網頁圖片
PDF

give a powerful chapter on ground so fairly beaten out as every part of Egypt has been of late. He was at Cairo during the terrible plague that some years since swept over all that region of the world. His description, though, dashed with a strange vein of lightness, has something of the fearful distinctness of the pestilence-narratives of Boccacio and De Foe. Meanwhile he has a word to say about the Sphynx.

“Laugh, and mock if you will at the worship of stone idols, but mark ye this, ye breakers of images, that in one regard, the stone idol bears awful semblance of Deity—unchangefulness in the midst of change—the same seeming will and intent, for ever and ever inexorable ! Upon ancient dynasties of Ethiopian and Egyptian Kings—upon Greek and Roman, upon Arab and Ottoman conquerors—upon Napoleon dreaming of an Eastern Empire— upon battle and pestilence—upon the careless misery of the Egyptian race—upon the keen-eyed travelers—Herodotus yesterday, and Warburton to-day—upon all, and more this unworldly Sphynx has watched. and watched, like a Providence, with the same earnest eyes, and the same sad tranquil mien. And we, we shall die, and Islam will wither away, and the Englishman, leaning far over to behold his loved India, will plant a firm foot on the banks of the Nile, and sit in the seats of the Faithful, and still that sleepless rock will lie watching and watching the works of the new, busy race, with those same sad, earnest eyes, and the same tranquil mien everlasting. You dare not mock at the Sphynx "

.1utumn Flowers, and other Poems. By MRs. SouthEY, (Late Caroline Bowles.) Boston, Sarton, Pierce, & Co. JWew York, Sarton & JMiles.

We have received several small vols. of Poems from Messrs. Saxton & Co., neatly printed and bound, to be easily slipped into a narrow pocket, or were they gifts to some lady, which is their fitting destination, they might be carried in her bosom. This is one of the redeeming traits about this system of cheap, very cheap publishing, of late so unuch in vogue; that choice short efforts of the Muse and the Graces, chance gatherings in the by-ways of literature, fragments of brief and eloquent prose, are folded up, and come to us in these delicate shapes.

The time has passed when the picture of a pale-faced boy, lugging up the garret stairs some folio volume heavier than his grand

father, is put for an emblem of an early thirst for knowledge; but the curly-head. ed child, carrying these little treasures in the first pocket his mother makes him, may now steal away into the green woods, or by solitary pasture-brooks, and drink in, unknown to his sisters and father (but his mother will find it out !)—enough to begin in him a life-time of wisdom and poetic thought. Of the little volumes before us, one is a collection of various sacred lyrics; another of the beautiful melodies of Byron, Moore, and Hebre. Another contains some poems of Mrs. Southey, under the title of “Autumn Flowers. The verses of this lady, if not marked with much originality or power, are yet graceful and delicate.

[blocks in formation]

Many books have been sent to us, which we have not as yet found space to notice. Among them is Miss Fuller's “Woman in the 19th century.” which we believe has reached the third edition. We shall dispose of them in the next Number or two.

[ocr errors]

WE said in the Foreign Miscellany of our last number, that it would be one great effort with us, in giving to our readers a monthly summary, to trace the progress of the spirit of liberty over the world. Beyond contradiction, the great moral struggle that is now silently going on over Europe, is the most momentous and interesting of all subjects whatsoever. The ebbing away of the waves of that terrible revolution in France, allowed the despots of the world a short breathing time, but not permanent rest. Physical power was met by physical power, and the question settled, whether the people or the throne was the strongest. The next step was to decide where the moral force rested, in the longer and more silent conflict of principles. The explosion in France was not a a mere earthquake, burying a few thrones and palaces and then closing up as before. It was the great piercing cry of suffering humanity, which, when the sudden agony was over still lived in the ears of men. We are always looking for effects from outward eramples of greatness or prosperity, and not from the simple utterance of truths that have not found expression before. The rapidity with which the French revolution moved was doubtless owing in a great measure to the principles that had been established in ours. Its famous declaration of rights was simply another wording of our Declaration of Independence. So also our influence on the world at present is entirely a moral one. The declaimers on the Anniversary of our National Independence are constantly telling of the glory of our country, making us the envy of all others; but the truth is, our whole influence, as felt at this moment, lies in the principles contained in our Declaration of Independence. It is those that disquiet monarchies. It needs but their utterance, to secure a full and thrilling response from the common people. It is soul speaking to soul, and not commerce to commerce, or government to government, that makes Europe so uneasy on her feudal throne.

