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of those half measures which must always be inefficacious. The consul has done what he could, but, being completely crippled from the want of proper support, his exertions have been of little avail. Mr. Walton, a gentleman who spent twelve months in New Zealand, has published a pamphlet comprising in a very small space a mass of useful information regarding that country; and from his work we transcribe the following particulars respecting the formation of the New Zealand Land Company-a body whose proceedings are now looked upon with much interest, and who, although as yet but a private association, will, in all probability, be very shortly armed with that legal authority, without which their efforts must be comparatively useless :


"After various discouragements and difficulties, which had well nigh extinguished every hope for the regeneration of New Zealand, the cause again lifted up its head, and on the 2nd of May, 1839, the New Zealand Land Company, comprehending all the preceding societies, was introduced to the public through the unwearying exertions of Mr. Wakefield. The names of the directors of this company, at the head of which stands that of Earl Durham, are a sufficient guarantee for the honour and rectitude of their proceedings. Shares to the amount of 100,000l. have been subscribed for, and the sum of 100,000l. was paid within five weeks for as many acres of land within a township, the locality of which is not yet fixed upon. Two vessels have been sent to New Zealand; one with the company's principal agent, Col. Wakefield; the other with the surveyor-general, Lieut. Smith, and a surveying force of thirty individuals. A large body of emigrants from England and Scotland are preparing to sail in the course of the present month, October [last], and along with them everything is to be embarked that can in any way contribute to the advancement of the great design, the preparations for which include a church, an infant school, accessible to the children of the natives, as well as to those of the colonists, a public library, a dispensary, a bank, together with a large amount of capital, invested in machinery, mills, steamengines, agricultural implements, the frame-work of houses, and property of various kinds. With the first colony there will go out more than 160 cabin passengers, and 3,500 persons of the working classes, all conveyed free of expense, by means of the purchasemoney of the land. Five large vessels, upwards of 500 tons each, are nearly ready to sail; others will follow in regular succession, and the whole will rendezvous at Port Hardy, in D'Urville island, Cook's Straits, it is expected, by about the end of January." In a future number we shall pursue this subject, glancing at the geographical position of this fine country, its natural productions, the present state of agriculture, and other particulars useful or interesting to the emigrant.



On a far distant shore, where no loved one was nigh,
To weep o'er his woes, or to kindly condole,

Lay he who had blazed like a comet on high,

And brighten'd an empire with beams of his soul!
How hopeless, how cheerless, creeps life's ebbing tide,
When sadly bereft of its kindred tear;

And how wildly was bursting that bosom of pride,
When he cried-" My child, Ada, O would you were here!"

He had parted, half frantic, with friendship and home,
Despair and disdain stung his sensitive breast,
And he long'd like a rudderless vessel to roam,
Which spurning the land, lets the wind do the rest.
Yet 'midst all this apathy bound round his heart,
There still lived a blossom he clung to sincere,
And louder he cried, ere his soul did depart,
"My sorrows were less if my Ada were here!

He died-and the Grecian bent low to the earth,
A nation of strangers thus honour'd his name,
And put a full pause to their commerce and mirth,
With hearts overawed by his greatness and fame!
Yet ere the sad soul left its prison of clay;

Ere the silver strings broke, and the last throb was o'er, Again he exclaim'd, in a voice of dismay,

"My Ada-alas! shall I see thee no more?"

A PECULIAR PEOPLE. THE following very interesting information concerning the singular people called Yezídís, who inhabit the Sinjár Hills in Kurdistan, is extracted from a paper by Frederick Forbes, Esq., M.A., of the Bombay Medical Staff, published in the last Number of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society; one of the most useful, and even entertaining, periodicals of the day. Although many are deterred by the title, and imagine that little but dry detail can be contained in the pages of such a Journal, yet accounts of many important journeys are there to be found, given with a freshness which is sometimes wanting when the traveller sits down "to write a book."

