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and the clash of opposing interests, that this scene of danger and of bitter discord leaves on the whole many agreeable impressions upon the memory of those who either played a part in that memorable drama or were merely spectators.
Our author found Cadiz enlivened by the presence of a French army, which had come with a very different object from that of Napoleon. The revolution of France has made, as it were, of Europe, a chess-board, and of the nations which inhabit it, the pieces with which the game is played. The revolutionary and anti-revolutionary principles have successively moved in mutual opposition, now the white-now the red king: and thus it has happened, that, while from 1812 to 1814, French troops fought in Spain for the last results of the political commotions of their own country, they returned thither in 1821 to extinguish similar ones. But the character and the disposition of the French soldier are always the same, and are strikingly described by the author.
“They are the soul of the theatres, the public walks, and the coffee houses, where soldiers and officers meet as on a neutral ground, captains going with captains, lieutenants with their equals, and corporals with corporals, and where of whatever grade they are equally conspicuous for correct deportment and civility: I have often been amused with the conversation of the common soldiers and sub-officers. Sometimes they admire the beauty of a female whom they have just passed, or who is walking before them, speaking critically of whatever is pleasing and lovely in her face or figure, and talking, perhaps purposely, in a high whisper, that they may be overbeard, as if by accident, by the object of their admiration—not so loud as to embarrass, yet just loud enough to please and flatter. Sometimes, too, and much oftener, they talk about the prospects of war, and gaining glory and advancement; the corporal declaims upon la tactique militaire, and sighs for quelque peu de promotion, the height of his present ambition being to win the half silver epaulette of the serjeant major, or to become a sub-lieutenant, and reach the first step above the rank of sous officier. Even in their cups and revelry these light-hearted fellows continue to amuse ; and when sometimes they sit too long over the hardy wines of Spain, forgetting that they have not to deal with the petits vins of their province, instead of passing insults, which among them can never be washed away except by blood, instead of pulling out their swords, or belabouring each other with their fists, which they pever do, whether drunk or sober; they seem, on the contrary, overcome with a rare kindness, and the most drunken fellow of the company is taken with the fancy of assisting his companions in this their helpless condition. Should a sudden reel of this officious assistant, or the twisting of his spur or sabre, bring a whole group to the ground, instead of coming to blows they laugh at the accident, and fall to hugging and kissing each other. Hardy and intrepid upon the field of battle, the social sentiment is strong in the breast of the Frenchman-frank, generous, and loyal, he is a stranger to jealousy and suspicion; he is ever ready to give his hand to a friend, and lay his heart at the feet of the nearest fair one."
Though Cadiz is not, as the author calls it, one of the handsomest cities in the world—(by the by a rare instance of hyperbole, less consonant to the general manner of the author than to the taste of the country he describes,) it is certainly one of the neatest. The walk on the rampart is very inferior to the “battery” at New-York. But the houses are better adapted to the climate than those of the “London of America."
“They are built in the style which was introduced by the Arabs, and is now general throughout Spain ; being of two stories, with a square in the centre, and a double gallery supported on columns of marble running round the interior. In summer an awning is spread over the area of this square, and being wet from time to time, the place is always kept cool. The sun is never permitted to enter this pleasant retreat, where the evening 'tertulia' is held; where the chocolate is served, and the lover is admitted to touch his guitar, and pour out his passion in the eloquence of song, or to listen to a sweeter melody, and catch the spirit of wit and merriment from the frolic sallies of some bewitching Gaditana. The windows on the street reach from the ceiling to the tile floor, so as to leave a free passage to the air. Each has a balcony furnished with a green veranda, through the lattices of which you may sometimes catch sight of a fair tenant sitting amidst plants and flowers, covering a handkerchief with the elaborate embroidery which the Spanish ladies love, whilst the rose, the geranium, and the lavender, encompass her with perfumes, and the canary which hangs above, pleased with a climate kindly as his own, keeps constantly greeting her with his song."
