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by disappointment, enfeebled by age, and tormented by remorte, he was not yet forsaken by his pride, and was unwilling to forfake it. In order to gratify the demands of this passion, he exerted his utmoft efforis to recover the poffeffion of the Netherlands; but finding all his measures unsuccessful, he determined to bestow on another what he himself had been unable to acquire. His daughter Isabella was given in marriage to Albert, Archduke of Austria, who became the object of this absurd donation, which took place in 1598, and was soon followed by the death of Philip II.

The efforts of Albert for subduing the revolted provinces were powerfully seconded by Philip III. who, however, met with no better fortune than his predecessor. For a period of eleven years, that is, from the time of the donation in 1598 to the truce in 1609, in which the independence of the United Provinces was fully acknowledged, they resisted and overcame all the attempts made against them by land, and in their tura attacked and defeated their enemies by sea. In the midst of an expensive war they increased their navy, extended their commerce, obtained many valuable settlements in the eastern territories of the King of Spain, and thus laid those solid foundations of opulence, power, and grandeur, which they transmitted, with so much glory, to their pofterity.

Such is the subject which Dr. Lothian had to treat; and it is undoubtedly the noblest that can be offered to the pen of an historian. The value of the materials, by a singular combination of good fortune, equals the importance of the subject. We are not obliged to collect the history of that distinguished period from the imperfect information of gazettes, or the meagre chronicles of half-instructed compilers. The most authentic and the most complete documents have been given to the public. Contemporary writers of the highest reputation have offered their sentiments and their reflections. Men of noble birth, and even those who were invested with public characters, have defcribed the transactions, and related the events, in which they were personally concerned. The Reader's fancy will confirm the remark by suggesting to him the names of Cardinal Bentia voglio, President Jeannin, and the learned and profound Grotius, whose philofophical genius places him above every rank and honour that kings and courts can bestow.

With fuch a subject, and such materials, it was to be expected that Dr. Lothian would convey instruction and entertainment. How far he has done so, we may safely leave to the judgment of our least instructed Readers, to whose criticism we ihall refer a' paffage, which, after a careful perusal of the whole performance, appears, to us, to be as unexceptionable, with respect to style and sentiment, as any that could be extracted. The

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passage contains the arguments used in the United Provinces for and against a peace with Spain; and which are, unfortunately, of much the same nature with those that might at present be used in America for and against a peace with England.

• Those who maintained that a peace would, at present, be disadvantageous to the Confederates, said, that they were poffeffed of great and certain funds during a war, which, with the affiftance of their allies, would be sufficient for continuing it with hopes of success; whereas a peace would so much reduce these funds, that they would not be sufficient for the maintenance of their garrisons, and such other charges as were absolutely necessary for the preservation of the peace; that by this means, they would be despised by their neighbours; and, on account of their weakness, be exposed to all kinds of injuries. One principal fund that would be thus reduced, was the taxes upon consumption, or upon all the necessaries of life, which amounted, during the war, to five millions five hundred thoufand livres a-year. It was supposed, that the people who were accaftomed to pay these taxes through fear of an enemy, and as the only means of their own security, would not pay them during a peace; that they would consider their being in alliance with two great kings as sufficient for their safety; and imagine, there would be no necessity for forts and garrisons. These taxes would likewise diminish, as soon as the troops, who paid them as well as others, should be reduced from fixey thousand to ten or twelve thousand; and by many merchants and artisans, if trade was free from one province to another, retiring out of the jurisdiction of the General Estates; and particularly, the Roman Catholics, if they were not allowed the exercise of their religion. O:her taxes, likewise, such as those for convoy , licences, and dues of Admiralty, and which yielded, year. ly, from seventeen to eighteen hundred thousand livres, would de. crease, because the Archdukes Commissioners had declared, that they would never consent to their being paid by their subje&s; because, in this event, these caxes must be also taken off the inhabitants of the United Provinces, otherwise the whole trade would center in Ant. werp; and even other princes would not suffer them to be demanded of their subjects. Another fund was the tax paid by houses and lands, very high at present, and thought insupportable, which muft, in time of peace, be reduced ; so that, instead of yielding, as now, about two millions of livres, it could not be rated above one half of that fum. The last article consisted of contributions raised from the enemy's country, which, amounting to fix hundred thousand livres a-year, mult cease along with the hostilities. Another argument was, that the masters of thips, and sailors, to the number of forty thou. sand, who had been accustomed to war, would lose all their military {pirit ; become mere merchants; and many of them enter into the service of the King of Spain. Lastly, it was urged, that peace would occasion many animolicies and divisions, of which their enemies would not fail to take advantage.

