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body and blood of Christ. The zealots of the day, however, demanded a confession, that the conversion was not merely a sacrament, but the true body and blood of Christ, and that this body was broken by the priest, figuratively but actually in the sacrament, and, as such, subjected to the true believer.” Gregory was not the man, who, for the sake of a word or a friend, would still further estrange the zealots, who were already fiercely opposed to him; and só, a few months later, he ordered Berengarius to sign the new confession of Substantiality. However, when Berengarius refused, he took no steps to force him, but allowed him to die peaceably, and be honoured by his devotees almost like a saint.
This tendency of laisser aller was quite suited to the policy which Gregory proposed to himself
. The doctrine of Christianity is only animated by the feeling, “ My kingdom is not of this world.” For in this fundamental idea is contained the cession of all earthly selfishness, from which Christian love, devotion to the welfare of the world, and humanity spring up. Like his great predecessor of the same name, Gregory called himself “the servant of servants," but he demanded that all princes should kiss the Pope's toe, and that he alone should wear the imperial insignia." “The law of the popes extends over further lands than those held by the emperor,” he wrote to King Sweyn. He asserted the right to give away countries and peoples, to appoint and depose kings, and establish new principalities wherever he thought proper. He demanded tribute, vassaldom, and obedience in spiritual as in secular matters, from the princes of this world, as far as his empíre reached, as far as he hoped to extend it-from the princes of the Hungarians, the Spaniards, the French—from the brave William the Conqueror, who certainly repulsed him roughly and successfullyfrom the Normans in Italy, the Danes, the Bohemians, the Poles.
“My kingdom is of this world, and the world is my kingdom :" such was Gregory's principal idea, and the object of his life's mission was its realisation.
But the kingdom of this world can be only acquired by the means this world offers us, by the sword, by force, and by treachery; and never were they so mercilessly employed for this purpose, under the cloak of the most pious love of one's neighbour, Christianity, and devotion to God, secret incitations of the laity against their priests, of subjects against their rulers, paternal dissensions, hatred between man and wife, conspiracies, perjury, deception, calumniations and abject devotion, civil wars, fearful and sanguinary desolation. Such were the methods which Gregory only too successfully employed.
Holy deception for holy purposes is nothing new; but the comprehensiveness with which Gregory employed it, in his struggle with Henry, is a novelty even at this day, and the system which produced a Machiavelli, who could lay down lying and treachery as the basis of politics, is the inheritance which Gregory left to the Chứrch and to the world. The seed which he and his accomplices sowed broadcast has sprung up a thousandfold, and will never be thoroughly extirpated again.
Gregory himself appears, spite of the measures he employed, great and dignified, for he was governed by the tremendous faith in himself, his divine mission, and the welfare of the world, which he believed himself sent to force on humanity by war and bloodshed. Such unshakable faith is rare; and when it is wanting, Gregory's example serves not a whit the less to justify the application of bad means for a holy purpose.
If Gregory desired the dominion of the Church in the name of God, and yet helped to rear a throne for deception, still this contradiction only proves the more clearly that man ever remains man, subjected to error, and that a person who says
of himself that he summons to his aid bad measures in the name of Deity and for the welfare of humanity, is only sure of one result—to commit and propagate deception and injustice in the name of that Deity whom he so grossly offends.
After quoting these burning words, we have not the courage to pursue
our subject further, although we had marked many favourite passages for quotation. While reserving to ourselves the right of pursuing this interesting subject further, when Venedey produces his other promised volumes, we may be allowed to say a few words in praise of the conscientious manner in which he has hitherto accomplished his self-imposed task. We could have deluged our paper with extracts of the highest importanceand, indeed, the whole of the work demands introduction to an English public in a translated form—but we have refrained, solely from the embarras de richesses. Had it not been so, we could have described the Germans, as the Roman historians have drawn their portraits for usthose blue-eyed barbarians, who destroyed the legions of Varus, and ended by carrying destruction and desolation to the farthest ends of the Roman Empire. We could have shown that the Teutons never feared their gigantic foe; that, Titan-like, they rose with renewed vigour after every defeat, and with the same spirit that at a later date imbued Arnold von Winkelried, were prepared to die on the lance's point in defence of their beloved country. We could have followed them in their earliest aspirations for civilisation, and their desire to appropriate those principles of cultivation which rendered brute force of no avail against the serried ranks of the Roman phalanx. We would have shown the gradual development of the civic spirit in Germany: the sturdy Bürger class forming a compact body against the tyrannous encroachment of the knights, and the formation of the Guilds, which, while holding out the fairest prospects for the empire, proved its most dangerous foe. The republican element has always been largely represented in Germany, let the professors say what they will ; and the sturdy spirit of their forefathers has not been thrown away on the present generation. But the misfortune was that the empire was unwieldy, and the emperor generally weak, and the people, glad of the slightest prospect of emancipation, listened to the honeyed words of partisans, and left in the lurch their only true defender, the emperor. Italy was in those days, as now, a curse to its possessors; the people were arrogant, rebellious, and ungrateful to a degree, and though successive emperors ruined their home-prospects in the attempt to put down the papal power, the Italian towns only returned the obligation by the grossest treachery. But this is a subject which would lead us too far.
