« PreviousContinue »
You ask if any thing remarkable. We are reminded that it belongs, not, has accurred in the course of my stu- to the primitive age, “ incomptis cadies. Yesterday a gay young French- pillis," but to the days of Adrian, at man called here for advice. He said whose court he probably spent an ef. he wished to adopt the English mode feminate and degraded life. This exof behaviour in society, but found his uberance of hair also disguises, in personal feelings were too elastic and some measure, the shape of the head. springy to allow him to keep that even Antinous was a native of Bythinia, tenor and squareness of manners, which in Asia Minor. Meleager, on the had struck his fancy, and that the other hand, to use the words of Thomliveliness of his impressions, and his de- son, sire to shine, were continually throwing
“ Shews what ideas smiled of old in Greece." him off his centre. I told him that the In the head of Meleager, which is redifficulties he experienced arose partly presented as very young, we see the from his temperament and mode of characteristics of impetuosity and maga sensation, and partly from the propor- nanimity, and of a most uncontrollable: tions in which his cerebral organs will, united with the utmost sweeta were developed. He was laterally ness and serenity in the expression of large in the upper back part of the the countenance. The greatest de head, but not much developed in the velopement is at the top of the head, summit. The lower middle part of in the organ of volition, and in all his forehead was prominent, and his those organs which surround it, innose pointed and cartilaginous. He cluding pride and the love of applause asked if the Englishmen reflected behind, and enthusiasın before. All much, and if that was the cause of those organs in the lower part of the their staid and grave demeanour. I forehead, which connect us with the answered, that not all of them were external world, are large and very prothoughtful, but that they were per- minent. Imagination and reflection, sons of stubborn and manly tempera- which turn the eyes inwards, and ments, and scorned to be moved, either have so much tendency to generate to pleasure or pain, by every trivial internal sources of activity, seem procircumstance. I recommended to him portionably less developed in the head not to set his mind on imitating the of Meleager. A certain dignified English, but to give way to his in- childishness pervades the features, ternal propensions with as good a We see a being who searcely rememgrace as he could; for his composition bers of the existence of his own faculdid not appear to contain the sources ties and feelings, so long as they are of many low or disagreeable mani, lying asleep within him, but the festations.
movements of whose feelings, when To the question, whether the Mea- they are excited by external events, leger or Antinous is the finer head, I have an overbearing force, proportione can only reply by making the follow- ed to the time during which they geing observations: The first thing that nerally remain inactive. In his beaustrikes us in comparing these heads, tiful countenance we see an unemois the different arrangement of the tionał serenity, resulting from the hair. In the Meleager, it assumes quiescence of an organization strong the simple and natural form which and healthful, but unaccustomed to be we would expect in an active and care, excited by any other causes than the less young hunter of the olden time, few and broad objects of heroical and who allowed it to grow in its own semi-barbarous existence. The lips and way. The short locks of which it is cheeks seem scarcely habituated to bend composed spread, in successive circles, or undulate under the influence of e. from the top of the head, overlapping motion. They have the same firmness each other, and presenting a close and and solidity as his shoulder, or any almost matted appearance, which does other part of his body. It may, pernot at all disguise the shape of the haps, be said, that the sculptor has head. The hair of the Antinous is represented them so for the sake of better adapted to please the eye by form ; but this is not the case, for, the luxuriant beauty of its clusters, although the presence of violent emoand by the elegance of their arrange- tion is hostile to perfect form, the susment; which, although unaffected, at ceptibility of emotion may be indicatthe same time suggests the idea of art. ed in the turn of the features, without VOL. IV.
destroying the regularity of their con one thing. I wish you could find tours. Ancient existence required no some person who would make a table internal activity, except what was ule of the different races of mankind who timately to issue forth and be applied have settled in the Island of Britain, to practical purposes. Their notions and whose progeny now form its cheof the human destiny did not induce quered population ; together with the men to explore their own feelings in districts they took possession of, or relation to morality. Hence there where they amalgamated themselves was no activity of sentiment except with former inhabitants. Yours, &c. what resulted from events; and as for intellectual activity, in the earlier ages, it was never dreamt of.
