網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[blocks in formation]

LITERARY CRITICISM.

of the same spirit concentrated in one channel, and poured in the direction of the East, instead of being allowed

to wander at will and dissipate itself among the scattered The History of Chivalry and the Crusades. By the Rev. Henry Stebbing, M. A. In 2 vols. Constable's Mis provinces of Europe. Accordingly, the greater part of

Mr Stebbing's work is devoted to a sketch of these wars, cellany, vols. 50, 51.

the strangest, perhaps, in the history of the human mind; No better proof can exist of the union of sagacity and and though unquestionably by no means free from the enterprise which distinguished the late Mr Constable than admixture of baser motives, yet, on the whole, originathe fact that the plan of this Miscellany, one of his la- ting in, and supported more completely by, feeling and

test speculations, has since been acted upon in all quar- principle, than any other contests which history records. E ters with complete success. Nothing meets our eye but Chivalry, in its modern meaning, is a term applied to

Family Libraries_classical, historical, philosophical, geo- a peculiar system of manners and opinions, which had its graphical—“ neat, trimly drest,” in fascinating covers of origin during the middle ages, and extended its intluence crimson, brown, yellow, or pea-green. We have two over the greater part of Europe. It expresses the parti

reasons, however, for preferring the Miscellany to any of cular creed, with regard to morals and the relations of s its brethren : First, That it has an undoubted claim to society, of which the order of knighthood, conferred by

the rank of primogeniture, with its corresponding privi- formal ceremonies, was the external sign. It is, there. leges ;-—and secondly, that it is truly a Miscellany-nei- fore, to be considered as distinct from feudalism. It was ther exclusively scientific, nor historical, nor classical — a system, as it were, within the feudal system,--a code of but blending all subjects-original writing and transla-moral equity, arising out of the peculiar consequences of tion, travels, biography, history, "quicquid agunt homines," the feudal government, coinciding with its spirit in its in short ; and all arranged and combined, upon the great leading outlines, while it controlled its operation whole, with singular good taste and judgment. Perhaps upon society, and reconciling, though imperfectly, its hathe selection of some of the earlier numbers might have bits of warfare with that security to property, and that been improved; but since the duty of Editor devolved on protection from oppression, which seem essential to the Vr Aitken, we should be at a loss to suggest any improve existence of every community. ment in the principle of selection on which it is conduct.. Perhaps no system has ever spread more widely, or ed. The public, indeed, have a guarantee for the good exercised a stronger influence over human opinion, than taste and judgment with wbich this task is likely to be Chivalry; and yet none has left fewer traces of its proexecuted, in the “Cabinet” of this gentleman-unques-gress from infancy to maturity. The scattered elements tionably the best collection of miscellaneous pieces in from which its institutions were framed, are indeed ocprose and verse with which we are acquainted—and we casionally to be found both in the early records of the rejoice to see, from the list of forthcoming publications an Gothic tribes, and in the classic authors of Greece and nounced in the Miscellany, that the spirit and industry Rome. The spirit of fraternity and clanship which conwbich the Editor has hitherto displayed is not on the de- nected the body of knighthood, finds a parallel in the Theeline. The.“ Life of King James the First,” by Mrban Legion of Xenophon as well as the Sagas of ScandiChambers, will, we trust, prove as amusing and success-navia; the preparatory course of discipline and reverential ful as the previous Histories of the Rebellions works for obedience which it exacted, is shadowed out in the cuswhich we have occasion to know the readers of the Mis- toms quoted by Athenæus, * in his treatise on the Mancellany are indebted to the suggestions and advice of Mr ners of the Celts; the practice of admitting candidates

into the Order of Knighthood at a certain period, and The present volumes, we think, are likely to be popu- even the peculiar ceremonies on that occasion, correspond lar, and deservedly so. They are not loaded with useless with the custom of the German tribes on the admission references, though they are obviously the result of no in- of their young men into the military profession ;t the considerable reading ;-they are not absurdly eulogistic, devotion and religious veneration with which it regarded nor written in that villainously affected style, which dis-women, was a distinguished feature in the character of figures Mill's History of Chivalry; but temperate and the northern nations, even during the days of Tacitus ;! philosophical, yet not without a kindly glow of imagina- the singular and sometimes ludicrous vows which it ention, and a style which, though betraying marks of haste, couraged, are to be traced both in the Scriptures and in is animated and graphical.

