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late King's Illness In 1788. 107»

If. R. If. should be since his misfortune,* I have felt only

1820.]

it was improper

admitted to his Majesty, gave a loose to his resentment,—asked by what authority lie presumed to prevent his seeing his father, and threatened to knock him down, if he dared to oppose him. Dr. 'Willis then besought permission to apprise the Queen of the visit. To this the Duke consented, stipulating that the Doctor should hot bo present at the interview which his Royal Highness declared should take place. The Queen then hastened to the King's apartment, aid the Duke was admitted.

His Royal Highness did not depart with favourable impressions of the King's state; he scrupled not to declare that lis thought his Majesty very deficient in mental powers, and that he believed something like fatuity had succeeded to irritation.

On Thursday tho 12th, the Duke of York visited his Majesty, whom ho found carefully examining a great number of spectacles, and .selecting with peculiar care some which he said were for his dear Eliza. To change the conversation, the Duke informed his Majesty that be had three desertions from his regiment. The King, impatient of the interruption, broke out into violent abuse of the Duke and his regiment, and became so perturbed, that the Queen was obliged to command the attendance of Dr.-Willis. On his appearance the storm instantly subsided; his Majesty became quite composed; he talked of an intention to visit Germany; told the Duke that he should send over a curricle and six small greys, and drive the Queen and himself through that country. His Majesty spoke of the high satisfaction he promised himself from visiting Potsdam, and seeing the Prussian army.

During the whole of this estrangement from reason, the subject which most frequently occurred and with the most forcible effect npon the royal mind, was the American war. The recollection of the proceedings in it, and of the conse > quences that followed, often produced violent agitation, and strong expressions of resentment against individuals. Lord ■North was always adverted to; but ever fn a manner expressive of the natural tenderness, humanity, and placability, of his Majesty's disposition. He never failed to conclude, respecting his Lordship, in the same words, uttered in a hurried but softened and feeling tone,— *' I was once very angry with him; but,

compassion for him."

The Duke of York, on his arrival in town, went to the House of Lords, where the Chancellor had just given assurances of his Majesty's excellent state. \

. Upon his Royal Highncss's commit- , nicating to his lordship the result of his observations, the Chancellor, in his characteristic manner, replied, " By G— they always contrive to wind the King up when 1 am tosce him; and he appears very well before me."

March the 10th, the bulletins of the three preceding days announced a quiet state. Tho account of this day stated that his Majesty had had a very good night, and possessed this morning more than usual recollection. The next day his Majesty was declared belter. The succeeding one he was pronounced to be in a progressive state of amendment. The bulletin of the 13th said, his Majesty had had four hours sleep, and was going on well.

The, Bulletins of the 14th, 15th, and 16th, pronounced a progressive amendment. That of the 17th proclaimed a state of actual convalescence.' The suecccding ones, till the 25th, declared uninterrupted progress in well-doing; and that day, and the following day, gave to a loyal and delighted people assurances of the absolute cessation of all complaint.

April the 23d. The Prince of Wales attended the public thanksgiving which his Majesty's exemplary piety induced him to offer at St. Paul's, for the mercy vouchsafed. As soon us the service was finished, his Royal Highness hastened to Carlton-House, where he changed his dress for the uniform of his regiment; and, taking the command of it, proceeded to meet his royal father on his return: thus becoming himself his guard and conductor to the Queen's house. A lighting there, his Royal Highness presented himself at the door, iu a manner that required to be seen, in order to be .duly felt and fully understood. It was to tho revered Monarch—to the beloved parent—that his Royal Highness offered assistance. The tender attachment of the most affectionate of sous,—the zealous devotion of the first of subjects,— were manifested with an energy and a grace that no language can adequately describe.

sight.

A total privation of the blessing of

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. SIR,

I HOPE you will excuse my anxiety to see inserted in your valuable pages, tlio following remarks on the Earthquake which lately happened here.

It was about half-past eight on the morning of the 22<l ult. after a sudden thaw had begun to succeed a frost unprecedented for duration arid intensity in this Country for six years, that a rumfiling noise, proceeding from a northern direction, was heard, which lasted for about three seconds, and was immediately followed by a tremulous heaving of the earth, passing apparently towards the south. Scarcely had this first shock been observed, and while I was still giddy with its stunning effects, another, and immediately a third, quickly succeeded; the last so smart, that the bell on our town-house steeple was distinctly heard to ring. The inhabitants were so alarmed, that many who were in bed ran out into the street, and jostled one another, quite stupified by the concussions; while the omens of clashing doors and ringing-bells terrified those within.

