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their pages full of common-place quotations from Virgil and Horace, and Claudian and Silius Italicus; and not content with these, drench us with doses of modern Latin, from Vida, Sannazarius, Fracastorius, Rutilius, &c., we are glad to turn to pages of useful information and common sense. This is a review of a book on the agriculture and statistics of Italy, which ought to be translated. It contains much information that Arthur Young has omitted, on the methods of irrigation, on the factitious terraces, on the implements of agriculture; and in particular concerning the malaria, or pestilential region of Italy, like the campagna of Rome, and the immediate suburbs of that city, which this dreadful scourge is destined, ere long, to depopulate. The cause seems hitherto to have escaped the researches instituted concerning it. Although the unhealthiness of the Pontine marshes may be accounted for, from the well known effects of a burning sun on a swamp luxurious in vegetation, we cannot yet account for the death-dealing climate of the Palatine and Quirinal hills; or of the gardens within Rome itself; where, notwithstanding the dry soil, the perfect cultivation, and the beautiful clearness of the atmosphere, no one can with impunity spend a night out of doors, though they may be safe in the chamber that looks into the garden. Is the danger owing to volcanic exhalation?
• Art. 3.Speech of the Right Honourable George Canning in the House of Commons, on Wednesday, January 29th, 1817, on the Motion for an address to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, on his most gracious Speech from the throne.'- This is a history of the alarms created, presumed, or magnified by the British government, to furnish reasons for their late encroachments on the liberty of the subject in England; a country where despotism seems making rapid and successful strides; where the character of the people is gradually changing; where resistance to encroachment is hopeless; and where the friend of reasonable and moderate reform, equally dreads the violent innovations projected by an ignorant mob on the one hand, and the bold usurpations of government on the other: a government whose power is too strong to be resisted by force, and whose determinations set remonstrance at defiance. It seems settled, that by means of rigorous laws, and an overpowering military force, all opposition shall be suppressed, both in parliament and out.
The present paper is a very able essay on the side of opposition politics in Great Britain: as to the statements made in it, and the colouring given to them, we take no part; but it is written with so much ability as to descrve attentive perusal. We all know that opposition is accustomed to charge ministers with creating false alarms; here, as well as elsewhere. Who does not remember the controversy among us during the short period of Mr. Adams's administration on the Tub plots, the Taylor plots, the Ocean plots, &c. &c. In all these cases, credit will be given or withheld, according to the political sect of the reader who is appealed to.
gave a short
account of the state of parties in England in our magazine for August last, to which we refer our readers.
• Art. 4.-Aus Meinem Leben. Von GOETHE. Zweiter Abtherlung, Erster Theil. Stuttgarde Tubingen. 1816.'—This is the memoirs of the life of Goethe, written by himself, with all the egotism and self-complacency that we might expect from an author of some reputation, who thinks rather more of himself than the world thinks of him.
· Art. 5.- Interesting Facts relating to the Fall and Death of Joachim Murat, King of Naples. Second Edition. By Francis MACIRONE, late Aid-de-Camp to King Joachim.'—This is not a review of the book in question, so much as a dissertation on the overbearing and faithless conduct of the British government toWards foreign nations, particularly the Italian States, since the ultimate defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. It is a very able oppositionpaper, which well deserves the attention of those who take interest in the politics of Great Britain. M. Macirone, and king Joachim seem both of them to have good right to complain of the measures adopted against them. At the end of this review there is an extract relating to the death of Berthier, which, if it were true, would be curious; but it requires to be better anthenticated before it can receive full credit.
Art. 6.-1. Common Consent, the Basis of the Constitution of England; or, Parliamentary Reform considered and tried by the Tests of Law and Reason. 8vo. London, 1817.'
“2. The Englishman's Manual; or, a Dialogue between a Tory and a Reformer. By Walter Fawkes, Esq. 8vo. London, 1817.
3. A Letter on the Expediency of a Reform in Parliament. By Robert Harding Evans. 8vo. London, 1817.'—This paper is an elaborate dissertation on the subject of annual parliaments; and is meant as the flag of the new whigs or moderate reformers.
