Imagens das páginas

and declaratory shape by Mr. D'Israeli in the novel of "Coningsby."

The nature of a volume filled with such variegated essays must necessarily be desultory. But the prevalence of the same spirit throughout gives it, nevertheless, a distinctive and individual character. This is the leading peculiarity of "Historic Fancies"-a peculiarity which is worth notice, since it is not unlikely to becomethe exclu sive mark of all the works of Young England.

The aristocracy of France in the contrasted periods of their power and their decline-the difference between the two great creeds, Reason and Faith, Private Judgment and Church Unity, (with a large balance in favor of the latter)-the sacredness of the Sovereignty-the loyalist principle of the Vendée-the death of Mary Stuart, and the banishment of James II., both full of a sweet and earnest and highly poetical sympathy -Versailles and the Tuileries, with their Royal memories-and the heroes, or, as it may be, demons of the first French revolution-form the leading topics of the book. From this enumeration, a tolerably accurate notion may be formed of the general tendencies of the work; but it is only by a perusal of the whole that a proper estimate can be made of the fantastic but refined genius of

the writer.

It will be seen that France occupies a large share of the author's attention. He has a special reason for this. By seizing upon the events and the men of French history-all of which are, in their way, representatives of elementary principles-he avoids the risk of offending living surrounding prejudices, or of challenging invidious discussions over his favorite topics. He has the field open and clear before him-a ground on which great questions may be quietly argued without invoking the animosities of party, or disturbing the ashes of domestic feuds. Besides, France has been the theatre of almost every form of struggle needful for the contemplation of the philosophic politician. "It is here," says Mr. Smythe, "that we have seen the most perfect theory of Absolutism. It is here that we have looked upon the most perfect theory of a Republic. It is here that the Great Compromise between the two will be most broadly tried, most severely tested, most earnestly discussed."

sON's of any interest, and no effort will be left untried to obtain such Despatches and Letters as have not yet been printed. For assistance in this essential object the Editor confidently appeals to individuals who may possess originals or copies of Nelson's Letters, his Public Orders, and Professional Memoranda. He earnestly invites them to favor him with the loan of such papers, or to send him correct transcripts of them; and the contributions will be thankfully acknowledged in the printed work. He begs leave to address this request more particularly to distinguished living Officers, the friends and companions in arms of Nelson, as well as to the families of those who are no more, believing that no one who loves or reveres his memory will refuse his co-operation.United Service Magazine.

The Public and Private Life of Lord Chancellor
Eldon; with selections from his Correspondence.
By Horace Twiss, Esq., one of Her Majesty's
Counsel. 3 vols. 8vo. J. Murray.

dred copies of this work (nearly the whole of a
Although published only one week, many hun-
large edition, we believe) are already in the
hands of readers, who are devouring its pages,
wherever we have heard them mentioned, with
very high gratification.

his choice of a biographer to put together and Lord Eldon has, we think, been fortunate in Much information, judgment, and skill were recement the history of his illustrious grandsire. quisite for the proper performance of the task. A with those classes of society among which the man conversant with the world, and especially lord chancellor lived, was needed to select its lighter and anecdotical features. A man of legal attainments was required to superintend all that related to the lawyer and administration of the laws. A man of much political intelligence, who had sat in parliament and held office, was peculiarly pointed out as the fittest person to estimate the acts of the statesman, show the with the distinguished individuals, his associates bearings of his policy, and discuss his relations of half a century of clashing opinions and most or his adversaries, in the important conflicts But we must turn from the grave interests of attachment to literature from the earliest youth; Add to these, a general this volume to its pleasanter aspects, its pictures and you have in Mr. Twiss all the qualifications of life and beauty, its graceful prose sketches, which have done justice to his theme, and made and its musical lyrics. The verse suits us best. this book, at the same time, one of the most agreeIt is better adapted to the uses of this sheet,able for its mere entertainment, and instructive which acknowledges no great admiration for poli- for its historical statements, which has issued tics of any kind, even when they have that wiz- from the press during the many years we have ard air and system-disturbing energy with which had cognizance of its doings.—Literary Gazette. the poet statesmen of Young England contrive to endow their picturesque treatises. We think Mr. Smythe's prose very good, and very original. It is thoughtful and earnest, and teems with proofs of high intellectual intelligence and sincerity of purpose. But we like his poetry better. It is occasionally as grand and gorgeous as a piece of rich tapestry; and the flow of the melody every where satisfies the ear, like a flood of old cathedral music.-Court Journal.

The Despatches and Letters of Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson. Edited by Sir Harris Nicholas, G. C. M. G.

It is intended to insert all Letters of LORD NEL

momentous events.

Frederick the Great, his Court and Times. Edited, with an Introduction, by Thomas Campbell, Esq., Author of the Pleasures of Hope, &c. 2 Vols.

We hail with much satisfaction this revised and condensed edition of one of the most entertaining and instructive works for the library of every soldier. There is not a page throughout the two compact volumes which will not bear many times reading.-United Service Magazine.

