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turally in the beart of man; but that very love when guided by an erring conscience may lead him to every kind of iniquity and guilt. Of all fanaticism it is the most to be dreaded, the most terrible in its effects, --that which the factious and the revolutionary know well how to kindle and inflame, or rather it is the source of all fanaticism, no matter what may be the pretext or the object. 'I have seen men,' he continues, ' who before the revolution possessed the esteem and respect of their fel. low citizens, and deserved them by the constant practice of the religious and social virtues; I have seen these same men afterwards covered with crimes, and applauding themselves loudly for those crimes as for useful and meritorious deeds, -and they did it in good faith!'
Just such a man was Philippeaux. He denounced the Ronsins and the Rossignols because they were mere ruffians, and he contributed to bring Quetineau to the block, who had no other crime than that of having been unfortunate. But the ruffian party was the strongest at this time, and Philippeaux himself was guillotined in company with Beysser and Westermann, as accomplices of Danton in an imaginary conspiracy,—the existence of which was never for a moment believed either by their accusers, their jury, or their judges! Westermann had been recalled to Paris after the bat. tle, or rather the massacre, of Savena, where he had displayed his usual ferocity,—for this man delighted in carnage. M. Beauchamp says that he would throw off his coat, tuck up his sleeves, and then, with his sabre, rush into the crowd, and hew about him to the right and left! He boasted that he had himself destroyed the last of the Vendeans,—that chiefs, officers, soldiers, bishops, princesses, countesses, and marchionesses had all perished by the sword, or the fire, or the water. But he saw that his own fate was determined, and then his eyes were purged. From the moment that he apprehended death, his dreams were of the horrors which he had perpetrated; like Charles IX. after the massacre of St. Bartholomew, he fancied himself beset by the spirits of the murdered, and his hell began upon earth. Human justice had no part in these executions, but the hand of Retribution was there! And thus it has been throughout the course of this miserable revolution, in which, as if no means were to be left untried which might disturb the moral feelings of mankind, all the impunity which man could give has been given to the most atrocious criminals that ever outraged humanity. Even for the horrors of Nantes, where 32,000 persons were murdered, and more than twice that number destroyed by the infernal persecution, only Carrier and two of his agents suffered
tails uninteresting in themselves, but requisite for his own defence, contain passages of sounder political wisdom than are to be found in any French writer upon the Revolation. Had we entered upon the subject of the Chouan war, we should have endeavoured to do justice to this most able and most calumniated man.
death, and this not for what they had done, but for the intention with which they had done it; des intentions criminelles ! Their accomplices who were tried at the same time, and convicted of having murdered children, and worn human ears in their hats as cockades, were not punished, because their intention was not pronounced counter-revolutionary! If ten thousand deaths could have been inflicted upon Carrier, he deserved them all; but his death, inflicted as it was by the men who had authorized and sanctioned all his proceedings, was murder. His crimes were not perpetrated in secret, they were not done in a corner; they were reported by himself to the Convention, they were in pursuance of orders of that Convention, to the spirit and to the letter; the whole body were guilty; for they who had not, like Collot d'Herbois, Billaud Varennes, Carnot, and Barrère, taken the initiative in blood, and acted in that accursed committee whence the orders for massacre were issued, had assented to all that was done ; the greater number beyond a doubt from cowardice, but their cowardice involved them in the guilt. Some of the guiltiest of these men are still living; and these are the personages for whose sake the continuance of the Alien Bill has been opposed by the British Liberales !
When we remember the shelter which this country has afforded to the fugitives from the Spanish persecution in the Netherlands, to the Huguenots in Louis XIVth's perecution, and to the emigrant clergy under the atheistical persecution, an Englishman may with true religious feeling apply to his country the praise which Pindar bestows upon Ægina, and the prayer with which he concludes it :
τιθμός δέ τις αθανάτων
Τούτο πάσσων μη κάμου.) But never let this island be made an asylum for the Barrères, the Fouchés, the Carnots, and the Bonapartes the presence of such men is pollution ; they have the mark of Cain upon their foreheads !
ART. II.-1, Judicium Regale. 8vo. Oxford. 1814. 2. Fazio; a Tragedy. By H. H. Milman, B. A. Fellow of Bra.
senose College. 8vo. 1816. Second edition. THESE two publications, though of different periods, and in
their kind and subjects wholly dissimilar, may not improperly be considered in the same chapter of criticism. Though the first is
anonymous, it is, we believe, well known to be the production of Mr. Milman: indeed, internal evidence alone would justify us in assigning the two poems to the same author, marked as they are by the same blemishes, and abounding in the same peculiar excellencies; and both of them leaving the mind of the reader not, indeed, in a state of complete satisfaction with the whole, but in great admiration of parts, and in full conviction of the very creditable powers of their author.
This conviction is of course full of hopes for the future : when time and practice, and the acquisition of more general knowledge, with the study of the best models, shall have strengthened his mind and matured his judgment, the author of Fazio cannot but make valuable additions to the national stock of poetry. But if we are full of hopes, we are not without regrets; where so much has been done, we think much more might have been accomplished : these poems exhibit, it is true, a richness of fancy, and a variety and power of language ; but the fancy is unbridled and luxuriant, and the variety and power of language are, in too many places, so prodigally misplaced as to appear unnatural and affected, and to create a feeling of tædium and distaste.
