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have fuffered themselves to be tranfported to lengths which reflect difgrace and odium on their party, it behoves the body of Diffenters to come forward with that public avowal of their difap. probation of thefe measures, which fo many refpectable individuals among them have long declared in the freedom of private converfation.
The prefent Apology for the Diffent ers, or rather the Unitarian Diffenters, is little calculated to do away the reproach which the effervescence of the writer of it has drawn upon them. Impartiality and candour will confider it as the hafty effufion of difappointment, refentment, vexation, and ftoical forti. tude, the offspring of an aspiring, overbearing mind, or the ftubborn pride of human-nature, or of a fpirit which actuated too many of the Puritans in the Jaft century, and-too much to be lamented-has found a metempfychofis in the prefent.
Till, therefore, the nation can forget thefe ftubborn facts (and it will require no fhort period to bury them in oblivion, or calm the public mind), it would be better to reflect in filent forrow on the madnefs of the people, and. on the caufes which urged it.
A LOVER OF HIS COUNTRY AND
moft atrocious calumny that was ever laid before the publick, I feel it my duty immediately to contradict it in the moft pointed terms. I do therefore declare, that the narrative of the proceedings of the Birmingham Conftitutional Dinner is materially untrue; and that the account given of the first toaft is a moft flagrant falfhood: it was, "The King and Conftitution.”
The meeting broke-up without the leaft riot or difturbance.-That the publick may judge whether the proceedings of the day, and the toafts, were or were not reprehenfible, the following true narrative is now produced, the authenticity and truth of which I will vouch for.
The proceedings of the day were preceded by an advertisement in the Birmingham Chronicle. (See it p_674).
In the morning, however, after this was published, many rumours of the probability of a riot were brought to the friends of the meeting, and, as there
was too much reafon to think that means had been used to promote one, they de termined to poftpone the intended din ner, and accordingly agreed to put it off, and prepared a hand-bill for that purpose. (See this alfo in p. 675).
This was fent to the printer; but, be fore he had compofed it, Mr. Dadley, the mafter of the hotel, attended, in confequence of having the dinner countermanded, and reprefented, that he was fure there was no danger of any tumult, and recommended that the dinner might be had as was intended; only propofing, that the gentlemen fhould take care to break-up early, and then all danger would be avoided. This measure was then adopted, and orders given to the printer to fupprefs the hand-bill. Accordingly, there was a meeting of 81 gentlemen, inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood, at the Great Room in the hotel, where they dined, and pafled the afternoon with that focial, temperate, and benevolent teftivity, which the confideration of the great event, that has diffufed liberty and happineis among a large portion of the human race, infpired.
The following toafls were drunk, and were agreeably intermixed with longs, compofed and fung by fome of the com
1. The King and Conftitution.
2. The National Affembly and Patriots of France, whofe virtue and wisdom hove
condition of fubjects of defpotiim to the dignty and happiness of freemeu.
3. The ajefty of the People.
4. May t New Conftitution of France, be rendered perfect and perpetual L
5. May Great Britain, Ireland, and France, unite in perpetual friendship! and may their only rivalship be the extenfion of l'eace and Liberty, Wifdom and Virtue!
6. The Rights of Man Mav all nations have the wildom to understand, and the courage to affert and defend them!
7. The true Friends of the Constitution of this Country, who wish to preferve its fpirit by correcting its abutes.
8. May the People of England never cease to remonftrare till their aliament becomes a true National Reprefentation! 9. The Prince of Wales.
10. The United States of America. May they for ever enjoy the Liberty which they have fo honourably acquired!
11. May the late Revolution in Poland
prove the harbinger of a more perfet fyftem of Liberty extending to that great kingdoin!
12. May the Nations of Europe become fo enlightened as never more to be deluded into
Lavage wars bythe mad ambition of their rulers!
13. May the fword be never unsheathed but for the defence and liberty of our country! and then may every man caft away the fcabbard until the people are fafe and free!
