« 前へ次へ »
'It was usual at Athens for execution very soon to work, DR JOHN GILLIES, historiographer to his follow condemnation--commonly on the morrow; but majesty for Scotland, published The History of it happened that the condemnation of Socrates took | Ancient Greece, its Colonies and Conquests, two place on the eve of the day appointed for the sacred volumes, quarto, 1786. The monarchical spirit of the ceremony of crowning the galley which carried the new historian was scarcely less decided than that of annual offerings to the gods worshipped at Delos, and Mr Mitford, though expressed with less zeal and immemorial tradition forbade all executions till the idiomatic plainness. The history of Greece,' says sacred vessel's return. Thus, the death of Socrates was Dr Gillies, 'exposes the dangerous turbulence of respited thirty days, while his friends had free access democracy, and arraigns the despotism of tyrants. to him in the prison. During all that time he admir. By describing the incurable evils inherent in every ably supported his constancy. Means were concerted republican policy, it evinces the inestimable benefits for his escape; the jailer was bribed, a vessel prepared, resulting to liberty itself from the lawful dominion and a secure retreat in Thessaly provided. No argu- of hereditary kings, and the steady operation of wellments, no prayers, could persuade him to use the op- regulated monarchy. The history of Dr Gillies was portunity. He had always taught the duty of executed with considerable ability and care; a sixth obedience to the laws, and he would not furnish an edition of the work (London, 1820, four volumes, 8vo.) example of the breach of it. To no purpose it was has been called for, and it may still be consulted with urged that he had been unjustly condemned—he had advantage. always held that wrong did not justify wrong. He In 1799 MR SHARON TURNER, a solicitor, comwaited with perfect composure the return of the sacred menced the publication of a series of works on vessel, reasoned on the immortality of the soul, the English history, by wbieh he has obtained a highly advantage of virtue, the happiness derived from having respectable reputation. The first was a History of made it through life his pursuit, and, with his friends the Anglo-Sarons, the second a History of England about him, took the fatal cup and died.
during the Middle Ages : in subsequent publications Writers who, after Xenophon and Plato, have re- he has continued the series to the end of the reign lated the death of Socrates, seem to have held them- of Elizabeth; the whole being comprised in twelve selves bound to vie with those who preceded them in volumes, and containing much new and interesting giving pathos to the story. The purpose here has been information on the government, laws, literature, and rather to render it intelligible—to show its connexion manners, as well as on the civil and ecclesiastical with the political history of Athens-to derive from it history of the country. Fronı an ambitious attempt illustration of the political history. The magnanimity to rival Gibbon in loftiness of style and diction, Mr of Socrates, the principal efficient of the pathos, Turner has disfigured his history by a pomp of surely deserves admiration; yet it is not that in expression and involved intricacy of style, that often which he has most outshone other men. The circumstances of Lord Russel's fate were far more trying. narrative. This defect is more conspicuous in his
border on the ludicrous, and mar the effect of his Socrates, we may reasonably suppose, would have latter volumes. The early part of his history, devoted borne Lord Russel's trial; but with Bishop Burnet for to the Anglo-Saxons, and the labour, as he informs his eulogist, instead of Plato and Xenophon, he would us, of sixteen years, is by far the most valuable. Mr not have had his present splendid fame. The singular Turner has also published a Sacred History of the merit of Socrates lay in the purity and the usefulness of his manners and conversation; the clearness with World, in two volumes: this book is intended to which he saw, and the steadiness with which he prac. view of the chief facts and reasonings on the crea
afford to young persons a selected and concentrated tised, in a blind and corrupt age, all moral duties ; the disinterestedness and the zeal with which he de- tion, intellectual design, and divine economy of the voted himself to the benefit of others; and the en
world, conceived and expressed in such a manner as larged and warm benevolence, whence his supreme to suit the modern style of thought and argument is and almost only pleasure seems to have consisted in which philosophical subjects are presented. doing good. The purity of Christian morality, little
WILLIAM COXE (1748-1828), archdeacon of Wilts, enough, indeed, seen in practice, nevertheless is become
was the author of various historical works of a very 80 familiar in theory, that it passes almost for obvious, elaborate character. His Memoirs of the Life and and even congenial to the human mind. Those only Administration of Sir Robert Walpole, published in ! will justly estimate the merit of that near approach 1798, in three quarto volumes, was the first tolerable to it which Socrates made, who will take the pains to account of any part of our history subsequent to the gather-as they may from the writings of his contem- accession of the house of Hanover. It was followed poraries and predecessors--how little conception was
by Memoirs of Horatio Lord Walpole, in which there : entertained of it before his time; how dull to a just was a view of the times between 1678 and 1757. ' moral sense the human mind has really been ; how These works derive a great value from the mass of slow the progress in the investigation of moral duties, original papers published in connexion with them, even where not only great pains have been taken, but though the author's style is heavy and inelegant. the greatest abilities zealously employed ; and when His History of the llouse of Austria, 1807, and his discovered, how difficult it has been to establish them Memoirs of the Kings of Spain of the House of Bourby proofs beyond controversy, or proofs even that bon, 1813, were almost the first English works in should be generally admitted by the reason of men.
