Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

destitute of any of that higher education, writers say, and to which the righteous country, within a few years, in the mode of which the mind, when college days are pass- reviewer alludes as “the most infamous of studying Geography, are attended with one ed, acquires for itself; education in the motives." We only observe, that the man, obvious disadvantage. Our geographies great school of the world's recorded expe- who learns in Grecian history to call Har- contain little excepting abstract, statistical rience; education formed by observing ex- modius and Aristogiton assassins, and the views. These are the proper elements of tensive analogies, and by weighing princi- beautiful verses in their praise a vile revo- the science, but they furnish little that is ples in the balance of other men and other lutionary song, will certainly think that the interesting to children. We are under the times; education to those great and gener- North American revolution was a wicked necessity of inventing a variety of methods ous sentiments, which fill the bosom almost rebellion, that the desolate plain of Old to facilitate the study, not so much because to bursting, while we dwell on those few Sarum ought to send two members to Par- it is difficult, as because it is uninteresting. Avatars of the spirit of liberty, which the liament, and that the Grand Seignior is the The descriptions are too general and too annals of our race relate. Of this educa- legitimate sovereign of Greece. We feel short to gratify curiosity; and when this is tion, a considerable part of the active and no more doubt, than if we had it under his known, they cease to excite it. They do leading portion of the community here and own hand, that this reviewer esteems the not occupy the mind long enough, to bring elsewhere is destitnte. They read nothing, Inquisition “a venerable institution of the any of its powers into very active service; they reflect on nothing. Absorbed in busi- Spanish monarchy."

and hence the impressions are indistinct ness, swallowed up with professional cares It is, more especially, with reference to and readily effaced. We do not, however, and duties, they have no time for any thing the state of liberty among the Greeks, that object to the present mode of studying geogbut what assumes, in some degree, the form the work of Mr Heeren makes a seasona- raphy; so far as it extends, it is certainly of a professional duty or care; and the ble appearance in our language. Mr Mit- good. Indeed, the progress we have made great work of administering the civil af- ford, with mild feelings and a perfectly in this science within ten years, has been fairs of mighty states and growing millions gentlemanly spirit, has uniformly pleaded very great, and it is now a very popular is undertaken without a day's avowed pre- the cause of arbitrary power among the study. Of the works which preceded paration; and with hearts, to which the Greeks, and given the most unfavourable Cummings' Geography, we shall say nothvery name of a generous affection is matter view of their democracy. There is really ing. When that appeared, it rendered of scorn.

so much good nature evinced in his able what relates to the absolute and relative It needs not be said that ancient Greece work, that notwithstanding the frightful in situation of places easily attainable. This is the school, where the politician may find ference to which it is designed to lead that was what we most needed, and no progress some of those lessons which he requires, and men in society ought not to govern them can be made without it. Other works have where the really great politicians have found selves—you see in it only a customary defer- succeeded, rendering this part of the scithem. It is a remark, which may be confirm- ence payed by an Englishman to aristocratic ence much more accurate, and containing ed by a very long induction, that the course principles, as to a part of the established several important additions of statistical and part which a man will take in the great system of his country. But Heeren's work information, but retaining the same general controversies of modern politics, may be is written in a much better tone; not that of character. It is best they should still retain judged of by the opinions he entertains of a champion and an apologist, but that of a it; but it should be remembered that they those of Greece. A striking instance has man who gathers traits of greatness with a furnish only a basis for something more lately suggested itself to us. In the last kindred feeling; who sees in the patriotic interesting. We want to know more of a number of the Quarterly Review-a num- exploits, the admirable literature, and beau-country than its latitude, longitude, and ber, not disgraced, but characterized by a tiful arts of Greece, testimonies more deci- dimensions, that it is level or mountainous, pitiful libel on America—we find this sen- sive of the excellence of their institutions cold or hot, that the inhabitants are black tence:-“To us, indeed, who have no great in the main, than the opposite language of or white, christians, mahometans, or pataste for assassination, even though execut- their popular excesses. However, we do gans, and that they sell corn and beef, and ed by a sword hid in the myrtle boughs not recommend the work, that converts buy tea and sugar. We want the true which graced one of the most beautiful of may be made by it; for it is really written characteristics, the real manners and custhe Grecian processions; to us, with whom in no spirit of proselytism. We recom- toms and principles of every nation, with the song of Harrodius and Aristogiton, mend it because it contains profound origi- such an account of their country as will though written in better metre* than the nal views ;-the fruits of much learning make us acquainted with them at their own · Marseillois hymn,' and in language less with the display of a very little; and a ju- homes. All who have devoted much attenvulgar than the Tragala, perro,' of modern dicious selection of topics out of the great tion to the higher parts of this science, days, is not a whit the less a vile revolu- mass of Grecian history and tradition. Mit- regard it as highly interesting ; but it retionary song, giving the noblest of names to ford must still be read; and it is to those ceives very much less attention than it one of the most detestable of deeds, origin- who read him that Mr Heeren's work will merits. Why is it that history is so much ating in the most infamous of motives; to prove both most useful and most interest. more esteemed than geography ? Is it persons of this way of thinking, the first ing.

