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PLASTICLATAN 1837. in England.
101 row houses are to be seen there, no crowds in the first week op of close compacted streets, such as we find when he beheld InglisA WIGOlib thels on the continent. No where in London do superb equipages and showy costume, suc houses contain more than three stories; no as his boyhood “hak nired in English where else are so many grass-plots before copper-plate cuts.” Anu
KARL parkthe houses and in the middle of the squares: ling eyes and long dark lashes, the rosy five large parks occur in this city of the lips, teeth of beaming brightnes, small world, on the grass of which, in the midst noses of beautiful form (no way resembling of a world's traffic, the cattle graze undis. the tower of Lebanon, we conceive), and turbed, as though in a wild oasis of the desert. roseate cheeks, shadowed with luxuriant
From all this the conclusion our travel flowing ringlets, which he carefully comler draws is perfectly naïve : "Certainly memorates, we suspect much of the prompt the English are, at bottom, a prosaic peo- change in our traveller's opinions may be ple:” nor do our trees and grass in the fairly attributed. Next to the ladies he adsquares, “our splendid buildings of phan-mired the horses. There was evidently tastic forms, our magnificent shop-windows no cooling down suddenly from such an of plate-glass, displaying all the treasures excitement to plain reason: it would have of the world," do away with the effect of been "touching a cold key with a flat third our endless lines of cold, dark houses, lanes, to it;" and accordingly the philosopher and streets, which, though broad and long, flies off from England to Rome in the days are witnesses of the thick and impure at- of its glory, and the victories of its circus. mosphere of London, or efface the above He finds the analogy between the two naconviction from his inind. There is, he tions so obvious in everything,—in their observes, with that love of system which love of curiosities and display, their dislike indicates a German origin no less distinctly of soldiery out of warfare, their combinathan language itself,—
tion of the sensual and spiritual in enjoy
ment; in the taste for science, the prefer“There is a reciprocal connection between ence for shows, speciacles, and races, over climate and architecture, which we find in the drama, &c. &c., that he cannot avoid every country. Beneath the clear heaven the corollary that England is the legitimate of Greece, on the fair banks of Ilissus, successor of Rome! This is surely philolordly structures and stately temples rise sophy in a fog, whether English or foreign. on white marble columns into upper air.
But upon the subject of his next chapter On Rome's vulcanian soil, and amidst hills between which the yellow Tiber winds the author comes at once to plain
thinking. along, triumphal arches rise, and prisoned It is on the English Sunday. There are nations have erected a Colosseum,-a St. persons. he observes, who imbibe conjugal Peter's : in London, wealth and trade build, ienderness from the cudgel, and others under a darker sky and a pallid heaven, whose religious creed springs from intolerendless lanes like single palaces; the ar. ance and persecution. In England, enchitectural style of every nation is brought lightened, practical England, religion is a together like the merchant's wares, and in the modern Babylon the foreigner is lost weapon of war rather than a bond of peace: in amazement. The poor foreigner! he che insists, we hope unjustly, that the must in England feel himself a stranger; whole nation is tinctured with this indivihe must forego many of the opinions im- dual fault; that persecution and exclusivebibed and cherished from infancy as un ness are common to all parties and sects; questionable verities; he must begin again and that the English sectarians of all kinds to handle and to learn what hitherto hebate each other as fiercely as in former has not handled or learned. He is in a
times. Certainly the evidence should be land where all is new to him,-existence wears a different hue; the water of the strong that takes so sweeping a conclusion; sea that surrounds the British shores has and the writer's argument is not better supsomething of Lethe in its nature, for it ob-ported by the Witch of Endor, to whom he literates the opinions and ideas that we expressly refers, than by the single illusbring over from the continent. He comes tration he gives us in addition, namely, the to England, to a people whose political case of Catholic Ireland; for none surely, writings have given lessons to all others, except "a thoroughly bewildered stranger," and to a land of reform,-and finds conservative manners; customs sanctified by
can be ignorant that politics on this ques. centuries of time; a system of moveless- tion give their color to religious differness, which, banished from politics, has ences. On one point only of this questio taken refuge in the kingdom of usages.” vexata can we pause to remark, and this
