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( 482 ) MINOR CORRESPONDENCE. Mr. J. F. RUSSELL says— I owe you my to explain this custom; which is, however, best acknowledgments for referring me to elegantly and clearly exemplified by Dr. the interesting account of some of my ap- Adam Clarke, and confirmed by the Tarcestors in the 94th volume of your miscellany. There is one omission, however, in ARCHIPRESBYTER RŪRALIS, (who has been those biographical notices, which I should for some time engaged in collecting matethank you to supply, by inserting the follow rials in illustration of the office of rural Dean ing brief narrative of the Rev. John Mea. or Archipresbyter,) enquires whether a seal dous, brother of Sir Philip Meadows, K.B. of that ancient office exists in any of the Ambassador, &c. extracted from Palmer's public or private repositories of the kingNonconformist Memorial, vol.iii. p. 284-5. dom That the functionary in question had

OwsDen rectory, Suffolk. John Meadows, his sigillum auctenticum, on which was enM.A. of both Universities, and Fellow of graven the name of his office, there is no Christ's Coll. Cambridge. He was a person doubt. Indeed, by the 28th constitution of holy in all manner of conversation ; con- Cardinal Ocho, it is expressly enjoined that stantly careful to please God, and preserve rural Deans and other officials should resiga the peace of his conscience, always jealous their seals of office immediately on the expiof his own heart, and on every occasion wil- ration of the period of their tenancy. ling to try it. He served God while in his Mr. MADDEN, of the British Museum, public ministry with great labour and com- would feel obliged for any information refortable success. A diligent visitor and in- specting the Original Will of Queen Mary structor of his flock, and a practical and 1. which, at the beginning of the last cenmoving preacher. He ever maintained a tury, was in the hands of Mr. Hale of Aldercatholic charity for all Protestants, and ley, Gloucestershire, (a son of Sir Matthew greatly bewailed the divisions of the Hale,) and appears since to have been mischurch, and the intemperate heats of all laid, or lost. persuasions. He held occasional commu- The Rev. J. GRAHAM says-"A friend nion with the Church of England, but of mine, James Prior, esq. of the Royal could not desert the duty of his office. Such Navy, the author of the Life of Burke, has was the integrity of his life, such was his undertaken the Biography of Oliver Goldhumility, gospel sincerity, and quiet de- smith, and requests information on the subportment; such his moderation as to the ject. He has been already tolerably successcircumstantials of religion, and so well did he ful in Ireland, and is not without hope of refill up all the relations in life, that his ene- covering some dormant documents in England mies could only object Nonconformity as his which may be of use to him." crime. He was really a pattern of true re A BiblioGRAPHER inquires who the ligion; he preached freely, he lived exem- “Richard Cavendish” was, who is menplarily, he died comfortably in the 75th year tioned in a letter from William Capon to of his age, and was buried honourably.' Cardinal Wolsey (inserted in Ellis's Original My esteemed uncle, John Fuller, esq. of Letters, 1st series, vol. 1), as having preDuomow, the hereditary proprietor of the sented a “bukk” to “ your Grace's colmanor of Witnesham, possesses a valuable lege” at Ipswich. He appears to have and interesting portrait in oil of the above been of Suffolk, and is called “ your Grace's clergyman, in which he is represented as a servant." youth of 16, in his academical dress, with M. U. will feel obliged for any potices' of his hair Auwing gracefully upon his shoul Benjamin Parker, who, from 1744 to his ders."

death in 1747, read Theological and PhiloL. remarks Templarius, on the Ad sophical Lectures in London, having preministration of Oaths, having alluded to the viously published several treatises in these engagement of the servant of Abraham upon sciences. He is slightly mentioned by Hutbeing sent into a distant country to fetch a ton, Hist. of Derby, and by Lysons, Mag. wife for his master's son, is referred to an Brit. Derbyshire. explanation of great delicacy and learning, M. U. is informed that there is no other respecting the mode of adjuration by put engraved portrait extant of Rev. Stebbing ting his hand under the thigh of the pa Shaw, the historian of Staffordshire, than triarch: not because “ the posterity of the a private plate drawn and etched by Thomas patriarchs are described as coming out of Donaldson ; an inferior artist, who was unthe thigh, and this ceremony therefore have der obligations to Mr. Shaw. It bears ing some relation to the belief of the pro scarcely any resemblance to the original. mise, to bless all the nations of the earth by M. T. is informed that the MSS. from means of one that was to descend from Abra which Mr. Shaw compiled his History of ham," as in Burder's Oriental Customs, Staffordshire were privately bought by the cited by your correspondent, p. 598, note, late Mr. Hamper, whose collections are now vol. c. pt. ii., but actually thus swearing by preparing for sale by Mr. Evans. the sign of circumcision, typical of that pro- The communication of H. H, has never mise. Harmer and Barrington both failed been received.

