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more mercy than it met with. To one ac- | And this general remark may undoubtedly customed, like the Reviewer, with the un- be made of his principle of criticism, that encumbered action of Shakspeare, and he was sometimes too intolerant of “exJohnson, and Massinger, this perpetual travagant and erring” genius, and visited walking in voluntary fetters was intolera- their trespasses out of bounds with a schoolble; and he scourged the delinquency all master's disregard of the spirit or enterprise the more smartly, that the perpetrator could which tempted them to the transgression. have thrown them off at pleasure, and giv- Thus he extols Crabbe and Rogers in proen the efforts of his free genius to the world. portion as he objurgates Wordsworth and We can only regret that the punishment Southey, because the former wrote accordhad less effect in the way of correction than ing to rule, violated no solemn canon, and of warning; for we have always thought set no pernicious example of forbidden lithat if Wordsworth had only allowed un cense. Yet although, for the same reason, constrained scope to his powers, and writ- Crabbe and Rogers will always be popular ten as freely as Milton or Byron wrote, few authors when Wordsworth and Southey names would have ranked higher among may be sparingly read, few, we think, the poets of England.
would now hesitate to place the latter in a Southey has very well expressed the real class of poetry to which the former have no fault of his mystical brethren. “ Both he pretension. When Southey does rise free (Coleridge) and Wordsworth, powerfully from his traminels, he soars a flight far as they can write, and profoundly as they higher than the pinion of Crabbe or Rogers. usually think, have been betrayed into the could ever reach. After all, the strictures same fault—that of making things easy of of the Reviewer were not only well-founded coinprehension in themselves, difficult to in regard to his faults of style and manner, be comprehended, by their way of stating but they were also not without effect. them—instead of going to the natural spring Southey's brilliant diction, and fine sense for water, they seem to like the labor of dig- of natural beauty, were endowments too ging wells.” This from the hand of a friend, great and rare to be sacrificed to the artiand a member of the brotherhood, is near- fice of so constrained a system. Vain as ly as severe as any thing Jeffrey ever said of he was—and his vanity seems to have been them.
marvellous-his later works were much We have little of Southey in the collec- more under the control of sound judgment; tion. The single review reprinted is that and he appears to have been the only one of Don Roderick in 1815, selected, plainly, of the fraternity who, while he abused the from the unwillingness, on the part of the preacher, endeavored to amend his lise. critic, to wound the admirers of the depart We need not enlarge on these topics. ed bard by recalling the harsher censures he The Reviewer's task is done—his wand is had passed on his earlier works. And Dou broken. The bards over whom he wielded Roderick is perhaps Southey's best poem, it sleep in their_graves; or living, have written after much of his false taste had ceased to sing. The impress of the judgbeen purged by public opinion and his own ment of another generation is beginning to experience. But we would rather have had be stamped upon their nuinhers, and to the original review of “ Thalaba,” which separate the immortal from the less ethereal we presume, on our own responsibility, to parts. What share soever the critic's art attribute to the same pen, as a better exam- may have had in directing their genius, pie of the style of chastisement which has and however far his sentences may be found been so much questioned. It was the first to coincide with those pronounced by the public assault on the poets of the simple age in which they flourished, all this is now school; and although the Reviewer would matter of history. Distance, which has softnow probably moderate much both of the sen- ened their defects, enables us to discern timent and the expression, it exhibits very and to appreciate their true magnificence. strikingly the flood of false taste and con- We look back with mourning to that brilception which he undertook to stem, and liant galaxy; and gladly would we now see the unrelenting severity with which he dis- on the horizon one flash of th it radiant fire charged his task. The review of “ Thala- which blazed with such glory, and lighted ba” is an exaggeration, undoubtedly. Per- up the firmament, in the days of our fahaps the novelty of the metre, and the law.thers. Let us hope that the spirit of poetry lessness of the structure of the poem, jarred may again awake afier so long repose, and more on the critic's ear than it would now. that it may be our lot, in the career we
have just commenced, to hail a new revival can their labors be forgotten, who with of English song
