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THE

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE.

SEPTEMBER, 1825.

ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS.

PRESENT STATE OF LITERATURE.

MR. URBAN,

Aug. 1. Elizabeth,” ANTIQUITIES will never We , .

age of Literature, and yet from his pen would, like his “Litenothing is more different than the rary Anecdotes,” be invaluable. As I period in which we live (with respect observe, Mr. Urban, that you derive to literary matters) and that in which many of the most valuable and interOctavius Cæsar swayed the sceptre. esting articles in your Magazine from Then a few good writers, who took him, perhaps this suggestion might years and years in modelling and re not be useless, and we might at length modelling their compositions, reigned boast one account of the Metropolis absolutely over the public mind, and since Stowe's, executed by a inan worwere not only without a rival, but thy of the subject. I am convinced without any competitor whatsover. that the public would receive the work Now every ienth man is an author, a as it ought. The Reverend T. Fospopular writer is imitated by a thou- broke is also one of the best antiquasand others, and every month pro- ries of whom England could ever boast. duces a new work from every au Mr. S. W. Singer has given the pubthor whose productions meet with lic some most interesting works success. Those who cannot publish for instance, Spence's “Anecdotes," works themselves, contribute to the and Cavendish's “Life of Wolsey." inferior Magazines ; nay even trans- Mr. Britton's beautifully illustrated lators of Horace, under fifteen years works cannot be too highly appreciof age,” have “Scientific Receptacles" ated; and Mr. Rutter treads in his for their accomodation. To such an steps, passibus æquis. Lodge's "Porextent is this cacoethes scribendi car traits of Illustrious Personages," and ried, that at Hazlewood school the Blore's “Monumental Remains,” are boys write, edit, illustrate, print, and equally worthy of praise ; no library publish, wholly unassisted, a monthly can be deemed complete without them. Magazine ! O scribendi sacra fames! Mr. Ellis's "Original Letters” are juquid non mortalin pectora cogis ! diciously selected, and the idea is ad

In the Augustan era of Rome the mirable. May we hope that some other publication of a new work was an manuscripts of the British Museum may event, and few of the literati, if any, soon appear from the same hand. Anomitted reading it; now, to go through tiquaries are so numerous, that I am what even every day produces, would compelled to bid them adieu, without be an Herculean task. The critics enumerating more. then considered a work only brought Perhaps I should have mentioned forth six years before as completely Mr. Singer in the list of Biogranew; now, the “last new novel of the Phers, since his Wolsey is his latest author of Waverley, grows old in six work. Galt occupies one of the first weeks. To review the vast number of places in this department. His life of publications is impossible; perhaps, the Cardinal is excellent. But perhowever, a brief synopsis might be haps that by George Howard may be given, in which the existing state of reckoned equal to it, although that is the various departments of literature inferior to "" Lady Jane Grey,” by may be easily pointed out.

Howard himself. The latter is a most While Parliament-street boasts the interesting work, and may be read ten author of “The Progresses of Queen times with increased admiration and

de

196
Present State of Literature.

[Sept. delight. The Life of Davison, the Se- or five editions, both in America and cretary of Queen Elizabeth, does much' England, “The Indicator" and “The credit to Mr. Nicolas, whose great re- Honeycomb,” which do honour to their search and impartiality entitle him to authors, have been suffered to die in praise and support. Mr. Hamper has obscurity and neglect. The former can announced a Life of Dugdale the An- boast of some of the most amusing arriquary, which from all appearances ticles that Leigh Hunt has ever writwill be exceedingly interesting. teni; for instance, “Thieves Ancient

BIBLIOGRAPHY has but one distin- and Modern," parts of which have been guished champion, the Rev. Dr. Dib- frequently copied without the least acdin. This gentleman attaches too much knowledgment. “The Honeycomb” importance to the pursuit, and his was not even noticed by any distin“ Library Companion" has exposed guished publication, although it is a him to animadversion; but his "Ædes fuct that “The New Monthly” and Althorpianise" is deserving of praise, “Imperial Magazine" stole the princiand similar accounts of other distin- pal articles without once stating their guished libraries would be interesting. obligation. It was whispered that either