In our last, we spoke of this strugglin spirit in Italy, and of the more ...i aspect it began to assume, from the fact that bayonets and bloody conspiracies were less thought of as means of deliverance, and the literature of the country taken in their stead. The censorship of the press may be ever so strict, it cannot keep freedom out of letters. We wish to speak further of this same spirit, and its progress in some of the other countries of Europe. The agitation in Switzerland caused by the unjust actions of the Jesuits, promises to result

in something else than a conflict between Catholicism and Protestantisin. The fire of liberty, which ever since the French invasion has seemed to be smothered in that land, is now suddenly bursting forth. The effort to enslave the mass, instead cf crushing them deeper, has roused them to put forth still greater efforts for their ancient liberty. It is now proposed, and the question is profoundly agitating that ancient republic, to form an entirely new Constitution, allowing in the General Diet a representation more on our principle, than formerly. In other words to establish a democratic form of government, like our own, which shall bind all the Cantons together into one federation, allowing just and equal rights to each. This proposition which is gaining ground every day, has awakened the anxious suspicions of the neighboring governments, and diplomatists are traversing the land in every direction, and hovering on its borders in the greatest perplexity, endeavoring to check this effort for freedom in its birth-throes. What the result will be we cannot tell, but the great fear among the crowned heads of Europe, is, that a republic, not in name, but in spirit and action, shall spring up in their midst, forming as it were a focus from which to radiate influence over the Continent. The cry of France in her bitterest calamities, was “give us a Constitution " They felt the need of something to define and secure their rights. The Swiss from their mountain home, are also calling for a Constitution. If they get it Austria will lose her portion of Switzerland, on the south, while its northern boundary will most certainly be enlarged. But were there nothing more than the simple demand for a Constitution, it would send alarm through all the neighboring monarchies. This asking for a Constitution and a national representation is the plainest justice imaginable, and it is hard to stop it with bayonets in the present state of the world. Yet to grant the request is certain, though it may be slow destruction to feudalism. Whether Switzerland has strength enough in her to carry out the effort she has commenced, remains to be seen, but the agitation itself is an omen of good. But the most startling news is brought from Prussia. That entire kingdom is at this moment agitated in every part of it with the question of a Constitution, and a National Congress. Public meetings are held in almost every province, and petitions poured into the central government to grant these two destructive things to tyranny. At Elbefeld and Dusseldorf, the meetings have been crowded, and characterized by

the most intense feeling, yet the greatest sobriety and moderation. And what is stranger than all, the king dare not apply physical force to quell this agitation. The soldiers sympathise with the people, and it is feared to bring them in open contact, lest there should be plainer demonstrations of that sympathy. This is a perilous position for the government; unable to check the progress of the excitement by moral means it is afraid to use the physical force that seems at its disposal. The origin of this, or perhaps it might be said the first apparent step in this movement, seems to have been a mere pamphlet written by a Mr. Jacoby, a lawyer. He published a small book of forty or fifty pages, entitled “FIER FRAGEN” (or “Four Questions”) answered by a Prussian.” It was published anonymously, but the author was discov-, ered and sentenced to two years imprisonment for his boldness. These four questions are very simple and plain: “What did the people wish " “What had they a right to expect?” “What answer was given to them?” “What remains for them to do ’’ “Let every Prussian read and prove our answer:” These questions refer to the time when the father of the present King of Prussia promised a national representation to the people, but never gave it. In 1815, when Bonaparte had infused a new spirit into every nation on the Continent, this boon was asked, and the consent of the government obtained. But the provincial legislatures, or rather legislative committees, allowed in every province to legislate for their own welfare, were considered a good substitute, and the national representation fell through. But every act of these provincial legislatures, or rather committees, being subject to the veto of the king, their only effect was to save him the trouble of appointing men to superintend mere local matters. His unlimited veto }. checked all freedom of action, or at east all the results that might spring from it. These questions refer to that promise. The direct, clear, and succinct manner in which everything is stated gives the book its great value; while, instead of proposing any revolutionary measures, it simply discusses a past promise; the expectations it raised and the manner they were treated. In answer to the first question, “what did the people wish '" he gives the simple and short answer, “the just part of independent citizens in the affairs of the state.” In discussing the subject, he takes for his motto, Facta Loquuntur. “Let facts speak.” After referring to the promise made on the 22d of May, 1815, he starts with the bold declaration, that in every country, despotic as well as all others, the peoplebear a portion of the public burdens; and hints plainly, that this is acknowledged