the historians of Greece and Rome; the principle of From the consideration of Chivalry itself, its use, pro- Knight Errantry appears in the labonrs of Hercules, of [less, character, and influence, the transition is natural | Theseus, and Perseus ; the joust and tournament are but and easy to the Crusades, which were but the emanation the games of antiquity, modelled to suit another climate

and other manners; the system of judicial combat apa * We are not afraid that our charaeter for impartiality will suffer pears to have been known to the Germans in the days of by the praise given above to a work which issues from the house of Augustus,g and forms part of the Burgundian code of our own publishers. We are as independent of Messrs Constable and Co. as we are of any Booksellers in the country; but as we have never the sixth century ;|| in short, there is scarcely a feature trunk from pointing out what we conecived to be the faults of their publications, so we shall not shrink from bestowing upon a work, so

• Athenæus, lib. iv. c. 36. + Tacit. Germ. c. 13. deset redly popular as the Bliscellany, the commendations it deserves. # Tacit. Germ. s. 18, c. 19, Hist. lib. iv. c. 18.'

$Velleius Patere. Leg. Gundebal, A.D. 501.

Aitken.

which has been considered distinctive of Chivalry of which voted to destruction, and paved the way for the extrava. traces are not to be found either among the classical or gances of the Crusades. To slay an infidel was, in itsell, the northern nations. It was in their combinatiôn alone a positive virtue, which, in the middle ages, was allowed that Chivalry could be considered as an original institu- to counterbalance a positive vice; and thus the knight tion. By the union of virtues of different kinds, each was enabled to indulge in an extreme laxity in the moral acquired a higher lustre; humility and obedience appeared duties of religion, by submitting to the gentle penance of more dignified when united to strength and valour ; scru- destroying a few supernumerary Jews, Turks, infidels, or pulous honour, and undeviating veracity, were doubly ho- heretics. Even the virtues inculcated on the knight, noured in those who were bound to performance by no were allowed to be in abeyance in the case of an intidel. stronger obligation than that of conscience and opinion; Generosity and courtesy, mercy, and even fair dealing, he and valour itself, the point in which Chivalry may be had no right to expect. “ If an infidel,” says St Louis, said to have added least to the ages which preceded it, a great authority, “impugn the doctrines of the Christian derived a nobler character from the objects to which it faith before a churchman, he should reply to him by argu was now applied, and its union with the softer virtues of ment; but a knight should render no other reason to the mildness, temperance, and chastity.

infidel, than six inches of his falchion thrust into his acIt is true, however, that this general theoretical out- cursed bowels.” Even the ladies ran some risk, if they line of the chivalrous character, imposing as it appears, laboured under the fatal stain of heresy. Sir Bevis of was disfigured by practical defects and absurdities insepara- Hampton declines * the invitation of the Princess Josiane, ble from a period of limited knowledge and unbounded whom he terms “an heathen hound," and absolutely resuperstition; that the religion of the knight was seldom fusos to hold any communication with her, till appeased unmingled with bigotry, and always alloyed by degrading by her offer,superstition; that the valour which in theory was to be

“ My false gods I will forsake, applied only to the defence of his country, his sovereign,

And Christendom, for thy love, take," his lady, or his brother in arms, was too often dissipated in absurd and meaningless encounters; and that, even in The religion of the knight, as it was generally founded the purest period of chivalry, no intelligible line of dis- not on reasoning, but education and habit, was necessaril tinction appears ever to have been drawn between licen- debased by superstition ; and if the common occupation tiousness and love.

