« PreviousContinue »
of;' but he says "You will not be well until after the bile is got rid of.' He knows after the cause of the malady is removed, that morbid habits are to be changed, weakness to be supported, organs to be called back to their proper exercise, subordinate maladies to be watched, secondary and vicarious symptoms to be studied. The physician is a wise man-but the anserous politician insists, after 200 years of persecution, and ten of emancipation, that Catholic Ireland should be as quiet as Edmonton or Tooting.
Not only are just laws wanted for Catholic Ireland, but the just administration of just laws; such as they have in general experienced under the Whig government; and this system steadily persevered in will, after a lapse of time, and O'Connell, quite conciliate and civilize that long injured and irritable people.
I have printed in this Collection the Letters of Peter Plymley. The government of that day took great pains to find out the author; all that they could find was, that they were brought to Mr. Budd, the publisher, by the Earl of Lauderdale. Somehow or another, it came to be conjectured that I was that author : I have always denied it; but finding that I deny it in vain, I have thought it might be as well to include the Letters in this collection; they had an immense circulation at the time, and I think above 20,000 copies were sold.
From the beginning of the century (about which time the Review began) to the death of Lord Liverpool, was an awful period for those who had the misfortune to entertain liberal opinions, and who were too honest to sell them for the ermine of the judge, or the lawn of the prelate :—a long and hopeless career in your profession, the chuckling grin of noodles, the sarcastic leer of the genuine political rogue-prebendaries, deans, and bishops made over your head—reverend renegadoes advanced to the highest dignities of the Church, for helping to rivet the fetters of Catholic and Protestant Dissenters, and no more chance of a Whig administration than of a thaw in Zembla—these were the penalties exacted for liberality of opinion at that period; and not only was there no pay, but there were many stripes. It is always considered as a piece of impertinence in England, if a man of less than two or three thousand a year has any opinions at all upon important subjects; and in addition he was sure at that time to be assailed with all the Billingsgate of the French Revolution-Jacobin, Leveller, Atheist, Deist, Socinian, Incendiary, Regicide, were the gentlest appellations used; and the man who breathed a syllable against the senseless bigotry of the two Georges, or hinted at the abominable tyranny and persecution exercised upon Catholic Ireland, was shunned as unfit for the relations of social life. Not a murmur against any abuse was permitted ; to say a word against the suitorcide delays of the Court of Chancery, or the cruel punishments of the Game Laws, or against any abuse which a rich man inflicted, or a poor man suffered, was treason against the Plousiocracy, and was bitterly and steadily resented. Lord Grey had not then taken off the bearing-rein from the English people, as Sir Francis Head has now done from horses.
To set on foot a Journal in such times, to contribute towards it for many years, to bear patiently the reproach and poverty which it caused, and to look back and see that I have nothing to retract, and no intemperance and violence to reproach myself with, is a career of life which I must think to be extremely fortunate. Strange and ludicrous are the changes in human affairs. The Tories are now on the treadmill, and the wellpaid Whigs are riding in chariots ; with many faces, however, looking out of the windows, (including that of our Prime Minister,) which I never remember to have seen in the days of the poverty and depression of Whiggism. Liberality is now a lucrative business. Whoever has any institution to destroy, may consider himself as a commissioner, and his fortune as made; and to my utter and never ending astonishment, I an old Edinburgh Reviewer, find myself fighting in the year 1839, against the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, for the existence of the National Church.
ARTICLES ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE “ EDINBURGH REVIEW."
Parnell and Ireland -Methodism
SPEECHES. 73 Speech on the Catholic Claims .
Speech at the Taunton Reform Meeting 83 Speech at Taunton at a Meeting to celebrate the
Accession of King William IV.
not being passed .
First Letter to Archdeacon Singleton 129
Second Letter to Archdeacon Singleton .
intosh . . . 149 Letter to Lord John Russell . . .
Sermon on the Duties of the Queen . . 158 The Lawyer that tempted Christ : a Sermon .
