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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844
Author: Various
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"Then it was that the feudal system became necessary, inevitable. It was the only possible means of emerging from the general chaos. The whole of Europe, accordingly, at the same time adopted it. Even those portions of society which were most strangers, apparently, to that system, entered warmly into its spirit, and were fain to share in its protection. The crown, the church, the communities, were constrained to accommodate themselves to it. The churches became suzerain or vassal; the burghs had their lords and their feuars; the monasteries and abbeys had their feudal retainers, as well as the temporal barons. Royalty itself was disguised under the name of a feudal superior. Every thing was given in fief; not only lands, but certain rights flowing from them, as that of cutting wood, fisheries, or the like. The church made subinfeudations of their casual revenues, as the dues on marriages, funerals, and baptisms."

The establishment of the feudal system thus universally in Europe, produced one effect, the importance of which can hardly be exaggerated. Hitherto the mass of mankind had been collected under the municipal institutions which had been universal in antiquity, in cities, or wandered in vagabond hordes through the country. Under the feudal system these men lived isolated, each in his own habitation, at a great distance from each other. A glance will show that this single circumstance must have exercised on the character of society, and the course of civilization, the social preponderance; the government of society passed at once from the towns to the country—private took the lead of public property—private prevailed over public life. Such was the first effect, and it was an effect purely material, of the establishment of the feudal system. But other effects, still more material, followed, of a moral kind, which have exercised the most important effects on the European manners and mind.

"The feudal proprietor established himself in an isolated place, which, for his own protection, he rendered secure. He lived there, with his wife, his children, and a few faithful friends, who shared his hospitality, and contributed to his defence. Around the castle, in its vicinity, were established the farmers and serfs who cultivated his domain. In the midst of that inferior, but yet allied and protected population, religion planted a church, and introduced a priest. He was usually the chaplain of the castle, and at the same time the curate of the village; in subsequent ages these two characters were separated; the village pastor resided beside his church. This was the primitive feudal society—the cradle, as it were, of the European and Christian world.

"From this state of things necessarily arose a prodigious superiority on the part of the possessor of the fief, alike in his own eyes, and in the eyes of those who surrounded him. The feeling of individual importance, of personal freedom, was the ruling principle of savage life; but here a new feeling was introduced—the importance of a proprietor, of the chief of a family, of a master, predominated over that of an individual. From this situation arose an immense feeling of superiority—a superiority peculiar to the feudal ages, and entirely different from any thing which had yet been experienced in the world. Like the feudal lord, the Roman patrician was the head of a family, a master, a landlord. He was, moreover, a religious magistrate, a pontiff in the interior of his family. He was, moreover, a member of the municipality in which his property was situated, and perhaps one of the august senate, which, in name at least, still ruled the empire. But all this importance and dignity was derived from without—the patrician shared it with the other members of his municipality—with the corporation of which he formed a part. The importance of the feudal lord, again, was purely individual—he owed nothing to another; all the power he enjoyed emanated from himself alone. What a feeling of individual consequence must such a situation have inspired—what pride, what insolence, must it have engendered in his mind! Above him was no superior, of whose orders he was to be the mere interpreter or organ—around him were no equals. No all-powerful municipality made his wishes bend to its own—no superior authority exercised a control over his wishes, he knew no bridle on his inclinations, but the limits of his power, or the presence of danger.

"Another consequence, hitherto not sufficiently attended to, but of vast importance, flowed from this society.

