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titled Letters from England, by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella, three volunies. The foreign disguise was too thinly and lightly worn to insure concealment, but it imparted freedom and piquancy to the author's observations. On the subject of the church, on political economy, and on manufactures, Mr Southey seems to have thought then in much the same spirit displayed in his late works. His fancy, however, was more sportive, and his Spanish character, as well as the nature of the work, led to frequent and copious description, in which he excelled.

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In 1829 Mr Southey published Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, two volumes, in which the author, or Montesinos,' holds conversations with the ghost of Sir Thomas More! The decay of national piety, the evil effects of extended commerce, and the alleged progress of national insecurity and disorganization, are the chief topics in these colloquies, which, though occasionally relieved by passages of beautiful composition, are diffuse and tedious, and greatly overstrained in sentiment. The other prose works of Mr Southey (exclusive of a vast number of essays in the Quarterly Review, and omitting his historical and biographical works already noticed) consist of his early Letters from Spain; A Short Residence in Portugal; Omniana, a collection of critical remarks and curious quotations; and The Doctor, five volumes, a work partly fictitious, but abounding in admirable description and quaint fanciful delineation of character.


The Confessions of an English Opium Eater, a small volume published in 1822 (originally contained in the London Magazine), is a singular and striking work, detailing the personal experience of an individual who had, like Coleridge, become a slave to the use of opium. To such an extent had the author carried this habit, that he was accustomed to take three hundred and twenty grains a-day. He finally emancipated himself, but not without a severe struggle and the deepest suffering. The Confessions' are written by THOMAS DE QUINCEY, a gentleman of extensive acquirements, literary and scholastic, son of an English merchant, and educated at Eton and Oxford. He has contributed largely to the periodical literature of the day, and is author of the admirable memoirs of Shak speare and Pope in the Encyclopædia Britannica. The following extracts would do credit to the highest names in our original imaginative litera


[Dreams of the Opium Eater.]

May, 1818.

I have been every night of late transported into Asiatic scenes. I know not whether others share in my feelings on this point, but I have often thought that if I were compelled to forego England, and to live in China, and among Chinese manners and modes of life and scenery, I should go mad. The causes of my horror lie deep, and some of them must be common to others. Southern Asia in general is the seat of awful images and associations. As the cradle of the human race, it would have a dim and reverential feeling connected with it. But there are other reasons. No man can pretend that the wild, barbarous, and capricious superstitions of Africa, or of savage tribes elsewhere, affect in the way that he is affected by the ancient, monumental, cruel, and elaborate religions of Indostan, &c. The mere antiquity of Asiatic things, of their institutions, history, modes of faith, &c. is so impressive, that to me the vast age of the race and name overpowers the sense of youth in the

individual. A young Chinese seems to me an antediluvian man renewed. Even Englishmen, though not bred in any knowledge of such institutions, can- | not but shudder at the mystic sublimity of castes that have flowed apart, and refused to mix, through such immemorial tracts of time; nor can any man fail to be awed by the names of the Ganges or the Euphrates. It contributes much to these feelings, that Southern Asia is, and has been for thousands of years, the part of the earth most swarming with human life; the great officina gentium. Man is a weed in those regions. The vast empires, also, into which the enormous popu lation of Asia has always been cast, give a further sublimity to the feelings associated with all Oriental names or images. In China, over and above what it has in common with the rest of Southern Asia, I am terrified by the modes of life, by the manners, and the barrier of utter abhorrence and want of sympathy placed between us by feelings deeper than I can analyse. I could sooner live with lunatics or brute animals. All this, and much more than I can say, or have time to say, the reader must enter into before he can comprehend the unimaginable horror which these dreams of Oriental imagery and mythological Under the connecting tortures impressed upon me. feeling of tropical heat and vertical sunlights Î brought together all creatures, birds, beasts, reptiles, all trees and plants, usages and appearances, that are to be found in all tropical regions, and assembled them together in China or Indostan. From kindred feelings I soon brought Egypt and all her gods under the same law. I was stared at, hooted at, grinned st, chattered at, by monkeys, by paroquets, by cockatoos. I ran into pagodas; and was fixed for centuries at the summit, or in secret rooms; I was the idol; I was the priest; I was worshipped; I was sacrificed. I fled from the wrath of Brahma through all the forests of Asia; Vishnu hated me; Seeva laid wait for me. I came suddenly upon Isis and Osiris; I had done a deed, they said, which the ibis and the crocodile I was buried for a thousand years, in trembled at. stone coffins, with mummies and sphinxes, in narrow chambers at the heart of eternal pyramids.

