Text: Burton R. Pollin, “December 1835 (Text),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. V: SLM (1997), p. 47 (This material is protected by copyright)


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[page 47:]

Texts [[for December 1835]]

[column 1:]

1. Eaton Stannard Barrett. The Heroine, or Adventures of Cherubina.

2. [Robert Montgomery Bird]. The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow.

3. [Lady Barbarina Dacre, ed.]. Tales of the Peerage and the Peasantry.

4. The Edinburgh Review (July 1835).

5. [Richard Gooch]. Nuts to Crack.

6. William Maxwell. A Memoir of the Reverend John H. Rice, D.D.

7. William Anderson. Oration on the Life and Character of the Rev. Joseph Caldwell, D.D.

8. Francis Glass. A Life of George Washington in Latin Prose.

9. [Theodore S. Fay]. Norman Leslie.

10. [Catharine M. Sedgwick]. The Linwoods.

11. The Westminster Review (July 1835).

12. London Quarterly Review (July 1835).

13. The North American Review (October 1835). [column 2:]

14. [Washington Irving]. The Crayon Miscellany, No. 3.

15. William Godwin. Lives of the Necromancers.

16. [D. L. Carroll]. Inaugural Address.

17. Eulogies of Marshall.

18. Lucian Minor. An Address on Education.

19. [Chandler Robbins Gilman]. Legends of a Log Cabin.

20. Sarah J. Hale. Traits of American Life.

21. James Hall. Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the West.

22. The American Almanac . . . for 1836.

23. Frederick W. Thomas. Clinton Bradshaw.

24. Friendship’s Offering . . . for 1836; The Forget Me Not for 1836; Fisher’s Drawing-Room Scrapbook for 1836.

1

THE HEROINE.

The Heroine: or Adventures of Cherubina. By Eaton Stannard Barrett, Esq. New Edition. Richmond: Published by P. D. Bernard.

Cherubina! Who has not heard of Cherubina? Who has not heard of that most spiritual, that most ill-treated, that most accomplished of women — of that most consummate, most sublimated, most fantastic, most unappreciated, and most inappreciable of heroines? Exquisite and delicate creation of a mind overflowing with fun, frolic, farce, wit, humor, song, sentiment, and sense, what mortal is there so dead to every thing graceful and glorious as not to have devoured thy adventures? Who is there so unfortunate as not to have taken thee by the hand? — who so lost as not to have cultivated thy acquaintance? — who so stupid, as not to have enjoyed thy companionship? — who so much of a log, as not to have laughed until he has wept for very laughter in the perusal of thine incomparable, inimitable, and inestimable eccentricities? But we are becoming pathetic to no purpose, and supererogatively oratorical. Every body has read Cherubina. There is no one so superlatively unhappy as not to have done this thing. But if such there be — if by any possibility such person should exist, we have only a few words to say to him. Go, silly man, and purchase forthwith “The Heroine: or Adventures of Cherubina.”

The Heroine was first published many years ago, (we believe shortly after the appearance of Childe Harold;) but although it has run through editions innumerable, and has been universally read and admired by all possessing talent or taste, it has never, in our opinion, attracted half that notice on the part of the critical press, which is undoubtedly its due. There are few books written with more tact, spirit, näïveté [[naïveté]], or grace, few which take hold more irresistibly upon the attention of the reader, and none more fairly entitled to rank among the classics of English literature than the Heroine of Eaton Stannard Barrett. When we say all this of a book possessing not even the remotest claim to originality, either in conception or execution, it may reasonably be supposed, that we have discovered in its matter, or manner, some rare qualities, inducing us to hazard an assertion of so bold a nature. This is actually the case. Never was any thing so charmingly written: the mere style is positively inimitable. Imagination, too, of the most etherial kind, sparkles and blazes, now sportively like the Will O’ the Wisp, now dazzlingly like the Aurora Borealis, over every page — over every sentence in the book. It is absolutely radiant with fancy, and that of a nature the most captivating, although, at the same time, the most airy, the most capricious, and the most intangible. Yet the Heroine must be considered a mere burlesque; and, being a copy from Don Quixotte, is to that immortal work of Cervantes what The School for Scandal is to The Merry Wives of Windsor. The Plot is briefly as follows.

Gregory Wilkinson, an English farmer worth 50,000 pounds, has a pretty daughter called Cherry, whose head is somewhat disordered from romance reading. Her governess is but little more rational than herself, and is one day turned out of the house for allowing certain undue liberties on the part of the butler. In revenge she commences a correspondence with Miss Cherry, in which she persuades that young lady that Wilkinson is not her real father — that she is a child of mystery, &c. — in short that she is actually and bon& fide a heroine. In the meantime, Miss Cherry, in rummaging among her father’s papers, comes across an antique parchment — a lease of lives — on which the following words are alone legible.

This Indenture

For and in consideration of

Doth grant, bargain, release

Possession, and to his heirs and assigns

Lands of Sylvan Lodge, in the

Trees, stones, quarries, &c.

Reasonable amends and satisfaction

This demise

Molestation of him the said Gregory Wilkinson.

The natural life of

Cherry Wilkinson only daughter of

De Willoughby eldest son of Thomas

Lady Gwyn of Gwyn Castle.

This “excruciating MS.” brings matters to a crisis — for Miss Cherry has no difficulty in filling up the blanks.

“It is a written covenant,” says this interesting young lady in a letter to her Governess, “between this Gregory Wilkinson, and the miscreant (whom my being an heiress had prevented from enjoying the title and estate that would devolve to him at my death) stipulating to give Wilklinson “Sylvan Lodge,” together with “trees, stones, &c.” as “reasonable amends and satisfaction” for being the instrument of my “demise,” and declaring that there shall be “no molestation of him the said Gregory Wilkinson” for taking away the “natural life of Cherry Wilkinson, only daughter of” somebody “De Willoughby eldest son of Thomas.” Then follows “Lady Gwyn of Gwyn Castle.” So that it is evident I am a De Willoughby, and related to Lady Gwyn! What perfectly confirms me in the latter supposition, is an old portrait which I found soon after, among Wilkinson’s papers, representing a young and beautiful female superbly dressed; and underneath, in large letters, the name of “Nell Gwyn.”

Fired with this idea, Miss Cherry gets up a scene, rushes with hair dishevelled into the presence of the good man Wilkinson, and accuses him to his teeth of plotting against her life, and of sundry other mal-practices and misdemeanors. The worthy old gentleman is astonished, as well he may be; but is somewhat consoled upon receiving a letter from his nephew, Robert Stuart, announcing his intention of paying the family a visit immediately. Wilkinson is in hopes that a lover may change the current of his daughter’s ideas; but in that he is mistaken. Stuart has the misfortune of being merely a rich man, a handsome man, an honest man, and a fashionable man — he is no hero. This is not to be borne: and Miss Cherry, having assumed the name of the Lady Cherubina De Willoughby, makes a precipitate retreat from the house, and commences a journey on foot to London. Her adventures here properly begin, and are laughable in the extreme. But we must not be too minute. They are modelled very much after those of Don Quixotte, and are related in a series of letters from the young lady herself to her governess. The principal characters who figure in the Memoirs are Betterton, an old debauché who endeavors to entangle the Lady Cherubina in his toils — Jerry Sullivan, an Irish simpleton, who is ready to lose his life at any moment for her ladyship, whose story he implicitly believes, without exactly comprehending it — Higginson, a grown baby, and a mad poet — Lady Gwyn, whom Cherubina believes to be her mortal enemy, and the usurper of her rights, and who encourages the delusion for the purpose of entertaining her guests — Mary and William, two peasants betrothed, but whom Cherry sets by the ears for the sake of an interesting episode — Abraham Grundy, a tenth rate performer at Covent Garden, who having been mistaken by Cherry for an earl, supports the character a merveille with the hope of eventually marrying her, and thus securing 10,000 pounds, a sum which it appears the lady possesses in her own right. He calls himself the Lord Altamont Mortimer Montmorenci. Stuart, her cousin, whom we have mentioned before, finally rescues her from the toils of Betterton and Grundy, and restores her to reason, and to her friends. Of course he is rewarded with her hand.

We repeat that Cherubina is a book which should be upon the shelves of every well-appointed library. No one can read it without entertaining a high opinion of the varied and brilliant talents of its author. No one can read it without laughter. Its wit, especially, and its humor, are indisputable — not frittered and refined away into that insipid compound which we occasionally meet with, half giggle and half sentiment — but racy, dashing, and palpable. Some of the songs with which the work is interspersed have attained a most extensive popularity, while many persons, to whom they are as familiar as household things, are not aware of the very existence of the Heroine. All our readers must remember the following.

Dear Sensibility, O la!

I heard a little lamb cry ba!

Says I, so you have lost mamma!

Ah!

 

The little lamb as I said so,

Frisking about the fields did go,

And frisking trod upon my toe.

Oh!

And this also.

TO DOROTHY PULVERTAFT.

If Black-sea, White-sea, Red-sea ran

One tide of ink to Ispahan;

If all the geese in Lincoln fens

Produced spontaneous well-made pens;

If Holland old or Holland new,

One wondrous sheet of paper grew;

Could I, by stenographic power,

Write twenty libraries an hour;

And should I sing but half the grace

Of half a freckle on thy face;

Each syllable I wrote should reach

From Inverness to Bognor’s beach;

Each hair-stroke be a river Rhine,

Each verse an equinoctial line.

We have already exceeded our limits, but cannot refrain from extracting Chapter XXV. It will convey some idea of the character of the Heroine. She is now at the mansion of Lady Gwyn, who, for the purpose of amusing her friends, has dressed up her nephew to represent the supposed mother of the Lady Cherubina.

CHAPTER XXV.

This morning I awoke almost well, and towards evening was able to appear below. Lady Gwyn had invited several of her friends; so that I passed a delightful afternoon; the charm, admiration, and astonishment of all. When I retired to rest, I found this note on my toilette.

To the Lady Cherubina.

Your mother lives! and is confined in a subterranean vault of the villa. At midnight two men will tap at your door, and conduct you to her. Be silent, courageous, and circumspect.

What a flood of new feelings gushed upon my soul, as I laid down the billet, and lifted my filial eyes to Heaven! Mother — endearing name! I pictured that unfortunate lady stretched on a mattress of straw, her eyes sunken in their sockets, yet retaining a portion of their youthful fire; her frame emaciated, her voice feeble, her hand damp and chill. Fondly did I depict our meeting — our embrace; she gently pushing me from her, and baring my forehead, to gaze on the lineaments of my countenance. All, all is convincing; and she calls me the softened image of my noble father!

Two tedious hours I waited in extreme anxiety. At length the clock struck twelve; my heart beat responsive, and immediately the promised signal was made. I unbolted the door, and beheld two men masked I and cloaked. They blindfolded me, and each taking an arm, led me along. Not a word passed. We traversed apartments, ascended, descended stairs; now went this way, now that; obliquely, circularly, angularly; till I began to imagine we were all the time in one spot.

At length my conductors stopped.

‘Unlock the postern gate, ‘whispered one,’ while I light a torch.’

‘We are betrayed!’ said the other, ‘for this is the wrong key.’

‘Then thou beest the traitor,’ cried the first.

‘Thou liest, dost lie, and art lying!’ cried the second.

‘Take that!’ exclaimed the first. A groan followed, and the wretch tumbled to the ground.

‘You have killed him!’ cried I, sickening with horror.

‘I have only hamstrung him, my Lady,’ said the fellow. ‘He will be lame while ever he lives; but by St. Cripplegate, that won’t be long; for our captain has given him four ducats to murder himself in a month.’

He then burst open the gate; a sudden current of wind met us, and we hurried forward with incredible speed, while moans and smothered shrieks were heard at either side.

‘Gracious goodness, where are we?’ cried I.

‘In the cavern of death!’ said my conductor; ‘but never fear, Signora mia illustrissima, for the bravo Abellino is your povero devotissimo.’

On a sudden innumerable footsteps sounded behind us. We ran swifter.

‘Fire!’ cried a ferocious accent, almost at my ear; and there came a discharge of arms.

I stopped, unable to move, breathe, or speak.

‘I am wounded all over, right and left, fore and aft, long ways and cross ways, Death and the Devil!’ cried the bravo.

‘Am I bleeding?’ said I, feeling myself with my hands.

‘No, blessed St. Fidget be praised!” answered he; ‘and now all is safe, for the banditti have turned into the wrong passage.’

He then stopped, and unlocked a door.

‘Enter,’ said he, ‘and behold your mother!’

He led me forward, tore the bandage from my eyes, and retiring, locked the door after him.

Agitated by the terrors of my dangerous expedition, I felt additional horror in finding myself within a dismal cell, lighted with a lantern; where, at a small table, sat a woman suffering under a corpulency unparalleled in the memoirs of human monsters. Her dress was a patchwork of blankets and satins, and her gray tresses were like horses’ tails. Hundreds of frogs leaped about the floor; a piece of mouldy bread, and a mug of water, lay on the table; some straw, strewn with dead snakes and sculls, occupied one corner, and the distant end of the cell was concealed behind a black curtain.

I stood at the door, doubtful, and afraid to advance; while the prodigious prisoner sat examining me all over.

At last I summoned courage to say, ‘I fear, madam, I am an intruder here. I have certainly been shown into the wrong room.’

‘It is, it is my own, my only daughter, my Cherubina!’ cried she, with a tremendous voice. ‘Come to my maternal arms, thou living picture of the departed Theodore!’

‘Why, ma’am,’ said I, ‘I would with great pleasure, but I am afraid — Oh, madam, indeed, indeed, I am quite sure you cannot be my mother!’

‘Why not, thou unnatural girl?’ cried she.

‘Because, madam,’ answered I, ‘my mother was of a thin habit, as her portrait proves.

‘And so I was once,’ said she.’ This deplorable plumpness is owing to want of exercise. But I thank the Gods I am as pale as ever.’

‘Heavens! no,’ cried I. ‘Your face, pardon me, is a rich scarlet.’

‘And is this our tender meeting?’ cried she. ‘To disown me, to throw my fat in my teeth, to violate the lilies of my skin with a dash of scarlet? Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle! Tell me, girl, will you embrace me, or will you not?’

‘Indeed, madam,’ answered I, ‘I will presently.’

‘Presently!’

‘Yes, depend upon it I will. Only let me get over the first shock., ‘Shock!’

Dreading her violence, and feeling myself bound to do the duties of a daughter, I kneeled at her feet, and said:

‘Ever respected, ever venerable author of my being, I beg thy maternal blessing!’

My mother raised me from the ground, and hugged me to her heart, with such cruel vigor, that, almost crushed, I cried out stoutly, and struggled for release.

‘And now,’ said she, relaxing her grasp, ‘let me tell you of my sufferings. Ten long years I have eaten nothing but bread. Oh, ye favorite pullets, oh, ye inimitable tit-bits, shall I never, never taste you more? It was but last night, that maddened by hunger, methought I beheld the Genius of Dinner in my dreams. His mantle was laced with silver eels, and his locks were drop ping with soups. He had a crown of golden fishes upon his head, and pheasants’ wings at his shoulders. A flight of little tartlets fluttered about him, and the sky rained down comfits. As I gazed on him, he vanished in a sigh, that was impregnated with the fumes of brandy. Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle.’

I stood shuddering, and hating her more and more every moment.

‘Pretty companion of my confinement!’ cried she, apostrophizing an enormous toad which she pulled out of her bosom’ dear, spotted fondling, thou, next to my Cherubina, art worthy of my love. Embrace each other, my friends.’ And she put the hideous pet into my hand. I screamed and dropped it.

‘Oh!’ cried I, in a passion of despair, ‘what madness possessed me to undertake this execrable enterprise!’ and I began beating with my hand against the door.

‘Do you want to leave your poor mother?’ said she in a whimpering tone.

‘Oh! I am so frightened!’ cried I.

‘You will spend the night here, however,’ said she; ‘and your whole life too; for the ruffian who brought you hither was employed by Lady Gwyn to entrap you.’

When I heard this terrible sentence, my blood ran cold, and I began crying bitterly.

‘Come, my love!’ said my mother, ‘and let me clasp thee to my heart once more!’

‘For goodness sake!’ cried I, ‘spare me!’

‘What!’ exclaimed she, ‘do you spurn my proffered embrace again?’

‘Dear, no, madam,’ answered I. ‘But — but indeed now, you squeeze one so!’

My mother made a huge stride towards me; then stood groaning and rolling her eyes.

‘Help!’ cried I, half frantic, ‘help! help!’

I was stopped by a suppressed titter of infernal laughter, as if from many demons; and on looking towards the black curtain, whence the sound came, I saw it agitated; while about twenty terrific faces appeared peeping through slits in it, and making grins of a most diabolical nature. I hid my face with my hands.

‘ ’Tis the banditti!’ cried my mother.

As she spoke, the door opened, a bandage was flung over my eyes, and I was borne away half senseless, in some one’s arms; till at length, I found myself alone in my own chamber. Such was the detestable adventure of to-night. Oh, that I should live to meet this mother of mine! How different from the mothers that other heroines rummage out in northern turrets and ruined chapels! I am out of all patience. Liberate her I must, of course, and make a suitable provision for her too, when I get my property; but positively, never will I sleep under the same roof with — (ye powers of filial love forgive me!) such a living mountain of human horror. Adieu.

2

HAWKS OF HAWK-HOLLOW.

The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow; a Tradition of Pennsylvania. By the author of Calavar and the Infidel. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea. Blanchard.

By The Gladiator, by Calavar, and by the Infidel, Dr. Bird has risen, in a comparatively short space of time, to a very enviable reputation; and we have heard it asserted that his last novel ‘The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow,’ will not fail to place his name in the very first rank of American writers of fiction. Without venturing to subscribe implicitly to this latter supposition, we still think very highly of him who has written Calavar. Of this last mentioned work, and of the Infidel, we have already given our opinion, although not altogether as fully as we could have desired: and we regret that circumstances beyond our control have prevented us from noticing the Hawks of Hawk-Hollow until so late a day as the present.

Had this novel reached us some years ago, with the title of, ‘The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow: A Romance by the author of Waverley,’ we should not perhaps have engaged in its perusal with as much genuine eagerness, or with so dogged a determination to be pleased with it at all events, as we have actually done upon receiving it with its proper title, and under really existing circumstances. But having read the book through, as undoubtedly we should have done, if only for the sake of Auld Lang Syne, and for the sake of certain pleasantly mirthful, or pleasantly mournful recollections connected with Ivanhoe, with the Antiquary, with Kenilworth, and above all with that most pure, perfect, and radiant gem of fictitious literature the Bride of Lammermuir — having, we say, on this account, and for the sake of these recollections read the novel from beginning to end, from Aleph to Tau, we should have pronounced our opinion of its merits somewhat in the following manner.

“It is unnecessary to tell us that this novel is written by Sir Walter Scott; and we are really glad to find that he has at length ventured to turn his attention to American incidents, scenery, and manners. We repeat that it was a mere act of supererogation to place the words ‘By the author of Waverley’ in the title page. The book speaks for itself. The style vulgarly so called — the manner properly so called — the handling of the subject to speak pictorially, or graphically, or as a German would say plastically — in a word the general air, the tout ensemble, the prevailing character of the story, all proclaim, in words which one who runs may read, that these volumes were indited ‘By the author of Waverley.’ ” Having said thus much, we should resume our critique as follows.

