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philanthropists, the lovers of the human race, whose voice is to be heard from every synod of ragamuffians,-and who seem to declare the sentiments of England to him who cannot enter into the silent and thoughtful spirit of the English people. Charity, and humanity, and politeness, are the gaberdines they all creep under-no one pretends to energy-no one to independence; and, should John Bull venture to speak with his original and once-admired bluntness, he is anathematized on all sides, as a pest of society, as an illiberal boor, as one that should be visited with condign punishment. And let liberality and politeness once put their hands to the torture,-bigotry never strained to their pitch,
We have no wish to sow the seeds of hate, but we dislike to see a canting and nonsensical abuse of old feelings. There is a difference, though unperceivable by some faint-hearted gentlemen, between enmity and envy, between generous rivalry and narrow hate. Let those who destroy the nobler evil, beware, lest they but afford the baser room to spring up. Let us remember that no nation has ever been great, that, in comparison with itself, did not hold the rest of the world in contempt. And we know that those countries of Europe, which are now desert and enslaved, owe their misfortunes chiefly and especially to the want of that national pride and national prejudice,
which some among us would cry down. And if it be alleged that they would not go so deep-that it is merely civility and courteousness they recommend, we tell these Chesterfields on a large scale, these arrangers of etiquette between nations, that, with a few exceptions, (unknown but for having been by them brought forward, and alluded to) there has been sufficient civility between the people, unless, indeed, nothing short of absolute hugging will satisfy them. We are at a loss to conceive what all this twaddling is about-what are they talking of or whom do they allude to? If the American journals abuse us, who cares for that, who reads them, or hears them? And as to our own periodical works, they have never applied to the whole continent of America one half of the obloquy and reproach that has inevitably fallen to the share of any single name of notoriety among us. Then, in the name of wonder, let us hear no more of this stupid cant about good feeling, and civility, and philanthropy-one sermon is quite enough upon the text. And let Mr Irving, Mr Campbell, and others, who have taken a fancy to the subject, be told, That their amicable preaching, by turning discussion directly upon the mutual opinions of the nations, are calculated, more than the most envenomed libels, to excite hostility, and to widen the breach.
MATTHEWS, DIBDIN, AND MORGAN.* STERNE, Mr North, in the outset of his Sentimental Journey, has made a humorous classification of travellers, which seems to comprehend all the various genera of these migrato ry animals.
There may, however, be found some species, which, though they may be considered as belonging to one or other of the denominations fixed by the facetious Yorick, have yet a peculiarity of character, which may be properly placed at the head of a column of subdivision. It may be noticed, too, that the whole corps might have been divided into two
orders: the Silent, the advantage of whose labours rests with themselves, or is confined to oral narratives bestowed on their intimate acquaintance ;and the Communicative, who favour the world with the history of their adventures, and with the description of the customs and scenery of foreign countries, which it has been their fortune to visit. To this latter order I acknowledge myself to have been indebted, all my life long, for the principal pleasure I have derived from works of literature. It is happy for the tribe of travel-fanciers, that their favourite
I. The Diary of an Invalid; being the Journal of a Tour in Pursuit of Health, in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and France. A Third Edition. 2 vols. post 8vo. London. Murray, 1822.
II. A Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour in Normandy, France, and Germany. By the Reverend T. F. Dibdin. 3 vols. super. royal 8vo. London, 1821. III. Italy. By Lady Morgan. 2 vols. 4to. London. Colburn, 1821.
subject seems to be inexhaustible. Such is the changeable nature of things in this world, and so strongly do those changes operate on the minds and on the manners of men, that a faithful account of the same country, after an interval of twenty or thirty years, has all the effect of novelty; nay, the different way in which the same object strikes persons of different tastes and feelings, will make contemporary descriptions of the same places and people, almost as little like each other, as the history of a trip to Kamschatka would resemble that of an excursion to Timbuctoo. These remarks have been elicited by having recently read the works of three travellers, who have within these few years published a relation of what they had seen, in parts of Europe already frequently explored. Each of the three has, however, afforded me amusement, but amusement of a different nature; and each is, I think, entitled to lead a distinct species. With your leave, Mr North, I will give you a sketch of their distinguishing characters, according to the best of my judgment. This may serve as a definition of the specific difference of each, by means of which future ramblers may be properly classed; and after attentive examination, your scientific readers may refer them to whichever genus they may seem to be long, according to the Yorician arrangement.
