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ends. At this time (1644) we have no reason to think that Cromwel had any sinister views. His object was the public welfare, according to the ideas he entertained respecte ing it, and he steadily adopted such proceedings as he judged would best promote that object. Individuals were with him but instruments in conducting the edifice of the public good, and in such a man, the private passions of love and hatred could scarcely be said to bear sway* : be chose those persons whom he conceived best adapted to the purposes be proposed; he treated them upon a principle correspondent with those views; he spared no man from ideas of personal respect; he made no man an enemy that he might gratify any private feelings of resentment and indignation."
In another place we find--
“ Cromwel possessed, as much perhaps as any man that ever lived, the gift of ex. citing confidence and implicit good opinion in those with whom he was in habits of intercourse; and he was aware of his advantage in this respect. This was, in truth, the main basis of his fortune. It is not to be doubted that he was consummate in military skill. He was a man of infinite penetration and discernment ; his views were as steady as they were extensive ; perhaps no man ever exceeded him in the power of tracing and unfolding the complexities of human affairs and human life. But all these attributes would have availed him little without the talent of which we speak. There have been men who could see every thing, and from whom no secret of the human heart has been hid, to whom the faculty of exciting sympathy has been denied, who could not emit a spark from their own bosoms to that which should light up a kindred fire in the breasts of others, who could not utter a sound which should instantly string the nerves and brace the arm of every one whose assistance they desire. Such persons live, as it were, in a field of dead men's bones : the light of heaven is upon every object around them : nothing escapes their observation : but all this to no purpose, they do not possess the transcendant power of saying to those dry bones ---Live.
“The gift of Cromwel consisted in such apparent frankness and honesty of speech as did not allow in the hearer the possibility of doubt. He seemed to be telling you exactly the thing it was most important for you to know: and that with a clearness and sincerity, that carried its own evidence along with it. He could be brief when a few words would tell all that it was in his mind to tell ; he could be copious when it was necessary that a full stream of sentiment should loosen your hold upon the anchor of calmness and deliberation. Bluntness was a main engine with which he worked : he spared for no fervour and emphasis of asseveration, when his purpose demanded that. He was polished with the polished, and coarse with the coarsc; always adapting himself with incredible felicity, to the persons whom, at the moment, it was his hint to address. His religion, as he understood it, and according to the mode of the times, was of marvellous advantage to him. He spoke to those whom it concerned in the name of the Almighty, and displayed an entire prostration of soul to the will of God. The language of pious enthusiasm never fell more consummate from the lips of a human being, than from those of Cromwel; and it is a vulgar mistake to suppose that in all this be displayed the hypocrite: as the great Roman critic says, 'If you wish me to weep, the first tears that are shed must be your own.' Cromwel could never have made a dupe of others (though in the case of his fellow-soldiers and fellow-citizens at present (1747) this is not the name of what he did) if he had not first made a dupe of bimself.”
The following is, indeed, an admirable delineation of the character it purports to represent.
" While all this was doing, he (John Lilburne) sat in his corner, and could think of nothing but the impropriety of answering interrogatories. Such is the true picture of a vulgar patriot---narrow of comprehensio a---impassioned, stiff in opinion---seeing nothing; but what he can discern through one small window, and sitting at a distance from that.. so that the entire field of his observation, his universe, in the wide landscape of the world, and the immense city of mankind, with all its lanes, its alleys, its streets, and its squares, is twelve inches by twelve."
" Cromwel was in reality a man of strong private affections; but he never suffered these, particularly in the early part of his career, to interfere with his public con
Nor can we conclude without extracting a very pleasant passage upon an important subject.
