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man can suppose His Royal Highness to be actuated by the mere desire of disinheriting his daughter. Again, suppose he is married, and had a son in the course of a year from this time, His Royal Highness will then be turned of fifty-seven; and his life, unfortunately, will not be worth many years purchase. In all human probability we shall have a minority of twelve years. This is supposing His Royal Highness to attain the age of sixty-three, unhappily a somewhat improbable calculation. Who will then be regent? Will there be no competition? Who are the competitors ? The Duke of York and the army on the one hand, the Princess Charlotte and the country on the other.” (p. 17-20.)
We confess, that this last consideration, of the probable competition, is that which weighs most heavily on our minds. We have remarked a disposition to raise the character of the army beyond its fit level in the community, which we would not impute hastily to improper motives, but our English jealousies are augmented by such contrivances. We have noticed a pleasure resulting from the glory it has acquired, independent of the utility of its services, and connected with other views and interests which ought not to prevail. We have seen a splendid military establishment, and a prodigal expenditure to support it, recommended to Parliament, and adopted in a period of profound tranquillity. We have observed doctrines held with respect to household troops that partake of the destructive policy of Rome, when her prætorian bands put the Empire of the world to auction. We have heard of the formation of military clubs, under that exalted and powerful patronage which necessarily awakens alarm, and in addition to all these expedients, new orders of dignity are created, and applied to increase the distinctions of the army so as to constitute a sort of mi. litary nobility, rivalling that hereditary aristocracy, which alone is acknowledged by the British constitution.
The author concludes with inquiring into the personal considerations which are likely to influence the members of parliament, and he insists that the whole question is bere of a personal nature-“ Shall I gratify the Prince Regent or the Princess Charlotte ?"
We do hope better things, and that on a subject of this vital character, the legislature will resigo all such interested and mercenary feelings, that they will discover no desire but for the peace and happiness of the country; and that in the solemn duties they have to discharge, they will ful61 all the wishes and expectations of the British people. If this great question should be agitated, we do beseech them,
even to the neglect of minor concerns, to concentrate their attention on this grave business. “ No man regards an irruption on the surface when the noble parts are invaded, and he feels a mortification approaching to his heart." We confess that we do not anticipate the support our author assumes to the measure by the unanimous vote of the cabinet; and if we may believe general rumour, the principal officer in the royal councils is himself unfriendly to it. But if this concurrence should unhappily be produced, and it should have pleased God to give us a ministry who are neither to be persuaded by argument, nor instructed by experience, we rely, as our last and effectual resource, as the secure and impregnable citadel of our hope and our confidence, upon that parliament which we trust will unite circumspection with vigour, will consider itself the sacred guardian of the public safety, will mix itself with no vulgar intrigues of the court, and, when the occasion call for it, will oppose itself to domestic oppression with the same zeal that it would resist the open warfare of faction, and the secret machinations of prerogative.-"Quapropter de summâ salute vestrâ, populique (Britanni,) Patres Conscripti, de vestris conjugibus ac liberis, de aris ac focis, de fanis ac templis, de totius urbis tectis ac sedibus, de imperio, de libertate, de salute (Britanniæ,) deque universâ republicâ, decernite diligenter, ut instituistis, ac fortiter."
Art. XI.- Prayers and Discourses for the Use of Families,
in two parts. By Joseph Bowden. London, Long
man, 1816, 8vo. pp. 197,-204. The first part of this work consists of the usual morning and evening prayers for families, with others adapted to particular occasions : the second of twelve discourses for domestic instruction with additional prayers suited to them. The publication comprises, in a short form, all that is immediately necessary for family devotion and instruction. No doubt that those who approve of variations in the form of prayers, will deem it to be expedient to enlarge the devotional part, and all will think it proper to extend the topics of the sermons employed, in the practical application of such doniestic duties. The subjects however are very judiciously selected; in the two first the care of Abraham towards his family is contrasted with the negligence of Eli; the two next treat of early piety of degeneracy; the following of the self-conceit of Naaman, and the self-igno
rance of Hazael : the others are on tenderness of conscience; uprightness; wisdom and innocence; the improvement, and the swift flight of time; and the last on the beautiful similitude of “ man fading like a leaf.”
As the subjects are peculiarly appropriate, so is the manner in which they are treated : these are no mystic allusions, no learned disquisitions, nothing that can incumber the simple practical purpose the writer has iš view. He is fitly convinced that the stock of human knowledge contained in the bible is sufficient, that this sacred volume, as it is of the highest antiquity, so it is of the greatest authority, and that such is its power of efficacy, that it requires nothing more than the common feeling and common sense of mankind to give its examples the proper influence and its precepts the proper direction. If there be in this work more unction, as it is called, than is consistent with the modern fashion of preaching, it has no portion of that cant and false sensibility with which some religious writings abound, but every where the passions are excited by fit impulses, and the reason is awakened by fit motives...
As a specimen, we have selected the following admonitory remarks, suggested by the character of Hazael.
