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the project was laid, came to the and whether there is any remedy conclusion that it would be enough for it? whether, for instance, they in the mean time to deal with our have a self-acting compensation, own country in a work of so come in that tax-gatherers, keepers of prehensive and exhaustive a char: jury-rolls, and persons of that class, acter, and announced his "Biogra- break down before reaching them, phia Britannica. Even about this as well as the biographical dictionhe seems to be hesitating; but let ary men? us hope that the project has not There is another deficiency in been abandoned.

biographical dictionaries, and other And, in the mean time, with all works of reference, as to which we due humiliation and shame at our plead only from the reader's side own vaulting ambition, let us accept not by any means as advocating the in good part what the French have rights of neglected virtue and emi: done. Deficient as their two large nence. One wants sometimes to biographical dictionaries are, they know about very great scoundrels are far above any that we have come and criminals, and unless these have pleted. Of the more recent one, been illustrious for something bethe 'Biographie Générale,' the forty sides scoundrelism or criminality-second volume is on our desk. It as kings, or conquerors, or great brings us down to Saint André. geniuses--there is no getting satisThe names in T and the remaining factory information about them. letters are not yet, therefore, free of Dick Turpin, Duval, Tom King, risk; and, by the way, theirs is a Harry Abershaw, Maclean, Thurcase which really has not received tell, Burke, and Hare, are persons sufficient sympathy from the world. one might want to know about someAs we have already remarked in times, perhaps for some very virtuother departments, you may round ous purpose, such as a sermon, or off the articles in the earlier and an essay on the abolition of the happier letters of the alphabet so punishment of death; but how can as to include the unfortunate resi- one get at them, as he can at Isaac duaries. For instance, Zygophyl. Watts and Hannah More, through lacæ can be considered as included the biographical dictionaries ? Such in the Gynobasic group of Polype- men influenced the times in which talous Exogens, and may have had they lived to an enormous extent, a chance of getting in under letter and to-day our no-knowledge of E or G or P. Zoophytes have had them leaves our notions of these some chance under Clavularia, Pen times indistinct. Cartouche, the natularia, and Sarcoidea. But it celebrated robber, held his ground is all up with Zucharelli, Zuinglius, within France so powerfully, that and Zantippe, if the pen drop from at one time there was a dread of the compiler's hand before he has his besieging Paris - but what reached the end of the alphabet. French historian deigns to mention Now that contemporary biography his name? has become fashionable, the inequal In a small shelf, high up, where ity becomes serious. The position the obscure duodecimos are stowed of the X Y Z's towards the A B C's away, stand four volumes, which is a contrast painful to contem- might appear to supply the want plate. They have not only the al. we have just proclaimed. There is most certainty of getting much less a very long and rather incoherent notice, but of being tptally omitted, title-page, but the spirit of it is either because the table is already that the book is a biographical dicfull, or the door is closed. Has any tionary of eminent criminals. Lest one considered what the effects on one should doubt this on account of society may be of this alphabetical the circumlocutious way in which it inequality in the temple of fame, is explained, there is a list of the

dividuality of feeling, passion, and interest in the affairs of the world than a square in a carpet. The soldier, however, if we ask about it, has his personal character and history, and, it may be, a strange enough one when brought out ; so of the compiler for an alphabetical —he has to “dress” to the order of the alphabet when he appears in ublic for service, but his private ife may be a wild and wayward one. And it would be difficult to find one more strange than that of James Tytler, who has the reputation of having been the maker of the second edition of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica.’ He is not for one moment to be confounded with the Frazer Tytlers—an eminently respectable race of writers, who never appear except in unexceptionable full-dress, and have the art of communicating its stiffness and formality to everything they touch —even that swearing indecorous madcap Lord Kames is toned down to absolute demureness in the two uartos in which they arrayed him. ames Tytler, on the other hand, probably never put on a decent coat in his life. It was lucky for him that he lived in Scotland, otherwise he might have often been amenable to that law protested against by De Quincey as so barbarous, which subjects a man to punishment for sleeping in the open air. So far as he might be said to have a regular settlement, he existed in the village of Duddingston near Edinburgh, renowned as the abode of washerwomen, with one of whom he lodged, finding the inverted tub a very convenient desk to write his articles upon. Like certain primitive hermits, the chief source of his nutriment was grain; but he required that it should be subjected to the process of distillation before it became sufficiently Poio to suit his refined stomach.

e tried both his head and his hand at almost everything—science, history, metaphysics, poetry, basketmaking, printing, and blacksmith

work. He took at one time to ballooning, and induced the greater part of Edinburgh to assemble, to witness his ascent in an aerial locomotive of his own manufacture. That something amusing would occur, seems to have been an assurance quite sufficient to bring together a large crowd; but there was so little reliance on his success in anything, that although his place of residence at that time was the Abbey of Holyroodhouse—a sanctuary for persecuted debtors—his creditors were quite tranquil on the matter of his chances of escape. He did rise high enough to get a good tumble; but it was fortunately into a corner containing materials for enriching a garden, the softness of which was ample compensation for its uncleanness. He earned by this feat the nickname of Balloon Tytler, which seems to have fitted his flighty and unsteady character. There is a common prejudice which should be dispersed, that only new works of reference are valuable. One of the advantages of access to the old, is, that being made, as well as their makers could, to correspond to the wants of their own time, they suit also the wants of the historian or other inquirer who wishes as far as he can to live into that time. It is in science, of course, that the latest edition claims the highest amount of superiority over all its predecessors. The person who goes straight to his dictionary for his scientific knowledge, and wants none but the newest and most fashionable, goes, of course, to the last edition of the most esteemed work of reference. But it may hapen that even in science something is wanted which can be best supplied from the old fountains. If we would put ourselves as nearly as possible in the position of those who beheld the science in any special stage of its growth, it is there only that we can do so. Modern accounts of it are taken from the position of the adept of the existing school, who thinks it ect, and who paints that of our ignorant and credulous ancestors from his own point of view, totally unconscious that some hundred years hence his great-grandchildren in science are to treat his own school after the same fashion. In history and geography it is of eminent advantage to have at hand works of reference of the period about which we are reading. It is not only that they enter into specialties with more freshness, and that they cannot possibly confuse the existing state of matters of their own time with those of subsequent ages, but they are a vast relief to the student in the matter of nomenclature and spelling. There is a source of vexation, and consequently of profane swearing, which especially adheres to geography and topography. Science sweeps past it by the Greek nomenclature, which always enables one to find his way sooner or later to the thing meant. Law also affords etymological helps in hunting down the meaning of a word; and in biography, as a man does not live on century after century, so he is not liable to perpertual shifting of names like countries and cities. There is a kind of torment to which searchers are subject both in biography and topography—the knowing the sound of the name, but not exactly letter by letter how it is spelt. This causes great floundering about, and deterioration of temper, especially when the dubieties are in the initial letters, and deal with any two or more that happen to be far apart—for instance, I and Y. And the irritable race of authors are not the only people who flinch under this torment; for commercial gentlemen, in their researches through directories, almanacs, and shipping-lists, are quite as likely to be perplexed, and not at all more retentive of their temper when they are so. But the perplexity special to topography is beyond this, and

arises from the variations which the names of places have undergone in the revolutions of the human race from the beginning of the world. Some of these, indeed, create difficulties so deep that one has no right to expect their immediate settlement by the turning-up of a word in a gazetteer. Works of reference can, after all, only deal with ascertained science; and there are matters so far from being ascertained, that people of different opinions concerning them write debating books against each other about them from time to time, But without going so deep as any of the great topographical problems, there are matters often terribly perplexing in the reconciliation of the totally distinct names that apply to the same place. The differences that we are familiar with, in reference to places of eminence, will give one a notion how difficult it may be to identify obscure places by their ancient names. When we know that London was known as Augusta, Paris as Lutetia, and Aix-laChapelle as Aquarum Grana, we can easily believe that, like revolutions in the nomenclature of small towns and provinces, these trip up the reader, and involve him in difficulties from which he cannot extricate himself by a brief interview with the latest gazetteer, as he will find the street and number of his friend's residence in the new directory. It is in such cases of distress

that the dingy folios of Hoffman,

Lloyd, Lamartinière, and Moreri often afford the relief not to be obtained from their spruce and conceited representatives of the present day. But there is another source of satisfaction sometimes to be found in preferring the old works of reference to the new. The amount of mere compiling in this kind of literature is almost inconceivable. By compiling is meant the putting into new words or the abridging of what another person has said, without knowing whether it is accurate or not. This is a sort of work that is

