« PreviousContinue »
THE PLAGUE AT SEVASTOPOL.
were, in the more northern countries of Europe, and in delayed at Moscow by difficulties thrown in the way of different parts of the other three great quarters of the his accompanying the army against Turkey as a volunglobe ; they cannot, however, be considered as having yet teer. He experienced additional delay in the Crimea. effected a lodgement there. This, however, is certain, At last he joined Admiral Greig's fleet; remained a short that where any striking event—such as a war or a revo- time aboard ; obtained leave to make an excursion to l'ution-occurs, one or more of their number appear, as Adrianople ; left that city in the beginning of October, unfailingly as the vulture at the scent of carrion. They and returned to Sevastopol in the Crimea, where he was are fond of prowling about old ruins, and secluded, rocky, apprehended under suspicion of being an English spy. and woody scenes. It has not, however, been ascertained He was sent to St Petersburg, where he had an interview that they are given to commit acts of violence. Their with the Emperor, who apologized for the harsh and upmoral and religious principles seem (as far as can be dis- deserved treatment he had received. In a few days he covered) of a peculiarly easy and graceful character, sus- returned to England, over Sweden, Denmark, and the ceptible of being put off or on, as they shall be found to Netherlands. The narrative affords a lively picture of accord with the feelings of the nation in which the wear- the appearance presented by Russia and European Turkey, ers are for the time resident. They are great collectors during the last campaign, to a traveller making a basty and retailers of gossip; but their character for veracity transit through these countries. It is amusing, and must is not quite unimpeachable. They are remarkable for serve even a higher purpose, till more precise and authencredulity, although this tendency is much kept in check tic information can be obtained. Our great objection is, by an admirable provision of nature, in virtue of which the want of dates. The author apologizes for this omis-, they believe, or disbelieve, in conformity with their friend- sion by saying, that to have given them, except in the case ships or enmities. Their philological attainments we of great operations, would have been attributing too much bave already bad occasion to allude to ;-like Coleridge's importance to the motions of a private individual. Our ancient mariner,
reply is, that he has omitted them even io the case of “ They pass from land to land,
great military movements; and as to what regards the They have strange power of speech ;"
private individual, it is of some importance to know what
events are most likely to have fallen under his own oband what is worse, they fasten upon the devoted listener servation ; for, in his narrative, he makes no distinction with the same inevitable eloquence.
between what he has seen and what he knows only from We leave to statesmen the serious consideration, how report. The campaign opened in February, and closed far the existence of these homeless myriads is consistent before the end of September. Captain Alexander left with the well-being and stability of states. We leave to England in May, and experienced no less than four dedivines the yet more important enquiry, whether they are tentions upon the road ;-how long was he in the seat of not the locusts of whom the Apocalypse declares that they war? This is a question of some importance.- We subshall come upon the earth at the sounding of the fifth join an extract, as a specimen of the manner in which the angel's trumpet, and have power given to them as the work is executed : power of scorpions? Our business is with these gentlemen and ladies in their literary capacity. They belong “ Beside the Quarantine Bay, on whose left were the to the class of authors whom Sterne (we think) has en- dispersed remains of buildings, there was a large open space, titled, “those who write galloping.” Their incessant enclosed with a high wall, and containing several ranges of change of place gives them volatile habits even upon paper: houses : at the gate of this enclosure we dismounted, and Their custom of looking more at the outside than at were received by the superintendent and doctor of the quawhat is beneath the surface, renders them superficial. rantine. On entering, we found the rocky shore covered Their want of time to probe to the bottom the value of with tifteen hundred Turkish prisoners; they formed piethe reports they pick up, prevents them from being always face; and numerous caves were below them, in which these
turesque groups as they sat and stood on the uneven sur. very trustworthy. Their volumes may be looked upon unfortunate Osmanlees lived. We then went towards a as a bulkier kind of newspaper paragraphs. They are sentinel guarding a low-browed cave, enclosed by a railing, not exactly the truth, but an unsubstantial likeness of it, and the entrance to which was wasbed by the waves : bere their narrative is founded on facts,—they are the long were the victims of the fatal pest. shadows which solid information throws before to herald
" At the mouth of this cavern of death the corpse of a its approach. Light, flippant, and agreeable, they are ex
Russian sailor was lying, who had just expired: he was cellent food for the devourers of circulating libraries. To Roumelia; a blackened arm was but partially covered with
one of the crew of an infected bark, from the shores of criticise severely such aerial beings would be to fight with a winding-sheet; a funeral-boat was moored near, which a phantom. The only way to do with them is, to extract was about to convey the body to a distant part of the beach some of their best stories,--taking them as we would do for interment with quick lime: two wooden cots, on which a merry tale over our wine,- laughing at the jest without many bad breathed their last, from the borrid disease, enquiring too narrowly into its merits. This may seem were floating on the water, and a heap of the clothes of the a long introduction to Captain Alexander's work, but it deceased were smouldering and consuming with a slow tire
beside where we stood. will save us an immense deal of recapitulation with his
“ The Governor then ordered some of the infected to be
brought out of the cavern for inspection ; first, there appear. Captain Alexander is a military author, and makes ed a stout young man who had just been attacked, and had great parade of his assiduous study of his profession. He not yet become much en feebled by the malady: he walked is, we have no doubt, a brave and honourable man, and between two assistants (convicts) who had a most haggard a good drill; but his book, to say the least, is presump- and care-worn look, and were clothed in tarred jackets, tive evidence against his being any thing more. His mi.
