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lively motion and music of a mountain-stream sound like a satire to the lame who limp beside it. To feel with, you must always find yourself in, the subject or the person. Adam Smith doubtless was wrong when he explained every moral phenomenon by sympathy; it were a more probable paradox to maintain that a man's intellectual power entirely depends upon the depth, width, and warmth of his sympathies, and that Shakspeare was the greatest of men because he was the widest of sympathisers.
Waiving, at this stage of our paper, such speculations, we claim a high place for Sterling, as possessed of catholic and clear-headed sympathy. Merely to copy the names of a few of the characters whom he has analysed with justice, and praised with generosity, is enough to prove this. He has painted Alexander the Great and Wycliffe, Joan of Arc and Gustavus Adolphus, Milton and Burns, Columbus and Coleridge, Simonides and Carlyle, Napier ad Tennyson. We find him, too, on friendly terms at once with Blackwood's Magazine' and the Westminster Review;' writing in the Quarterly,' and calling Shelley a 'generous heroic being;' and in his Tales and Apologues' imitating the imaginative peculiarities, now of the Gothic, now of the Grecian, and now of the German school. We love this spirit much, not merely as proclaiming a warm heart, but as evincing a wide, keen, and open intellect. We contrast it favourably with a portion of the very class to whom Sterling belonged, whose fastidiousness is fast becoming frantic, who are loathing literature itself, although it is by it alone that themselves have risen, and whose hasty, splenetic, and contradictory judgments tend to exert a damping and discouraging influence upon youthful aspirants, who will ask, if such authorities tell us that nothing has yet been done, how can we expect ever to do anything? Sterling, on the contrary, loved literature for its own sake, and had a true appreciation of its infinite worth and beauty. He was not like Byron, and one or two others we might name, who looked upon literature partly as a means for gratifying an ambition to which other avenues were closed, and partly as an outlet for the waste energy and superfluous fury of their natures, when their passions had not entirely exhausted them, and who, upon the first disappointment and chagrin, were ready to rush into another field; nor did he resemble a class who have mistaken their profession, and expended powers, which might have led them to the highest distinction, in action, in travelling, parliament, or arms, on gaining a dubious literary success, which is despised by themselves; nor did he rank with the men whose love to literature is confined to an appreciation of those who resemble, or who follow their peculiar style. His circumstances saved him from the miserable condition of a hack author, and from all the heart-burnings, jealousies, and disgusts which degrade the noble pursuit of literature in his eyes, and turn the beautiful moon into the clouded lantern of a low, lurid, precarious life. Sterling, in his wide and trembling sympathies with literary excellence, and in his devoted enthusiasm for the varied expressions of the beautiful, as well as in the hectic heat and eagerness of his temperament, bore a striking likeness to Shelley, although possessing a healthier, happier, and better balanced nature. While freely conceding him such qualities, we protest against some of his critical commissions as well as omissions. We are astonished at his silence in reference to John Foster, whose sturdy genius ought to have been known to him, and whose mind was moving more slowly and uneasily through the same process of speculative change with his own. We cannot at all understand his admiration for Montaigne, who appears to have been a very slight sublimation of sensual indifference, and not more honest than the sensual-indifferent wealthy usually are. How grossly unjust he is to Rousseau and Hazlitt, when he calls them declaimers and dealers in rhetorical falsehood!' Grant that Rousseau was personally a poor scrannel, tortuous, and broken pipe, who can deny that a power, call it his genius or his demon, discoursed at times upon him sweet and powerful music, to which nations listened because they could not refrain, and which no term
like rhetoric, or even oratory, nor any inferior to poetry, touching the verge of prophecy, can at all measure? No such utterances have come from Hazlitt, but if he resembled Rousseau in occasional bursts of vanity, he was certainly, on the whole, a sincerer man: he egotises at his proper cost-his absurdities seem given in on oath. For downright honesty, and for masses of plain sense, and native acuteness, we are not afraid to compare and prefer many of his essays to those of the old Gascon, and, with all his faults and deficiencies, his match as a masculine and eloquent critic has yet to be made. What verbose affairs do even Jeffrey's criticisms, when collected, appear beside the lectures of Hazlitt, who often expresses the essence of an author by the scratch of his pen, and settles a literary controversy by an epithet.