"There seems to be no doubt that the Yezídís derive their origin and name from Yezíd, the son of Mo'awiyah, the destroyer of the race of Alí; although it is said by some that they are descended from a saint or holy man, named Yezíd, who lived about the same time. I have been unable to discover the meaning or derivation of the word Dásiní or Duwásín, generally used as a common name for all classes of Yezídís. Besides those of Sinjár, or the Sinjárlis, there are great numbers of them in Kurdistán and Jezírah Ibn Omar, and Zákhó; a good many are also found in the near Mósul, especially in the districts of Júlámerk, 'Amádíyah, north-east parts of the páshálik of Diyár Bekr. Those who inhabit 'Amádíyah are considered as the most noble, and are called Sheikh-Khanli: their chief is guardian of the tomb of Sheikh 'Adí. The Sinjarlís have always been the most powerful tribe, and it is probable that they originally dwelt in Babylonia and Assyria; but being held in detestation by the Persians, on account of the destruction of the house of 'Ali by Yezid, and also detested by the Arabs as worshippers of the devil, they were driven into the strong and isolated hills of Sinjar, and the rugged mountains and defiles of Kurdistan.

"The religion of the Yezidis, according to their own account, is a strange mixture of worship of the devil with the doctrine of the Magians, Mohammedans, and Christians; but among the inhabitants of Sinjar, religion, or religious ceremonies of any kind, appear to be merely nominal, and never practised, at least as far as I could see or learn. As reading or writing is quite unknown among them, and in a manner prohibited, their religion is only preserved by tradition, which varies among the different tribes, and affords very incorrect notions as to their creed. Their greatest saint and patron is Sheikh 'Adi, who is supposed to have flourished about 500 years ago, and who is said to have written a sacred book, called 'Aswad,' or 'The Black,' containing their laws and precepts; but as none of their divines can read, and as the book has never been seen by any one, it is probable that they have invented this lie for the honour of their religion; since one cause of the great contempt in which they are held by Mohammedans is their want of any written law. The first and most important principles of the Yezidis are, to propitiate the devil and secure his favour, and to support and defend themselves by the sword. They reject prayers and fasts, as Sheikh Yezid has obtained indulgences for them all, even to the end of the world; of which they were positively assured by Sheikh 'Adi. They consider the devil as the chief agent in executing the will of God, and reverence Moses, Christ, and Mohammed, as well as the saints and prophets held in veneration by Christians and Mussulmans; believing that all these were more or less perfect incarnations of Satan. They adore, the sun, as symbolical of Jesus Christ. They believe that there is an intermediate state of the soul after death, more or less happy according to the actions of the deceased during life; and that they will enter heaven at the last day with arms in their hands. They acknowledge as their head, and as the mediator in their quarrels, the guardian of the tomb of Sheikh 'Adi, in the territory of the chief of 'Amadiyah. This sheikh must be of the race of Yezid : he receives a portion of all their plunder, and has, as an assessor or adviser, another called Sheikh Kuchuk-i. e. the Little Sheikh,

who is said to receive the direct revelations of the devil, and, on payment of a sum of money, delivers his oracular counsel to those who consult him, after a pretended sleep, with sometimes a delay of two or three nights: he is held in great estimation, and his orders are strictly followed.

The Yezidis who inhabit Kurdistan and the country to the east of the Tigris practise various religious observances, of which the following are the most common :-On the tenth day of the moon, in the month of August, they hold a meeting at the tomb of Sheikh 'Adi, which lasts a day and a night, and at which all the married women and men assemble. Near Ba'ashekhah, which contains seventy houses of Yezidis, forty of Mohammedans, and thirty of Christians, is a fountain where they offer sacrifices of sheep and goats, and hold festivals four times a year in honour of the devil. At the village of Sheikh 'Adi is the figure of a peacock in brass, called 'Melik Taus,' (King Peacock,) which is venerated as the emblem or representative of David and Solomon, to whom they offer sacrifices, and of whom there are images near the Melik Taus. The Sinjarlis are not circumcised, but the Yezidis of Kurdistan are said to practise circumcision on the eighth day after birth. The children are baptised when six or seven years old, but no prayers are used on that occasion. They have no fixed time or place for prayer or worship; they occasionally visit the Christian churches and monasteries, and present offerings there on account of recovery from sickness, or escape from danger; they also kiss the superior's hand.

"The teachers, or sheikhs, have great influence, and pretend to insure the admission of a soul into heaven, by a number of ridicu lous ceremonies performed over the corpse. It is first placed on its feet; they then touch the neck and shoulders, and, with their palm stretched out, strike the right palm of the dead body, saying at the same time, Ará behesht,'-i. e. Away to Paradise! The sheikhs also pretend to cure the sick by imposition of hands. It is considered a great thing to obtain for a winding-sheet one of the old shirts or dresses of the guardian of 'Adi's tomb. This, they believe, insures them a good place in the other world. They give large sums of money for these shirts, or even pieces of them; and the sheikh sometimes presents one to a particular friend, as the greatest favour he can bestow. The spiritual directors are much respected by all classes of the people, who, when they meet them, kiss their right hand. They are distinguished, for the most part, by wearing a white turban and a black woollen cloak. The families of the holy men only intermarry with each other.

