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twenty Catholic families, who, in consequence of repudiating the Turkish faith, had been carried all the way from Servia and Albania across the sea to Asia Minor; the men killed, the women disgraced, the boys sold, till out of 180 persons but 87 were left, and they sick, and famished, and dying amongst their unburied dead.'1

We have ventured to warn the reader against lending too implicit credence to the minor publications of the day. One exception, however, must be made on behalf of a traveller who, if not among our profoundest thinkers, is at least an independent one, and never writes otherwise than as a scholar, a gentleman, and a Christian. The 'Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters' is being so extensively read, and quoted in newspapers, that it is enough for us to mention it. To Lord Carlisle, then, we refer the reader for hints concerning the shocking state of morals in Turkey, such as, if fully known, would tend much to arrest the 'somewhat profuse flow of English sympathy for the Ottoman race; the thorough corruption of officials, the incredible ignorance of the mass of the people, the incurable indolence, the deserted villages, uncultivated plains, banditti-haunted 'mountains, torpid laws, and disappearing people.'

Surely, not all the heroism of France and England can ultimately save a race like this. The ambition of Russia, the guile of Greece, may have prolonged their term of European existence, but can it be more than a prolongation? They may be saved from external enemies, but can they be saved from themselves? The Sultan (even a Turk, Lord Carlisle tells us, has suggested the possibility of such an event)-the Sultan might become a Christian. But what, we must ask, in this case, would his Asiatic subjects say? what all those other Mahometan tribes, who, being Sonnites, recognise in him the spiritual successor of Mahomet? And yet, without such a conversion. (which we regard for the moment in a temporal and political point of view, apart from its higher import), how can the Turks in Europe become civilized, and how, if uncivilized, can they hope to retain their position? They, and they perhaps alone, among the proselytes of Mahometanism, have been constantly and solely the enemies, not of paganism, but of Christianity; they have brought out, not the better, but the worst features of the creed of Islam; they, for the last 800 years, have been troubling, and, whenever they dared, persecuting the Church of Christ; and they are reaping at length their sad and bitter reward. In their fatalistic book-in the Koran, they find it

Lectures on Hist. of Turks, pp. 137, 138.

written: Each nation has its allotted period: when that period has arrived, men can neither hasten nor retard it.' That text of their self-styled prophet they may well be called upon to ponder now. But the Christian knows of righteous laws which, even upon earth, bring woe upon rebellious races; he knows of chastisements denounced upon unrelenting foes of the Lamb's Bride; he opens the Book of God's truly inspired Prophet, and reads: • The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.'

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ART. IV.-Selections, Grave and Gay. By THOS. DE QUINCEY. From Writings published and unpublished. Edinburgh: James Hogg.

AN autobiography, the subject of which still lives, presents some features of peculiar delicacy to the candid reviewer. It is easy, in the case of any other form of composition, to forget for the time that the writer has a private personal existence; for while we discuss the author we need never approach the man. But if that author builds his hopes of interesting us in himself as a person, it is evident that he lays himself open to another and more intolerable form of criticism, to strictures on the most intimate and sensitive parts of his nature,-what men can least bear to be touched and handled, except in the tenderest and most sympathising spirit. Fondly trusting to some particular grace and charm in the records of his own feelings and memories, he unconsciously, perhaps, incurs the risk of a rude shock to his sensibilities; and the critic is embarrassed by the fear of wounding, it may be, a heart, where he is only pursuing his vocation of passing judgment on what he has a right to consider an abstraction--a book.

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It may be well then in the outset to state, that these curious, and in many parts interesting, volumes are, in spite of their real character, abstractions to us. We can recal the time when we regarded Mr. De Quincey and his Opium Eater,' as alike unrealities. In our childish ignorance, we never supposed these absorbing pages to be real genuine history, scenes actually passed through by flesh and blood, but a sort of grand dreamland; and the name of the writer, when it reached us, sounded in our ears just as feigned as the narrative. And though we are aware now of our mistake, the first impression remains undisturbed by any knowledge of the author or his history beyond what we learn from these pages; and all the vivid and most characteristic facts are still so dreamy-fading off on all sides into shadows-as happily still to sustain the original idea of unreality. We say happily, not that we have any very disagreeable things to discharge our conscience of, but as making our task easier and pleasanter to ourselves.

These volumes consist of autobiographical sketches, essays, and papers of a livelier strain ;-the autobiographical part being of far the most value; and of that part, whatever concerns the author's childhood and early youth, the most attractive and original. The greater part of these were contributed to periodicals

many years since, but have been collected and added to by large interpolations for the present republication.

