Page images

just. To obviate an objection which might be made, I repeated the experiment by hiding the wheel with a piece of paper held over it, which paper had only a very narrow fit cut into it, sa as just to permit a tooth and a space to appear at once, when the experiment answered as before *,


Elay II. On the Nature and Principles of Public Credit. 8vo.

White. N our fifty-seventh Volume, page 107, we give fome ac

count of the First Effay; and, in the conclusion of the arțicle, extracted the author's promise of a Second, in his own words. A little ambiguity in the language induced us to employ them, for we could not easily ascertain his precise mean. ing ; but it is sufficiently elucidated in the present Essay.

The subject of this continuation is the sinking fund, or a fund raised from the furplus of the revenue, for the purpose of accumulating a fum to be employed in the diminution of the national debt. This indeed ought to be its object; if it has been otherwise employed, we suppose sufficient reasons might be assigned for its destination; it will indeed be ob vious, that to take cums from this fund, which would other. wife have contributed to (well the public debt, can scarcely be styled a misapplication of them, except in very particular circumstances. It frequently must be favourable; as, for in. fance, when by interested combinations, the premium demanded for a loan exceeds its value, appreciated by the price of fock, or when the latter is funk by artful manouvres to fuit the plan of the lender. What our author calls the 'pro. gressional power of the finking fund,' is the power which any given sum has to redeem a greater or less capital of the poblic debt, and this muft necessarily be in the inverse ratio of the public profperity. When intereft, for infance, is high, focks are low ; consequently public calamities will be favourable to this power, as by their means a greater quantity of fock may be bought with a given fum. This is one of the insances

The chevalier D'Arcy, in some experiments, made with a view to determine the duration of visible sensations, found that the sensation of a lighted coal lafted cight-thirds, aster the lighted coal itself had ceased to. make any in prefion on the tye. Hence it follows (one-third being the fixt:eth part of a fecord) that we cannot entertain so many as cigbt fach. fenfutions, one after another, in a second of time. . In Mr Herschelse perimeut:, where the objects were less luminous, the number was found to be far greater. Put it is highly probable, that the duration of sensations depends in a great measure on the fplendeur of the objects concerned. The chevalier D'Arcy himself found white objeds to be not quite fe durable as the fighted coal. He appears, however, not to have made any decisive experiments with this particular view,--Memoires de l'Acadcmic des Sciences, année 5765, p. 439.


hinted at in our former article, where arithinetical calculations must be neceffarily modified by views of a very different na. ture; for a prosperous state of the sinking 'fund will act as a counterpoise to national calamities, and prevent that influence on the price of Itock, which they would otherwise produce i and if ever the finking fund be appropriated in this mannet ! as is supposed to be the present intention of administration, it will be absolutely necessary to conceal the execution of the deliga with the most anxious precautions, and to employ the money by flow degrees, and at diftant intervals. But to return.

Qur author, though he neglects this necessary counterpoise in a general view, yet, when applied to particular circum-> Itances, gives it a proper weight. To render the sinking fund capable of producing its full effect, he thinks the progreffional power thould be secured. This is, he thinks, bet done · by converting the debt into redeemable stock, the nominal capital whereof shall not exceed the actual value of the annuities, computed according to the market rate of interest for the time being.' But as, in this case, the extra-interest, granted by this conversion, is, in obvious ways, liable to an immediate reduction, unless its security be provided for, it is equally necessary, that the honest annuitant,' who only can: be injured by this reduction, thould be placed beyond the reach of contrivances, which would so much deteriorate his property. The counter securities are the subject of this

pam. phlet; and the two following sections contain, ift.

• An inve'igation, ascertaining the necessary principles of an annuity Stock, that shall naturally produce an equal security to the progresional power of the finking fund, and to the annuity appertaining to the creditor.' 2dly, An enumeration of the Taperior advantages attendant on an annuity stock of the foregoing principles, in preference to any other kind of annuities; and the inutual benefit flowing cherefrom, as well to the crea ditors as to the public; whereby the public credit naturally be.

1 comes restored to its pristine state.'

In the first Section of the Poftfcript, our author endeavours not only to show that Mr. Sinclair's opinion of the found itate of our resources, and the distance of a national bankruptcy, is well-founded ; bat that, in reality, this fatal event is equally producible or preventible” at pleasure. We cannot enter on this subject, as it would exceed our limits; but, after a careful examination, we think the plan equally clear, confftent, and practicable. We would trongly recommend it to the powers that be."

In the second Section Mr. Gale considers some of the fitions in Dt. Price's femarks on a plan to 'raile money by

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

srite pili w public


public loans, and to redeem public debts. The principal of these positions are, that reductions of interest are some of the most dangerous and temporary expedients : that they only poftpone calamities, by accumulating them, and rendering them less possible to be avoided.' This subject our author expatiates on at some length; and, after a few observations on other parts, examines the doctor's plan for diminishing the national debt. The nature of these details prevents us from analyfing, and their length from transcribing them. We shall only add, that Mr. Gale's arguments are supported by great strength of reasoning, and, what seem to us, accurate calculations,

This Second Essay is more clear, and more applicable to practice, than the former, while at the fame time it exhibits equal accuracy of distinction, and is supported by reasoning equally solid. The language is still dry and unornamented ; to many it may seem obícure ; but these are defects inseparable from the fubje&, in which ornament would be misapplied, and which is with difficulty comprehended or explained.