In the afternoon, heavy showers of rain fell, which continued with little intermission, till the evening of the follow. ing day (Saturday.) I think it of importance to note the changes of weather, as it is only by a careful accumulation of minute details, and a diligent observation of analogies, that we can hope to give a rational theory of these awful phenomena. The coincidence of the thaw and the earthquake, should therefore be considered worthy of being registered. In the partial account of it which appeared inone oflho Glasgow newspapers, it is stated- that the waters in Loch Lomond (north of Port Glasgow), experienced, about the same time, a partial rise, or agitation, and that some persons crossing in a small boat were terrified by the sudden rippling of the watch This I have been able to corroborate; and have since heard by a letter from a friend in Condrie, (in Perthshire, and noted for Earthquakes,) that the whole phenomena which were " observed on the banks of the Clyde, were more distinctly and mote awfully marked there," as well as at Kippen, Dumbarton, &c. &c. though, at these latter places, but slightly; however, it docs not appear that it had' been felt any further south.

My townsmen early manifested their

anxiety for the fate of our elegant spire, which they dreaded was injured by the same shock which made the bell sound; nor were their fears tain. Although not twisted and shattered in the singular manner in which the Inverness spire was some years ago, yet it was found that it had been pushed considerably off the periiernlientar, which may be detected by a stranger on the most cursory glance. Q, T. Port-Glaigow; Feb. 4,1820.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine;

SIR,

A BOUT three weeks ago, passing A over the grand iron-bridge' from Queen-street to fiankside, I observed that all the lamp-irons of the bridge, except one or two of those fixed in the iron, were forced up in their sockets; some as much as 2J inches, and some had one of the two prongs broken off.

Iron, like all other bodies, is contracted by cold, anil expanded by heat; and it seems, the immense rafters or joists which stretch from pier to pier, and form the arch, are, where they meet on the piers, so firmly locked together,or by their immense weight, or both these, necessarily yielded to the irresistible power of the late severe frost, by flattening a little. This motion loosened the tenon, and at tho same time squeezed it out of ifs mortice a little". After this came a warmer air, and then these massive pieces of metal stretched themselves to their original form. But again the air became intensely cold; and the contraction being repeated, the irons were still further forced out of their sockets, as described. Now, these irons are fastened in with lead, which has not sufficient strength to oppose tho powers of variable heat. Some of the irons had one of their tenons broken off, because the broken one was better secured than the other; and, not keeping pace in rising with it, necessarily snap7 ped asunder.

The means of preventing a recurrence would be, to drill a hole through' and fasten them with screw-bolts of wrought-iron. Such an affection of these beautiful and useful structures ought to be skilfully guarded against.

W. Bloor.
Paul-street, Fimbury,
February 21,1820.

For

1820.] Philosophy of Culcmporary Criticism

For the Monthly Magazine.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF COTEMPO

RARY CRITICISM.—No. VI.

Ecltclu Review, and Edinburgh Monthly

Review*

OUR observations on the Reviewers has produced a considerable sensation; and we have received several amusing and interesting communications from injured and aggrieved authors. Gratified however as we have been by these testimonies to the justness of our strictures, we are obliged to say, that it is not our object to examine the merits or defects of particular articles, but to describe in a concise form the spirit in ■which they are conceived. We are quito sensible of the inattention, perhaps we may say the unfairness, of the Monthly Review, on many occasions; but we think that in a former paper we sufficiently explained how this naturally arose; and we are no less aware of the benefit which the literature of the country would derive from a regular review of the leviews; but the narrow limits to which our remarks are necessarily restricted, must convince our readers that this important task cannot be undertaken in the Monthly Magazine. We have however set the example, and shown how absurd it is in the public to pay so much deference to these self-constituted tribunals, which on so many occasions have been more distinguished for the insolence of their presumption, than the justness of their awards. Rut, before resuming our examination, we beg, in reply to the correspondent who has favoured us with observations on the critique on Von Midler's Universal History, that, although we agree with him in some of his remarks, we do not think that he lias proved the orthodoxy of that learned writer, according to the reviewer's notions of what is orthodox; for he does hot know what those notions are. He cannot but have often noticed, that critics are in the habit of using very peremptory expressions, and that it is not in the hurried sketches of the Monthly Review that wc are to look in general either for well-considered estimates, or expressions that mean exactly what they stand for.

Upon the subject to which the friend of Miss Hutton draws our attention, there can be but one opinion. He cannot however but know, that in one respect reviewers are impartial,—that is, they have no regard to sex or virtue, youth or age, if the parties before them

Monthly Mac. No. 337.

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are not their own personal friends. This is an old and well-established charge against them; and they would certainly do well to vindicate themselves, if they can, from the imputation. Rut, respecting the few sentences in Miss Hu(ton's novel concerning Captain Cook, we cannot do better than quote the words of an old and respected correspondent.

