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effusion of blood. The sword of justice must never be sheathed; it must never be withdrawn from the eyes of the multitude; the stain of blood must never be wiped from it. But in spite of the shackles imposed upon it by habit, religion, or whatever other cause, the expansive powers of the human mind will occasionally burst forth. In his own palace, amongst his most servile flatterers, an Oriental monarch finds his most formidable enemy. Some one possessed of an adventurous spirit and more than ordinary talents, easily wins over to his party the officers of the court and army,-who can have no real attachment to their sovereign, for whom we fear we cannot love), and a single battle places him on the throne of his master. Such is the simple history of the revolutions of Asia. It was thus that the caliphs of Bagdad were supplanted by the dynasty of the Samanides; they in no long time made room for the Gaznevides; who were again driven out by the Seljukians, or shepherd kings. After a period of years diversified only by revolutions and conquests of a similar nature, Zingis, of an origin the most obscure, extended his conquests and his dominion from the Caspian to the Indus, from the deserts of Arabia to the frontiers of China. Tamerlane, in later days, trod in the steps, and expelled the descendants, of Zingis; his posterity still exists at Delhi, in the person of the unfortunate Shaw Aulum; while in the northern and western parts of Asia, other conquerors arose, the founders of those families who at this moment sway the Persian and Turkish sceptres.
Allowance being made for the difference between European and Asiatic habits and manners, Bonaparte will be found to bear a striking resemblance to an Oriental conqueror. In the few virtues he possesses, and in his numerous vices (the love of pleasure and the fair sex alone excepted), he is the counterpart of an Asiatic despot; the greatest of whom have generally been ferocious tyrants, with some real virtues, but more which existed only in the speeches of a courtly flatterer, or the fulsome paneygric of a slavish historian. We could enlarge upon this subject, and draw a striking parallel; but having perhaps already said too much, we shall proceed to Mr. Burdon's 'Advertisement,' which begins by telling us that his work will be found interesting to all descriptions of readers; this puts us in mind of those empirics who palm their trash upon the ignorant vulgar as a specific for every disease. In the preface also we are told, that the sources from which this attempt at history' (as it is properly called) is derived, are neither common nor generally accessible,' and that they have been collected at great expence.' We therefore took it up in the ardent hope of finding it full of valuable information, and interesting from its novelty, but we were soon disappointed; we
met with little else than a collection of stories which we have known by heart for several years;—such as that of the rector of Salo, who died on hearing the cries of the wounded soldiers who were buried alive by the order of Bonaparte; the massacre of the Turks at Jaffa, and the tale of the old Janissary, both of which are copied word for word from sir Robert Wilson's account of the expedition to Egypt; the murder of the municipality of Pavia, as it was posted up on many a pump, and many a street-corner, eighteen months ago, to excite the ardour of the common peo ple on the apprehension of an immediate invasion. The description of the passage of the Alps, and of the battle of Marengo, with the 'cannon-balls tearing up the ground between the feet of Bona parte's horse,' we recollected to have read before in exactly the same words: but when we got to the end of the volume, the difficulty was solved; for there Mr. Burdon, with unaccountable inconsistency, gives us a list of the books from which he has composed (he should have said, compiled) this volume. Among these books, which are so expensive and so difficult of access, are L'Ambigu, par M. Peltier,' which is published in London, and the annual subscription to which is 41. 4s.: the Trial of John Peltier;' the second volume of the Revolutionary Plutarch; the New Annual Register;' the Intercepted Correspondence, French and English;' 'Life of Bonaparte, by Sarrat;' 'Precis des Evénemens Militaires, par Dumas;' and several others equally expensive and equally inaccessible: that is to say, which are to be procured at the average price of five or six shillings per volume, at every bookseller's shop in the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.
Our author also informs us in his preface, that he publishes this volume in order to recant his former opinions: which, it seems, were highly in favour of Bonaparte; and which were given to the world some time ago, in a book entitled 'Materials for Thinking. It is the hard lot of reviewers to become acquainted with many a book that deserves only to be washed in Lethe, and forgotten;' but as we have so lately imposed upon ourselves that unenviable office, we have no' hesitation in confessing our entire ignorance of the Materials for Thinking: we have made inquiries about it, but in vain; it is therefore our opinion that Mr. Burdon might have spared himself the 'unpleasant duty of a recantation.' Guarded by the Telamonian shield of obscurity, he might have defied the shafts of censure. He says that whether on the whole he is ac quitted or condemned, will always remain a matter of comparative indifference to him.' He may, indeed, be perfectly easy; for who will trouble himself to be the judge?-Again; "I deliver my sentiments more from a desire of doing good (i. e. to myself), than merely from a vain motive of applause." CRIT. REV. Vol. 4. March, 1805. T
A very prudent choice! 'solid pudding' is at any time better than 'empty praise :'
"Quærenda punia primùm ;
Gloria post nummos.'
That we have not misconstrued the author's real meaning, however he might wish the above extract to be understood, let the first lines of the 'Notes' at the end of the book attest. 'A Life of Bonaparte has lately been published by a lieutenant Sarratt, which contains so many mis-statements, misrepresentations, and false assertions' (is not this giving the lie direct to lieutenant Sarratt?), that I should never have noticed it, had not my bookseller informed me that near a thousand copies of it had been sold! a proof how eager the public are to read any thing relating to Bonaparte, and how little they trouble themselves,' &c. &c. Right! Mr. Burdon: since the public labours under a disorder which induces it to swallow with greediness every kind of trash,-like a true quack, minister to its cravings, even to repletion.
