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expressibly foul and vile places of temporary con- treatment of sectarianism. The press was at finement, and the iniquitous procedure in which liberty to praise the Malakani, although the colthe inquisitor had unlimited power, and the pris- lection of regulations in matters of sectarianism, oner no right. With the accession of Alexander secretly printed by the Ministry of the Interior at I., in 1801, there came a mighty change for the the beginning of the present reign, continued to better. He declared that persecution merely describe them as an especially pernicious sectserved to spread and confirm sectarianism, and a contradiction which the Malakani could not fail that the only true means for eradicating it was to experience in practice. Thus there was, in kindly persuasion and good example. Every case Alexandroff Gaï, some time after Mr. Wallace's of sectarianism was to be laid before the council visit, a criminal inquest, because, according to the of ministers, and, as the Emperor himself took a denunciation of a priest, two orthodox soldiers lively interest in these matters, most of them were were said to have been present at a congregabrought to his own cognizance; and many such tional prayer-meeting. The only results, howopportunities were made use of for the further ever, were some protocols, and the prayer-meetdevelopment of his enlightened ideas. Especial ings continue to be held quite openly. The minor favor was shown to the Duchobortsi, for whom official fry, and even some of the orthodox clergy, Alexander, the friend of the Quakers, had an al- are on the very best terms with the Malakani ; most unconcealed liking, though pretending to and officials of good standing, such as Mr. Walconsider their doctrines as the errors of well- lace's traveling companions, do not hide their meaning but misled simpletons; and some of predilection for the sectarians. The Government that favor also reached the Malakani. Nicholas, itself shows, by the invitation quoted at the beon the other hand, believed the established Church ginning of this essay, that it not only understands, to be the mainstay of the state, and naturally but has the courage to acknowledge and utilize, considered sectarians, who all regard the ortho- the colonizatory capabilities of the Malakani. dox as “idolaters,” to be especially dangerous. The success of this measure is undoubtable, and There were again endless vexations and extor- there is every reason to hope that, in the pursuit tions, and numerous criminal prosecutions lead- of their difficult and noble task, the Malakani will ing to banishment, and some to still severer pun- in time get rid of all their recently developed ishments. Alexander II. almost abolished— taints. practically though not formally—the criminal G. M. ASHER (Macmillan's Magasine).
MR. MACVEY NAPIER AND THE EDINBURGH
Francis Jeffrey in the editorship of the tion; and that to send them forth to the world great Whig “ Review," had, of course, a perfect in all their nakedness was, at all events, not a right to preserve the letters which are published delicate or magnanimous thing to do. “Much in this volume, and to study them in private as might be said on both sides.” Paley, in his much as he pleased. Indeed, for anything that chapter on the original character of the Christian appears to the contrary in the “Introduction" by Morality, remarked that though a thousand cases his son, the present Mr. Macvey Napier, they might be supposed in which the use of the goldmay have been bequeathed by the original recipi- en rule might mislead a person, it was impossible ent with instructions that they should some day in fact to light on such a case. That was a hazbe published. An edition, privately circulated a ardous observation, for the truth is that, when we short time ago, led to "representations that a once get beyond elementary conditions of being correspondence of so much interest ought to be and doing, we find human beings differ so very made more accessible," and the present volume widely, and in such utterly incalculable ways, is the result; but it might be maintained that the that it is in vain to poll the monitor in the breast writers of such letters would, if they could have on questions that do in fact arise daily-five hun
* Selection from the Correspondence of the Late Mac. dred in a thousand will vote one way, and five vey Napier, Esq. Edited by his Son, Macvey Napier. hundred in another. “How would you like it London: Macmillan & Co.
