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republished. The recollections of a man who died but yesterday, and who knew most of the celebrities of the beginning of the century, who was taken by the Duke of Devonshire to visit the elder Mathews, who shook hands with Mrs. Siddons, met Mrs. Abington, and heard Sheridan speak in Parliament, cannot be otherwise than entertaining. It is possible, probable even, that in the case of those who could aid in no “discovery," and assist in the perpetration of no literary forgery, the recollections which are preserved may be as trustworthy as are those of average humanity. Few well-informed readers who came across my previous references to the inroads in the shape of erasures, interpolations, and the like that have been made in the Collections of National documents, could be unaware that Collier is the man who was always credited with these commissions. His "History of the Stage," admirable as a work of industry and research, is, of course, useless to the scholar who has no opportunity to test the trustworthiness of his assertions and the genuineness of the documents he advances. In addition to the exposure by Mr. N. E. S. A. Hamilton, and Mr. Warner's introduction to the “Catalogue of Manuscripts and Monuments of Alleyn's College of God's Gift at Dulwich,” Mr. Bullen, in the introduction to his new edition of Marlowe, comes forward and declares of a MS. ballad concerning Marlowe, put forth by Mr. Collier and accepted by Dyce, that it is a forgery. It is not easy to forgive one who has incurred such suspicions as attach to Collier of tampering with what should be a sacred trust. It furnishes no reason, however, for refusing such instruction and amusement as he can supply. A republication of his diary could not be other than a success.
How LONG OUGHT A MAN TO SLEEP?
THE latest authority on this vexed question, Dr. Malins, says
T that the proper amount of sleep to be taken by a man is eight hours. So far as regards city life the estimate is probably correct. Proverbial wisdom does not apply to modern conditions of social existence. “Five (hours) for a man, seven for a woman, and nine for a pig," says one proverb; and a second, quoted by Mr. Hazlitt in his English Proverbs, declares that“Nature requires five ; custom gives (? allows) seven ; laziness takes nine ; and wickedness eleven.” These conclusions were, however, drawn from observation of country life. Physical fatigue is more easily overcome than intellectual. Which of us when travelling in the country, or abroad, or in any way separated from the ordinary processes of thought and anxiety, has not found that he could, without difficulty, do with a couple of hours less sleep than he was in the habit of taking ?
Men, however, who follow any intellectual pursuit are exceptionally fortunate if the processes of restoration occupy less than seven hours. More frequently they extend to eight or nine hours. Kant, I see it stated, took never less than seven hours. Goethe owned to requiring nine. Soldiers and sailors, on the other hand, like labourers, do with a much less quantity. I am afraid to say how few hours the Duke of Wellington regarded as essential. A schoolmaster under whom at one time I studied, a hard-working man at the acquisition of languages, proclaimed loudly that he never took more than five hours' sleep. The hour at which he rose in the morning gave some colour to this assertion. Only in after-life did I discover that a two hours' post-prandial siesta was not included in that allowance,
Lynch LAW IN FRANCE. THE unpunished crime of Mme. Clovis Hugues is too recent
1 in date to permit of the appearance of her name in “ Women of the Day," a compilation in which, while doing justice to her own sex, Miss Frances Hayes makes a bold attempt to compensate for the notorious shortcomings of “Men of the Time." In some future edition, however, the name of this saint of the gospel of blood must figure. Enough has been said in England of the apotheosis which has been accorded the wretched woman in France. The notion, however, that in France lynch law is to take the place of responsible authority is so terrible, I shrink from the contemplation of its results. Granting even, as some of us at times feel, that the law is too careful of the criminal, and that there are crimes which the slow foot of Justice, trammelled with precedent and bearing the burden of overresponsibility, fails to overtake. Before it can be permissible under any circumstances to take the law into our own hands it is necessary that the guilt should be brought home to the victim. That the man murdered by Mme. Clovis Hugues was not the writer of the “missives ” by which her existence was poisoned appears proven. Most probably he was an obscure agent of others, a man on whom a cudgelling would have been wasted. The form of lynch law accepted in France must not then be confounded with that current in some provinces of America. A man in the Western States is caught redhanded in a crime ; is, not for the first time, convicted ; and is left in prison until he can purchase his release and recommence his
Chatto & Windus.
career. The wild justice that seizes such a man and hangs him to å tree placed across a disused mine is human and pardonable, even though scarcely justifiable. An act of private vengeance such as has been committed by Mme. Hugues stands, however, on a different footing, and the condonation in France of such offences is perhaps the most discomforting sign of the times.
