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It will be doubtless, he asked, how it is that such subjects should be treated of under the title of ARMATA? and it is therefore necessary that we should inform our readers that ARMATA is the name of a country placed by the author in an imaginary world; in depicting which country, he gives a most eloquent and animated description of the policy of Great Britain, tracing the history of her distresses from the beginning of the contest with America downwards, through the revolutionary war with France to the present day. How far it was necessary to resort to a new world, in order to find a vehicle for the conveyance of his ideas on the distresses of Great Britain, may be matter of doubt; but be that as it may, the author has displayed, in the investigation of the question, deep knowledge of the subject, and has discussed it in a style of brilliant eloquence, tempered, however, with a degree of moderation, too seldom witnessed in works on the political topics of the present day. The following character of Mr Fox, is a fair specimen of the author's powers of writing.
"My confidence in this opinion is the more unshaken, from the recollection that I held it at the very time, in common with a man whom, to have known as I did, would have repaid all the toils and perils you have undergone. I look upon you, indeed, as a benighted traveller, to have been cast upon our shores after this great light were set. Never was a being gifted with an understanding so perfect, nor aided by a perception which suffered nothing to escape from its dominion.-He was never known to omit any thing which in the slightest degree could affect the matter to be considered, nor to confound things at all distinguishable, however apparently the same; and his conclusions were always so luminous and convincing, that you might as firmly depend upon them as when substances in nature lie before you in the palpable forms assigned to them from the foundation of the world. Such were his qualifications for the office of a statesman; and his profound knowledge, always under the guidance of the sublime simplicity of his heart, softening, without unnerving the giant strength of his intellect, gave a character to his eloquence which I shall not attempt to describe, knowing nothing by which it may be compared." pp. 86-88.
It has been said, and we believe without having been contradicted, that this work is the production of a very eloquent and distinguished member of the Legislature, who has filled a large
space in the political world during the last thirty years; and although in the second edition of Armata, which is now before us, the author does not avow himself, yet, as it is a work which even the eminent person alluded to might be proud to acknowledge, and as it speaks the same sentiments, which he has always maintained, we are inclined to give credit to the rumour which has named him the author of this spirited and able performance.
Stories for Children; selected from the History of England, from the Conquest to the Revolution. 18m0. pp. 186. 1817. Second edition, London, Murray.
PARTIAL as we confess ourselves to be to the pleasing recollections of our early years, we must admit that the little folks of this generation have many advantages which we did not enjoy. The juvenile library of our day was of limited extent; and though amply furnished with Mother Bunch, &c. it could not boast of the admirable productions of a Mrs Barbauld, a Miss Edgeworth, and a number of other eminent writers who have not task of teaching disdained the humble, but most useful, "the young idea how to shoot." The manner in which these meritorious authors have combined instruction with entertainment, we consider as one of the great improvements of modern times. History is now rendered "as attractive as a fairy tale,” and our little masthe characters of real life as their preters and misses may be as familiar with decessors were with Blue Beard and Little Red Riding Hood.
We have been particularly gratified with the little book which has given rise to these reflections. The author has expressed so shortly, and so well, the reasons which led him to compose charming stories for his own family, and induced him to favour the world with them, that we think our readers will be pleased to see them in his own words.
such as histories of Jenny and Tommy,of dolls and tops) though very useful as lessons, had not enough of the marvellous to arrest the attention to the degree necessary for amusement. These considerations led me to tell my little girl the following stories, which I found to amuse her in a very high degree, without having any of the disadvantages which result from relations merely fictitious. My principal object was not to instruct but to amuse, and I therefore did not attempt any think like a course of his tory; but as I have, in general, adhered to historical fact, and departed from it only (when history was doubtful or silent) in favour of some popular prejudices, whatever lasting impression may be made on the young mind, will be, on the whole, consistent with truth, and conducive to its further and more substantial improvement."
As a specimen of the happy manner in which our author unites the utmost elegance of language, with that simplicity which adapts itself to the tenderest years, we select his story of Wat Tyler:
Richard II. born 1366.-Died 1399.-
"There are often great riots in England, which are sometimes very dangerous, for when mobs assemble nobody knows what such a great crowd of foolish ignorant people may do; but one time, about four hundred years ago, there happened the most dangerous riots that ever were known, for all the country people armed themselves with clubs, and staves, and scythes, and pitchforks, and they rose in such great numbers, that they drove away all the king's soldiers, and got possession of the city of
"The chief leaders of this mob were not gentlemen nor soldiers, but common peasants and tradesmen, who were called after the names of their trades, Wat Tyler, Hob Carter, and Tom Miller; and as these fellows could neither read nor write, and were
poor ignorant wretches, they took a great hatred to all gentlemen, and every body who could read and write, and they put some of them to death; and the whole city was kept for several days in the greatest confusion and danger, and all quiet honest people
were afraid for their lives.