"The Yezidis have, like all other barbarous tribes, many super. stitious observances, some of which are peculiar to themselves. From the reverence paid to the evil spirit, they do not use, in naming him, any of the common epithets, as these are all, more or less, expressive of horror, contempt, or abomination; nor will they suffer them to be used in their presence. This is particularly the case with regard to the word Sheitan, and all other words resembling it in sound; as Shatt, a river. Instead of using the word Sheitan, they designate the devil as Sheikh Ma'azen-i. e. the Exalted Doctor, or Chief; and in place of Shatt, they use the common Kurdish word Avé (Ab), or the Arabic Ma, signifying water. Speaking of the Euphrates, they term it Avé Ma'azen, or Ma al Kebir-i. e. the Great Water, or simply El Forat; Ma'azen being a corruption of the Arabic Mo'azzem. As the word La'net is often applied by Mohammedans to the devil-a common expression of the Persian, on meeting a Yezidi, being La'net bih Sheitan,' or 'Curses on the devil' the Yezidis never use any word which consists of the same letters-as Na'l (a horse-shoe), or Na'lbend (a farrier). It is considered by them a great insult to spit in their presence, or to spit into the fire. They use nearly the same oaths as the Turks, Christians, and Jews indiscriminately; but that which to them is most binding is to swear by the standard of Yezid. They used formerly to dress in blue, but it is now considered an unlucky colour, and white only is worn.

"The domestic manners of the Yezidis, and their customs in general, are very simple. Both men and women are of middle size, and have a clear complexion, with regular features and black eyes and hair; their limbs being spare, muscular, and well proportioned. The hair is worn long, and the beard and whiskers kept close shorn; but they are prohibited from cutting or dressing

their mustachios. The dress of the men consists of a long white cotton gown and cotton drawers, a leathern girdle, a camel's-bar skull-cap, with a piece of black or checked cotton tied round i and sandals of raw hide. The women wear a long white cotton gown, with very long wide sleeves, which are thrown back over the shoulders, and tied round the waist: over this is put a strangelooking garment of black woollen, or sometimes of parti-coloured stuff. This covers the back part of the chest, and descends in two long narrow stripes or tails nearly to the ground; two narrow bands also come from behind forwards, and are fastened round the waist like a girdle. A quantity of white cotton cloth is rolled round the head in the shape of a pointed hood, and tied under the faces, but go about their household concerns, and mix with the chin. The women do not, like the Mohammedans, conceal their men as in European countries. This, however, is commonly done throughout Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, except in large cities. The houses of the Sinjarlis are generally low, with flat roofs, around the edges of which is piled, in the form of a parapet, their stock of firewood, withered leaves, and branches for heating their Their houses are very clean and comfortable, but awkwardly built of rough stone and mortar, neatly whitewashed on the inside; and the flat clay roofs are supported by pillars made of fig-trees. The walls of the apartments are full of small recesses like pigeon-holes, of every variety of shape, which are used for storing various small articles, and are at the same time ornamental. The floors are well made of stiff clay, with one or more basin-shaped cavities in them, to be used as hearths. The houses are generally very large, and are what may be called double; they often contain the whole family, from the greatgrandfather down to the youngest descendant, with all their wives


and children.


