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are decorated with the most costly ornaments, these being the result of the emulative spirit of the publicans. Sometimes you see them display a great richness of carving, or glowing brass work— at other times the light of chandeliers is powerfully reflected from shining gilt work, whilst all the forests of Honduras are traversed to detect the most exquisitely veined mahogany, to set off the pannel of a gin shop counter.
The engravings which illustrate the various scenes to which we have been now alluding, are in the very best style of comic effect; they are perhaps too diminished in size for the number comprehended in the groups, but with that drawback against them, they are certainly admirable of their kind.
Whilst the gin shops have been yawning for their prey from amongst the lower orders on the Sunday mornings, as we have seen, the middle orders, about the same period of the day, have surrendered their busts to the barber, or their minds to a Sunday paper, which is a far less innocent occupation. A dinner at noon and their draught, and a jaunt into the country for tea, generally finish the sabbath.
With respect to what the higher orders do during the Sunday morning, we know of no facts which give a better view of their disposition than those which have been collected by the Parliamentary Committee. At the west end of the town it has been proved that, especially in the neighbourhood of the wealthier classes, fishmongers and poulterers do much business on Sunday, and until a late hour in the evening of that day, in supplying articles for Sunday dinners to the rich. A fashionable fishmonger at Charing Cross, in his evidence before the said Committee, says, they do more business on Sunday than on any other day; and another fashionable fishmonger (in Oxford-street) says in his evidence, “ I think this is the fault of the masters and mistresses; because they do not begin to think of what they shall want for dinner until they come out of the Park, or out of the church.” And all the fishmongers, of whom many were examined, agree, that under the present system, journeymen fishmongers and apprentices are “ as ignorant as can be;" and that the fishmongers generally, both masters and servants, would be glad of a law to prohibit Sunday traffic. So said the fishmongers, and so also said the poulterers : “ We begin at seven o'clock on Sunday morn,” said a higher order poulterer, “ and we do not finish before eight o'clock in the evening, because the butlers and house stewards must not give their masters the bill of fare before certain hours which they appoint. My customers, I may say, are all the great men—the members of both Houses, and members of the administration likewise. I remember going twelve times to a gentleman of rank on one Sunday; and the difficulty of getting the article he wanted occasioned three or four more times going backward and forward.”
The picture, indeed, of the London Sabbath is quite frightful, and we are satisfied that the concurrence of every rational mind in the opinion that some bold revolution of manners is essential to the credit and morals of the metropolis, must sooner or later by its moral force produce, and that very speedily, some definite amelioration of the evil..
Art. XVI.— The Animal Kingdom, arranged according to its
Organization. By the Baron CUVIER, &c. &c. The Crustacea, Arachnides, and Insecta, by LATREILLE, &c. No. 1: large 8vo., with three beautifully-coloured plates. London: G. Hen
derson. 1833. Of all the works which remain to us as productions of the united genius, learning, and extraordinary industry of Cuvier, that which is best known to foreigners, at least that which is most generally best prized in this country, is the Regne Animale, the Animal Kingdom. The first edition of this great performance was published in 1817, and the last was not completed until 1830, and that edition we may now look upon as the classical authority which is to constitate the chief source of reference by the whole body of living naturalists.
Attempts have been made to introduce this work into the scientific literature of England, and a very elaborate translation of it has been given to the British public by Dr. Griffiths, copiously illustrated by plates. But this enterprise does not seem to have been worthy of the success which, at first sight, it might appear to have deserved. In the first place, the version of Dr. Griffiths was taken from the earlier edition, and hence those who directed their attention to the study of zoology, were unwilling to become purchasers of a heavy work, which they must have known would be sooner or later superseded by an improved edition. Again, the correctness of the translation was by no means to be indiscriminately depended on, and lastly, the price of the work must have limited its circulation to a very diminished minority indeed, of those to whom the contents would have been exceedingly desirable. Whether or not, the comparative failure of this extended version of Dr. Griffiths, brought about as it was by so unfortunate a combination of difficulties in the way of purchasers, had its warning effect on the whole order of publishers in this country, we are not in a condition to determine; we only know, that no successor or rival of Dr. Griffiths has sought to disturb him in his sequestered operations, and that up to this time not even a partial selection from the great work of Cuvier has been translated and published in England.
It is under these very important circumstances that the project, which is unfolded by the appearance of the number whose title we have prefixed to this article, has been undertaken. We hail it
with unspeakable pleasure, because we are now in a condition to confide in the certainty of a vast boon being conferred by honest commercial spirit on the best interests of science. Hitherto we may say that the Regne Animale, to all who did not number a thorough knowledge of the French language amongst their acquirements, was a sealed book ; and if it be now brought to the level of every man's pocket who cannot be beggared by the loss of a shilling, ought we not to rejoice at the evidence that this fact presents of a great and most auspicious moral revolution ?
But let us see exactly what the nature and advantages of this enterprise really consist of, for the publisher appears resolved to stand or fall by the simple and only fair test of a specimen. With respect to the first question, is the translation of the original executed in the best manner, so as to answer the description of the prospectus, namely, that the work will be found to combine not merely the exact import of the author's language, but as much of his manner and his spirit as it is possible can be transferred from the one language to the other ? Now for our own parts we have accurately compared this version and the original, and we are literally surprised at the perfection to which every requisite quality of the former has been carried. One of the most difficult and delicate points attainable in the art of translating is here most skilfully reached, because whilst the original is severely, indeed religiously, adhered to throughout, there is still so complete a freedom in the text from any turns of phrase, or any peculiarity belonging to the genius of the French language, that a reader will scarcely be able to believe that the sentences which he reads ever emanated from any but the mind of an Englishman.