which an acquaintance was displayed with the It is through the light which Socrates diffused by his materials of European history extant in other landoctrine, enforced by his practice, with the advantage guages than the French and Latin. Archdeacon of having both the doctrine and the practice exhibited Coxe also published the Life and Select Works of to highest advantage in the incomparable writings of Benjamin Stillingfleet, and the Life and Papers of the disciples such ay Xenophon and Plato, that his lifc Duke of Marlborough. forms an era in the history of Athens and of man. Resembling Turner and Coxe in the vastness of
his undertakings, but inferior as a writer, was GEORGE CHALMERS (1744-1825), a native of Scotland, and originally a barrister in one of the Ame
rican colonies before their disjunction from Britain. While the first volume of Mitford's history was His first composition, A History of the United Coker before the public, and experiencing that degree of nies, from their Settlement till the Peace of 1763, apfavour which induced the author to continue his peared in 1780, and from time to time he gave to the
DR JOHN GILLIES-MR SHARON TURNER
WILLIAM COXE-GEORGE CHALMERS.
world many works connected with history, politics, attainments, but did not proceed with the work. and literature. In 1807 he commenced the pub- Pecuniary embarrassments also came to cloud his lication of his Caledonia, of which three large latter days. The banking establishment of which volumes had appeared, when his death precluded he was a partner was forced in 1816 to suspend paythe hope of its being completed. It contains, a ment, and Mr Roscoe had to sell his library, piclaborious antiquarian detail of the earlier periods of tures, and other works of art. His love of literature Scottish history, with minute topographical and continued undiminished. He gave valuable assisthistorical accounts of the various provinces of the ance in the establishment of the Royal Institution of country.
Liverpool, and on its opening, delivered an inaugural address on the origin and vicissitudes of literature, science, and art, and their influence on the present state of society. In 1827 he received the great gold
medal of the Royal Society of Literature for his William RoscoE (1753-1831), as the author of merits as a historian. He had previously edited an the Life of Lorenzo de Medici, and the Life and Pon-, edition of Pope, in ten volumes, which led to some tificate of Leo X., may be more properly classed controversy with Mr Bowles, as Mr Roscoe had with our historians than biographers. The two works formed a more favourable, and, we think, just csticontain an account of the revival of letters, and fill mate of the poet than his previous editors. up the blank between Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and Robertson's Charles V. Mr Roscoe was a native of Liverpool, the son of humble parents, and while engaged as clerk to an attorney, he devoted his leisure hours to the cultivation of his taste for MALCOLM LAING, a zenlous Scottish historian, was poetry and elegant literature. He acquired a com- born in the year 1762 at Strynzia, his paternal petent knowledge of the Latin, French, and Italian estate, in Orkney. He was educated for the Scottish languages. After the completion of bis clerkship, bar, and passed advocate in 1785. He appeared as Mr Roscoe entered into business in Liverpool, and an author in 1793, having completed Dr Henry's took an active part in every scheme of improve- History of Great Britain after that author's death. ment, local and national. He wrote a poem on the The sturdy Whig opinions of Laing formed a conWrongs of Africa, to illustrate the evils of slavery, trast to the tame moderatism of Henry; but his and also a pamphlet on the same subject, which was attainments and research were far superior to those translated into French by Madame Necker. The of his predecessor. In 1800 he published The History stirring times in which he lived called forth several of Scotland from the Union of the Crowns on the Accesshort political dissertations from his pen ; but about sion of King James VI. to the throne of England, to the year 1789, he applied himself to the great task the Union of the Kingdoms in the reign of Queen he had long meditated, a biographical account of Anne; with two dissertations, historical