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time met with from the world, compared with the honors paid them by antiquity. Then they could afford them three or four sonorous names, and at full length; as to Ovid, the addition of Publius Naso Sulmensis; to Seneca, that of · Lucius Annæas Cordubensis; and the like. Now, says, he,

Our modern poets to that pass are driven,
Those names are curtail'd which they first had given;
And, as we wish'd to have their memories drown'd,
We scarcely can afford them half their sound.
Greene, who had in both Academies ta'en
Degree of Master, yet could never gain
To be call'd more than Robin; who, had he
Profest aught save the Muse, served, and been free
After a sev'n years prenticeship, might have
(With credit too) gone Robert to his grave.
Marlowe, renown'd for his rare art and wit,
Could ne'er attain beyond the name of Kit;
Although his Hero and Leander did
Merit addition rather. Famous Kid
Was call'd but Tom. Tom Watson, though he wrote
Able to make Apollo's self to dote
Upon his Muse; for all that he could strive,
Yet never could to his full name arrive.
Tom Nash (in his time of no small esteem,)
Could not a second syllable redeem.
Excellent Beaumont, in the foremost rank
Of the rarest wits, was never more than Frank.
Mellifluous Shakspeare, whose enchanting quill
Commanded mirth or passion, was but Will:
And famous Jonson, though his learned pen
Be dipt in Castaly, is still but Ben.
Fletcher, and Webster, of that learned pack
None of the meanest, neither was but Jack;
Decker but Tom; nor May, nor Middleton;
And he's now but Jack Ford, that once were John.
“ Possibly,

continues L., our Poet was a little sore, that the contemptuous curtailment of their baptismal names was chiefly exercised upon his poetical brethren of the drama. We hear nothing about Sam Daniel, or Ned Spen

ser, in his catalogue. The familiarity of common discourse might probably take the greater liberties with the dramatic poets as conceiving of them as more upon a level with the stage actor. Or did their greater publicity, and popularity in consequence, fasten these diminutives upon them out of a feeling of love and kindness; as we say Harry the Fifth, rather than Henry, when we would express good will ?as himself says, in those reviving words put into his mouth by Shakspeare, where he would comfort and confirm his doubting brothers :

Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,

But Harry Harry! And doubtless Heywood had an indistinct conception of this truth, when (coming to his own name,) with that beautiful retracting which is natural to one that, not satirically given, has wandered a little out of his way into something recriminative, he goes on to say:

Nor speak I this, that any here exprest,
Should think themselves less worthy than the rest,
Whose names have their full syllables and sound,
Or that Frank, Kit, or Jack, are the least wound
Unto their fame and merit. I for my part
(Think others what they please) accept that heart
Which courts my love in most familiar phrase ;
And that it takes not from my pains a praise ;
If any one to me so bluntly come:
I hold he loves me best that calls me Tom.

LIBANS.

THE PREJUDICE AGAINST KNOWLEDGE DERIVED

FROM BOOKS.

There is apparently a strong prejudice still lurking in the minds of many amongst us against the knowledge derived from books, or book learning, (or larning as they call

it,) compared with that which is picked up by observation, or in the course of current chat. The latter is thought to be fresh and real; and worth having; while the former is considered as idle, visionary, and good-for-nothing. The first settlers of our State, I suppose, or many of them, brought this feeling over with them from England, and it has grown with our growth; and if banished from our towns, still hides itself in many holes and corners of our country. But it is high time to ferret it out in all its quarters, and drive it, if possible, out of every nook.

There was a time indeed, I admit, when this feeling was not altogether unreasonable or unwise; for there was a time when the few books that were to be had were conAned almost entirely to the subjects of school divinity, logic, and metaphysics, which were far above the reach of common people, and could not be brought home to their business and bosoms in any manner whatever. By degrees, however, these new vehicles of information took a wider and more popular range-encircling history, biography, voyages, and travels the whole world of truth, and a boundless region of fiction,-and at present, we know, there is no species of information which they do not embrace. And they give us this information now, not as formerly, in a dull and drowsy manner, but freely, freshly, gaily and with all the life and interest of oral communication. They fairly talk to us. Now, then, to prefer the knowledge which a man may pick up by chance, or gain by his own eyes and ears in the short round of his personal experience, to that which he may acquire by the help of books, is, in effect, to prefer a small stock of knowledge to a large one; the loose relations of a few individuals about him, to the well considered reports of the more intelligent and cultivated minds who have travelled far and wide for the acquisition of knowledge, and brought home the spolia opima of their researches, done up in the most portable and pleasant forms, for the instruction and entertainment of their fellow-men at home. The prejudice, therefore, is no longer tolerable; cannot be indulged, and ought to be exploded at once.

A READER.

MR. WASHINGTON'S DISCOURSE.

The Virginia Constitution of 1776. A Discourse Delivered

before the Virginia Historical Society, at their Annual Meeting, January 17th, 1852. By H. A. Washington. Published by the Society. Richmond. Macfarlane & Fergusson.

This is really an able and interesting discourse, and for its general scope and spirit at least, deserves no small portion of praise. As we apprehended, however, in hearing, so we find on reading it, that we cannot quite agree with our worthy and intelligent author in all the views and opinions which he so strongly avows, and which he seems so anxious to impress. We ought perhaps to specify some of them. In the first place, then, we cannot quite agree with him, (as, of course, we should be glad to do,) that our Constitution of '76 was purely historical, and not at all theoretical ; or, to use his own words, " that it was not framed with reference to any mere abstract theory of government” whatever. It is true, we admit, that the Constitution itself, for the body of it, is perhaps, strictly historical; for the frame of polity which it established was in fact only the old colonial government vamped up with singular skill, on its actual basis, and with such alterations and additions only as the new state of things at the time had rendered absolutely necessary and proper. Bnt if we look at the Bill of Rights, which we must consider as part and parcel of the instrument, (as has been judicially decided, and as our author himself subsequently takes it,) we may surely see a little something in that which appears to have reference to a theory of some sort of the abstract rights of man, and smacks indeed very strongly of the "social compact of Locke, and the “contrat social” of Rousseau, which subsequently produced such flagrant consequences in France and throughout the whole world.

But passing over this minor point, we can not quite agree with our author in what we take to be his main proposition, that “the rights, franchises, and liberties, which our fathers brought with them from England, which they enjoyed throughout the whole colonial period, under the protection of royal charters, and the courts of law, and which when all connection between the colony and the mother country had been dissolved forever, George Mason and his associates gathered together, and bound up in the Bill of Rights and Constitution of '76—have a high and noble pedigree, and are, in truth, an inheritance transmitted to this democratic age and country; from the bosom of an exclusive aristocracy:" that is, as he explairs, from the old English Barons who extorted Magna Charta from the recreant John at Runnymede, and that Magna Charta itself is in fact " the great prototype of the first Constitution of Viriginia.” That there is some historical connection, indeed, between the two transactions is what we can easily see, but that they involve a common principle, or that there is any great resemblance between them in any essential respect, as our author seems particularly anxjous to show, is what after all his able and ample illustration we cannot so clearly perceive. For in what does he suppose the resemblance consists? Why he says: “Magna Charta is an instrument drawing a line between the powers of the Crown and the rights of the English barons. The Constitution of Virginia is an instrument drawing a line between the powers of the government and the rights of the people. The principle of Magna Charta is, that the barons of England had certain rights which the Crown dare not invade. The principle of the Constitution of Virginia is, that the people of the Commonwealth have certain rights, which the government is bound, under all circumstances, to respect." (p. 15.) And, he tells us in another place, that “when we come to look at the Constitution of '76, analytically and philosophically, we find that, passing over the mere machinery of government, it is, in principle, an instrument drawing a line between the powers of the government, and the rights of the governed.” And again, he insists that “this principle, lying at the basis of our government, and so important in the annals of Constitutional liberty—the principle, I mean, which draws a line between the government and the individualhas no place in the ancient world. It is of comparatively recent, and as I shall

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