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of the maniac blasts from their caverns? And We should be sorry to stake our faith in a why does the former operation end exactly higher Power on Mr. Robert Montgomery's when the latter commences? logic. Does he believe that lightning, and bubbles, and the phenomena of dreams, are designless and self-created? If he does, we cannot conceive why he may not believe that the whole universe is designless and self-created. A few lines before, he tells us that it is the Deity who bids "thurder rattle from the skiey deep." His theory is therefore this, that God made the thunder, but that the lightning made itself.
But Mr. Robert Montgomery's metaphysics are not at present our game. He proceeds to
set forth the fearful effects of atheism.
We cannot stop over each of Mr. Robert Montgomery's descriptions. We have a shipwrecked sailor, who "visions a viewless temple in the air;"-a murderer, who stands on a heath, "with ashy lips, in cold convulsion spread;"-a pious man, to whom, as he lies in bed at night,
"The panorama of past life appears,
Warms his pure mind and melts it into tears;" a traveller, who lose. his way, owing to the thickness of the "cloud-battalion," and the want of "heaven-lamps, to beam their holy light." We have a description of a convicted felon, stolen from that incomparable passage in Crabbe's Borough, which has made many a rough and cynical reader cry like a child. We can, however, conscientiously declare, that persons of the most excitable sensibility may safely venture upon it in Mr. Robert Montgomery's alteration. Then we have the "poor, mindless, pale-faced, maniac boy," who
"Rolls his vacant eye, To greet the glowing fancies of the sky." What are the glowing fancies of the sky? And what is the meaning of the two lines which almost immediately follow?
"A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods,
He loves to commune with the fields and floods."
How can a soulless thing be a spirit? Then comes a panegyric on the Sunday. A baptism follows:-after that a marriage; and we then proceed, in due course, to the visitation of the sick, and the burial of the dead.
Often as death has been personified, Mr. Montgomery has found something new to say about him.
"O Death! thou dreadless vanquisher of earth,
If there be any one line in this passage about which we are more in the dark than about the rest, it is the fourth. What the difference may be between the victims and the martyrs, and why the martyrs are to lie before Death, and the victims behind him, are to us great mysteries.
We now come to the third part, of which we may say with honest Cassio, "Why, this is a more excellent song than the other." Mr. Robert Montgomery is very severe on the infidels, and undertakes to prove that, as he elegantly expresses it,
"One great Enchanter helm'd the harmonious whole." What an enchanter has to do with helming, or what a helm has to do with harmony, we do not quite understand. He proceeds with his argument thus:
"And here let Memory turn her tearful glance On the dark horrors of tumultuous France, When blood and blasphemy defiled her land, And fierce Rebellion shook her savage hand." Whether Rebellion shakes her own hand, shakes the hand of Memory, or shakes the hand of France, or what any one of the metaphors would mean, we know no more than we know what is the sense of the following pass age:
"Let the foul orgies of infuriate crime
Who dropped no tear upon the dreadful scene, When gushed the life-blood from thine angel form, And martyr'd beauty perish'd in the storm, Once worshipp'd paragon of all who saw, Thy look obedience, and thy smile a law," &c. What is the distinction between the foul orgies and the raging havoc which the foul orgies are to picture? Why does Fright go behind Re. bellion, and Murder before? Why should not Murder fall behind Fright? Or why should not all the three walk abreast? We have read
of a hero who had
Gray, we suspect, could have given a reason
And dare men dream that dismal Chance has framed ward thus. But to proceed.-" Flower of Aus
tria" is stolen from Byron. "Dropped" is false English. "Perish'd in the storm" means nothing at all; and "thy look obedience" means
the very reverse of what Mr. Robert Montgomery intends to say.
Our poet then proceeds to demonstrate the immortality of the soul:
"And shall the soul, the fount of reason, die,
The soul is a fountain; and therefore it is not to die, though dust and darkness lie round its temple, because an ethereal fire has been breathed into it, which cannot be quenched though its breath expire. Is it the fountain, or the temple, that breathes, and has fire breathed into it?
Mr. Montgomery apostrophizes the
"Immortal beacons,-spirits of the just." and describes their employments in another world, which are to be, it seems, bathing in light, hearing fiery streams flow, and riding on living cars of lightning. The deathbed of the sceptic is described with what we suppose is meant for energy.
