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which they received the fame sanction as if they had been signed un der the lign.ianual of majesty itself.'

A power so unbounded, pernicious, and intolerable to every class of men, who wished to enjoy, at least, fome few of the oblique rays of court favour, laid the foundation of his ruin;. and his opponents eagerly seized, and turned to advantage, several opportunities which accidentally presented themselves.

The above specimens of this entertaining work will give our readers some ideas of its nature, and the manner in which it is executed. The author, not enjoying a public character, and not profesling to make any particular branch of knowlege the fubject of his inquiry, may not give complete satisfaction to either the politician, antiquiry, or naturalist. But those who wish to consult an extensive collection of general information, made with asliduity and caution, will not be disappointed by the per. usal of the original; and they will receive very favourable inpredlions of the Swedish nation, respecting the manners and mojals, and of the state of learning in that country.



ART. XI. Mémoire pour le Rhingrave de Salm, &c. i.e. Memoir in Jaftification

of the Rhingrave of Salm, respecting his Evacuation at Utrecht, &c. 8vo. pp. 40. Utrecht, 1788.

E are here presented with a professed vindication of the

Rhingrave's conduct, during the period in which he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces assembled to fupport the patriotic party against the attacks of the Prince of Orange, or of his good friends, the Prussians. The sudden and precipitate retreat of the forces collected from various quarters to defend the city of Utrecht, after such preparations, expenditures, and much vain boasting, aftonished the public at large, and reflected no honour on the courage of the troops aflem bled, or the conduct of their chief. The chagrin and vexation which it was natural for a disappointed party to feel on this sudden change of affairs, and fadden death of their hopes, vented them. selves in execrations against the Rhingrave; and the failure of their plans was attributed to his cowardice or treachery. The apologist justifies that retreat, and also the mode of it, on the principle of abfolute neceffity. He asserts that the city was incapable of making the least defence. “It had not within its walls provifions fufficient to sustain 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 exposed to the enemy; of fix thousand men in garrison the greater part were either useless or suspected.' He attributes this deplorable sicuation of affairs to the supineness of the States-General, whole


interest it was to render Utrecht impregnable; and to the total ignorance, parfimony, and perpetual blunders of the commir. fioners under whose control he was obliged to act. The apologift, after enumerating several instances which fully prove his point, sums up the whole of this spirited memoir with the following portrait of the men from whom the Rhingrave received his honours, and to whom he ascribes his disgrace:

• What does this ketch demonstrate? That men were appointed at the head of affairs totally destitute of the capacities, address, or activity necessary for the success of so important an enterprise. They foresaw nothing, remedied nothing, profited by no events, formed no plans, listened to no information, and executed no designs. An inexprellible ftupor seemed to have benumbed all their faculties. They forgot the most common and simple preparations, neglected the most ne. cessary arrangements, despised the most effential negociations, defied the most dangerous intrigues, and permittod the most favourable mo. ments to escape unimproved, &c.'

Whoever reads this pamphlet, will be convinced of what many of the patriots themselves confess, that the public cause was committed to the hands of men whose capacities were by no means equal to the important talk. But numbers may be convinced of the truth of all his charges, while they still retain precisely the same opinion of this meteor of a moment. They will Itill view him as an adventurer whose fole interest in this his second 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 fuccess till they ceased to be lucrative. This memoir is obviously written by the Rhingrave himself; but, by speaking in the third person, like the great General of the Romans, his extreme modesty is not hurt when he expatiates on his illustrious birth, military skill, clear forefight, and the amazing efforts which be made to rescue a distressed country from the grasp of a defpot. He plainly insinuates that he was himself an hoft, able to oppose 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.


ART. XII. Deuvres Pofthumes, &c. i. e. The Posthumous Works of Frederic II.

King of Pruflia ;—continued. See Review for May. HERE is certainly no part of these Pofthumous Works,

in which the character of their Royal Author is drawn with more truth, fpirit, and bold expresion, than in his Letters to his friend, favourite, and companion, M. Jordan. We mentioned these Letters in our last article, as contained in the eighth volume; and, before we proceed farther, we shall give such ex


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

• 30th of November, 1740. • Pray make my compliments to the Graces of Alzarotti, : 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 she will be brought to bed of fomething good, and that I Mall obtain the confidence of the public by some bold and successful enterprises. I am now in a brilliant concurrence of circumstances, that present a solid basis for my future reputation.--I mind not the babblings of ignorance and envy: Glory is my pole-star: it animates me more than ever : it dilates the hearts of my troops, and I will answer for their success. Adies, dear Jordan, tell me all the ill that is spoken of me by the public :We are at the gates of Breslau. Adieu! amuse yourself as well as you :—Pore and study at your fire-lide, while we are fighting op to the knees in dirt and snow.'

From another Letter, • My dear Jordan, my gentle Jordan, my good, my benignant, my pacific, my humane Jordan, I announce to you the conquest of Silesia, and the storming of Neiffe, for which we are making the necessary preparations, like good Chriftians. If the town does not capitulate, we must destroy it-chat is all. And this is all that you need to know: Be my Cicero to defend the justice of my cause and projects ; I shall be your Cæfar with respect to the execution. Adieu, fage counselloramuse yourself with Horace, study Pausanias, make merry with Anacreon. As for me, I have, at present, no other amusements than bombs, merlons, gabions, and fascines. I hope it will please God to give me soon a more pleasing and peaceable occupation, and to you health, satisfaction, and all that your heart defires.'

