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the diminution in the sum paid by each. Thus in the Tower, where the proposition to reduce the price of admission was at first received with the utmost reluctance, the influx of visitors is such, that the whole receipts are far larger than they have ever before been. The statement will be found a little further on. And thus would it be, we have not the smallest doubt, with Westminster and St. Paul's.

The cheapest by far of our public exhibitions as well as in other respects the best, is the British Museum, for that costs nothing. The least interesting, (if we except those parts which we may see almost for nothing,) and yet incalculably the dearest, are St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey. The other exhibitions are all reasonable enough. Only a shilling is paid at the Adelaide Gallery or at the Polytechnic Institution; and all we can say is, that if the rarities at St. Paul's are worth five shillings, those at the above institutions are well worth thirty.

There is another point on which we wish to offer some few observations. We refer to the behaviour of the people at these exhibitions. One reason why public edifices have been guarded from the English populace with so much jealousy, and opened with so much reluctance, is, that our countrymen are so prone to wanton mischief. There has been hitherto unfortunately too much justice in this allegation. The populace of England have in this respect, perhaps, a less powerful sense of propriety than that of any other country in Europe. The vulgar, and even very many, who, upon other occasions would not be reckoned among the vulgar, cannot keep their bands from fingering what is curious, scrawling upon walls and columns, amusing themselves by defacing or mutilating, cutting or chipping off some little remnant of any object that tickles their fancy, slily appropriating a portion of some relic that is rare and precious, a bone, or a tooth of an old warrior, a tatter of some old standard, or a rag of an old vestment; thus taking away what is comparatively valueless in itself, yet is essential to the completion and perfection of the rarity from which it is stolen. Or if admitted into a garden, they must needs be plucking the flowers, cutting slips, or trampling on the beds. Sometimes they have shown their brutal humour in still more wanton freaks of mischief, and in which it is hard to say what form of petty selfishness it was which was proposed to be gratified. For example, in recently passing through the British Museum, we observed that some brutal fellow had just thought proper to spit into the sarcophagus of some great Egyptian personage. Humiliation can hardly go deeper. Here was one of the great ones of the earth, who after having caused himself to be embalmed and entombed with amazing care and cost, must now submit not only to be dragged forth from the depths of the Pyramids, disinterred, unswathed,

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and exposed to the light of open day, but to have his last dwelling thus contemptuously violated.

Of all the nuisances above mentioned, however, the most frequent as well as the most offensive to the eye, is that of scrawling names upon walls and columns. The great obscure' who indulge in this practice doubtless have an itching for immortality; and that to such a degree, that they would rather be notorious upon any terms, than not notorious at all: infamous rather than not famous. Thus prompted, they naturally seek the most durable materials on which to inscribe their names; nothing less than brass or marble will serve their turn. But

would respectfully remind John Smith and Thomas Brown, William Hobson and Richard Jobson, Nathanie Dobson and Mark Robson, Susan Tibbits and Martha Spry, that if they have no other means of securing immortality, this will hardly answer their purpose: as this is the only record which the world unhappily possesses of them, they will not be the less forgotten because their names are still extant. The only difference between them and other persons who have as little claim to be remembered, is that posterity will say, whoever they may have

been, they have our hearty malison for their impudence and their mischievousness. We know of but one act of theirs, and

that act entitles them to our thorough contempt.' We remember once suggesting to a friend a method of punishing at least some of these mischievous persons. Upon visiting one of the most venerable and splendid of our ecclesiastical edifices, we deeply disgusted at the number of the names of these aspiring insignificants inscribed upon the walls. Some of them, as if to insure a more particular remembrance, had been so explicit as to add their place of abode to their names; many of the dates were quite recent. We proposed to our friend, who was a native of the town in which the edifice stood, and who took a deep pride in this its chief ornament, that it might be desirable to collect the names of the gentlemen who had been so kind as to furnish their address, and to send each of them an anonymous letter, stating that doubtless it would be gratifying intelligence that their names, which they had inscribed with so much pains on the walls of

Abbey, in the year 18–, were still extant, and that they would receive a yearly confirmation of the same pleasing fact.

But we are happy to believe, and that on the strongest grounds, that this and the other forms of nuisances above mentioned, are fast abating. With the exception of the honest gentleman who thought proper to make a spittoon of an Egyptian sarcophagus, we have not recently observed any one inclined to be offensive in these kinds. And as the public is more habituated to sight-seeing, it will learn to behave itself like any other tame

He says,

and decent animal. Indeed, one of the very reasons of its exorbitances has been that difficulty of access to things worth seeing, which has itself in a great measure resulted from the

propensity of the public to mischief. One of the witnesses examined before the recent Parliamentary Committee, says, • There is one “important feature with respect to the British Museum in the ‘mind of the public, that I am much pleased with—the general good feeling exhibited by them on all occasions. .There is also, I may observe, no scribbling about the Museum ; and the only instance in which I found any remark made was

by some ignorant man who wrote with a piece of red chalk on the banisters leading to the King's Library, 'Museaum.” The same witness, on being asked for information as to the comparative behaviour of the public of the present and of a former day, replied – The British Museum has only become very 'popular within the last few years—time was when we had not more than two hundred visitors a day; we have now 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, and sometimes 6000 visitors a day.'

