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pers of England from that time to the present by the most submissive apologies. During & day is a most interesting and instructive part of considerable time the unofficial gazettes, though the history of the country. At first they were much more garrulous and amusing than the small and mean-looking. Even the Postboy and official gazette, were scarcely less courtly. Whothe Postman, which seem to have been the best ever examines them will find that the King is conducted and the most prosperous, were wretch- always mentioned with profound respect. About edly printed on scraps of dingy paper such as the debates and divisions of the two Houses a would not now be thought good enough for street reverential silence is preserved. There is much ballads. Only two numbers came out in a week; invective: but it is almost all directed against and a number contained little more matter than the Jacobites and the French. It seems certain may be found in a single column of a daily paper that the government of William gained not a of our time. What is now called a leading article little by the substitution of these printed newsseldom appeared except when there was a scarcity papers, composed under constant dread of the of intelligence, when the Dutch mails were detain- Attorney General, for the old newsletters which ed by the west wind, when the Rapparees were were written with unbounded license.
The quiet in the Bog of Allen, when no stage-coach pamphleteers were under less restraint than the had been stopped by highwaymen, when no non-journalists; yet no person who has studied with juring congregation had been dispersed by consta- attention the political controversies of that time bles, when no ambassador had made his entry with can have failed to perceive that the libels on a long train of coaches and six, when no lord or William's person and government were decidedly poet had been buried in the Abbey, and when con- less coarse and rancorous during the latter half sequently it was difficult to fill up four scanty of his reign than during the earlier half. And pages. Yet the leading articles, though inserted, the reason evidently is that the press, which had as it should seem, only in the absence of more been fettered during the earlier half of his reign, attractive matter, are by no means contemptibly was free during the latter half. While the cenwritten."
sorship existed, no tract blaming, even in the
most temperate and decorous language, the conThe establishment of regular newspapers duct of any public department, was likely to be produced none of the results expected by printed with the approbation of the licenser. To timid statesmen ; and “the liberty of un- print such a tract without the approbation of the licensed Printing,'' 80 nobly fought for in the licenser was illegal, In general, therefore, the noblest prose of Milton, when it was allowed, not being able to publish in the manner pre
respectable and moderate opponents of the Court, soon justified the prophecies of that great scribed by law, and not thinking it right or safe writer. Mr. Macaulay shall tell us, in brief, to publish in a manner prohibited by law, held the story of the Free Press :
their peace, and left the business of criticizing
the administration to two classes of men, fanati“ It is a remarkable fact that the infant news- cal non-jurors who sincerely thought the Prince papers were all on the side of King William and of Orange entitled to as little charity or courtesy the Revolution. This fact may be partly ex- as the Prince of Darkness, and Grub Street hacks, plained by the circumstance that the editors coarse-minded, bad-hearted, and foul-mouthed. were, at first, on their good behavior. It was Thus there was scarcely a single man of judgby no means clear that their trade was not in ment, temper, and integrity among the many who itself illegal. The printing of newspapers was were in the habit of writing against the governcertainly not prohibited by any statute. But, ment. Indeed, the habit of writing against the towards the close of the reign of Charles the government had, of itself, an unfavorable effect Second, the judges had pronounced that it was a on the character. For whoever was in the habit misdemeanor at common law to publish political of writing against the government was in the intelligence without the King's license. It is habit of breaking the law; and the habit of breaktrue that the judges who laid down this doctrine ing even an unreasonable law tends to make men were removable at the royal pleasure and were altogether lawless. However absurd a tariff may eager on all occasions to exalt the royal preroga- be, a smuggler is but too likely to be a knave tive. How the question, if it were again raised, and a ruffian. However oppressive a game law would be decided by Holt and Treby was doubt- may be, the transition is but too easy from a ful; and the effect of the doubt was to make the poacher to a murderer. And so, though little ministers of the Crown indulgent and to make indeed can be said in favor of the statutes which the journalists cautious. On neither side was imposed restraints on literature, there was much there a wish to bring the question of right to risk that a man who was constantly violating issue. The government therefore connived at those statutes would not be a man of high honor the publication of the newspapers; and the con- and rigid uprightness. An author who was deductors of the newspapers carefully abstained termined to print, and could not obtain the sancfrom publishing anything that could provoke or tion of the licenser, must employ the services of alarm the government. It is true that, in one of needy and desperate outcasts, who, hunted by the earliest numbers of one of the new journals, a the peace officers, and forced to assume every paragraph appeared which seemed to be intended week new aliases and new disguises, hid their to convey an insinuation that the Princess Anne paper and their types in those dens of vice which did not sincerely rejoice at the fall of Namur. are the pest and the shame of great capitals. Such But the printer made haste to atone for his fault I wretches as these he must bribe to keep his secret
