Text: Burton R. Pollin, “The Broadway Journal: Text (September 1845),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. III: Broadway Journal (Text) (1986), pp. 239-264 (This material is protected by copyright)


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


[page 239, continued:]

[[BJ September 6, 1845 - 2:136]]

Critical Notices.

(e) Wiley and Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XXI. Genius and Character of Burns. By Professor Wilson.

That Professor Wilson is one of the most gifted and altogether one of the most remarkable men of his day, few persons will be weak enough to deny. His ideality — his enthusiastic appreciation of the beautiful, conjoined with a temperament compelling him into action and expression, has been the root of his preeminent success. Much of it, undoubtedly, must be referred to that so-called moral courage [page 240:] which is but the consequence of the temperament in its physical elements. In a word, Professor Wilson is what he is, because he possesses ideality, energy and audacity, each in a very unusual degree. The first, almost unaided by the two latter, has enabled him to produce much impression, as a poet, upon the secondary or tertiary grades of the poetic comprehension. His “Isle of Palms” appeals effectively, to all those poetic intellects in which the poetic predominates greatly over the intellectual element. It is a composition which delights through the glow of its imagination, but which repels (comparatively of course) through the niaiseries of its general conduct and construction. As a critic, Professor Wilson has derived, as might easily he supposed, the greatest aid from the qualities for which we have given him credit — and it is in criticism especially, that it becomes very difficult to say which of these qualities has assisted him the most. It is sheer audacity, however, to which, perhaps, after all, he is the most particularly indebted. How little he owes to intellectual pre-eminence and how much to the mere overbearing impetuosity of his opinions, would be a singular subject for speculation. Nevertheless it is true, that this rash spirit of domination would have served, without his rich ideality, but to hurry him into contempt. Be this as it may, in the first requisite of a critic the Scotch Aristarchus is grossly deficient. Of one who instructs we demand, in the first instance, a certain knowledge of the principles which regulate the instruction. Professor Wilson’s capability is limited to a keen appreciation of the beautiful and fastidious sense of the deformed. Why or how either is either, he never dreams of pretending to inquire, because he sees clearly his own inability to comprehend. He is no analyst. He is ignorant of the machinery of his own thoughts and the thoughts of other men. His criticism is emphatically on the surface — superficial. His opinions are mere dicta — unsupported verba magistri — and are just or unjust at the variable taste of the individual who reads them. He persuades — he bewilders — he overwhelms — at times he even argues — but there has been no period at which he ever demonstrated anything beyond his own utter incapacity for demonstration.

His “Genius and Character of Burns” will place Professsor [[Professor]] Wilson in a clear, but not (for him) in the most advantageous light. We may glean from this book, however, a very accurate conception, if not of Burns, at least of Christopher North. His most usual tone of thought and turn of expression, are here happily conveyed. To the lovers of mere rhapsody we can recommend the volume as one likely to interest them; to those who seek, in good faith, a guide to the real Burns — to the merits and demerits, literary and personal — of a man whose merits at least have been more grossly — more preposterously exaggerated (through a series of purely adventitious circumstances) than those of any man that ever lived upon the earth — to these seekers of the simple truth, we say, you will look for it in vain in this volume by Christopher North.

———

(a) Festus: a Poem by Philip James Bailey, Barrister at Law. First American Edition. Boston: Benjamin P. Mussey. For sale in New-York by Redfield & Co.

The poetical and critical world of England were, about six years ago, violently agitated (in spots) by the eruption of “Festus,” a Vesuvius-cone at least — if not an Ætna — in the literary cosmos. It is only lately, however, — within the last eight or nine months, perhaps, — that anything more than a mere rumor of the eruption has made its way to us.

This is the more strange, since “Festus” is, beyond question, [page 241:] a poem of the most remarkable potter, and since, in general, we are ludicrously on the alert to catch tile echoes of the British opinion in respect to even the most nonsensical books.

We shall speak of “Festus” hereafter, at length, as its peculiarities deserve. At present, we have read it only in snatches. In the meantime we may observe first, that its author is, or was, at the period of its original publication, a very young man, and secondly that his work has been lauded in no stinted measure, by many of the best authorities in Great Britain. Bulwer, for example, calls it “a most remarkable and magnificent production.” Mrs. Hall says, “It contains some of the most wonderful things I ever read.” Horne, the author of “Orion” (no common man and no common poem) speaks of its “unrepressed vigor of imagination” — its “splendor of great and original imagery” — its “passion of poetry.”

The design of “Festus” may be stated, in brief, as the demonstration of the necessity of Evil. We quote the concluding Sonnet, which the poet affectedly calls “L‘Envoi.”

Read this, world! He who writes is dead to thee,

But still lives in these leaves. He spake inspired:

Night and day thought came unhelped, undesired,

Like blood to his heart. The course of study he

Went through with was the soul-rack. The degree

He took was high: it was wise wretchedness.

He suffered perfectly, and gained no less

A prize than in his own torn heart to see

A few bright seeds: he sowed them — hoped them truth.

The autumn of that seed is in these pages.

God was with him, and bade old Time to the youth

Unclench his heart, and teach the book of ages.

Peace to thee, world! — farewell! — May God the Power,

And God the Love — and God the Grace be ours!

This sonnet happily conveys much of the prevalent tone of the whole poem — its imperiousness — its egotism — its energy — its daring — its ruggedness — its contempt of law in great things and small. Observe the defective rhyme in the conclusion — a straw to show the way of the wind.

Mr. Mussey is to be thanked for the very handsome and substantial manner in which he has issued this American edition.

———

(a) Appleton’s Literary; Melange: a Series of Books for Popular Reading. No. I. Gertrude; a Tale. By the author of “Amy Herbert.” Edited by the Rev. W. Sewell, M. A. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

The great success of Messrs. Wiley & Putnam’s “Library of Choice Reading” has, we presume, stirred up the Mess. Appletons to the present laudable enterprise. We make an extract from their advertisement:

“The publishers of the proposed “Literary! Melange,” believing that there is still ample space for a uniform series of superior productions in the less erudite department of popular literature, which shall he distinctly characterized as combining amusement and instruction with moral benefit, therefore have resolved to present to their friends and the public, a miscellaneous library adapted for popular reading, equally suited for the recreation of the scholar and the man of business, after their more arduous toil has eudcd; and to edify and enlarge the mind of their junior dornestic associates. The limits of selection will be uncircumscribed; and the choice will he decided entirely by the manifest excellence of the work. the importance of the topics, or the proofs of genius and talent developed. The élite only of those numerous tomes which are appropriate to the general design will be incorporated in this miscellany.

“Gertrude,” with which the series commences, is an interesting, although by no means a “powerful” story of ordinary life. It inculcates the homely and domestic virtues — is well written in every respect — and has been greatly praised [page 242:] by the more decorous and influential of the British journals. The neat manner in which the volume is issued, speaks well for tire success of the series.

———

(a) Modern Cookery in all its branches: reduced to a system of easy practice, for the use of Private Families. In a series of Receipts which have been strictly tested, and are given with the most minute exactness. By Eliza Acton. Illustrated with Numerous Wood-Cuts. Etc. etc. etc. The Whole Revised and Prepared for American Housekeepers, by Mrs. S. J. Hale. From the Second London Edition. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard.

We give the full title as conveying the best possible idea of the book. This title and the name of Mrs. Hale as editor are all sufficient assurances of its excellence. It is an octavo of more than 400 pages, well printed and handsomely bound. The British critics speak of the work as the best of its kind.

———

(b) The White Slave; or The Russian Girl. By the author of “Revelations of Russia.” New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 60 of the valuable “Library of Select Novels.” It includes no less than 210 octavo pages, in fine type, and double columns, and is sold for twenty five cents. The story exemplifies the cruelty and oppression of the Russian nobility, and is profoundly interesting.

———

(c) Harpers’ Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible.

No. 38 is issued. Many of the smaller wood engravings are of exquisite finish. See pp. 3, 8, 17, and 24. The work in all departments, is an honor to the house which issues it.

———

(d) Hunt’s Merchants Magazine, for September, opens with an admirable paper by Henry Middleton, Jr., of S. C. on “The Government and the Currency.” It has also a very interesting article (editorial, we presume) on “The Steam Ship Great Britain.” “Copper-Smelting in the U. S.” — is the title of a valuable treatise by Geo. Ditson, Vice Consul of the U. S. at Nuevitas. There are numerous other contributions of equal merit — for example on “Indigo and the Indigo Trade — on “Railroads East and West” — on the “Mineral Resources of Southern Missouri” — etc. etc. etc.

