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the cause of obloquy and derision to Mackintosh, seems to have been adopted with perfect sincerity and singleness of purpose. He afterwards delivered and published a series of lectures on the law of nature and nations, which greatly extended his reputation. In 1795 he was called to the bar, and in his capacity of barrister, in 1803, he made a brilliant defence of M. Peltier, an emigrant royalist of France, who had been indicted for a libel on Napoleon, then first consul. The forensic display of Mackintosh is too much like an elaborate essay or dissertation, but it marked him out for legal promotion, and he received the appointment (to which his poverty, not his will, consented) of Recorder of Bombay. He was knighted, sailed from England in the beginning of 1804, and after discharging faithfully his high official duties, returned at the end of seven years, the earliest period that entitled him to his retiring pension of £1200 per annum. Mackintosh now obtained a seat in parliament, and stuck faithfully by his old friends the Whigs, without one glimpse of favour, till in 1827 his friend Mr Canning, on the formation of his administration, made him a privy councillor. On the accession of the Whig ministry in 1830, he was appointed a commissioner for the affairs of India. On questions of criminal law and national policy Mackintosh spoke forcibly, but he cannot be said to have been a successful parliamentary orator. Amid the bustle of public business he did not neglect literature, though he wanted resolution for continuous and severe study. The charms of society, the interruptions of public business, and the debilitating effects of his residence in India, also co-operated with his constitutional indolence in preventing the realisation of the ambitious dreams of his youth. He contributed, however, various articles to the Edinburgh Review, and wrote a masterly Dissertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy for the Encyclopædia Britannica. He wrote three volumes of a compendious and popular History of England for Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia, which, though deficient in the graces of narrative and style, contains some admirable views of constitutional history and antiquarian research. His learning was abundant; he wanted only method and elegance. He also contributed a short but valuable life of Sir Thomas More (which sprung ont of his researches into the reign of Henry VIII., and was otherwise a subject congenial to his taste) to the same miscellany; and he was engaged on a History of the Revolution of 1688, when his life was somewhat suddenly terminated on the 30th of May 1832. The portion of his history of the Revolution which he had written and corrected (amounting to about 350 pages) was published in 1834, with a continuation by some writer who was opposed to Sir James in many essential points. In the works of Mackintosh we have only the fragments of a capacious mind; but in all of them his learning, his candour, his strong love of truth, his justness of thinking and clearness in perceiving, and his genuine philanthropy, are conspicuous. It is to be regretted that he had no Boswell to record his conversation.
[Chivalry and Modern Manners.]
The collision of armed multitudes [in Paris] terminated in unforeseen excesses and execrable crimes. In the eye of Mr Burke, however, these crimes and excesses assume an aspect far more important than can be communicated to them by their own insulated guilt. They form, in his opinion, the crisis of a revolution far more important than any change of
government-a revolution in which the sentiments and opinions that have formed the manners of the European nations are to perish. The age of chivalry is gone, and the glory of Europe extinguished for ever.' He follows this exclamation by an eloquent eulogium on chivalry, and by gloomy predictions of the future state of Europe, when the nation that has been so long accustomed to give her the tone in arts and manners is thus debased and corrupted. A caviller might remark, that ages much more near the meridian fervour of chivalry than ours have witnessed a treatment of queens as little gallant and generous as that of the Parisian mob. He might remind Mr Burke that, in the age and country of Sir Philip Sidney, a queen of France, whom no blindness to accomplishment, no malignity of detraction, could reduce to the level of Maria Antoinetta, was, by a nation of men of honour and cavaliers,' permitted to languish in captivity, and expire on a scaffold; and he might add, that the manners of a country are more surely indicated by the systematic cruelty of a sovereign, than by the licentious frenzy of a mob. He might remark, that the mild system of modern manners which survived the massacres with which fanaticism had for a century desolated and almost barbarised Europe, might perhaps resist the shock of one day's excesses committed by a delirious popu
But the subject itself is, to an enlarged thinker, That sysfertile in reflections of a different nature. tem of manners which arose among the Gothic nations of Europe, of which chivalry was more properly the effusion than the source, is, without doubt, one of the most peculiar and interesting appearances in human affairs. The moral causes which formed its character have not perhaps been hitherto investigated with the happiest success.
