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acquiring it back again by industry, as some are old and incapable of it, it goes to change the basis of properly, till the one of little means, incapable of exertion, loses his all. So much for the benefit of unequal taxation.

Try again—say, instead of unequal taxation, 17. per cent. per anBum is taken from the 1000l. to pay the interest of the money borrowed; those that lend it pay their proportion as well as the others, and the tax is capable of being continued for a much greater length of time without the poorest losing his all: but still in the event, destruction must come to him, if he have no means of increasing his store.

Let it also be recollected, the higher the taxation, the higher the price of every thing must be; then see with what increased force taxation presses upon all who have fixed or limited means of existence, such as rentcharges, life-annuities, salaries, &c. and these descriptions of persons are not few in this country; putting aside the necessity of increasing the price of labour, to procure a bare existence.

What is then to be done? the old maxim of two evils choose the least, equalize your taxes. This will not cure, but will long keep alive.

What has been written may be fallacy; but it appears to me to be FORTESCUE.


Dudley Vicarage,

Jan. 12.

Mr. URBAN, addition to the communication of Viator (see volume LXXXIX. Part ii. page 412), concerning Spence, the following, perhaps, will be deemed of some importance, on account of having Shenstone for their author, in whose hand-writing I possess them, prefixed to two volumes (once his property), intituled "Fugitive Pieces on various Subjects, by several Authors. Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1761."

"Joseph Spence, M.A. took this degree 2d Nov. 1727; was Fellow of New Coll. Oxon; was elected Poetry Professor 11th July, 1728, which he beld ten years. He quitted his Fellowship on being presented by his College to the Rectory of Great Horwood in Buckinghamshire. He never resided at his Living, but made an anaual visit to Horwood, and did many acts of charity to the Poor

there. He resided mostly at Byfleet in Surrey, in a small villa given him for life by his pupil, the (then) Earl of Lincoln. In June 1742, he was made Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and 24th May 1754, a Prebendary of Durham. In June 1758, he made a visit, in company with Mr. R. Dodsley, at the Leasowes. From thence, after staying a week or ten days, he and Mr. Dodsley proceeded to Durham, and then went on a tour to Scotland; of which Mr. Spence wrote some account to me. On their return, Mr. Dodsley made an afternoon visit to a distant relation at Duffield in Derbyshire, a Miss Eliz. Cartwright, a bandsome, decent, and accomplished young woman; with whose conversation and manners Mr. Spence was so charmed, that he took a memorandum of her in his pocketbook, and left her a genteel legacy in his will. In 1764, Mr. Dodsley died while on a visit to him at Durham, and was buried by his friend in the Cathedral there, August 26, 1768. Mr. Spence was unfortunately drowned in a canal in his garden at Byfleet. He was found flat on his face at the edge, where the water was too shallow to cover his head. He most likely fell down in a fit.-He was of a spare and feeble constitution, very temperate in his hours and way of life, cheerful and entertaining in conversation. His features bore some resemblance to the celebrated Mr. Locke, but had more sweetness and benignity of countenance. His works are numerous; besides the well-known "Polymetis," in folio, he left some MS vols. now in the possession of the Duke of Newcastle. In this volume," (i. e. the first volume of Fugitive Pieces), "Crito, and the Account of the Emperor of China's Gardens, are by his hand. In the second volume, the Parallel between Magliabechi and Hill was written by him also. He is commemorated by Mr. J. Ridley in his Tales of the Genii, under the anagrammatic appellation of Phesoi Ecneps, or Dervise of the Groves."

Under the title of the third piece in the first volume, by Wm. Hay, Esq. on "Deformity," Shenstone has written, "The Author was born at Glenburne, near Lewes in Sussex, and died 19 June, 1755." Under that of the fourth piece, intituled "Lucina sine Concubitu, addressed to the Royal


Society," he has written, "By the celebrated Dr. Sir John Hill, who was born about the year 1716, and died in Nov. 1766." Under that of the first piece in the second volume, intituled "A Vindication of Natural Society," he has written, "By Mr. Burke." Under that of the second piece, intituled "The History and Antiquities of the antient Villa of Wheatfield, in the County of Suffolk," he has written, "By the Rev. Mr. John Clubbe, Rector of Wheatfield, and Vicar of Debenham."


