ページの画像
PDF
ePub

and Mi Wright has illustrated the pas- ceived it, and the influence which the un. sage, by the portrait of a sweet placid. qualified commendation of persons of cul. faced child, beaming out innocence and tivated taste is sure to have on the public undisquieted adolescence.—But who will mind, we have fair reason for believing regard its inaptitude !

the object of the publishers will be fully attained, and their efforts correspondingly

rewarded. The choicest conceptions of MEMORIALS OF OXFORD, &c. No. 2. The the great minds of Canova, Thorwaldsen, plates in this number are the “ Interior Chantrey, Flaxman, Westmacott, and of Christ Church Cathedral, and the Exte- other noble spirits thus made beautirior of the Library ;" together with five fully manifest on paper, and enriched (it wood-cuts, all clever and all creditable. is hardly too extravagant a word) by When completed, if completed as it com- the gentle effusions of Mr. Hervey's muse, mences, the work will be a very accepta- cannot fail to make way. ble addition to the library of the historian. The subjects of the present number

ILLUSTRATIONS OF MODERN SCULP- are_). CHANTREY's Resignation.-2. TURE. Part 2.-When first we stum. BAILY's well. remembered group of a ble upon the happy thoughts of clever mother and child, here called Maternal people, we are always surprised that Love ; and 3d. The Hebe of THORWALDthey never occurred before, or to our- SEN, “a name which disputed the palm selves; and accordingly, when first were with Canova, during that great artist's placed before us these illustrations, life, and has no Continental rival since we could not, for the soul of us, con- his death." A non-extensive circulation ceive how this glorious mine of the for such a work as this would be a diso rich and the beautiful should have so graceful stain upon the national taste. long remained unwrought and even un. We have just glanced at the Landthought of. Compared with the sister scape Annual, and TURNER'S Annual arts, sculpture has been hitherto confined Tour : they both appear to be rich in all to the admiration of the few ; for few that is delightful to the eye, and excellent have had the opportunities of appreciat. in art ; but the latter, on a rapid survey, ing its true value, which the advan- seems certainly a production of extraortage of multiplied representations would dinary beauty and extraordinary merit. have afförded. The obscuring curtain, Year after year have we been supposing however, is now drawn aside, and the that the works of this description had vision of all that is noble in form and reached their climax of perfection, that excellent in conception-the palpable em. the lovely in nature had been fairly bodiment of the essential soul in its lof. wrought dry, and that human skill could tiest flights, and its holiest exercises, go no farther; yet, strange to see, every displayed in the imagined perfection of succeeding year throws into comparative human configuration, is now in progress shade those which preceded them. Truly of being disclosed; and very particularly nature and art are both exhaustless ! done. We thank and congratulate you, WINTER EXHIBITIONS OF THE So. Mr. Hervey, upon the task you have so CIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS.--The creditably and chivalrously undertaken. Society's rooms in Suffolk Street have

The work now before us, in its second been opened for the winter season; they number, justifies the high encomium we contain a very excellent selection from the passed upon the first, considered as the works of Reynolds, Lawrence, Northsplendid precursor of a publication which cote, and other distinguished artists, we deemed eminently calculated to ele, which will well repay the connoisseur, vate sculpture to its proper position a- and be meat for the minds of young as. mong the Fine Arts, in the estimation of pirants for digesting. all classes. From the cordial welcome A similar Exhibition is opened at Exwith which the periodical press has re- eter Hall. We have not yet visited it,

but report speaks very favourably of the • Relfe and Unwin.

selection.

THE DRAMA.

EDINBURGH.-At the THEATRE Roy. such as they deserved. Since the deparAL, EDINBURGH, we have had De Begnis' ture of the Italians, we have had Rob Italian Company, performing for some Roy, and our other standard Dramas, perweeks the best Operas to full houses. formed by the Edinburgh Company to We are glad that the reception of this comparatively empty benches. By and Company of excellent performers has been by, however, we expect to see the Theatre

filled in every part with merry faces, ex- which must have raised the Hidalgo's panding with glee at the drolleries of an blood several degrees beyond the boiling excellent Christmas Pantomime. Murray point. Other things have been dragged gets up these things well.

forth, which, like bubbles on stagnant

water, have risen and burst, leaving the LONDON.-We regret to say that the surface stagnant still. At Covent Garden, non-arrival of our London correspon. Mr Knowles has been playing his own dent's remarks on the theatrical events William Tell and Virginius to full auof the month till the last moment allowed diences, and creditably to his rising repu. us for going to press, prevents our doing tation as an actor. Miss Kelly is engaged more than abstracting the gist of them. at this house, and her powers are undi. At Drury Lane, OTHELLO has been se- minished; she is unquestionably the best veral times repeated, with a success which actress on the English stage. The Balles the resuscitation of Kean's original pow. of “ Masaniello" has been got up gor. ers, and the excellent acting of Macready geously, and has attracted houses “ full to were sure to command. Don Telesforo overflowing." These matters, as we have de Trueba has had the distinguished said, we are compelled to divest of their gratification of bringing out a Drama, amplitude; and the MINORS must be con. which has been very heartily damned every tent with our simple assertion, that they night of its performance; and of being ac- deserve the patronage they receive. cused of plagiarisms therein, in terms

MUSIC.