But to confine ourselves to the sub
Candour must confess that this
ject before us, chivalry was certainly one of the most prominent features and remarkable effects of this system of manners. singular institution is not alone admirable as a corcontributed to polish and soften Europe. It paved rector of the ferocious ages in which it flourished. It the way for that diffusion of knowledge and extension
of commerce which afterwards in some measure sup
commerce has overthrown that 'feudal and chival
planted it, and gave a new character to manners. Society is inevitably progressive. In government, rous' system under whose shade it first grew. In religion, learning has subverted that superstition whose opulent endowments had first fostered it. Peruliar circumstances softened the barbarism of the middle ages to a degree which favoured the admission of commerce and the growth of knowledge. These circumstances were connected with the manners of chivalry; but the sentiments peculiar to that institution could only be preserved by the situation which gave them birth. They were themselves enfeebled in the progress from ferocity and turbulence, and almost obliterated by tranquillity and refinement. auxiliaries which the manners of chivalry had in rude ages reared, gathered strength from its weakness, and flourished in its decay. Commerce and diffused knowledge have, in fact, so completely assumed the ascendant in polished nations, that it will be difficult to discover any relics of Gothic manners but in a fantastic exterior, which has survived the generous illusions that made these manners splendid and seductive. Their direct influence has long ceased in Europe; but their indirect influence, through the medium of those causes, which would not perhaps have existed but for the mildness which chivalry created in the midst of a barbarous age, still operates with increasing vigour. The manners of the middle age were, in the most singular sense, compulsory. Enterprising benevolence was produced by general fierceness, gal
lant courtesy by ferocious rudeness, and artificial gentleness resisted the torrent of natural barbarism. But a less incongruous system has succeeded, in which commerce, which unites men's interests, and knowledge, which excludes those prejudices that tend to embroil them, present a broader basis for the stability of civilised and beneficent manners.
Mr Burke, indeed, forebodes the most fatal consequences to literature, from events which he supposes to have given a mortal blow to the spirit of chivalry. I have ever been protected from such apprehensions by my belief in a very simple truth-that diffused knowledge immortalises itself. A literature which is confined to a few, may be destroyed by the massacre of scholars and the conflagration of libraries, but the diffused knowledge of the present day could only be annihilated by the extirpation of the civilised part of mankind.
reason, the refuge of oppressed innocence and persecuted truth, have perished with those ancient principles which were their sole guardians and protectors. They have been swallowed up by that fearful convulsion which has shaken the uttermost corners of the earth. They are destroyed, and gone for ever! One asylum of free discussion is still inviolate. There is still one spot in Europe where man can freely exercise his reason on the most important concerns of society, where he can boldly publish his judgment on the acts of the proudest and most powerful tyrants. The press of England is still free. It is guarded by the free constitution of our forefathers. It is guarded by the hearts and arms of Englishmen, and I trust I may venture to say, that if it be to fall, it will fall only under the ruins of the British empire. It is an awful consideration, gentlemen. Every other monument of European liberty has perished. That ancient fabric which has been gradually reared by the wisdom and virtue of our fathers, still stands. It stands, thanks be to God! solid and entire-but it stands alone, and it stands in ruins! Believing, then, as I do, that we are on the eve of a great struggle, that this is only the first battle between reason and power-that you have now in your hands, committed to your trust, the only remains of free discussion in Europe, now confined to this kingdom; addressing you, therefore, as the guar dians of the most important interests of mankind; convinced that the unfettered exercise of reason depends more on your present verdict than on any other that was ever delivered by a jury, I trust I may rely with confidence on the issue-I trust that you will consider yourselves as the advanced guard of libertyas having this day to fight the first battle of free discussion against the most formidable enemy that it ever encountered!