and to run the chance of having their backs the government and the legislature to put down flayed and their ears clipped in his stead. A so monstrous a nuisance. Yet still, bounded on man stooping to such companions and to such the west by the great school of English jurisexpedients could hardly retain unimpaired the prudence, and on the east by the great mart of delicacy of his sense of what was right and be- English trale, stood this labyrinth of squalid, coming
tottering houses, closely packed, every one, “ The emancipation of the press produced a from cellar to cockloft, with outcasts, whose life great and salutary change. The best and wisest was one long war with society. The best part men in the ranks of the opposition now assumed of the population consisted of debtors who were an office which had hitherto been abandoned to in fear of bailiffs. The rest were attorneys the unprincipled or the hot-headed. Tracts struck off the roll, witnesses who carried straw against the government were written in a style in their shoes as a sign to inform the public not misbecoming statesmen and gentlemen : and where a false oath might be procured for half-aeven the compositions of the lower and fiercer crown, sharpers, receivers of .stolen goods, class of malcontents became somewhat less clippers of coin, forgers of bank notes, and brutal and less ribald than in the days of the tawdry women, blooming with paint and brandy, licensers. Some weak men had imagined that who, in their anger, made free use of their nails religion and morality stood in need of the pro- and their scissors, yet whose anger was less to tection of the licenser. The event signally be dreaded than their kindness. With these proved that they were in error. In truth, the wretches the narrow alleys of the sanctuary sensorship had scarcely put any restraint on swarmed. The rattling of. dice, the call for licentiousness or profaneness. The Paradise more punch and more wine, and the noise of Lost' had narrowly escaped mutilation ; for the blasphemy and ribald song never ceased during • Paradise Lost' was the work of a man whose the whole night. The benchers of the Inner politics were hateful to the ruling powers. But Temple could bear the scandal and the annoyEtherge’s ‘She Would If She Could,' Wycher- ance no longer. They ordered the gate leading ley's Country Wife,' Dryden's Translations into Whitefriars to be bricked up. The Alsatians from the Fourth Book of Lucretius,' obtained mustered in great force, attacked the workmen, the Imprimatur without difficulty ; for Dryden, killed one of them, pulled down the wall, Etherege, and Wycherley were courtiers. From knocked down the Sheriff who came to keep the the day on which the emancipation of our liter- peace, and carried off his gold chain, which, no ature was accomplished, the purification of our doubt, was soon in the melting-pot. The riot literature began. That purification was ef- was not suppressed till a company of the Foot fected, not by the intervention of senates or Guards arrived. This outrage excited general magistrates, but by the opinion of the great indignation. The City, indignant at the outrage body of educated Englishmen, before whom offered to the Sheriff, cried loudly for justice. good and evil were set, and who were left free Yet, so difficult was it to execute any process to make their choice. During a hundred and in the dens of Whitefriars, that near two years sixty years the liberty of our press has been elapsed before a single ringleader was appreconstantly becoming more and more entire ; and hended.” during those hundred and sixty years the restraint imposed on writers by the general feeling
The Savoy corresponded with its neighbor of readers has been constantly becoming more beyond the Temple : and more strict. At length even that class of works in which it was formerly thought that a kind, smaller indeed, and less renowned, but
“ The Savoy was another place of the same voluptuous imagination was privileged to dis- inhabited by a not less lawless population. An port itself, love songs, comedies, novels, have unfortunate tailor, who ventured to go thither become more decorous than the sermons of the for the purpose of demanding payment of a seventeenth century. At this day, foreigners, debt, was set upon by the whole mob of cheats, who dare not print a word reflecting on the ruffians, and courtesans. He offered to give a government under which they live, are at a loss full discharge to his debtor and a treat to the to understand how it happens that the freest rabble, but in vain. He had violated their franpress in Europe is the most prudish.”