Initiation into the mysteries of German philosophy and literature produced in Sterling a considerable degree of indifference toward the English classics. To Addison's essays-those cool, clear, whispering leaves of summer, so native and so refreshing-he never alludes, and we cannot conceive him, like Burke, hushing himself to his last slumber, by hearing read the papers in the 'Spectator' on the immortality of the soul. And against Dr Johnson he has committed himself in a set attack, of which we must speak more particularly. An author of celebrity maintains that no person can be a man of talent who does not admire Dr Johnson, and that all men of eminent ability do admire him.' Without pressing the application of this assertion, we do think that those who, in the present age, find in him a hero, discover both candour and penetration candour to admit and pass by his bulky faults as a writer, and penetration to see his bulky though disguised merits as a writer and a man. For one to call him a mere prejudiced emphatic pedant,' is simply to write down one's self an ass. For Coleridge to call him the overrated man of his age' (how could the age avoid rating him highly, since he was, save Burke, the greatest man it had?) is for Coleridge to prove himself a privileged person, who said whatever he chose. Sterling's charges may be classified thus: Dr Johnson's productions are loud and swollen'-he could say nothing of poetry, and has said nothing of Shakspeare worth listening to'-he had no serene joy'-and he wanted it because he had no capacity for the higher kinds of thought.' To the proof:
1st, His language was loud and swollen.' Granted. So is a torrent, or a river in flood. So are Thomson's Seasons,' Young's Night Thoughts,' Schiller's 'Robbers,' Coleridge's 'Hymn to Mont Blanc' and 'Religious Musings,' Sterling's Lycian Painter' and 'Last of the Giants,' all productions of genuine merit and meaning, and yet all stilted either in style or manner, or both. Johnson is often loud, but seldom boss—he can beat the drum, but he can shiver the castle-gate with his axe too. If his arm be sometimes swollen' with indolence, it is as often swollen with heavy blows aimed, and not in vain, at the heads of his enemies. His very yawn is thunder-he swings in an easy chair, which many that mock him could not move. You may laugh at the elephant picking up the pin, but not ejacu lating you, brained and battered, toward the skies.
2dly, He has said nothing of Shakspeare or poetry worth listening to. What Is his dissertation in Waller on sacred poetry, be it true or false, not worth listening to? or his panegyric on the Paradise Lost?" or his character of the Night Thoughts?' or his comparison between Pope and Dryden? or his picture of a poet in Rasselas ?' or his unanswered overturn of the unities in his essay on Shakspeare? or several other portions of that. ⚫ponderous mass of futilities?' or his famous lines on Shakspeare? Mark, we are not asserting that all such passages are of the highest order of philosophical criticism, but we are asserting their intrinsic value, and their immeasurable superiority to the vague, empty, pointless, misty, and pseudo-German disquisitions which stuff many of our principal magazines and reviews in the present day. We are not prepared to sacrifice the poorest passages in the Lives of the Poets'-nay, not even his notes on Shakspeare (which make Fanny Kemble swear-off the stage), for such
a piece of elaborate and recondite idiocy, as recently was permitted to appear in a celebrated Scottish review, as a paper on Tennyson's Princess,' and was yet not the worst specimen of the kind of criticism referred to.
But Sterling accuses Johnson of wanting serene joy;' an accusation, alas! too true. But, how could he have attained this, in the first place, under the pressure of that 'vile body—that huge mass of disease, bad humours, and semi-blindness, which he carried about with him, and under which he struggled and writhed like a giant below Etna? In the victim of old, yoked consciously to a putrifying carcass, we may conceive stern submission, but hardly serene joy. We can account for a man like William Cobbett, high in health, clear in eye, and with a system answering, like the crystal mirror of a stream, to every feature of his intellectual faculties, reproaching Johnson with gloom, but must think it a sad mistake, if not an affectation, on the part of a philosophic valetudinarian like John Sterling. Besides, as it has been said that the laws of disease are as beautiful as those of health, the intuitions of disease are as true as those of health. In none of them is the whole truth found; but even as the jaundiced view is only a partial rendering of the creation and of man, so the view of one in perfect health and strength, with a sanguine temperament, and in circumstances of signal prosperity, is equally imperfect. The one may be called a black or yellow, the other a white lie. Surely the Cockney we have elsewhere commemorated as sitting with Carlyle in a railway carriage, rubbing his hands, and saying to the grim stranger- Successful world this, isn't it, sir?' was as far astray as the author of Sartor glaring through the gloomy bile-spotted splendour of the atmosphere which usually surrounds his spirit. And whether are more trustworthy the feelings of the man standing before his fire watching the parturition of a pudding, and the simmering of a pot of mulled porter, and exclaiming, How comfortable!' or those of a traveller perishing among the midnight snows? There is truth, and equal truth, in all such angular aspects,-there is the whole truth in none of them, nor even in any conceivable mixture of them all. And it were difficult to imagine a man in temperament like Johnson forming essentially another view than what rushed in on him from every orifice of his distempered system.
