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LITERARY CRITICISM.

Borysthenes, and the Don ; and dividing into two branches, the Ostrogoths spread over Pannonia, whilst the Visigoths twice ravaged Italy, sacked and plunder.

ed Rome, and penetrated even into Gaul and Spain. History of the Revolutions in Europe, from the Sub- The Franks and

the Alemanns came from the banks of version of the Roman Empire in the West, till the the Rhine, the Maine, the Weser, and the Elbe, and Abdication of Bonaparte. From the French of C. W. joined to swell the torrent that inundated the country of Koch; by Andrew Crichton. 3 vols. Being the

the Cæsars. The Saxons came from beyond the Elbe, xxxiii, xxxiv, and xxxv vols. of Constable's Miscel. and keeping chiefly by the sea-coast, committed ravages lang. Edinburgh. 1828 and 1829.

there similar to those which other barbarians were busy

with in the interior. Lastly, the Huns, the fiercest of This is a valuable and interesting work, every page all, came from the remote districts of Northern Asia, to of which terms with important knowledge. It presents which the Greeks or Romans had never penetrated, and a clear and impartial panoramic view of the history of having first attacked Byzantium and the Eastern divi. the world for the last fourteen centuries ; and in an ably sion of the Empire, tbey then precipitated themselves on written introduction furnishes a brief sketch of the pre- the west, under the conduct of the famous Attila. For vious progress of society, from the earliest authentic upwards of two hundred years all was confusion, bloodera. The work was published in 1813, shortly after shed, and darkness. Not a single nation was to be the author's death, and was speedily acknowledged as found in Europe whose rights or boundaries were as. entitled to rank high among the literature of the Conti- certained and established. The old order of things ment; it is now for the first time introduced to the Eng. had been swept away at once ; and it was not to be ex. lish reader.

pected that so great a mass of discordant elements could Koch divided his work into eight sections or periods, immediately arrange themselves into an harmonious beginning with the year 406, and ending with the year and appropriate disposition. Gradually, however, this 1789; but a ninth period has been added by his friend, began to be the case. Much internal commotion still biographer, and editor, M. Schoell, comprising an ac- existed, but out of the chaotic mass, new and distinct count of the French Revolution, and thus bringing Empires sprang up, like islands rising in the ocean. down the History of Europe to the year 1815. The The Franks established themselves in Gaul; the Aletwo first volumes contain Koch's original work; the manns became masters of Germany; the Huns contented greater part of the third is ‘occupied with Schoell's ad. themselves with Russia ; the Visigoths disputed with dition. 'We shall endeavour to give our readers some the Mahometar from Africa the dominion of Spain ; idea of the contents of the whole, by mentioning very and the Saxons crossed over into Britain, and formed generally and briefly the leading subjects which are the political association known by the name of the Hep. treated of in the different sections. Our abstract may tarchy. Whatever difference there might be in other serve not only to interest them in the work itself, but respects, there were two features which gave all these to a certain extent may refresh their memory of those nations a general resemblance to each other, and in. great events, to a more detailed account of which the vo- creased the probability of mutual co-operation towards lumes before us are dedicated. At a season when all the ultimate advancement of civilization. These were classes are admonished to indulge in a salutary retro- —the feudal system, and the Christian religion, both of spect of the occurrences of a past year, it will not, per- which were now universally adopted, and materially haps, be uninteresting to the intelligent mind to con. tended to soften the harsher characteristics of the times. trast with its own temporary concerns, the principal oc- The only other event of this period to which it is necurrences of past centuries,-occurrences which influ- cessary to allude, is the new religion which Mahomet enced the destiny of a world.

founded in Asia, and the Empire which he extended The first period into which our author divides his through Africa into Spain. View of the Revolutions of Europe, extends from the The second period, which extends from the year 800 year 406 to 800. It was in the early part of the fifth to 962, introduces us to the ascendency of the Empire century that the mighty fabric of the Roman Empire, of the Franks under Charlemagne, and the Carloviowhich had been long tottering to decay, fell tinally and gian race of kings. It was not till a much later period forever into ruin. Their far-extended possessions, which that the different independent kingdoms, which rose upon it hud cost them ages to acquire, were, in the course of the ashes of Roman greatness, began to consider the carea few lustrums, snatched from them, one after another, ful preservation of a just balance of power as the most and over-run by barbarians, who trampled under foot essential part of European and international policy. all the institutions and improvements which Roman They had been too long accustomed to acknowledge the greatness had introduced into their most distant colo- ascendency of one country, to be surprised at finding nies. The Vandals came from the banks of the Elbe themselves again becoming tributary to the superior and the Vistula, and passing through Germany, entered genius of a great conqueror. Charlemagne, who suc. Gaul, plundering and destroying wherever they went. ceeded his father Pepin in 768, eclipsed every monarch The Goths came from the banks of the Dniester, the that had preceded him, since the days of Julius Cæsar.