constancy kept the standard flying, when While, however, the department of po- the handful that surrounded it was at the etry was the Reviewer's peculiar care, the lowest. We have seen honor descend on reputation of our author as a writer for pos. those at whom the finger of scorn was pointterity stands, we think, even more firmly on ed, and against whom all the artillery of another class of compositions. Less strict power was brought to play. Men who bely critical, and partaking less of a literary zan life as a contemptible and derided band, aim, the political essays in these volumes proscribed for their principles, have, by deserve deep study. While the more pi- their steady adherence to them raized quant and racy castigations excited at the themselves and their principles together to time more popular interest, justice, perhaps, public reputation and power. These things has not been generally done to the enlarged have come to pass, and teach us, how and statesmanlike conceptions of the Re- soon, after all, ERROR, though arrayed in viewer, both on the general principles of robes of state, and armed with authority, governinent, and the details of public policy. may melt like a summer cloud. They
The great value of these voluines, in their teach us to look with a less inquiet eye on separate form, consists, we think, in preserv- the vicissitudes of human affairs, or the reing, from an oblivion into which they were verses which are suffered in the battles of quickly passing, these valuable reflections the truth. In the revolutions of states, on the science and practice of politics. as of seasons, periods of darkness are given
The services of the Review as an advo- us, that we may the more prize the too cate of freedom-of huinan liberty and hap- neglected light. piness-cannot be too bighly rated; nor are these forgotten, or in any danger of being “Damna tamen celeres reparant cælestia Lunæ." so. It started during the full torrent of revolutionary violence, and monarchical And not time and the tide only, but steadbigotry. Perhaps, at the first blush, the Re- fastness and true hope will wear out the viewers did not discern so clearly, amidst roughest day. the din and dust of contending parties, the In this great couflict the whole strength precise course to steer ; but from the first, of the society was engaged ;—the fierce liberty was their aim, and they speedily energy of Brougham-the deep power
of guided their bark into the true current. Horner-and the wit and satire of Sydney They erected a noble bulwark against ty- Smith, were all concentrated in this high ranny and oppression in all quarters, fear- vocation. It is not now easy for any one, less of the frowns of the great, and the re-having no access behind the scenes, to asmonstrances of the timid. They hurled in- sign his share to each ; therefore we are dignint denunciation against corruption in the more indebted for the selection of the high places. The persecuted in all s:ations, Essays before us, as giving us the means froin the Queen on the throne, to the wretch- of appreciating Jeffrey's peculiar merits as ed slave, found in them undaunted defend- a political writer.
In the days of apostacy, they were Three of these strike us as being of found faithful among the faithless, and lift- singular ability, and very great interest
. ed up an undying testimony for the pure The review of Sotheby's Song of Triumph doctrines of constitutional right, and the —that of Moore's Life of Sheridan, and that personal independence of British subjects. of O'Driscoll's History of Ireland. They erFor the courage, consistency, and consum- hibit the author's general manner of treatmate power with which they fought that ing public questions in a favorable light
, battle, we in this day owe them a deep debt and afford a good criterion of the general of gratitude. If there is aught of reverence cast of his political reflections. for our ancient birthright—if any abiding The feature which chiefly gives them a good in free speech, free action, freedom distinctive character, is the prospective of conscience, opinion, or government—il spirit in which they are all conceired. any charm in those golden links which The author is prone to vaticinate ; not from unite our democratic constitution to all the fancied inspiration, but from quiet reasonstability of monarchy-and if we have ing on the impulses which generally more gladly seen the gradual dissipation of those large bodies of men, and from the lights palpable clouds of darkness which so long which history affords. These three artibrooded over the venerable fabric-never I les illustrate this peculiarity. They are
all full of anticipations-more or less borne thought like the rest of the world, that in out by results—but conceived in such a their exile they must have learnt and spirit of practical wisdom, as to deserve must have forgotten something and like and amply repay the intelligent study of the rest of the world he found himself them.