"The king at this time was called Richard, not Cœur de Lion,-but another king Richard, who was called Richard the Second. He was the grandson of Edward the Third; but he was neither so wise nor so fortunate as his grandfather, who was a great king. Richard was very young, not more than seventeen years old, and it is not surprising that he hardly knew how to stop the proceedings of this riotous mob; for his soldiers were driven away, many of his ministers were put to death, and the rest of them were forced to fly.
"At last the king thought it best to go and meet the mob, and hear what they had to say. So he went with the lord mayor, and a few other lords and gentlemen, to a place called Smithfield, where the mob were encamped as if they had been an army. When Wat Tyler, who was their chief leader, saw the young king coming, he advanced to meet him, and then they began to talk and dispute together; but at length Wat Tyler was so insolent to the king, that his conduct was not to be borne; and although it was in sight of his own army, the lord mayor of London had the courage to strike him down with his mace, and then the other gentlemen put Wat Tyler immediately to death.
"The rioters seeing Wat Tyler, their leader, fall, prepared to revenge themselves on the king and his party; and the whole, even the king himself, would undoubtedly have been murdered on the spot, but that Richard, young as he was, saved them all by his own courage; for when he saw the mob so furious, instead of seeming frightened, he rode up to them alone, and said to them, in a good-humoured manner, • What is the matter my good people? Are you angry that you have lost your leader? I am your king, and I will be your leader myself.'
"The mob was astonished and overawed by the king's courage, and they immediately obeyed him, and followed him out into the fields; for the king was glad to get them out of the city, where they were committing all manner of mischief.
"When he had them in the fields, he had such a strong guard of his own soldiers that he was no longer afraid of the rioters. So he commanded them all to disband, and go quietly to their own houses; which accordingly they immediately did, and not a life was lost after the death of Wat Tyler, who very well deserved his fate for his rebellion against the king, and for all the mischief and murders that his rebellion had occasioned."
We rather think this story may be read with advantage at present by children of a larger growth-as we certainly did not expect that Wat Tyler would have been held up as a patriot even to a have not room for further extracts. Spafields mob. We regret that we "The Murder in the Tower," in particular, is very affectingly told. But the specimen we have already quoted will render it quite superfluous for us to say one word more in praise of this excellent little work, which we have no doubt will soon form a part of every juvenile library; and we can assure the distinguished author, from our own experience, that these stories have been as "successful in other families as they have been in his own."
THE EDINBURGH REVIEW. No 54. 1. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto the Third, and The Prisoner of Chillon, and other Poems. By LORD BYRON. -In this article the Reviewers do not confine themselves altogether to these two publications, but the Corsair being the last work of Lord Byron of which they had given a particular account, they introduce their examination of the present works by notices of Lara, The Siege of Corinth, and other intermediate pieces. This Third Canto of Childe Harold, the Reviewers are persuaded, will not be pronounced inferior to either of the former; and they think that it will probably be ranked above them by those who have been most delighted with the whole. Of The Prisoner of Chillon they speak in the language of praise; but the rest of the poems are said to be less amiable, and most of them, the Reviewers fear, have a personal and not very charitable application.
2. A Letter to the Roman Catholic Priests of Ireland, on the expediency of reviving the Canonical mode of electing Bishops by Dean and Chapter, &c. By C. O. There is no further notice of the book or its author. It is a dissertation on the Catholic question, in which the Reviewer endeavours to shew that no securities whatever should be required from the Catholics as the condition of their emancipation.
3. Defence of Usury: showing the impolicy of the present legal restraints on the term of pecuniary bargains, in Letters to a Friend. To which is added, a Letter to Adam Smith, Esq. LL.D. on the discouragements opposed by the above restraints to the progress of inventive industry. The third edition: to which is also added, second edition, a Protest against Law Taxes. By JEREMY BENTHAM, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn. In this article the Reviewer begins with examining the reasons that have been urged in defence of the usury laws, and finds that they produce none of the good which they pretend to have in view; and then proceeds to point out the mischiefs which they create in all directions. These VOL. I.