"The chief articles of food used by all classes of the people are barley-bread, onions, and figs, or grapes, either fresh or dried, according to the season: wheaten bread is very rarely seen. bread is slightly leavened, and baked in ovens shaped like large earthen jars, which are heated by burning in them a quantity of cakes are slightly wetted on one side, and stuck against the inner fig-leaves and twigs, dried grass, or any other combustible. Their surface of the oven till sufficiently toasted. A very good and palatable broth is made of shelled wheat, a small kind of pulse called 'Adis, and the seeds of the sour pomegranate. Wheat, coarsely bruised, is boiled with butter and spices, and eaten in the same manner as rice: this dish is called Burghúl,' and is very common throughout Asia Minor and Kurdistan. Dried figs, favourite dish; it is also made with oil or sheep's fat. Several stewed with Róghan,' or clarified butter, and onions, is a very kinds of inspissated syrup are made from grapes and figs, and eaten along with bread. This syrup, as well as that made from the date, is called Dibs,' and with it a tough sweetmeat is made by adding barley-flour, and boiling it up; it is then rolled out quite thin. It is called 'Zinj al faras,' or 'Jild al faras,'-i. e. horse's hide, which it very much resembles in appearance. Animal food is very little used, owing to the scarcity of it: a camel is killed now and then in a village by one of the inhabitants in his turn, and distributed among the rest. Acorns+ are eaten by those who live in the western end of the hills, but only in times of scarcity. Like Jews and Mohammedans, they do not eat pork; but they freely eat the blood of sheep, goats, cows, and other animals. Of vegetables they appear to have none but the pumpkin, which they eat stewed with meat. They are passionately fond of tobacco, to obtain which they will part with anything. No kind of wine or spirituous liquor is drunk by them; their only beverage, besides pure water, being pomegranate sherbet, and a sweet drink made by infusing dried figs in boiling water. The men and women eat separately, the latter always in private, The character of the Yezidis is rather superior to that of their neighbours of Mesopotamia. They are brave, hospitable, and sober, faithful to their promise, and much attached to their native soil; but at the same time cruel and vindictive, considering their proper means of support to be robbery and theft; and they treat with great ferocity any unfortunate Mohammedans who fall into their power, especi ally Persians. They differ from the surrounding tribes in not being polygamists; they take only one wife, and generally marry at the age of sixteen or seventeen. All the different tribes of Kurdistan and Sinjar intermarry with each other."

* Lentils, Ervum lens.

+ Probably the sweet acorns of the Quercus balota, so called by the iards, from the Arabic word Ballút, an acorn.

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JUST as this Number is passing into the hands of our readers, the UNIVERSAL PENNY POSTAGE comes into operation. Hail the boon, kind reader, and, above all, make use, and a good use, of the great privilege. The remotest dwellers in the British isles may communicate with one another, and with us, for a penny! There will, at first, be difficulties, and obstacles, and complaints:some people will not take the trouble to understand what they should do, in sending their letters; some postmen may be impatient or impertinent, and, in the hurry of their proceedings, throw letters over counters, or shove them under doors, so that they will run chances of being trampled on, or even lost; and a great cry will sound out for a time about the great loss to the revenue! As to the minor difficulties, they will soon be obviated, if people will take a little trouble, and if the authorities of the Post Office are honestly vigilant, and determined to check instances of carelessness or impertinence. Some postmen may imagine, that because they do not receive money for letters, that therefore letters are not of so much value or consequence now! This idea must be knocked on the head; and if the Post-Office authorities are resolute, the complaints on the score of carelessness in delivering letters will not be numerous.

As to the deficiency in the revenue, never mind that! The government of this country is now acting on the principle, that the Post Office-that " great engine" of civilisation-is no longer to be a source of revenue, but the creature and servant of the poorest person in the country who can handle a pen. An unjustly-used privilege has now been abolished, namely, the privilege of "franking," by which those who could not obtain the favour of a frank were obliged to help to pay for the letters of those who could. The letters of all parties now enter the Post Office on the same footing: the Mail flies now literally for all. This, then, is an advance in our SOCIAL CONDITION; and laughable as some people may think it to be, that the letters of a schoolboy, a boarding-school miss, or an apple-woman (if she can write), are as important in the Post Office as the letters of a busy and bustling M. P.-it is “ great, glorious, and free!"

"Let those now write who never wrote before!"

The following letter from a lady correspondent may, we think, fairly claim "place and precedence" in our "Letter-Box" for this week:


"Sir, I hope you will excuse the liberty I now take in writing to you, for it is on a matter of some importance to me; and as you have kindly offered to give advice in your Letter-Box, I shall be very much obliged by receiving the opinion of one whom I regard as an intelligent gentleman.

"My story is this. My parents, who are now, I trust, in another and a better world, had a very excellent business in the shop-way, in a provincial town; and though there was a large family of us, we were in very comfortable circumstances. Our family was an affectionate one; and I, being the youngest, was as much petted by my brothers and sisters as I was by my parents. I not only received an excellent education for my rank in life, but I was never suffered to touch any household work; and being fond of reading, was foolishly looked upon as a little family genius, because I could scribble some rhymes and chatter indifferent French.

