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"All the faculties of Burns's mind," said the metaphy- | sician, “were, as far as I could judge, equally vigorous; and his predilection for poetry was rather the result of his own enthusiastic and impassioned temper, than of a genius exclusively adapted to that species of composition. From his conversation I should have pronounced him to be fitted to excel in whatever walk of ambition he had chosen to exert his talents." We suspect just as much as this might have been said of every true poet.

Another and a more dangerous fallacy which has obtained in the world is, that Burns's unfortunate vices were dependent on, and indeed part of, his genius. It would be as well to say that the vulnerable heel of Achilles was part of his invulnerability! Had Burns's genius been loftier than it really was, and his education or self-instruction more enlarged, he would not only have been a better man, but a better poet. The strength of mind and the refinement of moral taste that would have enabled him to resist the low temptations which almost incessantly surrounded him, would also have given greater vigour and purity to his compositions.

We are willing to draw a veil, which perhaps never ought to have been raised, over the tenderer failings of Burns's early manhood, yet we cannot but express our opinion that the transgressions of his after life have never been fairly or clearly put, and properly compared with the general state of society at the time in which the poet lived.

These trangressions of Burns were, occasional fits of conviviality and inebriety (for he never appears to have been a regular drunkard), and occasional flights of rant and extravagance in which grossness of thought as well as of expression is but too prominent.

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trio, who, when he had finished his sixth bottle, despatched
a quart of wine at a draught. The simple truth is, that the
standard of sobriety, and of propriety of demeanour and
language, was then much lower than now among all classes
of society. Where hard drinking was an habitual vice, it was
just as likely to lead lords and gentlemen to ribaldry, inde-
cency, coarseness of language, and allusion to excesses of
another nature, and finally to premature decay, as it was to
produce the same results in "an Ayrshire peasant, and
tradesmen of Edinburgh, and other such like persons."
The British tradesmen of the present day might, as a
body, look down upon the coarse tastes, the tone of society,
the domestic economy, and the habitations of the generality
of the proud cotemporaries of Robert Burns; for most of
them, we would venture to say, have more real refinement,
have more education among themselves and their children,
are better lodged and provided with the comforts of life, than
the "patricians of the north" in the good year 1786. The
class beneath them, as well as that above them, has, proba-
bly, on the whole, had a proportionate share in the general
improvement, and that both may continue to rise and keep
their respective places in the forward march is not less their
interest than it is our wish.

We cannot lay down the memoirs of the poet without noticing those bright parts of his life, when he laboured, in his confined circle, to produce a taste for letters, and to diffuse knowledge. This was, indeed, not a passing whim, but a constant aim of the poet's; and, on this head, Cunningham and Lockhart have rendered him justice. When a very young man, he established, at Tarbolton, a club for youths of his own humble condition, in which discussion and debate, on given subjects, were mingled with conviviality. This club only met once a month, and one of its rules did not permit any member to spend more than three-pence at a sitting in drink. When he was somewhat older, and removed to Mossgiel, he aided in forming a club of a still more intellectual character,-for it purchased books, and all fines for non-attendance were spent in that way. The members of this society were country lads, chiefly sons of agricultural labourers, who soon had the honest satisfaction of placing a volume of their comrade Burns's inimitable poems on the shelf of their little library.

Still later in life, when he was settled at Ellisland, exercising the double functions of a farmer and exciseman, and encountering the cares of a young and increasing family, he superintended the formation of a subscription library for that parish or district. Mr. Lockhart says,


