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"The Fairles' Song," "Sing of those Days." We are glad to see that Dr. Smith has brought out two new songs, and they are such as bring no discredit on the already high fame of the talented composer. One of them, "The Fairies Song," is just such a one as we would expect from these moonlight revellers. The music is exceedingly light, airy, and fairy-like, and adinirably embodies the ideas of the poetry to which it has been adapted. The accompaniment is very good, especially at the close of the strain, where the composer has introduced an imitative accompaniment of faint and far-off
THESE poems are written by a very young man, whose "time is," he tells us, "occupied in the arduous profession of a painter." They contain many passages of great beauty. In addition to the leading poem, which is the best in the volume, it contains descriptive pieces, entitled, Morning," "Noon," and " Night," in which the flow both of the verse and thought reminds us not unpleasingly of that class of Wordsworth's poems which he calls "Voluntaries." The "Star of Destiny," "Ode to the Queen," and "Lines on the Duchess of Wurtemburgh," are the remaining poems.
Chronicle of the Law Officers of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the Present Time By Constantine J. Smyth, B.A., of Lincoln's-Inn.London: Butterworth. 1839.
THIS is a very convenient and useful compilation. It contains accurate lists of the chancellors, keepers of the great seal, and other law officers of Ireland, from the time of Henry the Third to our own day. The list of appointments down to the accession of George the Third are taken from Lodge's list of
music, which to our ear seemed so appropriate, and so beautiful, that we almost fancied ourselves in the land of "fairie" itself while listening to it. The other, "Sing of those Days," is a sweet and melancholy strain, full of the deepest feeling and impression. It is, in fact, one of those songs whose music sinks into the heart, and lives there, like a pleasant memory that we fear to lose. Both songs must, as soon as they are known, become universal favourites; and we should be paying a poor compliment to the taste of our fair pianistes, should we for a moment doubt that they will be so.
patent offices, printed in the Liber Munerum Publicorum Hibernia. The Liber Munerum was printed at the public expense; but few copies of it, however, have been issued to the public, and of those few most are imperfect. The copies which have fewest deficiencies, are that in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, and that presented to the Dublin Society by Mr. Justice Crampton. Great service is done to the public and to the legal profession by Mr. Smyth's publication.
An appendix gives what is called "an outline of the legal history of Ireland from the time of the English settlement.' This is a judicious abridgment of Duhigg's History of the King's Inns. Duhigg was a faithworthy but feeble and tedious writer, and Mr. Smyth's abridgment is far more readable than the corresponding passages of the work that has supplied the materials. Reference to every part of Mr. Smyth's book is rendered easy by a very convenient index. The book is one absolutely necessary to every one at all interested in the study of the history of Ireland.
The Foreign Monthly Review and Continental Literary Journal. Nos. I. and II.-May and June, 1839. London: Nutt, Fleet-street; Dulau & Co., Soho-square. 1839.
A well planned and well executed work. The manly and impartial tone in which its authors write of foreign works is calculated to impress our French and German brethren with a high opinion of the state of periodical criticism in England. Hitherto most of the English writers who have given
us accounts of the continental writers have in general written in a style vitiated with the peculiarities of the writers whom they wished to introduce. The authors of the Foreign Monthly Review write in the language and with the feelings of Englishmen, but do full justice to the works which they review. In their reviews of German poetry, extracts, translated into unrhymed verse, are given of several poems. We are far from sure that this is the best way of representing the original. In such a work as the Foreign Review professes to be, and is, a few pages ought now and then be given to the exhibition of poems in the original languages. The omission of this is sometimes even ludicrous-as, for instance, the poems of Count Platen are mentioned as chiefly valuable on account of their metrical structure. He was," says the reviewer, "a noble metriker : his poems seemed formed for the express purpose of accommodating themselves to his numbers, and in his best odes the accordance was wonderful; his subject rose and fell precisely with the variations of his metre." And after some more observations of the same kind, he gives, in illustration, the following
Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain, &c. Johnes's Translation, a New Edition, with Notes and Illustrations. In 2 vols. 8vo. or 16 parts. London: William Smith, Fleet-street. 1839.
WHILE this work was in progress of issuing from the press, we refrained from offering any observations upon it. Now, however, that it is completed, we feel no hesitation in saying, that it has in no respect fallen short of the expectations we had formed of it. The last
number, in particular, is exceedingly creditable to the publisher, and besides being enriched with a memoir of the life of the chronicler, together with an essay and criticism on his writings, from the French of M. de St. Palaye, it is adorned with a beautifully executed coloured title-page, in imitation of the illuminated titles of ancient manuscripts.
