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greatly to the eclat and weight of the General Assembly. There are laymen in the sectarian synods also; but they are generally found wofully wanting in learning and influence; whereas, the laymen of the Convocation in St Giles' are, in truth, among its most respectable members, although it might perhaps be questioned whether all of these ruling elders are likewise "elders in Israel." They are, for the most part, officers and physicians, or intelligent and active lawyers;-a few are landed gentlemen,-and several noblemen and baronets are commonly appointed by the boroughs, but they very rarely attend. A marked difference may be observed in the oratorical powers of the lay and clerical members. The former speak like men of business and persons acquainted with the world, and consequently possess no inconsiderable influence in the debates; while the latter, with a few honourable exceptions, are too apt to fancy themselves in their pulpits, and to preach rather than argue.
In subsequent papers on this subject, we shall discuss more at large the nature of the General Assembly, and introduce our readers to the various parties into which this Presbyterian Convocation is divided.
[Wx beg to introduce to the attention of our readers the first of a series of Dramatic articles, which will be continued regularly, by our friend," OLD CERBERUS."-Ed. Lit. Jour.]
THE multifarious matters which, in the earlier days of the Edinburgh Literary Journal, pressed upon the Editor's attention, have prevented him from paying quite so much attention to dramatic matters as we could have wished. But now that the bustle and confusion of leaving harbour are over, and that, with all his sails set, he is scudding under a prosperous gale, with little to do but to keep a good look-out, and hold on his course, we propose taking regular observations on the state of the drama; and if our readers do not find us at once "merry and wise," and prepared and able to lead the van of the whole dramatic fleet, cruising about in our Modern Athens, we shall confess ourselves not a little astonished. Yet, we do own that we are not as we once were, when the rising of the green curtain was like the opening of the gates of Paradise, and the fiddling that preceded it more divine than the songs of the Peris. We are now grown up, and fancy ourselves wise ;—we know that the scenes are merely pieces of shifting canvass, and that, reversing Shakspeare's line, all the players are merely men and women. It is with no small grief that, when we look at ourselves in the glass, we perceive the reflected image of a bona fide critic, with wrinkled brow, curling lip, and heart of adamant. Greatly do we fear that, for us, days will never return like those "which now are past away.' Yet, in our sentimental moments, that is to say after dinner, just when the last glass of the first bottle is losing itself in the first bumper of the second,-we not unfrequently wish that we were still a child, and that all behind the green curtain was still fairy-land and enchantment. It is melancholy to think how soon the wild freshness-the ecstatic intensity of boyish feeling, is swallowed up in the engrossing absurdities of this whirlpool of a world. Who does not remember the first season of his theatrical existence ? the joyful anticipations of his evening happiness, which lent new wings to the winter day, the great-coat, the additional handkerchief round the neck, the coach, the ride, and the arrival,-the heavenly music of the orchestra preparing to play "God save the King,"-the Sheridaniana of the inimitable wits in the gallery,-the standing and taking off your hat, in honour of his gracious Majesty, the overture, and the tinkling of the
silver bell, rung by some unseen but delightful hand, the rising of the curtain-the breathless admirationthe magic of every scene-the unearthly beauty of every actress the chivalrous excellence and princely bearing of every actor the unequalled genius of every author the more than Lethean forgetfulness of all external things, and the immutable conviction that you were gazing on reality! Hei nobis! what a change may be worked by that vile abstract idea-time !-But let the subject pass; we must turn from these “ tempora acta," and adapt ourselves a little more to the everyday comprehensions of the equites populusque Ro
