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recorded and permanent services of Burke, we should not entirely exclude from our reflections the probable result of a course of policy, the direct reverse of that which he enforced by his eloquence and his example;—that the lofty station, the power and the prosperity of England do not justify a complete oblivion of the evils, from which, above all orators, and writers, aud statesmen, this one man contributed to save her.
In the case of ordinary men, who reach any moderate eminence in public life, the curiosity which examines their more retired pursuits and habits, is not only natural, but useful, and worthy of encouragement. It is observed to prevail the most forcibly in countries, where the standard of public principle and of private worth is the highest. But when applied to such an individual as Burke,
clarum et venerabile nomen
Gentibusj et mult urn nostrce quod profuit urbij we feel that his private life is a species of public property, which may be approached and explored, without any danger of the imputation of a vulgar and prying spirit of inquiry. The malice of mankind delights in detecting and in exposing the failings of those, whose talents or whose fortune have given to them dominion over their fellows. In the inmost privacy of Burke no gratification is reserved for this charitable race. There is no marked or unpleasing distinction between the professions and the fame of the statesman, and the pursuits and the principles of the man. There is nothing to palliate, far less to conceal. His mind was of that happy cast, which can unbend and recreate itself, without the common stimulus of pleasure; which, from the study of the arts, or of literature, could derive not only a relief, but a substitute for the more exciting pursuits of political distinction.
Many specimens of his private correspondence have been recently opened to the world; not worked up ambitiously for the eye of rival wits; most of them written long before the period, when all hope of privacy in any, the most trivial of their actions, has been lost to statesmen. The malignant calumnies invented by his political enemies could not have received a more complete or a more noble refutation: the letters of Burke abound in the proofs of his humane and liberal attention to distress; of the warmth and constancy of his friendships. They, regarded in the series, present a character not only free from the grossness of vice, but unspoiled alike by the indulgences of literary vanity, and the splendours of political renown. Alarming as may be the character of a candid friend, we are bound to confess that, in relation to the public life of Burke, there was in his temperament, in his opinions, and often
in in the expression of them, a violence and asperity but ill adapted to conciliate enmity, or to preserve personal attachment. In the course of the trial of Warren Hastings, for example; in the affair of the regency; and even in the quarrel with Mr. Fox, while all men must admire the courage and the firmness of a mind which knew not how to compromise and scarcely to conceal an opinion, his warmest admirers may regret the absence of the more amiable feelings, which in every part of Mr. Burke's private life were not only apparent but prominent. That his character was impregnable in all the severer principles of honour, of justice, or of morality, is an admitted truth. But all the correspondence to which we have alluded, and all the private anecdotes which Mr. Prior and others have recently related, concur in proving, that for the milder affections of the heart, for all the qualities that cheer and exalt ordinary life, and make society delightful orvaluable, Burke was as remarkable as for his genius or his eloquence. To his taste and judgment in the finer arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds not only deferred, but was accustomed to confess a debt of gratitude. To the powers of his conversation Johnson himself submitted—or all but submitted. He may be cited as one of the rare examples of great men, whom in the common intercourse of life, neither indolence, nor pride, nor reserve, reduced below the estimate of their public fame. That all these attractive qualities were not obscured by the slightest shade of affectation or of moroseness, it is not useless to record. The all-pervading characteristic was simplicity—a quality which appears to be an inseparable attendant of genius of the highest order. It was equally remarkable in the private habits of Pitt and of Fox, who, alone of Burke's contemporaries, can sustain a comparison with himself, in the splendid distinctions of political life.
We cannot assent to the extreme opinion of those, who, with a spirit somewhat puritanical, will not admit the possibility of public honour being found in statesmen not scrupulous in all the observances of private morality. But in very flagrant cases, it is true that the want of private worth forbids the advance of the most consummate talents to their natural level in the state; and in all cases, according to the degree of this deficiency, we cannot resist a painful sense of imperfection in the character. With what unmixed satisfaction then may the instance of Burke be contemplated :—in which the whole course and tenour of the private life is in perfect harmony with the brilliancy and the success of public service; in which, while all mankind must at once concede the claim to greatness, the most austere cannot refuse the honours of virtue.
