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One other observation, and we have done with this ungracious part of our subject. There is an inequality in the language, not only in the course of the play,--not only within an act, but within a single scene, and even in the compass of a few lines, which strikes offensively upon the ear, and is utterly inconsistent with propriety. “There is but one step, said Buonaparte, « from the sublime to the ridiculous ;” and, with our author, there is frequently but one step from the familiar to the sublinie : his speakers deliver themselves one moment in the plainest possible prose, and the next in the most lofty verse: and, indeed, though the play abounds with rich poetical passages, they rarely seem to arise naturally from the events which are passing on the stage; they appear to be introduced by effort, as if, after the author had composed the scene, he had extracted the poetical speeches from some other of his unpublished manuscripts, and stuck them in as well as he could.
But, with all the defects which we have noticed, the production of the play will constitute an epoch in the history of the English stage. A great portion of its defects, we apprehend, to be those of haste and inattention: its excellencies are such as can only be attained by genius of a very high order. We have selected some vigorous and beautiful passages, evincing a delicacy of observation, and a power of expression, which justify us in denominating the author eminently and emphatically a poet. If common fame be right, we had not indeed to learn this from his present performance. A correct moral taste is apparent in the work, and it does not contain a single line that can
“ Swell with honest scorn a female breast." The sentiments are such as are creditable to the author's feelings; but there is one, which he seems peculiarly earnest in inculcating, that“ virtue is true nobility :' thus, Lorenzo, in the first act,
“ No motley coat is daub'd upon my shield;
As all their quarterings reckon,-mine was Adam !"
“ Can birth bequeath Mind to the mindless; spirit to the vile ;
Valour to dastards; virtue to the knave ?
This be all,
They be the last of theirs, I first of mine." These sentiments are natural enough in Lorenzo's situation; but they are repeated so frequently, that we are led to suspect that the author would have them understood as his own. Now, while we detest the absurdities of aristocratical distinction as they prevail in some countries, we cannot help thinking that, next to that of talent, the pride of ancestry is the most harmless and inoffensive species of this quality: it is infinitely less insufferable than the odious and disgusting pride of bloated wealth: where the privileges which noble ancestry confers are merely honorary, we cannot conceive what mischief can arise from them. No one ever affected to despise the advantage of high birth, but he who was without it; and, whether we will admit the fact or not, we do regard its possessors with a peculiar feeling; and, if possible, would place ourselves in their situation. It is idle, then, to argue for the total suppression of this feeling; it may and ought to he regulated, but it is a part of our nature, and cannot be destroyed.
We quit the comedy of “ Pride shall have a Fall,” with a deep impression of the poetical power of the author. We have freely noticed his defects; but he may be assured, that there are very few writers who could afford to have half as many; and, had his pages been less strongly marked by genius, the title of his work would never have appeared in our Review. The poetical extracts which we have made in the course of our analysis of the comedy, have seldom been accompanied by any comment, because we felt that they required none to carry them to the hearts of our readers. We know not whether we are to consider the acceptance of this comedy as a pledge, that a better system is about to be adopted in at least one of our Winter theatres: if it be so, we shall rejoice; and still more, if the manager will occupy the ensuing vacation in reducing his theatre to such a size as will
allow the audience to hear the wit and poetry which, we trust, he has in store for the next season.
One admonition we must also give him, and we should be culpably negligent, were we to close an article on such a subject, without bestowing it. Let him banish from the lobbies and saloons the disgusting profligacy which disgraces them, and which “ has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished;" that females may pass to the interior of the house without being compelled to witness scenes, which sensibility cannot contemplate without pain, nor purity without contamination.
