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British seamen they have in their ships, who fight with desparation, because they fight to avoid an ignominous death, and who, besides, are all chosen men from their mercantile marine; whereas Britain has so many ships to man, that she is obliged to take such sailors as she can get.
It will at all events be allowed, that the battles by land furnish the truest criterion for our judgement of the manner in which the troops of the two countries fight, and from them we may learn that it will be long before America will be a warlike nation.
When the sad reverse of fortune which the French despot has experienced is known in America, then will the people of that country see the mistaken policy of Mr. Madison; and having had the honour and advantage of having had, in a Washington, one of the best and greatest of men for their governor, they will feel the mortification and disadvantage of having, in a Madison, one of the men with the most narrow and mistaken views that ever ruled over a civilized and intelligent people*.
* The only advantage the Americans will derive from the present war, will be experience and moderation: in that respect Mr. Madison will be a successful, though a very expensive schoolinaster. His lessons are not quite so cheap, or so snon learned as those of Joseph Lancaster, written upon a bed of sand; but they are far more easily retained, and the impression is more durable.
SIR JAMES MANSFIELD.
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COMMON PLEAS.
No judge ever confined himself to his own line more than Sir James, who has never paid any attention to politics*. He is very attentive to the merits of the case before him, but is thought not to make a sufficient distinction between objects of great importance, and others that are of very little. To the latter he gives more time and consideration than they deserve, and sometimes to the former scarcely enough.
* It is a great misfortune that we have in this country two -courts in which the fees of office, the manner of proceeding, and
many other things are unlike, and that it is quite optional to the plaintiff in which court he may sue: what is worse, a man may be sued in both courts at once, and moved from one prison to the other at a great expense and great inconvenience. All this might easily be remedied: nothing but the will to do so is wanting, the way is well know'll,
SÍR JAMES M'INTOSH, KNT.
The distinguished talents of this gentleman have been exerted and displayed on subjects so connected with objects that are important, at all times, but particularly so at present, that we give his portrait with peculiar pleasure, and we hope it will be studied with particular advantage.
Sir James (then Mr. M·Intosh) was but a very young man, and had not finished his studies as a barrister, when he became one of the most zealous, and by far the most able defender of the French revolution in this country. He was the only antagonist of Mr. Burke (one of the most profound, most elegant, and most fanciful writers of the age), who deserved to be named as an opponent worthy of him. On the
wrong side of the question, Mr. M'Intosh shewed powers of reasoning and elegance of style that left all those who admired the French constitution, and who defended the same cause, at an immense distance. Had the same talents been
employed on the other side, they would have produced the happiest effects.
Whilst the young advocate for the rights of man came so near the Nestor of the age in acuteness of reasoning, and elegance of style, he far surpassed him in candour and moderation, and therefore his arguments carried with them double weight. Though the reveries of revolutionists are long since exploded, the Vindiciæ Galicæ of MʻIntosh will remain as a master-piece of its kind.
That the French nation was not free before the revolution, has never been denied, and certainly a generous-minded and well-intentioned man, who thought it might become so by the efforts it was making, could not but approve of those efforts, and Mr. M'Intosh appears to have done it with all his mind. That he did not see into the wickedness, the ignorance, and the vain presumption of the leading men, is not surprising: he was young, and at a distance, and they were able impostors. They were first-rate Charlatans, mounted on a conspicuous stage, and acting, to appearance, a most admirable part. To free mankind was a glorious attempt, had the way been wise, or the end practicable.
The French revolution originated in mind, and not in accidental circumstances; and not being
produced by physical force, as most other revolutions have been, set men's minds at work most actively in every country, and accordingly there were numbers of writers and speakers on both sides of the question in England; but of all who supported the cause, whilst it deserved support, Mr. MʻIntosh was the only one, who, with a candour equally honourable and uncommon, changed his opinion in consequence of discovering his error.
We have said elsewhere, that it is now a leading blemish in the English character to be inflexible, and that unalterable obstinacy has assumed the guise of firmness, intrepidity, and resolution, but the superior mind of Mr. M. prevented him from running into an error, from which, even with all his talents, Mr. Fox .was not free. Not that we would exalt the talents of Mr. M'Intosh above those of the man who so long headed opposition; but it is our duty to record the truth without explaining the cause, further than giving it as a supposition that the habits, and perhaps the interests, of party, swayed the mind of Mr. Fox, who admired the constitution of 1789, long after it was held in abhorrence by those who had assisted in planning and executing it.
This candid manner of acting is highly creditable, as Mr. M'Intosh had got great reputation by his