That the decadence of the German Empire should be an object of regret no one can deny, and the present state of the Continent amply confirms our view. We find here two great powers, Austria and Prussia, antagonistic and jealous of each other's prerogative. The former was founded on the remnants of the imperial power, which had eventually become a fief of the Austrian house; the other was a parvenu among nations, which, by extraordinary good fortune, was received into the list of the European family, while possessing no title or ground for the usurped pre-eminence. Austria has for many years been striving to consolidate her influence as not allied with the interests of the Germans ; whether she is right or wrong, is a problem yet to be solved. Prussia, on the other hand, has rendered herself strong—nominally, we fancy by extraneous alliances, and is pursuing the same policy at the present day. It is certainly a novelty in the history of Europe to find France and Prussia coalescing, but we imagine that it is merely an alliance of
potentates. The Prussian nation has too much yet to avenge before it can become a firm ally of the French; and we do not believe that, in any complication, they would remain allies.
The policy of England, on the other hand, appears now to tend to a more intimate alliance with Austria than any which has existed since the great Continental wars. We sincerely rejoice in it, for we can but be gainers, since we may expect in Austria a firm and faithful ally. Of all the German nations, none is so well adapted to remain on amicable terms with England as Austria, and we trust that this alliance may become a fait accompli. The Anglo-French alliance has been of the most vital importance, in proving to the Continent what firm friends the English can be, no matter what provocation may be employed, from interested motives, to rend the bonds. We have shown that we are still disposed to keep to our plighted word, and Austria will, no doubt, profit by the lesson. That Austria is playing true to us is seen by every despatch received, and the attitude she has assumed on the question of the Bessarabian frontier is deserving of all praise, for it proves that she is not terrified by the Russian bugbear.
As for the rest of Germany, but slight hope can be entertained of their ever emerging from their respectable mediocrity, unless some great scourge is again sent to purge the world of its impurities. The policy of the First Napoleon, the principle of the divide et impera, has borne its fruit, and the result, as seen in Central Germany, would be deplorable, were it not so intensely absurd. That poor old lady, the Germanic Diet, is still prolonging a decrepit existence, and fulminating portentous documents which nobody cares for, and nobody reads; and the division of the Holy Roman Empire into Austria, Prussia, and Germany, remains a fait accompli, which no revolution can ever subvert, let as many professors be sent to a possible Frankfort parliament as there are days in the year.
And so the world wags on: new alliances are formed, old alliances are broken through: empires are subverted, and new kingdoms are formed 'out of the fragments as they are rent asunder; on all sides we hear of rumours of war, and yet, for all that, England remains the same; the calm policy which has brought us safely through a dangerous crisis is presiding at the helm, and we may sit tranquilly by our fireside--for our streets are becoming, owing to the garotters, anything but a place for quiet meditation--and speculate on the decline and fall of empires.
The only thing we can wish the Germans, is that happy talent for carrying a revolution to a successful issue which their Anglo-Saxon brethren possess in so eminent a degree ; and in return for Venedey's “History of Germany," with which they have favoured us, we cannot do better than recommend to them a careful perusal of Macaulay's History, in which they can learn what to do, and at the same time what to avoid.
MR. THACKERAY'S NOVELS.