[Extract from Speech in Defence of Mr Peltier, for a Libel on Napoleon Bonaparte, February 1803.] Gentlemen-There is one point of view in which this case seems to merit your most serious attention. The real prosecutor is the master of the greatest empire the civilised world ever saw-the defendant is a defenceless proscribed exile. I consider this case, therefore, as the first of a long series of conflicts between the greatest power in the world, and the ONLY FREE PRESS remaining in Europe. Gentlemen, this distinction of the English press is new-it is a proud and a melancholy distinction. Before the great earthquake of the French Revolution had swallowed up all the asylums of free discussion on the continent, we enjoyed that privilege, indeed, more fully than others, but we did not enjoy it exclusively. In Holland, in Switzerland, in the imperial towns of Germany, the press was either legally or practically free. Holland and Switzerland are no more; and, since the commencement of this prosecution, fifty imperial towns have been erased from the list of independent states by one dash of the pen. Three or four still preserve a precarious and trembling existence. I will not say by what compliances they must purchase its continuance. I will not insult the feebleness of states whose unmerited fall I do most bitterly deplore.
DR JOHN LINGARD, &c.
lished in 1819 three volumes of a History of England DR JOHN LINGARD, a Roman Catholic priest, pubcontinued his work in five more volumes, bringing from the Invasion by the Romans. He subsequently down his narrative to the abdication of James II To talents of a high order, both as respects acuteness of analysis and powers of description and narrative, Dr Lingard added unconquerable industry and access to sources of information new and important. He is generally more impartial than Hume, or even Robertson; but it is undeniable that his re
These governments were, in many respects, one of the most interesting parts of the ancient system of Europe. The perfect security of such inconsiderable and feeble states, their undisturbed tranquillity amidst the wars and conquests that surrounded them, attested, beyond any other part of the European sys-ligious opinions have in some cases perverted the tem, the moderation, the justice, the civilisation, to fidelity of his history, leading him to palliate the which Christian Europe had reached in modern times. atrocities of the Bartholomew massacre, and to Their weakness was protected only by the habitual darken the shades in the characters of Queen Eliza reverence for justice which, during a long series of beth, Cranmer, Anne Boleyn, and others connected ages, had grown up in Christendom. This was the with the reformation in the church. His work was only fortification which defended them against those subjected to a rigid scrutiny by Dr John Allen, in two mighty monarchs to whom they offered so easy a prey. elaborate articles in the Edinburgh Review, by the And, till the French Revolution, this was sufficient. Rev. Mr Todd (who published a defence of the cha Consider, for instance, the republic of Geneva; think racter of Cranmer), and by other zealous Protestant of her defenceless position in the very jaws of France; writers. To these antagonists Dr Lingard replied but think also of her undisturbed security, of her pro- in 1826 by a vindication of his fidelity as a histo found quiet, of the brilliant success with which she rian, which affords an excellent specimen of calm applied to industry and literature while Louis XIV. controversial writing. His work has now taken its was pouring his myriads into Italy before her gates; place among the most valuable of our national hiscall to mind, if ages crowded into years have not tories. It has gone through three editions, and has effaced them from your memory, that happy period been received with equal favour on the continent. when we scarcely dreamed more of the subjugation of The most able of his critics (though condemning his the feeblest republic in Europe than of the conquest account of the English Reformation, and other pas of her mightiest empire, and tell me if you can ima- sages evincing a peculiar bias) admits that Dr Lingine a spectacle more beautiful to the moral eye, or gard possesses, what he claims, the rare merit of a more striking proof of progress in the noblest prin- having collected his materials from original histociples of civilisation. These feeble states, these mo- rians and records, by which his narrative receives a numents of the justice of Europe, the asylum of peace, freshness of character, and a stamp of originality, of industry, and of literature: the organs of public not to be found in any general history of England
in common use. We give one specimen of the narrative style of the author:
[An Account of Cromwell's Expulsion of the Parliament in 1653.]
