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it afterwards turned out to be the production of a certain + Mr. Ducket, one of the lesser heroes of Pope's Dunciad. What is more to be wondered at than the letter itself, is a circumstance which Mr. Oldmixon (whose truth was always supposed to be equal to his candour and judgment !) relates concerning the time when he was so fortunate as to receive the letter. “I have, (says this grave historian) in more than one place of my history, mentioned the great reason there is to suspect that the History of the Rebellion, as it was published at Oxford, was not entirely the work of the Lord Clarendon ; who did indeed write a history of those times, and I doubt not a very good one : wherein, as I have been told (and I believe truly) the characters of the kings, whose reigns are here written, were very different from what they appear in the Oxford hiftory, and its copy, Mr. Echard's. I speak this by hearsay : but hearsay from a person superior to all suspicion, and too illustrious to be named without leave.” Mr. Oldmixon goes on to press the matter very hard on an honourable person, and a reverend doctor, who, for aught we know, may be gentlemen in the clouds; for, entrenched behind his fingular modefty, or something else, he secures himself by calling on no name, except the name of Mr. Smith, who had been dead near twenty years ! “ There is now (says he) in the custody of a gentleman of diftinction both for merit and quality, a History of the Rebellion, of the first folio edition, scored in many places by Mr. Edmund Smith of Christ Church, Oxon, author of that excellent tragedy Phadra and Hippolitus, who himself altered the MS. hiftory, and added what he has there marked, as he confessed with some of his last words before his death. These alterations, written with his own hand, and to be seen by any one that knows it, may be published on another occafion, with a farther account of this discovery.

“ In the mean time, for the satisfaction of the Public, I insert a letter entire, which I received since the last paragraph was written." Could any thing be more opportune? In a moment the point was brought to a decisive iflue! In one paragraph the historian was speculating on bearsay. In the other, he was enabled to determine on positive evidence. Conjecture was reduced to certainty of a sudden. Surely there was something like conjuration in this !

But Dr. Johnson hath given us the best account of this mate ter; and we will transcribe what he hath said on the subject, from his Remarks on the Life and Character of Smith, in his late admired edition of the English Poets.

+ One of the authors of a molt contemptible thing againt Pope, entitled, Homerides, by Sir Iliad Dogg:el. Rev.

“ Having Having formed his plan, and collected his materials, for a new tragedy. (viz. of Lady Jane Grey) he declared that a few months would complete his design: and that he might pursue his work with fewer avocations, he was, in June 1710, invited by Mr. George Ducket to his house at Gartham in Wiltfire. Here he found such opportunities of indulgence as did not much forward his studies, and particularly some strong ale, too delicious to be refifted. He ate and drank till he found himself plethoric: and then, resolving to cure himself by evacuation, he wrote to an apothecary in the neighbourhood a prescription of a purge, so forcible that the apothecary thought it his duty to delay it till he had given notice of its danger. Smith, not pleased with the contradiction of a shopman, and boastful of his own knowledge, treated the notice with rude contempt, and swallowed his own medicine, which, in July 1710, brought him to the grave. He was buried at Gartham.

“ Many I years afterwards Ducket communicated to Old. mixon the historian, an account pretended to have been received from Smith, that Clarendon's History was, in its publication, corrupted by Aldrich, Smallridge, and Atterbury, and that Smith was employed to forge and insert the alterations.

“ The story was published triumphantly by Oldmixon, and may be supposed to have been eagerly received: but its progress was soon checked; for finding its way into the Journal of Trevoux, it fell under the eye of Atterbury, then an exile in France, who immediately denied the charge, with this remarkable particular, that he never in his whole life had once spoken to Smith :-his company being, as must be inferred (viz. from his abandoned morals, and gross licentiousness) not accepted by those who attended to their characters.

“ The charge was afterwards very diligently refuted by Dr. Burton of Eaton ; a man eminent for literature, and, though not of the same party with Aldrich and Atterbury, too studious of truth to leave them burthened with a false charge. The testimonies which he hath collected have convinced mankind that either Smith or Ducket were guilty of wilful and malicious falsehood. This controversy brought into view those parts of Smith's life, which, with more honour to his name, might have been concealed.”

Let all these circumstances be put together, and, we think, it will appear evident to every candid person, that the pretended discovery of which Oldmixon vaunted so freely, even in the title-page of his history, was, in fact, nothing but an ime

I Smith died in the year 1710, and Oldmixon's History was published in 1730, Rev.

posture,

2

pofture, invented solely for the purpose of detracting from the credit of Lord Clarendon's History, and fixing a foul opprobrium on some diftinguished characters of the church, whose great talents had excited the envy of the adverse party.

As for the stress laid on Smith's dying declaration, it now appears that there was no foundation for the solemnity with which it is introduced. Ducket, in his letter, simply says, that • Smith made him a visit about June 1710, and continued at his house about fix weeks, and died there. One would imagine, from the serious manner in which the writer of this Essay expresses himself, that Smith had made a formal discoyery of the villany in which he had borne a part, with two Bishops and a Dean, from an honest impulse of conscience at the moment when he thought he was soon to appear before the great Judge of all, to give an account of himself and his actions. This was by no means the case. There is not the flightest hint of such an awful process of confession, even in Ducket's letter ; and, from Dr. Johnson's account (which he had from the best authority) we learn that his death was too sudden and unexpected to admit of those particular enumerations of forged and interpolated passages, which Oldmixon, and this Writer after him, would fain make their readers believe were surreptitiously foisted into Lord Clarendon's History.

