Puslapio vaizdai

deaths of the generation of Joseph and his brethren (Exod. ii. 6) and their multiplication to such numbers as to alarm the king of Egypt. This chasm is easily accounted for; there was nothing to record, and no dates being given, no events mentioned, no king's name specified, we have absolutely no chronological measure but the increase of the people. Lepsius supposes that Sethos I. was the king to whom Joseph was prime minister, his successor Rameses II. (a great builder), the "new king who arose up over Egypt and knew not Joseph" (nicht mehr von ihm wusste oder wissen wollte, is his paraphrase), "and made the people's lives bitter with hard bondage." Could Rameses II. however be ignorant of his father's famed vizier, who had been raised from a dungeon to the second place of the kingdom, who had made the sovereign sole owner of the lands of his people and saved the nation from destruction? Louis XIV. might as easily have forgotten Richelieu. A long interval must be supposed before such oblivion could take place, and the most natural supposition is, that a change of dynasty, or even of the race of kings, had occurred in the meantime.

The present volume is one of three which are to be devoted to the same subject. We have been disappointed by the nature, though not the quality, of its contents. Its author has visited Egypt, and is believed to have found a harvest of new facts, where it was thought scarcely a gleaning had been left. He has discovered undescribed pyramids equal in number to those known before; has traced the Labyrinth and ascertained its founder. He has detected inscriptions on the banks of the Nile, which show that its bed has subsided many feet in historic times and discovered the ancient language of Meroe. Of these facts the world is anxiously expecting an authentic account, and a new theory of Egyptian Chronology is an unsatisfactory substitute for it. Acute and learned as the disquisitions of Lepsius are, they contain little which he might not have written in his study at Berlin without ever having visited Egypt. They occasionally exhibit hieroglyphic legends which he has derived from his travels, but till these are before the public in detail their evidence cannot be fairly judged, and we are often referred to what is hereafter to be established. When an historian cites

partially a MS. penes me he places his reader in disadvantage; much more must this be felt when a writer appeals to hieroglyphic inscriptions in his own portfolio. We are disposed also to murmur at the unnecessary costliness of this volume. We do not complain that Egyptian Antiquities are published in an expensive form; for the purposes both of art and history a large scale of representation is necessary; but this does not apply to Egyptian Dissertations. Why did not the Prussian Government, usually so discreet and sagacious, imitate the Tuscan, which published the letter-press to Rosellini in octavo?

Since this Article was written, we have received parts of the First and Second livraisons of the Plates from the designs of the Expedition under Lepsius. They are very beautifully executed, but furnish no illustration of the volume which we have reviewed, being confined to the pyramids and sepulchres of Memphis and the neighbourhood. We doubt however the propriety of giving in such a work picturesque views of antiquarian objects. We may remark by the way, that those who wish to see the picturesque aspect of Egypt and its antiquities, if they are within reach of the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, (and in these days who but the bedridden are not?) may obtain a very good substitute for a voyage on the Nile. Mr. Bonomi's long residence in Egypt and skill as a draftsman have enabled him to combine a characteristic picture with historical and antiquarian instruction.


Latter-Day Pamphlets.

Edited by Thomas Carlyle. No. 1. The Present Time. No. 2. Model Prisons. No. 3. Downing Street. London: Chapman & Hall. 1850.

HUMAN progress is—as a necessary consequence of human incompleteness and imperfection-a fitful, uneven thingat once defective and exaggerated. Those who are not content that it should be so, must either make our nature over again, or do without any progress at all. The whole human being never moves on all together: if one foot is in advance, the other will be a laggard. This zig-zag, convulsive, halting and starting, yet nevertheless systematically advancing course, is the characteristic of our activity. Society is for ever suffering under an alternation of chills and heats, enthusiasms, and indifferences, affirmations and denials, drivings-forward and harkings-back. In fact, its progress is something like Mr. Carlyle's style—full of jerks, and vehemence, and suddenness - with occasional sweet lulls or intervals of tranquil movement between the antagonistic pulls. Nil fuit unquam sic impar sibi. Indeed, the extent to which human nature acts under delusions is an inquiry of profound and awful import. Take away delusions and you take away enthusiasmstake away enthusiasms and you leave stagnation. Undoubtedly a reality remains-the reality designed by the Divine Ruler, but most often it is a reality other than we ourselves had expected, other than we had laboured for. Was ever a colony planned and planted except under a delusion? was ever a legislative measure of any great significance or extensive application passed except under an exaggerated estimate of its consequences by its promoters? How would all our Freedom of Trade, Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Body, measures have fared, but for the widely-extended belief in some results, much more golden-aged than any sober thinker believed would be directly realised from them, or than it appeared the great Monarch above us had ordained to follow them?

