Imagens das páginas


money and wooden shoes." He had resided in France for a short with two small farms, and was preparing to give himself up to a period, during troublous times, and this residence did not improve country life, when he was nearly ruined by a government prosehis admiration of democratical principles. He arrived in the cution. He had, in his “ Weekly Register for the 10th July, United States with a hatred of France, and found that the war of 1809, expressed himself in strong terms especting the flogging of independence had left amongst the people of the States a strong certain militia-men, at Ely, and these were made the subject of a detestation of England, and an admiration of the French revolu- prosecution, which was conducted by Sir Vicary Gibbs, the tion, then in progress. Everywhere he heard England spoken attorney-general. He was tried in 1810, condemned to pay a fine against ; her king called a tyrant, her aristocracy sneered at, and of £1000, and to be imprisoned for two years in Newgate-a harsh her institutions ridiculed. This did not please his English ears; and cruel verdict. His property was necessarily neglected, while and, inspired by the spirit of contradiction, so strong in his nature, he was in prison; and he had also to pay twelve guineas weekly and by attachment to his native country, he entered the lists as a for the accommodation of comfortable apartments. But his energy powerful advocate of what would now be called toryism. Amongst did not flag. He carried on the “ Weekly Register" vigorously; his various works published in America, under the name of Peter and, when he came out of Newgate, assailed government in a series Porcupine, (which were afterwards reprinted in England, in twelve of papers called “ Twopenny Trash," the circulation of which volumes octavo.) is A little plain English addressed to the reached at one time to a hundred thousand copies, People of the United States, on the Treaty negotiated with his From this time Cobbett is to be considered as a powerful radical Britannic Majesty," which has the following motto:

writer, appealing to the masses on all popular questions ; and en. " An habitation giddy and unsure

gaging their sympathies by the clearness and vigour of his style, and Hath he who buildeth on the vulgar heart.

the downright hearty manner in which he entered upon every Oh, thou fond Many! with what loud applause

subject that interested him. The quality of his intellect was vigour, Didst thou beat Heaven with blessing Bolingbrok

and his style had a kind of innate nervous power, as if the man Before he was what thou wouldst have him be?

passed into every sentence that he wrote. He had no greatness of And now, being trimmed up in thine own desires,

mind—no comprehension of view. Whatever he did, whether it was Thou beastly feeder, art so full of him, That thou provok'st thyself to cast him up."

right or wrong, he did it with all his might, and therefore be did

it well. No matter what the opinion was which he advocatedWhile Cobbett resided in Philadelphia, the following incident in gold against paper, the superiority of old times to the present, the his life occurred. Having, in 1796, quarrelled with his bookseller, character of a king's speech, or the House of Commons, the he opened a shop, and, in a manner truly characteristic of him, oppression of the poor by the rich, the approaching ruin of the bade defiance to his opponents. His friends feared for his personal country, or, in his own emphatic words, “the downfall of the safety, for the people were infected with the love of France. “I THING"--Cobbett's straw or Cobbett's corn, --whatever he took saw," he says, “ that I must at once set all danger at defiance, or up, important or trivial, true or false, he advocated as if his life live in everlasting subjection to the prejudices and caprice of the depended on the issue ; and hence his pen, which he handled with democratic mob. I resolved on the former ; and, as my shop was a naturally vigorous power, became doubly powerful from acquired open on a Monday morning, I employed myself all day on Sunday intensity of purpose. There was no catching him wrong-no in preparing an exhibition, that I thought would put the courage tripping him up. If he advocated an opinion one day which he and the power of my enemies to the test. I put up in my win- derided on another, it was of no use to quote Cobbett against dows, which were very large, all the portraits that I had in my Cobbett to him :-he would rush at his antagonist with a fepossession of kings, queens, princes, and nobles. I had all the licitous sneer, or bespatter him with a shower of nicknames. English ministry, several of the bishops and judges, the most His felicity in bestowing nicknames was exquisite : you might famous admirals, -in short, every picture that I thought likely to overthrow him in argument, but in return he might plaster an excite rage in the enemies of Great Britain,-early on the Monday unlucky epithet on his adversary which might stick to him for life. morning I took down my shutters. Such a sight had not been His scurrility involved him in various personal actions for libel, seen in Philadelphia for twenty years." The daring of this act His incessant activity enabled him to produce a great number produced excessive rage; the newspapers contained direct instiga- of publications, some of which have been very useful. His whole tions to outrage, and threats were conveyed to him in the openest life was a process of self-education after his own fashion, and many manner : but there were many amongst his political opponents, of his books were the result of it. His works on education have and even the people, who admired the Englishman.

