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to ruin, or ftand on the brink of deftruction. And the exceles of every kind, natural confequences of fuch an anarchy, will bring on the total diffolution of the flate, if not timely preyented."
But behold the grand confideration!" The connections between nations, which border on each other, are to intim te, that the fubjets of the neighbouring powers have already felt the moti difagreeable effects from thefe diforders. These powers are obliged, at a -great expence, to take measures of precaution, in order to fecure the s tranquillity of their own frontiers: they are exposed to the uncertain, but poffible confequences of the entire diffolation of Poland; to the danger of feeing their mutual harmony and good friendhip deftroyed; the maintenance of which, at the fame time that it fecures their own peace and tranquillity, is a matter of the highest importance to all Europe.
"Urged by reafons fo many and fo weighty," we are not to wonder that the three powers" find themfelves under a neceffity of taking a decifive part, in circumftances fo very critical." And that their ..faid Majefties have "determined among themfelves, without lofs of time, and with one accord, to take the most effectual and beft combined measures, in order to re-establish tranquillity and good order in Poland; to flop the prefent troubles, and to put the ancient conftitution of that kingdom, and the liberties of the people, on a fure and folid foundation."
But while thefe felf-chofen arbitrators "take advantage of that mutual friendship and good harmony which happily fubfifts between them at prefent, they cannot but be fenfible how Tittle it is in their power to promife themfelves, in future periods, the fame happy concurrence;"—for a convenient seizure and amicable partition, of their neighbour's property." Befide, is he not a forry angler indeed, who does not know the advantage of fifhing in a troubled ftream? And, apropos!" As they have réfpectively very confiderable claims on the poffeffions of the republic, [it would have been uspardonable to have wanted claims at fo lucky a juncture for afferting them]" which they cannot permit themfelves to expofe to the hazard of poffible contingencies; they have therefore determined arong themfelers to affert their antient rights and lawful claims, which each of them will be ready to justify in time and place by authentic records, and folid reafons. This is downright plain honet dealing. This is pulling off the mafk indeed! But was ever effiontery fo barefaced! Patience, however, good Reader, a moment longer :
"In confequence hereof, her Majefly the Empress of all the Ruffias, her Majesty the Emprefs Dowager-queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and his Majefty the King of Pruffia; having communicated reciprocally their refpective rights and claims; and being mutually .convinced of the juftice thereof; are determined to fecure to themfelves a proportionable equivalent, by taking immediate and effec..
tual poffeffion of fuch parts of the territories of the republic, as may ferve to fix more natural and fure bounds between her and the three, powers. The faid three powers engaging to give hereafter an exact į fpecification of their respective quotas: and renouncing from the prefent moment all revival of right, demand, or claim, on account, of damages fuftained, debt, intereft, or any other pretence whatever,, which they might otherwife have, or form on the poffeffions, or fubjeas of the republic."
Well might the indignant Letter-writer exclaim, on this notable instance of the modest affurance of crowned heads, Sure I, am that fo grofs an infult was never offered to common fenie.'. But, as he very properly adds, What can men fay, who are to defend fuch a daring breach of the laws of nations?' And fevere, indeed, is the reflection which he fubjoins: The' minifters of Petersburgh are accustomed to appear without bluthing, at the tribunal of the public, in the defence of any caute. The death of Peter, and the afaffination of Prince John, inured them to it. Nor does he fcruple to affirm that the new allies? of Ruffia, with all their religion and philofophy, are not a; whit more fcrupulous or bafhful.
