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those who made it would, of course, share in that unpopularity ; that the war-spirit would revive, and affection for the warminister would revive with it; and his object was to retire from the government until some weaker man should achieve the peace and the unpopularity, and thus, with unsuspecting hands, smooth the path for his return to power. Accordingly, his conscience suddenly smote him ; the wrongs of the Catholics haunted him ; he could no longer tolerate intolerance ; he must forego the sweets of power, rather than participate in its abuse. The poor king was suddenly startled and affrighted with a statement of these intensified scruples. He had pet 'scruples of his own, as the minister well knew. Resignation followed; “Doctor" Addington, the amiable and innocent sharer of the royal scruples, stood ready to relieve his master and manage the nation ; – he believed in Pitt's promises of help, was cheated by him, made the peace of Amiens, was hissed and lampooned out of office by Pitt's friends, and the great man returned to his ministry, and troubled himself no more about the Catholics to his dying day.

This hot-chestnut operation, we learn, as we have said, from recent memoirs; and this, with other similar lights thrown upon men's characters and the springs of their actions, reconciles us to this species of literature, and rebukes us for the half-complaining tone in which we have spoken of it.

But it is quite time to say something of the book before us. Sir John Barrow's name has been so long and so familiarly associated with the English Admiralty, he had, for so many years, filled a station which seemed to afford him peculiar opportunities for collecting valuable anecdotes concerning great men and great events, that the title of the book is one of much promise, and we opened it with very confident expectations of much amusement, and some proper hopes of much instruction. But, to save our character for honesty, we are fain to confess our disappointment. We find one quarter of the book filled with notes upon Lord Macartney's embassy to China ; another

up with some account of Southern Africa ; and we have the peculiar satisfaction of discovering, that thus far, we have nothing except what was deemed unworthy of publication in the author's former elaborate volumes upon these subjects. We are next entertained with some reflections on the Kaffir war, in 1846, with which Sir John had nothing more to do than had President Polk. We then

quarter taken

subject of the American naval victories in the war of 1812. He evidently thinks there was some unfairness about this matter on our part, that a Yankee trick was played off upon his countrymen, and is clearly of opinion that if our ships had been much smaller, and our_inen much fewer, the results would have been different. He thinks the hitherto unsuspecting innocence and ignorance of Great Britain will not again be lulled into a false sense of security upon this subject.

We have an account of a king's after-dinner speech, which, for its novelty, is worth noting. On one occasion, “a few naval officers and civilians,” and among them Sir John, were commanded to attend divine service, and dine at the palace with the king (William).

“ The queen, with a few ladies, joined the dinner party, and when the queen was about to retire, the king desired that the ladies would stay, as he had something to say on this occasion, that would bring to the recollection of the naval officers then present the battles that their predecessors and brother-officers had fought and won, - battles worthy of record, as proving that the naval history of this country had not been neglected or forgotten by succeeding generations.

“ All being attentive, his Majesty began with noticing the first invasion of Britain by Julius Cæsar, (save the mark ! ] -- which he said must have proved to the natives the necessity of a naval force to prevent and repel foreign invasion. From that period he passed on rapidly to the landing of the Danes and Northern nations on our coasts, till he came down to more recent times, when the navy of Great Britain had become great and victorious, from the days of Elizabeth to William III., and thence to our own times; and it was remarked by the officers present how correct

gave the details of the great actions fought in the course of the last and present centuries. I believe, however, that the queen and the ladies were not displeased to be released.”

How sensible women are !

There is something striking in the accounts we find, in all books of this description, of the alienation existing among the various members of the Royal family under the Guelph dynasty. It seems to have become a part of the English constitution, that the heir-apparent should be at war with him who, for the time being, enjoys the “grace of God," — and family quarrels appear to be much more frequent with them than among mortals of lower degree. We have an amusing

ly he

an island

went to visit his relations and establish a school at in the St. Lawrence."

We have several specimens of what may be called the bounding style of writing, -as, for instance :

“ With the above exception, the blessings of peace and prosperity were abundantly shed on the British empire. From the year 1816 to 1818, almost the whole progeny of the royal family and its branches were marrying and given in marriage, and among them bis Royal Highness, the Duke of Clarence, was united to her Serene Highness Amelia Adelaide, daughter of the late Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. The Dukes of Kent, Cumberland, and Cambridge each took to himself a German princess. Death, however, was not sparing of its victims. In 1820, George III. died, in the eighty-second year of his age, having lost his queen, Charlotte, two years before. His successor, George IV., in the second year of his reign, visited Ireland, and in 1822 embarked at Greenwich for Scotland, and died in the year 1830, when King William IV. was proclaimed." — pp. 332, 333.

At page 271 we have another specimen of compressed narrative, rapid association, and tender pathos.

