Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/610

This page needs to be proofread.


502


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xn. DEC. 25, 1909.


In reference to Macaulay, Thackeray is indignant with a paper which said Macaulay " had no heart,'* and replies :

" The critic who says Macaulay had no heart might say that Johnson had none ; and two men more generous, and more loving, and more hating, and more partial, and more noble, do not live in our history."

Thackeray asks how it is that Macaulay " manages in two or three words to paint an individual, or to indicate a landscape,*' and replies : " He reads twenty books to write a sentence ; he travels a hundred miles to make a line of description.' 4

In addition to the serials, Thackeray's

  • Roundabout Papers, 'and articles on current

subjects, each number contained a poem or poems. Among these were Tennyson's now well-known * Tithonus ' ; ' Unspoken Dia- logues, 2 by R. Monckton Milnes (afterwards Lord Houghton), including the one by which he will probably be the longest re- membered, ' Strangers Yet. 1 which was soon set to music and became a household song ; ' Men of Genius,* by Matthew Arnold ; ' A Musical Instrument, * by Elizabeth Barrett Browning ; ' Watching and Wishing, 1 by Charlotte Bronte ; and ' The Outcast Mother,' by her sister Emily, dated "Haworth, July 12th, 1839."

It should not be forgotten that The Cornhill rendered useful services, quite outside the run of an ordinary magazine, and the subject of our national defences took an important place in its columns. On the 20th of August, 1859, Commissioners were appointed by her Majesty " to consider the defences of the United Kingdom. 1 * The subject of the probable invasion of the country was before Parliament for months, and the editor of The Cornhill took ad- vantage of the question being uppermost in the minds of the people to print a series of articles on it. One was on ' Invasion Panics, 1 and another on ' London the Stronghold of England. 1 In the latter it was suggested that there should be six forts round London : one on Shooter's Hill, one on Norwood Hill, one at Wimbledon, one near Harrow, one at Mill Hill, and the sixth within good range of Enfield Lock. A plan was given to show the proposed positions of the forts. So much importance was attached to the suggestions that they formed the subject of discussion in the Cabinet.

Looking at the changes that have occurred in our Navy, we seem carried back to the Middle Ages when we find that " Naval men have long considered line-of- battle ships built of wood as doomed. To


encounter rifled cannon and shells filled with
molten iron, they think we have now but the
choice of two kinds of vessels iron-plated ships

1 and gunboats."

Scott Russell, the designer and builder of the Great Eastern, was at this time submitting to the Controller of the Navy designs for an ironplated ship of war, " in which was adopted a novel and ingenious device that of defending only the central portion of the ship with armour, leaving her extremities free from the encumbrance."'

To show what changes are brought by time, there comes from Paris as I write news that an airship for the British Army is now being built there the biggest airship yet built in France, with a capacity of 280,000 cubic feet.

Among articles in a lighter vein is a very amusing one in the number for February, 1861, on ' Samples of Fine English J in the early sixties. In a Times article on Ascot rain is called " the pluvial visitation." The Illustrated News calls smokers " lovers of the nicotian weed." The writer complains that the horse doctor now calls himself a " veterinary surgeon," and a barrister is 41 a gentleman of the long robe." A man used to go to law, he now " institutes legal proceedings ai ; he used to go to his doctor, he now "consults his medical adviser"; and somebody going into a shop in Regent Street to buy half -mourning was referred by the shopman to the " mitigated affliction department." One man sells " unsophis- ticated gin," another lets " gentlemanly apartments in close proximity to the Bank.' r Boots are called " antigropelos " ; soap, " rypophagon" ; and, though last, not least, a saucepan, " anheidrohepseterion."

The Cornhill during many years contained illustrations, and among the artists whose drawings appeared were Millais, Sandys, Leighton, Doyle, Walker, Du Maurier, Noel Paton, Keene, Burton, Fildes, Herkomer, Leslie, Stone, F. Dicksee, Pinwell, and Mrs. Allingham. To commemorate these illus- trations Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. in 1865 brought out a large quarto volume contain- ing a selection of one hundred of the draw- ings which had appeared, and entitled it 'The Cornhill Gallery.'- This was done as " an act of justice to the eminent artists of whose talents they had availed themselves; in the illustration of The Cornhill Magazine, by exhibiting, with the aid of the finest printing, the real quality of those illustra- tions, as works of art." The woodblocks themselves were in this volume printed from for the first time. When the pictures