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of lazy scamps, and were very wrong (on the face of the thing) in not giving the Greeks their rights. England and France are in the wrong to fight in behalf of Turkey, which was not worth the trouble. But then, for our comfort, we learn incidentally that the Greeks are a set of the greatest rogues that ever lived, and that "Greek faith" now-a-days is as famous as "Greek fire" in old Byzantine times; also, that the Russian privates are very little above the beasts that perish; and that their officers, though smooth and clever, are the most worthless and heartless of villains. So that all the right does not seem to be on one side; but these worthies, who de jure ought to be good fellows, are de facto very bad ones, and deserve a thrashing.
We need not spend our time in attempting to confute any of the writer's extreme opinions. Most of our readers will probably agree with us in thinking that this war was not the result of the blunders or ill temper of our aged Ambassadors, but rather of a fixed opinion in the minds of Englishmen generally, that the Czar (or series of Czars) was moving slowly down upon Western Europe, with full intent to crush under foot all approach to constitutional liberty and vital religion, and to annex the fairest portions of the Continent to his brutalized and unwieldy Empire. We believe that our author greatly exaggerates the ill effect of this war, when he says that it will put "back the dial of time centuries, and plunge the world in darkness." Such, at least, will not be its effect in England and France. Let us call to mind the enlightened amusement which suffered eclipse by the breaking out of this war. Two years ago table-turning and spirit-rapping were, in many circles, the great events of the day, and the pens of men of sense and science had to be turned from more useful disquisitions to aid in stemming the current of delusion. Certainly civilization will suffer nothing by the public attention being diverted from such absurdities to the past history and present condition of the Continent; from the study of which will, we are sure, arise an earnest desire to set about promoting the spread of light and godliness all over Europe. Meanwhile true Science will not stand still; and Religion, let us hope, will be roused to fresh and more effectual exertions. Civilization is a large word: let us not narrow its meaning to the invention of steam-engines, or electric telegraphs, or suchlike wondrous contrivances, which might surface over as foul an under-soil of barbarism as that which is found in the Celestial Empire. We long as ardently as any for the time when the nations shall learn war no more; but we do not think that the advent of that happy era will be hastened by succumbing for the present to the cruel empire of brute force.
That many of those who are appointed to represent this country at foreign Courts, and who draw from us large salaries, and live like Princes, are worse than useless, we cannot but allow, calling to mind the treatment of the Scotch Missionaries in Austria, and the many outrages committed on English travellers, to which our noble representatives abroad condescended to pay but the very slightest attention. The recent conduct of Lord Cowley at Paris towards the eminent men appointed to act as British Jurors at the French Exposition, is another instance of the extreme coolness, not to say rudeness, with
Brief Literary Notices.
which the travelling Englishman is likely to be treated by those whom he pays to smooth his way and protect his interests in the ausland.
In conclusion, we would repeat our regret that our author has not traced out for us more of his travelling adventures, since he is such a lively depicter of men and nature as we do not meet with every day.
The War; from the Landing at Gallipoli to the Death of Lord Raglan. By William Russell, Correspondent of "The Times." Routledge. 1855.
