The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851
Author: Various
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In these discourses he says: "The carpenter is the actual model; for like him the discourser cuts and fits his timber according to rules the grounds of which it concerns not him to understand, with little labor beyond that of hacking and hewing—materials being ever ready at his hand: for the world is full of books as the forest is of trees and the market of lumber. And this is done to instruct us; to build us up inwardly; to administer food to our intellect; to nourish our souls; to kindle the imagination and awaken to energetic action the living but slumbering world within. But, alas! this inner world cannot be kindled like a smouldering fire, by a basket of chips and a puff of wind! This inner world is a world of spirits, which feed on thoughts full of truth and living energy. And thought alone can kindle thought: and truth alone can waken truth: not veracity, not fact, but truth vital,

'Truth that wakes To perish never.'

This is the bread for which the soul is pining, and such are the husks with which its calls are answered."

There is in this statement of the predominant character of our popular lectures much that is true, as we could easily show by a definite examination of the most popular discourses to which our audiences listen. Every one can see that their aim is, not to announce great truths, which are essential to the well-being of society, and the instruction of the soul, but so to shape their sentences, so to point their paragraphs, and to give such a turn to their expressions, as to tickle most effectually the fancy of those who hear them, and to call down that round of applause which tells them they have made a hit. Now just so far as this is the case, popular lecturing not only seeks to supply the place of the theatre, but actually becomes theatrical; and lacking the essential worth and dignity of the drama, assumes its tricks and shallow vanities.

Nevertheless, the author whom we have quoted sees in this fashion signs of promise, for it signifies the existence and the struggling toward the light, of the absolute want of the soul—which will soon rectify the public taste, and teach men that pleasure lies only in the life-giving and the true.

"In this," he says, "lives an abiding ground of hope and cheerful confidence; for it teaches us that every human heart has those depths and living powers in it, the healthful action of which is the true life and well-being of the soul—and in none, we hope, are they forever dormant; and no heart, we hope, is wholly closed. Light, though in rays feeble and scattered, may shine in upon it, and it shall awake—for it is not dead, but sleepeth.... The feeling of wants that lie deeper and farther inward than the sensual appetites, must be supplied or suppressed; and hence arise a struggle and conflict between the antagonist principles of our being. Firm peace, and healthful, quiet energy of soul, are the fruit of victory, and of victory only. Therefore, though attended with a 'troubled sea of noises, and hoarse disputes,' the contest, with its hubbub and vain clamor, is the door to quietness and clear intelligence. Pedantry and pretension, quackery and imposture, shall, in spite of themselves, conduct to their own exposure and extinction; for a higher sway than ours guides all affairs, causing even the wrath of man to praise Him, and making folly itself the guide to wisdom. Hooker characterized his own times as 'full of tongue, and weak of brain;' and Luther said to the same effect, of the preachers and scholars of his day: 'If they were not permitted to prate and clatter about it, they would burst with the greatness of their art and science, so hot and eager are they to teach.' But the noise and dust having subsided, there is left us, of those very times, works which men will not willingly let die. Noise and smoke causeless do not come. There is a force at bottom which will ultimately work itself clear, and produce good and substantial fruits. There is a force somewhere, or no foam and dust would rise: but there is little force in the foam and dust themselves. And the immediate instruments are only instruments, working without knowledge what they do, like puppets, dancing and swinging their arms, while far behind resides the force that works the wires. All wonder bestowed upon them is, most certainly, foolish wonder. But there is no ground for discouragement, or for any but good hopes, although ignorance and pretension stand in high places, and vainly babble concerning things beautiful and profound. This uproar comes only from the troubling of the stream—the foam and roar will not continue always; the smooth plain lies below, along which it shall soon flow, quietly, but strongly, murmuring sweet music. And for the ambitious rainbows painted in the mists above, there shall be the sweet reflection of earth and heaven from its calm bosom."


Governor William Livingston, of New Jersey, "poet, philosopher and sage," in a letter written November 17th, 1744, gives the following insight into life, as it then was, in New-York. He is describing a "party:"

"The feast as usual was preceded by cards, and the company so numerous that they filled two tables; after a few games, a magnificent supper appeared in grand order and decorum—the frolic was closed up by ten sunburnt virgins lately come from Columbus's Newfoundland, and sundry other female exercises; besides a play of my own invention, which I have not room enough to describe at present; however, kissing constitutes a great part of its entertainment."

In 1759, Livingston's father died, and his funeral obsequies were performed in all the pomp and attended with all the expense customary in colonial times. These took place in New-York. The lower apartments of most of the stores in Broad-street, where he resided, were thrown open—a pipe of wine was spiced—there were eight pall-bearers, and to each was presented a pair of gloves, a mourning ring, scarf and handkerchief, and a spoon. These services were repeated at the manor, his country-seat, and a handkerchief and pair of black gloves presented to each of the tenants.


The last accounts of Rossini, if we are to credit the pleasant stories told of him by the Parisian wit, Louis Huart, are highly characteristic of the great maestro. The following canard is one of the most veritable and amusing:—

"The newspapers announce that Rossini has shut himself up at Bologna with the celebrated tenor Donzelli, and that they pass their days in rehearsing a new opera, of which Rossini is finishing the score. After the sea-serpent, I know of no story which returns more periodically than the announcement of a new opera by Rossini. It is now fifteen years since this pleasantry began to be invariably reproduced at the commencement of every winter, and always with the same success. One begins to meet in society a few Parisians who shrug their shoulders with an air of incredulity when you speak to them of the sea-serpent, but no one dares to evince the least skepticism touching the new opera of Rossini. We received this morning a letter from our correspondent at Bologna, and he furnishes us with details which explain the announcements in the newspapers.

"Rossini is living in rather a retired way just now; and only receives the regular visits of one person; there is an error, however, in the orthography of the appellation of this visitor. Instead of Donzelli, he is named Pastafrollo. He is no tenor! he is a cook! Rossini, in company with Pastafrollo, is now busily occupied in endeavoring to discover a new way of dressing turbot. Rossini has invented, up to the present day, sixty-two different ways of dressing this fish, but he repeats to whoever will listen to him, that he will not die content until he has discovered a sixty-third method, which will satisfy him completely—then he will divulge his secret, and have inscribed on the cartes of all the restaurants in Europe—turbot a la Rossini. On that day, but that day only, Rossini will make up his mind to open his piano and compose a cantata in honor of fish in general, and turbot in particular. The passion of Rossini for cooking has been rendered more ardent from the fact that the family of this illustrious personage do all they can to cross him in it. The relatives and friends of Rossini wish to make him believe that it is unworthy of a musician, and more especially of a musician of his genius, to occupy himself with turbot; but Rossini replies, history in hand, that a whole senate once devoted a long sitting to find out what sauce would eat best with this fish. Rossini's family do not consider themselves beaten as yet, and they have organized a sort of cordon sanitaire round the house of the composer, to prevent the cooks from getting to him. Before this determination was arrived at, Bologna overflowed with chefs, who arrived from every part of Italy, to consult Rossini on the best methods to be employed in dressing salmon, skate, carp, eels, and gudgeons.

"This furnishes us with an explanation of the reason why Pastafrollo was forced to employ a stratagem in order to prevent his being stopped in the hall by the family of Rossini. Pastafrollo arrived at Bologna, under the name of Donzelli, and took care to have inscribed on his passport tenor instead of cook.

"We cannot conclude without giving expression to an earnest hope, that the conferences established between Rossini and Pastafrollo may give birth to the sixty-third mode of dressing turbot."


In an entertaining article on "The Abbe de Saint-Pierre," in the last Gentleman's Magazine, there is this curious account of a "Peace Society."

"The Abbe de Polignac took Saint Pierre with him to the Congress of Utrecht. Witnessing all the difficulties which stood in the way of reconciliation between the contending parties, Saint-Pierre conceived that the truest benefit which could be conferred on mankind would be the abolition of war. He at once proceeded to embody his idea, and published in 1713, the year in which peace was concluded, his 'Projet de Paix Perpetuelle,' in three volumes. The means by which he proposed that this perpetual peace should be preserved was the formation of a senate to be composed of all nations, and to be called The European Diet, and before which princes should be bound to state their grievances and demand redress. The Bishop of Frejus, afterwards Cardinal de Fleury, to whom Saint-Pierre communicated his plan, replied to him, 'You have forgotten the most essential article, that of sending forth a troop of missionaries to persuade the hearts of princes, and induce them to adopt your views.' D'Alembert has made one or two just remarks on Saint-Pierre's dream of universal peace, which are as applicable now as they were a hundred years ago: 'The misfortune of those metaphysical projects for the benefit of nations consists in supposing all princes equitable and moderate, in attributing to men whose power is absolute, and who have the perfect consciousness of their power, who are often exceedingly unenlightened, and who live always in an atmosphere of adulation and falsehood, dispositions which the force of law and the fear of censure so rarely inspire even in private persons. Whosoever, in forming enterprises for the happiness of humanity, does not take into calculation the passions and vices of men, has imagined only a beautiful chimera.' Rousseau thought that, even if Saint Pierre's project were practicable, it would cause more evil all at once than it would prevent during many ages."

The writer of this memoir of Saint Pierre presents the character of that remarkable person in a more favorable light than that in which we have been accustomed to regard it. The author of "Paul and Virginia" was very likely a far better man than has been supposed.



