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worse, a bill-yes, actually a bill of goods, sold and delivered-is sent us; the article, of course, charged at the author's own notion of trade price. We have not the slightest doubt that, before this, counsel's opinion has actually been taken as to the feasibilility of recovery in the case. "To swear to the truth of a song," is nothing, compared with bringing an action for the value of a sonnet.
We must not let these observations go without honestly saying, that we are treated by some sonneteers in a mild and amiable way. Many of them avowedly consider their productions as trifling-some talk of the "fire"-and several allow that the chance of acceptance is very small. But all have one weakness-they want their sonnets back again.
THE AGE OF ALLITERATION.-Before we puzzled our brains for a title to supersede our old Table Talk, it would have been well for us to have read the following short and lively article, which we have just picked out of a considerable bundle, that had hitherto escaped our notice. There is one thing to be said of correspondents, that, while they attack you, they generously furnish you with the means of defence. The hogsheads of sugar at New Orleans, of which Mr. Gleig speaks, were a poor defence-the human bodies packed in sacks and sand, of which Lord Cochrane made breastworks on the French coast, did not render him and his men more secure than an editor, snugly ensconced behind bales of contributions. But to our small article:
THE AGE OF ALLITERATION.
"What is there in a name?" Everything. A rose (according to the hacknied quotation) by any other name, would smell as sweet; but a book, by any other than a taking title, would not sell as well. Now a taking title is generally an alliterative title, and an alliterative title is generally a successful title.
Certainly never was the press so prolific, or the public so pestered with publications as at the present period. The literary advertisements lately have taken up the pages of the papers, and swelled the size of magazines to an alarming extent. The demand is great, and no matter about the quality of the supply, so long as the quantity is forthcoming. Therefore, to afford fuel for this ravening flame, to pander to the palled palate of the public, schoolboys have raked together the ramblings of their meagre muse; old men have drawn their " Journals," "Tours," " Thoughts," "Reminiscences," and" Recollections" from the drawers in which they long ago saw them quietly immured; threadbare subjects have been dressed in new suits, while fresh ones are dived for in the vasty deep, or sought for even at the poles. Hungry resurrection men of literature drag subjects from their peaceful graves, and expose them, naked and unsightly, to the gaze of the multitude, thus sacrificing the secrets of the tomb to the unhallowed appetite of vulgar curiosity. While players, play-writers, and Margravines, in the general struggle for gain, shame, or fame, whichever it be, are, according to the old joke, determined to sell their lives as dearly as possible.
But, authors, whatever you do, take care of your titles; I tell you look to your geod name. It is all nonsense Juliet's saying a name did not signify; and somebody else has said (Pope, perhaps), that the "sound should be an echo to the sense." We have nothing to do with sense, sound is everything. Now there are two ways of making a good sounding or taking title, either by antithesis or alliteration. By the first I mean such as Sayings and Doings, Highways and Byeways, Smiles and Tears, &c. But this, though successful in its way, must yield the palm to the more popular and prevalent adoption of alliteration. Authors usually try to tickle the ear in the title-page, for the public now, like Sir Piercie Shafton of old, is all for euphony, for euphony even in the
The excellence and extensive sale of those admirable novels, "Pride and Prejudice," and Sense and Sensibility" have led others to invent similar sounding titles, and then graft stories upon them, with the hope of equal success, if not in excellence, at least in circulation. Hence the Miser Married, Facts and Fancies, Traits and Trials, Fallen Fortunes, The Brownie of Bodsbeck, Redmond the Rebel, The Mysterious Monk, Husband
Hunting, Allice Allan, A Peep at the Pilgrims, Tales of a Traveller, ditto of Fault and Feeling. These two last, to be sure, are the only ones I have ever read; but then, I take it,> with such attractive alliterative titles, all the others are equally good, very likely better.. Then there are Guieties and Gravities, confessedly taken from the Memorabilia of the New Monthly; and Passion and Principle is the best of Hook's stories. The author of Wine and Walnuts has outdone his own alliterative self, and brought out Rare Doingsat the Restoration. There is a dear Mrs. Wilmot Wells, whose card I saw at the libraries of some of the watering-places near London, and whose advertisement I have seen in some of the papers, which runs thus-Tales, Mirthful, Mournful, and Marvellous, by Mrs. Wilmot Wells. But what shall we say in admiration of another advertisement, now to be seen, among others, sewed up in the magazines-" Rhyming Reminiscences, in Comical Couplets, supposed to have been uttered by Witty Wags, interspersed with quips, quidnunes, and quotations; by Geoffry Grin.". Oh, nothing like alliteration, from Memoirs of Moses Mendlesohn, in the days of Lavater, down to Memoirs of Monkeys, in our own days; nothing so fascinating, nothing so feasible, nothing so saleable, nothing so available, as alliteration. If Smollett had not waitten Roderick Random and Peregrine Pickle, the world probably would have lost Mr. Pierce Egan's Peregrine Proteus, or the Life of an Actor. That puts me in mind of plays, and I will only just observe there is the Mysterious Mother, by Horace Walpole; the Midnight Marriage, by somebody else. The Fop's Fortune and Fortune's Fool have both been fortunate; Love Laughs at Locksmiths is a favourite farce, and Timour the Tartar a magnificent melodrame.
