« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
engendered a stern conviction that the struggle was for life or death.
In the army, there was a large body who, from various causes, had an incurable distrust of the king; there were others with whom he was an object of deep resentment, on account of the protracted miseries of the war. In some, there was a hopelessness of ever bringing the monarch to those terms which were considered necessary to their own safety; and in others, the events of the last few years had induced that severe republican temper which there needs no religious creed to produce, and which knows no difference between a culprit king and a culprit mendicant. All these causes concurred to bind various classes together in one sentiment ;-and that sentiment was, that nothing less than an entire removal of the present sovereign could afford the least prospect of a settlement to the nation. It was this party, so united and yet so variously composed, that prevailed in the council of officers, when the king was declared to be the grand author of all the late troubles, and when his trial was openly demanded ;-which prevailed when the members of the Lower House were expelled as by the point of the sword, so that not more than fifty remained to constitute what is called the rump parliament; it was this party which compelled this remnant of a parliament to vote for criminal proceedings against the sovereign; which called into existence the high court of justice ; which there arraigned the unhappy monarch, condemned him to death, and halted not until the appalling sentence was carried into full execution.'
The · Commonwealth ’ is the subject of much interesting discussion, and its history is, in some respects, set in a new, and, we are persuaded, a just light. The despotic proceedings of the Presbyterians are forcibly exposed, and the entire section exhibits to great advantage, Mr. Vaughan's talent for compression and sound reasoning. Respecting that important period and the succeeding Protectorate, his views are marked by a most trustworthy moderation, while the language in which they are conveyed exhibits the decision of a mind clear in the perception of truth and fearless in its expression. His estimate of Cromwell's character is admirably discriminated, and nothing but its inconvenient length prevents us from extracting it entire. We give a single paragraph.
• It is a fact, that until a few months before the late king's death, Cromwell was an advocate of monarchy, and even hazarded his own life to save that of his sovereign ;-it is a fact that the fragment of a parliament which his violence dissolved in 1653, was on the eve of adopting measures which, whether they saw it or not, must have brought back Charles Stuart, and with him the return of oppression to a large portion of the people, along with the penalties of death and confiscation to the leaders of the army, and to many besides ;—it is a fact, also, that in all his subsequent experiments with regard to parliaments, the Protector consulted the general feeling of the nation, and laboured to restore the antient constitution quite as far as was consistent with his personal safety ;-and it is not less certain, that the constitution which his last efforts were employed to establish, accorded more nearly with the claims of all the parties included in the British dominions, than any thing that had preceded it, or than any thing which followed, until the revolution of 1688. Cromwell insisted with all parties on the general equity of his plans; and hoped that self-interest would aid the greater number in discerning it; but all continued blind, and all, save one, were to be made captives in their blind. ness.'
The fault of Mr. Vaughan's work is a very uncommon one:the two volumes should have been four. Notwithstanding the judgement and great ability which he has exercised in the selection and compression of his matter, it is impossible not to regret that what he has done so well within limits unduly restricted, does not appear with the advantages of complete development. We have felt this more particularly in the closing section of his memorials. The reign of Charles II. is a spirited sketch; and that of his infatuated brother is given with equal force; but we could have wished that Mr. V. had allowed himself space to work out in full the great constitutional problems which stand prominently forward in connexion with those times. We have, however, no right to quarrel with a writer for omitting that which he has not proposed to himself as the object of his labour. After all, it is not that these matters are neglected: they are on the contrary, with slight exception, set down, briefly, indeed, but distinctly, and in a way, perhaps, more acceptable to readers in general, than would have been the result of a different course ; though inquirers who, like ourselves, have no objection to labour through an intricate investigation, may prefer making the most of a clever man when he has fairly committed himself in a laborious quest.
After the intimations of our opinion which we have already given, it can hardly be necessary to repeat our strong recommendation of these “ Memorials'. Mr. Vaughan has produced a standard work, and one which cannot fail to find, if not a noisy and transient popularity, yet, a lasting acceptance with the moderate and well-judging of all parties. He has already, as the biographer of Wycliff, won plaudits from writers of somewhat different views from his own, who have not scrupled to avail themselves of his trustworthy guidance; the highest praise that he could have wished to secure. It is very much the fashion to pronounce an author's second production inferior in value or interest to his first. Whatever may be thought of the comparative value of Mr. Vaughan's present performance, it certainly possesses superior literary merit, and displays his abilities as an historian to still greater advantage.
Art. II.-1. A Grammar of the T,hai, or Siamese Language. By
Capt. James Low, of the H. E. I. C. Military Service. 4to.
pp. 88. Calcutta. Printed at the Baptist Mission Press, 1828. 2. Journal of a Nine Months Residence in Siam. By Jacob Tomlin,
Missionary. 18mo. pp. 150. Price 2s. London, 1831. SIAM, a country as truly barbarous as any in central Africa,
occupies an interesting position as a link between our Indian possessions, upon which it now borders, and the Chinese empire. Although the Siamese are a very distinct race from the Chinese of the maritime provinces, there is every reason to believe that they are closely related, in their origin, to some of the Chinese tribes. However this may be, in Siam, the traveller or the missionary finds himself at once in direct contact with China; settlers and traders from the Celestial empire forming a large proportion of the inhabitants of the Indo-Chinese coasts. At Bangkok, the capital, Mr. Tomlin says, the Chinese are the
most prominent and efficient part of the population; and, as in • all other places where they are found in the East, form the life ' and spirit of the whole.
