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• We soar to heaven, and to outlive
Our life's contracted span,
The names of mortal man.
may not one poor flowret's bloom
Vouchsaf'd our sins to bear?
By work of human hands,
Are found in Christian lands.
Proclaim His glorious praise,
Its form from earth to raise ?
Its beauties to recal
In Him who died for all !! Mr. Barton has given us several pieces in a stanza which Mr. Milman has contributed to bring into vogue, but of which Professor Smyth bas alone furnished a very successful specimen. We confess that we are not partial to the measure, which, as generally written, is only an apology for lazy versification, as it makes two rhymes do the work of four. Thus, we have a Sea-side Reverie, beginning:
• It is a glorious summer eve! and in the glowing west,
Pillow'd on clouds of rainbow bues, the broad sun sinks to rest. These lines ought to have been printed thus :
• It is a glorious summer eve,
And in the glowing west,
The broad sun sinks to rest.' But, in that case, the want of rhyme at the eighth foot would have been obvious. The only allowable use of the line of fourteen feet is for the purpose of varying the pause, by introducing it at the seventh foot, instead of the eighth; for in'stance :
• It is a glorious evening, and the richly glowing west,' Yet, in the stanzas for Music' by Mr. Smyth, above referred to, the ear is satisfied with the fine modulation of the verse.
• When brightly glows the western ware beneath the sun declining,
In this specimen, however, much of the beauty of the stanza results from the double rhyme and the triplet, followed by a line answering to the second and fourth, and closing the whole as it were with the key-note.
Our friend Bernard may smile at our laying so much stress on the mere mechanism of verse; but all art is mechanism, and it is by art that genius works. In place of any further criticism, we shall close this article with another specimen, which we think will sufficiently recommend the volume to our readers.
Wherever Ocean's billows flow;
As these in their proud courses glow ;
Or that expand the wing in air ;
Existence, and its pleasures share;
Of Spring's blythe gale are dancing fast;.
All countless as they seem to bę;
Untold by, and unknown of Thee,
Oh! think upon thy mortal doom;
The silent empire of the tomb !
Living as thou art even now;
With glance as careless, light, as thou.
Have seen—what now thou look'st upon,
And now from mortal sight are gone.
• Yet, though unseen of human eye
Their reliques slumber in the earth,
To them was given with vital birth.
Earth but contains their mould'ring dust.
With thine must rise to meet the just.
Witness of every secret deed,
The spirits of the dead may heed.
The viewless dead out-number all
Now share with us this earthly ball.
And one to wake a fearful thrill,
The dead, the dead are living still.'
Art. V. 1. The History of the Reign of Henry the Eighth : comprising
the political History of the Commencement of the English Refore, mation. By Sharon Turner, F.S.A. and R.A.S.L. 4to, pp. 710.
Price 21. 2s. London. 1826. 2. A History of England from the first Invasion by the Romans. By
John Lingard, D.D. Vol, the Fifth, containing the Reigns of
Mary and Elizabeth. 4to. pp. 500. London. 1823. 3. A Vindication of certain Passages in the Fourth and Fifth Vo
lumes of the History of England. By J. Lingard, D.D. Second
Edition. Svo. pp. 112. Price 1s. London. 1826. THE THE history of England had been too long considered as
finally settled and rendered classical by Húme, the subtle and prevaricating apologist of despotism in government and of scepticism in matters pertaining to religion. He is now more justly estimated, nor have the fascinations of his style given permanency to a chronicle, of which the depraved sentiment and coloured narrative, are unredeemed by severe and independent research. A better spirit seems to prevail, and the annals of our country are in a fair train for complete and honest investigation. Mr. Turner in particular has distinguished himself as an impartial and vigilant examiner of original authorities, without neglecting the collateral sources of illustration. With a defective style and occasional indications
of bad taste, he has so many of the must substantial qualifications of the historian, that we can dispense with some of the accessories, satisfied with the possession of the main requisites. Thierry's work on the Norman Conquest is, in many respects, an admirable essay, and, in its earlier passages, full and satisfactory; but in the later periods, it is too lightly touched, and with too protracted an application of its primary hypothesis, to be taken as the standard exhibition of British story. Dr. Lingard, again, is proceeding steadily with his ingenious attempt to give a new aspect to the chronicles of England; whether it be the genuine features of history or a painted vizard, such of our readers as may remember our remarks on the preceding volumes, can, we should hope, have little difficulty in determining. The conflict of errors, tends, however, if not to elicit, at least to illustrate truth; and truth itself may exist under so many modifications as to require much sifting and attrition, before it can be considered as established. The extensive detail of Rapin; the incidental investigation of Henry; the intelligence, research, and liberality of Mr. Turner ; the thorough-going partizanship of Dr. Lingard ; are all useful in their way they give us the evidence in so many lights, that it is our own fault if we miss the right result.
