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THE

CRITICAL REVIEW.

For JULY, 1790.

Oeuvres Pofthumes de Frederic II. Roi de Prue, en is Tomes. Oeuvres Pofthumes de Frederic II. Roi de Pruffe.

Pofthumous Works of Frederic II.

(Continued from Vol. LXIX. p. 489.)

N our review of the Mifcellaneous Works of Frederick, we muft neceffarily be more concise than in our examination of the former volumes; nor is it of importance to analyze these fugitive productions; the ebullitions of genius, and the effusions of a momentary fancy. A few of the more ferious parts may detain us a little longer.

Soon after the publication of the Berlin edition of the king's pofthumous works, another appeared at Bafil, more full in many parts, and arranged fomewhat differently. We perceive that the English editor, from a wifh probably of rendering his copy more complete, has kept each edition in his view; and has added from the latter what was omitted in the former. In the fifth volume the variations begin to appear, and we shall point them out as they occur. The firft effay in this volume (it is the fecond in the fixth volume of the Berlin copy), is on the forms of government. Union, we are told, was fuggefted to the scattered families, who were neceffarily the aborigenes of every country, for the fake of defence; laws regulated this union; and * the fole reafon which induced men to allow of and elect a fuperior was the preservation of the laws.' Various forms of government were derived from that general inftinct, which leads men' to procure for themselves the greateft poffible happiness ;* and those, our author tells us, who feized violently on governments, and reversed the laws, were denominated tyrants. Frederick did not know that the word, which fignified a king, was in Rome Tyrannus, and in Greece Tugavos; that it acquired its bad fenfe from the rooted averfion these republicans had to the kingly power, rather than the misconduct of the fovereigns. A king, in our author's view, is indeed the head of his people, but he is the head only, that he may provide for their wants, protect them from danger, and contribute to their happiness: FreVOL. LXX. July, 1790. derick

B

derick even comes near the language of the moft violent modern demagogues, and confiders the king as the fervant of the state, and inculcates, with equal zeal, though we fear from different motives, an univerfal and unlimited toleration. On the whole, both in defign and execution, this is an admirable effay, and difplays great extent of knowledge, goodness of heart, moderation, and philanthropy. It was written in 1781.

The Dialogues of the Dead, which follow in the English and the Berlin editions, are three only. The firft is between the duke of Marlborough, prince Eugene, and prince Wenceslaus Lichtenstein, a modern general, who greatly improved the artillery.. It is not written in the pure claffical tafte, but contains much good fenfe and farcastic pleasantry on modern generals, and modern improvements. Eugene and Marlborough are the heralds of each others fame: they could never be rivals, or mean detractors. In one part of this dialogue, where Lichtenstein fpeaks of the decifions of the Encyclopedifts, our author is almoft a prophet:

"LICHTENSTEIN. Much more than you imagine; for they exclaim against all the fciences, their own calculations only excepted. Poetry is a frivolous art, from which every thing fabulous must be banified. A poet ought not rhyme with energy, except it be equations in algebra. Thofe who tread the paths of hiftory muit walk backward, and must begin with the prefent age in order to understand the flate of the world before the deluge. Governments are all to be changed. France is to become a republic, and a mathematician is to be her legiflator; while thefe governing mathematicians are to render all the operations of the new republic fubject to and have them examined by the doctrine of infinites. This republic is to maintain continual peace, and to exift

without an army.

The fecond Dialogue is between Choifeul, Struenzee, and Socrates; but any other name would be more fuitable; for Socrates does not retain his peculiar manner in this dialogue. The first boasts of his intrigues, the fecond of his stupifying the king with opium, while he feized the fupreme power; and the third condemns both. The beft part of this dialogue is the vain-glorious boasting of the duke de Choiseul.

The third is an admirable dialogue, faid to be the production of Voltaire, between Marcus Aurelius and a recollet Friar.Let us extract a part of it:

FRIAR.. It is very evident you have come a great way, fince you do not know friar Fulgentius, the famous recollet, the inhabitant of the capitol, who fometimes fpeaks to the pope as amiliarly as I now fpeak to you. 'Cardinals come to visit my

cell,

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