trowsers, and gloves, which are non-conductors of infec
tion. The face of the patient was of a yellowish hue, and litary criticisms are entirely confined to the matter of be started when he observed his dead companion ; but, re. uniforms, in which he seems most profoundly learned. covering himself, he replied to the questions that were put His descriptions of engagements are not particularly to him he said he felt feverish, and parched with thirst; happy; and the map pretixed to his second volume is such and after putting out his tongue, which was quite white, as no one, in the slightest degree acquainted with the be stripped off his shirt, when inflamed buboes appeared .science of map-making, would have allowed to be pub- under his arms, and an incipient one on the call of his lished with his work. The Captain's story is shortly last stage of debility, was brought before us; he could not
left leg. He was then taken back, and an old man, in the this: He sailed from England in the beginning of May stand, and sat down on the rock whilst he showed the dark 1829. He experienced a brief delay in the Baltic, from spots on his body. A third victim was then carried out in a the ice, wbich had not completely broken up. He stopped sheet: he was literally in articulo morlis. He said, in a at St Petersburg to learn a little Russ." "He was further: hollow sepulchral voice, that his time was come; the traces
of wortification were very apparent all over his attenuated yourself have the aspect of a Turk; and, as far as exteriors frame, and he expired with a stifled groan, whilst the as go, there is nothing farther to be desired of either. But sistants were conveying him into the cavern.
have you prepared your mind, most accommodating reader, “ The whole scene was one of thrilling horror; and we as well as your body? Have you laid in a stock of the were so much taken up with contemplating the melancholy nuine Arabian, blind, unenquiring credulity? Somebody Exhibition, that we did not observe that the breeze was said of Louis XIV., qu'il avoit Ja foi du charbonnier.' wafting towards us the smoke from the clothes of the dead; Yours must be as implicit and omnivorous. I will have and we iobaled it for a considerable time, but it was attend no uplifting of hands, no enlarging of eyes,--not one of Mr ed with no bad effects, though we did not feel at our ease Fudge Burchell's exclamations. If you cannot, upon the for some time after. We then left this abode of disease and present pinch, suppose the flat ceiling of the room in which death to returo homeward. Many of the Turks were at you are reading to be the pointed top of a tent, and yonder their evening prayers as we passed ; they had spread out draperied window to be the opening in its front, commandtheir little carpets, by the side of which lay their slippers, ing an extensive view over the great wilderness of Paran, and were prostrating themselves in silent adoration to it will be of no use to listen to me. Look! yonder are the wards the Holy City; some of the youths were singing camels kneeling down at the wells; and hark! what a plaintive airs, and some were preparing their couches, and pleasant cooling sound.is it to hear them sucking up the disappearing in the caverns.'
water with their parched mouths! Ha! the men are quarrelling at the farther well; all struggling to be first to fill their skins and leathern bottles. Lo! daggers
are gleaming in the air ! it cannot be belped; the sand The Midsummer Medley, for 1830. A Series of Comic round about the margin of the water is generally stained
Tales, Sketches, and Fugitive Vagaries, in Prose and with blood. Well, let them fight, we will begin our story, Verse. By the Author of " Brambletye House,” &c.
for this clashing of steel will soon be over. But what is &c. 2 vols. 12.no. London. Colburn and Bentley. list, the kinsman of Job, who lived to the time of David?
it to be? Shall it be one of the tales of Lokman the fabu1830.
or of Sandabar, who died only one hundred years before We have always looked upon Horace Smith as an Christ? Shall I recount to you the marvellous history of agreeable enough small man, but assuredly nothing more.
