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with the fame fpeculations, we would earnestly recommend another little book, publifhed a few years ago at Edinburgh, entitled, Thoughts on Public Trufts,' which we think entitled to far greater notoriety than it has ever attained; for it contains more of valuable thinking on conftitutional legiflation than most other books with which we are acquainted. In regard to the whole of the judicative branch, including both tribunals and laws, invaluable instruction might be obtained from the works of Mr Bentham,-the man, unquestionably, of all who have ever lived, by far the best qualified to give advice on this fubject.
With regard to the particular mode in which it would be most prudent to employ the British influence at this crisis, it is not necessary, nor perhaps proper, that we should say much. One circumstance is peculiarly fortunate, that the employment of troops has become, if not altogether, at least in a very great degree, unnecessary. Another happy circumstance is, that the influence of the country itself can be combined with that of Britain in making those fraternal advances to South America which the exigencies of the time so urgently demand. There is a passage, presenting some curious thoughts, so applicable to the present occasion, that we cannot forbear transcribing it, in a Memorial of Governor Pownall, published so long ago as 1780, entitled,' A Memorial, most humbly addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe, on the present State of Affairs between the Old and New World; ' the passage may be seen at p. 26. of a curious volume, entitled,
Three Memorials, most humbly addressed to the Sovereigns of Europe, Great Britain, and North America, by T. Pownall, &c.
'I would,' says he, by a detailed description of the nature of the country; of the application of the labour of the country to its capabilities; of the state of the community as it lies in nature, and as it is actuated; all compared with the constitution and administration of the government which is established there with the spirit of the people, both Old Spaniards, Creoles, and Indians, show that South America is growing too much for Spain to manage; that it is in power to be independent, and will be so in act, whenever, and as soon as, any occasion shall call forth that power. Whenever such revolt takes place, it will not be after the manner, or in the form of that of North America. North America, building on the foundation of its dominion as it lies in nature, has become a democratic or aristocratic republic. The falling off of South America will be conducted, in its natural progress, by the spirit of some injured enterprizing genius, taking the lead of a sense of alienation, and of a disposition of revolt, to the establishment of a great monarchy.'
It is curious, indeed, to contemplate with what uniformity great men have every where, and at all times, thought upon this subject. After some melancholy reflections upon the immediate consequences of the discovery of South America, Montaigne (Essais, Liv. iii. ch. 6.) exclaims, Que n'est tombée soubs Alexandre, ou soubs ces anciens Grecs et Romains, une si noble conqueste et une si grande mutation et alteration de tant d'empires et de peuples, soubs des mains, qui eussent doucement poly et defriché ce qu'il y avoit de sauvage: et eussent conforté et promeu les bonnes semences que nature y avoit produit: meslant non seulement à la culture des terres, et ornement des villes, les arts de deça, entant qu'elles y eussent esté necessaires, mais aussi, meslant les vertus Grecques et Romaines, aux originelles du pays Quelle reparation eust-ce esté, et quel amendement à toute cette machine, que les premiers exemples et deportmens nostres, qui se sont presentez par dela, eussent appelle ces peuples à l'admiration, et imitation de la vertu, et eussent dressé entre-eux et nous, une fraternelle societé et intelligence! Combien il eust esté aisé, de faire son profit, d'ames si neuves, si affamées d'apprentissage, ayants, pour la plus part, de si beaux commencemens naturels !"
Les Indes et l'Espagne,' says Montesquieu, (Esprit des Lais, Liv. xxi. ch. 22.), sont deux puissances sous un même maître; mais les Indes sont le principal; l'Espagne n'est que l'accessoire. En vain la politique prétend de ramener le principal à l'accessoire ; les Indes attirent toujours l'Espagne à elles.'
With regard to the persons whom the unfortunate catastrophe of Spain may compel to seek refuge across the Atlantic, but whose unwelcome interference would be attended with much inconvenience, and perhaps disaster, in the delicate moment of regulation and change, a very easy expedient presents itself. Let them be received into Cuba, where they may remain till the new constitution is established; and, afterwards, let them be admitted into the Continent upon the footing of citizens and brothers.
There is one other caution which we are still anxious to impress upon our countrymen. In looking to the advantages of friendship and of commerce, which will flow spontaneously in such abundance from the freedom and prosperity of South America, let them not be too eager to stipulate for monopolies. In the first place, it will have an illiberal and rapacious appearance. In the next place, it is not only unprofitable, but worse than unprofitable. That merchants should still cry aloud for monopolies, is not, perhaps, very wonderful; because, in regard to this or that individual, what is other men's loss, may be their gain. But it is matter of indignation, that any thing in the shape of a ministry, or of a legislature, should need the demonstration to be re
peated to them (for demonstration it is, complete as any in Euclid,) of the elementary proposition, that monopolies are disadvantageous. Since it is but too clear, however, that the repetition is necessary, it must, of course, be given. The effect, then, of any degree of monopoly, in our favour, exacted from the South Americans for the protection afforded them, would be, to yield a greater profit than usual to the merchants who would deal with them. But one set of merchants are never contented to have a small profit, while their neighbours are making a large one. Any permanent enhancement of the rate of profit in any one branch of trade, raises it proportionally in all others. Monopoly, therefore, afforded us, in any quarter of the world, raises the price of all commodities at home; and that exactly in proportion to the extent, or, in the vulgar idea, to the value of that monopoly. The consequence of this necessarily is, to thrust us out of other markets. The creating, therefore, of a monopoly in our favour in one country, is just creating a monopoly against us in all other countries, the monopoly of nature; which executes itself; which needs no stipulations; no guarda costas, nor revenue officers for its security.
