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geon to the Infirmary of Aberdeen, in which satisfactory reasons will be given why the candidate, who had the majority of votes at one period of the canvass, declined to attempt to operate, and therefore withdrew from the contest; also extracts from certain Lectures on Physiology, or Institutes of Medicine, published in London, to show the exact similarity which exists between them, and Lectures on the same subject delivered in Aberdeen; by a Tory, not of the Constitution, but of the Aberdeen Medical School.
CHIT-CHAT FROM DUNDEE.-Poor Bass continues to play to mi- THE Public is respectfully informed. that Mr
JONES'S BENEFIT, and LAST APPEARANCE, is ap-
serable houses. This, after all, is not to be wondered at, when it is
CHIT-CHAT FROM GLASGOW.-We can at least boast of one brilliant evening in Glasgow this season-that of Nicholson's and the Stockhausens' Concert. Our fine Assembly Room was crammed with six hundred people, comprising every thing that was lovely and fashionable in Glasgow. It was a treat in more ways than one, for the performers were each admirable in their own departments. They were much pressed to return, but exercised the rare virtue of selfdenial. although a large sum was guaranteed to them by Mr Alexander, if they would give a concert in the Theatre.-Henderson, one of our best portrait painters, has a collection of Scotch Proverbs in the press. He has been engaged in forming it for many years, and it will be unique.
Theatrical Gossip.-It is said that a new Theatre is about to be erected in London, near Bishopsgate Street, towards which L.20,000 have been already subscribed.-The following good story has appeared in the London papers: "VESTRIS'S LEGS.-A young fellow was charged at Marlborough Street Police-office, some days ago, with stealing several plaster casts from the work-shop of Mr Papera, the Italian modeller. Among the casts stolen, were the legs of Madame Vestris, a little above the knee, and including the foot. The Magistrate thought it possible that other artists might have spanned the legs of the fair lady; but Mr Papera said that it was impossible these casts could have been made by any other artist, because he was the only person to whom Madame Vestris had ever stood' to have a cast taken of her leg; and from that cast he had made one mould or model, and only one, and that was always kept with the greatest care under Jock and key, except when required to be used in his model-room, so that no person could possibly obtain access to it except some one in his employ; and, as for any attempt at imitation, that was impossible to do with success, for so beautiful and perfect was the symmetry of the original, that it was from it alone the various natural niceties of the complete whole could be acquired, and to perfection formed. [Is the reporter a peony-a-line adore: of Madame?] It seems Madame's legs were not kept on ordinary sale, like common shop legs-they were only cast to order, for amateurs and others. Mr Papera com. plained of the indignity offered to Madame, by exposing her legs indecently in a shop window. The legs, Mr Papera explained, not only sold dearer than other legs, but more readily, for most of the gentlemen who bought them took toth. The prisoner had been already committed, on a former charge; so the Magistrate advised the artist to add the legs to the indictment. Mr Papera was told he must produce them in court, and identify them; which he said he could easily do."-Ducrow is doing great things in Liverpool.-Milman's tragedy of "Fazio" is to be produced here next week, with Miss Jarman as Bianca. Jones is to take a benefit on Monday, which is announced as his last appearance. We are sorry for it.
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.
THE Drama, entitled "The Lombard Bride," lies at the Publishers'.-The Book of Autographs will be returned in a day or two.
Several articles with which we have been favoured this week must lie over for the consideration of the new dynasty;-among these are the communication from Dr Poole, and various poetical effusions, all of which are in safe custody, for, until its improvement becomes perceptible, we feel convinced that no change will take place in the intrinsic spirit of the Literary Journal, and we trust our numerous and valued correspondents will continue to leud, as heretofore, a helping hand in support of the only weekly literary periodical of Scotland, to secure for it, if possible, a still farther increase of that extensive popularity, which, with their aid, it at present enjoys.
[No. 116, January 29, 1831.]
Connected with Literature, Science, and the Arts.
OR THE STROLLING GENTLEMAN.
Rover by Mr Jones,
Lady Amaranth by Miss Jarman.
To which will be added the Comedy of
Arranged in Three Acts.
Lord Ogleby by Mr Jones.
No. 32, EAST SIDE ST ANDREW SQUARE.
