Imagens das páginas

superior happiness of a religion as benevo- subject of his very elegant piece of biogralent as it is holy, all shapes and forms of phy; and, indeed, had we a wider arena, tyranny, corruption, wicked hatred between

we might, perhaps, have ventured to comhigh and low, with a thousand other evils

bat what appears to be his leading opinion. which afflict humanity, will ultimately The intellectual powers, we think, are the vanish like foul and heavy mists before the splendour of the morning sun.”—P. v. to ix.

proper and the only objects of tuition, and

that it is dangerous to attempt to engraft Silvio Pellico was born, it appears


upon the moral boughs, a bud of any fruit Maroncelli, at Saluzzo in Piedmont, about whatever, of a different growth. Improve the year 1789. His family was respect- the intellectual faculties as much as pos. able, though not opulent, and the members sible,-store them with facts to such a of it were bound together by the domestic degree that truth can never present itself affections, and by an ardour for intellectual before them without their recognising it in attainments, which emanated from powers every form, and under every disguise. of a high order, and, in Silvio, “rose into Then, if you will, propose your moral the fire of brilliant genius,” while unhap- dogmas; but even then beware how,

with pily they “called forth the suspicions and the authority of a tutor or a father, you persecutions of political enemies.” His insist upon the adoption of any. mother, whom in temperament of mind he Of a bodily constitution which subjected seems to have closely resembled, was a him to much illness, Silvio was reared with woman of superior mind and accom. difficulty, and contrary to the repeated proplishments,” and of a “religious dispo. phecies of the medical faculty; who, at sition.”

first, pronounced it to be impossible be “ It has often been remarked,” observes

should survive to see his seventh year; Mr. Roscoe, “that the characters of extraor- and, appearing to have decided at last that dinary men have been more or less moulded he held life renewable only on a seven by early maternal care and judgment; and years' lease, they asserted that either his it has almost uniformly been asserted by fourteenth or his twenty-first year would genius itself, in various walks of literature find him in his grave.

This does not and of science, that to this source was to be speak favourably for the state of medicine chiefly attributed the degree of excellence to

in Piedmont at the close of the last cenwhich it attained.* In all the vicissitudes of

tury :fortune, the mother of Silvio retained the same courage and the same well-regulated

“ But though the third of these assertions affection for her children; and, in virtuous

shared the same fate, Silvio, as regarded his opposition to the prevailing custom, she was

physical powers, had by no means an easy at once their nurse, and their earliest in

task to refute them. To the infinite tenderstructress.”—p. xiii.

ness and care of a mother, he owed his pro

longed existence. When the faculty had We regret that our limits will not permit passed their septennial act, they left him in us to follow Mr. Roscoe through his views articulo mortis, as they believed ; but while of education, as connected with that of the

in extreme exhaustion, his admirable parent,

with a devotion rivalling any upon record, * In opening the Rev. Mr. Cattermole's intro

restored him by the milk from her own ductory essay to Dr. Hall (Bishop of Norwich's) Trea- breast, and may be said, indeed, again to tises, which lies upon our desk, we have accident- have given him life.”—p. xix. ally lighted on a passage corroborative of this fact.

« The excellent prelate, Joseph Hall, was among During his youth, or rather his boyhood, those numerous examples on record, of persons Silvio and his brother were accustomed to memorable for religious and moral worth, who have had reason to ascribe the formation of their commit to memory, and to recite dramatic characters, under providence, to the care of mater- pieces, which were chiefly the production of nal piety.

“His mother,” he says, was a woman of that rare sanctity, that, were it not for my inte

their father, Signor Onorato :rest in nature, I dare s..y, that neither Aleth, the mother of that just honour of Clairval, nor Monica,

“ Among the young persons accustomed to nor any other of those pious matrons anciently

bear a part in these recreations, was a sweet famous for devotion, need to disdain her admit- interesting young girl, named Carlottina, tance to comparison. So had she profited in the school of Christ, that it was hard for any friend to

who was cut off at the early age of fourteen. come from her discourse no whit holier.

Her unfolding loveliness, and sensibility of often have I blessed the memory of those divine character, appears to have made no transient passages of experimental divinity which I have impression on Silvio's young mind,-as, heard from her mouth ! What day did she pass without a large task of private devotion ?

however romantic it may seem, we are told

Never any lips have read to me such feeling lectures of

that the image of his youthful love frequently piety; neither have I known any soul that more visited the midnight couch of the captive of accurately practised them than her own. for I can hardly take off my pen from so exemplary

Shortly, Spielberg, or gave a melancholy occupation a subject, her life and death were saint-like."

to the heavy hours and days of sad waking Introductory Essay, p. xiv.

thoughts and early recollections.”—p. XXV.


