« НазадПродовжити »
secure him a position among the ablest respectful admiration upon Louis XIV, as rulers of his country--by the side of alone representing and embodying a very Henry IV., of Richelieu, of Napoleon. And brilliant epoch of her development-an whatever political or social changes France is epoch, however, which has passed utterly destined to undergo, we do not anticipate away, and which, fortunately for mankind, that she will ever cease to look back with | it is forever impossible to recall.
PRODUCE OF THE PRINTING PRESS.
An intelligent bookseller, who has been tion addressed to the Pope in 1471, by many years conversant with the industry of Sweynheim and Pannartz, printers at Rome, the great literary hive of London, has made they bitterly complain of the want of dethe following computations of the productive- mand for their books, their stock amounting ness of the British press. There is every rea to 12,000 volumes; in the petition they son to believe them quite accurate, however gravely say: “You will admire how and astounding:
where we could procure a sufficient quanThe periodical works sold on the last day tity of paper, or even rags, for such a numof the month amount to 500,000 copies, the ber of volumes,” And yet, about 1,200 amount of cash expended in the purchase of reams of paper would have produced all the which is $125,000. These
poor printers' stock of books! Such has try in 2,000 packages, few remaining behind been the change in less than four centuries. over the day. The annual returns of period The estimated annual sales of different ical works amount to $1,500,000.
publications are as follows: The number of newspapers published in New books and reprints, $2,178,000 the United Kingdom in the year 1843, as as Weekly publications, not certained through the Stamp Office, was newspapers,
500,000 447; the number of stamps issued, which de Monthly publications, 1,500,000 termines the number of copies issued during Newspapers,
6,250,000 the year, was above sixty millions and a half. The proportions were as follows:
$10,428,000 79 London newspapers 31,692,092 In 1743, only one century ago, the sales 212 English provincial 17,058,056 of books, periodicals and newspapers hardly 8 Welsh
339,500 amounted to $500,000 per annum. The in69 Scotch
5,027,588 crease is twenty-fold. The reason is found 79 Irish
6,474,764 in the diffusion of knowledge. The whole
course of English literature has been that of 447
60,592,001 gradual and certain spread from the few to
the many from luxury to a necessary; as The number of different papers published much as the spread of the cotton to the silk in Great Britain does not compare with the trade. Henry VIII. paid what was equal number in the United States, which exceeds in our day to $30,00 a yard for a silk gown 1,000 ; but the circulation of some of the for Anne Boleyn. Now the thousands buy London papers is immense.
their silk gowns for fifty cents a yard. The price of the English papers is fire pence each; printing press has done for the commerce in so that the sum annually expended in news literature, in its various forms, what the mule papers is about $0,250,000; above six mil and the Jacquard loom have done for the lions of dollars. The quantity of paper commerce in silk; it has made it accessible required for the annual supply of these to all, at the same time it is sought by all. newspapers is 121,184 reams; some of the Can a stronger argument be framed for a paper is of an enormous size. The differ- moral, intelligent and Christian press, when ence in reading matter and in the extent of the universal mind is formed by it, and it reading in three hundred and seventy-five controls the world ? What are a thousand years is seen in the follow facts. In a peti- 1 eloquent living voices by the side of it?
From the New Monthly Magazine.