"The patriarchal society, of which the Bible and the Oriental monuments offer the model, was the first combination of men. The chief of a tribe lived with his children, his relations, the different generations who have assembled around him. This was the situation of Abraham—of the patriarchs: it is still that of the Arab tribes which perpetuate their manners. The clan, of which remains still exist in the mountains of Scotland, and the sept of Ireland, is a modification of the patriarchal society: it is the family of the chief, expanded during a succession of generations, and forming a little aggregation of dependents, still influenced by the same attachments, and subjected to the same authority. But the feudal community was very different. Allied at first to the clan, it was yet in many essential particulars dissimilar. There did not exist between its members the bond of relationship; they were not of the same blood; they often did not speak the same language. The feudal lord belonged to a foreign and conquering, his serfs to a domestic and vanquished race. Their employments were as various as their feelings and their traditions. The lord lived in his castle, with his wife, his children, and relations: the serfs on the estate, of a different race, of different names, toiled in the cottages around. This difference was prodigious—it exercised a most powerful effect on the domestic habits of modern Europe. It engendered the attachments of home: it brought women into their proper sphere in domestic life. The little society of freemen, who lived in the midst of an alien race in the castle, were all in all to each other. No forum or theatres were at hand, with their cares or their pleasures; no city enjoyments were a counterpoise to the pleasures of country life. War and the chase broke in, it is true, grievously at times, upon this scene of domestic peace. But war and the chase could not last for ever; and, in the long intervals of undisturbed repose, family attachments formed the chief solace of life. Thus it was that WOMEN acquired their paramount influence—thence the manners of chivalry, and the gallantry of modern times; they were but an extension of the courtesy and habits of the castle. The word courtesy shows it—it was in the court of the castle that the habits it denotes were learned."—(Lecture iv. 13, 17; Civilization Europeenne.)

We have exhausted, perhaps exceeded, our limits; and we have only extracted a few of the most striking ideas from the first hundred pages of one of Guizot's works—ex uno disce omnes. The translation of them has been an agreeable occupation for a few evenings; but they awake one mournful impression—the voice which uttered so many noble and enlightened sentiments is now silent; the genius which once cast abroad light on the history of man, is lost in the vortex of present politics. The philosopher, the historian, are merged in the statesman—the instructor of all in the governor of one generation. Great as have been his services, brilliant his course in the new career into which he has been launched, it is as nothing compared to that which he has left; for the one confers present distinction, the other immortal fame.



Footnotes:

[1] Little girl—or girl, merely.

[2] Mr O'Connell stated in his speech, after "the liberation," that that most unexpected and miraculous event had been publicly prayed for in all the churches of Belgium.

[3] Taken from Lewis's Statistics of the Four Reformed Parliaments.

[4] The following account of the number of freeholders on the register, in 1837, when the number was largest, and in 1841, taken from Lewis's tables, will show an immense decrease in those counties completely under the control of the priests and agitators, and where their power is unassailable.

1837. 1841. Clare, 3170 1785 Cork, 4180 3706 Galway county, 3074 1990 Galway town, 2084 1600 King's county, 1520 1078 Limerick city, 2813 1670 Limerick county, 2850 1893 Mayo, 1569 1064 Meath, 1850 1236 Roscommon, 2077 1059 Tipperary, 3460 2464 Waterford, 1494 802 Wexford, 3031 1739

All those counties and cities are, and always have been, represented by Radicals and Repealers; so that it appears the Repeal party are invariably best off where there are least freeholders, notwithstanding their constant complaints of what they suffer by the domination of the constituencies.

[5] Qualifying under the "solvent tenant test," (which was generally adopted by the Conservative barristers,) the claimant was obliged to swear and to prove that "he could obtain from a good and solvent tenant a clear yearly rent of ten pounds over and above what he paid himself," while the freeholder, qualifying under "the beneficial interest test," (which was acted on by the Whig and Radical barristers,) had only to prove that the crops and produce raised on his land by his own labour, yielded him a surplus of ten pounds over and above the amount of his rent.

[6] In England, the right to vote is given to tenants at will paying L50 rent; it was proposed to grant it to those in Ireland who paid L30 rent.

[7] Two judges, who are ex-officio members, may be Roman Catholics; the numbers would then stand seven and six.

[8] Bailly's Memoirs.

[9] The Rev. Gregory Lynch of Westland Row, openly charges the agitating bishops with having forged the signature of many priests to the protest which they have published against the Charitable Bequests Bill. See his letter, an extract from which is published in the Irish correspondence of The Times, 27th October.

[10] Extract from the speech of the Rev. Mr Henebury, as reported in the Irish correspondence of the Times newspaper, July 3, 1844.

[11] Kohl's Ireland.

[12] The local newspaper.

