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miring world from the courtly precincts of St James's ; it LITERARY CRITICISM.
was not ushered forth by fashionable publishers, nor
heralded by the praises of reviews and the puffs of newsFASHIONABLE NOVELS.
papers,-oblique, collateral, and direct ; so that the nonALHACK'S-HYDE NUGENTA MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE sense, depending only on its own demerits, quickly sank THE GUARDS, &c. &c. London.
into oblivion, or rather never emerged from it. It was
reserved for these enlightened days to doat on drivelling It is only by reference to the passion for scandal, so folly and sickening affectation, and admire works in the prevalent in England, that we can solve that enigma,— \inverse ratio of their merits. The principal difference the extraordinary avidity with which the vapid and con between the defunct and their successors lies in the protemptible trash, composing what are called, “ Fashionable digious importance given to eating and drinking in the Novels,” is devoured by the inhabitants of the first city latter, the eternal gabble about iced champagne, vol. au in the world. Let the ingredients of which these ephe- vent, omellette au jambon, mareschino, rognons au vin de mera are concocted be analysed, let it be discovered that champagne, lest the fine people should be suspected of they consist, for the most part, of scandalous stories, glean- dining on plain beef or mutton. To avoid a similar sused from the refuse of newspapers and the servants' hall; picion, Lady Wilhelmina Wilson, in the farce of“ Gretna bad and stale jokes palmed upon well-known persons; a Green,” assures her lover that she never drinks any tea perpetual affectation of finery, after the manner of Lady but “ twelve-shilling green.” As to the copious interBab and Mistress Kitty, in “ High Life Below Stairs;" larding of French in their pages, it reminds us of Mr mere technical acquaintance with the arts of the cook Matthews in one of his personifications, who, when apand the milliner ; a correct list of the wines most in re- plied to for a song, replies that he does not know a whole quest at fashionable tables, which the author may obtain one, but, if he may sing a “ bit of one song, and a bit of from Mr Charles Wright's advertisement, or by virtue of another, four lines will make up a verse.” For a like his office in his master's house ; slang, double entendre, reason, he who does not know one language, may be perand flat impertinence ; not even an attempt at a story, mitted to jumble two in constructing his sentences; with unless it be in the worst style of the worst A. K. New- the understanding, however, that when an author props up man Novel, set in a patchwork of bad French, and worse his foundered English with borrowed French, the French English ;-yet, let it be whispered, that the nonsense shall be correct. There is a little book on French gen“ ineans something,” a fact the public would never have ders, lately published, which we seriously recommend to discovered by its own natural lights,--that the characters, the perusal of those gentlemen who are too fine to write (God save the mark!) are drawn from life, by one whose English ; it will only cost them threepence, and save
long familiarity with fashionable life has given him, them from the dilemma into which the author of " Alor her, ample opportunities of observing and describing mack’s” has repeatedly fallen. This worthy seems to lathe faults and follies of the age,” and immediately the bour under an unhappy degree of doubt respecting the many months of the “ many-headed beast, the town," gender of mer, and, in order to avoid unjust preference, are opened wide to receive the precious farrago. The has accommodated the word with masculine pronouns, gaping appetite for slander allows of no discrimination, and a feminine adjective.
“ Ce malheureuse mer, comme pauses for no enquiry, admits no doubt; the crumbs that nous le detestons," is the choice manner in which a Pafall from the supposed rich man's table are swallowed at risian Countess expresses herself in a letter to a friend ! the risk of choking; the offal is devoured with as much If, as the newspapers threaten, there is to be another edi. greediness as if it were turtle and venison ; their faith tion of this book, and so renowned a genius as the author corers a multitude of sins, and makes them blind, deaf, be not above taking friendly advice, it may be as well to and stupid, into the bargain, or the public would have hint that a wide difference exists between the language of discovered long ago, that the dainty fare they admire so the good society he is so fond of, and that of the second much, is nothing but a warming up of the olla podrida table, though both may speak French.