At length Cromwell fixed on his plan to procure the dissolution of the parliament, and to vest for a time the sovereign authority in a council of forty persons, with himself at their head. It was his wish to effect this quietly by the votes of the parliament-his resolution to effect it by open force, if such votes were refused. Several meetings were held by the officers and members at the lodgings of the lord-general in Whitehall. St John and a few others gave their assent; the rest, under the guidance of Whitelock and Widrington, declared that the dissolution would be dangerous, and the establishment of the proposed council unwarrantable. In the meantime the house resumed the consideration of the new representative body; and several qualifications were voted, to all of which the officers raised objections, but chiefly to the 'admission of members,' a project to strengthen the government by the introduction of the presbyterian interest. Never,' said Cromwell, shall any of that judgment who have deserted the good cause be admitted to power.' On the last meeting, held on the 19th of April, all these points were long and warmly debated. Some of the officers declared that the parliament must be dissolved one way or other;' but the general checked their indiscretion and precipitancy, and the assembly broke up at midnight, with an understanding that the leading men on each side should resume the subject in the morning.
At an early hour the conference was recommenced, and, after a short time, interrupted, in consequence of the receipt of a notice by the general, that it was the intention of the house to comply with the desires of the army. This was a mistake; the opposite party had indeed resolved to pass a bill of dissolution; not, however, the bill proposed by the officers, but their own bill, containing all the obnoxious provisions, and to pass it that very morning, that it might obtain the force of law before their adversaries could have time to appeal to the power of the sword. While Harrison most strictly and humbly' conjured them to pause before they took so important a step, Ingoldsby hastened to inform the lord-general at Whitehall. His resolution was immediately formed, and a company of musketeers received orders to accompany him to the house. At this eventful moment, big with the most important consequences both to himself and his country, whatever were the workings of Cromwell's mind, he had the art to conceal them from the eyes of the beholders. Leaving the military in the lobby, he entered the house and composedly seated himself on one of the outer benches. His dress was a plain suit of black cloth, with gray worsted stockings. For a while he seemed to listen with interest to the debate; but when the speaker was going to put the question, he whispered to Harrison, This is the time; I must do it; and rising, put off his hat to address the house. At first his language was decorous, and even laudatory. Gradually he became more warm and animated; at last he assumed all the vehemence of passion, and indulged in personal vituperation. He charged the members with self-seeking and profaneness, with the frequent denial of justice, and numerous acts of oppression; with idolising the lawyers, the constant advocates of tyranny; with neglecting the men who had bled for them in the field, that they might gain the Presbyterians who had apostatised from the cause; and with doing all this in order to perpetuate their own power and to replenish their own purses. But their time was come; the Lord had disowned them; he had chosen more worthy instruments to perform
his work. Here the orator was interrupted by Sir Peter Wentworth, who declared that he had never heard language so unparliamentary-language, too, the more offensive, because it was addressed to them by their own servant, whom they had too fondly cherished, and whom, by their unprecedented bounty, they had made what he was. At these words Cromwell put on his hat, and, springing from his place, exclaimed, 'Come, come, sir, I will put an end to your prating.' For a few seconds, apparently in the most violent agitation, he paced forward and backward, and then, stamping on the floor, added, 'You are no parliament; I say you are no parliament; bring then in, bring them in.' Instantly the door opened, and Colonel Worsley entered, followed by more than twenty musketeers. This,' cried Sir Henry Vane, is not honest; it is against morality and common honesty.' 'Sir Henry Vane,' replied Cromwell; 'O, Sir Henry Vane! The Lord deliver me from Sir Henry Vane! He might have prevented this. But he is a juggler, and has not common honesty himself!' From Vane he directed his discourse to Whitelock, on whom he poured a torrent of abuse; then pointing to Chaloner, There,' he cried, 'sits a drunkard;' next to Marten and Wentworth, 'There are two whoremasters; and afterwards selecting different members in succession, described them as dishonest and corrupt livers, a shame and scandal to the profession of the gospel. Suddenly, however, checking himself, he turned to the guard and ordered them to clear the house. At these words Colonel Harrison took the speaker by the hand and led him from the chair; Algernon Sidney was next compelled to quit his seat; and the other members, eighty in number, on the approach of the military, rose and moved towards the door. Cromwell now resumed his discourse. 'It is you,' he exclaimed, that have forced me to do this. I have sought the Lord both day and night that he would rather slay me than put me on the doing of this work.' Alderman Allan took advantage of these words to observe, that it was not yet too late to undo what had been done; but Cromwell instantly charged him with peculation, and gave him into custody. When all were gone, fixing his eye on the mace, What,' said he, shall we do with this fool's bauble? Here, carry it away.' Then, taking the act of dissolution from the clerk, he or dered the doors to be locked, and, accompanied by the military, returned to Whitehall.