All nations turn to Egypt, as to the mother of civility, and the Christian sees there the prison where are detained, until the end of the world, the witnesses of truths which vindicate his religion. How much the Holy Land is our country, appears from this, that to all Christians, however remote the places where they live, the scenes about Jerusalem are more familiar than those about the capital of his own nation; and with Egypt we are scarcely less intimately, though much less perfectly, acquainted. Within the last half century, great researches have been made, by individual or national enterprise, into the poetry and antiquities of Egypt, by the enterprise of travellers and the diligence of archaeologists, among whom England claims the names of Young, Wilkinson, and Vyse. But comparatively few know what has been the result of these researches. They lie scattered over a number of works in different languages, beyond the reach even of the ordinary student, much more of the general reader. Mr. Kenrick (of whose "Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs" we copy below the main portion of a reviewal in the London Times) has undertaken the task of supplying a synopsis, and this task he appears to us to have accomplished excellently well. Mr. Kenrick is a very estimable as well as a very accomplished man. Like the great majority of the abler historical, philosophical and religious writers of England at this time, he is a Dissenter, which perhaps lessens somewhat the warmth of the critic's commendations. We hope to see his work, as well as that of Mr. Sharpe, relating to Egypt under the Ptolemies, reproduced, by some of our own publishers. Of Mr. Kenrick, the Times says:—

"He commences with the land of Egypt. In the East great rivers are the parents of civilized nations. A great river, which by its deposit forms a long valley and a broad delta of rich alluvial soil in the midst of deserts, was the parent, the nourisher, and the god of the oldest civilized nation of the earth. The Nile is Egypt; the Egyptians were those who lived below the cataracts and drank of the Nile. Above the cataracts they pushed their arms into Ethiopia, and left there the monuments of their dominion. To the west they were at once defended and confined by a desert impassable to armies, but which the oasis rendered passable to the caravan. On the north was an almost harborless sea. On the east was another desert, through which roads led to the ports of the Red Sea and the mines of Sinai. On the north-east the Arabian desert formed an imperfect barrier. It was traversed by the hosts of Sesostris and Sheshonk, of Nebuchadnezzar and Cambyses, and across its sands Egypt communicated commercially and politically with the other seats of ancient civilization which, broken by the recurring desert, formed an irregular chain from Philistia to China.

"Of the singular productions of Egypt, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the ibis, the papyrus, we need not speak. There were few beasts of chase, and the Egyptian conquerors did not begin like those of central Asia by being mighty hunters. It was a land of corn, and of the vine, of fruit trees, and all herbs. The nations sought its granaries in famine; the Israelites in the wilderness thirsted for the cooling vegetables of its gardens. Fish abounded in the Nile, waterfowl in the marshes. Nature yielded freely, but perhaps for that very reason the mind of man was less exercised and less active. And the unvarying landscape, the unchanging sky, the small number and unpoetic or even grotesque forms of the plants and animals, may partly account for the lack of imagination evinced by the most formal and most stationary of nations, scarcely excepting the Chinese.

"Who and whence were the Egyptians? This question Mr. Kenrick has to ask, and, like others, to leave unanswered. This is the secret which the grave of the Pharaohs will not yield. Physiology supplies no clue. The mummy cases, the paintings and sculptures, depict a race short, slight, with low foreheads, high cheek bones, long eyes, hair now crisp now curled, and a complexion which the conventionality of the painter's art makes to differ in men and women, but which probably was brown with a tinge of red, dark compared with that of the Syrian, black compared with that of the Greek. Thick lips are frequently seen, but they are supposed to indicate intermarriage with Ethiopians. From the negro the Egyptians were far removed, nor can they be connected with any other known race. If we turn to language, a surer guide perhaps than physiology, we are again completely baffled. The Coptic has been identified through many etymologies with the old Egyptian; and of the Coptic, though it became a dead language in the twelfth century, much literature remains. It is an uncultivated and formal tongue, with monosyllabic roots and rude inflexions totally different from the neighboring languages of Syria and Arabia, totally opposite to the copious and polished Sanscrit. The last fact at once severs Egypt from India, and destroys every presumption of affinity that may arise from the presence in both countries of caste, of animal worship, and of a religion derivable from a primitive adoration of the powers of nature. The hypothesis of an Ethiopian origin sprang from the notion, natural but untrue, that population would follow the course of the descending river. And no tradition among the Egyptians themselves told of a parent stock or of another land.

"Respecting the mighty works of Egypt, little mystery remains. The great Pyramids had been rifled by the Caliphs, if not by earlier hands, and no inscriptions have been found. But no doubt exists that they were the sepulchres of the Kings of Memphis. The Queens and the "princes of Noph" reposed in smaller pyramids beside the Kings. These mountains of wasted masonry belong to the earliest ages of the Pharaonic monarchy, before the time of the Sesostrian conquests, and therefore they bespeak the toil and suffering, not of captives, but of native slaves. Before them couches the Sphinx, hewn from the rock, to spare, as a Greek inscription says, each spot of cultivable land. His riddle—for it is a male—is read. He represents, perhaps portrays, the reigning King, and the thick lips may indicate Ethiopian blood. The lion's body represents the monarch's might—the human head his wisdom. The rock, from which the figure is cut, broke the view of the Pyramids, and to convert it into the Sphinx was a stroke of Egyptian genius. Pyramids were, in the Pharaonic times, peculiar to Memphis. The countless tombs of Thebes are excavated in the rocky face of the Libyan hills. Those of the Theban Pharaohs stand apart, and we approach through a narrow gorge called the "Gate of Kings." The paintings, sculptures, and inscriptions on these tombs, literally the eternal houses of the dead, are the Pompeii of the Egyptian antiquary. At Thebes are the magnificent and temple-like palaces of the greatest of the Pharaohs, the halls of their assemblies and their counsels, the records of their wars and conquests. At Thebes, too, is the Memnon, a mutilated statue of Amnoph, which never was vocal except by trick or in imagination, and the Obelisks, whose form is sufficiently explained, without obscenity or mystery, by the fancy for monolithic monuments and the possession of large blocks of granite. The remains of the Labyrinth do not enable us to pronounce whether its twenty-seven halls were a burial-place for kings or crocodiles, or a place of assembly for the provinces of Egypt.

"Very various and very extravagant notions have been formed of the population of ancient Egypt. That it was dense may well be inferred from the length of time through which it multiplied in a limited space, and from that evident parsimony of land which drove tombs and monuments to the rocks, and cities to the edge of the desert. Calculations based on the number of cities, and on the number of men of military age, have plausibly placed the sum at about five millions.

"Agriculture was the chief business of the Egyptians, and the chief business of agriculture consisted in distributing and detaining, by canals and dams, the precious waters of the Nile. The sheep and cattle were numerous. A grandee of Eilytheia possessed one hundred and twenty two cows and oxen, three hundred rams, twelve hundred goats, and fifteen hundred swine. Lower Egypt contained the great pasture lands, and was the abode of the herdsmen—a lawless race, and, therefore, an abomination to their more civilized countrymen. The ass was the beast of burden. The horse was bred for the war-chariot—that great attribute of ancient power. The breed was small but fine and peculiar to the country. They were kept in stables along the Nile, and hence they do not appear in the landscapes. Horticulture was extensively and elaborately practised, both for use and pleasure; and the Pharaohs, like Solomon, 'made them gardens and orchards, planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit, and made them pools of water to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees.'

"When forced to serve on shipboard by the enterprise of their own Monarchs or by their Persian conquerors, the Egyptians appear not to have made bad sailors. They fought well at Salamis. But their natural tendency was to shun the sea, which they regarded as the element of the Destroyer Typhon. Their navigation was on the Nile, which formed the highway of their commerce, the path of their processions and their pilgrimages, and their passage to the tomb. The river being thus the universal road, and being moreover without bridges, must have swarmed with boats of all descriptions—the heavy bari of the merchant, the light papyrus or earthenware skiffs of the common people, and the sumptuous barge of Royalty, whose golden pavilion, masts, and rudder, fringed and embroidered sails, and sculptured prow, remind us of the galley of Cleopatra. The caravans of surrounding nations visited Egypt with their precious and fragrant merchandise to exchange for her corn and manufactures. But the Egyptian trader appears seldom to have visited other countries either by land or sea.

"The army was a warrior caste. Its might consisted in its chariots. No mounted cavalry appear in any of the monuments. With this exception they had every kind of force and every weapon known to ancient warfare. They used the long bow and drew the arrow, like the English archers, to the ear. Their armor was imperfect, and more often of quilting than of mail. They had regular divisions, with standards, and regular camps. Their sieges were unscientific, and their means of assault scaling ladders, sapping hatchets, and long pikes brought up to the walls under a sort of shed. Of their battles no definite notion can be formed. All is lost in the King, whose gigantic figure, drawn by gigantic horses, crushes, massacres, or grasps by the hair scores of his pigmy enemies, whose hands after the victory are laid in heaps before him and counted by attendant scribes. Thus it is that Rameses the Great and the other Pharaohs are seen warring against the Assyrian, and Chaldean against the Jew, the Edomite, the Ethiopian, and the 'nine bows' of Libya, and assailing the 'fenced cities' of strange races that have long passed away.