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AM pleased to see that Mr. Fosbrooke's "Monachism" has been ably reviewed in the last Quarterly Review. The critique having for its object a professed recommendation of Protestant Nunneries, the Reviewers have omitted, as well as the author, to name, among others, who have ardently engaged in attempting to form such establishments, a fair Authoress, who has often been complimented in your pages, Mrs. Whitford, the writer of" Constantia Neville, or the West Indian," &c. The work alJuded to is "Thoughts and Remarks on establishing an Institution for the Support and Education of unportioned respectable Females," 1809. Mrs. Whitford, who seems to have had a very large experience in the dilapidation of elegant families, appears to have had an asylum for such sacrifices to misfortune in view, and her plan seems to have been pious and wise; the establishment is suggested to be national, and of the religious principles of the Church of England, the situation, Yorkshire,-education, Scotch. She has quoted Bishop Burnet's favourable arguments, and the Rev. William Tooke, that a similar institution, founded by the Empress Catherine, exists in Russia; with a great deal, we think, of peculiar female knowledge urged in support of it. She justly observes, that a respectable asylum of this nature would spare from association with vulgar illiterate persons, that description of single women to whom limited incomes have fallen, from the families having been broken up by the death of the fathers.

My opinion is certainly favourable to such institutions, though neither

Carthusian severities, nor the hairy gown," nor "mossy cell," are requisite; yet a calm sequestered seclusion, with a certain degree of order, regulation, and conformity, would be the best of all for those who, from melancholy disappointments, misfortunes, or tired of the world's woes, seek a final dereliction of life, to avoid insult, ignominy, and affliction.

With the pathos of Mr. Fosbrooke, we may indeed say,

"Alas! there now are no Elysian bowers To sepulchre among the living dead, A lost thing, when life's day in tempests lowers, [shrieking hours." Aud Grief the painted wings rends of the Economy of Monastic Life, p. 542.

There are these objections; this is not exactly the age when religious retirement could be accompanied with those particular associations which, almost a romantic dignity, and shed in the æras of Catholicism, gave it over it "a dim religious light" of peculiar sober serenity. Such a description of existence could never be pleasing to those who had been educated in present times; the days when this "sweet simplicity of life" had its pure controul, are very decisively elapsed. If there should be any such modern Institution, it must be very exclusively confined to persons of some superiority of soul and education; and, as Mrs. Whitford observes,

those who have

"That peace which goodness bosoms ever," Solitude can never be recommended without evil consequences to such as possess vulgar, restless, and vacant habits, instead of the "finer movements of the soul," taste and senti. ment.

I am glad to see Mr. Fosbrooke's "British Monachism" very well spoken of by a respectable Work, and one which has appeared to me, perhaps fancifully, rather retreating on most occasions from concession of merit. There is a view which may be taken of the utility of that Work, which is rather peculiar to myself; its power of exhibiting the irrational tendency to nonconformity, and this in a very philosophical manner, by discovering the wretched pride, prejudices, and superstitions of older times; and which is singularly imitated at present, on a much meaner scale, by certain casts of religious


thinkers, whose habits of reasoning, and opacities of understanding, would receive much benefit from a little more knowledge, and a little less enthusiasm. The history of Monks discovers to us all the infirmities of human faculties, and that peculiar kind of insanity which we take to have religious excesses for its hobby, and has been so universal in exciting every extravagance, from monastic pomp and pageantry, downwards to its inferior mock-bird in suspicion, gross ignorance, and paltry disgusting attributes, the sectarianism of this country. What I think of a puritanical hierarchy is, that it would resemble the Romish Church in every thing besides its splendour and majesty, that it would debase physical superiority, indeed as the fascinating and admirable author of "Woman" has observed, "Literature, Science, the Arts; all that agitates or embellishes life, all that makes human existence superior to that of the beasts that perish, would be lost, confounded, trampled on;" and this the British Monachism" convincingly shows.

There is one sect of this country, the Quakers, exceeding all others in practical virtue and good sense, to whom I would not be deemed to allude, or include in my heartfelt commiseration.



Jan. 16.

extract from " Fe

lix Farley's Bristol Journal" is so congenial with the general tenor of your Magazine, that I doubt not your readily giving it a wider circulation.


"The sitting of Parliament which has just passed, will form one of the most important periods of our history. It has been short but eventful; the energy and the wisdom of the Government, backed by the good sense and firmness of Parliament, have rescued us from great danger, and warded off most serious calamities. Never did six weeks produce a greater change in the feelings and situation of the country. What was our condition when Parliament assembled? In extensive districts the

laws of the land were nearly suspended, property was violated with impunity, life was threatened without disguise, the ope rations of industry were interrupted, the transactions of commercial intercourse at a stand, the proprietor was menaced, the Magistrate reviled, defied, and resisted.