There is a cant in the present day-a cant which Sterling was above-about health, healthy systems, healthy views, healthy regulation of body, as producing a healthy tone of mind, as if the soul and stomach were identical, as if good digestion were the same thing with happiness, as if all gloomy and distressing thoughts sprung from bile, as if one had only to lie down under the wet sheet' to understand the origin of evil, to solve all the cognate, tremendous problems of the universe, and to obtain that reconciliation' after which all earnest spirits aspire. Easy the process now for obtaining the peace which passeth understanding!' Poor John Bunyan, why didst thou struggle, writhe, and madden, wade through hells of fire and seas of blood, to gain a result to which cold bathing and barks would have led thee in a month? Foolish Thomas Carlyle, why all that pother about everlasting noes and yeas, instead of anticipating Bulwer in the baptismal regeneration of the cold water cure? This is a free translation of the doctrines propounded by our modern utilitarians, who hold that if they had had Dante and Byron in their hands they would have made them happy men, and writers so sweet and so practical, and who can hardly credit you when you tell them that John Foster observed all the natural laws,' and was a gloomy son of thunder,' and that others break them daily, and are as merry as the day is long. It is vain to speak to them of temperament, of hereditary melancholy, of mental penetration so piercing as to amount to distemper, of visions of evil so vivid as to haunt every movement of the spirit, of hectic sensibility, of doubts so strong as to threaten to strangle piety and render devotion at times a torment-let the man but give up tobacco, and he will and must be happy! Foster evidently did not take enough of exercise, Carlyle smokes,
and Cowper went to excess, it is well known, in the that cheers but not inebriates.' Hinc illae lachrymae! Now, it is of course conceded that a well-regulated physical life will in some measure modify both mental views and mental happiness. But, in the first place, there are constitutions for whom a well regulated means a generous mode of living. Such was that of Shelley, who, according to the testimony of his friends, was never so well or happy as when, at rare intervals, he departed from his usual fare of vegetables and water. Secondly, Because thou art virtuous,' is there no more vice in the world, no more misery-is every dark problem solved--are the old enigmas of death and sin made one whit plainer? nay, in proportion to the degree of personal purity is not the feeling of sorrow and disgust at the follies and foulnesses of the world likely to gain strength? Ah! the utmost that the cleanest outward life can do is to produce in some minds a feeling that they have evaded, although not met, the grand diffculty, to produce in others a selfish self complacency and forgetfulness, springing from a state of health so unnaturally constant as to be in reality a disease, and on minds of the higher order to produce little permanent effect at all. From another source must help come. From above, from the regions of spiritual truth, must descend that baptism of fire which confers ardent hope, if not happinessthat blessedness which is higher and better, even in its imperfection and chequered light, than the unthinking calm or mechanical gladness of the best regulated animalism. But Johnson, according to Sterling, wanted serene joy, not merely from the peculiarity of his temperament, nor merely from the state of his age and the degree of his culture, as affecting his impressions, but from his incapacity for the higher kinds of thought-as if all possessed of this capacity, as if Coleridge, for instance, or Schiller, or Carlyle, whom Sterling always ranks in the first class, have been serene, and as if this explanation of Johnson's want of peace were not disproved by a hundred instances of men who, less entitled than he to the praise of the highest original or inventive genius-for example, Hall, Southey, Chalmers, and the lately deceased Hamilton of Leeds-have been distinguished by buoyant and child-like felicity. No; we are persuaded that from no defect in Johnson's intellect, but from constitutional causes, sprung his morbid melancholy; nay, that the strength of his intellect was proved by the control which it exercised over his temperament. A giant maniac required and obtained a giant keeper. Had he possessed the culture and shared in the progress of our age, we are not sure if more than three or four of its literary heroes would have overtopped him. Peace to his massive shade! He was one of the best, greatest, wisest, and most sincere of