Solomon's magical ring, or divulge some of the secrets he The present work fully confirms this view of his intellec- I learned by knowing the language of birds ? or conjure up
before you the dwarf spirit, little in stature, but trementual character. It is, upon the whole, the poorest which dous in power, who dwells in the dark bowels of the earth; Mr Smith has yet given to the public. It is a sort of beneath the grey pyramid ? Omni-gatherum, of what he is pleased to term “ Fugitive “ You are aware, of course, that, according to the Arabian Vagaries,” the success of which he evidently considers a creed, a bird, called Manoh, issues from the brain of every good deal dependent on the season of the year at which he dead person, and haunts his sepulchre, uttering lamentable has brought them out. People are commonly in good screams, and divulging to the ears of the initiated all the hamour at midsummer, and disposed to be more easily of these dread mysteries? No: “this eternal blazon must
secrets and the crimes of the defunct ? Shall I reveal some satisfied than when the wind blows keen from the east,
not be to ears of flesh and blood.' I will tell you, instead, and the sky is thick and muddy. Unfortunately, how the story of Hatem Tai, the greatest warrior, and the keenever, for Mr Smith, the midsummer of the year 1830 est hunter, that ever drew a sword or wound a horn in does not appear to be like the midsuminer of any other | Arabia." year with which we are acquainted, and has fully as much
If Mr Smith thinks we have spoken too severely of of a November, as a June or July look. Hence, people him, let him take care to publish his next Medley in the åre not in one whit better humour than usual, and “ Fu- middle of a bona fide sammer, and not merely at midgitive Vagaries” are as likely to be dealt critically with, summer time. If we had blue skies and soft zephyrs, we as on Candlemas day.
might come to like his apostrophes to Italian ImageWhen Mr Smith was a young man, he and his brother Boys, and histories of Mark Higginbothams. hit upon a lucky idea, and by the publication of “ Rejected Addresses," obtained at once the character of wits. They have been struggling hard ever since to support this Anecdotes of the Three Nations. Original and Selected. character, but by no means with unequivocal success. Nay, we are sorry to say that they have written some as
By Robert Chambers, Author of the “ Rebellions in
Scotland," &c. Edinburgh. William Tait. 1830. dull things as we could wish to read on the shortest, much less on the longest, day of the year. In the “ Mid
Royal 18mo. Pp. 596. (Unpublished.) suminer Medley,” dulness, we think, on the whole, pre This work is only going through the press, but we ponderates. There is a mixture of both prose and verse, have been favoured with a perusal of all the sheets yet bat in too many instances, the “ Comic Tales and Sketch- ready. It bids fair to be an interesting and well-ares" look as if the author sat down with the most deadly ranged collection of anecdotes, illustrative of the men and intention of being lively in spite of fate ; and his humour, things of Scotland, England, and Ireland. In the first consequently, instead of gushing out spontaneously like department, which is the Scottish, the ingenious editor a fountain, becomes frequently forced, and alınost pain. bas introduced a number of anecdotes and historielles hiful. As a poet, Mr Smith was always rather below par; therto unpublished, and from the various sources from as a novelist, he is respectable, but a little heavy; as a which he bas selected the remainder, he has been pretty writer in magazines, he wants versatility, and seems to successful in keeping back all the more hackneyed and have run himself out. He is never absolutely contempt oft-repeated jeux d'esprit. We shall entertain our readers ible, but he is often feeble and unimpressive. His “ Tour with some of the stories which Mr Chambers has colto the Lakes," is perhaps the best specimen of rhyme which lected, most of which are as yet as good as manuscript, as his “ Fugitive Vagaries” contain; and as a pleasant enough the work itself will not appear for several weeks : little bit of prose, we subjoin the following introduction to
“ The Edinburgh lawyers of the last age were a race very AN ARABIAN TALE.