“The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow is, however, by no means in the best manner of its illustrious author. To speak plainly it is a positive failure, and must take its place by the side of the Redgauntlets, the Monasteries, the Pirates, and the Saint Ronan’s Wells.”

All this we should perhaps have been induced to say had the book been offered to us for perusal some few years ago, with the supposititious title, and under the supposititious circumstances aforesaid. But alas! for our critical independency, the case is very different indeed. There can be no mistake or misconception in the present instance, such as we have so fancifully imagined. The title page (here we have it) is clear, explanatory, and not to be misunderstood. The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow, A Tradition of Pennsylvania, that is to say novel, is written, so we are assured, not by the author of Waverley, but by the author of that very fine romance Calavar — not by Sir Walter Scott, Baronet, but by Robert M. Bird, M. D. Now Robert M. Bird is an American.

We will endeavour to give an outline of the story. In a little valley bordering upon the Delaware, and called Hawk-Hollow from a colony of hawks who time out of mind had maintained possession of a blasted tree at its embouchure, resided, some fifty years ago, one Gilbert, an English emigrant. He had seven sons, all of whom displayed in early life a spirit of desperate and reckless adventure, and a love of the wild life of the woods and mountains. Oran was the name of the eldest, and at the same time the most savage and intractable of the seven. The disposition thus evinced obtained for these young desperadoes the sobriquet of the Hawks of Hawk-Hollow. Gilbert, the father, falls heir to a rich estate in England, and after making a vain attempt to settle in that country and educate his children as gentlemen, returns at length to the valley of Hawk-Hollow, so much more congenial to the temper and habits of his sons. A fine but fantastic manor-house is erected, and the family acquire consideration in the land. In the meantime Mr. Gilbert’s first wife dying, he weds another, who bears him a daughter, Jessie. At the opening of the tale, however, a Captain Loring resides upon the estate, and in the mansion of the Gilberts, holding them as the agent or tenant of a certain Col. Falconer, who is a second edition of Falkland in Caleb Williams, — and who has managed to possess himself of the property at Hawk-Hollow, upon its confiscation on account of the tory principles and conduct of the Hawks.

During the happier days of the Gilberts, the life of this Falconer was preserved by three of them, upon a certain occasion of imminent peril. He however, being badly wounded, they convey him to their father’s house, and Jessie, their sister, attends him in the character of nurse. She loves him. He returns her love with gratitude and perhaps some little actual affection, not however sufficient to banish from his mind the charms or the wealth of a lady of whom he had been previously enamored — the daughter of a gentleman who had succored and patronised him at a time when he needed aid, and who discarded him upon perceiving the growing intimacy between his child and his protegé. Grateful however for the kindness and evident affection of Jessie, and intoxicated with her beauty, he marries her in a moment of madness and passion — prevailing upon her to keep the marriage a secret for a short time. At this critical juncture, Falconer, who has already risen to honors and consideration in the world, as an officer of the Colonial army, receives overtures of reconciliation both from his old patron and his daughter. His former flame is rekindled in his bosom. He puts off from day to day the publication of his marriage with Jessie, and, finally, goaded by love and ambition, and encouraged by the accidental death of the regimental chaplain who married him, as well as by that of the only witness to the ceremony, he flies from Jessie who is about to become a mother, and leaving herself and friends under the impression that the rite of marriage had been a mere mockery for the purpose of seduction, throws himself at once into the arms of his first love, and at length espouses her, a short time before the decease of Jessie, who dies in bringing a son into the world.

The wrath of the brothers of Jessie, has doomed this child to destruction — but their mother, at this same period giving birth to a still-born infant, an exchange is brought about through the instrumentality of an old nurse Elsie Bell, who plays an anomalous part in the story, being half witch, and half gentlewoman. The effect of this exchange is that the still-born child of Mrs. Gilbert is buried as the offspring of Jessie, while her real offspring, is sent to the West Indies, to be nurtured and educated by a sister of Mr. Gilbert. The boy thus sent was called Hyland, after one of the Hawks who perished in the rescue of Col. Falconer.

Such are the events which, at the opening of the story, have broken up the family of the Gilberts, and effected their ruin.

“The sons no longer hunted with the young men of the county, but went, as in their war expeditions, alone: and when others thrust themselves into their company they quarrelled with them, so that they began to be universally feared and detested. To crown all, as soon as the Revolution burst out they went over to the enemy: and, being distributed among the wild and murderous bands of savages forming on the north-western frontiers, they soon obtained a dreadful notoriety for their deeds of daring and cruelty. Of course this remarkable defection of the sons, caused the unlucky father to be suspected and watched. He was accused at last of aiding and abetting them in their treasonable practices, and soon, either from timidity or a consciousness of guilt, he fled, seeking refuge within the royal lines. This was sufficient for his ruin: for, after the usual legal preliminaries, he was formally outlawed, as his sons had been before, and his property confiscated. He died soon afterwards, either at New York, or Jamaica.”

Hyland, the son of Falconer by Jessie, but the supposed youngest brother of the Hawks, returns after many years, to his native country with the intention of accepting a British commission; but seeing more closely, and with his own eyes, the true principles which actuated the colonists, he finally relinquishes that design. In the meantime visiting the Hawk-Hollow under the assumed name of Herman Hunter, and in the character of a painter, he becomes enamored of Catherine, the daughter of Captain Loring. The attachment is mutual, although the lady is already betrothed to Henry, the son of Col. Falconer, a rather gentlemanly, although a very dissipated and good-for nothing personage. Difficulties thicken of course. Miss Harriet Falconer, a copy in many respects of Di Ver non, becomes, for some very trivial reason, a violent enemy of Herman Hunter, and even goes so far as to suspect him of being connected with the outlawed Hawks of the Hollow. Captain Loring, on the other hand, is his firm friend — a circumstance which restores matters to a more proper equilibrium, and much flirtation is consequently carried on, in and about the old mansion house and pleasure grounds of the Gilberts. In the meantime an attempt is made, by some unknown assassin, upon the life of Col. Falconer, at New York; and the county is thrown into a panic, by the rumor that Oran, the eldest brother of the Hawks, is not dead, as was supposed, but in existence near the Hollow with a desperate band of refugees, and ready to pounce upon the neighboring village of Hillborough. Miss Harriet Falconer busies herself in a very unlady-like manner to ferret out the assassin of her father. Plot and counterplot follow in rapid succession. New characters appear upon the scene. A tall disciple of Roscius called Sterling, is, among others, very conspicuous, thrusting his nose into every adventure, and assuming by turns, although in a very slovenly way, the character of a Methodist preacher, of a pedlar, of a Quaker, and of a French dancing master. Elsie Bell, the old witch, prophecies, predicates, and prognosticates; and in short matters begin to assume a very serious and inexplicable aspect. Hyland Gilbert alias Herman Hunter, the painter, is drawn into an involuntary connection with his supposed brother Oran, the refugee, and some circumstances coming to light not very much to his credit, he is obliged to flee from the mansion of the gallant Captain — not, however, until he has declared his passion for the daughter, into the ear of the daughter herself. Through the instigation of Harriet Falconer, the day is at length fixed for the marriage of her brother Henry with Catherine Loring. Accident delays the ceremony until night, when, just as the lady is hesitating whether she shall say yes, or no, the tall gentleman ycleped Sterling who has managed, no one knows how, to install himself as major-domo, chief fiddler, and master of ceremonies at the wedding, takes the liberty of knocking the bridegroom on the head with his violin, while Oran, the refugee, jumps in at one window with a gang of his followers, and Hyland Gilbert, alias Herman Hunter, the painter, popping in at another, carries off the bride at a back door nemine contradicente. The bird being flown, the hue and cry is presently raised, and the whole county starts in pursuit. But the affair ends very lamely. Precisely at the moment when Hyland Gilbert, alias Herman Hunter, the painter, has carried his mistress beyond any prospect of danger from pursuit, he suddenly takes it into his head, to change his mind in relation to the entire business, and so, turning back as he came, very deliberately carries the lady home again. He himself, however, being caught, is sentenced to be hung — all which is exceedingly just. But to be serious.

The crime with which the young man is charged, is the murder of Henry Falconer, who fell by a pistol shot in an affray during the pursuit. The criminal is lodged in jail at Hillborough — is tried — and, chiefly through the instrumentality of Col. Falconer, is in danger of being found guilty. But Elsie Bell now makes her appearance, and matters assume a new aspect. She reveals to Col. Falconer the exchange of the two infants — a fact with which he had been hitherto unacquainted — and consequently astounds him with the information that he is seeking the death of his own son. A new turn is also given to the evidence in the case of the murder by the death-bed confession of Sterling, who owns that he himself shot the deceased Henry Falconer, and also attempted the assassination of the Colonel. The prisoner is acquitted by acclamation. Col. Falconer, is shot by mistake while visiting his son in prison. Harriet dies of grief at the exposure of her father’s villainy, and of her own consequent illegitimacy. Hyland Gilbert and Catherine are united. Oran, the refugee, who fired the shot by which Col. Falconer was accidentally killed, being hotly pursued, and dangerously wounded, escapes, finally, to his fastnesses in the mountains, where, after a lapse of many years, his bones and his rifle are identified. Thus ends the Hawks of Hawk-Hollow.

We have already spoken of the character of Elsie Bell. That of Harriet Falconer, is forced, unnatural, and overstrained. Catherine Loring, however, is one of the sweetest creations ever emanating from the fancy of poet, or of painter. Truly feminine in thought, in manner, and in action, she is altogether a conception of which Dr. Bird has great reason to be proud. Phoebe, the waiting maid, (we have not thought it worth while to mention her in our outline,) is a mere excrescence, and, like some other personages in the tale, introduced for no imaginable purpose. Of the male dramatis personae some are good — some admirable — some execrable. Among the good, we may mention Captain Caliver of the Dragoons. Captain Loring is a chef d’oeuvre. His oddities, his infirmities, his enthusiasm, his petulancy, his warm-heartedness, and his mutability of disposition, altogether make up a character which we may be permitted to consider original, inasmuch as we have never seen its prototype either in print, or in actual existence. It is however true to itself, and to propriety, and although at times verging upon the outre, is highly creditable to the genius of its author. Oran, the refugee, is well — but not excellently drawn. The hero Hyland, with whom we were much interested in the beginning of the book, proves inconsistent with himself in the end; and although to be inconsistent with one’s self, is not always to be false to Nature-still, in the present instance, Hyland Gilbert in prison, and in difficulty, and Herman Hunter, in the opening of the novel, possess none of the same traits, and are not, in point of fact, identical. Sterling is a mere mountebank, without even the merit of being an original one: and his death-bed repentance is too ludicrously ill-managed, and altogether too manifestly out of place, to be mentioned any farther. Squire Schlachtenschlager, the Magistrate, is the best personification of a little brief authority in the person of a Dutchman, which it has ever been our good fortune to encounter.

In regard to that purely mechanical portion of Dr. Bird’s novel, which it would now be fashionable to denominate its style, we have very few observations to make. In general it is faultless. Occasionally we meet with a sentence ill-constructed — an inartificial adaptation of the end to the beginning of a paragraph — a circumlocutory mode of saying what might have been better said, if said with brevity-now and then with a pleonasm, as for example. “And if he wore a mask in his commerce with men, it was like that iron one of the Bastile, which when put on, was put on for life, and was at the same time of iron,” — not unfrequently with a bull proper, videlicet. “As he spoke there came into the den, eight men attired like the two first who were included in the number.” But we repeat that upon the whole the style of the novel — if that may be called its style, which style is not — is at least equal to that of any American writer whatsoever.

In the style properly so called — that is to say in the prevailing tone and manner which give character and individuality to the book, we cannot bring ourselves to think that Dr. Bird has been equally fortunate. His subject appears always ready to fly away from him. He dallies with it continually — hovers incessantly round it, and about it — and not until driven to exertion by the necessity of bringing his volumes to a close, does he finally grasp it with any appearance of energy or good will. The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow is composed with great inequality of manner — at times forcible and manly — at times sinking into the merest childishness and imbecility. Some portions of the book, we surmise, were either not written by Dr. Bird, or were written by him in moments of the most utter mental exhaustion. On the other hand, the reader will not be disappointed, if he looks to find in the novel many — very many well sustained passages of great eloquence and beauty. We open the book at random, and one presents itself immediately to our notice. If Dr. Bird has a general manner at all — a question which we confess ourselves unable to decide — the passage which we are about to quote is a very fair, although perhaps rather too favorable specimen of that manner.

“Thus whiling away the fatigue of climbing over rocks, and creeping through thickets with a gay rattle of discourse, the black-eyed maiden dragged her companion along until they reached a place where the stream was contracted by the projection on the one bank of a huge mass of slaty rock, and on the other, by the protrusion of the roots of a gigantic plane-tree-the sycamore or button-wood of vulgar speech. Above them, and beyond the crag, the channel of the rivulet widened into a pool; and there was a plot of green turf betwixt the water and the hill, on the farther bank, whereon fairies, if such had ever made their way to the world of Twilight, might have loved to gambol under the light of the moon. A hill shut up the glen at its upper extremity; and it was hemmed in on the left, by the rocky and woody declivity over which the maidens had already passed. Over this, and just behind a black rounded shoulder that it thrust into the glen, a broad ray from the evening sun shot across the stream, and fell in a rich yellow flood over the vacant plot. There was something almost Arcadian in this little solitude; and if instead of two well-bred maidens perched upon the roots of the sycamore, on seats chosen with a due regard to the claims of their dresses, there had been a batch of country girls romping in the water, a passing Actaeon might have dreamed of the piny Gargaphy, its running well fons tenui perlucidus unda — and the bright creatures of the mythic day that once animated the waters of that solitary grot. But the fairy and the wood-nymph are alike unknown in America. Poetic illusion has not yet consecrated her glens and fountains; her forests nod in uninvaded gloom, her rivers roll in unsanctified silence, and even her ridgy mountains lift up their blue tops in unphantomed solitude. Association sleeps, or it reverts only to the vague mysteries of speculation. Perhaps

A restless Indian queen,

Pale Marian with the braided hair,

may wander at night by some highly favored spring; perhaps some tall and tawny hunter

In vestments for the chase arrayed,

may yet hunt the hart over certain distinguished ridges, or urge his barken canoe over some cypress-fringed pool; but all other places are left to the fancies of the utilitarian. A Greek would have invented a God to dwell under the watery arch of Niagara; an American is satisfied with a paper-mill clapped just above it.”

Of the songs and other poetic pieces interspersed throughout the book, and sometimes not aptly or gracefully introduced, we have a very high opinion. Some of them are of rare merit and beauty. If Dr. Bird can always write thus, and we see no reason for supposing the contrary, he should at once, in the language of one with whom he is no doubt well acquainted,

Turn bard, and drop the play-wright and the novelist.

In evidence that we say nothing more than what is absolutely just; we insert here the little poem of The Whippoorwill.

Sleep, sleep! be thine the sleep that throws

Elysium o’er the soul’s repose,

Without a dream, save such as wind

Like midnight angels, through the mind;

While I am watching on the hill

I, and the wailing whippoorwill.

Oh whippoorwill, oh whippoorwill!

 

Sleep, sleep! and once again I’ll tell

The oft pronounced yet vain farewell:

Such should his word, oh maiden, be

Who lifts the fated eye to thee;

Such should it be, before the chain

That wraps his spirit, binds his brain.

Oh whippoorwill, oh whippoorwill!

 

Sleep, sleep! the ship hath left the shore,

The steed awaits his lord no more;

His lord still madly lingers by,

The fatal maid lie cannot fly —

And thrids the wood, and climbs the hill —

He and the wailing whippoorwill.

Oh whippoorwill, oh whippoorwill!

 

Sleep, sleep! the morrow hastens on;

Then shall the wailing slave be gone,

Flitting the hill-top far for fear

The sounds of joy may reach his car;

The sounds of joy! — the hollow knell

Pealed from the mocking chapel bell.

Oh whippoorwill, oh whippoorwill!

In conclusion: The Hawks of Hawk-Hollow, if it add a single bay to the already green wreath of Dr. Bird’s popular reputation, will not, at all events, among men whose decisions are entitled to consideration, advance the high opinion previously entertained of his abilities. It has no pretensions to originality of manner, or of style — for we insist upon the distinction — and very few to originality of matter. It is, in many respects, a bad imitation of Sir Walter Scott. Some of its characters, and one or two of its incidents, have seldom been surpassed, for force, fidelity to nature, and power of exciting interest in the reader. It is altogether more worthy of its author in its scenes of hurry, of tumult, and confusion, than in those of a more quiet and philosophical nature. Like Calavar and The Infidel, it excels in the drama of action and passion, and fails in the drama of colloquy. It is inferior, as a whole, to the Infidel, and vastly inferior to Calavar.

3

PEERAGE AND PEASANTRY.

Tales of the Peerage and the Peasantry, Edited by Lady Dacre. New York: Harper & Brothers.

We had been looking with much impatience for the republication of these volumes, and hencefoward [[henceforward]] we shall look with still greater anxiety for any thing announced as under the editorial supervision of Lady Dacre. But why, Lady Dacre, this excessive show of modesty, or rather this most unpardonable piece of affectation? Why deny having written volumes whose authorship would be an enviable and an honorable distinction to the proudest literati of your land? And why, above all, announce yourself as editor in a title-page, merely to proclaim yourself author in a preface?

The Tales of the Peerage and the Peasantry are three in number. The first and the longest is Winifred, Countess of Nithsdale, (have a care, Messieurs Harpers, you have spelt it Nithsadle in the very heading of the very initial chapter) a thrilling, and spirited story, rich with imagination, pathos, and passion, and in which the successful termination of a long series of exertions, and trials, whereby the devoted Winifred finally rescues her husband, the Earl of Nithsdale, from tyranny, prison, and death, inspires the reader with scarely [[scarcely]] less heartfelt joy and exultation than we can conceive experienced by the happy pair themselves. But the absolute conclusion of this tale speaks volumes for the artist-like skill of the fair authoress. An every day writer would have ended a story of continued sorrow and suffering, with a bright gleam of unalloyed happiness, and sunshine — thus destroying, at a single blow, that indispensable unity which has been rightly called the unity of effect, and throwing down, as it were, in a paragraph what, perhaps, an entire volume has been laboring to establish. We repeat that Lady Dacre has given conclusive evidence of talent and skill, in the final sentences of the Countess of Nithsdale — evidence, however, which will not be generally appreciated, or even very extensively understood. We will transcribe the passages alluded to.

“ ‘And dearer to my ears’ — said Lady Nithsdale’ the simple ballad of a Scottish maiden, than even these sounds as they are wafted to us over the waters!’ “ They stopped to listen to the song as it died away; and, as they listened, another and more awful sound struck upon their ears. The bell of one of the small chapels often constructed on the shores of Catholic countries, was tolled for the soul of a departed mariner. As it happened, the tone was not unlike one of which they both retained only too vivid and painful a recollection. The Countess felt her husband’s frame quiver beneath the stroke. There was no need of words. With a mutual pressure of the arm they returned upon their steps and sought their home. Unconsciously their pace quickened. They seemed to fly before the stroke of that bell! Such suffering as they had both experienced leaves traces in the soul which time itself can never wholly efface.”