While we are engaged in finding fault, we may notice our author's opinions on the connection between intellect and heart. Carlyle had maintained that a truly great intellect must always be accompanied by a noble moral nature; he had not asserted the converse, that a noble moral nature implies a great intellect. Sterling, in his reply, commits, we think, two mistakes. First, imagining that Carlyle had asserted this untenable converse, he presses him with the names of Newton of Olney, Thomas Scott, Calamy, Swartz, and Jeanie Deans, and asks if these were people of high intellect? But although the day includes the hour, the hour does not include the day. Carlyle's idea is, that while the moral nature has been found high and the intellect small, the intellect has never come to its true elevation without the correspondence of the heart. It is a question of facts. In the second place, Sterling and Carlyle attach different meanings to the word intellect. With the one it signifies the understanding, and he shows triumphantly how it has wedded wickedness or heartlessness in Tiberius, the Duke of Guise, Lord Bolingbroke, Voltaire, and Talleyrand. With Carlyle it means the higher power of intuition, genius, or reason, which, according to him, while often attended by a train of error-imps, or even big, burly vices, never exhibits profound and radical depravity, and is never unattended by a sense of the good, the true,
the generous, and the just. It is obviously impossible to settle a controversy where there is a preliminary misunderstanding as to the terms, but we certainly incline to Carlyle's opinion-holding it, however, only as a general rule, and noting two distinct species of exception which we may call the mad and the monstrous case. There is first the mad, in which, as with Rousseau, and perhaps Mirabeau and Byron, a diseased organisation has divided those principles of head and heart which are usually joined in the marriage chamber of the brain of genius. There is, secondly, the monstrous case, where, as in Bacon, the moral sense, if not omitted entirely, seems to exist in an inverse proportion to the intellectual power-where an intellect vast, varied, and weighty as the globe is balanced by a heart, hard and small as a pin-point. Ought we to add Napoleon as another instance of this second most rare and appalling formation?
We mentioned as the second general quality of Sterling his sincerity. Those much abused and desecrated terms, truth-seeker and beauty-lover, assumed too often by the selfish and the vain to distinguish them from the common crowd, came of their own accord and rested on his head. And if he did seem toward the close to relax somewhat in his devotion to truth, and to be smit with a fonder affection for the beautiful, it was because, while the latter melted into his embrace, the former fled ever before him into her awful shades. He turned from the haughty Rosalind of truth to the fair young Juliet of beauty. But his love, in both instances, was as pure as it was ardent. You do not see in him the death-wrestle of Arnold, who, like Jacob at Peniel, appears panting as he cries to the mysterious form, 'I will not let thee go except thou bless me; rather crush me by thy weight than tell me nothing.' For such painful and protracted struggle Sterling was unfitted by temperament and by illness; but if not a rugged athlete, he was a swift runner in this great chase. His mind wrought less than Arnold's by research-more by rapid intuition. With less learning and perseverance, he had incomparably more imagination and more philosophic sagacity. Health and circumstances prevented him from effecting so much as Arnold, or leaving on the age the same impression of fearlessness, truthfulness, and moral power. More than even Arnold was he caught in the meshes of uncertainty, and to both death seemed the dawning of a light which they had yearned after but never reached on earth. Both died too early for the world, but in time for their own happiness. It is clear that Arnold could not have remained much longer connected with the English Church, nor probably with any. Whither the restless progress of Sterling's mind would have led him we cannot tell, but it had conducted him to quaking and dangerous ground. Both, while in deep doubt upon many important questions, exhibited on the verge of death a child-like Christianity of spirit and language which it is delightful to contemplate; and both, through their moral likeness to each other, through their position and the progress of their thought, will, notwithstanding many mental dissimilarities, be classed together by posterity as two of the most interesting specimens of the enlightened minds of our strange transition period.
modes of investigating that science. His culture, altoge ther, was rather elegant than strict, rather recherché than profound; and from this, we think, in part proceeded the uncertainty of his theological views. His clerical profession and his early feelings created an intense interest in theological subjects, and a yearning for deeper insight into them, but his tastes and his powers adapted him for a dif ferent pursuit. Theology, if we would find aught new in it, requires digging. Sterling could not dig, he could only fly; his verdicts, therefore, are valuable principally for their sincerity; they are rapid first impressions, not slow, deliberate, last judgments. The very power which rendered him a consummate critic of the fine arts, and often an exquisite artist, disqualified him for those laborious and complicated processes which go to build up the great || idea of God's relations to mankind. Here he is a tongueless orator, a blind painter, a dumb musician, his powerlessness of execution being proportionate to the strength of his desire.
