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but this censure, we trust, is hardly applicable to us, whose endeavour has been rather to select proper objects for the attention of our readers, than to anticipate their judgment by any censure of our own. Everything that is in excess defeats its own purpose; and the malignant severity of the critic will soon be harmless to all but himself.

Our Retrospective department is formed on the conviction that, while modern books are multiplied without number, there is much still left in the learned volumes of our ancestors that has been put aside by more attractive novelties, or forgotten for want of earlier records, like our own, which could separate the more valuable portions of a work, and point them out to attention, while they as yet formed the literature of the day. Time too stamps its value on things of no intrinsic importance; and many a worthless pamphlet and forgotten tract has become suddenly immortal, by its accidentally throwing light upon a passage of Shakspeare.

As regards our Obituary, (a portion of our Magazine which has always stood high in public estimation,) our memorials of the deceased, and our estimate of their characters, must, from the very nature of the subject, be sometimes less copious than we could wish-in a few instances perhaps erroneous, since we cannot always depend upon our materials; but we can say, that there is no part of our Magazine which is attended to with more punctilious care than this; that we search extensively for the collection of our materials, and that we endeavour to bring the most unbiassed mind to the survey of the characters and lives of those who have earned in different ways an honourable station in the annals of their country.




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J. M. inquires to what publication Lord Hailes alludes in the following note, which occurs at p. 267 of his "Inquiry into the Secondary Causes which Gibbon assigned for the rapid Growth of Christianity:"-" By the aid of Barbeyrac I have discovered the sentiments which Augustus entertained on this subject (i. e. the rapid progress of Christianity) ?" Although absurd enough, they do not seem to be such as Mr. Gibbon assigns to him. I have lately discovered that a very ingenious person has made the same observation, and has pointed out a want of accuracy in the historian whom he admires. In the same critique he has something of Sarcassus which is singular enough. The treatise here alluded to ought to have been entitled, "Essays on Female Celibacy." Its present title is much too ludicrous for a treatise written, as may be presumed, with a grave purpose.

J. M. S. sends the following additions to his account of the birds found in Ireland:-"Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus: shot at Larnelough ;-rare. Horn Owl, Strix Otus; very rare; shot near Carrickfergus in the summer of 1837. Goosander, Mergus serrator; shot on a dam at Carrickfergus in Jan. 1838. In the winter of 1836-7, a Pochard, Anas ferina, was wounded and taken alive on the Antrim shore of Carrickfergus bay. It was a male, and the wound being soon healed it became domesticated with the common duck, to one of which it became particularly attached. When let out of the house in the morning it emitted a loud whistling sound, and remained with the ducks until stolen in April 1838."

We shall be happy to receive Mr. M'SKIMIN'S Sketch of the Ancient History of the County of Antrim.

Mr. GUEST's letter shall appear in our next Magazine.

J. W. B. will feel particularly obliged to any one who will point out the existence of a view of Osterley House, in Middlesex, as it appeared previous to the erection of the present mansion.

In W. BARNES's communication in June:

P. 594, line 1, for "Nectanelo," read Nectanebo.

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He sends a few less obvious etymologies :

Alkörän. Arab. Al, the, and kõrūn, reading the reading.


Austria. A Latinized shape of the German name Osterreich: oster, east, and reich, kingdom.

Bender. Name of several towns in the east. Bandar, the port.

Bedouin Arabs. Arab. Badun, a Desert; and Badweeun, an inhabitant of the Desert.

Caravan. Pers. Carwan.

Caravansera. Pers. Carwan, a company of travellers; and sura, a house or an inn.

Corban. An offering to God. The word is found with this meaning in many of the Eastern languages. Mairee jan tuj pur kārbān hojeeo: "that my life could be an offering for thee." Hindoo Selections.

Divan. A council in the East. Arab. Deewānun.

Emir. A governor, particularly in Arabia Felix; Arab. ameerun, a ruler. Hindoostan. Pers. Hindoo, black, and stán, place; the place of the blacks.

Hejira. The flight of Mohammed from Mecca, A.D. 622. Arab. ul-hijratun, the departure.

Maelstrom; the whirlpool near Norway. In Swedish, Mülström, Molestrame, a whirlpool.

Algesira; the ancient Mesopotamia. Arab. al, the; jezeerat, island; in reference to its being insulated by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris.

Mahommed, properly Mohammed. Arab. Mohammadun, the blessed, or praised; from hamada, to bless or praise. Novogorod, in Russia. new; gorod, town: Newtown.

Russ. novwe,

Otter of roses. Pers. atar, perfume. Parsees; fireworshippers in India, &c. Pers. Parsee, a Persian; their ancestors, the ancient Persians, having been fireworshippers.

Steps or steppes of Russia. Russ. step; a waste, or wilderness.

Stockholm. Teutonic, stock, a cluster or mass, and holm, an island: a cluster of islands, upon which the city stands.

Sheik; governor of a town in Arabia. Arab. shaichun, an elder, or patriarch. Sherbet. Arab. shurbatun, drink. Silk. First wrought in the east. Arab. silkun, a thread.

Both the topographical communications proposed by Mr. BARNES will he highly acceptable.





