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Atrictures concerning Denmark: and in the 24th and laft letter, 2 we find a circumftantial account of the changes which took place in this kingdom alfo, in the year 1772, which terminated in the difgrace of Matilda, and the deftruction of the Counts Brandt and Struenfee. The ftory of these unfortunate perfonages has been often told. But while party-zeal predominated, and animofities ran high, it has been told with fuch various colourings, that the world has been at a lofs to determine what degrees of cenfure and of pity were due to the fufferers. The author's narrative is the more worthy of attention, as he was an impartial collator of the most authentic informations that could be obtained. He tells us that, exclufive of what he learned on the fpot, he has ufed the papers of one well known in the republic of letters, who was involved in the difgrace of Struenfee. But as his account was written with paffion and manifeft partiality, fuch parts only are felected which appeared indubitable facts*. We must refer the curious reader to the work itfelf for the detail of particulars, and fhall content ourfelves with the transcript of the following paragraph, which, as it reprefents the ambitious Struenfee placed on the highest pinnacle of power, indicates the immediate caufe of his dreadful fall.

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Struenfee, blinded by his good fortune, and yet more by an ambition that knew no bounds, was not contented with being, virtually, fovereign. He was determined to reign with fplendour, and to draw his name out of obfcurity by enrolling it among the first nobility in Denmark; he was accordingly ennobled, and obtained the rank of Count. Diffatisfied with even this elevation, he was determined to have a title that should correfpond with the dignity of his ftation; and as there was none extant which could fufficiently characterize his office, the title of Privy Counsellor of the Cabinet (Confeiller intime du Cabinet) was invented. Nor was he merely invested with this; but the unlimited powers which the king had annexed to it, were as novel as the title itself. He was authorised to commit to writing, in that manner which he should judge the most proper, every mandate that he received from the mouth of the king, and to transmit it to the different departments under the feal of the Cabinet, without the fignature of his majefty, which was deemed fuperfluous. The day following this abfurd grant, an injunction was made public, figned by the king himself, compelling every department to refpect the Count's orders. The minifter laid before his majefty, every Saturday, extracts of the orders he had iffued in the courfe of the week, by


This manufcript was originally compofed in the French language, and published in German, under the title of Authentifche und böchftenerk würdifch aufklärungen, &c. i. e. Authentic and moft remarkable Illucidations, refpecting the Hiftory of the Counts Struenfee and Brandt, contained in a Manufcript compofed by a Perfon of Rank: first published in Germany, 1788.-A tranflation has lately appeared in this country; which will be noticed in a subsequent Review.



which they received the fame fanction as if they had been figned un der the fign manual of majefty itself.'

A power fo unbounded, pernicious, and intolerable to every clafs of men, who wished to enjoy, at least, some few of the oblique rays of court favour, laid the foundation of his ruin; and his opponents eagerly feized, and turned to advantage, feveral opportunities which accidentally prefented themselves.

The above fpecimens of this entertaining work will give our readers fome ideas of its nature, and the manner in which it is executed. The author, not enjoying a public character, and not profeffing to make any particular branch of knowlege the fubject of his inquiry, may not give complete fatisfaction to either the politician, antiquary, or naturalift. But thofe who with to confult an extenfive collection of general information, made with affiduity and caution, will not be difappointed by the perufal of the original; and they will receive very favourable impreflions of the Swedish nation, refpecting the manners and morals, and of the state of learning in that country.



Mémoire pour le Rhingrave de Salm, &c. i. e. Memoir in Juftification of the Rhingrave of Salm, refpecting his Evacuation at Utrecht, &c. 8vo. pp. 40. Utrecht, 1788.

