Text: Burton R. Pollin, “The Broadway Journal: Text (August 1845),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. III: Broadway Journal (Text) (1986), pp. 187-239 (This material is protected by copyright)


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Critical Notices.

(a) The Lost Pleiad; and other Poems. By T. H. Chivers, M. D. New-York: Edward O. Jenkins.

This volume is evidently the honest and fervent utterance of an exquisitely sensitive heart which has suffered much and long. The poems are numerous, but the thesis is one — death — the death of beloved friends. The poet seems to have dwelt among the shadows of tombs, until his very soul has become a shadow. Here, indeed, is no mere Byronic affectation of melancholy. No man who has ever mourned the loss of a dear friend, can read these poems without instantly admitting the palpable truth which glows upon every page.

The tone of the composition is, in these latter days, a marvel, and as a marvel we commend it to our readers. It belongs to the first era of a nation’s literature — to the era of impulse — in contra-distinction to the era of criticism — to the Chaucerian rather than to the Cowperian days. As for the trans-civilization epoch, Doctor Chivers’ poems have really nothing of affinity with it — and this we look upon as the greatest miracle of all. Is it not, indeed, a miracle that today a poet shall compose sixty or seventy poems, in which there shall be discoverable no taint — absolutely none — of either Byron, or Shelley, or Wordsworth, or Coleridge, or Tennyson? In a word, the volume before us is the work of that rara avis, an educated, passionate, yet unaffectedly simple-minded and single-minded man, writing from his own vigorous impulses — from the necessity of giving utterance to poetic passion — and thus writing not to mankind, but solely to himself. The whole volume has, in fact, the air of a rapt soliloquy.

We have leisure this week only to give, without comment, a few extracts at random — but we shall take an opportunity of recurring to the subject.

I hear thy spirit calling unto me

From out the Deep,

Like Archytas from out Venetia’s Sea,

While I here weep;

Saying, Come, strew my body with the sand,

And bury me upon the land, the land!

 

Oh, never, never more! no, never more!

Lost in the Deep!

Will thy sweet beauty visit this dark shore,

While I here weep;

For thou art gone forever more from me,

Sweet Mariner! lost-murdered by the Sea!

 

Ever — forever more, bright, glorious One!

Drowned in the Deep!

In Spring-time — Summer — Winter — all alone —

Must I here weep;

Thou Spirit of my soul! thou light of life!

While thou art absent, SHELLEY! from thy wife!

 

Celestial pleasure once to contemplate

Thy power, great Deep!

Possessed my soul; but ever more shall hate,

While I here weep,

Crowd out thy memory from my soul, Oh, Sea!

For killing him who was so dear to me!

 

He was the incarnation of pure Truth,

Oh, mighty Deep!

And thou didst murder him in prime of youth,

For whom I weep;

And, murdering him, didst more than murder me,

Who was my Heaven on earth, Oh, treacherous Sea!

 

My spirit wearied not to succor his,

On, mighty Deep!

The oftener done, the greater was the bliss;

But now I weep;

And where his beauty lay, unceasing pain

Now dwells — my heart can know no joy again!

 

God of my fathers! God of that bright One

Lost in the Deep!

Shall we not meet again beyond the sun

No inure to weep? [page 188:]

Yes, I shall meet him there — the lost — the bright —

The glorious SHELLEY! spring of my delight!

 

Ah, like Orion on some Autumn night

Above the Deep;

I see his soul look down from Heaven — how bright!

While here I weep!

And there, like Hesperus, the stars of even

Beacon my soul away to him in Heaven!

——

When thou Overt in this world with me,

Bright ANGEL of the HEAVENLY LANDS!

Thou Overt not fed by mortal hands,

But by the NYMPHS, who gave to thee

The bread of immortality —

Such as thy spirit now doth eat

In that high world of endless love,

While walking with thy snowy feet

Along the sapphire-paven street,

Before the jasper-walls above,

And list‘ning to the music sweet

Of Angels in that heavenly Hymx

Sung by the lips of CHERUBIM

In Paradise, before the fall,

In glory bright, outshining all

In that great City of pure gold,

The Angels talked about of old.

 

Because of thine untimely fate,

Am I thus left disconsolate!

Because thou wilt return to be

No more in this dark world with me,

Must these salt tears of sorrow flow

Out of my heart forever more!

Forever more as they do now!

Out of my heart forever more‘.

 

Thou wert my snow-white JESSAMINE —

My little ANGEL-EGLANTINE!

My saintly LILY! Who didst grow

Upon thy mother’s arms of snow —

Of whom thou went the image true —

Whose tears fell on thy leaves for dew —

All but those deep blue eyes of thine

They were the miniatures of mine,

Thou Blossom of that heavenly TREE,

Whose boughs are barren now for thee!

The sweetest bud she ever bore!

Who art transplanted to the skies

To blossom there forever more

Amid the FLOWERS of PARADISE.

——

Thus shalt thou leave this world of sin,

And soar into the sky,

Where angels wait to let thee in

To immortality.

And those who had nowhere to rest

Their wearied limbs at night,

Shall lay their heads upon God’s breast,

And sleep in sweet delight.

 

There, Death’s dark shades no more shall be

The mystic veil between

The World which we desire to see,

And that which we have seen.

There, father, brother, husband, wife —

There, mother, sister, friend —

Shall be united, as in life,

In joys that never end.

 

No pangs shall there disturbs the thrills

Which animate thy breast;

But Angels, on the Heavenly Hills,

Shall sing thee into rest.

No slanderous tongue shall there inflame

Thy heart with words of gall;

For all shall be in heaven the same.

And God shall be in all.

——

As graceful as the Babylonian willow

Bending, at noontide, over some clear stream

In Palestine, in beauty did she seem

Upon the cygnet-down of her soft pillow;

And now her breast heaved like some gentle billow

Swayed by the presence of the full round moon —

Voluptuous as the summer South at noon —

Her cheeks as rosy as the radiant dawn,

When heaven is cloudless! When she breathed, the air

Around was perfume! Timid as the fawn,

And mocker than the dove, her soft words were

Like gentle music heard at night, when all

Around is still — until the soul of care

Was soothed, as noontide by some waterfall.

The poems of Dr. Chivers abound in what must undoubtedly be considered as gross demerit, if we admit the prevalent canons of criticism. But it may safely be maintained [page 189:] that these prevalent canons have, in great part, no surer foundation than arrant conventionality. Be these things as they may, we have no hesitation in saying that we consider many of the pieces in the volume before its as possessing merit of a very lofty — if not of the very loftiest order.

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(a) The Fortune Hunter; or The Adventures of a Man About Town. A Novel of New-York Society. By Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt, author of Fashion, etc. New-York: William Taylor.

We have received this novel at too late a period to do more than mention it this week, and make an extract from its pages. Hereafter we shall do it that full justice which is demanded by the celebrity and varied talent of its fair author. As a specimen more of manner than matter, we copy the whole of Chapter IV:

“Oh! Love, young Love, bound in thy rosy bands!”

BYRON.

“PRAY, Miss Walton — Arria — pray do not so quicken your pace,” said Mr. Chadwick, a few moments after he and Miss Walton had left the house of the Clintons.

“Excuse me; I was hurrying home, like another Cinderella — for the hour at which I was order —— at which I promised to return, has already struck. Had we not better make haste?”

“Must you, then, abridge a pleasure which I have so seldom enjoyed — so long anticipated, that of acting as your protector, and being alone with you?” said he, in a tremulous voice.

Arria replied not, but her step — perhaps unconsciously — became slower. More than a square further they walked in perfect silence.

“Arria!”

“Mr. Chad” ———

“Say Edgar, rather; have we not known each other long enough for you to call me by that name? To me it seems as though you had been a familiar spirit, ever since I learned to dream of woman. You are the Egeria that, in my earliest youth, I pictured to myself, and thought I could love — the one being in whom I find my beau ideal, in manhood, and whom, therefore, I do love! Am I presumptuous in saying this? Have I hoped too much, because you evinced toward me the same frank and affectionate manner with which you delight your friends? Was it all my own hopeful folly, when I fancied sometimes that I had awakened your — your — sympathy? Nay, that was not the word I should Lave used, for I know how frilly you sympathize with [page 190:] all around you. I-yon- dear Aria! Will you not permit me to call you by that name?”

The timid glance — the moist eve a moment lilted to his — the trembling arm he held within his own — these spoke all that Arria’s tongue refused to express.

“I have not, then, deceived myself!” murmured Edgar, in a voice tremulous with happiness. “You listen to me — you do not turn away? You — oh! you have been all the world to me, and you permit the to hope that I am something to you. The thought of you, Arria, has for many anxious months formed my whole happiness. Do you believe it in my power to form yours? Will you trust it in my keeping?”

“If I can always make you feel as joyful us now, my happiness will be secured;” half whispered Arria.

“You will consent, then, ever to remain near me, and cheer my hours of solitude; ever to teach me such sweet and holy lessons of truth and goodness as I have already — learned from your lips — to give me sonic foretaste of that abode of future happiness, in the reality of which only the existence of such beings as you are could make me believe? And what have I to offer in return?”

Edgar fancied he heard Arria breathe “your love!” — but it was the expression of her countenance rather than the movement of her lips which conveyed the idea.

“I have only the wealth of the heart to lay at your feet,” he continued, with a touch of humor which was natural to him: “and that will not purchase ‘house and lands;’ and all else that, if we had the fairy’s wishing cap, we might desire. I am but a young student, with all the gold I may ever possess not yet disencumbered from the rough soil of my brains. But as I am now, even so was my father thirty years ago, and he rides in his carriage to-day. I have health, I have energy, and I hope ordinary abilities. Is not this all that a young man in this happy land need desire? Some foreigner says that it is as easy for an American to make a fortune when he has none, as it is for him to spend one if he chances to have one left to him. I think my prospects bright while Arria smiles, and should they ever be darker” ——

“Her smile must brighten them still?”

“It shall — it will! Come the worst that Fate can send, that smile shalt disarm her wrath. With you to protect, what an incentive shall I have for exertion! And have I indeed secured to myself such a life long source of joy! I can hardly credit my own happiness. Ah! Arria, will you never repent that you consented to become the light of the poor student’s home?”

“Shall I ever love him less? You question my love when you ask.”

“I would as soon question” ———

“Hush! Speak lower; we are just home. Bid me a hasty good night! I am afraid that that is Mrs. Lemming at the window.”

“You shall not thus fear her long, loveliest and best beloved!”

“Hush! hush!” whispered Arria timidly. “Leave me now, I beg of you.”

“Adieu, then, mine own Arria — mine for ever!”

“Adieu, de — dear Edgar!

She had hardly uttered the words before the door opened and she sprang into the house. But they resounded in Edgar’s cars when he sought his pillow that night in his dreams; in his dreams they were re-uttered in the same tenderly harmonious tone: and when the morning sun fell brightly on the placid countenance of the sleeper, he awoke to spring up, repeating to himself, “de-dear Edgar!”

———

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading, No. XVI. Prose and Verse. By Thomas Hood. Part I.

This collection is designed to embrace Hood’s more earnest writings — in the words of the editor, “those which were written most directly from the heart, which reflect most faithfully his life and opinions.” Heretofore his lighter effusions, his puns and quibbles, are all that the American public have had an opportunity of appreciating.

Part I. contains the Preface to Hood’s own; The Pugsley Papers; The Dream of Eugene Aram; Black, White, and Brown; I remember — I remember; The Portrait; Literary Reminiscences; My Apology; The Lost Heir; An Undertaker; Miss Killmansegg: Fair Ines; A Ballad; Ruth; Autumn; A Song; and the Ode to Melancholy; — a very judicious selection. We shall speak of it again hereafter. In the meantime we quote a few well-considered words from the Preface of the American editor: [page 191:]

“The grand law of morality which protects the rights of the author, and distributes his works to the world in accordance with those rights, will be found to he the just measure by which his writings can be received with any advantage. A complicated system of checks and counter checks — all of them necessary — depends upon the recognition of that primary right. The due responsibility of the author, the force of his character depends upon it. A just competition, the sacred right to be “free and equal “between the native and the foreign author, depend upon it. A proper Nationality in our case depends upon it. Follow out the system where you will, it will be found, here as elsewhere, that only the just and right are profitable.”

———

(a) The Waverley Novels; with the Author’s latest Corrections and Additions. Complete in Five Vols., (3390 pp.) for Two Dollars and Fifty Cents. Vol. III. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart.

This volume contains Kenilworth; the Pirate; the Fortunes of Nigel; Peveril of the Peak; and Quentin Durward. In New-York the work is for sale by Messrs. Burgess, Stringer & Co.

———

(b) Pictorial History of the World. By John Frost, LL. D. No. VI. of this beautifully printed work is published — for sale by Messrs. Burgess, Stringer, & Co.

———

(c) The Godolphin Arabian; or the History of a Thorough-Bred. A Sporting Romance. By Eugene Site. New25 York: E. Winchester.

We have read this tale with great interest. It is in Sue’s best manner — full of a rich pathos — and in all respects excellent, without being intense.

———

(d) Praise and Principle; or For What shall I Live? By the “Author of Conquest and Self-Conquest,” “Woman an Enigma,” etc. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

A duodecimo of some 250 pages, neatly bound. The story is really admirable — equal to Sandford and Merton — and somewhat resembling it in general tone and manner.

———

(e) The Wandering Jew. By Eugene Sue. No. XV. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

Here is a vast amount of reading matter furnished for three cents. The story proceeds with interest.

———

(f) Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures. New-York: E. Winchester.

A complete collection. Of course it is unnecessary to say one word in behalf of the unfortunate Caudle.

———

(g) Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. No. CCCLVII. New American Edition. Vol. XXI — No. 1. New-York: Leonard Scott & Co.

This, the July No., commences a new volume, and contains some excellent papers — among others, “House-Hunting in Wales,” and a continuation of the “Suspiria de Profundis.”

———

(h) The Breach of Promise. A Novel. By the Author of “The Jilt,” “Cousin Jeffrey,” etc. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 57 of the “Library of Select Novels.” “The Jilt” is one of the best fictions of its class, and the “Breach of Promise” has a strong family resemblance.

———

(i) Life in Dalecarlia. The Parsonage of Mora. By Frederika Bremer. Translated by William Howitt. New-York Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 55 of the “Library of Select Novels,” and one of the best compositions of its noted authoress. It is peculiarly wild and entertaining. [page 192:]

———

(a) An Encyclopedia of Domestic Economy, &c. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

This will be completed in 12 numbers, embracing 1000 engravings. No. 7 is issued.

———

(b) The Treasury of History. No. VII. New-York: Daniel Adee.

This, we presume our readers know, is the valuable work of Maunder. The republication will he completed in twelve numbers.

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The Drama.

——

At Niblo’s Mrs. Mowatt concluded her engagement on the 26th ult. Her last appearance was as the Duchess in “Faint Heart Never on Fair Lady,” and Katherine, in “Katherine and Petruchio.” The former of these pieces is one of the best things of its kind. It has all the neat epigrammatic spirit of the French Vaudeville — the ingenuity of its construction is remarkable — its incidents are vivid yet natural — its characters are well sustained — its sentiments are occasionally noble — and, upon the whole, we know nothing of the same nature which combines so much of truthfulness with so much of pure jeu d‘esprit. Not its least merit is its unity to effect.

Nothing, we think, could be, better than Mrs. Mowatt’s personation of the Duchess. The part, to be sure, affords little opportunity for histrionic display — but the astonishment at Ruy Gomez’ audacity — this astonishment at first merged in indignation — then gradually becoming admiration — and this suddenly converted into love — were points so admirably managed by the fair actress, as to leave nothing to desire. The beautiful lips of Mrs. Mowatt have, we fear, a singular facility in the expression of contempt.

In Ruy Gomez Mr. Crisp was intolerable. He entirely misconceives the character. The Spaniard, as designed by Planche, is a dashing, ardent. chivalric cavalier, urged to the extreme of audacity by the madness of his passion, but preserving through all a true dignity, and the most uncompromising respect for the lady of his love. Mr. Crisp makes him an impudent trickster — at times even a vulgar chuckling mountebank — occasionally a simpering buffoon. The Marquis of Santa Cruz was well represented by Nickerson. Miss Taylor spoke and stepped more like a chambermaid [page 193:] than a prince.

Even of the “Katherine and Petruchio,” as Shakspeare conceived it, we have no very exalted opinion. The whole design of the play is not only unnatural but an arrant impossibility. The heart of no woman could ever have been reached by brute violence. But, as this drama originally stood, it contained many redeeming traits of nature and truth. These, it was the opinion of Cibber, interfered with the spirit of the thing, and accordingly he left them out — or if one or two were suffered to remain, our modern managers unsparingly uprooted them. The “Katherine and Petruchio” of Niblo’s, is absolutely beneath contempt — a mere jumble of unmeaning, rant, fuss, whip-smacking, crockery-cracking, and other Tom-Foolery of a similar kind. With a play of this character nothing could he done — and, as far as we could perceive, nothing was.

In taking leave of Mrs. Mowatt for the present, we have only again to record our opinion that, if site be true to herself, site is destined to attain a very high theatrical rank. With the one exception of mere physical force, she has all the elements of a great actress. Her conceptions of character are good. Her elocution is excellent, although still susceptible of improvement. Her beauty is of the richest and most impressive character. Her countenance is wonderfully expressive. Her self-possession is marvellous. Her step is queenly. Her general grace of manner has never, in our opinion, been equalled on the stage — most decidedly it has never been surpassed. These qualities alone would suffice to assure her a proud triumph — but she possesses a quality beyond all these — enthusiasm — an unaffected freshness of the heart — the capacity not only to think but to feel.

At the Park the French operatic troupe have been delighting large, fashionable, and intellectual audiences, La Juive has been the attraction. The admirable manner in which it is brought upon the stage, cannot be too highly commended. For farther comments on this opera, we refer the reader to our Musical Department.