In the Antinous we perceive a be SCHEFFER'S ESSAY ing of inferior mould, and approaching much nearer the level of ordinary
POLITICS. nature. The top of the head presents no longer the same lofty convexity as in This little pamphlet deserves notice, the Meleager. The lower parts of not on account of any intrinsic merit the brain are more developed in pro- which it possesses, but on account of portion. The features have not the its being written by a man of some same childish aspect ; but they are celebrity as a political writer. Mr more effeminate and voluptuous in Scheffer, as our readers are probably their expression, and we see through- aware, is a German who has long out a being fitted to live contented in been settled in France, and who, since a much lower sphere of existence. the downfall of Napoleon, has more The part of the forehead above the than once attracted to himself the atnose and eyes is well developed, and tention of the French government by of an elegant and regular structure. the extraordinary freedom of his pen. It is the developement of this region His Essay on the Political State of his which confers a talent for the fine own Country, although disfigured arts (at least in so far as they depend both by some looseness of premises, on perception, and not on internal and some extravagance of conclusion, idealism); and it is extremely pro- was, nevertheless, in the main, an inbable, that the favourite companion of teresting and even intelligent book ; Adrian would be a person well able to and, in truth, the worst of its errors sympathise in his passion for sculp- . were easily pardoned, because the geture, architecture, painting, and other neral justice of its complaints was insimilar studies. In the head of An- disputable, and because English readtinous the organ of tune also spreads ers found no great difficulty in excusout the sides of the forehead consider- ing the born subject of an arbitrary ably.
government for writing in a vague and Sculpture is the only mode of re- visionary manner concerning freedom. presentation which can exhibit the We suspect that the present publistructure of the human head in a sa cation will very much lower the retisfactory manner. Not a day passes putation of its author, and consebut I am fretted by the imperfection quently, perhaps, that of his former of the ideas conveyed by paintings productions.
Mr. Scheffer has now and engravings which present only one come upon ground with which we are aspect, and can only express forms better acquainted. He has ventured by the ambiguous means of light and to write concerning the state of our shadow. Yet busts are sometimes to
own country ; nay, he has even been be met with, which have probably so bold as to undertake a description been copied merely from portraits af- of our own feelings; and finding him, ter the death of the original ; so that as we doubt not our readers will do, the form given to the head depended to be utterly ignorant of both, it is in a great measure upon the fancy of scarcely to be expected that we should the artist, or upon imperfect recollec- not reason from certain and egregious tions. The bust of every remarkable blunders here to others less certain, person should be taken from the life as a memorial of his organization, and a bequest of knowledge to mankind. * (Essai sur la politique de la nation
Before concluding, let me mention Anglaise et du gouvernement Britannique.)
but, it may be, no less egregious else- has done us a favour of the same where. In short, we are afraid that species. Were it not for some little this essay has given the coup-de-grace traits of sincerity, not to be mistaken, to Mr. Scheffer's authority, and that both in his life and his writings, we henceforth, in spite of his German should almost be inclined to suspect name, and his little tincture of ideal- Mein Herr of having meditated a Gerism, he will come to be generally man joke upon his readers, and aimed looked upon as no better than ano at nothing more than a ponderous rether inmate of Charenton-au fond, a ductio ad absurdum of the arguments mere Frenchman, as ignorant, and as in use among the reformers on both insolent in his ignorance, as most of sides of the water. But we shall not the political writers of that lively peo- enlarge upon this idea, lest we should ple are found to be; more especially incur the suspicion of equal ambition, when they presume to give any opi- and perhaps come off with our joke nion concerning the affairs of another as badly as the German has done with people, with whom, unhappily for his. themselves, they have not as yet Mr. Scheffer begins his pamphlet, much in common. Mr. Scheffer has as all French pamphlets, speeches, and lived long enough in Paris to write addresses are begun, with a few epivery good French.
Another effect of grammatic enunciations, from which the same education has been an almost it is no doubt expected, that the untotal oblivion of many of the best parts initiated should suppose the sequel of of the German character,
the book to depend, in the same manable descent from the purity and dig- ner as the propositions in Euclid are nity of feeling which, in the midst of consequences of his axioms and postutheir greatest errors, seldom abandon lates. " Le but evident de toute sothe good writers of his country, -a too ciété humaine,” says our author, est effectual infusion of the envy, and la sûreté, la tranquillité, en un mot le baseness, and uncharitableness which bonheur de tous les individus qui England and Europe have found to be composent la societé.” This maxim, the invariable, and which they may continues he, has been admitted by all therefore be pardoned for suspecting reasoners, but in general it has been to be the inseparable companions of misinterpreted and misapplied. From Jacobinism.