of life acquired a higher and more elevated character, frou We differ from Mr Stebbing in his supposition, that their connexion with religion, there is reason to belier Chivalry acquired its peculiar devotional character so early that religion itself lost much of its spiritual and solem as the reign of Charlemagne. On the contrary, however impressions, by being perpetually blended with the affan intimate may have been the relations which subsisted be- of common life. God and the saints held a divided em tween the Emperor and the church, we do not see the pire with the eyes of the ladies, and the knight appeale least traces of this character in any of the ceremonials of to each, in turn, with the same confidence and devotion Chivalry during his reign. The earliest notice, from which The names of the saints formed the watchword of part we can infer that the military character of the institution cular champions. St Michael, St George, and St Jame had become combined with the religious, is in the tenth all of whom tradition had invested with the order century.

knighthood, were in peculiar request. Tournaments we Ingulph* observes, that among the Anglo-Saxons at proclaimed in honour of the Virgin Mary, and, indee that time, it was customary for the candidate, who de- the knights never seem to have considered her in any lig! sired to be admitted among the milites, to confess his sins very different from that in which they viewed their mi to the bishop, and to pass the night in the church in prayer tresses. At a tournament held at Valladolid, in the ye and mortification, before his sword was blessed by the 1429, the King of Castile was accompanied by twel priest. The knight, after his admission, received the sa- knights, who personated the twelve Apostles.f Event crament.

In the eleventh century, the religious charac- patriarchs and remarkable personages of Scripture we ter of the institution was still more decidedly fixed, by an invested with the attributes of knighthood, by the sar ecclesiastical decree of the Council of Clement, ordaining wide-spreading extravagance which placed Alexander ! all persons of noble birth, on attaining the age of twelve, Great at the head of a court of Macedonian Paladin to take a solemn oath before the bishop of the diocese to similar to that of Charlemagne, † and represented Jas defend the oppressed, the widow, and the orphan, to pro- as distinguishing himself at a tournament, given in hono tect the traveller, and to check oppression and tyranny of the admission of Prince Hercules into the order The candidate for knighthood was now taught to consider knighthood. S In the Visions of Pierce Plowman, a pa himself, in the first place, as the defender of the church; age occurs, which shows how completely Chivalry had 1 he watched his arms on hallowed ground; he assumed

come incorporated with the whole opinions and habits the white robes of the neophytes; vigils, fasts, and con- thinking at that period; for the poet, describing the ci fessions, prepared him for the rite in which he was to par cifixion, and speaking of the person who pierced our ! ticipate ; his

godfathers became sponsors for him in knight- viour's side, calls him a knight, who came forth spear hood, as they had done at his baptism; the weapons with hand, and jousted with Jesus ; and afterwards, for the b which he was invested were blessed by the priest, and act of wounding a dead body, he is pronounced a cray the knight bound himself, by the oath of Chivalry, to de- and recreant knight. When such revolting absurdi fend the rights of the holy church, to respect religious characterised the religious belief of the day, it is diffic persons and institutions, and to obey the precepts of the to conceive that the subject of religion could exercise o Gospel. +

the minds of its votaries that solemn and awful eff In our estimate of the influence of the religious charac- which, in a purer form, it was calculated to produce, ter thus impressed on Chivalry, we are very much at one to doubt that the union of the religious with the milit with Mr Stebbing. The religion thus connected with character, however plausible in theory, had led to the n the spirit of Chivalry, exercised a strong, though not al- absurd and impious consequences in practice. ways an amiable, influence on the knightly character. If

But leaving the feeling of devotion, we come now it animated his patriotism and self-devotion, it created a another strong ingredient in the character of the knig determined spirit of bigotry and intolerance, taught man-his devotion to the fair sex, and, in particular, to to consider infidels and heretics as vessels of wrath, de- lady whom he selected as the chief object of his affectii

P. 512.

Du Cange v. Miles, and 22 Dissertation sur Jourville. St Palaye Mem. sur la Chev. Part ii. Fabliau. Ordene de la Chevalerie. Barbazan, T. i. p. 59.

• Romaunt of Sir Bevis.
+ Cronica del Conde D. Pero Nuno, p. 293.
I Poeme d'Alexandre, passim.

Livre du Preux et vaillant Jason et de la belle Medée.

