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Vincent Eyre's. Feeble they always are: we regret to say that at times they are also vulgar. Nor can we see any excuse for their publication in the fact that they were "impromptu and unstudied effusions," or "dashed off at random." If an author chooses to perpetuate his verses by printing them, he must expect to have them judged by a different standard from that which may be considered sufficiently high for those which are content with the modest privacy of the album.
It is the fashion sometimes to laugh at American poetry that is not humorous; but we can only say that, as far as our experience goes, we wish that our minor versifiers at the present day, many of whom have plenty of poetical feeling, would take as much pains about the manner in which they express it as most of the authors of the same rank, whose verses reach us from the other side of the Atlantic, appear to us to do. Mr. Stedman is a good example of the class. His verses never rise to any very remarkable pitch of genius, but preserve an uniform level of good taste, poetical expression, and careful language; in a word, they are just such as "scholar and gentleman' (to use a good old phrase, now, we fear, somewhat obsolete) might be expected to write. As might be expected, a man who has lived through the events of the last fifteen years or so in America need be at no loss for a subject, and naturally Mr. Stedman's most spirited verses are those inspired by the Civil War: but he has his gentler vein, and in it he is often happy enough. We do not feel sure that his poems would not have deserved a longer notice, but we hope we have said enough to induce those of our readers who care for poetry other than the best, to make some acquaintance
The author of 'Progress, and other Poems' has not yet acquired the rudimentary knowledge of the English language which is necessary to one who wishes to write verses in it. When he has, we may, perhaps, give him a longer notice; but at present we feel no doubt whatever that in his case it is not deserved.
Mr. Gibbs's forte appears to lie in discovering methods of making hay when the sun does not shine: his foible is writing verses. At the same time we must admit that, even if his muse is a little pedestrian, as though continual meditation on hay-making produced a tendency to dryness, his verses are not worse than many that we have read. Arlon Grange' is a poem of a kind which, since the appearance of 'Aylmer's Field,' has been fashionable; involving a good deal of description of English country-gentleman's life: a sort of wellbred novelette in metre. But for an occasional failure of ear, which makes him now and again give us what the prosodies call "catalectic" and hypercatalectic" lines, Mr. Gibbs manages his verse pretty well. The short lyrics which come between the parts of the main poem are often spirited; and on the whole, in spite of some absurdity in its external appearance, and a slight redundancy of "Opinions of the Press " bound up with it, we incline to give 'Arlon Grange' a good place among the minor poems of the last few
OUR LIBRARY TABLE.
MRS. GUTHRIE'S Through Russia is a brightlywritten account of the ordinary tour by Petersburg and Moscow, and so down the Volga and Don to the Crimea. It is published by Messrs. Hurst & Blackett.
CANON KINGSLEY has collected some readable essays, most, if not all, of which have, we believe, appeared before. They form a pleasant volume, fit for perusal by idle people during the holidays; but Health and Education, the title given to the Messrs. book, is not a particularly happy one. Isbister & Co. publish the book.
IN Paradoxes and Puzzles Mr. Paget has re-issued, through Messrs. Blackwood, his New Examen,' in which he cleverly pointed out some grave errors in Lord Macaulay's History.' This tractate we noticed at the time of its appearance. The task
was one for which Mr. Paget is well fitted, and
MR. ARNOLD has reprinted, under the title of The Higher Schools and Universities in Germany, that portion of his excellent work, 'Schools and Universities on the Continent,' which appeared in 1868. We cannot but regret that he did not republish the whole of it. Mr. Arnold's Preface on the Falk Laws and the Policy of the English Government with regard to Roman Catholic education is amusing; but we can hardly accept his account of the Falk Laws as correct. Is it fair either, in dealing with the ecclesiastical policy of Prussia, to say nothing about the expulsion of the Jesuits? Mr. Arnold's publishers are Messrs. Macmillan.
Lending unto the Lord, sent us by Messrs.
German account of some events in the life of
(Matthias),-Description of Anderson's Passenger Cabins (Mitchell),- The Rose of Navarre, an Original Opera, by H. G. and R. Churchill (Gilbert & Rivington),- Englishmen not Israelites, an Answer to Twenty-Seven Identifications and Flashes of Light, by J. Wilkinson (Partridge),-Thoughts for Easter, by M. H. F. D. (Gardner),-Intemperance Arraigned, an Assize Sermon preached at Kingston-on-Thames before the Hon. Sir G. Pigott, by Rev. W. C. Stapylton, M.A. (Gardner),-Auricular Confession, by C. Smith, B.D. (Rivingtons),The Place and Influence in the Church Movement of Church Congress, by A. J. B. Beresford Hope, M.P. (Stanford),-The History of France, by M. Guizot, translated by R. Black, M.A., Vol. 3, Part 7 (Low),-Essays on Certain Logical Questions, by R. Shute, Parts 1 and 2 (Parker),-The New Harbour at Dover, from a Strategical and a Financial Point of View, by J. C. Hoseason, R.N. (Stanford), The Rime of the Ancient Statesman, a Relic of the Past, not by S. T. Coleridge (Cambridge, Wallis),—and The National Inheritance, by J. Walker (Brook).