"And what is there blamable in the few sentences concerning the late able seaman, Captain Cook? Is it any thing more than the report, not of Miss H. but of a traveller who had witnessed it, and the truth and accuracy of which is well known to all the few persons now living who were at all personally acquainted with the captain. Even a stranger, looking on the best-engraved portraits of Captain Cook, must acknowledge that they see the strongest-marked traits of a severe and morose, not to say savage, disposition. But, as to love or affection from his companions, it is quite out of the question. He was not only a strict but a severe commander, a rigid disciplinarian, and a hard task-master, who was ouly obeyed through fear; a disposition which increased in him with his age in every voyage more and more, especially in his last fatal voyage, in which his inferior officers and seamen were harassed and irritated to such a degree, that it was feared a mutiny would have been the consequence, had he not been cut off by accident. In fact, his severe conduct cost him his life, and but for that he might have been saved; owing to a circumstance which stimulated his naturally morose disposition to an intolerable pitch, that ended in big destruction. He had taken a liking to 3 young girl at one of the islands, whom he kept as his companion on-hoaid the ship during the rest of the voyage, which was productive of much disorder and quarreling in the ship: and when the captain went on shore, or was otherwise out of sight, his officers took liberties with the girl, who afterwards complained of this conduct to the captain, which irritated his temper to a degree that produced disgust and conspiracies among the crew. The consequence of which was, that, when he went ashore at the island of Owyhee, he lost his life, though his boat's crew could have saved him if they chose; for, when he Med towards the shore from the attacks of the natives, instead of drawing the boat in, the crew pushed it off" from the shore, leaving the captain to his fate; when he fell by the spears of the savages." H.

But it is time that we should resume our regular duty.

The Eclectic Review for November

contains, in less than one hundred pages,

P including

including extracts, a summary of the qualities of no less than ten books. The first is on Protestant Nonconformity, by Joaiali Cornier, in two volumes. We are assuredly not much addicted to polemical controversy, and our readers will do us the justice to bear testimony to the truth of this; uor, indeed, have we much respect for those writers who givo the Gospel according to their own fancies; and therefore it will not be surprising that we should approve this article in the Eclectic Review', when we find it setting out with so just and reasonable an observation as this: "The nonconformist controversy would be reduced within very narrow limits, were but the respective parties capable of coining to an agreement upon one preliminary point,—the sufficiency of the New Testament, as the sole umpire in the disputation." We recommend the whole article, as, in our opinion, very sound and good, and entreat for it the attention of all denominations of those contending Christians who bow so lowly 1o the darling Dagon of their own peculiar creed; while they revile with so much acrimony the base superstition of those who think and worship according to their straitened understandings. It is in articles of this kind that the Eclectic Keview excels; and, as such, it is well worthy of attention by all those who think polemical writings worthy of any attention at all.

The article on the second and third series of the Tales of My Landlord, is also ably written; but the author is too austere in his first principles ; at least, he seems so to us: for we neither do think that all books should be devoted to instruction, nor that novels are the best vehicles for conveying moral lessons. .On the contrary, we are advocates for works eutiiely written for amusement, and upon the same principles that we approve of relaxations from cares and business in ordinary life. As we delight to look at the blithe and bounding school-hoy revelling in the sunshine of his holiday, we are pleased to see the solemn recreations at occasional whist or backgammon of those who have long forgone the enjoyment of careless thoughts, without being in the one case advocates for cards or dice generally, any more than for a life of "One long summer's day of indolence and

mirth." But, with this reservation respecting the writer's principles, we consider the critical observations on the Talcs of Sly

Landlord as sensible ami just. At the same time, while we acknowledge ourselves thus duly impressed by a strong sense of the unknown author's great powers, wc here take liberty once for all to enter our protest against that excessive laud which these works receive from a corliau class of readers. That they arc conceived in a spirited manner, and executed with very considerable talent in several parts, is beyond all question; but, as sustained narratives and well-constructed stories, they are very defective, and the charao tcrs are rather descriptions than impersonations. It is not however our business at present to criticize the Talcs of My Landlord; which are followed in the Review by a disquisition concerning the Synod of Dort. Some of our readers are perhaps aware that this synod was assembled in the early part of the seventeenth century, for the purpose of determining the religious controversies which then prevailed in the Low Countries. The article is conceived in the same spirit as the one on nonconformity, and we think written by the same judicious pen. It is authors of a religious turn of mind thatthe writers in this Review particularly commend; insofar the journal is consistent: but, as all works cannot be religious, and as sometimes the most profligate of authors will do homage to religion, by even a moro beautiful expression of reverence than the most sincere devotees, the Review is likely, we fear, by the exclusive nature of the principles on which it appears to be conducted, to be less useful than it might otherwise be.

