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official life, and the official business of his command necessarily assumed in his eyes an exaggerated importance. The careful preservation of the correspondence of head-quarters, which Mr. Kinglake acknowledges so gratefully, was, we fear, more useful to him than to the British army. Lord Raglan had also official prejudices. As Mr. Kinglake, in an admirable passage (vol. ii. p. 64) points out, the difficulty of England at the beginning of a campaign is always to get men. In Turkey excellent soldiers are to be had in shoals, needing nothing but what we could give them—officers, arms, accoutrements, drill, and very moderate pay. But Lord Raglan had an official dislike to auxiliaries, and so, when winter came on, our men bad to endure all the miseries, of which mere want of numbers was the principal cause.
Still the faults inherent in old officials were no new thing when he was appointed; and therefore nothing could be more unjust than the outcry which was raised when they made themselves manifest. His moral character was especially pure and dignified. We doubt if it would have been possible to find another man who could have not only avoided disputes, but even won the affection of three generals so utterly different in character as St. Arnaud, Canrobert, and Pelissier. In this sense, his services to the alliance were priceless; and so long as he lived, the English army, even when it could bring but 15,000 men into the field, never dwindled into a contingent. But the French commanders, especially the first and last, respected his judgment; and, as St. Arnaud wrote of him, he was loyauté méme. Few English generals have left a more spotless
Mr. Kinglake's narrative of the military operations seems to us, with the exceptions we have mentioned, on the whole just and faithful. It is infinitely preferable, at all events, to the French accounts. Of M. de Bazancourt the less said the better; and M. Ducasse treats both his own countrymen's doings and ours with the same varnish. He simply leaves out the allied reverses altogether; says nothing of the retreat of the French centre and of the light division, but represents the battle as one unbroken victorious advance. This is quite fair as between French and English; but it is not truth. The real difficulties which arise in harmonising the different accounts are topographical. Every one makes his own plans to suit his own views, and there is but little chance of complete agreement until we know the distance intervening between the different parts of the field of battle much more accurately than we do.
At present, the maps of the French official Atlas, the title of which will be found at the commencement of this paper, seem the most to be relied on.
But if Mr. Kinglake's is a tolerably correct narra
tive, is it a fair account of the battle ? Certainly not. But the unfairness consists, just as in the first volume, not in distorting facts so much as in misrepresenting the motives and feelings of those who are at once his enemies and our allies. Every Englishman is actuated by feelings of the purest patriotism and an almost unconscious heroism. Every Frenchman is without presence of mind, without resources, without decision, and almost without courage. Mr. Kinglake is never so happy as when he is making game of a Frenchman. Such small deer as a young aide-de-camp who came to Lord Raglan breathless with haste, and nervous at finding himself in the presence of the English general, are not beneath his sarcasms. Not a single French general does he praise for his conduct at the Alma, except Bosquet, and that not for any thing he did,- for Mr. Kinglake distinctly says that he did nothing,—but because he was in no way concerned in the coup-d'état. Indeed, this novel principle of judgment will be found avowed and insisted on with charming naiveté in the 50th section of the 16th chapter of the 2d volume; which leaves no longer in doubt, what the reader has already probably long perceived,--that this splendid literary effort is not to be regarded so much as a mere history of events which have occurred, as a brilliant diatribe against those two mischievous things, the French empire and the French alliance.
ART. III.-PASSAGES FROM THE LIFE OF ERASMUS.
1. Unpublished Papers in the Public Record Office.
2. Erasmi Epistolæ. The present Dean of St. Paul's has familiarised his readers with the expression, “ Latin Christianity.” The phrase is new, and is apt to suggest a distinction that never existed. Had the patriarch of Constantinople succeeded in his opposition to the rival patriarch of the West, had an imperial court overawed by its splendour and authority the humble palace of the Vatican, Greek Christianity (if that be meant as a correlative to Latin) might have found a centre, in which the thousand varying lights of Greek intellect might have converged. But in fact Greek Christianity, as represented by the Greek fathers, is little more than a feeble reflexion of the Latin. Christianity, strange to say, awakened no responsive chord of the old Greek mind; the poetical and philosophical elements of earlier days sprung up to no second life. Even that logical subtlety which struck such vigorous root in the Latin Church found no place in the Greek. The intellect, language, and leisure of the Greeks would have seemed to point them out as the most suitable guardians and interpreters of the New Testament. And yet, as if to falsify all human anticipations in these matters, the Greek Church produced no expositors comparable to the Latin, Athanasius excepted. The social forms and economy of Christian life are of Latin growth. Our ecclesiastical ceremonies and dresses are Latin ; our prayers and liturgies are Latin; our translations of the Scripture are from the Latin; our disputes upon cardinal points of doctrine are founded upon Latin words, and guided entirely by our conceptions of their Latin meaning.