A man of genius John Sterling has often been called, nor are we disposed to deny him the precious but indefinite term. His sympathies, his temperament, his mode of thinking, all the moods and tenses of his mind, were those |. of genius. If not a man of genius, he was a most startling likeness or bust of one. Nevertheless, we have our doubts as to the originality or greatness of his vein. We argue this not, as some would absurdly, from his wide and generous sympathies; great genius implies a great genial na- || ture as necessarily as a great river a great channel for its waters, and a broad nature, like a broad river, must reflect many objects. We argue it not from finding no extensive or profound work in the list of his writings-this | his short life and his long duel with death sufficiently explain; and still less from his non-popularity (in the popular sense) as an author; as he never spoke to the empty echo of popular applause, he never expected to receive a reply. But we imagine that we notice in the various productions he has left a sort of tentative process, as of a mind distracted by various models and attempting different styles. We observe this not merely in his earlier but in his later works. We never, from the beginning to the end of his career, find him in a path so peculiar and lonely that we cry out, Let him prosecute this if he can till the crack of doom.' He never gives the impression, amid all his individual brilliancies of thought, invention, and figure, of a new, and whole, and undivided thing, leaving such influence on us as is given by the sight of a new comet in the heavens, or of a Faust, a Festus, or a Rime of the Anciente Mariner' upon the earth. His genius rather touches, dances on a brilliant and shapeless fire-mist, than constructs it into fine or terrible forms. He has all the variety, vividness, truth, and eloquence which constitute an artist who has genius, but not the possession, the selfabandonment, the gigantic monotony, slowly evolving itself out of the wide circle of early sympathies, and wielding them all to its purpose-the one great thing in nature to tell-the one great thing toward man to do, which distinguish a prophet whom genius has.
There are two lights in which to regard Sterling's writings-either as trials of strength or as triumphs of genius. It is in the former light that we are disposed to regard them. They are of almost every variety of style, subject, and merit. We have poems, apologues, allegories, a tragedy, criticisms, novels, and fragmentary relics. Seldom do we remember the steep of fame scaled on so many sides by one so young. He resembled a captain who, waiting for the ultimate order of his general, keeps his troops moving hither and thither in what seems aimless and endless ubiquity. So Sterling hung around all the alleys and avenues of thought, tarrying for the word came. Yet assuredly his talent, tactics, and earnestness were of no ordinary kind. How much mild pathos has he condensed into the Sexton's Daughter!' What fine though dim condensations many of his poetical lines are! How tenderly and truly does he touch what we might deem the yet sensitive and shrinking corpse of Wentworth! Na
Sterling's culture was of a peculiar kind. His mind was not ripened under the stern and scorching sun of science, but under the softer and more genial warmth of philosophy and literature. We are not sure if he had ever thoroughly mastered the original works of the German philosophers, or if his metaphysical reading was of an extensive range; we incline to think that he had acquired much of his knowledge of Kant and his brethren from the extempore versions of Coleridge, and that it was with the poets and such moral and religious writers of Germany as Schleiermacher that he was familiar. His historical knowledge was rather wide than accurate, and from severe per-march, and secure this or that one'-a word which never sonal research he shrunk with all the reluctance of a sensitive and nervous nature. With the classics of all polite li erature he was intimately conversant. His theological attainments were respectable-there is no evidence that they were more; and latterly, indeed, he became deeply prejudiced against the present pretensions, and forms, and
poleon, too, he has resuscitated; and it is at the touch of no earthworm that he springs aloft, gigantic, if not triumphant, from the tomb. And throughout the tales and apologues, which principally compose the second volume of his 'Remains,' there are sprinkled beauties of thought, sentiment, and expression, for which forty volumes of modern novels might be searched in vain.