At Castle Garden, Pico has been singing — delightfully of course — and Herr Cline has been performing his usual wonders upon the tight rope. The audiences have been large and very respectable.

At the Chatham, a vast number of people without coats, have been thrown into raptures by the representation of “The Female Horsethief,” in which the leading character is one Margaret Catchpole, and the leading incident her riding en homme a very lazy and very stupid little horse.

————————————

Editorial Miscellany.

Few American writers have been received with more favor than Mr. Mathews in England. The notices his writings have called forth have been remarkable (we remember particularly one by Douglas Jerrold, whose sympathy is an honor to any man,) for a spirit of generous appreciation of his good qualities, and the interest and faith shown in the development of the man. A critic in Tait’s Magazine thus speaks of the volume of Poems on Man.

This is a slight book in its exterior form, and the frame-work of the intention of it is slighter still. The American writer, Mr. Cornelius Mathews, is the secretary of the Author’s Copy-right Protection Club in New York; and is known in his own country by the “Motley Book” “Puffer Hopkins,” and other humorous prose works of the like order, indicating a quick eye and a ready philosophy in the mind that waits on it; generous sympathies towards humanity in the mass; and a very distinct and characteristic nationality. He has written also a [page 194:] powerful fiction called “Behemoth.” The small volume before us consists of poems; and both for their qualities and defects, they are to be accounted worthy of some respectful attention. To render clearer the thought which is in us, we pass to general considerations. The contrast between the idea of what American poetry should be, and what it is, is as plain as the Mississippi on the map. The fact of the contrast faces its. Wills abundant flow and facility, the great body of American terse has little distinct character of any kind, and still less national character. There is little in it akin to the mountains and rivers, the prairies and cataracts among which it arises. This sound from the forest is not one them. It is as if a German bullfinch, escaped from the teacher’s finger into the depth of the pines, sate singing his fragment of Mozart in learned modulation, upon a rocking, snowy branch. And we find ourselves wondering how, in the great country of America, where the glory of liberty is so well comprehended, and where nature rolls out her wafers and lifts her hills, as in attestation of a principle worthy of her beauty, — the poetry alone should persist in being lifeless, fat, and imitative, as the verse of a court-rh ymer when he rests from the bow of office among the fens of Essex. It is easier to set thus down as a fact (ant the American critics themselves set it down as a fact), than to define the causes of it. And the fact of the defective nationality of the literature of a young country, suggests the analogy of another fact — the defective individuality attributable to a young person; and the likeness may be closer than the mere analogy expresses. Nationality is individuality under the social and local aspect; and the nationality of a country’s literature is the individuality of the writers of it in the aggregate. It is curious to observe, that the’ wild oats’ sown in literature by the youthful author as by the youthful nation, are, generally speaking, as barely tame as any stubble of the fields. Perhaps there is a bustling practicalness in both cases, which hinders that inner process of development necessary to the ulterior expression. perhaps the mind, whether of the nation or of the man, must stand, before the cream rises. However this may be, we have given utterance to no novel form of opinion on the subject of American poetry in the mass. And let no one mistake that opinion. We do not forget — how should we? — such noble navies as Longfellow’s may nobly lead, as Whittier’s may add honor to; we believe in the beautiful prophecy of beauty contained in the poems of Lowell. But in speaking of these poets, we do not speak of poetry in the gross; and in speaking of some of these, the English critic feels unawares, that he would fain clasp the hand of an American poet, with stronger muscles in it, and less softened by the bath. Under which impression we are all the readier, let our readers understand, to meet the hand of Mr. Mathews, while it presents to us the slender volume called ‘Poems on Man,’ in his various aspects under the American republic.

“The volume is dedicated to the hopeful friends of humanity; by their servant, the author.’ It consists of short poems in various metres, and with no connecting link associated in the reader’s mind, — descriptive, as the title indicates. of the different ages and conditions of men in the republic; and remarkable, as we have hinted, for their very defects. For the poems are defective precisely in that with which the verse-literature of the country overflows, — we mean grace and facility. They are not graceful, but they are strong. They give no proof of remarkable facility in composition; and we are tempted sometimes to think of the writer, that tie is versed better in sympathy and aspirations, than in rhythms and rhymes. His verses are occasionally incorrect, and are frequently ragged and hard. His ear is not ‘tuned to fine uses,’ and his hand refuses to flatter unduly the ear of his audience. But he writes not only ‘like a man,’ but like a republican and American. Under this rough bark is a heart of oak; and peradventure a noble vessel, if not a Dodonean oracle, may presently be had out of it. The wood has a good grain, the timber is of large size; and if gnarled and knolled, these are the conditions of strength, and perhaps the conclusions of growth; it is thus that strong trees grow, while slim grasses spring smoothly from the ground. And the thoughtful student of the literature of America will pause naturally and musingly, at the sight of this little book, and mark it as something ‘new and strange,’ considering the circumstances of the soil.

After quoting from the poems of the Child, the Citizen, the Merchant, and the Reformer, the Magazine concludes:

However the reader may be inclined to be critical (and perhaps he will be snore inclined than the critic), upon these extracts, — however he may be struck by the involutions and obscurities which to some extent disfigure them, — he will be free to admit that the reverence [page 195:] for fruit), the exultation in right. the good lope in human nature, which are the characteristics of this little book, and that the images of beauty which mingle with the expression of its lofty sentiment: are not calculated, when taken together, to disturb the vision and prophecy of such among us as are looking at this hour towards America, as the future land of freemen in all senses, and of poets in the highest of all.

————

THE BRITISH CRITIC thus comments on the advertising advantages afforded by the various London Daily papers:

The Morning Chronicle has this advantage as all advertising medium, that it is the single organ of a great party, and therefore is read not only by that party but by the other parties, curious always to learn what are the designs and doings of their opponents, The Chronicle is not nearly so crowded with advertisements as is the Times, and therefore those that appear there are more certain to be seen; while it possesses this important further recommendation, that it publishes no supplements wherein to hide the larger portion of its advertisements front human eye. The conclusion to which we have arrived, therefore, front a review of the circumstances, is, that all those. classes of advertisements which tray be termed general, or addressed to the world at large, as distinguished from those addressed to particular persons — in other words, for announcements intended to catch the eye, the Chronicle is a better medium than the Times; the latter descries the preference for such as persons are likely to seek; and for this reason, that nobody would find an advertisement in the Times by accident, but everybody goes to the Times to look for an advertisement.

The same remark applies to the Morning Herald and the Morning Post. But the latter being the especial journal of fashion, is peculiarly fitted for certain classes of advertisements addressed to the fashionable, and is ill fitted for general announcements. Tradesmen appealing to the beau monde, and publishers, will find the Post one of their best journals; but for all matters of business, or announcements addressed to men of business, it is worthless.

Of the evening papers, the best medium for advertising is unquestionably the Sun. in London there is a very absurd prejudice against the evening papers. Here everybody reads the morning papers, and few look into an evening one. The inhabitant of London appears to consider that London is all the world; he forgets that the evening papers, though not patronised here, are very largely read in the country, and therefore are really very excellent localities for an advertisement, particularly as the number is small, and each one is sure to take the eye of the reader.

Of all the evening papers the Sun is the best, not only as having the largest circulation, but as being much consulted throughout the provinces for its early information. This characteristic has given to the Sun, although a party paper; a less exclusive circle of readers than any of its contemporaries, save the Times, and an announcement there thus finds its way to all parties, sects, and ranks in the country, It is seen in every newsroom, and read at almost every inn. The Sun therefore, is good for advertisements of all kinds. The Standard enjoys a highly respectable circulation, and is well adapted for advertisements directed to the higher classes. The Globe is especially patronised at the inns, and by the commercial classes, and is therefore a good medium for business advertisements.

———

(b) AT A LATE meeting of the Directors of the London and Croydon Atmospheric Railway,

“Mr. Joseph Samuda, one of the patentees of the atmospheric railway, said he would undertake to work fifteen trains per day each way, at an average travelling speed of forty miles an hour, from one end of the line to the other; the average weight of each train being from thirty to forty tons. Mr. Gibbon, the acting engineer of the Dalkey railway, said that the atmospheric system worked with a precision and regularity which did not belong to the locomotive. During the greater part of Sunday last ten trains were running per hour, each train weighing about forty tons. The cost of working is ten to twelve in favor of the atmospheric system over the locomotive.”

———

The HON. ROBERT T. CONRAD, of Philadelphia, author of “Aylmere,” is engaged, we learn, on another drama — probably a tragedy. “Aylmere” was well received, and has much merit. Mr. Forrest gave Judge Conrad a thousand dollars for it. [page 196:]

———

WE BEG leave to thank our friends for the cordial support they are now affording us. The biographical sketch of William Wirt, commencing on the fourth page of this number, is from the pen of the well-known author of “Clinton Bradshaw,” “East and West,” “Howard Pinckney,” etc., etc. As a biographical sketcher Mr. Thomas is unsurpassed; and he has kindly promised us a succession of such papers as the one now published. For the Song, commencing “Hush! a spirit from afar!” we are indebted to the British Critic.

———

CAMPBELL, the poet, according to a writer of recollections in the Dublin University Magazine, was an adept in the use of literary Billingsgate. We have heard some proficients, but never met with a better specimen than this. Of course the whole story is to be taken of Campbell, Hazlitt, Northcotte [[Northcote]] and all, with a bag of salt. “Of all the false, vain, selfish blackguards,” said Campbell, “that ever disgraced human nature, Hazlitt was the falsest, vainest, and most selfish. He would sacrifice a million of men, had he the power to do so, to procure even one moment’s enjoyment for himself. He would worm himself into your confidence only to betray you, and commit the basest act of ingratitude without a blush or sigh for its commission. I remember when I edited the New Monthly, Hazlitt used to write occasionally for it. Somehow he got acquainted with Northcote, the sculptor fellow — a conceited old booby, to be sure, but still a respectable man, as it is said, well to do in the world, puffed up a good deal with absurd vanity, and seduced by Hazlitt [[in]]to the charming belief that his reminiscences were worth remembering and being remembered. Well, he persuaded this old stone-cutting donkey to invite him once a week to his house, and got liberty from him to retail his weekly gossip for the edification of the million. I published some of his papers in the Magazine; they were pungent; they satisfied the prurient curiosity of old maids and gossips; they sold remarkably well, and Northcote began to fancy himself a second Johnson. One morning before I was up, I received a letter from this old fool, complaining bitterly of the insertion in the Table Talk of some horribly severe remarks on —— and —— , he swore by every thing that men believe and disbelieve, that he had never spoken as was represented — that Hazlitt was betraying and belying him, and that henceforth the ‘blackguard penny-a-liner’ should be excluded from his house. I was rather amazed at this. The fact is, I did not care a rush what appeared in the Magazine, so that it told and sold; and, as Hazlitt put his name to the nonsense, I did not suppose he would dare to fabricate anything. Northcote, however, asserted that he had, and to pacify the old fool, I wrote him a letter, assuring him that Hazlitt should never again write a line for the New Monthly. One expression which I used, excited Hazlitt’s rage to an extent scarcely credible — ‘the infernal Hazlitt.’ Oh! how he foamed and swore when he read this. But I did not value his passion at a button; though, I admit, I kept out of his way for a week, as I was told he intended to ass.;ult me. There is not a more degraded or disagreeable office for a literary than of any position, than to edit a magazine. It is a constant round of Billingsgate and fighting with his publisher, and an uninterrupted series of lies and sneaking statements to the various contributors.”

———

THE RECENT congress of German booksellers at Leipsic, it is said, have taken steps to establish a literary agency on this side of the Atlantic, (New York is mentioned as the city,) for the sale and protection of the current German literature. The [page 198:] sale of German books of general literature, in the original language, is hardly, we should think, as yet of sufficient importance to render this measure necessary. With the exception of elementary school books, the bible, and a few standard works, the demand might perhaps be more cheaply supplied by the borne editions. But if the design be, to protect translations, the agency may become, at once, very useful and important. There is nothing more disreputable than the careless, ignorant, and wilfully malicious manner in which foreign writers are frequently treated. It certainly should be a privilege of the author to name his own translator; a privilege which should be protected by copy-right. Foreign agents, both French and German, might not only be of service to the writers of their own countries, but might benefit our own people by introducing to their attention, with care and judgment, and simultaneously with the original publication, the best specimens of the continental literature. An intimate knowledge of the men of letters of Europe might wean our readers and writers from their frequent slavish subserviency to an imitation of English authors.

———

TIECK’S readings at Berlin must be something of a bore, as any man’s would be, who held an audience for three hours without respite, with matters they might be fully put in possession of, by reading, in half an hour. The Berlin correspondent of the Foreign Quarterly Review says: — Tieck continues to give readings; which, in spite of his wonderful talent in interpreting dramatically the great master pieces, people are pretty unanimous in voting excessively wearisome. They are wearisome because of the frivolous etiquette which reigns in the salon; wearisome, because Shakspeare himself, if he were to read for three hours, without a minute’s pause, would in the end be fatiguing. But Tieck is surrounded by a set of persons who take a pride in the infliction. They sit and listen with religious silence, if not with religious fervor. They languish in ennui; and would not move a leg, or cough, or turn in their chairs, for any small consideration!”

———

(b) TAGLIONI, hints the London Athenaeum, is growing old; a sad thing, as Sydney Smith has told us, in the case of a dancer: “When youth is gone all is gone.” We trust a suggestion of the circumstance will allay the anxiety for her appearance on the American stage. It is quite too much our fate to get foreign singers and dancers and actors before us, and pay roundly for them, — only when they are superannuated. When a stage player begins to break down in Europe he thinks of America. It is time that our managers should compliment their audiences, if not by the production of some native novelties, at least by the introduction of foreigners of some pith and vitality. In the midst of universal life and energy, our literature and art have been, for the most part, feeble and decrepid, an anomaly that, as Carlyle would say, should be forthwith picked out.

———

(c) “ZWEI FRAUEN,” is the title of the Countess Hahn Hahn’s [[sic]] last novel. That authoress is about to visit England, as Frederica Bremer is said to be coming to the United States. George Sand, we think we saw it stated, was going to Constantinople. Female genius is restless and migratory.

———

(d) “DR. DRESSEL, at Rome,” says the Foreign Quarterly, “has lately made a very successful attempt to apply the Daguerreotype to the copying of ancient MSS. and Palimpsests. In less than eleven minutes he produced a most perfect copy of forty-two folio lines of a half obliterated Greek MSS. of the 12th century.” [page 198:]

———

(a) Arago has submitted to the French Academy an important improvement for speed and safety.

———

(b) TO CORRESPONDENTS. — We regret that Agnes Seymour should have cause to suspect its of neglect. “Eudocia,” was handed, for immediate insertion in the Journal, to the former associate editor, who still retains the MS. As soon as we can procure d of him, it shall be carefully transmitted, as desired — or if.

Again — many thanks to the author of the Correspondence with a Governess. We sincerely value his (or is it not her?) good opinion. A volume embodying all the poems menlioned, will probably be published by Wiley & Putnam, in the fall. We have reason to complain of our Boston agents — but will apply a remedy to that grievance forthwith. No. 2 of the Correspondence was published in the Journal of the 19th ult.

We doubt the originality of the “Grecian Flute,” for the reason that it is too good at some points to be so bad at others. Unless the author can re-assure us, we decline it.

[[BJ August 9, 1845 - 2:71]]

Critical Notices.

Wiley and Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XVI. Prose and Verse. By Thomas Hood. Part I. New-York: Wiley and Putnam.

Of this number of the Library we said a few words last week — but Hood was far too remarkable a man to be passed over in so cursory a manner.

“Frequently since his recent death,” says the American editor, “he has been called a great author, a phrase used not inconsiderately or in vain.” Yet, if we adopt file conventional idea of “a great author,” there has lived, perhaps, no writer of the last half century who, with equal notoriety, was less entitled than Hood to the term. In fact, he was a literary merchant whose principal stock in trade was littleness — for during the larger portion of his life he seemed to breathe only for the purpose of perpetrating puns — things of such despicable platitude, that the man who is capable of habitually committing them, is very seldom capable of any thing else. In especial, whatever merit may accidentally be discovered in a pun, arises altogether from unexpectedness. This is its element, and is twofold. First, we demand that the combination of the pun be unexpected and secondly, we demand the most entire unexpectedness in the pun per se. A rare pun, rarely appearing, is, to a certain extent, a pleasurable effect — but to no mind, however debased in taste, is a continuous effort at punning otherwise than unendurable. The man who maintains that he derives gratification from any such chapters of punnage as Hood was in the daily habit of putting to paper, has no claim to be believed upon his oath. What, for example, is any rational being to make of such jargon as this, which we copy from the very first page of the volume before us?

COURTEOUS READER!

Presuming that you have known something of the Comic Annual from its Child-Hood, when it was first put into halt binding and began to run alone, I make bold to consider you as art old friend of the faintly, and shall accordingly treat you with all the freedom and confidence that pertain to such ripe connexions.

How many years is it, think you, “since we were first acquent?”

“By the deep nine!” sings out the old bald Count Fathom with the lead-line: no great lapse in the world’s chronology, but a space of in finite importance in individual history. For instance, it has wrought a serious change on the body, if not on the mind, of your very humble servant; — it is not, however, to bespeak your sympathy, or to indulge in what Lord Byron calls “the gloomy vanity of drawing from self,” that I allude to my personal experience. The Scot and lot character of the dispensation forbids trip. to think that the world in general can be particularly interested in the state of my Household Sufferage, or that the public ear will be as open to my Maladies as to my Melodies.

