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respect; I read its critiques, stupid and he did casually come in contact with prosing as they generally are, with an any such trumpery, would he have interest not at all derived from them-, given himself the trouble of even exselves; but from my certainty that pressing disgust? Of course, he would they tell me how the intellect of Eng- not—he would merely laugh at the land is at the present moment em- poor creature; and yet
there never was ployed."
such a fathomless distance between But as my business in writing to Dennis and Pope, as between Jeffrey you is not to discuss the beau ideal of and Burke. a review, but to nsider an individual The ninth and tenth articles, on MaNumber of one actually existing, I dam Campan's Marie Antoinette,--the shall begin with the beginning. The Dutchess of Angouleme's Narrative of first article is Lacretelle’s History of the Journey to Varennes,--her Private the Constitutional Assembly; a clever Memoirs of what passed in the Temple, paper, in a proper spirit, by Mr Cro- -and Louis XVIII.'s Narrative of his ker, I opine. It is, indeed, excel- Journey, are by the same accomplished lent throughout, and I quarrel only hand, and in the same spirit, as the first with its concluding paragraph. After article. I think C., however, rather pronouncing a just eulogium on Burke, hard on poor Louis, and that your own he quotes a character of that great man review was much fairer; but he doesamfrom an old Number of the Edinburgh ple justice to the sublime, simple, and Review that long since had been con- touching Memoirs of the Daughter of signed to the pastry-cook. Burke, teste France. I defy any man of human feelJeffrey, was a man of no judgment, no ings to read the 473d page of the Quarprinciples, no firmness, no honesty-he terly, the heart-rending page which was no philosopher, no man of busi- gives an account of the sufferings of the ness, no orator ! There is a critic six poor child who had the misfortune to be feet and a half high, for you! In the Louis XVII.-the poor, dear, innocent, opinion of the great Jeffrey—the gen- unhappy, little creature, in his privaa tleman who actually can speak to their tions, his terrors, his neglect, his lonelordships in court, until he comes to a liness, and his almost sublime silence pain in his leg from standing, the only without emotion. It proves how period of Jeffrey's harangues—Burke fact surpasses fiction. No writer would was no speaker. We have here nicely have dared to imagine such a characbalanced orator Jeffrey versus no- ter as the docile, courteous, obedient orator Burke, and the Irishman is child, who never spoke again, after found wanting. So saith the Prince having been forced by monsters in huof Critics and the King of Men, as man shape to sign a deposition against Hazlitt, the gallant of Southampton- his mother. Well does the Quarterly street, Holborn, styles his friend.- remark, that even the Queen's own apBurke's shade may, however, derive peal to the maternal hearts of her some consolation from the fact, that hearers, was not so pathetic, so irresistthe same great and ingenious person ible a touch as this. discovered also that Swift was no wit, The Reviewer remarks on these Wordsworth no poet, Pindar unable things, like a man whose heart is worto write Greek, Addison not worth thy of his genius. Why does Croker reading, Socrates a scoundrel, Burns do nothing of his own ? Surely, surenothing but a blackguard. In a word, ly he might be the Swift of our time that they were not to be named in a if he pleased. day with Jeffrey the great, the advo- The second article is on Burton's cate who domineers in the Jury Court, Rome, with sufficient learning and and actually writes thirty pages full of pleasantry to reward its perusal. The words at a time for the Edinburgh reviewer talks a little twaddle about Review. But, to be serious, why did church ceremonies, fretted vaults, stateC. quote such trash? Would he turn ly columns, &c. which so good a Presup the pages of the heroes of the byterian as I am cannot swallow, but Dunciad for a character of Pope? or if certainly shall not fight about.
* Good Timothy, abuse whom you please, but the Monthly is a very good book-for, 1stly, it contains first-rate articles every now and then ; and, 2dly, it is less than any pe. riodical, except mine, under base Bibliopolic influence.-C. N.
