Imágenes de páginas

pocketed by his ephemeral compilation, neither rule nor principle of direct appli. in the course of a few years' currency, cation in the matter. The very astute

more money than all the historians in the person in question seems to have caught | English language put together ever re- at an analogy which will not bear much

ceived for their copyrights, this worthy sifting. We allow that no field would be trafficker can see nothing but perfection of much value to its lord if his neighbours in the system according to which literary had no appetite for bread. The reason, profits are at present regulated and appor- however, commonly given for protecting tioned. All's well that ends well-for him in his field, is not merely that other Mr. Chambers's till. We are well pleased men like bread, but that if nobody were that his till thrives. He started in life, protected no wheat would be grown, and however, with ambition of a different sort that he has a preferable title to be profrom that which has been thus copiously tected because he stands by descent, gift, gratified. The performances of his juve- or purchase, in the place of him who ori. nile pen afforded promise of distinction in ginally reclaimed that field, and cultivated the historical and antiquarian departments and enclosed it. But granting once more, of literature. We see for what pursuits what was settled long before the Irish these early favourites have been cast Chancellor was born, that the author's aside. It was, as regards worldly goods, right in his own book shall be likened not a most prudent abandonment. It was, to a freehold but only to a leasehold; however, though singularly successful, that in practice the public shall be treated an abandonment of exactly the same spe- as the rightful lord and inheritor of this cies which we recognize in a very great property, and that he whose toil has given proportion of Mr. Chambers's contempo- it being as a thing of value shall only

raries--men who have continued to be draw its profits for a certain term of time, ,' authors, but dropped by degrees, as the we incline to think that, in fixing that

experience of life grew on them, the high term of time, some consideration should aspirations which apparently animated be had of the absolute intrinsic worth of their youth, and, in place of setting and the field as an ultimate addition to the keeping before them some great plan not estate of the lord. It is by that worth to be fulfilled without a life-long devotion, alone that we can estimate the exertion have bestowed their ink upon those easier to be remunerated. Nor does it make kinds of literature which furnish amuse- any difference if we consider the public ment sufficient for the hour, and for which acceptance as a domain already secured in the pay of the hour is sufficiently liberal. all manorial rights and privileges, and the

There is no principle of justice upon author as one whom the lord invites and which we can defend a statute that limits would encourage to occupy a portion the best workman to the hire of his infe- thereof, with a view to his lordship’s final rior ; but a great light of Mr. Rolfe's pro- profit and advantage. It is not folly, in fession, who also took part in these granting and drawing your lease, to have debates, seems to us to have gone back regard to the character of the farmer, and gratuitously into a question which the bill the skill and the capital he will bring to was never meant to stir. Labouring a the improvement of the soil, and the conpoint which was on all sides taken for dition in which the possession is to be granted, to wit, that the private right in when he finally surrenders it into your literary property shall be limited by the own management. Nor does the landlord consideration of the public advantage, this expect that the tenant of his building. distinguished lawyer appears to have ground shall proceed in framing the new thought his ingenuity had suggested a erections without reference to the duration new and supremely philosophical argu- of his holding. But our literary legislators ment. The author's right,' said Sir E. are for farm leases that shall tend to nothing Sugden, 'must be measured by the general but short-sighted scourging, with year after advantage, for his work has no pecuniary year scantier crops, and the final impoverishvalue at all, unless by reason of the public ment of the ground, so that when we receive acceptance and approbation of it. Our it into our own hand it shall be found not English lawyers are hard put to it, because wheat-land at all, but only oat-land, or per--it having been impossible that copy- haps thistle-land.' When they deliver the rights should be of any commercial im- lease, indeed, they recommend the best cultiportance before the invention of the print-vation, but the clauses enforce an opposite ing-press — Rome, the great parent and result. In like manner when they let out mistress of jurisprudence, has left us their building plot, they express great anx