[13] Irish correspondent of the Times, Nov. 1, 1844.

[14] Correspondence of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. Edited by Earl Fitzwilliam and Sir Richard Bourke, K.C.B. 4 vols. 8vo. Rivingtons, London.

[15] Nelson's Despatches and Letters, with Notes. By Sir Harris Nicolas.

[16] Ferguson.

[17] Gibbon.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Plin. Hist. Nat., xxxiii. 47.

[20] Mr James's Preface to Mary of Burgundy.



INDEX TO VOL. LVI.

Affghanistan, 133 general review of the question regarding, 135 motives for the expedition to, 136 means for effecting the objects sought, 141 comparison of the competitors for the throne, 142 resistance to taxation in, 148 causes of the British disasters in, 150, 151.

Agitation the cause of the evils of Ireland, 709.

Alison, Archibald, Esq., speech of, at the Burns' festival, 390.

Ancient canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, historical account of the, 182.

Artist's morning song, the, from Goethe, 419.

Auckland, Lord, review of his Affghanistan policy, 133.

Aytoun, W. E., Esq., speech of, at the Burns' festival, 392.

Banking System, the Scottish, 671*.

Barrett, Elizabeth B., review of the poems of, 621.

Bell, H. G., Esq., speech of, at the Burns' festival, 389.

Blanc, M., his history of ten years reviewed, 265.

Bossuet, character of, as a historian, 789.

Braxfield, lord, letter relating to, 620.

Brenn, the, a Gaulish chief, career of, 471.

Bride of Corinth, the, from Goethe, 57.

Bruce, heart of the, a ballad, 15.

Burke, Edmund, review of the correspondence of, 745.

Burns' festival, account of the, 370 order of the procession, 373 the banquet, 376 speeches of Lord Eglinton, ib. Professor Wilson, 378 Sir John McNeill, 388 H.G. Bell, Esq., 389 Archibald Alison, Esq., 390 W. E. Aytoun, Esq., 392 Colonel Mure, 393 Sir James Campbell, the Lord Justice-General, &c., 395 stanzas for, by Delta, 399.

Cabul, the war with, 133.

Campbell, Sir James, speech of, at the Burns' festival, 395.

Canal between the Nile and Red Sea, historical account of the, 182.

Castle on the mountain, the, from Goethe, 425.

Catania, 33.

Catharine of Russia, sketch of, 410.

Causes of the increase of crime, on the, 1 districts in which greatest, ib. in the manufacturing districts, 6 strikes, 8.

Cavalier, the old Scottish, a ballad, 195.

Clarkson, sonnet to, 619.

Commitments for crime, tables of, 1, 2.

Cours de Litterature Dramatique, review of, 237.

Crime, causes of the increase of, 1 in the manufacturing districts, 6 increase of, by strikes, 8 by infant labour, 9 inefficiency of the proposed preventives of, 13.

Cupid as a landscape painter, from Geothe, 417.

Delphi, defeat of the Gauls at, 472.

Delta, stanzas for the Burns' festival by, 399 the tombless man, a dream, by, 583.

Doleful lay of the noble wife of Asan Aga, the, from Goethe, 67.

Don John and the heretics of Flanders, 36 Part II., 49.

Dost Mohammed, character of, 142.

Dunning, anecdotes of, 249, 264.

Dwarf's well, the, a legend of Upper Lusatia, 196.

Earthquake of Lisbon, the, 102.

Education, effect of imperfect, in Ireland, 708.

Eglinton, the Earl of, speeches of, at the Burns' festival, 376, 395, 396.

Eldon, Lord, sketch of the career of, his early life, 245 his first struggles, 249 and first success, 251 enters parliament, 253 becomes solicitor-general, 257 attorney-general, 259 chief-justice of the Common Pleas, 262 and lord chancellor, ib. his subsequent career, 263.

Emperor, week of an an account of the visit of the Emperor Nicholas, 127.

Erl king, the, from Goethe, 63.

Etched thoughts by the Etching Club, review of, 153.

Execution of Montrose, the, a ballad, 289.

Fairy tutor, the, a legend of Upper Lusatia, 83.

