Page images
PDF

and, as it is not a pollard like that at Knowle; and it has (or had three years since) three gigantic brethren at Rosehill, near Winchester, the seat of Lord Northesk. We throw out these hints to the editor, and doubtless he will use all diligence to make his work perfect.

The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green. By JAMEs SHERIDAN KNow LEs.-We cannot much commend the design, character, or poetry of this play; but if it has been successful, our criticism is of little importance—the object of the dramatist is answered. “Si populo placerent, quas fecisset fa

bulas.”

The Railway Companion, describing an Eccursion along the Liverpool Line, &c. By a Tourist.—This little sketch of the places through which the Liverpool and Manchester rail-road travels, is illustrated with clever plates; and a very good account is given of the rise and progress of railroads, forming a book at once of amusement and instruction.

Meeting of the Clergy of the Diocese of Gloucester.—In a diocese so wisely, so judiciously, and so efficiently governed, under a Bishop so pious, vigilant, and disinterested, and among such an enlightened clergy as those who possess the endowments in the see of Gloucester, we are not at all surprised that it was found by them convenient to appoint a meeting, in which they should deliberate as to the measures which it might be thought most fit to take, under the very alarming dangers which on all sides seem congregating to attack or overthrow the Church. “Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra.” When the indiscretions of some of its friends was added to the violence of its enemies, it was impossible to say to what vital and essential interests the mischief might not extend. It is, therefore, with pleasure and great satisfaction of mind that we read their report; that we hailed the unanimous feeling of the clergy on the subject (for the dissent was so small as scarcely to be felt); and that we give our humble testimony to the goodness, temper, moderation, and piety which were shown in their proceedings. The Church is, indeed, “tanquam ovis inter lupos.’ The catholic priest, the dissenting elder, the hungry and savage radical, the foaming atheist, the parsimonious economist, the pandering demagogue (the Judas who holds the bag), all alike are howling for her destruction, and ravenous for their share of the booty. In the meantime, the Church has done itself endless honour, by

GENT. MAG. Wol. I.

the truly Christian feeling, the patience, the gentleness, and the disinterestedness with which she has conducted herself in all her difficulties; but she has also a duty to herself to perform ; a duty which she must not shrink from, when she considers from whose hand she received her keys, who gave them to her keeping, and to whom she must render up her trust. The preservation of the Liturgy and the Articles, and the establishment of a legitimate and authorized Convocation, with an improved representation of the great body of the Clergy, are the chief points which the Gloucester clergy strenuously advocate. We see nothing which they claim to which they are not justly entitled; and our best thanks (speaking for our fellow-Christians), are due to the excellent clergy of this diocese, for their zealous co-operation in defence of

the Lord's house upon earth. Long may

such a Bishop and such a Clergy prove a blessing and an example to those who live under their influence, and never shall they want our humble meed of praise I

A Letter to Lord Althorp, on the subject of Church Reform. By the Rev. S. GATE, Bilston, Cheshire.-Though very brief, one of the most sensible and practical letters on this much canvassed subject that we have ever read, and the propositions to increase the small livings seem wise and just. While we strongly recommend our readers to peruse Mr. Gate's pamphlet, we shall take the liberty of throwing out a hint or two, subject to the consideration of those more conversant with the Church than ourselves. The first is, as there is so great a clamour raised against pluralities, and as they are reckoned one of the most objectionable points, could it not be arranged that any clergyman possessing two or three livings should be permitted (if willing so to do) to resign those into the hands of the bishop or patron, upon a sum out of them, equal to their amount, being paid to him for his life, with the exception of the sum previously paid to his curate; as, supposing the living was 300l. and the curate received 100l., then 200l. should be paid the former incumbent, and at his death the whole should devolve on his successor; and there would be no want of persons who would most gladly receive a living subject to such payment, as it would always be equal to a curacy, and would, in addition, be a security for a future and larger provision. This appears to us both feasible and advantageous. We know many clergymen who would resign, we know many who would accept, and we can see no difficulty in carrying such a measure through. Secondly, we propose that a clergyman, 3 X

