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ment,' would I endure his feet within my threshold? And are there not thousands that will believe this, on the authority of Mr. Trotter, backed by Sir Richard Phillips ? Which of the friends of truth' will disbelieve it? And where is the jury, that taking the whole of Mr. Trotter's story into their consideration, would hesitate to decide for the physicians ? Of course, I do not include such jusies as the very sensible, not to say, the very honest one, which acquitted Mr. White; nor those which are deeply read in Sir Richard's jury code. As to the rest, which of them, on their oaths, will say, that because Mr. Trotter is plainly a halfwitted man, therefore, the good fame and the fortunes of all other meu are to be held at his mercy?
Bui Sir Richard, near the commencement of his letter, vapours about the friends of truth.' And what do writers mean by this formula ? Are we not all • friends of truth, or iş this title the ex clusive property of those that are hostile to all our establishments in church and state? In defence of Sir Richard's letter, I have heard it advanced, that the honest bookseller is the proprietor of the book in question, and that therefore it is but in the fair way of trade that he has taken the bold step of denying that contradiction is contradiction. Whether this argument will satisfy the friends of truth'I do not know, though I am willing to afford Sir Richard all the benefit of it; but yet I cannot be content without inquiring, . why it is, that to the axioms so justly propounded, and so properly acknowledged, that the friends of liberty' are those among us whose sentiments and views are most of all tyrannical, and the 'friends of toleration,' those who are most of all intolerant; we are thus challenged to add a third, that the friends of truth' are precisely those, whose contempt of truth is the most unlimited, and least disguised ? ?
A FRIEND TO PLAIN DEALING. P.S. Mr. Trotter has recently published a short Postscript to his work, the sole object of which is to reassert, that Mr. Fox, before his death, had ceased to hold in estimation either Lord Grenz
" See a late publication by Sir Richard.
? Is it in the spirit of modern toleration, that men, of a particular set of opinions, claim for themselves the exclusive title of friends of truth,' as if other men, of a directly opposite set of opinions, may not as ardently desire truth, however unfortunate they may be in their discovery of it? And with respect to the 'friends of truth, let us observe a little in what way they manifest their friendship. 'Lord Cochrane is a friend of truth,' and yet we remember bis story about the admiralty-judge at Malta, and his well-varnished account of his own conduct on that island; we remember, too, bis history of the prison at Dartmoor, his assertion that Devonshire lies in the most inclement climate in England, and his account of the mortality in the prison, concerning which, after a 2 B 4
ville, or Mr. Sheridan, or, generally, those who have commonly called themselves Mr. Fox's friends. But who will pay attention to these things, now that we know the exact amount of Mr. Trotter's veracity and intellect?
personal investigation, he did not know, whether the deaths were forty-nine in a day, or forty-nine in a week. To make general charges, with foundation, or without foundation, belongs to the friends of truth :' to demand the particulars and the proofs, belongs to the impertinence, the intolerance, and the tyranny, of its enemies.' It is thus in Lord Cochrane's case, and in Mr. Trolter's. Colonel Wardle, too, is a friend of truth,' and yet we know something of his bistory; of his statement concerning Mr. Alley, the counsel; of his motion respecting Corporal Curtis, and of his conduct during his inquiries, particularly toward Sir David Dundas. (See General Chronicle, vol. ii, 350.) Mír. Finnerty is a 'friend of truth,' and yet we recollect his charges against Lord Castlereagh, persisted in in defiance of dates, like Sir Richard's letter in defiance of plain English; charges, too, every one of which, if true, were no common ground of impeachment, and which yet, out of more than six hundred members of the House of Commons, none, of any party, or no party, no ami du peuple, has ventured to at tempt to establish; charges, which yet, no member of that House, possessing common honesty, and possessing, at the same time, a shadow of proof, conld vindicate himself to his conscience, or to luis country, if he neglected to bring forward. Sir Francis Burdett is a friend of truth, and yet he dared to utter, . at a tavern, libels upon Lord Castlereagh, which he has never dared to ntter as charges in the House of Commons; the House of Commops, wbere not only those charges could have been met, and would have been investigated, but where even his clearest duty, I will not condescend to say, as an ami du