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France, Spain, Germany, and Italy, submitted to his ing to acknowledge the right which the Emperors had

Nor did he figure only as a warrior, but also as exercised of confirming the Popes, he claimed for the a legislator, and munificent patron of letters. The em Popes the prerogative both of confirming and dethroning pire of the Franks thus became paramount in Europe ; the Emperors. In support of this arrogated authority, ihe monarchies of the north, Denmark, Norway, Swe- he was involved in a long war with Henry IV. of Gerden, Poland, and Russia, had not yet emerged from the many ; but its conclusion was such as tended rather to confusion and darkness in wbich they had long lain. strengthen than diminish his pretensions; and, ere long, The descendants of Charlemagne, however, not possess the kings of Portugal, Arragon, England, Scotland, ing his abilities, which were indeed far beyond the age Sardinia, the two Sicilies, and several others, became in which he lived, divided his empire into three distinct vassals and tributaries to the Papal See. portions, nearly akin to the modern Italy, Germany, “In every respect circumstances were such as to hasten and France. One cause of the dismemberment, and and facilitate the progress of this new pontifical supre. rapid decay of the power of Charlemagne, will be found macy. It had commenced in a barbarous age, when in the greater influence which the Normans, or nations the whole of the Western World was covered with the of Scandinavian origin,—the Huns, in Hungary, Mora- darkness of ignorance ; and when mankind knew neither via, and Russia, and the British, united into one mo. the just rights of sovereignty, nor the bounds which reanarchy, first under Egbert, and afterwards under Alfred,- son and equity should have set to the authority of the began to possess in the affairs of Europe. As yet, how- priesthood. The court of Rome was then the only school ever, all these countries were in their infancy, and con- where politics were studied, and the Popes the only tending with those numerous difficulties which continu- monarchs that put them in practice. An extravagant ally beset the childhood of nations.

superstition, the inseparable companion of ignorance, The third period, which extends from the year 962 to held all Europe in subjection ; the Popes were reve. 1074, embraces an account of the successes and power renced with a veneration resembling that which belongs of Otho the Great, Emperor of Germany, who nearly only to the Deity; and the whole world trembled at the succeeded in again converting the whole of Christendom utterance of the single word, Excommunication. Kings into one great State, of which the Pope was the spiritual were not sufficiently powerful to oppose any successful head, and the Emperor the secular ; the latter enjoying resistance to the encroachments of Rome; their authorithe important prerogative of confirming or rescinding ty was curtailed and counteracted by that of their vas. the election of the former. In Spain, the Mahometan i sals, who seized with eagerness every occasion which the dynasty of the Ommiades expired in the eleventh cen. Popes offered them, to aggrandize their own preroga. tury, and the Christians under Sancho the Great, king tives at the expense of the sovereign authority.” of Navarre, acquired an ascendency, which, though it To these causes of ecclesiastical sovereignty are to be fluctuated, they never afterwards entirely lost. In added others,—in particular, the multiplication of reliFrance, under the weak sway of some of the Capetian gious orders, the institution of religious and military kings who succeeded the Carlovingians, the feudal sys- orders, and the expeditions to the East, known by the tem grew to such abuse, that the more powerful barons name of Crusades. The superstitious opinion then preusurped almost all the rights of royalty. In England, valent, that the end of the world was at hand, led to the successors to Alfred, giving themselves up to the many pilgrimages to the Holy Land, where the devodominion of priests and monks, saw their subjects, the tees proposed to abide the second coming of the Lord

. Anglo-Saxons, first subdued by the Danes under Sweyn so long as the Arabs were masters of Palestine, they and Canute, and the Danes, in their turn, were con- protected and countenanced these pilgrimages, from quered by the Normans under William. It was not which they derived no small emolument ; but when the till the tenth century that the Gospel found its way into Seljukian Turks, a ferocious and barbarous people, conthe Scandinavian nations; and Canute the Great, who quered the country, in the year 1075, every kind of insucceeded to the throne of Denmark in 1014, was the sult and oppression was heaped upon the Christians, first monarch who made Christianity the established re- which at length gave birth to the resolution to expel the ligion of that kingdom. In Sweden, about the same Infidels from the Holy Land. There were, in all