So much for the letter press, of which by the way every body has now the opportunity of judging for himself. The paper and printing are also left to the unbiassed judgment of the reader.
We now come to one of the most important features of this publication—the plates by which it is illustrated. We find by the advertisement which accompanies the present number, that the specimens of art which we see attached to it are selected from separate divisions of the animal kingdom, and that this choice was founded on the intention of the proprietor to satisfy the public, by the least equivocal of all evidence, that the excellence of the plates was not to be confined to the earlier numbers, but that up to the last number their uniformity, in that excellence, should be faithfully preserved. We presume, that no misgiving such as this contrivance was destined to meet, will be entertained as to the regular completion of the whole work. Then as to the merit of the engravingshere at all events we leave the reader to be his own judge; for our parts we do not understand the view which the proprietor seems to take of his arithmetic ; we cannot divine the nature of the stratagem by which he is to succeed in even squaring the expenses with the returns, to say nothing about profits. We know very
well, however, the cost of the original work, with its illustrations, to amount to somewhere about six and thirty pounds; whereas the whole of this English translation, with better paper and superior workmanship, together with a greater number of plates, will stand the purchaser in precisely the same number of shillings! Where are we to stop ?
Art. XVII.-Lives of Eminent and Illustrious Englishmen, from
Alfred the Great to the latest Times, on an Original Plan; comprising the two-fold advantage of a General English Biography and a History of England. Edited by G. G. Cun
NINGHAM ; with Portraits. Vol. Ist. pp. 490. Glasgow. 1833. BIOGRAPHY is universally allowed to be one of the most delightful and instructive branches of literature, and it is also one of those departments in which England has many specimens of the highest excellence to exhibit. We say this with reference to individual lives of celebrated men, we have no particular reason to be proud of the number and execution of those general collections of lives that have hitherto appeared among us.
Of those which are confined to native worthies, the Biographia Britannica remains incomparably the best; but the only complete edition of it is now four score years old, and nearly forty years have elapsed since Dr. Kippis, who began a new edition with additional lives, lost his own life; he did not advance beyond the first six letters of the alphabet, and no one has yet appeared to continue the task which he was obliged to abandon. The General Biographical Dictionary has been reprinted, with great additions, by Mr. Alexander Chalmers ; the materials are loosely collected and very ill digested, and they are moreover marred by the continual introduction of the editor's malignant bigotry and besotted antipathies.
Dr. Aikin's General Biography, in ten quartos, has great merit, and might, like other works of the same kind (inasmuch as it gives an account of the actions of every distinguished person), serve as a sufficient body of history, but it has no arrangement except the alphabetical one ; though, therefore, it is occasionally consulted, it is from this cause never read.
We ought to except the instance of a worthy provincial friend of ours, who was observed to take in succession from the library of the town to which he belonged, the volumes of Dr. Aikin's Dictionary; when he was taking away the letter R, we expressed our surprise, and we received this answer : “Finding myself to be very deficient in historic knowledge, and preferring the biographical mode of learning to any other, I have determined to read this work regularly through” (i. e. from A to Z). We could not but congratulate him upon the entertainment he would derive from such a procedure,
and the exact knowledge of geography and chronology which would be the inevitable result of his method of study. The perception of the advantages of chronological biography, over that in which the arrangement depends upon the accident of the initial letter, and also over general and political history, has led to the undertaking of some works, in which it was endeavoured to combine the instruction and convenience that belong respectively to the several forms of narrative.
An Universal Biography began to appear a few years ago, chronologically arranged by the Rev John Platts; we could not discover any merit in it, except the collocation of persons, with some regard to the periods in which they flourished. The execution of the book was hasty, and so was its close ; for since the appearance of the fifth volume, which hardly approaches so far as the period of English civilization, no more has been seen or heard of it, and we are told in Paternoster-row, that though not completed, “it is finished.”
We know, in short, of but one other rationally arranged work of this kind in the English language, except the one before us, which we can praise; that other one is comprised in the third division of the Encyclopædia Metropolitana; but the exact and elegant scholars, whose contributions have deservedly obtained for that work so high a character, beginning, as they did, with the creation of the world, and including, as they do, every important person of every “nation, kindred, and tongue,” have still many centuries to wade through, before they can in due course relate the achievements, deeds, labours and sufferings, of those warriors, statesmen, ecclesiastics, scholars, discoverers, philosophers, and poets, of whom every instructed and right-minded Englishman speaks with patriotic pride.
In a very clear, modest, and sensible preface, part of which we copy, Mr. Cunningham describes his plan : “ Its object is to combine the advantages and attractions of history and biography, by presenting to the reader the lives of those distinguished Englishmen who gave the tone and character to their times, or whose names are connected with British glory in arts or arms, in such an order as may meet their chronological relation to each other, and the events in which they were the prominent actors. The advantage of interest resulting from this mode of exhibiting a nation's history is obvious, as it will lead the reader's mind through the complexity of events, by personal feelings and individual sympathies, instead of that comparatively cold, dry, and abstract sentiment which attends only to the strictly historical connexion of affairs. The reader of history in its usual form views things in so generalized and impersonal a light, that he is in danger of feeling the study grow heavy on his attention, as if it were a system of abstract science, and its successions those of deinonstrative reasoning." .
Mr. Cunningham does not tell us to what histories of England