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property, belonging to all, and not, like the latter, the partial fortune of an enlightened few.
• I am persuaded that the experience acquired by the French nation during their long and stormy Revolution, will nor be lost. Their political vanity and presumption required a tremendous lesson. They have passed through many phases, from the wildest anarchy to the most oppressive despotism; and they now really know what is not freedom. They seek repose, but it must be repose under the safe shelter of liberty. “They pretend not,” to use the language of the Duke d'Otrante, in his letter to the Duke of Wellington,
: They pretend not to more liberty than that of England, but they seek to be as free.” You will not, I am sure, answer, as I have heard some of our countrymen, “Liberty for England, but arbitrary government for the continent." England needs not fear the rivalship of France in its constitutional freedom. It will be some time before the French reach your practical science on this subject. They have indeed already lost some of that vanity of knowledge, which is only found in the first steps of its acquirement, because we look back on the time when we knew nothing. The French were too proud of their A B C liberty: they feel now that the alphabet is only the rudiment of science. They have learnt the table of contents of liberal principles, and they will at last comprehend the whole volume.
• The Revolution, amidst all its abuses and its crimes, has shed a new ray of light upon France, and it were vain to expect that the French will shut their minds against it, and prefer the darkness of ignorance. The eternal principles of liberty are independent of the purposes to which they have been made subservient. hat is good in those principles is unperishable, and what has been evil in their application will be transitory. But time has no spunye that can wipe from the memory of the French the great event of the Revolution, and restore prejudices that are swept away, ideas that are eradicated, manners that are changed, and affections that are extinct. The spirit of constitutional representation is abroad, and will walk the world. Lewis XVIII. has no reason to fear its energies, for he will be strong only in its strength.' pp. 304--307.
Art. VII. A Second Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, partly a Parody
on that of Lord Byron. . 8vo. pp. 15. Price ls." Gale and Co.
1815. THIS second ode, written in imitation of many imitators,
on the model of Lord Byron's, is well designed, but the Author does not appear much accustomed to clothe his thoughts in the diction of poetry. Imitations, in general, only serve to reflect the faults of the original. The abruptness of style, the boldness of ellipsis, and the intensity of expression, which give a somewhat too prominent manner to Lord Byron's poems, infallibly betray the parodist into obscurity and incorrectness.Anthors of bad imitations might frequently have sucoeeded better in the natural expression of their feelings. Such a production as the present, however, may plead exemption from the severity of criticism. The reader shall judge of its merits, from the following stanzas.
• 'Tis done-a Felon yesterday,
And pacing round his cage ;
He rushes to engage
What more can man bestow ?
And blasted all below.
Can guilt so gorged yet grow?
Who calls no drop his own?
His heart a central stone !
Save for & sinking throne,
Each sympathy that links mankind !--Stanzas I. II. X. We must confess that the last stanza of the Ode is to us unin, telligible.
Aft. VIII. The History of Little Davy's New Hat. With En
gravings. 18mo. pp. 64. price 2s. Darton and Co. 1815. A SIMPLE story adapted to village children, to teach
those whose parents are wealthy, to be kind and charitable, and those who are poor, to bear disappointments with patience. There are touches of nature in this rural tale, an artlessness of expression, and an air of intimacy with the short and simple annals of the poor,' which sufficiently designate the author, whose initials, R. B. are affixed to the Preface : but the reader, to be pleased with it, must descend in feeling to the level of childhood and poverty, and fancy he is listening to the tones which had power in infancy to fix his attention to the most humble incidents of real life. Children, in these cases, are
the best critics, and we have no doubt that with them Little Davy will be a favourite. We must give a short extract.
* Sunday, a day of rest. A country village is still and quiet at all times ; but, on a Sunday morning is still more peaceable. You do not hear the miller's cart go by ; nor the ploughman's horses, with their clinking chains, going to the field. Even the cow-boys, though they drive the cows to and from the meadows, know better than to sing and halloo as they go. All the people, though they do not dress fine and gay, make themselves as clean as they can. Soon after breakfast, the clerk of the parish goes by with the great church key in his hand, and you soon hear the bells' begin to chime. This is not heard as we hear it in great cities and towns, along with many other bells and other noises ; but, as it comes only once a week, the sound is always pleasing, always new, and every body knows what it means.
• The Woodly's family lived at some distance from the church; but they heard the bells, and Davy and his grandfather set off to. gether, as they always did. Mrs. Woodly was getting ready, and, as she put on her and shook her clean apron, Mr. Woodly, who was reading the Bible, said in a low voice, “Good Heaven deliver
from trouble.” He had staid away from church several Sundays before, and did not mean to go now, but when his wife asked him to
go with her, he said: “I cannot find the pleasure I used to do in going to church. I am sunk in poverty : I have no decent clothes. These times have ruined me, and I cannot be what I was: and though in my heart I despise the sneer of a fool, yet I know that the Squire's gamekeeper, and some others, will let me know that they have better coats than mine, although, perhaps, not of their own buying."
