Page images
PDF
EPUB

1999.)
On the Mutability of National Grandeut.

513 tolerable. There are no dull narra On the mulability of National grandeur tions, or dull discussions ; of dull in Arts and in Science ; and the masses of dry and trifling facts, which proneness to deteriorate, which in I would not prefer to false poetry. certain circúmslances is observed to Affectation of exaggerated feelings ; characterize the human intellect. factitious impulse; so the contortions

(Concluded from p. 312.) of the Sybil, without the inspiration," are loathsome.

THE

CHE sympathies which appear to | There is an endeavour to make our have ruled in the bosom of Chapoetry a poetry of Materialism. But, teaubriand, have, doubtless, found a after all, genuine and high sentiment, place in the hearts of multitudes who and lofty thought, are more valuable have cotitemplated greatness of thinkthan imagery; and indeed presuppose ingand ofviews in our ancestors through animated and inspiring imagery in the the medium of their works, – bad and writer's mind.

untenable upon

the basis of the experiNext in poetical pleasure to the ence of all ages,when he favours the compositions of the few really great idea that universal equality should perpoets, are those occasional productions vade mankind, if justice and right be in verse of men of grand talents not established in the earth. For although professing to be poets, and therefore it may possibly be alleged that every free from those poetical artifices, hy human being is by nature alike en which second-rate poets in the endea- titled to the same immunities as his vour to improve, debase what they at- neighbour, it is certain that man, in tempt.

à state of society, could not so exist; Such men of talents, roused by some some must be subordinate, and various accidental fervour above their usual walks in manners, in genius, and in tone, carelessly burst out into strong thinking, as well as in tempers and dis'flashes of frank and untutored elo- positions, characterize our species, or the quence. They are never flowery: they business of life could not proceed. If are too much in earnest to struggle all, for instance, were to plan, where after technical ornaments. Lord Es- should we find individuals to execute? sex, Sir Hen. Wotton, Sydney Godol- -if, on the other hand, every intelliphin, Charles Cotton (the father), Lord gent agent were occupied in performFalkland, &c. and even Lord Bacon, ing, there would hardly be leisure for sometimes wrote in this way. There those gifted understandings - whose are many

such

poems among the early province it is to elicit plans for the writers of Latin poetry after the revi moral and political improvement of val of Literature.' When the late Sir the aggregate whole-to pursue the Charles Hanbury Williams wrote his trains of their intellectual association. best, he wrote in this way. I allude The equality, therefore, spoken of especially to a poem on Sir Robert by M. Volney, and so enthusiastically Walpole, in which there are some hailed by all the French philosophers beautiful lines.

of that age, is extravagant in theory, Till we can bring back poetry to an and utterly incapable of being reduced appeal to the understanding, and the to practice. unsophisticated heart, as well as to a It will probably be thought by the pure and simple imagination, it will readers of the book in question, that only deserve the name of an empty the invocation amidst a countless and corrupt pursuit.

multitude of superb colunins and magIt ought to make us conversant with nificent edifices, while the ground was the beautiful and the grand :-and covered on all sides with fragments of "therefore it makes us conversant with similar buildings, cornices, capitals, "the ugly and the monstrous !—This is shafts, entablatures, and pilasters, all to pursue merit by the rule of contra constructed of a marble of admirable ries !

whiteness, and exquisite workmanBat not only is the poetry uninte- ship,” is imposing: resting, which has no reference to But it will also be observed, that in life: that poetry is worse than unin- his immediately, subsequent meditateresting ; - it is strongly objection- 'tions he is too indiscriminately ealoable, which encouragés delusive views gistic of the ancient grandeur of seveof life.

ral of the nations of which he speaks, GENT. MAG. June, 1823.

and

s.

