Page images
PDF
EPUB

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

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

TH.

ART. VIII. Hiftory of the Political Connection between England and

Ireland, from the Reign of Henry II. to the present Time. 4to.
7 s. 6 d. Cadell. 1780.
THIS useful work affords an ample history of one of the

most singular 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 party writers of both kingdoms; and he has illustrated his subject more fully than is done by any former writer, English or Irish. To the generality of readers, perhaps, he will appear too minute and circumstantial; but the circumstances which make this work tiresome and difagreeable to the many, will recommend it to the few, who consider the great delicacy of all political connections, and the faciJity 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 perfpicuous abridgment of the principal topics that are treated in the work; which we shall'insert for the fatisfaction of the Public :

The course of lix hundred years, through which it has been attempted to delineate the political connection between England and Ireland, may be divided into three periods ; the first, containing 200 years, extends from the conqueft 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 indiftina, 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 kidgdom;, if the latter, it had scarcely made any appearance. The fame common law subfilted in both kingdoms ; and when any English ftatute was judged useful for Ireland, it was transmitted un

der

1

2

der the Great Seal of England, and was entitled to every mark of respect and obedience. But the chief statute-law of Ireland, in this period, was the ordinations occasionally composed by the King and his English council.

During the second period, few infances occur of the interpofition of the parliament of England in the government of Ireland, unless in fornithing finall fupplies 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 ftatute-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 furnish money sufficient for its support. The former, at least, 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 des pendence of Ireland were maintained, that country migh: be employed by their enemies to interrupt the peace, and, perhaps, to deftroy 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 act 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 proSterlings 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 forfeired 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 doube concerning the sentiments of the legislature of England.

• The Irish, in general, appear to have held similar opinions of the supremacy of the English parliament. The frequent and earnett petitions for redress of grievances presented to the Englith House of Commons before the commencement of the civil wars; the anxious solicitations presented by the different parties in Ireland, to both Houses, concerning the act of indemnity, palied after the Resoration; 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. concor to prove, either that the Irith acknowledged the jurisdiction of the Englih parliament, or that X 2

they

they thought it vain to oppose it. Even the declaration of the Irish House of Commons, in the year 1641, relative to the queries which maintained the independence of Ireland, is scarcely an objection ; because it was made in imitation of the encroachments of the English House of Commons. It was suggested by the embarrassment of affairs in England, and was aimed against the authority of the King, rather than that of parliament. The same legislators, who wished to be held the assertors of the liberties of their country, hesitated not to acknowledge virtually the supremacy of the Commons of England, by fupplicating from that body a redress of their grievances.

• What reflections the preceding narrative will fuggest to persons of different characters, and in different interests, I presume not to conjecture. One remark, however, will occur to every reader, that the policy of England, with regard to Ireland, for the laft hundred years, has gradually become more liberal, as commercial and political knowledge have been advanced and extended; but that all the examples of national generosity, which this period can exhibit, dif. appear, when compared with the magnitude of late acts and resolutions, which are to extend to Ireland the advantages of a free trade. One step only remains, perhaps, to secure the future prosperity and happiness of the two kingdoms, to extend the benefits of the British conftitution over the British Ines.'

The above extract affords a sufficient specimen of the Author's style, which is fimple, perfpicuous, and manly. His eloquence, we must however acknowledge, is of the auftere kind; he endeavours rather to inform the understanding than to please the fancy; the harshness of his periods too often offends the ear; and his performance would have been more agreeable and more popular, if he had shewn less disdain of the graces of compofition.

Gel.6 Art. IX. Confiderations on the Efficacy of Electricity, in removing

Female Obftru&tions; to which are annexed Cases and Remarks.
By John Birch, Surgeon. 8vo.

Cadell. 1779.
Work which announces, on probable grounds, a certain

remedy for any one disorder with which the human species is afficted – efpecially the weaker and better half of it--we consider as deserving particular respect; and we take pleasure in extending the knowledge of such a remedy, to the faculty, and the public at large. Such a one, we are here affured, is electricity, when properly directed, in the removal of certain female obitructions. Its efficacy, however, is by no means limited to this particular species of obstruction; though the Author has chofen, in the present pamphlet, to confine his observations to this single class; because the cases have been numerous, and the success uniform.'

The happy effects produced by electricity, in the cure of difeases, of which, we are told, every day has furnished fresh proofs, for two or three years pait, was, says the Author,

the

I s. 6 d.

