ページの画像
PDF
ePub

of a foundation : instead of the angels and arch- his humour, at the same time that they drive home angels mentioned by the informer, nothing was dis- his argument with irresistible effect. Sidney Smith, covered but a wooden image of Lord Mulgrave going like Swift, seems never to have taken up his pen down to Chatham as a head-piece for the Spanker from the mere love of composition, but to enforce gun-vessel : it was an exact resemblance of his lord- practical views and opinions on which he felt strongly. ship in his military uniform; and therefore as little His wit and banter are equally direct and cogent. like a god as can well be imagined.'

Though a professed joker and convivial wita The effects of the threatened French invasion are diner out of the first lustre,' as he has himself chapainted in similar colours. Mr Smith is arguing racterised Mr Canning - there is not one of his that, notwithstanding the fears entertained in Eng- humorous or witty sallies that does not seem to flow land on this subject, the British rulers neglected the naturally, and without effort, as if struck out or obvious means of self-defence :

remembered at the moment it is used. Mr Smith . As for the spirit of the peasantry in making a gives the following account of his connexion with gallant defence behind hedgerows, and through the Edinburgh Review : plate-racks and hencoops, highly as I think of their • When first I went into the church I had a bravery, I do not know any nation in Europe so curacy in the middle of Salisbury Plain. The squire likely to be struck with panic as the English; and of the parish took a fancy to me, and requested me this from their total unacquaintance with sciences to go with his son to reside at the university of of war. Old wheat and beans blazing for twenty Weimar; before we could get there, Germany bemiles round; cart mares shot; sows of Lord Somer- came the seat of war, and in stress of politics we ville's breed running wild over the country; the put in to Edinburgh, where I remained. five years. minister of the parish wounded sorely in his hinder The principles of the French Revolution were then parts ; Mrs Plymley in fits; all these scenes of war fully afloat, and it is impossible to conceive a more an Austrian or a Russian has seen three or four violent and agitated state of society. Among the times over ; but it is now three centuries since an first persons with whom I became acquainted were English pig has fallen in a fair battle upon English Lord Jeffrey, Lord Murray (late Lord Advocate for ground, or a farm-house been rifled, or a clergyman's Scotland), and Lord Brougham; all of them main. wife been subjected to any other proposals of love taining opinions upon political subjects a little too than the connubial endearments of her sleek and liberal for the dynasty of Dundas, then exercising orthodox mate. The old edition of Plutarch's Lives, supreme power over the northern division of the which lies in the corner of your parlour window, has island. One day we happened to meet in the eighth contributed to work you up to the most romantic or ninth storey or flat in Buccleuch Place, the ele expectations of our Roman behaviour. You are per- vated residence of the then Mr Jeffrey. I proposed suaded that Lord Amherst will defend Kew Bridge that we should set up a Review; this was acceded like Cocles ; that some maid of honour will break to with acclamation. I was appointed editor, and away from her captivity and swim over the Thames ; remained long enough in Edinburgh to edit the first that the Duke of York will burn his capitulating number of the Edinburgh Review. The motto I hand; and little Mr Sturges Bourne give forty years' proposed for the Review was purchase for Moulsham Hall while the French are encamped upon it. I hope we shall witness all this,

• Tenni musam meditamur avena'if the French do come; but in the meantime I am

We cultivate literature upon a little oatmeal. so enchanted with the ordinary English behaviour But this was too near the truth to be admitted, and of these invaluable persons, that I earnestly pray no so we took our present grave motto from Publins opportunity may be given them for Roman valour, Syrus, of whom none of us had, I am sure, ever read and for those very un-Roman pensions which they a single line; and so began what has since turned would all, of course, take especial care to claim in out to be a very important and able journal. When consequence.'