14. To the glorious memory of Hampden and Sydney, and other heroes of all ages and nations, who have fought and bird for liberty,
15. To the memory of Dr. Price, and of
all thofe illuftrious fages who have enlight ened mankind on the true principles of civil Society.
16. Peace and good-will to all mankind. 17. Profperity to the town of Birmingham. 18. A happy meeting to all the Friends of Liberty on the 14th of July, 1792.
It is but juftice to the liberality and public fpirit of an ingenious Artift of this town to mention, that he decorated the room upon this occafion with three elegant emblematic pieces of fculpture, mixed with painting, in a new ftyle of compofition. The central piece was a finely-executed medallion of his Majefty, encircled with a glory, on each fide of which was an alabafter obelisk; one exhibiting Gallic Liberty breaking the bands of Defpotifm; and the other reprefenting British Liberty in its pre. fent enjoyment.
A truly refpectable gentleman, a member of the Church of England, was chairman-others of that profeffion were of the company; nor was a fingle fentiment uttered, or, I believe, conceived, that would hurt the feelings of any one friend to liberty and good governinent, under the happy Conftitution we are bleffed with in this kingdom.-I aver this to be a true and juft reprefentation of the proceedings, which have been fo fcandaloufly mifreprefented in the Paper abovementioned, and am, Sir, Yours, &c. WILLIAM RUSSEL. Mr. URBAN,
OD forbid that any man fhould cxult in the late devaftations at Birmingham! Let us all make the cafe his *own, and be thankful that the horrors have not been extended in this happy ifle, as they are continually repeating in diftracted France.
But it is impoffible, Mr. Urban, not to indulge one reflexion; that the adrocates for Revolution are, in one leading inftance, involved in the confufion we muft all have waded through to accomplish their defigns. "Their mifchief has returned upon their own head, and their violent dealing is come down upon their own pate." The people of England feel their own
happiness, and are not to be led by the delufions of a few mifguided zealots, who do not diftinguish between fpeculation and practice. These outrages do 1780 in the Capital, in plunder and the not originate or terminate, like those of release of mifcreants; they are the rude effufions of the popular mind, expreffing their high difapprobation of innovations in the religion and polity of their country. It is the national language reechoing that of the old Barons of this land. How different is the language of the English populace from that of the French, let this inftance speak in founds too forcible ever to be forgotten by the friends of OLD ENGLAND!
Dr. Priestley has lived to fee his favourite doctrines exploded; his chemiftry, founded on a mistake in a Scotch profeflor, detected; and his perfon, long held, as himself confeffes, in deteftation, expofed with his property to the fury of that populace whofe favour he has been all along courting, but who prefer their old rulers and leaders to new lords over their confciences, guides of their opinions. If they have been deluded for a moment, the frong fenfe and spirit of Englishmen have thaken off the delufion, and refifted the innovation.
That the imprudent (and this is a very gentle appellation of it) conduct of the friends of the Revolution, in a town where they must have known they had fo few adherents and abettors, was the oftenfible pretence for thefe excelles, cannot be denied: but it is not lets evident that the form has been long brewing for the devoted head of their leader, who has provoked it to burst on himself and followers by every outrage of language and publication. His principles ought to have been as publicly ditavowed by the Diffenters as many men of moderation among them have privately wifhed him to curb his career. They certainly, as they, love themselves and good order, and as they would tranfmit their names with honour to pofterity, fhould come forward with an unequivo cal declaration, how contrary their real fentiments are to thofe which his effervefcence has afcribed to thein.