"Well, father and mother died within a short period of each other, and that was a sad time for us all. My elder brother took the shop, and acted as a parent, but gradually the family began to disperse; and when my brother married, I imagined (without any real reason, for my sister-in-law is a very good creature) that I was in the way at home. I married at the age of nineteen; and my husband, who is three years older than myself, commenced business with 2001. of his own, and 150l. which my brother paid me, under father's will. But things went against us; we had a bad failure; and my husband, who did not like to remain in our native town, brought us all up to

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London. I have now five children, and am yet but a young woman been struggling, ever since we came here, to try and better ourselves; but what can we do? My husband was a long time out of a situation; the one he has now is a very uncertain one, and only brings us in twenty-five shillings a week; and what is that to feed and clothe seven of us, not to speak of education at present, for I am trying to give my children the elements of education myself? My husband says he sees no chance of our being better, but rather worse in London, and our family will soon be growing up about us, without our being able to provide for them as our feelings and taste incline us. He wishes to emigrate, but does not know where to go. In truth, we have not a penny one week over another, and never keep out of being in debt, especially to the baker. My husband applied to the commissioners for South Australia, and was kindly advised by Mr. Rowland Hill, who offered to get us out free, and also said he would try to get my husband appointed teacher to the children of the other passengers, and that he might thus earn 20. on the voyage. But still we are afraid to go, for we ask ourselves what we are to do after we get there. My husband is not a farmer, nor a grazier, nor a mechanic; we have no capital to commence any kind of business; and I would not like to run the chance of seeing him degraded into a common labourer, for which, indeed, his bodily strength would not fit him. What would you advise us to do? We are pinched and disheartened in London, but might we not be starved in South Australia? I am, sir, yours respectfully,


We have been so much interested in the statement of our correspondent, that we have entered into a supposable calculation of the manner in which she lays out her "twenty-five shillings a week," in order to see how she and her family contrive to live. We rely on the assistance of a grave matron, not unused to enter "the huts where poor men lie," and we think the following tolerably near the truth :

Seven persons, five of them children, will eat per day a quartern and
a half of bread, or say for bread per week
Flour for puddings

Butcher meat, very sparingly used

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Here is the man's wages consumed in barely living; what the family do for CLOTHES, and how they provide for SICKNESS, is rather beyond our comprehension. We presume that the husband is a shopman, or something of that sort: he must, therefore, be decently clothed; while the mother, with the claims on her time and attention with a young family, cannot for a moment be considered as having any power to add to the family income. We can, therefore, well believe her when she says, that they are "pinched and disheartened in London." But we shrink from saying whether or not they would run a risk of being "starved in South Australia." The matter of emigration is as much a personal matter as is the matter of a man's belief; not only must the individual decide for himself, but take the responsibility and the consequences on himself. Even if we knew the parties personally and intimately, it would be a difficult thing to advise them. Our correspondent's husband appears to belong to a class, who, however desirable it would be for them to emigrate, if they could do so with advantage, yet run the greatest risks in emigration. By emigrating, they pass from all the multiplied and subdivided conveniences and accommodations of such a city as London, to a rude and rough state of things, where hardiness, activity, and the adroit employment of head, hands, and feet, are essential to success. If the individual, however sober, steady, and willing, has yet been used only to serve over a shop counter, and instead of being of en active, pliable, "turn-about" spirit, is rather of a quiet, passive disposition, we should dread the results of his removal, unless he fell into good hands, who could direct and employ him.

One of the advantages expected to result from the working out of the princi

ples on which the colony of South Australia has been, or is supposed to be, founded, was, that it would speedily produce a state of society similar to that in the parent country; and that, therefore, all classes, not only "farmers, graziers, and mechanics," but clerks, shopmen, &c. might find a place for their services, and places for themselves. But we fear this result can only be arrived at very slowly. Mr. Mann, in his "Australian Provinces," mentions that at Adelaide he entered into conversation with a woman "who had been employed in London as a sempstress; that her husband (who was a boot-closer) had gone out to try to get some work as a day-labourer, which, she said, he did not understand; and exclaimed, with a sigh, that London folk had no business there."

