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My mother's smile, so sweetly mild,
No longer meets my tearful gaze;
Mine was that mother's latest smile,
And mine that father's latest prayer;
Would that their child were there!
Father of all! thy spirit shed,
my troubled soul; Vouchsafe to guard my orphan head ;
My erring thoughts control.
Oh! teach me fortune, friends, and home,
Without a murmur to resign;
J. F. T.
CHIT-CHAT; LITERARY AND MISCELLANEOUS. Among the volumes announced for publication in the autumn, we are pleased to observe a new series of poems from the pen of Miss L. E. Landon,
entitled “The Golden Violet, with its tales of Romance, Chivalry, and other Poems.?? The plan of the work is not only extremely happy, but eminently calculated to display the peculiar powers of the writer. A competition for the Poetical Prize at the ancient festival of Thoulouse introduces the minstrels of all countries to sing their national songs, or recite their national legends. We had intended to have presented our readers, this month, with a splendid engraving by Mr. Finden, illustrative of this lady's Improvisatrice, but have been disappointed in the completion of the plate. It will be given in our next number without fail.
Mr. Gans, one of the contributors to the Literary Magnet, has just published a very spirited translation of Engel's Lorenz Stark; a story which presents a truly characteristic picture of a German family. We trust the success of this work will induce Mr. G. to render into English some other tale of equal merit and popularity.
The balloon-mania is not yet over; a Mr. Corneillot, who ascended a few days ago from Seven-Oaks, assures us that he has discovered the practicability of sailing horizontally in any direction, or at any given point of elevation. These aeronauts must be doing a pretty fair trade just now, for to say nothing of gratuitous newspaper puffs of their intrepidity, they are realizing from three to four hundred pounds a flight; and if fortunate enough to lose a balloon now and then there is sure to be a subscription collected for them amounting to thrice its value.
The very pleasing dirge on Weber, is from the pen of Mr. Planché, and does great credit both to his head and heart. It has been composed by Braham, the movements haying been selected from Weber's own compositions.
Mr. Mawman the bookseller, has, we are told, a very beautiful Bacchante from the chisel of Canova, which is pronounced by connoiseurs one of the best specimens of the talents of that great sculptor. Mr. Corbould has been making a design from it preparatory to its being engraved.
Mr. Sass, whose name the Literary Gazette misprints a “ Lass” (alas !) is preparing for publication, a history of the arts of Painting and Sculpture in England, as far as it is connected with his own time; with some account of the different institutions for the encouragement of the art which are in existence at the present day; and a comparison between the British school of painting and the modern schools of France and Italy. We have every reason to anticipate, not only an extremely useful, but a very entertaining work, from Mr. Sass's announcement; we know of no man better able to fulfil the task he has assigned to himself.
Mr. W. G. F. Richardson, (not the Mr. Richardson who placards himself and his verses, on all the walls and magazine covers from the Land's End to John of Groats), the author of an unpretending volume of very pleasing poems, is about to present us with a biography of the German poet Koruer, and selections from his poems, tales, and dramas. The mention of Korner reminds us that we have seen some very spirited translations from the soldier-poet from the pen of Mr. Cyrus Redding, of the New Monthly Magazine, and we hold, ourselves, for future publication in the Magnet, one or two striking versions of the same poet by another hand.
The Duke of Bedford has given unlimited commissions to some of our first rate artists, to paint him pictures characteristic of their several styles. Leslie and Newton are painting companion subjects for his Grace, from Don Quixote and Gil Blas. "Ward has just completed the sketch of what bids fair to be one of his most successful efforts, for the same noble patron of the arts ; the subject is a brewer's horse drawing up an empty butt from the cellar of a village public-house. The Duke has also, we have heard, given a commission to Landseer, the subject of which has already engaged his attention ; it is the monkey that has seen the world. There are, we believe other artists employed for his Grace, including the two who may be said to form part of his household establishment, Messrs. Hayter and Bone. Too much praise cannot be given to those noblemen who are now doing so much to encourage the arts of their native country. There are few painters of talent of the present day who cannot find a ready sale for their productions, and that too at a fair remunerating price.
Much dissatisfaction has been excited in the public mind by the obyious favouritism manifested by the hanging-committee of the Royal Academy towards Mr. Mulready, in placing his picture at what is called the bulk-head of the grand room, whilst Ward's splendid battle piece was stuck into a situation decidedly injurious to its effect; we see no reason why a man who paints a good picture one year, and secures for it the place of honour, should be allowed the same advantage over his rivals, even when he paints a bad one. But Mr. Mulready hung himself we are told; if he did, it is the first time that suicide ever appeared in a good light. Ward, who is it appears, a proficient in every branch of his art he attempts, painted his Battle of Boston at the request of a well-known patron of the arts, and has received five hundred guineas for it; we hope he will not disappoint the great expectations this picture has excited, when he next exhibits. He has shewn us that he was born for greater things than the delineation of horses and cows, and we hope to witness another proof of the versatility of his genius ere long.