Of the Chronicles of Froissart it is scarcely necessary for us to speak in commendation. They contain the history of a period extending from 1326 to 1400, and comprehend the affairs of England, France, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Flanders, Germany, and Italy, as well as occasional notices of many other countries. The author's extensive travel through the courts of Europe, and the readiness with which he was admitted to the palaces, and sometimes the confidence of the great, gave him opportunities of acquiring extensive information which his inconceivable diligence improved to the utmost. And though the charge of partiality has been often reiterated against him, we think it has been successfully disproved, and is now fully exploded. But there is another light in which we love to look at Froissart-a light in which he is to us invaluable; we mean as the knightly poet of the ancient days of chivalry the writer of facts in a style so animated and poetical, that they surpass in interest the fictions of tale or drama. Were any testimony
to his merits needed to be adduced, we could have no higher than that of Sir Walter Scott. "Whoever," says he, "has taken up the Chronicles of Froissart must have been dull indeed, if he did not find himself transported back to the days of Cressy and Poictiers. In truth his history has less the air of a narrative than of a dramatic representation. The figures live and move before us; we not only know what they did, but learn the mode and process of the action, and the very words with which it was accompanied.”
Mr. Johnes's translation is certainly upon the whole preferable to that of Lord Berner's; besides possessing the advantage of a more modern phraseology, whatever important differences arise between the translators or the numerous manuscripts of the original are observed upon in the notes. We have only further to remark, that an excellently digested index completes the value of the work, and we recom
mend it with great confidence to every one who has a love, not only for the early historical records of his country, but for the romance of royal achieve ment and deeds of knightly valour. We rejoice to perceive that the same publishers are now bringing out the Chronicles of Monstrelet, in a style conformable to those of Froissart.
The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman. Illus. trated by George Cruikshank. Tilt, London. 1839.
WE are undoubtedly at present living in a laugh-and-grow-fat age of the world. Byron remarks that the older one grows the less one is inclined to scold, and the more to laugh. Perhaps this is true of nations as well as individuals. Literature, at least, is nothing just now, if not laughable. Quizzing is the order of the day: scientific associations are by common consent voted humbugs, and men of learning immitigable bores. "There are some persons," says Chesterfield, "who are always on the grin; they cannot speak without laughing." Latterly those said persons have multiplied, and are in high request he who grins longest or causes most grinning, is the patronised of society-is he to whom all others "stand the grin ;" and whereas of old you should win if you would laugh, you must now laugh if you would win. Our inimitable friend, George Cruikshank, is fully aware of these laughter-loving propensities in the public, and caters for them accordingly in right capital style. He takes good care that if we are pleased and tickled, we shall not be pleased with a feather or tickled with a straw. Every successive effort of George appears to our wondering eyes to surpass his last. He is the Thaumaturgus of designers an etcher unapproachable, and sui generis. Look at the hero of the song himself in the frontispiecehis wild Paganini-like face shows you that in setting out to wander over the world he goes for fun and the romance
of the thing purely; yet, though such an Ariel by the sea-side, what a wobegone Pilgarlic he looks chained to that tree in the next plate! Here the difficulty was to preserve the individuality in opposite circumstances, and triumphantly has the artist succeeded. The "proud young porter" is admirable his pompous step, his wand of office, that self-consequential physiognomy, and the air with which, even while kneeling before his master, he holds back his head, as if to exemplify Combe's theory of the effect of self-esteem on the bearing-all combine to form a personification that would alone have immortalised our friend. Then the demure English bride--nothing can be more perfect than her downcast look and deportment of resignation under all circumstances she was resigned to be married, and she is equally resigned to be trotted home to her mother's again, unmarried. We do not forget the ancient lady herself, nor even the fat coachman who drives her. Every thing in this charming little book, in fact, is redolent of character. If there be a failure, perhaps it is in the Turk's
ounly darter," to whom, we think, George has communicated a somewhat masculine and inappropriate expression of countenance. In this opinion, at the same time, we may blunder-very probably we do. We must not omit all allusion to the notes at the end, which are highly amusing, and remind us of Canning's commentaries on his own nursery poem, "The Knave of Hearts." The two-fold warning in the preface is quite in keeping with the mystifying character of the entire ballad; and there is a certain humour even in the aspect of the music and lithography. Altogether we can conscientiously recommend this little production as one of the happiest jeuxd'esprits of the season-if not of the age
and extremely cheap at thrice the trifle demanded for it.
RODEN'S COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF CRIME IN IRELAND.
THE session, like a wounded snake, still drags its weary length through the month of August. The exhausted members have, most of them, betaken themselves to their country recreations, to avoid the pestilence of the dog days in London, and recruit their wasted energies; leaving free scope to the ministers and their cunning and profligate adherents, to hurry forward those measures upon which, from the necessity of their condition, they feel constrained to legislate, but which they were reluctant to submit for free discussion, as long as the opposition benches were filled by Conservative opponents. Thus, the whole stress and business of the session has been accumulated upon its latter end. Bill after bill, with an accelerated velocity, has been shot into the house of lords, as if for the purpose of embarrassing the peers in their deliberations, and rendering it impossible that that due consideration should be bestowed upon them in the one house, which was refused them in the other; or, of exciting obloquy against that august assembly, by provoking, and almost necessitating, the rejection of measures which were recommended by the clamour of the Radicals, and the adoption of which, in one shape or another, was necessary for the prolongation of their existence. But while the reformed house of commons has thus been damaging itself in the opinion of all the honest and enlightened portion of the public, the house of lords has not only maintained its character for dignity and wisdom, but, in the judgment of all VOL. XIV.
