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Our author deserves more applause for endeavouring to dispel the darkness which has hung for so many ages over the natural phænomena of Judæa. The visionary tales, as false as they are extravagant, which have been told concerning the lake Asphaltites, would fill a volume. Dr Clarke has briefly, but conclusively, exposed their absurdity.
From Bethlehem our author proceeded by Rama to Joppa, or Japha ; where, according to tradition (always tradition !) Noah built his ark. • Pliny,' says Dr Clarke, describes Joppa • as older than the deluge.' Joppe Phænicum, antiquior terrarum inundatione. Did Pliny mean the universal deluge as described in Genesis ? We should think not.
Dr Clarke returned by sea from Joppa to Acre; and here his narrative closes. We have already extended this article to such a length, that we must be very brief while we speak of the
general merits of the work before us, and while we make a few remarks upon its defects.
That Dr Clarke possesses qualifications which entitle him to the notice of the public, both as an observer, and as a writer, will scarcely be denied by those who have perused his former volume; and we are led to think, that his claims to attention will lose nothing by the appearance of that which we have been considering. It is not to be expected, however, that in a volume of seven hundred pages in quarto, there should not be many inequalities; and that faults, both in the manner and in the matter, should not occasionally meet the eye of the critic. Those authors are rare, who always say what is agreeable, or wise, and to whom we never fail to listen with instruction or delight. Dr Clarke possesses much general knowledge, which he employs without pedantry, and displays without ostentation ; nor does he often fatigue attention, by dwelling too long, or too minutely, upon any subject. We have, indeed, seldom met with a traveller, whose descriptions are more lively, or who presents objects more distinctly to the mental eye, but we have sometimes also had to observe, and to censure, his want of method, the faults of his language, and the imperfections of his style. His pictures, it is true, are generally spirited compositionsfull of character and animation; and he paints with the ease and the rapidity, if not always with the skill and the grace, of a master. But (to continue the metaphor) his colouring is occas sionally too gaudy-his lights too glaring—and his shadows toQ dark.
Art. VII. An Historical Sketch of the Last Years of the Reign
of Gustavus the 4th, Adolphus, late King of Sweden, including a Narrative of the Causes, Progress, and Termination of the late Revolution : And an Appendix, containing Official Documents, Letters, and Minutes of Conversations between the late King and Lieut. Gen. Sir John Moore, Gen. Brune, &c. &c. Translated from the Swedish.
8vo. pp. 384.
Cawthorn. London. 1812.
be regarded as the defence of the party which dethroned the late King of Sweden ; and there can be as little question that it appears, if not under the patronage, at least by the connivance of the present government. Those for whom it professes to speak, and those who have permitted, and therefore approved of, its publication, are Royalists by profession, if not in principle. The former were at all times friends of the mo-, narchy--and courtiers; the latter may be supposed to have something of the zeal of new converts-converts, too, who have adopted a faith singularly beneficial to themsel-es. Yet does this book abound in the very purest principles of resistance, urged in their most unpalateable form, because illustrated by recent examples. The following pages,' says its author, are s principally addressed to the present times, in order to dissi
pate groundless prepossessions, and to prove, that the causes * of the great events which they have witnessed, are not to be • sought for in deep-laid and long-concerted plans, but in the. • criminal abuse of power and inordinate ambition.
• It is entreated that the reader will determine with himself, • whether he consider it to be the duty of a King to prefer the • welfare of his people to every other consideration, or the duty • of the people to disregard the obvious interests of their coun• try, and to sacrifice their lives and fortunes to the personal
resentments of their monarch. Should any one be of the latter • opinion, let him not peruse the following work : the sentiments
which it contains must be to him unintelligible, and we think “.it unnecessary to undertake to prove what no despot has yet • ventured openly to deny.' p. 3. & 4.
Now, we certainly are not of the latter opinion. On the contrary, we consider the principle of resistance as the very corner-stone of free governments ;—as that on which they are founded, and which keeps them standing. It requires to be kert, indeed, in its proper place. It is one of the more delicate topics of political discussion ;-it is, as Mr Fox was wont to say; a doctrine that ought to be preached rather to kings
than to their subjects; and for this reason, we should hold the task of defining lawful resistance, and specifying the cases to which it should be applied, to be one attended both with extreme difficulty, and much real mischief. But the general position may safely be maintained, that there are acts of the rulers which make resistance a duty. What those acts are, it would indeed be dangerous to settle by any general reasoning But as often as cases occur which may be thought to justify resistance, there can be no harm in discussing them, with the view of ascertaining whether they do so or not.
Now, the reign of the late King of Sweden has been supposed to furnislı an example of this kind ; and the real object of the work before us is to prove, by a detail of facts, that the conduct of that monarch called upon his subjects to depose him. Into this inquiry we may at the present moment safely enter. Like all sovereigns who have ceased to be kings de facto, Gustavus has lost his admir. ers and followers ;– he is no longer the real opposer of Buona
parte,' and the liberator of Europe.' The innumerable eyes which four years ago, were turned towards him, cannot now discern whereabouts he has taken shelter ;--and instead of being ready to tear us in pieces for whispering any thing to his disadvantage, as all the monopolists of profitable loyalty would have been at that time, we doubt not they are now as careless as they are ignorant, whether he was justly or unjustifiably dethroned ; and it is notorious, that they have long ago transferred their hopes and admiration to an upstart general of Buonaparte, who drove the magnanimous Hero of the North’ from the kingdom of his ancestors.