“ Tirer à quatre of the Leadenhall press.
epingles,” is not more elegant French, than “ vulgar These literary scavengers, it is true, are not creatures kitchen hops,” and “ all humbug,” is select English, esof yesterday. They informed us all long ago, upon their pecially in the mouth of a young lady. honours, that, in the upper classes of society, all the men Another of these choice productions (“Hyde Nugent") were cheats, gamblers, horse-jockeys, libertines, and fools; | introduces a gentleman, “ divinement beau," who sits and that the women were cold, selfish, unfeeling, and down to chatter stuff' to la belle, whilst a friend, who profligate, with here and there an exception, to make a “ keeps up the talk,” “ does sailor,” and plays “ Tom hero or heroine. But this was before lords or ladies fool.” Where this author gathered his notions of polite took to “ showing up” their acquaintance to put money society, it is hard to guess. From the coarse familiarity of into their pockets, and thereby open the way for dis- manner, twaddling sentiment, and extreme absurdity of carded butlers and literary valets, to deck themselves in this novel, to say nothing of the prodigious knowledge exborrowed plumage, and nickname God's creatures. The hibited of flowers, satins, feathers, gazes, and other fetown was deluged, ad nauseam, with similar trash, long male gear, we should conjecture it was written by a manbefore " The Guards,” and “ Almack's,” and “ High Inilliner. Life," saw the light; but that trash did not greet an ad It would be utterly impossible to give individual men.
tion to one-half of these pictures of high life, as they have ply to mark the distinction between the educated and the impudence to style themselves ; but there is one so uneducated,) there is none of this footman-like admirapre-eminent in ignorance, insolence, vulgarity, unblush- tion of fine equipages and fine clothes. They are the ing impudence, and crawling servility, that it deserves trappings of their state, and assumed as a matter of to take place of all its brethren, were they fifty times as bad as they are. We allude to a book called “ The In the gratification of a craving and unhealthy appeGuards." The title may probably induce many to take tite for slander, people care not how common or unclean it up; but they must have the patience of Job, or the the vessel in which their favourite potion is administered, stupidity of the author, if they do not lay it down before so that it be administered. No matter how bald or abthey have got half through the first volume. The story, surd the plot, how paltry the matter, how contemptible if story it may be called, is a mere vehicle for the intro- the manner,---nothing will open their eyes; only let it be duction of all sorts of worn-out scandal, stale Joe Millers, hinted, that the forthcoming novel contains some very pifadé moralizing, bad puns, slang, and loathsome adula- quant anecdotes and personal sketches, and all faults will tion,---sometimes of the “ beneficent star of Brunswick," be forgotten, and all blunders—social, moral, and gramthe “gracious and graceful Monarch ;” sometimes of the matical—forgiven, for the sake of the would-be satire. Gardes, as they are affectedly called. The author would For fear the sheer inanity of the things should give them fain have us believe he has been in the “ Gardes," and their quietus before they have done their duty by the so, perhaps, he has—in the service of one of the officers. publisher's pockets, the public curiosity is perpetually stiLet him be where he will—on parade, in the ball-room, mulated by puffs of their vast popularity, and such paor the park, affecting sentiment or aping ton, he is still ragraphs as the following :-“ We understand that the “ Tom Errand in Beau Clincher's clothes ;"
author of expressly disclaims all personality. This,
however, is well understood; no one, we are persuaded, and not the scraps of Latin, French, and Italian, dragged can fail to recognise the originals of and -, and in at every page, nor even “ muy bien obligato, senor ca ,” &c. And, lest the obtuse faculties of the reader balero, as we say in Spain,” can disguise the fact of his should fail in discovering the resemblance, as well they being a genuine " pleb,” to use his own elegant phraseology. may, the paragraph-writer is kind enough to point them Witness his eternal enumerations of the fine things used out with initials. by his fine hero, his “ lots of carriages and horses,” ele We had conjectured before, that lords and ladies eat, gant “ turns out,” “ magnificent hooka,” “ beautiful ena- and drank, and laughed, and talked, and slept, very much melled box of Havannah cigars,” &c. &c. A gentleman like the rest of the world; or, if we lacked this valuable may possess all these luxuries, but he would not fancy knowledge, surely it is to be attained at much less exhis gentility at all increased by the mention of such fop- pense of time and trouble, than by wading through whole peries, any more than he would talk to the waiter at his volumes of worse than childish folly and disgusting affechotel of the clubs it was proper to belong to; or speak of tation. Granting that the authors really know what they “ flimsies" in the Tom and Jerry style; or put into the are talking about---and which is conceding as much as can mouth of an earl's daughter such language as, “ You be expected of mortal creature at one sitting--and that must be addled and besotted,” addressed to her husband the Exclusives and Distingués, or by whatever absurd when he differs from her in opinion; or say, in his own or affected name they choose to be called, really think and person, “ the Life Guards have been all smarted and act as they are represented, all that can be said is, that brushed up, and have been to foreign parts ;” or inform they are inconceivably more stupid and ridiculous than us that Miss So-and-so, who married a foreign count, their worst enemies could have ventured to suppose them. “ let down the steps” of a carriage, and a thousand si- But the simple truth is, that what the noble and the milar elegancies.