The Judge that smites contrary to the Law: a 171
Sermon . . . . . 178 A Letter to the Electors upon the Catholic 183 Question . .
· 190 A Sermon on the Rules of Christian Charity , 191 Peter Plymley's Letters
298 307 310
REV. SIDNEY SMITH.
DR. PARR.. (EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1802. feated; the public good is impaired, rather than increased;
and the claims that other virtues equally obligatory have pital Sermon, preached at Christ Church upon Easter
to our notice, are totally disregarded. Thus, too, wh n Tuesday, April 15, 1800. To which are added, Notes by
any dazzling phantoms of universal philanthropy have Samuel Parr, LL.D. Printed for J. Mawman in the
seized our altention the objects that formerly engaged it
shrink and fade. All considerations of kindred, friends, Poultry. 1801.
and count, ymen drop from the mind, during the struggles WHOEVER has had the good fortune to see Dr. Parr's it makes to grasp the collective interests of the species ; wig, must have observed, that while it trespasses a lit. and when the association that attached us to them has been tle on the orthodox magnitude of perukes in the ante dissolved, the notions we have formed of their compara
tive insignificance will prevent them from recovering, I rior parts, it scorns even the Episcopal liinits behind,
do not say any holdl whatsoever, but that strong and listand swells out into boundless convexity of frizz, the
ing hold they once had upon our conviction and our feel. usva Oavua of barbers, and the terror of the nterary ings. Universal benevolence, should it, from any strange world. After the manner of his wig, the Doctor has combination of circumstances, ever become passionate, constructed his sermon, giving us a discourse of no will like every other passion justify itself: and the impor
tunity of its demands to obtain a hearing will be propor iommon length, and subjoining an immeasurable mass
tionate to the weakness of its cause. But what are the of notes, which appear to concern every learned thing,
consequences? A perpetual wrestling for victory between every learned man, and alınost every unlearned inan the refinements of sophistry, and the remonstrances of insince the beginning of the world.
dignant nature-the agitations of secret distrust in opinions For his text, Dr. Parr has chosen Gal. vi. 10. As we which gain few or no proselytes, and feelings which excite have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, espe. little or no sympathy--the neglect of all the usual duties, cially to those uho are of the househ
faut h. After a
by which social life is preserved or adorned; and in the ureliminary comparison between the dangers of the pursuit of other duties which are unusual, and indeed ima
ginary, a succession of airy projects, eager hopes, tumultuselfish sysiem, and the modern one of universal benev.
ous efforts, and galling disappointments, such, in truth, as olence, he divides his sermon into two parts: in the every wise man foresaw, and a good man would rarely first examining how far, by the constitution of human commiserate.' nature, and the circumstances of human life, the principles particular and universal benevolence are con l In a subsequent part of his sermon, Dr. Parr handles patible: in the last, coinmenting on the nature of the the same topic with equal success. charitable institution for which he is preaching.
The former part is levelled against the doctrines of "The stoics, it has been said, were more successful in Mr. Godwira ; and, here, Dr. Parr exposes, very strong. weakening the tender affections, than in animating men to ly and happily, the folly of making universal benevo- the stronger virtues of fortitude and self-command; and Jence the immediate motive of our actions. As we consi- | possible it is, that the infuence of our modern refirmers
may be greater, in turnishing their disci les with pleas for der this, though of no very difficult execution, to be by
the neglect of their ordinary duties, ihan in stimulating far the best part of the sermon, we shall very willingly
their endeavours for the performance of those which are make some extracts from it.
