Imagens das páginas

as it enhances the cost of production, ded as ever before known. This apso far as to throw many poor miners parent anomaly arises from that to out of employ. Of late, supplies of which we have alluded, viz : the inquicksilver have been got from China, creased feeling of security—the extenand a new mine has been discovered in sion of railroads, and other facilities for Mexico, which, in addition to the old quick returns. In the United States one, worked at Queretaro, must affect money is also abundant in the Atlantic the monopoly price. The prospect is, cities, but not sufficiently so in the inunder all these circumstances, that the terior. A combination of circumstanlarge supply of the precious metals ces has, however, as it were, brought must aid in effecting that reduction in the farms of the west in direct contact their value, which, with the same sup- with those accumulations of coin in ply, would naturally be brought about London and Paris to which we have by a more liberal internal policy on alluded. The effect of the existing the part of the governments of Eu- war, and of a change in commercial rope. The extension of railroads, the policy, has been to restrict the movepromotion of internal intercourse, and ments of banks, and depress prices of the development of individual enter- imported goods, at a time when westprise, are annually combining to make ern produce is in high demand in Euthe circulation of coins more active; rope. Under such circumstances, coin and, therefore, virtually to increase may be the best remittance to the Unitheir quantity. At present the precious ted States, and the moment highly fametals are all tending to London, where vorable for the final establishment of a the supply lying idle is greater than national currency on that broad and ever before known. That country firm basis contemplated by Jefferson is, however, short of food, and the and Washington. The policy of JackUnited States are the only nation that son, in 1835, of promoting the circulacan supply the enormous quantities tion of gold, requires to be carried out wanted. In exchange for this, large in an adherence to the Independent sums of coin will, doubtless, be import- Treasury, and the establishment of a ed, presenting an auspicious moment to branch mint in New-York. effect the establishment of that sound As an instance of the great difficulty currency which was in vain sought to in weeding out the habits of a people, be effected through the mint laws of we may mention the fact, that notwith1792, and the gold bills of 1834–37. standing the extract we have given

The large and increasing sums of above, from the report of Mr. Jefferboth goid and silver that have been re son, in 1790, to the effect, that "nothing posing, to an extent never before known, but the establishment of a mint was in the banks of France and England wanting to banish the old monies of for the last few years, while money account," the currencies of all the has been cheap in London, the great states are familiarly reckoned in pounds, centre of the commercial world, and shillings and pence, and almost the commercial enterprise active, are evi- whole silver currency consists of those dences that the supply of money to the depreciated Spanish fractions of the wants of commerce increases rather dollar, which Washington complained than diminishes. That is to say, not- of, as making five quarters to the dollar. withstanding the great impulse which So slow has been the progress in 54 has undeniably been given to industry years of national exertion! The great and trade throughout Europe in the errors have been, 1st, the false location last ten years, and the vast sums that of the mint, which should have been at have been expended in railroads, the the place of import; 2d, the allowing of quantities of both gold and silver, foreign coins to be a legal tender at any instead of diminishing, are constantly price ; 3d, the recognition of bank paper swelling in the great central reservoirs. by the federal government. The latter In the bank of France and the bank has been done away with under the Inof England, there are this moment dependent Treasury law. By its opera$60,000,000 of silver, and $67,500,000 tion, in a few years we shall have an of gold coin, making 100 per cent. abundant and sound national currency, greater than ever before known; yet and no longer be circulating among remoney is as cheap, speculation as ac- publicans the heads of " by the grace tive, and commercial pursuits as exten- of God, his most Christian majesty."


u 'Tis meet
The great should have the fame of happiness-
The consolation of a little envy!
"Tis all their pay for those superior cares-
Those pangs of heart their vassals ne'er can feel."


The subject we propose to contem- pretty severely taxed, by the prolixity plate in the present chapter, although of some of the early scribes. What somewhat trite, is yet, it is believed, so should we think of twenty-one huge rife with interest, presenting the various folios ?-yet we find, in 1651, a writer fallacies and foibles of the literary pro- of such interminable dimensions ; while fession, in such anomalous complexity another, Peter D'Alva, even extended of forms and circumstances, that we his learned lucubrations to no less cannot be diverted from our task, from than forty-eight, in an abortive atthe fact of its having already been so tempt to expound a mystery unfathomoften dilated upon.

