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Than baith the parties wer rejoisit,
We must also admit the representation of the evening repast and amusements of high life, in the early part of the sixteenth century:
"This squyer, and the ladle gent, H
So much of our time has been already occupied by this edition of Lyndsay, that we must decline an intended notice of numerous mistakes which we had marked for censure, and must content ourselves with only wishing that the editor
* Tough. f i. e. Each the other to earth threw down.
J prostrate. || pretty. 4 nothing else. tedious.
** napery. ff board. choice. (J|| jelly,
fared. ffl said. »** person,
had had spared us the accumulation of different readings which, were not important, and had altogether omitted the explanation of words in the body of the work wlien a reference to the glossary was so easy. We regret, too, that he should have chosen to go on through three octavos, cursing the blunders of Sibbald, Pinkerton, and others, when a single note of pointed reprobation would have been sufficient vengeance for the liberties which they took with the text of the author, even although they had been greater. It would have been enough for the satisfaction of criticism, to have gibbetted these gentlemen fairly: but it is too much even for the blunted feelings of a Critic to encounter their dismembered iniquities in almost every page of the book.
Of the glossary we shall rather say little than too much. It is a compilation of prodigious research and considerable errors. The former quality we are most willing to allow it j and of the truth of the latter our readers may judge by reverting to words unexplained, or misexplained, in the few extracts which have come within our review.
Art. II. Stale of France, during the Years 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, and i8c6: containing a Description of the Customs and Manners of that Country: together with Observations on its Government, Finances, Population, Agriculture, Religion, Public Schools, Conduct towar3s English Prisoners, and Internal Commerce. To which are added Anecdotes tending to delineate the Character of the Chief of the French Government. By W. T. Williams, Esq. 2 Vols. i2mo. 10s. Boards. Li. Phillips. 1807.
^ever/.l of those persons who were detained as prisoners in France, at the re-commenccment of hostilities, have, on their return to their own country, published accounts of the state of the enemy's territory. Among others, Mr. Williams now presents himself; and his remarks having been originally conveyed in the form of letters to a friend, and not hiving been designed for the press, indulgence is solicited for them on their appearance in print. Every attempt to convey important and amusing information being intitled to a lenient reception, we cannot, on occasions of this nature, assume any critical austerity: but we feel it to be our duty to remark that, under the pretext of conveying novelty and information, authors must not tacitly be permitted to repeat one after another the same facts, and like horses in a mill pace the same round and kick up the same dust.
It is very natural that the friends of, a sensible and entertaining correspondent should be desirous of giving fame to the
10 individual individual from whom they have received pleasure, by throwing before the community the substance of his private details: but some judgment should be exercised in carrying this design into effect. In the first place, the gentleman ought to advert to the publications of those who have preceded him in the same career, and should strike out of his MS. those circumstances which may probably be new to friends, but cannot be considered in this light by the - reading part of the nation, when they have been noticed by prior travellers. He ought also to remember that ?his series of letters, though composed at different times, and under various degrees of knowlege, is submitted en masse to the public; and that the apology for mistakes in the one case is not an apology in the other. Mr. Williams has not been sufficiently attentive to these considerations; and at the commencement of his work we were apprehensive that his volumes would prove like the apothecary's shop in Romeo and Juliet, "a beggarly account of empty boxes:" but, as we proceeded, he gradually recovered his credit, and the general impression which he left on our minds was favourable.
With the intuitive faculty common to tourists and travellers, Mr. W. reads nations'at a single glance; and when he had scarcely passed two months at Paris, he undertakes to depict the stare of the public mind: boldly informing his friends on this 6ide of the water, that 4 the majority loch with an eye of jealousy on the fortunes of the First Consul, but wisely refrain from expressing their feelings too publicly.' How could this stranger collect the look of the majority, when that majority refrained from expressing their feelings? Probably he knew no more of the general opinion than the honest country farmer did of things in general, and merely detailed his private suspicions; which he might have formed as well iu England as in France.