extraordinary, and perhaps ideal. If, indeed, the repre
sentations we have lately heard of universal philanthropy To me it appears, that the modern advocates for uni. served only to amuse the fancy of those who approve of versal philanthropy have fallen into the error charged them, and communicate that pleasure which arises from upon those who are fascinated by a violent and extraor-contemplating the magnitude and grandeur of a favourite dinary fondness for what a celebrated author calls “ some subject, we might be tempted to smile at them as groundless moral species." Some men, it has been remarked, are and harmless. But they tend to debase the dignity, and to hurried into romantic adventures, by their excessive ad weaken the efficacy of those particular affections, for which miration of fortitude. Others are actuated by a head- we have daily and hourly occasion in the events of real life. strong zeal for disseminating the true religion. Hence, They tempt us to substitute the ease of speculation, and while the only properties, for which fortitude or zeal can the pride of dogmatism, for the toil of practice. To a be esteemed, are scarcely discernible, from the enormous class of artificial and ostentatious sentiments, they give the bulkiness to which they are swollen, the ends to which most dangerous triumph over the genuine and salutary dic. alone they can be directed usefully, are overlooked or de- tates of nature. They delude and inflame our minds with
pharisaical notions of superior wisdom and superior vir * A great scholar, as rude and violent as most Greek scholars tue; and what is the worst of all, they may be used as “a are, unless they happen to be Bishops. He has left nothing be- cloke to us" for insensibility, where other men feel; and hind him worth leaving: he was rather fitted for the law than for negligence, where other men act with visible and use the church, and would have been a more considerable man, if he ful, though limited, effect.' had been more knocked about among his equals. He lived with country gentlemen and clergymen, who flattered and feared him In attempting to show the connection between parti.
cular and universal benevolence, Dr. Parr does not ap. may outlive him for a long period; and wc all hate pear to us to have taken a clear and satisfactory view each other's crimes, by which we gain nothing, so of the subject. Nature impels us both to good and much, that in proportion as public opinion acquires as. bad actions; and even in the former, gives us no cendancy in any particular country, every public insti. measure by which we may prevent them from degene-tution becomes more and more guaranteed from abuse. rating into excess. Rapine and revenge are not less Upon the whole, this sermon is rather the producnatural than parental and filial affection; which latter tion of what is called a sensible, than of a very acute class of feelings may themselves be a source of crimes, man; of a man certainly more remarkable for his if they overpower (as they frequently do the sense of learning than his originality. It refutes the very justice. It is not therefore, a sufficient justifica. table positions of Mr. Godwin, without placing the tion of our actions, that they are natural. We doctrine of benevolence in a clear light; and it almost must seek, from our reason, some principle which leaves us to suppose, that the particular aflections are will enable us to determine what impulses of na- themseives ultimate principles of action, instead of ture we are to obey, and what we are to resist : convenient instruments of a more general principle. such is that of general utility, or, what is the same. The style is such, as to give a general impression of thing, of universal good ; a principle which sanctifies heaviness to the whole sermon. The doctor is never and limits the more particular affections. The duty of simple and natural for a single instant. Every thing a son to a parent, or a parent to a son, is not an ulti-smells of the rhetorician. He never appears to forget mate principle of morals, but depends on the principle himself, or to be hurried by his subject into obvious ot'universal good, and is only praiseworthy because it language. Every expression seems to be the result of is found to promote it. At the same tiine, our spheres artifice and intention; and as to the worthy dedicatees, of action and intelligence are so confined, that it is bet. the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, unless the sermon be ter in a great majority of instances, to suffer our con- done into English by a person of honour, they may duct to be guided by those affections which have been perhaps be flattered by the Doctor's politeness, but long sanctioned by the approbation of mankind, than to They can never be much edified by his meaning. Dr. enter into a process of reasoning, and investigate the re- Parr seems to think, that eloquence consists not in lation which every trifting event might bear to the gene exuberance of beautiful images-not in simple and ral interests of the world. In his principle of universal sublime conceptions--not in the feelings of the pas. benevolence, Mr. Godwin is unquestionably right. That sions; but in a studious arrangement of sonorous, ero. it is the grand principle upon which all inorals restatic, and sesquipedal words : a very ancient error, which that it is the corrective for the excess of all particular corrupts the style of young, and wearies the patience affections, we believe to be undeniable: and he is only of sensible men. In some of his combinations of words erroneous in excluding the particular affections, be the Doctor is singularly unhappy. We have the din cause, in so doing, he deprives us of our most powerof superficial cavillers, the prancings of giddy ostenta. ful means of promoting his own principle of universal tion, fluttering vanity, hissing scorn, dank clod, &c. good; for it is as much as to say, that all the crew ought &c. &c. The following intrusion of a technical word to have the general welfare of the ship so much at heart, into a pathetic description, renders the whole passage that no sailor should ever pull any particular rope, or almost ludicrous. hand any individual sail. By universal benevolence, we
ice, we Within a few days, mute was the tongue that uttered mean, and understand Dr. Parr to mean, not a barren these celestial sounds, and the hand which igned your in affection for the species, but a desire to promote their denture lay cold and motionless in the dark and dreary real happiness; and of this principle, he thus speaks : chambers of death.'
