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Art. V. Italy, a Poem. Part the First. f.cp. 8vo. pp. 164. Price 7s. London. 1822.
THIS HIS volume contains eighteen sketches; the following are the subjects: The Lake of Geneva, The Great St. Bernard, The Descent, Jorasse, Margaret De Tours, The Alps, Como, Bergamo, Italy, Venice, Luigi, St. Mark's Place, The Brides of Venice, Foscari, Arqua, Ginevra, Florence, Don Garzia.
We shall give two entire specimens, leaving them to recom mend themselves and the volume by the taste, and spirit, and graphical fidelity with which they are executed.
'THE GREAT ST. BERNARD.
Night was again descending, when my mule,
'Long could I have stood,
By violent men when on the mountain-top
• On the same rock beside it stood the church,
On its dead surface glimmering. 'Twas a scene
As tho' all worldly ties were now dissolved ;-
'But the Bise blew cold;
At their long board. The fare indeed was such
But might have pleased a nicer taste than mine,
But who descends Mont Velan? "Tis La Croix.
Homeward he drags an old man and a boy,
Faltering and falling, and but half awakened,
Asking to sleep again." Such their discourse, pp. 13-19.
This was his chair ; and in it, unobserved,
Art. VI. Europe, or, a General Survey of the Present Situation of
the Principal Powers; with Conjectures on their Future Prospects.
By a Citizen of the United States. 8vo. pp. 411. London. 1829. 1F F the statesmen who were concerned in getting up the Treaty
of Westphalia, were to rise from the dead, and to witness, at the present moment, the complete annihilation of the system which it cost them so much trouble and anxiety to construct, they would be strangely at a loss to account for the conduct of their successors. Were the great Earl of Chatham, or Frederick of Prussia, to re-appear on the scenes of their former glory, they would shudder with indignation at the subserviency which has permitted Russia to place herself in an attitude of such appalling menace to the liberties of Europe. The present,
Writer, whose views seem to be, in general, judicious and impartial, has set the impolicy of this conduct in a strong light; and though there may be somewhat of exaggeration in his estimate of Muscovite power, yet, there is enough of unquestionable truth to excite the most serious apprehensions. When he affirms that not all Europe combined in opposition will be able to re. sist its progress,' should it assail the independence of other nations, we must be permitted to doubt his infallibility. But when he suggests, that the civilization of the Russian nobility • created a new Macedon in the north of the modern Grecian • commonwealths, and it only wants a Philip to be as fatal to • the liberty of its neighbours as the other, he starts a comparison which has so much of the semblance, at least, of truth, as justly to awaken our alarm. Ever since the reign of Peter the Great, the aggrandisement of Russia has been steadily advancing. The command of the Baltic, the Euxine, and the Caspian, the complete subjugation and organization of the Cossacks, the acquisition of Courland, and finally the possession of Finland and Poland, have given her a position of terrible advantage both för attack and defence. We are not yet,
however, so destitute of trust in what we should term Divine Providence, but what modern politicians are accustomed to call the chapter of accidents,' as to ask with the Writer before us,- When Constantinople shall be a Russian port, and • Persia a Russian province, what will become of the British empire in India, and on the ocean ?'
This well-written volume takes a view of the present state of politics in Europe, in reference both to the general system and to the internal arrangements of single states. The Author's sentiments are liberal but moderate. After having gone the whole round of his appointed survey, he finishes, as might have been expected, by claiming for his own federal republic, the ne plus ultra of enlightened government. It is, however, obvious enough, that the experiment has not yet been fairly tried; that the system which may be sufficient for an infant or a rising commonwealth, may fail in its application to a more dense and complicated state of society. The inconveniencies of their scheme of association have never yet pressed upon the American population; and it remains to be seen, whether their institutions are as well suited to the difficulties, as they have been found effectual in the ordinary transactions of general administration.
The internal state of France has varied since this work was written; and much of what might be correct at the date of its completion in Sept. 1821, is now inapplicable to the highhanded ultraism of the French government. We agree, notwithstanding this, with the Writer, in the view which he takes of the auspicious situation of our neighbours, on the whole, though there are many circumstances which might justify less favourable prognostics. He observes, and justly, that France is the arena on which the two great European interests—the liberal and the servile-may be considered as fairly confronted. The sentiment of the nation is evidently with the former; and if there were no other motive for jealousy of the emigrant party, the state of landed possessions would be amply sufficient.
Property must change hands,' was the maxim of the Revolution; and its restoration is the very natural but very impolitic petition of the old proprietors. Hence a continual feeling of irritation in the minds of both parties; and hence the antipathy with which a large and formidable body in the nation regards the men who surround the throne. The French press is no longer in the same state as when this work was composed; but the Author's sentiments respecting the principal writers who influence the public mind, are equally applicable to the present moment. While M. de Cazes was in power, the press was substantially free, and the respectable journals on either side Vol. XVIII. N. S.