To go from Novels to Travels, and from "Plays" to "Tours," there is little doubt we owe several of our best tours and travels to the thoughts which an alliterative title has suggested. What should we know of Denmark, had it not been for the euphony of the double D in Denmark Delineated? What but alliteration suggested the Wanderings of Waterton? Mexican Memoirs owe their origin to the same love of harmonious diction; and the rolling R's have happily brought to light the "Relics of Rome."
The Coke-upon-Littleton constructors of our grave law books, even, have adopted the same plan; for Tomlyn on Terms, and Weatherby on Wills, are books which are considered of consequence in all causidical collections; and within these few months, the reduplication of the R's has given rise to Reasons for the Repeal of Rates.
Those who are interested in the incipient buddings of the infant mind, and wish to implant in their children a love of literature and a thirst for improvement, would do well to instil instruction through the ear, and insinuate a love of knowledge by the sound. They should, therefore, select for their children such works as Minor Morals, by Charlotte Smith; Alicia and her Aunt, by Mrs. Hofland; Fairy Favours, the Little Lexicon, and the Life of Little Louisa, by some other friends of alliteration.
But I have said enough in favour of my favourite predilection. As for all the oldfashioned tribe of "Horæ," " Literæ,' Nuge," Noctes," they are quite shelved; nobody buys them; nobody asks who wrote them. They are " Hours" which put you out of patience," Trifles" which tire, and "Nights" of nothingness. All the Anus," too, are disregarded, and every thing, in short, gives way before the present passion of the public for alliterative appellatives. But let us take a higher view of alliteration, and, looking beyond the mere names and titles of books, learn to admire its advantages, when applied to the improvement of our country and morals; and for this purpose we have only to regard the Irish bar in Erin's emerald isle, and the popular preachers in the patrician chapels of our own metropolis. In the one case damages have been doubled on the base seducer; in the other, sinners have been saved by the same fascinating euphony. When the powerful pencil of a Phillips has painted, in glowing colours, the happy home of smiling innocence, and told how man, the lawless libertine, has marred the budding beauties of that fairy form, what jury has not joined to render right and justice to an injured and insulted parent. When the polite metropolitan preacher describes, in polished periods, the harmony of heaven, and through a golden vista, gives us glimpses of that elysium; when he tells us of a perfect paradise, "pure as the prayer which childhood wafts above," who can restrain the tear of ecstasy; who does not, after chapel, step into the carriage, and drive (at the proper hour) to the Park, a wiser and a better being.
If such be the happy effect of sound upon the senses," omnis dibemus," as boys say by way of peroration to their Latin themes, or in their English ones, "We ought all, therefore, with one accord, preachers and poets, teachers and tourists, novelists and newspapers, to promote the welfare of our fellow-creatures by always and everywhere using the utmost of our abilities to aid the universal adoption of the admirable art of ALLITERATION.
TOR HILL.-We sent for this book, in the sincere hope of finding it clever, that we might make the amende for a critique of Brambletye House, which some thought harsh, though we never heard any one say it was unjust. We had not got far in Tor Hill, when we gave up all thoughts of reviewing-we should have made the matter worse; and moreover, it is precisely one of those books about which you resolve never to speak a word. It is so absolutely mediocre in every point, so respectably dull, so critically situated between the "too bad for a blessing, and too good for a curse," that we should have been at a loss what to say. The author has not invention or fertility enough to write a good novel; and his taste is too cultivated by society and education to write a very absurd one. The prestige of a name is truly wonderful. We are credibly informed, that this is a work devoured all over the country; and that at the circulating libraries, names are frequently put down, for the advantages of rotation, some thirty or forty deep.