We should say, that Sydney would be a far better place than Adelaide for our correspondent and her husband, if they should make up their minds to emigrate. Personal and individual instances of success or failure prove little, unless they could be shown to be applicable to the cases under consideration: still, we cannot resist mentioning, that it has lately come to our personal knowledge, that a young man, who was sent out about three or four years ago by Mr. Tegg, the bookseller, to Sydney, is now doing extremely well. He was sent out free, on condition (besides receiving good wages) of remaining a year in the employment, or else forfeiting 20%., as a return for the passage money, He fulfilled his year, got another engagement, with higher wages, has saved. money, bought a share in a coasting vessel, and is altogether getting on remark ably well. Sydney is not a first-rate place to emigrate to, either as to situation or morals: but people who wish to "strive and thrive" must not be too fastidious.

W., BRIXTON, makes inquiry respecting what he terms "the New Chronology," adopted in the "Pictorial History of Palestine." The same chronology has been adopted in the little work on "Egypt," recently published by Mr. Smith; it is adopted from Dr. William Hales's "New Analysis of Chronology, in which an attempt is made to explain the History and Antiquities of the Primitive Nations of the World, and the Prophecies relating to them." We refer W. to a short article in the present Number, entitled "The Age of the World," in which we have endeavoured briefly to show on what grounds the "new chronology" rests. We can assure W. that we also read the "Pictorial History of Palestine," and that if we are to judge what the character of the entire work will be, from the portion already published, we do most conscientiously think, that for extensive research, thoughtful consideration, and original view, it will be one of the most valuable works in the English language, on its particular though comprehensive subject.

INQUIRER informs us, that, "reading something or other, (I forget what,) a considerable time ago, I met with the term 'Sybarite;' and though, in the sense in which it was used, I distinctly understood it to mean an effeminate and luxurious person, I was yet anxious to know the origin of it. Walker's Dictionary was the only means of reference I had at hand, and I there found the following: Sybarite, an inhabitant of Sybaris, a once-powerful city of Calabria, whose inhabitants were proverbially effeminate and luxurious: one of whom is said to have been unable to sleep all night, because the bed of roses on which he lay had one of its leaves doubled under him.' The matter was revived in my mind lately, by finding that Sybaris formed one of the cities of Magna Græcia. It struck me at the moment that it was as absurd to call Greek colonies Magna Græcia as it would be to call Australia, Magna Britannia: but I shall be obliged by receiving information and an opinion from you."

If Australia should ever be covered by a numerous population descended from British settlers, and its surface spotted over with flourishing cities, the time may arrive when, by contrast with the "tight little island," it may be fitly termed Magna Britannia, or Great Britain, and the term "Little Britain," instead of being confined to a small portion of London, may be applied to the British isles. But the United States presents a far more appropriate parallel. If that great country should continue for a long period to grow as it has done, then, indeed, our children's children may see a rast Magua Britannia. The term "Magna Græcia" was very fitly applied to the Greek colonies in Italy: for though the extent of country to which the term was applicable is not exactly known, it is certain that it contained many cities far exceeding in

population those in the parent country, Greece. Sybaris was one o. those cities, and the head of a state, or republic, which must have been very flourishing to have given origin to the exaggerated accounts of its opulence and luxuriousness. Vapour baths, for instance, are said to have been invented by the Sybarites; and the citizens are reported to have taken such good care of themselves, that when they retired from the town to their country villas, the road was covered by an awning! Sybaris was completely destroyed, about 500 B.C., in a war with the inhabitants of Croton, the name of another of the cities of Magna Græcia

A. D. inquires about the authorship of Gil Blas. He says "The titlepage of recent editions of Gil Blas printed in Spain usually runs thus:- Aventuras de Gil Blas de Santillana, robadas á Espana, y, adoptadas en Francia por M. Lesage; restituídas á su patria y á su lengua nativa, por un Espanol zeloso que no sufre se burlen de su nacion;' which, in English, may be thus rendered:-Adventures of Gil Blas de Santillana, stolen from Spain, and claimed as his own in France, by M. Lesage; now restored to the country and tongue wherein it was originally written, by a Spaniard zealous of the honour of his native country.

"Query ?-Who is the real author of Gil Blas, or what grounds are there for the above assertion of the work being Spanish, and not the production of Lesage?"

There are two distinct charges against Lesage.

1. Voltaire asserted that Gil Blas was entirely translated from the Spanish of Vincent Espinel, "Memoirs of the Life of Don Marc de Obregon." It is admitted that Lesage has borrowed a few passages from the book, but nothing more; the structure of the story, the incidents, the characters, the diction, every thing worth having, is Lesage's own.

2. Father Isla, a jesuit, published at Madrid, in 1805, a work which he called "Gil Blas Restored to his Country, by a Spaniard," which is a translation of Lesage's Gil Blas into Spanish, and is probably the work inquired about by our correspondent. Isla says that Gil Blas was written in Spanish in 1635, by a Spaniard; that the Spanish government prohibited the printing of the work, and seized the MS.; that the author, however, contrived to make a copy of the work, and fled with it to France; that this copy fell into the hands of Lesage, and that he translated it, extending the incidents a little, and so forth; and that the MS. is still in the Escurial, If so, and the Spaniards are so anxious to have the honour of the work, why don't they publish it?

Both charges cannot be true.

Lesage seems to have become acquainted with Spanish literature early in life. His first appearance before the Parisian public was as a translator, or rather imitator of Spanish plays. His "Diable Boiteux," which appeared in 1707, is confessedly founded on "El Diablo Cojuelo" of Guevara; but in this case, as in the other, every thing worth claiming seems to be the work of the Frenchman. Gil Blas was first published in 1715, eight years after the Devil on Two Sticks, in 2 vols., and the 3rd vol. was not published till 1724. Milton, Shakspeare, Molière, and Lesage, were all of them given to stealing -in fact, unblushing thieves; but they stole lead, and turned it into GOLD.

Socius informs us, "I am one of a committee about to establish an institution at Lambeth, to be called the Mutual Instruction Society.' It is our intention to have a meeting for discussion on one evening in the week, and for delivering a lecture on another evening, for which we have solicited and obtained promises of assistance from several gentlemen of talent, and have thus nearly filled up our first quarter's syllabus. I feel convinced that it would not be trespassing to request the suggestion of a few topics for discussion, such as, in your opinion, may most conduce to the acquisition of useful knowledge.

"We desire to accomplish our plan of mutual instruction, with more of an inquiring, and less of a controversial spirit than usually characterises debating societies, and any hints you may throw out on the subject will be duly appreciated. I would be glad to receive suggestions from any of your readers who would interest themselves in the subject."

We will very willingly take up the subject which Socius suggests to us, if we are aided by others. We would be obliged by members of mutual instruction societies and debating clubs taking the trouble to inform us of their existence, on what plan they conduct their proceedings, what objects they have in view, and what benefits they think they derive from their associations.

All Letters intended to be answered in the LITERARY LETTER-Box are to be addressed to "THE EDITOR of the LONDON SATURDAY JOURNAL," and delivered FREE, at 113, Fleet-street.

London: WILLIAM SMITH, 113, Fleet Street. Edinburgh: FRASER & Co. Dublin: CURRY & Co.-Printed by Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars.



No. 55.]




Lahore, and then, making us thread the defiles of Affghanistan,
sets us down at the shattered gate of Ghiznee.
Here we may go

THERE was once a time when the gigantic machinery of modern-back eight centuries, and read about Mahmud, the founder of the ised London daily papers was as much a theme for an oratorical Gasnevide dynasty, and the ravager of Hindustan; or else off to eulogist, as the wonders of steam navigation or the marvels of the Indus, and in descending it, chatter about Alexander the Great railroads. That is over now-we have got used to it; and the and the voyage of Nearchus. merchants in the city, looking out eagerly for their morning dish of money articles and mercantile news, would no more tolerate the breaking down of a printing-machine, or the illness of an editor, than they can pardon the Great Western or the British Queen for presuming to overstay a couple of days. It is all now a matter of course; couriers must run, packets rush, reporters fly, and astronomers poke the sky with their telescopes for bran-new comets, to gratify the daily readers of the broad-sheet; and he who can afford to pay his newsman a penny for an hour's reading, returns the paper with a cross face and a querulous growl, unless every morning he has news from all quarters of the earth.

But it is not sufficiently considered what a demand on a man's MIND is made by this daily distribution of intelligence. He who, being an ordinary man, and mixing with ordinary men, can take up his daily paper, and read it all easily, with understanding, must have no small amount of facts stored up in his memory, all ticketed and ready for instantaneous use. Not only must he have hold of a number of general principles, but he must have a facility in dealing with a vast amount of particular details. Thus, as to principles, he must have a smattering of political economy, or how can he understand discussions on corn and currency; a touch of moral philosophy, or how can he weigh arguments for and against the ballot; some idea of constitutional history and privilege, or how can he form an opinion of his own, as between the Queen's Bench and the House of Commons; some notion of law, to relish a matter of damages; some knowledge of trade, to discern between bankruptcy and insolvency; to which join a Gibbon-like grasp of general history, a bird's-eye view of the globe, and no small stock of biography, geology, and the "universal circle" of the arts and sciences.