As a final specimen, I cite one of a different character, from 1820.


The dream commenced with a music which now 1 often hear in dreams-a music of preparation and of awakening suspense; a music like the opening of the Coronation Anthem, and which, like that, gave the feeling of a vast march-of infinite cavalcades filing off-and the tread of innumerable armies. morning was come of a mighty day—a day of criss and of final hope for human nature, then suffering some mysterious eclipse, and labouring in some dread extremity. Somewhere, I knew not where--somehow, I knew not how-by some beings, I knew not whoma battle, a strife, an agony was conducting-was evolving like a great drama or piece of music; with which my sympathy was the more insupportable from my confusion as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue. I, as is usual in dreams (where, of necessity, we make ourselves central to every movement), had the power, and yet had not the power to decide it. I had the power, if I could raise myself, to will it; and yet again had not the power, for the weight of twenty Atlantes was upon me, or the oppression of inexpiable guilt. Deeper than ever plummet sounded,' I lay inactive. Then, like a chorus, the passion deepened. Some greater interest was at stake; some mightier cause than ever yet the sword had pleaded or trumpet had proclaimed. Then came sudden alarms, hurrying to and fro; trepidations of innumerable fugitives, I knew not whether from the good cause or the bad; darkness and lights; tempest and human faces; and at last, with the sense that all was lost, female forms, and the features that were

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worth all the world to me, and but a moment allowed -and clasped hands, and heart-breaking partings, and then everlasting farewells! and with a sigh, such as the caves of hell sighed when the incestuous mother uttered the abhorred name of death, the sound was reverberated-everlasting farewells! and again, and yet again reverberated-everlasting farewells! And I awoke in struggles, and cried aloud-'I will sleep no more!'


One of the most remarkable of the miscellaneous writers of this period was WILLIAM HAZLITT, whose bold and vigorous tone of thinking, and acute criticism on poetry, the drama, and fine arts, found many admirers, especially among young minds. He was a man of decided genius, but prone to paradox, and swayed by prejudice. He was well read in the old English authors, and had in general a just and delicate perception of their beauties. His style was strongly tinged by the peculiarities of his taste and reading; it was often sparkling, pungent, and picturesque in expression. Hazlitt was a native of Shropshire, the son of a Unitarian minister. He began life as a painter, but failed in attaining excellence in the profession, though he retained through life the most vivid and intense appreciation of its charms. His principal support was derived from the literary and political journals, to which he contributed essays, reviews, and criticisms. He wrote a metaphysical treatise on the Principles of Human Action; Characters of Shakspeare's Plays; A View of the English Stage; two volumes of Table Talk; The Spirit of the Age (containing criticisms on eminent public characters); Lectures on the English Poets, delivered at the Surrey Institution; Lectures on the Literature of the Elizabethan Age; and various sketches of the galleries of art in England. He was author also of Notes of a Journey through France and Italy, originally contributed to one of the daily journals; an Essay on the Fine Arts for the Encyclopædia Britannica; and some articles on the English novelists and other standard authors, first published in the Edinburgh Review. His most elaborate work was a Life of Napoleon, in four volumes, which evinces all the peculiarities of his mind and opinions, but is very ably and powerfully written. Shortly before his death (which took place in London on the 18th of September 1830) he had committed to the press the Conversations of James Northcote, Esq. containing remarks on arts and artists. The toils, uncertainties, and disappointments of a literary life, and the contests of bitter political warfare, soured and warped the mind of Hazlitt, and distorted his opinions of men and things; but those who trace the passionate flights of his imagination, his aspirations after ideal excellence and beauty, the brilliancy of his language while dwelling on some old poem, or picture, or dream of early days, and the undisguised freedom with which he pours out his whole soul to the reader, will readily assign to him both strength and versatility of genius. He had felt more than he had reflected or studied; and though proud of his acquirements as a metaphysician, he certainly could paint emotions better than he could unfold principles. The only son of Mr Hazlitt has, with pious diligence and with talent, collected and edited his father's works in a series of handsome portable


[The Character of Falstaff.]