The advocates for a reform in parliament, have almost uniformly attempted to show, that annual elections and annual parliamentary sessions, were the birth-right of the English people, and formed an essential part of the ancient system of English representation. The author of the present dissertation, shows (as we think clearly) that the expressions cited in proof of this supposition, prove nothing at all, as to annual elections of the representatives, but have a bearing only on annual sessions of those representatives in parliament after they were chosen. That the triennial act of William the third was the first statute that limited the duration of parliament to a fixed and certain term of years.
The author then proceeds to investigate (not the expediency but) the right of the people to universal suffrage, as founded on ancient usage; and in our opinion he has successfully combatted and com. pletely overthrown those unsupported pretensions of modern reformers. There is no satisfactory proof in the parliamentary history of England, either of annual elections, or of elections by universal
suffrage; and we greatly doubt the political expediency of adopting either the one measure or the other, even if the reformers should get the upper hand in the course of national events in that island.
Art. 7.-1. Wat Tyler, a Dramatic Poem. London, 1817.'
• 2. A Letter to William Smith, Esq. M. P. from Robert Southey, Esq. 8vo. pp. 45. London, 1817. --The Edinburgh Reviewers have usually been considered as masters in the art of sarcastic vituperation; and it must be confessed, that the numbers of this review contain many articles of severe irony, and biting sarcasm, equally distinguished for their virulence and their wit. The following, which, long as it is, our readers will not reprove us for extracting without mutilation, is an article of this description. The feelings of the reviewer have been acuated, not merely by the room afforded for such remarks by Mr. Southey, but by long and known hostility to that gentleman, as a critic and as a politician. Mr. Southey is well known to have been a Jacobin and reformist of the most decided stamp; one of the tetes enragees. Government bought him off; made him poet laureat; gave him a place and a salary; and fixed him as the associate of Gifford in conducting the Quarterly Review: a review, conducted with much classical taste and general ability; but whose indiscriminate defence of every measure of the government, and of every part and particle of the existing system in church and state-whose virulent abuse of the best intentioned proposals of amendment, or complaints of existing evils too palpable to be denied—have disgusted all persons of good sense and moderation wherever that review has reached. We consider it as a review destitute of all pretensions to modesty and moderation—utterly unworthy of all credit in its statements relating either to church doctrine, church discipline, or governmental politics or proceedings. It is the work of men hired and paid for a purpose. In all other respects, it is conducted with admirable talent, and in the classical department, with manifest superiority over its witty rival the Edinburgh Review. They are both party publications: the Quarterly, belongs to the ultra-royalits, the legitimates, the treasury-bench optimists: the Edinburgh, to the Foxite whigs, the novi homines of British politics, the moderate anti-republican reformists.
Mr. Smith, in the British house of commons, alluding to the violent measures recommended and adopted by the ministry and their writers against the modern reformers, took occasion to allude to the violence of Mr. Southey in particular, (who seemed to pursue the present partisans of his former opinions “ with all the real of a renegado.”) This expression gave rise to the pamphlet of Mr. Southey now under review. That review we proceed to offer without alteration for the amusement of our readers:
When we first saw this extraordinary drama, with its significant mottoes and advertisements, we set it down in our provincial innocence, as a wicked and extravagant parody of the worthy Laureate's earlier manner-maliciously contrasted, as to the subject, with the
loyal sublimity of his late official Lyrics:-For though we knew well enough that the said worthy and consistent person had been a bit of a Jacobin in his youth-had coquetted in verse with Mary Woolstoncraft and the ghost of Madam Roland,—and extolled our Regicides at home, and deplored the execution of Brissot as the damning sin of the French Revolution;—nay, though we knew that the first of his six Epics had been written for the purpose of reviling the war we were then carrying on against the holy Republic, and the detestable policy of the Dark Vizier,' as he ingeniously termed Mr. Pitt,--we really never imagined that he could, at any time of his life, have been capable of producing any thing at once so insane and so silly as the piece now before us.