"who walk'd in glory and in joy, Behind his plough, upon the mountain side," Sculptured in stone by GREENSHIELDS, of the size of life, and from the original painting by the late Mr PETER TAYLOR, is now on Exhibition.
Open from 10 till 4, and 6 till 9 evening.
Admittance-Ladies and Gentlemen, 1s. Children, 6d.-Season Tickets, 5s. not transferable, to be had of CONSTABLE and Co., and at the place of Exhibition.
This day is published,
in demy 8vo, cloth, price 5s.
THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
Beautifully printed, and neatly done up in canvass,
By THOMAS T. STODDART. "Is't like that lead contains her?It were too gross To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave." SHAKSPEARE. "Never, webelleve, since the days of Percy Bysche Shelly, hath so truly original and powerful a poem as this been given to the pub lic."-North Briton.
"We look upon Mr Stoddart as possessing genius of great promise."-Edinburgh Literary Journal.
"Contains a story of wild and original interest and Times.
"Shepherd. Stoddart has genius.
"North. He has."-Blackwood's Magazine.
"The passages we quote say more for the genius and powers of originality which Mr Stoddart possesses, than could any elaborate critique or commonplace encomium."-Edinburgh University Magazine.
"There is a wonderful power of poetry in the Death-wake, and something like that decidedly original and characteristic force of extests of a firstpression, which we hold to be one of the indispe rate mind."-Edinburgh Advertiser.
"We augur favourably of Mr Stoddart's poetical talents from the little volume before us."-Elgin Courier.
"We have pledged ourselves that it is a book of decided - and superior talent. There is in the work much genius-much true and taintless originality.”—Aberdeen Observer.
Edinburgh: HENRY CONSTABLE; London: HURST, CHANCE, and Co.; and THOMAS ATKINSON and Co. Glasgow.
tween son and mother, as Mr Moore seems to believe; but doubtless, her alternating leniency and tyranny-now
121 12 12 T
giving all scope to his untameable disposition,--now irritating it by senseless oppression-must have strengthened the natural violence of his temper. Lastly, his education at Harrow and Cambridge produced the same effects as (Concluding Notice.) upon all. The dissipation in which young men of his We have on two former occasions laid before our rank generally indulge at the latter place, is in almost readers copious extracts from this interesting volume; every instance but the "mere outbreak of a generous being well aware that portions of mind." It brushes off the first ingenuous bloom of youth, possess a far higher interest than any remarks we could which, sooner or later, must go, in our rubbing through offer. But we have now, in the discharge of our duty the world; but it rarely overthrows a mind which has as journalists, to undertake a far more difficult task-to originally been well disciplined. Then, again, the mode express our opinion of the great Poet who forms the sub- of tuition pursued at English schools and universities, ject of these memoirs. We assume our pen with reluc- although lamentably deficient in regard to every thing tance, although proposing nothing higher than to sketch, that fits man for the real business of life, cherishes, neverin a conversational style, a slight outline of the conclu-theless, by its almost exclusive devotion to the two sions we have arrived at respecting him, while perusing literattires most redolent of “generosity and self-devotion," Mr Moore's book. the noblest sentiments. The young man, too, by ha
In attempting rightly to appreciate Lord Byron's chaving his attention fixed upon the glory of the states. racter, it will be found materially to facilitate the forma- man, the orator, and the patriot, longs to display himself tion of a correct judgment, if we take a review of his in similar characters in his own country. There may character as displayed at different periods of his life, thus be something exclusive-narrow in his sympathies, but making ourselves masters of the details, before we look at they are honourable as far they go: "the world must the whole. The periods to which we allude are, that make or mar him." which elapsed from the day of his birth till the time that he first went abroad—that which intervened between the last mentioned date and his separation from Lady Byron -his residence in Switzerland his residence at Venice -his life from the time of his connexion with the Guic-rance. cioli till his death.