laws are considered to be also insuf ficient, and inconsistent with their avowed purposes, as they allow of transactions substantially usurious. The penalties imposed upon all who assist suitors in courts of justice, with the means of enforcing their rights, stipulating for a certain premium, which the law of England denominates maintenance and champerty, are reprobated as the growth of a barbarous age; and a very strong case is extracted from Mr Bentham's treatise, to show the ruinous consequences of this law to needy suitors. The repeal of the usury laws, however, is held to be imprudent at this particular crisis, as "all persons now owing money would inevitably have their creditors coming upon them for payment." It is to be wished the Reviewer had taken into consideration the effects which this repeal might produce upon the terms of loans to government, and upon the price of the public funds. The Protest against Law Taxes is highly extolled. The privilege of sueing in forma pauperis is shewn to be of little value. Stamps on law proceedings are censured; and the vulgar argument, that such taxes operate as a check to litigation, is said to be " triumphantly refuted" by Mr Bentham.
4. Wesentliche Betrachtungen oder Geschichte des Krieges Zwischen den Osmanen und Russen in den Jahren 1768 bis 1774, von RESMI ACHMED EFENDI, aus dem Türkischen übersetzt und durch Anmerkungen erlärdert von HEINRICH FRIEDRICH VON DIEZ.This book is a history of the war between Russian and the Ottoman Porte, in the years 1768-1774, originally written in Turkish by Resmi Achmed Efendi, and translated into German by M. Von Diez. The Reviewer has contrived, by the playfulness and pleasantry of his style, to render this short article very amusing. The work itself, he says, is dull enough in all conscience, but it is a literary curiosity.
5. National Difficulties practically explained, and Remedies proposed as certain, speedy, and effectual, for the relief of all our present embarrassments. The questions proposed for discus
sion in this article are, 1st, In what manner were the people of this country, who are now idle, formerly employed? The substance of the answer is, that foreign trade was "the source from which employment flowed to all classes of her industrious inhabitants."-2d, By what means were they deprived of this employment? The answer is, that this commerce was suddenly pent up, partly by a train of ill-concerted measures at home, and partly by the policy of the enemy abroad, within the narrow bounds of the British territory. "We sought to ruin the enemy's trade, and we have succeeded in ruining our own." -And 3d, Whether there is any probability that it (employment) ever will be regained? This is the most important question. "We have no proof," the Reviewer says, "that the consumption of our manufactures, either in Europe or in America, has fallen off.” Our error has been in overstocking these markets; but the goods will be consumed, and trade revive. The most important of the other causes of the distress which prevails are, the decline of agriculture, and the increase of taxation.
6. The Works of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder. Edited by GEORGE FREDERICK NOTT, D.D.F.S.A. late Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.For one of these quartos, that which contains the works of the Earl of Surrey, the Reviewers are inclined to make every allowance, and to muster up every thing favourable; but Sir Thomas Wyatt "was in no true sense of the word a poet;" and as their object is to consider poets and poetry, they take leave of him at once. This article contains a summary of the Life of the Earl of Surrey, and a critique on his poetry. "We see not the slightest ground," say the Reviewers, " for depriving Chaucer, in any one respect, of his title of Father of English Poetry," and "we are heartily ready to allow, that Surrey well deserves that of the eldest son, however much he was surpassed by the brothers that immediately followed him.”
7. Narrative of a Journey in Egypt, and the Country beyond the Cataracts. By THOMAS LEGH, Esq. M.P.-The Reviewers speak well of this work. After accompanying Mr Legh on his journey, and extracting a very interesting part of the narrative, they con
clude with some account of the Wahabees of Arabia, chiefly taken from the Travels of Ali Bey.
8. The Statesman's Manual; or the Bible the Best Guide to Political Skill and Foresight; a Lay Sermon, addressed to the higher classes of Society; with an Appendix. By S. T. COLERIDGE, Esq.-This article abounds in ridicule and metaphor as well as in argument. If any one delights in seeing a poor author cut up, he must be amply gratified by this indignant and scornful performance.
9. Letters from St Helena. By WILLIAM WARDEN, Surgeon on board the Northumberland.-The Reviewers point out some mistakes in Mr Warden's historical recollections, but observe,
"that there is an air of plainness and sincerity in his account of what he saw and heard, that recommends it strongly to the confidence of his readers." Only a small portion of the article is devoted to Mr Warden's book. The greater part is occupied "with a short and general view of the public and political life of Napoleon, with such facts and anecdotes interspersed, as have been furnished to us, on good authority, from persons familiarly connected with him at different periods of his fortune, or obtained from some of our countrymen, who saw and conversed with him during his residence in the isle of Elba." This delectable compilation would have done honour to M. Bertrand himself. It is distinguished throughout by an exaggerated representation of what is praise-worthy in the character and conduct of Napoleon, and, what is infinitely worse, by a palpable anxiety to apologize for his greatest enormities.