THEODORE Hook may be said to have And who can fail to discover throughout been nurtured in a hot-bed of talent, wit, life, and even in employments less distasteand dissipation. His father was a musical ful to him, traces of the same haste and imcomposer and an established favorite, for patience of labor ? Theodore soon left upwards of half a century; first at the Harrow, and the death of his mother, the Mary-le-bone Gardens, and, lastly, at Vaux- only one who could restrain the youth's exhall. His mother was the author of at uberance of spirits, left him in the charge of least one theatrical piece, “ The Double a worldly, pleasure-loving father, who at Disguise," played with success at Drury once employed his son's talents in writing Lane in 1784. There were two brothers, songs and plays. The success of his first James and Theodore, and the elder, although farces, and his love of fun, soon established sent to Wesminster School, and afterwards Master Theodore's reputation, both before to Oxford, where he graduated and took and behind the curtain, and he became at holy orders, and became ultimately Dean of this early period of his life, the pet of the Worcester, still exhibited throughout life the green-room, and at the same time, by his wit and vivacity of the stock, and the same incessant indulgence in practical jokes, the indications of the family taste for the drama plague of the property-man and of all the and authorship. But James was blessed minor officers of the establishment. Even with advantages which never fell to the lot Liston himself was made one of the victims of Theodore ; in his case the inebriety of wit of this besetting propensity. was sobered by a regular education, and the exuberance of animal spirits was restrained
“ Having procured a bladder with a penny by the ties of his sacred calling, which were
whistle attached to it, after the fashion of a bagfurther strengthened by an early and happy the perfor:nance of the Finger Post,' and intro
pipe, Hook made his way under the stage during marriage. Who,” asks his biographer, ducing the orifice of the tube into the opening of the Rev. R. H. Dalton Barham,
“ does not the float,' close to Liston's foot, as the latter lament that such a boon was denied to was about to commence his song, “When I fell Theodore ?"
into the pit of love,' proceeded to elicit from his The first school that Theodore, born on apparatus the most discordant squeaks imaginthe 22d of September, 1788, in Charlotte able, by way of accompaniment, not more to the
ainusement of the audience than the bewilderment Street, Bedford Square, was sent to, was a
of the actor, who could not conceive whence on sort of “seminary for young gentlemen,” a earth, or under the earth, the sounds proceeded. green-doored, brass-plated “ establishment,” The song was tumultuously encored, and, mystiin Soho Square. Subsequently, he went to fied as he was, Liston of course had no alternaDr. Curtis's, and thence to Harrow, but tive but to repeat it, bis unseen assistant squecz. with little or no real advantage, and, as his ing and squeaking the while more vigorously
than ever. biographer justly remarks, a sufficient reason for his want of success is to be found in At this early time, also, when he was the confessions of “Gilbert Gurney,” where scarcely in his twentieth year, Theodore he says, with evident reference to himself: Hook gave evidence of the possession of that “ My school life was not a happy one. I talent which he afterwards cultivated to so was idle and careless of my tasks. I had no much perfection, and compared with which, aptitude for learning languages. I hated mimicry in its perfection sinks into insignifiGreek, and absolutely shuddered at Hebrew.cance--that of the improvisatore. In the I fancied myself a genius, and anything that art of pouring forth extemporaneous poetry, could be done in a hurry, and with little music and words, rhyme and reason, all imtrouble, I did tolerably well, but application promptu, Hook stood alone--rival he had I had not.”
“Of course (says his biographer) he had his of advice given in the John Bull many years imtators :
after his own connection with the drama had
ceased. “The charming extempore verses of T-s's,'
The name of Theodore Hook became, for example, will not readily be forgotten; ano- however, most notorious, even at this early ther gentleman also found reason to remember period of his career, for his performances off his attempt at rivalry. Ambitious of distinction, the stage ; for that series of practical jokes or he took an opportunity of striking off into verse imrnediately after one of Hook’s happiest efforts. hoaxes, of which his biographer remarks, Theodore's bright eye flashed, and fixed on the that inexcusable as they must be considered, intruder, who soon began to flounder in the they were so inexpressibly ludicrous in efmeshes of his stanza, when he was put out of fect, as well as original in conception, and his misery at once by the following couplet from were carried out with so unparalleled a dethe master, given, however, with a good
gree of impudence, as to provoke the dullest humored smile that robbed it of all offense :
of mortals to mirth. This is saying very "I see, sir, ! see, sir, what 'tis that you're hatching, little for them. Many of these hoaxes were But mocking, you see, sir, is not always catching
far from original in conception, although often
much so in the manner they were carried This is a kind of success which is, how
out; and the sense of humor which they ever, pre-eminently evanescent.
excite is as frequently mingled with a feeling dowed with such gifts must be content, like of commiseration for the man who would actors, whom they in a measure resemble,
Most of the more with the applause of their contemporaries; amusing instances of Hook's practical joking they have little to hope for from posterity; have been detailed. and with but slight emand in Hook's case scarcely a record has bellishment, in “ Gilbert Gurney,” which is been kept of any one of those performances indeed little more than a record of his own which used at once to delight and astonish mad doings, loose thoughts and feelings. the circles in which he moved. “Mrs.