dividuality of feeling, passion, and work. He took at one time to interest in the affairs of the world ballooning, and induced the greater than a square in a carpet. The part of Edinburgh to assemble, to soldier, however, if we ask about witness his ascent in an aerial locoit, has his personal character and motive of his own manufacture. history, and, it may be, a strange That something amusing would ocenough one when brought out; so cur, seems to have been an assurof the compiler for an alphabetical ance quite sufficient to bring to-he has to “ dress” to the order gether a large crowd ; but there of the alphabet when he appears in was so little reliance on bis success public for service, but his private in anything, that although his place life may be a wild and wayward of residence at that time was the one. And it would be difficult to Abbey of Holyroodhousema sancfind one more strange than that of tuary for persecuted debtors-his James Tytler, who has the reputa- creditors were quite tranquil on the tion of having been the maker of matter of his chances of escape. the second edition of the 'Ency. He did rise high enough to get a clopædia Britannica.' He is not good tumble ; but it was fortunfor one moment to be confounded ately into a corner containing mawith the Frazer Tytlers-an emi. terials for enriching a garden, the nently respectable race of writers, softness of which was ample comwho never appear except in unex- pensation for its uncleanness., He ceptionable fuli-dress, and have the earned by this feat the nickname art of communicating its stiffness and of Balloon Tytler, which seems to formality to everything they touch have fitted his flighty and unsteady even that swearing indecorous character. madcap Lord Kames is toned down There is a common prejudice to absolute demureness in the two which should be dispersed, that quartos in which they arrayed him. only new works of reference are James Tytler, on the other hand, valuable. One of the advantages probably never put on a decent of access to the old, is, that being coat in his life. It was lucky for made, as well as their makers him that he lived in Scotland, could, to correspond to the wants otherwise he might have often of their own time, they suit also been amenable to that law protest- the wants of the historian or other ed against by De Quincey as so inquirer who wishes as far as barbarous, which subjects a man he can to live into that time. It to punishment for sleeping in the is in science, of course, that the open air. So far as he might be latest edition claims the highest said to bave a regular settlement, amount of superiority over all its he existed in the village of Dud- predecessors. The person who goes dingston near Edinburgh, renowned straight to his dictionary for his as the abode of washerwomen, with scientific knowledge, and wants one of whom he lodged, finding the none but the newest and most inverted tub a very convenient desk fashionable, goes, of course, to the to write his articles upon. Like last edition of the most esteemed certain primitive hermits, the chief work of reference. But it may hapsource of his nutriment was grain; pen that even in science something but he required that it should be is wanted which can be best supsubjected to the process of distilla- plied from the old fountains. If tion before it became sufficiently we would put ourselves as nearly as purified to suit his refined stomach. possible in the position of those He tried both his head and his who beheld the science in any hand at almost everything-science, special stage of its growth, it is history, metaphysics, poetry, basket- there only that we can do so. making, printing, and blacksmith Modern accounts of it are taken

from the position of the adept of arises from the variations which the existing school, who thinks it the names of places have underperfect, and who paints that of our gone in the revolutions of the huignorant and credulous ancestors man race from the beginning of from his own point of view, totally the world. Some of these, indeed, unconscious that some hundred create difficulties so deep that one years hence his great-grandchildren has no right to expect their immein science are to treat his own diate settlement by the turning-up school after the same fashion. of a word in'a gazetteer. Works of

In history and geography it is of reference can, after all, only deal eminent advantage to have at hand with ascertained science; and there works of reference of the period are matters so far from being ascerabout which we are reading. It is tained, that people of different opinot only that they enter into speci- nions concerning them write dealties with more freshness, and that bating books ágainst each other they cannot possibly confuse the about them from time to time. existing state of matters of their But without going so deep as any own time with those of subsequent of the great topographical problems, ages, but they are a vast relief to there are matters often terribly perthe student in the matter of nomen- plexing in the reconciliation of the clature and spelling. There is a totally distinct names that apply source of vexation, and consequently to the same place. The differences of profane swearing, which especi- that we are familiar with, in referally adheres to geography and topo- ence to places of eminence, will graphy. Science sweeps past it by give one à notion how difficult it the Greek nomenclature, which als may be to identify obscure places ways enables one to find his way by their ancient names. When we sooner or later to the thing meant. know that London was known as Law also affords etymological helps Augusta, Paris as Lutetia, and Aix-lain hunting down the meaning of a Chapelle as Aquarum Grana, we can word; and in biography, as a man easily believe that, like revolutions does not live on century after cen- in the nomenclature of small towns tury, so he is not liable to per- and provinces, these trip up the pertual shifting of names like reader, and involve him in difficulcountries and cities. There is a ties from which he cannot extricate kind of torment to which searchers himself by a brief interview with are subject both in biography and the latest gazetteer, as he will find topography—the knowing the sound the street and number of his friend's of the name, but not exactly letter residence in the new directory. by letter how it is spelt. This causes It is in such cases of distress great floundering about, and deteri- that the dingy folios of Hoffman, oration of temper, especially when Lloyd, Lamartinière, and Moreri the dubieties are in the initial let- often afford the relief not to be ters, and deal with any two or more obtained from their spruce and conthat happen to be far apart—for ceited representatives of the present instance, I and Y. And the irrit- day. But there is another source of able race of authors are not the satisfaction sometimes to be found only people who flinch under this in preferring the old works of retorment; for commercial. gentlemen, ference to the new. The amount of in their researches through direc- mere compiling in this kind of littories, almanacs, and shipping-lists, erature is almost inconceivable. By are quite as likely to be perplexed, compiling is meant the putting into and not at all more retentive of new words or the abridging of what their temper when they are so. another person has said, without

But the perplexity special to knowing whether it is accurate or topography is beyond this, and not. This is a sort of work that is

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