Sivut kuvina

the task he has undertaken. We trust there are not many - London Antiquaries " so ignorant as he. One curious fact we glean from his Tolume. namely, the currency among the London populace of certain Italian words, chiefly for the smaller pieces of money. What a strident invasion of organ-grinders does this seem to indicate! The author gives them thus: "Oney saltec, a penny; Dooe saltee, twopence; Tray saltee, threepence," etc, and adds, "These numerals, as will be seen, are of mongrel origin, — the French, perhaps, predominating."! He must be the gentleman who, during the Exhibition of 1851, wrote on his door, " No French spoken here." Vooe taller and tray saltee difler little but in spelling from their Italian originals, due soldi and tre soldi. On another page we find molto cattiro transmogrified into "mullet kerterer, very bad." Very bad, indeed! For one more good thing beside the Bibliography, we are indebted to the "London Antiquary." In his Introduction he has reprinted the earliest list of cant words in the language, that made by Thomas Ilarman in Elizabeth's time. We wish we could only feel sure of the accuracy of the reprint. In this list we find already the adjective rum meaning good, fine,—a word that has crept into general use among the lower classes in London, without ever gaining promotion. The fate of new words in this respect is curious. Often, if they are convenient, or have knack of lodging easily in the memory, they work slowly upward. The Scotch word flunky is a case in point. Our first knowledge of it in print is from Fergusson's Poems. Burns advertised it more widely, and Carlyle seems fairly to have transplanted it into the English of the day. As we believe its origin is still obscure, we venture on a guess at it. French allies brought some words into Scotland that have rooted themselves, like the Edinburgh garthjloo. Flunky is defined in Fergusson's glossary as "a better kind of servant." This is an exact definition of the Scotch hench-man, the most probable original of which is haunch-man or bodyguard. Turn haunch-man into French and you get flaiiqiiier; corrupt it back into Scotch and you have flunky. Whatever liberties we take with French words, the Gauls have their revenge when they take possession of an English one. We once saw an Aris of the police in Paris, regulating les chiens et la Louie dogua, dogs and bull-dogs. Vocabularies of vulgarisms are of interest for the archaisms both of language and pronunciation which we find in them. The dictionaries say coverlet, as if the word were a diminutive; the rustic persists in the termination lid, which points to the French lit, bed. On the other hand, he still says hankmker, having been taught so by his betters, though they have taken up the final f again. Sewel, in the Introduction to his Dutch Dictionary, 1691, gives hemketsjer, and Voltaire, forty years later, hamkercher, as the received pronunciation. Sewel tells us also that the significant / was still sounded in would and should, as it still is by the peasantry in many parts of England. Mr. Swinton's book, the last on our list, is an entertaining one, and gives proof of thought, though sometimes smothered in fine writing. It is written altogether too loosely for a work on philology, one of the exactcst of sciences. But we have a graver fault to find with Mr. Swinton, and that is for his neglect to give credit where he is indebted. He seems even desirous to conceal his obligations. The general acknowledgment of his Preface is by no means enough, where the debt is so large. The great merit of Dr. Kichardson's Dictionary being the number of illustrative passages he has brought together, it is hardly fair in Mr. Swinton so often to make a show of learning with what he has got at second hand from the lexicographer. Dr. Trench could also make large reclamations, and several others. There is beside an unpleasant assumption of superiority in the book. An author who says that paganus means village, who makes ocula the plural of oculus, and who supposes that in petto means in little, is not qualified to settle Dr. Webster's claims as a philologor, much less to treat him with contempt. The first two blunders we have cited may be slips of the pen or the press, but this cannot be true of the many wrong etymologies into which Mr. Swinton has fallen. We hope that in another edition he will correct these faults, for he shows a power to appreciate ideas which is worth more than mere scholarship, vastly more than the reputation of it among the unscholarly. An Oration, delivered before lite Municipal Authorities of the City of Boston, July i, 1859. By George Sumner, etc., etc. Boston. 1859. pp. 125. The opposition in the Common Council to the order (usual on such occasions in Boston) to print the oration of Mr. Sumner, and the series of assaults it has encountered from the administration press, have given it a considerable, though secondary, importance. Intrinsically a performance of great merit, those on whom the weight of his arguments and learning fell disclosed their sense of its power by the anger of their debate and their efforts to repel it. Its value, as containing a fresh and instructive contribution to the knowledge of our Revolutionary history, derived from original sources of inquiry, explored by Mr. Sumner in person, would alone have rescued from neglect any ordinary Fourthof-July oration. The services and aids of Spain, material and moral, pecuniary and diplomatic, to the American Revolutionary cause,— the introduction, through the fortunes of Captain John Lee of Marblehead, of the American question into the policy and politics of Spain,— the effect of the arrival of our National Declaration of the 4th of July, 1776, on the fate of that gallant New England cruiser, then detained as a pirate, for his heroic exploits under our infant and unknown flag,—the incidents of vast and varied labor and accomplishment in our behalf, connected with the name and administration of the eminent Spanish minister and statesman, Florida Blanca,— the weaving and spreading out of that network of influences and circumstances, in the toils of which France and Spain entangled Great Britain, until she found herself confronted by much of the physical and all the moral power of the Continent, and from which all extrication was made hopeless, until the American Colonies should be free,—the origin of "the armed neutrality," and the shock it gave to the naval power of England, in the very crisis of the hopes of American liberty,—are presented in a narrative, clear, condensed, and original. From the aspect of peace and freedom in which our country so happily reposes, going on prospering nnd increasing, "by confidence in democratic principles, by faith in the people, and by the spirit of mutual forbearance and charity," the orator turns to that Europe to which our fathers looked for succor, now "echoing to the clang of arms, and hostile legions arrayed for combat." A tribute to Italy, for the gifts, poured out from her treasures of art, science, medical skill, and political knowledge, of literature and philosophy, to all the uses and adornments of human life, introduces a reference to the Italian Republics of the Middle Ages, which are shown to have been based on these great principles:— That all authority over the people emanates from the people,— should return to them at stated intervals, — and that its holders should be accountable to the people for its use. "To those Republics," it is added, "we also owe the practical demonstration of the great truth, that no state can long prosper or exist where intelligent labor is not held in honor, and that labor cannot be honorable where it is not free." Mr. Sumner's defence of democratic republican ideas,— of the fitness of the European peoples for self-government, — his repulse of those unbelieving theorists who would consign the French and the Italians to the eternal doom of oppression,— are manly, powerful, and unanswerable. His hearty love of genuine democratic principles, as taught oy the old republican school of statesmen and philosophers, and his zealous pride of country, which always made him one of the most intensely American, in thought, word, and deed, of all the Americans who have ever sojourned in the Old World, shine forth from every page of the Oration. And in the honest ardor of his defence of the natural and political rights of man, as they were taught by Turgot, by Montesquieu, by Jefferson, not content with declamation or rhetoric, he ploughs deep into the reasoning by which they were demonstrated or defended, and ranges wide over the fields of learning by which they were illustrated. Careful for nothing but for the truth itself, he refutes the errors of a French writer who had charged practical ingratitude on the part of America towards de Beaumarcliais. the agent of the first benefactions of France to these Colonies, and arraigns and exposes the historical mistakes of Lord Brougham and of President Fillmore, unfavorable to Republican France and to Continental liberty

