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that one third of the tythes should be set apart for the maintenance of the priest, one third for the support of religious edifices, and one third for the maintenance of the poor. All the labors, all the power of that earliest of church reformers, St. Dunstan, were exerted to secure to the poor this, then deemed unalienable right, one third of the tythes, and which, even at that early period, had been perverted from their legitimate uses, and appropriated to their own luxurious living, by the secular clergy. The colleges and schools, hospitals and monasteries, founded with such munificence, by the early catholic nobles, had for their object, charity,-relief for the aged and distressed, and the education and support of the children of the poor.
When the protestant reformation was carried out, under Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth, the property of the church was divided amongst the protestant aristocracy, or given to the secular clergy. The sick, the widow, the orphan, and the decrepid, no longer found, in the refectory of the convent, medicine, food and raiment. Deprived of what they considered their natural and unalienable right, the people broke out into open insurrections, and complained bitterly of the spoliation of the church property, which they considered the property of the poor. To restore the peace of the country, the poor laws were passed, in the reign of Elizabeth. Since that period, the vast increase of the population, the burden of expensive wars, the immense debt, in great part contracted to support the twenty-five years war against Napoleon, and, above all, the introduction of steam machinery in manufactures, congregating such dense masses of the population in particular districts ; their liability to be thrown out of employınent by over production, and the depression, consequent on the fluctuations of banking, and of the monetary affairs of the kingdom; all these causes have concurred to make the poor rates very burdensome, and the consideration of the poor laws will be one of the most important and difficult, which will have to be decided by the new ministry. Sir Robert Peel declared, in his place in parliament, that, the present bill was the greatest stain that ever sullied British charity. England, therefore, may confidently look forward to its repeal.
The second article, “The Gypsies of Spain,” will be valuable to those who feel an interest in the study of the human race, whilst the lovers of romance will be amused, and will find how far, in romantic wildness, the truth may exceed fiction.
The article on “English Field Sports,” will, no doubt, have many readers.
The fourth article, on the “Life and Correspondence of Samuel Depys, Secretary of the Navy during the reign of Charles II., and James II.,” will prove interesting to those who have a taste for historic research, as will the article on Letters illustrative of the reign of William
III., addressed to the Duke of Shrewsbury, by James Vernon, Esq.,
But the longest, and most interesting article, in the Edinburgh Review
“ In the mean time, the preparations for the trial had proceeded rapidly; and on the 13.h of February, 1988, the sittings of the court commenced. There have been spectacles more dazzling to the eye, more gorgeous with jewellery and cloth of gold, more attractive to grown up children, than that which was then exhibited at Westminster; but, perhaps, there never was a spectacle so well calculated to strike a highly cultivated, a reflecting, an imaginative mind. All the various kinds of interest which belong to the near and to the distant, to the present and to the past, were collected on one spot, and in one hour. All the talents and all the accomplishments, which are developed by liberty and civilization, were now displayed, and every advantage that could be derived both from co-operation and from contrast. Every step in the proceedings carried the mind either backward, through mạny troubled centuries, to the days when the foundations of the constitution were laid ; or far away, over boundless seas and deserts, to dusky nations living under strange stars, worshipping strange gods, and writing strange characters from right to left. The High Court of Parliament was to sit, according to forms handed down from the days of the Plantagenets, on an Englishman accused of exercising tyranny over the lord of the holy city of Benares, and the ladies of the princely house of Oude.
“ The place was worthy of such a trial. It was the great hall of William Rufus ; the hall which had resounded with acclamations at the inauguration of thirty kings; the hall which had witnessed the just sentence of Bacon and the just absolution of Somers; the hall where the eloquence of Strafford had for a moment awed and melted a victorious party, inflamed with just resentment; the hall where Charles had confronted the High Court of Justice with the placid courage which has half redeemed his fame. Neither military nor civil pomp was wanting. The avenues were lined with grenadiers. The streets were kept clear by cavalry. The peers, robed in gold and ermine, were marshalled by the heralds under Garter King-at-Arms. The judges, in their vestments of state, attended, to give advice on points of law. Near a hundred and seventy Lords, three-fourths of the Upper House, as the Upper House then was, walked in solemn order from their usual place of assembling to the tribunal. The junior Baron present led the way–Lord Heathfield, recently ennobled for his memorable defence of Gibraltar against the fleets and armies of France and Spain. The long procession was closed by the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshall of the realm, by the great dignitaries, and by the brothers and sons of the King. Last of all came the Prince of Wales, conspicuous by his fine person and noble bearing. The grey old walls were hung with scarlet. The long galleries were crowded by such an audience as has rarely excited the fears or the emulation of an orator. There were gathered together, from all parts of a great, free, enlightened, and prosperous realm, grace and female loveliness, wit and learning, the representatives of every science and of every art. There were seated around the Queen the fair-haired young daughters of the house of Brunswick. There the Ambassadors of great VOL. 1. —NO. I.
