Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

1831.] Review.-Nicolas's Refutation of Mr. Palgrave's Remarks.” 141

We therefore pass by his reflections, the parties at issue, we have not space knowing they were written in haste. to pay great attention. As is usual in To his complaint that we “ had not controversial writings, the discussion the candour or justice to say that a runs to great extent. Mr. Palgrave reply was preparing" by him, we can deemed himself invidiously "attacked" point out that we conspicuously did so by Mr. Nicolas's criticisms, and besides in our usual place for announcing new defending himself, impugned his oppublications. To his objection at our ponent's motives, and various parts of quoting “an ex-parte statement,” we his previous conduct. Mr. Nicolas has can only (as soon as the means are in classed these imputations under thirour power) show those points on which teen counts or charges; and of these he has put forth a counter-statement we can of course take but a very cur10 that we extracted.

sory view. - The passage of Mr. Palgrave, de. Notwithstanding Mr.Nicolas's praise scribing Mr. Nicolas's conduct at the of the general execution of the “ Parliaonly Council of the Antiquarian So- mentary Writs,” Mr. Palgrave thought ciety which he had the opportunity to so seriously of his remarks on the exattend, was undoubtedly strongly ex- pensiveness of that work, as to deem pressed, and we extracted it. Mr. them a charge of fraud. In reply, Nicolas says:

Mr. Nicolas contends " With the hope of estab_ishing the in- " that I have not exceeded the bounds justice of the remark that my behaviour at of legitimate criticism ; that I have not the Council was improper, by better evi- used one word of a personal nature ; and dence than my own negation, I wrote to that it is absurd to draw any such inference Mr. Hallam, who presided. It appears from

from them (pp. 99 to 109, and pp. 123 to his answer, that he has no distinct recollec- 137], as that they accuse Mr. Palgrave of tion of my having taken any part at the being a 'fraudulent contractor.' Is the aumeetings of the Council of the Society, but thor who receives a large sum from a bookthat he had on no occasion witnessed any seller authorized to accuse a writer in & impropriety of behaviour in the member's Review of charging him with fraud,' beof that body : a general certificate of good cause in a criticism upon his labours the conduct upon which I felicitate them. If public are told that they are imperfectly then my deportment were so offensive, or executed ? Are the various government remarkable, as to justify an unprecedented servants charged with “ fraud,' when, as measure, will it be believed that the chair- daily happens, they are said to be overpaid man, at a meeting of eight persons would not for their services ?”—p. 18. have noticed and remembered it?"-p. 110.

We pass on to the fourth count, beThe imputation of aspiring to dic- cause it is one by which the reputatatorship Mr. Nicolas denies. He alone tion of Mr. Nicolas has much suffered can know his motives, and others can among those in perfectly acquainted only surmise them. But he does not with him, and yet admits of an easy appear to wish to conceal that, if in explanation. It is, that he has turned power, he should have given a partial round to treat most severely those preference to one branch of archæo. whom he had before so highly praised, logy; and, if such were his inclination, that they esteemed him at once an adwe retain our opinion that such con- mirer and a friend. traction of ihe Society's objects would

« That a prima facie act of inconsistency not be fair towards meinbers of other is shewn by this circumstance may be true, tastes, because they contribute their and it is naturally enough brought against share to its support, and have a claim me by those who prefer my opinions in 1824 to a share of attention.

to my opinions in 1830. I answer, that my This then is all we have to say re- praise then was as sincere and conscientious garding the remarks on ourselves; for as is my censure pow. My praise then arose we did not quote the mis-statement, from an imperfect acquaintance with the that Mr. Nicolas's motion of April 17, subject. * * * My censure was called 1827, was “ lost." As recorded in our

forth by a careful investigation of the vomagazine at that time, it was with

lumes, 'after unremitting attention to the drawn, “Mr. Nicolas declaring that the

subject to which they relate for six years." object of his motion had been fully attained."

