« PreviousContinue »
John Fox, there are to be counted those who laboured (not, to be sure, after the fashion of the present times) at the lathe or the loom. By means of some such system of police and instruction as we have hinted-some system which shall regard men in a higher light than as instruments for spinning cotton, might the comparison started in the following picturesque passage be rendered still more and more appropriate.
Our Greta is of a different character, and less known, (than that of Yorkshire.) No poet has brought it into notice, and the greater number of tourists seldom allow themselves time for seeing any thing out of the beaten track. Yet the scenery upon this river, where it passes under the woody side of Latrigg, is of the finest and most rememberable kind.
Ambiguo lapsu refluitque fluitque,
'There is no English stream to which this truly Ovidian description can more accurately be applied. From a jutting isthmus, round which the tortuous river twists, you look over its manifold windings, up the water, to Blencathra; down it, over a high and wooded middleground, to the distant mountains of Newlands, Cawsey Pike, and Grizedal.
About a mile below that isthmus, and in a part of the bottom hardly less beautiful, is a large cotton-mill, with the dwelling-houses, and other buildings appertaining to such an establishment. I was looking down upon them from the opposite hill-side, when my spiritual companion (Sir T. More) had joined me in one of my walks. "We want an appellation," said I, "for an assemblage of habitations like that below, which may as little be called grange or hamlet as it may village or town. My friend, Henry Koster, who, greatly my junior as he was, is gone before me to his rest, and of whom many places, many things, and many thoughts mournfully remind me, used to call it the Engenho, borrowing a word from his Brazilian vocabulary. Destitute of beauty as the larger edifice necessarily is, there is, nevertheless, something in its height and magnitude, and in the number of its windows, which remind one of a convent. The situation contributes to the likeness; for the spot is one which the founder of a monastery might well have chosen for its seclusion and beauty, and its advantages of wood and water." "And which, Montesinos, (answers Sir Thomas More,) would in your eyes be the more melancholy object of contemplation, the manufactory or the convent?" "There are times and places (is the reply) in which each may be regarded with complacency, as contributing to the progress of the community, and to the welfare of the human race; there are times and places, also, in which they may each tend to retard that progress, and counteract that welfare. The spirit of trade has raised this nation to its present point of power, and made it what it is; the riches which have thus been created, being, as it were, the dung and
dross with which the garden of civilisation is manured, and without which the finest flowers and fruits of cultivated society could not be produced. Had it not been for the spirit of trade, and the impulse which the steam-engine had just then given to the manufacturing system, Great Britain could neither have found means nor men for the recent war, in which not only her vital interests, but those of the whole of Europe were at stake. This good is paramount to all other considerations. Men act as they deem best for their own interest, with more or less selfishness, but always, upon the great scale, having that object in view; and national wealth is produced by the enterprise and cupidity of individuals. Governments also pursue their own systems, more or less erroneously; (not without grievous errors, -Heaven knows, even in those which act and which mean the best!). and the Providence which is over all, directs all to its own beneficent purposes. vol. ii. p. 248.
HoIt is better thus to discriminate, than to condemn in the gross. Religion does not throw itself bodily across the march of society, but, if rightly used, is the lantern to its path whichever way it goes. It is the object of these volumes to inculcate this to impress the nation with the importance of recognising in all its institutions, whatever the class, and whatever the age of the persons they affect, a principle which (as the whole history of mankind shows) will make itself felt, whether they hear or whether they forbear; felt, for the exaltation of a people, if it be respected; felt, for their prostration, if it be despised. It is a truth to which the heathens themselves were alive; the vital importance of preserving the palladium within the walls was no morethan an allegory; and that voice, again, in the Jewish historian which was heard to say, 6 Let us go hence,’--μεταβαίνωμεν εντευθεν, is now, as it was then, the signal of the city's overthrow. The seditious are well aware of all this; and, accordingly, the weapon which they have ever found the most efficient for sapping the foundations of a state, has been infidelity. The ruling powers have not always been equally impressed with the importance of making religion their friend. Here our own have erred even at home what wonder if they have erred at a distance from home!
In colonising, (says the Sir T. More of Mr. Southey,) upon however small a scale, the vow should be remembered which David vowed unto the Almighty God of Jacob: "I will not suffer mine eyes to sleep, nor mine eyelids to slumber, neither the temples of my head to take any rest, until I have found out a place for the temple of the Lord," The chief reason why men in later times have been worsened by colonisation (as they very generally have been, from whatever nation they have been sent forth) is, that they have not borne this in mind, In this respect, the Jews have been wiser (in theory, at least, for they have had no opportunity of practice) than any Christian
people have yet shown themselves. It was a tradition among them, that wherever ten men of Israel were settled together, a synagogue ought to be built there.'-vol. ii. p. 272.
In the new settlements of Australia, we trust this will be borne in mind; and if Captain Parry has any power to make such arrangements, we feel that we have a pledge for their being made.
Thus does this excellent work of Mr. Southey's point out the disease of the times, and its remedy; the gangrene which is creeping through the land, and the quickening spirit which alone can stay its progress. He pursues the cause and the cure, through all the great establishments by which our national character, is formed our schools, our colleges, our hospitals, our manufactotries, our parliament. The philosophers of England may laugh alike at the danger and at the defence by which it is to be met. So did those of France, till the frame of society tumbled about their ears, to the surprise of none more than themselves—speremus meliora.......