indeed far more important to know what wearer of the name (Aristogiton) had left The translation of this work by Mr has been than what is? It may well be an abomination upon it, which it required Bancroft is very good ;—far better than believed that a reading community will no successor to the appellation to augment.” | the translations usually made from German one day cease to prefer tales ten thousand We shall not dispute with this temperate into English. It is the performance of a man times told-and often with questionable writer whether Harmodius and Aristogi- who understands not only the language but profit-to works which make us accurately ton conspired against the life of Hippias the subject. To prepare it was an honour- and intimately acquainted with our cotemand Hipparchus, as tyrants and unlawful able employment of honourable leisure. poraries. Give us good works of this charrulers, as most accounts state, and as the And parents, who love their children, may acter, and they will not long remain idle. Athenian people implied, when they erect- well feel bappy that they can send them The book before us is of this kind, and ed a monument to them in the Ceramicus, to a school, which bears fruit like this, in the success it has already met with, proves because they had slain the tyrant and giv- the brief hours of relaxation which its con- the demand which existed for it. The dilen EQUAL LAWS to Athens;" or whether it ductors spare themselves.

igence and fidelity of the author have been was a movement of private indignation on

well attested by his Gazetteers and Ele. account of the seduction of the sister of

ments of Geography. His reputation for Jlarmodius by Hippias, as the best ancient Sketches of the Earth and its Inhabitants, accuracy is certainly merited; and we

with one hundred engravings. By J. E. know not whether it is necessary even to * The criticism of this learned Theban is as

Worcester, A. A. S. Boston, 1823. 2 vols. remind him, that his obligations to great cirvaluable as his politics. The song in question is

12mo. an inartificial compilation of four different verses

cumspection increase with his reputation. by different authors, and partly in different metres. The changes which have been made in our The Sketches consist of descriptions of

the most interesting natural objects in every of Thermopylæ. “It consists of a narrow objections relate principally to their want country; the character and customs of the passage, five or six miles in length, but of moral purity, and their containing so inhabitants; and their civil, literary, and only 50 or 60 paces in breadth, and in the much that is uninteresting and useless. religious institutions. A considerable part narrowest part only 25, in the time of the We will merely suggest to Mr Worcester of these descriptions is taken from books of Greeks, now nearly double from the retir- the propriety of publishing other volumes travels, and great judgment and fidelity are ing of the sea.”

of extracts from books of travels. The manifested in excluding from them every The use of the distri ve either as

course of reading must have qualified thing of an immoral tendency. It is, in- synonymous with each, is not very uncom- him to select, with little labour, a great deed, difficult to give a faithful view of the mon among good writers. It is not, how variety of useful and interesting matter character and manners of the various ever, well established; and all will avoid which it is not easy for all to obtain, and classes in society, without resorting to lan- it, who consider how important it is to pre- which, connected as it is with much that is guage too gross and indelicate to be exhib- serve exact modes of expression. An ex- unprofitable or injurious, costs far too. ited to children; and books of travels are ample of this error occurs, vol. ii. p. 83; much. seldom recommended by a great degree of “ closed at either end by statues.”

The author has not stated in what manpurity. The art of describing licentious We have discovered other errors, but ner the Sketches should be used in schools. sceneg or habits in an inoffensive manner, forbear mentioning them, lest it should be We will suggest a method, which seems to does not consist merely in marking them inferred that the faults bear a considerable us a good one. After the study of an elewith just opprobrium. If the mind of the proportion to the excellencies. Although mentary work on geography, it may be rewriter be in itself pure, a savour of inno- we cannot concede to Mr Worcester a viewed; and during the review, the Sketches cence will characterize all that it does, and very good talent for descriptive writing, may be studied in connexion with it. Short all that it produces, and do more than the he certainly possesses a rare faculty for lessons of the geography should be given, severest censure, to protect the reader selecting the most important facts, which that the scholars may have suitable time against the enticement of evil.