LIST OF NEW BOOKS.
Trollope's Questions and Answers on the Liturgy, 9th edit. 2/
UNDER the title of La Réforme de l'Enseigne-
Glen's (W. C.) Law Relating to Public Health, 7th ed. 8vo. 36/
Rome, new edit. royal folio, 63/ hf bd.
Changed Cross, by Hon. Mrs. Hobart, 2nd edit. 16mo. 1/6 cl.
WE have on our table The Historians of Scotland, 4 vols. (Edinburgh, Edmonston & Douglas),
Calendar of State Papers Relating to Ireland, Reign of James
John of Fordun's Chronicle of the Scottish
At Her Mercy, a Novel, by Author of 'Lost Sir Massingberd,'
Lysaght's (E. J.) Gaunt Abbey, 3 vols. cr. 8vo. 31/6 cl.
DANTE AT NAPLES.
ON the sunny shores of the Bay of Naples, Dante and Virgil go hand in hand. The divine poet is here no longer the solitary being sounding in the navicella of his lofty genius the mysterious
depths of an unfathomable sea; he is the inseparable friend and bosom companion of the cheerful and classic Virgil. We meet them together in the Strada Romana, and at the corner of almost every other street. Dante's features in the society of his friend undergo a remarkable change, the grim and severe expression of his care-worn and conventional face becomes relaxed and softened down into an agreeable and pleasing physiognomy; the gay yet thoughtful lover, such as Giotto represented him in youthful days, revives again; the inflexible judge, more terrible than Minos himself, whose awful sentences will remain on record throughout all time, unalterable, inexorable, becomes the happy and contented-looking man such as he appeared when first seen in Naples, it may be with his royal friend, Carlo Martello, or somewhat later, when he came as Ambassador from the Florentine Republic to his father, Charles the Second. Throughout the Divina Commedia Dante shows an intimate acquaintance with the kingdoms of Naples and of Sicily; he is well up in the geography and topography of both; nor was there any portion of the Peninsula which in Dante's time exercised a greater political influence on the affairs of Italy, or which can still show more, if so many, interesting monuments in reference to it. But it is not of Dante at Naples in the Middle Ages that we would here speak, it is of Dante as a classic poet, second only to Virgil himself, that we would say a few words. In no other part of Italy is Dante seen to so much advantage in this respect as at Naples. The classical environs are, in a manner, common to both poets; nor can we take Virgil as our guide without having Dante for a companion also. Here is the poetic region of departed souls from the days of Eneas downwards; here is the Lake Avernus with its fauces, Lake Acherusia, Cocytus, the Antrum Cerberi, Lethe, in short, the whole of the Tartarea Regna, and also the Elysian Fields; and we may well imagine with what deep interest the great Christian poet of the Middle Ages, and of modern times, first paced around their hallowed borders, though Christianity has revolutionized the region of ghosts, and the terra incognita of departed souls has now no known locality which it can call its own.
we are now.
There was then no Pompeii to show these things, no national museum in which the treasures of classic art pictorially illustrating the ideas of the poets and their descriptions were set forth as conceived and carried out by Gentile artists. But now we may almost be said at Naples to live among the ancients, to see them and to know them as they were. It is at Naples, therefore, of all places in Italy, where we can best appreciate the classical features of Dante's great poem and the faithful character of his representations. From the earliest period of literary history religion has popularly been taught in myths, and, to a great extent, is so still; the character of the subjects are varied, but their application is pretty much the same. Reason was appealed to, as it still is, through the imagination, and fundamental truths were administered in a vehicle of popular fiction. Dante was perfectly aware of this, and, like a wise physician, practised the method himself. It has often been a source of surprise to many readers that, in a poem essentially Christian, in which the mysteries of the faith and the doctrines of the Church largely enter, the Poet should have intro
duced the fables of the Ancients and the mythological personifications of classical lore, as if they were of as much authority and reality as the teachings of the Scriptures and the persons of the Saints, and has so mingled them up together as if he equally believed in both. Boccaccio tells us that Dante had so profoundly studied the Gentile mode of teaching as to discover that these fables concealed and covered fundamental truths in religion and morals. As the pupil of Virgil, Dante must needs follow his master's footsteps, and use such illustrations as the poets of the classic age alone understood. And this he did so completely and thoroughly as to justify placing himself among them. At the entrance to Poet's Castle, when Homer, and Horace, and Ovid, and Lucan, come forth to meet Virgil and welcome his return, Dante is also very courteously received by them; after a little conversation held among themselves as to who he might be and the purport of his visit they all salute him, at which Dante tells us his Master smiled, and then adds
E più d'onore ancora assai mi fenno,
This statement has often been thought to savour of arrogance and presumption, for however high Dante may deservedly stand as a poet among poets, it may be, the subject and purpose of his poem being considered, as the greatest of poets, yet, as a classical writer treating of classical subjects, to put himself upon a par with the most erudite and refined was a very bold step, to say the least of it. But these considerations, if ever seriously entertained, were completely put to flight by the impressions received on frequent visits to the National Museum at Naples after an absence of many years.
