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


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Critical Notices.

(b) Alice Ray: a Romance in Rhyme. By Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, Author of “Northwood” &c. &c. Philadelphia.

Mrs. Hale has been long distinguished as one of the purest and most vigorous writers in America — equally distinguished in poetry and in prose.

“Alice Ray” will add much — very much — to her well-earned reputation: — providing always the unpretending form in which it comes before the public, does not injure it in that most worldly public’s estimation, The volume, simply printed and bound, is dedicated to “The Lady Patronesses of the Fair Bazaar [Philadelphia] in aid of the Academy of Fine Arts” — and has Charity, of course, as its primary object.

The poem is truly beautiful. Its delicacy and fancy of conception, and the truthful simplicity and grace of its manner, have, we confess, quite taken us by surprise. We have read many of Mrs. Hale’s poetical compositions, but were prepared for nothing so good.

The story has a marked originality in it, and is well adapted to poetic effect — but the main excellence of the work lies in its point and force of expression — in the aggregate of its quotable passages. In place of an elaborate and needless criticism, we shall take the liberty [page 293:] of placing a few of these before our readers: — italicizing what especially pleases us.

The birds their love notes warble

Among the blossom’d trees;

The flowers are sighing forth their sweets

To wooing honey bees; —

The glad brook o’er a pebbly floor

Goes dancing on its way, —

But not a thing is so like spring

As happy Alice Ray.

 

And, with the Story-tellers,

What friendships had she made!

She pitied lonely Crusoe’s lot,

And lov’d Scheherazade, —

But to the Bard of Avon turn’d

Her fancy and her heart,

Nor knew which most in him she lov‘d

The nature or the art.

 

Her world was ever joyous —

She thought of grief and pain

As giants in the olden time

That ne‘er would come again.

 

Her heart was like a fountain,

The waters always sweet,

Her poney in the pasture,

The kitten at her feet,

The ruffling bird of Juno, and

The wren in the olden wall

Each knew her loving carefulness,

And came at her soft call.

 

He rode with grace and bearing high,

Like Cossack in command:

And his good steed would gently feed,

Like Arab’s, from his hand;

And when he called his dog or steed,

His tones were ever bland.

 

The brave are ever gentle,

The good should be the gay, —

And Arthur was as bold of heart

As knight in tourney fray, —

His mind was always firm for truth

As rock ‘mid ocean’s spray;

And though a restless daring will

At times he might display,

His wildest moods were calmed at once,

But mention Alice Ray.

And she — though when you talked of him

She blushed and turned away

Was still his partner in the dance

And in the dashing sleigh-

They always searched together

For towers the first of May;

And duly to the Sabbath School

On every holy day

She went — they both were Teachers there —

She went with Arthur Gray.

 

However dear new friends may be.

However far she stray,

She yet will see her Mother weep,

And hear her Father pray, —

Praying for her happiness,

Weeping in dismay,

That she, their dear and only child

Must go so far away!

— She bade farewell to them and all —

Farewell to Arthur Gray.

It will be seen that the two passages last quoted have the peculiarity of a constantly recurring rhyme in ay. — [page 294:] The four cantos of the poem are terminated with some twenty or thirty lines in this manner — with the identical rhyme in ay — and the idea is not only original, but the effect (and not merely the musical effect) is one of the very happiest we have known in poetical art. Throughout is manifested an exquisite sense of the forcible and of the delicate, in rhythm. Upon the whole, this poem cannot fail to elevate its author very highly in the opinion of all those whose opinion she would be likely to value.

———

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Foreign Library, No. 1. Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini, a Florentine Artist; written by Himself. Containing a Variety of Information respecting the Arts and the History of the Sixteenth Century. With the Notes and Observations of G. P. Carpani. Translated by Thomas Roscoe, Esq. Vol. 1.

All men of letters agree that the Autobiography of Cellini is one of the most interesting books ever written. It could not fail to be so — Cellini having been what he was, and having seen what he saw. He was intimate with all the noted men of his very remarkable age, and was perpetually occupied either in great or in petty intrigue. He felt keenly — in fact his excessive sensibility amounted to madness — and he has depicted his feelings, not less than his thoughts and deeds, with the hand of a profound moral painter. Horace Walpole has done, indeed, but feeble justice to these Memoirs, in calling them “more amusing than any novel” he knew. They are, perhaps, more instructive than any single history, of the same volume, in existence.

For the design of Wiley & Putnam’s Foreign Library (of which this work is No. 1) see advertisement on another page of this journal.

———

(b) Appleton’s Literary Miscellany, a Series of Books for Popular Reading. Nos. 2 and 3. I Promessi Sposi The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni. A New Translation, re-printed entire from the last English edition. In two vols. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 200 Broadway.

Last week we announced the issue of these volumes. They are of very unusual interest — presenting the first English translation of the complete work of Manzoni — one of the most noted and best Italian fictions. It is not a novel, in the common acceptation of the term, but a moral and religious essay, enlivened into a rich interest by picturesque description and exciting incident.

The amount of matter afforded, for half a dollar, in each number of this series, is almost marvellous, in view of the excellent paper and printing. These two volumes of I Promessi Sposi contains no less than 676 pages.

We are pleased to see the word “Mélange,” as a general title, supplanted by the more sober “Miscellany.” We should speak English in all cases where there is no sufficient reason for speaking anything else.

———

(c) Appleton’s Miscellany. No. 4. Memoirs of an American Lady, with Sketches of Manners and Scenery in America, as they existed previous to the Revolution. By Mrs. Grant, Author of “Letters from the Mountains,” etc. etc.

This work is not unknown in America, of course; but we are especially glad to see it re-published. It is a faithful record of most interesting realities — of manners, persons, and events as they existed and occurred, lang syne, in the “Province of New-York.” Mrs. Grant — who is perhaps better known as the author of “The Cottagers of Glenburnie” than of “Letters from the Mountains” — [page 295:] speaks of the work as an account of “the rapid pace with which an infant society has urged on its progress from virtuous simplicity to the dangerous knowledge of good and evil — from tremulous imbecility to self-sufficient independence.”

An admirable letter from Grant Thorburn, giving some reminiscences of this amiable lady, is quite judiciously published by way of Preface.

———

(a) The Medici Series of Italian Prose. The Autobiography of Alfieri. Translated and edited by C. Edwards Lester. New-York: Paine & Burgess.

The character of Alfieri, with more of passion and more of fierté, resembled very remarkably that of Benevenuto Cellini. His impulsiveness not less than his genius made him what he was-a great man. His “mission” (to use a cant term) seemed to be reform — and few more comprehensive or effective reformers ever lived. We look on his Autobiography as one of the most vivid books in existence — intensely interesting. In the volume now before us, we find it prefaced by a fine Essay on his Genius and Times, by Mr. Lester. The translation is from the Lucca edition of 1814, and seems to us particularly well done.

———

(b) Saxton & Kelt’s Library of Select Literature, No. 3. Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life. By Professor Wilson, Author of the “Trials of Margaret Lindsay,” etc. Boston: Saxton & Kelt.

This is the best work of its author — and, in its peculiar way, unsurpassed. Until the receipt of this number, we were not aware of the existence of the Series. Nos. I. and II. have not been received. The volume before us embraces more than 300 well printed pages, and is sold for 37 1/2 cents.