Here is something better from page five — but still we tool. upon the whole thing as a nuisance:

A rope is a bad Cordon Sanitaire. Let not anxiety have thee on the hyp. Consider your health as your best friend, and think as well of it, in spite of all its foibles as you can. For instance, never dream, though you may have a “clever back,” of galloping consumption, or indulge in the Meltonian belief that yon are going the pace. Never fancy every time you cough, that you are going to coughypot. Hold up, as the shooter says, over the heaviest ground. Despondency is a [page 199:] nice case is the over-weight that may make you kick the beam and the bucket bout at once. In short, as with other cases, never meet trouble hall-way, but let him have the whole walk for his pains; though it should be a Scotch mile and a bittock. I have even known him to give up his visit in sight of the house. Resides, the best fence against care is a ha! ha! — wherefore take care to have one all around you where-ever you can. Let your lungs crow like Chanticleer,” and as like a Game cock as possible. It expands the chest, enlarges the heart, quickens the circulation, and “like a trumpet makes the spirit dance.”

The continuous and premeditated puns of Hood, however, are to be regarded as the weak points of the man. Independently of their ill effect, in a literary view, as mere puns, they leave upon us a painful impression; for too evidently they are the hypochondriac’s struggles at mirth — they are the grinning — of the death’s-head. No one can read his Literary Reminiscences without being convinced of his habitual despondency — and the species of pseudo wit in question, is precisely of that character which would be adopted by an author of hood’s temperament and cast of intellect, when compelled to write, at an emergency. That his heart had no interest in these niaiseries, is clear. We allude, of course, to his mere puns for the pun’s sake — a class of letters by which he attained his most extensive renown. That he did more in this way than in any other, would follow as a corollary from what we have already said — for, generally, he was unhappy, and, almost continually, he was obliged to write, invitá Minerva. But his true element was a very- rare and ethereal class of humor, in which the mere pun was left altogether out of sight, or took the character of the richest grotesquerie, impressing the imaginative reader with very remarkable force, as if by a new phase of the ideal. It is in this species of brilliant grotesquerie, uttered with a rush in abandon which wonderfully aided its effect, that Hood’s marked originality of manner consisted; and it is this which fairly entitles him, at times, to the epithet “great;” — we say fairly so entitles him; for that undeniably may be considered great — (of whatever seeming littleness in itself) which has the capability of producing intense emotion in the minds of those who are themselves undeniably great.

When we said, however, that Hood wrought profound impressions upon imaginative men, we spoke only of what is imagination in the popular acceptance of the term. His true province-that is to say the field in which he is distinctive — is a kind of border land between the Fancy and the Fantasy — but in this region he reigns supreme. That we may be the more clearly understood on this head, we will venture to quote a few passages of definition which were used by ourselves on a former occasion — while commenting on the prose style of Mr. Willis: — it is indeed too much the custom to employ at absolute random such words as Wit, Humor, Fantasy, the Fancy, and the Imagination.

In the style of Mr. Willis we easily detect this idiosyncrasy. We have no trouble in tracing it home — and when We reach it and look it fairly in the face, we recognize it on the instant. — It is Fancy.

To be sure there is quite a tribe of Fancies — although one half of them never suspected themselves to be such until so told by the metaphysicians — but the one of which we speak has never yet been accredited among men, and we beg pardon of Mr. Willis for the liberty we take in employing the topic of his style, as the best possible vehicle and opportunity for the introduction of this, our protegé, to the consideration to the literary world.

“Fancy,” says the author of “Aids to Reflection” (who aided Reflection to touch better purpose in his (“Genevieve”) — “Fancy combines — Imagination creates.” This was intended, and has been received, as a distinction; but it is a distinction without a difference — without even a difference of degree. The Fancy as nearly creates as the imagination, and neither at all. Novel conceptions are merely unusual combinations. The mind of man can imagine nothing which does not exist: — if it could, it would create not only ideally, but substantially [page 200:] — as do the thoughts of God. It may be said — “We imagine a griffin, yet a griffin does not exist.” Not the griffin certainly, but its component parts. It is no more than a collation of known limbs — features — qualities. Thus with all which claims to be new which appears to be a creation of the intellect: — it is re-soluble into the old. The wildest effort of the mind cannot stand the test of the analysis.

We might make a distinction of degree between the fancy and the imagination, in calling the latter the former loftily employed. But experience would prove this distinction to be unsatisfactory. What we feel to be fancy, will be found still fanciful, whatever be the theme which engages it. No subject exalts it into imagination. When Moore is termed a fanciful poet, the epithet is precisely applied; he is. He is fanciful in “Lalla Rookh,” and had he written the “Inferno,” there he would have been fanciful still: for not only is he essentially fanciful, but he has no ability to be any thing more, unless at rare intervals — by snatches — and with effort. What we say of him at this point, moreover, is equally true of all little frisky men, personally considered.

The fact seems to be that Imagination; Fancy, Fantasy, and Humor, have in common the elements, Combination, and Novelty. The Imagination is the artist of the four. From novel arrangements of old forms which present themselves to it, it selects only such as are harmonious: — the result, of course, is beauty itself — using the term in its most extended sense, and as inclusive of the sublime. The pure imagination chooses; from either beauty or deformity, only the most combinable things hitherto uncombined; — the compound, as a general rule, partaking (in character) of sublimity or beauty, in the ratio of the respective sublimity or beauty of the things combined — which are themselves still to be considered as atomic — that is to say, as previous combinations. But, as often analogously happens in physical chemistry, so not unfrequently does it occur in this chemistry of the intellect, that the admixture of two elements will result in a something that shall have nothing of the quality of one of them — or even nothing of the qualities of either. The range of Imagination is therefore, unlimited. Its materials extend throughout the Universe. Even out of deformities it fabricates that beauty which is at once its sole object and its inevitable test. But, in general, the richness or force of the matters combined — the facility of discovering combinable novelties worth combining — and the absolute “chemical combination” and proportion of the completed mass — are the particulars to be regarded in our estimate of Imagination. It is this thorough harmony of an imaginative work which so often causes it to be under-valued by the undiscriminating, through the character of obviousness which is super-induced. We are apt to find ourselves asking “why is it that these combinations have never been imagined before?”

Now, when this question does not occur — when the harmony of the combination is comparatively neglected, and when in addition to the element of novelty, there is introduced the sub-element of unexpectedness — when, for example, matters are brought into combination which not only have never been combined but whose combination strikes us as a difficulty happily overcome — the result then appertains to the FANCY — and is, to the majority of mankind more grateful than the purely harmonious one — although, absolutely, it is less beautiful (or grand) for the reason that it is less harmonious.

Carrying its errors into excess — for, however enticing, they are errors still, or Nature lies, — Fancy is at length found impinging upon the province of Fantasy. The votaries of this latter delight not only in novelty and unexpectedness of combination, but in the avoidance of proportion. The result is therefore abnormal, and to a healthy mind affords less of pleasure through its novelty, than of pain through its incoherence. When, proceeding a step farther, however, Fantasy seeks not merely disproportionate but incongruous or antagonistical elements, the effect is rendered more pleasurable from its greater positiveness, — there is a merry effort of Truth to shake from her that which is no property of hers; and we laugh outright in recognizing Humor.

The four faculties in question appear to me all of their class;-but when either Fancy or Humor is expressed to gain an end — is pointed at a purpose — whenever either becomes objective in place of subjective — then it becomes, also, pure Wit or Sarcasm, just as the purpose is well-intentioned or malevolent.

These, we grant, are entirely new views, but we do not consider them as the less surely deduced. At all events their admission for the present will enable us to be lucid on the topic of Hood. When we speak of his province as a border [page 201:] ground between Fantasy and Fancy, of course we do not mean rigorously to confine him to this province. He has made very successful and frequent incursions into the dominions of Humor (in general he has been too benevolent to be witty), and there have been one or two occasions — (those, for instance, of his “Eugene Aram” and “Bridge of Sighs,”) in which he has stepped boldly, yet vacillatingly, into the realm of Imagination herself. We mean to say, however, that he is never truly imaginative for more than a paragraph at a time.

In a word, the genius of Hood is the result of vivid Fancy impelled, or controlled, — certainly tinctured, at all points, by hypochondriasis. In his wild “Ode to Melancholy,” which forms the closing poem of the volume now reviewed, we perceive this result in the very clearest of manifestations. Few things have ever more deeply affected us than the passages which follow:

“O clasp me, sweet, whilst thou art mine,

And do not take my tears amiss;

For tears must flow to wash away

A thought that shows so stern as this:

Forgive, if somewhile I forget,

In wo to come, the present bliss.

As frighted Proserpine let fall

Her flowers at the sight of Dis,

Ev‘n so the dark and bright will kiss.

The sunniest things throw sternest shade,

And there is ev‘n a happiness

That makes the heart afraid!

 

All things are touched with Melancholy,

Born of the secret soul’s mistrust,

To feel her fair ethereal wings

Weigh‘d down with vile degraded dust;

Even the bright extremes of joy

Bring on conclusions of disgust,

Like the sweet blossoms of the May,

Whose fragrance ends in must.

Oh give her, then, her tribute just,

Her sighs and tears, and musings holy!

There is no music in the life

That sounds with idiot laughter solely;

There’s not a string attuned to mirth,

But has its chords of Melancholy.

In “The Pugsley Papers,” with which the volume opens, we have the correspondence of a Cockney family of shoemakers, who, receiving a rich legacy, retire at once to the otium cum dignitate of a country mansion. The mishaps and mismanagements of the party are told in the broadest extravaganza admissible or conceivable — very much in the Ramsbottom way — although the tone of Hood’s jeu d’esprit is the better of the two. It is not so much humorous in it self, as productive of the usual humorous effect. We laugh not altogether at the incongruities of the narrative, but at the incongruity of Hood’s supposing that we will laugh at any thing so absurd; — and it must be confessed, that it all amounts to pretty much the same thing in the end.

“Black, White and Brown,” is an Abolition tale — or rather a squib against Abolition. Its finale has some point — but, on the whole, the story has the air of an effort, and is quite unworthy of Hood.

“The Portrait,” “The Apology,” and “The Literary Reminiscences” (which form one subject,) have, we think, exceedingly little interest. The author himself acknowledges that he has no capacity for Boswellism — and we agree with him altogether.

“An Undertaker” is a mere string of puns — giving no idea of the true spirit of the author.

The rest of the book is verse — and much of it very remarkable verse indeed. [page 202:]

“The Dream of Eugene Aram,” is too well known in America to need comment from us. It has (as we observed just now,) more of true imagination than any composition of its author; — but even when engaged on so serious a subject, he found great difficulty in keeping aloof from the grotesque — the result (we say) of warm Fancy impelled by Hypochondriasis. The opening stanza affords an example:

“ ’Twas in the prime of summer time,

An evening calm and cool,

When four-and-twenty happy boys

Came bounding out of school;

There were sonic that ran, and some that leapt,

Like troutlets in a pool.

Stanza the twenty-fourth approaches more nearly the imaginative spirit than any passage in the poem — but the taint of the fantastical is over it still:

And peace went with them one and all,

And each calm pillow spread;

But Guilt was my grim chamberlain

That lighted me to bed.

And drew my midnight curtains round,

With fingers bloody red!”

“The Lost Heir” is possibly aimed at a well-known novel of the same title. The effect depends upon the principle to which we referred when speaking of “The Pusley Papers.” We laugh chiefly (although not altogether) at the author’s absurdity. The lines belong to the class helter-skelter — that is to say, they are the flattest of all possible prose — intentionally so, of course. The story (if story it can be called) embodies the lamentations of a poor Irish woman who has lost her son.

“Autumn” and “A Song,” (occupying each one page) have nothing about them especially remarkable. “Fair Ines” is so beautiful’ that we shall purloin it in full — although we have no doubt that it is familiar to our readers:

I.

O saw ye not fair Ines?

She’s gone into the West,

To dazzle when the sun is down,

And rob the world of rest;

She took our daylight with her,

The smiles that we love best,

With morning blushes on her cheek,

And pearls upon her breast.

II.

O turn again, fair Ines,

Before the fall of night,

For fear the moon should shine alone,

And stars unrivalled bright;

And blessed will the lover be

That walks beneath their light,

And breathes the love against thy cheek

I dare not even write!

III.

Would I had been, fair Ines,

That gallant cavalier,

Who rode so gaily by thy side,

And whispered thee so near!

Were there no bonny dames at home,

Or no true lovers here,

That he should cross the seas to win

The dearest of the dear?

IV.

I saw thee, lovely Ines,

Descend along the shore,

With bands of noble gentlemen,

And banners waved before;

And gentle youth and maidens gay,

And snowy plumes they wore;

It would have been a beauteous dream,

— If it had been no more! [page 203:]

V.

Alas, alas, fair fines,

She went away with song,

With Music waiting on her steps,

And shootings of the throng;

But some were sad and fell no mirth,

But Only Music’s wrong,

In sounds that sans; Farewell, Farewell,

To her you‘ve loved so long.

VI.

Farewell, farewell, fair Ines,

That vessel never bore

So fair a lady on its deck,

Nor danced so light before,

Alas, for pleasure on the sea,

And sorrow on the shore!

The smile that blest one lover’s heart

Has broken many more!

The only article which remains to be noticed, is “Miss Killmansegg and Her Precious Leg” — and it is, perhaps, more thoroughly characteristic of Hood’s genius than any single thing which he has written. It is quite a long poem — comprising nearly 3000 lines — and its author has evidently laboured it much. Its chief defect is in its versification; and for this Hood had no ear — of its principles he knew nothing at all. Not that his verses, individually, are very lame, but they have no capacity for running together. The reader is continually — getting baulked — not because the lines are unreadable, but because the lapse from one rhythm to another is so inartistically managed.

The story concerns a very rich heiress who is excessively pampered by her parents, and who at length gets thrown from a horse and so injures a leg as to render amputation inevitable. To supply the place of the true limb, she insists upon a leg of solid gold — a leg of the exact proportions of the original. She puts up with its inconvenience for the sake of the admiration it excites. Its attractions, however, excite the cupidity of a chevalier d‘industrie, who cajoles her into wedlock, dissipates her fortune, and, finally, purloining her golden leg, dashes out her brains with it, elopes, and puts an end to the story.

It is wonderfully well told, and abounds in the most brilliant points — embracing something of each of the elementary faculties which we have been discussing — but most especially rich in that which we have termed Fantasy. We quote at random some brief passages, which will serve to exemplify our meaning:

A Lord of Land, on his own estate,

He lived at a lively rate,

But his income would bear carousing;

Such acres he had of pasture and heath,

With herbage so rich from the ore beneath,

The very ewe’s and lambkin’s teeth

Were lurn‘d into gold by browsing.

 

He gave, without any extra thrift,

A flock of sheep for a birthday gift

To each son of his loins, or daughter;

And his debts — if debts he had — at will

He liquidated by giving each bill

A dip in Pactolian water.

 

’Twas said that even his pigs of lead,

By crossing with some by:‘Midas bred,

Made a perfect mine of his piggery.

And as for cattle, one yearling bull

Was worth all Smithfield-market full

Of the Golden Balls of Pope Gregory.

 

The high-bred horses within his stud,

Like, human creatures of birth amt blood,

Had their Golden Cups and flagons: [page 204:]

And as for the common husbandry nags,

Their noses were tied in money-bags,

When they stopp‘d with the carts and wagons.

 

Into this world we come like ships,

Launched from the docks and stocks and slips,

For fortune fair or fatal;

And one little craft is cast away

In its very first trip to Rabbirome Bay,

While another rides safe al Part Natal.

 

Whilst Margaret; charnt’d by the Bulbul rare,

In a garden of Gul reposes —

Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street;

Till — think of that, who find life so sweet! —

She hates the smell of roses!

 

To paint the maternal Kilmansegg

The pen of an Eastern poet would beg,

And need an elaborate sonnet;

How she sparkled with gents whenever she stirred,

And her head middle-nodded at every word,

And seem‘d so happy, a Paradise bird

Had nidificafed upon it.

 

And Sir Jacob the Father strutted and bow’d,

And smiled to himself, and laugh’d aloud,

To think of his heiress and daughter —

And then in his pockets he made a grope,

And then in the fulness of joy and hope,

Seem‘d washing himself with invisible soap,

In imperceptible water.

 

Gold! and gold! and besides the gold

The very robe of the infant told

A tale of wealth in every fold,

It lapp’d tier like a vapor!

So fine! so thin! the mind at a loss

Could compare it to nothing except a cross

Of cobtoeb with dank-note paper.

 

They praised — how, they praised — her very small talk,

As if it tell from a Solon;

Or the girl who at each pretty phrase let drop

A ruby comma, or a pearl full stop,

Or an emerald semi-colon.

 

Plays she perused — but she liked the best

These comedy gentlefolk, always possess’d

Of fortunes so truly romantic —

Of money so ready that right or wrong

It is always ready to go for a song.

Throwing it, going it, pitching it strong —

They ought to have purses as green and long

As the cucumber called the Gigantic.

 

A load of treasure? — alas! alas!

Had her horse been led upon English grass,

And sheltered in Yorkshire Spinneys,

Had he scour‘d the sand with the Desert Ass,

Or where the American whinnies —

But a hunter from Erin’s Turf and gorse,

A regular thorough bred Irish horse,

Why, he ran away, as a matter of course,

With a girl worth her weight in guineas!

 

“Batter her! shatter her!

Throw her and scatter her!”

Shouts each stony-hearted clatterer —

“Dash at the heavy Dover!

Spill her! kill her! tear her and tatter her!

Smash her! crash her!” (the stones didn’t flatter her!)

“Kick her brains out! let her blood spatter her!

Roll on her over and over!”

For so she gather‘d the awful sense

Of the street in its past unnuicadamised tense,

As the wild horse overran it, —

His four hen’s making the clatter of six,

Like a Devil’s tattoo, played with iron sticks

On a kettle-drum of granite! [page 205:]

 

A Breaktast — no unsubstantial Mess,

But one in the style of good Queen Bess,

Who, — hearty its hippocampus, —

Broke her fast with ale and beef,

Instead of toast and the Chinese leaf,

And in lieu of anchovy-grampus!