chises ; and this crime was not to be pardoned. The story of the newspaper draws us in He was knocked down, stripped, tarred, feathered. imagination to Alsatia and the Savoy - in A rope was tied round his waist. He was
dragged naked up and down the streets amidst which regions a great part of the newspaper yells of A bailiff! A bailiff!' Finally he was enterprise of the present day finds its home. compelled to kneel down and to curse his father The picture of these places 160 years ago and mother. Having performed this ceremony is very striking. Here is Alsatia :
he was permitted, - and the permission was
blamed by many of the Savoyards, - to limp The ancient immunities enjoyed by some home without a rag upon him. The Bog of districts of the capital, of which the largest and Allen, the passes of the Grampians, were not the most infamous was Whitefriars, had pro- more unsafe than this small knot of lanes, surduced abuses which could no longer be endured. rounded by the mansions of the greatest nobles The Templars on one side of Alsatia, and the of a flourishing and enlightened kingdom. At citizens on the other, had long been calling on length, in 1697, a bill for abolishing the fran
chises of these places passed both Houses, and wrote, in concert with his friend and fellow stureceived the royal assent. The Alsatians and dent Prior, on Dryden's Rind and Panther, was Savoyards were furious. Anonymous letters, received with great applause. At this time all containing menaces of assassination, were re- Montague's wishes pointed towards the Church. coived by members of Parliament who had made At a later period, when he was a peer with themselves conspicuous by the real with which twelve thousand a year, when his villa on the they had supported the bill ; but such threats Thames was regarded as the most delightful of only strengthened the general conviction that all suburban retreats, when he was said to revel it was high time to destroy these nests of in Tokay from the Imperial cellar, and in soups knaves and ruffians. A fortnight's grace was made out of bird's nests brought from the Inallowed ; and it was made known that, when dian Ocean, and costing three guineas apiece, that time had expired, the vermin who had been his enemies were fond of reminding him that the curse of London would be unearthed and there had been a time when he had eked out by hunted without mercy. There was a tumultuous his wits an income of barely fifty pounds, when flight to Ireland, to France, to the Colonies, to he had been happy with a trencher of mutton vaults and garrets in less notorious parts of the chops and a flagon of ale from the College buto capital ; and when, on the prescribed day, the tery, and when a tithe pig was the rarest luxSheriff's officers ventured to cross the boundary, ury for which he had dared to hope. The Revthey found those streets where, a few weeks olution came and changed his whole scheme of before, the cry of 'A writ !' would have drawn life. He obtained, by the influence of Dorset, together a thousand raging bullies and vixens, who took a culiar ple ure in befriending as quiet as the cloister of a cathedral.”
young men of promise, a seat in the House of
Commons. Still, during a few months, the In the gallery of portraits of British states- needy scholar hesitated between politics and dimen furnished by Mr. Macaulay we rank none vinity. But it soon became clear that, in the higher than those of Montague and Somers. new order of things, parliamentary ability must The historian seems to love these men ; and fetch a higher price than any other kind of abil
ity; and he felt that in parliamentary ability he well he may, for they were the intellectual had no superior. He was in the very situation founders of the Whig party. Montague is for which he was peculiarly fitted by nature; nobly and judiciously presented :
and during some years his life was a series of
triumphs. Of him, as of several of his contem“ Another director of the Whig party was poraries, especially of Mulgrave and of Sprat, Charles Montague. He was often, when he had it may be said that his fame has suffered from risen to power, honors, and riches, called an up- the folly of those editors who, down to our own start by those who envied his success. That time, have persisted in reprinting his rhymes they should have called him so may seem strange; among the works of the British poets. There is for few of the statesmen of his time could show not a year in which hundreds of verses as good Buch a pedigree as his. He sprang from a fam- as any that he ever wrote are not sent in for the ily as old as the Conquest : he was in the succes- Newdigate prize at Oxford and for the Chancelsion to an earldom, and was, by the paternal lor's medal at Cambridge. His mind had indeed side, cousin of three earls. But he was the great quickness and vigor, but not that kind of younger son of a younger brother; and that quickness and vigor which produces great draphrase had, ever since the time of Shakspeare mas or odes : and it is most unjust to him that and Raleigh, and perhaps before their time, his Man of Honor and his Epistle on the Battle been proverbially used to designate a person so of the Boyne should be placed side by side with poor as to be broken to the most abject servitude Comus and Alexander's Feast. Other eminent or ready for the most desperate adventure. statesmen and orators, Walpole, Pulteney, ChatCharles Montague was early destined for the ham, Fox, wrote poetry not better than his. But Church, was entered on the foundation of West- fortunately for them, their metrical compositions minster, and after distinguishing himself there were never thought worthy to be admitted into by skill in Latin versification, was sent up to any collection of our national classics. It has Trinity College, Cambridge. At Cambridge the long been usual to represent the imagination unphilosophy of Des Cartes was still dominant in der the figure of a wing, and to call