“ Till within our own memory, it was treated as a breach of the privilege of parliament to promulgate any thing which passed in the course of its debates. The English House of Commons resembled in this respect a Venetian Senate. It is obvious, that in the first accidental and fitful communications of these things, great misrepresentations must have arisen. These misrepresentations were strongly remarked, and an inference was made of the necessity of absolute secresy as to legislative deliberations. In the beginning of the reign of George the Third, the record of the debates of a whole session is contained in a few pages. But as soon as the right or expediency of publishing these debates was fully recognised, the industry of those who expected to gain by the publication was strongly excited, and great and incredible improvements were rapidly made. The reports of parliamentary debates are now sufficiently accurate for all active and practical purposes. The same publicity has pervaded our courts of law, and all judicial proceedings. Government, in many of its branches, is no longer a mystery; the curious and reflecting part of the public is copiously informed of what is going on ; and by consequence the people are called on to make, and actually make, an integral part of the Government. They are aware of what passes; they are accustomed to canvas political subjects; and they are therefore adequately prepared to give an opinion upon snch measures as are in progress. A sober and well-considered remonstrance of the impression they entertain of measures which are contemplated by the legislature, is a thing that should be cultivated and improved.”
The perusal of such passages as we have quoted, makes us the more regret that Mr. Godwin had not chosen some subject which would not have called forth so peculiarly his own decidedly partial opinions. As it is, the book is of little value ; and in an historical point of view, although containing some curious information, cannot be relied upon.
Recollections of the Life of O'Keeffe. Written by himself. 2 vols.
8vo. 1826. Colburn. The world is getting old and prosy---it loves long tales about nothing, and delights in calling up unworthy names, over which the lapse of thirty or forty years has cast an almost impenetrable veil. We have lately had innumerable Reminiscences and Recollections---good, bad, and indifferent. To which of these classes the present work belongs, may be well judged from the circumstance, that we have looked through it with a view of discovering some piquant anecdote that would bear to be extracted---but in vain. The only thing we can find likely to interest our readers during this glorious weather, is, that Giordani, the dancer, was also a skaiter. “ He skaited a mile in a minute! and on one leg only, faster than the most expert could upon two. He had a string stretched about four feet high from the ice, and in his full course used to go fairly over it." Hear that, ye Serpentiners! « Hide your diminished heads !"
But the wonders are not yet concluded. “When this same Giordani had his benefit at the theatre, he put in his bill, that he would skait on the stage." And how think you, gentle readers, did he manage it? “He had a number of grooves made, and gliding through these with his great proficiency in his dancing art, displayed all the attitudes of skaiting, to the perfect delight of the spectators!" Oh, Mr. O'Keeffe ! you should not put us innocent spectators out of con: ceit of our discrimination!
History of the Peninsular War. By Robert Southey, Esq. L.L.D. Poet
Laureate, &c. &c. Vol. ii. 4to. pp. 807. London : 1827.
J. Murray. MR. SOUTIEY is certainly one of the best, if not the best writer of English prose. His style is clear, bold, concise, not unadorned when ornament is needed, but for the most part singularly contrasted to the Aimsy and affected slip-slop which passes for easy writing at the present day. It is the custom to rail against this gentleman, because he is alleged to have departed from the political opinions which he maintained in his youth. Every dirty scribbler thinks himself at liberty to wag his tongue against the Laureate, and drag his Wat Tyler to the light. Such conduct is indeed most illiberal and unjust; and we cannot do better than show its impropriety in the words of one whose authority stands high amongst those who condemn Mr. Southey most—we mean Dr. Parr. “It is unjust,” says the learned Dr., “ to tie down manhood to those tenets which have been ingenuously avowed, but perhaps hastily adopted, in youth. It is unjust to shackle men of genius with any other restraints than those which are necessary for the observance of decorum, honor, and the strictest fidelity. It is unjust to debar any human beings from the moral or intellectual benefits which may arise from greater accuracy of information, or greater maturity of judgment. It is flagrantly unjust to blame them for discharging those new duties which are really imposed upon their consciences, by new and disinterested views of controverted and important questions." Such were the sentiments of Dr. Parr---all who own him as an authority, would do well to act up to his opinion.