in time of war; and asserts, that it should be in time of peace; and asks “shall the king and his ministers, take the whole government into their own hands. “Oder soll gesetzlich auch der selbstandigen Burgern, wahrhafte Einsicht und Theilnahme Zustehen o’ “ or shall they carefully permit, also, to the independent citizens, a proper and discriminate share in it?” To prove that the Prussians, as well as the inhabitants of France or England, are worthy of this confidence from their King, as well entitled to it by right, he refers to the high state of literature and the arts in the nation, and declares that Prussia with her seven Universities, and 20,085 Schools, (Schulen,) will stand comparison with either or both of those countries. “But” he continues, “what part in the government has this people, standing so high in intelligence and culture. “Errothend mussen wie gestehen, kaum den allegeringsten,” “blushing with shame, we must confess scarcely none at all.” He then states in what way the people can participate in the government: “by the press and through a national Congress.” But alas, “censorship of the press, and the mere appearance of a legislation, govern everything in Prussia.” King William III., does him good service here, by the good principles he was accustomed to utter, but never put in practice. He makes him substantiate everything he brings forward. He declares that to a Congress alone ought to be referred those questions that are now left to censors, ministers, etc. He then lashes the mere mockery of provisional legislatures, which the government gave in place of a national Congress. In answer to the second question. “Was berechtigle die Stande zu solchen Verlange " he says they had a right to expect a Congress. “It has often been declared,” he continues, “that, Prussians Bestimmung sei die Fruchte der franzosischen Revolution auf friedlichem, Wege sich anzueignen,” “in a peaceable way Prussia might appropriate to herself the fruits of the French Revolution.” A bold speech, followed by the still bolder one that, “according to the old German declaration of rights, there can be no law without the consent of the people's representatives.” In proof that the people had a right to expect a national Congress, to meet at Berlin, he gives the decree of King William, in 1815, sanctioning it, and describing its nature, powers, &c. This ordinance is quoted, and commences, Sec. 1. Es soll eine Representation des Volkes gebildet werden.” Sec. 2. Zu diesem Zwecke sind die provinzialstande,” &c. Here it is, “there shall be a representation of the people,” and the provincial committees are created to secure this end. But thirty years have passed away without these provincial nonenities effecting anything. If anything can prove that the people had a right to expect this National Congress, this does; for, to use his own language, “this is not a mere promise given to us but it is the King's own decree, which is—LAw.” here, and declaring that it was not only right and just to demand, and expect, a national representation, he adds “it is a duty we owe both to the King and the fatherland.” The third question: “what answer was given to this expectation * is met as briefly and frankly as the others. “A recognition of your good behaviour, a refusal of the decreed national representation, and a vague, indefinite hint of some future compensation.” He then goes on, contrasting in a searching manner what the people really received, with what the published decree of King William openly promised, and he makes it out clear as noon day, by facts and not by theories, that the present king is an open law breaker, in that he has not carried out the ordinance of his father. He has robbed the people of what they had a right to expect, not only as a matter of justice but on the faith in the royal decree. The mere provincial committees, which were said to be designed as the first steps towards a Congress, are shown so conclusively to be the merest mockery on the part of the government—simply, a bandage over the people's eyes—an apology for the violation of a kingly edict that the government appears in a most miserable light to the nation. Its falsehood, and deceit, and trickery; the low arts it has practised on the nation to cheat them into quietness, are exposed so clearly, that the most ignorant can see them. His words are like blows, and every sentence is a text, from which a whole discourse will be thought out by every Prussian reader. His earnest tone and sincere language and clear perceptions give to his statements immense power, and we do not wonder that they fell like live coals on the nation's heart. Indeed one of the charges in his trial declaring him to be worthy of persecution, was, that his language was too clear and plain, and his style too attractive to the common people. He goes also into the judicial administration and shows how likely injustice is to be done; nay, how inevitable it is in the present mode of action. “All men,” says he, “can err–the king as well as the philosopher—and both perhaps are more apt to be wrong in common things, because they stand so high above the crowd of objects that sweep past them, that they cannot discern clearly, or mete out justly. Not by mere forms of justice is justice secured.” He closes up his argument by a rapid re-survey of its scope, and declares that the edict of King William stands good, even after the thirty years in

