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Other distinguished personages are here introduced, particularly the French Ambassador, who also, as here set forth, obtained a copy of the Memoirs, to be transmitted to France; but which also failed of producing any beneficial consequences to the authoress, who, now, moft feelingly complains of her distressful situation; though she feems to be much, and justly, consoled by the reflection that, in this free country, she is no longer within reach of the fangs of des. potism. Art. 39. Memoirs of the Countess de Valois de la Morte; containing
a complete Juftification of her Conduct, and an Explanation of the Intrigues and Artifices used again it her, by her Enemies, relative to the DIAMOND NECKLACE ; also the Correspondence between the Queen and the Cardinal de Rohan.-Translated from the French, written by herself, 8vo. pp. 289. 1os. 6d. ftitched. Ridgway. 1789.
These Memoirs are given to the world, as containing the vindi. cation of injur'd innocence.'
· Seated as I am,' says the Countess, in that happy kingdom, where Liberty stretches forth her hand to the distressed, and affords a welcome afylum from the vindictive terrors of oppressive tyranny, I now proceed to remove the veil which has so long obscured this myfterious tranfa&ion, and expose to public view, characters whose crimes receive additional force from their elevated situation.
• I flatter myself that, independent of my own vindication, there Memoirs will not prove unentertaining. The moral and philosophic reader will cherein find fresh room for reflection and observation on the depravity of human nature; the courtly and political reader will probably find a satisfaction in developing the mysterious intrigues which were in agitation, at the period of the transactions; and the cursory reader will, I hope, be amply gratified in finding those matters explained, which have probably much excited curiosity.'
The ***** of ****** stands foremost, the most striking figure in the extraordinary group here exhibited ; and (if the Memoirs before us are to be depended on her M. has a good chance of being consigned to that sort of everlasting fame' which a distinguished poet has al. lotted to Oliver Cromwell *.
The next portrait, in point of importance, is the Cardinal de R; who is, on this occasion, presented to the English nation as a character, the most contemptible,—and something more.
In the back-ground of the canvas, we behold Ministers of State, Courtiers, Judges, Lawyers--all, now, forced, in their carn, to feel the stroke of the executioner, and to receive the mark of the branding-iron.
We now seem to understand the obscure history of the Diamond Necklace, somewhat better than we did before ; but, ftill, it is envelloped in mysterious circumstances. The Counters acknowleges the parę which the acted in that ugly business; at the same time viodicating herself, on the principle of serving and obliging the Q. by her aliktance in procuring for her M. this magnificent and enor
. “ See Cromwell damn'd,” &c.
mously mously expensive toy *, on terms, and in a mode, suitable to her limits ed circumstances, and those of the intriguing Cardinal, at that juncture : the unwary Countess not having, all this while, on her part, the smallest idea that she was contributing to the injury of any human Being. · The principal blame of the transaction, so far as it had, in the first intention, any appearance of fraud, is laid on the wretched C-l, and his private arrangements. Somebody, however (when the transaction came to light), was to be the object of punishment on this occasion; and in course, on all such occasions, where the honour of crowned heads, and the safety of powerful princes, are concerned, are we to wonder if we should see the hand of Justice tremble while it holds the scale, and, consequently, the equipoise not duly preserved? We have a homely proverb— “ the weakest goes to the wall.”
It is impossible for the humane reader to peruse these Memoirs without being impressed with commiseration for the hapless writer, whose interesting and well-written tale furnishes a striking moral for the intriguing retainers of a court. They will here see what consequences may be expected from improper compliances with the vices or follies of the great.
We must not omit to inform our readers, that this publication contains thirty-one letters, which are given as genuine transcripts from the originals that passed in a secret correspondence between the ***** of ****** and the C-l de Rn. In the conveyance of these letters, the Countess says, she was the chosen instrument; and that having opportunities of copying them, she availed herself accordingly; but, we must confess, that we are not perfectly satisfied with this assurance. Were the letters, on both sides, given to her, for conveyance, unsealed? We do not recollect any paffage in the book, mentioning that circumstance. - She speaks of a great many other letters, of inferior account, which the committed to the flames, on the first apprehension of being taken into cuftody. For the authenticity, therefore, of these curious but scandalous State-papers, and, indeed, of the whole publication, we have only the authority and sanction + of the Countess de la Motte herself.
