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COMIC GENIUS OF ENGLAND.
perature, becomes capable of dissolv- atmosphere, absolute dryness being ing a greater quantity of water, the denoted by 0, and absolute moisture hygrometer must rise indefinitely with by 100. This last is in fact the apthe thermometer, even though the ab- plication of a limited instead of an solute quantity of moisture in the air unlimited scale to the hygrometer, should undergo no change. The hy- and must always convey a very clear grometer then gives us no direct in- . and accurate idea of the hygrometric formation of the state of the atmo state of the atmosphere. sphere, and a record of its indications, In our future reports, we shall give unaccompanied with the contempora- the averages of, at least, the 1st and neous observations of the thermome- 3d of the above, and should any other ter, and also of the barometer, is in addition or alteration occur to us as reality useless. This defect of the in- expedient, we shall give such an exstrument was partially noticed, we be- planation of it, at the time, as may lieve, in some of the philosophical ma- render it intelligible to our readers. gazines, at a very early period ; but the 4th January 1819. very ingenious friend, of whose investigations we propose to avail ourselves in our future reports, was the first
MR HAZLITT'S LECTURES ON who discovered and applied the necessary corrections.
The profound nature of these investigations has, we LECTURE III.-Cowley, Butler, Suckbelieve, prevented them from being so
ling, &c. &c. generally known and so extensively applied as they deserve to be, from the We now come to the third Lecture, light that they have thrown on this which is upon Cowley, Butler, Suckdepartment of science.
ling, Etherege, &c. It is not less It may be necessary to remark, for clever than its predecessors, but the the sake of some of our readers, that subjects are not so vast, commanding, the law which regulates the solution and attractive. There is a good deal of moisture in the atmosphere is such, of very just criticism on the metaphythat, though the air, at a given tem- sical poets of the time of Charles the perature, be completely saturated, it First, -who marred fair thoughts with is capable, at a higher temperature, of the most extravagant conceits, and ardissolving more moisture, and that, rayed pathos and feeling in the most however far it may be above satura- ridiculous masquerade dresses. They tion, at any temperature, it may be served poor poetry as fashion served cooled dowli, so as to be incapable of the women ; dressed it up in silks, holding what it formerly contained, and furbelows, and hoops, and oba and, consequently, begin to let fall å scured the simple beauty of the figure certain portion of it. By a laborious by the most cumbrous and perplexing course of experiments, and much in- loads of dress and ornament. Unfortricate calculation, the author alluded tunately the muses in that age went to has discovered a formula, from to Court,—and it was thought neceswhich it is easy to deduce, in any gi- sary to trick them out for the occaven state of the hygrometer, thermo- sion. They were then ladies about meter, and barometer, the three fol- town,--arrant coquettes ---masqued lowing facts, the most interesting that beauties. Any thing that was simply can well be conceived, to the science natural was insufficient; every quiet of hygrometry.
grace and beauty was banished socie1st, The point of deposition, or ty ; poetry played fantastic tricks in that temperature at which the atmo the Mall and in the Park; all was sphere would begin to deposit a part of dazzling, confused, and extravagant ; its moisture, in the forin of rain or and poetry paid compliments to philodew. This point is found, on an ave- sophy and fashion; and philosophy rage, to coincide nearly with the and fashion paid them back tenfold; lowest point to which the thermome- and feeling studied the mathematics; ter sinks during the night.
and pathos learned dancing; and 2d, The absolute quantity of mois- imagination and fancy were reduced ture, in a cubic inch of air, in deci to the state of elegant trifles. Cowmals of a grain.
ley was, however, a most delightful : 3d, The relative humidity of the writer ; but he lost himself everlast
ingly in his own conceits and specu- Shadwell are next noticed, Of the lations. Donne, who preceded him, latter we know little, and are contenta wrote some beautiful little pieces, and ed to dwell in ignorance. The forwould have been a lasting favourite mer is worthy to live, on every acif he had given his powers fair play. count. Of Suckling, Mr Hazlitt thus He became, however, a passionate lo- speaks : gician. The finest and most impas Suckling is also ranked, without sioned openings in his poetry die of sufficient warrant, among the metaexcessive reasoning, or are stified with physical poets. Sir John was 'of heavy and lumbering conceits. Mr the court, courtly,' and his style alHazlitt quotes the following lines, most entirely free froin the charge of and then gives their continuation. pedantry and affectation. There are We shall be kinder to Donne, and a few blemishes of this kind in his only gather the blossom.