his subject affords; and, with a few excep- to attend to the descriptions of the most The style of this work is, in general, tions, he presents them in a manner not interesting objects; and in no case should pleasing and correct; and many of the only intelligible, but highly interesting their progress in the geography exceed that descriptions are uncommonly beautiful. It Considering the great difficulty of describ- in the Sketches. The recitations should would be difficult to name two volumes, ing works of art in a manner intelligible to consist of answers to such questions as may which display finer specimens of this kind children or common readers, he has suc- be propounded by the instructer, and should of writing. For this, however, Mr Wor- ceeded very well. We doubt not that the never be made verbatim. The work is cester is principally indebted to his author- present edition will soon be disposed of, and adapted only to the higher classes in our ities. We frequently notice a want of ease we shall offer a little advice in relation to schools, but we hardly know any work and simplicity which will render the sen- improvements.

which will be more interesting to them. tences of his own writing obscure to chil- As to the style, we have already made The engravings are sufficiently well exedren; and, occasionally, a deficiency in some remarks, which may have the effect cuted, and they add much to the value of grammatical correctness. There are also to correct some errors. As to the matter, the work. The typography is. neat, and many passages, to understand which, will it would be well to describe the religions has very few errors. require more science than most of his read- of several countries, especially in Asia, or ers can be supposed to possess. He some- to omit to mention them. The book

may times aims at the lighter graces of compo- be filled with what is highly important and For the Oracles of God, four Orations. For sition, but with no very great success. He interesting, and, at the same time, intelli

Judgment to Come, an Argument, in nine has much better taste in selecting than in gible; and it is injurious to the minds of

parts. By the Rev. Edward Irving, M. A. writing, but even here he sometimes fails. children to accustom them to read or com

Minister of the Caledonian Church, Hata His assiduity in searching every where for mit to memory what they cannot under

ton-Garden. New York, 1823. 8vo. the useful and the important, is not beyond stand. We do not state this as a universal It is difficult to say what constitutes genius, his judgment in choosing, from his gathered principle, for there are many important or to provide a criterion which shall deterstores, whatever it is peculiarly necessary exceptions to it; but whatever can be mine its existence and its measure. Perthat his readers should know; but he does made comprehensible should never be forc-haps there is no better test, than the power not always cull the most beautiful flowers, ed upon the mind unexplained. It is, there- of influencing others, especially if the mind nor wreathe them very tastefully.

fore, rather worse than useless, to encum- to be subjected to examination, is wholly We have noticed two or three instances, ber the work with a remark that the reli-devoted to the work of acting upon other in which the definite article is used for the gion of a certain country is that of Boodh, minds. If we judge him thus, Mr Irving is the indefinite; as, vol. ii. p. 121, in describ- of the Grand Lama, of Sinto, or of Vishnu, surely a very great man; and it would be difing the Grotto of Antiparos. “The sides without any explanation of its character. ficult to deny him, on any grounds, the credit are planted with petrifactions, also of white We might apply the same remarks to some of possessing an extraordinary intellectual marble, representing trees; these rise in other subjects, which are occasionally intro- and moral character. rows one above the other, &c.” If there duced in a manner that gives no important Every one, who reads the newspapers, were but two rows, this would be correct. information. The Sketches are not a knows that the Caledonian Chapel, in

The very prevalent error of using the purely elementary work, and should not, which he preaches, is crowded with the singular adjective any after an adjective in like the Elements of Geography, admit highest rank and fashion and talent of Lonthe superlative degree, sometimes occurs; general statements. They may receive a don. He gathers, Sunday after Sunday, an as in vol. ii. p. 288. “ The largest of these little improvement in this respect. audience who could not be gathered unless temples and of any [all] in Egypt, is that of A very important object, which we ex- he spoke to them with a power victorious Carnac.”

pect these Sketches to promote, is to excite over habit, and pride of rank, and love of In vol. i. p. 275, we read : “ The Lithu- a more general interest in works which ease, and contempt for religion ;-an audianians, who were formerly under the same give similar information. To gratify this ence, who, as they could not be drawn into government with the Poles, but now chiefly interest, it might be well to add an appen- bis presence by any common enticement, included in the empire of Russia, resemble dix, giving a short account of the principal so neither could they be deluded by oratorthe Poles and Russians." The imperfect authorities, especially of those which are not ical quackery into a belief that glittering tense here supplies the places of both the common in our booksellers’ shops. There are nothingness was eloquence. Still so many imperfect and present. Still greater con- some serious objections to books of travels, papers and literary journals ridiculed him, fusion is produced in the following passage, which might be obviated; and they would we thought he must be somewhat ridicuyol. ii. p. 119, from leaving both tenses to then constitute a very suitable and highly lous; and as it was confidently said, that he be understood. He is speaking of the pass interesting part of our literature. These had destroyed bis power and popularity by printing his sermons, and thus taking from of the Word is a duty distinct from all therefore, to have a chance of hearing, I have rethem the support of his oratory, we did ex- other duties; that the principles it de- frained from systematic forms of speech, and enpect to find in this volume much more to be clares are excellently well adapted to cer- deavoured to speak of each subject in terms propsurprised at, than to be pleased with. In tain parts of the business of life, but of dif- seemed most likely to move it—in short, to argue this we mistook the matter altogether. ficult application or doubtful expediency in like a man, not a theologian ; like a Christian, not

