« PreviousContinue »
pay little. Another has a large circulation in the Mofussil, and is all for a stamp. And we believe it is, in a great measure, on account of the difficulty of settling this delicate question, that nothing has hitherto been done. For ourselves, having no interest in the matter at all, we are free to say that it appears to us that a uniform stamp is in strict accordance with the principle of Mr. Hill's measure, which, we believe, has given universal satisfaction in England, while it is certainly in contravention of the details of that measure, which have given no less satisfaction. People all rejoice that they can send a letter to any distance for a penny; but John Bull would doubtless utter a Stentorian roar, were he required to pay a penny for every letter which he sends by his own servant for delivery in the next street; and yet the principle is the very same, when he pays a penny for sending a letter from London to Richmond, (in order that he may enjoy the privilege of sending another if he likes from Lon. don to Panama for the same price.) He has been accustomed always to a stamp upon his newspaper, and therefore roars not, when it is reduced to two-ninths of its former amount. But it is unquestionable that our friends in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Mírut, Agra, Lahore, and wherever newspapers are published, would grumble not a little, were the price of their daily paper increased by 313 annas a year, in order that the price of the same paper may be reduced to their neighbours in the Mofussil by double that amount. Perhaps the best way would be to “halve the difference.” Impose a uniform half-anna stamp, and a uniform half-anna postage. This would certainly not please both parties ; but it would dɔ what is perhaps next best in all cases where interests clash-it would displease both parties equally, and neither very intensely.
Captain Staples is a practical man; and his suggestions are worthy of serious attention on the part of the authorities; and such atten. tion we doubt not they will receive. His remarks on the cumbrous machinery, that has been for so long a time employed to do what there is no occasion to do, and what the machinery itself does not do well, are, we think, thoroughly to the point. Altogether, the pamphlet is a good one; besides being, as we have already said, a seasonable one. Its value is greatly enhanced by the map of India, which is prefixed to it, and which is, as the auctioneers say, “ well worth all the money."
Since this notice was in type, we see an effect of the pamphlet in an advertisement by the acting Pust-Master-General, intimating the discontinuance of the system of registration, a measure strongly advocated by Captain Staples.
Recollections of India; drawn on Stone, by J. D. Harding,
from the original Drawings by the Honorable Charles Stewart Hardinge. Part 1. British India and the Punjab. Part 2. Kashmir and the Alpine Punjab. London. 1847.
It is very well that gentlemen who come to India, should exercise the talents, which Nature and the drawing master have given to them,
by sketching the scenery of this gorgeous land. Nor can we conceive any possible objection to their handing over their sketch-books, on their return, to a skilful lithographer, in order that copies may be multiplied for their friends, who will naturally attach a value to the productions of their pencils, because they are theirs. But we do lament over that feeling so prevalent in England, on which publishers reckon, when they can place an author's name on a title page, with the prefix of “ HONORABLE.” The son of a Viscount may be quite as good a draughtsman as the son of a shoe-maker; but we cannot, for the life of us, divine any reason why he should be a whit better. Yet we venture to say that the main inducement to the publisher to risk a large amount of capital on this sumptuous volume, was the prefix to its author's name. We have no sympathy whatsoever with those who cry down the higher classes of society. We believe that no class of men exists in the world, among whom a larger share of accomplishments is to be found, than amongst the families of the English nobility; and we believe there is just as much “snob. bishness," (we need make no apology for using a word which Mr. Thackeray has rendered classical) in the Eton, boy who glories in bullying a duke, as in the Oxford tuft-hunter who glories in fawning upon one. We are too well aware of the dignity of our vocation to follow the lead of either. Tros Tyriusve, who gives us a good book, shall have our very hearty commendations. Lord or commoner, who palms a bad or an indifferent one-upon the public, shall get no countenance from us.
In the present case we must say, that the merits of the book be. fore us, are almost all due to Mr. Harding, while its demerits are chargeable upon Mr. Hardinge. The difference, as a Scotchman might say, "is a' in my E." Mr. Hardinge draws well enough for ordinary purposes, but he has a singular infelicity in selecting his points de vue. To take the first view for example, that of Barrackpore—we venture to say that there is not any one person, among all who see the view, that will recognize it as representing the place whose name is attached to it. It is true that there is a river at it, as there is at Macedon, and eke at Monmouth ; but where the Barrackpore river runs, and what are the ups and downs of it, we cannot imagine. In the river too there are boats ;-and that such boats were never on the Hugli, we are not in a position to assert; but certainly we never saw any at all like them. Altogether we cannot in the least imagine whence the view is taken, or what part of the river it represents. When our artist has to do with buildings, his choice is more circumscribed, and therefore is not so infelicitous ; but even then he has a singular taste for back views. Of the places that we have not seen, it is but fair to say that some make very agreeable pictures ; and we are willing to believe that these afford a more accurate idea of the places themselves, than those whose fidelity our rather circum. scribed travels enable us to judge of. They are beautifully lithographed ; and, in this respect, the book is truly an ornament to the table of any drawing-room.
SANDERS, CONES AND CO., TYP8., no. 14, LOLL BAZAR.