"In the lower parts of civilization and the mechanical arts, the Egyptians had attained high perfection. Their machinery and tools appear to have been defective, but the defect was supplied by skill of hand, traditional and acquired, as it is among the Chinese. They were cunning workmen in metals, in jewelry, in engravings, in enamel, in glass, in porcelain, and in pottery. Their fine linen and embroidery were famous. For their chariots Solomon gave 600 shekels of silver; and they fashioned into a hundred articles of luxury the ivory of Africa, the mahogany of India, and the cedar of Lebanon. As no specimens remain of their domestic architecture, it is supposed rather than ascertained that their houses were of a single story with a terraced roof. The rooms of great men at least were richly and elegantly painted, and furnished with tables, chairs, and couches, which have supplied models for the upholstery of modern times.

"Architecture is the most material of the arts. It was the art in which the Egyptians most excelled. They seem to have understood in some degree the grandeur which results from proportion and arrangement, as well as that which results from size. The profuse and elaborate sculpture with which their temples are covered, does not mar their majesty. Their heaviness is relieved by the glowing sun and the deep sky. But the impression produced must always have been that of cost and power rather than of art. Some changes of style are noticed. The golden age was that of the Pharaohs of the 19th dynasty, when the power and greatness of the nation were at the highest. More florid and less majestic forms mark the era of the Ptolemies. But in this respect, as in others, the Egyptians seem to have maintained their stationary character, and the remains of Meroe, which are now known to be among the latest, have been taken for the earliest of all the monuments.

"In sculpture the summit of manual skill was reached. But religion, the mistress and tyrant of Egyptian art, prescribed for the images of the gods her unalterable and often hideous forms, and the rules of an hereditary craft, which fixed certain proportions for each part of the statue, and gave the execution of the several parts to several workmen, laid another chain on the genius of the artist. Painting seems not to have advanced beyond the barbarous excellence of brilliant colors. Drawing and design were monstrous, and the laws of perspective and even of vision unknown or disregarded. Of music, we learn from Plato that it was restricted to certain established tunes of approved moral tendency, and the wayward Athenian thought all restraint wholesome as he saw that some license was pernicious.

"If we pass to science, we shall find no reason for supposing that the advances of modern times were anticipated by the mysterious wisdom of the Egyptians. Something they must have known of astronomy to practise astrology, to divide the ecliptic, and to effect the exact orientation of the Pyramids. Some knowledge of chemistry is implied in their manufacture of porcelain; some knowledge of physiology, pathology, pharmaceutics and surgery, in their division of the medical art; something of geometry in their measurement of land; and something of mechanics in their enormous buildings and monuments. But their great engines were multitudes of laborers, aided by such natural expedients as the lever, the roller, and the inclined plane, which can scarcely be called machines. In other sciences there is evidence of long and careful observation, but nothing to prove an acquaintance with the laws of nature. Progress in the medical art was precluded by the necessity of adhering to the precepts of the sacred books. Science was monopolized by the priests; and it is said that by them the King was regularly sworn to retain the old and unintercalated year. The want of decimal notation, and the consequent clumsiness of the system of numeration, would go far to preclude the improvement of arithmetic, or any science into which calculation entered.

"Literature the Egyptians appear to have had none, except of the monumental or sacred kind, including under the latter head the sacred books of science. But the art of writing was practised by them, or at least by the learned part of them, more extensively than by any contemporary nation. Mr. Kenrick gives us a full history of the interpretation of hieroglyphics, the key to which was first given by the parallel inscriptions in hieroglyphic and Greek found on the famous Rosetta stone, and metes to Young and Champollion their due shares in that discovery, of which each uncandidly claimed the whole. The hieroglyphics are now known to be of three kinds, all of which are generally mingled in the same inscription—the pictorial, the symbolical, and the phonetic. The pictorial hieroglyphic is the simple picture of the thing signified. Symbolical hieroglyphics are, among others, a crescent for a month, the maternal vulture for maternity, the filial vulpanser for son, the bee for a people obedient to their king, the bull for strength, the ostrich feather with its equal filaments for truth, the lotus for Upper and the papyrus for Lower Egypt. To these we may add the bird, which denotes a cycle of time (in Coptic phanech), and about which such wild fables were received by the credulity of Herodotus and by that of the Fathers. But the greater part of the hieroglyphics are phonetic like our alphabet, and are being slowly and precariously deciphered into the words of a language which is identified with the ancient form of Coptic.

"The religion of the Egyptians must be gathered chiefly from the sculptures and paintings. The religious inscriptions and funeral papyri remain undeciphered. The account of Herodotus is rendered suspicious by his solicitude to force the Pantheon of Egypt into a conformity with that of Greece. The accounts of the later Greeks are tainted by their philosophizing and mysticizing spirit. That the Egyptian theology embodied no profound physical or metaphysical system is evident from the fact that it was not formed at once, but by gradual addition and development, and that it was to the last partly local. It appears to have been, like the other religions of the Pagan world—of Greece and Italy, of Phoenicia and India—a worship of the powers of nature represented by great natural objects, such as the sun and moon, or by forms bestial or human, which were selected as symbolical of their attributes.

"On this groundwork imagination wrought, as among the Greeks, though to a less extent and in a different way. We cannot tell how far the more reflective minds may have advanced towards the conception of a single God, either independent of or permeating the material world; but contact with the philosophic Greeks in the age of the Ptolemies can hardly have failed to lead to some speculations of this kind, and the accounts derived from Greek sources of Egyptian mysticism, though false of early, were no doubt, in part at least, true of later times. Amuna or Ammon appears to have been nominally the chief of the gods. His attributes are to some extent identified with those of the sun; but they are not easily distinguished from the attributes of several subordinate deities. His ram's head is still a mystery. Thoth was the god of intellect and learning. His representatives were the ape and the ibis: the former, it is supposed, because it approaches nearest in intellect to man; the latter, because its black and white feather resemble, or may be imagined to resemble, writing. The popular divinity was Osiris, the god at once of the Nile and the realms below. Typhon, the scorching wind of the desert which dries up the waters of the Nile, was the antagonist and the murderer of Osiris; and at a more advanced stage of religious speculation the two may have represented the conflicting powers of Good and Evil. Sacrifices were offered for the ordinary purposes—to conciliate the favor of the gods, to requite their benefits, and to avert their wrath. Typhonian, that is, red-haired men, were immolated when they fell into the hands of the natives in honor of Osiris, whose name is concealed in that of the fabled Busiris. That the practice of offering human sacrifices is compatible with a high degree of civilization we know from the examples of Greece, of Rome, and Mexico. There were great gatherings in honor of the gods, in the nature of pilgrimages or holy fairs, which were celebrated with festivity, with noisy music, with illuminations, and with license. There were mysteries, which were not, in Egypt at least, initiations into any thing different from the popular religion; but merely representations—celebrated amidst nocturnal gloom—of the sufferings of Osiris. If strangers in Egypt underwent painful initiation, it was an initiation into the knowledge of the priests, and not into their mysteries. The Egyptians believed in the existence of the soul after death; they believed that it would be judged in Amenthe by Osiris and his forty-two assessors, before whom it was brought by Analis; they had an Elysium, surrounded by waters, where the Osirian—that is, the happy dead—ploughed, sowed, reaped, and threshed, as on earth—a singular want of fancy. Retributive pains, by fire and steel, are also supposed to have been detected among the paintings. At the same time they held and taught to the Greeks the doctrine of metempsychosis. It is difficult to reconcile with either of these notions their belief that the spirit dwelt in the body so long as the body could be rescued from decay, and the reason which they give for bestowing such prodigality of labor on their sepulchres—that the tomb was man's eternal home. The darkness of uninterpreted hieroglyphics still rests to a great extent on the religious creed and practices of the Egyptians. But three things we think we can discern from the information which Mr. Kenrick has collected:—1. That the Egyptian religion was in all essential respects like the other religions of Paganism, and traceable to the same sources; and consequently that whatever may be Egypt's 'place in universal history,' she is not likely to assume an extraordinarily important place in the history of theology, or to affect, in any material respect, our views as to the origin of religion. 2. That no connection is to be traced between the religion of the Egyptians and the religion of the Hebrews. A more decided polytheism than that of Egypt cannot be imagined. So far from recognizing any thing like the supremacy of a single Divine Being in their theological system, we can scarcely even trace any thing answering to that primacy of Jupiter which preserves at least a vestige of monotheism in the religion of the Greeks. The rite of circumcision, which is supposed to have been borrowed by one nation from the other, was not practised by the Egyptians as a religious ceremony, nor upon infants, nor universally. And it is remarkable that the belief in the conscious existence of the soul and a retributive state after death—a doctrine hardly to be lost when once imparted—seems to have been so prominent in the one faith while it was so much the reverse of prominent in the other. 3. That there was no connection between the mythology of Egypt and that of Greece. Subtract what is common to all polytheistic systems, and what is common to all systems of natural religions, and absolutely no similarity remains. On the one side are forms of human beauty, majesty, and passion, in which the original groundwork of nature-worship is as much as possible concealed by the working of a plastic imagination; on the other side are forms bestial or grotesque, featureless and passionless, exhibiting nature-worship in one of its lowest stages. But in every respect, in language, in physiognomy, in mind, in political tendencies, in manners, as well as in religion, the contrariety between the Egyptian and the Athenian is complete. There is nothing on the other side except the vain pretensions of the priests of Thebes, the credulity of Herodotus, and the wildest legends of the mythical age; and we are surprised that so strict an ethnologist as Mr. Kenrick should be inclined to admit even the general fact of an Egyptian colonization.

