Page images
PDF
EPUB

what to do wih myself I know not, to a depraved and superficial taste. Then you shall see them dozing But, as you must yourself perceive, ever gaudie bookee with store of be is “cauching ilie new-blown bubtrumpery pietures; some whereof bles of the day,”-bubbles indeed, do stew faire castles and abbies in bursting, as soon as caught, and leavdownright reine; some, effigies of ing utter emptiness! doctors without divimitie, rhymers For about eighteen months I have Jackinge reason, and critickes with taken in the Edinburgh and QuarKonces both shallow and muddie; terly Reviews, and one or two of the and therewith abundance of tyttle monthly journals; by way, as Cowcum tattle, elories of John Doe and per read the newspaper, of peeping Richard Roe, merrie sayinges of all the world brough the loop holes Tom, Dieke, and Madge; aad syn- of retreat. But the vast dimensions drie bagges of moonshine. And of these critical apertures let in a śn such do they take huge plea- great deal lop muob; for, in stead of sagnce. All the while, Learninge peeping, one may survey the wide is thrust out of the doores; and, expauses of folly with a broad stare. standing in the court sorelie weep. I already begin to dread the arrival ing, saith that all her own prime of the reviews; since they are no and preciouse bookes are tossed sooner landed on the table, than the into ihe lumberre room, for the children run to open the advertise behoofe of bars and spidorres." ments stitched up in these bewitch,

This esiremely curious specimen of ing publications; and I and thence barbarous literature will be printed forward in hourly danger, for some with types east 'expressly for the days, of being conjured by my girls purpose, in imitation of the MS. to send for the new edition of Tha: The impression will be limited to laba, or the Bridal of 'Triermain; or 150 copies (two of which, worked I am addressed in breathless and inofi on vellum, are intended to be coberent accents, '. Oh! papa, here's presented to the public libraries of a new posem from Lord Byronthe two Universities), and the price another epic of Southey’s--and quite of each 151. 158.

a new thing from Walter Scott-and

they have all been out a month To confess the truth, sir, I was by Oh! do write to-night to Hatchno means ignorant of the strange ard.” Judge, sir, from this, how ipfaluation which, at the present far we are already gone in the downday, disgraces what is called the ward course of literature. This comes reading world ; and one of my mo- of an eighteen months of reviews and tives for commissioning my son to advertisements ! Facilis descensus indiversify his dispatehes with notices deed! Far am I from undervaluing of new books, &c., was to ascertain the splendid talents of the bardic bow far his residence in town had trio (as the girls call their three faexposed him to the contagion of let- vourites), but I wish to teach my tered insanity. The boy has natų. young people, that their own shelves rally an eagerness for books; and display a neglected collection of the while he remained at home, I pro- works of the mighty dead, with whom vided bim liberally with such stan- I would persuade chem to hold high dard authors as a clerical adviser of and daily converse ; and when their mine from time to lime recommend- minds are braced by this practical ed. These he studied as much, and wisdom, they may then wander with almost more, than could be expected more security among the lily-silverfrom a young man beginning 10 . ed vales, and low-whispering woods, acquire commercial habits; and when of modern literature. I have prohe left us, I calculated that, inexpe- mised my third daughter. a copy of rienced as he was; yet he was ioo Rokeby as soon as she has given me, well read to fall a premature victim in writing, a prose analysis of Pope's

[ocr errors]

Essay on Criticism; and I propose question, what have our critical jourto enter into a similar contract, nals done for the reading population whenever she and her sisters make at large? Our incessant dabbling in the next clamorous application; hop- reviews appears to me, especially ing, by such a course of proceeding, when I look back to other times, to to allure my pretty ramblers into barass all intellectual exertion; and, the classic regions of British song. what makes a bad thing worse, we

