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nation has always had a special delight in being alarmed, and in being clearly convinced that it is and ought to be on the brink of ruin. With such advantages in the worthy doctor's favor, he might have kept the field until some newer extravaganza had made his own obsolete, had not one ugly turn in political affairs given so smashing a refutation to his practical conclusions, and called forth so sudden. a rebound of public feeling in the very opposite direction, that a bomb-shell descending right through the whole impression of his book could not more summarily have laid a chancery "injunction " upon its further sale. This arose under the brilliant administration of the first Mr. Pitt: England was suddenly victorious in three quarters of the globe; land and sea echoed to the voice of her triumphs; and the poor Doctor Brown, in the midst of all this hubbub, cut his own throat with his own razor. Whether this dismal catastrophe were exactly due to his mortification as a baffled visionary, whose favorite conceit had suddenly exploded like a rocket into smoke and stench, is more than we know. But, at all events, the sole memorial of his hypothesis which now reminds the English reader that it ever existed is one solitary notice of good-humored satire pointed at it by Cowper.* And the possibility of such exceeding folly in a man otherwise of good sense and judgment, not depraved by any brainfever or enthusiastic infatuation, is to be found in the vicious process of reasoning applied to such estimates; the doctor, having taken up one novel idea
*The Inestimable Estimate of Brown."
of the national character, proceeded afterwards by no tentative inquiries, or comparison with actual facts and phenomena of daily experience, but resolutely developed out of his one idea all that it appeared analytically to involve; and postulated audaciously as a solemn fact whatsoever could be exhibited in any possible connection with his one central principle, whether in the way of consequence or of affinity.
Pretty much upon this unhappy Brunonian mode of deducing our national character, it is a very plausible speculation, which has been and will again be chanted, that we, being a luxurious nation, must by force of good logical dependency be liable to many derivative taints and infirmities which ought of necessity to besiege the blood of nations in that predicament. All enterprise and spirit of adventure, all heroism and courting of danger for its own attractions, ought naturally to languish in a generation enervated by early habits of personal indulgence. Doubtless they ought; à priori, it seems strictly demonstrable that such consequences should follow. Upon the purest forms of inference in Barbara or Celarent, it can be shown satisfactorily that from all our tainted classes, à fortiori then from our most tainted classes — our men of fashion and of opulent fortunes no description of animal can possibly arise but poltroons and fainéans. In fact, pretty generally, under the known circumstances of our modern English education and of our social habits, we ought, in obedience to all the precognita of our position, to show ourselves rank cowards; yet, in spite of so much excellent logic, the facts are otherwise. No
age has shown in its young patricians a more heroic disdain of sedentary ease; none in a martial support of liberty or national independence has so gayly volunteered upon services the most desperate, or shrunk less from martyrdom on the field of battle, whenever there was hope to invite their disinterested exertions, or grandeur enough in the cause to sustain them. Which of us forgets the gallant Mellish, the frank and the generous, who reconciled himself so gayly to the loss of a splendid fortune, and from the very bosom of luxury suddenly precipitated himself upon the hardships of Peninsular warfare? Which of us forgets the adventurous Lee of Lime, whom at princely estate could not detain in early youth from courting perils in Nubia and Abyssinia, nor (immediately upon his return) from almost wooing death as a volunteer aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo? So again of Colonel Evans, who, after losing a fine estate long held out to his hopes, five times over put himself at the head of forlorn hopes. Such cases are memorable, and were conspicuous at the time, from the lustre of wealth and high connections which surrounded the parties; but many thousand others, in which the sacrifices of personal ease were less noticeable from their narrower scale of splendor, had equal merit for the cheerfulness with which those sacrifices were made.
* Here, again, in the person of the author before us, we have another instance of noble and disinterested heroism, which, from the magnitude of the sacrifices that it involved, must place him in the same
* History of the Greek Revolution, by Thomas Gordon.
class as the Mellishes and the Lees. This gallant Scotsman, who was born in 1788, or 1789, lost his father in early life. Inheriting from him a good estate in Aberdeenshire, and one more considerable in Jamaica, he found himself, at the close of a long minority, in the possession of a commanding fortune. Under the vigilant care of a sagacious mother, Mr. Gordon received the very amplest advantages of a finished education, studying first at the University of Aberdeen, and afterwards for two years at Oxford; whilst he had previously enjoyed as a boy the benefits of a private tutor from Oxford. Whatever might be the immediate result from this careful tuition, Mr. Gordon has since completed his own education in the most comprehensive manner, and has carried his accomplishments as a linguist to a point of rare excellence. Sweden and Portugal excepted, we understand that he has personally visited every country in Europe. He has travelled also in Asiatic Turkey, in Persia, and in Barbary. From this personal residence in foreign countries, we understand that Mr. Gordon has obtained an absolute mastery over certain modern languages, especially the French, the Italian, the modern Greek, and the Turkish.* Not content, however, with this extensive education in a literary sense, Mr. Gordon thought proper to prepare himself for the part which he meditated in public life, by a second, or military education, in two separate services;-first, in the
* Mr. Gordon is privately known to be the translator of the work written by a Turkish minister, "Tchebi Effendi," published in the Appendix to Wilkinson's Wallachia, and frequently referred to by the Quarterly Review in its notices of Oriental affairs.
British, where he served in the Greys, and in the forty-third regiment; and subsequently, during the campaign of 1813, as a captain on the Russian staff.
Thus brilliantly accomplished for conferring lustre and benefit upon any cause which he might adopt amongst the many revolutionary movements then continually emerging in Southern Europe, he finally carried the whole weight of his great talents, prudence, and energy, together with the unlimited command of his purse, to the service of Greece in her heroic struggle with the Sultan. At what point his services and his countenance were appreciated by the ruling persons in Greece, will be best collected from the accompanying letter, translated from the original, in modern Greek, addressed to him by the provisional government of Greece, in 1822. It will be seen that this official document notices with great sorrow Mr. Gordon's absence from Greece, and with some surprise, as a fact at that time unexplained and mysterious; but the simple explanation of this mystery was, that Mr. Gordon had been brought to the very brink of the grave by a contagious fever, at Tripolizza, and that his native air was found essential to his restoration. Subsequently, however, he returned, and rendered the most powerful services to Greece, until the war was brought to a close, as much almost by Turkish exhaustion, as by the armed interference of the three great conquerors of Navarino.
"The government of Greece to the SIGNOR GORDON, a man worthy of all admiration, and a friend of the Grecians, health and prosperity.
"It was not possible, most excellent sir, nor was