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dence merely circumstantial, been sentenced to transportation, or at least banishment, for life;-in the midst of all this woe-begone appeal to the pity of an unsympathizing world, nothing will satisfy the unconscionable idiot, but to " peruse again;" and, finally, finding that the case is hopeless, he sinks back on the Free and Easy chair which had been vacated an hour ago by the President of the Dirty Shirt, and, as if spying for spiders in a corner of the ceiling, emits out of a puckeredup mouth, whose pomposity surpasses that of his paternal pedagogue,
"'TIS TOO SUBLIME FOR US, THE SONS OF MEN!"
But nothing else will satisfy the inexorable Nicholas than to hang Wordsworth. He confesses, that "Beauties, like flowerets scatter'd o'er
So suffer on the gallows of my rhymes."
What! has the author of the Lyrical ='Ballads, Mr Wordsworth, been convicted of robbery, arson, and murder? Yet there will be some difficulty in carrying the sentence into execution. For the gallows of Mr Michell's rhymes consists of a number of bare poles of unequal lengths, that have shot up without sap; and could we even suppose them formed into something like a scaffold and a gibbet, the crazy concern would not support the weight of a personable felon like Mr Wordsworth, till he had finished the prayers appointed for that morning's service; and then, of the many hundred lines of this satirist's spinning, the strongest would not sustain a fly. So feeble are they, that a midge would so stretch even a picked line, that if suspended by it for a moment, his feet would be touching the ground, and the eman
VOL. XXXI. NO. CXCV.
cipated animalcula would escape. from justice.
We begin to have a feeling that we have been too contumelious on Mr Nicholas, and cannot be happy at the thought of parting company with him, till we have made the amende honourable. It is our belief that there is little or no harm in him, and that he might be made, by a judicious and strict regimen of chastisement, in some of the inferior departments, not of literary, but of manual labour, a not altogether useless member of the community. We fear his talents are not quick enough to qualify him for a tailor. No-he could never be a Place. Nor is his eyesight sufficiently sharp, we suspect, for either of those two occupations which Adam Smith mentions in illustration of the wonderful effects of the division of labour-we mean, sharpening the points, or rounding the heads, of pins. We must find for him some work requires no nicety of touch, broader employment, of which the and may be slobbered over, in a general way, to the satisfaction of the industrious capitalist. What does he think of that handicraft devoted to the affixation, on the walls of thoroughfares, of advertisements and announcements, at once useful and ornamental, of political or philosophical intelligence to the lieges inhabiting towns and cities, and suffering under an unappeasable hunger and thirst for News-News-News? Yes! Nicholas must be a BILL-STICKER!
But he must not expect to retain the situation which we have in our eye for him, and which, in the event of a dissolution on the passing of some Reform Bill or other, will be a most lucrative one, unless he forswear Satire, and let Poetry go to the pot. He must adhere to his batter. There is a fine opening now in Edinburgh in that department for an active young man; and though heretofore, perhaps, the habits of Nicholas may have been rather too sedentary, his constitution, on the other hand, has not been impaired by his having been, like many less fortunate but equally meritorious lads, apprenticed to the trade before his sinews and were strung and his joints knit,; as he is in the prime of life, after a few weeks' "training on the sly,' there cannot be the least doubt in
the world that he would prove himself an accomplished-a consummate
But should he in the pride of genius refuse the appointment, let him at least accept our advice. We are in the dark as to his present profession, and should suppose from the symptoms that he has none at all. Now idleness is the fruitful mother of vice and folly; and we beseech Nicholas to turn to an honest calling, and think no more of the Living Poets, or of the Living Poetesses. Those Ladies of the Lay are a perilous people; and the mildest of them all more than a match for old-a fortiori, for young Nic. He must positively discontinue his addresses to the Muses, if he indulges the fond hope of continuing to wear a coat decently roughish in the nap. The most forlorn sight on the hopeless earth seems to us, in our melancholy moods, to be the nether integuments of a small critical versifier without any brains. Much shabby-genteel wretchedness, no doubt, often accompanies a life of petty prose; but still there seems something wanting to complete the picture. That something is the "accomplishment of verse. That is felt to lend the finishing touch to the feebleness; and as Thomas the Rhymer totters by, we hear the supplicating shadow say,
"For I am poor and miserably old !” But independently of all these considerations, Nicholas should cease to be satirical, simply because of the absurdity of the silliest sumph being so, that has, during the present century, taken his station among the scribblers. We can charge our memory with nothing approximating him in that way; there is a silliness within a silliness in much he writes, that has sometimes almost persuaded us that we have been seeing triple; we have been tempted to say "there is a depth of shallowness here which we cannot fathom;" "how profoundly superficial !" "In all this creeping and crawling there is something sublime!" Unquestionably so —our author is a man of distinction; without reluctance, we announce Mr Nicholas Michell--the Weakest Man of the Age.