E are here prefented with a profeffed vindication of the Raingrave's conduct, during the period in which he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces affembled to fupport the patriotic party against the attacks of the Prince of Orange, or of his good friends, the Pruffians. The fudden and precipitate retreat of the forces collected from various quarters to defend the city of Utrecht, after fuch preparations, expenditures, and much vain boafting, aftonifhed the public at large, and reflected no honour on the courage of the troops affembled, or the conduct of their chief. The chagrin and vexation which it was natural for a difappointed party to feel on this fudden change of affairs, and fedden death of their hopes, vented themfelves in execrations against the Rhingrave; and the failure of their plans was attributed to his cowardice or treachery. The apologist juftifies that retreat, and alfo the mode of it, on the principle of abfolute neceffity. He afferts that the city was incapable of making the leaft defence. It had not within its walls provifions fufficient to fuftain a fiege of four days. It had no proper fortifications; no cannon on the principal batteriesthe inundations, undertaken too late, had left a large territory expofed to the enemy; of fix thousand men in garrifon the greater part were either ufelefs or fufpected.' He attributes this deplorable fituation of affairs to the fupineness of the States-General, whofe


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intereft it was to render Utrecht impregnable; and to the total ignorance, parfimony, and perpetual blunders of the commiffioners under whofe control he was obliged to act. The apologift, after enumerating feveral inftances which fully prove his point, fums up the whole of this fpirited memoir with the following portrait of the men from whom the Rhingrave received his honours, and to whom he afcribes his difgrace:

What does this sketch demonftrate? That men were appointed at the head of affairs totally deftitute of the capacities, addrefs, or activity neceffary for the fuccefs of fo important an enterprife. They forefaw nothing, remedied nothing, profited by no events, formed no plans, liftened to no information, and executed no defigns. An inexpreffible ftupor feemed to have ben umbed all their faculties. They forgot the most common and fimple preparations, neglected the most neceffary arrangements, defpifed the moft effential negociations, defied the most dangerous intrigues, and permitted the molt favourable moments to escape unimproved, &c.'

Whoever reads this pamphlet, will be convinced of what many of the patriots themfelves confefs, that the public caufe was committed to the hands of men whofe capacities were by no means equal to the important task. But numbers may be convinced of the truth of all his charges, while they ftill retain precifely the fame opinion of this meteor of a moment. They will ftill view him as an adventurer whofe fole intereft in this his fecond country, for which he profefies an enthufiaftic attachment, confifted in his being employed: and who continued his lucrative employments in the face of every impoffibility of fuccefs till they ceafed to be lucrative. This memoir is obviously written by the Rhingrave himself; but, by speaking in the third perfon, like the great General of the Romans, his extreme modefty is not hurt when he expatiates on his illuftrious birth, military fkill, clear forefight, and the amazing efforts which he made to rescue a diftreffed country from the grafp of a defpot. He plainly infinuates that he was himself an hoft, able to oppofe the combined forces of the Prince of Orange, of England, and of Pruffia, if his arms had not been tied by the very men who had placed the truncheon in his hands.



Oeuvres Pofthumes, &c. i. e. The Pofthumous Works of Frederic II.
King of Pruffia ;-continued. See Review for May.


HERE is certainly no part of thefe Pofthumous Works, in which the character of their Royal Author is drawn with more truth, fpirit, and bold expreffion, than in his Letters to his friend, favourite, and companion, M. Jordan. We mentioned these Letters in our laft article, as contained in the eighth volume; and, before we proceed farther, we shall give fuch ex


tracts from them, as will confirm what we have here advanced. They were written between the years 1739 and 1743, in the youthful feafon of life, the feafon of high fpirits, and natural effufions.



30th of November, 1740. Pray make my compliments to the Graces of Algaretti, the curves and angles of Maupertuis, and to the Babylonian tower of Demotards; write me a thousand follies; tell me what people say, what they think, and what they are doing :-tell me every thing that you know, and every thing you do not know. I hear that Berlin looks like Lady Bellona in labour; I hope fhe will be brought to bed of fomething good, and that I fhall obtain the confidence of the public by fome bold and fuccessful enterprises. I am now in a brilliant concurrence of circumftances, that prefent a folid basis for my future reputation.I mind not the babblings of ignorance and envy: GLORY is my pole-ftar: it animates me more than ever it dilates the hearts of my troops, and I will anfwer for their fuccefs. Adies, dear Jordan, tell me all the ill that is fpoken of me by the public :We are at the gates of Breslau. Adieu! amufe yourself as well as you can.-Pore and ftudy at your fire-fide, while we are fighting up to the knees in dirt and fnow.'

From another Letter.