On his 'Thoughts' and 'Letters,' as in some respects the most interesting of his writings, we propose to pause for a little. Always are such writings, if from a sincere man, the most direct and genuine issues of his spirit they are just the mind turned inside out. The naked man that can bear inspection must be handsome; the naked thought which delights must be beautiful and true. A very good and very clever divine has written Adams's Private Thoughts.' We are thankful to him; but what would we give for the private thoughts of Shakspeare, Milton, and especially of Burke, since he, less than most men, hung his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck at.' Were but some one wiser and greater than Rousseau to shrive himself as honestly as he! An honest account of his inmost sentiments and his entire history, held up in the hand of any intellectual man, not insane, would stop almost the motions of society till it had been read and pondered. Autobiographies being in general the falsest of books, the exception would be the more prized. And thus, too, we should find that one fearless man had uttered feelings and thoughts participated in by the whole human race, and was the mouth of a dumb humanity.
ing verses at all. The writings of Schelling, Fichte, and some others, give the same uneasy belief as to prose.' Again-Lately I have been reading some of Alfred Ten nyson's second volume, and with profound admiration of his truly lyric and idyllic genius. There seems to me to have been more epic power in Keats, that fiery, beautiful meteor; but they are two most true and great poets. When one thinks of the amount of recognition they have received, one may well bless God that poetry is in itself strength and joy, whether it be crowned by all mankind or left alone in its own magic hermitage. It is true that what new poetry we have is little cared for; but also true that there is wonderfully little deserving any honour. Compare our present state with twenty years ago, when Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, and Scott as a novelist, were all vigorously productive. Carlyle is the one great star that has arisen since, and he is far more prophet than singer.' He gives a striking anecdote of Thorwaldsen: 'Did you ever hear the story of his being at a party at Bunsen's, whose house was on the Capitolian Hill, on the site of the temple of Olympian Jove, and where the conversation, as often, under Bunsen's guidance, took a very Christian turn, till Thorwaldsen remarked, through the window commanding a noble prospect of Rome, the mo dern city, the planet Jupiter in great glory, and, filling his glass, exclaimed, Well, here's in honour of the ancient gods!'*
INDIAN RAILWAY S.
Sterling's 'T 'Thoughts' are evidently sincere, but as evidently a selection. They are the collected cream of his BRITAIN is about to subdue India at last, by a grand coup mind. He does not open his soul ad aperturam libri. de main. She is about to crush her down beneath a veriHe gives us elegant extracts, and some of them might have table iron yoke, more powerful than that of Warren Hastbeen better entitled, How I ought to have thought at such ings, and to trample her stagnant prejudices under the feet and such a time.' The whole collection is not so much of of that inexorable civiliser the iron horse. A gentleman thoughts' as of'after-thoughts.' They were published, named Mr Simms has been sent out at the head of a comlet us remember, before his death, in Blackwood's Maga- mission, to examine the capacities of India for being laid zine.' Had they been thorough-going utterances and writ- down in lines, and he has reported the practicability of ten in blood, no periodical would have printed them. As girding the great continent with iron bands, from Calcutta it is, many of them are very beautiful and profound. We to Delhi, a distance of nine hundred miles, together with quote a few:
There is no lie that many men will not believe; there is no man who does not believe many lies; and there is no man who believes only lies.
One dupe is as impossible as one twin.
lateral branches from the coal-fields of Burdwan to the plain of Rajmahal, and to many other Indian towns and stations of note. This is a mighty and beneficent enterprise, worthy of the age in which we live, and cheeringly
To found an argument for the value of Christianity on external evi- illustrative of the tendency of the European mind in that
dence, and not on the condition of man and the pure idea of God, is
Goethe sometimes reminds us of a Titan in a court-dress.
The prose man knows nothing of poetry, but poetry knows much
Those who deride the name of God are the most unhappy of men except those who make a trade of honouring him.
An unproductive truth is none. But there are products which cannot be weighed even in patent scales, nor brought to market. There is a tendency in modern education to cover the fingers with
rings, and at the same time cut the sinews at the wrist. Better a cut finger than no knife.
The worst education which teaches self-denial is better than the best which teaches everything else, and not that.'