yourself?” is a question that elicits the most
discordant replies. I have a very positive feeling that he was inwardly tormented. Macaulay's that I should have left many of these letters in forbearance was of the kind qui coûte si peu au the portfolio, or put them into the fire; but, when gens heureux. The editor, Mr. Napier, was, we I look about me for a standard which I could may conjecture, the greatest sufferer of the three. take in my hand to Mr. Napier, I am baffled-he Much was owed to Brougham as a man of enormight produce one of his own that would silence mous intellectual force; to which, apart from his me on the spot. And, when one has taken up a past services, great respect was due: but Mabook to comment upon it with as little reserve as caulay was by far the best writer, and (to emmay be, it seems idle, if not Irish, to begin by ploy a bull which is common enough) incomsaying that the most amusing or most fertile parably the most attractive contributor. The things in it ought never to have seen the light. strength of his hold upon the Review" and its
This point may recur before we have done; editor is apparent on every tenth page of the and in the mean time it should be remarked that book, and comes out forcibly enough in a letter nothing very momentous, either to the honor or from Sir James Stephen to Mr. Napier. Mr. the disgrace of human nature in general, or lit- Napier had written to Sir James, expressing some erary human nature in particular, can be ex- delicate surprise that no article from his pen had tracted from this correspondence. A late essay- reached the “Review” for a long time. Sir ist used to tell a true anecdote of a distinguished James excuses himself in this fashion: statesman who had lived many years and seen as many changes as Ulysses. A friend asked him I know that many of your contributors must be something like this: “Well, now, you have had importunate for a place; that you must be fencing a great deal to do with mankind, and you have and compromising at a weary rate; that there are outlived the heats and prejudices of youth ; what many interests of the passing day which you could do you think of men in general ?" And the vet
not overlook ; and that we should all have growled eran replied: “Oh, I like them—very good fel- like so many fasting bears if denied the regular relows; but ”—and here we shall mollify his lan- turn of the Macaulay diet, to which we have been so guage a little — “but condemnably vain, you
long accustomed. know.” And really that is about the worst Sir James was an exceedingly busy man, and thing you can find it in your heart to say of liter- he was not professedly a man of letters like ary men after running through these letters, Macaulay; but we may, if we like, read between “very good fellows, but very vain, you know." the lines in these excuses and find a little pique
Another point which lies less near the sure there, as well as a just sense of an editor's diffiface, and has at least the look of novelty, would culties. perhaps be this: It is the most frequent and Another point which lies broadly and promimost voluminous of the writers who uncon- nently upon the surface in these letters is a very sciously tell us the most about themselves; and unpleasant one. It is scarcely credible how who, with the pleasing exception of Jeffrey, show much dull conceit and sheer ignorant arbitrarius the most of their unamiable sides. But there ness there often is in the minds of able and culis comfort for impulsive people in the fact that it tivated men. It does not seem even to occur to is not always the most self-controlled and inof- them that their own range may be limited, and fensive of the writers who win upon us. The their judgments upon many (or even a few) Brougham-Macaulay feud runs sprawling through topics not worth ink or breath. It should hardly these pages till we are tired of it; and some of be offensive to an ordinary man to be told, or at poor Brougham's letters are downright venom- least to find it tacitly assumed, that he could not
But the total absence of disguise and the have invented fluxions, painted like Rembrandt, blundering boyish inconsistency disarm us. Tak- or sung like Pindar. Why, then, should it be ing the letters one by one, the moral superiority difficult for any cultivated specialist, of more than is with Macaulay on Brougham as against ordinary faculties, to make the reflection that he Brougham on Macaulay, but taking the corre- must be deficient in some direction or other? spondence in the lump, it is something like Yet we find in practice that it is not only diffiCharles Surface against Joseph Surface, in an- cult, but impossible, in the majority of cases. other line-only, of course, there is no hypocrisy. Mr. Napier seems to have invited, or at all events While you come to feel for Brougham in his not to have repelled, free criticisms on his Respluttering rages, you feel also that Macaulay, in view from the contributors in general, and the his too-admirable self-continence, can do very outcome is little short of appalling. If ever there well without your compassion, whatever he may was an able man it was Mr. Senior, yet these have to complain of. It is easy to discern that are the terms in which he allows himself to speak Brougham honestly believed in his own superior- of an article on Christopher North—or rather of ity to the young rival who outshone him, and yet Christopher North himself: “The article on