the success the schools. But a few select spirits had sepa- ful exertions of the imagination flights. One rated from the crowd, and formed a fit audience poet is the eagle: another is the swan : a third round a far greater teacher. Conspicuous modestly compares himself to the bee. But none among the youths of high promise who were of these types would have suited Montague. proud to sit at the feet of Newton was the quick His genius may be compared to that pinion and versatile Montague. Under such guidance which, though it is too weak to lift the ostrich the young student made considerable proficiency into the air, enables her, while she remains on the in the severe sciences; but poetry was his favorite earth, to outrun hound, horse, and dromedary. pursuit; and when the University invited her If the man who possesses this kind of genius sons to celebrate royal marriages and funerals, attempts to ascend the heaven of invention, his he was generally allowed to have surpassed his awkward and unsuccessful efforts expose him to competitors. His fame travelled to London : derision. But if he will be content to stay in he was thought a clever lad by the wits who the terrestrial region of business, he will find that met at Will's, and the lively parody which hel the faculties which would not enable him to soar
into a higher sphere will enable him to distance in politics he stands in the highest rank.
a poet of the thirtieth : in the House of
has sufficed to rule the House of Commons Montague offers one more example of a and govern England. man failing in literature and succeeding in In closing these volumes of Mr. Macaulay's politics. The comparison of genius against History we must record, in a few words, our genius man against man — has often been impression of them as a whole. They have made : and generally, we believe, in favor of great beauties and great defects. They are the statesman,
practical man,” unusually copious in knowledge and in utteras one dull fellow generally likes to call ance. They are exciting, various, and emianother dull fellow, by way of compliment. nently pictorial. They are also full of Yet we scarcely know of an example in which prejudice — personal prejudice and party prethe man of letters bas entered the House of judice. In many parts they are hasty in Commons without making in that House a judgment as well as passionate in expression. more distinguished figure than he made in his Many will object to characters and passages ; own sphere. Montague would have ranked and there is more than one excessively below Prior as a poet : as a man of affairs rancorous attempt to blacken a bright he beat Godolphin. Sir E. B. Lytton goes reputation. Yet, with all their defects, into the House and becomes a chief of his par- these volumes are a fine addition to our ty - a coming Minister. Mr. Gladstone, in library, - the greatest historical work of our literature, would be a second-rate essayist : 1 generation.
BOOKS IN ENGLAND. - The book-buying pow- more copies will soon be ready. These issues er of England is every year increasing, as we will amount to the full sale of the old volumes; see by the increasing sale of favorite works that the total sum of the many editions of these are new, and by the advancing price of favorite latter, including the unsold stock, being forty books that are old. Mr. Dickens and Mr. Ma- thousand copies. The history of the London caulay have more readers this Christmas than book-trade offers no example of such sales in forever. Whirty-five thousand copies of the first mer times; except, perhaps, in the case of Bynumber of “Little Dorrit” have been sold; and ron, whose boast it was that thirty thousand there will soon be thirty-five thousand copies of copies of one of his poems were sold in one day. the “ History of England” in the market. In Mr. Murray's sale last week offers further ev. the Preface to “ Bleak House,” Mr. Dickens idence of the vigorous and healthy state of the told us that he had found more readers for that book trade. In spite of the depressing influence work than for any other in the long procession of the War, his new works found ready purchas. of his tales : the circulation, we believe, was ers, as the following list of a few of the sales thirty-two thousand. “Little Dorrit," there will show: Mr. Grote's twelfth volume of fore, begins her story to an audience increased The History of Greece,” 1,200 – Dr. Liddell's by three thousand purchasers. The first im-" · Rome,” 800 - Mr. Porter's “ Five Years in pression of Mr. Macaulay's former volumes con- Damascus,” 600 — Dean Milman's “ Latin sisted, we believe, of five thousand; the first Christianity,” 600 — “ Puss in Boots,” 2,000 impression of the volumes which we review to “ The Englishman in America,” 1,000 day was twenty-five thousand. But the work Mr. Fergusson’s “ Handbook of Architecture," is again in the press, - and ten thousand | 1,000.