arriving at the age of sixty, should have it in his power to quit his preferment, upon having a certain proportionate sum allowed for his maintenance. Most duties are heavy and burdensome to a man after threescore years; and we only ask that a clergyman should be permitted to retire from his labours when persons of all other professions are found anxious to withdraw from theirs. We hope that we give no offence by these propositions; but, having duly considered them, we think they would be advantageous to the Church and to the Clergy; and we could wish that one of the Bishops, or some one in power, would deign to look favourably on them. Nothing can be more absurd than the outcry against pluralists, as being necessarily men possessing large incomes. We happen to know a gentleman, in the county in which we live, who holds three livings; yet on those three livings, though he is a batchetor, he cannot afford to keep a horse, to drink wine, to give dinners, to keep a manserrant, to buy books, or to live as a gentleman ought to do. We pledge ourselves to the truth of this. Pluralities are not desirable. They would be willingly resigned by the clergy, if a fair remuneration were given for them. We also beg to say that, in agricultural districts, it would be most wise and judicious to consolidate two small livings, instead of appointing a resident minister to each. We know several rural parishes of about eight hundred acres of land, paying about 140l. a-year tithes, with a population of about one hundred and fifty, with no glebe, and a cottage for a manse. What is a clergyman to do there 2 Visit the sick —there are none. Call on the poor?—they are all at work in the fields. Look in to the farmers ?—they are with their labourers. Call on the gentry?—none are near him, in the whole circumference of his neighbourhood; or if they were, how can he visit as an independent gentleman on 150l. a-year 2 Nothing is so disliked in the country as an idle, gossipping, busy, visiting, meddling parson, dropping into their farm-houses and huts, and carrying news from one to another. There are such parsons; men of inferior birth, who got into the fold through the window some years ago, have obtained a small benefice, and are the nuisance of all around them; who know the news of the blacksmith's shop—make the wills of their parishioners—and, too ignorant to study, and just too independent to work, are anything but an advantage to the church. Would there not be a danger, if you place a person in such a situation, where there is not employment for him, that he would fall into similar degrading habits? Here would be the disadvantage

of forcing a very small rural parish to hare a resident minister. It may look very well on paper, or before the IIouse, but it has no practical advantage, and must be attained by a large sacrifice of money from some quarter or another; for, as the Bishop of Exeter says, “we cannot make bricks without straw.”

The British Jew to his Fellow Countrymen, 1833.-A manly appeal to the country in favour of the Tribe of Israel. We like the feeling and spirit of this pamphlet, though we cannot agree to all its positions; but were we not Christians, ice would be Jews. We have a melancholy and kind feeling towards the child of Abraham ; we think of his ancient glories, of his proud inheritance, of his fallen grandeur, of his present state ; and we fully agree in all the author says of the high purity and domestic rirtues of this singularly unfortunate people.

The Translation of Bishops, 1834.—A spirited and sensible pamphlet, opposing, in an open, manly manner, the outcry against translations, founded on the argument that it leads to indolence and carelessness, which the author, we think, totally and admirably disproves. We always thought (if there were a danger, which we do not say there is), that it lay in the contrary direction; that the bishops who sought translations, in order to gain the character of vigilance with the Government, might rule the clergy with too strict and severe a hand—that they might be called at Court conscientious bishops, and make the backs of an oppressed clergy the steps of the ladder by which they mount. We say, theoretically this might be supposed, rather than attribute to them the faults which the author has so completely refuted. As regards the association of the Bishops with their Clergy, there are some candid and sensible observations in this work. We confess we wish their manner different. They call the Clergy “their affectionate brethren o' but in behaviour to them they are formal, and cold, and distant. We have often, in our minds, compared the manner and behaviour of the Bishops to the Clergy, with that of the Judges to the young Barristers, much to the advantage of the latter. Why should there be any difference 2 or, if there were, should it not be in a still greater and more affable and good-humoured condescension, on the part of those who “are meek and lowly in heart.”

