« السابقةمتابعة »
There, hopeful only of the grave,
hundred sovereigns. I will leap with the worthy Alderman over as To stand through morn and even,
many coffin handbills as he shall be able to collect, and will leap with Where all on earth was black despair,
him into Tartarus, if he bets me two to one, and goes first. I regret
to pereeive that exploits of a most daring character make but an inAnd nothing bright but heaven.
different impression upon a gallant people. Look at Leander, who
swam across the -I forget the name of the sea, to get a peep at And, later still, when times were changed, his sweetheart-history has not forgotten him. Look at Hannibal, And tend'rer thoughts came o'er thee,
who crossed the Catskill Mountains in winter, before Mr Webb had When abject, suppliant, and poor,
built the Mountain House. Look at our late worthy President, Mr Thy injurer came before thee,
Adams, who swam across the Tiber at Rome, and the same river at How thou didst freely all forgive,
Washington City; and look at me, who have jumped over the Pas
saic Fails several times, without being killed will history forget these Thy heart and sword presented,
exploits? Will not Noah Webster, in his next Dictionary, notice Although thou knew'st the deed must be
them? Every skimble-skamble thing in the country is patronised In tears of blood repented.
an Italian singer—a pair of fat babies - a dancing corpsman Egyptian
mummy, or the dog Apollo, can make fortunes, and can visit SaraScotland! the land of all I love,
toga Springs in Summer, while I, who have done what Jove never The land of all that love me;
did, can scarcely make up a paltry fifty dollars. Some day or other, Land, whose green sod my youth has trod,
I shall take such a leap, that you will hear no more of me, and thus Whose sod shall lie above me ;
leave the country to mourn over their loss. SAMUEL Vatch." Hail! country of the brave and good,
A very characteristic compliment has just been paid to Rossini in Hail ! land of song and story,
Paris, on the oecasion of his leaving that capital. The performers,
vocal and instrumental, of the Grand Opera, assembled at midnight Land of the uncorrupted heart,
before his residence, and performed se veral of the principal pieces in Of ancient faith and glory!
his new and popular opera of “ William Tell." Rossini has received the Cross of the Legion of Honour from Charles X.
It seems that the book trade of France is in any thing but a flouLITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
rishing condition. Many considerable towns have no bookseller at all, and the market diminishes daily. This state of things appears,
to a Commission d'Enquete of the Paris booksellers, to be occasioned Gazette," is announced. The first number will appear on January The state of legislation respecting literary property. A new weekly publication, to be entitled "The Foreign Literary mainly by, first, The system of the Douanes ; second, The Brevets, of
licenses required for exercising the profession of a bookseller; third, 6, 1830. Captain Brown is preparing Riographical Sketches and Authentic
The History of the Prussian Monarchy from the death of Frederick Anecdotes of Horses ; to be illustrated with engravings by Lizars.
I., by Manso, was lately translated into French from the German, Mr Swan announces for publication, a Demonstration of the and published anonymously. A German bookseller, ignorant of the Nerves of the Human Body, founded on the subject of the Prizes ad
existence of Manso's work, and mistaking the French for an original, judged to him by the Royal College of Surgeons. The first part will
has actually had it re-translated into German ! be ready in January next.
A collection of Portraits of the most Illustrious Living Characters The first number of the London University Magazine, a new of Italy,--that is, of such as have distinguished thernselves in the monthly publication, will appear on the 1st of October.
Arts, Sciences, and Literature, -has been recently commenced at M. Barthelemy, author of “ Le Fils de l'Homme," has appealed Florence. against the decision which condemned him to a fine and imprison- Theatrical Gossip.-J. H. Bayly, author of several popular songs, ment, on account of that poem.
has produced a new piece at the English Opera House, last week, Poems, by the King of Bavaria, and his son Prince Maximilian, with considerable success. It is said to be founded on " The Ayl are advertised by a Parisian bookseller.
