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The length at which “India” and “The Gold Discoveries" have been treated this quarter may be deemed perhaps inconsistent with the plan of the “New QUARTERLY REVIEW." We beg our subscribers, however, to remark, that we have abandoned no whit of our original design, but have enlarged the Number to give these papers place. They are the two great topics of universal interest. As to India, we confess it is with some pride we notice that we have succeeded in what at first appeared the hopeless task, of drawing the attention of the English public, to this vast but uninviting inquiry.
These three Indian articles contain an epitome of the whole subject of our Indian rule. They concentrate the contents of many shelves of blue books, and, within a readable compass, and at one view, information which months of laborious research could not otherwise have gained,
NEW QUARTERLY REVIEW.
RETROSPECT OF THE LITERATURE OF THE QUARTER.
A THOUSAND books have been born into the As we look upon our Table of Contents, we world since the “New QUARTERLY RVEIEW"- cannot reproach ourselves with having missed register-general of literary births—made its last any lively, healthy child, and a hundred pages report. Of these, some few are spinning about would not suffice for epitaphs on all the deadlike those things with long names that grave borns. Some few, however, that do not apgentlemen insist upon shewing to their friends pear in full length criticism, deserve a passing in drops of dirty water and through powerful notice. microscopes; they whirr about furiously for The concluding volumes of the “Grenville half-a-dozen seconds, and then disappear alto. Papers" are only worthy of attention, in that gether from the field. Of such are two or three they explode a fiction which the ignorant novels, a couple of foolish angry pamphlets on vanity of the Grenvilles has long encouraged. the Shakspeare controversy, and a certain little The great Junius secret was in the custody of goose egg, which half-a-dozen cockneys at first the Grenvilles ! This was the tradition. The took to be the produce of a real swan. Other family was always mysterious and magnifichildren of this teeming three months are cent upon the subject.* The proper time, it brought forth mature. With a proper sense of seems, is at length arrived, and the world finds their dignity they range themselves at once on that the knife-grinder has no story to tell. the shelves of a complete” libraries, there to Instead of a revelation we have a hypothesis. remain undisturbed and uncut until the auc- Before the edition of 1812, and when the private tioneer shall disperse them to other similar letters from Junius to Woodfall were still unseats of dignified repose. Such are the Castle- known, there was a crowd of “ demonstrated” reagh Despatches“ during the Congress of Juniuses. Beside many others whose chances Vienna, battle of Waterloo, &c.," and the Woodfall destroyed by shewing that they were third and fourth volumes of the “ Grenville absent from England, or dead, at times when his Papers.” Others, again, pass on to take their father was in frequent communication with Juplace in our standard and enduring literature; and of such are the eleventh volume of Mr. Grote's * Fifteen years ago this tradition was thus alluded to “History of Greece," and the fourth volume of in the “ History of Party," vol. III. p. 152:-" It is not Colonel Muir's“Critical History of the Language altogether improbable that direct evidence of the authorand Literature” of the same people. Then come is reserved for some future period. It is well known that
e ship of these letters still exists, although its publication histories which have their position to gain, and Sir Francis has left Memoirs, which, after an appointed which, like Mr. Merivale's “ History of the time, will see the light. A suspicion has also long preDecline and Fall of the Roman Republic," do
vailed that the secret is in the custody of the Grenville
family; and the answers that have been on all occasions not always succeed in attracting the attention
re of the many, or in securing the approval of the personal knowledge, but declining any answer to the real few. The biographers, autobiographers, travel- question whether the secret is supposed by the family to Jers, novelists, poets are noured inonna nell be in their custody, certainly favours the supposition. If mell, each and all puffed into a semblance of life;
this suspicion should turn out to be well founded, it will ance or nte; be better to wait with patience for the certainty, than to
be but not one in fifty of them lives to walk alone. amuse our curiosity with plausible guesses.”