The style of this work is very peculiar, others; and that, on the whole, it promul a churchman.” and occasionally very bad ; it savours of af- gates a law, which should generally be held

In giving his book the strange title it fectation, which indeed stares upon us in good esteem, but may be safely disre- bears, Mr Irving was probably influenced from the title page,—but its prevailing garded when it arrays itself against the es- somewhat by the wish to depart from the characteristics are derived from the exces- tablished fashions of society, or demands the common path, and thus arrest the attention sive use of the Scotch idiom, and from his abandonment of some cherished indulgence, by eccentricity, and somewhat by the reapassionate love for the earlier English writ- or insists upon the dethronement of a favour

sons assigned in the preface, from which ers, who have evidently influenced his ite and customary sin.

we have already quoted. whole manner of thought and expression. He supposes the nature and offices of reMuch as we reverence the name of Tay- ligion to be utterly mistaken; that it is handling religious truththe Oration, and the Ar

“I have set the example of two new methods of lor, we are almost disposed to say, that Mr banished from daily domestic duties and gument; the one intended to be after the manner Irving is not only nearer to him than any constantly recurring exigencies, from the of the ancient Oration, the best vehicle for addressliving English writer, but so near, that it is occupations of business, the relations and ing the minds of men which the world hath seen, more just to call him a kindred spirit, than intercourse of society, in all which it should far beyond the sermon, of which the very name an imitator. He occasionally writes in bad dwell as their sovereign and their life, other after the manner of the ancient Apologies, taste, and uses words and figures carelessly, from seasons of health and activity, when with this difference, that it is pleaded not before and attempts, somewhat too often and too the mind is clear to perceive and the frame any judicial bar, but before the tribunal of human obviously, a high strain of imaginative elo- strong to execute its commandments, and thought and feeling. The former are but speciquence. On the other hand, his language the homage that is paid, is a free-will offer- mens ; the latter, though most imperfect, is intendis generally perspicuous and forcible, his ing,—to moments marked out for reluct- ed to be complete. The Orations are placed first

in the volume, because the Oracles of God, which ornaments and illustrations are used for the ant and melancholy worship, to casual they exalt, are the foundation of the Argument, sake of the argument, which is never turn- fragments of time when leisure can be which brings to reason and common feeling one of ed aside to make room for them ;-and spared for cold devotion, to hours given by the revelations which they contain. though often exceedingly severe, he finds way of bribe that the rest of life may go

“For criticism I have given most plentiful occafault with nothing that is good.

free, and to the visitations of suffering and sion, and I deprecate it not ; for it is the free agiThe most prominent and unpleasant fault disease, when the heart is shuddering with It has also been my lot to have a good deal of it in this work, is the frequent huddling to- fear, and the shadows of coming death darken where I could not meet it

, and if I get a good deal gether of subjects which are as far apart as the intellect, and the whole soul is enslaved more I shall not grumble; for a book is the property heaven and earth. For instance, in one by dread and agony. If, indeed, every mo- of the public, to do with it what they like. The part of his

Argument,” he goes, with ment of this fleeting and unreal existence author's care of it is finished when he hath given scarcely the transition of a paragraph, from create the destiny of abiding, yea, eternal I have besought the guidance of the Almighty and

it birth. The people are responsible for the rest. a magnificent and sublime picture of the realities, and religion, or the want of it, his blessing very often, and have nothing to be. Last Judgment, to a criticism of modern determine whether this destiny shall be of seech of men, but that they would look to thempoetry. This certainly arises, in great part, joy or wretchedness ;-surely each instant selves, and have mercy upon their own souls." from bad taste, but it probably originates which passes by while we stop upon this The subjects of the Orations are, in a degree from Mr Irving's declared in threshold of being, should bear witness that First,—The preparation for consulting tention of endeavouring to extend the uses religion existed in the whole conduct of the the oracles of God. of religion, by connecting with it literature man, as life in the healthy frame ;-all full Second,- The manner of consulting them. and everything else which men love or and perfect in every part.