well-off in the world, with two meals per diem, and in his wardrobe a change of raiment. In such easy circumstances, why satirical? Gratitude should make him in love with the "great globe, and all which_it inherits." If he must write, then, let him dribble Thanksgiving Odes. One so sleek must not be so satirical. Why run about with his plumage all ruffled like a peevish Friesland capon, always complaining of something or other, as if no cinders were to his mind, when he might be permitted to play the part for which the ornithologist sees he is designed, that, namely, of the bantam about his own doors, with the feathers down to his heels, and indeed far beyond, lying in the natural way; his own little dunghill undisturbed by any alien crow, and his own "shrill clarion" heard through several closes all leading into a common centre, the Court where Dandy, not unattended by dames and damsels, enjoys his hereditary reign?
We cannot, as our readers will see, help having a kindly" as well as an arch" feeling towards Nicholas. And we cannot bid him good-by without requesting his attention to the following short statement. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Scott, of whom, in their character of poets, he writes with supercilious scorn, are men of the highest order of intellect and imagination. He is of the lowest -or rather he belongs to no order. His height is three inches and a half below the level of the sea. The first sight of such a pigmy doing the supercilious, that is, drawing up its eyebrows into a curve, inflating its nostrils, and curling its lip, is merely ludicrous; the second rather irritates; the third, in spite of the smallness, gets disgusting and we think of an earwig. We have seen some impudent stir lately in quarters where the Cockneys were wont to be mum as mice. The vermin had better be quiet; and now that they have taken sweet counsel together, retreat in time to their holes. Should a certain Red Rover of a Grimalkin, who shall be nameless, leap out upon them, what a topsy-turvy of tails and whiskers! We should like to see an Archibald Bell-the-Cat arising among the
We shall suppose him tolerably Cockneys.
SALVANDY ON THE LATE FRENCH REVOLUTION.*
EVER Since the late French Revolution broke out, and at a time when it carried with it the wishes, and deluded the judgment, of a large and respectable portion of the British public, we have never ceased to combat the then prevailing opinion on the subject. We asserted from the very outset that it was calculated to do incredible mischief to the cause of real freedom; that it would throw back for a very long period the march of tranquil liberty; that it restored at once the rule of the strongest; and, breaking down the superiority of intellect and knowledge by the mere force of numbers, would inevitably and rapidly lead, through a bitter period of suffering, to the despotism of the sword.
We founded our opinion upon the obvious facts, that the Revolution was effected by the populace of Paris, by the treachery of the army, and the force of the barricades, without any appeal to the judgment or wishes of the remainder of France; that a constitution was framed, a King chosen, and a government established at the Hotel de Ville, by a junto of enthusiastic heads, without either deliberation, time, or foresight; that this new constitution was announced to the provinces by the telegraph, before they were even aware that a civil war had broken out; that the Citizen King was thus not elected by France, but imposed upon its inhabitants by the mob of Paris; that this convulsion prostrated the few remaining bulwarks of order and liberty which the prior revolution had left standing, and nothing remained to oppose the march of revolution, and the devouring spirit of Jacobinism, but the force of military despotism. That in this way no chance existed of liberty being ultimately established in France, because that inestimable blessing depended on the fusion of all the interests of society in the fabric of government, and the prevention of the encroachments of each class by
the influence of the others; and such mutual balancing was impossible in a country where the whole middling ranks were destroyed, and nothing remained but tumultuous masses of mankind on the one hand, and an indignant soldiery on the other. We maintained that the convulsion at Paris was a deplorable catastrophe for the cause of freedom in all other countries; that by precipitating the democratic party every where into revolutionary measures or revolutionary excesses, it would inevitably rouse the conservative interests to defend themselves; that in the struggle, real liberty would be equally endangered by the fury of its insane friends and the hostility of its aroused enemies; and that the tranquil spread of freedom, which had been so conspicuous since the fall of Napoleon, would be exchanged for the rude conflicts of military power with popular ambition.