nius, we had Burke, single speech Hamilton, Lord John Russell's labours upon the “ Fox Mr. Rosenbagen, General Lee, Wilkes, Horne Papers,” and also upon the “Diary and CorreTooke, Hugh Macaulay Boyd, and Lord George spondence of Moore,” have received attention Sackville. Since the publication of the mis- in separate articles. cellaneous letters, it has been quite satisfactorily Of Colonel Muir's work, also, we have proved that the Duke of Portland was Junius, spoken in a separate article, and we shall and that the letters were intended to secure deal with the great achievement of Mr. Grote the renewal of the lease of the Duke's Mary- as a whole. Upon the eleventh volume we bone estate! We will defy any person to read must here remark, that the account of the the volume called “Letters to a Nobleman, prov. Sicilian expedition is very spiritedly given, and ing a late Prime Minister to have been the characters of Dion and Timoleon well drawn Junius,” without rising from the perusal with and carefully worked out. Demosthenes is very a full conviction that the case has been fully carefully elaborated. The greatorator finds in Mr. proved. Unfortunately, however, we must say Grote an indulgent historian and a warm admirer, the same of the case made out for Sir Philip but not so indiscriminating a panegyrist, as, we Francis in “ Junius Identified.” Sir David inust be allowed to say, appeared in Thirlwall, Brewster is a single instance of a man who was Heeren, and even Niebuhr. How Mr. Grote cured of a Junius delusion. He took up will contrive to complete his work in one more Lachlan Maclean, secretary to the Earl of volume is beyond our comprehension. We Shelburne, but abandoned him as soon as Mr. have all Alexander yet to come-all Alexan. Wingrove Cooke, in the condensed account of der's successors, down to the death of Seleucus, the Junius controversy which he inserted in the Lamian war, the literature of the latter his history of the Whig and Tory parties, days of Greece, and a promised elaborate apshewed how great were the difficulties in the preciation of Plato and Aristotle. Moreover, way of the new candidate. Mr. Britton, in a the plan and form of Mr. Grote's work espework called “ Junius Elucidated,” has inge- cially requires a copious index. We cannot niously argued that the letters were written afford to have a history huddled up at the end, by Dunning, Colonel Barré, and Lord Shel- like one of Walter Scott's novels. Mr. Grote burne; a Mr. Cramp has proved entirely to his must be absolved from his promise. He has own satisfaction that Junius was no other than abundant materials for three more volumes. Lord Chesterfield; and the “QUARTERLY I t is impossible to refuse the meed of inREVIEW" made the town to laugh by a serious dustry, and even of courage, to Mr. Finlay,* attempt to prove that Junius was no other than who has thrown himself a corps perdu into a Tom Lyttleton-Ghost Lyttleton. It is a very period of history that made even Gibbon to remarkable fact, that every one of these hypo- yawn and doze. This gentleman has—we all theses is fortified by the strongest proof of the have our partialities- devoted himself to the identity of handwriting. Lord Chesterfield, we decadence of great nations. Undeterred by the are told, employed Mrs. Dayrolle as his amanu- shades of Montesquieu or Gibbon, he has here ensis, and skilled examiners of handwriting have undertaken to recount to us three centuries and declared Mrs. Dayrolle’s writing to be identical a-half of the most dreary, uninteresting, yet most with that of Junius. The amanuensis of Dun- involved and intricate of all historicannals. Who ning, Barré, and Shelburne was a young Irish- will follow such a guide ? What care we of the man named Greatrakes, and his handwriting nineteenth century for the Isaurian Dynasty was exactly that of Junius. We are not aware and its Iconoclastic war, or of the struggles of of any single work written to prove a Junius John the Grammarian, or of the miraculous which has not a triumphant sheet of fac simile conversion to image worship of Michael the autographs.
son of Theophilus? What interest can we And now Mr. W. James Smith has, in take in the fortunes of Basil the Macedonian, 228 closely-printed octavo pages, elaborated or in the question whether or not the Proa hypothesis that Junius was no other than cheiron was hurried into premature publicity ? Earl Temple, and that Lady Temple, disguising What care we, in the year of grace 1853, her handwriting, was his amanueusis. He whether Michael the Drunkard was a proper confesses that he does not make clear his de person to contribute to the corpus juris civilis, monstration, even to his own satisfaction: to or a Sclavonian groom was an appropriate us it appears the weakest attempt that has ever medium for the restoration of the Pandects? yet been made to solve this historical puzzle. Mr. Finlay reminds one of that animal, someIt is not nearly so plausible as the Duke of thing between a rat and a badger, which they Portland hypothesis, and this we take to be a hunt in the American prairies, and which, complete reductio ad absurdum. It would plunging under ground, digs its way so rapidly take fifty pages of this review to discuss a tithe of Mr. Smith's minute“proofs," and the object " History of the Byzantine Empire from 716 to is certainly not worth either the space or the toil. 1057," by George Finlay. Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1853. and so deviously in the subsoil, that the ments of this accomplished diplomatist, wise pursuer soon gives up the toil of following ruler, and most finished, yet most unsuccessful the value of the prize not being nearly equiva- courtier. Lord Chesterfield is a man to whom lent to the dusty labour.