Here we must stop in our extracts from the work before us. The passages we have transcribed from it will enable our readers form some opinion of the merits of its style. Such narratives as those of the first highway-robbery committed upon him, and of the bullfights, we could not have refrained from quoting also, if we had not seen them in many of the newspapers. We recommend his work as one of the best accounts of a considerable portion of Spain, and as a most entertaining mixture of useful and novel information, of pleasing pictures, and of incidents at once true, and tinged with a romantic colouring. The difficulties he has encountered in procuring a publisher, are not always “ominous of evil,” as he seems to apprehend; and although, certainly, books have their fates like man, and the best are sometimes treated the worst, we trust that he will be agrecably undeceived, and have reason to be as much satisfied with the reading portion of his countrymen, as he has a right to be with himself in the character of an author. We beg him to empty his portfolio, if the unpublished portions of his narrative equal that which we have read twice with pleasure in a short time.
We cannot however conclude, without inviting the author to correct, in a future edition, a few errors, rather surprising in so sedulous an inquirer, and which must have escaped his pen in the heat of a rapid composition. The present king of Spain was not married to two sisters in succession, as the author states, (p. 381,) for his first wife was a princess of Naples, and his second, the much lamented Maria Isabel de Braganza. Nor did the queen, who has recently died, need to be “ anxious to expiate the former heresy of her family and herself, by every species of self-denial and mortification," (p. 133.) The royal dynasty of Saxony professes the Roman Catholic religion, although the Protestant creed prevails among the Saxons. There are a few other similar mistakes, which the author will easily detect in revising his work.
1.-Chapter XV. of the first part of the proposed revision of
the Statute Laws of the State of New-York. Albany : Cros
well and Van Benthuysen. 1827. 8vo. pp. 72. 2.-A General View of the present System of public Education
in France, and of the Laws, Regulations, and Courses of Studies in the different Faculties, Colleges, and inferior Schools which now compose the Royal University of that Kingdom; preceded by a short History of the University of Paris, before the Revolution. By DAVID JOHNSON M. D. Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. Svo. pp. 244.
Education is the noblest and most important subject that can engage the attention of the lawgiver. It lies, in truth, at the basis of the whole social system. It affects not only the individual happiness, the character, and the usefulness of those who are its objects, but exerts a most powerful and irresistible influence upon the government, the laws, and the liberties of communities. No nation, when the majority of the people is well educated, can remain enslaved; no nation, when the great mass is ignorant, can retain its freedom. In proportion to the general intelligence will be the force, the wealth, and the influence of a state; and it will be respected in the exact ratio of the instructed talent that it can bring into its negotiations.
The government of those ancient nations which either obtained lasting power, or earned a reputation that has preserved their memory, paid the most sedulous attention to the education of their youth. It was indeed conducted upon far different principles from those which would be adviseable at the present day; the means by which the mind was exercised in order to imbue it with practical wisdom were different, and the development of the physical faculties, in a state of frequent and savage warfare, was as important as the cultivation of the intellect. Education was consequently longer in attaining what we might consider as the mere elements, but from the very exertion of mind and body which it demanded, it produced a higher degree of intellectual energy than the same nominal acquirements are ever attended with in modern days. Athens and Rome may be quoted as haying, each in its own particular direction, excelled in their systems of education. Each acquired the object of its peculiar system. The one still gives laws to the literary world, the other regulates the jurisprudence of civilized man. The first, while it did not discourage the warlike virtues, but taught how to defend the liberties the people enjoyed, was applied most peculiarly to the VOL. VI.--NO. 11.