mers," one of the tales in “ Holland Tide;" or, according to the FRENCH ACADEMY OF INSCRIPTIONS.-At the last annual public Examiner, on Godwin's novel of Caleb Williams. It is rather eurious meeting of this body, the body did not feel itself entitled to adjudge that, with one exception, the daily papers have been unanimous in any of the ordinary prizes. The following subjects for prize essays, its condemnation ; while, on the other hand, the weekly press are as were announced on the occasion. 1. An enquiry into the political nearly unanimous in its praise.—Kean is again said to have suffered condition of the Grecian cities in Europe, the Grecian islands, and little in his late illness, and to be again performing with the energy Asia Minor, from the beginning of the second century A. C., to the and success of former years. We pray that it may be so.-The Dubtransference of the seat of empire to Constantinople. This question lin Theatre did not sell at 19,00:) guineas last week, as stated in the is now proposed for the third time; no competitor having yet suc- Court Journalmit was bought in for 17,000 guineas.– The Caleceeded in discussing it to the satisfaction of the Academy. 2. A douian Theatre continues to enjoy its hitherto unwonted popularity. view of the changes which took place in the geography of Gaul after Its admirable Corps de Ballet increr ses in attraction nightly. We no the fall of the Roman empire, explanatory of the names of cities, tice that Madame Vedy, principal female dancer, takes her benefit on provinces, counties, and dukedoms, and all divisions, territorial, Monday evening, with a most attractive variety of entertainments civil and military, of the French monarchy on this side the Rhine, under the first two races of our kings. This subject is announced for the second time, and the prize is to be adjudged in 1830. 3. An
LIST OF NEW WORKS enquiry into the changes superinduced during the middle ages on
Napier's Peninsular War, Vol. II. 8vo, 20s. bds. the ancient geography of those countries which constituted, in the
The Ho.se in all his Varieties, by J. Laurence, 12mo, 8s. bads. tenth century, the European part of the empire of Constantinople:
Whittingham's Novelist, Vol. XXXV. 32mo, 2s. 6d. bds explanatory of their civil, military, and ecclesiastical divisions, from
Morton's Journey in Italy, 2 vols. 8vo, £1, 1s. bus. the accession of Justinian, to the times of Constantine Porphyroge
Stevens' Comments, Vol. XV. 8vo, 10s. bds. nitus ; and of the various independent states which arose during
Ballance's Memoir, 12mo, 5s, bds. that interval on the ruins of the empire, and flourished for a longer Hoogeven's Greek Particles, by Seager, 8vo, 75. Ed. bds. or shorter period. The comparative merits of the essays on this Bedford on the Catholic Question, 8vo, 10s. bds. subject are to be determined in 1831. 4. An original critical dis
The Bec Preserver, 12mo, 3s. bds. cussion of all the passages relating either to the person or doctrines
Burton's Bampton Lectures, 8vo, 15s. bds. of Pythagoras, which have been handed down to us by the ancients, Carpenter's Scripture Difficulties, 8vo, 128. bds. with a view to establish as satisfactorily as possible the real amount
Williams's Abstract, 10 Geo. IV. 8vo, 7s. bds. of historical information we possess respecting the fortunes and
Bloxham's Gothic Architecture, 12mo, 4s. bds. opinions of this philosopher. The prize to be adjudged in 1831.
Graves on Predestination, 8vo, 7s. bds. AN AMERICAN JUMPER.-We meet with the following curious let. ter in the New York papers, which have just arrived :" Messrs Editors-Please to notice in your valuable paper, that I propose celebrating the anniversary of our glorious Independence, by leaping over
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS. : the Little Falls, Essex County, New Jersey; which, not being sufficiently deep, I have erected a stage, so that the clear leap will be
OUR Correspondents must excuse us till next week. about 80 feet. I perceive, by a notice in Alderman Binns' paper,
We are happy to announce, that next Saturday's JOURNAL will that some base person proposes that I should leap with a frog for a
contain a Poem from the Pen of Mrs Hemans.
