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of the many dissatisfactions of this place." So strong to the death is the passion for knowledge when deeply imbibed!
"Russelton" may employ his pen with advantage upon a better topic than the one of which he writes. It is impossible to touch filth without being defiled.
We have received an early copy of the third volume of the German Prince's Tour, but not early enough to make it the subject of an article. We can merely indicate the general character of the contents. This volume, though the third as respects the time of publication, forms in fact the commencement of the Tour. The first Letter contains a sentimental adieu to Julia, a visit to Saxe Weimar, and an interesting conversation with Gothe, who is made to utter some depreciatory remarks on the Waverley Novels. The second is devoted to Holland, of which he took a cursory view on his way. The third lands his Highness in England, where we find him during all the remainder of the book, the same clever, caustic, intelligent, and prejudiced observer as our readers have already seen him in Ireland and Wales. We could not enumerate, in the short space that is left, a tithe of the objects described. Suffice it to say, that he visits all the haunts of the English aristocracy-Brighton, Newmarket, and the mansions of our principal nobility amongst the rest; and the best of our national institutions; in a word, sees everything and everybody worth seeing, and talks gaily, gravely, pertinently, or pertly about all-now scattering sophisms and apocryphal anecdotes, and now amply redeeming his affectations and absurdities by a burst of generous feeling, or a profound, social, or political truth. Puppy, fop, or adventurer, as he may be, this German Prince was certainly endowed originally with some of the best attributes of man; and we at least are at no loss to find out why the heart of the great and good Göthe should have warmed to him. According to the Weimar philosopher, it is not the occasional fretfulness, insensibility, or indiscretion, but the general tone and capacity, that form the criteria of character; he knows that it is no slight matter for a German noble to set himself free from the prejudices of his caste for one hour, though they should close around him more darkly the next; and the Prince's warm acknowledgement of the bounty of Providence and the real gladness of life would more than atone for the appeal to the eagles as the armorial birds of his family. Nor is it difficult to account for the indiscriminate abuse which, from certain quarters, has been showered upon him. He had seen too closely, and has described too graphically, the most revolting features of English aristocratical exclusiveness; and the work is translated by the wife of a Professor at the London University, a man of liberal-we mean just, generous, and enlightened-opinions.
There is not a word in this volume to ruffle prudery itself. This is one advantage of a translatress. In a manly and ladylike preface,* (we hope a lady may possess the sense and spirit of our sex, with the delicacy and fine tact of her own,) she disclaims all coincidence with the Author's opinions, avows her entire ignorance of the class of society depicted by him, and declares that, far from wishing to print his personalities, she has done her best to involve them in additional obscurity. On turning to the original, we find that she has not merely softened, but actually omitted several. We would instance the story of Madame Vestris lighting a gentleman out of her house with his own 50%. note, with his sketches of the fair unfortunates of the theatres, and (we beg pardon for the juxta-position) of the Marchionesses of H- and S- and the Duchess of Cannizzaro. The Prince himself, by-the-by, is by no means so scandalous as he might have been. In speaking of Lady H-, he makes no allusion to royalty; and in mentioning a distinguished lady-amateur's penchant for singers, he puts singer in the feminine gender. All doubt as to the identity of the Author is at an end. Letters have been received from him acknowledging the work; and his portrait as "the supposed Author," stands as the frontispiece. It may interest our fair readers to be told, that Julia is his own wife, from whom he had been divorced before leaving Germany, and whom, we hear, he re-married on his return.
* The preface of our copy does not appear to have been corrected for the press.
A DEFENCE OF PLAGIARISM.
"MY DEAR LION :
"I send you a little food, which I trust you will find agreeable. I am afraid you have fared rather scantily this month, but I trust your keepers have provided a regular and sufficient allowance of wholesome diet for the future. I have read of an Eastern monarch who was accustomed to feed a favourite tiger upon the brains of his captives. You appear to be uninfluenced, my dear Lion, by a passion for so barbarc is a regimen, and I congratulate you on your gentleness; for I really know not how so costly a viand could be supplied at the present day in adequate quantities.