“ The lesson of universal experience is afresh impressed; that there are few things, with which we are less accurately acquainted than the inclinations of our own hearts; that, if ever we be secure in our good principles, we are really in the utmost hazard. We fondly give ourselves credit for every virtue, to the exercises of which our stations and opportunities have not called us. We fancy that we should certainly hate and avoid every base practice, in which we have had no temptation to indulge. No sooner do new circumstances arise, than we find how baseless our self-fattery is.
“ The example of Hazael, who could pass so rapidly from what seemed a generous indignation at the image of himself, presented in the glass of prophecy, to the most dreadful extreme of wickedness, will be allowed by all to be a striking one. But such it will be said are the deplorable changes, which ambition works; such the boundless mischiefs produced, when the spirit of a tyrant discerns the way of opening to the accomplishment of its wishes.
* If the example speak not directly to the heart of persons, placed far from the paths of greatness, devoid of ambition, and haters of cruelty and blood; let them recollect what they have witnessed themselves in common life, or what has been faithfully reported to them, of men, who were the pests of society, and paid, at length, the just penalty of their crimes. Had not these men their seasons of virtuous, perhaps of noble, feeling? When they began to transgress, were not their compunctions deep, and their purposes
warm, and, as they thought, determined ? When they had taken many an advancing step in the path of corruption, bad they the least notion of the issue, to which they were tending? Would they not have resented it as a gross insult, if you had ventured, even then, to foretell their end? Possibly, but a few days before the commission of their chief crime, and when actually gotten into its immediate veighbourhood, they were not only insensible of the impending danger, but wonld have revolted with indignation from the thought of falling by it.” (2d part, p. 91–93.)
We are not aware why the texts are not prefixed to the discourses, and the references to them only given. We presume that they are intended to be read, and we see no reason why the leader of the family devotions should have the trouble of referring to the bible for them.
We cannot conclude without expressing our conviction of the importance of domestic piety, and our approbation of those who, like the author, with attainments, suited to a higher species of composition, condescend to accommodate themselves to its homely character. It is a remark somewhere of Archbishop Tillotson that a family can scarcely deserve the name of christian, which does not daily assemble, for the purposes of prayer and instruction; and we regret the discontinuance of a practice which is so strongly recommended by the worthy primate. At the present day the neglect does not arise from the want of means, but from the deficiency of inclination; and we are persuaded that the perusal of these discourses, dictated in the genuine spirit of piety, will tend to encourage those sentiments that are most favourable to its revival.
THE DRAMA. Art. XII.- Ivan ; a Tragedy, in five Acts. Altered and
adapted for Representation. By WILLIAM Sotheby,
Esq. London, printed for John Murray, 1816, 8vo. pp. 86. In the preface Mr. Sotheby informs the reader, that he has altered and adapted this tragedy from the closet to the stage, and that one scene and several speeches are entirely new. What the piece was in its original shape we have not had an opportunity of judging ; but we do not know wby, in its present form, it should not have been brought out at one of our principal theatres. During the whole of Jast winter, several new tragedies, from the pens of Lord Byron, Mr. Walter Scott, and Mr. Sotheby, were the sub
of cond progresse, and. Bertra few That
jects of conversation among persous who interest them selves in the progress of the drama, but none of them appeared upon the stage, and public expectation was only satisfied by the production of Bertram, by the Rev. Mr. Maturin, upon which we introduced a few strictures under the proper head in our number for May last. That the latter was more successful than it deserved we do not say, but at least it shewed that there was a spirit of forbearance on the part of the public, and a disposition to be pleased, which was not discouraging to young and diffident candidates for dramatic fame. For this reason, we had hoped to have witnessed the representation of several new efforts in the department of tragedy, even before the close of the season; but Covent Garden only interrupted its career of shews and melodrames by a piece imported from Ireland, and Drury Lane (which professes to make a stand in this respect) only gave Mr. Kean an opportunity of gratifying his taste by the adoption of Bertran on his express recommendation.
When the public sees such pieces as Ivan put forth through the means of the press, which was designed for the stage in the first instance, the inquiry is naturally made, what cause obstructed its performance according to the au. thor's wishes ? Although Mr. Sotheby's abilities may not be first rate, his works are well entitled to great respect; and when a man of genius devotes that genius to the stage, he deserves something more than the usual laconic answer, 46 the managers are of' opinion that this piece will not succeed on representation.” We do not say that he has a right to expect that his own opinion should be adopted; but it ought to be taken into account, witb the weight due to it, and a fair trial before the legitimate judges ought to be allowed, instead of consigoing the effort to the partial, not to say incompetent, perusal of a rival author. The tables in our days are quite turned; formerly the managers were under great obligations to persons who would write for them; but now authors think themselves exceedingly fortunate if they obtain the friendly interposition of some under. ling of the theatre, who will present, with becoming humility, their production to the condescending notice of indivi. duals in authority. Whether Mr. Sotheby received any greater civilities on the rejection of his tragedy than others usually meet with from the patentees, we know not; but it appears to us, that the managers did not consult their inte. rests in refusing to allow it to be performed.
To some readers it will not appear a recommendation,