We are obliged, both from truth and candour, to make these free remarks on this flagrant misrepresentation of a circumstance, that, having undergone the most rigorous scrutiny, had been long since brought to a decided issue, by the mutual suffrages of the most opposite parties.

The principal design of this Essay is to fix the blackest stigma of guilt

and infamy on the character and principles of King Charles. From the cradle to the scaffold he is exhibited in the most odious point of view, and loaded with every foul accusa. tion that can disgrace humanity, and bring royalty itself into contempt. The Author endeavours to support his allegations by producing a number of extracts from a variety of historians. The design is invidious, and the execution of it is conducted on a partial and illiberal plan, King Charles is no favourite character of ours :-far, very far from it! But he was not the abhorred tyrant, the merciless persecutor, the invidious hypocrite, the perjured villain, he is here reported to be. In detached views, and by partial quotations, he may be fo represented ; but this is not giving us ' the TRUE idea of the general character of King Charles.

Rev. Apr. 17801

We

*** We hope the honest printer t, for whose benefit this tract is published, will not impute the foregoing strictures to any

desire in us to hurt his interest in the publication. Our zeal for the liberty of the press will be questioned by none of our Readers ;--but we must not permit that zeal to encroach on the regard which is ever due to justice and truth :- Amicus Plato, &c.

+ Now suffering under a sentence of imprisonment in Newgate, for printing some advertisements in honour of Admiral Keppel, which were deemed seditious.

TH

ART. VIII. History of the Political Conne&tion between England and

Ireland, from the Reign of Henry II. to the present Time. 400. 75. 6 d. Cadell, 1780. THIS useful work affords an ample history of one of the

moft fingular political connections recorded in the annals ' of mankind. The judicious and well-informed Author appears to us to be happily exempted from those national prejudices which have been discovered in the pariy writers of both kingdoms; and he has illustrated his subject more fully than is done by any former writer, English or Irih. To the generality of readers, perhaps, he will appear too minute and circumftantial; but the circumstances which make this work tiresome and disagreeable to the many, will recommend it to the few, who consider the great delicacy of all political connections, and the facility with which they may be misrepresented by the partisans of either nation.

We find many valuable political observations scattered throughout this instructive performance; but, in general, the Author is satisfied with relating facts, leaving it to his readers to draw the natural deductions from them. He concludes with an accurate and perspicuous abridgment of the principal topics that are treated in the work; which we shall insert for the fatisfaction of the Public :

• The course of fix hundred years, through which it has been attempted to delincate the political connection between England and Ireland, may be divided in!o three periods ; the first, containing 200 years, extends from the conquest to Richard II. ; the second, - 240 years, from Richard II. to James I. ; and the third, 160, from James I. to the present times. During the first period, ideas of legal government were extremely indisting, even among the English; and, among the Irish, they seem not to have existed. What would now be called a regular parliament, had not long appeared in the former kingdom; in the latter, it had scarcely 'made any appearance. The same common law lubüited in both kingdoms; and when any English statute was judged useful for Ireland, is was transmitted vader the Great Seal of England, and was entitled to every mark of respect and obedience. But the chief ftatuie-law of Ireland, in this period, was the ordinations occasionally composed by the King and his English council.

* During the second period, few inftances occur of the interpofition of the parliament of England in the government of Ireland, unless in furnishing small supplies of men and money for its support. If the act relative to the estates of absentees, and a few acts relative to trade and the reformation of religion, are excepted, the English statute-book contains no laws which have that kingdom for their object. The English parliament seem to have been disposed to leave the government of Ireland to the King and its own parliament, with a view to induce them to furnith money sufficient for its support. The former, at lealt, complained of the trouble and expence to which they were subjected by maintaining the civil conftitution of a country from which they derived no advantage. Toward the end of this period, the English parliament found it requisite to change their system of indifference, because they perceived, that, unless the dependence of Ireland were maintained, that country might be employed by their enemies to interrupt the peace, and, perhaps, to destroy the liberties of England. Queen Elizabeth, accordingly, first made effectual provision for the total subjugation of it, and may, with much more justice, be entitled its conqueror than Henry II. The civil arrangements of James I. were well calculated to secure its obedience.

From the time of James I. no doubt seems to have been entertained in England concerning the supreme jurisdiction of the English parliament, and the validity of its acts to bind Ireland. The a&t of adventurers made in the year 1642, and the general act of indemnity passed at the Restoration, both which disposed of great part of the property of Ireland; the act 1689, which abrogated the pro. ceedings of the parliament beld in Ireland by King James; the act of the same year, which superseded the Irish act of supremacy, made in the reign of Elizabeth, and appointed new oaths to be taken by the people, but particularly by the members of the parliament of Ireland; the act 1699, which authorized the sale of forfeited lands in Ireland, and applied the price to the use of the Public, which authorized the mode of conducting the sales, and vacated all grants of land, founded on acts of the Irish parliament; the acts regulating the trade of Ireland, particularly that of linen ; and, lastly, the declaratory act of the year 1719, leave no room to doubt concerning the sentiments of the legislature of England.

• The Irish, in general, appear to have held fimilar opinions of the supremacy of the English parliament. The frequent and earnest petitions for redress of grievances presented to the English House of Commons before the commencement of che civil wars; the anxious solicicacions presented by the different parties in Ireland, to both Houses, concerning the act of indemnity, passed after the Restorarion ; the thanks of the Irish parliament signified to King William, for the act of the English parliament, which abrogated the itatutes of the Irish parliament of James II. concur to prove, either that the Irish acknowledged the jurisdiction of the English parliament, or that

they

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