much addicted to hard drinking. Drinking, indeed, in“ An Arabian Tale! Positively I cannot relate it unless truded itself into every scene of their lives; and, as much I have Arabian listeners; and to become such, my auditors of their business was necessarily performed in taverns, 'on must all sit cross-legged, and in a circle; which is as indis account of the wretched accommodation of their own houses pensable to my proper inspiration, as was the tripod to that in the old town, the ink-glass and the claret-stoup were of the ancient Pythoness. One cross-legged personage I must alike dear to them; and they could scarcely attempt to take have, at all events, to prevent my imagination from Hagging; a supply from the one, but the pen was in danger of being and as there is no tailor at hand, thou, gentle reader, must immersed in the other. These habits clung to them till a submit to the operation. There! that attitude will do very recent period, as some anecdotes of men still alive will perfectly well; your chair lonks like an ottoman; you testify,
THE NEW CUT.
“ A gentleman, now retired from public life, but who used to frequent a tavern in a low street in Edinburgh called will be long remeinbered for his talent of saying good things, the Potterrow, where, if their accommodations were not of was one night engaged with a judge in a treinendous bouse, the first order, they had at least no cause to coinplain of the which lasted all night, and till within a single hour of the scantiness of their victuals. One day, as the landlady was time when the court was to meet next morning. The two bringing in a third supply of some particularly good dish, cronies had little more than time to wash themselves in she thus addressed them :-— They ca' ye the literawti, I their respective houses, when they had to meet again in believe; od, if they were to ca' ye the caterawti, they would their professional capacities of judge and plender, in the be nearer the mark.'' Parliament House. 'Mr C-, it appears, had, in the REASONS FOR THE SCOTCU BEING GREAT SMUGGLERS. hurry of his toilet, thrust the pack of cards he had been “An Englishman once expressed great surprise, in a comusing over night into the pocket of his gown; and thus, as pany of literati at Edinburgh, that the Scotch should be so he was about to open the pleading, in pulling out his hand much addicted to smuggling, seeing that they are a remarkkerchief, he also pulled out fifty-two witnesses of his last abiy sober and moral people. He thought it must be much night's debauch, which fell scattered within the bar. “Mr against their conscience. Oh, not at all, sir,' said Mr
said his judicial associate in guilt, with the utmost R-, a noted punster, who was present ; . what is cooluess, before ye begin, I think ye had better tak up conscience but a small still voice.'— Farther," added Preyour hand.'
fessor W it is the worm that never dies.'” “ An equally wet and witty barrister one Saturday en
A LAD IN HIS DAY. countered an equally Bacchanalian senatorial friend, in the “ When Dr Thomson (father of Dr Andrew Thomson course of a walk to Leith. Remembering that he had a of Edinburyb) was minister of Markinch, he happened to good jigot of mutton roasting for dinner, he invited his preach from the text, • Look not upon wine when it is red friend to accompany him home; and they accordingly dined in the cup;' from which he made a most eloqueot and imtogetber, secundum morem solitum. After dinner was over, pressive discourse against drunkenness, stating its fatal efwine and cards commenced; and, as the two friends were lects on the head, heart, and purse. Several of his observaalike foud of each of these recreations, neither ever thought tions were levelled at two cronies, with whom he was well of reminding the other of the advance of time, till the church acquainted, who frequently poured out libations to the rosy bell next day disturbed them in their darkened chamber god. At the dismissal of the congregation, the two friends about a quarter before eleven o'clock. The judge then rising met, the doctor being close behind them. Did you hear to depart, Mr walked behind him to the outer door, yon, Johnie?' quoth the one. • Did I hear't! Wha didoa with a candle in each hand, by way of showing him out. hear't? I ne'er winked an ee the haill sermon.' – Aweel, • Tak care, my lord, tak care, cried the kind host, most an' what thought ye o't?'— Adeed, Davie, I think he's been anxiously holding the candles out of the door into the sunny a lad in his day, or he coudna ken'd she weel about it! Ah, street, along which the people were pouring churchwards; he's been a slee band the minister !'” tak care; there's twa steps.'”