Third and Fourth,—The obedience due busy themselves about. His principle is a Mr Irving seems to propose not only the to them. good one, and it may be that we find fault amendment of his lay audience, but the The purpose of the Argument is, to show with some instances of its operation, only stirring up of his clerical brethren. He plainly the certainty and the reasonablebecause we cannot free ourselves from the says, in his preface,

ness of man's accountability, and its exact influence of those thoughts or sentiments which separate religion from that which God do pass the limits of pulpit theology and pul- and character of human pursuits, relations,

Until the servants and ministers of the living conformity not only with the whole course should make one with it, and, as it were, pit exhortation, and take weapons in their hand, and institutions, but also with the absolute exile her from her proper home. But with gathered out of every region in which the life of and universal necessity of created beings ;all its faults, it must be acknowledged, that man or his faculties are interested, they shall never and further, to claim for the whole subject this book abounds with specimens of splen- have religion triumph and domineer in a country of God's reckoning with man its rightful digdid diction, and that every paragraph gives and her eternity of freely-bestowed wellbeing.

,

nity ; to rescue it from idle, aimless speculaproof of strong, bold, and original sagacity.

tion and the vain phantasies of imagination, Mr Irving believes that the Bible is not

In the dedication of the second part of from the blasphemy of those who scorn it, and

this volume, he says, an Orphic song indeed,

the unmingled horrors which the thoughts of Full of strange words, to a strange music chanted," “For it seems to me that upon religion we are many gather around it, and make it stand but really true,—and true in a sense in growing wiser than our fathers, who were content forth, a certain and solemn circumstance, which nothing else is true; that it is among age requireth religious truth to be justified, like which must occur to every individual, and books as the Saviour was among men, and other truth, by showing its benefits to the mind it. which every one would do well to make that we shall actually do a wise thing and self, and to society at large. *** For their ear is adequate provision for. behave with a provident regard to coming shut, and I hope the ear of all men is for ever shut, He discusses the subjects, which fairly events, in striving to learn what this book to the authority of names; and it is vain now to

come before him, with great power and says, and to govern' our relations to each quote the opinions of saints or reformers, or coun cils or assemblies, in support of any truth. They

boldness ;-telling many plain truths and other, our judgments upon all the matters even hold cheap our venerable theological lan attacking many influential and favourite of life, and our conduct in all its concerns, guage, though it can boast of great antiquity, and opinions. We cannot make extracts enough by the directions herein contained. He they insist upon its being translated into common to give an adequate idea of his course of seems to think it quite time that the world phrases, that they may understand its meaning. argunent, but will quote some passages, should be delivered from the rooted and And the misery is, they will not listen unless, we which may suffice to show the character of universal error,-universal in its operation, us to have our disputations to ourselves while we

his thoughts and expressions. They are if not in its acknowledgment, -that the study cover them with that venerable disguise. In order, I from the second Oration.

“ The more ignorant sort of men, who entertain | by erecting the platform of our being upon the new nothing is not conjoined with the utterances of a religion by a kind of hereditary reverence, as they condition of probation, different from that of all christian spirit, and the evidences of a renewed do any other custom, take up the Word of God at known existences. Was it ever heard that the sun life. *** To look suspicious upon those who are stated seasons, and afflict their spirits with the task stopped in his path, but it was God that command- attracted to the sacred page by its gracious pictures of perusing it

, and, to judge from a vacant face, ed? Was it ever heard that the sea forgot her of the divine goodness, and love it with a simple and an unawakened tone, and a facility of endur- instability, and stood apart in walled steadfastness, answer of affection to its affectionate sayings, or a ing interruption, it is often as truly inflicted upon but it was God that commanded? Or that fire for- simple answer of hope to its abundant promisesthe soul as ever penance was upon the flesh of a got to consume, but at the voice of God ? Even so to undervalue those who feed their souls with its miserable monk. Or, upon another occasion, when man should seek his Maker's word, as he loveth his spiritual psalmody, or direct their life by its weighone beholds mirth and jocularity at once go dumb wellbeing, or, like the unfallen creatures of God, ty proverbs, reckoning an authority and grace of for an act of worship, and revive again with fresh as he loveth his very being—and labour in his obe- God to reside in every portion of it—to suspect glee when the act is over, one cannot help believ- dience, without knowing or wishing to know aught those who live on devotion, on acknowledgments of ing that it hath been task-work with many, if not beyond.

Providence, and imitation of Christ, because they with all. Holding of the same superstition is the * Necessity, therefore, I say, strong and eternal cannot couch their simple faith and feeling in techpractice of drawing to the Word in sickness, afflic- necessity is that, which joins the link between the nical and theological phrase, but sink dumb when tion, and approaching dissolution, as if a charm creature and the Creator, and makes man incum- the high points of faith are handled—all theseagainst the present evil , or an invocation of the bent to the voice of God.

the baneful effects of holding so much acquaintance future good.