It is a gratifying fact, that the sum taken at the doors of the British Institution, during the season which has just closed, amounts to nearly five thousand pounds. The paintings now on view at this most interesting exhibition, are those belonging to his majesty, which he has graciously lent for the occasion. The king has, we are told, purchased the Hogarth lately offered for sale by Mr. Colnaghi.
The Rondini faun, an antique statue which excited great admiration whilst in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, has, we learn, been transferred to the national collection at the British Museum.
A Mr. Browne (if the newspapers are to be believed) has succeeded in constructing a carriage to be impelled by gas, which will ascend an acclivity of ten inches in ten feet, at the rate of five miles an hour.
“ The Pool of the Diving Friar,” a humourous poem in the last New Monthly Magazine, is from the pen of Mr. T. L. Peacock, author of Headlong Hall
, Rododaphne, &c. Mr. Peacock is in the enjoyment of a very lucrative situation in the India House, so that he has now, unfortunately, but little literary leisure.
That impudent coxcomb, Rossini, is, we hear, about to revisit London, in order to produce the very opera he engaged to compose when he was here last.
The Sun newspaper, conducted for so many years by that very worthy, urbane, and most amusing person, Mr. John Taylor, has at length changed hands, and promises to shine more brilliantly than ever. As the Sun selects leading articles from all the morning papers, it may be said to concentrate all the rays of its brother luminaries into one focus.
Messrs. Hunt and Clarke have published a novel called Truth, an imitation of, or, as the advertisements have it, a pendent to Tremaine, by the author of Nothing. It is certainly good for-nothing!
Mr. Dagley, whose taste in matters connected with the Fine Arts is well known, is about to publish a curious, and what we anticipate will be a very interesting little volume, entitled “ Death's Doings.” It is a sort of new Dance of Death, adapted to modern characters and incidents. It will consist of a variety of engravings by Mr. Dagley, with illustrations in prose and poetry by various distinguished living writers.
A very interesting romance has just been published by Chateaubriand, entitled the Last Abencerrage. The language of the narrative is very flowery, but on the whole the book is not unworthy the great talents of the writer.
The Papists of London would not allow Protestant singers to chaunt a dirge at Weber's funeral! This, e shall perhaps be told, is religious liberty
Our readers have no doubt seen the staring, goggle-eyed, mahogany-faced portrait of his Majesty, now exhibiting at Somerset House by a Mr. Thomson. In placing this picture in so prominent a situation, the hanging-committee must have considered rather the rank of the person painted, than the talent displayed by the painter. The News of Literature mentions, on confident authority, that the king sent a message a short time ago to the council, desiring that no portrait of himself should in future occupy a situation to which its inherent merit may not entitle it. We have every reason to believe this anecdote well founded. A noble lord, who is in great favour with his majesty, teased him to sit to Mr. Thomson. After the first sitting, the king was so little pleased with the attempt, that he is said to have taken the brush out of Mr. Thomson's hand, and drawn it across the sketch so as partly to deface it. The portrait seems to have been made up subsequently from the well known picture of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and is, in its present state, a wretched caricature of that splendid chef d'auvre.
The specimens of German Romance just published by Messrs. Whittaker, haye, we believe, been translated by Mr. Soane. They are ornamented with numerous characteristic designs, after Cruikshanks. Mr. Gillies is, we are told, on the eve of publishing a similar work. Of Mr. Roscoe's specimens of the German novelists, we have said a few words in our present number, and shall notice them more at length, along with the various works of the same class which have just been or are about to be published, in our next.
Ourindefatigable friend, Mr. Britton, is printing the eleventh and concluding number of his Chronological Illustrations of the Ecclesiastical Architecture. It will contain a history and description of the specimens, illustrated by eightysix different plates, and will embrace tabular lists of architects, of styles, dates, and a dictionary of terms.
An Italian chemist has discovered that the green colour contains the principle of the magnet, and that this colour suffices to render the steel needle magnetic. If this be really the case, we ought to select green for the future covers of our publication, as it may possibly add attraction even to a magnet.