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From the Westminster Review, September.

1. Report from the Secret Committee of the House of Lords, upon the Detaining and Opening of Letters at the General Post office.

2. Report from the Committee of Secrecy of the House of Commons on the same subject.

THERE are some duties which it costs a painful effort to discharge, and we candidly confess that our present task is one we would willingly have avoided. We feel it incumbent upon us to denounce, in the strongest language we can command, a principle of administration which, if carried out, would be found subversive of all the moral obligations of society; and yet a principle now openly advocated, not merely by political opponents, but in some instances by men with whom we have been accustomed to act, and a class of politicians standing well in the world's regard for public character and private worth.

We have long considered the state of our academical and university education to be the cause of half the errors committed in legislation; but of all the evils to be traced to this fruitful source, none are OCTOBER, 1844. 10

greater than the moral canker they occasion. The ethics of Archdeacon Paley and Professor Sewel,-political expediency on the one hand, and blind submission to authority on the other, the transformations of Ovid and the history of the Punic Wars, sound interpretation of its meaning; and leave no place for the decalogue, or any the result in after life, when our high-born university graduates appear at the council board, is, as the world has seen with astonishment, a formal recognition of PETTY LARCENY as a fundamental maxim of state policy.

Enough, it might be supposed, has been said of the secret detention and opening of letters to exhaust the subject; but the question has been too much treated in reference solely to party objects, and involves far higher considerations.

Let us begin by acknowledging that the case attempted to be made out against the present Government, as guilty of something worse in the shape of Post-office espionage than their predecessors, has not hitherto been sustained. We would go farther, and say that the conduct of the Whig leaders in not interposing between their own party and Sir James Graham, but, on the contrary, all but leading on the attack, know

1838. Lord Glenelg.

1839-41. The Marquis of Normanby
1841-4. The Right Hon. Sir James Graham.
1844. The Earl of Aberdeen.

ing, as they did, at the time, their own share in similar transactions, was ungenerous and indefensible. The moment the Marquis of Normanby stated in the House. of Lords that he had opened letters while in office in Ireland, it became evident to To this list of statesmen of the 19th cenall impartial reasoning men that the two tury (but the name seems to carry irony in parties (unless as regards the use made of its application) we should add the names of the information obtained) were upon an all the Lord-Lieutenants of Ireland not inequal footing. It was idle to attempt a cluded in the above, by whom the same wiredrawn distinction between the propri- power has been exercised; as, for example, ety of opening the letters of Irishmen and the Marquis of Anglesea, the Marquis of the letters of foreigners. The interests of Wellesley, the Earl of Mulgrave, Lord MorEngland abroad are identical with the in- peth, Lord Viscount Ebrington, Earl de terests of England at home. A quarrel Grey, and Sir Edward Sugden. with Austria about her Italian possessions The facts discovered in this extraordiis, at least, as serious an evil to be depre-nary revelation admit of but one explanacated and prevented, if possible, as any out-tion. The only apology for them must be rage upon property, originating in a conspiracy of Ribbonmen.

sought in the tendency of the mind, especially when trained as we have described, to We have given, in the last number of the confound principle with precedent, moral 'Westminster Review,' a frank opinion of law with legal custom. We doubt whether the character of Sir James Graham. The there has been any Secretary of State, or sketch has not been considered so flatter-Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, who, if he had ing that we are likely to be accused of any not found on coming into office the custom desire to screen from public observation a of prying into letters sanctioned by long single failing of the present Home Secre- usage as part of the ordinary routine of tary; but we would not exaggerate his de-office business, but, instead, had been asked fects. He has not risen in our estimation for the first time to violate the sanctity of a by the recent exposures; but honestly let seal, would not have exclaimed in effect, us state they make him appear no worse in and perhaps in the words of Hazæl, "Is our eyes for bringing down the dignity of thy servant a dog, that he should do this British administration to the commission thing?" of felony and acts of dirty meanness, than other politicians of the same school, and of much higher reputation. We read with surprise, amounting almost to incredulity, in the Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, the following list of Cabinet Ministers who, within the last forty years, have stooped to the tricks (to some of them at least) of a Fouché administration.

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But behold a custom which may be traced back, as we are told, for 300 years; and, worse and worse, behold a committee of the House of Commons pleading the authority of this high antiquity against precept; a committee composed of men, not inadvertently betrayed into error, but deliberately weighing the merits of truth and the advantages of expediency, and coming to the conclusion that expediency in affairs of state is better than truth, and that what is morally wrong may yet be politically right.

There have been two committees and two reports, as our readers are aware, upon this subject, both open to severe animadversion; but we differ with our contemporaries in the opinion that censure is less merited in the case of the report from the committee of the House of Commons than in that of the House of Lords. We have arrived at quite the contrary conclusion. In both reports there is an obvious disposition to palliate the faults of political friends, but the report of the committee of the House of Commons is an elaborate defence of a sophism which, at different

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