character and institutions, had suffered much in the dis
trict towards Lake Champlain, and along the shores of Coorer's AMERICAN Novels.— The Spy; a Tale of Neu- been brought with French and English soldiers, during
the great lakes, from the collision into which they had tral Ground. 3 vols.—Lionel Lincoln, or the Leaguer the protracted contests of which these scenes were witof Boston. 3 vols.—The Red Rover ; a Tale. 3 vols. The Pilot ; a Tale of the Sea. 3 vols.—The Last unites with one less advanced. The moral truths which
It is ever thus when a highly-refined nation of the Mohicans, a Narrative of 1757. 3 vols.—The the latter has been carefully accumulating in the lupse of Pioneers ; or the Sources of the Susquehanna. 3 vols. years, become shaken and disjointed ; it loses confidence -The Prairie. 3 vols.
and belief in its own principles, without being able to apWe have of late directed the attention of our readers propriate those of its new friend ; its growth is premato American poetry, and American literature in general. turely checked; the free-bourgeoning sapling is transWe now submit a few remarks on the materials afforded formed into a stake which, from its immaturity, rots in by the present state of American society for works of fic- the course of a winter. tion. A retrospective review of Mr Cooper's productions There was at this period also, a considerable diversity seems to offer the best text for such a discourse, at the between the character of the civilized inhabitants of the same time that it gives us an opportunity of attempting northern and of the southern states. The former were to annex an estimate of the talents of this popular novel- chiefly peopled by persons who had been obliged to leave ist. It is a difficult task we have undertaken—to speak England on account of their political principles. The fairly and candidly of a nation whose social fabric is erect- latter, including Virginia, contained an admixture of poed on a principle so different from our own ; whose songs litical emigrants; but they formed a small minority in soof triumph are over our losses ; and whose affections cling ciety, which was for the most part composed of adherents round objects which to us are repulsive. But, possessing of the aristocratical and royalist parties. The northern an honest desire to do justice to all parties, we certainly statesmen were distinguished by a sturdy independence, do not think ourselves incapable of accomplishing our and a strong attachment to the outward forms of religion. object, because our notions of America have been formed The southerns were a less precise race, with more of an on this side of the Atlantic. Captain Hall is an emi- aristocratical polish. The climate, perhaps, and certainnent and recent example how even an acute mind, when ly the older establishment and wider spread of slavery, in brought into immediate contact with strange customs, al- the southern states, contributed to increase the distinction lows the annoyance arising from slight jarrings of feel between these two divisions of our American doninions. ing, and sharp corners of character, to fret itself into Other individual differences might be found existing in overlooking the deeper and more enduring spirit of a na- each colony, according as men were gathered into towns tion. .
or scattered over a wide surface-placed on the verge of At the time when the revolutionary war broke out in the ocean, or struggling among the privations and danAmerica, the immense tracts which nominally belonged gers of the back woods. to the British crown, were but thinly and unequally Still, amid all these varieties, there was one prevailing peopled. Some few wealthy and populous towns were groundwork of character common to all, and that they scattered over the long line of coasts; the banks of some drew from the land of their birth. They were Englishof the rivers were well cultivated, and inhabited by a men transported far from the place of their sires, and set to hardy peasantry; but by far the larger proportion of the struggle in new, strange, and often perilous circumstances; inland was an unreclaimed forest. The towns exhibited but still they were Englishmen. Nay, more ; as we unimuch the same aspect that we find in the wealthy pro- formly see provinces and colonies imitating the deportvincial cities of England ;-a busy trading spirit, dif- ment of the metropolis, they were hen of the age fused comfort with occasional affluence, a degree of polish in which they lived, the last relics of that race of merr and refinement among the wealthier classes, but an ab- whose peculiarities flourished in such vigour from the sence of that finish communicated by the presence of a time of the Revolution of 1688, till the Revolution in court and high aristocracy. The inhabitants of the sea- France gave a new impulse to the mind of man, and coast were, of course, much addicted to maritime pursuits, brought into play heaven-scaling fancies, fond dreams of with a tinge of rudeness (if not something meriting a human worth-daring and self-devotion-madness and stronger appellation) from their frequent intercourse with folly—all that is good, terrible, and base in human naillicit traders, the successors of the buccaneers. The ture. forest was tenanted by its native tribes, with the un- The Anglo-American character was produced mainly frequent admixture of an adventurous white settler who by the operation of a recently-established practical freehad pushed on beyond his fellows, or a hunter who had dom, wbich the nation was still wearing in its newest half reverted to the state of nature in which he found his gloss, and which gave scope for all the humours of which copper-skinned brethren. The very imperfect knowledge Englishmen have been, since the days of Ben Jonson, we have of the Indians will sufficiently serve as an apo- the chief practisers and patrons. It was a character logy for our not entering into any detail with regard to plain, homely, practical, without one spark of poetry in them. We only remark, that the advanced although its composition, it was self-willed, opinionative, absurd; partial morat culture, which can be recognised in their it was a heart gushing with kindness under a mask of
