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doubts arifen, concerning their authen- ter of indifference, whether the heroes.
ticity. I fhall probably hear more of the fame kind after the prefent Poems make their appearance. Whether thefe fufpicions are fuggefted by prejudice, or are only the effects of ignorance of facts, I fhall not pretend to determine. To me they give no concern, as I have it always in my power to remove them. An incredulity of this kind is natural to perfons who confine all merit to their own age and country. Thefe are generally the weakest as well as the moft ignorant of the people. Indolently confined to a place, their ideas are very narrow and circumfcribed. It is ridiculous enough, to fee fuch people as these are branding their ancestors with the defpicable appellation of Barbarians. Sober reafon can easily discern where the title ought to be fixed with more propriety. "As prejudice is always the effect of ignorance, the knowing, the man of true tafte, defpife and difmifs it. If the poetry is good, and the characters natural and striking, to them it is a mat
were born in the little village of Angles
(To be concluded in our next.)
THE LIFE OF SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS. THIS Gentleman, whofe fame will more than one voyage. On quitting laft as long as the noble building of this employment, he determined to folSomerfet House shall rear its majestic low the bent of his genius, which led head, was by birth a Swede. It has him to Defign and Architecture. been faid, that he was defcended of the ancient family of Chalmers in Scotland, Barons of Tartas in France, and that his father was a merchant, who fuffered much by supplying Charles XII. with money and goods during his wars, for which he received only the bafe copper coin of that monarch, ftruck for the purpofe in his emergencies, and, like the French affignats, afterwards depreciated; by which means the holder was involved in ruin.
At the age of two years, Sir William was brought over to England, and at a proper time, placed at Rippon fchool in Yorkshire, where it is believed, he continued until he was appointted chief Supercargo of the Swedish fhips to China, In this fituation he did not remain long, probably not
His firft refidence in London was in Poland street; but not, as has been afferted, in the business of a carpenter. He, at an early period, difplayed the talents he poffeffed, and foon was confidered as one of the best architects and draftsmen in Europe. His abilities introduced him to the knowledge of the late Lord Bute, by whofe intereft he was appointed drawing-master to his Majefty, the Prince of Wales.
His firft work of confequence was Lord Befborough's Villa at Rochampton, which, from his conduct in that bufinefs, procured him many other buildings. He gave in his plan to Lord Befborough with an eftimate as an architect; and, on that nobleman's applying to him to know whether he would build it himself for the money mention
ed in the estimate, he confented to undertake it.
It was accordingly finished, and both parties, the employer and the builder, were fatisfied with their bargains, and each with the other.
The intercourfe which Sir William had obtained with his Majefty, foon after his Sovereign's acceffion to the crown, procured for him the laying out and improving of the Gardens at Kew, which, from the nature of the ground, he was obliged to ornament in the Chinese talte. In 1763, he published " Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Perfpective Views, of the Gardens and Buildings at Kew in Surry, the feat of her Royal Highnefs the Princefs Dowager of Wales; a magnificent work, in which the architectural designs were drawn by our author, the views by Meffrs Kirby, Thomas Sandby, and Marlow, and the Engravings by Paul Sandby, Woollette Major, Grignion, and Rooker. In this work, Sir William affigns the reasons of his adopting the Chinese ftyle in this inftance. The gardens of Kew," fays he," are not very large, nor is their fituation by any means advantageous; as it is low, and commands no profpects. Originally the ground was one continued dead flat: the foil was in general barren, and without either wood or water. With fo many disadvantages, it was not eafy to produce any thing even tolerable in gardening: Lut princely munificence, and an able director, have overcome all difficulties, and converted what was once a defart into an Eden." The difficulty of ornamenting fuch a fituation few perfons will deny; but as few will be inclined to defire the introduction of fuch exotics, in places where nature has been more bountiful.
In the year 1771, our architect was announced in the catalogue of the Royal Academy, as Knight of the Polar Star, and the next year he published the work which has afforded much entertainment from itfelf, but more from the admirable piece fuppofed to be the production of Mr Mafon, entitled "An He
roic Epiftle." Sir William Chambers' work was entitled "A Differtation on Oriental Gardening," 4to. which, in the preface, he fays, was collected from his own obfervations in China, from converfations with their artists, and remarks transmitted to him at different times by travellers. A fketch of it had been published fome years before; but the performance itself appearing_immediately after Mr Mafon's English Garden, it was invidiously fuggefted, that the intention of our author was to depreciate English gardeners, in order to divert his Royal Mafter from his plan of improving the gardens at Richmond, as they are to be feen at this time. The horrible and strange devices defcribed to exift in the Chinese gardens have been much ridiculed, but are no more than had been before published by Father Attiret, in his account of the Emperor of China's gardens near Pekin, tranflated by Mr Spence, under the name of Sir Harry Beaumont, in 1753, and fince republished in Dodfley's Fugitive Pieces.