Of these facts we have positive knowTo the long exposition of the inter. ledge. At the first-named period Mr. course and correspondence between Nicolas was a perfect tyro in records ; 142

Review.-On Duties on Sea-borne Coals. [Feb. how conversant he has since been with amount expended under its directions exceeds them (if, as Mr. Palgrave insinuates, three hundred and forly thousand pounds, not with the originals, yet undeniably which, added to the sums paid by the Governwith their contents), is testified by a

ment in salaries to Record Keepers, and in list of works, the rapid production of

other ways connected with the Public Muniwhich bas been a matter of astonish

ments in England and Ireland between 1801 ment with the literary world. The

and 1831, forms the enormous total of about

five hundred and fifty thousand pounds; but, sum of Mr. Nicolas's offence on this

notwithstanding this immense outlay upon point, therefore, was an unguarded

Records, not a document can be inspected indulgence in passing compliments,

or transcribed without heavy fees being dewhere his information was derived

manded ; and the Records are in many offices only from the parties' own accounts in not at all better arranged, or more accessible their Prefaces.

to the public, than they were before a shilUnder the fifth head are noticed the ling of that money was expended!” articles on ihe Parliamentary Writs and

Calculations of the separate expenses Rolls of Parliament in the Westminster

of each of the publications of the ReReview, the statements in which Mr.

cord Commission are then given, comPalgrave declared to be “ wholly un.

piled from the several Parliamentary true." Mr. Nicolas says,

Returns in which that information has - The facts were taken from the Parlia

been from time to time elicited. mentary Return, and if the statements are A new Commission is now in the • wholly untrue, it is very extraordinary

progress of formation; in the consti. that Mr. Palgrave has not shewu where they

lution of which no one is more sin. are false. I maintain, however, that every

cerely desirous than ourselves to see a line of those statements, with one exception, is correct, and I invite him to disprove

body of truly efficient and practical them. The exception is, when it is said,

directors of the Record publications. • the far greater part' of the first volume Some distinguished names have been has been before printed.”-p.39.

mentioned to us as having been already

selected; but we were sorry not to find That passage, it is added, should

anjong then that gentleman, whom have run “great part;" and, in con

one of our best judges and best emnection with this point, we find the

ployers of antient MSS. * has characpamphleteers strangely at variance for

ierized as actuated “ with the spirit a matter of fact. Mr. Palgrave stated

of a Bodley, a Cotton, or a Harley; that “ Prynne's Calendar does not con

and to deserve, like ihese illustrious tain one document printed in the Par.

men, the respect and gratitude of his liamentary Writs.” 'Mr. Nicolas gives

country." An opportunity of showin p. 49 a table, showing the pages at

ing that respect to Sir Thomas Philwhich twelve writs, all of the reign of

lipps is now offered, and we trust Edward the First, occur at length in

it will not be neglecied. May the both works.

new Commission profit by the errors Mr. Nicolas proceeds to say, that

of its predecessor; and though, from “ But for the vanity which obscures Mr. the necessities of the times, its means Palgrave's judgment, he might have disco may be more contracted, supply the vered that my charges are directed, not deficiency by economy, judgment, and against him,-the mere employée of the

perseverance. Commission,—but against the Commission itself. I have said, and I repeat it, that a more inefficient board was never constituted ; Observations on the Duties on Sea-lorne Coals, that a more flagrant waste of the public mo · and on the peculiar Duties and Charges on ney never occurred. If I ventured to say Coal, in the Port of London ; founded on this in the • Observations,' when I consi the Reports of Parliamentary Committees, dered that only a quarter of a million had and other official Documents. 8vo. pp. 51. been spent under its authority, what must be my opinion when access to additional

FINANCIERS may be assimilated evidence has shewn me, that the sum spent to spaniels and pointers, who hunt well by the Commission between 1801 and 1831 both in cover and stubble, but not to amounts to about THREE HUNDRED AND sportsmen, who are infallible shots; FORTY THOUSAND POUNDS ?”-p. 96. for Swift says ihat their two and two, Again, p. 166:

instead of making four, often make “Instead of the Commission having, as I * The Rev.Joseph Hunter, in his “ Mopresumed, spent about 250,0001. the tutal nastic Libraries."

