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his dear friend the Emperor to give him a princess of his dynasty as a wife; a request which excited some mirth at the Tuileries. The character of Ferdinand's mind is by no means imbecility, but a childish instability of purpose, and weakness of judgement, united to heartless selfishness and habits of consummate dissimulation. He is, if possible, more fickle than he is false. It is said of him by the present Writer, that he
is-subject to no ruling passion.' He detests the chase, is given to no kind of dissipation, is apt to dispense with all etiquette, and is fond of nothing but smoking and buffoonery. Slight of hand tricks and phantasmagoria were among the amusements of the royal apartments.
• Ferdinand did not find much pleasure in the demeanour of his courtiers ; but he derived great enjoyment from that of the inferior servants, whom he treated with the greatest familiarity, and to whom he allowed the most extraordinary liberties. Among them was one Chamorro, celebrated as a sort of stupid and vulgar buffoon, who, by his fooleries, afforded infinite diversion to Ferdinand, and obtained a sufficient degree of influence with him to dispose of the first offices in the kingdom. It is incredible what a number of important affairs have been managed in Spain by such obscure means as these. The King listened with delight to all the tales and anecdotes which the servants related to him concerning the most important personages. Frequently have his servants, who were interested in the issue of any affair, pre-occupied his mind in such a manner, that when the ministers came to transact business, he informed them of the resolution which he had taken, and which was often the reverse of what they had contemplated. Woe to the minister who, in such circumstances, shewed the least obstinacy in opposing the suggestions of those secret instru. ments.' p. 251.
· The want of sensibility is one of the most characteristic traits of the present King of Spain. His self-love and pride may be deeply affected, but his heart is never touched. He was affectionately at. tached to his second wife, Maria Isabel of Braganza; but he was playing at ninepins when her funeral left the palace, and the following day there was not the least sign of grief in his countenance. The uncommon fickleness of his imagination prevents any one sentiment from overruling him, or making any serious impression on his mind. In adversity he was never dejected : when misfortunes of a formid. able nature occurred to him, he still knew how to take advantage of all the alleviating circumstances which they produced. It would seem as if he counted with certainty on the combinations of the future, which have so often extricated him from the most immipent dangers.
• Ferdinand is a man of middle stature; bis figure is large beyond proportion: his complexion is pale, and his health is frequently interrupted by extremely violent attacks of the gout. To this affliotion, and to the infirniities of his youth, he owes a flaccidity of appearance which does not correspond with his age. His features are
strongly marked and rather deformed, though his look wants not animation. His constant custom of smoking segars, which he scarcely ever suspends, gives a bad odour to his breath. The versatility of his features is so great, that the most eminent artists have failed to give a perfect likeness of him. His gestures are lively, and often violent. He speaks in a hurried manner, and all his actions partake of the precipitate character of his conversation. pp. 264, 5.
• The events of Ferdinand's life have contributed to increase the defects of his character, and to induce him to follow, without any reserve, his favourite inclinations. He has been always cast down through his own fault ; he has himself always created the germ of those evils which have come upon him; but he has always found a foreign hand to rescue him from every misfortune.
• His hatred of enlightened ideas, and the fear which he enter. tains of well-informed men, are features in his character which have exercised, and will continue to exercise, great influence upon the destinies of Spain. She, unhappily, gives herself up to the most profound ignorance, while all the other communities of Europe nobly emulate each other in improving the useful sciences. Ferdinand abhors those sciences as dangerous enemies; and although public opinion does not set him down as a devotee, nor even supposes him to be sincerely religious, he will always continue to favour fanaticism as the best auxiliary of absolute power, which is the idol of his soul, and the most irresistible of his inclinations. pp. 266, 7.
The most interesting and important part of the present Memoirs, is that which discloses the intrigues of Russia. It is affirmed that, during the residence of Tatistcheff, the Russian minister, in the Peninsula, there was not a transaction of the slightest importance in any department of the State, to which he did not give his sanction; and that his influence was * never exerted, except for the purpose of degrading the Spanish • nation. Our limits will not admit of our entering upon this subject; and we must, therefore, refer our readers to the volume itself, which is in every respect deserving of attention. It is an inconvenient omission, that it appears without any index or table of contents. The history of Ferdinand is, in what must be termed the First Part of the work, brought down to his restoration in 1814, which is expressively characterised as Pan
dora's box for the unhappy nation. The history of the six years which elapsed from that period, till the re-establishment of the Constitution in 1820, forms the Second Part, which is comprised under five sections: Foreign Relations-Government of the Interior-Ecclesiastical Affairs - Finance War and Marine. To these are added a chapter of miscellaneous anecdotes and an appendix of documents. The following remarks on the subject of foreign relations', furnish, no one can now doubt, a key to the conduct of the Holy Alliance, although to
have entertained a doubt of their good faith and purity of intention, would, but a short time back, have been stigmatised as folly and radicalism.
· The system of government adopted by Ferdinand upon his return to Spain, was eminently suitable to the views of the Holy Alliance, and particularly agreeable to the high personages of which that body was composed. When the sovereigns were restored to the tranquil enjoyment and secure possession of their thrones, by the energy and virtue of their people, they naturally apprehended a reaction on the part of the latter, if, in exchange for the patriotism which they had shewn, and the sacrifices which they had made, their rulers were to give them again absolute and despotic governments. Hence the language of the monarchs was, in the beginning, mild and conciliatory. Hence they held out the most flattering hopes to their subjects, believing that it was expedient still to speak in that liberal tone, in which Alexander addressed the inhabitants of Poland. The most enlightened diplomatic persons of Europe were of opinion, that it was necessary to concede advantages to the middling classes of society, which had so efficaciously contributed to the destruction of the common enemy; and he who would then have ventured to propose, in the councils of the sovereigns, those extensions of the royal power which have since taken place throughout Europe, would have been deemed a rash adviser, if not a real enemy of crowned heads. The Holy Alliance was then precisely in the situation of those fortunate men, who, being desirous of accomplishing a great enterprise, and not possessing courage enough to take the first step, from not knowing whether the ground is or is not safe, find another man of less prudence and less fear, who boldly ventures of his own free will to make an experiment of the danger, and teaches them, by his example, the evils or the advantages which they have to expect. Francis, Louis, and Alexander, saw in Spain the caput mortuum of this grand experiment of arbitrary power. They left Ferdinand to work at his ease, in order that they might observe to what extent the patience of nations would go; and when they saw that the people who had fought with so much glory, and during so many years, in defence of their king and their liberties, yielded with such docility to the yoke which was imposed upon them, they calculated that the same thing would be done by their own subjects, who had acquired comparatively inferior titles to the gratitude of their rulers. Europe has witnessed the purposes to which this direful lesson has been applied, and the general imitation of that principle to which the conduct of Ferdinand imparted so much consistency and strength. pp. 137-139.
Art. VI. The Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1894.
Vol. VIII. 8vo. Price 12s. London. 1824. IN N the present volume of this convenient work, the analysis
of biographical works and the neglected biography are
omitted, to allow a greater space for original memoirs. The former of these may, we think, be very properly left to us Reviewers: the latter might be rendered very acceptable.
It is an unavoidable drawback on the value of such a work, that the memoirs must needs partake very much of the partiality of friendship and the language of panegyric; but still, it forms a useful depository for information not wholly unin'teresting, which would otherwise be lost; for, with all the voracity of the reading public, it cannot digest quarto or octavo memoirs of every celebrated painter, poet, politician, physician, ecclesiastic, soldier, or ramatic performer that may die within the year. The memoirs of most interest in this volume are those of the venerable Dr. Hutton, Robert Bloomfield, Mr. Angerstein, Mr. Ricardo, Lord St. Vincent, Mr. Nollekens, and Dr. Jenner. We will confess that it is partly with a view to place in our pages a brief memorial of the Author of “ The Farmer's Boy,” that we notice the present volume; since, as an annual work, the general commendation expressed with regard to former volumes might seem all which it could claim from us.
The life of Robert Bloomfield was as uneventful as his character was unassuming, The tale is soon told, and, though not a tragical, it is a melancholy one; for it begins and it ends with poverty and sorrow.
Yet, Bloomfield was neither vicious nor neglected, Had he possessed either a stronger mind or a worse heart, he might have ended his days in ease and competence. But generous, improvident, with a crazy frame, and a mind debilitated by sickness and domestic solicitude, the efforts which were made to lift him above a state of poverty, were constantly rendered abortive either by his anxiety to help others, or his inability to help himself.
Robert Bloomfield was born at Honington in Suffolk, Dec. 3, 1766. His father, who was a taylor, died when Robert was about six months old, leaving a widow with six small children. His mother, a pious and exemplary woman, was the village schoolmistress; and to such instruction as she could impart, Robert was indebted for all his education, with the exception of attending for two or three months at a school in a neighbouring village, to be improved in writing. When he was not above eleven years of age, his uncle by marriage, a farmer at Sapiston, a village adjoining Honigton, took him into his house, agreeing to give him his board for his service; but he was so small of his age, that Mr. Austin pronounced it unlikely that he would ever be able to get his living by hard labour. His mother, in consequence, wrote to her sons George and Nathaniel, then journeyman-shoemakers in London, begging their
assistance in placing him out. George, in reply, offered to take his brother, and find him board and lodging, while Na. thaniel engaged to clothe him. His mother herself accompanied Robert to London, observing that she should never be happy, if she did not herself put him into his brother's hands. She charged her son George, as he valued a mother's blessing. to watch over his little brother, to set him a good example, and never to forget that he had lost his father; - a solemn and pa • thetic adjuration which seems to have been religiously at• tended to Little I thought,' says his brother, that that • fatherless boy would one day be known and esteemed by the • most learned, the most respected, the wisest and the best • men of the kingdom."
The Farmer's Boy now found himself transferred to a garret in Pitcher's Court, Bell Alley, Coleman-street; as regarded health, an unfavourable exchange. Robert waited on his brothers, learned to assist them in their jobs, read the newspaperto them aloud, or some magazine or folio weekly number taken in by his brothers or the other journeymen. In this way, he spent as many hours in reading as other boys spent in play.
• At that time his brother George took in the London Magazine, in which publication about two sheets were appropriated to a review. Robert was always eager to read this review. Here he could see what literary men were doing, and could learn to judge in some measure of the merits of various works as they appeared. The poetry, too, always commanded his attention. Observing this circumstance, and hearing him with some surprise one day repeat a song which he had composed to an old tune, his brother George persuaded him to try if the editor of their paper would give his verses a place. He did so; and thus was kindled the name of ambition in the youthful poet's breast. This, the first offspring of Robert Bloomfield's muse that appeared in print, was called “ The Milk-Maid, or the First of May. Emboldened by his success, he soon, produced another little piece, to which he gave the name of The Sailor's Return;" which was also published in the same newspaper. Indeed, he had so generally and diligently improved himself, that although only sixteen or seventeen years of age, his brother George and his fellow-workmen began to be instructed by his conversation. pp. 109, 10.
About the same period, Robert made an acquaintance with a Scotchman who had many books, and, among others, Thomson's Seasons and Paradise Lost, which he lent to him; and Robert spent all his leisure hours in reading the Seasons, which he was now capable of understanding. Another cireumstance must not be passed over, which occurred soon after he came to London.