In submitting these views and these details to the consideration of our readers, we have been actuated chiefly by the desire of communicating to them those pleasing and comfortable impressions for which we would now look in vain in any other branch of political speculation. We have also been anxious, no doubt, to turn to the consideration of this most important subject the many powerful understandings to which it may not hitherto have presented itself; and thus to secure to the undertaking the benefit of a freer and more extended discussion than it has yet had the fortune to receive. Something, too, may perhaps be gained by interesting the nation at large in a project which has hitherto been almost exclusively the nurseling of ministers; and thus binding the government to more prompt and effectual exertions in behalf of a cause which may have become popular as well as important, We have stated nothing that has not been long known to our enemies, both in Europe and in America; and nothing but good, it is evident, can result from its being generally known among ourselves.
ART. III. Account of Steam Engines.-from a Treatise on Mechanics, Theoretical, Practical, and Descriptive. By Olinthus Gregory, A. M. Second Edition. London. 1807.
IT is neceffary to explain, why, inftead of taking this entire work for a fubject of review, we have confined ourselves to a treatise
treatise which forms but a small part of it. This is no doubt contrary to the practice which, except in the cafes of collections of detached memoirs and effays, we have uniformly purfued. In the prefent inftance, however, we have been induced to depart from that practice by two confiderations. In the first place, the tract just referred to is fomewhat in the fituation of a detached memoir,being a treatife, not by the learned author of the volume in which it appears, but by a practical man, who has been led, by his profeffion, to study the conftruction of the team engine. In the second place, when we came to confider the article more particularly, it appeared to us fo full of error and misrepresentation, and fo unworthy of a place in an elementary treatife on mechanics, that we thought it our duty to fubject it to a strict examination; in the course of which, we have been led into a detail which has left hardly any room for the other parts of the work.
We fhall only remark, in general, concerning the merits of the treatise in which this effay has fo improperly found a place, that we cannot but allow them to be confiderable. It is not to be expected, that, in treating of the elements of a fcience which has employed the abilities of many of the first men from the days of Archimedes to the prefent time, there fhould now be an opportunity for a difplay of much originality or invention. All that can be reasonably expected in an elementary work, and indeed the highest praife to which it can afpire, is clear arrangement, and a diftinct and fyftematic expofition of principles,-with the deduction from those principles, by reafonings fimple, fatisfactory and comprehenfive. A work uniting thefe requifites would be entitled to great praise; and though it did not poffefs what might trictly be called novelty, it might have a unity of character and defign, which would mark it as the production of a man of genius and talent. In Mr Gregory's treatife, the arrangement has nothing that entitles it to peculiar commendation; and the reafonings, though found and perfpicuous, do not entirely poffefs that unity of manner which can alone refcue a work of this kind from the name of a compilation. The fubjects are treated of with confiderable extent; and it deferves to be mentioned, to the credit of this work, that it is the firft English treatife on mechanics which contains an account of the principle difcovered by D'Alembert, which regulates the diftribution of motion in bodies,-a principle which affords a measure for the action and reaction of bodies, without which many of the most important problems in mechanics can hardly become the fubje&t of mathematical investigation. The first volume contains the Theory of Mechanics, including Hydroftatics and Pneumatics. The fecond volume, which is termed the practical part, confifts chiefly of a defcription of machines and
engines, arranged in alphabetical order. Had this part been executed with greater care, and the descriptions rendered more perspicuous and complete, it would undoubtedly have proved a work of great utility. A principle of arrangement might also have been adopted, that would have classed machines according to some natural order, or some essential character. Even as the work stands, however, it must be of great use, both to the theoretical and practical mechanic, by bringing so many particulars into the compass of two octavo volumes. The plates are well executed, and give great additional value to the book.
The more merit, however, that it possesses, the more do we regret to find an account of the most remarkable engine to which the mechanics of the present time have given rise, disfigured by the railing and misrepresentation of an author, possessing neither the impartiality nor the knowledge indispensable in a work of the kind which he has attempted. We can indeed discover no argument by which Mr Gregory can defend himself for having admitted this description into a treatise intended to develop the principles and facts which relate to mechanical invention. It was undoubtedly known to him, that Mr Jabez Carter Hornblower, the author of that account, had stated himself as the rival of Mr Watt in the improvements of the steam engine; and that, when his pretensions became the subject of legal discussion, they had been found an invasion of the rights which a patent had conferred on the true inventor. Accordingly, the soreness arising from that, or some similar cause, is visible in every part of his description. He sets out with the following piece of coarse and vulgar declamation.
'It is remarkable that we have nothing handed to us on this subject that is worthy of our reception, notwithstanding the number of our cyclopædias and encyclopædias, unless it be what is published in the Minor's Friend by Mr Thomas Savary, and afterwards in Harris's Lexicon Technicum; and these, but especially the former, with all the frankness and faithfulness of undisguised fact, have put to the blush those pompous conceits and absurdities that have either wilfully or ignorantly been trumped up to allure the undiscerning multitude, or to prattle the praise of the ingenious inventors.' vol. II. p. 358.
One would have thought that the tone and manner of such an exordium as this would have made a man of science and of learning stop to consider the character of the person into whose hands he was delivering his pen, and whose writings he was giving to the public in company with his own. If Mr Gregory
VOL. XIII. no. 26.
* The author probably means the Miner's Friend, though the erratum, whether of the pen, or of the press, is the same in both editions.