Repeal, or no Repeal of the Union, considered in its Practical Bearings. 1233.− The question of Repeal of the Union we consider to be the agitation of the demagogue; of the man who uses the name and welfare of his country, as a mark to cover his own sordid and selfish designs. The Repeal of the Union, of that Union the advantage and necessity of which were allowed by all parties and all religions, would be the destruction of one country, and the unhappiness and misery of the other. Criminal Trials in England, their Defects and Remedies. By G. CookE, B.A. —It would be presumptuous in any one who did not belong to the legal profession, to decide upon the important questions that are connected with the alterations proposed, or the abuses manifested by the author; but they plainly prove, to our unprofessional mind, the great defects inherent in our criminal system, and the necessity of a revision of the code in many important particulars.curity of Upton and Roberts's New Safety Ilamp proved.—It certainly does appear, from this pamphlet, that some important defects exist in the construction of the lamp by that great and illustrious chemist, Sir H. Davy, as may be seen by the experiments of Mr. J. Pereira. The principle on which the new safety lamp of Messrs. Upton and Roberts is rendered safe, is in restraining the air admitted through the feeders to the support of the flame of the wick alone; thus, as little or no pure air can pass to any other part of the lamp, all combustion is destroyed in it, except at or near the wick. With this tract may be perused another called “Practical Observations on the Phemomena of Flame and Safety Lamps,” by GEoRGE MURRAY, F.S.A. F.L.S.

A Letter to Lord Althorp on the Poor Lau's, &c., by EquitAs—The incubus of the Poor Laws on the resources of the country is terrific ; the growing evil alarming ; the inequality of the pressure unjust. This is recognized by the author of the tract before us, who proposes a National or Consolidated Rate, in lieu of the local taxation. The author, as almost all others who have directed their attention to the subject, has animadverted with severity on the allowance system—paying the labourer partly by wages, and partly by alIowance from rate; but, while they justly lament and deprecate the evil, they never observe the cause from which it proceeds. There are, we will say, twenty able single labourers in a parish ; twenty equally able, married, with large families. One class wants 12s. a-week, one 20s. The farmer, who has his choice, of course takes the single. Then the next comer is obliged to take the married; but his labour costs him nearly twice as much as his neighbour's. That is unjust ; therefore equalize it by a parish allowance, or rate. Now, as far as regards the employer, this seems just enough ; but it is most cruelly disadvantageous, we grant, to the labourer to be paid by charity, what he ought to earn by industry—to be paid by the overseer, instead of his employer. It was not so formerly; why? Because it was of no importance to the farmer whether he employed the single or married labourer, inasmuch as the labourer's wife and family could provide for themselves. They are now dependent on the man's labour, or nearly so ; except in particular cases, as when women go out to wash, to nurse, or take in needle-work, and so on. The machinery

and manufactures have destroyed cottage labour—spinning, the only resource formerly of the female poor, who thus were earning their bread at home, while their fathers and husbands were earning theirs abroad. Therefore, the circumstances of the case have obliged the farmers and occupiers to do as they have done. Abolish the allowance system, without carrying other measures into effect, and you throw the married men out of work directly : find an employment for the families, and the system will die instantly away. The allowance system is a compromise of ill, but the blame does not rest with the farmer: the evil arises from the circumstances of the case, over which he has no control. In agricultural parishes the men, the labourers, are not too numerous, or more than are wanted ; but the families hang as a dead-weight upon the rates, for want of employment. The girls are now not brought up to spin–none of them know the art. They all handle, when required, the hoe, and their business is weeding. Our partial remedy for this great and growing evil is allotments of land, which are to afford the occupation that the distaff formerly did ; and so the wife and daughters can be cultivating small portions of ground, and raising potatoes and esculents, &c. while the labourer is at his work. We confess that we know no other remedy for the evil. The misfortune is, that the farmers are generally very averse to the labourer having land, and seldom will promote it. There is a pamphlet published by Mr. Allen on this subject, worthy of attention.

