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Godwin's Commonwealth.


invincible. The form of retreat practised by Van Tromp and Admiral Kempenfelt, is certainly to be preferred. For the attack at anchor, we have the never-to-beforgotten battle, of the Nile!

For the defence at anchor, there is the skilful and seaman-like example of Lord Howe, at Sandy Hook; the determined position taken by Admiral Barrington, at the Cul de Sac, St. Lucie; and that of Lord Hood, at St. Christopher's.

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Military achievements have found able commentators from the days of Julius Cæsar to the present time; from these, it will not be denied, much advantage has been reaped in conducting the British arms continually to victory; and from these, there can be no doubt, the greatest benefits must arise in future wars. The cruel lesson taught to the British army, by the sufferings of the unfortunate and gallant Moore, is known to have had (as well it might) a most salutary influence upon the execution of the arduous duties of every succeeding compaign; and ultimately at Waterloo, under the first captain of the age, crowned their services with imperishable fame, and Europe with long-desired repose.


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If, then, it be admitted, that works of such a tendency are beneficial in one case, they may be equally so in another. Upon this, much as the subject is capable of enlargement, the writer rests his defence. With deference and respect, therefore, he offers to the naval profession, and to his country, the result of his inquiries; sanguine and zealous in whatever so deeply affects her interests. And if, unhappily, she should again be plunged in war, when ships,' now reposing in perfect stillness, shall assume the likeness of animated things, instinct with life and motion, put forth their beauty and their bravery; collect their scattered elements of strength, and awaken their dormant thunder,' it is his fervent prayer and confident hope, that, under the guiding and protecting hand of the Almighty, the brave sons of Britain, as heretofore, will ever be found to do their duty."

From these and other equally cogent observations, scattered through the work, it is clear that Admiral Ekins has founded much of his didactic matter on the precepts and reflections in the Treatise of Paul Hoste, Clerk's Essay on Naval Tactics, and other writers on naval science; and that, on the whole, he is at least as much indebted to his reading, as to the independent suggestions of his own mind.

History of the Commonwealth of England. By W. Godwin.-- Vol. I. 8vo. pp. 496. 14s. Colburn.

MR. Godwin's long-anticipated history of times and persons, in whom it is natural that he should feel a more than ordinary interest-an interest proportioned to the greatness of the stake for liberty, played for in those times, and by those persons,-has not disappointed the literary republic, nor deducted from his well-earned reputation.

The period embraced by Mr. Godwin's history is full of spirit-stirring recollections, and replete with images of great characters; such as times of national collision alone are calculated to elicit. The intellectual gladiatorship of the period in question brings every phy.. siognomical muscle into full play and obvious activity: but, to picture its features faithfully and successfully, an historian must have the faculty of incorporating himself with the heroes of his narrative; he must, as it were, identify himself with their motives and purposes, and bring his present sympathies up to a level with that by-gone tide of feelings and opinions, which raised those personages to the top of society; at the same time, not allowing the ardour of his criticising judgment to lose its steady pulse. To analyze calmly such a state of public mind; to feel, and yet be cool, amidst the reflux of national

spirits to the heart, from the extreme torpor engendered by long acquiescence in tyranny to the vital animation of free inquiry, is a great task; but, for this task, we know not the man who is better fitted than Mr. Godwin. His style is chaste and unpretending; at once free from declamation, which is too often the vehicle of prejudice and partiality; and from ornament, which is too often employed to gild falsehood, and disguise truth. His materials are generally new and well selected; his narrative, calm and impartial; and his inferences honourably fair. If there be any prominent defect discoverable in the narrative, it is one which might have been anticipated by Mr. Godwin's most zealous admirers, from his peculiar position with regard to his published opinions; it is something more of an obtrusion of the first person than is usual or consistent with the dignity of history. But this egotism (venial as it is) loses all disadvantageous effect in a contemporary reader, in consequence of the tone of manly sincerity by which it is accompanied and characterised.

Our readers will find, on perusing this interesting volume, that he has amply compensated this fault. The candid remarks which precede Mr. Godwin's biographical portraits of the great founders of the commonwealth, are sketched with the decisive pencil of truth, and finished with a master's hand, working con amore. As one of the best of these, we transcribe a portrait of the protector :

"Cromwell was not formed to hesitate and be irresolute in his determinations. He did not feel those clouds of the soul which assimilate the individual who is subject to them, to a man whose vision is obscured, and who only guesses at, and gropes out, his way. He was firm of spirit, and relied on his own resources. At the same time, he appears to have had a temper and a self-mastery, which could adapt itself to all occasions. His manner, at least, where such manner was requisite, was bland and conciliating. He could guide the man who was placed in a rank above him, without mortifying him, and dictate the measure he desired to see adopted, without parade or insolence.