great merits and great defects. His clear intellect made him bring Dr. Rush, an eminent physician of Philadelphia, adopted the everything down to his own level; if he understood the matter, he use of mercury and copious blood-letting, in his treatment of cases was sure to make others comprehend it—but woe to any principle of the yellow fever, which raged in 1797. Cobbett attacked him, which Cobbett did not see through! But then, again, his intense calling him a Sangrado, with other nicknames and abuse, in the egotism often spoils his common-sense. In his French Grammar, use of which he was so famous all his lifetime. Dr. Rush com- for instance, he boasts incessantly of the facility with which he menced an action against him; and Cobbett, after ineffectual acquired the language, by his own unaided efforts, when, in fact, attempts to get the trial postponed, retreated to New York, and he perfected his French by his visit to France, and then by teaching commenced business as a bookseller; but the state of Pennsylvania French emigrants in America. The young man, ignorant of this, sueing him for forfeited recognizances, he crossed over to England, and who attempts to acquire French in the manner which Cobbett where he arrived in 1800. His career as a public writer in this prescribes, becomes discouraged—for though, in the level clearness country belongs, therefore, to the present century. Before he left of his explanations, Cobbett descends to his young readers, in the America, be published a strong, coarse, sarcastic paper, called the nature and extent of the tasks he prescribes he not only wants "Rashlight," in which he attempted to vindicate himself for not them to come up to himself, but even to go beyond him. His going into court, to abide the result of the action.

English Grammar, again, is disfigured by the intrusion of temporary He began in England as a tory writer, was introduced to some political opinion and feeling ; he comments on king's speeches and of the members of the government, dined with Mr. Pitt, and statesmen's despatches, and in giving examples of a noun of multienjoyed the acquaintance, for a short time, of Mr. Gifford, after- tude, joins “ a gang of thieves with “ the House of Commons.” wards editor of the “ Quarterly Review." He started a tory His * Cottage Economy, Village Sermons," “ Advice to daily paper, called the " Porcupine," which was continued only a Young Men and Young Women," contain much that is excellentfew months; and then he began his “ Weekly Register,” which he though the man, the intense politician, and intense egotist, conkept up for thirty-three years. His gradual change of politics is tinually breaks through. early marked in the “ Register.” His temper was too intractable Cobbett's moral nature was deficient in back-bone, and he was and stubborn, and his love of notoriety too strong, to permit him therefore not only inconsistent, but unreliable. Personally, his to become a steady subordinate. He began to lay about him in conduct was excellent-temperate in his habits, a very early riser, his furious " Porcupine" style, and was involved, in 1804, in two and perpetually doing something. His egotism led bim, of course, actions for libel, on members of the Irish government, in each to talk perpetually about his temperance and his early rising, and of which he was cast in £500. But as his politics became more much of his good opinion of men hinged on the questions, if they distinctly radical, the sale of his publications increased ; he pro- rose by day-light and abstained from malt liquors. If he happened, jected and conducted for some time the well-known " Parliamentary in travelling, to sleep at an inn, he cared little who was in bed after History,” the early volumes of which bear his name ; was en- him ; up he was in the morning, bawling out for sleepy “ Boots, gaged in other speculations; and in 1806 made a kind of attempt and, as he mounted his horse, bestowing hearty objurgations on all to get into Parliament, by offering to stand for the borough of who did not, like him, get up and ride ten miles before seven or Honiton in Devonshire. He afterwards bought an estate at Botley, 1 eight o'clock.

[ocr errors]


He now,

" Ne'er a man

In the troublesome times of 1817, when certain acts of Parlia.

BELL-RINGING. ment made free expression on political matters somewhat dangerous, Cobbett sailed for the United States—his Register, however, con- England has been called the “Ringing Island," and, sooth to tinued to be published, the manuscript being sent across the say, although her bells are not honoured with the ceremonious Atlantic. Pecuniary as well as political entanglement made his observance of the countries under the rule of the Roman and removal apparently necessary for a time. He was absent two

Greek churches, where more prayers are said at the baptism of a years, returning in 1819. He then set up a daily paper, which bell than at that of a child, yet our English bells have been duly lasted only two months, involving him in loss; and two individuals prosecuted him for libel, one of whom recovered £1000 damages. respected, and have been celebrated by our poets, although none, His spirit, however, was too elastic for despondency, and his exer

like Schiller, have sung the “ Lied von der Glocke,''—the “Song tions never flagged. He tried to get into Parliament in 1820, of the Bell.” standing as a candidate for the city of Coventry, but he was In our prosaic croakings, we do not pretend to fill up the imdefeated ; and six years afterwards he was defeated in a similar portant subject of clockology or bellology,-call it which you will, attempt at Preston. of England and Scotland, delivering political lectures. During sured words," which charmed the labours of Schiller's bellDuring the years 1829 and 1830, he visited the principal towns gentle reader such a history, like the moulding of a bell, would

a work of thought and toil ;' and we fear that even all his past life he had been strongly embued with prejudices Scotland; and he never missed an opportunity, in his writings, of founder, would scarcely reconcile our readers to details so dry and venting his contempt and sarcasm on the Scotch“ feelosophers,' uninteresting : but we have a word or two to say, in proof that as he called them.