and critical, Lorenzo de Medici. He procured much new and on the Gowrie Conspiracy, and on the supposed authenvaluable information, and in 1796 published the ticity of Ossian's Poems. This is an able work, result of his labours in two quarto volumes, entitled marked by strong prejudices and predilections, but The Life of Lorenzo de Medici, called the Magnificent. valuable to the historical student for its acute reasonThe work was highly successful, and at once ele- ing and analysis. Laing attacked the translator of vated Mr Roscoe into the proud situation of one of Ossian with unmerciful and almost ludicrous sevethe most popular authors of the day. A second rity, in revenge for which, the Highland admirers of edition was soon called for, and Messrs Cadell and the Celtic muse attributed his sentiments to the preDavies purchased the copyright for L. 1200. About judice natural to an Orkney man, caused by the the same time he relinquished the practice of an severe checks given by the ancient Caledonians to attorney, and studied for the bar, but ultimately their predatory Scandinavian predecessors! Laing settled as a banker in Liverpool. His next literary replied by another publication-The Poems of Ossian, appearance was as the translator of The Nurse, a &c. containing the Poetical Works of James Macpherpoem, from the Italian of Luigi Tansillo. In 1805 son, Esq. in Prose and Rhyme, with Notes and Tluswas published his second great work, ‘The Life and trations. In 1804 he published another edition of his Pontificate of Leo X.,' four volumes quarto, which, History of Scotland, to which he prefixed a Prethough carefully prepared, and also enriched with liminary Dissertation on the Participation of Mary new information, did not experience the same success Queen of Scots in the Murder of Darnley. The latter as his life of Lorenzo. “The history of the refor- is a very ingenious historical argument, the ablest mation of religion, it has been justly remarked, of Mr Laing's productions, uniting the practised skill 'involved many questions of subtle disputation, as and acumen of the Scottish lawyer with the knowwell as many topics of character and conduct; and, ledge of the antiquary and historian. The latter for a writer of great candour and discernment, it was portion of Mr Laing's life was spent on his paternal scarcely possible to satisfy either the Papists or the estate in Orkney, where he entered upon a course of Protestants.' The liberal sentiments and accom- local and agricultural improvement with the same plishments of Mr Roscoe recommended him to his ardour that he devoted to his literary pursuits. He townsmen as a fit person to represent them in par- died in the year 1818. Mr Laing's merit,' says a liament, and he was accordingly elected in 1806. writer in the Edinburgh Review, 'as a critical inHe spoke in favour of the abolition of the slave trade, quirer into history, an enlightened collector of mateand of the civil disabilities of the Catholics, which rials, and a sagacious judge of evidence, has never excited against him a powerful and violent oppo- been surpassed. In spite of his ardent love of sition. Inclined himself to quiet and retirement, liberty, no man has yet presumed to charge him and disgusted with the conduct of his opponents, he with the slightest sacrifice of historical integrity to withdrew from parliament at the next dissolution, his zeal. That he never perfectly attained the art and resolutely declined offering himself as a can- of full, clear, and easy narrative, was owing to the didate. He still, however, took a warm interest in peculiar style of those writers who were popular in passing events, and published several pamphlets on his youth, and may be mentioned as a remarkable the topics of the day. He projected a history of art instance of the disproportion of particular talents to and literature, a task well suited to his talents and I a general vigour of mind.'
or pretence; but the style of the great statesman,
with all the care bestowed upon it, is far from being JOHN PINKERTON (1758-1825) distinguished him- perfect. It wants force and vivacity, as if, in the self by the fierce controversial tone of his historical process of elaboration, the graphic clearness of writings, and by the violence of his prejudices, yet characters necessary to the historian had evaporated.
