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they may refuse to comply with it, and if not altered, may take arms to procure its alteration." Could such a naked proposition, without land-marks, or farther provisions, showing what shall constitute such a case, or how it shall be recognised by something more than a man's own opinion of his own predicament, be acted upon with impunity ? Could such a man, taken in arms against an enacted law (however grievous), plead such a bill of rights? The difficulty is insuperable ; for ingenuity itself cannot lay down, before-hand, what shall constitute the right of resistance against lawful sovereignty, on account of the contradiction of the terms; whoever, therefore, chooses to resist, because his reason impels him to do so, must do it with a halter about his neck; and whoever advises such resistance, must do it at the same peril.
From all this it follows that the doctrine of resistance as a DEFINABLE RIGHT can form no part of moral philosophy, or of the philosophy of government. There could be no place found for it in any practical treatise of law of nations, much less of municipal law. Grotius and Puffendorf, those eyes of legal science, could not frame a chapter upon it for the use of either sovereigns or people. The shrewd Paley indeed talks of expediency as a guide; but the same overpowering difficulty, the want of a proper jurisdiction, is fatal to him as to others. For as he can find no other, he says every man is to judge for himself, which is pretty nearly what is done by every man who robs on the highway*.
Hence the people, as they are styled, must be either sovereigns or subjects. They cannot be both, for ever changing; now humble petitioners ; now imperious masters; now accusers; now judges. There can be no alternative; their colours must be known, and as it has been hinted that in Russia, assassination was said to be part of the constitutiont, so in England, if this doctrine prevailed, civil war ad libitum would be the law of the land. Yet, without this, of what consequence are all the threats and revilings that salute us every hour? What is to put down the acknowledged rights of the Lords, given them expressly for the use they put them to, to restrain what to them seems the temporary madness of the Commons ? Nor, though the exercise were evidently unwise, unjust, unholy, can any question be made upon it by any power in the state. The moment that is done, the balance and beauty of the constitution are gone.
(To be concluded in our next.)
We cannot help here recollecting the tribute of applause given to the very shallow, superficial sentiment of Quin, by the very arrogant hypocrite and coxcomb, Horace Walpole, who, though the most usurping of Aristocrats, affected the greatest love of equality; and who, though fattened all his life on spoils, wrung, as he would himself say, from the industry of the people, by the exaction of kings, hung upon one side of his bed a copy of Magna Charta, and on the other the warrant for the murder of Charles 1. When Bishop Warburton, disputing with Quin upon that last ever misrepresented transaction, asked by what law King Charles was put to death, the actor answered, by all the laws he had left us; and this tintinnabulum of words (for it was no more), he extols as an unanswerable triumph of the actor over the bishop. And yet, had Walpole himself been asked what laws the rebels had left Charles with which to defend himself; or how the laws which he had left to the constitution gave the supposed authority relied upon by Quin, what could he have said ? In fact, like a gaping schoolboy, he was charmed by a jingle, for, from the argument above stated, it had no meaning.
+ This dogma, thongh it is ironically held, is yet of the greatest use in elucidating the subject. The tyranny of Paul was so unbearable, that it was said he was taken off. Yet would any Russian treatise on the theory of government, gravely lay down the proposition that when the Czar uses his legal power so as in their opinion to gall his nobles, they may kill him? This tenet would justify Ravaillac. MEMOIR OF THE REV. G. R. GLEIG.
(WITH A PORTRAIT.)
CERTAINLY there is some occult sympathy between the pen and the sword, notwithstanding that "sweet Tully' was not fond of fighting, that Demosthenes ran away at Chæronea, and that Horace flung away his shield. From the time of Xenophon to that of Napoleon, soldiers have been partial to recording their own deeds; and if there have been some great commanders who have not written, there is some probability that it was for the sufficing reason that they could not write. Passing over Cæsar and his Commentaries, the king of Prussia, and many other hero-authors, great has been the company of the retired veterans who, since the general peace, instead of turning their swords into ploughshares, have hammered them into Perryans ;” and multifarious are the productions in which they have set forth their own experiences in the art of war. The military tale has been of late years a very favourite species of fictitious narrative; and we have had them in every variety of excellence.
We are much gratified in being able to lay before our readers, from a private source of information, various biographical particulars respecting the subject of the present notice.
