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by some means or other changed they were intus et in cute. This confusion of religious character strikes us in almost every page of the more ancient Italian writers: it is quite a feature in the early literature of Italy; sacred and profane images are blended without the smallest regard to decency, though evidently without any consciousness of a want of it in the parties themselves. It was the custom of the day to plough with an ox and an ass; a mistake has been often made about it by those who have written on the revival of learning, and the motley union has been imputed to the pedantry of an age awaking from barbarism, and vain (as sciolists always are) of its new acquirements. This was not altogether the case; it was the humour of the times which had made men neither Christians nor pagans, which could again confound Jupiter with Barnabas, and Mercury with Paul. From all this, however, it is plain enough, that, independently of that hold which the church of Rome takes of any people by engaging their senses, and combining some religious rite with all the ordinary duties and occupations of common life, it bound the people of Italy by a spell of their own, even the natural affection which men have for the rites and customs of their forefathers.
2. Again—In some countries, and more especially in England, since the reign of Edward III., there had been a constant political struggle going on between the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. The king and nobles had perpetually to dispute the tyrannical pretensions of the Roman catholic church; for though Tityrus might go to Rome in search of liberty (Virg. Ec. i. 27), the men of England thought it the last place where she was likely to be found. A quiet but organised opposition to the Pope was thus formed, which the Reformation found in the country and fed upon. In Italy, no spirit of this kind could exist, because the secular and ecclesiastical authorities were there united in one and the same head. In Italy, therefore, there was not that political pabulum for a reformation which existed elsewhere. The seed fell upon stony ground, and sprang up, indeed, but withered for lack of moisture.
3. Further—Amongst the Italian reformers themselves there were many unhappy divisions, which wasted their strength. Some of the questions that thus ministered strife were upon fundamentals—the doctrines of the Trinity and atonement. Here accommodation was impossible, because there was a disagreement as to the object of worship. Others were more speculative, and might, perhaps, have admitted of adjustment. Luther and Zuingle, in their conflicting sentiments on the eucharist, had each their zealous followers in Italy, and the former, interposing with his characteristic impetuosity, only widened the breach. Dr. M'Crie thinks that, on this occasion, Luther was to be blamed—that he ought to have remembered that the whole cause of evangelical truth was at stake--that its friends were few in number and rude in knowledge—that there were many things which they were not yet able to bear—that they were sheep in the midst of wolves— and that the tendency of his interference was to divide and scatter and drive them into the mouth of the wild beast, (p. 148.) Luther, however, would not have been Luther had he acted otherwise than he did—he was not the man to conciliate, but to correct : --we must take the evil with the good—the temper, which made him the fittest instrument in the world for pulling down the strongholds of errors that were pestilent, made him incapable of coming to a compromise with errors (so he thought them) which were venial. Melancthon would have done so; but would Melancthon have shaken in pieces the popedom? We can only say of Luther and Zuingle, in this matter, as was said of Ridley and Hooper in another, . that God's diamonds often cut one another, and good men cause afflictions to good men.' Still the cause of the reformation in Italy, no doubt, suffered in these disputes.
4. Again—It would be monstrous to make it matter of charge against any man, that he does not lay down his life for a cause in which he feels the greatest interest notwithstanding : yet it is not to be denied that the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church, and that the early retreat of many of the leading reformers from Italy was sadly unpropitious to their cause. Unquestionably, Peter Martyr did a perfectly justifiable act,-justifiable even according to the very letter of scripture,—when he fled from Lucca, where it would have been death for him to stay: but when from his place of security he addressed a letter of reproach to his quondam congregation, because, deserted by their leader and dismayed by the sight of the engines of the inquisition, they had recanted, he was not forwarding the reformation so successfully, as if, like our own intrepid Rowland Taylor, in the parish which had long been the scene of his labours, he had crowned them all by crying aloud, I have preached to you God's word and truth, and am come this day to seal it with my blood.'
5. But that which contributed to the suppression of the reformation in Italy, above everything else, was, as we have already said, the establishment of the inquisition, and the wicked wisdom with which it was managed. Though many made their escape before the storm fell, still, as we have seen, martyrs were not wanting ; but the effect of their sufferings, was comparatively lost by the secresy with which they were inflicted. The deed was done in the night—perhaps in the prison—if before spectators, ecclesiastics chiefly, or altogether, who could then give out, withG 2
out fear of contradiction, that they died, after all, penitent sons of the church. In England, the persecution was well meant, but ill conducted. It should have gone upon the principle of quietly exterminating the heretics, instead of exposing them in fames before the people, as a warning that they too might come to that place of torment. To exhibit a fellow-creature leaping up and down under the smouldering faggots, and shrieking 'I cannot burn,' was not to admonish, but to horrify. How could such things be seen and heard, and the reformation stand still? Nothing, indeed, but the most unaccountable blindness of heart could have caused the Church of Rome to hazard such experiments as these upon the feelings of a spirited people, or prevent her from perceiving that all terror at such sights would be necessarily lost in loathing and indignation. And so it came to pass. They revolted multitudes who witnessed them. They gave force to that spirit of ultra-reformation, which drove the puritans to ride rough shod over all that had been popish, both bad and good—and they supplied an honest martyrologist with materials for a work which animates the piety and preserves the protestantism of the country, so that by means of John Fox, the martyr, though dead, still speaketh, and to this very day,
· E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Art. IV.–1. May Fair: a Poem, in Four Cantos. London.
