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Charles's suffering, and contents her Cromwell with a physical triumph. At the close of the play, our possessing sense is that of a man's blood having been shed as in a midnight murder, and for the attainment of a dark and selfish purpose. The interest is great, and is breathless in suspense and fear, but it wants the elevation and the reconcilement of an exalted aim and purpose. We feel the distinction so characteristically urged by Madame de Stael—"Nous avons peur comme dans une chambre noire, mais ce n'est pas là le noble effroi qu'une tragédie doit causer. Miss Mitford may, perhaps, reply that her view of Cromwell's sordid cruelty, and cowardly agony of anxiety and fear, is strictly historical. We could challenge her to the proof of that. We believe that for her evidence she would be fung back on the most disgusting collection of lies and filth that ever disgraced a party or a cause, - we mean the trials of the regicides. But enough of censure. Miss Mitford's tragedy happily offers large opportunity of praise. It is full of bold and vigorous touches of character, of movement, and dramatic effect. We could wish she had thrown her female interest, the wild and thrilling pathos, the tenderness, the nature she has wasted on the Queen, into Lady Fairfax. That was a fine opportunity, domestic and historical. The soul of high-born pride, of womanly sympathy and womanly defiance, centred in the “Starry Vere.” Harrison is admirably sketched-and in a few lines the virtuous and overawing soul of Ireton is characteristically expressed. Throughout, however, he is too rapid and peril-defying-a wary caution distinguished Ireton. Charles himself is finely idealized. We see him only, when, hunted from the throne and from the battle-field, he sits in prison exalted by suffering, or before his judges sustained by his very hopelessness and pride. His conduct too, in the last scene of all that ended his eventful history, is beautifully intimated to us in Miss Mitford's tragedy. We wish, for the sake of the dignity he otherwise so well maintained, he had not uttered that lie to the people before the axe fell. Yet why should we wish it, since it remains to redeem a character far greater and more dear to us from the charge of a cruel injustice ? “ Veluti poetæ, (says Milton) aut histriones deterrimi plausum in ipso exitio ambitiosissime captare." - So the speech would seem to warrant. Hear, nevertheless, on the other hand, what a great and generous enemy can say of the “Royal Actor,” for so he also styles him, even in addressing Cromwell. Marvel speaks :
" He nothing common did or mean
The axe's edge did trye.
But bowed his comely head
Downe, as upon a bed.”
PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY. Ar a recent meeting å paper was read, communicated by James Bird, Esq., ' On the Manners of the Inhabitants of the Southern Coast of Arabia and shores of the Red Sea; with remarks on the ancient and modern Geography of that quarter, and the road through the Desert from Kosir to Keneh. Mr. Bird commenced by remarking, that as steam communication between India and this country was become a subject of public inquiry, some recent notices of the country and people with which travellers by this route would be brought in contact, would probably be also interesting. He regretted, at the same time, that the observations thus offered would by no means leave a favourable impression on the minds of the hearers.
The first part of the Arabian Coast seen by Mr. Bird on his voyage from Bombay, was that to the eastward of Ras Sharwin, or Kisin Point; where the mountains rise to the height of two or three thousand feet, presenting here and there the flat tabular appearance of the trap formation, with the scarped and fortified aspect also of the Dekhan Coast. Not a tree, or mark of verdure, is, however, to be seen on them; and it is difficult to imagine anything more utterly barren and arid. Proceeding thence to the westward, the steamer touched at Makullah, which, since the ruin of Aden, has become a place of some importance, and is the emporium for the trade between India and the coast of Barbara.
Proceeding from Makullah to the north-west, the coast is characterized chiefly by perpendicular cliffs of lime and sand-stone, with occasional shelving banks of white calcareous earth, and heaps of trap-tuff, and breccia. The aspect of barrenness continues; frequently not a single blade of vegetation is seen; and even the coarse brushwood of India is wanting. The inhabitants have brown sun-burnt visages, slender active forms, and energetic manners; but their dress differs in some degree from that of the other Arabs, and resembles more that of the poorer classes of Indian Mohammedans. Instead of the blue cotton shirt with wide sleeves, a piece of striped cotton is here worn; the loins and thighs are covered with a kirtle of cotton or woollen cloth, over whịch is a leathern belt supporting the waist, and carrying also a crooked dagger, or jambea, and sometimes pistols. The Sheik's military retainers have also swords and match-locks.
On approaching Ras Bab-el-Mandeb, the basaltic formation appears to predominate. The straits are two narrow entrances to the Arabian Gulf, separated by the island of Perim, a black rock on which there is no trace of vegetation. The eastern, or smaller strait, is about three miles wide, the western fifteen. The steam-boat did not touch at Mocha, but passing on, to avoid a strong north-west wind, put into Hodeida, a considerable town, with its market well supplied. The shore is here flat and sandy, chiefly producing date trees; but the interior is fertile, through means of irrigation. The houses are somewhat better than at Makullah; but the moral aspect of the people is not superior.