"It will be decided by all posterity, as it was decided by his contemporaries, that it was impossible to name a man in the island of so consummate a military genius, so thoroughly qualified to conduct the war with a victorious event, as Cromwell. He was also, whatever some historians have said on the subject, of scarcely less weight in the senate than in the field. Cromwell was, besides, an accomplished statesman. He saw into the hearts of men. He could adapt himself, in a degree at least exceeding any character of modern times, to the persons with whom he had dealings. He was most at home, perhaps, with the soldiers of his army: he could pray with them; he could jest with them; in every thing in which the heart of a man could in a manner be drawn out of his bosom, to devote itself to the service of another, he was a consummate master. It was not because he was susceptible only of the rugged and the coarse, that he was so eminently a favourite with the private soldier. He was the friend of the Mercurial and light-hearted Henry Marten. He gained, for a time, the entire ascendancy over the gentle, the courteous, the well-bred, and the manly Earl of Manchester. He was the sworn brother of Sir Henry Vane. He deceived Fairfax; he deceived Milton."

Referring to the execution of Lord Strafford, Mr. Godwin, with something of his peculiar theory, as well as with philosophical temperance and good feeling, observes:

"For myself, I entertain an almost invincible abhorrence to the taking away the life of man after a set form and in cold blood, in any case whatever. The very circumstance, that you have the man in your power, and that he stands defenceless before you, to be disposed of at your discretion, is the strongest of all persuasives that you should give him his life. To fetter a man's limbs, and in that condition to shed his


Smith's Atrocities of the Pirates.

blood, like the beasts who serve us for food, is a thought to which, at first sight, we are astonished the human heart can ever be reconciled."

With reference to the character of Charles I. the historian says,— "I find two passions principally concerned in instigating his conduct: First, an overweaning egotism and pride; and secondly, religious bigotry: egotism and pride inspiring a total indifference to the sufferings of others; and bigotry too often representing those sufferings in fascinating colours, as conducive to the glory of God. Add to which, the passion of egotism and pride never fails to engender a deep and bitter spirit of retaliation of those injuries by which this sentiment is irritated and awakened.'

We cannot take leave of Mr. Godwin without expressing our hopes of shortly meeting him again in the character of the Commonwealth historian; and our gratitude to him for the new and correct lights he has thrown upon a page of history, hitherto too much blotted by malice, and blurred and garbled by hostility. We rise from such a work with thoughts and feelings instructed and refined-instructed by its correct views and laborious research, and refined by the proofs it exhibits of the amiable suavity and temperance, as well as unbending justice and principle, of the writer.

Fortis et in se ipse totus teres et rotundus.

The Atrocities of the Pirates; being a faithful Narrative of the unparalleled Sufferings endured by the Author, during his Captivity among the Pirates of Cuba. By Aaron Smith.- pp. 214. 4s. 6d.


A MORE simple, genuine, and satisfactory narrative than this has seldom come under our observation. A better drawn picture of the manners and practices of the wild desperadoes, who, to the disgrace of civilized Europe, and boasting America, have so long infested the sunny waters of the Spanish Main, has never yet appeared. We give a short analysis of it. The ship, in which the unfortunate author embarks as mate, is captured, and plundered, by a pirate-vessel, and then allowed to pursue her voyage; but he is detained, because the buccaniers, half Spaniards, half Mulattoes, expect to find his maritime knowledge highly useful. He is obliged, by threats and actual torture, to assist in their lawless enterprises. Some of the scenes, which he witnesses, are of a character so horrible, as to render it doubtful whether human or brute nature is to be preferred. A piratical sailor is accused, by a comrade, of having conspired with some others, then absent on a distant expedition, to murder the buccanier-captain and the rest of the crew. The man persists in his plea of innocence, declares that he has nothing to confess, and entreats them to spare his life, They pay no attention to his protestations; but, by order of the captain, the man is put into the boat, pinioned, and lashed in the stern, and five of the crew are directed to arm themselves with pistols and muskets. The captain then orders Smith to go with them, savagely remarking, that he should now see how he punished such rascals; and, giving directions to the boat's crew to row for three hours, backwards and forwards, through a narrow creek formed by a desert island and the island of Cuba," I'll see," cried he, exultingly, "whether

Crit. Gaz, Vol. 1. No. 1.


the musquitoes and the sand-flies will not make him confess." "Prior to our leaving the schooner," adds our author, "the thermometer was above ninety degrees in the shade; and the poor wretch was now exposed naked in the full blaze of the sun. In this state we took him to the channel, one side of which was bordered by swamps, full of mangrove-trees, and swarming with the venomous insects before mentioned."

The writer, at last, escapes; arrives at the Havannah; and, when there, is immediately arrested as a pirate. He is delivered over to the British government; brought to England; persecuted with the utmost virulence by those who, perhaps, think that hanging an unoffending innocent man, under the designation of pirate, is more meritorious, at least more easy, than to fit out half a dozen frigates, and destroy the hellish swarm; but he is honourably and unhesitatingly acquitted by an enlightened jury. Warmly do we recommend his work to the public, convinced that their approbation will ratify our own.

