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merly enjoyed. Now we humbly conceive, that this very account of the progress and state of the malady affords a conclusive proof that this cannot be the remedy.
If these thirty years had been years of relaxed authority and popular encroachment-if the influence of the Crown had been all that time diminishing, and the democratic elements of the Constitution been proportionally multiplied and extended-if the Whigs had been all the while in office, and, in the wantonness of confirmed authority, had proscribed the principles of their opponents, and carried their own to unprecedented excess, there might have been some reason to ascribe these new and progressive disorders of the commonwealth to this new and progressive disturbance of its wholesome constitution; and to expect that its harmony might be restored by measures of an opposite tendency-by strengthening the hands of the Executive, and restraining the license of the people. But it is but too notorious that our condition has been in all respects the very reverse of this. The thirty years during which this evil has been generated and diffused, have been years in which the power and influence of the Crown, and the burdens of the people, have been increased to an extent not only unprecedented, but unimagined in any former period-in which the Constitution has been almost as often suspended as in operation, and more restraints laid on the exercise of popular rights than for a whole preceding century. There have, in short, been more coercive and restraining laws passed in that period-more strength added to the Crown, and more privileges, and more money taken from the people, than any one before could have imagined possible. If these are the things that have been most manifestly progressive during that period, and if discontent and impatience, and loud and angry clamours for reform have been progressive along with them, it really appears more natural to ascribe these last symptoms to the former as their causes, than to suggest that they may be removed, by multiplying and adding force and activity to these causes. If there be any plausibility in the notion, that restraints and encroachments on our liberties are the causes of discontent, (and we cannot see any thing very extravagant in the supposition), we cannot but think it a strange way to cure this discontent, by increasing those encroachments, and multiplying those restraints. If a system of coercion and severity be the true cure for our present disorders, it is rather unaccountable that they should have grown up under such a system, and should never have been heard of till it was adopted. The discipline which is now proposed to correct our errors, has proved insufficient to prevent them; and was no sooner recurred to, than they spread and multiplied in all directions,
Might it not be worth while, then, to try the obvious and natural remedy, of endeavouring to satisfy the discontented, instead of stifling their complaints, and punishing them for complaining? And would not a little Reform of defects and abuses —and a little Retrenchment of expenditure—and a little confidence in the people, be a suitable accompaniment to new punishments for libels on the Government, or new restrictions on the right of petitioning?
No long-enduring and progressive discontent ever existed without reasonable causes; and it is mere drivelling to talk of a general and increasing disaffection of thirty years standing being produced by the seductions of wicked and designing men. There never was an instance of such a course of complaining, where the main fault was not in the Government; and, though severe and repressive measures have always been resorted to, they have never failed to aggravate the evil, and to recoil on the heads of those by whom they were employed.Such a period of dissatisfaction existed almost the whole time from the Restoration to the Revolution; and it was then treated very much as Lord Grenville is for treating the fit that is now upon us: But did the condemnation of Russell and Sydney-the persecutions of the Cabal-the severities of Jeffries, or the still more brutal and unremitting oppressions of the Scottish Government, eradicate the evil,-or aggravate and force it on to a most hazardous, though glorious consummation? We have had one fortunate Revolution; but we want no more. It is an experiment far too full of peril to be steadily contemplated by any one who truly loves his country. But the guilt of bringing on such a crisis always rests on the Government which is overthrown: And that guilt uniformly consists in obstinately resisting those moderate and reasonable reforms which the long continued and progressive discontent of the people have shown to be necessary and obstinately maintaining those abuses, without which it is absolutely impossible that any such discontent should have existed. *
* Since the publication of our last Number, there has a pamphlet appeared in defence of one of the two unfortunate clergymen who got into so serious a scrape, from their zeal upon the Manchester question. We then felt ourselves compelled to expose the great, but not inexcuseable ignorance of these gentlemen; and one of them, Dr Phillpotts, not knowing it seems, when he had enough, has, in an evil hour, returned to the charge, and, as might be expected, got still deeper into the mire. We shall certainly not think of following this unhappy man through his new set of blunders, all deli
ART. XI. Euvres Completes de Demosthene et d'Eschine, en Grec et en Français. Traduction de L'Abbé AUGER, de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres de Paris. Nouvelle Edition. Revue et corrigée par J. PLANCHE, Professeur de Rhetorique au Collége Royal de Bourbon. Paris. Année, 1819.
W ITHOUT any ostentation of profound reflection or philosophical remark-with few attempts at generalizationwithout the glare and attraction of prominent ornaments—with extremely few, and those not very successful, instances of the tender and pathetic-with a considerable degree of coarseness, and what we should call vulgarity, particularly in his great oration—and, absolutely, without any pretension to wit or humour, to have acquired the reputation of the Greatest Orator
vered with the presumption which is called pedantry and arrogance, when accompanied with learning; but which is truly laughable when bottomed in sheer ignorance and conceit. One sample may suffice. He persists in saying, that the offence of conspiring to levy war within the realm, is a Misdemeanour; and cites Judge Foster, with an air of consummate self-satisfaction, to show that it is so. then proceeds, in a truly edifying manner. to exult over us,-as if he must be right, and we wrong, because he has that great authority on his side. Never was there a happier illustration of the maxim, that a little learning is a dangerous thing: and never did hapless author labour more effectually to illustrate by examples the remarks of his critic. We had blamed him for interfering in legal disputes, where he must needs be ill-informed; he gives us a new and striking proof how full of risk such an interference is to the half learned. In Judge Foster's time, the offence in question was only a Misdemeanour; but in 1795 it was made High Treason by a Statute in force at the time in question. So much for this Reverend controversialist.