There seems to be no reason for doubting the authenticity of this work. The publisher, we presume, has a copy of the original Swedish, and can prove it to have been published in Stockholm. He infers, from the state of the press there, that it must have come out under the auspices of the government whose defence it espouses,-though composed in languageoften very unlike that which might be expected from the court of an absolute monarch. The bulk of the facts contained in it, however, do by no means belong to the class of secret history: And the Arpendix of original documents, which, it seems, in the original, was very large, contained, for the most part, papers which had publicly appeared in other countries, and is therefore reduced greatly in the translation. One fact is stated in the prefatory advertisement, which must rest on the authority of the anonymous translator, or of his publisher, that the Act of Abdication was composed by Gustavus IV. himself; and that the accounts of his interviews with General Moore and General Brane were corrected by his own hand. It is a statement of some moment, and should unquestionably have been better authenticated, at least by a reference to some name.
This work opens with reflexions, or rather references to facts, respecting the share taken by Gustavus in the war which was preparing almost from the conclusion of the treaties of Luneville and Amiens. No power in Europe, it is justly observed, had so little interest as Sweden in the renewal of hostilities; and none was so little adapted, by situation and circunstances, to take any share in them. She had perhaps some interest, though not of a very honourable kind, in the renewal of a maritime war between the other states; but by this she could only gain as long as she remained neutral herself. To count upon her gaining by the Continental war, would have been ridiculous; but no man of common sense could pretend that she had the smallest chance of doing any thing else than expose herself to contempt, as well as certain loss, and the greatest risk of destruction, by affecting to take a part in the quarrels of the greater powers. A prince of ordinary prudence would have taken these obvious points into his consideration. But they chiefly related to the interests of the kingdom,---and the neglect of them must, in the first instance, ruin his country :-and therefore Gustavus foolishly thought they were below his notice--forgetting that his own ruin could not long be delayed after his people should be undone. His motives for interfering in the affairs of Germany, were all personal and selfish. He was desirous, we are told, and all his state papers prove it, of humbling a person, who, from a private station, had . dared to aspire to sovereignty: 'He was in hopes' of sharing in the glory of restoring the family of the Bourbons;' and he expected the same success that attended his illustrious ancestor, whom he resembled literally in nothing but the name. The present publication is peculiarly delicate in one respect; it begins no earlier than the subject requires. Every one acquainted with the Swedish history, from the period when the regency of the Duke of Sudermania (the present King) ended, must be aware, that if personal attack had been the object of the work; or even if, in prosecuting its real design—the vindication of Gustavus's expulsion-great pains had not been taken to give only those things which were necessary for proving the case, a vast deal of condemnatory matter might easily have been collected, and would greatly have assisted the defence of the party opposed to the unhappy Prince.
Having been seized with the silly desire of making a parade of warlike measures (for it never seems to have gone
much beyond this point), he hurried away to Germany in July 1803, and remained there about a year and a half. The total neglect of his kingdom during this period, is all that is laid to his charge by the authors of the work before us. They abstain from any account of his conduct while rambling up and down the German courts, where it is very well known he only exposed himself to ridicule by his extravagant pretensions—his unavailing personal abuse of Buonaparte, whom he always treated with contempt-and his little pertinacious squabbles about matters of etiquette. He then, unfortunately, made himself personally known to almost all the statesmen, who might otherwise have only communicated with him through some judicious and able negociators. Indeed, from what has been seen of Princes in modern times, one is frequently tempted to think them of the class of persons who gain extremely by making themselves scarce. However, Gustavus thought otherwise; and having no small idea of his military genius, as well as political acumen, he used to treat all the coteries of Germany with his resolutions to destroy Buonaparte, and restore the Bourbons.
Upon the • lamentable death of the Duc D’Enghien,' (the expression is a remarkable one considering from whence it proceeds), Gustavus instantly recalled his minister from Paris, and prohibited all political intercourse with France.
• He was even strongly inclined (we are told) to declare war against that powerful country;' and required the aid of Russia and England, we presume, as little auxiliaries in his Swedish Majesty's quarrel. This fume, however, evaporated; and the French mission was still suffered to remain in Stockholm, until the Moniteur mentioned the behaviour of Gustavus disrespectfully; whereupon the mission was ordered out of the country, and all French and Danish newspapers prohibited, together with some English ones—and, in general, every journal where unwelcome remarks were to be found. With his usual inconsistency, however, he suffered the commercial intercourse to remain uninterrupted; and he received constant irritation from the forbearance of the French government, under all his little ebullitions; for he construed it, nor was he much mistaken, into a sign of contempt. In truth, he was treated as a child by all parties ; for all were aware of his imbecility, and only smiled at his own seeming ignorance of it.
Unhappily this royal personage was not a child (in power of doing mischief at least) in his own country. Buonaparte assumed the title of Emperor; the King of Prussia recognized it, and sent him the order of the Black Eagle; and Gustavus, indignant at having so low a fellow for his associate in the order, lost not a moment in sending back his own to Berlin. This led to the recal of the Prussian mission from Sweden. The