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merchant. These six years were dragged on as a lengthened and galling chain; for his health, always weakly, was greatly impaired by constant confinement in damp and murky cellars. He was treated as a common servant, and taught no more than the porters of the establishment who were in the receipt of weekly wages.
It is necessary to remark, (says Mr. B.) that during this apprenticeship-this immuremennt in a London cavern-I stole an occasional half hour in a morning, between seven and eight o'clock, to look at the sky, breathe a little fresh air, and visit two book-stalls in the vicinity of my prison cave.' The rational food and medicine obtained from these sources, not only supported life, but furnished that information which enabled me to ascertain the seat of certain diseases which had long preyed on my frame, and threatened its dissolution. After purchasing and reading Chesseldon's * Anatomy,' Quincy's Dispensatory,' some " Treatises on Consumption,' Buchan's • Domestic Medicine,' Tissot’s ‘ Essay on Diseases incident to Sedentary People,' Cornaro 'on Health and Long Life,' and several other medical and anatomical works, I was flattered with the persuasion that I knew my own constitution, its diseases, and the regimen and medicines necessary to restore and preserve health. Dr. Dodd's 'Reflections sn Death,' his 'Thoughts in Prison,' and all his other writings, were familiar to me at this time : as were Ray's “Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation,' Derham's 'Astro and Physico Theology, as well as Benjamin Martin's numerous and pleasing writings on Natural and Experimental Philosophy. The miscelaneous works of Smollet, Fielding, Sterne, &c. were likewise perused with great avidity; but all the reading I could indulge in, during my term of legal English slavery, was by candle-light, in the cellar, and at occasional intervals only, not of leisure, but of time abstracted from systematic duties. To compensate for this time, I was compelled to labour with additional exertion, and to adopt the most rapid modes of performing my tasks. To bottle off, and cork, a certain number of dozens of wine, was required to constitute a day's work, and this I could generally accomplish in ten or eleven hours, and I then had three or four hours for my favourite pursuit of reading. Unacquainted with any literary or scientific persons before I had reached my twentieth year, my studies, or rather bookislı amusements, were very desultory and miscellanecus. They were not directed to any particular object, and were consequently unavailable to any useful end. Towards the termination of my apprenticeship, I fortunately became acquainted, in my morning walks, with a person who was wholly employed in, and obtained a very respectable livelihood by, painting the figures, &c. on watch faces. He was fond of books, had purchased many volumes, and as his business did not require any exertion of thought, he could listen to the reading of others, or enter into conversation, without discontinuing his usual occupation. This person was my first, and principal, or, indeed, my only mentor and guide. He lent and bought me books, and gave me useful and judicious advice. His name is Essex : he is yet living, and, i hope, happy; for he was an industrious and well-informed man. He always seemed to me to be a sound philosopher, inasmuch as he practised the precepts he inculcated, and afforded a most exemplary pattern to a large family, whom he reared and educated respectably. At Mr. Essex's shop I became acquainted with Dr. Tower3 and Mr. BRAYLEY ; and to the latter gentleman I am more indebted for literary acquirements, and literary practice, than to any other person. He, however, was articled to a mechaui, cal trade, but was neither so much mor so irksomely occupied as myself. He read with avility, and early evinced literary talents botb in prose and verse. It is a curious fact, that we entered into 'partnership’ to publish a single ballad or song, which was written by Mr. Brayley, and intituled 'The Guinea Pig.' It was allusive to the passing of an act to levy one guinea per head on every person who used hair--powder. Though ridiculous in the extreme,- for so the author himself characterises it, as a poetical effort,-it was printed on a fine wire-wove paper,'-a novelty in this class of literature, and charged 'one penny' Many thousands were sold; for notwithstanding that this song was entered at Stationers' Hall,'one Evans, a noted printer of ballads in Long Lane, pirated our property, and his itinerant retailers of poetry and music hawked and sung it all over the metropolis. Whilst the sale was yet rife, Evans declared that he had sold upwards of 70,000copies. A choice paper impression of this ballad, which has a wood-cut, from one of Bewick's Pigs, at the top, will be sought for as an extra rare' curiosity, by some confirmed Biblio-maniac, at no remote period. Strange as may appear, it may be safely affirmed that to this junction and circumstance are to be attributed the Beauties of Wiltshire,' the ‘Beauties of England and Wales,'thç Architectural' and Cathedral Antiquities,' the History, &c. of Westminster Abbey,' as well as all the other works that have heen jointly and separately written by us. On the present occasion, however, I must forbear entering further into auto-biography, fearing that the narrative might be regarded as trifling or egotistical; although the vicissitudes I experienced, after being released from my cell,- the privations I endured-my pedestrian journey from London to Plymouth and back-my predilection for theatrical amusements, and for reading and debating societies, and my occupations in wine cellars, counting-houses, and law otfices, would collectively afford a series of not uninteresting events and subjects, both for reflection and for description.
Mr. Britton then goes on to relate the origin and progress of the various important works in which he was subsequently engaged. By contributing occasionally to the Sporting Magazine he was introduced to the knowledge of the proprietor of that journal, who secured his assistance in the completion of a topographical work entitled “ The Beauties of Wiltshire.' The Architectural Antiquities, consisting of four volumes, quarto, with 278 engravings, cost 8,0001. The work was in progress nine years and two months. The Cathedral Antiquities has cost its proprietors no less than 10,0001. The narrative concludes with the following expression of honourable triumph, for which, as a stimulus to such as may be treading in Mr. Britton's steps, we shall endeavour to find room :
I consider myself both rich and happy-my riches consist in paying my way, exemption from debt, in having many comforts around me, particularly a large library, well stored with the highest treasure of intellect in literary composition and graphic execution, and in a conviction, that the remainder of my life will enable me to increase these comforts, and even to obtain a few luxuries. Possessing a disposition to regard every feature of Nature with admiration, and to derive delight from every page in her immense volume of genius and of wisdom ; partial to Årt, in her various departments of painting, sculpture, architecture, and engraving; still more interested in, and fascinated by, the writings of our best authori. it would be strange if these sources did not add to, if not wholly constitute, happs, ness. An affectionate and amiable wife, the esteem of many good and estimable men, an intimacy, I hope friendship, with several eminent and distinguished personages, are, with me, additional grounds for happiness. It is commonly said, that envy and jealousy belong to, and tend to degrade, the literary character. From my own feelings and experience, I can safely say, that authorship is more exempt from these degrading passions, than many other professions. I envy no one, hate no one, and pity and forgive those who have harboured such ignoble feelings towards me.
This pleasing narrative is marked throughout with obvious traits of good feeling and good taste, and we cannot but congratulate Mr. B. most cordially on the otium cum dignitate to which he has at length attained: May all persons of equal worth, industry, and talents, be similarly rewarded, CHIT-CHAT, LITERARY AND MISCELLANEOUS.
Some of the late numbers of Blackwood's Magazine, and more especially those for September, October, and November have, we happen to know, been the means of increasing the circulation of that periodical very materially ; since January last its sale has been augmented nearly nine hundred copies. The New Monthly has also, we believe, been gaining ground, but in nothing like the same proportion. Mr. Lockhart will edite the next number of the Quarterly Review.
A very marvellous story is now upon its travels through the London and provincial press, respecting the arrest of Sheridan's corpse on the day of his funeral, and one journal has even gone so far as to offer to show up the monsters who have been guilty of so flagrant a violation of common decency. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to say, that this tragic narrative is an idle and clumsy fabrication. Every country attorney can attest the fact, that a dead body cannot be arrested on any plea whats soever; and what is more, that there never has existed a law authorizing such a procedure. We believe that Mrs. Opie, in one of her slip-slop novels, introduces such an incident, but we know of no more satisfactory authority.
A challenge from the renowned Rob Roy to the Duke of Montrose, defying him to mortal combat, was recently found (says the Newcastle Chronicle), among some papers in Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh.
The Viscount S. Lourenço who published, six years ago, a Portuguese translation of Pope's Essay on Man, with an immense number of annotations, in various lan. guages, which was printed with great magnificence, in three volumes, 4to. has since published at Paris, a Portuguese translation of Milton's Paradise Lost, in two volumes, 8vo.
M. Velpeau lately read a memoir to the Royal Academy of Medicine at Paris, tending to prove that if the pustules of the small-pox are cauterized within the two first days of their appearance, they die away entirely; and if this be done even later, their duration is abridged, and no traces of them are left. The caustic he employs is a solution of nitrate of silver, in which he dips a probe, with which he pierces the centre of each pustule.
The Monthly Magazine formerly edited by Sir R. Phillips, and purchased of him about a year ago by Messrs. Cox and Baylis is about to be regenerated. The object of the proprietors seems to be to put it as far as in their power on a par with other periodicals,—to infuse a larger portion of the essence of general Literature into those pages which constitute the first and most prominent division of the work, and to vary the graver subjects of Political Economy, Statistics, Chemistry, and Experimental Philosophy, after the mode of their more modern contemporaries, with Original Papers, either humorous, historical, or pathetic, interspersed with lively or acute disquisitions on Poetry, and the Belles-Lettres.' Hitherto this publication has been supported, like St. George's Hospital, by voluntary contribuîions, but henceforth writers of talent and eminence will, we understand, be engaged, and no expense spared to give it the same advantages as are possessed by another leading periodical of the same class. Politics will, we are glad to hear, be carefully excluded. The new Series will commence with the ensuing month.
It is almost imposible for an author to write the memoirs of such a man as the late John Kemble (provided always the biography has authenticity to recommend it) without producing an interesting book. Accordingly there is much to amuse and delight us in Mr. Boaden's life of his celebrated friend, although as a composition the book is contemptible. Mr. B. has we perceive the life of Mrs. Siddons in the press.
There are no less than three Boswells busy in preparing lives of that virulent old pedant Dr. Parr. From this man's gross insincerity when writing to his literary and learned friends much sport is expected. We have heard from pretty good authority that there are many of his letters extant, dated on the same day, containing characters of the same individual as different from each other as light from dark; so that whilst Mr. So-and-So may be represented in one of his • lives' as one of the most tasteful and accomplished scholars of the age, he may expect to find himself designated in another as one of the most ignorant and tasteless of dolts. We trust the periodical press will forget the absurd adage of De mortuis
nihil nisi bonum,' and do its duty by the posthumous venom of this rancorous old pedagogue.
A loom has recently been made, at Lyons, for silk weaving, which has many advantages. It is composed of five stages ; and the mechanism, which is simple, allows one man to weave five pieces at the same time. It has been examined by the Commissioners from the Academy of Lyons. The inventor is M. Lebrun, and the Academy intend to confer a gold medal on him. By this loom a saving will be made of four-fifths in the expense of labour.
The North Pole mania and Parry humbug is, we are glad to see, upon the wane. If Messrs. Croker and Barrow send out any more expeditions for the gratification of their own idle curiosity, let the expenses be disbursed from their own enormous salaries. What possible good can arise from the mere knowledge of the fact that Captain Parry has discovered a northern passage, if that discovery can never be made available to any useful purpose ; and if Captain Parry, with every adventitious aid which the Admiralty has been able to afford him, has found it impossible to accomplish the object of his expedition, is it likely, if they do at length hit upon an outlet that merchantmen can ever be expected to avail themselves of the discovery without encountering great difficulties and dangers. It seems, however, that Mr. Murray is about to publish another quarto on the subject, entitled an Appendix to Captain Parry's Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North West Passage.
Sir Richard Phillips's knack of vamping up scissors-and-paste publications, and foisting them on the public by means of striking names, and the grossest system of puffing, is well known. It seems that the Godfathers to most of the Knight's recent vamps of this class are Messrs. Knight and Lacy, (still a Knight in the firm), hence the rubbish entitled Anecdotes of Westminster Hall; Anecdotes of Law Anecdotes of Music; Remarkable Trials; and a variety of publications of similar value; advertised in the provincial newspapers under the catching title of Cona temporary Literature. The country gentlemen may be gulled by such announcements, but we question if they answer Sir Richard's purpose after all. Theplan, however, of advertising in such a manner as to make it appear that the puff is the spantaneous production of the newspaper editor cannot be a bad one, or rather we should say, an unsuccessful one, since Mr. Colburn (whose authority on all matters connected with puffing, is paramount), has adopted it. Some more of the kind of rubbish to which we have alluded, entitled the Reign of Terror, is, we perceive, announced for publication. Dr. Brickbat (as John Bull calls him) is, it would appear, busily employed in vamping for the Knight and his coadjutors.
Mr. Webb, of Providence, United States, has had occasion to observe that glo. bules of water and air were by no means unfrequent in specimens of amethyst, which came under his eye. Many of them were highly interesting from the size of the globule or portion of liquid, the form of the cavity containing it, the exhibition of double refraction through the crystal which it afforded, &c. He remarks, that most of these specimens were found among such as had been rejected on account of being too pale for good cabinet specimens, and thinks it probable that good specimens are continually neglected for want of sufficient and close examination.
It is said that a new edition of Mr. Campbell's Selections from the British Poets is preparing for publication. We trust, if this be the case, that he will change some of his extracts, and correct the many errors with which the work abounds in its present state, We wish Mr. C. would publish his volume of criticism and biography and separate, for that portion of the book is really valuable, proceeding as it does from the pen of one of the first poets of the age. The selections we con. sider on the whole very unhappy.
A Life of Wolfe is announced uniform with Southey's Nelson, but not by the same author, as the bookseller would fain have it appear. Mr. Southey has other fish to fry. He is preparing for the press Dialogues on Various Subjects, and a new volume of his admirable History of the Peninsular War is expected to appear almost immediately.
The Rev. H. H. Milman has a dramatic poem nearly ready for publication, entitled “ Anna Boleyn.' Report speaks of this poem as the chef d'ouvre of its amiable and celebrated author.
The fourth volume of Mr. Stewart Rose's lively translation of Aristo is about to make its appearance. There can be no doubt but that this admirable version, judging from what we have seen of it, will supersede the wretched trash by Hoole, which has so long, for want of something better, kept possession of the market. The very circumstance of Hoole's having chained down the airy spirit of Ariosto, to his corpse-like couplets, instead of adopting the suitable stanza of his original, ought to have damned his labours from the moment of their first publication. Sir John Harrington is to Ariosto what Fairfax is to Tasso, both as regards the measure of his verse and the quaintness of his style; but the comparison can be car. ried no further, for there is a great deal of genuine poetry in Fairfax, although there is little or none in Sir John.-Mr. Rose has wisely adopted the ottava rima in his translation of Ariosto ; and Mr. Wiffen has with equal good taste employed the stanza of Spenser, in his version of Tasso. Both these works, but more especially the latter, reflect the highest credit upon the literature of the age.
The author of a sprightly little volume, entitled Warreniana, a Mr. Deacon, formerly editor of Gold and Northouses's' London Magazine, is, we understand, about to publish a series of Tales, entitled November Nights.
There is now in the division of Hunsley Beacon, in Yorkshire, a folio edition of the Scriptures, in French, printed at Geneva in 1693; revised and compared with the Hebrew and Greek texts, by the pastors and professors of the Church of Geneva. It is in a state of the highest preservation. The preface is written by Calvin.
A Steam Vessel, on an entirely new principle, is now building at Bridport harbour. It is not to be propelled by paddle-wheels, but by the retrograde motion of short flaps, which work horizontally in the sides of the vessel, progressing at the rate of twenty-four foot in a second, on a parallel line with the water. When the flap, or rather fin, has finished its motion, it rises out of the water and repeats its operation, by rushing through a space of eighteen feet along the side of the vessel. Boilers are dispensed with, and the steam generated by forcing water into a double barrel, by the heat of which it is easily converted into steam, having all the advantage of the perpetual boiler without its incumbrance.
It is stated in a letter from Rome, that important discoveries of antiquities have been made at Tusculum. Not only has an ancient theatre been found, but the streets leading to it have been cleared. An aqueduct, a public fountain, baths, vases, a head of Jupiter, other marble ornaments, elegant paintings in fresco, and and other precious objects have been brought to light.
The most absurd nonsense seems to find translators at the present day. Tassoni's silly poem La Secchia Rapita ; or the Rape of the Bucket, is we are told about to be translated by a Mr. Atkinson.
Mr. Pettigrew, librarian to the Duke of Sussex, announces for publication an Historical and Descriptive Catalogue of his Royal Highness's Library, with Biographical Notices of the most eminent Printers, Editors, Engravers, &c. It has been often said that bibliomaniacs often collect such books as they have the least occasion for. This accounts, we suppose, for his Royal Highness's having nearly all the editions ever printed of the Bible.
Mrs. Shelley, the authoress of that monstrous literary abortion, Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus, is, we understand, about to produce another Raw-headand-bloody-bones, called " The Last Man.' There is, we believe a novel already published, entitled Omegarius, or the Last Man, a bantling of the Leadenhall press ; a fact which might have spared Mr. Campbell the trouble of writing his long letter to the editor of the Edinburgh Review, on the subject of the originality of the conception of his Last Man.
Poor Mrs. Belzoni's subscription gets on very slowly. It is disgraceful to the national taste, that whilst a subscription of nearly five thousand pounds can be raised in a few weeks for the family of a deceased actor of low comedy and farce, one thousand pounds cannot be collected for the widow of a man who has done so much for science as poor Belzoni. Mr. Brockeden the painter has, we hear, liberally presented Mrs. B. with the entire proceeds of the sale of his spirited portrait of M. Belzoni.
A charter, incorporating the Royal Society of Literature has passed the Great Seal.
The authors of the Rejected Addresses have announced a new work (not, we trust, a fresh gathering from the New Monthly,) for early publicat ion.