MR. M'CULLOCH, THE POLITICAL ECONOMIST-is at present lying under a grievous charge of having sold his wares several times oversometimes even to the same person, and sometimes to others. A pamphlet has been published in Edinburgh, tracing the goods, and proving their identity with the bloodhound sagacity of Bow-street. It is written in the spirit of the "Hue and Cry." It was said some time ago, in Blackwood's Magazine, the officina of the present pamphlet, that Mr. M'Culloch had but one subject, but he was king of it. It now appears, that by dressing up his one subject in a variety of costume-sometimes enduing him with a reviewer's wig; and sometimes casting off that solemn covering for a slight cap of newspapersometimes giving him an aldermanic strut, and calling him Jacob; at others a lighter step, and a higher heel, and giving him the name of Whitmore, or Scotsman, he has contrived to make a single subjectpass for a large population. This is altogether a very curious affair. Is the fault in the organ of causality, or that of acquisitiveness? Is Mr. McCulloch's brain of that material, that when once a road of thought has been hewn through it, the road remains for ever. Our theory is, that the courses of thought in the minds of Political Economists, are, at once to save expense and future trouble, laid down as rail roads. It will necessarily follow, that when any particular question is to be discussed, or any point arrived at, the vocabulary vehicle is impelled, by the power of volition, along the iron trams, and rattles away until it appears at the object of destination. If this be correct, we must not be astonished at the identity of Mr. M'Culloch's articles in the Supplement to the Encyclopædia; his Principles of Political Economy, his Essay on Wages, in the Scotsman, and the different numbers of the Edinburgh Review. Mr. Mordecai Mullion, the writer of the pamphlet, does not seem to perceive that this, which he calls repetition, is strictly consistent with the best founded principles of economy. "It is desirable that an article should be written in the Edinburgh Review on the Corn Laws. It is further desirable that I should write it. I have already written one on the same subject in a former number of the Edinburgh. Are my views changed? No. Have I acquired any additional information? No. Can I write in a better style than I did? No. It is clear that the former article has
not been read, or another at this time would not be required. Why,. therefore, should I not repeat it? To write another-to attempt to vary the style-to change the illustrations, would be a waste of labourthe course of reasoning I cannot alter for the better. ResolvedGive me the scissors, and a file of the Scotsman, with the Edinburgh Review for October 1824."
DUELS.-In a late number of the Observer, is a long and elaborate account of the most celebrated duels that have taken place between Englishmen. We are surprised that the writer should have omitted the one between Lord Bruce and Sir Edward Sackville, which was so remarkable for the chivalrousness of the preliminary steps, and the ferocity and brutality of the struggle. The letters of citation are given in the Guardian, as also a very curious letter from Sir Edward Sackville, the survivor, containing a minute account of the affair. This is an extract from Sackville's account:—
Accordingly we embarked for Antwerp. And by reason, my lord, as I conceive, because he could not handsomely, without danger or discovery, had not paired the sword I sent him to Paris; bringing one of the same length, but twice as broad; my second excepted against it, and advised me to match my own, and send him the choice, which I obeyed; it being, you know, the challenger's privilege to elect his weapon. At the delivery of the sword, which was performed by Sir John Heidon, it pleased the Lord Bruce to choose my own, and then, past expectation, he told him, that he found himself so far behind him, as a little of my blood would not serve his turn; and therefore he was now resolved to have me alone, because he knew (for I will use his own words) "that so worthy a gentleman, and my friend, could not endure to stand by, and see him do that which he must, to satisfy himself, and his honour." Hereupon Sir John Heidon replied, that such intentions were bloody and butcherly, far unfitting so noble a personage, who should desire to bleed for reputation, not for life; withal adding, he thought himself injured, being come thus far, now to be prohibited from executing those honourable offices he came for. The lord, for answer, only reiterated his former resolutions; whereupon, Sir John leaving him the sword he had elected, delivered me the other, with his determinations. The which not for matter, but manner, so moved me, as though to my remembrance, I had not of a long while eaten more liberally than at dinner, and therefore unfit for such an action (seeing the surgeons hold a wound upon a full stomach much more dangerous than otherwise) I requested my second to certify him, I would presently decide the difference, and therefore he should presently meet me on horseback, only waited on by our surgeons, they being unarmed. Together we rode, but one before the other some twelve score, about two English miles: and then, passion having so weak an enemy to assail, as my direction, easily became victor, and using his power, made me obedient to his commands. I being verily mad with anger, the Lord Bruce should thirst after my life with a kind of assuredness, seeing I had come so far, and