 

In they went, and hunted about,

Open-mouth’d, like chub and trout,

And same with the upper lip thrust out,

Like that fish for routing, a barbel —

While Sir Jacob stood to welcome the crowd,

And rubb’d his hands, and smiled aloud,

And bow’d, and bow’d, and bow’d, and bow’d,

Like a man who is sawing marble.

 

But a child — that bids the world good night

In downright earnest and cuts it quite

A Cherub no art can copy,

Tis a perfect picture to see him lie

As if he had supped on dormouse pie,

(An ancient classical dish by the by)

With a sauce of syrup of poppy.

 

So still without, — so still within; —

It had been a sin —

To drop a pin —

So intense is silence after a din,

It seem’d like Death’s rehearsal!

To stir the air no eddy carne;

And the taper burnt with as still aflame,

As to flicker had been a burning shame,

In a calm so universal.

 

And oh! when the blessed diurnal light

Is quench‘d by the providential night,

To render our slumber snore certain,

Pity, pity the wretches that weep,

For they must be wretched that cannot sleep

When God himself draws the Curtain!

———

(a) Ettore Fieramosca, or The Challenge of Barletta, an historical Romance of the Times of the Medici, by Massimo D’Azeglio. Translated from the Italian by C. Edwards Lester, U. S. Consul at Genoa, author of “The Glory and Shame of England,” member of the Atenco Italiano at Florence, etc. New-York: Paine & Burgess.

This is a neatly printed duodecimo of nearly 300 pages, and forms the first number of “The Medici Series of Italian Prose.” The design of this series is to supply the American public with. translations of the best Italian prose romances. Mr. Lesser is to be translator and editor. Something of this kind is certainly much needed. While we have been fairly overwhelmed with both good and bad from the literature of France, Germany, and Sweden, that of Italy has been of late altogether, or nearly altogether neglected. The present enterprise extends, we believe, no farther than to the Italian Romance, in its ordinary acceptation; but it is not generally known that there exists a vast mine of Italian Comedy, some of which would amply repay the working. Maimontel, in his “Encyclopédie,” roundly declares that there is not a single comedy in the language worth reading; and the usual error on this subject has probably found its origin in his ignorance. Some of the greatest names in Italian Literature were writers of Comedy. Baretti mentions four thousand dramas collected by Apostolo Zeno; the greater portion of these were comedies; and many of them possessed not only high but very peculiar excellence. It is time that some of these works should he unearthed.

“The Challenge of Barletta” has been frequently designated, by the Italian and British critics, as the best romance of its language. It is certainly a vivacious work, but is defective in having little of what we understand by file “autorial [page 206:] comment “ — that which adds so deep a charm to the novels of Scott, of Bulwer, or of‘ D‘Israeli — more especially to the works of Godwin and Brockden Brown. The book before us is feeble, too frequently, from its excess of simplicity in form and tone. The narrative proceeds as if to narrate were the author’s sole business. The interest of mere incident, is all.

———

(a) A Cyclopædia of Several Thousand Practical Receipts, and Collateral laforniatiun in the Arts, Manufactures, and Trades, including Medicine, Pharmacy, and Domestic Economy. Designed as a Compendious Hook of Reference for the Manufacturer, Tradesman, Amateur, and Heads of Families. By Arnold James Cooley. Illustrated with Numerous Engravings. New-York: D. Appleton & Co.

We give in full the comprehensive title of this work, as the best mode of explaining its design. No. 1 has been just issued, at cents. It proceeds (alphabetically) as far as the word BEANS.

———

(b) The Parting Spirit’s Address to his Mother. By William Edward Hyatt, D. D., Rector of St. Paul’s Parish, Baltimore. New-York: Stanford & Swords.

A very small pamphlet of poetical prose.

———

(c) Wiley and Putnam’s Library of American Books. No. III. Letters from Italy. By J. T. Headley. Wiley and Putnam.

This is a work to be read. Of books generally it is said, that one is fine, another artistical, another elegant, another vigorous: but the peculiar property of this book of Mr. Headley’s is that it is written to be read. He writes as a rapid talker speaks. He carries you along just as a man of animated gesture, quick eye, and earnest utterance takes you with him in the recital of a story or a sketch of character. Mr. Headley is an observer of great quickness; he sees at once and seizes all that suits his purpose. There is no escaping him, if he has the least interest to arrest an object and fix it on his page. These are perhaps more literally First Impressions of Travel than any ever published. They appear to have sprung directly to the eye of the traveller, flashed an instant in the brain, and then through a speedy pen to the reader. By relying merely on his own honest spontaneous impressions, he makes old things look new, and by steaming along, in true American style, through and over guide-books, itineraries, Eustace, Forsyth and company, he attains a merit analogous to that of high invention in imaginative writing. And although this spirit carries him at times too far, it gives constant freshness to his record; merging faults of style and expression in the hurry of description and the eagerness with which he constantly presents the results of his observations to the reader. We are now and then taken aback, we confess, by an assertion of so broad and comprehensive a nature as to sweep the field of criticism and statement from end to end. For instance, he encounters at Florence a new artist, by name Dupre — a Frenchman by extraction, though an Italian by birth, who executed last year, unknown to any body, the model of a dead Abel, and Mr. Headley regards this figure as equal, if not superior in its kind, to any statue ever wrought by any sculptor of any age.” Another peculiarity of this traveller of our is, that by some happiness in his arrangement, by some good fortune for which he has bargained with Veturino, clerk of the weather, or other sufficient authority, whenever or wherever any thing marvellous or wonderful is to happen, he is always there to see. Whoever can be dissatisfied or object to such a companion, [page 207:] has a soul of adamant, and is altogether wanting in that hum elasticity, which has lately been set down as an attribute of the imagination of infants. We have nothing to say — now of the Man Overboard (a small matter) nor of the Man in the Wall, nor of the Convulsed Man in the pit of the opera, nor of the six-barrelled Avalanches. Mr. Headley had gone, on a certain evening, to the well-known royal farms, constituting the great public drive and promenade of Florence. “The Duke’s family were strolling around quite at their ease, and the whole place was as lively as Hyde Park at o‘clock in the evening. I walked home by the Arno, and entering the city, witnessed one of those spectacles that are constantly intruding themselves in our brightest dreams, and turning this world into a place of tears. As I was passing along the street, a little child hung playfully across the sill of a window, in the fourth story; suddenly it lost its balance, and came like a flash of light to the pavement. Its delicate form was crushed into one common mass by the blow. The mother rushed down like a frantic creature,” &c. &c. Now we will venture to say that no other Italian traveller encountered this sight. Nor do we impeach the credit of Mr. Headley. According to a homely saying, it is the early bird that catches the worm, and it is due to Mr. H’s great spirit and courage that he should have and enjoy, to the full, windfalls like this. He is often much more careful in his style and description than what we have said might seem to indicate. There are not a few passages tersely rendered, and, where he chooses, no one can be more pointed and descriptive in epithet than the author of these Letters. He has a good eye for the picturesque, as he often proves. His description of a dandy peasant is well made out.

“Returning from these mines just at evening we met one of those dandy peasants we often see painted, but seldom encounter. A perfect rustic Adonis with flowing locks and rosy cheeks, and beautiful bright and laughing eye — he had that jaunty air and rollicking gait which characterize your peasant beau. But he was a handsome fellow, and as he passed us with his oxen and cart he trolled away a careless ditty. A peasant girl stepped into the road that moment and joined him, but it did not look exactly like a casual meeting. As they walked on side by side, he had such a good-for-nothing scape-grace fool. that I could not help calling out to him. They both looked back and laughed, when he suddenly seized her by the waist and gave her a kiss that fairly rung again. The blow that followed sent him half way across the road and made my ears tingle in sympathy.”

Regretting one or two omissions in his account of American artists abroad, whom he should have seen and spoken of we part with Mr. Headley, in the hope of an early tnceting again. Find whatever fault we may with him, doubt his facts, denounce his grammar, grow angry over his prejudices, we cannot fail to read whatever he writes, and rising superior to our necessities as reviewers, read on to the end.

———

(a) Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review. August, 1845. New-York: Freeman Hunt.

Mr. Hunt’s admirable Magazine is now in its seventy-fourth number — a pregnant example of what may be effected by combined talent and energy. The work is undoubtedly the best property of its kind in America; yet, if we are not mistaken, Mr. Hunt engaged, without a dollar, in the arduous task of its establishment. Its progress has never faltered for an instant. The steps taken were infallible, and the triumph sure. The Merchants’ Magazine was erected, and is now owned, edited, and conducted generally, by Mr. Hunt alone.

The August number contains many papers of high value and interest — among others, “The Government and the Currency,” “The Main Line of the State Works of Pennsylvania,” “Our Merchant Seamen,” “Maritime Law,” “A Biography [page 208:] of the late Joseph Peabody, of Salem,” a ‘‘New Theory of the Gulf Stream,” “Commercial History of Norwich, Conn.,” and “The Silver Mines of North Carolina.”

The biography of Mr. Peabody is one of the most interesting and instructive papers we have read for years. Few more remarkable men have lived in the commercial world. Among other things it is stated of him, that he built and owned eighty-three ships, which, in every instance, he freighted himself; and for the navigation of them, he shipped at different times, upwards of seven thousand seamen. Since the year 1811, he has advanced thirty-five to the rank of ship-master, who entered his employ as boys. He had performed by these vessels the following voyages, viz: — to Calcutta,; Canton, 17; Sumatra, 32; St. Petersburg, 47; other ports in the north of Europe, 10; the Mediterranean, 20, before the war of 1812.

Perhaps the most able article in the number, however, and one which we especially recommend to our readers, is “The Government and the Country,” by Mr. Middleton, the author of the admirable essay (with a similar title) which was published last year by Carey & Hart, and which attracted so general an attention. The North American Review, among other journals, spoke of it in the warmest terms of commendation. The present article is not more remarkable for the lucidity and profundity of its views, than for the vigor, simplicity, and general excellence of its style.

———

Godey’s Lady’s Book, for August,

Has been issued for some days. It contains three engravings — one a very good one, (Scene on the Schuylkill) — and contributions from Miss Leslie, Mrs. Seba Smith, Mrs. Hale, and other ladies and gentlemen of eminence. [page 209:]

[[BJ August 9, 1845 - 2:78]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) MESS. Wm. D. Ticknor & Co., of Boston, have in press and will soon publish a volume of Poems by Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt, of this city. Mrs. Hewitt has written numerous short pieces, characterized by feeling and grace. We presume the forthcoming volume will comprise someone or two compositions of greater length than any she has yet published.

Mess. Clark and Austen have in preparation a collection of the poetical writings of Mrs. Osgood. Although the well-deserved celebrity of Mrs. O. is fully equal to that of any American poetess, there has hitherto been no compilation of her works — with the exception of the English “Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England.” She has been sadly neglectful, we fear, both of her interest and her fame. We shall give her new volume the most cordial of welcomes.

———

(b) GREAT preparations are being made in the way of gift books for the holidays. “The Missionary Memorial” is the title of a very elegant volume to be edited by Mr. Saunders, of this city. It is to be superbly printed on the finest paper, and bound in gilt silk. The illustrative title and frontispiece will be executed in the new process of oil colors by Baxter, of London, expressly for the work. Among the contributors will be Mrs. Sigourney, Miss Gould, Mrs. Osgood, Halleck, Whittier, Tuckerman, Lowell, Sprague, Drs. Alexander, Schroeder, Williams, Gardiner, Spring, S. H. Cone; Professors Mason and Fisher; Rev. Mess. Spalding, Dowling, Griswold, Charles; Colton, Hoffman, Poe, and some others. The title “Missionary Memorial” is used, we presume, to avoid the hackneyed term (or idea) Annual.

(c) Mr. John Keese is preparing “The Opal,” which has now been in course of publication, we believe, for five years. It will be unusually rich, however, this year. Its contributions are to be especially good, and the external book will be greatly improved.

(d) Mr. T. S. Arthur, of Philadelphia, the well known editor of “Arthur’s Magazine,” is also preparing an annual, which we have good reason to believe, will vie with any of the season. It will be issued by Ferret & Co.

(e) Mr. Robert Hamilton, is getting ready “The May-Flower,” of which we have seen some specimen sheets which promise remarkably well. This souvenir will at least equal any of the others. Saxton and Kelt, of Boston, are the publishers.

“The Gift,” so long and successfully issued by Mess. [page 210:] Carey and Hart, is suspended — will not be published this season, if ever again.

———

(a) THE Corporation of Harvard University have invited, or voted to invite, the lion. Edward Everett to assume the Pres idency of the College. It is presumed he will accept the invitation.

———

IN THE “Times,” published at Columbus, Ga., we meet with a very remarkable story entitled “The Little Governess and the Authoress.” The narrative itself has great interest; but we call it “remarkable,” because we learn that it is the work of a girl of fourteen — Miss Annabella S. Phelps — a niece of Joseph Wallis, Esq., of this city. She is, or was, a pupil at the Moravian (Litiz) Seminary, (in Lancaster, Pa.,) of which the Rev. Eugene A. Freauff is principal. We have seen several of Miss Phelps’ MSS — all evincing a high order of talent.

———

WE FIND the following in the Express (of this city,) where it is accredited to the view-York Correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette:

“There has been a flare-up in the Broadway Journal, which pre vented the appearance of one number a week or two since. It originated in some difference between one of the Editors and the Publisher. The Editor undertook to get a new Publisher on the paper, and so the Publisher turned round and put the name of the other Editor on his sheet. Where the merits or demerits of the case lie, we do not pretend to determine. The Journal has force — some good criticism, and a good deal of bad. It needs more catholicity — more liberality, and a little less attempt at severity. With its flashy name exchanged for something more dignified, and its main plan retained, it would soon be the most able and entertaining weekly in the country.

“I forgot to mention that there has been a flare-up in the Democratic Review, also, between the Editor and Mr. Langley, one of the proprietors. Both better leave, for the paper cannot live with the management it has had for the past year or two. It lives by plunder of other people’s brains — a rather uncertain mode of existence, we should imagine.”

We thank the New-York Correspondent of the Cincinnati Courier for his good opinion, although given cum grano salis — but we would drank him at the same time to stick to the truth. He is right only in the proportion of one word in ten. What does he mean by “catholicity“? What does he mean by calling “The Broadway Journal” “a flashy name“? What does he mean by “putting the name of the other editor on the paper”? The name of the “other editor” was never off the paper. What does he mean by his pet phrase “a flare-up“? There has been no flare-up either in the case of “The Broadway Journal” or of “The Democratic Review.”

[[BJ August 16, 1845 - 2:89]]

Critical Notices.

Graham’s Magazine, for August, comes to us with a portrait and biography of J. K. Mitchell, the author of “Fly to the Prairie,” &c. We think the likeness by no means a good one. Very certainly it does not flatter Dr, Mitchell. Following this, we have a very fine line engraving of “The Tower-Rock on the Mississippi,” and another (quite as good) of “Rock Mountain” from the north.

In prose, there is an interesting paper called “The Jugglers,” by a New Contributor, and “Ida Grey” a tale of passion, exceedingly well written, by Mrs. Osgood. In poetry, we notice contributions from Longfellow, Lowell, and Mrs. [page 211:] Nichols. That of Mr. Longfellow is constrained and petty in its versification, and throughout is obviously a suggestion from “The Evening Wind” of Bryant, to which we refer our readers — especially for the passage about the sick man looking from his chamber. Nevertheless, the poem is worthy the genius of the author. We quote, from the conclusion two magnificent passages:

He (the poet) can behold

Things manifold

That have not yet been wholly told —

Have not been wholly sung nor said

For his thought, which never stops,

Follows the water-drops

Down to the graves of the dead

Down through chasms and gulfs profound

To the dreary fountain-head

Of lakes and rivers underground,

And sees them when the rain is done

On the bridge of colours seven

Climbing up once more to Heaven,

Opposite the setting sun.

Thus the seer

With vision clear

Sees forms appear and disappear,

In the perpetual round of strange

Mysterious change

From birth to death, from Death to birth —

From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth —

Till glimpses more sublime

Of things unseen before

Unto his wondering eyes reveal

The universe as an immeasurable wheel

Turning forever more

In the rapid and rushing river of Time.

Mr. Lowell’s poem, “To the Future,” has a noble commencement, and is altogether a noble composition — although in the last stanza is a palpable plagiarism — e. g.

As life’s alarums nearer roll

The ancestral buckler calls

Self clanging from the walls

In the high temple of the soul.

This is Mr. L.’s — but Wordsworth has either the following lines, or something resembling them — for we quote altogether from memory.

Armor rustling on the walls

On the blood of Clifford calls,

And to clash again in the field

Is the wild longing of the shield.

Except in its versification Mr. Lowell has by no means improved the idea of Wordsworth — although “self-clanging” has great force.

———

(a) The American Review for August, is an unusually fine number, and contains, among other excellent papers, a valuable “Memoir of Blennerhasset” by William Wallace. We have no space for farther particulars this week. The Review is eminently successful.

———

(b) The Democratic Review is just issued in duplicate — the July and August numbers coming out together, with a host of excellent papers — among others an admirable one by Hudson — and “The Innocent Convict” a very clever tale by Mr: Briggs (Harry Franco). “The Democratic” is now under the sole charge of Mr. O’Sullivan as editor and publisher — and we may add (although this is somewhat supererogatory) that it could not be in better hands. The price is reduced to three dollars.

———

(c) The London Foreign Quarterly, for July, reprinted by [page 212:] Leonard Scott & Co. has been out for some days. The most interesting paper is on “The Oregon Territory.”

———

(a) Wiley and Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XVII.