Influence of the Public Debt over the Prosperity of the Country. By M. B.The question of the influence of the Public Debt on the situation and prosperity of the country, is here argued with ingenuity and with knowledge, and in a financial point of view it would be difficult to oppose or overthrow its statements; but we shall take leave to say, that its moral or economical effect ought to be considered, as well as the political. What effect it has on the wealth, on the increase and employment of capital, is well developed; but these riches may be dearly purchased. To have a large National Debt, you must have a large National Taaration. That taxation presses heavily on all classes. It may take from the rich some superfluities; but what it does take from the poor is out of his necessities. We will take one instance. It is advantageous to have a National Debt, but it is not advantageous to have a heavy Malt Tax to pay its interest, which shall prevent the labourer having beer, or make the farmer buy his barley again at

double or treble the price. “Look,” says the author, “at the advantage of a Public Debt, in the prosperity and wealth of England. Look at the disadvantage of not having one, in the poverty and inertness of Sueden.” Very well but look at the Swedish cottage and the Swedish peasant and the English pauper; see one independent, happy, and contented; and the other dependent, discontented, and destitute. Look at the internal peace, tranquillity, and order that pervades all ranks in Sweden; look at the stability of the government, and the attachment of the people. Look at the turbulence, the tempest, the earthquake, the volcano at home. Look at rebellion in its diversified shapes: refusal to pay taxes—shameless denial of tithes : envy and abuse of the higher ranks: profligacy and depravity in the lower: rapacity and over-dealing in the middling. Verily, the political advantages of a National Debt may be dearly purchased, by the moral evils it brings in its train.

Refections on a Graduated Property and Income Tar, to raise the sum of 17,222,000l. By Edward Jones, Esq. —Mr. Jones's pamphlet is founded on the principles which we advocated in our review in the preceding tract by M. B., namely, the moral mischief, and the distress and penury, occasioned by the pressure on the poor of the heavily taxed articles of life. Mr. Jones presses most forcibly on the richer and higher classes of the community, the necessity, the justice, of their contributing largely to the support of the state and the payment of the taxes; and he instances the immense sacrifice made by their ancestors, in the gift to Government of the land-tax of four shillings in the pound. The pamphlet is a little too violent in its language, and too inflexible in its principles, but is worthy of consideration. Mr. Jones proposes an abolition of all assessed taxes, and excise and customs; and an income or property tax, or a land tax, of five shillings in the pound.

Plan of a Poor Law for Ireland. By G. Pou LETT ScroPE, F.R.S.—One of the most persuasive, best-reasoned tracts we have lately met with. We consider its arguments to be very urgent; and that both England and Ireland are deeply interested in carrying into speedy execution a system of well-devised and judicious laws for the employment of the poor in the latter country. Our present great agricultural depression we consider to be mainly owing to the circumstances in which Ireland now is, where its own produce is not con

sumed by its inhabitants, and where the people seek employment in the sister country, itself already overstocked.

The Hobart Town Magazine. Nos. I. II. and III.--We rejoice to find a magazine inscribed Van Dieman's Land, and the publisher H. Melville, Elizabeth Street, Hobart Town, for as Literature “emollie mores, nec simit esse feros,” and as the demand for books proves that some hours of life are to spare, and some thoughts are not of necessity enslaved by the dominion of the body, we hope that this periodical is only the herald of others which will appear by its side. It is quite as well executed as could have been expected. To be sure, the taste and spirit of the narratives scent a little of the desert ; the tales are terrific and savage; and the poetry is not of the highest finish; but a little time will soften down the one, and improve the other. We are afraid the fol. lowing lines are too good to be of home manufacture, and that they must have been imported from the firm of Hood and Company. Upbraid me not!—I never swore eternal love to thee; (three: For thou art only five feet high, and I am six feet I wonder, dear, how you supposed that I could look so low, [a beau. There's many a one can tie a knot, who cannot fix Besides, you must confess, my love, the bargain scarcely fair, [made a pair; For never could we make a match, although we Marriage, I know, Inakes one of two, but here's the horrid bore, [am four. My friends declare, if you are one, that 1, at least,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