1831.] Review.-Irving's Voyages of Columbus.

143 only one. If however we cannot ele. Wear for London. The cause of the metavate them to the class of those who morphosis which the coal undergoes in its shoot flying, we cannot dispute their passage to the consumer, is not, however, skill, when aiming at a target which difficult to discover. Coals are nominally cannot move off; and if they do so sold by the owners to the shippers by weight, only with sinall shot, they may not do or by the chaldron waggon, which is supthe said target much harm; but it posed to contain, when full, 53 cwt. and is sometimes happens, ihat they fire with

stamped as such by the officer of the cus

toms. But the weight of the waggou deball, and then it is deeply injured.

pends in a great degree on the size of the Something like this seems to have en

pieces with which it is filled, so that, in sued in regard to the tax before us, point of fact, coal is sold by measure. It that laid upon sea-borne coals. To is stated by the celebrated mathematician, show the absurdity of this tax, it is to Dr. Hutton, who, being a native of Newbe recollected, that persons, who live castle, was well acquainted with the coalin coal countries, where the fossil is trade, that if one coal, measuriug exactly cheap, pay no duty whatever, while a cubic yard (nearly equal to five bolls), be residents at a great distance from those broken into pieces of a moderate size, it will countries--and in consequence expense

measure seven bolls and a half; if broken very of carriage, in se, creates dearness--pay

small it will measure nine bolls; which shows a heavy duty into the bargain. Now,

that the proportion of the weight to the if a tax upon teeth was proposed, there

measure depends upon the size of the coals; is certainly less reason for limiting the

therefore accounting by weight is the most

rational method.”—p. 19. impost to persons who are obliged to

“ Besides screening, i. e. passing the coal use artificial ones, than for extending

over gratings, to separate the small from it to those whose masticating organs the great pieces, the benefit of further are natural. In short, this tax seems breakage is perfectly uuderstood by succes10 be one of very extraordinary con- sive retailers. Taking the cost of a chalstruction.

dron of coals at el. 105. 8d. the amount of Our author in this good business duties levied upon it is 11. 55. 5 %d.-(see pamphlet has established a clear case; p. 27.) Is not this a mirabile?" and as our readers may have a very imperfect knowledge of the subject, we

[Since ihis article was written, it is shall, as to main points, hold it up to

a satisfaction to add, the duty on sea. the light.

borne coals has been taken off by the First, it appears that the tax by Chancellor of the Exchequer; forming pressing upon sea-borne coals, injures

almost the only subject in bis whole ihe shipping interest ; and, secondly,

budget that gave general satisfacthe manufacturing also, where steam lion.] machinery is requisite.

- Mr. William Stark, a manufacturer of Norwich, informed the Lords' Committee, Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions that so long as yarn was spun by the hand, of Columlus. By Washington Irving. all that was used in that city was spun 16mo. there; but that since yarn had been spun

EVERY one knows that the conby machinery, Norwich had entirely lost this branch of industry, inasmuch as the quests of the Spaniards in the New high price of coal, caused by the duty, had World, were attended with the most disabled them from erecting machines! At diabolical criminalities; but it is not the time that Mr. Stark gave this evidence, also known, that superstition caused there were from 4,000 to 5,000 persons the invaders 10 deein that they were unemployed in Norwich; and it is not, pro- destined by Holy Writ to make their bably; going too far to say, that not oue- conquest;* and by Pagan morals to third of them would have been in that si- treat the unfortunate natives as mere tuation, but for the coal duty.”—p. 9. vermin. In retribution, Superstition

But the public is not only injured in and the presumed felicity of acquiring this and similar ways, but by substin a pecuniary Pays de Cockayne, have tution of measure for weight. Every destroyed the politic character and wellbody knows the smallness of the coal being of Spain, the invaders' own used in London; yet,

“Singular as it may seem, none but large * Solorzan, L. i. c. 15, who quotes coals are shipped from the Tyne and the Isaiah, the Psalms, &c.--Rev.