however, professed himself a great bells and belfries are still held in regard, and have their use. We admirer of Scotland and the Scotch, and admitted that his visit to that country had done him good. In 1831 he ran considerable risk standing his wonderful power over the vergers, among whom

must pass by “Great Tom,” as though he were not, notwithfrom another government prosecution for libel, the charge being grounded on an article which had appeared in his Register, which

Will leave his can, it was affirmed was published with the view of exciting the agricultural labourers to acts of violence, and to destroy property.

'Till he hear the inighty Tom." He defended himself in a speech of six bours; and the jury not

Even the great bell of St. Paul's, whose sad office it is to proclaim being able to agree in a verdict, he was discharged.

the death of the mighty, and the great bell of Moscow, which In 1832, Cobbett obtained one great object of his ambition, a cannot speak at all—a dumb giant,-must pass unnoticed ; for, seat in Parliament. He was returned as one of the members for hark ! Oldham, in the first Parliament assembled after the passing of the

“ The merry bells all ringing round, Reform Bill. There can be no question that if Cobbett had entered

Which to the bridal feast iuvite." Parliament in the vigour of his powers, he would have taken a very And shall we leave this blithe invitation for a dull disquisition on prominent part in its proceedings. He was now, however, seventy years of age; and Wilberforce gave it as his opinion that it was

“Great Tom !" Far be it from the spirit of good-humour. Let very difficult for a man to succeed in the House of Commons who “all go merry as a marriage-bell.” Let us enjoy the “bobentered it much after the age of thirty. Still, Cobbett distinguished majors,” the “triple bob-majors,” and fancy at least that our himself; he made a number of effective speeches ; “but bis success neighbours sympathise. And so they do in every place where in this new field did not, on the whole, come up to expectation, there is real neighbourhood,-a thing often ridiculed, but in which and on more than one. occasion he damaged himself by those the good feeling engendered overpowers the concomitant gossip: a strange blunders which here and there mark every portion of his history.' He died on the 18th of June, 1835, after a very short

state of society necessarily banished from the heart of great cities, illness, aged 73 years.

yet still to be found in their suburbs; but most healthily flourishThus passed away William Cobbett, the plough-boy, the private ing in retired county villages, where the church is as it were the soldier, and the M.P. ; whose writings till more than a hundred centre of the community, and the rector and the squire are the two volumes ; who for forty years kept himself conspicuously before luminaries of the parish. the public by the activity of his mind and pen ; who rose over Ringing is an art difficult to attain, and its professors are worthy crushing calamities (provoked by his own reckless imprudence) of all honour; for who can bear to hear “sweet bells jangled out which would have sunk men even of more than ordinary resolution; of tune?” The perfection of the ringers of St. Stephen's church, and who, till within a day or two of his death, continued to fill his Weekly Register with matter as amusing, as lively, and as caustic, at Bristol, so charmeil England's queen, the noble Elizadeth, that

Yet he has left nothing behind him that will perpetuate she incorporated them, and granted them a charter, duly observed his memory. “ His mind was one of extraordinary native vigour, to this day. Truly, it is a little perverted, -none of its members but apparently not well fitted by original endowment, any more being practical ringers. But do they not pay their quarterings? than by acquirement, for speculations of the bighest kind. their fines for non-attendance in the belfry ? and do not the real Cobbett's power lay in wielding, more effectually perhaps than they bonâ-fide ringers (who, by the way, do not disgrace their predeces. were ever wielded before, those weapons of controversy which tell upon what in the literal acceptation of the words may be called the sors) enjoy the benefit of the multitudinous forfeitings ?' And is common sense of mankind, that is, those feelings and capacities there not an annual dinner at the “Montague,” that tavern famed which nearly all men possess, in contradistinction to those of a throughout Christendom for the super-super-excellence of its more refined and exquisite character, which belong to a com

turtle? And do not the “ringers" command the best, and enjoy paratively small number. To these higher feelings and powers be it with so much zest and good-neighbourly feelings (almost all the has nothing to say ; they, and all things that they delight in, are members belong to the parish, having their houses of business uniformly treated by him with a scorn, real or affected, more frank there), that their annual assembly is celebrated as being the most and reckless certainly in its expression than they have met with pleasant meeting throughout the year? Yea ! all this good,—this from any other great writer. He cares for nothing but what is benefit to society (for so it is),-has arisen from a well-rung peal, cared for by the multitude, and by the multitude, too, only of his which resounded from one of the most beautiful belfries in the own day, and, it may be even said, of his own country. But in kingdom, when Queen Elizabeth honoured Bristol with her prehis proper line he is matchless. When he has a subject that suits

