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Farewell, A Long Farewell To All Our QreatNesb." Southey once lit his fire with Euclid. Had he spared that inoffensive volume he might have found reward in the perusal of its calm and elementary truths. He was 55 years old when the Catholic Relief Bill passed. During its discussion he prophesied some of its results :—" The Protestant flag will be struck, the enemy will march in with flying colours, the Irish Church will be despoiled, the Irish Protestants will lose heart, and great numbers will emigrate, flying while they can from the ivrath to come. These are my speculations," he says, adding with singular naivete, "partaking perhaps of the sunshine of a hopeful and cheerful disposition." 1829 came and went; 1832 arrived, but still Robert Southey would not be comforted. "The direct consequence of Parliamentary reform must be a new disposal of church property, and an equitable adjustment with the fundholders—terms which in both cases mean spoliation;" therefore Southey is not indisposed to pray that "The cholera morbus may be sent us as a lighter plague than that which we have chosen for ourselves." The King threatens to make Peers! "Nothing, then, remains for us but to await the course of revolution. I shall not live to see what sort of edifice will be constructed out of the ruins, but I shall go to rest in the sure confidence that God will provide as is best for his church and people." It was well said, but Southey did not go to rest yet. A year later and he is prophesying away more lugubriously than ever. "I am not without strong apprehensions," he writes on the 6th of March, 1838, "that before this year passes away London will have its Three days!" Oh, had he

HIS POLITICAL PREJUDICES. 199

but lived till 1848 and seen his London enjoying its one day—on the 10th of April!

Had Southey been less a hater of science he would have done greater justice to his own honest and thoroughly humane disposition. Had he conceived less loftily of his own unassisted and undisciplined powers, he would have been answerable for fewer errors of judgment, for which his heart was in no way responsible. By his extreme and almost fanatical views of society and government, put forth in the Quarterly Review and in other works, Southey evoked a spirit of dislike in the nation which his honest intention and true regard for the interests of his country might well have spared him. Because his convictions gushed vehemently from uninstructed feeling, and could never appeal to a satisfled judgment, they lacked in their expression the dignity of reason and the moderation of truth. The laughers were all against him and revelled in his inconsistency. And how frequently did inconsistency appear? Fresh from an attack upon Byron, whom he branded as chief of the Satanic School and reproached for his want of reverence, he wrote his own Vision of Judgment, which for irreverent and daring dealing with the mysteries ot Heaven can hardly be surpassed. Groaning in one breath over the ignorance of the people, he denounced in another all London universities and mechanics' institutes. Protesting against the crude theories of all political economists, he oftener than once suggested economical schemes, even more impracticable and absurd than his first boyish plan of rescuing society by means of Pantisocracy. One day he walks into Rowland Hill's chapel, and is shocked by the absence of the decorum and ceremonial observances that belong to his own orthodox and established church; the next he is proposing open air preaching, and a departure from custom and order at which decent dissenters themselves would stand aghast.

No words can express the thorough contempt which Southey felt for political economists, and no language, we fear, can make known his own great want of acquaintance with the first principles of government. "What shall be said of the statesman who eternally laments the glaring fact, that public opinion has finally become the law of administration in England, instead of directing all his energies towards the elevation of that opinion by the wide dissemination of education and of every known means of social improvement? What shall be said of the politician who in the maturity of his years, and in the height of a popular struggle, in which the cause of the people was hallowed by justice, boldly announced that concession to the multitude and their political advancement were impossible, because "in divinity, in ethics, and in politics there can be no new truths;" and because "in any well-ordered state" it is impossible for the masses to have too little authority, independence, and power? What idea can we have of the reasoning faculties of the philosopher and the divine —for Southey wrote Books on the Church, and was deeply read in divinity—who saw growing around him institutions for dispelling ignorance and imparting useful knowledge, and yet could discern "in all these things nothing more than a purpose of excluding religion, and preparing the way for the overthrow of the Church?" We have said that the key to Southey's inconsistencies

HIS ABIDING HAPPINESS. 201

lies open in these volumes. Let the reader take it up, and unlock more of a good man's intellectual failings if he is so disposed. We have revealed enough. But before we part company with Robert Southey, let us take together, in charity, one final glance into the little room where sits the grey-haired man, "working hard and getting little—a bare maintenance, and hardly that; writing poems and history for posterity with his whole heart and soul; one daily progressing in learning, not so learned as he is poor, not so poor as proud, not so proud as happy." Great men have invited him to London, and he is now answering the invitation. The thought of the journey plagues him. "Oh dear, oh dear!" he writes, "there is such a comfort in one's old coat and old shoes, one's own chair and own fireside, one's own writing desk and own library—with a little girl climbing up to my neck and saying 'Don't go to London, Papa, you must stay with Edith'—and a little boy whom I have taught to speak the language of cats, dogs, cuckoos, jackasses, &c, before he can articulate a word of his own—there is such a comfort in all these things, that transportation to London seems a heavier punishment than any sins of mine deserve." Gently let us close the door upon such happiness.

THE AMOURS OF DEAN SWIFT.

Greater men than Dean Swift may have lived. A more remarkable man never left his impress upon the age, immortalised by his genius. To say that English history supplies no narrative more singular and original than the career of Jonathan Swift, is to assert little. We doubt whether the histories of the world can furnish for example and instruction, for wonder and pity, for admiration and scorn, for approval and condemnation, a specimen of humanity at once so illustrious and so small. Before the eyes of his contemporaries, Swift stood a living enigma. To posterity he must continue for ever a distressing puzzle. One hypothesis—and one alone—gathered from a close and candid perusal of all that has been transmitted to us upon this interesting subject, helps us to account for a whole life of anomaly, but not to clear up the mystery in which it is shrouded. From the beginning to the ending of his days Jonathan Swift was more or less Mad.

Intellectually and morally, physically and religiously, Dean Swift was a mass of contradictions. His career yields ample materials both for the biographer who would pronounce a panegyric over his tomb, and for the censor whose business it is to improve one generation at the expense of another. Look at Swift with

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