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The affirmative may be maintained, and not without reason, on the ground of humanity; or on the probability that a war, wherever begun, may finally involve us in hostilities. Assuredly, mediation or good offices may in such a case be employed, under the limitations which we have prescribed. We doubt whether in any case compulsion ought to be used; assuredly not in any case in which we are not certain of success. We can imagine a case in which a great power, or two combined, may be able to prevent hostilities between two smaller states, as the big boys sometimes forbid a fight between two little ones at school. But, if the result of this compulsory mediation is likely to be, as it often will be, the transfer of the quarrel from the lesser to the greater powers, we shall not even have humanity to boast of.
5. The same remarks will apply to the case of internal divisions, with this important addition, that in that case the probability of an extension of hostilities is generally very much less. We say generally, because we have witnessed an exception of enormous importance. In such a case, interference is in self-defence, and perfectly justifiable and politic. In none other can we reconcile it either with right or policy.*
We are aware that, in recommending this rigid system of noninterference, we depart from the principles and practice of statesmen, ancient and modern, and from the practice, though not from the principles, avowed in the present day. But not the authority of Pitt or Fox can destroy the conclusions to which a perusal of history brings us. The great duty of the government in respect of foreign affairs is to secure the country against hostile aggression; this, we say, is not effected by treaties. They neither deter one power from attacking us, nor induce another to assist us. An insular position delivers us from the danger of a sudden attack upon the mother country. We are more vulnerable in our distant possessions, and in our military and commercial marine. A sudden attack upon these would be equally treacherous, whether we have a mere treaty of peace, or the closest alliance with the attacking state. The danger is in any case remote, but in our minds it is nearer in proportion to the multiplicity and complication of our connexions with other powers, whereby points and chances of collision are augmented. The chance of an attack, either in the
* As some of the observations which we have made in considering these five ques. tions, may be said to bear upon questions now pending, as the Belgian, Turkish, and Spanish questions, we desire to remark that, as those questions are affected by treaties, some of them of old date, and as the Turkish question especially is one of many bearings, requiring a lengthened consideration, we do not now state the operation which our principles have upon those questions ; still less, opon our relations with Russia.
shape of mere aggression, or (which is much more probable) on a sudden rupture of peace in Europe, is always such as to require us to keep our colonies in a state of defence; and, for their protection, as well as that of our ships, we are bound to keep at sea a navy, proportioned to those of all other nations. No alliance makes it safe for us to do less than this. .
6 England,” says Heeren in conclusion, " is now marked as one of the five leading powers who determine the relation of the European state-systein. She has connected herself with them without any surrender on her own part, and has, therefore, reserved to herself the power of stepping forward as a mediator whenever it may be necessary. .... Are we not justified in hoping, that she will become still more, in future, the mediating power ?” She has lately mediated between two great powers, with an excellent result; let her reserve her mediatorial capacity for such occasions ; let her avoid guaranties and alliances ; let her maintain a respectable army and a powerful fleet; let her leave her neighbours alone, and resist promptly the slightest aggression; let her leave trade free : and, though friends may lament her loss of inAuence on the continent, and enemies boast of her exclusion, her character will stand higher in the world, her voice will be more respectfully heard, and her flag more honoured, than when she exchanged guarantees with every state, had a scheme for the succession to every throne, and intrigued in every court in Europe.
ART. IX.-Sanchuniathon's Urgeschichte der Phönizier in einem
Auszuge aus der wieder aufgefundenen Handschrift von Philo's vollständiger Uebersetzung. Nebst Bemerkungen von Fr. Wagenfeld. Mit einem Vorworte vom Dr. G. F. Grotefend, Director des Lyceums zu Hannover. Mit einem Facsimile. (Sanchoniatho's early History of the Phænicians, condensed from the lately found manuscript of Philo's complete translation of that work. With Annotations by Fr. Wagenfeld, and a Preface by Dr. G. F. Grotefend, with a Facsimile.) Hanover,
1836. FROM the mode of inquiry into the earliest existing histories of the human race to which this Journal has lately endeavoured to direct attention, we were naturally anxious to avail ourselves of every opportunity for enlarging the actual bounds of our knowledge in that sphere; and the allusion in a previous number to the promised publication of the work before us renders us the more careful to lay it before our readers. So much indeed has been written and conjectured respecting Phænician history, and the more material points of it seem so deeply veiled in oblivion that, few and simple as, in our private judgment, those points must necessarily be, far fewer and more simple indeed than is generally believed or even imagined; we were eagerly desirous of anything approaching to certainty or plausibility on this head.
* There is an appendix on the neutral questions, for which we have no space now, but we shall probably have some opportunity of noticing it.
We are bound to say that the publication in question has not in any shape answered our expectation, and that it contains nothing—so far as we can see-of sufficient importance to throw a light on the existence of contemporary nations. On the contrary, while supporting some, it agrees so little with other and more weighty of our impressions from the ancient writers, that it follows, if the work now put forth is genuine, the historians on whom the learned world has been hitherto accustomed to rely must have been more inexact than we could have a right to suppose.
With these feelings we should be disposed to scrutinize severely the history itself, and the mode of its publication—and on this branch of the subject there is certainly some matter for suspicion.
