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Civil Law having been heretofore emphatically so styled. Dr. Hallifax's authority on any point connected with the Roman Civil Law ought to be duly appreciated, as he was a man of great and acute abilities, a most excellent civilian, and perhaps more deeply versed in his appropriate branch of human science, than any contemporary or succeeding students in it.

I wish to be referred to any Notices, if any such exist, relating to the Relief of the Poor, in the ages preceding the promulgation of the Mosaic Law. The fanciful pretensions of the Chinese to institutions on this subject, by two of their Emperors, who are said to have reigned about a thousand years before the time of Moses, are not worthy of regard. At the giving of the Mosaic Law, it was declared, that "the poor should never cease out of the land;" and accordingly the relief and maintenance of the poor seem to have been peculiarly attended to under the Jewish Polity. But, possibly, prior to the age of Moses, the relief of the poor, the impotent, and the aged, was left solely. to the observance and exertions of human feelings and attention amongst both the Israelites and the Gentiles. And hence it seems to be admissible, that all the ordinances and institutions relating to the care of the poor, &c. to be met with in prophane history, are to be considered as flowing from the Law of Moses on that subject: and if this should be well founded, it will afford another proof against Spencer, De Legibus Hebræorum, that " very many of the Jewish rites, ceremonies, &c. were adopted from those of the Gentiles."

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thus describes what he calls "the breath of the wintery night.” "While oft to eddying gusts, the fane Echo'd, and rang its whirling vane, And the gales, thro' crannies, told decay, And moan'd along the cloistral way; Then upwards whistling seem'd to scale The buttress, and the tower assail, And in murmurs swept the arras behind; And the dying embers in the wind Kindled up, a bright-blue flame; And priests and warriors, in the gleam, Crested or mitred, with menacing look, Shook their crosiers and pikes, as the tapestry shook.

-But was it the tempestuous air, The cold moan, or the ghastly glare?"

&c. &c.

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Like the figures on arras that gloomily glare

Stirred by the breath of the wintery air,
So, seen by the dying lamp's fitful light,
Lifeless, but lifelike and awful to sight,
As they seem thro' the dimness about to
come down
From the shadowy wall, where their
[images frown,
Fearfully flitting to and fro,
As the gusts on the tapestry come and go."
Siege of CORINTH.

Permit me to add another imitation of "The Fair Isabel," which I have just detected in Mr. Read's "Hill of Caves," a poem very recently published.

A fine Calm discovering at the approach of evening symptoms of a Tempest brooding over the seas-and the storm at length bursting, is thus pictured:

"Half the lovely sea-girt scene Was flush'd as with a faery sheen. *




* * Far to the East the extensive seas Were ruffled by the rising breeze, *






Tho' soft the waters fain would flow To kiss the silver sands below.



Nearer now, the labouring deep Arose, as one enormous wave! Then would another billow heave, Vast and unbroken!-without foam It seem'd one mass of steely gloom; Till swelling to a haughtier height, With shuddering sweep It burst against a bellying rock: And a long ridge of white Rush'd o'er the sea, like furnace smoke; Or, like the high-maned troop of horse That in their headlong course,


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I can readily believe that to "point out all that he (Lord Byron) has borrowed from others in his various writings would be" as "difficult" to Mr. Dyce as it would be "tedious" to his readers to follow him in his hy. percritical researches.


"Different Poets," says Johuson, describing the spring or the sea, would mention the zephyrs and the flowers, the billows and the rocks;" neither do I think it unnatural, in a description of a night scene on the banks of a lake or river, that some mention should be made of the stars; nor should I esteem it so unlikely a concurrence of resemblance, should their " imag'd beams" also be introduced, as to warrant the accusation of plagiarism: unless, indeed, the hero should "the golden stars for

ver; in which case we might, I think, venture to lay the author under an obligation to Dean Swift.

Mr. Polwhele's simile of "the high-guineas take," and jump into the ri maned troop of horse, tossing fiery froth amidst the sabre's wrath," is to me so perfectly new, that its recur rence in Mr. Read's Poem can never pass for mere accident. Yours, &c.



March 6.

Dwhen the excellence of a com

R. JOHNSON observes, "that

position can no longer be contested, and malice is compelled to give way to the unanimity of applause, there is yet one expedient (the charge of plagiarism) by which the Author may be degraded."

