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Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 366, April, 1846   By:

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First Page:

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLXVI. APRIL, 1846. VOL. LIX.

CONTENTS.

THE MARQUESS WELLESLEY, 385

LETTER TO EUSEBIUS, 408

THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA. PART VI., 419

HOW THEY MANAGE MATTERS IN "THE MODEL REPUBLIC," 439

ANTONIO PEREZ, 450

RECOLLECTIONS OF A LOVER OF SOCIETY, 463

THE "OLD PLAYER," 473

THE CRUSADES, 475

THE BURDEN OF SION. BY DELTA, 493

RHYMED HEXAMETERS AND PENTAMETERS, 496

THE SURVEYOR'S TALE, 497

EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET;

AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed.

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, EDINBURGH.

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCLXVI APRIL, 1846. VOL. LIX

THE MARQUESS WELLESLEY.

The revival of noble recollections, the record of great actions, and the history of memorable times, form one of the highest services which a writer can offer to his country. They mould the national Character, and upon the character depends the greatness of every nation. Why have the mighty kingdoms of the East perished without either general reverence or personal value, but from the absence of Character in their people; while Greece in all its ancient periods, and Rome throughout the days of its republic, are still the objects of classic interest, of general homage, and of generous emulation, among all the nobler spirits of the world? We pass over the records of Oriental empire as we pass over the ruins of their capitals; we find nothing but masses of wreck, unwieldy heaps of what once, perhaps, was symmetry and beauty; fragments of vast piles, which once exhibited the lavish grandeur of the monarch, or the colossal labour of the people; but all now mouldered and melted down. The mass essentially wants the interest of individuality. A nation sleeps below, and the last memorial of its being is a vast but shapeless mound of clay.

Greece, Rome, and England give us that individuality in its full interest. In their annals, we walk through a gallery of portraits; the forms "as they lived," every feature distinct, every attitude preserved, even the slight accidents of costume and circumstance placed before the eye with almost living accuracy. Plutarch's Lives is by far the most important work of ancient literature; from this exhibition of the force, dignity, and energy attainable by human character. No man of intelligence can read its pages without forming a higher conception of the capabilities of human nature; and thus, to a certain extent, kindling in himself a spirit of enterprise.

It is in this sense that we attach a value to every work which gives us the biography of a distinguished public character. Its most imperfect performance at least shows us what is to be done by the vigorous resolution of a vigorous mind; it marks the path by which that mind rose to eminence; and by showing us the difficulties through which its subject was compelled to struggle, and the success by which its gallant perseverance was crowned, at once teaches the young aspirant to struggle with the difficulties of his own career, and cheers him with the prospect of ultimate triumph.

Of the general execution of these volumes, we do not desire to speak. They have been professedly undertaken as a matter of authorship. We cannot discover that the author has had any suggestion on the subject from the family of the late Marquess, nor that he has had access to any documents hitherto reserved from the public... Continue reading book >>


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