Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

not written many admirable books- a measure of self-conceit and self-igbooks which belong to the classical lite- norance

such a total negation of difrature of England -books which bear fidence and of delicacy, to say no more the impress of original and masterly about the matter, inspires us with genius-books which live, and which many doubts as to Mr Irving—doubts cannot die ? This is the true ques- of rather a more serious nature than tion; and it being answered in the af- we are at present disposed to enlarge firmative, as it must be by every man upon. who knows anything whatever about Such are our serious feelings in reour literature and our poetry-by every gard to this base outrage upon the deman who has ever had head enough corum of the pulpit, and the rights of and heart enough to understand a single genius and virtue. Nevertheless, tapage of such works as Thalaba, that king a lower, and perhaps a more suitexquisite etherial romance-or the life able view of this Mr Irving's case, and of Nelson, that specimen of chaste and considering him merely as a young adnervous biography—that gem of Eng- venturer, who wants to make a noise, lish patriotism-or the sublime poem we certainly do not advise him to deof Roderick-in a word, by every man sist from seasoning his discourses with who knows anything at all about what literary allusions and personalities. He Mr Southey has done- This being an- may depend upon it, that the more perswered in the affirmative, and it being sonal his allusions are, the more allumoreover remembered, that Mr Sou- ring and delectable will they be found they is not only one of the very first by “ the more learned, imaginative, order of living scholars and authors in and accomplished classes ;” and he is England-indisputably so-but that probably sufficiently aware already, he is also, “his enemies themselves that there is no vehicle in which they being judges," a man who has through may be more safely and conveniently a life, not now a short one, discharged conveyed to such classes, than the Ser. every social and moral duty of an Eng- mon—we beg pardon—the Oration. lish GENTLEMAN, with uniform and Why not review Don Juan in that exemplary propriety-All this being form? We venture to promise a crowdkept in mind-and it being also kept ed auditory of both Whigs and Toin mind, that Mr Edward Irving is a ries, matrons and maids, the day for young, raw Scotch dominie, who pro- which that Oration is announced. Let bably never sat in the same parlour for the clerk read the extracts, if Mr Irfive minutes with any man worthy of ving feels fatigued. He really has had tying the latchets of Mr Southey's the merit of hitting upon one good shoes a person who has done nothing new idea ; and by all means let him as yet, and who very probably never make the most of it. And, by the will do anything, that can entitle him way, since he has laid aside altogether to any place at all in the higher ranks the name of sermon, why keep up the of intellect-a vain green youth, drunk farce of sticking texts from the Bible with the joy of a novel, and, in all to the beginning of his productions ? likelihood, a very transitory notoriety It would be well, we think, to try the -All these things, we say, being calm- effect of a neat little text from some ly had in mind, and this precious pa- popular work of the day.--" In the ragraph read over again, we really do Book of Blackwood, in volume the not hesitate to say, that we cannot con

column the seceive of there being more than one opi- cond, and there the first paragraph, nion as to who is the most dauntlessly you will find it written,” &c. This and despicably arrogant person now li- would certainly produce a sensation ving in England. We confess that such among the more imaginative classes.

> page the

A VISIT TO SPAIN IN 1823 AND 1823. *

This is a manly and intelligent ac- might have borne to their temple of count of the remarkable proceedings victory, this work of peace would have which drew the general eye on Madrid outshone them all. The most glorious and the South of Spain during the lat- record of their triumph would have ter part of 1822, and the commence- been a charter, securing liberty to all ment of 1823. The Journal occupies ranks of the generous population of only seven months, but those were seven Spain. months of revolutionary and royalist The return of Ferdinand extinguishagitation-perhaps the most stirring ed the Cortes—a feeble, ignorant, and political period that had happened to corrupt cabal, who degraded the name Spain since the suppression of the of patriots and of statesmen. The poCortes by Charles the Fifth. The agi- pulace, disgusted with faction, huzzaed tation of the Peninsular war bore the after the King's wheels, as he drove character of the time; it was warlike, over the mutilated body of this chara great swell and heave of popular in- latanism. No man in Spain was found đignation against a national enemy-a public-spirited enough to demand freenoble and vindicatory revolt of human dom for the nation, or wise enough to nature against a fraudulent, insulting, propose a rational scheme of freedom. and homicidal tyranny. The pressure Thus the great chance was cast away. of this supreme hatred and abhorrence A prejudiced King on the one side, an crushed all the little local influences unadvised people on the other—the for the time ;-a great combat was to throne without a heart, and the people be fought, from whose muster nothing without a head—all the elements were could be spared for petty passions and prepared that wreck nations. To minds individual objects; and in the vigour looking on those things from that disof this universal feeling, as in the con- tance of place and feeling, which alfidence and leading of a sign from lows of the truest political view, Spain Heaven, Spain conquered.

