Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Hark! while abandon'd principle bewails,
O'er murder'd Truth, Expedience now prevails.
England, no longer Protestant thy realm,
Mourn o'er thy Pilot, parted from the helm !
That faithless deed shall latest ages date,
The woful epoch of thy falling state!

Oh, mystery vast! the chieftain by whose hand,
Heaven pour'd its vengeance on the Papal land;
Whose name, once honour'd, and regretted still,
Or Minstrel's harp, or Patriot's heart could thrill ;
The Warrior, crown'd with victory's choicest wreaths,
Whose splendid triumphs wondering envy breathes :
Blush, human greatness! ah, his glory! see,
His Country's Saviour, WELLINGTON! 'tis He,
Yields her palladium, and “at one fell swoop.
Her safe-guards crash; his thousand laurels droop!-pp. 41, 42.

No sooner was the Catholic Bill matured into an Act of Parliament, than great and universal disorder sprang up in every kingdom in the world. The Ottoman trembles before the Russian, the Bourbon is banished from the Gallic throne, and King George, " the fourth loved monarch of the Brunswick line,” was consigned to dust. Belgium, in the meantime, rose like a troubled ocean, whilst ill-fated Poland is given up to grief; destructive fires blaze about the agricultural districts ; fierce tornadoes tear up the produce of the sugar-cane islands; and lastly, to crown the misery of the country, the wild cry of reform is shouted from crowded street to echoing glen. Another ill remains, however, to be summed up, as coincident with those already lamented, namely, the condition of Ireland, of which the reverend bard thus gives us a description :

And turn to Erin, restless as the surge,
That laves the crags upon her rocky verge :
Say, is she bless d ? and do her troubles cease ?
Came on thy wings, Emancipation, peace?
What peace? what rest? while Babel's whoredoms still,
With rites unblest her sea-green borders fill!
Repose, farewell! when factious brawlers vile,
Supremely lord it o'er the spell-bound isle:
While wretched compromise, her wounds to heal,
Led by the mania' of reforming zeal,
Brings God-denying error to unite
Her killing plague, to Neologian night!
Bids each with blazon'd blasphemy combine,
Blest Truth to poison, at her source divine;
And leave the hapless island to deplore

Heaven's glorious lamp, receding from her shore !—p. 43.
Many of the controverted points of discipline and religion are
interwoven by our author with the general subjects of his poem.
He points out the utility of that sacred awe with which all who

enter a cathedral must be inspired; he touches on the introduction of psalmody, and praises it as an auxiliary to devotion ; and after noticing the songs of Moses and Miriam, and of other Scripture characters, he proceeds to dwell on the beauty and excellence of the Psalms. From psalmody he transfers his attention to preaching in cathedrals, and draws a signal contrast between the early preachers and those of modern times. In vindicating the propriety of the honours and titles of the church governors, our curate is at the pains to show, that the whole order of nature, the existence of kings on earth and of angels in heaven, incontestibly prove, by analogy, the policy of retaining those distinctions.

One of the most striking pieces of novelty to be met with in this poem, is the discovery that England is one of the ten horns mentioned by Daniel the prophet. He next endeavours to show that the pretensions of the Romish church were protested against long before the Reformation; and he tells us, in choice hexameters, that Aidan observed Easter at a different time from Rome—that Alcuin opposed the worship of images—that Alfred protected Scotus, who opposed transubstantiation—that Athelstan promoted the translation of the Scriptures—that an earl of Mercia encouraged the marriage of the clergy-and that Archbishop Wulstan caused the writings of Alfred to be read, because they were adverse to transubstantiation. The author then passes through the series of historical events which succeeded, until the time of the Reformation, paying due tributes to the memories of the “ martyrs," Rogers, Bishop Hooper, Taylor, Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer. Biographical sketches are next given of some of the bishops who made themselves eminent soon after the Reformation. Of Grindall he says :