514
On the Mutability of National Grandeur.

(June, and also that his hypothesis of the racter. Having by a somewhat presmiles of Heaven having in the long posterous fancy converted the entire course of history appeared propitious population of our globe into one vast to Idolaters, whilst Believers have ra arena, where the differing creeds of ther encountered its frowns, is purely each respective nation are designated gratuitous, and not by any means borne by innumerable standards, he, in purout by facts.

suance of this imaginary investigation, The imaginary translation of the Au- makes their leaders unfold the docthor to etherial heights, in the subse- trives, explain the mysteries, and dequent chapter, by some friendly Genius, scribe the institutions,

with the authowhere from empyrean heights he is re rities upon which they individually presented as looking down upon sub- rest. lunary affairs, is not in ill taste, though Here is apparent the flagrant sophisit

may be doubted whether the eleva- try, tergiversation, and disingenuoustion of a mortal so far beyond his na ness of the author. · During the recative sphere, might not have been asso- pitulation of the most opposite and inciated with more sublime circumstance coherent creeds, and the most absurd of description.

and preposterous miracles, it is easy to His theories, with regard to the prin. see that the author tacitly enjoys the ciples by which man is actuated' and inferences which he thinks are pregoverned, -his original state,—the mo sently deducible from the mode of artives which afterwards first prompted gumentation he has adopted. him to emanate to higher enjoyments With the most signal and glaring than those connected with his animal effrontery which ever characterized an wants,-the

progress of society,—and author, he suppresses all the incontesthe truths to which, by the exercise of tible authorities which are usually adhis intellect, he has gradually advanced, duced in support of our faith, and mainculcates in the main nothing dero) liciously paints in glowing colours the gatory to sound philosophy, although rhapsodies and manifest fabrications it will be observed that he does not in of the Koran, the Shastra, and the this account satisfy him who carries Zadder and Zurdavesta, in order prehis views somewhat higher.

sently to recapitulate a few of the So far from any recognition of the leading dogmas of the Christian Relitutelary and omniscient eye of an All gion, which he pretends are still more Provident Being extended over his at variance with the dictates of reason creatures, he ridicules all ideas of sa and common sense. To hear him, incrifices, invocations, prayers, and every deed, explain from the mouth of the act of propitiatory worship, as being Iman of the Mussulman, the Mobad alike unavailing, and indicatory of folly of the Parses, the Bramin of Hindosand madness in mortals. He has, there tan, the Lama of Thibet, the Telafore, in the progress of human society, poins of Siam, the Chamaus of China, and the examination of causes which and the Bonzes of Japan, the most puhe conceives to have promoted the pros- erile and monstrous creeds, one inight perity or accelerated the fall of nations, really imagine that he supposed they adopted the creed of deism, although carried with them, equally with the his opinion, that mankind had never Christian Faith, the marks of authenfrom the beginning any other coun- ticity and of truth, and that they all sellors to guide his conduct and his hang upon the same slight and fragile principles than the light of reason, authorities. may be rather understood as insinu But as it is impossible that any man ated, than openly avowed.

in the possession of his senses, should, But on examining further, we find upon an impartial examination, ever that in his chapter on the Investiga- believe any such thing, so it is equally tion of Truth," and the “Problem of impossible that M. Volney could, in Religious Contradictions,” he throws his subsequent examination, as he is off the mask, and no longer conceals pleased to style it, be guided by any the bold avowal that all the religi- views of honesty, candour, or even ons which ever divided the opinions philosophical consistency. Heattempts, of mankind, were equally well authen chapter On the origin and geticated in their evidences, and that all nealogy of Religious Ideas, to explain were equally false. Here the infidelity how those crude and visionary noof the author assumes a positive cha tions, which had individually assumed

the

in his

he says,

1823.) On the Mutability of National Grandeur.

