« НазадПродовжити »
5. That our legitimate commerce with Africa, which is of great, and may become of enormous, value, would be destroyed :
6. That our West-Indian islands would be almost totally ruined by the cheapness of slave-labour in Cuba and Brazil, were the slave-trade free:
7. That the Missions in West Africa would be extinguished, and with them the promise they give of becoming foci of civilisation, agriculture, and commerce :
8. And that Englishmen would again largely engage in the slave-trade, to the utter disgrace of the nation.
With these conclusions before us, we can no longer hesitate. England, by abandoning in weariness or selfishness an undertaking originally entered into from motives of humanity and religion, would announce to the whole world, and must confess to herself, with guilty shame, that a career of humanity and self-denial had proved on trial a career too noble for her to pursue ; and that, though she has foully wronged the Negro race, owes them reparation, and has acknowledged the obligation, she nevertheless declines fulfilling it,--because, to fulfil it would cost her money.-Edinburgh Review.
THE INQUISITION versus SPANISH LITERATURE. The literature of Spain, with all its happy antecedents, was blighted at the moment apparently of most promise. At the end of the fifteenth century the mind of Europe was arising from a long, dark sleep; printing was giving wings to thought, and Columbus had thrown into Spain's lap the gold of a new continent, large enough for her awakened enterprise. Ferdinand and Isabella prepared the tide of their country's greatness short-lived alike in arms, arts, and letters. Consolidated at home by the union of Castile and Arragon, freed from the infidel by the conquest of Granada,—“the central point of her history,”-Spain now stretched her wings for a bolder flight, and, in possession of kingdoms on which the sun never set, aspired to be mistress of the old and new world. At this very nick of time her intellectual progress was arrested by the Inquisition. That masterpiece of the mystery of iniquity was organised from motives of policy and finance by Ferdinand, who cared neither for letters nor for religion, was sanctioned by Isabella from sincere though mistaken piety, and was fixed and enlarged by her Confessor and Minister, Ximenez,—who was backed by the universal applauding nation. Spain has ever gloried most in her greatest shame : with her, bigotry and patriotism håd long been synonymous. Stern and life-reckless by nature, to destroy the infidel had ever been the delight and heart-hardening duty of her children; and now with suicidal alacrity did they hail an engine armed ostensibly against unbelievers, but destined by a just retribution, when the gold and blood of heretics were exhausted, to recoil, Frankenstein-like, on themselves.
The transition from burning men to burning books was easy-in libros sævitum. Isabella, it is true, at the introduction of the new art into Spain in 1474, when the press was busy only with devotional works and the classics, had encouraged grammarians and learned men ; but ere long she raised obstacles that her successors swelled to prohibition-for she gave ready ear to the warnings of Rome, which quickly foresaw the incompatibility of the free press with a system built on lies; and this peril was fully revealed afterwards by Luther, when he held up to the world his
symbol of religious liberty, the Bible in print,-a symbol no less hateful then to the æsthetic Leo X. than now to the liberal Pio Nono. The second Index Expurgatorius ever printed was the Spanish one of Charles V. in 1516: under his son, Philip II., a priestly censorship was so firmly riveted that the publication of free thought in its highest ranges became almost impossible ; and mind, driven to lower channels, sank, after expiring struggles, into an apathetic collapse, until all was still
adempto per inquisitiones et loquendi et audiendi commercio.
The Inquisition, so congenial to Spanish character, interfered less with the pre-existing popular reading, and works of fancy and imagination. It hoped, by amusing, to prevent serious inquiry, and to fix the habit of letting the few think for the many. Hence, amid the nearly eight thousand authors catalogued by Nicolas Antonio, the true pioneer of Spanish literary history, how meager the list of those who dared to search for truths, much less ventured to tell them !
Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto. The nation, " allowed to riot in a world of imagination, was kept out of that of moral and physical truth :” men were compelled to respect the most terrible and ridiculous abuses of prescriptive authority, and forced to bow down to false gods: unavoidably, therefore, the literature of Spain is defective in all that deals with intellectual phenomena. No Spanish Com pernicus or Galileo—both of whose works figure in Rome's Liber Expurgatorius-fixed or enlightened the solar system of Castile ; no Bacon, with his inductive experimental tests, did for nature what Descartes did for man; no Locke anatomised lis understanding ; no Vesalius was at freedom for his body. This father of dissection was persecuted out of the world by the Inquisition for defacing God's images. The forbidden physical and exact sciences were overridden by subtilties and dogmatism,-Aristotelian metaphysics, which the Arabs had so rooted in Spain,—and filthy casuistry of the Sanchez and Suares school. Pregnant inquiry was choked by the chicanery of logicians and wranglers, when things were argued from words, and points in dispute lost in definitions of terms.-Quarterly Revieu.
ROMISH LOGIC. When the Popes claimed to be the true depositaries of all secular as well as spiritual jurisdiction, how satisfactory was the proof they produced, in support of their claim, from this passage !—“They said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said, It is enough.” Here they shrewdly ask, Why were there neither more nor fewer than two swords ? The answer is plain. It was to denote that there were two sorts of power, neither more nor fewer, deposited with the church, the temporal and spiritual ; and that these two were sufficient for all her occasions. But why are these supposed to be intrusted solely to the Pope? If they were intrusted to Peter, they are certainly intrusted to the Pope. And that they were intrusted to Peter is manifest from this, that Peter afterwards used one of them, as we learn from the Evangelist John, in cutting off the right ear of Malchus, a servant of the High Priest. And if he had one of these swords, what good reason can be given why he should not have both ?—Thus, by a regular deduction, as convincing to a Romanist as demonstration, it is proved that the Pope is the only fountain of all authority, both temporal and spiritual.-Dr. George Campbell,
CICERO'S TUSCULAN VILLA. Ir the summit of the Palatine had been selected to keep the memory of its occupant ever fresh in the minds of his countrymen, his villa at Tusculum was his chosen spot for retirement and study. Here, also, though too far removed from Rome to be himself an object of observation, his porticoes opened upon the full view of his beloved city, from which he could never long bear to take off his eyes. From the hill on which this villa stood, the spectator surveyed a wide and varied prospect, rich at once in natural beauty and historic associations. The plain at his feet was the battle-field of the Roman Kings, and of the infant Commonwealth ; it was strewn with the marble sepulchres of patricians and consulars : across it, stretched the long straight lines of the military ways which transported the engines of conquest to Parthia and Arabia. On the right, over meadow and woodland, lucid with rivulets, he beheld the white turrets of Tiber, Æsula, Præneste, strung, like a row of pearls, on the bosom of the Sabine mountains; on the left, the glistening waves of Alba sunk in their green crater, the towering cone of the Latian Jupiter, the oaks of Aricia and the pines of Laurentum, and the sea, bearing sails of every nation to the strand of Ostia. Before him lay far outspread the mighty City, mistress of the world, gleaming in the sun with its panoply of roofs, and flashing brightness into the blue vault above it. The ancient city presented few towers, spires, or domes, such as now arrest the eye from a distant eminence; but the hills within its walls were more distinctly marked, and the statues of its gods--exalted on pillars, or soaring above the peaks of its innumerable temples—seemed an army of inmortals arrayed in defence of their eternal abodes. From the banks of Lake Regillus to the gates of Tusculum, the acclivity was studded with the pleasurehouses of the noblest families of Rome. The pages of Cicero commernorate the villas of Balbus, of Brutus, of Julius Cæsar; of Catulus, Metellus, Crassus, and Pompeius; of Gabinius, Lucullus, Lentulus, and Varro. Accordingly, the retreat of the literary statesman gazed upon the centre of his dearest interests, and was surrounded by the haunts of his friends and rivals. It was here that, at a later period, when his fortunes were re-established, he composed some of the most abstract of his philosophical speculations : but even these partook of the air of the city and the tone of practical life : the interlocutors of his dialogues were the same men whom he had just left behind at Rome, or whom he might encounter among the shady walks around him.-Rev. Charles Merivale,
ANECDOTES OF HAYDN. The poet Carpini once asked his friend Haydn how it happened that his church-music was always of an animating and even gay description. To this Haydn answered, “I cannot make it otherwise : I write according to the thoughts which I feel. When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy, that the notes dance, and leap as it were from my pen ; and, since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will easily be forgiven me that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”—In 1805, as Haydn was regarding, with no very agreeable feelings, the triumphant march of the French troops, as they took possession of the capital of his beloved country, he was not a
little alarmed when he observed an officer and his guard stop at the door of his house, and demand an interview. He advanced to meet them, and with a trembling voice demanded for what purpose they sought him ; adding, with great humility, “I am only Haydn, the composer : what crime can I have committed against the French government ?”.