Mr. Gleig was born in Stirling, on the 20th April, 1796, and carried when an infant of three weeks old to a country house which his father, the present pious and learned Bishop Gleig, then inhabited, at the foot of the Ochiel Hills. He spent there the first five years of his life. He was very delicate as a child, insomuch that they scarcely expected to rear him; he did not overcome this delicacy of constitution till be attained to the age of about fourteen.
One of his earliest impressions was a feeling of extreme attachment to an elder sister, who died of a decline when he was five years old. remembers going into her room the morning of her death, and finding her, as he thought, in a deep sleep, and being greatly horrified when her cheek, which he kissed, felt so cold. The funeral likewise he can call to mind at this moment: the hearse and plumes and the mourning carriages that conveyed her remains to the old churchyard of Logie. He states, “ I never go to that part of the country without paying a visit to her grave.” She was attached to a young officer, but would not marry him on account of the extreme delicacy of her constitution; and it is remarkable that he died a few years afterwards, like her, of a decline.
Mr. Gleig received the rudiments of his education from his father, who was much attached to him; and took great delight in the task, because his partiality led him to say, that it was an easy one.
At eight years of age he went to the grammar-school of Stirling, and being still delicate did not mix much in the rougher sports of the boys; but was accustomed to get his own lessons very fast, and then kept the class idle by telling stories. Some of these he took from books, some he invented they were of no great merit, of course, but they went down famously.
In English reading his great favourites then were “Southey's Amaids of Gaul," and every book of knight-errantry on which he could lay his
hands. Scott's poetry also he devoured; he read likewise a good deal of history.
From the grammar-school he was removed at the age of ten, and placed under Dr. Russell, now Episcopal clergyman at Leith. There were about thirty boys in all at the school, and he soon got to the head of them. At thirteen years of age he finished his school course, and was then a tolerable scholar.
His next move was to Glasgow College, where he remained about two years, and then entered at Balliol College, Oxford, being three or four weeks under fifteen. But his passion had always been for a military life ; and as his father objected to it on the score of his inability to sustain its fatigues, he became idle and discontented. At Balliol his acquaintance with Lockhart and others began; and neither time nor separation ever produced among those who were friends in 1811, the slightest coldness.
In the autumn of 1812 he obtained an ensigncy, and joined his regiment at the Cove of Cork. He remained with it there till February, 1813, when, on the remodelling of the 85th, he was bought into it, and joined it at Hythe, in Kent, in the month of March. In the course of that summer he got his promotion, and went as a lieutenant to Spain. Of that, as well as of his life in America, the tale is told in the “ Subaltern” and “ Campaigns at Washington and New Orleans.”
Poetry is almost always the first effort of a young writer. The earliest of his productions appeared in an Edinburgh Magazine in 1810. He was then fourteen years old, and haply both the magazine and the verses are now forgotten. When an officer in the 85th, he was accustomed, however, to write squibs and make songs, especially on board of ship, very much to the amusement of his comrades.
After the battle of Waterloo had been fought, and there was a prospect of a long peace, he listened without reluctance to his father's wish; and being heartily tired of garrison-duty, returned home. He then went upon half-pay, and returned to Oxford in 1816; took his degree in 1818 ; and married the year following a ward of his father, and the daughter of Captain Cameron the younger, of Kinlochleven. He lived for twelve months with his young wife, at a remarkably pretty place on the banks of the Eden, in Cumberland, called Rockliffe Hall; where, having always found idleness irksome, he read hard, and prepared himself for taking orders.
He was ordained in 1819, by the late Archbishop of Canterbury, to the curacy of Westwell, in Kent-his stipend was seventy pounds a year. In 1821 the archbishop presented him to the perpetual curacy of Ash, value a hundred and thirty pounds a year; and not long afterwards added the rectory of Ivy Church, by which he cleared two hundred and fifty pounds per annum. As he could not live on his curacy and half-pay, and the allowance which he had from his father, he tried to eke out his income by taking pupils. But he soon found the interruption of domestic quiet intolerable, and gave up the scheme.
He wrote the “ Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New Orleans,” while curate of Westwell; and had previously contributed a few papers to “ Blackwood's Magazine.” But the book did not take very fast, and he made up his mind to write no more.