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POLITICAL NARRATIVE. The Parliamentary session has continued longer | tained possession to the 14th July, as General into August than any of its more recent predeces. Barnard wanted artillery. One cavalry and one in. sors. It has brought the month almost to a ter- fantry corps had revolted in the Punjaub, but mination. The Government had determined to they were first defeated by Brigadier Nicholson, pass several bills, and sat on with a sufficient who then caught them on an island, and killed all number of steady adherents to outflank the more who were not drowned. patient and zealous members of the Opposition. The assassinations and barbarities perpetrated
The Divorce Bill has been the grand topic of by the Mohammedans and Brahmins on defenceless debate, after India. Neither of the two can be British subjects cannot be detailed, but will be strictly considered a very domestic matter, The revenged. Divorce Bill retains all the injustice that charac- Nena Sahib, whose conduct seems most exeterised the former state of the law in England. We crable, is better known here as the Pershwa. His see very little improvement in the new bill except agents resided in London until lately, professing to in the economy of costs, which will extend the advocate his claim to the pension of the late remedy from persons with incomes of so many Pershwa; but they merely spent money, living in thousands to others with incomes of the same a style of great magnificence in Brighton and in number of hundreds. The Commons resigned, but the metropolis. Nena Sahib is irritated probably the Peers retained the male privilege of committing on that account. offences in their own houses with impunity, which The Bombay and Madras armies continue loyal. would warrant the divorce of females under any
THE RYOTS OF INDIA. circumstances. We cannot say that this is equal War, with its horrid chain of devastating misery, legislation between husband and wife, and we have seems to have become the heritage of England. no doubt that the present bill is only a preliminary Before the Crimean terrors are forgotten, Indian to other measures, notwithstanding the Premier's horrors arise, and the daily papers are again a opinion on the subject.
dreadful source of anxiety and interest. The debates on India have not cast more light Bengal, so lately the scene of prosperity, is now on this dismal swamp thau may be found in the cor- the theatre of savage ferocity and mutinous revolt. respondence from that country. A numerous army Her cities the prey of barbarian destruction—her of British soldiers is gradually advancing over the plains echoing the cry of woe-armies traversing waters for Calcutta ; and Sir Colin Campbell will those plains, all bent ou the same fearful objectdirect a stronger force than any British general all pressing to the one aim of conquest, through a ever wielded in Hindostan. Hereafter, and for a world of blood, and death, and ruin ! Ruin, not very long period, a much larger Britislı force will to the well-known and wealthy alone, the merchant, be retained in Bengal ; and the insurrection will the banker, the opulent trader of every class; these prove a heavy loss to the races whose representa- suffer, as a matter of course, suffer largely, severely, tives have joined in its criminality. It cannot in but the possibility of retrieval will come to them this sense prove to be a loss to the individuals through the very possession of their wealth. But themselves, of whom the major part will be put war descends with her scourging rod, and lashes out of the way of meeting farther loss in this those whom the world has lashed already—those life.
who have felt the pinch of poverty, and who, by A public meeting was held in the Mansion honest labour, either their own, or those near and House, London, on the 25th, to devise measures dear to them, have sought, hoped, to ward it off. for the relief of the sufferers by the insurrection ; Such we learn arrive daily in crowds at Calcutta. and we have no doubt that, both by individual and Women, children, men who hold small Government governmental aid, the pecuniary losses of families appointments, and others, coming friendless, helpwill be met where assistance of that nature is less, penniless, their all lost; themselves driven necessary.
from house and home ; cast forth on the world by Parliament was prorougued on the 28th ultimo, the fearful avalanche of war which has so suddenly notwithstanding the grave nature of the intelli- burst on them. All occupations are suspended, gence from India, which includes the death of Sir and none to be obtained in place of that which is George Barnard at Delhi by cholera ; of Sir H. gone—no money, either to purchase the common Lawrence, at Lucknow, of wounds; and of Sir H. necessaries of life or pay for the passage to another Wheeler, at Cawnpore, from the same cause. The country where labour might produce it. Such is capture of Cawnpore, and the slaughter of five the fate of thousands, and the numbers must hundred Europeans, by Nena Sahib, is confirmed. swell as war stalks on in that devoted land. The recapture of that fort by General Havelock, Government institutions there are, but their reafter thrice defeating Nena Salib, is also known. sources are inadequate to meet an exigency like In the sorties from Delhi the mutineers appear to the present; besides, their relief, as far as it can have lost four to five thousaud men, but they re. be granted, is confined to certain classes alone.
Now, war confines her devastations to no grade, | rest--and is, in fact, only removed from then by no class, no country. She throws her brand in the increased opulence of his position. discriminatingly on all, and fires the Earopean that he lives in a house ; but by this we do not palace as relentlessly as the Hindoo cottage - mows mean a substantial edifice of brick and stone. The down as unsparingly the noble scion of a princ ly houses of the ryots, and even of the Kardar, are stock as the unknown soldier of fortune. Thus simply mud huts of the most miserable construction does she deal now; and, while we see her scourg. -containing only one room, no door, no fire place, ing hand fall on those either of our own race or no furniture, except a miserable apology for a bed akin to it, we must not forget a class, a large and and a hand-mill for grinding corn. Their food most important class, one on whom India's pros- consists principally of maize cakes and goat's milk, perity very much depends, whom she now threatens when they can get them. Their religion is Hinwith ruin, horrible, scarful, irretrievable ruin. We doo; polygamy, as being one of the tenets of that allude to the ryots, the agricultural classes of religion, is, of course, permitted, but the ryots are Bengal, the peasantry, in fact, who form a very generally content with one wife. large proportion of the population ; and, to make Now, we look at the consequences of the preour readers more fully understand their position sent war, as it stands, with regard to them. Their and their bearing on the community, we will labour has already to a great extent in many disshortly describe their social circumstances, charac. tricts been suspended. Agriculture there is at an ter, and mode of life.
end. The landowners themselves are obliged to In their social position they are, as we before fly! The poor ryot is thrown completely out of said, the peasantry, the labourers, those who till employment. So much for the present-even the ground. Their gain (little enough, it is true,) now distress among them must be no fabled vision is sufficient for their wants. Simple to a degree in --but the future will be too horrible a picture to their habits, unambitious in their views, they pass contemplate. Agriculture at an end-labour also their lives in the monotonous routine of their daily at an end-what must be the result? Famine. toil, content, if nothing else. To such the present For men must eat although they may not work, war must bring hopeless misery, for the very and the poor ryot cannot live without food, though tenour of their lives unfits them for coping with so little suffices him. Thus at least two-thirds of the difficulties which it must necessarily en. the population of Bengal will be reduced to a tail on them. Activity is unknown to them- state of desperation, and what will desperate men exertion foreign to their nature-so when the hor- not do ? Pillaged of everything by the lawless rid cry of “famine” (the inevitable result of this hordes, who always form one of the concomitants war, should it continue) is heard in their land, of war, utterly powerless either to resist or to they will simply lie down and die, unless help, ameliorate their condition, these poor wretches which, from the magnitude of the evil, it seems must either lie down and die, or join the dacoits almost hopeless to expect, should be offered to --or native robbers--and gain, as they do, a subthem. In character, they are a simple-minded sistence for their starving families--a terrible fate, race, unoffending, sober, honest, unskilled-or, at a terrible employment for the now simple child of least, unpractised in the world's cunning and trea nature, the innocent Hindoo peasant, the barmless chery ; they know nothing of monarchies or of ryot, who has not been called on to enlist, and governments ; care nothing for the constituted autho- has never mutinied, therefore. rity of their country; perhaps they have an unde- Again, even should the present war terminate fined preference for the English--for we have speedily, distress, deep distress, must be felt by afforded them protection in life and limb at least this class, and for this reason. The present time -and on them in their simple iguorance war falls is the harvest season ; that harvest to a very great as severely, perhaps more severely, than upon any extent is interrupted, corn will in a few months other class. They live in villages which are scat- be scarce—the price exorbitant. How, then, are tered over the whole of the Bengalese Presidency; these labourers, whose revenue drawn from their are governed by, or rather, we should say, they labour bas ceased, whose miserable position prerefer all causes of dispute among themselves to vents their having made any provision, or accumuthe head man of the village, a sort of self-elected, lated any little store of money, to obtain that coru self-constituted mayor or patriarch of the place. at an increased rate, when under ordinary circum.