“That which I have sketched of the soul's neces- with formularies of doctrine, and so little with “ For studying his will, it is of no importance sities needeth something more than to rake the the Word itself---so much acquaintance with the save to perform it in the face of all opposition from Scriptures for a few opinions, which, by what religious spirit of the age and country, and so little within and from without; therefore, of all seasons, authority I know not, they have exalted with the with the spirit of God,--argue a narrow form of resickness, and affliction-when we are disabled from proud name of the doctrines: as if all scripture ligion, and an uncharitableness of spirit, from action, and in part also from thought—is, it seems were not profitable for doctrine. Masterful men, which we pray God to deliver all who periain to to me, the season least proper for the perusal of or the masterful current of opinion, hath ploughed the household of faith! the Word. If it cannot overmaster us when we with the word of God, and the fruit has been to in- Why, in modern times, do we not take from are clothed in all our strength, then it is a poor vic- veigle the mind into the exclusive admiration of the Word that sublimity of design and gigantic tory to overcome us when disease hath already some few truths, which being planted in the belief, strength of purpose which made all things bend beprostrated our better faculties. Then chiefly to and sacrificed to in all religious expositions and fore the saints, whose praise is in the Word and take concern about the name and the word of God, discourses, have become popular idols, which frown the church of God? Why have the written seis a symptom of our weakness, not of our devo- heresy and excommunication upon all who dare crets of the Eternal become less moving than the tion.

stand for the unadulterated, uncurtailed testimony. fictions of fancy, or the periodical works of the " From this extreme of narrow and enforced at- Such shibboleths every age bath been trained to day; and their impressiveness died away into the tendance upon the word of God, there are many mouth; and it is as much as one's religious char- imbecility of a tale that hath been often told ? Not who run into the other extreme of constant con- acter is worth, to think that the doctrinal shibbo- because man's spirit hath become more weak. sultation, and cannot pass an evening together leths of the present day may not include the whole Was there ever an age in which it was more pain conversation or enjoyment of any kind, but call contents and capacity of the written Word. But, tient of research, or restless after improvement? for the Bible and the exposition of its truths by an truly, there are higher fears than the fear even of | Not because the Spirit of God hath become backable hand. That it becomes a family night and the religious world; and greater loss than the loss ward in his help, or the Word divested of its morning to peruse the word—and that it becomes of religious fame. Therefore, craving indulgence truth--but because we treat it not as the all-accommen to assemble themselves together to hear it ex. of you to hear us to an end, and asking the credit plished wisdom of God-the righteous setting pounded—is a truth; while at the same time it is of good intention upon what you have already works of men along side of it, or masters over it --no less a truth, that it is a monkish custom, and a beard, we summon your whole unconstrained man the world altogether apostatizing from it unto folly. most ignorant slavery, to undervalue all intellectu- to the engagement of reading the Word ;-not to We come to meditate it, like armed men to consult al, moral, or refreshing converse, for the purpose of authenticate a meagre outline of opinions elsewhere of peace-our whole mind occupied with insurrechearing some favourite of the priesthood set forth derived, but to prove and purify all the sentiments tionary interests; we suffer no captivity of its his knowledge or his experience, though it be upon which bind the confederations of life; to prove truth. Faith, which should brood with expanded a holy subject.

and purify all the feelings which instigate the ac- wings over the whole heavenly legend, imbibing its “ Yet though thus we protest against the formali- tions of life; many to annihilate ; many to im- entire spirit-what hath it become? a name to conty and deadness of such a custom, we are not pre- plant; all to regulate and reform ;-to bridle the jure up theories and hypotheses upon. Duty likepared to condemn it, if it proceed from a pure tongue till its words come forth in unison with the wise hath fallen into a few formalities of abstainihirst after divine teaching. If in private we have word of God, and to people the whole soul with ing from amusements, and keeping up severities-a still stronger relish for it than in the company of the population of new thoughts, which that Word instead of denoting a soul girt with all its powers our friends-if in silent study we love its lessons reveals of God and man-of the present and the for its Maker's will

. Religion also, a set of opinno less than from the lips of our favourite pastor- future. These doctrines, truly, should be like the ions and party distinctions separated from high enthen let the custom bave free course, and let the mighty rivers which fertilize our island, whose dowments, and herding with cheap popular accomWord be studied whenever we have opportunity, waters, before escaping to the sea, have found plishments--a mere serving-maid of every-day life; and whenever we can go to it with a common con- their way to the roots of each seyeral flower, and instead of being the mistress of all earthly, and the sent.

