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ander Burnes, and Dr Lord, vouch for this; and the kind and liberal treatment which the former experienced from individuals personally strangers to him, when circumstances had placed him in pecuniary embarrassment, demonstrates that the truthfulness and integrity of our countrymen were known and esteemed beyond the limits of our political power. There is happily no want, even at points more distant than Affghanistan, of that confidence which is the vital principle of commerce. Sir Alexander Burnes says, speaking of the traders and bankers of Bokhara,- We could not but feel gratified at the favourable opinion entertained by them ' of the British in India. One of them, Sirwas Khan, a Lohanee 'merchant of great opulence, to whom we were never introduced, 'offered us any money we might require, and did it in a manner that left us no doubt of his sincerity.' We may calculate, without doubt, that this favourable impression will have gained strength from recent political events, and from the general conduct of our troops and civil officers in Affghanistan. Dr Lord says, that the restoration of Shah Shooja will give us great ' renown through the whole Uzbek nation."
We trust that prompt and effectual measures will be taken to follow out Sir A. Burnes' proposition to establish a commercial entrepot, with an annual fair, at Dera Ghazee Khan, or some more eligible point, if such there be, upon the Indus. That officer and Dr Lord clearly prove, that such a plan is entirely accordant with the genius of the people with whom we have to deal; that it has been pursued with eminent success by the Russians; that the Affghans, and Uzbeks and Toorkmans beyond them, have both a strong taste for many articles of our staple manufactures, and the means, in the wool of their countless 'flocks,' their silk, dyes, drugs, gold, &c., to pay for them; and that our present position and relations give us the complete command of this great commercial line as far at least as Bokhara. The Commercial Reports published by the Supreme Government at Calcutta, contain much valuable information as to the demands. and products of the countries now newly opened to us. They show that the Indus will give us, not as generally misapprehended, customers on its immediate banks, for such do not at present
*Political Reports published by the Government of Calcutta.-P. 123. The mail which left Bombay on the 30th April, and which has arrived since the above was written, brings intelligence that a great ' annual fair has been established at Sukher,' (a place on the Indus, near Shikarpore,) to last for one month, and to commence in January 1841.'
exist to any considerable extent, but the key to the commerce of Central Asia. They show, too, how we may most effectually baffle the schemes of Russia by fair commercial rivalry;' and attach to us the nations that occupy the vast tracts between our respective frontiers, by the strongest ties of mutual commercial interest.
In Calcutta, there is reason to believe that the genius of commerce is co-operating with other influences for the moral emancipation and advancement of the people. By raising men of low caste to opulence, whilst at the same time it enlightens and enlarges their minds, and places them in intimate relations with well-informed and benevolent Englishmen, it must tend to render the yoke of Brahminical tyranny, the worship of logs of wood and lumps of stone, and the whole system of caste, contemptible as well as intolerable. The sons of such persons will start with advantages of education which their fathers did not enjoy. It is impossible that they should not feel, towards their priests and more bigoted countrymen, the emotions which made Cato wonder that one augur could meet another without laughing in his face. Even the men of the present generation are rapidly freeing themselves from prejudice. Some of them are keeping abreast of their English fellow-citizens in public-spirited exertions for the general good; and even outstripping them in works of benevolence, altogether foreign to the selfish and exclusive genius of their religion. Whether commerce be the cause or not, the more eminent Hindoo, Mahomedan, and Parsee merchants are far in advance of their countrymen in this honourable race. We gladly mention two of the former, whose names, unmusical though they be, well deserve to be here recorded-Baboo Dwarkanath Tagore, and Baboo Moty Loll Seal-who have recently dedicated the large sum of Ten Thousand Pounds each, the former to the erection of an asylum for the blind, the latter to an hospital for destitute lying-in women. Such fruits as these seem to show, that the Úpas Tree of Hindooism is now withering; for they could not have been produced beneath its baneful shadow.
ART. II.-Zur Geschichte der Italienischen Poesie. (Contributions to the History of Italian Poetry.) 4to. Berlin: 1839.
THE distinguished historian of the Popes and of the Spanish conspiracy against Venice, has, in a short but able Essay lately read before the Royal Academy of Berlin, devoted his attention to a department of Italian poetry, certainly the most interesting, and, on the whole, the most brilliant of which that poetical literature has to boast-we mean the growth and gradual refinement of its narrative poetry; from its first dawn in the rude efforts of the predecessors of Pulci, down to the mature beauty of its meridian in the Jerusalem' of Tasso :-that poetry of chivalry, religion, and magic fiction, which inspired the muse of Spenser; on which the youthful Milton dwelt with such enthusiastic delight, and which, even to the last, continued to infuse the charm of romantic and graceful associations into his poetry, when the reveries of youth were replaced by the stern zeal and austere dignity of the man.