I left Edinburgh it fell into the stronger hands of One of the happiest and most forcible of Mr Smith's Lord Jeffrey and Lord Brougham, and reached the humorous comparisons is that in which he says, of highest point of popularity and success.' a late English minister, on whom he had bestowed Mr Smith is now, we believe, above seventy years frequent and elaborate censure—'I do not attack of age, but his vigorous understanding, his wit and him from the love of glory, but from the love of utility, humour, are still undiminished. as a burgomaster hunts a rat in a Dutch dyke, for The chief merit and labour attaching to the confear it should flood a province.' Another occurs in tinuance and the success of the Edinburgh Review a speech delivered at Taunton in 1831 :- I do not fell on its accomplished editor, FRANCIS JEFFREY, mean,' he says, 'to be disrespectful, but the attempt now one of the judges of the Court of Session in of the lords to stop the progress of reform reminds Scotland. From 1803 to 1829 Mr Jeffrey had the me very forcibly of the great storm of Sidmouth, and sole management of the Review; and when we conof the conduct of the excellent Mrs Partington on sider the distinguished ability which it has unithat occasion. In the winter of 1824 there set in a formly displayed, and the high moral character it great flood upon that town—the tide rose to an in- has upheld, together with the independence and credible height—the waves rushed in upon the houses fearlessness with which from the first it has pro--and everything was threatened with destruction. mulgated its canons of criticism on literature, In the midst of this sublime storm, Dame Parting- science, and government, we must admit that few ton, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door men have exercised such influence as Francis Jeffrey of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her on the whole current of contemporary literature mop, and squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously and public opinion. Besides his general superinpushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic tendence, Mr Jeffrey was a large contributor to

was roused. Mrs Partington's spirit was up; but I the Review. The departments of poetry and ele· need not tell you that the contest was unequal. The gant literature seem to have been his chosen field;

Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs Partington. She was ex- and he constantly endeavoured, as he says, 'to comcellent at a slop or a puddle, but she should not have bine ethical precepts with literary criticism, and meddled with a tempest.' Illustrations of this kind earnestly sought to impress his readers with a are highly characteristic of their author. They dis- sense both of the close connexion between sound inplay the fertility of his fancy and the richness of | tellectual attainments and the higher elements of

duty and enjoyment, and of the just and ultimate sweet or majestic in the simple aspect of nature that subordination of the former to the latter.' This was indestructible love of flowers and odours, and dews & vocation of high mark and responsibility, and on and clear waters--and soft airs and sounds, and bright the whole the critic discharged his duty with honour skies, and woodland solitudes, and moonlight bowers, and success. As a moral writer he was unimpeach- which are the material elements of poetry—and that able. The principles of his criticism are generally fine sense of their undefinable relation to mental emosound and elevated. In some instances he was harsh tion, which is its essence and vivifying soul-and and unjust. His reviews of Southey, Wordsworth, which, in the midst of Shakspeare's most busy and Lamb, and Montgomery, are indefensible, inasmuch atrocious scenes, falls like gleams of sunshine on rocks as the writer seems intent on finding fáult rather and ruins-contrasting with all that is rugged and rethan in discovering beauties, and to be more piqued pulsive, and reminding us of the existence of purer with occasional deviation from established and con- and brighter elements—which he alone has poured out ventional rules, than gratified with originality of from the richness of his own mind without effort or thought and indications of true genius. No excuse restraint, and contrived to intermingle with the play can be offered for the pertness and flippancy of ex- of all the passions, and the vulgar course of this pression in which many of these critiques abound, world's affairs, without deserting for an instant the and their author has himself expressed his regret proper business of the scene, or appearing to pause or for the undue severity into which he was betrayed. digress from love of ornament or need of repose ; he There is some ground, therefore, for charging upon alone, who, when the subject requires it, is always the Edinburgh Review, in its earlier career, an ab- keen, and worldly, and practical, and who yet, withsence of proper respect and enthusiasm for the works out changing his hand, or stopping his course, scatters of living genius. Where no prejudice or prepos- around him as he goes all sounds and shapes of session of the kind intervened, Jeffrey was an ad- sweetness, and conjures up landscapes of immortal mirable critic. His dissertations on the works of fragrance and freshness, and peoples them with spirits Cowper, Crabbe, Byron, Scott, and Campbell, and of glorious aspect and attractive grace, and is a thouon the earlier and greater lights of our poetry, as

sand times more full of imagery and splendour than well as those on moral science, national manners, those who, for the sake of such qualities, have shrunk and views of actual life, are expressed with great back from the delineation of character or passion, and eloquence and originality, and in a fine spirit of declined the discussion of human duties and cares. humanity. His powers of perception and analysis More full of wisdom, and ridicule, and sagacity, than are quick, subtle, and penetrating, and withal com