———

“The Merchant’s Magazine” is unquestionably the most valuable journal of its kind in the world. Not its least important feature as concerns ourselves (the American people) is its perfect nationality. Mr. Hunt is neither a Northern, a Southern, an Eastern or a Western man. He is an inhabitant of the United States — if you please, an Alleahanian. He speaks to the whole people — and very effectively, because usefully, to all.

(e) The American Common-School Reader and Speaker: Being a Selection of Pieces in Prose and Verse, with Rules for Reading and Speaking. By John Goldsbury, A. M., Compiler of the “Common-School Grammar,” etc. etc., and William Russell, author of “Lessons in Enunciation,” etc. etc. Boston: Charles Tappan.

This very excellent work, which attracted so much attention at the time of its issue, and which is really unsurpassed as a text-book on Elocution, is for sale, in New-York, at the Boston- bouk-store of Messrs. Saxton S: Huntingdon, 295 Broadway.

———

(f) The True Child. Ry Mrs. E. Oakes Smith, Author of “Riches without Wings.” “The Sinless Child,” &c. &c. Boston: Saxton & Kelt.

A truly interesting, graceful and useful little book, by one of tire most gifted and accomplished of American poetesses. The Preface is, in its way, a model of good writing, and this [page 243:] is saying a great deal — for Prefaces are difficult things, not to write — but to write well. For sale by Messrs. Saxton & Huntington, 295 Broadway.

———

(a) The Oracles of Shakspeare; with a Selection of Aphorisms from the Same Author. By Robert Hamilton. Boston Saxton & Kelt.

This is a very ingenious and beautiful game, to enliven a winter’s evening: lt is very creditable to Mr. Hamilton’s taste and talent. For sale by Messrs. Saxton & Huntington, as above.

———

(b) The Devotional Family Bible, by the Rev. Alexander Fletcher, A. M. Containing the Old and New Testaments, with Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations, Copious Marginal References, etc. Every Part embellished with a highly finished Engraving on Steel. Including views of the Principal Places mentioned in Scripture, from Drawings taken on the Spot. New-York: R. Martin & Co.

We have received No. 5 of this very beautiful Bible at too late a date to do more than announce its reception, and to say that the engraving with which it opens, is magnificent. The type is rather larger than in the Harpers’ work. The paper is superb.

———

(c) THE KNICKERBOCKER for September, has a remarkably pleasant appearance, and abounds in good things; which no one can better supply than its editor — when he feels “in the vein.” We notice especially, among the contributed papers, some very sweet “Lines to my Wife” by one of our finest poets, Albert Pike; “The Dead Man’s Sermon” by Pequot, (whoever is Pequot) and a “Glimpse into Fairy Land” by Miss S. M. Partridge. We venture toquote “The Fountain of Youth” by Mrs. Mary L. Hewitt.

‘Tis said of old a fountain lay

Hid in the forest, faraway;

A magic fount it was, in Booth,

Where he who stooped above the brink,

And laved his brow, and bent to drink,

Though he were bowed with years before,

The semblance of unchanging youth

Thenceforth would wear Coreveruinre.

But he alone hath reached the goal,

Who, turning front the world aside,

‘Mid the green places of the soul,

Hath sought the pure, life-giving, tide

That wells with faith, and love and truth,

The fountain of perpetual youth.

———

The Drama.

PARK THEATRE. — We attended this establishment on Saturday evening to witness the first appearance (in America) of Mrs. Bland in the character of Pauline, in Bulwer’s popular play “The Lady of Lyons.” [page 243:] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This we think reconciles the seeming inconsistencies in her character; such, for instance as yielding her hand to Beauseant while her heart is truly and only Melnotte’s: for how could one of her wholesouledness refuse to sacrifice herself to save the honor of the author of her being, who, to use her own sentiments — “refused her nothing, and never spoke a harsh or unkind word.” [page 244:]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 243:]

* For these comments on the performances at the Park we are indebted to our musical editor. We do not agree with him at all points. In especial, we see no necessity for reconciling the inconsistencies of Pauline — Ed. B. J.

[[BJ September 6, 1845 - 2:141]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) ADVERTISEMENTS, this week, have trenched rather more than we could wish upon our space for literary matter. For this very “flattering ill” however, we shall speedily find a remedy in the enlargement of our “Journal” by one half. We propose to give, very shortly, new type and eight additional pages.

———

(b) BOLLES’ Phonographic Dictionary has “controvertible” and not- “controvertibility” - “self-conceited” and not “self-conceitedly” — “worldly-minded” and not “worldly-mindedly.” Are these omissions intentional? We presume not. Sonic of its definitions are inaccurate, if not odd — whether these are adopted from other works, we have not leisure to ascertain. For example; “jealousy” is defined as “suspicion in love“ — but is it not rather the passion aroused by suspicion in love? “Museum” is defined “a collection of learned curiosities” — but neither Tom Thumb, nor the Anaconda are particularly “learned.” A printer is said to be “one who prints books;” then one who merely prints hand bills is no printer at all. A regicide is described as a “murderer of one’s king” — and yet the murderer of anybody’s king is still a regicide.

In a Dictionary, if anywhere, we look for rigorous accuracy of definition. We are not finding fault with Mr. Bolles’ work in especial. He is no worse than his predecessors.

———

(c) THE SUBJOINED jeu d‘esprit has been “going the rounds of the papers” for some time, and we had intended to copy it before — but in some manner it escaped us. The editorial prefix (very generally published with it) is that of “The Morning News” — with which paper we thoroughly agree as to the cleverness of the verses.

THE RETORT.

The Rev. Arthur Coxe’s Saul, a Mystery, having been condemned in no measured terms by Poe of the Broadway Journal, and Green of the Emporium, a writer in the Hartford Columbian retorts as follows, which strikes us as being very clever:

A REVERSAL.

An entertaining history

Entitled” Saul a mystery,”

Has recently been published by the Rev. Arthur Coxe.

The poem is dramatic,

And the wit of it is attic,

And its teachings are emphatic of the doctrines orthodox.

 

But Mr. Poe, the poet,

Declares he cannot go it

That the book is very stupid — or something of that sort:

And Green of the Empori

Um, tells a kindred story,

And “swears like any tory” that it isn‘t worth a groat.

 

But maugre all their croaking,

Of the “raven” — and the joking

Of the verdant little fellow of the used to be review,

The PEOPLE, in derision

Of their impudent decision,

Have declared without division, that the “Mystery will do.”

The truth, of course, rather injures an epigram than otherwise; and nobody will think the worse of the one above when we say that we have expressed no opinion whatever of “Saul.” Give a dog a bad name, &c. Whenever a book is abused, it is taken for granted that it is we who have been abusing it. Mr. Coxe has written some very beautiful poems, and “Saul” may be one of them for anything that we know to the contrary. As yet we have not found time to read the poem — which, to say the truth, is an unconscionably long one. [page 245:]

[[BJ September 9, 1845 - 2:142]]

(a) Messrs. Wiley & Putnam have a variety of works in preparation. The “Library of Choice Reading,” and “The Library of American Books” have met with the most unequivocal success, and have induced various imitations. In the latter series will soon be issued “The Wigwam and The Cabin” by Simms the novelist — who is now in town. Mess. ‘A‘. and P. have just published a new edition of “Norton’s Astronomy.”

[[BJ September 6, 1845 - 2:142]]

(b) TO CORRESPONDENTS. — “hope” is on file. Will our friend L. I. C. of Cincinnati, be so kind as to mail us the Cincinnati Gazette of the 29th ult? “Blanche” in our next. “The Village Street” in our next.

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:151]]

Critical Notices.

(c) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XXII. Essays of Elia. By Charles Lamb.

Of all the British essayists Charles Lamb is the most original — if we may be permitted to use comparatively a purely positive term. He is the founder of that school in which Douglas Jerrold and Cornelius Webbe have been the most successful disciples, — aped at second hand, or at twentieth hand, by the William Joneses of our own continent — a set of little people, who, wriggling hither and thither like the entozoa, grow fat, like them, on the substance of alien brains.

Of all original men, too, Lamb, we think, has the fewest demerits. Of gross faults he has none at all. His merest extravagances have about them a symmetry which entitles them to critical respect. And his innumerable good qualities who shall attempt to depict? For the present we shall let him speak entirely for himself in an account of his

FIRST PLAY.

At the north end of Cross-court there stands a portal, of some architectural pretensions, though reduced to humble use, serving at present for an entrance to a printing-office. This old door-way, if you are young, reader, you may not know was the identical pit entrance to old Drury — Garrick’s Drury — all of it that is left. I never pass it without shaking some forty years from off my shoulders, recurring to the evening when I passed through it to see my first play. The afternoon had been wet, and the condition of our going (the elder folks and myself) was, that the rain should cease. With what beating heart did I watch from the window the puddles, from the stillness of which I was taught to prognosticate the desired cessation! I seem to remember the last spurt, and the glee with which I ran to announce it.