———

(c) The Mysteries of Tobacco, By the Rev. Benjamin J. Lane, with an Introductory Letter to the Hon. John Quincy Adams, [[sic]] LL. D., by the Rev. Samuel Hanson Cox, D. D., Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. New York: Wiley & Putnam.

An unanswerable exposition of the evils of Tobacco — but do these manifest evils really need an exposition? 185 pages beautifully printed on very fine paper.

———

(d) Love and Matrimony: A Letter to a Betrothed Sister, by a Lady of Baltimore. Baltimore: J. Murphy. For sale in New York by Wm. Taylor, Astor House.

A well-written little treatise, published in beautiful form. Tasteful at all points.

———

(e) Harper’s Illuminated and New Pictorial Bible. No. 41.

This number concludes the Apocrypha and commences the New Testament, with a really magnificent title page.

———

(f) The Wandering Jew. Superbly Illustrated by the Most Eminent Artists of Paris. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Every body should get this edition. To artists and lovers of art, the designs are a treasure. It is difficult to conceive anything more bold — striking — original. No 2 is issued.

———

(g) History of the United States, for the Use of Schools. By Marcius Wilson. New-York: Caleb Bartlett, 225 Pearl street.

A well-arranged text book, of which we may speak more fully hereafter. [page 296:]

———

(a) The Swedenborg Library. Edited by Professor George Bush. New-York: John Allen.

We have received Nos. 1 and 2, Part I. of a serial work so entitled, and containing the “Memorabilia, or Heaven and Hell” of Swedenborg.

———

(b) Harper’s Illuminated and Illustrated Shakspeare.

Of this elegant serial, Nos. 69 and 70 are published — embracing “Timon of Athens.”

———

(c) Simms’ Magazine, for October, is perhaps not quite so good as usual — the editor’s absence will account for it. Nevertheless there are some papers of sterling value. “Counsel against Cannon” is one of them. “The Marion Family” is another.

T. H. Chivers contributes a noble “Elegy on the Death of a Poet.”

———

(d) Graham’s Magazine, for November, has three good steel engravings (two of them admirable) with contributions from Mrs. Sigourney, Fanny Forrester, Mrs. Osgood, Horace Greeley, Longfellow, Street, Whipple, Grund, Graham, Peterson, Chivers and Poe. Mr. Longfellow’s poem, Walter Von Der Vogelweide” is an artistic composition of high merit, rhetorically considered. The editorial criticisms are excellent.

———

(e) Godey’s Lady’s Book, for November, has also three plates (including a colored one of “The Polka Fashions.”) The leading engraving — The Indian Captive, from a design by Darley — is meritorious. The contributions are by Mrs. Hale, Miss Leslie, Fanny Forrester, Mrs. Hentz, Mrs. Annan, — Frost, Otis, Carpenter, Poe, and others.

———

(f) Arthur’s Magazine, for November, opens with a modification of Chapman’s fine design illustrating “The Paint King:” — there is also another plate. The contributions, although by writers comparatively little known, are respectable. The publishers propose making many improvements next year.

———

(g) The Columbian Magazine, for November, commences with a wretched mezzotint by Doney — who has done some very fine things in his day. The second plate is better. The third (a fashion design) is the extreme of the absurd. The contributions are, in general, from good names — Mrs. Ellet, Mrs. Child, Mrs. Osgood, Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Kirkland, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Browne, F. E. F., Morris, Inman, and others — a particularly strong list. “The Maiden’s Leap” by Mrs. Ellet, is in her best manner. Her style is noted for accuracy, purity, and freedom from superfluity. She is one of the most accomplished of our countrywomen.

(h) Blackwood, for October, (the American edition) has been issued by Leonard Scott & Co. Its papers are even unusually pungent.

[[BJ November 1, 1845 - 2:259]]

The Drama.

THE SUBJOINED comments on Mr. Murdoch were furnished us by a friend whose judgment we respect. The first three paragraphs were intended for last week’s Journal, but accidentally omitted — the dates, of course, refer to last week. With the opinions expressed we nearly, but not altogether, agree. What we ourselves think of Mr. Murdoch, we shall take occasion to say, somewhat in detail, hereafter. — Ed. B. J. [page 297:]

[[BJ November 1, 1845 - 2:260]]

The Fine Arts.

(a) LA SORTIE DU BAIN. — In New York there has been some variety of opinion in respect to this work of De Kuyper — and, we think, some very unjustifiable abuse of it. Neither its merits nor its defects have been fairly treated. The former are great — the latter few and comparatively trivial. The figure — of white marble, slightly impaired by blue veins — is the size of life, and represents a young and exquisitely beautiful woman, reclining on the sea-shore, somewhat in the attitude of the Dying Gladiator — although, of course, with more of repose. The name given the sculpture — La Sortie du Bain — and the shellstrown shore on which we see the girl — denotes that she has lately emerged from the sea, in which she has been bathing. She has thrown herself listlessly on the sand, and is engaged in attempting to feed a tortoise with a snail. (?)

The face is of surpassing loveliness — its expression that of girlish innocence, and the languor consequent from bathing. The attitude is easy, and full of truth. The toes, in especial, convey the idea of one luxuriating in the sense of comfort — of refreshment — of animal life and health. As a mere composition, the lines of the whole figure are well arranged. Its anatomy is by no means faultless. The head, neck, and bust are perfect; the arms, hands, and feet could not be improved. The lower limbs are, also, admirably carved — but the breadth of the hips is insufficient; they are not broader than the shoulders — and these latter have an unpleasant roundness which is not justified even by the stooping position. The shoulder-blades, too, have no variation, and yet the figure leans much of its weight upon its left arm, which reposes upon some accessory sculpture of no very definite meaning, and certainly quite out of keeping with the general design. The neat and ornate braiding of the hair, too, is not only out of keeping, but stiff.

In spite of these defects, however, La Sortie du Bain is undoubtedly the work of genius; and should be visited by all who have a regard for the pure and truthful in Art. It is to be seen at the Academy of Design — Society Library. The charge is only cents.

[[BJ November 1, 1845 - 2:261]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(b) WE TAKE the following paragraph from “The Sunday Times and Messenger” of October 26:

MR. POE’S POEM. — Mr. Poe was invited to deliver a poem before the Boston Lyceum, which he did to a large and distinguished audience. It was, to use the language of an intelligent hearer, “an elegant and classic production, based on the right principle; containing the essence of true poetry, mingled with a gorgeous imagination, exquisite painting, every charm of metre, and graceful delivery.” And yet the papers abused him, and the audience were fidgetty — made their exit one by one, and did not at all appreciate the efforts of a man of admitted ability, whom they had invited to deliver a poem before them. The poem was called the “Messenger Star.” We presume Mr. Poe will not accept another invitation to recite poetry, original or selected, in that section of the Union.

Our excellent friend Major Noah has suffered himself to be cajoled by that most beguiling of all beguiling little divinities, Miss Walters, of “The Transcript.” We have been looking all over her article, with the aid of a [page 298:] taper, to see if we could discover a single syllable of truth in it — and really blush to acknowledge that we cannot. The adorable creature has been telling a parcel of fibs about us, by way of revenge for something that we did to Mr. Longfellow (who admires her very much) and for calling her “a pretty little witch” into the bargain.