Others have appeared in the very entertainMuggins's Visit to the Queen,” stanzas
ing Reminiscences of the late Mr. Mawritten in the John Bull as a satire upon the thews,” by his Widow, and a few have been Brandenburgh House drawing room, is de recently printed in the “ Life of Thomas Inscribed in the " Quarterly Review,” as also
goldsby. by Mr. Dalton Barham, as most approaching what look used to improvise on a festive feature, and involving equal impudence,
That an occurrence similar in the principal evening, and as conveying to a person who though less of humor, than the well-known had never witnessed that marvellous per projection of the line of the Paddington formance, a tolerably accurate notion of what Canal across a gentleman's lawn, and the it was.
subsequent dinner did take place, the bio“ Have you been to Brandenburgh - heigh, grapher tells us, is ur.doubtedly true, only ma'uum; ho, ma'am ?
that the venue is to be laid in the neighborHave you been to Brandenburgh, ho ? hood of Soho Square, Frith Street, or Dean -Oh, yes; I have been, ma'am,
Street, both at that period places of compaTo visit the Queen, ma'am,
ratively fashionable residence. With the rest of the gallanty show-show, With the rest of the gallanty show.
"Lounging up one of those streets in the
afternoon, with Terry, the actor, the nostrils of “ And who were your company-heigh, ma'am ; | the promenaders were suddenly saluted with a ho, ma'am ?
concord of sweet odors arising from a spacious And who were your company, ho ?
area. They stopped, snuffed the gratefui incense, -We happened to drop in
and peeping down, perceived through the kitchen With gemmen from Wapping,
window preparations for a handsome dinner, eviAnd ladies from Blow bladder-row-Row. dently on the point of being served. And ladies from Blow bladder-row."
“ 'What a feast !' said Terry. “Jolly dogs!
I should like to make one of them.' Mr. Barham records very little of Hook's " • I'll take any bet,' returned Hook, 'that I do doings on the stage, whither his constitu -call for me here at ten o'clock, and you will tional predilections and early associations led
find that I shall be ablo to give a tolerable achim for awhile ; but a more faithful, yet at
count of the worthy gentleman's champagne and
venison.' So saying, he marched up the steps, the same time a more ludicrous picture of
gave an authoritative rap with the burnished the miseries and mortifications incident to a knocker, and was quickly lost to the sight of his play-actor, was never penned than a letter astonished companion. As a matter of course,
he was immediately ushered by the servant, as hand—the unfortunate part of the business was, an expected guest, into the drawing-rooin, where he had made an appointment with a gentleman a large party had already assembled. The to call for him at ten o'clock. The good-natured apartment being well-nigh full, no notice was at Jones, however, positively refused to allow so first taken of his intrusion, and half-a-dozen entertaining a visitor to withdraw dinnerless. people were laughing at his bon-mo's before the Mrs. Jone joined in solicitation, the Misses host discovered the mistake. Affecting not to Jones smiled bewitchingly, and at last Mr. Smith, observe the visible embarrassment of the latter, who soon recovered from his confusion, was preand ingeniously avoiding any opportunity for vailed upon to offer bis arm to one of the ladies, explanation, Hook rattled on till he had attracted and take his place at the “well-furnished board.' the greater part of the company in a circle round “ In all probability, the family of Jones never him, and some considerable time elapsed ere the passed such an evening before. Hook naturally old gentleman was able to catch the attention of exerted himself to the utmost to keep the party in the agreeable stranger.
an unceasing roar of laughter, and make good “I beg your pardon, sir,' he said, contriving the first impression. The mirth grew fast and at last to get in a word; but your name, sir- furious, when, by way of a coup de grace, he I did not quite catch it-servants are so abomi- seated himself at the piano-forte, and struck off nably incorrect—and I am really a little at a into one of those extemporaneous effusions which loss
had filled more critical judges than the Joneses * Don't apologize, I beg,' graciously replied with delight and astonishment. Ten o'clock Theodore ; "Smith,—my name is Smith-and, struck, and on Mr. Terry being announced, his as you justly observe, servants are always making triumphant friend wound up the performance some stupid blunder or another; I remember å with the explanatory stanza : remarkable instance,' &c.
