« AnteriorContinuar »
ful than before. When he wrote the Life of Byron, he informs'us that he had a higher opinion of the noble Lord's originality than Bubsequent experience allowed him to entertain; in fact, John Galt considers Lord Byron one of the most extraordinary plagiarists in literature, unless it can be shewn that he is the author of a four-voters of his most renowned productions are derived. When Mr. Galt sets about the proof of his assertions, he makes sad work of it, and shews that he has just about the same acquaintance with logic as he has with the true spirit of poetry. We should be ashamed to insult the understanding of our readers, by entering into any argument for the purpose of proving that there is no other foundation in existeuce for these observations of Mr. Galt's, save in the creation of his vindictive mind. The bad feeling with which he adverts to his encounters with Mr. Moore and Sir John Hobhouse, renders it In reading the expressions which he applies to Mr. Moore, we see, in the clearest light, the tortured victim writhing under the lash of his humorous master, whose countenanae, like that of Apollo flaying the satyr, affords, by its exquisite smile, a striking contrast to the agonies of the sufferer. Need we recall to the recollection of our readers the celebrated verses beginning
*** PA ym -EMI OGod preserve us !f there's nothing now safe from assaultpta 91T som et Thrones toppling around-churches brought to the hammer,anisky -9b And accounts have just reached us that one Mr. Galt, 156019091 won bob
1). Has declared open war against English and grammar.'s 26w bovit Whilst he was engaged in the Life of Byron, Mr. Galt received an overture, chiefly through the benevolent exertions of Mr. Lock! hart, the son-in-law of Sir Walter Scott, to become editor of the Courier. He gladly accepted the office, evidently thinking that no yery particular craft was required to discharge its functions. A very short experience, however, convinced him that the business would not suit him. Why the business did not suit him Mr. Galt leaves us to conjecture; but it is well known amongst the well-informed on such matters, that Mr. Galt was utterly incompetent to the task, and that he was so cannot be more powerfully illustrated than by his own avowal, that no species of literature affords so wide a scope for arrogance, or calls for less knowledge, than the editorship of a newspaper. It is perfectly plain that a man actuated by such false impressions as these, is utterly unfit for the duties of which he takes so perverted a view. We pass over these and other observations of the same character, and come to a portion of the narrative, which, at least, is exempt from all objectionable matter. In his reflections, which are carried much too far on his own pro
he takes occasion to explain the circumstances which rise to them.
their interest and value, and we shall therefore furnish, a few specimens to the reader.
1! 9vol blow
ductions, be without their
a to mo
youth, These seem conversation, he menti ed anecdotes of his
me interesting, and ultimately 1 pre time to
beautiful, en 594 was sequence of a remark which his Lordship made
The Life of Mr. West is one, for the whole materials of which it consists were derived from himself, and the work is, in consequence, as nearly as it possibly can be, an autobiography. The occasion of writing it was
wa 120 900
I brenog I often used to go to the old gentleman's painting room, and, several times in the course of write the first part of his Life, to which he assented, and from time corrected the manuscript. The second part was undertaken at his own request, when he was on his death-bed, and the last proof was examined by himself. In the course of drawing up this part, he gave me the manuscripts of his addresses to the pupils of the Academy, works which I intend to correct, and máy hereafter publish.'—Vol. ii. 235, 236.in "A dramatic piece, called the Mermaid, and written by Mr. Galt, was suggested in the following manner :
friend Park had occasion to be in the Western Highlands, where he heard much, in a clergyman's family, of a mermaid that was said to have been seen on the shore of one of the Hebrides. The description, posed an address to her of four or five stanzas, which he read to me, and which supposed 'her, from her beauty, to have human feelings. The verses were pretty, and led me afterwards to compose the second part of my Mermaid.'
pe":"15.7°334) 9711. 2190691 • The story of the Witness was suggested by an old newspaper or magazine,cand is, undoubtedly, both original and impressive. I do not now remember it particularly, but the circumstance from which it is derived was an Irish trial for murder. The judge, as the trial proceeded, observed the accused often looking behind with terror, and becoming more and more agitated. Being a man of metaphysical discernment, he
appearance, he has,” said he, some testimony to give: the a linquent on hearing these words, clasped his hands, and exclaiming he was lost, presently “confessed his malefactions."