iety that it may be covered with noble | tion, that the author of the 'Novum Orga. edifices. Build us te.nples, dig deep founda- num,' or Macbeth' has a natural right of tions, hew the beech and the oak, let your property in his work. It will not do for quarries be of granite and marble, rear gi- them to add, as we all concede, that this gantic colonnades, and hang domes in the air : right of property is one whereof the law may do this, for architecture is in itself a glorious limit the exercise and the duration. Their art - you will have great delight in your la- argument is worth nothing, if the original bour, hard though it be, great delight and principle is worth anything. high honour in contemplating its completion, And, accordingly, some at least of these and your other advantages shall be answerable gentlemen are courageous enough to assert a to the toil and its monuments, for they shall direct negation of the principle. What can be not less than they would have been had books contain, say they, but words? What you worked in lath and plaster. Rise, Inigo, are words but the images of thoughts? What and let not the Banqueting-house remain a are thoughts, if they be of any value, but the fragment of your design. Finish your eight images of facts? This-we are not jesting quadrangles, and stretch your porticos from -is literally the leading argument of the Charing Cross to the Abbey. We will re- personage who indites Observations on the ward you as beseems the first and greatest of Law of Copyright, and also of Mr. Wakley, the nations. You shall be paid as if this your or whoever put together the Objections to Whitehall were a continuation of Regent and Remarks upon Mr. Sergeant Talfourd's Street, and you shall be a Fellow of the Scheme.' We shall transcribe a specimen of Academy as well as Mr. Nash.

this last masterpiece : But the sum and substance of the most clamorously asserted objection, both to the

'The name of Southey has been brought forlate French bill and to "Sergeant Talfourd's, fame on his prose or his poetry? Prose is the

ward as an aggrieved auihor. Does he rest his lies in one word-Monopoly. It stares you staple of all knowledge; and is it then on the . in capitals or italics in every page of every History of Brazil, of the Peninsula War, or his pamphlet; it makes the black-letter heading Life of the glorious Nelson? If so, then it may of every thundering broadside. Monopoly be asked, what were his sources of information? is against the spirit of the English law. Free was he ever in Brazil ? or did he accompany the trade in everything. Free trade in calico, army into Spain or Portugal ? or was it comin corn, above all, in thought! We hate municated to him by others for his sole profit? Monopoly as fervently as any of these pa- slightest value which is contained in these works

or is it not the fact that every statement of the triots—we do not admire even a monopoly was the property of others, or the common proof envy and misrepresentation. Monopoly perty of the world? The Life of Nelson has has but one definition in every legal code in been the most esteemed of his prose, and how the world : an exclusive privilege of selling much of that work does he claim as his own ? what others have an equal natural right to

The slightest examination will convince any sell. When Mehemet Ali enacts that no the Life by Clarke and M'Arthur, which was,

one that it is but a cheap and popular recast of man shall deal in rice but himself-when the published in two volumes quarto, at 91. 9s. 6d.; Spanish king decrees that no tobacco shall /iherefore it is not surprising that a work should be sold but at the royal establishments--that command an extensive sale which conveyed to is monopoly. When the parliament settles the public in a pieasing style, at one-thirteenth that no man shall sell foreign wheat in Eng- of the original cost, every fact, both public and land, except on paying a certain importation private, which would be cared for in the life of duty, the act creates a monopoly for English the drapery of language which possesses such a

so great and distinguished a hero. Is it then wheat-growers, according to all those who magic value in the estimation of Mr. Talfourd ? think that foreign farmers have as good a na- If it be so, he may retain that opinion, but he tural right to sell wheat in England as any may be assured that few will admit its correctbody of Englishmen can be supposed to have. ness. It is true the facts were not the property But cases like these will not help out our of Clarke and M·Arthur, but that Southey pamphleteers. The free trade in the food of smuggled them away cannot be doubted. We the mind which they are for, is a free trade the assumption that the mere rhetorical com

