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guished the Consulate ; the policy on which Napoleon's greatness was founded during a period which, though productive of some faults, might still merit for Bonaparte the almost unqualified commendation of the impartial historian, were we not obliged to view it through the medium of the later and disastrous period of the empire, in which personal ambition becoming predominant, errors, follies, and crimes were heaped on one another, with a recklessness and grandeur which has almost made even the sufferers themselves forgive them for their greatness. The Concordat issued from the same view of policy that produced the amnesty, the recal of the emigrants, the dismissal of the Vendean hostages. It was not an act of faith, a homage rendered to Christianity, but a profound perception of a social fact, which escaped all his contemporaries and colleagues, even the most acute. It may be true, as M. Thiers asserts, tható con
stitution of General Bonaparte disposed him to religious ideas, and we do not forget that he died with the crucifix clasped to his breast. But we cannot for a moment hesitate in pronouncing that he was not the man to have sacrificed popularity, and run counter to a prevalent sentiment, from any generous, or self-denying devotion to the Church; he who, in this very measure in which he seemed to be doing so much for her, was taking from her more than he gave, taking, in fact, all that he could take. It is little indeed that the Church had to be thankful for in Napoleon's Concordat; but for that little, whatever it be, she had to thank the statesman, and not the repentant Catholic. And it must not be forgotten, that in earlier times Napoleon had given in to the irreligious sentiments and language of his time, and had raved about ‘mitred despots,’ • European fakirs,'' parchment brigands,' and so forth. His adoption of the tone of respect which he afterwards used may be dated from his second Italian campaign. He writes to the Consuls after the battle of Marengo,—-To-day, * in spite of what our Paris atheists may say of me, I am going, • in great state, to the Te Deum which is to be chanted in the ' cathedral of Milan.'
No less characteristic is the change which we have remarked in M. Thiers' language, in speaking of the affairs of religion. Whatever be the cause, whether internal conviction, or a mere speculator's perception of the growing importance of the subject, the difference of tone on this subject between the History of the Revolution' and the present volumes is very apparent. Not only is a much greater space devoted to religious affairs, but they are spoken of with a respect and gravity which was altogether wanting in the earlier work. There Pius VI. was 'a proud priest, the old Pope's pride was humbled;' Cardinals were stupid dotards ;' priest-craft,' ' priestly government,' * monkish party,' superstitious, devotees,' were favourite phrases. He repeated with delight the nickname of The old Fox, which the revolutionary army had applied to Pius VI. * Republicans felt a natural instinct to assault a Pope and a Bourbon ;' priests who knew of no country but Rome;' 'old aunts of Louis XVI., who travelled to Rome to secure their salvation ;'- these are specimens of his habitual mode of speaking in the earlier work; nor are we aware that he has cancelled any of these expressions in later editions. Again, he saw in religion nothing but “a branch of the public service to be brought into order ;' the property of the clergy was immense wealth which had been given them in former times on condition of relieving the poor, whom they never relieved;' and of the civil constitution of the clergy he chose to say, that it was an occasion, or a pretext, of which they profited to offer an unjust resistance to the State.'
The vulgar and petulant flippancy of these expressions has given place to a language sober and respectful. We hear now of the genius of the Court of Rome, which still in its depression shone with a brilliant lustre.' Gonsalvi is remarkable for ability, penetration, and powers of pleasing.' Chiaramonti, by his talent, science, and his amiable virtues, enjoyed universal esteem.' And Pius VII. is a Pontiff of rare virtue, the character as well as the physiognomy of an angel, and of an endurance capable of bearing martyrdom.' But this change, though a great improvement in point of taste, is nothing more. For we find M. Thiers, as indeed might be expected, warm in his commendations of the Concordat and the Organic Articles--acts more oppressive than even the Constitution itself had been-acts of tyranny by the strong towards the weak, and in which Pius VII. surrendered what he said had never been surrendered by any Pope before. One might almost doubt whether the advantages gained by the religious peace were worth the sacrifice at which it was bought. Yet, in the present condition of the Church in France, and while Napoleon's Concordat still remains the basis on which it is constituted, we have the best proof that even the most unfavourable position with respect to the State, may be counteracted by the strict and rigorous discipline she maintains within herself.
But it is no part of our present purpose to discuss the intrinsic merits of the Concordat. We have simply viewed it as one act of the general policy of the Consulate. Those who wish to pursue the details of the treaty will find this chapter of M. Thiers one of the most interesting in the book. And they may combine with this a volume, which has just appeared, of documents and correspondence relating to it, published from the papers of M. Portalis, which will form a very useful commentary.
In conclusion, we may say one word with respect to the English translation of Mr. Campbell
. We have examined it with some care, and find it executed with a scrupulous fidelity and adherence to the original that is quite surprising. The slovenly incorrect manner in which our versions of so many standard foreign works are done, make these qualities, which ought to be universal in translators, an honourable distinction. Some critics have found fault with Mr. Campbell for having adhered too closely to the original, and having thus rendered his English stiff and harsh. This is certainly the case in some degree. But only those who have made the attempt know what labour it is to write an easy and idiomatic style with perfect fidelity. And where both cannot be attained, it will then depend on the character of the work to be translated, which of the two should be preferred. In a historical work, no one, we think, can doubt that the present translator has made the right choice. One or two cases we found in which the sense of the original had been misunderstood. They were not of much importance; and we only mention them, not as desirous to find blemishes in Mr. Campbell's work, but rather in apology for translators in general, to show by the slips of one so watchful and scrupulous, how almost impossible it is to avoid occasional inadvertencies of this kind.
ART. VI.- The Life of Baber, Emperor of Hindostan. By R. M.
CALDECOTT, Esq. London: Darling. 1845.
BABER was the first Great Mogul, the chief warrior and statesman of the East in the sixteenth century, and the conqueror of Hindostan. His life, written by himself, says the Preface, • has always been received as genuine, and no one who reads it * can doubt his sincerity. The chief portion of it was translated by Dr. Leyden, and the remainder by William Erskine, Esq.'
The value of this autobiography is, of course, principally that of a literary curiosity. A quaintness, however, runs through it, which comes out at times in the shape of amusing descriptions of characters and persons. Baber generally appends some short description to each name of an Ameer, or court officer, that he introduces; and the book furnishes, in this way, a curious picture of an Eastern court or camp and its satellites. He is something of a satirist, but makes his comments always with true Eastern gravity; and the fact that one Ameer was too fond of dancing, and another of drinking, and that another was an excellent man, only that he liked his hawks better than his own children, and that another was a first-rate poet, though his person was covered with boils in consequence of the riotous life he led, is given, in each case, in the same dry, succinct, narrative style. Baber himself appears to be a mixture of the soldier, man of business, and literary man; perfectly hard and solid; entirely unscrupulous when it served his turn, but most exact and conscientious in observing different religious rites and rules, and punctilious about the faith. He seems to pride himself on his own unrivalled Mahometan orthodoxy, and to consider his own theological opinions and state of mind to be unique and incomparable. If it was not for this, we should really admire him on several occasions, and feel a respect less adulterated than that to which the following passage excites. E. g.:
On the 8th of December I was in a boat on the river with several who were ready at making verses, Sheikh Zin, Mulla • Ali Jan, and others. A verse of Salikh being quoted, it was agreed that every one should make an extempore couplet to the same rhyme
and measure. As we had been very merry at 'the expense of Mulla Ali Jan, I repeated the following
• When I had composed these lines my mind was led to reflection,
and I was struck with regret that a tongue which could repeat the most sublime productions should bestow any trouble on such unworthy verses ; that a heart elevated to noble conceptions should occupy itself with these contemptible fancies. From that time forward I religiously abstained from satirical poetry. On • the 9th of December we were at Ali Mesjed, where, on account I of the small extent of ground for an encampment, I always 'took up my quarters on an eminence. The view of all the fires blazing in the camp below was very brilliant. It was certainly owing to this beautiful spectacle that every time I halted in this spot I drank uine.'
Why the spectacle of the fires is made to bear the whole blame of his drinking wine, is not very easy to see.
He gives, with his usual coolness, in another passage, his first introduction to the forbidden pleasures of wine. After talking about the Koran, he proceeds :
Soon after my arrival I was invited to dine with Mozaffer in the White Garden. After dinner Khadijeh Begum carried ' him and me to the palace of Terebkhena, “ the Pleasure House,”
a delightful edifice in which there were paintings representing " the battles of Abusaid Mirza. Mozaffer placed me above
himself, I being his guest; and, he having filled a glass of 'welcome, the cup-bearers began to supply all the party with
unmixed wine, which they quaffed as if it had been the water r of life. As the spirit mounted into their heads, they took a
fancy to make me drink with them. Till that time I had ' never been guilty of drinking wine. Whenever
Whenever my father • asked me I made an excuse. After his death, by the guardian care of the reverend Khwajeh Kazi, I remained pure
and un* defiled. I was ignorant of the sensations which wine produces, ' yet I had a lurking inclination for it; and, being then in the
refined city of Heri, I thought it was the time to regale myself; ' and therefore, when they pressed me to drink, I was on the ‘ point of complying; but it occurred to me that, (observe the reason !] since I had refused wine from the hand of Badia ez Zeman, the elder brother, he might take umbrage. In consequence it was agreed that I should take wine the next time we met at the palace of the Sultan. • Kasim Beg, hearing that I had been urged to drink wine, remonstrated with Zulnun Beg, and he reprimanded the Mirzas severely ; so that they did not press me again on the subject. My courtiers were bound by my example not to drink wine. If they desired to indulge at any time,-perhaps once in a month or forty days,—they used to shut their doors, and sit down to drink in great apprehension of being discovered.