We went with orders, which my godfather F. had sent us. He kept the oil shop (now Davies’s) at the corner of Featherstone buildings, in Holborn. F. was a tall grave person, lofty in speech, and had pretensions above his rank. He associated in those days with John Palmer, the comedian, whose gait and bearing he seemed to copy: if John (which is quite as likely) did not rather borrow somewhat of his manner from my godfather. He was also known to, and visited by, Sheridan. It was to his house in Holborn that young Brinsley brought his first wife on her elopement with him from a boarding-school at Bath -the beautiful Maria Linley. My parents were present (over a quadrille table) when he arrived in the evening with his harmonious charge. From either of these connexions it may be inferred that my godfather could command an order for the then Drury-lane theatre at pleasure — and, indeed, a pretty liberal issue of those cheap billets, in Brinsley’s easy autograph, I have heard him say, was the sole remuneration which he had received for many year’s nightly illumination of the orchestra and various avenues of that theatre — and he was content it should be so. The honor of Sheridan’s familiarity — or supposed familiarity — was better to my god-father than money.

F. was the most gentlemanly of oilmen; grandiloquent, yet courte-

(There follow 1 1/2 columns) [page 246:]

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:152]]

(a) Studies in Religion. By the author of “Words in a Sunday School.” New York: C. Shepard.

This is a neat duodecimo of about 225 pages, without Introduction, or any clew to the author’s name, beyond what we find in the title. The work consists of twenty-four well-written and instructive essays, which from their brevity and character we may as well denominate sub-sermons or sermonoids.

———

(b) Short Patent Sermons. By Dow, Jr. Originally published in the New York Sunday Mercury. Vol. I. New York: Paige, Nichols, & Krauth.

These patent sermons have had a wide celebrity, and in great measure deserve it from their wit and bonhommie, totally devoid of offence. Who Dow Jr. is, we have never yet been able to say. For anything we know to the contrary, he may be our friend of the United States Journal. We have heard him discourse by the hour in a strain very much akin to that of the volume before us.

———

(c) My Uncle Hobson and I; or Slashes at Life with a Free Broad-Axe. By Pascal Jones. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This is a handsomely printed duodecimo of about 270 pages. We have not had an opportunity of reading it thoroughly, but some of the chapters have much of that sort of humor which is found in the Chronicles of Pineville — that is to say in the worst portions of the Chronicles. The announcement on the cover that the book is an “Interesting American work” is in bad policy and worse taste.

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:153]]

(d) We comply, this week, with the suggestion of some friends — that we should copy in the “Broadway Journal” Hood’s magnificent

BRIDGE OF SIGHS. [page 247:]

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:155]]

(a) Through the kindness of the owner, we have been admitted to a private view of one of the most exquisite pieces of sculpture that ever crossed the Atlantic. It is the work of the sculptor to the king of the Belgians. The subject is a female; the title, Coming from the Bath. As it is about to be exhibited, we shall defer our critical account of it. Thus much however, we will say, that in all the attributes of female loveliness, delicacy and roundness of form, perfection of proportion, intellectuality, gentleness, and modesty, it could hardly be excelled.

We are happy to say that this exquisite work of art is in the possession of an American gentleman, who saw it in Belgium, and being struck by its extraordinary merit, purchased it at a great price. We shall have more to say about it shortly.

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:156]]

(b) The Drama.

We continue our extracts from Mr. Murdoch’s very interesting MS — “The Stage.”

(The extracts are on pp. 156L-158L.)

[[BJ September 13, 1845 - 2:159]]

(c) Editorial Miscellany.

THE HARPERS will immediately resume the publication of Humboldt’s “Cosmos” of which they have as yet issued only the first Part. In London, the work is now being published in monthly numbers. The Appletons will soon have ready the works of Dante with Biography, Notes, etc., etc., in one large volume, and embellished with Flaxman’s designs. Great preparations are making in the way of Annuals and other Gift Books. Mr. Saunders has nearly ready his “Missionary Memorial” — Mr. Robert Hamilton his “May-Flower” — Mr. John Keese “The Opal” — Mr. T. S. Arthur “The Snow-Flake” — and there are one or two others on the tapir. The two next months will bring forth a great variety of new books in every department.

———

(d) The “Chambersburg Times” does us the honor to make up the whole of its first page from a single number of “The Broadway Journal.” This would be all very well, had it not forgotten to give us credit for our articles, contributed and editorial — and had it not forgotten not to make certain improvements in our compositions to suit its own fancy. Copying, for example, a little poem of our own called “Lenore“, the Chambersburg editor alters “the damned earth” into “the cursed earth.” Now, we prefer it damned, and will have it so.

———

AT THE approaching Anniversary Soiree of the Manchester Athenaeum, Thomas Noon Talfourd will preside, and Chas. Dickens, Eugene Sue and many other literary celebrities, will be present. [page 248:]

[[BJ September 20, 1845 - 2:167]]

Critical Notices.

(a) The American Shepherd: being a Complete History of Sheep, with their Breeds, Management, and Diseases. By L. A. Morrell. Illustrated with Drawings of the Different Breeds. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is one of the most valuable works published, of late, by the Harpers — a work which has been long imperatively demanded by American wool-growers. The English treatises, although numerous and comprehensive, are totally unadapted to our wants.

Every thing needed is here abundantly supplied. The work is a perfect manual. It contains an Appendix of Letters from eminent wool-growers, detailing their respective modes of treatment. There are numerous engravings, chiefly of sheep, sheep-barns, sheds, etc. etc. Mr. Blorrell, the author, has the highest reputation as a skilful and successful farmer. The volume is a beautiful one of 450 pages octavo.

———

(b) The Bosom Friend. A Novel by the Author of “The Gambler’s Wife,” “The Young Prima Donna,” etc. etc. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 61 of “The Library of Select Novels.” We have read the book through: — it is intensely interesting.

———

(c) The Wandering Jew. By M. Eugene Sue. New York Harper & Brothers.

The seventeenth number is issued — price 3 cents. The excitement of the story increases.

———

(d) A Cyclopaedia of several Thousand Practical Receipts and Collateral Information, in the Arts, Manufactures, and Trades, including Medicine, Pharmacy, and Domestic Economy. Designed as a Compendious Book of Reference for the Manufacturer, Tradesman, Amateur, and Heads of Families. By Arnold James Cooley. Illustrated with numerous Engravings. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

The third number of this useful book is published. We have already noticed in full the first and second numbers, and now merely repeat the title in full, as the best means of calling attention to the work, and showing its design.

———

(e) Agnes Serle. A Novel. By Miss Ellen Pickering, author of “Nan Darrell,” “The Fright,” etc. etc. New York: E. Ferrett & Co.

Few novelists have ever been more really popular than Miss Pickering. She seldom greatly excites, but invariably pro duces the most agreeable kind of interest. It is a difficult matter to take up one of her skilful stories, and put it down unread. “Agnes Serle” is fully equal to anything she has written, as regards its power of enchaining attention. She does not deserve, however, as much credit for it as for her more original novels: it is, in many respects, a close imitation of that excellent fiction “Santo Sebastiano, or the Young Protector.” [page 249:]

———

Gowans’ Bibliotheca Americana. No 1. — A Brief Description New York, formerly called New Netherlands, with the Places thereunto adjoining. Likewise a brief Relation of the Customs of the Indians there. By Daniel Denton. New Edition, with an Introduction and Copious Historical Notes. By Gabriel Furman, Member or the New York Historical Society. New York: William Gowans.

This truly beautiful volume (of about pages octavo) is the first of an important series relating to the History, Literature, Biography, Antiquities, and Curiosities of the American Continent. It will consist, chiefly, of reprints from old and scarce works; an original one will be occasionally introduced. To the reprints, nothing is to be added unless in the way of notes, or introduction. A part to appear every six months at least.

Denton’s “New Netherlands,” the opening number of the series, is the first printed description in the English language of the region now embraced in the States of New York and New Jersey. It is very rare. Until the importation of the copy from which the volume now before us is printed, there were only two copies in the United States — one in the State Library at Albany, and one at Harvard. There are only two copies (accessible) in England. Mr. Aspinwall has one — the British Museum the other.

A great portion of the book is devoted to Long Island and New York City. The whole is of exceeding interest — to say nothing of its value in an historical point of view.