That afternoon the members of the council assembled in their usual place of meeting. Bradshaw had just taken the chair, when the lord-general entered, and told them that if they were there as private individuals, they were welcome; but if as the Council of State, they must know that the parliament was dissolved, and with it also the council. Sir,' replied Bradshaw, with the spirit of an ancient Roman, we have heard what you did at the house this morning, and before many hours all England will know it. But, sir, you are mistaken to think that the parliament is dissolved. No power under heaven can dissolve them but themselves; therefore, take you notice of that.' After this protest they withdrew. Thus, by the parricidal hands of its own children, perished the Long Parliament, which, under a variety of forms, had, for more than twelve years, defended and invaded the liberties of the nation. It fell without a struggle or a groan, unpitied and unregretted. The members slunk away to their homes, where they sought by submission to purchase the forbearance of their new master; and their partisans, if partisans they had, reserved themselves in silence for a day of retri bution, which came not before Cromwell slept in his grave. The royalists congratulated each other on an event which they deemed a preparatory step to the restoration of the king; the army and navy, in nu
merous addresses, declared that they would live and die, stand and fall, with the lord-general; and in every part of the country the congregations of the saints magnified the arm of the Lord, which had broken the mighty, that in lieu of the sway of mortal men, the fifth monarchy, the reign of Christ might be established on earth.
It would, however, be unjust to the memory of those who exercised the supreme power after the death of the king, not to acknowledge that there existed among them men capable of wielding with energy the destinies of a great empire. They governed only four years; yet, under their auspices, the conquests of Ireland and Scotland were achieved, and a navy was created, the rival of that of Holland and the terror of the rest of Europe. But there existed an essential error in their form of government. Deliberative assemblies are always slow in their proceedings; yet the pleasure of parliament, as the supreme power, was to be taken on every subject connected with the foreign relations or the internal administration of the country; and hence it happened, that among the immense variety of questions which came before it, those commanded immediate attention which were deemed of immediate necessity; while the others, though often of the highest importance to the national welfare, were first postponed, then neglected, and ultimately forgotten. To this habit of procrastination was perhaps owing the extinction of its authority. It disappointed the hopes of the country, and supplied Cromwell with the most plausible arguments in de
fence of his conduct.
Besides his elaborate History of England,' Dr Lingard is author of a work evincing great erudition and research, on the Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, published in 1809.
The great epoch of the English Commonwealth, and the struggle by which it was preceded, has been illustrated by MR GEORGE BRODIE'S History of the British Empire from the Accession of Charles I. to the Restoration, four volumes, 1822, and by MR GODWIN'S
History of the Commonwealth of England, four volumes, 1824-27. The former work is chiefly devoted to an exposure of the errors and misrepresentations of Hume; while Mr Godwin writes too much in the spirit of a partisan, without the calmness and dignity of the historian. Both works, however, afford new and important facts and illustrations of the momentous period of which they treat.
The History of the Anglo-Saxons, by SIR FRANCIS PALGRAVE, 1831, and the same author's elaborate account of the Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth-Anglo-Saxon Period, are curious and valuable works. The history and literature of the Anglo-Saxons had long been neglected; but some accomplished scholars, following Mr Sharon Turner, have recently mastered the difficulties attendant on such a study, and introduced us more nearly to those founders of the English character and language. MR CONYBEARE'S Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, the valuable translation of the Saxon Chronicle by MR INGRAM, the REV. MR BOSWORTH's Anglo-Saxon Grammar, and various works by Sir Francis Palgrave and MR THOMAS WRIGHT, have materially
aided in this resuscitation.
