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but indirectly by a descriptive periphrasis-a mode with which the readers of Gibbon, in whose style it is a very marked feature, are familiar. Both Macaulay, and Gibbon, with all his faults, are writers capable of using this style with great effect. It is evident enough, however, that this is a style which only masters will be able to employ without incurring the charge of affectation, and that judgment is always necessary, in order to prevent its being abused. Care must be taken, that the description is limited enough to its object in order to prevent confusion, or that all chance of error is guarded against in the context. There can, for instance, be no mistake in believing that the world recognizes Homer, under the title of "the Father of Poetry;" and "the Father of History" is the stereotyped alias of Herodotus." The hero of Waterloo" sufficiently designates the man, though the name of Wellington should not appear in connexion with the title. But suppose a writer should speak of" the greatest general of antiquity," then Alexander, or Hannibal, or Cæsar may present himself to the minds of different readers. If he allude to " the Conqueror of Asia," he may leave different readers to appropriate the title to Alexander, or Timour the Tartar, or even our own Lord Clive, or to others on whom, in the exercise of a greater or lesser latitude, the appellation might be bestowed. We shall give an instance of a case of this kind, where the indistinctness of the description obliged the writer himself to make an explanation, much in the style of the bad painter, who wrote below the picture of his beast, "this is a lion." Dr. Beattie, a good poet, as well as a good prose writer, had, amongst his contemporaries, a few personal friends picked out, in whom, and in whom alone, he discovered concentrated, every kind of moral and intellectual excellence, while, all beyond this little pale were unredeemed rascals, or fools, or both. The little pale contained Lord Lyttleton, Beilby Porteous, Mrs. Montague, Sir William Forbes, Dr. Gregory, and three or four others. The scepticism of Hume and Gibbon excited Dr. Beattie's warm indignation; but, unfortunately, his indignation was so little under reasonable control, that it led him the length of denying to these men of real genius the least particle of literary merit-it led him to do them an act of injustice which they would have never done to him. In one of his works he ventured to quote from "the great Historian." Now, this might possibly, the reader would think, be Hume or Gibbon; it was neither-or it might be Robertson, but it was not; Robertson was not one of the clique. One of the monthly critical reviewers of the time exposed pretty successfully this attempt at puffing, "He calls him,” he said, "the great Historian," but he is obliged to put a note in the margin, to let us know that he means "Lord Lyttleton." In Dr. Beattie's phraseology, Lord Lyttleton was "the great Historian," in an age which produced Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon.
We have dwelt longer on the subject of style than those who think style merely a subordinate matter in a great work, may deem for edification, but we trust to be excused by those who know it to be the test of the power and character of intellect.
The whole of Macaulay's pages are extractable, so much so, that we
do not know on what grounds those who feel themselves compelled to speak ill of this work, or those who hate the greatness and goodness of the writer will take up their clamour against him. Of course, his principles will, by all who detest his warm advocacy of Christianity, and of the cause of humanity, be denounced as infidel, but against Macaulay, as an intellectual man, we cannot just now see what other accusation can be brought, except that, like the illustrious Madame de Stael, he may be found fault with for being too brilliant. From his earlier pages, the sketch of the Church, in the Middle Ages, is one of these specimens of calm wisdom and of solid learning, which are worthy of meditation ::
"It is true that the Church had been deeply corrupted both by that superstition and by that philosophy against which she had long contended, and over which she had at last triumphed. She had given a too easy admission to doctrines borrowed from the ancient schools, and to rites borrowed from the ancient temples. Roman policy and Gothic ignorance, Grecian ingenuity and Syrian asceticism, had contributed to deprave her, Yet she retained enough of the sublime theology and benevolent morality of her early days to elevate many intellects and to purify many hearts, Some things also, which, at a later period were justly regarded as among herchief blemishes, were in the seventh century, and long afterwards, among her chief merits. That the sacerdotal order should encroach on the func tions of the civil magistrate would, in our time, be a great evil; but that, which in an age of good government is an evil, may, in an age of grossly bad government be a blessing. It is well that mankind should be governed by wise laws well administered, and by an enlightened public opinion, rather than by priestcraft; but it is better that men should be governed by priestcraft than by brute violence-by such a prelate as Dunstan, than by such a warrior as Penda. A society sunk in ignorance, and ruled by mere physical force, has great reason to rejoice when a class, of which the influence is intellectual and moral, rises to ascendency. Such a class will, doubtless, abuse its power; but mental power, even when abused, is still a nobler and better power than that which consists merely in corporeal strength. We read in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles of tyrants who, when at the height of greatness, were smitten with remorse, who abhorred the pleasures and dignities which they had purchased by guilt, who abdicated their crowns, and who sought to atone for their offences by cruel penances and incessant prayers. These stories have drawn forth bitter expressions of contempt from some writers, who, while they boasted of liberality were in truth as narrow-minded as any monk of the dark ages, and whose habit was to apply to all events in the history of the world the standard received in the Parisian society of the eighteenth century. Yet surely a system which, however deformed by superstition, introduced strong moral restraints into communities previously governed only by vigour of muscle and by audacity of spirit-a system which taught the fiercest and mightiest ruler, that he was like his meanest bondman, a responsible being, might have seemed to deserve a more respectful mention from philosophers and philanthropists.
"The same observations will apply to the contempt with which in the last century it was fashionable to speak of the pilgrimages, the sanctuaries, the crusades, and the monastic institutions of the middle ages. In times when men were scarcely ever induced to travel by liberal curiosity or in the pursuit of gain, it was better that the rude inhabitant of the North
should visit Italy and the East as a pilgrim than that he should never see any thing but those squalid cabins and uncleared woods amongst which he was born. In times when life and when female honour were exposed to daily risk, from tyrants and marauders, it was better that the precinct of a shrine should be regarded with an irrational awe, than that there should be no refuge inaccessible to cruelty and licentiousness. In times when statesmen were incapable of forming extensive political combinations, it was better that the Christian nations should be roused and united for the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, than that they should one by one be overwhelmed by the Mahometan power. Whatever reproach may at a later period have been justly thrown on the indolence and luxury of religious orders, it was surely good, that in an age of ignorance and violence, there should be quiet cloisters and gardens, in which the arts of peace could be safely cultivated, in which gentle and contemplative natures could find an asylum; in which one brother could employ himself in transcribing the Eneid of Virgil, and another in meditating the Analytics of Aristotle; in which he who had a genius for art might illuminate a martyrology or carve a crucifix, and in which he who had a turn for natural philosophy might make experiments on the properties of plants and minerals. Had not such retreats been scattered here and there among the huts of a miserable peasantry and the castles of a ferocious aristocracy, European society would have consisted merely of beasts of burden and beasts of prey.
The Church has many times been compared, by divines, to that ark of which we read in the book of Genesis; but never was the resemblance more perfect than during that evil time when she rode alone, amidst darkness and tempest, over the deluge, beneath which all the great works of ancient power and wisdom lay entombed, bearing within her that feeble germ from which a second and more glorious civilization was to spring."-(Vol. I. p. 6.)
The proper acompaniment to this is a passage from a subsequent part of his work, on the influence of the Romish Church in modern times.
"From the time when the barbarians overran the Western Empire to the time of the revival of letters, the Church of Rome had been generally favourable to science, to civilization, and to good government. But during the last three centuries, to stunt the growth of the human mind has been her chief object. Throughout Christendom whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in freedom, in wealth, and in the arts of life, has been made in spite of her, and has everywhere been in inverse proportion to her power. The loveliest and most fertile provinces in Europe have, under her rule, been sunk in poverty, in political servitude, and in intellectual torpor; whilst Protestant countries, once proverbial for sterility and barbarism, have been turned by skill and industry into gardens, and can boast of a long list of heroes, statesmen, philosophers, and poets. Who ever, knowing what Italy and Scotland naturally are, and what, four hundred years ago, they actually were, shall now compare the country round Rome with the country round Edinburgh, will be able to form some judgment as to the tendency of Papal domination. The descent of Spain, once the first among monarchies, to the lowest depths of degradation-the elevation of Holland, in spite of many disadvantages, to a position such as no commonwealth so small has ever reached-teach the same lesson. Whoever passes in Germany from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant principality, in Switzerland from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant Canton, in Ireland from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant county, finds that he
passes from a lower to a higher grade of civilization. On the other side of the Atlantic the same law prevails. The Protestants of the United States have left far behind them the Roman Catholics of Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. The Roman Catholics of Lower Canada remain inert, while the whole Continent round them is in ferment with Frotestant activity and enterprise. The French have doubtless shown an energy and intelligence, even when misdirected, which have entitled them to be called a great people. But this apparent exception, when examined, will be found to confirm the rule- for in no country that is called Roman Catholic has the Roman Catholic Church, during several generations, possessed so little authority as in France."
The description of the Normans at the era of the Conquest is vigorous and spirited, full of condensed historical information, and is given in language characteristic of this history.
