new monster, more formidable than the chimera, works with a four-horse power. It will be readily understood that the editors of the morning journals stand in need of this stenographic celerity, in order to distribute regularly their papers by nine o'clock, even when the sittings of parliament are prolonged till three or even five o'clock in the morning. The publicity of the parliamentary debates would be delusive, if they had no other witnesses than two or three hundred spectators, who might be admitted within the walls of St. Stephen's. By means of the journals the whole of England may know what has been discussed and decided three days after every sitting. Every journal has its editor and sub-editor, who receive from 800l. to 800l. a-year. The editor is charged with the composition of the political articles; and the sub-editor with the revision of the accessary articles. The subalterns are the translators of the foreign intelligence, and the collectors of the on dits. But the chief workmen are the reporters of the two houses, and the courts of justice, who, however, in general do not employ shorthand writing. One of the great profits of the proprietors consists in the amount of the different advertisements, and the anonymous correspondences. An English friend of mine, who stands in need of great circumspection in the case of a lady whom he is attached to, indicates or receives assignations by a species of algebraic formula, which is inserted for a certain sum per line in the Morning Chronicle, and which the husband, who is a great politician, never omits sending to purchase every morning at the Morning Chronicle office; for the daily publications are here very seldom subscribed for. It is to be hoped that the family may not have to figure one day in this same discreet paper in the column devoted to Cr1777. CO77. The advertisements of books do not generally come under the head of literary articles; and one kind of epithet is not paid for more dearly than another; provided it does not overstep the typographical line in exalting the merit of a book, authors may indulge in the pleasure of recommending themselves to celebrity with all imaginable zeal. The following article, which I translate literally, because it interests French literature, has been several times repeated in the columns of the Morning Herald, Courier, &c. “More than fifteen dramas have been already founded on this romance,” which combines the historical character of Sir Walter Scott with the poetical eloquence of Telemachus, the genuine simplicity of the Estelle, the splendid imagery of Ariosto, the deep and profound interest,” &c. &c. An advertisement like this would probably be an enigma at Paris to those who have read Sir Walter Scott, Fenelon, Ariosto, Jean Jacques, Florian, &c. &c. The daily papers seldom hazard a criticism upon

* The Recluse, a romance, by Wiscount A.

a literary work; the Morning Post alone a little oftener. Specimens of verse, charades, anecdotes, also find an occasional place; but misrepresentations, calumnies, and personalities more regularly supply the column of melanges. The coarseness of the attacks transport the reader back to the saturnalia of the revolution. In a number of this day, the Morning Chronicle obviously calls for a Saint Bartholomew for kings, and especially for the assassination of the king of France, on whom it yesterday cast the foulest aspersions.— The other day the Courier, a ministerial paper, gratuitously insulted the ashes of an unfortunate poet. Goldsmith's Monitor, Cobbett’s Register, and the John Bull would render Father Duchesne jealous of their cynical character. If there be a portion of literature, which is the expression of the opinions of society, it is unquestionably the journals.” One would, therefore, be tempted to infer that urbanity is not a virtue of English society. The detestable forms, which political literature assumes here, would disgust in France, where we have, notwithstanding, if the English are to be believed, so little characteristic dignity. The English infer from this very delicacy, that we are not organized for the enjoyment of liberty; the question is to be viewed with relation to the difserent manners of the two people. English liberty haunts the tavern; French liberty, ever since 1815, lives in our saloons, where it certainly exhibits as much frankness as the London clubs. But, however that may be, a representative government stands in need of information; it is not enough for a minister to say, that he is about to play his cards on the table; it is necessary to play them before numerous witnesses; and he may be accused of tricking," under the impression that he may be tempted to trick. There will be in the gallery partial witnesses, I grant; but they will obtain less credit as soon as their game is discovered. The English journalists naturally recruit their ranks among literary adventurers, as the ministerial review calls them; but it is in the wrong to impute an evil tendency to all of them. There are some, it is true, who throw themselves blindly into the ranks of the literary army; but still, with the good intentions of the Irishman, who observing two bodies of his countrymen by the ears, and incapable of restraining himself from joining one or the other, plunged into the thick of the fray, exclaiming, “With God's will I shall assist those that are in the right.” Vanity and half knowledge, which readily believe themselves capable of regenerating the world, place the pen in the hand of a young man just escaped from the university, who finds too many competitors in a more honourable career. The ideas of independence formed by youth easily become democratic ideas; but at the point which civilization has reached, it is too late to attempt to stem this universal propensity. And what a counterpoise, moreover, does a budget possess, for the purpose of gaining such as imagine that their talent constitutes a power in the state. Formerly it was the rebellious barons who disturbed the monarchy; now it is argumentative writers who dare to raise their opposition banner ; it is with them that it is now necessary to fight and negociate by turns. In order to complete my comparisons, I will cite one which is entirely physiological, which I borrow from a brother traveller,” but which, in my capacity as a physician, I would willingly believe was my own, and to the half of which, at all events, Menenius Agrippa may lay claim. “The consequence of publicity is the kind of transparency it imparts to the body politic, which enables you to see divers secret operations of nature, some of which are calculated to alarm you, such as the play of the stomach and the intestines, and the suction of innumerable thirsty canals, conveying into every organ health and energy, or disease and death in continual tides of the blood and the humours. There is, therefore, no derangement which is not immediately remarked ; moreover, the cause and seat of the malady being visible, the hand and the instrument, directed by the eye, can reach , them, and extract the evil

* In France, as in England, there are some raw scholars, who edit certain journals; but many of our literary notables are also concerned in the editing of the principal papers.

* This phrase belongs, I believe, to a minister, who has never ceased tricking since he held the cards. Gaspard L’Avisé, who was no Gascon, also began with the exclamation, “At least let us have fair play.”

* Journal of a Tour and Residence, &c.

« 前へ次へ »