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of the world, he was an amiable and excellent man. To his knowledge of Arabic chiefly were we indebted for our own liberation from the deserts. Mr. C. took passage for England. My stay at Alexandria was rendered more pleasant by the hospitality and attentions of Mr. Lee, the consul, which every traveller experiences in an eminent degree. Christmas day was celebrated at his house by a large party and an excellent entertainment, and it passed most agreeably. Yet the weather felt so chill in the afternoon, it being January, that we were glad to assemble round the fire. Intending to proceed to Palestine and Syria, I engaged a passage in a vessel of the latter country bound to Saide.
SPECIMENS OF A PATENT POCKET DICTIONARY.
For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words.
Oak.-A tree celebrated for affording concealment to King Charles, and illustration to Mr. Fitz-Gerald.
Ode, Birth-day-See any Poet-Laureate but the present. Omen. The imaginary language of Heaven speaking by signs. Oracle.-The same, speaking by human mouths, but both now become invisible and dumb.
Ostentation. The real motive of many who wear the disguise of hospitality, and invite their guests-"To choke them with envy, not fill them with meat."
Partridge. A bird to which the squirearchy are so strangely attached, that they will shoot, trap, and transport their fellow-creatures for the pleasure of destroying it themselves.
Pavement.-An old offender, now in the very act of being taken up and knocked on the head by Mr. Macadam, who may truly say with Macbeth" The very stones prate of my whereabout.”
Pawky.-A Scotch word that deserves to be made English, denoting the character of the Scotch nation.
Peace. A cessasion of those wholesale murders which prevail during three quarters of every century in this enlightened æra, and which are sanctioned and inculcated by all Christian governments under the name of War.
Pedant.-A man so absurdly ignorant as to be vain of his knowledge. Pen. The silent mouthpiece of the mind, which gives ubiquity and immortality to the evanescent thought of a moment.
Party-spirit.-A species of mental vitriol which we keep to squirt against others, but which in the mean time irritates, corrodes, and poisons our own mind.
Physiognomy. The character written upon the face by the hand of the Deity.*
Port-Wine-According to Mr. Brummel's definition, "6 a strong intoxicating liquor much drunk by the lower orders."
* Or, of the Devil.-Editor.
Press.-The steam-engine of moral power, which, directed by the spirit of the age, will eventually crush imposture, superstition, and tyranny.
Prize. Do not see Lottery.
Prophet.-One who in times past made us a present of the future. Quack. A man who only wants a diploma to make him a regular physician.
Quart.-Rather more than a pint, according to the bottle conjurors of the wine trade.
Quaker.-A drab-coloured Christian, who uses the second person in his discourse, but generally takes good care of number one in his practice.
Quibble, Quirk, Quiddit, Quillet.-See Law Proceedings.
Reason. The proud prerogative which confers upon man the exclusive power of acting irrationally.
Reform. An adaptation of institutions to circumstances and knowledge, demanded as a right by all who are suffering wrongs, and only abused by those who are fattening upon abuse.
Renown.-Being known to those who do not know us.
Review. A work that overlooks the publications it professes to look over, and judges of books by their authors, not of authors by their books.
Rhyme. Often a substitute for poetry, and an antithesis to reason. Ring.—A circular link put through the snouts of swine and upon the finger of women, to hold them both in subjection.
Romance. Using men and women instead of birds and beasts for the construction of an improbable fable.
Royalty. Solitary imprisonment in a crowded court-selling yourself for a crown, and subjecting yourself to slavery in order that you may enslave your subjects.
Satire.-Attacking the vices and follies of others instead of reforming our own.
Saw. A sort of dumb alderman, which gets through a great deal by the activity of its teeth.
Scandal. The tattle of fools and malignants, who judge of their neighbours by themselves.
Sceptre. The plaything of an imperial puppet.
Sleep. The death of the living.
Spinster-An unprotected female, and of course a fine subject for exercising the courage of cowards and the wit of the witless.
Taste. An imaginary standard, like that of Fashion, on whose capricious changes the most thoughtless bestow the most thought.