posterity has been unjust. Horace Walpole A new Church History by the Rev. Arthur preferred his eloquence to that of the great Pitt. Martineau seems to be chiefly valuable for the He was the first Lord Lieutenant who ever atcare with which all the historical points bearing tempted to govern Ireland with impartiality: his upon present controversies have been carefully was the voice that cried aloud for schools and picked out and placed in a strong light. Mr. villages in the Highlands immediately after '45, Martineau is evidently a pains-taking and mo- when all others were calling for halters and derate man, and he has compiled a very useful, dungeons. But we must not follow this theme, common-place sort of book; but the reader will or it will lead us far a-field. The fifth volume, be disappointed who shall expect to find herein now published, contains the “ Miscellaneous any original research, or any great power of Pieces,” and, among them, three essays never generalization.
before published. We shall be glad if we can In our last Number we noticed Lieutenant in any way promote the sale of this work-for Lawrie's interesting account of the second Bur- the careful collection of the writings of such a mese war. Mr. Robertson, of the Bengal man as Chesterfield is a real service to literature Civil Service, has, in a volume intituled -yet would not appear to promise much success “ Political Incidents of the First Burmese as a mercantile speculation. War," completed our information upon this To represent the autobiographers we have subject. We would draw special attention to Colonel Chesterton,t who has been a soldier of this work, because we find in it valuable testi- fortune, and who is now governor of the House mony from a civil servant of the Company to of Correction in Coldbath Fields. Those who the expediency of what we have been so long know Col. Chesterton must be aware of his advocating, the admission of the natives of many estimable qualities, and will take interest Hindoostan to posts of honour and influence in in his adventures, and sympathize with his forthe country of their birth. He says
tunes. We confess that we should have been The bias of the present day towards an undue depre
better pleased to have found more prison exciation of native capacity, and a disregard for purely na- perience and less of personal adventures. tive feeling, is quite as strong among our countrymen in Among the biographies of the quarter we civil as among those in military situations of power and have a life of Lord Peterborough,t" one of those command. This bias necessarily engenders a contemptuous men of careless wit and negligent grace,” says bearing towards a people of a keen susceptibility, who are more easily to be led by their attachment to individuals,
Horace Walpole, “who scatter a thousand bon than by their reverence for any system, however wise and mots and idle verses which we painful compilers beneficial.
gather and hoard till the authors stare to find Mr. Robertson's task leads him to speak prin
themselves authors * * * as gallant as cipally of the aptitude of the natives for military
Amadis and as brave, and who had seen more service; and numerous are the examples he
kings and more postilions than any other man gives of the courage and devotion of the Sepoy
in Europe.” The wild, witty, enterprising carl soldiers : but it is quite evident, from the pas
has been unlucky with posterity. He wrote sage above cited, that he feels the tyranny under
his own life, but his widow put it in the fire which our Hindu fellow-subjects labour, and
after his death-this widow had been the beauthat he disapproves the jealous policy which
h tiful Miss Anastasia Robinson, the great singer teaches them the vices of slaves, and closes to
of her time, whoin the earl ventured to make them the career of freemen.
his countess after he had passed sixty. Sir We do not hold it part of our duties to Walter Scott undertook to become the biocriticise the new editions of standard books: grapher of the friend of Dryden and the correbut it is well to note, as we pass over the litera. spondent of Swift and Pope, but lived not to ture of the quarter, that Lord Mahon's edition complete the task. However, we have, in two of the works* of that fine gentleman, who said. volumes, a superficial account, which is perhaps “ My great object was to make every man I met quite sufficiently good to satisfy any interest
now felt about a witty and eccentric nobleman, concluded. The editor has completed his task of very ill-regulated energies, who lived a very creditably. In a preface of thirty pages,
century and a half ago. prefixed to the first volume, he has pleasantly and fairly touched all the salient points in the pub † “ Peace, War, and Adventure, an autobiographical lic career, private conduct, and literary achieve. Memoir," by George Laval Chesterton. 2 vols. 8vo.
A Memoir of Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peter“ The Letters of Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earlborough ånd Monmouth, with selections from his Correof Chesterfield,” edited, with notes, by Lord Mahon. spondence,” by the Author of “Hochelaga.” 2 vols, 5 vols. 8vo. London: Bentley. 1845-1853.
8vo. Longmans. 1853.