History boasts two celebrated von Coleridge or Barry Cornwall conducttaries—Lingard and Mitford. Both ed this work. However this may be, these are too prejudiced, the former it is certain that “Henicia," a poetiin favour of Churchmen, and the lata cal tale, and “ The Triumph of Pairter against Republicans. A good His lus Æmilius," breathe much of the tory both of England and Greece is style of the author of “ Deucalion and still a desideratum. Hume's is by no Pyrrha.” The latter is a noble triumph means so circumstantial as it ought to of genius, and would do honour to the be. Echard's is unphilosophical. Ba- pen of Byron. con's, More's, and Russel's, are old While on this subject, it may be fashioned and prejudiced, as well as worth observing, that the work Lingard's. Rollin's History of Greece entitled “The British Essayists,” is is very poor. Mitford labours under extremely poor and ill-selected. The the objection we before stated, and late productions of this class are not Goldsmith is too brief. As to Rome, inserted, and the Dissertations rather that is more fortunate, in Niebuhr; than Essays of Vicesimus Knox, 00 Cervier, and Gibbon. Altogether, Ra- cupy their places. Dr. Knox's articles pin's England, and Goldsmith's Greece, are very good, but so totally dissiniiare the best at present in existence. lar to the “Tailer," “Spectator," and · Under the head of Local HISTORY; “ Guardian," that they can scarcely Sir Richard Colt Hoare's interesting be included in such a collection. “The work, and Bayley's “Tower of Lon- Indicator" and the “ Honeycomb;” don," may be commended. Accounts though not forined exactly on the plari of Counties and Parishes are daily is of « The Adventurer,” '&c. hare å suing from the press, and merit effec- much higher claims. taal support. There are besides the In PORTRY, the nineteenth century, “Amiquities of Westminster Abbey," with the exception of the two or three by Brayley and Moule ; and various first years, has been particularly rich. other works.

The works of Walter Scott, of Camps Perhaps of all the departments of bell, of Southey, Rogers, and of Byton, Literature, that of Essays is the most will excite the admiration of posterity. neglected. Since “The Gossip," there. The last canto of Marmion is one of has not been even an attempt this way; the noblest flights of human genius ; for Gaieties and Gravities, and the many and "The Bride of Abydos, &c. light articles in the New Monthly Ma- abound in passages that equal any in gazine, are so dissimilar to the ancient the ancient poets. Rogers's Jacqueline bijour, under this title, that they can is throughout elegant and easy. Campscarcely be called by the same name. bell's Theodric has somewhat lowerThis is chiefly to be attributed to the ed his fame ; but as long as the Engdisgraceful want of patronage of this lish language remains," Hohenlin species of composition manifested by den," "The Address to the Raina the publick. While“Salmagundi," oné bow," "Lochiel's Warning,” &c. will of the most inferior collections of es- stand no chance of being neglected or says ever sent forth, has attained four forgotten. “ The Curse of Kehama,"

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Present State of Literaturé.

197 and “Madoc,” will ever immortalize : We are consciotis of not having enaSouthey, and his "Tale of Paraguay," merated a tithe of those who " strike will not lower his fame. Hogg is the the Igre;" but their number must plead most unequal poet now existing. He oor excose, whilst we hasten to the is often sublime, and often ridiculous; TRANSLATIONS. Lord Levison and thirty lines cannot be quoted from Gower's." Faustus," from the Ger his “ Queen Hynde" that do not con man of Goethe, and Ballads from the tain something beautiful, and somet same language, are deserting of much thing to put the risible muscles in mo. attention; though the latter are not tión. If his friend Sir Walter Scott 80 bold and animated as Lockharts would deign to correct his works, there Translations of a similar nature from is no doubt but he would become po- the Spanish, which are by far the best

of the kind our language can boast. The prevailing characteristic of the Bowring's “Anthologies” are deservpoetry of the two last years is, that it ing of commendation, but he only ex. is too feminine. Indeed most of the posed his weakness in endeavouring to writers of this class are at present compete with Lockhart in Spanish of the weaker sex, and the popularity Ballad-Literature. Rose's “Ariosto" is they gain induces others to imitate the the most literal poetical translation puerilities and luxuriances which are ever made; every word is exactly rentheir worst faults. In the productions dered without the least change io suit of Mrs. Hemans, of Miss Landon, and the rhyme or the caprice of the transof Mr. Alaric Watts, there is a conti: lator, and Wiffenr's “Tasso " is a nual straining after delicacy, which in elever work. Neither of theni is yet, I a little time palls upon the taste," believe, completed. Blackwood's Maand can scarcely be redeemed even by gazine abounds in excellent translaa the beauties with which they abound. tions from the German and Spanish. A beautiful woman is never mention- Amongst prose translations Wilhelm ed but as a "lovely thing," and the Meister, Roscoe's Italian Novelists, "blue skies" of Italy are the con and the Devil's Elixir, ate well exetinual objects of adoration. Love too cuted; but the latter was not worth is the only passion ever described ; translating. " banks of Alowers" are ever present ; We now enter on NOVĒLS, the de. and “thoughts too deep for tears" may partment of Literature which is at be found in every page. This might present the most cultivated and most easily be amended, and it is to be popular. To praise the “ Author of regretted that many of our best poets Waverley," would be but “to gild reshould be spoiled in this manner. The fined gold;" we will, therefore, pass talents of Mrs. Hemans and of Miss on to his countless herd of imitators. Landon are very considerable, and Mr. Galt's “Spaewife” and “Rothelan"? Watts's productions have been some are infinitely inferior to his novels of times mistaken for those of Byron. the present period, and by far too

