Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

very splendidly printed and adorned, engaged in it. This atrocious deed, by collecting examples of the absur- to which the tergiversation and the dity and bad taste of the men whom cruelty of the primate instigated some Kirkton venerates ; and has certainly furious men driven to desperation, so contrived his commentary, that must be viewed with abhorrence; and, we rise from the perusal of it, if we let it not be forgotten, that there is have not sufficieni inforination to de- decisive evidence of its having been so teet its unfairness and its fallacy, viewed by the great boly of the Preswith opinions just the opposite of byterians. In relation to Sharp, we those which Kirkton was anxious to have only room further to say, that establish. He has, in one word, if the feeble attempt to vindicate niin, we may venture to use the expression, made by the editor of Kirkton, is just mistaken the outer garment of the about as hopeless as it is unnecessary ; Covenanters for the Covenanters them- for we do think that the Episcopaselves, and because it is not quite so lians need not scruple to resign the fashionably shaped as a polished man, archbishop to the richly deserved censuch as he is, would have it to be, he sure of the Covenanters, his primacy concludes that neither moral wörth, having been more fatal to Episcopacy polítical integrity, nor trre piety, can than it was even to Presbytery. be found under it.

We cannot close this article withWhilst we give Mr S. credit for his out a few words in relation to the diligence and research, we are asto- Tales of my Landlord, so much connished that he has wholly overlooked nected with the present subject, and those recent works which have details to the deep interest excited by which ed the history of the Retorination and we suspect that we owe the public the Church of Scotland, and investi- cation both of Kirkton's history, and pated the biography of the Father of of the commentary so preposterously both; had he perused them, he would attached to it. The title of this fisca probably have withheld some of his nating work exempts the author of it quotations ; he would have avoided from the obligation of accuracy, as to sorne errors into which he has fallen; the history upon which his tale ig and he would, unquestionably, in va- founded, and we do not think that he is rious other respects, have been better amenable at the bar of criticism for qualified for the task which he has the colouring spread over the incidents undertaken.

so admirably interwoven in his story, In his biographical notice of Kirk- provided no other charge can be ton, he speaks of this covenanting di- brought against him. But all tales, vine with little respect; and he has whether historical or not, ought to prefixed to the history two sermons, have a salutary tendency ; if they be to shew the wretched, and not very calculated to mislead our moral judge decent, style of his preaching. There ment, they cannot be too severely are, no doubt, passages in these dis- censured. Upon this score we cannot ourses which could not be delivered acquit the author of the Tales of my to a modern audience; but there is a Landlord. He has certainly, as is inFast deal more good sense than we deed admitted by friends and foes, find in many discourses of the bishops sought to hold up to ridicule the who lived about the same period; and whole body of Covenanters, and to inwhether we be right in this or not, we vest their opponents with a gallantry cannot see what end was to be served and generosity of spirit which are very by swelling the volume with the ser- apt to captivate general readers. Now, mons. Of Kirkton we will form our as the Covenanters, with all their faults, opinion from his history; and if it es- did resist despotisin, and their earthly tablish, as it unquestionably does, the persecutors did what lay in them to Jespectability of his talents, it follows, entail it îpon their country, there is that

any peculiarity in his mode of some danger that we associate the preaching must be ascribed, not to cause of the Presbyterians with the deficiency in him, but to the taste, men who supported it, as he has paintbad enough we allow, of the age in ed them, and may thus vastly underwhich he lived.

value the freedom which it is our There is added to the history an ac- duty, and should be our happiness, to count of the murder of Archbishop revere. Sharp, by one of the persons who were But we do not regret that the Tales

[ocr errors]

that pure,

[ocr errors]

were published, because we are pere of sensibility, those deep and solemn suaded, that the curiosity which they reflections, which form the reigning have excited, and which graver works tone of Lord Byron's composition. would not have raised, graver works The poem consists of a soliloquy of alone now will satisfy; and although, Tasso, when thus abandoned, as it no doubt, many readers of the Tales were, by all nature, and left alone in will, after getting a new novel, think this dreadful solitude. The beginning no more of the Covenanters, yet there is forcible, though somewhat hard : are not a few who will seriously inquire what they actually were, and how

