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memory of those, who prevented the further reception of these Inws in England. As for Scotland, he says, the civil law obtained there in all criminal matters without exception.

Our Author next proceeds to consider the laws relating to torture. Libelling being made a capital crime, their authors became naturally exposed to torture, which according to the civil laws was used in all cases punishable with death. This cruel and abfurd method of examining by torture crept into the German courts along with the civil law, according to Schilter ; though others suppose it was introduced long before that time, by the rage of the clergy against heretics. In Scotland this inhuman practice continued till the union, and some endeavours were made to introduce it into England; for which purpose a rack was formerly brought into the Tower, and is known by the name of the Duke of Exeter's Daughter. Our Author very humanely laments its being fuffered to continue there, and thinks it ought to be brought forth and publicly burnt.

We are next presented with some of those imperial laws relating to reproachful words uttered against the emperor: which are followed by the mention of those constitutions that were made against heretics; of which there are no less than sixty-six in the Theodofian code. We then have Lord Coke's opinion about libels, and cafes relating to them in the star-chamber; which leads our Author to give a pretty large account of the inftitution and forms of proceeding in that iniquitous court, with its final abolition in 16 Charles I. when there was an express inhibition to erect for the future any court with the same or like jurisdictions; from whence our Author infers very justly and pertinently, that no precedents taken from that court should be made use of in any modern proceedings in cases of libels.' The power of the star-chamber was greatly increased under James, who endeavoured to establish despotism in England, in conformity to the government of Scotland, where, according to Sir James Mackenzie, whom our Author follows, the king was, by the laws, poffeffed of absolute power. The next reign ftill aggravated matters further, as appears in the cases of Bastwick, Prynne, Lilbourn, Bp. Williams, &c. &c. which, whenever a true Englishman reads, let him cry, Praise and glory on their heads who delivered this country from such execrable tyranny.'

It is the opinion of our Author, that all the records of this court were purposely destroyed, that no proof might remain to poiterity of the abominations practised in it. It was natural to pass from hence to the liberty of the press, which, as is juitly observed, had it prevailed, would have prevented many unjust and pernicious acts of the governing powers, acts fatal in their

consequences • consequences to the governors themselves, as well as to the un. happy subjects who groaned under them. Matters of public and common concernment are proper objects of public knowlege and common debate ; but this knowledge cannot be acquired, nor can such debate be carried on, without the freedom of speaking and writing.

The book concludes with some remarks, neither new nor uncommon, on the present state of the colonies. The Author appears to be a hearty but sober friend to public liberty, and his treatise contains several judicious and important remarks; but it is written in a verbose declamatory style ; the transitions from one subject to another are immethodical and abrupt; and the whole bears the evident marks of a hafty compofition.

MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For M A Y, 1766.

MISCELLANEOU S. Art. 13. The Philosophy of History. By M. de Voltaire. 8vo.

55. Allcock. A o

have had an account in the Appendix to our 320 Vol. The name of Bazin, printed in the title-page of the original French, is probably mere invention. Art. 14. An Answer to the Case of the Mills Frigaté. 8vo. IS.

Willock. Relates to che contested insurance on the good ship mentioned in the title-page. This cause is not to be determined in the court of criticism, but in a court of law. Art. 15. Arithmetical Collections and Improvements. Being a com

plete System of Practical Arithmetic. By Anthony and John Birks; late Masters of a Boarding school at Gosuerton, and now of the Free-writing school at Donnington, Lincolnshire. 6s. Hawes, &c.

This compilement seems to be very judiciously performed; and, as the ingenious Authors fay, in their preface, properly adapred to the use of the gentleman and the scholar, as well as the man of business. Art. 16. A Letter from Mr. Voltaire to M. Jean Jaques Rousseau.