The large Hall of frescoes and wall-paintings from Pompeii in that noble Institution presents a very complete gallery of Classical and Mythological lore. Looking round on these we were at once struck by the fact, that Dante's love of classical subjects and his appreciation of classical thought were never so well set forth as they are here; so that the gallery is as much a gallery of Dante as it is of those nameless painters whose works are here exhibited. The artists of the classic age in their representations of currently received poetical subjects would seize those salient points which, by their Gentile minds, were held to be the most characteristic and telling. Any one well up in Dante's verbal pictures of these things will at once perceive, on looking round the Hall, that the Poet has regarded them from the same point of view as these artists have, and has represented them with the same characteristics. Had Dante been their contemporary, and possessed a villa at Pompeii, or on the lovely shores of Baiæ, he could not have shown himself to be more at home in such subjects than in his great poem he is seen to be. A very few illustrations will suffice to show this out of the many that might be chosen.
We here see-
Il gran Chirone che nudrio Achille, (Inf. xii. 70) just as Dante saw him and described him, a figure of a noble and benevolent aspect, thoroughly devoted to the handsome youth whose education has been committed to his care; no parent could look more complacently on a beloved son than the gran Chirone gazes on his docile and intelligent pupil, and no son could look up to a beloved father with more filial respect, affection, and modesty than the juvenile Achilles wistfully regards his honoured preceptor.
In another subject we can personally realize with the Poet the pangs of that cruel vowOnde pianse Ifigenia il suo bel volto, (Pard. v., 7) and at the same time appreciate the force of that religious faith which, in the hour of supreme agony, could behold a divine interposition. Iphigenia, borne away to the sacrifice, lifts up her eyes and arms to heaven, imploring help from above, and, in the full assurance of her prayer being heard, beholds her deliverer. Artemis, the protectoress of the young, appears in the air with
a stag to be substituted for the devoted damsel The venerable priest shows by his manner that he also is aware of the presence of the saving deity, as is likewise one of the assistants; but the father, "lo gran Duca de' Greci," who stands apart covering his head with his mantle, and hiding his face with his hand, a picture of unutterable woe, is too absorbed in grief to be conscious of the miracle. No modern representation of this subject, however superior it might be in drawing, could surpass in composition and in pathos the profound appeal here made to our feelings. Dante saw it all, and in one effective verse sums up the whole of this most touching story.
In the admirable wall painting so well known to visitors, representing the beautiful Deianira, Hercules, and the centaur Nessus, we have another instance of the correspondency alluded to. Nessus is here seen expiating his atrocious attempt to violate the wife of Hercules when carrying her across the river Evenus; the indignant husband still looks with unmitigated wrath on the wretched monster, writhing in his dying agony; while Deianira, radiant in beauty, stands erect, with a deep sense of female resentment depicted on her lovely countenance, the great charm and centre of the whole composition. Dante's brief description (Inf. xii., 67-8),
Quegli è Nesso Che morì per la bella Deianira, brings the whole scene graphically before us, and gives to the fair one the same prominent position as that which the artist has assigned to her. We know of no ancient painting presenting so elegant a female figure as this, with so lovely yet dignified a countenance, so charming and yet so aristocratic an air. No London belle at the height of the season could desire to surpass her; and Dante has emphasized this in his characteristic expression la bella Deianira. Similar correspondencies might be pointed out, as in Medea and others; but the above will serve to show that Dante saw and felt these subjects as they were seen and felt by the educated class of Roman citizens, and so entered into their meaning, that as we stand and look around we cannot but wish that he were with us to describe them fully, and to unveil their philcsophical truths. H. C. BARLOW.
32, St. George's Square, March 28. IN reference to Capt. Burton's appeal to me, at p. 426, I may say that I have already expressed my view that the language of the Etruscans, and of the populations of Asia Minor, traditionally alleged to be connected with them, are to be solved by the Georgian languages. Awaiting Corssen's promise of an Indo-European interpreta tion, I have abstained from troubling the public as yet.
Fully concurring with the eminent Arabic scholar, Mr. Wright, in his observations, I may further state that, in my opinion, several of the languages referred to by Mr. Taylor, cannot justifiably be employed in illustration of Turkish.
Until we have a better knowledge of pre-historic comparative philology, it is difficult to employ languages of remote or uncertain affinities, as so many causes of disturbance have yet to be studied. HYDE CLARKE.
46, Park Avenue, New York, March 18, 1874. MAY I ask of you the favour to present a complaint of mine to the British reading public?
In 1867, Mr. Charles W. Wood, then a publisher doing business at 13, Tavistock Street, Strand, London, published an edition of my novel, entitled 'Miss Gilbert's Career: an American Story,' under the name of 'The Heroes of Crampton.' He omitted the first chapter entirely, and substituted, throughout the book, English for American names, thus endeavouring to make an English out of an American book. New York was changed to London, the Queen's birthday was substituted for the Fourth of July, the Thames did the honours
for an American river, my railway conductor figured as a "guard," and so on to the end of the adaptation. Considering the purely American atmosphere of the book, and its truthfulness to American usages and modes of life and thought, you can imagine what a medley it made, and will not wonder that, as a publishing venture, it was a failure. It was in this guise that I was compelled to make my bow to the British public-a bow such as a man makes when his breath is knocked out of him, by being hit "where he lives." The publisher never had the courtesy to ask my leave to do this, or to publish the book at all, and never sent me a copy. This I imported at my own expense, as a curiosity.
Yesterday there appeared upon my table a book that will be worthy company for my precious volume. It is the copy of an edition of my Arthur Bonnicastle,' published by Ward, Lock & Tyler, of Paternoster Row. It leaves out nearly a hundred pages of the book, as it is published here by Scribner, Armstrong & Co., and in London by George Routledge & Sons. Of the 401 pages of the original work it reproduces 308, and then dismisses the volume with two muddled pages, which are designated on the title-page as a cluding chapter by another hand." The outrage upon me in this proceeding is obvious and inexcusable; and as the book was made to be sold, and to destroy the sale of the only perfect edition published in England, the outrage intended upon the British public is one which that public will be able to measure for itself.
The apology for, or the attempted justification of, this outrage, will be found in the Preface written by Mr. S. O. Beeton. To understand this, permit me to give a brief history of the connexion of the house of Routledge & Sons with the book. The novel was published originally in Scribner's Monthly, and during its passage through that magazine I made an arrangement with Routledge & Sons for its publication abroad. They agreed to give me a handsome copyright on every copy sold; and more than that, advanced me money to stand as the full equivalent for the transfer of all my right and title to the book in England; and though at least three other books of mine have been published in England, this is the first and only money I have ever received from any English publisher. The closing chapters of the book were published in England first, and on these Routledge & Sons hold a copyright, which they suppose to be defensible in law. These are the chapters left out of the edition of Ward, Lock & Tyler, and the chapters without which the book is lame and most incomplete. The complete book is well published, and sells for five shillings; the incomplete is shabby, and sells for two. Every copy of one returns money to the author; every copy of the other adds neither to the author's purse nor his reputation.
| paper-makers do not want one. It would be
nothing; and there is a "courtesy of the trade"
Mr. Beeton, in his Preface, argues in the interest of an international copyright partly, and partly for the promotion of some governmental action for such a restriction of copyright as would prevent an arrangement like that entered into between Routledge & Sons and myself. His supposed case, in which the sum of 251. is given for the right to publish a book, is not this case at all; and, therefore, all the reasoning he bases upon it is without validity as applied to this case. I do not propose to argue with Mr. Beeton on the general subject. In common with a very large majority of American authors, I believe in international copyright, as that phrase is usually understood-first, because it is just; second, because, more and more, every year, American books are republished in England; and, third, because the republication of English books here, with no consideration to the author, or very little, tends so to reduce the price of books generally, as to keep American copyrights at an unremunerative figure. I suppose that English and American authors could meet in a convention to-day, and vote with nearly perfect unanimity for such an international copyright law as Mr. Beeton would present to them. The reason why there is no such law is, that American publishers and
And now the question arises, whether the authors on both sides of the Atlantic are to be made to suffer for a state of things for which they are in no degree responsible. As the conductor of Scribner's Monthly, I have paid thousands of dollars to British authors for the privilege of publishing one month what I could have taken the next for
UNSUSPECTED CORRUPTIONS OF SHAKSPEARE'S
'THE WINTER'S TALE' first appeared in the
Act i. sc. 2.-Pressed by Leontes to prolong his visit, Polixenes replies
I'm question'd by my fears of what may chance
The construction of this puzzling passage is said to be, My fears render me doubtful of what may
Leon. Camillo, this great Sir will yet stay longer.