The Characters of Shakspeare. By William Hazlitt. This is one of the most interesting numbers of “The Library” yet issued. If anything could induce us to read anything more in the way of commentary on Shakspeare, it would be the name of Hazlitt prefixed. With his hackneyed theme he has done wonders, and those wonders well. He is emphatically a critic — brilliant, epigrammatic, startling, paradoxical, and suggestive, rather than accurate, luminous, or profound. For purposes of mere amusement, he is the best commentator who ever wrote in English. At all points, except perhaps in fancy, he is superior to Leigh Hunt, whom nevertheless he remarkably resembles. It is folly to compare him with Macaulay, for there is scarcely a single point of approximation, and Macaulay is by much the greater man. The author of “The Lays of Ancient Rome” has an intellect so well balanced and so thoroughly proportioned, as to appear, in the eyes of the multitude, much smaller than it really is. He needs a few foibles to purchase him éclat. Now, take away the innumerable foibles of Hunt and Hazlitt, and we should have the anomaly of finding them more diminutive than we fancy them while the foibles remain. Nevertheless, they are men of genius still.

In all commentating upon Shakspeare, there has been a radical error, never yet mentioned. It is the error of attempting to expound his Characters — to account for their actions — to reconcile his inconsistencies — not as if they were the coinage of a human brain, but as if they had been actual existences upon earth. We talk of Hamlet the man, instead of Hamlet — the dramatis persona — of Hamlet that God, in place of Hamlet that Shakspeare created. If Hamlet had really lived, and if the tragedy were an accurate record of his deeds, from this record (with some trouble) we might, it is true, reconcile his inconsistences and settle to our satisfaction his true character. But the task becomes the purest absurdity when we deal only with a phantom. It is not (then) the inconsistencies of the acting man which we have as a subject of discussion — (although we proceed as if it were, and thus inevitably err,) but the whims and vacillations — the conflicting energies and indolences of the poet. It seems to us little less than a miracle, that this obvious point should have been overlooked.

While on this topic, we may as well offer an ill-considered opinion of our own as to the intention of the poet in the delineation of the Dane. It must have been well known to Shakspeare, that a leading feature in certain more intense classes of intoxication, (from whatever cause,) is an almost irresistible impulse to counterfeit a farther degree of excitement than actually exists. Analogy would lead any thoughtful person to suspect the same impulse in madness — where beyond doubt, it is manifest. This, Shakspeare felt — not thought. He felt it through his marvellous power of identification with humanity at large — the ultimate source of his magical influence upon mankind. He wrote of Hamlet as if Hamlet he were; and having, in the first instance, imagined his hero excited to partial insanity by the disclosures of the ghost — he (the poet) felt that it was natural he should be impelled to exaggerate the insanity.

———

(b) The Southern Literary Messenger, for August, is chiefly noticeable for a long attack on the “Massachusetts Proposition for abolishing the Slave Representation as guarantied by [page 213:] the Constitution.” We have not yet read this article so thoroughly as we intend. Among the other contributions we observe one from Mrs. Jane Tayloe Worthington — a lady of high accomplishments and fine genius.

We find the following queer inquiry on the cover:

Will our Correspondents and the Editors with whom we exchange inform us how they would like to see the form of the Messenger changed the next year-to the size and style of the English Blackwood?

———

(a) The Farmer’s Library and Monthly Journal of Agriculture. Edited by John S. Skinner. New York: Greely & McElrath.

We have received the first and second numbers of this truly valuable Monthly — those for July and August. The success of the enterprise may well be prophesied. Mr. Skinner has failed in none of his undertakings, and perhaps there is no man in America, so well qualified as himself to conduct an agricultural journal. More than twenty-six years ago he commenced in Baltimore “The American Farmer,” the first paper in this country devoted to the interest of the husbandman.

The numbers before us abound in interesting matter. Among other papers we find a Biography of Stephen Van Rensselaer (with a superb portrait) and the commencement of a reprint of the famous Lectures of Pertzholdt. No Magazine in America equals this in the manner of its getting up. The price is five dollars per annum.

———

(b) The Lowell Offering. A Repository of Original Articles, written by the Factory Girls. Lowell: MISSES Curtis & Farley. Price One Dollar per annum.

The August number is received. We have been much interested in the “Editorial” signed “H. F.” — but are unable altogether to appreciate if, as it is continued from numbers of the work which have never met our eye. The “Offering” has indisputable merit.

———

(c) The Mysteries of Berlin. New York: Wm. H. Colyer,

Part VIII is issued.

———

(d) Harpers’ Illuminated and Pictorial Bible. No. 35.

This number brings the work as far as the Thirteenth Chapter of Zechariah. There are three large and thirty-seven small designs, independently of the Initial Letters. The small cuts are without exception excellent, and many of them are not only admirable as mere specimens of wood engraving, but, as designs, belong to the highest class of art. We would refer especially to those illustrating verse 3 of the 3d Chapter of Nahum — verse of the 3d Chapter of Habbakuk — verse 4 of the 2d Chapter of Zechaniah — verse 1 of the 6th; verse 13 of the 7th; and verse 2d of the loth Chapter of Zechariah. The heads of the Prophets are full of force and character.

There is evidently no falling off in any portion of this enterprise.

Lest there be any one of our readers unacquainted with its whole scope, we state that this Bible is printed from the Standard Copy of the American Bible Society, and contains (or will contain,) Marginal References, the Apocrypha, a Concordance, Chronological Table, List of Proper Names, Index, Table of Weights, Measures, &c. The large Frontispieces, Titles to the Old and New Testaments, Family Record, Presentation Plate, Historical Illustrations, Initial Letters, Ornamental Borders, &c., are from original designs by Chapman; but, in addition, there will be numerous large engravings from designs by distinguished foreign artists — sixteen [page 214:] hundred engravings in all — exclusive of initial letters. The engraver is Adatus. As there are no notes or comments upon the text, (which is the authorised version) there can be no objection to the edition on the score of sectarian prejudice, or opinion. Upon the whole, it is the most magnificent Bible ever put to press.

———

[Probably Not by Poe]

(a) The Duty of American Women to their Country. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This volume is put forth anonymously, and has no preface. We know not who is the author, nor any circumstance connected with its publication. It may be, however, the work of — Mrs. Kirkland. At all events it is the work of some woman of very bold and vigorous intellect — possibly of Mrs. Child or Miss Fuller. Its propositions speak for themselves. The design is to arouse the country, and more especially its women, to the necessity of forwarding the cause of general education. Our deficiencies, in this respect, are vividly shown: — for example:

Look, then, at the indications in our census. In a population of fourteen millions, we can find one million adults who cannot read and write, and two million of children without schools. In a few years, then, if these children come on the stage with their present neglect, we shall have three millions of adults managing our state and national affairs, who cannot even read the Constitution they swear to support, nor a word in the Bible, nor any newspaper or book. Look at the west, where our clangers from foreign immigration are the greatest, and which, by its unparalleled increase, is soon to hold the sceptre of power. In Indiana and Illinois scarcely one half of the children have any schools. Missouri and Iowa send a similar or worse report. In Virginia, one quarter of the white adults cannot even write their names to their applications for marriage license. In North Carolina, more than half the adults cannot read or write. The whole South, in addition to her ignorant slaves, returns more than half her white children as without schools.

This is, indeed, a lamentable picture, and not the least distressing feature of it is its absolute truth. The remedy proposed, is the establishment of Seminaries for the education of teachers, as well female as male: — the superior qualifications of woman for educational tasks in common schools, be ink very decidedly shown — if indeed there was ever any reasonable doubt on the subject.

The work is lucidly, earnestly, and vigorously written; and we recommend it to all readers sufficiently unprejudiced not to mistake ardor for folly — the enthusiastic for the visionary.

———

(b) Essays. By John Abercrombie, MD., F. R. S. E., Author of “Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers,” “The Philosophy of the Moral Feelings,” etc., etc. From the 19th Edinburgh Edition. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Of course we shall not say a word in commendation of the truly great author of “The Intellectual Powers.” The present edition of his “Essays,” is from the British copy revised by himself, and embracing, for the first time, settle of the best of his writings. “The Intellectual Powers” and the “Moral Feelings,” can be obtained of the Harpers, who issued these admirable disquisitions, some time since, as portions of “The Family Library.”

———

(c) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XVIII. The Crock of Gold. By Martin Farquhar Tupper.

Mr. Willis, in one of his late Letters to the “Mirror,” has said a good deal which may serve to excite interest in Martin Farquhar Tupper. The only point about which the author of “Melanie” is deceived, is the age of the author. Mr. Tupper, we believe, is a much older man than Mr. W. supposes [page 215:] him. His talents, however, are scarcely overrated. “The Crock of Gold” is a simple, picturesque story of common life, and turns upon the danger arising to the contented poor from suddenly and, in especial, from easily acquired wealth. The style is terse, succinct, and often sketchy. The narrative is skilfully managed, and frequently rises into what the critics now and then call “power” — of which a specimen is to be found, commencing at page 108 of the volume before us — at a point where the hero robs and murders his aunt.

———

(a) Travels in North America in the years 1841-2, with Geological Observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia. By Charles Lyell, Esq., F. P.. S. New York: Wiley and Putnam.

A work full of the most authentic information, and acute remark. Mr. Lyell’s literary acquirements are far superior to his elocution. We feel that we need say little about this volume — for it will be purchased and read by all who wish to keep up with the science of the day, or who have any claim, even, to be regarded as “general readers.”

———

(b) The Wandering Jew. By Eugene Sue. New York: Harper & Brothers.

No. XVI. is issued and ably sustains the interest of the story — which is beyond doubt a marvellous one.

———

(c) The London Quarterly Review,

For June, has been republished by Messrs. Leonard Scott & Co. Among other papers, it has a discriminating notice of Mrs. Norton’s “Child of the Islands.”

———

(d) A Chance Medley of Light Matter. By T. Colley Grattan, Author of “High-ways and By-ways,” &c. New-York Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 59 of the “Library of Select Novels.” We need say nothing in praise of Mr. Grattan. His articles invariably possess interest.

———

(e) Pictorial History of the World. By John Frost, LL. D.

No. VII is issued, and is superior even to the previous numbers.

[[BJ August 16,1845 - 2:91]]

(f) WE FIND the following in “The Sun,” but do not exactly comprehend it.

Mr. Sully, the well known and justly distinguished artist of Philadelphia, has just finished a truly admirable full length and life-size portrait of Gen. Jackson. It is from an original by Mr. S. and the dress is the United States’ uniform, over which is thrown in easy and graceful style, a military cloak. The effort is of the highest order of art, and may well be regarded as one of Sully’s best. The likeness, the coloring, the general effect, are all admirable.

Is the picture an original “from an original” by Mr. S? Or is the picture by the “justly distinguished Mr. Sully” at all? We had supposed it the work of the younger Sully — but do not pretend to know.

———

M. MARTINER, of Paris, claims to have discovered the means of Daguerreotyping an entire panorama, embracing 150 degrees — although we are at a loss to know how “an entire panorama” (tautological) can be said to embrace only 150 degrees. His process consists in curving the metallic plate, and causing the lens which reflects the landscape to turn by clockwork. The lens, in turning, passes over on one side the whole space to be Daguerréotyped, and on the other side moves the refracted luminous cone to the plate, to which the objects are successively conveyed. [page 216:]

[[BJ August 16, 1845 - 2:93]]

The Drama.

The most important theatrical event (in New York) since we spoke last of the drama, has been the opening of the New Bowery Theatre by Mr. A. W. Jackson, as Manager and Proprietor. The house is very large, and may even accommodate 4000 persons. Its general arrangements are excellent. The stage is capacious, and well appointed. Much of the scenery is well painted and effective — but the wild forest scenes are grossly exaggerated and unnatural, and the drop curtain is atrocious. These broad appeals to the patriotism of an audience, at the expense of their good taste and common sense, are out of date and should be abandoned. There is not a Pittite who would not loot with greater relish at a glowing landscape than at a rigmarole burlesque upon Washington, even although perched upon a high pedestal and surrounded by Corinthian columns.

The boxes and gallery are what is called “elegant” rather than gaudy — but a little more of the gaudiness would be in better taste, and infinitely more to the purpose. The panneling lacks color-as it now stands it has rather a Quakerish air — and this evil is increased by the hue of the plaster on the walls. If these latter were showily papered, the in crease of effect would surprise every one. We think, too, that, in so large a theatre, a little more light upon the audience would be desirable. Unquestionably there should be two additional rows of chandeliers — one on the lower boxes, and one on the gallery. [page 217:]

The theatre has been crowded every night since its opening. The performances have been “Money,” “Nick of the Woods,” “Richelieu,” “Damon and Pythias” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” The latter piece has been brought out very effectively, and elicited great applause. Among the cornpany are J. R. Scott, Henkins, Hadaway, Davenport, Mrs. Philips, Mrs. Sergeant, Mrs. Isherwood, &c., &c.

The Park has been doing well with the French troupe. for a detailed account of “Les Huguenots” see another part of the paper.

At Niblo’s, Burton, the Placides, Chippendale, John Sefton, Brougham, Miss Taylor and other celebrities have been “drawing crowded houses.”

Castle Garden has been a little depressed, but is reviving.

At Palmo’s a German company have made a successful commencement. On the 8th inst. the house was opened for the benefit of Mess. Stuyvesant and Harris, when Mr. and Mrs. Flynn, with Winans, appeared. Mrs. Flynn (who is a capital actress not sufficiently appreciated) evinced great talent and a very rare versatility in “Perfection,” “The Four Sisters,” and “The Loan of a Lover.”

Mr. Flynn’s theatre, we learn, is making rapid progress.

Mr. Champlin is erecting a House in the East Bowery.

In England — Charles Mathews and his wife have seceded from the Haymarket; Mr. Webster the manager, states in “direct violation of their engagement.”

—————————————

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) MISREPRESENTATION is not only one of the commonest but one of the most despicable tricks resorted to, for its own purposes, by the more depraved portion of the press. From this more depraved portion we look for it — all honest men look for it as a matter of course — and, when here observed, it is seldom by any one, and never by us, considered as meriting or requiring reply. “The Evening Gazette,” then, will give us credit for very sincerely respecting it, (or at least the personal character of its editors) since we put ourselves to the trouble of taking it to task for some words of sheer misrepresentation which appeared in one of its late numbers, under the heading of “The Knickerbocker and The American Review.” In alluding to an article, by ourselves, contained in the latter Magazine, the Gazette says, in substance: “Mr. Poe, however, is one of those who can never find anything to admire in anything written by Mr. Longfellow.”

Now this is doing us the grossest injustice — and this no one better knows than the inditer of the accusation. For every one paragraph written by any one person in America, commending Mr. Longfellow, we can point to ten similar paragraphs of our own. From Mr. L.’s first appearance in the literary world until the present moment, we have been, if not his warmest admirer and most steadfast defender, at least one of his warmest and most steadfast. We even so far committed ourselves in a late public Lecture, as to place him (without sufficient consideration) at the very head of American poets. Yet, because we are not so childish as to suppose that every book is thoroughly good or thoroughly bad — because we are not so absurd as to adopt the common practice of wholesale and indiscriminate abuse or commendation — because upon several occasions we have thought proper to demonstrate the sins, while displaying the virtues of Professor Longfellow, is it just, or proper, or even courteous on the part of “The Gazette” to accuse us, in round terms, of uncompromising hostility to this poet? [page 218:]

We make use of the word “demonstrate” — for it has always been a point with us to sustain as far as possible, by evidence or argument, whatever propositions We put forth. But has “The Gazette,” in the present instance, been equally careful? Do we understand it as inclined to dispute the accuracy of any statement, or the validity of any deduction, embodied in the critique to which it has referred? If so, we are prepared to try the case upon its merits. If, however, it is the simple opinion of “The Gazette” which is thus pitied against our own — we are by far too modest to say another word upon the subject — and must submit to the stern necessity of letting the Whole matter remain precisely where it is.

For the frame admission that our criticism is “worth reading,” we very cordially return thanks — but we have been considering whether any temptation (short of a copy of “Isabel”) could induce us to make any similar acknowledgement in regard to any criticisms of “The Evening Gazette.”

———

THE VERY just observations which follow are from the pen of one of the most distinguished of American novelists William Gilmore Simms.

The original “Library” of Wiley and Putnam was meant to be composed of European writings chiefly. As an offset and parallel scheme to this, the same publishers have conceived the idea of an American collection on a similar plan. It is for the American public to determine, whether this latter, and highly patriotic purpose, shall receive their countenance. The American series necessarily labors under a disadvantage to which the English is not subject. The works constituting the latter collection, are, not only obtained by the publishers for nothing, but they are al liberty to choose the very best productions of the London market; and the quality and character of these works are indicated, to their hands, by the imprimatur of the foreign, and, if need be, the domestic critic. In procuring the works of the American series, the case is very different. In the first place, the native author requires pay for his writings. — As he has no English public among which to secure his copyright, the home market is required to do for him all that it can, by way of giving him compensation for his labor. This is a charge on the pocket and patriotism of the publisher; arid, when it is remembered that he can procure from the British press, a hundred times as many books as he has capital to print, all saleable, and many good, — some credit is certainly due to him for this disinterested and generous proceeding in behalf of native literature; and we may reasonably hope that the public will not suffer its patriotism to be outdone by that of its publisher. He risks his thousands, where, if seconded by the public, each citizen will expend a trifle only. Nor is it in the cost of copyright merely, that the difference exists between the English and American copy. In the former, he prints front a clear type, in the latter from an imperfect manuscript; — in the former, he prints from a book that has already obtained the European verdict of English criticism; in the latter, he has this criticism to encounter, and may be purchasing and publishing an inferior production, when his earnest wish is for the very best. This statement briefly displays the several difficulties under which the business of the domestic publisher labors; and, in his case, as in that of the author, demands all the indulgence that the patriotism of the citizen, solicitous of the establishment of a native literature, should be ready to accord. Influenced necessarily by these considerations, and by reasonable apprehensions of loss, the publisher hesitates to pay largely for any native manuscript. Suppose a work offered hint by an author, hitherto unknown, but one of the most unquestionable excellence and originality. He has been engaged upon this work, without intermission. He has elaborated it with care. The labor limae has lot been withheld; and when he conceives it perfect he presents it to the publisher, from whom he demands one thousand dollars for the copyright. This sutra, stated as the charge for one year of clerk hire, would not perhaps be considered extravagant in the instance of a clerk of first rate ability; yet such a charge for a book, the preparation of which consumed all that time, would stagger the liberality even of the most patriotic publisher, particularly in the case of an experiment, undertaken purely for love of country, and with funds that might otherwise be invested with equal safety and much greater profit in English publications. This is [page 219:] a simple statement of the case to which we solicit the attention of the citizen. We trust that there will be a class of the American people, sufficiently large, who will propose it to themselves, as a duty which they owe the country, to second the attempt of these publishers, in be. half of a native literature, by buying regularly the volumes of this series, as they severally make their appearance. They may sometimes buy an inferior book, but me guarantee that they will never get a bad one. The works generally may be of less value than the picked publications of the British series, but they will be native, they will possess a character of their own, and they may be at the foundation of future publications which shall vie with the best of foreign origin. Thus far the issue of the “Library of American Books,” will scarcely shrink from comparison with the other. The letters of Headley from Italy, form a fresh and delightful volume, worthy of the same shelves with “Eothen” and” The Crescent and the Cross.” The Journal of an African Cruiser,” and the Tales of Edgar A. Poe, forming the second and third works in this series, shall receive our notice hereafter. We rejoice to learn that these publications find a ready sale and circulation, and sincerely trust that the praiseworthy scheme of the publishers will be sustained by the people.