cultivation of the taste. The tragedies of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, were the amusement, not of a privileged class, but of the populace of Athens, and the meanest frequenter of the market was a skilful critic in the delicacies of their polished dialect. In the other, the citizen was qualified to bear himself with honour in every possible species of public business; the road to public trust required the exercise of the various qualifications of soldier, accountant, judge, legislator, and general, and we rarely find an instance of the entire absence of the qualifications necessary for these apparently incongruous avocations. Some of the instances indeed at once strike us with surprise, as in the case of Cicero, who although qualified, as a general view of his character would at first seem to show, for any thing rather than a military man, nevertheless acquired the highest praise that soldiers could confer on their commander, being saluted by them Imperator. Such versatility in the application of talent, could be only obtained, as a general rule, by a proper education. The same mind, however powerful, is rarely fitted for greatness in more than one direction; but by an education various and comprehensive in its views, inculcating the necessity of exertion and habituating to labour, it may be rendered efficient in whatever business it is engaged. In modern times, the division of labour is carried to a vast extent; in some cases so far as to reduce the human body to a mere machine. Such machines are useful to their employers, and add to the general wealth; but they are not entitled to the rank or privileges of free agents, unless they be animated by an intelligence that will suffice for their own direction. Such are the operatives of Europe, but such never will be the operatives of the United States, unless the fatal system of giving no more of education than will just qualify for the course of life chosen for the party, should prevail among us.
We regret to say, that we begin to see strong indications of a belief, that more of learning than will suffice for the pursuits prescribed by parents and guardians, or than is absolutely demanded in the exercise of the contemplated profession, is worse than useless. We have heard of divines who have deprecated the use of mere human learning in their scholars; physicians sneered at by their more ignorant fellows, because they were chemists and zoologists; lawyers less patronised because scholars; merchants who refused to admit liberally educated young men as their clerks; and parents who prohibited the study of mathematics to boys intended for the counting-house. The great cry in considering systems of education, is cui bono; the ends are constantly mistaken for the means; and it is universally forgotten that elementary education is far less intended to qualify for any specific pursuit, than to give that development of mental powers and energy, which may lead to usefulness in almost any, and
lay the foundation of greatness in that for which the peculiar bent of the genius is calculated.
Of such objections as we have mentioned, ignorance is the great cause. No one who has studied the mathematics can fail to have remarked the improvement of those of his powers which are adapted for mercantile life; no one who has watched the manner in which duty is performed, by those who are in possession of mental resources to fill their hours of idleness, and by those who must, for want of other objects of interest, apply their waste time to dissipation, would hesitate between an educated and an ignorant clerk. Who that has compared the close and pertinent reasoning of the well educated and learned barrister, with the frothy declamation of ignorance, could hesitate which to choose for his counsel? Who that knows the powerful effect of chemical affinities upon the substances employed as remedies, and the vast complexity of the human machine, would intrust his life to the physician who could not judge for himself of the chemical, physical, and even mechanical principles on which the success of his practice must be founded? And finally, what harm will not he do to the cause of religion, whose diction and pronunciation are barbarous and inelegant, whose taste is gross from a want of acquaintance with classic models, who will oppose his own interpretation of a text, or even that of his church, to the facts which the study of the great book of nature is every day bringing to the confirmation and support of revelation?
There is none of these errors so fatal as the last, inasmuch as it affects more than temporal concerns. Spiritual teachers must keep pace with the learning and improvement of the age, or they will become the sources and the propagators of infidelity. No simple circumstance can cause in an unreflecting mind, such a doubt of divine truth, as to hear its texts cited in opposition to facts susceptible of demonstration by mathematical reasoning, or of indisputable proof from inductive evidence. Whatever forced construction the ingenuity of man and the authority of churches may have put upon scriptural passages, their real meaning has never, nor ever can be, at variance with mathematical or physical truth. Yet when churchmen are behind the knowledge of the age in which they live, they cannot fail to array, what they may fancy to be the meaning of scripture, in opposition to the discoveries of science. The famous sentence passed against Galileo, is perhaps the most marked instance of this, and it tended more to the promotion of infidelity than the exertions of all the professed sceptics who have ever lived. The present age has witnessed a contest of the same sort; some of the most enlightened men and best christians have been stigmatized as infidels, for believing that they found in the earth itself clear proofs of an existence far more remote than the received construction of