but to rectify the error of those who, like No little addition to our traveller's ad- our traveller, err on a matter of fact. Lord miration of all this was made at Ascot races, | Lyndhurst, in certain animadversions, ex
pressly quoted the language of his oppo-cessary and innocent recreation and enjoy-
“Still and silent on the one side sat the On the gloom of an English Sunday we men, with their heads covered; on the cannot entirely agree with our author, who other the females, with their sober-color
ed bonnets of silk." re-echoes the commonplaces of its being "a day of mourning and sadness, when music itself is a sin, and an awful stillness
We hope the worm that produces it is spreads its raven wing over the whole land." pot that from whose subtle doings our foreOur national mode of observing the Sab
fathers prayed to be delivered; though the
fact seems suspicious. bath has undoubtedly “a visible effect on the lower classes ;' not merely, as the writer charitably affirms, by driving them to-titute of the slightest ornament. For one
“The walls were cold and bare, and dewards political and religious fanaticism, or full quarter of an hour not the slightest to the gin-shops, but in promoting those sound broke the death-like stillness that family reunions, and infusing a taste for reigned around, when suddenly an elderly those tranquil pleasures which constitute dame stood up at the further end of the the charm and the blessing of English do- hall, and spoke in a feeble voice. She had mestic society to a degree of which the scarcely concluded, when a melancholy more superficial portion of foreigners can with tears and internal agitation.
female form commenced a long speech,
She not be conipetent judges. There is, we spoke of love, of repentance, and of love think, far more apparent than real severity again: to this point she constantly returnin our ordinances on this head; and they ed.” “I was sorry,” says our author, may even err, though slightly, on the side that this apostle of love was not pretof excess: but, while we have doubts whe-tier ;(!) for her want of beauty counterther society ought to be altogether unbing- acted the effect of her eloquence. The ed for the advantages of eating mutton cold whole assembly seemed indifferent to what on a Sunday, and are somewhat sceptical own thoughts."
was passing; each appearing lost in his whether those who are compelled to walk all the week should in consequence be de From hence, and his devotion seems esbarred from riding on the Sabbath, we sentially locomotive, the author entered a consider that the attendance at worship, Methodist chapel, where, as among the and the calm demeanour that marks the sa. Quakers, he saw more women than inen; cred day in England, are not less accord- but their dresses were elegant, and carriant with the spirit of the divine injunction ages and livery servants stood before the than the continental tradesman laboring door. The service, a mixture of hymn, up to two o'clock at his usual avocations. There is perhaps nothing in the nationaj prayer, reading, and preaching, struck him
as dramatic-scarcely less so, he thought, institutions of any age or nation that so
was a meeting in the open air in Smithstrongly forces reflection upon the mind as field; where the preacher, a well-dressed the absence of what called amusements man, with loud voice and violent gestures, on the British Sabbath: the blank inay be irksome, but thonght will thus intervene, Old Testament.
gave a puritanical gloss to a text from the to fill up the vacant space, and leave its be
Our traveller remarks that all sects in neficial traces on the mind. And when we England take by preference their texts from compare the numbers resorting then to the same source, instead of from the New public houses with the vast mass of popu. Testament; and hence he infers that they lation that abstain from these; and still deem the Deity a God of vengeance and more, when we compare the few sots and wrath rather than of love. He adds that drunkards within the precincts of those Sir Andrew Agnew's bill has recently walls to the many that enter them for ne- gained strength in parliament, and he looks
on all this, like a true theorist, as referrible this he justly attributes to the power and to the wealth of the nation. Machinery pathos of the Irish Melodies, so popular in and money-getting abase the spirit; the the boudoirs and drawing-rooms of the love of gain predominates in life and in fashionable world. In fact, to make the politics; a reaction ensues through puri songs of a nation is to rule their hearts, as tanical severity and sheer spiritualism, hos the wily Frenchman long ago asserted, tile to all enjoyment. “This,” he conti- and Moore and Beranger have proved to nues, " is the darkest side of the English our hands. But to return to our author, character, the snake amidst roses; for, his subject, and his reflections, should England receive some violent shock, the iconoclast disciples of Knox would “And O'Connel himself, but a few years pour forth in crowds to overturn every so- since what was he? The cause he advocial institution, and to build a charnel. cated was not so brilliant that its rays house on the rain."