In the edition of Shakespeare, edited by me from 1856 to 1860, I explained, for the first time, that the expression "to be here" was a familiar phrase formerly, always accompanied with a gesture of imitation or mockery. Thus Volumnia, in 'Coriolanus,' when entreating her son to return to the Forum and conciliate the incensed people,—
I prithee now, my son,
That is, put on this action of humility,—
Thy knee bussing the stones,
In the present case we are to understand that Leontes, in his jealous frenzy, imagines the public to be already cognizant of his nuptial dishonour, and already deriding him with the gesture which denotes it. This was by lifting one hand to the forehead, and spreading forth two fingers like a fork or pair of horns.
Nothing proves the inconceivable zest with which our forefathers enjoyed every allusion to conjugal infidelity, especially on the wife's side, more than the frequent use of the word "cuckold,” and the sign which was its typical representative. Owing to the paucity of stage directions in our early plays, the extent to which the latter practice
What if one should make
Horns at Mountsurry? would it strike him jealous
Mount. How monstrous is this!
O, well bowled, Tom! ( )
You make me horns!
Like the "V" in May Day,' these parenthetic marks have proved an insoluble problem to all the critics. They puzzled me for some time, but I at The wife of Mountsurry enters, and the husband, length discovered that, as the "V" typified the in an agony of rage, exclaims,horns, which were significant of a cuckold, the "()" typified the parenthesis, which was a mannerly term for a pandar. A reference to the scene
The man that left me When you appear'd, did turne me worse than woman; And stabb'd me to the heart, thus, with his fingers!
Charalois, on his way to trial for killing his adulterous wife, observes,―
AN extension of the Edinburgh University Buildings is contemplated, at an estimated cost of 100,000l. Half of this sum has already been collected, and an appeal to the
So in Massinger's 'Fatal Dowry,' Act v. sc. 2. just mentioned proves this beyond cavil. Bellamont public is about to be made, which, with an
bears the taunting
Thus shall his sawcie browes adorned be,
[Makes hornes. Even so late as Wycherly, the same instruction is sometimes met with. In his Country Wife,'
Act i. sc. 1., Ed. 1712, we have the following:Horner. I do know your Wife, Sir, she's a Woman, Sir, and consequently a Monster, Sir, a greater Monster, Sir, than a Husband, Sir.
Sir Jasper. Horn.
are so managed, that Greenshield is induced to go in disguise to fetch his own wife,-also disguised, so that neither knows the other, to solace old Mayberry. When the lass, Kate Greenshield, is brought, Bellamont expatiates so eloquently on the advantages a woman must derive from the protection of a wealthy citizen like Mayberry, that Greenshield, in a rapture, exclaims, at the end of each speech :
A Husband? how, Sir?
So, Sir; but I make no more Cuckolds, Sir. [Makes Horns.
But the best illustration of the words of Leontes, and a remarkable proof how prevalent this gesture was, occurs in Chapman's May Day,' where, at the end of Act iv., Faunio says of his Master, Quintilliano,-"As often as he turnes his backe to me, I shall be here V with him, that's certaine." The "V," which no commentator has understood, representing the actor's fingers in making horns.
This curious instance of a stage action being emblematized instead of described, calls to mind a still more noticeable one in Webster and Decker's play of Northward Ho.'
In this piece, which is highly entertaining, though too coarse for the modern stage, a dissolute ne'er-do-well, named Greenshield, having been repulsed by a citizen's wife, Mistress Mayberry, to whom he had made dishonourable advances, determines on revenge.
To this end, learning that Mayberry, the husband, has gone with a friend to Ware, he and another rascal set off to that place, and instal themselves in the same inn, where the old citizen and his companion are taking their ease. Being unknown to these gentlemen, the fellows invite them, on the strength of all being Londoners, to a supper. In the course of conversation, Greenshield manages to display a ring which he had stolen from Mistress Mayberry, and to the horror of the citizen, who recognizes it as one he had given to his wife, boasts of the favours both he and his companion had received from the lady (whose name he lets out as if by accident), to whom he owes the ring. Upon the return of Mayberry and Bellamont, his friend, to London, they find the story of Mrs. Mayberry's guilt to be a diabolical untruth. Whereupon they resolve to give Master Greenshield and his fellow rogue a Roland for their Oliver.