The Hampshire Cottage is next in order — a tale of the Peasantry; and the volumes conclude with Blanche, a tale of the Peerage. Both are admirable, and worthy of companionship with Winifred, Countess of Nithsdale. There can be no doubt that Lady Dacre is a writer of infinite genius, possessing great felicity of expression, a happy talent for working up a story, and, above all, a far more profound and philosophical knowledge of the hidden springs of the human heart, and a greater skill in availing herself of that knowledge, than any of her female contemporaries. This we say deliberately. We have not yet forgotten the Recollections of a Chaperon. No person, of even common sensibility, has ever perused the magic tale of Ellen Wareham without feeling the very soul of passion and imagination aroused and stirred up within him, as at the sound of a trumpet.

Let Lady Dacre but give up her talents and energies, and especially her time to the exaltation of her literary fame, and we are sorely mistaken if, hereafter, she do [[does]] not accomplish something which will not readily die.

4

EDINBURGH REVIEW.

The Edinburgh Review, No. CXXIV, for July 1835. American Edition, Vol. II, No. 2. New York: Theodore Foster.

Article I in this number is a critique upon “The History of the Revolution in England in 1688. Comprising a View of the Reign of James the Second, from his Accession to the Enterprise of the Prince of Orange. By the late Right Honorable Sir James Mackintosh; and completed to the Settlement of the Crown, by the Editor. To which is prefixed, a Notice of the Life, Writings, and Speeches of Sir James Mackintosh. 4to. London, 1834.” The Reviewer commences by instituting a comparison between the work of Sir James, and Fox’s History of James the Second. Both books are on the same subject — both were posthumously published, and neither had received the last corrections. The authors, likewise, belonged to the same political party, and had the same opinions concerning the merits and defects of the English Constitution, and concerning most of the prominent characters and events in English history. The palm is awarded to the work of Mackintosh. “Indeed” — says the critic — “the superiority of Mr. Fox to Sir James as an orator, is hardly more clear than the superiority of Sir James to Mr. Fox as an historian. Mr. Fox with a pen in his hand, and Sir James on his legs in the House of Commons were, we think, each out of his proper element. We could never read a page of Mr. Fox’s writings — we could never listen for a quarter of an hour to the speaking of Sir James — without feeling that there was a constant effort, a tug up-hill. Mr. Fox wrote debates. Sir James Mackintosh spoke essays.” The style of the fragment is highly complimented, and justly. Every body must agree with the Reviewer, that a History of England written throughout, in the manner of the History of the Revolution, would be the most fascinating book in the language. The printer and editor of the work are severely censured, but the censure is, in some respects, misapplied. Such errors as making the pension of 60,000 livres, which Lord Sunderland received from France, equivalent to 2,500 pounds sterling only, when, at the time Sunderland was in power, the livre was worth more than eighteen pence, are surely attributable to no one but the author — although the editor may come in for a small portion of the blame for not correcting an oversight so palpable. On the other hand the misprinting the name of Thomas Burnet repeatedly throughout the book, both in the text and Index, is a blunder for which the editor is alone responsible. The name is invariably spelt Bennet. Thomas Burnet, Master of the Charter House, and author of the Theoria Sacra, is a personage of whom, or of whose works, the gentleman who undertook to edit the Fragment of Sir James Mackintosh has evidently never heard. The Memoir prefixed to the History, and its Continuation to the settlement of the Crown, both by the Editor of the Fragment, are unsparingly, but indeed most righteously, condemned. The Memoir is childish and imbecile, and the Continuation full of gross inaccuracies, and altogether unworthy of being appended to any thing from the pen of Mackintosh.

Article II is a very clever Review of the “Archanenses of Aristophanes, with Notes Critical and Explanatory, adapted to the Use of Schools and Universities By T. Mitchell, A.M. 8vo. London, 1835.” Mr. Mitchell made his first appearance as a translator and commentator in 1820, and his second in 1822, upon both which occasions he was favorably noticed in the Edinburgh. High praise is bestowed in the present instance upon the Acharnenses. The Wasps will follow, and thus it appears the chronological order of the Comedies will not be preserved. The old fault is to be found with this Review, viz: It is more of a dissertation on the subject matter of the book in question than an analysis of its merits or defects. By far the greater part of the Article is occupied in a discussion of the character of the Athenians.

Article III is headed “a Voyage of Discovery to Africa and Arabia, performed in his Majesty’s Ships Leven and Barracouta, from 1822 to 1826, under the command of Capt. F. W. W. Owen, R. N. By Capt. Thomas Boteler, R. N. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1835.” Captain Owen sailed in January 1822 in the Leven Frigate, accompanied by the Barracouta, a ten-gun brig, with instructions to survey the entire Eastern coast of Africa, the Western coast of Madagascar — the islets and shoals interjacent — together with the Western coast of the Continent from the Zaire to Benin, and from the Rio Grande to the Gambia. All this was accomplished in five years. The narrative of Boteler, who was lieutenant of the Leven, is nothing more than a revised edition of that originally prepared by Capt. Owen, and which was a failure in a literary sense. The Review, as usual, says very little concerning the manner in which Captain Boteler has performed his task.

Article IV. “Deontology; or the Science of Morality: in which the Harmony and Coincidence of Duty and Self-Interest, Virtue and Felicity, Prudence and Benevolence, are explained and exemplified. From the MSS. of Jeremy Bentham. Arranged and edited by John Bowring, 2 vols. octavo, London, 1834.” “This book,”’ says the Reviewer, “ simply contains Mr. Bentham’s thrice told tale upon Utility. It furnishes us with no fresh illustrations, no better system than we had already found in his ‘Principles of Morals and Legislation.”’ We heartily agree with the critic that there was no necessity for the publication of these posthumous volumes. They add nothing to the work just mentioned, and are, in many points, inferior. But the Notice concludes in the following words. “Is it to be wondered at, that the most learned, accurate, and philosophical nation in Europe — the Germans — treat with contempt ignorance and insolence like this? They admit the merits of Mr. Bentham as a jurisconsult, in his analysis and classification of the material interests of life; but their metaphysicians and moralists agree, we believe without an exception, in considering his speculative philosophy as undeserving even the pomp and ceremony of an argument.” We have only to add, that, in our opinion of the metaphysics of Mr. Bentham, we are, by no means, Germans to the very letter.

Article V. is an excellently well toned, and perfectly satisfactory Review of the “Journal by Frances Anne Butler, 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1835.” It defends this lady from the charge of intentionally depreciating America; cites a long list of instances in which she has spoken in terms of the greatest cordiality of our people, individually, and as a nation; shows in what manner she has repeatedly let slip opportunities of saying, and saying too with perfect justice, things little likely to flatter our vanity; defends her from the ridiculous actuation of vulgarity (there is positively not an iota of vulgarity in the composition of Fanny Kemble) and very justly gives us a rap over the knuckles for our overweening vanity, self-sufficiency, and testiness of temper. The whole article is excellent, and the conclusion is particularly to our mind. “There is no chance of her return to a profession that she so cordially detested. Under these circumstances the only compensation Mr. Butler can make to us he must make. He is bound to see that she goes on with her faithful and amusing journal, and that she finishes, at her leisure, some of the sundry stories, plays, and novels, on which, it seems, she had already set to work amid the interruptions of the stage.”

The sixth article is a review of “The Works of George Dalgarno, of Aberdeen. 4to. Reprinted at Edingburgh: 1834.” This work is merely a reprint of the old Treatises of Dalgarno, the publication not extending beyond the sphere of the Maitland Club — a society instituted at Glasgow in imitation of the Edinburgh Ballantyne Club. The first treatise of Dalgarno is entitled “Ars Signorum, Vulgo Character Universalis, et Lingua Philosophica. Londini 1661.” The second is “Didascalocophus, or the Deaf and Dumb Man’s Tutor: to which is added a Discourse of the Nature and Numberof Double Consonants: both which Tracts being the first (for what the author knows) that have been published upon either of the subjects. Printed at the Theater in Oxford, 1680.” The memory of Dalgarno had nearly perished when Dugald Stewart called public attention to his writings, on account of his having anticipated, on grounds purely speculative, and a priori, what has now been proved a posteriori by Horne Tooke and others, viz: that all grammatical inflections are reducible to the noun alone.

Article VII is headed “Narrative of a Second Voyage in search of a North-West Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions during the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833. By Sir John Ross, C. B., K. S. A., K. C. S., &c. &c., Captain in the Royal Navy. Including the Reports of Commander, now Captain, James Clark Ross, R. N., F. R. S., F. L. S., &c. and the Discovery of the Northern Magnetic Pole. 4to. London: 1835.” The Reviewer professes himself unable to regard the observations made by Commander Ross in relation to the Magnetic Pole in the light of a discovery. “It was certainly a great satisfaction to stand upon a rock where the dip was 89° 59′, and where the polarity of nicely suspended needles was insensible; but it may be questioned whether or not the place of the Magnetic Pole can be best determined by observations made at a distance or near the spot; and we are not satisfied that the position assigned by Commander Ross is more accurate than that given by the curves of Professor Barlow, the calculations of Hansteen, and the observations of Captain Parry.” The fact is that the Magnetic Pole is moveable, and, place it where we will, we shall not find it in the same place to-morrow. Notice is taken also by the critic that neither Captain nor Commander Ross has made the slightest reference to the fact that the Magnetic Pole is not coincident with the Pole of maximum cold. From observations made by Scoresby in East Greenland, and by Sir Charles Giesecké and the Danish Governors in West Greenland, and confirmed by all the metereological observations made by Captains Parry and Franklin, Sir David Brewster has deduced the fact that the Pole of the Equator is not the Pole of maximum cold: and as the matter is well established, it is singular, to say no more, that it has been alluded to by neither the Commander nor the Captain.

Article VIII is 1. A “History of the Cotton Manufacture in Great Britain, with a Notice of its Early History in the East, and in all quarters of the Globe; a Description of the Great Mechanical Inventions which have caused its unexampled extension in Great Britain: and a View of the Present State of the Manufacture, and the condition of the Classes engaged in its several departments. By Edward Baines, Jr. Esq. 8vo. London: 1835.”

2. “The Philosophy of Manufactures: or an Exposition of the Scientific, Moral, and Commercial Economy of the Factory System of Great Britain. By Andrew Ure, M.D. 8vo. London: 1835.” Mr. Baines’ work is spoken of in high terms, as discovering much laborious research, and being both interesting and valuable. With the exception of Smith’s Memoirs of Wool, published in 1747, it is said to be the only work giving a clear and copious account of the rise, progress, and actual condition of any of the great branches of industry carried on in the kingdom. Dr. Ure’s work is censured for inaccuracy of detail. Its title is evidently a misnomer.

Article IX is “A Poet’s Portfolio; or Minor Poems. In Three Books. By James Montgomery, 12mo. London, 1835.” The first production of Mr. Montgomery, ‘The Wanderer of Switzerland,’ was noticed about twenty-eight years ago in the Edinburgh, and much fault found with it for inflation of style, and affectation. The present volume has induced the Journal to alter its tone entirely, and the Minor Poems are (perhaps a little too highly) lauded. “There is,” says the critic, “something in all his poetry which makes fiction the most impressive teacher of truth and wisdom; and by which, while the intellect is gratified, and the imagination roused, the heart, if it retains any sensibility to tender or elevating emotions, cannot fail to be made better.” The Reviewer, as usual, does not stick to his text, but comments, in detail, upon all the published poems of Montgomery.

The tenth and concluding paper is a Review of “The Second Report of his Majesty’s Commissioners on Ecclesiastical Revenue and Patronage: Ireland. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed: 1834” — and “First Report of the Commissioners of Public Instruction: Ireland. Presented to both Houses of Parliament, by command of his Majesty: 1835.”

This article is written with great ability; but why call that a Review which is purely a dissertation on the state of the Irish Church? It concludes with a correspondence between the Editor of the Edinburgh, and Mr. Alan Stevenson, respecting evidence given, by the latter, before the Parliamentary Committee on Light Houses. The Journal, in No. CXXII, accused Mr. S. of deceiving the Committee by erroneous testimony; and, upon Mr. S. demanding an explanation, the Review not only refuses to retract its assertions, but declares that, had it known certain facts at the time of inditing the offensive article, it would have expressed itself with double severity.

5

NUTS TO CRACK.

Nuts to Crack: or Quips, Quirks, Anecdote and Facete of Oxford and Cambridge scholars. By the author of Facetiae Cantabrigienses, etc. etc. etc. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey &. Hart.

Although this little volume is obviously intended for no other eyes than those of the ‘Oxford and Cambridge scholar,’ and although it is absolutely impossible for any American to enter fully into the spirit of its most inestimable quizzes, oddities and eccentricities, still we have no intention of quarrelling with Carey & Hart, for republishing the work on this side of the Atlantic. Never was there a better thing for whiling away a few loose or unappropriated half hours — that is to say in the hands of a reader who is, even in a moderate degree, imbued with a love of classical whimsicalities. We can assure our friends — all of them who expect to find in these excellent ‘Nuts to Crack’ a mere rifacimento of stale jests — that there are not more than two or three anecdotes in the book positively entitled to the appellation of antique. Some things, however, have surprised us. In the first place what is the meaning of anecdote and Facete? In the second what are we to think of such blunders, as “one of honest Vere’s classical jeti d’esprit,” (the jeu d’esprit printed too in Long Primer Capitals) in a volume professing to be Anecdote and Facete (oh! too bad) of Oxford and Cambridge scholars? And thirdly is it possible that he who wrote the Facetie Cantabrigienses is not aware that the “cutting retort attributed to the celebrated Lord Chesterfield, when a student of Trinity Hall, Cambridge” may be found among the Facetiae of Hierocles — not to mention innumerable editions of Joe Miller?

We have already said enough of the Nuts to Crack, but cannot, for our lives, refrain from selecting one of its good things for the benefit of our own especial readers.

The learned Chancery Barrister, John Bell, K. C., “the Great Bell of Lincoln,” as he has been aptly called, was Senior Wrangler, on graduating B. A., at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1786, with many able competitors for that honor. He is likewise celebrated, as every one knows, for writing three several hands; one only he himself can read, another nobody but his clerk can read, and a third neither himself, clerk, nor any body else can read. It was in the latter hand, he one day wrote to his legal contemporary and friend, the present Sir Launcelot Shadwell, inviting him to dinner. Sir Launcelot, finding all his attempts to decypher the note about as vain, as the wise men found theirs to unravel the cabalistic characters of yore, took a sheet of paper, and having smeared it over with ink, folded and sealed it, and sent it as his answer. The receipt of it staggered even the Great Bell of Lincoln, and after breaking the seal, and eyeing it, and turning it round and round, he hurried to Mr. Shadwell’s chambers with it, declaring he could make nothing of it. “Nor I of your note,” retorted Mr. S. “My dear fellow” exclaimed Mr. B. taking his own letter in his hand, “is not this as plain as can be,” Dear Shadwell, I shall be glad to see you at dinner to day?” “And is not this equally as plain,” said Mr. S. pointing to his own paper, “My dear Bell, I shall be happy to come and dine with you?”

6

MEMOIR OF DR. RICE.

Memoir of the Reverend John II. Rice, D. D. First Professor of Christian Theology in Union Theological Seminary, Virginia. By William Maxwell. Philadelphia: Published by J. Whetham.

This Memoir will be received and read with pleasure generally: and among those who have been so fortunate as to have seen and heard Dr. Rice, it will be perused with the deepest interest and gratification. We believe there are very many, in Virginia especially, who will be able to identify the letters of this divine, contained in the present volume, with the voice, the manner, and personal appearance of the man himself — and upon all such Mr. Maxwell has conferred an obligation of no common kind. The greater portion of the work consists of these letters, and they are valuable in every respect. Many of them are, as Mr. M. himself expresses it, entirely narrative, and give the most authentic and minute accounts of the various movements of the writer at different periods of his life, particularly after his removal to Richmond, and during his labors in establishing the Union Theological Seminary. Others again are pastoral, and addressed to different members of his Church. Some are merely ordinary letters of friendship. All, however, are full of thought, and give evidence of an elevated, a healthy, cheerful, powerful, and well regulated mind. In availing himself of the assistance afforded by these letters, Mr. Maxwell has never anticipated their contents — thus avoiding much useless repetition, and suffering the subject of the Memoir to tell, in a great measure, his own story in his own words. The work is well — indeed even beautifully gotten up — is embellished with an admirably finished head of Mr. Rice, engraved by J. Sartain, from a painting by W. J. Hubard — and is, in every respect, an acceptable and valuable publication. Among the letters in the volume is one from John Randolph of Roanoke, and several from Win. Wirt. We select one of these latter, being well assured that it will be read with that deep interest which is attached to every thing emanating from the same pen.

TO THE REV. JOHN H. RICE. Washington, February 1, 1822. My DEAR SIR, — Your letter of the 31st ult. is just received at 5 P.M. for I have just returned from the President’s. I feel the blush of genuine shame at the apparent presumption of adding my name in favor of the magazine to that of the eminent gentlemen at Princeton. This is real and unaffected — bit you desire it — and I dare follow your beck in any direction. Would that I could in one still more important.

Holingshead’s History of Duncan of Scotland, is under copy by my Elizabeth (my daughter. once your pet) for the purpose of showing the full basis of Shakspeare’s Macbeth. I think you will be pleased with it — and the readers of Shakspeare must differ much from me, if they do not find it very interesting.

If you suppose from what I said of nine o’clock that that is my hour of going to bed on week-day nights, you are mistaken by several hours. For some time past, I have been obliged to be in my office before breakfast, and till nine or ten o’clock at night, when I have to come home, take my tea, talk over family affairs, and get to bed between eleven and twelve; but it is killing me also. And as death would be most extremely inconvenient to me in more respects than one, at this time, I shall quit that course of operations, and look a little to my health, if I can survive the approaching Supreme Court — sed quæ re de hoc.

My troubles not being already enough, in the estimation of the honorable body now assembled in the Capitol, they are beginning to institute inquiries, for my better amusement, into the circumstances of three fees paid me by the government, in the course of the four years that I have been here, for professional services foreign to my official duties — a thing which has been continually done at all times, under this government, but which they affect to think a new affair entirely, and only an additional proof among ten thousand others of the waste of public money, by the rapacity, if not peculation, of those in office. I an sick of public life; my skin is too thin for the business; a politician should have the hide of a rhinoceros, to bear the thrusts of the folly, ignorance, and meanness of those who are disposed to mount into momentary consequence by questioning their letters, if I may be excused the expression after professing my modesty. “There’s nought but care on every hand;” all, all is vanity and vexation of spirit, save religion, friendship, and literature.

I agree that your story of the Oysterman is the best, but I suspect that the Orange story is the true original. I knew old Bletcher: he was a Baptist preacher; and although I did not hear the words, they are so much in his character that I verily believe them to have been uttered by him; and it would have been quite in his character too to have gone on with the amplification you suggest.

