Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

of the maniac blasts from their caverns? And We should be sorry to stake our faith in s why does the former operation end exactly higher Power on Mr. Robert Montgomery's when the latter commences ?

logic. Does he believe that lightning, and babWe cannot stop over each of Mr. Robert bles, and the phenomena of dreams, are designMontgomery's descriptions. We have a ship- less and self-created? If he does, we cannot wrecked sailor, who “visions a viewless temple conceive why he may not believe that the whole in the air;"-a murderer, who stands on a universe is designless and self-created. A few heath, “with ashy lips, in cold convulsion lines before, he tells us that it is the Deity who spread;"—a pious man, to whom, as he lies in bids “thurder rattle from the skiey deep." bed at night,

His theory is therefore this, that God made the

thunder, but that the lightning made itself. “The panorama of past life appears,

into tears;" But Mr. Robert Montgomery's metaphysics

are not at present our game. He proceeds to a traveller, who lose:. his way, owing to the

set forth the fearful effects of atheism. thickness of the “cloud-battalion," and the want of “heaven-lamps, to beam their holy “Then, blood-stain’d Murder, bare thy hideous arm, light.” We have a description of a convicted

And thon, Rebellion, welter in thy storm:

Awake, ye spirits of avenging crime; selon, stolen from that incomparable passage in Burst from your bonds, and battle with the time!" Crabbe's Borough, which has made inany a rough and cynical reader cry like a child. We fication, and belongs, we need not say, to that

Mr. Robert Montgomery is fond of personican, however, conscientiously declare, that school of poets who hold that nothing more is persons of the most excitable sensibility may necessary to a personification in poetry than to safely venture upon it in Mr. Robert Montgou begin a word with a capital letter. Murder mery's alteration. Then wa have the “ poor, may, without impropriety, bare her arm, -as mindless, pale-faced, maniac boy," who

she did long ago, in Mr. Campbell's Plessures “Rolls his vacant eye,

of Hope. But what possible motive Rebellion To greet the glowing fancies of the sky." can have for weltering in her storm,- what What are the glowing fancies of the sky ? avenging crime may be,—who its spirits may And what is the meaning of the two lines which be,- why they should burst from their bonds, almost immediately follow ?

--what their bonds may be,-why they should

battle with the lime, what the time may be, “A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods,

-and what a battle between the time and the He loves to commune with the fields and foods."

spirits of avenging crime would resemble, te How can a soulless thing be a spirit? Then must confess ourselves quite unable to undercomes a panegyric on the Sunday. A baptism stand. follows:-after that a marriage; and we then procced, in due course, to the visitation of the

“And here let Memory turn her tearful glance

On the dark hortors' of tumultuous France, sick, and the burial of the dead.

When blood and blasphemy defiled her land, Often as death has been personified, Mr.

And fierce Rebellion shook her savage hand." Montgomery has found something new to say Whether Rebellion shakes her own hands about him.

shakes the hand of Memory, or shakes the “O Death: thou dreadless vanquisher of earth,

hand of France, or what any one of the meta The Elements shrank blasted at thy birth! phors would mean, we know no more than we Careering round the world like tempest wind,

know what is the sense of the following passMartyrs before, and victims strew'd behind; Ages on ages cannot grapple thee,

age: Dragging the world into eternity!"

“Let the foul orgies of infuriate crime If there be any one line in this passage about

Picture the raging havoc of that time, which we are more in the dark than about the

When leagued Rebellion march'd to kindle man,

Fright in her rear, and Murder in her van. rest, it is the fourth. What the difference may And thou, sweel flower of Ausria, slaughtered be between the victims and the martyrs, and

Queen, why the martyrs are to lie before Death, and

Who dropped no tear upon the dreadful scene,

When gushed the lise-blond from thine angel form, the victims behind nim, are to us great myste And martyr'd beauty perish'd in the storm, ries.

