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At first we were disposed to treat it as a solemn jest, but on closer scrutiny we discovered that Mr. Birch is incapable of trifling in that way. The author is in earnest, and his book is a serious and awe-inspiring work.- Tablet.

Were there the slightest spark of cleverness in this volume we should think it was put forth in jest. As it is, Mr. Birch has some chance of obtaining a certain degree of notoriety, as the most singular example of compound dulness our day has produced.-Britannia.

The reader will regret that so much critical acumen, deep study of character, and universal acquaintance with the writers and writings of the Shaksperean era, should be brought to bear upon a position so untenable as that taken by the author of the 'Real and the Ideal.'— Hampshire Advertiser.

If Mr. Birch had confined himself to the philosophy of Shakspere, and slightly touched on the general tendency of the passages alluding to religion, he would have been more successful in bringing his inquiry to a more deterinipate issue in the minds of his readers.- Oxford Chronicle.

Amongst the many minute investigations of the writings of Shakspere, and inquiries into his life, there has certainly not been that attention paid to his philosophy and religion which the importance of these subjects demands. The institution of such an inquiry is the object of this volume; and we must at once award our author our meed of commendation for the acute judgment, and critical acumen which have directed him in its prosecution. The lovers of Shakspere, however they may dissent from some of its inferences, cannot fail to be interested in most of its expositions.-Oxford Herald.

Mr. Birch is an Oxonian, and already known to the world as an author-whilst the mere fashionable votary of Shakspere may condemn any inquiry which tends to lower the character of their hero, the thoughtful inquirer will peruse with much interest and attention, the evidence and arguments here adduced.--Bridgewater Times (first notice).

Mr. Birch has tried the case with a predetermination to find the prisoner gailty; he has tinctured every bit of evidence he could bring to bear upon the matter with his own views.-Bridgewater Times (second notice).

The inquiry instituted by Mr. Birch is both elaborate and impartial. He measures the philosophy and religion of Shakspere, not by any arbitrary standard of his own, but by the poet's own words and works.--Northern Star.

Mr. Birch's work evidences great industry, but a perverse want of true critical impartiality and acumen.-Coventry Herald.

It is impossible to deny to Mr. Birch the praise of great ingenuity and critical acumen.- Leeds Times.

Until the reader has gone through the labour of pouring over the precious conglomeration of dull conceit, and muddled inference, the 550 pages before us contain, he cannot have the remotest idea of the heavy perversity with which the author maintains his preposterous notion to the end. --Blackburn Standard.

It is just to Mr. Birch to say that his comments exhibit deep thought and many original and striking ideas that they betray a well-grounded acquaintance with Shakspero's writings, and are a lasting tribute to the genius of the bard.— Berwick Warder.

We should advise Mr. Birch to devote the talents which he evidently possesses to a more worthy purpose.—Exeter Gazette.

Of all the commentators on our great dramatic bard—and they have not been either few or feeble-one of the most extraordinary is the volume of Mr. Birch. Almost every one of Shakspere's editors has dwelt upon the subject of his religious opinions—but no one has gone into so full and elaborate inquiry, nor arrived at such startling and comprehensive conclusions, as the author now under notice. We most cordially recoinmend this elaborate work to the candid perusal of all classes of readers. Truth and justice are the ends set before us in this recommendation, as we really believe they have been kept in view by Mr. Birch during the progress of his inquiries. In the issue of this question every Englishman must feel an interest.-Sheffield, Mercury.

We acknowledge Mr. Birch’s book to be a monument of research and perseverance, but we cannot say that it is impartially or fairly written.-Critic.

Partial, piecemeal, fragmental judgments are the bane of public opinion. The merits of genius are distorted, and the tendency of public principles perverted, through this all-pervading habit. The laborious and systematic manner in which theauthor of the Philosophy and Religion of Shaks pere' has presented the elements on which a comprehensive opinion should be formed of the views of Shakspere, make his work as instructive for study as for information. We notice the work now, as a contribution to logical as well as speculative literature, deserving popular perusal.- Reasoner.

The author has entered into an analysis of all Shakspere's works seriatim, and submitted him in this respect to as severe a test as could well be imposed. The volume invites attention from the ability with which it is written and the ingenuity of some of its criticisms.-Bristol Mercury.

Mr. Birch has exercised a good deal of patient examination. — Banbury Guardian.

The volume is well written, and will doubtless be road with considerable interest, whether by those who are of Mr. Knight's way of thinking or predisposed in favour of Mr. Birch's view.–Cambridge Advertiser.

That Mr. Birch has analysed Shakspere's plays with ability cannot be doubted. The work displays an intimate acquaintance with dramatic literature, The epitome is complete and satisfactory.-Newcastle Guardian.

Mr. Birch detracts in no instance from the genius of the poet; nor does he wish to be considered a censor-merely as an inquirer. He displays an intimate acquaintance, not only with Shakspere's writings, but with the literary history of the period in which he lived. The work deserves a careful perusal.- Norfolk Chronicle.

Mr. Birch's book is an elaborate and systematic exposition of the natural history of Shakspere's opinions-eloquent with tacts, minute in analysis, faithful in detail, and impartial in execution. It is an anodyne to the parched spirit, to turn to the fresh pages of Mr. Birch-redolent of a manly and dignified criticism, which keeps close to truth, and disdains to pander to omnipotent opinion. He is a bold man who writes a volume of 550 pages challenging the religious reputation of our greatest national idol, and sends his work into the

arena of public criticism, sealing his analysis with his own name, and abiding that judgment which the bigot will so fiercely pronounce and the philosopher so tardily award. Yet this is what Mr. Birch has done, and for so doing he commands honour, as much for the courage he displays as for the ablility which his work manifests.-Reasoner (second notice).

Some years ago, on the presentation to the public of some celebrated delineations of Shakspere by a late dramatist, the critics differed far more widely, and contradicted themselves more than they usually do. Mr. Serjeant [now Justice] Talfourd, on su ming up their evidence in the New Monthly, uttered a cannon of criticism which is applicable to Mr. Birch's book- If we desired to confirm our own experience, we should find ample support in the very differences of opinion to which we have alluded. Mere mediocrity is not thus mistaken, it has no cameleon hues. Most exponents of Shakspere (Knight may be taken as the representative of the school) make the mistake of prescrbing a servile reverence for their author, which does neither their judgment nor their

hero any credit. The genius which cannot command the reverence of the reader is spurious, and the Knightschool of admirers put this base suspicion on Shakspere by their ignoble exactions. With any modern author, this course, pursued by his friends, would be his ruin in this generation at least. Utterly free from this fault, and free also from any tincture of disparagement, Mr. Birch discourses on Shakspere in a tone as healthy as it is novel. Added to this excellence are many moral beauties which Mr. Birch has been the first to insist on. The singleness of purpose with which this elaborate 'Inquiry' is conducted, and the impartiality with which every word is chosen, there being no partisan bias in any instance throughout his 550 pages, make it altogether a work of rarity ond ability, of courage and originality, which is without parallel amid all the countless variety to which the character and dramas of Shakspere have given rise. People's Press.

Tlustrative Notices.

By the side of the dispatehes of Oudinot the following protest of the Italians against the French invasion should be preserved:-'Frenchmen! the land you tread on still preserves the traces of your glorious ancestors; but these brought us liberty, and you bring us slavery. In destroying the Roman Republic you will destroy your own, and you will be fratricides at the same time that you injure yourselves. Oh, shame! you stood by, and regarded with a laugh of mockery the misfortunes af Lombardy. You had not a single word of consolation for the fall of Piedmont. Your venal writers utter blasphemies and calumnies on the heroic efforts of Hungary. On this very day, with impudent mockery, you come to destroy Roman liberty. Frenchmen! your implacable government subjects you to the greatest of all infamies, binds you to the train of despotism and of injustice, and obliges you to follow in the wake of the Croat and the Cossack. Are you indeed soldiers? If yon are, choose a toe worthy of your courage. Do not come to defy the rising strength of a petty state. If you wish to combat against Republican arms, cease to be Republicans yourselves, or confess that you are the satellites of tyranny and hypocrisy. French citizens! tear aside the veil of policy, and answer, Whom do you wish to restore to power? Are they the priests—this headstrong race, who have caused so much blood to flow and occasioned so many Foes to France herself? Study your own history, and you will see what a fatal present you are about to make us. Know it, once for all—from our earliest infancy even to our old age we have cherished an implacable hatred of sacerdotal domination. You wish to reimpose it on us by force. You are about to place us on a level with the Chinese. You will force us to curse the soil which has given you birth. We are unfortunate, because we are the sport of the violence of powerful men-unfortunate, because we are despised and trampled under foot by the very nation which was always the illusion to our mind, and the source of our hopes. Frenchmen! before undertaking a detestable work, ask of the blue heaven that is above you, and it will answer that it has been polluted by sacerdotal iniquities and by their horrors in all ages. Ask our youth and our women, and you will learn from them an uninterrupted tale of seductions, of debauchery, and of renality. Ask of our farmers for whom have they laboured? They will answer for the priests! Ask to whom belongs the fifth part of the state? To the priests! Ask to whom belongs the most luxurious abodes, for whom are the most exquisite delicacies, and who are those obeyed by thousands of menials? The reply will still be—the priests! the priests! Frenchmen! your mission is the work of hell. It will bring down upon your heads an universal malediction, for which your past glory will not prove a recompense. On this very day you lose all the pride and glory of warriors. The children of the conquerors of Arcola and Marengo have, alas! become the Janissaries of the sacristy, and the champions of the accursed mitre !

A friend has forwarded to us No. 1 of the Lancashire Beacon, a penny journal, size of the Plain Speaker, but more closely printed, bearing under the title the words, ' Responsible Editor, Mr. Charles Southwell."

A public meeting on behalf of the Hungarians has been held in the Hall of Science, Manchester, at which the chair was filled by Mr. Abel Heywood. A report appears in the Manchester Spectator, No. 28, enumerating Mr. J. R. Cooper, Mr. C. Southwell, and Mr. G. H. Smith among the speakers. Votes of thanks were passed to the chairman, and to Mr. South well, the lessee, for the gratuitous use of the Hall.

We have the gratification of stating that Mr. W. Devonshire Saull is recover. ing, contrary to the anticipations of his friends.

The Eighteenth Anniversary of the Society of Free Inquirers will be celebrated by an Excursion to Brabsden Green, on Sunday, August 19th, 1849, at 9 a.m.

The Greenock Advertiser of June 12 and July 24, has printed two 'Letters on Emigration to New York,' which have been reprinted by Mr. Innes, of Greenock. The letters are by Mr. Michael McLarty, who, we are informed, was much esteemed by our friends in that town.

G.J. H.

DEATH OF P. Q. DUNN, SURGSON. friends of the Reasoner will aid it by ordering it of MANCHESTER.)

a bookseller, and repeating the order till is deli. It is with great regret that tae duty devolves publication not generally known.

vered, as there is always difficulty ia procuring a upon us to record the death of this gentleman, extensively known for his wit, ability, and libe. rality--intellectually and professionally. He is

THE WEEK'S LECTURES. sincerely regretted by many whose esteem it is highly creditable tn have won. Those who knew

LITERARY & SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION, John the Manchester public ten years ago, will remember Street, Fitzroy Square.-Aug. 17,[8] Mr. Bronterre the moral courage with which Mr. Dunn avowed Abroad.' 19th, (74) Mr. Richard Hart, 'On the

O'Brien, ‘Progress of Democracy at Home and and maintained advanced opinions. His last request was that he might remain at peace, which True Mission of Science and Art.” was complied with. His death illustrated the

pro

ECLECTIC INSTITUTE, 72, Newman Street, Or. sessions of his life. All who had the pleasure of ford Street.- August 19, (8) J. B. O'Brien, B.A., Mr. Dunn's acquaintance, will share the sorrow

..The Application of Scriptural Truths to the Praca with which we record his decease.

tical Business of Life.'

South LONDON HALL, Webber Street, Black

friars Road.- August 19, (8) Mr. W. Cooper, “The MR. TREVELYAN'S LETTERS.

Character and Writings of John Milton.' Mr. Trevelyan has lost nothing of his accustomed HALL OF SCIENCE, City Road.-Aug. 19, (74), pungency in literature. He has just addressed a Thomas Cooper, 'Myths of the Old Testament.'

Letter to C. J. Blomfield, D.D., L.D., Bishop of Ellis's Rooms, George Street, New Road.London, to which is added remarks on the words Aug. 19, [83], Free Inquirers' Weekly Meeting. Devil, Satan, and Hell. The letter commences *My Lord God-a mistake---my Lord (!) Bishop, owing to a similarity of title.' In another para:

INTIMATIONS. graph, the writer says—' My Lord Jesus-my The Reasoner is sent free by Post, the Quarter's Lord Bishop--again I have made a mistake, owing Subscription 48. 4d., on thin paper 38. 3d., to your title, a title equal to your God's; but, by- and issued in Monthly Parts and Half-yearly the-by, is not dammon the God of the Bishops ?' Volumes. The next Letter (both of which can be had of our publisher at a nominal cost) is addressed to the

Religious Bigot, who thinks that Great Evil-War RECEIVED:- Manchester Examiner and Times, No. -right; and who condemns the use of that Great 76.-Manchester Spectator, No. 27.-Commer. Good -- Mesmerism.' This well-directed letter cial Journal and Family Herald, No.33.-Preston contains one paragraph we shall take the liberty of Guardian, No. 286.-Preston Chronicle, No.1926. transcribing :- Is it not strange that the Christian -Spectator, No. 1101.-S. Viessieux.-Demo. religion, a religion said to come from God, posses. cratic Review, No. 3. - People's Provident ses so little restraiņing power over the actions of Magazine, No. 1.-W. Mason. (Had the ob. men, as not even to prevent thera from taking each jection he alluđes to remained in recollection, other's lives! Surely, surely it cannot be true, which it did not, his intention might have been that a religion so powerless for good was ordained divined.)-R. R. (The persons styled 'nobles' by the Creator of the universe.'

in Hungary are a of class which answers to our electors." The true 'peers' of Hungary are

styled 'magnates.')- A Voluntary Theist. THE ROMAN FUND.

(Whence is the fact of the prayers of the Mr. George Sunter, jun., Middlesborough-on divines?)—Willis Knowles, for Carlile Monument, Tees, writes to Mr. Watson :- Please forward to ls. (We have not the act at hand, but papers do the proper party the accompanying 108., subscribed pass an indefinite period. Il possible, a digest by a few of "the common people" at a pic-nic of the reports shall be made.) - Manchester party on Eston Nab, near Middlesborough on Spectator, No. 28.- Lincoln Mercury, No. 8019. Tees, on Sunday, July 15, 1819, with their earnest - A World of Folly,' by Spartacus.-J.Heming prayers for the total and cternal overthrow of

way. (Will find the list of the editor's works in kingcraft and priestcraft.'

this week's number. The pages vary from about Mr. Hunt, Hyde, 1s.