“ Long years !--It tries the thrilling frame

to bear they really conducted themselves

. We And eagle-spirit of a Child of Songanticipate from this inquiry the hap, Long years of outrage, calumny, and piest results; for whilst the errors and crimes of some of the Covenanters will imputed madness, prisoned solitude,

wrong; be discovered, their merit upon the And the mind's canker in its savage mood, whole will be duly appreciated, and when the impatient thirst of light and air what is of much more consequence Parches the heart ; and the abhorred grate, than any opinion respecting them, the Marring the sunbeams with its hideous view of the misery and oppression to

shade, which they were subjected, will kindle Works through the throbbing eyeball to

the brain love of liberty to which we owe our invaluable constitution, and And bare, at once, Captivity displayed

With a hot sense of heaviness and pain ; which we must cherish in the rising Stands scoffing through the never-opened generation, if that constitution is to

gate, be transmitted to our children. Which nothing through its bars admits,

save day

And tasteless food, which I have eat alone The Lament of Tasso. By Lord Byn Till its unsocial bitterness is gone ; RON. 8vo. Murray, London, 1817. And I can banquet like a beast of prey,

Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave There are few situations more af. Which is my lair, and—it may be my

grave." fecting, or more calculated to impress the mind of a poet, than that which

There is something more pleasing Lord Byron has made the subject of in the farewell which he takes of the this short effusion. A bard who ranks long and pleasant task that the Jewith the greatest of modern times, rusalem had afforded him ; and exshut out from the world, nature, and treme delicacy in the manner in which liberty, in the abode of frenzy, among the name of Leonora is first introbeings who retain the human form, duced. but in whom the divine image within is almost wholly obliterated-and all

My-pleasant task is done :for love, too daring, inspired by an My long-sustaining friend of many years ! object raised so high by fortune, as

If I do blot thy final page with tears, never to admit a thought of her be- Know, that my sorrows have wrung from coming his,-present a concurrence of events

that must awaken the deepest But thou, my young creation ! my soul's interest. Some recent critics, in the Which ever playing round me came and course of indefatigable researches into

smiled, Italian literary history, have raised And wooed me from myself with thy sweet doubts, whether this hopeless despis sight, ed passion was really the grand Thou too art gone--and-so is my delight: source, or even any source, of the mi- And therefore

do I weep and inly bleed series of Tasso. Without investigate With this last bruise upon a broken reed. ing this question, we shall only say, Thou too art ended—what is left me now! that the reigning belief, be it true or

For I have anguish yet to bear and how? false, is the only one to which a poet of my own spirit shall be found resource.

I know not that-but in the innate force can poetically adhere; and it was,

I have not sunk, for I had no remorse, therefore, out of the question for Lord Nor cause for such : they called me made Byron to admit any doubts on the

and why? subject. According to this belief, the Oh Leonora ! wilt not thou reply pa situation, without any aid from fancy, affords full scope for that intense force The horrors of the scene in which

me none.

he is immured appear to be described Still more exquisite, perhaps, is the with an energy truly extraordinary: following picture of love suppressed,

but not extinguished. “This vast lazar-house of many woes? Where laughter is not mirth, nor thought “ Look on a love which knows not to dethe mind,

spair, Nor Fords a language, nor ev'n men man.' But all unquenched is still my better part, kind;

Dwelling deep in my shut and silent heart Where cries reply to curses, shrieks to As dwells the gathered lightning in its blows,

cloud, And each is tortured in his separate hell- Encompassed with its dark and rolling For we are crowded in our solitudes

shroud, Many, but each divided by the wall, Till struck, -forth flies the all-etherial dart! Which echoes Madness in her babbling And thus at the collision of thy name moods;

The vivid thought still flashes through my While all can hear, none heed his neigh frame, bour's call

And for a moment all things as they were None! save that One, the veriest. wretch Flit by me; they are gone--I am the of all,

same." Who was not made to be the mate of these.”

