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which the Spaniards printed and devoured in the fifteenth century. The works of Sallust were the most important works issued from the press of Valencia in that century. Did she encourage Science ? it bore no fruits which the nation has aspired to gather from the Spanish tree; Poetry ? little was brought to pass which could rival the best works of former days. In Theology, with the exception of the Polyglot and the publication of the Bible in the Limousin dialect, certainly a surprising event in that age, little was done — nothing worthy of note. Under a hand so despotic, and under the eye of the Inquisition which Isabella had established, what could a Spaniard effect? It must be confessed that Isabella did not foster the greatest interests of the nation. The publication of Proclamations which had the force of law, (Pragmaticas,) so frequent in her reign, shows plainly enough her desire to rule without the advice of the people whose constitution she thereby violated. It matters not that they purport to be made at the demand of the Cortes, at the request of corporate cities, or of prominent men. Even in America we could find here and there a man in the Senate of the United States who would recommend a powerful President to do the same perhaps a city or even a state to advise it. Those Proclamations were the passing-bell of popular freedom. Even if they did not, as Mr. Prescott assures us, intrench on the principles of criminal law, or affect the transfer of property, they not less undermined the liberty of Castile. The Cortes of Valladolid, foolish as it was in other respects, was right in remonstrating against those Pragmaticas. Mr. Prescott mentions several causes which contributed to increase the royal power at the expense of the people: the control of the military and ecclesiastical Orders; the pensions and large domains ; the fortified places; the rights of seigneurial jurisdiction; the increase of power over the Moors; the acquisition of territory in Italy, and the discovery of a new continent; but he omits the one cause which gave force to all these the selfish disposition that counted political power as a right, which the monarch might use for her own advantage, not a trust, which she must administer by the rules of justice, and for the good of all her subjects. This was the cause which enfeebled the people after it had broken their noble tyrants to pieces. The rights of the people were continually abridged. In 1495, the nobles and the representatives of the cities complained that the people were without arms. Mr. Prescott thinks this fact a proof that they were in a fortunate condition, not remembering that in such an age an armed people was what the Constitution is to America; what the British Parliament and acknowledged Law are to England - the one great barrier against the incursions of the crown. She found the people burthened with an odious tax, imposed for a temporary emergency, and continued through the inertia of the Cortes and the tyranny of the crown. Isabella had conscientious scruples about this tax, but continued it. Monopolies were established by this queen, who is represented as so far before her time: goods must not be shipped in foreign vessels when a Spanish bottom could be had; no vessel must be sold to a foreigner; even horses were not allowed to be exported ; gold and silver must not be sent out of Spain on pain of death. Yet when she forbade the exportation thereof by her commercial policy, by sumptuary laws she forbade their use at home. There are four things which will long continue as the indelible monuments of her reign: the establishment of the Inquisition for the torture and murder of her subjects; the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors; the enslaving of the Indians in America, and the establishment of Negro Slavery there. With this we leave her and her memory, to speak on the general form and style of this work.
It is no part of our plan to criticize the account of civil and military transactions; but so far as we have examined his authorities, Mr. Prescott is remarkably accurate. Some errors will always escape the vigilance of an author; in this case they are rare and unimportant. The whole work is divided into three portions : an Introduction ; a History of the Domestic Policy of Ferdinand and Isabella, (Part I.,) and a History of their Foreign Policy, their Discoveries and Conquests. (Part II.) The main division is a good one, the minuter division into chapters is judicious, and the chapters well arranged. In separate chapters the author treats of various subjects, so as not to confuse the reader. But we notice several defects in the matter and style of the work. There is no description of the large towns; no account of their history, the growth or decline of their population; of their relation to the villages and hamlets; of the political tendencies of their inhabitants. A brief description of Madrid, Toledo, and Seville, of Barcelona and Valencia, would be of great value to one who wished to understand the age; the materials for this are not wanting.
Again, his portraits of distinguished men are not good ; they often lack distinctness and specific character. We have a right to demand a careful analysis of the character of such men as Columbus, Gonsalvo, and Ximenes ; an Historian never does his duty completely until he gives us a picture of each prominent man of the times he describes. Portraits of men like Torquemada, Fonseca, Carillo, and Mendoza, — the Archbishops of Toledo and Seville — of Bayard and Foix, of the monarchs of those times, and of the other eminent foreigners who come upon the stage, ought to have a place in a work like this.
The author does not present himself to his readers as a Philosopher who knows Man scientifically, and therefore has an a priori knowledge of men; nor does he appear as a Man of the World, who knows men by a wide practical acquaintance with them. In consequence of this twofold defect the reader finds neither the careful judgment of the philosopher nor the - practical judgment of the man of affairs. Both of these defects appear frequently in this work ;--for example, in his general review of the administration of Ferdinand and Isabella, which is not written in the spirit of the Statesman, or the spirit of the Philosopher, but of an amiable Gentleman of letters filled with the spirit of Chivalry.