all the moralists and satirists in existence, he is more prehensive; while his brilliant imagination invested wild, airy, and inventive, and more pathetic and fansubjects that in ordinary hands would have been tastic, than all the poets of all regions and ages of the dry and uninviting, with strong interest and attrac-world; and has all those elements so happily mixed tion. He seldom gave full scope to his feelings and up in him, and bears his high faculties so temperately, sympathies, but they occasionally broke forth with that the most severe reader cannot complain of him inimitable effect, and kindled up the pages of his for want of strength or of reason, nor the most sensicriticism. At times, indeed, his language is poeti- in him is in unmeasured abundance and unequalled

tive for defect of ornament or ingenuity. Everything cal in a high degree. The following glowing tribute to the universal genius of Shakspeare is worthy of perfection; but everything so balanced and kept in the subject:

subordination as not to jostle or disturb or take the

place of another. The most exquisite poetical conMany persons are very sensible of the effect of fine ceptions, images, and descriptions, are given with such poetry upon their feelings, who do not well know how brevity, and introduced with such skill, as merely to to refer these feelings to their causes; and it is always adorn without loading the sense they accompany. a delightful thing to be made to see clearly the sources Although his sails are purple, and perfumed, and his from which our delight has proceeded, and to trace prow of beaten gold, they waft him on his voyage, not the mingled stream that has flowed upon our hearts less, but more rapidly and directly, than if they had to the remoter fountains from which it has been ga- been composed of baser materials. All his excellenthered ; and when this is done with warmth as well ces, like those of Nature herself, are thrown out toas precision, and embodied in an eloquent description gether; and instead of interfering with, support and of the beauty which is explained, it forms one of the recommend each other. His flowers are not tied up most attractive, and not the least instructive, of lite, in garlands, nor his fruits crushed into baskets, but rary exercises. In all works of merit, however, and spring living from the soil, in all the dew and freshespecially in all works of original genius, there are a ness of youth; while the graceful foliage in which thousand retiring and less obtrusive graces, which they lurk, and the ample branches, the rough and viescape hasty and superficial observers, and only give gorous stem, and the wide-spreading roots on which out their beauties to fond and patient contemplation; they depend, are present along with them, and share, a thousand slight and harmonising touches, the merit in their places, the equal care of their Creator. and the effect of which are equally imperceptible to vulgar eyes; and a thousand indications of the con Of the invention of the steam-engine he remarks tinual presence of that poetical spirit which can only with a rich felicity of illustration—" It has become a be recognised by those who are in some measure under thing stupendous alike for its force and its flexibiits influence, and have prepared themselves to receive lity-for the prodigious power which it can exert, it, by worshipping meekly at the shrines which it in- and the ease, and precision, and ductility with which habits.

it can be varied, distributed, and applied. The In the exposition of these there is room enough for trunk of an elephant, that can pick up a pin or originality, and more room than Mr Hazlitt has yet rend an oak, is as nothing to it. It can engrave a filled. In many points, however, he has acquitted seal, and crush masses of obdurate metal before ithimself excellently; particularly in the development draw out, without breaking, a thread as fine as gosof the principal characters with which Shakspeare has samer, and lift up a ship of war like a bauble in the peopled the fancies of all English readers—but princi- air. It can embroider muslin and forge anchors, pally, we think, in the delicate sensibility with which cut steel into ribbons, and impel loaded vessels he has traced, and the natural eloquence with which against the fury of the winds and waves.' he has pointed out, that familiarity with beautiful How just, also, and how finely expressed, is the forms and images—that eternal recurrence to what is I following refutation of a vulgar error that even