, seren time, there prevailed a strange mixture both of doctrine Grand Crusades. The first was undertaken in the year and worship, Jesus Christ being profanely associated 1096, by Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine ; the with Odin, and the pagan goddess Freya confounded second in 1147, by Conrad III., Emperor of Germany, with the Virgin. The Poles are a nation whose name and Louis VII., King of France ; the third in 1189, by does not occur in history before the middle of the tenth the Emperor Frederic I., surnamed Barbarossa, Philip century. They were one of the Sclavonian tribes set of France, and Richard Cæur-de-Lion of England; the tled north of the Elbe; and being subdued by the Ger- fourth in 1202, by Boniface, Marquis of Montserrat ; mans, were obliged to embrace Christianity. The Greek the fifth in 1217, by Andrew, King of Hungary; the empire bad sunk at this era to the lowest degree of cor- sixth in 1220, by the Emperor Frederic II.; and the ruption, fanaticism, and perfidy.

seventh in 1248, by Louis IX., King of France. The fourth period comprehends upwards of two cen- The only Eastern possessions which the Europeans turies, from the year 1074 to 1300. "A number of im- found themselves masters of, after a succession of portant events, possessing no immaterial influence over wars, which thus lasted for nearly two hundred years, the future destinies of Europe, took place within these were the towns of Tyre and Ptolemais. But the adtwo centuries. The Cæsars had passed away, the Char- vantages which the See of Rome drew from the Crusades lemagnes had gone down into the dust, the Othos ex. were immense, and led to its encouraging similar espeisted no longer; but a new and powerful monarchy was ditions in the west and north of Europe. Accordingly

, about to arise, forming one of the most splendid of all we find that, about the same time, holy wars were car, the pageants that ever passed across the stage of his ried on-Ist, against the Mahometans of Spain and tory: This was the dominion of the Roman Pontiffs. Africa ; 2d, against the Emperors and Kings who reHitherto they had, in general, succumbed to the most fused obedience to the orders of the Popes; 3d, against influential monarch of the times, whether Frank or Ger- heretical or schismatic princes, such as the Greeks and man; but this was a humiliation that little suited the Russians ; 4:h, against the Slavonians and other Pagan haughty and ambitious spirit of Pope Gregory VII, nations on the coasts of the Baltic; and, 5th, against “a man,” says Koch,“ born for great undertakings; the Waldenscs, Albigenses, and Hussites, who were reas remarkable for his genius, which raised bim above garded as heretics. The Knights of St John, the his times, as for the austerity of his manners and the Knights of the Temple, and the Teutonic Knights, were boundless reach of his ambition." So far from consent- numerous bodies, combining religion with military prow.

ess, which sprang into existence in consequence of the ving others under their protection, rescinding and an. Crusades, and afterwards contributed greatly to the re- nulling their acts and proceedings, summoning them to nown of chivalry, which was now about to give so pe- their court, and acting as arbiters in their disputes. The culiar a colour to European society and manners. history of the Popes is the history of all Europe. They

“In general, it may be said,” our author remarks, assumed the privilege of legitimating the sons of kings, " that these ultramarine expeditions, prosecuted with in order to qualify them for the succession ; they forobstinacy for nearly two hundred years, hastened the bade sovereigns to tax the clergy; they claimed a feudal progress of arts and civilisation in Europe. The Cro- superiority over all, and exerciscd it over a very great saders, journeying through kingdoms better organized number ; they conferred royalty on those who were am. than their own, were necessarily led to form new ideas, bitious of power; they released subjects from their oath and acquire new information with regard to science and of allegiance; dethroned sovereigns at their pleasure ; politics. Some vestiges of learning and good taste had and laid kingdoms and empires under interdict, to been preserved in Greece, and even in the extremities avenge their own quarrels. We find them disposing of of Asia, where letters had been encouraged by the pa. the states of excommunicated princes, as well as those tronage of the Caliphs. The city of Constantinople, of heretics and their followers ; of islands and kingdoms which had not yet suffered from the ravages of the bar- newly discovered ; of the property of infidels or schis. barians, abounded in the finest monuments of art. It matics; and even of Catholics who refused to bow bepresented, to the eyes of the Crusaders, à spectacle of fore the insolent tyranny of the Popes. grandeur and magnificence that could not but excite their “ Thus it is obvious that the Court of Rome, at the admitation, and call forth a strong desire to imitate those time of which we speak, enjoyed a conspicuous preponmodels, the sight of which at once pleased and astonished derance in the political system of Europe. But, in the them. To the Italians especially, it must have proved ordinary course of human affairs, this power, vast and of great advantage. The continued intercourse which formidable as it was, began, from the fourteenth cen. they maintained with the East and the city of Con- tury, gradually to diminish. The mightiest empires stantinople, afforded them the means of becoming fami- have their appointed term; and the highest stage of liar with the language and literature of the Greeks, of their clevation is often the first step of their decline. communicating the same taste to their own countrymen, Kings, becoming more and more enlightened as to their and in this way advancing the glorious époch of the true interests, learned to support the rights and the marevival of letters."