The feeling of peculiar respect for women, was certainly beauty of his lady, and to break a lance on such an occaonly heightened, not created, by the institutions of Chi- sion was a challenge not to be declined. Nor was it sufvalry. The equality of the sexes, unknown among the ficient that he should be ready to act on the defensive; Greeks and Romans, was recognised amidst the dreary the champion of the middle ages was called upon to be wilds and forests of the Cimbri and the Teutones. There come the challenger, and to proclaim in the lists his readithe women, instead of being the slaves of men, were their ness to maintain his mistress's quarrel against the world in friends and their advisers. They were intrusted with arms. Nothing could exceed the pomp, the splendour, embassies and governments ;* they held their place in the and solemnity, of these occasions. The knight was gecouncil and the field; they mingled in battle with their nerally adorned with some device conferred by the hand husbands, their brothers, and their parents, † and pre- of his mistress ; a scarf, a ribbon, or glove, conspicuously Kerved a noble independence of character, unknown to the displayed on some part of his helmet or his armour : all female society of Athens or Rome. The strict rules of the magnificence of the age was lavished in the decorachastity, so early inculcated upon the youth of both sexestion of his person, the adornment of the lists, and the by the laws of the Gothic tribes ; the diffidence and respect, preparations for the reception of the noble company bethe patient assiduity and anxiety, with which the lover pro- fore whom his valour was to be displayed. The lady, secutes his suit, where his mistress possesses the power of in her turn, delivered the prizes of the tournament, and choice and rejection—these might be reduced to system rewarded the bravery and devotion of her knight, by such and rule by the institutions of Chivalry, but they existed approved public favours as were sanctioned by the custom long before in the character of the Northern tribes. They of the age. These were such as might in modern times were, undoubtedly, in harmony with the character of an be considered sufficiently trifling. But the passion which institution so enthusiastic and romantic as that of Chi- is founded on imagination only, requires little to support valry, and accordingly, in that system, a very marked and it; a ribbon or a scarf, a smile or a ceremonious salute, prominent place was assigned to them.

are sufficient nourishment to such creatures of the fancy. The defence and protection of the fair sex in general, | Absurd and fantastic, however, as this compulsory galformed, of course, part of the obligations of the knight in lantry appears, there is little reason to doubt that it exerhis vow of Chivalry. But this was not enough. The cised a considerable, and, on the whole, a favourable, inknight was obliged, in order to complete his qualifications, fuence upon the conduct of the knight. In reference to to select some individual fair one, to whom his more espe- society, it matters little whether a man perform great and cial reverence and affection was to be devoted. Don good actions from a sincere feeling of affection towards a Quixote, a great authority in these matters, was quite particular object, or from mingled considerations of pride, aware that the choice of a mistress was as necessary a pre- ambition, jealousy, and inclination, which he is pleased to liminary to his expedition, as his steed and his arms. She embody under the general term of love. And, on the was to be the polar star, to which his thoughts were to whole, it seems undoubted that the gentleness and cour. be directed amidst all the chequered scenes of his knightly tesy, the high sense of honour and generosity of feeling, career. Even her caprices were to be held sacred. Her which resulted from this feature of the knightly characword was law; and whatever enterprise of difficulty she ter, produced a favourable effect on society, whatever might impose upon the hapless knight, who was honoured might be the reality of that devotion to which, nominally, with her favour, he was bound to perform. The dialogue they owed their origin. between the Dame des belles Consines and Jean de But while these ideas on the subject of love, fantastic Saintrè, quoted by Sir Walter Scott and Mr Mills, and as they appear, must be admitted to have had their influwhich has every appearance of being a transcript from realence in softening and refining the warlike character of life, proves that every knight was compelled to be in love the times, the notions which prevailed in the best days of on system ; while it illustrates pretty fully, what we shall chivalry, and which were most unquestionably sanctioned afterwards have occasion to advert to, the very accommo- by its practice, if not by its principles, with regard to the dating principles of gallantry which regulated the conduct intercourse of lovers, were in the highest degree lax and of the fair sex towards their lovers.