** But really, my dear sir,' continued the host, “ I am very much pleased with your fare, at the termination of the story illustrative of stu
Your cellar's as prime as your cook; pidity in servants; • I think the mistake on the My friend's Mr. Terry, the player, present occasion does not originate in the source And I'm Mr. Theodore Hook !!.. you allude to; I certainly did not anticipate the pleasure of Mr. Smith's company at dinner to
That there was love of notoriety, as well day.'
as of fun and a little commendable ambition, * No, I dare say not-you said four in your in these displays, may be shown from note, I know, and it is now, I see, a quarter past another case of a slightly different character. fact is, I have been detained in the city as I was Accompanied by a friend in the Treasury, about to explain when
who had provided a gig, drawn by a white ** Pray, exclaimed the other, as soon as he horse, Hook made what he used to call a could stay the volubility of his guest, “whom “mononag excursion into Wales, of some may I ask, do you suppose you are addressing ?' weeks' duration.
666 Whom?' Why, Mr. Thompson, of courseold friend of my father. I have not the pleasure, indeed, of being personally known to you, but fine weather--magnificent scenery--a stream to
“Everything passed off pleasantly enough; having received your kind invitation yesterday, be whipped one day, a mountain to be climbed on my arrival froin Liverpool, Frith Street-four the next-a mine to be explored at one spot, a o'clock-family party—come in boots-you see I
Druid temple to be traced at another. Castles, have taken you at your word. I am only afraid
cataracts, and coal mines, all inviting inspection! I have kept you waiting.'
66 Ah!' said Hook, as they lounged along one ". No, no? not at all. But permit me to ob- bright morning, this is all very well in its way serve, my dear sir, my name is not exactly
- very delightful, of course-plenty to look atThompson, it is Jones, and
but then, somehow, nobody looks at us!-the " Jones!' repeated the soi-disant Smith, in thing is getting a little dull, don't you think so ? admirably assumed consternation ; 'Jones-why
His companion assented. Well, we can't surely I cannot have-yes, I must-good beaven!
go on in this manner, continued the other; I I see it all! My dear sir, what an unfortunate blunderwrong house—what must you think of monstrari somebow or other.'
must hit upon something, and get up a digito such an intrusion! I am really at a loss for
“ And at the next town from which they words in which to apologize-you will permit me started, his friend had a taste of his quality in to retire at present, and to-morrow* • Pray don't think of retiring,' exclaimed the wafers, he had completely sputted the snowy coat
that line, for having procured a box of large black hospitable old gentleman, 'your friend's table
of the animal they were driving, after the pattern must have been cleared long ago, if, as you say, of those wooden quadrupegs which, before the four was the hour named, and I am only too happy diffusion of useful knowledge, used to form the to be able to offer you a seat at mine.'
studs of childhood. The device fully answered “ Hook, of course, could not hear of such a thing-could not think of trespassing upon the ing throughout the remainder of the day, the
its purpose, and the happy pair drove off, attractkindness of a perfect stranger-if too late for gaze, wonder, and unqualified admiration of CadThompson, there were plenty of chop-houses at | wallader and all his goats.” VOL. XVI. NO. III.
Neither the gigantic Berners' Street hoax, “• Pray, sir, are you a member of this univerperpetrated in 1809, nor the trick of calling sity ? in a friend to throw a coach or a cab fare on
6. No, sir,' replied Hook, rising and bowing rehis shoulders, are original conceptions. The spectfully: Pray, sir, who are you?'
