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Mr. Boucher afterward observes :
• I bring no incense to your shrine even in a Dedication. Hasing never paid court to you whilst you shone in an exalted station, I ar: not so weak as to steer my little bark across the Atlantic in search of patronage and preferment; or so vain as to imagine that now, in the evening of
my life, I may yet be warmed by your setting sun. . utmost ambition will be abundantly gratified by your condescending, as a private Gentleman in America, to receive with candour and kind. ness this disinterested testimony of regard from a private Clergyman in England. I was once your neighbour and your friend: the unhappy dispute, which terinmated in the disunion of our respective countries, also broke oil our personal connexion : but I never was more than your political enemy; and every sentiment eren of political animosity has, on my part, long ago subsided. Permit me then to hope, that this tender of renewed a nity between us may be received and regarded as giving some promise of that perfect reconciliation between our two countries, which it is the sincere aim of this publication to promote. If, on this topic, there be another wish still nearer to my heart, it is that you would not think it beneath you to co-operate with so humbie an effort to produce that reconciliation.'
After having commended Mr. Washington's resolution to terminate bis days in retirement, and expressed a hope that he will not, however, abstain from all interference in public affairs, the writer thus concludes:
· That you possessed talents eminently well adapted for the high post you lately held, friends and foes have concurred in testifying: be it my pleasing task thus publicly to declare that you carry back to your paternal fields virtues equally calculated to bloom in the shade. To resemble Cincinnatus is but small praise : be it yours, Sir, to enjoy the calm repose and holy' serenity of a Christian hero ; and may “ the Lord bless your latter end more than your beginning!"
A Preface next follows, consisting of nearly one hundred closely printed pages; in the beginning of which the author enumerates the several histories of the American contest that have hitherto been published, and all of which he censures as being partial and defective: not even excepting the account given in tlie (old) Annual Register, which has been generally attributed to the masterly peu of the late Mr. Burke.- This failure of faithíul narratives induced Mr. Boucher to submit his sermons to the public, in order to assist future inquirers in this arduous investigation.' Pref. p. xxii-iii.
Merely as Sermons, (says Mr. B.) or even as Political Treatises, in themselves, and unconnected with ihe circumstances under which they were written, being the productions of a private clergyman, who began to think seriously on such subjects only when he was called upon to write upon them, I am sersible their claim to the public ar
tention is slender. Had they not, however, seemed to myself, and to some kind friends to whom they have been shewn in MS. to contain some information which has not elsewhere been noticed, but which may help to elucidate a difficult but important period of our history, they would never have been drawn from that oblivion to which they had long been consigned.'
• I have selected for this volume such discourses as seemed to myself most likely to shew (in a way that can hardly be suspected of misrepresentation) the state of two of the most valuable Colonies, (Virginia and Maryland] just before, and at the time of the breaking out of the troubles. And I am willing to flatter myself, that every attentive reader will find in them something to illustrate the great event to which they chiefly relate. It is not within their compass, nor do I pretend, to give more than an outline of the history."
The discourses are in number 13, and bear the following titles: On the Peace in 1763 : On Schisms and Sects : On the American Episcopate : On American Education: On reducing the Revenue of the Clergy : On the Toleration of Papists : On Fundamental Principles : On the Strise between Abram and Lot: On the Character of Absalom: On the Character of Ahitophel : On the Dispute between the Israelites and the Two Tribes and a Half: On Civil Liberty, Passive Obedience, and Non-Resistance: A Farewell Sermon, from Nehemiah, vi. Io, 11.
The Preface includes an • inquiry into the causes of the revolt of America,' and points out some of the many interesting consequences which it either has already occasioned, or may be expected hereafter to occasion.'-In his conclusion,
Mr. B, says:
For my principles and my doctrines I ask no other indulgence than that, in this age of liberty, I may at length be permitted to avow them, if without praise, yet without danger. My sincerity, I trust, will not be questioned. If, in stating what I believe to have been facts, I have erred, it must be owned that I have gone wrong with such means of being right as not many others have enjoyed. Nor can I with decency be contradicted in these statements by any man, who, even with superior talents, has not had equal opportunitities of forming his judgment, nor given the same unequivocal proofs of his sincerity.
· That many of the doctrines maintained in this volume are no longer in fashion, I am not now to learn. They were not adopted, however, without examination : and having adopted them, I could neither be so base towards others as to recommend such doctrines as, though more popular, did not appear to me to be founded in truth nor so disengenuous to myself as to be ashamed to avow what I do believe to be true.'
• That there are many errors and defects in my work is highly probable : all I have to plead in their behalf is, that, as far as I know
my own heart, they are involuntary: Any controversy about my doctrines I beg leave to decline ; and, at the age of threescore, a ré. quest to be excused from such a task, I hope, will not be deemed un. reasonable. But, if I have mis-stated a single fact, and much more if I have misrepresented and wronged any man, however obscure, or however obnoxious ; on it's being pointed out to me, I will, with much pleasure, retract such misrepresentation, and ask pardon of the person whom I have involuntarily injured.'