A History and Description of New England, General and Local. By A. J. C00LIDge and J. B. Mansf,eld. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Boston: Austin J. Coolidge, 1809. pp. xxv., 1023.

Thts is a book of great labor, being nothing less in plan than a condensed town-history of New England. In spite of all efforts to the contrary, one is forced to admit that there is very little poetry in American history. It is a record of advances in material prosperity, and scarce anything more. The only lumps of pure ore are the Idea which the Pilgrims were possessed with and its gradual incarnation in events and institutions. Beyond this all is barren. There is a fearful destitution of the picturesque elements. It is true that our local historians commonly avoid all romance as if it were of the Enemy; but if we compare their labors with "The Beauties of England and Wales," for example, the work certainly of uninspired men, we shall be convinced that the American Dryasdust suffers from poverty of material. There is no need to remind us of Hawthorne; but he is such a genius as is rare everywhere, and could conjure poetry out of a country meetinghouse. In books of this kind we see evidence of what is called the "enterprise" of our people on every page,— one almost hears the hum of the factory-wheels, as he reads, —but that is all. It is not to be wondered at that foreigners fail to find our country interesting, and that the only good book of American travels is that of De Tocqucville, who deals chiefly with abstract ideas. It is possible to conceive minds so constituted that they may reach before long the end of their interest in the number of shoes, yards of cotton, and the like, which we produce in a year. The only immortal Greek shoemaker is he who had the good luck to be snubbed by Apelles, and Penelope is the only manufacturer in antiquity whose name has come down to us. One thing in the narrative part of this volume is striking,— the continual recurrence of massacre by the French and Indians. This is something to be borne in mind always by those who would under

