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life, they few the nation in its undress, if I may be allowed the ex. pression. Opinions, prejudices, superstitions, customs, turn of cone' versation, mode of courtship, all are to be found in them, and in them alone.

The manners, which the stories exhibit, are not, I must confess, always so chaste and decenc as I could with them; and this circumStance I have several times had occasion to regret in the course of my work. The expressions are often still worse, their texture being free quently of the most disgusting coarseness. Whether it proceeded from the fimplicity of the times, or that they thought, as is observed in the Romance of the Rose, that there was no evil in naming what God had made ; or whether it be attributed to the imperfection and infancy of the language, the spirit of libertinism not having then invented those ingenious turns of phrase and circumlocations, by which, in half concealing it, one renders the fin more seducing, these fabulists had no kind of reserve; but, as the vulgar saying is, called a spade a spade : and it is not in the relation of the author only that the ear is shocked with these expreslions ; one is surprised to find them put into the mouths of virtuous maids, women of character, and fathers instructing their children.

• After all, if we had nothing to object to these authors but the indecency of a few words, they might easily be pardoned. But befides the frequent coarseness of the style, fome itories are in their substance reprehenfible ; for libertinism and adultery never can be reconciled to found morals. Yet, however liable to objection the diction, the manners, or morals of these tales may be, it is my business to represent them such as they are, fince they are descriptive of the times, Nevertheless, the respect that is due to the reader shall not be for: gotten. Though all embellishment shall be rejected, and though to preserve the character, the humour, and fimplicity of the fables, the language may sometimes appear bald, quaint, or approaching to vulgarity, I shall be careful not to admit any immodest or indecent exprellion. There are feveral stories which, on this account, must be suppressed entirely; others, of which I shall present only an extract, or from which I shall retract the too licentious passages. That cannot be called stripping an author; but only putting him into a condition that may enable him to appear in good company.'

These Tales fhock probability. We cannot realise many of the incidents, yet they discover a vigorous and wild imagination. They awaken curiosity; and as they are generally short, they are seldom tedious: and we easily suffer ourselves to be cara ried away by the pleasing illusion into the land of inchantment. ART. XIII. A Plan for rendering the Poor independent on public Con

tribution : founded on the Balis of the Friendly Societies, com. monly called Clubs. By the Rev. John Acland, Rector of Broad-clist, and one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Devon. To which is added, a Letter from Dr. Price. evo. is. Rivington, &c. 1786.

HE increase of the poor.rates hath been a long and grow.

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that if some remedies be not applied to relieve it, the landed ina.
tereft (oppressed as it is by such an accumulation of taxes) mult,
in time, fink under its weight.

Various means have been devised to check the progress of.
this increasing evil. Some have been plausible in theory; but
their application bath been deemed injurious and tyrannical ; and
Jong-establithed grievances have been submitted to, from a feat
that the means designed to remove them wouldly introduce ftill
greater inconveniences.

The Author of this pamphlet appears to be influenced by the worthiest motives, in the Plan which he offers to the Public; and the least that we can say of it is, that it merits the most serious attention of all descriptions of people ; and whether practicable or not, Mr. Acland will be entitled to the thanks of his country, for his very laudable attempt to biend in one scheme the ina terests both of the rich and of the poor; and to make usefulness Co-operate with charity.

In his address to the poor (in a separate paper), he hath given a general view of his plan; and as that comprehends the leading objects of the scheme, we will present an extract of it . to our readers in the Author's own words:

• In the first place, it is built upon the basis of the friendly fo. cieties, commonly called clubs, and without interfering in the least with those already established. It forms all the members of society (excepting such as are therein excepted) into one general club; which is subdivided into twelve different classes of persons, who are all, under certain circumstances, to receive, as a matter of right, a different allowance according to their respective contributions, in case they should stand in need; but otherwise, the contributions of the richer subscribers are to go in aid of the poorer ones, and afford them a better provision under all their wants. But for matters of this sort I must refer to the plan itself, and proceed to give an acé count of the monthly sums to which the weekly contributers of the two lower classes are, under the following circumstances, to be entitled.