tarza role (19V th The Entail, which is supposed to be among the best of my novels, is founded on a family anecdote related by a friend: of course the characters are selected according to my own liking, but the tale is true, and except in incidental circumstances, deserves to be considered as a kind of history in private life.'. - But of all my manifold sketches, I repine most at an alteration which I was induced, by the persuasion of a friend, to make, on the original tale of Sir Andrew Wylie: as it now stands, it is more like an ordinary novel than that which I first projected, inasmuch as, instead of giving, as intend, ed, a view of the rise and progress of a Scotchman in London, it a beginping, a middle, and an end, according to the most approved fashion for works of that description.”
The second edition was inscribed to my amiable friend the Earl of when he was reading it: speaking of Lord Sandiford's character, he observéd, that it must be very natural, for, in the same circumstances, he would have acted in a similar manner, and he seemed not to have the
** By his
least idea, that he was bimself the model of the character : perhaps I never received so pleasing a compliment. -Vol. i. pp. 236--239.
The abundant varieties of employment or amusement which a literary life supplied were still insufficient for the insatiable appetite of Mr. Galt, who once more plunged into the vortex of Canadian enterprizes. But he drew away his line with the bait untouched; and now we find him, gentle reader, head and ears overwhelmed in a profound dream, in which he sees, by the force of a perturbed imagination, the antient city of Glasgow turned into a sea port! And this is only one out of the numerous projects, schemes, and romances with which the fancy of Mr. Galt now teems withal; and in a paroxysm of prophetic enthusiasm he speaks in oracular language about changes in, tontines, and the devastations of turnpikes, and what treasure-trove will hereafter come to, and how bank forgeries are to be rendered impossible ; and lastly how slaves are to be emancipated; in which latter, however, Doctor Galt is anticipated by a much more efficient member of the political faculty. Mr. Galt, as soon as his speculation fit is over gives us a curious chapter, recounting how Lady Blessington undertook one day to bring together in one circle all the intellectual stars of the metropolis, in the hope of such an explosion of wit, eloquence, and philosophy, as never had been witnessed before; and he shews that the assemblage had been duly collected, and had been plied with the usual stimulants, for the purpose of promoting the aforesaid objects; and how, after all, the meeting turned out to be the dullest, the most barren, the most reserved, that it was possible for any community to be.
It appears from the concluding chapter, that Mr. Galt has suffer ed, and still suffers from organic disease; but in the postscript, dated the 4th of last month, which he appends, we are glad to find that his domestic affairs have put on an aspect of a very auspicious na ture.
Neyer that we remember has a work been placed in our hands, which appears to be more peculiarly calculated for instruction than he one with which we are now about to part. It presents us withi a character much too common in the world, of a young man blessed with a certain order of talents, with an ambition corresponding to the amount of his mental endowments, but, on the other hand, destitute of that substantial support which will justify the ambition in its deve lopment, and enable the talents to be applied in the proper direca tion. Had Mr. Galt completed his education, had he suhmitted to the probation which the preparation for a profession absolutely demands, why, then there would have been a unity established be. tween his faculties and his aspirations, which must necessarily have been followed by eminence, with its usual accompaniments. But unhappily the reverse of all this took place. Mr. Galt, with an educak tion by no means perfect, with pecuniary resources by no means abundant, was driven by the wind of youthful passions into devious courses; without rudder or compass he visited every unknown'' spot,
The Church partakes of the worlate wita
expecting to find a paradise awaiting him in each voyage. But he now roused from his dream, and by the description of his fortunes leaves a beacon of everlasting warning to youth. mattinata dizainstantuni 400 A V1619)
to Art. VII.--. On the Abuse of Oaths. Being No. 46 of The Library
of Ecclesiastical Knowledge. Lond. Westley & Davis. pp. 36. It may not be known to our readers, generally, that a society has existed for more than four years, calling itself “ The Society for Promoting Ecclesiastical Knowledge." It is composed of orthodox dissenters, who, we judge from the similarity of the titles, have been stimus lated to disseminate their opinions, by adopting a like practice with the venerable Church “ Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge." As might be expected, the parent and her offspring, if so we may term them, occasionally come into collision; a result, which, instead of regretting, we are rather disposed to view with complacency, [funa