plant, and stately tree, and covered the face of the preceptress of all heavenly, sentiments-and the “ Against these two methods of communing with land with beauty and with fertility-spreading very queen of all high gifts and graces and perfecthe word of God, whereof the one springs from the plenty for the enjoyment of man and beast. So tions in every walk of life !" religious timidity of the world, the other from the ought these great doctrines of the grace of God in religious timidity of Christians ; the one a pen. Christ, and the help of God in the Spirit, and fallance, the other a weakness; we have little fear of en man's need of both—to carry health and vitalicarrying your judgments: but you will be alarmed ty to the whole soul and surface of christian life. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry; conwhen we carry our censure against the common But it hath appeared to us, that, most unlike such sisting of old Heroic Ballads, Songs, and spirit, of dealing with it as a duty. Not but that it wide-spreading streams of fertility, they are often, other Pieces of our Earlier Poets, together is a duty to peruse the word of God, but that it is as it were, confined within rocky channels of in

with some few of later date. First Amersomething infinitely higher.

tolerance and disputation, where they hold noisy * Dutv, in truth, is the very lowest conception of brawl with every impediment, draining off the nat

ican from the fifth London edition. Philof it-privilege is a higher-honour a higher,--hap-ural juices of the soul; and, instead of fruits and

adelphia, 1823, 3 vols. 8vo. piness and delight a higher still. But duty may be graces, leaving all behind naked, barren, and un- (Continued from the last number.] suspended by more pressing duty-privilege may peopled ! be foregone, and honour forgot, and the sense of ** The Scriptures are not read for the higher ends It would, in England, seem almost an act happiness grow dull ; but this of listening to His of teaching the soul practical wisdom, and over- of presumption to attempt, at this late pevoice who plants the sense of duty, bestows privi- coming the practical errors of all her faculties, of riod, to criticise a work so long known and lege, honour, and happiness, and our every other all her judgments, and of all her ways. Then the so well established in its reputation as faculty, is before all these, and is equalled by noth- Word, which is diversified for men of all gifts, “ Percy's Reliques.” This however is the ing but the stubbornest necessity. We should hear cometh to be prized chiefly as a treasure of intel- first American edition, and many of our as the restul element of earth doth in its settled often an armoury of religious warfare. Then our readers are probably in our own situationhabitation. His voice is our law, which it is sacri- spirits become intolerant of all who find in the Bi- now presented, for the first time, with a lege, worse than rebellion, worse than parental re- ble any tenets differing from our own, as if they book of which they have heard much. It bellion, to disobey. He keeps the bands of our had made an invasion upon the integrity of our is at length within their reach, and if the being together. His voice is the charter of our faith, and were plotting the downfall of religion notice which we have taken of it, induce a existence, which being disobeyed, we should run itself. Then an accurate statement of opinion to annihilation, as our great father would have done, from the pulpit, from the lips of childhood, from the few to examine it with minds free from prehad not God in mercy given us a second chance, I death-bed of age, becomes all in all; whereas it is judice, we shall think that we have con

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ferred a favour upon the literature of our Among the modern poets who have Where the midge dares not venture,

Lest herself fast she lay; country

caught their inspiration from old ballads It is not a work which will captivate on we forgot to mention Burns.

It is well

If love come, he will enter,

And soon find out his way. a first, or perhaps even a second reading; known that the spark which kindled his but it will win its way. It has no dazzling genius was a song, that has never been

You may esteem him beauties to strike at the first sight; but its printed

A child for his might; -one of those which for ages have

Or you may deem

him unadorned simplicity must sooner or later been current in Scotland, in the memories

A coward from his flight; produce its effect. and on the lips of its highly poetical peo

But if she, whom love doth honour, It is beautifully and justly remarked by ple. Burns continued through life to love Be concealed from the day, Addison, that “An ordinary song or ballad, these songs, and his last years and almost

Set a thousand guards upon her

Love will find out the way. that is the delight of the common people his last hours were spent in remodelling cannot fail to please all such readers as are them, and suiting them to the ears of his Some think to close him not unqualified for the entertainment by cotemporaries, whose taste had in a great

By having him confined,

Some do suppose him, their affectation or their ignorance; and measure been reformed by his exertions.

Poor thing, to be blind; the reason is plain, because the same paint. On directing our attention more particu- But is ne'er so close ye wall him, ings of nature which recommend it to the larly to the Scottish ballads in Percy's Col. Do the best that you may, most ordinary reader, will appear beautiful lection, we lighted upon the original of Blind love, if so you call him, to the most refined.” Spectator, No. LXX. “Ew-Bughts Marion," long a popular song

Will find out the way. It is not only to the lovers of poetry, in Scotland; and found its first stanza the You may train the eagle that we think this will be an interesting source of some exquisite lines of Burns, To stoop to your fist; publication. Some of the ballads are very which have dwelt on our memory from the

Or

you may inveigle ancient. The first in the second volume first moment of our reading them; but

The Phænix of the East; is “A ballad made by one of the adher- which have lost much of their effect upon

The lioness, ye may move her

To give o'er her preyi ents to Simon de Monfort, Earl of Leices- us by a comparison with the quiet simplic

But you'll ne'er stop a lover; ter, soon after the battle of Lewes, which ity of their original. Our readers shall

He will find out his way. was fought May 14th, 1264.”. The manu- judge.