works, but they are but few. His * Little think'st thou poor flower,
compositions are almost all of them Whom I have watch'd six or seven days,
short and lively effusions of wit and And seen thy birth, and seen what every gallantry, written in a familiar but hour,
spiritedl style, without much design Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to or effort. "His shrewd and taunting raise,
address beginning · Why so pale and And now dost laugh and triumph on this wan, fonil lover?' will sufficiently bough,
vouch for the truth of this account of Little think'st thou
his ex temporaneous pieces." That it will freeze anon, and that I shall
Suckling deserves all this. He is To-morrow find thee fall'n,
;-or not at all !”
one of the best writers of love and wit There is a quiet pathos in these poems in the language. His Muse simple lines, which nothing can sur was the lady of a knight, and “our pass, and which it was a crime in the hostess kept her state ;" but she bears author to sully with a cold and calcu- marks of having been his mistress, lating after-thought. Again, there and occasionally lets slip an expression, are three or four exquisite lines on the or betrays an action, that bespeaks her poet's wearing his late wife's hair a- origin. "She is a laughing joyous lady bout his arm, in a little poem called of the ton, and all her etlusions are the Funeral.
strictly in the mode, but infinitely * Whoever comes to shroud me, do not harm gay and spirited. Millamant, the Nor question much
charming Millamani, hits off' the chaThat subtle wreath of hair about mine arm, racter of Suckling in a few words. The mystery, the sign you must not After quoting two lives from one of touch."
his gayest little effusions, she sighs Donne should have closed the poem out, Natural, easy Suckling !" thus here, and not have marrel the inys- reducing criticism to a very essence. tery himself, by the meddling and ab- His ballad on a wedding Mir Hazlitt struse reasons which he has thereafter describes “ as his master-piece. It is given. Lovers should not trust their indeed unrivalled in its class of comfancies to the world, or endeavour to positiori, for the voluptuous purity of account to themselves for every little its sentiments, and the luxuriant freshromantic indulgence of their attach ness of the images.” It is, indeed, ment. Mr Hazlitt beautitully ob- wit and poetry in their nightgown and serves, “ The scholastic reason Donne slippers. The only fault in Suckling brings, quick dissolves the charm of is, that he did not write morehe tender and touching grace in the sen wrote so well. His songs, when mentinent itself.” He who wears a locket tioned, awaken a smile and a sigh at of his lacly's hair next his heart, needs Mr Hazlitt next goes pretty no confidante to heighten the charm; fully into the merits and failings of it is a spell over his thoughts and Cowley. He quotes one or two of his dreains, of which any exposure would translations of Anacreon, and, for simhurt the mystery. Crashaw was an plicity, feeling and nerve, they are indifferent writer ; but he has told most inimitable. We never heard the story of the Nightingale and the poetry spoken with such effect as when Musician with great precision and Mr Hazlitt gave these odes to his auskill. The story, as he tells it, is ditors at the Surrey Institution. Every quite an essay on music. Marvel and line told. The prose works of Cow
ley are highly spoken of, and, indeed, of the heroine of the piece, which is we are always sorry, when we read perfect in its way, and is equal, or them, that he did not abandon verse, nearly so, to Fielding's description of and take kindly to a species of compo- Fanny, in Joseph Andrews. Mr sition in which he so eminently suc Hazlitt speaks highly of it. It runs ceeded.