I thank Cod that I have lived to fee this test of the integrity and good principle of my countrymen; and my earneft hope and prayer is, to live to fee faction, fedition, and innovation, in every form and difguife, completely extinguished, while I can fubtcribe myfelf AN ENGLISHMAN. Mr.
believe, viz. my coming in the clouds of
Heaven." Scott's Chriftian Life, vol. III. p. 531-Dr. Doddridge, most amiable and pleafing commentator on all thefe fubjects that I know of, in a note upon the fame text, expreffes himself thus: "In thefe words, bereafter ye ball fee the son of man, &c. there seems a plain reference to the view in which the Son of Man is reprefented, Dan. vii. 13, 14, where he is faid to come with the clouds of Heaven to receive a dominion, &c. or to appear, as God did on Mount Sinai, in a chariot of clouds, attended by angelic hosts. Our Lord looked very unlike this perfon now to his infatuated adverfaries: but nothing could be more aweful, majeftic, and becoming, than fuch an admonition in fuch circumftances."
Dr. Gill, upon the phrafe Thou hast faid, has a note, very explicit and fatisfactory to thofe who think that there is any needful, wherein he, as an inftance that this was "a way of fpeaking in ufage among the Jews, when what was afked was affented to as truth," cites from a Jewish writer, that, it being faid to a certain perfon, Is Rabbi dead? He replied to them, Ye have faid; and they rent their cloaths." Upon the circumftance of the adjuration, ver. 63, those commentators obferve, that the Highprieft had a right in this manner to adminifter fuch an oath, upon any doubtful cafe, to which there is reference, Lev. v. I; and, as in the cafe here referred to, fo in all others, it could not be evaded; but when any "beard the voice of fwearing" he was obliged to declare the truth; which, accordingly, our Blessed Saviour plainly and fully complied with. Yours, &c.
HAVING heard a fermon lately, in which a very folemn fubje&t was expatiated upon from the pulpit with a very confiderable miftake; I beg leave, through the medium of your Publication, to point out an error, which, having myfelf very much given up my time to the ftudy of Theology, I was, I muft confefs, rather furprized to find in the difcourfe of a very pious, amiable, and intelligent man.
In short, he ascribed to the meek charader of our Redeemer the feeming ambiguity of the reply, Thou fayef, or, Thou baft faid, when adjured by the High-prieft, in the name of the Mott High God, to declare if he was the Cbrif; whereas, in fact, this was but the ordinary mode of direct affirmation, according to the ufual phrafeology of the Jews in those times. Allo, in the Gofpel of St. Mark, the words I am are ufed; and our Bleffed Saviour was fo far from declining to affume his real title of the Mellias, upon this occafion, that he added immediately after, that, "nevertheless (that is, nevertheless, for their prefent triumph over his innocence and facred rights), a time would come when they bould fee bim fitting on the rightband of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven. Upon which text the learned Dr. Scott, in his chapter, intituled, "Chrift's Regal Acts," very minutely and curicufly elucidates the paffage as follows: "In this manner do the Jews expect the coming of their Meffias, as appears by that glofs of one of their antient Mafters on Dan. vii. 13, Si meruerint Judai, veniet in nubibus cali; which Raymund, Pug. Fid. thus explains: "If ever the Jews deferve that the Meffias fhould come, he thall come gloriously, according to the Prophet Daniel, in the clouds of Heaven." And it seems very probable that the great offence which the High-prieft took at our Saviour's faying, that they bould hereafter fee him coming in the clouds of Heaven, Matt. xxvi. 64, 65, was this, that it was a tradition among them that the Meffias fhould fo come, and that therefore he looked upon that faying of our Saviour as a blafphemous pretence to his being the Meffias; as much as if he should have faid, though I have done enough already to convince you that I am the Meffias, yet you fhall hereafter fee that very fign of my being the Meffias, upon which you fo much depend, and without which you will not GENT. MAG. July, 1791.
N communicating the refult of enquiry at
the birth place of
That "Bard, who at one view Could look the whole creation through," perhaps I may afford entertainment to fome at leaft of the numerous readers of the Gentleman's Magazine.