———

(a) The Democratic Review, for September, is particularly strong — containing a good article on Lyell’s late work; “La Vendetta,” a clever tale by Fanny Kemble; “The Young Tragedian,” a still better story, by one of our most accomplished and most versatile writers, Mrs. E. F. Ellet; “A Word for Italy,” a gentlemanly essay, by H. T. Tuckerman; “Love’s Emblems,” by Park Benjamin and “Labor,” one of the finest poems we have yet seen from the most graceful of American poetesses, Mrs. Osgood. We quote it in full:

LABOR.

BY MRS. FRANCES S. OSGOOD.

Pause not to dream of the future before us!

Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o‘er us!

Hark, how Creation’s deep, musical chorus

Unintermitting, goes up into Heaven!

Never the ocean wave falters in flowing;

Never the little seed stops in its growing;

More and more richly the Rose-heart keeps glowing,

Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.

“Labor is worship!” — the robin is singing:

“Labor is worship!” — the wild bee is ringing

Listen! that eloquent whisper upspringing

Speaks to thy soul from out nature’s great heart.

From the dark cloud flows the life-giving shower;

From the rough sod blows the soft breathing flower;

From the small insect, the rich coral bower;

Only man, in the plan, ever shrinks from his part.

Labor is life! — ‘Tis the still water faileth;

Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;

Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth

Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.

Labor is glory! — the flying cloud lightens;

Only the waving wing changes and brightens;

Idle hearts only the dark future frightens:

Play the sweet keys wouldst thou keep them in tune!

Labor is rest — from the sorrows that greet us;

Rest from all petty vexations that meet us,

Rest from sin-promptings that ever entreat us,

Rest from world-syreas that lure us to ill.

Work — and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow;

Work — Thou shalt ride over Care’s coming billow; [page 250:]

Lie not down wearied ‘neath Wo’s weeping willow!

Work with a stout heart and resolute will!

Droop not the shame, sin and anguish are round thee

Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee!

Look to yon pure Heaven smiling beyond thee!

Rest not content in thy darkness — a clod

Work — for some good, — be it ever so slowly!

Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly?

Labor! All labor is noble and holy:

Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God!

There is only one really bad article in the number, and that is insufferable: nor do we think it the less a nuisance because it inflicts upon ourselves individually a passage of maudlin compliment about our being a most “ingenious critic” and “prose poet,” with some other things of a similar kind. We thank for his good-word no man who gives palpable evidence, in other cases than our own, of his incapacity to distinguish the false from the true — the right from the wrong. If we are an ingenious critic, or a prose-poet, it is not because Mr. William Jones says so. This is the same gentleman who, in a previous essay for the Democratic Review. took occasion roundly to assert that nothing beyond “trash” had ever appeared either in the pages of Graham or Godey — to assert this in the face of the fact, that there is scarcely a writer of any eminence in America who has not, at some period, contributed to one or both of these Magazines. But we happen to know the secret of Mr. Jones’ animosity — at least in the case of Mr. Graham — who rejected, very properly, a stupid article which was almost forced upon him by Mr. J.

A gentleman who on such, or who on any grounds, would suffer himself to speak so flippantly, and with so palpable an injustice, is entitled, of course, to no credit for honesty of opinion. And yet Mr. Jones’ present essay on “American Humor” is sheer opinion-nothing more. There is not a single point which he attempts to demonstrate. His (Jones’) ipse dixit is all. Mr. Simms, the novelist, he thinks, is a fool — or something very near it. Mr. Jones “regards slightingly the mass of his romantic and poetical efforts” — the romantic and poetical efforts of decidedly the best novelist which this country has ever yet, upon the whole, produced. Of Judge Longstreet, (over whose inimitable “Georgia Scenes” the whole continent has been laughing till the tears rolled from its eyes,) Mr.William Jones has a still more indifferent opinion. “We know only the name of this gentleman,” he says, “and have been unable to get his book, but we apprehend that personal partiality has its undue influence in his (Mr. Simms’) estimate.” — Now what right has this Mr. William Jones, who is in the habit of vilifying Magazines by wholesale, whenever the editors turn up their noses at his contributions — what right has he, we say, to suspect any other person in the world than myself, of the vile sin of critical dishonesty? He “has not been able to get” Judge Longstreet’s book — what business then has he (Mr. Jones) to form any opinion at all of the correctness or incorrectness of the opinion of Mr. Simms.

“The French,” says this Mr. Jones, “have no humor” — let him pray Heaven that in Hades he fall not into the clutches of Moliere, of Rabelais, of Voltaire! Of the humor of our own countrymen he is much in doubt. A vulgar driveller, however (Harry Franco), the whole of whose point, as far as we can understand it, consists in being unable to pen a sentence of even decent English, our essayist places “on a par with Paulding and much above Miss Leslie and Joseph Neal.” This to be sure is rather an equivocal sentence, but we would advise Mr. J. not to visit the city of Brotherly [page 251:] Love if he has no inclination to be tarred and feathered: — we could not conceive a grosser or a more ridiculous insult.

The truth is that this essay on “American Humor” is contemptible both in a moral and literary sense — is the composition of an imitator and a quack — and disgraces the Magazine in which it makes its appearance.

———

(a) The American Review for September contains, among other able papers, one of especial value by lion. J. R. Ingersoll on the National Institute-also an article of much interest on the Bhagvat Geeta and the Doctrine of Immortality. “Helicon in Hot leather” is the title of a pungent and discriminating review of numerous late poems — principally abortions — Mr. Lord’s among the number. J. Ross Browne contributes an amusing “Extract from the Journal of a Whale Cruiser,” and William Wallace has a noble poem entitled Statuary” from which we venture to make an extract:

Under the music of my heart and brain

Marble should start and tremble into life;

And men should mark beneath the daring strain,

The troubled quarry’s strife

There, one by one, the blocks should swiftly fall

From grand and beautiful creatures, who would rise

Like buried kings and queens from prison pall,

And look at me with wondering eyes

Brave men and lovely women — they who gave

The advancing plume of Time a starry fire;

Who talked with Spirits — carried Freedom’s glaive,

Or grasped the Immortal with a lyre:

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Then I would plant soft grasses, trees, and flowers

Of rarest colour over all the mould,

And fountain-streams should murmur in some bowers, —

Fenced by a trellis work offretted gold.

A lofty portal ever open seen

Should woo the city’s toil-o‘erwearied race

To that fair sculpture! They would lean

On rosy plots amid the holy place,

When Night lay dreaming under a rounded moon.

And from those Statues (glimmering through the leaves

That softly whispering to the listening Eves

Some touching tune learned long ago)

A solemn grandeur and a tender grace

Into their souls should flow.

The stalwart man should learn a nobler strength;

The blooming boyhood an aspiring fire;

And reverend Age should deern he heard at length

The soft, low prelude of a seraph’s chair;

The mother there should gently lean and press

On little rosy feet a tenderer kiss,

And lovers light the shadows of the night

With eyes that shone to each in mutual bliss.

Reclined amid my labor, I would hear

Their voices in the leaves; and I would see

The throng, unseen, and whisper with a tear

Of joy, — “They owe it all to me;

To me, who would a-temper so their souls

That they should veil the fierce flash of the spears

Clashing for blood: Look back! See how it rolls

In yon deep channels of the parted years,

Thick with the wave-uplifted hands of Those

Who fought their fellows and went swiftly down

Beneath the Victor; over their repose

He shook an idle crown.

But not like these, my Brothers! shall ye die;

Something of Heaven is left; and the Ideal,

With all her stars is found, at last, to lie

In that which ye have called ‘the REAL.‘”

———

(b) Wiley and Pulnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. XXIII. Essays of Elia. By Charles Lamb. Second Series.

In our last we noticed Part I. of these Essays. The present volume contains some of Lamb’s very best papers. [page 252:]

[[BJ September 20, 1845 - 2:171]]

We continue our extracts from Mr. Murdoch’s entertaining MS. “The Stage.[[”]]

[[BJ September 20, 1845 - 2:173]]

(b) Editorial Miscellany.

IN A TALE called “The Broken-Hearted, a Touching Incident of Real Life, by John G. Whittier,” which we find in a “Philadelphia Saturday Courier” of June 19, 18 — (year torn off) there occurs the following passage:

It cannot be that earth is man’s only abiding place. It cannot be that our life is a bubble, cast off by the ocean of eternity, to float a moment upon its waves, and sink into darkness and nothingness. Else why is it, that the high and glorious aspirations, which leap like an. gels from the temple of our hearts, are forever wandering abroad un. satisfied? Why is it that the rainbow and the cloud come over us with a beauty that is not of earth, and then pass off, and leave us to muse upon their faded loveliness? Why is it that the stars which hold their festivals around the midnight throne, are set above the grasp of our limited faculties — forever mocking us with their unapproachable glory? And why is it — that bright forms of human beauty are present to our view and then taken from us, leaving the thou. sand streams of our affection to flow back in an alpine torrent upon our hearts? We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth. There is a realm where the rainbow never fades — where the stars will be spread out before us, like islands that slumber on the ocean — and where the beautiful beings which here pass before us like visions, will stay in our presence forever.