Dissimulating his rage, and pretending that out of devotion to his wife he had hushed up her criminality, Mayberry persuades Greenshield to be one
of a party going holiday-making to Ware. He
then arranges that Mrs. Mayberry shall follow the party, and at the proper moment make her appearance on the scene. It happens that Featherstone had appointed to meet Greenshield's wife at Ware on the same day, a fact of which Mayberry and Bellamont are apprized. Their plot, then, is that Bellamont shall persuade Greenshield that Mayberry is in bad spirits at the thought of his wife's disloyalty, and nothing will restore him but the presence of a pretty wench at supper. Matters
O, well bowled Tom! ( ) till the proper moment, when Mrs. Mayberry rushes in at a pre-concerted signal and calls him her husband's "pandar." Upon which he answers, 'Lady, I will not, as the old gods were wont, swear by the infernal Styx; but by all the mingled wine in the cellar beneath, and the smoke of tobacco that hath fumed over the vessels, I did not procure your husband this banqueting-dish of sucket.-Look you [Pulls off Greenshield's false hair and beard], behold the parenthesis!" He subsequently retorts upon Greenshield his "Tom, ()" and tells him he has pandered his own wife, &c.
I have met with one other instance where parenthesis is used in the sense of pandar. In the same author's Westward Ho, the principal character, Justiniano, disguises himself, and, in apparent conformity with the part he assumes, a sort of pimp, takes the name of Parenthesis. But why parenthesis should have come to be so employed, unless humorously, quasi, go-between, I am at a loss to say.
Before quitting the subject of these pantomimic gestures, it may be interesting to call attention to another unexplained symbol in which it is evident the old actors indulged. This was drawing a circle in the air to signify the World or Globe. Thus, Chorus in the Prologue to 'Henry the Fifth'
NEXT week we shall publish a short poem by Mr. Morris, author of The Earthly Paradise.'
first Lord Garvagh, and a relative of the celebrated Prime Minister, we understand, has a volume in the press on the subject of' Christian Toleration,' which will be published by Messrs. Kerby & Endean.
MR. SWINBURNE'S Bothwell' is complete. It will be lengthy, and will exceed the limits of a stage piece.
MESSRS. J. GRIFFIN & Co., of the Hard, Portsmouth, are about to publish the essay on Naval Tactics, by Lieut. G. H. Noel, R.N., to whom was awarded the prize of fifty guineas, offered by the Junior Naval Professional Association for the best essay on the subject.
DR. WILLIAM CHAMBERS Writes to us :"You mention, in the Athenæum of March 28, that the late Dr. Robert Chambers wrote an Answer' to Outram's Annuity,' which was never published. I beg to say that the Answer' appeared in Chambers's Journal, January 18, 1873, into which it was copied from one of the many noteasks-books left by my brother at his decease."
THE article in a recent number of the Cornhill, which took the "side of the maids," and horrified so many of the mistresses, is from the pen of the author of 'Joshua Davidson.'
can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
WE are sorry to hear of the recent death, from an accident, of Mr. Morgan Kavanagh.
So also in the opening scene of Decker's 'Un- Perfectly sincere in his linguistic eccentricities, he frequently submitted to considerable sacritrussing of the Humourous Poet'— fices in order to put his theories upon record. We have often laughed at his unfortunate productions during his life time; now that he is dead we need only remember that he was an amiable and industrious enthusiast.
meaning, "'tis a world more sweet."
I think tis a O more-more-more-more sweet to, &c.
It is rumoured that the new statutes which the Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, prepared for themselves, and sent up for approval by the Queen in Council, have been returned without receiving consideration on their merits, upon the ground that the late Government gave an assurance to an eminent member of the then opposition that nothing should be done in the way of reform at either University until the Commission had reported. This assurance is, we are told, considered binding by the present Government.
expected Government grant, will, it is believed, make the desired sum. up The chief additions are to take the shape of new buildings for the different departments of medical study, and a site has already been procured close to the nearly completed New Infirmary. It is intended that these buildings shall be on a scale befitting the reputation of the Edinburgh School of Medicine and the number of students attending the classes.
MESSRS. MORGAN & HEBRON have succeeded Mr. T. C. Newby, who has retired from the publishing business established by him nearly half a century ago.
