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The term “Magazine " implies a repository or collection of the materials of knowledge, without restricting or specifying their nature: but without doubt, it was originally understood that the information which it bestowed should be of a mixed and miscellaneous kind; that it should collect from Science and Literature what was most striking for novelty, or valuable for intrinsic information, arranging in a commodious compass that which was scattered through various channels, and preserving what otherwise would have perished from neglect.
When the Literature of a Country is yet in its infancy, and the pursuit of knowledge is confined to a few, such a plan is the most advantageous that could be adopted. But when the general mass begins to separate, and divide itself into various branches ; when each division or province requires a separate consideration, some alteration will be also necessary in the manner of detailing it; the Magazine will depart more and more from its miscellaneous character; its scattered notices will assume a nearer relation to each other, and it will at length confine itself to some peculiar and separate branches of inquiry; for, as Lord Bacon says,
66 Were it not better for a man in a fair room to set up one great light, or branching candlestick of light, than to go about with a small watchcandle in every corner."
The Gentleman's Magazine has endeavoured to preserve the distinction here described. The staple article of the Work consists in the account given of the Antiquities and Literature of the country; occasionally admitting notices of other Works, either foreign or domestic, which seemed to call for admission either by intrinsic worth, or temporary interest.
It is not in the power of those who conduct a Magazine like the present, to command the relative quantity of their materials, as that much depends on their Correspondents, or to distribute with exact proportion the space that each division of their work should receive: sometimes there is a larger accession of literary notices, sometimes the antiquarian subjects preponderate: the balance, however, if at all defective in one month, is restored in another. Besides, the Proprietors endeavour to set apart, at all times, a space for the older Literature of the country, either by reviews or extracts, so as to make their two separate subjects reflect light on each other, and act by combination. A relic of antiquity often enables us to clear up a dubious passage of an author, which may have defied previous interpretation; and in the same way
the works of our older authors are storehouses of valuable information, which the Antiquary may take as his faithful and intelligent companion and guide. To these are added accounts of some of the more interesting parts of modern Literature; so that in an extended Series like ours, its progression will be marked and preserved; while in another department, many little notices and fragments, of themselves apparently of small significance, will acquire importance, and gradually unite themselves to the larger masses from which they have been separated by time and accident. Such has been our design, - it is a duty we owe to the Public to see the execution as perfect as we can make it; so we trust that we shall not fall under the censure,—Quod tempore antiquum videtur, id incongruitate est maxim novum.
Dec. 31, 1836.
GENTLEM A N'S MAGAZINE. 7.2
By SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
thor of “ Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos, &c.
P. C. S. S. remarks: “ At page 3 of shade, and beautiful ornament, the · Loseley Manuscripts,' the learned pecially in the fruiting season. ArbusEditor appears to have fallen into a sin- tum is, in fact, synonymous to vineyard : gular and rather amusing error. In de. •Qui vincam vel arbustum constituere scribing the meeting at Rochester between volet, seminaria prius facere debebit.' Henry VIII. and Ame of Cleves, it is Columella, lib. 1. • Arbustum cùm said that the King and ciglit gentlemen vites ulmis, populis, et similibus arboribus of his Privy Chamber were attired in applicantur.' Cato de Re Rustica. On marble coats ;' which the Editor inge- the other band, Arboretum plainly deniously conjectures to mean, 'coats per- notes a plantation of all kinds of trees, haps of a plain stone-colour.' If Mr. according to its derivation from Arbor; Kempe had taken the trouble to refer to and conformably also to the genins of the Ducange, he would have found the true Latin tongue, as in the instance of Escu. meaning of this expression : Vol. iv. p. letum from Esculus. I am therefore 501. MARBRINUS PANNUS : Qui ex filis much inclined to think that in any future diversi at varii coloris textus. Statutum edition of Mr. Loudon's work, instead of pro Draperiis Trecens: an: 1360, tom. 3. substituting Arbustum for Arboretum, he Ordinal. Reg. Franc. p. 414. Et si ne will do well to retain its present title. At peult on tiltre en estain qu'il soit près, any rate, I confidently hope that he will Camelin ou MARBRE, &c. Melius ibidem, soon have an opportunity of making his p. 416. art. 17.-Et tous draps tixus de choice between the two opinions ; agreediverses laines, comme Marbrez ou Ca. ing in this respect most sincerely with melins.' In the Glossarium Novum, tom. the friendly wishes of your reviewer.” II. p. 1169, there are no fewer than nine Mr. Bond should supply us with a different quotations from works of the better drawing of the golden rod; his middle ages, shewing the real sense of sketch looks not unlike a tobacco pipe. this not very uncommon term. And in In answer to CHRISTOPHER EASEL, a book of yet more ordinary occurrence, the shops in front of the Royal Exchange the Dictionnaire de l'Academie, it is thus have been partly removed, and we underexplained: * Etoffes Marbrés- Des étoffes stood at the time of the improvements où il y a des soies ou des laines de diffè. that the others will follow when the leases rentes couleurs, meleés ensemble.”