“ The Life of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the Thackeray's puppets are so quaint, and yet so Negro Patriot of Hayti,” by the Rev. John little formidable, that every dunce may take R. Beard, is one of those trashy illustrated them by their collars, look into their waxen books which have recently been spawned in faces, and smile a comfortable smile of gratified thousands. With a full recollection of Miss self-complacency. It is doubtless pleasant for a Martineau's excellent work upon the same sub- well-dressed crowd to be made easy in their ject, “ The Hour and the Man,” we turn over ignorance of English literature by being told these pages with considerable discontent, and that Congreve was but “ a literary swell," and only wonder whether the writing or the wood. Swift a man whom they ought “ to hoot;" but cuts are the more unworthy of the subject. it must be a wretched task for a man of rare
The publication of Mr. Thackeray's lectures * talent, like Mr. Thackeray, to minister to such appears to us to have been an injudicious step. sordid taste, and to write down to such vile They were admirably adapted to the purpose sympathies. If we at first feel indignation at for which they were written, that is to say, to seeing a writer caricature the great men of his amuse an assembly of fashionable people. After own profession for his own profit, and for the the lady patronesses of society had listened with. amusement of a circle of idle fashionables, the out yawning, the crowd of demi-fashionables stronger sentiment is soon lost in pity for the was sure to throng. Had Mr. Thackeray exhibitor. There may be some excuse, at least really described to his polite audience the somc palliation, for having discharged the humourous writers of the last century, criticised distasteful office : there can be none for leaving their writings, marked their peculiarities of style, an enduring record of the deed. For ourselves ranked their genius, and traced their individual we certainly shall not condescend to enter into influence upon their age, he might posssibly, any defence of our country's worthies. They after patience and long watching, have produced will shed warmth and light into English hearts an imperishable work: he might, on the other long after Mr. Thackeray shall be forgotten : hand, have produced only a collection of false they are as much out of Mr. Thackeray's reach appreciations; but he certainly would have sent as the sun that makes our day. The dirt he has bis dandies and dowagers to sleep. With infi. thrown towards them will only fall back upon nite tact he just took the happy mean. To give himself. It is unpleasant to write such things the dignity of literature to his task, he lectured of a man of whose powers we have such high apon men of letters; but to spare the patience of appreciation : but let Mr. Thackeray give us his hearers he stuck close to the men and left more “Vanity Fairs," and we will give him out the letters—“ Our object in these lectures is heaps of eulogy. rather to describe the men than their works; to The travellers have been industrious, and our deal with the latter only so far as they seem to sporting travellers have been particularly enerillustrate the character of their writers.” getic, excited, probably, by the laurels and
An object so humble as this is scarcely a golden opinions won by Gordon Cumming. mark for criticism. We have, of course, poor In subsequent articles the reader will find many Goldy's peach-blossom coat, Dick Steele’s wife's hair-breadth escapes in climbing after chamois, carriage and pair, Addison's second-floor lodg- and may reckon up some of the inconveniences ing in the Haymarket; and we are told how of alligator fishing and bison shooting. Among “Gay lived and was lapped in cotton, and had the few “ Voyages and Travels” not separately his plate of chicken and his saucer of cream, noticed, is Captain Erskine's large volume on and frisked and barked, and wheezed and grew the Islands of the Western Pacific.t This is of fat, and so ended.” We have the daily habits a description of literature wherewith we have and private life of the wits of the age of Queen been familiar from infancy. Black men with Anne, with every foible picked out in glowing spears and war mats, and ladies whose identity colours; with every act placed in the most ill. is only varied by the increasing or decreasing natured light; with many either ignorantly mis- volume of the girdle wherewith they are girded, understood or wilfully distorted— witness Swift's canoes of well-remembered proportions, and exquisite satire upon English listnestness as to portraits of distinguished chiefs of dingy counthe wretchedness of the Irish people, contained tenance, have been the favourites of every little in his modest proposal for eating the children of boy and girl who could get at a copy of Cook's the Irish peasantry; we have a sort of wax- voyages or Banks's geography. We have just work show-room, wherein Swift, Steele, Addison, the same things re-produced here, no better and Congreve, and the rest, appear, dressed in the no worse. The only novelty we notice is, that old clothes they wore in life. Every thing is where a French officer is politely requested to before us but the thinking men of genius. Mr. stay to dinner because there is a “cuisse d'homme"
on the spit, the sailors who were with him * - English Humourists of the Eighteenth Century,” by W. M. Thackeray.
+ “ Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of the London: Smith, Elder, and Co. Western Pacific,” by John Elphinstone Erskine, Captain 1853
R.N. Murray, London. 1853.