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A few of the English Literati.


view, a work which has done more than all others to ele. vate our literary character in the estimation of foreign critics.

You will ask perhaps if I have met with any of the English literati since I have been here. At the countingrooms of their publishers, I have been fortunate enough to see WORDSWORTH, JAMES, the novelist, and ROGERS, the poet. Wordsworth, the 'high-priest of nature,' as you once called him, is apparently about fifty-five years of age; he is tall and rather thin, and he looks unassuming and benevolent. Rogers, the rare instance of a wealthybanker poet, is now quite advanced, being over seventysix. He seems to be much respected. G. R. P. James, on whom'has fallen the mantle of Scott,' as some of the puffers said, is a young man, active, and good-looking. He seems to be something of a courtier, as his historical romances indicate; and he has recently been appointed historiographer to his majesty.' I told you that I brought a letter to Sergeant TALFOURD, the author of that most polished and elegant of modern dramas, 'Ion.' The sergeant is rather small, very neat in his dress, and business-like in his manner. As a barrister, his reputation is of the highest stamp, and it was probably this profitable practice of his profession which induced him to decline his late appointment of Recorder of the city of Oxford. When 'Ion' was first performed the other evening for Macready's benefit, (that great tragedian, who must be at least sixty, taking the part of the youthful hero, with ELLEN TREE as Clemanthe,) Talfourd was there, with

his friends WORDSWORTH, WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR, Miss MITFORD, etc. The performance was of course warmly applauded, and the author being called for, was greeted with great enthusiasm. Mrs. JAMESON, whose charming Characteristics of Women' you esteem so much, is just about embarking, as she tells me, for NewYork, so I need not discourse of her.

A few days since I was introduced to MURRAY, the celebrated publisher, whose name has been so closely identified with the literature of the last twenty years. His portrait in Finden's Byron Illustrations,' is very correct. His contracts with authors, as well as those of Constable, his distinguished contemporary of Edinburgh, are a suffi. cient refutation of the charge often made against publishers, that they are illiberal and over-reaching.-Look at the list of payments to Scott and Byron for the copy-rights of their works, and say, if you can, that successful authors are never properly remunerated. I was not a little curious to see Murray and his sanctum-sanctorum, where the literary lions are wont to meet. He has two saloons over the business office, appropriated for this purpose, elegantly fitted up, with choice books of illustrations, etc., to amuse the loungers. In these rooms are fine portraits of Scott, Byron, Crabbe, Moore, Gifford, Murray himself, the northern navigators, (Parry, Franklin, Ross, etc.,) and several others. Murray is a high tory in politics and practice; he seems to be on intimate terms with titled personages, and lives himself in aristocratic style.

You are familiar with the names of that extensive firm,

Distinguished Publishers.

"Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans." This has been for many years one of the most enterprising and celebrated publishing houses in the world. The members of it are all gentlemen of the highest respectability, and two or three of them are said to be quite wealthy. I have had the pleasure several times of dining with the whole firm together, save the elder Longman, who has now retired from active business. Mr. Rees* was intimate with Sir Walter Scott from his boyhood, and he told me several interesting things of him, suggested by a full length portrait of the poet in the dining-room, painted at the age of 25.

PICKERING and the Oxonian TALBOYS you are acquainted with through the medium of their publications, which dis. play their classical taste as much in selecting materials as in putting them in a neat and elegant form. Mr. Pickering is styled the 'modern Aldus,' and he treads in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor.' Mr. Talboys is noted for his refined taste and judgement, and is doubtless thoroughly educated-perhaps partly by himself. At least, it is rather remarkable that he should have acquired the German language within a few years past, sufficiently to enable him to translate those elaborate historical works


of Heeren, Wachsmuth, Ritter, &c. When will our publishers be learned and industrious enough to perform such tasks?

The working classes, and even the England, as well as I could judge, are far

This estimable and kind-hearted man died since my return,

tradesmen' of

from being so

well informed as those of the United States. One of the most obvious reasons is, the comparatively high price of books and newspapers in England, which places these luxuries beyond the reach of such as gain the scanty pittance. of their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. Many, even those who may be said to belong to the middle classes, appear to have access to newspapers only at the public dining-rooms; and as to the publications of the day, they are well content with the loan of them from a circulating library, for nearly as much as the whole book may be bought for in New-York. How many of the thousands among us who get the last novel of Bulwer, James, or Marryatt, for the trifling sum of fifty cents, would make the purchase, if they had to pay one pound eleven shillings and sixpence, or seven dollars, as in London? New novels can only be afforded there by the librarian, the nobility, or the millionaire. But with us, all classes have books; and the mechanic's apprentice, with the penny paper in his hand, may discuss the politics of the day as wisely, perhaps, as his master, or the president himself.

I would not assume a critical nicety in matters which belong to more learned heads, but I must say, that the vulgar pronunciation of many words, not only among the cockney tribe, but, according to Mr. Cooper,* reaching even to the bishops, was continually grating on my ear, in London. I inquired for Holborn, which seemed to be a

* Mr. C. was asked by a bishop if he knew Dr. Hubbart, in NewYork, and was quite at fault, till he accidentally discovered that the prelate referred to the late Bishop Hobart.

Clipping' and Coining of Words.

place unknown, until I learned that the English of it was Hobun. Lombard, you must call Lumbud; Warwick, Warrick; Thames, Tems; Pall Mall, Pell-Mell, and so on. We have even the high authority of Lord Brougham, or rather Lord Broom, for calling Birmingham Brummagem. I really think that we Yankee rebels are far more loyal to the king's English, than his majesty's liege subjects.

There are many words which the English use in quite a different sense from ourselves, and many articles which they call by a different, and often more appropriate name. Every body knows that by a clever man, they mean a man of genius and talent; and a very clever man would be with them a person of extraordinary celebrity; whereas we only apply the word to a good-natured hail fellow, well met.' The coachman would feel his dignity insulted, if you called him driver; and you should be careful to say luggage instead of baggage, or there may be a whisper of scandal. Nice is peculiarly an English word. Several of our own coining having been endorsed in England, such as talented, dutiable, etc.

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The peasantry, and others of the lowest classes in England, are a robust and hardy, but certainly an ignorant and boorish race. Their highest enjoyment would seem to be a horse-race, a mug of ale, or 'pot o' 'alf-and-'alf;' and they drink these brain-muddling beverages in prodigious quantities. With their ale and roast beef, it is no wonder that the English are not of the lean kind!

It is to be hoped that ignorance respecting the American people, and groundless prejudice against them, is daily

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