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The first volume accordingly appeared, and has been no. ticed under the former conductors of the Critical Review,
Why it was written in dialogue, by a writer who has too much egotism to forget for a moment that he is writing or speaking hinselt, and too much contempt, bordering on hatred, for other men, to persovate them in any tolerable degree-why he should choose for his mock-antagonist, one of the most conforming, cautious, and prudent prelaies of the age, without touching any of the peculiar features of his character, we cannot discover, eveụ it we thought the discovery worth any trouble.
i'be Diversiwis of Purley, however, in a large quarto, proved only a dilatation of the sinall pamphlet addressed to Dunning, as far as the disenchantment of conjunctions, &c. was concerned. But it was seasoned with so much personal satire; with so many allusions to his own unprovoked injuries; and the hopes of increasing effect from the second and third parts were so artfully kept up, that his immediate adherents and apostles increased in number, and a subscription for an annuity for the author, (the old Tooke having died without leaving him Purley,) was opened, in conjunction with that for the projected work; which, being recommended with zeal, and comprehending political as well as literary views, succeeded beyond the expectations of his blindest and most implicit admirers.
Notwithstanding the leisure afforded by this annuity, and the partial reception of the first volume, several years elapsed; those of the public who thought at all on the subject, imagined that Mr. Tooke would forget his promises; and even the faithful and credulous messinates of the Feast of Censure, and the Flow of Bile,' held sacredly at Wimbledon on Sundays, had nearly collected courage to express their doubts, wlien ihe second part appeared ; and that second part is the subject of our present critique.
In this volume, Mr.T. has dropped his episcopal antagonist, who,we inay suppose, could not, even at an imaginary whipping-post, think binself, his profession, or the credit of the church to which he belonged, very safe in the hands of a man who, to serve any of his own views, would have used little ceremony with either. He has therefore exchanged hiin for Sir Francis Burdett, the most docile and implicit of his pupils, except the sage and profound Bosville, who, it is said, will stand the master's buffeting in the third and last part, which is to be called the Diversions of Wimbledon,' and in which all systems, metaphysical, political, and inoral, will be levelled with the dust.
The present volume begins with a dialogue between the sayes, Horne and Burdeit, which should have concluded the first part, for it applies what Mr. Touke calls his discovery in language, to the warmly controverted and inost important doctrine of The Rights or MAN; and to that application the remainder of this article shall be devoted, as a test of the author's bigh pretensions to decide in controversies, and to dictate the law in an important province of the literary world.
After playing upon words, and exclaiming, “To the ears. of man what music sweeter than the rights of man?' be turns to his convenient antagonist, and asks, (P. S.)
• What do you mean by the words Riout and Wrono? ' F. What do I mean by those words ? What every
other person means by them.
• H. And whut is ikat?
· H. Of important words we must, if He wish to avoid important error. The meaning of these words especially is of the greatest Consequence to mankind, and seems to have been strangely neglecteu hy those who have made the most use of them.
*F. The meaning of the word RIGHT---why--it is used so variously, as substantive, adjective, and adverb, and has such apparently dif- . ferent significations, (I think they reckon between thirty and forty,) that I should hardly imagine uny one single explanation of the terni would be applicable to all its users.
We say a man's Rigur-a right conduct a right reckoning-a right line-the right road-to do right-to be in the rightto have the right on one's side—the right band.'
After ridiculing and abusing the definitions of Jobinson, as false, absurd, and impossible—the reader will reinember that Johnson is out of hearing--the sparring pair, like Mendoza and a pupil, seem to approach a decision.
The master founds his oracular decree not on any of the Gothic dialects, which, no doubt, must be at all times decisive in philosophy, the Goths being philosophers by inspie ration ; but from the Latin, a language intelligible to every scholar.
Behold TIE ORACLE. «Right is no other than the Rect-um (Regitum) the past participle of the Latin verb Regere. Whence in Italian, we have Ritto; and from Dirigere, DIRITTO, Dritto: whence the French have their ancient Droiet, and the modern Droit. The Italian Dritto, and the French Droit being no other than the past participle Di. RECT.UM.'
This is extended to just from jubere, to decree, edict, &c. At last, (P.8,) he says,
• When a man demands his Right, he asks only that which it is ordered he shall have.
• A RIGUI conduct is that which is ordered, A RIGHT line is that which is ordered or directed, (not a random extension, but) the shortest betireen two points.
* The Right road is that ordered or directed to be pursued (for the object you have in view). To do right, is to do that which is orriered to be done.
* To be in the night is, to be in such situation and circuinstances as are ordered.
' 'To have RIGHT or Law on one's side is to have in one's favour that which is ordered or laid down,
' A RIGHT and Just action is such an one as is ordered and conmanded.
"A Just man is, such as he is commanded to be ; qui leges jura aque servat; who observes and obeys the things laid duun aud commanded.
• The right hand is, that which custom and those who have brought us up, lave ordered and directed us to use in preference, when one hand only is employed; and the LEFT hand is, that which is leeve'd, leav'd, left; or which we are taught to leave out of use on such an occasion; so that LEFT, you see, is also a past participle.'
