« AnteriorContinuar »
ficulty she could be prevailed on to show her tongue, which howa ever she at length protruded through a hole made in a curtain ; so very different are the notions of delicacy in different nations But it is time to stop.
If the extracts which we have given from the · Narrative be thought interesting, we can assure our readers we have not in the least forestalled the best part of the work, which abounds with curious matter; and which treats of manners and subjects of so unusual a kind, that had they fallen into the hands of another Lady Mary Wortley Montague, they could not fail to have supplied an inexhaustible fund of literary entertainment.
ART. VII. Sequel to a Narrative of a Forced Journey through
Spain and France, as a Prisoner of War in 1810 to 1813; including observations on the present State of Ireland, &c. &c.&c. By Major-General Lord Blayney, Vol. iii. London. 1816.
UR readers cannot fail to recollect the Culinary Register, in
two volumes octavo, which Lord Blayney was pleased to denominate. The Narrative of a Journey through France and Spain, but which, like drunken Barnaby's journey into Yorkshire, was little less than a list of taverns and the history of his meals from Malaga to Calais.
Curæ dignum nihil vidit. The noble author has now thought proper to favour the world with a third volume of this delectable history; but we are concerned to say, that absurd as the first parts were, this part is much more so, and that his Lordship, with an alacrity in sinking whịch we did not think possible, has found
In the lowest depth, a lower still, The readers of his Lordship's former works will be at a loss to imagine by what means he can have contrived to fall below himself; and we admit that, on the same subject, it would perhaps not have been possible to do so; but, aware of this, his Lordship has selected a new career; for though the shape and title of his work are the same, the matter is, toto cælo, different; and strange to relate, the third part of the journal of this Hibernian Peer through Spain and France is neither more nor less than a wretched hotch. potch of some of the statistical accounts of Ireland, hardily pilfered, and clumsily put together.
Of all the works which have ever passed under our observation,
this, indeed, seems to be the most flagrant catch-penny, and to bear the most indubitable marks of that notable mystery called book-making.
In the first place, it is published as the 'Sequel of a work with which it has not the slightest connection--probably in the hope that the unhappy purchasers of the two former volumes may be so indiscreet as to throw good money after bad in completing their sets with this additional volume.
In the second place, not above one half of the volume is Lord Blayney's—we cannot call it composition, nor even writing, but it is not even his Lordship's scribbling : of 429 pages, 109 are taken verbatim and literatim from the reports of commissioners, which have been laid before Parliament, and printed both officially, and in all the newspapers, and which his Lordship thinks it fair and honourable towards the purchasers of his book to print over again, in the shape of an appendix-divers pages in the body of the work are stolen, wholesale, from publications equally recon, dite, and fifteen mortal pages are taken from a strange work of Colonel (now Viscount) Dillon, entitled a commentary on the Military Defence of the Empire.
This is the most justifiable part of his Lordship’s larceny, hecause, though Lord Dillon's book has been printed these five years, we never heard of any one who had read or even seen it; and we believe the extracts from it, though certainly not the most entertaining, are at least the most novel part of Lord Blayney's publication,
In short, reckoning by pages, Lord Blayney has borrowed full one third of his book ; but as the extracts and Appendix are closely, while his Lordship’s own share are very diffusely printed, the real proportions of the new and the second hand parts of this volume, are, as we before said, about half and half.
So much for the general plan and composition of this book—the details of its execution are not unanswerable to this auspicious promise-it is the most strange and incoherent farrago we have ever wondered at: take, for instance, the table of contents of one or two of his chapters.
CHAPTER I. Effects of Prepossession-British Constitutions--Captain and his Lady
Calais--Difference of Costume Duchess of Angoulême's bonnet-Dover --Bullion !
CHAPTER IX. Pulpit Orators in Ireland--London and Dublin badly_lighted, (quere
enlightened? Placards--- Attachment to Bonaparte-Folly and Malig, nity of the disaffected— Postboys -Roads. After these chapters, the topics of which one would have thought
sufficiently various, comes a chapter which, xa?? ifoxon, is entitled, Miscellaneous ; and undoubtedly it deserves its name. We shall extract one or two pages as specimens of our author's lucidus ordo, taste, information and truth. Let
any person walk at night through the streets of Dublin, and look at the lamps; they are lighted, indeed, if we can so call it, but the glasses are never cleaned, and they show only a sufficiency of light to cause embarrassment. Look at the dirt of the streets ; in short, look at every thing which you see around you, and it distinctly marks a total neglect and indifference on the part of those who pocket immense salaries,-neglecting the duties of their situation. If a general officer be placed on the staff in Ireland, it is not because that general officer has distinguished himself in the field, or because he possesses local information, or has influence in the country, but he is sent there to improve his income, and in a few years, to accumulate sufficient provision for himself and for his family.-- If a Bishop be sent over to Ireland, economy is the text-in many instances, that economy is carried to penury; and we have the most striking examples of Bishops on the Irish establishment, having accumulated sums beyond all conception, for a country so circumstanced.