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The latter defect, according to Mr. Lockhart, "ought to be mainly ascribed to his desire of accommodating himself for the moment to the habits and taste of certain buckish tradesmen of Edinburgh, and other such like persons; but, in our opinion, it is to be ascribed to no such cause, but to be considered as a natural result of the first defect, or excess in drinking, a habit which was at the time even more common among Scotch lairds and people of good condition, with whom Burns associated much, than among those contemptuously designated as tradesmen of Edinburgh and other such like persons, of whom, during the latter and the worst part of his life, Burns saw very little. That drunkenness often ended in coarseness, ribaldry, and, at times, almost in sacrilege and this too from the mouths of lords, lairds, judges, advocates, nay, even ministers of the kirk-Mr. Lockhart must have known very well; and, as a Scotsman himself, he must have equally well remembered many poetical sallies from these privileged classes, compared to which many of Burns's were decorous jeux d'esprit. At the time when Mr. Lockhart attempted to attach the odium of the poet's corruption to an inferior grade, he must also have remembered certain individuals of a superior order who had brought down to his own day and generation all the vices of another generation; and from these he might have judged of the general state of society in the days of poor Burns. He has not hesitated to quote, in his biography, one of the coarsest couplets the poet ever penned, which signifies that he (Burns), among the honours and distinctions he received from his superiors at Edinburgh, who made him "a lion" for a season, and then dismissed him, counted his having been "drunken" at lawyers' feasts, and worse than drunk among "godly priests." Indeed, Mr. Lockhart, himself, informs us, that the poet "partook largely in those tavern scenes of audacious hilarity which then soothed, as a matter of course, the arid labours of the northern noblesse de la robe." At a later period of Burns's life young lawyers and young surgeons, excisemen and supervisors, do not appear to have had more of his company then the members of the "Caledonian Club," and of the "Dumfries and Galloway Hunt;" and the greatest debauch he celebrates (in "The Whistle ") was a contest that took place between such men as Sir Robert Laurie; Ferguson of Craigdarroch, "so famous for wit, worth, and law;" and Glenriddel, who, in the words of Allan Cunningham, “was an elder, and a ruling one in the kirk,"-the' bard being "selected to witness the fray." It is recorded of these orgies, that Glenriddel, after they had THE INDICATOR AND THE COMPANION; BY

His letters to the booksellers on this subject do him much honour: his choice of authors (which business was naturally left to his discretion) being in the highest degree judicious. Such institutions are now common, almost universal indeed, in the rural districts of Southern Scotland; but it should never be forgotten that Burns was among the first, if not the very first, to set the example." He was so good," says Mr. Riddel, "as to take the whole management of this concern; he was treasurer, librarian, and censor to our little society, who will long have a grateful sense of his public spirit and exertions for their improvement and information." If Burns had been living at the present day, he would not only have rejoiced in the creation of a cheap literature for the many, but he would have assisted to create it. His mind was too strong to have been "dandled and rocked' into a flippant love of petty pretensions. We had hoped that Mr. Allan Cunningham, who is proudly remarkable by winning his way to literary distinction from the humbler exercise of mechanical labour, would not have suffered himself to be shorn of his strength by the Dalilahs of the small clubs, and betrayed into a contempt for diffusive knowledge. If the honest and ingenious stone-cutter had not been taught to sneer, as he has done in the Athenæum, at Penny Magazines, he would have written a better life of Burns; for he would have got the key to that principle upon which his great countryman built his imperishable fame :Burns was the poet of the people.


Two volumes, crown 8vo., price 12s. Colburn.

drunk six bottles of claret a-piece, retired as day was breaking; that Sir Robert did not fall under the table until the sun had risen, and that then, Burns, who had drunk bottle for bottle, was much inclined to continue the drinking conWe believe it was in 1819 that the "Indicator" first aptest with Craigdarroch, the conqueror of the distinguished peared. It came out in weekly numbers, and was a pro

from a foreign money-market. The " Penny Magazine," the " Saturday Magazine," and "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal," are, taking the aggregate of their subscribers, purchased by a hundred times as many persons as at any former period purchased periodical works of the class of the "Spectator," or the one before us.

fessed attempt to revive the interest that had been taken, | publication were of the same kind of value with an express more than a century before, in such periodical essays, recommended neither by party politics, nor any other stimulus derived from the topics and passions of the day, but addressing themselves to our common humanity in its permanent tastes and affections. We fear the design was not crowned with any very large success. The circulation of the work was but limited; and the lot of the author was to find at most "fit audience, though few." The papers are now reprinted for the first time.