accommodating. Though devotion to one mistress, and The love which was thus inculcated by rule, was, of exclusive and unhesitating obedience to her wishes, were eourse, not intended to be confined to the breast of the exacted from the knight by the customs of chivalry, knight. It was not of that modest and retiring charac- and although the lover, apparently contented with the ter which shuns the observation of strangers, and, to use slightest mark of favour, seemed to exist only for a pure the fine expression of an old Fablier, “resembles the sap and spiritualized affection, there is sufficient reason to bewhich gives life and vigour to the tree, yet is seen by lieve, both from the chronicles of the times, and the ronone."| It was intended to be proclaimed on the house-mances, (which, as general pictures of manners, are good tops, and to be paraded in the glare and sunshine of tilts evidence in such cases,) that nature revenged herself for and tournaments. And hence, there is strong reason to the force which was put upon her by these public exhibisuspect that it was in many cases a conventional and fac- tions of stoicism, and that in the real life of chivalry titious feeling, exercising little real influenceover the heart, apart from the show and glitter of the tournament-amidst andexisting chieflyin the imagination. Certainly, if we may the stillness and ennui of baronial castles, less refined ideas draw any inference with regard to the character of chival on the subject of love regulated the conduct of these fair rous affection from the love poetry of the Troubadours, we Platonists. Were these instances of licentiousness conshall form as high an opinion of its reality; for in the Canzos fined to a few individuals, it would be unjust to charge and Tensons of Provence, that country where Chivalry had the institution itself with having either caused or encouits peculiar seat, where love, according to its approved rules, rayed such irregularities; but when we find that this was taught in courts and parliaments, and its precepts em- laxity of principle was common even among those who bodied in legal judgments, nothing, in general, is more were considered as the splendid ornaments of chivalryshadowy, unreal, and unnatural, than the poetry of love. that the romance writers, whose works reflect the feel

But whatever might be the reality of the feeling, its ex- ing of the age, dilate with as much pleasure on the galternal manifestations were sufficiently pompous and im- lantries of Lancelot, of Tristan, of Arthur, and of Gaposing. It was the especial duty of the knight to main- lour, as on the constancy of Amadis and Huon—we are tain against all the world the honour and surpassing at least entitled to conclude, that, in this particular at

least, it had failed to effect any material improvement on • Strabo, Lib. iv. Pomponius Mela, Lib. iii. c. 6.

Germ. Taciti,

the morals of the time. Still more striking proofs of the 'Histoire et plaisante Cronique du Petit Jean de Saintré. v. union of pretended sentiment with real sensuality, occur 1 Lai du Conseil. Le GrandFab. v. 3.

in the work already alluded to, " The Chronicle of Jean Artesta amorum.

de Saintre," a work of which Tressan remarks, “ That

† Germ. Taciti.

1. c. 3, 6.