Placed in the van of that battle which Christianity had to wage with the new barbarian nationalities of the North, the Latin mind gained new life and vigour from the struggle. If it be true that there are men whose genius, like aromatic herbs, never gives out its fullest sweetness until they are bruised and trampled on, it is equally true that but for these collisions we might have known the old Latin literature in its strength and majesty, but never in “its hearselike strains ;” never in its more spiritual forms, and that ascetic beauty which haunts and lingers round the memory like a spell. If not the product of the same necessity, at the least the most potent aid to that same need, the Latin Church found in the Vulgate an instrument for reaching all hearts and guiding all tongues. For those new races, the founders of the nations of Western Christendom, all their earliest religious impressions were connected with the Vulgate. From the Vulgate all forms of thought took their first direction. What popes and schoolmen never could have done—for securing uniformity of belief and worship; for rooting in the hearts of men the grand idea of one church, one head, one language, binding the old to the new races in unbroken succession, and to him above all who had the keys of death and hell-was done by the silent and irresistible influence of the Vulgate. No wonder, then, that any attack on its authority should have been resisted as a deadly thrust against the very foundation of that system which had grown up with the growth of centuries and entwined itself with every fibre of the heart and imagination of mankind.
It is, then, as the opponent of that authority which till his time had been held infallible, and for this alone, that Erasmus can be regarded as the precursor of the Reformation. In his jests against the clergy, or rather against the religious orders, the clergy laughed as heartily as himself, secure and heart-sound. It was only when he proceeded to examine the evidence on which the Vulgate rested that they looked grave; when he claimed to apply to the authorised translation of the Scriptures the same rules of criticism as the scholars of his days were applying to Cicero or to Virgil. In this respect his influence on the Reformation was greater than Luther's; as the application of the principles of interpretation introduced by Erasmus must, under more favourable circumstances and in more vigorous hands, lead to consequences more important. At this time, when só much excitement has sprung up on the subject of biblical interpretation, we have thought that an account of this first effort at theological criticism might not be without interest to our readers.
In the year 1509, Erasmus was in Italy, when he received a letter from William Lord Mountjoy, urging his instant return. With more than a significant hint at the parsimony of Henry VII., Mountjoy informed him that the reign of avarice was at an end.
“Our new king,” he added, “scatters his treasures with a liberal hand; he is more ambitious of virtue and renown than of gold or precious stones.” Considering the numerous attractions which Italy had for Erasmus, it might have been thought that such an invitation, though backed by a present of 51. from Archbishop Warham, and as much more from Mountjoy himself, would not have proved very seductive. The climate of Italy, its brilliant skies, its books and antiquities, its libraries and learned societies, were exactly suited to a scholar and valetudinarian. Erasmus was fastidious in his diet. He could not endure the sour wines or sourer beer of our northern latitudes. The stoves of Germany and the winters of England filled him with dismay. But though Erasmus might care for Italy, Italy probably did not care much for Erasmus. Italian scholars, the arbiters of literary distinction, were not prepared to admit him into their exclusive circle. They were not satisfied that his Latin style smacked of the true Ciceronian flavour. Nor was Erasmus backward in expressing his contempt for their fastidiousness. He ridiculed their slavish imitation of Cicero, their utter ignorance of all authors beyond their one acknowledged idol, their tumid eloquence and shallow conceits. From the warlike Julius, whom he hated for his roughness, he received no notice; Leo X., whom he had known as a student, was condescending, but offered no substantial favour. From chagrin or other causes his health had suffered in Italy; he hastened to accept the invitation of Mountjoy.
The tediousness of the journey was relieved by casting into form the scenes he had just abandoned; the impressions made on his mind by Roman society may be seen in his Praise of Folly. Arriving in London he took up his abode with Sir Thomas More. Courted and caressed by all who had attained, or were ambitious of attaining distinction, there was no post in the State to which he might not have aspired; no position in the Church which was not open to him. “There is no country,' he boasts in one of his letters, “which would not gladly entertain me-Spain, Italy, England, or Scotland. When I was at Rome, there was no cardinal that would not have received me with open arms as a brother. In England,” he continues, “there is not a bishop who does not think it an honour to be noticed by me; who is not anxious to secure me at his table; who would not gladly retain me in his household. The king himself (Henry VIII.), a little before his father's death, sent me, when I was in Italy, most loving letters, written with his own hand. He addresses me with more respect and affection than any one else. Whenever I salute him, he embraces me most kindly and looks at me affectionately. You may be sure he thinks of me not less kindly than he speaks. The queen (Katharine) has endeavoured to secure me as her preceptor. Every one is aware that if I would but condescend to live a few months at court, I might accumulate as many benefices as I pleased."
But Erasmus had devoted himself to letters, and resolutely turned his back on those paths which led others to chancellorships, baronies, and bishoprics. The liberality and undeviating kindness of Warham and Mountjoy placed him above immediate want; and his friend Fisher, chancellor of the University of Cambridge, at that time employed in founding St. John's and settling Lady Margaret's will, induced Erasmus to take
his residence at Cambridge, and give lectures in Greek to the students of that University. The precise period at which he entered on his professorship is uncertain ; his correspondence from Cambridge commences with the summer of 1511. At first the novelty of his position, and the hopes of improving it, sufficed to atone for the smallness of his audience and the scanti. ness of his remuneration. The account he gives of his lectures do not impress us with a very exalted idea of the state of Greek literature in England. “Hitherto," he says, in a letter written from Cambridge in October 1511, “I have lectured on the grammar of Chrysoloras to a small class ; perhaps next terin I shall begin the grammar of Theodorus (a Greek of the Lower Empire) to a larger one.” In other words, he was teaching the elements of Greek grammar.
His expectations were not destined to be realised. The University found it difficult to pay his salary of fifty nobles, and applied for assistance to Lord Mountjoy. "His audience did not increase; neither the ambition of the University nor the influence of his friend the chancellor could secure for him pupils or a decent remuneration. The great obstacle to his success