Without attempt- able, and which his labyrinth of words ing a psychological analysis of literary but rendered the more mysterious. life, we propose simply to group toge- While not to name Confucius, or the ther a few of the more striking pecu- reputed 600 volumes by the French liarities which seem to be indigenous to bishop, Du Bellay, we might remind great minds. If frailty and fame are the reader of the astounding intimation indeed twin attributes, one might be given by St. Jerome, to the effect that tempted to conclude that nature de- he had perused six thousand books signed such an allotment as an equi- written by Origen, who" daily wearied poise, to silence the envy of those from seven notaries, and as many boys, in whom she has withheld her noblest writing after him!" It ought not to have endowments on the one part, and to amazed his friends, therefore, to have serve as a counteracting check to the learned of the sickness of that multifainordinate self-esteem, which their rious writer, Sir John Hill, (the author possession might otherwise superinduce of the “ Vegetable System,”) when he in the other.

confessed it was in consequence of Before entertaining the reader with over working himself on seven proour citation of the eccentricities and ductions at once! We read of Hans trials of the author, it will not be in- Sacks, a Nuremburg shoemaker, who opportune to remind him of the curious lived about the close of the fifteenth mode in which the public requite his century, and who seems to have apliterary labors : the usual awards of a portioned his labors equally between man of genius being a marble monu- boots and books, the praiseworthy arts ment to his memory, while in life de- of making poetry and pumps, sonnets nying him sustenance; making "their and shoes, to the 77th year of his luminous leaves,” to adopt the phrase of age; when he took an inventory of his a modern journalist, "to flourish like poetical stock in trade, and found, acthe yew tree, because planted over a cording to his own calculation, that his grave.” We shall not pause to inquire works filled thirty folio volumes, all into the causes which have provoked written with his own hand. They such injustice towards a class so signal- comprised 4200 songs; 208 comedies, ly meriting a course of treatment tragedies and farces ; 1700 fables, misdiametrically the reverse of this, or cellaneous poems and tales, and 73 why succeeding posterity have perpe- military and love songs—forming a tuated the like crusade against the grand total of six thousand and fortycraft of authorship; it is enough for eight pieces, small and great; out of regret to find it so. Our forefathers, which he culled as many as filled three however, must have had their patience huge folios, which were published in

his pen.

the year 1558–61. How strangely the cles, by helpe whereof, may be read so early scribes seem to have coveted small a print, that what twenty sheets the ambition of being voluminous of paper will hardly containe shall be writers, not remembering that Persius discovered in one (1644), would find, to became immortal from the transmission his surprise, that it has nothing to do of but two sheels of paper inscribed by with his business, but relates to the

civil war.

So also might mistakes It would be easy to multiply in- very readily occur with regard to stances of the kind in the several de Horne Tooke's celebrated Diversions partments of authorship, especially in of Purley, which a village book-club those once prolific themes, Alchemy, actually ordered at the time of its Astrology, and other wonderfully occult publication, under the impression that matters, and even in theology-the it was a book of amusing games. latter, we remember to have read some In Chambers' Journal is a curious where, boasting, of a certain early paper on the subject of book titles, commentator, whose elaborate exposi- from which we quote the following tion of St. Matthew, even an abridged paragraph: edition of which, in small type, occupied no_less than a thousand folio “Some titles are agreeably short, and pages.—But we have cited enough ; we others wonderfully long. A few years shall therefore glance at some other since, a work was issued with the laconic eccentricities of the learned for the title of lt; and for days previous to its sake of variety, and the edification of publication, the walls of London were the reader. Much might be quoted for placarded, with the words, “Order It,"

Buy It," " Read It." The old naturalist one's amusement, touching the origin Lovell published a book at Oxford, in of works both in verse and prose : the 1661, entitled Panzoologicomineralogia, bards almost uniformly have had their which is nearly as long a word as Rabelais' loves, as Mrs. Jameson's very pleasant proposed title for a book, namely Antipework on that subject sufficiently attests; ricatameta parhengedamphicribrationes !!" and we shall not attempt to add to what has been already so admirably According to Stowe's Chronicle, the exhibited of this feature of the literary title of Domesday Book arose from the character, saving simply the mention circumstance of the original having of a name she has omitted to notice been carefully preserved in a sacred we refer to that 'of Colletet, who is place at Westminster cloisters, called reputed to have shared the honors of Domus Dei, or House of God. matrimonial alliance with three of his The Latin poetasters seem to have domestics in succession, to each of their merits called somewhat in queswhom he paid the tribute of his muse tion, by the title of John Peter's curious in heroic verse. D’Israeli, it will be and very scarce work, A New Way to remembered, has collected from the make Latin Verses, whereby any one dust of departed days, among other of ordinary capacity that only knows curious matters, many amusing par- the A, B, C, and can count nine, ticulars respecting the subjects authers though he understands not one word of have chosen to dilate upon ; shall we Latin, or what a verse means, may be glance at a few? In classic times we plainely taught to make thousands of have Apuleius and Agrippa, succeeded Hexameter and Pentameter Verses, by many moderns, who, to evince their which shall be true Latin, true Verse, jrony and wit, selected that fabled em and Good Sense, (1679.) blem of wisdom-the ass.

