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partiality, has exhibited a beautiful picture of declining age; but we must add-it is a cold one.
We cannot but admire the pure morality of Mr. Edgeworth's character, respect his integrity and disinterestedness, and love his amiable qualities; yet, without feeling bigoted, without daring to judge how far these virtues alone may influence the future destiny of their possessor, we wish that religion had appeared among them. Mr. Edgeworth's code of morals is beautiful as the statue of Pygmalion, but like it, it wants life. We wish to bestow on it a soul, a vital principle; and we perceive that the lips, which discourse so eloquently of morals and philosophy, have not been touched by holy fire. We find the principles of honour and benevolence, where we look for those of faith and piety.
There is always an unpleasant feeling which accompanies biographical reading. The child, whose steps to manhood we have watched, whose sorrows we have pitied, and whose happiness we have in some measure shared, we must also follow down the vale of life, mark his strength fail-his mind decaylean over his dying bed, and attend him to his grave. With much of this feeling we closed these memoirs—the history of threescore years, life's limited span—their various events, joys, sorrows, passions, loves—all comprised in the space of three hundred pages. We read of his afflictions and vexations, and turning to the close of the volume, exclaim, " what matters it!"
ART. VII. The Political State of Italy. By THEODORE LY
MAN, Jr. Boston. Wells and Lilly. 1820.
This is one of the best specimens of book-making, either cisor trans-atlantic, that we recollect to have seen. Four hundred and twenty-four pages, comprising thirty-three chapters and three appendices, in pica type and leaded lines, on beautiful wove paper and with a broad margin, constitute the body of the work: and fifteen pages in bourgeois, on the same beautiful paper, present the table of contents--which contents are again set before us, in numerical succession, at the heads of the respective chapters to which they belong. The typography does credit to the well established reputation of Messrs. Wells & Lilly—and the precaution taken by the author to apprize his readers in the small type of all that he has to say in the large, shows his kindness towards that class of indolent gentlemen, who wish to have the reputation of knowing every thing about a book, and at the same time to be freed from the trouble of perusing it.
It is confidently stated, that Mr. L. has actually travelled in Italy, and that the work before us is to be considered a volume of travels. There are, certainly, sundry matters and anecdotes set forth in it, entirely at variance with the notion, that the writer had made his book out of materials collected exclusively in his study, and that he had not visited “Rome, Naples, and the Lombard-Venetian Kingdom.” It is true, he has forborne giving any preliminary notice of himself-or stating whence he came or whither he was going-what his views and objects wereor, indeed, craving in any shape or form the favour of his readers, by the customary modest avowal, that he was all incompetent to the treating of such “high matters," as are contained in his bookthat it was compiled for his own amusement, and was, by the importunity of partial friends, quite against both his will and his judgment, obtruded upon a discriminating, and yet, as he would hope, an indulgent public. In this Mr. L. shows his independence. He does not even seek favour, by an alluring titlepage. He knew what fascinations there were in the very word Travels and omits it. He knew how apt feeling, and, if the reader pleases, prejudice, are to be forestalled by pleasant introductions of autobiography. He would not descend to any of these common and persuasive arts; but comes sternly down upon his reader, in the first chapter, with an account of the “ Index Expurgatorius"that formidable weapon of Romish hostility against the freedom of the press; and in the course of eight pages, musters up Popes, Cardinals and Philosophers, in English, French and Latin, with an ease and familiarity, that would almost throw into the back ground the ponderous learning of the Belgic Scholiasts.
We intend to part with Mr. Lyman in great candour and with perfect good nature. We have read his book through,-a fact we understand, as to many works not very interesting, of rather equivocal bearing among the brotherhood of critics and we have no hesitation in saying, that we derived somewhat more pleasure from its perusal, than the judgments we had heard pronounced upon it led us to anticipate. We have suffered the less fatigue, in that the Latin, Italian, and French, which are scattered quite liberally throughout the work, are of so accommodating and plain-faced a character, as to give but little trouble in the translation; and that the Statistics, which constitute its principal part, . are put down in such good intelligible numerals, as to leave but scanty room for arithmetical captiousness. The work, however, it must be admitted, has its imperfections.
All, at least, all who can say that the cultivation of letters has been, to any considerable extent, their study and delight, know
what enchantments are thrown about the name- Italy. From . the schoolboy who reads the story of Æneas, to the soldier, the patriot, the statesman, the philosopher, the artist, the orator, the poet, and the religionist-Italy furnishes associations and recollections, on which they love to speculate, to dwell, to feel, and to ponder. The theatre of so many great achievements—the mother of so much talent—the nurse of so much profligacy-the field of so much blood, and the cradle of so many revolutionsshe is vastly imposing, in the melancholy magnificence of her ruins; and much more calculated, in these respects, to secure the notice of the intelligent stranger when he traverses her territory, and the favourable attention of the reader of his travels,than any very minute accounts of births and deaths, or-careful computations, on given spots and in certain months, of the tendency of the principle of population, as Malthus might call it, to produce a disparity in numbers between the sexes.