The passage subjoined is also lying before us in print — but we are unable to trace its source. It is attributed to Bulwer — whether rightly or not we cannot say.

I cannot believe that earth is man’s abiding place. It cannot be that life is cast upon the ocean of eternity to float for a moment upon its waves and sink into nothingness! Else why is it that the glorious aspirations which leap like angels from the temples of our hearts, are forever wandering about unsatisfied? Why is it that the rainbow and clouds come over us with a beauty that is not of earth; and then pass off and leave us to muse on their loveliness? Why is it that the stars who hold their festival around their midnight throne are set above the grasp of our limited faculties, forever mocking us with unapproachable glory? And finally, why is it that bright forms of human beauty are presented to our view and then taken from us, leaving the thousand streams of our affections to flow back in Alpine torrents upon our hearts? We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is [page 253:] a realm where the rainbow never fades — where the stars will he spread out before us like the islands that slumber in the ocean; and where the beings that pass before us like shadows, will stay in our presence forever!

Somebody has perpetrated a gross plagiarism in the premises, but we have not the slightest idea that this somebody is Mr. Whittier. We have too high an opinion of his integrity to believe him guilty of this, the most despicable species of theft. Most despicable, we say. The ordinary pick-pocket filches a purse, and the matter is at an end. He neither takes honor to himself, openly, on the score of the purloined purse, nor does he subject the individual robbed to the charge of pick-pocketism in his own person; by so much the less odious is lie, then, than the filcher of literary property. It is impossible, we should think, to imagine a more sickening spectacle than that of the plagiarist, who walks among man. kind with an crecter step, and who feels his heart beat with a prouder impulse, on account of plaudits which he is conscious are the due of another. It is the purity, the nobility, the ethereality of just fame — it is the contrast between this ethereality and the grossness of the crime of theft, which places the sin of plagiarism in so detestable a light. We are horror-stricken to find existing in the same bosom the soul-uplifting thirst for fame, and the debasing propensity to pilfer. It is the anomaly — the discord — which so grossly offends.

We repeat, that, in the case now in question, we are quite confident of the blamelessness of Mr. Whittier — but we would wish that the true criminal be ruthlessly exposed. Who is he? No doubt some of our friends can tell us. We remember in one of the poems of Delta (published, perhaps in the seventh volume of Blackwood) something which very remarkably resembles the passages quoted above.

ANOTHER parallel — Here are the concluding lines of “Knowledge is Power, a Poem pronounced before the Junior Lyceum of the City of Chicago, on the 22d of February 1913, by William H. Bushnell.

To each and all, may life’s wide sea

Ne‘er rise before your sail —

But may your course be ever free

From each tempestuous gale

And may you pass your portals fair

To Heaven, free and light —

And life be mingled less with care

Than his, who bids you now — good night.

And here are the concluding lines of “The Age; a Satire pronounced before the New York Society of Literature at the Second Anniversary, January 23d, 1845, by Alfred Wheeler.”

And may sweet dreams of love and truth,

Upon your slumbers rest,

And cloudless hope, the joy of youth,

Dwell peaceful in each breast —

And may your lives be free from care,

Your path be ever bright,

Your days, more promising and fair,

Than mine have been — good night!

———

(a) PROFESSOR HORNCASTLE gave his first entertainment, in this country, at the Society Library, last week. We were unable to attend his performance.

While glancing at his “posters” we were much struck by the following paragraph. “The Professor thinks it right, in consequence of the frequent mistakes, to make it generally known that he never was on the stage. It is a Mr. James Henry Horncastle, who was formerly at the theatre. If his friends will look at the initials of the name, they will see the mistake.”

The Professor may think it right to snake this announcement, [page 254:] but we think it extremely wrong. In the first place, of what consequence is it, whether he was or was not upon the stage? The fact, if established, does not make him either a better singer or a better man. In the next place it would certainly have been in much better taste had he said — the party for whom I am mistaken is my brother, and not a Mr. James Henry Horncastle. It would have been in better taste, for the reason, that this Mr. James Henry Horncastle is very generally known in this city, not only for his talents, which are considerable and versatile, but for his gentlemanly demeanor and honorable conduct. We therefore think that the professor need not be very much shocked, even if he should be mistaken for his brother: at any rate the announcement is a gratuitous exposure of some affair with which the public has nothing to do, and which should certainly have been kept back white the party so slightingly spoken of, is absent from the country, and therefore unable to define his own position.

We have been frequently asked from what source Professor Horncastle derives his title of Professor? What Professorship does he hold? To these questions we are unable to reply, never having seen an account of Mr. Horncastle’s election to a vacant chair.

———

(a) THE MESMERIC journals, and some others, are still making a to-do about the tenability of Mr. Vankirk’s doctrines as broached in a late Magazine paper of our own, entitled — Mesmeric Revelation.“. [[sic]] “The Regenerator” has some very curious comments, indeed: it says:

“However accurate or inaccurate the reasons of this clairvoyant may have been, it is self-evident to me they were heterogeneous and probably were solecisms; at all events they were unintelligible in my apprehension — his “unparticled matter;” i. e. “God,” “God in quiescence,” i. e. “mind,” &c. I would fain transcribe verbatim his answers to his mesmerisers, but brevity, which is your legitimate due, forbids: therefore let the following sulfite, viz.

Question: What is God? Answer: [after a long pause,] “It is difficult to tell; he is not spirit, for he exists; nor is he matter, as you understand it — immateriality is a mere void; but there are gradations of matter, of which man knows nothing; the grosser impelling the finer, the finer pervading the grosser; the gradations of matter increase in rarity or fineness until we arrive at a matter unparticled; here the law of impulsion and permeation is modified; this matter is God, and thought is this matter in motion.” And lastly — “It is clear, however, that it is as fully matter as before.” If this is not incoherent language, then am I no competent judge of logic. However, the argument, if sane, in reality amounts to materialism, and our clairvoyant is a materialist still, and propagating the doctrine I have maintained and held forth to the world more than thirty years, viz., that God is matter — is “all in all” — as the Christian Scriptures declare. Be that as it may, there can he no effect without a natural cause; hence I conclude Vankirk’s ratiocination was the legitimate or natural effect of his former cogitations and present anxiety concerning this much harped upon theological enigma — the soul’s immortality.

Now would not any one suppose, that our sentence as above liven, viz.: “It is as clear, however, that it is as fully matter as before” — would not any one suppose that it immediately followed the words “matter is motion,” and that the “it” referred to “thought?” Of course, any one would. But, as we wrote them, the sentences are separated by some dozen intervening paragraphs, and there is no connexion whatever.

These things, however, are of little consequence. We wait with great patience for the end of the argumentation.

———

A CORRESPONDENT of Mr. Simms Monthly Magazine makes some odd mistakes in giving that work an account of literary people and literary doings in New York. Some omissions in the lists of contributors to the principal Magazines, [page 255:] are particularly noticeable. Many constant writers are unmentioned, and some of the occasional ones paraded forth, are no credit to the journals in question. In speaking of the “Broadway Journal,” the correspondent announces, as its only contributors, Mrs. Childs and T. H. Chivers. Of the former we never heard. Dr. Chivers never contributed a line to our paper in his life. Our regular contributors would do honor to any Magazine in the land — Lowell, Simms, Benjamin, Duyckinck, Page, (the artist,) the author of the Vision of Rubeta, Tuckerman, Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Ellett, Mrs. Hewitt, Miss Lawson, Miss Fuller, and so forth, are writers of which any journal might be proud.

———

(a) EMERSON’S Arithmetic has been translated into modern Greek.

———

(b) FREDERICA BREMER, the gifted Swedish novelist, will not come here, as she intended, this summer, her visit being necessarily postponed till another year, by the illness of a near friend.

———

(c) A SUIT for libel has been instituted against J. Fenimore Cooper, by the Rev. Mr. Tiffany of Cooperstown.

———

WE CALL the attention of our readers to some beautiful six octave piano fortes, now in the store of Mr. Chambers, 385 Broadway. They are well finished, possess a beautiful quality of tone, with great power and delicacy of touch.

Let those in need of a piano forte, call and see these instruments.

———

THE WORK of Von Raumer, the Prussian traveller and critic, on the United States, has appeared, and its table of contents is said to be of great promise. A translation may be expected to appear shortly in this country. Mrs. Ellett, of South Carolina, will probably translate it. — N. O. Picayune.