The charter, setting forth all the laws of ringing, and of a him, he handles it, not so much with the artificial skill of an ac

formidable length, is read aloud, by the in-coming junior warden, complished writer, as with the perfect and inimitable natural art on each inauguration day, when the old master and wardeas vacate with which a dog picks a bone."

their offices, and resign them to their successors; and it is often an agitating trial to a novice, “ unaccustomed to public speaking,"

thus to expound the laws of the belfry to his brother ringers. Let not the law of thy country be the non ultra of thy honesty, One rule—the only one, by the way, that we remember,--struck nor think that always good enough which the law will make good. Narrow not the law of charity, equity, mercy ; join Gospel righte

us when, on a certain occasion, we witnessed this festive neeting

of St. Stephen's ringers : every ringer who should presume to ousness with legal right; be not a mere Gamaliel in the faith ; but enter the belfry without first kneeling down on the lintel, and lel the sermon in the mount be thy turgum unto the law of Sinai. praying, incurred a fine. This pious custoin, we fear, has fallen Sir Thomas Browne's Posthumous Works.

into desuetude.

as ever.



Although we have never heard of any other incorporated ringers than the favoured sons of St. Stephen; yet most compa

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM. nies of ringers possess a code of laws for their due government, Nearly two thousand five hundred years ago, the greatest and adhere very strictly to their rules. The following “ Articles of monarch that then reigned on the earth was musing, as he Ringing" are upon the walls of the belfry in the pleasant village of reclined on his bed, and marvelling “what should come to pass Dunster, in Somersetshire ; a place known in history as the spot hereafter.” He could not but know that a mightier conqueror where the celebrated lawyer and statesman, Prynne, was for a long period confined in the castle, an ancient and picturesque than he, even Death, would come and level him and his greatness building still in existence.

with the dust; and his busy thoughts rose, and vainly strove to “THE ARTICLES OF RINGING.

pierce futurity. A vision was vouchsafed to him—a more magni

ficent dream than ever floated before the half-waking sense of “ 1. You that in ringing take delight, Be pleased to draw near:

prince or peasant. A majestic image stood before him, “ whose These articles you must observe,

brightness was excellent, and the form thereof was terrible ; ” and If you mean to ring here.

this colossal figure was a type of Man, from that hour to a yet " 2. And first, if any overturn

future period. “Thou art this head of gold,” said the Hebrew A bell, as that he may,

captive to the king, as he expounded the dream : “ The God of • He forth with for that only fault In beer shall sixpence pay.

heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and

glory.” He was the despotic master of a vast empire, and round « 3. If any one shall curse or swear,

about him were the monuments of his genius and his grandeur. When come within the door, He then shall forfeit for that fault

“Is not this great Babylon that I have built ?” said he, when As mentioned before.

intoxicated with his greatness—that “golden city," through " 4. If any one shall wear his hat

which the river Euphrates flowed, and which inclosed within its When he is ringing here,

bounds that famous tower, built ere the earth was rightly dry of He straitway then shall sixpence pay,

the flood, when the tongues of men were confounded, and they In cyder or in beer.

were scattered over the face of the earth. The river still rolls " If any one these articles

through the plain of Babylon, for rivers and mountains, the sea Refuseth to obey,

and sky, are the work of God: but the remains of the great city Let him have nine strokes of the rope, And so depart away."

are shapeless masses of ruins, and the passing Arab pitches his

tent in the midst of a scene of utter desolation, that once echoed “ WILLIAM GALE, JOHN

Churchuardens, 1787." the hum of myriad voices, and was covered with all the indications We love the well-rung peal, when well-tuned bells discourse and emblems of wealth, magnificence, and glory. sweet music, and tell us that some at least of the denizens of earth

Next to the head of gold, the breast and the arms of the are rejoicing; and the deep tone of the passing bell, “swinging image are of silver. “ After thee shall arise another kingdom slow with sullen roar,” leads us to sympathise with the sorrows inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall of our neighbours. Thus bells-one of the characteristics of a bear rule over all the earth.” Thus the Persian overthrows the Christian country-have their effect in awakening sympathy in the Babylonian, and the Macedonian overthrows the Persian. The heart, and thus keeping open the springs of virtue; and we hail breast and the arms of the image are of silver, typifying the each new accession to the belfry with the feelings and in the words Persian empire ; the belly and thighs of brass, emblems of the of Schiller :

dominion of Alexander the Great and his successors.