After nailing his argument.

difference to it, and that the present king is bound, not merely by the principles of common justice, but by the highest law of the land, the edict of his father, to grant immediately a National Congress, and a Constitution. The answer to the fourth question is like a cannon shot. “What remains to be done * The only reply to this is, “to demand as a right that which has heretofore been asked as a boon.” This question, and this short answer constitute a whole chapter, and concludes the argument and the volume. No one can appreciate its effect who has not read the entire book. After his array of facts and exposure of the treachery of the government, and appeal to the common sense and spirit of the people, this bold advice with which he sums up the whole, has a power to startle that can not be resisted. Tne king and his ministers felt it, and tried and condemned Jacoby. But he published the trial, and showed that the injustice which had been practised upon the people had also been meted out to him. This condemnation only increased the difficulty and the excitement, and the people are now following out his advice, and “demanding as a right what they heretofore besought as a favor.” This cry for a Constitution, is the most fearful sound that can sinite the ears of a despot, for the fate of Louis XVI. begins to swim before his eyes as he hears it. The long struggle of that ill-fated monarch, with the national representation respecting the nature of the constitution—the power which rapidly passed into the hands of the people during the discussion, and the final sinking of the throne in a sea of blood, come in terrible distinctness to his remembrance. “A Constitution " shouted France, and a Constitution she had, though her representatives legislated in the midst of famine, popular outbreaks, and open massacres. “A Constitution " is now the exclamation of Prussia, and we do not well see how the government can refuse it. In France, the great difficulty with the higher orders was, they could not command the cordial co-operation of the soldiers. This too is the great difficulty in Prussia; the sympathies of the common soldiers are with the people. If the king of Prussia, cannot or dare not prevent public opinion from becoming consolidated and strengthened through public meetings and organized bodies, he cannot prevent a Constitution and a National Congress. The power to repress these dangerous energies of the people, must start sooner or not at all; and we should like to see the effect on Austria, of a Prussian Congress, sitting at Berlin, and discussing a “ declaration of rights.” Let the “tiers etat,” of Prussia have a National Assembly, and they will meddle with more things than the king wots of. We have something in these aspects to say, in our next, of France and Germany,

[ocr errors]

servative minds of the country, far more numerous, and more powerful, have had no organ of the kind through which to utter their sentiments, and spread a healthier influence through the community.