Byron condescended to sanction, namely, that genius rence on that judicial seat which has derived inis a source of peculiar unhappiness to its possessors: creased celebrity from his demeanour-a youth of -Men of truly great powers of mind have gene- enterprise-a manhood of brilliant success—and rally been cheerful, social, and indulgent; while a “honour, love, obedience, troops of friends," entendency to sentimental whining or fierce intole- circling his later years—mark him out for venerarance may be ranked among the surest symptoms of tion to every son of that country whose name he little souls and inferior intellects. In the whole list has exalted throughout Europe. We need not speak of our English poets we can only remember Shen- here of those graces of mind and of character that stone and Savage-two certainly of the lowest—who have thrown fascination over his society, and made were querulous and discontented. Cowley, indeed, his friendship a privilege.'* used to call himself melancholy; but he was not in The Critical and Historical Essays contributed to earnest, and at any rate was full of conceits and the Edinburgh Review, by T. B. MACAULAY, three affectations, and has nothing to make us proud of volumes, 1843, have enjoyed great popularity, and him. Shakspeare, the greatest of them all, was materially aided the Review, both as to immediate evidently of a free and joyous temperament; and so success and permanent value. The reading and was Chaucer, their common master. The same dis- erudition of the author are immense. In questions position appears to have predominated in Fletcher, of classical learning and criticism-in English poetry, Jonson, and their great contemporaries. The genius philosophy, and history-in all the minutiæ of bioof Milton partook something of the austerity of the graphy and literary anecdote-in the principles and party to which he belonged, and of the controversies details of government–in the revolutions of parties in which he was involved; but even when fallen on and opinions—in the progress of science and philoevil days and evil tongues, his spirit seems to have sophy-in all these he seems equally versant and retained its serenity as well as its dignity; and in equally felicitous as a critic. Perhaps he is most his private life, as well as in his poetry, the majesty striking and original in his historical articles, which of a high character is tempered with great sweet present complete pictures of the times of which he ness, genial indulgences, and practical wisdom. In treats, adorned with portraits of the principal actors, the succeeding age our poets were but too gay; and and copious illustrations of contemporary events though we forbear to speak of living authors, we and characters in other countries. His reviews of know enough of them to say with confidence, that Hallam's Constitutional History, and the memoirs of to be miserable or to be hated is not now, any more Lord Clive, Warren Hastings, Sir Robert Walpole, than heretofore, the common lot of those who excel.' Sir William Temple, Sir Walter Raleigh, &c. contain

Innumerable observations of this kind, remark- a series of brilliant and copious historical retrospects able for ease and grace, and for original reflection, unequalled in our literature. His eloquent papers may be found scattered through Lord Jeffrey's cri- on Lord Bacon, Sir Thomas Browne, Horace Wale tiques. His political remarks and views of public pole's Letters, Boswell's Johnson, Addison's Meevents are equally discriminating, but of course will moirs, and other philosophical and literary subjects, be judged of according to the opinions of the reader. are also of first-rate excellence. Whatever topic he None will be found at variance with national honour takes up he fairly exhausts-nothing is left to the or morality, which are paramount to all mere party imagination, and the most ample curiosity is gratiquestions. As a literary critic, we may advert to fied. . Mr Macaulay is a party politician-a strong the singular taste and judgment which Lord Jeffrey admirer of the old Whigs, and well-disposed towards exercised in making selections from the works he the Roundheads and Covenanters. At times he apreviewed, and interweaving them, as it were, with pears to identify himself too closely with those polithe text of his criticism. Whatever was picturesque, ticians of a former age, and to write as with a strong solemn, pathetic, or sublime, caught his eye, and was personal antipathy against their opponents. His thus introduced to a new and vastly-extended circle judgments are occasionally harsh and uncharitable, of readers, besides furnishing matter for various even when founded on undoubted facts. In arrangcollections of extracts and innumerable school exer- ing bis materials for effect, he is a consummate cises.

master. Some of his scenes and parallels are Francis Jeffrey is a native of Edinburgh, the son managed with the highest artistical art, and his of a respectable writer or attorney. After completing language, like his conceptions, is picturesque. In his education at Oxford, and passing through the style Mr Macaulay is stately and rhetorical-pernecessary legal studies, he was admitted a member of haps too florid and gorgeous, at least in his earlier the Scottish bar in the year 1794. His eloquence and essays—but it is sustained with wonderful power intrepidity as an advocate were not less conspicuous and energy. In this particular, as well as in other than his literary talents, and in 1829 he was, by the mental characteristics, the reviewer bears some reunanimous suffrages of his legal brethren, elected semblance to Gibbon. His knowledge is as universal, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. On the forma- his imagination as rich and creative, and his power tion of Earl Grey's ministry in 1830, Mr Jeffrey was of condensation as remarkable. Both have made nominated to the first office under the crown in sacrifices in taste, candour, and generosity, for purScotland (Lord Advocate), and sat for some time in poses of immediate effect; but the living author is parliament. In 1834 he was elevated to the dignity unquestionably far superior to his great prototype in of the bench, the duties of which he has discharged the soundness of his philosophy and the purity of with such undeviating attention, uprightness, and his aspirations and principles. ability, that no Scottish judge was ever perhaps more popular, more trusted, or more beloved. It has been his enviable lot, if not to attain all the