The work, as the reader will perceive, is not the Phoenician History itself of Philo-Byblius, but professes to be a summary of it only—a morsel to stay the eager appetite of learning till the full repast can be set before her. It is singular that sixteen months at least have elapsed since the alleged discovery of the manuscript; and that manuscript, judging from the fac-simile presented, clear and legible, and yet that, not a translation, which would scarcely require one half of the period, but a mere summary, should be all that the public obtains now ; that no details should accompany this, to explain the mode of discovery, or give the smallest insight into that tissue of circumstances which attends every real transaction, and is absent only from imaginary ones ; that, through a preface of thirty pages, and an introduction of eighteen more, not a single syllable should escape enabling the public to decide for themselves on the authenticity of a volume brought forward under circumstances, and asserting claims, that must of necessity be scrupulously weighed, and slowly, if ever, admitted. All these are questionable shapes of the disinhumed historian; but it must be confessed, on the other hand, that the name of the learned Editor is a guarantee against scepticism; and from the whole tone and tenor of his preface, it is clear that he gives full credence to the volume. He must, therefore, we presume, have satisfied himself of its authenticity before lending his name and labours to sanction its appearance; and, since the proofs do not appear, it is to the judgment of Professor Grotefend that we must yield our confidence.
To determine on internal evidence alone is always dangerous. So much takes its colouring from the previous impressions of the reader, that belief in general is much more a matter of taste than of conviction. Some will reject, others accept, from mere prepossession ; while, as strictly internal evidence has little or no obvious connexion with externals, the facts that might sustain or contradict any part being disconnected from it, every portion of the evidence is capable of a double and arbitrary solution. The work before us, where consonant with received accounts, may thus be held either to be supported by these, or borrowed from them. We have no access to the original, and therefore cannot determine by the style of narration, or compare it with the fragments from Eusebius; but the Hanoverian Professor undoubtedly must have had this opportunity, and, since his character as a critic and man of learning is committed on the question, we shall throw out a few remarks to justify our sceptical reception of his literary protégé, and then proceed with the contents, as a matter of curiosity.
The learned Professor remarks, in his preface, that the discovery of the manuscript must be a source of satisfaction, as supplying a contemporaneous light or narrative with that of the Jews, and affording material information of a period, the very source of history. We question both points. The source of history is to be found much higher, and flows in a tolerably free, though unnoticed, channel ; and this Phænician tale, if really contemporaneous, supplies no light whatever on general history, except what it might itself receive by mere reflection ; in other words, borrowed. For it is clear to the most careless observer that, whilst giving details of unknown and unimportant matters and tribes, where no collation or comparison can be resorted to, wherever the subject brings the narrative into contact with known history, and consequently renders it tangible, it shrinks like the mimosa from our grasp. For instance, of Egypt and Judæa, with which the Phoenicians were in constant contact, we learn nothingbut much of the Caspian tribes, which were much less known, mentioned by Strabo, &c. Further, under the head of section 5-“ Many Egyptian tribes leave their native land, and settle in Arabia and Phænicia."-C. 15-17
-not a syllable is said but what we knew before ; and yet a real Sanchoniatho could scarcely have been ignorant of some further particulars respecting this portion of their Exodus. Some light, however slight and accidental, must, we should say, have been thrown on these Shepherds, from their own traditions, by an inquiring mind compiling history on the spot, and so near the time, of their advent-to so highly cultivated a land as is there pretended. Nor is this delicacy atoned for by any incidental
light, any information, that in all accreditable narratives breaks somewhere or other upon the inquirer. On the contrary, all that we have of novelty on this head is, that the known names and usages of some one nation are altered, and attributed to another, and the antiquity increased; we should hope, not gratuitously. Thus Sanchoniatho (for the first time a native of Byblos) compiled, it seems, his work from royal archives, like the Persian of Ctesias, and from poetical inspirations, like those of the Jewish prophets, and the songs of Tatary and China. Now the prophetic poems were preserved in writing by a theocratical people, from their sacred character and theological impress on the proper history of the Hebrews; but the Byblian muse had no such influence nor character; as is clear from the specimens. The songs of Tatary and Arabia approach nearer the parallel, but they existed only orally, and were, in all probability, poetically framed expressly to attract and impress the memory in the confessed absepce, whether through ignorance or desuetude, of writing ; and accordingly we find in both these countries that when, at a very late period, it was attempted to reduce them to writing, the greater part of these historical records have been lost. If we further examine those asserted poems, we shall find them in the same predicament as the usages referred to, i. e. bearing the marks of a different nation and later date. To pass over the scanty additions that profess to complete the extant fragments of the first book of Sanchoniatho, we would fain inquire, whether the Greek translators were ever careful to retain the original names and in the original characters, as a guard on their own renderings; whether the Phænicians and Sidonians used the Hebrew character in which these are given ;--and whether this character, comparatively modern as it is supposed to be-was invented before the asserted period of Sanchoniatho?
As to the place of discovery, we are informed by natives of Lisbon and Oporto that the name of Merinhan is not Portuguese at all, and that they know of no convent so called. It may be a similar name, and an obscure place; and this obscurity may have concealed the manuscript. We are aware that ancient Portuguese history has never been properly examined, even by the natives, and that many points of similitude or difference connect them with, or sever them from, the various tribes of the Peninsula of Spain. Some such cause might operate for the possession of the manuscript in question ; but in any case the production of this manuscript will triumphantly answer all doubts, and vindicate the critical acumen of the learned Professor
With this intimation of our opinion, we shall give some extracts from the volume itself; and begin with the Song of Sidon, which