Once worshipp'd paragon of all who saw, We now come to the third part, of which we

Thy look obedience, and thy smile a law," &c. may say with honest Cassio, "Why, this is a What is the distinction between the foul orgies more excellent song than the other." Mr. Ro- and the raging havoc which the foul orgies are bert Montgomery is very severe on the infidels, to picture? Why does Fright go behind Re. and undertakes to prove that, as he elegantly bellion, and Murder before? Why should not expresses it,

Murder fall behind Fright? Or why should

not all the three walk abreast? We hare read "One great Enchanter helm'd the harmonious whole."

of a hero who had What an enchanter has to do with helming, or what a helm has to do with harmony, we do

“Amazement in his van, with Flight combined,

And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind." not quite understand. He proceeds with his argument thus:

Gray, we suspect, could have given a reason " And dare men dream that dismal Chance has frained for disposing the allegorical attendants of Ed All that the eye perceives, or tongue has named;

ward thus. But to proceed." Flower of Aus. The spacious world, and all its wonders, born tria” is stolen from Byron. “Dropped" is Designless, self-created, and forlorn; Like to the flashing bubbles on a stream,

false English. “Perish'd in the storm" means Fire from the cloud, or phantom in a dream ?”

nothing at all; and thy look obedience" means

the very reverse of what Ms. Robert Montgo- ner of the Morning Post-can produce emolu. nery intends to say.

ment and fame? The circulation of this Our poet then proceeds to demonstrate the writer's poetry has been greater than that of immortality of the soul:

Southey's Roderic, and beyond all comparison

greater than that of Carey's Dante, or of ihe “And shall the soul, the fount of reason, die, best works of Coleridge. Thus encouraged, When dust and darkness round its temple lie ?

Mr. Robert Montgomery has favoured the pubDid God breathe in it no ethereal fire, Dimless and quenchless, though the breath expire."

lic with volume after volume. We have given

so much space to the examination of his first The soul is a fountain; and therefore it is not and most popular performance, that we have to die, though dust and darkness lie round its none to spare for his Universal Prayer, and his semple, because an ethereal fire has been smaller poems, which, as the puffing journals breathed into it, which cannot be quenched tell us, would alone constitute a sufficient title though its breath expire. Is it the fountain, to literary immortality. We shall pass at once or the temple, that breathes, and has fire to his last publication, entitled Satan. breathed into it?

This poem was ushered into the world with Mr. Montgomery apostrophizes the

the usual roar of acclamation. But the thing

was now past a joke. Pretensions so un. " Immortal beacons,--spirits of the just.” fvunded, so impudent, and so successful, had

aroused a spirit of resistance. In several and describes their employments in another magazines and reviews, according's Satan world, which are to be, it seems, bathing in has been handled somewhat roughly, and the light, hearing fiery streams flow, and riding on

arts of the puffers have been exposed with living cars of lightning. The deathbed of the good sense and spirit. We shall, therefore, be sceptic is described with what we suppose is

very concise. meant for energy.

Of the two poems, we rather prefer that on

the Omnipresence of the Deity, for the same “ See how he shudders at the thought of death!

reason which induced Sir Thomas Moore to What doubt and horror hang upon his breath, The gibbering teeth, glazed eye, and marble limb.

rank one bad book above another. • Marry, Shades from the tomb stalk out and stare at him.” this is somewhat. This is rhyme. But the

A man as stiff as marble, shuddering and other is neither rhyme nor reason.” Satan is gibbering violently, would certainly present so in five or six ihousand lines of blank verse,

a long soliloquy, which the Devil pronounces curions a spectacle, that the shades, if they

concerning geography, politics, newspapers, came in his way, might well stare. We then have the deathbed of a Christian Sir Walter Scott's novels, Lord Byron's poetry,

fashionable society, theatrical amusements, made as ridiculous as false imagery and false and Mr. Martin's pictures. The new designs English can make it. But this is not enough: for Milton have, as was natural, particularly -The Day of Judgment is to be described,

attracted the attention of a personage who and a roaring cataract of nonsense is poured occupies so conspicuous a place in them. Mr forth upon this tremendous subject. Earth, we Martin must

be pleased to learn, that

, whatever are told, is dashed into Eternity. Furnace blazes wheel round the horizon, and burst into may be thought of those performances on

earth, they give full satisfaction in Pandemobright wizard phantoms. Racing hurricanes unroll and whirl quivering fire-clouds. The nium, and that he is there thought to have hit

off the likenesses of the various thrones and white waves gallop. Shadowy worlds career

dominations very happily. around. The red and raging eye of Imagination is then forbidden to pry further. But fur- from the Book of Job : Whence comest

