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1831.]
Review.-Logan's Scottish Gaël.

59 CHAPTER V. Customs in War, and It might have astonished (were there Military Tactics. The word hubbub not invidious feelings existent in all had the following origin :

ages) any Scotchman, at any time, to It was also usual to convey intelligence, hear it affirmed that Macpherson's Osby one or more persons ascending an emi sian was a forgery. To any person acnence, and there raising a loud shout, which quainted with the Highlands and Ca. being heard at a distance by others, was re ledonian manners, the hypothesis was ported to those who were farther distant, even silly." In p. 161, we have a copy and in this manner information was trans of a war song, which the Rev. Mr. mitted with surprising expedition. This Gallie, of Kincardine in Ross, commu. practice was continued among the Irish and nicated 10 the Highland Society, from Welch, until late times, and was called the Hubub. In Wales, when any thing hap, book of Fingal, as translated by Mac,

memory. It is to be found in the 4th pens, & person goes to an eminence and there cries the Houboub. Those who hear pherson, and we shall place the literal it do the same, and the country is speedily translation in contrast with Macpherin arms.' Bub in Gaelic is a yell."

son's paraphrase. Literal Translation.

Macpherson's Paraphrase. Offspring of the chiefs

Son of the chief of

generous steeds Of sporting steeds, high bounding, High-bounding, King of Spears !

King of Spears, Strong arm in every trial,

Strong arm in every perilous toil, Ambitious heart without dismay,

Hard heart that never yields, Chief of the host of severe sharp- Chief of the pointed arms of deathpointed weapons,

Cut down the foe! Cut down to death,

Let no white sail So that no white sailed bark

Bound round dark Inistore. May float round dark Inistore.

Be thine arm like Thunder, Like the destroying thunder

Thine eyes like fire, Be thy stroke, O hero!

Thy heart of solid rock, Thy forward eye like the flaming bolt; Whirl round thy sword as a meteor at night. As the firm rock

Lift thy shield
Unwavering be thy heart;

Like the flame of death !
As the flame of night be thy sword,
Uplift thy shield

Son of the chiefs, of the hue of blood

Of generous steeds

Cut down the foe, destroy.
Offspring of the chiefs
Of sporting steeds,

Cut down the foes to earth. Now he who can suppose that the that Bard, as we do in that of Homer. Clergyman wrote an original Gaelic He may not have written all the Gaelic song, which others knew as well as songs, no more than David did all the himself, and that Macpherson knew Psalms; but he was the poet distinnothing of it, might be expected to guished for excellence, and therefore affirm, that a forged bank-note was the presumed of ascribed author. not imitated from a real one.

Mr. Logan says, that hills are better As to the internal evidence, we have divisions ihan rivers (p. 169). This shown in our review of " Africa” an we do not admit; but we allow the assimilation among the Hebrews to

fact, that the Biblical songs, and from the ori “ To the inhabitants of the valley, all ginal Gaelic here printed, we see that within the visible horizon was a country, the poetical measure was the Scriptural The great contention was always for the parallelism. Though the text in Mac- sky of the hill.' And long as it is since this pherson is printed continuously, yet Celtic division has been politically unknown, ihe breaks appear in the short sen

the districts inhabited by certain clans are tences, as thus : Fingal arose in

still called their countries.”—p. 169. arms—Thrice he reared his dreadful It is well-known, that in our own voice-Cromla answered around,” parochial perambulations, it was re&c. &c. &c.

cently a custom to flog a boy at each That Macpherson has paraphrased boundary, that he might be sure to reOssian, sometimes successfully, some member it; and we believe that it is times otherwise, is beyond doubt. But still usual to seize a spectator, and we as much believe in the existence of bump his posteriors against the stone:

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p. 170.

