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ergetic men, ready to take advantage of the circumstances they may not have the genius to create, are all-sufficient to effect immense reforms. Not an individual of more than ordinary intellect was brought into notice by the Belgian revolution. De Potter, its original author, was a presumptuous failure ; De Chokier, the Regent, an amiable nullity. Lebeau, his prime minister, Tielmans, Vandeweyer, and others of successive administrations, were all obscure lawyers ; which, on the continent of Europe, is a position of a very low grade; and they were, moreover, (a circumstance which, with us at least, does not detract from their merit,) of birth and connexions still more lowly. The first-mentioned was a bookseller in Liege, the second, the son of a Brussels baker, the last a partner in a printing-office, whose parents kept a boarding house at Louvain ; and none of them had an opportunity of learning aught of the intricate game of government. But it was in the choice of ministers to the foreign courts that the Belgian executive was most embarrassed. It must be remembered, that their chargés and secretaries were not, like the citizens of the United States, bred up in the bold confidence of an equality with the lordly legislators and statesmen of Europe. The cringing subserviency to rank, so disgracefully common there even in men of learning and talent, gave the undrilled ambassadors of the new state no fair chance when they came to cope with the old and experienced aristocrats of the Conference of London. But in the total absence of the necessary qualifications among those of the Belgian noblesse who joined in the revolution, the middle classes assumed the station which the other had heretofore monopolized ; and by shifts and expedients they made head, as best they might, against the titled influences which they strove to manage without being able to control.
But the election of King Leopold at once put an end to this state of things. As soon as he assumed the reins of
government, the affairs of Belgium recovered a stability that the rest of Europe looked at with amazement. Nothing ever appeared so strange as the quiet subsiding of those turbid elements, which had threatened anarchy within and a general war without. Yet history might have prepared the world for this result. The influence of an elected ruler is prodigious over the great majority of a revolutionized nation ; for most men who have achieved their independence like to take their tone from the leader of their choice, and to pay a compliment in his person to their own sagacity.
In the case of Leopold, this feeling, combined with considerations of practical good sense, worked like magic ; and the great contracting parties, who had implored him to accept the sovereignty, looked on delighted at the result. The new monarch, having, in the short campaign which ended in “ the disaster of Louvain,” as it is generally termed by Belgian writers, proved himself to be brave, active, and selfpossessed, had now to give evidence that he carried the same qualities into the cabinet from the camp, and that he was as well fitted for civil government as for military command. Discarding all considerations founded on false precedent or bad example, he would not allow any one of his ministers to assume the title of Premier, or President the Council, the nominal possession of which, in France, has been such a prolific source of difficulty to Louis Philippe. Leopold, realizing the hope of Lafayette with reference to France, being a constitutional king, surrounded with republican institutions, openly and fearlessly presides at his own Council; and it is notorious, that every one of the great and successful measures of his government has been his own work. Ministers have been guided by his sagacity; ambassadors wholly directed by bis instructions ; financial, military, and commercial undertakings all pointed cut or deeply examined into by him. The establishment of the Belgian railroad system, the wonder and envy of all continental Europe, was his work, assisted by the intelligence of Charles Rogier and Nothomb, the two men of most talent which the revolution bas produced.
The courts of England and France, in whose hands the interests of Belgium bad found protection and safety during the crisis we have described, and those of Prussia and Austria, who had been driven by the tergiversations of King William to abandon him to his fate, all sent their diplomatic representatives to Brussels; and Leopold had to choose among the motley ranks of bis supporters for agents to fill the several legations established in those friendly countries. This was one of the most embarrassing of his duties. And he would have found it hard to select persons at all suitable, had he not been confident of his own powers of application to all state necessities. But sure of himself, he was able to depend on them; and to each he gave his instructions, following them up with unceasing industry for a series of years, until Holland, in 1839, and Russia, her only supporter, were forced by dint of his perseverance and good management to abandon, step by step, every position behind which they were entrenched ; and these wearisome negotiations were finally closed by the treaty of peace between Holland and Belgium, and both countries left free to pursue a career of recovered prosperity. The great obstacle to Dutch repose and confidence was the King, whose financial operations were driving the country headlong to ruin. But his abdication, some months back, gave the gallant Prince of Orange an earlier accession to the throne, than the course of nature" promised him; and his generous sacrifices for his country have found their reward, by his being placed at its head before a too advanced age had weakened his powers of government. He and his former rival, Leopold, are now running their parallel careers of kingcraft; and (if lest by the other monarchs to the unobstructed exercise of their really fine qualities) with every chance of making their respective portions of the quondam Kingdom of the Netherlands contented with themselves and with each other.
C.C. Felton Art. VI.- A Classical Dictionary. Containing an Account
of the principal Proper Names mentioned in Ancient Authors, and intended to elucidate all the important Points connected with the Geography, History, Biography, Mythology, and Fine Arts of the Greeks and Romans. Together with an Account of Coins, Weights, and Measures, with Tabular Values of the same. By CHARLES ANTHON, LL. D., Jay Professor of the Greek and Latin Languages in Columbia College, New York, and Rector of the Grammar School. New York: Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. viii. and 1423.
It is no easy thing to strike the right medium in the preparation of such a book as a classical dictionary. The claims of the schoolboy, just beginning his acquaintance with the historical and mythological personages of antiquity, demand attention first. Next comes the college student, with his more enlarged views and wider information. Lastly, the educated
man, who, amidst professional cares, loves to turn, from time to time, to the ancient fountains,
• Integros accedere fontes
Atque haurire,” to refresh his jaded mind by calling up the classical associations of his youth, needs a work, that shall help him to revive the faded impressions of early studies, by giving, in a clear and condensed form, information about persons and things and places, that figure in his favorite authors. A work that shall meet and answer all these demands, must be the result of the varied researches of many minds. The number of topics which must necessarily be treated in it, and their frequent difficulty ; the doubts that hang over them, and the contradictory opinions of scholars and critics, make the task of preparing a well-proportioned work of this kind, the labor of a life. It requires a most minute acquaintance with the great works of antiquity, the history of the classic ages, the institutions of ancient nations, their mythology, manners and customs, their philosophy and legislation, and the successive changes that all these underwent, fromage to age. It requires, also an extensive and profound knowledge of the researches of modern scholars, a keen discrimination between the useful and the useless, in the immense mass of materials which their learned labors have accumulated ; and, to crown the whole, it requires a mind at once comprehensive and exact, and an industry which patiently submits to long and wearisome investigation for the purpose of establishing, on the best testimony, the probability or certainty of facts, and of selecting from conflicting statements those which are consistent with common sense, harmonious with each other, and in keeping with the admitted facts of analogous cases.
We do not know a work in any language, that quite fulfils all these conditions. Much has been done on single subjects, both in separate treatises and in contributions to the periodical literature of the last half-century, but no man has been yet found to unite these scattered fragments into an exact, comprehensive, and satisfactory whole. By far the best attempt within our knowledge is Dr. S. F. W. Hoffmann's Alterthumswissenschaft, published at Leipsic. This is a work of very uncommon merit. The amount and variety of information which the able and learned author has brought together, upon every part of the science of antiquity, and the admirable manner in which this is digested and arranged, make the work incomparably the best of its kind that has yet appeared. But, as it extends to many subjects that are not usually embraced within the range of a classical dictionary, the author is obliged to condense greatly those subjects that are. This book is greatly superior to the “ Manual ” of Eschenburg, of which Professor Fisk, of Amherst, furnished, a few years since, an excellent translation. Eschenburg's work has been superseded by later inquiries of the eminent scholars of Germany. It is in several points exceedingly defective, though many of its defects have been ably supplied by the American translator and editor. After all, we should perhaps prefer a work on the plan of Eschenburg and Hoffmann, to one on the more limited scheme of the English Dictionary. The introductory parts of Hoffmann's work on the Ground Sciences (Grund-wissenschaften), Grammar, Hermeneutics or Interpretation, Criticism; and on the Real Sciences (Real-wissenschaften), Ancient Geography, Chronology, Political History, Antiquities, Mythology, Literary History, and Archæology, contain the most thorough, systematic, condensed, and elaborate exhibitions of those subjects with which we are acquainted. They are of inestimable value to the classical scholar.
We do not see any reason for separating a classical dictionary from a dictionary of antiquities, – literary history from the history of ancient art. The classical student needs the one as well as the other, in the course of his inquiries. It is true, that a dictionary of persons and places, arranged in alphabetical order, has some advantage in the superior convenience of consultation, when information on a single person or place only is sought for: but manuals systematically arranged, like those of Eschenburg and Hoffmann, present their subjects grouped
more natural connexion, and furnish the information required in a more complete and interesting form. The English classical dictionaries require another of antiquities; and this other has not, until very recently, been forthcoming. An excellent work of this description, under the title of “A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,” is now publishing in London. The compilers use freely the works of modern German writers, Müller, Thiersch, Böckh, Wachsmuth, Herrmann, Niebuhr, Savigny, Hugo, and others; and, so far as we have had an opportunity of examining the articles hitherto published, they are executed with VOL. LIV, — NO. 114.