See how he shudders at the thought of death!
ner of the Morning Post-can produce emolu. ment and fame? The circulation of this writer's poetry has been greater than that of Southey's Roderic, and beyond all comparison greater than that of Carey's Dante, or of the best works of Coleridge. Thus encouraged, Mr. Robert Montgomery has favoured the public with volume after volume. We have given so much space to the examination of his first and most popular performance, that we have none to spare for his Universal Prayer, and his smaller poems, which, as the puffing journals tell us, would alone constitute a sufficient title to literary immortality. We shall pass at once to his last publication, entitled Satan.
This poem was ushered into the world with the usual roar of acclamation. But the thing was now past a joke. Pretensions so unfounded, so impudent, and so successful, had aroused a spirit of resistance. In several magazines and reviews, accordingly Satan has been handled somewhat roughly, and the good sense and spirit. We shall, therefore, be arts of the puffers have been exposed with very concise.
Of the two poems, we rather prefer that on the Omnipresence of the Deity, for the same reason which induced Sir Thomas Moore to rank one bad book above another. Marry, this is somewhat. This is rhyme. But the other is neither rhyme nor reason." Satan is in five or six thousand lines of blank verse, a long soliloquy, which the Devil pronounces concerning geography, politics, newspapers, Sir Walter Scott's novels, Lord Byron's poetry, fashionable society, theatrical amusements, and Mr. Martin's pictures. The new designs for Milton have, as was natural, particularly attracted the attention of a personage who occupies so conspicuous a place in them. Mr. Martin must be pleased to learn, that, whatever may be thought of those performances on earth, they give full satisfaction in Pandemonium, and that he is there thought to have hit off the likenesses of the various thrones and dominations very happily.
A man as stiff as marble, shuddering and gibbering violently, would certainly present so curious a spectacle, that the shades, if they came in his way, might well stare.
We then have the deathbed of a Christian made as ridiculous as false imagery and false English can make it. But this is not enough: -The Day of Judgment is to be described, and a roaring cataract of nonsense is poured forth upon this tremendous subject. Earth, we are told, is dashed into Eternity. Furnace blazes wheel round the horizon, and burst into bright wizard phantoms. Racing hurricanes unroll and whirl quivering fire-clouds. The white waves gallop. Shadowy worlds career around. The red and raging eye of Imagination is then forbidden to pry further. But fur-from the Book of Job:-" Whence comest The motto to the poem of Satan is taken ther Mr. Robert Montgomery persists in pry- thou? From going to and fro in the earth, and ing. The stars bound through the airy roar. The unbosomed deep yawns on the ruin. The billows of Eternity then begin to advance. The world glares in fiery slumber. A car comes forward driven by living thunder.
"Creation shudders with sublime dismay, And in a blazing tempest whirls away.' And this is fine poetry! This is what ranks its writer with the master-spirits of the age! This is what has been described over and over again, in terms which would require some qualification if used respecting Paradise Lost! It is too much that this patchwork, made by stitching together old odds and ends of what, when new, was, for the most part, but tawdry|cated in a moment. It is not strange, therefore, frippery, is to be picked off the dunghill on that so old an offender should now and then which it ought to rot, and to be held up to ad- relapse for a short time into wrong disposi miration as an inestimable specimen of art. tions. But to give him his due, as the proverb And what must we think of a system, by recommends, we must say, that he always remeans of which verses like those which we turns, after two or three lines of impiety, to his have quoted-verses fit only for the poet's cor- preaching tone. We would seriously advise
walking up and down in it." And certainly, his hero go to and fro, and walk up and down. Mr. Robert Montgomery has not failed to make With the exception, however, of this propensity to locomotion, Satan has not one Satanic quality. Mad Tom had told us, that "the prince of darkness is a gentleman;" but we had yet to learn that he is a respectable and pious gentleman, whose principal fault is, that he is something of a twaddle, and far too liberal of his good advice. That happy change in his character which Origen anticipated, and of which Tillotson did not despair, seems to be rapidly taking place. Bad habits are not eradi
Mr. Montgomery to omit, or alter, about a hundred lines in different parts of this large volume, and to republish it under the name of "Gabriel." The reflections of which it consists would come less absurdly, as far as there is a more and a less in extreme absurdity, from a good than from a bad angel.
We can afford room only for a single quotation. We give one taken at random-neither worse nor better, as far as we can perceive, than any other equal number of lines in the book. The Devil goes to the play, and moralizes thereon as follows:
"Music and pomp their mingling spirit shed
Attend the second, arc z sensual tribe,
Here we conclude. If our remarks give pain to Mr. Robert Montgomery, we are sorry for it. But, at whatever cost of pain to indi viduals, literature must be purified of this taint. And, to show that we are not actuated by any feelings of personal enmity towards him, we hereby give notice, that, as soon as any book shall, by means of puffing, reach a second edition, our intention is, to do unto the writer of it as we have done unto Mr. Robert Montgomery.