Falkland islands, affair of the, 406.

Finlay's Greece under the Romans, review of, 524.

First love, from Goethe, 61.

Fisher, the, from Goethe, 65.

Fourier and his system, sketch of, 591.

Frederick the Great, anecdotes of, 404, 409.

French socialists, 588.

Galatia, Gaulish kingdom of, 478.

Gauls, Thierry's history of, reviewed, 466.

Gibbon, character of, as a historian, 788.

Girardin, M., 237.

God, the, and the Bayadere, from Goethe, 421.

Goethe, Poems and Ballads of, No. I. Introduction, 54 the bride of Corinth, 57 first love, 61 who'll buy a Cupid? 62 second life, ib. the erl-king, 63 Mignon, 64 the fisher, 65 the minstrel, ib. the violet, 66 the doleful lay of the noble wife of Asan Aga, 67 No. II. Cupid as a landscape painter, 417 the artist's morning song, 419 the god and the bayadere, 421 the treasure-seeker, 423 the castle on the mountain, 425 Philine's song, 426 to my mistress, 427 the wild rose, ib. a night thought, 428 Prometheus, ib. new love, new life, 429 separation, 430 the magician's apprentice, ib.

Great Britain, increase of crime in, 1.

Great country's little wars, a, review of, 133.

Great drought, the, 433 Chap. II., 436 Chap. III., 438 Chap. IV., 440 Chap. V., 442 Chap. VI., 452.

Greece under the Romans, review of, 524.

Grievances of Ireland, examination of the alleged, 701 the true, 708.

Guizot, M., review of the historical works of, 786.

Hardy, trial of, for high treason, 261.

Harris, James, career of, 401.

Heart of the Bruce, the, a ballad, 15.

Hill, Mr Sergeant, anecdotes of, 247.

Histoire des dix ans, review of, 265.

Historical account of the ancient canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, 182.

Hope, the Right Hon. Charles, letter from, 620.

Hume, character of, as a historian, 788.

Hydro Bacchus, 77.

Increase of crime, causes of, 1 districts in which greatest, ib.

Infant labour, increase of crime attributable to, 9.

Injured Ireland, 701.

Introduction to his poems, from Goethe, 54.

Ireland, increase of crime in, 1 examination of the question as to the injuries of, 701 its comparative freedom from taxation, 702 its representation in parliament, 703 municipal law, 706 alleged debarring of Roman Catholics from office, 707 true evils of, and their causes, 708.

Irish state trials, reversal of the judgment, 539.

It is no fiction, 364.

Jesuits, expulsion of the, from Portugal, 109 extinction of the order, 112.

Johnson, Dr, anecdotes of, 247, 257.

Knights, last of the Don John and the heretics of Flanders, 36 Part II., 49.

Lamartine, review of the travels of, 657.

Last of the knights, the Don John and the heretics of Flanders, 36 Part II., 49.

Lee, J., anecdotes of, 249, 255.

Letter to the editor, from the Right Hon. Charles Hope, 620.

Life in Louisiana, Chap. I., a Voyage on the Red River, 507 Chap. II., Creole life, 514 Chap. III., quite unexpected, 518.

Lines on the landing, of Louis Philippe, by B. Simmons, 654.

Lisbon, the great earthquake of, 102.

Louis Philippe, elevation of, to the throne, 272 lines on the landing of, by B. Simmons, 654.

Louisiana, life in, Chap. I., 507 Chap. II., 514 Chap. III., 518.

Love chase, in prose, a, Chap. I., 164 Chap. II., 166 Chap. III., 170 Chap. IV., 173 Chap. V., 178.

Lunatic asylum of Palermo, the, 20.

Lusatia, traditions and tales of, No. II., the fairy tutor, 83 No. III., the dwarf's well, 196 No. IV., the moor maiden, 726.

Lushington on the Affghan war, 133.

Luther, an ode, 80.

Machiavel, character of, as a historian, 787.

McNeill, Sir John, speech of, at the Burns' festival, 388.

Magician's apprentice, the, from Goethe, 430.

Maid of Orleans, remarks on the, 216.