This Kardar, as he is called, holds this dignified stances a daily modicum is all they can purchase ? position simply from the fact of his being more Without remedy, without help, they must either wealthy than bis neighbours; he generally rents die or live a lawless life--victims to a fate they lands under government, and does not contribute could neither foresee, prevent, nor change, and in to the tillage of the land by his own manual la the terrible distress of many among the European bour. He lives in a house little better than the population their case should not be overlooked.
Professor Wilson's Works. Vols. VII. VIII. IX. ladies who thought themselves about to be drowned;
Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons. being practically the same thing as if they had be.
The seventh and eighth volumes are occupied lieved and feared truly; and then getting up in the with parts of the essays, critical and imaginative, desperate conviction that when things are at the of Christopher North, and the ninth is the first of worst they will mend, to assist the helmsman in that ubiquitous gentleman's recreations. Nearly finding out headlands, and lights, and so on. If all the papers were published in Blackwood's that can be called sailing, we want no more er: Magazine many years since—thirty years since in periences thereof, and then to travel some fifty some cases, and more than thirty years ago in miles farther in a deluge of rain, and stand some others. The critical essays are reviews of the hours among wet grass, and only learn the reason publications of these days, and some of them are wby “ Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon" is very interesting at the present day. They show so lugubrious an air; and lastly, to pay some inthe difficulty of making progress with many sub-credible price for a dinner all the while being as jects. Thus we were partly induced to notice the wet as a duck-and to get none, but to have delay in obtaining any effective act from the Legis. another fifty miles journey before paying for the lature against the adulteration of food by one of same indulgence of the flesh again, and getting it; these essays, written more than thirty years ago, yet to read thirteen years after these afflictions, as a review of a volume almost forgotten now, but that two thousand persons dined in a pavilion, on which more modern works have been founded. is more than merely provoking. That 2,000 The main point is, that an entire generation of persons paid for dinner, we believe; but that not mankind have lived and have died under this social more than 1,999 dined, if the even number be evil without any redress being obtained, although correct, we would swear to, and as a strong prowe have such a multitude of political notabilities, of bability that not more than 999 ever had what the third or fourth class, in want of subjects, that they bargained for, followed by those tedious even bad dwelling houses find defenders in Parlia- speeches in the circumstances, of which the one ment.
now exhumed, read in an evening, looks by no The seventh volume contains an essay on the means so very weariesome as it appeared when genius and character of Burns-published sepa- delivered in dumb show to the majority of them rately in a Glasgow edition of Burns's works.* It we should write, “audience," if it were not a very is the best criticism, not of the poetry but of the improper collective noun in this place. poet, that has yet been published; and it is The seventh volume is almost exclusively poetifollowed in this volume by Professor Wilson's cal. There are reviews of Coleridge's poetry, of speech at the Burns festival. We are much Macaulay's “ Lays of Ancient Rome, and Tupper's obliged to Professor Ferrier and his publishers for “Geraldine." the opportunity of reading that speech now, as it The eighth volume stands by itself, as devoted is thirteen years and nearly a month since we exclusively to Greek literature, chiefly to the heard it out, yet desired earnestly that it might translators of Homer and of the Greek drama be cut short. The truth is, that we were hungry, existing twenty-five years since. It will have, wet, and weary, as any other person would have therefore, a special class of readers, for Homer been who, on the previous night, had sailed one and Greek were strong points with Christopher hundred and fifty miles, to be deluged and starved North, and he handled them even better i han in the wettest county of Scotland. We don't Colonsay. Even the unlearned will see the digiknow that any body is entitled to say that he has culty of translating Homer well from the differsailed one hundred and fifty miles on any night, ences in the paraphrases furnished to them, of wbo for half the distance has kept a berth, by which some are little closer to the original than virtue of the shortness of its space enabling him verses founded on Homer. to wedge himself in from corner to corner, without In the essay on the genius and character of knowing distinctly when his head or heels were Burns, Professor Wilson ascribed the greater admiuppermost, but knowing very distinctly that they ration of the bard to the labouring and working changed positions with the regularity of a pendulum, classes of Scotland—its artisans and peasantryunable to sleep from the breakage of the steward's his own order ; ar.d, without being altogether comcrockery, and bis own malicious wishes for it all to vinced that the estimate is correct, or even being go in a crash, and be done with it for ever; the dying satisfied that the passage is a fair specimen of the groans of obese cattle-dealers and wholesale pig. essay, we quote it. drivers, and the screeches and screams at a dis.