apathy; it was the highest spirit, and the most refined mountains ;” Shakspeare flourished when the arising of a feeling, assuming the deportment of blunt rudeness. This new religion had braced men's minds to the utmost; Milcharacter, with some of its features exaggerated by the ton raised his deep organ-voice amidst and above the clash effects.of peculiar circumstances and situations, the war of civil arms ;'and, with perhaps one exception, all the of independence found predominant in America. There master spirits of our age carry upon them lasting marks was not much learning among these men, for regular of the impulse given to society by the bursting of the seminaries of education were but thinly scattered; but French Revolution. there was a wide diffusion of that kind of knowledge, We do not mean to assert that Cooper is a kind of wbich a man of a reflective turn, and possessed of books, Fielding or Smollett. He is a denizen of his own age, picks up in the intervals of an active life, knowledge, as they were of theirs he speaks its language, and thinks which, if somewhat deficient in completeness and arrange- its thoughts. His style is like that of almost every ment, is more vital—more a part of the living and breath- author of the day) more ambitious, but, at the same ing man, than any other.
time, more free and flowing, than that of the last age. The sense of dependence, however, the habitual defer- He also delights, like his contemporaries, to mingle beings ence to the mother country, had imparted a degree of of ideal beauty among the commonplace forms of every. languor to all their ways. The disputes, which termina- day life-to cast a reflex gleam of poetry over domestic
ted in the assertion of independence by the colonies, first feelings, like the last golden beam of the sun shedding an lent energy to the American character. It undertvent no accidental beauty over the squalid hut of the labourer
. other immediate change : life had been breathed into the Cooper has all that nationality, the want of which is mass which was already there. The Americans were so often alleged as a reproach to American literature. not dissatisfied with the laws which determined their re- His reflections, it is true, are such as might be made by lations to each other, but with the superiority asserted by the native of any country of European descent; but how Great Britain. The great framework of their social can nations, sprung from one common stock, formed by fabric remained unaltered. They became 'republicans the influences of science and literature, possessed by them from the necessity of their situation ; there were gen- in common, and owning one common religion, fail to tlemen among them, but no nobility; there was no one have a close family likeness ? When we say that he is possessed at once of the talents and inclination to assume national, we mean that his characters are the growth of the sovereign power ; there were, in short,' no materials America; that the mountains and streams which he de out of which a court could be formed. America was scribes, the forests that rustle in his pages, all the pbesituated as England might be, could we suppose its king nomena of earth and air, are American ; that his prinand nobles annihilated by some supernatural visitation, ciples, feelings, and prejudices, all lead him to embrace, and the commons living on under the control of their old on every occasion, the cause of America. His lanlaws, in their present parity. America became a repub-guage is copious and easy; but we may add, that the lic; but not such a republic as the classical scholar, look- structure of his sentences is not unfrequently careless ing rather to the poets than the historians of old Greece, and incorrect. His delineations of character are alfancies to have existed there ; nor such a one as the idle ways graphic, although he excels more in the strongly believers in the advent of a barely possible perfection of marked and peculiar than the beautiful.' In his earliest humanity, hailed, in the empty war-cries of the French works, the plot was generally clumsy and incomplete
. revolutionists. Some such dreamers there were in Ame- This defect he has now mastered ; in particular,' we rica, but the solid sense and quiet determination of the might point out the Last of the Mohicans as a tale leaders of the federalist party kept them under. It is which hurries the reader along with an eager and breathtrue, there is reason to dread that the Jacobins are on the less anxiety, such as is excited by the works of no moinerease in that country ; but let us hope that the good dern author we can remember except by one or two of sense of the nation will effectually prevent them from the best stories of Banim. ever gaining the ascendency.