Malmesbury, life of the Earl of, reviewed, 401.

Manufacturing districts, increase of crime in the, 2.

Marston; or, Memoirs of a Statesman Part XII., 114 Part XIII., 343 Part XIV., 601.

Martin Luther, an ode, 80.

Memoirs of a Statesman—see Marston.

Memoirs of the Marquis of Pombal, review of, 100.

Memoranda of a month's tour in Sicily the museum of Palermo, 20 lunatic asylum, ib. miscellanea, 21 journey to Segeste, 23 Sicilian inns, 24 approach to Messina, 28 journey to Taormina, 30 Catania, 33

Messina, approach to, 28.

Mignon, from Goethe, 64.

Milkman of Walworth, the, Chap. I., 687 Chap. II., 691 Chap. III., 693 Chap. IV., 696.

Minstrel, the, from Goethe, 65.

Montesquieu, character of, as a historian, 789.

Montrose, execution of, a ballad, 289.

Moor maiden, the, 726.

Mure, Colonel, speech of, at the Burns' festival, 393.

Museum of Palermo, the, 20.

My college friends No. I. John Brown, 569 No. II., the same concluded, 763.

My first love, a sketch in New York, 69.

My last courtship; or, life in Louisiana Chap. I. A voyage on the Red River, 507 Chap. II., Creole life, 514 Chap. III., quite unexpected, 518.

Natural history of man, Prichard's, review of, 312.

Nelson's dispatches and letters, review of, 775.

New love, new life, from Goethe, 429.

Nicholas, the Emperor, visit of, to Great Britain, 127.

Night on the banks of the Tennessee, a, 278.

Night thought, a, from Goethe, 428.

Nile and the Red Sea, the, historical account of the ancient canal between, 182.

North, Lord, anecdotes of, 255.

O'Connell case, the Was the judgment rightly reversed? 539 statement of the case, 541 the indictment, 542 verdict of the jury, 544 the motion in arrest of judgment, 545 the judgment, ib. the writ of error, ib. opinions of the judges, 548 and of the peers, 553 general remarks on the case, 561

Old Scottish cavalier, the, a ballad, by W. E. A., 195.

Oporto wine company, origin of the, 106.

Palermo, sketches of, 20.

Passages in the life of a Russian officer, 713.

Patmore's poems, review of, 331.

Philine's song, from Goethe, 426.

Poems and ballads of Goethe, the No. I. Introduction, 54 the bride of Corinth, 57 first love, 61 who'll buy a Cupid, 62 second life, ib. the erl-king, 63 Mignon, 64 the fisher, 65 the minstrel, ib. the violet, 66 the doleful lay of the noble wife of Asan Aga, 67 No. II. Cupid as a landscape painter, 417 the artist's morning song, 419 the god and the bayadere, 421 the treasure-seeker, 423 the castle on the mountain, 425 Philine's song, 426 to my mistress, 427 the wild rose, ib. a night thought, 428 Prometheus, ib. new love, new life, 429 separation, 430 the magician's apprentice, ib.

Poetry: The heart of the Bruce, 15 poems and ballads of Goethe, No. I., 54 Hydro Bacchus, 77 Martin Luther, an ode, 80 the old Scottish cavalier, 195 the execution of Montrose 289 stanzas for the Burns' festival, by Delta, 399 poems and ballads of Goethe, No. II., 417 the tombless man, by Delta, 583 sonnet to Clarkson, 619 Westminster hall and the works of art, by B. Simmons, 652 lines on the landing of Louis Philippe, by the same, 654 "That's what we are," 741.

Poland, the partition of, 405, 407.

Pombal, Marquis of, sketch of the career of, 100.

Portugal, history of, during the administration of the Marquis of Pombal, 100.

Prichard's natural history of man, review of, 312.

Prometheus, from Goethe, 428.

Ptolemy, completion of the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea by, 185.

Radzivil, Prince, sketch of, 406.

Red Sea and the Nile, history of the ancient canal between, 182.

Remarks on Schiller's maid of Orleans, 216.