The injury effected by the pre study (as we call it) ten or twelve vailing modes of literature is not con- subjects in one and the same number, fined to such minor ill consequences and on each of these ten or twelve as the degradation of laste, and the subjects we must needs have an opiperversion of fancy; but the mis- nion, and then proceed to talk, with chief diffuses its unresisted influences imposing confidence, about theories over the moral, immortal part of our and departments of science, of the very nature. The retrograde movements existence of which we were unconof the human understanding act scious till the appearance of “ that with a sometimes unsuspected effi- capital article in the last Edin, cacy on the affections. A desultory burgh.” Nor is even this the worst, exercise of the mind induces a lan- since I can assure you, from my own guid state of conscience. A taste limited observation, that the quar. for superficial reading is not pro. terly journals are in high request perly a disease existing locally, with many, who, too much like my while it leaves the general constitu. own children, confine their reading tion sound; bot a symptom of some to the voluminous masses of adverdistemper seated in the vitals, and tisement found at the beginnings requiring a course of medicine, and and ends; so that here also are a regimen of peculiar potency.- “minds of large discourse, looking I wish the under-graduates in our before and after;" for, to my certain Universities, (for, as I hear, the very knowledge, they never look at what fountains of learning are partially goes between ; but leave that to perpoisoned,) and particularly such sons occupying a rather bigher point among them as profess to be reli- in the scale of surface-knowledge. gious, and are training up for the The time, indeed, may come, when the ministry, under a serious conviction Trade may publisb, montbly, a thick, of the responsibility of their desti- and thickly-printed magazine, exnation, would beware of indulging clusively devoted to advertisements; habits of literary trifling. Heu, fuge, which, I am convinced, would obtain nate dea! Let them assure them- an unprecedented circulation. Neiselves, that their irrevocable hours ther would it, in the least, signify to cannot be consumed on ephemeral the “numerous readers,” whether books without very serious injury to the books, formally announced, their intellectual and spiritual health; ever appeared ; it would answer that time lost at college will infalli- every end, both to publisher and bly upbraid them in after years ; purchaser, that they were described, and that it is no disgrace to be dumb promised, and priced, in all the to such inquiries as, “ What do you pomp, and circumstance, and plenithink of the Rrjected Addresses iude of a modern list. I am told, the Corsair-Grimm's Correspond- that your imperial city swarms with ence-Madame de Stael op Suicide}" men of letters, who never dream of The inquiry should rather be, "What opening a book, unless it be to get would Newton, and Barrow, and information about other books; and Maclaurin, and Waring, have said, that the number and variety of catacould they have foreseen the morn. logues in their possession equal in ing table of a mathematical student value the gift presented to the Sostrewed with lounging pamphlets?" ciety of Antiquaries by Sir Mat

But leaving our juniors out of the thew Mite, namely, an uninterrupted

r

Series of the tickets taken at Islington regular school-hours, but by those turnpike, from its first establishment

more attractive publications which to the date of Sir Matthew's election bear the epithet of entertaining, and as Fellow*.

of which the last ten years have proIn the Augustan age of English duced a redundance for the nursery, literature, reading was confined to a the school, and the college; and that few; but the few were either scho a severe selection of these becomes Jars who buried themselves in every day more necessary, from the books, or men of genius who chiefly increasing influx of superficial and shone by their own light. At that ill-principled literature. And let the period, however, there was a lauda- adult student resort banish from ble custom in some great houses, of his collection, such books as disgrace loading the shelves of the library the name of a scholar; let him treat with wooden blocks, in the shape of ephemeral trifles as trifles; and let books, duly gilt and lettered. Such him perseveringly act on the prinwas the Duke of Chandos's collec- ciple of suiting his intellectual bation at Cannons: thus described by bits to the ultimate end of his being. Pope :

When I became a man, I put away His study! with what authors is it stor'd?

childish things. In books, not authors, curious is my lord;

ANTI-NEGATOKA To all their dated backs he turns you round, These Abus printed, those Da Sueil has bound,

To the Editor of the Christian Obseroer. Lo, some are vellum; and the rest as good, For all his lordship knows-but they are

In June, 1813, appeared the first wood.

number of a periodical work, called For Locke or Milton, 'tis in vain you look;