MR SOUTHEY'S History of Brazil, three volumes quarto, 1810, and his History of the Peninsular War, two volumes quarto, 1823-28, are proofs of the laureate's untiring industry, and of the easy and admirable English style of which he was so consummate a master. The first is a valuable work, though too diffuse and minutely circumstantial. The Memoirs of Spain during the Reigns of Philip IV. and Charles II, by MR JOHN DUNLOP, 1834; the History of India, by MR JAMES MILL, Six volumes, 1819; and
histories of Chivalry and of the Crusades, by CHARLES MILLS, Esq. (1789-1827), may be numbered among the useful histories of the period. Mr James Mill's History of India' is, indeed, of a higher character, being clear, well-digested, and of a philosophical tone and spirit.
The greatest historical name in this period, and our greatest living historian, is HENRY HALLAM, author of several elaborate works. His first was a View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, two volumes quarto, 1818, being an account of the progress of Europe from the middle of the fifth to the end of the fifteenth century. In 1827 he published The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II, also in two volumes; and in 1837-38 an Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, in four volumes. With vast stores of knowledge, and indefatigable application, Mr Hallam possesses a clear and independent judgment, and a style grave and impressive, yet enriched with occasional imagery and rhetorical graces. His introduction to the Literature of Europe' is a great monument of his erudition. His knowledge of the language and literature of each nation is critical and profound, and his opinions are conveyed in a style remarkable for its succinctness and perspicuous beauty. In his two first works, Mr Hallam's views of political questions are those generally adopted by the Whig party, but are stated with calmness and moderation. He is peculiarly a supporter of principles, not of men, and he judges of characters without party prejudice or passion.
[Effects of the Feudal System.]
children of Charlemagne, which we must always keep
by its effects upon national greatness and security, The utility of any form of policy may be estimated upon civil liberty and private rights, upon the tranquillity and order of society, upon the increase and diffusion of wealth, or upon the general tone of moral sentiment and energy. The feudal constitution was little adapted for the defence of a mighty kingdom, far less for schemes of conquest. But as it prevailed alike in several adjacent countries, none had anything to fear from the military superiority of its neighbours. It was this inefficiency of the feudal militia, perhaps, that saved Europe, during the middle ages, from the danger of universal monarchy. In times when princes had little notions of confederacies for mutual protec tion, it is hard to say what might not have been the successes of an Otho, a Frederic, or a Philip Augustus, if they could have wielded the whole force of their subjects whenever their ambition required. If an empire equally extensive with that of Charlemagne,
and supported by military despotism, had been formed about the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, the seeds of commerce and liberty, just then beginning to shoot, would have perished; and Europe, reduced to a barbarous servitude, might have fallen before the free barbarians of Tartary.
If we look at the feudal polity as a scheme of civil freedom, it bears a noble countenance. To the feudal law it is owing that the very names of right and privilege were not swept away, as in Asia, by the desolating hand of power. The tyranny which, on every favourable moment, was breaking through all barriers, would have rioted without control, if, when the people were poor and disunited, the nobility had not been brave and free. So far as the sphere of feudality extended, it diffused the spirit of liberty and the notions of private right. Every one will acknowledge this who considers the limitations of the services of vassalage, so cautiously marked in those law-books which are the records of customs; the reciprocity of obligation between the lord and his tenant; the consent required in every measure of a legislative or general nature; the security, above all, which every vassal found in the administration of justice by his peers, and even (we may in this sense say) in the trial by combat. The bulk of the people, it is true, were degraded by servitude; but this had no connexion
with the feudal tenures.
examine the most authentic sources of information, and to convey a true picture of the times, without prepossession or partiality. He commences with the accession of Alexander III., because it is at that period that our national annals become particularly interesting to the general reader. The first volume of Mr Tytler's history was published in 1828, and a continuation has since appeared at intervals, conducting the narrative to the year 1603, when James VI. ascended the throne of England. The style of the history is plain and perspicuous, with sufficient animation to keep alive the attention of the reader. Mr Tytler has added considerably to the amount and correctness of our knowledge of Scottish history. He has taken up a few doubtful opinions on questions of fact; but the industry and talent he has evinced entitle him to the lasting gratitude of his countrymen. A second edition of this work, up to the period already mentioned, extends to nine volumes.