A mind deeply imbued with the philo- children. Every condition has its duties sophy of christianity, if we may be per

and the first duty of the unhappy, be he mitted to use an expression in itself so cha- captive or be he free, is to suffer with magracteristic of the subject of this memoir, nanimity ; his second, to draw wisdom from could not be wanting to its own support,

misfortune; and the third, to pardon. Alwhen, in “a solitude, appalling as the

ready was written in our heartsdungeons of Spielberg," it was thrown

'Il giusto, il ver, la libertà sospiro!

For justice, truth, and liberty I sigh. wholly upon its own resources :“ A fact which farther shows the triumph

* Shall calamity have the effect of erasing

words like these ? Rather let us subdue, of the principle sought here to be illustrated,

and not be subdued by it. If any captive and of such vital importance in the educa

survive to see the light, let him be witness tion of future generations, was the captive's

for the others here condemned to perpetual own division of his time and studies. These

darkness, and let our vow be fulfilled withhe distinguished by terming them, a life of

out reference to the inhumanity of those who study, and a life of action ; corresponding with the intellectual, and moral or practical use

oppress us. This shall only be allowed to

act as an incentive to a higher degree of of the human faculties. First, his life of

virtue; we prepare ourselves to attain it, and study was conducted by certain mechanical

to learn to rejoice in the necessity imposed rules, distributing what is possible to be known into several classes, and these again

upon us of improving our hearts and minds.'

“ It is for civilized Europe to decide wheinto particular courses, the process of which

ther characters capable of displaying resigserved to revive what he had before known,

nation, fortitude, and magnanimity, such as and, in some instances, to add to his stock of

breathe in these resolutions were supported knowledge. When confined in the same

by truth and justice, and in how far they dungeon with his friend Maroncelli, he pur

could have merited the infliction of the most sued the same plan ; and they thus acquired

fearful of human ills. That cause must be repositories, more or less abundant, through which each took their separate courses

indeed good and holy, and deeply imbued

with the purest spirit of christianity, which of knowledge, except in cases where the me

could not only enable them to survive a mory of one proved treacherous, and the

series of suffering so prolonged, but to parother could aid him, or undertook to give

don their enemies, and meet the fury of their instructions in a branch unknown to the

persecution with the language of conciliation other. One day, for instance, was devoted,

By what spirit, on the other according to this arrangement, to repetitions

hand, their oppressors were actuated---how of history; another to those of philosophy;

much in accordance with the precepts and a third, to those of geography, chronology, injunctions of their Divine Master, a master mathematics, the fine arts ; and, in propor

by whom the motives and actions of princes tion as each acquired a proficiency, he spoke

must one day be weighed — we shall not, one day in French, another in German, a

however we deplore it, stop to inquire.”third in Latin, and a fourth in the English

p. xxvii. to xxx. language.

This, which was considered only as con- But, in speaking of the religious strength templative or passive study, was invariably which enabled him to sustain the rigors of completed by the active; which means, that

this dreadful captivity, we have passed the one who felt equal to the task collected

over the circunstances which led to it. and condensed his thoughts upon a given

He was born twin with a sister, of a lovely subject, directed his mind to the production of some work, a process which at times, by

person, and congenial in disposition with dint of strong mental tension, as in the case

himself. She espoused a distant relative of Newton extracting the square-root in his

at Lyons, and her beloved brother accomown head, arrived at complete execution. panied her to her new abode. While No one, by this plan, need be destitute of a devoted there to the studies congenial to subject for active study, in whatever degree his youth, he was suddenly roused to a of solitude or captivity he may happen to degree of_impassioned patriotism by a benamely, the study of himself, with the poem of Foscolo's, called “ I Sepolcri," object of making himself better; a study the Tombs. He immediately quitted wholly independent of varying creeds and France for his native country. Italy was sects, and one to which each of the prisoners devoted himself by a philosophic vow, pro

then a kingdom attached to the French nounced either on the day of their sentence

empire, and his father was at Milan, acting

as chief of division under the minister of or on the following. It is sufficiently curious and novel, being pronounced under such cir