needlessly, to give him leave to regain his lost reputation; I bade him alight, which with all willingness he quickly granted, and there is a meadow ancle deep in water at the least, bidding farewell to our doublets, in our shirts began to charge each other; having afore commanded our surgeons to withdraw thsmelves a pretty distance from us, conjuring them besides, as they respected our favours, or their own safeties, not to stir, but to suffer us to execute our pleasures: we being fully resolved (God forgive us!) to dispatch each other by what means we could, I made a thrust at my enemy, but was short, and in drawing back my arm I received a great wound thereon, which I interpreted as a reward for my own short shooting; but in revenge I prest in to him, though I then missed him also, and then receiving a wound in my right pap, which past level through my body, and almost to my back. And there we wrestled for the two greatest and dearest prizes we could ever expect trial for, honour and life. In which struggling my hand, having but an ordinary glove on it, lost one of her servants, though the meanest; which hung by a skin, and to sight, yet remaineth as before, and I am put in hope one day to recover the use of it again. But at last, breathless, yet keeping our holds, there past on both sides propositions of quitting each others sword. But when amity was dead, confidence could not live; and who should quit first was the question; which, on neither part, either would
perform, and restriving again afresh, with a kick and a wrench together, I freed my long captivated weapon. Which incontinently levying at his throat, being master still of his, I demanded if he would ask his life, or yield his sword; both which, though in that eminent danger, he bravely denied to do. Myself being wounded, and feeling loss of blood, having three conduits running on me, began to make me faint, and he courageously persisted not to accord to either of my propositions, remembrance of his former bloody desire, and feeling of my present estate, I struck at his heart, but with his avoiding mist my aim, yet past through the body, and drawing through my sword repast it through again through another place; when he cried "Oh! I am slain!" seconding his speech with all the force he had, to cast me. But being too weak, after I had defended his assault, I easily became master of him, laying him on his back; when being upon him, I redemanded if he would request his life, but it seemed he prized it not at so dear a rate to be beholding for it; bravely replying "he scorned it." Which answer of his was so noble and worthy, as I protest I could not find in my heart to offer him any more violence, only keeping him down, till at length his surgeon, afar off, cried out, he would immediately die if his wounds were not stopped." Whereupon I asked if he desired his surgeon should come, which he accepted of; and so being drawn away, I never offered to take his sword, accounting it inhumane to rob a dead for so I held him to be. This thus ended, I retired to my surgeon, in whose arms after I had remained a while for want of blood, I lost my sight, and withal, as I then thought, my life also. But strong water and his diligence quickly recovered me, when I escaped a great danger. For my lord's surgeon, when no body dreamt of it, came full length at me with his lord's sword; and had not mine, with my sword, interposed himself, I had been slain by those base hands: although my Lord Bruce, weltering in his blood, and past all expectation of life, conformable to all his former carriage, which was undoubtedly noble, cried out, "Rascal! hold thy hand." So may I prosper as I have dealt sincerely with you in this relation.
This affair took place near Bergen-op-Zoom, in 1613.
PHRENOLOGY.-A long and laboured article appeared in the last number of the Edinburgh Review against the Phrenologists. From the note of preparation with which this paper was issued into the world, and from its weight of metal, and the size of its bore, it was clearly expected that it would prove a great organ of destructiveness, and blow the unwary cerebellum people out of the water. It was publicly attributed to Mr. Jeffrey, but we had too high an opinion of his talents to believe that he could be the author of so much inconsistency and feebleness. The Review had however scarcely been. out a week, when, as we expected, the apostle of the new lights appeared with a pamphlet called a "Letter to Francis Jeffrey, Esq. in Answer to his Criticisms on Phrenology, contained in No. LXXXVIII of the Edinburgh Review, from George Combe." This letter assures us, on authority which seems convincing, that Mr. Jeffrey is the author of the paper. We were therefore mistaken in the fact, and in our appreciation of the critic's powers. Mr. Combe shows that the most pains-taking strokes of the Reviewer are aimed at non-existenciesshadows and visions flitting about his own brain-mere fog and vapour, exhaling from a mass of ignorance of the true state of the science, if science it ay be called. The pretensions of the Edinburgh Review to be a fair discussion of the claims of Phrenology, may be tried by the single fact, that almost all its arguments turn upon the ridiculous improbability of the tenets of his antagonists. If this ridicule were pointed and light, we might laugh while we disapproved; but it is dull-dull-dull. The phrenologists appeal to experiment and observation-the appeal is the only philosophical one-but there is something more to be said. Are your experi