mistaken. As little did he dream that The review of the Song of Triumph, the Alliance, which he then thought was written immediately after the battle of united in defence of the common liberties Leipsic, and affords an interesting example of Europe, was so soon to become the of the tone of feeling which actuated such watchword and soubriquet of despotism in men at the time, and the way in which they all its monarchies. But he saw the conwere affected by the startling and exciting tingencies before him clearly, and states events which had succeeded each other so them with singular precision :rapidly. It is in itself, as the Reviewer indicates in a note, such a Song of Tri
“ The project of giving them a free constituumph as few now would be disposed to join it may miscarry in two ways. If the court can
tion, therefore, may certainly miscarry,—and in. But amid the
eflectually attach to itselt the Marshals and “ Roar of liberated Rome,
Military Senators of Bonaparte, in addition to Of nations freed, and the world overjoy'd," the old Nobility ;-and if, through their means,
the vanity and ambition of the turbulent and it was natural that men of all parties should aspiring spirits of the nation can be turned share in the general enthusiasm. Europe either towards military advancement, or to was sick of war, and men naturally wel- offices and distinction about the Court, the legcomed with joy a new order of things, vient in most things 10 ihe will of the Govern
islative bodies may be gradually made subeerwhich seemed to promise a respite from ex- ment;-and hy skilful managemenų may be citement which had become intolerable; rendered almost as tractable and insignificant, and the dreamers after perfectibility, who as they have actually been in the previous stahad hailed the dawning star of the French ges of their existence. On the other hand, if Revolution, were the first to sacrifice the the discordant maierials, out of which the visions of their youth to the prospect of higher branch of the legislature is to be compeace and quiet. It had not then appeared, hostile parties of the old Noblesse on the one
posed, should uliimately arrange it into two that those who had struck the Eagle down hand, and the active individuals who have were only doing homage to the Wolf. And fought their way to distinction through scenes thus we find Lord Jeffrey joining in the of democratic and imperial tyranny, on the universal shout of exultation over the fallen other-it is grrally to be feared, thai ihe body Emperor, extolling the clemency, chivalry, of the nation will soon be divided into the same and magnanimity of Alexander, and fore-actions; and that while the Court throw's all telling, if not exactly Saturnian days, at laller will in time unite the far nione formidable
its influence into the scale of the former, the least a probable career of rational liberty weight of the military hody—the old Republifor France.
cans, and all who are eliler disconiented at We certainly do not refer to this article their lot, or in patient of peaceful times. By as exemplifying the infallibility of his pro- their assistance, and that of the national vehephetic vein; but chiefly as showing the nience and love of change. il vill most probably general course of deduction on which his get the command of the legislatire body and the prognostics were founded. It is needless capital;., and then, unless the Prince pluy his
part with singular skill, as well as lempet, to observe, that his estimate of the great there will be imminent hazard of a rtrolurion military leader of France must have suffer
-nol less disastrous perhaps thun that which ed as much modification by the lapse of has just been completed."— Vol. iv. pp. 64, 65. years, as his admiration for the Czar. Napoleon was a usurper, and ruled with an He was wrong in the alternative which iron rod; and therefore all true freemen he assumed as the most probable, but he must reprobate his career. But his soul was eminently right in his statement of the was losty, and his conceptions magnificent, lesson which these events, properly deciand some of the epithets in the article be- phered, ought to read to the monarchs and fore us quadrate ill with the verdict already nations of the earth. They are so full of returned on the greatest chiestain of mod- grave instruction that we may be excused ern Europe. On the other hand, the sa- for quoting the following extracts; gacity of the Reviewer was altogether at “ The lesson, then, which is taught by the fault in the expectations he had formed of whole history is, that oppressive governments the exiled family. No wonder ;-he must always be insecure; and that, after na
tions have altained to a certain measure of in-gathered from the whole eventful history, telligence, the liberty of the people is necessa- seems therefore to be, that in an enlightened ry to the stability of the throne, We may dis- period of suciety, no government can be either