stand the politics of our New England ancestors. We confess that we were surprised, the other day, to see a journal so able and generally so philosophical as the London "Saturday Review" joining in the outcry about the treatment of the Acadians. If our forefathers were ever wise and foreseeing, if they ever showed a capacity for large political views, it is proved by their early perception that the first question to be settled on this continent was, whether its destiny should be shaped by English or Keltic, by Romish or Protestant ideas. By what means they attempted to realize their thought is quite another question. Great events are not settled by sentimentalists, nor history written in milk-and-water. Uninteresting in many ways the Puritans doubtless were, but not in the least spoony.

The volume before us contains a vast amount of matter and fulfils honestly what it promises. It tells all that is to be told in the way of fact and statistics. The first settlers, the clergymen, the enterprising citizens, the men of mark,—all their names and dates are to be found here. Of the literary execution of the book we cannot speak highly. The style is of the worst. If a meeting-house is spoken of, it is a "church edifice"; if the Indians set a house on fire, they " apply the torch " ; if a man takes to drink, he is seduced by "the intoxicating cup " ; even mountains are " located." On page 68, we read that "the pent-up rage that had long heaved the savage bosom, and which had only been smouldering under the pacijic poliry of Shurt, now knew no bounds, and burst forth like the fiery torrent of the volcano "; on the same page, "the impending doom which, like a storm-cloud in the heavens, had overhung with its sable drapery the settlements along the coast, and Pemaquid in particular." Of a certain tavern we are told that the daughters of the landlord were " genteel, sprightly, intelligent young ladies, ambitious of display and of setting a rich and elegant table." This is no doubt true, but surely History should sift her facts with a coarser sieve. In spite of these faults, the book is one which all New Englanders will find interesting, and we hope that in their second volume the authors will balance their commendable profusion of industry with a corresponding economy of fine writing.

The crimes of Austria are shown to have been made possible by the moral support Austria has received from the government of England. The fruits of the reverses suffered by Hungary, and by other nationalities struggling for independence and popular liberty, are exhibited in the sacrifices since endured by England in the war in the Crimea, and in the embarrassments of the present hour. Among our own duties and responsibilities to the great and world-wide cause of liberty,— discussed thus far in its relations to Europe,—Mr. Sumner proceeds to present the grand duty we owe, not less to ourselves than to Europe, of giving to the struggling nations an example of government true to the memories of our National Anniversary, and to the fundamental ideas of civil freedom "implied in an independent, but rigidly responsible judiciary, and a complete separation of the legislative and judicial functions." From Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Marshall, and Story,— to say nothing of English and French jurists,— Mr. Sumner brings authority to define and illustrate the true place of the judicial office in the political system of a free government. And here, fidelity to those principles of liberty he had explained and defended, fidelity to the "good old cause" itself, at home and in the grand forum of the nations, demanded and received the frank avowal, that "a recent scene in the Supreme Court of the United States has shown that Jefferson was no false prophet, and has furnished at the same time a serious warning to all who prefer a government based upon law to either despotism or anarchy." The clear and sharp, merciless and logical veracity with which he discriminates between the solemn judgment of a tribunal and a stump speech from the bench,— the startling narration of decisions and statutes, practice and precedent, condensed into a few of the closing pages of the Oration, with which the discussion read by Chief Justice Taney in the famous case of Dred Scott is confronted and exposed,—are among the greater merits of this elaborate and able discourse. It must have required of one not in the arena of political strife, who for a large part of his manhood has occupied himself abroad in the studies of an intelligent scholar and a patriotic American, somewhat of self-denial, to throw away the certainty of almost universal cheers for his performance, by incurring the displeasure of some of his audience and many of his countrymen. It was not, however, in the interest of any opinion of African slavery that the case of Scott was here referred to. It was in the interest of republican liberty everywhere, endangered by all departures in the model republic of the world from fundamental principles of good government, and all the more perilled in proportion to the station, quality, and character of the active offender. And Mr. Sumner was right. The truth of history, the law of this land, and of all lands where there is any law which marks a boundary between legal right and despotic usurpation, unite to denounce, and will forever condemn, the judicial magistrate whose great name is tarnished and whose " great office " is degraded by this political pronimciamento, uttered from the loftiest judicial place in America. Stripped of verbiage and technicalities, the case is within the humblest comprehension. The chief justice and a majority of his associates held that Dred Scott, who sued his master for his freedom in the Federal court, had been already legally declared to be the slave of that same master by the highest court of the State of Missouri, in which State Scott resided at the time. They held that this decision of the Missouri court was binding on all other tribunals; and that the Federal court had no authority to reverse it, even if wrong. The merits of the cause then before the court were thus conclusively disposed of, whether the decision be regarded as bearing on the main issue between the parties, or on the plea in abatement filed by the defendant, avowing that Scott was not a citizen of Missouri,—an averment, if true, fatal to his standing in the Federal court.— since its jurisdiction of the cause depended on the citizenship of the litigants. In a word, if he was a slave, he was no citizen. If he was the slave of Sanford, his doom was fixed, his dream of rights dissolved. If the decision of the Missouri court was finally binding;, the functions of the Federal tribunal were at an end. What, then, was the pertinency of going on to argue the effect of the Ordinance of 1787 over Scott while a resident in Illinois, or of the Missouri Compromise on him during his residence in Wisconsin, or the effect of his color, race, or ancestral disabilities upon a cause controlled finally and beyond appeal by the authority of a decision already made and recorded?