• The subscribers of three-halfpence per week will be entitled to sixteen Chillings per month during confinement through fickness, or what is commonly called bed-lying pay; to eight shillings per month till they are able to earn, the man lixpence a day, and the woman threepence a day, or what is commonly called walking pay; and for every child more than two and under eight years of age, four miltings per month. The subscribers of twopence per week will also be entitled to one pound four shillings per month bed-lying pay; to twelve shillings per month walking pay; and for every child more than two and under eight years of age, five shillings and fixpence per month.- And though one parent tould die, the survivor is to receive the children's pay for both, with the deduction only of the weekly subscription of the deceased parent, for such time as any one child shall receive its allowance. With a like deduction of both pa. rents subscription, all orphan children are to receive according to the

subscription

fubscription of their parents ; for instance, were two subseribers of 2d, each to leave fix orphan children, those children would receive a clear 31. 45. 8d. a month ; of which sum, whatever remained over and above their necessary nurture, is to be laid up for their use.The subscribers likewise of 1 d. and 2d. are, after they arrive at the age of fixty-five, to receive, the one 3s. 61. the other 4s. per month; after seventy, or any time before, that they hall not be able to earn, the man 6d. or the woman 3d. a day, the one 5s.6d. the other 6s. 6d. per month; and after seventy-five, or any time before, that they shall be rendered incapable of all labour, the one 125. the other 14s. per month.

And on account both of the greater number of gratuitous subscribers, and the higher rate both of house-rent and all the necessaries of life, it is proposed, that the inhabitants of the city of London, and the circumjacent places to the distance of four or five miles, fhall have an encreased allowance of 45. per month in the first instance, of 2s. in the second, of 13. in the third, of is. 60. in the fourth, of 2s.. in the fifth, and of 2s. 6d. in the sixth. And for the same reasons it is proposed that in some other of the great trading towns and çities, there should be an advance; in the first instance of 25. 6d, in the second of 19.4d. in the third of is, in the fourth and fifth of is. 4d. and in the sixth of 25. per month. Such is the plan that is, now offered to your consideration, and it is hoped that no liberal mind will be in any doubt whether to prefer such a certain comfort. able and independent fupport to the uncertain, wretched, and dependent pittance supplied them, by enforced and precarious relief from their respective parishes.'

Mr. Acland submitted his plan, before he published it, to the inspection of Dr. Price, who approved of its general principle, and made such observations on the subject, as tended to confirm the writer's general notion, though in some inferior points of calculation the Doctor proved that Mr. Acland was mira taken. As the approbation of such a distinguished writer muft give weight to any plan that may be offered to the Public, on subjects of this nature, we cannot ibetter promote the object of this publication, nor pay the ingenious and worthy Author a more acceptable .compliment, than. by presenting, our readers with the following extracts from Dr. Price's letter.

• I have confidered with much attention your plan for making a general provision for the poor. It is imposible that the priociple on which it is founded should not be universally approved, nothing being being more plainly equitable and reasonable than that “the poor, “ while young, and in health and vigour, should be obliged, by “ small savings, to contribute towards their own support, when dil“ abled by fickness, accident, or age.” The many clubs establish. ed for this purpose in different parts of the kingdom, however illformed their plans generally are, prove this to be the sense of the poor themselves ; and therefore afford a particular encouragement to the legislature to think of establishing some plan of this kind, and thus to ease the Public of a burden which is grown almost intoleras ble,' .. • In short, it seems to me that your plan has a ten,

dency

WE

dency to do the greatest good, by affording, in the best manner, the most agreeable and useful relief to the poor ; by encouraging frugality, industry, and virtue among them, and by promoting the population of the kingdom, and removing many of the evils which attend our present poor laws. I will add what appears to me a further recommendation of it, that it will substitute in the room of the present dangerous plans of the friendly focieties scattered throughout the kingdom, ONE GENERAL PLAN of the same kind, well-formed, subftantial, and permanent.'