“ The taverns to wbich Edinburgh lawyers of those days “ An old Scotch clergyman, who had an old tailor for resorted were generally very obscure and mean—at least his man, was one day riding home from a neighbouring pa. such they would now appear; aud many of them were so rish, where he had been assisting in the celebration of the peculiarly situated in the profound recesses of the old town, sacrament. John,' cried be, how comes it, do you think, as to have no light from the sun, so that the inmates had that my young brother there should have such grent assem to use candles continually. A small party of legal gentle blages of people hearing him, when I, for instance, although meu happened one day to drop into one of these dens; and, preaching the same sermons I ever preached, am losing my as they sat a good while drinking, they at last forgot the hearers daily ?Lord bless ye, sir,' answered his sage valet, time of day. Taking their impressions from the candles, • it's just wi' you as it's wi' mysell. , I sew just as weel as they just supposed that they were enjoying an ordinary ever I did; yet that puir elf
has taen my evening debauch. • Sirs,' said one of them at last, it's business maist clean awa. It's no the sewing that I do, time to rise : ye ken I'm a married man, and should be sir ; it's the new cut; it's just the new cut." early at hame.' And so they all rose, and prepared to stagger home through the lamp-lighted streets; wher, lo! and “ Every body is aware of the indolent character of the behold! on their emerging from the tavern, they suddenly author of The Seasons ;' of bis being found once in a found themselves projected into the blaze of a summer after- garden, eating fruit off a tree with his hands in his pockets, noon, and, at the same time, under the gaze of a thousand | &c. A friend one day entered his room, and finding him curious eyes, which were directed with surprise to their | in bed, although the day was far spent, asked him, in the tipsy and negligent figures. How they got home, under name of wonder, why he did not get up? • Man, I hae nae such circumstances, through a crowd of sober and unsym- motive,' replied the poet." pathizing spectators, is left to the imagination of the reader.”
WHO WAS JESSE?
“ An old schoolmaster, who usually heard his pupils once “ Innumerable characteristic anecdotes are told of this.ce asked them promiscuously sucb questions as suggestel them,
&-week through Watts' Scripture History, and afterwards lebrated clergyman, who, for native humour and unrestrain- selves to his mind, one day desired a young urchin to tell ed freedom of speech, never perhaps had bis equal in the bim who Jesse was? when the boy briskly replied, “The Church of Scotland. It was one of his many eccentricities Flower of Dumblane, sir.' to speak of secular, and even familiar things, in the time of
THE LAIGH GREEN. divine service, so as sometimes to overset the gravity of his congregation. In the year 1794, when a number of volun- which belonged to one of the bailies.
“Some years ago, a poor boy went into a shop in Glasgow,
The boy having an fence of government, a Kirkaldy weaver, who had got him interesting appearance, the magistrate put some question to self newly decked out in the flaming uniform of the Kirk- these points he found the boy very ignorant, as migbt
bim respecting his education and moral instruction. Upon aldy brigade, came one Sunday into church, after the commencement of divine service, and kept lounging about for expected. The magistrate also enquired of him how he was soine time in the passage, to show himself in his new attire, the week days, and played himself on the Sabbath day.
employed on the Sunday, and was told that he begged on although repeatedly offered accommodation in the pews. What !' says the ballie, is that the way you spend the Mr Sherriff was only prevented from immediately repre- Sabbath day? Do you know, my lad, where all those go hending his vanity by his being engaged in prayer ; but, that play themselves on the Sabbath day ? Ay, sir,' says when that was concluded, he looked over the pulpit and the boy; they gang to the Laigh Greeg." said to the new soldier, · Sit down, lad; we ken ye've gotten new breeks, and we'll tak a leuk at them when the kirk
*** When the first Musical Festival took place at Edinskails.'" A SHEEP'S-EYE VIEW.
burgh, there was a great bustle for some time before among “ A gentleman of Edinburgh, being in love with a lady not be a sufficient number of violin-players in town, to til
the musicians, and much fear was expressed lest there should at Portobello, (a sea-bathing village iwo miles from the that department of the orchestra. An old woman who concapital,) used to take walks along with a friend to the top of ducted a wretched performer, her husband, through the Arthur's Seat, for no other purpose than to get a distant streets, and who thought, perhaps, that the Musical Festipeep at the residence of the dear object. This bis friend val would be an affair little better than a penny wedding, called, • Taking a sheep's-eye view of Portobello.'”
hearing of the great demand for fiddler's, reinarked one day LITERARY GUZZLEMENT.
to a friend, Faith, they'll no get our Jobn, unless they “ Hume, Smith, and other literati of the last century, l.pay him weel!""
