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THE Parliamentary session has continued longer | tained possession to the 14th July, as General into August than any of its more recent predeces- Barnard wanted artillery. One cavalry and one inIt has brought the month almost to a ter- fantry corps had revolted in the Punjaub, but mination. The Government had determined to they were first defeated by Brigadier Nicholson, pass several bills, and sat on with a sufficient who then caught them on an island, and killed all number of steady adherents to outflank the more who were not drowned. patient and zealous members of the Opposition.

The Divorce Bill has been the grand topic of debate, after India. Neither of the two can be strictly considered a very domestic matter. The Divorce Bill retains all the injustice that characterised the former state of the law in England. We see very little improvement in the new bill except in the economy of costs, which will extend the remedy from persons with incomes of so many thousands to others with incomes of the same number of hundreds. The Commons resigned, but the Peers retained the male privilege of committing offences in their own houses with impunity, which would warrant the divorce of females under any circumstances. We cannot say that this is equal legislation between husband and wife, and we have no doubt that the present bill is only a preliminary to other measures, notwithstanding the Premier's opinion on the subject.

The debates on India have not cast more light on this dismal swamp than may be found in the correspondence from that country. A numerous army of British soldiers is gradually advancing over the waters for Calcutta; and Sir Colin Campbell will direct a stronger force than any British general ever wielded in Hindostan. Hereafter, and for a very long period, a much larger British force will be retained in Bengal; and the insurrection will prove a heavy loss to the races whose representatives have joined in its criminality. It cannot in this sense prove to be a loss to the individuals themselves, of whom the major part will be put out of the way of meeting farther loss in this life.

A public meeting was held in the Mansion House, London, on the 25th, to devise measures for the relief of the sufferers by the insurrection; and we have no doubt that, both by individual and governmental aid, the pecuniary losses of families will be met where assistance of that nature is necessary.

Parliament was prorougued on the 28th ultimo, notwithstanding the grave nature of the intelligence from India, which includes the death of Sir George Barnard at Delhi by cholera; of Sir H. Lawrence, at Lucknow, of wounds; and of Sir H. Wheeler, at Cawnpore, from the same cause. The capture of Cawnpore, and the slaughter of five hundred Europeans, by Nena Sahib, is confirmed. The recapture of that fort by General Havelock, after thrice defeating Nena Sahib, is also known. In the sorties from Delhi the mutineers appear to have lost four to five thousand men, but they re

The assassinations and barbarities perpetrated by the Mohammedans and Brahmins on defenceless British subjects cannot be detailed, but will be revenged.

Nena Sahib, whose conduct seems most execrable, is better known here as the Pershwa. His agents resided in London until lately, professing to advocate his claim to the pension of the late Pershwa; but they merely spent money, living in a style of great magnificence in Brighton and in the metropolis. Nena Sahib is irritated probably on that account.

The Bombay and Madras armies continue loyal.


War, with its horrid chain of devastating misery, seems to have become the heritage of England. Before the Crimean terrors are forgotten, Indian horrors arise, and the daily papers are again a dreadful source of anxiety and interest.

Bengal, so lately the scene of prosperity, is now the theatre of savage ferocity and mutinous revolt. Her cities the prey of barbarian destruction-her plains echoing the cry of woe-armies traversing those plains, all bent on the same fearful objectall pressing to the one aim of conquest, through a world of blood, and death, and ruin! Ruin, not to the well-known and wealthy alone, the merchant, the banker, the opulent trader of every class; these suffer, as a matter of course, suffer largely, severely, but the possibility of retrieval will come to them through the very possession of their wealth. But war descends with her scourging rod, and lashes those whom the world has lashed already—those who have felt the pinch of poverty, and who, by honest labour, either their own, or those near and dear to them, have sought, hoped, to ward it off. Such we learn arrive daily in crowds at Calcutta. Women, children, men who hold small Government appointments, and others, coming friendless, helpless, penniless, their all lost; themselves driven from house and home; cast forth on the world by the fearful avalanche of war which has so suddenly burst on them. All occupations are suspended, and none to be obtained in place of that which is gone-no money, either to purchase the common necessaries of life or pay for the passage to another country where labour might produce it. Such is the fate of thousands, and the numbers must swell as war stalks on in that devoted land.