shall be expired. S. X. (a constant customer of 60 years A new Edition of the Works of Bishop standing) remarks: “I have read with Hall is preparing for the Press. Any much pleasure in your Magazine, the Notice of works omitted in former remarks of your learned and ingenious Editions, or of particulars tending to reviewer on the lately-published numbers elucidate the Biography of that author, of Loudon's · Arboretum Britannicum;' will be thankfully received by the Editor. but their author is certainly mistaken in G. L. F. desires to be satisfied as to supposing that ' Arboretum is not a classi- the true author of the well-known “ Vin. cal word, and that there is no authority diciæ contrà a Tyrannos.” My copy, Amstefor it,' since we find in the Noctes Altice, lod. ad Ægidium Valckénier, 1660.) has book 17, c. 2, the following quotation on the title-page-"S. J. Bruto Celta, from Q. Claudius Quadrigarius, an an. sive, ut putatur, Theodoro Bezd, auctore.' cient Roman annalist of high repute: Some former owner has drawn a pen • Convalles et arborcta magna erant:' im- through the latter name, and superscribed mediately succeeded, indeed, by this re- “ Hoffomanno." In the Chronological mark of Agellius, (arboreta ignobilius Tables appended by Macclaine to bis verbum est, arbusta celebratius.' But paraphrase of Mosheim, among the litethen it is to be observed that arbustum, rary men of France in the 16th century, often as we find it in the best Roman occurs the name of “ Hub. Languet, au. writers both of prose and poetry, is rarely thor of the Vindiciæ c. Tyrannos.” Now, if ever employed by them except in the wbo is the actual author? limited sense of a nursery or plantation of We much regret that some serious miselms, poplars, and other tall trees requi- prints occurred in the quotations from site for the culture of the vine according Mr. Maude's “ Schoolboy” in our last to the Italian method ; which consists in number. In the seventh line quoted, fortraining the vine-plants, creeperwise, • In a sweet spot to running waters clear,' along the stems of such trees up to their in the original it is. In a sweet spot to summits; from whence their branches nursing Nature dear.' For “righily en. are interwoven from tree to tree in dowed, read “richly endowed;' and for festoons, so as to form a continuous * sweetest rapture,' read ' purest rapture.'
BY JOANNA BAILLIE.
3 Vols. 1836,
MANY years have passed since Joanna Baillie first gave to an admiring public those productions of her muse, which at once placed her at the head of the dramatists of the day. From causes, some of them perhaps not difficult to state, while all other poetry, epic, lyric, romantic, has flourished even to luxuriance, that of the serious drama has of late years been but little cultivated, and, even at best, with a dubious and moderate success. There are some few exceptions, such as Mr. Milman's Fazio, Miss Mitford's Rienzi, Mr. Coleridge's Remorse ; but these are but single efforts, not leading to a future expansion of the dramatic talent. The two great Minstrels of the North and of the South--Scott and Byronboth failed. Mr. Coleridge never followed up the success of his first play; and Miss Baillie, while she witnessed the downfall of many a previously splendid reputation, kept the field without a rival. We do not wonder at the manifold failures which occurred, considering from what previous discipline the aspirants to the tragic laurel came to the combat.' Some who had been successful in the looser style, and the more contemplative and varied feeling of the epic; some fresh from the splendid descriptions, the brilliant episodes, and rich galleries of the romantic fable ; some who bad distinguished themselves alone in the soft luxury of pastoral description ; others emerged from the walk of satire and wit ; and all aspired to success in a province of poetry the most difficult of all to subdue ; requiring, and jealously requiring, the most concentrated powers of thought and language, the widest knowledge of life, the command of the various passions of the human heart, great experimental and practical familiarity with the different ranks of society, cleverness in combining and weaving incidents, and, lastly, great and attentive examination of the technical management of scenic illusion,
We do not say that Miss Baillie has altogether succeeded where others have failed, but that she has decidedly shown a more completely dramatic talent. Perhaps among all her plays there is not one that is so pleasing in representation as Rienzi ; but then again, that one is certainly not to be put in comparison with her many various and fine productions. ‘Amidst all the elegance and beauty of the poetry of the present day—impressed as it is with the varied character of its different authors, and extending, as it does, through almost all the provinces of the art—there is one distinguishing characteristic belonging to it, which separates it from the poetic style of the preceding age, and which would be a mark easily recognized by future critics,—which is, its tendency to a luxuriant and overflowing fulness of description.* This has its beauties, as well as its defects ; though overcharged, it may not be in some cases very objectionable, and when it is employed in delineating the forms of nature, it brings with it a charm in images, in description, nay even in language, words, and sounds, which
* See a memorable instance of misplaced description in the play of • Rayner,' p. 127, where the messenger, who is hastening with a pardon for a criminal, and who is already belated, takes a whole page to describe a river.