• These abuses and want of support of their character and situation, on the part of those who hold large endowments and emoluments under the authority of the Crown, not only create on the part of the people, a disrespect for those to whom they should look up with awe and veneration--but it also makes them despise the laws themselves, and they frequently break out into violence, murder and outrage. -So frequent of late have been the murders committed on Protestants, merely because they were Protestants and loyal, that the indifference manifested on the part of the government to these atrocities have been so revolting, that many of the fine, proud and loyal Protestant yeomanry, once the protection and the ornament of the country, are now.emigrating in numbers to America; and the extortion of the landlords will cause all that is worthy the name of people to desert the country with their property, and nothing will remain but those cut-throats and assassins, who will ultimately triumph.'— pp. 268-270.
On this miscellaneous passage we shall say a few words.
On the subject of the cleaning and lighting of the city of Dublin, we have little experience; but if these points be criteria by which we are to judge of a government and people, we fear that London itself may afford similar causes of apprehension for the state and constitution of England. From the sneer at the general officers on the Irish staff
, we collect that Lord Blayney is not on that staff; he certainly is one of those who distinguished himself in the field in a very remarkable manner, though we cannot say that he has either of the other two qualifications, local information or influence." We are glad to hear from so competent an authority as his Lordship, that the
appointments of an officer on the staff are such as to enable him in a few years to accumulate a sufficient provision for himself, and not for himself alone, but for his family after him. This is quite new to us, and we fear as new to the staff officers themselves.
His Lordship next insinuates that Bishops are sent over to Ireland, and that Bishops on the Irish establishment have accumulated sums beyond all conception.--His Lordship seems as uninformed with regard to the church as to the army. In the first place there has not been, we believe, one bishop sent over to Ireland since the Union; and in the next, we may venture to say, without knowing every individual character on the Irish bench, that as a general charge, his Lordship’s imputation against that reverend body is absolutely unfounded and grossly calumnious.
That murders are committed on Protestants, merely because they are Protestants and loyal, we can hardly believe; but that the assertion of the government's being indifferent to those atrocities is untrue, we have official and irrefragable evidence, even in those very sources whence his lordship has so liberally borrowed on other occasions,—we mean the proceedings of Parliament.
Of the same class is, we believe,his lordship's assertion, that the loyal protestant yeomanry are emigrating to America: and as to the extortion of the landlords we shall say but one word, which is, that we earnestly hope that Lord Blayney himself, an Irish proprietor, will endeavour to give them a lesson of moderation, not only in his theory but in his practice.
It is worth while to recapitulate, in one sentence, the picture of-bis native country which Lord Blayney draws in two pages of his miscellaneous chapter. The capital is dirty and dark-the public functionaries are totally negligent of their duty-the government permits the most horrid atrocities—the staff of the army are persons of no military character--the bishops are sent from England, and are penurious misers--the people at large despise and break the laws--the Catholics murder the Protestants, because they are loyal-and the Protestants are exiled by the extortion and tyranny of the country gentlemen.
We really are surprised that a good natured man, which Lord Blayney has the reputation of being, should so far forget himself as to scatter such wild and inflammatory nonsense abroad; he means, we are satisfied, no harm, and we are equally satisfied he can do none, for no one will attend to him ; but it is nevertheless lamentable to see a person of his rank and situation in society, labouring to bring that rank and station into contempt; and while he fancies that he is satirizing other men, writing, in fact, libels upon himself.
On the whole, instead of quarrelling with his lordship, for his having borrowed so largely from the Commons' journals, Lord
Dillon's Commentaries, and the county histories, we lament that he did not either draw more largely from these innocent sources, or pursue his old and discreet system of confining his essays to the safe and well understood topics connected with the cellar and the kitchen.
ART. VIII.—1 Reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition
of the poor. 2. Pietas Londinensis. 3. Mémoires sur les Moyens de détruire la Mendicité. Par M.
le Vicomte de Prunelle, Membre de la Chambre des Députés du Comité d'Administration des la Société Philantropique de Paris de la Commission de Assurances établie près le Minis
tre de l'Intérieur. Paris. 1814. 4. The Principles of Population and Production as they are affect
ed by the Progress of Society, with a View to Moral and Politi
cal Consequences. By John Weyland, Jun. Esq. F. R. S. DURING many ages it was an undisputed opinion that the
state of the world was continually growing worse, according to the complaint of Horace;
• Damnosa quid non imminuit dies?
Progeniem vitiosiorem.' It was even believed that the earth itself decayed as it grew old, and that nature in all its operations was debilitated with age. To confute this opinion Hakewill wrote his 'Apology, or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World,' Some of the good old archdeacon's topics may excite a smile in these times : he clears away doubts "touching the strong physic which the ancients used, and touching the length of the duodenum, or first gut, which in the Greeks was said to be twelve inches long, and in these degenerate days hardly four, an objection which, of any he had met with, was most fully opened and seriously urged by Archangelus Piccolomini in his Anatomical Lectures,' and which would evince that the happiness of an Athenian archon exceeded that of a London alderman in the proportion of three to one. And he proves that the human race was not less prolific in his age than in elder times, by the epitaph of Dame Honeywood, of Charing in Kent, who had, at her decease, 367 children lawfully descended from her; and by that of a woman in Dunstable Church, who bore at three several times three children at a birth, and five at a birth two other times. But his moral philoso