From another. • I love war for the sake of fame; but if I was not a prince, I would be nothing but a philosopher. After all, every man must follow his profestion, and it is my fancy to do nothing by halves.'-'You know, that Brieg has surrendered; you were lucky at being absent at the general attack; otherwise you might have been seen mounting, a-straddle, on a bomb, to Paradise.--I had almost forgotten to tell you, that Maupertuis has been seized with a hot fever, through spite and rage, that the comet has had the impudence to appear among us, without a previous certificate from the academy and the astronomers.'

From another. We are to have three battles, four forms, and a hundred skirmishes; and, all this being over, you shall see me, humble Paul, at the feet of Gamaliel, Jordan, learning from thee wisdom, 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 than


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short space of time that heaven has given them for enjoyment. I was a I always, more or less, a philosopher : but youth, the fire of passions,

the love of glory, and a secret instinct, drew me forcibly from the voluptuous tranquillity which I loved so much : nay, even the pleasure of seeing my name in the Gazettes, and in the records of history, seduced me.-Adieu, Jordan-my respects to philofophy, and tell her, I hope to see her again in winter-quarters.'

From another. • Who could have imagined, dear Jordan, that providence would have chosen a young poes to overturn the system of Europe, and make a total change in all the political combinations and connexions of its sovereigns? This is surely a singular event: it is something like a comet, which traverses our orbit, and follows in its course, 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 shall we meet in the peaceful shades of Charlottenburg, and converse, at ease, on the ridiculous follies of mankind, and the nothingness and vanity of our condition ? I long with impatience for those bappy moments.'

On the whole, the natural cone of fimplicity and sprightliness that predominates in these 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 circumstances relative to this correspondence, which render the Berlin edition of these Pofthumous Works Ahamefully defe&tive. The first is, that none of Voltaire's letters appear in this edition. From this strange omission, many of the king's letters are rendered much less interesting, than they would otherwise have been; and several of them are scarcely intelligible. The second circumftance renders the editor ftill more reprehensible; for it consists in the omission of all the letters, that passed 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 sides, which were pofterior to the year 1753 (the date of the quarrel between the king and the poet), are written in a very different strain from those which preceded that period. While we were reviewing this ninth volume of the Berlin edition, we received a later one of these Pofthumous Works, in which the absurd charms and mutilations which disfigure the former, are filled up and repaired, and the body of the correspondence is restored to its unity and consistence. 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 also mutilated; for many of the king's letters, even on interesting and useful subjects, are supprefled in their edition. If a decent regard to religion and morals had been the motive to this suppression, it would have been a wise and respectable measure. But this does not seem to have been the case. No principle of this kind is visible in the direction of either of the two edicions. In the one, are mas; fuppressions; but the good and the bad have been supprefsed in discriminately; and as the latter appears with enormous turpis tude in many of the letters, which have made their appearance, we know not to what we must attribute the suppression of the rest, unless it be to negligence, precipitation, or the apprehenfon of rendering the work too voluminous. But then why not mak: a decent and judicious choice? Why not lop off from the tre: the exuberant and rotten branches that blast its verdure! If this had been done, its dimenfions would have been fufficient for beauty, utility, and even for size. We should have bebeld it blossoms with pleasure, and fed on its fruit with a high relith. In the other edition, nothing is suppressed on which the publice: could lay his hands *. The apples and horse-dung, as in Swift's fable, swim together in the current.

been from

The correspondence occupies, in this edition, three large volumes. A very confiderable part of these is filled with effufions of mutual adulation, nay of adoration, from the king to the poe: and from the poet to the king; which, though sometimes high's seasoned with agreeable turns of wit and eloquence, become a length fulsome and tiresome, by endless repetition; and often shocking, by the divine honours, with which they compliment each other. ' It was natural and juft, in such a judge of literaz

! merit as Frederic, to be delighted with the wit and talents of Voltaire ; and it was even pardonable to be more or less intoxi. cated with the sweet-smelling incense and the harmonious num. bers of the French bard, whose fine poetic vein was but a part of his extensive literary merit. On the other hand, that Voltaire should admire a prince, who held the sceptre with such dignity, and twined around it the united laurels of Mars and Apollo, so whose favourites he granted a distinguished proteáion, is not to be wondered at. There was also another bond of union between the king and the poet, which was their acrimonious enmity against the ministers of religion of every denomination, wbom they graciously confounded without diftinétion, exception, or modification, in the class of fanatics, hypocrites, tyrants, and pero secutors. This seems to have been one of the important pre liminaries of their treaty of friendship; the duration of which,

* This edition bears neither the name of the editor, nor is the place of publication mentioned in the title. Its date is 1789. It is published in thirteen volumes, and contains many good and bad things

, which are not in the edition of Berlin. We shall therefore

follow it in our farther accounts of these royal, philosophical, literary, and waggih Miscellanies.

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