• Their number here', he adds, “is so overwhelming as to be suffi. cient to stamp their own name and character upon the whole, so that a stranger might naturally enough suppose himself in a Chinese, rather than a Siamese city. Indeed, when compared with the scanty remnant of Siamese, the vast multitude of them is almost incredible to any but an eye-witness *. There are also numerous settlements of Chinese in the interior and along the coast, which a missionary may readily communicate with from this station. The junks passing to and from China, Cochin China, and Hainam, every year, afford good opportunities of sending the Scriptures and tracts to various parts of the empire and those several places. An average number of 150 of these vessels are thus annually employed. Others also are constantly moving to and fro amongst the various islands of the Archipelago, affording similar facilities of communication with numerous scattered bodies of emigrant Chinese.'
* According to a census made by the Siamese Government in 1828, out of 401,300 inhabitants of Bangkok, the Chinese (paying the polltax) amounted to 310,000, besides 50,000 descendants of Chinese; the Siamese were only 8,000; the remaining 33,000 comprising Cochin-Chinese, Laos, Peguans, Cambojans, Burmans, Malays, and 1800 Christians. But the Siamese priests do not appear to have been included in this estimate; and they are supposed to be not fewer than 11,000. (Miss. Reg. March 1830.) The king's personal guards are chiefly Tatars; and no Siamese can wear arms without special permission.
In this point of view, Siam assumes an importance to which it might not be otherwise entitled ; and a missionary station there, may be considered as an advanced post within the frontier that has hitherto separated China from European civilization. On this account, the London Missionary Society had determined to commence a regular mission to Siam ; and two individuals were actually appointed to proceed there; but the necessity of re-inforcing the stations occupied by the Society in Bengal, has hitherto occasioned a suspension of the plan. In the mean time, the foundations of a Siamese Mission have already been laid. In the year 1828, a visit was paid to Bangkok by the Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff, of the Netherlands Society, and the Rev. Mr. Tomlin, attached to the London Society's mission at Singapore. They resided there for nearly nine months, (from Aug. 23, 1828, to May 14, when the health of Mr. Tomlin compelled him to return to Singapore. The journal before us gives an interesting detail of their labours and adventures during that period. Mr. Gutzlaff subsequently returned to Malacca, where he married Miss Newell, the superintendent of the Female Schools there, with whom, in Feb. 1830, he again left Singapore for Siam. We lament to learn from the Missionary accounts, that the death of Mrs. Gutzlaff, which took place at Bangkok in the following year, has deprived him of an affectionate partner and a most efficient auxiliary. Mrs. G. had prepared for the press, a Dictionary in the Anamese, and was prosecuting some important works in the Chinese, when she was removed from the scene of opening usefulness. Since her decease, Mr. Gutzlaff has, we understand, carried into effect his long meditated project of visiting the coasts of China. His correct knowledge of the Chinese has enabled him, wherever he touched, to hold intercourse with the natives, without exciting any suspicion of his being a European; and in the capacity of a pilot, he met with no difficulty in distributing a large quantity of Chinese tracts,-seed-corn cast upon the waters, that shall not be lost.
Mr. Gutzlaff left behind at Bangkok, a Tio-Chew China-man, who boldly preached the Gospel to his countrymen there. Many of the Siamese nobles also had heard the Gospel; a Pegu Mandarin had applied for instruction; and a native of Siam, a brother of the king's chief priest and counsellor, had removed to Singapore, by Mr. Gutzlaff's advice, to acquire, under the direction of the Missionaries, the English language, a knowledge of the art of printing, and other means of benefiting his countrymen *
In the mean time, Mr. Tomlin has been prosecuting at Singa
* Report of the Lond. Miss. Soc. 1832, p. 29.
: The whole which will at leash and Siamese
pore the study of the Siamese. An English and Siamese Dictionary has been prepared, which will at least be useful to future Missionaries. The whole New Testament has been translated into Siamese; and the first six chapters of St. John's Gospel have been printed as a specimen, and lent to natives of that nation; also, 1000 copies of the First Siamese Scripture tract.'* The Missionaries were fortunate in meeting at Bangkok with two remarkably clever and intelligent teachers of the language; one, a Chinese who had resided most of his life in Siam, and who, besides having a good knowledge of the Siamese, spoke almost all the native dialects of China, was well acquainted with the languages of Laos and Anam, and had accompanied four embassies to Peking, in the capacity of interpreter. The other was a Burman who had resided in Siam from boyhood, and spoke the language like a native. Capt. Low's Siamese Grammar, Mr. Tomlin had not seen when he commenced his studies. The Jesuit Missionaries are said to have the Romish prayer-book in Siamese, written in Roman characters; and the Portuguese Bishop has a MS. translation of the Four Gospels, which, after a forty years' residence at Bangkok, he had not made publict. Before Mr. Gutzlaff left that city, however, he transmitted to Singapore, a number of books and MSS. of value, which, it may be hoped, will prove of important assistance to Mr. Tomlin in perfecting his knowledge of the written language. Mr. Gutzlaff's forte would seem to be, a singular facility in mastering the difficulties of the vernacular dialects, so as to be able to speak them with the correctness of a native. The Rev. Robert Burn, Chaplain at Singapore, speaks of him as possessing the most remarkable ability for the acquirement of languages that he had ever met with, while, “ for zeal, humility, and love, he is surpassed by ' few'; and his medical skill had proved an excellent passport to him in every part of the Indo-Chinese regions that he had visited.
While these admirable Missionaries have been thus occupied in opening and clearing new channels for the waters of life, the new political relations between the British Government and the Siamese court, have led to the cultivation of this hitherto unknown language on the part of individuals whose professional situation has brought them in contact with the natives. Capt. Low, an officer in the Company's service at Prince of Wales's Island, offers his Grammar as the result of many years' experience and some labour. The MS. was presented to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta as long ago as 1822; and it remained in
Rev. Rothe most ad everal by
* Report of the Lond. Miss. Soc. 1832, p. 32.