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that class of publishers who have been posal of it for the term that the contract in the habit of reproducing English should last. But does not every honworks, without the consent, and mainly orable publisher acknowledge bimself without the compensation of the author ? to be of this kind ? does he not confess This class has been stigmatized, unjustly, his willingness to deal equitably with as we think, as literary pirates-un- his author, provided he can secure the justly, because it is no trespass, or no exclusive publication of that author's great trespass, to pass over a common works, and be protected in their sale ? left open by the laxity of the authori- The worst effect which such a scheme, ties. "In nice bonor, they were, doubt- if put in practice, would produce upon less, bound to make some return to the the reading public, which is, after all, authors whose goods they used (many the great interest to be consulted, of our publishers have done so in would be, that it might possibly raise a liberal manner); but the obligation the price of books of foreign origin; was only honorable, and not legally but it would raise it only to the extent of binding. By long custom and the the slight percentage paid to the author, strange perversity of our law-makers, which is usually, in this country, ten or the English literary field was abandoned twelve per cent, on the retail price. A to the first comers, and the individuals book by Mr. Dickens or Thackeray, who have sought to work it do not de- for which we now pay one dollar a copy, serve the harsh epithet often applied to we should, perhaps, in the event of a them. The vested interests, moreover, change. have to pay a dollar and ten which they have built up, under this lax cents for, which is too inconsiderable and unsettled condition of things, are an amount to be computed against the to be regarded in any introduction of a solid satisfaction which every just-mindbetter system. But this class, wo con- ed man would experience in the conooive, have no special or peculiar rights sciousness that he was making some ado in the premises. They have profited, quate return to the writer for the wealth in the past, by the iil-state of the law; of information and delight he furnished. but they have no claims, therefore, to a We say that, perhaps, we should be continuance of a similar profit. in the compelled to pay this additional mite, future. If it be positively just, that the but it is not clear to us that we rights of foreign authors should, in some should-it is not clear to us that, in conway, be acknowledged, their fancied or sideration of the assured control of the prospective interest, in the existing sys- market, and the prospect of larger and tem, ought not to prevent the full per. more certain gains, the publisher could formance of our duty to do justly to all afford the work, maugro the percentage men. On the supposition we have made yielded the author, at as low a rate as above, however, the interests of even he pes now. Be that as it may, how this class, as a whole, would not greatly ever, it is demonstrable that some comsuffer, if at all. They would be com- pensation ought to be made to the pelled to pay the foreign author, it is author-We are bound in honor and true; but their compensation would be justice to render it—and so miserable a found in the exclusive possession they sacrifice as a few cents on the part of would derive from it. As matters now each buyer (which is nothing to him, are, every reproduction of an English though in the aggregate of great importwork is made at the hazard of rival edi- ance to the recipient), should not be tions. Many a round sum has been allowed to stand in the way of so sunk by houses that could ill afford it, obvious and imperative a duty. No in consequence of some other house genuine American, we are suro. who pripting upon them, and flooding the prizes the inlegrity of his country and market. But, under the new arrango- her citizens, as an object beyond all ment, they would be secure from this money estimation, could besitate for a kind of invasion. Only those among moment in such an alternative. Nay, them, who are unwilling to make returns we doubt if there is one, who would to the foreign author, would be inter- not be glad of the opportunity to testify fered with in any degree. Every pub- his sense of the immense benefits which lisher, who should be willing to negoti- the foreign writers have conferred upon ate with the foreign author on fair terms, us, by their immortal labors. When would get the printing and publishing they come among us in person, we of his work, besides the exclusive dis- evince the utmost eagerness to shower upon them every attention, which can than is here represented. The simple mark our adiniration and gratitude, or point is, what is just in the matter, and, render their sojourn agreeable. We at the same time, best for all interests entertain them heartily and generously, legitimately involved in the decision ? and the same feeling, wbich prompts Now, we believe, contrary to the entire these personal compliments, would find tenor of the above extract, that literary an equal solace, could it be gratified, wares, like other wares, will in general in the more systematic shape of a legal be carried first to the best market; we recompense.