Our corps dramatique, as it exists at the present moment, is not quite so good as it should be. It has of late been somewhat crippled by the temporary secession of Mrs Henry Siddons, and the final departure from the stage of Miss Nocl. Gradually, too, there have been dropping off some of the sine nomine persons, who, separately, were weak and worthless as individual twigs; but, taken collectively, made a bundle of some toughness and utility. The sum of our desideratums are these; a good actor for tragedy and grave comedy, such as Vandenhoff; a lady to take the leading parts both in tragedy and genteel comedy; a lady to sustain the first parts in opera; and a considerable reinforcement of supernumeraries, so that the inferior parts may not be so continually doubled as they now are, and that the "mobs,' ," "soldiers," bands of "gipsies," "robbers," "sailors," &c. may look a little more respectable. We call upon the manager to attend to these things before the commencement of another season;— as the Benefits will take place very soon, it is scarcely to be expected that these additions will be made immediately. Nor let it be supposed that, notwithstanding its deficiencies, we feel any thing but a high respect and cordial esteem for our existing company. As a company of comedians, we are sure there is not a better out of London. Murray, George Stanley, Mackay, Jones, would reflect credit on any theatre ;-Pritchard, Thorne, Denham, Mason, Montague Stanley, are much above par. The list of the actresses is not so strong; but Mrs Stanley, though not a polished, is a clever woman; Mrs Nicol has very useful abilities; Miss Tunstall is a very sweet singer. Mrs Renaud was once far superior to them all; but she is now so frail, through old age, that we solemnly protest against her ever appearing again on the stage, for we know of no exhibition to us more painful. Miss Mason has her heart in her profession, and may improve ;-for Miss Gray we can scarcely say so much. Mrs Eyre has a quiet manner, and, on the whole, is rather dry and stiff, which prevents her real merits from being so much appreciated as they otherwise would be. Of the young lady, Miss Clarke, who is still, as it were, upon her trials, we shall have something to say ere long. In the meantime, we shall only add, that they may all expect justice from our hands, both praise and blame, according as they deserve either the one or the other.
Mr T. P. Cooke has been here for the last fortnight. All the world knows that he is the best sailor that ever was on the stage, so it is needless to repeat it here. He has been very successful, too, as the Monster, in the "Fate of Frankenstein ;" but we do not give him so much credit for this, for all he has to do is, to look as little like a human being as possible,-a mere melodramatic trick. His best parts are Long Tom Coffin in the "Pilot," and Fid in the "Red Rover." Both of these pieces are clever dramatic versions of Cooper's excellent novels. The "Red Rover," in particular, has a marine air altogether its own, and has been got up with great spirit. Indeed, it is one of the very best things that has been produced this season. Cooke takes his Benefit this evening.
A SCENE FROM "WALLENSTEIN'S CAMP."
Translated from the German of Schiller.
THE following scene is extracted from that striking, but almost untranslatable Overture, with which Schiller has prefaced his "Piccolomini," and " Death of Wallenstein," entitled "Wallenstein's Camp." It tells no connected story, but merely exhibits in various aspects the military life of the strange and discordant mass, which, drawn together from every quarter of In the scene imthe globe, acknowledged him as their leader.
mediately preceding, a long discussion has taken place between the old and pompous Sergeant Major and Trumpeter of Terzkey's Carabineers, and two Light Horsemen, new-comers from the banks of the Saal, in which sundry speculations on the character of Wallenstein, and the sweets and sours of a military life, have been given. The discussion has been closed by the Sergeant Major announcing the important fact, that Wallenstein bore a charmed life, and held nightly intercourse with a spirit in a grey cloak, which slipped through the key-hole into his quarters, notwithstanding the exertions of the sentinels. In this stage of the proceedings, enters
A Recruit, who comes out of the tent, with a tin cap on his head, and a flask of wine in his hand, followed by a citizen endeavouring to hold him back. Recruit. Greet my father and father's brother ; I'm a soldier now as well as another.
1st Light Horseman. See, here's a greenhorn caught
in the net.
I'd have ye to know, were not found i' the street.
Cit. His grandmother's shop, too, along with the rest. Trump. He would dirty his fingers with brimstone,
Cit. And his godfather's store to his share will fall— A cellar with twenty good butts of wine.
Trump. O! these he can share with his comrades all. 2d Jæger. Come, hark ye, brother, my tent you must join.
Cit. From his sweetheart, poor thing, would ye have him to part?
1st Jæger. Why not? It will teach him an iron heart, Cit. His grand-dame will give up the ghost on the spot.
2d Jæger. That's lucky! the sooner her cash will be got.