"The food I request your acceptance of, consists of a few poetical coincidences, hitherto, I believe, unnoticed. I say coincidences, for I am certain that you will agree with me in rejecting the absurd title of plagiarisms. La Bruyere has long since remarked that "La choix des pensées est l'invention." This doctrine, so perfectly lucid of itself, has been satisfactorily explained and enlarged by that acute logician, John Locke, a rumour of whose reputation may perhaps have reached you. He was accused by Archbishop Stillingfleet of publishing thoughts already extant in the works of others, and he replied to the following purport: To alleviate my fault, I agree with your Lordship that many things seem new to one that converses only with his own thoughts, which really are not so; but I must beg leave to suggest to your Lordship, that if in spinning them out of his own thoughts they may seem new to him, he is the inventor of them, and they may be justly thought his own inventions. The distinction of invention, or not invention, lying not in thinking first or not first, but in borrowing or not borrowing from another.' So far the author of the Essay on the Human Understanding. Permit me to offer an example, by way of illustration. In one of Dr. Watts's Hymns we meet with this line
'Prayer is my native air.'
And if we turn to that touching little poem, 'What is Prayer?' by James Montgomery, we find
'Prayer is the Christian's native air.'
"A superficial critic would make a point at this singular resemblance. A plagiarism! a plagiarism! A moment's reflection, however, will enable us to perceive that it is only a curious coincidence. So again, in one of Mr. James Montgomery's minor poems-the 'Mole Hill,' I think-you find the dust of ages represented as startling into life;' and in the Omnipresence of the Deity,' by Mr. Robert Montgomery, the idea is given in all the sweeping majesty of an hexameter
'The dust of ages startles into life!'
I hope that no person will be found so utterly ignorant of the principles of composition as to suppose that the author of the Omnipresence' intentionally stole the thought of his names ke. The image of dust startling into life would naturally arise to the mind of a great genius. Unfortunately, the eye of a critic, as Dean Swift discovered many years ago, while it possesses the faculty of detecting the minutest error, is totally unable to appreciate the beauty of a vast composition. Hence it has been said, with great truth, that a true genius will always be known by the multitude of dunces which gather around him. When you are full in flesh, my dear Lion, pray try your claws upon this rabble. I shall reserve what I have to say upon this subject for a more fitting opportunity. But to return: You will be pleased to learn that a modern French writer takes even a stronger position than Locke. I allude to Louis Lemercier, who, in his brief introduction to Homere et Alexandre,' replies, with much truth and spirit, to the critics who accused him of stealing from Sophocles, Dante, &c. He observes that novices in literature can alone be ignorant that the true poetic art consists in arranging the materials of others, and appropriating the epithets and similes already employed by successful writers. The Aneid' is half made up of pilferings from the Iliad' and 'Odyssey.' Nevertheless the Eneid' has attained some reputation; and even in the present day of poetic glory, Virgil is frequently placed in the first rank of minstrels, and spoken of in terms of praise-in some of our magazines.
"You will pardon the length of this letter, in consideration of the importance of its object. The theory of plagiarising once abolished, an end will be put to all illustrated editions of the Poets. We shall have no more poems with twenty parallel passages at the bottom of every page. I often wonder that a subject of such vital interest has not before called forth the pens of more able and erudite reasoners than myself. Without some protection, no man inspired by the Muses is safe; every paltry reviewer can put a plaster upon the lips of his poetry, and stifle it in a sack for ever. Charges of theft
from the Classics may be very easily advanced. An ill-natured reader might imagine that the following lines from the Persæ of Æschylus suggested a celebrated passage in 'Childe Harold :”
* πολυγομφον οδισμα
Ζυγον αμφιβαλων αυχενι ποντου.—Persa. 71.
"We might also hint at the far more striking similarity of the Togapos and Adv TOYTOY of Eschylus to the Lord of the Bow and the Hell of Waters of the noble poet. Far be it from me to suppose that Byron was indebted to the Grecian bard for either of these ideas, even though Potter's translation was not unfrequently consulted by him. The only circumstance in favour of Eschylus, is the priority of his birth. These unhappy resemblances demonstrate the inconvenience of having an elder brother, especially if he be a poet.
"The clock has this moment struck two, and my lamp is going out; so good bye for the present.
"Gray's-inn Square, "" Friday Evening, Feb. 10."
"Ever, my dear Lion, faithfully your's,
CONNEXION OF IGNORANCE WITH CRIME.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
"Presuming that a few extracts from the Report on the Administration of the Criminal Law in France during the year 1830, will be interesting to your readers, I forward them to you. The Report was presented to the King, Louis Philippe, in January 1832, "Relating to the affairs of the Cours d'Assises, in which the accused are tried by Jury.
"In 1830, these Courts judged 5068 causes contradictairement (i. e. the accused being present to offer defence), and 654 causes par contumace (i. e. when the accused have not been arrested, or having found means of escaping previous to judgment, could not offer defence). The first class of causes included 6962 accused persons, and the second class 787. On comparing these ciphers with those of 1829, there appear 438 suits, and 370 accused, less than in the former year. It must also be observed, that, among the affairs judged by the Cours d'Assises in the last year, thirteen, comprehending eighteen accused, were for political offences, or those of the press, which, under the ancient legislation, would have appertained to the correctional jurisdiction. Thus the real difference between 1829 and 1830, is 451 causes, and 388 accused.
"Of the 5068 causes judged contradictoirement, 3910 were for crimes against property, and 1158 for crimes against persons.* The proportion of these latter is constantly decreasing; it was by 29 on 100 in 1825; 28 in 1826-27; 25 in 1828; 24 in 1829; and 23 in 1830. The ratio of the accused with the whole population of the kingdom, was, for 1829, 1 accused in 4321; for 1830, 1 in 4576.
"The 6962 accused, consist of 5608 men, and 1354 women. Females are, therefore, in the proportion of 19 in 100, as it was in 1828. In 1829, the ratio was 20 in 100. In personal crimes, the female proportion is 15 to 100; in crimes against property, 21
"114 prisoners were under 16 years; 1161 were from 16 to 21 years. These numbers were, in 1828, 143 and 1278; in 1829, 117 and 1226. These numbers are therefore diminishing, and it is to be hoped that general instruction, which expands wider and wider daily, will render more and more rare the afflicting spectacle of infancy marching in the ranks of guilt, and led to the bar of criminal justice.
"Among the prisoners, were 3908 bachelors; 3151 either married or widowers; of which last number, 2472 were fathers of families. The social relation (état civil) of three only remained dubious.
"216 prisoners were not natives of France; 4932 were born and lived in the departments where they were tried. Of these, the proportion is (as in 1829) 71 in 100. This proportion is 35 in the department of the Seine; 38 in the Bouches du Rhone;
* The Law distinguishes crimes against persons, viz. murders, outrages, personal injuries, &c. from those against property-viz. arson, theft, &c.
53 in the Gironde; 73 in the Seine Inferieure. Such a difference in the departments containing the most populous and commercial cities, appears to prove that this double circumstance has not so great an influence as might have been expected on the relative number of malefactors who come from other departments to exercise in these last-mentioned ones their culpable industry.
“Relatively to instruction, the accused may be divided as follows: 4519 were entirely ignorant of reading and writing; 1826 possessed this knowledge imperfectly; 688 read and wrote well, and 129 had received a superior education.
"From this calculation it results that, in 1830 (as was also shown in 1829), more than three-fifths of the accused (61 & 62 in 100) knew not even how to read.
"The proportion of these ignorant prisoners is, in crimes against property, 63 in 100; and in crimes against persons, 59 in 100. Those accused of parricide were all completely illiterate.
Among those accused of other crimes, the number of the ignorant, compared separately with the total number of each class, gives the following result: 56 in 100 for murders and assassination;* 51 for poisoning; 88 for infanticide; 57 for blows or wounds inflicted on their parents; 53 for other blows or wounds; 66 for false testimony and subornation of witnesses; 59 for rebellion; 74 for frauds; 15 for fraudulent bankruptcies; 67 for thefts of all species; and 69 for incendiarism. The sexual proportion of these, utterly ignorant of reading and writing, was, men, 58; women, 78 in 100. Among the prisoners under 21 years, 66 in 100 were utterly illiterate; from 21 to 40, 62; and above 40 years, 60 in 100.
"The professions are, as in 1829, separated into nine principal classes :—
"1st. Persous engaged in agriculture, forests, mines, and generally in the
"6th. Persons engaged in labour, or in the transport of goods,
&c. by land
"7th. Persons who receive lodgers or boarders, who sell prepared food, domestics, &c.
"8th. Persons exercising liberal professions, or living on their income "9th. Persons whose means of subsistence are unknown-vagabonds
"In the 1st class, the accused of crimes against persons are 32; against property, 69, in 100.
Thus, as had been already remarked in 1829, it is in the eighth class, the members of which, agreeably to their station or fortune, should have enjoyed the advantages of education, that the greatest relative number is found to be accused of crimes against the person. In comparing, however, the total number of the accused with those who are comprised in each class, it is found that the 1st class furnishes 32; the 2nd, 26; the 3rd, 3; the 4th and 6th, each 4; the 5th, 7; the 7th, 12; the 8th, 5; the 9th, 6, in 100.
"The Report is terminated by the observation, that, during the year 1830, which included the Revolution of July, justice has continued to be administered in a regular, unimpeded course, with few variations (and even those principally favourable), either in the celerity of pursuit or the power of repression; and that the amount of crime, which it was feared would be enhanced, has been ascertained, by arithmetical demonstration, to have been sensibly diminished.”
The Law considers assassination to be essentially premeditated, whereas murder, may be committed without previous design or preparation.
TAXES UPON KNOWLEDGE.
Mr. Edward Lytton Bulwer has given notice of a motion for the repeal of the Stamp duty upon Newspapers and the Excise duty upon Paper. This (in his belief) is that question above all others on which the true friends of the people may be distinguished from the false.
We are much obliged to our friend " W. P. G." of Clifton, but we should render ourselves liable to the Stamp duties, by giving the prices of books with the reviews of them. He will, however, find this matter satisfactorily arranged in the Literary Report of the month, published with each number.
We cannot receive critical notices from anonymous writers, and we happen to think somewhat differently from "P. S." relative to the drama of the Kentday, and its author, who is deservedly popular.
"A," rejected, but such is not likely to be the case with hi next communication, if he send another. His genius may be safely employed upon a less frightful topic.
The proposed inscription for the Eldon Statue must be placed elsewhere.
It is a difficult matter for us to reject the poems by the author of " The Forsaken," &c. after perusing the letter that accompanied them. He must perceive, however, that we devote but a small space to such communications. If we lay aside his "earliest attempts," we have no doubt that we shall decide otherwise with regard to those he may hereafter write.
The gentleman who complains of our eulogium on the character of Windham, should have recollected that a note appended to the article described it as the production of one of the deceased statesman's friends, and therefore to be received with caution.
We are happy to comply with the request of a very deserving foreigner, Mr. Tasistro, whose plan of education (an improvement upon that of the late Mr. Hamilton) is now before us. We have heard from several persons whose means of judging we cannot doubt, that Mr. Tasistro is eminently successful in the course he adopts, and that a word of encouragement and recommendation may do him service: we willingly give it.
One of those very ingenious gentlemen, whose delight is in riddles, sends us a specimen of his abilities "in this line," in prose and verse, the former we insert; the latter, as he suggests, may serve to enlighten a cigar. What letters of the alphabet does a dancing-matter put in motion? We give it up.
“O. M. T." must know very little of us if he imagine us likely to lend our columns to forward any such object as that of which he is the advocate. He is evidently a very silly personage, but his clients are a pair of unprincipled poltroons, and the "line" he solicits for them should only be given by the common hangman.
Communications are left at the Publishers' for " Z. T."-" F. L."—" H. R." "M. H. Esq."-" Candidus,”- -"The Prodigal Son,"-" M. C. G.”— “ J. S.”—“ F.”—"The Quarterly Review, No. 87,"-" A. U.”—“ A. S.”— "G. M."-" W. E. T."-" A Christmas Poem," J. B. G.”—“ N. A. A.”"G. E. I.”—“ Prejudices against Metaphysics."-and "Agricola."
We must decline, with thanks for the kindness of their intentions, the poetical offerings of "A Minstrel of the Plains,"-" S. B.”—“ m. m.”—“ C.”—“ G.” “H. E. D."—" Poictiers,"" A. W." '-"The Butcher's Boy."-" Junius."