"The Normans were then the foremost race of Christendom. Their valour and ferocity had made them conspicuous amongst the rovers whom Scandinavia had sent forth to ravage Western Europe. Their sails were long the terror of both coasts of the Channel. Their arms were repeatedly carried far into the heart of the Carlovingian empire, and were victorious under the walls of Maestricht and Paris. At length one of the feeble heirs of Charlemagne ceded to the strangers a fertile province, watered by a noble river, and contiguous to the sea, which was their favourite element. In that province they founded a mighty State, which gradually extended its influence over the neighbouring principalities of Brittany and Maine. Without laying aside that dauntless valour which had been the terror of every land from the Elbe to the Pyrenees, the Normans rapidly acquired all, and more than all, the knowledge and refinement which they found in the country where they settled. Their courage secured their territory against foreign invasion. They established internal order, such as had long been unknown in the French empire. They embraced Christianity, they learned a great part of what the clergy had to teach. They abandoned their native speech, and adopted the French tongue, in which the Latin was the predominant element. They speedily raised their new language to a dignity and importance which it had never before possessed. They found it a barbarous jargon; they fixed it in writing; and they employed it in legislation, in poetry, and romance. They renounced that brutal intemperance to which all other branches of the great German family were too much inclined. The polite luxury of the Norman presented a striking contrast to the coarse voracity and drunkenness of his Saxon and Danish neighbours. He loved to display his magnificence, not in huge piles of food and hogsheads of strong drink, but in large and stately edifices, rich armour, gallant horses, choice falcons, well ordered tournaments, banquets-delicate rather than abundant, and wines remarkable rather for their exquisite flavour than for their intoxicating power. That chivalrous spirit which has exercised so powerful an influence on the politics, morals, and manners, of all the European nations, was found in the highest exaltation amongst the Norman nobles. Those nobles were distinguished by their graceful bearing and insinuating address. They were distinguished also by their skill in negotiation, and by a natural eloquence which they assiduously cultivated. It was the boast of one of their historians that the Norman gentlemen were orators from the cradle. But their chief fame was derived from their military exploits. Every country, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Dead Sea, witnessed the prodigies of their discipline and valour. One Norman knight
at the head of a handful of warriors, scattered the Celts of Connaught. Another founded the monarchy of the two Sicilies, and saw the emperors, both of the East and of the West, fly before his arms. A third, the Ellysses of the first Crusade, was invested by his fellow-soldiers with the sovereignty of Antioch; and a fourth, the Tancred, whose name lives in the great poem of Tasso, was celebrated throughout Christendom as the bravest and most generous of the champions of the Holy Sepulchre." (I., p. 11.)
The efforts of the Roman Catholic Clergy, and the influence of the Romish Church in abolishing slavery, and in mitigating its evils, have often been acknowledged. Speaking of the cessation of the tyranny of the Normans over the Saxons, by the amalgamation of the two great nations, and the abolition of villenage, Mr. Macaulay says in one of his beautifully comprehensive paragraphs:
"It would be most unjust not to acknowledge that the chief agent in these two great deliverances was Religion; and it may perhaps be doubted whether a purer religion might not have been found a less efficient agent. The benevolent spirit of the Christian morality is undoubtedly adverse to distinction of caste. But to the Church of Rome such distinctions are peculiarly odious, for they are incompatible with other distinctions which are essential to her system. She ascribes to every priest a mysterious dignity which entitles him to the reverence of every layman; and she does not consider any man as disqualified, by reason of his nation or of his family, for the priesthood. Her doctrines respecting the sacerdotal character, however erroneous they may be, have repeatedly mitigated some of the worst evils which can afflict society. That superstition cannot be regarded as unmixedly noxious, which, in regions cursed by the tyranny of race over race, creates an aristocracy altogether independant of race, inverts the relation between the oppressor and the oppressed, and compels the hereditary master to kneel before the spiritual tribunal of the hereditary bondsman. To this day, in some countries where negro slavery exists, Popery appears in advantageous contrast to other forms of Christianity. It is notorious that the antipathy between the European and African races is by no means so strong at Rio Janerio as at Washington. In our own country this peculiarity of the Roman Catholic system produced, during the middle ages, many salutary effects. It is true that shortly after the battle of Hastings, Saxon prelates and abbots were violently deposed, and that ecclesiastical adventurers from the Continent were intruded by hundreds into lucrative benefices. Yet even then pious divines of Norman blood raised their voices against such a violation of the constitution of the Church-refused to accept mitres from the hands of the conqueror, and charged him on the peril of his soul, not to forget that the vanquished Islanders were his fellowChristians. The first protector whom the English found amongst the conquering caste was Archbishop Anslem. At a time when the English name was a reproach, and when all the civil and military dignities of the kingdom were supposed to belong to the countrymen of the conqueror, the dispised race learned, with transports of delight, that one of themselves, Nicholas Breakspeare, had been elevated to the Papal throne, and had held out his foot to be kissed by ambassadors sprung from the noblest houses in Normandy. It was a national as well as a religious feeling that drew great multitudes to the shrine of Becket, the first Englishman, who, since the conquest, had been terrible to the foreign tyrants. A successor of Becket was foremost among those who obtained that charter which secured at once