WILLIAM HOWITT, &c. prizes of ambition for which men strive, at least to WILLIAM Howitt, a popular miscellaneous writer, unite in himself those qualities which, in many, has written some delightful works illustrative of the would have secured them all. A place in the front calendar of nature.' His Book of the Seasons, 1832, rank of literature in the most literary age—the presents us with the picturesque and poetic features highest honour of his profession spontaneously con- l of the months, and all the objects and appearances ferred by the members of a bar strong in talent and which each presents in the garden, the field, and the learning-eloquence among the first of our orators, and wisdom among the wisest, and universal reve

* North British Review for 1844

waters. An enthusiastic lover of his subject, Mr ment in the management of our colonies. Mr Howitt is remarkable for the fulness and variety of Howitt afterwards published The Boys' Country his pictorial sketches, the richness and purity of his Book, and Visits to Remarkable Places, the latter fancy, and the occasional force and eloquence of his (to which a second series has been added) descripstyle. “If I could but arouse in other minds,' he tive of old halls, battle-fields, and the scenes of says, that ardent and ever-growing love of the striking passages in English history and poetry, beautiful works of God in the creation, which I feel Mr and Mrs Howitt now removed to Germany, and in myself—if I could but make it in others what it after three years' residence in that country, the has been to me

former published a work on the Social and Rural The nurse,

Life of Germany, which the natives admitted to be

the best account of that country ever written by a The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul Of all my moral being

foreigner. Our industrious author has also tran

slated a work written expressly for him, The Studentif I could open to any the mental eye which can Life of Germany. The attention of Mr and Mrs never be again closed, but which finds more and Howitt having been drawn to the Swedish language more clearly revealed before it beauty, wisdom, and and literature, they studied it with avidity; and Mrs peace in the splendours of the heavens, in the Howitt has translated a series of tales by Frederika majesty of seas and mountains, in the freshness of Bremer, which are characterised by great truth of winds, the ever-changing lights and shadows of fair feeling and description, and by a complete knowlandscapes, the solitude of heaths, the radiant face ledge of human nature. These Swedish tales have of bright lakes, and the solemn depths of woods, been exceedingly popular, and now circulate extenthen indeed should I rejoice. Oh that I could but sively both in England and America. touch a thousand bosoms with that melancholy which often visits mine, when I behold little children endeavouring to extract amusement from the very

JOHN CLAUDIUS LOUDON, &c. dust, and straws, and pebbles of squalid alleys, shut out from the free and glorious countenance of na

JOHN CLAUDIUS LOUDON (1783-1843) stands at ture, and think how differently the children of the the head of all the writers of his day upon subjects peasantry are passing the golden hours of child connected with horticulture, and of the whole class hood; wandering with bare heads and unshod feet, of industrious compilers. He was a native of Camperhaps, but singing a "childish wordless melody" buslang, in Lanarkshire, and pursuing in youth the through vernal lanes, or prying into a thousand | bent of his natural faculties, entered life as a landsylvan leafy nooks, by the liquid music of running scape-gardener, to which profession he subsequently waters, amidst the fragrant heath, or on the flowery added the duties of a farmer. Finally, he settled in lap of the meadow, occupied with winged wonders London as a writer on his favourite subjects. His without end. Oh that I could but baptize every works were numerous and useful, and they form in heart with the sympathetic feeling of what the city- their entire mass a wonderful monument of human pent child is condemned to lose ; how blank, and industry. His chief productions are an Encyclopædia poor, and joyless must be the images which fill of Gardening, 1822; The Greenhouse Companion; an its infant bosom to that of the country one, whose Encyclopædia of Agriculture, 1825; an Encyclopædia mind

of Plants, 1829 ; an Encyclopædia of Cottage, Villa,

and Farm Architecture, 1832; and Arboretum BritanWill be a mansion for all lovely forms, nicum, 8 volumes, 1838. The four encyclopædias are His memory be a dwelling-place

large volumes, each exhausting its particular subFor all sweet sounds and harmonies !

ject, and containing numerous pictorial illustrations I feel, however, an animating assurance that nature in wood. The ‘Arboretum' is even a more remarkwill exert a perpetually-increasing influence, not able production than any of these, consisting of four only as a most fertile source of pure and substantial volumes of close letter-press, and four of pictorial pleasures--- pleasures which, unlike many others, illustrations, and presenting such a mass of inforproduce, instead of satiety, desire—but also as a mation, as might apparently have been the work of great moral agent: and what effects I anticipate half a lifetime to any ordinary man. These vast from this growing taste may be readily inferred, tasks Mr Loudon was enabled to undertake and when I avow it as one of the most fearless articles carry to completion by virtue of the unusual energy of my creed, that it is scarcely possible for a man in of his nature, notwithstanding considerable drawwhom its power is once firmly established to become backs from disease, and the failure, latterly, of some utterly debased in sentiment or abandoned in prin- of his physical powers. In 1830 he married a lady ciple. His soul may be said to be brought into of amiable character and literary talent, who entered habitual union with the Author of Nature

with great spirit into his favourite pursuits. The

separate publications of Mrs Loudon on subjects Haunted for ever by the Eternal Mind. connected with botany, and for the general instruc

tion of the young, are deservedly high in public Mr Howitt belongs to the Society of Friends, estimation. It is painful to consider that the just though he has ceased to wear their peculiar costume. reward of a life of extraordinary application and He is a native of Derbyshire, and was for several public usefulness, was reft from År Loudon by the years in business at Nottingham. A work, the na- consequences of the comparative non-success of the ture of which is indicated by its name, the History Arboretum,' which placed him considerably in debt. of Priestcraft (1834), so recommended him to the This misfortune preyed upon his mind, and induced Dissenters and reformers of that town, that he was the fatal pulmonary disease of which he died. made one of their aldermen. Disliking the bustle Essays on Natural History, by CHARLES WATERof public life, Mr Howitt retired from Nottingham, ton, Esq. of Walton Hall, is an excellent contribuand resided for three years at Esher, in Surrey. tion made to natural history by a disinterested lover There he composed his Rural Life in England, a of the country; and Gleanings in Natural History, popular and delightful work. In 1838 appeared his by EDWARD JESSE, Esq. surveyor of her majesty's Colonisation and Christianity, which led to the forma parks and palaces, two volumes, 1838, is a collection tion of the British India Society, and to improve- of well-authenticated facts, related with the view of

portraying the character of animals, and endeavour- Bentham was a native of London, son of a wealthy ing to excite more kindly feelings towards them. solicitor, and was born on the 6th of February 1749. Some Scottish works of this kind are also deserving He was entered of Queen's college, Oxford, when of commendation—as Rhind's Studies in Natural only twelve years and a quarter old, and was even History; M‘DIARMID's Sketches from Nature; MIL- then known by the name of the philosopher. He LER's Scenes and Legends, or Traditions of Cromarty; took his Master's degree in 1766, and afterwards Duncan's Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons, &c. A studying the law in Lincoln's Inn, was called to the love of nature and observation of her various works bar in 1772. He had a strong dislike to the legal are displayed in these local sketches, which all help profession, and never pleaded in public. His first to augment the general stock of our knowledge as literary performance was an examination of a paswell as our enjoyment.

sage in Blackstone's Commentaries, and was enThe Thames and its Tributaries, two volumes, 1840, titled A Fragment on Government, 1776. The work by CHARLES MACKAY, is a pleasing description of was prompted, as he afterwards stated, by a passion the scenes on the banks of the Thames, which are for improvement in those shapes in which the lot hallowed by the recollections of history, romance, of mankind is meliorated by it. His zeal was inand poetry. The same author has published (1841) creased by a pamphlet which had been issued by Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions. Priestley. In the phrase "the greatest happiness

