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the Book of Common Prayer, in order that it might not only be generally excellent, but be a glorious Liturgy, “ without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Art. 23. Christianity a System of Peace. In two Letters. Second
Edition. 8vo. Pp. 47: Darton and Co. 1813. The proposition maintained in these Letters is so unquestionable as almost to be deemed a truism. Peace is the burden of the Christian code and the essence of Christian morality. As the example of the Saviour and the whole of his doctrine therefore point to this object, it was easy for the letter-writer to establish his position, which he has effected with a truly Christian spirit. The only question here is, how far the individual precepts of the Gospel can be applied to States in their political relations? No advice is given by our Lord or his apostles respecting forms of government ; nor is any precept addressed to political establishments. Peace is enjoined, and war is condemned ; and, when kings and nations wage war against each other, they are not in that state in which the Gospel strives to place them. In other words, and strictly speaking, a warrior, as a warrior, is not a Christian, howmuchsoever he may be one in other respects.
Art. 24. Remarks on Mad. de Stael's Work on Germany; in Four
Letters, addressed to Sir James Mackintosh, Knt. M.P. 8vo. pp. 162. 6s. Boards. Longman and Co. 1814.
Our comments on Mad. de Stael's Allemagne were inserted in Vol. lxxii. p. 426.; lxxiii. p. 63. and 352. ; and lxxiv, p. 268, They terminated in advising our readers to bind up the first and sé. cond volumes for preservation, and to burn the third. In this opinion, we are much countenanced by the author of the present Remarks : who observes in the third volume a chapter intitled De l'Amour dans le Mariage, which, in his opinion, is intended to extenuate adultery, and is therefore unfit for the moralizing female reader. He also finds in Delphine, and in other works of Mad. de Stael, passages of a similar complexion; and, having pointed out or pointed at these passages, he inveighs against some of our brother-reviewers for giving the praise of taste, eloquence, and genius to the author of such exceptionable sentences.
This charge involves an important question of conscientious mora. lity. Critical appretiation, according to the Remarker, is to be in. flicted in subserviency to the moral tendency of a book. work contains two or three pages or chapters of equivocal utility, it is not sufficient, he thinks, to denounce such pages or such chapters; and, by counter-arguments, or warning declamations, to combat their supposed pernicious effect : the real merits of the author, he says, are in such case to be concealed: his learning is to be treated as ignorance, his eloquence as sophistry, and his genius as dullness. The erroneous inference of an author is thus to be opposed by the fraudulent description of his faculties and acquirements.
We think, on the contrary, that exact justice should be done, if possible, to each of an author's characteristic qualities. If he teaches
a libertine philosophy, like Voltaire, let it be known : but let it also be known that he displays a lively satiric wit. If he teaches a republican system, like Rousseau, let this be known: but let it also be known that he employs a warm picturesque eloquence, full of heroic sentiment. Literature contains within itself remedies for all the evils which it can occasion. We must add, too, that deception, for purposes ever so pious and moral, has still in it something which degrades and vitiates. Fraud may serve a cause, (for a time, at least,) but will render that cause infamous; and those, who have recourse to calumnious misrepresentation, finally must be contented to forfeit the praise of judgment or of charity, and to incur the reproach of a mean and malicious mendacity. Art. 25. A Critical Analysis of several striking and incongruous
Passages in Mad. de Stael's Work on Germany, with Historical Accounts of that Country. By
By a German. 8vo.
pp. 152. 78. 6d. Boards. Leigh. 1814.
This Critical Analysis has great merit, and forms a convenient appendix to bind up with the English translation of Mad. de Stael's Germany. Many imperfections of that translation are disclosed and corrected in it; and many apparent inconsistencies of the text are brought into contiguity, and instructively contrasted. The author, however, does not make sufficient allowance for that versatility in our points of view which an altered temper of the mind occasions. We sometimes contemplate the same object when in a humour to admire, and when in a humour to ridicule ; and there is no incompatibility between the heroic phraseology of the first delineation, and the contemptuous phraseology of the second : both paint with equal truth of nature the same sight. The artist who undertakes both an embellished and a caricatured likeness of one individual is not to be accused of in. consistency with himself: nor ought Mad. de Stael to be censured for sometimes returning to old topics, and exhibiting the wrong side of the same tapestry. Yet the present author, -- to whose patriotic jealousies a something of irritability is to be forgiven,- too frequently complains of contradiction, where we find only contrast. By carrying the light to the other side, we do not make the white black, though we make the clear obscure.
