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mouldered in the grave, he was, as it were, raised up in his coffin, brought to the bar of the legislature, tried, and found guilty of treason, and his children were thus for a time deprived of their inheritance. This atrocious act of tyranny was repealed in 1819, but the act itself will remain, for ever upon the records of Ireland, as a decisive proof of the odious character of that church ascendancy party, with which it originated; a party, without whose utter annihilation Ireland never can be free, peaceable, enlightened, | or happy. | With respect to Mr. Moore's merits, so far as the present performance is concerned, we must observe that it affords abundant proof of his patriotism, but very few traces of those splendid literary talents by which all the world knows him to be distinuished. His task, it is true, has been chiefly that of what the k rench call a redacteur, that is to say of a person who arranges materials which are laid before him, compressing them within the desired compass, and expunging whatever it might not be safe or expedient to publish. The two volumes are almost filled up with correspondence, and although it cannot be denied that there are some letters in this collection which will be read with unfeigned delight, yet as a ‘Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald,’ we must reluctantly say that the work, if not a failure, is certainly the least effective of those memoirs which Mr. Moore has given to the world. The fault of this is, in some measure, no doubt, to be imputed to the mediocrity of the hero's character, in a personal point of view; but the subject was one that afforded a fine field for avenging eloquence, and we did expect that such a biographer would have made much more of it.
ART. V.-A Family Tour through South Holland; up the Rhine; and across the Netherlands, to Ostend, being No. XXIII. of the Family Library. 12mo. pp. 295. London: Murray. 1831.
WE have no idea of breaking a political lance with the author of this little volume, who appears, on many points, to be a thorough Dutchman in his way of thinking, as well as a strenuous antireformer. There are, however, two or three strong assertions in a postscript which he has but very recently added to his tour, that demand from us a passing notice, as the volume being a portion of that useful and popular collection, Murray's Family Library, it is likely to reach many circles, which otherwise never could by possibility have heard of it, and therefore the bane should not be without its antidote. By the way, we would take leave to suggest to the respectable publisher, to exercise a little more discretion, in the admission of works of so decidedly illiberal a character as this is, both in religion and politics. Many families who, influenced by the strictly literary nature of the early numbers, have cheerfully
patronized the undertaking, will be shocked when they receive the volume now before us, and find in it so much of objectionable matter, exceedingly false, and therefore prejudicial to those young minds to whom it is principally addressed. The author begins his postscript (dated 31st January, 1831) by stating, that the remarks on Belgium were written two years ago, and that since that period “a sad change has taken place in that country.” He paints it as the very beau ideal of prosperity, a Paradise upon earth, when he travelled through it, but says that since then, “from the mild and fostering hand of a beneficent sovereign, the people of this once flourishing country, instigated by a few wicked and designing knaves, have precipitated themselves into the hard and unfeeling grasp of that worst of all tyrannies—the tyranny of a mob.” With respect to the mild and fostering hand of its beneficent sovereign, we are forced to remark, since it is thus eulogized, that whatever may have been the character of his reign in Holland, in the then Belgic part of his dominions, it was neither mild, fostering, nor beneficent. He carried on a war of extermination against the press, not suffering any of his public acts to be rendered the subject even of gentle commentary, in the periodical journals. He was a bigotted adversary of the religion professed by the Belgic people, but his Dutch cunning prevented him from attacking it openly; he preferred to proceed against it by the slow but effectual process of the sapper and miner, by endeavouring to get into his own hands, and regulating according to his own notions, the education, not of the lay generations only, but also of the clergy. He wished, he said, to liberalize their plan of study, by introducing into it a larger portion of philosophy and worldly learning, which, in plain language, meant latitudinarian doctrines with respect to religion. To this the heads of the church in that country very properly objected, because, as their tenets are not of yesterday, but have been settled for nearly eighteen centuries, they conceived that they were much more safe, in clinging to rules so firmly and so wisely established, than in opening the door to discussions, which would only lead from change to change, until every particle should be lost in irremediable confusion. Still the obstinate king went on in his own way, determined to carry his point with a high hand; nor did he evince the slightest disposition to recede from his iniquitous course, until be alienated from his throne the whole body of the clergy, and the greater portion of the Belgic people. Nor was this all. It was an essential part of his policy to assimilate, as far as possible, the two divisions of his kingdom, which, though joined together by an act of the European Congress, never were, and never could have been, naturally united. And how did he endeavour to accomplish this object 2 By filling almost every public office in Belgium, as well as in Holland, with Dutchmen, and this, the sharpest scimitar he could use to separate them, he thought was assimilating the two countries. And so it was, in one point of view,
for it tended to make Belgium Dutch, but no part of Holland
* It is worth remarking as a curious instance of the course which fortune sometimes takes, that not many years since the Prince of Orange and Prince Leopold were suitors for the same hand, that of our lamented Princess Charlotte, and that the Dutchman was rejected. They then little expected that they should be suitors for the same crown, and that again the Dutchman should fail. In the late conflict both the princes could hardly have forgotten these coincidences.
