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OUR COURSE DETERMINED BY INTEREST AND DUTY. 261

torate of the Great Powers; and, while Russia is in possession of Moldavia and Wallachia, we see little probability of her concurrence, and not much of the concurrence of Austria. Our sole duty now is to resist the Czar in his present policy, and to prevent the annihilation of Turkey. To allow Turkey to be blotted out of the map of Europe until we find an independent substitute, would be but to play the game of Russia, and to help those detestable and despotic designs which she has forwarded, by exciting religion against religion, and race against race.

OUR EPILOGUE

ON

AFFAIRS AND BOOKS.

AFFAIRS.

GREAT men know how to estimate great occasions, and how to do the things then proper to be done. Men not great, have not such perceptions, and do not such works. Our rulers have shown, on the great question of Indian government, that they belong to the second class of statists, not to the first; and interest, not caution, has given them their majorities. But a beginning has been made, and this beginning will have its middle and its end.

The great

Just now, care about Russia extrudes all other care. Autocrat descended, without let or hindrance, on Hungary, and a highminded people who deserved to be free-had a right to be free, were reduced to servitude. The Autocrat returns to the home of the rude fanatic hordes that own his sway, and his proclamation is—we came, we saw, we conquered! Brave children, you have only to go, to see, and the conquest of the past will be followed by greater! We gave this man the torch wherewith to kindle this flame-and truly we have our reward. Caution may be wise-it may be more selfish than wise. Here, as everywhere, justice would have been policy, generosity would have been safety. What is now doing, is only what we foresaw and foretold as about to be done.

Peace-peace, say we, by all honourable means.

But war-war,

to the last, say we, rather than succumb to the craft and ambition that would give Europe to the Cossack.

BOOKS.

LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY, ETC.

The Indian Archipelago. By HORACE ST. JOHN. 2 vols. 8vo. Longman. 1853.

It was our purpose to have separated a larger space to criticism on these volumes than can here be assigned to them. They embrace not only an account of the Indian Archipelago as it is, but the history of its islands and people, so far as that history has been preserved, and the history especially of European enterprise in those romantic, rich, and beautiful regions. A work that should do this, as the result of adequate research, and in a style suited to the theme, was a desideratum. We congratulate Mr. St. John on the subject he has chosen, and on the manner in which he has performed his self-imposed labour. His plan is the simplest that could have been adopted, and, in our judgment, the best. He commences with a general view of the Archipelago, discusses lightly the origin and spread of the Malayan race, and passes rapidly over the periods intervening between that remote and problematical era and the arrival of the Portuguese. He then follows the order of time, and describes the adventures of Europeans in the Archipelago to the present hour. An account is given of each important island, or group of islands, as they fall into the current of his narrative. As the narrative reaches the year 1840, we have a general description of the piracies by which those seas have been infested, with an account, which claims to be received as authentic, of the extraordinary proceedings of Sir James Brooke. The following is Mr. St. John's description of the region to which his history relates :

"No other collection of groups in the world is equal in extent to the Indian Archipelago. A length including forty degrees of longitude, close to the line, from the western point of Sumatra to the parallel of the Arru Isles, with a breadth of thirty, from the Sandelwood to Luzon, comprehends an area of five millions and a half of square statute, or four millions and a half of geographical miles. Around it are spread, as about a centre, the most famous and civilized nations of Asia, who make it their highway of maritime traffic. On the east, China lies within three days' sail: on the west, three weeks will carry a ship to the ports of the Red Sea; the monsoon brings a vessel in fifteen days from Hindustan ; Europe may be reached in ninety, and Western America in fifty days. Steam has contracted these distances, and brought the races of the Archipelago within easier reach of the Old and the New World."—pp. 3, 4.

The islands included in this space are divided by Mr. St. John into five groups; and among these islands the most rare, the most precious, and the most remarkable products of the earth have been found, stimulating merchants and mariners from the early ages of Arabian enterprise down to the time when the discovery of a passage by the Cape laid these regions open to the Portuguese, the Spaniards, the Dutch, and the English.