80 to 121.) Errata.-Through imperfection in M.S., p. 80, *Mr. Taylor, ls. 6d.,' should be Mr. Layton. Mr. Mason desires us to say that the 23. 3d. R. H. vishes us to state that in forwarding the lately acknowledged for Mr. Carlile's monument subscriptions for the Romans, acknowledged in were for the family, to whom, of course, we shall last Reasoner, he erroneously sent from 'A Friead' pay it. The instructions reached us through a 28., instead of 2s.6d., and omitted G. Harnden, second party, and Mr. C.'s name was mentioned

He now makes good the deficiency. without the qualification now intimated.
WORKS BY THE EDITOR.

We should be glad of the name of a friend in Mathematics no Mystery: or the Beauties and Nottingham who would make a visit for us. Uses of Euclid. Illustrated by eight plates, con We have Congregational small bills ready for taining one hundred and forty-seven Diagrams. distribution, which we should be happy to transSecond thousand, 25. 6d. - Practical Grammar, mit to any friends who will see to their proper third thousand, 1s. 60.--Hand-Book of Graduated circulation. Grammatical Exercises, second thousand, 18. 6d. - Hints Towards a Logic of Facts, second thousand, W. W. Broom will oblige by sending his present 18. 6d.-Rudiments of Public Speaking and Debate, address to H. Cook, News Agent, Sims's Alley, 1s. 63.-Paley Refuted in his Own Words. Dedi. Broadmead, Bristol. cated to W. & R. Chambers. Fourth thousand. 60.-- Life, Writings, and Character of Richard Carlile, 60.- Rationalism ; a Treatise on the First London :- Printed by A. Holyoake, 54, Exmouth Principles of Societarian Reform, 60.-The Reu. Street, Clerkenwell, and Published by J.Watson, soner (every Wednesday morning), 2d. Vol. I., 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster Row. 4s 6d.; vols. Ill. & IV., 58. ; vol. V., 6s. The

Wednesday, August 15, 1849.

sen.; ls.'

No.8.-New SERIES.]

EDITED BY G. J. HOLYOAKE.

[Price 20.

THE COMPARATIVE VALUE OF POPULAR REFORMS.

I, TEMPERANCE, DIETARY, AND PIERREPONT GREAVES'S VIEWS. What the people will reap from the agitations of the day it would be difficult to tell; what they may reap it is far more easy, as well as far more useful, to indicate. "What they will reap, belongs to prophecy to inform us; what they may reap depends upon the judgment, industry, and courage with which they can be inspired.

After the evidence of interest in public affairs which this paper constantly affords, no one will accuse us of underrating political reforms. We have taken an interest in political almost equal to that which we take in religious reform. We are prepared, therefore, to assign a proper importance to political reform; and the importance we assign to it is that of being auxiliary to personal reform. We place personal reforms first. They precede all others. Of what value are public changes if they involve not, in fact compel, the betterance of private manners ? Of what imports theological reform, if it is to end in protests merely against Priests, and the severance of the Church from the State ? The freedom of private judgment amounts to nothing if it leads not to the purity of private conduct. If we put away dogmas, it is to deify duty. If politicians howl against an opponent party only for venal objects, or in malignant spirit, who cares for their contests? We only respect them as we believe them to aim at the public good. But as acts of parliaments cannot make people wise or virtuous, their operations must be to afford better conditions for individual endeavours after excellence and honour. With this explanation, it will be understood why we place personal reforms in the first rank of human importance. It may sound like heresy in some ears, but we avow our convictions without scruple or qualification : the future of the people is personal improvement-political ameliorations are but conditions of advancement.

In spite of the moral weakness which Teetotalism fosters, its advocacy is fraught with great political benefit. A drunken people can always be enslaved. Our soldiers are enlisted over the pot. The electors who sell their country are commonly those who have first sold their senses. The mob who drove Priestley away was drunk. The Church and King cry thrives most over the beer-barrel. The temperance agitation has thus a political as well as a personal bearing. But its private recognition would have been much more extensively recognised but for the tone of vulgar intolerance which has been impressed upon it, and the injustice to

(No. 169, Vol. VII.]

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