Sterling's letters are plain, unexcited, and unpretending. Their style, so much simpler than that of his essays and tales, suggests the thought that he must have elaborated the latter. They interest more from their good sense ard information than as discoveries of character. They are full of generous and quiet criticism. Thus, of Lamb, he says I have been looking over the two volumes of his letters, and I am disposed to consider them the pleasantest in the language, not excepting the best of Cowper's, nor Horace Walpole's. He was a man of true genius, though on a small scale, as a spangle may be gold as pure as a doubloon.' Speaking of his own poems, he says-When I think of Christabel, and Herman, and Dorothea, I feel a strong persuasion that I deserve the pillory for ever writ
vast territory, which has hitherto been a theatre of bloodshed and crime.
The scheme of Indian railways has been often urged, and for a considerable time debated; and the chief objectors to this peaceful invasion of the prejudicies and divisions of the east, have been those men who never hesitated to admit and undertake the subjugation of this vast continent by the sword. The beneficent and progressive spirit of commerce, is, however, jostling out the feudal ideas imported to that empire, and now the railway-engine is to scream down the black-mouthed cannon, and the stoker is to crow down Captain Sabretash.
The chief objections raised by the court to the practical completion and profitable and permanent establishment of iron highways in India, were six, and were said to be peculiarly incidental to the climate of this vast tropical region. These, which we shall enumerate, the commission satisfactorily disposes of, for they are really very inno cent, and seemingly not at all peculiar to any territory. The first is the periodical rains and inundations, which by flooding the railways and sapping the foundations of the pathways, would render them not only unprofitable but dangerous. To this the commission reply, that the practicability of keeping up a railway at a trifling expense was already proven by the existence of bunds and roads in India, metallised and unmetallised, which were sufficient,
paper on him in the British Quarterly Review. We are sorry its Since writing our article on Sterling, we have read a short, gifted author (evidently Thomas Binney) did not enter more at large into the subject. We mention this article simply because its author takes the same view of Sterling as we propose to do in our next paper, as a type of many minds in the age, and to prevent any charge of plagiarism.
with very moderate supervision and a trifling expense for labour, to resist the insidious destructiveness of the rainy seasons. Of course, extraordinary inundations and storms might occur, which would defy the ordinary calculations derived from general observation. The second objection arises from the continued action of violent winds, and of a vertical sun. These difficulties apply less to the railway itself than to the working thereof. Suitable arrangements in the construction could controvert the influences of both sun and wind upon the rail; the high winds, however, may retard the progress of the trains a little, and the temperature during the hot season may produce a greater tendency to combustion by friction, but this ought only to induce a stricter watchfulness and greater care amongst those employed on the lines, and cannot be entertained as a material objection. The objectors come to the attack with, thirdly, the ravages of insects and vermin upon timber and earthwork.' The report of the commission meets this by stating, that the destructive influences of insects upon the teak and iron-wood of Arracan amounts to nothing, and consequently that the objection is disposed of. If, however, subsequent investigation should demonstrate that these woods are pervious to the attacks of damp and animalcules, recourse can be had to the preservative preparations now in use in England to prevent the decay of timber. Earthworks, it is true, are subject to be undermined by burrowing animals, but it seems as if vigilance amongst the workmen would be sufficient to prevent any formidable evil from this cause. A fourth and more formidable objection than any of the preceding, is the effects of the spontaneous vegetation of underwood upon earth and brickwork. This would require a constant and faithful discharge of duty on the part of overseers and railway servants, so as to root up every appearance of such vegetation as soon as it appeared; and surely this would be sufficient for the suppression of this obstacle. The rapid growth of plants in tropical climes, renders them formidable obstructions to the development and continued action of cultivation. Trees and gigantic reeds, as the Palma Christi, or castor-oil plant, and the gigantic reed called Surkunda and Nural, have been known to spring fifteen feet in two years, after having been cut down. These plants, from their rapid vegetative powers, may give considerable trouble, but their large roots, on the other hand, are well adapted to bind the loose soil, and to prevent it from being easily washed away by the rains. Another objection is the difficulty of obtaining competent and trustworthy engineers.' Now, really, to our dull European comprehension, this seems too bad of the statu quo' old Indians. They do not perceive any difficulty in sending to England for the raw material of those cohorts with whom they go forth to subdue the Sikhs and Sirdars. They have military schools for the training of bombardiers, sappers and miners, trigonometricians and the constructors of fortifications; why not as easily train men to the peaceful professions of stokers and drivers? Give man a tithe of the encouragement which C ive and Hastings obtained, and India shall soon have engineers upon her railways that Europe could not surpass.