The facts of the case seem to be these: — We were invited to “deliver” (stand and deliver) a poem before the Boston Lyceum. As a matter of course, we accepted the invitation. The audience was “large and distinguished.” Mr. Cushing preceded us with a very capital discourse he was much applauded. On arising, we were most cordially received. We occupied some fifteen minutes with an apology for not “delivering,” as is usual in such cases, a didactic poem: a didactic poem, in our opinion, being precisely no poem at all. After some farther words — still of apology — , for the “indefinitiveness” and “general imbecility” of what we had to offer — all so unworthy a Bostonian audience — we commenced, and, with many interruptions of applause, concluded. Upon the whole the approbation was considerably more (the more the pity too) than that bestowed upon Mr. Cushing.

When we had made an end, the audience, of course, arose to depart — and about one-tenth of them, probably, had really departed, when Mr. Coffin, one of the managing committee, arrested those who remained, by the announcement that we had been requested to deliver ” The Raven.” We delivered “The Raven” forthwith — (without taking a receipt) — were very cordially applauded again and this was the end of it — with the exception of the sad tale invented to suit her own purposes, by that amiable little enemy of ours, Miss Walters. We shall never call a woman “a pretty little witch” again, as long as we live.

We like Boston. We were born there — and perhaps it is just as well not to mention that we are heartily ashamed of the fact. The Bostonians are very well in their way. Their hotels are bad. Their pumpkin pies are delicious. Their poetry is not so good. Their common is no common thing — and the duck-pond might answer — if its answer could be heard for the frogs.

But with all these good qualities the Bostonians have no soul. They have always evinced towards us individually, the basest ingratitude for the services we rendered them in enlightening them about the originality of Mr. Longfellow. When we accepted, therefore, an invitation to “deliver” a poem in Boston — we accepted it simply: and solely, because we had a curiosity to know how it felt to be publicly hissed — and because we wished to see what effect we could produce by a neat little impromptu speech in reply. Perhaps, however, we overrated our own importance, or the Bostonian want of common civility — which is not quite so manifest as one or two of their editors would wish the public to believe. We assure Major Noah that he is wrong. The Bostonians are well-bred — as very dull persons very generally are.

Still, with their vile ingratitude staring us in the eyes, it could scarcely be supposed that we would put ourselves to the trouble of composing for the Bostonians anything in the shape of an original poem. We did not. We had a poem (of about 500 lines) lying by us — one quite as good as new-one, at all events, that we considered would answer sufficiently well for an audience of Transcendentalists. That we gave them — it was the best that we had — for the price — and it did answer remarkably well. Its name was not “The Messenger-Star” — who but Miss Walters would ever think of so delicious a little bit of [page 299:] invention as that? We had no name for it at all. The poem is what is occasionally called a “juvenile poem” but the fact is, it is anything but juvenile now, for we wrote it, printed it, and published it, in book form, before we had fairly- completed our tenth year. We read it verbatim, from a copy now in our possession, and which we shall be happy to show at any moment to any of our inquisitive friends.

We do not, ourselves, think the poem a remarkably good one: — it is not sufficiently transcendental. Still it did well enough for the Boston audience — who evinced characteristic discrimination in understanding, and especially applauding, all those knotty passages which we ourselves have not yet been able to understand.

As regards the anger of the “Boston Times” and one or two other absurdities — as regards, we say, the wrath of Achilles — we incurred it — or rather its manifestation by letting some of our cat out of the bag a few hours sooner than we bad intended. Over a bottle of champagne, that night, we confessed to Mess. Cushing, Whipple, Hudson, Field, and a few other natives who swear not altogether by the frog-pond — we confessed, we saw the soft impeachment of the hoax. Et hinc illae irae. We should have waited a couple of days.

——————————

(a) THE CONCORDIA (La.) Intelligencer” says:

By the bye, here is a touch from the pen of Poe the poet — editor of the Broadway Journal. A Niagara lick like this beats Mississippi all to fits.

Resolved, That the steamer Niagara will be as distinguished in the waters of the East, as the great cataract whose name she bears is among the waters of the West.

We are sadly puzzled to understand what all this is about. One thing is certain: — we never made a “resolution” in our lives. Should we ever make one, we hope it will be in better taste than the one above.

———

(b) IT HAS BEEN roundly asserted, of late, that “the slashing article in the Foreign Quarterly upon American poets which so much excited the ire of the newspapers,” is ascertained, at last, to be the work of Sir John Bell.

We happen to know better. It was written by nobody in the world but Charles Dickens — and a very discriminating article it was; — that is to say, discriminating so far as the actual information of its author extended in regard to our poetical affairs.

———

(c) WE ARE in a fair way, at last, to obtain some accurate knowledge of Chinese history and geography. Among other works lately published we notice, besides Marco Polos’s Travels, a “Scientific Voyage into Altay and Adjacent Countries on the Chinese Frontier” — also “Memoirs of Father Ripa, during Thirteen. Years’ Residence at the Court of Pekin, &c. Selected and Translated from the Italian, by Fortunato Praudi.” Some Essays by Professor Neumann who has just returned from Persia, demonstrate that the Chinese, from time immemorial, have traded to Oregon and California.

———

(d) THE BRITISH CRITIC In a rather weak, although sufficiently complimentary review of “Tales by Edgar A. Poe,” says, among other things — “The author seems to have amused himself by tracing a series of references between every minute act, and so upward to the making and dethroning of kings [downward would have done better]. He has been as assiduous in this scheme as an Indian who follows the trail of a foe. He has learned from the dwellers in the American woods a marked acuteness [page 300:] which he has dealed out again to us, in the Tales before us.”

The only objection to this theory is that we never go into the woods (for fear of the owls) and are quite sure that we never saw a live Indian in our lives.

———

(a) IN THE HURRY of getting to press last week, there occurred one or two vexatious errata — the worst of which, perhaps, was the omission of a notice (prepared us by a friend) of Mr. Murdoch’s Hamlet. The Greek verb which formed the motto of ” The Thread-Bare,” was lamentably jumbled up. In the exquisite poem entitled “Sybil” (from the pen of William Gibson, U. S. N.) the word “raised“at the close of the third line, being printed “raises“, made nonsense of the whole sentence. From the fine ballad headed “Isadore“, the signature of A. M. Ide, Jr. was, also, accidentally omitted; and that of W. G. Simms should have been appended to the “Sonnet by the Poor Debtor.” These errors, however, are attributable to ourselves alone.

———

(b) MRS. SARAH JOSEPHA HALE is preparing for press a collection of her poems. Messrs. Clark & Austin will, most probably, be the publishers.

———

(c) MESSRS. WILEY & PUTNAM will publish, in season for the holidays, “The Book of Christmas,” by T. K. Her vey, the poet; La Motte Fouque’s fine romance (contrasting the Northern and Southern Chivalry) “Thiodolf the Icelander;” Mrs. Southey’s (Caroline Bowles’) Poetical Works, &c. &c.

———

(d) “THE ZOOLOGY of the English Poets, corrected by the writings of Modern Naturalists, by the Rev. R. H. Newell, pp. 8vo., with engravings on wood” — is the title of a new work about to appear in London.