THE OVERTURE AND INTRODUCTION we will spare our readers and ourselves

TO THE OPERA OF ROBERT LE DIA- the infliction of a repetition. The overBLE. G. MEYERBEER.

ture is arranged for the piano with a flute THE PAS DE LA BOUGUETIERE, Danced and violin accompaniment. This and the

by Mlle. Taglioni. G. MEYERBEER. pas will be found to contain some stiff SOUVENIRS OF MEYERBEER'S CELE. but very instructive practice; the grand

BRATED OPERA, &c. arranged for two and imposing style of the one, and the dePerformers, by W. WATTS. Book II. lightful measure of the other, are very SCHAPPLE.

beautiful exemplifications of the compoTo those who had the good fortune to ser's genius. witness the production of this delightful The Souvenirs of the present book conOpera last season at the King's Theatre, tain the chorus of “ Nous sommes tous these pieces will be received not with vain flattés," "0 Fortune," and “ Malheur thanks, but with acceptance bonnteous! sans egal.” They are very cleverly arrangIt would be something supererogatory to ed for two performers on the piano ; and enter just now into a disquisition upon the while they reflect great credit on the abilimerits of a composition, after the very ty of Mr. Watts, their simplicity and conable critiques which were elaborated on trivance will render them, there is little the occasion of its first introduction, and doubt, very popular.

J. Johnstone, 19, St. James' Squirr, Edinburg.

TAIT'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

FINALITY: OR THE EDES ALTHORPIANÆ.

WITH SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR THE GRAVE CONSIDERATION OF MINISTERS.

THERE are some things respecting which we do not very well know what to think of our present Ministers. They seem to be assorted like ninepins; if one be impinged upon, it commonly knocks down the others. In this sense, and in this alone it is, that they seem disposed to stand or fall together. They have no common mind, no community of sentiment or opinion, no determinate principles of action, no recognised or coherent system of policy; and hence each does precisely that which seemeth good in his own eyes, without regard to the position of his colleagues, or the consistency and stability of the general government. Every one appears to act for himself; no one seems to concern himself about what may have been said or done by his official confrères. In the West, Lord John Russell menaces the Conservatives with the ballot, and an extension of the franchise ; in the midland and eastern counties, Lord Althorp, Mr. Stanley, and Sir James Graham respectively volunteer declarations that the Re. form Bill is to be considered as a final measure. According to the former, Reform is only in its infancy ; according to the latter, it is full-grown, matured, and incapable of any further increase. By what fell from Lord John Russell, it would appear that the Movement is only be. ginning; but were any weight to be attached to the ultroneous declarations of the Ministerial triumvirate above named, we should be led to believe that it had already ended. Indulgence must, no doubt, be shown, and due allowances made, for the excitement and license of electioneering harangues ; and some may not unreasonably think that such unpremeditated sallies ought not to be construed ad pedem literæ. But still some degree of self-restraint and caution is usually expected in a Minister of the Crown; every word uttered by whom will neces. sarily have importance attached to it; and, certainly, if ever there was a time when the Members of the Government ought most anxiously No. XI.--VOL. II.

2 P

to abstain from committing themselves by rash or ill-considered declarations, involving pledges as to the future policy of the State, the present is that time. Contraries cannot be believed. It cannot possibly be true that, while the Government are prepared to entertain projects of further and more effectual Reform, they have at the same time agreed to hold the late measure as a final and conclusive settlement. Somebody must be terribly committed.

But let us attend for a little to the spontaneous declarations of the Ministerial trio above named: they are all-important at the present moment. The Reform Bill, say the triumvirate, is to be considered as a final settlement; and young Stanley is particularly fierce in yelping out this dogma. Now, what right had they, or any one of them, to make such a declaration ? Have they the presumption to imagine that they can dictate to a Reformed House of Commons? Do they really fancy that they will be permitted to lay under interdict that great branch of legis. lation, which most immediately concerns the political rights and interests of the People ? Or, are they, in their ineffable presumption, preparing an Index Expurgatorius for the new Parliament, in which are to be inserted all those questions which they chuse to consider as finally settled? One of two things must be true: Either they regard the Reform Acts as so perfect in their first concoction that human wisdom and experience cannot improve them; or they hold that enough has already been conceded to the country, that the people are in danger of becoming too powerful, and that henceforth they must abandon the Movement, and make common cause with the Conservative party.