"I admit and I approve of it as an emotion of which gene! In page 16, Dr. Parr, in speaking of the indentures of ral happiness is the cause, but not as a passion, of which, the hospital, a subject (as we should have thought) according to the usual order of human affairs, it could often little calculated for rhetorical panegyric, says of be the object. I approve of it as a disposition to wish, and,
them as opportunity may occur, to desire and do good, rather than harm, to those with whom we are quite unconnected. If the writer of whom I am speaking had rerused, as I
have, your indentures, and your rules, he would have It would appear, from this kind of language, that a tound in them seriousness without austerity, earnestness desire of promoting the universal good were a pardon. without extravagance, good sense without the trickeries of able weakness, rather than a fundamental principle of art, good language without the trappings of rhetoric, and ethics; that the particular affections were incapable of
the firmness of conscious worth, rather than the prancings
of giddy ostentation.' excess; and that they never wanted the corrective of a more generous and exalted feeling. In a subsequent The latter member of this eloge would not be wholly part of his sermon, Dr. Parr atones a litile for this unintelligible, if applied to a spirited coach horse; but over-zealous depreciation of the principle of universal we have never yet witnessed the phenoinenon of a benevolence; but he nowhere states the particular af. prancing indenture. fections to derive their value and their limits from their It is not our intention to follow Dr. Parr through the subservience to a more extensive philanthropy. He copious and varied learning of his notes ; in the peru. does not show us that they exist only as virtues, from sal of which we have been as much delighted with the their instrumentality in promoting the general good; richness of his acquisitious, the vigour of his under. and that, to preserve their true character, they should standing, and the genuine goodness of his heart, as we be frequently referred to that principle as their proper have been amused with his ludicrous self-importance, criterion.
and the miraculous simplicity of his character. We In the latter part of his sermon, Dr. Parr combats would rather recommend it to the Doctor to publish an the general objections of Mr. Turgot to all charitable annual list of worthies, as a kind of stimulus to lite. institutions, with considerable vigour and success. To rary men; to be included in which, will unquestiona. say that an institution is necessarily bad, because it bly be considered as great an honour, as for a comwill not always be administered with the same zeal, moner to be elevated to the peerage. A line of Greek, proves a little too much ; for it is an objection to poli a line of Latin, or no line at all, subsequent to each tical and religious, as well as to charitable institutions ; name will distinguish, with sufficient accuracy, the and, from a lively apprehension of the fluctuating cha shades of merit, and the degree of immortality conracters of those who govern, would leave the world ferred. without any government at all. It is better that we Why should Dr. Parr confine this eulogomania to should have an asylumn for the mad, and a hospital for the literary characters of this island alone? In the the wounded, if they were to squander away 50 per | university of Benares, in the lettered kingdom of Ava, cent. of their income, than that we should be disgusted among the Mandarins at Pekin, there must, doubtless, with sore limbs, and shocked by straw.crowned mon. be many men who have the eloquence of * Boppovos, archs in the streets. All institutions of this kind must suffer the risk of being governed by more or less of Ilaytes per copoí. idu de "L2xnpoy uży oißw, Gavpáfw probity and talents. The good which one active chao Bá povov, kai dideò Taiwaov. See Lucian in Vita Dæracter effects, and the wise order which he establishes, monact. vol. i. p. 394.-(Dr, Parr's note.)