Apology for the Life of George Anne Bellany. 3 Vols. 1 2mo.

155. Bell.

THIS *HIS title is modest ; but it leads one to expect apologies

for errors, instead of a free, unconstrained relation of them. Perhaps Mrs. Bellamy has preserved it, in imitation of - the title of similar performances, without perceiving its tendency to mislead. Though we must fufpect, that a' natural

partiality for her own actions, a little fpice of felf-love will sgild her. faults, and diminish her errors, yet the tale, in many respects, appears to be related with fidelity and candour. Her own mind, unaccustomed to reftraint, was eager and impetuous in forming and executing its resolutions : Lively, gay,

and inconsiderate, with a spirit which years could not bumble, + or misfortunés depress, the has been the victim of misdirected

talents, and of qualifications which, in better circumstances, might have rendered her a bright ornament of societyIn the fun-fhine of prosperity he was followed, courted, and admired; her faults affumed the lustre of their kindred vir.

tués, and her errors were consequently fanctioned by popular applaufe ; they were rooted by the approbation of those whose

praise was fame." At this time, the could not be expe&ted s to think of age,- to reflect on its attendants, obscurity, nego

lect, and perhaps poverty; so that many of her faults may be : .fyled indiscretions, and these were sometimes produced by the




misconduct of others rather than of herself: even her indircretions have, in fome inítances, arisen from the best motives, the moft warm and active benevolence. S21570; !

We would not, however, with to plead in favour of immos nality, though we should diftinguish between voluntary and accidental guilt. There are not many works whofe tendency is more falutary. These volumes may remind the gay fluttering butterflies of the present day, that the period of reflection and regret will probably arrive, when the remembrance of these, fading pleasures will be attended with remorse rather than delight: they may suggest to the u::thinking fair-one) who envies the gilded luxuries of her who seems to bafi ja the sunshine of fortune, that it is an unfubftantial pageant,' which will diffolve, and leave a permanent distress: that, ia the midst of fplendor, the mind fears to look at the conduct which its unregulated paffions have dictated, and shuns refleca tion as its bitterest enemy. Mrs. Bellamy has endeavoured to oppofe the influence of example, by moral reflections ; but these are often trite or misapplied, and their return at the end of every letter, rather tends to disguft than instruct. The consequences of vice are the best incentives to virtue.

The story is in general told with spirit: it is frequently affecting and amusing ; but the anecdotes lose much of their zest, because unaccompanied with that lively manner which once distinguished Mrs. Bellamy. The wretched we com. monly forsake, and fly to eyes unsullied with a tear:' perhaps, on this account, we found the latter volumes less interTesting than the former ; but whatever was the cause, in her decline, the story hangs with unusual heaviness. The anec

dotes, occasionally introduced, reflect the highest honour on the humanity of some of the heroes of the stage. If Mr. Garrick does not pofiers an honourable and resplendent nich in this group of ftatues, somewhat must be allowed to the failings of human nature, and somewhat to disadvantageous impreffion, which his frequent disputes with our author must have necessarily left.

On the whole, these volumes are very entertaining, and we I think instructive. To the heart guarded by moral inftruction, chey can certainly do no injury; and we think the conte

quences are too obvious to be overlooked by the most careless, sithe most diftipated reader. The confeflion, so far as it may be fuppofed candid, adds a credit to the author ; but inde pendent of self-love, the debts of gratitude seem to have been repaid by extenuating the errors of others. ..., co id


List The

[ocr errors]

The following anecdote of a certain diftinguished character, is curious and entertaining.

"I cannot here help taking notice of an instance, among many, of this worthy man's fondness for his son, who juftly makes fo conspicuous a figure in the political annals of the present times. The wall at the bottom of the lawn before Hollandhouse being to be taken down, and iron pallisades put up in its soom, that the passengers on the road might have a better view of that fine antique building, it was necessary to make use of gunpowder to precipitate the work. Mr. Fox had promised maiter Charles that he should be present when the explofion took place. But finding the workmen had completed the fall of the wall without giving him notice, he ordered it to be rebuilt. And when it was thoroughly cemented, had it blown up again, in order to keep his word with his son. He at the same time recommended it to those about him, never; upon any account, to be guilty of a breach of promise to children, as by doing so they instilled into them an indifference in regard to the observance of their own promises, when they arrived at years of maturity.'

The following trait of Mrs. Beilamy's sensibility does credit to her heart.

Mr. Colman introduced a young lady, by name Morris, in his play of The English Merchant, in which she met with great approbation. She afterwards appeared in Juliet. As ħer youth and attractions were what Juliet should be; it would have been absurd to a degree, had l objected to her playing it; notwithstanding, at that period, it was not common to take the capital performers characters from them, except for a person of acknowledged merito

· This fair flower, like a lily, reared a-while her head, difplayed her beauties to the fun, and diffused around the sweetest odours. But tranfient as the lily's was her fare.-Like her lovely emblem surcharged with rain, the foon dropped; and charmed no more. So eager was the grisley monster death to feize such perfection, and lo hasty were his strides, that she was unable to appear at her own benefit in the character of Juliet. I was therefore solicited by her relations to perform the party which I did with the greatest readiness; fincerely regretting, at the same time, the untimely decay of such promising merit; which probably would have adorned the itage with another Farren.

We would willingly have extracted fome pallages relating to Mr. Quin and Mr. Woodward ; but we would neither anticipate the reader's curiofity, or run the slightest risk of injuring the unfortunate author.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »