« 이전계속 »
review of Southey's 'Thalaba' in the same number was a strong protest against the doctrines and performances of a new ' sect of poets, of which Southey was one of the chief 'champions and apostles.' They were all of them, it was vehemently urged, 'dissenters from the established system 'in poetry and criticism.' They laid claim to 'a creed 'and revelation of their own,' though their doctrines really were of 'German origin.' 'As Mr. Southey is the 'first author of this persuasion that has yet been brought 'before us for judgement, we cannot discharge our in'quisitorial office conscientiously without premising a few
•words upon the nature and tendency of the tenets he has 'helped to propagate.' The first skirmish, in what was to become prolonged war, with the 'Lakers' had begun! There would always be readers, it was feared, who would find entertainment in 'the representation of vulgar manners 'in vulgar language,' to whom elegance and dignity were of no importance, and who would accept a style due in fact to a system 'teaching us to undervalue that vigilance and
• labour which sustained the loftiness of Milton, and gave 'energy and direction to the pointed and fine propriety of 'Pope.' Still, severe as are the strictures upon what he regards as the affectations and absurdities of the new school, Jeffrey admits the poetic genius occasionally displayed in Southey's work, and allows that 'in the two concluding 'books there is some very fine poetry.' There might even be some chance, in the judge's opinion, for the creditable future of the lawless men who were brought before him, would they but honestly endeavour to restrain their powers within the rules which sound criticism of all ages had prescribed.
The second number of the Review, published in January, 1803, opened with an article on Kant's philosophy by Thomas Brown, who frankly confesses that he is unacquainted with the original works of that philosopher, and has therefore to depend wholly on the fidelity of M. Villers, his French expositor. Indeed, it was at that time by French influence that the Scottish school of metaphysics was chiefly affected, German influences having come in later under the lead of Hamilton and his followers. Jeffrey reviewed Paley's 'Natural Theology ' and Denon's 'Travels 'in Lower and Upper Egypt during Bonaparte's campaigns,' whilst Brougham in an article on European policy contributed a defence of the system of the balance of power, which he considered (therein differing from many liberals in those days and in these) to be based upon sound principles, though he admitted that in practice it had often been greatly abused. In strong language he paints the advantages that in the preceding century had resulted from the determination of the general body of European Powers to refuse to allow an overweening predominance to any one of them.
'We may indeed look to the history of the last century (the eighteenth) as the proudest asra in the annals of the species; the period most distinguished for learning and skill and industry; for the milder virtues and for common sense; for refinement in government, and an equal diffusion of liberty: above all, for that perfect knowledge of the arts of administration, which has established certain general rules of conduct among nations; has prevented the overthrow of empires, and the absorption of weak states into the bodies of devouring neighbours; has set bounds to the march of conquest, and rendered the unsheathing of the sword a measure of the last adoption; whereas in other times it was also resorted to in the first instance.'
From the vantage-ground of 1902 we can compare with a sense of complacency the course of the century which was then opening to the Review, with the preceding century to which Brougham was so complimentary; for assuredly in all the characteristics enumerated the century that has just expired greatly surpassed its predecessor, though we should be very far from applying the word 'perfect' in our own times either to the arts of administration or the regulation of international affairs.
Brougham goes on to weigh the advantages for Great Britain of a policy of 'splendid isolation' against those accruing from a systematic partaking in the general affairs of Europe.
'Many politicians,' he says, 'who have no hesitation in recommending the balancing system to such Powers as Austria and Prussia, placed in the heart of Europe, and surrounded by many other states of various complexions and magnitudes, are yet of opinion that the situation of Britain is very different; that she is by nature insulated from the rest of Europe; that she can defend herself against any invasion by means of her natural barrier and internal resources; and that she ought not to sacrifice the improvement of these resources, and the means of maintaining peace, to the vain wish of holding the European balance, and embroiling herself in the stormy politics of foreign states.'
Brougham says that he has no space to discuss fully so large a national question: —
'But,' he continues, 'we cannot avoid remarking that so long as Great Britain is engaged in a commercial intercourse with other