515 the divine impress and authority, Upon a candid review of the end had been generated in the human and object which Volney had in view, breast. He here ascends to remote an- by instituting a train of enquiry kintiquity, and attempts to prove (or ra dled from a survey of the magnificent ther, for he can do nothing more, he ruins of Palmyra, it must strike every throws out the speculative hypothesis), discriminating reader that the primary that all religious codes, without an in- design of the writer was the subversion dividual exception, may be traced to of every religious code among men. some tradition, or instituted right, or But he must have had a very mean symbol, which the policy of interested opinion at once of the discernment men have, through a long series of and the honesty of mankind, if he ages, succeeded in perpetuating. supposed that they could indeed take “Imposed by force and authority," it upon the strength of the slight in

“ inculcated by education, vestigation which he has thought sufmaintained by the influenceof example, ficient for his purpose, either that the they were perpetuated from age to age, Christian faith stood upon a basis utand habit and inattention strengthened terly destitute of any real support, or their empire."- He most impiously, that a few sophisticated corollaries and in the face of all historical truth, bearing but in name the aspect of phiwhich substantiates its facts on the losopiric examination, could induce clearest authority, assigns such an al- them to forego the claims they had legorical origin to the Divine Founder, ever previously deemed sacred. In of the Christian Religion, and treats the last chapter of his work, he its sublime doctrines and precepts with declares the end of all religions to as little ceremony as if they rested on be the same,” that is, they are all the an equally equivocal basis as those of base fabrications of man's ingenuity: the fire-worshippers of Persia, or the but if a man chooses to advance bold adorers of the Egyptian Apis.

propositions which will not bear the But if indeed it be son--if the ad- shadow of serious enquiry,—if he invent and divine mission of the Mes sinuate atheistical teneis, on the score siahstands corroborated by no vouchers, of advancing the moral and political save crude chimera and visionary spe. welfare of mankind, he cannot expect culation, how strange that the genius the world to give entire credence to and indefatigable research of so many hin, or indeed avoid the inevitable enlightened men-some of them men dilemma of incurring the reprobation of clear intellects and exalted talents, and contempt of all who think with whose penetration ranked still higher perspicuity, and reason with candour. in the scale than that of M. Volney, Mysoliloquy might have longer conshould have been so unaccountably de- ținued, but the dusky shades of evenluded,-should have pledged their cre- ing had already begun to close around dit, and employed their resources, to

the broken architectural masses which prop a falling cause, the internal and first elicited my contemplations. The external evidences of which were at light gradually faded from the objects once loose, vague, and imbecile. before me, and the rude fret-work

By what epithet shall we designate which filled the interstices of the arsuch men as Grotius, Butler, Stilling- cades, was no longer visible,--the bat fleet, and Warburton, Lockeand New- Aitted across the wide area of the ruin, ton, Soame Jenyns, Lord Lyttelion, when the guide accosting me, said West, Paley, Lardner, and Bp. Wat- he was about to lock up the edifice for son, with various others scarce their the night. inferiors ? They must henceforth be As I quitted this venerable monucontent to have their names enrolled ment of the piety and superstition of among fools and blockheads and dolts, our ancestors, the moon beamed

upon if the actual evidences of the common me from a serene and cloudless sky; creed, which they have laboured to and I reflected, as I descended to the support, stand not on vastly higher boat that was waiting to convey me ground than those of the monstrous back to Chepstow, that I had passed and absurd rites which have prevailed a day not without very considerable in the heathen world, and which have intellectual gratification. alike laid claim to divine origin.

Melksham.

E. P.

Mr.