Government institutions there are, but their resources are inadequate to meet an exigency like the present; besides, their relief, as far as it can be granted, is confined to certain classes alone.


Now, war confines her devastations to no grade, no class, no country. She throws her brand indiscriminatingly on all, and fires the European palace as relentlessly as the Hindoo cottage-mows down as unsparingly the noble scion of a prinely stock as the unknown soldier of fortune. Thus does she deal now; and, while we see her scourg. ing hand fall on those either of our own race or akin to it, we must not forget a class, a large and most important class, one on whom India's prosperity very much depends, whom she now threatens with ruin, horrible, fearful, irretrievable ruin. We allude to the ryots, the agricultural classes of Bengal, the peasantry, in fact, who form a very large proportion of the population; and, to make our readers more fully understand their position and their bearing on the community, we will shortly describe their social circumstances, character, and mode of life.

In their social position they are, as we before said, the peasantry, the labourers, those who till the ground. Their gain (little enough, it is true,) is sufficient for their wants. Simple to a degree in their habits, unambitious in their views, they pass their lives in the monotonous routine of their daily toil, content, if nothing else. To such the present war must bring hopeless misery, for the very tenour of their lives unfits them for coping with the difficulties which it must necessarily entail on them. Activity is unknown to themexertion foreign to their nature-so when the horrid cry of "famine " (the inevitable result of this war, should it continue) is heard in their land, they will simply lie down and die, unless help, which, from the magnitude of the evil, it seems almost hopeless to expect, should be offered to them. In character, they are a simple-minded race, unoffending, sober, honest, unskilled-or, at least, unpractised in the world's cunning and treachery; they know nothing of monarchies or of governments; care nothing for the constituted authority of their country; perhaps they have an undefined preference for the English-for we have afforded them protection in life and limb at least -and on them in their simple iguorance war falls as severely, perhaps more severely, than upon any other class. They live in villages which are scattered over the whole of the Bengalese Presidency; are governed by, or rather, we should say, they refer all causes of dispute among themselves to the head man of the village, a sort of self-elected, self-constituted mayor or patriarch of the place.

This Kardar, as he is called, holds this dignified position simply from the fact of his being more wealthy than his neighbours; he generally rents lands under government, and does not, contribute to the tillage of the land by his own manual labour. He lives in a house little better than the


rest--and is, in fact, only removed from then by the increased opulence of his position. We say that he lives in a house; but by this we do not mean a substantial edifice of brick and stone. The houses of the ryots, and even of the Kardar, are simply mud huts of the most miserable construction -containing only one room, no door, no fire place, no furniture, except a miserable apology for a bed and a hand-mill for grinding corn. Their food consists principally of maize cakes and goat's milk, when they can get them. Their religion is Hindoo; polygamy, as being one of the tenets of that religion, is, of course, permitted, but the ryots are generally content with one wife.

Now, we look at the consequences of the present war, as it stands, with regard to them. Their labour has already to a great extent in many districts been suspended. Agriculture there is at an end. The landowners themselves are obliged to fly! The poor ryot is thrown completely out of employment. So much for the present-even now distress among them must be no fabled vision

but the future will be too horrible a picture to contemplate. Agriculture at an end-labour also at an end-what must be the result? Famine. For men must eat although they may not work, and the poor ryot cannot live without food, though so little suffices him. Thus at least two-thirds of the population of Bengal will be reduced to a state of desperation, and what will desperate men not do? Pillaged of everything by the lawless hordes, who always form one of the concomitants of war, utterly powerless either to resist or to ameliorate their condition, these poor wretches must either lie down and die, or join the dacoits --or native robbers-and gain, as they do, a subsistence for their starving families--a terrible fate, a terrible employment for the now simple child of nature, the innocent Hindoo peasant, the harmless ryot, who has not been called on to enlist, and has never mutinied, therefore.