Falstaff's wit is an emanation of a fine constitution; an exuberation of good-humour and good-nature; an >verflowing of his love of laughter and good-fellow

ship; a giving vent to his heart's ease and over-contentment with himself and others. He would not be in character if he were not so fat as he is; for there is the greatest keeping in the boundless luxury of his imagination, and the pampered self-indulgence of his physical appetites. He manures and nourishes his mind with jests, as he does his body with sack and sugar. He carves out his jokes as he would a capon or a haunch of venison, where there is cut and come again; and pours out upon them the oil of gladness. His tongue drops fatness, and in the chambers of his brain it snows of meat and drink.' He keeps up perpetual holiday and open house, and we live with him in a round of invitations to a rump and dozen. Yet we are not to suppose that he was a mere sensualist. All this is as much in imagination as in reality. His sensuality does not engross and stupify his other faculties, but ascends me into the brain, clears away all the dull crude vapours that environ it, and makes it full of nimble, fiery, and delectable shapes.' His imagination keeps up the ball after his senses have done with it. He seems to have even a greater enjoyment of the freedom from restraint, of good cheer, of his ease, of his vanity, in the ideal exaggerated description which he gives of them, than in fact. He never fails to enrich his discourse with allusions to eating and drinking; but we never see him at table. He carries his own larder about with him, and he is himself a tun of man.' His pulling out the bottle in the field of battle is a joke to show his contempt for glory accompanied with danger, his systematic adherence to his Epicurean philosophy in the most trying circumstances. Again, such is his deliberate exaggeration of his own vices, that it does not seem quite certain whether the account of his hostess's bill, found in his pocket, with such an out-of-the-way charge for capons and sack, with only one halfpennyworth of bread, was not put there by himself as a trick to humour the jest upon his favourite propensities, and as a conscious caricature of himself. He is represented as a liar, a braggart, a coward, a glutton &c. and yet we are not offended, but delighted with him; for he is all these as much to amuse others as to gratify himself. He openly assumes all these characters to show the humorous part of them. The unrestrained indulgence of his own ease, appetites, and convenience, has neither malice nor hypocrisy in it. In a word, he is an actor in himself almost as much as upon the stage, and we no more object to the character of Falstaff in a moral point of view, than we should think of bringing an excellent comedian, who should represent him to the life, before one of the police offices.

[The Character of Hamlet.]

It is the one of Shakspeare's plays that we think of the oftenest, because it abounds most in striking reflections on human life, and because the distresses of Hamlet are transferred, by the turn of his mind, to the general account of humanity. Whatever happens to him, we apply to ourselves, because he applies it to himself as a means of general reasoning. He is a great moraliser; and what makes him worth attending to is, that he moralises on his own feelings and experience. He is not a commonplace pedant. If Lear is distinguished by the greatest depth of passion, Hamlet is the most remarkable for the ingenuity, originality, and unstudied development of character. Shakspeare had more magnanimity than any other poet, and he has shown more of it in this play than in any other. There is no attempt to force an interest: everything is left for time and circumstances to unfold. attention is excited without effort; the incidents succeed each other as matters of course; the characters think, and speak, and act just as they might do if left entirely to themselves. There is no set purpose, no


straining at a point. The observations are suggested by the passing scene the gusts of passion conie and go like sounds of music borne on the wind. The whole play is an exact transcript of what might be supposed to have taken place at the court of Denmark at the remote period of time fixed upon, before the modern refinements in morals and manners were heard of. It would have been interesting enough to have been admitted as a bystander in such a scene, at such a time, to have heard and witnessed something of what was going on. But here we are more than spectators. We have not only the outward pageants and the signs of grief,' but we have that within which passes show.' We read the thoughts of the heart, we catch the passions living as they rise. Other dramatic writers give us very fine versions and paraphrases of nature; but Shakspeare, together with his own comments, gives us the original text, that we may judge for ourselves. This is a very great advantage.

cause of his alienation, which he durst hardly trust
himself to think of. It would have taken him years
to have come to a direct explanation on the point. In
the harassed state of his mind, he could not have done
much otherwise than he did. His conduct does not
contradict what he says when he sees her funeral :—
'I loved Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum.'