The Orthodox Journal; or, CathoThese shelves adatit oot any modern bookt. lic Monthly Intelligencer; printed, Such was the wooden wisdom of published, and edited by William

Eusebius Andrews, 5, Fenwick queen Anne's days ; but wooden as it was, I think it preferable to the Court, Holborn. In perusing the bibliomaniac gabble of the present

first six numbers, I met with part

of times. A volume of oak or elm pos

a Charge, and two Letters, from sesses much more than the merit of the pen of the Right Reverend John negative excellence. It fills up a

Milner, Bishop of Castabala ; from space, which otherwise would be which I copied the enclosed extracte, occupied by wire-wove, hot-pressed, and offer them for insertion in your trash. I already sigh for the resto

Magazine. It may be expedient to ration of the woodeo age; and, un. premise, that the Italics and great

my children will return to their capitals stand in the Journal exactly standard volumes, I shall some day as they are found in my transcript. make a general clearance of all our

I am, sir, &c. G. G. reviews and advertisements, and pur. Extracts from Bishop Milner's Paschase an entirely new library from toral Charge to his Clergy, daled my cabinet-maker.

March 30, 1813. To conclude with one serious remark; let the guardians of modern

“ Of late years you know that education recollect, that the charac

numerous societies have been formter of young minds is, in many in- ed, and incredible sums of money stances, formed, not by the books raised, throughout the United Kingread under an instructor's eye, in the dom, among Christians of other

communions, for the purpose of disFoote's Nabob; quoted in the Pursuits of Literature.

tributing Bibles gratis to all poor + Moral Essays, iv.-In Addison's des people who are willing to accept of scription of the Lady's Library, (Spectator them. In acting thus, they act con37.) occurs, “ All the classic authors in wood, forınably to the fundamental princiA set of Elzevir's, by she same hand." ples of their religion, which teach,

less

* The Bible contains all things ne. and full of things hard to be undercessary for salvation, and that it is stood, which the unlearned and una easy to be understood by every per stable wrest to their own destruction. son of common sense." But who 2 Pet. ii, 16. Some texts seem to could have imagined that Catholics, contradict others: several appear grounded upon quite opposite prin inculcate the very vices which God ciples, should nevertheless shew a condemns. Hence the worst of disposition to follow the example of crimes may be perpetrated and des Protestants in this particular, by fended, as they very frequently have forming themselges also into Bible been, on the supposed authority of Societies

, and Sie ributing their mo- Scripture; when Scripture is left to ney for putup, he mysterious letter the interpretation of the ignorant or of God's word into the hands of the ill-disposed. Thus all the horrors and illiterate poor, instead of educating follies of the Grand Rebellion, even clergymen, even in the present dis to the murder of the king, were suptressing scarcity of clergy, to ex- posed by the people to be authorispound the sevse of that word 10 ed by certain iexts of Scripture. In a them! Yet such has been the in- word, it is evidently a much more fluence either of public opinion, or rational plan to put the statutes at of politics, upon several Catholics large into the hands of the illiterate of both islands at the beginning of volgar, telling them to become their this 191h century! As it is highly own lawyers, than it is 10 put the probable that the prevailing Biblio. text itself of the mysterious Bible mania may soon reach this district, into their hands, for enabling them I think it my duty to lay down á to hammer their religion and mofew maxims on this subjeet, which, rally out of it. -- *A plain Cathoin the supposed case, you will not lic peasant, who is well grounded fail, my dear brethren, to impress in the knowledge of his Catechism, upon the minds of your people, really knows more of the word of 1. When our Saviour Christ sent his God, as to the sense and substance Apostles, to convert the world, he of it, than a Methodist preacher did not say to them, Go and distri- who can repeat the words of the bute volumes of the Scripture among wliole Bible by heari.