(e) MR. SIMMs’ new collection of Miscellanies will include a miniature biography of Cortez; the Literature of the Indians; a sketch of the life of the pioneer Boone; a pa per on the works of J. Fenimore Cooper, &c. It is entitled “Views and Reviews in American History, Literature and Fiction.” In his capacity of Critic it will present him to the public, at the North, in a new and favorable light. His contributions to the Southern Quarterly Review are among the best papers in that periodical.

———

(f) MR. HEADLEY has in preparation “The Alps and the Rhine,” a sequel to his “Letters from Italy.”

———

(g) MR. EDWARD MATURIN, son of the author of “Bertram,‘’ is getting ready a new work — “Montezuma. the last of the Aztecs.”

———

MRS. KIRKLAND’S new book, with our own Poems, (including “Al Aaraaf,” the one with which we quizzed the Bostonians) will be issued in about ten days by Messrs. Wiley & Putnam. __

TO CORRESPONDENTS. — We are forced to decline “Thanatikos” — the “Lines To My Sister on Her Birth-Day’ [[”]] — and “Prosings on Man.” “Twilight Memories” is rather too long.

To M. B. of Olive, we say, what you have done evinces genius, but inexperience. We cannot do you the injustice to print the communication — but hereafter shall, no doubt, be glad to publish anything you write. Persevere.

Alolo will soon appear — also ” The Autumn Leaf.” [page 301:]

[[BJ November 8, 1845 - 2:274]]

Critical Notices.

(a) The Artist, The Merchant and The Statesman of the Age of the Medici, and of our own Times. By C. Edwards Lester, U.. S., Consul at Genoa, Author of “The Glory and Shame of England,” etc. etc. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. New-York: Paine & Burgess.

We have been much interested in this volume, and shall take occasion to speak of it fully hereafter: — at present it can hardly be considered as before the public. The contents are “A Letter on the Genius and Sculptures of Powers” — “An Apology for Powers” — ” Conversations with Powers in his Studio at Florence-Serving as art Autobiography of the Sculptor — with a History of his Life and Works” — “Tuckerman’s Letter on the Genius of Powers” — and “A Letter on the Establishment of a New Consular System in the United States, with Glances at the Origin and History of the Consular Establishments of Ancient and Modern Nations — the Evils of our Present System etc. etc. — Addressed to the Hon. Wm. W. Campbell, M. C. from New-York.”

The volume is embellished with a very fine portrait of Powers.

(b) A Complete System of Latin Prosody, for the use of Schools, Colleges, and Private Learners; on a plan entirely New. By Patrick S: Casserly, formerly Principal of the Chrestomathic Institutions, etc. etc, NewYork: Casserly & Sons, 108 Nassau St.

Mr. Casserly has acquired a deserved reputation as a teacher, and as the literal translator of Longinos — also by his Jacob’s “Greek Reader.” He is undoubtedly one of our best scholars, and the volume before us will do him infinite credit. Its comprehensiveness is especially notable; but the author is sadly in error, we think, in supposing that Latin Prosody, any more than Latin Syntax, can be best studied in Latin rules. We are glad to find that he has not carried his system so far as to exclude the use of English rules, for those who prefer them. His Latin Hexameters are translated. The volume is, in general, accurately printed, but has some errors — vide p. 13.1. 7.

———

(c) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. 28. The English Comic Writers. By William Hazlitt. From the Third London Edition, Edited by his Son.

This Volume includes Eight Lectures read at the Surrey Institution in 1818. Their titles are — “On Wit and Hurrior” — “On Shakspeare and Ben Jonson” — “On Cowley, Butler, Suckling, Etherege, Esc.” — “On Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar” — “On the English Novelists” — “On the Works of Hogarth” — and “On the Comic Writers of the Last Century.”

———

(d) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. No. 33. The Vicar of Wakefield. By Oliver Goldsmith.

This edition is a reprint of the one edited by James Prior, author of “The Life of Goldsmith,” etc. etc. It is very full in the way of annotations. “The Citizen of the World” and other Miscellaneous works of — Goldsmith, will succeed it.

———

(e) Lays for the Sabbath, A Collection. of Religious Poetry. Compiled by Emily Taylor. Revised, with Additions, by John Pierpont. Boston: William Crosby & H. P. Nichols. For sale in New York, by Saxton & Huntington, 295 Broadway.

This is an American re-print of an admired English collection. Among the additional pieces inserted by Mr. [page 302:] Pierpont, are poems by Bryant; Willis, Rockwell, Mrs. Sigourney, Whittier, Miss M. A. Browne, Percival, Peabody, Furness — and Pierpont.

The volume is neatly printed and bound — embellished with two steel engravings — and altogether well adapted for a gift-book.

———

(a) Elements of Geology: Prepared for the use of Schools and Colleges. By W. S. W. Ruschenberger, M. D. Surgeon in the U. S. Navy, etc. From the text of Milne Edmards and Achille Comti. With Plates. Philadelphia: Grigg & Elliott.

The text-books of Milne Edwards, Achille Comte, and F. S. Beudant, have been long celebrated as the best of their kind, and Dr. Ruschenberger has been very success ful in translating, re-arranging and preparing them for American students. This Geology is one of his “First Books of Natural History.” It has 300 plates.

———

(b) The History of an Officer’s Widow and her Young, Family. By Mrs. Hofland. New-York: Saxton & Huntington, 295 Broadway.

A re-print of a well-written tale by an author too well known to need comment.

———

(c) The Author’s Daughter. A Tale. By Mary Howitt. New-York: Harper & Brothers.

This is No. 63. of the “Library of Select Novels” — a pleasant tale of the daughter of one Mr. Frank Lawford, who offended his family by three things — by turning author, adopting liberal opinions in politics, and marrying a poor wife. It is written, as Mary Howitt invariably writes, — well.

———

(f) The History of St. Giles and St. James. By Douglas Jerreld. New-York: Burgess & Stringer.

Douglas Jerrold is one of the best of the British Magazinists — and this story is one of his best efforts. No. 2 is issued — at 12 1/2 cts.

———

(e) The Waverley Novels. By Sir Walter Scott: with the Author’s latest Corrections and Additions, Complete in 5. Vols, (3340 pp.), for $2,50. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart.

We have repeatedly called attention to the marvellous cheapness of this edition. The fifth and last volume is just-issued — for sale in New-York by Burgess, Stringer & Co. The contents are The Highland Widow — Two Drovers — My Aunt Margaret’s Mirror — Tapestried Chamber — The Laird’s Jock — Fair Maid of Perth — Anne of Gierstein — Count Robert of Paris — Castle Dangerous — The Surgeon’s Daughter — and A Glossary.

———

(f) The History of the Consulate and Empire under Napoleon. By M. A. Thiers, Late Prime Minister of France, etc. etc. Translated from the French, with Notes and Additions, by Henry W. Herbert. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart.

This work is to be completed in parts, five of which are now issued — price 12 1/2 cts. It is published “from the early sheets received by Carey & Hart in advance of its publication in Paris.” For sale in New-York by Burgess, Stringer & Co.

———

(g) Re-publication of the London Lancet — Editor Thomas Wakely, M. P. — Sub-Editor Henry Bennet, M. D. New American Series, Vol. 2. No. 5. New-York: Burgess, Stringer & Co.

Messrs. B.,. S., & Co. have rendered a very important service to the medical world of America in the re-publication [page 303:] of this — the most authoritative medical serial in existence. The number just out is for November.

