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number of inales and females differs widely, yet in great collections of human beings the disparity alınost disappears. The chance undoubtedly is, that in a thousand marriages the number of daughters will not very much exceed the number of sons. But the chance also is, that several of those marriages will produce daughters, and daughters only. In every generation of the peerage there are several such cases. When a peer whose title is limited to male heirs dies, leaving only daughters, his peerage must expire, unless he have not only a collateral heir, but a collateral heir descended through an uninterrupted line of males from the first possessor of the honor. If the deceased peer was the first nobleman of his family, then, by the supposition, his peerage will become extinct. If he was the second, it will become extinct, unless he leaves a brother or a brother's son. If the second peer had a brother, the first peer must have had at least two sons; and this is more than the average number of sons to a marriage in England. When, therefore, it is considered how many peerages are in the first and second generation, it will not appear strange that extinctions should frequently take place. There are peerages which descend to females as well as males. But in such cases, if a peer dies, leaving only daughters, the very fecundity of the marriage is a cause of the extinction of the peerage. If there were only one daughter, the honor would descend. If there are several, it falls into abeyance. But it is needless to multiply words in a case so clear; and

; indeed it is needless to say anything more about Mr. Sadler's book. We have, if we do not deceive ourselves, completely exposed the calculations on which his theory rests; and we do not think that we should either amuse our readers or serve the cause of science if we were to rebut in succession a series of futile charges brought in the most angry spirit against ourselves; ignorant imputations of ignorance, and unfair complaints of unfairness, conveyed in long, dreary declamations, so prolix that we cannot find space to quote thein, and so confused that we cannot venture to abridge them.

There is much indeed in this foolish pamphlet to laugh at, from the motto in the first page down to soine wisdom about


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cows in the last. One part of it, indeed, is solemn enough —we mean a certain jeu d'esprit of Mr. Sadler's touching a tract of Dr. Arbuthnot's. This is indeed “very tragical mirth,” as Peter Quince's play-bill has it; and we would not advise any person who reads for amusement to venture on it as long as he can procure a volume of the Statutes at Large. This, however, to do Mr. Sadler justice, is an exception. His witticisms and his tables of figures constitute the only parts of his work which can be perused with perfect gravity. His blunders are diverting, his excuses exquisitely comic. But his

anger is the most grotesque exhibition that we ever saw. He foams at the mouth with the love of truth, and vindicates the Divine benevolence with a most edifying heartiness of hatred. On this subject we will give himn one word of parting advice. If he raves in this way to ease his mind, or because he thinks that he does himself credit by it, or from a sense of religious duty, far be it from us to interfere. His peace, his reputation, and his religion are his own concern; and he, like the nobleman to whom his treatise is dedicated, has a right to do what he will with his own. But if he has adopted his abusive style from a notion that it would hurt our feelings, we must inform him that he is altogether mistaken; and that he would do well in future to give us his arguments, if he has any, and to keep his anger for those who fear it.

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SAMUEL JOHNSON. (SEPTEMBER, 1831.) The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Including a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, by James Boswell, Esq. A New Edition, with Numerous Additions and Notes. By JOHN WILSON CROKER, LL.D., F.R.S.

5 vols., 8vo. London: 1831.

This work has greatly disappointed ns. Whatever faults we may have been prepared to find in it, we fully expected that it would be a valuable addition to English literature; that it would contain many curious facts and many judicious remarks; that the style of the notes would be neat, clear, and precise; and that the typographical execution would be, as in new editions of classical works it ought to be, almost faultless. We are sorry to be obliged to say that the merits of Mr. Croker's performance are on a par with those of a certain leg of mutton on which Dr. Johnson dined while travelling from London to Oxford, and which he, with characteristic energy, pronounced to be “as bad as bad could be-ill fed, ill killed, ill kept, and ill dressed.” This edition is ill compiled, ill arranged, ill written, and ill printed.