jesty of their crowns, against the encroachments of the The increasing importance of towns, and the rise of Popes. Those who were vassals and tributaries of the free corporations, served also to soften many of the Holy See gradually shook off the yoke ; even the clera harsher features of feudalism, and to make the people gy, who groaned under the weight of this spiritual des. more aware of their own rights. In England, the Com- potism, joined the secular princes in repressing these mons were admitted into Parliament in the year 1266, abuses, and restraining within proper bounds a power during the reign of Henry III., and this example was which was making incessant encroachments on their just soon followed by France and Germany. The old Ro- prerogatives." man laws were revived, as much superior to the juris. Abuse of power invariably leads to its destruction, prudence then in use, and, under the arrangement of and this was the case with the Popes. We may form Gratian, the Canon Law was added to them. The stu- some notion of the insolent arrogance of these priests, dies of jurisprudence and theology, which thus acquired by a single extract from a bull of Pope Clement VI., fresh dignity, led to other studies ; and the Universities issued against the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, who inof Paris, Bologna, Padua, Salamanca, Cambridge, Oxa curred the censures of the Church for defending the ford, and others, date their origin early in the thirteenth rights of his crown, at the commencement of the fourcentury. In Italy, there arose a number of republics, teenth century :-“ May God,” says the Pope, in speak. and more especially those of Genoa and Venice. The ing of the Emperor, “ smite him with madness and dis. greatness to which both reached materially contributed to ease ; may heaven crush him with its thunderbolts ; the revival of the arts and sciences in that country. may the wrath of God, and that of St Peter and St Paul, During this epoch, the kingdom of the Two Sicilies and fall on him in this world and the next; may the whole of Portugal were also founded, the Inquisition was es- universe combine against him ; may the earth swallow tablished in those countries most subject to Papal do- him up alive ; may his name perish in the first generaminion,-Magna Charta, the basis of the English Con- tion, and his memory disappear from the carth; may stitution, was obtained from King John,--and the Mo- all the elements conspire against him; may his chilguls, coming from the north of the Great Wall of China dren, delivered into the hands of his enemies, be mas. from that district which lies between Eastern Tartary sacred before the eyes of their father !” The blow which and modern Buckharia_over-ran, under the guidance at lengih struck at the root of this overgrown pontifical of the famous Zinghis Khan, all Tartary, Turkistan, power came froin the Reformers of Germany. It was China, and Persia; and then, directing their steps to not, however, till a somewhat later period than that of wards Europe, penetrated into Russia, and spread over which we talk, that the Reformation began to sprcad. Poland, Silesia, Moravia, Hungary, and the countries As if to prepare the way for this great revolution in the bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Towards the end of the human mind, several scientific discoveries were made, of thirteenth century, the Mogul Empire, from south to the last importance to the progress of knowledge. Among Dorth, extended from the Chinese Sea and the Indies to the principal of these may be mentioned, the invention the extremities of Siberia, and, from east to west, from of writing-paper, of oil-painting, of printing, of gunJapan to Asia Minor, and the frontiers of Poland in powder, and of the mariner's coinpass. In the south, Europe.