The Greek Revolution; its Origin and Progress. By Edward Blaquiere, Esq.-8vo. pp. 362. 12s. Whittaker.

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WHEN a writer undertakes to give an account of the dissensions in which two nations are involved, he is placed in rather a trying situation; it is almost impossible for him to divest himself of the prejudices which render him eager to gloss over the faults and failings of his favourites, and to cast a shade of three-fold horror on the crimes of their adversaries. We lament to say, that this, in a degree, is the case with Mr. Blaquiere; not content with endeavouring to make the Turks appear the most barbarous, the most ferocious, of human beings; not content with denying them the possession of even one of those virtues by which the human is ennobled above the brute race, he calls them infidels and unbelievers; thereby reproaching them for pursuing and exercising that religion which they have imbibed with their mother's milk. Is this philosophical? - Nay, is this rational? Yet Mr. Blaquiere considers, that if he himself had chanced to have been born at Constantinople, he too would have been a worshipper in the mosque; that he too would have chaunted the praises of Mahomet in the open street, and, perhaps, have steeped his hand in Christian blood. We are Christians, and are, we hope, true to Christ; but we will not reproach those who dissent from him; he never did so himself. Mr. Blaquiere begins by asserting, that the Turks had not any right to the possession of Greece. Surely, they had, at least, the right by which we are lords of Ireland, of Hindostan, and of many other parts of the earth-the right of conquest. He says, that they committed horrible cruelties upon the enslaved people; not greater cruelties, we believe, than are practised by all other conquerors, when menaced and assaulted by the people whom they have subdued. We are no friends to slavery or oppression of any kind, and least of all to that of the Turks. We merely wish to argue, that, in one respect, all men are pretty similar; that all nations feel the desire to aggrandize themselves at

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the expense of their neighbours: and this premised, we proceed to give a general idea of the contents of the work in question.

Stimulated by the agents of Russia, the Servians, a people situated between the Bosnian and Bulgarian tribes, take up arms in 1806, and after maintaining for several years a kind of desultory warfare with the Turks, at last compel the Porte to make to them several concessions. This seems to have been the signal for a general revolt among the Greeks. The Hetærists, under Ipsilanti, and the Walachians, led on by an adventurer called Theodore Vladimeresco, take the field; the latter, a mercenary ruffian, is bought over to the Turkish interest, and refuses to act in concert with Ipsilanti, who is obliged to retreat. But Vladimeresco soon meets with the just reward of his perfidy,-he is tried and executed. Many battles are now lost and won. Turks begin to massacre the Greeks in all quarters; they become desperate, and, like a nest of disturbed hornets, assail their persecutors, front and rear. We have now an opportunity of quoting from the author


"It was some time before the Greek peasants could accustom themselves to bear the glances of those tyrants in whose presence they had been wont to cringe with abject servility; but these impressions of terror gradually wore off, giving place to feelings of the utmost contempt. A more valiant race, inured to arms, also appeared in the field, to aid the Christian cause. These were the Mainotes, the hardy mountaineers of Laconia, who, on the first symptoms of insurrection, hastened to the scene of action with alacrity. Various opinions have been entertained of the origin of this tribe. Though it is known, that some Sclavonian colonies were planted in Laconia, under the lower empire, there are other writers who expressly state, that the inhabitants of Mistras do not form part of them, but are lineally descended from the ancient Greeks. Be this as it may, they have, for many centuries, maintained a species of wild independence. Pent up among the rugged and barren crags of Sagytus, they have sometimes been forced to pay tribute; but were in a state of permanent hostility against the Turks, and constantly engaged in domestic feuds, or following their favourite piratical pursuits. The Mainotes had, for some years, been comparatively tranquil; and had even allowed the Porte to nominate a bey from among the native nobility. It was a part of the duty of the latter, to collect the tribute; and he was also bound to furnish one hundred seamen for the service of the sultan: when the insurrection took place, this quota was actually employed on board the Ottoman fleet before Travesa, and commanded by one of the sons of Patros Bey, the reigning prince of Mainas. As that chief had rendered himself popular among the people, they resolved to continue him in the office he held from the Porte; accordingly he published a proclamation, and advanced into the interior of the Peninsula, while detachments of Mainotes, in conjunction with some peasants of Laconia and Messinia, formed the blockade of Malvasia, Coron, and Modon.'

That the Greeks will eventually obtain their independence, we sincerely hope they have too long groaned in slavery; and it is high time that they should enjoy the blessing of liberty-of liberty 'sweetened by its past absence, and ennobled by conquest.


Wolsey, the Cardinal, and his Times; Courtly, Political, and Ecclesiastical. By George Howard, Esq., Author of " Lady Jane Grey, and her Times.-1 vol. 8vo. pp. 590. 16s. Sherwood, Jones, and Co WE should enter with some degree of satisfaction on the scrutiny of this work, were it only on account of the subject. The times of Wolsey were strongly characterised, and materially distinguished, by the va

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