H H4 Art. Art* VIII.—Sandoval; or the Freemason. By the Author of Don Esteban. 3 vols. London. 1826. A MONG other tricks of puffing, the authors of Don Estebau -**■ have thought fit to indite a very angry pamphlet, disdainfully rejecting our theory, that their, so called, Spanish novel was not entirely the work of a single, and that a Spanish, hand; and with splendid audacity accusing us of having betrayed entire ignorance of the manners and even the language of Spain, in our mode of criticising their unfortunate duodecimos. We do not feel any very strong temptations to take up seriously the gauntlet so gallantly thrown down by the champion of this Joint Stock Company. The remarks, the authority of which they would so triumphantly crush under the imposing affiche of ' A Spaniard,' were not laid before the public until they had passed under the eyes of at least one real Spaniard; and our readers may rest assured that we shall take the same precaution upon the present occasion.
No Spanish scholar, we repeat, can read Don Esteban, and as certainly none such can read Sandoval, without being perfectly convinced, that in the composition of the pages thus set forth as composed solely and entirely by ' a Spaniard,' the hand of an English writer—an experienced penman, though by no means a man of considerable talents—has been largely employed. If it were worth while, we could weary ourselves and our readers with proofs of what we assert; but no person, gifted with any degree of discernment, and-possessed of even an ordinary knowledge of Spanish customs and manners, can read thirty pages of either performance without coming to the same conclusion: and with this state of matters we, for our part, remain perfectly satisfied. It would not be an easy thing for a Spaniard to have the principal hand in getting up at Madrid, in the Spanish language, ' a description of England by an Englishman,' without betraying himself. He might, not improbably, especially if he had ever been in England and happened to be a conceited person, trust now and then to himself, and neglect to consult his English partner :—He might so perhaps come to represent Sunday as the great play-going and ball-giving day in London; confound English clergymen with English parish clerks, &c.; and such blunders might appear in themselves of little importance:—but eacli ot" them, nevertheless, would constitute sufficiently the shibboleth of his detection. Exactly so has it fared with the Don before us. The junctura has not always been callida.
For example, how would a native of this island have been staggered, had he encountered, in the pages of such a work as we have been fancying, a note of the following import—
'Cruikshanks, Bootmaker; literally, Bandylegs, the Freebooter'?— Yet
Yet the gross absurdity of such an interpretation hardly equals that of the following note in one of these Spanish novels: 'Pero Votero; literally, Swearing Peter, or Old Nick.' The mistaking V for B is a frequent vulgarism among Spaniards. In surnames, and other words of uncertain derivation, (though not in Esteban, where any well-educated Spaniard would use the v,) it is difficult to chuse between the two letters. Not so in the word Perobotero, which, from the derivation commonly given to that softened appellation of the devil, few natives of Spain would spell Votero. Yet this slight lapse would prove nothing, if it were not accompanied by another which must arise from such an ignorance of the difference between Botero (a skinbottle maker), and Votador (a swearer), as is absolutely incredible even in a Spanish school-boy. To those who are thoroughly acquainted with Spanish this cannot, indeed, appear a more likely mistake for ' a Spaniard,' than it would be for an Englishman to take a picture-dealer for a pickpocket, or making boots for making booty.*
* We may venture in a note to dwell for a moment on such a trifling point of Spanish philology as Perobotero. That name may be said to be classical in the Castilian language, since it is frequently found in Quevedo; we believe, however, that it is not mentioned in the best Spanish dictionaries. We had never had occasion to think upon the derivation of such a strange euphemism for Satan, till, having mentioned in our review of Don Esteban, the popular notion that it came from Botero, a skin-bottle maker—in allusion to the melted pitch which is employed in that occupation—we were led to dwell on the unsatisfactory nature of such an etymology. Pero is, indeed, the old Spanish word for Pedro. But Perobotero is one word, and the devil was never christened in Spain, as he has been in England: Pero, therefore, cannot be Peter in this case. Our conjecture, then, is, that Perobotero has been vulgarized in Spain, and that it was originally formed from two words of the barbarous Latin of the monkish writers; viz. the mis-spelt Greek word which means fire, and botare, used in the Latin of the middle ages for throwing-out: Pirobotarius would thus be synonimous with the French boute-feu and the Spanish bota-fuego. The transition of Piro and Botarius into Pero and Botero, two significant words in Spanish, would be as natural as that of Asparagus, into our, till very lately quite familiar and established, Sparrowgrass.
It would have been a strange thing, indeed, that such Spanish scholars as we have proved the manufacturers of Don Esteban to be, should have found usignorant of Spanish grammar and orthography. This, however, they have attempted (in their pampldet) with all the confidence of half-knowledge. We found the word Calatayud (we believe more than once, though we will not take the trouble to hunt alter the word through three volumes) spelt Calataguz. Had this mistake stood single, we would have passed it over; but, joined as it was with many others, which tended to prove an imperfect knowledge of Spanish in theauthorsorcompilersof the work, we strongly suspected that the substitution of the g for y, and of s for d, might be the blunder of an Englishman who, recollecting that the Castilians pronounce the final d as if it were a Spanish z, (though no educated man follows that pronunciation in writing,) and forgetting the guttural sound of the g before u, had exposed his ignorance and affectation in that mis-spelt word. Here the triumph of the authors of Don Esteban is quite ludicrous. They had never heard (where could they have learnt it ?) that consonants are divided by all philosophical grammarians according to the organs by which they are pronounced. The letterg, in English, may indeed be called soft or hard; but in Spanish there is no soft g, for it is either a simple
We shall not waste time in exposing fully the Munchausen vein of this firm: we alluded to it on a former occasion as gently as possible; for, to say the truth, we ascribed their offences in that sort chiefly, if not entirely, to the Spanish partner, probably some sufficiently unfortunate exile. We certainly did not think that many words could be necessary for placing in their true colours a set of manners-painters, who describe a single peasant as taking a wild bull in full career by the horns, throwing him down without difficulty, tying him, and, still unassisted, so dragging him to the stake !* But, in remarking on the authors' flourishes of this class, we happened to hint that the national character of the Spaniards appeared to be considerably affected with the turn for pompous exaggeration in more ways than one; and a few words that dropt from us in relation to Spanish vanity in general, have, we perceive, kindled much wrath among certain Spanish writers now in this metropolis, who hold certainly a rank in letters very different from what any of the manufacturers of Don Esteban and Sandoval can ever hope to reach. We are sorry for this: the respectable among the Spanish exiles should consider that our observations cannot in any degree affect individuals. No Englishman ever feared to appear in any unfavourable light abroad in consequence of the descriptions of John Bull's character given by his own countrymen, and the figure which Englishmen and Englishwomen make in the French farces. Such general remarks, and even satires, on national failings, act, on the contrary, as foils, which enhance whatever merit exists in individuals, and turn the mere absence of the defects, which are expected as a matter of course, into personal excellencies. They operate, besides, as salutary warnings; and accordingly the exaggeration of these very authors has, in their new production, assumed at all events a more disguised, a less childish form, than it exhibited in the former one.f
guttural or a strong aspirate. Trusting, therefore, that any one acquainted with that fact could not misunderstand us, we called the g before u a guttural. The worthy Castilian took guttural for aspirate, and, like all persons of very limited knowledge, conceived it impossible that what he had always called by one name, could be more accurately expressed by another.
* To mend matters, the writer assures us in a note, that' this method of securing bulls is very common in Castile'!! Cacus was nothing to this breed of Herculeses.
■\ We could not wish for a more explicitacknowledgment, and more striking proof of the national character which we described in the Article on Don Esteban, than the following passage of Sandoval, vol. iii. p. 94. 'It is precisely that cautiousness, bordering on indecision, of which I disapprove,' said Vidal. 'Tardiness, whether caused by distrust or circumspection, is the radical defect of our national character; never do to-day what may be put off till to-morrow, is a proverb too frequently used, and the spirit of which, I fear, pervades the heart and soul of every Spaniard. This
jithy, this fatal recklessness, which has at all times impeded the success of our most