Memoirs of India, comprising a brief Geographical Account
of the East Indies; a succinct History of lindostun, from the most early Ages to the End of the Marquis of Haslings' Administration in 1823 ; designed for the Use of Young Men going out to India. By R. G. Wallace, Esq. Auihor of "Fifteen Years in India." London, 1824. That a country of traders visiting a remote country for the purpose of gain, and with difficulty obtaining a small spot on which to collect and deposit their wares, should become, in the course of two centuries, the sovereign lords of its soil, and the arbitrary dispensers of good and evil to one hundred millions of its inhabitants is an anomaly in political science, which would afford an interesting subject of inquiry, even were we totally unconnected with a phenomenon, which, though it has been paralleled in kind, has never been equalled in degree. British interests are, however, so deeply involved in the prosperity of the Peninsula of India, that any work, professing to treat of its affairs, has a peculiar claim upon our attention. It is somewhat remarkable, that the most indefatigable investigators of the geography and history of this valuable portion of the globe, from Major Rennel to Christie and Pottinger, have belonged to a profession generally, though perhaps, unjustly considered, but little inclined to labour in the departments of literature and philosophy. Science has advanced amidst the ravages of war, and the arms of Britain have contributed, not only to extend the boundaries of her empire, but to increase the stores of her
The work before us commences, properly enough, with a geographical outline of India ; in which, however, the author contrives to inform us, that the borders are attached to the shawls of Cashmere, after fabrication !-a happy association
between the borders of Cashmere and those of its shawls. The “ Indian Islands,” next come under review, and the subject is well treated. The first book concludes with a description of India, its situation on the surface of the globe, climate, natural history, inhabitants, and productions. Book the second contains a history of India, from the earliest ages to the present time; an account of the religious institutions of Brahma, and those of Budha; the code of Menn and the Vidas ; and notices the Seiks, who owe their origin to Nanac, about the middle of the fifteenth century: they are a numerous sect, deists in religion, and republicans in politics. We meet with an historical sketch of the Portuguese settlements, as well as of the East India Companies of Holland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, and Russia; which is an interesting part of the work. A view is next taken of the conquests of Great Britain in India, from our first establishment there to the present time; divided into two parts, the first of which terminates with the administration of the Marquis Wellesley; the course of events is traced with accuracy, and is not deficient in arrangement.
The following chapter treats of the three presidencies :--The area of country, subject to the presidency of Calcutta, is estimated at 200,000 square miles; —the gross produce of the soil is about 43 millions sterling;-six of which come into the Company's treasury;-the population of the city of Calcutta, the capital of British India, consists of 600,000 souls;-Europeans are numerous, their appearance splendid in the extreme, and their habits of living, convivial and luxurious. Here, in a city which has sprung up with a rapidity that may be compared with the luxuriant vegetation of its soil, Pride bas reared her head, “has grown with its growth, and strengthened with its strength, and has “ separated general society into circles, whose centers are like the heads of casts by which they are surrounded.”
“In Calcutta, a civilian's lady considers herself a superior being to the wife of a military officer; the latter looks down with contempt on the partner of a country captain, who, in her turn, despises the shopkeeper, and frets, if neglected, by the merchant's wife. •To hand a lady to table, or to her carriage,' says Tennant, ‘is an affair which requires deep cogitation, if it be aspired to by a gentleman whose rank is unequal to the office; instead of paying a compliment, he is guilty of rudeness, and commits an unpardonable offence. When the ladies take the floor to dance, the most perfect acquaintance with all that has ever been written upon heraldry would not enable you to make a satisfactory arrangement, either of the ladies themselves or of their partners. The Countess of Loudon discountenanced this fastidiousness; it is to be hoped eflectually."
We are glad of it.
. We have a chapter containing advice to young men going out, followed by cautions, which they must observe on their arrival; and here Mr. Wallace alludes to subject which has recently excited a considerable degree of public attention the sudden dismission from India of Mr. Buckingham, whom our author justly characterizes as “a gentleman of great talent,” but on whose case he has written somewhat more than two pages, in such a style of vacillation, that it is not very easy to collect his opinion; as far, bowever, as it is intelligible, it appears to be that which is almost universal. An octavo volume, with one-hundred-and-twenty pages of Notes and Addenda, is a sort of curiosity. This portion of the volume contains some interesting matter, for the most part taken from sources with which the majority of our readers are well acquainted. In concluding our notice of the work, we reluctantly advert to the defective style in which it is written. We are told, in page 101, of Hindoos being “soft” and “watery.” In another place, that “wonder was on tip-toe;" in another we meet with the following barbarism, “ If Calcutta continues to progress.
Our author rejoices, that, under Mr. Hastings, “ The glory of our arms in the East, shed a sort of redemption over defeat in the West;". and speaking of the courage and conduct of the Portuguese, on their arrival in India, he exclaims in admiration, “It has occurred to my understanding that there is something in adventure to India, peculiarly rousing!” still, however, the work contains a good deal of information on a very interesting subject, and is worthy of perusal. The author's long service in the Éast must have afforded him opportunities of collecting much valuable information; he intimates, that these memoirs were compiled, with the hope of furnishing a manual for the use of young men going out to India; the want of which, in early life, he found reason to lament. The motive is unquestionably laudable.
Principles of Warming and Ventilating, Public Buildings,
and of constructing Fire-places, Steam Apparatus, &c., with Scientific and Practical Illustrations : to which are added, Observations on the Nature of Heat, many useful Tables, and several Plates and Wood-cuts. By Thomas Tredgold, Civil Engineer. 8vo. pp. 299.-London: Taylor, Hol
born. The subject of Heat and Ventilation, in this country, involves a consideration of such serious importance, from the state of