Tavern. A house kept for those who are not housekeepers. Tinder.-A thin rag, such for instance as the dresses of modern females, intended to catch the sparks, raise a flame, and light up a match.
Tomb.-A house built for a skeleton-a covering of sculptured marble provided for dust and corruption.
Tongue. The mysterious membrane that turns thought into sound, supplying us at the same time with food for the body, refreshment for the mind, and music for the ear.
Trustee. One to whom recent example shows us we should have an eye if we mean him to be trusty.
Turnpikeman.-Generally a wretch who either robs you on the king's highway, or makes detected knavery an excuse for brutal insolence. Vanity. Another word for the whole fleeting pageant of human existence.
Vapour. An impalpable emanation from a simple fluid, which promises to be an eventual substitute for human and animal muscles, and to carry on the whole business of the world that depends upon phy ́sical power.
Ugliness. An advantageous stimulus to the mind, that it may make up for the deficiencies of the body.
Umbrella. An article which by the morality of society you may steal from friend or foe, and which for the same reason you should not lend to either.
Vice.-Miscalculation; obliquity of moral vision; temporary mad
Voice.-Echo is the only instance of a voice without a body, whereas three parts of our unrepresented population are bodies without a voice. Usury, Law of.--Punishing a man for making as much as he can of his money, although he is freely allowed to make as much money as he can.
"The fittest they the peace to keep
Who have not any power to break it,
And bear a staff, but never shake it,
When they somnambulise at night."
Watering Places.-Sundry barren, shingly, chalky spots upon the coast, disfigured with frail lath and plaster bow-windowed tenements, which being supplied with scanty white dimity curtains, a few rickety chairs and tables, and some knotty featherless featherbeds, are considered to be furnished. Hither thousands resort during the six weeks of an English summer, to ride in an impr species of wheelbarrow drawn by jaded donkies or ponies, to sit on the pebbles and pelt them into the sea, to catch cold by walking on wet sands, to lose money in raffles, and enjoy at least one pleasant morning-that on which they return to London.
Wedding. A tragi-comic meeting compounded of favours, footmen, faintings, farewells, prayers, parsons, plum-cake, rings, refreshments, bottles, blubberings, God bless ye's, and gallopings away in a postchaise and four.
Wine.-See British compounds.
Yawning. An infectious sensation of weariness which a writer sometimes catches from the reader, when, if both parties desire to open their mouths leisurely, they cannot do better than shut the book.
OLD ENGLISH WRITERS AND SPEAKERS.
WHEN I see a whole row of standard French authors piled up on a Paris book-stall to the height of twenty or thirty volumes, shewing their mealy coats to the sun, pink, blue, and yellow, they seem to me a wall built up to keep out the intrusion of foreign letters. There is scarcely such a thing as an English book to be met with, unless perhaps a dusty edition of Clarissa Harlowe lurks in an obscure corner, or a volume of the Sentimental Journey perks its well-known title in your face. But there is a huge column of Voltaire's works complete in sixty volumes, another (not so frequent) of Rousseau's in seventy, Racine in ten volumes, Moliere in about the same number, La Fontaine, Marmontel, Gil Blas for ever-Madame Sevigny's Letters, Pascal, Montesquieu, Crebillon, Marivaux, with Montaigne, Rabelais, and the grand Corneille more rare, and eighteen full-sized volumes of La Harpe's criticism towering vain-gloriously in the midst of them, furnishing the streets of Paris with a graduated scale of merit for all the rest, and teaching the very garçons-perruquiers how to measure the length of each act of each play by a stop-watch, and to ascertain whether the angles at the four corners of each classic volume are right ones. How climb over this lofty pile of taste and elegance, to wander down into the bogs and wastes of English or of any other literature, "to this obscure and wild ?" Must they "on that fair mountain leave to feed, to batten on this moor?" Or why should they? Have they not literature enough of their own and to spare, without coming to us? Is not the public mind crammed, choked with French books, pictures, statues, plays, operas, newspapers, parties, and an incessant farrago of words, so that it has not a moment left to look at home into itself or abroad into nature? Must they cross the Channel to increase the vast stock of impertinence, to acquire foreign tastes, suppress native prejudices, and reconcile the opinions of the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews? It is quite needless. There is a