We now turn to the character upon which these circumstances had to work, and to which they gave occasion of display. The most striking features of Lord Byron's character were excessive irritability and stubborn enduEqual in strength, although, of course, less perceptible to common observers, was his susceptibility of It is necessary, on reverting to the first period of his attachment. His passion for the sex early displayed life, that we pay particular attention to the circumstances itself, and by the desire it necessarily awakened of standunder which it was spent; both because they had mate-ing well in their eyes, tormented him between the conrial influence in forming his character, and because the sciousness of general beauty and of one blemish. His manner in which he bore them is the only indication we intellect was vigorous-his desire of information strong; can have of his natural tendencies. He was elevated at but then it must be such knowledge as his own inclinatoo early an age into the peerage, to admit any feelings of tions prompted him to seek he made an indifferent figure the commoner to gain strength within him, but late in the matter of set tasks. His mind, too, was rather enough to let him feel more decidedly than those who powerful than acute. Joined to a vigorous mind, was have been born into it, the difference between the two its never-failing concomitant in youth, an indeterminate ranks. His own and his mother's straitened circum-longing after distinction-it might be as a poet, a statesstances, joined to the cold neglect of their connexions, left man, or merely as a gymnast-or one or all. him to spend the whole of this portion of life, during which he was not at school or the university, among the middle classes. This had a twofold influence upon his character. In the first place, it showed how much deference his title obtained for him, while at the same time it made him feel that he was scarcely recognised by his own class at once exaggerating his notions of the distinction, and rendering him more jealous of any encroachiment upon his privileges. In the next place, the stricter observance of morality among the middle classes, and their less unintermitted festivities, preserved the tone of his mind more firm and pure, than if he had been early initiated into the gay world. Nor must the wayward temper of his lady mother be omitted among the circumstances which contributed ultimately to make him what he was. Childhood is too elastic, too forgetful, to retain such deep impressions, from the strange scenes which passed be1
The character which such circumstances formed out of such predispositions, at the close of the first period, may easily be traced. It was that of a young man possessed of much but ill-digested information. The sentiment of poetry had awakened within him, and his ear for versification was pretty well formed; but imagination could as yet only be descried by the friendly observer, like summer lightning on the verge of the far horizon. His disposition, headlong and unbending, and, although not insensible to generosity, difficult to convict of error, had involved him in disputes, to which the energy of his character had lent an appearance of ferocity, which the cause scarcely warranted. His heart was warm; but the neglect of those connexions who stood aloof, the sycophancy and coming readiness of most of those who sought his acquaintance, had made him feel alone in the world, and thrown an unnatural degree of coldness into
his language and manners. His moral conduct-using the phrase in its English sense-was not worse than that of most young men of his rank and time of life. There was a purity in the inmost recesses of his mindmore, however, the prompting of his natural disposition, confirmed by habitual deference to the feelings of that society in which he had most moved, than the child of principle and conviction.
Seeking to lay a firm foundation, we have been obliged to expand this portion of our sketch to what the reader may think an undue length. The succeeding periods shall be treated with more brevity.
On going abroad, Lord Byron found himself exposed to temptations from a certain class of the other sex, more dangerous to a mind like his than those which he had to encounter in this country,-with more appearance of sentiment, and more skilfully-concealed selfishness. Wandering in the regions of the East gave a peculiar stamp to the power of imagination, which was now fairly awakened; but which in him, as in all young poets, was long of ripening to that maturity which finds pleasure in the contemplation of the poetical for itself. In its first stage, it rather awakens the desire to enact what it admires in person, than to comprehend and reproduce it as a work of art. In Lord Byron, at this period, we find a restless desire to encounter danger merely as an excitement, an affectation of something outré in his dress and modes of life, a morbid brooding over his own feelings, and a perverse delight in picturing himself and his circumstances, as worse, and more desolate, than they really were. On returning to this country, his mind was depressed on one hand by his failure as a public speaker, and elevated on the other by the rapid growth of his poetical fame. The latter event, together with the round of adulation and dissipation into which it led him, fairly carried him (to use a homely phrase) "off his feet." This was no difficult task with one upon whom had been bestowed
"So much of earth, so much of heaven, And such impetuous blood;"
whose goodness, too, was the child of impulse, not of reflection. The intervals of his intoxication were filled up with annoyances paltry in themselves, but gigantic from their number and continual recurrence. To save him from the withering effects of a perpetual revel, and from the pain of embarrassed circumstances, Mr Moore kindly, but injudiciously, pressed his marriage with Miss Milbank. Esteeming, but not loving the lady, his lordship unfortunately yielded. He did not foresee that two spirits, the one cold and reflective, the other fierce and rapid, must quarrel if brought into constant proximity; and that the quarrel, as both were alike stubborn and relentless, must be deadly. Both were to blame, but her ladyship most, for she added hypocrisy to forgetfulness of the oath she had sworn to bear with her mate's infirmities, and in good or in ill to swerve not from his side.