for ever about the immediate or acciden- prosperous or secure, which does not provide pute tal causes of the French Revolution ; but no tor expressing and giving effect to the general man o!' reflection can now doubt, that its true sense of the community.”—P. 74. and efficient cause, was the undue limitation “The events to which we have alluded, and of the rights and privileges of the great body the situation in which they will leave us, will of the people, afier their wealth and intelli. take away almost all those pretexts for resistgence had virtually entitled them to greatering inquiry into abuses, and proposals for consequence. Embarrassments in finance, or relorm, by the help of which, rather than of blunders, or ambition in particular individuals, any serious dispute on the principle, these immay have determined the time and the manner portant discussions have been waived for of the explosion ; but it was the system which these last twenty years. We shall no longer withheld all honors and distinctions from the be stopped with the plea of its being no fit line mass of the people, after nature had made to quarrel about the little faults of our constithem capable of them, which laid the train, rution, when we are struygling with a feroand filled the mine that produced it. Had the cious enemy for its very exisience. It will government of France heen free in 1788, the not now do 1o tell us, thai it is both dangerous ihrone of its monarch might have bid a proud and disgraceful to show ourselves disunited in defiance to deficils in the treasury, or disor- | a season of such imminent peril-or that all derly ambition in a thousand Mirabeaus. great and patriotic minds should be entirely Had the people enjoyed their due weight in engrossed with the care of our safety, and can the administration of the government, and have neither leisure nor energy to beslow their due share in the distribution of its pat upon concerns less urgent or vital. The reronage, there would have been no democratic storation of peace, on the contrary, will soon insurrection, and no materials indeed for such leave us little else to do: and when we have a catastrophe as ensued. That movenient, no invasions nor expeditions-nor coalitions like all great national movements, was pro- nor campaigns-nor even any loans and budduced by a sense of injustice and oppression: gets to fill the minds of our statesmen, and the and though its immediate consequences were ears of our idle politicians, we think it almost far more disastrous than the evils by which it certain that questions of reform will rise into had been provoked, il should never be forgol- paramount importance, and the redress of ten, that those evils were the necessary and abuses become the most interesting of public lamented causes of the whole. The same pursuiis. We shall be once more entitled, principle, indeed, of the necessary connexion too, to make a fuir and natural appeal to the of oppression and insecurity, may be traced analogous acts or institutions of oiher natione, through all the horrors of the revolutionary without being met with the cry of revolution period. What
, alter all, was it but their tyran and deniocracy, or the imputation of abetting ny that supplanted Marat and Robespierre, and the proceedings of a sanguinary despot. We overthrew the
tremendous power of the shall again see the abuses of old hereditary wretches for whom they made way? Or, to power, and the evils of nial-administration in come to its last and most conspicuous appli- legitimate hands; and be permitted to argue cation, does any one imagine, ihat if Pona- from them, without the reproach of disaffection parte had been a just, mild, and equitable sov to the general cause of mankind. Men and ereign, under whom the people enjoyed equal things, in short, we trust, will again receive riyhis and impartial protection, he would have their names, on a fair consideration of their ever been hurled from his throne, or the Bour- merits; and our notions of political deserı be bons invited to replace him? He, too, tell ul: no longer confounded by indiscriminate praise timately 7 victim io his tyranny :—and his fall of all who are with us, in a struggle that and their restoration on the terms that have touches the sources of so many passions. been stated, concur to show, that there is but when we plend for the emancipation of the one condition by which, in an enlightened age, Catholics ol Ireland, we shall no longer be the loyalıy of nations can be secured--the con- told that the Pope is a mere puppet in the dition of their being treated with kindness; hands of an inveterate foe-nor be deterred anu but one bulwark by which thrones can trom protesting against the conflagration of a now be protected-lhe attachment and con- triendly capital, by the suggestion, that no scious interest of a free and intelligent people.” other means were left to prevent that same -Vol. iv. pp. 68, 69.