thus : Butler's Hudibras is thus described :
“ Medicy. First she's an heiress, vastly “ The greatest single production of rich. wit of this period, I might say of this
Dorimant. And handsome ? country, is Butler's Hudibras. It ex
Medley. What alteration a twelvemonth hibits specimens of every variety of may have bred in her I know not, but a drollery and satire, and those speci- year ago she was the beautifullest creature mens (almost every one) master. I ever saw; a fine, easy, clean shape, light strokes, and those master-strokes brown hair in abundance ; her features recrowded together into almost every gular, her complexion clear and lively, page. The proof of this is, that near- large wanton eyes; but, above all, a mouth ly one-half of his lines are got by that has made me kiss it a thousand times
in imagination ; teeth white ant) even, and heart, and quoted for mottos. In give ing instances of different sorts of wit, pretty pouting lips, with a little moisture
ever hanging on them, that look like the or trying to recollect good things of provence rose fresh on the bush, ere the this kind, they are the first which morning sun has quite drawn up the dew." stand ready in the memory, and they are those which furnish the best tests off in the style of a court pastoral.
This is beautiful, and quite done and most striking illustrations of what But the character of Sir Fopling Flutwe want. Dr Campbell, in his Philosophy of Rhetoric, when treating of the ter is the aemè of all coxcombry. He subject of art, which he has done very breath is a mere French essence,-his
seems made up of feathers, and his neatly and sensibly, has constant re
wit is a vapour,--his affection is a course to two authors, Pope and Butler, the one for ornament, the other shion is his god, and he worships it
mode,-his senses are of the air. Fas more for use.
Butler is equally in with a most mincing idolatry. We the hands of the learned and the vulgar, for the sense is generally as solid would answer the pains of revival.
think with Mr Hazlitt, that this play as the images are amusing and gro- The comedies of Dryden, and the Retesque.” We have spoken already of Hudi- ticed: we think little of either. The
hearsal of Buckingham are finally nobras, so we shall not stay to eulogize first are as wretched as indecency it here; neither shall we indulge in could make them. The last is tediextracts from the poem, though Mr
ous, but not brief. Hazlitt has sadly tempted us to revel in the pleasure, by his happy intermixture of quotation and comment.
GLASGOW IN 1699 AND He notices the power of the rhymes,
1815. and instances that whimsical couplet, [In our Number for April 1818 (Vol. II. “And straight another with his flambeau, p. 307) we inserted the instructions of the Gave Ralpho o'er the eye a damn'd blow.” Convention of Burghs, held on the 9th Ju
ly 1691, to visitors appointed to obtain inMr Hazlitt thinks Butler’s Remains formation of the state of the Scottish as good, or nearly so, as his Hudibras. Burghs at that period; and also, the reWe cannot agree with him. They port made by these visitors of the revenues are more loose, feeble, and sketchy. and other matters regarding the city of One of the chief virtues in Hudibras, Edinburgh. From the same manuscript is its conciseness and instantaneous collection, out of which that paper was effect. It is a string of decided con
extracted, we now transcribe the report clusions. Facts are strung together of the state of Glasgow in 1092, and, like onions. Mr Hazlitt concludes by way of contrast, the corresponding his Lecture with some short remarks Annals of Glasgow, published in 1810.
branches in 1815, as given in Cleland's on the dramatic writers of this time. The comparative view cannot be made to He notices “ the Man of Mode” of apply to details, but it is sufficiently close Sir George Etherege, which, for airy to show the extraordinary progress of this grace and pleasantry, has certainly no great commercial city in little more than a equal. We remember a description century.]
State of Glasgow in 1692.
L. 5333 6 8 2333 6 8 566 13 4 500 0 0 733 6 8 200 0 0
0 0 800 0 0 3333 6 8 666 13 4 400 00 133 6 8 66 13 4
72 0 0 1000 0 0 200 0 0 180 0
50 0 333 6 8
L. 5400 0 0
950 0 0
66 13 4
60 0 0 150 0 0 100 0 0
The Magistrates of Glasgow, in their by the great decay of trade, occasionanswers to the visitor's instructions ed by the war, about 500, and many upon oath, declared, that their city's of these of their best houses, were Common Good, communibus annis, &- empty, and those inhabited were mounted to the sum of L.16,902 Scots, fallen near a third in their income, and their debts to L. 178,800 of same that their rents then were from L.100 money. And farther, declared, that to L 4 Scots money yearly.