1

it gives a great deal of insight into the real life of Chi- / a better teacher than our worthy author. In the second valry;"* and which is mentioned in similar terms by part of his work, Mr M‘Diarmid presents us with a numWarton. If further proofs of the inefficiency of chi- ber of miscellaneous papers, the greater part of which, valric theories to refine the manners or correct the irre- however, have a reference to the scenery and localities of gularities of the age in matters of this nature were want the south of Scotland, particularly Dumfries-shire and ing, they are to be found in the character of the works of Galloway. Among these are excellent wet-day articles on fiction which, we know, were then read and applauded Gretna-Green, Sculpture, Curling, Ballooning, the Geneby those fair ones, who, in the lists or at the banquet, ral Assembly, together with a number of biographical were such models of delicacy and refined sentiment. Many sketches of persons well known in their own district, and of the romances of the Round Table, besides the uniformly whose names have, to a certain extent, obtained a wider objectionable moral which they inculcate, are such as no influence. female would now peruse, far less listen to; and the later Mr M.Diarmid's besetting sin is, a tendency to attach romances of chivalry, Tirante the White in particular, are too great an importance to tritles, and consequently a scandalous beyond belief. The Canterbury Tales of Chau- fondness for what, to the world at large, can appear little cer, much of the love poetry of the Troubadours, and better than mere gossiping. In an idle dreamy mood, almost all the fabliaux of the Trouvers, which we know such a tendency is rather agreeable than otherwise; but were recited by these itinerants at the banqueting table when the mind is active, and its energies aroused, the of nobles, and in the society of honourable and accom food appears weak and vapid as the caudle that stands plished ladies,t are no less objectionable. Such, also, are beside the sick-bed of an old woman. From the volumne those tales which formed the favourite amusement of the before us we could very easily select a good number of brilliant courts of Italy, the Decameron of Boccaccio, and instances of the fault to which we allude; but one will the Novels of Bandello ; the latter of which are specially suffice. Talking of some ducks kept in a pond at the inscribed to the most distinguished ladies of the time. villa of Terraughty, in the neighbourhood of Dumfries, Thus in Bandello, the 46th novel of part 3d is said, in Mr M‘Diarmid delivers himself in the following sonorous the introduction, to have been related by the Spanish am and well-arranged sentences :-“ Curs and mongrels of bassador Navagero, to the Duchess of Urbino and the every degree, whose courage was never doubted before, Princess of Mantua; and yet it is the most obscene story have recoiled under a flap of the drake's wing; and when in the whole circle of Italian novels. Facts, such as these, the maidens, during washing days, innocently enough dissipate at once the theories of manly virtue and female wish to turn the pond and its banks to the best account, purity, which we would wish to connect with the times the stock-gannets not only dispute their right, but take of chivalry, and compel us to say with Gresset, every opportunity of pecking at, and biting, their naked “ Ce n'est donc qu'une belle fable,

feet. Even the ladies of Terraughty are regarded as inN'envions rien a nos aïeux;

truders in their own grounds, and more than once the En sont temps l'homme fut coupable,

venerable Mrs Maxwell and her relative, Miss Hislop, En sont temps fut il malheureux."

have been beset in their walks, and openly insulted, by

the feathered tyrants of their silvan domain." The hisIn these general views, we find we agree substantially torical gravity of this passage strikes us as highly amuwith Mr Stebbing, whose estimate of the comparative sing; but that which immediately follows is yet more imimportance and influence of Chivalry, we consider as a pressive:-“ Still, where a bold front is shown, it is easy very fair and candid one.

to keep the enemy at bay; and when the birds attempt To his History of the Crusades, we shall probably re to molest Mr Bogie, he offers them his foot or hand turn on a future occasion.

sport, and merely laughs at their impotent malice.” This is altogether a fine picture ;—we have first the “ vener

able Mrs Maxwell and her relative, Miss Hislop," acSketches from Nature. By John M‘Diarmid. Edin-tually insulted and discomfited by the ducks; and then burgh. Oliver and Boyd. 1830. 8vo. Pp. 388.

we have the heroic Mr Bogie calmly allowing them to MR M‘Diarmed informs us in his preface, that the peck at his foot, and laughing in scorn at their “ impotent object of his work is to “ garner and reduce to a con malice.” Probably Mr M‘Diarmid will now understand nected form, fragments of Scottish scenery and character, what we mean when we complain of his making too much and along with these, anecdotes illustrative of the habits out of nothing. of animals, that appeared to be hurrying fast into obli But we must not dismiss our readers with any disvion.” This, though a comparatively unambitious, is a agreeable impression of this work, which, as we have pleasing task; and, as far as he has gone, Mr M‘Diarmid already said, is full of entertainment. As a specimen of has performed it skilfully and satisfactorily. He pos- the lively style in which it is, for the most part, writteil, sesses a lively fancy, an unfailing good-nature, and a pic. we shall make the following extract : turesque style, by which he is enabled to lay hold at once of

THE TWELFTH OF AUGUST. the most prominent points in the subjects he discusses, and