———

(a) SAMUEL COLMAN, of Boston, has in preparation a Selection from the works of American Poets. The book, we believe, is to be somewhat on the plan of Kettell’s “Specimens.”

———

(b) THE KING of Prussia has again tendered the well-known Lieber a desirable Professorship at Berlin.

———

(c) IN OUR NOTICE, last week, of “The Medici Series of Italian Prose” we spoke, inadvertently, thus: — “The present enterprise extends, we believe, no farther than to the Italian Romance.” Here we were mistaken. The design is far more comprehensive. It will include many historical and other works of value.

———

(d) WE FIND it stated, that “The Southern Literary Messenger” published in Morgan county, Georgia, bears aloft the flag:

For President in 1848,

HENRY CLAY.”

Is there such a paper as “The Southern Literary Messenger” published in Georgia? If so, is not the title a shameful spoliation?

———

(e) THERE is quite a revival in the American poetical world. Besides the collection of Specimens of which we have already spoken, we shall have in the fall, from Clark and Austen, a volume by Mrs. Osgood, one by Alfred B. Street, and one by H. T. Tuckerman — from J. S. Redfield a volume by Mrs. Seba Smith — and from some other publisher a volume by Emerson. One or two other collections are in posse — by poets whose names we have no authority to mention.

———

(f) THE TRIBUNE. says:

We learn from a private letter that Miss Martineau is building a cottage at Faxhow, a mile from Wordsworth’s residence. Our Bryant was about visiting her. Wordsworth, hearing of Bryant’s arrival, welcomed him to his horse with great hospitality. Wordsworth, though 76 years old, is hale and vigorous. Miss Martineau continues perfectly well, and is extending the benefit of Magnetic treatment to other sufferers.

We refer our readers to the “London Lancet” (for June we believe) for a very interesting exposé of the circumstances attending Miss Martineau’s Magnetics. We have firm faith in Mesmerism — but not in all that Miss Martineau dreams of it.

———

(g) The “ALBANY Evening Journal” states on the faith of a private letter front Dublin, that henry Russell the vocalist, is there passing himself off as an American. Why not? The Americans should feel flattered — and no doubt they do. [page 220:]

———

“THE ARISTIDEAN,” suspended for a brief period for political reasons, will be immediately resumed — under the conduct, of course, of its spirited editor, Thomas Dunn English.

———

(b) MRS. SIGOURNEY, we regret to learn, is still seriously ill at Hartford.

———

WE ANNOUNCED in our last, that Mr. T. S. Arthur was preparing an Annual to be published by E. Ferret & Co. — but were not then informed of its title. It is to be called “The Snow-Flake and Gift for Innocence and Beauty.”

———

(d) THE PROOF-READER of the August number of Godey has made us say of Mr. Lowell’s “Conversations” what indeed we should be very sorry to say, viz

The farce of this big book is equalled only by the farce of the ragtag-and-bobtail embassy from the whole earth, introduced by the crazy Prussian into the hall of the French National Assembly. The author is the Anacharsis Clootz of American Letters.

By the omission of a dash, this paragraph was made part and parcel of our commentary on Mr. Lowell — to whom it had no reference whatever.

———

(e) TO CORRESPONDENTS. — Mr. Thomas W. Field will find a letter for him at the office of the” Broadway Journal.”

Many thanks to X or *. She shall speak in our next. “A New York Ghost” shall appear.

We are forced to decline “Margarette”; “Cave Sirenis”; “Isabel, a Love-Lay”; and a “Song to Caroline.

———

(f) OUR FIRST VOLUME. — A few copies of the first volume of the Broadway Journal are for sale at the office, either in numbers or handsomely bound.

————————————

A RARE OPPORTUNITY.

ANY Gentleman of enterprise and respectable education, who has at command a cash capital of 700 or 1000 dollars, may hear of an, excellent opportunity for its investment, by addressing a note to E. S. T. G., office of the “Broadway Journal.”

[[BJ August 23, 1845 - 2:101]]

[Not by Poe] [[Editorial footnote probably is by Poe]]

The Whole Duty of Woman.

(h) We hope the author of an article entitled “American Letters,” which appeared in the June number of the “American Review,” will not accuse us of having purloined his ideas. We can assure him that he is not alone in his opinion of the softer sex, — that we have even regarded them as an inferior order of creation, and have never hesitated to express it; and that the accompanying effusion was written to make the true meaning of the poet more apparent to their limited capacity. Let us not, however, be misunderstood. They are undoubtedly a legitimate part of the human family, and until something can be invented that will supply their place, are to be tolerated, and even well treated; but the idea of their pretending to compete with us in anything that requires intellectual ability, is a little too amusing. If our metre is not as correct as it should be — we presume it is at least as good as that of some of our philosopher-poets — and indeed very much in their manner. [page 221:]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 220:]

* We give place to this jeu d‘esprit, merely through our sincere respect, as well for the honesty of intention as for the ability, of its author. We feel it our duty, nevertheless, to protest against the doctrine advanced. The opinions of our fair correspondent are by no means our own. — ED. B. J.

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Critical Notices.

(a) The Poetical Writings of Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith. First Complete Edition. New-York: J. S. Redfield.

Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith (better known as Mrs. Seba Smith) is indebted for her reputation as a poet, principally to “The Sinless Child,” her longest and perhaps her most meritorious composition. It was originally published in the “Southern Literary Messenger,” where it at once attracted much notice — but was not thoroughly appreciated until its second introduction to the public, in volume form, by Mr. John Keese, as editor. In a well-written Preface, he pointed out its peculiar merits, and these have since been readily and very generally admitted.

Of course we do not agree with Mr. Keese in all the encomium which his personal partialities perhaps, rather than his judgment, have induced hint to lavish on “The Sinless Child.” The conception is original, but somewhat forced; and although the execution is, in parts, effective, still the conduct, upon the whole, is feeble, and the denouement is obscure, and inconsequential. In any commendation of the poem, the critic should confine himself, principally, to detached passages. Many of these will be found to possess merit of a lofty order — and very many of them are remarkable for ease, grace, and exceeding delicacy and purity of thought and manner. For example:

Each tiny leaf became a scroll

Inscribed with holy truth,

A lesson that around the heart

Should keep the dew of youth;

Bright missals from angelic throngs

In every by-way left.

How were the earth of glory shorn,

Were it of flowers bereft!

We prefer, however, the little episode called “The Stepmother” to any portion of “The Sinless Child,” and shall take the liberty of quoting it in full. It has been universally and justly admired:

You speak of Hobert’s second wife, a lofty dame and bold,

I like not her forbidding air and forehead high and cold.

The orphans have no cause for grief, she dare not give it now.

Though nothing but a ghostly fear, her heart of pride could bow.

 

One night the boy his mother called, they heard him weeping say,

Sweet mother, kiss poor Eddy’s cheek, and wipe his tears away.”

Red grew the lady’s brow with rage, and yet she feels a strife

Of anger and of terror too, at thought of that dead wife.

 

Wild roars the wind, the lights burn blue, the watch-dog howls with fear, —

Loud neighs the steed from out the stall: what form is gliding near?

No latch is raised, no step is heard, but a phantom tilts the space —

A sheeted spectre from the dead; with cold and leaden face.

 

What boots it that no other eye beheld the shade appear

The guilty lady’s guilty soul beheld it plain and clear,

It slowly glides within the room, and sadly looks around —

And stooping, kissed her daughter’s check with lips that gave no sound,

 

Then softly on the step-dame’s arm she laid a death-cold hand,

Yet it bath scorched within the flesh like to a burning brand.

And gliding on with noiseless foot, o‘er winding stair and hall,

She nears the chamber where is heard her infant’s trembling call.

 

She smoothed the pillow where he lay, she warmly tucked the bed,

She wiped his tears, and stroked the curls that clustered round his head.

The child, caressed, unknowing fear, hath nestled him to rest;

The Mother folds her wings beside — the Mother from the Blest!

“The Acorn” has been often mentioned as the best of Mrs. Smith’s poems, and in many respects it is. It has more completeness than “The Sinless Child,” and excels it in vigor, as well as in the minor merit of versification. It by [page 222:] no means equals it, however, in fancy, or in the originality of its conception. The subject of “The Acorn” is not a novel one.

Many of the Sonnets and shorter compositions, in the volume before us, are exceedingly beautiful. All are replete with that delicacy which is the distinguishing trait of the fair author. The two stanzas entitled “Presages” will exemplify this trait and Airs. Smith’s general manner, perhaps, more strikingly than any thing we could cite of similar length.

There are who from their cradle bear

The impress of a grief —

Deep, mystic eyes, and forehead fair,

And looks that ask relief;

The shadows of a coming doom,

Of sorrow and of strife,

When Fates conflicting round the loom,

Wove the sad web of life.

 

And others come, the gladsome ones,

All shadowless and gay,

Like sweet surprise of April suns,

Or music gone astray;

Arrested, half in doubt we turn

To catch another sight,

So strangely rare it is to learn

A presage of delight.

The poem entitled “The Water” is singularly happy both in its conception and execution. We copy the two first stanzas, not only for their excellence, but by way of collating them with the opening lines of “Rain in Summer,” a poem, by Professor Longfellow, published in the August number of “Graham’s Magazine.”

How beautiful the water is!

Didst ever think of it,

When it tumbles from the skies,

As in a merry fit?

It jostles; ringing as it falls,

On all that’s in its way —

I hear it dancing on the roof,

Like some wild thing at play.

 

’Tis rushing now adown the spout

And gushing out below,

Half frantic in its joyousness,

And wild in eager flow.

The earth is dried and parched with heat,

And it hath longed to be

Released out the selfish cloud,

To cool the thirsty tree.

Mr. Longfellow’s poem commences thus

How beautiful is the rain!

After the dust and heat,

In the broad and fiery street,

In the narrow lane,

How beautiful is the rain!

 

How it clatters upon the roofs,

Like the trample of hoofs!

How it gushes, and struggles out

From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane,

It pours and pours,

And swift and wide,

With a muddy tide,

Like a river down the gutter roars

The rain, the welcome rain

If this is not a plagiarism, and a very bold one, on the part of Professor Longfellow, will any body be kind enough to tell us what it is?

Mrs. Smith’s book is a neat 16mo of more than 200 pages. Its mechanical execution is altogether excellent — reflecting credit on the taste and liberality of Mr. Redfield. [page 223:]

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XIX. Prose and Verse. By Thomas hood. Part II.

Week before last we had some general comments on Hood’s genius and peculiarities, and gave a detailed account of the contents of Part I. of his writings, as republished in the “Library of Choice Reading.” Of Part II. therefore, we have little to say — except that it is fully as interesting as its predecessor. It embraces The Great Conflagration — A Tale of a Trumpet — Boz in America — Copyright and Copywrong — Prospectus to Hood’s Magazine — The Haunted House — Life in the Sick Room — An Autograph — Domestic Mesmerism — The Elm Tree — Lay of the Laborer — The Bridge of Sighs — The Lady’s Dream — and The Song of the Shirt.

Of these the most remarkable are those which we have italicized. They convey, too, most distinctly the genius of the author — nor can any one thoughtfully read them without a conviction that hitherto that genius has been greatly misconceived — without perceiving that even the wit of Hood had its birth in a taint of melancholy — perhaps hereditary — and nearly amounting to monomania.

“The Song of the Shirt” is such a composition as only Hood could have conceived, or written. Its popularity has been unbounded. Its effect arises from that grotesquerie which, in our previous article, we referred to the vivid Fancy of the author, impelled by hypochondriasis: — but “The Song of the Shirt” has scarcely a claim to the title of poem. This, however, is a mere question of words, and can by no means affect the high merit of the composition — to whatever appellation it may be considered entitled.

“The Bridge of Sighs,” on the contrary, is a poem of the loftiest order, and in our opinion the finest written by Hood — being very far superior to “The Dream of Eugene Aram.” Not its least merit is the effective rush and whirl of its singular versification — so thoroughly in accordance with the wild insanity which is the thesis of the whole.

———

(b) Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil. By N. P. Willis. Part III. Loiterings of Travel. New York. J. S. Redfeld.

We have so frequently spoken in the warmest terms of admiration, of the brilliant and versatile abilities of Mr. Willis, that there is really nothing left for us to say — upon the issue of this the third instalment of “The Loiterings.” Of its author the world has been willing to admit — what is a great deal to admit of any one, in these days of unoriginal mediocrity — that he has a marked way of his own, and in that way is altogether unrivalled. We look upon Mr. Willis as one of the truest men of letters in America. About him there is no particle of pretence. His works show his fine genius as it is. They convey the man. Whatever idea is gleaned of him through his books, will be confirmed upon personal acquaintance — and we know not one other man of letters of whom the same thing can be confidently said. In general, of the talents, of the fancy, of the wit, of the conversational powers, and especially of the accomplishments of a literary man, we get, through his compositions, a false, and very usually an exaggerated impression.

———

(c) The Lone Star: A Tale of Texas. By I. Wilbner Dallam. Founded upon Incidents in the History of Texas. New York: E. Ferrell & Co.

We have not read this novel so carefully as we could wish — but shall do so and speak of it hereafter. Some passages are written with power. I. Willmer Dallam is perhaps a nom de plume. The book is handsomely printed, on good paper, and with fine type — although the price is but 25 cts. [page 224:]

(a) Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible. No. 36.

This work proceeds with undiminished spirit. We repeat that it is by far the best Bible ever published in America. The small wood cuts alone, in each number, are worth treble what is asked for the number itself.

[[BJ August 23, 1845 - 2:105]]

(b) THE NATIONAL GALLERY AT THE ROTUNDA. — We have in preparation a series of articles upon this gallery. We purposed publishing the first part this week, but we are compelled, by circumstances, to defer it until our next number.

[[BJ August 23, 1845 - 2:109]]

Editorial Miscellany.

A late number of “The New York Mirror” contains a very fulsome “Resumè” of “The Challenge of Barletta.” This Resumè [what is a resumè?] is written very much in the manner of Mr. Lester, whom it compliments with great warmth, and no doubt (in Mr. Lester’s opinion) with great justice. We are quite astonished, however, to find so respectable a journal as “The Mirror” degrading itself to the admission of obvious puffs from the pens of “correspondents.” The article in question has the following passage:

“It must be read from beginning to end, and we do not believe any man can read the first chapter without reading on and reading it through. A certain critic has complained that the book lacks “autorial commaut;” rather a muddy idea — ne‘est pas, dear General? He says it is “all incident;” and what else in the name of Walter Scott would you have in a historical romance? This is just what a historical romance is written for, says McCauley.”

We are the “certain critic” here alluded to. The phrase “autorial commaut” as quoted by Mr. Lester’s friend or self, is a falsehood — one of his 50,000. We defy him to show us in our critique anything resembling what he unblushingly attributes to us. The “muddy idea” is then only his own — and we never knew him to have one that was not. But will he be so good as to translate for the readers of “The Mirror” the phrase ne‘est pas — and at the same time inform us who is the Mr. McCauley to whom he attributes so much rigmarole about historical romance?

As regards the impossibility of not reading Mr. Lester’s stupid book through, the only impossibility in our case, and in all that we have heard of, has been to refrain from throwing the thing out of the window after being sickened to death by the Preface. [page 225:]

———

(a) DURING A recent visit to Boston, we were agreeably surprised at the number of intrinsically valuable works on the counters of “the trade.” Why is it that so few of them are generally — circulated in New York? A more liberal interchange of literary commodities would certainly prove beneficial to the two communities. We know not how it is, but few of the writers of New England exercise much influence beyond her borders; and, on the other hand, in conversing with men of letters in that region, we have marvelled at their ignorance of Knickerbocker authors. The evil would in part be remedied, if New York were regarded as it should be, as the London of America — and if all literary enterprises were here carried into effect. The facilities for distributing works, are far greater than any other of our cities can boast — and as a centre of opinion, it is the metropolis of the country.

Among other booksellers to Boston, whose publications deserve to be better known here, are James Munroe & Co. The inimitable “Twice Told Tales” of Hawthorne, were published by this house. Their circulation, however, has borne no proportion to their merit. Hawthorne, it appears to us, has fulfilled all the conditions which should insure success, and yet he has reaped but a scanty harvest. He is a prose poet, full of originality, beauty and refinement of style and conception, while many of his subjects are thoroughly American. He is frugal and industrious, but the profit — of his writings are inadequate to his support. We trust he will embark his next work in this market and predict that it will be more lucrative.