In the society of Monti and Foscolo, cumstances, to give it in the words of Ma- the poetic genius of Pellico was rapidly roncelli. It is to the following tenor :

matured. He wrote his Francesca da *Calamity, not justice, hath stricken us; let Rimini, and his Eufemio; became acus show that it hath stricken men, and not quainted with Mad. de Stael, and Schlegel

and peace.



and was introduced to Lord Byron, and to engine of mighty power they knew not how our present lord chancellor Brougham :- to direct-in the diffusion of knowledge, “ Pellico had, shortly before, translated

which may make a discontented and rapidly the Manfred of Byron. The latter requested increasing population wise, but not wise unto to see the manuscript of his drama of Fran- salvation-render them keenly sensible of cesca, which had not then publicly appeared.

their condition, without imparting moral Two days after his Lordship received it, he courage and christian consolation to support himself returned it into Pellico's hands,

them under it—the jealousy of any governobserving, “ You won't be angry, if I have ment might justly be excited. Had Pellico translated it?" He had, in fact, transferred

and his illustrious friends not connected their it into English verse ; and he then added, conciliatory doctrines with popular education, “ You ought to have translated the Manfred founded on a solid religious basis, and by the into verse.

Pellico disputed this opinion, previous establishment of moral and elemenbelieving that in a language like the Italian tary schools, had they sought to diffuse the in particular it could not be done without light of nature without the light of revelaadding to, or taking away so much as very

tion-science without religion-reason and greatly to impair the effect of the original.

truth without the moral vigour and judgment In 1819, Lodovico Breme put forth an edi- to wield them, thus creating a fertile source tion of the Francesca, with which he united of evil in the fermentation of the intellectual the above-mentioned translation of Lord elements without the restraining force of reliByron's Manfred.”—p. xliv.

gious and moral discipline — impelling the In order to elevate the sentiments of his people to employ their knowledge in crude countrymen, when, after the fall of Napo- morbid activity to equal those above them,

misdirected combinations, in a restless and leon, they were depressed under the dead

whom they believe they equal in point of ening weight of Austria, he, in concert

intellect;- letting loose, in short, a fearful with some literary friends, established a

power when unregulated by moral cultivation periodical work, entitled “the Conciliator,” and religious discipline,—the conductors of a work of high-toned sentiment in its moral, the conciliatory system need not have felt religious, and social views, and extensively astonished at the failure of their plans.”comprehensive in what relates to science p. xlix. to l. and art. The associated friends met at A short time only elapsed before the Count Porro's, where Pellico acted as se- devoted conciliators were seized upon, and cretary, and anticipated with patriotic condemned to dungeons and the scaffold, ardour the benefits which his country must for the crimes of inculcating the truths derive from the diffusion of knowledge, of science, the higher truths of religion, and the calm dictates of a religion of love. and the love of one another. Pellico, But the jealousy of the Austrian govern- on entering Milan, was accosted by a ment was speedily alarmed. Despotism is

whispered in his earmistrustful of the sweetest sounds; nay, of the police are after you.” “They know the calmest and most placid thoughts. where I am to be found, was the answer. Under its dominion the human intellect 'I am going to wait for them.' He went, must remain in a dumb and inanimate and they were in readiness for him! His stupor, or must be employed solely in papers, his poems, tragedies, romances, organising armies, and in devising means correspondence, were all seized.

He was to increase the revenue and the power of conducted to the police prisons of Santa the crown. But, in the following elegant Marghereta, and, subsequently,

66 hurried passage, Mr. Roscoe has expressed, with from dungeon to dungeon, under every perspicuity and eloquence, what every variety of physical and moral suffering, man, who looks for the social improvement until he found himself in the subterranean of mankind, must feel on this occasion :- caverns (sentenced to fifteen years' close,

“ If the power of knowledge might with confinement,) of the castle of Spielberg.” safety have been entrusted into the hands of In turning to the work which is prefaced any people, it was the people of modern by this memoir, we are struck by the clearItaly; and when based on the system of con- ness of the deductions with which “the ciliation, of moral dignity, and discipline of duties of men ” are shewn to be, in their the faculties, as opposed to violence and perfection, derivable from the sublime, the anarchy, we are doubly at a loss to perceive sacred, and the benevolent doctrines of any just or rational grounds for its suppress christianity. The translator has done jussion, and for the bitter persecution which laid the heads of its noblest promoters in the

tice to the clear and calm style, so suitable dust. Had the system of education attempted

to the subject, in which the divine stream to be introduced been far in advance of the of a holy morality is traced from its source moral spirit and capacity of the people; had through all the connexions of the individual it consisted in placing at their command an with his race-of man with mankind. It