First, holy Grindall, Anglian Eli, bears
'Mid fears and fightings, every Church's cares.
In labours, perils, tenderness and tears,
He more like Paul, exemplar blest, appears :
But more to him the youthful Samuel's guide,
In days, in sorrows, and in death allied.
Surpass'd the term to mortal man allow'd,
With head by more than four-score winters snow'd ;
While on his watch in season's wildly dark,
His heart like Eli's “ trembl’d for the Ark !”
Nor causeless trembled : aching with remorse, , '
He view'd the binding of the Gospel course;
O’er-cast with clouds the smiling morning view'd,
As grim revenge, the storm not lingering brew'd:
Too soon it burst: the self-same fated dart,
The fold that scatter'd, broke the pastor's heart.-
Enlightened Father! welcom'd to thy rest,
Thy name is honour'd, and thy memory blest :
When kings and kingdoms, diadems and thrones,
Shall crumble, crush'd 'mid dying nature's groans ;

Thy wise remonstrance to the injur'd Queen,
Thy name from charge of trust betray'd shall screen,
Would, 'mid the courtier-herd that kings surround,
Such sterling honesty were always found !
Tho' bold, respectful; tender, tho' severe ;
Commingling loyalty with godly fear :
To warn tho' prompt, reluctant to complain ;

And when inflicting, clearly suffering, pain.-pp. 108, 109.
Sandys is the next in the eulogistic list :

Then Sandys comes, who Sorrow's cup had drain'd,
Exil'd for conscience, and in bonds detain'd :
And by that discipline his tutor'd heart,
Learnt how the stream consoling to impart;
Felt most the blessing of that cheering ray,
That brightest sparkles in the darkest day.
Ere hush'd his accents in the silent grave,

Pause on the blest confession that he gave.-pp. 107–109.
Hutton is characterized in the following manner :

Hutton succeeds ere Papal cries are stilld,
Mighty in Scripture, and with wisdom fill'd.
His voice with richest eloquence would plead,
What depth in doctrine ! purity in deed!
Unlike some Teachers of succeeding times,
Denouncing only what the world calls crimes ;
That leave all mystery, and would strive in vain,
By meagre morals purchas'd Heaven to gain!
Nor yet, like those, delighting to report,
How fair the fabric, and how neat the court ;
But dare not, lingering in the outer pale,
Its holiest, brightest, glories to unveil :
More studious far, the goodly fane to praise,
Than drink the joys that at the altar blaze.
Preachers like these the pointers may adjust,
Varnish the case, and wipe away the rust:
But all is silent;- nor avails that care,

The inward wheels, and main-spring to repair.—p. 111. These extracts will be sufficient to convey a general impression of the style and power of the author. We cannot, however, dismiss this work without bestowing what we deem to be a merited censure on the spirit and uncharitable feeling by which the writer appears to be actuated. The historical matter, which he employs as the machinery of his poem, consists, for the most part, of calumnies and other misrepresentations of the church of Rome, which, in the opinion of enlightened Protestants, deserve only contempt. Nevertheless, our rustic curate, for whom in vain time passes in its course, bringing its changes and improvements, still clings to the impressions received in his nurse's arms; and in his enthusiasm in adhering to these early prejudices, absolutely forgets his duty, both as a man and a minister of the benevolent religion of christianity.

NOTICES.

Art. XIII.-Abolition of the Poor 1816, and in 1820 enclosed it by

Laws, 8c. with an Appendix, con- Act of Parliament. The 100 acres taining an Account of the Labour of heath were very indifferent, wet ers' Friend Society. London: land ; but capable of producing corn Jackson and Walford. 1833. by management and some expense.

The commissioner advised me to set "The object of the Labourers' Friend apart eight acres of this land for the Society, is to establish a system poor of the tithing. whereby the allotment, at fair rents, It is to the distribution of this of small portions of land to the small plot of ground that I am parlabourer shall be made. These ticularly anxious to draw attention. allotments are to extend to a quan- Several friends endeavoured to tity which shall constitute a small dissuade me from this application. farm or homestead; or they shall be They have now for ten years, howof such an amount only as deserves ever, been most successfully cultithe name of cottage-garden.