SOME few years have now elapsed since a funeral procession was seen winding along the banks of the Tweed, and darkening its waters as it passed, carrying the mortal remains of the great Minstrel of the North to repose in the monastic sepulchre he himself had selected. Though the private tear which was given freely to the remembrance of Sir Walter Scott's domestic virtues may have now ceased to flow, the popular gratitude and curiosity are still alive; nor would they, we think, have been satisfied with any thing less than the copious narrative and the minute and faithful details of the life of their great and favourite writer that have appeared in the work before us. Indeed it is impossible to have wished that the important task of communicating to the public a full and accurate account of the eminent person whom they so admired, had been placed in any other hands. Mr. Lockhart united to all the familiarity of intimate acquaintance, those talents which have enabled him to appreciate and delineate the genius of Scott with accuracy and discrimination; and he alone possessed those ample and confidential records, which enabled him to give a finished and full-length portrait of the departed Bard. For ourselves, we must express our cordial satisfaction with the spirit and manner in which this very interesting biography is composed less, as we observed, would not have satisfied the public mind; and it must have been additional matter of extraordinary value which could have made the portrait of Scott's private and social character more complete. All has been gained that could be desired, without breaking the sanctity of private intercourse, or unlocking that hidden drawer in which the confidential secrets of all families* repose. We see him in every varying situation of his active and energetic life, in "the musing rambles among his own glens, the breezy ride over the moors, the merry spell at the woodman's axe, or the festive chase of Newark, Ferniglen, or Delorain, the quiet old-fashioned contentment of the little domestic circle, alternating with the brilliant phantasmagoria of admiring and doubtless admired strangers, or the hoisting of the telegraph flag that called laird and bonnet laird to the burning of the water, or the wassail of the hall."


The whole portrait we consider to be most satisfactory, not only to the friends and relations of Scott, but to all who love to cherish the belief of the firm alliance between genius and the high moral qualities and virtues of the heart. Scott is seen in Mr. Lockhart's pages under the full blaze of the domestic lamp; and few indeed are the parts of his character that require to be softened or drawn into the slightest shade. We view him in

* "I never thought it lawful to keep a journal of what passes in private society; so that no one need expect from the sequel of this narrative any detailed record of Scott's familiar talk."-Lockhart's Life, vol. iv. p. 150.

† See p. 413-415 of Mr. Lockhart's seventh volume for interesting remarks on Scott's religious feelings and virtuous conduct.

See the conclusion of Basil Hall's Diary, vol. v. p. 415–418, formed on his character of Scott's character.

these confidential pages in many various situations and relations, aud under many changes of fortune. We see him at one time rising to the full summit of worldly honour and prosperity; and we see him, too, more suddenly thrown down by a calamitous reverse of fortune: we see him now commanding fresh creations for ever to rise at his bidding; and agaiu we behold him bending in dismay over the powerful crucible which had been in an instant shattered to pieces, the fires extinct, and the furnace cold.* At one time we see him in the frank joyousness and the bright hopes of the gayest and most commanding spirit; and we view him, too, in later years, when care had eaten into that noble heart, and sorrow had broken down that powerful intellect. We view him in the full possession of his gigantic powers, when thought and labour, that would have overwhelmed ordinary men,† were borne by him as the light amusement of a summer day; and we see him when the bow he alone could bend was broken, and its now useless strings were trailing on the ground. At one time he appears standing like an enchanter in the centre of the wonderful and imaginary creation which he had raised; and again he is seen when the sceptre of command had dropped from his hand, when the magic palace was empty, and his empire for ever gone.

It is impossible not to watch with great interest the progress of Scott from the time when his name first appeared in the field of literature, with arms and device as yet unknown to fame; to the period when he subsequently came into the lists to claim still higher honours, cased in armour, dark and mysterious; and when he retired, amid the enthusiasm and inquiries of the spectators, his vizor still closed, his name unheard, and his features unknown.

The purpose which we have in view in this our brief mention of Mr. Lockhart's book, is neither to recapitulate the circumstances and events of Scott's life, which will be read and known by all in the original work; nor is it to enter into argumentative detail and analyses of his writings, which have been the subject of much able and ingenious criticism from many writers of eminence; but rather to show from the original evidence of his own works, and the attentive observation of his friends, what were the foundations on which his genius had built this lofty and extended fabric-to mark the original and native powers with which he was gifted, and the improvement which these powers received, as well as from the habits and pursuits of his active life, as in the seclusion of his studious hours. So that, however extraordinary, and above all common exertion and ability, were the emanations of Scott's genius; yet we have the satisfaction of understanding and ascertaining their growth,-of witnessing the first collection of materials,-the choice and disposition of them; and of acknowledging that an originally rich and native genius, united with those resources which well-directed study and laborious research could give, were alone equal to the noble undertakings that he achieved.

The constituents of genius have been generally supposed to be-first, a rapid instinctive tact or feeling which seizes upon thoughts and ideas and appropriates them ;-secondly, a bright imagination which reflects and

* See Scott's Diary, vol. vi. p. 164. "What a life mine has been! broken-hearted for two years my heart had scarcely pieced again, yet the crack will remain to my dying day. Rich and poor four or five times, once on the verge of ruin," &c.

+ See Robert Hogg's account, while Scott's amanuensis, of his "carrying on two distinct trains of thought," one arranged, and the other simultaneously preparing, while dictating to him. v. vii. p. 41.

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