Imágenes de página

munificent; but, to departed merit, it is due in strictness of justice. Who will deny that Sir John Moore was all that we have now said of him?-or who will doubt that his untimely death, in the hour of victory, would have been eagerly seized upon by an impartial poet, as a noble theme for generous lamentation and eloquent praise?-But Mr. Scott's political friends have fancied it for their interest to calumniate the memory of this illustrious and accomplished person;*-and Mr. Scott has permitted the spirit of party to stand in the way, not only of poetical justice, but of patriotic and generous feeling.

It is this for which we grieve, and feel ashamed;-this hardening and deadening effect of political animosities, in cases where politics should have nothing to do;-this apparent perversion, not merely of the judgment, but of the heart;-this implacable resentment, which wars not only with the living but with the dead;—and thinks it a reason for defrauding a departed warrior of his glory, that a political antagonist has been zealous in his praise. Those things are lamentable; and they cannot be alluded to without some emotions of sorrow and resentment. But they affect not the fame of him, on whose account these emotions are suggested. The wars of Spain, and the merits of Sir John Moore, will be commemorated in a more impartial, and a more impe

When we recollect the terms of high respect and veneration with which Sir John Moore was mentioned by the Commander-in-chief, in his general orders, and even by his Majesty's ministers in Parliament, and compare it with the poor scurrilities that have since been vented by persons calling themselves their friends, we cannot fail to be struck with the perpetual union of rancour with vulgarity, and with the infinite superiority that the true heads and leaders of parties always possess, in point of liberality, over their baser retainers. The same thing may be observed in the tone of the different classes of writers by whom parties are supported. Mr. Scott, for instance, only passes Sir John Moore over in silence, and condemns him to rest without his fame.' But an ingenious person, who compiles what he calls the History of Europe, for the Edinburgh Annual Register, does not hesitate to say, that the plans of government were frustrated by the pusillanimity' of that gallant general !— But this is as it should be ;-for he afterwards goes on to prove every one of his movements to have been wrong, by this very decisive circumstance, that they are all severely censured in the bulletins of the French army! that is to say, in those bulletins that have always censured most severely the movements which have given them the most trouble; and have not ceased to censure Lord Wellington, from his victory at Talavera down to his victory at Albuera. The annalist, however, proceeds to show, that if Sir John Moore and his colleague, had not despaired of the Spanish cause, they would have found reinforcements at Corunna, by the help of which the French must inevitably have been destroyed :-not a man of Soult's army would have escaped!' This is delightful,—and it is only a specimen of the author's fairness, modesty, and knowledge upon all other subjects. The misfortune is, that his annual volume is rather too long to be conveniently read through within the year. In this, to which we have referred, he fills eight hundred close printed pages of double columns with the transactions of one year,-nearly as much, we take it, as one third of Hume's whole history.

rishable record, than the vision of Don Roderick; and his humble monument in the citadel of Corunna, will draw the tears and the admiration of thousands, who concern not themselves about the exploits of his more fortunate associates.

From reflections like these we cannot return to point out the verbal inaccuracies of Mr. Scott, or his faults of versification. The former are at least as numerous in this, as in any of his former productions ;-the latter, though less frequent, are of a more offensive character. Upon the whole, we can hardly recommend it to him to leave his own old style for that of which he has here presented us with a specimen ;-and earnestly entreat him not to throw away his fine talents upon subjects of temporary interest; subjects on which a bombastical pamphlet will always produce more present effect than the most exquisite poetry,—and to which poetical merit will ever be able to draw the attention of pos


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][merged small]


[The Cultivation of Fiorin Grass, has lately excited so much interest in Great Britain and Ireland, that we are disposed to publish an engraved plate of it, accompanied with a brief sketch, taken from the Agricultural Magazine.-The engraving, thus presented to the view of our readers, may possibly enable them to discover this curious grass in our own land, and induce them to turn their attention to its cultivation.-If it should not be found among us, it can easily be imported. This engraving is not, however, to be considered as one of the three which are promised in each volume of the Select Reviews, but is furnished with a desire of illustrating the sketch which accompanies it, and rendering the latter more acceptable to our readers.] Ed. Select Reviews.



(With a Plate.)

THE tribe of GRASSES, ranks high in the vegetable system. It is the best known, and most general of any family of plants. being easily recognized in the first place, and in the second, growing spontaneously in more or less profusion, in every country in the world, from the scorched regions within the tropics, to the frozen territories adjoining to the Poles. This class, too, is not only the most pleasant to the eye, but also of the most extended use, since it includes corn, and consequently furnishes man with perhaps the best and assuredly the most innocent portion of his nourishment, while nearly all the animals under his dominion, and a large portion of the birds, are supported by it. Notwithstanding this, no branch of natural history has been more neglected, for although there are upwards of three hundred different species of grasses, which have been divided into at least forty genera, yet it is only within the last fifty years that any attention has been paid either to their names or arrangements. It was the


« AnteriorContinuar »