AN OLD WAINSCOT CHAIR, or more properly, I might have faid, the remaining part, which tradition had handed down as having been the property of the immortal SHAKSPEARE, and which ftood in the very house in which he was born, was fold on the 28th of November,
When I first visited Stratford, Mr. Urban, now fome time fince, I was fhewn (as I understood all firangers were whole curiofity led them to call at the house) this chair, had the honour of fitting in it; and the people of the houfe cut from one of the feet, and prefented to me, a fmall chip, which I muft own I was not Virtuofo enough carefully to preferve, as there appeared to me a degree of improbability in fuppofing this chair fhould have continued there for near wo
centuries, though fixed in the wall, and bearing evident marks of antiquity, or that it was ever the one, as fome have fuppofed, in which our Great Poet firft repofed, when Each change of many-coloured life he drew, Exhaufted worlds, and then imagin'd new.
But, to return to my information. In February last, the Interpreter again vifited Stratford, faid a doubt had arifen refpecting the authenticity of the relick, that it was purchafed for the faid Princefs, and that her Highne's requested a certificate, fetting forth that it was the fame chair fhe had feen and fat in in the fummer of 1790; which certificate was granted, figned by Thomas Hart, John Warilow, Auftin Warilow, and John Jordan +.
Refpecting the celebrated MULBERRY-TREE planted by Shakspeare, the relation of the following anecdote led me to make fome enquiries: A gentleman, paffing through Stratford, called at the houfe of a Mr. Sharp, a cutler, who, it is well known, procured some of the mulberry-wood after the tree was cut down by Mr. Gafell, and who, without doubt, has received, and continues to receive, confiderable emolument from vending a variety of articles, fuch as toys, &c. faid to be made of that wood. Taking up a tobacco-ftopper, from amongst other articles which he had intended to purchafe, and on which was indented, as is on all the toys, &c. Shakspeare's weed, he thus interrogated the perfon attending: "Will you swear, Sir, that this tobacco ftopper was ever a part of the original mulberry-tree planted by Shakspeare?" "No, Sir," replied the young man, "I will not fwear it; but my father will." This young man was Sharp's fon!" But, Mr. Urban, notwithstanding this anecdote was related to me as a ftubborn fact, I have weighty reafons to believe I fhould mifinform you, were I to fay Sharp has not, at this time, in his fhop a quantity of the wood in toys, &c. as well as unconverted; for of this tree (which, it is fuppofed, was planted by Shakspeare about the year 1609, and was cut down by Mr. Galtrell in 1757, being then grown to an enormous fize, and part of the body decayed), there were many large boughs preferved which were perfectly found, fome of which were fent to the fhop of George Willes, a joiner, who is now living at Stratford, to be converted by him, at Mr. Gaftrell's requeft, into an eafy chair; but thefe branches having remained with Willes unconverted until after Mr. Gaftrell's death, they were then purchased by Sharp. The body of the tree was cut up, ftacked amongst others as fire-wood, and as fuch fold to different perfons; but Sharp, I am informed, had the greateft part of it, which is fuppofed to have been about 20 cwt.
The late Thomas Mortiboys, eiq. had feveral pieces, out of which was carved that elegant box, prefented by the Corporation of Stratford to David Garrick, eiq. in 1769. After the decease of Mr. Mortiboys, amongst his effects, which were fold, Sharp again became the purchaler of all that remained of this cele
*Thomas Hart is fifth in defcent from Joan Hart, Shakspeare's fifter. MALONE. + John Jordan, whofe fignature is annexed to this certificate, is a man well informed, though in an humble station of life (a journeyman wheelwright); is the author of a poem, called, "Wellcombe Hills," &c.; was employed by, and collected for, Mr. Malone, many valuable materials for his Shakspeare; for which contributions, much to the honour of that gentleman, he has been liberally rewarded; and Mr. M. ftill continues his alfiftance to Jordan's family at this time, by Dr. Davenport, Vicar of Stratford, paying for the education of his children, and promifing his future fupport. I acknowledge my felf indebted to Mr. Jordan for part of my infor
brated wood, giving for it one fhilling per pound.