No good, or just, or natural thing can be done without benefit accruing, but society is never stirred from its depths by the prospect of a simple definite benefit-man never girds his loins for a merely good, just or natural thing. It must be something which, of and by itself, promises to renovate the world, turn man into angel, earth into heaven, for which alone he will consent to struggle. The colonist never leaves his country simply to live in an iron house, grow fresh vegetables and his own meat. The Missionary never ships himself off to the coast of Africa, to be a decent, well-conducted man, living as best he may under a hot climate, scattering drugs and civilization, a few misunderstood principles of theology, and some improvement in morals and manners-to be in fact one link in the long chain of influences by which alone man's connection with his Divine Maker is completed-he goes to be that chain himself-he goes to save souls downright. Catholic Emancipation was to redress all the ills of Ireland.

"At length great Canning said, Let Discord cease.
He spake the world obeyed, and all was peace."

The Reform Bill was not to require any subsequent crusade of Mr. Cobden's to enforce Economy and Peace: and Free-trade was a synonym for abundance for all.

Were the things themselves delusions? are the actual results nothing? By no means-but society acted under delusions when it struggled for them :-and it struggled for them so manfully and resolutely only because of the delusions. When Wilberforce's supporter did that great thing, which was then a wonder to England, and has now ceased to be a wonder to any town or village in it, bought a freehold in Yorkshire that he might have a vote to give to the enemy of the Slave-trade, did he expect that when he had succeeded in abolishing that Slavetrade in the House of Commons, it would, in 1850, be as fierce as ever on the coast of Africa?

Individual men may in their faith, patience, and courage, struggle for remote, solitary, limited and definite benefits; but a country will never rise except for a panacea-for what shall manifestly be worth troubling itself

about. The extinction of tyranny-of extravagance-of crime-or of misery; for this a man shall leave his business, his pleasures, his personal pursuits and interests, sacrifice his time and money and temper and friends. But not to put a mere check to the growth of these things, or to modify their amount or intensity, will men in siderable multitude act thus.

any conThis seems to us as plain a phænomenon of human history, and as incontestible a fact in human life, as can be laid down. Railways, colonies, churches, schools, legislative measures-the first are to make people rich, the second are to make them unanxious and prosperous-the third are to make them good-the fourth are to make them wise and the fifth are in every remaining variety of way to render them just, peaceable, upright and happy. It belongs to the same principle in our nature, that having been led to a specific course from an exaggerated estimate of its effects, we should persevere in it with an exclusiveness and determination of fidelity which arise from the same cause. We utterly ignore the ne quid nimis.

"O! that we had" not only "of the flesh," but of the blood and bones of our adopted principle, "we cannot be satisfied." We forget that nothing can go on of itselfthat watching and modification, and the requisite admixture of counteractives, are necessary even to keep the good thing good.

Now the defects in this characteristic of our humanitystill rich however in the germ of everything good and great we have ever seen or ever shall see-Mr. Carlyle has exposed with his customary penetrating talent and sledgehammer power, but with a passionate one-sidedness, and a most inhuman spirit of scorn and hate. He has chosen to take the fanaticisms of Exeter Hall as the representative of philanthropy as actually in vogue and practice among mankind in this country; and these having made him extremely angry, and deprived him of every remnant of the spirit of philosophy as well as of philanthropy, he sets himself at large to stalk over and stamp upon every effort of the present generation to liberate, humanize, and civilize their race.

In the first of his Pamphlets he appears as the advocate of that fine old principle-Slavery-the evils of which

« AnkstesnisTęsti »