vated, and have proved a source There are facts stated in the of comfort to my village population, pamphlet before us, which justify and happiness to myself. the belief that such a system as this My village is a good deal scatwould do infinite good. One case is tered; the population about 160 quite sufficient, and to that we shall souls ; and the heads of the cottage now direct the reader's attention families, about eighteen. The land A proprietor of an estate in Wilt was, upon an average, about a shire has made a statement, which quarter of a mile from each cottage. we have abridged, merely retaining T'he price of this heath, to the farmer, the facts : He says, During the last was 16s. per acre, for a term of fourten years I have tried the plan of teen years—a moderate rent, in conletting portions of land to the poor sideration of its being cleansed from at a fair rent. My land consists of the heath, furze, and briars. The 1000 acres pasture, 350 arable, 100 cottagers had it at the same rent, heath, and 50 wood and other waste but from year to year only ; no land. The estate is a manor in stipulation was made with the latter itself, and also a tithing, namely, that in no event should they receive having no overseers and a chapel, parish relief, while holding the land but not maintaining its poor. When -no threat that, if they should I obtained it, it had been long neg- accidentally require such aid, they lected. The owner was a widow should be expelled from their hold. lady, who held it for sixty years, ing-nothing, in short, to awaken and visited it just once, and no more their fears, or alarm their jealousies. No resident clergyman, no mansion. No cottager had more than half an house, were to be found on the spot; acre; some, indeed, rather less, but there was a deep soil, and roads according to the strength of the altogether unpassable for any sort of family ; a few declined it, and what vehicle.

they refused was given to others. I succeeded to the property in In the spring, then, of 1820, these

VOL. II. (1833) No. 11,

allotments were measured, dug, and farmer. I have known only one inplanted with potatoes. In the stance of these humble cultivators autumn of that year, I fitted up a receiving parish relief-a man sevencottage in the village for my own ty-five years of age, who disabled residence, during three months of his hand by the breaking of a rail. the autumn, which professional en- The rent has been most cheerfully gagements allowed me to enjoy in and regularly paid, without any rethe country ; and from this time I quest for reduction; although all my speak of these things from personal farmers' rents, since 1821, have been observation.

lowered 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 per I believe I am correct in saying cent.; and although the wages which that, in 1820, not one of these hum they may have earned have been on ble tenants had either a pig-stye, or a very reduced, infinitely too reduced, a pig. The crops of potatoes for the a scale. first year, the produce of the fresh Thus, then, for ten years, has this soil, were very abundant. In the plan been fairly tried, and has perfollowing year, and ever since, with fectly answered. I have never seen slight exceptions, the land has been a failing crop ; on the contrary, the cropped as follows:- One half of the produce of the spade has exceeded, half acre, viz. one quarter wheat, by at least a fourth, that of the and one quarter potatoes; about half plough over the neighbouring hedge, the latter portion bears a coarse and on precisely the same soil. very prolific potatoe for the pig; the The gentleman who has made this remainder, a better sort, for the communication states, that he has family. From this one quarter of been enabled to trace a very decided an acre of wheat, after reserving moral result from his arrangements. enough to exchange with some Upon his first residing in the village, farmer for fresh seed, together with he found the people neglected, poor, the potatoes, a great progress is uncivil, thieves, poachers, mischiemade towards the sustenance of the vous, and idle; but now they are family for the whole year. I must certainly contented, civil, laborious, remind you, that my restricted quan- and honest. Eight years ago he tity of land does not prevent the suffered for encouraging the good earning of weekly wages besides. and punishing the dissolute, and had

The stubble is carefully cut and his plantations twice broken down stacked, with which the pig is fod- and destroyed; but during the late dered till Christmas, when he is tumults, the villagers came forward generally killed, and the manure is on two occasions to protect his prothus procured for the following sea- perty. son. The manure of this animal is Such scenes 'as these are worthy of the strongest kind, and goes much of contemplation ; and the ultimate farther than any other dressing. effect on the public mind must be

About once in three years the ro- good and profitable to the improvetation of crops is changed to oats, ment of the human race. beans, or peas : some oats produced The condition of the labouring by the spade, this season, were poor in this country cannot be too really magnificient.

frequently urged on the attention of These portions are duly assessed its more intelligent inhabitants, beto the general poor's rate of the cause the sooner a remedy is disparish, in the diminution of which, covered for the moral disease by therefore, these humble occupiers which they are nigh overwhelmed, are jointly interested with the the sooner shall we all get rid of the

« ElőzőTovább »