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measures ? Because it was felt that England might reasonably complain of them.
“ Russian agents have been exerting all their_talents and influence against the safety of the British possessions in the East—whether in conformity with their instructions, or in spite of their instructions, or in the absence of any definite instructions, is known only to the agents them. selves and the Government which they served. But in the absence of proof to the contrary, an accredited agent must be presumed to perform the will of his principal, and in the case of the Russian officers, as Sir Alexander Burnes observed, the mischief was done, even though their acts should subsequently be disavowed. They have indeed been disavowed, and thereby the policy of the British Government, in regard to them, vindicated in a manner the most unexceptionable and triumphant. What would have been our position in the eyes of mankind, if the acts of the Russian agents bad been suffered to pass without notice ?-if we had tamely suffered these persons to meet and overcome us at the very gates of own territories ?"
The Russian explanations have been declared by our government to be satisfactory. We ask what reliance can be placed in them? T'rue, we can perceive that in the disclaimer of Russia, England, whether trusting to it as sincere or not, has, in the meanwhile, strengthened her case, and put the other party in a position the most false, if any attempt to renew its intrigues on our eastern borders should be discovered, of which there is every probability; especially if such active and acute agents be employed as Sir Alexander Burnes on our side. But it is also earnestly to be hoped that our secretary for foreign affairs should be more than hitherto on the watch and on the alert; and, that our ambassador at the autocrat's court should put no more faith in the assurances given him there than what any sensible reader of the present pamphlets would lend at home; and that is not a particle, the moment that circumvention can hope to succeed in a system of ambition after universal empire, and the subjugation of every civilized power to his despotic will.
Art. XVI.--Hymns and Fire-side Verses. By Mary Howitt. London:
Darton and Clark. 1839. A SUITABLE companion to that exquisitely beautiful and touching collection, “ Birds and Flowers," by the same originalist. How naturally simple, yet how fancifully playful are her strains; while a child may understand them, the middle-aged must find that each piece is charged with sedate, solacing, and solemn thoughts. Her imagery is uniformly
drawn from a pure and sacred fountain, witness in the present specimens the “ Corn Fields," which we gladly insert :
." In the young merry time of spring,
When clover 'gins to burst;
And sweet May whitens first;
And summer groweth bold,
A thousand flowers unfold,
And summer weareth on,
The red-rose groweth wan,
From pastures dry and brown,
The fair, white thistle-down;
Anid a field new-shorn,
The piled-up shocks of corn,
The quivering of the leaves;
Binding the yellow sheaves;
And reapers many a one,
And Boaz looking on;
His mother's sole delight:
God's living gift of love unto
The kind, good Shunamite ;
The fields of Galilee,
Were full of corn, I see,
How beautiful they seem !
To me are like a dream;
Art. XVII. - The Philosophy of Artificial and Compulsory Drinking
Usages in Great Britain and Ireland, &c. &c. By John Dunlop
London : Houlston and Stoneman. 1839. The earlier editions of this curious yet appalling work were confined to the drinking usages of Scotland; but the earnest and philanthropic author has now extended his researches to England and Ireland, and, by details statistical and derived from indubitable testimonies, has greatly added to his service in behalf of morality and social happiness, by bringing home to the experience and feelings of every one in the united kingdom, who may be so wise as to peruse his pages, facts far more impressive than a thousand rhetorical lectures delivered from the pulpit or the desk would be. There may be a doubt entertained with regard to the particular inferences and rules which Mr. Dunlop sets down for the guidance of society; and, perhaps, in as far as the working man and poorer classes are concerned, some great preliminary efforts are required to qualify them, and stimulate their tastes for rational and ennobling pleasures. Still he adduces a most startling array of facts; facts which demonstrate the absurdity, grossness, and unlimited evils of a widely pervading and deeply rooted practice; and therefore many must apply the lessons to be deduced practicably and profitably to themselves.
Art. XVIII.- Preparations to a Holy Life. By the Author of "The
New Week's Preparation to the Sacrament. London: Hodson.
1839. These Preparations consist of “ Devotions for Families and Private Persons, with directions suited to most particular cases ;" rules and prayers, short, plain, striking, and fervent being the character of the whole. The handsome little volume will not occupy half of a waistcoat pocket; and a minute's glance at any one of its pages, on any day in the week, at any hour, and in any situation, cannot fail to leave salutary impressions. All the contents are eminently calculated to produce practical not theoretical religion. We must add that the language of the rules and prayers is as chaste and correct as the judgment and piety which dictated them is conspicuous.