NO PAY NO PLAY.
We shall return to this amusing volume at some early position it creates for the ready reception of all manner opportunity.
of errors, fallacies, and absurdities.
Hundreds of exq amples might be produced to prove that this is not fan
ciful speculation, but a just representation of the chaThe History and Topography of the United States. racter and tendency of false religion, in so far as regards
Edited by John Howard Hinton, A.M. Mustrated the real interest and happiness of mankind. It may with a series of Views, drawn on the spot, and en
be sufficient, however, if we mention one or two histograved on Steel. Vol. I. Part I. London. Jen
rical facts, illustrative of what has just been stated, and nings and Chaplin. August, 1830.
showing that even the administration of public justice,
and the execution of pepal laws, have been frequently ob Tuis work, which is to appear monthly, will be com- structed or neutralized by the sophistry of superstition, "pleted in thirty Parts, and will form two handsome Theodosius I. (as we learn from his Constitutions, and
quarto voluines. Of the merits of the history which it other authorities collected by Pilati, in bis Histoire des is to contain, we cannot yet speak, although the specimen Révolutions depuis l'accession de Constantin jusqu'à la before us seems to be respectably executed.
chute de l'Empire d'Occident) probibited all criminal pro, rings, which are three in number, besides the vignette, cedure during Lent; assigning, as a reason, that the judges are not first-rate, but they are distinctly executed, and ought not to punish criminals at a season when they were are interesting. They represent, Ist, “ Piazza of Con- asking pardon of God for their own offences. Valentigress Hall, Saratoga Springs;" 2d, “ A View of New. nian I. published an edict or constitution, ordaining that, haven, Connecticut, comprehending Yale College ;" and at the solemnity of Easter, all prisoners should be set af 3d, “ City Hall, New York.” The vignette is a view of liberty, excepting such as were accused of great crimes, the bay of New York.
Constantine prohibited, by a law, the branding of felons on the countenance, a common infliction prior to the imperial decree abolishing it, because, according to him,
it was contrary to the law of nature to wound the majesty · The Seasons, and Castle of Indolence. By James Thom- of “ the human face divine.” Voilà une singulière raison,
With Notes, Original and Selected. To which is says Mr Bentham, alluding to this law; la majesté dų prefired, the Life of the Author, by Samuel Johnson, front d'un scélérat ! The Inquisition, says M. Bayle, LL.D. Edinburgh. Stirling and Kenney. 1830. sarcastically, but truly, condemns heretics to the flames, 24mo. Pp. 279.
in order that it may not violate the maxim, “ Ecclesią
non novit sanguinem.” It murders by, wholesale, under This edition of Thomson's works recommends itself to the sanction of a verba! quibble. La religion a eu ses the public on account of its cheapness and neatness. The calembourgs, comme la loisil Upon no better or worthier votes also, with which it is accompanied, were contribu- grounds have Christian temples been opened as asylums ted, we understand, by the late Earl of Buchan, the late to robbers, murderers, cut-throats, parricides, who have De Robert Anderson, and the late K. Williamson Burbeen, and still are, enabled to shelter themselves from thà nett of Monboddo. There are likewise a frontispiece and pursuit of justice, at those very altars dedicated to the vignette, the latter representing Musidora at the spring. worship of Him in whose law it is written, " Whoso
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”
PUNISHMENT OF DEATH.Much has been said and
written of late on the subject of capital punishment, and 48 T-aillegan ; Comh-chrunneachadh chan, oran, agus a proposal has just been made, in the French Chamber dłuanag. Le Seumas Munro. Glaschu. W. R. of Deputies, for its total abolition, not excepting the exM+Phun. 1830. 32mo. Pp. 64.
treme cases of murder and high treason. It is not stated This is the first pocket collection of songs published in is it at all necessary to go into any metaphysical argu
upon what grounds this proposition was maintained; nor the Gaelic language, and contains the best which that ments on the subject. The punishment of death has four language affords. They are neatly printed and arranged. qualities to recommend it. “First, In the case of murder,
it is analogous to the crime. Secondly, In the same case, it is popular ; that is, conformable to, and approved by,
the sentiments of mankind. Thirdly, It relieves society MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.
