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man of business, Lord John.”
was there-wrote himself -- Dear Muleygrubs —Dear Russell --good
""Ah,” said Mr. Jorrocks, “ Lords are all werry well to talk about ; but they don't do to live with. Apt to make a conwenience of onefirst a towel, then a dishclout.” 6“I don't know that,” observed Professor Gobelow: “there's my
friend Northington, for instance. Who can be more affable ?”
6“He'll make a clout on you some day,” rejoined Mr. Jorrocks.
" " Tea and coffee in the drawing-room," observed the stiff-necked footman, opening the door and entering the apartment in great state. “ Cuss your tea and coffee!” muttered Mr. Jorrocks, buzzing the bottle. “ Haven't had half a drink.” '-vol, ii. p. 256.
We hope we have now done enough to bring Jorrocks fairly before the non-sporting part of the public—the others will not need our recommendation. His historian, it must be obvious, is a writer of no common promise. On this occasion Mr. Surtees has not thought proper to trouble himself with much complication of plot; but the easy style in which he arranges and draws out his characters satisfies us that he might, if he pleased, take a high place among our modern novelists. He has a world of knowledge of life and manners beyond what most of those now in vogue can pretend to; and a gentleman-like tone and spirit, perhaps even rarer among them. We advise him to try his hand-and that before he loses the high spirits of youth ;-but he must, in so doing, by all means curb his propensity to caricature.
Art. VI.—Memoirs of the Queens of France; with Notices of
the Royal Favourites. By Mrs. Forbes Bush. 2 vols. 8vo. 1843.
Francis Palgrave. FAR
be it from us to reveal the secrets of our craft; yet, in a mere political-economy point of view, it is curious to consider the vast improvement in the noble art of book-making, which has resulted from the opening of the British Museum upon its present magnificent scale. We quite recollect the time, when the one snug little reading-room on the right-hand side as you went in contained of students just as many as could put their feet upon the long brass fender: about as many individuals as there are now swarms of hundreds in the course of the day. The Museum now possesses a double character: it is not only the great storehouse of raw material, but also the factory by which the literary cravings of the insatiate reading public are supplied; the reservoir whence the stream of wisdom (as portrayed in the handsome cut in the front of Mr. Bohn's catalogue) rushes, daslies,
VOL. LXXI. NO. CXLII.
flows, spits, spirts, spouts, spatters, slops, and dribbles through the whole empire of the English tongue. If the Museum library were shut for a month, the whole of the book-making process would stop; and, possibly, not less than a thousand of those who depend upon their pen for their daily bread would be reduced to a state of entire destitution. During the late most laborious removals, the entire consciousness that such a calamity would ensue induced the officers of the House (whose constant toils are imperfectly appreciated by the public) to make those great and praiseworthy exertions which have enabled them to keep the establishment open, and the whole factory going, without stopping a single authorial mule or spinning-jenny.
Like so many other phases in our chequered existence, this state of our popular literature is on one side very sad, and on the other very ludicrous: sad, from the contemplation of the many, born for better things, whom our present state of society has forced into a slavery as ruinous to the body as to the mind; ludicrous, from observing the manner in which the exertion of some of the highest talents given to mankind is practically treated like the lowest and most mechanical drudgery. On speaking some little time ago to one of the principal 'getters-up' in the biblio-facturing line, about the necessity of providing books for an educational work which he contemplated-his answer was given as nearly as possible in these words :- Books, books, Sir! they a'n't wanted at all. That is not the way in which those things are done. All those kind of things, Sir, are done at the British Museum. I have a capital fellow, Sir, for that kind of thing :-young-full of the fire of genius-capital short-hand writer - Sir, he'll gut you a whole row of quartos in a week, and get all the stuff out of them as clean as a penny!'-And it is by this compendious process of 'gutting' and 'getting the stuff out of them' that nine-tenths of the stuff appearing in the shape of works of reference, education, and general information and literature, with which we are deluged, are supplied.
Another large class who work at the Museum are translators.' It is hardly necessary to observe to our readers that the most common meaning of this well-known word, viz. ' to interpret in another language,' is only one of many senses to be found in all lexicons. It may be equally applied to removal or to change. In spite of the Church Commissioners, a Bishop may still be much improved by translation. Johnson gives six meanings, but to learn a seventh, not yet in the Dictionary, you must go to Saffron Hill and Chick Lane, localities peopled by a useful class of ingenious artificers, well known professionally as translators of old shoes;' and who, by putting new upper-leathers to old soles,
and new soles to old upper-leathers, contrive to translate the old article into another, bright as if it came from the · Fontaine de jouvence. A great portion of the things done at the British Museum are the results of this sort of translation. There is, for example, a class of very ingenious writers who translate the oncethumbed novels of the Minerva press into new ones, retaining the sole of the story, and giving upper-leathers, or, to speak less figuratively, taking the plot and filling up what the French term the canevas with figures not in the costume of our grandfathers and grandmothers, but of the present day.
We now proceed to translators, in the more common literary sense of the word, those who 'interpret in another language, and who fall into three classes. The first, are translators who, intelligent and well acquainted with the subject of the book upon which they labour, and thoroughly informed in both languages, are able, like Mrs. Austin, to cause the author to speak in a new tongue, with as much facility as if he were addressing you in his own.
Such translations require as peculiar a talent as original composition, and are, perhaps, only one step lower in the hierarchy of literature.
The second class, are the translators who, with a decent know. ledge of their own language, and some acquaintance with a foreign one, have good sense and tact enough to know when they are ignorant. They help themselves by consulting a grammar, looking out the hard words in a dictionary, or perhaps taking advice with a friend; and though a well-selected work overturned by translators included in this category' may read stiffly and meagrely, yet the production is not without utility to the large class who can only hear the original author speak through a dragoman, or not at all.
The third class are those who, just able to write bad English, are, at the same time, unable to discover when they do not understand their original-so ignorant as to be unconscious of their own ignorance; and to this class the authoress of the present work belongs. She is, however, rather of a mixed genus, appertaining also partly to those who translate after the fashion of Saffron Hill, inasmuch as the farrago now before us does not own to being a translation, but calls itself the result of much labour and research,' being, however, in fact, the crudest compilation from some of the lowest trash of the French press. And the following specimens will show the manner in which her acquisitions are done into English, for the improvement of the ladies of England, and as an homage to her Majesty :
* The circumstance is represented as follows in a scene of Odysee [thus literally). The Gaul, Aurelian, disguised as a mendicant and 2 F 2
carrying a wallet on his back, is charged to deliver a ring which Clovis sends to Clotilde.'—vol. i. p. 6.
Pope's · Homer' has evidently never found its way into Mrs. Bush's select library.
Ultrogothe was a native of Spain, but of the circumstances relative to her introduction into France there is no record. She was married to Childberg I., afterwards King of Paris, in the year
511. She lived in the palace of Thermes de Julien, with her husband. This palace, which was the ordinary residence of the first race of kings, was surrounded by beautiful gardens, which the Queen and her daughters Crotberge and Crodesinde were in the habit of frequenting.
• Ultrogothe was the only wise of Childberg ; a very remarkable circumstance in the epoch in which she lived. Her husband died in the year 558, without leaving an heir ; consequently the whole monarchy of France was reunited under his brother Clotaire, whose first act of authority was to expel Ultrogothe and her daughters from the palace of Thermes; she was however afterwards recalled by his son and successor Cherbourg.'-vol. i. pp. 13, 14.
Childberg is King Childebert; Cherbourg is not the town of that name, but the king vulgarly called Cherebert, and Monsieur Thermes de Julien, we presume, built or lived in the palace to which Mrs. Bush alludes.
“Historians assert that Radegonde was passionately fond of poetry, and bestowed great favour and attention on the poet Fortunato ; a circumstance which, if true, could not fail to injure the reputation of a young queen, separated, as she was, from her husband. Fortunato was an Italian; he was amiable and intellectual, and frequently addressed Radegonde in verse, daily presenting her with fruits and flowers. She in her turn made him little presents; and though these simple gifts did honour to the frugality of the epoch, their interchange has thrown suspicion on the queen's virtue.
* Agnes, the Lady Abbess of Sainte Croix, often participated in the literary amusements of Radegonde and Fortunato, both of whom were in the habit of composing impromptu verses at table, some of which are preserved, and are very pleasing. In the collection of these pieces there is one relative to which an anecdote is told, to the effect that it was the result of an indulgence, anything but monastical, into which the poet was inveigled by his fair companions; and the verses but too plainly proclaim the condition of the author at the moment they were penned.
Although the Celtic was the language spoken in France, Radegonde wrote and conversed fluently in the Roman tongue. Her letters to the Emperor Orient-Justin and the Empress Sophie are proofs of her talents and acquirements.'— vol. i. pp. 21–23.
The young gentleman here designated as the poet Fortunato is no other than Venantius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers: it is true that complimentary verses were addressed by him to St. Radegonda, as well as to the Abbess Agnes, but all the accompaniments of the
story are a miserable travestie of the facts given by some of the wretched scribblers from whom Mrs. Forbes Bush has cribbed her trumpery. Amongst other things, the reader will admire her peculiar ingenuity in amalgamating the Emperor of the East and his empire into one grand vocable.
Merovée, who was taken prisoner at the battle d'Etampes, and put to death by order of Brunehaut.'--vol. i. p. 49.
This curious construction is a favourite one with Mrs. Bush. In another passage she tells us that
the reverses of the French army which were imputed to the War of Sept Ans were a subject of serious regret to Madame de Pompadour.'vol. ii. p. 248.
Charlemagne was passionately fond of her (his wife), and in order to please this great prince, Luitgarde accustomed herself to the fatigues of the chase. She was a skilful equestrian, and, habited as an Amazon, intrepidly pursued the most ferocious beasts into the depths of the forest.' - vol. i. pp. 65, 66.
If this means anything, it means that the charming Luitgarde figured by the side of Charlemagne in a riding-habit (en Amazone), according to the last fashion of the Bois de Boulogne.
The Prince Charles was sent to the Abbey of Pruym in Prussia; and Judith, after having her head shaved, was confined in the Abbey Tortona in Lombardy.'-vol. i. p. 74.
The placing the Abbey of Prüm in Prussia, in the time of Charlemagne, is a capital anticipation of the geographical arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, and for which, without doubt, his Prussian Majesty will be very grateful, as establishing the antiquity of his claims. The Abbey Tortona' must speak for himself, and we can say nothing more about him.
• Constance founded the convent of the Augustins of Nôtre Dame de Paissy, and the stronghold of Puiset, in Beauce. Her superstitious devotion amounted to fanaticism: her confessor, Stephen, was sed of belonging to a sect who professed Manicheism, by which he incurred the penalty of death by burning; the queen met him when being led to execution, and, according to the custom of the time, put out one of his eyes with a small stick which she carried in her hand for the purpose, and afterwards assisted in the ereculion.'-vol. i. pp. 105, 106.
The authoress does not inform us whether it was a regal or a legal custom to poke out people's eyes; and though it was bad enough for the queen to be present at the execution, it is rather hard to represent her as assisting the executioner.
* English chronicles relate that amongst Henry's favourites was a young lady of great beauty, to whom he was devotedly attached, named Rosamond Clifford; and to protect her from the queen's jealous enmity,