———

(a) Records of the Proceedings and Debates at the Sixty-First Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New-York. By Robert A. West. New-York: Stanford & Swords.

Mr. Robert A. West is well known as the assistant editor both of the “N. Y. Commercial Advertiser” and “The Columbian Magazine.”

———

(b) Wiley & Putnam’s Foreign Library. No. 2. Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini. Translated by Roscoe. Vol. II.

This volume concludes one of the most interesting biographies ever written.

———

(c) Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine, for November, opens with an admirable paper, by C. Fenno Hoffman, on “The Poetry of Trade.” Its second article is from the pen of H. Middleton Jr. of S. C., and is Chapter IV. of the thoughtful series of essays on “The Government and the Currency,” which have done so much for the character of the Magazine. Nothing so good, on the same subjects, has as yet appeared in America. The other papers are “Trade and Commerce of Mobile”; “The First Coal Region of Pennsylvania”; “What is a Revenue Tariff?”; “Maritime Law — No. 8”; and ” Railroad Movement in Virginia.” The last article is especially important and interesting. The usual “Commercial Chronicle,” Statistics, and Book Criticisms, fill up the number, which altogether is one of the best yet issued.

Of the editor of “The Merchants Magazine” we have more than once expressed our opinion — that he is one of the most remarkable men of his day; and we have now lying by us an article from the pen of Willis which speaks very much to the same purpose. There is not one of our readers — who will not forgive us for quoting it:

Hunt has been glorified in the Hong-kong Gazette, is regularly complimented by the English mercantile authorities, has every Banker in the world for an eager subscriber, every Consul, every Ship-owner, and Navigator — is filed away as authority in every library, and thought of, in half the countries of the world, as early as No. 3, in their enumeration of distinguished Americans — yet, who seeks to do him honor in the city he does honor to? The Merchants’ Magazine, though a prodigy of perseverance and industry, is not an accidental developement of Hunt’s energies He has always been singularly sagacious and original in devising new works and good ones. He was the founder of the first ‘Ladies’ Magazine,’ of the first ‘Children’s Periodical; he started the ‘American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge,’ compiled the best known collection of American Anecdotes, and is an indefatigable writer — the author, among other things, of ‘Letters about the Hudson.’ A mutual friend of Hunt and ourself says of him: — ‘His most important labor was the projection and successful establishment of the ‘Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review.’ Having had the means of ascertaining the precise wants of the commercial public, and knowing that almost every other class of our population possessed its appropriate work, he conceived that a magazine and review, devoted to the interests of that large, wealthy, and respectable class, the merchants — a work which should be thoroughly practical and national in its character, embodying commercial matter, literary and statistical, having a national bearing upon their interests and intelligence, and support ed by ripe and disciplined minds, would be a desideratum. This national work, tending to inform us of the causes which had acted upon our trade and commerce in times past, and the expanding growth of our country, he has at length brought out with full success.” In his periodical he has opened a new vein of thought, especially adapted to the peculiar cast of our American minds, and erected a monument which will endure.’ [page 304:]

Hunt was a playfellow of ours in round-jacket days, and we have always looked at him with a reminiscent interest. His luminous eager eyes, as he goes along the street keenly bent on his errand, would impress any observer with an idea of his genius and determination, and we think it is quite time his earnest head was in the engraver’s hand, and his daily passing — by, a mark for the digito monstrari. Few more valuable or more note-worthy citizens are among us.

“The Merchants’ Magazine” was, indeed, one of those “happy ideas,” as they are weakly termed, which enter the heads of men of genius alone. The execution of the scheme was not less happy than its conception. At the time, Mr. H. had not only not a dollar, but was much involved. His friends (?) too discouraged him — as friends in such cases always do. He persevered; made personal application to those who would understand and appreciate his enterprize; suffered no labor nor repulse to deter him; and in the end (without embarrassing himself with a partner) succeeded in establishing on the firmest basis a Magazine, which, independently of its literary, or commercial utility, is decidedly the best property of any similar journal in the world.

———

(a) The Aristidean, for October, is even unusually rich — containing some of the most forcible Magazine papers we have even seen: — for example, “Leaves from a Log-Book” — “The Water Cure” — “The Cobbler of Cobbstown” — “Petrus, the Painter” — “Philosophy, a Farce” — “The Siege of Orleans” — and a queer article on “American Poets.” A press of advertisement forces us to postpone farther comments until next week.

———

(b) The American Review, for November, commences with an able paper on “Human Rights” — a review of Hurlbut’s Essay — continued from last number. We note, also, an excellent article on “The French Moralists — Labruyere, Montaigne and Nicole,” also, a continuation of the spicy “Adventures on the Frontiers of Texas and Mexico.” There are several other excellent contributions in prose — including a fair criticism on Mr. Mathews’ book.

There are two remarkably fine poems in the number “The True Death,” by Wm. Wallace, and “Elfland,” anonymous.

The “Critical Notices” are written with point and discrimination.

———

(c) The Knickerbocker Magazine, for November, is really beneath notice and beneath contempt. And yet this work was, at one time, respectable. We should regret, for the salve of New York literature, that a journal of this kind should perish, and through sheer imbecility on the part of its conductors. Its present circulation, we believe, is not more than 1400 at the most. Its friends should come to its rescue.

————————————

The Fine Arts.

(d) Under this head we have very little to observe. Titian’s Venus — concerning which we had some remarks in a previous number — is again being exhibited in Broadway. Its authenticity, we believe, is sufficiently well established — but we cannot force ourselves into any very enthusiastic admiration of the work. As a composition it is full of defects. Its color alone redeems it.

We refer our readers to Mr. Lester’s new book, “The Artist, The Merchant, and The Statesman,” for a great many interesting details respecting Powers, the Sculptor.

At the rooms of the Art Union there are two very exquisite [page 305:] landscapes by Shaw-an artist whose merits (all of the loftiest order) will perhaps never be appreciated by his countrymen, until Death has mellowed down some of the personal ill-will with which his brother artists re gard him. His mannerisms (sufficiently obvious) affect only the aggregate of his pictures. Individually, nothing can surpass some of his best works — “The Indian’s First sight of a Ship,” for example.

BUST OF MR. CALHOUN. — Mr. Clark Mills, a native artist, whose busts in plaster, actually moulded on the human head and face, have excited such general admiration, by their truth to life, has recently, as we predicted on a former occasion, made a successful attempt in a higher branch of art. From a block of native white free-stone, procured near Columbia in this State, he has sculptured, with hammer and chisel, a stone bust of the great Southern Statesman, (his first attempt in this line,) in a manner that speaks well for the skill and taste of the artist. We propose that, when completed and approved, the City Council of Charleston should make public property of this likeness of our great native statesman, hewn, by a native artist, out of a block of native stone. — Charleston Cour.

[[BJ November 8, 1845 - 2:277]]

Editorial Miscellany.

