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the subject, they received in the early part of the past year, a communication from an American gentleman, suggesting as an effectual means of redress, the insertion in the Magazine, from time to time, of an article from a native or naturalized citizen of the United States, who should establish a copyright in his own person, or that of an assignee, and thus either protect the whole work or compel the publishers of the pirated edition to reprint it in an imperfect form, such as would materially check their success, and, in either way, break up the system.
The tone and talent of this communication seemed to the publishers to recommend their correspondent as himself well qualified to lead the way in this most righteous enterprise, and the result was, the appearance in the October number of the article “Maga in America,” which has been highly relished on both sides of the Atlantic. Of this article a proof was despatched to Mr Jay, a solicitor of eminence in New York, who, with the utmost promptitude, registered the copyright in his own name, and, presenting himself to Messrs Scott, the reprinters, inquired if they were about to publish the Magazine, as usual, that month, as he thought it right to inform them that, by so doing, they would be placed in a delicate position. On hearing an explanation, Messrs Scott were considerably taken aback, and, although unwilling to acknowledge that the game was up, they seemed to have a painful consciousness that such was the case. The negotiation terminated in the meantime, in their agreeing, after various letters, and not a little conversation, to pay a sum as copyright, before they issued the October number, and a like amount for each succeeding number, until a further arrangement were made. It would have been very easy for the proprietors to have brought the reprinters under heavy responsibilities, by giving them no hint of their movements, and allowing the October number to be published as usual, when Messrs Scott would have become liable to a severe penalty for every copy sold. This was not done, as no blame is attached personally to Messrs Scott, who have merely acted under a bad system, in which any one publisher might think himself free to seize an advantage which was open to all.
This movement has been most cordially welcomed by the American press, and it will be a source of great pleasure and pride to the Messrs Blackwood, if the step they have taken should in any degree, however humble, assist in establishing an international copyright, which alone can effectually check a system of reprinting which is ruinous to American authors, and only very moderately profitable to American publishers, who are compelled, by the fear of rival reprints, to sell at a price which leaves a narrow margin of profit, even with no expense but paper and print. They are also in their turn afflicted with a host of smaller weekly pirates, who select the best, or at least the most attractive articles from all the periodicals, and serve them up in a cheap form, not without seasoning sometimes of a very questionable character both in taste and in morals.
The more operose contemporaries of Maga will learn with some surprisewhether pleasant or painful, it would be presumptuous to say—that the buoyancy of her contents scems to be used to float off
' a few hundred copies of their ponderous productions, which might otherwise be stranded without help or hope. It appears that subscribers are obtained to no less than four quarterly publications, by the inducement that, on such condition, they will receive Blackwood at two-thirds of the price.
Edinburgh, January 1, 1818.
Printed by William Blackwool und Sons, Edinburgh.
Russia is the most extraordinary the diameter of the globe between : country on the globe, in the four most he found it not brick, but mire, and important particulars of empire,- he transformed a region of huts into its history, its extent, its population, the magnificence of empire. and its power.
Russia first appears in European It has for Europe another interest, history in the middle of the ninth --the interest of alarm, the evidence of century. Its climate and its soil an ambition which has existed for a had till then retained it in primitive hundred and fifty years, and has barbarism. The sullenness of its never paused; an increase of ter- winter had prevented invasion by ritory which has never suffered the civilised nations, and the nature of slightest casualty of fortune; the its soil, one immense plain, had given most complete_security against the full scope to the roving habits of its retaliation of European war; and a half famished tribes. The great invagovernment at once despotic and sions which broke down the Roman popular ; exhibiting the most bound- empire, had drained away the populaless authority in the sovereign, and tion from the north, and left nothing the most boundless submission in the but remnants of clans behind. Ruspeople; a mixture of habitual obe- sia had no Sea, by which she might dience, and divine homage : the reve- send her bold savages to plunder or rence to a monarch, with almost the to trade with Southern and Western prostration to a divinity.