The firit idea of Sharp's manufactory
was fuggefted by George Cooper, a
A in last miniature of by
Magazine, p. 399, has made fome ftrictures refpecting the originality of the portrait of Milton, in the poffeffion of Sir Joshua Reynolds, on which I beg leave to make fome obfervations. That your readers may have a distinct view of the question, I fhall transcribe the writing which is on the back of the picture:
"This picture belonged to Deborah Mil ton, who was her father's amanuenfis; at her death it was fold to Sir William Dave
nant's family: it was painted by Mr. Samuel Cooper, who was painter to Oliver Cromwell at the time Milton was Latin Secretary to the Protector. The Painter and Poet were near of the fame age (Milton was born in 1608, and died in 1674; Cooper was born in 1609, and died in 1672 ;), and were companions and friends till death parted them. Several encouragers and lovers of the fine arts at that time wanted this picture, particularly Lord Dorfet, John Somers, efq. Sir Robert Howard, Dryden, Atterbury, Dr. Aldrich, and Sir John Denham."
There is no reason to think (notwithftanding Mr. Warton's fuppofition, that Lord Dorfet was probably the lucky man who purchased the picture) that it ever was in Lord Dorfet's poffeffion. Vertue, indeed, had defired Prior to fearch in his Lordship's collection for this miniature, probably from the fuggeftion of Richardfon, whofe fon Jonathan informed Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he had heard his father fay, that there was fomewhere a
Your critick first obferves, that Deborah Milton, dying in 1727, all thofe encouragers and lovers of the fine arts, here mentioned, were dead long before that time. Secondly, he remarks, that the picture could not belong to the Dorfet family in 1720, which belonged to Deborah Milton in 1727. He afks like wife, what can be meant by the miniature having been fold to the family of Sir William Davenant, as the memorandum bears fo late a date as 1727? These objections, I will fuppofe for the credit of the writer, would not have been made if he had feen the print, under which he would have found the following remark:
"The manufcript on the back of the picture appears to have been written fome time before the year 1693, when Mr. Somers was knighted, and afterwards crested Baron Evelham, which brings it within nineteen years after Milton's death. I he writer was mistaken in fuppofing Deborah Milton was dead at that time; the lived till 1727, but in indigence and obfcurity, married to a weaver in Spitalfields."
he was told, was a remarkable fine picture, but that he himself had never feen it. Perhaps Lord Dorfet was thought likely to have been the poffeffor of this picture, because he formed a large collection of portraits of the most eminent men of his time, which are still to be feen at Knowle. I cannot avoid adding, that the prefent Duke, with equal refpect to genius and talents, and with ftill more skill in the art, continues this plan; and to this collection of his anceftor has added the portraits of Dr. Johnfon, Dr. Goldfinith, Mr. Garrick, and many others.-The third objection is eafily answered: there is no date at all to the memorandum; and, fo far from its bearing fo late a date as 1727, it is very apparent it was written before the year 1693, and that the writer of it was probably Sir William Davenant's fon, who was at this time 37 years old; and the picture may be fuppofed to be at that time wanted by Lord Dorfet, John Somers, Efq. &c. The critick fays, "I never had an opportunity of feeing the original miniature in queftion, and, unfortunately, the print by Mifs Watfon has never fallen in my way; but I fhould wish to know whether the drop ferene be visible in it, as in Faithorne's drawing, and in the buft. The date on the miniature is 1652, by which time Milton had become utterly blind."
In regard to the drop ferene, we can affure your correfpondent that it is not vifible in the miniature, and that he is miftaken in faying that it is visible in the crayon picture by Faithorne; and that it is visible in the buff, as he affirms, is truly ridiculous. Milton himself fays, that, though he had loft his fight, it was not perceptible to others; and that his eyes preferved their original luftre.
The date on the picture is 1653, and not 1652. This inaccuracy is of no great confequence: but how did he know that there was any date at all, as he lays he never faw the picture?
That Deborah Milton recognized her