CIVIL DISABILITIES OF THE JEWS.*
THE distinguished member of the House of | to say, some person or persons must have a Commons who, towards the close of the late right to political power. Parliament, brought forward a proposition for the relief of the Jews, has given notice of his intention to renew it. The force of reason, in the last session, carried the measure through one stage, in spite of the opposition of power. Reason and power are now on the same side; and we have little doubt that they will conjointly achieve a decisive victory. In order to contribute our share to the success of just principles, we propose to pass in review, as rapidly as possible, some of the arguments, or phrases claiming to be arguments, which have been employed to vindicate a system full of absurdity and injustice.
The constitution, it is said, is essentially Christian; and therefore to admit Jews to office is to destroy the constitution. Nor is the Jew injured by being excluded from political power. For no man has any right to his property; a man has a right to be protected from personal injury. These rights the law allows to the Jew; and with these rights it would be atrocious to interfere. But it is a mere matter of favour to admit any man to political power; and no man can justly complain that he is shut out from it. We cannot but admire the ingenuity of this contrivance for shifting the burden of the proof from those to whom it properly belongs, and who would, we suspect, find it rather cumbersome. Surely no Christian can deny that every numan being has a right to be allowed every gratification which produces no harm to others, and to be spared every mortification which produces no good to others. Is it not a source of mortification to a class of men that they are excluded from political power? If it be, they have, on Christian principles, a right to be freed from that mortification, unless it can be shown that their exclusion is necessary for the averting of some greater evil. The presump-his tion is evidently in favour of toleration. It is for the persecutor to make out his case.
It is because men are not in the habit of considering what the end of government is, that Catholic disabilities and Jewish disabilities have been suffered to exist so long. We hear of essentially Protestant governments and essentially Christian governments, words which mean just as much as essentially Protestant cookery, or essentially Christian horsemanship. Government exists for the purpose of keeping the peace, for the purpose of compelling us to settle our disputes by arbitration instead of settling them by blows, for the purpose of compelling us to supply our wants by industry instead of supplying them by rapine. This is the only operation for which the machinery of government is peculiarly adapted, the only operation which wise governments ever propose to themselves as their chief ob ject. If there is any class of people who are not interested, or who do not think themselves interested, in the security of property and the maintenance of order, that class ought to have no share of the powers which exist for the purpose of securing property and maintaining order. But why a man should be less fit to exercise those powers because he wears a beard, because he does not eat ham, because he goes to the synagogue on Saturdays instead of going to the church on Sundays, we cannot conceive.
The points of difference between Christianity and Judaism have very much to do with a man's fitness to be a bishop or a rabbi. But they have no more to do with his fitness to be a magistrate, a legislator, or a minister of finance, than with his fitness to be cobbler. Nobody has ever thought of compelling cob blers to make any declaration on the true faith of a Christian. Any man would rather have
shoes mended by a heretical cobbler than by a person who had subscribed all the thirtynine articles, but had never handled an awl. Men act thus, not because they are indifferent to religion, but because they do not see what religion has to do with the mending of their shoes. Yet religion has as much to do with the
The strange argument which we are considering would prove too much even for those who advance it. If no man has a right to political power, then neither Jew nor Gentile has such a right. The whole foundation of gomending of shoes as with the budget and the vernment is taken away. But if government army estimates. We have surely had several be taken away, the property and the persons signal proofs within the last twenty years that of men are insecure; and it is acknowledged a very good Christian may be a very bad that men have a right to their property and to Chancellor of the Exchequer. personal security. If it be right that the property of men should be protected, and if this can only be done by means of government, then it must be right that government should exist. Now there cannot be government unless Some person or persons possess political power. Therefore it is right that some person or persons should possess political power. That is
But it would be monstrous, say the persecu tors, that Jews should legislate for a Christian community. This is a palpable misrepresen. tation. What is proposed is, not that the Jews should legislate for a Christian community, but that a legislature composed of Christians and Jews should legislate for a community com posed of Christians and Jews. On nine hundred and ninety-nine questions out of a thousand, on all questions of police, of finance, of civi.
* Statement of the Civil Disabilities and Privations af- and criminal law, of foreign policy, the Jew
fecting Jews in England. 8vo. London: 1829.
