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But the hollow friendship or the fears which had opened his passage; conspired against his retreat, and Spain, and Milan, and Venice, and Rome, and even Sforza himself, became his adversaries. He escaped from Italy, whose soil he had overturned, to whom he had brought discase and ravage, whose politics he had poisoned, and bearing with him nothing but the perfidious alliance of Sforza, who had alternately courted and betrayed him. That war had scarcely ceased, when a new coalition brought a new war; and the soldiers of this last had just breathed, when the league of Cambray again ‘put Italy into commotion. It seemed to subside ; but the expedition of Louis XII against Milan, succeeded by a new confederacy, disturbed its repose, which was afterwards again alarmed by the attack of Maximilian. While such were the prominent features of Italian policy, its expression was fiercely marked by the passions of civil war. Naples vibrated between the arms of France and Spain. The Pontiffs held a loose and dangerous dominion over Nobles, who sullenly obeyed, or perfidiously opposed their authority. Urbino was lost in the storm. The Medici were expelled from Florence; four times they attempted to regain their power; and while the state wavered or trembled before the conflicting partisans, Pisa urged against her a long and fruitless war to recover its sovereignty. The usurpation of Sforza covered Milan with blood and treachery and desolation, and Borgia seemed restless while there lived a Prince whom he had not conquered or betrayed. The spirit of private vengeance rivalled the genius of public profligacy. A Cardinal of Pavia assassinated in the streets by an enemy, with impunity, may represent the state of private morals, and the atrocious partition of Naples by France and Spain, has since then, stood a solitary monument of national perfidy till our own times have supplied its companion.
Such were the men who surrounded Macchiavelli; such the man dels of that system which be knew deeply, and described faithfully. His work, therefore, might have been a mere historical satire, without the merit of exposing despotism or the guilt of recommending it. But if we must ascribe to him some immediate view, this conclusion seems at once most charitable and most probable. In his Discourses, he describes how a Republic may be formed and preserved. His Prince seems designed to show the means of acquiring and securing a tyranny, and as, in his Memoir, he apparently gave Leo the means of establishing himself, yet really secured the freedom of the State, so in the Prince, while he seems to explain the means of acquiring despotic power, he in fact develops the methods of opposing it. It may be said: that he might, and ought to have expressed his detestation of the principles while he announces them. But in the first place, if his intention was to mislead, any clearer intimation than he does give of his real sentiments, would have destroyed the illusion. In the second
place, he is describing a conduct obviously corrupt, he is drawing a picture essentially bloody ; his colouring must therefore be suited to the subject, and he who blames Macchiavelli because the virtuous sentiments of The Discourses are not found in The Prince, might reproach Guido Reni for not having painted his ethereal figure of Fortune on the same canvas with his Massacre of the Innocents. Besides that, he himself hints, that it might have been dangerous to express his opinions freely. “A certain Prince,” says he, “ of these times, whom it is not well to name (il quale non ę bene nominare) always preaches,” &c. What, however, appears to be the chief source of misapprehension, is, that in the midst of these bad principles are occasionally given the soundest maxims of policy, the enumeration of which seems to confound the good with the profligatę. But if Macchiavelli undertook to delineate a bad Prince, the truth of history, the consistency of character, obliged him to write thus. The most profligate Prince that ever wore a crown must often act honestly, or his empire is lost. Such is the homage which vice itself is obliged to pay to honour, that even crime finds safety behind the mask of virtue. A go vernment which should uniformly defy the rules of good faith and honesty, would perish in its own corruption. The virtues adhere to and strengthen each other, but the vices are completely centrifugal, and a faithless government undermines itself while it betrays others. When Plato assumes the easy useless task of describing a fictitious republic, he finds no difficulty in making good characters which exist only in fancy, nor in prescribing rules of government perfectly just and perfectly impracticable. When Aristotle,* a much more acute politician, describes the causes of revolutions, and the means by which different governments support themselves, he states, with a precision which to some appears to detract from the originality of the Florentine, the víces, and the deceptions by which tyrants maintain their power. When Macchiavelli with greater depth and detail pursues the same inquiry, he is forced to show that if tyrants do violate some of the great moral rules of duty, their very existence requires that they must often feel the reality or possess the resemblance of virtue.