The Red Rover, the latest of Cooper's novels, is also The sound policy of the successive governments, by the most powerful. The story is that of a generous, byt keeping the United States as much as possible aloof from perverted mind, the commander of a piratical vessel. European quarrels, has allowed them to hold on the even The time chosen is immediately antecedent to the Revolutenor of their way, from the moment that their institutions tionary war ; the scene is, during the first volume, in the were settled. Education and the arts, useful and orna-capital of the colony of Rhodë Ísland; the rest almost mental, have made steady progress. Their influence, and exclusively on sea. We know no one who commands the intercourse kept up with the Old World by wealthy that dread element with such power as Cooper. It is a travellers, are daily refining the American manners, with power only to be equalled by that with which he places out obliterating the strongly-marked features of their na- before us the fierce desperadoes of the pirate ship and their tional character. The immense tracts of yet unoccupied energetic leader. The Red Rover is a second and more land which lie beyond their settlements, offer an outlet, successful attempt at what the author probably intended in a sphere of exertion, for those turbulent and unquiet the Pilot. In this latter novel, the events are so crowd. spirits, who, in a densely-peopled country, would prove ed as to hurt each other's effect, and are managed as by the dangerous to a government, of such an artless and simple hand of a beginner. The first conception is good, but structure as the American.
there is generally a want of fulness and finish. The If we have succeeded in shadowing forth to the reader principal characters, too, strike us as failures—in particuthe vague notions which our situation and opportunities lar, the ladies. And we may as well take this opportuhave enabled us to form of the structure of American so- nity of remarking, that we do not think Cooper at any ciety, he (we can scarcely hope for the company of our time especially successful as a limner of the fair sex. fair friends along such a rugged path) will readily acqui- We must, however,
qualify our blame by admitting, that esce in the opinion, that the objects which there present even in the Pilot there are indications of that talent themselves to an author's eye, the passions likely to be which is displayed in its maturity in the Red Rover
. call forth and afford materials
Col. ing, a Smollett, or an Akenside, than for genius of a higher fin is a jewel inadequately represented order. It is only in times of commotion that great men Cooke ; and the running fight between the American fri
; spring into existence
. Æschylus fought in person against gate and three English vessels has scarcely been surpassed the Persians ; Virgil was nursed amid the storms of the by the author's happiest efforts. expiring republic; the Royal Minstrel of Israel poured The Leaguer of Boston is, as its title indicates, a tale forth his lays when hunted “ like a partridge on the of the Revolutionary war.
even by T. P.
In point of merit, it stands
much on a par with the Pilot. The time of the Spy is looking over an extensive plain, where the outlines of the at a later period of the same struggle ; and the book is receding objects grow gradually less definite, and the exmore to our taste. It contains a beautiful picture of tremity is lost in mists. But the history of the Jews Washington.