Little information is conveyed by Mr. W. on the subject of the curiosities of Paris; and we do not see on what ground his correspondents should be glad that he was unable to describe the merits of the statues and pictures belonging to the French Museum. At least, if he was unequal to the task, why did he not suppress this part of his letters; instead of taking the reader ro the Gallery of Statues, merely to apprize him that to give an account of them « would Trquire powers which he does not possess?' It was also unnecessary ro tell us, since the remark has been repeated a thousand times, that we have no word in our language which exactly expresses the meaning of the French ennui; and that the French, on the other hand, have no term to denote what we
mean mean by our word comfort, and in short possess not the idea.-— Moreover, in detailing anecdotes, Mr. W. does not always distinguish between such as are characteristic of the French nation and those which are exceptions: thus, Vol. z. p. 45). he writes:
'Before I close this letter, I must remark how grossly ignorant people of almost every description are, respecting the manners, religion, and government of England. I have really heard some that had had a comparatively good education, make remarks upon my own nation, which I thought it degrading to myself to refute, and which could only be produced by the most unpardonable want of information. Among other equally sensible observations on the same subject, a French General, now employed, stated that he had paid particular attention to the geography of England, and had discovered to his great surprise, that Scotland was separated from it by the Irish channel! You may easily suppose that I did not undeceive him. This General very gravely informed us, that in case of an invasion of England, he expected to have a particular command: he did not state the nature of it; but I had a strong inclination to tell him, that from his complete knoivletlgc.oi the country, he ought to be landed on its northern coast, in order to cut of all communication with Scotland'
Perhaps this anecdote may be true of an individual blockhead, for there are blockh^^ds in all countries: but it is not a fair sample of Frrnch General Officers, who are for the most part well acquainted with" geography, and are furnished with aids for the study of that science which are not to be obtained in other parts of Europe. Let us place no reliance on the geographical ignorance of French Generals.
The chief merit of these volumes consists in the statistical accounts, which are curious, and exhibited with brevity. The author rates the population of France, exclusive of that of the island of Elb<-and that of Piedmont, at 33,111,962, and that of the capital at 547,756. The consumption of provisions in Paris we shall subjoin as a note *. After a classification of the towns in France according to the scale of their population, the first class containing from 120,000 to 70,000 inhabitants, the
'* Paris is supposed to consume annually 193,271 head of horned cattle : 553,365 hogs: 400,000 sheep: 36,500 dozen of pigeons, besides an immense quantity of fowls: 100,coo hundred weight of salt water fish, fresh and salted: 1,000,000 dozen of oysters, worth 300,00a francs (12,500!. sterling): the value of 1,002,000 francs (41,7501.J in fresh water fish ; 76,000 crawfish ; wine to the value of 42,000,000 francs (1,750,0:01 ): brandy to the value of 6,400,000 francs (i70,cocl.): vinegar to the value of 460,000 francs (20,oool.): cyder to the same amount; 206,788,224 pounds of bread; 107,000 quarters of oats, and 42,500 of barley.'
second second from 66,000 to 50,000, the third from 49,000 f(J 30,000, the fourth from 29,000 to 20,000, and the fifth from 19,000 to 12,ceo, Mr. W. adds:
* We find that France possesses six towns of the first class, six of the second, fourteen of the third, twentv three of the fourth, and forty of the fifth; eleven of which last include above 18,000 inhabitants each.'
A subsequent paragraph informs us that * a sixth class might be made of places, which, however, from their small itnpcriance, hardly deserve the name of towns .' but the population of most of those that are enumerated in this class is iuperior to that of Southampton, where the author embarked, and which wt cannot reckon among places that 'hardly deserve the name of towns.'
The state of the revenue in 1804 may be given in the author's own words:
'Respecting the revenue of this country, it is impossible to form an exact calculation, as the means of its exterior resources are unknown. In the last budget, the revenue was stated at seven hundred millions of francs* ; of whicti we find above a hundred and twentythree millions + under the articles "extraordinary means" and "extraordinary and exterior receipts" Many well informed persons vith whom I have conversed on this subject, say that the'revenue is much more considerable than it is thus stated to be; but from the First Consul's character, I am inclined to think that his account would rather be an exaggeration of the resources of the country.
• What are called here "direct and indirect contributions," arise from taxes on the lands, on doors and windows, and on patents; revenue arising from national domains, hypotbequet et enreguirement (a per rentage paid to government on the transfer of lands,) customs, lotteri-s, stamps salt-pits, and coinage. These amount to 551 millions \ ; but from this sum arc to be deducted 21,534,960 francs 'J, which the diflerent departments contributed towards the pro-ecntion of the war. The icst, except the sum arising from the money which the ci>il officers arc oSligcd to deposit in the hands of government as their security, is accounted for above; the total making up rlie seven hundred millions
'The interest of the national debt, including annuities and pensions granted, amounts to the sum of S2,075 517 francs <; and the number of individuals who receive those provisions, is 506, 616. But in this calculation the debt belonging to Piedmont is not included, which amounts to 2,677,477 francs 51 i besides 500,000 francs in annuities ••, and one million for pensions ff.