The motto to the poem of Satan is taken ther Mr. Robert Montgomery persists in pry: thou? From going to and fro in the earth, and ing. The stars bound through the airy roar. walking up and down in it." And certainly, The unbosomed deep yawns on the ruin. The Mr. Robert Montgomery has not failed to make billows of Eternity then begin to advance. his hero go to and fro, and walk up and down. The world glares in fiery slumber. A car with the exception, however, of this propencomes forward driven by living thunder.

sity to locomotion, Satan has not one Satanic “Creation shudders with sublime dismay, quality. Mad Tom had told us, that “the And in a blazing tempest whirls away.

prince of darkness is a gentleman;" but we And this is fine poetry! This is what ranks had yet to learn that he is a respectable and its writer with the master-spirits of the age! pious gentleman, whose principal fault is, that This is what has been described over and over he is something of a twaddle, and far too liberal again, in terms which would require some of his good advice. That happy change in his qualification if used respecting Paradise Lost! character which Origen anticipated, and of It is too much that this patchwork, made by which Tillotson did not despair, seenis to be stitching together old odds and ends of what, rapidly taking place. Bad habits are not eradiwhen new, was, for the most part, but tawdry cated in a moment. It is not strange, therefore, frippery, is to be picked off the dunghill on that so old an offender should now and then which it ought to rot, and to be held up to ad- relapse for a short time into wrong disposi miration as an inestimable specimen of art. tions. But to give him his due, as the proverb And what must we think of a system, by recommends, we must say, that he always remeans of which verses like those which we turns, after two or three lines of impiety, to his bave quoted-verses fit only for the poet's cor- preaching tone. We would seriously advise

Mr. Montgomery to omit, or alter, about a hun Attend : the second, arc z sensual tribe..

Convened to hear romantic barlois sing. dred lines in different parts of this large volume,

On forms to banguet a lascivious gaze, and to republish it under the name of "Ga

While the bright perfidy of wanton eyes briel.” The reflections of which it consists Through brain and spirit darts delicious Art :

The last, a throng most pitiful! who seer, would come less absurdly, as far as there is a

With their corroded figures, rayless glance more and a less in extreme absurdity, from a And death-like struggle of decaying age, good than from a bad angel.

Like painted skeletons in charnel pomp

Bet forth to satirize the human kind! We can afford room only for a single quota

How fine a prospect for demoniac view ! tion. We give one taken at random-neither Creatures whose souls outbalance worlds awake!' worse nor better, as far as we can perceive,

Methinks I hear a pitying angel cry." than any other equal number of lines in the

Here we conciude. If our remarks give book. T'he Devil goes to the play, and moral pain to Mr. Robert Montgomery, we are sorry izes thereon as follows:

for it. But, at whatever cost of pain to indi

viduals, literature must be purified of this "Music and pomp their mingling spirit shed Around me; beauties in their cloud-like robes

taint. And, to show that we are not actualed Shine forth, -a scenic paradise, it glares

by any feelings of personal enmity towards Intoxication through the reeling sense

him, we hereby give notice, that, as soon as or flushed enjoyment. In the motley host Three prime gradations may be ranked: the first, any book shall, by means of puffing, reach a To mount upon the wings of Shakspeare's mind, second edition, our intention is, to do unto the And win a dash of his Promethean thought,-- writer of it as we have done unto Mr. Robert To smile and weep, to shudder and achieve A round of passionate omnipotence,

Montgomery.

[ocr errors]

CIVIL DISABILITIES OF THE JEWS.