But was any preceding periodical of this description ever really a popular work, in the true sense of that epithet, during its original issue? Twenty thousand copies are said, by Tickell, to have been sold of some numbers of the "Spectator;" but the statement, we may venture to assert, is either an exaggeration of the wildest kind, or it must be understood as including the successive editions that were sold of the work after it had been collected into volumes, as well as its first circulation in single papers. To say nothing of the impossibility of printing off at that time anything like such an impression of a daily sheet, we have it on the authority of Steele himself, (see No. 555,) that during the four months it lasted after the halfpenny tax was put upon it in August 1712, it brought into the Stamp-office only about 207. a week. The average sale, therefore, must have been no more than about 1600 a day. As Steele adds that the tax at first reduced the circulation to less than half the number that had been usually printed before it was laid on, we may infer that the regular circulation of the paper in the time of its greatest prosperity did not exceed three thousand, if it even rose to that amount. The halfpenny tax, too, appears to have eventually brought down the publication-although the price was raised from a penny to twopence to meet the apprehended depression in the sale. The "Tatler," "Spectator," and "Guardian," possessed extraordinary advantages -in the celebrity and eminent ability of the writers-in the novelty of their plan-in the absence of any formidable rivalry from the competition of other literary periodical works. Yet we see what a small circle of readers the most influential of them obtained. Nor is there any reason to believe that subsequent attempts of the same kind were better supported. We question if either the "Rambler," or the "Adventurer," or the "Connoisseur," or the "Observer," | ever had a circulation of fifteen hundred. The short period, indeed, during which each of them lasted, proves that no one of them was able to command a sale by which it could live.

What has brought about this mighty change? and in what does it consist? It consists in this, that a new world of readers has been added to that which formerly existed. The new reading public is not made up of the same class of persons who constituted what was called the reading public formerly. A vast America, another hemisphere, has arisen into light on the intellectual globe. With merely the natural progress of the country in wealth and mental cultivation, we might have counted upon a constant increase of the readers and the purchasers of books; but, however rapid, this increase would still have been gradual; it would not have exhibited a sudden multiplication of tens into thousands. That phenomenon could only have resulted from some prodigious extension of the domain of the press. In truth, literature has, for the first time, penetrated to the people, and comprehended them within its empire. The course of events has long been preparing the way for this great conquest; and the immediate means, as usually happens in even the most stupendous revolutions of this world, by which it has been at last mainly effected, have been merely the natural results of the preceding movements of society. All the circumstances that have of late years concurred to augment, and concentrate, and develop, the importance and influence of the people, have aided in bringing about a consummation which is the greatest of all recognitions of the popular power. The unprecedented lowness of their price, while it is, no doubt, essential to the extensive circulation of the works we have mentioned, is to be considered as originally rather the consequence than the cause of the great demand by which it is accompanied. It is extremely questionable if the same cheapness, though it had been offered to the public a few years ago, would have been met as it has actually been. We may be quite certain that no reduction of the cost of the publication would have made the "Spectator" in its day sell by hundreds of thousands, or even by tens of thousands. And we are far from certain, that even in the year 1819 such a paper as the "Indicator" (which, if we are not mistaken, was sold at twopence a number, a somewhat high price for the quantity of letter-press) could have commanded anything approaching to the vast circulation of some of the penny works of the present day, though it had been as cheap as they are.

as being published in violation of the law.

When the "Indicator" appeared, the state of things was scarcely upon the whole more encouraging to such an experiment. The old reading public had, no doubt, considerably In one respect the "Indicator" was more fortunate than extended its bounds since the days of Steele and Addison; the cheaper non-political weekly publications that have suc-that is to say, the elass of persons who then read and pur- ceeded it. The success of the "Penny Magazine" has chased books had become more numerous. This advantage, called down from sundry authorities, who profess to be inhowever, was, we apprehend, much more than counter-structors of the public, the most severe denouncements of it balanced by the variety of new attractions, in the form of newspapers, magazines, and reviews, which had also arisen to divide the demand of the larger number of individuals who now constituted the natural support of the periodical press. The fate which the "Indicator" met with--the limited circulation which it was able to attain in the midst of this busy competition-was only what might have been expected; and, without at all opening the question of the comparative merits of Mr. Hunt's essays and those of Addison and Steele, we verily believe that the " Spectator" itself would not have fared a great deal better. In point of fact, the difference of success in favour of the latter publication was, as we have just shown, extremely inconsiderable. The "Spectator" did not, any more than the " Indicator," find its way into the hands of more than the minutest fraction of the public.