Again, even should the present war terminate speedily, distress, deep distress, must be felt by this class, and for this reason. The present time is the harvest season; that harvest to a very great extent is interrupted, corn will in a few months be scarce the price exorbitant. How, then, are these labourers, whose revenue drawn from their labour has ceased, whose miserable position prevents their having made any provision, or accumulated any little store of mouey, to obtain that coru at an increased rate, when under ordinary circumstances a daily modicum is all they can purchase? Without remedy, without help, they must either die or live a lawless life-victims to a fate they could neither foresee, prevent, nor change, and in the terrible distress of many among the European population their case should not be overlooked.


Professor Wilson's Works. Vols. VII. VIII. IX.
Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons.
The seventh and eighth volumes are occupied
with parts of the essays, critical and imaginative,
of Christopher North, and the ninth is the first of
that ubiquitous gentleman's recreations. Nearly
all the papers were published in Blackwood's
Magazine many years since-thirty years since in
some cases, and more than thirty years ago in
others. The critical essays are reviews of the
publications of these days, and some of them are
very interesting at the present day. They show
the difficulty of making progress with many sub-
jects. Thus we were partly induced to notice the
delay in obtaining any effective act from the Legis-
lature against the adulteration of food by one of
these essays, written more than thirty years ago,
as a review of a volume almost forgotten now, but
on which more modern works have been founded.
The main point is, that an entire generation of
mankind have lived and have died under this social
evil without any redress being obtained, although
we have such a multitude of political notabilities, of
the third or fourth class, in want of subjects, that
even bad dwelling houses find defenders in Parlia-


ladies who thought themselves about to be drowned; being practically the same thing as if they had be lieved and feared truly; and then getting up in the desperate conviction that when things are at the worst they will mend, to assist the helmsman in finding out headlands, and lights, and so on. If that can be called sailing, we want no more ex periences thereof, and then to travel some fifty miles farther in a deluge of rain, and stand some hours among wet grass, and only learn the reason why "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon" is so lugubrious an air; and lastly, to pay some incredible price for a dinner-all the while being as wet as a duck-and to get none, but to have another fifty miles journey before paying for the same indulgence of the flesh again, and getting it; yet to read thirteen years after these afflictions, that two thousand persons dined in a pavilion, is more than merely provoking. That 2,000 persons paid for dinner, we believe; but that not more than 1,999 dined, if the even number be correct, we would swear to, and as a strong probability that not more than 999 ever had what they bargained for, followed by those tedious speeches in the circumstances, of which the one now exhumed, read in an evening, looks by no means so very weariesome as it appeared when delivered in dumb show to the majority of the-we should write, "audience," if it were not a very improper collective noun in this place.

The seventh volume contains an essay on the genius and character of Burns-published separately in a Glasgow edition of Burns's works. It is the best criticism, not of the poetry but of the poet, that has yet been published; and it is followed in this volume by Professor Wilson's speech at the Burns festival. We are much obliged to Professor Ferrier and his publishers for the opportunity of reading that speech now, as it is thirteen years and nearly a month since we heard it out, yet desired earnestly that it might be cut short. The truth is, that we were hungry, wet, and weary, as any other person would have been who, on the previous night, had sailed one hundred and fifty miles, to be deluged and starved in the wettest county of Scotland. We don't know that anybody is entitled to say that he has sailed one hundred and fifty miles on any night, who for half the distance has kept a berth, by virtue of the shortness of its space enabling him to wedge himself in from corner to corner, without knowing distinctly when his head or heels were uppermost, but knowing very distinctly that they changed positions with the regularity of a pendulum, unable to sleep from the breakage of the steward's crockery, and his own malicious wishes for it all to go in a crash, and be done with it for ever; the dying groans of obese cattle-dealers and wholesale pigdrivers, and the screeches and screams at a dis tance of nervous and drowning ladies, or of graziers who believed themselves about to die, and

Blackie and Sons.

The seventh volume is almost exclusively poeti cal. There are reviews of Coleridge's poetry, of Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome," and Tupper's "Geraldine."

