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pany the dawn of Italian indepen- governing themselves is the essence of dence. As long as the Italians civil freedom: far more true, in the vast remain in the state of moral weak- majority of cases, would it be to say, ness which, for so many centuries, that it constituted the essence of polithey have exhibited, they need never tical thraldom. It is a social truth, expect to escape from the sway of the most unpalatable to ninety-nine-hunmore virtuous nations of the north : dredths of mankind, but not therefore they will never be able to face the the less true, that ninety-nine men out Germaus, whether in the cabinet or of a hundred are not fit to govern the field, until they learn to emulate themselves, even in the relations of them in the purity of their national social life, and far less in those of policharacter.

tical. And so it is with nations : for It may very well be doubted one nation that has really prospered whether any of the Italians, and, under the plan of self-government, indeed, any of their Transmontane there are ninety-nine that have brought admirers, know what is really fitted on themselves evils which, under a for them in political institutions less popular system, they would have what will really do them good -- what avoided. If the physical and social is really suited to the genius of the condition of a people be taken as a people and the requirements of the test; if the durability of their institucountry.

Political institutions are tions, if the dignity and intluence of like plants that cannot always bear their government, be quoted, as proofs transferring from one region to another: of the advantages of their several forms they require the process of becoming of political institutions, we really know acclimatised, and, on their first intro- not any constitutional form to which, duction into a new country, demand ceteris paribus, we could appeal as the fostering shelter of the hot-house deciding the question against those of and the gardener's constant care. a monarchical tendency. If the priBecause a representative constitution vilege of taxing themselves to an is supposed to be the acme of human amount that deties all power of rewisdom in the latitude of Great demption, and cripples the resources Britain, ' does not therefore follow of the nation to a point that menaces that it jill flourish so far south as its existence as an independent power, Naples; and because a national in the struggle of nations; if the freeguard is reckoned the ne plus ultra of dom of conducting commercial affairs national institutions at Paris, we are in such a manner that every seventh by no means sure that it would pro- year shall bring the whole trading duce any good results at Rome. interests of a country to the very verge It seems, in fact, to us to be one of of bankruptcy; if the balancing of the the monomanias of the present age, influence of the several classes so that the same Procrustean bed of badly, that at length the lower representative government is laid threaten to swallow up the upper out for all people that think they in a wild flood of irreligion and require more political liberty than anarchical spoliation ;. if the systhey are at present in possession tem of "propter vitam vivendi perof ; and should the inhabitants dere causas" be adopted as the of Timbuctoo, of Canton, of Tobolsk, acme of perfection—if all this be conof Alexandria, and of Morocco, sidered fit and proper, then let a take it into their heads,

constitutional monarchy be preached fine day, to send deputations to the up as the model for every nation under united quidnuncs of London and Pa

But we cannot wish so ill ris, requesting the transmission of to any of our fellow-men as to advise constitutions for their several states, them to relinquish present good, howwe have no doubt that a couple of legis- ever small, for the prospect of such lative houses, and a corps of national evil, however seductive. We do not guards, à pied et à cheval, would be approve of plying the poor Red man immediately recommended, as equally with fiery liquors till his tribe becomes applicable to their several wants. It exterminated ; and in the same way seems to be the privilege of civilised we would withhold the intoxicating Europeans to think that the right of draught of self-government from the

the sun.

some

lips of those people who hitherto have the healthiest, because the least unsucked in their milk, as babes, at the natural, symptom of the whole crisis. hands of others.

For Austria, we can well conceive 6 To us it is a bad sign that the that the prudent and cautious policy Italians should be calling out for re- of that ably conducted monarchy must presentative assemblies, and for na- dictate excessive jealousy and susiional guards. They are not fit for picion of these popular movements. the former, nor can they be so for Austria, more than any other power the next hundred years—we should in Europe, has the truest cause to not congratulate them even if they pride itself on the good results of its obtained these dangerous tools, where- peculiar system of government, as with to play at the hazardous game demonstrated by the solid and pracof legislation: and as for national tical wellbeing of the States under its guards, they do not want them, inas- paternal sway.

As much as any much as nobody is going to invade state of the Continent has it cause to them; and if an invasion were made abhor those systems of anarely which, by a northern nation, we know, by under the guise of patriotism, lead long experience, that the national only to revolution and misery: and guard would be perfectly useless. as one of the great conservators of The Italians “don't fight;" they the monarchical principle in politics, bluster and talk big, like the Span. it is called upon, by its very station iards, and run away ere the first and dignity, to check rather than to shot is fired. Ten thousand Germans encourage what may very possibly or Frenchmen, may march from one prove to be only a spurious attempt end of Italy to the other without to gain licentiousness, rather than freemeeting any man that dares fire at dom. Lombardy, no doubt, is allied them, except from behind a rock or to its illustrious rulers most unwila stone wall. The Italians must be lingly; but it does not therefore folmade of sterner stuff, before they take low that it would be in the least upon themselves the responsibility of legree more prosperous and happy bearing arms.