We do not know whether the critics, daily, weekly, or monthly, mean that we should take them for persons deficient in common sense or in common honesty. They persist in stating the "Penny Magazine" to be a newspaper. They are informed that it is no such thing; but they continue to repeat the calumny. They are asked to point out anything in the work in proof of what they say; and then one of them, tells us that he has an impression, forsooth, of having seen articles of news in the publication; but he has no opportunity of consulting it at the present moment: and another produces, by way of evidence that the Magazine is a newspaper, a notice he had found in it of the most recent excavations at Pompeii, and a story of an instance of canine sagacity that had lately occurred in New South Wales. These excellent censors still persist in calling the Within the last two or three years several periodical sheets, "Penny Magazine" an unstamped newspaper, as before, resembling these two publications, at least in this, that they inveighing against the publisher for violating the law, have owed none of their attraction either to the news or the and against the ministers of the crown, as conniving at the politics of the day, have established a circulation, some cer- fraud. Poor ministers of the crown! they have trouble tainly full fifty times, some twenty times, as great as was ever enough with the real unstamped newspapers, whose probefore attained by the same description of literature, with one prietors slip through the fingers of the law like eels in mud, or two exceptions. We put our existing monthly and quarterly without labouring "to make the newspaper they cannot periodicals out of the question, all of them being organs of find." In the meantime, the public understand the censors party politics just as much as the newspapers themselves; who would give us a new "Index Expurgatorius." Their and also the weekly literary reviews, clamouring for the school of "Criticism" has been pronounced upon by the public preference against each other, as they are constantly public contempt, and is not likely soon to produce any doing, on the score of the priority of their intelligence, as if pupils that will eclipse its founders in the respectable art of a page from a fashionable novel three days before its regular" insinuating what they dare not assert, and asserting what

they cannot prove, and proving what is nothing to the | book by the brevity of our notice. It is one we love and purpose."


The Penny Magazine" has another grave charge to answer. If it does not sin itself, in publishing without a stamp, it is, according to the "New Monthly Magazine," the cause of sin in others. It has given birth to all the scurrilous, blasphemous, frivolous publications, which, after careful hunting, may be now bought in several obscure shops in London, and which are totally unknown in the country. The answer is a very short one. The necessity of the "Penny Magazine" was suggested by the existence, previous to its publication in 1832, of various publications of the worst character, which the people then bought in absence of a better article. The "Penny Magazine," and works of a similar description, have driven the ribaldry pretty much out of the market. We subjoin a list of several publications addressed to the popular excitement, now before us, which preceded the "Penny Magazine," (that commencing April 1, 1832,) and which are now extinct : "Giovanni in London" "Devil in London"

"Modern Times"

"The Patriot"

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"Devil's Walk"

"English Figaro"


Critical Figaro"

Slap at the Church" "Punch in London"

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No. 6, March 24, 1832.
4, March 24, 1832.
1, March 24, 1832.
1, February 4, 1832.
1, February 17, 1832.
2, January 28, 1832.

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admire more than we could adequately express by many words. The papers of which it consists are a selection from those that originally appeared under the two titles; and we rejoice that there has been put into the hands of the public by this reprint so much intellectual treasure which so little deserved to perish or be forgotten. Without making comparisons-which the proverb reprobates-we will say that we think there are some of these essays as good as anything of the kind we know in our own or any other language. The book is full of fancies rich and rare, of glances into the heart of things, of pictures, of poetry, of thoughts new and deep, of tenderness, of humour often most quaint and original; and the moral spirit of the whole is as beautiful as ever breathed from prose or verse. We differ from Mr. Hunt in some of the opinions he holds upon important subjects; but he charms us with his toleration and universal charity; the cheerfulness and hope, unconquered by many sorrows, with which he looks upon all things; the warmth of his domestic and social affections; his love of nature; and, let us add, his love of books. On this last subject there is a delightful paper in the "Indicator "-the eloquent and affecting conclusion of which we will here give. He has been enumerating some famous old writers, who were themselves great lovers of books; after which he proceeds:

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How pleasant it is to reflect, that all these lovers of books have themselves become books! What better metamorphosis could Pythagoras have desired! How Ovid and Horace exulted in anticipating theirs! And how the world have justified their exultation! They had a right to triumph over brass and marble. It is the only visible change which changes no farther; which generates, and yet is not destroyed. Consider: mines themselves are exhausted; cities perish; kingdoms are swept away, and man weeps with indignation to think that his own body is not immortal. "Muoiono le città, muoiono i regni,

E l'uom d'esser mortal par che si sdegni.'