An Encyclopædia of Geography. By Hugh MURRAY. Part. I.-This promises to be a very interesting and scientific work, and ably conducted. Mr. Murray is assisted by Professor Wallace in astronomy, Jamieson in geology, Hooke in botany, and Swainson in zoology,<-all great and venerable names in science. We have read it with attention and pleasure, and can recommend it as one of the most learned, and accurate, and entertaining works on geography. It is to be completed in twelve monthly parts, and will cost only 31.

Lord Brougham's Law Reforms, and Courts of Local Jurisdictions. By W. GlovER, Esq. M. A., Barrister at Law. —The author of this production is a practising barrister of some experience and intelligence, who stands forth as the vindicator of Lord Brougham's legal reforms. He observes, that in every unprejudiced rank and circle of society, where the state of public opinion can best be discerned, Lord Chancellor Brougham is appreciated as the greatest legal reformer. He specifies the various reforms in the Courts of Common Law, the Court of Chancery, the Privy Council, the Bankruptcy Jurisdiction, and the Laws of Real Property, which have been effected since the memorable motion in 1828, respecting the state of the laws. The author remarks, that if Lord Brougham had neither undertaken the subject, nor persuaded Parliament to concur in the necessity of ameliorating this branch of our national polity, very few, if any, of these improvements would have been sanctioned by the superior Courts, or enacted by the legislature. Mr. Glover states, that the Lord Chancellor's Bill for Courts of Local Jurisdiction in England exactly coincides in principle with the practice

prevalent for centuries in the Sheriffdepute Courts of Scotland, and with the Irish Courts of Assistant Barristers. Lord Brougham proposes to invest judges in ordinary with functions similar to the territorial judges in these kingdoms, where beneficial consequences have uniformly attended their exposition of the laws and dispensation of justice. Besides, the measure has been rendered suitable to the present circumstances of society, though modelled upon ancient principles, since the former administration of justice in this country rested upon local jurisdictions.

Lays and Legends of France, and Lays and Legends of Ireland. (No. 2 and No. 3, of National Lays and Legends.) By W. J. Thoms.-We hail with pleasure the 2d and 3d numbers of Mr. Thom's National Lays and Legends, viz. France and Ireland, each containing abundance of interesting and amusing matter. As may be well imagined, much of each nation's character is infused into its popular traditions. Nothing, for example, can be more obvious than the difference between those of France and Germany; the latter abound in the terrible, the wild, and the broadly humorous, those traits which characterise “Leonora,” “Ulrick and Annie,” and “Brother Merry; ” the former, far less sombre, for the most part treat of chivalry and ladye-love, and are but slightly tinged with strong humour, though filled to exuberance in many instances with an arch drollery, dashed by tenderness. There is in No. 2 an interesting legend of St. Omer, entitled “The Game of Chess with the Devil,” (spiritedly illustrated moreover in outline), which, were “little Mat the M.P.” yet in the land of the living, would not long lack a poetical dress. And speaking of poetry, we are reminded of a translation given by Mr. Thoms from a curious old ballad, founded on the superstition of “Lycarthropy,” which superstition is dwelt cn somewhat fully in more than one legend.

The admirers of Quevedo may trace something of his spirit in “Saint Peter and the Minstrel,” which is full of a light and joyous wit; and those who delight in detecting a common origin to the tales of different nations, will find a confirmation of their opinions in the “Sacristan of Cluni,” and the kindred superstition of the French “Melusine,” and the Irish “Banshee.” We cannot quit this number without noting the admirable translation, by Mr. Peacock, of the fabliau of “The Priest and the Mulberry Tree,” which will be found in the 64th page.

Before touching on the contents of No.

« PreviousContinue »