The legs « 'Neath heaven's blue-vaulted canopy,

are of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. How finely There where the cradled thunders sleep,

is the Roman empire shadowed out, at once in its strength, and The neighbour of the starry sky,

in its decline and fall! The legs are of iron, but, as we descend, High o'er this dull earth shall it sweep ;

the feet are part of iron, and part of clay. This is iron-handed Shall join the chorus from above

Rome in its greatness, and in its gradual decay; and then the
Of the bright everlasting spheres,
Which praise their Maker as they move,

toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron,'' are emblematic And lead along the circling years.

of the various kingdoms that rose out of the ruins of the Roman Eternal things, of import high,

empire, one of them, doubtless, being Britain. Thus did Nebu. Shall occupy and bless its chime;

chadnezzar obtain the desire of his heart—a glimpse was given On it each hour that passes by

him of that futurity, into which he longed to look —and in this Shall strike, and give a tongue to time.

simple, yet comprehensive, colossal figure, was man exhibited to Its voice to sorrow it shall lend,

him, as indicated by the empires which were successively to take Itself unfeeling joy or pain;

the chief place in ruling the earth.
And with its varying notes attend
On life's eventful varying scene ;

But why thus show the things that shall come to pass here

after, if one empire is merely to succeed another, one conqueror And as its tones, which loud and clear Burst forth, upon the ear decay,

merely to conquer another, and man to be a plaything for his We learn that nothing's constant here,

brother man? Far better would it be for us to remain in our That sounds of earth shall pass away."

ignorance, than thus to have a dim outline of hundreds and thou. sands of years, wherein the race seem to degenerate from age to

age, for the head of the image is of gold, and the toes are of iron, APPROVED REMEDIES FOR EVERY-DAY MALADIES.

mixed with miry clay! But now comes the simple, yet sublime For a fit of passion : Walk out in the open air; you may speak catastrophe, which gives consistency, beauty, and grandeur, to your mind to the winds without hurting any one, or proclaiming the dream. The great truth was proclaimed 2500 years ago, in yourself a simpleton. For a fit of idleness : Count the tickings of the court of the king of Babylon, that man is a progressive a clock; do this for one hour, and you will begin to pull off your creature! A stone, cut out without hands, is hurled against the coat the next, and work like a negro. For a fit of extravagance hardness and the baseness of his nature, and the great image and folly: Go to the workhouse, or speak with the ragged inmates totters to its fall-—now it descends in a shower of fragmentsof a gaol, and you will be convinced

“the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, are broken Who makes his bed of briar and thorn,

to pieces together, and become like the chaff of the summer Must be content to lie forlorn."

threshing-floors; and the wind carries them away that no place For a fil of ambition : Go into the churchyard, and read the grave is found for them; and the stone, that smote the image, becomes stones; they will tell you the end of ambition. The grave will a great mountain, and fills the whole earth.” soon be your bedchamber, the earth your pillow, corruption your Now, this image, though a compound of many metals, is yet father, and the worm your mother and your sister. For a fit of perfect in shape and form, and is to us a type of the entireness of repining: Look about for the halt and the blind, and visit the the history of our race. There is no annihilation in the natural bedridden, and afflicted, and deranged ; and they will make you world, and there is none in the moral ; Babylon is rased from the ashamed of complaining of your lighter afflictions.

earth, and its records almost from the page of history ; Persia is

We every


the shadow of that Persia typified by the arms and breast of its interpretation which describe to us so accurately the great silver; the exploits of Alexander the Great and his successors empires which were to arise in after times, also assure us that a have been taken but to “point a moral, and adorn a tale;” and kingdom is to be set up, which shall never be destroyed -" the Rome, imperial Rome, succeeded by the modern nations of dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."