The eighth volume stands by itself, as devoted exclusively to Greek literature, chiefly to the translators of Homer and of the Greek drama existing twenty-five years since. It will have, therefore, a special class of readers, for Homer and Greek were strong points with Christopher North, and he handled them even better than Colonsay. Even the unlearned will see the difficulty of translating Homer well from the differences in the paraphrases furnished to them, of which some are little closer to the original than verses founded on Homer.

In the essay on the genius and character of Burns, Professor Wilson ascribed the greater admiration of the bard to the labouring and working classes of Scotland-its artisans and peasantryhis own order; and, without being altogether convinced that the estimate is correct, or even being satisfied that the passage is a fair specimen of the essay, we quote it.

What happens during their life, more or less, to all eminent men, happened to Burns. Thinking on such things one sometimes cannot help believing that man hates to honour man, till the power in which miracles have been wrought is extinguished or withdrawn, and then, when


jealousy, envy, and all uncharitableness of necessity cease,
we confess its grandeur, bow down to it, and worship it.
But who were they who in his own country continued most
steadfastly to honour his genius and himself, all through
what have been called truly in some respects, falsely in others,
-his dark days in Dumfries-and on to his death?
lords and earls, not lawyers and wits, not philosophers and
doctors, though among the nobility and gentry, among the
classes of leisure and learning, he had friends who wished
him well, and were not indisposed to serve him; not the
male generation of critics-not the literary prigs epicene
not of decided sex, the blues celestial, though many periods
were rounded among them upon the Ayrshire ploughman;
but the MEN OF HIS OWN ORDER, with their wives and
daughters; shepherds, and herdsmen, and ploughmen;
delvers and ditchers; hewers of wood and drawers of water;
soldiers and sailors, whether regulars, militia, fencibles,

volunteers, on board king's or merchants' ships "far, far at
sea," or dirt gabbert, within a few yards of the land on
either side of the Clyde or the Cart, the WORKING feople,
whatever the instruments of their toil-they patronised Burns
then they patrouise him now-they would not have hurt
a hair of his head-they will not hear of any dishonour to
his dust-they know well what it is to endure, to yield, to
enjoy and to suffer, and the memory of their own bard will
be hallowed for ever among the brotherhood like a religion.
We omitted to mention a few words on Shakes-
peare, which form part of the seventh volume.
The author intended them probably to be many
words, and gave up the idea. His estimate of the
leading tragedies of Shakespeare is, perhaps, cor-
rect, although Hamlet has been considered usually
the chief of these productions. The following
analysis of Macbeth is interesting at any time,
and true in the more unimportant particulars.

Perhaps the four that may be named, as those which have been to the popular feeling of his countrymen the principal plays of their great dramatist, and which would be recognised as his master works by philosophical criticism are Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, and Lear. The first of these has the most entire tragic notion of any of his plays. It has, throughout, one awful interest, which is begun, carried through, and conducted with the piece. This interest of the action is a perfect example of a most important dramatic unity preserved entire. The matter of the interest is one which has always held a strong sway over human sympathy, though mingled with abhorrence, the rise and fall or ambition. Men look on the doings of this passion with strong sympathy, because it is one of their strongest inherent feelings the aspiring of the mind through its consciousness of power, shown in the highest forms of human life. But it is

decidedly a historical, not a poetical interest. Shakespeare has made it poetical by two things chiefly-not the characier of Macbeth, which is itself historical-but by the preternatural agencies with which the whole course of the story is involved, and by the character of Lady Macbeth. The illusion of the dagger and the sleep walking may be added as individual circumstances, tending to give a character of imagination to the whole play. The human interest of the piece is in the acting of the purpose of ambition, and the fate which attends it- the high capacities of blinded discord in the soul, and the moral retribution which overrules the affairs of men. But the poetry is the intermingling of preternatural agency with the transactions of life-the scene of the cave which blends unreality with real life

the preparation and circumstances of midnight murderthe superhuman calmness of guilt, in an elated strength in a woman's soul, and the dreariness of mind which is brought on those whose spirits have drank the cup of their lust. The language of the whole is, perhaps, more purely tragic than that of any other of Shakespeare's plays-it is simple, chaste, and strong-rarely breaking out into fanciful expres


sion, but a vein of imagination always running through. The language of Macbeth himself is often exceedingly beautiful. Perhaps something may be owing to natural remembrances and associations; but we have observed that in Scotland, at least, Macbeth produces a deeper, a more breathless, and a more perturbing passion in the audience, than any other drama.