Christopher North is my abomination. I think so polite as to say that the name of Mr. John him one of the very worst of the clever bad Stuart Mill had struck him: “I once thought writers who infest modern literature; full of of John Mill, but there are reasons against him bombast, affectation, conceit, in short, of all the too, independent of his great unreadable book vitia, tristia, as well as dulcia. I had almost and its elaborate demonstrations of axioms and as soon try to read Carlyle or Coleridge." Now, truisms." Mr. Senior was, of course, entitled to dislike There might be weighty reasons against " Christopher North, and there is plenty to be said Mr. Mill, but what his “ Logic” could have to do against him in the way of criticism; but the with the question is not clear. It never seems charge of “affectation" is foolish, and the whole to have crossed Jeffrey's mind that he might be passage pitched in the most detestable of all totally disqualified for forming an opinion of a literary key-notes. John Wilson was a man of book like that; and, having called it “unreadgenius, whose personal likings and rampant ani- able” (though to a reader with any natural bent mal spirits led him most mournfully astray. He toward such matters it is deeply interesting), he was wanting also in love of truth for its own actually puts forward the fact that Mill had writsake; but he was as much superior to Mr. ten it as a reason against his being intrusted Senior as Shakespeare was to him. And the with the treatment of a political topic in a Whig addition about Carlyle or Coleridge—or Cole- review. Editors are human, and the editorial ridge!-is just the gratuitous insolence of one- position is a very troublesome one. An editor eyed dullness. There is enough and to spare of may lose his head, as an overworked wine-taster blame ready in any balanced mind for either of may lose his palate. In a word, allowances must these great writers, but they can do without the be made ; but, after a disclosure or two like this, it admiration of wooden-headed prigs, however able. is difficult not to conclude that the “Review" owed The point, however, is that it never dawns upon no more of its success to its former editor than the mind of even so clever and cultivated a man it might have owed to any intelligent clerk. But as Mr. Senior, that his head may have gaps in it. we can not let Jeffrey go yet. The following
Another instance to the same purport may passage relates to an article on Victor Cousin: be selected from a letter from Mr. Edwin Ather
Cousin I pronounce beyond all doubt the most stone, the poet-for it would perhaps be hard and grudging to deny him the title, since he view." The only chance is, that gentle readers may
unreadable thing that ever appeared in the “Refound an audience, and I have a vague recol- take it to be very profound, and conclude that the lection of having once read verses of his about fault is in their want of understanding. But I am Nineveh or Babylon which had in them power of not disposed to agree with them. It is ten times the picturesque-meditative order. Now, this is more mystical than anything my friend Carlyle ever the way in which Mr. Edwin Atherstone speaks wrote, and not half so agreeably written. It is noof Dr. Thomas Brown, the metaphysician: thing to the purpose that he does not agree with the “For myself, I know not a writer, with the ex- worst part of the mysticism, for he affects to underception of Shakespeare, Milton, Homer, and stand it, and to explain it, and to think it very inScott, from whom I have derived such high de- genious and respectable, and it is mere gibberish. light as from Dr. Brown."
He may possibly be a clever man. There are even Was ever such a category put on paper be- indications of that in his paper, but he is not a very fore? It is as if a man should say his favorite clever man, nor of much power ; and beyond all quesmusical instruments were the organ, the harp, tion he is not a good writer on such subjects. If you the trumpet, the violin, and the sewing-machine.
ever admit such a disquisition again, order your Brown was one of the most readable of metaphy- operator to instance and illustrate all his proposisicians; he made some acute hits, and he wrote plain with reference to these. This is a sure test of
tions by cases or examples, and to reason and exelegant verses; but his position in Mr. Ather, sheer nonsense, and moreover an infinite resource stone's list is as inexplicably quaint as that of for the explication of obscure truth, if there be any “Burke, commonly called the Sublime,” in the
such thing epitaph on the lady who “painted in watercolors," and "was first cousin to Lady Jones.” Now, the writer of the article in question was
The worst examples of all, however, come Sir William Hamilton. “He may possibly be a from the letters of Francis Jeffrey himself. Jef- clever man, but beyond all question he is not a frey has been underrated, and he was a most good writer on such subjects." So much for amiable man; but some of the verdicts he Jeffrey. thought fit to pronounce upon articles in the
“Nec sibi cænarum quivis temere arroget artem, “Edinburgh,” when edited by Mr. Napier, are
Non prius exacta tenui ratione saporum." saugrenus. In one case he is about suggesting a contributor, to deal with a certain topic, and is Poor Mr. Carlyle is again dragged in, and Sir William is pronounced "ten times more mysti- I ought to give my whole leisure to my History ; cal” than he—“ mystical" in italics. When a and I fear that, if I suffer myself to be diverted writer, using the word mystical opprobriously, from that design as I have done, I shall, like poor prints it in italics, it is usually safe to decide that Mackintosh, leave behind me the character of a man he knows nothing of metaphysics. The conclud- who would have done something if he had concening sentences are instructive examples of edito- trated his powers instead of frittering them away. rial self-confidence: “If ever you admit such a
There are people who can carry on twenty works at
a time. Southey would write the history of Brazil disquisition again, order your operator to" do
before breakfast, an ode after breakfast, then the so-and-so. Thus, the treatment of Mill and history of the Peninsular War till dinner, and an Hamilton being equally ignorant and inept, there article for the “Quarterly Review” in the evening. is no escape for the ex-editor. Both verdicts
But I am of a different temper. I never write so were after the too-celebrated “this-will-never- as to please myself until my subject has for the time do" manner, and that is all.