it the friends of despotism justify their The book, however, is deserving of odious doctrines, and superstition some little notice on another account. comes in to assist them with her terIt is in effect the first regular transla rors, atris caput circumdata nubis. tion, into the language of foreigners, From it the enlightened (les vraieof the odious trash which is common ment eclairés) deduce the luminous ly presented to us in a less attractive clue which enables them to thread form by the orators of the common- their path through all the labyrinths council room and Spa-fields,—by Mr. of custom and prejudice, and to arrive Bristol Hunt, and Mr. Examiner at last at the intima penetrulia of the Hunt, and the rest of that family, temple of political wisdom ;--the holy who would so fain have the liberty of region which neither kings, nor nobles, England to resemble that of Corcyra.t nor those who approve of either, can When the Orator rode into the scene approach sans perdre leur etut,”. of his seditious tumult to the music of without becoming citoyens. The true the Marseilloise, preceded by the bone meaning of the maxim has always, net rouge and the Tricolor, he fa- nevertheless, according to Scheffer, voured us with at least a candid con been felt and understood by the great fession of the intentions of his majority of the nations of Europe. A party here.
Mr. Scheffer, by sta- few of these have already, by means ting it as the result of his patient of extraordinary advantages and accistudy of the history of England, dents, enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing that there is no hope of safety for the maxim in some measure applied us, unless our sovereign forthwith to the purposes of their own comfort. sends the seals of office to Sir Francis The English, for example, about two Burdett and a cabinet of his kidney, centuries ago, approached very nearly
to the condition of a free people. + Ελευθιρα Κερκυρα : χεζ' οσε θελεις. That happiness has indeed, in the
Libera est Corcyra : ubi vis, cacao course of events, become vastly ini
paired, and we are now possessed of a their conclusions farther than the prevery trifling portion of our birthright. mises authorise. The nation is still The United States of America have what it ought to be. The Regent, succeeded to us, and they are now the and Lord Castlereagh, and Wellesley, true country of liberality and wisdom. and Grenville, and the Church, and Even the second place is refused to us, the Parliament, cannot be more sinbecause, says Mr. Scheffer, a nation cerely detested by the enlightened of filled with a strong unsatisfied desire Paris and Berlin, than they are by of freedom is in a far better state than those of London. In regard to these, one which, having once been free, has only one opinion is entertained by now reverted many steps towards the “ tout le mond." The abominable exabyss of slavery. Nothing, he con- ternal policy of England, is only one tinues, can be inore striking than the lamentable effect of her internal degraalteration which has occurred during dation. We are not tyrants; we are the last thirty years in the opinion en- only unwilling instruments in the tertained by the rest of the world re- hands of tyrants. We are slaves at 'specting England. Before that time home, and what should we be bút the enlightened men of every coun- scourges abroad? Europe should retry vied with each other in their eulo- spect the unhappy people doomed to gies of our laws, constitution, and na be for ever her enemies with their tional character. At present we form hands, and in their hearts her friends. the object of unmingled execration She should reverence the land which and disgust among all the politicians lately boasted a Cobbet, and which of Mr. Scheffer's acquaintance. Our still boasts a Hunt and a Burdett. name 'is a 'bye-word for every thing She should listen to the voice of Eng"that is base, selfish, false, and domi- land, not in the treaties of her minis. 'neering; and the friends of freedom ters, nor in the speeches of her parliain Paris have some thoughts of setting ment, but in the petitions and the a-foot a Jacobinical crusade against us. harangues which the perfidious SidStill, however, we are not without our mouth refused to convey to the ears of friends,--and more wonderful still, the slumbering Regent. These are one of these friends is Mr. Scheffer. the true representatives of the British
The ground on which this great man people. To hate or execrate them dissents from those who would recom would be alike unjust and impolitic. mend our extinction, is, it would ap- The true wisdom of the illuminati pear, his fervent conviction, that weare throughout the world is to declare still, in spite of all appearances, quite their affection for us in the same breath of the same way of thinking with him with their horror for our rulers. They self and his friends. The German should beat our worthless army, but takes a distinction. To execrate Lord they should recollect, at the same Castlereagh, and the Prince Regent, time, that it is detested and dreaded "who chose to give his confidence to that by us, because it is formed entirely of unhappy creature, is quite right; it is the outcasts of the earth ; and that its also quite right to execrate Lord Wels victories have always been regarded by lesley and Lord Grenville, and others des titres de honte plutot que de whooppose now and then the measures of gloire."