The Baron’s comments on American literature are particularly vapid. He seems to have not the remotest conception of the actual condition of our letters. The translation is completed. Mrs. Ellet has done only a portion — though abundantly able to have done all, and well.

———

We learn from Messrs. Robinson and Jones that the subscription papers for the volume of Poems, by Lewis J. Cist, have been very well filled, and that the work is now in press. Mr. C. has written a great deal for eastern and western magazines and papers, and has many admirers who will be pleased to possess his productions in a collected form. A number of his poems have had a very wide circulation, and given his name a place among the younger Bards of America — Cincinnati Gazette.

———

MR. WILLIAM FAIRMAN, of this city, has become, for the present, interested in the conduct of the ‘‘Broadway Journal.” He is about taking a tour through some of the States, for the purpose of promoting the general interests of the work, and we commend him to the attention of our friends.

[[BJ September 27, 1845 - 2:177]]

Critical Notices.

(a) The Prose Works of John Milton, with a Biographical Introduction by Rufus Wilmot Griswold. In Two Volumes. Philadelphia: Herman Hooker.

Dr. Griswold deserves the thanks of his countrymen for what he has here done: — it certainly is no credit to us, either as republicans or reverers of the true and noble in Literature, that no edition of the Prose Works of John Milton has hitherto been issued in America. Independently of the subject-matter, his treatises are among the most remarkable ever written, Their mere style (we use the word in its widest sense) is absolutely unrivalled. It is a very difficult thing, indeed, to decide properly on the style of a period so remote as that of Milton; we are perpetually misled in our judgment, by the impossibility of identifying ourselves with the writers — of inducing a full sympathy with the circumstances which impelled them, and thus with the objects for which they wrote the ends proposed in composition. In fact, it is only by the degree of its adjustment to the result intended, that any style can be justly commended as good or condemned as bad. But, holding in view this adjustment, and making the necessary allowances for lapses, effected through Time, in the language, we feel ourselves fully warranted in saying, that no man has ever surpassed, if, indeed, any man has ever equalled the author of the “Areopagitica” in purity — in force — in copiousness — in majesty — or, in what may be termed without the least exaggeration, a gorgeous magnificence of style. Some of his more directly controversial works rise at times into a species of lyrical rhapsody — divinely energetic — constituting for itself a department of composition which is neither prose nor poetry, but something with all the best qualities of each, and upon the whole superior to either.

These two large volumes contain nearly all the prose [page 257:] works of Milton. We say nearly; for there is an unwarrantable omission in “The Christian Doctrine.” Of the authenticity of this treatise there can be no doubt. It was found in 1823, by Mr. Lemon, Deputy Keeper of the State Papers, in the course of some researches among his book-shelves. It was a Latin MS. enveloped with some foreign despatches in Milton’s own hand, and superscribed “To Mr. Skinner, Merchant.” According to Toland, this treatise was finished by its author soon after the Restoration: — a host of concurring circumstances render its genuineness certain. Its value depends chiefly on the curious developments it affords in relation to the poet’s Arianism and opinions about polygamy — but its Latinity is so peculiarly forcible and fluent, in spite of the difficulties of the matter handled, that, on this score alone, the treatise demands insertion in any and every collection of the author’s prose: it should be left untranslated, of course: Dr. Sumner’s version is feeble. Of the “Christian Doctrine,” Dr. Griswold says, in his Introduction, “it is a work which he [Milton] never would have given to the press himself.” For this idea there is but little authority. The MS. was no doubt taken to the State Paper office, in consequence of a general seizure of Milton’s papers, during the persecution of the Whigs upon the dissolution of the Oxford Parliament; for the poet must have fallen under suspicion. The publication was thus prevented; but evidence of the intent to publish is discoverable in the work itself. Dr. Griswold says also, that “in none of his great works is there a passage from which it can be inferred that he [Milton] was an Arian.” Here we entirely disagree with the compiler. The “Paradise Lost” abounds in such passages. Dr. Griswold’s Introduction is, nevertheless, well written and well adapted to its purposes. At points, however, it may be thought extravagant or dogmatic. We have no patience with the initial sneer at Bacon, as “the meanest of mankind.” These assertions are passés, and a truly profound philosophy might readily prove them ill based. We would undertake to show, á priori, that no man, with Bacon’s thorough appreciation of the true and beautiful, could, by any possibility, be “the meanest,” although his very sensibility might make him the weakest “of mankind.”

When Dr. Griswold, in conclusion, terms Milton “the greatest of all human beings,” we really do think that he should have appended the words — “in the opinion, at least, of Dr. Griswold.”

But these things are trifles. An important service has been rendered to our Letters, and he who renders it is entitled to thanks. The volumes are well printed and bound, and no one, pretending to even ordinary scholarship, can afford to do without them.

———

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of American Books, No. V. Big Abel and the Little Manhattan. By Cornelius Mathews.

The conception and execution of this book are both original. The narrative (if such it may be termed) forms merely the upper current of the true theme which flows below. The principal object is that of a suggestive parallel between the present and primitive condition of the Island of Manhattan. A secondary purpose is that of gossip about the New-York localities and customs — especially those appertaining to the terrae incognitae of remote districts, such as the East Bowery. The ostensible theme has reference to the adventures of a great grandson of Hudson, the navigator, and the heir of the last chief of the Manhattanese. These worthies are supposed [page 258:] to institute, or to contemplate instituting, in the “Supreme Court of Judicature,” a claim against the Corporation of New-York, for the whole of its territory. Imbued with a strong prospective sense of their title, the claimants are represented as vagabondizing through the island, partitioning between them the property that is to be theirs upon the decision of the suit. It is their division of the spoils which affords opportunity for the suggestive parallel between the savage and the civilized condition. Big Abel’s attention is arrested, and his cupidity excited, by everything appertaining to commerce and modern usage. He claims, for example, the shipping, the markets, the banks, and the coffee-houses. The Little Manhattan has an eye to the fountains, the squares, and the Indian figures at the tobacco-shop doors. The conversation of the two claimants is little in itself — but is full of a delicate and skillful innuendo, which, indeed, is the staple of the book. An episode relating to a Poor Scholar and his mistress, serves well as an introduction for many touches of a homely or domestic pathos, in illustration of local details.

The book, upon the whole, does great credit to its author. The conception is forcible and unique. Much skill is evinced in the general construction and conduct. The allegory is properly subdued. Many points evince acute observation, and a keen sense of the more delicate humor. There are also some passages of rich imagination. The style is nervous, but (intentionally) loose or abrupt, and has an original and, therefore, impressive effect. The great defect of the work is indefiniteness. The design is not sufficiently well made out. More hereafter.

———

(a) Puritanism: or a Churchman’s Defence against its Aspersions, by an Appeal to its own History. By Thomas W. Coit, D. D., Rector of Trinity Church, New-Rochelle, N. Y., and a Member of the New-York Historical Society. New-York: D. Appleton & Co.

A remarkably nervous, logical, and (to our minds, at least,) convincing book. It is based on certain communications, made by its author to “The Churchman,” during the year 1835, “concerning the Puritans and their harsh and unwearied cavils against Episcopalians.” A large portion of the work, however, is entirely new. Some remarkable quotations preface the volume. The first of them is “Milton was a Puritan,” from Leonard Bacon’s Hist. Disc. Then follow three extracts from Milton’s Prose Works — extracts in opposition to Puritanism. A Note afterwards, says: — “An intelligent reader will not be surprised to learn that the Puritans have succeeded in suppressing the above passages, with a number like them, in most of the editions of Milton.” This is a serious charge — and not more serious than true. A very handsome volume of 527 pages octavo.

———

(b) The Medici Series of Italian Prose, No. IV. The Citizen of a Republic, by Ansaldo Ceba. Translated and Edited by C. Edwards Lester. New-York: Paine & Burgess.

Ansaldo Ceba has been always considered as one of the ablest of Italian writers on Government, and the work now published is the most important which he has given to the world. If we regard only our conception of the word “Republic,” we shall find his title a misnomer-but the book itself is full of a thoroughly republican sentiment, and inculcates the democratic virtues. It is, indeed, a noble composition, replete with learning, thought, and the purest classicism. If deficient at all, it is in vigor-it has more of the Ciceronian character than pleases [page 259:] ourselves individually. It was written in the senility of its author.

———

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

No. XI of this admirable work is just issued.

———

(b) The Wandering Jew. By Eugène Sue. New-York Harper & Brothers.

No. XVIII is issued — completing one of the most exciting narratives ever written in modern times.