Venice and Genoa, and in the north, the cities of the The fifth period commences with the year 1300, and Hanseatic league, began to carry commerce to great perends with the year 1453, when Constantinople was ta- fection. The different countries of Europe, amidst a ken by the Turks. It was during this period that the number of intestine wars and petty revolutions, were Papal authority attained its utmost height, and also be gradually assuming their present form; whilst the Turks, gan to witness its decline and fall.

an Asiatic race, attacked the feeble shadow of Greek “ Nothing is more remarkable,” says Koch, “than and Roman power still existing in Constantinople, and, the influence of the Papal authority over the temporali- under Mahomet II., conquered the last Constantine, and ties of princes. We find them interfering in all their established for themselves a dominion in Europe. quarrels, addressing their commands to all, without dis- The sixth section extends from the year 1453 to 1618, tinction, enjoining some to lay down their arms, recei- and brings us down to the more civilized and classical

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periods of European history. The downfall of the Greek " This progress in the various departments of hu.
Empire contributed greatly to the progress of the Belles man learning gave the name of the Intellectual Age to
Lettres and the Fine Arts in the rest of Europe. The the epoch of which we now speak. This title it might
majority of the Grecian literati, to escape the barbarity have justly claimed, had not those pretended philoso-
of the Turks, fled into Italy, where, under the protec- pliers, who sprouted up in the eighteenth century, under
tion of the celebrated Medici family at Florence, and in pretext of infusing general knowledge anong all classes
conjunction with such men as Petrarch, Foccaccio, Are- of people, perverted the public mind, by preaching doc-
tino, Guarini, and others, they established academies trines which became the root of those calamities that for
and schools all over the country. It was now, too, that thirty years distracted all Europe. The object of these
the great Continent of America was discovered ; as well persons was to annihilate religion, the basis of all mo-
as the route to India and the East, round the continent rality, and to propagate, among the disciples of Athe.
of Africa. It was now, besides, that Pope Leo X., and ism, tenets subversive, not only of political govern.
the Church itself, were made to tremble, under the se- ment, and the legitimate power of kings, but of the
vere, but just, exposures of Martin Luther, Ulric Zuin- rights and happiness of the people."
gle, and John Calvin. The flame spread over all Eu- In England, Hobbes, Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury, Col.
rope, and for many years religious wars continued to be lins, Tindal, and others, took the lead in this new ca-
waged in every corner. of these, probably the most reer; and they were supported in France by Voltaire,
conspicuous is that known by the name of the Thiry D'Alembert, Diderot, Helvetius, Barons Holbach and
Years' War. The most powerful monarchs in the six- Montesquieu. In Germany also the secret order of the
teenth century were Charles V., Francis I., Henry VIII., Illuminati came into existence. The leading political
and Soliman the Great.

events were, the foundation of the British Empire in
The seventh period reaches from the year 1648 to India,the sudden aggrandisement of Russia, since the
1713_from the peace of Westphalia to that of Utrecht. time of Peter the Great, which changed the political
At the commencement of this period, France is found system of the north,—the revolutions in the Island of
exercising a very formidable influence in the affairs of Corsica, which, more or less, affected all Europe,-the
Europe. It was her two great statesmen, Cardinals brilliant successes of Catherine of Russia, especially
Richelieu and Mazarin, who first concentrated the reins over the Turks,-and the revolution in North America,
of authority in her hands, and what they had begun was which secured the existence of the United States as an
perfected by one of the mostillustrious of all her monarchs, independent nation.
Louis XIV. In his wars,—and he was frequently at The ninth section, extending from the year 1789 to
war with almost the whole of Europe,-Louis was for 1815, details, in a satisfactory and comprehensive man-
a long while pre-eminently successful, fortunately en- ner, the principal events of the French Revolution,
trusting the command of his navies and armies to such from its commencement to the downfall of Bonaparte.
men as Marshal Luxembourg, Marshal Catinat, and of them it is unnecessary to speak, familiarly known a
the Count de Tourville. It was not till early in the they are to every intelligent reader.
eighteenth century that he experienced some severe re- Did time and space permit, we conceive that a moral
verses, his forces being always defeated by the English lesson, of no mean import, might be drawn from the
generals Marlborough and Prince Eugene. For the brief and hurried review we have attempted of the history
greater part of the seventeenth century, England was of Europe. The littleness of all hum an undertakings
distracted with her own civil wars ; and it was not till never becomes more conspicuous than when the actions
after the abdication of James II., and the accession of and actors of many succeeding centuries are thus seen
William Prince of Orange, in 1688, that she was able at a glance. When we devote a microscopic attention
to turn any efficient attention to Continental affairs. Un to any one era, the very time which its study costs us,
der William and his successor Anne, she rose to great and the ultimate acquaintance we acquire with all its
power and glory; and her union with Scotland tended leading events and personages, invest them with a fic-
not a little to contribute to her prosperity. It was now titious

importance, to which we at once perceive they are also, towards the end of the seventeenth and commence- not entitled when we come to consider them as merdy ment of the eighteenth century, that the northern states filling up the scene in the revolution of centuries. What of Sweden and Russia took a more conspicuous part in is Alaric the Goth now, that nations should have trem. the affairs of Europe than they had ever done before, bled at his step? Where is Charlemagne, whom his under the direction of Charles XII. and Peter the contemporaries worshipped as a god ?