• The party who, on the other hand, contended for peace, main. taiped, that the weakness to which it was supposed the Confederates would be reduced, was wholly imaginary. Though the principal

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fund was the tax upon the necessaries of life, yet the people would pay it as cheerfully as ever, if convinced that it was necessary for the preservation of their liberties and independence. The tax, however, might be lessened, and still enough left for the maintenance of garrisons. In the provinces of Holland and Zealand,' where the tax produced four millions five hundred thousand livres, there were few garrisons. It was not to be supposed, that the merchants and artifans would leave the country. A great part of the inhabitants, and all the strangers, had come on account of enjoying civil and religious liberty. At Antwerp, they would be overawed by a garrison ; ihe fea was, in a great measure, in the power of the General Elates; and the Catholics might be prevented from going away, by allowing them, in some respects, the exercise of their religion ; a liberty which might be granted without any danger. With regard to the other taxes, as the convoy money, licences, and dues of Admiralty, they could not, indeed, be levied in the same manner, in the time of peace, as during the war; but part of them might be retained, and secured by the treaty; and, because the Archdukes levied the fame taxes on goods coming out of the United Provinces, the General Estates might certainly impose duties on fuch goods as came from the other provinces ; or at least, adjust these affairs upon moderate and reasonable terms. But, if the Archdukes should abolish there taxes altogether, rather than allow them to be continued by the Confederates, they could not deprive the General Etates of the power of imposing, in their place, taxes upon beer, cheese, fishings, and the like. Ac any rate, the produce could never fall below what would be sufficient for their sea-armament, during a peace ; whereas, the sum of one million eight hundred thousand livres a-year, ariếng from these duties in time of the war, was so far insufficient, that the province of Holland alone had expended, in twenty years, four millions more than they produced. The contributions raised from the enemy's country would, no doubt, cease entirely; but, at the same time, the contributions exacted by their enemies, with equal rigour and severity, from the frontiers, and such places as were fubject to the General Estates, would likewise cease; by which means the country people, by being freed from this burden, would be bet. ter able to pay their proportion to the public, and, perhaps, even give some addition, in return for the blessings of peace. From all chis, it was concluded, that, even after the peace, there would be an ordinary revenue of six millions of livres ; and even though the taxes should, after four or five years, be reduced, as they ought to be, supposing two parts in five, which would be a considerable reduction and a great ease to the inhabitants, yet still there would remain about three millions eight hundred thousand livres, a sum that would be fully sufficient for defraying all the necessary expences of a peace establishment. In this computation were not included the great revenues of some of the towns, part of which, in case of neceflity, might be applied to the public service ; for, though one half should be employed for the benefit of the towns themselves, the other half would amount to more than a million of livres. The tax on consumption, and the subsidy raised from houses and lands, were cala fulated, the former at five millions five hundred thousand livres,