LITTLE JAPAN IN LONDON.
OREIGN colonies abound in London; and districts like Spital
fields, Soho, or Hatton Garden have taken their colouring and character from foreign residents. To establish, however, close to Hyde Park, a Japanese village is a novelty. From the kind of disorder which attaches itself to Mongolian colonies in Western American cities this innovation will assumably be free, and the spectacle afforded of Japanese tradesmen at their work or their devotions, and of Japanese women and children in their domestic avocations, is curious, attractive, and instructive. The show is likely, accordingly, to become a success. Good results are always to be expected from everything that broadens our acquaintance with the people of foreign nations, and teaches us how much we have in common with those whose speech, morals, habits, are most remote from our own. It is not too much to hope that the time will ultimately be reached when we learn that the Indian Ocean is no more a barrier between man and man than the Tweed or the Solway. If meantime the residents whom we see are, to a certain extent, sophisticated, this is to be expected. A visit to Humphrey's Hall is not intended as a substitute for a trip to Japan, but rather as an incentive to it and a preparation for it.
PROPOSED PURCHASE OF HIGHGATE Woods.
TITH pardonable pride I witness one after another the schemes
advocated in Table Talk become matters of general interest, and lead to concerted and practical action. The expediency, the necessity even, of annexing to the public possessions at Hampstead the adjoining estate of Lord Mansfield was first publicly demonstrated in these pages. At the present moment a society, the object of which is to secure for the people these and other properties in Highgate, is in existence, and the matter has been discussed in Parliament and in the press. Opinion is unanimously favourable to the scheme, and the only question raised is to the source whence the
purchase-money has to be derived. While I can bring no charge of lukewarmness against those who have discussed the project, I am disappointed that an argument I at first advanced has not been assigned the prominence it deserves. With a view to the constant expansion of London, hilly spots such as Highgate and Hampstead are of more advantage as lungs than any other. Not because the North is worse provided with recreation grounds than the South or the West do I urge the acquisition of this spot. It is because next to the river way the Northern Heights are of most importance for ventilating a city so huge as London, and to allow them to be built over would be a fatal blunder.
SHERIDAN AS A PLAGIARIST.
NE more proof how unscrupulous in their use of matter em
ployed by their predecessors are successful dramatists is furnished by the Hon. Lewis Wingfield in a letter recently published in the Athenæum. To a forgotten novel called "Memoirs of Mr. Sidney Biddulph,” Sheridan, according to Mr. Wingfield, is indebted for a portion of the plot of the “School for Scandal”that portion, viz., in which Sir Oliver, returning from India, puts off the nabob and assumes the guise of an applicant for charity, That Sheridan drew from this source is probable enough, and that his claim to invention suffers by the discovery must be conceded. His laurels undergo, however, no serious blight. Plots which belong wholly to the dramatist are neither common nor, in many cases, excellent. Dramatic perception and invention are two widely different things. We shall have ultimately to concede what has been before maintained, that the best use of an idea rather than the first use of it constitutes ownership. Many as are human passions and vices, and indefinite as are the complications that spring from them, it seems as if the subjects suitable to the purposes of the dramatist might, in time, be exhausted.
BY ALICE O'Hanlon.
A MYSTERIOUS LOSS. "M Y Paul,” observed Madame Vandeleur to her husband, on
11 the day before that which was to see the unfortunate young Englishman laid in his last resting-place. “My Paul, you cannot set off with that letter quite so soon as you design. You must wait till at least two days after the burial.”
"But for what reason, my angel ?" demanded her husband.
"For the reason that I propose to accompany you," was the reply. “It is my duty and my desire, Paul, to see this Mees Estcourt for myself. Whatever arrangements she may wish to make about the little Claude must be made with me, not with thee. For although thou art wise enough in some ways, and canst make a good bargain for thy skins and timber, yet, in things that go beyond thy understanding, thou art, as thou very well knowest, my beloved, a complete goose.”
Paul scratched his head, not in the least resentful of this lefthanded compliment. “But how are you to travel ?” he asked. “And what, my Marie, is to become of the house and the children?”
"All that I have ordered within myself,” answered Madame Van. deleur, calmly. “The children, they go with us ; the house, it takes care of itself; and we travel, my Paul, on horseback.”
"My faith !” ejaculated the worthy man, staring at the partner of his existence with open-mouthed wonder and admiration. “You are an extraordinary woman_a woman of ideas and of resolution."
"We shall require three horses-two for ourselves and the children, and one to carry the tent and provisions for the journey,”
VOL. CCLVIII. NO. 1851.