Nothing in the work has astonished us so much as the ig. norance or carelessness of Mr. Croker with respect to facts and dates. Many of his blunders are such as we should be surprised to hear any well-educated gentleman commit, even in conversation. The notes absolutely swarm with misstatements, into which the editor never would have fallen if he had taken the slightest pains to investigate the truth of his assertions, or if he had even been well acquainted with the book on which he undertook to comment. We will give a few instances.

Mr. Croker tells us in a note that Derrick, who was master of the ceremonies at Bath, died very poor, in 1760.* We


* I. 394.

read on; and, a few pages later, we find Dr. Johnson and Boswell talking of this same Derrick as still living and reigning, as having retrieved his character, as possessing so much power over his subjects at Bath that his opposition might be fatal to Sheridan's lectures on oratory.* And all this is in 1763. The fact is that Derrick died in 1769.

In one note we read that Sir Herbert Croft, the author of that pompous and foolish account of Young which appears among the Lives of the Poets, died in 1805.7 Another note in the same volume states that this same Sir Herbert Croft died at Paris, after residing abroad for fifteen years, on the 27th of April, 1816.5

Mr. Croker informs us that Sir William Forbes, of Pitsligo, the author of the Life of Beattie, died in 1816.9 A Sir William Forbes undoubtedly died in that year, but not the Sir William Forbes in question, whose death took place in 1806. It is notorious, indeed, that the biographer of Beattie lived just long enough to complete the history of his friend. Eight or nine years before the date which Mr. Croker has assigned for Sir Williain's death, Sir Walter Scott lamented that event in the introduction to the fourth canto of Marmion. Every school-girl knows the lines:

“Scarce had lamented Forbes paid
The tribute to his Minstrel's shade;
The tale of friendship scarce was told,
Ere the narrator's heart was cold :
Far may we search before we find

A heart so manly and so kind !" In one place we are told that Allan Ramsay, the painter, was born in 1709, and died in 1784;| in another, that he died in 1784, in the seventy-first year of his age.

In one place Mr. Croker says that at the commencement of the intimacy between Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale, in 1765, the lady was twenty-five years old.** In other places he says that Mrs. Thrale's thirty-fifth year coincided with Johnson's seventieth.* Johnson was born in 1709. If, therefore, Mrs. Thrale's thirty-fifth year coincided with Johnson's seventieth, she could have been only twenty-one years old in 1765. This is not all. Mr. Croker, in another place, assigns the year 1777 as the date of the complimentary lines which Johnson made on Mrs. Thrale's thirty-fifth birthday.t If this date be correct, Mrs. Thrale must have been born in 1742, and could have been only twenty-three when her acquaintance with Johnson commenced. Mr. Croker therefore gives us three different statements as to her age. Two of the three must be incorrect. We will not decide between them : we will only say, that the reasons which Mr. Croker gives for thinking that Mrs. Thrale was exactly thirty-five years old when Johnson was seventy, appear to iis utterly frivolous.

* 1.404.
| IV. 105.

| IV.428.

§ II. 262.

+ IV. 321. [ V. 281.

** I. 150.

Again, Mr. Croker informs his readers that "Lord Mansfield survived Johnson full ten years.”+ Lord Mansfield survived Dr. Johnson just eight years and a quarter.

Johnson found in the library of a French lady, whom he visited during his short visit to Paris, some works which he regarded with great disdain. “I looked,” says he, “into the books in the lady's closet, and, in contempt, showed them to Mr. Thrale — Prince Titi, Bibliothèque des Fées, and other books."'S “The history of Prince Titi,” observes Mr. Croker,

was said to be the autobiography of Frederic Prince of Wales, but was probably written by Ralph, his secretary." A more absurd note never was penned. The history of Prince Titi to which Mr. Croker refers, whether written by Prince Frederic or by Ralph, was certainly never published. If Mr. Croker had taken the trouble to read with attention that very passage in Park's Royal and Noble Authors which he cites as his authority, he would have seen that the manuscript was given up to the Government. Even if this memoir had been printed it is not very likely to find its way into a French lady's bookcase. And would any man in his senses speak contemptuously of a French lady for having in her possession an English work so curious and interesting as a Life

* VI. 271, 322.

+ III. 463.

| II. 151.

$ III. 271.

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