« PreviousContinue »
ately holding his hand, the comfortable warmth of which rendered her unwilling to believe the reality of the sad event."
We think that the general and concluding estimate which the author of this life has made of William the Fourth's character is a fair and just one; and with this sketch we close our notice of the work-only farther remarking, that to its other recommendations the sixteen highly-finished plates, which are introduced at suitable parts of the narrative, consisting chiefly of portraits of celebrated naval commanders, from the original pictures in the Naval Gallery of Greenwich Hospital, add very considerably to its beauty and
"In analyzing the character of the late King, while many censurable weaknesses, many youthful indiscretions, and a few, very few, grave offences against the moral code of his nation, may be laid to his charge, a host of palliating and redeeming circumstances can be pleaded in favour of his memory. When a boy, he exhibited qualities that endeared him to every one, and at the same time displayed others that called for the exercise of forbearance in the same individuals. He was impatient, impetuous, violent, iracible, and sometimes overbearing, yet there was a rough kind of generosity about him, that obtained forgiveness for many of his failings. His bursts of passion might have offended-his own sorrow for his excesses, changed the feeling into forgiveness. He had, unfortunately, never enjoyed the benefit of a suitable education. To books, in his youthful days, he manifested no partiality : his disposition was too volatile, his habits too unsteady for the pursuits of literature. In this uneducated state, at much too early an age, he was turned adrift upon the ocean. This loss was irreparable; yet his natural powers were confessedly great; and, had he been placed under proper instructors, armed with sufficient power of restraint, until his mind was habituated to literature, there is much reason to believe, that as he reigned with honour, so would he have added still greater dignity to the crown he wore at the closing years of his life.
"The profession, to which his late Majesty was attached early in life, seemed to have tinged his character throughout with its proverbial candour, bluntness, and integrity. He will be remembered in future times by the endearing title of the Sailor King. The distinguished officers who flourished in that period, and the circumstances in which the country was then placed, which gave such a preponderance to the navy, had their natural effect in stimulating the impulse that led to the choice of his Majesty's position. But a variety of influences and accidents prevented him from occupying that prominent place in his profession, to which, it is well known, his own ambition always pointed. Notwithstanding, however, the obstructions that interrupted his progress to distinction, in the way that would have been most grateful to his own feelings, he never ceased to regard the service with ardour, and retained, even upon the throne, his original enthusiasm in reference to its interests. The incidents of a life, which was past for the most part in retirement, afford few points upon which biogra phy can dwell at length; but its unostentatious quietude suggests more eloquently than the most brilliant acts, the superiority of his Majesty's
nature to the tinsel advantages of mere birth. While other members of the royal family lived in culpable profusion, his Majesty, content with a restricted income, and the serene pleasures of domestic happiness, was rarely heard of in public. He had no taste for the pageantries of a court; he loved tranquil pursuits; he removed voluntarily from the flattering and tempting splendours that were within his reach, and it is to the honour of his name that he was uncorrupted by the associations to which his rank exposed him. Called from his retreat to assume the sceptre, a grateful nation marked its profound respect for his memory, its sense of the mildness and justice of his sway. The noblest panegyric which can be pronounced upon a monarch has already been paid to WILLIAM IV.-the united testimony of all parties to his virtues. Even faction has not cast a single reproach upon his name-abashed by the many simplicities of his life, its silence is his epitaph."
ART. XII.-Lectures on Entomology. By JOHN BARLOW BURTON. London: Simpkin and Marshall. 1837.
THESE Lectures in a succinct and engaging shape contain a description of that branch of zoology which treats of the kingdom of insects, one of the most interesting and instructive in the history of Natural History. The sevenfold division of Linnæus is adopted, and the several orders are explained in a manner perfectly consistent with science, comprising the results of the latest investigation on the part of enthusiasts in the study, at the same time that the whole is rendered perfectly plain to the ordinary reader. There are several illustrative specimens also introduced to render the descriptions more intelligible and distinct; and as the entire publication amounts only to a handsome little pamphlet, it is calculated to become extremely useful not only as an introduction to the general study of Entomology, but a short and comprehensive treatise on the principles of the science aptly elucidated. We extract two short passages:"The extreme beauty of the Lepidoptera (or Butterflies), the striking contrast they present in the different stages of their existence, so remarkable as to have caused them to be regarded by a mystical philosophy as the types of the human soul released from its material incumbrance; their habits and times of appearance, the one suggesting the purity of an ethereal nature, the other associating them in the mind of the observer with the beauty of external nature, and the genial influence of the seasons, have alike contributed to render them objects of general favour."