From Graham's Magazine. soundness of health. He solicited an appointDR. KANE.
ment in the Navy, and upon his admission, A SKETCH, BY DR. WILLIAM ELDER. demanded active service. He was appointed Dr. Elisha KENT KANE is not quite thirty- upon the diplomatic staff as surgeon to the first four years old, yet he has done more than American Embassy to China. This position circumnavigate the globe : he has visited and gave him opportunity to explore the Philiptraversed India, Africa, Europe, South Amer- pine Islands, which he effected mainly on ica, the islands of the Pacific, and twice pene- foot. He was the first man who descended trated the Arctic region to the highest latitude into the crater of Tael ; lowered more than a attained by civilized man. He has encoun- hundred feet by a bamboo rope from the overtered the extremest perils of sea and land, hanging cliff, and clambering down some in every climate of the globe ; he has dis- seven hundred more through the scoriæ, he charged in turn the severest duties of the made a topographical sketch of the interior soldier and the seaman ; attached to the of this great volcano, collected a bottle of United States Navy as a surgeon, he is, sulphurous acid from the very mouth of the nevertheless, engaged at one time in the coast crater ; and, although he was drawn up survey of the tropical ocean, and in a month almost senseless, he brought with him his poror two, we find him exploring the frigid zone; trait of this hideous cavern, and the speciand all the while that his personal experien- mens which it afforded. ces had the character of romantic adventure, Before he returned from this trip, he had he was pushing them in the spirit of scientific ascended the Himalayas, and triangulated and philanthropic enterprise.
Greece, on foot; he had visited Ceylon, the As a boy, his instinctive bent impelled Upper Nile, and all the mythologic region of him to the indulgence and enjoyment of such Egypt; traversing the route, and making adventures as were best fitted to train him the acquaintance, of the learned Lepsius, who for the work before him. His collegiate was then prosecuting his archäological restudies suffered some postponement while searches. his physical qualities pressed for their neces At home again, when the Mexican war sary training and discipline. It was almost broke out, he asked to be removed from the in the spirit
of truancy that he explored the Philadelphia Navy Yard to the field of a more Blue Mountains of Virginia, as a student of congenial service ; but the government sent geology, under the guidance of Professor him to the Coast of Africa. Here he visited Rodgers, and cultivated, at once, his hardi- the slave factories, from Cape Mount to the hood of vital energy and those elements of river Bonny; and, through the infamous Da natural science which were to qualify him for Souza, got access to the baracoons of Dahohis after services in the field of physical geo- mey, and contracted, besides, the Coast graphy. But in due time he returned to Fever, from the effects of which he has never the pursuit of literature, and achieved the entirely recovered. usual honors, as well as though his college From Africa he returned before the close studies had suffered no diversion - his mus- of the Mexican war, and, believing that his cles and nerves were educated, and his brain constitution was broken, and his health lost nothing by the indirectness of its devel- rapidly going, he called upon President Polk, opment, but was rather corroborated for all and demanded an opportunity for service that the uses which it has served since. He might crowd the little remnant of his life graduated at the University of Pennsylvania with achievements in keeping with his am
first in its collegiate, and afterwards in bition ; the President, just then embarrassed its medical department. His special relishes by a temporary non-intercourse with General in study indicated his natural drift : chemis- Scott, charged the Doctor with despatches to try and surgery; natural science in its most the General, of great moment and urgency, intimate converse with substance, and the which must be carried through a region remedial art in its most heroic function. He occupied by the enemy. This embassy was went out from his Alma Mater a good clas- marked by an adventure so romantio, and so sical scholar, a good chemist, mineralogist, illustrative of the character of the man, that astronomer, and surgeon. But he lacked, or we are tempted to detail it. thought he lacked, robustness of frame and On his way to the Gulf he secured a horse