——

(a) MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, MR. HOOKER, WILEY & PUTNAM, AND INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT. — The facts in this case are worth putting upon record as an indication of the movement in favor of International Copyright. They have been brought before the public by Mr. Hooker’s publication of a ‘Card’ and the ‘Imprimatur’ of Mr. Tupper, the book in dispute being the ‘Proverbial Philosophy.’ Mr. Hooker published an edition of this work before the author was generally known, issued it at a high price, and it was going off slowly when the author published a popular novel, ‘The Crock of Gold‘, at first reissued in America in a shilling edition, and subsequently included in Messrs. Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading. Mr. Willis also began to write about Mr. Tupper, and meeting with him in England, gave a great impulse to his American reputation by telling the people in his letters that he was a brilliant young man, quite a vigorous plain spoken moralist (as his writings show) and that he was not at all dependent upon literature as a profession, being in the enjoyment of a city and country house, &c. &c: Then it carne to pass how under different circumstances Pope had spoken a truth of human nature in his couplet —

Let but a Lord once own the happy lines,

How the wit heightens and the sense refines.

Mr. Tupper was not, indeed, a lord, but the imputation of wealth scoured the wit and purified the sense just as well. The public admired wealth, and also showed that it knew how to appreciate it, in calling for a cheap edition of the Proverbial Philosophy. A Bostonian wit, by the way, in a spirit of poetic enthusiasm similar to [page 306:] that which once induced a “gentleman of Oxford” to translate Milton’s Paradise Lost into prose, got up an edition of the Proverbial Philosophy in prose too, whereby the printer was cheated out of his “fat” without the publisher, we presume, dining any better for the operation, either. Mr. Tupper brandished his ‘Imprimatur’ and held on to his price. Messrs. Wiley & Putnam are urged to print the work in the Library of Choice Read. Respecting the interests of Mr. Hooker they leave it alone, when one day, without any previous knowledge on their part of the fact, an edition appears in exact accordance with the style of the Library. Then they become the purchasers of the plates, and by an arrangement with Mr. Hooker publish the work in the Library by his consent and for his benefit. In the mean time, however, Mr. Hooker suspecting unjust interference, had issued his card, and the “Courier” points the gun at Messrs. Wiley & Putnam. The explanation follows the charge, and here the matter rests, satisfactorily for all parties. The public get the book cheap, the piratical copy is bought up, and is now re-christened and doing good service for Mr. Hooker and the legitimate trade.

The moral of all this is threefold. First, that there is no adequate protection for the right of the foreign author, though it may be partially defended by the “courtesy of trade.” Second, that it is impossible at present to sustain. a book purchased of a foreign author at a price which will give him and his American publisher any adequate return; and third, that the only cure of the matter must be the passage of an International Copyright Law.

Towards this end we have a right, energetic and many assertion of what should be, by Mr. Tupper in his “Imprimatur“, similar in directness to a letter once written on this subject by Mr. Carlyle; then an eloquent remonstrance from Mr. Hooker, a divine and publisher, himself an author, pledging him to the work, and not least a recognition by Messrs. Wiley & Putnam of the sacredness of Mr. Hooker’s contract with the author, by their treaty for the publication of the book. [page 307:]

[[BJ November 8, 1845 - 2:278]]

We copy the following just tribute to a man of genius from the “U. S. Journal.” We attribute it to the pen of Jesse E. Dow — himself a true poet and a judge of poetry.

POEMS, BY WILLIAM WALLACE. — We are pleased to learn that this gentleman has in press a volume of Poems, which will shortly be issued. This will be a valuable addition to our literature. Mr. Wallace is a true poet — one who has contributed largely to the literary reputation of our country. Even his earliest efforts were crowned with unusual success. A small volume of’ his poems, published some six or eight years ago, wag received with more than ordinary applause. Many of the pieces contained in it bore the stamp of a powerful and fervid imagination, an. uncommon depth of feeling, a profound, metaphysical force of thought, combined with originality and acuteness of perception. Within the last three years he has written poetry of sufficient merit to entitle him to rank with the first poets of the country. “Perditi,” a metrical romance, first published in Graham’s Magazine, contains passages, which for forcible delineation of the passions, vigor of language, originality of conception, richness of imagery, and true pathos, will bear comparison with any poetry of the age. What could be more inspiring than his magnificent picture of the American battle-ship? The lovers immured in the dungeon of Lorra’s halls is equal to any thing from the pen of Maturin. He has now a reputation — that reputation is gaining ground — and it will be his own fault if his name should not occupy a high niche in the temple of lame. Already he has been placed, by the ablest critic in the country, in a notice of his poem entitled the “Gods of Old,” on a footing with Schiller, and pronounced superior to Miss Barrett in the conception of his subject. This curious metaphysical production, so strikingly novel in design and execution, so replete with bold, piercing and original thoughts, will, we trust, be embraced in the collection. But of all Mr. Wallace’s efforts, nothing has struck us with so much force, as his last, entitled “THE STATUARY.” It is, without doubt one of the gems of the age. The very groundwork is poetry — genuine and original. The execution, the novelty and beauty of the figures — the boldness, truthfulness, manliness of the language — the dread magnificence of the pictures presented to the eye — all are beyond praise. This poem alone would stamp the author as a man of high and noble aspirations, as a true poet.

By the way, the Express says, in referring to “The True Death,”

The poem, the masterly poem of Wallace, The True Death, is marred by the Tennysonism of its prefix and suffix. It is a beautiful performance, however, and worthy of this impassioned poet.

This is all nonsense — as usual with the “Express.” No man is freer from Tennysonism, or any other “ism” than Wallace. We presume The Express alludes to “mere,” the common property of all mankind.

———

(b) MESSRS. WILEY AND PUTNAM are about to publish, simultaneously with the London editions to be issued immediately, the Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell, by Dr. Beattie, his friend and literary executor: a new and complete edition of the works of Keats, with a life of the poet by Monkton Milnes; and a new book by Leigh Hunt, a companion to “Imagination and Fancy,” entitled “Wit and Humor.”

———

(c) THE SOUTHERN Monthly Magazine published at Charleston, and edited by Mr. Simms, will, we understand, be merged at the end of the year in the Southern Literary Messenger, to which journal Mr. Simms will be a constant contributor.

———

(d) WE WOULD call particular attention to the advertisement of the United States Hotel. The establishment is most admirably conducted by the Proprietor, Mr. Johnson, and has participated very largely in the extensive trade of the present season. As a recherché and, at the same time not expensive Boarding House for genteel families during the winter, we heartily recommend the United States. [page 307A:]

[[BJ November 15, 1845 - 2:283]]

A New Mode of Collecting a Library.