The conclusion appears elaborate,

yet it is not equal to the passages alThe following description of the ready noticed, and the last lines even gradual preparation of the principle border on conceit ; however, it is not of love within his heart, and its sud- unworthy of being quoted. den unfolding at the view of the object, appears drawn with extraordi

And thou, Leonora ! thou—who wert nary interest.

ashamed

That such as I could love who blushed 6 It is no marvel-from my very birth

to hear My soul was drunk with love—which did To less than monarchs that thou couldst pervade

be dear, And mingle with whate'er I saw on earth; Go! tell thy brother that my heart, unOf objects all inanimate I made

tamed Idols, and out of wild and lonely flowers,

By grief, years, weariness--and it may be And rocks, whereby they grew, a paradise, A taint of that he would impute to me Where I Jid lay me down within the shade From long infection of a den like this, Of waving trees, and dreamed uncounted Where the mind rots congenial with the hours,

abyss, Though I was chid for wandering ; and the Adores thee still ;-and add that when the

wise Shook their white aged heads o'cr me, and And battlements which guard his joyous said

hours Of such materials wretched men

Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot, made,

Or left untended in a dull repose, And such a truant boy would end in woe, This—this shall be a consecrated spot! And that the only lesson was a blow; :

But Thou when all that Birth and BeauAnd then they smote me, and I did not

ty. throws weep,

Of magic round thee is extinct--shalt have But cursed them in my heart, and to my One half the laurel which o'ershades my haunt

grave. Returned and wept alone, and dreamed No power in death can tear our names again

apart, The visions which arise without a sleep. As none in life could rend thee from my And with my years my soul began to pant heart. With feelings of strange tumult and soft Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate pain ;

To be entwined for ever--but too late!” And the whole heart exhaled into One Want,

Upon the whole, this little piece But undefiled and wandering, till the day

wants the interest arising from narI found the thing I sought, and that was

rative, and from any detailed picture And then I lost my being all to be

of female attractions; but within its Absorbed in thine-the world was past limits it contains as much that is away-

pleasing and affecting, as any other Thou didst annihilate the carth to me!" composition of this distinguished poet,

VOL. I.

towers

were

[ocr errors]

thee;

G

Reports of some Recent Decisions, by was tried for bigamy, and found guil

the Consistorial Court of Scotland, ty; the twelve judges having deliin Actions of Divorce, concluding vered an opinion on a reserved case, for Dissolution of Marriages cele " that a marriage, solemnized in Engbrated under the English Law. By land, was indissoluble in any other Janes FERGUSSON, Esq. Advo- way than by an act of the Legislacate, one of the Judges. 8vo. pp. . ture ;" and, in the third place, the 470. Constable and Co. Edin- Lord Chancellor, after making a speech burgh, 1817.

which indicated that he doubted

strongly of the power of the ConsisThe volume now before us con- torial Court of Scotland to dissolve tains a very able discussion of a most English marriages, remitted the case interesting and important question of of Lindsay and Tovey to the Court international law; the question, we of Session to reconsider that point. mean, Whether the Consistorial Court These circumstances arrested the attenof this country does or ought to possess tion of the Commissaries, and pointed the power of dissolving marriages con out to them the extreme danger of tracted in England, on account of adul- dissolving English marriages. They tery committed in Scotland ?

could not help viewing, with pain, În Scotland, marriage is held to the circumstance, that notwithstandbe merely a civil contract, constitut- ing their sentence, parties marrying ed by the consent of the parties, again in England were held to be liaand dissoluble by the Consistorial ble to punishment for bigamy. The Court on proof of adultery. In result was, that they bestowed upon England, on the other hand, mar- the question the most deliberate conriage cannot be constituted by the sideration, and came to the conclusion, mere consent of the parties; it re-' that they had no power to dissolve quires the intervention and benedic- marriages contracted in England, betion of a priest, and, when once con tween English parties, merely on their stituted, cannot be dissolved by judie being found and cited in Scotland to cial sentence. In the event of infi an action of divorce. delity in either of the parties, all that We do not mean to enter into a dethe Consistorial Court of England can tail of the particular cases reported in do, is to pronounce sentence of sepa- the volume now before us. It is our ration a mensa et thoro;—the higher intention merely to give a general remedy of divorce a vinculo matrimo- view of the questions discussed relanii can only be obtained by a Legis- tive to the dissolution of English lative act, which it is both difficult marriages in Scotland. We refer and expensive to procure.