Art. XIX.-A Text-Book of Popery. By J. M. Cramp. London:
Wightman. 1839. This Text-Book professes to comprise a just, correct, and brief history of the Council of Trent, and a complete view of Roman Catholic Theology. The first edition appeared about eight years ago : in the present the Notes are more numerous, and a chapter on Monasticism is added. The Appendix is much enlarged, by the insertion of remarks on the rise and progress of the Papal system, &c.
Mr. Cramp is a zealous Protestant, who entertains a perfect hatred of the religion he professes to describe candidly; and he is particularly horrified at the signs of its marching forward, as he asserts it is now doing, both at home and abroad, with giant strides.
The readers of the Monthly Review cannot expect of us that we shall do more than notice the appearance of such a publication, and mention its general purpose and character; or suppose that we should throw ourselves upon an arena where the most inveterate and opposite opi. nions as well as representations exist, these being of a nature that concern chiefly the relations between God and the conscience of every human creature individually.
ART. XX.-Manual of Political Ethics. By FRANCIS LIEBER. London:
Smith. 1839. This is a reprint of a work that has excited a great deal of attention and admiration in the United States of America, among the most enlightened and philosophic minds in that country; and no doubt it is destined to a high station wherever civilization and liberty are appreciated. The author is a man of most varied acquirements and extensive experience of the world. His intellect is acute and his sentiments exalted, as we have had an opportunity of noticing on former occasions. But neither his edition of the Encyclopædia Americana, nor his Stranger in America, had such a high and novel aim as the Manual now before us ; nor required such a refined and steady perception of great principles, nor such a subtle process of distinguishing an immense number of kindred, often apparently identical things, to the ordinary observer, as is everywhere remarkable in this volume.
We find, however, that it is impossible within any space we can afford to convey even an outline of the multifarious yet closely connected views which run through the work; much less to do justice to our own doubts relative to some particular points which appear to us partially unsound, or paradoxical. We feel at the same time that it would be highly presumptuous were we hastily, or after a single perusal of this volume, to set up anything like an opposition to one who has devoted many years to the study of the great subjects which he handles. In these circumstances we shall therefore only mention what are some of Mr. Lieber's fundamental doctrines, and afford a taste of the manner in which he urges them.
The work is divided into two books ; for although another volume is to follow, the author says, the present is complete in itself. In the first of the books, the principles of Ethics, General and Political, are discussed; the doctrine aimed at being in opposition to that which denies the existence in man of original and innate ideas of right and wrong, the history of our sympathies being adduced and abstrusely argued upon in support. There is, he says, on the part of the very lowest in the human scale, “ a feeling that he ought, or he ought not, to be entirely independent of the expediency or judiciousness” of the action. Again, “ man has an inalienable moral character, and cannot by his own consent or the force of others become a non-moral being ;" although all men do not look upon the same things as right, nor the same as wrong.
In the second book which treats of the State, the general reader will be less puzzled to follow the author than in the first, and will also have his sympathies and imagination far more forcibly affected. Indeed, in this branch of the work, though it rests on much that has preceded it, the heart is elevated by the noble views explained, while the intellect is enlightened, and the moral distinctions in the nature of things are delightfully perceived.
Mr. Lieber's great doctrine here is, while denying the theory of the Social Compact, as if entered into after experience shows the benefits arising from the intercourses of mankind, that man by his physical and mental nature is necessarily a social being; and that as society constitutes the state, “ the state is natural, necessary, and uninvented.” But the same thing cannot be declared of the government of the state, whatever may be the form or construction of that government. The state is therefore above the government; it is sovereign. The curious and political reader must resort to the work itself to see how this great principle is made to bear on property, justice, and law. Three passages will serve to convey a sense of the author's manner and drift :
“ We have seen how important an element of all that is human the family is; and a man has a right to be protected and not interfered with in his sacred family relations. Who is destined by nature to be the protector, cherisher, and fostering guardian over the body, mind and virtue of children, if not the parents ? A Greek merchant told me, during my sojourn in Greece, that Ali Pacha, of Janina, sent once for his daughter, • because he had seen her on a ride and she had pleased him;' of course that she was to be installed in his seraglio; and, as was the custom, to be married after some years to one of his menials. The father would have had the undoubted right to defend his daughter in any way whatsoever ; the question could only be as to expediency. If the authorities forcibly carry away the children from their parents to educate them in some specific religion, and on no ground of unfitness of the parents for their important task, they have the right to defend their offspring by any means whatsoever, though they may abstain from using it, not to expose the life of the children or their own necessary for the support of their children.”
Of the force and sphere of public opinion, we are told,