Just as every man in his relation to philosophy is born (according to Frederick Schlegel, and Coleridge after him) an Aristotelian or a Platonist,
may be said of every contemporary novel-reader, in his relation to the novel, that, virtually, he has a congenital predilection for either Thackeray or Dickens. Hardly any reviewer of Dickens now misses drawing & parallel between him and Thackeray. The reviewer of Thackeray as a matter of course sets up a series of antitheses between him and Dickens. If comparisons are really odious; both Dickens and Thackeray may exclaim, “ Odi profanum vulgus” of my critics. are inclined to believe,” says one of them, that while Mr. Thackeray has observed keenly enough the peculiarities of the world which he depicts, he has not gauged universal humanity so skilfully as Mr. Dickens.” Again: as Mr. Dickens goes lower in the scale of intellect and manners, so also he rises higher than Mr. Thackeray: Again: what cannot be allowed to Mr. Dickens is the invariable fidelity which accompanies Mr. Thackeray's characters. While the latter are less marked, both in language and in exterior and manners, Mr. Dickens has a perfect passion for being particular, as if the portrait might be wanted in the 7. Hue and Cry:" the effect of all which is that you trace something genuine in Mr. Thackeray's figures more easily than you do in Mr. Dickens's not having such a series of peculiarities to separate before you can regard the nature by itself. Or again: Rising from the perusal of Mr. Dickens's works, you forget that there is evil in the world, and remember only the good—while the distinction drawn between the bad and good is a broad one: rising from Mr. Thackeray's, you are doubtful of yourself and of humanity at large, for nobody is very bad or very good, and everybody seems pretty well contented-50 that the morale might almost be summed up into the American's creed, “ There's nothing new, there's nothing true, and it don't signify." This was said by the late S. Phillips in a comparison by contrast of " David Copperfield" with “Pendennis;" and he also pointed out how it is the habit of Mr. Dickens to contemplate human nature in its strength, and on its unsophisticated side-Mr. Thackeray in its weakness and on its most artificial basis; the consequence being, that the former verges on the sentimental, the latter on the cynical (for one is the reaction of the other); only while the first is no unmanly weapon in Mr. Dickens's hand, the last is a sufficiently temperate one in the hand of Mr. Thackeray. If we turn from the Times to the Quarterlies, Edinburgh, British, North British, North American, Prospective, Westminster, et si quæ alia, we find this comparative degree of criticism maintained, with positive persistency in the general practice, and superlative variety in the details. They bid us note how Dickens appears to have much the wider range of conception in the creation and presentment of character,—Thackeray to execute more naturally, simply, and perfectly that which is within his more limited sphere; how Dickens marks his men and women by direct eccentricities of speech and person, and too seldom gives us the quiet, easy, level low
of talk and action with which a true representation of life must to a great degree be filled, -while Thackeray astonishes us by the manner in which he contrives to give individuality to his persons without having recourse to much diversity of type ; how Thackeray's is the mind of closer and more compact, Dickens's the mind of looser, richer, and freer texture ; how Dickens may be the more pensive and meditative, but Thackeray is the more penetrating and reflective writer; how Dickens is by far the more opinionative and aggressive, Thackeray by far the more acquiescent and unpolemical tale-teller ; how the artistic range of Dickens is wider, and his style of art more elevated—for he works more in the ideal, it being nonsense to say of his characters generally, in a laudatory sense, that they are life-like---whereas Thackeray is essentially an artist of the realistic school, and, like Wilkie, would probably fail, if, hankering after a reputation in high art, he were to prove untrue to his special faculty as a delineator of actual life; or again, how Thackeray's mind, not less loving than Dickens's, though less expansive in its love, is constitutionally unhopeful, while the other's is cheery even to optimism ; how Dickens's sentiment, which, when good, is good in the first class, is frequently farfetched, and pitched in an unnatural key, and his pathos elaborated by the artifices of the practised writer-while Thackeray's sentiment, rarely indulged, is never otherwise than genuine, and his pathos unforced and going to the roots of the heart; how Dickens's excellence springs from his heart, to whose promptings he trusts himself with an unshrinking faith that kindles a reciprocal enthusiasm in his readers-- while in Thackeray, though there is no want of heart, its utterances are timorous and few, and held in check by the predominance of intellectual energy and the habit of reflection; and, once more, how the style of Dickens, originally lucid, and departing from directness and simplicity only to be amusingly quaint, soon became vicious, affected, and obscure-while that of Thackeray has always been manly and transparent, presenting his idea in the
Thackeray is the more terse and idiomatic, Dickens the more diffuse and luxuriant writer.-In Dickens's sentences there is a leafiness, a tendency to words and images for their own sake; whereas in Thackeray's one sees the stem and outline of the thought,
It is only of late, though, that this habit of wholesale and retail comparison has sprung up. Time was when Boz was hailed as top of the tree, and Titmarsh was nowhere. True, Michael Angelo had not yet shown up the booths and stalls of Vanity Fair; but he had, to observing eyes, foreshown his capacity for the feat. His magazine aliases had each and all vindicated their right to be heard, their might to make themselves heard. Here and there a judge keener of eye, and finer of taste, than the unjudicial or injudicious mob, recognised mark and likelihood, and something more, in the satirist whose magnum opus was soon to be refused by the publishers. Bon Gualtier did so, and predicted better things to come for and from such a penman. John Sterling did so, in
* North British Review, May, 1851 ; Westminster Rev., April, 1853; Prospective Rev., May, 1851, Edinburgh Rev., January, 1854 ; Essays from the Times, Second Series, &c. Jan.-VOL. CIX. NO. CCCCXXXIII.