"Yet this little body of thought, that lies before me in the shape of a book, has existed thousands of years; nor, since the invention of the press, can anything short of an universal convulsion of nature, abolish it. To a shape like this, so small, yet so comprehensive, so slight, yet so lasting, so insignificant, yet so venerable, turns the mighty activity of Homer, and so turning, is enabled to live and warm us for ever. To a shape like this turns the placid sage of Academus: to a shape like this, the grandeur of Milton, the exuberance of Spenser, the pungent elegance of Pope, and the volatility of Prior. In one small room, like the compressed spirits of Milton, can be gathered together

'The assembled souls of all that men held wise.'

4, February 10, 1832. 3, February 4, 1832. 4, February 11, 1832. 5, February 11, 1832. There are other papers, containing news, and discussions on matters in church and state, published weekly without a stamp, which existed before the publication of the "Penny Magazine," and which still exist. We shall not advertise them. They are to be purchased with difficulty even in London-for no decent shopkeeper will sell them; and they are utterly unknown in the country. Their aggregate sale is scarcely a fiftieth of the aggregate sale of the instructive and harmless weekly publications which the people purchase in every part of the United Kingdom. When the blunderer in the "New Monthly Magazine" asks "by what process the penny Pioneer can be put down, so long as the Penny Magazine' shall continue to be circulated," we answer-by the simplest process in the world: -the "Pioneer," being an unstamped newspaper, is published in defiance of the law, and all concerned in its sale are subject to the penalties of the law;-the "Penny Magazine" no more violates the law in being published without a stamp than does the "New Monthly Magazine." The same despiser of facts,-the same "we perfectly well remember" authority-asserts that the "Companion to the Newspaper" was originally published weekly. He asserts what is incorrect. May I hope to become the meanest of these existences? If it had been so published, it would have been illegal. The This is a question which every author, who is a lover of first number of the "Companion to the Newspaper" ex-books, asks himself some time in his life; and which must plains that the law demands a stamp upon periodical publi- be pardoned, because it cannot be helped. I know not. I cations of a certain bulk, which discuss any matter in cannot exclaim with the poet, church or state, excepting those which are published at intervals of twenty-eight days, and that, therefore, the "Companion to the Newspaper" will be published monthly. What can be said for a writer so utterly reckless in his assertions? simply that his arguments are as contemptible as his facts. He calls for the dissolution of the Society" which proclaims the principle, and acts upon it, too, most extensively, that penny knowledge is essential to the improvement of the people." Why? Because the example of the " Penny Magazine" affords a countenance to the unstamped journals which" inculcate the grossest contempt for every principle of religion and morality, and advocate the necessity of committing depredations upon every species of property." Wolsey thought that, since printing could not be put down, it were better to set up books against books. The writer in the "New Monthly Magazine" thinks, that because penny blasphemy cannot be put down, it were better to deprive the people of penny knowledge. Between the exclusive sale of the periodical blasphemy at a penny, and the exclusive sale of the periodical slip-slop at three and sixpence, the people would be happily supplied. We apprehend that government will not bestow the patent for "penny knowledge" upon Mr. Carlile, which is recommended by his learned friend of the "New Monthly Magazine."

We have left ourselves room to say only a few words on Mr. Hunt's volumes; but we hope neither he nor our readers in general will measure our appreciation of the

Oh that my name were numbered among theirs,

Then gladly would I end my mortal days.'

For my mortal days, few and feeble as the rest of them may be, are of consequence to others. But I should like to remain visible in this shape. The little of myself that pleases myself, I could wish to be accounted worth pleasing others.

should like to survive so, were it only for the sake of those who love me in private, knowing as I do what a treasure is the possession of a friend's mind, when he is no more. At all events, nothing, while I live and think, can deprive me of my value for such treasures. I can help the appreciation of them while I last, and love them till I die; and perhaps, if fortune turns her face once more in kindness upon me before I go, I may chance, some quiet day, to lay my overbeating temples on a book, and so have the death I most envy."-vol. ii. pp. 203-205.