If one undertakes to travel through and to write of Italy, without throwing a scholar's glance at the relics of its grandeur, or musing awhile upon the achievements and memorials of the arts, or lending some hours to its classical recollections, he will scarcely reconcile himself to his readers,—unless he can show that he acted under some such “ despotic consciousness of duty,” as controlled Howard, in his journey of philanthropy :-that he had “one great work to do," and that all else must be made subordinate to it :-that the objects of bis pursuit were of so high and grave a character, as to make it almost criminal to allow the imagination any wing, or taste, any province; and withal, of so precise and arithmetical a bearing, as to forbid any notice of the prevailing manners and habits of the country; any analysis of its social, literary and scientific character; any examination into the springs of action which prevail there; or any prophecies respecting its future hopes and prospects. : . Now we cannot help the conviction that Mr. Lyman must have felt himself under some such imperative moral obligation, to induce him to forego the credit of furnishing, and us the pleasure of reading, a much more ingenious and attractive book. He must, we think, have made “ a covenant with his eyes," to be blind to all those objects which are emphatically interesting in Italy. He seems to have been mainly solicitous to be a favourite with the census takers, the tax gatherers, the sextons, the jailors, and the superintendents of hospitals and infirmaries. We presume, he insured accuracy to his statements, as well as gratified the vanity of the above-mentioned personages, by obtaining from them, personally, the returns in their respective departments. We fear, however, he did not allow himself to be cumbered with any great amount of more general and elevated
society ; for, we do not recollect of his claiming acquaintance with any individual, who was 'intelligent, of a sound judgment, "well instructed, not inclined to superstition, and ready to scoff • at incredulous stories;' except · Monseignor B.' who is adduced 'to prove, that the moving of the eyes and the winking of the • eyelids of the sacred images and pictures of the Virgin Mother,
in various parts of the pontifical states in 1796–7,' are as genuine miracles, and as well authenticated, as those recorded in the old and new Testaments; unless it be, that he would have an intimacy implied to exist between himself and those seven persons,' in whose presence the Neapolitan marquis made confessions respecting the health of himself and family, which ex'cellent reasons of public decency and propriety' forbid us to transcribe.
To advert a little more to particulars,—the first chapter is devoted to the Index Expurgatorius, or list of books forbidden to the children of the Holy See. It is a succinct enumeration of several books which the author considered interesting, that have come under the ban of the “ Congregation of the Index”-and, bating the learned formality with which the titles of some of them are announced—and the off-hand acquaintanceship which he appears to intend shall be understood as existing between himself and the thesauri of Henry and Charles Stephanus, of John • Scapula, and of John Hofman,' which might have been spared without detracting aught from the confidence of the reader-it is well enough. The prohibition against circulating the bible, except in the translation approved of by the church of Rome, might be very naturally expected. We believe, however, that in several sections of that church, in various parts of Europe, the restriction is merely nominal; and that even some of its distinguished dignitaries have seconded the efforts of Bible Societies in distributing the “word of life,” and in bringing it home, in intelligible language, to the hearts and the firesides of the poor.
The second chapter is devoted to the Pope and the Cardinals. Of the stories touching the Pontiffs,' which induce our author to think that several, and particularly Leo X.' were atheists, we are ignorant. It would no doubt have gratified the feelings of Voltaire, to have been able to enrol in the list of atheists, so great a name as that of the Christian Pontiff, under whose auspices the gloom of the dark ages was dissipated, and a new era marked by the revival of letters. It is admitted, however, by Mr. L. that atheism itself could not now restore Rome to her former splendour; and, bachelor as we are, we are half inclined to doubt whether her earlier glories would be renewed, were even the renovating substitute which he proposes actually resorted to, of• forcing his Holiness to be married
Of the personal character and appearance of the present Pontiff, we are satisfied, from what we have heard and read, that Mr. L.'s description of him, which concludes with the following extract, is accurate and justly discriminating.
All those who still bear in mind the meek and saint-like expression of his face,—who are acquainted with his mild, gentle, and subdued manners, his mortified habits of life, his holy and
sanctified demeanour and carriage, will have no difficulty in 'believing that he is undefiled by those wild and wicked pro
jects, and those debauched and profligate principles and practices, that disgrace too many of his predecessors. There are • surely few countenances in Christendom that appear to bear more constantly and profoundly the expression represented in the following words of the beautiful canticle of St. Simeon. • Nunc dimittis...' we will accommodate the passage-Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. The story of Angelucci and his two bells,' might well have been spared from the immediate neighbourhood of so fine and touching a portrait.
Our author speaks favourably of the demeanour and character of the Cardinals, who generally attain to a good old age— six'ty having died during the pontificate of the present Pope, the
average of whose ages was seventy-five and three fourths.' Gonsalvi is the politician,--Fontana, the linguist,-Litta or Somaglia is to be the next Pope, and all are represented as being free from profligacy-notwithstanding their monastic vows.'
The 3d, 4th, 6th, and 10th chapters relate to the form of government, police, finances, and population of the Ecclesiastical states : the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th, to religion, relics, making of saints, miracles, hospitals and convents. The remaining chapters are more particularly devoted to the Neapolitan dominions, with a few general references to Italy at large.
Since the conquest of the Ecclesiastical states by the French, many changes have been made in their civil administration. A new system was introduced by Cardinal Gonsalvi, in 1816, adapted to the new habits, opinions and condition of the people, which, if faithfully carried into execution, we are persuaded will contribute to the prosperity of the country. It is not yet, in practice, fully admitted; and will need the hand of time, as well as the skill and energy of the politician, to make it universal. An approach will be made to uniformity in the character and administration of the laws, and that worst of tyrannies that can belong to a penal code, which leaves the kind as well as the measure of punishment at the discretion of the magistrate, will at least be overcome.
We pass over the Casting out of devils,' and the account of