12mo. 1827. 2. Whitehall ; or, the Days of George IV. London. 12mo. 1827. 3. The Forget Me Not. London, 12mo. 1828.-The Literary
Souvenir. Ditto.—The Amulet. Ditto.—The Bijou. Ditto. The Pledge of Friendship. Ditto.—The Friendship's Offering. Ditto.- The Keepsake. 8vo.— The Christmas Box. 18mo. &c.,
&c., &c.-The Winter's Wreath. Liverpool. 12mo. 1828. WE have but one answer to the charge, so frequently preferred
against us by the news-writers, of neglecting the current belles-lettres of the day; viz., that of late years there has been a sad dearth of productions either meritorious enough to demand serious applause, or so conspicuously bad as to justify us in occupying our own and our reader's time with their castigation. It is very natural for the manufacturers of poetry, would-be-Byronic or Wordsworthian, and of novels of the Reuben-Apsley class, to be astonished that their performances are so often allowed to enjoy for a brief interval the puffery of daily, weekly, and monthly trumpeters, and then sink into the abyss of eternal forgetfulness,
without our making any effort either to keep them above the horizon, or plunge them, ere the time, below it. Let them point out to us one work of imagination which, having never been noticed in these pages, retains anything like popular favour after the lapse of one year from the day of its publication-and we shall confess ourselves to have been in the wrong.
The two little works named first at the head of our paper appear to us to deserve more attention than most recent contributions to the stock of what is (so often absurdly) denominated light reading. • May Fair' is a playful satire on the fashionable manners of the time-displaying talents quite equal, in our opinion, to the “ Advice to Julia'— though not, we rather suspect, written by an author quite so intimately conversant with the scenes touched upon. However that may be, we venture to point out the following sketches as worthy of some respect-and, to say truth, we are surprised that the volume, of which they are only fair specimens, has been so little talked of. The
is divided into four cantos, entitled respectively, 'The Morning Visit,' “The Dinner,' • The After-dinner,' and The Midnight Drive.' Our quotations shall be from the second. • Le Diplomat, ecstatic fate The length of chin, the tint of nose, Of the fifth cousins of the great: The holes in breeches, and in hose. Blest with a pound a-day for life, Scribble the rout and dinner packs, To lacquey Monsieur L'Envoy's Lock
up the royal pounce and wax; wife
Feel laugh'd at by the luckier Teach French and figures to the fribbles, daughters,
Till life between your fingers See that they swallow their Spa
dribbles ; waters;
Condemn'd, till its last sands are Prepared to answer every question rollid, Touching your
66 sweet eleve's" To fold and frank, and frank and digestion; Take passport-pictures of the mob, And envying every wretch infetters, Who ramble to be robb’d, or rob; Die as you've lived—aman of letters.'
A circumstance that persuades us this author is no regular denizen of May Fair is the spleen which he displays on literary subjects: at least, in that milk and water region, we are credibly informed, the oral perpretator of such pungencies as the following could not be tolerated for half a season.—He is describing the conversation of · The After-dinner;' part of which turns naturally enough on Captain Parry, then starting on his fourth voyage.
-Sir! listen, if you like a fact: After three months' knocks and After three months' ice-parading, bumps After three months’ masquerading, That bring his luggerto her stumps ;
After loss of pipes and spoons, Learning's resurrection-men,
Wielders of the church-yard pen, Hairbreadth scapes of white bear Worthy of the plundered lead paws,
Worms, that feed but on the dead: Sentimental loves of squaws ; Sweeps, that never lift their eyes Just as he espied the channel, Where the flames of Learning rise; Brought to his last yard of flannel; But beside its altar's foot All his best cigars burnt out, Fill their pouches with the soot. Winds all whistling right about;'| All the crazing, and the crazed, Quarter-day, you'll have him back, Hurry all—to be amazed ! With his volume in his pack. Page by page unrolls before ye • Out the wonder comes at last,
Britain's Argonautic glory; Wondering how it came so fast- How the grand Discovery Fleet, All the world, including Murray, Several months sailed several feet. In a philosophic furry;
Sunday, hanging o'er the stove, All the botanizing belles,
Thought the vessel meant to move, All whom Brande provides with Monday, rather felt the frost; smells,
Tuesday, thump'd, and crost, and All the twaddlers of the Alfred,
tost; All the quarter and the half read; Wednesday, kick'd from post to All the paper-headed members pillar, Shivering over learning's embers ; Knock'd the nozzle off the tiller : All Parnassus' wither'd shrubs,
Thursday, white bears in the disAll the sages of the Clubs ;
tance, All the doldrum F. R. S.'s,
Kill’d, long shots, severe resistance; Deep in duckweed, straws, and Ate a sailor once or twice
White bears seldom over nice.
Every soul on board a hero.
Scarcely thawed at pudding-time; Deep in nondescript descriptions, Every nose of land or able, Puzzling as their own Egyptians; Living ices at the table ; Lecturers on a gnat's proboscis,
Crystallizing in a row, Oracles in mire and mosses ;
Fine as Jarrin's Christmas show. Hunters up of Autographs
But the keenest was to come : At whose labours mankind laughs; Muse of History be dumb ! Delving through the hideous scrib- Though the passage lay in sight, bles
Somewhere to the left or right, Of forgotten knaves and fribbles. Or behind them, or before them, * All thy tribe, Lord Aberdeen,
Home the scoundrel breezes bore Sense and nonsense stuck be
them. tween ;
But next summer 'twill be found, Wise in all things dead and rotten,
Who will bet ten thousand pound? Useful as a herring shotten; · But there's something for the Solemn beggars, in whose bags blues, All the gathering is rags. Grieving for their two pound twos,