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or whó, surfeited with the real or reported horrors of that unhappy winter, and sick alike of the very names of Underhill and O'Connor, of Gordon and Governor Eyre, would have chosen to cast his lot in an island of which the very name seemed identified with misrule, confusion, and massacre? Who, indeed, having the means of leaving it would not in that dark hour have hastened to do so?
Excusable, but erroneous. The devastating storm was in truth but a passing, nay, a beneficial shower; the pangs were not those of death, but of birth. Tenacious of vitality, the old, the noble colony revived, and reviving, entered on new phase of higher and more vigorous life. Yet great indeed, greater perhaps than public opinion has awarded, at least outside Jamaica, is the credit due to the wisdom and tact of Sir J. P. Grant's administration, by which tranquillity was so completely and so speedily restored, confidence re-established, and prosperity begun. Not a bare decade but a whole century of years seems already to separate the Jamaica of 1865 from that of 1875.
Repelled for a short time from the shores of Jamaica, the tide of English immigration has already begun to flow towards them again, and in its quality even more than in its quantity bears with it the assurance of better days than for a century past the island has known. Not a rush of mere adventurers, drawn hither by hope of gain or licence from among the roughs and Bohemians, the dubious or unsettled of home society; but colonists belonging to a very different class, and one specially adapted to confer on the institutions of their new abode the stability so much needed, so seldom found in the regions of the tropical west. Young men of good family name, themselves the pupils of our best foundation schools, not a few students whose names have honourably figured on the muster-rolls of our great universities, are now to be frequently met with among the bookkeepers and overseers of plantations and estates, bringing with them not only the tutored intelligence so needful to the right management of labourers and land, but also the yet more valuable qualifications of liberal feelings united with conservative principles, the proper characteristics of English landlords and English gentlemen. In these, and such as these, our best colonial hopes are founded. Whatever form of administration may, as the suns go on, ultimately be established in Jamaica, whether the Colonial Office permanently retain the reins of power that it has now gathered up so absolutely into its own hands, or whether it allow local, and in some degree representative management to assume, or at least to share the responsibility of government, thus much is certain, that for long years
to come the English colonists not only must be, but ought to be, the supreme leaders in Jamaica; equal indeed before the law to those around them, but holding the superiority and headship in everything else. This, however, they can only do by fulfilling the true conditions of superior merit; and those conditions, abroad as at home, are rarely found except as the heirloom of good birth, or the result of a liberal and comprehensive education, or both. With the decrepit misrule of Cuba on one side, and the restless instability of Haiti on the other, with democratic propagandism rampant on the northern main, and republican anarchy festering on the south, common sense forbids that the tranquillity, that is the prosperity, of Jamaica should be entrusted to any hands but conservative, to any guardianship except the English. As co-operators in the work, the coloured and negro classes cannot be prized too highly; but neither of them, their warmest advocates must allow, have as yet attained the steadiness and foresight indispensable for those confided with the chief management of affairs; nor is the attainment of such qualities the work of a few years or of a superficial, often an erroneous, training. What may be a century hence we leave to theoretic enthusiasts and platform prophets, of whom there is no lack on either side of the Atlantic, to predict as fancy or party-bias may dictate; our observations only pretend to the ordinary range of mortal vision, and within that range we think them correct enough.
Here we must pause. Much has, our reader will easily understand, been left wholly unsaid in the short limits of an article like this much, too, but imperfectly said or merely hinted at regarding the past or present, the changing fortunes and the actual condition of this truly interesting island. Gladly would we have told at worthier length the efforts and improvements of the last ten years, the public works already completed, and those near in progress to completion; the measures by which law and justice have been brought within easy reach of the poorest and remotest inhabitants of the colony; the diminution of discontent and crime, and the increase of comfort, wealth, and prosperity. Much also remains to be said regarding the infinitely varied products of the soil; much of trade; much of novel and inchoate industries; much of financial resources, surplus budgets, reduced taxes, and augmented revenue. But for these and their kindred topics we must refer our readers to the sources already cited or alluded to; among which, for picturesque fidelity Monk Lewis, for diffuse copiousness Mr. Gardner, and for statistical precision the official statements, as is natural, bear the palm. Prejudice and party bias apart, the conclusion is not difficult to arrive at;
and it is a conclusion at which the great English soul of him who, two centuries and more bygone, added this exquisite gem to the world-clasping circle of England's imperial Crown, might worthily rejoice.
But for the unrivalled loveliness of this Paradise of the West, its magic scenery, its forests, its mountains, its rivers, its green meadows, its fruit-bearing fields and groves, its gay gardens, its unnumbered beauties, he who desires to know them aright must consult, not written description, but actual reality-not reports, but presence. So, too, for him who would learn the good things of the land, the advantages and the profits, the pleasures and the gains of a Jamaican estate, its courtesies and amusements, the simplicity and refinement, the heartiness and healthiness, of its ways and life. For these, too, the shortcomings of description must be made up by experience, and experience alone. An English landowner is the envy of Europe; he need not be envied by his brother-planter on the hillsides and amid the cane-fields of Jamaica.
ART. III.-Virgilio nel Medio Evo. Per Domenico Comparetti,
HOU hast a devil!' was the exclamation with which the physician Harvey-probably one of the most devoted students of Virgil that ever lived-was wont, on closing his favourite volume, to express the boundless fascination it never failed to exercise over him. The qualities which charmed our great medical discoverer form, indeed, no part of Signor Comparetti's theme. But his readers will often be reminded of the whimsical phrase we have quoted as they recognise the indestructible vitality of Virgil's literary character among the vicissitudes of the Roman decadence, or survey the still more extraordinary phases of his later medieval reputation. The history of both forms, in truth, a phenomenon perhaps unique in the history of literature. Most of the ancient writers have been preserved to our own times on the strength of merits, as to the nature of which there was never any difference of opinion. But it has been the singular fortune of Virgil to owe the vastness of his fame at various periods to qualities entirely unlike those for which he was admired either by his contemporaries or by ourselves. The height of the pedestal assigned to him by each generation varied little, but each composed it of different materials. A popular expositor of the national religion
religion* and history, a poet of style, taste, and feeling, a textwriter for schools, a grammarian, a rhetorician, a pagan seer, a prophet of the new religion, a philosopher of universal culture, the guide of the great Christian poet through the realms of his spiritual travel-such were the characters with which he was successively invested by the educated class. But great as were these alterations in their point of view, greater still was the change which his personal history underwent among the vulgar. By these his literary genius was wholly lost sight of, and a character took his place as completely alien from the original as any metamorphosis in Ovid. Like an ancient statue converted into a medieval saint, and loaded with ex-voto offerings, through the uncouth acknowledgments of miraculous power he had suffered obliteration of all that beauty which had given the original impulse to veneration.
This remarkable series of transmutations has been traced by Signor Comparetti with a fulness of research which leaves nothing to be desired either from the literary or the legendary point of view. In respect to the former, indeed, to which his first volume is devoted, he goes far beyond the apparent limits of his title, and has followed out the history of Virgil's reputation as a writer, from the very date of the publication of the Eneid' down to the twelfth century. On this portion of his work he is inclined to lay great stress, partly as a portion of literary history never previously executed, and partly as containing the materials necessary for any complete explanation of the peculiar position occupied by Virgil in the 'Divina Commedia of Dante. His second volume is wholly taken up with the Virgilian Legends. As regards the comparative novelty of the two sections of the work, it is no doubt the fact that the legendary matter has been touched upon by Bayle in his article on the poet, and more carefully treated both by Dunlop, in his History of Fiction,' and in several French and German monographs; but it is equally true that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere as complete and lucid a survey of the history of the chief grammarians, rhetoricians and commentators of the first five centuries as Signor Comparetti has put together. All scholars will certainly appreciate the interest with which he has invested a naturally dry and tedious subject; and we should have been glad, if possible, to devote to this part of the book a space in our article corresponding with its evident importance in its author's eyes,
*The aspect of the Eneid' as a religious poem has been carefully traced by M. Boissier in his recent work, 'La Religion Romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins.' Paris, 1874.
and, we may add, with the interest it has aroused in ourselves. But our limits forbid our attempting to represent it except by such a bare and repulsive abridgment as would, we fear, defeat its own purpose, and we have accordingly decided to try and awake the sympathy of our readers in Signor Comparetti's work by dwelling on that portion of it which we think likely to prove most generally attractive. We shall only think ourselves bound to refer to the earlier chapters in the first place, so far as may be necessary to elucidate the position of Virgil in regard to Dante; and next to trace, so far as is now possible, the roots of that popular belief which ultimately blossomed out into the rank undergrowth of the Virgilian Legends.
There are many reasons why Virgil should have been chosen as the guide of Dante, the most obvious of which is, of course, that he had written the sixth book of the Æneid.' Homer, indeed, might have been thought entitled to a similar position, for a similar reason; but independently of the sympathy felt by Dante for the poetry of Virgil, and the doubt whether he knew Greek enough for an equal appreciation of Homer, the degree to which Virgil entered into the question of rewards and punishments, and the deeply religious colouring which pervades this portion of his poem, would be enough to determine Dante's choice in favour of the Augustan poet, even were there not many other reasons to which separate weight must be attached. Besides Virgil's own religious character as a religious pagan, great stress must be laid upon the tendency to associate him with the faith of Christendom, which took its rise in his authorship of the famous Fourth Eclogue, and of which many interesting proofs are to be gathered from various sources, reaching from the Augustan era almost to the close of the Middle Ages. To the Christians who thought that Virgil and the Sibyl had been permitted by Providence to have some indistinct foreshadowings of the coming Messiah, they must have appeared in some such light as the wise men of the East appear to an ordinary literal reader of the New Testament at the present day, as standing in an exceptional position, neither wholly heathen nor wholly Christian, but forming links between the Gentile world and the new dispensation. There was a legend which first appears in a Byzantine writer of the eighth century, that the Sibyl, when consulted by Augustus about the divine honours decreed to him by the senate, showed him the heavens opening above their heads, and a vision of the enthroned Virgin, with the Saviour in her arms; and it is said that the Church of Ara Cœli, in the Roman Capitol, was founded to commemorate this miraculous appearance. Those who believed such a story would find no difficulty in supposing that any occult information