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love or attachment for the great principles of civic freedom. Any Minister of this country, placed in his situation, must have acted very much as he did-a man of a calmer and less eloquent turn, of a more moderate and staid disposition, would probably have expressed himself differently. Had Mr. Canning lived five years longer, had he been living at this time, there can be little doubt that the situation in the Lords, to which he was about to be removed his personal feelings towards Lord Grey, and the repeated and earnest objurgations of a long political life, would have placed him once more at the head of the Tory party. The defendant of that system by which he was introduced to power, the heat and impetuosity of his character might have led him to any extremes, and it is within the verge of probability that the country which is now building him a monument might ere long be erecting him a scaffold.
We say this without any intention to do him wrong; indeed we think that we spoke our feelings pretty fairly as to the individual when we stated our opinions of his class, which we believe careless to the interests of the great bulk of the people, but not indifferent to the honour and character of the country.
Like most men who have risen to great eminence, Mr. Canning owed much to chance. He was lucky in the time of his deceasein the day of his desertion. To very few has it happened to be supported by a party as long as its support was useful-to be repudiated by it when its affection would have been injurious. The same men who as friends had given him power, as enemies conferred on him reputation. But his glory is not connected with any great act of legislation. No law will travel to posterity protected by his name. After generations will see in him much to admire-little to be grateful for. The Memorialist will delight in painting the talents he displayed, the Historian will find little to say of the benefits he bestowed.
As an orator, Mr. Canning's style of eloquence was peculiar to himself; he was almost the founder of his own school, a school admirably adapted to what the House of Commons has yet been, an assembly of decently well-bred and not entirely-illiterate gentlemen. He was always easy and fluent-frequently passionate and sarcasticwhile he peculiarly excelled in that light and playful, though not unfrequently ungenerous tone of raillery, by which an antagonist may be rendered ridiculous when he cannot be answered, and an audience amused, when it is too dull or too impatient to be instructed. Generally remarkable for the polish of his language; we have proofs, even to the last, in his own hand-writing, of the pains he bestowed upon it-" "Erat memoria summa, nulla tamen meditationis suspicio." Those who knew him well, say that he would sometimes purposely frame his sentences loosely and incorrectly, in order to avoid the appearance of preparation. His action inelegant, not perhaps without intention, was warm, animated, and well suited by its vehemence to the florid colouring and figurative decorations in which it pleased him to indulge. His arguments were not placed in that clear, logical, and deductive form which enchains and enforces conviction; neither did he use those solemn perorations by which it is attempted to instill awe or terror into the mind. His was the endeavour alternately to distract the attention, to tickle the ears, to amuse the fancy, and to excite the feelings-(to arouse the passions
would be too strong an expression)—and in these various parts of his great science, he succeeded in no mean degree. Depth and sublimity he was without; but he carried those qualities he possessed to such perfection, that at times he almost seemed profound and sublime. Some merits he had, which eminently calculated him for the practice of state affairs. His strict and unwearying assiduity to business was more remarkable from the vulgar notion, that those who possess the more brilliant order of abilities are unfitted for attention to the dry details of office. His despatches, though not so exquisitely perfect in style as those of his successor, Lord Dudley, were beautiful state compositions :-Indeed, to the verbal construction of every paper that issued from his department, he paid the most scrupulous and minute attention. Indefatigable in Downing Street, he, notwithstanding, was rarely out of his place, or incapable of bearing the brunt of the various discussions, in the House of Commons; and even when the business of the night seemed concluded, the statesman and the orator turned courtier, and rarely went to bed without writing to the King an entertaining, and frequently eloquent account, of the party proceedings of the evening. Still his genius was not of the first order: there was something in his character and his talents which tended at once to diminish our respect for his merits, and yet to soften our censure of his defects. The same unstately love for wit-the same fatal facility for satire-the same petulant and imprudent levity of conduct, which sometimes involuntarily disgusted us with his abilities, at others led us involuntarily to excuse his errors. Now we blamed the statesman for being too much the child-now we pardoned the veteran politician in the same humour in which we would have forgiven the spoiled and high-spirited schoolboy. Mr. Canning was always young: the head of the sixth form at Eton: squibbing" the Doctor," as Mr. Addington was called-fighting my Lord Castlereagh-cutting heartless jokes on poor Mr. Ogden-flatly contradicting Mr. Brougham-swaggering over the Holy Alliance-quarrelling with the Duke of Wellingtonhe was in perpetual personal scrapes, one of the reasons which created for him so much personal interest during the whole of his parliamentary career. No imaginative artist fresh from reading that career, would sit down to paint him with the broad and deep forehead-the stern, compressed lip-the deeply thoughtful and concentrated air of Napoleon Bonaparte. As little would the idea of his eloquence or ambition call to our recollection the swart and iron features, the bold and haughty dignity of Strafford. We cannot fancy in his eye the volumed depth of Richelieu's, the volcanic flash of Mirabeau's, the offended majesty of Chatham's. We should sketch him from our imagination as we see him identically before us, with a countenance rather marked by intelligence, sentiment, and satire, than meditation, passion, or sternness-with more of the petulant than the proud-more of the playful than the profound-more of the quick irritability of a lively temperament in its expression, than of the fixed or fiery aspect which belongs to the rarer race of men whose characters are wrought from the most inflexible and violent materials of human nature.
M. DE SCHLEGEL'S FORTHCOMING WORK.
"Reflexions sur l'Etude des Langues Asiatiques, addressées à Sir James Mackintosh, par A. W. de Schlegel, Professeur à l'Université Royale de Bonn, Chevalier des Ordres de l'Aigle Rouge, de St. Wladimir, de Wasa, et de la Légion d'Honneur, Membre de l'Academie Royale des Sciences à Berlin, Correspondant des Academies de St. Petersbourg et de Munich, et de la Société Royale des Sciences à Gottingen, Membre Honoraire des Sociétés Asiatiques de Calcutta, de Paris, et de Londres, et de la Société Littéraire à Bombay."
M. de Schlegel is best known to Englishmen by his Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, and his translations from Shakspeare; but he is also highly celebrated for his exertions in the department of literature to which the above Reflexions relate, though he only began the serious cultivation of it at a comparatively late period of life. His first undertaking in this department was the "Indische Bibliothek," commenced in 1819, a periodical publication in occasional parts, of which seven have already appeared. His next, the "Bhagavad Gitá," in Sanscrit and Latin, appeared in 1823. In 1829 he published a part of the "Hitopidesa," the first volume of the "Rámáyana," and an Essay in the "Berliner Kalendar," on the History of our acquaintance with the East. In 1831, the second part of the "Hitopidesa," and another Essay in the " Berliner Kalendar." The second volume of the " Rámáyana" is in print, but not yet published. The last production of this distinguished man is the work of which the title is prefixed to this article. It is still in manuscript, but he kindly permits us to give a short account of the contents.
He begins by stating the reasons which induce him to address the work to Sir James Mackintosh: "I know no one in England to whose examination I should more readily submit my thoughts than to yours. Our conversations have often given me occasion to admire your vast knowledge, the universality of your mind, and the philosophic coup-d'œil that you bring to the different subjects of your meditations." What is more in point, Sir James is the founder of the Literary Society of Bombay, and has taken an active part in the establishment of the Asiatic Society of London. M. de Schlegel has been enrolled a Foreign Member of this Society: but understanding, he says, that none but certain officers of the Society are allowed to speak at its meetings, he prefers addressing himself to the public at large, as a mere private observer" an infinitely small fraction of it" -to contesting the wisdom of this truly Laconic prohibition.
In 1828, an association, called the Committee for Oriental Translations, was formed in the bosom of the Asiatic Society, the object being to encourage translations by rewards. Nothing, it is allowed, can appear more useful at the first view. Translation presents one admirable mean for diffusing the literature of the East. But still, M. de Schlegel contends, encouragements offered to mere translators exclusively, tend rather to retard than advance the scientific study of that literature; one obvious reason being, that the European public is thus likely to derive its chief acquaintance with Oriental productions from men who have obtained a loose knowledge of the Indian dialects during residence, without time or capacity for philological investigation; and not merely the general scope of the plan, but the details,
as they appear upon the prospectus, are deemed extremely objectionable. For instance, it does not specify the languages into which the translations may be made; and our Author forcibly contends, that a saving clause should be added for Latin and French, at the least. He waives the claims of German (though, next to Greek, the best adapted of all) on account of its limited diffusion. Though we are a numerous nation, and passably learned, we are unknown in the west and south of Europe, and we have wherewith to console ourselves." The critical remarks, occurring in this place, on these several languages, are admirable. From the languages into he turns to those from which translations are to be called forth; and here again an undue selection is said to have been made. Arabian and Persian are unduly exalted, and Indian (including Sanscrit) and Chinese unduly let down. M. Schlegel repeats, despite of M. de Sacy's argument to the contrary, his formerly avowed opinion, that the better part of "The Arabian Nights," all, in fact, that has made the fortune of the book, is of Indian invention. He quizzes the Persian style, and laughs Mohammedan criticism to scorn. The following is an amusing example. The historian Mirkhond says on a certain occasion:"Some relate the fact in the manner abovementioned; others with
entirely different circumstances. Allah knows which of them say truth!" "Behold," says M. de Schlegel, "the ne plus ultra of the historical criticism of a Mussulman !"
He uniformly awards the first place to Sanscrit, as the most beautiful and most useful of the Eastern dialects, and eulogizes it more than once with the tact and style of a first-rate critic, and the glowing energy of an impassioned amateur. This language also is the example he takes to prove that we have not yet sufficient requisites to render the extended patronage of translations safe; that we neither know the language thoroughly, nor are in possession of proper originals. That we do not know the language sufficiently, he infers from the glaring imperfections of our best Grammars and Dictionaries, which he passes one by one in review; according the highest praise to some English scholars-to Messrs. Colebrooke, Wilson, and Haughton, particularly-and very freely commenting upon all. In illustration of our liability to be deceived into false estimates of the authenticity of manuscripts, he cites the tricks that have been played off successfully on the most sceptical historians and the most laborious investigators; for instance, on Sir William Jones and Voltaire. Oriental scholars are doubtless well acquainted with the instances to which we allude. Colonel Wilford is another well-known victim of this sort of imposition, though the Asiatic Society had the complaisance to publish his Essays after the spurious character of his chief authorities had been exposed. The general inference is, that the study of originals, the collection of manuscripts, with the formation of better grammars and vocabularies, ought to precede the multiplication of translations, extracts, and résumés; and for the better promotion of these several objects, M. de Schlegel proposes the formation of an Academy.
This gentleman, though at present residing in India, has just been elected Professor of Sanscrit at Oxford, after a severe contest. He owes his success entirely to his reputation as an Orientalist, for he is not even a member of the University.
The essay concludes with a recapitulation of the subjects to which the academicians are to apply themselves, accompanied by an admirable commentary on the science, literature, philosophy, painting, sculpture, and architecture of the East. An appendix of illustrative papers is subjoined. One of these, a letter from a Secretary of the East India Company, is singular enough. M. de Schlegel, it seems, had presented a copy of his "Hitopidesa," with the remark that it is eminently adapted for a class-book in colleges, "when the teacher has a correct edition to assist him." The Directors replied that they had already acted upon a similar impression, having caused a large number of copies to be printed especially for that purpose. Now the Directors' edition is notoriously bad, and Schlegel's, in which the profoundly learned Dr. Lassen co-operated, is confessedly excellent. The Directors, therefore, must be in the habit of judging of books like the retired tradesman, who, having ordered an extensive library from town, sent back all the last editions with an angry letter to his bookseller, stating that he could afford the best of every thing, and was resolved on having none but the first!
We shall offer no comment on the plan or opinions developed in this work, until the public have the same opportunities of examining them as ourselves; and our apologies are due to the author for the very meagre abstract we have framed, which gives, indeed, about the same notion of the work that a map would give of a country abounding in beautiful views. It is his unrivalled critical sagacity, his constant reference to the higher principles of taste, his profound knowledge of the subjects he treats, and his mingled grace and vivacity of style, that have raised A. W. de Schlegel to his present enviable position in literature-and all these qualities are more or less discernible in the little tract he has allowed us to describe. Readers not acquainted with his mode of writing, may be pleased to see an illustration of the tact with which he lightens a grave discussion by a parody. With one such, taken almost at random and under the disadvantage of our own translation, we conclude. He is speaking of the "Bahar-Danush,' translated from the Persian by Mr. Jonathan Scott :
"It is a pretty tale enough, of Indian invention, according to the author himself; but it is so drowned in idle words, and surcharged with flowers of rhetoric, that one has all the trouble in the world to follow the thread of the story. Lame comparisons, with arbitrary and capricious metaphors, abound in it. It is of a sugared insipidity, to such a degree that the reading of a small number of pages is sufficient to produce a nausea. There is no sort of foolery, puerility, or hacknied common-place, of which examples are not to be found in it. If this be good prose, I undertake to dictate such without intermission, walking-in my bath-on horseback-at table-in a carriage-drinking tea-in bed-I might almost say, asleep. But I am not just now in a humour to mount the vigorous mare of criticism, descended from the noble race of the Alexandrian stallion, Aristarchus, to combat the bragging tribe of bad taste, marching under the banner of affectation. Firmly seated between the holsters of reason, resting on the stirrups of solid arguments, I am indeed sure of making head against the enemy; but in pursuing the fugitives too eagerly with the shafts of ridicule, I might easily lose myself in the sandy deserts of prolixity, and then I might detain you (Sir J. Mackintosh) in spite of myself-you, my worthy friend, who have come up on the dromedary of attention to accompany me-you, whose prosperity may Allah watch over-I should possibly detain you, I say, by the brackish well of yawns, under the gloomy tents of ennui." A. H.