Sergeant Major. [Steps up with gravity to the recruit, and lays his hand on his tin cap.]
Look ye, friend, it was very well thought in you,
Henceforth with a worshipful set you take rank,
1st Jæger. And of all things, comrade, your cash don't
Sergeant Major. You have paid your passage in Fortune's ship,
And the sails are spread for your future trip;
The man who has risen but a corporal to be
And may mount step by step to its topmost height.
That chanced to myself but the other day:
He rank'd but as private in the line
Some thirty years since, at Cologne on the Rhine,
For Buttler knew well how to make his way.
A girl comes in to wait, and the 2d Horseman
2d Jæger. What the devil makes you interfere?¡ Dragoon. All I've to say is, the girl is mine.
into three classes. The first comprises a complete collection of all the editions of the poetical works of PETRARCH since 1470, the date of the first printed edition. The second comprises all
1st Jæger. What! keep her all to yourself?-that's fine! the translations of the works of this poet into the French, Latin, Dragoon, you have lost your wits I see.
2d Jæger. In camp there's no private property; And a pretty girl, like the sun, must be As free to all as to you or me.
[Kisses her. Dragoon [pulls her away.] Be off, I tell you-no more
A REAL LOVE SANG.
By the Ettrick Shepherd.
LOVE came to the door o' my heart ae night,
Far aftener than I dare say';
An' dear hae the openings been to me,
"Fear not," quo' Love," for my bow's in the rest, And my arrows are ilk ane gane;
For you sent me to wound a lovely breast,
I am sair forspent, then let me come in
I open'd the door, though I ween'd it a sin,
For first I felt sic a thrilling smart,
That I fear'd the chords o' my sanguine heart
"Gae away, gae away, thou wicked wean,"
"Ay! sae ye may say!" quo' he, "but I ken
And what do you think? by day and by night,
I have cherish'd the urchin with fondest delight,
LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
Spanish, German, and English Languages; it includes the works of all the commentators on the poet, as well as copies of all the works connected with the biography of PETRARCH. The third class is formed of a great number of manuscripts, on vellum and paper, of the poems, or of works connected with the poems, of
PETRARCH. The books, on their arrival at Paris, are to be de
posited in the Louvre.
STATE OF LEARNING IN THE NETHERLANDS.-In a trial for libel, which has just terminated in the Netherlands, a strange proof of his knowledge of the Greek language was given by M. Kersmaker, the president of the court, who took an omega (12), the signature of the celebrated Dr Potter, for a small horse-shoe reversed!
VOLTAIRE.-It has been questioned, whether Voltaire valued more highly his reputation as a poet or a prose-writer. The following anecdote throws some light on the subject:-A friend, calling on him one day, and finding him engaged in writing, would not enter, for fear of interrupting his labours, "Entrez, entrez," said Voltaire; "Je ne fais que de la vile prose."
The papers of Mr Stepney, who was British minister in Germany, in the time of Queen Anne, have been deposited in the British Museum. There are a number of the letters of Addison among them, and many other interesting documents.
The Marquis of Spineto is preparing for publication a Course of Lectures upon Hieroglyphics, delivered at the Royal Institu tion, and at the University of Cambridge.
Theatrical Gossip.-At the King's Theatre, Madame Malibran, formerly better known as Mademoiselle Garcia, has appeared as Desdemona with much success. Her singing is not considered superior to that of Caradori Allan, but her acting is represented as being in many respects equal to Pasta's.-Miss Smithson, whose continental reputation is so very great, is to appear speedily at Covent Garden; she has been detained by ill health longer than she intended at Amsterdam.-Weekes, at Drury Lane, continues to please the Londoners much; he seems to take the lead in humorous Irish characters.-Liston plays at the Haymarket during the summer.-Matthews is getting up a new "At Home." -T. P. Cooke proceeds from Edinburgh first to Dundee, and then to Belfast.-Our Theatre will be closed next week in conse. quence of the Preachings.
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.