The German studies and metaphysics of Coleridge seem to have inspired one powerful writer of the day, THOMAS CARLYLE, author of various works and translations-a Life of Schiller; Sartor Resartas, 1836; The French Revolution, a History, in three volumes, 1837; Chartism, 1839; Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, collected and republished from reviews and magazines, in five vols., 1839; a series of lectures on Hero Worship, 1841; and The Past and Present, 1843. Familiar with German literature, and admiring its authors, Mr Carlyle has had great influence in rendering the works of Goethe, Richter, &c. known in this country. He has added to our stock of original ideas, and helped to foster a more liberal and penetrative style of criticism amongst us. His philoso

The character of Hamlet stands quite by itself. It is not a character marked by strength of will or even of passion, but by refinement of thought and sentiment. Hamlet is as little of the hero as a man can well be; but he is a young and princely novice, full of high enthusiasm and quick sensibility-the sport of circumstances, questioning with fortune, and refining on his own feelings, and forced from the natural bias of his disposition by the strangeness of his situa-phical theory has been condemned for its resemblance tion. He seems incapable of deliberate action, and is only hurried into extremities on the spur of the occasion, when he has no time to reflect-as in the scene where he kills Polonius; and, again, where he alters the letters which Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are taking with them to England, purporting his death. At other times, when he is most bound to act, he remains puzzled, undecided, and sceptical; dallies with his purposes till the occasion is lost, and finds out some pretence to relapse into indolence and thought-upon this love of our fellow-beings a system of mental fulness again. For this reason he refuses to kill the king when he is at his prayers; and, by a refinement in malice, which is in truth only an excuse for his own want of resolution, defers his revenge to a more fatal opportunity.

to the Pantheistic system, or idol-worship, Goëthe being the special object of his veneration. It is too fanciful and unreal to be of general practical utility, or to serve as a refuge from the actual cares and storms of life. It is an intellectual theory, and to intellectual men may be valuable for the opinions and writings of Carlyle tend to enlarge our sympathies and feelings-to stir the heart with benevolence and affection-to unite man to man-and to build

energy and purity far removed from the operations of sense, and pregnant with high hopes and aspirations. He is an original and subtle thinker, and combines with his powers of analysis and reasoning a vivid and brilliant imagination. His work on the French Revolution is a series of paintings-grand, The moral perfection of this character has been terrific, and ghastly. The peculiar style and diction called in question, we think, by those who did not un- of Mr Carlyle have with some retarded, and with derstand it. It is more interesting than according to others advanced his popularity. It is more German rules; amiable, though not faultless. The ethical than English, full of conceits and personifications, delineations of that noble and liberal casuist' (as of high and low things, familiar and recondite, inixed Shakspeare has been well called) do not exhibit the up together without any regard to order or natural drab-coloured quakerism of morality. His plays are connexion. He has no chaste simplicity, no linked not copied either from The Whole Duty of Man, or sweetness,' or polished uniformity; all is angular, from The Academy of Compliments! We confess objective, and unidiomatic; at times, however, highly we are a little shocked at the want of refinement in graphic, and swelling out into periods of fine imagery those who are shocked at the want of refinement in and eloquence. Even common thoughts, dressed up Hamlet. The neglect of punctilious exactness in his in Mr Carlyle's peculiar costume of words, possess behaviour either partakes of the license of the time,' an air of originality. The style is, on the whole, a or else belongs to the very excess of intellectual revicious and affected one (though it may now have finement in the character, which makes the common become natural to its possessor), but is made strikrules of life, as well as his own purposes, sit loose uponing by the force and genius of which it is the reprehim. He may be said to be amenable only to the tribunal of his own thoughts, and is too much taken up with the airy world of contemplation, to lay as much stress as he ought on the practical consequences of things. His habitual principles of action are un- Generation after generation takes to itself the form hinged and out of joint with the time. His conduct of a body, and forth issuing from Cimmerian night on to Ophelia is quite natural in his circumstances. It heaven's missions appears. What force and fire is in is that of assumed severity only. It is the effect of each he expends; one grinding in the mill of indusdisappointed hope, of bitter regrets, of affection sus-try; one, hunter-like, climbing the giddy Alpine pended, not obliterated, by the distractions of the scene around him! Amidst the natural and preternatural horrors of his situation, he might be excused in delicacy from carrying on a regular courtship. When his father's spirit was in arms,' it was not a time for the son to make love in. He could neither marry Ophelia, nor wound her mind by explaining the