The ships, great and small, belong- rental within the royalty amounted to ing to Glasgow at this time were 15 L. 240,000, and the average rent of in number, their tonnage amounted the shops in the streets to which the to 1182 tons, and their value to the survey of 1712 applies, might, at a mosum of 50,206 Scots money. At this derate calculation, be taken at L. 40. time the Glasgowers consumed about In regard to shipping, the compari20 tuns of French wine, 20 butts of son is still more striking. Instead of sack, and about 12 butts of brandy, “ 15 vessels, great and small, carrying and about 1000 bolls of malt monthly. 1182 tons,” in 1692,—there entered This city has four yearly fairs, one inwards at Port-Glasgow, in the year whereof continues six days, the others ending January 1815, 116 vessels, carone day each; and in their neighbour- rying 22,991 tons; and the number hood are the following burghs of re- gutwards was 233, with 33,853 tons. gality and barony, viz. : Hamilton, In the same year, the entries inwards Paisley, Greenock, and Crawforddyke, at the Port of Greenock were 332, which are places of considerable busi- with 56,228 tons, and the clearances ness, and greatly obstructs the trade outwards 359, and 60,497 ton“;-the of Glasgow.
vessels entered inwards for both places Revenue and Expenditure of Glasgow being 148, with a tonnage of 79,219, in 1815.-—“The revenue of the burgh and those that cleared outwards 592, arises from various sources, but chiefly carrying 94,350 tons,—and exporting from what is called the common good. British goods to the value of more The following may be considered as than four millions sterling. What the most productive, viz.: An impost wine, sack, brandy, and malt “ the of two pennies Scots on the Scots pint Glasgowers” consumed in 1815 does of ale or beer brewed, inbrought, or sold within the city ; ladles and mul- . If the accuracy of Cleland's stateters, which are certain dues paid on ments may be depended on, the ingrain, meal, fruit, &c. brought into crease in the population of Glasgow the burgh ; dues on cattle killed with- has been singularly rapil, having nearin the burgh; dues from the public ly doubled in 21 years ; in 1780, the washing-house and tron; rents of number having been 42,832, and in markets, church-seats, houses, mills, 1801, 83,769. In 1811 it was found and mill-lands; burgess entries; feus to be 110, 460, which is supposed to of land, and ground annuals ;-a- have increased to 120,000 in 1816. mounting in whole, for the year end From the preceding view of the reing 31st December 1815, to L.16,135, venue of Glasgow in 1692 and 1815, 195. 1ļd. The following may be con- it appears that the pounds Scots * in the sidered as the particulars of the expen- former period had been converted in diture, viz.: Burgh assessment; cri- to pounds Sterling in the latter, the minal prosecutions; alimenting cri- numerical amount of pounds being minal prisoners; general expence of nearly the same at both periods. We the prison and bridewell ; expence of have remarked a still greater rise in the church and civil establishment; mi- landed rentalof Scotland, when comparnisters' stipends and officers' salaries; ed with its valued rent in Scots money police establishment; repairs of heri- about the middle of the seventeenth table property; and general improve- century; the amount of the valuation ments. The amount of all which, for at the latter period being L. 3,801,221 the year ending 31st December 1815, Scots, and the real rent in Sterwas L. 16,075, 7s. 8d., thus leaving a ling money in 1811 L. 4,792,8 12. balance in favour of the revenue of May we venture to infer from these L. 60, 11s. 5ļd.”
facts, that a pound Sterling is now The next point of comparison is the of no greater value in the general rents of the houses. The amount in market of commodities than a pound 1692 is not stated in the foregoing ex Scots was 150 years ago?
S. tract ; but, in 1712, it was found to be L. 7840, Os. lld. The highest
Our readers to the south of the Tweed rent of a shop at this last period was
must know by this time that the pound L. 5, and the lowest 128., the average the well-known lines,
Scots is only 20d. Sterling, according to a little more than L. 3. In 1815, the
“ D-na Scot;
How can the rogues pretend to sense, * Annals of Glasgow, Vol. I. p. 48. Their pound is only twenty pence?"