The following is Mr. St. John's account of the European influence at present exercised in that quarter :—

"The Dutch, with the exception of their free ports at Makassar, exhibit few signs of conversion to a liberal commercial policy. They have systematically thrown obstructions and restrictions in the way of British trade, and they have exposed themselves to retaliation under a provision of our own navigation-laws, which may wisely be enforced, not as a protection for ourselves, but as a penalty on them. The Spaniards, in Manilla, have adopted similar means to secure their own commerce from intrusion; but they have never flourished in their monopolizing system. Spanish colonization in the East has been a failure. In the Philippines, especially, this is true: the Spaniards linger there, they do not prosper; their authority is accepted by the people, but has not become a rooted power. Manilla is comparatively rich, and some of the islands are extensively cultivated; but there is no ferment of enterprise, no American energy, no great labour in progress; languor and apathy characterize their operations; yet their ambition of extended dominion is not extinct. Sir James Brooke recently negotiated a convention with Sulu; but the Spaniards, in his absence, visited the capital, and established a 'protectorate' over the sultan, by driving him to the mountains; where he claims the friendship and protection of the English, with whom he has sealed a treaty.

"The Americans have appeared in the further East, threatening to batter down the inhospitable gates of Japan, and destroy a monopoly which Dutch writers of politic views are no longer desirous of upholding. They have also visited Bruné, and concluded a treaty with its sultan, though simply for trade, and not with any political views; but their expansive and aspiring energy is not yet at work in that region. Throughout the Asiatic islands, indeed, there is nowhere to be observed such active and rapid advance as at Sarawak, no such commerce as at Singapore. This, therefore, inspires in me the hope that British influence may be largely and boldly extended in the Archipelago."-pp. 358, 359.

Five-sixths of the whole Archipelago are claimed by the Dutch as their own possession, but their empire on paper in those regions, and their empire in reality, are very different things. This pretence of theirs rests professedly on the treaty of 1824, a treaty which they have themselves violated in many instances since. The great field of the Indian Archipelago, accordingly, is fairly open, at a multitude of points, to new comers, and it would be simple folly in other nations not to avail themselves of such openings.

Lorenzo Benoni; or, Passages in the Life of an Italian. 8vo.

pp. 505.

Constable.

To read this "life" is to live it. The book is a book of pictures, but of pictures given with so much ease and vividness as to convey the impression that they are transcripts from nature-anything but elaborated inventions. To those who know the principal characters in the story, the volume will have a special interest; to ourselves, who profess no such knowledge, the book has interest of a broader, if not of a deeper kind. It is as a picture of Italian life in our own time that we chiefly value it. It presents delineations of men, of parties, and of

LORENZO BENONI-STRACHEY'S SENNACHERIB.

265

society in general in that country, such as a native only could furnish— delineations embracing something about every variety and grade, from boys at school, to the old men and kind mothers who give them welcome in the holidays; from the poorest among the people to the richest above them; and from officials encased in every form of selfishness, to patriots and conspirators prepared to brave any amount of selfsacrifice. Books about Italy by our English travellers are necessarily, for the most part, superficial; to know a people, you must not merely visit them, but live among them-be of them. The charm of the volume before us is, that it admits us to so much of the domestic and the personal, to which the stranger has no access. We should say, also, that the literary merits of this volume are of a high order. We wish that half our Englishmen who write books could master their mother tongue as this Italian does. With this faculty the author couples another, involving something more than mere cleverness-the facility of depicting character, of giving you, in this respect, both surface and analysis, presenting men as they seem, and as they are-the peculiarities of mind being sketched with as much artistic aptitude as those of costume.

In the sequel of the story the man becomes what the boy had prognosticated. It is so not only with the hero of the tale, but with many of his companions. The insurgent chief at school and at college, becomes a man of the same temper and achievement in the nation; and the reader who would know what the perils and excitements of such a life really are, has only to make himself acquainted with this book to be instructed on that topic.

6

Hebrew Politics in the Times of Sargon and Sennacherib. By EDWARD STRACHEY. 8vo, pp. 443. Longman.

This volume is further described as embracing an 'Inquiry into the 'Historical Meaning and Purpose of the Prophecies of Isaiah, with some ' notice of their bearings on the Social and Political Life of England.' The writer aims to show what those principles of national polity were, to which the Hebrew people owed obedience, and what the nations around the Hebrews were in relation to such principles, and to the people to whom they were committed. The book is the production of a man of learning, and of independent thinking. It contains many things which orthodox divines will not approve, but quite as much of a nature to be unwelcome to their heterodox opponents. The object of the writer, however, is not so much theological as ethical-the ethical principles sought after being mainly those regarded as conducing to the power, stability, and happiness of nations. There is something manly in the conception of such a work, and the working out of the conception, though, in our judgment, by no means free from error, is vigorous and instructive. As will be supposed, the author has availed himself of the assistance supplied by the researches of Layard, and by the philological discoveries of Rawlinson, Hincks, and others. 'The reader,' says Mr. Strachey, 'must not suppose that I have em'ployed the writings of Isaiah to set forth and enforce some system of

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