places them distinctly before us from their first origin The Last of the Mohicans, the Pioneers, and the Prairie, till their extinction as a nation. There is no period in compose a series. As, in the works already mentioned, the which we are obliged to guess at the truth, hid beneath a author has given us glimpses of civilized American life, dazzling but fantastic unsubstantial mythology. There in these three he has carried us to the boundaries where is none in which we find ourselves on the limits of the the white man and the dusky native come in contact. two worlds of dream and reality, uncertain what is subIn the Last of the Mohicans, we find the Indian, as he stance, what but an airy mockery. Abraham himself existed before the independence of America, retreating stands before us as real a denizen of this earth, as the last before the encroachments of the whites, but preserving king who sate on the throne of David. all the characteristics of his tribe. In the Pioneers, we The progressive developement of the social system is find him lingering among the settlements, old and degra- most distinctly marked in the Jewish history. In the ded, but looking back with pride to the days of his book of Genesis, we have a large and wealthy family wanstrength, as we have seen a chained eagle, his feathers dering in a yet unappropriated land, and settling from ruffled and drooping, weakness in every limb, but the eye time to time where inclination prompts. Their whole glancing brightly still, even amid disease and decay. In arrangements are strictly domestic; there are no laws, the Prairie, we are carried beyond the Ohio, and intro- no magistrate, no relations of citizenship. Between tủe duced to the scanty remnants of the Indian tribes, who, close of this book, and the commencement of Exodus, driven from station to station, have lost the associations there is an interval, of which we have no account. When of their fathers, and with them, hope and self-respect,—a we meet with the Jews again, they have become a people. savage banditti, who have parted with the virtues of the Their origin has already grown obscure ;-“ Now there svage, without acquiring one tinge of civilisation. arose up a new king in Egypt, which knew not Joseph."
Our limits do not admit of dwelling at greater length on They are strangers in a strange land, viewed with susthe merits and peculiarities of these works. We recom- picion by the natives, enslaved, and oppressed. A demend them to the attention of such of our readers as have liverer is raised up, who leads them out with a strong not already met with them. They contain spirited views hand into the wilderness, where God, first in his own
of American society at different times, in distant locali- person, and afterwards by the mouth of his prophet, me ties, and wide diversity of circumstances. They will be promulgates a code of religious belief and civil ordiEi found amusing by the idler; and even the more reflective nances, which they swear to observe. They are kept 3 reader may perceive that they suggest thoughts on the in the wilderness for forty years, that the stains and de
state and prospects of America, which the paltry and in- basement of slavery may be effaced from their minds besuficient histories we possess of that country have failed fore they take possession of their inheritance. When the to awaken.
time arrives that the hearts and sinews of the nation have been braced by the free life of the desert, their teacher is
taken from them, and his warrior successor leads them The Family Library.” No. V. The History of the Jeos. In three volumes. Vol. I. London. John his task is accomplished, and all the former inhabitants
on to take possession of their new abode. As soon as Murray. 1829.
expelled or subdued, he too is removed, but not until the The style of this first volume of Mr Milman's History Israelites have renewed in his hands their oath to obof the Jews is the worst thing about it. The author serve the ordinances of Moses. seems so versant in the German theologians, and, so inti
The Israelites are now not only a numerous people, mately acquainted with the German language, as to have but they are in possession of a code of laws, and have forgotten, in some measure, his native idiom. For ex
obtained a fixed local habitation. As yet, however, ample
, he says, (p. 303,) “ Hezekiah replaced his father they have no definite civil organization. After the Ahaz on the throne.” It is evident from the context that death of Joshua, no one is appointed to succeed him in he means to say " succeeded.” Now we are aware that in his capacity of ostensible head and ruler of the nation. German ersetzen would be the proper word, but we are not They dwell together in the land, united by the ties of aware of any authority for using replace in such a signi- neighbourhood, common descent, common customs, and fication. Again, in the story of Uriah, he says of David, and belief, but without any other apparent bond of union. "he did not perpetrate this double crime without remon- There is no appearance of chief or council. They seem strance.” Had we not known Nathan was sent to David to have decided their controversies by the judgments of after the crime was perpetrated, we should have inferred, the heads of families—princes, as they are called in the from the use of the word “ remonstrance,” that the pro- Mosaic books—in the different tribes or neighbourhoods. phet had expostulated with him previous to its commis- From time to time, on occasions of emergency, when dansion. The general stiffness of the style is perhaps the gers threatened, inspired leaders appeared among them, consequence of an affectation of the brevity of Tacitus, Sophetim (judges); but their authority seems to have which undoubtedly gives an occasional weight and point been, in a great measure, military, and even that is acto the narrative, although the author at times, from his knowledged only in one, or, at the most, a few of the excessive love of condensation, leaves a part of his story tribes. Making allowance for such occasional exceptions, untold. We advert to this fault of the work first, in the closing words of the Book of Judges may be taken as order to get more speedily over the disagreeable portion descriptive of the whole of this period—a space of nearly of our business ; for, these slight blemishes apart, it is a five hundred years. ;—" In those days there was no king book of great merit.' The present volume contains a con- in Israel : every man did that which was right in his own densed and comprehensive history of the Jewish nation, eyes.” from Abraham to the Babylonish captivity. The story
Of this period, the author of the work says well and is in general distinctly told, and we meet frequently with truly
:passages of real eloquence.
