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died, and whose bodily and mental have endeavoured to prove that the various endowments, we trust, will excite him biographers, through whom the accounts of to aim at the acquisition of Critonian Crichton's abilities have been transmitted, celebrity
are entitled to credit. What may be called the poetical part of the argument, because
it includes the examination of Crichton's TO LAURENTIUS MASSA.
poetry, has been dismissed with a very few When o'er the seas I hied me forth,
observations. It is a matter of opinion and A wanderer from my native north,
taste, not fitted for reasoning or illustration. A willing wanderer to view
The only remaining argument, founded on Cities and people strange and new : the allegation that Crichton's exploits, as The muses, with maternal care,
related by his biographers, are impossible Still followed through tbe paths of air,
to be believed, has, it is hoped, been shewn And still with silver wings outspread,
to be unworthy of any serious credit. From
head the state of science and literature at this They guard from ill their favourite's head.
period, in Scotland and in Italy, where So when the toils of war were done, Crichton commenced and perfected his eduThe Cyprian goddess' darling son, cation, any man, possessing, as he did, un. Through fiercest perils doomed to stray, common talents, and enjoying the advan. Found her companion of his way.
tages of an education under the most emi. And if to India's burning sand,
nent masters of the times, must have ar
rived at very high excellence, while, at the Or Syrtes' Gulfs or Gades' strand My path should lead,-on India's soil,
same time, this progress did not, owing to
the very nature of these studies, imply the The goddess band should aid my toil !
possession of so rare and transcendent a No more the ocean's wrath to brave, genius as it would be unnatural or incredi. Near gentle Adria's milder wave
ble to find in so young a man. The pos. On Latian shores a welcome guest,
session of such early eminence in the dead Far from my own loved north, I rest. languages, of so wonderful a memory, and
so singular a talent for disputation, is not Nor here their kind attention ends, incredible, because the same is to be found The goddess band are still my friends, in Picus Mirandula, Politian, and MazAnd give me those to whom belong zonius. The possession of such rare taCongenial cares, the sons of song.
lents, at so early an age, is not to be corBut thee, my friend, the stainless flood
strued into an argument against maturer That warms thine heart, thy noble blood,
excellence ; and we are not to be told, that And fortune's smile, and virtue's blaze,
this precocity in youth forebodes a failure Adorn thee with collected rays.
of the intellectual powers in manhood,
when we can point, in the catalogue of Can'st thou, the friend of every muse, early talent, to such names as Cicero and To me, their friend, thine aid refuse ? Pliny, as Tasso, Grotius, Voltaire, and Worthy thyself their love to share,
Pope. We are not to be told that the And making all they love thy care. * stories, narrated in the most positive terms, We close this imperfect sketch of
of the eloquence of Crichton in extempoMr Tytler's interesting bool: with the excellence in Latin prose, and the ease and
raneous composition, of his unpremeditated able summary with which he con- elegance of the unstudied verses which he cludes it.
delivered, are unworthy of belief, when we “ We began this piece of critical biogra. know the perfection to which this singular phy by enumerating the three great me. art of extemporizing was then carried in thods by which the posthumous celebrity Italy, and when the names of Marone, of the Admirable Crichton had been at. Querno, Silvio, and a constellation of other
tacked. These were, by impeaching the Italian improvisatori, are found, at the -authority of his biographers, by insisting very same period, in
very same period, in the annals of Italian on the incredible nature of the talents literature.
literature. But we may be told, (and this
But we may, ascribed to him, and by assertions that his is the very point for which we contend,) poetical remains are devoid of talent and that the union of all these talents, the comgenius. The examination of these three bination of this variety of intellectual exmethods of attack is now finished. We cellence, in so young a man, is a very re
markable circumstance. We may be told, . The difficulty mentioned in page 217, and we do insist, that this union becomes relating to the last line of this ode, appears still more remarkable, when we consider, to me completely dispelled by supposing that, in all the manly and military exerDeum to have been written thus, Deum cises, which are so commonly neglected for Dearum, and that the meaning of even by the inferior candidates for scienCrichton was what I have endeavoured to tific or literary eminence, this singular man give this stanza in the translation,-Tr. had arrived at such perfection as to excel
those whose lives were devoted to their went beyond an improvement in our study ;-that in all the more elegant ac- dictionaries, or to restore a passage in complishments which belong to the gentle- our classics. In our time, however, its man and the courtier, he was conspicuous poetry has been translated and imi. by the facility with which he had acquired, and the ease and grace with which he disa
tated by masters of the art among played them ;-that, from the accounts of
· ourselves, and German criticism has his most intimate friends, he who concen.
n. become almost a standard of authority. trated in himself this various store of in. The press of Germany is as powerful tellectual and physical powers, was re. as its armies. It half destroyed Bonamarkable for a modesty of manner, and a parte. The national voice is now steetness and gentleness of disposition, heard throughout Europe, and has which endeared him to his friends, and dis. even penetrated into the councilarmed the jealousy of his rivals; and that, chambers of assembled monarchs. The to finish the picture, he was, in his figure increase and the improvement of Ger, and countenance, one of the handsomest man literature is one of the phenomen of his age. When all this is put to gether, when all these rays of excellence
mena of modern times, and one from me
which the most important results may are traced back into one focus, and found centering in one person, we may indeed be
vindend he be expected. A new life has been told, and there are few who will not as- given to thirty millions of people, who sent to the observation, that this person are school learned enough to be capamust have been no common man. We ble of appreciating every idea which way, that if, as has been shewn, the authors, is presented to them, and who are through whom this account has been trans- now, for the first time in their bismitted, are entitled to perfect credit, this tory, exerting their combined reason union of talent is, although neither super in the discussion of all the important natural or incredible, entitled to high ad. questions that are proffered for the miration ;-that it is not to be wondered decision of man. Many of them are at, that his contemporaries should have been astonished and dazzled by the ap
deeply versed in the languages of all pearance of so brilliant a vision,-a vision,
the nations around them; they bortoo, which rose so bright and beautiful row improvements from all, and give only to set so sadly and so soon. And we, back with interest whatever they borlastly, contend, that the possessor of such row. They are newly informed of their unrivalled excellence was not only entitled own greatness,-they are enthusiastic, to receive from them, but is now as fully -and they are certainly now destined entitled to demand from us, that appella- to promote the future improvements tion by which, as the only reward of his of the race, much more than ever Labours, his genius, and his misfortunes, they could before promote them when be has descended to posterity, the Admi. they were
they were not Germans, but Austri. rable Crichton." pp. 218–223.
ans, Prussians, Bavarians, and Saxons, and the enemies of each other ; when
they wanted that bond of a common ON THE PROGRESS WHICH THE GER
literature which now unites them ina MANS HAVE MADE IN WRITING
one great and magnificent whole.
Historical literature is rightly deem. The Germans date their new birth ed of great importance in Germany; from the year 1740, and certainly be- it is taught at all the universities and fore that period Germany appears to schools, and must therefore have a have been known to the rest of Europe great influence on the whole people. only as a great storehouse of soldiers; Some professors of history, such as where they might be bought at so Spittler, Eichorn, Püiter, Heeren, and much per head; or as a great school Luden, have been, or are some of the in which plodding professors taught most popular teachers; and the cletheir pupils every thing but good sense verest men of Germany have sat as and the German language. The mo- students at their feet. There is a narchs then studied soldier drilling as great demand for their produce, even jockies break horses and teach them more than for the produce of the paces, that they might have a good- poets, and it is likely to do more than looking article for the market. The verse can do in modelling the charace influence which Germany, then, had ter of future generations. on the political world, it' acquired It was late, however, before the from its muscle and bone, and its historical part of German literature powers in the literary world never was improved. The example of Gib
bon, Robertson, and Hume, worked example and his advice have been puwerfully on the Germans, and they followed, and the historians of Gera have probably succeeded better in many are now chaunting their first, imitating them than in imitating our songs of victory. He gave instruc poets. Before they were acquainted tion as a professor, and he wrote a pewith the writings of these authors, riodical paper chiefly devoted to his they were celebrated for historical re- tory and politics, which was publishsearch. They dryly narrated facts, ed at Göttingen between the years but carefully abstained from mixing 1776 and 1792." one philosophical thought with them, Spittler, who merits praise equal to as it it could turn the whole into fable. Schlözer, lived, and wrote, and taught They had volumes of dates and occur. at the same time and place. He was rences, but they were cold and dead, a professor at Göttingen, and after. like the departed beings they related wards a cabinet ininister to the Duke to. Universal history was left entire- of Wirtemberg. He was honoured in ly to theologians or to philologists. his lifetime. His works contain, conAll that could instruct min,--all that sidering the governments under which related to the progress of arts and of he had always lived, very liberal civilization,-all that could give us views. He carried the principles of hope for the future from the improve- Schlözer to their proper bounds; and ment of the past,--all the wonderful it was in him a great merit always to changes that have taken place in the recognize and develope in his writings condition of our race and its various the influence which a free constitumanner of thinking, were all neglect- tion has on the talents, the prosperity, ed, and universal history was recluced and on the virtue of a people. He in such hands to the history of the was the enemy of religious bigotry church and of a few sublime authors. and of the usurpations of the priestAt present, however, the Germans hood; and his outlines of the History pretend to write every branch of of the Church + is reputed a better history philosophically, to trace in work than is possessed by any other every part of it the progress of man nation on the same subject. His hisand the causes of his welfare or his tories of Wirtemberg # and of Hanomisery. They no longer aiin to teach ver § are full of profound reflection a barren knowledge, but a fruitful and accurate remark. His memory is wisdom. They pretend to surpass yet cherished by his scholars and our countrymen in accuracy of re- friends as that of a man full of talents search, and to equal them in the free and of noble enthusiasm. He is said, dom of their remarks, and the brilli- however, to have passed his latter ancy of their style. We have even days unhappily, from being unable to met with an example of some of them accomplish in Wirtemberg the imbeing discontented with the manner provements he wished and had proin which Gibbon has written his Ac- jected. count of the Progress of Christianity, Among the authors of this period, and his Life of Julian, and they have Justus Möser stands very high in the re-written both.
estimation of his countrymen. His After the professors of history had History of Osnabrüch || is quite classislumbered through two centuries, a cal ;-his Patriotic Phantasies prove Mr Selözer, who was professor at Göt- him to have been a deep thinker; and tingen, awoke about the year 1780, the advice he gave to the lower classes and he roused his sleeping brethren. in his weekly paper, and in a form They grumbled at being disturbed, somewhat resembling the proverbs they attacked his writings,-they ri- of Poor Richard, allow him, with jusdiculed his suggestions, and it was not till after his death that he was placed in that niche of the Temple of
The title was Briefwecksel, und later Fame which he now fills. He was
+ Grundriss der Geschichte der Christthe determined enemy of what the dich
lichen Kirche. Germans call sultanismus, and made
# Würtenbergische Geschichte. some attacks on those wanton exer- & Geschichte der Fürstenthums Hancises of power which were then com nover. mon in Germany. He gave a new | Osnabrüchsche Geschichte. force to statistical inquiries. His q Patriotische Phantasien.
tice, to be compared, as is done by made by Madame de Stael, and who Goethe, to the illustrious Franklin. has enriched the literature of his We shall say nothing of the History country with several historical works. of Switzerland and the Universal His. His History of the Commerce, Colonies, tory, both by Müller, because these and Constitution of the States of Antiare already most probably known to quity, * his Outlines of the Political our readers through the work of Mad. History of Europe, t and his other de Stael. Woltman's History of the writings, have been received with Reformation* is written with the spirit general applause. There is a greater of Spittler ; and Dresck is said to have quantity of knowledge and of indusequalled this great master in his Ge- try visible in his works than in those neral History of Europe. t Schiller's of his master. His style has followed “ History of the Separation of the the progress of improvement, and is United Provinces from Spain," and not so ar cificial as that of Spittler; his “ History of the Thirty Years but his reflections are neither so bold War," without having any claim to nor so profound. It would occupy historical research, or even historical too much space to give even a dry caaccuracy, are splendid pieces of com- talogue; of all the authors who have position, and contain many admirable been celebrated since Schlözer and portraits of individuals. Every heart Spittler, or who are now celebrated, glows with a love of freedom at read. as having improved the historical liteing them, and with a hatred of in- rature of their country, and we shall tolerance and persecution.
orily add the name of Luden, at preExclusive of these authors, whose sent professor of history at Jena. He writings may, in some measure, be is well known from his quarrel with considered as political, the Germans Kotzebue and as a political writer, but boast ct many historians of the arts, he is not so well known as an histoof literature, and of particular branches rian, who, according to a contempor of the progress of civilization. The rary," has written his History of AntiHistory of Ancient Art by Winkel- quity & with an earnestness of thought, mann, $ of Literature by Eichorn, il a vigour of expression, and a dignity the History of Man by Herden, of manner, that can only spring froin the History of Language by Ade- a mind which has deeply studied the lung, ** the History of the Constitu- political history of man, and which is tion of Germany by Pütter, ++ the warmly interested in his welfare." History of the Laws of Germany by The progress which these authors Eichorn, ## and of the Roman Laws have made has constantly been to a by Savigny, $$ are all examples of greater boldness of thought, a greater particular histories, in writing which force of expression, and a greater simthe Germans may be said to excel. plicity in the construction of periods.
One of the greatest friends and We have recently met with some noscholars of Spittler, and his successor tices of a work on universal history at Göttingen, is Professor Heeren, of that may serve to show the point at whom such honourable mention is which our neighbours are at present
arrived, and the spirit which prevaris
in their historical writings. The title • Geschichte der Reformation in of it is, A Universal History, from the Deutschland.
beginning of historical knowledge to + Uebersicht der Allgemeine Politische our own times. $ The author, Carl Geschichte insbesondere Europa's.
Abfall der Niederlanden. Dreysig jäh. rigen Krieg.
* Handbuch der Geschichte der Staaten Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums. des Alterthuns mit besondere Rucksicht i Geschichte der Literature vom ihrem auf ihre verfassung ihren Handel und ihre Anfange.
+ Handbuch der Geschichte des euros ** In bis Mithridates and other works. päischen Staatensystems.
++ Historische Entwickelung der heu. Allgemeine Geschichte der Balker. tige Staatsvervassung des Teutschen Reichs. Kotzebue was himself a historian, and a
** Deutsche Staats und Rechts Ges. great part of his recent unpopularity arose chichte.
from the opinions which he delivered in his SS Geschichte des römischen Rechts im Geschichte der Teutschen ou Charlemagne. Mittelalter.
Allgemeine Geschichte vom Anfange · v. Rotteck, is now professor of juris- even cold. Better watered than the
prudence at the university of Frey- surrounding countries, it produces in burg, in the dukedom of Baden, and abundance fruit, vegetables, and corn, was for a long time professor of history and it has always been inhabited by a there. It is published in parts, and race of strong, healthy men. Their is not yet completed, being only numbers are now decreased, and they brought down to the discovery of A- have become less industrious since the merica. It is intended to be used by doctrines of Zoroaster, which were professors in their lectures, and was friendly to agriculture, were changed undoubtedly so employed by the au- for the law of Mahomet. The greatthor himself. It formed the basis of er part of the land is now a waste, and the instruction he was habituated to forms, with the sublime ruins of Perdeliver, and, now sent forth to the sepolis, an harmonious whole. More world, may teach it what may be ex- than two thousand years are now pas pected from his instruction.
sed since Alexander, drunk with wine We are happy to see our inquiring and victory, destroyed the sacred city neighbours extend their scrutiny into of the Persians, and, when many of every direction, because the most sa- the present splendid edifices of the cred truths always gain in the long world shall be forgotten, its ruins will run from being examined; but there remain. The mysterious fragments is a difference between inquiring and are still seen on the borders of the teaching, and the latter office surely desert, inclosed by two arms of the outruns the former, when what at best mountains that there begin to rise. must be felt as very doubtful and ha- Colamns, chambers, flights of steps, zardous, is taught boldly as true. The and tombs, all of a gigantic size, some Germans have long been celebrated fallen and some standing, and all for opinions in religion of a very dar- formed out of immense blocks of mar. ing description. We know that such ble, united in a most wonderful manare taught in universities by professors ner, are all promiscuously mixed with of theology ; and our readers may many extraordinary representations of form some notion of the length to animals. The walls are covered with which they are carried in this book the characters of a language which is “ for the instruction of young men,” long since lost. The empire of the when we state that there are passages Persians, however, extended beyond of it, particularly relating to the his- their native land over all the neightory of the Jews, which we could not bouring countries." venture to translate. Yet such pas. The following is a short extract sages meet the approbation of German from a description of the state of the reviewers, they are not marked as any world when the empire of Rome was thing extraordinary, and suit, indeed, rent in pieces : -"The different nathe views of most of the literary men tions of the globe, and especially of in that country.
Europe, had no longer any common The geographical descriptions of interest, nor any common master, and Mr Rotteck are very fine. We quote they mixed in confused and dreadful one of Persia. “'Bounded on the broils. At length the storm modenorth by the spacious Media, on the rated, the growing empire of the south by the Persian Ocean, and on Franks became a new centre of grathe east by Caramania, Persia rises vity to Europe, as the Caliphat had from the eastern part of the beautiful some time before become to Asia. champagne country of Lusiana. Its Christianity, already perverted, estaextent may be equal to Italy. It is blished different conditions of its serfull of hills, which are partly barren, vants; and the hierarchy, uniting itand partly rich in pasture. "Towards self with the extended and growing the sea, it spreads out in a flat, sandy feudal system, put a stop to the tudesert. Pars signifies, according to multuous niovement, and gave to the Tychsen, the Land of Light: and empire of the west a suitable form Persia enjoys continually a clear, un- that lasted three hundred years.” clouded sky. In the high land the This appears a very different manner air is fresh, and towards the north of writing history from that which
-- was followed when history was only der Historischen Kenntnisse bis auf unsere considered as an appendage of religion Zeiten.
or of criticism, when it was in the