We should presume that this writer (to proceed with our simile) does not make up medicines, but only prescribes; and that, after having selected his ingredients, he has put them into the hands of some of those literary apothecaries with whom this metropolis abounds. If so, he ought to have confined them strictly to his prescription, and prohibited them from inserting observations of their own; or, if those gentry think themselves entitled to the privilege of swelling the books they are employed upon, by stuff spun out of their own brains, he ought to have bribed them to omission. Some of their observations are not worthy to appear in print; such as the following novel and profound remarks:
I abhor, and therefore I have taken no pains to understand military affairs, for I must ever consider the glory obtained by the destruction of the species, an object rather of aversion than of exultation and triumph; and whenever necessity compels us to lift our arm against our fellow-creatures, nothing but self-preservation can justify the deed, and nothing but the sense of being preserved should make us review our conduct with any degree of com-. placency.' P. 17.
And again :
The battle of the bridge of Lodi was the next great atchievement of Bonaparte; and for this he has been severely blamed by those who are more desirous to find fault than to reflect; yet, as a soldier, we must acquit him, though, as a man, he may be condemned for being a soldier. Offensive war must ever be contrary to the principles of justice and humanity, yet those who are engaged on either side, are compelled to act according to the best of their judgment, to serve the cause in which they are employed; a general,
therefore, cannot be expected to calculate exactly how many men he shall lose or save in any particular action: he must endeavour to obtain his purpose by the best means in his power, consistent with' the laws of war; yet he must be careful not to throw away the lives of his men without an adequate object, or without a prospect of success, for such heedless temerity is not merely sacrifice, it is murder.' P. 21.
We do not recollect from which of the above-mentioned books Mr. Burdon has borrowed his account of the Chamber of Hell; but as it may afford entertainment to some of our readers, we shall extract it.
The Chambre d'Enfer, or Chamber of Hell, so called by those who have visited this gloomy abode, is a long, dark, damp room, ten feet under ground, into which all those who had been arrested on suspicion were thrust with indiscriminate barbarity, and kept on bread and water for forty-eight or ninety-six hours, till it was supposed their bodies and their minds were so exhausted as to make them confess or sign any thing they might be required. From this chamber they were conducted through another, profusely lighted, displaying all the instruments and evidences of torture, to be examined by Fouché or Real, and Bonaparte himself generally attended in an adjoining closet, where he could hear all that passed. If these wretched prisoners had nothing to confess, or would confess nothing, they were remanded to their former abode to wait a second examination, and, in the mean time, were put to the experiment of the rack: they who confessed were seldom more heard of; and they who were supposed innocent, only procured their acquittal by large sums of money, and by signing a testimony to the honesty and humanity of the government, which was kept in the hands of the police. All these measures of severity and precaution, so far from encreasing the security of the tyrant, served only to make him more detested, and to unite all parties in a wish for the restoration. of monarchy. Among the number of those unhappy people who. had principally excited his jealousy and suspicion, it is not to be; wondered that the modest and virtuous Moreau should be found; but to the surprise and horror of all Europe, it was heard that he had dared to arrest him: he was first committed to the Abbey, and in three days after to the Temple. He was taken in his carriage, on the road from his country house to Paris; and it is said that when general Moncey, at the head of fifty gens-d'armes, ordered the coachman to stop, Moreau coolly put his head out of the window, and told him to drive to the Abbey; to which the man with ho nest warmth replied, "No, general, they may take you there that will, not I;" on which he dismounted from the box, and one of the soldiers, by order of general Moncey, took his place.' P. 233.
We fear that the nine pages beginning with page 220, prove Mr. Burdon to be but a shallow politician; as page 267 shows, that he is a superficial historian. Pages 248 and 249, though probably intended for grave reasoning and fine declamation, are puerile. In short, we can find no argument of depth, no res
mark of novelty, in the whole book. Of the style we shall say but little; it deserves no violent censure, and certainly no violent praise. What kind of logic is this?-
If we persevere without wavering in our purpose, we must ultimately be successful; and though success is not always the test of merit, yet, if reason is the test of truth, it cannot be doubted, even though we should not, that we ought to succeed.' P. 223.
Neither is Mr. Burdon very correct in his language, in page 276:
But if we must find a parallel for him in the history of antiquity, let us rather liken him to the cruel and crafty Philip, than to his generous and, magnanimous son, though he has the worst parts of both, without being exactly like either.'
He talks of the lust of concupiscence.' We suspected the words 'lust' and 'concupiscence' to be synonimous; and found our suspicions confirmed by Dr. Johnson.
Mr. Burdon is a great sceptic; he entertains great doubts whether the sum total of the advantage which has resulted from the French expedition to Egypt, either to the natives of that country or the rest of the world, can balance the fatal precedent of so gross an attack upon the laws of society.' But after much deliberation pro and con, he apprehends, in the next page, that 'upon the whole, the evils which the army, and the natives of Egypt endured, from the first departure of the expedition, till the French finally evacuated the country, infinitely overbalance any trifling advantages which may be derived to any of the parties concerned.'
The reflections on sir Sidney Smith are weak, illiberal, and unjust; those on Djezzar Pacha (or, as Mr. Burdon affectedly calls, him, 'the Djezzar') are equally so, and shew that the writer is but inadequately acquainted with Turkish customs. They are also inconsistent with the partial encomiums which he himself occasionally, and perhaps deservedly, bestows on the tyrant whose life he records.
No opportunity is omitted of making us acquainted with the author's attachment to liberty, his aversion from the cause of kings, and his anxious desire for reform and melioration in all monarchical governments. We read in page 17, that the Austrians were superior to the French in every thing but the justice of their cause, and the genius of their commander.' Soon afterwards we are told that the splendid campaign of 1797 taught the coalesced powers that French valour and a good cause were advantages against which the cause of princes could oppose but a feeble resistance. Had the conduct of the French been equal to their professions, and worthy of the cause in-which they were engaged,' &c, Pages 72 and 207 display the