Our remarks on this portion of his lordship's life need not be long. During its lapse, the determination of his character certainly received a false bias. His aberrations, however, were little more than the unavoidable mistakes made by every man, when let loose to grope his way into the busy world. He had forgotten himself, but his bad habitudes were not confirmed. The disagreeables with which he had to contend were those which we must all make up our mind to at the first outset of our struggle for fortune. They might easily have been conquered; and their shadows would have passed away from his brow. The burst of popular indignation, elicited by his quarrel with Lady Byron, would have died away. His misconduct would have been forgotten, if not forgiven, But one and his future life might have amply atoned. step had been taken, which, although it could not yet show its workings upon his character, had stamped his future fate. With dispositions which rendered a female
companion indispensable to his happiness, he was thrown loose upon the world, debarred from approaching that individual with whom alone, of all the sex, he could live without dishonour to her, and moral destruction to himself,
"The clankless chain had bound him."
The brief period of his residence in Switzerland is only remarkable as it favoured the developement of his poetical powers. His intimacy with Shelley awoke a faculty within him which had hitherto been all but dormant-pure intellectual imagination. His earlier works evince all the poetry of sentiment and passion, but the glimpses of real imagination are comparatively rare. It is in the third and fourth canto of Childe Harold that we first recognise his imaginative powers in their full force and mastery. Not one atom of reliance is there upon foreign costume, or sentimental free-booters, or whining lovers. He grapples with the first elements of nature, with the achievements of human genius in empire, art, and learning; and he moulds his incongruous materials, with a giant's strength, into one glowing whole. The mood of mind in which he was at the time was favourable to the developement of a new power. Every passion of his nature was in a state of excitement. The colossal character of the scenery around him, its constant interchange of fairy beauty and tempest, were well calculated to work upon such a temperament. But it was the interchange of thought with the most ethereal of imaginative poets, the most subtle of self-torturing sophists, that finally struck the rock, worn almost to Manfred is the yielding, and bade the waters gush out. fairest specimen of his powers at this period. It indicates an immense stride into the realm of poesy. He has raised himself above romance, and attained to the higher order of mysticism. He has soared above mere sense; and although yet surrounded by mists and fogs, he is rising to the clear region of mind.
The period of his life which Byron spent at Venice, is, we know, one upon which his best friends are averse to dwell. We do not entirely coincide with them. We feel as much disgust as they do at the gross libertinism into which he there plunged. We feel perhaps more distaste than they do at the vulgar slang in which he frequently chose at this time to express himself. Most of all are we pained at the perversity with which he thought proper to run a tilt against all the finer affections which link society together. But we are less distressed at all these evils, because the too brief after-period of his life shows that they were transient stains; and in the case of Byron, who had scarcely one friendly and at the same time judicious enough to understand him—from whom the world chose to stand aloof in childish terrorand who was thus left without "a guide, philosopher, or friend"—we regard them but as the outbreak of a disease which lurks in all such minds, and if not gradually extracted by skilful hands, will work itself out under some loathsome form.
Our meaning in this may be briefly explained. Youth has an undefined anticipation of, and sympathy with, It feels a whatever is great and good in human nature. yearning to assimilate itself to what it admires. But our vague instincts, our passions, are awake long before the clear dawn of reason; and not only do they impel us to action under delusive appearances, but they bear us up, floating in an atmosphere of delightful but confused This is the anticipations-a world of gay dreams. state of mind to which the term romantic is generally applied. The person susceptible of it is worthy of love, but he cannot be relied upon. No man is virtuous that is, no man is trustworthy-who is gentle, and kind, and good, merely from impulse. Such dispositions deservedly conciliate affection, but admiration and confidence are only for those who control and direct them by reason and principle. We have seen
already that the mind of Byron was richly gifted by naBut hitherto he had been living in a world of his own, prizing his own imaginations, without enquiring what relation his high thoughts bore to the world around him. It was time that he should awake to the realities of life. The way in which he was destined to be roused was a trying one. He was to be taught to feel how easily the loftiest aspirations, if undirected by a firmer and more enduring principle, subside into the most degrading indulgences. He was to be abandoned to a course of life which, while it lowered him in his own eyes, whetted the tongues of his enemies against him.
It must be a noble soul which stands a trial like this -the heat of a sevenfold furnace, which only the pure gold can endure. A man in whom sentiment and imagination were weak, and intellect narrow, must have sunk beneath the proof. His heart would have been seared and dried up. If his constitution survived the shock, he would have remained an idle, selfish jester for life. Not so with Byron. When he awoke from his fever-fit, he had learned to see in its true shape the reality which was before him. He had learned to laugh frequently, and occasionally bitterly. But the appreciation of kindliness and of the beautiful, the soaring imagination, and the searching intellect, were indestructible within him. The first thrill of young emotion, it is true, had died away for ever; he could no longer feel as once he had felt. But we do not look in the full-grown oak for the rich juiciness of the sapling: it is the tough, majestic, rugged form, speaking of victories over the winter storms of a century, that we admire. It is grandeur we look for, not beauty.
allowed free scope, so far from interfering with his poetry, we regard rather as a proof that his mind was now mature and firmly knit. The manner in which he could afford to dally with himself and his subject, shows that his mind had lost every tinge of that morbid sentimentalism which it had at one period contracted.
We have now gone over the leading features of Lord Byron's life seriatim, and it appears to us that we have succeeded in establishing, not his freedom from crime, but the general and indestructible goodness of his character. His genius has never been questioned by any person worthy of an answer. He was irrascible and haughty; but he was also ingenuous, benevolent, and just. His power of discriminating character has seldom been equalled. The business talents which he displayed during the latest period of his life were of a commanding order. The few friends to whom he was attached he loved with ardour, and to the last. His wit, if not so fine as Moore's, was powerful and manly; his perception of the beautiful was intense and delicate. In passionate sublimity, no poet of the day has come near him. His works can never die; and it is time that his vexed spirit were no longer troubled with controversies about himself. Let us keep in remembrance the inscription he wished to have on his own tomb:
We have arrived at the last period of our retrospect. Byron was recovering from his Venetian intoxication, when he met with the Countess Guiccioli, who threw herself headlong into his arms. ence. It must be evident to every one who has read Mr Moore's notices with attention, that in this liaison there was no very strong attachment on his lordship's side. It seems to have been more an unwillingness to pain, by rejecting, so lovely, so gentle, and so devoted a creature. He could appreciate this
Nor did this strong practical hold which he had taken of the world and its concerns interfere with his poetical powers. On the contrary, most of the poems which he composed during this period, evince, along with a more severe taste, equal delicacy in their beautiful, equal daring in their loftier passages. We need only instance Heaven and Earth, and Cain. His wit, too, to which he now
Journal of a Nobleman: comprising an Account of his Travels, and a Narrative of his Residence at Vienna during the Congress. In two volumes. Post 8vo. Pp. 368, 390. London. Colburn and Bentley. 1831. WHETHER these volumes be indeed the production of a nobleman, is to us a matter of the most perfect indiffer
The work is one which deserves to be read for amusement; but it is not likely that any one will pin his faith in matters of historical detail to an anonymous author, even though he lay claim to a title. The noble author starts from Moscow, passes through part of Poland and the Ukraine to Odessa; thence to Constantinople; and finally through Moldavia and Hungary to Vienna. The most interesting part of his narrative at the present moment is that which relates to Poland. For the truth of his anecdotes of course we cannot vouch, but his general remarks evince a person well acquainted with his subject. The following passage is extremely character.
attachment, and return it too; but he could not overlook
that something higher than love was necessary to satisfy his capacious mind; and was cool enough to keep in view the danger which the romantic girl was rushing upon, and to remind her of it. The wish, too, which had always been more or less present to his mind-the wish to take an active and commanding part in the busi-istic of the Polish nobles: ness of men, was now gaining the ascendency over him, "An incident occurred to me on the morning after my and the aspect of the times promised him full employ-return to Toulchin, which might be referred to as illustra ting the extreme contempt with which money matters are ment. During the whole time of his residence with the frequently treated in the houses of the nobility in Poland. Countess Guiccioli, however agreeable her company I say the nobility, because the whole wealth of the country might be as a resource during his idle hours, his mind is confined to that class; and whenever it happens to be was almost incessantly engaged in planning how to acquired elsewhere, its possessor is soon admitted to a parmingle effectively in the contest between "kings and ticipation of aristocratic privileges. While I was traversing peoples." Italy, South America, Greece-all of them the great court of the palace, a peasant came up to me, and were in turn contemplated as the theatres of his future complained that for three days he had been endeavouring to We have met with nothing more striking, than prevail upon some one to take charge, for the countess, of a bag he was holding in his hand, containing 1500 gold ducats, the calm, just view which his diaries show him to have without being able to succeed. I took the money and cartaken of the characters of those around him, conjoined as ried it to the countess, who seemed much amused with the it is with his unshrinking attachment to the cause he account I gave her of the man's fears lest he should never had adopted. This cause he forwarded by every means have got rid of his burden, and his apparent thankfulness in his power, wherever it seemed to be making exertions. in meeting with some one at last, who was willing to relieve And, finally, when Greece arose, he did not write books him of it. on the heroism of its sons-or dabble in its stocks-or contribute ten guineas to its aid; he transported himself, body and fortune, to the spot, and offered up his life for freedom.
"On that same day there was a young man at dinner, seated at the lower extremity of the table, of whom no one took the least notice, and who hardly ventured to raise his eyes on his neighbours. I enquired of the countess who this seemingly modest person was: she informed me he was the son of a former agent of her husband's estates, adding, I cannot help admitting such people occasionally at my table, as I do not wish it to be said that pride is among the defects of my nature.' Count Wimitzi, who had heard my question and the answer given to it, added, that the stranger in question was about to proceed on his travels abroad for the completion of his education, and that his father had made him an allowance of 150,000 florins a-year for his
travelling expenses. In that case,' I observed to the countess, if it be thought a spirit of humility that you admit such poor devils at your table, I suppose those who are deemed fully worthy of that honour are entitled to dishes of melted gold.'"
What follows may serve in some measure to fill up the
"A great number of the Polish nobility come to Kioff with their families for mere amusement, so that the place presents perhaps one of the most animated and bustling scenes that can be met with in any part of Europe. Dinners, concerts, balls, and fetes of all kinds every day succeed to the transactions of business; and at night, perhaps more money is won and lost at play than by any of the regular bargains entered into in the morning. I have been assured that many Polish noblemen, of moderate fortunes, spend eleven months of the year on their estates in the strictest economy, that they may lay by a sufficient portion of their incomes to pass in splendour and extravagance the month of January at the contracts of Kioff. It may be easily imagined that rogues and sharpers are to be met with there in great numbers, and from all parts of the world; and it is calculated that they generally contrive to come off with a considerable booty. The passion of many of the Polish nobility for play blinds them to such a degree, that they are totally unmindful as to the character of the persons they associate with for the purposes of gambling, and, as must necessarily happen, they generally pay dearly for their want of precaution.'
An important portion of the population of this fair and unhappy country are the Jews. More numerous than in any other part of Europe, and equally oppressed, they have been degraded, until they have become a moral poison, lurking in every vein of the state:
"In this part of Poland, the Jews are extremely numerous, though it would be difficult to say what greater attraction they find here than in any other part of the empire. Their mode of living is as distinct in Poland, as it is in every country they inhabit. They take no part in agricultural pursuits, nor are they to be found residing elsewhere but in towns and populous villages. The streets of Rougin were filled with them when we entered that place, and crowds of them followed our carriage, and surrounded us when we got out of it, clamorously offering their services as factors, as they call in this country those whose avocations correspond with the duties of a valet de place in France.
an aversion for agricultural pursuits, which would not be easily conquered. They do not wish to adopt any profession but that of trade; and as their ruling passion is an avidity for money, they think that it is more easily gratified by the exercise of their skill in cheating their neighbours in matters of traffic, than by honest industry. Their intolerant religion, too, which teaches them to despise, and accustoms them to detest, other nations, strengthens their aversion against any mode of life at all calculated to separate them from each other, and weakens that esprit de corps which is peculiar to their race. But all these difficulties would be removed by the progress of time and good government. Meanwhile, I do not see why they should not be compelled to establish manufactures, whereby the indigent might gain support, the children be brought up in habits of useful industry, and themselves abandon a life of sloth and idleness, so extremely detrimental to the proper balance of social order."