• Mrs. Woodly was vexed to hear him talk so, though she knew what he said to be true, and still asked him, tenderly, to go with her, saying, it would ease his mind, and, at any rate, would be better than sitting at home. But he still answered « No.” “ Well,”! said she, “ I will go, if it were only to pray for PEACE, and that I may see my poor boy Will before I die.” At the sound of peace and his son's name, he rose instantly from his seat, brushed his hat and shoes, and went to Church with his wife. He was one of the psalm-singers, and there were several neighbours glad to see him; and he has often said since, that he never sang better, nor felt more pleasure than he did that day.' pp. 41-43. Art. IX. The Majolo : a Tale, 12mo. pp. 252. Prices.
Colburn. . 1815. WE
E find it difficult to characterize this singular production,
The perusal of it pleasingly interested us, and the impression which the Majolo left upon our imagination, was that of his being the counterpart of not an ordinary mind. But in proceeding to analyze the opinions and notions ascribed to
the hero,' the development of which, through the advantageous
medium of an ideal character, is the professed object of the volume, we found that they were much better adapted to amuse the fancy than to satisfy the judgement. The sentiments ex. pressed by the Majolo, pleased us, we found, more from their dramatic propriety, as being the expression of character, than from their intrinsic value, in point either of depth or novelty. They seem to be the speculations of a mind more accustomed to imagine than to reason, more prone to credulity than to scepticism, and displaying more originality of thought than extent of information
There is a degree of originality which even common thoughts assume, when, instead of being mechanically introduced into the mind in the shape of acquired knowledge, they result from the operations of the mind itself, or are suggested by observation. But life is not long enough to allow of our arriving at the general knowledge necessary for the conduct of life, by the circuitous road of self-discovery and invention : and therefore, at the hazard of our characters and modes of thinking partaking too much of commonness, we must be glad to receive our information ready made from books. With this knowledge, often unappreciated and ill-digested, ordinary minds are too apt to content themselves, and their thoughts never go beyond what they thus acquire ; but persons who have early addicted themselves to abstract reflection at a time when they had scanty means of information, will afterwards, from habit, continue to find greater pleasure in the spontaneous exercise of their faculties, than in receiving the benefit of the thoughts and researches of other men. They will sometimes feel an impatience of submitting their crude opinions to the test of established experience, or to the authority of knowledge, and it will awaken an unwelcome feeling of mortification, to find themselves perpetually forestalled in their solitary discoveries, or bighwrought speculations, by ancient genius or modern science. It requires a simplicity of mind, a sincerity in the pursuit of knowledge, not to be in danger, from finding every common path explored and pre-occupied, of starting aside into eccentricity, and playing the speculative philosopher, who is himself alone
his great authority. But no intellectual error is more fatal to substantial improvement, than that of making the conjectures of imagination the data of our reasonings, by which means persons not unfrequently, by a delusion similar to that imposed upon Don Quixote in his aerial tour on the wooden horse, fancy themselves to have attained a height of discovery, to be on the very confines of the material system, while they are still stationary, and on a level with the vulgar in point of actual attainment.
The character of the Majolo is very well conceived and finely portrayed. His opinions seem the natural growth of a mind in which imagination uniformly appears to be the ascendant faculty. His remarks, which are frequently ingenious, sometimes profound, but occasionally of a doubtful tendency, are of that metaphysical cast which we might expect from a solitary thinker ; but whose metaphysics partake more of poetry than of philosophy. The combination of ingenuous egotism and reserve, of arrogance and modesty, of energy and weakness, which gives to the character of the Majolo much of its picturesque effect, is well delineated, and we conceive, perfectly natura).
But it is time to introduce the Majolo bimself to our readers. We must first inform them, on the authority of Mr. Galt, that the Majoli are children of Sardinian peasants, who are invited to come to Cagliari, to serve in families for their food and lodging, on condition of being allowed to attend the schools of an institution formed for the purpose of affording . an opportunity to humble born genius to expand its faculties and acquire distinction.'
Some of them rise to high situations; the greater number, however, return back to the provinces and relapse into their hereditary rusticity ; but the effects of their previous instruction remain ; and sometimes, in remote and obscure valleys, the traveller meets with a peasant who, in the uncouth and savage garb of the country, shews a tincture of the polish and intelligence of the town. p. 8.
The effect of the Majolo's appearance is very naturally described. It is to be remarked, that the sentiments delivered by the Author in the first person, are what he conceives to be generally pro'fessed by the world.'
• There was a tone of ease and equality in the way with which he expressed himself, that added something like a feeling of mortification to the surprise with which I continued to be still more strongly affected. His politeness had nothing of assumption in it, but the very idea of a person in so humble a walk of life, putting himself on a level with me, almost impressed me with a sense of inferiority. I felt as if my consequence was rebuked by his genius, and though perfectly unconscious of having received any other treatment than the most marked respect, a shade of dislike came across my mind, and, without the slightest cause, I thought the Majolo an arrogant and presuming fellow. It was impossible to deny to myself that he was a man of talent; his eye, his manner, his person, his language were indisputable proofs that he was no ordinary man. But the deference to which I had always been accustomed, was set aside by his self-posses. sion, and although there was not a particle of familiarity in his address, such was the obvious independence of his mind, that it clispleased my pride. In natural endowment I was not disposed to pretend to an equality, and in experience I was willing to acknowledge that he had the advantage of seniority, but his lofty consciousness of independence, was, to say the plain truth, excessively disagreeablé.