Another beautiful work on Munroe’s counter is “Flower and Thorn Pieces,” translated from Jean Paul. Exquisite metaphors and wise suggestions on life abound in these pages. They have apparently escaped the notice of our critics, but richly deserve their attention. The school-books issued from the Boston press are eminently worthy the adoption of the friends of education in this State. Two in particular of Munroe & Co’s. attracted our regard — the one an admirably selected Reader for young ladies, edited by William Russell, an experienced teacher and man of distinguished taste; — the other a little volume of devotional exercises for schools compiled by Mr. Buckingham, the able editor of the Boston Courier. There is no sectarianism and great felicity of arrangement in this volume. We may resume the subject of Boston books. Meantime we observe with pleasure that Ticknor & Co. have in press new editions of Keat’s Poems and Lamb’s Dramatic Specimens, and that B. B. Murray is about to re-publish Festus, by Bailey.

———

THE PORTLAND Vase has been thoroughly restored by Mr. J. Doubleday.

———

A BILL has been introduced by the British Government, granting Jews the privilege of holding certain corporate and other offices. We look upon this as the most pregnant item of intelligence brought by the Great Britain.

———

(d) Signor Vincenzo Devit, a distinguished professor of the college of Padua, has, it is said, made a discovery of great interest, in the field of classical literature. In an ancient manuscript in the library of that establishment, he has found a set of unpublished maxims by Varro, the illustrious contemporary of Cæsar and Augustus, and friend and client of Cicero. — We may mention, too, on the faith of a letter from St. Petersburg, that Dr. Passelt, Professor of History at the University of Dorpat, being in the capital, has discovered, among the archives of the empire, eleven autograph letters from Lebnitz to Peter the First. They are written some in Latin, and [page 226:] some in German, — are all relating to matters of science, and seem to indicate the existence of a continuous correspondence between the illustrious philosopher and the great Czar. They are about to be published.

———

(a) THE SUPPRESSION of the Order of the Jesuits in France has been the cause of a popular demonstration against the same order in Italy.

———

THE HIPPODROME continues to attract all Paris. Bets are made as on a race-course. It is the grandest kind of amusement that has been attempted since the days of Ancient Rome; a building will be erected to replace the present provisionary one, which has the fault of being too much like a racing stand.

———

MADLLE. PLESSY quits Paris for St. Petersburgh, with a husband and an engagement of 45,000 francs per annum. She marries Monsieur Arnaud, a republican — a man of very opposite principles to those she professed.

———

(d) AT LENGTH a lighthouse is to be erected on the Goodwin Sands.

WITHIN the last five years between 60,0000 and 70,000 ‘ancient’ pictures have paid import duty at the London Custom House.

———

HON. ABBOT LAWRENCE has presented Boston the sum of two thousand dollars, the interest of which is to be expended in prizes, to be awarded to deserving scholars of the Public Latin School of that City. The act is worthy of the head and heart of the donor.

———

WE NOTICE with regret the death of James Augustus Shea, Esq., a native of Ireland, for many years a citizen of the united States, and a resident of this city. He died on Friday morning, the 17th inst., at the early age of 42. A large concourse of friends and relatives attended his funeral. As an ardent republican Mr. Shea did much for the cause of freedom. As a poet, his reputation was high — but by no means so high as his deserts. His “Ocean” is really one of the most spirited lyrics ever published. Its rhythm strikingly resembles “The Bridge of Sighs.”

———

(b) THE “TABLET of Love,” on our first page this week, is the composition of Miss Phelps, (the pupil of the Litiz Seminary,) of whose precocious poetical talent we spoke in a former number.

———

THE LEWIS J. CIST, of Cincinnati, proposes to publish by subscription, a small volume of “Poems, Lyrical and Miscellaneous.” It will occupy about 200 pages, 12 mo — handsomely printed and bound — price 75 cents. Mr. Cist has a high reputation in the West. We have to thank him for an original poem, which we shall publish in our next. His book will be issued by Messrs. Robinson & Jones, of Cincinnati.

———

DR. JAMES M‘HENRY, who resided several years it, Philadelphia, and was known as the author of ‘‘O‘Halloran,” the “Antediluvians,” &c., died at Larne, in Ireland, on the 21st ult., in the 59th year of his age. Dr. M‘H. was appointed United States Consul to Londonderry, by Mr. Tyler, in 1843. As a poet and author in general, Dr. M‘Henry was underrated. He fell a victim to the arts of a clique which proceeded, in the most systematic manner, to write him down — not scrupling, either, to avow the detestable purpose. Some of the very best Criticisms in — Mr. Walsh’s — American Quarterly Review,” were the work of Dr. M‘H. His “Antediluvians” [page 227:] was heavy, and certainly gave no indication of genius-but it is by no means the despicable trash which it has been represented. It is polished, well versified, and abounding in noble sentiments. Altogether, it is the best epic which the country has produced. Some of his songs are highly meritorious.

———

DAVID SEARS, of Boston, has given ,$5000 to the Cambridge Observatory.

———

(b) A NEW PAPER, of immense dimensions, has just appeared at Paris, under the title of L‘Epoque. It is in the American fashion, and exceeds in size any of the English papers. It is not expected to exist long.

———

(c) LETTERS from Naples mention some recent discoveries of interest made in late excavations at Pompeii, particularly an extensive Necropolis. Beside one of the graves there is a seat, and over it is inscribed Clovatius, Duumvir of Pompeii. This is a family name hitherto unknown. Near it is a monument of fine Grecian marble, richly sculptured. The ground where these discoveries have been made is the property of Signor Vellucci, who pays so little regard to antiquities, that as soon as lie hears of a grave being explored, he orders it to be filled up with earth or rubbish.

———

(d) THE MEAN of 168 observations, by three observers, upon transits of five different stars, given 42 deg., 22 min. 49 sec. N. as the latitude of the Cambridge Observatory. None of the observations differed more than three seconds from this mean. The latitude of the same place as deduced from Mr. Paine’s observations of that of the Unitarian Church in Old Cambridge, is 42 deg. 22 min. 46 sec. N.

———

(e) THE ROYAL PRINTING OFFICE at Paris, which already possesses fonts of type in upwards of a hundred languages, twenty of them oriental dialects, has added the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Attempts to re-produce them typographically have been made several times in England and Germany, but relinquished on account of the difference of size. M. Dubois has succeeded triumphantly, and has furnished drawings for a font of 1500 characters, 800 of which are already cast.

———

(f) THE CONGRESS OF BARDS, which will be held at Abergavenny in the Autumn, will, it is expected, be numerously attended; for, as there will be fifty prizes, for essays, poems, compositions, performances, &c., most of the poets and minstrels of the principality will compete. Mr. H. B. Richards, whose talents are well known both as a composer and pianist, has been appointed by the committee umpire of the musical compositions and performances.

———

(g) SIR ROBERT PEEL has appointed Mr. Archibald Campbell, nephew to the poet, to an office in tile Customs, as a token of his respect fur tile memory of Mr. Campbell.

———

(h) THE North Wales Chronicle states that a laboring man at Colden has constructed wings with which lie has been able to fly a considerable distance. Some days back he flew from a hill in the presence of hundreds of spectators.

———

WE have tried nearly every variety of Pen, both steel and gold, in the attempt to find one that should combine the flexibility and certainty of the old-fashioned “gray goose quill” with the durability of the metallic ones of the present day, [page 228:] and had well nigh despaired; but the pen with which we write this article, made by Bagley, 189 Broadway, has so fully realised all our wishes, that we consider it an act of charity to those who have been similarly troubled, to apprise them how they may get rid of one of the annoyances that check the free current of their thoughts when they would indite them for the benefit of others, or — their own gratification.

[[BJ August 30, 1845 - 2:119]]

Critical Notices.

(a) Wiley and Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XIX. Prose and Verse. By Thomas Hood. Part II.

Of this number of the Library we said a few words in our last, but we shall be pardoned for referring to it again, as it contains several of the most characteristic, as well as most meritorious compositions of one of the most remarkable men of his time.

The quizzical Letters entitled “Copyright and Copywrong” [page 229:] should be read by all true friends and fair enemies of International Copyright. The strong points of the question of copyright, generally, were never more forcibly, if ever more ludicrously, put.

“The Bridge of Sighs” is, with one exception, the finest poem written by Hood. It has been much admired and often quoted — but we have no hesitation in complying with a friend’s request, to copy it in full. We must omit it, however, till nest week.

“The Haunted House” we prefer to any composition of its author. It is a masterpiece of its kind — and that kind belongs to a very lofty — if not to the very loftiest order of poetical literature. Had we seen this piece before penning our first notice of Hood, we should have had much hesitation in speaking of Fancy and Fantasy as his predominant features. At all events we should have given him credit for much more of true Imagination than we did.

Not the least merit of the work is its rigorous simplicity. There is no narrative, and no doggrel philosophy. The whole subject is the description of a deserted house, which the popular superstition considers haunted. The thesis is one of the truest in all poetry. As a mere thesis it is really difficult to conceive anything better. The strength of the poet is put forth in the invention of traits in keeping with the ideas of crime, abandonment, and ghostly visitation. Every legitimate art is brought in to aid in conveying the intended effects; and (what is quite remarkable in the case of Hood) nothing discordant is at any point introduced. He has here very little of what we have designated as the phantastic — little which is not strictly harmonious. The metre and rhythm are not only, in themselves, admirably adapted to the whole design, but, with a true artistic feeling, the poet has preserved a thorough monotone throughout, and renders its effect more impressive by the repetition (gradually increasing in frequency towards the finale) of one of the most pregnant and effective of the stanzas:

O’er all there hung a shadow and a fear;

A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,

And said, as plain as whisper in the ear,

The place is haunted!

We quote a few of the most impressive quatrains:

The coot was swimming in the reedy pond,

Beside the water-hen so soon affrighted,

And in the weedy moat the heron, fond

Of solitude, alighted.

 

The moping heron, motionless and stiff,

That on a stone as silently and stilly

Stood, an apparent sentinel, as if

To guard the water-lily.

 

The vine unpruned, and the neglected peach

Drooped from the wall with which they used to grapple;

And on the cankered tree, in easy reach,

Rotted the golden apple.

 

Howbeit, the door I pushed — or so I dreamed —

Which slowly, slowly, gaped — the hinges creaking

With such a rusty eloquence, it seemed

That Time himself was speaking.

 

The startled bats flew out, bird after bird,

The screech-owl overhead began to flutter,

And seemed to mock the cry that she had heard

Some dying victim utter.

 

A shriek that echoed from the joisted roof

And up the stair and further still and further,

Till in some ringing chamber far aloof

It ceased its tale of murther. [page 230:]

 

Meanwhile the rusty armor rattled round,

The banner shuddered and the ragged streamer;

All things the horrid tenor of the sound

Acknowledged with a tremor.

 

The very stains and fractures on the wall,

Assuming features solemn and terrific,

Hinted some tragedy of that old hall,

Locked up in hieroglyphic.

 

Some tale that might, perchance, have solved the doubt

Wherefore amongst those flags so dull and livid,

The banner of the BLOODY HAND shone out

So ominously vivid.

 

Those dreary stairs, where with the sounding stress

Of ev‘ry step so many echoes blended,

The mind, with dark misgivings, feared to guess

How many feet ascended.

 

Yet no portentous shape the sight amazed;

Each object plain, and tangible, and valid;

But from their tarnished frames dark figures gazed,

And faces spectre-pallid.

 

Not merely with the mimic life that lies

Within the compass of Art’s simulation

Their souls were looking through their painted eyes

With awful speculation.

 

On every lip a speechless horror dwelt;

On every brow the burden of affliction;

The old ancestral spirits knew and felt

The house’s malediction.

 

Rich hangings, storied by the needle’s art,

With scripture history, or classic fable;

But all had faded, save one ragged part,

Where Cain was slaying Abel.

 

The death-watch ticked behind the panneled oak,

Inexplicable tremors shook the arras,

And echoes strange and mystical awoke,

The fancy to embarrass.

 

Prophetic hints that filled the soul with dread,

But through one gloomy entrance pointing mostly,

The while some secret inspiration said,

That chamber is the ghostly!

Had Hood only written “The Haunted House” it would have sufficed to render him immortal.

———

(d) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XX. The Indicator and Companion. By Leigh Hunt. Part II.

This volume contains some two or three papers which are worth preserving — which have in them the elements of life — and which will leave a definite and perhaps a permanent impression upon every one who reads them In general, however, it is made up of that species of easy writing which is not the easiest reading. We find here too much of slipshodiness, both in thought and manner, and too little of determined purpose. The tone is not that of a bold genius uttering vigorous filings carelessly and inconsiderately, with contempt or neglect of method or completeness, but rather that of a naturally immethodical and inaccurate intellect, making a certain air of ruggedness and insouciance the means of exalting the commonplace into the semblance of originality and strength. Hunt has written many agreeable papers, but no great ones. His points will bear no steady examination. The view at first taken of him by the public is far nearer the truth, perhaps, than that which seems to have been latterly adopted. His “Feast of the Poets” is possibly his best composition. As a rambling essayist he has too little of the raw material. As a critic he is merely saucy, or lackadaisical, or falsely enthusiastic, or at best pointedly conceited. His judgment is not worth a rush — [page 231:] witness his absurd eulogies on Coleridge’s “Pains of Sleep” quoted in the volume before us. In his “Remarks upon (on) De Basso’s Ode to a Dead Body,” he has said critically some of the very best things it ever occurred to him to say; but if there be need to show the pure imbecility and irrelevancy of the paper as a criticism, let it only be contrasted with what a truly critical spirit would write. The highest literary quality of Hunt is a secondary or tertiary grade of Fancy. His loftiest literary attainment is to entertain. This is precisely the word which suits his case. As for excitement we must not look for it in him. And, unhappily, his books are not of such character that they may be taken up, with pleasure, (as may the “Spectator,”) by a mind exhausted through excitement. In this condition we require repose — which is the antipode of the style of hunt. And since for the ennuye he has insufficient stimulus, it is clear that as an author he is fit for very little, if really for any tiring at all.

———

(a) Introductory Lectures on Modern History, delivered in Lent Term, 1842, with the Inaugural Lecture delivered in December, 1841. By Thomas Arnold, D. D., Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford, & Edited from the Second London Edition, with a Preface and Notes, by Henry Reed, M. A., Professor of English Literature in the University of Pennsylvania. New-York: D. Appleton & Co.

We take it for granted that there are few of our readers unacquainted with the great celebrity of these Lectures, or with the high estimation in which they are held by the historical scholars of Europe. We feel called upon, therefore, to say only a very few words of the book. It would be difficult, indeed, to say too much, were we to discuss its excellences. Independently of his sterling worth as mere historian, Dr. Arnold must command the attention and respect of every American by his earnest and most influential zeal as an Apostle of Liberty. The Preface (by Dr. Reed) to this American edition, is an admirably written commentary on the man.

The Messrs. Appleton have recently published ” The Life and Correspondence” and “The Miscellaneous Works” of Doctor Arnold, both edited by Arthur P. Stanley, M. A. These volumes are published uniformly with the one now before us ; and all are in the beautiful style so usual with the Appletons.

———

(b) A Treatise on Domestic Economy, for the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School, By Miss Catherine E. Beecher. Revised Edition, with Numerous Additions and Illustrative Engravings. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

This volume is so well known, and so thoroughly appreciated, that we need only call attention to the issue of an im proved edition. It is very generally adopted as a text-book in female schools. It has been examined by the Massachusetts Board of Education, and by them deemed worthy of admission as a part of the Massachusetts School Library — an honor which speaks for itself.

———

(c) Simms’ Magazine,

For August, is capital. It contains several of the finest kind of Magazine papers, and is as ably edited as any journal of its species in America — if not more ably edited than any. We invite attention to several Sonnets (anonymous,) and to the articles entitled “The Epochs and Events of American History, as suited to the Purposes of Art in Fiction;” “The Subaltern’s Yarn;” “Bayard the Chevalier;” and “A Foreigner’s First Glimpses of Georgia.”

As a matter of course we find Mr. Simms agreeing with [page 232:] ourselves, “The Democratic Review,” and in fact with all the unprejudiced critics of the country, in condemning, nearly altogether, the very mediocres poems of Mr. Lord. We quote a sentence or two of Mr. Simms’ critique.

Metaphysical poetry requires deep sedateness of mood, habitual contemplation, and much of that quieting sort of thought which a rare experience of the world alone can give. Ranting all this, the poems of Mr. LORD, which aim at this character, are vague, wordy, purposeless; without those leading views of his topic which alone can justify the author in attempting it. We see the fruits of his reading, not of his genius, in the poem called “Worship.” Here is a little of Bryant, and here something more of Coleridge. phrases from these and other poets are conspicuous upon every page — some of these strangely obtrusive, as at p. S, the “temple-hunting martlets” of Shakspeare. The ode “To an American Statesman,” strikes us as a very decided imitation of that to the American flag, by Drake, and faint efforts in the way of Tennyson and Longfellow, are evident as we turn his pages.

That Mr. LORD can think, and may, by severe training, and some. times scourging, be made to think, we have proof in this little volume. We see here and there the head or tail of an idea, the wing or the pen-feathers of a fancy, which elaboration might have rendered legitimately his own. That he has a spiritual mood at work is apparent also. But there is no one piece in the collection, no, nor no one paragraph of any length, which may be considered tolerably perfect, and fit for selection.

Simms’ Magazine is published in Charleston, by Burges & James.

———

(a) Harper’s Illuminated and Illustrated Shakspeare.