The fact that Macbeth is or was a historical character forms a grave objection to the use made of Shakespeare committed him in that respect. against Macbeth the sin of Scott against Balfour of Burley, and others. Macbeth's existence and power carry us back into very dim regions of history; but any facts, or even traditions, known of him tell to the man's advantage, with the exception of Shakespeare's drama, which may have been founded upon tradition.

As for Lady Macbeth, she is Jezebeled and covered with scandal shamefully, without any There was a Mrs. ground for doing it whatever. or Lady Macbeth, but she was probably a woman of a meek spirit, somewhat annoyed at the interest taken and the time spent by her husband on public affairs, when he should have been engaged in planting cabbages and greens, giving receipts for their rents, which were always paid in live stock in her time, and superintending their flocks and herds. We do not believe for a moment that this estimable and rather neglected wife and mother ever stabbed anybody, or cut any throat whatever, unless she had helped to kill a sheep, when friends

in unusual numbers invited themselves to dine at the castle or peel. If King Duncan had been a fat hen he might have died by her fair hands, but that not being the case, we have no hesitation in supposing that a lady, who was an historical character, and became, by her husband's intermeddling in state affairs, a great character, was grossly maligned and misrepresented by Mr. William Shakespeare.

We only know of Macbeth that, during his rule, the country enjoyed cheap corn in consequence of good crops; from which it may be inferred that he was a good ruler, who prevented many of the outrages common to the laud, with other lands, at that time, and which prevented farmers from ploughing and sowing, because they could not tell who might reap.

The ninth volume is a work for the moors and the hills in September. When not over walked, and night has fallen down over briar and heath, a chapter of the ninth volume will be read plea santly, and all the chapters are on kindred subjects

cottages and sporting, mountains and thunderstorms--fishing in the New River, truly, in the New River-that circuitous ditch of green dirty water, which is led through the parishes of Stoke Newington and Islington-and fishing in the Tay -the Tay, our own superb river, that sweeps free and unfettered round hill and through dale, with a visible majesty and power unknown to any other river in our island-the Tay, on which you look and wonder, and seem to feel the weight of its waters. Well, there never was more than one


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step from the sublime to the ridiculous. How ever, a man may fish in the New River even! We were rather cast down on glancing over these recreations, and began to consider and count backwards, to ascertain whether it could have been possible that we had read them, so as to have enjoyed them, and to have remembered them when they appeared originally in Blackwood. It is horrible if true. Why, it is a lifetime almost since their publication. Only, of course, it might have been in bound volumes of the Magazine that we had seen them. But it now appears that they were published separately in 1842. That is bad enough-fifteen years since; yet it must have been then that we read the following passage from a racy Highland sermon, by a deposed minister, who, at least, had the advantage of ease and grace in composition, although we may as well remember that the outed scholar commences but at Brethren, all before-that is to say, all the descriptive matter-belongs to the wild Professor, who acknowledged that he was never entirely at himself among moors and mosses mony."

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The Presbytery might have overlooked your fault, Mac, for the case was not a flagrant one, and you were willing, we understand, to make her an honest woman. Do you think you could recollect one of your sermons? In action and in unction you had not your superior in the Synod. Do give us a screed about Nimrod, or Nebuchadnezzar. No desecration in a sermon-better omitted, we grant, prayer and psalm. Should you be unable to produce an entire discourse, yet by dovetailing-that is a bit from one and a bit from another surely you cannot be at a loss for half an hour's miscellaneous matter; heads and tails. Or suppose we let you off with a view of the Church Question. You look glum, and shake your head. Can you, Mac, how can you resist that pulpit P

Behold in that semicircular, low-brimmed cliff, backed by a range of bonny green braes, dipping down from the hills, that do themselves come shelving from the mountains, which appears at first sight to be a cave, but is merely a blind window, as it were, a few feet deep, arched and faced like a beautiful work of masonry, though chisel never touched it, nor man's hand dropped the line along the living stone thus wrought by nature's self, which often shows us, in her mysterious processes, resemblance of effects produced by us, her children, in the same material, by our most elaborate art. It is a very pulpit, and that projecting slab is the sounding board. That upright stone in the front of it, without the aid of fancy, may well be thought the desk. To us sitting here, this spot of greensward is the floor; the sky, that hangs low, as if it loved it, the roof of the sanctuary; nor is there any harm in saying that we, if we choose to think so, are sitting in a kirk.