144 Review.—Irving's Voyages of Columbus. [Feb. country. The following extract also Pizarro and his associates ; but history shows us how baneful to the invaded is not to be understood, except by rewas at first the same principle of super- ference to contemporary ideas. Now stition; and what a recoil it produced those ideas were, ihat if a barbarous when detected.

people would not submit to slavery, it - The poor Indians soon found the dif- was justifiable to hunt them down more ference between the Spaniards as guests, ferarum. Solorzanus (L. ii. c. vii. sect. and the Spaniards as masters. They were 52, 53) shows us that the Spaniards driven to despair by the heavy tasks imposed acted upon this principle, and vindiupon them; for to their free spirits and in- cated their conduct from Placo (in Dial. dolent babits, restraint and labour were 3 de legib. Ciceron. parad. 5) and worse than death. Many of the most hardy Aristotle (Polit. L. i. c. 3, 4; and L. and daring proposed a general insurrection, vii. c. 14). Cælius Callagninus. in and a massacre of their oppressors ; the

his Paraphrase (ad Polit. Arist. c. 32), great mass, however, were deterred by the

explaining and illustrating the passages belief that the Spaniards were supernatural

quoted, says (literally translated), “ It beings and could not be killed. "A shrewd aud sceptical cacique, named

is the hunting part of the art of war, Brayoan, determined to put their immorta

that we should fight not only against lity to the test. Hearing that a young

wild beasts, but that we should turn Spaniard named Salzedo, was passing through our arms also against those men, who his lands, he sent a party of his subjects to having been born to obey, yet refuse escort him, giving them secret instructions to obey, and by contumacy do not enhow they were to act. On coming to a dure civilization (per contumaciam river they took Salzedo on their shoulders mores non patiuntur ). A war of this to carry him across, but, when in the midst kind is just, as being that which is of the stream, they let him fall, and throw

waged under the auspices of nature." ing themselves upon bim, pressed him under Now in the present day mob-prinwater until he was drowned. Then dragging his budy to the shore, and still doubting his

ciples are dominant. It is however

ulierly impossible that a civilized people being dead, they wept and howled over him, making a thousand apologies for having

can make a beneficial settlement in a fallen upon him, and kept him so long be

barbarous country, or the latter be eleneath the surface.

vated in social happiness, unless the “ The cacique Brayoan came to examine recruit submit to the drill of the serjeant, the body, and pronounced it lifeless ; but the schoolboy to that of the pedagogue. the Indians still fearing it might possess The liberty of civilized countries can lurking immortality, and ultimately revive, no more be allowed to a savage, than kept watch over it for three days, until it fire-arms to an idiot. It is not that showed incontestible signs of putrefaction. the mode of subjection may be correct,

« Being now convinced that the strangers but subordination there must be ; or were mortal men like themselves, they

no good can be done to the people readily entered into a general conspiracy to

themselves. Could South America, or destroy them.”

North America, ever have been what This transaction is alluded to by So they now are, if the Indians of either lorzanus, L. ii. c. vii. sect. 49, p. 175. country had been suffered to be triSuperstition gave birth to this Indian umphant. We speak only en philosophe idea, for the Peruvians being worship- in vindication of Providence, which pers of the Sun, they esteemed the extracts good out of evil; and openly Spaniards to be his sons, and therefore manifests, that power canuot be enimmortal. Ibid.

trusted to barbarians, without injury Having thus shown the consequences to the species. of superstition, we inform the public We have thus made a moral use of that no better direction of Christianity the work before us, because we thought has been given by the Missionaries to it a good thesis, one that invited a the Otaheiteans ; for it is stated by commentary by way of lamp or candle, Captain Kotzebue, that they have nearly to exhibit its social character in certain depopulated the island by instigating main points. Mr. Washington Irving wars, and maintained their ascendancy is a man who has many thousands in by inculcaling mere superstition; and the consols of public approbation, and no arts, sciences, or knowledge justly, therefore we need not say a word about according to European refinement. his reputation in the stock-exchange

Every body execrates the memory of of literature.