———

(c) The Devotional Family Bible, by the Rev. Alexander Fletcher, A. M., Author of the Guide to Family Devotion, etc. etc. Containing the Old and New Testaments, with Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations, Copious Marginal References, etc. Every Part embellished with a highly finished Engraving on Steel, including Views of the Principal Places mentioned in Scripture, from Drawings taken on the Spot. New-York: R. Martin & Co., 26 John Street.

No. IX of this very beautiful Bible has been issued. We repeat the full title by way of most readily describing the work. The parts are sold at cents each.

———

(d) Journal of the Texian Expedition against Mier; Subsequent Imprisonment of the Author; his Suffering and Final Escape from the Castle of Perote, with fictions upon the Present Political and Probable Future Relations of Texas, Mexico, and the United Slates. By Gen. Thomas J. Green. Illustrated by Drawings taken from Life by Charles M‘Laughlin, a Fellow-Prisoner. New York: Harper and Brothers.

This work was prepared for the press soon after the writer’s escape from the castle of Perote, but has been kept back through fear of injuring the Texians detained until recently, prisoners of war in Mexico.

The title fully conveys the general design; — the narrative in the author’s own words, is one “of Texian daring, of battles lost and won, of dungeons and old castles, of imprisonment and hair-breadth escapes, of unparalleled sufferings and cruel murders.” No one can take up the book without becoming thoroughly interested in its details. The reflections on the political relations of Mexico, Texas and the U. States, are if not profound, at least acute, and we listen to them with respectful attention, as the views of an evidently sincere man, and one whose extensive personal experience entitles him to speak, on many points, with authority.

By way of instancing the general manner of the book, we quote a passage giving an account of the escape from Perote:

John Toowig was a son of Old Ireland, a small, energetic man, and a true-hearted Republican. His size and energy both befitting the operation in the hole, he had done more than his share of the work. Ile was the same who, in the spring of 1812, at San Antonio, put a match to a keg of powder and blew up his store, with several thousand dollars worth of goods, rather than they should fall into the hands of the Mexican General Vascus. It was less difficult for him than some others to get through the perforation in the wall. I found much difficulty in passing through, though I was now reduced from one hundred and sixty pounds, my usual weight, to one hundred and twenty. The gradual funnel-shape of the breach made it like driving a pin into an auger-hole, for the deeper we went, the closer the fit. The smallest of us having gone through first, for fear that the largest might hang in the hole and stop it up, it now came to Stone’s turn, who was a large man.

He hung fast, and could neither get backward nor forward. In this situation, being wedged in as fast as his giant strength could force him, our friends on the inside of the room, who had been assisting us, had to reach in the hole, tie ropes to his hands, and draw him back. This operation was very like drawing his arms out of [page 260:] his body, but did not satisfy him. “I have a wife and children at home,” says he, “and I would rather die than stay here longer: I will go through, or leave no skin upon my bones.” So saying, he disrobed himself: his very great exertion, causing him to perspire freely, answered nearly as well for the second effort as if he had been greased, and he went through after the most powerful labour leaving both skin and flesh behind.

John Young, if anything, was a larger man than Stone, but was much his junior in years: he was as supple as a snake, and no Roman gladiator ever exhibited more perfectly-formed muscles: nor was his determined temper in bad keeping with his physical conformation. He was the last that came out; and while the balance of us sat under the side of the wall, we feared that it would be impossible for him to get through. Presently, with the aid of a dim sky above us, we saw his feet slowly protruding, then his knees, and when he came to his hip joints, here for many minutes he hung fast. When this part of his body was cleared, the angular use of his knees gave him additional purchase to work by; but still our boys said, “Poor fellow! it will be impossible to get his muscular arms and shoulders through.” We sat under him with an agony of feeling not to be described, while he ceased not his efforts. His body was now cleared to his shoulders, but still he hung fast. Having the full purchase of his legs, he would writhe, first up and down, and then from side to side, with Herculean strength; and when he disengaged himself, if it was not like the drawing of a cork from a porter-bottle, it was with the low, sullen, determined growl of a lion.

Being now through our greatest difficulty about the castle, we adjusted carefully, though silently, our knapsacks and blankets, passing orders from one to another in low whispers, which were interrupted alone by the almost perpetual cry of “centinda alerla” of the sentinels above us, both upon the right and left bastions, and between which we had now to pass. The moon had gone down at 5 o‘clock; and being favoured by the darkness in the bottom of the moat, through which the sentinels overhead could not penetrate, we slowly crossed over to the outer wall in Indian file, then felt along the wall until we came to a flight of narrow steps eighteen inches wide, up which we crawled upon all-fours. When we reached the top of the wall, which formed the outer side of the moat, we passed on to the chevaux de jrize, which was about twelve feet high, of pointed timbers set upright in the ground. These upright timbers passed through a horizontal sill about six feet from the ground, which we could reach with our hands, and then pull ourselves up, from which we could then climb over the sharp points of the up right posts, thence down to the bottom of the outside ditch, up the outside bank of which we crawled, it not being walled. When we reached the top we breathed more freely, for we were now in the wide world, and felt more like freemen; and as the sentinels drolled out their sleepy notes of “centinela alerta,” we jumped up, and cracked our heels together three times, as a substitute for cheers three times three.

The volume is beautifully printed and bound-a large octavo of 437 pages.

———

(a) The May-Flower, for 1846. Edited by Robert Hamilton. Boston: Saxton & Kett. For sale in New York by Saxton & Huntingdon, at the Boston Book-Store, 295 Broadway.

The first published Annual, we believe, of the season, and one which will not be readily excelled; — the editor, Mr. Robert Hamilton, is entitled to great credit for the taste and tact displayed in its whole getting up. The plates are seven mezzotints by Sartain, from paintings by Deveria, Billings, Topham, Van Holst, Crowley, Winterhaller, and Wilkie. All of these are good and some admirable. “Cup-Tossing” will be universally admired. The contributions are, generally, from the most noted names in American letters. Mr. Hamilton himself contributes several fine poems. We shall speak of the book more in detail next week. It is beautifully printed, and bound in embossed morocco. [page 261:]

(a) The, Miscellaneous Works of Thomas Arnold, D. D., Late Head-Master of Rugby School and Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford. First American Edition, with Nine Additional Essays not Included in the English Collection. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This is a well printed octavo of more than 500 pages, and is based upon the volume of “Arnold’s Miscellaneous Works” published in London, June 1845; in which, how ever there were many important omissions as well as redundancies. In the American edition (now issued) the former are supplied and the latter avoided. The “Fragment on the Church”; the “Essay on Church and State” and the “Christian Life, its Course, its Hindrances and its Helps” will be found in this the American, but not in the English edition. The “Christian Life” is, in fact, absolutely necessary for the proper understanding of many other essays, in which allusion or reference is made to it. Besides these papers, we have, in the way of addition, “The Church of England”; “Early Roman History”; “Faith and Reason”; “The Oxford Malignants and Dr. Hampden”; “The Sixth Chapter of the Gospel by John”; “Tracts for the Times”; and “Tradition” — the whole including 256 pages, or one half the present volume.

The articles omitted are merely ephemeral compositions never meant for preservation — letters from old newspapers, and other similar matter of a purely local or temporary character, but constituting nearly one fourth of the English edition, in which the main object appears to have been the making of a book sufficiently bulky to sell at a certain price.

Some other improvements have been effected; as regards for example, the arrangement of matter; and the work upon the whole, cannot fail to be highly acceptable to the admirers of Dr. Arnold. It is indeed an indispensable sequel to the “Life and Correspondence” and the Lectures on Modern History.”

———

[Probably Not by Poe]

(b) Wrongs of American Women. First Series. The Elliott Family; or the Trials of New York Seamstresses. By Charles Burdett, Author of “Never too Late,” etc. etc. New-York: E. Winchester.

The Author of “Never too Late” has attained an enviable reputation for the truthfulness and interest of his moral and domestic tales. “The Elliott Family” is the first of a series for which we bespeak the attention of our readers — a series whose subject (The Wrongs of American Women) should and must recommend it to all except those interested in the persecutions which it will expose and condemn. The story is one of intense pathos, and the greater portion of it is absolutely true — the names of the parties only being changed. We hope every honorable man connected with the press will use his utmost exertions to give currency to this all-important series of books.

———

(c) Introduction to the American Common-School Reader and Speaker; Comprising Selections in Prose and Verse: with Elementary Rules and Exercises in Pronurk nation. By William Russell and John Goldsbury, authors of the above-mentioned Reader. Boston: Charles Tappan. New-York: Saxton & Huntingdon.

This useful book, as its title announces, is designed as an introduction to the previous work of the authors; and its principles of elocution are, of course, such as belong to an elementary treatise. They are “intended for practical training in the rudiments of orthoepy.” The two volumes form an admirable and nearly perfect system.