narrative and distinct perception of events and was a learned and industrious collector of forgotten fragments of ancient history and of national anti- The sentiments and principles of the author are, quities. He was a native of Edinburgh, and bred to however, worthy of his liberal and capacious mind. the law. The latter, however, he soon forsook for literary pursuits. He commenced by writing im
SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH. perfect verses, which, in his peculiar antique orthography, he styled 'Rimes, from which he diverged As a philosophical historian, critic, and politician, to collecting Select Scottish Ballads, 1783, and in- Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH deserves honourable menditing an Essay on Medals, 1784. Under the name tion. He was also one of the last of the Scottish of Heron, he published some Letters on Literature, and was recommended by Gibbon to the booksellers as a fit person to translate the Monkish Historians. He afterwards (1786) published Ancient Scottish Poems, being the writings of Sir Richard Maitland and others, extracted from a manuscript in the Pepys Library at Cambridge. His first historical work was A Dissertation on the Origin and Progress of the Scythians, or Goths, in which he laid down that theory which he maintained through life, that the Celts of Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, are savages, and have been savages since the world began! His next important work was an Inquiry into the History of Scotland Preceding the Reign of Malcolm III., or 1056, in which he debates at great length, and, as Sir Walter Scott remarks, with much display of learning, on the history of the Goths, and the conquests which he states them to have obtained over the Celts in their progress through all Europe. In 1796 he published a History of Scotland During the Reign of the Stuarts, the most laborious and valuable of his works. He also compiled a Modern Geography, edited a Collection of Voyages and Travels, was some time editor of the Critical Review, wrote a Treatise on Rocks, and was engaged on various other literary tasks. Pinkerton died in want and obscurity in Paris.
Sir James Mackintosh.
metaphysicians, and one of the most brilliant conCHARLES JAMES Fox (1749-1806), the celebrated versers of his times--qualifications apparently very statesman and orator, during his intervals of relaxa- dissimilar. His candour, benevolence, and liberation from public life, among other literary studies lity, gave a grace and dignity to his literary specuand occupations commenced a history of the reign lations and to his daily life. Mackintosh was a of King James II., intending to continue it to the native of Inverness-shire, and was born at Aldouriesettlement at the revolution of 1688. An introduc- house, on the banks of Loch Ness, October 24, 1765. tory chapter, giving a rapid view of our constitu- His father was a brave Highland officer, who postional history from the time of Henry VII., he sessed a small estate, called Kylachy, in his native completed. He wrote also some chapters of his county, which James afterwards sold for £9000. history, but at the time of his death he had made From his earliest days James Mackintosh had a but little progress in his work. Public affairs, and passion for books; and though all his relatives were a strong partiality and attachment to the study of Jacobites, he was a stanch Whig. After studying the classics, and to works of imagination and poetry, at Aberdeen (where he had as a college companion were continually drawing him off from his historical and friend the pious and eloquent Robert Hall), researches, added to which he was fastidiously scru- Mackintosh went to Edinburgh, and studied medipulous as to all the niceties of language, and wished cine. In 1788 he repaired to London, wrote for the to form his plan exclusively on the model of ancient press, and afterwards applied himself to the study writers, without note, digression, or dissertation. of law. In 1791 he published his Vindicia Gallice, • He once assured me,' says Lord Holland, that he a defence of the French Revolution, in reply to would admit no word into his book for which he Burke, which, for cogency of argument, historical had not the authority of Dryden.' We need not knowledge, and logical precision, is a remarkable wonder, therefore, that Mr Fox died before complet- work to be written by a careless and irregular young ing his historical work. Such minute attention to man of twenty-six. Though his bearing to his style, joined to equal regard for facts and circum- great antagonist was chivalrous and polite, Mackinstances, must have weighed down any writer even tosh attacked his opinions with the ardour and of uninterrupted and active application. In 1808 impetuosity of youth, and his work was received the unfinished composition was given to the world with great applause. Four years afterwards he by Lord Holland, under the title of A History of the acknowledged to Burke that he had been the dupe Early Part of the Reign of James the Second, with an of his own enthusiasm, and that a melancholy
Introductory Chapter. An appendix of original experience' had undeceived him. The excesses of papers was also added. The history is plainly the French Revolution had no doubt contributed to written, without the slightest approach to pedantry this change, which, though it afterwards was made
CHARLES JAMES FOX.