foe from possessing himself of its feet. Ex“The true theory of that great Revolution ceptions and extreme cases, in short, will no therefore is, that it was produced by the re- longer furnish the ordinary rules of our conpression or practical disregard of public opin- duci ; and it will be impossible, by extraneous ion, and that the evils with which it was arguments
, to baffle every attempt at a fair attended were occasioned by the want of any estimate of our public principles and proceedinstitution to control and regulate the applica- ings."— Vol. iv., pp. 84, 85. tion of that opinion to the actual managemeni of affairs. And the grand moral that inay be The selections given from the review of
Moore's Life of Sheridan, are general gress of liberal opinions, than could be spontameditations on the state of Parties, devoted neously obtained. The inherent spirit, howevprincipally to unfolding and illustrating the er of monarchy, and the natural effect of long true position and real principles of the possession of power, will serure, we asprel end,
for a considerable time, ihe general sway of Whig party in Great Britain. The article
men professing Tory principles; and their was written in 1826, when the Jull of poli- speedy restoration, when driven for a season tics was so profound as to give no note of from their placesly disaster or gineral disconpreparation for the tempests about to break, tent: and ihe Whigs, during the same period, and before the death of Lord Liverpool had must content themselves with prerenting a great dissolved a cabinet which was apparently deal of eril, and seeing the good which ihiy had beyond the reach of assault. Although sugg sted tardily and imperfectly effected,
by those who will iake the credit of originating public opinion had made great progress what they had long opposed, and only at last since the days of the wars of the Revolu- adop:led with reluctance and on conípulsion. tion and the Empire, the Whig party seem. It is not a very brilliant prospect, perhaps, nor ed as far removed from power, and their ad- a very enviable lot. But we believe ii to be versaries as firmly seated, as they had been what awaits us; and we embrace it, not only for forty years preceding; and the hopes cheerfully, but with thankfulness and pride
Thankfulness, that we are enabled to do even of the friends of liberal government were
so much for the good and the liberties of our rather directed to the conversion or com-country—and pride, that in thus seeking her pulsion of their adversaries, than to sup- service, we cannot well be suspected of selfish planting them in office. There had alsoor mercenary vients.”—Vol. iv., pp. 162, 163. grown into consideration what was then, and still is, termed the Radical party, The review of O'Driscoll's Ireland deflourishing under the expansive shade of serves to be written in letters of gold. It Bentham and his Westminster disciples, speaks a voice of warning and of wisdom to and directing their censures then, as they the united countries, which at this day are sometimes do now, as bitterly against the singularly seasonable; and it is remarkable Whig aristocracy, as against the Tories with what precision the essayist has porthemselves. In defence of this middle trayed the very results which are party, standing on the ancient ways, and threatening a dismemberment of the empire. repressing the excesses of either extreme, We content ourselves here with extracting this essay was composed. It is calm and the following passages :philosophical-more so than it would have Protestant Ascendency is thus treatedbeen had it been dated a year later, or indeed at any subsequent period--and de
“ They contrivell, therefore, by false remonstrates, with admirable clearness, the presentations and unjust laws, to loster those true vocation of the party, and the claims prejudices which would otherwise have grad
ually disappeared-and, unluckily, succeeded it possessed even on those by whom its but too well. As their own con parative prudence was considered timid, and its numbers and natural consequence dininished, constitutional tenets as prejudice. We they clung sull closer to their artificial holds have no room to make lengthened extracts, on authority; and, exasperated by feeling but the following paragraph has something lies endangered by the growing wealth, popu
their digniiy menaced, and their monopoof sagacious prognostication, although the lition, and intelligence of the country at party, and our author himself, were doomed large, they redoubled their efforts, by clamor at no very distant period to experience a and activity, intimidation and deceit
, to preserve considerable mitigation of that rigor of ex- the unnatural advantages they had accidenclusion which he so contentedly foretells. ally gained, and to keep down that spring
tide general reason and substantial power “In practice, we have no doubt, we shall which they felt rising and swelling all around all have time enough; for it is the lot of hem. England, we have little doubt, 10 be ruled in Their pretence was, that they were the the main by what may be called a Tory party: champions of the Protestant ascendency-and for as long a period as we can now look for that whenever that was endangered, there was ward to with any great distinctness—by a an end of the English connexion. While the Tory party, however, restrained more and alliance of the two countries was indeed no more in its propensities, by the growing in more than a connexion, there might be some fluence of Whių principles and the enlighi-truth in the assertion-or at least it was easy ened vigilance of that party, both in Parlia- for an Irish Parliament to make it appear to be ment and out of it; and now and then admon- true. But the moment they came to be incorished, by a temporary expulsion, of the neces- porated, its falsehood and absurdity should at sity of a 'still greater conformity with the pro- once have become apparent. Unluckily, how