peuple,' or as a friend of truth, but as a member of Parliament, as one of his Majesty's faithful Commons, demanded of hin, and still demands, not only that he should utter them, but that he should press them, if he did believe, or now believes, one syllable of them to be true." Sir Francis Burdett is a friend of truth,' and yet his letter to the Serjeant of the House of Commons, upon the face of it, in the interpretation of it, and in the intention of it, is all a lie. (I quote St. Leon.) Sir Francis Burdett is a' friend of truth,' and yet, after he had made a motion concerning the local militia-man at Liverpool, be artfully changed the nature of it, without one generous hint at his previous error, without one honest effort to wipe away that iibel upon the service, which he had rashly pronounced in Parliament, and withont feeling one compnlsory emotion, even when the truth of the case was told in the same place, to rise up, proclaim his misconduct, and offer all the separation in his power, that of bearing his own testimony to that same truth of which he is so warm and valuable a friend. The friends of truth may publish falsehoods, but must never retract them. To retract them, is to acknowjedge them, and thus give your adversary an advantage. This is not the place in which to talk of Sir Francis as the friend of liberty;' and yet,
... He is a frecman whom the Truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. But I cut short the history of Sir Francis (a most important and instructive history, never, I trust, to be forgotten in this country), and of all the friends of truth together. I add only, that Mr. Lancaster is a friend of truth,' and yet this gentleman, after printing his acknowledgments, that he had copied bis practice from Dr. Bell, suddenly declares himself the inventor of that practice; revilés Dr. Bell as the enemy of that education which Dr. Bell was the first to bring into use, and to offer for general example; and finally prints a new edition of the same book in which he had recorded his acknowledgments, birst expunging those acknowledgments from its pages. (See page 406.) Those, then, are the friends of truth.'.
THE SPECULATOR.-No. XI.
BY CLEMENT CLEARSIGHT.
Or maist part of the parish tells a lie. . ALLAN RAMSAY. Cince the days of Partridge, of astrological celebrity, never
was human being so harassed by anxious importunity, as the unfortunate Clement Clearsight has been, during the last three months. The intimation I had given in my first paper, of my descent from a Highland seer, and the optical abilities of my father, combined with the eye-piercing quality which my name imports, seem to have pointed me out, to some of my readers, as a person likely to afford them authentic information, on the subject to which most people's thoughts, as well as their eyes, have been, and are still directed, namely, the Comet. It would be impossible to enumerate the letters and applications which I have received from persons, who are convinced I must know a great deal on the subject, and who had, it appears, waited with the utmost eagerness aud impatience for my communications, but finding me hitherto silent, request me to keep them no longer in suspense, on so interesting a matter. The apparent ignorance also of that renowned almanac-inaker, Mr. Moore, respecting this event, has occasioned no small consternation, among his readers, many of whom are disposed to think, that must be a most extraordinary appearance indeed, which has escaped the penetrating ken of a man so deeply versed in the occult sciences.--lo noticing this omission, I have used the term apparent, as entertaining no mayner of doubt myself, that what appears to have been a deticiency of knowledge or observation in the said Francis Moore on this occasion, is in fact no such thing, but that he can, and probably will, demonstrate satisfactorily, why he has not thought proper to display in this instance all the stores of his knowledge to the world. Be that as it may, his silence has doubtless, to a certain degree, occasioned the before-mentioned numerous applications to the Speculator, nothing being more common than when one physician fails, to apply to another; and though I would disclaim the most distant thought of becoming a rival to so long established a practitioner, yet I cannot think on the extreme concern and anxiety with which my patients are waiting for my opinion, without an attempt, even should it prove an unsuccessful one, to relieve their minds. This is undoubtedly due to the compliment which, I must feel, they have paid to my supposed scientific ability ; and I shall therefore endeavour to expatiate su far, respecting the appearance of this unlooked for visitor, as I conceive to be requisite, or proper, at present, reserving to myself (as is the undoubted privilege of all learned men), such particulars as it might be, for many reasons, lughly improper to communicate.