After the synod of Dort comes Dr. Graves's Select Scriptural Proofs of the Trinity; on which we shall make no other observation, than that, if it was of importance to believe in the Trinity as it is commonly understood, there would have existed no doubt on the subject in the Scriptures. Whatever is essential, in our opinion, to be accepted as an article of faith, is there so distinctly stated, that there is not the slightest pretext for disputation on the subject.

Lieutenant Hall's lively Tour in France comes next; and the critique is at once fair and reasonable. The author has no cause to complain; and the true merits of the book are satisfactorily enough pointed out.

The notice of the Letters ascribed to Ganganelli, is brief and liberal: and, as for M'Nab's Theory of the Universe; Evans's Memoirs oft he Kev.W, Richards;

and

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Pi-escrvulion of Foreign Seeds.

and Bowdlcr't Select Pieces; wc must refer the reader who takes any interest in these works to the Review itself: for, :is I hey are never likely to be heard of lint liy the friends of the parties, we confess that we have not read the criticism; and which we do the more frankly, as an example to other reviewers not to give an opinion of books without some acquaintance with their contents.

Of the Edinburgh Monthly Review, wc can only at present speak of its general character; llio strongest observation respecting which that wc have heard is, that it did not seem to he tailed for. It confessedly set out on moderate principles, which is as much as to say, in opposition to the Quarterly, of the same city; and, so far as it has yet gone, it seems to he respectably conducted,—but not as the antagonist of its elder brother. The worst part of this publication is, that it does not seem to discriminate between the ministry and the government,—between the men in power, and the mode by which the power is by law exercised. It is not, however, ■a party journal; for, although the political sentiments which pervade it appear to be tinctured with Toryism, it is not decidedly a Tory work. But it will take a great deal of learning and ability to write up this sort jof moderation in these contentious times into any great degree of popularity. The book, however, is not intended for the million; Irut, along with the new scries of the Uritith Critic, wc do not hesitate to say, that it is of all the Reviews the one best adapted for the table of a private ■gentleman, desirous of knowing only the progress of literature, and averse to take any part in the cabals and-conflicts with which politicians arc at present so ranch ■agitated.

To tlie Editor of the Montidy Magazine.

SIR,

TO preserve seeds in a state fit for vegetation, isa matter of great and general importance; because, if it can be accomplished, it will ■enable us to rear many useful plants in one country which are there unknown, being indigenous only in others at a great distance from it. There is a letter on this subject in the 16th volume of the Transactions of the Society of Arts, ice. from which the following is an extract.

"Many years ago, (says the author,) having observed some seeds which had got accidentally among raisins, and that they were such as arc generally attended

107

Willi difficulty to raise in England after coming in the usual way from abroad, I sowed them in pots within n framing; and, as all of them grew, I commissioned my sons, who were then abroad, to pack up all sorts of seeds they could procure in absorbent paper, and send some of them, surrounded by raisins, and others by brown moist sugar, coneluding that the former seeds had been preserved by a peculiarly favourable state of moisture thus afforded them. It occurred likewise, that as many of our common seeds, such as clover, charlock, &c. would lie dormant for years within the earth, well preserved for vegetation whenever they might happen to be thrown to the surface and exposed to the atmosphere, so these foreign seeds might be equally preserved for many months at least, by the kindly covering and genial moisture that either raisins or sugar afforded them; and thisconjeclma was really fulfilled, as not one in twenty of them failed to vegetate, when those of the same kinds that I ordered to he sent wrapped in common parcels, and forwarded with them, would not grow at all. I observed, upon examining them all bo fore they were committed to the earth, that there was a prevailing dryness in the latter, and the former looked fresh and healthy, and were not in the least infected by insects, as was the case with the others. It has been tried repeatedly to convey seeds of many plants difficult to raise closed up in bottles, but without success ; sonic greater proportion of air, as well as a proper state of moisture, perhaps being necessary. I should also observe, that no difference was made in the package of the seeds, respecting their being kept in husks, pods, &c. so as to give those in raisins or sugar any advantage over the others, all being sent equally guarded by their natural teguments."

Trees and plants intended for exportation may be packed in moss,—the sphagnum palnstre of Linnaeus, or the long white moss which grows in great abundance ou peat bogs. This substance possesses the power of retaining moisture in a wonderful degree, while it also resists fermentation. Trees and plants which have been packed up in close boxes with it, from September 1807 till March 1808, have grown c.quaJly well as they would have done if only transplanted from one part to another of the same ground.

Directions for preserving natural curiosities may be found in a work whieb F i might

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