sound politicians, risen even higher than it was before. There the errors and the crudities of the bungling or unprincipled legislators in the other assembly, have received their due correction; and the temper with which the insolent demeanour of their wouldbe censors and revilers has been met, is as creditable as the spirit and the wisdom by which their insolent pretensions have been resisted. Indeed it may be truly said that the country now looks up to the house of lords as that branch of the legislature without the intervention of which its best interests must be almost hourly exposed to danger. There it is that the friends of the Church of England see the only available defence of the Church; there, the friends of royalty, the only available defence of our monarchical institutions. There it is that our foreign relations are wisely discussed; there it is that our colonial possessions are brought under review, with statesman-like sagacity; and the measures indicated by which we might best prevent or subdue rebellion, or dismemberment, or disorganization. But by no one measure has the house of lords entitled itself to national confidence and respect, more than by the appointment of the committee upon Lord Roden's motion, to inquire into the state of crime in Ireland. That committee has now made its report; or, rather, published the evidence which was delivered on oath before it; and, without a word of comment, suffered that evidence to speak for itself. And we venture to say, that disclosures more seriously com
promising the character of an executive never were made, than those by which Lord Normanby and his employers now stand impeached for the mal-administration of the government of Ireland.
Well might they eschew inquiry. Well might the delinquents, who were already convicted in their own consciences, deprecate their more public conviction by anticipation. Well might they endeavour to disparage, by clamour, that process of judicial inquiry by which light must be let in upon their misdeeds, and the prodigious enormity of their doings in this distracted country be exposed to the indignation of the empire. Fearful, indeed, was the exposure that awaited them; and crushing the weight of the charges under which they must have sunk, if guilt itself did not, now-a-days, throw a sort of infamous protection around convicted delinquents.
And, first, how stands the state of the account, as between Lord Normanby and the landlords of Ireland ? It suited the purposes of O'Connell's lord lieutenant to represent the country as prosperous and tranquil; and, accordingly, he felt constrained to disregard the repeated memorials of the Tipperary magistrates, which represented that part of Ireland as in such a state of disorder as to require not only an increase of vigour in the administration, but an addition to the ordinary resources of the law. Murders were perpetrated with a frequency and an impunity, which proved the utter inefficiency, either for the prevention of crime or the detection of criminals, of the law as it at present stands; and stronger measures were imperiously required, if the country was not to be abandoned to the tender mercies of the miscreants by whom it was infested. What was Lord Normanby's answer to this? A refusal to comply with their solicitations, and an insinuation, not to be misunderstood, that the condition in which they were placed was chiefly their own fault, and that if they had been as attentive to the duties, as they were exact respecting the rights of property, a very different state of things would prevail, and crimes which owed their origin to misery, caused by unfeeling landlords, never would have had an existence. Property," says Mr. Drummond, has its duties, as well as its rights;" thereby broadly intimating that the neglect of the one it was which
caused the violation of the other. It was, in fact, in other words, telling the gentry that they were themselves responsible for the outrages to which they were exposed; and proclaiming, to the blood-stained peasantry, with the voice of one having authority, that the present government would not be extreme to mark what they might do amiss, so long as a gentry, so justly obnoxious to vengeance, were the only sufferers from the system of terror which had hitherto baffled the energy and the vigilance of the law. Such, we submit, is the unforced interpretation which every man of common sense must put upon Lord Normanby's answer to the Tipperary magistrates. Such, we feel confident, was the construction put upon it by every ribbonman in Ireland. It is also our persuasion that many noblemen and gentlemen in England, yea, a large and an influential class of the English proprietory, were thus induced to believe that the Irish landlords were a set of selfish tyrants, and that the unhappy state of the country was chiefly owing to their unrelenting rigour and remorseless rapacity. But what has been the result of the inquiry? Have any facts transpired which would justify such a representation? On the contrary, it has been proved, by most competent and unsuspicious witnesses, that the Irish landlords have, of late years, been distinguished for their humanity and their moderation. What says the chairman of the committee, Lord Wharncliffe ? He avers that no one can come from the perusal of the evidence without being convinced that, "notwithstanding what had been said of them, the gentlemen of Ireland were fully alive to their duty, and ready to improve their estates, and make their tenants comfortable ;" and that "there was no truth in the charge that they made ejectments by wholesale," but, on the contrary, "that they made a very sparing use of the power of ejectment." What says the Duke of Richmond? He acknowledges, that before he entered into the committee, he had a prejudice against the Irish landlords, and thought they required to be reformed; but, by attending the committee, and reading every line of the evidence which he did not hear, he certainly must say that he was convinced, that the great body of the Irish landlords were most anxious for the prosperity of the country, and the well-being of their tenants and labourers." In fact, no attempt was