Article third is on Arago's Voyage tian and moral maxims, is just the Round the World, and a capital cutting proper subject for acts of Parliament. up of an empty French coxcomb it is. When we add the precious discovery, We may expect, I suppose, a recla- that compulsory assessments will be mation from Arago—at least I hope so. rather more equal in their operation He is a most superlative jackass. than voluntary contributions, the sum
The fourth article, on the Poor Laws, of this conclusive argument in behalf is a very superficial and moderate af- of the English Poor Laws is exhaustfair; but is perhaps quite as well on ed ; and it is upon a foundation thus that account; for there is not a hu- deep and solid, that this wiseacre of man being who will now read a grave the Quarterly Review has placed the treatise on so unpromising a subject. defence of a system, which the wisest The evil, as it prevails in England, is men of England have long pronounced confessedly enormous ; but the pri- indefensible, and the nation at large has vilege of murmuring now alone re- felt to be all but intolerable. This mains, all classes appearing to aban- weightier controversy is preceded by a don exertion as hopeless, under the brief skirmish with our countryman weight of this irremediable calamity. Dr Chalmers, who some years ago took The fundamental principle of the up this business of the poor with chaEnglish Poor Laws, viz. that the Le- racteristic enthusiasm-which, it is a gislature can by its fiat create unli- pity to observe, however, so prematuremited means of subsistence, and an ly evaporated-and although the Docunlimited demand for labour, is now tor's singular hurry and heedlessness universally disowned; but it is easier to appear to have given the Reviewer some disavow the principle, than to recal its petty advantages in the detail of the practical effects; and the whole subse- question, it is by no means so clear as quent legislation of the sister kingdom, he supposes, that the answers to has been a wretched struggle in detail, these (the Reviewer's) questions must to counteract the inaster-principle of overthrow Dr Chalmers's system.' misgovernment, which, in the first in- Mark the fairness of the weapons emstance, struck down the moral feeling ployed for this imaginary overthrow. of independence. Some of the wisest Dr Chalmers alleges, as a proof of and ablest of Englishmen have retired the defects of the existing system for from this intractable subject in des- relief of the poor in Glasgow, that, pair ; but the Reviewer, who is nei- under it, the assessment was quadther very wise nor very able, manages rupled from 1803 to 1818; and the it with a freedom and facility which Reviewer rebuts this objection of an are quite decisive of his incapacity. assessment quadrupled during one peThe drift of his argument—although riod, by appealing to an increase of less there is much discreet reserve in the than a third of the population during expression is the absolute defence of a different period. Again, the Doctor the existing Poor Laws of England as refers to the fact, that the voluntary to their principle, coupled with some contributions of his parishioners were hints neither very new nor important found for three years more than adeas to improvements in the mode of quate to the relief of all the new cases their execution. In a strain of rea- of pauperism that occurred, leaving, in soning at once original and profound, fact, after such relief, a considerable we are taught, that to assist the poor, surplus ; and the Reviewer disputes " is not only a precept of the Chris- the inference deducible from this fact, tian religion, a maxim of moral vir- by stating, that during the same petue, but an instinctive feeling of hu- riod the poor-rates were reduced even man nature ;" and this being the main in England, and by hazarding the riargument for compulsory, instead of diculously ignorant assumption, that voluntary aid, we are led to infer, the parish of St John's, Glasgow, is, that, in the opinion of this judicious compared with other parishes of the writer, the due enforcement of Chris- city, remarkably free of pauperism.*
St John's parish being in fact inhabited, with few exceptions, by people of the very lowest rank, and the natural proportion of paupers there about 5 to 1 to the most of the other parishes of that town. VOL. XIV.
And it is thus that this heavy cham- In nothing, indeed, as in such articles,
Article fifth. Theodore Ducas--a manned, has proved to be little more than common-place review of a common
common sea risk. Indeed, with ships as place book.
strong as wood and iron can make them ; The sixth article is such as the Quar
stored with provisions and fuel for nearly terly only can furnish. It is a review of
four years ; with a commander excelled by
none in the various duties of his profes. Captain Franklin'sstupendous journey. sion ; endued with intellectual faculties of Mr Barrow brings every qualification the highest order, and full of zeal and enerdesirable for the consideration of such gy tempered with due prudence and discre. a work: profound geographical know- tion ; with experienced officers, and crews ledge, clear and accurate views of all of picked seamen ;-we cannot persuade the subjects connected with voyages ourselves that any reasonable ground of of discovery, and a lucid style and ar
alarm for their safety need be entertained." rangement. Compare his articles with I hope, and trust not. the drossy, mock-scientific, dogmatic, In Mr B.'s remarks on the ornaments and impertinent mumpings of the Blue of this book of travels, he pays them and Yellow on the same subject, full a well-deserved compliment, but goes of ignorance, self-conceit, self-puffery, sadly out of his way to abuse what and insolent abuse of other people. he calls “ the greasy daubs of lithoCompare, in particular, their article graphy.” Now, this is unjust to a most on the North-West Passage with this useful art, which they are daily bringmasterly one.