My dear Jordan, my gentle Jordan, my good, my benignant, my pacific, my humane Jordan, I announce to you the conqueft of Silefia, and the ftorming of Neiffe, for which we are making the necessary preparations, like good Chriftians. If the town does not capitulate, we must destroy it-that is all. And this is all that you need to know: Be my Cicero to defend the juftice of my cause and projects; I fhall be your Cæfar with refpect to the execution. Adieu, fage counselloramufe yourself with Horace, ftudy Paufanias, make merry with Anacreon. As for me, I have, at prefent, no other amusements than bombs, merlons, gabions, and fafcines. I hope it will please God to give me foon a more pleafing and peaceable occupation, and to you health, fatisfaction, and all that your heart defires.'

From another.

I love war for the fake of fame; but if I was not a prince, I would be nothing but a philofopher. After all, every man muft follow his profellion, and it is my fancy to do nothing by halves.'-'You know, that Brieg has furrendered; you were lucky at being absent at the general attack; otherwife you might have been feen mounting, a-ftraddle, on a bomb, to Paradife.-I had almost forgotten to tell you, that Maupertuis has been feized with a hot fever, through fpite and rage, that the comet has had the impudence to appear among us, without a previous certificate from the academy and the aftronomers.'

From another.

We are to have three battles, four ftorms, and a hundred fkirmishes; and, all this being over, you fhall fee me, humble Paul, at the feet of Gamaliel, Jordan, learning from thee wifdom, and the arts of peace. In good faith, if men were wife, they would treat, with much more indifference than they do, that phantom reputation, which makes them pervert into days of inquietude and torment that


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fhort space of time that heaven has given them for enjoyment.—I was always, more or lefs, a philofopher: but youth, the fire of paffions, the love of glory, and a fecret inftinct, drew me forcibly from the voluptuous tranquillity which I loved fo much: nay, even the pleafure of feeing my name in the Gazettes, and in the records of history, feduced me.-Adieu, Jordan-my refpects to philofophy, and tell her, I hope to fee her again in winter-quarters.'

From another.

Who could have imagined, dear Jordan, that providence would have chosen a young poet to overturn the fyftem of Europe, and make a total change in all the political combinations and connexions of its fovereigns? This is furely a fingular event: it is fomething like a comet, which traverses our orbit, and follows in its courfe, a different direction from that of all the other planets. I long to hear from you write to me a great deal about buildings, furniture, and dancers. When fhall we meet in the peaceful fhades of Charlottenburg, and converfe, at eafe, on the ridiculous follies of mankind, and the nothingness and vanity of our condition? I long with impatience for thofe happy moments.'

On the whole, the natural tone of fimplicity and sprightliness that predominates in thefe Letters, renders them, truly, what we call, pleasant reading. The letters to Voltaire occupy the ninth, and a part of the following volume. But before we appreciate the merit of these letters, we must inform our readers of two circumftances relative to this correfpondence, which render the Berlin edition of thefe Pofthumous Works fhamefully defective. The first is, that none of Voltaire's letters appear in this edition. From this ftrange omiffion, many of the king's letters are rendered much less interefting, than they would otherwise have been ; and several of them are fcarcely intelligible. The fecond circumftance renders the editor ftill more reprehenfible; for it confifts in the omiffion of all the letters, that paffed between the king and Voltaire, from the year 1740 to 1770. What renders this omiffion unaccountable is, not only that the most interesting part of their correspondence comes within this long period of thirty years; but that the letters, on both fides, which were pofterior to the year 1753 (the date of the quarrel between the king and the poet), are written in a very different ftrain from thofe which preceded that period. While we were reviewing this ninth volume of the Berlin edition, we received a later one of thefe Pofthumous Works, in which the abfurd chasms and mutilations which disfigure the former, are filled up and repaired, and the body of the correfpondence is reftored to its unity and confiftence. The Berlin editors did not only cut this body into two, and present only the one half of it to the public, but even the half which they give us, is alfo mutilated; for many of the king's letters, even on interefting and useful fubjects, are fuppreffed in their edition. If a decent regard to religion and morals had been the motive to this fuppreffion, it would have been

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