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wonderful display of mental power. And its energy and splendour come with an indefinitely augmented force on the reader's mind, from à certain moral element which pervades the performance. It is of a far different quality from the eloquenca of a mere advocate. The advocate is lost in the patriot, the lofty censor, the philanthropist. Indeed, partly owing to the nature of the subjects in many of these trials, as involving great and national interests, and involving them in a melancholy manner, and partly owing to the habits of the orator, as a politician, a large thinker, and the associate of large thinkers, it is a very prominent general distinction of Mr. Curran's eloquence, as displayed in this volume,' that it is something quite different from that of a mere clever barrister, It has the mingled complexion of the legislator and the poet, often indeed reddened and darkened into a vindictive and ireful expression at the view of great and favoured criminals.
We cannot make extracts of sufficient length to display to full advantage the manner in which he represents the condition of Orr, and the feelings of his family, and the appeals to the conscience and the feelings of the jury whether they can, in the sight of God and their country, dare to justify by their Verdict the chief inflictors of those feelings; nor would we detach from the connexion any part of the truly dreadful picture of the state of the nation as abandoned to be devoured by demoniacs in the shape of privileged and rewarded spies and informors; a picture, of the truth of every part of which be commandingly appeals to them that every man of them has the most absolute conviction and certain knowledge, while Devertheless they are assembled, as he plainly tells them they themselves know, by selection and management, for the purpose of giving a verdict which shall virtually declare all these representations to be false.
But the speech which beyond any other that our readers ever heard or read will put their indignant emotions beyond their power to restrain, is that for Mr. Hevey against Major Sirr. We would make an abstract of the facts of this case, whatever space it might occupy, but from the consideration that this volume has already been extensively read, and will be yet much more so. For these two last mentioned speeches not to have been recalled to public memory and circulation, and secured for perpetuity, would have been a great loss to justice, history, and eloquence. In perusing the latter of them, every reader will ask with impatience whether several horrid miscreants exhibited there continued to enjoy impunity, nay favour and distinction, and whether no infesting iborns have been lodged beyond extraction in the consciences of those who could einploy such agents and sanction such transactions. VOL. V. N.S.
The speech against the Marquis of Headfort must be well reported; it is prodigiously vigorous and brilliant, with a great deal, at the same time, of art and dexterity in giving effect to the topics.
The greatest part of the very long speech in the case of Judge Johnson is a laborious and dry law argument, but ever and ano) the orator and the wit will break out ; and there are some very
passages. The last article in the volume is a short speech pronounced hy Mr. C. in the capacity of Master of the Rolls, on a trial before him on a will which had been thought invalid for the popish tendency of its bequests. This speech has an uncommon degree of compression and elegance as well as force of expression.
The word elegance reminds us that we should somewhere have remarked that the orator often violates good taste in his allusions and figures, especially in the way of degrading nobler objects by taking them in analogy with mean ones for the sake of some one point of resemblance, when their greater dissimilarity as elevated and mean, should have kept them asunder.
Art. VI. Studies in History; containing the History of Rome, from
its earliest Records to the Death of Constantine ; in a Series of Essays, accompanied with Reflections, References to Original Authorities and Historical Questions. By Thomas Morell, Vol. II. 8vo. pp. xii. 442. Price 10s. 6d. St. Neots, 1815. EVERY man who is not an infidel, must deeply lament
that history, which is so decidedly necessary for forming the basis of a liberal education, has too often been the medium of ivstilling sentiments hostile to Christianity ; but he will be at the same time convinced, that to counteract the baneful influence of such writings, is a task, the difficulty and delicacy of which are proportioned to its importance. Many of those historians who unhappily rank among the hostile party, were men of distinguished learning and eloquence: their reputation is universally established. An injudicious writer, therefore, on the Christian side, may be the occasion of injury to the cause he advocates. Mr. Morell, certainly, is not this injudicious friend, but we think he is capable of rendering more effectual assistance against the common enemy, than the nature of the plan be has adopted, seems to promise.
Mr. Morell's former volume, containing the History of Greece, has been for some time before the public, and we are glad to learn that the reception which it has met with, has been of a nature to encourage the Author to persevere in his undertaking. Ile refers, in the Advertisement to the present
volume, to the objections to which his plan is liable, and informs us, that ' a larger proportion of narrative has been in'troduced into this portion of his work. It should seem that he is not aware of any other plan for combining religious truth with historical narrative, that would be compatible with that distinctness and continuity which ought to be preserved by the historian, and he is of opinion that the introduction of religious sentiment into the history itself, 'would lead to an
unhallowed mixture of things sacred and profane, equally of' fensive to genuine piety and true taste.'
We must be allowed, however, to doubt the validity of the grounds on which Mr. M. rests his preference of the plan he has adopted; while at the same time, we are ready to admit that, as class-books for young persons, these volumes, may in their present form, possess advantages, which we hope will recommend them to a general use in schools.