if left to itself. On the contrary, we The position of the several sove- have no doubt that, could Lombardy reigns in Italy is such, that their oppo receive at once the full license to sition to the wishes of Austria, if that establish its own form of government, opposition be real, creates in us some it would split into as many petty surprise. The King of Sardinia states as there are large cities in it, ought to know, by the long and and would be plunged into all the sad experience of those who have horrors of civil contest. It is a most preceded him on his slippery throne, fortunate thing for the north of Italy that there is no chance of safety for that it is under the strong hand of the him in a European struggle, unless most steady and respectable power in he depends on the House of Austria. Europe-one whose rulers will never France always has been, and always set it a bad example, who are able to will be, a treacherous neighbour to protect it from all aggression, and Piedmont; and she will never cease who watch over its social and internal coveting Savoy until she has made it progress with unceasing care. The her own, or has been deprived even Lombards, " like the Irish agitators, of the power of envy. The Grand may cry out for “ Repeal of the Duke of Tuscany is so closely related Union;" but the granting of that to the Emperor that family interests repeal would be the signing of the alone ought to make their policy death-warrant of national prosperity. identical; and the King of Naples, Austria is no enemy to rational, welllike the King of Sardinia, has no balanced liberty: there is no country firmer support for his foreign power in the world where real liberty and than the friendship and countenance happiness are more widely diffused, of the Court of Schönbrunn. The or more intensely felt.

Its people Pope is certainly an independent are free from the clamours of noisy prince, and at his wish to keep the and frothy patriotism, which, when Holy See free from all foreign influ- stripped of its false clothing, proves cice we cannot feel surprised: it is nothing more than vulgar and self

a

interested ambition. They enjoy all mer. Italy, well governed and prosthe blessings of good government, perous, will always offer a good mart and are able each man to sit under for British goods; and therefore, his own fig tree, and to see all around upon this ground alone, Great Britain him in a state of unmixed prosperity. is especially concerned to see that the Such a power as this will not readily Peninsula remains quiet and healthy. give way to the declamations and But, to take a higher view of the state " pronunciations” of the rabble; it of things, it is the true interest of Eng will rather wait for the amelioration land-whatever Radical orators and of the national character; and, when Whig statesmen may think-to ally it finds its subjects fit for some of the herself with the friends of order in introductory processes of self-govern- Europe, and to avoid all connexion ment, it will concede them.)

with the promoters of wars and We could wish to see the other tumults. France would be delighted powers of Italy taking advice from at secing Italy convulsed from one Austria, and not hastening onwards end to the other, were not the crafty too rapidly along that path, wherein occupant of her throne afraid of a return is so unpleasant and so diffi- thereby injuring the solidity of his cult. Far better would it be for them own dynasty. But for England, there to be too slow than too hasty with can be no second course to pursue ; political innovation : the safety of and having gained her own freedom such a retardatory course is certain, through the long experience and the whereas the success of a more rapid severe trials of centuries, she can never advance is exceedingļy problematical. honestly encourage other nations to

As for England, whatever tends to hope for similar results by the proceedthe real benefit of Italy must tend' ings of a few months and weeks. If she also to her advantage. She has does, or rather if her ministers tamper so many commercial, if not political with the revolutionary party in Italy, relations with that country, that the or elsewhere, instead of supporting well-being of a considerable class of the cause of steady government, she her customers cannot but promote the abdicates the high position she holds interests of her own traders. But in the European family, and deserves Italy revolutionised will not be the to lose those multifarious advantages, Italy that now imports large quan- —those numerous possessions, which tities of our goods, and that pays for she holds only on the tenure of being them in valuable products of first- the great supporter of reasonable freerate necessity to the English consu- dom and international justice.

THE PERIODICAL LITERATURE OF AMERICA.

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BRITISH readers are not unac- "Perhaps," interrupts an impatient quainted with the American news- non-admirer of things American genepaper press, as, not to mention rally, “it is because they are not the numerous extracts from trans- worth hearing any thing about." And Atlantic papers in the columns of this suggestion is not so far from London journals, the merits of that truth as it is from politeness. Conpress formed, but a few years ago, a sidering the great demand for perioditopic of controversy between two cal literature in the New World, one is London Quarterlies. But of American surprised to find it so bad in point of magazines and reviews they seldom quality. Not that the monthly and hear any thing. This is certainly in quarterly press is disfigured by the no degree owing to the scarcity of these violence and exaggeration that too publications, for they are as numerous, often deform the daily. Over-spiciin comparison, as the newspapers, ness is the very last fault justly have a very respectable circulation, chargeable upon it. In slang language, (iu some cases nearly four thousand,) it would rather be characterised by and that at the not remarkably low the terms “slow," "seedy," "reprice of four or five dollars per markably mild," and the like. Crude

Neither is it to their insig- essays filled with commonplaces, nificance at homo, for their editors truisms, verses of the true non Di make a considerable figure in the non homines cast, tales such as shopliterary world, and their contributors boys and milliners' girls delight in, are sufficiently vain of themselves, as and “ critical notices" all conceived their practice of signing or heading in the same spirit of indiscriminating articles with their names in full would praise, make up the columns of the alone show.* Indeed Willis's idea monthlies; while the one or two more (su ridiculed by the Edinburgh,) of a pretending publications which now magazine writer becoming a great lion represent the quarterly press, are of in society, is not so very great an ab- a uniformly subdued and soporific surdity if applied to American society. character. Nor is this due to the fact that their Now the first phenomenon worthy topics are exclusively local; for there of notice is, that this has not always is scarcely a subject under heaven of been the case. It was very different which they do not treat, and a European eight or nine years ago.

