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Magarlaa, the Indian Chief, to his Torturing Foes. At last you've, by a crafty turn,
Now you begin, take time, take time, Magarlaa clutched all alone;
And do not let me go too soon ; Then fire feed, his nerves come burn, Keep me down from the cloudy clime,
And roast the flesh from off the bone. For soon I'll fly beyond the inoon : Why be so long with your death song ? Then back again, though you were fain, Come, set you to, your tortures strong. I will not come to bear again. Then bave you got your pinchers hot ;
The other leg and arm then take, So, where then will ye go begin ?
For these you burn I do not feel ; My tongue is cold, 'twill answer not. Come, bite me like a rattle-snake,
Fix on the tendons-peel the skin ; And prick my heart with burning steel. *Fix on, and burn, my eyes out turn, Now, now I go, yes, bravely so, Your worst of torments I do spurn.
And back I shall not come-no, no.” This is in the true “ Ercles' vein," in the true “clash, crash, conclude and quell” style of Billy Bottom; and if spoken in character by Quinton, or his biographer, in a country-barn, could not fail to draw tears from the groundlings.
The host of poetasters whom we have thus drawn up in array, formidable as it may appear, amounts to but a small fraction of their innumerable tribe. That the number of poems which are constantly poured out upon the country, by such riff-raff gentry, will have a most pernicious effect in debasing the taste, and undermining the morality of the lower orders, is very obvious. But the subject connects itself with another of scarcely inferior importance ; namely, the character of Scottish literature: Burns, and, after him, the Author of the National Novels, have generated in our southern neighbours a passion almost extravagant for whatever is Scotch. Their writings have effected a moral revolution, quite unprecedented and wonderful. The hatred felt for us, at no very remote period, by honest John Bull, bas only been equalled in intensity by the present fervour of his love, which is even more than brotherly; and Peg seems determined to take advantage of the fond fit, so long as it lasts, by indulging in the most unreasonable liberties, rather than to confirm and rivet the attachment by a moderate and modest display of her attractions. We have become intolerably self-conceited and vain ;-a nation, not of gentlemen only, but of literati ; and to gabble Scotch, no matter how imperfectly, in the hearing of Englishmen, is supposed to confer classical distinction upon the gabbler. No decent Scotchman, at the present day, can enter a Coffee-room in London but with the certainty of being put to the blush, by hearing some senseless Sawnies slavering about their country, over their cups, imagining, in the vanity of their hearts, that they are actually lustrous with the rays of their country's glory. Such fellows are a pest and disgrace to Scotland—the shallowest, basest, and most worthless of her sons It was to be expected, that, as Burns had his crowd of imitators, so would the Author of Waverley; and deeply indebted as the country has been to those eminent writers, for dispelling a cloud of national dislikes and antipathies, the benefit is likely to be rendered valueless by those who have presumed to tread in their footsteps.
The love of lucre, more than honourable ambition, is the great incentive to modern Scotch composition. Every thing Scotch is greedily devoured; and nothing so stale or poor can be brought to the market, provided that it bears the national stamp, which does not find a purchaser. It is the fashion to admire the dialect, and pretend to understand it; but the misfortune is, that, to the great majority of English readers, the dialect, and every characteristic of the country, is enveloped in a haze, and they cannot well discriminate between what is genuine and what is adulterated or spurious. Of this fact there cannot be a stronger proof than the publication of the volume before us—a work which every Scotchman must blush for, but which we have actually seen quoted by one of the most respectable of the metropolitan journals.
Most of the minor works in the Scotch dialect, which have been published of late, are the variest trash possible,-deficient in invention, in character, in keeping,—in short, in every one requisite. If novels, the plot or story is uniformly as simple as possible; and this story, meagre at the best, is
hammered and beat out to the thinness of tinfoil, of which substance it has no more than the dim and deadly lustre. The whole scope of any one work, is the developement of a single character, (always a most insignificant one,) which a writer of real genius could dispose of by one or two graphic touches ;-every sentiment, however mean, is wire-drawn over the surface of whole chapters ; and it may truly be said, that the chapters outnumber the ideas. In exploring a grovelling thought or affection, the author shows the most indefatigable patience; and with his tiny rush-light, conducts the reader through all the sinuosities, and into all the crannies of some very common or vulgarly-constituted mind. And it invariably happens, that the discovery affords no recompence for the labour bestowed upon the making it. It may be true, that there is some fidelity in the sketching ; but then the originals are perfectly familiar to every one ; and we hold that a novelist, if he cannot produce something original or extraordinary, and yet in keeping with nature, is bound, at least, to excite interest, by the variety of his incidents, and the ingenuity of his fable. In the writings of the Author of Waverley we can afford to dispense with a regular plot; there is so much of the soul of poetry embodied in them, such a crowding of persons, so rapid a succession of spirit-stirring adventure, and so perfect a vraisemblance in respect both of national and individual character, that defects in the manner of conducting a plot are absolutely unimportant. But, with the writers to whom we allude, the plot and the leading character are every thing; and, as already remarked, the first is so simple, and the second so insignificant, that one feels no anxiety regarding the denouement of the one or the destiny of the other.
Another characteristic of those bastard compositions is, that the prevailing sentiment of each is as simple and unique as the fable. There is no variation of mood in the writer,-no alternations of joy and sadness, of moralizing and mirth, of the sublime and the ridiculous; but all is spiritless, tame, and flat, as a Datch swamp or a sandy desart. One writer affects the silliness of infancy or dotage,-occasionally of downright idiocy. Another throws over his works the sombre shroud of methodism, dealing largely in cant, both political and religious, which he seasons occasionally with some highly carnal allusion ;-like a horse yoked to a hearse, and adorned with the trap, pings of woe, he drags his mortal lumber after him at a solemn pace, and with a most lugubrious air ; and as his eyes are bent upon the ground, innagines that he hears groans and sobs proceeding from the sorrowing spectators.
These, and similar affectations, are bad enough; but what most disgusts us, in all such writings, is the abominable jargon made use of. It is neither Scotch nor English, but a sort of piebald dialect, composed of the very worst specimens of both corrupt Scotch and pedantic English, and as opposite to the Doric simplicity of the one, and the polished dignity of the other, as it is possible to imagine. It is the style of a country pedagogue, who cannot speak English perfectly, but must needs approve his scholarship by liberally sprinkling his discourse with the most recondite words and phrases. In some of those works, which, by a fiction of the author, are supposed to have been written centuries ago, we find words put into the mouths of rustics, that peculiarly belong to sciences the foundations of which were laid within the last fifty years. Then, we have certain crack words, which obtrude themselves every where. One writer cannot convey a notion of still sublimity, without introducing the word “ sough," (a favourite word, by the bye, of our friend Mac;) and then we have egging. on, wyse, jelouse, and an infinity of other west-country barbarisms, which are as foreign to us as pure Cornish.
Scotch composition, hitherto, has been so far successful, that any one may safely adventure upon it. It obviously requires no expenditure of mind; and the gullibility of the English public insures the publisher against possible loss. We have felt it our duty to expose the secrets of this species of writing, and its utter worthlessness, as practised by a few impostors; and, for the sake of our national reputation, and of good taste, we sincerely trust that the appearance of The Gallovidian Encyclopedia will bring it into utter and irretrievable discredit.
ESTIMATE OF CLASSICAI. LEARNING,” WITH A VIEW TOWARDS A NEW
ARRANGEMENT OF THE GRAMMAR-SCHOOLS, AND OF EDUCATION THEREIN. IN LETTERS FROM A PLAIN MAN TO THE EDITOR.
Letter II. SIR,
In my last letter, I reminded your Our friend Mr Tawse, the school. readers of our little village club, and master, had just been in town, burytold them generally of the topics of ing his father-in-law; but as he got our discussion in it. I mentioned a good penny by the event, he was that Classical Learning, and its value not so affected by the loss he had and import, had attracted our atten sustained, as to be rendered indiffertion; that we had been particularly ent to what was passing around him; inquiring, whether, out of our shorter and he joined us at the Harrow, leases of life, of a couple or three where we happened to be met at supnineteens, or even our longer tacks, per when the coach arrived which of three-score and ten, or four-score brought him. His face was full of years, (the longest sets in the Psalm- importance, but he soon got vent. ist's rent-roll,) we could reasonably is What think you,” said he, “o' spare seven or eight of them in gets their braw new Academy which they ting driven into us, with labour have opened in the north side of the dire, and weary woe," an imperfect New Town of Edinburgh ? I suppose knowledge of a dead language or two; it is mostly supported by Indians, and that, even supposing the game for the great object there is to keep to be worth the candle, and that the the casts separate from one another; object is of some consequence, we and there are such things as these in have next been asking, whether or Scotland, as well as Hindostan. The not the object might not be attained manners and customs of the East, by some shorter method than that Sirs, are to be brought into the West: which has been hitherto followed. high cast men are to be kept away
In general affairs Sir, there are from the contamination of Pariars, certain periods when mankind are and men of rank will no longer be inclined to overhaul matters, and, troubled in having shabby fellows in the progress of the species, to sur hung round their necks through life, yey, not only the road which they constantly boring them (as they alhave already passed over, but that lege they have been wont to do) for which they are about to travel, kirks, and custom-house appointfinding, in the experience of the past, ments—all for no other reason, fora lesson for the future, and, without sooth, but because the
young gentle any radicalism, reforming what has men, in the days of yore, got fun been wrong, and amending what has with the buffers, or skaited and fished been deficient. It is on this principle with them. But what shall I tell you that our Government has altered the further about it? The youngsters are arrangement of the Revenue Boards; not to be taught there to pronounce —that our Senatus Academicus are the Greek and Latin tongues in the thinking about changing their mode same broad, manly, and proper man. of examining candidates for medical ner as Demosthenes and Cicero did, honours ;—and that the old tene and as is actually adopted in every ment, the College of Justice, is about country on the face of the earth, exto undergo many alterations, and a cept in the southern part of our own thorough repair. Now, Sir, the same little island. No, Sir ; though resikind of juncture has arrived regard- dent in Caledonia, they are to be ining Classical Learning and Gram structed to pap and Englify it in such mar Schools; and the matter came a manner, that if those great ancients, before us at our club, if I may use and our renowned countryman, Bu. the expression, by a side wind, leaving chanan, were to raise their august some more distinct member than the heads from their tombs, they could introducer of it to put the argument, not understand a word of it. Oh !" afterwards, into more logical order. added he, “what would our old friend
Professor Dalzell say to all this, the language of our forefathers, as to could he also look up and witness it ? the pronouncing of the Latin tunguu Well do I remember his sonsey face in all matters whatever, more partibeaming with literary enthusiasm, as cularly when the method adopted by if Apollo and all the Muses, or, as our venerable ancestors was, as I Burns says, as if Phæbus and the understand, that which was sanctionfamous Nine had been glowering o'ered by all other nations except Enghim when he was every day. repeat- land, and was therefore that which ing to us his favourite lines in Ho was used by the Romans themselves ? race,
Is it necessary, for the accommodaGraiis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo
tion of these blades, that all others Musa loqui.'
should be incommoded, and that
every thing should be thrown topsy Alas! where, in that crack semi- turvy? Must Mr Mein's or Mr Mannary, would he find the os rotun- duhop's shop-boys nap their drugdum; the true, deep, sonorous clas- recipes ?--and because a few lawyers sical intonation, which was wont (as might find it convenient to have their Sir Philip Sydney, according to the true pronunciation contorted, must Spectator, said of the song of Chevy the same evil happen to all others, Chace) to rouse our young hearts (for all are taught Latin here,) whelike the sound of a trumpet ?”
ther they are preachers or procuraSo said our worthy Thwackum, tors, taylors or tide-waiters, watchwith all his esprit de corps, when Dr makers, wire-workers, or writers to Pilmore took up the debate. “ Fes- the signet?-No, Sir; such a thing tina lente, Domine," said he;" hooly would be quite intolerable. Let our and fairly ; you spoke of Buchanan, nation-I mean the general body of but there has been a great change of it-retain their ancient, their right market-days since his time. Jingling mode of pronouncing the learned Geordy Herriot, his friend, when he languages, and what young gentleformed rules for his hospital, direct men soever may find it convenient to ed his boys not to be taught English, be taught it otherwise, that they may but braid Scotch ; and it is weel kent, appear more graceful, as they may that our great Latin historian and think, in another place, let them poet took a guid wide mouthful of take a few lessons in it, just for the both Scotch and Latin. We had same reason, as I have heard, that our ain
Parliament, and there these grown-up persons return again was nae pleading our appeals then to the dancing-school to be taught before Judges who had never had quadrilles. foot on the north of the Tweed ; Here the Minister reminded us nor sending up to London steam-boat. how much we were wandering from, fu's of our advocates, with their wigs or rather that we had never yet in band-boxes, to quote the Pan- reached the proper subjects of our dects to them. But, as the auld song intended discussion. That discuss o' Turnumspike says, "Scotland's sion then commenced, but my room turned to England now'-tempora being again out, your readers must mutantur--and we must accommo still have a little patience, and they date oursel's to the change."
shall get it in my next letter. In the Here Mr Plowshare stepped for. meantime, I am, ward, in a derisive tone :
« What !” said he, “ Doctor, because half-a
Sir, dozen lads go to London yearly, from
Your humble Servant, the whole Scotch bar, to plead appeals, would you really depart from
A Plain Man.
EVENTUAL DISUSE OF WAR--RETROSPECTIVE CIVILIZATION.
(Continued from page 293.)
Book I. Part I.
Retrospective View of Civilization. This Part includes six separate eras or stages. Each of these stages possesses more than one distinguishing mark. We shall here, however, only note the most prominent, and reserve for the following Chapters such amnplification as the subject may appear to require.
1. The tendency to settled habits of Industry.
Chapter 1. THE FIRST STAGE.-Cultivation of the Soil-Erection of permanent Habitas
tions- Fabrication of Implements. The transition from barbarism to civilized life is, at its commencement, so imperceptible, as generally to escape the observation of cultivated nations. Savages occasionally lend their aid to the productive powers of Nature, shelter themselves from the inclemency of the weather in rudely-contrived cabins, and acquire the art of fabricating implements to facilitate the purveyance of food, or for purposes of defence or aggression. They are not strangers to the value of society, and are susceptible of some of the virtues which are usually supposed to be peculiar to ages of refinement.
The great characteristic of the savage is the want of sufficient forethought, that first fruit of manly reason ; and hence all his arrangements are bereft of stability, and are, consequently, useful only in a very imperfect degree.
The surest test, therefore, of incipient civilization is permanence in the industrious habits of the people, rather than the superior ingenuity or energy with which their labours may be conducted.
As soon as the principle of the exclusive right of the cultivator is in some degree, however remote, applied, not only to the produce, but to the soil,- when his habitation is so constructed as firmly to withstand the ravages of repeated storms,--and when the implements fabricated are contrived for subservience to the purposes of agriculture, as well as for the destruction of life,—the industry of the community has assumed a permanent character, and the threshold of the first stage of civilization has been passed.
Chapter II. THE SECOND STAGE.—Division of Labour-Improved Implements-Barter.
A rude simplicity pervades all the arrangements of the first stage; with the second, commence those remarkable displays of ingenuity, which, in the contemplation of the powers of the human mind, so frequently excite our admiration.
The classification of the innumerable objects of industry, and their individual appropriation by distinct portions of the community, are important results of the operations of reason, all the valuable fruits of which can only be reaped in times of very superior refinement. When the principle, howa ever, is sufficiently understood, as, in a certain degree, to have been adopted as a general guide, society has made a marked step in the progress of