“ The Twelfth of August! Are there four words in to attach a degree of interest even to insignificant matters. English language that call up such a host of agreeable assim In the first part of the volume, which contains various ciations ? The fair one's whisper must be particularly sketches illustrative of different departments of natural sweet when she first articulates the consenting Yes; yet I history, we find a number of amusing and instructive have known youths, and men of mature years too, who apanecdotes. These relate principally to the eagle, the gull, peared to be in much higher spirits wliile putting every game, different kinds of fish, the fox, the elephant, the thing in order for the moors, than when about to depart

on their marriage jaunts. And I do not wonder at all at otter, the cat, bees, the monkey, the heron, and the crow

the circumstance. To see the sun rising from the ocean at or rook. Mr M‘Diarmid's contributions to the science of half past four in the morning, -ourselves stationed on a natural history are written still more popularly, and not high hill top,—the congregated vapours curling and disperless graphically, than those of the celebrated Gilbert White sing far below,-ineasureless tracts of heather around, glis himself. He who wishes to make himself acquainted with tening with dew, and tipped with pearls of new-born light, the habits of different animals, without any trouble, as

more radiant than its own purple bells,-to surprise the boys learn the alphabet by eating gingerbread, cannot have

shrill skylark at his matins, and the hare as she steals upon her early fare; why, these are enjoyments that would be

poorly exchanged for slothful slumbers on the softest couch . Hist. of Eng. Poetry, vol. 1, p. 331. † Usage est en Normandie,

that ever derived its elasticity from down filched from the Que qui herbegeiz est, qu'il die

eider-duck's breast. Add to this the high gratitication of Fable ou chanson a l'osie.

having your cheek fanned by the first breeze that is chased Fub. Sacrislain di ciuni. into action by the morning's breath; the independence im

plied by the possession of manly and vigorous powers; the which this elementary work is devoted, we are thereby admirable docility and tactics of animals which bring their enabled to form an opinion of this Compendium with instincts to bear upon their master's pleasures, and then, in more than ordinary confidence. As the result of this place of enquiring who would, rather say, who would not be a sportsman? Topers, we are told, drive at every fresh scrutiny, we have no hesitation in affirming, after subjectdebauch, an additional nail into their coffin ; but as every]ing it to the ordeal of a careful comparison with a variety proposition has its converse, he who repairs annually to thell of others, that the work before us is decidedly the most moors, must draw, at least, one nail out; and there is more-|| successful effort which has been hitherto made to impart over more reason for believing that there are many who geographical instruction to the youthful mind. The name, would sink under the winter's toils, but for the seasonable experience, and acknowledged ability of the author,—the and needful repair which their constitutions undergo during the autumn. As the viol strings are slackened by the success of whose labours, in the composition of elementfriction of the bow, so a strictly sedentary life impairs and ary works, is now so well appreciated by the public, unhinges the most elastic frame; but air and exercise are

was in some sort a guarantee for this result. One of the pegs or knobs that screw us into tune--that restore the our School Geographies, and that also a Scottish one, we wonted harmony of the system, and give to all the springs are aware, has met with success so distinguished as to be that minister to health a higher tone and a freer play. And now very generally adopted as a class-book on the other if these reasons fail to satisfy you, only think of the sports- side of the Atlantic ; but we shall be surprised indeed, inan's evening comforts, for then you see him in all his it, ere long, the present work does not attain the same glory. He who never trod the moors, knows nothing comparatively of the luxury of dining-not of picking like a

proud distinction. The labour bestowed on this edition bilious citizen, but of eating like a hale and healthy man.

has evidently been very great. The plan and frameAn individual, we shall say, who but a week before hung work, it is true, are the same with the former ; but the languidly over the breast of a chicken, now acquits himself additional matter now incorporated throughout is, in a so super-excellently as a trencher man, that you would not high degree, both ample and valuable. gire a pin's fee for the reversion of his interest in a heaped platter of beef steak. While recounting with a friend the this volume presents with the cumbrous and ill-assorted

We have been particularly struck with the contrast erents of the day, he may perhaps take a cup extra, but his accumulation of materials given by one School Geo. slumbers are refreshing not withstanding. The very depth

and breadth of his inspiration may convince you that he graphy lately published in the South-defying and defeatí has acquired an accession of strengih, and that you would ing every aim and purpose of effective tuition—and with

find it rather difficult to awaken him, even were you to em the jejune and unsatisfactory catalogue of names, and ploy the town drummer to strike a march under his ear. really little more than names, given by others. Malte