Every other testimonial would seem needless after this; and we have only to add, that if Mr. Acland's plan should meet the approbation of the legislature, and a trial Tould be made of its practical efficacy and utility, we fincerely wish that its suce cess may answer bis expectation, and reward bis zeal. Ock Art. XIV. Lucubrations; consisting of Essays, Reveries, &c. in

Prose and Verse. By the late Peter of Pomfret. 12mo. 38. fewed. Dodsley. 1786.

E have been so frequently entertained by this ingenious

Author, that it would give us great pain if, after all, we were obliged to sacrifice him at the altar of criticism. We always make those immolations with reluctance; even when there is no claim on our gratitude for past obligations : but wben an old friend, to whom we have been indebted for many hours of rational amusement, becomes infipid or tedious, and yet will

- will talk, it occasions a fad conflict between humanity and justice before we have the heart to bid him hold his tongue.

As we dread to have our better feelings put to fo rigid a test, we were really afraid to go one step beyond the title-page of these Lucubrations, left Peter, whom we had loved and cherished in his more vigorous days, dould become our victim in his old age.

But (happy for us both!) as we proceeded, our apprehensions fubfided ; and we exclaimed with pleasure, · Though Peter's grey

hairs appear, yet the laurels are not yet withered on his brow!'

Languefcit !' he exclaims: or in other words, he feels himfelf growing old, and is conscious that his muse partakes of his infirmity. The acknowledgment is ingenuous: for very few whose powers are languishing by age have the candour to confers it, but most old fools have the vanity to think that they are as young as they ever were, and whether their object be a muse or á mistress, they will fall affect to be brisk and gay; though all their gaiety only reminds us of

Sober Lanesborough dancing in the gout.' These Lucubrations appear to have been the amusements of a vacant hour: and while there is nothing in them offensive to virtue, religion, or good manners, there is something that will

afford

A

afford entertainment to those who read for no other purpose : and something too from which minds of a more elevated and enlightened cast may not disdain to take bints of inftruction.

The lines on fuicide express the common arguments againft felf-murder, in a concise manner; though we can fay little in praise of the poetry; for it is deficient boch in ease and fpirit.

From the effay on our reception in public places,' our Author appears to have met with some severe affront from a haughty die vine, which he hath taken the opportunity of chastifing with more than common asperity.

We cannot conclude without saying, that though Peter's taper doth not burn with its former vigour, yer its light is clear and pure, and we doube not but when its last flame trembles on the socket, it will ftill show the good qualities of its compofurion, and leave a graceful odour behind, Dk. Art. XV. A short Review of the political State of Great Britain at

the Commencement of the Year One thousand Seven hundred and Eighty-seven. 8vo. is. 6d. Debrett. 1787.

N intelligent mind,' fays this very ingenious writer, 'ac

customed to speculate upon' buman events, to regard their causes, their progression, and their effects, and to form its general opinions from an expanded furvey of the whole; such a mind will naturally stop at particular æras in the hiftory of nations, and assemble their scattered rays into one concentered point of view. The political situation of this country at the prefent juncture, may, perhaps, be regarded as forming one of those epochas; and may merit confideration, as detached from the general mafs of time and matter, which constitute and compore what we denominate history. My object, in writing the following sheets, is principally to present a picture of the actual and exitting moment, without either taking any ample retro{pect of pait transactions, or extending my conje&tures far into an unascertained and imaginary futurity. It is certainly curious, and it may be useful, to consider the relative and respective pofitions of the king and the people, of the governors and the governed, of the ministry and of the opposition, at the opening of a new year, before the incumbent pressure of succeeding events bas diverted our attention to other scenes and objects. I lhall confine my survey to a few of the great component features.'

He, accordingly, begins with the Sovereign, who stands foremost on the canvas : a most respectable figure, as a good and amiable man. The reader may imagine the back ground of the picture to be grouped by Edwards, and Henrys, and the late King of Pruffia, as MONARCHS. The piece is well sketched, with a bold but not licentious pencil. To drop, for a moment, the allufion, our unknown Author seenis to possess a great dea Rev. Jan. 1787.

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