We see no reason to doubt Mr. De Quincey's recollections of his infancy; and if so, he relates facts of a more prematurely developed intellect than we can recollect to have found recorded elsewhere so premature as to produce a painful impression. It is so evident that this precocity, this rapid growth of mind, this early maturity of the powers, all evident in the history of the author up to his sixteenth or eighteenth year, did leave a sort of blank. It was a promise that could not be fulfilled. The stage that succeeded so brilliant an opening brought the reaction of nervous bodily suffering, to which succeeded a weak and excessive indulgence in opium as a relief. This proved a most effective intellectual stimulant for a time, at the inevitable expense of impairing the mental powers, and of reducing what should be the mind's prime-the season of its most vigorous thought and action-to a period of mere retrospect; a time for dwelling upon, gathering up, amplifying the recollections of youth, its triumphs and its acquirements but in which all original power is exhausted, the inventive faculty worn out, and what is worse, where the power of embracing the present, realizing its facts and throwing the mind into existing events or future contingencies, is lost. A diffusive rambling style is always fatiguing, but it is more painful when we regard it as a sign that the writer has no grasp of the subject that should engage him; that his mind is perpetually losing its hold of the point at issue, and slipping away into prolix disquisitions, the fruit of past thought; such untimely reminiscences showing that the past is more prominent to him than the present, and for ever pushing it out of its place. No display of learning, no appositeness in the recollection, can save these ramblings from an air of garrulity and failing power: and who is so great a rambler in this sense as Mr. De Quincey? to whom the present-i. e. the to-day, the work in hand, the current question whatever it may be has but one prominent feature, as suggestive of the past-his -his past his precocious observations, his youthful learning, his early visions, his experience of life; all having the additional remoteness that these acquirements were won at an age when others are yet children, with their course still before them, and their experience yet to learn.

These remarks apply only where the retrospect is an interference with the matter in hand. Where early recollections are the author's main subject, or vivid capricious impressions borrowed from childhood, and curiously influencing later opinions, as in The Opium Eater,' they are often more than commonly interesting. They form, indeed, in their right place, Mr. De


Quincey's most original contributions to the literature of his country. Nor does this discursiveness at all interfere with the literary merits of The English Opium Eater.' We see in it the natural fruit of the baneful habit, whose attractions and horrors he so powerfully describes; while the pomp of his style, its mystery and exaggeration, are eminently adapted for the pageantry of dreams, or dream-like scenes, gliding one into another, which make the power of that narrative. The strange minutely detailed history of an incident in his boyhood, (which, though true, sounds so improbable,) is a fit introduction for the concluding phantasmagoria.

Many of our readers may remember the impression of those sounding sentences on his young ear; a luxury seldom now enjoyed; for though little more than thirty years have passed since the Opium Eater' was written, the revolution in the art of writing has made the grand style a rarity, nor can we recal any author but Mr. Ruskin in our own immediate time, who indulges in it with success. This work does not form part of the volumes before us, yet we are tempted to quote a few sentences from it, to remind the forgetful ear of the pompous yet very effective music of some passages, though we know not how far they may lose their force, and appear extravagant, away from the context; not led up to, as they should be, by pages of gathering mystery and gloom. As an apology for the digression, we will call them, after the idea of their author, a kind of voluntary, appropriately introducing the reader to the mysterious infancy of which his first volume gives the portraiture. The first is a dream from The Pains of Opium:'

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The dream commenced with a music which now I often heard in dreams -a music of preparation and of awakening suspense; a music like the opening of the Coronation Anthem, and which, like that, gave the feeling of a vast march-of infinite cavalcades filing off-and the tread of innumerable armies. The morning was come of a mighty day-a day of crisis and of final hope for human nature, then suffering some mysterious eclipse, and labouring in some dread extremity. Somewhere, I knew not wheresomehow, I knew not how-by some beings, I knew not whom-a battle, a strife, an agony, was conducting,-was evolving like a great drama or piece of music; with which my sympathy was the more unsupportable from my confusion as to its place, its cause, its nature, and its possible issue. I, as is usual in dreams, (where of necessity we make ourselves central to every movement,) had the power, and yet had not the power, to decide it. I had the power, if I could raise myself to will it, and yet again had not the power, for the weight of twenty Atlantics was upon me, or the oppression of inexpiable guilt. Deeper than ever plummet sounded," I lay inactive. Then, like a chorus, the passion deepened. Some greater interest was at stake; some mightier cause than ever yet the sword had pleaded or trumpet had proclaimed. Then came sudden alarms; hurryings to and fro; trepidations of innumerable fugitives, I knew not whether from the good cause or the bad: darkness and lights: tempests and human faces: and at last, with the sense that all was lost, female forms, and the features that

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