The present work of Mr. Southey, of which two volumes are now published, is of a most important character. The Peninsular War was one which conduced highly to the glory of this country, and was not only important in its immediate effects, but in the change which was produced by its agency in the character of the English army, and our reputation as a military nation. To the task of delineating the history of this eventful period, Dr. Southey has brought a very great deal of information, much of it entirely new, and all most interesting, and has so well arranged his facts, and weighed the important subject so carefully, that it would be difficult to produce any history, which, in real merit, may be put in competition with his.
Our limits will not allow us to go into a detailed examination of the work ; but we may remark, that a third volume remains to be published, the present work having brought down the history to the commencement of 1811. When complete, it will, we have no doubt, not only redound greatly to the fame of its anthor, but be considered not merely valuable as an historical narrative, but of standard and unquestionable merit as a literary production.
We shall extract one or two interesting passages as specimens of Mr. Southey's style and manner.
“ There is a famous crucifix, known by the name of Nosso Senhor de Bouças, in the little town of Matosinhos, upon the coast, about a league from Porto. According to tradition, it is the oldest image in Portugal, being the work of Nicodemus ; and though the workman neither attempted to represent muscle nor vein, it is affirmed that there VOL. I.
cannot be a more perfect and excellent crucifix. Antiquaries discovered another merit in it, for there has been a controversy concerning the number of nails used in the arucifixion, and in this image four are represented, agreeing with the opinion of St. Gregory of Tours, and the reselation made to the Swedish St. Bridget. The sea cast it up; and its miraculous virtue was soon attested by innumerable proofs. One of the arms was wanting when it was found; the best sculptors were employed to supply this deficiency; but in spite of all their skill, not one of them could produce an arm which would fit the place for which it was designed One day a poor but pious woman, as she was gathering shell-fish and drift-wood for fuel, picked up upon the beach a wooden arm, which she, supposing that it bad belonged to some ordinary and profane image, laid upon the fire. The reader will be at no loss to imagine that it sprung out of the flames,--that the neighbours collected at the vociferations of the woman,---that the priests were ready to carry it in procession to the church of N. Senhor; and that the moment it was applied to the stump whereto it belonged, a miraculous junction was effected. Our Lord of Bouças became from that time one of the most famous idols in Portugal; and on the day of his festival five and twenty thousand persons have sometimes been assembled at his church, coming thither in pilgrimage from all parts. To this idol Marshal Soult thought proper to offer his devotions. He and his staff visited the church, and prostrating themselves before the altar, paid, says his journal, that tribute of respect and reverence which religion requires from those who are animated with the true spirit of Christianity. "There cannot,' continued the hypocritical traitor who recorded this mummery,-- there cannot be a more affecting and interesting spectacle, than to see a great man humbling himself in the presence of the King of Kings and Sovereign Disposer of Empires. All the inhabitants of Matosinhos who were present at this religious solemnity were wrapt in ecstacy! The French marshal testified his great concern at hearing that the plate and jewels and ornaments of the church had been carried off; and he promised the rector that he would offer two large silver candlesticks to Nosso Senhor, and dedicate a silver lamp to him, and assign funds to keep it burning night and day, and, moreover, that he would double the stipend of the rector and the sacristan. Let this fact,' said his penman,' be contrasted with what we have been told respecting the irreligion of the French troops and their leaders! It is time to open our eyes, and to acknowledge the hand of Providence in the events which have befallen us. How fortunate are we that Heaven has destined us to be governed by a hero who possesses a heart disposed to be deeply and warmly impressed with the majesty of our holy religion, and wbo aspires only to make it shine forth with new and never-fading splendor ! Let the calumniators be confounded, and the timid be tranquil! Our hopes ought to be re-animated now that they have obtained a support wbich, resting on religion, and lifting its head above the storms, promises them entire realization. Not a word of restoring the spoils of the church had been said by Marshal Soult ;---his promise of the lamp and the funds for the oil, and the increase of salaries, was confirmed by a decree in which he dedicated the lamp, assigned a revenue of sixteen milreas for its support, and doubled the incomes; as far as the decree went he performed his promise, and no farther. His situation, indeed, was becoming too perilous to allow him time for the farce of superstition."