Another testimony on this subject is worth citing, as marking the improvement of the people in the provinces. It is from an intelligent visitor to the Museum at Newcastle, an institution open to the public without any charge whatever. He

• It was with the greatest pleasure that I heard it stated in the report of the Newcastle Society, that, notwithstanding articles of great value were exposed on the cases without any cover, they had never lost a single specimen, nor had any part of the collection been injured by visitors. This account quite agrees with my own experience in the British Museum, where there have been occasionally more than six thousand visitors in a single day. During the last twelve or thirteen years I have been in that institution, (and the greater part of this time I have had the immediate superintendence of the zoological part of the collection,) I do not recollect a single instance of wilful injury, and, indeed, hardly of carelessness, on the part of the visitors, though now and then a pane of glass may be cracked; but that is scarcely to be avoided from the frequently crowded state of the rooms, with glass cases in every direction. From my experience in the British Museum, and in other situations, I think that the English public have been most unjustly abused in this respect; partly arising from that delight which the English have in complaining of their countrymen, and praising foreigners at their expense, and partly by designing persons, who have profited by places being kept from public view, except on the payment of fees. For example: I do not think (though the accusation has been repeatedly made) that the English are more inclined to write on walls than our continental neighbours, except that they have not the constant dread of the surveillance of the police, which the French appear always to have before their eyes. In those places where it can be done with little chance of detection -as in the

and exposed to the light of open day, but to have his last dwelling thus contemptuously violated.

Of all the nuisances above mentioned, however, the most frequent as well as the most offensive to the eye, is that of scrawling names upon walls and columns. The

great obscure' who indulge in this practice doubtless have an itching for immortality; and that to such a degree, that they would rather be notorious upon any terms, than not notorious at all: infamous rather than not famous. Thus prompted, they naturally seek the most durable materials on which to inscribe their names; nothing less than brass or marble will serve their turn. But we would respectfully remind John Smith and Thomas Brown, William Hobson and Richard Jobson, Nathanie Dobson and Mark Robson, Susan Tibbits and Martha Spry, that if they have no other means of securing immortality, this will hardly answer their purpose: as this is the only record which the world unhappily possesses of them, they will not be the less forgotten because their names are still extant. The only difference between them and other persons who have as little claim to be remembered, is that posterity will say, 'whoever they may have • been, they have our hearty malison for their impudence and their mischievousness. We know of but one act of theirs, and that act entitles them to our thorough contempt.'. We remember once suggesting to a friend a method of punishing at least some of these mischievous persons. Upon visiting one of the most venerable and splendid of our ecclesiastical edifices, we deeply disgusted at the number of the names of these aspiring insignificants inscribed upon the walls. Some of them, as if to insure a more particular remembrance, had been so explicit as to add their place of abode to their names; many of the dates were quite recent. We proposed to our friend, who was a native of the town in which the edifice stood, and who took a deep pride in this its chief ornament, that it might be desirable to collect the names of the gentlemen who had been so kind as to furnish their address, and to send each of them an anonymous letter, stating that doubtless it would be gratifying intelligence that their names, which they had inscribed with so much pains on the walls of Abbey, in the year 18–, were still extant, and that they would receive a yearly confirmation of the same pleasing fact.

But we are happy to believe, and that on the strongest grounds, that this and the other forms of nuisances above mentioned, are fast abating. With the exception of the honest gentleman who thought proper to make a spittoon of an Egyptian sarcophagus, we have not recently observed any one inclined to be offensive in these kinds. And as the public is more habituated to sight-seeing, it will learn to behave itself like any other tame

their ignorance made them incapable of valuing. Is it not as great ignorance for a stupid fellow of our own day slily to write his own paltry name upon one of these glorious monuments? Is not such an act the most severe reproach upon the writer? Is it not, as if the scribbler should say, ' Here am I, in the presence of some of the great masterpieces of art, whose antiquity ought to produce reverence, if I cannot comprehend their beauty; and I derive a pleasure from putting my own obscure perishable name upon works whose fame will endure for ever.' What a satire upon such vanity. Doubtless, these fellows, who are so pleased with their own weak selves as to poke their names into every face, are nothing but grown babies, and want a fool's cap most exceedingly.

2ndly: Dont talk loud. Talk, of course you must; or you would lose much of the enjoyment we wish you to have-for pleasure is only half pleasure, unless it be shared with those we love. But do not disturb others with your talk. Do not call loudly from one end of a long gallery to the other, or you will distract the attention of those who derive great enjoyment from an undisturbed contemplation of the wonders in these rooms. You will excuse this hint.

3rdly. Be not obtrusive. You will see many things in the Museum that you do not understand. It will be well to make a memorandum of these, to be inquired into at your leisure ; and in these inquiries we shall endeavour to assist you from time to time. But do not trouble other visitors with your questions ; and above all, do not trouble the young artists, some of whom you see making drawings for their improvement. Their time is precious to them; and it is a real inconvenience to be be obliged to give their attention to any thing but their work, or to have their attention disturbed by an over-curious person peeping at what they are doing. If you want to make any inquiry go to one of the attendants, who walks about in each room. He will answer you as far as he knows. You must not expect to understand what you see all at once : you must go again and again if you wish to obtain real knowledge, beyond the gratification of passing curiosity.'

Another circumstance in connexion with this subject, and which we think augurs well, is worth mentioning. There appears to us far more of a spirit of mutual accommodation than there was some years ago : less of that indecent selfishness—that jealousy of invasion—that resolute appropriation of every possible advantage, with a total insensibility as to whether our neighbour is accommodated at all— less of that fierce assertion of right-less of that I've as much right here as you 'sort of feeling, which was so strong some years ago, and which would make the wellbehaved beasts in the Zoological Gardens quite shine by contrast. There is more of cheerful gaiety-less of silence and moroseness-more suavity in pressing a prior right—less obstinacy in contesting it; more in fact of the spirit which induces us not merely to seek a selfish pleasure, but to feel a pleasure in seeing

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