"The most degrading part of the religion of the Egyptians was their animal worship, which they carried to a higher pitch than any other people, not excepting the Hindoos. Almost the whole animal and some part of the vegetable kingdom enjoyed either a national or a local sanctity. Gods it was said grew in the gardens. The most cogent reasons of policy and the terrible name of Rome failed to save from death the Roman who had killed a cat. Fancy had first assigned to each god his favorites or symbols among beasts or plants. Then the beasts and plants themselves were reverenced, and at last worshipped. Stately avenues of colossal statues, magnificent porticoes and columned courts ushered the awe-stricken devotee into the sacred presence of an ibis or an ape. The highest object of this superstition, the bull Apis, was regarded as an actual incarnation of Osiris. No rational account of such a system can be given. The serpent cannot have been respected for its utility. The ibis cannot have been honored as the destroyer of the sacred serpent. Nothing divine can have been perceived in the beetle or the ape. The connection between the god and the beast was originally the offspring of a grotesque imagination, and priestcraft and the superstitious tendency of the people did the rest.

"The political constitution of Egypt was based on caste. The privileged castes were those of the warriors and the priests, who, with the Pharaoh, held in fee all the land of Egypt. The Government was an hereditary monarchy. When election was necessary the two privileged castes chose from among their own numbers; the people enjoyed only the right of acclamation. If the choice fell on a warrior, he was at once received into the order and initiated into the wisdom of the priests. Legislation was the prerogative of the King; but he was bound to rule and judge according to the law. He was much in the hands of the priests, who imposed strict rules upon his life, and by a daily homily made the duties and virtues of sovereignty familiar, perhaps too familiar, to the royal ear. The priests, in fact, were the lords of Egypt. Exclusively possessed of science, and even of letters, numerous, wealthy, united, in a single polity, a confined territory and an isolated people, unchecked by any literary, philosophical, or foreign influence, they must have exercised a dominion unrivalled by any priesthood in the history of the world. The result was a land of temples, of deified apes and consecrated onions, a literature of religious inscriptions and funeral scrolls, a Government apparently mild and humane, an enduring polity and long internal peace, and intense and stubborn nationality, a civilization wonderful but low, which in every department, from the act of government to the art of writing, appears to have remained as nearly as possible at a fixed point for about two thousand years. The mummy, as it is the characteristic product, is the fit emblem of ancient Egypt. Yet material happiness appears to have been enjoyed. From sports, from caricatures, from the fanciful decorations of their houses, from their use of music as a daily recreation, we should judge that the Egyptians were not a gloomy people; and that their social and political system aimed, though imperfectly, at a high standard, may be inferred from the reverence, however exaggerated, which was entertained for it by the Greeks.

"Egyptian history is the 'dynasties' of Manetho partly filled up and illustrated, and in time it is to be hoped to be filled up and illustrated still more from the monuments, paintings, and inscriptions. For this, with its thirty dynasties, its twenty centuries, and its chronological difficulties, still formidable though much reduced, we must refer the reader entirely to Mr. Kenrick's second volume, of which it occupies nearly the whole. The slight sketch above given indicates the contents of what will be to the general reader the more interesting part of the work. In conclusion, we once more cordially commend the book. It displays not only the ordinary merits of a good synopsis, such as clearness of style and of arrangement, but also a high power of combination, and, where the author treats of philosophical questions, a sound and sensible philosophy. On some points, perhaps, Mr. Kenrick might have spoken with more authority had he personally visited Egypt, and the imagination of his reader would be assisted by a well selected volume of plates. We are glad to see that Syria and Phoenicia are to form the subject of another publication by the same hand."


[15] Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs. By John Kenrick, M. A. In two volumes. London: B. Fellows.


In an admirable life of Camille Desmoulins, recently published in Paris, by M. Edmond Fleury, his summing up of the character of the Vieux Cordelier, presents a type of some of the heroes of the revolution of 1848:—

"Such was Camille Desmoulins. I have traced his portrait without pity, without hatred, I dare not say without passion. In him I wished to mark the truest and most finished type of those enfans perdus of anarchy who, without ever attaining illustration in history, or serious influence in a government, thirst after distinction and renown; ambitious of credit and importance, scourges of their country, torment of their relatives, traitors to their friends, their own executioners, flambeaux that burn without light, vain and mediocre spirits consumed by the most intense jealousy—presumptuous fools, irritated by their own impotence, intrepid in a pamphlet and pusillanimous in action, they, nevertheless, carried away by the flood which they have let loose, stake, in this terrible game of revolutions, not only their lives, but the honor of their posthumous fame."

How different the aspect of these fiends, as they are presented to us "sicklied o'er" with the sentiment of a Lamartine!


The Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review, for January, 1851, contains a great article on the controversies occasioned by the recent movements of the Roman Catholics in Great Britain. It is very long (making sixty pages), and very able. Reviewing the battle, from an unusual, and to most people perhaps a not very accessible, point of view, it throws a startling light on many matters forgotten or ignored by the more immediate combatants. It may, therefore, be perused with interest and advantage by partisans of every shade. Protestant and Catholic will find their account in it, especially as helping them to information of which they are greatly deficient—a knowledge of each other's strong points, as well as their weak ones. There is much in the views of the writer, with which we cannot ourselves concur; but we are not insensible of the force and precision with which he has mapped out a large part of the field, and given saliency to some of the great principles at stake; which it is the natural tendency of discussions, involving so much of the conventional and formulistic, calamitously to obscure. The battle in the foreground may be about candlesticks, surplices, and genuflexions. But there are involved many things infinitely more vital, as the author of this "Battle of the Churches" will be admitted to have illustrated with great success. Many ponderous volumes might be named, which have not contributed a tenth part as much to a clear understanding of the question, as this one article in the Westminster. We have not space for a complete resume of it. We can only present an extract or two. The following brings forward tendencies too little noticed by the antagonists of the papacy:

"A true British Protestant, whose notions of "Popery" are limited to what he hears from an evangelical curate or has seen at the opening of a Jesuit church, looks on the whole system as an obsolete mummery; and no more believes that men of sense can seriously adopt it, than that they will be converted to the practice of eating their dinner with a Chinaman's chop-sticks instead of the knife and fork. He pictures to himself a number of celibate gentlemen, who glide through a sort of minuet by candle-light around the altar, and worship the creature instead of the Creator, and keep the Bible out of every body's way, and make people easy about their sins: and he is positive that no one above a "poor Irishman," can fail to see through such nonsense. Few even of educated Englishmen have any suspicion of the depth and solidity of the Catholic dogma, its wide and various adaptation to wants ineffaceable from the human heart, its wonderful fusion of the supernatural into the natural life, its vast resources for a powerful hold upon the conscience. We doubt whether any single reformed church can present a theory of religion comparable with it in comprehensiveness, in logical coherence, in the well-guarded disposition of its parts. Into this interior view, however, the popular polemics neither give nor have the slightest insight: and hence it is a common error both to underrate the natural power of the Romish scheme, and to mistake the quarter in which it is most likely to be felt. It is not among the ignorant and vulgar, but among the intellectual and imaginative—not by appeals to the senses in worship, but by consistency and subtlety of thought—that in our days converts will be made to the ancient church. We have receded far from the Reformation by length of time; the management of the controversy has degenerated: it has been debased by political passions, and turned upon the grossest external features of the case; and when a thoughtful man, accustomed to defer to historical authority, and competent to estimate moral theories as a whole, is led to penetrate beneath the surface, he is unprepared for the sight of so much speculative grandeur, and, if he have been a mere Anglican or Lutheran, is perhaps astonished into the conclusion, that the elder system has the advantage in philosophy and antiquity alike. From this, among other causes, we incline to think that the Roman Catholic reaction may proceed considerably further in this country ere it receives any effectual check. The academical training and the clerical teaching of the upper classes have not qualified them to resist it. At the other end of society there are large masses who cannot be considered inaccessible to any missionary influence, affectionately and perseveringly applied. Not all men, in a crowded community, are capable of the independence, the self-subsistence, without which Protestantism sinks into personal anarchy. The class of weak, dependent characters, that cannot stand alone in the struggle of life, are unprovided for in the modern system of the world. The cooperative theorist tries to take them up. But somehow or other he is usually a man with whom, by a strange fatality, cooperation is impossible; intent on uniting all men, yet himself not agreeing with any; with individuality so intense and exclusive, that it produces all the effect of intolerant self-will; and thus the very plans which by his hypothesis are inevitable, are by his temper made impracticable. He appeals, however, and successfully, to the uneasiness felt by the feeble in the strife and pressure of the world; he fills the imagination with visions of repose and sympathy; he awakens the craving for unity and incorporation in some vast and sustaining society. And whence is this desire, disappointed of its first promise, to obtain its satisfaction? Is it impossible that it may accept proposals from the most ancient, the most august, the most gigantic organization which the world has ever seen?—that it may take refuge in a body which invests indigence with sanctity—which cares for its members one by one—which has a real past instead of a fancied future, and warms the mind with the coloring of rich traditions—which, in providing for the poorest want of the moment, enrolls the disciple in a commonwealth spread through all ages and both worlds! Whatever socialistic tendency may be diffused through the English mind is not unlikely, in spite of a promise diametrically opposite, to turn to the advantage of the Catholic cause."