was on the verge of convulsion. But the fall of Napoleon was to Spain The revolt of the troops decided the what the rain of Carthage was to Rome. question, and those military legislators In the loss of that salutary terror, it virtually made a cypher of the crown. lost the great teacher of those virtues But, once again, the apathy of the nawhich are the food and spirit of na- tional character became the national tional eminence, and, in their own good safeguard. The army conquered the season, of solid, prosperous tranquilli- King, and then rested on its arms. A ty. They thought their task was end- knot of city politicians, refugees, and ed, when it was scarcely more than be- mendicants, took up the game, when gun. The expulsion of the French the men of the plume and the bayonet should bave been hailed, not as the had fallen asleep beside the board. signal of rest, but of labour unincum- The terrors of a military struggle subbered, free to choose its ground, and sided into the squabbles of the gown; putting its hand to the plough with and Spain, by nature and habit the the nerve of recent success. A consti- enemy of France and Republicanism, tution, founded on the ancient forms saw itself governed under the name of of the country, with whatever of utili- national freedom by the code of a Paty and civilized fitness there was to be risian Democracy. found in the wisdom of modern times, Our first curiosity is of course exought to have been the first and the cited, like that of the writer, to see the holiest work of the noblest minds of forms of this strange legislation. Spain. Whatever spoils of battle they “ One of the first places to which I bent

* A visit to Spain, detailing the Transactions which occurred during a Residence in that Country in the Latter Part of 1822, and the first Four Months of 1823. With an Account of the Removal of the Court from Madrid to Seville; and General Notices of the Manners, Customs, Costume, and Music of the Country. By Michael J. Quin, Barrister at Law, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.' Hurst, Robinson, and Co. London ; and A. Constable and Co. Edinburgh. 1823.

my steps was the Hall of the Cortes. It Genius and Honour, stand at the sides of is of an oval form, and has very much of the throne, and four--the cardinal vira scenic appearance. The throne is at one tues-are placed, two at each side, lower extremity. It consists of a chair of state, down. There are affixed to the wall sesupported by two bronze gilt lions; the veral marble slabs, on which are written, back is composed of standards, made in the in letters of gold, the names of Alvarez, form of the Roman fasces. On the top is D. Felix Acevedo, D. Luis Daois, D. placed a Baronial helmet, adorned with a

Pedro Velardo, D. Juan Diez Porlier, large ostrich feather, which droops over

D. Luis Lacy, and D. Mariano Alvarez, the seat. Above the chair is the inscrip

men who have distinguished themselves tion, “ Fernando VII. Padre de la pa- by their exertions for liberty. On the tria.” On each side of the chair are Cary- front of the lower gallery the third aratides, the one representing South America, the other the Peninsula, which support ticle of the Constitution is inscribed :

The sovereignty resides essentially in a square canopy, &c. The throne is elevated upon a platform. One step below the pation, and therefore to it belongs ex, this there is another platform, on which clusively the right of making its fundamenStands an oblong table, for the President tal laws.” and six Secretaries of the Cortes. The Pre- Spectators are not admitted below sident sits with his back to the throne, the the bar, nor into the space appropriated Secretaries occupy the sides of the table. to the Deputies ; but they are amply At the end opposite to the President stands provided for in two large galleries, one a silver crucifix. A small silver bell is

over the other, which are at the lower placed at his right hand, which he rings extremity of the hall, opposite to the when he feels it necessary to call any of the throne. On the right of the throne, members to order. Copies of the Evange. half way between the floor and the lists, the Constitution, the Decrees of Cortes, ceiling, there is a tribune for the amand books of authority, are arranged upon bassadors, opposite to which is a simithe lower end of the table," &c. “ There are twenty-two benches for

lar recess for the use of the officers of the deputies, arranged in equal numbers the guard attendant on the Cortes. In at each side of the hall, cushioned and the central part of the hall, nearly on covered with purple velvet. The floor is