Now, first, as to the supposed perfection of the late Reform measure, we affirm that, however excellent in principle, it is, in many respects, abominably vicious in its details; and that of these not a few seem to have been devised for the express purpose of defeating its professed ob. jects. Can any thing be imagined more preposterous or incongruous, for example, than to enfranchise tenants at will, without at the same time providing for them some protection against the corrupt influences to which every one must have foreseen that they would be exposed ? The man spoken of in the parable, who said to the naked and the hungry, Be ye clothed and be ye fed, without, however, contributing a farthing towards the relief of their necessities, did not act with more insulting cruelty than the statesman who said to the tenants at will, Be ye enfranchised, and yet neglected to make any provision for enabling them to exercise, in a free and independent manner, the rights conferred upon them. The privilege thus bestowed upon them was not a boon but a curse; it was a snare to the conscience, as well as an insult to the un. derstanding; and, even when viewed in the most favourable light, could only be regarded as a power held in trust for behoof of the landlord, and to be exercised just as he might chuse to prescribe. If it be asked, what has been the consequence ? Inquire of Mr. Western, and he will tell. That gentleman, on some erroneous theory or conception of his own, voted for the Chandos clause, and has been made its victim. He has paid the penalty of his fatal mistake, and been displaced to make room for a man who, every thing by starts and nothing long, has rendered his name a synonyme for slipperiness and tergiversation. Counties formerly independent have been reduced to the state of nomination burghs ; the constituency has been at once degraded and demoralized ; all the worst influences of the most corrupt periods of the constitution have been strengthened ; and a bonus has been offered for reducing the whole yeomanry of England to the condition of serfs, abjectly dependent on the sovereign will and pleasure of their landlords. Again, look to the qualification clause, and the limitations with which it is clogged ; exa. mine it by itself, and then attend to the results which it has practically led to. Devised, indeed, it must have been, not in the spirit of enfranchisement, but disfranchisement ; for how else could the payment of an impost, against which the country at large raised its voice, and which, in spite of all opposition, must ere long be repealed—how could this have been adjected as an indispensable condition of being admitted to the exercise of an undoubted political right? Had not the tax. gatherer sufficient security before ? Was not the unlimited power of distraining sufficient for him ? And why, then, were persons a few days more in arrears with him than their neighbours interdicted from claiming and obtaining a right constituted on grounds with which he had no earthly concern? Was not this a shocking hardship, as well as a disgraceful anomaly? How could it be viewed in any light, except as an expedient—and a most effectual one, too—for preventing the en. franchisement of numbers, who were otherwise as well entitled, and as well qualified, to exercise the franchise as any of those more fortunate individuals who had satisfied the tax-gatherer by the statutory day, and, moreover, escaped the entanglements of pettifogging and chicanery?

With these glaring iniquities stamped on its very front, with defects innumerable in its provisions, with omissions not less glaring than its defects, with its arbitrary schedules and its multiplied anomalies, this, then, is the ébauche, as rude in execution as it is undeniably excellent in design, which is to be held as a final measure, and which, like a law of the Medes and Persians, is never to be touched by the hand of im. provement! The first rough, hastily-sketched draught is to be accepted as a finished piece, and as such is to be framed and suspended in the Edes Althorpiana of modern legislation. We are to hold that as perfected which has only been commenced, and, in deference to ignorance, presumption, or insincerity, to assume that we have got to the end while we are only at the beginning. This is what is gravely required of us by some of those men whom Providence, in its inscrutable wisdom, has raised to be rulers in this great, powerful, and enlightened kingdom. But, happily, we live in an age when such insolent and intolerable nonsense is certain to meet with the scorn which it deserves; and when a doctrine which would have dishonoured the fourteenth century cannot be promulgated with impunity. No man possessed of any understanding, and desirous of being thought capable of combining two ideas together, would, at this time of day, so far impeach his own claim to rationality as to pronounce any effort of the human mind, however anxiously elaborated, final. For who can set limits to the expansive powers of the understanding, when stimulated to vigorous exertion, and afforded full scope for their activity ? Who can pretend to stay the onward march of improve.. ment, or to roll back the mighty current of knowledge and opinion, which is every hour gaining additional strength and force, and setting in strongly in a forward direction? Is there any man vain, shallow, or presumptuous enough to imagine that he can anticipate all that experience may hereafter' teach, and, with the partial knowledge of the pre.. sent, legislate with certainty or safety for the future? If we cannot tell what a day may bring forth, and if the profoundest sagacity may be as easily baffled as the most confined and narrow perceptions, how can we, without an excess of folly and absurdity, pretend to fix the destinies

« 前へ次へ »