the cause of obloquy and derision to Mackintosh, government—a revolution in which the sentiments seems to have been adopted with perfect sincerity and opinions that have formed the manners of the and singleness of purpose. He afterwards delivered European nations are to perish. The age of chivalry and published a series of lectures on the law of is gone, and the glory of Europe extinguished for nature and nations, which greatly extended his ever.'. He follows this exclamation by an eloquent reputation. In 1795 he was called to the bar, and eulogium on chivalry, and by gloomy predictions of in his capacity of barrister, in 1803, he made a the future state of Europe, when the nation that has brilliant defence of M. Peltier, an emigrant royalist been so long accustomed to give her the tone in arts of France, who had been indicted for a libel on and manners is thus debased and corrupted. A caNapoleon, then first consul. The forensic display viller might remark, that ages much more near the of Mackintosh is too much like an elaborate essay meridian fervour of chivalry than ours have witor dissertation, but it marked him out for legal pro- nessed a treatment of queens as little gallant and motion, and he received the appointment (to which generous as that of the Parisian mob. He might rehis poverty, not his will, consented) of Recorder of mind Mr Burke that, in the age and country of Sir Bombay. He was knighted, sailed from England in Philip Sidney, a queen of France, whom no blindness the beginning of 1804, and after discharging faith- to accomplishment, no malignity of detraction, could fully his high official duties, returned at the end of reduce to the level of Maria Antoinetta, was, by a seven years, the earliest period that entitled him to nation of men of honour and cavaliers,' permitted to his retiring pension of £1200 per annum.
Mackin- languish in captivity, and expire on a scaffold; and tosh now obtained a seat in parliament, and stuck he might add, that the manners of a country are faithfully by his old friends the Whigs, without one more surely indicated by the systematic cruelty of glimpse of favour, till in 1827 his friend Mr Can- a sovereign, than by the licentious frenzy of a mob. ning, on the formation of his administration, made He might remark, that the mild system of modern him a privy councillor. On the accession of the manners which survived the massacres with which Whig ministry in 1830, he was appointed a com- fanaticism had for a century desolated and almost missioner for the affairs of India. On questions of barbarised Europe, might perhaps resist the shock of criminal law and national policy Mackintosh spoke one day's excesses committed by a delirious popuforcibly, but he cannot be said to have been a suc
lace. cessful parliamentary orator. Amid the bustle of
But the subject itself is, to an enlarged thinker, public business he did not neglect literature, though fertile in reflections of a different nature. That syshe wanted resolution for continuous and severe study. tem of manners which arose among the Gothic nations The charms of society, the interruptions of public of Europe, of which chivalry was more properly the business, and the debilitating effects of his residence effusion than the source, is, without doubt, one of the in India, also co-operated with his constitutional most peculiar and interesting appearances in human indolence in preventing the realisation of the ambi- affairs. The moral causes which formed its character tious dreams of his youth. He contributed, how- have not perhaps been hitherto investigated with the
But to confine ourselves to the subever, various articles to the Edinburgh Review, and happiest success. wrote a masterly Dissertation on the Progress of ject before us, chivalry was certainly one of the most Ethical Philosophy for the Encyclopædia Britannica. prominent features and remarkable effects of this
Candour must confess that this He wrote three volumes of a compendious and system of manners. popular History of England for Lardner's Cabinet singular institution is not alone admirable as a corCyclopædia, which, though deficient in the graces contributed to polish and soften Europe. It paved
rector of the ferocious ages in which it flourished. It of narrative and style, contains some admirable the way for that diffusion of knowledge and extension views of constitutional history and antiquarian research. His learning was abundant; he wanted planted it, and gave a new character to manners.
