« 上一頁繼續 »
THE PORT FOLIO,
Dr. Drake's Lecture on Bo-
POETRY-Night Thoughts, by
THE Visionary speculations of " C." are too wild for our pages; they are
Romantic schemes, defended by the din
Of specious words and tyranny of names,
which are evidently losing their influence. We feel no desire to prolong the existence of mischievous principles. "Shall quips and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour?" "Mordax" is not to our taste. We hope "the deep-studying race" will not suffer the anvil to cool in these evil days. Let us smooth the brow by the lighter thoughts of Fancy; seek cheerful wisdom, and enjoy the honey of wit without its sting.
"Selvaggio" has not miscalled himself. He is, indeed,
A rough unpolished man; robust and bold,
But wondrous poor.
Is not Mr. J. Holt in an error when he states the dimensions of Solomon's Temple, (see our last, p. 456), to have been 90 feet in length and 30 in breadth? We have inspected three other estimates, and the lowest of them, which is that of Maimonides, makes them about 300 by 200 feet. A vast difference!
In the poetical lines in our last, addressed “to H." the word corrupting should be substituted for corruptions; and in 1. 9, gloom for tomb; and there should have been no space between the 9th and 10th lines. As these verses have excited much attention, it is due to our own character, and to the reputation of this journal, to declare distinctly, that we are ignorant of the views of "Dr," the person by whom they were transmitted. Without reference to individuals, it occurred to us when the article was received, that personal motives were connected with the subject, which ought not to be gratified in our pages. An intimation to this effect was communicated to "D" in the "Notes to Readers and Correspondents" for last October, and our suspicions were removed by another note from the transcriber. If he be guilty of what has been imputed to him, (by public rumour, for we know nothing otherwise), he is welcome to all the satisfaction which can be derived from such flagitious conduct.
Populus me sibilat; at mihi plaudo
Ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor în arca.
A correspondent who writes on the subject of postage is informed, that the Act of Congress is explicit that sixteen 8vo. pages shall be considered as one sheet. A number of the Port Folio contains five and a half sheets, and therefore it is contrary to law to demand the postage of eight sheets.
The ode on the removal of the remains of Gen. Montgomery is in the hands of the printer.
The review of a chemical work recently published in this city, has not arrived.
"Wilfred" will always be welcome to the poet's corner. It is very rare that we find so much of the feeling of poetry as this writer imparts to his serious strains.
THE PORT FOLIO.
CONDUCTED BY OLIVER OLDSCHOOL, ESQ.
Various; that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty, may be indulged.-Cowper.
REFLECTIONS ON THE WRITINGS OF MACHIAVEL,
WITH A SLIGHT SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND CHARACTER.
Le Prince de Machiavel est le livre des republicains.'
Russeau du Contrat Sociel.
[Concluded from our last.]
To him who has read the extracts from two of Machiavel's political works, given in the last section, with any kind of attention, the infamy with which posterity has stigmatised their author must appear inexplicable. We have now to examine whether his principal political work, The Prince,' at all accounts for this infamy, and whether it be of such a nature as to warrant the severe censure which he has received. This work, at first sight, appears to be one continued series of the most wicked and abominable precepts; it seems to contain the very essence of king-craft, and the careless peruser of it will exclaim, 'This surely is the manual of tyrants.' But when this celebrated production comes to be attentively considered, its author will appear to be in reality the instructor of the people, though disguised under the mask of a preceptor of princes.
We must pay particular attention to the period at which Machiavel published The Prince. At a time when the usurpation
of the Medici was in its full vigor, when the real sentiments of Machiavel would not have been tolerated, if he wished to instruct the people at all, he could only instruct them under a veil. That this was his intention will appear clearly to those who read the work with attention.
He dedicates the work to Lorenzo di Piero de Medici, and offers it as containing a faithful transcript of the actions of great men. Nothing surely can prove more clearly than the following passage, that The Prince' presented to us by Machiavel, is meant by him to be a portrait and not a model.
"It being my desire to present myself before your highness with some testimony of my devotion, amidst all I possess, I have found nothing in my estimation so precious as the knowledge of the actions of great men, acquired by a long experience of modern times and a sedulous attention to ancient history. This knowledge anxiously sought for, and diligently examined, I present to your highness compressed into the present small treatise. And although my sober judgment tells me, that this work is not worthy of its patron, yet, from a knowledge of his benevolence, I doubt not he will be graciously pleased to accept it, particularly when I consider that there is no greater present in my power to bestow, than to enable him to become rapidly the possessor of that knowledge, which it has cost me so many years of labor to attain."
In the second chapter he unfolds the object of his work.
"I shall entirely refrain from the discussion of republican government, this matter being treated at large in another place.* I shall confine myself solely to monarchy, and direct my attention principally to the means by which kingly government may, in the first instance, be introduced, and afterwards firmly established."
This being Machiavel's intention, it is clear that the means he recommends are those which he thinks most likely to produce the end he has in view. If, therefore, he enjoins treachery, perjury and assassination, it is not that he thinks these things right, but that they are the best means of attaining and securing kingly power. In long established monarchies,' continues our author, 'where the people are accustomed to regard with veneration the blood of their princes, the difficulty of maintaining this form of
In his admirable reflections on the Decads of Livy.