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many writers, to give Mr. Southey the least concern; to us we confess it appears of all charges the most unfounded; it is very true, simply taken, that the world is little concerned with the private feelings, misfortunes, or blessings of an author; Horace's birth and education, Milton's blindness, or Pope's sickliness imported very little to the interests of the bustling world, who read of thenı ; but surely it is to misconceive the question in the strangest mamer therefore to object to the passages in which they are mentioned, or to the turn of mind that prompted them. If the common consent of all readers bas sanctioned these overflowings of the heart by the universal and warm interest with which they are listened to, we need go no farther for a justification of the practice; indeed it is the voice of nature, and we all listen to it; he too that knows how to embody the feelings of others into becoming language, will assuredly express his own more powerfully, and as a consequence of course, will then excite the most attentive interest. It may be indeed, and we have, not centuries ago, seen such instances, it may be, that the feelings are dark and unsocial; and if so, it is as natural a consequence, that the expression of them should excite no kindly feelings towards the breast that harbours them. For Mr. Southey's particular, whether he has to fear such a judgment of the heart he lays before us, let such lines as the following, full of the most characteristic tenderness and chearfulness decide.
“ Praise to that Power, who from my earliest days
Thus taught me what to seek and what to shun;
Appointing me my better course to run,
And all my paths are paths of pleasantness;
Doth never know an ebb of chearfulness;
P.6. ' We pass on to the poem itself, which is a Dream. In this the author describes himself as witness of that gay and eager bustle wbich pervades a great city at the celebration of some joyo's festival; he hears the tramping of horses, the rolling of carriages, and the busy voices in the street; he sees glad faces at every window, and on every clustered house-top; all bear marriage symbols in their breasts; the streamers are fluttering from the pinnacles, and the merry bells ringing from every tower. At the sound of cannon, the crowd rush on towards a festal hall; he is borne along by them, and admitted within its precincts. Its ornamental trophies, its storied walls, and the marble images of patriot warriors, which adorn this magnificent court are very spiritedly described ; but the living scene attracts the dreamer's more earnest attention, the statesmen, the warriors, and the fair of Britain ; and over all conspicuous-a royal bridegroom and his bride;
" In her fair cheek, and in her bright blue eye,
The bridegroom seem'd-a man approved in fight, Who in the great deliverance bore his part,” &c. P. 25. Before them lie the English and the Saxon lions, and on either side two forms divine, Honour and Faith. While he stands gazing, the scene becomes as it were a moving pageant, and v: will venture to say, that since the days of Spencer, a more gorgeons and lofty one was never imagiued, the personages are most sublime, ihe description of them glowing and characteristic, and the speeches they utter very impressive and affecting, We will not forestall our readers' gratification by a minute detail of its different parts; if we were called upon to select any part, which pleased us more than the rest, it would be perhaps the introduction of the Angel of the English Church, of the spirits of the spotless Tudor, of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and the noble army of English martyrs. The whole passage is as truly and finely conceived as any thing we have ever seen of the kind; and it is with real regret, that we tind ourselves precluded by its length from extracting the whole of it; while we feel that it would be wrong to mutilate so noble a whole by giving only part of it. There is something too excessively touching in an incident which immediately follows: the guardian angel of the rising race of human beings descends to advocate the cause of education, and as be closes, from some unseen multitude a choral peal arises that shakes the hall.
“ Scarce can the heart their powerful tones sustain,
'Save or we perish' was the thrilling strain.
By unseen souls innumerous hovering round;
The Vision closes with the half-seen form of Death, whose countenance, indistinct and dreadful at first, grew divinely beautiful as it was more intently gazed upon; he promises the bride her great and endless recompence, for the pious administration of this mighty land.
“ Is this the Nuptial Song”—Mr. Southey well supposes, that the world will ask the question. We have delivered our opinion at length on this subject; but we part with him in better humour than we begun : what he has planned, as we think, erroneously, he has executed so perfectly, that we are almost reconciled to the original conception. At ail events, there is not one of us, nor we trust an houest heart in the kingdoin, that is not one with him in the following prayer, with which, expressing as it does much better than we could do, all that we feel on this occasion, we shall conclude our present article. " He prays that
many a year may pass away,
Thy heart the dear domestic joys may prove;
The virtues and the household clarities
That when the nation thither turn their eyes,
In due succession shall descend at length,
Truth be thy counsellor, and Heaven thy strength.