P. F. TYTLER-COLONEL NAPIER, &c. The History of Scotland, by PATRICK FRASER LER, Esq. is an attempt to build the history of that country upon unquestionable muniments.' The author professes to have anxiously endeavoured to
The History of the War in the Peninsula, and in the South of France, from the year 1807 to the year 1814, in six volumes, 1828-40, by COLONEL W. F. P. NAPIER, is acknowledged to be the most valuable record of that war which England waged against the power of Napoleon. Mr Southey had previously written a history of this period, but it was heavy and uninteresting, and is now rarely met with. Colonel Napier was an actor in the great struggle he records, and peculiarly conversant with the art of war. most ample testimony has been borne to the accuracy of the historian's statements, and to the diligence and acuteness with which he has collected his materials. Further light has been thrown on the Spanish war, as well as on the whole of our other military operations from 1799 to 1818, by the publication of The Despatches of Field-Marshal the Duke
Wellington, by LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GURWOOD, twelve volumes, 1836-8. The skill, moderation, and energy of the Duke of Wellington are strikingly illustrated by this compilation. No man ever before,' says a critic in the Edinburgh Review, had the gratification of himself witnessing the formation of such a monument to his glory. His despatenes will continue to furnish, through every age, lessons of practical wisdom which cannot be too highly prized by public men of every station; whilst they will supply to military commanders, in particular, examples for their guidance which they cannot too carefully study, nor too anxiously endeavour to emulate.'
The peace and good order of society were not promoted by this system. Though private wars did not originate in the feudal customs, it is impossible to doubt that they were perpetuated by so convenient an institution, which indeed owed its universal establishment to no other cause. And as predominant habits of warfare are totally irreconcilable with those of industry, not merely by the immediate works of destruction which render its efforts unavailing, but through that contempt of peaceful occupations which they produce, the feudal system must have been in-of trinsically adverse to the accumulation of wealth, and the improvement of those arts which mitigate the evils or abridge the labours of mankind.
But, as a school of moral discipline, the feudal institutions were perhaps most to be valued. Society had sunk, for several centuries after the dissolution of the Roman empire, into a condition of utter depravity; where, if any vices could be selected as more eminently characteristic than others, they were falsehood, treachery, and ingratitude. In slowly purging off the lees of this extreme corruption, the feudal spirit exerted its ameliorating influence. Violation of faith stood first in the catalogue of crimes, most repugnant to the very essence of a feudal tenure, Ample materials for a comprehensive and complete most severely and promptly avenged, most branded history of the revolutionary war had been furnished, by general infamy. The feudal law-books breathe or existed in national repositories, and a work of throughout a spirit of honourable obligation. The this kind was undertaken by A. ALISON, Esq., a feudal course of jurisdiction promoted, what trial by gentleman of the Scottish bar. Mr Alison's History peers is peculiarly calculated to promote, a keener of Europe from the Commencement of the French Revofeeling, as well as readier perception, of moral as welllution in 1789 to the Restoration of the Bourbons in as of legal distinctions. In the reciprocal services of 1815, was completed in 1842 in ten volumes. Exceplord and vassal, there was ample scope for every tions may be taken to parts of this work as prolix in magnanimous and disinterested energy. The heart style and partial in statement. His account of the of man, when placed in circumstances that have a battle of Waterloo, for example, has been questioned tendency to excite them, will seldom be deficient in by the highest living authority on that subject; but, such sentiments. No occasions could be more favour- taken as a whole, Mr Alison's history is honourable able than the protection of a faithful supporter, or to his talents, no less than his industry. His style the defence of a beneficent sovereign, against such is generally clear and animated, and his arrangement powerful aggression as left little prospect except of of his vast materials orderly, and well adapted for sharing in his ruin. effect.
The following are also recent contributions to this valuable department of our literature:-A History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of AixTYT-la-Chapelle, and a History of the War of the Succes sion in Spain, both by LORD MAHON; a History of China, by the REV. CHARLES GUTZLAFF; a History of the Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece, by