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and destroy their real power and in- selves to the confiscation and death fluence, is to the last degreeabsurd.”* which so soon overtook them ? Did We answer, that we firmly believe Bailly, the first President of the Asthey do not expect such a result, and sembly, the democratic mayor of we as firmly believe that they are Paris, the author of the Tennis Court pursuing a course which will most Oath, the most popular man in certainly have this effect. History is France, intend to rouse a spirit which fresh in our recollection; this is not should lead him forth a miserable the first time that nobles, quite as ele- victim to a cruel and lingering death vated, as patriotic, and as able as on the Champs de Mars ? Did the these, have, during the tempest of illustrious Marquis de Mirabeau, Reform, rushed on their own de- whose eloquence had so long shook struction.
the assembly, imagine that popular Did the Duke of Orleans, when he rancour would pursue him even beshewed the first example of desert- yond the grave, and that his ashes, ing his order, and fainted with emo- torn up from the Pantheon, should tion as he left the chamber of the be consigned amidst universal exehereditary peers of France to join cration to the winds ? We have withis great name and influence to the nessed these events: the blood of Tiers Etat, intend to exclude himself the nobles, whose lives paid the forfrom the French throne ? Was he feit of their misguided patriotism, is aware that in so doing he was ascend- yet reeking : the ability with which ing the first steps of that scaffold, to their conduct was eulogized, is yet which in less than three years he was fresh in our recollection, and yet we led in melancholy state, at the gate are now called upon to surrender of his own palace? Did the Marquis the constitution, because British is Rochefoucault, or the Duke de Lian- following the career of French innocourt, the firm friend of the people, vation. the enlightened patron of agriculture, “ But, then," continues the same the warm philanthropist, imagine that author," it is said, if you once rein following his example, they were move the landmarks of the constituconsigning themselves
to the exile and tion, you will be unable to stop where ruin, which so soon afterwards re- you wish. This argument would be warded all their exertions in favour a very true one if it were intended to of the democracy? Did the Marquis retain any of the abuses of the sysLafayette, the adored commander of tem; but as they are to be done the National Guard, whose white away with by the Bill, all reasonable plume was the signal for universal opposition to our representative sysshouts in the streets of Paris, ima- tem is removed, and its defenders gine that the course he was pursuing are thus placed on a vantage.ground, was destined to raise a flame which from whence they may easily defy even his influence could not subdue, the attacks of their enemies.”+-Is and that he should so soon be com- then the Reform Bill so very perfect, pelled to seek for refuge from the that it will at once cure all objecfury of plebeian ambition in the . tions, remove all complaints, against security of an Austrian dungeon ? our representative system ? Will Did the Marquis of Crillon intend, the excluded householders—the mulin joining the ranks of the Reform- titude of unrepresented proprietors ers, to extinguish bis high descent -the vast swarm of ambitious radion the revolutionary scaffold'; or the cals, have nothing to say ? Is demoheir of Montmorency to terminate cratic ambition, once excited, so easithe long line of the Constables of ly subdued ? Does the removal of all France, under the axe of the guillo- existing abuses check the progress tine ? Did the forty-six nobles who, of revolution ? “ The concessions in June 1789, deserted the House of the king,” said Mirabeau, in June of Peers to support the innovations 23, 1789, “ have removed all the real of the democracy, suppose that in grievances of France.”I Did his vast so doing they were exposing them- concessions preserve the aristocracy
* Friendly Advice to the Peers, p. 25.
I Miguet, vol. i.
of Ibid, p. 25.