A general panic pervaded the whole country; and even in those parts where the storm did not rage, there was a swell upon the face of the waters, which to an experienced observer conveyed too certain marks of a near and tremendous danger. While the Reformers were daily assembling thousands of men at given times and places, in order to accustom the country to the light, preparatory to an explosion, just as we break in a horse to stand fire by flashing an unloaded pistol before his eyes, they were nightly training their adherents to military evolutions, and preparing in secret the arms which were shortly to be put into their hands. Elated by their increasing numbers, and confident in their growing strength, they disdained any longer to conceal their objects, and began openly to proclaim their purposes, and audaciously boast of the certainty of their success: like the beasts of the forest, which creep up to their prey while they think it can escape, but when near enough to be sure of their victim, start forth in the full display of their terrors, the more effectually to arrest its flight, and paralyze resistance. Fortunately we had an Administration neither duty; wise enough to see the necessity of blind to the danger nor afraid to do their assembling Parliament, bold enough not to precipitate the meeting, and, during the interval, to stand themselves in the breach. The measures resolved upon were prepared with moderation, but with firmness; when proposed, they seemed to every dispassionate man what he himself would have suggested, if it had been his business to frame them. They appeared to grow naturally out of the peculiar character of the danger against which they were to provide, and they were voted by triumphant and unexampled majorities. The good consequences are already felt: confidence begins to revive; the seditious and the traitorous are crest-fallen; the well-affected and loyal are re-assured; they feel that their Legislature will stand by them, and, protected by the shield of the Law, they are encouraged to place themselves in an attitude of self-defence. These are the glorious moments of the British Constitution; it is in a crisis like this that the lover of his country should fall down and worship."

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Elegant and correct delineations of the classes, orders, genera, and species

of the LINNEAN SYSTEM OF BOTANY, and his Natural Orders of Plants, are displayed on a magnified scale, so as to be seen by a large audience. The facility with which students, by his mode of teaching, may compre hend the Linnæan System, and the impressions of the hieroglyphic resemblances, strike the inquiring eye, carry home to the mind ideas lasting as life, and give them just conceptions of the great power and wisdom of the Creator, in the construction and government of the world, and so admirably displayed in the vegetable kingdom, who, from a few simple and primary elements combined in peculiar proportions, educes all that variety and profusion of substances which the vegetable kingdom exhibits.

Mr. Whitlaw, in his last Lecture, concluded his remarks on the great importance of the study of Botany, by an observation from that great and illustrious luminary of science, Francis Bacon, who, having explored and deIveloped the true foundations of human knowledge, with a sagacity and penetration unparalleled in the history of mankind, and having dared to disengage himself from the fetters of academical authority, denounced as vain and idle the visionary speculations of the schools, and boldly pointed out the necessity of a complete and thorough revolution in all. pre-established methods of study.

Recommending the more tedious, but yet more successful method of analytical and inductive investigation, and proclaiming truth to be but the image of nature, the great Linnæus has observed, "That existence is surely contemptible which regards only the gratification of instinctive wants, and the preservation of a body made to perish it is therefore the business of a thinking being to look forward to the purposes of all things, and to remember that the end of creation is, that God may be glorified in all his works."

Mr. Whitlaw has travelled sixteen years as a practical Botanist in the West Indies, Spanish America, the United States, and Canada. He has lectured on Botanical subjects in most of the Colleges in the States and Canada. BOTANICUS.

Jan. 17.

the Examinations for De-
FROM formidable

grees in the University of Oxford
have made upon many parents, I am
induced to submit to you some hints.
Whether they are adopted, or not, is
a matter in which I have no concern.
I mean no disrespect to the learned
body which has instituted these exa-
minations, nor do I question the ma-
nifest propriety of such an institution.
I merely speak, from reflection, that
it is a hard case for many parents to
expend vast sums in the education of
sons, who, when they apply for de-
grees, are plucked (as failure upon
Examination is denominated) for no
other reason sometimes, but, because
the Examination crowds too much
into one process.