do not complain of it; but what we do blame is resembling not that which should allow all bination of words should be claimed as an absomen to sell wheat, but that which renders it lute property, when the facts which render the lawful for any man to sell for his own profit combination of any value should be treated as the wheat raised on his neighbour's field by the common property of the world. In the trade his neighbour's industry. To maintain their of literature authorship has a fixed value acdoctrine at all, they must strike at the root cording to the ability of the writer, and the

most eminent authors have never considered it of the principle assumed and sanctioned as a discreditable to be paid according to the quan. principle in our and in every other legisla-tity of pages they contribute; and no argument

can justify the claim which has been set up for sit appears that 'the quantity of pages' is the style in which knowledge may be communi- the only true standard of the ability of cated.'--Objections, &c., pp. 28, 29

the writer.' We need hardly point attention to the that what they call facts are the only

Having clearly established, however, beautiful logical sequence of thought in things in a book which ought to be conthis passage, or to the merits of the style sidered of the slightest value'...(they do in which so much knowledge has been communicated. The writer evidently

not quite agree as to what is a fact---but no thinks poetry unworthy of any considera matter)---these colleagues proceed, each in tion at all. The facts in Thalaba, Keha

his own way, to urge the same important .. ma, Madoc, might have been smuggled nicated by any one whom Mr. Talfourd

corollary. It is that no facts commu. away by any industrious penny-a-liner, calls an author are of value comparable from the various prose works referred to in the Laureate's notes and appendices. mechanical inventions: yet we already

to the facts constituting the essence of Clarke and Macarthur had read the dis. patches of Nelson, the London Gazettes, in his book than to the mechanist in his

concede a longer copyright to the author and the Annual Register, not long before Mr. Southey set about recasting their two engine; whence it follows that the claim volumes in quarto, price nine guineas. patronized by the Sergeant is not only unThe facts smuggled from these documents just but absurd...a piece of unparalleled by Clarke and Macarthur, and then smug.

presumption and impudence. gled from them by Southey, are the only writers; but we think any candid mind

We have no hope of converting these things that give any value either to Clarke's will acknowledge, after a little reflection, quartos or to Southey's duodecimos. Then that the two cases furnish no parallel : why should Southey have any copyright first of all because the claims thus opposin the Life of Nelson ?? What claim has ed to each other are not derived from inhe here above Mr. Wakley? We have no tellectual exertions set forth in results of doubt that gentleman could smuggle the like kind; secondly, that, granting both away all the facts, and set them forth in a combination of words extremely unlike parties to have a right to protection, the Mr. Southey's. Who prevents his doing due consideration of the public claim pa

measure of the protection to be settled on so? We venture to say the proprietors of Southey's book have no sort of objection the measure should be diverse in the two

ramount, the public interest requires that to his trying his band: day, the Coroner may have access to facts which have come

cases; and, thirdly, that though under the to light since Mr. Southey wrote, and existing law the mechanist is protected thus produce a book more valuable than his. So be it. But why then does our

protection which he receives is by far the Objector' give Mr. Southey's style an

more profitable of the two. epithet? 'A pleasing style. Is pleasure

Copyright and patent-right,' says the Obnoubing? Is the power of giving pleasure server, must be considered as synonymous ; even to Mr. Wakley nothing? But the and the legislation that is required for the one is true puzzle is why,-since pleasure is such all that can be required for the other.'-p. 6. a nothing-since the value of a book is wholly irrespective of its style,'--some Upon this principle, of course, the prounseen Curl or other should be so anxious tection now given to the author should be