60 Review.-Nicolas's State of Historical Literature. [Jan.

It appears to have been an old Celtic explain the real causes. Representapractice; for we are told, upon the au tions addressed to the public are made thority of Martin, that in the Isles and for disguise, and except in glaring cases other parts of Scotland, “ boys, that are unfaithful and insincere. Who the boundaries might not be mistaken, could search record or history ad in fi. were taken to the spot, and received so nitum concerning the last Stafford sound a flogging, that it was by no Duke of Buckingham, Cromwell Earl means likely they should, while they of Essex, Strafford the prime minister of lived, forget the place of execution.”- Charles I., and others temp. Charles

II., and find them otherwise than li(To be continued.)

belled, because they were marked out for victimation ?

This, and more may be said, in deObservations on the State of Historical Lite- fence of History as it exists, and as it

rature, and on the Society of Antiquaries, must from necessity continue-at best and other Institutions, for its advancement imperfect. To aim at perfection, will, in England ; with remarks on Record of, however, in most cases lead to imfices, and on the proceedings of the Record Commission. Addressed to the Secretary of that much light may still be thrown

provement. Mr. Nicolas has shown State for the Home Department. By Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Esq. Barrister at

on English History, and of this truth Law. 8vo, pp. 213.

the Excerpta Historica, which we reRemarks, addressed to the Right Hon. Visc.

riew in another page, is a striking Melbourne, Secrelary of State for the proof. On this point, therefore, but Home Department, in reply to a Pamphlet with a less sanguine enthusiasm, we addressed to him by Nicholas Harris Ni- partially concur with Mr. Nicolas. colas, Esq. and entitled Observations on Chapter III. is devoted to the Society the State of Historical Literature," 8c. of Antiquaries. Mr. Nicolas most cerBy Francis Palgrave, Esq. of the Inner tainly considers the duties of the SoTemple, Barrister at Law. 8vo, pp. 62. ciety to refer exclusively to that amplif

CONFINING ourselves to a tem cation of historical and biographical perate review of the works before us, materials, in which he deems (as we we shall at once commence with Mr. presume) the sole merits of ArchæoloNicolas's pamphlet, ecause it relates gists to consist. To judge from hints, to fact and circumstance; and then slights, and sneers, he seems to consider proceed to Mr. Palgrave's answer, be such persons as Sir R. C. Hoare, Dr. cause it applies to personalities. Meyrick, Messrs. Fosbroke, Higgins,

The work of Mr. Nicolas is divided &c. as mere collectors of pins, and into ten Chapters. The two first take their works only as pincushions. But for their position the imperfection of here his taste will be disputed by phithe existing Histories of England; and losophers. They know that arts and the obligation thence arising to publish sciences are both enlarged and eternized all that can be acquired concerning that by archæological records; that retrosubject.

gression in civil benefits is thus renWe by no means deny the truism, dered impracticable ; and that even that when history and biography, and the very follies of past ages deserve relegal evidence, are involved in doubt, miniscence, because they are warnings. information cannot be too complete; We can have no guard against the fu. but Sir Robert Walpole said, and said ture but through the past, as no child truly, that history (as to critical mi can have a clear conception of the nuteness) must necessarily be a lie. It danger of fire and water, but from the is not so as to the palpable broad fact; admonition of parents. but it is a thousand to one that it is so We could put a question to Mr. in representation of the particulars. If Nicolas. If the Society of Antiquaries we read an affair of history, we do not had limited themselves to his very conknow the party, necessity, or corrupt tracted view of Archæology, what motive, which influenced adoption of would have become of that tasteful rethe measure ; and, if it be one of bio. vival of the Gothic,* which so ornagraphy, we do not know the private feeling or the friendly interest which

* It should be remembered that, besides occasioned the advancement of the in- the numerous architectural plates in the dividual. And were it not so, con. Vetusta Monumenta, the Society has issued temporaries and intimates can alone distinct publications on the Cathedrals of