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though equal to fix millions; and the latter at two, though equal to three millions; because the overplus of each year was applied, both in the provinces and cowns, to the payment of their debts. The full revenue of ax millions as above ftated, would maintain twenty thousand men in garrison, if there was occasion for so many, for the first year; pay the salaries of the servants of the State, the expence of the forlifications, and of an armament at sea, the next; and, in fol. lowing years, this fund would increase, because the garrisons might be reduced to ten thousand men, by which means there would be a faving; each year, of two millions of livres, that might be employed likewise in payment of debt. Inteftine divisions might be prevented by proper attention, and by establishing a Council of State invested with fufficient authority. The body of the State, which was, in fact, a Republic, where the sovereignty was equally diffused among all the members, had, nevertheless, this advantage, that the common people did not interfere in the affairs of Government. There were left entirely to the management of the chief men in every town; who, being not only capable of exercising the administration, but zealous for the preservation of liberty, would easily secure a strict observance of such regulations as should be judged necessary for the public safety. Neither was corruption much to be feared among a people who had hitherto Ihowed such a desire for liberty, and such a hatred to the Spaniards, from whom alone any attempts of this kind were to be apprehended. There was little probability, that the masters of ships and sailors would engage in the service of Spain; because the trade to the East Indies, without which being allowed no treaty would be made, and the trade to Spain and other places, would give them fufficient employment. Besides, a free penple, impatient of controul, would never bear the pride and insolence of the Spaniards, nor submit to live in a country where their natural dispoGtion would be thwarted, and where they could not enjoy the exercise of their religion. To these arguments the advocates for peace added others, deduced from the probable consequences of continuing the war. Thus, it was argued, that an end could not be put to the calamities already fuffered, but either by a complere victory, or some agreement made at last with the enemy. The former could not reafonably be expected over so powerful an adversary; and the latter would, at any time, be attended not only with the same dangers which were dreaded at present, but with greater, because the contie nuance of the war would oblige the Confederates to contract more debt, and, by reducing them to ftraits, expose them to be corrupted; cause them to separate from one another; and induce them to accept of worse terms than they had now in their power to obtain.'

From this specimen it appears, that Dr. Lothian's style is low, colloquial, and inaccurate ; and indeed, in no part of his work does he once affume the tone, or aspire at the dignity, of historical compofition. His narrative is uninteresting, ill arranged, and ill conducted. He seems to have written himself into some knowledge of his subject; plodding on, from one detail to another, and patiently transcribing every minute particular

from

TO

from the authors whom he follows. He is never animated with the grandeur of his theme. On surveying the subject before him, he never breaks into those general observations which excite curiofity; he never ventures upon any of those reflections which convey instruction ; and, in a word, he seems to have undertaken this work without having sufficiently informed himself concerning the nature, the object, and the aim of history. ART. XI. The Maid of Arragon; a Tale. By Mrs, Cowley. 4to.

2 s. 6 d. L. Davis, &c. 1780. O this tale in blank verse are prefixed a Dedication, and

what our poetical termagant calls a Deprecation ; in each of which the displays a degree of irritability superior to that of Male Scribblers. She is indeed “tremblingly alive all o'er,” The Dedication is intended to be pathetic, but the acid humour of the Writer, jealous of affront, runs over into a note,

To Mr. PARKHOUSE of Tiverton, Devon.
Accept, dear parent! from a filial pen,

The humble off'ring of my pensive Muse:
She painted on my mind a Daughter's woes,

Nor could my heart the tender theme refuse,
The rightful Patron of th' eventful tale,

To you I dedicate the scenes the drew;
My soul she search'd to find OSMIDA's thoughts,

And colour'd her from what I feel for you.
Yours then the meed—if meed kind Fame will grant,

The tale to you-to you the bays belong;
You gave my youthfal fancy wings to foar;

From your indulgence flows my wild-no:e song.
Its music in your ear will sweetly found;

Its page, with fond delight, you'll traverse o'er ;
With half your pleasure may the world peruse!

My muse, my vanity can ask no more.
Dear other Parent! guiltless hold my heart,

Though ubadorn'd my numbers with your name;
Your worth, your goodness, in its centre lives,

And there shall perish only with my frame.

It is near three years since the above lines were written, and the Firft Part of The Maid of ARRAGON finished; thoogh other avocations have prevented the poblication till now. This circumstance is mentioned, to hew that they were prompted by the heart, and not by the desire of imitating the Author of an admirable Novel, which was addressed to a Father since that period.'

Now comes, in proud humility, the DępRECATION!. Of with your hats, and hear it recited!

I entreat the Reviewers to have compassion on me. From the beginning of my literary warfare, these un merciful Wits have pursued me with the sharpeft arrows of Criticism: and I have had nothing to console me, alas :--but the approbation of the Public. How Thall I

escape

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