Here is another valuable contribution to the philosophy of this controversy. There are few positions more relied on by Roman Catholics, or more thoroughly unsound and fallacious, than the assertion that there are no essential differences between the position of Roman Catholics and of Protestants as regards the state and the English established church.

"If we had to deal simply with a form of worship and theology, there would be no ground for distinguishing between the case of the Catholics and that of the Dissenters." And practically perhaps, in the actual condition of Europe, the question now in agitation might be permitted to rest there. But, in fairness to the Protestant feeling, it should never be forgotten that the Roman Catholic system presents a feature absent from every other variety of nonconformity. It is not a religion only, but a polity; and this in a very peculiar sense. Other systems also—as the Presbyterian—include among their doctrines an opinion in favor of some particular church government; which opinion, however, professing to be derived from Scripture by use of private judgment, stands, in their case, on the same footing with every other article of their creed. You might differ from John Knox about synods, without prejudice to your agreement in all else. But with the Romish church it is different. It is not that her religion contains a polity; but that her polity contains the whole religion. The truths she publishes exist only as in its keeping, and rest only on its guarantee; and if you invalidate it, they would vanish, like the promissory notes of a corporation whose charter was proved false. Christianity, in her view, is not a doctrine, productive of institutions through spontaneous action on individual minds; but an institution, the perpetual source of doctrine for individual obedience and trust. Revelation is not a mere communication of truth, not a transitory visit from heaven to earth, ascertained by human testimony, and fixed in historical records; but a continuous incarnation of Deity, a permanent real presence of the Infinite in certain selected persons and consecrated objects. The same divine epiphany which began with the person of the Saviour has never since abandoned the world: it exists, in all its awfulness and power, only embodied no longer in a redeeming individual, but in a redeeming church. The word of inspiration, the deed of miracle, the authority to condemn and to forgive, remain as when Christ taught in the temple, walked on the sea, denounced the Pharisee, and accepted the penitent. These functions, as exercised by him, were only in their incipient stage; he came,—to exemplify them indeed, but chiefly to incorporate them in a body which should hold and transmit them to the end of time. From his person they passed to the College of the Twelve, under the headship of Peter; and thence, in perpetual apostleship, to the bishops and pastors, ordained through legitimate hands, for the governance of disciples. These officers are the sole depositaries, the authorized trustees of divine grace; whose decision, whether they open or shut the gate of mercy, is registered in heaven and is without appeal. Not that they can play with this power, and dispose of it by arbitrary will. The media through which it is to flow have been divinely appointed: its channels are limited to certain physical substances and bodily acts or postures, selected at first hand for the purpose:—water at one time, bread at another, oil at a third, handling of the head at a fourth. But the infusion of the supernatural efficacy into these "alvei" depends on an act of the appointed official; through whom alone the divine matter—no longer choked up—can have free currency into the persons of believers. To this inheritance of miracle is added a stewardship of inspiration. The episcopate is keeper of the Christian records: and as those records are only the first germ of an undeveloped revelation, with the same body is left the exclusive power of unfolding their significance, and directing the growth and expansion of their ever fertile principles. Whatever interpretation the hierarchy may put upon the Scriptures, whatever doctrine or discipline they may announce as agreeable with the mind of God, must be accepted as infallible and authoritative. The same spirit of absolute truth which spoke in the living voice of Christ, which guided the pen of evangelists, still prolongs itself in the thought and counsels of bishops, and renders their collective decisions binding as divine oracles. The people who form the obedient mass of the Catholic body are not without a share of this miraculous light in the soul; not indeed for the discernment of any new truth, but for the apprehension of the old. The moment the disciple is incorporated in the church, faith bursts into sight; he passes from opinion into knowledge; he perceives the objects of his worship, and the truth of his creed, with more than the certainty of sense; and as he bows before the altar, or commits himself to the "Mother of God," the real presence and the invisible world are as immediately with him as the breviary and the crucifix. Through the whole Catholic atmosphere is diffused a preternatural medium of clairvoyance, which at every touch of its ritual vibrates into activity, and opens to adoring view mysteries hid from minds without.[16]

"Now, with the spiritual aspects of this theory we are not here concerned. Reason has no jurisdiction over the inspiration that transcends it. But there is a humbler task to which the common intellect is not incompetent. We may plant this system in a political community, set it down beside the state, imagine it surrounded by families, and schools, and municipalities, and parliaments, by the prison and the court of justice; within the shadow of law and in the presence of sovereignty; and we may ask how it will work amid these august symbols of a nation's life, and how adjust itself in relation to them? Will it leave them to their free development? Can it tranquilly coexist with them, and be content to see them occupy the scope which English traditions and English usage have secured for them? We are convinced it cannot; that every step it may make is an encroachment upon wholesome liberty; that it is innocent only where it is insignificant, and where it is ascendant will neither part with power, nor use it well; and that it must needs raise to the highest pitch the common vice of tyrannies and of democracies—the relentless crushing of minorities."

The above are only two paragraphs out of a dozen we had marked, but they will suffice to show the value of this very able and impartial essay.


[16] Adequate authority for these statements will be found in Dr. Mochler's Symbolism, part i. chap. v., and in Newman's Lectures, iii. p. 66, and Lecture ix. passim.


Among the new books in England is one entitled "Modern State Trials" by William C. Townsend, in two octavos. In the Times of the second of January we find a reviewal of it, characteristically pungent. "Why Mr. Townsend conceived it necessary to dignify his collection with the above solemn title," says the critic, "we are at a loss to conjecture. Madame Tussaud does not invite a curiosity-seeking public to her museum of horrors by disguising the naked hideousness of her groups, or by lending them a factitious grace which it is hardly their interest to borrow. The publication is essentially popular, was meant for general perusal, is made up of any thing but technical details, and gives nothing to, as it receives nothing from, purely professional lore. A batch of interesting trials is very commendable, and need not be afraid of occupying its own ground. That of Courvoisier for the murder of Lord William Russel, of the Wakefields for the abduction of Miss Turner, of Lord Cardigan for shooting in a duel, and of John Ambrose Williams for a libel on the Durham clergy, cannot by any stretch of fancy be converted into state prosecutions, though they fairly enough find admittance into a book which treats of our causes celebres. The 'state' trials of the volume before us are the ha'porth of bread to the gallons of sack. The legitimate is paraded to call attention from the spurious, the vulgar is to find respectability by walking arm in arm with the classical. There was really no necessity for the 'sham.' A crooked stick on a heath has its picturesqueness as well as the Corinthian column. We may be very interesting rascals though we do not poke our walking-canes into the face of majesty, or go out on a fool's errand against the Queen's lieges with Mr. John Frost." The author's style is described as very unsatisfactory, though full of pretension. He is "very bombastic, very inexact, and strangely independent in the current of his thoughts and in the arrangement of his words." But the Times admits nevertheless the interesting quality of the work, and in its own better language gives the following resume of one of the most celebrated cases stated in it:—

"Of all the trials contained in these volumes none have a more melancholy interest, perhaps, than that of Mr. Stuart, who was tried on the tenth of June, 1822, before the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, for killing Sir Alexander Boswell in a duel. Mr. Stuart was, of course, acquitted. He had been the aggrieved party; he had found it necessary to the vindication of his honor to call his unfortunate antagonist to account; he had been forced, by the cruel exaction of public opinion, to expose his life to the weapon of a man he had never offended, and who, indeed, in his heart, bore his involuntary murderer no malice; and public opinion, expressed in the verdict of a jury, knew better than to sentence to death the wretched victim of its own brutal and unwarrantable edicts. Fortunately for the interests of humanity, we have at length reached a period when it becomes unnecessary to protest vehemently against the iron rule of an authority more despotic than that of absolute kings, and far more cruel and oppressive than the laws which but a few years ago attached the penalty of death to the commission of almost pardonable offences. Society, with the acquirement of other useful knowledge, has learned to appreciate the iniquitous folly of murder perpetrated in cold blood, without the slightest excuse. The nation which above all the countries of the world takes credit for adapting its laws to the requirements of a rapidly advancing civilization, has had courage to inquire why the savage vestige of an exploded system should still dishonor its history and interfere with its social progress. Duelling, as part and parcel of the national manners, has ceased in England. No doubt random shots will yet from time to time be heard, and weakness in its despair will occasionally seek refuge in cowardice, which it mistakes for valor; but the mind of the majority is made up. Duelling henceforth must be the exception, not the rule. Public opinion will harmonize with the law, and honor it. It will protect the injured, and hand over the offenders to the legitimate consequences of their own misdeeds. It will not call upon a man first to endure wrong, and then to lay bare his breast to the bullet of his aggressors.