or save the throne? “ I have been an- timely submission ? Here, again, hisxiously considering,” said that bene- tory comes in to complete the lesson ficent monarch, when informed of his of experience. The French nobility sentence of death, “whether, during tried the system of “gracious” conthe whole course of my reign, I have cession; at the desire of their sovedone any thing to my people with reign they yielded the great question which I should now reproach my- of voting together, or in separate self; and I solemnly declare, when chambers; in one night they surrenabout to appear at the judgment-seat dered all their privileges--they reof God, that I have not: that I have linquished, without a struggle, their never wished any thing but their titles of honour. The force of conhappiness." And it is in the life- cession could no farther go; and in time of the generation who have wit- return, the throne was overturned, nessed his execution, that the House the aristocracy destroyed; and they of Peers is now called upon to plunge were treated with a degree of seveinto the fatal career of innovation. rity to which the proscription of the
“In the time of the civil war in Eng- Long Parliament appears to be an land,"continues the sameauthor,“we
act of mercy. find it stated, that in the year 1646, The author of the Friendly Advice the majorities of the Lords and Com- declares, that if the Reform Bill be mons differed from each other upon resisted, the Peers will be the first vicalmost every political topic; and it tims. Whether this will be the case was only by the reluctant and ungra- or not is discussed in another article cious yielding of the former, that bu- in this Number;[ but experience warsiness was able to proceed.” What rants the melancholy presage, that if was the consequence? We turn to it is carried, the leaders of the moveanother page of the same History, ment will be the first to suffer from and we find, that, on the 6th Feb- its effects. Within a few months afruary, 1649, it was voted, that the ter Neckar, the leader of the reformHouse of Peers is useless, dangerous, ing ministry of France, had been reand ought to be abolished. “ The called by the popular voice to the misery and disturbances which fol- helm of affairs, and traversed the lowed these dissensions in the diffe- kingdom in all but regal procession, rent branches of the legislature, are he was exiled, proscribed, and ruined, well known to all; the iron rule of by the Assembly which he had first Cromwell, the merciless Restora- installed in popular sovereignty. Lation, the tyranny and folly of the fayette was the next object of popuStuart brothers.”+ In these remarks lar execration, and his life saved only historic truth has prevailed over by voluntary exile; the illustrious party ambition. It was in conse- Bailly, the next victim of democratic quence of the ungracious yielding" revenge. Within three years after of the Lords that the House of Peers Reform had been commenced amidst was abolished, the sovereign behead- unanimous transports in France, ed, and the iron rule of Cromwell every one of its early leaders had established. The democratic party perished on the scaffold, or been acquired such vigour, and so im- driven, after their fortunes had utmensely increased in strength from terly perished, into distant lands.this great victory, that, thencefor- May Heaven avert such scenes of ward, they became irresistible.—Let disaster from this kingdom ! but if their successors hear the warning they should occur, we shall at least voice, and not imitate the example have the consolation of reflecting. wliich brought such fatal conse- that we have warned the authors of quences upon their forefathers.
the measure we deplore of its conseIs it said, that it was the “
quences to themselves and their councious yielding” of the Peers which try; and incessantly presented the produced these disastrous conse- lessons of historic experience as the quences, and that very different re- mirror of future fate. sults would have attended their
+ Friendly Advice, p. 30. Parliamentary Reform and the French Revolution, No. VII,
We have the highest respect for sioned; his human sensibilities were Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric and tender and acute; with finer moral, Belles Lettres. Dr Hugh had so or higher religious emotions, no man much taste and talent, that his mind was ever more familiar; and with bordered on genius. It may be these and other endowments, we take said to have lived in the debateable leave to think that he was entitled land between the two great kingdoms and qualified to expatiate, ex catheof Reason and Imagination. Not that dra, nay, without offence, even now we mean to say the Doctor was in and then to prose and preach by the any mood a poet; but in many a hour-glass, as if from the very pulmood he loved poetry, and saw and pit, on epic poetry and poets, yea, felt its beauties. It spoke to some. even on Homer. thing within him, which was not mere Mr Wordsworth has been pleased intelligence. In short, Nature had to say, that the soil of Scotland is not gifted him with Imagination ac- peculiarly adapted by Nature for the tive, but of Imagination passive she growth of that weed, called the Crihad given Hugh a considerable share; tic. He instances David Hume and and thus, though it was impossible Adam Smith. David certainly was for him to originate the poetical, it somewhat spoiled by an over addicwas easy for him to appreciate it tion to French liqueurs; and he has when set before him by the makers. indited some rare nonsense about A pure delight seems to have touch- Shakspeare. Adam, too, for poetry ed his heart, in contemplating the had a Parisian palate; and cared litcreations of genius, in listening to tle for Percy's Reliques. It seems the inspiration of those on whom he once said thạt the author of the heaven had bestowed “ the vision ballad of “ Clym of the Cleugh,” and the faculty divine.” The Pro- could not have been a gentleman. fessor doth sometimes prose, it must For this sentiment, he of the Excurbe confessed. “wearisome exceed- sion has called the author of the ingly;" but that in some measure Theory of Moral Sentiments a weed. was his vocation; and the heaviest If he be, then, to use an expression of all vehicles is perhaps, in print, a which Wordsworth has borrowed Lecture. It was his bounden duty from Spenser, 'tis "a weed of gloto be as plain as a pike-staff, perspi- rious