could form a halo round his head. Only Such is the opinion hastily formed per the Irish were with him; the White-boys
the lowest and most demoralized class of haps, of a foreigner, who from his station gave him their support; but the champion in society had the means of conversing of religious liberty disavowed the Catholic with well-informed persons, and forming bishops; the nobility scorned, the tradeshis judgment by theirs; but we must pass men dreaded his schemes ; 'a thousand over these grave topics, and therefore de parties divided the country,and in their pricline dwelling with the writer on Bedlam vate feuds forgot the public cause : but and the Penitentiary, in spite of the attrac
during the struggle O'Connel's case grew tious of that parti-coloured costume so ad under his banners ; the thunder of his
ever brighter; a whole land ranged itself mired in the heroic age of England's third voice rolled over the Irish Channel, and Edward, but which fashion, somewhat more found in a million English hearts its correluctavily followed in the present day, ap- responding echo. At length it became pears to have lost much of its interest in strong enough to support or overturn a the eyes of the modern fair, at least beyond ministry.” the precincts of Millbank. Neither St. Paul's nor Westminster Abbey however,
We must copy a few remarks on paintthe Tunnel, the Tower, nor the Docks, nor ing in England and France. After speakeven Barclay's Brewery, atıract our specu- ing of the Spanish artists, whom our travellative Hungarian. Monstrous churches, ler considers, somewhat whimsically, as he observes, that produce little effect, and affording a remarkable parallelism with are filled with tasteless monuments, are suf- the Greek, Indian, Chinese, and Persian ficiently common on the continent; ducks, styles!-(he had previously deduced Gothic and breweries that drown whole streets in architecture from the Banyan tree-) he beer,* have long had rivals in Europe and proceeds, America ; but the Collosseum, Astley's, the Adelaide Street Gallery, and the Zoolo. “The Frenchman brings all his vanity and gical Garden, are to be found in London display, to bear upon his work: the na
superficiality, his theatricaal ffectation and alone.
tionality of his countrymen never leaves We may pass these, however, for our him without a task. In England, on the traveller's remarks on the meeting at the contrary, there is almost nothing for art. Crown and Anchor Tavern in favor of Protestantism forbids pictures for churchO'Connel, and presided by Joseph Hume, es; men of education are occupied with and" from which the Irish' members politics; and consequently English art is
Landthrough delicacy were absent.” He gives weak, effeminate, and unnoticed. a brief abstract of the chairman's speech, holds only the same rank as the idyll in
scape painting alone flourishes; but it and slight personal sketches of the chief poetry-a milk diet for grown men." orators, Hume, Warburton, Furgusson of Raith, “who is known to the whole world,” We cannot spare much time for the wriand Attwood; and expresses surprise that ter's western progress. Salisbury, from its from 6000 to 8000 men of all classes should
repose and German prosaic character, conpeaceably have attended there, and no con- trasts, we are oddly informed, as strongly stable to be seen-the object, too, being a with commercial and manufacturing towns subscription of the Protestant English for as romantic life with large watering places. an Irishman and a Catholic. Much of Stonehenge nalurally awakens some fanci.
ful speculations in a mind so prone to in.
dulgences of this kind; but we must quote * We have not heard of any catastrophe rival. a passage respecting the music of Bath, ling Meux's double-barrelled destruction some \ from its novelty in a German mind :years since.