Of the hundreds of inferior poets, rambling, discursive, and unconnectwho are continually offering their son- ed. His knowledge of the pathetic is nets and addresses to the Moon, (or to also very small indeed-in these two the public instead of that luminary,) last works there is not a single scene Wade, Barton, Wiffen, and Bailey, are of any excellence iti that point. One the most conspicuous. Wade is a new of the seven sons of Mr. Roscoe is reaspirant, but gives strong prognostica: puted to be the author of "The Ca. tions of genius. Barton and Bailey valier,” “ Malpas," and "The King are above the mediocres, and Wifferi of the Peak,”-three excellent romances tolerable. But there are others claim- of the historical kind; but he has not ing stronger attention than these published a dew work lately: wę Montgomery and Clare. The for- hope it is not for want of encouragemer is rather among the list of byó ment. "St. John's Town” is also a tale gone poets, but his late productions abounding, in interest and powerful in the “ Literary Souvenir” have sketches of character. The American directed general attention to him, Novels of Cooper, namely “The Spy," and he is universally acknowledged to “The Pioneers," "The Pilot," and soar above mauy of his companions. “Lionel Lincoln," are all in imita. Clare is a wonderful self-taughi genius, tion of the Wizard of the North," and superior to Bloomfield.

and far superior to other transatlantic

works

193
Present State of Literature.

[Sept. works of the same kind, especially MEMORIALS.

So must I entitle The Spy," in which the characters those works which are devoted to an of Captain Lawton and Doctor Sito account of the conversation and maggreaves are depicted with both truth ners of a deceased great man; such as and humour. " A Peep at the Pilgrims Boswell's Johnson, and Medwin's By. in 1642," although inferior to these, ron. The poet of the “Corsair" has is creditable to the author.

had probably more books already pubThe attention of Novelists seems lished about him when dead than lately to have been directed towards when alive. It would be a commend. Ireland, The Eve of All-Hall- able speculation to collect all the valuows,” “The Adventurers,” and “Tho- able information they contain into a mas Fiz - Gerald, Lord of Offaley," volume. It is to be lamented that no all relate to the ancient state of complete edition of the Works of the that unhappy country. The former illustrious poet has yet appeared, or has by Matthew Weld Hartslonge, Esq. any prospect of appearing ; his poems is dull and ridiculous; and one of having been published originally by his characters, Sir Patricius Placebo, four different booksellers, Cawthorn, seems to have been borrowed from a Murray, and Hunt, with some other little novellette, entitled “ Shan who first sent forth “Hours of IdleO-Neale,” which possesses consider- ness*." They might easily meet and able merit. “ The Adventurers" I arrange the business. have not yet read. “Thomas Fitz Amongst many other memorials, Gerald” is very poor, and the author there is a catchpenny in three voso utterly destítute of invention, that lumes, against which the publick he has implicitly followed history in ought to be cautioned, entitled “ Mealmost every case but the making of moirs of Lord Byron," professing to Lambert Simnel captain of a band contain Recollections from his Life, of pirates.

written by himself, which Mr. Moore Tales of the O'Hara Family," and so inconsiderately destroyed, defraud** To-day in Ireland,” with “O'Hal- ing the publick and the memory of loran," relate, on the other hand, either his illustrious friend, to “ please the to the present time, or to a very recent ladies.” The exculpation of Byron date. The two former are almost. from the charges brought against him equally good, and merit in a great de- is now irretrievably Jost, unless by gree the public approbation. The some fortunate chance a copy remains latter is by no means equal to them. in some one's possession, or Lady Besides those I have enumerated, Burghersh retains sufficient recollecscores of others have lately seen the tion of the manuscript. The above light, which your limits would not work is a mere compilation from permit me to name.