Of the Wasp:-" One of these insects was crawling up a window, when a lady seized it with a pair of scissors with the intention of killing it, but by accident cut it in two; the wasp was no longer thought of for some time, but the lady happening by chance to look at it, thought the two parts had approached nearer each other; it was then watched, and after being separated for three or four hours they gradually joined; it then rested for a few minutes, and the parts appeared to be as firmly fixed as before the accident had happened, it then crawled up the window and flew away."
ART. XIII.-The Present State of the Controversy between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches. By HUNTER GORDON, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. London: Whittaker. 1837.
Mr. GORDON gives it as his opinion" that there has lately arisen, in this island as well as on the continent of Europe, a prejudice in favour of some of the leading principles of the Romish Theology, and above all, a desire to effect a combination of these with Protestant principles." Whence this change proceeds, he considers in the pages before us,-stating generally, at the outset, that it is to be found in something within the pale of the Protestant Church, rather than in the active force of the Catholic Priesthood, or in any external source whatever.
He believes that the inevitable consequences of the rationalism that prevails among the Protestants of Germany,-that the delirium of private judgment and free examination, which exists in that quarter, must be a sudden and violent revulsion to the Roman Catholic principle of implicit submission, and the absolute resignation of all private judgment, reason, and inquiry. He also argues that although in Great Britain the same boldness of speculation does not exist, yet that the same sort of influences are at work. He says, "Among the very small number who, in England, are favourably disposed towards the Roman Catholic faith, two classes may be noted: those who venerate revealed religion as the word of God, and those who prize Christianity chiefly as the cement of civil society, and as an indispensable support to the authority of the civil magistrate." He thinks that "the two great divisions of the Western Church are not separated by any irreconcileable difference in principle, but are only distinguished by their respective predilections for different parts of a common system," viz, a system where Reason and Revelation have both a proper place, the abuse of the former leading to scepticism, and that of the latter to superstition and dogmatism. In these circumstances he recommends it to Protestantism to define the province of right reason in religion, and to show that the two are perfectly consistent,that faith and philosophy must and ought to stand together. But then the question arises, by what authority are the relations and rightful positions of faith and reason to be interpreted? Here, we confess, we have not been able to gather much satisfaction from the author. Upon each one of the points, however, to which we have referred in this short notice, and upon collateral subjects, the essay exhibits the result of deep reflection, of liberality, and above all of an exalted sense of the importance of religion, of the destinies of man, and the necessity of each one applying his mind to similar inquiries without prejudice and rancour, in order that the purity of truth may be established and universally promulgated for the sake of man's happiness here and hereafter.
ART. XIV.-Hebrew and English Spelling Book, adapted for the use of Schools and Private Tuition. To which is affixed an Abridgment of the Hebrew Grammar. By J. L. LYON. London: Effingham Wilson.
THE professed object of the author is to furnish an easy and concise mode of acquiring a knowledge of spelling and reading the Hebrew Language,
adapted to the sounds of the Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Polish Jews. So far as we are aware this is the first initiatory work of the kind that has appeared in this country, and being simple in its plan, and clear in its details, must be regarded as supplying an important manual to the attainment of the most Sacred Tongue. The words are arranged alphabetically, and their number of syllables, in separate divisions, according to their respective accentuation,-the best authorities pertaining to this last mentioned particular and other intricacies of the Hebrew having been consulted and followed.
There seems to be a very good reason for recommending this small and cheap volume (three shillings is its price), and the more so, since the author pretends not to have made any new discoveries, but to have done his best to facilitate the pupil in his laudable endeavours to acquire an intimacy with the language in question, and to ease the master, not to dictate to him.
ART. XV.-A Hand-book for Travellers in Southern Germany, being a Guide to Bavaria, Austria, Tyrol, the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, and the Danube from Ulan to the Black Sea. 12mo. pp. 407. London: Murray. 1837.