10. Della Patria di Cristoforo Colombo. Dissertazione pubblicato nelle Memorie dell' Accademia Imperiale delle Scienze di Torino. Restampata con Quinte, Documenti, Lettere diverse, &c. and Regionamento nel Quale si conforma l'Opinion Generale intorno alla Patria di Cristoforo Colombo,—Presentato all' Accademia delle Scienze, Lettere, e Arti di Genova,—Nell' Adunanza del di 16. Decembre 1812, dagli Accademici Serra, Carrega e Piaggio.-The object of the first of these works is to prove that Columbus was a Piedmontese, and of the latter, that, as has been generally held, he was a Genoese. The Reviewers are of this last opinion. To this discussion is
subjoined a most interesting letter, written by Columbus upon his return from the first voyage in which he discovered the New World, and despatched from Lisbon, where he landed, to one of the Spanish king's council. It has been almost entirely overlooked by historians.
11. Statements respecting the East India College, with an appeal to facts, in refutation of the charges lately brought against it in the Court of Proprietors. By the Rev. T. R. MALTHUS, &c.Mr Malthus and the Reviewers, alter et idem perhaps, agree in thinking that some sort of instruction is really desirable for the future Judges and Magistrates of India, and this indeed is a point tolerably well proved, though not till after a good deal of time and labour has been employed about it. But whether the College at Hertford be the very best institution for the purpose is not quite so clear. The arguments in defence of it are of too general a nature, and the "disturbances" on which the objection to it rests, too slightly noticed, to enable the public to come to any decided opinion, without having access to information of a more definite and tangible character.
THE QUARTERLY REVIEW. No 31. 1. Narrative of a Journey in Egypt and the Country beyond the Cataracts. By THOMAS LEGH, Esq. M.P.-"On the present occasion," say the Reviewers, "we have nothing to find fault with but the omissions." Mr Legh may rejoice that he has escaped so well from the ordeal of these opposite Courts of Criticism.
2. Counsellor PHILLIPS's Poems and Speeches.-Mr Phillips's sins against good taste are not a little aggravated in the eyes of these Reviewers by his political opinions.
3. A Treatise on the Records of the Creation, and on the Moral Attributes of the Creator, with particular reference to the Jewish History, and to the consistency of the principle of Population with the Wisdom and Goodness of the Deity. By JOHN BIRD SUMNER, M.A.-Mr Burnett, a gentleman of Aberdeenshire, bequeathed a sum to be set apart till it should accumulate to £1600, which was then to be given to the authors of the two best Essays on the subject of Mr Sumner's book, to the first in merit £1200, and to the
second £400. The second prize was assigned to Mr Sumner, of whose Treatise the Reviewers present a pretty full, and apparently an impartial, examination in this interesting article. Their observations on the principle of population lead to conclusions very different from those of Mr Malthus, and are, we hope, better supported by history and experience.
4. A Voyage round the World, from 1806 to 1802; in which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands, were visited, &c. By ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL.-Campbell is a poor young sailor, who had lost both feet, and was found by Mr Smith, the Editor of the volume, in one of the steam-boats that ply on the Clyde, playing on the violin for the amusement of the passengers. "The hope that an account of his voyage might be of service to an unfortunate and deserving man, and not unacceptable to those who take pleasure in contemplating the progress of mankind in the arts of civilization, gave rise to the present publication.' The book itself contains much that is curious, and adds not a little to our still very imperfect knowledge of the remote regions visited by the author.
5. Shakspeare's Himself again! &c. By ANDREW BECKET.-An article full of irony and banter, apparently a well deserved chastisement of this unfortunate commentator.
6. Tracts on Saving Banks.-There is a great deal of information about those banks collected in this article, but the Reviewer is two zealous and too sanguine to perceive the inconveniences which must be felt from adopting the plans of Mr Duncan; and, while he bestows well-merited praise on the benevolent exertions of this gentleman, we think that he hardly does justice to some of the other fellow labourers.
7. Cowper's Poems and Life.-The third volume of the poems, edited by John Johnson, LL.D., the first work embraced by this Review, is considered as decidedly inferior to its predeces Sors. The other two treatises are memoirs, said to be written by Cowper himself, and never before published. From what we see of them here, the only subject of regret is, that they should ever have been published at all. The article contains a general character of Cowper's poetry and letters.