But there are persons who tell us that the sports of the Brun's Universal Geography, as regards philosophical field are cruel and barbarous, and even indite homilies classification, labour and extent of research, and peragainst them. Was ever objection so idly made, or so easily spicuous vivacity and condensation of style, is perhaps the auswered ? Barbarous and cruel! Is it cruel to poison first work of the kind extant; and when we say that rats and drown kittens-to prevent the land from being overrun with vermin? Is it cruel to prevent such an in the work of Mr Stewart, making allowance for its necrease of pheasants and partridges as would leave but little cessarily contracted scale as a school-book, is a counterfood for the use of man—the nobler animal undoubtedly of part in miniature of that admirable work, we only state the three? Has the farmer, who tills and sows the ground, the truth ; while, in consequence of the accuracy and

no better right to the crops it bears than the fowls of hea- freshness of its details, we are acquainted with no com2. ren, which neither do one nor the other-which respect not

even ecclesiastical rights? The wood-pigeons of America pilation which, as a manual of ready and familiar referare welcome to breed in millions in the back-settlements, ence, will bear a moment's comparison with it. so long as the land is uncultivated and uncleared; but when superficial examination, indeed, will serve to show with the empire of civilization extends so far, they must give what vigilant care the most recent information has been way to a nobler class of citizens. But it would be idle to collected; for in almost every page we find facts and disenlarge on such a topic. Lord Byron understood matters coveries noted and registered, which we have seen only better, and was, doubtless, imbued with the feelings of a

as of yesterday in the works of our most distinguished sportsman, when he wrote the following animated lines:

travellers by land and by sea. * Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase,

The pronunciation of the names, too, as far as we are And marvel men can leave the easy chair,

able to judge, is unchallengeable. At first sight, we were The long, long league and toilsoıne steep to trace,

inclined to think that some of the accentuations in the 0! there is freshness in the mountain air, And health that bloated case can never hope to share.'”

Descriptive Tables of England, and particularly in those

of Ireland, were at least doubtful; but a little enquiry We regret that our space prevents us quoting farther; proved we were too hasty. There is only one objection but we have no doubt that the volume will soon obtain which occurs to us in the plan of the volume, and that an extensive and profitable circulation.

is the references between the different countries and their corresponding cities and towns being made by means of figures, which, as it so happens, often point to a subse

We are aware that this arrangement is A Compendium of Modern Geography. By the Rev. quent page. Alexander Stewart. Second Edition. Edinburgh.

adopted in some similar works, but are quite at a loss to

know the reason of it. Why not arrange them in oppoOliver and Boyd. 1830. 12mo. Pp. 288.

site columns ?-a juxtaposition which would certainly be Little argument would suffice to prove that school far more agreeable to the eye, and consequently, as we hooks are really deserving of a far greater share of notice imagine, much more accessible to the memory. We would than many other volumes of more ambitious pretensions, strongly suggest that this should be remedied. though it somehow happens that they are very apt to be The Introductory Remarks, we ought to add, are writconsidered as in a great measure excluded from the pale ten with singular discrimination and judgment,—the of regular criticism. The first edition of the work which style, at the same time, being remarkable for vigour, conforms the title of this notice, we had heard highly spoken ciseness, and vivid beauty of portraiture; while the Deof; and tie extending popularity which we know it has scriptive Tables, for luminous compression, and a feliciprogressively acquired in the schools throughout Great tous exhibition of the leading features of the place deBritain and Ireland, since the brief date of its first pub- scribed, are models of their kind. lication, was to us the surest test of its excellence. As to In a word, we hesitate not to say, with the fullest conthe second edition, we may be permitted to say, that our fidence and most perfect sincerity, that in all those reenquiries for some time past having led us into rather an spects which can confer value on a work of the kind, the intimate acquaintauce with the manuals which are inost volume under consideration is the best and cheapest Comcommonly employed in modern tuition, on the subject to pendium of Geography ever published in Europe.

A very

« 上一頁繼續 »