What liappens during their life, more or less, to all tance of nervous and drowning ladies, or of eminent men, happened to Burns. Thinking on soch shingo graziers who believed themselves about to die, and one sometimes cannot help believing that man hates to
honour man, till the power in which miracles have bees * Blackie and Sons,
wrought is extinguished or withdrawn, and then, when
jealousy, envy, and all uncharitableness of necessity cease, sion, but a vein of imagination always running through. we confess its grandeur, bow down to it, and worship it.
The language of Macbeth himself is often exceedingly But who were they who in his own country continued most beautiful. Perhaps something may be owing to natural steadfastly to honour his genius and himself, all through remembrances and associations ; but we have observed that what have been called truly in some respects, falsely in others, in Scotland, at least, Macbeth produces a deeper, a more
- his dark days in Damfries and on to his death? Not breathless, and a more perturbing passion in the audience, lords and earls, not lawyers and wits, not philosophers and than any other drama. doctors, though among the nobility and gentry, among the
The fact that Macbeth is or was a historical chaclasses of leisure and learning, he had friends who wished him well, and were not indisposed to serve him; not the racter forms a grave objection to the use made of male generation of critics — not the literary prigs epicene-
him in that respect. Shakespeare committed not of decided sex, the blues celestial, though many periods against Macbeth the sin of Scott against Balfour were rounded among them upon the Ayrshire ploughman; of Burley, and others. Macbeth's existence and but the MEN OF HIS OWN ORDER, with their wives and daughters; shepherds, and herdsmen, and ploughmen; history; but any facts, or even traditions, known
power carry us back into very dim regions of delvers and ditchers; hewers of wood and drawers of water; soldiers and sailors, whether regulars, militia, fencibles, of him tell to the mau's advantage, with the excepvolunteers, on board king's or merchants’ ships " far, far at tion of Shakespeare's drama, which may have been sea," or dirt gabbert, within a few yards of the land on
founded upon tradition. either side of the Clyde or the Cart, the WORKING PEOPLE,
As for Lady Macbeth, she is Jezebeled and whatever the instruments of their toil—they patrooised Burns then, they patrouise him now-they wonld not have hurt covered with scandal shamefully, without any a hair of his head-they will not hear of any dishonour to ground for doing it whatever. There was a Mrs. his dast-they know well what it is to endure, to yield, to or Lady Macbeth, but she was probably a woman enjoy and to suffer, and the memory of their own bard will
of a meek spirit, somewhat annoyed at the interest be hallowed for ever among the brotherhood like a religion.
taken and the time spent by her husband on public We omitted to mention a few words on Shakes
affairs, when he should have been engaged in peare, which form part of the seventh volume. planting cabbages and greens, giving receipts for The anthor intended them probably to be many
their rents, which were always paid in live stock words, and gave up the idea. His estimate of the in her time, and superintending their flocks and
herds. We do not believe for a moment that this leading tragedies of Shakespeare is, perhaps, correct, although Hamlet has been considered usually
estimable and rather neglected wife and mother the chief of these productions. The following
ever stabbed anybody, or cut any throat whatever, analysis of Macbeth is interesting at any time, unless she had helped to kill a sheep, when friends and true in the more unimportant particulars.
in unusual numbers invited themselves to dine at
the castle or peel. If King Duncan had been a Perhaps the four that may be named, as those which fat hen he might have died by her fair hands, but have been to the popular feeling of his countrymen the that not being the case, we have no hesitation in principal plays of their great dramatist, and which would be supposing that a ladv, who was an historical charecognised as his master works by philosophical criticism are Macbeth, Olhello, Hamlet, and Lear. The first of these
racter, and became, by her husband's intermeddling has the most entire tragic notion of any of his plays. It
in state affairs, a great character, was grossly has, throughout, one awful interest, which is begun, carried maligned and misrepresented by Mr. William through, and conducted with the piece. This interest of the Shakespeare. action is a perfect example of a most important dramatic
We only know of Macbeth that, during his rule, unity preserved eatire. The matter of the interest is one which has always held a strong sway over human sympathy,
the country enjoyed cheap corn in consequence of tbough mingled with abhorrence, the rise and fall orainbition. good crops ; from which it may be inferred that Men look on the doings of this passion with strong sym- he was a good ruler, who prevented many of the pathy, because it is one of their strongest inherent feelings- outrages common to the land, with other lands, at the aspiring of the mind through its consciousness of power,
that time, and which prevented farmers from shown in the highest forms of human life. But it is decidedly a historical, not a poetical interest. Shakespeare
ploughing and sowing, because they could not tell has made it poetical by iwo things chiefly
who might reap.
--not the cha. racier of Macbeth, which is itself historical -- but by the The ninth volume is a work for the moors and preternatural agencies with which the whole course of the the hills in September. When not over walked, story is involved, and by the character of Lady Macbeth. and night bas fallen down over briar and heath, The illusion of the dagger and the sleep walking may be added as individaal circumstances, tending to give a cha
a chapter of the ninth volume will be read plearacter of imagination to the whole play. The human inte santly, and all the chapters are on kiudred subjects rest of the piece is in the acting of the purpose of ambition, cottages and sporting, mountains and thunderand the fate which attends it-- the high capacities of blinded storms --fishing in the New River, truly, in the discord in the soul, and the moral retribution which over- New River--that circuitous ditch of green dirty rules the affairs of men. Bat the poetry is the intermingling water, which is led through the parishes of Stoke of preternatural agency with the transactions of life-the scene of the cave which blends unreality with real life— Newington and Islington—and fishing in the Tay the preparation and circumstances of midnight murder--the Tay, our own superb river, that sweeps the superhuman calmness of guilt, in an elated strength in free and unfettered round hill and through dale, a woman's soul, and the dreariness of mind which is brought
with a visible majesty and power unknown to any on those whose spirits have drunk the cup of their last. The
other river in our island-the Tay, on which you language of the whole is, perhaps, more purely tragic than that of any other of Shakespeare's plays—it is simple, look and wonder, and seem to feel the weight of chaste, and strong-rarely breaking out into fanciful express | its waters. Well, there never was more than one
step from the sublime to the ridiculous. How- , bridge. But the most powerful of them all stands on the ever, a man may fish in the New River even! | beach and gazes on the ocean. Man constructs a ship, and We were rather cast down on glancing over element nature has assigned, with means she lias sarnished.
Other creatures must traverse the these recreations, and began to consider and count He chooses his element and makes his means. Can the backwards, to ascertain whether it could have fish traverse the waters - so can he. Can the bird fly in been possible that we had read them, so as the air --s0 can he. Can the camel speed over the to have enjoyed them, and to have remembered
desert ? He shall bear man as his rider. them when they appeared originally in Blackwood. Do you want to see the deep inland Highlands It is horrible if true. Why, it is a lifetime almost -neither the Trossachs, nor Ben Lomand, nor the since their publication. Only, of course, it might shores of Loch Long-not even Glencoe and its have been in bound volumes of the Magazine environs-nothing that you can reach by steam or that we had seen them. But it now appears that four horses in barness ? — then this is the month. they were published separately in 1842. That is Wait until October, and you may be caught in bad enough—fifteen years since; yet it must have rolling clouds of mist a dozen miles from bed and been then that we read the following passage from board, without a road that mortal macadamisers a racy Highland sermon, by a deposed minister, ever made to guide you homeward. Wait until who, at least, had the advantage of ease and grace November, and it is very sublime. But perhaps in composition, although we may as well remember you were not made for that kind of sublimity, that the outed scholar commences but at Brethren, very few people are. Go now-to-morrow or the all before—that is to say, all the descriptive next day—and return into quiet, steady going matter-belongs to the wild Professor, who ac- civilization, when the sun gets his work fairly knowledged that he was never entirely at himself divided for the event is certain to be celebrated among “moors and mosses mony.”