The commissioners have proposed in their report a grand line, the advantages of which can, of course, be best judged of by those whom, practical observation and minute topographical knowledge enable to form an opiuion on the subject. It is sufficient matter of gratulation to us that a line has been recommended. It remains for the capitalists who will adventure in the matter to determine the precise value of the commissioners' suggestions, and the reasons for the same. The commissioners recommend, from personal examination of the country, a line of railway connecting Calcutta with Mirzapore, and from thence to Delhi and the north-west frontier. They prescribe the tract to be taken by this line, and give in detail their reasons for adopting the peculiar route which they have suggested; these are too numerous and too local to interest our readers. The line between Mirzapore and Delhi will be one of great importance, inasmuch as it shall pass through the Rani gunge collieries, thus crossing the great coal-field of Burd
wan, and probably that of Pachete, which may be regarded as a circuinstance of vital importance to the steam naviga tion of the Indian seas, and to the operations of the railways of the interior. Coal is also indispensable to the Indian manufactories; and such is the difficulty of obtaining this fuel of good quality from the interior, that English coal is bought in preference at enormous expense. There are splendid fields of coal, of the first quality, in India; and the railways, by intersecting these, and rendering the transit of this valuable fuel not only easy, but the supply abundant, would materially and rapidly conduce to the development of the vast capacities and energies of India. At the present moment, the coal trade of the interior of India is a complete monopoly, sustained by fraud, and perpetuated to the manifest retardation of the interests of the east. All the coal that is brought from the Burdwan coal-field to the coast, is brought down the river Damuda, which joins the Hoogly at its mouth. The river is only open during two or three months in the year, and in order to supply a brisk trade for this period, the collier must have his coal lying roasting on the banks of the river previous to the opening of the traffic. The trade is only carried on, too, by the common river craft, which a wealthy speculator can easily secure to the complete prostration of the trades dependent upon this fuel. The opening of the railways would destroy this great commercial, economical, and social evil, and materially conduce to the cheapening of fuel in the warm countries of the east, where it is immeasurably dearer than with us, where it is so essential.
No one can look towards India and contemplate the progress of railways in its territory without feeling his heart expand in anticipation of the glorious results likely to flow from this means of intercommunion. Since the East India Company planted its little factory upon the const of Bengal, and, taking advantage of the cominotions which its agents incited amongst the native chiefs, grasped with a nervous and imperious hand its rapidly extending and splendid empire, India has retrograded in native dig nity and ability, and its regalities have withered under European domination and the law of force. Its mighty territory has been one vast theatre of intrigue and uusern pulous ambition. Men have gone thither to throw the die for fortune amongst blood, and they have come again and again to the west burdened with their golden crimes. Distraction, detrogression, humiliation, and despair, have characterised the Asiatics. Arrogance, conquest, and fierce ambition, have, on the other hand, been almost the only aspects of European character shown to the Indians, until in many places the very religion of love is outlawed as an emanation from the whites. Better days are, however, beginning to dawn upon that great empire. Britain is loosening her feudal grasp upon the throat of conquered India, and is about to advance her to the brotherhood of trade. A line of railway is to link the presidencies of Agra, Bengal, and Bombay together in an indissoluble unity, welded and bound by iron bonds of peace. It is impossible to calculate but pleasing to anticipate the ef fect of this system of railways upon the religious and internal social systems of India. The prejudices and insanities of tribes and creeds must inevitably disappear before the superior force of western civilisation.
LIMNINGS OF SOCIAL LIFE.
BARNABY BIGGLES, THE MAN OF MANY SORROWS.
BARNABY was not rich in paternal acres, but he was more than well to do in the world. He had seven thousand pounds in stock, a nice little country house and garden in Clapham, a good-natured wife, and five promising children. What more could he wish for? The lines had fallen in pleasant places, but Barnaby was slow to perceive them. He might have looked with an independent spirit on the world-he only cringed to it. He might have thanked heaven for its manna in the pilgrimage-he murmured for the quails. He might have built up the fountain of his