About seventy miles south of Hodeida, there is a river which traverses the fertile Wadi of Zobed, and is the only stream in Arabia with a sufficient quantity of water to reach the sea. Zobed itself was once a flourishing city, and when Ibn-al-Wandi wrote his Geographical Dictionary, called the “ Pearl of Wonders,” he described it as receiving merchants from Habshah, or Abyssinia, Irak (Persia), and Egypt. It has since declined ; and the mouth of the river is so much obstructed by a sand-bank, that its water continues sweet almost to the sea.
The steam-boat next put into Jidda, and thence proceeded to Kosir. The old town of this name is six miles N.W. of the modern one, and is situate on the north side of an inlet of the sea, which was formerly a harbour, but is now crossed by a bar of sand which excludes the water from its former channel. Beyond it a range of rough calcareous mountains extends to the east, and shelters the town from the north winds. The ruins are considerable, and appear to have been deserted in consequence of the sea retiring from them.
The new town is placed on the south side of a sandy point of land, the base of which is shell limestone, and forms a kind of cove or anchorage, where vessels lie in five fathoms within sixty yards of the shore. About twenty miles south of the town, a range of hills rises 4000 feet in height, and, in this direction, the coast is also more abrupt than to the north.
[The meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science will take place at Edinburgh on the 8th of September next. It is expected that it will be very numerously attended, and several distinguished foreigners will be present,
VARIETIES. The last Twenty British Premiers. From the following table it appears, that the average duration of each Ministry for the last 80 years, 3 months, and 8 days, has been 4 years and 5 days. It is computed up to the 14th of July, 1834 (Lord Melbourne's then supposed appointment) :Name
Interval. Duke of Newcastle
April 6, 1754 1 23 Earl of Bute
May 29, 1762 0 10 18 George Grenville (father to Lord Grenville) April 16, 1763 2 2 26 Marquis of Buckingham
July 12, 1765 1 0 21 Duke of Grafton
Aug. 2, 1766 3 5 26 Lord North (Earl of Guilford)
Jan. 28, 1770 12 2 2 Marquis of Rockingham
March 30, 1782 0 3 13 Earl Shelburn
July 13, 1782 0 23 Duke of Portland
April 5, 1783 08 William Pitt
Dec. 27, 1783 17 2 18 H. Addington (Lord Sidmouth)
March 17, 1801 3 ] 25 William Pitt
May 12, 1804
1 7 27 Lord Grenville
Jan. 8, 1806 1
5 Duke of Portland
March 13, 1807 3 3 10 Spencer Perceval
June 23, 1810 1 11 16 Earl of Liverpool
June 8, 1812 14 10 3 George Canning
April 11, 1827 0 3 30 Viscount Goderich (Earl of Ripon)
Aug. 10, 1827 011 1 Duke of Wellington
July 11, 1828 2 4 11
80 3 8 It appears by the last Report of the Society for the Discharge and Relief of Persons Imprisoned for Small Debts, that in the short interval between the 4th of June and the 2nd of July, no less than 97 debtors, of whom 77 had wives and 204 children, have been discharged from the prisons of England and Wales, the expense of whose liberation, including every charge connected with the Society, was 2111. 158. 8d. only! We are sure that we need add nothing to such a statement, in order to enforce the claims of this admirable Society upon the good wishes and active aid of the humane. Think of the mass of misery relieved at so small a costand who can be insensible to its appeal ?
Bank of England.--An Account of the Liabilities and Assets of the Bank of England, on the Average of the Quarter ending the 1st of July, 1834:Circulation £18,895,000 | Securities
£27,593,000 Deposits 15,096,000 | Bullion
£36,252,000 Colton Manufacture. - The Reports of the Factory Commissioners, just published, by order of the House of Commons, contain the following summary of persons employed in the Cotton Mills in England, in preparing. spinning, and weaving, including only such as work in mills moved by power. Number of persons above 18 years of age-males 60,393—females 56,774. Under 18 years of age-males 42,745—females 40,512. Persons whose age and sex are not stated in the returns, 3376. Total number, 212,800. Earnings for four weeks, ending May 4th, 1833, 444,481l. 18. ld. Thus it will be seen that a total of 212,800 persons earn annually the enormous sum of 5,777,4341.
FOREIGN VARIETIES. Abyssinian Manuscripts.—The learned M. Rüppel, who has been travelling in Abyssinia, is now, it is said, on his way to Europe. He brings with him a number of manuscripts of great value. The most remarkable of these is a copy of the Bible, containing an additional book by Solomon, one or two additional of Esdra, and a considerable addition to the book of Esther: none of these augmentations of the Bible have yet been heard of in Europe. It contains also the book of Enoch, and the fifteen new Psalms, the existence of which has been for some time known among the learned. Another curious manuscript is a species of code, which the Abyssinians carry as far back as the Council of Nice, when they say it was promulgated by one of their kings. This code is divided into two books; the first of which relates to the canon law, and treats of the relations between the church and the temporal power; and the second is purely a civil code. M. Rüppel has also with him some Abyssinian church hymns, which display the only indication of poetry which has been found to exist among the Abyssinians.
A letter from Athens states, that during some recent excavations on the field on which the battle of Chæronea was fought, there had been found the colossal lion which the Thebans erected to the memory of their countrymen who perished in the conflict. Several curious monuments of antiquity have also been discovered at Kydnos and Delos, and have been deposited in the Greek museum.
Painting on Glass.-A Brussels paper mentions the discovery of a manuscript bearing the date of 1527, which explains the ancient method of extracting colours from metals, minerals, herbs, and flowers, for the purpose of painting on glass. It also shows the manner in which these colours are to be applied, and describes the way in which the glass destined to receive the colours is to be prepared. The discovery of this process is of some interest; for, after all the modern discoveries in chemistry, there are colours to be found in ancient stained glass which we cannot approach.
Revenues of the Spanish Church.-A curious statement has been pub lished by one of the papers in Madrid respecting the number and revenues of the Spanish clergy. From it, it appears that the number of buildings appropriated to religious purposes throughout Spain is 28,249; that that of the clergy is 159,322 ; and that of the friars and nuns, 96,878. The entire amount of the ecclesiastical revenues is calculated to be 50,000,000 dollars; and of this sum, the part consumed by them is shown to exceed the whole revenue of the state by some 8,000,000 dollars.
It is calculated that there are 629 paintings in the different churches of Paris. These pictures, many of which are by Raphael, Poussin, Lesueur, and other great masters, are thus distributed :—22 large paintings in St. Germain des prés, 48 in St. Sulpice, 27 in St. Thomas, 10 in Val de grace, 32 in St. Jacques du Haut-Pas, 71 in St. Etienne du Mont, 25 in St. Louis en l'Isle, 65 in Notre Dame, 39 in St. Gervais, 43 in St. Mery, 35 in St. Leu, 25 in St. Nicolas des Champs, 10 in Bonne Nouvelle, 58 in Notre Dame des Victoires, 47 in St. Eustache, 82 in St. Roch, 9 in St. Philippe de Roule, and 17 in St. Louis d'Antin..
The olive-trees in the south of France had all flowered, notwithstanding the extreme dryness of the season, which has done so much injury in Provence; but the olives have all dropped from the trees, so that there will be no oil harvest in the department of the Var. There is a very extensive exportation of wines to Algiers.
Aug.-VOL. XLI. NO, CLXIV.
AGRICULTURE. Ar this moment of pause in rural affairs, just between the close and the commencement of the agricultural year, it may be beneficial to review the past, and to throw a prospective glance into the future chances of a commerce, momentous enough to the parties engaged in it, yet not so important to individual, as national, interests. For we aspire to exalt the utility of this portion of our miscellany beyond the ordinary repetitions of qualities and prices of markets and their fluctuations, by submitting to those whom it may concern (and whom does it not concern?) the clearest and most probable views that can be gathered from so vast a multiplicity of particulars, the political as well as the natural indications likely to affect the condition of landlord, tenant, and labourer. For nearly the last half century their circumstances have been much more influenced by politics than by seasons; and it is to be apprehended they will continue for some time to waver under the same continually varying influences.
The facts which induce us to this review are, first, that, for the last two years, very little for
corn has been admitted into the market to increase the competition of our home growth; and secondly, that although such has been the case, the supply has been ample, and the price has fallen almost as low as it has ever been in the last twenty years. The first of these facts is of the utmost consequence, for it demonstrates that the demand and supply are more nearly equal in tolerably good seasons than the average importations of wheat (somewhat exceeding 500,000 quarters annually) should have seemed to imply. The second (taken in connexion with other circumstances) shows how very little the country has to dread from an entire abolition of the corn laws.
Of all questions that baffle the human understanding, escape inquiry, and evade direct and certain conclusions, the corn question appears to be the most unconfinable; and as successive governments have been guided by Mr. Jacob's Reports, we shall examine into the results of that gentleman's statements. And although little will be learned beside the absolute failure of all his computations, we beg at the outset to do him the justice he has earned, that no one ever possessed a more extended view of the circumstances of the growth and trade in corn, both foreign and domestic. No one ever enjoyed means of inquiry so commanding; and no one ever used his opportunities of information with more diligence and ability. If then he has found all his calculations upset and negatived by events, it only serves to prove that the inquiry lies almost beyond the grasp of human intellect and industry. Mr. Jacob's first report was made in 1827, and his aim was to demonstrate-and had his ground embraced all the possibilities of the case he could have demonstrated-that wheat could never be imported for a continuance from the ports of the north of Europe at a price below forty-eight shillings the quarter.
In 1828 he delivered a second and much more elaborate report, when the additional points to be established (and which his calculations appeared thoroughly to justify) were,—
1st. That the numbers of the people—not in England alone but throughout Europe-were increasing greatly beyond the proportionate increase of subsistence.
2nd. That the stocks of corn held by merchants and farmers in England were reduced so low, that should there come a greatly deficient harvest it would be impracticable for all Europe to supply our wants.
3dly. That to increase the growth of foreign grain very much beyond its present quantity, if not absolutely impossible was altogether improbable.
The inference from these premises was, that England had little to dread from foreign competition, even under a total abandonment of the corn laws; and that a small protecting duty would be all-sufficient to ensure a price not below forty-eight shillings the quarter,