We are unwilling to extend this notice script from which it was copied is supposed

“Will ye gae to Ew-Bughts, Marion,

further, and can only say in conclusion, to be as ancient as the time of Richard II.

And wear in the sheip with me?

that we consider “ Percy's Reliques” to be Another ballad is called “The Turnament of

The sun shines sweit, my Marion,

an established classic in our language,-a Tottenham, or the wooing, winning, and wed- But nae half sae sweit as thee.

work to be studied,-a book which ought ding of Tibbe, the Reeve's daughter there,"

Will ye gae to the Indies, my Mary,

to be in the hands of every candidate for and is supposed to have been written at

And leave old Scotia's shore?

poetical fame; and that, without being least as early as the time of Edward III. Will ye gae to the Indies, my Mary,

thoroughly imbued with its spirit, no EngJudging from the sameness of the versifica- Across the Atlantic's roar?

ligh poet can be considered as a master of tion and general style, we should think it

Oh sweet grow the vine and the olive,

his art. nearly coeval with the former. There is

And the apple on the pine, almost an unbroken series of ballads from But aw the charms of

the Indies, these down to the time of Elizabeth, and Can never equal thine."

The Three Perils of Woman; or Love, we regret that they are not arranged in

Leasing, and Jealousy. A series of Do

There is in the same ballad something of chronological order. There are likewise

mestic Scottish Tales. By James Hogg, many Scottish ballads of different ages. charmed us in the works of Burns. that delightful humour, which has so often

author of The Three Perils of Man," Those, therefore, who delight in philolog

· Queen's Wake,” &c. &c. In two volical studies, and inquiries into the history “O Marion 's a bonny lass,

mes. 12mo. New York, 1823. of languages, will find the work interesting

And the blyth blinks in her ee:

Mr Hogg, the poet, has become Mr Hogg, for the assistance it will afford them in

And fain would I marry Marion,
Gin Marion would marry me.”

the novelist, and he is quite as good in this tracing the progress of our native tongue.

latter vocation as in the former. He has And here we will make one observation,

“There's braw lads in Earnslaw, Marion,

written much; and when one recollects the which struck us forcibly even in our first

Quba gape and glower wi' their ee

early habits and occupations of his life, it is hasty glances over the volumes; namely, At kirk, when they see my Marion,

surprising that he has written so much, so that the more ancient writers, both Eng- But nane of them lu'es lik me."

well. We have never thought his poetry lish and Scottish, wrote in a language more

of the very highest order, though there are resembling modern English in its idioms, "Ime yong and stout, my Marion,

passages in all his poems, which indicate a

Nane dance like me on the greine; than that used by Chaucer and some of his

good deal of various poetical talent. The immediate followers. We may pursue this

And gin ye forsak me, Marion,
Ise e'en draw up wi' Jeane."

Pilgrims of the Sun,” which we think subject further in a subsequent number.

his best production, is an original and At present we give one extract from the We have room but for one other extract, peculiar work. Something of grossness ballad on the battle of Lewes, to show that and we select the following song, for its 'taints the beauty of Mr Hogg's concepthe melody of which our language is sus- singular wildness of imagery and melody of tions and language in everything else ceptible was known before the days of Pope versification. The very homeliness of some which he has written. But in this poem, or Waller. We use, as far as possible, the of its conceits renders them more agreeable perhaps because the subject,-Death and inodern orthography.

to our taste, than the far-fetched pretti- the Life after it,-purified his mind, and “ By God that is aboven us, he did much sin, nesses of Moore.

relieved his imagination from its burthen of That let passen over sea, the Earl of Warynne ;

“Over the mountains,

vulgarity, every thought and word is pure, He hath robbed England, the moors and the fens,

And over the waves,

chaste, and innocent, as an infant's dream. The gold and the silver, and y-boren hence,

Under the fountains,

These tales are in no way didactic,
For love of Windsore," foc.
And under the graves ;

though the author would fain persuade us “ The Turnament of Tottenham" is a

Under floods that are deepest,
Which Neptune obey;

that they were intended to be so. He fine specimen of what the British critics

Over rocks that are steepest,

calls them the three “ Perils of Woman," call "genuine old English humour;"—the Love will find out the way.

and puts at the beginning and end of them author must have been a fine wag—the Washington Irving of his day. Its length

Where there is no place

a sort of notice of what they should teach, For the glowworm io lie;

by way of guide-board to their moral. The prevents us from inserting it entire, and no Where there is no space

first portrays the miseries and dangers of extract would do it justice.

For receipi of a fly;

“ Love." But unluckily for the moral, all

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »