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WE present, with this number, a portrait of the poetess and journalist, ELIZA COOK, whose position in the world of letters is both honorable and well defined. First introduced to public notice by her poetry, she acquired a name which will be associated with those of Hood, Mackay and Elliott, more conspicuous for vigor and earnestness than for beauty. Her poems are remarkable for their life, and flowing and facile versification, and for the strong good sense with which they abound. Though sometimes delicate and tender, her muse more frequently delights in the sensible, the sarcastic or the humorous; much preferring to hit a foible than to disclose a beauty-to knock down a vice than to embellish a virtue. Some of her poems are peculiarly memorable in their way, and will not soon be got out of the remem

(brance of those who admire honest feeling and strong good sense.

Miss Cook has also figured largely, and with credit, as a journalist. She founded, and for many years conducted, a weekly periodical, Eliza Cook's Journal, which for variety, piquancy, and benevolent aim, hardly had a superior. It was, however, not appreciated; after a noble struggle, it fell; and since that time, the accomplished editor has not been much before the public. Her features disclose a masculine character, which her writings do not belie. Strength rather than beauty is her characteristic quality. On retiring she was afflicted with painful disWith the removal of that, it is to be hoped that her vigorous pen will resume its activity.

ease.

LORD PETER ROBERTSON.-Lord Peter Robertson, whose death is announced in the London papers, was one of the few intimate friends whom the late Mr. Lockhart, of the Quarterly, had in Scotland. They had known each other when both were young and briefless barristers, and the proud and sensitive Lockhart, who wished, it was said, after the death of his great father-in-law, Sir Walter Scott, to drop all acquaintance with Scotland, Abbotsford, and Scottish companions, preserved and cultivated the friendship of the jovial Patrick. There is a story current to

the effect that the latter, after perpetrating the enormous folly of writing and publishing

in his old age-two successive volumes of verse, happened to visit London and to dine with the editor of the Quarterly, to whom the second volume was dedicated. The bumorist had become unusually sentimental, and begged that, after his death, his host should honor him-not with a biographybut with an epitaph. Lockhart extemporized the following felicitous couplet:

Here lies the Christian, Judge and Poet Peter, Who broke the laws of God and man-and metre.

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to be regretted that virtue penalties as well as its pleasyself been a martyr to one of s: a martyr without any of artyrdom. Paul Pry's ex'he would never do a goodgain as long as he lived," ve phrase of unrequited kindwere not even acts of good

noved ambiguously upon the y I was comparatively happy. n I had taken a good house e habit of regularly paying began to be miserable. ay could I have been reputed ne knew my income. Secre

of my largest phrenological nd my affairs had always kept to myself. It was because I was in the habit lebts that I brought upon nalties of reputed wealth. argued that any one might se; but that to live in it, and one's debts, was proof that what is called a handsome

of the first painful conseuniversal desire to make I became suddenly appre

-, although myself could not, - marvellous proper man." compatible with my habits. ng my own selection; and ce. Mothers had sought ghters' sakes. In vain I attentions for which I e expected return. In vain hat I was really not a marry one whose overture was n enemy. "That so wealthy

or

a man should remain unmarried-it was a shame! Depend upon it there must be something wrong." Fortunately there was no tangible spot upon my character; but the usual machinery of "we would an' if we could," and "such ambiguous givings out" were put into requisition; and although nothing was said, it was taken for granted that a great deal might have been said, Mr. Blank would not have looked so serious, or have avoided the subject so pointedly as he had done." I had formed an innumerable speaking acquaintance at clubs, and libraries, and public places; and one of the great pleasures of my morning walk was to have a talk with them all; but now I was either coldly bowed to, or passed without notice. I was also designated as a shabby fellow, who had the means but not the inclination to be hospitable; and this was assumed merely because I had adopted the practice of paying my debts.

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The next evil consequence was, that I became the prey of every designing philanthropist. If I attended a religious or charitable gathering, to amuse myself by listening to some celebrated speaker, I was sure to be waited upon the next morning by one of the gentlemen who had done "the heavy business" of the previous day-usually a clerical young man in black, with a long neck carefully done up in hot-pressed white-who, referring to our very interesting meeting," had called for " the favor of a donation or subscription." Every Mrs. Jellaby who had concocted a pet scheme of piety or charity, after inflicting upon me the reading of a long prospectus and correspondence, "had no doubt she should have my countenance and support." The common-places to which I was doomed to listen, while they were read to me with all the aggravations of exagger ated emphasis, would of themselves have been a grievous affliction. "It is our duty to do

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fessor had made his so badly with his mea the threats of his cred lend him fifty pound come "the unhappy circumstances," he th he was pleased to 1 kindness and generos had eaten up his capi suppers and champa would not refuse to a sum to meet his Ch which I might depend three months and in

in the Gazette. If son usage or neglect, had he seemed to think it sonable that I should replacing it. If a bank obtained the situation asked to be his secu pounds; and in six mon Useless wives who ( husbands' gains)

Spent little-yet

-daughters, as they a who had been in afflu found their way to the the idle, the helpless, a purse was believed to habit of paying his deb California, merely beca

Shut, shut the do

was unavailing. It d when Pope himself was

Life became intolera no remedy for its evils establishment, and fly tinent.

Furniture, wine, hor of "bigotry and virtue, the hammer, with an e taneous. The opinion changed as by the p magician. It now held have had "much of a have been living upon admitted that, at any r habit of paying my deb

Of this, the last and quence was a long and

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ECLECTIC MAGAZINE

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From the Edinburgh Review.

CARDINAL MEZZOFANTI.*

THE Poet Ennius, if we believe the account of Aulus Gellius, was no little vain of his attainments as a linguist, and used to boast that "he had three hearts, because he was able to speak in three tongues, the Greek, the Latin, and the Oscan." What would the good old "Father" have said, if he had had Cardinal Mezzofanti for his there? It would be a curious physiological problem to determine what degree of physical development in the comparative scale suggested by his quaint illustration, should be taken to represent the faculty of language as it existed in this most wonderful linguist.

Unfortunately, the materials for a complete and satisfactory estimate of his character and attainments are scanty and difficult of access. The printed materials are for the

1. Esquisse Historique sur le Cardinal Mezzofan

ti. Par A. MANAVIT. Paris: 1853. 2. On the extraordinary Powers of Cardinal Mezzofanti as a Linguist. By THOMAS WATTS, Esq. [Proceedings of the Philological Society. January 23, 1852.] London: 1852.

3. Catalogo della Libreria dell' Eminentissimo Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti. Compilato per ordine di lingue, da Filippo Bonifazi, Librajo

Romano. Roma: 1851.

most part mere sketches, vague, declamatory, and often of very doubtful authenticity. M. Manavit's essay, the most recent and most ambitious of them all, is extremely meagre and barren of details; nor does it even attempt any thing like a philosophical analysis of the nature or the extent of the Cardinal's acquirements, considered ethnologically. Mr. Watts' short but able and scholarlike paper read before the Philological society, although it is far more valuable in this respect, and is exceedingly interesting as a collection of the fragmentary notices of Mezzofanti published by tourists and others during the several stages of his career, yet could not, from its very form, be expected to contain full particulars of his personal history. And, strange as it may seem, nothing deserving the name of a memoir, much less of a regular biography, has as yet appeared in Italy. It was understood for some time after the Cardinal's death, that his friend and successor in the charge of the Vatican Library, M. Laureani, was engaged in the preparation of an authentic memoir; and it is probable that this expectation (which has unhappily been frustrated by M. Laureani's death) may have deterred others from undertaking the

task. Probably, too, the unsettled condition | of affairs in Rome at the time of Mezzofanti's death, which occurred during the residence of the Papal Court at Gaeta, may have withdrawn public attention from what, in ordinary times, would have been a most memorable event. But, whatever may have been the occasion of this seemingly unaccountable neglect, we regret to say, that, with the exception of two or three slight and unsatisfactory notices, in the newspapers and critical journals of the time, the litera ture of his native country, of Bologna, the place of his birth; of Modena, Florence, and Naples, with all which he had long maintained the closest scientific, literary, and friendly relations; above all of Rome, where, for the last twenty years of his life, he was one of the most prominent notabilities, has not as yet produced a single record in any degree worthy of so distinguished a name.

periods, to arrange and classify the various grades of animal life which prevailed in each, and even to describe the structure and the habits by which they were respectively distinguished. It is true that in many cases the estimate of a man's attainments derived from a consideration of the books which he has collected, would be fallacious in the last degree. There are but too many who collect books for the mere collection sake, and with no higher or more practical object than that of placing them upon their shelves. But every one who knew Cardinal Mezzofanti, knows well that it was not so with him. The library which he hoarded his modest means to accumulate, was no idle show-room. It was the bonâ fide workshop in which he pursued his extraordinary vocation; and it may safely be taken as some gauge or measure of his linguistic attainments;-imperfect and inadequate it is true, because some of the languages or dialects with which he was familiar possess no printed literature at all, but, at least as far as it goes, perfectly trust

There is no branch of scholarship which has left fewer traces in literature, or has received a more scanty measure of justice from history, than the faculty of language. Viewed in the light of a curious but unpractical pursuit, it is admired for a time, and, perhaps, enjoys an exaggerated popularity; but it passes away like a nine days' wonder, and seldom finds a permanent record. Hence, while the literature of every country abounds with memoirs of distinguished poets, philosophers, and historians, few, even among professed antiquarians, have directed their attention to the history of eminent linguists, whether in ancient or in modern times. We had hoped that the case of Cardinal Mezzofanti, by suggesting the necessity of a comparison with other distinguished linguists, would have furnished to some of his biographers an occasion for the compilation of some such memoir; but it would seem as if the Cardinal's attainments have been considered by them all as completely beyond all idea of competition, and as if, in the eyes of his admirers, his fame had effectually eclipsed that of all his predecessors in the same department of study.

The interest, however, which attaches to such a career as that of Cardinal Mezzofanti is a thing entirely apart from the associations of friendship or of country. In one depart-worthy and reliable. ment of liberal study it is entirely without a parallel, and may well be regarded as among the most curious chapters in the annals of the human mind. It is impossible not to feel, that, independently of the interest which must attach to the personal history, of any man rising to literary eminence in the face of great difficulties, there is something in the very notion of Mezzofanti's peculiar accomplishment so completely without example, as not only to deserve a permanent record, but even to invite a minute and careful philosophical investigation. It will be easily understood, therefore, that we take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the publication of the Esquisse of M. Manavit, less for its own intrinsic value, than as a means of bringing the whole subject under the notice of our readers; availing ourselves not only of the materials collected by him and by Mr. Watts, but also of much additional information, partly gleaned from the Italian and German critical journals, partly derived from personal knowledge, and from other private, but perfectly credible sources. We have in cluded among our materials the catalogue of his limited, but exceedingly curious library. In itself it is a singularly inaccurate and unskilful compilation, and abounds with the strangest and most amusing blunders. But it is sufficiently correct to be employed as we propose; on a principle similar to that on which geologists undertake, from the vegetable remains of the several geological

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GIUSEPPE GASPARDO MEZZOFANTI was the son of an humble carpenter, and was born at Bologna, September 17, 1764. He was sent to one of the charity schools of his native city, and was destined by his father to follow his own trade, at which it is said that he actually worked in his early boyhood. Accord

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