"Our fathers were less fortunate than ourselves in this respect. Their dilemma was fearful. The law took no account of those delicate injuries under which sensitive honor pines, though no bruise or wound appears to indicate the mischief; and, in self-defence, refinement set up the bloodiest code brutality under the guise of chivalry could imagine or invent. A quiet gentleman, sitting from morning till night in his library, interfering with the pleasures and pursuits of none, amiable in every relation of life, a stanch friend, a fond husband, a devoted father, as useful a member of society as you might find in a day's journey, and obnoxious only to political opponents, who fear him more than he dislikes them, is called a 'liar,' a 'coward,' and a 'heartless ruffian.' He is nothing of the kind; he is proudly conscious of this fact; his accusers do not even believe it; the world—that portion of it in which he moves—is satisfied that he is a remarkable instance of truth, of courage, and extreme tenderness of spirit. The revilers have made a great mistake or committed a disgraceful outrage. In either case, since they are not amenable to law, you would think they might safely be left to acquire better information and improve their manners. Not a bit of it. The quiet gentleman's enemies have aimed a blow at his reputation. They are good shots—which unfortunately he is not—and now they must aim another at his life; society 'allows it,' and society 'awards it.' The quiet gentleman makes his will, kisses his children, shuts up his books, sighs, and 'goes out.' The quiet gentleman is killed; a million men could not restore the life one man has taken. Society is distressed beyond expression; so is the murderer, who is all sorrow and tenderness for the departed. There is general weeping, and great unavailing regret, and much commiseration for the widow: and then a mock trial, and no end of speechifying, beautiful remorse on the part of the survivor, lovelier tributes to the memory of deceased, a verdict of not guilty, and a dismissal of the murderer and his accomplices into the world, which is worthy of them as they are worthy of it. The picture represents a common event of the time of George the Third. Let us confess that, degenerate as we are, we have changed, in some respects, for the better since those 'good old days!'"

"Let us also bear in mind the main cause of our improvement! It is due to the majesty of law, to state that, had she been less faithful, society would have grown more reckless. Public opinion and the law of the country have had a hard fight for the mastery, and had the latter given way but an inch, the former would have found us to-day in the hands and at the mercy of the bullies. Judges have never hesitated to declare that murder which juries by their verdicts have as perseveringly regarded as justifiable homicide. In vain have eloquent counsel risen to prove that the prisoner bore his antagonist no ill-will; that he did not 'wickedly and maliciously' challenge his victim to fight; that he had recourse to the sole means within his power to right himself with the world; that society would have branded him eternally for a coward had he held back; that he took up his weapon in self-defence precisely as a man levels his gun at the house-breaker or the midnight assassin;—the expounder of the law has still been proof against sophistry which, once accepted, must tend inevitably to social disorganization. The deliberate resolution to kill a fellow-creature has nothing to do with self-defence. To destroy another in cold blood is murder in the sight of the law, and can assume no other aspect. But what availed it that the judge stood firm by the statute, when juries as pertinaciously backed the sentiment of the world and refused the law permission to take its course? It availed much. The unseemly conflict has been carried on until at length civilization has become shocked by the spectacle. The effect of the ever-recurring encounter is something worse than ridiculous. It has taken years to bring us to our senses, but we are rational at last. Public opinion exercises its good sense, and since it cannot bring the law into harmony with its desperate folly, deems it expedient to shape its own views in conformity with unbending law. To slay in a duel is to commit murder, though men do not hang for the crime. To be a murderer with benefit of clergy is but an odious and irksome privilege after all!

"Sir Alexander was the eldest son of Dr. Johnson's Boswell. The inimitable biographer was fortunate in his offspring. His sons inherited all the virtues of their father, and none of his foibles. The social good humor, the cleverness, the appreciation of learning, the joviality,—every good quality, in fact, of Bozzy was reflected in his children, who had the sense to discern and avoid the frailties that had rendered the sire ridiculous in his own day, and illustrious for all time. James Boswell, the youngest son of the biographer, an accomplished scholar, superintended several editions of his father's great work, and was held in high esteem by his contemporaries. He was a Commissioner of Bankrupts when he suddenly died in London, in the prime of life, on the 24th day of February, 1822. Sir Alexander, who had been created a baronet in 1821, attended his brother's funeral in London, and returned to Scotland to meet his own death immediately afterwards. Sir Walter Scott, warmly attached to both, was, we are informed, much affected by the unexpected death of the baronet, who had dined with the novelist only two or three days before the catastrophe, and, as usual, had been the life and soul of the party assembled. 'That evening,' writes Mr. Lockhart, 'was, I think, the gayest I ever spent in Castle-street; and though Charles Matthews was present and in his best force, poor Boswell's songs, jokes and anecdotes had exhibited no symptom of eclipse.' Four years afterwards Sir Walter dined in company with Charles Matthews again. The event is commemorated by a singular and characteristic entry in Scott's Diary. 'There have been odd associations,' he writes, 'attending my two last meetings with Matthews. The last time I saw him before yesterday evening, he dined with me in company with poor Sir Alexander Boswell, who was killed within a week. I never saw Sir Alexander more. The time before was in 1815, when John Scott, of Gala, and I, were returning from France, and passed through London, when we brought Matthews down as far as Leamington. Poor Byron lunched, or rather made an early dinner with us at Long's, and a most brilliant day we had of it. I never saw Byron so full of fun, frolic, wit, and whim; he was as playful as a kitten. Well, I never saw him again. So this man of mirth has brought me no luck.'

"Sir Alexander had made the final arrangements for his duel the very day he dined with Sir Walter. The circumstance in no way interfered with the flow of spirits of a man who had, indeed, invited a violent death by nothing more criminal than an over indulgence of ill-directed mirth. The details of the duel are of the usual kind. In the early part of 1821, a newspaper called the Beacon, destined not to survive the year, was set up in Edinburgh in the Tory interest. The object of the publication was to counteract the effect of Radical doctrines, which were making great way in the northern metropolis under favor of the agitation that had been set up on behalf of Queen Caroline. Sir Walter Scott himself had been consulted upon the propriety of establishing the journal, and had offered with others to help it by a gift of money at starting. The Beacon served any purpose but that of directing the public mind in the path desired. The management of the paper, with which by the way the law officers of the Crown foolishly connected themselves, was in all respects disastrous. The proprietors shrank from the responsibility which the bitter invective and satire of the more youthful and unscrupulous editors hourly accumulated on their shoulders; the articles of the paper were made the subject of Parliamentary discussion; and to avoid consequences which it was not difficult to anticipate, the concern, which had opened with flying colors in January, was suddenly and ignominiously shut up for ever in August.

"Glasgow took up the weapon which Edinburgh dropped. A newspaper appeared in the former city as the avowed defender of the cause and assailant of the persons previously upheld and attacked by the defunct Edinburgh journal. The Sentinel, as the Glasgow paper was called, would hold his ground though the Beacon was put out. It is much easier to bequeath hatred and rancor than to communicate talent and genius. The Sentinel was abusive and licentious enough, but it had little to recommend it on the score of ability. The Beacon had made a personal attack upon Mr. Stuart, a gentleman connected with some leading Whig families, and the Sentinel, in pursuance of its vocation, fastened upon the same luckless gentleman. The libel of the Edinburgh journalist had been arranged. Mr. Stuart found out its author, and libeller and libelled were prevented from doing further mischief by being bound over to keep the peace. To keep the peace, however, in those days was to be wanting in the very first element of chivalry, and, accordingly, Mr. Stuart was pronounced by the Sentinel a 'bully,' a 'coward,' a 'dastard,' and a 'sulky poltroon.' Furthermore, he was 'a heartless ruffian,' 'a white feather,' and 'afraid of lead.' To vindicate his character Mr. Stuart raised an action of damages, and, curiously enough, he was twitted in the very court of justice to which he appealed for protection, for not having recourse to the hostile measure which in his despair he at last adopted, and for pursuing which he was tried for his life. Abuse went on in spite of the action of damages; Mr. Stuart finally addressed himself to the agent for the printer of the newspaper, and the agent gave up the manuscripts from which the libels had been printed. Mr. Stuart went to Glasgow to inspect them. He discovered his assailant. The author of the worst calumnies against him was Sir Alexander Boswell, 'a gentleman with whom he was somewhat related, and with whom he had never been but upon good terms.' Mr. Stuart appealed to a friend. He called in the advice of the Earl of Roslyn, who obtained an interview with Sir Alexander Boswell, to whom he submitted two propositions. One was, that the baronet should deny that the calumnies were his; the other, that Sir Alexander should confess that the libel was but a poor joke, for which he was sorry. 'I will neither deny nor make apology,' answered Sir Alexander.

"A duel was now a matter of course. Sir Alexander left a paper behind him, confessing that the meeting was inevitable, and Mr. Stuart made all his preparations for death. One stands amazed in the presence of such horrible play, such terrific childishness. The parties met; they fired together, and Sir Alexander fell. Boswell, who would not allow that he had written a squib, proudly fired in the air; Mr. Stuart took no aim, and yet killed his man. When the deed was done, the murderer, frantic, and 'dissolved in all the tenderness of an infant,' reproached himself with exquisite simplicity that he had not taken aim, 'for if he had, he was certain he would have missed him!' whilst the dying man expressed a corresponding anxiety lest 'he had not made his fire in the air appear so decided as he could have wished.' So men speak and act who take leave of their reason to play the fool in the high court of honor! A line tells the rest of the history. Sir Alexander is removed from the field and taken to the house of a friend. Mr. Stuart flies to the house of his friend, runs into a room, shuts the door, sits down in agony of mind, and bursts into tears. In due time he is put on his trial for murder, the jury unanimously find him Not Guilty, and Lord Chief Justice Clerk congratulates him on the verdict, although five minutes before he had deliberately stated that 'duels are but illustrious murders,' and that 'no false punctilio or notion of honor can vindicate an act which terminates fatally to another fellow-creature.'"