project at present entertained in certain circles to give the French a taste for Shakspeare. They should really begin with the English. Many of their own best authors are neglected; others, of whom new editions have been printed, lie heavy on the booksellers' hands. It is by an especial dispensation of Providence that languages wear out; as otherwise we should be buried alive under a load of books and knowledge. People talk of a philosophical and universal language. We have enough to do to understand our own, and to read a thousandth part (perhaps not the best) of what is written in it. It is ridiculous and monstrous vanity. We would set up a standard of general taste and of immortal renown: we would have the benefits of science and of art universal, because we would suppose our own capacity to receive them unbounded; and we would have the thoughts of others never die, because we flatter ourselves that our own will last for ever; and like the frog imitating the ox in the fable, we burst in the vain attempt. Man, whatever he may think, is a very limited being the world has a narrow circle drawn upon it, the horizon that limits our immediate view: immortality means a century or two. Languages happily restrict the mind to what is of its own proper growth and fittest for it, as rivers and mountains bound countries; or the empire of learning, as well as states, would become unwieldy and over
Vol. IX. No. 49-1825.
grown. A little importation from foreign markets may be good; but the home production is the chief thing to be looked to.
"The proper study of the French is French!"
No people can act more uniformly upon a conviction of this maxim; and in that respect I think they are quite right.
There was advertised not long ago in Paris an elegy on the death of Lord Byron, by his friend Sir Thomas More-evidently confounding the living bard with the old statesman. It is thus the French in their light salient way transpose every thing. The mistake is particularly ludicrous to those who have ever seen Mr. Moore, or Mr. Shee's portrait of him in Mr. Hookham's shop, and who chance to see Holbein's head of Sir Thomas More in the Louvre. Mr. Moore's face is gay and smiling enough, old Sir Thomas's is severe, not to say sour. It seems twisted awry with difficult questions, and bursting asunder with a ponderous load of meaning. The expression in Holbein's pictures conveys a faithful but not very favourable notion of the literary character of the period. It is painful, dry, and laboured. Learning was then an ascetic, but recluse and profound. You see a weight of thought and care in the studious heads of the time of the Reformation, a sincerity, an integrity, a sanctity of purpose, like that of a formal dedication to a religious life or the inviolability of monastic vows. They had their work to do; we reap the benefits of it. We skim the surface, and travel along the high road. They had to explore dark recesses, to dig through mountains, and make their way through pathless wildernesses. It is no wonder they looked grave upon it. The seriousness indeed amounts to an air of devotion; and it has to me something fine, manly, and old-English about it. There is a heartiness and determined resolution; a willingness to contend with opposition; a superiority to ease and pleasure; some sullen pride, but no trifling vanity. They addressed themselves to study as to a duty, and were ready to "leave all and follow it." In the beginning of such an era, the difference between ignorance and learning, between what was commonly known and what was possible to be known, would appear immense; and no pains or time would be thought too great to master the difficulty. Conscious of their own deficiencies and the scanty information of those about them, they would be glad to look out for aids and support, and to put themselves apprentices to time and nature. This temper would lead them to exaggerate rather than to make light of the difficulties of their undertaking; and would call forth sacrifices in proportion. Feeling how little they knew, they would be anxious to discover all that others had known, and, instead of making a display of themselves, their first object would be to dispel the mist and darkness that surrounded them. They did not cull the flowers of learning, or pluck a leaf of laurel for their own heads, but tugged at the roots and very heart of their subject, as the woodman tugs at the roots of an old oak-tree. The sense of the arduousness of their enterprise gave them courage to persevere; so that they left nothing half done. They inquired de omne scibile et quibusdam aliis. They ransacked libraries; they exhausted authorities. They acquired languages, consulted books, and decyphered manuscripts. They devoured learning, and swallowed antiquity whole, and (what is more) digested it. They read incessantly, and remembered