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a declaration, signed by 200 or 300 of their supporters, absolutely withdrawing their votes for the next election, from any members voting for the Maynooth grant. The like method might be adopted in London, Reading, and fifty other towns, in which the votes of 100, or even of 20 or 10, electors, will frequently suffice to decide an election.
These, however, and any other means that may be likely to prove effectual, ought to be promptly used. While we firmly maintain, that if all the earnest Protestants in the land do but put forth their utmost exertions, --it is in their power, humanly speaking, to stay the intended mischief, ---we would not make light of the danger, or conceal the probability, that without some such united and simultaneous effort, the grant will be made, and the purposed alliance with Rome, effected. The government is strong; the opposition inert ; people generally are occupied with railroad schemes, or other commercial speculations, and political excitement, of the ordinary kind, is almost extinct. Only an earnest ebullition of Protestant feeling will overcome these advantages on the side of
proposers of the grant. Let all Protestants,--Churchmen, Wesleyans, and Congregationalists, cordially unite, and with a general election not far off, they must be heard by the members of the House of Commons. But the union must be cordial, and the movement an earnest one, or it will fail, and will deserve to fail !
EOTHEN; or, Traces of Travel brought Home from the East.
London : Ollivier. 1815. THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS; or, Romance and
Realities of Eastern Travel. By ELIOT WARBURTON, Esq. Two Vols. London: Colburn. 1815.
The title of the first of these volumes had in the first instance induced us to pass it over as the production of some affected middleaged woman, who, being free from the incumbrance of a husband and family, and having had at the moment no other mode of wasting her time, had contrived to hook herself on to a dashing nephew in the East India service on his return by the overland route as far as Alexandria, whence she had worked her way home again vid Constantinople by the help of a hired commissaire. We never looked for anything in “Eothen" beyond steam-boat tattle and a little smart writing in attempts at descriptions of the ambassador's house at Constantinople, or sunsets among the Cyclades, or the High Commissioner's ball at Corfu, or something of that sort. From this our ignorant misconception, however, we have been very suddenly startled by the tremendous salvo of commendation which has just thundered forth from our giant cotemporary of the Quarterly.
« The splendour and havoc of the East," says our cotemporary in his opening passage, “open upon us in the first page of this original and brilliant book; the expression is characteristic at once of the author's style and of the regions to which it is happily applied. A style unborrowed and untrammelled—bold, highlycoloured, and versatile-enables him to illustrate his varied and comprehensive subject with singular effect. 'Eothen' gives us the
very East itself in all its own gorgeous or gloomy realities. The Servian forest with the Tatars' cavalcade ; the Turkish capital with its shawled and turbaned men and shrouded women; the stormy Levant, with its passionate Greek sailor ; the hushed desert, with its Bedouin ; and the plague-stricken city, with its doomed inhabitants :--all these, as touched by this felicitous hand, leave upon the reader's mind not a series of mere pictures, but a sense of actual experience.”-(Quarterly Review, p. 54.)
After this we felt that only one course remained for us. read through first the review, which is throughout equally eulogistic. A delicate hint at “some passages we do not like,” is the single abatement to the tone of flattering praise which is sustained from the beginning to the end of a review of nearly thirty pages in
length. One thing, however, we certainly were struck with. could not at all make up our minds that the passages quoted were in any way worthy of the splendid framework of eulogy in which the reviewer has enshrined them; we have, however, turned to the book, and we now record faithfully the impression that we have received from it. We really can find nothing remarkable about it; except perhaps the assurance which could have induced any man to have made public such a sad exposure of his own mental obliquity, and in this he certainly does not surpass the editors of the once notorious but now entirely forgotten “ Remains of Richard Hurrell Froude." So that in the one quality, that of dauntless impudence, in which it is the evident ambition of "Eothen” in every page to shine, he has in our judgment been very decidedly forestalled by the young Oxonian just alluded to.
For the rest the book appears to us a bad specimen of the flippant school to which it belongs. There is more imagination in the dullest “Fraser's Magazine,” you may take up on the table of a circulating library, than is to be found in the whole 419 pages of Eothen. That such a book should have called forth a flaming eulogy from such a quarter is certainly surprising : but upon
the main question of taste we are by no means disposed to lay any stress. There are many secret and kindly influences that are wont to unbend the rugged brows of the critic in these matters. Our charges against “ Eothen” are of a graver character.
In the first place the author grossly exaggerates his own personal performances. The account, for instance, of the gallop across the desert, pp. 326-336, is just as credible as Baron Munchausen's flight upon the back of an eagle, or as the device of Sinbad the sailor, that other Eothen, whereby he got into the valley of diamonds in the claws of a roc; and not one whit more 80. The author would have us believe that he galloped across the seventy or eighty miles of desert which separates Cairo from the Red Sea, on the back of a dromedary, leaving his attendants behind, and without either food or water except one draught from the ghirbé of a wandering Bedouin whom he met by accident, and which he took without either asking or paying for. We believe there is not an Arab in the desert that could perform this feat of Eothen's! The succession of jerks of inconceivable violence which constitutes the gallop of the dromedary would, we are assured, occasion the speedy death of any unprepared rider from internal rupture and laceration, and can only be borne by those who having been inured to the paces of the animal from childhood, prepare themselves for this most dangerous service by enveloping the whole body in a tightly-laced leathern covering.