those who may wish more information The Consistorial Court of Scotland to the book itself, and have no hesihas, for time immemorial, possessed the tation in saying, that, from a perusal power of dissolving marriage; and till of the reports it contains, and from lately, it exercised that power, with- the valuable appendix with which it out scruple, in the case of all persons is accompanied, they will receive found within its jurisdiction, whether much gratification and instruction upScotch or English, and whether the on a subject embracing a variety of marriage had been celebrated in Scot- the most important questions of inland or in England. The attention, ternational law. however, of the Judges of our Consis The first question to which the torial Court, was lately attracted, in Commissaries directed their attention a very particular manner, to the na seems to be, Whether an Englishture of English marriages, and to man, who had been married in Eng, the question, whether they ought land, and who had come to Scotland to be held dissoluble in a Scotch without any intention of taking up a court, by the following circumstan- permanent residence, became amenaces: In the first place, actions of di- ble to the Consistorial Court of Scotvorce, for the dissolution of English land in an action of divorce ? Almarriages, had become very nume- though this is not the most general rous; In the second place, Lolly, an and important question discussed in Englishman, who had married in Eng- the volume under review, yet it is one land, after having been divorced by of considerable difficulty. In Scoto the Consistorial Court of Scotland, land, there are two kinds of domi.

cile; the one real, where the party But the great question which seems has made Scotland the place of his to have engaged the chief attention of permanent abode; and the other pre- the Commissaries, and which is most sumptive, assumed by a fiction of law, amply discussed in these reports, is, from a forty days' residence in it. Whether the Consistorial Court of The object of this presumptive domi- Scotland have power to dissolve a cile appears to be, to found jurisdiction marriage celebrated in England, beagainst foreigners in ordinary civil tween Eng'ish parties domiciled here? suits. It does not seem to alter the is impossible to give a correct nature of the obligations incumbent abridgment of the able opinions of upon him, or the duties he ought to the Commissaries on this very imperform in his own country. Hence, portant question; but the general the Commissaries seem to have thought, outline may be stated thus :--There that, as marriage is indissoluble in is a radical difference betwixt the England, except by an act of the Lee law of England and of Scotland as gislature, the parties could not, by re to marriage and divorce. , In Engmoving to Scotland for a short time, land, marriage is indissoluble by judiacquire a domicile, to the effect of en- cial sentence. The question must be titling the Consistorial Court of this decided either according to the law of country to convene them before it, for domicile, or the law of the place of the purpose of dissolving a marriage, contract. In a question of this kind, which, by the laws of the country the lex domicilii is not a safe rule of where it was constituted, and to which decision. There is a wide difference the parties must be held to have had betwixt a domicile sufficient to found a reference, was indissoluble. As to jurisdiction, and a domicile sufficient marriages constituted in England, the to regulate the decision of a question parties stood bound to fulfil the obli- of permanent situation. The real dogations incumbent on thein only in micile of the parties is in England, that country, and hence redress fell the domicile acquired in Scotland is to be sought according to the law of merely sufficient to found jurisdiction. the place where they stood bound to If the law of domicile, therefore, is perform their engagements. Accord- to be the rule, the question falls to be ingly, they found

in the case of Tewsh, decided according to the principles of that, as the defender had not taken up the English law. The preferable rule, & permanent residence in Scotland, however, by which to decide the ques they had no jurisdiction to dissolve tion, is the law of the place of contract, his marriage, which had been con- The principle of comitus, in virtue of tracted in England. The Court of which foreign contracts are expounded Review, however, entertained a dif- according to the law of the country in ferent opinion of this question. The which they are entered into, ought to Judge of that Court (the Court of Ses- extend the length of inducing the sion) who remitted the case to the Court to decline to do what the courts Commissaries, with instructions to al- of England could not do. The genius ter their judgment, held, that the re- of the

law both of England and Scotlation of husband and wife is a rela- land favours the perpetuity of martion acknowledged by the law of na- riage ; hence there is nothing in the tions,—that the duties and obligations law of Scotland to prevent the Court incident to that relation, as recognised from respecting the indissoluble quaby the law of Scotland, and the right lity of an English marriage. The law to redress wrongs thence arising, at- of nations is acknowledged in Scotland tach on all married persons living to regulate all foreign contracts; and within the territory subject to that there is nothing in the nature of a law, without regard to the place where marriage contract to prevent the aptheir marriage may have been cele- plication of that principle. As to exbrated,-and that the right and duty pediency, it is quite obvious that it is of the Consistorial Court to admini- hostile to the interference of the Court ster justice in such a case over persons with marriages contracted in countries not natural-born subjects, arose from where they are held to be indissoluble their voluntarily rendering themselves by judicial sentence. An opposite amenable to the laws of the country, construction would amount to a public by living within its territory at the invitation to all married persons in the time of citation.

sister kingdom, tired of their union,

« AnteriorContinuar »