ing to more and more perfection. If Had I not the fear of the criticism Mr Barrow would just cast his eyes of the Jury-Court before my eyes-that over Francis Nicholson's plates, he awful band of reviewers, whose fiat would, I think, be inclined to retract decides all literary questions, Hebrew, his censure. Be the defects of lithoSamaritan, Chaldee and Masoretic, graphy what they may, it at all events Thermometrical and Frigorific, I gives you the picture from the very should say, that a more stupid and pre- hand of the painter ; and I trust the sumptuous collection of betises was unworthy jealousy among line engranever thrown together by the merest vers, which has already turned it three smatterer in literature. Read, for in- times out of the country, will not stance, Barrow's and Parry’s Remarks again prevail to banish it from us a (p. 406-408) on the Navigation of the fourth time. To Mr Finden's merits Arctic Seas, and then turn to read, if I readily subscribe ; indeed, I should you can, the Blue and Yellow's pyet be blind if I did not ; but a more com-(mind I do not say parrot, but) plete apropos des bottes never occurred pyet attempt at waggery, their nau- than in the way Barrow here brings seating stuff about the Polar basin, him forward. He mentions that the Don Quixote and Mambrino’s helmet. etchings are finished in line-engraving
by Mr Finden, a young and promising of our nature have been stained and artist; and then, apropos of Mr Fin- sullied by crimes the most atrocious, den, an asterisk directs to a note, in by sensualities the most grovelling. which we are informed, that “his en-' Why did the reviewer choose such a gravings of Captain Batty's Welch time for such an observation ? Moore, scenery are beautiful specimens of whose book he was reviewing, was an this branch of the art." How natu- accomplished scholar, aman "initiated rally a puff on Welch scenery comes early, and imbued deeply, in the manin, in a disquisition on a journey to the liness and taste of Grecian literature." Polar Sea ! But the whole is explain. Yet he was a whig, and an outcast ; a ed when we learn that Batty, a very man obliged to fly for having robbed worthy fellow, is the reviewer's son- his patron Earl Grosvenor to an imin-law, and that his book does not mense amount-a mere model of
pesell so well as it ought! There are culation and ingratitude. No, sir, tricks in a' trades, Mr North. To there is another book, which alone crown the whole, Murray is about truly sooths, purifies, and exalts-a bringing out another edition of Frank- book that bids us “Fear God, and holin, to be ornamented not by etchings nour the King,"but that, to Mr Moore's -not by line-engravings-not by Mr party, is a sealed volume. Without a Finden—but by those very greasy knowledge of its contents, the most indaubs of lithography” which are scorn- timate acquaintance with the glory and ed by his reviewer, and used as a peg grandeur of the all but divine poets of to hang a note-puffatory upon. Greece, will avail nothing to the puri
Moore's (not Tom, but Abraham) fication of soul. Moore's Pindar is the subject of the The eighth article, on the Navigation next paper. As I have neither origi- Laws-I feel I am not equal to the nal nor translation by me here in this subject. It will require a separate and rustic sojourn, I cannot give an opinion well-thought-on paper, not such light on the merits of the critique. It ap- sketches as I am here throwing off. I pears too verbal, too fond of cavilling participate in the fears of the reviewer, at words, and carping at trifles; but it that we are letting theory go too far. is a most readable article. Moore had . I tremble at meddling with the insticertainly (I judge by the specimens tutions of our ancestors, even though here given) a fine ear for versification, I have Mr Ricardo's assertion that he and I have no doubt but that the book is a wiser man than any of them. Above is an accession to our literature. What all, I dread tampering with our right could have possessed the reviewer to arm of strength, the navy. Woe conclude his review of the work of to us when we lose the watery wall ! such a man by such a piece of classi- Under the old Navigation Laws were cal cant as he does. There is no man fostered Russels, and Boscawens, and more truly devoted to classical litera- Rodneys, and St Vincents, and Dunture than I am-nobody more willing cans, and the mighty glories of Nelto pay knee tribute to the glorious old son—I will not say that it was altowriters of Greece--nobody more ready gether in consequence of these lawsto defend against the mean and gro- but if it were, then those who have alvelling shopkeeping spirit of innova- tered them have undertaken a fearful tion the grand institutions for the responsibility. But I own I am not education of the flower of England's competent to the consideration. I leave youth—but as I hate cant in religion it to abler hands, contenting myself
- cant in politics—cant in criticism, with expressing my humble, but earcant in taste-so do I detest cant in nest hopes, that the fine-drawn specuthese subjects too. Homer and Pin- lations of theorists, will not be allowed dar, great and sublime as they are, do to trifle with what Sir Walter Scott not of themselves “ sooth, purify, or emphatically and most truly calls, “the exalt” the human heart. The might- sheet anchor of the empire, the Bri. iest scholars—alas ! for the obliquities tish Navy."