“ A little disconcerted at the extreme gravity of first was, perhaps, redeemed from the com
the other, the proctor held out his ample sleevemon-place by the development given to the You see this, sir ?' plot, which included among the dupes the “* Ah,' returned Hook, having examined the Lord Mayor and the Duke of Gloucester; | fabric with great earnestness for a few seconds, and in the second, great resources were ex yes, I perceive-Manchester velvet—and may hibited when the friend picked up to pay, might have paid per yard for the article ?
I take the liberty, sir, of inquiring how much you being as unprepared for any pecuniary trans- might have paid per yard for the article ?
“ The quiet imperturbability of manner with action as Hook himself, the carriage was which this was uttered was more than the reymade to convey the unhappy pair to the erend gentleman could stand ; and, muttering house of a medical man, to whose charge something about supposing it was a mistake,' the coach was ultimately committed upon he effected a retreat, amid shouts of laughter from an imaginary professional case.
Hook's companions, in which the other occupants Successful beyond his most sanguine ex
of the coffee-room, the waiters, and even his own pectations as a dramatist, and with actors bull-dogs,' were constrained to join." at hand, and those his personal friends, both A youth of Theodore Hook's free and qualified and ready to embody his ideas, easy disposition, utterly unaccustomed to Hook, when barely twenty-one, took it into any kind or measure of restraint, and the his head to give up writing for the stage, companion of wits and “men about town, and commenced novelist; his first essay, was not likely to become a very tractable “The Man of Sorrow," meeting, however, son of Alma Mater; and after a residence of with but trifling success—a failure which one, or at most a couple of terms, “an un
more than compensated for by the looked for turn in his affairs” enabled him popularity of his subsequent works. Hook's to quit Oxford, if with no great accession of life was, as modern society is constituted, re honor or wisdom, at least without censure. markably chequered; at the same time These are the words of his biographer; that he exchanged dramatic composition for there is the same indefiniteness here as we writing novels, he appears also to have observe in the Ingoldsby memoirs, “one, quitted the green-room for the discreet
or at most a couple of terms ;" and as to halls of St. Mary's, Oxford ; with what suc “ the unlooked-for turn in affairs,” we are cess may be easily imagined. The very not told what that turn was, unless we are ceremony of his matriculation was, as re
to consider as such his introduction, “after corded in the “Ingoldsby Memoirs,” well
a very slight probation, into the order of nigh stopped in limine. When the vice- fashion,” and his election as a member of the chancellor asked the candidate if he was “Eccentrics,” on the same memorable night prepared to subscribe to the Thirty-nine with Sheridan, Lord Petersham, and others. Articles ? • Oh, certainly, sir," replied An intimacy with lords, and dukes, and noble Theodore," forty, if you please."
princes, mainly brought about by Hook's It appears, also, from his biographer's exquisite musical taste, and extending itself account, that the very evening of his arrival to the person of the Prince-Regent, also at the university he began a course of ca- embraced a person much spoken of in the rousing.
Ingoldsby memoirs—the Rev. Edward Can“ On the evening of his arrival at the univer- non, no less celebrated for his wit and ecsity," says our friend," he contrived to give his centricity than for his frailty and sad history. brother the slip, and joined a party of old school- Between two such similar spirits a close infellows in a carouse at one of the taverns. Sun- timacy established itself
, but the favor of dry bowls of “Bishop,' and of a popular compound yclept Egg-flip'—the Cambridge men
royalty was soon sacrificed by the latter's call it Silky, to the nondem graduati of Oxford freedom of speech, which little cared for it is known by a nomen accidentale, which we suavity to princes or their favorites. On behave forgotten-having been discussed, songs, ing requested to give his opinions of an upamatory and bacchanalian, having been sung right piano-forte, an instrument then but rewith full choruses ; and altogether the jocularity cently invented, he ran his hand, light as a having begun to pass the limit of becoming lady's, over the keys, and threw himself mirth,' the proctor made his appearance, and ad
back with a dissatisfied air. vancing to the table at which the · Freshman' so in every sense of the word—was presiding,
“What do you think of it, Mr. Cannon ?” put the usual question-
asked Mrs. Fitzherbert.