The writer's partiality to his countrymen being somewhat strong, it as often oversteps the equity of indifference as Mad. de Stael's satiric propensity. For instance, at p. 98. we are gravely told that while the literature of other European nations is polluted by immoral and licentious publications, the German muse has remained uncontaminated.' We recollect, however, that the English translator of Oberon, which is the best of all the German poems, felt himself obliged to suppress an entire canto on account of its indecency; and we can aver that many other tales of Wieland contain passages, not freer perhaps than some that are to be found in Ariosto, but certainly such as must deprive the German muse of any claim to the appellation uncontaminated.' Still, a respectable goodness of temper and a love of truth pervade this dissertation.
Art. 26. Appendix to Notes on a Journey through France, from
Dieppe through Paris and Lyons, to the Pyrennees, and back through Toulouse, in July, August, and September, 1814, describing the Habits of the People, and the Agriculture of the Country. By Morris Birkbeck. 8vo. Pp. 23. Arch and Co. 1815
An account of the “ Notes,” to which the present pamphlet forms an Appendix, was given in our number for January last, P: 59.; and we are not surprized that a work displaying so much nice and unprejudiced observation should soon pass to a second edition. We are pleased, also, to find that this evidence of public approbation has induced Mr. Birkbeck to subjoin additional remarks to the first sketch of his journey ; though events“ passing strange" have recently occurred, which must prevent the English traveller from at present availing himself of any hints here given, or of making a fresh survey of the habits and agriculture of the French people. -On no particular is a greater discrepancy of evidence prevalent than on the expence of travelling ; a discordance which principally arises from the different modes of travelling. Mr. B., however, is very confident that plain people may visit France without spending their fortunes ;' in proof of which he tells us that the party making the tour described in the “ Notes," consisting of a friend, himself, and his son, performed it for 70l. sterling each person, including all expences ; which, supposing that the journey out and home occupied more than 80 days, is not eos. per diem travelling charges.
Having adverted to Mr. B.'s hint on the slave-trade, we cannot now pass over in silence his judicious reflections on this interesting subject. He laments that the friends of the Africans have directed their whole strength against the slave-trade rather than against slavery itself; and he recommends an improvement in the condition of negroes preparatory to a gradual emancipation, by which their population in our islands would be such that the necessity of annual importations might be prevented, and the slave-trade abolished by drying up its source. The practicability of this system is evinced by the effects which, in two instances, have resulted from the humane treatment of negroes on West Indian estates.
In the course of his tour, Mr. B. took notice of the number of women that appeared on the French farms, engaged in the operations of husbandry and from this circumstance it has not only been inferred, but even roundly asserted, that a great deficiency of male population was experienced. He is far from giving his sanction to any inference or assertion of this kind ; and, as we are probably commencing a new war, it is worth our while to attend to every circumstance which throws light on a point of such a nature. This part of the Appendix, therefore, we shall extract, requesting the reader to attend to the fact which we have put in italics; and which, throughout the late war, has scarcely ever been regarded in our estimates of the drains on population by war.
• This was a subject we never lost sight of; and from observation and enquiry in every part of our journey, we were fully convinced that the alleged disproportion between the sexes does not exist. The abstraction of men was not felt as a public grievance until the last two years of Buonaparte's tyranny, when the draughts amounted to a number, as I was informed, considerably exceeding a million. Very many of these, however, as well as of former conscriptions, had returned when we visited France. Indeed, the proportion which the French armies bore to the mass of the people was little more than half of the number absorbed by our army and navy, in proportion to our entire population; and to these we have to add the prodigious number with us employed in commerce, who are equally abstracted from the home supply: yet we are not sensible of a paucity of males.'