Our Author now proceeds to difcriminate the artful mixtures of truth and deceit contained in the Manifefto. The two first propofitions he allows to be true; but all the rest he treats as a tiflue of artifice and falfchood. We shall not weaken the force. of his arguments by feparating them in any unconnected extracts; but fhall refer our Readers, for complete fatisfaction, to the Letter itfelf. What the Writer fays, however, of the mifchiefs refulting from the elective confitution of the Polif monarchy, may, without impropriety, be detached from the rett of his very intelligent obfervations:
Look into the history of the Poles, Sir, and you will fee, the the fource of all their misfortunes, was, their kingdom becoming elective, and their unwifely determining to elect a foreign prince From that moment the ambition and rapacity of their neighbours were awakened: every one became a candidate, or took an active part in favour of one of the candidates, and to the exclusion of the red. Hence almost every vacancy of the throne excited troubles: hence the powers bordering on Poland were fo often involved in them: bence, under pretext of fecuring their own frontiers, their troopi entered into Poland, and distated to the republic whom the fhould chufe. A thoufand little paffions prevented the Polish nation in geberal from attending to, and remedying thefe evils in time. Their pride was flattered at fecing themfelves courted by the neighbouring powers; their avarice was fed by the prefents and promises of the different candidates, and their adherents: a fpirit of felfifhnels and wenality feized upon the whole nation; and falle notions of liberty were imbibed.
Fearing that the forces of the foreigner they elected might be employed to enfluye thom, every new eletuon was marked by new
laws, which, under the fpecious pretence of reftraining the power of the future King, and fecuring the independency of each individual, ferved only to weaken the ftate, and enflave the whole. You remember what Montefquieu has faid on this occafion : "L'independance de chaque particulier eft l'objet des Loix de la Pologne; et ce, qui en refulte, l'oppreffion de tous."-Thefe few words, Sir, contain the best picture of the Polish constitution that ever was drawn.
The candidate, who fucceeded, glad to obtain a crown at any rate, promifed whatever was demanded; the friends of thofe who were disappointed, were not forry to fee leffened the confequence of a crown, which they had not had intereft enough to obtain. As by thefe laws the legislative and executive powers in Poland were weakened, and rendered inactive, their neighbours went farther: and, under pretence of fecuring the freedom of elections, the liberties of the people, and the rights of the different orders and claffes of citizens, they took upon theirfelves the title and office of guarantees of the government of Poland. For, that this is no new idea, you may fee, by the letters and declarations of the honfe of Auftria, during the interregnum occafioned by the death of Auguftus II. You will find them in the ninth volume of the Recueil Historique of Rouffet.
Hence the Poles were no longer masters of fixing, or changing, as circumstances might require, their own internal form of government: the power of the crown was annihilated: and foreign princes grew omnipotent. This heedlefs people had kicked against the legal authority of a limited prince; and now crouched beneath the infolent and humiliating tyranny of strangers.
The natural, and indeed only method of diminishing, by little and little; and, in time, of putting a final ftop to this evil, would have been, to have made it a fundamental law, that none but a native could ever be promoted to the throne. The patriotic part of the kingdom were fo fenfible of this, that at the death of Auguftus II. the whole nation bound itself by an oath, not to elect, not even to propofe, a foreign candidate.'
Hence it is obferved, by this ingenuous Writer, that the Emprefs of Ruffia might with reafon alledge, as a proof of her good intentions, that the recommended a native to the throne. And,
moft certainly, he adds, the particular candidate whofe interefts the efpoufed, was the man who was the most worthy of the throne, and who, to all appearance, would render himself the moft agreeable to his fellow citizens, and his neighbours.'" The following is the sketch here given of the character of this truly amiable and refpectable, but unfortunate prince:
He was the fon of the first fecular fenator of the kingdom; allied to the most powerful and ancient families in it: his education had been directed on a plan the most liberal and manly: he had travelled to all the courts of Europe; and in all had left the most favourable impreffions behind him he had diftinguished himself by a nervous eloquence; by a thorough knowledge of the laws and conftitutions of his own country, and of the interefts and characters of the other courts of Europe: and, above all, he had enlarged and juft ideas of
the rights of mankind, and the ends for which fuperior power is lodged in the hands of a few. In a word, if he had never reigned, his enemies theirfelves would have allowed, that no man was ever more worthy of a crown.'
The Author enumerates the grofs abufes which were corrected, and the useful and falutary regulations which were established, during the two first years of the reign of this worthy prince; who, he affirms, did more good, in that short period of tranquillity, than had ever been done by the house of Saxony, (to which houfe the Writer feems to have great averfion) during two ignominious reigns of fixty years.