12mo. is. 6d. Payne. This pretended letter from Mr. Voltaire is founded on some passages in the anecdotes relating to Mr. Rousieau, of which we gave an ab. ftract' in our last Appendix. Mr. Voltaire had, in those anecdotes,

• This abftract is fubjoined to the present letter, by way of illus. tration, Dd 2

been

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been accused as acceflory to the persecution of the celebrated citizen of Geneva; and, in revenge of that accusation, the latter is ridiculed and abused in the present perforniance: which is here printed both in French and English, to give it the greater air of originality and authenticity We can, however, by no means look upon this production as the genuine offspring of Voltaire's pen; and therefore shall enter into no fare ther particulars concerning it. Art. 17. An earnest Address to the People of England. Containing

an Enquiry into the Cause of the great Scarcity of Timber throughi out the Dominions belonging to his Majesty. With some Hints towards the more effectually securing and preserving the same, particularly that part of it used in Ship-building, which may prove of the last Importance to these Kingdoms. 8vo. Noble.

There are some particulars in this address which deserve not only the notice of the people of England in general, but of the legislature especially. We bave often heard of the great waste and havock made of the ihip-timber in the royal dock-yards; but this Author's account exceeds every thing we could have supposed. He computes, at the lowest,

that it must have colt the government within these 50 years last past, between two and three millions of money to fupply the artificers of the several dock-yards with fuel-wood,'out of which might have been faved, a quantity of timber sufficient to have built 50 men of war of the line.'--- Asinis tract is inscribed to the Earl-of Egmont, first lord commiffioner of the admiralty, it is to be hoped the endeavours of this public spiri!ed Writer towards a reformation of the dock-yards will not be in vain. Art. 18. A Narrative of what passed between General Sir Harry

Erskine and Phillip Thicknesi Esq; in Consequence of a Letter written by the latter to the Earl of Bute, relative to the Publication of jome original Letters and Poetry of Lady Mary Wortley Montague's, then in Mr, Thicknelle's Podelion, 8vo. Williams,

About two years ago, Capt. Thicknesse had the misfortune to be engaged in a quarrel with Lord Orwell; the consequence of which was, a vigorous prosecution of the former, in the court of king's bench. The defendant had in vain applied to his lordship, to accommodate sheir differences ; and, at lalt, he had recourse to the Earl of Bute, whose interposition with Lord Orwell he requested ; but without success. His hopes with respect to Lord B. were founded on the circumstance of his being in poffeflion of lome original letters and poems written by the late very ingenious Lady Mary W. M. mother to the Countess of B. His firit in. tention was to publish theie papers *; and he had actually begun to print them, when it occurred to his reflection, that posibly it might be more agrecable to ile family, that the letters, &c. should be withheid from the public eye. In pursuit of this idea, he policely wrote to Lord B, on the subjeét; and his lordship employed Sir H. Fiskine to speak has a supplement to her other Leiters : lee Review, Vol. 28 and 29.

IS.

397 with Mr. T. and to intimate to him, how acceptable a present to his lordship those papers would be deemed. Mr. T. hereupon thought proper to mention, as a conditional circumstance, the great service that Lord B. could do him, by interposing his good offices with Lord O. This proposal, on the part of Mr. T. however, seems to have been little relished; yet, it produced a fort of negociation and correspondence between him and Sir Harry; who, in the end, found means to get the papers out of the Captain's hånd, without bis consent, and without procuring him the favour he had requefted. ---Resentment of this procedure, has produced this Narrative; in which Capt. T. complaints of ill usage: bat informs us, however, that he had the precaution to copy the deiters and poems of Lady Mary, before the originals were forced out of his hands; and he has here publithed one of each fort, as a specimen.

Whether he will determine to let the world see the remainder, it is impossible for us to inform our Readers,

†. The particulars of which, are related in the Nurrative, Art. 19. An Address to the respective Bodies of Free and Accepted

Masons, as delivered at the Steward's Lodge, at the Horn Tavern, Fleet fireet, November 16th, 1763, being Election and Infallation Night. By Thomas Edmonds, Esq; one of the Grand-wardens, &c. - To which is added, his Charge to Lord Blaney, prefent Grand-mafter, on his being appointed Master of the New Lodge, at the Horn Tavern, Westminfter, &c. &c. 8vo. Is. 6d. Hooper.