The three might derive some very startling infor- leading cities of the north, New York, mation from them. The Democratic Boston, and Philadelphia, had each Review, for example, has a habit of pre- its Quarterly: the Knickerbocker, a clicting twice or thrice a-year that Eng. New York magazine, boasted a brilland is on the point of exploding utterly, liant list of contributors, headed by and going off into absolute chaos.t Irving and Cooper, and its articles

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* One of the superficial peculiarities of American magazines is that the names of all the contributors are generally paraded conspicuously on the cover, very few seeking even the disguise of a pseudonym. The number of most remarkable" men and women who thus display themselves in print is surprising.

+ This periodical is particularly unfortunate in its predictions. Last year one of them was absolutely falsified before its appearance. The Democratic introduced a biographical sketch of an eminent politician, with the announcement that "before another number was issued, the people of his State would have re-elected him to the highest office in their gift.” Accident delayed the publication of this prophecy for a short time, and it appeared the very day after Mr

had been defeated by a large majority. Thereupon some editors on the other side stated that the Democratic Reriew was to be discontinued, “ as we learn from its own columns," which may have been a good joke or not, according to tastes. Certainly the editor of the Democratic did his best to make it so, by publishing a serious and angry contradiction

of the report.

more

say?"

were frequently copied (sometimes Mitchell knew less Greek than Lord without acknowledgment,) into Eng- Brougham ? lish periodicals. This change for the “ But perhaps it is the literary Worse is worth investigating, at least criticism to which you object. You are as a matter of curiosity.

an author yourself, perhaps, though "I don't know that it is a change we have not the pleasure of recollectfor the worse," says a prim personage ing you. You have written a goodin spectacles. "If your periodical sized volume of Something, and Other literature dies out entirely, you need Poems, and cannot bear that your not be very sorry. I shouldn't be if thoughts and rhymes should be scruours did."

And then come some tinised and found fault with by a murmurs of “light,” “superficial," reviewer — that your immortal fire "unsound," and more to the same should be tested in so earthy a crueffect.

cible. In that case you will find “ My good sir, this in the face of many or less distinguished Maga ! not to mention the Quarterly names to sympathise with and encouand the Edinburgh. With such faits rage you. There is Bulwer, with accomplis against you, what can you whom the word critic is an exponent

of every thing that is low, and mean, * I don't believe in faits accomplis. and contemptible; and on our side of They are the excuse of the timid the water (sorry are we to say it) a man, and the capital of the unprin- much milder man than Bulwercipled man. Fait accompli means, in Washington Irving-has spoken of plain English, that because it is so, the critical tribe as having little real therefore it ought to be so'-a doc- influence, and not deserving more trine which I, for one, will never influence than they have; while of the assent to."

small fry of authorlings, there is no * Well, there is something in that end of those who are ready to rate last position of yours.

We will con- the reviewer roundly for ' finding fault descend, therefore, to argue the ques- with his betters.' 'One cannot even tion. Let me ask you, then,

condemn an epic of impracticable " First, Do you see any primâ facie length and hopeless mediocrity-nay, improbability in supposing that a man not so much as hint that verses are may write a very good essay, who not necessarily poetry-without being could not write two good volumes oc- assailed by an unceremonious argutaro; or a racy and interesting sketch, mentum ad hominemYou couldn't who could not put together a readable make better.'* And perhaps the novel ; or a few graceful poems, with- critic could not. It is more reasonout having matter enough for a volume able to suppose that he wouldn't if he of poetry?

could, entertaining the commendable * Secondly, Is a treatise necessarily conviction, that to spend a day, much profound, because it is long; or super- more a month or a year, in writing ficial, because it is of practicable midd ng verse, is an awful waste of dimensions ?

time. But what an absurd irrele* Thirdly, When you use the term vancy of counter-charge! Suppose superficial, do you really believe Brummell had found fault with the and mean to imply that periodical Nug ee or Buckmaster of his day for writers are in the habit of discussing misfitting him, and the schneider had subjects which they do not under- replied, Mr Brummell, you couldn't stand? Would you say, for instance. make as good a coat in a year.' •Very that Macaulay's reviews denote a man probably not,'the beau might have reignorant of history, or that Sedgwick torted; but my business is to wear the knows less geology than the man who coat, and yours to make it.' Most a man wrote the Vestiges of Creation, or that be able to concoct a bisque d'écrevisse

* We have heard this argument again and again in America, generally in reference to the seediest of verses ; and there could not be a greater proof of the vagueness and erroneousness of American public opinion as to the nature and object of criticism, and the qualifications for exercising it.

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