Medwin, &c. and is not sufficiently TRAVELS are in abundance; but authoritative to authorize the scanty though some are interesting, the ele- original particulars introduced. gance of Dr. Clarke is wanting in all. LECTURES. Literature consists not He would render even the dullest in books only. Any thing in the way scenes amusing ; but the present race of of original public recitation or reads yoyageurs are nly tolerable when they ing has a claim to the denomination ; cannot avoid it; nevertheless, Lyall's as for instance, the Improvisations of works on Russia are deserving of pur Pisani, or (to come nearer) the Lecchase. Cochrane, who travelled on tures of Birkbeck, Partington, and foot throughout that vast empire, Macculloch. The two former are would, according to general opinion, highly accomplished gentlemen, who give the publick an interesting book ; devote a great part of their time and but, alas ! his account is as dull as the trouble to the promotion of the good “London Directory," and is a mere of the operative part of society. To narration of the places he visited, save the latter it is impossible for those in a few scattered parts which are who have heard him to assign a siworthy of extract. Holman's “Tra- milar high character. vels" are rather extraordinary, the au The Stage is at present (we hope) thor being a blind man; it was pro- at the most disgraceful part of its bably this circumstance that pushed them on to a second edition ; for they This juvenile volume was printed at are mediocre enough.

Newark in 1807, by S. and J. Ridge.

carcer;

1825.] On the Repairs of Frindsbury Church, Kent.

199 career ; for if it be destined to be narrow single light openings in the worse, it will become unworthy of taste of the 16th century, and is termithe notice of aught save the classi- nated with an octangular slated spire cal applauders of melo-drames. Not of no great height. The South aile a single author of any repute, with bad two windows curtailed of their the exception of Miss Mitford and arches by the lowering of the roof, an Mrs. Hemans, has of late years alteration too common in country turned his talents into this course. churches. The East end of the aile Grovelling and neglected, the drama possessed a mullioned window of three is supported by splendid scenery lights, its weather cornice resting on and gaudy processions. Alas! how decayed corbels carved into busts. The fallen from the days in wbich all tracery of the East window was dethe existing genius flowed in this stroyed. The North side resembled channel. The tragedies are deficient the South, except in having an attachin force, energy, incident, or passion; ed modern room communicating lo the comedies are five act or three act the Church through a Pointed arch. farces (for it is long since a five act The nave and aile are separated by comedy made its appearance); and three plain Pointed arches resting on the farces abound in “ brilliant re octangular columns. The chancel is partees of chairs and tables,” thread- divided from the nave by a plain circubare puns, and thread-bare situations. lar arch. The impost cornice is a fine Well may we say of the stage, with specimen of Norman moulding in rereference to its present and its for- lief; it consists of a strong course of mer state-Quantum mutatus ab illo. double billet moulding, below a series

I have now, Mr. Urban, run through of interlaced arched fillets. On the the most popular branches of modern East side of the South pier, attached Literature. A few still remain, which, to this arch, is a niche with a circular with your permission, I shall hereafter head covering, - presume a holy wa. notice, when perhaps some additional ter basin. These particulars are the remarks will be made on those already only remains of the original edifice, mentioned. Yours, &c.

N. built by Paulinus Sacrist of Rochester, E. S.” (page 6), is mistaken in within thirty years after the death of a few particulars. “The Hive," a the memorabler Gundulphe Chuhen pale work of exactly the same plan, pre- pit and altar screen of ceded “ The Mirror' by at least a do modern. The font is large and octazen numbers. “E. S.'s” supposition gonal, of a reddish stone, bearing a that “ The Indicator” was the ori- letter on each face, and almost a coungia of all, is not well-founded, as Mr. terpart of that at St. Nicholas's Church Hunt's work was on an entirely dif- in the City. But the most curious ferent plan. His statement also that it part of the Church was the ceiling of was sold for more than two-pence is the nave. Some benefactor had gone wrong-two-pence was the price, but to great expence to construct a ceiling, each number contained only eight pages.

which, however at variance with the

style of the Church, was in itself an Mr. URBAN,

Sept. 13. elegant and handsome object. In the SC UCH of your Antiquarian friends centre were three cupolas in a line

with each other, their inner surfaces nument of early English architectural painted with representations of sculpskill, the Keep of Rochester Castle, iure in relief, angels, statues, &c. in will no doubt recollect Frindsbury pannels, the interinediate spaces coChurch *. It is in good faith a visible loured in imitation of a sky. The fat church, and from it a fine view of the part of the roof was painted in com. adjacent city may be taken. The partments representing, between archibuilding, contrary to antient custom, tectural decorations, an azure-coloured does not stand due East and West, the sky, sprinkled with gilt stars. The altar being much nearer to the South. whole had been painted with great It consists of a nave, and one aile on taste, and must at its construction the South side. At the West end is have been an expensive ornament. a massive tower in three stories, with When I saw the Church in May

1822, it was in the state I describe. See a view of it in vol. LXXII. p. 901. The ceiling appeared in excellent

pre-Edit.

servation, and the building in good re

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