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urbanity and elegances and also of polite literature: Rome, the city of mořiluments, of religious pomp and splendour, and of the arts; the seat also of a certain solemnity añid dignity which is more peculiarly her own, and becomes her name and former state. Naples, at last, gay and thoughtless, the eity of voluptuousnessthe siren of Italy, the spoiled favourite of a tóo bountiful nature, the seat of epicurism mixed with some degree of Greek refinement ; the country of the senses, but the country alsò of imagination.
This description really approaches to the poetical,--but such an elevated tone would be painful if carried to excess in a familiar book of Travels. Inflation of sentiment is by no means a vice of this writer; he depicts ordinary scenes in a smooth and level style, and he generally paints with clearness and spirit. By some readers the views of scenery may be considered too abounding; but in truth these constitute the greatest and the lasting charm of Italy. It is a poetical country, and it is impossible to speak feelingly of Italy without imbibing some of its poetry.
We had intended to select a few descriptions of the State of Manners in Italy, but our limits willl not permit this. The poverty of the lower classes at Naples is a painful picture:
A stranger can hardly form an idea of the poverty which the interior of poor Neapolitan families exhibits. Several generations are huddled together on the nakėú floor in a garret, or on the ground-floor, old and young; healthy and infirm, males and femálės, to the utter destruction of health, morals, and all remains of rationality. Some live actually in the streets, many in the boats, and these are the best off. Such is the state of the lower classes, including most of those who live by daily labour, and who constitute perhaps one third of the inhabitants of this city. There is scarcelý any thing here to be compared to the middling classes of England. There are few intermediate steps between indigence and riches between want and lüxury. It is really distressing to see such a number of wretched beings; and appalling to think how easily they might be led astray to commit any crimes, as has been the case in times of political convulsions. The wonder is, how they keep quiet at all, and it must be said, that amongst all their vices, these people are not naturally malignant or sulky; they até, on the contrary, father good natured when not provoked by immediate want or oppression. Women, particularly, have a look of carelessness and joviality in the midst of all their miseries which is truly astonishing. They are fully susceptible of a better condition, and the greater pity it is that they should be left in such a state of degradation. But many causes conspire to keep them down to it, which perhaps originate in part with the climate and nature of their country, and with their own physical and moral qualities.
The futility of the attempts made within these few years to revolutionize the Italian States, is exposed by this writer in a way that will not render him popular with ultra-liberals ; but which deserves the attentive consideration of all those who wish to form a just estimâtè of the capacity of Italy for a general system of representative government. The hasty experiments which have been tried are spoken of, we think, with merited reprobation. He thus ňotičės the attempt to introduce the Spanish Consti
The proclamation of the Spanish constitution at Cadiz, in the beginning of 1820, attracted the attention of the Neapolitan liberals, especially as their country was connected with Spain by old habits and recollections, and by a close relationship between their respective sovereigns. They therefore, unfortunately perhaps for the cause of liberty, having no national model of a free constitution, determined upon adopting that one just proclaimed in Spain.
Unluckily, the constitution of Spain, like that of France in 1792, seems more adapted for some island in the Indian ocean than for an European kingdom. For a monarchy, it is by far too democratic; it leaves the executive too weak and powerless; it destroys the gradations of rank, to which Europe has been accustomed for so many centuries, and with which all her institutions and recollections are connected: considered as a democracy, it retains the incumbrances, superfluous in a republic, of an hereditary king, a court, an expensive civil list, and kingly prerogatives, which are so many difficulties in the way of the sovereign power which is supposed to reside in the nation. Such a government must necessarily clash with the old governments of Europe ; as the executive, with which they must treat in their political intercourse cannot give sufficient guarantee for its acts, and has not sufficient latitude in its external
It seemed, therefore, that the question resolved itself to this : either all Europe must adopt the principles of the Spanish constitution, or be it a state, however disguised, of hostility with the country that has adopted it.Constitutional governments, such as those of England, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Bavaria, and other states, in which there is a proper balance of power, preserve perfectly well their relations with absolute monarchies. Republics, like Switzerland or America, can also very well preserve their friendly intercourse with both. But the constitution of Spain was not sufficiently decided or candid either way—it was not a republic, and it was not a monarchy, although it retained the elements of both in a state of fermentation. This was at least the light in which the constitution of Spain was considered by the monarchical party throughout Europe.