[ocr errors]

person, who

is difficult to select a passage for an extract of the middle ages, and in the succeeding from a work, where all the parts possess a

periods of civilization, throw lustre upon depending excellence upon each other, and

their race! There the martyrs to truth ;

here the benefactors of the afflicted; in other we are led to the following, chiefly because it contains the record of one of the better parts, the fathers of the church, presenting

in themselves a miracle of gigantic philososentiments of the unhappy and brilliant

phy, united to the most ardent charity; and Byron.

everywhere valiant patriots, the advocates of " In human nature we esteem those who, justice, restorers of light and truth, learned testifying in themselves to its moral grandeur, poets, men of profound science, and skilled point out to us that which we ought to emu- artists. Yet neither the remoteness of ages, late. We may be unable to equal them in nor the glorious destinies of these individuals, fame; but this is not necessary. In genuine should strike our imagination as something worth we can always aspire to the highest belonging to a different nature from ourstandard. I mean in the cultivation of noble selves. No: they were in their origin no sentiment, so soon as we can think and rea- more demigods than ourselves. They were son, when born under common advantages, the offspring of woman ; they were troubled, for ourselves.

and they wept, like ourselves; they were "If ever, therefore, we feel tempted to bound like us to struggle against their evil despise humanity from what we behold with inclinations : at times they felt humiliated, our own eyes, or from what we read in his- again to triumph over themselves.”—p. 23 tory of its baseness and its excesses, let us

to 26. turn our attention to those numerous and venerable names which threw lustre round the periods in which they lived. The irri

REVIEW. Tales about Europe, Asia, table but generous Byron used to tell me,

Africa and America. By Peter Parley, that this was the only method he could

Author of the Tabes about Natural adopt, to save him from falling into absolute misanthropy : “ The first great man,' he ob

History, &c. With numerous Engravings. served, “who thus occurs to my mind is Tegg and Son, London. 1834. always Moses ; Moses, who restored to great- DistingUISHED as is the present period ness a people immersed in utter degradation; for useful and interesting accessions to the who rescued it from the opprobrium of ido- juvenile library, the claims of Peter Parley latry and slavery; who dictated to that people a law full of wisdom, a wonderful bond

to a welcome reception by the anxious and between the religion of the patriarchs and inquiring youth of every family cannot for the religion of civilised periods, -I mean the

a moment be doubted. Although an gospel. The great qualities, with the insti- American by birth, he will be greeted here, tutions, of Moses, were the means by which in England, with as many smiling faces as Providence produced among that people the in his own country, and be listened to distinguished men, brave warriors, excellent with as much attention. citizens, prophets zealous for the right, who Unfortunately, in his budget of very foretold the fall of the haughty and hypo- amusing geographical and historical tales, critical, and the future civilisation of all

those about England happen, in our opinnations. « «When I think of some of these great selected of all the rest. The idea of the

ion, to be the most erroneous and the worst men, and in particular my favourite Moses,' added Byron, “ I always repeat with enthu

work is altogether excellent, and the public siasm that splendid line of Dante

have much reason to thank Messrs. Tegg 'Che di vederli, in me stesso m'esalto!'

for this importation from America, which • Whom to behold is to exalt myself,'

has been got up in a very attractive manand I then am enabled to resume my good ner, and at great expense; but we cannot opinion of this race of Adam, and of the spirits help thinking, that by the aid of a little which it enshrines.'

job-authorship (particularly if some of our " These words of the greatest of England's female writers, so eminent in the literature poets, remained impressed indelibly upon my of childhood, would have undertaken the mind, and I confess that I have derived no

task) the worthy Yankee might have been inconsiderable aid by adopting his own noble

The thoughts whenever assailed by the tempta- change that has been made in his appear

better adapted to British society. tion of falling into misanthropical views.

ance is rather an unfortunate one; on purpose “ In truth, the grand minds which have appeared, and continue to appear, amply

to preserve the order of the four quarters refute the assertions of those who entertain

of the globe as they stand in our old conmean opinions of the nature of man.

