there was any great difficulty in saying such things; yet for having said such things, with a due portion of rhetoric, worked out of common-place into conceit or bombast, many a writer, possessed of less discrimination than would have been required for sketching the character of his errand-boy, has taken credit to himself as an eloquent and sagacious eulogist of Mr. Fox, whose death supplied so excellent an occasion to all who were capable of working in prose or rhyme. The occasion was indeed so singularly good for a piece of fine composition, that we really are tempted to doubt the sin

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