IN the Advertisements of the Novel of "Reay Morden," which have appeared in the newspapers since last Saturday, we observe that, by leaving out three words of a sentence which occurs in our review of it, we are represented as applying praise to the work generally, which we only gave to "some passages;" and an impression is thus conveyed that we said nearly the very reverse of what we actually did say. We shall never silently submit to any such improper use being made of our critical notices. A passage may be abridged if its true spirit be preserved; but never if the abridgement is to pervert its real meaning.
Our second notice of Dr Memes' interesting work on the
THE Life of Justin Martyr, by Dr Kaye, the learned Bishop of Fine Arts, and concluding notice of Dr Ure's Geology, are Lincoln, is on the eve of publication.
We are happy to understand that Mr George Joseph Bell, Professor of Scots Law in the University of Edinburgh, has in a state of forwardness his Commentaries on the Law of Scotland, regarding Marriage Contracts, Family Settlements, and TrustDeeds.
CHARLES X. has recently purchased the valuable collection of books connected with the life and works of PETRARCH, made by M. MARSAND, one of the Professors in the University of Padua, and editor of the admirable edition of the works of that great poet, published a few years ago. This collection, of which a catalogue was recently published at Milan, under the title of Biblioteca Petrarchesa, contains about 900 volumes, and is divided
unavoidably postponed till next Saturday.-We shall be glad to have a call from the author of "The Correspondence of John Macdonald, Esq. and Doctor Dirleton."-Any explanation we may receive from Mr Crybbace we shall be glad to attend to. -We are sorry that " A December Evening," by "P. Q. R." of Dumfries, will not exactly suit us; we may remark, however, that it is beautifully written." Single Blessedness," by the Editor of the Elgin Courier, in our next.
The French Song from Aberdeen is good, but not equal to those of our Correspondent" Lorma."-" J, B." of Glasgow will not suit us.
We never notice anonymous contributions unless they be postpaid.
EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL;
WEEKLY REGISTER OF CRITICISM AND BELLES LETTRES.
SATURDAY, MAY 9, 1829.
TO OUR READERS.
It gives us pleasure to announce, that, in consequence of the numerous communications with which we have been favoured by our literary friends, we propose giving an additional half-sheet, or eight pages of letter-press, to the next Number (No. XXVII.) of the LITERARY JOURNAL. We thus hope to be able to present the public, in one Number, with a set of Articles, of much value, from the following celebrated writers:-DR MOREHEAD, DR GILLESPIE,
with in the Ecarté saloons. If a very great deal of misery had been shown to be the result of all this conduct, no harm perhaps might have arisen from narrating it. But all the misery which does arise, seems to us to be pretty well balanced by the pleasure which the author is evidently willing to attach to these dulcia vitia. losses which produce any serious consequences; for His hero gambles without any severe losses, or at least though he is on one occasion arrested and taken to prison, his confinement is of very short duration, and his restoration to freedom is quite triumphant. The unhappy object of his illicit love dies wretchedly, but he himself easily recovers the blow; and all at once, as is usual in these novels, ceases to be a roué, marries, DR MEMES, and becomes an exemplary husband. Besides, various ALARIC A. WATTS, WILLIAM TENNANT,-THE glowing pictures are introduced of the state of society ETTRICK SHEPHERD, - DERWENT CONWAY, among the gambling circles, which, to a young and arJOHN MALCOLM, -WILLIAM KENNEDY, RO-sufficient to outweigh any risk that might be incurred dent temperament, would of themselves be more than BERT CHAMBERS, The AUTHORS of the "ODD in them. The general impression, therefore, left by the VOLUME," The AUTHOR of " BROTHER JONA- book, is of a very doubtful tendency; and, though we THAN," The AUTHOR of " TALES of a PILGRIM," do not think the author destitute of abilities, we wish he and several others whose names we are not at liberty to had employed them in some more useful way. mention. The same Number will contain a Review of Sir Walter Scott's new Novel" ANNE OF GEIERSTEIN," and other interesting literary matter. We have also the pleasure of announcing, that the Autographs which we mentioned as being in preparation some time ago, are now nearly ready, and will be delivered on Saturday se'nnight, with the 28th Number of the JOURNAL. They will form an elegant Frontispiece to the First Volume when completed, and afford specimens of the handwriting of forty-four of the most celebrated individuals of modern times. No additional charge will be made for either of these Numbers of the
Ecarté; or, the Salons of Paris. Three volumes.