In no literature so much as in the Italian, and in no department of that literature so much as in its narrative poetry, can the gradual process of reconcilement, by which the romantic spirit of the middle ages was brought at last into an harmonious union with the classic form, and to a great extent also with the classic spirit of the times of antiquity, be so distinctly traced. We see these two streams, from which the modern poetry of Europe is derived, at first keeping their courses entirely separate, gradually approximating to each other, beginning to mingle their waters, sometimes by secret and subterranean channels, sometimes by more open and visible communications, and at last brought into complete contact. We witness the first con
flict and turbulence which follows the meeting of the waters, till their interfusion is complete; and the united stream, partaking of the colour and characteristics of both, flows on again with increased depth and volume, and with restored tranquillity.
To maintain that what we call the spirit of the classic poetry, even in its original form, was altogether exclusive of those classes of associations and feelings which are usually characterised by the term Romantic, would be to push a theory beyond its legitimate bounds. Individual minds among the classic writers tended towards the romantic character; as individual minds among the writers even of the middle ages, and still more among those who wrote after the revival of literature, tended towards the classic. Still, the general features of the classic and romantic habits of feeling and taste, as embodied in their respective liter
atures, are sufficiently distinguishable; and may be considered as closely if not essentially connected the former with Paganism, the latter with Christianity. The former was addressed more particularly to the sense of beauty in man, finding its appropriate objects in the visible and the material, working simply on the principle of an elevated imitation; limited, therefore, in its objects, since physical beauty could rarely be dispensed with in its creations, and the form became at least as important as the spirit; -yet within its sphere less liable to failure, and producing a feeling of satisfaction perfect so far as it went. The other appealed more to the hearts and feelings of men, and invested objects with a colouring derived from these feelings, and not inherent in themselves. It embraced, along with the province of the material, the domain of the immaterial and the infinite; and was founded on the principle not of exhibiting a mere imitation of objects, however refined or however ideal, but of giving a subjective expression to the moral sentiment which such objects have awakened in the mind of man. It was comprehensive, therefore, in its range on the one hand, since the affections and feelings of men may be stirred, and the imagination agreeably excited, by a thousand objects, which not only have no pretensions to beauty, but are, on the contrary, in themselves the reverse of beautiful; yet, on the other, it seldom afforded, even in its most perfect efforts, that tranquil and complete satisfaction which is produced by the masterpieces of classic genius; because, in the highest conceptions of romantic art, the active imagination is still in pursuit of something higher or more profound;-because it sees in these creations but the dim and partial embodying of a conception which does not admit of being fully realized in finite or material symbols, and must necessarily remain to some extent unsatisfied in its longings;-because the very nature of romantic art is to act only by suggestion, to appeal to the more mysterious part of man's being, and to call up feelings certainly too deep, too vague, and too wide-reaching for adequate expression either by the chisel, the pencil, or the pen; though perhaps attaining the nearest approach to their complete development in the dim religious vastness of the Gothic cathedral architecture.
That the imaginative literature of antiquity, in its original form, to which we give the name of the Classic, as contrasted with the first aspect of that of modern Europe, which we term Romantic, and particularly that the poetry of Paganism as opposed to that of Christianity-which may be regarded as the most condensed epitome of the imaginative literature of each of these respective periods-is characterised in the main by these distinctive features, as well as by some others of minor importance,
seems to us indisputable. It appears to be not less plain, that these terms represent two different forms which creative art of every description assumes in the human mind; according as it inclines to the more passive pleasure resulting from the contemplation of beauty; or solicits the more active excitement derived from imparting to the objects of sense the subtle associations resulting from the operations of mind, and views them through the reflex light imparted from that combination. Paganism and Christianity have not created these divisions, for they existed from the first, and will remain to the last, great lines of separation drawn across the map of taste. They have only, by their peculiar characteristics, and by their moral, social, and political accompaniments, tended, according to their respective predominance, to foster and expand the one disposition or the other; the former, while it reduced all things, or nearly all things, to material limits, and circumscribed them within the most accurate rules of grace, proportion, and harmony, naturally bringing to its perfection every thing that related to the form; the latter, by permitting the widest range of subjects, all of which were to receive their poetical value from the mental associations of which they were to receive the image and superscription, as naturally rendering the mere forms of things-the form of expression, the form of narrative, the form of the general plan-of secondary importance. In fact, creative art, as it appears in the middle ages, renders every thing connected with the disposition of its materials altogether subservient to an all-pervading spirit of thought and high-wrought feelingspreading life and unity through materials apparently the most incoherent; and imparting to the whole a poetical interest more intense and agitating in parts, though less equable and wellsustained, than that arising from the artistic combinations, compact plan, and wise economy of ornament, which are the characteristics of the other.
But at the present day no one is, or can be, either purely classic or purely romantic. The groundwork, no doubt, of modern European society is Gothic. For its characteristic qualities, Europe is far more indebted to the tribes of northern Germany than to the languid and worn-out empire which these high-spirited barbarians overturned. Yet the influences derived from the study of antiquity, and the admiration of its masterpieces of imaginative composition, instilled into the mind in youth, and confirmed by the personal experience of riper years, necessarily impart to all modern poetry a mixed and composite character; in which, by a compromise between the separate and sometimes apparently conflicting elements of the classic and romantic, a whole is pro