a level with the floor, is a tribune for carpetted, and mats are placed for the the ex-Deputies, into which the Defeet. A considerable segment of the oval puties have the privilege of introdu. is railed off for the bar, the foor of which cing their friends. A similar tribune, is covered with green baize. In the cen- opposite to this, is occupied by the tre are two marble pedestals, which sup- short-hand writers to the Cortes. It is port two large and beautiful bronze lions the duty of those gentlemen to take couched. Those grasp in their fore-claw, down every word that is spoken, both a thick gilt rod, which is removed when in the public and the private meetings. the King goes to Cortes, but on no other All this apparatus is now, we take occasion. Below the bar are a lofty pair it for granted, abandoned to the use of of folding doors, through which his Ma- the moths, and other Spanish devastajesty, the royal family, and the officers of tors of cloth and velvet. But as Spain state enter. During the sittings, those will have, in some way or other, a regates are guarded on the inside by two presentative body, let the war turn as sentinels, dressed in silk and gold-lace, it may, this description holds good for hats and drooping feathers, in the style the next meeting of the King and the of the ancient Spanish costume. They Cortes. Those who have heard of the hold gilt maces in their hands, and are relieved every hour; they look more like of Commons will be inclined to think

perpetual sittings of the British House a pair of stage mutes than the officers of that the Spaniards “ have their moa senate. The hall is hung with six large ther's spirit in them still,” and will be lustres, whose tin sconces mar the elegance of the glass manufacture. Imme- but lazy politicians to the last. diately before the throne are four bronze

“ The Cortes begin their debates usually figures, sustaining sockets for wax-lights. There are also several side lustres ; they unless some very important subject occu

at half-past eleven in the forenoon, and, are seldom used, as the Cortes rarely sit pies them, they seldom sit beyond three at night.

o'clock. The Deputies rise and speak from “ The decorations consist principally their places, and generally without the aid of a number of casts from statues, which of notes. There is a handsome rostrum on are well executed. Two, representing each side of the chair, but those are resort, ed to only when a member has to submit a able number of her more active disproposition to the Cortes, when any of the turbers have dipped their pens in ediSecretaries has to make a communication, or torial ink, as a preparative for the dicwhen official documents are to be read. The tatorship, and other absurdities of deConstitution provides, that ministers shall not have seats in the Cortes ; but this body was, found it expedient to advance to

mocracy. San Miguel, soldier as he is authorised to demand the presence of any supremacy by the ordinary way of the member of the cabinet, or of all the members, as often as they think expedient. Brissots and Marats. He was one of When a question is put to the vote, those the editors of the journal called the who are for the affirmative stand up in Espectador immediately before his eletheir places; those against it remain sitting. vation to office; and unless the Duc During a division, strangers are not exclu. d'Angouleme has prohibited him the ded. When the question is one of great exercise of his ingenuity, he is proimportance, the names of the members vo- bably, at this moment, translating Beting are taken down."

renger or Voltaire for the future hopes We now come to that which is less of Spain and freedom. permanent than benches and curtains,

Lopez Banos, a name unmusical to and which, unlike them, will probably Sir Robert Wilson's ears, was the minever share the revival of easy debates, nister of war, a soldier, and rather and the presence of majesty ;- the re, suspected, from his tardy junction with putations and offices of the Liberal the insurrection of the Isla. ministry. The writer speaks like an im

Gasco, the Minister of the Interior, partialist; and his opportunities seem an intelligent, manly personage. He to have allowed him a sufficient know

was an advocate, and obscure. Revoledge of the men and things that turn- lution is tempting to men of this class ed the helm of Spain. In the rapid al- and fortune. He is a Liberal, and yet ternations of democracy, the chief point considered as not quite liberal enough. of address is to catch the Cynthia of This is probably since he has felt the the minute.” The lords of the ascend- comforts of place. In power every man ant this hour are below the horizon the is an aristocrat. Gasco is looked on as next-some never to rise again. We

pot up

to the age.” have here the portraiture of the cabi- Navarro, the Minister of Justice, net for November.

is “ the declared enemy of the usurp“ The ministry of Martinez de la Rosa ations” of the court of Rome. He is having lost its moral influence in the coun. well versed in the canon law, and try, in consequence of a general, though more of a logician than a states. perhaps unjust suspicion, that they favour. man;" characters so seldom joined, ed the meeting of the Royal Guard on the that we feel no great surprise at the 7th of July, 1822, a new ministry was writer's deeming them nearly incomformed, composed of men marked out for

patible. their determined zeal in support of the con. stitution. At the head of the new ministrynister, Egea, is pronounced briefly,

The panegyric of the Finance Miis Evaristo San Miguel. He was chief of the staff in the army of the Isla, and per- modern science

of political economy as but conclusively,

c. He considers the formed his duties in blameless manner. After this, he became one of the principal a mere farce.” Tell not this in the land members of the party of freemasons, to of the Edinburgh Review. The Spawhich he owes his elevation."