Sir William Chambers' next work was on Civil Architecture; and in the year 1775, on the building of Somerfet House, he was appointed to conduct that great national work. He was alfo Comptroller General to the works of the King, Architect to the Queen and the Princefs Dowager, Treasurer to the Royal Academy, Member of the Royal Academy of Arts at Florence, and of the Royal Academy of Architecture at Paris.
After a long illness he died, at a very advanced age, the 8th of March 1796; leaving a fon, married to Mifs Rodney, and three daughters, the wives of Mr Cotton, Mr Innes, and Mr Harward, with a confiderable fortune, acquired honourably, and enjoyed with hospitality bordering on magnificence; and, what is ftill better, quitting life with the regret and concern of all thofe with whom he had been connected; esteemed, loved, and lamented, by all with whom he had any intercourse either as an artift or as a man.
On the 18th of March, his remains
were interred in the Poets Corner, ing to the Board of Works, who atWestminifter Abbey, being attended by tended unfolicited, to teftify their rehis fon, his fons-in-law, his executors, gret for the lofs, and their efteem for the Dean of Lincoln, Minifter of the the memory, of a man, by whom their Parish, Mr Penneck of the Museum, claims had ever been examined with and a few other friends, the Prefident, attention, and decided with justice, and Officers, and Council of the Royal A- by whom themselves were always treatcademy, and the Clerks of the Board ed with mildnefs, courtefy, and affabi of Works. In the Abbey they were lity. joined by the Malter-workmen belong
AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF ABBE SIEYES.
AFTER a certain length of time, Sieyes had reafon to fufpect the preparatives for a coalition of certain parties. They fpoke of the neceffity of a fecond chamber, in the English mode, rendered more perfect according to a French fafhion, which, they faid, ought neceffarily to be the portion of the minority of the nobleffe," because they were the effective caufe of the Revolution."
Already had certain members of the Affembly, far from being leaders of the intention, but unacquainted with all the intrigues, made a motion to divide the legislative body into two fections; a motion admitted by many good deputies, but very different from the nobilitary project of two chambers, though calculated to facilitate its admiffion during the heat or the wandering of debate. It became Sieyes to confider the proceeding with anxiety; Sieyes, who had first held out the diftinction of orders in a state as a political moniter, and had placed among the focial principles, the unity and equality of the people, and the unity and equality of its legiflative Jeprefentation.
He addreffed himself to various chiefs of the parties, to clear up his doubts. They had the duplicity to affure, and to fwear to him, that no wifh was entertained to impair or diminish the principle of equality. He was not convinced, and therefore adopted the defign to compel them to exhibit their fentiments in more open day. He compofed, with another, a project of a declaration to be voluntarily subscribed, the object of
which was, in fact, no more than the oath of equality decreed fifteen months before by the legislative body, fubfequent to the 10th of August 1792. It contained, befides, an engagement to maintain the unity and equality of the reprefentation charged to vote the law; and that in all cafes, not excepting that of the motion already made for two fections, if decreed by the Affembly. It is to be remarked, that Sieyes received, on all hands, the highest encouragement, and the most preffing inftances to the speedy accomplishment of his defign.
The writing, here mentioned, was fcarcely gone to prefs, before these men procured a copy. A moft virulent defamatory libel was put into the hands of a dangerous ignorant man, Salles, who was charged to commence the attack, by reading it at the Jacobins. It was previously adjusted, that this was to be received with the most violent applause. Such measures being taken, then followed a manœuvre of the most extraordinary kind of calumny on the one part, and grofs ignorance on the other. The declaration was not yet publifhed, a few proofs only having been first intrusted to thofe only who had engaged to collect fignatures, when Sieyes was folemnly denounced, on the 19th June 1791, from the tribune of the Jacobins, as having formed the counter-revolutionary project: ft, Of reviving the nobility; 2d, Of inftituting two legislative chambers; and, 3d, Of having inundated the 83 departments with a formu lary.
lary for fignature for this criminal purpofe. As a proof of this, a copy of the ftill unpublished declaration was prefented, a declaration compofed ex profello, against the two fuppofed projects. But it was the fupporters of the nobility, and of the two chambers, who managed this denunciation, and conducted all the detail of this ftrange hoftility! It must be especially remarked, that the King was to take his flight the following day, in the night between the 20th and zill, and that the mafters of this Jacobin convulfion were accomplices in that act. Time, which has unveiled the whole of this manœuvre, has equally discovered the intention of the coalitionary leaders. They fuppofed they could much more effectually infure the fuccefs of their odious defigns, if they could facrifice Sieyes, or at leaft render
this, but the general inquietude on the' 21ft June; the delufion of the public, fo eafily led to act upon the nearest and moft ftriking objects, the great mafs of incidents and abominable attempts, ftill little known, which filled that and the following days; the fmall, and almost imperceptible number of deputies who had remained faithful and pure; and, laftly, the unfteady, fhaqelefs, and utterly unprincipled reign of the famous revifing coalition, infpired Sieyes with his ultimate determinaaion.. It was to fhut himself up decidedly in a philofophical filence.