believe that authors,'having an assured It will be noted, that we have thus far sale for their books, will dispose of them argued the terms of copyright, in the to those publishers who will likely supposition that the foreign author bring them the largest returns; and, actually issues his work, that is, prints consequently, that the American marand binds it in this country. We have ket, and those who stand in immediate done so, because we understand that relation to it, will command the author. many of the leading publishers do not ship of both nations. The American mbject to action, in this shape, and we market, if it is not now, will be, in a deem it too important to get the prin- few years, under the unprecedentedly ciple once established, to hazard the rapid diffusion of the taste for books, SICOAGS of it altogether on any dispute which distinguishes our growth, the about details. Dar own convictions, leading market for all works in the nevertheless, remain as strong as ever English language ; and American pubthey were, that no serious damage in lishers, who must from the necessities the end would result to anybody, from of their position, hold a more controlling the completest reciprocity of copy- attitude towards it than any others, right between our own and other nations. will become the leading publishers. A lata writer, whom we have before They would, at least, in a fair oompequoted, urges, that, “ of the two tition with the British publishers, stand countries (he is referring to Great Brit- as good a chance for the first right to ain and the United States), it will be important works, and they would enjoy mainly to the advantage of the British the same advantages in the British publishers. The British are a nation," market which the British enjoy in this. he adds of sellers, not buyers. They Under this competition, wo should ex. preach free-trade to all the world, but pect to see, .in no long time, a transfer when a market is open, they rush in of the centre of literary productivity and engross it. It is free-trade, but from the metropolis of Great Britian to only to them. If we enter into the pro- the cities of the United States. Yot posed partnership, they will buy few of we do not press this view, nor shall we our copyrights—those only of our best enlarge upon it now, because, as we authors, and fow books beyond samples. have said, we are willing to see the We may, perhaps, be permitted to par principle of copyright established in the chase some copyrights of them, and modified form before described, and publish the works here ; but the general which, we are told, would probably wurse of things will be this: tho Lon. obviate the objection, of hitherto formiddon publishers, having the control of able opponents. We are so anxious British copyrights, will send their agents that our national reputation, on the score to New York. Boston, and Philadelphia, of honesty, should be redeemed, that we or they will here form branch establish- are willing to accept an imperfect ments. Thrvugh these we shall be measure rather than no measure at supplied with British books, on British all, provided the principle for which typer, on British paper, and in British we contend is thereby asserted. The binding."
writers of the country have long boon This ring on the word British would nearly unanimous in their sentiments as be more appropriate in a political ha- to the propriety of granting some return rangue than in a dignified argument; to their fellow-laborers abroad, and, if but, in either place, it has no more force they can procure the cooperation of than any other appeal to mere popular the publishers to so desirable an end, prejudices. A book may be an excel- even though it should not be to the lent book, worthy of every man's pur. extent they might wish, they will un. chase, though fifty times more British doubtly welcome the omon.
EDITORIAL NOTES. AMERICAN LITERATURE AND REPRINTS. -Whes Beaumarchais was pressing his But his chief distinction arose out of the claims upon our Congress, Jobo Randolph fact, that while he was one of the most arose, and asked in the solemnest way, extensive traders, and active iotriguers of “Do gentlemen know who is this Beaumar- bis day, be was also tbe autbor of its most chais ?” And then replied, with an air successful plays—the Barber of Seville of great mystery and awe, “Why, be is and the Marriage of Figaro. The latter Figaro-he is Figaro !” wbich is said to was a long wbile held in suspense, by the have defeated the application for the time. refusal of the king to allow it to be acted, We have learned to know a great deal which set the universal public on the qui more tban was then known of Figaro, but vide to see it; and when it was produced never in a more acceptable or pleasant the éclat was tremendous. Three persons shape than in the translation of LAVENIC'S were killed in the pressure of the crowd Beaumarchais and his Times, recentiy exe- which rushed to the theatre, wbile tbe apcated in this country. The French author, plauses of tbe critics were without meabaving bad access to the origioal papers sure. It ran for night after nigbat, and paid and correspondence of his hero, bas made into the treasury of the theatre, as well as a better biograpby of bim than any that into the pockets of the author, almost fabas preceded it and they are not a few. bulous sums. The secret of its success, He gives us the mercurial wit, intriguer, however, apart from the genuine vivacity and mercbant, in bis actual life, with such of the dialogue, was the audacious onglances at the society of the times in slaught which it made upon the existing which be lived as are not to be bad in the forms of society. " What is the use of the current bistories. Beaumarchais was one Bastille," asked Louis, “if such thiogs of the most extraordinary creatures that are to be represented ?" Yet the intenever lived, extraordinary, even in Paris tions of Beaumarchais were, by no means, where adventurers of all kinds abound revolutionary ; he satirized the abuses of and particularly interesting to us, becanse power because they furnished bim a fine he was most dearly connected with the se- material for bis wit; but the very expo cret history of our own revolution. He sures be