From the time of Aristotle, division
of labour has obtained credit for being
a grand source of improvement. At
present the Examination is divided
iuto a Little-go and a Great-go; col-
loquial appellations of the facetious
great children, sucking at the bosom
of Alma Mater. Such cant terms are
common in the language of the
Brazen Age. I mean not, however,
to offend their beardless manhoods by
this humble squib: on the contrary,
I solemnly believe that they form the
finest and cleverest body of youths in
the kingdom; and, as the Examina-
tion is a dose of physick, which they
are obliged to take, I only wish to
render it more palatable.

Instead, therefore, of mixing the Examinations, I think it would be an improvement, if they were divided into three stages, as follows:

Second Year's Standing. The Examination in the Classicks, which I found upon this principle, that being the nearest to departure from School, there is less oblivion of the proficiency brought from thence.

Third Year's Standing. The Litera Humaniores.

Fourth Year's Standing. Term before the Degree. Divinity.

These, I believe, are the chief points of study; and it certainly accords with reason, that the focus of mind being directed to one object at a time, a greater solidity of knowledge will be acquired, with infinitely more ease to the students. It is an old rule, that if you mean to do things well, you should never do but



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one thing at a time. This is an axiom of business, of which the wisdom is not to be disputed.

When I was a Member of the University, wird i was a contemporary with Lord Liverpool, Mr. Canning, &e. the public Examinations were not

means of referring to the new Edition
of the " Antiquitates Vulgares,” or
time to examine the custom archæo-
A. B. and C.

Mr. URBAN, Barlon-street, Jan. 21.

exorated from the stigma of Vice. As you will probably have many

Thermometrical accounts transmitted to you this month, allow me to add one, accurately observed on a self-registering Instrument, exposed to the open air in Barton-streel, Westminster, denoting the lowest degrees in the present winter. Deg.


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Dec. 11, 1819, 13 Highbury, 11
Jan. 1, 1820, 16

5, 13,

- 15,





- Eltham, Stratford, 1 Tottenham, k


simus Kaux. But literary merit was stil' solicitously regarded by the incuation of “Original Composition," apon the plan of Ideas. For men, who are to plead at the Bar, or write Sermons, nothing can be more instructive or appropriate; and, with a view to professional qualifications, the old pian is of infinitely more consequence than chewing Greek roots, and preserving Herodotus and Thucydides in spirits. I am sorry, therefore, that the old plan of estimating merit by composition is consigned only to the stimulus of the Prizes; but I do not blame the stress laid upon Classical acquisitions, because a great part of the Clergy, being obliged to keep schools for their support, during their early manhood, such acquisitions Sent c. (Mag. for Nov. last, p. are highly important. Besides, the Dissenters, in general, substitute a smattering in Natural Philosophy for Classical Proficiency; and, were it not for the Universities, it is doubtful whether Classical Knowledge, beyond the mere parrot-like acquisitions of an upper-class school-boy, would be preserved in the nation. Latin, too, is a substitute for universal language. AN OLD MASTER OF ARTS.


Jan. 14.

I BEG to communicate to you an ancient superstitious custom, still obtaining at Tretyre, in Herefordshire, upon Christmas Eve. They make a Cake, poke a stick through it, fasten it upon the horn of an 8, and say certain words, begging a good crop of corn for the master. The men and boys, attending the oxen, range themselves around. If the ox throws the cake behind, it belongs to the men; if before, to the boys. They take with them a wooden bottle of cyder, and drink it, repeating the charin before-mentioned. I strongly suspect, from the ox and the cake, an allusion to some sacrifice to Ceres; and the Confarreatio, the Harvest home, being a ceremonial appertaining to that goddess; but I have no GENT, MAG. January, 1820,

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410) in favouring your readers with an account of the family of Clare, with a pedigree thereof, was to correct the anachronismus and inaccuracies of former writers in your volumes, he ought to have been careful lest the same complaint should he made against his statements, which he has brought forward against those of others. I am afraid, however, that some parts of C.'s pedigree will not bear a strict scrutiny; at least, they appear to me require sonie further explanation; and, in order to give your correspondent an opportunity of affording such explanation, I shall state the doubts which have arisen in my mind upon the perusal of his letter, &c.

In the first place, C. states, that Fitz Gilbert de Clare, son of Fitz Gelfrey, Earl of Eu, which Fitz Gilbert was called De Clare, from his Seignory of Clare, or Clere, in Normandy, having had a grant of lands on the river Stour, (not Storn) in Suffolk, built a Castle there, which he called Clare, from his own name. Upon reference, however, to Domesday Book, it appears that in the time of K. Edward," Claram tenuit Aluricus"; it seems, therefore,


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