We recently noticed the death of the excentric German professor, Dr. Troost, of Tennessee. His passion for all animals of the serpent kind was well known, and we find it illustrated in this anecdote, related by Sir Charles Lyell:

"Every thing of the serpent kind he has a particular fancy for, and has always a number of them—that he has tamed—in his pockets or under his waistcoat. To loll back in his rocking-chair, to talk about geology, and pat the head of a large snake, when twining itself about his neck, is to him supreme felicity. Every year in the vacation he makes an excursion to the hills, and I was told that, upon one of these occasions, being taken up by the stage-coach, which had several members of Congress in it going to Washington, the learned Doctor took his seat on the top with a large basket, the lid of which was not over and above well secured. Near to this basket sat a Baptist preacher on his way to a great public immersion. His reverence, awakening from a reverie he had fallen into, beheld to his unutterable horror two rattlesnakes raise their fearful heads out of the basket, and immediately precipitated himself upon the driver, who, almost knocked off his seat, no sooner became apprised of the character of his ophidian outside passengers, than he jumped upon the ground with the reins in his hands, and was followed instanter by the preacher. The 'insides,' as soon as they learned what was going on, immediately became outsides, and nobody was left but the Doctor and his rattlesnakes on the top. But the Doctor, not entering into the general alarm, quietly placed his greatcoat over the basket, and tied it down with his handkerchief, which, when he had done, he said, 'Gendlemen, only don't let dese poor dings pite you, and day won't hoort you.'"


The husband of this celebrated woman (Andre Dacier) was born at Castres in 1651, and studied at Saumur, under Tanneguy le Fevre, whose daughter Anne he married in 1683. Both the husband and wife became eminent among the classical scholars of the seventeenth century. They were employed with others to comment upon and edit a series of the ancient authors, for the Dauphin, which form the collection "Ad usum Delphini." Madame Dacier's commentaries are considered as superior to those of her husband. She edited "Callimachus," "Florus," "Aurelius Victor," "Etropius," and the history which goes by the name of "Dictys Cretensis," all of which have been repeatedly reprinted, with her notes. She published French translations of the "Amphitryon," "Rudens," and "Lepidicus," of Plautus, with a good preface, of the comedies of Terence, of the "Plutus," and "The Clouds," of Aristophanes, and of Anacreon and Sappho. She also translated the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey," with a preface and notes. This led to a controversy between her and La Motte, who had spoken slightingly of Homer. Madame Dacier wrote, in 1714, "Considerations sur les Causes de la Corruption du Gout," in which she defended the cause of Homer with great vivacity, as she did also against Father Hardouin, who had written an "Apology of Homer," which was more a censure than an apology. The warmth, however, with which both the Daciers resented any thing that was said against the ancient writers was carried to the extreme, and had, at times, something ludicrous in it. But Madame Dacier's enthusiasm was real, and unaccompanied by pedantry or conceit. She died in 1820.

Original Poetry.



In changeless green, and grasping close the rock, Up towers the mountain pine. The Winter blast May like an ocean surge be on it cast; Proud doth it stand, and stern defy the shock, Unchanged in verdure and unbroke in crest, Although wild throes may agitate its breast, And clinging closer when the storm is gone, Tired, but unbent upon its granite throne, Not always doth it wrestle with the storm! Skies smile; spring flowers make soft its iron roots; Its sturdy boughs are kissed by breezes warm; And birds gleam in and out with joyous flutes. Duty proves not its strength unless defied, But pleasure has it, too, bright as have hearts untried.



Last night I dreamed of thee, beloved! I held that tiny hand,— Encircled by my clasping arm Once more I saw thee stand,— The blush so faint, yet fairly traced, Rose to thy changing cheek— As when upon thy brows were placed Farewells I could not speak.

Thine eyes were filled with softened light, But welcomes now I read, As to my heart, by love's fond sight. I gently drew thy head; And oh, so eloquent were they— So full of earnest truth,— I knew what fain thy heart would say, The promise of thy youth.

I knew that thou hadst faithful been To vows of long ago: That speeding time, and changing scene, No change in thee could show, That absence had but bound thy love More firmly to its choice— It needed not one word to prove, One sound of thy loved voice.

Yes, silent was that long embrace, Though tears flowed fast and free. As gazing down in that dear face, I read thy love for me; And thought of all the lonely hours When I had wildly yearned To press thee thus unto my heart, And feel my kiss returned.

Those midnight hours! by sea and land! How heavily they sped! Sometimes upon a surf-beat strand My weary feet would tread, And when the stars looked calmly down From cloudless foreign skies— Their soft light seemed a radiance thrown From these pure, earnest eyes.

'Twas but a dream! the light breeze swept Soft touches o'er my brow; The spray's cold kiss my lips had met, Oh, still afar art thou! 'Twas but a dream! and yet I heard Thy murmured—"Art thou come!"— Then woke, to feel my spirit stirred With these dear "sounds from home."



We have constantly reflected in our "good society" and "fashionable world" every baseness and vulgarity that is invented outre mer, particularly in Paris. One woman returns to smoke cigars, in a magnificent home erected by a lucky mechanic or shopkeeper, as if such an indecency had ever been tolerated among the well-born and well-bred people of the social metropolis. Others, copying from their probable associates abroad, introduce obscene dances, and other licentious amusements, which for a season have baffled the police of foreign cities, and boast of their superiority to "low prejudices." All the travelled readers of the International, except clerks, agents, chevaliers d'industrie, and fugitives from justice, know very well that in all the world there is a show at least of moral where there is real social elevation; that these abuses are not anywhere tolerated among families which have kept their carriages for three generations. But we proposed an introduction to a passage written from Paris to the most aristocratic of the London magazines:—

"A new species of dancing, unknown to the Alberts, the Anatoles, the Brocards, the Hullins, the Pauls, and the Noblets, has come into vogue at the Jardin Mabille, and at the Grande Chaumiere, situated on the Boulevard du Mont Parnasse, not far from the Barriere d'Enfer. This dance is called the Cancan and the Chahut. It is unlike the waltz, the gavotte, the country dance, the Scotch reel, the Spanish Cachucha, the Hungarian mazurka; is far worse than jota Arragonese, or the most lascivious of Spanish dances of Andalusia. You may remember that in the early days of Charles X. the police of Paris attempted and succeeded in putting down gross and immodest dances; but under the reign of Louis Philippe the spirit of libertinage and degingandage, to use a French term, again broke out among the class of debardeurs, and towards the close of 1845 became terrific to behold. You, who know me well, are aware that I am the last person in the world who would seek to put an end to any innocent amusement, or who would contend that the French people should not dance. They have always danced, and will always dance, to the end of time. They danced under Saint Louis, under Henry IV., under Louis XIV., under Napoleon, and why should not they dance now? There is no reason in the world why they should not dance, if in dancing they do not shock public modesty, and offend against public decorum. In the time of Louis XIV. there were public dances at the Moulin de Javelle; in the time of Napoleon there were dances in the Rue Coquenard, and at the Porcherons, near the Rue St. Lazar. In the time of Louis XVIII. and Charles X. there were dances at the Jardin de Tivoli. But at none of these were decency outraged or morality shocked. At Tivoli, the national pastime was indulged with decency and decorum, and although the price on entering was so low as fifteen sous with a ticket, and thirty sous without a ticket, and albeit the dancers were chiefly of the humbler classes, yet, I repeat, in 1827, 1828, and 1829, public decency was not shocked. But from the bal masque of the Theatre des Varietes in 1831, when, towards the close of the evening the lights were put out, and the ronde infernale was commenced, obscene and disgusting dances were becoming more and more common in Paris, and continued to make progress till February, 1848. They had attained the most unenviable notoriety in 1845, when at the Bal Mabille a dance was introduced called "La Reine Pomare." Then there was the "Cancan Eccentrique," introduced by a personage called "La Princesse de Mogador," a feigned name, as you may suppose, assumed by some fille perdue. These dances, commenced at the Chaumiere and the Bal Mabille, were also introduced at the Bal Montesquieu, at the Bal de la Cite d'Antin, and, if I mistake not, at the Bal Valentino. The principal performers were students in law, in medicine, in pharmacy, clerks, commis voyageurs, profligate tradesmen, and lorettes, grisettes, et filles de basse condition.

"I must do the Provisional Government, so much abused, the justice to say, that towards the close of 1848, when these disgusting dances were again revived, the Gardiens de Paris interfered, and proceeded to clear the room if they were persevered in. If this had been done in 1845 and 1846 by that austere minister, who so much boasted of his independence and morality, events might have taken a different turn. But it is now too late to speculate, and it is easy to be wise after the event. But M. Guizot, his prefet de police, and the members of the Government, were warned long before 1845-6 of the profound immorality and indecency of these dances, and they made no effort to put a stop to them. It is because these scandals are now in a course of revival that I advert to this matter at such length. The subject is worthy the attention of M. Carlier, the Prefet of Police, and of wiser heads than M. Carlier. "Selon qu'il est conduit," said Richelieu, and he knew his nation well; "Selon qu'il est conduit le peuple Francais est capable de tout." I am no enemy of innocent recreation, as you are well aware, or of harmless, convivial, social, or saltatory enjoyment. But if lasciviousness, obscenity, or des saletes be tolerated in public places, a blow is struck at the very foundations of society. I may not, even in a letter, enter into a minute description of these dances. Suffice it to say, they would not be endured in England, even by women who had fallen from the paths of virtue, unless their minds and hearts were wholly debauched. You see, after so much light gossip, I end with a sermon—a sermon which the least strait-laced would preach under the circumstances."