of the terror of a repetition of the crime by the same individual, or, in other words, completely takes away the
power to injure. Fourthly, It eminently exemplary, NUGÆ LITERARIÆ.
inasmuch as it produces a stronger impression than all By James Browne, LL.D.
other species of punishment. We say nothing here of the
warrant, contained in the Divine law, for its infliction ip Hæ Nugæ in seria ducent.
the case of murder ; because we are now considering the SUPERSTITION AND SOPHISTRY.— Truth can never be punishment with reference to its own inherent qualities, employed in defence of falsehood ; in other words, a sys- viewed in connexion with the opinions and interests of tem founded in error can only be maintained by decep- society, which must'ultimately determine all legislation tion and hence 'sophistry is the natural ally of supersti- on this subject. From what has just been stated, howtion. All history bears testimony to the justness of this ever, it is manifest that the punishment of death can never remark.. Religion, in its parity the first of blessings, the be abolished, without injury to society, until a substitute ornament of our nature, and the source of all true virtue be found for it, which shall combine all, or at least the and happiness, when debased by ignorance, or corrupted most essential, of the qualities above enumerated ; namely, by superstition, becomes a bane and a curse ; searing the popularity, efficacy in taking away the power to injure, heart, blinding the understanding, and vitiating the moral and exemplariness in an equal, or nearly equal, degree ; perceptions of mankind, at the same time that it engen- and that, before any one can be entitled to be heard upon ders the most mischievous delusions, and opposes a for- the subject, he must not only be provided with a substi,
midable barrier to the progress of knowledge, and the tute, but prepared to prove, beyond the possibility of dis* general improvement of the human race. Corruptio op- pute, that it possesses the qualities requisite for the protec
limi pessima, says the well-known proverb; and in no tion and security of society. But do such substitute has yet, thing is this pessimism more conspicuous or more maligo so far as we know, been proposed, nor, in the case of mur. sant than in the sophistication of the mind, and the dis der, to which along our observations apply, is it likely
ever to be found. Analogy, we admit, is only one re- like a huge bulrush, from fibrous and reedy roots, and, commendation of a punishment, and that, too, of second- running up in several triangular stalks, sometimes, accordary importance. In a punishment otherwise good, it is ing to Pliny, attained a height of ten cubits ; although an additional merit or advantage ; but it forms no justi- Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. lib. iv. c. 9) asserts that it fication of a bad one. Punishments might easily be ima- seldom exceeded three feet, which, considering the soil gined, as, for example, excisio testium, in the case of the and the climate, we think a most improbable statement. crimen raptus, which, though possessing the most perfect The stalks, at the thickest part, were about a foot and a analogy to the crime, would, nevertheless, shock the sen- balfin çircumference, tapering towards large tufted heads, timents of mankind, and thus fail to prove exemplary, which were altogether unfit for the manufacture of papreven if the power of injuring were destroyed. But when, rus. The stem only was used for this purpose. Being slit to the secondary recommendation of analogy, we add the into two equal parts, the outer rind or bark was taken off, primary and essential requisites of popularity, efficacy, and the thin films or pellicles of which the stem was ehieity and exemplariness, we exhibit a combination of qualities composed, were then separated, by means of a sharp instruwhich belong to, and characterise, the ultimum supplicium ment, the innerinost coats being always esteemed the best. alone. It has, indeed, been said, that any punishment This done, the films or pellicles in question were stretched may become as popular as that of death in the case of out upon a table, and being covered on one side with a murder, or even more so, provided it be found equal- fine paste made of wheaten four, two or more of them, ly or more efficacious in the prevention of the crime. according to the thickness desired, were placed upon one True ; but the whole question hangs upon the proviso ; another transversely, and glued together by means of and it is incumbent upon those who maintain the inex- the paste ; after which they were pressed, dried, and pediency of capital punishment, to point out a substitute smoothed by means of a roller, or, as sometimes happened, equally or more efficacious in the prevention of crime. by repeatedly passing over them a solid glass hemispbere. Perpetual imprisonment, with hard labour, has been fre- Such was the simple process by which Egyptian Papyrus quently mentioned, and indeed it is the only substitute was prepared for writing, in so far as we have been able which can be devised. But, in the first place, it is not to collect the