61

1831.] Review.-Nicolas's State of Historical Literature. ments the face of the country in all di- protected, think it a smaller evil than sections, and is fortunately progressive, the possible carelessness consequent because rural residence is the most effi upon the opposite plan ; and in the cient mode of encouraging order, law, same inanner, it has been said, that civilization, and improveinent among the prospect of fees tends greatly to the lower ranks. Surely such effects create an interest in the conservation imply a greater public good, than of Records. Nevertheless, we still dozens of different accounts of une and think with Mr. Nicolas, that matters the same transaction.

may be arranged upon a far better The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th footing; and that documents of mere Chapters, refer to the Record Offices historical curiosity, and of which no and Record Commission. The sub- professional use can ever be made, stance of all these Chapters is com should not be saddled with fees for prized in the inaccessibility and fees of copying; as was the case with the the former, and expensiveness of the Scrope and Grosvenor Roll, mentioned latter. Speaking of things in the ought in p. 55, which cost 51. for the matter to be view, we think with Mr. Nicolas, contained in each prioied sheet. Such that the Record Offices ought to be as records should be free to the literary easily and cheaply accessible, as are the inquirer, even if he should prefer tranPrerogative Office and Parish Regis- scribing or abstracting them himself, ters, viz. for the humble sacrifice of to employing the expensive services of one shilling; and, after the decease of the established clerks. the present officers, we should be glad Mr. Nicolas would have the literary to see them so modelled. To make student released from the necessity of them gratuitously open, like the ma incurring personal obligations. But, nuscripts in the British Museum, we at least so long as the printed catado not think safe. The public records logues remain

incomplete, this is clearly are evidences in Couris of Justice, impossible. The inquirer cannot proand, as such, must not be perused but ceed without assistance; for which, if under the eye of sworn keepers. Copy: he does not pay, he must be obliged ; ing is not permitted on account of the and let us add, that from personal Stamp duties, the proceeds of which knowledge and business intercourse go to cover the expense of the custody; with the officers and clerks of the and, as to the emoluments of the offi- establishments alluded to, we can speak cers, whatever they may be, it is always of liberal treatment. There is a disusual that every person who devotes his tinction, although not always recoltime and attention to one object, lected, between office and servitude, should be remunerated to an adequate and persons in the former state take amount of what he may be fairly sup fire at a command. posed to have the means of gaining in The whole time of Clerks cannot a different exercise of his profession. be occupied in the gratification of cuIf barristers or physicians of eminence riosity; and such is that of the idle leave their customary sources of profit public, that we know country gentleon extraordinary occasions, they con men, who would not have their seats ceive themselves entitled to indemnih- described in Topographical works, lest cation for such sacrifices. The fees of visitors should be importunate to see stage-coachmen and guards have been them. With regard to uncontrolled reprobated, but passengers who consi- publicity, we can also state, that the der their baggage to be thus better Esquire of a parish, ashamed of some

poor relatives, his next heirs, begged Exeter, Durham, and Gloucester, the Abbey ihe Clergyman to send to him the reChurches of Bath-and St. Alban's, and St. gisters. He unsuspectingly did so. The Stephen's Chapel, Westminster.

These Esquire cut out the leaves referring to magnificent works,-although their conti

those relatives; and upon his decease, nuance may not now be necessary in conse

three of them for want of proof were quence of the subsequent appearance of others more portable and accessible, have doubtless obliged to take 12,0001. instead of been conducive to the circulation of a sound

40,000l. each, their just share; and, taste in architecture, and will remain exam

in the end, the estate came into the ples of a munificent expenditure of funds

hands of strangers, who now enjoy it." - in addition to what have been unjustly re At this point we must notice the presented as the Society's only works, the cock-and-bull story in pp. 79-83, into Arcbæologia and Vetusta Monumenta. the narration of which Mr. Nicolas

62

REVIEW.-Palgrave's Reply to Mr. Nicolas. [Jan. has been drawn by the ex-parte state and public injury.

Herein we agree ment of a disappointed Frenchman : with Mr. Nicolas, without qualificawho, by the manner in which he has tion ; for most true it is, that our coungulled our reformer, has plainly shown trymen in general care only for rich how he would have gulled the Trus. people, demagogues, quack-doctors, and tees of the British Museum, had they methodist-parsons; and a man of talent not been old birds—too wary to be is not valued, but as he is subservient caught with chaff.