Whether Mr. B.'s attempt to remove, at least in part, the horrible ideas which we have formed of the Conscription, will succeed, is matter of great doubt ; yet we ought not to overlook the statement given in the following passage :
• I know nothing of military affairs; but from what I have seen of French officers and soldiers, I am struck with the difference in character between an army drawn from all ranks by conscription, and whose officers rise by merit ; and one formed from the dregs of the lowest orders, or from the scum of the highest. And their demeanour when disbanded differs as widely as their composition. The former return to their homes, resuming their stations among
their peaceful fellow-citizens'; whilst the latter are too often wretched vagabonds, the terror and pests of society; and the officers, probably, a burthen to themselves, and a tax upon the community.'
We must not omit the subsequent notice, because it speaks volumes on the subject of poor Louis's popularity with the French nation ; or rather the popularity with which his few friends invested him in spite of the multitude :
• To shew the value of French addresses as marking the real state of public opinion; and also to shew the true character of their periodical press, the following fact may suffice. The good citizens of Nismes were first apprized of their own congratulatory address to the restored mmarch by reading it in the Paris journals.'
All but the most stupid and infatuated must be aware that a monarch, after twenty years of absence from his kingdom, must be deprived by death of most of those who were devoted to him ; and that a new generation will have arisen, altogether ignorant of him, and attached to the person who occupies his place. A restoration, therefore, after such a period of exile, can scarcely be popular, unless a resurrection from the dead takes place at the same time. If, how. ever, addresses from the distant provinces are manufactured, it is easy to make a people appear loving, in spite of themselves.
Other particulars are mentioned in this short Appendix, which we must pass over: but, as Mr. Birkbeck's work professes to treat of French Agriculture, it may be proper to apprize the reader of his supplementary remarks on this subject. He admits that, at present, the outline of French husbandry remains the same: but he would not have us conclude that no improvement has taken place under that system.
« On the contrary,' he says, " independent of the concurring testimony of every well informed person in every part of the kingdom,
we might with great safety infer that an advancement in agriculture must of necessity follow the abolition of the innumerable Saints' days, of all the feudal oppressions, of the ruinous corvées, and of tithes ; which latter were probably among the least of the burdens which the Revolution removed from the shoulders of the French husbandmen. Twelve years of revolutionary commotion, succeeded by twelve more , of military despotism, may have prevented those great systematic improvements which are the natural consequence of general prosperity; but agriculture is unquestionably advanced under the improved condition of every individual cultivator.'
We should like to send so intelligent a traveller as Mr. B. on a second survey, that he might enjoy an opportunity of amending or of confirming his first report ; and we are concerned to think that the renewal of war is likely to prevent the execution of such a project.
SINGLE SERMON. Art. 27. The Glory of the latter Days : delivered on Wednesday
Evening, Jan. 12. 1814, in the Independent Chapel, Mosley-street, Manchester, at one of the Associated Monthly Lectures; with an Appendix, containing Illustrative Notes, extracted from various Authors. By W. Roby. Svo. pp. 100. Conder.
Pulpit orators are often disposed to be poetical, and to prefer flights of imagination to the colder processes of induction and demonstration. Mr. Roby is of this class ; and, though he disclaims all wanderings into the regions of conjecture,' he rides his Pegasus full gallop into these very regions. What authority has he for his interpretations of Babylon and the Scarlet Whore ; and for asserting that all national governments will be converted into what he calls Christocracies, and that the Millennial reign is now rapidly approaching? As St. John has not told him what he meant by Babylon, &c. the preacher's con. jectures are of no more value than the poet's dream. What good ground, moreover, has Mr. R. for roundly asserting that the latter days will be marked by an exemption from the common calamities of human life, that the grant of longevity will be renewed, and that a vast increase of society will take place, accompanied by an extraordinary fertility of the earth? The preacher's visionary explanations are (as we have said) more suited to a poem than to a sermon. He is a little cautious, however, in stating the exact time at which his glorious latter days will commence: but, to give us some hope, he intimates that the period is not very far distant.” He adds : Several warmhearted and judicious divines are expecting the glory of the latter days to appear in the course of fifty or sixty years, and some at a much earlier period. Should this hope be well founded, many of our young friends may live to see the commencement of this glory; and we who are more advanced in life may expect to behold a growing brightness irradiating the moral hemisphere, and affording us a sure indication that the Sun of Righteousness is about to rise in full splendour. Supposing, as others apprehend, that this day be deferred to two hundred years from the present time, even at this distant point