Is Otho the Great. The Turks, on the other hand, once so for- Great more thought of than Lothaire the Simple? What midable, were becoming much feebler, and the suc. is the reward that Gregory VII. or Innocent III. reap cession of misfortunes which overtook them, speedily for all their labours ? °Where, even, is the distinction exhausted their resources. “ The effeminacy and inca- of having been a conqueror and king? Thousands have pacity of the Sultans, their contempt for the arts culti- been so, and thousands yet to come will be so again. vated by the Europeans, and the evils of a government There is little variety in every-day life, but there seems purely military and despotic, by degrees undermined the to be still less in the great operations of the world. One strength of the empire, and eclipsed its glory as a con- nation rises and another falls,

-one period is turbulent, quering and presiding power. We find the Janissaries, and another more peaceful,--and the history is told! a lawless and undisciplined militia, usurping over the Surely there is something insignificant and contemptible sovereign and the throne the same rights which the in all the mighty coil continually kept up by petty men, Prætorian guards had arrogated over the ancient Ro. who fret out their little life-their paltry seventy or man Emperors.”

eighty years—as if the earth were the only planet in The eighth period embraces the greater part of the space, and their own day and generation the very essence eighteenth century, from the year 1713 to the breaking of all eternity! out of the French Revolution, in 1789. In a political We strongly recommend the “Revolutions in Eu. point of view this period did not so much affect the ge- rope to every student of history, and every philoneral appearance of Europe as many which preceded it, sophical inquirer into the events of the past. Were we although it brought about several important changes in to start any objection to the plan upon which it is writ. the internal history of its leading states. Literature and ten, it would be to the some what arbitrary choice of the science had already been restored to their pristine splen- different periods into which it is divided, between which dour ; and the times of Leo X. in Italy, of Queen Eli. we frequently do not see any very natural break or se. zabeth in England, and of Louis XIV. in France, are paration ; but this is a matter of minor importance, and still quoted as the Augustan eras of modern Europe. amply compensated by the intrinsic merits of the work.

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It is proper to add, that the translator seems to have wrote laboriously, let it not, therefore, be imagined that executed his task with much care and judgment. he never wrote any stuff. Some people seem to think

that every thing which a poet writes must be worth preservation. There was never a more complete mistake.

" Air hath its bubbles as the water hath ;” and, most Deus of Castalie ; Poems, composed on various Subjects assuredly, the dregs of a poet's brain are of all dregs the ard Occasions. By J. Johns. London: R. Hunter. most wishy-washy. Therefore it is that we say unto 1828. 8vo, pp. 226.

Mr J. Johns and all other bardlings, that there are two Poems. By Mrs G. G. Richardson, Dumfries. Edin- classes of men for whom they write-critics and trunk.

burgh: Cadell and Co. 1828. 8vo, pp. 227. makers; and that though the bulk of their book may The Covenanters' Communion, and other Poems. By increase its value in the eyes of the latter, it is not unDavid Vedder. Edinburgh: William Blackwood. likely to diminish it in those of the former. 1828. 8vo, pp. 157.

But though from these observations it may be gatherLament of the Wandering Jew; with other Poems. By ed, that we think Mr J. Johns is not altogether what T. B. J. Glasgow. 1828.

he should be as a poet, we do not in end to dismiss him Sketches in Scottish Verse, and Songs, from the Dundee without some approbation. There is poetry in him, Courier. Dundee. 1828.

