« 上一頁繼續 »
We may say of Pitt that we admiré and respect but do not love him, though no one now can hate him. Of Fox again we must say that we respect him not at all, but we admire the versatility of his capacious intellect, and find it impossible not to love his genial, erring, and we must add unprincipled nature. The former had most of the qualities which conduce to political power, but wanted conciliation; with which, however, he could dispense, inheriting as he did much of the natural right to command, so largely possessed by his father. Fox had what Pitt wanted; no one made friends so easily, but he had one defect which was fatal to his success as an ambitious man-he could not be trusted.
Brougham's sketch of Lord Melville is too racy to be omitted, though the Scotch statesman is hardly entitled to rank with those whose portraits we have been examining. The secret of his power, says Brougham, was
No doubt owing, partly to the unhesitating and unqualified determination which regulated his conduct of devoting his whole patronage to the support of his party, and to the extent of that patronage, from his being so long minister of India, as well as having the whole Scotch preferment at his absolute disposal; bat it was also in part owing to the engaging qualities of the man-a steady, determined friend, who only stood the faster by those who wanted him the more; nay, who even in their errors or their faults would not give up his adherents. An agreeable companion, from the joyous hilarity of his manners, void of all affectation, all pride, all pretension; a kind and affectionate man in "the relations of private life." That such a man should, for so many years, have disposed of the votes of nearly all the Scotch commoners and peers, was the less to be wondered at when it is kept in view that at that time there was no doubt of the ministry's stability; the political sky was clear and settled to the very verge of the horizon; there was nothing to disturb the hearts of anxious mortals. The wary and pensive Scot felt sure of his election, he had but kept by the true faith, and his path lay straight before him.
"The path of righteous devotion, leading unto a blessed preferment." But suddenly the government changed and Pitt went out.
It was, in truth, a crisis to try men's souls. For a while all was uncertainty and conster
nation, all were seen fluttering about like birds in an eclipse or a thunderstorm; no man could tell whom he might trust-nay, worse still, no man could tell of whom he could ask anything. It was hard to say, not who were in office, but who were likely to remain in office. Our countrymen were in dismay and destruction. It might truly be said they knew not which way to look or whither to turn. But such a crisis was too sharp to last, it passed away, and then was to be seen a proof of Mr. Dundas's power amongst us, which transcended all expectation and almost surpassed belief, if, indeed, it is not rather to be viewed as an evidence of the acute foresight, the political second sight of the Scottish nation. The trusty band in both houses actually were found adhering to him against the existing government-nay, he held the proxies of many Scottish peers in open opposition! Well might his colleague exclaim to the hapless Addington, in such unheard of troubles, "Doctor, the Thanes fly from us." When the very Scotch peers wavered, and when the Grampian hills might next be expected to move about, it was time to think that the end of all things was at hand, and the return of Pitt and security and patronage and Dundas speedily ensued, to bless old Scotland, and reward her providence or her fidelity, her attachment at once to her patron and to herself.
If we had space, we would extract Brougham's sketch of Lord Eldon, a man in all respects equipped with those qualities essential to political
The Judge, so prone to doubt that he could hardly bring his mind to decide, was, in all that practically concerned his party or himself, as ready to take a line and to follow it with determination of purpose as the least ingenious of ordinary statesmen. He, whose fears very much resembled his conscientious scruples, of which no man spoke more or felt less; he was about as often the slave of them as the Indian is of his deformed little gods, of which he makes much and then breaks them to picces or casts them into the fire. Who, be the act mild or harsh, moderate or violent, sanctioned by the law and constitution or an open outrage upon both, was heard, indeed, to wail and to groan much of painful necessity-often vowed to God-spoke largely of consciencecomplained bitterly of a hard lot; but the paramount sense of duty overcame all other feelings; and with wailing and with tears, beating his breast and only not tearing his hair, he did, in the twinkling of an eye, the act which unexpectedly discomfited his adversaries and secured his own power for ever.