Such, indeed, has been my eagerness' to avail myself of the advantages, which this age of improvement offers to those, who wish to extend their knowledge, that I once had thoughts of making a proposal to our adventurous aëronaut, Mr. Sadler, to accomodate me with a seat in his car, and indulge my speculative curiosity, with a nocturnal voyage to the upper regions of the air; hoping that by a nearer approach to the object of my contemplation, a more accurate survey of it might be obtamed, than the surface of the earth, or even the loftiest observatory would afford. Several obstacles however seemed to interpose on a further consideration of this project: the rapid motion of a balloon 'appeared ill adapted to the convenience of astronomical observation, and as no person has hitherto made use of telescopes in the higher and purer expanse of the atmosphere, it admits of a doubt how far those instruments would succeed in that situation. These objections, added to the shortness of time which it is probable, we should remain in the air, have obliged me to relinquish this adventure, and to content myself with such means of observing the appearance of the comét, as my present station admits of.
The description of this blazing star' has been so repeatedly given, in our daily and other publications, that it may seem quite unnecessary to repeat it here: the events which are to follow its appearance, seem to be the subjects of anxiety with the generality of persons, and on which therefore it may be expected I should give some opinion. Now, though I do not altogether agree in the notion, that the Comet was the cause of the hot weather in Septeinber, and the following months, nor do I apprehend that it has had any influence' in advancing the price of bread, yet I cannot but allow, that'it will be the forerunner of very extraordinary erenis; though it is not indeed easy to point out to what particular country these events relate, as the Comet has been visible in niost parts of Europe. ;
I cannot think so meanly of the understanding of the generality of my 'readers, as to suppose they have taken the alarm which is reported to have seized on some weak minds, that the world is to be terminated by this Comet, though these alarms are doubtful, it seems, whether the immediate agent of this destruction is to be fire or water. As the appearance of a star of this description is by no means'a new occurrence, there can surely bé no just cause for such serious apprehensions. One of our most enlightened astronomers indeed has given it as his opinion, that the operation of Comets is of a benigviant nature ; and as no calamitous effects are known to have been hitherto produced by them, it is both a pleasing and rational notion, that they are intended for beneficial purposes, and of course no subject for pusillanimous fears. Our experience of the regular course of nature ought to remove all vain and unfounded apprehensions, since none, but those who are so absurd as
to believe, the universe. was made by : chance, can doubt that its great author will still maintain the order of it. ,,
As yo terrors are more dreadful than those of superstition, I would therefore earnestly adyise my readers, if they wish to live and act as rational beings, to devest then selves of all such thoughts and apprehensions as are the offspring of that weakness of mind on which superstition operates ; to root as Addison exhorts the old woman out of their hearts; and since no prudence or foresight can prevent the unavoidable, calamities of life, not to add to those calamities, by şilly fancies, and absurd prognostications. i ' Ignorance is the source of much evil, the faoulties of man, when enchained by this demon, are kept as in a dungeon, and amid the darkness which envelopes them, the imagination forms to itself spectres, and shapes of terror, which disappear when the light of knowledge breaks in; and reason then resuming its functions, enables us to look on the face of nature with delight, and to consider the univere as a complete system, in which are displayed the most perfect 'order, the most exquisite beauty, the most supreme wisdom, and the most extensive benevolence.
GALLERY OF ANTIQUITIES
Ancient Design, that-lifts :,:11
THE PORTLAND VASE.*"11171i it!
I notice of two German publications on thie Barberini or Portland-Vase :-Vernuttinngen über die Barberini, jetzt Portland-Vase. Conjectures on the Barberini, now Portland-Vase. 8vo. 22 pages, 1791.--Ueber die Vase Murrina, &c. On the Murrhine Vessels of the Aucients: by A. F. von Veltheim. 8vo. 24 pages. 1791. Both these pamphlets are by the same author. In the first Mr. von V. endeavours to explain the Portland-Vase, on which he sees the history of a hero of antiquity, whose grief for the loss of a beloved wife nothing could remove but her being restored to him. On the sarcophagus is the story of Achilles and Briseis ; on the urn, that of Admetus and Alcestis. The work he thinks not Grecian, but Roman, older than the time of Alexander Severus, and executed with the wheel. In the second, after giving the opinions of different, learned, men on the substance of the murrhine vessels, our author examives several passages relative to them in the ancient writers. From these he concludes, that it was a Chinese steatiteolo