The selections are made with unusual judgment. We [page 262:] observe that a poem entitled “The Ocean” is printed anonymously. It is a beautiful lyric, and its author should be known — J. Augustus Shea, lately deceased.

———

(a) The Elements of Morality, including Polity, By William Whewell, D. D. author of the “History and Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences.” In two vol. Harper & Brothers.

The Harpers have just published this admirable and most valuable work, in two beautifully printed and well bound duodecimo volumes, as the first number of a new series of Standard Books which they intend to issue under the general title of “HARPER’S NEW MISCELLANY.” If this work is to be regarded as, in any sense, a specimen of the series, we have no hesitation in saying that it will be by far the most useful and important Library of its kind ever published in this country. Prof WHEWELL is very widely known as a writer upon Moral Science of the most profound ability. He stands, indeed, at the head of the living philosophical professors in England, and his work on the Inductive Sciences is universally regarded as of the very highest authority.

In this work on Morality, which has but just been published in England in two large octavo volumes, after a series of very full and exact elementary notices and definitions, he has laid down, in a manner far more complete, precise and methodical than any former writer, the Laws of Morality as applied to every department of individual, social, political and ecclesiastical action. The nature, obligations and rights of Society, — Divine Laws and their Sanction, — the idea, rights, duties and obligations of the State,-the nature of Oaths, of International Law &c. &c. are discussed in the most full, systematic and satisfactory manner. The work can hardly fail to be some a text book in all our colleges and higher schools: — but we are also glad that it has been published in such a form and at so cheap a price, as must insure its universal circulation. It is a work which deserves to be studied by every citizen of this republic.

The two volumes contain over 400 pages each, — closely and yet very distinctly printed upon fine, white paper, and are substantially and elegantly bound in muslin, gilt, and sold at fifty cents a volume. This is to be the style and price of all the succeeding volumes of the MISCELLANY, which will contain important historical, scientific, biographical and other works. The publishers, in their prospectus, state that the main, controlling aim of the entire collection, will be instruction rather than amusement. Such a series of books is greatly needed: — and we hazard little in saying that this will prove the most useful, if not the most popular Library ever issued in this country.

———

(b) Pictorial History of the World. By John Frost, LL.D. No. 8. Philadelphia: Walker Of Gillis. For sale in New-fork by Wm. II. Graham.

To be completed in numbers — at 25 cents each.

———

(c) While about going to press, we have received from Messrs. Stanford & Swords, Lady Mary; or Not of the World. By the Rev. Chas. B. Tayler, M. A., Author of “The Records of a Good Man’s Life,” etc., and Sermons on Certain of the Less Prominent Facts and References in Sacred Story. By Henry Mellvill, D. D., Principal of the East India College, etc. Second Series. — These works will be noticed more fully in our next — when we shall also speak of the Aristidean; of Simms’ Magazine for September; of Godey and Graham for October, and of the New-York Illustrated Magazine, edited by L. Labree, of which the second number is just issued. [page 263:]

[[BJ September 27, 1845 - 2:183]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) IN OUR NOTICE, last week, of an article on “American Humor” by Mr. William Jones, we mentioned that Mr. Graham, the editor of “Graham’s Magazine,” had rejected a contribution from Mr. Jones; and we gave this as our only supposable reason for the latter’s sweeping denunciation of the three-dollar Magazines. We have since received, from a warm personal friend of Mr. Jones, a somewhat different version of the story — which runs thus:

A contract was entered into by “Graham’s Magazine” for several articles from the pen of Mr. Jones. The articles were written; they did not suit the tone of the Magazine (which might have been a virtue or not in the contributor, according to the subject matter): some delay occurred; but the negotiation was ultimately completed, according to the agreement, by Mr. Graham paying the author.

We are happy to afford Mr. Jones the full benefit of this variation. Our own opinion of the matter is not materially changed. When a critic so far forgets himself as to speak in wholesale terms of disparagement of a work made up altogether of contributions from the elite of our literature, we naturally seek some unusual reason for the abuse — some reason which does not appear upon the surface — in short, some private and personal cause. If we have wronged Mr. Jones, we regret it very sincerely — although he has made no scruple of wronging us and our friends. Still, we by no means think that we have wronged Mr. Jones.

His apologist (for whom personally and as an author, we have the highest respect) goes on to say:

Whatever sins of dogmatism Mr. J. may have to answer for, (and we must still regret that his last article was not submitted to a judicious pruning and emendation) we are assured that he is utterly incapable of any of the prevalent sins of literary immorality. True men of letters are not so abundant in the community as to be wantonly injured in their good fame. . . . . . . Mr. Jones is an individual writer of the dogmatic school, who requires for a subject one strictly in harmony with his sentiment and experience, when he is enthusiastic, brilliant, and profound: out of his personal range he is careless, ineffective, and apparently unjust. . . .. The article upon Mr. Dana, written by Mr. Jones and published in an early number of this [The Broadway] Journal, exhibits him in his true element.

With much of all this we agree. Mr. Jones is what may be termed an “elegant” essayist of a by-gone school. His articles are always graceful, pointed, gentlemanly, in thought and tone. They lack vigor, originality, and consecutiveness. They leave no definite impression. We read one of them and say — not that we have been convinced of anything, or that we have derived any new ideas — but that, upon the whole, Mr. Jones is a very clever writer of essays. His most reprehensible fault, however, is that he can see nothing excellent out of the limits of Boston Common. Again: — if we have done him injustice, we beg his pardon — but we do not think that we have.

———

(b) HON. EDWARD EVERETT and family returned home in the Britannia.

———

(c) MR. McLANE, the American Minister in England, has taken up his residence at 38 Harley street, Cavendish square.

———

FIELD, the gentlemanly and clever editor of the St. Louis Reveillé, has sued the editors of the People’s Organ, [page 264:] a paper published in that city, for libel; laying his damages at $10,000. The libel consisted in the publication of a letter abusive of Mr. Field, written by Mr. Green, the reformed gambler.

[[BJ September 27, 1845 - 2:184]]

(a) WE TAKE the following truly characteristic and especially French paragraph from the excellent “Courier des Etats Unis.”

(Twenty-one lines are omitted.)

AMONG THOSE who have furnished original papers for the “Broadway Journal,” are Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Kirkland, Mrs. Child, Mrs. Lowell, Mrs. Hewitt, Miss Fuller, Miss Lawson, Miss Wells — J. R. Lowell, H. R. Schoolcraft, Park Benjamin, E. A. Duyckinck, Wm. A. Jones, T. D. English, Wm. Wallace, A. Al. Ide, Henry B. Hirst, Wm. Page (the artist), Henry C. Watson, the author of “The Vision of Rubeta,” Littleton Barry, and Edgar A. Poe. We have also numerous anonymous contributors who would do honor to any journal in the land. Mr. Simms, the novelist, Mrs. Ellett, and many others of note, will hereafter contribute. We mention these facts to do away with any evil impressions that might arise from a statement made in the September number of Simms’ Magazine, by a New-York correspondent, who no doubt intended us well.

———

(c) THE DATE of “The Saturday Courier” (of Philadelphia) from which we quoted a portion of Mr. Whittier’s story, “The Broken-Hearted,” is June 19, 1841.

———

(d) IT WILL BE seen that we make our appearance this week in a new dress — and this will account for a little delay in our time of issue. It is our intention gradually but steadily to improve the paper at all points.

———

THE EMBARRASSMENT, the delay, and general inconvenience arising from bad penmanship, can be thoroughly understood only by an editor. We are compelled, every week, to throw aside many valuable contributions merely because the wretched MS. renders them too expensive to be used. Once again, we say to our friends — write legibly or not at all. Take lessons of Mr. Goldsmith. You will find him in Broadway — 289. We know no one so well qualified to teach a fluent, beautiful, and, what is of still more consequence, a legible hand-writing. We advise, at all events, a visit to his rooms, where in the way of really good penmanship, some absolute curiosities are to be seen. His Advertisement will be found in another column.

———

MR. AUSTIN PHILLIPS and Mr. H. C. Watson, are about to establish a Glee Class upon a large scale. Full particulars will be announced next week.

[[BJ September 27, 1845 - 2:185]]

TO CORRESPONDENTS. Many thanks to M. O. of Lebanon Springs — also to the fair author of “Pictures” — also to A. M. I. We are forced to decline “Margarette” — “The Warrior’s Battle-Song” — “Hope” — and “On the Death of a Favorite Young Dog.” Our friends P. B. — P. P. C. — and T. H. C. shall hear from us in full in a few days. What has become of M. L. of Philadelphia. We are greatly indebted to Miss M. O.

 


[[Footnotes]]

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

* Xxxxxx Xxxx


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞


Notes:

None.


∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

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