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MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY NOTICES.
FRANCE. The want of public schools for young children is almost as great in France as in England. In 321 communes or parishes there are 575 infant schools, which instruct 50,000 children, but there are ten of the departments which have no infant schools whatever; for although accommodation has been afforded for the instruction of five millions of children, yet only three millions attended during the last winter, and but 1,800,000 during the summer. The number of normal schools in France is also far too limited, being only 74, which are enabled to perfect 900 schoolmasters annually, while the annual number required is full 1500. In the department of the Upper Rhine there are 767 schools, partly parochial and partly private, for the poorer and middle classes; these are attended in winter by 67,000 children, and in summer by 30,000. In addition to these, there are 15 private schools for the higher classes, and 16 schools for Jewish children in this department.
The third part of E. Burnouf's Collection Orientale, entitled Le Bhagavata purana, ou Histoire poétique de Krichna, has just been published at Paris. The first portion of this work, published in 1837, was Raschid Eldin, Histoire des Mongols de la Perse, and the first volume of the second part was published the following year, entitled Abou'lkasim Firdousi, Le Livre des Rois.
According to a recent calculation made by M. Villeneuve-Bargemont, the number of mendicants in France amounts to 178,000 persons; of these 40,000 are aged, 32,000 sickly and ill, 76,000 are children, and 30,000 healthy men and women. This calculation shows there is one mendicant in every 166 in
Adam Michiwiez, the celebrated professor of the ancient languages of eastern Europe, has been appointed professor of the Sclavonic language at the University of Paris.
An Academy of the Art of Poetry was established at Toulouse in 1323, under the direction of seven poets of rank. Artists who contended for the prize, which consisted of a flower of gold or silver, were sometimes subject to an oral examination as to their acquaintance with the principles of the art, and their capacity to feel and estimate the merits of the passion which formed the general theme of poetry. The problems proposed were often difficult of solution. The following is an example: Imagine two lovers, one of whom is constantly harassed by jealousy, and the other, on the contrary, enjoys calmly and without suspicion the affections of his mistress; which of the two loves most? To judge of the correctness of the answer, A Court of Love was summoned, consisting of a jury of ladies, whose decisions were registered and respected as decrees.
The Librairie d'Education, published under the auspices of Victor Boreau and L. F. Hivert, is proceeding rapidly towards completion. The History of France, in 2 vols., by Boreau ; the History of England, by Boreau and Lafon; the History of Russia, by Duchiron; the History of Poland, by Cynski; the History of Italy, by Boreau and Duchiron; and the History of Germany, by Boreau, have severally appeared. The two next volumes of this work are
Littérature cours méthodique and Siècles Littéraires de la France, and will shortly be published.
A very entertaining work, Le Compagnon du Tour de France, has just appeared from the pen of the talented authoress, who writes under the title of George Sand. The work has not been published in any of the French magazines, as is usually the case with this writer's productions.
Ferdinand Dugué, a youthful poet of great promise, whose verses are distinguished for tenderness and sentimentality, has just published a collection of Sonnets, which he entitles Les gouttes de Rosée; and he justifies himself for the title in the following concluding lines of a sonnet, dedicated to Marie:
“ Votre amour est la fleur, mes vers sont la rosée
Dont les gouttes souvent ressemblent à des pleurs !" The good people of Britanny have some curious legends connected with the story of the famed Eloisa and Abelard. They believe Eloisa to have been a witch;.and de la Villemarqué has an interesting poem, in his collection of Poetry of Britanny, giving a description of the various charms and spells used by Eloisa. Pope, at the head of his poem, states: “ Eloisa and Abelard fourished in the twelfth century. They were two of the most distinguished persons of their age in learning and beauty; but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate passion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion."
Professor Boutriche, the author of several chronological works, has just published his Tableau comparatif et historique des Religions anciennes et modernes, des principales Sectes Religieuses et des Ecoles Philosophiques. This comprehensive work is represented to be well digested, and as exhibiting great talent and research.
M. de Lamartine has just issued his report to the Chamber of Deputies on the state of literary property in France; it is exceedingly well written. He justly observes, “ While we make a code for the protection of literary property in France, the necessity of an international code everywhere discovers itself in the complaints of our writers, the losses of our publishers, and by the unanimous cry all over Europe against the scandalous pillage of public and private property, which, doubtless, the silence of the law of public right sanctions, but which is, nevertheless, a disgrace to civilization. Hardly is a book printed in London, Vienna or Paris, than the foreign printers seize it, and without submitting to the regulations of the public revenue or of national labour, without advancing the interests of the publisher or author, they print it in every form, and inundate Europe and America with their piratical literature, which always proves the most profitable speculation, because the traders in this disgraceful traffic never reprint books of which the success has not been already established, and the profit consequently certain.”
GERMANY. The new number of the German Quarterly Review, Deutsche Vierteljahrschrift, contains articles on the Fluctuations in the Circulating Medium-Germany and Switzerland-On the Defence of Western Germany against France, &c. &c.
An English Journal, edited by E. A. Moriarty, and entitled The English Examiner, appears weekly in Leipzig; some of the articles are well written.
By a recent stamp law all newspapers published in the Austrian dominions, or foreign newspapers brought into that country, are required to be stamped; the charge for each number is fixed at one kreutzer if printed within that realm, and two kreutzers if printed abroad and not exceeding one sheet; the stamping will take place at the post-offices on the frontier.
The duty on books and music entering the Austrian dominions is 10s. per
cwt. A reduction has been made on all plates, maps, plans and illustrations belonging to and accompanying the works. The duty on plates, engravings and drawings on paper is reduced from 6l. to 1l. per cwt., paintings pay 10s. The export duty on all the above-mentioned articles is 11. 5s. per cwt.
The government of Saxony has instituted a pension fund for the widows and orphans of schoolmasters of evangelical schools.
At a meeting of German naturalists at Erlangen, Dr. Koch, of Jena, presented his new map of the Caucasian provinces, the result of three years' residence in those provinces. Professor Olympios, from Athens, attended the meeting, and furnished the society with some most interesting details respecting the natural history of Greece.
Kronberger, the spirited publisher at Prague, has just issued the first part of Franz Palacky's Böhmisches Archivs. This interesting work will consist of twelve parts, forming four volumes; the first part contains the writings of the Emperor Sigismund from 1414 to 1437; King Wenzel and the Herrenverein from 1394 to 1401; and the writings of Wilhelm von Pernstein in 1520. · The Zoll-Verein has been renewed for the space of eight years longer by several of the minor German states. On the other hand Holland has withdrawn from the conditions of the treaty of commerce with Prussia.
The line of railway from Magdeburg to Leipzig has been exceedingly flourishing. From its opening on the 18th August to the end of the year (1840), 200,000 persons, paying 20,000l, have travelled along the line, and the receipts for goods have exceeded 5,0001.
Death of Carl von Rotteck. This melancholy event, which occurred on the 26th December, has deprived the literary world of Germany of one of its most popular historians, and the constitutional cause of one of its most uncompromising and strenuous advocates. As a proof of the estimation in which the Weltgeschichte was held, a bookseller in Brunswick gave the large sum of 15007. for the right of publishing it a short time since. The town in which he lived has actually, it may be said, gone into mourning for his loss.
A recent official statement of the number of students in the several Universities of Prussia at different periods exhibits a surprising reduction in the return for the last few years. The total number of students in 1829 was 6097, but in 1839 it was only 4582; a falling off of one-half has taken place in the theological and juridical faculties, while medicine and philosophy have received additional attention.
A professorship of modern Greek literature has been attached to the University of Berlin, and Dr. J. Franz has received the appointment, he has promised his assistance in the continuation of Professor Böckh's Corpus Inscriptionum Græcorum.
Dr. Breitenstein, who taught His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg musical composition, has received a handsome gold snuff-box from His Royal Highness.
The various plans and estimates ordered by the King of Prussia relative to the building of the superb cathedral of Cologne have been laid before his Prussian Majesty, who has determined on proceeding with the work, and at least to connect the façade with the magnificent choir.
PRUSSIA. -Schelling has been appointed to an office in the department of Justice in Berlin, with liberty to give what lectures he pleases. The atmosphere of Munich does not seem favourable to the study of science; for this celebrated professor had announced a course of lectures on the Philosophy of Mythology, with the humiliating addition, "if a sufficient number of hearers could be found.” On this occasion, however, the lecture-room was crowded; and the students received him with enthusiastic applause. Schelling is not the only loss which
VOL. XXVII. NO. LIII.
the capital of Bavaria will suffer; Cornelius goes to Berlin, and Kaulbach will most probably follow.
Dr. Pertz of Hanover, the editor of the “ Monumenta Germanica,” has, it is said, been offered the place of librarian at Berlin. It is not certain whether he will accept it.
In Berlin, 13,000 children are educated wholly or partly at the expense of the city. In 1819, the public funds only contributed 4301. yearly for the poor and for the purposes of gratuitous instruction; at present 43,000l. are voted annually for this purpose. The prison discipline, we believe, did not produce a favourable impression on Mrs. Fry, on her recent visit to that city. All children of a certain age are required by law to attend some places of instruction. The following statement is from a recent German paper :-Of 100 children of the age required, 91 attended the public schools in Prussian Saxony; in Silesia, 86; in Brandenburg, 84; in Westphalia, 83; in the Rhine provinces, 80 ; in Pomerania, 76; in Prussia proper, 74; and in Posen, 61. In the city of Berlin, only 59 children in every 100 visited the public schools. It is much to be regretted, that the list does not likewise give the proportions of those who attend private schools.
According to the new law for the protection of literary property, the duration of the copyright was extended ten years; it expired previously after thirty years from the death of the author. A question has arisen whether the new law should be retrospective. The booksellers of Berlin have sent in a memorandum, but we believe that no decision has as yet been published.
Strauss's new work, “ The Christian Dogma in its Contest with Science," has appeared, and excited a great sensation. The hopes that were entertained that the author of the “ Life of Jesus Christ” would, in his theological studies, soon see reason to abandon the negative position which he had taken, are little likely to be fulfilled. Notwithstanding the enthusiastic admiration of a numerous party, we cannot think that this new work will add to his reputation. It resembles more the work of an advocate of preconceived opinions, than the work of a man, who with courage and boldness sincerely seeks after truth. We trust that no injudicious attempts at prohibition will raise his popularity; and we have then little doubt, that as the works of this writer become more numerous, they will bring their own antidote with them. Meanwhile, the friends of the Church should not be idle.
Henry Heine, the celebrated author of the “ Buch der Lieder,” has in his last production, “ Heine über Borne,” shown how deeply a man can sink, who wanders without fixed principles. Glaring self-conceit, arrogance, and a want of sincerity, are throughout apparent. Even in his best productions, there was always much leaven, yet even his worst enemies could hardly have prophesied that he would have sunk so low.
Prince Puckler Muskau, whose“ Letters on England” excited so great a sensation some years ago, loses ground in the opinion of his countrymen, notwithstanding his frequent attempts to attract their attention. Immermann's satirical sketch of the Prince, in his “ Münchhausen," seems not far from the truth.
The censorship on the publication of works in Bavaria was so severe under the Prince Theodore in 1798, that a work on Cookery was prohibited, because it contained a recipe by which fish might be prepared so as to resemble meat dishes.
Brockhaus of Leipsic has published a work by Talvi, on the unauthenticity of Ossian's Poems, more particularly Macpherson's collection.
The first circulating or lending library in Europe was established at Wetzlar by Winkler, the bookseller and printer, towards the termination of the seventeenth century.
ITALY. The first part of an architectural work of great promise has been published at Florence, entitled Opere Architettoniche di Raffaello Sanzio. The illustrations and remarks are by Carlo Pontani, who appears to have a most perfect acquaintance with the history and progress of Grecian architecture.
A very comprehensive work, descriptive of all the galleries of paintings in Rome, is in course of publication in that city.
Literature in Italy has sustained a great loss by the death of Dr. Gage, who had scarcely completed the third volume of his Carteggio inedito d'Artisti dei Secoli XIV. XV. XVI. pubblicato ad illustrato con documenti pure inediti, when he died at Florence at the age of thirty-seven, universally regretted. The Carteggio is published by Molini of Florence, and is a work of great value, exhibiting great historical research.
A new romance, Gina novella Italiana, by L. Romani, has appeared at Milan, and is attracting considerable attention. This novel possesses the great novelty of drowning all the characters introduced in the story, by which a termination to the romance is easily effected.
SPAIN. Periodical literature continues to revive, both in Madrid and Cadiz. The best conducted journals are El Piloto, El Correo Nacional, and El Mensajero. The best literary periodical, the Revista de Madrid, is but little known in Europe. Among its contributors are some of the most learned men in Spain; Alcala Galiano, Martinez de la Rosa, Puche y Bautista, the Marquis of Vallgornera, de Santiesteban, Silvela, Peña y Aguayo, Benavides, and Calderon Collantes, supply the best written articles. One of the most valuable works of recent date is a Dictionary of Ancient Spain. Tarraconense Beticay Lusitana, by Don Miguel Cortes y Lopez.
Llaguno's Dictionary of Spanish Architects, with explanations by Juan Cean Bermudez, contains some valuable chapters on the History of the School of Painting at Seville, and a full description of the celebrated Cathedral at Seville. It was from this work, that the late Frank Hall Standish gleaned some valuable information for his last published work, Seville and its Vicinity.
Four volumes of Don Manuel Jose Quintana's learned work, Vidas de Espanoles celebres, have now appeared. Don Jose Gomez Hermosilla's translation of Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad, are considered by the Spanish people as the best translations of Homer in any language.
Quinto has also published the first volume of his Constitutional Antiquities of Arragon, entitled Discursos Politicos sobre la Legislacion y la Historia del Antiguo Reyno de Aragon. Zorrilla's Collection of Ancient Legends, Leyendas y Tradiciones Historicas, are in a course of publication. The first volume has excited great attention for the valuable information it contains.
Calderon's remains.-By a lucky accident, the remains of Don Pedro Calderon de la Barca have been discovered. As the workmen were pulling down the decayed cloister of St. Salvador, a tomb was found under the walls of the vestry, which proved to be that of the poet. An architect who was fortunately present, read the inscription, and saved the stone. Calderon had been buried in the Trinity cloister; but with the destruction of this building in the middle of the last century, all traces of the place of his burial had vanished. His remains have been brought to the church of Alocha, a kind of national pantheon, and a subscription has been opened for the erection of a bronze statue to the poet in some public situation.