The distinguished member of the House of to say, some person or persons must have a Commons who, lowards the close of the late right to political power. Parliament, brought forward a proposition for It is because men are not in the habit of the relief of the Jews, has given notice of his considcring what the end of government is, intention to renew il. The force of reason, in that Catholic disabilities and Jewish disabilithe last session, carried the measure through ties have been suffered to exist so long. We one stage, in spite of the opposition of power. hear of essentially Protestant governments Reason and power are now on the same side; and essentially Christian governments, words and we have little doubt that they will con- which mean just as much as essentially Projointly achieve a decisive victory. In order testant cookery, or essentially Christian horseto contribute our share to the success of just manship. Government exists for the purpose principles, we propose to pass in review, as of keeping the peace, for the purpose of comrapidly as possible, some of the arguments, pelling us to settle our disputes by arbitration or phrases claiming to be arguments, which instead of settling them by blows, for the purhave been employed to vindicale a system full pose of compelling us to supply our wants by of absurdity and injustice.

industry instead of supplying them by rapine. The constitution, it is said, is essentially This is the only operation for which the ma. Christian; and therefore to admit Jews to office chinery of government is peculiarly adapted, is to destroy the constitution. Nor is the Jew the only operation which wise governments injured by being excluded from political power. ever propose to themselves as their chief obo For no man has any right to his property ; a man ject. If ihere is any class of people who are has a right to be protected from personal injury. not interested, or who do not think themselves These rights the law allows to the Jew; and interested, in the security of property and the with these rights it would be atrocious to inter- maintenance of order, that class ought to have sere. But it is a mere matter of favour to ad- no share of the powers which exist for the mit any man to political power; and no man purpose of securing property and maintaining can justly complain that he is shut out from it. order. But why a man should be less fit lo

We cannot but admire the ingenuity of this exercise those powers because he wears a contrivance for shifting the burden of the proof beard, because he does not eat ham, because from those to whom it properly belongs, and he goes to the synagogue on Saturdays instead who would, we suspect, find it rather cumber. of going to the church on Sundays, we cannot some. Surely no Christian can deny that every conceive. numan being has a right to be allowed every The points of difference between Christianity gratification which produces no harm to others, and Judaism have very much to do with a and to be spared every mortification which man's fitness to be a bishop or a rabbi. But produces no good to others. Is it not a source they have no more to do with his fitness to be of mortification to a class of men that they are a magistrale, a legislator, or a minister of excluded from political power? If it be, they finance, than with his fitness to be a cobbler. have, on Christian principles, a right to be Nobody has ever thought of compelling cob. freed from that mortification, unless it can be blers to make any declaration on the true faith shown that their exclusion is necessary for the of a Christian. Any man would rather have averting of some greater evil. The presump- his shoes mended by a heretical cobbler than tion is evidently in favour of toleration. It is by a person who had subscribed all the thirtyfor the persecutor to make out his case. nine articles, but had never handled an awl.

The strange argument which we are con. Men act thus, not because they are indifferent sidering would prove too much even for those to religion, but because they do not see what who advance it. If no man has a right to po- religion has to do with the mending of their litical power, then neither Jew nor Gentile has shoes. Yet religion has as much to do with the such a right. The whole foundation of go. mending of shoes as with the budget and the vernment is taken away. But if government army estimates. We have surely had several be taken away, the property and the percons signal proofs within the last twenty years that of men are insecure; anıl it is acknowledged a very good Christian may be a very bad that men have a right to their property and to Chancellor of the Exchequer. personal security. If it be right that the pro But it would be monstrous, say the persecu perty of men should be protected, and if this tors, that Jews should legislate for a Christian can only be done by means of government, community. This is a palpable misrepresen. then it must be righi that government should tation. What is proposed is, not that the Jews exist. Now there cannot be government unless should legislate for a Christian community, but some person or persons possess political power. that a legislature composed of Christians and Therefore it is right that some person or per- Jews should legislate for a community com sons should possess political power. That is posed of Christians and Jews. On nine hundred

and ninety-nine questions out of a thousand, Statement of the Civil Disabilities and Privations af- on all questions of police, of finance, of civi: feeting Jeus in England. 8vo. London : 1829. and criminal law, of foreign policy, the Jew VOL. V-84

3 x 2

as a Jew, has no interest hostile to that of the money-market, and the money-market may Christian, or even to that of the Churchman. govern the world. The minister may be in Un questions relating to the ecclesiastical doubi as to his scheme of finance till he has establishment, the Jew and the Churchman been closeted with the Jew. A congress of may differ. But they cannot differ more widely sovereigns may be forced to summon the Jew than the Catholic and the Churchman, or the to their assistance. The scrawl of the Jew on Independent and the Churchman. The princi- the back of a piece of paper may be worth ple that Churchmen ought to monopolize the more than the royal word of three kings, or whole power of the state would at least have the national faith of three new American rean intelligible meaning. "The principle that publics. But that he should put Right Honour. Christians ought to monopolize it has no mean- able before his name would be the most fright ing at all. For no question connected with ful of national calamities. the ecclesiastical institutions of the country It was in this way that some of our politican possibiy come before Parliament, with re- cians reasoned about the Irish Catholics. The speci to which there will not be as wide a dif- Catholics ought to have no political power. ference between Christians as there can be The sun of England is set for ever if the between any Christian and any Jew.