MR. KINGLAKE's publishers intend to issue a new edition of the first two volumes of his 'Invasion of the Crimea,' which have for some time been out of print.
THE attacks that have lately been made on the accuracy of M. Hugo, have led some of our Correspondents to send us replies. We have been told, for instance, that it is impossible for any mortal critic to test M. Victor Hugo's assumptions of special knowledge in the he overwhelms his readers in the sensational vocabulary of marine terms of art, with which account of the carronade broken loose on board the Claymore corvette; but that if the test be applied in but one instance, the result is the discovery of a want of all accuracy in would-be technical descriptions. chosen is the armament of the vessel. A CorThe point respondent, however, says in a letter to us, and we believe justly,—
"The great author is right in arming the Claymore with carronades, for in the year 'quatrevingttreize' they were the crack pieces, having been introduced into the British service thirteen years previously by the then director of the Carron (whence their name) foundry in Scotland, in the year 1779-80, and were the first product of the systematic improvement in the manufacture of THE Hon. A. S. Canning, grandson of the British ordnance then inaugurated. Their small
windage, and comparative lightness, gave them a superiority in accuracy and mobility over the other cumbrous cannon of the period, especially when employed at the short ranges ships usually engaged at. Unfortunately the French author, with his grand exaggeration, makes the 24-pounder carronade weigh 10,000 lb., whereas it would take five of them with their carriages together to attain this weight; as the 24-pounder carronade (which has ever been a cast-iron piece and never of bronze) only weighs 1,446 lb. English, and with its carriage, in round numbers, two thousand pounds would be nearer than ten thousand. The heaviest kind of carronade, the 68-pounder, only weighs 36 cwt., i. e. about 4,000 lb. It may be remarked that, in the admirable Graphic illustration of the scene, the artist has rendered the carronade as a gun or howitzer. The carronade has no trunnions, but is cast with a loop underneath, through which a bolt passes which attaches the piece to the two castiron brackets on the carriage. There are many other differences which gives the carronade a totally different appearance to an ordinary gun or howitzer, which need not be mentioned. In picturesque appearance, I should have thought the carronade preferable in a drawing to a gun. On land carronades were, and are, mounted on carriages with only two
trucks and a rear chock. How they were mounted, afloat in '93, I have no means here of ascertaining." —Again, exception is taken to the novelist's reference to Pitt's forged assignats. Mr. G. A. Lebour, of the Geological Survey, however, reminds us that the novelist is better informed than his censor :—
"May I re-assert in your pages that the plate from which the sham assignats were printed is still in existence, and that the paper-mill in which the paper was made, and the subsequent processes of manufacture carried out, is still standing, although not working. The spot on which it stands, on the banks of one of the most beautiful and least fraudulent-looking of English rivers, and the fact that the assignats were forged there, were specially mentioned by me in a paper printed in 1869 in the Athenæum, and entitled Geologizing in North Tynedale.""
MESSRS. CLARK, of Edinburgh, have in preparation (from early sheets of the original) a translation of Professor van Oosterzee'sHet Jaar des Heils' ('The Year of Salvation'), containing meditations for every day of the year. MR. W. DE GRAY BIRCH, having been consulted as to the possibility of obtaining some valuable literary matter, by means of a search among the inventories at the Probate Office, lately paid a visit to the Principal Registry of the Court of Probate, at Knight Rider Street, Doctors' Commons, and was very kindly received by Mr. Middleton.
"That gentleman very straightforwardly explained to me," he says, "that, while he was anxious to do all in his power to facilitate a search, there were many obstacles in the way which would render it necessary to put off the search for some time. The principal of these difficulties are the following:-The very large quantity of inventories which are contained in twenty-eight chests, each holding on an average about one thousand rolls, in all not less than, say, twenty-four or twenty-five thousand. Each of these would, according to the stipulations made with those who alone may be permitted to examine them, have to be unrolled, re-rolled, tied up with tape, docketed, and the name and date of the owner of the goods therein mentioned entered into an inventory kept in the office. Several of the inventories have been treated in this way, probably by some one engaged in a similar search, now abandoned. The search would extend over a considerable period of time, for, if we allow that one hundred a day could be so treated, the time occupied would comprise very little short of a year. Another difficulty urged by Mr. Coleman, the Keeper of the Records at the
Court, was, that he was very much incommoded by preparations for removal to Somerset House, and very short of hands, so that he could not spare any one of his staff to sit in the room with
me while examining the manuscripts. This latter gentleman condemned the undertaking as tremely visionary; and in commenting upon the impracticability of the search being made as affairs are with the office at present, made the very pertinent remark, which, I think, may be taken as the key to the whole affair, that, if it had been at all possible to overhaul the collection of inventories, the staff would have done it among themselves before now. Under these circumstances, it is evident that, if such a search is to be made at all, it will be a matter of much time, trouble, and expense; and it is also to be borne in mind that, after all, it by
means follows that Shakspeare's inventory, or indeed any given person's inventory, should be among them."
his History of the Popes,' with reference to PROF. VON RANKE is engaged in re-editing the relations between Pio Nono and the German Empire. The Professor is now more than seventy-five years old, but is as active as ever.