[The Succession of Races of Men.]

heights of science; one madly dashed in pieces on the rocks of strife, in war with his fellow; and then the heaven-sent is recalled; his earthly vesture falls away, and soon even to sense becomes a vanished shadow. Thus, like some wild-flaming, wild-thundering train of heaven's artillery, does this mysterious mankind thunder and flame, in long-drawn, quick

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succeeding grandeur, through the unknown deep. Thus, like a God-created, fire-breathing spirit-host, we emerge from the inane; haste stormfully across the astonished earth, then plunge again into the inane. Earth's mountains are levelled and her seas filled up in our passage. Can the earth, which is but dead and a vision, resist spirits which have reality and are alive? On the hardest adamant some footprint of us is stamped in; the last rear of the host will read traces of the earliest van. But whence? Oh heaven! whither? Sense knows not; faith knows not; only that it is through mystery to mystery, from God and to God.

[Attack upon the Bastille.]

[From the work on the French Revolution.]

say, on the roof of the guard-room, some on bayonets stuck into joints of the wall,' Louis Tournay smites, brave Aubin Bonnemère (also an old soldier) seconding him: the chain yields, breaks; the huge drawbridge slams down, thundering (avec fracas). Glorious; and yet, alas! it is still but the outworks. The eight grim towers with their Invalides' musketry, their paving-stones and cannon-mouths still soar aloft intact; ditch yawning impassable, stone-faced; the inner drawbridge with its back towards us: the Bastille is still to take!

Mr Carlyle is a native of the village of Ecclefechan, in Dumfriesshire, the child of parents whose personal character seems to have been considerably more exalted than their circumstances. He was reared for the Scottish church, but stopped short at laborious business of teaching, devoted himself to a the threshold, and, after some years spent in the literary life.


All morning, since nine, there has been a cry everywhere, To the Bastille!' Repeated 'deputations of citizens' have been here, passionate for arms; whom De Launay has got dismissed by soft speeches through port-holes. Towards noon Elector Thuriot de la Rosière gains admittance; finds De Launay indisposed for surrender; nay, disposed for blowing These three eminent men have lately, by the colup the place rather. Thuriot mounts with him to lection and republication of their contributions to the battlements: heaps of paving-stones, old iron, the Edinburgh Review, taken their place avowedly and missiles lie piled: cannon all duly levelled; in every embrasure a cannon-only drawn back a little! among the miscellaneous writers of the present cenBut outwards, behold, O Thuriot, how the multitude tury. MR SMITH had, about thirty years previous, flows on, welling through every street; tocsin furiously entitled Letters on the Subject of the Catholics, to my issued a highly amusing and powerful political tract, pealing, all drums beating the générale: the suburb Brother Abraham, who lives in the Country, by Peter Sainte-Antoine rolling hitherward wholly as one man! Plymley. These letters, after going through twentySuch vision (spectral, yet real) thou, O Thuriot! as one editions, are now included in the author's works. from thy Mount of Vision, beholdest in this moment: He has also included a tract on the Ballot (first pubprophetic of other phantasmagories, and loud-gibber-lished in 1839), some speeches on the Catholic Claims ing spectral realities which thou yet beholdest not, and Reform Bill, Letters on certain proposed Reforms but shalt. 'Que voulez-vous?' said De Launay, turning pale at the sight, with an air of reproach, in the Church of England, and a few Sermons. almost of menace. Monsieur,' said Thuriot, rising Sidney Smith is one of the wittiest and ablest men into the moral sublime, what mean you? Consider of his age. His powers have always been exercised if I could not precipitate both of us from this height on practical subjects, to correct what he deemed errors or abuses, to enforce religious toleration, ex-say only a hundred feet, exclusive of the walled ditch! Whereupon De Launay fell silent. pose cant and hypocrisy, and to inculcate timely reformation. No politician was ever more fearless or effective. He has the wit and energy of Swift, without his coarseness or cynicism, and a peculiar breadth of humour and drollery of illustration, that are potent auxiliaries to his clear and logical argument. Thus, in ridiculing the idea prevalent among many timid though excellent persons at the time of the publication of Plymley's Letters, that a conspiracy had been formed against the Protestant religion, headed by the pope, Mr Smith places the subject in a light highly ludicrous and amusing:

Wo to thee, De Launay, in such an hour, if thou canst not, taking some one firm decision, rule circumstances! Soft speeches will not serve; hard grape-shot is questionable; but hovering between the two is un-questionable. Ever wilder swells the tide of men; their infinite hum waxing ever louder into imprecations, perhaps into crackle of stray musketry, which latter, on walls nine feet thick, cannot do execution. The outer drawbridge has been lowered for Thuriot; new deputation of citizens (it is the third and noisiest of all) penetrates that way into the outer court: soft speeches producing no clearance of these, De Launay gives fire; pulls up his drawbridge. A slight sputter; which has kindled the too combustible chaos; made it a roaring fire-chaos! Bursts forth insurrection, at sight of its own blood (for there were deaths by that sputter of fire), into endless rolling explosion of musketry, distraction, execration; and overhead, from the fortress, let one great gun, with its grape-shot, go booming, to show what we could do. The Bastille is besieged!

On, then, all Frenchmen that have hearts in their bodies! Roar with all your throats of cartilage and metal, ye sons of liberty; stir spasmodically whatsoever of utmost faculty is in you, soul, body, or spirit; for it is the hour! Smite, thou Louis Tournay, cartwright of the Marais, old soldier of the Regiment Dauphiné; smite at that outer drawbridge chain, though the fiery hail whistles round thee! Never, over nave or felloe did thy axe strike such a stroke. Down with it, man; down with it to Orcus: let the whole accursed edifice sink thither, and tyranny be swallowed up for ever! Mounted, sonie

The pope has not landed-nor are there any curates sent out after him-nor has he been hid at St Albans by the Dowager Lady Spencer-nor dined privately at Holland House-nor been seen near Dropmore. If these fears exist (which I do not believe), they exist only in the mind of the chancellor of the exchequer [the late Mr Spencer Perceval]; they emanate from his zeal for the Protestant interest; and though they reflect the highest honour upon the delicate irritability of his faith, must certainly be considered as more ambiguous proofs of the sanity and vigour of his understanding. By this time, however, the best-informed clergy in the neighbourhood of the metropolis are convinced that the rumour is without foundation: and though the pope is probably hovering about our coast in a fishingsmack, it is most likely he will fall a prey to the vigilance of the cruisers: and it is certain he has not yet polluted the Protestantism of our soil. Exactly in the same manner the story of the wooden gods seized at Charing Cross, by an order from the Foreign Office, turns out to be without the shadow

of a foundation: instead of the angels and archangels mentioned by the informer, nothing was discovered but a wooden image of Lord Mulgrave going down to Chatham as a head-piece for the Spanker gun-vessel: it was an exact resemblance of his lordship in his military uniform; and therefore as little like a god as can well be imagined.'

The effects of the threatened French invasion are painted in similar colours. Mr Smith is arguing that, notwithstanding the fears entertained in England on this subject, the British rulers neglected the obvious means of self-defence :

As for the spirit of the peasantry in making a gallant defence behind hedgerows, and through plate-racks and hencoops, highly as I think of their bravery, I do not know any nation in Europe so ikely to be struck with panic as the English; and this from their total unacquaintance with sciences of war. Old wheat and beans blazing for twenty miles round; cart mares shot; sows of Lord Somerville's breed running wild over the country; the minister of the parish wounded sorely in his hinder parts; Mrs Plymley in fits; all these scenes of war an Austrian or a Russian has seen three or four times over; but it is now three centuries since an English pig has fallen in a fair battle upon English ground, or a farm-house been rifled, or a clergyman's wife been subjected to any other proposals of love than the connubial endearments of her sleek and orthodox mate. The old edition of Plutarch's Lives, which lies in the corner of your parlour window, has contributed to work you up to the most romantic expectations of our Roman behaviour. You are persuaded that Lord Amherst will defend Kew Bridge like Cocles; that some maid of honour will break away from her captivity and swim over the Thames; that the Duke of York will burn his capitulating hand; and little Mr Sturges Bourne give forty years' purchase for Moulsham Hall while the French are encamped upon it. I hope we shall witness all this, if the French do come; but in the meantime I am so enchanted with the ordinary English behaviour of these invaluable persons, that I earnestly pray no opportunity may be given them for Roman valour, and for those very un-Roman pensions which they would all, of course, take especial care to claim in consequence.'