We are in pos

to party or private purposes. session of a few facts which will set We now proceed to Mr. Palgrave's this matter in its proper light. In the pamphlet. Sorry we are to say, that first place, the principal Librarian of it alludes to personal conduct on the the British Museum went to inspect part of Mr. Nicolas, which in our opithe MSS.-not from London, but from nion can scarcely be palliated. Mr. Paris, whither he had repaired from Palgrave informs us, that, there having perfectly different motives. The French been a vacancy in the Council of the country gentleman in question had Society of Antiquaries, Mr. Nicolas, as announced himself as the possessor an eminent writer resident in London, of Anglo-Gallic state-papers of such was elected a member; but in the exvalue and in such quantity, that ercise of his function “ was betrayed scarcely any pecuniary consideration into a degree of violence of deportment could be esteemed their equivalent. and gesticulation, which gave offence; So far indeed did he carry his expecta and in consequence thereof, when the tion, that at one time he stipulated for House List was prepared for the electhe interest of the English government,

tion of the new Council, on the enin obtaining a grade in the peerage ; suing Charter-day, the name of Mr. and at another, with still greater ab Nicolas was not included therein." surdity, for the admission of his Bur Now strife may begin by letting in gundy into British ports duty-free! In fire, as well as by letting out water. the letter Mr. Nicolas has printed, the The Council felt insulted, and thought Baron, after stating that Sir Thomas that they had found in Mr. Nicolas, Croft had found “un infinité de do not a coadjutor, but an agitator, who cumens ayant rapport à l'histoire d'An- aspired to dictatorship. If such were gleterre," adds, “Tenez vous certain, the intention, he who strives to be aut Monsieur, qu'il existe dans mes car Cæsar aut nullus, must make up bis tons, dix mille, peut-être cent mille mind to be disappointed; and the justitres sur le même sujet.” But this tice of complaint is on the side of mountain of MSS. turned out a mere those who were devoted to proscripmolehill. When desired to select all tion. But had the autocracy of Cæsar that related to English affairs, the (and there is a Nicholas now an autoBaron could only assemble less than crat) been acquired, was there no rea250 articles: and these, we understand, son to apprehend the message of the are now upon their journey to England. soothsayer, and the dreaming wife, “ Thus these highly valuable manu “ Beware of the Charter-day!" Were scripts are not lost to the Museum.” there no Brutuses, with uplifted

Mr. Nicolas in Chapter VIII. gives pamphlets? Out of the country would suggestions for the formation of a new they have poured; and Mr. Nicolas Record Commission. This he proposes will recollect, that their non-residence to be constituted of practical inen, in London exempts them from all wholly or chiefly. That there must manner of concern in his sweeping and ought to be a sufficiency of prac censure of the Society at large. Were tical men, we willingly admit; but we it just, it can only apply to the metrohave never heard that the affairs of the politan part of the learned body, and, Admiralty have been worse conducted, as such, to the managing members. because the first Lord and many of his Even of these we possess published fellows have never been to sea in their works, of the first class, in extent of lives. The interest which an individual learning fully equal to his own; and or individuals take in a thing, is the as to submission, in cases of talent and best security for the proper conserva erudition, it must be a voluntary feeltion and management of it.

ing. No human power can extort it. The tenth Chapter, relative to the The truth is, that the Society, by the want of encouragement in Science and insertion of Mr. Nicolas's various (and Literature, refers to a national disgrace we willingly add meritorious) papers

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1831.] Review.- Palgrave's Reply to Mr. Nicolas.