The to lay his own fingers on the barren worth- diminished. Observer,' and his less insignificant 'rhetorical combination.' brother, the 'Objector,' would think themWhy should the combiner be deprived of selves very indulgent to the highest author this airy nothing.--in order that Mr. Curl if they consented to place him on a level may make money by vending that particu- with the lowest of the other class : but larrecast' of 'facts,' in place of produc- even suppose they should be so liberal as ing another, and of course at least equal to bracket a Milton with an Arkwright, a ly valuable, recast of his own proper Shakspeare with a James Watt-we apmanufacture, or his friend Mr. Wakley's ? prehend it might be made evident almost The Coroner is a most eminent author' to a spinning-jeony that the protection in ---he will not consider it discreditable to the one set of cases would be so unpro. be paid according to the quantity of pages ductive, that those enriched by the other he contributes' to the People's Library ;' would not consider it worth their while to and these pages will be not a few, because accept all its profit as a gratuitous addi

tion to their own. All inventions now se- 1 fingers and eyes. He is at persect liberty curable by a patent privilege have for their to penetrate, if he can, all the meanings of end the extension of man's power over the poet; to appropriate all the lights he the material elements with which he is has here thrown on man's nature, and on surrounded, to the increase of his facili- woman's, for the counsel and direction of ties for acquiring wealth, or, at any rate, his own life; and also to investigate an to the direct increase of his physical en extract for his own benefit as an artist, if joyment. It is most just and necessary he be one, whatever lessons that work can that the inventor should be rewarded, afford him, in the construction of a fable, and that in proportion to the value of the in the development of a character, in the invention. But there is little danger lest choice and balance of language, in the any invention conducing to such ends as modulation of verse. All this liberty is at these should not be rapidly appreciated ; once his; to make the most of it, he needs and if the inventor be allowed to have the not wait until the copyright expires. He direct pecuniary profit thereof for a very may produce, as soon as he likes, his own limited time, he derives great profit in tragedy, in elaborating which he shall proportion to the labour he bestowed. have drawn all the benefit that any artist

But while his protection lasts, it is a as an artist can draw from the study of bar against improvement. Every inven- the Shakspearian model. The only thing tion in that kind is directly engrafted on he may not do is to multiply copies of the another; your foot, though prepared to model to be sold, for his own profit, as make the next step, is kept powerless until models for the use of other students, who there is liberty for it to occupy and start have it equally in their power as he had to again afresh from the point of my halt. purchase their own models of the maker. Nay, starting from the same previously What parallel is there between this case attained line, you and I may have at the and the buyer of the model-engine? That, same moment descried the next important as far as revelation of knowledge goes, is point, and yet, if I be the first to tell the as good, nay better, far more convenient world I have descried it, your equal acu- as a subject of study, than the black colos. men is baffled-you take nothing by it. sus which Mr. Watt has caused to be conUntil I have had leisure to make my profit structed after its proportions at Soho. of the new step, not only your naturally But, the patent right still in force, is the equal right to that, but the consequent purchaser allowed to make such use of right of proceeding still further for your- that model as the purchaser of the copyself, is impeded. Now, in no department right tragedy may make of it? Is he at of literature does a like impediment arise liberty to extract and appropriate for his out of copyright. The knowledge-all own behoof the addition which Mr. Watt that these calculators can pretend to think has made to the resources of mechanical of any worth—is given freely to the world, science? Is he at liberty to make forthfor every one to apply and extend freely, with a machine of his own, in constructfrom that hour and for ever, as his powers ing which the science of Watt shall be as enable him. Even in history, whether freely at his service as the art of Shakscivil or natural, this is the case. No his- peare is at the service of the student of torian pretends to prevent his rival or suc- Macbeth ? cessors from making what use he pleases, or can, of any fact which he discovers, or

"Would Parliament'- this Observer goes oneven of any reasoning by which he brings

consent to continue to the discoverer of any out the consequences of that fact. You powerful bleaching agent, such as chlorine, a are welcome to take the fact and my very for the period of his life?'--p. 7.

patent right to the exclusive use of such discoopinion of its bearing into your mind, and make your own use of it, in the composi The man who talks of his bleaching tion or revisal of your own book. "The agent, chlorine,' as a power legitimately only claim here is that it shall not be al compared in its operations with literature, lowed to transfer bodily one man's labour is blind to the distinction between matter to another. But the protection that is the and spirit.