details of it from the somewhat confused an exemplary punishment, or rather, it is, from its very and contradictory statements of ancient writers. It aps nature, the reverse ; secondly, the security which it offers pears farther, that the size of this paper seldom exceeded to society against a repetition of the crime, is far from two feet, and was generally much smaller. Among the being complete, inasmuch as nothing is more common Romans.it had different names, according to its size and than the escape of felons, even from our strongest prisons; quality; the largest and finest being called Imperial, from thirdly, being neither exemplary in itself, nor such as to being used as letter-paper by the great men of Rome; the afford complete security to society, it can have little or no second sort, Livian, from Livia, the wife of Augustus; efficacy in preventing the commission of the crime; lastly, and the third, Sacerdotal, we presume from its being used if it be ineffectual as a preventive, it can never become by the priests or augurs. Each leaf of the second and popular, or, in other words, conformable to public senti- third sorts was respectively twelve and eleven inches 'ment and opinion. These considerations appear quite square. An inferior kind, only nine inches in dimen- ! conclusive against the only substitute which has been, or sion, appears to have been used in the amphitheatres. lever can be, proposed for the punishment of death, and, Several charters, written on papyrus, are extant both in by necessary consequence, for its continuance, in the Italy and France ;, and it continued to be employed, in particular case to which alone our observations apply. diplomatic instruments and other public writings, till We cannot help adding, however, that a great deal of so- the seventh century, when it seems to have been compbistry and mystification has been employed by the ad. pletely superseded by parchment. (Astle's Origin and Pro versaries of capital punishment. No one has yet ven- gress of Writing, p. 204.) The specimens we have seen tured to deny that a man may lawfully kill in self-de of this substance are extremely coarse in the grain, as 'fence. Why may not society do the same thing for the well as dark in the colour ; so inuch so, indeed, tbat erei same cause? A murderer is the common enemy of all, with the aid of frequent washing in a solution of galls, and, while he exists, no one can feel perfect security. it is extremely difficult to render the writing visible and Has not society, then, as good a right to put to death an legible ; and it can never have been either an easy or enemy which threatens its existence from within, as one agreeable task to write upon so coarse and so hard a subwhich threatens its existence from without ? Both are stance, or to form the letters with any thing approaching cases of self-defence; in both, necessity compels, and to the distinctness attainable in writing upon parchment. therefore warrants, his destruction.
In fact, the writing is almost uniformly bad ; and, in ? Papyrus.— A great deal having been said of late years many cases, it could never be deciphered at all, were it on the subject of Egyptian Papyri, it may not be unin- not for the aid afforded by the Greek registries engrossed teresting to the general reader, if we inforın bim re on the top margin, which, though far from being well specting the mode in which this substance was prepared | written, are of course much more easily read than the for receiving those remarkable writings which the inge- Egyptian texts of the syngraphs, or deed. 'nuity and learning of modern scholars have at length succeeded in deciphering. It appears from a statement of Varro, that the practice of writing on tbis plant was introduced into Egypt in the time of Alexander the Great, and that Ptolemy Philadelphus was the first who caused TOM AND BOB; OR, A PLOT DISCOVERED. books to be transcribed on papyrus (paper-rush); nor, so far as we know, has any manuscript of this description By one of the Authors of the “ Odd Volume,” “ Tales and been yet found of a more ancient date than the reign of
Legends," fc. the Ptolemies ; although it is not improbable that this inay happen, as Pliny expressly informs us, (lib. xiii. c. I am a saddler by trade, but I am of a sentimental and 11 and 13,) that papyrus was used by the Egyptians three contemplative turn of mind, and often saunter by myself centuries before the reign of Alexander. One thing is into St James's Park, and along the Bird Cage Walk. certain, however, that it only became an article of com- One evening lately, wrapped in my meditations, I remerce after the period of the Macedonian conquest, when mained till it was very dark, and the Park was nearly quantities of it began to be exported to different parts of empty. I had taken my station under a large tree, near Europe and Asia. Papyrus was an aquatic plant, abound which there was a bench, on which two wellish-dressed ing in hollow places overflowed by the Nile, and on the men were seated, and apparently in earnest conversation Inundation subsiding, left fall of stagnant water. It grew Coming out of my reverie, I began to speculate on the