THIS is one of those books which, on the whole, had better been left unwritten; or, if written, the subject should have been treated in a more decided manner. The hero is a young man of respectable birth, fortune, and family, who gets involved in the very doubtful sort of society to be found frequenting the private gaminghouses in Paris. The consequences are, that his affections are alienated from his best friends, that he contracts a passion for play, and that, throwing off a virtuous attachment he was on the point of forming, he onters into a dangerous and immoral liaison with one of the fair but frail creatures who are constantly to be met
We shall give one extract, which, while it describes the general character of the fashionable gaming-houses in Paris, will, at the same time, confirm the truth of our remark, that they are frequently spoken of in too soft and alluring terms:
A PARISIAN SALON D'ECARTE, "Unquestionably nothing can be more seducing and exciting than the appearance of a gaming-table, when the rooms are brilliantly lighted up and full of comany. The heaps of notes and gold that are piled upon the tables, as if destined to become the property of the first player of spirit and enterprise-the rich tints of the cloth, which acquire additional beauty from the softened light of the lamps the lucky and occasional falling
of the ball of the roulette table into the number backed by the player, securing thirty-six times the amount of his stake, and the long run upon a favourite and wellsupported colour at a trente et quarante table, together with the facility of obtaining every thing that can satisfy and luxuriate the palate-all these things tend to fascinate and to subdue; while the passions, not yet called into more active and painful operation by heavy and repeated losses, leave wide and unrestrained dominion to the senses alone. If these, then, are the effects produced by an introduction to haunts where the society is confined entirely to men, how much more alluring must the scene appear, where, as is ever and exclusively the case at Frascati's, the rooms are moreover filled with women, of that splendid and more select description we have already described as the frequenters of the salons d'ecarté-women, who gaily challenge fortune with their purses, and lovers with their dark and sparkling eyes; and who, whatever may be their feelings or their weaknesses, are often gifted with minds of a superior order, with passions which scarcely know a diminution
in their intensity, and with wit, and elegance, and ease of carriage, sufficiently demonstrative of the sphere in which they once moved, and which is never wholly lost sight of in their subsequent life. These are the women who are most to be feared in these dangerous assemblages; for, although it cannot be denied, that, even at Frascati's, the females are not all of the same stamp, yet the comparative vulgarity and general inferiority of these rather serve as foils to set off the manners and accomplishments of the others, who seldom fail to cast the spell of their fascinations around the hearts of the young, the inexperienced, and the more generous of nature, a fascination which is not easily shaken off, and which eventually leads to the last stage of demora
"Several of these females were seated round the rouge et noir and roulette tables, habited in elegant costumes de bal, and staking their money with an earnestness that would have surprised a stranger, thrown for the first time into the heart of so novel a scene-their eyes beaming with animation when successful, and firing with impatience when they beheld their gold raked up by the pitiless croupier. Whenever they hit upon a lucky run, they were all smiles, frequently turning round and addressing some amiable remark to those who sat next to them; but when they lost, they were gênées in their movements, the place was exceedingly hot, or those who stood behind them were found to press too heavily on their magnificent plumes, and were requested to give them more room. The men who encircled the tables were principally players upon the system, and a motley and singular group. Here might be observed an elegant-looking Englishman, dressed in the last style of fashion, and throwing down his notes with a nonchalance which might have been translated into a sort of shame at the idea of being found guilty of nice calculation, in a game in which he wished it to be supposed he indulged rather as an amusement than with a view to gain. There sat a Frenchman, of sallow, emaciated, shabby, and ignoble appearance, casting his quick dark eye at the cards, which he mentally counted after the dealer, and eagerly searching, if a loser, to detect an error now striking his forehead with his hand, after a few unsuccessful coups-now laughing and talking to himself, when fortune appeared to be enlisted in his favour.