The first I shall notice is the Diary of an Invalid, in two neat duodecimos, by Mr Matthews. The next is an Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, by Mr Dibdin, in two splendid octavos. The last, though not least, is Italy, by Lady Morgan, in two portly quartos.
The Diary being designated a tour in pursuit of health, displays little pretension to excite the curiosity of the general reader. He may naturally expect to find a Jeremiade filled with querulous suspirations, the offspring of a mind enfeebled by corporeal malady, affording little inclination, or power, to observe objects of interest, or to record observations. Whoever has formed this idea of these two small volumes will probably be disappointed. Other invalids, who are engaged in the same pursuit, may indeed receive from this journal useful hints concerning the air and other circumstances of several places in the South of France, which have been recommended as beneficial
in pulmonary disorders. Some of these appear to have acquired undeserved reputation, and are rather injurious than useful, in that terrific disease to which so many young persons in this island perpetually fall victims. The Invalidism of the Diary is, however, by no means a prominent feature. The author bears his sufferings like a man; not only with patient philosophy, but with a degree of cheerfulness, which may exhilarate a valetudinarian, and afford a lesson to the healthy. He looks around him with an eye of acute observation, and he describes what he sees with a felicitous ease of expression. His thoughts and his style are those of an English gentleman and a scholar. In discussing any political question which may incidentally fall in his way, although he breathes the liberal spirit of his country, and feels as a British subject ought, he readily rejects those impracticable notions, which have seduced some ardent minds, but which appear to cooler heads, inevitably ruinous to the Constitution. In considering the belles-lettres and the fine arts, he enters on subjects on which the tastes of different persons may be supposed to be at variance. He may be stow too high a degree of praise on some poets, and he may be too parsimonious to others;-he may see a statue or a picture in a different light to what it has been viewed by other connoisseurs: these are points which are proverbially out of the province of disputation. But his opinions, whether right or wrong, appear to be the genuine result of his own judgment, without any servile homage to authority. From the title of this book I should establish a species, to be called henceforth the Invalid Traveller, leaving it to others to determine if it belongs to the genus Idle, or the Inquisitive of Sterne.
Mr Dibdin's great purpose in travelling, was to collect curious manuscripts, and old black-letter books; besides the minor object of viewing ancient buildings, and picturesque landscapes. It is very entertaining to be thus treated with a short specimen of the chace in which a biblio-maniac was actively engaged, narrated by the sportsman himself, with all the minute detail of a fox-hunter over his evening bottle. The appellation here used, is assumed con amore by Mr Dibdin; a pinch of his history in prose, is scarcely less di
verting than the verse of Peter Pindar, of merry memory, which amused the laughter-loving part of the public, with the supposed pursuit of a celebrated naturalist after a rare butterfly. But to follow him through the whole range of his field, may be as tiresome as to listen to the tale of the jolly Nimrod, from his breaking cover to the death. Our antiquary is in general more successful in hunting amongst dilapidated monasteries, and the lumber-rooms of booksellers, than the scientific baronet is represented to be, amidst the parterres and bee-stalls in which he was entangled. It is impossible not to smile at the gusto with which our zealous Palæophilist listens to the rattling sound of certain ancient leaves of the rare volumes on which he pounces; a species of enjoyment unknown to those vulgar book-worms, who feast on pages printed long since the days of Caxton, and Wynkyn de Worde. But no human gratification is perfect; in the midst of the very fountain of delight, says a Roman poet, springs up something bitter. Our ardent chasseur is as sensitive to pain as to pleasure, in these researches. He sometimes meets with sacrilege committed by barbarians ignorant of the rules and tastes of antiquarianism. The clipping of the ragged edges of these venerable reliques, affects his nerves as keenly as the ambassadors of King David felt the indecorous outrage inflicted by the Ammonite chief on their beards and on the skirts of their clothing. The whimsicalities of fancy, or of taste, afford much matter for curious reflexion. By these the assertion seems to be proved, that "men are but children of a larger growth." Fortunately there are rattles to be found suited to all ages. Mr D. often describes beautiful scenery, and such objects of antiquarian pursuit as are more generally interesting to readers not bitten by the biblio-maniacal rage, in a pleasing and natural manner:-but when he comes into contact with a large collection of books, and has full scope to bestride his hobby, and put him through all his paces, let ordinary readers beware, and get cut of his way with all expedition, waiting with patience till he has finished his curvets and caracols, and is once more quietly dismounted. One part, however, of these volumes, will give every reader unmixed satisfaction. Mr D. was accompanied by an artist,
Mr Lewis, who has the knack of seizing with uncommon skill and rapidity all that passes before his eyes; and the author has caused admirable engravings to be made from these drawings. Architecture, landscape, portraits of persons, remarkable costumes of the present times, and fac-similes of antique curiosities, appear to be faithfully and tastefully delineated. But he is most strikingly successful in representing groups of people assembled together; these are pourtrayed with all the spirit of nature, and each individual with a precise discrimination of character. If one were to be selected as a sample, where all are excellent, I should mention his view of the deck of a French coasting passage-vessel. It is a scene worthy of Hogarth; although there is nothing to be seen which can disgust the most delicate eye, it is scarcely possible for a person who has ever felt the misery of sea-sickness to look at the faces of the passengers, without feeling a sympathetic internal commotion. It is like what is experienced from the exhibition of that excellent comedian, who, when he is at home, depicts so naturally to his visitants the humours of a voyage from London to Margate in the Polly packet.
These graphic ornaments will probably form the principal attraction for wealthy purchasers uninitiated in the mysteries of antique lore; these costly volumes are beyond the reach of slender purses.
The main design, and self-chosen denomination of this traveller, marks him for the Biblio-maniacal species, into whatever generic niche it may be thought proper to place him.
Our last specimen, Lady Morgan, appears to suffer under a political mania, full as violent in its kind as the more harmless phrenzy of Mr Dibdin. Her's, however, is not the moody aberration of mind which broods in silence over the distempered images of her fancy. Obliquity of intellect cannot extinguish that sprightliness of manner peculiar to her native country; nor can the dulness of her matter always overwhelm it. Those who have eaten of the same insane root, will warmly extol the effusions of this radical sibyl. To these Lord Byron has set his seal of approbation, pronouncing her "Italy" to be a fearless and excellent work. Ámusing at least it may
certainly be called; for so are the ravings of the famous Knight of La Man cha; and perhaps the idea of a female Quixote, posting through Europe for the purpose of redressing political wrongs by the sharp stroke of her pen, may give the chief relish to the perusal of" Italy." From one numerous class of readers she can expect but little sympathy, attempting as she does on all occasions to vilify, as much as in her lies, the government of this country. In this Manchegan sally it is impossible not to feel that a lady oversteps the bounds of that retiring grace, which is the chief ornament of her sex. It must be confessed, that the affectation of fear, which women of weak minds seem to think the means of rendering them more interesting, will have quite a contrary effect on men of sense; and that a certain degree of courage must be reckoned in the list of female virtues: but for a woman to be fearless, will be deemed by very few persons, an excellence in her character.
The term, too, strongly reminds us of those undaunted ladies who flourished in the time of the Caesars, and who would have duly appreciated the value of this heroic epithet, had they been lucky enough to be celebrated by a Byron, instead of a Juvenal. Lady M. indeed seems to be as active in brandishing her goose-quill, as indefatigable in straining after what she thinks the perfection of fine writing, as the fair candidates for gladiatorial fame were in displaying their muscular expertness with a different instrument in the Roman amphitheatre. Her assault is thrown in with the same energy;-her carbonarian helmet is as ponderous as that which pressed the head of the Roman virago; she is trussed up for the combat with as tight a zone; an analogy may be traced between all the attitudes of the ancient and modern heroine, from the desperate lunge, to the smile-provoking cinque-pace.