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Then, as to particular details-but we tremble to begin! At sight of that presto word Funds," one must skip from Threadneedle-street and Capel-court to the Bourse and Tortoni's; must understand, from a casual phrase, that the feast of the Bairam succeeds the fast of Ramazan, as the Roman carnival precedes Lent, or our Easter follows it; must be able, without the slightest exertion, to dart up the Elbe, and do business in busy Hamburg; and then cross the Atlantic, and return with a summary of the President's message, and a guess as to the time when banks are to resume specie payments; must trot, with Mr. Waghorn, to Marseilles, steam it to Alexandria, visit Cairo, pay our compliments to shrewd old Mohammed Ali, thinking, meanwhile, that his clever son, Ibrahim, threatens the "integrity " of the Ottoman empire, that Sultan Mahmoud is dead, that his successor is a youth, that the allied powers are in a flutter about the "balance of power," and that the emperor Nicholas is ambitious, restless, and ill; and having, during our cogitations, arrived at Suez, steam it down the Red Sea, and away to India! No time, either, to rest in Calcutta. Lord Auckland floats us over sacred Benares, shows us, in the distance, the king of Oude and Lucknow, permits us scarcely a brief moment to meditate on the Great Mogul at Delhi, gives us the history of that dextrous and daring adventurer, the late Rajah Runjeet Singh, as we pass over the domes and minarets of


But this is mere trifling, and time is precious. Ascend the Canton river, for Commissioner Lin is drowning the spirit of opium in his imperial tank. Float over Japan, and glance at the south seas, as we pass on to the western shores of America. Stem the Colombia river, cross the Rocky Mountains, listen to the grunt of the grisly bear, or the roar of the bison, draw a line between the Hudson's Bay and the United States fur companies, barter with the Indians, descend the Missouri and the Mississippi, and look in upon New Orleans, to gather the state of the cottonmarket; or else, keeping" a-head," strike down the Lakes and St. Lawrence, and, hovering over Maine and New Brunswick, settle the disputed boundary. On our way home, re-arrange the relations between the West Indian planters and the negroes; stop the illicit slave-trade; and, as "collateral" topics, understand the differences between the boors and the Caffres, in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, or wherefore the poor Australians were hanged at Adelaide.

We are home, but not to rest. The plague is in Smyrna; English capitalists are trying to establish a bank at Athens; free Greece has a German Prince for a constitutional king, and the people are discontented. Leopold, once united to England, is now united to France, and rules over Belgium; Louis Philippe passes from the Tuileries, between files of glittering bayonets, to open the French legislative session; the Dutch king, at the Hague, harangues his "high and mighty lords," whilst Amsterdam rests on wooden piles. Remember French peerages are not hereditary, the ruler of Hanover is no longer "elector," but "king," and the country is disjoined from British sovereignty; Scotch members of the House of Lords are elected for each parliament, and Irish for life; the Admiralty court and the Ecclesiastical mess together in Doctors' Commons; there is a vast difference between the English and Scotch established churches; and don't forget Scarlet in Abinger, or Coke in the Earl of Leicester, or Miss Penelope Smith in the Princess of Capua. Have we done yet? No, hardly begun. In what state is the British Navy? Who is Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands? Who represents the queen in the General Assembly of the kirk of Scotland? At what price must wheat be, to admit foreign corn duty free? What is Thiers about? Is old Metternich alive? Has anything been heard about Mendizabel lately? Will Van Buren be re-elected? What alterations have been effected in the administration of the poor-law, or by the municipal corporations' reform act? When did the Bank of England get its charter renewed, or the East India Company its trading monopoly swept away? Nay, kind reader, do not grumble; for all this, and much more than all this, you must have at your fingers' ends, if you read with ease and intelligence your daily morning newspaper.

With such a consideration, we begin now to modify somewhat a sort of contemptuous intolerance, in which we used to indulge towards reading individuals who avowed that they never read the newspapers. Never read the newspapers! Why, we used to set the man down as a poor creature whose understanding had such a narrow neck, that the great interests of the great human family

Bradbury and Evans, Printers, Whitefriars.


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