Besides these considerations, it is evident to all that our literature demands F. on a higher basis than hitherto it has occupied, and the character of the nation a more honorable defence against foreign malignity and arrogance. It is time we should free ourselves from literary dependence and the flood of trash inundating the country, and repel the hostility of Europe with

the dignity that belongs to a great and prosperous people.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

It is thought expedient, therefore, to establish a Magazine or Review, which, discarding all sectional and sectarian influence, shall aim to defend the great and true interests of the Republic; to harmonize, in a kindlier acquaintanceship, the different sections of the country; to set forth more clearly the inexhaustible resources of our territory; to elevate the morals of the people; to withstand pusillanimity at home and indignities abroad; to promote American science, and dif. fuse throughout the land a higher order of taste in letters and the arts. Above all, it is, under God, the design of this Review to put down and demolish, by whatever weapons of reason or ridicule, the specious theories and doctrines assiduously sown among the o by Jacobin demagogues, and unprincipled, or visionary, organs of the press—holding forth in their place the only

safe principles—liberty under law, progress without estroying, protection to every thing estab

lished worthy of national honor. This periodical will be published monthly in the city of New-York, to be called “The American Review—a Whig Journal of Politics, Literature, Art and Science.” The price of the Magazine will be Five Dollars a year; to be paid on receiving the first number. Single numbers fifty cents. Each number, containing about a hundred and twelve pages, printed in double columns, on fine aper, will consist of a ...i. political article, with a variety of literary miscellany, in history, iography, criticism, fiction, poetry, statistics, science and the arts. very third or fourth number will also present a likeness of some distinguished man of the Republic, executed in the highest style of the art, together with an earnest and truthful biography, which may stand as a part of the history of the nation. n addition to the Congressional names above, a number of writers, both political and literary,

from all sections, and acknowledged to be among the ablest in the community, have been secured

as permanent contributors; and it is confidently believed that this periodical will be inferior to

no other at any time issued in this country. The conduct of the Review will be or the control of George H. Colton, associated, how

ever, especially in the political department, with other gentlemen of known standing and attain

ments.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

That no person may hesitate in the matter of subscription, assurance is given that the permament appearance of this Review will be put beyond contingency.

[G’ It is earnestly requested of every one willing to be interested in this design, especiall Whigs, to obtain as many subscribers as possible, transmitting them with their places of residence, to the Editor in New-York, through the postmaster. If each would only procure, or be the means of procuring, one subscriber—and many could easily obtain a number—it is seen at once that most important aid would be extended to this Review with little trouble, and some service, we believe, to the great interests of the country.

That this may be entered into the more readily by Committees, Societies, Clubs, &c., the following liberal terms are offered:—Five copies %. $20; the amount to be remitted in current New-York funds; or any person becoming responsible for sour copies, will receive a fifth gratis.

Persons in the country, remitting the amount of subscription, can receive the work by mail, strongly enveloped, or in any other way arranged by themselves.

One thing is particularly asked of all who wish to aid the work—Subscribe DIRECT to the Editor, G. H. Coltos, 118 Nassau-street, New-York. It will save an agency discount of 20 or 30 per cent.

By Law, remittances for all periodicals may be made free of expense, by mailing them in the presence of the postmaster.

All communications to be addressed, post paid, to the Editor, G. H. Colton, 118 Nassau-street.

The following are some of the testimonials of the Press, given on the appearance of the Feb. ruary Number: . The American Review “is the work which the Whig Party have long needed. It is able, it is judicious, it is dignified. * * * Let the Whigs wisely, generously step forward, and place the Review on a basis of security and conscious power. Ten thousand subscribers would do this, and a fourth have already volunteered.”—TRIBUNE.

“The second No. of this new Monthly was promptly on our table with the first morning of the month. The Number is a capital one, o much the ablest and most valuable monthly which February has sent us. * * The work supplies a want which has long been deeply felt.—Counier and Enquiaea.

“Qur friends of the Democratic must nib their pens anew. This month their Whig rivals ore clearly masters of the field. Indeed, we have never seen an abler number of any American Magazine, than this second Number of Mr. Colton's Review.”—New World.

..'. The second Number of this excellent Magazine is received, and its Table of Contents is rich io It is conducted with that measure of ability, we think, which must insure its sucCe3S."-ExPRESS.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »