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sense. The comments of the writer on Luther, Famous Persons and Places, by N. PARKER WILSchiller, Goethe, and other gifted men of genius Lis, is a new volume of the author's collected who have proudly illustrated their native land, show works, comprising sketches of British society, and a wise appreciation of their respective merits, and notices of celebrated individuals, in the charming are expressed in language of chaste and simple ele- style of elaborate carelessness and quaint felicity gance. The whole volume betrays a mind of wide of phrase, which stamp all the productions of his and judicious culture, and a liberal way of looking pen as unique and inimitable. Apart from their at life and society.
characteristic originality of expression, many of the J. C. Derby has brought out an edition of Poems portraitures in this volume possess a historical and Ballads by GERALD MASSEY, a recent English value, which will increase in proportion as the poet, who has sprung from the obscurest depths of living present which they describe fades into the poverty into the enjoyment of a wide celebrity. dimness of the past. Although written, in the first Massey is now but a little more than twenty-six instance, for an ephemeral class of publications, years of age. He was born in a miserable stone they are destined to hold an enduring place in modo hut, such as are usually occupied by the lowestern literature. (Published by Charles Scribner.) peasantry in the interior of England. His father Hermit's Dell, from the Diary of a Penciler, bewas a canal boatman, earning a pittance which longs to a department of literature which presents scarcely sufficed to keep soul and body together. a dangerous temptation to young writers, from its He was so ignorant as to be unable to write his apparent facility, but in which few can attain even own name. Young Massey, for some time, was an approach to the mastery exhibited by Washhardly better off in point of education. He went for sington Irving, and in a less degree by Ik. Marvel. a short time to a penny school, where the teacher | It consists of descriptions of rural life, tender remknew not much more than the taught; but was sent iniscences of by-gone scenes, and a vein of gentle when eight years old to work in a neighboring silk- moralizing, which combines the humorous and pamill. Here he toiled wearily from five o'clock in thetic. Few productions of this class, short of the morning till half past six in the evening, until dead failures, are devoid of elements of popular the mill-luckily for him-burned down. He then interest. The volume before us has many excelwent to straw.plaiting-an unwholesome occupa. lent points and deserves success. It is earnest tion in a sickly district. For three years he and thoughtful, inspired by a genial love of country was tormented with fever and ague. But his scenes, and written for the most part with simmind was not asleep. He had learned to read, plicity and grace. The name of the author is not and soon felt a craving for books. These, how given ; but he is evidently a person of quick symever, were scarce. At first, he had nothing but the pathies and varied culture. (Published by J. C. Bible and Bunyan-a library, it must be owned, Derby.) in themselves-afterward he fell in with Robinson Crusoe and some Wesleyan tracts--which formed. The article on Miss MARTINEAU's translation his sole reading until he went to London, as an of Comte's Positive Philosophy, in a recent number errand boy, at fifteen years of age. Here he found of the North American Review, is made the subject books in plenty, for the first time in his life. A of severe comment in the London Leader. Having new world of delight thus opened on his young quoted the “scandalous commencement," it says: heart. He read at all possible times and in all pos. “After this specimen of the writer's controver sible places—up in bed till two or three in the morn- sial style, it is unnecessary to say that he is peevish ing—and not daunted by once exposing his life by and shallow throughout. A great deal of vinegar setting the bed on fire. With this rapacious appe-| has been poured upon Comte by the Reviews; but tite for books, he still showed no turn for poetry we did not expect such weak vinegar from a Transuntil he fell in love. His first poetical composition atlantic Quarterly. A thorough discussion of Comte was published in a provincial newspaper, and soon and his doctrines from the true antagonistic point after he printed a small volume of poems, chiefly of --and that point, we believe, is to be found in the a political character.