among these bills in wbat you might consider a The Presbytery might have overlooked your fault, Mac,
very extraordinary manner—and that most civil for the case was not a flagrant one, and you were willing, we
and obliging little“ burn " which provokingly turus understand, to make her an honest woman. Do you think and wheels, and runs backwards and forwards, like you could recollect one of your sermons? In action and in your young dog amongst your feet, might sweep anction you had not your superior in the Synod. Do give
these same feet from you in its angry sport. Prous a screed about Nimrod, or Nebuchadnezzar. No desecration in a sermon--better omitted, we grant, prayer aud
fessor Wilson talked of Northern Argyleshire as the psalm. Should you be unable to produce an entire discourse,
most varied scenery. He was wrong-an ignorant yet by dovetailing that is a bit from one and a bit from deluded man. Northern Argyleshire is, of course, another--surely you cannot be at a loss for half an hour's much superior to Wales, north or south, and has miscellaneous matter; heads and tails. Or suppose we let
many Snowdons, there is no doubt of that; but you off with a view of the Church Question. You look glum, and shake your head. Can you, Mac, how can you resist
Northern Argylesbire is not equal to Western that pulpit ?
Aberdeenshire and Northern Perthshire, either in Behold in that semicircular, low-brimmed cliff, backed by the height of its mountains or the terrors of their a range of bonny green braes, dipping down from the hills, precipices. A thousand feet sheer down is nothing that do themselves come shelving from the mountains, which
there-a mere leap, as it were, rather higb, and appears at first sight to be a cave, but is merely a blind win. dow, as it were, a few sect deep, arched and faced like a
not to be taken withont paying the landlady and beautiful work of masonry, though chisel never touched it, making a note of one's affairs in this world - much nor man's hand dropped the line along the living stone thus in itself, but small by comparison. Christopher wrought by nature's self, which often shows us, in her mys- North alleged, indeed, that the buck's head in bis terious processes, resemblance of effects produced by us, her
study belonged to a stag once, and the beast was children, in the same material, by our most elaborate art. It is a very pulpit, and that projectiog slab is the sounding
shot in Braemar, but that is a long word—a forty board. That upright stone in the front of it, without the
miles long word--and he did not say who shot the aid of fancy, may well be thought the desk. To ns sitting
brute. here, this spot of greensward is the floor ; the sky, that hangs For the benefit of tourists, who may prefer bis low, as if it loved it, the roof of the sanctuary; nor is there advice to ours, or who may follow both, we quote any harm in saying that we, if we choose to think so, are sitting in a kirk.
what be has to say of the climate of Northern Brethren! The primary physical wants of the human
Argyleshire. being are food, clothing, shelter, and defence. To supply What a wild world of clouds all over that rast central this he has invented all his arts. Hunger and thirst culti. wilderness of Northern Argyllshire, lying between Cruachan vate the earth. Fear builds castles and embattles cities. and Melnatorran, Corryfinuarach and Ben Slarive, a prodiThe animal is clothed by nature against cold and storm, and gious land ! defying description and memory, resembling tot shelters himself in his den. Man builds his habitation and realities, but like fragments of tremendous dreams. Is it a weaves liis clothing. With horus, or teeth, or claws, the sterile region ? Very. In places nothing but stones, not a strong and deadly weapons with which nature has furnished blade of grass, not a bent of heather--not even moss. And them, the animal kinds wage their war; he forges swords 80 they go shouldering up into the sky-enormous masses, and spears, and constructs implements that will send death huger than churches or ships. And sometimes not anlite almost as far as the eye can mark liis foe, and sweeps down such and other structures-all huddled together—yet never thousands together. The animal goes in quest of his food, jostling, so far as we have seen ; and though often over that pursues or flies from his enemy, has feet, or wings, or hanging, as if the wind might blow them over with a pof, fins; but man bids the horse, the camel, the elephant bear steadfast in the storm that seems rather to be an earthquake, him, and yokes them to his chariot. If the strong animal and moving not a hair's breadth, while all the shingly sides would cross the rivers, he swimns. Man spans it with a of the mountain-you know shingles—with an inconstant