In 1559 appeared a book, entitled, In Butler's Remains, it is remarked, The Key to Unknown Knowledge, or a that “there is a kind of physiognomy Shop of Five Windows, in the titles of books, no less than in the

Which if you do open. faces of men, by which a skilful ob

To cheapen and copen, server will as well know what to ex

You will be unwilling, pect from the one as the other."

For many a shilling, Generally speaking, this is correct.

To part with the profit

That you shall have of it. But the optician who should happen to purchase a book, entitled A New In The mottoes on title pages are often vention, or a Paire of Cristall Specta- very curious. The following is from


a book called Gentlemen, look about Deformitie of Sin Cured, a you :

preached at St. Michael's, Crooked Read this over if you're wise,

Lane, before the Prince of Orange, If you're not, then read it twise ;

by the Rev. J. Crookshanks. Sold by If a fool, and in the gall Of bitterness, read not at all.

Mathew Denton, at the Crooked Billet, Another, from that very delightful

near Cripplegate, and by all bookold book, Geffrey Whitney's Emblems, sellers.” The words of the text are, (1586):

“Every crooked path shall be made

straight.” The Prince, before whom Peruse with heede, then friendly judge, and blaming rash refraine ;

it was delivered, was deformed in So maist thou reade unto thy good, and shalte person. requite my paine.

Many adopted allegorical titles. In One Joshua Barnes wrote a poem theological works these were most with the design of proving the author- frequent such as “ The Heart of ship of the lliad traceable to King Sol- Aaron," - The Bones of Joseph," · The omon, of Holy Writ; and another Garden of Nuts," and a host of others, French critic, Daurat, who lived in the even less allowable, might be adduced : sixteenth century, pretended, accor as, “ A fan to drive away flies," a treading to Scaliger, to find all the Bible in ties on purgatory ;-" The shop of the Homer. Du Guere wrote an eulogium spiritual apothecary," " Matches lighton wigs, though he never wore one.

ed by divine fire,'' " The gun of peniErasmus amused himself, it will be re tence," &c. One of famous Puritan collected, by discussing the praise of memory, Sir Humphrey Lind, pubfolly, in his work entitled “ Moria lished a book, which a Jesuit answered

Encomium," which, for the sake of the by another, entitled " A pair of spectapun, he dedicated to Sir Thomas More. cles for Sir Humphrey Lind;" — the Pierrius' treatise on beardsHomer's doughty knight retorted by “A case war between the frogs and mice, and for Sir Humphrey Lind's spectacles." Lucian's dissertation on a fly, present Gascoigne's title page is no less quaint a curious triumvirate of classic taste; than copious : "A hundred sundrie and Gray's ode on the death of a cat- flowres bounde vp in one small poesie: Pope's epic verses on a lock of hair, gathered partly by translation in the and Swift's meditation on a broomstick, fyne and outlandish gardens of Eurimay serve as their companions in mo pides, Ovid, Petrarch, Ariosto, and dern times. And as we have already others; and partly by invention out of seen, ingenuity itself seems to have our own fruitefull orchardes in Eogbeen overtasked in the fabrication land: yieldiog sundrie and divers swete of the titles of books in early times, savours of tragical, comical, and moral as, indeed, it is again becoming in our discourses, both pleasant and profitable own; authors of the olden time used to the well-smelling noses of learned to puff their own works, by affixing readers." It is fortunate for these lataking titles" to them; such as “ Å borious scribes that they lived in times right merrie and wittie enterlude, when they found readers courageous verie pleasante to reade, " A enough to venture beyond their titles. marvellous wittie treatise, " &c. " A We will leave them, and proceed to delectable, pithie and righte profitable the foibles and frailties of the learned, worke," &c. Addison's “ Spectator" which present a prolific theme for our proved so successful, that it pro- contemplation ; in some instances these voked Johnson to adopt “ The Idler," are traceable to physical causes, superand Rambler." A very amusing induced by their peculiar habits and blunder was committed by a certain pursuits, and in others, not unfrequentFrench critic, who, notwithstanding ly to the neglect, which their secluthe conventional use of the term, ren sion and overwrought sensibilities prodered it Le Chevalier Errant, and who voked from their cotemporaries. All the afterwards, on meeting with the Co- devotees of the pen are more or less lossus of English literature, addressed the victims of nervous debility, caused him with the astounding and compli- by their habits of excessive mental efmentary epithet of Mr. Vagabond ! förts. Thus to overtask the powers of