To conclude, we must do this unfortunate lady the justice to remark, that (marting as the ever must remain under the sense and remembrance of what she has suffered, the yet appears to regret the necessity which has impelled her to expose the secrets of her royal mistress. • It has been my wish,' says she, - to save the honour of
* In one place the price seems, indirectly, to be mentioned, viz. 1,600,000 livres.
+ She seems; however, extremely solicitous to gain and to merit the entire confidence of her readers. In one place he makes the following solemn appeal: • God both fees and hears me. I in his presence take this solemn oath, that were I in my last moments, I would repeat all that I have here written as being the genuine truth; yes, in my last dying will, I would not alter a letter of this declaration, the first it has been in my power to make with freedom.'
the Queen ; but in the abyss into which I am more and more deeply
Physician to the Royal Hospital at Chelsea; with Anecdotes of
25. 6d. Nunn, Great Queen-street, Lincoln's-inn-fields. 1789.
Some ingenious friend of Dr. Monsey's, who appears to have been intimately acquainted with that fingular character (by fome compared to Swift), has here thrown together, in a careless, rambling, and defultory way, a number of anecdotes and circumstances relative both to the Doctor and to his patrons, his associates and acquaintance, whether in the higher or lower ranks of society.
If his work is not regularly biographical, it is, however, a very entertaining something, which shews that the author poffeffes a considerable share, not only of vivacity, but, occasionally, of judgment; which are not always concomitants.-For the information of thoie readers of our Journal, who, residing in remote parts of the kingdom, knew little of Dr. M. we fhall extract a short paragraph from the general ketch of his character, with which the present performance concludes:
· Dr. Monsey had strong paflions, pointed wit, and a lively imagination. His curiosity was ardent, insatiable, and often troublelome; but then his communication was rapid, copious, and interesting. He possessed a vein of humour, rich, luxuriant, and (as is the nature of all humour) sometimes gross, and sometimes inelegant.' Art. 41. Original Letters of the late Rev. Laurence Sterne ; never before published. Crown 8vo. pp. 216. 35. sewed.
Longman, &c. 1788.
The name of Sterne is such a favourite with the Public, that we are interested in every thing which is reported to come from his pen. If the letters now before us are to be considered as an imitation of his epistolary performances, they certainly excel every former attempt of the kind, and may even be pronounced not unworthy of that hitherto unrivalled genius. We here observe a similar felicity of expression, and delicacy of sentiment; and we meet with many of those admirable touches which make their way immediately and insensibly to our best and pureft affections. With pleasure we add, that we meet with none of those errors with which several of Sterne's works are justly chargeable: no ribaldry, no passages that have any tendency to raise a blush on the cheek of modefty. We can, therefore, recommend this volume to those readers who have a taste for the beauties of composition, and feeling fufficient to enter into the sentiments of a writer, whoever he be, that is intimately acquainted with the secret recesses of the human heart. S.hr , Art. 42. Seket Views in India, drawn on the Spot in the Years
1780-1783, and executed in Aqua Tinta [acqua tinta]. By William Hodges, R. A. Imperial Folio. 2 Vols. Sewell. Thoogh we do not usually notice in our Review the publications of prints, yet the historical descriptions accompanying the views of the ruins, buildings, &c. which Mr. Hodges has represented in these
fuperb volumes, are such as entitle the work to a place in a Journal of the literary productions and polite arts of the country.
We have here proofs, if any had been wanting, of the antiquity of architecture in the East Indies, together with a representation of the present appearance of objects in a large part of Bengal, especially the towns, fortifications, places of religious worship, &c.
From the style of building, there is every reason to think that it was brought out of Persia, especially in the buildings that were erected since the time of Tamerlane: the great similarity which it bears to the Gothic architecture, is a circumstance that may serve to amuse the inquisitive antiquary; and the result of his researches may, perhaps, lead to discover the reason why the architectural taste was, at one and the same period, exactly alike at the eastern extremity of India and the western boundary of Europe, or the means by which these distant people, who adopted the same principles, had communications with each other. Mr. Hodges gives the view of a gate leading to a mosque at Chunar Gur, as a remarkable instance of the perfect fimilarity between the Indian and Gothic architecture, in which not only the general form of the Atructure, but the lesser deco. rations, as the lozenge filled with roses, the ornaments in the spandels of the arches, the little pannelling and mouldings, are exactly fimilar.