Mr. Buchanan made hot haste to use this pronunviamcnlo of his chief justice, issued only a few hours after his inauguration as President and withheld until after the election of 1800 had taken place. He proclaimed — on its authority as a judicial exposition of a point of constitutional law — the existence of slavery in the Territory of Kansas. And he endeavored to make it efficient and powerful by practical application in the administration of the government of the Territory, and by interpolating these bastard dogmas, dropped from the Federal bench, into the creed of the political party of which he was the official chief. These dicta of Mr. Chief Justice Taney made Drcd Scott neither more nor less a slave, neither more nor less a citizen, than he had been without their utterance. But they aided the purpose of subjugating Kansas, of opening all American territory to slavery, of Africanizing the continent by reopening the slave-trade, of breaking down barriers which State legislation has interposed against the introduction of slaves, and of putting the propagandists of slavery in full possession of every power. We gladly record our sense of the skill, learning, and intrepidity with which Mr. Sumner fulfilled his task of presenting, defining, and defending, within the brief limits of a single oration, the cause of Liberty, — Liberty,—American, European, universal. Out of the Depths. The Story of a Woman's Life. London: Macmillan & Co. 8vo. pp. 381.

TnE author of this book is like an awkward angler, who fails to take a trout himself, and spoils the water for the more skilful man who may follow him. Its object is the illustration of that subject which has been called " the greatest of our social evils," and which, in its present aspect, is certainly one of the saddest that the statesman or the moralist is called upon to contemplate, and yet one the duration of which seems to he inevitably coexistent with every form of civilized society yet known to the world. The author has sought his end by means of a fictitious autobiography. This was of course. No unusual faculty in the selection of methods was necessary to the choice; for only in the autobiographical form could the inner life of a courtesan be so revealed as to present a truthful and living picture of her soul's experience. A fine novel of this kind would be a great book, and one productive of much good; not, indeed, directly to the wretched class that would furnish studies for it, but to society at large, and so indirectly to the class in question, by providing a subject of this kind which could be studied and talked about. Dumas ftls' " Dame aux Camelias " is a great melodramatic story; but it is so exceptional in its incidents and episodical in its character, that its heroine is quite worthless as a specimen for examination and analysis; and it is, beside, so very French as to be almost valueless in this regard, for that reason alone. What it would be well to have written is the story of an abandoned woman, told simply and without any reserve, except that of decency, and purely from a woman's point of view. But, except by a woman, and at the cost of the experience to be recounted, this is manifestly possible only to genius. The author of "Out of the Depths" has not attained the desideratum; but has yet approached so near it, that we fear the right man, or, possibly, woman, may be deterred from the attempt to do better. If so, there is a good subject — good for the making of a grand psychological, physiological, and dramatic study — lost. The subject of this professed autobiography, Mary Smith, is the daughter of a gardener on a large English estate, ller family is much noticed and favored by the ladies of the mansion, and she, who is handsome and intellectual, soon acquires tastes and an education above her position; and as she is vain and selfish and of a voluptuous temperament, the consequence seems inevitable. Her first fault, however, is committed with her betrothed

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