feature.” We agree with Adam cuous as an icicle; and rare would Smith in believing that the ancient have been his felicity had he esca- balladmonger was no gentleman. ped the “ timmer-tune” of the one, But we must not“cry mew" to him and the frigidity of the other, in his on that account; for ancient balladvery elegant and useful prelections. mongers are not expected to be genCowper, in one of his letters, com- tlemen; and they may write admi. mends Blair's good sense, but speaks rably of deer-stalking, of deer-shootmost contemptuously of his uttering, and deer-stealing, though in the destitution of all original power rule of manners they have not antieither of thought or feeling; but cipated Chesterfield. We found fault there the author of the Task was too with Mr Wordsworth for having sufsevere, for compare him with the fered his spite towards one of its best critics going or gone, and he productions, the Edinburgh Review, will appear far from barren. His to vitiate his judgment of the whole manner is somewhat cold, but there soil of Scotland--and to commit himis often much warmth in the matter self before the whole world by deand let us say it at once, he had, claring people to be worthless and in his way, enthusiasm. In private ugly weeds, who are valuable and life Blair was a man of a constitution useful flowers. David and Adam of character by no means unimpas- are Perennials-oor, say rather," To speak
Immortals. Both the one and the Essays of Professor Richardson, a other is
forgotten work, of which a few co« like a tree that grows
pies have been saved by thieves
from the moths. There, too, is AliNear planted by a river, Which in its season yield its fruit,
son's delightful book on Taste, in And its leaf fadeth never."
which the Doctrine of Association is
stated with the precision of the PhiSo is William Wordsworth—and jus- losopher, and illustrated with the tifiably would he despise the person prodigality of the Poet. Compare who, pitying perhaps poor Alice Fell, with it Payne Knight's Analytical without seeing any thing particularly Enquiry, and from feasting on the poetical or pathetic in her old or new juicy heart of an orange, you are duffle cloak, should, forgetful of all starving on its shrivelled skin. Of his glories, call the author of that the Edinburgh Review, and Blackfeeble failure, a weed. True enough, wood's Magazine,-mayhap the least he is there commonplace as a dock- said is soonest mended; but surely en by the way-side; but elsewhere it may be permitted us
to say rare as amaranth, which only grows this much for Francis Jeffrey, and in heaven.
Christopher North, that the one set The truth, seems to be, that the agoing all the reviews, and the soil of Scotland is most happily other all the magazines, which now adapted for the cultivation of philo- periodically, that is perpetually, ilsophical criticism. There was old lumine the world; and if the QuarKames, though flawed and cracked, terly and its train have eclipsed, or a diamond almost of the first water. should eclipse, the Blue and Yellow, Hold
his Elements between your and the Metropolitan and its train eye and the firmament, and you see take the shine out of Her of the the blue and the clouds.
Olive, let it be remembered with sensibly, he was the very
per- grateful admiration what those plason produced by this island of ours, nets once were; and never for one entitled to the character of a philo- moment be forgotten the illustrious sophical enquirer into the principles fact, that Scotland has still to herself of poetical composition. He is the been true; for that certain new-risen father of such criticism in this coun- Scottish stars have outsbone certain try—the Scottish-not the Irish- old ones; that—again to change the Stagyrite. He is ours-let the English image-the Tweed has lent its light shew their Aristotle. That his blun- and music to the Thames, and made ders are as plentiful as blackberries, it, at once, a radiant and a sonorous is most true; but that they are so is river. neither wonder nor pity ;-for so are As to German philosophical critiBurke's;—yet is his treatise on the cism, almost all that we know of it is Sublime and Beautiful, juvenile as it in Lessing, Wieland, Goetbe, and the is, full of truth and wisdom. Change Schlegels. We understand on good the image; and Aing Kames's Ele- authority, that of Carlisle, Moir, and ments of Criticism into the fanners Weir, that there are at least seven of Wordsworth's wrath; and after wise men in that land of lumber, and the air has been darkened for a while we understand on still better, our with chaff, the barn-floor will be like own, that there are at least seventy a granary rich in heaps of the finest sumphs, who, were the Thames or white wheat, which, baked into bolte the Rhine set on fire by us, would ed bread, is tasteful and nutritive speedily extinguish it. But of the sustenance even for a Lake poet. above said heroes, the two first, like
By much criticism, sincerely or Hercules, conquer the bulls they affectedly philosophical, has the ge- take by the horns ; of Wilhelm Meisnius of Shakspeare been lately bela- ter on Shakspeare, our friends aforeboured, by true men and by pretend- said have expressed their reverence; ers—from Coleridge and Lamb, to but that, we hope, need not hinder Hazlitt and Barry Cornwall. But, from hinting our contempt; after all, with the exception of some and as for the “ bletherin' brithers, glorious things said by the Ancient as the Shepherd most characterisMariner and Elia, little new hastically called the Schlegels, they been added, of much worth, to the are indeed boys for darkening the
daylight and extinguishing the moon is the sort of dignity which a modern and stars. So, let us return from these looks for in an Epic poem-and that few modest remarks on the former he had furnished us with a few specischools of Philosophical Criticism
The Doctor is not orthodox to where we set out from, namely, the here-he is a heretic—and were he Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Let- to be brought to trial before the tres, with Dr Hugh Blair sitting in General Assembly of the Critical it decorously, and lecturing on Epic Kirk, his gown would, we fear, be Poetry, particularly on Homer, and taken from his shoulders, and himself more particularly on the Iliad. The left to become the head of a sect Doctor doth thus dissert on the open- which assuredly, unlike some others, ing of the Iliad.