“ Thus ended the period of the Judges; a period, if careThe history of the chosen people would be deeply in- lessly surveyed, of alternate slavery and bloody struggles for teresting, if for no other reason, because it is the only independence. Hence may rashly be inferred the total fail
ure of the Mosaic polity, in securing the happiness of the we have of the origin of society. The people. It has already been shown, that the views of the trustworthy annals of every other nation only reach legislature were not carried completely
into effect, and that back to a time when it had already attained some power the miseries of the people were the natural consequences of and consistency. In perusing them, we seem to be I their deviation from their original statutes. But in fact,
out of this period of about 460 years, not one-fourth was general pictures of the famine, the common misery of every passed under foreign oppression, and many of the servi- rank, and age, and sex, all the desolation, the carnage, the tudes seem to have been local, extending only over certain violation, the dragging away into captivity, the rememtribes, not over the whole nation. Above 300 years of brance of former glories, of the gorgeous ceremonies, and peaceful and uneventful happiness remain, to which history, the glad festivals, the awful sense of the Divine wrath only faithful in recording the crimes and sufferings of man, heightening the present calamities, are successively drawn bears the favourable testimony of her silence. If the He with all the life and reality of an eye-witness. They combrew nation did not enjoy a high degree of intellectual civic bine the truth of history with the deepest pathos of ficlisation, yet, as simple husbandmen, possessing perfect free- tion." dum, equal laws, the regular administration of justice
In this necessarily bare and imperfect outline, we cultivating a soil which yielded bountifully, yet required have turned our attention to the Jewish annals, exact : but light labour-with a religion strict as regards the morals which are essential to individual, domestic, and national ly as we would to any other historical document. But peace, yet indulgent in every kind of social and festive en- there is another and a deeper interest attaching to them, joyment,-the descendants of Abraham had reached a higher to which we would call the reader's attention. That state of 'virtue and happiness than any other nation of the they contain the most complete history we possess of a period. An uniform simplicity of manners pervaded the nation's rise and fall—that they present us with the most whole people; they were all shepherds or husbandmen. varied energetic representations of character—that we Gideon was summoned to deliver his country from the find in them instances of devotion, in the weakest as well threshing floor : Saul, even after he was elected King, was found driving his herd: David was educated in the sheep- as in the strongest, to their country and its institutions, unfold. But the habits of the people are nowhere described rivalled elsewhere,—all these sink to insignificance when with such apparent fidelity and lively interest as in the we remember that the Jewish history is peculiarly and rural tale of Ruth and her kinsman-a history which exclusively the history of religion. unites all the sweetness of the best pastoral poetry, with the There is a devotional feeling inherent in the human truth and simplicity of rural life.”