The book lacks Philosophy to a degree exceeding belief. The author seems to know nothing of the Philosophy of History, and little, even, of Political Economy. He narrates events in their order of time, with considerable skill, but the causes of the events, their place in the general history of the race, or their influence in special on the welfare of the nation, he does not appreciate. He tells the fact for the fact's sake. Hence there are no pages in the book, perhaps no sentences, which the reader turns back to read a second time, to see if the thought be true; here are the facts of History without the thought which belongs to the facts. It would be difficult to find a history in the English language, of any note, so entirely destitute of Philosophy. Accordingly, the work is dull and inanimate; the reading thereof tiresome and not profitable. Thus lacking Philosophy, and having more of the spirit of Chivalry than of Humanity, it is impossible that he should write in the interest of mankind, or judge men and their deeds by Justice — by the Immutable Law of the Universe. After long and patient study of his special theme, Mr. Prescott writes with the average Sense of mankind, with their average
of Conscience — and his judgment, the average judgment of a trading town, is readily accepted by the average of men, and popular with them; but he writes as one with little sympathy for mankind, and seems to think that Spain belonged to Ferdinand and Isabella ; that their power was a Right and not a Trust, and they not accountable for the guardianship which they exercised over their subjects. The style of the work is plain, unambitious, and easily intelligible. The language, the figures of speech, the logic, and the rhetoric are commonplace; like the judgment of the author they indicate no originality, and do not bear the stamp of his character. There is a cer. tain mannerism about them, but it is not the mannerism of Mr. Prescott, — only of the class of well-bred men. His met aphors, which usually mark the man, are commonplace and poor; rarely original or beautiful. Here are some examples : To “spread like wildfire ;” to act “like desperate gamblers ;' to run “ like so many frighted deer;” to extend “like an army of locusts ;” to be " like a garden.” He calls woman- . kind the sex ;” not a very elegant or agreeable title. There is a slight tendency to excess in his use of epithets; sometimes he insinuates an opinion which he does not broadly assert, rhetorically understating the truth. In his style there is little to attract, nothing to repel, nothing even to offend; he is never tawdry, seldom extravagant; never ill-natured. If he finds an author in error, he takes no pleasure in pointing out the mistake. Everywhere he displays the marks of a well-bred gentleman of letters; this is more than can be said of the Reviewer we have alluded to before. After long study of this work, we take leave of the author, with an abiding impression of a careful scholar, diligent and laborious; an amiable man, who respects the feelings of his fellows, and would pass gently over their failings; a courteous and accomplished gentleman, who, after long toil, has unexpectedly found that toil repaid with money and with honors, — and wears the honors with the same modesty in which they have been won.
ART. V.-The Bothie of Toper-na-Fuosich. A Long-Vaca
tion Pastoral. By ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH. London: Chapman & Hall. '1848. .
HERE is a new English poem which we heartily recommend to all classes of readers. It is an account of one of those Oxford reading-parties which, at the beginning of a long vacation, are made up by a tutor with five or six undergraduates, who wish to bring up arrears of study, or to cram for examination and honors, and who betake themselves with their guide to some romantic spot in Wales or Scotland, where are good bathing and shooting, read six hours a day, and kill the other eighteen in sport, smoking, and sleep. The poem is as jocund and buoyant as the party, and so joyful a picture of college life and manners, with such good strokes of revenge on the old tormentors, Pindar, Thucydides, Aristotle, and the logical Aldrich, that one wonders that this ground has not been broken up before. Six young men have read three weeks with their tutor, and after joining in a country dinner and a dance in a barn, four of them decide to give up books for three weeks, and make a tour in the Highlands, leaving the other two partners with the tutor in the cottage, to their matutine, or morning bath, six hours' reading, and mutton at seven. The portraits of the young party are briefly but masterly sketched. Adam the tutor, Lindsay the dialectician, Hope, Hobbes, Airlie, Arthur, who, from his thirty feet diving, is the “ glory of headers,” and Hewson. Philip Hewson, the hero of the poem, the radica! poet, in this excursion falls in love with the golden-haired Katie at the farm of Rannoch, and is left behind by his returning fellows. The poet follows his hero into the mountains, “Here in Badenoch, here in Lochaber, anon in Lochiel, in Knoydart, Croydart, Moydart, Morrer, and Ardnamurchan," wherever the restless Philip wanders, brooding on his passion ;“Would I were dead, I keep saying, that so I could go and uphold
her." Whilst the tutor anxiously, and his companions more joyously, are speculating on this dubious adventure of their comrade, a letter arrives at the cottage from Hope, who travelled with Philip, announcing that Philip and Katie have parted, and NO. VI.