MAGAZINIANA. — Graham's — The Columbian — The Lady's Book — The American Review.
We take a step or two out of our way, with much pleasure, that we may be enabled to say a good word for such of the January Magazines as are discoverable.
Out of our way: — for either we have been blind of late days, or the Monthlies have been playing at hide-and-seek among our piles of papers, or they have been caballing to send us to Conventry, and have concluded to drop in upon the Mirror no more. But, not to part too easily with friends worth preserving, we have been at the pains of going in search of them; and now, getting together as many as we can place hands upon, we tender them, collectively and individually, our apologies and our respects.
Among the "three-dollar" journals (will some some [[sic]] kind friend suggest for them a less American epithet of distinction?) there has been, plainly, a struggle for supremacy in the commencement of the new year. We make no decision in the case, of course. The list of contributors to "Graham" is a particularly strong point — but while touching it, may we venture to insinuate a suggestion? — it occurs to us now, and has often occurred to us, and to others, before. Authors are sensitive plants — even if the veriest weeds, they are sensitive still — and, for this reason, there should be no list of principal contributors. The omitted, rightfully or wrongfully, will be sure to feel the sting of the insult, and there are some of the race who cannot be insulted with impunity.
The engravings in "Graham" for this month would do honor to any of the American annuals. Leutze's picture can scarcely be praised enough. It is the conception of a poet at heart, and is well mezzotinted from the original. Of the read wreath what shall we say? — nothing. The Sioux race is spirited, and, as an engraving, clearly and forcibly handled, but is by no means equal to the Monmouth Battle-ground, which is superb.
We cannot pretend to point out the best papers in the number. Lowell has some lines to the dandelion — musical and thoughtful as his lines always are: and charming Fanny Forrester has a story as full of pathos as her unknown eyes (we take it for granted) are of fire.
The "Columbia" opens with one of the best specimens of merely technical mezzotint ever exhibited in this country. The engraver's name — Doney — is new to us; he will make a fortune, however, if he be just to himself. There is some false linear perspective about the mantel-piece of his picture, (Napoleon taking leave of his son,) but the decision and delicacy of touch throughout, would compensate for a world of such inadvertence.
The leading contribution, "Thot and Freia," by Mrs. Child, is an allegorical romance, full of brilliant fancy and nice adaptation — a skilful and imaginative work, worthy of her who wrote "Hobomok" and "Philotea." And then we have Fanny Forrester again — and again in tears — deliciously pathetic. Mrs. Osgood, too, than whom no American poetess does more universally well, has some stanzas of which Mrs. Norton or Miss Landon might have been proud; but we regret that time and space are limited things — at least to a daily critic — and tht we cannot indulge more freely in particulars.
Mr. Godey has been no laggard in the race. The "Lady's Book" is in excellent health and condition; the plates are many, well-selected, and altogether good; while, for the literature, Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Sigourney, Miss Gould, Mrs. Embury, Miss Leslie, Mrs. Welby, Mrs. Hale, and a dozen others, are fully prepared to answer.
Mr. Colton's new Review (The American) has been successful, even in the fact of his party's defeat. The first number, issued some months since, gave indication of vigor. The second will be soon published, and we shall notice it in some detail.
[This article was attributed to Poe by William Doyle Hull (1941). Heartman and Canny make no mention of it. The line which most suggests Poe's hand is, "and there are some of the race who cannot be insulted with impunity," recalling both "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Duc de L'Omelette." Also suggestive of Poe is the high praise of Mrs. Osgood.]
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