Even when we learned, from the perusal of certain judicial proceedings, that the work had been actually acknowledged by the excellent Laureate, we hesitated about making it the subject of a review. It was not clear to us that the manuscript had been very handsomely come by;—and the poor man, we fancied-poor provincial innocents again!--must be so confounded and ashamed of himself, that we had not the heart to aggravate his awkward pain by any public notice of the transaction. The perusal of some late numbers of the Quarterly Review, however, somewhat shook this resolution of forbearance;—and that of the second publication, of which we have prefixed the title, served altogether to change it. In that exquisite performance we find, not only that Mr. Southey is not at all ashamed of having written Wat Tyler,-but that he is exceedingly proud of it,--and that he actually regards it as one of his most generous and ingenious productions. If there be any defect, indeed, in his moral constitution—which to be sure it is very presumptuous to suppose we imagine it consists in something quite opposite to an excessive tendency to be ashamed of any thing which he does, or which befals him;-and accordingly, we must take the liberty to say, at once, that a more bloated mass of selfconceit, absurdity and insolence, never fell under our view, than the Letter which he has here given to the public; and that there is something so irresistibly ludicrous in the magnificent tone which he assumes, when contrasted with the occasion of his present appearance, that, compassionable as the case otherwise is, it is not easy to conceive any thing much more diverting than the two pieces which we now venture to recommend to the attention of our readers. The Dramatic Poem is the text and must have the precedence; but the author's commentary is, in our poor judgment, the most poetical and dramatic of the two, and will require rather more notice.
Of the history of the poem, we do not know that we can speak with perfect accuracy. It was written, it seems, in the year 1794, when Mr. Southey was about twenty-one 'years of age; and was, at the time, intended by him for publication. But the person into whose hands it was put, did not then choose to venture on that measure; and it seems to have been thrown aside and neglected,
till it came, we really do not at all know by what means, into the possession of some one who seems to have admired Mr. Southey's generous opinions rather more than his prudent ones,--and who, accordingly, lately gave it to the world, principally, as we imagine, with the view of making idle people merry by the strange contrast which they exhibited, and partly, perhaps, with the hope of diminishing the authority of the Laureate's loyal argumentations, by this exhibition of his former extravagance on the other side. On its first appearance, its authenticity was a good deal suspected, and stoutly denied by the author's political employers; and at this period, we understand, the great object was to get it suppressed without the necessity of any acknowledgment. But, upon reference to counsel learned in the law, it was unfortunately discovered, that no injunction against the sale could be applied for, unless by a person distinctly stating himself as the author or proprietor. This, it must be confessed, was rather a distressing dilemma; and accordingly produced a pause of some weeks, if we are not misinformed, in the author's operations. During all this time, however, the belief in its authenticity became more prevalent; and at last the Laureate, seeing he could not longer maintain his incognito, and being, no doubt, excessively scandalized at the great mischief which was thus wrought in his name, came boldly forward, acknowledged the work, and craved an injunction against its further publication. Here, however, he was met by another very provoking obstacle. The work, it was impudently contended by the publishers, was manifestly of a seditious and wicked tendency; and as no author could have any legal or beneficial interest in such a performance, so the Laureate had no right to intermeddle with the sale of it. Upon this ground, accordingly, the Lord Chancellor refused the injunction;—and as the Attorney-General has not yet been prevailed upon to prosecute it as a seditious libel, the sale has gone on ever since without obstruction; and the only result of Mr. Southey's interference has been, to place it beyond all dispute among his acknowledged works.
The work itself may be very soon despatched. It is a rude and feeble attempt to dramatize the story of the well-known popular insurrection under Wat Tyler, in the reign of Richard II. The writing throughout is inconceivably poor and childish; and the whole scenes and characters represented without the least force, spirit, or ingenuity. A more pitiful piece of puling, indeed, was never indited by a young girl at a boarding-school;—nor is there any thing whatever to entitle it to a moment's attention, but the incredible extravagance of the doctrines, which it inculcates with all the tranquillity of the most consummate arrogance and delightful self-complacency. The object of the author is to show, not only that kings and courts are oppressive and domineering,but that all distinctions of rank are ridiculous and all exclusive use of property a mere robbery and abomination. Kings, nobles, and landlords, therefore, ought instantly to be put down; and all the men, women