philosophy of Sir William Hamilton, or thereabouts The present collection contains several pieces of -is still a desideratum. Kant or Comte, transcena similar stamp, most of which were inspired by dentalism or positivism-that, after all, is the altern. the French Revolution of 1848. His poems, gen. ative; and all midway exposition and doctrinizing, erally, however, are devoted to the celebration of is (if the conditions of real speculative discussion conjugal love. The family hearth is his favorite are to be attended to) but cleverness and mystifi. altar of inspiration. His soul revels in the contem- Ication. One other course, indeed, there is for those plation of sensuous beauty, and is made drunk with whose natures refuse to saddle themselves with the its soft enchantments. He deals not largely in the conditions of speculative discussion'-and that is expressions of tender sentiment which usually take to keep clear of the whole subject, follow their own up so much space in amatory poetry, but is dazzled noses as well as they can, and let Kant and Comte and absorbed by the spectacle of breathing loveli. whirl antagonistically, like two windmills on the ness in a form of flesh and blood. His language distant heights. If they are asked which windmill has an almost Oriental luxuriance, teeming with they believe in, they can say • I see both.'”. images and illustrations from the richest sources of the universe, and often too intensely colored to ! The same journal offers some remarks on a wellplease a refined natural taste. Some of his smaller known London publisher, John CHAPMAN, that are and less ambitious pieces have the most in them of more terse than complimentary: the subtle essence of poetry, and are frequently “Among London publishers Mr. Chapman stands clothed in a diction of sweet and delicate beauty. without a rival for exquisite taste in the merely Few will call in question the claims of Gerald mechanical part of his occupation. But just in the Massey to genuine poetical fire and imagination ; degree that he is before them all in this respect is but as few will maintain that he can hold a place he inferior to most of them in discrimination and among England's great poets without a severe course judgment. He is always rash when he should be of pruning, study, and self-discipline.
cautious, and timid when he should be bold. Hence
the works he offers us are in general either heavy | Practice has made us tolerably perfect in this art. or hideous-bores or brutalities. Unitarian dull. Having been in the habit of hearing a great many ness, Comte crudity, Feuerbach effrontery, intel. sermons, and being at the same time afflicted or lectual Bloomerism, and Andrew Jackson Davis, blessed (whichever you choose to call it) with a conthe Poughkeepsie seer, must in the end sink the stitutional tendency to reverie, which the pew-attiTheodore Parker ship which Mr. Chapman com- tude naturally fosters, we long ago discovered that mands, which has always flaunted scores of gaudy it was totally unnecessary to attend to a preacher flags from its masts, but never hoisted any sails." throughout, and that we could delegate to the ear
the business of watching for us, and keeping us duly In his late gossipy work, Mr. PaTMORE gives informed when any thing good was going on, for the the following account of the contradictory feelings reception of which it might be worth while to waken with which CHARLES LAMB regarded the visits of up the intelligence. We have acquired a similar his friends. It affords an interesting peep into hu- | knack in reading. We believe we are conscientious man nature :
i reviewers, and just reviewers; and yet we confess “It is not the less true that Lamb was, for the we don't read through all the books and all the pemoment, delighted at the advent of an unlooked-for riodicals we pronounce opinions upon. We look at friend, even though he was thereby interrupted in the outside of a book or a periodical; we read the the midst of one of these beatific communings. But preface, the list of contents, and all those outer they must have read his character ill, or with little scraps which give us the general physiognomy of interest, who did not perceive that, after the pleas. the book ; then we sit down, paper-knife in hand, ant excitement of the moment was over, he became and cut up all the pages punctually from the first to restless, uneasy, and busied about many things'- | the last, hovering all the while over the pages, like about any thing, rather than the settling down qui a hawk, glancing at the headings of chapters, at sug. etly into a condition of mind or temper even analo gestive words and proper names in the text, degous to that from which the new arrival had irre-scending leisurely for a closer view when any thing trievably roused him, for that day at least. Feeling attracts us, and swooping down rapidly and greed. the unseasonable disturbance as such, yet not for a ily wherever we descry a tit-bit. We don't say that moment admitting it to be such, even to himself, he that would be conscientious reviewing for a Quar. became over-anxious to show you how welcome you terly-man, intrusted with the task of giving a ver. were, doing half a dozen things in a breath, to prove dict on one book; but we do say it is conscientious the feeling, every one of which, if read aright, reviewing for the purpose of a literary summary. proved something very like the reverse. If it hap. And we beg to say, cursory as the style of proceed. pened to be about dinner-time, he would go into the ing may seem, it is in our case perfectly satisfackitchen to see if it was ready, or put on his hat and tory. We are such adepts in the art of skipping,' go out to order an additional supply of porter, or our instinct for what is good is so fine and so cathopen a bottle of wine and pour some out-taking a olic at the same time, that, if we once have used our glass himself to set you the example, as he inno-paper-knife on a publication, we are sure of having cently imagined, but in reality to fortify himself for accurately diagnosed it, and not missed any of its the task of hospitality that you had imposed upon tit-bits. Our golden rule, however, is to cut open him; any thing, in fact, but sit quietly down by the all the leaves from end to end. All depends on that." fire and enjoy your company, or let you enjoy his. And if you happened to arrive when dinner or tea MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS's popular novel Fashion was over, he was perfectly fidgety, and almost cross, and Famine has been issued in London, and excites till you were fairly seated at the meal which he and attention from the press. The following are the his excellent sister insisted on providing for you, comments of The Leader: whether you would or not. It is true that, by the “It has great defects. In the first place, an time all these preliminaries were over, he had recov. American novel should be something out of the old ered his ease, and was really glad to see you; and beaten track of the commonplace contrasts of con. if you had come to stay the night, when the shutters ventional society; and though the scene of this ro. were shut, and the candles came, and you were mance is laid in or about the · Upper Ten Thou. comfortably seated round the fire, he was evidently sand and the “Fifth Avenue' of the Empire eity, pleased and bettered by the occasion thus afforded still the characters are all French, and the treatfor a dish of cosey table-talk. But not the less true ment is very English. In the next place, the plot is it that every knock at the door sent a pang to his is grotesquely impossible, the leading motives of heart; and this without any distinction of persons: the action are grandly incredible; and the novel, whoever it might be, he equally welcomed and from first to last, is spoiled by an obtrusion of the wished them away; and all for the same reason flimsy philosophy in which some • females' indulge namely, that they called him from the company of when, having got pen in hand, they begin to point his own thoughts, or those still better communings out how much better it is to be good than bad. with the thoughts of his dead friends, with whom he These are startling faults; and yet the novel is far could hold an intercourse unclogged by any actual above the average, and is read with engrossing in. bodily presence. In these respects Lamb resem- terest. This, we believe, is because Mrs. Stephens bled the lover in Martial's epigram: he could neither has got a decided genius for telling and developing live with his friends nor without them. If they stayed a story. There is power-dramatic power-here; away from him long, he was hurt and angry; and and as it is, as she states in her preface, her first when they went to him he was put out.”
novel, we are inclined to anticipate a series of suo.
cesses for her." A brisk London reviewer in a weekly journal thus lets out the secrets of his “ dreadful trade :” | of the new volume of Mr. Bancroft's History
"To have some twelve or twenty periodicals be of the American Revolution, the London Atheneum fore you, and to have to go over them, so as to as. remarks, certain their contents, and report on their merits, is “This volume completes a second part of Mr. the best possible training in the art of skipping.' | Bancroft's great design. The first series of vol. umes told the story of America from the days of be seen but huge portions of plaster models. The discovery to the opening of the troubles between central figure of the pediment represents America England and her colonies. The second series, now standing on a rock, against which the waves of the brought to a close, carries on the story during these ocean are beating. She is attended by the eagle of troubles. The next stage of the journey brings the his. the country; while the sun rising at her feet indi. torian to the War of Independence. As yet we have cates the light which accompanies the march of lib. not come to the resistance by force; but we close erty. In one hand she holds the rewards of civic this new volume with the blare of trumpets and the and military merit-laurel and oak wreaths ; her neighing of the war-horse in our ears.
| left hand is extended toward the pioneer, for whom * The historian goes at a canter over a vast deal she asks the protection of the Almighty. The pi. of uneven ground in this volume. The narrative is, oneer is the athletic figure of a backwoodsman as usual, animated and pictorial; but it is perhaps clearing the forest. The Indian race and its ex. on the whole less picturesque than in former vol.tinction is explained by the adjoining group of the umes. It is so of necessity. Penn in the midst Indian chief and family. The son of the chief is of his Indians--the Pilgrim Fathers on the deck of returning from the chase, with a collection of game the Mayflower-make striking and pictorial figures slung on a spear over his shoulder. In the statue with little and from the artist; but the case is differ- of the Indian chief, Mr. Crawford has endeavored ent when the foreground is occupied by George the to describe the despair and profound grief resulting Third's pigtail and Franklin's bob-wig. The writer from his conviction of the white man's triumph. is not always to be blamed because his personages The wife and infant of the chief complete this group are commonplace and his materials intractable. of figures; while the grave, being emblematic of the The action of this volume takes place chiefly in the extinction of the Indian race, fills up this portion. King's antechamber; and, like the locality and the The opposite half of the pediment is devoted to the men who people it, it is sometimes a little tedious. effects of Liberty and Civilization. The first figure
“The next portion of the historian's labors, if he on the right of America represents its Soldier. He shall find time and courage to continue them, will is clothed in the costume of the Revolution, as be. have a more exciting theme and a nobler field. ing most suggestive of the country's struggle for Meantime, we have now acquired from Mr. Ban- | independence; his hand upon his sword indicates croft a clear, connected, readable narrative of the the readiness of the army to protect America from long series of events which in North America pre- insult. By the soldier is placed a Merchant, sitting ceded the war which made it an independent em on the emblems of trade; his right hand rests upon pire.
the globe, by which the extent of American com
merce is symbolized. The anchor at his feet con. The recent admirable contribution to Shakspearian nects this figure with those of two boys advancing literature by Mr. WHITE is thus spoken of by the cheerfully to devote themselves to the service of London Leader :
their country. The anchor is easily understood to “ Under the reverential title of Shakspeare's be the emblem of Hope; behind them sits the Scholar, an American journalist, Mr. RICHARD Teacher instructing a youth. The Mechanic com. GRANT White, undertakes to rescue his great pletes the group. He rests upon the cog-wheel, master from the hands of Dryasdust. Profoundly without which machinery is useless. In his hands and undisguisedly he hates the tribe of comment are the emblems of trade ; and at his feet are some ators, and unmeasured is the contempt which he sheaves of corn, expressive of fertility, activity, and entertains for Mr. Collier's folio of 1632. Therein abundance, in contradistinction to the grave at the he finds that poetry is turned to prose, dullness sub corresponding corner." stituted for wit, dramatic propriety exalted, the context disregarded, and the really important altera A pleasing tribute from one nobly gifted mind to tions destitute of novelty. According to Mr. White, another of like stamp is found in a sonnet just adShakspeare is his own interpreter. It is folly to dressed to Miss MITFORD by WALTER SAVAGE say that the writings of such a man need notes and
LANDOR : comments to enable readers of ordinary intelligence to apprehend their full meaning. There is no pre
TO MARY RUSSELL MITFORD. tense for the intrusion of such aids, except the fact
The hay is carried : and the Hours that Shakspeare wrote two hundred and fifty years
Snatch, as they pass, the linden-flow'rs:
And children leap to pluck a spray ago; and this seems to be but a pretense.' We
Bent earthward, and then run away. gladly welcome this addition to Shakspearian lit
Park-keeper! catch me those grave thieves erature from the other side of the Atlantic.”
About whose frocks the fragrant leaves,
Sticking and fluttering here and there, The correspondent of the Atheneum at Rome has No false nor faltering witness bear. the following notices of American artists :
I never view such scenes as these, “A pupil of Gibson's deserves honorable mention, In grassy meadow girt with trees, Miss Hosmer, daughter of an American physician
But comes a thought of her who now
Sits with serenely patient brow at Boston. She has done two or three busts, which
Amid deep sufferings : none hath told are beautifully chiseled, and a head of Medusa :
More pleasant tales to young and old. young, lovely, and graceful, her locks are growing
Fondest was she of Father Thames, into tangled snakes.
But rambled to Hellenic streams; "From Mr. Gibson's I pass to Mr. Crawford's Nor even there could any tell studio; where every thing now yields to the grand The country's purer charms so well work ordered by the United States Government. It As Mary Mitford.
Verse! go forth is to be of statuary marble, and is to be placed at
And breathe o'er gentle breasts her worth. the eastern extremity of the Capitol extension at
Needless the task.... but should she see Washington. As it engages much of the attention
One hearty wish from you and me, of the artistic world, I will give a detailed descrip A moment's pain it may assuage.... tion of what it is to be ; for at present nothing is to A rose-leaf on the couch of Age.
Vol. IX.-No. 53.-Y Y