"Here, too, might be seen a player, habited half àla-Anglaise, half à-la-Francaise, one of the number of those old residents in Paris, who make the public gaming-tables the means of keeping an apology for a carriage, with which they affect to maintain a sort of style; and who, in the expectation of winning a certain sum for their daily expenses, take their stations at the rouge et noir and roulette tables, as regularly as the dealers and croupiers themselves. They were chiefly players upon the system. Amid thes, however, might be seen others of more careless carriage and habits. There lounged a gay young Englishman, who divided his attention equally between his ill-supported game, and two splendid-looking women, who sat on either side of him, supplying the latter occasionally with a few pieces, as their own little banks were broken, and, in consequence, the object of rivalry between them. Opposite to him lingered a young Frenchman, of equal age, and supported in the same manner, expressing himself with vivacity when he lost, and hesitating not to borrow from his fair companions the instant his own funds became exhausted. The contrast offered by the tone and manner of these was striking. In fact, every variety and shade of character might be traced through. out the throng, which was numerous indeed, the tables being crowded, not only by those who were seated a the game, but by a triple row of players, who, incapable of procuring seats, now stood leaning over those who occupied them, and betting, either in pursuance of the new system, or on the principle of chance, as their se
veral inclinations and caprices induced."—Vol. iii. pp. 5-10.
We may observe, in conclusion, that there are several scenes in Ecarté" which border very closely on the licentious, and that we know of little advantage to be derived from its perusal.
The Divine Origin of Christianity, deduced from some of those Evidences which are not founded on the Authenticity of Scripture. By John Sheppard, Author of "Thoughts on Private Devotion," &c. 2 vols. London. Whittaker & Co. 1829.
WE cannot agree with Mr Sheppard in thinking, that no English work has already anticipated his particular mode of proving the divine origin of Christianity. He undertakes to show," that even if the New Testament had been unhappily destroyed, or its genuineness were not ascertainable; yet, provided the primitive spirit of the religion could be learnt from the writings of early believers, and those indirect proofs collected of its rise and progress, and their causes, which now exist, we ought not to reject it, but to judge that it came from God?" Now, this is just an attempt to prove the truth of Christianity by means of external evidence-a mode of proof abundantly antiquated. We do not, however, on this account, dispute the conclusive nature of such evidence. Indeed, all internal evidence, however forcibly and accurately stated, is er sua natura open to controversy. And, while we deny the originality of the plan, we have been much pleased with the manner in which our author has digested and arranged the mass of indirect proofs which bear upon the subject.
In illustrating his leading proposition, Mr Sheppard | explains the manner in which Christianity differs in principle from all religions that men have fabricated, and from any which it can be supposed they would fabricate. He refers to the cruelties and impurities con. nected with the Hindoo superstition to the obscene mythology practised in Greece and Rome, where the mind had in many respects attained its utmost vigour and highest refinement--as well as to the Mahometan | faith, which, if not openly sanctioning, is at least lenient to, the evil passions and tempers of man. The inference from such premises is irresistible. Christianity, if invented, was invented by and for the same human nature which has devised and accepted other religions. How, then, does it happen, that while these sanction man's natural propensities, the Christian creed should be distinguished by the most refined and unbending morality? Our author farther maintains, that Christianity, even as propagated and received in successive ages, with great degrees of declension or aberration from its original principles, has specifically differed in its effects from all other religions. He also notices at some length the various admissions of persons not professing Christianity, as to the moral character of Jesus, and that of the early Christians; he then enters into an elaborate dissertation respecting the opposition which was, a initio, offered to the doctrines of the Bible, and concludes with some observations in support of the resurrection of Christ, and regarding miracles.
No person can peruse the work without perceiving indications of superior talent. Mr Sheppard is not satisfied with stating ingenious theories upon those important points which he discusses. His results are uniformly deduced from substantial data, applying to all the bearings of his subject. We are not presented with a tissue of ex parte statements, plausibly expressed and artfully supported. He anticipates the attacks with which his views will be received; and if, in his zeal for laying before his reader a candid representation of both sides of the question, he may seem to make admissions which prudence might repress, the issue in