Does your Correspondent, A. Dyce, p..121, mean that Lord Byron should stand a convicted Plagiary? If so, why do away the accusation by immediately subjoining "of which, no doubt, the author was unconscious?" Does he wish us to understand this as an ironical sarcasm, or does he forget the meaning of the word Plagiarism? For, surely, if a Plagiary be, as I conceive, one who endeavours the clandestine appropriation of a borrowed thought; if allowed to be unconscious of its pre-existence, he cannot with much propriety be ac cused of stealing it. Having thus, therefore, acquitted his Lordship of the charge, why then bring forward those instances, which, he will still have it, must be imitations; unless it be in support of his observation, that no person in these modern days can say any thing which was never said before?"


For the train of thought at the beginning of the second Canto, his Lordship certainly, for any thing that we can say to the contrary, might have been indebted to Pope's Letter to Sir Richard Steele; but why thus restrict him for that which he might have found in almost every author, antient and modern? And again, he might also, though his writings leave us little room for the conjecture, have been ignorant of the common Jaws of chivalry, and the not uncommon effect of violent passion and consequently be under the necessity of borrowing from Mrs. Radcliffe.

That there does, however, exist a similarity between the deaths of Marmion and Lara cannot be denied; but that two soldiers mortally wounded on the field of battle should there die, is so much within the verge of probability, that I question if his Lordship will lay it to heart if he be denied the merit of originality.

Should not the difficulty of the undertaking deter Mr. Dyce from farther ingenious researches should he still persist in the laudable endeavour to render to every one his own, and expose his Lordship like the daw "furtivis nudata coloribus ;" let him remember, for it will render his task less tedious, that "the flowers of fiction are so widely scattered, and so easily cropped, that it is scarcely just to tax the use of them as an act


by which any particular writer is despoiled of his garland; any more than it is to cousider every instance of similitude as a proof of imitation;" and, moreover, that we stand in need of no farther illustrations of the assertion of the preacher, "that there is no new thing under the sun." Yours, &c.


C. C.

Baker-street, Enfield,
March 29.

HOW frequently do we find ourselves in the situation of the author in the farce of the "Critic," who, having been discovered in a plagiarism, is driven to his shifts for an excuse, and at length observes, "that all he has to say about it is, that Shakspeare and he had the same ideas, but that Shakspeare used them first" (or words to that effect). In some such light does a rude idea of mine stand just now. About two years ago, or not quite so long, I inentioned to a philosophical friend, who had frequently turned his attention towards the construction of a machine that would afford the long sought for desideratum of Perpetual Motion, my opinion as to what I conceived must be selected as the first principle of any such action. I considered that whatever the power may be which shall keep up an action of that kind, would be found only in nature; and that, however art may assist towards the attainment of the end, it would, nevertheless, be found to be but secondary. I told him the power which I conceived was the one required; and he (on my writing to ask if he remembered the conversation) replies, that he perfectly recollects it; and that the Magnet was that to which I alluded. Now, Mr. Urban, I am very far indeed from wishing to claim any thing like discovery; but I can only say, that the Gentleman in whose behalf the interest of Parliament is about to be sought, "has had the same idea (so far as the Magnet is concerned) with me, but has used it first." Mine being, however, but a theory, as I never have attempted to construct the machine I had in my mind, I should justly merit both scorn and ridicule, could I have for a moment the effrontery of putting my hypothesis in competition with the tried apparatus of the Gentleman in question.

Nevertheless I may venture to give them on paper, as they may, perhaps, assist in a small degree towards exciting the attention of more philosophical men than myself. I am well aware of the mechanical diffi culties that will present themselves, but still do think they may be overcome. The power of the Magnet we know to be both attractive and repellent; and as this power exists independent of human agency, I have always looked upon it as the most likely to supply the wants we are anxious to remove. I therefore supposed that a wheel, simple in its construction, and like to a water wheel, might be made to move on a diamond or agate pivot, having its weather boards (I know not if that be the technical term for the parts which dip into the stream or not) armed with iron; the Magnet then to be applied nearly vertical, and the wheel put in motion, when it appeared to me that the attractive power acting on the extremities of the wheel, on one side of each of the boards, and in an opposite power on the other, would continue to propel the wheel with a rotatory motion: the first impetus must of course be given by hand. Rude and untried as my plan is, I cannot but think it practicable, and trust that you will oblige me by giving it a place in your publication; as through such a channel of scien tific information it may, perhaps, assist some to form new ideas, or to induce others to correct the erroneous one (if it be such) of Yours, &c.