-As to the the nations of the world; but, Go lext itself of the Bible, the Catholic

into the whole world, and Preacu Church, so far from locking it up, cho Gospel to every creature. 2. It requires her pastors to study the is notorious, that not one of the na- whole of it assiduously, as being, by

cious converted by the Apostles or excellence, the liber sacerdotalis. their successors, nor any part of a She moreover recommends the read

nation, was converted by reading ing of it to all persons who have . the Scriptures. No; they were con. some tincture of learning, and verled in the way appointed by an adequate knowledge of their Christ, that of preaching the Go- religion, together with the necesspel, as is seen in the Acis of sary humility and docility to disthe Apostles, Bede's History, &c. pose them in common with her first 3. The promiscuous reading of the Pastors and the Pope bimself), to Bible is not calculated, nor intended submit their own private opinion, by God, as the means of conveying upon all articles of laith, to the bereligious instruction to the bulk of lief of the Great Church of all namankind, for the bulk of mankind tions and of all ages.---- In con. cannot read at all; and we do not clusion, then, my dear and beloved find any Divine commandment as to brethren, I am confident you will Aheir being obliged to study, letters. not encourage the distribution of BiIn the next place, the Bible is a bles or Testaments among the very book which, though inspired, is more illiterate persons of your respective or less obscure in most parts of it, congregations, as proper initiatory

books of instruction for them. Ras policy of Protestants, and of course ther procure for them, if you can, injurious to the religion of Catho, a sufficient number of copies of lics, as also to the authority of their the First and Second Catechism, the pastors, it being the exclusive bu Catholic Christian Instructed, the siness of the latter to instruct all Grounds of the Catholic Doctrine, and ranks of people, by expounding to the History of the Old and New Tes- them, viva voce, both Scripture and tament.” -(Orthodox Magazine, pp. tradition. The Tridentite fathers 131-133.)

make no distinction between Bibles In a letter to the Editor (dated in the vulgar tongue, with notes, and October 16, 1813), Bishop Milner those without noles; since it is evisays, --" I described* a Catholic Bi- dently IMPOSSIBLE TO ADD ble Society as a novel and porten- ANY NOTES WHATEVER TO tous institution,' unknown to the THE SACRED TEXT WHICH fathers and doctors of past ages, at WILL MAKE IT A SAFE AND variance with the third rule con- PROPER ELEMENTARY BOOK cerning the use of Holy Scripture OF INSTRUCTION FOR THE laid down by a committee of the ILLITERATE POOR.” (pp. 179, Council of 'frent, giving into the 180.)

• In a fortner communication.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS,

The Faith of the People called Quit- us by persons calling theraselves

kers, in our Lord and Saviour Quakers, as actuated by dispositions Jesus Christ, set forth in various inconsistent with true Christianity';

Extracts from their Writings. By as scandalizing, abusing,and vility ing | Henry Tuke, York. 1872. 12mo. la whole body of people; as deriding , pp. 32. Price 6d.

the Spirit's operations, and there

fore manifestly without the Spirit In our Number for September last, ourselves; as setting up the written we reviewed Mr. Clarkson's Life of -against the living word; as blimi William Penn, and in the course of leaders of the blind, &c. All this, our Review book occasion to intro- however, we should have thougbt it duce some remarks on the tenets of right to orerlook, althooghi it unthat body of Christians with whom questionably furnished a rempting Pean was united. Those remarks opportunity of self-justification, trad we certainly had conceived to be we not received a remonstrance on written in a spirit of candour and the same subject from one we have good-will. We ourselves were con- reason to believe to be the respectable acious of no contrary impression. author whose name stands at the head Nothing could have been more re- of this article. He requests that we mote from our apprehension, than should insert bis communication in that the attempt we made calmly to justice to the Quakers. We insert appreciate soine of the peculiarities it in justice also to ourselves. It is of Quakerism could have given of as follows: . fence to a single individual of that " It really grieves me to perceive respectable Society, or have furaish-in sho writers for a periodical pubed the slightest ground for impeach- lication, which I so highly esteem, ing oor Christian charity. Our sure and strongly recommend, as I do the prise, therefore, and mortification Christian Observer, a disposition on were great, to find ourselves repre- . various occasions to traduce and nuissealed, jo several letters addressed to represent the Quakers. Liule, in

« PreviousContinue »