kings and Commonwealths gazed with admiration on a spectacle which no other country in the world could present. There Siddons, in the prime of her majestic beauty, looked with emotion on a scene surpassing all the imitations of the stage. There the historian of the Roman Empire thought of the days when Cicero pleaded the cause of Sicily against Verres; and when, before a senate which had still some show of freedom, Tacitus had thundered against the oppressor of Africa. There were seen, side by side, the greatest painter, and the greatest scholar of the age. The speatacle had allured Reynolds from that easel which has preserved to us the thoughtful foreheads of so many writers and statesmen, and the sweet smiles of so many noble matrons. It had induced Parr to suspend his labors in that dark and profound mine from which he had extracted a vast treasure of erudition,-a treasure too often buried in the earth, too often paraded with injudicious and inelegant ostentation ; but still precious, massive and splendid. There appeared the voluptuous charms of her to whom the heir of the throne had in secret plighted his faith. There, too, was she, the beautiful mother of a beautiful race, the Saint Cecilia, whose delicate features, lighted up by love and music, art has rescued from the common decay. There were the members of that brilliant society which quoted, criticised, and exchanged repartees, under the rich peacock hangings of Mrs. Montague. And there the ladies, whose lips, more persuasive than those of Fox himself, had carried the Westminster election against palace and treasury, shone round Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire." “But neither the culprit nor his advocates attracted so much notice as the
In the midst of the blaze of red drapery, a space had been fitted up with green benches and tables for the Commons. The managers, with Burke at their head, appeared in full dress. The collectors of gossip did not fail to remark that even Fox, generally so regardless of his appearance, had paid to the illustrious tribunal the compliment of wearing a bag and sword. Pitt had refused to be one of the conductors of the impeachments; and his commanding, copious and sonorous eloquence, was wanting to that great muster of various talents. Age and blindness had unfitted Lord North for the duties of a public prosecutor; and his friends were left without the help of his excellent sense, his tact, and his urbanity. But, in spite of the absence of these two distinguished members of the Lower House, the box in which the managers stood, contained an array of speakers such as, perhaps, had not appeared together since the great age of Athenian eloquence. There stood Fox and Sheridan, the English Demosthenes and the English Hyperides. There was Burke, ignorant indeed, or negligent of the art of adapting his reasonings and his style to the capacity and taste of his hearers; but in aptitude of comprehension and richness of imagination, superior to every orator, ancient or modern. There, with eyes reverentially fixed on Burke, appeared the finest gentleman of the age,-his form developed by every manly exercise,—his face beaming with intelligence and spirit,—the ingenious, the chivalrous, the high-souled Windham. Nor, though surrounded by such men, did the youngest manager pass unnoticed. At an age when most of those who distinguish themselves in life are still contending for prizes and fellowships at college, he had won for himself a conspicuous place in parliament. No advantage of fortune or connexion was wanting that could set off to the height his splendid talents and his unblemished honor. At twenty-three he had been thought worthy to be ranked with the veteran statesmen who appeared as the delegates of the British Commons, at the bar of the British nobility. All who stood at that bar, save him alone, are gone-culprit, advocates, accusers. To the generation which is now in the vigor of life he is the sole representative of a great age which has now passed away. But those who, within the last ten years, have listened with delight, till the morning sun shone on the tapestries of the House of Lords, to the lofty and animated eloquence of Charles Earl Grey, are able to form some estimate of the powers of a race of men among whom he was not the foremost.” pp. 125–127.
18. – The Foreign Quarterly Review, for October, 1841.
This work is, with us, an especial favorite, over-stepping national limits, embracing the wide field of European literature, and carrying the reader beyond the little world which encircles him. The past, is made present; the wonderful, becomes simple.