616 Monumental Inscriptions from Dulole, Carnpall. 1 (June, 1. Ms. URBAN,

June 10. Filii Pietas hoc Marmor extruendumo funnvik

Harricps Bewes, Armiger,
AS
S an 'accompaniment to Bond's

XXVI. Mart, A.D. MDCCXcu. æt. suæ LIN “ Historical Sketches of the Bo

Vita defunctus, infra requiescit. roughs of East and West Looe, in the County of Cornwall,” I send you tran Adjoining the tomb of Sir John Col. scripts of divers monumental inscrip- shill, a large slate is affixed to the West tions in the neighbouring Church of wall, in memory of Mary, daughter of Duloe, which are curious in them- Thomas Arundell, Esq. who was owner selves, and tend to throw light on many of the Barton of Tremethut, and younger circumstances mentioned in that work. brother of John Arundell, the brave The parish of Duloe lies between the defender of Pendennis Castle in the two streams, called the East River and time of the Civil War. West River, which uniting at the point Here lyeth the body of Mary Arundell, of Trenant Park, above Looe Bridge, the daughter of Thomas Arundell, Esq. form the River Looe. The Church who was buried the 8th day of June, Anno stands on an eminence, commanding 1629. an extensive prospect, and is built in

Maria Arundell, form of a cross, with a cluinsy awk

Man a dry lanrell ward tower at the end of the South Man to the marigold compar'd may bee, transept, and a chantry chapel, or aile, Man may be liken'd to the laurell tree. of good masonry, on the North side of Both feed the eye, both please the optic the chancel. From the accumulation

sense, of earth round its foundations (as is Both soon decay, both suddenly fleet henee, the case in many other Cornish

What then inferr you from her name but

this, Churches), it is very damp and un

Man fades away, man a dry laurell is. comfortable. Under one of the arches which di- To her long home, as old Methusaleth.

Jairus young daughter found as faire a path vide the chantry aile from the chan

No beauty, youth, nor sex, or high estate, cel, is the toinb' of Sir John Colshill,

Can plead precedence in the Court of Fate; Knt., having on the top his effigies in But young, or old, that with his golden head stone in complete armour, and round Salutes the Sunne, may with the Sunne fall the verge this inscription in old Eng dead. lish characters :

I once did live, but ere I liv'd in light, Hic jacet Joh’es Colshill Miles, quondam I tooke my leave, and bid the world good Dn'us de Tremethert et Patronus hujus

night, Eccli'e, qui obiit xi11ijo die Me's M'rcii,

On a similar slate in the chancel, Ano. Dal Millo. cccco. LXXXIII.

bearing the figure of a female, with a At a little distance, against the ruff round her neck: North wall, is a mural monument of Anna Filia Richardi Cuffyn Ar. Vidua white marble, exhibiting a female Rogeri Tremeyne Ar. cepit in Virum Jofigure, having her left arm raised to hannem Smith, Gent. ejusq. Uxor obiit her head, with the elbow resting on primo Die Marcii Anno Domini millesimo a column charged with the profile of quingentesimo nonagesimo. the deceased, and above is this inscrip On a flat stone, within the rails of

the communion table : In Memoriam Viri inter Homines Under this stone are deposited the reFidei spectatissimæ,

mains of Jeremiah Milles, M.A. fellow of Parentis in Stirpem voluntatis optimæ, Baliol College, Oxford +, and 42 years ViIn oculis Civium, humanarum Literarum car of this Church, who died Jan. 21st, Studiis, et Rei familiaris Ratione 1745-6, in the 74th year of his age. His pariter insignis.

zeal for the honour of God, his benevolence

tion:

This anagram, and the verses allusive to it, were evidently the composition of the same person who made the anagram and verses for Edward Trelawney, inscribed on a monument in the neighbouring Church of Pelynt, June 7th, 1630, a copy of which is given in Bond's “ Historical Sketches," p.161.

+ He was the father of Jeremiah Milles, D.D. Dean of Exeter, and President of the Society of Antiquaries, a man of considerable learning, but of little sagacity; for he was miserably deceived, when he supposed that the Poems called Rowley's were a genuine work of the middle of the 15th century. Jacob Bryant, a still more distinguished scholar, participated in the same error.

1873) Letter from James Morice, Esq. to Lord Burleigh. 617 20 mankind, his moral and social virtues, Commons, to represent that reign as attracted the reverence and esteem of all the era of liberty as well as glory. who knew him, and knew what virtue was, Yours, &c.