A pamphlet, published in 1703, had the intellect, it is reasonable to expect, the following strange title :-" The will as naturally tend to enervate them,



as we find the like exertion of the bodily we shall, therefore, merely mention the functions resulting in lassitude and fa- fact of our own Irving, whose dormancy tigue. Dr. Johnson thus expresses is such, that he has been known, even himself on this equivocal state between surrounded by a brilliant coterie, when actual health and disease : “I pine in left alone for some little interval, to the solitude of sickness, not bad enough stand by the fire, and even go to sleep to be pitied, and not well enough to be in that posture. endured ;" yet this powerful writer It must be obvious, that indolent ease was never so great as when he was in is as bad in its effects on the health as this gloomy state : he then exhibited over-working. Lord Bacon is a case most of the vast opulence and gigantic in point, with others, including the energy of his intellect, as well as his three divines, Hervey, Toplady, and delicate analysis of the secret sensibili- Dr. Owen, the last of whom once exties of the heart, as portions of his cor- claimed, that he would gladly barter all respondence sufficiently evince. This his learning obtained in bed for his lost feeling of physical languor and ennui, health. Euripides studied in a dark made the author of the “ Castle of In- cave-Demosthenes at night, and apart dolence" so indolent himself, that he from the habitations of men—and the was reluctant to rise from his bed ; and monks of the monastic times, in the when once remonstrated against the hidden cloisters and ascetic cells; but practice by a friend, replied, “troth, we do not see that a neatly-fitted and mon, I see dae motive for rising." He convenient library or study offers less was so excessively lazy, that he once immunities to the votaries of science or was seen to be eating fruit from a peach the muses, than those abodes referred tree, as it grew, standing with both to. Not a few literary men seem to hands in his pockets.

It would be un have loved “libations deep ;" but we charitable, however, to suppose Thom- should not perhaps regard this species son a fit denizen for the Augustan of moral delinquency with the stern viApraga polis of old, “a city built for those sion of modern teetotalism, as the inevoid of business."

briate was not, till modern days, outSome of the habits and methods of lawed from the best society. Æschystudy exhibit curious traits of charac- lus is said to have been always under ter. The historian Mezerai studied the influence of the rosy god when he by candlelight; and so accustomed was wrote: it is related then his face looked he to this use, that even at noon-day, ferocious-perhaps to this cause may and in the summer too, as if neither be referred his vigorous imaginativethe heat nor the light of the burning ness. A similar weakness might also sun were available for him, he is re be chargeable on Alcæus, Aristophaported generally to have waited upon nes, and others of the classic age. Porhis company to the very door with a son, the eminent Greek scholar, was a candle in his hand. When the famous great tippler, while Anacreon only Brindley encountered any extraordina- feigned the bacchanalian in his wriry difficulty in the execution of his me- tings. In later days, Tasso and Schilchanical labors, he usually retired to ler might be classed with the foregoing. his bed, where he has been known to Sir William Blackstone was considerabe ensconced one, two, and even three bly indebted to " good old port” for whole days, till he had acquired strength some of his Commentaries ; and even to surmount it ; when he would get up Addison and Byron must also be named, and finish his design. This practice the latter confessing to the world that contravenes Dr. Whittaker's advice to his poem of Don Juan was the joint Mr. Boyce, which, it will be remem- product of genius and gin and water. bered, ran as follows :-“ First, to stu Without presuming any commentary dy always standing; second, never to on such indulgences, we prefer quotstudy in a window; and third, never to ing the description of one Prynne, who go to bed with his feet cold.” Pope, bequeathed to posterity some forty volbesides being an epicure, would some umes, for perpetrating one of which he times lie in bed at Lord Bolingbroke's was barbarously doomed to have his for whole days together.

ears cropped in the pillory, and was alWe might add to the number of lite- most suffocated by the immolation of rary sleepers, but it is needless; and his huge volumes—ip which he main

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