Τ Η Ε

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

JUNE, 1831.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

ITALY AND THE ITALIANS. ITALY, the land of the Church, of the student. The ancient Romans the country where Christianity first must always in their history form a acquired a national character, the soil theme of intense curiosity to the where on a grand scale a new and reader who explores the peculiar and purer religion than the world ever distinctive features of human characsaw, became first indigenous, and ter, as displayed on the great arena of taught the doctrines of her sacred in- nations, together with the causes stitutions to the surrounding nations which push some States on to high of Europe ;-Italy, although in more eminence, while others slumber in than one period of modern history, perpetual mediocrity. The storied several of her States have, even in the narrative of their transactions and midst of intestine feuds and open hos- exploits, blazes forth with a promitilities, risen distinguished in art and nence and lustre in the history of in letters, ranks at present low in the mankind which distinguishes the reintellectual sciences, and all her efforts cords of no other nation or people.for political emancipation have hitherto The soul expands whilst expatiating proved unavailing. The various causes over the lengthened series of their which have tended to produce her pre- republican history over their fame, sent state of degeneracy, when com- ripening through centuries, and throwpared with her former greatness, maying the transactions of all other na. be interesting to the philosophical and tions into the shade. For the littlespeculative inquirer.

ness of comparative obscurity circles In tracing the history of nations, over the chivalric deeds of other naand the varying complexion of human tions, inasmuch as no other State with character, animosity is often arrested which history brings us acquainted, by the diverse circumstances under ever maintained so long its political which mankind at various periods of ascendancy over the nations of the the world are presented to our notice. earth. It is remarked by Boileau, while The scholar who lucubrates amidst speaking of the characters of the va- the scenes and narratives of days long rious ages of life,

gone by, sees in fancied retrospect the

ample space which the empires of “Le temps que change tout, change aussi

Semiramis, Sesostris, and Cyrus, oc. nos humeurs ;

cupied on the map of Asia,--although Chaque age a ses plaisirs, son esprit, et ses

he may not probably credit the promours."

digious “circumstanceof warlike It may be also said of the several ages operation related of the former by of the world, as exemplified in the Diodorus Siculus, who was in these history of mankind, and having espe- matters guided chiefly by the authocial reference to some of its periods, rity of Ctesias the Cnidian. But the that its contrasts, as exhibited in the influence and preponderating ascendmanners, caprices, and views of its ancy, if not the actual territorial posinhabitants, are not less striking to session of the Romans has been long him who contemplates them.

acknowledged to be without parallel In viewing, then, these contrasts, in the entire history of mankind. The that which ancient and modern Italy, terror of their arms reached much furin some of the periods of its history, ther than their actual conquests; and presents in the character of her inha. envoys from all the civilized nations bitants, must ever arrest the curiosity of the globe crowded either to do

484
Italy and the Italians.

(June, homage, or negotiate an amicable al- lution of the Roman power. After the liance with a people whose military hives of barbarians, who with such renówn was only equalled by the ma perseverance struggled for the ascendtured wisdom of their policy. While ancy throughout the Western prothey introduced throughout the na vinces, had become the occupants of tions they subjugated the arts of civi. the soil, the grossest superstitions lization and the literature of Greece, were presently foisted upon the purer their magnanimity and patriotic devo. precepts of the Christian faith, and tion to the interests of their country, the human mind soon became veiled protracted through centuries, and ani. in ignorance and gloom. The relimating to deeds of heroism on a grand gious orders and institutions which national scale, has no parallel in the grew with the growth of every sucannals of mankind.

cessive century, and spread themselves In periods of her modern history, particularly over the nations of Italy, alas! 'how has Italy distinguished were doubtless, in the abuses to which herself? and how in a national point they led, generative of that blindness of view does she rank at the present and superstition which to this day moment among the nations of Europe prevails to a greater extent there than and the world? Alas! a nation of in any other country in Europe, with singers and fiddlers can never hope, the exception perhaps of Spain and by any human ingenuity, to rival the Portugal. “In this barbarous age,” dignity and grandeur which attached says Mosheim, speaking of the 7th to her name, when Rome in her re

century, “religion lay expiring under publican strength stood the proud ar a motley and enormous heap of subiter of the universe.

perstitious inventions, and had nei. What political and moral effects, it ther the courage nor the force to raise may be asked, have Christianity in her head, or to display her native modern times had upon the people of charms to a darkened and deluded Italy? A spectator, in view of the world.” He expresses himself in sipuerile superstitions of ancient Rome, milar terms concerning the 8th cenmight have predicted amongst the mo. tury; for though, as he says, Charlederns another state of things,-a moral magne seemed disposed to stem this expansion of character at least equi. torrent of superstition, and opposed valent to that of any former period. the worship of images, yet profound But, alas! nothing (if we view the and grovelling ignorance, both as it whole period of their modern history) regarded religious light and the cultican stand more utterly in the teeth of vation of mind, again spread itself any such prediction, than the narra after his death through the nations of tive of those moral and religious vir- the West. tues which have adorned the charac Italy was the soil from whence most ter and temperament of the modern of these perversions of reason and Italians.

common sense, as well as of religion, Constantine the Great doubtless may be said to have first emanated, supposed, when he removed the seat the head quarters of superstition and of empire to a spot which seemed to spiritual tyranny, from which the command the riches (or the facilities alleged successors of St. Peter and of acquiring them) of Europe and their innumerable coadjutors, wove Asia, and Christianized the Roman their ingenious web of entanglement world, that the ancient vigour and for enslaving the minds and consoundness of moral temperament was sciences of all ranks of people. about to be restored.