1831.] Review.-Wilson's Memoirs of De Foe.

145 Memoirs of the Life and Times of Daniel De The Government now took it up as a Foe. By Walter Wilson.

scandalous libel on the Church, and (Continued from p. 53.)

in the London Gazette for January 10, DURING the following reign of 1703, advertised a reward of fifty Queen Anne, De Foe found ample pounds for the apprehension of the scope for the exercise of his pen in

author. By this circumstance we political controversies. It was in the

have become possessed of a minute year 1702, when party violence be

descriptive sketch of De Foe's person. iween Church men and Dissenters was He is depicted “as a middle-sized carried to a great height, that De Foe

spare man, about forty years old, of a took occasion (o play off one of the

brown complexion, and dark brown most dexterous pieces of irony levelled coloured hair, but wears a wig, a against the Church party which can hooked nose, a sharp chin, grey eyes, be conceived. He collected the senti. and a large mole near his mouth; was ments and arguments of the latter,

born in London, was for many years a which he thought were most at va

hose factor in Freeinan's-yard, Cornriance with reason, and with every hill, and now is owner of the brick semblance of downright earnestness

and paniile works near Tilbury Port and sincerity in the cause of the in Essex."-Vol. II. p. 62. Church, he published them in a The issue of the matter was his propamphlet entitled “The shortest way secution at the Old Bailey Sessions, with the Dissen ters, or Proposals for Feb. 1703, for a libel; ihe Grand the establishment of the Church," Jury having found the bill, the trial London, 1702.” This mode of writ. came on in the following July. He ing does more honour to De Foe's po had a promise secretly made to him litical dexterity than to his sincerity by the Ministry of pardon and protecand plain dealing; it was a weapon tion, if he would relinquish any detherefore appropriately wielded in se- fence, and throw himself on the mercy cret to forward the object of a party of the Queen. He too credulously who have not generally been nice as listened to these overtures, and on his to the means by which they might conviction the promise was not perpromote their ulterior objects, ascend- forined. He himself, in reference to ancy and power. He succeeded so this matter, says, he ventured on well in the trick, that he deceived all

" che fidelity parties at first. He begins with most of those whose trade and custom 'tis to lie !" bitter reflections on the principles of the sectaries, and he goes on thence to

His sentence was certainly severe,justify the severest measures for sup

he was to pay a fine of 200 marks to pressing them altogether. The strain the Queen, stand three times in the of the publication may be judged of pillory, and be imprisoned during the by the following extract :

Queen's pleasure. This was carried

rigorously into execution, although it "If the gallows instead of the Compter,

is said that the popular regard for lic and the gallies iostead of the fines, were the reward of going to a conventicle, there

berly of sentiment, and for De Foe's would not be so many sufferers. The spi

wit and talents, procured for him the rit of martyrdom is over. They that will

distinction of the ignominious machine go to the Church to be chosen Sheriffs being on this occasion crowned with and Mayors, would go to forty Churches garlands; a party of his friends prorather than be hanged. If one severe law tected him from the missiles of his was made, and punctually executed, that enemies, and the mob who looked on whoever was found at a Conventicle should drank his health. be banished the nation, and the preacher be l i certainly appears an undue stretch hanged, we should soon see an end of the of power, to make a sharp ironical satale, they would all come to Church, and

and tire the subject of legal prosecution and one age would make us all one again.”

punishmeni, especially as the proceedThe more moderate Churchmen re ing involved in itself the supposition ceived such advice with just reproba of the party being rightly described in tion, while the Dissenters taking it in the publication. The prosecution in ils literal view felt indignant at its au- this view, not the book, was the libel thor, who was at length discovered to on the Church. De Foe possessed a be a member of their own community. spirit not to be broken by the persecu.

GENT. MAG, February, 1831.

« AnteriorContinuar »