Here ended, as we have already remarked, the fecond period of the career of Sieyes.
From this moment, during the whole fitting of the legislative affembly, till the opening of the Convention, he remained him fo far fufpected, that it fhould be a complete ftranger to all political acimpoffible for him to gain attention at tion. This is the third interval, and the first eclat of this meditated flight; prefents nothing remarkable, except for they were well acquainted with his his peaceable contempt for the fuppoopinion of the abfurdity of acknowledg- fitions of which he has not ceafed to ing, as reprefentative, any one who be the object. But to return to the fhould not have been freely elected by facts: the body reprefented. This accounts for the precipitation in denouncing a work not yet published, and the page of the libel, where the early mention is made of fending it into the depart
At the first formation of the department of Paris, he was elected adminiftrator and member of the directory. The fketch of the ufeful operations he performed in this fituation, is no part ments. This anecdote, the develope- of the object of this writing, any more ment of which to the Jacobins, in the than the account of his fpeeches or midft of fludied rage, lafted three days, writings in the conflituent affembly. was fo difgulling to the few impartial honest men of that fociety, that they returned thither no more. In its detail, as well as in the difavowals, both fucceffive and combined, of many of thofe who figned, and of fome others who were not in the fecret, it exhibits a mafs of little vile paffions, a combination of wickedness and treachery.
It was alfo proposed to make him bishop of Paris. He faw that he was urged to this place by enemies as well as friends: but his opinions alone made it his duty not to accept it. At the moment of election, he wrote to the electoral body, to acquaint them with his intended refufal.
As to Sieyes, he was not aware of his danger. He prepared to reply. On the day after the 20th June, he had already annexed, in print, to the calumniated declaration, a narrative of the extraordinary scene which had paffed at the Jacobins. He was about to publifh
The conftituent affembly had fcarcely clofed its fittings, before he refigned his place in the department, and retired into the country, about a league from Paris.
He had been on a vifit to a friend, at the distance of more than fixty leagues from Paris, and was ftill there when he heard
He applied to obfervation, while they urged the enterprize they had formed to vanquish and destroy the Convention, already degraded by their prefence.
heard of the events of the 10th of Au- timate.
The events at the end of Auguft and beginning of September prove that the Jepiflative body wanted ftrength. It durft not feize the reins of government.
The hopes of Sieyes for the public welfare had been re-animated, though in truth, they ought to have been deprofied. He waited in expectation of the carly fittings of the Convention, and propofed to retreat, during the winter, to a place ftill more remote than his refidence, at that time.
Several times he endeavoured to be ufeful otherwife than by fimple affiduity at the fittings. Among his perfectly ineffectual attempts, we may quote, his report of the 13th of January 1793, upon the provifionary organization of the adminiftration of war, a report at fift received with the filence of inquifitive curiofity, afterwards calumniated and ridiculed, and at last rejected by all parties.
He laboured to organize a new eftablifhment for public inftruction; which must not be confounded with the incurable madnefs of fixing dogmatically, and legiflatively decreeing the materials of inftruction.
His plan was, at the time it appeared, the fhorteft, and is fill the most complete of any which have been prefented. The Committee of Inftruction, after having adopted, charged one of its members, to whom the affembly was well difpofed, to report the fame from the tribune.
It was not ill received. The Convention adjourned the difcuffion to a near day. The reporter, in conformity to the prudence of the times, thought proper previously to fubmit it to the af fembly called La Reunion; where, after fome flight amendment, there remained no difference of opinion, excepting on the manner of paffing it, whether in toto, or article by article.
In the midst of thefe reflections, he learned that he had been chofen deputy to the Convention, by three departalients. This was without his knowJedge, for he had no perfonal acquaintance in either of the three. Neither his difpofition nor his inclination could lead him to a poft, in which he no longer confidered himfolf as enabled to ferve his country. But the circumstances of the times did not admit of a refufal, which would furdly have been mifinterpreted. He therefore flowly procccded to Paris, where he arrived, and attended the Convention the fame day, Sept. 21. From the objects, from the. The following day, or the next day fgures, which on all fides claimed his attention and aflorifhment, as well as From the difcourfes he heard, he might, without derifiction of mind, have thought himfeif tranfported by magic to an unknown country at the extremity of the
He found himself a ftranger to all he met, and particularly fo to the men in power, with whom his unhappy fate seemed to command him to become in
but one, the name of Sieyes was mentioned, together with the plan of inftruction. It was earnestly demanded in certain groups, whether Sieyes was the author; and, upon the affirmative anfwer, thefe difpofitions were immediately changed. They pretended to miftruft his views and intentions. The plan was perufed, and re-perufed, with a ridiculous earneftnefs, not unlike that of the monkey infpecting a looking-glass.