of commerce which afterwards in some measure suponly method and elegance. He also contributed a Society is inevitably progressive. In government, short but valuable life of Sir Thomas More (which sprung out of his researches into the reign of commerce has overthrown that 'feudal and chival. Henry VIII., and was otherwise a subject congenial religion, learning has subverted that superstition
rous' system under whose shade it first grew. In to his taste) to the same miscellany; and he was
whose opulent endowments had first fostered it. Pecuengaged on a History of the Revolution of 1688, liar circumstances softened the barbarism of the when his life was somewhat suddenly terminated middle ages to a degree which favoured the admission on the 30th of May 1832. The portion of his his, of commerce and the growth of knowledge. These tory of the Revolution which he had written and circumstances were connected with the manners of corrected (amounting to about 350 pages) was pub- chivalry; but the sentiments peculiar to that instilished in 1834, with a continuation by some writer tution could only be preserved by the situation which who was opposed to Sir James in many essential gave them birth. They were themselves enfeebled in points. In the works of Mackintosh we have only the progress from ferocity and turbulence, and
almost the fragments of a capacious mind; but in all of obliterated by tranquillity and refinement. But the them his learning, his candour, his strong love of auxiliaries which the manners of chivalry had in truth, his justness of thinking and clearness in per- rude ages reared, gathered strength from its weakness, ceiving, and his genuine philanthropy, are conspi, and flourished in its decay. Commerce and diffused
It is to be regretted that he had no Boswell knowledge have, in fact, so completely assumed the to record his conversation.
ascendant in polished nations, that it will be difficult
to discover any relics of Gothic manners but in a fan[Chivalry and Modern Manners.]
tastic exterior, which has survived the generous illu[From the Vindiciæ Gallicæ.]
sions that made these manners splendid and seduc
tive. Their direct influence has long ceased in Europe ; The collision of armed multitudes [in Paris] ter- but their indirect influence, through the medium of minated in unforeseen excesses and execrable crimes. those causes, which would not perhaps have existed In the eye of Mr Burke, however, these crimes and but for the mildness which chivalry created in the excesses assume an aspect far more important than midst of a barbarous age, still operates with increascan be cominunicated to them by their own insulated | ing vigour. The manners of the middle age were, in guilt. They form, in his opinion, the crisis of a the most singular sense, compulsory. Enterprising revolution far more important than any change of benevolence was produced by general fierceness, gal
lant courtesy by ferocious rudeness, and artificial reason, the refuge of oppressed innocence and persegentleness resisted the torrent of natural barbarism. cuted truth, have perished with those ancient prinBut a less incongruous system has succeeded, in which ciples which were their sole guardians and protectors. commerce, which unites men's interests, and know. They have been swallowed up by that fearful convulledge, which excludes those prejudices that tend to sion which has shaken the uttermost corners of the embroil them, present a broader basis for the stability earth. They are destroyed, and gone for ever! One of civilised and beneficent manners.
asylum of free discussion is still inviolate. There is Mr Burke, indeed, forebodes the most fatal conse- still one spot in Europe where man can freely exercise quences to literature, from events which he supposes his reason on the most important concerns of society, to have given a mortal blow to the spirit of chivalry. where he can boldly publish his judgment on the acts I have ever been protected from such apprehensions of the proudest and most powerful tyrants. The press by my belief in a very simple truth-that diffused of England is still free. It is guarded by the free knowledge immortalises itself. A literature which is constitution of our forefathers. It is guarded by the confined to a few, may be destroyed by the massacre hearts and arms of Englishmen, and I trust I may of scholars and the conflagration of libraries, but the venture to say, that if it be to fall, it will fall only diffused knowledge of the present day could only be under the ruins of the British empire. It is an awful annihilated by the extirpatiou of the civilised part consideration, gentlemen. Every other monument of of mankind.