would not include any considerable “ The opening of the Iliad posses- quern of womenfolk. What higher ses none of that sort of dignity, which subject of quarrel between two chiefa modern looks for in an Epic Poem. tains would Dr Blair have suggested, It turns on no higher subject, than than a beautiful woman? That Briseis the quarrel of two chieftains about a was soman exquisite creature—is female slave. The priest of Apollo proved by the simple fact of her beseeches Agamemnon to restore his having been the choice of Achilles. daughter, who, in the plunder of a The City-Sacker, from a gorgeous city, had fallen to Agamemnon's band, culled that one Flower, who share of booty. He refuses. Apollo, filled his tent with “ the bloom of at the prayer of his priest, sends a young desire, and purple light of plague into the Grecian camp. The love. The son of Thetis tells us that augur, when consulted, declares, that he loved her as his own wife. Nay, there is no way of appeasing Apollo, she was his wife-he had married but by restoring the daughter of his her, just as if he had been in Scotpriest. Agamemnon is enraged at land, by declaring that they two were the augur; professes that he likes one flesh, in presence of Patroclus, this slave better than his wife Cly- and then making a long honey-moon temnestra; but since he must re- of it in the innermost heart of the store ber, in order to save the army, tent. True, Briseis was a slave, insists to have another in her place; but how could she help that cirand pitches upon Briseis the slave of cumstance, and was it not the merest Achilles. Achilles, as was to be ex- trifle in that age ? For hundreds of pected, kindles into rage at this de- miles round, while Achilles Poliormand; reproaches him for his ra- cetes was before Troy, there was pacity and insolence, and, after not a king's daughter who in a day giving him many hard names, so- might not be a slave. Ovid, we belemnly swears, that, if he is to be lieve, or some other liar, says, that thus treated by the general, he will Briseis was a widow, and that withdraw his troops, and assist the Achilles slew her husband when he Grecians no more against the Tro- ravaged Lyrnessus. But she never jans. He withdraws accordingly. was a widow in her life, till that His mother, the goddess Thetis, in- fatal flight of the arrow of Paris. terests Jupiter in his cause ; who, to Till Achilles made her his own, she avenge the wrong which Achilles was a virgin princess. had suffered, takes part against the But say that Briseis
was, in matterGreeks, and suffers them to fall into of-fact, simply a “ Female Slave.” great and long distress; until Achil. She was not a maid of all work. Her les is pacified, and reconciliation arms were not red, nor her hands brought about between him and Aga- horny ; her ankles were not like memnon.”
bedposts; huggers she wore not, The Doctor has delivered his dic- nor yet bauchles. Her sandals so tum) that the opening of the Iliad suited her soles, and her soles her possesses none of that sort of dignity sandals, that her feet glided o'er the which a modern looks for in an Epic ground like sunbeams, as bright and poem. It turns, quoth he, con- as silent, and the greensward grew temptuously, on no higher subject greener beneath the gentle pressure. than the quarrel of two chieftains Her legs were like lilies. So were 'about a female slave. Now we wish her arms and hands-her shoulders, the worthy Doctor had told us what. neck, and bosom; and had the Doct