Few, we believe, comparatively speaking, of our readers, fully went along with these views when they were first brought forward; but how completely have subsequent events demonstrated their justice; and how entirely has the public mind in both countries changed as to the character of this convulsion since it took place! Freedom has been unknown in France since the days of the Barricades; between the dread of popular excess on the one hand, and the force of military power on the other, the independence of the citizen has been completely overthrown; Paris has been periodically the scene of confusion, riot, and anarchy; the revolt of Lyons has only been extinguished by Marshal Soult at the head of as large an army as fought the Duke of Wellington at Toulouse, and at as great an expense of human life as the revolt of the Barricades; the army, increased from 200,000 to 600,000 men, has been found barely adequate to the maintenance of the public tranquillity; 40,000 men, incessantly
* Seize Mois, ou La Revolution et La Revolutionaires, par N. A. Salvandy, auteur de l'Histoire de la Pologne. Paris. 1831.
stationed round the capital, have, almost every month, answered the cries of the people for bread by charges of cavalry, and all the severity of military execution; the annual expenditure has increased from L.40,000,000 to L.60,000,000; fifty millions sterling of debt has been incurred in eighteen months; notwithstanding a great increase of taxation, the revenue has declined a fourth in its amount, with the universal suffering of the people; and a pestilential disorder following as usual in the train of human violence and misery, has fastened with unerring certainty on the wasted scene of political agitation, and swept off twice as many men in a few weeks in Paris alone, as fell under the Russian cannon on the field of Borodino. Externally, have the effects of the three glorious days been less deplorable? Let Poland answer; let Belgium answer; let the British Empire answer. Who precipitated a gallant nation on a gigantic foe; and roused their hot blood by the promises of sympathy and support, and stirred up by their emissaries the revolutionary spirit in the walls of Warsaw? Who is answerable to God and man for having occasioned its fatal revolt, and buoyed its chiefs up with hopes of assistance, and stimulated them to refuse all offers of accommodation, and delivered them up, unaided, unbefriended, to an infuriated conqueror? The revolutionary leaders; the revolutionary press of France and England; the government of Louis Philippe, and the reforming Ministers of England; those, who, knowing that they could render them no assistance, allowed their journals, uncontradicted, to stimulate them to resistance, and delude them to the last with the hopes of foreign intervention. Who is answerable to God and man for the Belgian revolt? Who has spread famine and desolation through its beautiful provinces, and withered its industry with a blast worse than the simoom of the desert; and sown on the theatre of British Glory those poisoned teeth, which must spring up in armed battalions, and again involve Europe in the whirlwind of war? The revolutionary leaders; the revolutionary press of France and England; the government of Louis
Philippe, and the reforming Ministers of this country; those who betrayed the interests of their country in the pursuit of democratic support; who dismembered the dominions of a faithful ally, and drove him back at the cannon mouth, when on the point of regaining his own capital; who surrendered the barrier of Marlborough and Wellington, and threw open the gates of Europe to republican ambition after they had been closed by British heroism? Who are answerable to God and man for the present distracted state of the British Empire? Who have suspended its industry, and shaken its credit, and withered its resources? Who have spread bitterness and distrust through its immense population, and filled its poor with expectations that can never be realized, and its rich with terrors that can never be allayed? Who have thrown the torch of discord into the bosom of an united people; and habituated the lower orders to license, and inflated them with arrogance, and subjugated thought and wisdom by the force of numbers, and arrayed against the concentrated education and wealth of the nation the masses of its ignorant and deluded inhabitants? The reforming Ministers; the revolutionary press of England; those who ascended to power amidst the transports of the Barricades; who incessantly agitated the people to uphold their falling administration, and have incurred the lasting execration of mankind, by striving to array the numbers of the nation against its intelligence, and subjugate the powers of the understanding by the fury of the passions.