though certainly every little scrap in his portfolio is

not a " dew-drop from Castalie, as he too modest. All these poems have been specially brought under ly insinuates. When we say now-a-days that there our editorial attention, and of all these poems we now pro- is po try in any one, we are not quite sure to what ex. pose giving our unbiassed opinion, uninfluenced either tent the praise goes. Once upon a time the world by the neglect with which they may have been treated might have been divided into two great classes, one of by an indiscriminating world, or by the high estimation which, and by far the greater, had no poetry in them, in which they may be held by private and personal and the other, consisting of a small minority, had. friends. We shall be at all times glad to do every thing Nous avons changé tout cela. Every body has poetry in our power to bring into notice genius, which may in them now,-young and old, rich and poor, high and shrink too easily from a contest with the hard buffetings low; it is no distinction. It is therefore not enough to write of fortune, and we trust we shall never be instrumental verses now;-they must be such as stir up the minds of in " snuffing out the soul with an article.” But, on the men like a trumpet blast, or lull them into blissful vi. other hand, let not the poetæ minorum gentium” sup- sions, like the shepherd's pipe upon the mountains. It is pose that we undertake to fight for them through thick easy to be a poet; but to be a poet is nothing, for so is and thin, and that, wliere all others condemn, we alone every apprentice in every merchant's counting-house. shall be found to praise. We know the value of praise One must now be a great poet, or he may as lief be better; and we think, also, we have learned to distin. dumb altogether. It is difficult to say which of our guish between the buzz of a bee and a wasp. We value innumerable rhymesters will ultimately become a great the one for the honey that is in him, however little he poet. Mr J. Johns has probably just as good a chance may look like it; but, putting on a thick and appro. as any of them; had many of his productions been as priate glove, we squeeze the other between our finger good as that which we are about to quote, we should and thumb, and listen to his shrill en venomed hiss of have said he had a better than most. Passing over a expiring agony. Poets, therefore, who request us to sit good deal of what is not bad, but considerably middling, in judgment upon their lucubrations, must be contented we come with pleasure to the following stanzas, entitled to dree their fate. We now proceed to call Mr J. Johns to the bar.

Mr J. Johns has written too much. His volume is closely printed, and choke full

. He has adopted, too, There come no seasons there :-our earthly year a system of classification which, though it may avoid Varies from prime to fall, from flowers to snow ; the pain of a too rapid transition from one subject to

And each new month fresh trophies still doth rear another , seems to us affected and artificial. We have But ye, oh ye, fair heavens! for ever glow

To Change, the victor of all fields below; seven “ Books,” containing poems, which he describes In the young glory of your natal morn, as " Lyric," “ Historical," " Descriptive,” “ Didactic When first the realms of space were bade to know and Devotional,” “ Elegiac,” “ Legendary," and "Ano. Their starry kings, Creation's earliest born, malous.” W'ere we disposed to be ill.natured, we should Who should for aye on high yon sapphire thrones adorn. say, that rather than have chosen this hortus-siccus method, we should have put the whole under the last head Thus did ye shine upon the faded past, of " Anomalous.” But, passing over the table of con

Thus will ye shine on far futurity, tents, which is often a very indifferent index of what is With living light, and beauty born to last, to come, we venture the remark, that Mr J. Johns thinks When the least earthly things of earth shall be fully as much of his own productions as any one else Passed, like the oar-toam from the settling sea : das. Were this not the case, he would have put into Ye smile at ages; for your destiny

Eternity is your “ sweet hour of prime;" the fire nearly two-thirds of what he has put into his Hath bathed you in some skiey Siyx, that time book. He appears to have emptied the whole of his Might blench no golden tress, nor' dim one eye sublime. portfolio into the printer's hands. Now, this is an error which modesty would shun, which prudence would for- Shine on-shine on-ye radiant Thousand, shine! bid, and which genius would shudder at. Every body, Ye hosts of heaven, whose everlasting march without one single solitary exception since the world was Is one enduring triumph! Ye divine created, has written the greatest possible stuff at times. Memorials, on the amethystine arch In all voluminous authors this stuff is tangible and ap- of Nature graven by God! Oh, ye who parch parent, though their works, however voluminous, are

The hearts of dust for what they may not know ; merely selections from unknown quantities of manu- Tempting yon azure wilderness to search, script that never saw the light. Distinguished talent 'Twas but a bright mirage, and will for aye be so. keeps its head above water, whether nonsense clings to its legs or not; but whatever the reach of a man's abi- Familiar strangers! Ye, who from our youth lities may be, the more his judgment induces him to lop Gleam on our eyes, to prove how dark and blind off what is superfluous, the better. Gray, perhaps, lop- Is human thought, where fancy ekes out truth, ped off too much ; but because Gray was a poct, and And shadowy dreams usurp the place assigned

STARLIGHT.

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