“ The prosecution [of Melville] hastened, as generally believed, the death of Mr. Pitt, which happened on the 23d of January, 1806, in his forty-seventh year, being of the same age as the immortal Nelson, whose career was cut short on the 5th of October, in the preceding year, and whose remains were deposited in St. Paul's Church the 9th of January, 1806, just fourteen days before Mr. Pitt's death. Another great character, Charles James Fox, expired on the 13th of September, 1806, in the fiftyeighth year of his age. He should have died some fifteen months sooner.”

Why poor Fox should have died before his time, or who is in fault for the gross neglect implied in his living so long, is not stated.

Sir John is shocked that Mr. Whitbread should have dared to attack Lord Melville, First Lord of the Admiralty, &c., and flouts at his origin thus :-“Mr. Whitbread, a wealthy plebeian brewer, who had aspired to become a Sen

(page 265); and quotes some lines of Mr. Canning, (the son of the actress) noting the same baseness of birth. Ìf Thurlow and Eldon had joined in the sneer, the picture would have been complete.

All the author's Admiralty sensibilities are alive upon the

ator

subject of the American naval victories in the war of 1812. He evidently thinks there was some unfairness about this matter on our part, that a Yankee trick was played off upon his countrymen, and is clearly of opinion that if our ships had been much smaller, and our men much fewer, the results would have been different. He thinks the hitherto unsuspecting innocence and ignorance of Great Britain will not again be lulled into a false sense of security upon this subject.

We have an account of a king's after-dinner speech, which, for its novelty, is worth noting. On one occasion, “ a few naval officers and civilians,” and among them Sir John, were commanded to attend divine service, and dine at the palace with the king (William).

“ The queen, with a few ladies, joined the dinner party, and when the queen was about to retire, the king desired that the ladies would stay, as he had something to say on this occasion, that would bring to the recollection of the naval officers then present the battles that their predecessors and brother-officers had fought and won, - battles worthy of record, as proving that the naval history of this country had not been neglected or forgotten by succeeding generations.

“ All being attentive, his Majesty began with noticing the first invasion of Britain by Julius Cæsar, (save the mark ! ] — which he said must have proved to the natives the necessity of a naval force to prevent and repel foreign invasion. From that period he passed on rapidly to the landing of the Danes and Northern nations on our coasts, till he came down to more recent times, when the navy of Great Britain had become great and victorious, from the days of Elizabeth to William III., and thence to our own times ; and it was remarked by the officers present how correct

gave the details of the great actions fought in the course of the last and present centuries. I believe, however, that the queen and the ladies were not displeased to be released."

How sensible women are !

There is something striking in the accounts we find, in all books of this description, of the alienation existing among the various members of the Royal family under the Guelph dynasty. It seems to have become a part of the English constitution, that the heir-apparent should be at war with him who, for the time being, enjoys the "

grace of God,” — and family quarrels appear to be much more frequent with them than among mortals of lower degree. We have an amusing

ly he

parcel of Scotchmen who smell of brimstone. Coleridge preaches, with Lamb for a congregation.

Ever the same old story. The poor poet is put off with a draft upon Posterity, but it is made payable to the order of Death, and must be indorsed by him to be negotiable. And, after all, who is this respectable fictitious paymaster ? Posterity is, to the full, as great a fool as we are. His ears differ not from ours in length by so much as a hair's breadth. He, as well as we, sifts carefully in order to preserve the chaff and bran. He is as much given to paying his debts in shinplasters as we. But, even were Posterity an altogether solvent and trustworthy personage, it would be no less a piece of cowardice and dishonesty in us to shift our proper responsibilities upon his shoulders. If he pay any debts of ours, it is because he defrauds his own contemporary creditors. We have no right thus to speculate prospectively, and to indulge ourselves in a posthumous insolvency. In point of fact, Posterity is no better than a Mrs. Harris. Why, we ourselves have once enjoyed this antenatal grandeur. We were Posterity to that Sarah Gamp, the last generation. We laugh in our sleeves, as we think of it. That we should have been appealed to by so many patriots, philosophers, poets, projectors, and what not, as a convenient embodiment of the eternal justice, and yet be nothing more than the Smiths and Browns over again, with all our little cliques, and prejudices, and stupid admirations of ourselves !

We do not, therefore, feel especially flattered, when it is said, that America is a posterity to the living English author. Let us rather wish to deserve the name of a contemporary public unbiased by personal and local considerations. In this way, our geographical position may tend to produce among us a class of competent critics, who, by practice in looking at foreign works from a point of pure art, may in time be able to deal exact justice to native productions.

Unfortunately, before we can have good criticism, it is necessary that we should have good critics ; and this consummation seems only the farther off now that the business has grown into a profession and means of subsistence. Doubtless, the critic sets out with an ideal before him. His forereaching spirit shapes to itself designs of noble and gigantic proportions. Very early in life, he even conceives of reading the books he reviews. Soon, however, like other

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