We never were of those who declaimed against controversy, for without it the world would move but tamely, and the mind would become stagnant. The tranquil equability which distinguishes a streamlet is considered emblematic of peace and regularity, but we prefer the more vigorous current, which though it may endanger the banks of its channel, conveys freshness and liveliness for a recompence, ou
The one seems as though it would never sink 'to exh tion, the other, as though it would never rise to repletion. Nothing is, however, in our days, allowed to be stationary. Even what is venerable from age is no longer esteemed if it be unprofitable. Yet such is the desire for novelty, that what is antiquated is bility, and the world wonders at the constancy of the Church! It were vain, then, to attempt to stay events by merely human efforts, for feeble is every endeavour to dissuade the multitude from action. It remains, therefore, but to fall in with the current, and struggle through the inconveniences which await us at every turn, or to g
glide mute and inglorious along the even tenor of bare existence. As
That this society should meet with opposition is a matter of course. The murmurs against it are, as yet, but presages of clamour. It were worth the while, however, to consider well, whether vapour and noise alone will disturb their firmness of purpose who have shewn, on former occasions, that they are not to be dismayed when contending for what they deem sacred principles. “Shall we boast,” say they, in their Şecond Annual Report -" of having thrown off the chains of civil despotism, and be slow to seek the overthrow of that worst of all despotisms--a despotism on conscience, a substitution of dictation for reason, of authority for truth?" It is evident that no less than the overthrow of the Establishment is in their contemplation, from the passage immediately following:
« The man who is on principle a dissenter, and does not his best to make
other's so, 'is chargeable before the bar of the Heavenly King with misprision of treason.". We have said enough to fix the attention of the public on the sentiments of the Ecclesiastical
al Society, conveyed in their sixpenny monthly numbers, and proceed to give some extracts from the number published this day, a copy having come thus early under our notice.
“The Abuse of Oaths” is a subject, which, apart from sectarian considerations, has much occupied the attention of all who would fain prevent our holy religion from being sullied by levity, or injuriously treated by being converted into a stepping-stone to power. The multiplicity of oaths, and the frequency with which many of them are taken, together with the deficiency of solemnity in administering them, have notoriously tended to universally relax their efficacy, and among the commonalty have reduced them into objects of ridicule and contempt. The essay before us shews forcibly the evils of this state of things; and contains striking facts and remarks, which we recommend to the speedy attention of the government authori. ties. Though the design of the Society may be principally to promote their own relief, in procuring the abrogation of all religious feudality, there is a mass of information, statistical and curious, which should seem to demand in all quarters grave consideration, justifying the fitness of the motto prefixed, “Think on these things."'re
We must, necessarily, be discursive in selecting extracts, but the order of analysis would require us to confine ourselves to the "origin of oaths;"- the measure of their "abuse;" the 15 policyösof relieving the Christian community from the "obligation" of taking oaths; and, the ultimate abandonment of the "system" at large. The tone in which the argument is pursued will be inferred from these words :
Corun's * It has been well remarked, that religious liberty is much more tardy in its progress than political liberty. The former, being too generally viewed through preconceived opinions or educational prejudices, will ac count for the test and corporation laws remaining so long in force, which, blished church of England, in its union with the state, to diminish the civil rights of all religionists who, by conscientious scruples, were kept without her pale.'
Much as the dissenters gained by the repeal of the Test Act, and grateful as they profess themselves to be, they still complain, and not without reason.
None, out of the hallowed pale, are qualified to imbibe the pure lore of Oxford and Cambridge; the ex animo assent and consent to the cano nical books, and the thirty-nine articles of uninspired compilation, is the only door bf admission. The invigorated waters of learning, emanating from the abundant'springs of the Isis and the Cam, can only be tasted by those whose indifference, or whose violated conscience, permits them to pass that ordeal. * "How long shall these streams be tainted heir sources with rank sectarianism ?-for surely it is made "ranker by church