(a) The Knickerbocker Magazine has received a severe rebuke from the city press, during the last week, for some peculiarities in its general conduct, and especially for the spirit and letter of an article in the last number, upon MR. MATHEWS. — The inquiry has arisen in many quarters, what has Mr. Mathews done to subject himself to this extraordinary annoyance and detraction? Of what literary or social offences has he been guilty, that he should be pilloried in the small print and pelted with the pleasant missives of the “Editor’s Table?” Better dine with Duke Humphrey than sit down to the scraps and cheeseparings of such a table. “What is this?” asks an old gentleman, a merchant, a subscriber to the Knickerbocker Magazine. “John, get me a copy of BIG ABEL. I must look into it; always my practice. There’s that fellow, Pipkins, comes to my store, passes the best hour of the day in abusing Jenkins, drones over cotton, sighs at real estate, shudders at stocks. Memorandum: Make it a rule, when he is gone out to give Jenkins unlimited credit, buy up cotton, hold on to real estate, and invest in Wall street. So much advice is never gratuitous; goes by contraries. Always make it a rule to buy the books upon which the most malice is expended. Malice is too valuable a quality to throw away upon mere emptiness. Never knew it to fail. In consequence have got one of the best libraries in town. Vastly indebted to the Knickerbocker in this respect. Remember reading once in the small type, something to the effect that Coleridge was a bore-stole all his ideas, and didn‘t understand himself after all. Became the purchaser of a copy of Coleridge’s Works. Submitted to six months intellectual discipline, and passed the wisest hours of my life. Very great difference between Coleridge and Clark. Impossible to measure the ocean with a thimble. In the same way saw John Neal called “crazy Neal.” Had never paid much attention to American Literature. Was induced to look for his works. Found them out of print. Very extraordinary circumstance, for a trashy author. Got a copy of “Seventy-Six” at last. Read it, holding my breath all the while. Full of life, passion, and patriotism, with an intense earnestness. Same thing with Simms. The small type called him a “naughty man.” Found him, on investigation, a frank, manly Southron; carving his own way to fame, brushing off the musquitos with a sturdy right arm as he went. An extremely “naughty man,” in the way of demolishing shabbiness; but probably with some virtues of his own, or the Harpers would not have published for him, or his chivalric countrymen sent him to the Legislature: — added his forty volumes to the shelf. A lecturer came here, by the name of Hudson. Was tired and exhausted with lectures of all sorts — had made up my mind never to attend another lecture in my life. One day, the small type began to spirt and spatter. The Angel was evidently troubling the waters. Took tickets for the course of lectures for wife and family, and attended with them all through. That Hudson had a muzzle which closed upon a truth like a bull dog upon a bone. What compressed force and sinewy intellect! A tremendous fellow at crushing a falsehood. The bones and cartilage of Error crunched in his “bear’s paw.” Trembled once for the “small type.” “Ah! John, you have come. What kept you so long?” “Please, sir, the first edition was exhausted, and bad to scramble about among the retailers for a copy.” “Strange again; very like ‘crazy Neal.’ Can the public read the small type? Doubtful. Read us a passage.” John reads the vindication of a suspected criminal:

Another officer came in from a bye-way. That was a wicked devil he had in charge-make up your mind that. A murderer? Why, no. A wronger of orphans in their pale and tender youth I Not that either. A cutter to the quick of honest fame? I can‘t say that. Suspected — that’s all. A wicked devil, you see. His coat shows that, by its thin, shivering way of sitting about the shoulders. His spindle limbs that just keep him up; his face covered with no memory of a sufficient meal, even a long way off. Suspected? Who better or more than he? Of all the men that run or walk or ride within the city bounds, be is the guiltiest-suspected wretch. Thrust him in a cell: the ground must be damp; on bead and water; where rats, if any are to be had thereabout, may have free resort to him; and in a few days — a very few days Suspicion, at a touch almost, will become a fearful certainty. He will be dead! Lawgivers and magistrates — you know — he will be dead!

“Something honest and feelingly spoken in that. — Take another dip.” Reads the Indian’s reflections during the night of that day which was devoted to the “City at its Crimes.”

And now to-bed; up-stairs, with candles, one to lead and one to follow, they wait on Lackey and Big Abel. Tidy chambers, and in half a minute Big Abel sound asleep. But still the rain kept pattering down, and stirred poor Lankey’s Indian heart with strange effect. In this humor, as he laid awake, he heard in a far-off street [page 307b:] the doleful cry of some late-tarrying man. — “Oysters!” — on a wet drizzly summer’s night the melancholiest sound — delivered to Lout as though it was sung in a far-off world.

Then, as Lankey thought of turbulent rivers, swelled by this heavy tall of rain, and the roar of the angry Bay stretching far out to sea, there sprung upon the air, from down the dreary hollow they bad rambled through that day, a quick, sharp cry for life; a woman’s voice; a fearful cry for dead midnight! Lankey wan troubled. Fee could not sleep; and going, to the window, he bent himself upon his hands, and looked abroad. While yet his eyes glowed strangely upon the dark, there ca me gliding along a woman’s shape, with hair streaming back with the light that was abroad from lamps about, and eyes glistening wet with softness or joy too great to keep its fountain in the heart. Ah, what a cry shot up just then against the sky: She spread bar hands. There was o one near to see her, save Lankey, none besides, nor far away; air the wide city’s eyes were shut; and she possessed the night alone, with sorrow, for another night, within her breast. Forever so! The keenest hurts, the deadliest wrongs life lays on human souls, have none, save God and the poor heart, to know of them!

Following this dim figure through the perilous night along the winding way, the Little Manhattan called to mind how once an ancient path that led into the hills ran there before it, and how in sadness deep as this the dusky maiden took her way, so long ago, up towards the calm hire heaven, and sought to soothe her spirit with the silence of the woods, the sight of sears, and whispering of the winds of night.

When he sought steep again, he had a troubled dream in which, by some strange magic in his thoughts, the city passed back out of all its squares and streets and stony flat; into his fresh, fair, lovely island-youth; of hill, stream, valley, wood. Ah, how he pined to have them by the hand, kinsmen, as he saw them now, silent in the lodge, or swift at chase, or shining from the ruddy fight! But morning came, and took them all away.

Ah, sad and gentle. A true vein in that ‘. Once more the scene changes to the Battery.

And how bore the old Battery this far-and-wide repose! Settled in the midst of it like a smooth-backed duck in the water! He held his breath and listened for the Bay to speak, and the ships, and the islands. The great trees; not a whisper from them! The grass; not the rustling of a blade! And up and down the paths there moved stout old gentlemen, and thin young gentlemen with canes under their arms, and masters, and ‘prentices, and shop. keepers and shop-boys, throngs of them; and, the very Spirit of the whole thing, there went along, close to the railing, as near the water as he could, an old sea-dug of a grizzled captain, who snuffed he salt air and caught a flavor of the oakum and the tar that lingers round about, and seemed to hush within himself the thousand storms he knew of, off Bahamas and the Capes, and down the hot so Gulf Stream. There was a packet captain for you! Not a word of the sea, nor of fine company on ship-board, nor wrecks, nor great northwesterners, nor strange appearances far from the shore, nor spouting whales, cutting voyages, men overboard. But all about a little plot of ground, he mentioned, in Westchester: a few acres only: the soil was good, the plough went always twenty inches in the mould; sufficient lot a horse and cow. So much for land. The house (this was his vision of a house) red-roofed, one-storied, with a dainty balcony before (for smokers in long summer afternoons); a grassy green; some sea-thought there, no doubt! and then, roving there, as easy and as kind and suit in glossy beauty for the eye to dwell on as the summer’s day itself, a smooth, snug, cobby horse. Not far off, a gig; at rest now; but out upon the road once with that cobby horse, they‘ll play the mischief all the country round! And, as fur drivers, where’s to match the grizzled seaman with his cunning hand! Climbing far away the winding roads; there are such roads there; they get, a truth to tell, a lookout to the sea. Ah, there it is again, old sea-dog; all the sail is in you still, and keeps fresh that stormy heart, though beating in the very bloom of silent fields!