made must have contributed to was the son of a clock-maker-a youth of the general overturn which came a few great natural parts and vivacity-wbo be- years later. During that convulsive pecame notorious by a famous lawsuit, in riod his own fate was singular. By bis wbich be gibbeted the parliaments, and af marriages, his speculations, and his writterwards was a secret agent of Louis XV. in ings, he bad accumulated an immense forsome not very creditable transactions, and tune; be built a magoificent palace in the then of Louis XVI., in others scarcely beart of the city, and he was naturally more creditable. He was fioally selected classed among the aristocrats of the day. by Kigeunes, the French minister, to carry Yet, while he was proscribed as an emigré on the concealed operations by which be was actually employed as a secret France proposed to belp the American in- agent of one of the revolutionary comsurgents against England. By this con- mittees. His fortune was greatly damaged nection, he was brought in contact with by the troubles, but he died in peace in his Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, bed, although so many others of his posiwho were tbe American agents in Europe, tion and class were guillotined or exiled. at that time—and the latter of whom the The story of all these vicissitudes is a work represents as considerable of a most interesting one, and tbe author has scoundrel. Beaumarchais played the part told it well. (Harpers). of a mercbant, under the name of Rode- -MR. S. G. GOODRICH, Wbo is universally rique Hortalez & Co., who forwarded the known among the juveviles, as the writer supplies to our revolutionists, for which he of the Peter Parley books, continues his never got fully paid. His claims against exceediogly diversified and active literary us were the subjects of animated negotia- career, by Reminiscences of his Life and tions, for Ipany years, involving many Times. (Miller, Orton & Co.) Tbat life pros and cons, and were never settled, we is bardly so important as to justify this believe, to the satisfaction of anybody. proceeding, nor is the execution of the
task remarkable for any felicity; and yet fatter men, who have no olber title to reit was hardly possible for a writer, of any spect than the energy or skill which endegree of ability, to make two large vo- abled them to accumulate large fortunes, lumes wholly destitute of interest. The but is an earnest endeavor to commend to early recollections of Mr. Goodrich, which otbers wbatever is really great and ennorelate to village life in New England, at bling in mercantile character. The bio the close of the last century and the be- graphies are written with ability and taste, ginning of the present, possess a certain and furnish many a paragraph of profound charm, and some notes of the people instruction. The volume contains engravwhom be bas met abroad, in bis many ed portraits of several of its most distinforeign tours, are pleasant reading. We guisbed subjects. suppose, too, that bis diligent collection - Mr. CHARLES NORHOFF, favorably of memorials about locally distinguished known by his Man-of-war Life continues men will have no little local acceptance; bis sea-experiences in Whaling and Fishing ; but, as a whole, bis book appears to us dif- a semi-biographical tale of the whaleman's fuse and insignificant. His anecdotes are anxieties, perils, and pleasures. It is most not always preēmineat for their point. nor agreeably written, abounds in nice observaare bis sketches of character very graphic, tion, and striking incidents, and is partibut the spirit in which be writes is, for the cularly adapted to engage the attention of most part, amiable and benevolent, in the young. As the particolars of the spite of the old political prejudices which sketches are derived from an actual partihe makes no attempt to disguise.
cipation in the events described, they pos - A gentleman who superintended sese an unusual degree of freshness and Fanny Ellsler's pirouetter, a few years fidelity to truth and nature. since, and who recently “ managed the - The Court of Napoleon (Derby & Jackpress” for the managers of the opera, bas 800) is the gift volume of the season, which publisbed a book which settles the ques- fills the place of Dr. Griswold's Republican tion whicb, for the last four years, bas Court, published by the Appletong last agitated the public mind-Damely, what year. It is a very superb hook, handsomely was the precise relation of the ex-purveyor printed upon fine paper, aod massively and of pirouettes to the Eoglish government. elaborately bound. The text is a spirited He tells us that Lord Palmerston bired and entertaining sketch of French 80him to manage the French and American ciety under the empire. It may seem an press for the English foreign office, and soon easy work, but the graceful ease of the after politely paid bim up, and asked him, treatment is not to be mistaken for any indirectly, to leave. Leave! The foreiga insuficieat knowledge of the subject. The secretary forgot the £500 a year. Our whole work shows not only the careful Pangloss did not; bat pressed boldly on, and vivacious observer, but the industrious from a hint to a snub, and from a snub to student, of French life and social history. a kick. Why he did not go, when bis em- Despite its form, the work of Mr. F. B. ployer asked him to do so, he does not GOODRICH is a valuable addition to the say; nor wby be calls himself a diplomat literature of a fascinating period of modern ist. En revanche he quotes freely from history. It would bave a large sale, we the Latin grammar, and gives us his opin- are sure, as it would meet with universal ions of general politics. There remaios favor, were it published in another and bat one thing more for this gentleman, cheaper form. The general reader bays who is, at present, apparently out of em- such a volume for a gift and for its gene ployment, to do. Let him pacify the pub ral splendor; the special reader never be lic impatience by writing My Pas de Deux lieves that the text of Bo superb a volume with Fanny Ellsler. A world, anxious for is worth attention. Mr. Goodrich, who its favorite diplomatist, waits to see him made his first literary mark by the gay take that step next.