Europe. And, while the man of Its history has another superb Scandinavia was subduing kingdoms, anomaly : Russia gives the most me- or carrying back spoil to his northern morable instance in human annals, of crags and lakes, the Russian remained, the powers which lie within the mind like the bears of his forest, in his of individual man. Peter the Great cavern during the long winter of his was not the restorer, or the reformer country ; and even when the summer of Russia; he was its moral creator. came, was still but a melancholy He found it, not as Augustus found savage, living like the bear upon the Rome, according to the famous adage, roots and fruits of his ungenial soil. " brick, and left it marble :” he found It was to one of those Normans, it a living swamp, and left it covered who, instead of steering his bark towith the fertility of laws, energy, and wards the opulence of the sonth, knowledge : he found it Asiatic, and turned his dreary adventure to the left it European : he removed it as north, that Russia owed her first far from Scythia, as if he had placed connexion with intelligent mankind.
Sceret History of the Court and Gorernment of Russia, under the Emperors Alexander and Nicholas. By H. Schnitzler. Two vols. Bentley : London.
VOL. LXIII.-XO. CCCLXXXVIII.
The people of Novgorod, a people of nessed, was now rolling over Central traders, finding themselves over- Asia. The cavalry of Genghiz Khan, powered by their barbarian neigh- which came, not in squadrons, but in bours, solicited the aid of Ruric, a nations, and charged, not like troops, Baltic chieftain, and, of course, a
like thunderclouds, began to pirate and a robber. The name of pour down upon the valley of the the Norman had earned old renown Wolga. Yet the conquest of Russia in the north. Ruric came, rescued was not to be added to the triumphs the city, but paid himself by the of the great Tartar chieftain ; a seizure of the surrounding territory, mightier conqueror stopped him on and founded a kingdom, which he his way, and the Tartar died. transmitted to his descendants, and His son Toushi, in the beginwhich lasted until the middle of the ning of the thirteenth century, burst sixteenth century.
over the frontier at the head of half In the subsequent reign we see a million of horsemen. The Russian the effect of the northern pupillage; princes, hastily making up their quarand an expedition, in the style of the rels, advanced to meet the invader; Baltic exploits, was sent to plunder but their army was instantly trampled Constantinople. This expedition con- down, and, before the middle of the sisted of two thousand canoes, with century, all the provinces, and all the eighty thousand men on board. The cities of Russia, were the prey of the expedition was defeated, for the men of the wilderness. Novgorod Greeks had not yet sunk into the alone escaped. degeneracy of later times.
They The history of this great city would fought stoutly for their capital, and be highly interesting, if it were posroasted the pirates in their own sible now to recover its details. It canoes, by showers of the famous was the chief depot of the northern “ Greek fire."
Asiatic commerce with Europe; it Those invasions, however, were had a government, laws, and privitempting to the idleness and poverty, leges of its own, with which it sufor to the avarice and ambition of fered not even the Khan of the Tarthe Russians; and Constantinople tars to interfere. Its population continued to be the at object of amounted to four hundred thousand cupidity and assault, for three hundred -then nearly equal to the population years. But the city of Constantine of a kingdom. In the thirteenth was destined to fall to a mightier century it connected itself still more conqueror.
effectively with European commerce, Still, the northern barbarian had by becoming a member of the Hansenow learned the road to Greece, and atic League; and the wonder and the intercourse was mutually bene- pride of the Russians were expressed ficial. Greece found daring allies in in the well-known half-profane proher old plunderers, and in the eleventh verb, “Who can resist God, and the century she gave the Grand-duke great Novgorod ?” Vladimir a wife, in the person of Anna, There is always something almost sister of the emperor Basil II; à approaching to picturesque grandeur gift made more important by its in the triumphs of barbarism. The being accompanied by his conversion Turk, until he was fool enough to to Christianity.
throw away the turban, was the most A settled succession is the great showy personage in the world. The secret of royal peace : but among Arabs, under Mahomet, were the those bold riders of the desert, no- most stately of warriors, and the thing was ever settled, save by the Spanish Moors threw all the pomp, sword; and the first act of all the sons, and even all the romance, of Europe on the decease of their father, was, into the shade. Even the chiefs of to slaughter each other; until the con- the “Golden Horde" seemed to have test was settled in their graves, and had as picturesque a conception of the last survivor quietly ascended the supremacy as the Saracen. Their only throne.
city was a vast camp, in the plains But war, on a mightier scale than between the Caspian and the Wolga; the Russian Steppes had ever wit- and while they left the provinces in