driven away every other out of my head. When I In the communications from literary men there turn from one work to another, a great deal of time are some fine instances of just self-consciousness. is lost in the mere transition. I must not go on Tom Campbell writes, with great warmth and dawdling and reproaching myself all my life. alertness, to promise an article upon a new work about the “Nerves”; but shortly afterward writes There is something melancholy in this, adagain, candidly confessing that he had found, mirable as it is. Macaulay had begun to watch upon looking again at the work, that his aptitude the shadow on the dial too closely to permit him for scientific detail was not great enough to en- to do much miscellaneous work with an easy able him to do justice to the subject. A letter mind. There is an important lesson for men of from William Hazlitt is so striking, both for its letters in the sentence, “When I turn from one truthfulness and its clearheadedness, as to de- work to another, a great deal of time is lost in serve quoting in full. He had been written to by the mere transition.” Here lies the great differMr. Napier for some contributions to the “ En- ence between serious literary work and that of cyclopædia Britannica,” and he replies, from his ordinary business, where the mind is solicited by well-known retreat at Winterslow Hut, in these one thing after another in rapid succession. In terms :
the first case, time and energy have to be ex
pended in evolving from within a fresh impulse I am sorry to be obliged, from want of health for every topic. The most readable writings of and a number of other engagements, which I am lit- Southey are those which he produced fragment tle able to perform, to decline the flattering offer by fragment, on topics for which little renewal you make me. I am also afraid that I should not be able to do the article in question, or yourself, jus in scraps, all by the clock, was a task which only
of impulse was required. To write a great poem tice, for I am not only without books, but without knowledge of what books are necessary to be con
a very conceited and rather wooden man would sulted on the subject. To get up an article in a
have attempted; and the result we know, though Review on any subject of general literature is quite
there are fine things in Southey's longer poems. as much as I can do without exposing myself. The A powerful passage by Cardinal Newman on the object of an encyclopædia is, I take it, to condense difficulties of literary work is almost too well and combine all the facts relating to a subject, and known to bear quoting, but a living poet, Mrs. all the theories of any consequence already known Augusta Webster, has put the case so fairly that or advanced. Now, where the business of such a Macaulay's shade—which is, of course, a shade work ends, is just where I begin-that is, I might that reads everything-may be gratified by seeperhaps throw in an idle speculation or two of my ing in a handy way a few of her sentences: own, not contained in former accounts of the subject, and which would have very little pretensions to
Occupations of study, scientific research, literary rank as scientific. I know something about Con, production-of brain-work of any kind that is cargreve, but nothing at all of Aristophanes, and yet I ried on in the worker's private home with no visible conceive that the writer of an article on the drama reminder of customer or client — are taken to be ought to be as well acquainted with the one as the such as can lightly be done at one time as well as other.