3 x 2
as a Jew, has no interest hostile to that of the money-market, and the money-market may Christian, or even to that of the Churchman. govern the world. The minister may be in Un questions relating to the ecclesiastical doub, as to his scheme of fihance till he has establishment, the Jew and the Churchman been closeted with the Jew. A cougress of may differ. But they cannot differ more widely sovereigns may be forced to summon the Jew than the Catholic and the Churchman, or the to their assistance. The scrawl of the Jew on Independent and the Churchman. The princi- the back of a piece of paper may be worth ple that Churchmen ought to monopolize the more than the royal word of three kings, or whole power of the state would at least have the national faith of three new American rean intelligible meaning. The principle that publics. But that he should put Right Honour Christians ought to monopolize it has no mean- able before his name would be the most frighting at all. For no question connected with ful of national calamities. the ecclesiastical institutions of the country can possibly come before Parliament, with respect to which there will not be as wide a difference between Christians as there can be between any Christian and any Jew.
In fact, the Jews are not now excluded from any political power. They possess it; and as long as they are allowed to accumulate large fortunes, they must possess it. The distinction which is sometimes made between civil privileges and political powers is a distinction without a difference. Privileges are power. Civil and political are synonymous words, the one derived from the Latin, the other from the Greek. Nor is this mere verbal quibbling. If we look for a moment at the facts of the case, we shall see that the things are inseparable, or rather identical.
That a Jew should be a judge in a Christian country would be most shocking. But he may be a juryman. He may try issues of fact; and no harm is done. But if he should be suffered to try issues of law, there is an end of the constitution. He may sit in a box plainly dressed, and return verdicts. But that he should sit on the bench in a black gown and white wig, and grant new trials, would be an abomination not to be thought of among baptized people. The distinction is certainly most philosophical.
What power in civilized society is so great as that of the creditor over the debtor? If we take this away from the Jew, we take away from him the security of his property. If we leave it to him, we leave to him a power more despotic by far than that of the king and all his cabinet.
It was in this way that some of our politicians reasoned about the Irish Catholics. The Catholics ought to have no political power. The sun of England is set for ever if the Catholics exercise political power. Give the Catholics every thing else; but keep political power from them. These wise men did not see that, when every thing else had been given, political power had been given. They cos tinued to repeat their cuckoo song, when it was no longer a question whether Catholics should have political power or not, when a Catholic Association bearded the Parliament, when a Catholic agitator exercised infinitely more authority than the lord-lieutenant.
That a Jew should be privy-councillor to a Christian king would be an eternal disgrace to the nation. But the Jew may govern the
If it is our duty as Christians to exclude the Jews from political power, it must be our daty to treat them as our ancestors treated them, to murder them, and banish them, and rob them. For in that way, and in that way alone, can we really deprive them of political power. If we do not adopt this course, we may take away the shadow, but we must leave them the substance. We may do enough to pain and irritate them; but we shall not do enough to secure ourselves from danger, if danger really exists. Where wealth is, there power must inevitably be.
The English Jews, we are told, are not Englishmen. They are a separate people, living locally in this island, but living morally and politically in communion with their brethren who are scattered over all the world. An English Jew looks on a Dutch or a Portuguese Jew as his countryman, and on an English Christian as a stranger. This want of patrietic feeling, it is said, renders a Jew unfit to exercise political functions.
The argument has in it something plansible: but a close examination shows it to be quite unsound. Even if the alleged facts are admit ted, still the Jews are not the only people who have preferred their sect to their country. The feeling of patriotism, when society is in a
It would be impious to let a Jew sit in Parliament. But a Jew may make money; and money may make members of Parliament. Gatton and Old Sarum may be the property of a Hebrew. An elector of Penryn will take ten pounds from Shylock rather than nine pounds nineteen shillings and eleven pence three farthings from Antonio. To this no ob-healthful state, springs up, by a natural and jection is made. That a Jew should possess inevitable association, in the minds of citizens the substance of legislative power, that he who know that they owe all their comforts and should command eight votes on every division pleasures to the bond which unites them in as if he were the great Duke of Newcastle one community. But, under a partial and ophimself, is exactly as it should be. But that pressive government, these associations cannot he should pass the bar and sit down on those acquire that strength which they have in a mysterious cushions of green leather, that he better state of things. Men are compelled to should cry "hear" and "order," and talk about seek from their party that protection which being on his legs, and being, for one, free to they ought to receive from their country, and Fay this and to say that, would be a profana- they, by a natural consequence, transfer to their tion sufficient to bring ruin on the country. party that affection which they would other wise have felt for their country. The Hugue nots of France called in the help of England against their Catholic kings. The Catholics