THIS volume is, what the foregoing merely pretends to be, a series of Pictures from the Battle Fields. But, though eminently such, it is also something more. It is a panorama of the war from its commencement; and some of its most interesting chapters are those earlier ones which depict, in liveliest colours, the brilliant muster of the allied troops at Malta, Gallipoli, and Varna. The Crusade of Western civilization against Northern Vandalism is unfolded, scene by scene, in this illuminated chronicle; and we read with bated breath, but kindling eyes, the story of a war unparalleled for the magnitude, both of the interest it involves, and the forces it employs. The numerous and vivid contrasts of this grand enterprise are all reflected in the book before us :-the stern history, and the moving picture of romance; the Western hordes, mustering their banners on an Eastern shore, and marching towards inhospitable Northern plains; the Christian Frank championing the turbaned Moslem; the lofty heroism and the mean privations; the fierce mechanical and wholesale slaughter, followed by gentlest acts of pity; the national and momentous character of the whole, and the deep personal and domestic interests staked in every incident and scene. But the praise of the book is not limited to the unrivalled greatness of the theme. If no military expedition ever exhibited so many features of distinction, certainly none was ever more fully, faithfully, or ably chronicled. In some respects this volume is absolutely unique. It is the production of a hired historian, sent forth at the expense of the leading journal of this country; yet under no other circumstances could so remarkable an account have been supplied of the actual events of the Crimean Expedition. It is a monument of the independence, enterprise, and resources of the free press of England. The writer has some of the highest qualities of the annalist of a military campaign,-fidelity the most impartial, an active and almost ubiquitous vigilance, a ready eye for apprehending characters, a graphic pen for delineating costume, a comprehensive and rapid appreciation of military movements, and a natural eloquence imparting force and animation to all the details of which his many-coloured story is composed. Mr. Russell is the Xenophon of this matchless Expedition; but, taking no personal share in the martial conflict, he has been at liberty to watch all its fortunes, to do ample justice to its proud achievements, to render to all their meed of praise, from the General in command to the humblest of meritorious subalterns. Many a brave action, it is true, has found no record in his pages; for, among so many heroes, some must fall undistinguished in the roll of fame: but every class and every regiment is represented in one shape or another,
in some brilliant adventure, or some great personal exploit. Unfortunately the history is not completed: the present volume closes with the lamented death of Lord Raglan, and the temporary check by which it was preceded. But while we write, the news of triumph is flashed to us, and followed by the thunder of true British cheers; and we anticipate a supplement to this journal of heroic deeds, deep suffering, and cheerful sacrifice, which will conclude and crown the whole with the appropriate name of "Victory!"
Recollections of Russia during a Thirty-three Years' Residence. By a German Nobleman. Constable. 1855.
WE have no reason to doubt the authenticity of this book. There is a general air of truth about it, which inspires both confidence and interest. But the reader's satisfaction would be much increased by some knowledge of the author, even if it only extended to his name and character. The book, moreover, is not so intelligible as it might easily have been made by a stricter attention to dates. It begins abruptly, and the reader has no clear notion either of the period or the motive of the author's journey. The work is evidently composed out of very broken materials, such as occasional notes, or an ill-kept and undated diary. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, it is very valuable, and adds something to our knowledge of the detestable evils of the Russian Government. Of the late Emperor the author speaks with much respect; and this only serves to impress the reader with a greater horror of that despotic and irresponsible system, in which tyranny is multiplied by a deputy system, becoming only more harsh and cruel in every step of its descent. Nicholas himself was the august fountain of clemency as well as of authority; but the former was a merely personal attribute, and, for the most part, exercised on gala days; while the latter was propagated by commission through his Empire, knowing no grace and making no distinction, and superadding the brutality of ignorance and selfishness to the severity of a code of terror.
An Introduction to Theosophy, or the Science of the Mystery of Christ; that is, of Deity, Nature, and Creature. Vol. I. London: Kendrick.
THIS work is described, in continuation of the title given above, as embracing the philosophy of all the working powers of life, magical and spiritual; and forming a practical guide to the sublimest purity, sanctity, and evangelical perfection: also, to the attainment of divine vision, and all holy angelical arts, potencies, and other prerogatives of the regeneration.' If this does not suffice the curious reader, he may proceed from the title to the dedication,-unfortunately too long for quotation within our limits,-and there he will probably find ample satisfaction, that is to say, all the satisfaction which the case admits. A quiet parenthesis is slipped into this dedication to the following effect: "To consist, it is supposed, of about thirty volumes." The present volume, we may remark, is a stout one of five hundred pages, and is compiled chiefly from the writings of William Law. But the Preface, like the title and dedication, is quite original; and the following is an
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average specimen of its style and doctrine. We quote the passage literatim, retaining all the author's capitals and italics :-
"For (to pursue these intimations yet further) the abyss of nature and creature, wherein the soul that has died to itself, and become all divine, is found,-is the supernatural nothing, liberty, softness, and stillness of eternity, or pregnant womb of Goodness, Light, and Truth. Which is especially said to be a magia, and to have a WILL-unoriginate, unsearchable, and by reason of its very thinness incomprehensible by any thickness, or creaturely imagination; and which wILL is termed in Scripture, 'holy,' 'eternal counsel,' 'wonderful:'-(and whose nothing-and-all power of Light, being a superintellectual fire, oil and water of life, it is, that is designated by the alchymic name of tincture, or tinctura suprema.)-This abyss, or ABYSSAL WILL then, (as mentioned,) apprehending a creaturely humility, weakness, or vacated self-hood in itself-a something in its nothing-possesses the same, as a perceptible ground of itself-as a lubet, or loving, longing delight, at feeling and finding itself (by means of such contrarium) and to be the GOOD."