The following is indeed a most singular and horrible detail :
“ Some fugitives landed at Palma from those parts of the south which had lately fallen under the French yoke ; they brought horrible tales concerning the invasion of Andalusia and the conduct of the invaders; and the people, excited by these horrors, cried out for vengeance upon the prisoners. Troops were called out to protect these unfortunate men, but the soldiers would not act against their countrymen ; and when the commander, General Reding, as the only means of saving the prisoners, copsented that they should be sent to the desert island of Cabrera, many were butchered in his presence, in spite of his entreaties and exertions, and many thrown into the sea, before the embarkation could be effected ; nor could it have been effected, if the soldiers had not at length been provoked to fire upon the mob. Five thousand at first, and afterwards half as many more, were landed upon Cabrera, a rocky island about fifteen miles in circumference, with no other inhabitants than a handful of soldiers, who were stationed there to prevent the Barbary corsairs from making it a place of rendezvous. A few tents were provided for the superior officers, the remainder were left to shelter themselves as they could. There was but one spring on the island, and in summer this was dry: they discovered some old wells, which had been filled up, and which, when cleared,
yielded bad water, and very little of it. The supplies from Palma were sent so irregularly, sometimes owing to the weather, but far more frequently to inhuman negligence, that scores and hundreds of these miserable creatures died of hunger and thirst; many were in a state of complete nakedness, when in mere humanity clothing was sent them by the British commander in the Mediterranean : and at other times they were kept alive by barrels of biscuit and of meat which the English ships threw overboard for them, to be cast on shore. But in the third year of their abode, the captain of a Spanish frigate, whose name ought to have been recorded, remonstrated so effectually upon the manner of their treatment, that from that time they were regularly supplied with food. He gave them potatoes and cabbage and tobacco seed, from which they raised sufficient for their consumption: and having, by persevering labor, without any other tools than a single knife, broken six feet into a rock, on the surface of which there was appearance enough of moisture to excite their hopes, they obtained a supply of water. Some of them used the skulls of their own dead, for want of other vessels to contain it; and others, with no such excuse of necessity, manufactured buttons from their bones! About 1500 entered the Spanish service rather than endure a banishment to which no end could be foreseen; and some 500, chiefly officers, were in compassion removed to England. At the end of the war not more than 2000 remained in Cabrera, nearly hall of those who had been landed there having sunk under their sufferings."
Elizabeth de Bruce. By the Author of Clan Albin. 3 vols. 12mo. Blackwood. Edinburgh : 1827.
The Natchez: an Indian Tale. By the Viscomte de Chateaubriand. 3 vols. Colburn.
Truckleborough Hall. 3 vols. 12mo. Colburn. 1827. If we were to select novels one by one, and dedicate a separate notice to each, our limited space would very imperfectly do justice to them; we have therefore determined to adopt a new mode, and since novels are at present all the rage, we shall review them by the dozen, more or less, as we find convenient. In the present instance, the three we have placed at the head of our notice, are perhaps three as dissimilar, and of as varied merit, or rather demerit, as we could well select. The first is a production of rather superior character; the plots intricate, and very much spun out, but the delineation of character very excellent, and the novel altogether rendered striking by the mixture of Scotch, English, and Irish characters which are to be found in it. We have been given to understand that the authoress is a Mrs. Johnstone, a Scotch lady, who some ten or twelve years ago published a novel called Clan Albin. For some years Mrs. Johnstone had the conduct and editorsbip of a newspaper published at Inverness, which, liowever, she lately resigned, and has now taken up her residence at Edinburgh.
The Natchez, by the author of " Attila,” is a strange mass of poetical absurdity, full of nonsensical sentiment and affected pathos. We have not for a long time been accustomed to a novel of this description, and we are very sure the public taste will not sanction it; our friends on the other side the water may admire such high flown efforts of imagination—they will not suit the cooler temperature on this side the channel.
Of Truckleborough Hall, we shall say little. It is a weak attempt to mix up politics in a novel, but the attempt will not be, and indeed does not deserve to be, successful.