I do sincerely wish it were in my power to mount the aforesaid gay streamer, and long Tom, on your gallant little barque. I will try in the spring and summer to contribute a stripe or two, and a blank cartridge or so; but I shall not tell you when I do, that it is I, for it is proper you should have it in your power to say truly, “I do not know who it is.” I have already got credit for much that I never wrote, and much that I never said. The guessers have an uncommon propensity to attribute all galling personalities to me, all sketches of character that touch the quick, and make some readers wince. I have, in truth, in times gone by, been a little wanton and imprudent in this particular, and I deserve to smart a little in my turn. But I never wrote a line wickedly or maliciously. There is nothing in the Spy that deserves this imputation, and nothing in the Old Bachelor, which, give me leave to tell you, “venia deter verbo,” you and your magazine, and your writer, ** have underrated. There is a juster criticism of it in the Analectic Magazine — but this writer, too, has not true taste nor sensibility. He accuses me of extravagance only because he never felt himself, the rapture of inspiration. And you accuse me of redundant figure, because you are not much troubled yourself with the throes of imagination — just as G— H— abuses eloquence because there is no chord in his heart that responds to its notes. So take that. And if you abuse me any more, I will belabor your magazine as one of the heaviest, dullest, most drab-colored periodicals extant in these degenerate days. What! shall a Conestoga wagon-horse find fault with — a courser of the sun, because he sometimes runs away with the chariot of day, and sets the world on fire? So take that again, and put it in your pocket. But enough of this badinage, for if I pursue it much farther you will think me serious — besides it is verging to eleven, and the fire has gone down. I began this scrawl a little after five — walked for health till dark — came in and found company echo remained till near ten — and could not go to bed without a little more talk with you. But I shall tire you and catch cold — so with our united love to Mrs. Rice, my dear Harriet, and yourself, good night.

Your friend, in truth,  
WM. WIRT.

7

LIFE OF DR. CALDWELL.

Oration on the Life and Character of the Rev. Joseph Caldwell, D.D. late President of the University of North Carolina, by Walker Anderson, A. M.

It was only within the last few days that we met with the above oration, in a pamphlet form — and we cannot refrain from expressing the very great pleasure its perusal has afforded us. Dr. Caldwell was unquestionably a great and good man — and certain are we that the task of paying tribute to his manifold qualifications and virtues, now that he is gone, could not have been committed to abler hands, than those of Professor Anderson. The tone of feeling pervading the oration is quite characteristic of its author — ardent — affectionate — consistent.

“We come,” says he, near the beginning, “we come as a band of brothers, to do homage to that parental love, of which all of us, the old as well as the young, have been the objects; and by communing with the spirit of our departed father, to enkindle those hallowed emotions which are the fittest offering to his memory. But why needs the living speaker recall to your remembrance the venerated and beloved being whose loss is fresh in the memories of all who hear me? We stand not, it is true, over his grave, as the Spartan over the sepulchre of his king, but his memorials present themselves to the eye on every side and are felt in every throbbing bosom. The shady retreats of this consecrated grove — the oft frequented halls of this seat of learning — the sacred edifice in which we are assembled — and the very spot on which I stand, are Memorials to awaken the busy and thronging recollections of many a full heart! Quocumque ingredimur in aliquam historiam vestigium ponimus. I look around this assembly and see monuments of his love and of his labors, such as can never grace the memory of the warrior, and which throw contempt on all the sculptured memorials of kings. I look at the eyes beaming with intelligence; I contemplate the refined intellects; I see their rich fruits in public and honorable employment; I recall the memory of others who are far distant, but whose thoughts are mingling with ours upon this occasion; who have carried with them the seeds of virtue and wisdom which they gathered here, and in other lands, have brought forth the noblest results of usefulness and honorable consideration. I revert, too, to those whose bright career is ended, and who preceded their guide and instructor to the abodes of the blessed. I think of all this, and feel that you need not the voice of the speaker to arouse your grateful recollections” p. 4.

Mr. Anderson shortly after this, goes into a very interesting sketch of the family history of the deceased, portraying with great tenderness and delicacy, the maternal solicitude to which young Caldwell was so deeply indebted for his well doing in after life — and evincing as we humbly conceive, in this part of his oration, fine powers as a biographical writer. There is much force in his development of the Doctor’s character throughout, but especial beauty, we think, in the way in which he treats of his religious principles. One extract more from the pamphlet, in proof of what we have just said, must close this hasty and imperfect notice of it.

“The religious character of Dr. Caldwell, was not the formation of a day, nor the hasty and imperfect work of a dying bed. His trust was anchored on the rock of ages, and he was therefore well furnished for the terrible conflict that awaited him. We have seen that he had made Religion the guide of his youth; it beautified and sanctified the labors of his well spent life; nor did it fail him in the trying hour, which an allwise but inrscrutable Providence permitted to be to him peculiarly dark and fearful. The rich consolations of his faith became brighter and stronger, amidst the wreck of the decaying tabernacle of flesh; and if the dying testimony of a pure and humble spirit may be received, death had for him no sting — the grave achieved no triumph. In any frequent and detailed account of his religious feelings he was not inclined to indulge — the spirit that walks most closely with its God, needs not the sustaining influence of such excitements — yet a few weeks previous to his death, a friend from a distant part of the State calling to see him, made inquiries as to the state of his mind, and had the privilege of hearing from him the calm assurance of his perfect resignation and submission to the will of God. His hope of a happy immortality beyond the grave, was such as belongs only to the Christian, and by him was modestly but humbly entertained. It was to him a principle of strength that sustained him amidst the conflicts of the dark valley; and to us who witnessed the agonies of his patting hour, a bright radiance illuming the gloom which memory throws around the trying scene.” pp. 38, 39.

8

WASHINGTONII VITA.

A Life of George Washington, in Latin Prose: By Francis Glass, S. M. of Ohio. Edited by J. N. Reynolds. New York: Published by Harper and Brothers.

We may truly say that not for years have we taken up a volume with which we have been so highly gratified, as with the one now before us. A Life of Washington, succinct in form, yet in matter sufficiently comprehensive, has been long a desideratum: but a Life of Washington precisely such as a compendious Life of that great man should be — written by a native of Ohio — and written too, in Latin, which is not one jot inferior to the Latin of Erasmus, is, to say the least of it, — a novelty.

We confess that we regarded the first announcement of this rara avis with an evil and suspicious eye. The thing was improbable, we thought. Mr. Reynolds was quizzing us — the brothers Harper were hoaxed and Messieurs Anthon and Co. were mistaken. At all events we had made up our minds to be especially severe upon Mr. Glass, and to put no faith in that species of classical Latin which should emanate from the back woods of Ohio. We now solemnly make a recantation of our preconceived opinions, and so proceed immediately to do penance for our unbelief.

Mr. Reynolds is entitled to the thanks of his countrymen for his instrumentality in bringing this book before the public. It has already done wonders in the cause of the classics; and we are false prophets if it do not ultimately prove the means of stirring up to a new life and a regenerated energy that love of the learned tongues which is the surest protection of our own vernacular language from impurity, but which, we are grieved to see, is in a languishing and dying condition in the land.

We have read Mr. R’s preface with great attention; and meeting with it, as we have done, among a multiplicity of worldly concerns, and every — day matters and occurrences, it will long remain impressed upon our minds as an episode of the purest romance. We have no difficulty in entering fully with Mr. Reynolds into his kindly feelings towards Mr. Glass. We perceive at once that we could have loved and reverenced the man. His image is engraven upon our fancy. Indeed we behold him now — at this very moment — with all his oddities and appurtenances about him. We behold the low log-cabin of a school-house — the clap-board roof but indifferently tight — the holes, yeleped windows, covered with oiled paper to keep out the air — the benches of hewn timber stuck fast in the ground the stove, the desk, the urchins, and the Professor. We can hear the worthy pedagogue’s classical ‘Salves,’ and our ears are still tingling with his hyperclassical exhortations. In truth he was a man after our own heart, and, were we not Alexander, we should have luxuriated in being Glass.

A word or two respecting the Latinity of the book. We sincerely think that it has been underrated. While we agree with Mr. Reynolds, for whose opinions, generally, we have a high respect, that the work can boast of none of those elegancies of diction, no rich display of those beauties and graces which adorn the pages of some modern Latinists, we think he has forgotten, in his search after the mere flowers of Latinity, the peculiar nature of that labor in which Mr. Glass has been employed. Simplicity here was the most reasonable, and indeed the only admissible elegance. And if this be taken into consideration, we really can call to mind, at this moment, no modern Latin composition whatever much superior to the Washingtonii Vita of Mr. Glass.

The clothing of modern ideas in a language dead for centuries, is a task whose difficulty can never be fully appreciated by those who have never undertaken it. The various changes and modifications, which, since the Augustan age, have come to pass in the sciences of war and legislation especially, must render any attempt similar to that which we are now criticising, one of the most hazardous and awkward imaginable. But we cannot help thinking that our author has succeeded ámerveille. His ingenuity is not less remarkable than his grammatical skill. Indeed he is never at a loss. It is nonsense to laugh at his calling Quakers Tremebundi. Tremebundi is as good Latin as Trementes, and more euphonical Latin than Quackeri — for both which latter expressions we have the authority of Schroeckh: and glandes plumbeæ, for bullets, is something better, we imagine, than Wyttenbach’s bombarda, for a cannon; Milton’s globulus, for a button; or Grotius’ capilamentum, for a wig. As a specimen of Mr. G’s Latinity, we subjoin an extract from the work. It is Judge Marshall’s announcement in Congress of the death of Washington.

“Nuncius tristis, quem heri accepimus, hodierno die nimium certus advenit. Fuit Washingtonius; heros, dux, et philosophus; ille, denique, quem, imminente periculo, omnes intuebantur, factorum clarorum memori duntaxat vixit. Quamvis enim, eos honore afficere solenne non esset, quorum vita in generis humrnani commodis promovendis insumpta fuit, Washingtonii, tamen, res gestce tante extiterunt, ut populus universus Americanus, doloris indicium, qui tam lati patet, deposcere suo jure debet.”

“Rempublicam hancce nostram, tam longs latique divisam, unus feri Washingtonius ordinandi et condendi laudem meret. Rebus omnibus, tandem confectis, quarum cause exercitibus Americanis proepositus fuerat, gladium in vomerem convertit, belltumque pace letissimi commutavit. Cumr civitatum federatarum Americanarum infirmitas omnibus manifesta videretur, et vincula, quibus Columbi terra latissima continebatur, solveren. tur, Washingtonium omnium, qui hancce nostram preclaram rempublicam stabiliverant, principem vidl.nus. Cum’ patria charissima eum ad sedandos tumultus, bellumque sibi imminens ad propulsandum et avertendu.n, vocaret; Washingtonium, otium domesticum, quod ei semper charum fuit, relinquentem, et undis civilibus, civium commoda et libertatem servandi causa, mersum, haud semel conspeximus; et consilia, quibus libertateal Americanam stabilem effecerat, perpetua, ut spero, semper, erunt.”

“Cum populi liberi magistratus summus bis constitutus esset, cumque tertib prieses fieri facillirnm potuisset, ad villam, tamen, suam, secessit, seque ab omni munere civili in posterum procul amoveri, ex animo cupiebat. Utcunque vulgi opinio, quoad alios homrines, mutetur, Washingtonii, certi, fama sempiterna et eadem permanebit. Honoremus, igitur, patres conscripti, hunc tantum virum mortuum: civitatum federatarum Americanarum consili. um publicum civium omnium sententias, hac una in re, declaret.”

“Quamobrem, chartas quasdam hic manu teneo, de quibus Congressiis sententiam rogare velim: ut, nempe, civitatum feederatarum A.nericanarum consilium publicum prcesidem visat, simul cum eo, gravi de hoc casu, condoliturum: ut Coiigressiis principis sella vestibus pullis ornetur; utque Congressus pars reliqua vestibus pullis induatur: utque, denique, idonea i Congressu parentur, quibus plani mainifestum fiat, Congressum, virum bello, pace, civiumque animis primum, honore summo afficere velle.”*

The ‘barbarisms’ of Mr. Glass are always so well in accordance with the genius of Latin declension, as never to appear at variance with the spirit of the language, or out of place in their respective situations. His ‘equivalents,’ too, are, in all cases, ingeniously managed: and we are mistaken if the same can be said of the ‘equivalents’ of Erasmus — certainly not of those used by Grotius, or Addison, or Schroeckh, or Buchanan, neither of whom are scrupulous in introducing words, from which a modern one is deduced, in the exact sense of the English analogous term — although that term may have been greatly perverted from its original meaning. Having said thus much in favor of the Washingtonii Vita, we may now be permitted to differ in opinion with Professor Wylie and others who believe that this book will be a valuable acquisition to our classical schools, as initiatory to Caesar or Nepos. We are quite as fully impressed with the excellences of Mr. Glass’ work as the warmest of his admirers; and perhaps, even more than any of them, are we anxious to do it justice. Still the book is — as it professes to be a Life of Washington; and it treats, consequently, of events and incidents occurring in a manner utterly unknown to the Romans, and at a period many centuries after their ceasing to exist as a nation. If, therefore, by Latin we mean the Language spoken by the Latins, a large proportion of the work — disguise the fact as we may — is necessarily not Latin at all. Did we indeed design to instruct our youth in a language of possibilities did we wish to make them proficient in the tongue which might have been spoken in ancient Rome, had ancient Rome existed in the nineteenth century, we could scarcely have a better book for the purpose than the Washington of Mr. Glass. But we do not perceive that, in teaching Latin, we have any similar view. And we have given over all hope of making this language the medium of universal communication — that day-dream, with a thousand others, is over. Our object then, at present, is simply to imbue the mind of the student with the idiom, the manner, the thought, and above all, with the words of antiquity. If this is not our object, what is it? But this object cannot be effected by any such work as the Washingtonii Vita.

9

NORMAN LESLIE.

Norman Leslie. A Tale of the Present Times. New York: Published by Harper and Brothers.

Well! — here we have it! This is the book — the book par excellence — the book bepuffed, beplastered, and be-Mirrored: the book “attributed to” Mr. Blank, and “said to be from the pen” of Mr. Asterisk: the book which has been “about to appear” — “in press” — “in progress” — “in preparation” — and “forthcoming:” the book “graphic” in anticipation — “talented” a priori — and God knows what in prospectu. For the sake of every thing puffed, puffing, and puffable, let us take a peep at its contents!

Norman Leslie, gentle reader, a Tale of the Present Times, is, after all, written by nobody in the world but Theodore S. Fay, and Theodore S. Fay is nobody in the world but “one of the Editors of the New York Mirror.” The book commences with a Dedication to Colonel Herman Thorn, in which that worthy personage, whoever he may be, is held up, in about a dozen lines, to the admiration of the public, as “hospitable,” “generous,” “attentive,” “benevolent,” “kind-hearted,” “liberal,” “highly-esteemed,” and withal “a patron of the arts.” But the less we say of this matter the better.

In the Preface Mr. Fay informs us that the most important features of his story are founded on fact — that he has availed himself of certain poetical licenses — that he has transformed character, and particularly the character of a young lady, (oh fi! Mr. Fay — oh, Mr. Fay, fi!) that he has sketched certain peculiarities with a mischievous hand — and that the art of novel writing is as dignified as the art of Canova, Mozart or Raphael, — from which we are left to infer, that Mr. Fay himself is as dignified as Raphael, Mozart, and Canova — all three. Having satisfied us on this head, he goes on to say something about an humble student, with a feeble hand, throwing groupings upon a canvass, and standing behind a curtain: and then, after perpetrating all these impertinences, thinks it best “frankly to bespeak the indulgence of the solemn and sapient critics.” Body of Bacchus! we, at least, are neither solemn nor sapient, and, therefore, do not feel ourselves bound to show him a shadow of mercy. But will any body tell us what is the object of Prefaces in general, and what is the meaning of Mr. Fay’s Preface in particular?

As far as we can understand the plot of Norman Leslie, it is this. A certain family reside in Italy — “independent,” “enlightened,” “affectionate,” “happy,” — and all that. Their villa, of course, stands upon the seashore, and their whole establishment is, we are assured, “a scene of Heaven,” &c. Mr. Fay says he will not even attempt to describe it — why, therefore, should we? A daughter of this family is nineteen when she is wooed by a young Neapolitan, Rinaldo, of “mean extraction, but of great beauty and talent.” The lover, being a man of suspicious character, is rejected by the parents, and a secret marriage ensues. The lady’s brother pursues the bridegroom — they fight — and the former is killed. The father and mother die (it is impossible to see for what purpose they ever lived) and Rinaldo flies to Venice. Upon rejoining her husband in that city, the lady (for Mr. Fay has not thought her worth enduing with a specific appellation) discovers him, for the first time, to be a rascal. One fine day he announces his intention of leaving herself and son for an indefinite time. The lady beseeches and finally threatens. “It was the first unfolding,” says she, in a letter towards the denouement of the story, “of that character which neither he nor I knew belonged to my nature. It was the first uncoiling of the basilisk within me, (good Heavens, a snake in a lady’s stomach!). He gazed on me incredulously, and cooly smiled. You remember that smile — I fainted!!!” Alas! Mr. Davy Crockett, — Mr. Davy Crockett, alas! — thou art beaten hollow — thou art defunct, and undone! thou hast indeed succeeded in grinning a squirrel from a tree, but it surpassed even thine extraordinary abilities to smile a lady into a fainting fit!

“When I recovered” — continues the lady — “he was gone. It was two years before I could trace him. At length I found he had sailed for America. I followed him in the depth of winter — I and my child. I knew not the name he had assumed, and I was struck mute with astonishment, in your beautiful city, on beholding, surrounded by fair ladies, the form of my husband, still beautiful, and still adored. You know the rest.” But as our readers may not be as well informed as the correspondent of the fair forsaken, we will enlighten them with some farther particulars.

Rinaldo, upon leaving his cara sposa, had taken shipping for New York, where, assuming the name of “Count Clairmont of the French army,” he succeeds in cutting a dash, or, in more proper parlance, in creating a sensation, among the beaux and belles of the city of Gotham. One fair lady, and rich heiress, Miss Flora Temple, is particularly honored by his attentions, and the lady’s mother, Mrs. T., fired with the idea of her daughter becoming a real countess, makes no scruple of encouraging his addresses. Matters are in this position when the wife of the adventurer arrives in New York, and is quite bewildered with astonishment upon beholding, one snowy day, her beloved Rinaldo sleighing it to and fro about the streets of New York. In the midst of her amazement she is in danger of being run over by some horses, when a certain personage, by name Norman Leslie, but who might, with equal propriety, be called Sir Charles Grandison, flies to her assistance, whisks herself and child up in the very nick of time, and suddenly rescues them, as Mr. Fay has it, “from the very jaws of Death” — by which we are to understand from the very hoofs of the horses. The lady of course swoons — then recovers — and then — is excessively grateful. Her gratitude, however, being of no service just at that moment, is bottled up for use hereafter, and will no doubt, according to established usage in such cases, come into play towards the close of the second volume. But we shall see.

Having ascertained the address of Rinaldo, alias the Count Clairmont, the lady, next morning, is successful in obtaining an interview. Then follows a second edition of entreaties and threats, but, fortunately for the nerves of Mrs. Rinaldo, the Count, upon this occasion, is so forbearing as not to indulge in a smile. She accuses him of a design to marry Miss Temple, and he informs her that it is no concern of hers — that she is not his wife, their marriage having been a feigned one. “She would have cried him through the city for a villain,” (Dust ho! — she should have advertised him) but he swears that, in that case, he will never sleep until he has taken the life of both the lady and her child, which assurance puts an end to the debate. “He then frankly confesses” — says Mrs. Rinaldo, in the letter which we have before quoted, — “that his passion for Miss Temple was only a mask — he loved her not. Me he said he loved. It was his intention to fly when he could raise a large sum of money, and he declared that I should be his companion.” His designs, however, upon Miss Temple fail — that lady very properly discarding the rascal. Nothing daunted at this mishap our Count proceeds to make love to a certain Miss Rosalie Romain, and with somewhat better success. He prevails upon her to fly, and to carry with her upon her person a number of diamonds which the lover hopes to find sufficient for his necessities. He manages also to engage Mrs. Rinaldo (so we must call her for want of a better name) in his schemes.

It has so happened that for some time prior to these occurrences, Clairmont and Norman Leslie, the hero of the novel, have been sworn foes. On the day fixed for Miss Romain’s elopement, that young lady induces Mr. Leslie to drive her, in a gig, a short distance out of town. They are met by no less a personage than Mrs. Rinaldo herself, in another gig, and driving (proh pudor!) through the woods sola. Hereupon Miss Rosalie Romain very deliberately, and to the great astonishment, no doubt, of Mr. Leslie, gets out of that gentleman’s gig, and into the gig of Mrs. Rinaldo. Here’s plot! as Vapid says in the play. Our friend Norman, finding that nothing better can be done, turns his face towards New York again, where he arrives, in due time, without farther accident or adventure. Late the same evening Clairmont sends the ladies aboard a vessel bound for Naples, and which is to sail in the morning — returning himself, for the present, to his hotel in Broadway. While here he receives a horse-whipping from Mr. Leslie on account of certain insinuations in disparagement of that gentleman’s character. Not relishing this treatment he determines upon revenge, and can think of no better method of accomplishing it than the directing of public suspicion against Mr. Leslie as the murderer of Miss Romain — whose disappearance has already created much excitement. He sends a message to Mrs. Rinaldo that the vessel must sail without him, and that he would, by a French ship, meet them on their landing at Naples. He then flings a hat and feathers belonging to Miss Romain upon a stream, and her handkerchief in a wood — afterwards remaining some time in America to avert suspicion from himself. Leslie is arrested for the murder, and the proofs are damning against him. He is, however, to the great indignation of the populace, acquitted, Miss Temple appearing to testify that she actually saw Miss Romain subsequently to her ride with Leslie. Our hero, however, although acquitted, is universally considered guilty, and, through the active malice of Clairmont, is heaped with every species of opprobrium. Miss Temple, who, it appears, is in love with him, falls ill with grief: but is cured, after all other means have failed, by a letter from her lover announcing a reciprocal passion — for the young lady has hitherto supposed him callous to her charms. Leslie himself, however, takes it into his head, at this critical juncture, to travel; and, having packed up his baggage, does actually forget himself so far as to go a-Willising in foreign countries. But we have no reason to suppose that, goose as the young gentleman is, he is silly enough to turn travelling correspondent to any weekly paper. In Rome, having assumed the alias of Montfort, he meets with a variety of interesting adventures. All the ladies die for him: and one in particular, Miss Antonia Torrini, the only child of a Duke with several millions of piastres, and a palace which Mr. Fay thinks very much like the City Hall in New York, absolutely throws herself sans ceremonie into his arms, and meets — tell it not in Gath! — with a flat and positive refusal.

Among other persons whom he encounters is a monk Ambrose, a painter Angelo, another painter Ducci, a Marquis Alezzi, and a Countess D., which latter personage he is convinced of having seen at some prior period of his life. For a page or two we are entertained with a prospect of a conspiracy, and have great hopes that the principal characters in the plot will so far oblige us as to cut one another’s throats: but (alas for human expectations!) Mr. Fay having clapped his hands, and cried “Presto! — vanish!” the whole matter ends in smoke, or, as our author beautifully expresses it, is “veiled in impenetrable mystery.”

Mr. Leslie now pays a visit to the painter Ducci, and is astonished at there beholding the portrait of the very youth whose life he saved, together with that of his mother, from the horses in New York. Then follows a series of interesting ejaculations, among which we are able to remember only “horrible suspicion!” “wonderful development!” “alack and alas!” with some two or three others. Mr. Leslie is, however, convinced that the portrait of the boy is, as Mr. F. gracefully has it, “inexplicably connected with his own mysterious destiny.” He pays a visit to the Countess D., and demands of her if she was, at any time, acquainted with a gentleman called Clairmont. The lady very properly denies all knowledge of that character, and Mr. Leslie’s “mysterious destiny” is in as bad a predicament as ever. He is however fully convinced that Clairmont is the origin of all evil — we do not mean to say that he is precisely the devil — but the origin of all Mr. Leslie’s evil. Therefore, and on this account, he goes to a masquerade, and, sure enough, Mr. Clairmont, (who has not been heard of for seven or eight years,) Mr. Clairmont (we suppose through Mr. L’s “mysterious destiny”) happens to go, at precisely the same time, to precisely the same masquerade. But there are surely no bounds to Mr. Fay’s excellent invention. Miss Temple, of course, happens to be at the same place, and Mr. Leslie is in the act of making love to her once more, when the “inexplicable” Countess D. whispers into his ear some ambiguous sentences in which Mr. L. is given to understand that he must beware of all the Harlequins in the room, one of whom is Clairmont. Upon leaving the masquerade, somebody hands him a note requesting him to meet the unknown writer at St. Peter’s. While he is busy reading the paper he is uncivilly interrupted by Clairmont, who attempts to assassinate him, but is finally put to flight. He hies, then, to the rendezvous at St. Peter’s, where “the un known” tells him St. Peter’s won’t answer, and that he must proceed to the Coliseum. He goes — why should he not? — and there not only finds the Countess D. who turns out to be Mrs. Rinaldo, and who now uncorks her bottle of gratitude, but also Flora Temple, Flora Temple’s father, Clairmont, Kreutzner, a German friend from New York, and, last but not least, Rosalie Romain herself; all having gone there, no doubt, at three o’clock in the morning, under the influence of that interesting young gentleman Norman Leslie’s “most inexplicable and mysterious destiny.” Matters now come to a crisis. The hero’s innocence is established, and Miss Temple falls into his arms in consequence. Clairmont, however, thinks he can do nothing better than shoot Mr. Leslie, and is about to do so, when he is very justly and very dexterously knocked in the head by Mr. Kreutzner. Thus ends the Tale of the Present Times, and thus ends the most inestimable piece of balderdash with which the common sense of the good people of America was ever so openly or so villainously insulted.

We do not mean to say that there is positively nothing in Mr. Fay’s novel to commend — but there is indeed very little. One incident is tolerably managed, in which, at the burning house of Mr. Temple, Clairmont anticipates Leslie in his design of rescuing Flora. A cotillon scene, too, where Morton, a simple fop, is frequently interrupted in his attempts at making love to Miss Temple, by the necessity of forward-two-ing and sachezing, (as Mr. Fay thinks proper to call it) is by no means very bad, although savoring too much of the farcical. A duel story told by Kreutzner is really good, but unfortunately not original, there being a Tale in the Diary of a Physician, from which both its matter and manner are evidently borrowed. And here we are obliged to pause; for we can positively think of nothing farther worth even a qualified commendation. The plot, as will appear from the running outline we have given of it, is a monstrous piece of absurdity and incongruity. The characters have no character; and, with the exception of Morton, who is, (perhaps) amusing, are, one and all, vapidity itself. No attempt seems to have been made at individualization. All the good ladies and gentlemen are demi-gods and demi-goddesses, and all the bad are — the d—l. The hero, Norman Leslie, “that young and refined man with a leaning to poetry,” is a great coxcomb and a great fool. What else must we think of a bel-esprit who, in picking up a rose just fallen from the curls of his lady fair, can hit upon no more appropriate phrase with which to make her a presentation of the same, than “Miss Temple, you have dropped your rose — allow me!” who courts his mistress with a “Dear, dear Flora, how I love you!” — who calls a biffet a bufet, an improvisatore an improvisitore — who, before bestowing charity, is always ready with the canting question if the object be deserving — who is everlastingly talking of his foe “sleeping in the same red grave with himself,” as if American sextons made a common practice of burying two people together — and, who having not a sous [[sou]] in his pocket at page 86, pulls out a handful at page 87, although he has had no opportunity of obtaining a copper in the interim?

As regards Mr. Fay’s style, it is unworthy of a school-boy. The “Editor of the New York Mirror” has either never seen an edition of Murray’s Grammar, or he has been a-Willising so long as to have forgotten his vernacular language. Let us examine one one [[sic]] or two of his sentences at random. Page 28, vol. i. “He was doomed to wander through the fartherest climes alone and branded.” Why not say at once fartherertherest? Page 150, vol. i. “Yon kindling orb should be hers; and that faint spark close to its side should teach her how dim and yet how near my soul was to her own.” What is the meaning of all this? Is Mr. Leslie’s soul dim to her own, as well as near to her own? — for the sentence implies as much. Suppose we say “should teach her how dim was my soul, and yet how near to her own.” Page 101, vol. 1. “You are both right and both wrong — you, Miss Romain, to judge so harshly of all men who are not versed in the easy elegance of the drawing room, and your father in too great lenity towards men of sense, &c.” This is really something new, but we are sorry to say, something incomprehensible. Suppose we translate it. “You are both right and both wrong — you, Miss Romain, are both right and wrong to judge so harshly of all not versed in the elegance of the drawing-room, &c.; and your father is both right and wrong in too great lenity towards men of sense.” — Mr. Fay, have you ever visited Ireland in your peregrinations? But the book is full to the brim of such absurdities, and it is useless to pursue the matter any farther. There is not a single page of Norman Leslie in which even a school-boy would fail to detect at least two or three gross errors in Grammar, and some two or three most egregious sins against common-sense.

We will dismiss the “Editor of the Mirror” with a few questions. When did you ever know, Mr. Fay, of any prosecuting attorney behaving so much like a bear as your prosecuting attorney in the novel of Norman Leslie? When did you ever hear of an American Court of Justice objecting to the testimony of a witness on the ground that the said witness had an interest in the cause at issue? What do you mean by informing us at page 84, vol. i, “that you think much faster than you write?” What do you mean by “the wind roaring in the air?” see page 26, vol. i. What do you mean by “an unshadowed Italian girl?” see page 67, vol. ii. Why are you always talking about “stamping of feet,” “kindling and flashing of eyes,” “plunging and parrying,” “cutting and thrusting,” “passes through the body,” “gashes open in the cheek,” “sculls cleft down,” “hands cut off,” and blood gushing and bubbling, and doing God knows what else — all of which pretty expressions may be found on page 88, vol. i.? What “mysterious and inexplicable destiny” compels you to the so frequent use, in all its inflections, of that euphonical dyssyllable blister? We will call to your recollection some few instances in which you have employed it. Page 185, vol. i. “But an arrival from the city brought the fearful intelligence in all its blistering and naked details.” Page 193, vol. i. “What but the glaring and blistering truth of the charge would select him, &c.” Page 39, vol. ii. “Wherever the winds of heaven wafted the English language, the blistering story must have been echoed.” Page 150, vol. ii. “Nearly seven years had passed away, and here he found himself, as at first, still marked with the blistering and burning brand.” Here we have a blistering detail, a blistering truth, a blistering story, and a blistering brand, to say nothing of innumerable other blisters interspersed throughout the book. But we have done with Norman Leslie, — if ever we saw as silly a thing, may we be —— blistered.

10

THE LINWOODS.

The Linwoods; or, “Sixty Years Since” in America. By the Author of “Hope Leslie,” “Redwood,” &c. New York: Published by Harper and Brothers.

Miss Sedgwick is one among the few American writers who have risen by merely their own intrinsic talents, and without the a priori aid of foreign opinion and puffery, to any exalted rank in the estimation of our countrymen. She is at the same time fully deserving of all the popularity she has attained. By those who are most fastidious in matters of literary criticism, the author of Hope Leslie is the most ardently admired, and we are acquainted with few persons of sound and accurate discrimination who would hesitate in placing her upon a level with the best of our native novelists. Of American female writers we must consider her the first. The character of her pen is essentially feminine. No man could have written Hope Leslie; and no man, we are assured, can arise from the perusal of The Linwoods without a fill conviction that his own abilities would have proved unequal to the delicate yet picturesque handling; the grace, warmth, and radiance; the exquisite and judicious filling in, of the volumes which have so enchanted him. Woman is, after all, the only true painter of that gentle and beautiful mystery, the heart of woman. She is the only proper Scheherazade for the fairy tales of love.

We think The Linwoods superior to Hope Leslie, and superior to Redwood. It is full of deep natural interest, rivetting attention without undue or artificial means for attaining that end. It contains nothing forced, or in any degree exaggerated. Its prevailing features are equability, ease, perfect accuracy and purity of style, a manner never at outrance with the subject matter, pathos, and verisimilitude. It cannot, however, be considered as ranking with the master novels of the day. It is neither an Eugene Aram, nor a Contarini Fleming.

The Linwoods has few — indeed no pretensions to a connected plot of any kind. The scene, as the title indicates, is in America, and about sixty years ago. The adventures of the family of a Mr. Linwood, a resident of New York, form the principal subject of the book. The character of this gentleman is happily drawn, but we are aware of a slight discrepancy between his initial and his final character as depicted. He has two children, Herbert and Isabella. Being himself a tory, the boyish impulses of his son in favor of the revolutionists are watched with anxiety and vexation; and, upon the breaking out of the war, Herbert, positively refusing to drink the king’s health, is, in consequence, ejected from his father’s house — an incident upon which hinges much of the interest of the narrative. Isabella is the heroine proper; a being full of lofty and generous impulses, beautiful, intellectual, and spirittuelle — indeed a most fascinating creature. But the family of a widow Lee forms, perhaps, the true secret of that charm which pervades the novel before us. A matronly, pious, and devoted mother, yielding up her son, without a murmur, to the sacred cause of her country — the son, Eliot, gallant, thoughtful, chivalrous, and prudent — and above all, a daughter, Bessie, frail-minded, susceptible of light impressions, gentle, loving, and melancholy. Indeed, in the creation of Bessie Lee, Miss Sedgwick has given evidence not to be disputed, of a genius far more than common. We do not hesitate to call it a truly beautiful and original conception, evincing imagination of the highest order. It is the old story of a meek and trusting spirit bowed down to the dust by the falsehood of a deceiver. But in the narration of Miss Sedgwick it becomes a magical tale, and bursts upon us with all the freshness of novel emotion. Deserted by her lover, (Jasper Meredith, an accomplished and aristocratical coxcomb,) the spirits of the gentle girl sink gradually from trusting affection to simple hope — from hope to anxiety — from anxiety to doubt — from doubt to melancholy — and from melancholy to madness. She escapes from her home and her friends in New England, and endeavors to make her way alone to New York, with the object of restoring, to him who has abandoned her, some tokens he had given her of his love — an act which her disordered fancy assures her will effect, in her own person, a disenthralment from passion. Her piety, her madness, and her beauty stand her in the stead of the lion of Una, and she reaches the great city in safety. In that portion of the novel which embodies the narrative of this singular journey, are some passages of the purest and most exalted poetry — passages which no mind but one thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the beautiful could have conceived, and which, perhaps, no other writer in this country than Miss Sedgwick could have executed. Our readers will find that what we say upon this head is very far from exaggeration.

Jasper Meredith, considered as an actual entity, is, as we have already said, a heartless, calculating coxcomb with merely a spice of what we may call susceptibility to impressions of the beautiful, to redeem him from utter contempt. As a character in a novel, he is admirable — because he is accurately true to nature, and to himself. His perfidy to Bessie (we shall never forget Bessie) meets with poetical justice in a couple of unsuccessful courtships, (in each of which the villain’s heart is in some degree concerned,) and in a final marriage with a flirt, Helen Ruthven, who fills him up, with a vengeance, the full measure of his deserts. Mrs. Meredith is a striking picture of the heartless and selfish woman of fashion and aristocracy. Kisel, the servant of Eliot Lee, is original, and, next to Bessie, the best conception in the book. He is a simple, childish, yet acute and affectionate fool, who follows his master as would a dog, and finally dies at his feet under circumstances of the truest pathos. While Miss Sedgwick can originate such characters as these, she need apprehend few rivals near the throne.

We cannot pass over in silence a little episode in which a blind child is torn away at night from a distracted mother, by one of the notorious bands of Skinners infesting the country. The mother’s house is set on fire by the robbers, in their search after plunder; but her most valuable property having been previously removed to New York, the exasperated ruffians seize and bear off the fainting child, with the view of extorting money for its ransom. Eliot Lee, aided by General Putnam, rescues the child, and restores it to the mother. This whole incident is worthy of Miss Sedgwick.

We have mentioned the name of Putnam, — he as well as Washington, Lafayette, Clinton, and some other well-known personages are familiarly introduced in the narrative but are simply accessories to the main interest, and very little attempt is made at portraying their historical characters. Whatever is done, however, is well done. So much real pleasure have we derived from the perusal of The Linwoods, that we can hardly find it in our hearts to pick a quarrel with the fair author, for the very few trifling inadvertences into which she has been betrayed. There were, we believe, some points at which we intended to cavil, but not having pencilled them down in the course of perusal, they have now escaped our recollection. Somewhat more energy in occasional passages — somewhat less diffuseness in others — would operate, we think, to the improvement of Miss Sedgwick’s generally excellent style. Now and then, we meet with a discrepancy between the words and the character of a speaker. For example: page 38, vol. i. “ ‘No more of my contempt for the Yankees, Hal, an’ thou lovest me,’ replied Jasper; ‘you remember Æsop’s advice to Croesus, at the Persian court?’ ‘No, I am sure I do not. You have the most provoking way of resting the lever by which you bring out your own knowledge, on your friend’s ignorance.’ ” Now all this is very-pretty, but it is not the language of school-boys. Again: page 226 vol. i.’Now out on you, you lazy, slavish, loons,’ cried Rose,’cannot you see these men are raised up, to fight for freedom, for more than themselves? If the chain is broken at one end, the links will fall apart sooner or later. When you see the sun on the mountain top, you may be sure it will shine into the deepest valleys before long.’ Who would suppose this graceful eloquence, and these impressive images to proceed from the mouth of a negro-woman? Yet such is Rose. And at page 24, vol. i. we have the following. “True, I never saw her; but I tell you, young lad, there is such a thing as seeing the shadow of things far distant and past, and never seeing the realities though they it be that cast the shadows.” The speaker here, is an old woman who a few sentences before talks about her proficiency in telling fortins.

There are one or two other trifles with which we have to find fault. Putnam’s deficiency in spelling is, perhaps, a little burlesqued; and the imaginary note written to Eliot Lee, is not in accordance with that laconic epistle subsequently introduced, and which was a bona &fide existence. We dislike the death of Kisel — that is we dislike its occurring so soon — indeed we see no necessity for killing him at all. His end is beautifully managed, but leaves a kind of uneasy and painful impression, which a judicious writer will be chary of exciting. We must quarrel also, with some slight liberties taken with the King’s English. Miss Sedgwick has no good authority for the use of such verbs, as “to ray.” Page 117, vol. i. “They had all heard of Squire Saunders, whose fame rayed through a large circle” — Also, in page 118, vol. i. “The next morning he called, his kind heart raying out through his jolly face, to present me to General Washington.” Nor is she justifiable in making use of the verb “incense,” with the meaning attached to it in the following sentence. Page 211, vol i. “Miss Ruthven seemed like an humble worshipper, incensing two divinities.” We dislike also, the vulgarity of such a phrase as “I put in my oar” — meaning “I joined in the conversation” — especially in the mouth of so well-bred a lady, as Miss Isabella Linwood — see page 61, vol. i. We do not wish either to see a marquee, called a “markee,” or a denoutement, a denceutment. Miss Sedgwick should look over her proof-sheets, or, be responsible for the blunders of her printer. The plural “genii” at page 84, vol. ii. is used in place of the singular genius. “Isabella is rather penseroso” is likewise an error — see page 164, vol. ii.; it should be penserosa. But we are heartily ashamed of finding fault with such trifles, and should certainly not have done so, had there been a possibility of finding fault with any thing of more consequence. We recommend The Linwoods to all persons of taste. But let none others touch it.

11

WESTMINSTER REVIEW.

The Westminster Review,.No. XLV, for July, 1835. American Edition, Vol. IV, So. 1. New York: Theodore Foster.

Article I is “Philanthropic Economy; or the Philosophy of Happiness, practically applied to the Social, Political, and Commercial Relations of Great Britain. By Mrs. Loudon, Author of “First Love,” “Fortune Hunting,” and “Dilemmas of Pride.” London: Churton, 1835. 8vo. pp. 312.”

Mrs. Loudon’s Economy has excited great attention in England, and her work is highly lauded in the present instance. As an able and chivalrous champion of the cause of the people, she deserves all the encomiums which she has received, and we are not in any degree disposed to pick a quarrel with her Ethics, which, to say the truth, are as little to the purpose as her political, or if she pleases, her philanthropic Economy, is most effectually to the point. We have not seen her entire publication, but merely judge of it from the copious extracts in the article before us. Her answer to the objections to the ballot is forcible, and coming as it does from a lady, its value is quadrupled in our eyes. The Notice of her book concludes as follows. “It is plain that Mrs. Loudon is a splendid woman, and has, at one effort, taken her place in line, among the political economists upon the people’s side. She is fortunate too in having fallen upon times when ‘the spread of education is, in fact, rendering the peaceable continuance of abuses impossible.’”

Article II is “Venetian History. Family Library, No. XX — London, Murray, 1833.” A compendious History of Venice, and apparently forced into the service of the Review “will I, nill I,” without any object farther than the emptying of some writer’s portfolio, or common-place book. It is nevertheless an invaluable paper.

Article III is “Memoirs of John Napier of Merchiston, his Lineage, Life, and Times, with a History of the Invention of Logarithms. By Mark Napier, Esq. Blackwood, Edinburgh; Cadell, London, 1834. 4to. pp. 534.”

This is a Review of exceeding interest, and evidently from a mind thoroughly imbued with a love of science. It enters largely into the subject matter of the book reviewed, and defends Napier from the often repeated accusation of having derived his principle from the works of Archimedes, Ditmarsus, and Byrgius. A short account of the philosopher’s treatises on Arithmetic and Algebra, as they appear at the end of the Memoirs, is given in the conclusion of the Notice. We perceive that Mr. Napier has here taken occasion to observe that Horsley, Hutton, Leslie, and Playfair, are mistaken in supposing Albert Girard the first who made use of the expressions majores nihilo and minores nihilo in relation to positive and negative quantities.

Article IV is “ An Essay on Musical Intervals, Harmonics, and the Temperament of the Musical Scale, &c. By W. S. B. Woolhouse, Head Assistant of the Nautical Almanac Establishment.”

This is a short article in which the book under review is condemned for inaccuracy and misrepresentation. The Essay itself is another instance of the interest now taken in the mathematics of music.

Article V is “A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Artists: comprising Painters, Sculptors, Engravers and Architects, from the earliest ages to the present time. By John Gould — Second Edition, 2 vols. 12mo. Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1835.”

The work in question is spoken of as having been composed — ” conceived, planned, and probably in part executed among lowing herds and obstinate swine.” It is preceded by an historical, biographical, and professional introduction, apparently of no very great merit. The Dictionary is called a most laborious, and on the whole a very successful compilation. “The chief matter of some hundreds of volumes is condensed into two small duodecimos. As this is all it aims to do, by this only can it be fairly judged, and not by any standard of original criticism.”

Article VI. “History of Scotland. By Patrick Fraser Tytler, Esq. F. R. S. E. and F. A. S. Edinburgh. Vols. i-v. 1828-1834.”

This critique speaks of Tytler’s Scotland as displaying much research, and considerable skill, as well as impartiality, but the greater part of the article is taken tip in reviewing some of the leading features in Scottish History.

Article VII. — 1. “ The Forms of Deeds and Documents in England and France, compared and exemplified, in a Letter to the Lord Chancellor. Paris: Galignani. London: Saunders and Benning, 1835.”

2. “The Mechanics of Law-making. Intended for the use of Legislators, and all other persons concerned in the making and understanding of English Laws. By Arthur Symonds, Esq. London: Churton, 1835.”

The authors of the works here reviewed have attempted to unfold, and to show the worthlessness of, those technical mysteries which have so long enveloped the science of Law. The “Forms of Deeds, &c.” is from the pen of Mr. Okey. He gives several examples of English and French Deeds — printing them on opposite pages. The difference in conciseness is said to be four to one in favor of the French, while in clearness they admit of no comparison. The greater brevity of the French documents is attributed to the existence of a Code. “The Mechanics of Law making” insists upon the necessity of reform in the arrangement, language, classification, and contents of the British Acts of Parliament, and in the agency by which the laws are ‘prepared, made, promulgated, superintended, enforced, and amended.’ The Review is brief — but concurs heartily in the necessity alluded to.

Article VIII. 1. “Sur les Crdances rdclamdes de la France par la Russie au nom du Royaume de Polognc. Paris, 1835.”

2. “On the Russo-Polish Claims on France. (From the periodical Le Polonais, published monthly in Paris, by a member of the Polish Diet. Number for February 1835.”) 3. “A few more words on the Polish question, (From Le Polonais — number for March 1835.”)

The author of the work Sur les Creances, enters into an examination of the titles of which the Russian government avails itself “either to effect a final settlement, or to claim payment of sums which might ultimately be proved to be due to the kingdom of Poland.” The editor of Le Polonais is of a family to which Po land is indebted for “several brilliant exploits, not only in the field of battle, but in the tribute of the National Assembly.” His journal is devoted to the history and literature of Poland — but more especially to its political interests. The Review enters into some discussion on the Russo-Polish Claims, and makes it apparent that the policy of Great Britain is materially involved, in the Russo-French liquidation. “She has joined” says the critic — ” in refusing to uphold Russia in the violation of the constitution and nationality of Poland Lord Palmerston gave lengthened and clear explanations on this point to Parliament on the 9th of April, 1833. Tranquilly to stand by, and witness the Russo French liquidation, an act which would be equivalent to a passive acknowledgment on the part of France, of the usurpations of Russia, would be contrary to the dignity and interest of the British nation.”

Article IX-1. “Thoughts upon the Aristocracy of England. By Isaac Tompkins, Gent. Fifth Edition. London: Henry Hooper, 1835, pp. 23.”

2. “A letter to Isaac Tompkins, Gent., author of the Thoughts upon the Aristocracy. From Mr. Peter Jenkins. Fifth Edition, with a Postscript. London: Henry Hooper, 1835, pp. 11.”

3. “A letter to Isaac Tompkins, and Peter Jenkins on Primogeniture. By Timothy Winterbottom. Fourth Edition. London: William Pickering, 1835.”

From the specimens of these Pamphlets, given in the Review before us, we are inclined to think them excessively amusing. Mr. Isaac Tompkins busies himself with the House of Lords, and Mr. Peter Jenkins gives the lash to the House of Commons. Mr. T’s account of patrician taste in literature and wit — of courts, courtiers, court-jesters, buffoonery, &c. are not a little edifying. His book has created a great sensation. In a note appended to the fourth edition, occur the following significant remarks. “The Quarterly Review, the organ of the Aristocratic Church, and of the Lay Aristocracy, has taken the opportunity of printing the greater part of the work, under pretence of giving a Review of it. Pretence it plainly is; for there is hardly one remark added, and not one syllable of censure or objection! Can any thing more plainly demonstrate that the cause of the Aristocracy is hateful, even to the very writers who affect to support it? Can any thing better prove its decline among all educated and sensible men? Mr. Canning’s abhorrence of it is well known, and so is the hatred with which he was repaid. But in our time, the advocate of establishments can think: of nothing better than giving a very wide circulation to Mr. J. Tompkins’ observations. These Quarterly Reviewers would not for the world, that these observations were not generally known.” Peter Jenkins concludes his pamphlet with some remarks on the new liberal government. Winterbottom’s letter treats chiefly of the evils resulting from the accumulation of wealth in a few hands. “The whole family of Tompkins &c. is good” — says the Reviewer — ” and the public, will be glad to see more of their kin and kind.”

Article X. “The History of Ireland. By Thomas Moore, Esq. In three volumes. Vol. i. London: Long man & Co. 1835.”

This is an excellent and very laudatory notice, of a work which cannot be too highly commended. The difficulties Mr. Moore has overcome, in reducing to or der a chaotic discordance of materials, with a view to this History, will, perhaps, never be fully appreciated. It cannot indeed be asserted that every portion of his subject has been hitherto uninvestigated, or, that all the questions he has discussed have been satisfactorily settled; but that, under existing circumstances, such a book should have been written at all, is a matter for admiration — and that it has been so rationally, so lucidly, and so critically written, is a fact which cannot fail to elevate its author immeasurably in the estimation of his friends. The future volumes of The History of Ireland, will be looked for with intense interest. In them we may expect to find the records of a dark and troubled period. Moore will speak fearlessly, or we are much mistaken.

Article XI. “A Bill for granting Relief in relation to the Celebration of Marriages, to certain persons dissenting from the Church of England and Ireland, 1835.”

The Reviewer, here, seems to think that Sir Robert Peel’s Bill, with some little amendment, would meet the case of the Dissenters in the manner most satisfactory, and, under all circumstances most convenient. The Dissenters themselves have little to propose, and that little impracticable.

Article XII. “Plantagenet. — 3 vols. London: John Macrone, 1835.”

Plantagenet is a novel: and the writer’s object is stated by the critic to be pretty nearly identical with that of Mr. Timothy Winterbottom, of whom we have spoken before — viz: to lay bare the social evils of primogeniture. The English system of education is de tailed, and its effect upon character analyzed. The writer’s design is said not to be very well carried into execution — nevertheless the Reviewer places him in the first line of modern political novelists, and says there is nobody, except the author of ‘The Radical,’ who, stands out as a model for him to overtake or pursue.

Article XIII. — l. “Colonization of South Australia. By R. Torrens, Esq. F. R. S. Chairman of the Colonization Commission, for South Australia. London: Longman, 1835.”

2. “Colonization; particularly in Southern Austraha; with some remarks on Small Farms and Over-population. By Colonel Charles James Napier, C. B. London: T. & W. Boone, 1835.”

Colonel Torrens’ book is bitterly and sarcastically reviewed. It is an octavo of more than 300 pages, with an Appendix of about 20. The first part of the body of the work is in the form of a letter, divided into twelve parts, and addressed “To the author of the History of the Indian Archipelago.” This portion discusses the new scheme for colonizing South Australia. Its style is called pamphleteering and polemical. The second part is said to be “in the usual cold, cramped, and unpopular manner of the author’s politico-economical writings.” The Appendix consists of the Act of Parliament for the formation of the Colony, of two letters signed Kangaroo, and of another from A. B., approving of Kangaroo’s opinions. Kangaroo is thought by the Reviewer a better writer of English than his master. Colonel Napier’s book is favorably noticed. His views are in direct opposition to those of Torrens.

Article XIV. “The Mythology of Ancient Greece and Italy. By Thomas Keightley, Esq. 8vo. London, 1831.” This is an interesting and able paper, but has no pretensions to the name of Review. The position of the Bacchanalians in Greek and Roman History, and their progress, together with the dangers and impediments encountered in their course, forms the subject of the Essay — for it is an Essay, although an admirable one.

12

LONDON QUARTERLY REVIEW.

The London Quarterly Review, No. CVII. for July, 1835. American Edition, Vol. III, No. 1.

Article I. — 1. “ Narrative of a Second Voyage in search of a North-West Passage, and of a Residence in the Arctic Regions, during the Years 1829-30-31-32 33. By Sir John Ross, C. B., K. S. A., K. C. S., &c. &c. Captain in the Royal Navy, London: 1835, 4to. pp. 740.”

2. “The Late Voyage of Captain Sir John Ross, R. N. to the Arctic Regions, for the Discovery of a North-West Passage; performed in the Years 1829-30-31-32-33. From authentic information, and original documents, transmitted by William Light, Purser’s Steward to the Expedition. By Robert Huish, author of the ‘Memoirs of the Princess Charlotte,’ ‘Treatise on Bees,’ &c. &c. London: 1835, 8vo. pp. 760.”

3. “Report from a Select Committee of the House of Commons, on the Expedition to the Arctic Seas, commanded by Captain John Ross, R. N. 1834.”

This is, in many respects a clever and judicious Review, although abounding with much vulgar abuse of Captain Ross, whom it accuses, not only of gross ignorance and misrepresentation, but of several minor indecorums, such for example, as “the opening of a subscription shop in Regent Street — the sending of a set of fellows, usually called trampers, but who call themselves agents, to knock at every gentleman’s door, in town and country, not humbly to solicit, but with pertinacious importunity, almost to force subscriptions — the getting up of Vauxhall and panoramic exhibitions, and some other circumstances not worth detailing.” It hints something also, of the Captain’s having procured the literary aid of “a practised embroiderer of periods, one Dr. M’Culloch.” Huish’s book is treated with derision, but the Quarterly cannot resist the temptation of giving additional currency to a malignant accusation of cruelty, brought by this very man Huish, against the Captain. The charge is republished in the Review with a hint, that it is quite as likely to be true as not. The Article concludes with a hope, that if the Government should determine upon another expedition, its direction may be given to Captain James Clarke Ross, and Back, appointed his second in command — and roundly asserts that Sir John Ross, C. B., K. S. A., K. C. S., &c. &c., is utterly incompetent to conduct any enterprise of the kind, to a successful termination.

Article II. “Journal of Frances Anne Butler (Fanny Kemble,) 2 vols. Post 8vo. London: 1835.”

The tone of this Notice is very similar to that of the Article on the same subject in the Edinburgh for July — perhaps, upon the whole, not quite so complimentary. The Reviewer is of opinion, that ‘Master Fanny’s’ Journal was from an early period, if not from the first line, intended for publication, and that the entire thing is arranged for stage — effect. Both these suppositions are highly probable. Indeed for our own part, we never had a doubt about the matter. The personifier of Julia, of Nell, and of Lady Macbeth, wished to make it apparent that she could mingle up in the same page, simplicity, frivolity and dignity. She has succeeded to a miracle, and we think nothing the worse of her performance for its premeditation. The critic finds fault, also, with Fanny’s transparent affectation — a charge from which we have neither the wish, nor the ability to defend her. Affectation is the Promethean fire of a pretty and intelligent woman — and provided always the things, the qualities, or manners affected are not in se disagreeable or odious, it is very seldom worth any one’s while to quarrel with it. As for the transparent part of the accusation, it betrays a want of philosophical acumen. Affectation, when we cannot see through it, is no longer affectation. The political fal lal of the fair lady is, of course, made a matter of high merit by the Quarterly Review. “Her observations,” quoth the critic, “evince a depth of penetration, and a soundness of judgment, rare in any one, but wonderful in a person of her age and sex.” A chuckle also is elicited, by Fanny’s astounding conviction, that “America will be a monarchy before she (Mrs. Butler) is a skeleton.”

Article III.” The Last Essays of Elia.” London: 12mo. 1833.

This is an Essay on the Essays of Lamb by one who thoroughly understands the man. And there are not many men who do thoroughly comprehend him. Altho’ not the greatest among his contemporaries he was the most original — and his writings are, we feel assured, a true copy of his individual mind. He was one of those men of infinite genius, so rarely to be met with, who unite the most exquisite daintiness and finish of style with a vigorous and dashing abandon of manner. This manner has been called affected — but it was not so. That his thoughts “were villainously pranked in an array of antique words and phrases” was a necessary thing. The language of the times of James and Charles I. was as natural to him as his native air — it was a portion of his intellect. As a critic, Lamb had no equal, aid we are moreover half inclined to agree with the Quarterly, that there are, amongst his poetical pieces, some as near perfection in their kind as any thing in our literature — ” specimens of exceeding artifice and felicity in rhythm, metre, and diction.”

Article IV. “History of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, illustrated by original documents. By Frederick Von Raumer. Translated from the German by Lord Francis Egerton, in 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1835.”

Frederick Von Raumer, the author of the work here reviewed, is the same who wrote the ‘History of the House of Hohenstauffen,’ noticed in a former number of the Quarterly. The present History is spoken of in high terms. It is the result of the author’s residence in Paris in 1830, and consists of a series of extracts from MSS. in the Bibliotheque Royale — chiefly the despatches of Ambassadors. Lord Egerton’s translation is favorably mentioned.

Article V. “The Life of Edmund Kean. In 2 vols. London: 1835.”

This is a most severe and galling Philippic upon a very worthless book. Indeed Barry Cornwall was the last person in the world who should have attempted the Life of Kean. From the poet’s peculiar cast of mind, (Proc ter is merely a dealer in delicate prettinesses,) he is particularly ill-qualified for discussing the merits of an actor whose province lay altogether amid the tempestuous regions of passion and energy. “A worse man” says the critic — ” might have made Kean’s story entertaining — a wiser, if he had told it at all, would have at least tried to make it instructive.” The Essays upon ,\the chief characters of Shakspeare, which fill nearly half the second volume, are truly said to be devoid of originality, vigor, or grace. To the entire book is laughably applied a couplet from an old criticism upon Suckling’s Aglaura.

This great voluminous pamphlet may be said,

To be like one that hath more hair than head.

Article VI. 1. “Physiologie du Gout: ou Medita tions de Gastronomie Transcendante; Ouvrage Theo rique, Historique, et a l’ordre du Jour. Dddie aux Gas tronomes Parisiens. Par un Professeur (M. Brillat Sa varin) M embre de Plusiours Societds Savantes. 2 tomes, 5me edition, Paris: 1835.”

2. “The French Cook. A System of Fashionable and Economical Cookery; adapted to the use of English Families, &e. by Louis Eustace Ude, ci-devant Cook to Louis XVI, and the Earl of Sefton, &c. &c. &c., 12th edition, with Appendix &c., London: 1833.”

This article is written in the most exquisite spirit of banter, and is irresistibly amusing. It commences with a sketch of the history, present state and literature of cookery! and concludes with a particular Notice of the books at the head of the article. “Mirabeau” — says the critic — ”used to present Condorcet with voilea ma thorie, and the Abbe Maury with voila ma pratique. We beg leave to present M. Brillat Savarin as our theory, M. Ude as our practice.” A biographical account of Savarin is introduced — full of wit. Savarin was Judge of the Court of Cassation, Member of the Legion of Honor, and of most of the scientific and literary societies of France. His work consists of “a collection of aphorisms, a dialogue between the author and a friend as to the expediency of publication, a biographical notice of the friend, thirty meditations, and a concluding Miscellany of adventures, inventions, and anecdotes.” Article VII. 1. “Souvenirs, Impressions, Pensdes, et Paysages pendant un Voyage en Orient, 1832, S1833. Par M. Alphonse de Lamartine, 4 vols. Paris: 1835.” 2. “A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, &c. By Alphonse de Lamartine, 3 vols. London: 1835.” An English translation of Lamartine’s Pilgrimage, and even a pirated Bruselles edition of the original, were read in London before the publication of the original itself. This is high evidence of the writer’s popularity, at least, however prejudicial it may have proved to his literary and pecuniary interests. The Remarks in the Review under consideration are deduced from the English translation, which is from the pen cf Miss Landon. With the exception of the French verses scattered throughout the work, and which are not very happily rendered (we should think it impossible to translate them) L. E. L. has executed her task with much ability — at least so says the Quarterly, and we believe it. Some singular misconceptions of the meaning of the original are, however, occasionally met with, and we are at a loss whether to attribute them to carelessness or an imperfect acquaintance with the French. The Review cites the following as an instance, and we have noted several others equally glaring.

N’attends donc plus de moi ces vers ou la pensee

Comme d’un arc sonore avec grace e1ancee

Et sur deux mots pareils vibrant a l’unisson

Dansent complaisamment aux caprices du son!

Ce froid echo des vers repugne it mon oreille.

From me expect no more the verse where thought

Glances in grace as from the sounding bow,

When two words vibrating in unison

Complacent dance to the caprice of sound.

Now verse in its cold echo shocks my ear.

The Review lavishes many compliments upon La martine, and enters into a compendious sketch of his Pilgrimage.

Article VIII. “Yarrow Revisited and other Poems. By Wm. Wordsworth. 12mo. pp. 349. London, 1835.”

Here is one of those exceedingly rare cases in which a British critic confines himself strictly to his text — but this is nearly all that can be said in favor of the Article. A more partial, a more indiscriminate or fulsome panegyric we never wish to see, and surely “Yarrow Re visited” is worthy of a better fate. “There is,” quoth the Reviewer, “a spirit of elegance in these poems more prominently and uniformly prevailing than in any equal portion of Mr. Wordsworth’s former works. We mean an elegance such as Quinctillian ascribes to several of the Greek and Roman writers — a nobleness of thought and feeling made vocal in perfectly pure and appropriate language. It struck us, at first, as an odd remark of Coleridge’s, that Goethe and Wordsworth were something alike, but &c. &c.” Heaven save us from our friends!

Article IX. — 1. “Rough Leaves from a Journal kept in Spain and Portugal. By Lieut. Col. Badcock, 8 vo. London: 1835.”

2. Recollections of a few days spent with the Queen’s Army in Spain, in September 1833, 12mo. (privately printed,) London: 1835.”

3. “Recollections of a visit to the Monasteries of Alcobava, and Batalha. By the author of Vathek, S vo. London: 1835, pp. 228.” Colonel Badcock’s book is favorably noticed. This Officer was sent to the Peninsula, by Earl Grey’s Ministry, for the purpose of transmitting exact intelligence to the government at home. In the discharge of this mission, he traversed the greater part of Spain, was present at the siege of Oporto, and attended Don Pedro to the camp before Santarem. His “Rough Leaves” are the result. From the work whose title appears in the second place large extracts are made, all of a highly amusing nature. The critique concludes with a brief complimentary notice of Mr. Beckford’s’ Recollections,’ which are excessively overpraised.

Article X.-1. “First Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Municipal Corporations of England and Wales, 1835.”

2. “Protest of Sir Francis Palgrave, against the First Report, &c. 1835.”

3. “Observations on the Principles to be adopted in the Establishment of new Municipalities, the Reform of Ancient Corporations, and the Cheap Administration of Justice. By Sir Francis Palgrave, K. H. London: 1833.” This is a violent party-paper, and abounds in misrepresentation. One of its passages is forcible enough. “The first step in this extraordinary affair, (the plan of Municipal Reform) was in itself most extraordinary. A commission was issued under the Great Seal of England, with powers and for purposes now confessed to have been illegal! * * * The town-clerk of a petty borough, discomfited the Lord High Chancellor of England, on a point of law, of his Lordship’s own raising, within his own special jurisdiction; and for the very first time, we believe, since the days of James and Jeffries, a commission under the Great Seal of England was convicted of illegality.”

Article XI “Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honorable Sir James Mackintosh. Edited by his son, Robert James Mackintosh, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1835.”

This Article we think upon the whole, better toned than the one upon the same subject, in the Edinburgh. It characterizes the work as a most interesting collection of Mackintoshiana, although not a good Life. Sir James is very justly styled an “idealogical writer, who, treating of human affairs, prefers to deal with thoughts, rather than things.”

13

NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.

The North American Review. No. LXXXIX — Vol. XLI. For October 1835. Boston: Charles Bowen.

It is now very generally known that Mr. Palfrey has become the editor of this Review, and the present number is the first issued since the announcement of the new arrangement. It is difficult to speak of a work like this as a whole. Particular articles strike us as being very good — some are worthless. We will briefly notice them one by one.

Article I. “Life of Jehudi Ashmun, late Colonial Agent in Liberia. With an Appendix, containing Extracts from his Journal and other Writings; and a brief Sketch of the Life of the Rev. Lott Carey. By Ralph Randolph Gurley. Washington.”

“The capacities of Ashmun’s character were such,” says the Reviewer, “that had he lived in any age or country, (pray, did he not live in any age or country?) their energy must have hurried them into development as inevitably as the waters flow to the sea.” All this we are willing to believe, and also that the man in question was a noble martyr in the cause of African colonization. We doubt, however, if there are not a crowd of books daily issuing unnoticed from the press, of far more general interest, and consequently more worthy the attention of our leading Review than even The Life of Ashmun. We shall soon, perhaps, have a Life of some Cuffy the Great, by Solomon Sapient; and then the North American will feel itself bound to devote one half of its pages to that important publication. In expressing ourselves thus, we mean not the slightest disrespect to either Ashmun or his Biographer. But the critique is badly written, and its enthusiasm outre and disproportionate.

Article II.-1. “Ward’s Law of Nations. 8vo. 2 vols. 1795.”

2. “Vattel’s Law of Nations, by Chitty, 8vo. 1829.” This is an excellent essay — a practical exposition of the source and character of the Law International, and for which the works above-mentioned afford the mate riel. A few articles similar to this would at once re deem the reputation of American critical literature Our position in regard to France, gives to this review, at this moment, additional interest.

Article III.” Matthias and his Impostures, or the Progress of Fanaticism. Illustrated in the Extraordinary Case of Robert Matthews, and some of his Fore runners and Disciples. By W. L. Stone. 12 mo. New York, 1835.”

The critic here adopts the very just opinion that Matthias had formed himself and his creed designedly upon the model of John of Leyden. We think it probable that the impostor, who was grossly ignorant, may have seen an account of the proceedings at Munster in some popular historical work, and formed his own conduct accordingly. The leader of the fanatics at Munster was Matthias, a baker. Matthews called himself Matthias. The former had his Rothman and Knipper doling, men of respectable family and some considera tion — the latter had his Pierson and Folger, men similarly circumstanced. Rothman and Knipperdoling were invested with an authority which was merely nominal. It was the same with Pierson and Folger. John had his Mount Zion at Munster, and Matthews his Mount Zion at Sing-Sing. The Review gives a digest of Stone’s book, and is very entertaining.

Article IV. “Scriptores Rerum Mythicarum Latini tres, Romae nuper Reperti. Ad fidem codicum M.S.S. Guelferbytanorum, Gottingensis, Gothani, et Parisien sis, Integriores edidit ac Scholiis illustravit Dr. Geor gius Henricus Bode, Ordinis Philos. Gotting. Assessor, Societatis literar. quae Cantabrigiie Americanorum floret Socius. Celles, 1834.”

Angelo Maio discovered and published, about three years ago, the works of three Roman writers, supposed by him to be Leontius, Placidus, and Hyginus, who flourished about the close of the fourth century, or as the Review incorrectly states, after the commencement of the fifth. The work criticised in the present article is a new edition of Maio’s publication, improved by the collation of MSS. at Wolfenbuttel, Gottingen, Gotha, and Paris. Dr. Bode, a scholar of high reputation, and who resided for some time in a New England literary institution, is the editor. The reviewer speaks of the Latinity as simple and easy, and, for the most part, classical in construction.

Article V. — 1. “A Lecture on the Working Men’s Party, first delivered October 6th, before the Charlestown Lyceum, and published at their request. By Edward Everett. Boston, 1830.”

2. “An Oration delivered before the Trades’ Union of Boston and Vicinity, on Fort Hill, on the Fifty-eighth Anniversary of American Independence. By Frederick Robinson. Boston, 1834.”

3. “The Rights of Industry, addressed to the Working Men of the United Kingdom. By the Author of ‘The Results of Machinery.’ Philadelphia, 1832.”

The Reviewer here commences with what we consider a naive acknowledgment, viz: that he has not selected the works whose titles are placed at the head of this article because they are recent, or unknown, but merely with the view of directing public attention to the subject of which they treat. The Essay, however, is an excellent one, and shows in a forcible manner, by a rapid comparative view of the condition of the laboring classes in our own and other countries, how few just causes of complaint exist among our’ working people.’

Article VI. “The Ministry for the Poor. A Discourse delivered before the Benevolent Fraternity of Churches in Boston, on their first anniversary, April 9th, 1835. By William E. Channing. Boston, 1835.”

The North American, in its last number, considered Southey a fine writer, but Washington Irving a much finer, and indeed ‘the best living writer of English prose:’ having, however, to review Mr. Channing in the present number, its opinions are conveniently modified to suit the occasion, and now the English of William E. Channing is declared coram populo to be’equally elegant, and a little more pure, correct, and pointed than that of Mr. Irving.’ There is surely something very absurd in all this. Mr. Irving is a fine writer, and so, beyond doubt, is Mr. Channing — but the Review seems perseveringly bent upon making the public think otherwise. What does the critic mean too by the assertion that Coleridge’s reputation is greater in America than in England, and that he possesses very slender claims to the distinction of the first philosopher of his age? We should like to see some direct evidence of what the Reviewer has so roundly asserted, viz: that “Coleridge shews an almost total want of precision and clearness of thought.” The works of the man are before the public, and we greatly prefer proof to assertion. We think this whole paper exceedingly silly.

Article VII. “A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural History. By William Swainson. London, 1834.”

We have not seen Swainson’s work, and of course can say nothing about it — the present article however, which professes to be, but is not, a Review of it, we pronounce excellent indeed. It must be read to be thoroughly appreciated.

Article VIII. — l. “Poems. By Mrs. L. H. Sigourney. Philadelphia, 1834.”

2. “Poems. By Miss H. F. Gould. Boston, 1835.”

The only fault we have with this critique is, that it hardly does justice to the noble talents of Mrs. Sigourney. Something more, we think, might have been said, and said with perfect truth. Miss Gould is more fairly dealt with, but nevertheless the criticism does not appear to come from the heart of a poet. Some incidental remarks upon Miss Sedgwick are highly complimentary and exceedingly just. Mrs. Sigourney’s first publication was reviewed in the North American about twenty years ago. She was then Miss Huntley.

Article IX. “Sartor Resartus: in three Books. Reprinted for friends, from Fraser’s Magazine. London, 1834.”

The North American might have been better employed than in reviewing this book — even although it be “no secret in England or here that it is the work of a person to whom the public is indebted for a number of articles in the late British Reviews.” The book purports to be a commentary (the author incog.) on a late work on the Philosophy of Dress, by Dr. Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, Professor of the Science of Things in General, at the University of Weissnichtwo in Germany; and the Reviewer thinks it necessary to enter into some pages of discussion, in order to convince his readers that Professor Teufelsdroeckh and his book are both a hum. We think the whole critique a hum of the worst order, viz: a hum unintentional. We will venture to bet that the meaning (if there be any) of the Sartor Resartus has only the two faults of the steed in Joe Miller. In the first place, it is hard to catch. In the second place it is worth nothing when caught.

Article X. “A Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language; with Pronouncing Vocabularies of Classical, Scripture, and Modern Geographical Names. By J. E. Worcester. Carefully revised and enlarged. Boston, 1835.”

This is a valuable work, and the writer of the critique upon it seems fully aware of its many excellences. Mr. Worcester has based his Dictionary upon those of Johnson and Walker, but has given six thousand more words than are found in the Critical Pronouncing Dictionary of the latter. A large number of terms purely technical are given with their meanings — many foreign words, also, in familiar use.

Article XI. — 1. “A Narrative of the Visit to the American Churches, by the Deputation from the Congregational Union of England and Wales. By Andrew Reed, D. D. and James Matheson, D. D. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1835.”

2. “Four Years in Great Britain. By Calvin Colton. 2 vols. 12mo. New York, 1835.”

Dr. Reed’s book is reviewed calmly and with strict impartiality — the reviewer allowing that the Dr. writes with energy when his attention is fully aroused. This, perhaps, is his chief merit. Of Colton’s work little is said. “His adventures,” observes the critic, “are very well described, and though in some of them he gives too much prominence to his own doubts and fears, still, if the whole had been written in the same manner, it would have insured the work a greater popularity than it is likely to gain.” His account of O’Connell is highly praised.

14

CRAYON MISCELLANY.

The Crayon Miscellany. By the author of the Sketch Book. No. 3 — Containing Legends of the Conquest of Spain. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard.

We feel it almost an act of supererogation to speak of this book, which is long since in the hands of every American who has leisure for reading at all. The matter itself is deeply interesting, but, as usual, its chief beauty is beauty of style. The Conquest of Spain by the Saracens, an event momentous in the extreme, is yet enveloped, as regards the motives and actions of the principal dramatis personæ in triple doubt and confusion. To snatch from this uncertainty a few striking and picturesque legends, possessing, at the same time, some absolute portion of verity, and to adorn them in his own magical language is all that Mr. Irving has done in the present instance. But that he has done this little well it is needless to say. He does not claim for the Legends the authenticity of history properly so called, — yet all are partially facts, and however extravagant some may appear, they will all, to use the words of the author himself, “be found in the works of sage and reverend chroniclers of yore, growing side by side with long acknowledged truths, and might be supported by learned and imposing references in the margin.” Were we to instance any one of the narratives as more beautiful than the rest, it would be The Story of the Marvellous and Portentous Tower.

15

GODWIN’S NECROMANCY.

Lives of the Necromancers: or an account of the most Eminent Persons in Successive Ages, who have claimed for themselves, or to whom has been imputed by others, the Exercise of Magical Power. By William Godwin, Author of “Caleb Williams,” &c. New York: Published by Harper Brothers.

The name of the author of Caleb Williams, and of St. Leon, is, with us, a word of weight, and one which we consider a guarantee for the excellence of any composition to which it may be affixed. There is about all the writings of Godwin, one peculiarity which we are not sure that we have ever seen pointed out for observation, but which, nevertheless, is his chief idiosyncrasy — setting him peculiarly apart from all other literati of the day. We allude to an air of mature thought — of deliberate premeditation pervading, in a remarkable degree, even his most common-place observations. He never uses a hurried expression, or hazards either an ambiguous phrase, or a premature opinion. His style therefore is highly artificial; but the extreme finish and proportion always observable about it, render this artificiality, which in less able hands would be wearisome, in him a grace inestimable. We are never tired of his terse, nervous, and sonorous periods — for their terseness, their energy, and even their melody, are made, in all cases, subservient to the sense with which they are invariably fraught. No English writer, with whom we have any acquaintance, with the single exception of Coleridge, has a fuller appreciation of the value of words; and none is more nicely discriminative between closely-approximating meanings. The avowed purpose of the volume now before us is to exhibit a wide view of human credulity. “To know” — says Mr. Godwin — “the things that are not, and cannot be, but have been imagined and believed, is the most curious chapter in the annals of man.” In extenso we differ with him.

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in thy philosophy.

There are many things, too, in the great circle of human experience, more curious than even the records of human credulity — but that they form one of the most curious chapters, we were at all times ready to believe, and had we been in any degree skeptical, the Lives of the Necromancers would have convinced us.

Unlike the work of Brewster, the Necromancy of Mr. Godwin is not a Treatise on Natural Magic. It does not pretend to show the manner in which delusion acts upon mankind — at all events, this is not the object of the book. The design, if we understand it, is to display in their widest extent, the great range and wild extravagancy of the imagination of man. It is almost superfluous to say that in this he has fully succeeded. His compilation is an invaluable work, evincing much labor and research, and full of absorbing interest. The only drawback to the great pleasure which its perusal has afforded us, is found in the author’s unwelcome announcement in the Preface, that for the present he winds up his literary labors with the production of this book. The pen which wrote Caleb Williams, should never for a moment be idle.

Were we to specify any article, in the Necromancy, as more particularly interesting than another, it would be the one entitled ‘Faustus.’ The prevalent idea that Fust the printer, and Faustus the magician, were identical, is here very properly contradicted.

16

REV. D. L. CARROLL’S ADDRESS.

Inaugural address of the Rev. D. L. Carroll, D.D. President of Hampden Sidney College, delivered on his induction into that office. Published by request of the Board of Trustees. Richmond: T. W. White, 1835. The friends of literature in Virginia have lately been favored with several Inaugural Addresses, each of which has had its peculiar merits. It is only of that whose title has just been given, that we intend to speak. In the correspondence which is prefixed to this Address, we learn that it was “prepared with great haste, amidst anxieties and efforts to regain health, and amidst all the inquietudes of journeying and absence from home.” Apologies are seldom worth the time spent in making or reading them. Generally, an author who prints his production may be supposed to consider it of some value. To make an apology, then, similar to that of Mr. Carroll, is but a modest way of hinting that, with a fair trial, the writer could have done much better. On the whole we wish that there had been no apology; for the Address needs none. It is not our purpose to give an outline of this discourse, or enter into a critical examination of its merits — for merits it has. We wish merely to call the attention of the reader to a few extracts, hoping that a perusal of these will induce him to procure and read the whole Address for himself. The first of these extracts is on a subject too long overlooked, and too much neglected in all our schools. We refer to social qualities. On this subject the author’s ideas are just and timely. He says:

“Every literary institution ought to aim at such a well regulated intercourse amongst its students as would inspire them with a dignified self-respect — as would cause them, even in retirement, to conduct themselves with that delicacy and deference to each other’s feelings that become a high-minded and honorable company of gentlemen associated in the pursuit of learning. They ought also, under proper restrictions, to mingle occasionally in the best circles of society around them. Neither their morals, their manners, nor their studies would suffer from that evolution and play of the social powers to which such an intercourse would give rise. I know indeed that a certain degree of awkward reserves, and bluntness of manners, and recklessness of dress have, in some minds, become almost inseparably associated with genius. But a moment’s reflection may convince any one that it requires no very extraordinary endowments from the Creator, to enable a man, after a little practice, to become a clown in his manners and a sloven in his apparel. Let it not be supposed, however, that in thus contending for the development of the social powers and cultivable graces of our nature, we countenance the contemptible littleness of dandyism. The mere dandy we despise as a thing whose definition the great American lexicographer has given in the following appropriate terms — ” a male of the human species who dresses himself like a doll, and carries his character on his back.” Between the peculiarities of such a creature and the dignified refinement and suavity of the educated gentleman, it were odious to institute a comparison. It is the latter to which regard is to be had in a course of education. All that we contend for is, that the youthful mind should be in spired with a deep consciousness of the existence and the worth of those social powers and kindly sympathies within itself, which bind it indissolubly to its species, and should be led to regard their development and culture as a necessary part of its preparation for future life.”

We are no less pleased with the following sentiments on the subject of the moral influences that should pervade a College.

“The great question is yet to be decided — What influence our educated men will have on the moral destinies of this nation! A question involving all those dear and mighty interests which bind us in hope to this and to a future world. With such a question pending, I tremble for the safety of my country, and blush for its reputation for sound philosophy, when I reflect that here an attempt has been made to break up the alliance between learning and religion, and to sever our literary institutions from the practical influence of a pure Christianity. I am happy to know that this is not to be the order of things in Hampden Sydney. I am not called to take the helm without a chart or compass. And I never shall embark on a voyage of such perils unless I can nail the Bible to the mast. We shall avoid all mere proselytism and the inculcation of minor sectarian peculiarities. But we shall strenuously endeavor so to develope, [[sic]] and discipline, and adapt to action the moral powers of youth, that, appreciating highly their own immortal interests. they shall go out hence on the high ways of society a chosen band, clothed in the panoply of heaven to act as the lifeguards of the virtue, order, and common Christianity of their country.”

The conclusion of Mr. Carroll’s Address is full of fervid eloquence, rendered doubly interesting by a vein of that truest of all philosophy, the philosophy of the Christian. In the two last paragraphs sentiments are expressed, which at their delivery must have produced a strong sensation. Such indeed we learn from those present on the occasion, was their effect.

“It well becomes me to tread with modest and tremulous steps in a path consecrated by the luminous career of such men as the brothers Smith, an Alexander, a Hoge, and a Cushing. “There were giants in the earth in those days — mighty men, even men of renown.” But they have gone, as we trust, to adorn higher spheres of usefulness and glory, and to shine in the firmament of God: whilst the radiance of their characters, still not lost to earth, lingers, like the setting sun-beams, on the high places of Hampden Sydney. They have all gone save one, at whose feet, as the Gamaliel of the Church, it has been my distinguished privilege to sit, and to whose masterly management of the young mind I am much indebted for whatever of mental furniture I possess. I enter upon my duties, however diffident, with the unblenching purpose of doing what I can to promote the best interests of the Institution over which I am called to preside. True, with a body and a mind partially wrecked by the arduous labors of past years and by successive attacks of prolonged illness, I cannot promise much. But I come to the performance of my new duties cheerfully, and with the frankness and integrity of a man in sober earnest to do what I can.

“Knowing and admiring, as I always have done, the noble generosity of the Virginian character, I throw myself unreservedly upon the clemency, and I expect the prompt, cordial, efficient cooperation of this honorable Board of Trustees. Ido more. With a heart still bleeding under a recent and final separation from that beloved people, whose sympathies and prayers have been the solace of my past life for years, I throw myself upon the kindness of this privileged Christian community. Most gladly would I find a home in their affections. Most devoutly do I hope for and desire the sustaining influence of their sympathies and of their supplications to heaven in my behalf and in behalf of this Institution. Let all the pious and prayerful join with ne today, in a renewed consecration of this College to God, under the deep conviction that “except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain.” With such for my allies, and God as my help, I shall enter on my labors with the assurance that the inspiriting motto — “ nil desperandum est” — is far more applicable to Hampden Sydney than it was to the republic of Rome in the zenith of her glory.”

17

EULOGIES ON MARSHALL.

1. Judge Story’s Discourse. 2. Binney’s Eulogiutim.

We have received Mr. Binney’s EULOGY pronounced at Philadelphia, and Judge Story’s DISCOURSE in Boston, upon our great and lamented countryman, fellow-townsman, neighbor, and friend — for by all these names did a fortuitous conjuncture of circumstances, including his own kind and prideless heart, entitle us to call him. We have read them both, with an interest created by long admiration and love for the subject, but rendered more intense by the beauties of the manner, in which the subject is displayed. We do not say, ‘materiem superat opus.’ To such a material, no human skill could be incommensurately great: and Mr. Binney speaks with no less truth than modesty, in making it the consolation alike of the humblest, and of the most gifted eulogist, “that the case of this illustrious man is one, in which to give with simplicity the record of his life,” is most nearly to copy “the great original;” and to attempt more, “is

. . . ..’ with taper light

To seek the beauteous eye of Heaven to garnish.’”

But except Everett among the living, and Wirt and Ames among the departed of our countrymen, we doubt if any American, with the effusions of whose mind we are familiar, could have more closely rivalled by language the character and the actions attempted to be portrayed. It is not our purpose now to review these two eulogies. A more extended notice — of them, and of their great subject, we defer for our next number; in which we shall, perhaps, give also a few light personal reminiscences of Judge Marshall.

18

MINOR’S ADDRESS.

An Address on Education, as connected with the Permanence of our Republican Institutions. Delivered before the Institute of Education of Hampden Sidney College, at its Anniversary Meeting, September the 24th, 1835, on the invitation of that Body. By Lucian Minor, Esq. of Louisa. Published by request of the Institute.

We earnestly call the attention of the public at large, but more especially the attention of all good citizens of Virginia, to the Address with whose title this article is headed. It will be found entire in the columns of the Messenger — but its appearance, likewise, in pamphlet form, simultaneously with the issuing of the present number, affords us an opportunity of noticing it editorially without deviating from established rules.

Virginia is indebted to Mr. Minor — indebted for the seasonable application of his remarks, and doubly indebted for the brilliant eloquence, and impressive energy with which he has enforced them. We sincerely wish — nay, we even confidently hope, that words so full of warning, and at the same time so pregnant with truth, may succeed in stirring up something akin to action in the legislative halls of the land. Indeed there is no time to squander in speculation. The most lukewarm friend of the State must perceive — if he perceives any thing — that the glory of the Ancient Dominion is in a fainting — is in a dying condition. Her once great name is becoming, in the North, a bye-word for imbecility — all over the South, a type for “ the things that have been.” And tamely to ponder upon times gone by is not to meet the exigencies of times present or to come. Memory will not help us. The recollection of our former high estate will not benefit us. Let us act. While we have a resource let us make it of avail. Let us proceed, at once, to the establishment throughout the country, of district schools, upon a plan of organization similar to that of our New England friends. If then, in time, Virginia shall be regenerated — if she shall, hereafter, assume, as is just, that proud station from which her own supine and over-weening self-esteem has been the means of precipitating her, “it will all be owing,” (we take pleasure in repeating the noble and prophetic words of Mr. Minor,) “it will all be owing, under Providence, to the hearkening to that voice — not loud, but solemn and earnest — which from the shrine of Reason and the tombs of buried commonwealths, reiterates and enforces the momentous precept — ‘ENLIGHTEN THE PEOPLE.’ ”

19

LEGENDS OF A LOG CABIN.

Legends of a Log Cabin. By a Western Man. New York: George Dearborn, Publisher.

We have been much interested in this book in spite of some very glaring faults and absurdities with which it is besprinkled. The work is dedicated to Charles F. Hoffman, Esq. the author of /Winter in the West, (why will our writers persist in this piece of starched and antique affectation?) and consists of seven Tales, viz. The Hunter’s Vow, The Heiress of Brandsby, The Frenchman’s Story, The Englishman’s Story, The Yankee’s Story, The Wyandot’s Story, and the Minute Men. The plot will be readily conceived. A heterogeneous company are assembled by accident, on a snowy night, in the Log Cabin of a Western hunter, and, pour passer le temps, amuse themselves in telling Stories.

The Hunter’s Vow is, we think, the best of the series. A dreamy student who can never be induced to forsake his books for the more appropriate toils of a backwoods’ existence, is suddenly aroused from his apathy by the murder of his old father by an Indian — a murder which takes place under the scholar’s own eyes, and which might have been prevented but for his ignorance in the art of handling and loading a rifle. The entire change wrought in the boy’s character is well managed. The Heiress of Brandsby is a tale neither so verisimilar, nor so well told. It details the love of a Virginian heiress for a Methodist of no very enticing character; and concludes by the utter subversion, through the means of all powerful love, of the lady’s long cherished notions of aristocracy. The Frenchman’s Story has appeared before in the American Monthly Magazine. It is a well imagined and well executed tale of the French Revolution. The fate of M. Girond “who left town suddenly,” is related with that air of naked and unvarnished truth so apt to render even a silly narrative interesting. The Englishman’s Story is a failure — full of such palpable folly that we have a difficulty in ascribing it to the same pen which wrote the other portions of the volume. The whole tale betrays a gross ignorance of law in general and of English law in especial. The Yankee’s Story is much better — but not very good. We have our doubts as to the genuine Yankeeism of the narrator. His language, at all events, savors but little of Down East. The Wyandot’s Story is also good (this too has appeared in the American Monthly Magazine) — but we have fault to find, likewise, with the phraseology in this instance. No Indian, let Chateaubriand and others say what they please, ever indulged, for a half hour at a time, in the disjointed and hyperbolical humbug here attributed to the Wyandot. The Minute Men is the last of the series, and from its being told by the author himself, is, we suppose, considered by him the best. It is a tale of the year seventy-five — but, although interesting, we do not think it equal to either The Frenchman’s Story or The Hunter’s Vow. We recommend the volume to the attention of our readers. It is excellently gotten up.

20

TRAITS OF AMERICAN LIFE.

Traits of American Life. By Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, Editor of “ The American Ladies’ Magazine,” and author of “Northwood,” “ Flora’s Interpreter,” &c. &c. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey, and A. Hart.

This volume is beautifully printed — and we are happy in being able to say, conscientiously, that its neat external appearance is its very least recommendation. We are, however, at a loss to understand the Preface — can it be that its ambiguity is intentional? “The Sketches and Stories here offered to the public” — says Mrs. Hale — “have not entirely the attraction of novelty to plead in their favor — but the author trusts that the sentiments inculcated, and principles illustrated, are such as will bear a reiteration.” Does Mrs. H. mean to say that these stories have been published in any form before? (if so, she should have said it more explicitly) — or does she allude merely to novelty of manner or of matter? We think that some of these sketches are old acquaintances of ours.

The volume consists of fourteen different articles. The Lloyds — The Catholic Convert — The Silver Mine — Political Parties — A New Year’s Story — Captain Glover’s Daughter — The Fate of a Favorite — The Romance of Travelling — The Thanksgiving of the Heart — The Lottery Ticket — An Old Maid — Ladies’ Fairs — The Mode — and The Mysterious Box. The Silver Mine is, perhaps, the best of the whole — but they are all written with grace and spirit, and form a volume of exceeding interest. Mrs. Hale has already attained a high rank among the female writers of America, and bids fair to attain a far higher.

21

WESTERN SKETCHES.

Sketches of History, Life, and Manners in the West. By James Hall. Philadelphia: Harrison Hall.

Mr. Hall has made himself extensively known by his Tales and Legends, as well as by his labors in the editorship of the Western Monthly Magazine. From his long residence in the West, and from his undoubted abilities as a writer, we should suppose he would be excellently qualified to write precisely such a book as he has written. His object in the present publication seems to be not so much the furnishing of topographical or statistical details, as the sketching of character and life in the West, prior to the close of the late war. To those who are at all acquainted with Mr. Hall, or with Mr. Hall’s writings, it is superfluous to say that the book is well written, Wild romance and exciting adventure form it; staple.

The policy of our government in regard to the Aborigines is detailed in the commencement of the first volume — the latter portion is occupied with the manners and customs of the French in the great valley of the Mississippi, and with the adventures of the white settlers on the Ohio. The second volume is more varied, and, we think, by far more interesting. It treats, among other things, of Burr’s conspiracy — of the difficulties experienced in Mississippi navigation, and of the various military operations carried on in the wilderness of the North West. An Appendix, at the end of the book, embraces some papers relative to the first settlement of Kentucky — none of which have hitherto been published. We confidently recommend to our readers the Western Sketches of Mr. Hall, in the full anticipation of their finding in the book a fund both of information and amusement.

22

AMERICAN ALMANAC.

The American Almanac, and Repository of Useful Knowledge, for the year 1836. Boston: Published by Charles Bowen.

This is the seventh number of this invaluable work. Its editor, from the first year of its publication, is understood to have been J. E. Worcester, Esq. the indefatigable author and compiler of a number of works requiring great industry, perseverance, and talent. Nearly twenty years ago he became known to the public by his Universal Gazetteer, a second edition of which, at the present time, we agree with the North American Review in thinking would be highly acceptable to the public. Mr. Worcester has also published a Gazetteer of the United States — The Elements of Geography — the Elements of History — The Historical Atlas — an Edition of Johnson’s Dictionary, as improved by Todd and abridged by Chalmers — an Abridgment of the American Dictionary of Dr. Webster — and, lastly, A Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language, with Pronouncing Vocabularies of Classical, Scripture, and Modern Geographical Names — all of them works of intrinsic merit. The American Almanac has long had a well-established reputation, and Mr. Worcester is understood to have prepared, invariably, all of its valuable contents with the exception of the astronomical department. When we consider the great variety of topics treated of, and the extreme difficulty of procuring accurate information in relation to many of them, we must all admire the energy of the editor in having brought the work to its present high state of perfection and utility. We know of no publication of the kind more fully entitled to be called “A Repository of Useful Knowledge.”

The Almanac for 1836 contains the usual Register of the General and State Governments, together with a vast amount of statistical and miscellaneous matter; but “it is more particularly characterized by an account of the principal Benevolent Institutions in the United States, and a view of the Ecclesiastical Statistics of the Religious Denominations.”

We believe that no work of an equal extent in America contains as much important statistical information as the seven volumes of the American Almanac. We are happy to learn that complete sets of the publication can still be obtained.

23

CLINTON BRADSHAW.

Clinton Bradshaw; or The Adventures of a Lawyer. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard.

We have no doubt this book will be a favorite with many readers — but for our own parts we do not like it. While the author aims at originality, and evidently fancies himself the pioneer of a new region in fictitious literature, he has, we think, unwittingly stumbled upon that very worst species of imitation, the paraphrasical. Clinton Bradshaw, or the adventures of a Lawyer, is intended, we humbly conceive, as a pendant, in America, to Henry Pelham, or the Adventures of a Gentleman, in England. There are, however, some little awkward discrepancies. When Pelham luxuriates in the drawing-room, and Bradshaw is obstreperous in the tavern, no ingenuity can sustain a parallel. The polished manners of the one are not equalled by even the self-polished pumps of the other. When the British hero is witty and recherche, the American fails to rival him by merely trying to be both. The exquisite’s conversation is sentiment itself, and we have no stomach afterwards for the lawyer’s sentiment and water.

“The plan of this novel,” says a correspondent of a contemporary Magazine, for whose editorial opinions we have the highest respect, “is exceedingly simple, and the moral it unfolds, if not of the most elevated kind, is still useful and highly applicable to our existing state of society. It is the story of a young lawyer of limited means, and popular talents, whose ambition urges him to elevate himself by all the honorable methods in his power. His professional pursuits lead him among the coarsest criminals, while his political career brings him in contact with the venal and corrupt of all parties. But true alike to himself and the community of which he is a member, the stern principles of a republican, and the uncompromising spirit of a gentle. man, are operative under all circumstances.” These words we quote as affording, in a brief space, some idea of the plot of Clinton Bradshaw. We repeat, however, that we dislike the novel, considered as a novel. Some detached passages are very good. The chief excellence of the book consists in a certain Flemish caricaturing of vulgar habitudes and action. The whole puts us irresistibly in mind of High Life below Stairs. Its author is, we understand, a gentleman of Cincinnati.

24

ENGLISH ANNUALS.

Friendship’s Offering and Winter’s Wreath for 1836 — a beautiful souvenir. The literary portion unusually good. The tale of The Countess, by Mrs. Norton, is the best article in the book. The embellishments are mostly of a high order. Plate No. 7 — The Countess, engraved by H. T. Ryall, from an original painting by E. T. Parris, is exquisite indeed — unsurpassed by any plate within our knowledge.

The Forget Me Not for 1836, edited by Shoberl, is, perhaps, superior to the Winter’s Wreath in pictorial, although slightly inferior in literary merit. All the engravings here are admirable.

Fisher’s Drawing-Room Scrap-Book for 1836, edited by L. E. L. is, in typographical beauty, unrivalled. The literary portion of the work is but so so, although written nearly altogether by L. E. L. These Annuals may all be obtained, in Richmond, at the bookstore of Mr. C. Hall.

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 53, column 2, running to the bottom of page 54, column 1:]

*  The sad tidings which yesterday brought us, this day has but too surely confirmed. Washington is no more. The hero, the general, the philosopher — he, upon whom, in the hour of danger, all eyes were turned, now lives in the remembrance, only, of his illustrious actions. And although, even, it were not customary to render honor unto those who have spent their lives in promoting the welfare of their fellow men, still, so great are the deeds of Washington, that the whole American nation is bound to give a public manifestation of that grief which is so extensively prevalent. Washington, we had nearly said Washington alone, deserves the credit of regulating and building up, as it were, the widely extended territory of this our Republic. Having finally achieved all for which he had accepted the command of the American forces, he converted his sword into a ploughshare, and joyfully exchanged war for peace. When the weakness of the United States of America appeared manifest to all, and the bands by which the very extensive land of Columbus was held together, [the footnote continues on the bottom of page 54:]were in danger of being loosened, we have seen Washington the first among those who re-invigorated this our glorious Republic. When his beloved country called him to quiet tumults, and to avert the war with which she was menaced, we have once more seen Washiigton abandon that domestic tranquillity so dear to him, and plunge into the waters of civil life to preserve the liberties and happiness of his countrymen: and the counsels with which he re-established American liberty will be, as I hope, perpetual.

When he had been twice appointed the Chief Magistrate of a free people, and when, for the third time, he might easily have been President, he nevertheless retired to his farm, and really desired to be freed from all civil offices forever. However vulgar opinion may vary in respect to other men, the fame of Washington will, surely, be the same to all eternity. Therefore, let us show our reverence for this so great man who is departed, and let this public counsel of the United States of America declare upon this one subject the opinion of all our citizens.

For this end I hold these resolutions in my hand, concerning which I would wish the opinion of Congress, viz: that this public counsel of the United States of America should visit the President to condole with him upon this heavy calamity — that the speaker’s chair be arrayed in black — that the members of Congress wear mourning — and lastly, that arrangements be entered into by this assembly, in which it may be made manifest that Congress wish to do every honor to the man first in war, first in peace, arid first in the hearts of his countrymen.

 


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Notes:

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[S:0 - BRP5S, 1997] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (December 1835 (Text))