But were we asked, how is history to be made the vehicle of moral and religious instruction, the reply is obvious : by the same means as it has been made to serve the purpose
of infidelity. Why do we scruple to put Hume into the hands of children? Not because he gives us at the end of each chapter a string of deistical maxims, but because the whole is tinged with anti-Christian principles : not because he snatches every possible opportunity to expatiate on the folly of being a Christian, but because he so draws the character, that the reader would not hesitate, were he implicitly to follow the historian, to make the decision himself; because he insinuates without asserting, and instils without enforcing infidelity. Here then are both bane and antidute. Christian bistorians should adopt the policy of their adversaries. It cannot be objected that the plan is insufficient, for if so, all fears for the effect of the opponent's principles are groundless; and if “ truth is mighty and will prevail,” the advantage is surely on the side of religion. What we recommend, is, the continual influence of a pervading mind congenial to scriptural dictates. Let every judgement of events, every estinate of character, be determined by this whispering spirit; and let its sentiments be so interwoven with the whole narration, as to seem a part of its essence. This, surely, is not impossible; we do not desire to be absolutely told in so many words, what actions or motives are to be praised or blamed, or how all things depend on the Governor of the Universe; but every thing may be presented with a certain colouring, or exhibited by reflection in its consequences, so that the moral instruction may be conveyed, and that too rather by example, than in the more questionable shape of precept. We imagine that by such means as this, the excellence of the history, considered as a
narration, would be unimpaired, and the aversion too frequently fext by youth to formal lessons of morality, would be obviated; while the desired end of instilling virtuous sentiments, would be with more certainty accomplished.
We must, however, not withhold our commendation from our Author's “ Reflections” themselves. They contain, indeed, little depth of observation, or originality of remark; but this, considering that they are designed for youth, to whom all things are as yet new, is not a reasonable objection; and as they are far less tedious than we feared they would be, when we anticipated ceaseless changes rung on "we should;" and " let us therefore, we think them highly deserving praise. The history likewise will be read with great pleasure. The original authors seem to have been well understood, and a judicious selection has been made from the facts recorded by each. Mr. M. needs only a hint that luxuriance of style is very apt to degenerate into affectation. But it is time to introduce our Author in his own person.
We shall extract for the potice of our readers, the account of Constantine's conversion to Christianity, his character, and the “reflections” on them. , Speaking of the battle between Maxentius and Constantine, Mr. M. says,
•This battle is rendered memorable by the supposed conversion of Constantine to the Christian faith. The statement of this remarkable occurrence which has been made by Eusebius, a cotemporary historian, who affirms that he received it from the Emperor himself, is to the following effect. As Constantine was marching at the head of his army into Italy, to encounter Maxentius, full of solicitude about the issue of the contest, he retired to implore protection of the God of the Christians. Scarcely were these private devotions ended, when he observed in the heavens a splendid appearance, which resembled a cross, with this inscription in Greek characters, “Conquer by this." All the augurs and pagan priests attached to his camp agreed to pronounce it an inauspicious omen, and were greatly terrified by it, but on the mind of Constantine it produced a far different impression. He was led by it to solicit the instruction of several Christian pastors; who explained to him more fully the doctrines and evidences of their religion, by which he professed himself so fully convinced, that from that time he renounced the worship of idols, and avowed himself a Christian. A banner was thenceforward displayed in his army, emblazoned with an emblem and inscription similar to that which had led to this important change in his sentiments. On entering the çity of Rome after the defeat and death of Maxentius, he rejected all the homage and applause of the multitude, pointing to this standard, as representing that by which alone he had obtained the victory. When his own statue was afterWards erected in the capital, he caused an emblematical representtation of the cross to be introduced, with this inscription, "By the influence of this victorious cross, Constantine has delivered Rome from tyranny, and restored to the Senate and people their ancient glory." p. 596.
* It is painful to be under the necessity of stating that the latter years of Constantine were characterized by a series of arbitrary and oppressive measures. The most credible witnesses have attested, that be "put to death the Empress Fausta his wife, Crispus one of his sons, and Licinius his nephew, besides many distinguished senators, on the slightest suspicion. Though the most extravagant terms were employed by his flatterers, both before and after his decease, to describe his exemplary piety, and Christian zeal, there is too much reason to believe that with him Christianity was rather a matter of state-policy, than an operative principle; that his opi. nions were continually vacillating, and his conduct in many in. star.ces grossly inconsistent with his profession. He did not submit to Christian baptism, till he became hopeless of recovery from the disease in which he died, in the thirty-second year of his reign.' p. 400,
The following are the corresponding Reflections.
On the reality of Constantine's conversion it is not our province to determine; but multitudes of facts might be collected to justify the assertion, that those impressions are very suspicious, to say the least, and often prove most fallacious, which are made by dreams and visions, and phantoms of the imagination. How far a rational and scriptural conviction of the truth and excellency of the Christian religion, might be afterwards produced in the mind of this heathen Emperor, by the perusal of the word of God, and the instructions of the pious men whom he consulted, we cannot determine; but the story of the blazing cross, and the use of this symbol as a military standard, savours more of the anti-christian and fanatical spirit in which the crusades originated, than of the “words of truth and soberness, which the Holy Ghost teacheth. The religious character of this prince would have been contemplated by sincere Christians with far greater pleasure, if instead of displaying his zealand piety by instituting fasts and festivals, ceremonies and rites, which Christ has not ordained, he had "shewn out of a good conversation, his works with meekness and wisdom." Christian charity, however, which“ hopeth even against hope,” should teach us to attribute many of these inconsistencies of character to the shades of superstition which still beclouded his mind, and from which his spiritual guides themselves were by no means exempt; whilst they cannot be considered as forming the least excuse for the doctrinal or practical errors of those, who are placed in more favoured circumstances, and possess means of knowing the way of God more perfectly." pp. 404, 5. Art. 'VII. Memoirs of the Abbé Edgeworth : containing his Aco
count of the Death of Louis the Sixteenth: By Henry Sneyd Edgeworth: cr. 8vo. pp. 224. price 7s. Hunter. 1815. THESE Memoirs consist chiefly of three or four letters of
the Abbé, and his account of the execution of Louis the