THE deputation from the Scotch School Boards, mentioned in our last, had an interview with the Duke of Richmond, the Lord President of the Council, on the 27th ult. The result has created considerable disappointment in Scotland.
A PROSPECTUS was issued some time a book, which has been a long time in preparation, entitled Bibliotheca Northumbriensis et Dunelmensis,' containing a bibliographical account of books, pamphlets, pictures, &c., illustrating the history, topography, biography, and antiquities of the counties of Northumberland and Durham. The work was to be
edited and published by Mr. William Todd, bookseller, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, but so far the public have not subscribed a sufficient number to warrant the publisher to proceed.
IT has been remarked that none of the illus
trated papers of Paris gave drawings relating to the celebration of the Prince Imperial's majority at Chislehurst. It appears that the Censure prohibited the publication of the drawings that had been prepared.
WITH reference to Mr. Collier's article in our last number, Mr. Furnivall informs us that 'Edward the Third' is on the list of works to be issued by the "New Shakspere Society"; but that the doubts entertained regarding the propriety of ascribing the play to Shakspeare, and the existence of an edition, published by Prof. Delius, have caused the Society to pause before proceeding to bring out an edition of its own.
NEWS reaches us from Madrid, that, on his recent voyage to the Filipinas," Señor Hipólito Fernandez landed at Ceylon, where, in the temple of Buddha, he accidentally discovered a manuscript, in a character to him unknown. The form of the manuscript is peculiar, consisting of about sixty palm-leaves, inscribed on both sides with characters resembling the cuneiform; the leaves are carefully preserved by a covering of wood, in admirable preservation. Photographic copies are to be taken, for the purpose of being transmitted to England and Germany.
MR. WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, assisted by Mr. Sydney Howard Gay, has in preparation a Popular History of the United States.' The work will be in three volumes, and is to be illustrated.
garding Mr. Sumner: OUR Washington Correspondent writes re
"He was familiar with the literature of many languages, and people from a distance frequently came to Washington to consult him about mysteritions, legal arguments, speeches in Congress, and ous books and manuscripts. His occasional oramiscellaneous writings were sufficiently abundant to make ten or twelve volumes, and a very beautiful edition of them was in course of publication at the time of his death. By way of showing the interest he felt in his unfinished work, I may mention that during one of his paroxysms of pain, on the night preceding his death, he made this remark: 'My book, my book, I should not regret this had I finished my book.' His style of writing was noted for its dignity and terseness, as well as for what has been termed a gigantic morality, and his ability in illustrating his thoughts by reference to the treasures of ancient learning was something rare. The range of subjects upon which his mind feasted philosophy and the sciences, all contributed to his was well-nigh without bounds; history and poetry, enjoyment; and there was an earnestness and lofty integrity in all that he did, with his pen and as an orator, which commanded the respect of even his political opponents, and was a cause of admiration on the part of his friends. As a means of self-education, and also for the benefit of his health, he visited Europe a number of times; made many friends among the highly cultivated wherever he went; and among his foreign correspondents were many of the leading statesmen and authors of the Old World. He was an advocate of all good measures intended to educate the people, and ever munificent in his donations to the literary institutions of the country, and especially to Harvard University. As an orator, Mr. Sumner stood well-nigh alone, Having been unfortunate in lor. His house in Washington was completely filled with rare books, valuable pictures, and miscellaneous works of beauty. His means were always ample, and yet he was wont to speak of himself as poor, because it required so much money to gratify his tastes. He was devoted to all kinds of art, thoroughly posted in its literature, and had a spedollars for a proof print would, at any time, be cial fondness for the art of engraving: a thousand forthcoming, when he happened to be fired with the desire of possession."
his he lived after the manner of a bache
THE recent appearance of a new Spanish journal, entitled Revista de Antropologia, is a pleasing proof of the activity with which students of anthropology are working in the Peninsula. This review is the official organ of the Anthropological Society of Spain. The first number, dated January 1st, opens with an article by the President, Don Joaquin de Hysern, in which he reviews the extent and objects of the Science of Man, and discusses the question of the unity of the human species.