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Brethren! The primary physical wants of the human being are food, clothing, shelter, and defence. To supply this he has invented all his arts. Hunger and thirst cultivate the earth. Fear builds castles and embattles cities. The animal is clothed by nature against cold and storm, and shelters himself in his den. Man builds his habitation and weaves his clothing. With horns, or teeth, or claws, the strong and deadly weapons with which nature has furnished them, the animal kinds wage their war; he forges swords and spears, and constructs implements that will send death almost as far as the eye can mark his foe, and sweeps down thousands together. The animal goes in quest of his food, that pursues or flies from his enemy, has feet, or wings, or fins; but man bids the horse, the camel, the elephant bear him, and yokes them to his chariot. If the strong animal would cross the rivers, he swims. Man spans it with a

bridge. But the most powerful of them all stands on the Man constructs a ship, and Leach and gazes on the ocean. encircles the globe. Other creatures must traverse the element nature has assigned, with means she has furnished. He chooses his element and makes his means. Can the fish traverse the waters ?-so can he. Can the bird fly in the air P-so can he. Can the camel speed over the desert? He shall bear man as his rider.

Do you want to see the deep inland Highlands neither the Trossachs, nor Ben Lomand, nor the shores of Loch Long-not even Glencoe and its environs-nothing that you can reach by steam or four horses in harness ?-then this is the month. Wait until October, and you may be caught in rolling clouds of mist a dozen miles from bed and board, without a road that mortal macadamisers ever made to guide you homeward. Wait until November, and it is very sublime. But perhaps you were not made for that kind of sublimityvery few people are. Go now-to-morrow or the next day-and return into quiet, steady going civilization, when the sun gets his work fairly divided-for the event is certain to be celebrated among these hills in what you might consider a and obliging little "burn" which provokingly turns very extraordinary manner-and that most civil and wheels, and runs backwards and forwards, like your young dog amongst your feet, might sweep these same feet from you in its angry sport. fessor Wilson talked of Northern Argyleshire as the most varied scenery. He was wrong-an ignorant deluded man.


Northern Argyleshire is, of course,

much superior to Wales, north or south, and has many Snowdons, there is no doubt of that; but Northern Argyleshire is not equal to Western Aberdeenshire and Northern Perthshire, either in the height of its mountains or the terrors of their precipices. A thousand feet sheer down is nothing there a mere leap, as it were, rather high, and not to be taken without paying the landlady and making a note of one's affairs in this world-much in itself, but small by comparison. Christopher North alleged, indeed, that the buck's head in his study belonged to a stag once, and the beast was shot in Braemar, but that is a long word—a forty miles long word--and he did not say who shot the brute.

For the benefit of tourists, who may prefer his advice to ours, or who may follow both, we quote what he has to say of the climate of Northern Argyleshire.

What a wild world of clouds all over that vast central wilderness of Northern Argyllshire, lying between Cruachan and Melnatorran, Corryfinuarach and Ben Slarive, a prodigious land! defying description and memory, resembling not realities, but like fragments of tremendous dreams. Is it a sterile region? Very. In places nothing but stones, not a blade of grass, not a bent of heather-not even moss. And so they go shouldering up into the sky-enormous masses, huger than churches or ships. And sometimes not unlite such and other structures-all huddled together-yet never jostling, so far as we have seen; and though often over hanging, as if the wind might blow them over with a puff. steadfast in the storm that seems rather to be an earthquake, and moving not a hair's breadth, while all the shingly sides of the mountain-you know shingles-with an inconstant

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