No man who believes himself shorter in term protects a totally different to be anything better than a machine, his species of claim. One man buys a copy own principle of being anything nobler of Macbeth, another a model of a steam- than so much gas in a bottle, could dream engine. He that carries the book home of putting the several powers on the same with him has, indeed, acquired a treasure, footing. But there is no doubt that five if he has brains and a heart as well as years protection in a superior bleaching

drop would enrich a man more than fifty • To solve a point which puzzled Warburton'--years' sale of a new Macbeth ; and there is let us a dd, that in our opinion, whenever another point which may possibly be a specification can be given, the work to brought within this writer's comprehension. which it refers ought to be treated not as

The extension of copyright proposed a literary work, but as a mechanical inby Mr. Talfourd was proposed only for vention, and distinctly by the law taken first-rate productions—in the case of lite- out of the one class, and put into the rary works which embody the effort of other. No jury could be at a loss to decide consummate intellect. And in all such to which class any possible production de cases we know well that the work is the facto belonged. work of the individual mind from which it comes. "I am sorry,'—said Davy, when • What English author is to be compared to near his end—'I am sorry to leave the Watt or to Arkwright? These authors have world when it (the world!) has come so written in a language which can be read and near the brink of three great discoveries.' understood in every nation of the world, and He had no doubt that they would soon be endures.'-Observations, p. 41.

will continue to be read so long as civilisation made, whoever might die or live,-made soon, very soon—no matter whether in

We are not so sure of that. The works England, in France, or in Germany! Sir of these authors' may very probably be Humphrey might have been a great poet, followed by others which will supplant he had in him poetical faculties that might, them effectually. Where steam is now, perhaps, have been developed as illustri electricity may come to be--for all this ously as his philosophical genius. But hissing and panting drudgery, a silent what dying poet would ever have ventured flash. A hundred years hence Arkwright's to prophesy that the world was on the eve best jenny will, we doubt not, be considerof giving birth to three great political ed as an antiquarian curiosity, much on a geniuses—or master-pieces !--But in truth par with the handloom of the Hindoo. But will either Observer' or 'Objector' pre. grant these magnifiers of boilers and tend gravely to believe that any man but spindles and bleaching agents' all they Dante could ever have written the 'Di- demand. We have no desire to undervina Commedia?' The telescope, we may value such inventions; but we think there be almost certain, would have been dis- is little of justice, to say nothing about covered by some one else if Galileo had generosity, in thus exalting them at the not found it out. What contests there expense of their country's literature, were between Newton's and Leibnitz's "There is no absolute utility in poetry,' followers as to which of them had the true says Sir Humphrey Davy ;- but it gives merit of such and such discoveries! In pleasure, refines and exalis the mind.' A fact, there always has been a neck-and- pregnant but. Without literature-poetry neck chase between men of science and and romance included, as leading portions discoverers in arts and physics; and no of it---without the softening, and refining, wonder, for all such discoveries hang one and exalting of the general mind which upon another, as natural steps in the pro. Sir Humphrey's notion of absolute utiligress of a power which can be traced, and ty' excludes.--society could never have every new development of which we can afforded that protection against barbaappropriate and apply as soon as it is rism, without which your grand discovemade cognizable to our senses : whereas ries in physical science or in mechanical the influence of mind in the other case is art could never have been made, or if purely upon mind, and no man can trace made, must have been profitless to the its working.

inventors. And if literature could be The mechanist gives in his specification. extinguished, instead of only being deAs far as the particular invention is con- pressed and discouraged, as our mechanicerned, here is the spirit of the man con- cal age and its legislation tend to discourdensed and made transferable, so that age it, what would all these boasted in. whoever comprehends the specification ventions be worth---if indeed they could stands henceforth to the invention, as a șurvive it---what would they be but pests thing of practical use, in precisely the of mankind and instruments of destrucsame relation as inventor. But who tion ? can give a specification for the making of We are not so silly as to impute to an · Inferno? If any one undertakes to do any gentleman in the late House of Comso, it will not be a Dante, but a Dennis. And

· Consolations in Travel,'

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