and sparkling Paris letters of Dick Tinto MR. FREEMAN Host, who is univer- in the New York Times, bas a facility and rally known in the commercial world, has raciness of style wbich will always comlaid that part of the great world under ad- mand the public attention. He bas writditional obligations, by his Lives of Americ ten a delightful book; and we could wish can Merchants. This is not an attempt to that the illustrations were wortby the text and the binding. But they have a vulgar Thumb, and everybody who tells his story appearance. They are colored, wbich such
well. engravings never should be, and they - The same house hare issued a holiday bave, consequently, rather the air of a supe- book of new desiga : Photographic Ilustrarior style of tinted print for prune tions of Scripture Scenes or photographs boxes.
from sketcbes illastrating the Bible. · This -We have spoken before of the exquisite new application of this exquisite invention volume of illustrations by DARLEY, of the enables each copy of a work to have fac story of Margard. There bas been nothing similes of the original sketches of the in the same style, anywhere, more beautiful artist. It opens an entirely new field of and satisfactory. Sketches of New Eng- artistic exertion; for designs are now made land life seventy and eighty years ago, expressly to be photographed. The prethey are full of romance, and bumor, and sent volume is very handsome, and will be tenderness, and reveal the strain of poetry doubly welcome to those who seek for gifts that was not unknown even to the Puritan that have a peculiar harmony with the genius. The illustrations have the same religious character of the season. patbos as the story: a kind of subdued, -But of all the seasonable book-gifts for passionate regret at the exposure of rare children, we prefer the collected numbers for and delicate natures to the rough chances the last year of our little contemporary, The of life. When so finished, and careful, and Schoolfellow (Dix, Edwards & Co.), which remarkable a work as this of Darley's is are now presented in one handsome volpresented to the public, it becomes a mat- ume — being vol. I. of the new series. ter of general pride that its value shall be Those of our maturer readers, whose young recognized and acknowledged by a uni- people have received a monthly call from verbal admiration. Soob a oollection of the School fellow, must often bave bad their dra gs would make a profound impres- own more sober eyes and minds attracted sion in Paris or London, bad they chanced to the genial variety, wholesome morality, to be indigenous there. The wbole range and universal spirit and interest of the litof recent illustrated works, in both of the tle magazine. Among the periodicals for foreiga capitals, has nothing so intrinsic- children, we know of none which can comally beautiful, and so distinguished as a pare with this. It does not treat its andicontribution to the treasures of true art, as ence like a school-marm or a buffoon. It Darley's Margaret. (Redfield.)
does not constantly say to them, “Now, -Among the fascinating holiday juve my little dears, you are very young chilniles, we must not forget the bandsome dren, and you do not know much ; but be illustrated quarto Tom Thumb, by the au
virtuous, and you'll be bappy ;" but it apthor of the Heir of Redclyffe. (Dix, Edwards peals to their bumau interests, sympathies, & Co.) The exbaustless charm of the old and intelligence; and the appeal is made story is iocreased rather than diminished in so manly, sensible, interesting, amus in this new form. It deals with the purest ing, and unexceptionable a manner, that romance ; takes us back to the cheerful the Schoolfellow is looked for and read round-table and the bright days when good with as genuine an interest as a new novel King Arthur ruled the land; and gives is devoured by elders, who are no wiser the child a bundred bappy fancies which because they are older. Every parent will last as long as life. While so many able remark, in this magazine, a total freedom minds are employed upon new and good from foolish love stories, and from all books for children, we are glad to see the stories the interest of which depends upon obarming talent of Miss YONGE devoted to feelings and knowledge with which chilthis old and good story. We have no fear dren are not familiar; while a thoughtful that children will learn too much; so that care provides, every month, a sparkling we are in no degree jealous of the sciences variety of interest. There are lovely made easy, which are so constantly offered fairy-stories, exquisitely illustrated ; adthem. We are very sure that nobody ventares at home and abroad ; intelligible knows wbat the young people want so well sketches of famous men, living and dead; as the young people themselves; and they papers descriptive of games, with admirare not to be put off with any dullness ; able and useful cuts ; accounts of interest therefore, they will always love Tom ing and curious objects and places in oity