Reviews: Smith's memoirs of the Marquis of Pombal, 100 Lushington's a great country's little wars, 133 Etched thoughts by the Etching Club, 153 M. Girardin's cours de litterature dramatique, 237 Twiss's memoirs of the Earl of Eldon, 245 Blanc's histoire de dix ans, 265 Prichard's natural history of man, 312 Poems by Coventry Patmore, 331 Life of Lord Malmesbury, 401 Thierry's history of the Gauls, 466 Finlay's Greece under the Romans, 524 Reybaud on French socialism, 588 Poems by Elizabeth B. Barrett, 621 Lamartine's travels, 657 Burke's correspondence, 745 Neson's despatches and letters, 775 Guizot, 786.

Reybaud on French socialism, review of, 588.

Robertson, character of, as a historian, 790.

Russian officer, passages in the life of a, 713.

St Simon, sketch of, 273.

Schiller's maid of Orleans, remarks on, 216.

Scotland, increase of crime in, 1.

Scott, Sir John see Eldon.

Scott, Sir William, sketches of, 246, 254.

Scottish banking system, the, 671*.

Scottish cavalier, the, a ballad, 195.

Scottish peasantry, character of the, 370.

Second life, from Goethe, 62.

Segeste, journey to, 23.

Separation, from Goethe, 430.

Shah Soojah, character of, 143.

Sicilian inns, 24.

Sicily, memorandum of a month's tour in the museum of Palermo, 20 the lunatic asylum, ib. miscellanea, 21 journey to Segeste, 23 Sicilian inns, 24 approach to Messina, 28 journey to Taormina, 30 Catania, 33.

Simmons, B., Westminster hall and the works of art by, 652 lines on the landing of Louis Philippe by, 654.

Sismondi, character of, as a historian, 792.

Sketch in New York, a My first love, 69.

Smith's memoirs of the Marquis of Pombal, review of, 100.

Socialism in France, history of, 588.

Some remarks on Schiller's maid of Orleans, 216.

Sonnet to Clarkson, 619.

Stanzas for the Burns' festival, by Delta, 299.

Stolen child, the, a true tale of the Backwoods, 227.

Stowell, Lord, sketches of, 246, 254.

Strikes as a cause of the increase of crime, 8.

Taormina, journey to, 30.

Taxation, resistance to, in Affghanistan, 149 comparative lightness of in Ireland, 702.

Tender conscience, a, 454.

Tennessee, a night on the banks of the, 278.

"That's what we are," a poem, 741.

Thierry's history of the Gauls, review of, 466.

Thurlow, Lord, anecdotes of, 258, 259, 263.

To my mistress, from Goethe, 427.

Tombless man, the, a dream, by Delta, 583.

Traditions and tales of Upper Lusatia, No. II., the fairy tutor, 83 No. III., the dwarf's well, 196 No. IV., the moor maiden, 726.

Treasure seeker, the, from Goethe, 423.

Twiss's life of Lord Eldon, review of, 245.

Up stream; or steam-boat reminiscences, 64.

Violet, the, from Goethe, 66.

Voltaire, character of, as a historian, 787.

W. E. A., Heart of the Bruce by, 15 the old Scottish cavalier by, 195 the execution of Montrose, by, 289.

Walworth, the milkman of, 687.

Week of an emperor, the, 127.

Westminster hall and the works of art on a free admission day, by B. Simmons, 652.

Who'll buy a Cupid, from Goethe, 62.

Wild rose, the, from Goethe, 427.

Wilson, Professor, speech of, at the Burns' festival, 378.

Witchfinder, the Part I., 297 conclusion, 487.

Writ of error, proceedings on the, 545.



END OF VOL. LVI.

Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul's Work.



Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by underscore italics.

The following misprints have been corrected: "corresspondence" corrected to "correspondence" (page 755) "headach" corrected to "headache" (page 768) "subsisttence" corrected to "subsistence" (page 798)

The original text included Greek charcters. For this text version these letters have been replaced with *Greek* transliterations.

Additional spacing after some of the block quotes is intentional to indicate both the end of a quotation and the beginning of a new paragraph as presented in the original text.

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