THE present is a fit companion to a preceding volume which had Northern Germany for its theatre. In one respect, however, it possesses more interest than its fellow, for several of the routes and scenes it describes have been comparatively seldom traversed, and much more seldom delineated in the form of a traveller's manual. The plan of the work is admirable, and ought to be the model for all guide-books to foreign countries. It first contains a general sketch of the region about to be traversed, and next details particulars which must be of immediate and practical service to him who carries the volume in his hand. With these kinds of information is blended a sufficient store of amusing matter, compiled from published and manuscript journals with great judgment and taste. In short, a better companion and guide in the course of no fewer than one hundred and thirty-six routes, through some of the most interesting and least frequented portions of Europe, in so far as the British are concerned, cannot be named than this hand-book, nor a season in the year pointed out when its aid can more fitly be called for. We must extract a specimen of the author's style and matter; nor can we do better than on the Danube, to which we advise all our readers who have time and money at command instantly to repair.
"Alt Orsova, Orsova is a military village, about three miles from the frontier, with about 900 inhabitants, chiefly Wallachians, a race distinct from both Hungarians and Sclovocks, intruders, as it were, in this land, though in the course of centuries they have pushed themselves into the heart of it, from their own country (Wallachia Proper), so as to form the majority of the inhabitants in many provinces. They have a more wild and barbarous appearance than even the other races which inhabit Hungary, and are clad from head to foot in sheep-skins, wearing high hairy caps like the end of a mop, and long cloaks with the wool outside, reminding one of a door-rug. With their low foreheads, unshorn locks,
and filthy persons, they really look not much superior to the animals whose skins they occupy; at least such was my first impression as I threaded my way through a crowd of the lower sort, collected together in the antichamber of the inn, which re-echoed with their wild cries, and was redolent of the fumes of garlic and schnaps, which the host was dispensing to an already half-inebriated party of them. These, however, were labourers of the lowest grade. The female Wallachs, when young, are often very pretty; they wear a peculiar costume, a sort of apron, dyed red and black, falling nearly to the feet before and behind, the lower part of which consists of a long fringe of the same colour, which dangles about their feet. They enclose their feet in high Hessian boots of bright red leather, and are generally occupied, in or out of doors, in busily twirling the spindle. Outside the town, by the water-side, and near the ferry over the Danube, stands the Parlatorium, a wooden shed in which the market (Shela) is held. On account of the quarantine regulations, the inhabitants of Servia and Wallachia are prevented coming in contact with the subjects of Austria, and dare not cross the frontier without an escort. The Austrian quarantine is five days for those who come out of Wallachia, and ten for those from Servia; the Wallachians again have a quarantine of five days against the Servians, so that none of the three parties cau intermix for the purpose of buying and selling, nor can they touch each other's goods. On this account the building where the market is held is divided by three partitions, breast high, behind which the dealers of the three nations are congregated. In an open space in the centre is a table by the side of which the Austrian quarantine officers take their stand, aided and supported by a guard of soldiers with fire arms and fixed bayonets, to enforce order and obedience. Whenever a bargain is made, the money to be paid is handed to one of the attendants, who receives it in a long ladle, transfers it to a basin of vinegar, and, after washing it, passes it on to the other side. The goods to be purchased are placed within sight, and are immersed in a tub of water or fumigated, when they happen to change owners. It is an amusing sight to see the process of bargaining thus carried on by three parties at the distance of several yards from each other, attended by the vociferation and gesticulation inseparable from such business. When the bartering is transacted, the Wallachians and Servians are escorted back to their own territory, as they had previously been in coming to the spot, by a guard of soldiers.'-M S. Journ. Any person wishing to visit the Turkish fortress of New Orsova, on an island about two miles lower down, the Iron Gate, or Trajan's Bridge, must take with him from Orsova an officer of quarantine and another of customs, who are paid at the rate of about two florins a day, and must return before sunset. If the traveller ventures to cross the frontier without a guardian, he cannot return without passing ten days' quarantine."
ART. XVI.-Questions on the History of Europe; a Sequel to Miss Mangnall's Historical Questions. By JULIA CORNER. London: Longman. 1837.
Miss Mangnall's Historical Questions relate to Greece and Rome, and the authoress of the present volume has aimed to render her readers as familiar with the history of the modern nations of Europe as has been done by the