wealthy think or do in common with the rest of manIt is really astonishing that, with such proofs of their kind, was known before ; what is peculiar to their class, origin before their eyes, people will persist in believing these novelists will fail to impart, for the lack of three this trash the production of those authorized to mix in grand requisites---to wit, knowledge of the subject, plain the circles they pretend to describe. A groom of the English, and common sense. chambers, by a little attention, and the assistance of my lady's woman, may easily pick up tittle tattle enough for a novel of this class. By virtue of his office he knows The Life of Archbishop Cranmer. By J. A. Sargant. the etiquette of an assembly room, and the outward and London. Hurst, Chance, & Co. 1829. visible signs of rank and distinction; and what should There are few men who have greater claims on pos hinder him from turning an honest penny by disposing terity than Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. of this valuable knowledge to some Grub Street writer, The times in which he lived, the noble share he sustained or even from spoiling some reams of paper himself, if he in the great reformation of religion, his reputation as a reshould have a taste for literature? Such a person, it is former, a theologian, and a scholar, and his melancholy fate, true, must be as utterly incapable of comprehending how invest his history with an interest of no common kind. far the accidents of rank and fortune may operate bene- | The work before us is, we understand, from the pen of a ficially, or otherwise, upon the moral entity, as he is of lady, and delineates, in an eloquent and forcible manner, writing three consecutive sentences in decent English. the life of the illustrious apostle and martyr. It is not, inHis eyes, which are incompetent to “guard their master deed, to be concealed that the fair author carries her vene'gainst a post,” when he prates of humanity, are all-suf- ration for the Archbishop a little too far ; and, we doubt ficient to show him the superior gentility of silver four- not, it will be asserted by many that she is too much of an chettes, as he would delight to call them, to iron pitch-extravagant panegyrist of his life and opinions. But, forks; and as all the difference he can see between man
as we tlatter ourselves that we know something of the and man, is the pomp and circumstance of their living, history of that period, we maintain that the work, on the he takes it for granted that no other can exist. Accord- whole, is as candid a statement as any that has hitherto ingly, in his self-styled pictures, he gives meet place and appeared. The reasons which induced our authoress to honour to these glorious attributes, agreeably to his own lay it before the public are as honourable to herself as grovelling conviction of their importance—just as a bump- they are modest and unpretending. “No presumptuous kin, who can scarcely read, neglects the contents of a display of diligent research, of accurate discrimination, book to stare at the binding. In novels, such as “ Ma- or of acute reasoning, is intended ; neither is any pretentilda” and some others, which, however common-place sion made to the charms of novelty or the attractions of and uninteresting, are undoubtedly the production of gen- amusement. Above all, party spirit, and a desire to protlemen, (we do not use the word aristocratically, but sim- voke controversy, are utterly disavowed. The work was
commenced with a view to the improvement and gratifi- | devil is with him.' Regardless of their words, Cranmer cation of the rising generation and the simpler walks of presented his hand to certain old men, and some of the spec. life, solely at the request of one whose anxiety to promote was, gave offence, and a priest of the name of Ely, not only
tators who were known to him; but the act, simple as it the best interests of the community is equalled only by refused the salutation, but reproved others for not doing so. his munificence and personal exertions in the same cause, “ Being bound with a strong chain, and fastened to the and to whom peculiar obligations rendered a denial im- stake, the tire was placed to the wood. As soon as the possible."