The following dramatic bulletin which appeared in a Dublin newspaper on the first appearance of the celebrated Mrs. Siddons in that city, is quite as good a critique and as free from blunders, as some which have appeared in our own journals more recently:—

"On Saturday, May 30, 1784, Mrs. Siddons, about whom all the world has been talking, exposed her beautiful, adamantine, soft and lovely person for the first time, at the Smock Alley Theatre, in the bewitching, tearful, and all melting character of Isabella. From the repeated panegyrics in the impartial London newspapers, we were taught to expect the sight of a heavenly angel; but how were we supernaturally surprised into the most awful joy at beholding a mortal goddess. The house was crowded with hundreds more than it could hold—with thousands of admiring spectators who went away without obtaining a sight. This extraordinary phenomenon of tragic excellence! this star of Melpomene! this comet of the stage! this sun in the firmament of the muses! this moon of blank verse! this queen and princess of tears! this Donellan of the poisoned bowl! this empress of the pistol and dagger! this chaos of Shakspeare! this world of weeping clouds! this Terpsichore of the curtains and scenes! this Proserpine of fire and earthquake! this Katterfelto of wonders! exceeded expectation, went beyond belief, and soared above all the natural powers of description! she was nature itself! she was the most exquisite work of art! she was the very daisy, primrose, tube rose, sweet-briar, furze blossom, gilliflower, wall-flower, cauliflower and rosemary! in short she was a bouquet of Parnassus. Where expectation was raised so high, it was thought she would be injured by her appearance; but it was the audience who were injured—several of them fainted before the curtain was drawn up.

"When she came to the scene of parting with her wedding ring, ah! what a sight was there! The very fiddlers in the orchestra, albeit unused to the melting mood, blubbered like hungry children crying for their bread and butter; and when the bell rang for music between the acts, the tears fell from the bassoon player's eyes in such plentiful showers that they choked the finger stops; and making a spout of that instrument, poured in such torrents on the first fiddler's book, that, not seeing the overture was in two sharps, the leader of the band actually played in one flat. But the sobs and sighs of the groaning audience, and the noise of cork drawing from the smelling bottles, prevented the mistakes between flats and sharps being discovered.

"One hundred and nine ladies fainted, forty-six went into fits, and ninety-five had strong hysterics! The world will hardly credit the truth, when they are told that fourteen children, five women, one hundred tailors and six common councilmen were actually drowned in the inundation of tears that flowed from the galleries, the slips and the boxes, to increase the briny pond in the pit; the water was three feet deep, and the people that were obliged to stand upon the benches, were, in that position, up to their ankles in tears!

"An act of parliament against her playing any more, will certainly pass."


A clever writer in Fraser's Magazine, dating at Paris, writes:—

"Of Changarnier I shall not say much. He is as taciturn as M. L. N. Bonaparte, et possede un grand talent pour le silence. Changarnier is a man of great nerve and energy, and is perfectly up to street warfare and to the management of the unruly Parisian population. He is popular with the soldiery and with the higher officers. As to his having any decided political opinions to which he would become a martyr, I don't believe a word of it. He wishes to preserve order, and to save France from anarchy; but, apart from this, would be guided by his personal interests. If royalty, hereditary or elective, become the order of the day—not a very likely occurrence within two or three years—he would adjust himself to the national arrangement on the best terms, and throw his sword into the scale that kicked the beam. But if the game of a president is to be played for in 1852 and 1856, Changarnier may put forward his own pretensions, as, at heart, he has neither love nor reverence for the Tenth of December. In the event of a war, however, Changarnier is more likely to look to the highest command, in which he might win the marshal's baton, and thus become still more important, personally, professionally, and politically. Military men, more especially of the African school, seem to allow that Changarnier possesses a rare combination of military qualities. Decision, energy, bravery, and the coup d'oeil, he exhibits in the highest degree; but he is, on the other hand, wholly without civil talents. He is no orator, no speaker even, and seems to entertain as great a contempt for ideologues and deliberative assemblies as Napoleon himself. If Changarnier were ever invested with supreme power, it would go hard, so far as he was concerned, with the constitution and liberties of France."

There is in no country a more honorable, high-principled, and conscientious soldier than Cavaignac. Of all the men produced by the Revolution of 1848 (Lamartine and Dufaure were known as political men before), Cavaignac appears the most single-minded, honorable, and conscientious. Though a Republican pur sang, he yet rendered more important services to order in June, 1848, than any one of the Moderates, Royalists, or Burgraves, or generals of order, or than all of them together. It is significant that Cavaignac has openly declared to his friends—indeed, under his hand, that he will not support the candidature of Louis Napoleon, should he present himself in 1852, or become a party to any head of the Constitution.

Lamoriciere is, as a man and as a general, of infinite talent, and of brilliant courage. He is a good man of business, a brilliant speaker, and certainly has carried himself as a public character with independence and honor.

Bedeau is a general of very considerable literary and scientific talents, and perhaps of higher attainments in his profession than any other of the generals of the African school; but he is said to be deficient in energy, and unresolved, and of late he seems to be less thought of as a man of action than as an organizer and administrator. In the event of a war, it is likely the four men I speak of will play brilliant parts; and in civil affairs, it is possible, if not certain, that a great part may be reserved for Cavaignac.


We find in the London Times a reviewal of Mr. Forster's "Observations on the Charges made in Mr. Macaulay's History of England against the Character of William Penn," and transfer it to these pages, as likely to be not less interesting to Americans than to Englishmen, since Penn's name is most intimately connected with the history of this country. The book reviewed has been republished in New-York by Mr. John Wiley.

"Mr. Macaulay will not be likely to take offence at a comparison of his history with Burnet's, and certainly in one particular point the two productions have been attended with remarkably similar effects. The number of historical writers and pamphleteers who were called into being by the honest Bishop's account of his own times was astonishing. Every chapter in his narrative created a literary antagonist, and the spirit thus called into being was really instrumental, to a very considerable extent, in changing the whole style and tone of English history. It is too early to predict a precisely similar issue of Mr. Macaulay's labors; but things are certainly tending that way. There have been more discussions upon points of English history within the last twelve months than have usually occurred in as many years. The social and political condition of our ancestors, the motives of great acts, the characters of great men, and the general course of our national life for the last century and a half, have of late been perpetually brought before the public, and seldom without instructive results. It is not, of course, every joust which yields a respectable show, but Mr. Macaulay's shield has been once or twice struck by antagonists who have shown a title to the encounter, and one of these is now in the lists with the pamphlet specified below.

"Mr. Forster's challenge is on behalf of the personal character and political conduct of the famous William Penn—"the arch-Quaker," whom he conceives Mr. Macaulay to have treated with an injustice which, if it did not result from deliberate prejudice, was at all events chargeable to unbecoming negligence of inquiry. The cause thus asserted he defends in fifty pages of not unreasonable argument, and supports by the liberal quotation of accepted authorities. Unfortunately, the character of the controversy is such that it is almost impossible either to arbitrate conclusively between the parties or to convey an adequate idea of their respective positions. Mr. Macaulay's fashion of writing, too, makes sadly against any minute or critical investigation of his resources or his deductions. His habit is to throw off a single complete sketch of a character or a transaction, and at the foot of it to quote altogether the various authorities, from certain passages of which he derived the warrant for his own several touches. By this means we are incapacitated from closely following his observations, and we can only infer, with greater or less probability, what particular portion of a particular authority served for the foundation of any particular statement. To some extent this method of proceeding is inseparable from Mr. Macaulay's style, and its obvious disadvantage must be set off against that brilliancy and effect of the general picture which commands such universal admiration. Mr. Macaulay writes as it were from impressions. He consults and peruses the original records of the times he is describing, and out of the general deductions thus instinctively drawn his conception is formed. We believe this to be the best way of arriving at general truths, but it is a practice which greatly limits the application of ordinary tests of accuracy. Indeed, in many portions of Mr. Macaulay's history, a reader can do little more than compare his own previous impressions of the facts and scenes described with the impression of the writer who is describing them. Many of his descriptions are compounded of such numerous and minute ingredients, picked here and there from such a variety of quarters, that they can only be verified by a similar process to that in which they originated. A signal exemplification of our meaning will be found in his delineation of the character and position of the English clergy before the Revolution. We not only believe ourselves that this sketch is substantially correct, but we would even venture to say that the impressions of well-informed and unprejudiced minds as to the general truth would, in a majority of cases, coincide with our own. Yet of this we are perfectly certain—that it would not only be possible but easy to collect so many particular examples of a contrary tendency as would wholly bewilder the judgment of an ordinary reader. Mr. Macaulay, in fact, can too frequently only be judged by those who have followed, at however humble a distance, his own track of study. The temptations to this kind of writing will be considerably weaker in the case of the volumes which are yet to come, and we may there, perhaps, hope for a little more severity of quotation. Yet in the portraitures of individual characters these inducements will still remain, nor can they be very easily, or indeed very properly, overlooked.

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