ROBERT MUDIE (1777-1842), an indefatigable of the greatest number," I then saw delineated,' says writer, self-educated, was a native of Forfarshire, Bentham, 'for the first time, a plain as well as a and for some time connected with the London press. true standard for whatever is right or wrong, useHe wrote and compiled altogether about ninety ful, useless, or mischievous in human conduct, volumes, including Babylon the Great, a Picture of whether in the field of morals or of politics.' The Men and Things in London ; Modern Athens, a sketch phrase is a good one, whether invented by Priestley of Edinburgh society; The British Naturalist; The or Bentham ; but it still leaves the means by which Feathered Tribes of Great Britain ; A Popular Guide happiness is to be extended as undecided as ever, to the Observation of Nature ; two series of four to be determined by the judgment and opinions of volumes each, entitled The Heavens, the Earth, the men. To insure it, Bentham considered it necesSea, and the Air; and Spring, Summer, Autumn, and sary to reconstruct the laws and government-to Winter; and next, Man:

Physical, Moral, Social, and have annual parliaments and universal suffrage, Intellectual ; The World Described, &c. He furnished secret voting, and a return to the ancient practice the letter-press to Gilbert's Modern Atlas, the of paying wages to parliamentary representatives.

Natural History' to the British Cyclopædia, and in all his political writings this doctrine of utility, numerous other contributions to periodical works. so understood, is the leading and pervading prinMudie was a nervous and able writer, deficient in ciple. In 1778 he published a pamphlet on The taste in works of light literature and satire, but an Hard Labour Bill, recommending an improvement acute and philosophical observer of nature, and in the mode of criminal punishment; Letters on peculiarly happy in his geographical dissertations Usury, 1787 ; Introduction to the Principles of Morals and works on natural history. His imagination and Politics, 1789; Discourses on Civil and Penal could lighten up the driest details ; but it was often Legislation, 1802; A Theory of Punishments and Retoo excursive and unbridled. His works were also wards, 1811; A Treatise on Judicial Evidence, 1813; hastily produced, to provide for the day that was Paper Relative to Codification and Public Instruction, passing over him;' but considering these disadvan- 1817; The Book of Fallacies, 1824, &c. By the tages, his intellectual energy and acquirements were death of his father in 1792, Bentham succeeded to wonderful.

property in London, and to farms in Essex, yielding A record of English customs is preserved in from £500 to £600 a-year. He lived frugally, but Brand's Popular Antiquities, published, with addi- with elegance, in one of his London houses-kept tions, by Sir HENRY ELLIS, in two volumes quarto, young men as secretaries—corresponded and wrote in 1808; and in 1842 in two cheap portable volumes. daily—and by a life of temperance and industry, The work relates to the customs at country wakes, with great self-complacency, and the society of a sheep-shearings, and other rural practices, and is few devoted friends, the eccentric philosopher atan admirable delineation of olden life and manners. tained to the age of eighty-four. His various proThe Every-day Book, Table Book, and Year Book, ductions have been collected and edited by Dr Jolin by William HONE, published in 1833, in four large Bowring and Mr John Hill Burton, advocate, and volumes, with above five hundred woodcut illus- published in 11 volumes. In his latter works Bentrations, form another calendar of popular English tham adopted a peculiar uncouth style or nomenamusements, sports, pastimes, ceremonies, manners, clature, which deters ordinary readers, and indeed customs, and events incident to every day in the has rendered his works almost a dead letter. For. year. Mr Southey has said of these works—I may tunately, however, part of them were arranged and take the opportunity of recommending the Every- translated into French by M. Dumont. Another day Book and Table Book to those who are in- disciple, Mr Mill, made known his principles at terested in the preservation of our national and local home; Sir Samuel Romilly criticised them in the customs : by these very curious publications their Edinburgh Review, and Sir James Mackintosh in compiler has rendered good service in an important the ethical dissertation which he wrote for the Endepartment of literature.'

cyclopædia Britannica. In the science of legislation Bentham evinced a profound capacity and extensive knowledge: the error imputed to his speculations is

that of not sufficiently weighing the various cirA singular but eminent writer on jurisprudence cumstances which require his rules to be modified and morals, Mr JEREMY BENTHAM, was an author in different countries and times, in order to render throughout the whole of this period, down to the them either more useful, more easily introduced, year 1834. He lived in intercourse with the leading more generally respected, or more certainly exemen of several generations and of various countries, cuted. As an ethical philosopher, he carried his and was unceasingly active in the propagation of his doctrine of utility to an extent which would be opinions. Those opinions were as much canvassed practically dangerous, if it were possible to make as the doctrines of the political economists. Mr I the bulk of mankind act upon a speculative theory.

JEREMY BENTHAM.

« 前へ次へ »