Mr. Martin has just published his very splendid print of Belshazzar's Feast. It has been completed, not simply under his own superintendence, but by his own hand, and presents the most gorgeous specimen, not only of the painter, but of the class of engraving to which it belongs, we have ever met with. The person who obtained the picture, and who has since made about ten times the amount of its cost by its exhibition, had the meanness to endeavour to prevent Mr. Martin from engraving from the original and finished sketches, by altering the word paint in the agreement exchanged between them to print. The point was, however, given against him, and Mr. Martin will now, it is hoped, reap the full advantages of his arduous undertaking. The Destruction of Babylon would make an excellent companion print, and we trust the encouragement bestowed upon the present work, will induce the artist to bring it forward with all convenient expedition.
Among the many translations from the German novelists, that have recently issued from the press, we are surprised that nothing has been given us from Hoffman. In our preceding pages we have introduced a version of a singular sketch from this popular author, which forms in some measure a pendent for the strange but very admirable tale of Peter Schemihl,-it is the Lost Reflection.
The public subscription to indemnify Mr. Buckingham for the ruinous losses he has sustained by the arbitrary and unjustifiable caprice of the jacksin-office, of the East India Company, is we perceive augmenting very rapidly. We are glad of this, for although we by no means admire Mr. Buckingham's politics, it is certain that he has been most scandalously persecuted ; and we consider that he has therefore, as a man of high personal respectability and great talents, a strong claim on the sympathy of the public. We wonder if Mr. Croker and Mr. Bankes have re-imbursed Mr. Murray for the expenses incurred in consequence of their joint libel npon Mr. Buckingham in the Quarterly Review.
A young gentleman of Manchester, and a contributor to our pages is about to favour the world with a Romance entitled “Sir John Chiverton;" a pamphlet entitled “ Lays from Cockney-Land,” by the same author, has very recently been published. To read Mr. Ebers' announcement of Sir John, one would suppose
the author was a pocket Unknown,” or as Mr. Colburn calls young DʻIsraeli, in his puffs of Vivian Grey,” a new Unknown.” The Aurora, a new annual publication which was to have made its appearance under the superintendence of the above candidate for literary honours, is postponed, sine die.
BOOKSELLERS AND AUTHORS. A GREAT deal has been said about booksellers and the book-trade during the last few months, and various causes have been assigned for the calamitous depression which has been experienced, for some time past, in that intellectual branch of business. Little light has, however, as yet been thrown upon the subject, and for this very sufficient reason; that few persons who are not booksellers, are in possession of the facts with which it is necessary to be acquainted, in order to arrive at any thing like a definite conclusion upon the subject; and those who are themselves practitioners of the craft, are more likely to devise apologies for the indiscretion of their brethren, than to discuss with fairness and impartiality tire probable origin of their difficulties. The last number of the Monthly Magazine contains an ably written article on this subject, which is attributed to the popular pen of Mr. St. Leger ; and which, as it is the only tolerable attempt to define the causes of the evil, that has met our observation, we shall take as the ground for a few remarks on the same interesting and certainly most important subject. The author of this paper has undoubtedly made out a strong primâ facie case; but he is in the situation of a barrister who is instructed to make a speech favourable to his clients from the variety of disjointed facts with which it may be to their interest to acquaint him; and who works up, with no inconsiderable judgment, the information he finds in his brief, without being able to supply from the store-house of his own experience a single fact that can assist him in his argument. It not unfrequently happens, that the complexion of a case is as much altered by the suppressioveri, as it would have been by any palpable mis-statement. Now the writer under notice seems to have been placed in an extremely awkward predicament. He appears to have been furnished with materials for an apology for the present state of the bookselling trade, by the parties directly interested in the decision at which the public may ultimately arrive. From a very pardonable ignorance of the mysteries of the craft, he has been unable to perceive the colouring which has been given to the facts on which he expatiates; and has consequently derived from them such inferences as may invariably be expected from incorrect premises. We shall detail his gratuitous assumptions and his bona fide facts seriatim; and having corrected the former, examine the conclusions he draws from the latter. He contends that, next to bankers, booksellers and the various branches of the trade of books, have suffered more during the late difficulties than any other description of persons.
This is by no means correct; witness the silk, cotton, worsted, and various other important branches of trade, which seem to have been involved in the same appalling and almost irremediable ruin; and which have been reduced to one common fate by the partial operation of the same overwhelming causes-over-speculation, and over-production in their respective lines of business. As to the stock of the parties engaged in these several classes of manufactures, it is all of it liable to burthensome duties on the materials of which it is composed, which render its accumulation to any disproportionate extent as ruinous to the one as to