fames ascended, he stretched forth his right hand, and susBut, notwithstanding this apologetical introduction, pended it over them until it was entirely consumed, frethe authoress has evidently read and studied much ; and, quently at the same time exclaiming, “This unworthy hand!' above all, she possesses that indispensable qualification The wind having drifted the flames on one side, the specta
tors had an opportunity of observing him minutely; and so in a theological writer, for the want of which no other completely had the constancy of his spirit overcome the inattainments can compensate-a thorough conviction of firmities of nature, that he seemed to be perfectly insensible the importance of religion. Firmly persuaded of the to the agony of his torments. Amazed at his fortitude, and justice of the cause which she so well defends, she ad-conceiving that such conduct could be the result of madness vances to the history of the Archbishop's life without only, one of the friars ran to Lord Williams, declaring his fearing the obstacles which were to be encountered, and opinion; but his lordship, who was better acquainted with she concludes her affecting narrative in the same spirit the greatness of the soul of the sufferer, silenced him by a
grave but expressive smile. His agonies, however, it is to of amiable and genuine devotion with which she com
be hoped, were not of long duration. The wind was high, mences. We shall add a short extract or two, as speci- and the flames, burning very fiercely, soon envelopped him. mens of the style in which the book is written. The fol- He was distinctly heard to utter, Lord Jesus ! into thy lowing passage describes, in few words, the character of hands I commend my spirit !' and with these words he exthe leading English reformers:
pired. “ The other persons who bore any principal part at this
“ Friends and foes alike bear testimony to the extraorditime in the Reformation, were Latimer, bishop of Worces nary fortitude he displayed on this dreadful occasion. By ter, Shaxton, bishop of Salisbury, and Barlow, bishop of St the former it was repeated with exultation; and long after David's; but Cranmer did not derive any material assistance his death, it was believed that his heart was found entire from either of them. The abilities and eminent virtues of among the flames, as a proof of his constancy.”—Pp. 277-9. the first were admirably calculated to forward his views in We need only add, that this volume will be read by every his private functions, but, as a public character, he was very one, whatever be his religious creed, with interest; and unequal to devise, and still more unskilful to execute. Con- that it is well worthy the exalted patronage it has rescious of his defects, he contined himself principally to his ceived, as indicated by its being dedicated to Dr Blompastoral duties, in which he was indefatigable. Shaxton
field, the Bishop of London. was a man of morose manners and forbidding aspect ; so much so, indeed, that he was generally disliked, and hence, whatever he proposed, was received with prejudice and dis- | The Edinburgh Journal of Science. Conducted by David satisfaction. It was well, probably, that his severity was
Brewster, LL.D. No. I. New Series. July, 1829. tempered by the benignity and clemency of Cranmer, or
Thomas Clark. Edinburgh. measures might have been resorted to which would have filled the advocates of the Protestant cause with regret, and We do not think a Journal such as ours a fit medium furnished its enemies with a never-failing source of invec- for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Literary tive. Barlow, on the other hand, was as indiscreet, and as
notices and disquisitions have each an independent exfull of levity, as the other was severe and unbending; and istence that admits of their being ushered independently so unguarded in his conversation, that, though a man of con
But the simplest fact connectsiderable sense and learning, it was impossible to intrust and alone into the world. him with any affair of importance. Frequently would ed with science must be subordinated to the great whole Cranmer exclaim, after a long consultation upon some in- of which it forms a part. By attempting to give such teresting point, This is all very true, but my brother Bar- subjects a place in our columns, we should incur the double low, in half an hour, will teach the world to believe it is hazard of appearing dull to our readers, without increabut a jest.' ”- Pp. 76—7.
sing their knowledge, and of encouraging the tendency of Were we to enter upon any analysis of Cranmer's pro- the age to a dilettante spirit of dallying with science. ceedings as connected with the Reformation, his endea- the same time, as we regard our own special province in yours to put the people in possession of the Scriptures, the light of something better than a mere source of amusehis conduct at the dissolution of the monasteries, and his ment for an idle hour, as we take pride in considering it whole career, till the day that Mary began her brief but that branch of mental culture which gives the last finish inglorious reign, we should extend our remarks far be
to our knowledge of the litteræ humaniores, we esteem no yond our limits. Referring our readers to the work be exertion of intellect exempt from our regards. We before us for information on these subjects, we need only lieve taste and imagination to be those faculties of the remark, that, at the accession of Mary, Cranmer was too mind which most surely maintain it pure and noble ; but important a person to escape.
His enemies were nume
we believe that their flight will be strong and free in prorous and powerful; and the Popish Church, which had portion to the cultivation of our other powers. And, in a temporary re-establishment during that reign, was im
this view of the matter, we scarcely expect to be accused placable against him. The trial, the recantation, and the
of trespassing beyond our own limits when we occasionmartyrdom of Cranmer, are well told by our fair biogra- ally direct our readers' attention to the exertions of the pher. We shall conclude by quoting her account of his scientific world. Nay more, we are of opinion that there last moments :
is a sort of debateable land---as, for example, the workings « Arrived at the fatal spot where his friends, Ridley and external nature---respecting which it might be difficult to
of the mind, and the contemplation of the phenomena of Latimer, had perished before him, he kneeled down and prayed with great devotion and earnestness ; and then, with determine whether it belong more properly to our province the utmost composure, and even alacrity, began to make the or to that of the scientific enquirer. last requisite preparations. The bitterness of death was Scientific journals, such as that whose title we have now past, and its terrors were disregarded; the serenity of quoted above, do not aspire to popularity in the common his soul was restored; tears no longer dimmed his eyes, sense of the word, or, if they do, they will lose their labut the gracious smile of former days again illuminated his bour. The great mass of mankind are now pretty genefeatures, and told that all was at peace with himself and rally prepared to acknowledge that they are materially with the world. He was now undressed to his shirt, which benefited by every advance made in science; but only was made to touch the ground, his head and feet being uncovered. At this moment, the Spanish priests once more
those who are deeply versant in its mysteries can be exendeavoured to shake his resolution; but finding their efforts pected to follow, with attention and interest, every step ineffectual, they exclaimed, . Let us go from him, for the that it takes. The philosopher must pursue the discovery
THE DEATH OF CRANMER.
EDUCATION OF THE NEGROES.
of truth from a deep-rooted and living love of the pursuit; tions which he discusses in the course of his three vohe must not be influenced by a mere conviction of the me- lumes; but we beg most particularly to direct the attenchanical benefits to arise from his success, and he must tion of our readers to Chapters XI., XII., XIII., and pemain contented with the sympathy of a comparatively XIV., in Volume Second, where our author explains, narrow circle. Steadily following this honourable course, with great acuteness, and a very complete knowledge of he may rest assured, whenever the question that haunts the subject, all the advantages and disadvantages of the us all occurs to him, What does the world at large think American constitution, whether it be considered as a reof me that the respect and love of all good men are with public, according to the original intention of its founders, him.
or as a pure democracy, according to the tendency of late It is under these impressions that we have been indu- innovations. At present we content ourselves, and we ced to notice the appearance of the first number of the hope our readers, with adding a few more lively extracts new series of Dr Brewster's Journal. We have been fur- upon miscellaneous subjects :ther influenced by an honest pride in every additional claim that our own town lays to distinction. We feel certain “ By far the most interesting school, however, which we that, under the management of one who stands so far for- saw in the course of this busy day, was one for the elucaward in the ranks of science, who has been so long con tion of Negro and Mulatto children. Poor little wretches! versant with editorial duties, and who is supported by the their whole souls—if, as Uncle Toby says, they have souls strong body of talent enumerated on the title-page, the
-were thrown into their lessons; and it was delightful to Edinburgh Journal of Science will take a conspieuous hobby was to teach blacks; and who had devoted many
see them, under the guidance of a man, whose particular place among the many that are now published throughout years of his life exclusively to this subject
. I was led to Europe. We observe that Dr Brewster intends devoting think he had a better taste in teaching than some other pera portion of his journal to a narrative of the proceedings sons we had seen in the course of the morning; for, when of various scientific societies. Will be allow us to sug one of the little quaminos, in answer to some question, gest an improvement on this part of his task, which we
made use of a common English vulgarism, and said, “The are almost surprised has not before been adopted? Strictly book is laying there,' the master called out, What do you scientific pursuits (unlike those of the imagination, which
mean that the book is laying eggs?" We naturally begged
to know whether or not he had discovered any material most affect solitude) are materially promoted by the fre- difference in the intellectual powers of the blacks and whites quent converse and co-operation of many; and, in this at these schools. His answer was, that up to a certain age, paint of view, societies have proved highly beneficial to that is to say, as long as they were little children, there was science. .. But, as it is certain, that wherever a multitude no difference perceptible_as they played about together, collect, the weaker class of minds will outnumber the and studied together, the blacks were not made to feel any strong, vague and desultory habits of enquiry have of those distinctions by which, in after life, their spirits always tended to sully the proceedings of these bodies. the state of New York, where Negro slavery has been als
were sure to be crushed down. I was told, that even in Might it not then be of advantage, if, to a mere narrative lished by law, a black man meets with no real and effective of their transactions, Dr Brewster, or some of his assist- sympathy on the part of the white lords of the creation. ants, were to add occasionally a critical appreciation and Consequently, let a Negro be ever so industrious or wellsummary of their results? We are aware that we are in informed, still he seems stamped for degradation, and thus citing him to undertake a task of peculiar delicacy; but has little or no fair chance amongst the whites, who will we think that something of this kind would prove a pow- mutual confidence, which is the most important link of ci
neither trust him, nor allow of his trusting them. Thus, erful engine, and capable of effecting much good.
vil society, is broken, and when that is the case, there re
mains, I 'fear, no other method of attaching to its interest, Travels in North America ; in the Years 1827 and 1828. fellow-feeling is inevitably prevented from growing up."
a class so circumstanced, between whom and the whites all By Captain Basil Hall, Royal Navy. In 3 volumes. Edinburgh. Cadell & Co.
Vol. I. p. 29-30.
“In all other countries, with which I have any acquaintWo have been told that Captain Hall was not very ance, the use of ardent spirits is confined almost exclumuch liked in America, and we are bat little surprised sively to the vulgar; and though, undoubtedly, the evil it that it should be so; for, with all the manly frankness of causes may be severe enough, it certainly is not, upon the a British sailor, he disdained to say any thing in the whole, any where so conspicuous as in the United States country, which he was not prepared to stand by out of it. of these effects lay on every hand, that I speak of them He assures us, and we firmly believe him, that every with great contidence, when I say that a deeper curse never • word he now publishes, he has repeatedly and openly afflicted any nation. The evil is manifested in almost
spoken in company in all parts of the United States. To every walk of life, contaminates all it touches, and at last . a people like the Americans, whose leading failings are finds its consummation in the alms-house, the penitentiary, vanity and jealousy, this would be " pretty considerable"
or the insane institution; so that, while it threatens to sap disagreeable, especially as the Captain saw ample cause to and domestic, it may truly be said to be worse than the
the foundation of every thing good in America, political > find fault; and, in general, though he acknowledged the yellow fever, or the Negro slavery, because apparently more
rapid progress which the nation appeared to be making, irremediable. Dram-drinking has been quaintly called the could by no means be brought to allow that they were natural child, and the boon companion of democracy, and
not, as yet, far behind Great Britain in the arts, in lite- is probably not less burtful to health of body, than that · rature, in the science of government, and in all the ele- system of government appears to be to the intellectual gancies and comforts of life. The straightforward po- powers of the mind. liey he thus pursued may have exposed him personally to
“ Fortunately, however, the sober-minded part of the . a good deal of annoyance; but certainly no honest man of this growing and frightful evil, are making great efforts
American population, who are fully alive to the enormity can find fault with it. Besides, the Americans are now
to check its progress. At the same time, I must confess, * prepared for his book, whatever it may be ; and if it errs that as yet I have not heard in conversation, nor seen in
in being a little too English, Captain Hall may justly print, nor observed any thing myself in passing through console himself with the reflection, that “ an account the country, which promises the least alleviation to this which should please every body, would require, not months grievous mischief, of which the origin and continuance, I or years, or even a whole life--it must not be the work suspect, lie somewhat deeper than any American is willing of a mortal, but of an angel--and a hard task he would to carry his probe. The babit, according to my view of have of it!"
the matter, is interwoven in the very structure of that pe
litical society which the Americans not only defend, but upWe have already said that we do not intend entering hold as the very wisest that has ever been devised, or ever - the lists with Captain Hall on any of the graver ques- put in practice for the good of mankind. At present, hor
DRAM-DRINKING IN AMERICA.
ever, my object is to deal chiefly with the fact, though I and was reprimanded accordingly. The youth, however,
may remark, in passing, that in a country where all effec- not liking this exercise of authority, announced his intenL tive power is placed, not indirectly, and for a time, but di- tion of appealing to the people,' which determination was
rectly, universally, and permanently, in the hands of the forth with reported to head-quarters. By return of post, lowest and most numerous class of the community, the cha- an order came down to say, that Mr So-and-so, being the
racteristic habits of that class must, of necessity, predomi- citizen of a free state, had a perfect right to appeal to the ge
nate, in spite of every conceivable device recommended and people, and in order to enable him to proceed in this matadopted by the wise and the good men of the nation. ter without official entanglement, his discharge from the
" That I am not overstating the facts of this case, will be Navy was enclosed. seen from the following extracts from the First Report of “ Great care is taken in the selection of persons wishing the American Society for the promotion of Temperance,' to enter the Navy; and these gentlemen are also exposed established at Boston on the 10th of January, 1826. The afterwards to frequent and rigorous examinations; by which evils arising from an improper use of intoxicating liquors, means incompetent persons are excluded. Be the causes, have become so extensive and desolating, as to call for the however, as they may, I can only state, that the American immediate, vigorous, and persevering efforts of every phi- naval officers are pleasant persons to associate with; and I' lanthropist, patriot, and Christian. "The number of lives reflect with great pleasure on the many professional acannually destroyed by this vice in our own country is quaintances I was fortunate enough to make in that and thought to be more than thirty thousand; and the number other countries. I also look forward with equal confidence of persons who are diseased, distressed, and impoverished by to meeting them again; being well assured, that whatever it, to be more than two hundred thousand; many of them the nature of our intercourse may be as national foes or as are not only useless, but a burden and a nuisance to society. national allies, or merely as private friends I shall have These liquors, it is calculated, cost the inhabitants of this thorough-bred officers and gentlemen to co-operate or concountry, annually, more than forty millions of dollars; and tend with."-Vol. II. pp. 147-9. the pauperism occasioned by an improper use of them, (taking the commonwealth of Massachusetts as an example,) costs them upwards of twelve millions of dollars ? — The Americanisms, during
which Mr Webster gave me some new
“We had a pleasant discussion on the use of what are called Society is in hopes, that, by some system of instruction views on this subject. He contended that his countrymen and action, a change may be brought about in public senti- had not only a right to adopt new words, but were obliged ment and practice, in regard to the use of intoxicating liquors, and thus an end be put to that wide-spreading in
to modify the language to suit the novelty of the circumtemperance, which has already caused such desolation in stances, geographical and political, in which they were every part of our country, and which threatens destruction placed. He fully agreed with me, however, in saying, that to the best interests of this growing and mighty Republic.' and dry, it ought to be used in preference
to a new one.
where there was an equally expressive English word, cut “ After these frightful statements, it may seem strange that, during the whole journey, I should have seen very
• Nevertheless, said he, it is quite impossible to stop the little drunkenness, properly so called. But drinking and progress of language-it is like the course of the Mississippi, drunkenness, it must be observed, are not always neces
the motion of which at times is scarcely perceptible, yet sarily connected; and I was perfectly astonished at the ex
even then it possesses a momentum quite irresistible. It is tent of intemperance, and the limited amount of absolute the same with the language we are speaking of. Words intoxication. Toget so drunk as to kick up a row or tumble and
expressions will be forced into use, in spite of all the about the streets, or disturb a peaceable household all night exertions of all the writers in the world.”. long, are feats that require a man to sit down to his bottle,
“Yes,' I observed; but surely such innovations are to and swill away till inebriety is produced. To what extent
be deprecated ? this practice is followed as a habit in America I cannot say, universally current in America, where English is spoken,
“"I don't know that,' he replied. If a word become I certainly never saw any of it; but what I did see, at why should it not take its station in the language ?" every corner into which I travelled, north or south, east or west , was the universal practice of sipping, a little at a time, and it only confuses matters, and hurts the cause of letters,
« • Because,' I said, there are words enough already; but frequently. In many places it was the custom to take to introduce such words.' a dram before breakfast, and, in some parts of the country, another was taken immediately after that meal; and so on
“* But,' said he, reasonably enough, 'in England such at intervals, which varied from half an hour to a couple of things happen currently, and, in process of time, your new hours during the whole day.”—Vol. II. pp. 83-90.
words find their way across the Atlantic, and are incorpo
rated in the spoken language here. In like manner, he THE AMERICAN NAVY.
added, many of our words, heretofore not used in Eng“I have reason indeed to believe, from what I saw and land, have gradually crept in there, and are now an acheard, that the American discipline, especially as applied knowledged part of the language. The interchange, in to officers, is more stern than in the British navy, and for short, is inevitable; and, whether desirable or not, cannot a reason which I think will be adınitted the instant it is be stopped, or even essentially modified.' stated. With us, the supply of officers comes from a so " I asked him what he meant to do in this matter in his ciety not only familiar with the theory of ranks, if I may Dictionary, say so, but practically acquainted with those artificial dis “I mean,' he said, 'to give every word at present in tinctions in authority, the acknowledgment of which forms general use, and hope thereby to contribute in some degree the very life and soul of a fleet. Consequently, whether it to fix the language at its present station. This cannot be be at first starting, or in after years of professional life, done completely; but it may be possible to do a great deal.' naval officers with us meet with nothing in their intercourse “I begged to know what he proposed to do with those with general society on shore to weaken the habit of subur- words which were generally pronounced differently in the dination taught on board ship. The details of obedience two countries. • In that case,' said he, I would adopt may be different afloat and on shore, just as the duties are that which was most consonant to the principles of the essentially different; but the principle of paying respect to English language, as denoted by the analogy of similar the distinctions of rank, without any attendant feeling of words, without regarding which side of the water that anadegradation, is thus quite easily kept up amongst English logy favoured. For example, you in England universally oticers at all times and seasons, whether they be on the say chivalry-we as generally say shivalry; but I should water or on land. But a young American officer, when be certainly give it according to the first way, as more consist
comes on shore to visit his friends, and goes to the back ent with the principles of the language. On the other dwoods, or front woods, or any where, indeed, will hear hand, your way of pronouncing deaf is defmours as if it
more in one day to interfere with his lessons of dutiful sub- were written deef; and as this is the correct mode, from
ordination, than he may be able to recover in a year of sea which you have departed, I shall adhere to the American service. Unless, therefore, the system of discipline on board way; be not only very strict, but of such a nature as to admit of " I was at first surprised when Mr Webster assured me no escape from its rules, the whole machinery would fall to there were not fifty words in all which were used in America pieces. Democracy, in short, with its sturdy equality will and not in England; but I have certainly not been able to hardly do afloat!
collect nearly that number. He told me, too, what I did * "I heard a story at Washington which is in point to this not quite agree to at the time, but which subsequent enquiry argomerit. A midshipman of an American ship of war, has confirmed, as far as it has gone, that, with very few exhaving offended in some way or other against the rules of ceptions, all these apparent novelties are merely old English the service, fell, of course, under his captain's displeasure, words, brought over to America by the early settlers, being