“It was Sunday, and we entered a death of the genial Keats.” The story is church.—How were we astonished as the just as true of the Edinburgh as of the tone of the powerful organ, one of the Quarterly, to which last the homicide is most celebrated in England, mingled a
generally ascribed. strain of sublime sacred music with a full
To the Advocates, who form the princiclear and united voice of melody, which, from the accounts of travellers, we should pal society of Edinburgh, and their practisleast of all have expected to find in Eng. ed casuistical skill, “ which binds the crea. land! I wished those writers present who tions of phantasy by the rules of art," our had formed their opinion of the musical author attributes that subtile vein of crititaste of the English from the applause cism, and habitual attention to rule and prewhich the fashionable world lavishes daily cedent that, according to him, mark out at concerts upon the garnish of Italian this city as the seat of pnritanism and presong: this one circumstance would have
cisness. convinced them that the metropolis no more includes all England, than the fash The poetical spirit of our author does ionable society of London represents the justice to the unrivalled situation of the people of Great Britain.”
city, its majestic rock, and picturesque cas
tie, with the bridge and the national monuFrom the above extracts it will be obviment on the Calion Hill. Alas! the proous that our Hungarian visiter forms his totype of the Parthenon did not fail from own opinions, and is not ashamed to avow want of funds under Pericles. He bestows them when they differ most from those of some pages on the lavish beauties of sitnahis countrymen. His seems, in truth, one tion and prospect that render Edinburgh of those wild and dreamy minds that evi- unique; yet, while admitting the beauty of dence, equally with history itself, the ori. the New town and its public edifices, he ental origin of their proper nation, and that, holds them deficient in originality, and but fraught with the love of the beautiful, a cold imitation of the Greek. But this springs ever from the sterner labours of surely is as it should be, according to his judgment and comparison to delight itself in own maxim, that architecture every where abstract conceptions, and only turns earth- harmonizes with the climate. ward when exhausted, and to prepare for We must find room for a few remarks another flight. He feels rather than rea-on our literature, in which there is much sons: and, with the fault of intuitive ge truth, though the political impress is, to nius, whenever he errs it is from a bias to- our thinking, exaggerated.wards the ideal of his own thoughts. His remarks on Warwick Castle and Birming “ The vocation of a critic here is differham are instances of this; and it is impos- ent from the rest of Europe, where the sible to grapple with fancies like the fol- public looks on at a reviewer and author lowing summing up :
as the Romans on their gladiatorial shows.
In England, on the contrary, all takes the “It is childishness, but I really felt hap- litical engine, and the heavy ordnance of
stamp of politics. Here criticism is a popy that the nearest road from Warwick reviews is used to breach the walls of arisCastle to Birmingham did not pass by Kenilworth. I regarded this as a favora tocracy or democracy when the musble omen that the transition from the pres; avail. The pages of the reviews are the
quetry of the journals is of no further ent to the future would be peaceful and first practice of the future statesman, and unbroken as the road from the castle to in these he prepares himself for the con the manufacturing town.”
test he is to carry on hereafter in parlia
ment. Of Ireland more than enough has already ron in his journal, 'if he had any thing
'Who would write,' says Lord Bybeen said to render any notice of our travel- else to do ? This is the device of English ler's visit to that country necessary here; authorship which regards writing but in especially as beyond the natural beauties of its effects, and the Word as mother to the the scenery he gives us little of his own Deed. This feeling acts upon poetry and remarks, unless in a conversation with destroys it, for poetry expires the moment native and politics are not our forte;
she becomes the tool of party.” Irish politics confessedly our foible. We can but touch on his visit to Edinburgh,
Again, which, as he had compared London to Rome, he regards as its Alexandria, the round the fairest flowers of Thomas
"In England public life affects poetry; seat of a school of Reviewers. “ Lord By- Moore's genius, and the novels of Bulwer, ron's satire,” he observes, " has not hurt Mrs. Trollope, and Lady Morgan, wind them; and it is known that a severe eri- the snake of politics; so that the reader tique of the Edinburgh Review caused the feels uncomfortable, and is often in doubt
whether the Hesperian apples of poesy are ready remarked. The country of the aunot gathered from the Tree of the Knowl- thor in itself renders the book an object of edge of Good and Evil. Hence it arises curiosity: and that it does not in a single that in general only young people, ladies, line of its light and airy pa ces indulge the end effeminate characters interfere with vulgur vanity of parading acquaintanceship lighter literature, all skill and talent fining and betraying domesticity is a proof that room for Action in England. The present literary poverty of the country is a the writer's mind does honour to his rank proof of the internal feeling of the nation; in society. Many hints for the improveand is the less to be regretted, since the inent of his native land have already been aim of its existence is to trade, not to adopted from England, and we trust the write."