The wise laws handed down from sire to son;
All may be added wliich is left undone,
Brute man may be to social life reclaimed;
The saving faith may widely be proclaimed,
Art. V. The Congress of Vienna. By M. de Pradt, Author
of “ The Antidote to the Congress of Rustadt," and " The History of the Embassy to Warsaw," &c. Translated from
the French. Svo. 224 pp. Leigh. 1816. THE volume before us, we are told by our author, may be considered as a continuation of those wbich he has written on the principal events of the past eighteen years.
“ At Rastadt, the Germanic empire supported the weight of negotiations, which proved useless in their results, as the forms which accompanied them were painful. At that time appeared the • Antidote to the Congress at Rastadt ;' a work, in which it was attempted to correct the mistakes of the Congress, either by an exposition of the nature of revolutions, and the consideration of which appeared to have escaped its notice; or by pointing out a system more appropriate to circumstances than that which was adopted.
“ In 1799, Austria, Russia, and a part of the empire, marched against the reigning authority in France. It was very clear that all their efforts, without the co-operation of Prussia, would be of no avail, and that, with it, their success would have been certain. It was not less evident that Prussia, entangled in the web of a policy, of the nature of which she herself was neither aware, nor could foresee the result, by thus separating herself from Europe, advanced towards the catastrophe she experienced within the course of six years. The consideration of the dangers attached to this conduct, occasioned the publication of the work entitled, • Prussia. and her Neutrality. 1799.
“ Ten years since, the West-India colonies were, some of them, subverted, and others threatened with the disorders, that, since the year 1790, have affected the colonial system. At that time, the great American continent, in some of its divisions, experienced the effects of revolutionary principles, proceeding either from the events of a protracted contest, or the influence of its neighbour, the United States. In a word, the fundamental principle of the colonial system was attacked, as well as its actual situation. An attempt was made to re-establish this principle, and to call the attention of Europe to the state of the colonies, in a work entitled, • The Three Ages of Colonies. 1801.'
“ The Congress at Vienna, destined to put an end to the agitation of Europe, and to determine its situation for a long succession of ages, offers a most extensive field for reflection, on a subject infinitely more important than the circumstances to which we have alluded. Europe should, for a length of time, have considered the Congress of Vienna as the commencement of a new æra. From that period the spirit by which it was actuated hould have been regarded with an high interest, as well as the results to be expected. Its object was no less than the arrangement of a political
futurity futurity for all Europe. If the edifice was solidly constructed, if its parts were well proportioned, it would remain, and Europe would, for a considerable time, have reposed under its tutelar protection. If, on the contrary, it erred from a want of the qualities essential to every species of construction, then the Congress will have proved itself to be a lesser benefit; and its acts will not be found of such a character as we could have desired. It partakes more of the nature of a system of warfare, than an establishment for the preservation of peace. The former is, in its very nature, transient. One campaign may repair the false calculations of another ; but the object of peace being to correct the errors of war, it is more durable, and deserves a more serious consideration. If we seek for the causes of the wars that have crimsoned the plains of Europe for many ages, we shall trace their origin to the very treaties which, under the appearance of putting an end to existing war, in fact did nothing else than lay the foundation of a new one. Since that which, in his energetic language, the illustrious Burke called the market of Básle, how many treaties of peace have there been, that have not produced new wars? Therefore, it would have been curious to ascertain whether the Congress of Vienna, the absolute master of the subject, an advantage not possessed in any other negotiations, would make use of this advantage with the latitude that circumstances required, and the power with which it had been invested. To ascertain whether this was or was not effected, is the object of this work. It is not a history of the negotiations of the Congress, but an investigation of the spirit by which it was actuated, and the probable consequences of the system it established.
The determinations of the Congress are become public acts; they concern the world, and should become the object of its scrutiny. We have proceeded in this investigation with the most perfect candour, and free from any party or local spirit. If we have expressed our opinion on every subject, it is because we have written for every person, and because truth is the interest of all. In uniting an accurate observation of this principle, to that regard which is due in its application to individuals, and more especially to the chiefs of nations, we believe that we have equally availed ourselves of what were our rights, and fulfilled the duties prescribed to us.”' P. vii.
In this work M. de Pradt appears to mean much more than he has dared to express.
For this reason many people will find the account of the congress at Vienna 100 general, too rapid, sometimes obscure, and generally too abstract; but we have pot the least hesitation in asserting, that our author is quite uu fuit of his subject, he is perfectly acquainted with the views which animated the allied Sovereigns at this celebrated meeting, he possesses too acute a mind to be ever reconciled to all the consequences arising from the present doctrine of legitimacy, old regione, renovation, &c, according to the modern interpretation of these