W.M. In his domestic character not less amiable, a most affectionate husband, a tender and

[Cecil Papers.) indulgent father, honoured and beloved in life, most sincerely lamented in death. James Morice, Esq. Attorney of the Here also is interred the body of Mary

Court of Wards *, to the Lord High Milles, his beloved wife, who died April

Treasurer Burleigh, Master of that 24th, 1756, in the 77th year of her age.

Court. A matron of unaffected piety and exem- Right Honourable, my very good Lord, plary prudence. A pattern of conjugal and maternal affection. In honour of such pa- I impute, next unto God, to your ho

That I am no more hardly handled rents and such virtues, their affectionate children have gratefully inscribed this stone

nourable good will and favour; for, to their memory

although I am assured that the cause I took

in hand is good and honest, yet On a flat stone, without the rails : I believe that, besides your Lordship

Isaacus Milles, A.M. hujus Ecclesiæ per and that honourable person, your son t, viginti Annos post Mortem Patris Vicarius, I have never an honourable friend, but

non per ejusdem temporis spatium, no marvel ; for the best causes seldom Rector Parochiæ de St. Pinnoch, obiit xxii. find the most friends, especially har, die Novembris MDCCLXVI. Anno Ætatis ing many, and those mighty enemies.

I see no cause in my conscience to reP.S. Erratuin in Bond's - Histori- pent of that I have done, nor to be cal Sketches,” p. 474. 1. 3. for tything dismayed; although grieved by this witch, read tything wite, signifying å my restraint of liberty for I stand for composition, or compensation in lieu the maintenance of the honour of God of tithe.

J. B.R. and of my Prince, and for the preser

vation of public justice and the liber

ties of my country against wrong and Mr. URBAN,

June 11,

oppression; being well content at her CHE following letter of a real pa- Majesty's good pleasure and command

triot, in the reign of Queen Eli ment (whom I beseech God long to zabeth, to his friend the Lord High preserve in all princely felicity) to sufTreasurer Burleigh, may deserve a fer and abide much more. But I had place in your useful Miscellany; more thought that the Judges Ecclesiastical especially as a modern patriot, of cou. (being charged in the Great Council siderable talent, but perverted judg- of the Realm to be dishonourers of ment, was pleased, in the House of God and her Majesty, violators and

pec

suæ LI.

THE

• He was likewise Recorder of Colchester in Essex, and Representative of that Borough in the Parliaments of the 27th, 28th, 31st, and 35th of Elizabeth. On the 27th of February 1592-3, he spoke in the House of Commons against the severities practised by the Ecclesiastical Courts ; and proposed two Bills to remedy the evils of which he had complained. For this just exercise of senatorial right, he was, on the following day, seized by a Serjeant at Arms in the House itself, and committed to prison ; whence he made the subsequent noble appeal to the upright minister of the incensed Queen. His confinement, however, was probably not of long continuance ; for, in the following October, it appears that this able Lawyer and real Patriot was named to the Queen by the Earl of Essex as one well qualified for the then yacant office of Attorney General. Her Majesty (as that Earl reports in a letter to Mr. Anthony Bacon') acknowledged his gifts; but said his speaking against her, in such manner as he had done, should be a bar against any preferpent at her hands." -Mr. Morice died February 2, 1596-7, in his fifty-ninth year, at his seat of Ongar Castle, in the county of Essex; where he had been honoured by a visit from the Queen, July 16, 1579?.

† His second son, Sir Robert Cecil, Knt.; who in 1596 was appointed Secretary of State, and in the following reigo was created Earl of Salisbury. On the occasion referred to, Sir Robert thus spoke of Mr. Morice in the House of Commons.-"He is learned and wise, and one whom I love 3."

I Given in Birch's Memoirs of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.
• Account of the Queen's Progresses, published by Mr. Nichols.
3 Dewes's Journal, p. 476.

per

« PreviousContinue »