** While Europe, seems to have existed only to give occupation to a the evils associated with the christianity of remote ages," says Gibbon or a Sismondi ! Yet huinan society, from age to age, Professor Vaughan," have all, more or less, an existence among is one perfect form. The head may be of gold, and the toes of us, it is in a diminished and much enfeebled form. iron, mixed with miry clay; but there are not two heads, neither where see upon them the signs of a state of things which decayeth are there two bodies. Every kingdom has a purpose, and every and waxeth old. Lengthened was the interval appointed to preindividual man has a purpose, in existence—there is nothing cede the announcement of our holy religion to mankind, and a aimless or objectless in the works of God, and He overrules the long night of trial hås since been allotted to it; but there is works of man. This is the great business of what is called philo-much, very much, to warrant hope that the future will constitute sophical history, to endeavour to pour light over the chaos-to the age of its purity and its triumphs—that, better understood, exhibit how Babylon links with Persia, and Persia with Greece and more devoutly received, it will pour down its richest blessings and Macedon, and Greece and Macedon with Rome; and to show, on a world in which it has suffered such manifold and protracted that, while man is often working like a blind mole in the dark, wrong." there is a superintending Power, extracting good even out of his evil, and resuscitating the old buried arts of Egypt, to

A SPARTAN DAUGHTER. enlighten and instruct the children of the youngest empire of the

During the reign of Cleomenes, Aristagoras, prince of Miletus, earth.

arrived at Sparta, for the purpose of inducing the Lacedemonian While we are thus taught by the colossal figure the lesson of the monarch to invade Asia Minor, then under the dominion of Darius entireness of human society, we are also taught by the dream that Hystaspes; whose power Aristagoras feared, and whom he would human society would go on from age to age without improvement, have been glad to have seen defeated by the Spartans. The prince were it not for an outward and exterior influence acting upon it. of Miletus appeared before the Spartan king with a tablet of brass Christianity comes not with might and power to establish a

in his hand, upon which was inscribed every known part of the kingdom or overthrow a dynasty; it interferes with none of the habitable world, the sea, and the rivers. He addressed the monarch established forms that bind society together ; it commands the in a speech of considerable length, urging upon him the state of Christian to render unto Cæsar-idolatrous Cæsar-the things that servitude in which the Ionians were placed by Darius, and remind. are his; and sends back the christian and slave to his christian ing him of the ties of consanguinity between the Greeks and the

Its whole influence is moral in its nature, working Ionian cities of Asia Minor. He represented that the barbarians powerfully, yet working silently and unseen; like the atmosphere, (the Persians, the word barbarian originally meaning stranger only) it forces neither gates nor bars, but passes through crevices and were by no means remarkable for their valour; that they were openings, and fills the room ; its spirit is abroad on the earth, and armed with a bow and short spear only; but that they had abunit will not rest till, like its great author, it occupies all space in the dance of gold, silver, and brass; that they had plenty of cattle, and moral universe of man. The stone cut out without hands is a

a prodigious number of slaves. Then pointing to the tablet in his little one, and it is thrown against a huge image. But the day is band, he explained the nations by which they were surrounded, coming when the blow will be felt over the framework of human the Lydians, the Phrygians, the Cilicians, and others; ending with society ; and then, when all false systems of belief, and all per- the Matieini, "in whose district, and not far remote from the river nicious and hurtful forms of government, are destroyed by its Choaspes, is Susa, where the Persian monarch occasionally resides, pervading influenoe and power, the gold, and the silver, and the and where his treasures are deposited. Make yourselves masters hrass, and the iron, of man's own making, will become like the of this city, and you may vie in afluence with Jupiter himself.” chaff of the summer threshing-floor, which is carried away by

Aristagoras having finished,

,—“Milesian friend,” replied Cleothe wind; and christianity, in all its purity and all its strength, menes, " in the space of three days you shall have our answer." will enter into every national system, and become the vital element

On the day appointed, Cleomenes inquired of Aristagoras hox of public opinion-the little stone become a great mountain, and many days' journey it was from the Ionian sea to the dominions of fill the whole earth.

the Persian king. Aristagoras, whose policy it ought to have been What a marvellous dream is this, which thus looks down through to conceal the truth and lessen the distance, inconsiderately replied, so great a period of history, and indicates its outline concisely, that it was a journey of about three months. As he proceeded to yet with a distinctness that no man can mistake! When Daniel explain himself, Cleomenes interrupted him, saying, “Stranger of expounded it to Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon was, indeed, a glorious Miletus, depart from Sparta before sunset ; what you say cannot city, and a wonder of the earth. That it should ever be reduced be agreeable to the Lacedemonians, desiring to lead us a march of to such a mass of ruins-or rather a kneaded mass of brick, a

three months from the sea." Having said this, Cleomenes “ burned mountain "-must have appeared utterly chimerical to withdrew. the Babylonian courtiers. But the dream was not expounded for Aristagoras, taking a branch of olive in his hand, presented their sakes, but for ours, and for all who choose to read aright the himself before the house of Cleomenes, entering which as a suppage of history. Any ingenuous mind that hesitates to accept the pliant, he requested an audience, at the same time desiring that Bible as a revelation, would do well to sit down to the book of the prince's daughter might retire ; for it happened that Gorgo, Daniel ; and (bearing in mind that the evidence for the antiquity, the only child of Cleomenes, was present, a girl of about eight or genuineness, and authenticity of the work is as complete as can

nine years old ; the king begged that the presence of the child be brought forward on any similar historical or literary question) might be no obstruction to what he had to say. Aristagoras then compare the prophecies fulfilled with those great events or trans- promised to give him ten talents if he would accede to his request. actions with which they coincide. No candid mind could make

As Cleomenes refused, Aristagoras rose in his offers to fifty talents; the experiment without feeling his scepticism staggering.

upon which the child exclaimed, · Father, unless you withdraw, this To those who are convinced in their minds—who feel that the stranger will corrupt you.' The prince was delighted with the wise Bible, as a whole, is altogether too marvellous a book to be other saying of his daughter, and instantly retired. Aristagoras was than what it claims to be—a recommendation to study the fulfilled never able to obtain another audience of the king, and left Sparta prophecies as a confirmation of their faith, may appear unneces- in disgust." This Gorgo afterwards married Leonidas, sary and superfluous. But they can read them for a purpose far Besides the extraordinary speech of Gorgo, a wife worthy of the higher and more useful to them. They believe in the progressive hero of Thermopylæ, this anecdote is deserving notice as being a advancement of man; and this is a faith which sometimes requires description of the earliest map of a country upon record. The faith to sustain. Whenever, therefore, your faith in this "cheering translator of Herodotus is wrong in saying " brass," as the plate doctrine" becomes cloudy-when your horizon is contracted, and was probably of bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, which was a thousand circumstances lead you to think that, after all, bating used for warlike instruments and other purposes, it being capable the exterior influences of civilisation, man is much the same moral of taking a sharper edge than could in those days be given to iron; creature as he has ever been, and that he will continue so to be- it was called by the Romans æs, and by the Greeks chaleus. go to the sure word of prophecy and receive a fresh impulse to your of this material the Romans fabricated their best mirrors, and the faith. Too often the huge colossal image of human society fills swords found at Cannæ, supposed to be Carthaginian, are of the whole field of vision; and then we are apt to forget the unseen bronze. Brass is a compound of copper and zinc, with which latter power-the stone cut out without hands. The same dream and metal the ancients were unacquainted.

historians and antiquaries--Camden, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord THE LIBRARY AND READING - ROOM OF THE | Bacon, Selden, Sharon Turner, and Lingard, all acknowledge BRITISH MUSEUM.

their obligations to it. Then there are the Harleian, Sloanean, and The British Museum is the only institution which in its

Lansdowne MSS.—the latter collection having been bought in objects and uses is fairly entitled to the name of national in 1807 ;--the Burney MSS., chiefly of the Greek and Latin classics ; England. The National Gallery is too limited, though it is collections by Rich, the son-in-law of Sir James Mackintosh, made

while he was consul at Bagdad, along with a great number of other gradually extending, and will, we trust, be one day worthy of its collections, acquired either by gift or purchase. The ancient rolls name. The Tower, now that the Lions are gone, and the Zoolo.

and charters, many thousands in number, partly belonging to the gical Gardens have made us familiar with what would have made Cottonian, Harleian, and Sloane collections, form a distinct division our forefathers stare, is, at best, but an exhibition for the young of the MSS. folks"_the "march of intellect” has destroyed that kind of awe For a long period the Library and Reading-Room of the British with which it used to be invested, and the chronological arrange

Museum were only used by a very few individuals-scholars, antiment of the armour has actually taken the bread out of the poor number of visits for the purpose of study and research did not

quaries, historians, and collectors of curiosities of literature. The Beefeaters' mouths; no longer can they hold forth, with edifying amount, in 1810, to 2000.' The attendants of the Reading Room confusion, on helmets, shields, and spears, make a country visitor had quite a sinecure in those“ good old days," when perhaps they shudder as he touches the axe that actually cut off the head of Ann had not above half a dozen individuals to accommodate with books. Boleyn, or curdle the blood in a true Englishman's veins, as he In fact there was no provision made for a large number of visiters ; examines the instruments of torture that were found on board the and the crowds that now attend would have quite horrified those Harmada! Westminster Abbey is a national building, but an tranquil souls, whose solitary researches were only disturbed by an unwise policy still keeps it as a show, and we are compelled to and this has led to new and more spacious Reading Rooms being

occasional footfall. The increase has been very rapid of late years, pay for liberty to muse over the remains of the mighty dead. Not provided for those who have the privilege of admission. so the British Museum–here we can enter freely, and survey the The new Reading Rooms occupy a portion of an extensive treasures of nature and art which it contains.

addition recently made to the buildings of the Museum. The The British Museum was suggested by the will of the celebrated entrance to the old rooms was by the main gateway of the Sir Hans Sloane. He, during a long practice as a physician, and with Museum, leading into the great quadrangle ; but the new rooms the enthusiasm of a lover of natural history, had gathered a large Place. To obtain admission, it is necessary that the person wish.

have an exclusive entrance behind the Museum in Montague collection of books, manuscripts, jects of curiosity and art; and ing to become a reader should make application to the chief these he directed his executors to offer to the British Parliament librarian, backing his application with the recommendation of for the sum of £20,000. The offer was accepted, and the collec- some responsible individual. Should the person recommending tion having been augmented by the addition of the Cottonian be known to the chief librarian, the application will probably be Library of MSS. which belonged to the nation, measures were granted at once ; but otherwise the applicant may have to wait for taken, which resulted in placing the British Museum where it has a little time, a few days, or a week or two, in order that inquiry ever since remained, in Montague House, a large building originally putable persons from obtaining easy access to the Reading Room.

may be made.

The professed object of this is to prevent disreerected by the Duke of Montague for his residence. The Museum

When the applicant is admitted he receives a ticket, stating that was opened for public inspection on the 15th January, 1759. Mr. So-and-so is admitted for six months, and that at the end of

It is not our present purpose to enter into a description of this that period it must be renewed. The issue of these tickets is a large collection, which, we are sure, no visiter of London, however mere formal matter; the applicant, after receiving one, may at hurried, misses an opportunity of inspecting. What with its once deposit it amongst his “ archives ;” for tickets are not marbles and mummies, its birds, insects, minerals, &c. &c., there required to be shown on each visit, the frequenters of the Reading is matter enough for consideration to a visiter for many a repeated Room walking in and out without let

, hindrance, or question.

The Reading Rooms consist of two spacious apartments, with examination. Our present object is with the Library and ranges of tables on either side. Round the rooms are presses READING-Room, which, under new arrangements, may be con- filled with works of reference, cyclopaedias, dictionaries, sets of sidered rather as an adjunct of the Museum, than as an integral magazines, journals of societies, topographical and geographical portion of it.

works, county histories, &c. These are open to the readers ; but Originally the Museum collection was divided into three depart. the first process in obtaining a book from the library is to consult ments,-those of Printed Books, Manuscripts, and Natural ticket in the following manner :

the catalogue, and write the title of the work wanted in a printed History. The department of Printed Books consisted at first of the libraries of Sir Hans Sloane and Major Edwards; George II., Press Mark.

MS. wanted.
by instrument under the Great Seal, added a library which had
been collected by the kings of England from the time of Henry

Clark, J.
VII.; and, in 1823, the library of George III. was presented by
George IV., with an injunction, however, to keep it wholly distinct

Bibliotheca Leguin. from the general collection. This latter collection is known as the

King's Library ;" it was gathered together, during half a century, at an expense of nearly £200,000; and it is affirmed by Sir


(Signature. Henry Ellis, the chief librarian of the Museum, to be “in itself

Please to restore each volume of the Catalogue to its place as soon as done perhaps the most complete library of its extent that ever was formed.” The general, or common library, is continually aug. The reverse of the ticket contains the following cautions : menting, by donations, by purchase, and by contributions under

READERS ARE PARTICULARLY REQUESTED, the Copyright Act; abont £2,000 is annually expended in the pur

1. Not to ask for more than one work on the same ticket. chase of old and foreign publications ; and it contains at present 2. To transcribo literally from the Catalogues the title of the Work about 270,000 volumes. This is, of course, exclusive of the “ King's Library.”.

3. To write in a plain clear hand, in order to avoid delay and mistakes.

4. To return the books to an attendant, and to obtain the corresponding The collection of MSS. in the library is very extensive, divided ticket, the READER BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BOOKS SO LONG AS generally into classes, known by the names of their original collectors. Thus, there is the Cottonian collection, which was The ticket (or tickets, if the reader requires more than one work) gathered by the celebrated antiquary, Sir Robert Cotton, and given is handed to an attendant, who is stationed behind a kind of by his grandson, in 1700, to Parliament, for the use of the nation, counter at the head of the main room. The reader then takes his and which was transferred to the Museum when it was founded in seat at a table, and waits till his books are brought, or amuses 1757. This collection has been very useful to our chief national himself by consulting some of the books of reference in the presses

Title of the Work, or Number of the




518 a


Lond. 1810

March 14,





« AnteriorContinuar »