."* They should overturn our Castlereagh and his master, only for the government, but they should reinempurpose of being permitted to devise ber that in so doing, they have all our and execute as bad measures themselves. wishes and prayers upon their side. It is laudable to execrate the supersti- They should never forget the motto of tion of England, because that super. Mr Scheffer, “ La nation Anglaise ‘stition opposes the Catholic claims, and doit se ranger, par la force des chozes, the emancipation of Ireland. It is dans l’union des peuples !" laudable to execrate the parliament of Mr Scheffer gives himself the troue England, because the system of representation is become quite rotten, and the appearance of a House of Com
“On sait comment les armee Anglaises, mons is only useful as a cloak to cover
sont composees. Un homme condamné a the daggers of Castlereagh and his gandage a le choix d'entrer dans un regi
la deportation pour crime de vol ou de bri. brother Catalines.-All this is most ment, ou de subir sa peine. En Angleterre proper, and most praiseworthy; butil nya guere que les mauvais sujects qui wise men should beware of pushing s’enrolent volontairement." P. 10.
ble to justify this decision, so consola- cording to that philosopher, every tory for us, but so terrible to Lord Case movement of our government protlereagh, by a detail of our history for ceeds. “ On pourrait,” says he, “dethe last two centuries--more particu- fenir ce systeme de la maniere suilarly for the last thirty years execut- vante; Commettre les crimes et les ined in the true style tranchant coupé, so justices politiques les plus atroces, afin agreeable to the impatient vivacity of d'associer la nation Anglaise dans la the reading public of Paris. At all même haine, dans le même mépris avec times, says he, the kings of England son gouvernement : de la forcer ainsi a were the enemies of her freedom and faire cause commune avec lui, et de la happiness; that is a necessary conse tenir dans un état d'hostilité permanente quence of their existence. The saga avec les autres peuples, état le plus facious Henry VIII. tyrannized by means vourable à l'etablissement du despoof a corrupted parliament. The less tisme !". By means of keeping closely sagacious Stuarts strove to tyrannize in recollection this concise and conwithout a parliament at all, and they vincing definition, an impartial stufailed. The Georges succeeded. These dent of history, says our German, will princes brought from their province of find it an easy matter to understand Germany the most fixed love of des- the secret of the English atrocities. potism, and they found in England The freedom of Holland, imperfect as the necessity to yield something to the it was, was always an object of hatred forms of a free constitution. Happily, to the English rulers, because they Walpole was a genius of the same were always, and that justly, afraid stamp with Henry VIII., and the lest it should excite their own subjects house of Hanover have tyrannized like to entertain anti-despotic ideas. Suhim, by means of corrupted parlia- perficial persons might, perhaps, object ments. The progress of that national to this, that the original freedom of degradation which these princes have Holland was in a good measure owing to been so unceasingly anxious to promote, the friendship of Elizabeth; that the was, however, more slow than might Hollanders themselves have been very have been expected. It was not till proud to confess as much in almost all the epoch of the French Revolution their treaties; and that Elizabeth and that we began to stand on the very her ministers have at least as much brink of our ruin.
right to be taken as specimens of an At present, so far as our neighbours English government, as Charles II. and are directly concerned, the thing his. All this, however, will fall to is accomplished. Throughout every the ground, when we reflect, that the stage of the French Revolution, the present abject and enslaved condition government of England has opposed of Holland is entirely owing to the it, from the fear that revolutionized English Georges, who beat her fleets and enlightened France might lend and took her colonies, merely for the both light and aid to oppressed and purpose above-mentioned, of removing impatient England. Every other from the sight of the English le speccountry of Europe which makes any tacle seduisant d'un état libre. struggle for liberty, must expect to be In explaining, by his maxim, the met in that struggle by, the same conduct of our government towards fervent opposition from the govern- America, M. Scheffer falls, we are ment of England. In the mean time, afraid, into a slight inconsistency; but we, the people of England, are bowed this is a trifle in so great a work. The down beneath the golden yoke of this exertions made by England to retain same corrupting and corrupted govern- possession of her colonies may, indeed, ment; so that, till that government be accounted for by some persons on be overthrown, there is no hope of the ground of its being a natural thing freedom or of happiness either for us to dislike losing one's property : But or for any other nation.
this, says he, is quite out of the quesThe enormities of which our govern- tion in regard to the government of ment has been guilty in the course of England ; á la tete duquel il se trouve this dark period have, indeed, been preseque toujours des hommes habiles. such as might well deserve all the re The clever and philosophical ministers proaches of Meinherr Scheffer : Nor, of St James's cannot be supposed to after all, is this to be wondered at, con have been so ignorant of political ecosidering the principle upon which, aca nomy as not to have known that Ames