Catholics exercise political power. Give the In fact, the Jews are not now excluded from Catholics every thing else; but keep political any political power. They possess it; and as power from them. These wise men did not long as they are allowed to accumulate large see that, when every thing else had been given, fortunes, they must possess it. The distinction political power had been given. They conwhich is sometimes made between civil privi-iinued to repeat their cuckoo song, when it leges and political powers is a distinction with was no longer a question whether Catholics yut a difference. Privileges are power. Civil should have political power or not, when a and political are synonymous words, the one Catholic Association bearded the Parliament

, derived from the Latin, the other from the when a Catholic agitator exercised infinitely Greek. Nor is this mere verbal quibbling. more authority than the lord-lieutenant. Jf we look for a moment at the facts of the If it is our duty as Christians to exclude the case, we shall see that the things are insepara- Jews from political power, it must be on duty ble, or rather identical.

to treat them as our ancestors treated them, to That a Jew should be a judge in a Christian murder them, and banish them, and rob them. country would be most shocking. But he may For in that way, and in thai way alone, can we be a juryman. He may try issues of faci; really deprive ihem of political power. If we and no harm is done. But if he should be do not adopt this course, we may take away the suffered to try issues of law, there is an end shadow, but we must leave them the subo of the constitution. He may sit in a box stance. We may do enough to pain and irri. plainly dressed, and return verdicts. But that tate them; but we shall not dc enough to he should sit on the bench in a black gown and secure ourselves from danger, if danger really white wig, and grant new trials, would be an exists. Where wealth is, there power must abomination not to be thought of among bap- inevitably be. tized people. The distinction is certainly most The English Jews, we are told, are not Eng. philosophical.

lishmen. They are a separate people, living What power in civilized society is so great locally in this island, but living morally and as that of the creditor over the debtor? If we politically in communion with their brethren take this away from the Jew, we take away who are scattered over all the world. An from him the security of his property. If we English Jew looks on a Dutch or a Portuguese leave it to him, we leave to him a power more Jew as his countryman, and on an English despotic by far than that of the king and all Christian as a stranger. This want of patriohis cabinet.

tic feeling, it is said, renders a Jew unfit to It would be impious to let a Jew sit in Par- exercise political functions. liament. But a Jew may make money; and The argument has in it something plausible: money may make members of Parliament. but a close examination shows it to be quite Gatton and Old Barum may be the property of unsound. Even if the alleged facts are admisa Hebrew. An elector of Penryn will take ted, still the Jews are not the only people who ten pounds from Shylock rather than nine have preserred their sect to their country. The pounds nineteen shillings and eleven pence feeling of patriotism, when society is in a ihree farthings from Antonio. To this no ob- healthful state, springs up, by a natural and jection is made. That a Jew should possess inevitable association, in the minds of citizens the substance of legislative power, ihat he who know that they owe all their comforts and should command eight votes on every division pleasures to the bond which unites them in as if he were the great Duke of Newcastle one community. But, under a partial and ophimself, is exactly as it should be. But that pressive government, these associations cannot he should pass the bar and sit down on those acquire that strength which they have in a mysterious cushions of green leather, that he better state of things. Men are compelled to should cry “hear" and " order,” and talk about seek from their party that protection which being on his legs, and being, for one, free to they ought to receive from their country, and say this and to say that, would be a profana- they, by a natural consequence, transfer to their ririn sufficient to bring ruin on the country. party that affection which they would other

That a Jew should be privy-councillor to a wise have felt for their country. The Hugue. Christian king would be an eternal disgrace to nots of France called in the help of England the nation. But the Jew may govern the l against their Catholic kings. The Caibolios

« VorigeDoorgaan »