It would be tedious to follow Mr. Tooke through his ini. nute illustration of right and left, to which we may recur; let us hear with attention bis application of his doctrine, and of the fruits of bis etymological skill, to the rights of man. This will enable us to estimate the philosophical merit of his whole work; that of bis etymologies will always be useful, in the correction and formation of future dictionaries.
P. 12. • F. Every thing that is ordered and commanded, is RICHT and JUST?
? H. Surely. For that is only affirming that wbat is ordered and commanded, is ordered and commanded.
F. Now, what becomes of your vaunted RIGHTS of man? According to you, the chief merit of them is obedience; and whatever is ordered and commanded, is RIGHT and Just! This is pretty well for a democrat! And these have always been your sentiments? .: H. Always. And these sentiments confirm my democracy.
• F. These sentiments do not appear to have made you very conspicuous for obedience. There ure not a few passages in your life, where you have opposed what was orilered and communded. Upon your own principles, was that RIGHT?
appose what was ordered and commanded? Can the same thing be at the same time both RIGHT and WRONG ?
H. Travel back to Melinda, and you will find the difficulty most easily solved. A thing may be at the same time both right and WRONG, as well as Rhint and LEFT. It may be commanded to be done, and communded not to be done. The law, that which is laid down, may be different by different authorities.
* I have always been most obedient when most taxed with disobea. dience. But my right hand is not the, Raint hand of Melinda. The right I revere, is not the rigut adored by sycophants; the jus vagum, the capricious command of princes or ministers. I fule low the Law of God (what is laid duren by hiin for the rule of my conduct) 'when I follow the laws of hunan nature; which, without any human testimony, we know must proceed from God, and upon these are founded the fugirrs of man, or what is ordered for
I revere the constitution and the constitutional law: of Enga. land, because they are in uniformity with the laws of God anı Nature ; and upon these are founded the rights of Englishnien. If princes or ministers, or the corrupted sham representatives of a people, order, cominand, or lay down anything contrary to what is ordered, commanded, or laid down by God, human nature, or the constitution of this government, I will still hold fast by the bigher authorities. If the meani ruthorities are offended, they can only destroy the body of the individual; but never can affect the RIGHT, or that which is ordered by their superiors.'
In this quotation we have pointed out to the reader, the . strong holds of Mr. Tooke, as a philosophical etymologist, and a philosophical politician.
The art with which they are constructed is fallacious, the etymology is a deception, and the inferences, assuining the forms of dogmas on the rightS OF MAN, are absolute sophisms. It has been hoped that the melancholy lessons of the French revolution would have directed the minds of men generally, to the true origin of our social ideas of RIGHT and WRONG. But there are still persons of abilities and learning who rake the embers of sedition and discord in the ashes of the institutions they have consumed.
The vulgar sarcasms of Paine, the dreams of Godwin, Holcroft, and Brothers, are gone off like vapours on the winds of heaven. But the sophisms of Mr. Tooke are fortified with learning, and with consummate art of persuasion and quibble.
Such talents, so employed, have a constant effect, not of a beneficial nature, on the pablic opinion and the public peace. It is evidently the great object of the present writer to apply his skill in etymology, and to employ the force and credit of the Diversions of Purley,' to support the political doctrines of the classes of reformers with some of which he bas suffered.
- If this object be taken out of his work, it is a mere com. pilation for dictionaries. We shall therefore meet him on his own ground, in our next Number, and we are greatly mistake nif we do not chase him off.
(To be continued.)
Art. IX.-Madoc, a Poem. By Robert Southey. 410.
Longman. 1805. MR. SOUTHEY has adopted a style of introduction to this poem, of which the modest Virgil was supposed to have set the example, till the hand of judicious criticisin removed the lines which bad been spuriously prefixed to the Æneid, and thereby cleared away a blemish, which distigured the purity of that poet. Where an author is the editor of his own work, he does not leave it in the
power of any critic to suppose for the sake of his reputation, that the introductoryor any other verses were printed by mistake: he does not blush for himself, and it is therefore in vain for his friends to blush for him. Mr. Courtier* (another modern bard) bas ushered a second volume of poems into the world in the same manner, that is, with a prefatory boast of what he has already done. We know not which of these gentlemen is the inventor, or which is the imitator; but as they have no decent prototype in antiquity, and as they are the first modern writers who have been caught in the fact,' we feel it our duty to enter our protest against this practice in general, not only as an unseemly and arrogant custom (for no man enumerates what he has done, without thinking that they are exploits of which he may justly be proud), but as a cheat upon the tax-office, which is by these means robbed of a duty, which would otherwise have been paid for a similar newspaper-puff. Mr. Courtier's verses are tolerable in themselves, and we may be induced to pardon the vanity of them, upon the same principle as we can forgive the conceited smile of the coquet, for the sake of the beauty whicb it exbibits : but Mr. Southey's verses have no charms that can disarm censure ; independently of their affectation, they are really contemptible. They are intended as a kind of epitaph upon himself, but
they have neither the dignity of the lapidary, nor the simplicity of the inscriptive style.
Far be it from us to assert that ridicule is the test of
See Critical Review for Novembeş. 1805,