If the reader should be fascinated by the specimen we have so carefully transcribed, the conclusion of our author's Preface will give him no little pleasure. The volume, as we are there told, "being of universal interest, it is proposed, after this impression shall have been disposed of, to make arrangements for the circulation of the work at a price to place it within the reach of all readers to whom it may be acceptable." Only fancy a people's edition of this Theosophy! and copies bought by the dozen to be delivered from door to door! But the enamoured reader is offered a wider scope for his benevolence. The author proposes-we are not jesting-"the establishment of a Theosophic College," and expressly intimates "the want of One Hundred Thousand Pounds for the foundation and endowment of such a scheme." It is actually added, that "any lady or gentleman, or number of individuals," both able and disposed to devote a fortune in this manner, 66 may, if they desire it, confer with the editor of this work upon the project, or otherwise place the money to his account at Messrs. Glyn and Co's, Bankers, London, designating it for the Theosophic College.' This modest "Advertisement is addressed "To the enlightened, wise, and loving reader of this Treatise who is rich in this world." We have nothing more to add; but leave this tempting proposal of our author to the consideration of his "enlightened reader.'
Lives of the Queens of England of the House of Hanover. By
Dr. Doran. Two Vols. London: Richard Bentley. 1855. THIS work extends over that part of English history which approximates most nearly to the present time, giving the history of the Court and higher circles, from the date when the House of Brunswick occupied the throne and influenced the fashions, down to the reign of George IV. It consequently passes over a period which witnessed more domestic changes and singularities than probably any other. The Georges, though, with one exception, possessing little versatility, and without much personal influence, inaugurated a period of cabal, secret history, complication, and intrigue, which it requires a
skilful and practised hand, and a clear head, to disentangle. There is little of the heroic, disinterested, or even romantic, in the volumes before us they are, for the most part, a recital of family and national quarrels, of the triumph of base diplomacy over whatever of fairness and freshness it came into contact with. They traverse the whole eighteenth century of periwigged and pipeclayed heroism, of conventional art, of sordid and debased sentiment. Dr. Doran, who is already known to the public as author of "Table Traits," "Habits and Men," and other works, has brought several qualities to his present undertaking which are in unison with it. He has a very extensive acquaintance with the minutiae of history, a large store of anecdotal matter, gleaned seemingly from every period, a rapid and facile, though somewhat flippant, pen. He seems to have taken pains to render his present volumes as complete as possible, though they are not written with any very elevated design, being little beyond a collection of scenes and incidents from Court history, traced with a free and sketchy hand. We suppose that it is necessary for the bye-paths of history, or rather the crooked ways of the back-stairs, to be explored by some adventurous individual at odd times; but it is rather a disagreeable task to accompany the expedition. Not all the vigour and liveliness of Dr. Doran's style can make atonement for the scenes of folly and sin into which his subject leads him. We are not sufficiently acquainted with the Court history of the period in question, to be able to determine whether Dr. Doran's narrative may be taken as a fair representation of the state of society in the upper circles during the eighteenth century; but we are inclined to think that it is so, from the fact that a great portion of it is compiled from contemporary works. "I am not," says the author in his Introduction, "like those dull old Roman gentlemen, who nightly attended sociable parties, whither, being witless themselves, they took their wittiest slaves to amuse the company, and set down all the laughter and applause as compliments paid to their own wit. Whenever I could find an eye-witness, I have allowed him to speak, and occasionally at some length; for I question if one could narrate what Ulysses saw, better that is, more truly-than Ulysses himself." Taking, then, Dr. Doran's book as a fair representation of what may be found in the Court circles of the eighteenth century, we are led to lament the maze of miserable intrigue, and petty or vicious motives, which ruled the actions, and cramped the natures, of the men in high places at that time. Dr. Doran certainly seems to have "nothing exte nuated," and occasion has not required that he should "set down aught in malice." The curious will find much that may be interesting in his two volumes.
Introduction à la Cité de Dieu de Saint-Augustin.
Emile Saisset. 8vo. Paris: Gratiot et Charpentier.
M. SAISSET is one of the few modern French philosophers, who, at the risk of being called a Jesuit," and of incurring the hatred of men such as M. Lanfrey, still assert their conviction that revealed religion has not yet "lived its day." And truly, as matters stand now in France, it requires no small degree of faith to profess thus much. When either superstition or rank atheism is the loadstone