another, and resumed after no matter what interThe honesty of this is quite refreshing. There take up again at the very stitch she left her needle
ruptions, like a lady's embroidery, which she can is one more letter, of a similar order, which
in. Professions of this sort not only admit, but deserves to be signalized. In August, 1843,
in many instances require, considerable variation Macaulay, being pressed for more frequent con- in the amount of daily time directly bestowed on tributions, writes from the Albany that he can them—directly, for the true student is not at his promise, at the very utmost, no more than two work only when he is ostensibly employed, but articles in a year :
whenever and wherever he may have his head to
himself—and there is no measure of visible quantity pier was, it seems, very punctilious, for with Mr. for the more or less results of application. ... The G. H. Lewes he must have had a brisk correliterary man probably fares the worst of all. He is spondence about it. Mr. Lewes, who was then not merely not protected by the manual part of his
a young writer, anxious to get his feet well plantprocesses, but it is his danger. It is so easy—what ed, submits, with every possible expression of anybody can do at any time ! ... Of course the acquiescence, one might almost say, of abject simple fact is, that it is more difficult for this class agreement; but it is easy to see that his compliof persons to practice their vocations under the drawback of perpetual breaks, actual and (what this little matter with Napier, easily and decisive
ance was forced. Macaulay in his discussion of comes to nearly the same thing) expected, than it is for “ business men." Let the attention of the ly lays down the true guiding principle: “The solicitor, for instance, busied on the points of an
first rule of all writing—that rule to which every intricate case, be perforce diverted to another mat- other rule is subordinate—is that the words used ter, there is lost from that case just the time by the writer shall be such as most fully and prediverted, and a little extra to allow for the mind cisely convey his meaning to the great body of which returns to any interrupted course of thought, his readers. All considerations about the purity never returning to it exactly at the point at which it and dignity of style ought to bend to this conwas forced to leave it. But there are the recorded sideration.” facts; the direct conclusions to be drawn remain This, indeed, exhausts the subject; and leaves unaltered ; nothing has disappeared, nothing has the editor only one question to solve-namely, lost its identity. But suppose, let us say, a drama- whether the writer whom he employs has pretist, devising his crisis after hours, perhaps days, of sumably a meaning fit to be conveyed to the gradual growth, to the moment when he sees it be
readers of his periodical. Upon that point he fore him as a reality. . . . Force his attention away, must use his own judgment; but it was idle for and he has lost, not merely the time he needed to complete a spell of works, with something over for of a man like Macaulay, who had ten thousand
a man like Mr. Napier to criticise the phrasing the difficulty of resuming, but the power of resuming. All has faded into a haze ; and the fruit of times his reading. For it is upon the “ reading" days, maybe, has been thrown away at the ripening,
that the matter very largely turns. The force of for such moments do not come twice.
a quotation or a phrase imported from a foreign
tongue depends, not upon the bare meaning of There are but few of Mr. Napier's own let- the words, but upon the suggestiveness of certers in this volume, so that we have only indirect tain associations. This does not necessarily immeans of measuring his idea of his editorial ply that the precise context is recalled, or certain rights or duties as against contributors. There hackneyed trifles from Lucretius and Horace, is one case in which Macaulay complains strong- and a score of such chips in porridge, would be ly of certain excisions, and there is another in indecent. If it be said that all this implies that which he defends certain phrases of his own an editor should be omniscient, or at lowest an which appear to have offended the taste of Mr. omnivorous reader, the reply is, that it certainly Napier, who found them undignified, if not does—unless the principle adopted in the conslightly vulgar. He submits of course—all the duct of the periodical be the more recent one of mutilated ones submit—and he says he submits choosing contributors largely on account of their "willingly"; but all the while we can too plainly names, and then leaving them to answer for see the wry faces he is making. Mr. Napier was, their own sins, if any. One thing is clear, that apparently, a purist in the matter of style; but if a man like Jeffrey—or like Napier-could be there is something almost grotesque in the spec- shown the number of blunders he made in mutitacle of a man of his quality correcting Macaulay. lating the writings of his contributors, he would It reminds one of cet imbécile Buloz.* The feel very much humiliated. Thackeray complains case of Leigh Hunt was very different, for he very bitterly of the suppression of some of his sometimes went to the extreme verge of de- touches of humor, and his sufferings at the hands corum-quarterly review decorum, that is—and of a critic like Mr. Napier (able man as he was) beyond it. But we may safely conclude that must have been terrible indeed. Macaulay knew much better than his editor how The system recently adopted, of having every to turn a sentence, or when the use of a French article signed, has not yielded the results which locution was desirable for ends of literary effect. were predicted or expected by those who so long Upon this subject of imported phrases Mr. Na- struggled to get it introduced. It has led to * One, at least, of the contributors whom Buloz tor- than any that was ever seen upon the stage, and
'starring" more outrageous and more audacious tured (George Sand wrote that she wished him “au diable” ten times a day, only he held her purse-strings) to mischief far more serious. The worst of these used to date his letters in this style : “A vingt-cinq lieues is the substitution of a spurious sort of authority de cet imbécile Buloz.”
for the natural influence or weight of the writing, VOL. VII.-29