The Pagodas, bearing a resemblance to the Egyptian Pyramids, in many circumstances, except in their fize, may suggest an inquiry whether the Egyptians and Indians, at some very early period, might not have had connexions with each other; we say early period, because the pyramids, both in Egypt and India, appear to be the first or earliest buildings that occur in each country: those of the Hindoos, particularly the earliest, are formed by simply piling stone upon stone, without any other opening, or inlet for light, than the door, which is only about five feet high.
of these views of buildings, the most remarkable for its antiquity, is the ruin of the city of Oud, which, Mr. Hodges says, from the authority of Dow's translation of Feritsha's history, was the capital of the country twelve hundred years before the Christian æra. To enter into a particular description of each plate would be tedious to our readers, and at the same time would convey ideas much inferior to those that might be acquired by a fight of the engravings, which, as being executed in acqua-tinta, are truly beautiful. The size of each plate is 19 inches by 13. R...... m. Art. 43. A brief and poetical Declaration from a Recovering Minister
20 bis Friends. By the Right Hon. W. Pitt, Chancellor of the Exchequer. With Intelligence extraordinary. 410. Pp. 23. is. 6d. Ridgway. 1789.
A tolerable piece of burlesque, confidering that it comes from the lofing fide, which is seldom seen to laugh. The ridicule, how. ever, of the Georgium Sidus, after being observed for a time, rising from his chamber in the East,' is, surely, rather mal à propos to the general NATIONAL REJOICING, which took place witbin a day or two after the appearance of this fcoffing piece of wit.
Art. 44. A Letter from a Gentleman on board an Indiaman, to his
Friend in London, giving an Account of the Island of Joanna, in the Year 1784. 8vo.
Stockdale. 1788. This letter is but a flimsy composition, considered as a publication ; though as a private letter to a friend, it was important enough for the subject. Some little consequence is indeed affumed from correcting the erroneous representations of this island by the Abbé Raynal, and Major Rooke; from the exaggerations of both of whom, the author makes large drawbacks; a fate that will often attend writers of the greatest abilities, who venture to form opinions on the representations of others : and this island, according to the anonymous Letter-writer, is not so picturesque in beautiful landscapes as the Abbé describes it, nor do the inhabitants merit the respectable character given of them by the Major.
Joanna is one of the Comora islands, and is here placed in 12° 30' S. lat. and in 44° 15' E. long. The hills in the island are covered with wood, but are steep and difficult of access. The vallies exhibit only a miserable town, with a few irregular plantations of cocoa nuts : and there is not one mule or ass in all the island. The original natives, in number about 7000, occupy the hills, and are generally at war with the Arabian interlopers, who established themselves on the sea coatt by conqueft, and are about 3000 in number. These latter are described as poor miserable beings, who not being able to carry on any extensive degree of cultivation, on account of their being exposed to the depredations of the mountaineer natives, subsist chiefly by supplying the India ships who touch there for refreshment, with a few cattle and tropical fruits. As for their ability to accommodate strangers on Inore, the writer says, one day's trial will convince any man, that he will be much more comfortable on board his ship, or in a tent, than in their filthy hovels. Even in the house of their prince, the best decorations of the walls are sixpenny lookingglasses, and broken china ; an old cheft, or a bed, are the only seats to be found, and the passages are choaked with dirt. N. Art. 45. Hints for City Amusement ; or Bank Oratory anticipated,
&c. 8vo. 6d. pp. 24. Harley. 1788. A humorous anticipation of speeches expected to be made, at a General Court of the Proprietors of the Bank of England, in Sept. latt, 1788. It was first published in the Whitehall Evening Polt; and is now reprinted with corrections and additions.
POLITICAL Art. 46. Hiftory of the Royal Malady, with Variety of entertaining
Anecdotes. To which are added, Strictures on the Declaration of Horne Tooke, Esq. respecting “ Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales," commonly called (the Hon.) Mrs: Fitzherbert. With interesting Remarks on a Regency. By a Page of the Presence. 4to. Pp. 88. 55. Sold by the Author, in Sloan Square. 1789.
An impudent, audacious publication, which should not have been honoured with the lealt notice in the M. Rev. had it not produced other tracts, which must, in course, be mentioned, in connection with their unworthy parent. Rev, March, 1789.