niard must be a man of sense. This minister is described in rather The ministry of Martinez de la unpromising colours, as irritable and Rosa and his party were aristocratiimpatient of censure; a proof that he cal. They were called the Anilleros, would not answer for an English trea- the ring-wearers, like the ancient sury bench ; as partial in his distribu- Equites, and numbered many of the tion of patronage, and as unproductive higher noblesse. Among their lazy of manly and original measures. One dreams of renovation, was a Chamber of the most curious traits of modern of Peers. But they were, on the 7th revolution is, its connexion with pub- of July, turned out by men less asleep, lic journals. All the French dema, and on their pillows rose the Commugogues were, in some mode or other, neros, the friends of the sovereignty of allied to the press, some of the chief the people ; a willing, yet somnolent were actually editors. Spain, in her copy of the Parisian party of the Secremoteness, has learned this suspicious tions. Balasteros, Romera Alpuente, step to public honours, and a considera and other nameless patriots, were its

[ocr errors]

leaders. The Freemasons, headed by spiritual assistance, and of medicinal reArguelles, Galiano, Isturiz, &c. were lief. It was occupied by fifteen monks, the original conspirators, and, by the who, it was asserted, and the assertion was help of the military, they were mas

not contradicted, spent their whole time in ters of the throne and the people for

religious exercises and works of practical their day.

virtue, never hesitating, at any hour of the This is all a curious counterpart of night, to traverse the coldest mountains,

to administer the consolation of their sathe French Revolution. The same sel

cred functions. They never evinced a dis. fishness, the same light and ready

position to mingle in the civil war which usurpation of hollow patriotism, the afflicted the country ; the ruggedness of same division of the spoil ; the pic- the territory in which the convent was ture is still more curious, from its qua- placed, was a security that it could never lified and Spanish hue. The canvass, be fixed on as an asylum for arms and that in France was painted with flame provisions of the factious. The locality of and blood, is pale and watery in Spain. the establishment, the thousand recollecRevolution in France was a volcano in

tions by which it was endeared to the sim. full eruption ; in Spain the volcano is ple around it, and its acknowledged utility cold; the whole preparation and con

in such a situation, were, however, plead. formation of ruin is before the eye, jected to the rigid law of suppression. It

ed in vain for its continuance. It was subbut it is overlaid with ashes. There

was the first public calamity which the peoare few more convincing instances of ple of the Battuecas experienced. It was the folly of reasoning from similar cau- not doubted that they would, one and all, ses to similar effects in politics. The resent it, as a wanton act of hostility on men of the Convention plunged into the part of the government." the temptation at once, and rebelled In this excursive manner the writer in the spirit and malignity of Satan. passes through the principal points Their later followers gave way, in the that make the charge against the derashness of the human appetite for mocratic sovereigns of Spain. Violence power, but they could not altogether against the weak, timidity and tardidivest themselves of human nature. ness against the strong, a determinaTheir overthrow of the throne was the tion to overthrow things venerable and most bloodless of all rebellions. Men dear to the national feeling, a rash have been slain in battle, but the scaf- passion for useless novelty in legislafold has been scarcely trodden;—in the tion; their iaw caprice ; their finance midst of a fierce and haughty conflict bankruptcy, and their war non-reof new passions, the civil sword has sistance, confusion, and perpetual rebeen but half-drawn; and the consti- treat—the Spanish Jacobins shewed tution, mad and fruitless as it is, has themselves incompetent to everything been almost without the stain of Spa- that the world had been taught to ex

pect from the firmness and dignity of The suppression of the convents is the native mind. The rebellious cup touched on by the writer with good that had made France mad, had only sense and feeling. After observing on

made them drunk. Their revolt was the rashness of the measure, and its a parody upon the French Revoluconsequent unproductiveness, he alludes to one of those instances, which The public reading of the celebrated must not have been unfrequent in a notes of the allies gives room for some lonely and pastoral country like Spain. striking sketches of Spanish delibera

“ The convent of the Battuecas was si. tion. tuated in a wild, mountainous country, “ The government, having taken some where the population is scattered in little days to consider the foreign dispatches, hamlets. The people seem, from the sim- which had been communicated to it, and of plicity and innocence of their manners, to the answers proper to be returned to them, belong to the primitive ages of the world. resolved on laying the whole of the docuFew of them have ever gone beyond the ments before the Cortes, in a solemn pub. precincts of their peculiar territory; their lic sitting. This was not one of those days pass away in pastoral occupations, points which necessarily required the cogand their evenings are usually closed by nizance of the Cortes ; but the ministers works of piety, intermingled occasionally believed they should be wanting to those with such enjoyments as they can derive sentiments which united them with the Con. from a rude knowledge of the tambour and gress, if they did not place the matter bethe guitar. The convent was their prin. fore them. Besides, the government of cipal source of religious information, of France had taken care to publish the in

nish gore.

« PreviousContinue »