European liberty has perished. That ancient fabric
which has been gradually reared by the wisdom and [Extract from Speech in Defence of Mr Peltier, for a be to God! solid and entire but it stands alone, and
virtue of our fathers, still stands. It stands, thanks Libel on Napoleon Bonaparte, Pebruary 1803.)
it stands in ruins! Believing, then, as I do, that we Gentlemen—There is one point of view in which are on the eve of a great struggle, that this is only the this case seems to merit your most serious attention. first battle between reason and power--that you have The real prosecutor is the master of the greatest em now in your hands, committed to your trust, the only pire the civilised world ever saw—the defendant is a remains of free discussion in Europe, now confined to defenceless proscribed exile. I consider this case, this kingdom ; addressing you, therefore, as the guartherefore, as the first of a long series of conflicts be- dians of the most important interests of mankind; tween the greatest power in the world, and the only convinced that the unfettered exercise of reason de FREE PRESS remaining in Europe. Gentlemen, this pends more on your present verdict than on any other distinction of the English press is new—it is a proud that was ever delivered by a jury, I trust I may rely and a melancholy distinction. Before the great earth- with confidence on the issue-I trust that you will quake of the French Revolution had swallowed up all consider yourselves as the advanced guard of liberty the asylums of free discussion on the continent, we as having this day to fight the first battle of free disenjoyed that privilege, indeed, more fully than others, cussion against the most formidable enemy that it but we did not enjoy it exclusively. In Holland, in ever encountered ! Switzerland, in the imperial towns of Germany, the press was either legally or practically free. Holland and Switzerland are no more ; and, since the com
DR JOHN LINGARD, &c. mencement of this prosecution, fifty imperial towns have been erased from the list of independent states lished in 1819 three volumes of a History of England
Dr John LINGARD, a Roman Catholic priest, pubby one dash of the pen. Three or four still preserve a precarious and trembling existence. I will not say "continued his work in five more volumes, bringing
from the Invasion by the Romans. He subsequently by what compliances they must purchase its continuance. I will not insult the feebleness of states whose down his narrative to the abdication of James L. unmerited fall I do most bitterly deplore.
To talents of a high order, both as respects acuteThese governments were, in many respects, one of ness of analysis and powers of description and narthe most interesting parts of the ancient system of rative, Dr Lingard added unconquerable industry Europe. The perfect security of such inconsiderable and access to sources of information new and im. and feeble states, their undisturbed tranquillity portant. He is generally more impartial than Hume, amidst the wars and conquests that surrounded them, or even Robertson; but it is undeniable that his reattested, beyond any other part of the European sys- ligious opinions have in some cases perverted the tem, the moderation, the justice, the civilisation, to fidelity of his history, leading him to palliate the which Christian Europe had reached in modern tiines. atrocities of the Bartholomew massacre, and to Their weakness was protected only by the habitual darken the shades in the characters of Queen Elizareverence for justice which, during a long series of beth, Cranmer, Anne Boleyn, and others connected ages, had grown up in Christendom. This was the with the reformation in the church. His work was only fortification which defended them against those subjected to a rigid scrutiny by Dr John Allen, in two mighty nionarchs to whom they offered so easy a prey. elaborate articles in the Edinburgh Review, by the And, till the French Revolution, this was sufficient. Rey. Mr Todd (who published a defence of the cha. Consider, for instance, the republic of Geneva ; think racter of Cranmer), and by other zealous Protestant of her defenceless position in the very jaws of France; writers. To these antagonists Dr Lingard replied but think also of her undisturbed security, of her pro- in 1826 by a vindication of his fidelity as a histofound quiet, of the brilliant success with which she rian, which affords an excellent specimen of calm applied to industry and literature while Louis XIV. controversial writing. His work has now taken its was pouring his myriads into Italy before her gates ; place among the most valuable of our national his. il call to mind, if ages crowded into years have not tories. It has gone through three editions, and has effaced them from your memory, that happy period been received with equal favour on the contincat. when we scarcely dreamed more of the subjugation of The most able of his critics (though condemning his the feeblest republic in Europe than of the conquest account of the English Reformation, and other pasof her mightiest empire, and tell me if you can ima- sages evincing a peculiar bias) admits that Dr Lin. gine a spectacle more beautiful to the moral eye, or gard possesses, what he claims, the rare merit of a more striking proof of progress in the noblest prin- having collected his materials from original histo ciples of civilisation. These feeble states, these mo- rians and records, by which his narrative receives a numents of the justice of Europe, the asylum of peace, freshness of character, and a stamp of originality, of industry, and of literature: the organs of public not to be found in any general history of England