Perusing the literature of foreign nations, is like holding communion with a highly educated and accomplished foreigner. One by one, we feel our prejudices giving way; we feel our sympathies expanding, and are made sensible how much charity, and the gentle amenities of life, may throw a charm around, and sweeten, whatever we may find of rough and bitter in our earthly career.
The leading article in the “ Foreign Quarterly for October,” is on “ J. F. Massman's work on the Waxen and Roman Tablets." It is, altogether, of antiquarian character.
The second article, is upon a subject on which so much has been written, that it would appear exhausted, were it possible for any subject relating to literature and science to be so far exhausted, that German industry and erudition could not illustrate and adorn it.
Of the next article, “ Hugel's Travels in Cashmere,” we will favor the reader with the two first paragraphs, and, having given these, we leave him to imagine the rich treat that the perusal of the whole article will afford him :
“ Who has not heard of “the Vale of Cashmere,” that green El Dorado of delight, wedded to immortal verse by our own More; that spot, conjectured, by not a few, to have been the Eden of Scripture, at the mention of which the rigid lineaments of the Brahmin are said to relax into a transient smile of rapture; Cashmere, the whilome summer residence of the luxurious court of Delhi, with its hanging gardens and gay palaces, once illumined by the presence of the young Nourmahal, where the gorgeous tints of the Indian Flora lie embosomed in their mountain frame of sombre Alpine vegetation, and where nature has showered down all that can gladden the heart and the eye, and minister to the wants of man. Yes; we have all read of it, dreamed of it; but, alas! Fuit Ilium.”
“ The volumes before us profess to give an impartial description of the valley, as it stood in 1836, the latest period, as far as we are aware, of any European having been thither.”
“ Travels in Abyssinia, by Dr. E. Rippell,” is the head of the fourth article. It is a well written notice of an admirable work, valuable for the information it contains, and for which the Royal Geographical Society of London have awarded to the author the prize “ for the most important achievements in geographical research.”
The fifth article is of a lighter kind. It is an amusing critique upon an Italian work, by an Italian lady. “The women of Italy, by the Countess Pepoli.” The subject was one calculated to warm even the
cold hearted, the obdurate, the severely just critic. He has relaxed for once from his dignity; his imagination has become playful and discursive, besides giving to the Italian Countess all the praise to which she is entitled for her admirable and praiseworthy work, his poetic fancy conjures up the forms of the fair, of every land and age. From Aspásia and Messalina, the reviewer transports you, in a moment, to the Georgian slave of an eastern Harem, and the next time, we are wafted over the Atlantic, to take our station beside a Yankee girl, whom the reviewer emphatically blesses, and to which blessing we, in our hearts, respond, AMEN!
Every nation, as every age, has its own peculiar individuality stamped upon it, by the character and manners of the people. For ourselves, we would no more have manners, and character, stamped in the same mould, than we would fix mankind on the bed of Procrustes.
Article sixth is, again, a German work. “ Travels in Southern Russia, by J. G. Kohl,” gives interesting information of a portion of Europe comparatively little known and visited.
“ Sweden as it is,” is an article affording much valuable information.
The eighth article on “Roman Languages,” proposes to be a notice of “ Histoire des Langues Romaines et de leur Littérature depuis leur origine jusqu'au 14me siècle. Par M. A. Bruce Whyte.” The work in question was written in French, by an Englishman, and published in Paris; besides being interesting to the philologist, it will be equally so to the historian of the middle ages.
Article ninth. “ La Convention de juillet 13, par M. Duvergier de Hauranne. Revue des deux mondes." Under this head, the reviewer enters pretty fully into the present state of France, and its prospects, and the commercial treaties pending between that country and England.
The London Quarterly, for October, 1841.
The London Quarterly is the organ of the conservative and high church party, remarkable for its dislike of innovation, and for its sarcasms on the proposed reforms of the liberals. The reader, then, may imagine how this review would be likely to handle such works as Mr. Silk Buckingham’s ‘America,' and Mr. Combe’s ‘Notes During a Phrenological Visit.' With so wide a field, we are ourselves lost in admiration at the reviewer's forbearance. We consider Mr. Silk Buckingham, the greatest charlatan of modern times. We like the whole article, and sincerely believe, that, in a very short time, all that will be known of the brother tourists, brother lecturers, and brother egotists, will be that portion preserved in the pages of the Quarterly.
The article on Captain Basil Hall’s ‘Patchwork,' is amusing, and the