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Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
My heart is awed within me, when I think
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
There have been holy men who hid themselves
Again the infant flowers of Spring
The tufted brook reflects, as it flows,
See how the clouds, as they fleetly pass,
He has crossed the lake, and the forest heaves,
The Edinburgh Review for October, and the Quarterly Review for December, 1824.
An anonymous “Tour in Germany" is reviewed in both these journals, and it is no small evidence of its merit, that both unite in commending it. It affords an opportunity to the Edinburgh Review for a tirade against the Holy Alliance. The Quarterly, with its usual servile whine, takes the same occasion to land the prudence, gentleness, benignity, &c. of their allied Majesties, who, as the reviewer intimates, are gradually preparing the minds of their subjects for the enjoyment of their natural
rights. We believe this to be true enough, but not in the sense intended by the Quarterly.
An article on “ High Tory Principles,” in the Edinburgh Review, is a spirited and very amusing attack upon the nauseous loyalty of the French press and pamphleteers, with the ineffable M. Chateaubriand at their head, as displayed on the occasion of the death of the old, and the accession of the new monarch.
“If,” say they, “a contrast were wanted to the servile spirit displayed by the French royalists in the present day, we should look to the interesting spectacle, now exhibited by the American people, of honest and enlightened atfection for their ancient benefactor and fellow-soldier in the cause of freedom. We will own, that, to us, there is something peculiarly touching in the enthusiasm which that great nation has shown upon the arrival of the truly venerable person who seeks, in their affec. tions, a temporary refuge from the persecutions of his own government. No man can be named, who has, through a long life, acted with more undeviating integrity, and who, with more strict consistency, has pursu. ed his course of devotion to the sacred cause of liberty, and opposed all despotism, whether exercised by the genius of Napoleon, or by those successors to bis throne whose powers form so mighty a contrast with their stations. La Fayette may have fallen into errors; in flying from one danger, he did not perceive that liberty might have a double hazard to encounter, both from oppression and from conquest; but faults he has never been charged with by any whose good opinion deserves his regard; and the honours which he has received in America are as entirely due to the inflexible virtue of his riper years, and his willing sacrifice of himself on all occasions to the cause of liberty in bis own country, as they are peculiarly fit to hail his reappearance in a country which the generous devotion of his younger days had helped to make a powerful state of a few dependent colonies. He must be far gone in the servile feelings of French royalism who can read, without a blush, the productions we have cited in this article; but no friend of liberal principles can feel any thing but sympathy and pride in following the progress of this great patriot through the United States, even where its details are recorded with the least reserve, and by the most ordinary chroniclers of the times.”
In the last article of the Quarterly, we have the other side of the question. The subject is the Progress of Dissent in England. The article contains, among other matters of Tory sophistry, a most impudent and shameless attempt to prove the advantage and necessity of the present constitution of the hierarchy. It is asserted, for instance, that the notion of the opulence of the clergy is a vulgar prejudice, and that, as a body, they are poorly paid. It is argued, that the enormous incomes of the dignitaries, do not constitute wealth, because wealth is comparative; that ministers of religion must mingle with every class of individuals in the nation; that “ saints in lawn” are necessary to purify the nobility; and that these are comparatively no more opulent than the “saints in crape,” who perform the same wholesome service to the iniddling classes, or the saints in rags, who christianize the canaille.
A considerable portion of this number is devoted to reviews of voyages and travels, which indeed are usually better executed in this, than in the Northern journal. The reviewers of Travels in Brazil are great
ly uplifted by the establishment of a government in that country, which savours of legitimacy, and mourn over the probable failure of the republican forms in South America, in a very edifying manner. They fur. ther take occasion to touch, with an air of dignified contempt, upon the quarrel of the United States with Great Britain in 1812; and close with an expression of benevolent anxiety for the future destinies of the federal union, when the population of the West shall have somewhat increased. We are happy to relieve them by the assurance, that there is no danger whatever to the Union, which is every day growing stronger. But “a confederate republic, of such vast extent, would be a phenomenon in politics!" It certainly will be so, good croaking brethren. We have told you so these many years, and are glad to perceive, that you begin to be aware of it.
A subsequent article contains a panegyric on the noble nature and pure morality and religion of the aborigines of North America, especially when compared with many of the white settlers. They had their legitimate sachems, and their panieses, or nobles, and their powows, or dignitaries, which proves, we suppose, that men are by nature subject to monarchy and hierarchy, instead of being free and equal, as our consti. tution ventures to assume. And these sachems, and panieses, and powows met in council, and made “ong talks,” and wore party-coloured dresses, and believed in scarlet and ermine. The reviewers really grow sentimental, when they enlarge upon the moral beanty and grandeur of the Indian character. And then they tament the cruel and systematic design of the American government to extirpate every Indian tribe from the Valley of the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, and tell how the grateful and affectionate savages, in the last war, called the king of England their Great Father, who protected them against the wicked plans of the Longknives. To all this we have but one word to say,-Brethren of the Quarterly, “beware of cant."
The Edinburgh Review, in an article on the “Abolition of Corn-Laws," endeavours to show, that by the repeal of these, no ruinous depression of prices would ensue; and that the average price of wheat, &c. in England is nearly as low as that, at which it could be supplied from any other country. Another, on Impressment, offers strong reasons for supposing that this practice, defended hitherto on the plea of necessity, is contrary to every sound principle of economy and policy, and that seamen could be obtained in greater abundance, and at no greater expense, if impressment was forever abolished. We are informed, in an article on Slavery, that a new and great effort is about to be made at the present session of parliament, for the emancipation of the slaves in the West India colo. nies. The abolitionists seem to have become tired of the slow method of parliamentary recommendation, and desire something more effectual. From an article on the Scientific Education of the People, many useful hints might be derived, for establishments in our own country.
Each of these Reviews is doubtless in a great measure, the organ of a party ; but whatever may be the ultimate end of the Whigs in Britain, their journal, on most great national and political questions, speaks the language of nature and reason ; while their Tory opponent is too often employed in defending the most monstrous paradoxes, by the most impudent sophistry. We have been informed, that the circulation of the latter is far before that of the former;--what does this