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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 wolvesand 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, with
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 flames 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,
E'en in his ashes live their wonted fires.'
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.
JE 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 poem 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
Of the fifth cousins of the great:
Teach French and figures to the daughters,
See that they swallow their Spawaters;
Prepared to answer every question
Take passport-pictures of the mob,
The length of chin, the tint of nose,
Till life between your fingers
Condemn'd, till its last sands are roll'd,
To fold and frank, and frank and
And envying every wretch in fetters,
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, After three months' masquerading,
bumps That bring his lugger to her stumps;
After loss of pipes and spoons,
Sentimental loves of squaws;
Out the wonder comes at last,
All the world, including Murray,
All the botanizing belles,
Several months sailed several feet.
All whom Brande provides with Monday, rather felt the frost;
Tuesday, thump'd, and crost, and tost;
Wednesday, kick'd from post to pillar,
Knock'd the nozzle off the tiller:
Kill'd, long shots, severe resistance;
But the keenest was to come :
But next summer 'twill be found,
Not a squaw but has a story,
Every bill on Monmouth-street,
Yet to fill the trump of fame;
All the mighty officemen,
Is monarch of a mile of shore:
Looms through eternal mists Cape
The persons with whom these liberties are taken can afford to smile over 'May Fair.' We hope the author will in his next performance take care to be as lively and entertaining as he appears in the lines we have quoted, without exhibiting any of that illnature, and, we must add, that ill-breeding, of which it would be more easy than ornamental to afford specimens from this duodecimo. He owes it to himself to set to work with a little more of plan, and to polish with a great deal more care; and if he does so, we venture to promise him a place among our comic satirists.
The goodly tome entitled Whitehall; or, George IV.,' in which we have discovered no allusion either to Whitehall or our gracious sovereign, seems also to deserve a sentence or two at our hands. The conception of this piece is better than its execution: the author has spoiled a laudable joke by wire-drawing it to 330 pages; and, what is much worse, by engrafting malice, sometimes coarseness into the bargain, on a stock which ought to have borne no fruits but those of sheer merriment. The object is to laugh down the Brambletye House species of novel-and for this purpose we are presented with such an historical romance' as an author of Brambletye House, flourishing in Barbadoes 200 or 2000 years hence, we are not certain which, nor is the circumstance of material moment, might fairly be expected to compose of and concerning the personages, manners, and events of the age and country in which we live. We have no desire to analyze the structure of so mere an extravaganza; but humbly recommend the 12mo., as it stands, to the study of those well-meaning youths who imagine that a few scraps of blundered antiquarianism, a prophetical beldame, a bore, and a rebellion, are enough to make a Waverley novel. The book is, in fact, a series of parodies upon unfortunate Mr. Horace Smith-and it is paying the author no compliment to say that his mimicry (with all its imperfections) deserves to outlive the ponderous original.-One spe