༧ ཐུ ཙྪཱ
Meanwhile, let us seek repose from the troubled thoughts which the contemplation of national insecurity suggests, in the following beautiful picture of domestic feeling, which few cau regard without some emotion, and with which many will sympathise from sad experience...! ode buidusm
The best general view of Derwentwater is from the terrace, between Applethwaite and Milbeck, a little beyond the former hamlet. The old roofs and chimnies of that hamlet come finely in the foreground, and the trees upon the Ornathwaite estate give there a richness to the middle ground, which is wanting in other parts of the vale. "From that spot I once saw three artists sketching it at the same time
William Westall (who has engraved it among his admirable views "of Keswick), Glover, and Edward Nash, my dear kind-hearted friend and fellow-traveller, whose death has darkened some of the blithest › recollections of my latter life. I know not from which of the sur-rounding heights it is seen to most advantage; any one will amply repay the labour of the ascent: and often as I have ascended them all, 1-it has never been without a fresh delight. The best near view is from a field adjoining Friar's Craig. There it is that, if I had Aladdin's lamp or Fortunatus's purse (with leave of Greenwich Hospital be it spoken), I would build myself a bouse.
Thither I had strolled, on one of those first genial days of spring which seem to affect the animal not less than the vegetable creation. At such times even I, sedentary as I am, feel a craving for the open air and sunshine, and creep out as instinctively as snails after a shower. Such seasons, which have an exhilarating effect upon youth, produce a soothing one when we are advanced in life. The root of an ash tree, on the bank which bends round the little bay, had been half bared by the waters during one of the winter floods, and afforded a commodious resting-place, whereon I took my seat, at once basking
in the sun and bathing, as it were, in the vernal breeze. But delightful as all about me was to eye, and ear, and feeling, it brought with it a natural reflection, that the scene which I now beheld was the same which it had been and would continue to be, while so many of those with whom had formerly enjoyed it, were past away. Our daydreams become retrospective as we advance in years; and the heart feeds as naturally upon remembrance in age, as upon hope in youth.
"Where are they gone, the old familiar faces?"
I thought of her, whom I had so often seen plying her little skiff upon that glassy water, the lady of the lake. It was like a poet's dream, or a vision of romance, to behold her-and like a vision or a dream she had departed!
"O gentle Emma, o'er a lovelier form
Than thine earth never closed; nor e'er did heaven
I thought of D., the most familiar of my friends during those years when we lived near enough to each other for familiar intercourse-my friend, and the friend of all who were dearest to me; a man, of whom all who knew him will concur with me in saying, that they never knew, nor could conceive of one more strictly dutiful, more actively benevolent, more truly kind, more thoroughly good; the pleasantest companion, the sincerest counsellor, the most considerate friend, the kindest host, the welcomest guest. After our separation, he had visited me here three summers; with him it was that I had first explored this land of lakes in all directions; and again and again should we have retraced our steps in the wildest recesses of these vales and mountains, and lived over the past again, if he had not, too early for all who loved him,
Began the travel of eternity."
I called to mind my hopeful H—, too, so often the sweet companion of my morning walks to this very spot; in whom I had fondly thought my better part should have survived me, and
"With whom it seemed my very life
Went half away!
But we shall meet-but we shall meet
"Thy dead shall live, O Lord! together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust! for Thy dew is as the dew of herbs; and the earth shall cast out her dead!"
Surely, to the sincere believer death would be an object of desire instead of dread, were it not for those ties-those heart-strings-by which we are attached to life. Nor, indeed, do I believe that it is natural to fear death, however generally it may be thought so. From my own feelings I have little right to judge; for, although habitually.
mindful that the hour cometh, and even now may be, it has never ap peared actually near enough to make me duly apprehend its effect upon myself. But from what I have observed, and what I have heard those persons say whose professions lead them to the dying, I am induced to infer that the fear of death is not common, and that where it exists it proceeds rather from a diseased and enfeebled mind, than from any principle in our nature. Certain it is, that among the poor the approach of dissolution is usually regarded with a quiet and natural composure, which it is consolatory to contemplate, and which is as far removed from the dead palsy of unbelief as it is from the delirious raptures of fanaticism. Theirs is a true, unhesitating faith; and they are willing to lay down the burden of a weary life, in the sure and certain hope of a blessed immortality. Who, indeed, is there, that would not gladly make the exchange, if he lived only for himself, and were to leave none who stood in need of him-no eyes to weep at his departure, no hearts to ache for his loss? The day of death, says the preacher, is better than the day of one's birth; a sentence to which whoever has lived long, and may humbly hope that he has not lived ill, must heartily assent.'-vol. i. p. 242.
ART. II. Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-General of India to the Court of Ava, in the year 1827. By John Crawfurd, Esq., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S., &c., late Envoy. London. 1829.
HIS is the second portly quarto with which Mr. Crawfurd has favoured the reading part of the public since his return from the several missions in the East, entrusted to his charge by the Governor-General of India. His account of those to Siam and Cochin-China we did not deem it necessary to notice, as the main points embraced in his narrative had been anticipated by the posthumous publication of the late Mr. Finlayson's Journal,—a work which we had happened to review at some length. The relative positions of the Burmese and Siamese territories to each other, and the proximity of the former to the eastern frontier of our Indian empire; the collisions which, in consequence, have happened, and may hereafter occur; and the limited knowledge we possess of the Burmese history, topography, institutions, habits, and resources, -all these might be thought fully sufficient to create a considerable degree of interest among our countrymen; but it would appear that the fact is not so. From some cause or other, the charmt which, in earlier periods, seemed to encircle the ancient nations of the East has lost its efficacy; books treating of them appear to be no longer capable of inspiring that degree of interest they were wont to possess in the infancy of European intercourse. It can