Education in Spain.-The following statistical account of the state of education in Spain will be found of interest at this moment, although it goes back as far as 1831, as few changes have taken place since that period:-" Spain has twelve Universities-namely, at Salamanca, Valladolid, Alcala, Granada, Seville, Saragossa, Santiago. Cervera, Oviedo, Huesca, Toledo, and Orrate. The number of students in 1831 amounted to 9,864, of whom 4,207 studied the



sciences, 930 theology, 3,552 civil law, 546 canon` law, and 629
medicine. In 56 seminaries and colleges there were at the same
period 8,351 students, of whom 2,995 studied theology. In these
the course of education is carried up to the higher classes. There
are, besides, eight other colleges where tuition is confined to the
minor classes, containing 1,230 pupils, of whom 251 follow the
sciences, and the rest are taught only the inferior branches of instruc-
tion. The fathers of the Esculapius had likewise in 1831 several
colleges, in which 158 pupils were taught the sciences, and 4,831
Latin, and 10,946 children received a rudimental education. There
were, moreover, in Spain 774 Latin schools, with 26,275 pupils;
9,558 other boys' schools, with 356, 520 scholars, and 3,070 girls'
schools, containing 119,202 scholars, making in all 13,402 schools,
attended by 501,997 scholars. It results from the above statement,
that Spain two years ago had 10,682 young men acquiring the
sciences and philosophy in her universities, seminaries, and colleges;
3,225 students in theology, in the same establishments; 3,552
students in civil law; 546 students in the canon law, and 629 students
in medicine, at her universities; 31,409 pupils in Latin in her col-
leges and Latin schools; 368,149 boys receiving rudimental educa-
tion in the colleges and schools; and 119,202 girls receiving educa-
tion in the schools; making a total of 537,394 young persons and
children receiving education. In this number, however, are not
comprised the students in the colleges of medicine and surgery, nor
a great many young females who receive their education in convents.
The entire population of Spain, according to M. Balbi, amounts to
13,900,000 souls."-Galignani's Messenger.
Private Schools in Russia.-The "St. Petersburgh Journal" contains
an ukase of the Emperor, dated the 4th ult. It decrees that henceforth
no new private schools shall be established either at St. Petersburgh or
Moscow until the want of them is fully proved, nor in any other of
the towns of Russia where there are Government scholastic establish-
ments unless the necessity is ascertained. All persons applying to
open such new private schools must be native or naturalized Russian
subjects, remaining also liable to all the previous regulations as to
such institutions. The Minister of Public Instruction is enjoined to
exercise the strictest vigilance over all private schools, and to make
reports thereon from time to time to the Emperor.

Aerolites. A heavy shower of aerolites fell lately in Kandahar: owing to the weight of the shower, the roofs of many of the houses fell in, and others were perforated. Zulfekar Ali Khan, the son of Olimala, having (although forbidden by his parents) gone to the court-yard of their house to gather some of these pebbles, which were very round and smooth, was killed by the fall of one of those fiery meteors, which struck him with such violence on the head as to fracture his skull into three pieces. The flash which accompanied the stroke was so vivid, that it dazzled the eyes of those sitting in the balcony of the house. The stone was found to weigh three seers, and many of the stones weighed upwards of two seers.. This phenomenou was succeeded by so dense a fog, that the rays of the sun could not be perceived for the three days that it lasted.-India Paper.

Hampstead Public Library. We have often seen cause to regret the want of Reading Societies in places where the population was amply sufficient to maintain a copious library; and we could only attribute it to the fact, that the plan of a popular institution of this kind had not been exhibited. The readers of the "Penny Magazine" are aware that the principle of "Libraries for the Many" has been suc cessfully established at Windsor, and we have now the pleasure of recording what may be done in a field more limited, and with smaller means. The resolution to establish a Public Library at Hampstead was taken in February, 1833, and it was at once determined to open it on such terms that all classes might avail themselves of the benefit. A room was hired to receive donations of books; handbills were published, inviting subscriptions; and on the 4th of March," the Hampstead Public Library" was opened on the following terms:Shareholders, in whom the property is vested, to make a single advance of 17., and to pay 2s. 6d., or 1s. quarterly; quarterly subscribers to pay 2s. 6d., or Is. at their option; and weekly subscribers 1d. To each class was allowed the like privilege of taking out one book at a time.