As for Mr Davison, he has had the good sense to keep where he was: But we truly regret to hear of his ill-advised speculation of writing down the Radicals, by editing a Periodical Paper, called the Englishman's Adviser. Of this we have seen some Numbers; and a more complete failure is not upon record. Mr Coleridge's Friend was only tiresome, like some others who call on us weekly, under the same title. But the Adviser' will never irritate like so many of his namesakes; for he will never be listened to for a moment. short, it is a truly melancholy failure; and may stand at the head of such impotent attempts to go beyond our own line, and force nature. Mr Cobbet is far better qualified to read lectures at Oxford, than Mr Davison to write a weekly newspaper.
whom the world has ever produced, is a peculiarity which belongs to the character of Demosthenes. In no other instance, in the whole range and circle of the Fine Arts, is the same ascendency admitted with the same degree of unanimity. Of the three Poets, for instance, in three distant ages born,' what critic has ever pretended, with any success at least, to class and place them in their due rank and order of merit? Is it not notorious, that, with one reader, the vigour and freshness of the father of poetry have superior charms; with another, the delicacy of taste and passion preeminent in the Roman poet; and, with a third, the learned copiousness of our own countryman? Not to mention the partisans of Dante, of Tasso, and of Ariosto, who severally contest, for these distinguished Italians, the point of precedence with the three, most usually admitted, Princes of Epic Poetry. To the Tragedians of antiquity, the same observation applies. The gorgeous declamation of schylus, the passionate eloquence of Euripides, and the measured stateliness of Sophocles, attract to each their several admirers and advocates, without being able to procure an admitted superiority. The same thing may be said of the Greek and Roman, and (if there be any who do not shrink from the comparison) of the modern Historians also. Nobody affects to say which is the best.—To take one instance more. In a case, in which, amongst every description of readers in this kingdom, learned and unlearned, there is a more perfect (and we doubt not, in the main, just) agreement, than upon any other subject of criticism whatever,we mean the almost universally prevalent opinion of the unrivalled excellence of our own Shakespeare-is not this very preference of the Poet of Nature considered, by our refined and fastidious neighbours, whose Capital, our Editor and Translator M. Planche, with no apparent doubt of its being universally acquiesced in, modestly terms the Athens of modern Europe, as a decisive proof of the remains of barbarism,-the vestigia ruris' amongst us? To Demosthenes alone, in that faculty which is common to the whole species, and one of its highest distinctions, and in which all mankind must have been, in some degree, his competitors, is the palm conceded by (nearly) the unanimous consent of ancient and modern times.
It is not our intention to do more than make extracts spar-" ingly from the many things which have been written upon this subject; but we shall notice some of the most remarkable. The opinion delivered by Hume (in which he has been implicitly followed by Dr Blair) in his celebrated Essay upon Eloquence, is, of course, familiar to our readers. By no other writer, not
merely has a more decisive judgment been pronounced in favour of Demosthenes, but by none are the peculiar qualities and distinguishing properties of his style more vigorously and happily, though briefly, portrayed, than by this most acute and ingenious Critic. After remarking that his manner is more chaste and austere than that of Cicero, he proceeds thus- Could it be copied, its success would be infallible over a modern assembly. It is rapid harmony exactly adjusted to the sense: It is vehement reasoning without any appearance of art: It is disdain, anger, boldness, freedom, involved in a continued stream of argument: And, of all human productions, the • Orations of Demosthenes present to us the models which approach the nearest to perfection.' How well this agrees with the testimonials of antiquity, we shall see hereafter; for the present we shall only remark, that this commendation of Demosthenes is in a style of decision, and even of animation, very different from the balancing and cautious system habitually adopted by our reserved and dispassionate countryman. It is manifest he must have felt very strongly, before he would have expressed himself so warmly.
Longinus is, obviously, a writer for effect. The different authors, who are the subjects of his criticism, are, in truth, little more than instruments for forwarding his principal purpose, which is to let his readers see what he himself can do in the sublime. In his often quoted, and, we suppose we must add, celebrated description of the Greek and Roman orators, for instance, in which he is pleased to compare the one to a thunderbolt, and the other to a conflagration,-what precise idea of their particular qualities can be collected-what distinct or individual picture of the leading features and characteristics of those great masters is presented to the mind? Apart from the principal purpose of showing off, we believe he might as usefully have compared them to Frost and Snow. This writer, however, in his general criticism upon Demosthenes, after having contrasted him with Hyperides, and, apparently, intimated a pretty strong opinion in favour of the latter, (as to the correctness of which opinion we have no direct means of judging, but as Cicero is against him, we doubt not he is wrong), concludes with the following laboured and remarkable passage.
Αλλ' ἐπειδήπες, οιμᾶι, Τὰ μὲν θαλέρες καλὰ, καὶ εἰ πολλὰ. Ὅμως αμεγέδη και xagdin polos, (Anglicè, sober at heart') ágyà, xat Tov axgoalur nào ἠρεμεῖν εῶνά, ἐδέις γεν Υπερίδην αναγινώσκων φοβείταιὉ δὲ ἔνθεν 3λὼν Τῶ μεγαλοφυεςλάδες και επ ̓ ἄκρον ἀρεᾶς συν συντετελεσμένας, ύψηγορίας Τόνον, ἔμψυχα πάθη, περιεσίαν, ἀγχίνοιαν, τάχος, — ενθενδ ̓, (ό κύριον) Τὴν ἀπασιν απρόσι που δεινότητά καὶ δύναμιν, ἐπειδὴ Ταύτα, φημὶ, ως θεοπεριπλά Τινα δωρήματα (ΐ γαρ