An incoherent shapsody, in praise of masonry – Amongst other qualifications of a good mason, we are told that he is fortuitous, and fieady, cultivating his mind and behaviour with social adepts, and brotherly benignity in all the duties of life ;'--' considering that amity and social harmony ought to flourish and abound in all human focieties, but particularly among the fraternity, whose names are enrolled in the book's of everlasting scientific records, io maintain and ever kindle that mysterious zeal, which enlightens us to fee, with feeling compassion, the turbulent disquietudes, and vitiated prir.ciples of most of the unfelecied and uncivilized part of mankind.' Art. 20. The History of Christina, Queen of Sweden. From the

French of M. Lacombe. 12mo. 35. Kearsly. We have here an account of this capricious, crazy queen", different from that given by M, Lacombe of Avignon, formerly mentioned in our Review. The present ingenious Writer, though a Roman catholic, preserves at least the appearance of impartiality; and, while he pays high compliments to the genius and learning of his heroine, does not icem to boast much of the honour done to his church, by her renunciation of the protestant religion : which he fometimes speaks of as a mere freak of Christina's, or, rather, as a political farce, calculated to procure for herself the protection of the popish princes, particularly the holy pontis,

She was daughter and fi.ccessor to Guftavus Adolphus, the great protector of projeitaptism in the norih.

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on whom she chiefly relied for support, after she had foolishly abdicated the throne of Sweden.

This is an entertaining piece of biography; and affords in Christina's dear-bought repentance for having thrown away her crown, a striking proof how fatally people may err, who rafhly take any step which cannot be recalled: especially they who, according to a plain English phrase, pirt with the faff out of their own hands, and trust to the gratitude of those whom they have obliged.

On this occasion, the affecting old story of King Lear will naturally occur; and in later times, Europe has seen other instances of regal abdica. tion, which were severely repented of;—particularly that of Vi&or Ama. deus, King of Sardinia : not to mention the less voluntary one, of our James the Second.-Bat it was a sort of fashion in the seventeenth century, for princes to relinquish their thrones. In that age, a king of Poland also took it into his head to grow weary of the diadem chat encircled it; viz. John Casimir; who, in imitation of the emperor Charles the Fifth, preferred a monastic life to the splendors of a court, and the charms of sovereignty.-Strange, that so many of the sons of ambition should take such infinite pains, and even commit such horrid crimes, to obtain what others have cast away, as not worth poffefling! Art. 21. The first Chapter of the Prophecies of the Prophet Homer, With a Letter to the B. of G. 4to.

is. 6d. Wilkie. ! If in the number of frivolous addresses, says this Letter-writer, that are hourly presented to your lordship, this should appear to be one, you will, I know, receive and dismiss it, with your usual candour and humanity.

• In the mean time, permit me to observe, not without some degree of astonishment, that your lordship, with the acuteness of a lynx, could trace out, in the sixth book of Virgil, the foolish mysteries of a false and fantastic religion, and yet want the penetration to discover, in Homer, the great mystery of our own true belief,-our redemption from fin, by the birth of a Saviour:-a mystery, clearly pointed out by the fpirit of prophecy that breathes through those divine psalms, commonly called the Hymns of Homer.

• How can we account for such mental blindness, but by acknowledging the righteous dispensations of heaven ? whose will it is, --confound and mortify the men of wisdom ;-to suffer them to perplex themselves in the labyrinths of science ;--and finally, to leave the ways of truth and simplicity for the discovery of babes and sucklings.

• 1 freely confess that I am much more indebted to accident for this discovery than to any effort of my own abilities. A confused kind of sentiment, a fufpicion, at first, perhaps, not entirely commendable, put me upon making a literal translation of some passages that appeared the moft striking. How was I surprised, upon trial, to find such important and serious truths growing in to negle&ted a foil! Your lordship need only cast your eye upon the translation of part of the first psalm, to be convinced with me, that Homer was as much inspired as isaiah or any of the prophets. By comparing it with the original, you will presently observe, that I have taken fewer liberties than are usually taken on such occasions : indeed I have no syflem either to erect or to defend, though

the

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