Mr. URBAN, Crosby-square, May 12. HIS is among the most antient


of our English Cathedrals; aud, having been from the earliest records a Foundation for a Dean and Canons, its Establishment and Statutes were. confirmed by Henry VIII.

The component members of the Choir, as in the other Cathedrals endowed by the Anglo-Saxon Monarchs, are a Deau, Precentor, Chancellor, and Treasurer, (to whom alone the title of Dignitary is correctly applicable) 30 Canons, or Prebendaries, (four of whom, including the Dean, are now styled Canons Residentiary, and


form the Chapter) the Miñor Canons, or Vicarial Clergy, (originally officiat ing as substitutes for the Prebendaries, with whom they corresponded in number:) and lastly, the Novices, or children educating for the Choral service, who have varied in number according as the patronage of the Chapter has been extended or withheld. Stall wages are still paid to the Vicars by the Prebendaries, as from time immemorial, and they have a considerable landed Endowment. In number they are now reduced to four.

The Singing-men were added in the 16th century by the munificence of Bishop Sherburn.

The public Documents relating to this Cathedral are far from numerous; and the earliest mention of the Choristers that I have met with is in the Will of Henry Garlaund, A.D. 1342, whence it seems that in his time there were 12 boys of the Choir. A.D. 1536, Bishop Sherburn made a bequest to eight Choristers. They are now reduced to six.

I have not had an opportunity of reference to the Statutes by which this Foundation should be governed *; but, according to the present regula. tions of the SCHOOL, if it deserves such a name, there is no Choir in England, with the single exception of CarJisle, which promises so few advantages to the young persons educating under the auspices of the Chapter.

The Choristers have occasional Lessons in Singing from the Organist; but it does not appear that the Rev. Patrons and Guardians of the School interfere in any other branch of their education. The Choristers have an acknowledged right of admission into the Prebendal Grammar School of this City; but, from some unexplained cause, they derive no benefit from this privilege.

I am not able to record any instance of success which has attended the system adopted in the Choral School of this Cathedral; on the contrary, I am informed that the Choristers, after the failure of their treble voices has rendered them useless in the Choir, rarely derive any advantage from their Musical talents, and, with few exceptions, have sunk into neglected obscurity.

* In the Bodleian Library.

Such at least have been the accounts recently transmitted to me; and I am sorry that I am not enabled to correct this statement by a more satisfactory communication from the first authority in the Choir. It must not, however, be forgotten, that the present Dean of Chichester has held that dignity but a very short time; and we cannot doubt that the warm interest manifested by him on the subject of National Education will be shared in an eminent degree by the School under his own immediate jurisdiction.

The following document, though not immediately relating to the education of the Choristers, is too nearly connected with their interests to be unnoticed in the present enquiry, especially as it has been overlooked by Mr. Dallaway, in his valuable History of the Cathedral.

Pat. 26 Hen. VI. p. 2, m. 4. A license to the Dean of Chichester to hold Lands in mortmain, to augment the maintenance of the Canons Resi

dentiary, Vicars, and Choristers of that Church +.

There is no reference to the record in the Printed Index to the Patent Rolls; but it did not escape the penetrating research of Bishop Tanner, who cites it, though incorrectly, in his "Notitia.”

In your next Magazine I hope to have the pleasure of introducing to your Readers a very different School, under the liberal patronage of the Bishop of St. David's.

M. H.

P.S. Mr. Dallaway, in his History of Western Sussex, observes, speaking of Vicars Choral, "Those of St. Paul's obtained a Warden and Common Seal by Patent, 18 Ric. II:"

This is not quite accurate. The Minor Canons of St. Paul's, and not the Vicars Choral, were incorporated by Richard il.

At Chichester, and in some other Cathedrals, the Minor Canons and Vicars Choral are synonymous. At St. Paul's they are distinct. The Minor Canons are in Holy Orders; the Vicars Choral are Laymen, and are not a corporate body.

M. H.

* See Dr. Bethell's Sermon at St. Paul's in June 1817, printed by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge.

+ See also Inq. ad q. d. to which reference is made in the license.

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