In point of commercial greatness The history of Italy, for the last and richness, the famous maritime ten or twelve centuries, if viewed in Republics of Italy in the middle ages relation to Christianity, may almost may be said to have rivalled the anindeed in its general character be cient states of Tyre and Carthage, thought a summary of all that is anti luxury which followed in its train, Christian. All ecclesiastical histo was carried to a high excess, and even rians concur in depicting in the most the independence of its denizens was glowing characters, the frightful state often asserted and maintained. But of obliquity and declension which pre over the states of the Church, and vailed in the Church throughout Chris their dependancies, there generally tendom for many ages after the disso. reigned a frightful moral gloom, which

1831.) Works of Eustace and Eady. Morgan on Italy. 485 was mainly attributable, it may be most strenuously, by a variety of il. thought, to the benighting influences lustrations, and the use of argument of the doctrines propagated from the which sometimes however is any thing Vatican; and the anti-Christian ex. but conclusive, to prove to the reader amples (with some bright exceptions, that this thesis is built upon a close it is true) which were held forth by and accurate observation of Italy, as the supreme pontiffs.

she is. Mr. Eustace's rhetoric is The history of the Roman pontiffs powerful, occasionally, but it may be that lived in the 9th century,” says thought he altogether fails when he Dr. Mosheim,“ is a history of so speaks of the “ public spirit,” “ pamany monsters, and not of men, and triotism,” and “ magnanimity" of exhibits a horrible series of the most the modern Italian states, -as (Venice flagitious, tremendous, and compli- perhaps excepted) the history of those cated crimes; as all writers, even those states will assuredly testify that they of the Romish communion, unani. have in modern times fallen far below mously acknowledge.” The debasing several other European states, in each tenets taught by her priests may be of these particulars. In this “ Dis. thought to have been instrumental, in sertation” he declares that, were a more than a slight degree, in pro. leader of great abilities to place himducing that supine and pusillanimous self at the head of Italy, “ he would character, which at length distinguishes find all the materials of greatness Italy, in our own day, so far as re- ready for his use.” The historical regards valour, discipline, and constancy. cords of the modern Italian states, and

Amongst the most prominent of the their wars with foreign powers, cermodern speculators on the subject of tainly disprove this assertion. The Italy, ranks Eustace, author of the truth is, the sons of Italy are, in “ Classical Tour.An enthusiastic point of character, of a different conadmirer of the policy and magnanimity texture from what they were about of the ancient Romans, surveying with the times here mentioned. With every astonishment, as all must, the stu- allowance for the splendid talents, and pendous remains of their ancient gran- the thinking both on subjects of art deur, he yet perhaps is disposed to and literature which has distinguished place the character and features of modern Italy, they have indubitably Modern Italy higher in the scale of evolved a very different standard of moral and mental excellence, than the bravery and of patriotism from that accounts which may be drawn from which prevailed in the old Republic most other quarters, will warrant during the period of the rising grandeur But it is impossible to trace the pages of Rome, as Tacitus calls it-for that, of Eustaceeminent among other tra- of course, is the period to which all vellers, without feeling a spark of that point who speak of Roman superiority. flame which seems to kindle in his The architectural grandeur of Rome own breast, at the recital of the archi appears to have attained its high emitectural splendours of the “ ancient nence and maturity after the enslavecity.” The heart swells with a ge- ment of its inhabitants. Its skill in nerous and gratulatory emotion while the arts rose as its liberties sunk, their contemplating the elevation of thought, inventive faculty and the expansion of the purity and grandeur of design, their ingenuity in the varied works of which inspired a race of beings to the imagination and genius, trod upon the achievement of works whose consum. heels of their freedom. mate skill and astounding magnifi On the subject of Italy, our intellicence have few or no parallels in the gent countrywoman, Lady Morgan, degenerate days of modern times. — has also written a work. Whatever But Eustace, doubtless, proceeds in rank her Ladyship may hold in her the teeth of every other recorded au- country's literature, it may be said of thority, when, in his last chapter, he her book, so far as it relates to the endeavours to establish a position, as historical state of Italy, that it aims at it should seem, peculiar to himself, that species of fine writing which conthat the modern Italians, taken in sists of sweeping metaphors and bold every sense in which a people can be generalizing positions. In common considered, dispute the palm of rival- with some other writers, she takes ship with their ancestors. In his for granted that the modern Italian conclusive “ Dissertation,” he labours Republics of Milan, Florence, Pisa,

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