Her ladyship, perhaps, in common with those masculine-mannered matrons of the Circus, might be unwilling to undergo a complete change of sex. The Roman satirist assures us that these dames, with all their athletic ardour, would have been very averse to part with the acute feelings of female sensibility on pleasurable occasions, even for the advantage of being en
dued with the moré robust frame of the male. Lady M. in the midst of fearless demonstrations of her political and religious opinions, sufficiently evinces her penchant for the softer gratifications. The glee with which she touches on certain subjects, the approach she makes to those confines which more timid females cautiously shun, give hints of the tone and colour of her ladyship's sentiments and cogitations. Her Italy continues to manifest that temperament already somewhat developed in those works of fancy, which were the produce of the virgin labours of Miss Owenson. By these was her fame established; and on account of this fame was her visitingbook (as recorded in her last excellent performance,) profusely filled with names of haut ton, during her pilgrimage through the country which is honoured by her description. One single circumstance will illustrate the scope of the foregoing observations. Let us notice the conduct of the hero of the Wild Irish Girl, a novel which was one of the first supports to Lady M.'s celebrity. This most refined of lovers is represented as putting into the hands of his tender and unsophisticated mistress, blooming in all the innocence of her teens, a book, which the author himself declares must lead to inevitable ruin if perused by any very young woman. Those who are acquainted with the Nouvelle Eloise of Rousseau, will, from this quotation at once recognize the preceptive volume which this lady, herself not unversed in the tuition of young females, has made her exemplary lover present for the instruction and edification of the youthful Milesian Princess! With the other peculiarities of Lady M.'s writing, it is foreign to my present purpose to meddle. The inventors of imaginary adventure are at liberty to adhere to probability or not in the fictions they create, according as to them it may seem good. The breach or the observance is a matter of taste. Authors, or authoresses, may affect a show of learning, the very display of which may evince the vanity of the pretension; society will be no sufferer by the harmless folly ;-but offences against the delicacy of the moral sense, which may be disseminated by works of amusement, ought to be most strictly watched by the guardians of the purity of literature. The most useful
part of their office is the reprehension their defenders are degraded to the of this sort of transgression ;-these level of villains and slaves. When we delinquencies, which are not sufficient- find that the glorious day of Waterly tangible to come under the lash of loo obtains no white mark in her cathe law, although perhaps more inju- lendar, it will not surprise us that she rious to the community than grosser sees nothing in Marlborough but an offences. The Lady-errant on whose illiterate dunce, and that even the ilwritings this animadversion is ven- legitimacy of Marshal Saxe cannot eletured, has already received some salu- vate him to a place in her favour. All tary warnings. If these are not use this is sufficiently diverting :-still it ful to their immediate object, other must be acknowledged there is some writers and readers in general, may truth in the dictum of that sage, who at least profit by the admonition. But pronounced an angry woman in polithis digression has travelled rather tics to be like a bull in a china-shop. wide from the direct course in which There may be something ludicrous in these observations began. Let us re- the clatter made by both these enturn to our route. "Italiam sequimur raged animals, and the sport may be fugientem." It is nevertheless diffi- relished by the amateurs of practical cult to separate "Italy" in one's jokes, and of dangerous fun; but the thoughts from the other productions more sober description of spectators of the same pen. In all her works, deprecate the probable mischief of such Lady M. has set up Jacobin Liberty, experiments. When fair ladies inif we may profane that sacred name dulge the public with an account of by such an addition, as the idol of her their peregrinations, it will certainly adoration, and Legitimate Monarchy be more gratifying to the admirers of as the monster against which she in- the feminine graces to be allowed to cessantly couches her democratic lance. post them in some other division of There is, however, a spice of pleasant travellers than that of the politico-maHibernicism mixed with her violent niacal species. sallies, which blends smiles with our frowns. Thus, the British Government is accused of making division the means of Irish oppression, and of accomplishing the perfect misery of that unfortunate country by the Union! In the estimation of this patriotic lady, all those personages ancient or modern, who have waged war with legitimate thrones, are raised to the rank of heroes and demi-gods; whilst
At the head of this list Lady Morgan has an undoubted right to be placed, or at least to share the seat of honour with the distinguished Miss Helen Maria Williams. To fix the genus to which this sweet pair of sirens belongs, is a task of too much delicacy to be undertaken by, good Mr North, yours very faithfully,
THIS "fearless and excellent work" cannot fail to have a great effect in opening the eyes of the reading public. It contains by far the most plain and perspicuous account of " things in general" that we have ever met with. Being anxious not to interfere with its sale, we shall not fill our columns with extracts, but content ourselves with a
brief abstract of the contents.
Be it known, then, to all who have not yet read this "Satirical Poem," that George the Fourth is a foolish and profligate tyrant; that his prime minister is one the Marquis of
A Satiricel Poem. London. Colburn, 8vo. 1822.