The collection began with 200 volumes, which being increased within three months to 1,100, and the subscribers, originally 15, then amounting to 100, it was thought desirable to call a general meeting, at which the plan of the founders was warmly approved, and the laws were read and confirmed, with some additions. It was resolved to exclude all party works in politics and religion, and the penny sub scription was dropped, as not being required by the state of the neighbourhood. In the last quarter of 1833, 24 new subscribers were added, and the library offered to all who had a quarterly shilling to spare, 1,600 carefully selected volumes of sound English literature. The institution owed much of this rapid increase to the liberal donations of friends to general instruction, many of whom, not resident in the place, came forward to assist in the great cause of human improvement.

FEB. 1834.

| dress of the President, Mr. Heywood, the following particulars are drawn. A library, lectures, and elementary schools, were the means employed in promoting the usual objects of such institutions. The library consisted of 2,150 volumes; and during the year there had been 15,843 deliveries of books to 750 subscribers, for home reading. In describing the lectures that had been delivered, the speaker mentioned that Dr. Lardner had begun a course on gravitation, mechanics, and the steam engine; but there had been a want of lectures on political and domestic economy: the kindness of the Lord Chancellor had, however, obtained for them a copy of a course of lectures which had been delivered at the London Mechanics' Institute. Classes in the French language and in Chemistry had been added during the year to the elementary schools; and a society for mutual improvement had been formed among the members, with a view to rational recreation and the acquisition of knowledge by social meetings in winter, and out-door enjoyments in summer. This association consists of 70 members, and the President describes, with much zest, the subjects which had been discussed in conversation during the winter meetings, and among the summer enjoyments mentions a trip to Liverpool, and the kind and fraternal treatment they received from the Mechanics' Institute in that town. The speaker states, that the Directors of the Institution had reformed the management, so that henceforward the Directors will be elected from the general body of the members, with no other restrictions than that the person elected is to be 21 years of age or upwards, and of two years standing as a member; and that an elector must be 18 years of age, and of six months' standing at the institution. In the course of his very interesting speech, the Chairman adverted to the happy disappointment of the common anticipation, that the Association for Mutual Improve ment would introduce discord into the institution, and become a low debating club, composed of noisy disputants and ignorant declaimers. Publications of the Record Board. By a recent return prepared for Parliament, it appears that the publications of the Record Board, forming nearly eighty volumes in large folio, have been presented to nearly two hundred libraries in England and Wales, including the subscription-libraries in most of our large towns, and about twenty of the principal Continental libraries, and to the United States. Copies have also occasionally been given to eminent literary men, as Dr. Lingard, Dr. Southey, &c. The total value of the works so distributed, taken at the booksellers' prices, is not far short of 40,000%.

Manchester Mechanics' Institution.—The general meeting of this institution was held on Tuesday the 14th of January. The Lord Chancellor was expected to attend, but was prevented by the lameuted death of his brother. Nevertheless, the hall, capable of containing 1,000 persons, was well filled; and from the highly interesting ad

The New State Paper Office.-Our invaluable state papers have been transferred to this their new abode, under the superintendence of Mr. Lemon, who is understood to be engaged in so classifying them as to render them available to useful inquiries hereafter. There is reason to expect that many literary treasures may be brought to light in the process of classification.

NEW PUBLICATIONS,-The following is an abstract of the publications of the month, from the 10th of January to the 10th of February, as given in Bent's "Monthly Literary Advertiser:"

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Arts and Sciences, Natural History, &c. 11
Classical Works and Works connected

with Education Periodical Volumes Miscellaneous

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What the PRINTING-PRESS did for the instruction of the masses in the fifteenth century, the PRINTING-MACHINE is doing in the nineteenth. Each represents an æra in the diffusion of knowledge; and each may be taken as a symbol of the intellectual character of the age of its employment."-Penny Magazine.