63 in the Archäologia, had warmly sup Many persons would have disliked ported his incipient reputation. He touching upon the subject, in such, ought to have been thankful, for pa we may say, illiberal point of view, tronage of rising merit has not always and perhaps have classed it with poiemanated from learned societies. It soned arrows in belligerency. Whewas not until Du Cange, after thirty ther Mr. Palgrave has been fairly dealt years labour, had finished his inimic with our readers shall decide from his table Glossary, that the French Aca own statement. demicians offered him a seat among them. “ Thank you,” was the cool

“ I am very loth to speak of myself, but I reply. Du Cange treated it as Napo

there are circumstances under which egoleon or Wellington would the freedom

tism becomes a duty. For ten years preof a municipal iowo: and to Du Cange

viously to the year 1822, during which peit was then of no more value. Before

riod I lived in very narrow and humble cirit would have been most beneficial.

cumstances, I employed such leisure time

as I could spare, in working upon the Rolls It appears, from Mr. Palgrave's

of Parliament, and upon Parliamentary Hispamphlet, that in the meeting alluded

tory. It chanced that Mr. Allen once hapio, Mr. Nicolas exhibited bad general pened to tell me, at Holland House, that a ship in regard to himself, and dicta large number of parliamentary petitions had torial behaviour towards persons who been discovered since the Rolls were printhad been his friends, and who were,

ed. This information made a great impreslike himself, gentlemen, and men of sion upon me, and I constantly kept it in knowledge. His exclusion was the mind, in the remote expectation that I natural consequence. How he acted might ultimately be enabled to bring these on the occasion Mr. Palgrave thus in

inedited records to light. In 1822, the forms us :

appointment of Sir James Mackintosh, who

had honoured me by his notice, seemed to “ On St. George's day Mr. Nicolas came afford an opportunity ; and I presented a down, in perfect confidence that he should

plan to the Record Commissioners, for the be continued in the Council. When he publication upou which I am engaged. The found that he was excluded from the list, plan, which went very much into detail, was he burst into a paroxysm of anger, and gave carefully examined, and then adopted; and, vent to language indicating his feelings, and in April, 1822, I was appointed a Subwhich excited much notice and surprise." Commissioner, for the purpose of carrying « Mr. Nicolas now declared a war of ex

it into effect. termination against the Antiquaries in ge

“I have found great pleasure in the task

allotted to me. I have never intermitted for neral; but more particularly against Mr. Ellis and Mr. Nicholas Carlisle, and all per

more than one week since I began ; for sons who, as he supposed, had excluded him

when I have been in the country the sheets from the Council." He began by demon

have been sent to me; and, if my circumstrations in the Retrospective and West

stances permitted me to do so, nothing minster Reviews. A similar warfare followed

would have given me greater satisfaction, by means of the daily press; and the waste

than to have rendered my services gracorners of the columns of the newspapers

tuitously. were occupied by epistles from Mr. Nicolas,

“ This I cannot afford to do, and I am under the names and epithets of Antiqua

the salaried servant of the public, employed rius,' Scrutator,' 'F.S. A.' &c. &c. &c.

to perpetuate the title-deeds of the Constiin which the abuses of the Archæologists,

tution. Mr. Nicolas grudgingly holds up and the errors of Mr. Ellis, are detailed.”

the sum which, he says, I have received during seven years. How many periods of

seven years are there in human life? and Now here is powder without shot. are not the previous periods of unproductive Authors of established and just repute study to receive compensation ? Mr. Nicocannot be written down. Who at. las counts upon one side, .Money received,' tends to Cowels aspersions of Du but he does not give the other side of the Cange, Voltaire's of Shakspeare, or

He debits me with the cash; he Rymer's of Milton?

inserts my disbursements, so as to make We shall next notice the personal

them stand az gains ; but he does not give

me credit for the work which has been attacks upon Mr. Palgrave. We know

done. He carefully omits telling your Lordthat his reputation stands upon a firm ship, that the sums paid have so been paid, pedestal; and this Mr. Nicolas does

not only for the volumes which have apnot seem to dispute, but makes his at. peared,' but also for the materials which tack upon the pecuniary remuneration form the basis of the whole collection. of that gentleman and his colleagues. “ One observation, however, before I

p. 8.

account.

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