In his political views of society, Mr. Vieusseux, although he appears perfectly sensible of the futility of expecting too great perfection in man, yet seems to fall at times into the error he ani
He seems to desire a moderation in the great discussions of mankind, which we are afraid will never be met with. However such sentiments are useful, for even if they are not followed up, still they serve to allay the fever of party spirit, in an age when moderation is still required on every side.
In his description of the social state of modern Rome, we believe there is much truth ; yet we cannot share in his feelings of despondency about the future prospects of that metropolis. We think that an enlightened Government might by degrees restore that interesting part of Italy to a degree of prosperity more solid than the fictitious wealth and splendour which were centered in Rome during the proud ages of pontifical power.
His work concludes with a Treatise on Modern Italian Literature. The author was perhaps confined within particular limits; but upon this interesting ground, almost untrodden in this country, we should have been glad to have taken a wider range.
BETWEEN MR. ABRAHAM COWLEY, AND MR. JOHN MILTON, TOUCHING THE
GREAT CIVIL WAR.
" Refere sermones Deorum et
Magna modis tenuare parvis."-HORACE:
I HAVE thought it good to set down in writing a memorable debate, wherein I was a listener, and two men of pregnant parts and great reputation discoursers; hoping that my friends will not be displeased to have a record both of the strange times through which I have lived, and of the famous men with whom I have conversed. It chanced, in the warm and beautiful spring of the year 1665, a little before the saddest summer that ever London saw, that I went to the Bowling-Green at Piccadilly, whither, at that time, the best gentry made continual resort. There I met Mr. Cowley, who had lately left Barnelms. There was then a house preparing for him at Chertsey, and till it should be finished, he had come up for a short time to London, that he might urge a suit to his Grace of Buckingham touching certain lands of her Majesty's, whereof he requested a lease. I had the honour to be familiarly acquainted with that worthy gentleman and most excellent poet, whose death hath been deplored with as general a consent of all Powers that delight in the woods, or in verse, or in love, as was of old that of Daphnis or of Gallus.
After some talk, which it is not material to set down at large, concerning his suit and his vexations at the court, where indeed his honesty did him more harm than his parts could do him good, I entreated him to dine with me at my lodging in the Temple, which he most courteously promised. And that so eminent á guest might not lack a better entertainment than cooks or vintners can provide, I sent to the house of Mr. John Milton, in the Artillery-Walk, to beg that he would also be my guest. For, though he had been secretary, first to the Council of State, and after that, to the Protector; and Mr. Cowley had held the same post under the Lord St. Albans in his banishment, I hoped, notwithstanding, that they would think themselves rather united by their common art than divided by their different factions. And so indeed it proved. For while we sate at table, they talked freely of many men and things, as well ancient as modern, with much civility. Nay, Mr. Milton, who seldom tasted wine, both because of his singular temperance and because of his gout, did more than once pledge Mr. Cowley, who was indeed no hermit in Vol. III, PART I.
diet. At last, being heated, Mr. Milton begged that I would open the windows.
“ Nay,” said I,“ if you desire fresh air and coolness, what should hinder us, as the evening is fair, from sailing for an hour on the river ?” To this they both cheerfully consented, and forth we walked, Mr. Cowley and I leading Mr. Milton between us, to the Temple Stairs. There we took a boat, and thence we were rowed
the river. The wind was pleasant; the evening fine; the sky, the earth, and the water beautiful to look upon. But Mr. Cowley and I held our peace, and said nothing of the gay sights around us, lest we should too feelingly remind Mr. Milton of his calamity; whereof, however, he needed no monitor: for soon he said sadly, “ Ah, Mr. Cowley, you are a happy man.