A

the fortunate discovery of my friend, Mr. Partington; and the credit which it has obtained in practice, since that period, has awakened the attention of the public in this metropolis.I was induced to accompany him in his inquiries, from the fuccess which followed his judicious application of it, in some recent cases of surgery which I sent to him. But, cautious of being misguided by false appearances, I proceeded slowly, and doubted much; till experience taught me, that when I was unsuccessful, it oftener proceeded from want of judgment in the application, than from want of power in the remedy.'--The Author afterwards informs us, that a collection of cales, and a view of the present state of Medical Eletricity, is preparing for the press, by Mr. Partington; and will be published as soon as that gentleman's avocations will permit.

When we reviewed Dr. Priestley's Hiftory of Electricity *, we took particular notice of the uncertainty which, at that time, attended the medical administration of the electric fluid ; by which, even then, fome indubitable and extraordinary cures had been performed : though repeated failures had likewise attended the application of it in other instances. We then observed, that one, and that too a principal, cause of this uncertainty, was the difficulty of directing the course of the electric fuid through those particular parts, where its action would be beneficial. By an attention to this capital circumstance (and by means of some particular contrivances, as we conjecture ;- for the Author appears very reserved on this head) we apprehend he has been enabled to reduce his electrical method of cure to that degree of certainty, in the removal of female obstructions, which he professes to have attained to, by a skilful application of the electric shock ;' so as never yet to have failed in one instance.'

The Author, apologising for his feeming invasion of the physician's province, by affuming the cure of a disease which has hitherto naturally fallen under the care of the physician, observes, that his mode of cure is strictly chirurgical ;-being an operation performed by the hand, with the asistance of in ftruments ;' adding, that anatomical skill is necessary to direct it with propriety and success.'

We wish, however, that Mr. Birch had been somewhat more particular, with respect to his modus operandi ;=ufing the phrase, not in its common or medical acceptation, but in its chirurgical, or rather in its new anatomico-electrical sense. We here meet with no particular directions on this avowedly very effential part of the subject. In the first case here related, the Author only observes, that no relief was obtained, during a whole fortnight, by drawing sparks from the stomach and feet of the patient; or • See Monthly Review, vol. xxxvii. Dec. 1767. P. 449.

by passing shocks from the hands and the vertebræ of the neck to the feet: because the electric matter seemed to act only, without any good or bad effect, on the external muscles' He, therefore, considering the obstruction as being probably seated only in the vessels of the uterus, concluded, that the shock fhould be paffed, if not confined, to the direction of those veffels :' and observes, that the effect was quick and falutary. He speaks likewise of placing his directors in such a manner, as to convey the electric matter through every part of the uterus.'—But hoc opus, hic labor eft! The reader naturally wishes to know how this is to be done; or whether the Author is in poffeffion of any method, not generally known, of rendering the electrical fluid more manageable, and obsequious to the designs of the medical electrician.

For the seven cases related in this pamphlet, which the Au. thor has selected from many other successful trials, we must refer the faculty to the performance itself. They certainly exhibit the medical powers of electricity in a very advantageous point of view.

B...y.

FOREIGN LITERATURE,

(By our CORRESPONDENTS.)
FRANCE

ART. X.
PLAN d'un Traité sur l'Aurore Borcale,

pour servir de Suite à Celui de M. de MÁIRAN, &c. i. e. The Plan of a Treatise on the Aurora Borealis, designed as a Supplement to that of M. de Mairan, on the same subject. By J. H. VAN SWINDEN, Professor of Philosophy at Franeker, Member of several Academies, and Correspondent Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris. We have had more than once occasion to mention Profeflor VAN SWINDEN, with the high esteem that is due to his unremitting industry, his judicious and well directed labours in the advancement of natural knowledge, and the fagacity and precision that accompany his uncommon modesty, in the conclusions he draws from his observations and researches. The interesting work he has, at present, undertaken, and of which we have the plan now before us, will undoubtedly give him a new title to the attention and gratitude of both connoisseurs and diletanti in natural philosophy.

Every one acquainted with matters relative to this science, knows the excellent treatise of M. de Mairan on the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Light, which is universally allowed to be a masterpiece of industry, fagacity, and genius. But as five and twenty years have passed since the last edition of that work was published, many discoveries have been made during that period,

which

« PreviousContinue »