Before we pass on from these prefatory remarks to the more immediate subject of the present article, we deem it expedient to disavow, in reference to the expression just used, and to others of the same kind that may occur hereafter, any intentional disrespect to Dr. Lingard.' We have given his volumes a fair examination, and we have risen from their perusal with the conviction that he is, of all writers on English history, the most deeply prejudiced. And when, always keeping in view his extensive knowledge and his singular acuteness, we have compared the evidence that lay before him with the inferences which he has felt himself justified in deducing from it, we have found it impossible to resist the conclusion, that his prejudices are deliberate. His devotedness to his Church seems to have had an injurious effect upon his understanding, with the entire consent of his will. Without meaning for a moment to impute intentional falsehood to such a man, we cannot help expressing our unfeigned astonishment at the system of unscrupulous and unhesitating advocacy which he has seen fit to adopt.
Mr. Turner divides the history of England into three principal eras : the Anglo-Saxon period ; the Middle Ages, including the period from the Norman Invasion to the death of Henry VII.; and the Modern History, commencing with the accession of Henry VIII., whose reign occupies the volume which now lies before us.
It was the fortune of that monarch to hold the sceptre at an important and extraordinary crisis, both in the history of England, and in the general course of human affairs. The mind of Europe had long been at work, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of Rome to restrain its excursions and to press down its salient energies. During her dark and protracted dominion, light had never been so completely extinguished, but that there were some noble spirits ready and resolute to encounter sufferings even unto death, in the vindication of evangelical and intellectual truth. Their testimony was not in vain, though they were not permitted to share its triumph upon earth. The spirit of inquiry went forth, and, though it wrought in secret, it spread extensively, and gained strength with every effort, until at length it burst forth into the victorious insurrection of the Swiss and German Reformers. England was neither slow nor reluctant to receive the general impulse, and Henry's character was in some respects formed to assist and to forward its progress. He was a lover of literature ; he felt no dread of innovation, provided that it did not interfere with his passions or caprices; and he was of a bold and forward disposition, as well as accessible to many of those motives which usually sway men in such matters. The facilities which he afforded to the first morements of the Reformation, were precisely such as shewed that he was an unconscious agent in the mighty work which was to change the face of Europe and the world. It is a rather favourite system with Romanists, to throw upon the Reformation all the odium that properly attaches only to the character of Henry, as if he were its sole originator, and as if the righteousness of its principles could be affected by the immorality of its promoters. Even if we take it is as proved, that the liberation of England from the idolatries and usurpations of Rome, was primarily the mere result of Henry's overpowering tyranny and unbridled appetite-what then? Whạt would this demonstrate, but that the Divine Providence overrules all, even the guilty doings and impulses of men, to its own holy and gracious purposes? When our antagonists tell us, that the pretended Reform' had its origin in the wounded pride, the injured interest, and the impatient sensuality of Luther, and that its introduction into England was the act of a furious and inconstant voluptuary, they prove, on the largest allowance of their plea, only that a higher power than man's was dictating events; they carry us onward from the instrument to the operator,—from ignorant and powerless man, to almighty and omniscient God.