To demonstrate that these statements are not overcharged as to the present condition of France, and the practical consequence of the Revolution of the Barricades, we subjoin the following extract from an able and independent reforming journal:
"If a government is to be judged of by the condition of the people, as a tree by its fruits, the present government of France must be deemed to be extremely deficient in those qualities of statesmanship which are calculated to inspire public confidence and make a people happyfor public discontent, misery, commotion, and bloodshed, have been the melancholy characteristics of its sway. If the minis
try of Louis Philippe were positively devoted to the interests of the ex-royal family, they could not take more effective steps than they have hitherto done to make the vices of that family be forgotten, and to reinforce the ranks of the party which labours incessantly for their recall.
"With short intervals of repose, Paris has been a scene of emeutes and disturbances which would disgrace a semi-civilized country, and to this sort of intermittent turbulence it has been doomed ever since Louis Philippe ascended the throne, but more especially since Casimir Perier was intrusted with the reins of responsible government. It is a melancholy fact that, under the revolutionized government of France, more blood has been shed in conflicts between the people and the military, than during the 15 years of the restoration, if we except the three days of resistance to the ordinances in Paris, which ended in the dethronement of Charles the Tenth.
"Yet we do not know if we ought to except the carnage of those three days, for we recollect having seen a communication from Lyons, soon after the commotions in that city, in which it was stated that a greater number of persons, both citizens and soldiers, fell in the conflict between the workmen and the military, than were slain during the memorable three days of Paris. Let us add to this the slaughter at Grenoble, where the people were again victorious, and the sabrings and shootings which have taken place in minor conflicts in several towns and departments, and it will be found that the present government maintains its power at a greater cost of French blood than that which it has superseded."-Morning Herald.
We have long and anxiously looked for some publication from a man of character and literary celebrity of the liberal party in France, which might throw the same light on the consequences of its late revolution as the work of M. Dumont has done on the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly. Such a work is now before us, from the able and eloquent pen of M. Salvandy, to whose striking history of Poland, we have in a recent number requested the attention of our readers. He has always been a liberal, opposed in the Chamber of Deputies all the arbitrary acts of the late government, and is a decided defender of the revolution of July. From such a character the testimony borne to its practical effeets is of the highest value.
"The restoration," says he, "bore in its bosom an enemy, from whose attacks France required incessant protection. That enemy was the counter revolutionary spirit; in other words, the passion to deduce without reserve all its consequences from the principle of legitimacy; the desire to overturn, for the sake of the ancient interests, the political system established by the revolution, and consecrated by the charter and a thousand oaths. It was the cancer which consumed it; the danger was pointed out for fifteen years, and at length it devoured it.
"The revolution of July also bore in its entrails another curse this was the revolutionary spirit, evoked from the bloody chaos of our first revolution, by the sound of the rapid victory of the people over the royalty. That fatal spirit has weighed upon the destinies of France, since the revolution of 1830, like its evil genius. I write to illustrate its effects; and I feel I should ill accomplish my task if I did not at the same time combat its doctrines.
"The counter revolution ways formidable, but in consequence of the inevitable understanding which existed between its supporters and the crown, who, although it long refused them its arms, often lent them its shield. The revolutionary spirit has also a powerful ally, which communicates to it force from its inherent energy. This ally is the democracy which now reigns as a despot over France; that is, without moderation, without wisdom, without perceiving that it reigns only for the behoof of the spirit of disorder-that terrible ally which causes it to encrease its own power, and will terminate by destroying it. It is time to speak to the one and the other a firm language; to recall to both principles as old as the world, which have never yet been violated with impunity by nations, and which successively disappear from the midst of us, stifled under the instinct of gross desires, rash passions, pusillanimous concessions, and subversive laws. Matters are come to such a point, that no small courage is now required to unfold these sacred principles; and yet all the objects of the social union, the bare progress of nations, the dignity of the human race, the cause of freedom itself, is at stake. That liberty is to be seen engraven at the gate of all our cities, emblazoned on all our monuments, floating on all our standards; but, alas! it will float there in vain if the air which we breathe is charged with anarchy, as with a mortal contagion, and if that scourge marks daily with its black mark some of our maxims, of our