A few remarks will make our meaning clear; and as the fault which, in our opinion, principally obscures the merits of the poems before us, is one, from its frequency, almost characteristic of the literature of the day, it may not be altogether useless to take this opportunity of explaining ourselves.
We can scarcely now claim the privilege of novices in our trade, yet we confess we hardly know any term which exactly designates the fault to which we allude. Ambition, as used to express, in the abstract, the qualities of style, is an uncertain, and, in some sense, an incomplete term: but the word ambitious' applied to particular productions, or individual writers, has gained, “in common parlance,' a fixed and adequate signification ; every one knows what is meant by an ambitious style, or an ambitious writer.! It is this of which we now complain, and it may he loosely defined to be an unnatural and artificial sustainment of the language and imagery, when neither the warmth of the author's mind prompts it, nor the elevation of his thoughts demands it.
Some part of the frequency of this fault may be attributed to the common error in books of criticism of considering the qualities of diction distinctly from those of matter, the mode of expression from the thing to be expressed. Such a separation either in theory or practice is false and dangerous. The former ought clearly to be in entire dependence on the latter. If diction can for a moment be separated from thought, then verses composed at random, of words selected from a poetical Dictionary, may have some value; while, on the other hand, if thoughts alone confer value on words, the whole efforts of criticism should be directed to the right cultivation and regulation of the mental powers; and, as far as language is concerned, we shall have only to say, that he who expresses his thoughts simply, whether historian, poet, or philosopher, leaves nothing in that respect for his readers to doubt upon or desire. He has communicated that which he desired to impart to others rapidly, clearly, and vigorously.
It would be to understand us in a narrower sense than our words warrant, to suppose that the rule we recommend leads to the exclusion of any one species of ornament, or any degree of elevation, which the most luxuriant fancy, or the ncblest subject may demand. Simplicity in our sense is little other than synonymous with fitness. If the thought to be expressed is lofty, or imaginative, the loftiest language, or the most figurative, is the simplest ; and we have no hesitation in expressing our opinion, that the language which enunciates the first problem in Euclid is not in the slightest degree more simple, than that which so gorgeously clothes the first address of Comus, on hearing the song of the benighted lady.
Do we then, it may be asked, proscribe all attention to style Certainly we think that it should be the last thing in an author's thoughts; but to so captious a question, we might be justified in answering with another, and we would ask if any writer was ever known to attain to substantial eminence, who professedly formed his style on the model of that of another? the second question bears more relation to the first than may be at first sight perceptible, because the practice of such imitation is founded on a supposed separation of style and matter. That styles however vary, and that some are preferable to others, we neither wish nor intend to deny; the variety may be occasioned in two ways: first, when it appears in works of the same species by different authors, by a difference in their minds; and secondly, when it appears in works of different species by the same author, by the difference in the nature of the works. In either case it will be equally seen, that attention to words was no necessary ingredient in producing the variety; in the first-of two writers, one is of a dry and uninventive faculty, whose thoughts rise as it were in anatomy before him; he expresses the main ideas on which his argument hangs, simply and unac-; companied; the other is of a mind fertile in combination, quick in discovering and associating the similitudes of things, and ready to relieve them by pointed contrasts; to him no idea presents itself alone : he expresses therefore the same thought, not in more or other words, but accompanied by more and other ideas,
But it is high time to draw to a conclusion remarks upon a point
so indisputable, when fairly stated, that an apology might almost seem necessary for insisting upon it, if the practice of the age did not fully justify us. The writer of prose aspires to be poetical, and the poet is miserably haunted with the dread of being considered prosaic; and to write au superlatif' is the common resource of both. But in order to admire an author, the reader must be put into a state of sympathy with him; and no readers, whose admiration is worth a sensible man's wish, can be put into that state but by incidents of poetical probability, and natural feeling faithfully expressed. We can rise or fall in such a case with our author; but to be perpetually elevated, and that too upon the waxen wings of mere words, is at once fatiguing and dangerous.
Though we do not attribute to Mr. Milman all the bad consequences of the fault on which we have said so much, yet we cannot acquit him of it. He is far too fond of the superlative degree: scarcely a simile or an epithet is used which does not throw into an extreme that to which it is applied. In moments of pas. sion or repose, characters of whatever description, the grave and solemn judge, or the distracted wife, the common-place officer, or the doating lover, all equally seem to have forgotten the use of that unassuming, yet respectable personage, the positive degree. A charge like this cannot easily be made good in a Review : the same expressions which add a meretricious brilliancy to an extract, being precisely those on which the accusation rests, when the whole is taken together. It is only then by considering the whole with some attention, that we shall become justified in the minds of our readers. But we have a much more agreeable task to perform, the noticing of beauties, which no faults can obscure, and to that we now gladly address ourselves.
The Judicium Regale' (we wish it had a less scholastic pame) was written very soon after the first abdication of Bonaparte. It represents, as in a dream, the assembly of the Sceptred of the World,' sitting in judgment on the fallen adventurer; and each of the oppressed or injured nations of Europe prefers its accusa. tion against him. The title • dream' or 'vision' has, from long precedent, grown to designate something remarkably heavy and stupid; but Mr. Milman's dream is not very long, and though it bears some marks of haste and carelessness, yet it has a vigour and grandeur amounting in some parts almost to sublimity.
The opening is very brief; the attendant circumstances follow in these lines
• Abroad were sounds as of a storm gone past,
Or midnight on a dismal battle field;