One of the happiest and most forcible of Mr Smith's humorous comparisons is that in which he says, of a late English minister, on whom he had bestowed frequent and elaborate censure I do not attack him from the love of glory, but from the love of utility, as a burgomaster hunts a rat in a Dutch dyke, for fear it should flood a province.' Another occurs in a speech delivered at Taunton in 1831: I do not mean,' he says, 'to be disrespectful, but the attempt of the lords to stop the progress of reform reminds me very forcibly of the great storm of Sidmouth, and of the conduct of the excellent Mrs Partington on that occasion. In the winter of 1824 there set in a great flood upon that town-the tide rose to an incredible height-the waves rushed in upon the houses -and everything was threatened with destruction. In the midst of this sublime storm, Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, and squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused. Mrs Partington's spirit was up; but I need not tell you that the contest was unequal. The Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs Partington. She was excellent at a slop or a puddle, but she should not have meddled with a tempest.' Illustrations of this kind are highly characteristic of their author. They display the fertility of his fancy and the richness of

his humour, at the same time that they drive home his argument with irresistible effect. Sidney Smith, like Swift, seems never to have taken up his pen from the mere love of composition, but to enforce practical views and opinions on which he felt strongly. His wit and banter are equally direct and cogent. Though a professed joker and convivial wit—'a diner out of the first lustre,' as he has himself characterised Mr Canning-there is not one of his humorous or witty sallies that does not seem to flow naturally, and without effort, as if struck out or remembered at the moment it is used. Mr Smith gives the following account of his connexion with the Edinburgh Review:

'When first I went into the church I had a curacy in the middle of Salisbury Plain. The squire of the parish took a fancy to me, and requested me to go with his son to reside at the university of Weimar; before we could get there, Germany became the seat of war, and in stress of politics we put in to Edinburgh, where I remained five years. The principles of the French Revolution were then fully afloat, and it is impossible to conceive a more violent and agitated state of society. Among the first persons with whom I became acquainted were Lord Jeffrey, Lord Murray (late Lord Advocate for Scotland), and Lord Brougham; all of them maintaining opinions upon political subjects a little too liberal for the dynasty of Dundas, then exercising supreme power over the northern division of the island. One day we happened to meet in the eighth or ninth storey or flat in Buccleuch Place, the ele vated residence of the then Mr Jeffrey. I proposed that we should set up a Review; this was acceded to with acclamation. I was appointed editor, and remained long enough in Edinburgh to edit the first number of the Edinburgh Review. The motto I proposed for the Review was

'Tenui musam meditamur avena'— We cultivate literature upon a little oatmeal. But this was too near the truth to be admitted, and so we took our present grave motto from Publius Syrus, of whom none of us had, I am sure, ever read a single line; and so began what has sine turned out to be a very important and able journal. When I left Edinburgh it fell into the stronger hands of Lord Jeffrey and Lord Brougham, and reached the highest point of popularity and success.'

Mr Smith is now, we believe, above seventy years of age, but his vigorous understanding, his wit and humour, are still undiminished.

The chief merit and labour attaching to the continuance and the success of the Edinburgh Review fell on its accomplished editor, FRANCIS JEFFREY, now one of the judges of the Court of Session in Scotland. From 1803 to 1829 Mr Jeffrey had the sole management of the Review; and when we consider the distinguished ability which it has uniformly displayed, and the high moral character it has upheld, together with the independence and fearlessness with which from the first it has promulgated its canons of criticism on literature, science, and government, we must admit that few men have exercised such influence as Francis Jeffrey on the whole current of contemporary literature and public opinion. Besides his general superintendence, Mr Jeffrey was a large contributor to the Review. The departments of poetry and elegant literature seem to have been his chosen field; and he constantly endeavoured, as he says, 'to com bine ethical precepts with literary criticism, and earnestly sought to impress his readers with a sense both of the close connexion between sound intellectual attainments and the higher elements of

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