We have given ample specimens of the style of Lord Brougham, chiefly on
account of the merit of the extracts and their suitability to our object, but also because his style is eminently suggestive of the man. It is quite a natural style, the offspring of his own sagacious, direct, and powerful mind. Deficient in ornament, and even indicating a want of imagination, it is by no means bald, being impregnated throughout by close cogent reasoning, which often, in its concentration, rises to Demosthenic eloquence. The solitary object it aims at is to make an impression, to carry the object in hand, to hit the nail right on the head. That done, there is no finishing or polishing, the argument is clenched, and it is no slight logical force which will unfastenit. But his merits as an author are not to be estimated by particular passages, but by the method of treatment of his subject as a whole. He might, had he so chosen, have given more finish and ornament to his sentences, but he might thereby have sacrificed force to elegance-he might have secured the admiration of the critic and failed to convince the reader. In our humble opinion, we think he was right to avoid such risks. Brougham was substantially a man of action, and only by accident, as it were, a man of let
ters; and to have made this accident anything else than a mere clothing to the substance, would have been incongruous. But by not being led astray in this way by literary ambition, it has so happened he has achieved a literary success. His style is a firstclass style of its kind, the style of the man of business and ambition, the fit organ for those who attempt to compel fortune to their service, who feel that they have a right to be heard and obeyed. As a master, therefore, of a real genuine style, fitted for peculiar purposes, we prophecy that Lord Brougham will be popular as an author, long after the works of those who, at present, enjoy a greater literary reputation shall have been laid aside as unnatural and affected.
For a similar reason we expect that the reputation of Lord Brougham, as a statesman, will increase with time, and that posterity will assign him a higher rank among his contemporaries than that which he at present occupies; for we hold him to be a real genuine man, acting and speaking from the dictates of a strong, plain, practical mind, without fear, without adulation, and, as the greatest of all merits in the present day, without affectation.
The Editor of THE DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE begs to notify that he will not undertake to return, or to be accountable for, any manuscripts forwarded to him for perusal.
ABOUT five miles from the city of Tours, in the far-famed valley of the Loire, there stands a structure of modern date and of unobtrusive aspect, towards which many a tourist, impelled by mere curiosity, and many an enlightened philanthropist, actuated by a loftier motive, have of late been seen to direct their footsteps:-we allude to the well-known school of Mettray, established for the reception and treatment of male juvenile delinquents.
It is our design in this article to give a brief account of the origin and progress of this institution, and of its results; to notice such establishments of the same kind as have been founded in this kingdom, in other parts of the continent of Europe, and in America; to set forth the peculiar character and necessities of those for whom such institutions are believed to be adapted; and to state such objections as have, from time to time, and more especially of late, been urged against them.
In 1810 the following enactment became a part of the Penal Code of France, of which it constitutes the 66th Article:
When a person accused shall be under sixteen years of age, if he be deemed to have acted sans discerne went," he shall be acquitted; but he shall, according to circumstances, be either restored to his family, or taken to a
House of Correction, to be there educated and detained for such a number of years as shall be determined by the judgment, but which shall in no case excced the period at which he shall have completed his twentieth year.
Various attempts were made to carry the provisions of this Article into effect; but with no other result than this-that, as regarded the principal place of confinement for young persons in the metropolitan department, out of every hundred discharged prisoners no fewer than seventy-five were again in the hands of justice in three months! This was a startling discovery. At length, in 1837, the Government appointed a commission to make a personal examination of the transatlantic system of prison discipline; and Frederic Auguste De Metz, a judge of the court of Appeal at Paris, a gentleman well qua'ified for the task assigned to him, was despatched to the United States. But though he witnessed there a mode of dealing with convicts in general which appeared to be attended with unparal leled success, he felt that the grand problem of effecting a sensible diminution in the floating m ss of criminality had yet to be solved, and that the solution could be looked for only in the mode of treating juvenile offenders. It was by mere accident that, about this time, his attention was
It is remarkable that though this plea is indulgently urged by the State in behalf of the young offender, the young offender himself never alleges it as an excuse. Besides, if want of discernment has exempted him from the discomforts of a prison, why should it not also sive bim from the penalties he is made to undergo at Mettray, for the more venial offence of violating the regulations of that institution?
VOL. XLVIII.-NO. CCLXXXIV.