breast. While enjoying any highly pleasurable exciteAt the close of this period, the people of Israel—it ment, the source of which we cannot recognise, there is does not precisely appear for what reason, but a variety, a natural, and almost irresistible tendency to bow down more or less plausible, might easily be assigned—became and worship the Unknown Giver. But the mind of man, clamorous for a more firm and energetic government, which not easily contented with vague and formless feelings
, should draw closer the bonds of national union under one
strives to attain some knowledge of this mysterious being. ostensible head. Samuel, then the most influential of the The senses cannot apprehend him; and the intellect, all. prophets, remonstrated; he urged the distrust of God's powerful though it be over what is subjected to it, has providence, indicated by this reliance on earthly means, power over nothing but what the senses reach to it. and also the danger of encroachment on their possessions The restless and forgetive imagination strives, from and liberties by an arbitrary king: but in vain. The first every thing that it has seen, or heard, to body forth monarch was unhappy; and, as the kingdom passed away the being around whom the heart seeks to wreath the from him, so it retained no Jasting traces of his sway. garlands of thankfulness. Of such materials, and by David, and after him Solomon, completely organized its such a workman, have been framed all uninspired reliresources, and carried it to its height in wealth, power, gions. Fair in form, rich in intellectual and moral wisand splendour. After the decease of the latter, jealousy dom, according to the character of the nation in which of seeing the supreme power in the hands of Judah, in- they had their birth, Hume would not have erred had be duced the ten tribes, under pretext of certain exactions by applied to them what he says of religion in general,—that Rehoboam, to fall off from their allegiance. Jeroboam, it is the child of imagination, and that, although we listhe first sovereign of Israel, as contradistinguished from ten with pleasure and acquiescence to the gorgeous visions Judah, in order to render the separation permanent, made of the poet, the reason revolts when any one attempts to innovations in the national worship; and, as the Levites establish them by argument. adhered to the house of David and the temple, instituted
This inability of unaided reason to form for itself a a new class of priests. After this apostacy, the power notion of the divinity, and the danger to which a rague and happiness of Israel dwindled away under a succession devotional feeling is exposed, if borne up by no stronger of usurpers, until it was removed from its place by the prop than what the imagination, the foster-child of pisAssyrian. Judah, under an alternation of good and sion, can afford, lead us at once to enquire with anxiety wicked princes, retaining, even when at the worst, more for, and to fix upon,
the only source whence religious of the national character, survived for nearly a century, knowledge can be attained. It is revelation. The God and was then carried captive to Babylon. Here the vo whose infinitude transcends our limited grasp, must delume now before us closes; and here we, in like manner, clare himself to us before we can know aught of him. close our historical retrospect, in the words of the au
The sacred books, which arrest our attention by the thor :" At this period of the approaching dissolution of the command our assent by their internal consistency, give
strong external evidence of their authenticity, and then Jewish state, appeared the prophet Jeremiah, a poet, from his exquisitely pathetic powers, admirably calculated to per
us the history of this revelation. It was communicated form the funeral obsequles over the last of her kings, over
to the first fathers of our race, and transmitted by them the captive people, desolate city, the ruined temple. The to their children. In course of time, the vital belief in the prophet himself
, in the eventful course of his melancholy truths which had been thus communicated faded and grew and persecuted life, learnt that personal familiarity with af dull. It was necessary to raise up some one who should fiction, which added new energy to his lamentations over preach the old and everlasting truth on the same authorihis country and religion.
He survived to behold the sad accomplishment of all his darkest predictions. He ty as its first disseminators. The Jewish nation was sewitnessed all the horrors of the famine, and when that had lected for this proud office. In the wanderings of this done its work, the triumph of the enemy. He saw the people, we find frequent proofs that the original revelastrongholds of the city cast down, the palace of Solomon, tion had never been quite extinguished; but that, as with the temple of God, with all its courts, its roofs of cedar and the natural day in some northern latitudes, the twilight of gold, levelled to the earth, or committed to the flames ; of yesterday fades into, and is blended with, that of the Cherubim, pillaged by profane hands. What were the feel- himself to Moses, was looked upon with awe by the neigh
The mountain where God first manifested ings of a patriotic and religious Jew at this tremendous crisis, he has left on record in his unrivalled elegies. Never bouring nations, as the favourite resort of some unknown did city suffer a more miserable fate, never was ruined city but holier divinity. Balaam, Rachab, and others aclamented in language so exquisitely pathetic. Jerusalem is, knowledged, in the Israelites, at their approach, the obas it were, personified, and bewalled with the passionate jects of the protection of a powerful God, who had comsorrow of private and domestic attachment; while the more manded the belief and veneration of their ancestors.