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tions of one of our inside passengers, (a lady, who, truth to say, had been rather scurvily treated by some of our brother Whips), who repeatedly declared, and subsequently permitted our Proprietor to mention it in his advertisements, that ours was the coach of coaches, the only vehicle in which a Blue of any distinction could set her foot!
To be less metaphorical, and somewhat more intelligible, Teucer and I found, to our cost, that there was in these days no way of conciliating contributors of the slightest pretensions, without addressing ourselves to their pockets, and proposing to remunerate them handsomely, according to the extent of service performed. We, therefore, resolved to pursue a very different plan from the one by which we had hitherto been guided. We proposed to engage writers of some reputation in the literary world, however small, and thus endeavour to effect, by the promulgation of their names, what their positive talents might not have enabled us to accomplish. In some instances we were content with becoming the lessee of a popular name, to which we forthwith affixed a prosing paper prepared for the occasion. The effect was all that could have been desired. The production was voted admirable. No sooner was the author mentioned than
How the wit sparkled,-how the sense refined ! It is now that I have to mention an occurrence which fell like a wet blanket upon my editorial hopes. Just at the period when my services were most in request, a sudden blight overtook my faculties, which rendered me inadequate to the production of a single line, either of prose or verse, without the most distressing elaboration. Is my reader addicted to dreams? If so, cannot he call to mind some vision of fear, in which, just as he was about to be despatched by half-a-dozen ruffians (such for instance as Mrs. Radcliffe's Spalatro), and he attempted to make his situation known as far as his strength of lungs would permit, he discovered, to his infinite horror, that his voice had deserted him when he had most need of it, and that his yell of murder and thieves' dwindled into a genteel drawingroom whisper. Such was the calamitous situation to which I found myself reduced. Many a time since this afflicting deprivation, have I poked out my fire and snuffed out my candle, (nothing assists the mind more effectually in the parturition either of prose or poetry than poking the fire and snuffing the candle), in the attempt to produce the most trivial Editorial paragraph, or ' notice to a correspondent,' my genius had undergone a complete sterilization. I had no longer the pen of a ready writer. My capabilities had suffered an untimely frost. There was a polar winter in my pericranium, which I vainly endeavoured to thaw. I took an occasional bumper to assist me in my cogitations, but this only made confusion more confounded.' I grew nervous and discomposed.
Megrims invested my belaurelled skull,
Spleen laid embargoes on my appetite! I was no longer the happy Editor I had once been. The prodigious increase of my duties just at the moment when I was least capable of performing them; their recurrence month after month, without the most distant prospect of alleviation, began to weary out my patience, and a thousand disagreeable sensations took the place of those feelings of ardent satisfaction with which I had begun my career. Add to this the provoking civility of my printer, who was eternally inflicting upon me his calculations as to the precise period at which he should be 'standing' for want of food
for his insatiable presses. At every ring of the bell I started with nervous apprehension, lest it should be a • devil' sent to importune me for a fresh supply of copy; and even in my walks the image of this my evil genius seemed to follow me like my
shadow. Nor did the return of night afford me any respite; when I sought refuge in sleep from the oppressive cares to which my waking hours were subjected, the appalling words · ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS, • Reviews,' and More Copy,' (the latter in characters terrible as those which appalled the voluptuous Belshazzar, and much more easily to be deciphered), seemed to glitter in letters of petrifying brilliancy on the foot curtains of my bed. It was in vain that I attempted to close my eyes ; for no sooner had I began to dose, than a thousand spectres, arrayed in blurred sheets of the Magazine, were passing like Banquo's line of ghosts, in appalling review before my eyes. Even the pug face that surmounted the knocker of my door seemed, whenever I entered, to put on the looks of my tormentor, grin horribly a ghastly smile,' and extend its supplicating jaws for Articles for my pen! Fortunately, I had by me, ready cut and dried, a few papers, the fruits of happier hours, which I husbanded as well as I was able ; taking care, that they might last the longer, to distribute them at respectful distances from each other,
Like angels visits few and far between. When this my cruise of oil and measure of meal shall be exhausted, heaven only knows what is to become of me; abdication from my editorial throne is the only alternative that will remain to me. My last article is now in the press; but I cannot take my final leave of that public by whom I have been fostered and encouraged, without endeavouring to justify myself as far as may be in their sight, I have, therefore, committed to paper the foregoing memoranda to be published, and read when I shall be numbered with departed Editors.
I saw her in the morn of life-the summer of her years,
NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
JANUS; or, the Edinburgh Literary Almanack.—Oliver and Boyd.
Post 8vo. p. p. 544 The Prospectus of this long-looked for volume promised that its contents should be of a very different order from those of other annual publications, and we must admit that this pledge has been most piously redeemed; for the dullest and least meritorious of the works to which the projectors of the Janus appeared so contemptuously to allude, will be found to contain matter of a far more interesting character than is to be met with in their muchvaunted publication; to say nothing of the variety of splendid illustrations which are included for the same price as they have the conscience to ask for their periodical. We are forced in some degree into this comparison by the pompous pretensions with which the volume has been ushered before the public. For our own parts, we confess that we did expect a book of very different description, both as it regards style and matter, from the tone of self-gratulation with which it was announced some months ago. We supposed, naturally enough, that it would be an agreeable miscellany, consisting for the most part of light and elegant literature, here and there interspersed with an essay, on some 'subject of permanent interest.' We looked, in fact, for a beau ideal of a volume of Blackwood's Magazine, steering alternately
grave gay, from lively to severe. Instead of this however we have upwards of five hundred pages of lumbering essays on education,' the rise and decline of nations,' “ beauty,' ' antiquity,' 'medals,' the study of history,' action and thought, religion,' 'country life,' 'prosperity,' pins,' “poetry,' and the like ! Who in the name of taste can be expected to wade through a series of tedious and elaborate articles upon such trite, old-world subjects. Then there is a perpetual hankering after German sentiment and German literature which is really absolutely sickening. The philosophy of the book is German, even the graver articles are full of German metaphysics, and those which are meant to be of a lighter character are, for the most part, either translated from the German, or constructed upon German models. Out of about twenty copies of verses ten are translated from the German, the rest being with some four or five exceptions, versions from the Latin, Dutch, French, and Gallic. A considerable portion of the prose is also either translated from, or founded on, German productions, and partakes largely of the dulness and dreaminess of its origin. But we shall waive general criticism and give our readers a brief analysis of the contents of the book.
The Hints Concerning the Universities extend to no less than forty-three pages. This essay sets out with praises of Mr. Brougham for his activity in promoting the establishment of Mechanics' Institutes, and designates all opponents to the learned gentleman's system as `hypocrites' who have a base desire to uphold, at the expense of ignorance and degradation, something felt to be incapable of standing its ground were the light fairly let in upon it.' After twaddling through upwards of forty pages, the illuminatus who is the author of this article makes some very important discoveries, viz. that the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge educated more young men in
former days than now; that they ought to receive a great many more students than they do; that the Scotch Universities are very admirable institutions; and, finally, that a comparatively small proportion of the clergymen of England have enjoyed the advantages of a college education. These are important discoveries, although we suspect they will not greatly interest the purchasers of Christmas presents. But to proceed :
Church Service for the ordeal by Fire is merely a skreed out of some old Chronicler ; Specimens of the Rabinical Apologue are curious without being in the smallest degee interesting; and the four Sonnets from the German of Gluck are, with one exception, indifferent specimens of a very indifferent poet.
The Thoughts on Bores is intended to be very witty, and is no doubt what it professes to be, if one could but see the gist of it. It informs us that the art of boring with smiths and carpenters, and such persons, is defined to be piercing through and through with a sharp instrument.' This, observes our wag, could hardly be accomplished upon • sentient beings without pain-such as a person of sensibility feels when bored to death!' The lively author then goes on to describe various bores, and proses through thirty-eight pages without seeming in the slightest degree conscious that he himself is the ne plus ultra of literary bores !
Maxims from Goethe, such as There is no hair so little that it casts no shade,' Leaves, a series of paragraphs, consisting of such novel and edifying apothegms as live to learn, and learn to live,' precede an article twenty-four pages in length, entitled The Rise and Decline of Nations, in which is discussed with much earnestness the causes of their greatness and decay, in a style of argument weighty enough to sink a seventy-four gun ship.
Of Old Freezland Proverbs, from a work by Jacob Kenrik Hoeufft, the the first is
Old gold, old hay, old bread
Stands one in good stead. The twenty-eight other examples are pretty much of the same character.
Moustache, the adventures of the dog of the Regiment, is borrowed from a well known French work, entitled Anecdotes du dix neuvieme siecle ; but the story is Englished pleasantly enough, and forms an agreeable contrast to the leaden papers by which it is surrounded.
After The Jews of Worms, a scrap translated from Busching, and Marco Bozzaris a splendid poem extracted from the columns of the New Times, comes a long essay on the Prime Objects of Government, of which, as we have not read a syllable, we cannot pretend to form any opinion. Dante and Milton and Napoleon are well written articles. The latter we rather suspect we have met with before. Antipathies--Poetry and Prose~Brown on Beauty-Antiquity-New Buildings at Cambridge--Study of History --Influence of Luxury on Religion- Action and Thought-Effects of growing Prosperity-Nedals--are all sensibļe well written essays, but by no means likely to attract in a work which professes to aim at the lighter graces of English literature. Several of them indeed are so dull as to be perfectly unreadable, excepting as a task.
Among the papers which are likely to please the general reader, we may mention the Preface to any New Work; Saturday night in the Manse, (which has much of the quaint but admirable humour of Galt) Daniel Cathie, the Tobacconist, which although a little too broad occasionally, is
not destitute of humour ; The Bohemian Gardener, a very tolerable story, founded on a popular legend which has been less successfully handled by Tieck and Runenbergh; Miles Atherton, a little sketch after the style of the Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life; and the Transport, an incident apparently a poduction of the same pen.
The poetry is for the most part dreary beyond all conception. The Lines to the Spirit of Health ; the Monody on Lord Byron, from Muller; and the little poem from the German of Gluck, are, however, beautiful, and seem to have proceeded from no unpractised pen,
But we have exhausted our limits. The Janụs is, on the whole, one of the dullest publications professing to amuse as well as edify, that ever sent a vigilant reader to sleep. It is said that the opium eater has contributed largely to its pages, and in good truth we suspect he has; for the book is soporific enough to have been written entirely by him. There are no plates, but the type and paper are tolerable. It was industriously reported some months ago, that Messrs. Lockhart and Wilson would edite this publication. It is hardly necessary to say that there is no foundation for such a rumour. The Scotch newspapers tell us also that Mr, Coleridge is a contributor, but they should have added, that it is Mr. Hartley Coleridge and not the poet Coleridge.
The Beauties of Wiltshire displayed, in Statistical, Historical, and
Descriptive Sketches, interspersed with Anecdotes of the Arts, By John BRITTON, Esq. F. S. A. Vol. 3, 8vo. Longman and Co.
This volume is a portion of a work of which the preceding parts were published twenty-five years ago; and we notice it more for the sake of the interesting auto-biographical memoir prefixed to it, than on account of its peculiar merits, and they are undoubtedly great, as the topography of an important tract of country. Mr. Britton has earned for himself a reputation which is alone sufficient to recommend any production of his pen to the patronage of the public, without those adventitious aids which less for tunate authors are compelled to court. To account, in some measure, for the extraordinary delay which has occurred in the completion of his Beauties of Wiltshire, Mr. B. has presented us with one of the most interesting auto-biographical sketches we everr emember to have met with, It breathes a spirit of manly independence and candour which is the charm of compositions of this class, and is well calculated to serye the useful purpose of stimulating youthful aspirants to seek that distinction which is only open to the persevering and honourable minded lover of literature, Mr, Britton was born at Kingston, St. Michael, in 1771, of poor but respectable parents. He was placed successively at four rustic schools, but of so illiterate a character that he does not remember to have seen a book in any of them of any other description than Fenning's and Dyche's Spelling Books, Æsop's Fables, the Bible, and two or three Dictionaries, 'I do not recollect,' he says, 'that I ever beheld a newspaper before I was fifteen, nor did I ever hear of a magazine, review, or any kind of book, but a few novels which my elder sister occasionally abtained from the neighbouring town of Chippenhąm. His father and mother having died under adverse circumstances, and their orphans having been turned out upon the wide world, young Britton was, at the age of fifteen, placed with an uncle in London, who apprenticed him for six years to a wine