To what then, it will be afked, is it owing, that thefe promifing appearances have vanished? that a King who deferved fo well of his people, has been fo ill treated by them that the powers, who boast fo much of their good-will towards Poland do now confpire its ruin? that the Emprefs of Ruffia joins in this unjust confpiracy against the very King, and nation, for whom the appeared to interest herself fo warmly at first?'
To answer thefe interrogatories, is the bufinefs of the next Letter; in which, as we are here told, the Reader will fee to what exceffes fuperftition and fanaticism may be hurried, when worked upon by art and knavery: of what outrages the fpirit of party is capable, when masked beneath the cloak of patriotism: to what low and mean artifices the pride of Kings can fometimes defcend; of what villainies a royal Philofopher; of what hypocrify an apoftolic Queen can be guilty.'
For the publication of this fecond Letter we fhall wait with fome degree of impatience: in the meantime, let us join with this animated Writer in thanking heaven that we are born Englishmen, and far removed from the neighbourhood of the philofopher Sans Souci; who has often, he fays, been heard to exclaim, when the Petitions and Remonftrances prefented to the British throne by our towns and counties, have been talked of at his table, "Ah, why am not I their King? with an hundred thousand of my troops round the throne, and a score or two of executioners in my train, I fhould foon make them as dutiful as they are brave; and myself the first monarch of the universe."
He gives us the following anecdote, in evidence of the weak and contemptible character of Auguftus III. Judge of the man, fays he, by his amufements. A favourite and daily diverfion with him was, to order a number of dogs to be got together; and whilst the poor animals were feeding in his court, this doughty monarch was shooting at them from his windows. Such was the prince, whom the courts of Vienna and Petersburgh deftined to, and forced upon the throne of Poland: fuch was the prince, whom, in thefe days, the blind resentment of party has erected into a hero and a patriót.?
On this royal, but not very philofophical gafconade, our Au thor remarks, that the English would hardly with that his Pruffian Majefty fhould try the experiment; and yet, fays he, perhaps it might be for the good of mankind; for they would teach him, what he has most thoroughly forgot,' that "kings were made for the people, not the people for kings" with which juft, patriotic, and truly British maxim, the prefent Letter is concluded.
ART. IX. Conclufion of the Account of Dow's Hiftory of Hindoftan. Vol. III. See Review for laft Month.
E come now to the hiftorical part of the Work before us, which takes in a period of fixty-five years, including the reigns of Jehangire and Shaw Jehan, and the reign of Aurungzebe, till the empire was completely fettled under his dominion. This period ends with the year of our Lord 1669, and exhibits an important and illuftrious portion of the hiftory of Hindoftan. It contains many ftriking characters, fignal revolutions, and furprising reveries of fortune. Indeed, it abounds throughout with curious and interefting particulars, which are the more valuable on account of their having been hitherto very imperfectly known in Europe.
As it would be impoffible, within any tolerable compafs, to pursue the Author regularly through the courfe of the volume, we must content our felves with felecting fome paffages for the entertainment of our readers.
The fplendor of Jehangire's camp, when he went out to war, is worthy of notice:
When the monarchs of Hindoftan take the field, their camps are a kind of moving cities. That of Jehangire, in his prefent progrefs, was in circumference at least twenty miles. The Lefcar is divided, like a regular town, into fquares, alleys, and flreets. The royal pavilion is always erected in the center: no man raifes his nearer than the diftance of a mufket fhot around. Every man of quality, every artificer, knows his ground, the fpace allotted for him, on which fide, how far from the emperor he must pitch his tent. The pavilions of the great officers of the court are, at a diftance, known by their fplendor; at hand, by marks which diftinguith the various ranks of the owners. The fops and apartments of tradefmen are also known by rule; and no man is for a moment at a lofs how to fupply his wants. The Lefcar, from a rifing ground, furnishes one of the moit agreeable profpests in the world. Starting up, in a few hours, in an uninhabited plain, it raifes the idea of a city built by enchantment: and fills the mind with delightful wonder and furprize. Even thofe who leave their ,houfes in cities, to follow the prince in his progrefs, are frequently fo charmed with the Lefcar, when fituated in a beautiful and conveanjent place, that they cannot prevail with themfelves to remove. To