For a writer who informs us in the only passage in the entire book in which he seems to be in earnest, that “his excuse for the book is its truth,” (Pref. p. 6) to attempt to palm upon the pardonable ignorance of his readers a coarse clumsy impossibility like this is, we humbly submit, a little too bad. There are other passages which we feel persuaded must be included in the same category, but we pass on.
Our next complaint of Eothen is, that it is an extremely indecent book. The writer has a polluted mind, and which finds a morbid gratification in the exposure of himself to others. The most casual mention of the other sex never fails to call forth a strain of reflections which is decidedly improper, and nearly obscene. We scarcely remember an instance in which this does not occur. Even the sun-dried wooden features of old Lady Hester Stanhope prove no protection to her. Eothen's account of his interview with her is seasoned with one or more passages of this objectionable character. Nor is the presence of a woman required to call forth the impurity that festers in his mind. Even a sunset in the desert will suffice. “ The fair wavy cloud that fled in the morning now comes to his sight once more-comes blushing, yet still comes on-comes burning with blushes, yet hastens and clings to his side.” (p. 257.) This passage is a fair specimen of the loose rakish air which it is his evident ambition to give to his remarks upon every subject. We, for obvious reasons, forbear giving the many passages which have been the occasion of this our complaint.
The only quotable passage we can find upon the women of the East, a subject in which (as might be expected from a man of his gallantry) he obtrudes the deep interest he takes on every occasion, is the following
“ The Bedouin women, unhappy beings! were sadly plain. The awful haggardness which gave something of character to the faces of the men, was sheer ugliness in the poor women. It is a great shame, but the truth is that except when we refer to the beautiful devotion of the mother to her child, all the fine things we say, and think about woman, apply only to those who are tolerably good-looking, or graceful. These Arab women were so plain and clumsy, that they seemed to me to be fit for nothing but another and a better world. They may have been good women enough, so far as relates to the exercise of the minor virtues, but they had so grossly neglected the prime duty of looking pretty in this transitory life, that I could not at all forgive them; they seemed to feel the weight of their guilt, and to be truly, and humbly penitent. I had the complete command of their affections, for at any moment I could make their young hearts bound, and their old hearts jump by offering a handful of tobacco, and yet, believe me, it was not in the first soirée, that my store of Latakæa was exhausted!
“ The Bedouin women have no religion ; this is partly the cause of their clumsiness; perhaps, if from Christian girls they would learn how to pray, their souls might become more gentle, and their limbs be clothed with grace.' (pp. 248, 249.)
Now entreating our readers to repress most sedulously any feeling of horror or disgust which may have been excited in their minds by the perusal of this ribald blasphemy, and for the best of all possible reasons, namely, because the author wrote it for the express purpose of exciting the disgust and horror of any rightminded person, who might accidentally become his reader, we at once state the gravamen of our complaint against “Eothen.” It is a very blasphemous book. The passage we have quoted presents but a low average of the tone of scoff and ridicule with which the author treats the Christian religion upon every possible occasion. We do not give the quotations we have marked, because no end of ours would be answered thereby, and for no other reason whatever, for we have too much confidence in the good sense of our readers, to fear that any other feeling would be excited in their minds, by perusing these passages, than that of sovereign contempt for the flippant impertinence which suggested them, not unmingled with pity for the malapert self-ignorance of the author.
Eothen” is, of course, far too great a philosopher to believe a word about Christianity. He speaks of the religion of Europe as "a cause and a controversy, well smitten and well defended," (p. 401), upon which he looks on, with the air of rollicking impudence with which a loitering errand-boy in the street stands watching the progress of a fight between two butchers' curs. For the bone of this contention he misses no opportunity of expressing his utter contempt.
Of the amount of his credence in Mohammedism we are by no means empowered to report with equal accuracy. He certainly prefers it to Christianity; for he told a Christian girl who had been induced, by a present of dresses and jewels, to turn Mohammedan, that she had taken a very prudent step, of which he decidedly approved : but, on the whole, we strongly suspect that his Islamism and his Christianity are pretty nearly upon a level.
Nevertheless, "Eothen” has a deep sense of religion, at least, so the Quarterly Reviewer is careful to inform us! We were at first somewhat puzzled by this assertion, and after a long fruitless search in the book, had nearly come to the conclusion that this deep sense of religion lay so deep, as to be beyond the reach of our limited powers of detection. When all at once the truth flashed upon us. We perfectly agree with our Quarterly cotemporary! Eothen is
very religious person in his way; for he swears by Jove in almost every page of his book. He also in his account of the Troad p. 64, seq.), applies to the fictions of Homer the same phraseology that Christian men employ in speaking of the truths of the Bible, and in a way which (alas, for our ignorance !) we thought very