What would I now give but for one more look at the sun, and the waters, and the gardens of this fair city!"
“ I know not,” said Mr. Cowley, " whether we ought not rather to envy you for that which makes you envy
others: and that specially in this place, where all eyes which are not closed in blindness ought to become fountains of tears. What can we look upon which is not a memorial of change and sorrow, of fair things vanished, and evil things done ? When I see the gate of Whitehall, and the stately pillars of the Banquetting House, I cannot choose but think of what I have there seen in former days, masques, and pageants, and dances, and smiles, and the waving of graceful heads, and the bounding of delicate feet. And then I turn to thoughts of other things, which even to remember makes me to blush and weep ;-of the great black scaffold, and the axe and block, which were placed before those very windows; and the voice seems to sound in mine ears, the lawless and terrible voice, which cried out that the head of a king was the head of a traitor. There stands Westminster Hall, which who can look upon, and not tremble to think how time, and change, and death, confound the counsels of the wise, and beat down the weapons of the mighty? How have I seen it surrounded with tens of thousands of petitioners crying for justice and privilege! How have I heard it shake with fierce and proud words, which made the hearts of the people burn within them! Then it is blockaded by dragoons and cleared by pikemen. And they who have conquered their master go forth trembling at the word of their servant. And yet a little while, and the usurper comes forth from it, in his robe of ermine, with the golden staff in one hand and the Bible in the other, amidst the roaring of the guns and the shouting of the people. And yet again a little while, and the doors are thronged with multitudes in black, and the hearse and the plumes come forth ; and the tyrant is borne, in more than royal pomp, to a royal sepulchre. A few days more, and his head is fixed to rot on the pinnacles of
hall where he sat on a throne in his life, and lay in state after his death. When I think on all these things, to look round me makes me sad at heart. True it is that God hath restored to us our old laws, and the rightful line of our kings. Yet, how I know not, but it seems to me that something is wanting—that our court hath not the old gravity, nor our people the old loyalty. These evil times, like the great deluge, have overwhelmed and confused all earthly things. And, even as those waters, though at last they abated, yet, as the learned write, destroyed all trace of the garden of Eden, so that its place hath never since been found, so hath this opening of all the flood-gates of political evil effaced all marks of the ancient political paradise."
“Sir, by your favour,” said Mr. Milton, “though, from many circumstances both of body and of fortune, I might plead fairer excuses for despondency than yourself, I yet look not so sadly either on the past or on the future. Thať a deluge hath passed over this our nation, I deny not. But I hold it not to be such a deluge as that of which you speak; but rather a blessed flood, like those of the Nile, which in its overflow doth indeed wash away ancient landmarks, and confound boundaries, and sweep away dwellings, yea, doth give birth to many foul and dangerous reptiles. Yet hence is the fulness of the granary, the beauty of the garden, the nurture of all living things. 56 I remember well, Mr. Cowley, what you
have said concerning these things in your Discourse of the Government of Oliver Cromwell, which my friend Elwood read to me last year. Truly, for elegance and rhetoric, that essay is to be compared with the finest tractates of Isocrates and Cicero. ' But neither that nor any other book, nor events which, with most men, have, more than any book, weight and authority, have altered my opinion, that of all assemblies that ever were in this world, the best and the most useful was our Long Parliament. I speak not this as wishing to provoke debate, which neither yet do I decline."
Mr. Cowley was, as I could see, a little nettled. Yet, as he was a man of a kind disposition and a most refined courtesy, he put a force upon himself, and answered, with more vehemence and quickness indeed than was his wont, yet not uncivilly. “ Surely, Mr. Milton, you speak not as you think. I am indeed one of those who believe that God hath reserved to himself the censure of kings, and that their crimes and oppressions are not to be resisted by the hands of their subjects. Yet can I easily find excuse for the violence of such as are stung to madness by grievous tyranny. But what shall we say for these men ? Which of their just demands was not granted? Which even of their cruel and unreasonable requisitions, so as it were not inconsistent with all law and order, was refused ? Had they not sent Strafford to the