In the course of this prefatory discussion, the author proposes, as the most likely expedient to preserve the American Provinces from ruin, an Union with Great Britain; not, as formerly, as Parent-State and Colonies, but on the broad basis of two distant, distinct, and completely independent states.' Supposing that this proposition should not be adopted, then, he says, what is to hinder Great Britain, 'while yet she possesses fleets, wealth, skill, and spirit, and above all while yet she possesses her antient uncontaminated principles, from transporting her Empire to the East ? _There she might possess territory inferior in extent only to the neighbouring kingdom of China'
From these extracts, the reader may form some idea of the nature of this publication, and of the principles and abilities of the author. As he tells us that he declines all controversy about his doctrines, and that he cannot' with decency be contradicted in his statements by any man who has not had equal opportunities of forming his judgment,' there is little room lett to us for criticism on the performance. To controversy about his doctrines, differing decidedly from him as we do, we are as little disposed as the author himself; and we cannot assert a right to dispute his statements, on the principle which he lays down. As water disturbed in its course will in time regain its level, so will the arguments on these subjects which Mr. Boucher agitates, and the reputation of his book in all points of view, be best determined by the quiet judgment of posterity, when the tumults of parties have subsided. We may, however, observe that Man is often more easily deceived by himself than by others; and that, while Mr. B. inveighs against parties, he seems not to have suspected that he may himself be inrolled in such a class. Acquainted as he is with writers on different subjects, he cannot but allow of some toJeration, and speak favorably of some arguments in behalf of free inquiry : but tests, subscriptions, and other barriers of a similar nature, are with him of the utmost moment. It must be allowed that he displays extensive reading, considerable knowlege, talents for vigorous and eloquent composition, and many laudable sentiments. In a variety of his observations we sincerely concur, and several passages we deem excellent :
but to examine the work critically would lead to those disputes concerning heresy, schism, sects, episcopacy, divine right, &e. which have been so often maintained with little satisfaction, and less conviction.
The general tenor of the discourses may be seen by their titles, which we have already transcribed. Several parts of them, as the author acknowleges, bear more resemblance to senatorial speeches or popular harangues, thart to instruction and exhortation delivered in the House of Prayer; and, setting aside the disputed question respecting the propriety of introducing political subjects in a pulpit, it can scarcely be expected that they will be impartially and thoroughly discussed in such a place, and under such circumstances.
The character of Dr. Franklin is severely scrutinized and depreciated by Mr. Boucher; and of the great Locke it appears as if he would be thought to speak with mildness, when he says of him and his disciples, they have the demerit only of having new-dressed principles which are at least as old as the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.'
To conclude: it must be supposed that this volume will afford some insight into the memorable events of which it treats, as the author's long residence in America must have given him opportunities of information which the distant observer could not obtain. The accuracy of it, however, can only be manifest to and vouched by those who were equally well or better informed; and then its quantity and value must be determined by comparison with the materials already supplied :- a task which will probably be executed only by some future patient, candid, and judicious historian.
Art. 111. The Experienced Farmer, an entire new Work, in which
the whole System of Agriculture, Husbandry, and Breeding of Cattle, is explained and copiously enlarged upon; and the best Methods, with the most recent Improvements, pointed out. By Richard Parkinson, of Doncaster. 2 Vols. 8vo. PP. 300. In each. Il is. Boards. Robinsons. 1798. OET A nascitur, sed Agricola fit. Nature makes the poet, but
experience is necessary to constitute a good farmer. A thorough knowlege of agriculture cannot be obtained without continued and attentive practice ; yet judicious publications may be of great use to the farmer, because in fact they enable him to compare the experience and observations of others with his own; thus enlarging his mind and exciting him to new exertions. The mere plodding farmer may gain money, but he will not advance agriculture as a science. He goes round like a mill.
horse, in the same track, and kicks up the same dust : but he enlarges not the circle of his own knowlege, and has neither the wish nor the ability to make any additions to that of others. On the contrary, he who is experienced, intelligent, and liberally minded, sees the possibility of and strives to realise improvements; and if he be successful, he throws his aca quired knowlege into the common stock. By the vast ima portance of the agricultural science, we are induced to wish that the number of the latter class may increase. “Knowlege, here, is power," and a well-conveyed hint to sensible men will not be lost. Well-written books facilitate the acquisition of experience. We proceed with more confidence in an experi. ment, when we find something to justify us in the practice of others ; and that which to us is but a single instance of success becomes a kind of demonstration, when we read the report of a similar result from a similar experiment made by another.
Mr. Parkinson, if we can judge from the history which he gives of himself in the introduction to this work, seems qualified to offer his opinion on rural affairs; and yet his title,
The Experieneed Farmer,' indicates more presumption than commonly accompanies the modesty of real science. We allow the value of most of his remarks : but in general they are too concise ; and his work is rather the rapid glance at a system, than a detailed exposition. It treats indeed of a great variety of matters, being divided into 81 sections ; besides the appendix, containing 10 numbers : but the articles do not appear to be so regularly arranged, nor so fully discussed, as we should expect in a work bearing such a title. There is moreover no index, nor table of contents, to assist on occasions of reference *; so that the agriculturist who has purchased • The Experienced Farmer,' and wishes to consult it on any branch of his profession, must turn ove: perhaps both of the volumes before he finds what he seeks. This is not executing work like a man of experience, who knows the value of time.
Whoever reads section 15, entitled . Culture of Potatoes fully explained, by a new systein, on all sorts of soils,' will find a superficial account of the culture of this useful vegetable. One single process is mentioned as suiting all soils : but no intimation is given that some soils are much better adapted to its growth than others, and that the quality of the produce depends much on the nature of the soil.
The same unsatisfactory and (in an experienced farmer) censurable brevity is practised in various other instances. We
* Nor is there any glossary of agricultural provincialisms, nor any plates, though in one place le refers to a plate.