carried into execution with the expedition and bitterness of thwarted ambition and breathless revenge. Here is, indeed, a model of a Christian king, as the hypocrite is fond of boasting himself to be, and of a Christian people, as he calls his dastardly slaves. History in its most bloody pages records few acts of atrocity so execrable as this. This beneficent sovereign, by a refinement in diplomacy quite his own, describes this act as merely putting into the scale of negociation the weight of his army It is for him to explain, how he could, even in diplomacy, hope that such a weight on one side would avail him, when he well knew that into the other scale would instantly be thrown the armies of France and the navy of England. For our parts we look upon this deed as the least excusable that he has yet perpetrated in his career of blundering tyranny. We consider him, under the circumstances of the case, all of which he had had full time to consider beforehand, as guilty of the murder of every individual who has fallen the victim of his sanguinary decree. It was a true specimen of Dutch revenge, and we feel assured that the GoD above us will mark it by a signal punishment.
As to the ‘Family Tour’ itself-it is in every thing but its abominable postscript, a curiosity in itself-not indeed for anything new that it relates concerning the country which forms the subject of it, but for the facility and pleasantness with which a company, of six individuals, attended by one servant, transferred themselves to so many places worth seeing, within the period of one little month, at an expense comparatively trifling, and merely by means of the public conveyances. The sum of one hundred and thirty-eight pounds, we are told, covered the whole of their expenditure, which does not amount to £20 for each person, a moderate allowance enough, even supposing that he had never stirred beyond the precincts of his house, or his village, during that interval. Nor do they seem to have proceeded upon any very rigid plan of economy in the progress of their tour. They travelled at their ease, in the carriages of the different countries—carriages by the bye, not diligences : where steam-boats were to be had, they availed themselves of them; sometimes they were obliged to put up with sailing vessels, or treckscuyts; they stopped at the first hotels, dined sometimes at tables-d'hôte, at others in their private apartments, lived excellently well, saw every thing that was worth seeing, and “every one of the party returned with the pleasing recollections (and such recollections live a long time) of what they had seen, and with invigorated health,’ which was still better. Their plan was to make the tour of the southern provinces of Holland, to ascend the Rhine as far as Mayence, thence pay a visit to Frankfort, return by the Rhine to Cologne, and thence, crossing the Netherlands by Liege, Waterloo, Brussels, and Ostend, to London. All this they fully and quietly acceomplished in twenty-eight days . We cannot hesitate, therefore, to subscribe to the recommendation which the author gives in his preface.
* “Those who may wish to spend a month in visiting that most interesting country, Holland,--to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Rhine, to admire the splendid decorations of the churches, and to be gratified with the beautiful state of agricultural industry in Belgium,_cannot do better, (because they probably cannot derive so much gratification in so short a time, and at so small an expense,) than to follow the track which is laid down in these pages, drawn up from notes taken on the spot by one of the party, and now published in the hope that they may prove of some use to future travellers.”—p. vi. Embarking at Deptford on the 6th of August, 1828, in a sailing yacht, this little family party dropped down the river with the tide, and on the evening of the following day, were at anchor in the Flushing roads, directly before the town. There being nothing in it, however, worth the traveller's notice, and the sea being rough, they proceeded up the Scheldt, which is here at least three miles in width, the high artificial dykes, by which the island of Walcheren is defended from the inroads of the ocean, already reminding them of the power which human ingenuity and industry can exercise over that tremendous element. The safety of the island of Walcheren very much depends upon a strong wall of masonry, erected at West Capel, the point where Flushing is situated. The side of the island that faces the Scheldt is embanked with the greatest care, and at an enormous expense. Similar dykes are carried along both sides of the river, there being thrown out at the base of each, a barrier of stones and stakes to protect the higher ramparts of earth; these again being covered with a kind of thatch, consisting of bean-stubble or straw. The sides of the ramparts slope gently towards the water, and are, for the most part, grown over with grass, upon which fine cattle may be seen grazing. The stones at the base are frequently confined, for greater security, in a kind of basket work of twigs, kept together by ropes of the same material, interwoven with rushes. Notwithstanding all these precautions, accidents of a serious nature have sometimes occurred. These wonderful dykes, with their supporting embankments, are seen in great perfection along the shores of South Beveland, the island next to Walcheren, and one of the best cultivated and most fertile territories of Holland. Its sylvan riches and beauties are, however, but little observed by the navigator of the Scheldt, who can see only the spires of its churches rising in every direction out of the woods. ‘Even in those villages that are close to the
banks, seldom is any part of the houses visible, except the chimnies and tiled roofs.’
“The general surface, in fact, on both sides of the river, is below the level of the high-water mark, so that a vast extent of fertile country has actually been rescued from the sea by human labour and ingenuity. It is evident, therefore, that unless due precautions were taken against the breaking in of the sea, which not unfrequently happens, the whole country would be subject to inundation, and revert to its ancient state of useless sterility— alternately a sandy marsh and a sheet of water.