“None,” replied the officer, smiling : “on the contrary, I have received the orders of the Emperor Napoleon to place a sentinel at your door, in order to protect and honour an individual of such rare genius.” The guard was continued while the French occupied Vienna ; and, whenever the troops passed his door, the band played some of his compositions.
THE POETRY OF WORDSWORTII.
(Continued from page 1083.) In his poem of The Excursion, the genius of Mr. Wordsworth is exerted in its most sustained and serious manner; and, though only the middle portion of a threefold work, entitled The Recluse, (the remainder of which has been reserved for posthumous publication,) that portion is in itself of sufficient length and completeness to enable us to estimate, with tolerable accuracy, the value of the whole, as well as the author's claim to the highest honours of poetry. In length, indeed, The Excursion is equal to Paradise Lost ; nor can it considered as unfairly treated when brought to a nearer comparison with Milton's great poem, if we take into account the magnitude of its design, and the epic tone in which its subject is announced. That announcement is made in the first book of The Recluse, an extract from which is furnished by the author as a “prospectus of the design and scope of the whole Poem.”
On Man, on Nature, and on Human Life,
This enumeration of abstractions is surely not very promising as the theme proposed for a great poem ; but that our author thinks otherwise is evident from his invocation :
Urania, I shall need
My haunt and the main region of my song. “ The mind of man.” We admit that this is an argument worthy to be preluded by an invocation so sublime. It was the argument of Homer, of Shakspeare, and of Milton. But the argument with them was that of the poet, not of the logician ; a theme, but not a thesis. They exhibited as in a panorama, not dissected as in a map. In the present work, we already suspect that we are to have a “philosophical poem;" and that is an anomaly. True, the poetical dress is not a uniform : one poet is not the counterpart of another. Each is an independent source of light; and (if we may use the illustration of an inspired author)“ there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars." Consistent with this admission was our former reference to great but dissimilar examples : for not inferior to the solar splendour of Achilles is the moon-like grace of Eve; and not secondary to either is that grand constellation of characters in which Lear and Hamlet and Miranda are preeminently bright. We do not, then, require that a modern master-piece should have strong resemblance to some work long worshipped in the pantheon of art; but we expect that it will appeal to the same profound sources of pleasure, be moulded by the same grand laws of taste, and, while the novel beauty of its expression invests it with a charm that is absolutely fresh, be yet perpetually delightful to the human mind by virtue of its consonance with human nature.
Having no intention of minutely analysing The Excursion, we shall willingly assume the reader to be acquainted with the poem itself, and with the slender narrative--for plot or fable it has none-upon which are threaded the large discourses of which it mainly consists. He may be reminded, however, that the place of fable is supplied, and a title for the poem furnished, by an excursion described by the author as taken by himself, a retired pedlar, and a recluse who is called “ The Solitary ;” that between these generally, with sometimes the addition of an intelligent Vicar, occur, in series, conversations and disquisitions, varied by anecdote, rhapsody, prophecy, and alternating between pictures of humble life, and visions—more mystical, but neither so interesting nor so intelligible-of a moral paradise to be hoped for in the future. Now, the objections we are compelled to make against the poem are not confined to its imperfection of fable, though we believe that to be the primary and radical defect from