Nos. 63 and 64 are issued; embracing “The Tempest,” and some of the most exquisite specimens of wood engraving, and of design, which have ever been published in America. It is difficult to avoid enthusiasm while speaking of these admirable plates. The edition should be in the hands of every one who reads — or sees.

———

(b) The Medici Series of Italian Prose. Nos. 2 & 3. The Florentine histories, by Niccolo Machiavelli. In 2 vols. Translated and Edited by C. Edwards Lester. New-York Paine & Burgess.

Messrs. Paine &. Burgess are rendering good service to the cause of Letters in America by this series of translations from the Italian. The neatness of the mechanical execution deserves also high praise — although a little more margin might be desired.

Neither “The Florentine Histories” nor Niccolo Machiavelli, need be commended by us. The author of “The Prince” was a man of profound thought, of great sagacity, of indomitable will, and unrivalled during his time if not in knowledge of the human, at least in knowledge of the Italian heart. He has been grossly maligned, not because misunderstood in himself, but in his relations to his age and countrymen. The “Florentine Histories” show his great powers — but not in their clearest light. [page 233:]

(a) A Latin Grammar, Comprising all the Rules and Observations necessary to an Accurate Knowledge of the Latin Classics. By James Ross, LL. D. With Latin Idioms, and a New Prosody, and Other Important Additions and Emendations. By N. C. Brooks, A. Al., Principal of the Latin High School, Baltimore. Philadelphia : Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.

Mr. Brooks, one of the very best classical scholars in this country, has, in this edition of Ross, effected some important improvements of which we may take occasion to speak more fully hereafter: — as also of his.

———

(b) First Lessons in Latin: a Series of Exercises, .analytical and Synthetical, in Latin Syntax: designed as an Introduction to Ross’ Latin Grammar, but suited to any other Grammar of the Language.

This work is also published by Messrs. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., of Philadelphia.

———

(c) The History of The Volunteers of 1782. By Thomas McNevin, Esq. New-York: R. Martin & Co.

A pamphlet of about 120 pages duodecimo — full of interest to Americans as well as Irishmen.

———

(d) The Treasury of History. New-York: Daniel Adee.

We have repeatedly called attention to this valuable work of Maunder. It will be completed in twelve numbers. No. VIII. is issued.

———

(e) Blackwood’s Magazine,

For August, has been republished by Messrs. Leonard Scott & Co. in their usual prompt and accurate manner. The most interesting papers (at least to us) are No. 8 of “North’s Specimens of the British Critics,” and “A Letter from London by a Railway Witness.”

———

(f) Godey’s Lady’s Book,

For September, opens with a very fair engraving by Welch from one of the finest paintings ever done by Sully. It ap pears in the Magazine as a fancy piece — but the heads are those of his two beautiful and accomplished daughters. How much is lost in the absence of the artist’s inimitable color!

Among the contributions we notice “The Cheap Dress,” a very well narrated tale by Mrs. Annan. Mr. Simms has a Mesmeric Sketch, rather overstrained. Mrs. Hale and F. E. F. contribute to the number, which ends with a wood engraving from a sketch drawn by C. R. Leslie in the album of John Howard Payne. Mr. Godey maintains and will maintain his ground.

———

(g) The Edinburgh Review. No. CLXV. For July 1845. American Edition — Vol. XXIII, No. 1. New York: Leonard, Scott & Co.

The most interesting papers in this number are “The Vestiges of Creation,” “The Oregon Question,” and Mrs. Norton’s “Child of the Islands.” “The Vestiges of Creation” is slashingly condemned. The reviewer says:

Everything is touched upon [what is the meaning of touched upon?”] while nothing is firmly grasped. We have not the strong master-hand of an independent laborer, either in the field or closet, shown for a single instant. All in the book is shallow; and all is at second hand. The surface may be beautiful ; but it is the glitter of gold-leaf without the solidity of the precious metal. The style is agreeable — sometimes charming; and noble sentiments are scattered here and there — but these harmonies are never lasting. Sober truth [page 234:] and solemn nonsense, strangely blended, and offered to us in a new material jargon, break discordantly on our ears, and hurt our better feelings.

These opinions are just. The “Vestiges” is merely a well-written and very suggestive romance; — but bad English does not look well in a Quarterly, and “hurts our better feelings.”

(a) An Encyclopaedia of Domestic Economy, comprising such subjects as are most immediately connected with Housekeeping, etc., etc. Illustrated with nearly 1000 engravings. To be completed in 12 numbers. New York: Harper and Brothers.

Nos. IX & X are issued. It is an invaluable work of reference.

———

(b) Cosmos: A Survey of the General Physical History of The Universe. By Alexander Yon Humboldt. New York. Harper and Brothers.

The Mess. Harper have issued the First Part of this renowned book, with the fame of which the whole literary world of Europe is now ringing. We shall speak of it, in detail, as it proceeds. Our readers will need no suggestion to procure the Parts as they come from the press. The price of each is one shilling.

———

(c) Graham’s Magazine,

For September, opens with decidedly the finest steel engraving ever published in this country — at least in a Magazine. It is the work of Smillie and Hinshelwood — subject, a lake and forest scene. There is also a really praiseworthy plate of fashions — well designed, well drawn, well colored, and we dare say as authentic as need be. It is French. The literary contents are nearly all good — although we are surprised to find a very indifferent poem by Mr. Longfellow. Mrs. Annan has here also the best tale of the number, “The New Neighbourhood.” Fanny Forrester, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Stephens, and Park Benjamin, are among the contributors. The Foreign Correspondence (literary) is very interesting — one of the best features of the Magazine.

———

(d) Arthur’s Magazine,

For September, was received at so late a day, that we are unable to do it justice this week. We shall recur to it. It looks well.

[[BJ August 30, 1845 - 2:124]]

The Drama.

(e) UNDER this head there is but little to observe. In New-York, during the last fortnight, the theatres, without exception, have been unusually well attended. At the Park the present company is by no means strong. Mrs. Mowatt concluded a short engagement on the 23d; playing Pauline, Gertrude, in her own “Fashion” and other rôles. Her audiences were large and highly respectable. The enthusiasm [page 235:] was unabated. She is evidently improving, and that rapidly. We have no hesitation in prophesying for her a brilliant future — if she be but true to herself. Her worst mannerism is an audible drawing in of the breath. Her action is unequal led in spirit and grace. Some of the intonations of her voice, are rich beyond expression, and have an obvious effect upon the finer spirits of an audience. Her elocution is of a noble order. She is much better supported than formerly by Mr. Crisp. He also, has improved. We noticed this, especially, in the greater dignity which he gives Melnotte while personating the Prince. It was his fashion, once, to play the part, at this point, as if a brainless coxcomb were the author’s intention. Mr. Bass is a great acquisition to any theatre, and we are surprised to see the coolness with which so truly admirable an actor has been received. His Damas was Nature herself. The part could not have been more truthfully done. Miss Fanny Gordon is a fifth or sixth rate perfurmer, with whom we were not particularly pleased.

On Monday last, Mr. Hackett made his bow to a Park audience as Falstaff. Of course he was warmly received. The boxes were thoroughly filled, and with a judicious audience.

In looking over the play-bills of the Park for the coming season, we were surprised not to find the name of Mr. Murdoch. For several months it had been understood, through the city, that he was to perform here at a very early period. We now learn that he will not appear till towards the close of October — on account of Mr. Simpson’s foreign engagements. Mr. Murdoch is an American, has noble views of his art, and has labored diligently in its acquisition. He has omitted nothing in the way of self-discipline, and will inevitably rank high.

At the Bowery Mr. J. M. Scott has been playing his usual characters with success. This theatre has great capabilities which it is a pity were not improved. The stage appointments want richness, but we presume it is the intention to remedy this evil in the end. Much of the forest scenery is ill conceived. Light is undoubtedly wanting, on the audience, and color in the pannelings of the boxes, as well as the ceiling. The general coup d‘œil of the theatre cannot be compared for an instant with that of the Park, yet its capabilities, we say, are greater. A trifling outlay would render it the handsomer theatre.

At Niblo’s the audiences have been, as usual, large and respectable. In the performances no particular variation.

The Chatham Street has been doing very well with Mazeppa.

———

(a) Mr. Burton of the Walnut Street Theatre offers a premium of One Thousand Dollars for the best original American Comedy.

———

Signora Suarez, one of the stars of the Teatro de Tacon, Havana, took a benefit on the 4th inst.

S‘ra Corcuera, another star, was to have hers on the 11th.

———

Mr. Arrilla, director of the Equestrian company which arrived from France at Matanzas on the 30th July, died on the 5th of August, of the yellow fever.

———

The dramatic company of Senors Robunos gave a great representation in Puerto Principe, for the benefit of the sufferers by the last great fire in Matanzas.

———

J. M. SCOTT, has the agency of the western theatrical circuit, which comprises some thirty or forty theatres. It is said that he will take about two hundred actors and actresses with him. [page 236:]

[[BJ August 30, 1845 - 2:125]]

Editorial Miscellany.

CAREY & HART will publish in October “Literature and Art in America, with an Introductory Plea for Copyright, Universal and Perpetual: by Rufus W. Griswold “ — in one volume octavo.

———

(b) THE FIRST complete American edition of the Poems of James Montgomery, the chief of the religious poets of the nineteenth century, will be published in a few days by Louis br Ball, of Philadelphia, in two volumes, demi octavo, with fine illustrations on steel.

———

(c) Mr. KENNEDY, author of “Horse-shoe Robinson,” &c., has in preparation the Life of William Wirt; and the Poet Dana is advancing rapidly in his Memoirs of the Life and Works of Washington Allston.

———

(d) LONGFELLOW and Bryant will soon have out illustrated editions of their respective poems.

———

IT IS remarkable that the sturdy republican and puritan Milton — the most American of all writers, in his theories and feelings — has never yet found a publisher in this country. We are glad to learn that H. Hooker, of Philadelphia, will in a few days issue, in two large and elegantly printed octavos, his Complete Prose Writings, with an Introduction by Rev. Dr. Griswold.

———

A PROFESSORSHIP of English Literature and Belles Lettres has been established in the University of Vermont, and the Rev. Wm. Shedd, of Brandon, Vt., an Alumnus of the institution, has been chosen to fill it.

———

WE FORGOT to say, last week, that the “Schnell Post,” published in New-York, has, by a ministerial edict, been forbidden to be taken at the Cabinets de Lecture, of Leipsic. The exact reason of the prohibition does not yet appear.

———

(h) MESSRS. F. W. Thomas (author of 1, Clinton Bradshaw”) and Judge A. B. Meek, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., (now at Washington,) are about to establish a Monthly Magazine. We know both parties as men of talent.

———

(i) MR. KENDALL is proceeding with his Life of Jackson.

———

(j) OUR FRIEND of “The Germantown Telegraph” (a very excellent paper) asks us, with much pertinence, why we call our sheet “The Broadway Journal ” when it is published in Nassau street. Be it known, that we originated in Broadway — were merely seduced by circumstances into Nassau street pro tem. Our destiny however is Broadway. It is Broadway to which we speak. We shall get back to Broadway at our earliest convenience.

Talking of titles; — while the very respectable “Telegraph” demurs to our “Broadway” moiety, two or three prints not quite so respectable (at least in common sense) object to the “Journal ” half. ” A journal,” say they, ” is a daily, and nothing else.” The word “journal,” to be sure, from the French journée, was a term originally applied to a daily record of events, and was precisely equivalent to “diary” — but in common with a multitude of words its primitive meaning gradually amplified itself, until it vanished altogether. A journal now is merely a record, generally speaking, and for the primitive meaning we fall back upon “diary.” [page 237:] The argumentum ad absurdum will soon reduce our inquisitors to reason. If primitive meanings are to be adhered to, we Might maintain that Mr. T —— is no sycophant merely because he is not in the habit of discovering figs.

———

(a) SOME TIME ago we published, as the composition of William Gilmore Simms, a little poem called “The Whippoor will.” It belongs to Dr. Bird, of “Calavar” memory.

———

(b) THE MISSES SEDGWICK (nieces of the authoress) have established a school at 42 West Washington Place. Their accomplishments are well known, and of their capacity for the task assumed, no one acquainted with them can entertain a doubt. The Mirror says justly:

The name of Sedgwick alone is a recommendation for a school: it is associated with candor, benevolence, and knowledge of the physical and moral laws, and we believe it is rarely in vain that one of a name should show such excellence; it kindles aspiration and imparts life to others who bear it.

———

“HERE THE journeymen,” says the last number of Graham’s Magazine, “place two scales upon one another at right angles, thus X.” The sentence is a fine exemplification of the expediency of “letting well alone.” It would have been wiser to stop at the “right angles.”

———

AN exchange paper says: —

“In the United States Gazette of Friday last, we find, credited to the London World of Fashion for July, a story entitled ‘Mary, or the Blighted Blossom.’ It looked to us at once like an old acquaintance; and on turning to our files we found that on the 19th of February last was published in this paper, credited to the Buffalo Daily Gazette, a narrative headed ‘Mary, or the Triumph of the heart over Itself,’ which is word for word, so far as we continued the examination, the same as the ‘Mary’ first noticed, and which we have a dim recollection of having at the time copied from the U. S. Gazette. This is only one instance among many in which British periodicals have appropriated to themselves, without acknowledgement, the productions of American minds.”

Very true: — and, what is more, it is astonishing to see how a Magazine article, like a traveller, spruces up after crossing the sea. We ourselves have had the honor of being pirated without mercy — but as we found our articles improved by the process (at least in the opinion of our countrymen) we said nothing, as a matter of course. We have written paper after paper which attracted no notice at all until it appeared as original in “Bentley’s Miscellany” or the “Paris Charivari.” The “Boston Notion” once abused us very lustily for having written “The House of Usher.” Not long afterwards Bentley published it anonymously, as original with itself, — whereupon “The Notion,” having forgotten that we wrote it, not only lauded it ad nauseam, but copied it in toto.

———

(e) ROBERT DALE OWEN, in a late letter to “The Tribune,” fully exculpates himself from the charge of having plagiarized a song, bodily. He says:

I published in the year 1837, a historical drama, entitled “Pocahontas,” indulgently noticed by the press at the time, and in that drama, introduced the Song in question (at page 74.) To this drama notes were appended, and the note to page 74 read as follows;

Tis home where‘er the heart is, &c.

“This Song is altered from some fugitive ballad that pleased me at the time that I read it, and has remained in my memory ; though I have forgotten or never knew, the author’s name.”

I need hardly add, that the lines appeared in the ‘Chaplet of Mercy,’ as mine, equally without my consent or knowledge; sent thither, doubtless, by some friend who may have seen the Song in the little work in question, and had overlooked the disclaiming note. [page 238:]

[[BJ August 30, 1845 - 2:126]]

(a) MESSRS. BURGES & JAMES, of Charleston, S. C., have in press the writings of Hugh Swinton Legare,” to be prefaced by a sketch of his life. There will also be a portrait. The work will be in two volumes, containing Selections from Mr. L’s Contributions to the Southern and to the New York Review; Detached portions of his Diplomatic Correspondence; A Journal of the Rhine; Orations and other Miscellaneous Matter — together with Private Letters. The same publishers propose also to issue ” A Selection of Miscellanies in Criticism and Literature, by William Gilmore Simms“in three handsome volumes duodecimo.

———

(b) “FREDERICA BREMER,” says a late Liverpool Albion, “will shortly pass through Liverpool, en route for the United States.”

———

(c) MR. MATHEWS’ “Big Abel and Little Manhattan” will appear in September, as one of Wiley & Putnam’s “Library of American Books.”

———

(d) A VERY PRETTY poem, which (unfortunately for us) we did not write, appears in Wednesday’s” Tribune” with the initials E. A. P. appended.

———

THE BARON Von Raumer has published his long promised work on the United States. An English translation will immediately appear.

———

MR. JOHN BRITTON, the eminent antiquarian and topographer, has produced sixty-six volumes, containing 1866 engravings of noted accuracy, and costing in the outlay $50,000. A subscription has been opened for a memorial to be presented to the venerable topographer, and £300 have been collected.

———

THE commencement of Brown University is to be held on the first Wednesday of September. The oration before the Society of Undergraduates will be delivered by Rev. Mr. Lambert, of New Bedford, Mass., and a poem by R. S. S. Andros. Dr. Hawes, of Hartford, Ct., will deliver an address before the Society for Missionary Inquiry, and on the afternoon of Commencement day, an oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society will be pronounced by Rev. William R. Wil. liams, D. D., of New York city.

———

WE THANK the New-York Correspondent of the ” Cincinnati Gazette,” for the gentlemanly tone of his reply to some late pettish comments of our own. We saw only a portion of one of his letters. Had we seen more, we should at once, through the precison [[precision]] and purity of his style, have recognised a friend.

———

HON. EDWARD EVERETT and family have taken passage in the Liverpool steamer for Boston of September 4th. [page 239:]

———

(a) MR. Henry Erben, who is building an organ for Trinity Church, says that thirty men can get inside one of the pipes.

———

(b) Mr. Jocelyn is said to have completed a fine portrait of Gov. Baldwin, of Connecticut.

———

(c) LIBERAL BEQUEST. — The late Captain Joseph H. Dwight of Oxford, N. Y., bequeathed nearly all his estate to the Roman Catholic Church, for a new College. The bequest is supposed to be worth $15,000 or $20,000.

———

(d) TO CORRESPONDENTS — We are somewhat at a loss to comprehend A. M. J. [[I.]] of Attleboro‘. To what previous poems does he allude? We thank him cordially for his last favor. It shall appear forthwith. The rhythmical information desired is unattainable in book form. See meanwhile one of the three numbers (we believe the third) of “The Pioneer” published at Boston by Mr. Lowell.

The length of “Blanche,” excludes it for the present.

“Sleep” is on file.

To D. A of Utica — The address desired, is Boston, Mass.

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page ???:]

* Xxxxxx Xxxx


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - BRP3J, 1986] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (August 1845)