"The Jews in Poland begin to read the Old Testament at the age of nine; at ten they read the Jewish law; at thirteen the commandments, and at fifteen the Talmud; at eighteen they marry; and at twenty they study trade, and every means whereby money is to be acquired. Their clothes are always made of plain stuff, and they practise ablutions every morning. They do not eat the flesh of any animal which ruminates. Their law prescribes, that, on the Sabbath day, they shall neither light nor extinguish a fire, neither must they speak of business, handle any precious metals, or even bathe. A strict adherence to all these precepts is necessarily productive of great inconvenience to travellers, as, in the minor towns of Poland, the trachtirs, or houses of entertainment and accommodation, are all, without exception, kept by Jews, and no lodging is to be obtained among Christians. The vexations of all kinds to which the Jews are subject in this country appear to me in various ways impolitic, besides being wantonly oppressive. Much might be gained, if, instead of their being kept under a pressure of humiliation, a policy were adopted whereby their faculties were directed to the public good. In a country where they form so large a portion of the population, this could not fail being productive of general utility. Their peculiar aptitude for arts and manufactures would render their industry highly useful to the community. A great number of agricultural hands would be acquired, and the landowner, as well as the state, would derive considerable benefit from their co-operation in matters of husbandry. Thus, instead of being, as they are, a species of leeches on their Christian fellow-subjects, and an unavailable and useless portion of the subjects of the state, they would ease the former of public burdens, and increase the income of the latter. It is true that great difficulty would be encountered, in the early part of the attempt, to induce them to change their mode of living. Their education and their habits have given them
The sturdy peasantry of the Ukraine are more pleasing objects of contemplation, and their character augurs more favourably of their nation's future fate:
"The Dnieper, from Kioff to the cataracts, divides the Polish from the Russian Ukrania. The peasantry here are in a more flourishing condition than in Little Russia. This is owing to their industry, as much as to the greater Their houses are well built productiveness of the soil. and commodious, and generally surrounded by gardens and orchards, the trees of which produce excellent fruit. Their cattle are among the finest in Europe. Their corn-fields are sometimes exposed to the voracity of locusts, which come in swarms, and, in the course of a few hours, completely destroy every thing they alight upon; but when they give indications of their approach, large fires of dried dung are lighted near the corn-fields, the smoke of which not only prevents their approach, but also suffocates them if they happen to come within its reach.
"The Ukranian peasants are remarkably expert in the use of the axe. Not only do they employ it in the construction of their houses, their boats, their carriages, and their household furniture, but also in carving a variety of small things, such as little boxes, spoons, and other kitchen utensils. I purchased a very handsome snuff-box from one of them, which had been cut with a hatchet, commonly used for felling timber. In the province of Masovia, they are still better exercised in the art of rendering the axe universally available. I have been assured by several persons, whose testimony I could not doubt, that they have themselves seen peasants, who wore their hair long, go and place themselves against the trunks of trees, raising their hair as much above their heads as it would reach, while others would take aim at a certain distance, and fling their hatchets with so much dexterity, as to cut the hair in two parts, and be driven deep into the trunk of the tree! Similar feats beat William Tell's hollow. They are not, however, the only kind by which dexterity was practised in Poland, at the risk of a tragic end. In former times, it was customary, in the chateaux of the nobility, after banquets given on great occasions, for the host to show his guests his skill in firing a pistol, by making the heel of the shoe on his wife's foot his target! I could hardly convince myself that the higher classes among the Poles, who have always considered devotedness to the fair sex the glory of curs, should have suffered a practice, so directly at variance with every feeling of common humanity, to prevail among them-those men, whose notions of gallantry, in the present day, are apt to carry them to so extravagant enthusiasm, that I have seen them at table take the shoe off the foot of the mistress of the house, drink wine out of it, and pass it round!"
Whether the conversation we are about to lay before the reader ever took place we care not, knowing the facts stated in it to be materially correct:
"The conversation turned chiefly on the constitution which it was in contemplation to give to the Poles, and of which M. Novossilsoff was one of the framers. The Polish nation,' said the Russian statesman, had too long relied on the promises of a man, to whom, after all, their independence was a matter of personal indifference. Their illusions were excusable enough,' answered the Prince de Ligne; there are no sacrifices for which nations do not easily console themselves when they are called for by the prospect of such an achievement.'- Generally speaking,' replied M. Novossilsoff, this would be perfectly justifiable; but the Poles are ever carrying back their thoughts to the brilliant times of their history, and they want their country to reassume that