• Persons who are taken to see the very ingenious lithographic department of the Admiralty, are generally required to write a few words to be thrown off, in order to exhibit the process. When Sir Walter visiteel it, he wrote the above. The stone is still carefully preserved.
The ninth and tenth articles I have fear of contradiction. Do not we all already noticed, and, for the present, I remember the time when the Whigs pass the eleventh, in order to consider had everything their own way ; when it in connexion with the last. The a man hardly dared avow himself a twelfth is by Southey, an amusing and Tory, for fear of being pronounced an instructive account of the Theophilan- illiberal blockhead; when the Edinthropists of France-indeed all the burgh Review was the acknowledged Doctor's histories of sects are amusing lord of literature and politics ; when and instructive-which at last diver- Tom Moore was the wit in verse, and ges easily enough into an ardent pic- Sydney Smith the wit in prose; when, ture of the progress of infidelity among in a word, all was their own? And how ourselves-and concludes with an ad- is it now? Why, Whig and jack-ass mirable precis of the proofs of the are convertible terms; it is a byChristian religion. This is in truth an word of reproach; they are our butts, excellent paper, but I do not partici- our common-places of fun, our Lispate altogether in the views taken by tons, our Grimaldés. Blue and Yellow Southey of the dangers to which reli- is waste paper-Tom Moore is obliged gion is exposed. I never fear the con- to submit his poetry to the care of a test of the good and the evil principle. lawyer, before he dares print it-SydGive us a fair stage, and no favour, and ney Smith is compelled to transport we shall still hold the mastery. Sou- himself to Botany Bay, in quest of bad they says, that more than eleven mil- jokes—and, in short, they are laughlions of newspapers are annually circu- ed at by us, blackguarded by Cobbett lated among us, and at least two-thirds and his crew, and pelted by the mob. of the number aim at the destruction They are now a nerveless, knotless, of sound principles. I doubt that it is pluckless, powerless, as well as a Godfact. But, even admitting it, the glori- less faction. We, North, we of this ous army of the gentlemen of the press Magazine, began the good work; we does not strike me as a vastly formi- seized their cannon, and turned it on dable body by any means. All the edu themselves; our example was followcated classes of society merely despise ed by others, and now they find they them--they know that with few, very, can only defend themselves from the very few exceptions, they are a mean, whizzing shafts of our ridicule, by illiterate, stupid gang of blockheads, skuiking under the protection of laws, who can just turn off articles, false in which they had, during their own trifact, lumpish in argument, vulgar in umphant career, denounced as absurd manner, and ungrammatical in style. and tyrannical. Take them as a body, I assert that it So will it be with the anti-religionwould be impossible, on any principle ists. Southey attaches too much imof selection, to bring together so utter- portance to their writings, being himly contemptible a pack of hounds as self a litterateur. They, too, could be the London“ gentlemen of the press," written down; and the heart of Engfrom the editors who jabber broken land, sound at the core, is against English for their political readers, down them. I have often been tempted to to the footman who writes fashionable wish that the system of prosecution intelligence for the beau monde. The was dropped. I am aware that it is dissection, the utter dissection of a a very ticklish question; but, feeling newspaper, would afford you a capital confident as I do, that God will never article, but it should be done by some give us up to be conquered by the one residing in London. Believe me, devil, if we stand firm to one another, and Dr Southey, too, may believe me, knowing the vast superiority of intelthat even the pot-house vulgarian is lect on our side, remembering the not much gulled by them. If infideli- triumphs of Christianity in every age,' ty prevails, and it does prevail nowhere I should not fear the diffusion of thoubut in London, we must seek other sands of copies of the works of Tom causes than the agency of the “gen- Paine and villains of his stamp, while tlemen of the press.” The hounds may
we have hearts and heads to oppose yelp in to join the cry, to be sure, but them. I expect much from the systheir melody is of no great avail. WE tem of education pursued towards the -I mean the men who wield the pen rising generation. I expect much at the opposite of the question-can from the increased energy and zeal of put them down. I speak it without the clergy of the Church of England,