facilitation of foreign intercourse by canals “Such is perhaps the real position of the will tempt more than one kindred spirit English critics, to whom the confused tone of French literature appears so singular among his countrymen to enlarge his that they cannot comprehend it, and will sphere of observation and our own by a not trouble themselves with this utter cha- visit of the Magyar to our shores. os of ideas after being accustomed to the decided language and clear perspicuity of England. French literature is also in a singular crisis, and who can augur of its next phase, when even a mind like Victor Hugo's doubts whether the obscurity that hovers over France is the forerunner of
Art. XII.- Die Alt-Persischen Keil. Itnight, or shall produce day from its womb!
schrifteu vou Persepolis. Entzifferung This uncertainty has given to Fierchi tal des Alphabets und Erkärung des Inhalts, ent the leaden impress of insignificance, nebst geographischen Untersuchungun, and deprived it at once of the freshness of fc. (Ancient Persian Cupeiform Inopening life and of the perfection of its scriptions at Persepolis. A Deciphering decline."
of their Alphabet and Interpretation of
thejr Contents, with Geographical In. We can extract but a few lines more, to
quiries, &c.) Von Dr. Christian Lassen. show the impression which England left
Bonn. 1836. upon the candid traveller. Aster enumerating the courtesies he had received, and the We have slightly alluded in a former numtreasures of art and nature every where ber to the labours of Dr. Grotefend in defreely offered to his inspection, as well as ciphering the cuneiform inscriptions of ansome personal attentions, shown by an ut tiquity, and to the opinion of the Baron de ter stranger, he proceeds,
Sacy, that certainty had not been bitherto
obtained on the subject. To the diligence 6 These kindnesses occur
so often amongst the educated classes that we are
and perseverance of the former, however, tempted to believe that the writers who it must be confessed, a larger share of gracomplain of the rudeness and incivility of titude is due, since bis researches form a the English coald never have mixed with basis for subsequent inquiries, and amongst the gentry. It is only the populace of others for those of Dr. Lassen. England that is brutal and uncivilized; and This last writer is well known to the this is but a proof of the healthiness and learned world as devoting himself to the the independence of the lower classes."
study of those recondite points of Asiatic
philology, which, whatever their value to As he quitted our shores he tells us,
history, seemed till now to offer little in.
ducement or hope either in the shape of So long as the English coast remained
In conjuncin sight we kept looking back upon it, and discovery or encouragement. as it faded in the distance we exclaimed tion with M. Eugene Burnouf, confessedly with full hearts,
the first scholar of Europe in these paths, Old England for ever !"
Dr. Lassen has already published some
valuable elucidations of Oriental antiquity: We have bestowed some little time on and he no'v comes forward in prosecution this volume, not only from the talents and of those labors, to correct and extend the station of its writer, but also as the first of discoveries of his predecessers in the abovehis countrymen, to our knowledge, who mentioned field; without, however, attempthas given his candid opinion of England ing to claim for himself any portion of the from actual inspiction of its slate. That it praise that he deems justly conceded to is on the whole decidedly favorable to us is ihem. A slight sketch of the discoveries flaltering to our national feeling, and on thus achieved may not be uvinteresting to the cause of any of its errors we have al- our readers. VOL. XX.