But whatever were his views, the merits of his works are to be appreciated by their effect on society. His particular interests, his own purposes, if he had any in the composition, have long since perished with him, and to posterity nothing has survived but the clear exposition, the lucid image of the vices and the artifices of tyrants. Far from teaching the means of oppression, such a development can only serve to alarm society for its safety. It is indeed questionable, whether a despot was ever formed by study, since the power which lifts him beyond control, secures the passions from the approach of abstract specu
• Aristotle, Politics, particularly. B.5.
lation. The advice which might influence would be whispered by obsequious counsellors. But to publish the secret movements of despotism, is to reveal its atrocity; to show how tyrants govern, is to invite mankind to detest, or instruct them to oppose usurpation.
SKETCHES OF AMERICAN SCENERY-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
• CASCADE CREEK unites itself with the Susquehanna about a mile to the south of that part of the northern boundary line of Pennsylvania, through which the river passes on its first entrance into this State. The Creek is, in general, rapid, and derives its name from a fine Cascade of about sixty feet in height, of which we have given a sketch. This is about half a mile above the mouth of the Creek, the banks or cliffs of which are so abrupt on both sides, that the inquisitive traveller is obliged to wade a considerable part of the way in the water, before he can reach the Cascade, the beauty of which will amply reward his toil. At this place the rock is composed of horizontal strata of great regularity, over which the water, catching in its descent, falls in a broken sheet of foam. The banks of the Creek, above the Cascade, are skirted with the hemloc spruce, (Pinus-Abies Americana) which, though a tree of little value for its timber, adds greatly, in the painter's eye, to the picturesque beauty of the scene.
R. H. R.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
ANALYSIS OF ANTONY'S SPEECH. No. I. That “too much familiarity begets contempt," has long been received as a sound maxim in the business of social intercourse; and Goldsmith justly recommends a certain degree of ceremonious respect even among the most intimate friends. The principle of this sentiment extends itself over every thing that is the object of pleasure or pain; of. desire or aversion. Whatever we become familiar with loses, by a con
stant and unrestrained use, the stronger features of its character, and ceases to produce either the gratifications or disgusts, the reverence or contempt at first excited by it. Calculating on this principle of our nature, governments, the most tyrannical, and systems of religion, the most odious and absurd, have, in various ages, wrapt themselves in the holiness of mystery, and maintained an empire by distance and concealment, which would have been dissipated by the power of light. It is our misfortune, that not only bad things discover their deformities by a near approach to them, but the good also lose the respect which is due to them, by becoming too cheap and common. How much of the wisdom and sublimity spread over the pages of the Scriptures is disregarded and lost by the abuse of them in schools? How much is the reverence they should always command banished, by daily seeing their leaves strewed over the floor of a school-room, and trampled upon with wanton indifference? The finest combinations of language, the very offspring of inspiration, become irrecoverably degraded in our estimation, when they come first to our knowledge from the lips of stammering children, or the mouthing of a pedagogue, incapable of perceiving, enjoying, or communicating their excellence.
In order to exercise and improve boys in the art of speaking, collections, of celebrated passages, have been made, with great taste too, from the most eminent writers in our language. Shakspeare and Milton, Dryden and Pope have each undergone this torture; and, if they could now take a peep into a grammar school, at morning recitations, they would be exceedingly amused or enraged, as the humour of the moment might be. The tutor, with scrupulous attention, directs his instructions to a careful observance of the stops. Mind, boys-count one at a comma; one, two, at a semicolon, and so on; and this is called the Art of Speaking: but as to the sentiment conveyed, or the genius displayed by the author, as they are to be scanned by no rule of grammar, it comes not within the duty of the teacher to understand or communicate them. A boy thus acquires a habit of reading and repeating the most sublime compositions, with no other object than to fix the words in his memory, and mark the artificial divisions of their parts, without discovering or seeking their beauties, or feeling their power. If he does not say,
“ My name is Norval on the Grampion hills,” *
it is only because he sees a stop after Norval, and not because it would be absurd to read it so, even if the stop were not there; and thus he is taught. For should he read it as above, his teacher would probably correct him by drawing his attention to the stop, and not by showing him what nonsense he had made of it. The mischief does not end here. However crude and premature the opinion thus formed of a composition must