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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855,
By J. S. REDFIELD, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southern
District of New York,
STEREOTYPED BY C. C. SAVAGE,
13 Chambers Street, N. Y.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME II
The odoherty papers.
Pandemus Polyglott.* It has been well observed by somebody, that any man could make an interesting book if he would only give, honestly and without reserve, an account of such things as he himself had seen and heard; but if a man should add to this a candid history of his remarkable friends and acquaintance, how infinitely would he enhance the interest of his own! Some folks call this method of biography prosy-Heaven help their unphilosophical shortsightedness! Wherein consists the charm of Benvenuto Cellini's account of himself, which nobody can deny to be the ne plus ultra of all conceivable autobiographies? Why, it clearly arises from these two sources : first, from his not scrupling to give a straightforward narrative of every shadow of an adventure he lighted upon, not hesitating a moment to tell the whole truth at least, however often he may be so obliging as to favour us with a matter of ten times as much as that same; and, secondly, from the number of persons and personages he introduces his reader to, from the magnificent Francis to the unhappy engraver (I think), whom he despatched in so judicious a manner by that memorable thrust of his dagger into the back of the poor man's
* This article, evidently suggested by Father Prouts admirable translations and paraphrases, appeared in Blackwood for October, 1837.- M.
neck, whereby he so scientifically separated the vertebræ, and interrupted the succession of the spinal marrow, to the immediate attainment of his laudable object-- to wit, the release of his fellow-sinner from his worldly sorrows. Again, in the other sex, from the lovely and capricious Duchess of Florence, with her rings and cameos and trumpery, down to the frail fair one whose fondness for Benvenuto so repeatedly jeopardized his capacity for enjoying the same. But there is a third charm about the good artist's book, and this may, perhaps, outweigh the other two-namely, his introduction of the heroes and magnates of his age en déshabille. Truly, if he who can show us a king, two popes, a reigning duke or two, duchesses, nobles, courtiers, and cardinals by the squadron, all in dressing-gowns and slippers, be not set up in the high places among those who have delighted their fellows, wherewithal shall a man claim that distinction ? But I flatter myself, that charming as Benvenuto is, I must even supersede him by as inuch as learning is of more account than throat or marble-cutting, and learned men than heroes, &c.
But the world is not going at this time to enjoy the full benefit of my experiences. Let it suffice for the present that I afford mankind a glimpse of one of the most remarkable of men; one of those who leave their reputation as a legacy to their species, having had the uncommon forbearance to abstain from impairing the same in any degree by enjoying it themselves.
Without farther preface then, reader, give me leave to present to you Doctor Pandemus Polyglott, LL.D., Lugd. Bat. Olim. Soc., member of no end of societies, literary, and antiquarian, historical, philosophical, &c. &c. I would give you his tail of initials at full length, if it were not that I have generally found the dullest people take most pains in this behalf- and the Doctor is not dull —and, moreover, he has won by his pen a tail so considerable that it could not be doubled up in less than twice the space of that which the great Hero of the age, Wellington, has carved out with his sword, and which may be found occupying a good half page of the Army List. Besides, Dr. Polyglott is a liv. ing character; and though now as fine a specimen of an octogenarian as may be met with in a June day's march, yet he has not done winning to himself those bright scholarly honours which so