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An Address to the Subscribers to the Windsor and Eton Public
Library and Reading Room: by Sir J. F. W. Herschell, K. G. H.
MIGHTY as are the benefits mankind have derived from the
art of printing during the space of nearly four centuries du-
ring which it has been in operation, they probably amount to
but a small portion of the whole sum of good which in its
ultimate extension it is destined to confer upon our race.
Literature and books, even before the era of this great in-
vention, were the chief sources from which the moral light
of the world was drawn. We can hardly conceive a form of
civilization without them. Even while books could only be
multiplied by the slow process of transcription by the hand,
although direct communication with them was necessarily
confined to a few, still their indirect influence was extensive.
The book which was actually read only by a hundred indi-
viduals, yet through these transmitted at least a portion of
its light to many thousands. The first circumscribed im-
pulse, like the wave raised in the water immediately around
the spot where the stone falls, was reproduced and spread
abroad by all the modes of oral intercourse between man
and man-by the sermons of the priest-by the addresses of
the popular lecturer, often in those days attended by listen-
ing thousands-by the mysteries and moralities of the stage
-by the recitations of wandering minstrels-by popular
songs and ballads-by common conversation. Into all these
the few books that existed must have sent something of
their spirit-of the intellectual wealth of which they were
the permanent treasuries. And to a much larger number
of persons than was even comprehended within the action
of these several processes for the diffusion of thought, must
advantages of many other kinds, also ultimately originating
in books, have extended. Every new scientific truth, bear-
ing upon any of the arts, every stimulus to industry, every
proposal of improvement of any kind, which a book was the
means of suggesting, or of preserving from forgetfulness,
must have set many hands in motion, filled many mouths
with bread, and in an infinity of ways promoted and sus-
tained the growth of civilization, far beyond the limits
reached even by the last and most feeble vibration of the
author's appeal to the intellect of mankind. The range and
dominion of a useful book that was read at all, must indeed,
in this latter sense, have been at all times universal, or in
other words, of an extent to which no bounds could be set.
Imperfect for many purposes as was the method of recording
thought by writing merely, thought was still by this means
preserved far more perfectly than it otherwise could possibly
have been. Even a manuscript was an incomparably surer
depository of knowledge, and afforded it a much better chance
both of diffusion in a correct form, and of transmission to
future ages, than if it had been only committed to the breath
of tradition. By means of the former method, large accu-

mulations of knowledge were actually accomplished, and a high, if not a wide-spread civilization was built up ;-with nothing but the latter it seems hardly possible that knowledge should not perish faster than it could be collected.

We shall not dilate upon the immense multiplication of the power of books which must have instantly followed the discovery of the art of multiplying their numbers by the printing press. It was the mightiest revolution which the history of the world had known-at least if measured as it ought to be, not merely by the tumult and crash of change which it occasioned at the moment, but by its enduring operation, and the far reach of its consequences. It might be said, indeed, to contain within its bosom the seeds of all future revolutions. The wave which it set in motion has been rolling on till now.

But that wave has still much farther to roll. Much as the art of printing has already accomplished, its greatest triumphs, we firmly believe, are yet to come. Even up to the present hour its advantages have been principally confined to the few. The great mass of the population even of the most civilized countries still remains to be brought into actual contact with the enjoyments and blessings of which it is the dispenser. They have derived, it is true, and are deriving every day, indirectly, many benefits from books; but for all that, their acquaintance with books is really very nearly as scanty as it was when a considerable landed estate was the price of a single volume. How many persons are there in this country who are habitual readers, or even who are occasionally wont to take up a book as the amusement of a leisure hour? The number is no doubt much greater than it was even a few years ago; but still it certainly comprehends only a small fraction of the entire population. It is of course impossible to offer anything more than a rude guess in regard to such a matter; but taking the men, women, and young people above ten years of age, in the United Kingdom, to amount in all to about fifteen millions of persons, we doubt much if there are so many as fifteen hundred thousand, or a tenth part of the number, who can be accounted readers in the sense we have just explained. A great many more, no doubt, have been taught to read, and can both read and write, should a special occasion call upon them to show their possession of these accomplishments; but we do not believe there are more than the number we have stated who generally read each so much as a whole volume through in the year. If we were to double the fifteen hundred thousand, we should probably include all who even once a week look into a newspaper. Even of the million and a half of persons in this country whom we have supposed to seek occasional enjoyment in reading, many, it cannot be doubted, are prevented from spending so much of their leisure in that occupation as they would wish by the absolute want of books. Until this want is supplied, it is impossible that among the labouring classes reading should, [WILLIAM CLOWES, Printer, Duke Street, Lambeth.]


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