Let us

tinent, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, only cast a glance upon the splendid list fur- the order assumed by the author and other nished us by antiquity! Look at the Roman American writers, is reversed, and so we annals ! How many, during the barbarism have the preface and the introductior

the end instead of the beginning of of useful and interesting matter. Besides the volume. But the young perusers the general geography, descriptive of the of these pages will not be very critical various countries and nations of the earth, upon an error of this

nature, which which, though compendious, is full of parwill certainly offer no impediment to the ticulars including the latest circumstances amusement and instruction which run to. or discoveries, we are presented with gether in a sprightly and sparkling stream all that can be useful to the general reader, amidst the illustrative wood-cuts of every in ancient, classical, and biblical geography, page. Of the good feelings of our worthy together with the terms geographical American towards the country of his an- science. The style in which the several cestors, we have a sterling proof, in a pas- articles are written, is clear and compresage which we will quote, not only to hensive, and it is astonishing to observe secure to him a reciprocity of good will how much of the wealthy stores of the among us, but because we fully partici. most recent and best authenticated voypate in the pacific hope which constitutes agers and travellers, the compiler has conthe leading sentiment.

trived to compress in every page, along

with the various produce of extensive “ We may now hope that war will never happen again between England and America. The people science and classical knowledge. We seof the two countries speak the same language, lect, as a specimen, the following article believe in the same religion, and live in the same on the names of rivers derived from the manner. Why should they quarrel? Why should colour of their waters: they not live in peace, doing each other good, rather than going to war, and doing each other all Black River.-There are several rivers of this the harm they can? If my little reader should ever name; one in Ireland, one in Jamaica, and several go to England, I am sure he will see a great deal in North America. There are black rivers, in to admire in the people and the country. Every fact, as well as white rivers, in different languages, part of the land is finely cultivated, and it is all over the world. Thus, in ancient geography, covered with towns, cities, and villages. The we have the Hebrew Sichor, the Greek Melas, and people are intelligent, and many are very learned the Latin Niger, all meaning black, and in modern and wise. Some of them live in a magnificent geography, the Turkish Kara-su, the Spanish and style; and in no part of the world are there such Portuguese Rio Petro, Rio Negro (or Nero,) Rio beautiful gardens and country seats. England is Zama, words of the same import. We have white not only a very beautiful country, but it is the rivers under the same variations of dialect; e. g. richest and most powerful nation on the globe. Bahr el Abiad, Ak-su, Rio Branco, Rio Blanco. Many of the cloths we wear, and many articles Among blue rivers, we have the Bahr al Azrek, which we use for comfort and pleasure, are manu. the Nile itself, (from Nil, indigo,) the Yang-tsefactured in England, and in no part of the world kyang of China: and among yellow rivers, the are the arts carried to such perfection. We see, Chinese Whang-ho. We have also Red River, Rio therefore, that we should entertain a great regard Brassos, &c. These names of rivers are not altofor England, and we may all be proud that our gether arbitrary. Humboldt remarks, that the forefathers came from that country.”—pp. 119, 120. black waters and white waters of Guyana differ

very specifically in quality as well as in appearance. The waters of the Esmeralda, the eastern head of

the Orinoco, are all black waters; that is, their Review.-A Dictionary of Geography, waters, when seen in a large body, have either a Ancient and Modern, comprising a Suc

brown colour like coffee, or a greenish black : but cinct Description of all the Countries of face, they appear of a fine grass green, like the

when the least breath of wind agitates their surthe Globe, their Physical and Political

lakes of Switzerland. These waters are extremely Geography, the Several Races of their

pure, sweet, inodorous, and transparent, and, what Inhabitants, and their Ancient as well is very remarkable, are shunned for the most part as Modern

Denominations, together by both the crocodiles and the musquitoes, although with a Brief Notice of all the Capitals enormous water-snakes and porpoises abound and Principal Towns, also of Seas, in them. The Lower Orinoco, as well as the Rivers, and Mountains ; and a Glos

Guaviare, its western head, and its tributaries, are sary of Geographical Terms. By Josiah whi

white waters, which are always turbid, heavy, and

impure, and infested by musquitoes. The black Conder, Author of The Modern Tra

waters, it is said, do not embrown the rocks, but veller,'

,Italy,&c. Tegg and Son, have white borders; while the white rivers have London, 1834.

black borders. The former, from their very purity, Mr. Conder, whose services in geograph- Some of the dark brown or coffee-coloured waters

furnish less aliment to aquatic insects and fish. ical literature are well known and acknow

become of an amber colour wherever they are ledged, puts in a claim to originality in shallow. These amber or golden waters, Humthis performance, and it must be admitted

boldt supposes to be coloured by a carburet of that no gazetteer or geographic dictionary hydrogen ; while that which colours the black ever before comprised so complete a body rivers, inay be, he thinks, a mixture of carbon and

« AnteriorContinuar »