Lay that book on the centre table where my friends may see it, and now read that passage in the small type of the Knickerbocker. John reads:

“A bald inventory of everything that strikes the eye of the writer, (who you cannot help thinking, has ‘a screw loose’ somewhere in his mental machinery). To us the book seems about as ‘deep’ as a thimble. in requires no thought from those who read it, for the simple reason that it made no such demand upon the author who wrote it. We cannot help giving it as our settled conviction, after a careful perusal, that ‘Big Abel’ is a dreadful failure, that in to short ‘to compare it with a bottle of small beer, would be greatly to belie that fluid.‘”

“So Dogberry ‘could not help giving it as his settled conviction.’ with due reiteration that he was an —— ! John, you may go to-morrow and ’stop’ the Knickerbocker: but stay, I‘ll lose my guide to the authors of the country. You may read me the critical passages first and take it away afterwards.”

The Old Gentleman was a Logical man in his way. We have given up our space to his conversation though we have much else to say, “if not toothsome yet wholesome,” according to an old writer, which we reserve for our leisure and convenience. [page 308:]

[[BJ November 15, 1845 - 2:286]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) The Artist, the Merchant, and the Statesman. By C. Edwards Lester. Vol. I. New-York: Paine & Burgess, 62 John-street.

This book opens with a commentary on the chief portion of its contents, in a likeness of Mr. Powers. The Sculptor, whose name has recently grown into a worldwide one, by the success of his Greek Slave, has a square; firm head, un-ideal in its outline, but indicating quick observation, and great depth of purpose; deficient in pro portion and geniality in the lower features, with a broad brow, and an eye rather steady than kindling in its glance. The countenance is a criticism on the autobiography of Mr. Powers, of which the book mainly consists. His discourse in these conversations with Mr. Lester, in which the autobiography is disclosed, is plain, sensible, in a judicious spirit of praise and censure, showing the practised and the practical eye, at times glancing off, Yankee — like, sharply to the main chance; independent, as is, or should be characteristic of an American, of old usage and authority, and leaving altogether on the reader’s mind an opinion honorable to the sense and intellect of the artist.

The language of the Conversations is generally clear and simple, and such as a sculptor, used to a clear, round outline, might be expected to employ. Throughout there are dropped, from time to time, hints and suggestions likely to be of decided service to art, and to art, particularly, in the United States. The zeal of Mr. Powers for the embellishment of the country by fountain-pieces, statues and monuments, agrees with our own long-entertained sentiments entirely; and in his utter repudiation of the mongrel in monumental architecture, like the proposed Washington Memorial, with its subsidiary library, reading-room, &c., we heartily concur. The most sustained speculation in the Conversations, is that upon a proper monument of Washington; and, although we doubt whether at all points the ground is properly laid out by the artist, we give it at length:

A very laudable effort is now making, not by the Government, which ought to have done it long ago, but by some generous individuals in America, to erect a monument to Washington; and I hope it will be a monument. But a Public Edifice they propose to call a monument, which would have answered their purpose just as well, might have been had withobt the trouble and expense of building one. I should be sorry to see so great a name as Washington’s associated in a monument with Institutions, Libraries, Rooms for Art, Debating Societies, &c.; all dignified by the name of a monument to our great Hero and Father. Almost as soon would I think of changing money in a church, or profaning the altars of God with traffic, as to convert Washington’s monument into such a business-like place.

Monuments to the dead should never be made the habitations of the living; they should be resorted to, to teach us how to live and how to die, and an eternal Sabbath should be kept around their graves. Let some imposing but solemn structure be raised over the dust of Washington-single in its purpose and single in its [[. . . ]] (Plus one more full column quoted.) [page 309:]

And where is there anything in the universe human like them but the character of Washington, and what monument could we raise so appropriate to the Father of his Country?

Washington’s fame we well know can never die — it would outlive the Pyramids, without a monument and without a line of eulogy. But a long line of generations is to follow us; and when they come upon the stage for their brief hour in the sweep of ages, each one to ask that distant Republic whose history will then have grown dim, what monument of gratitude she left to her Glorious Deliverer, let them turn to some pyramidal structure surmounted by a vast statue of Washington, of everlasting bronze:

“Like some tall cliff that lilts its awful form,

Swells from the vale and midway leaves the storm:

Though round its base the rolling clouds are spread,

Eternal sunshine settles on its head.”

As connected with another eminent American, of another day and an entirely different cast of character, the artist’s interview with General Jackson is worthy of particular mention.

The general arrangement and spirit of the book are extremely creditable to Mr. Lester, although there are certain defects and blemishes which we regret to find mar ring the volume. One of these is the inharmonious and inartistical union, in the same volume, of two subjects with so little to connect them, (although they are brought together in the general title of the work,) as an autobiography of Hiram Powers, the Sculptor, and a Treatise on the Consular System. Of this the editor is acquitted by the modest requirement of the Sculptor, that he should not be left to stand alone, in his autobiogaphical disclosures, in a book by himself. To the style of the work, in Mr. Lester’s portion of it, we might take some exception, in an extreme colloquialism which, although not offensive in the eagerness of a first reading, will injure it as a permanent record. There are great spirit and naturalness in Mr. Lester’s use of this style; and the prefer it infinitely to the stilted assumption of a scholastic manner. We would have been glad to have found somewhere in the volume, or in Mr. Powers’ discourse, a recognition of his young contemporary, CRAWFORD, who, though of an entirely different school and faith from Powers, has labored too long and too truly, to be out of mind when the talk is of American Sculptors, who have honored their country in their labors. It is possible that Mr. Lester intends to supply this, and other omissions, in his second volume, which is to include, we are told, sketches of various American artists. On the whole, we are pleased with this work, in the part we have given our attention to, (of the other portion of it we may speak at length hereafter) and believe it will be of service in its province.

Mr. Powers we have been in the habit of regarding as one of the few representative Americans, ranking in art with Webster, Jackson, Forrest, and other strong minded and sturdy-working men in other departments. He has in him the true indigenous sinew and straightforwardness of the place — the freedom from petty ligatures of schools, and fashions, and tastes, with which old-world people are apt to be oppressed. He has had a long and hard fight with fortune, such as every original and un-conventional man may lay his account in sustaining; and he has come out of it, as every such man will, with a bright renown and an honor untouched through all its trials. We, for one, do not regret the learning of short-hand by Mr. Lester, as that seems to have enabled him to give us these excellent and judicious Conversations, and we shall look for his concluding volume of the Artist, Merchant and Statesman, with a good hope of profitable entertainment. [page 310:]

In paper, typography, and general appearance, the volume is neatly presented by the spirited publishers.

[[BJ November 15, 1845 - 2:289]]

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Foreign Library. No. 1. Vol. II. Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini. Written by Himself. Translated by Thomas Roscoe, Esq.. [[sic]]

We made but scant mention last week of this interesting work; but we may supply the omission of words of our own by the following well written remarks from the Evening Post:

[[. . . ]] (Plus one and one-half columns of quotations.)

[[BJ November 15, 1845 - 2:292]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(b) THE CHURCHMAN AND DR. CHEEVER. — The Churchman is no friend to Dr. Cheever, his theology and his opinions, and from our own reflections, we can easily understand how a difference may arise in the premises. But we can see nothing in the case to justify the spirit of an article, in the last number of that organ, on the “Wanderings of a Pilgrim.” In the first place the price is printed wrong, apparently with design, for the sake of a joke long since discarded by penny-a-liners. Price 3s. 6d. In the first place this is not the price of the book, which is legibly printed on the cover thirty-seven and a half cents. Supposing it were forty-four cents — what joke can there he in British shillings and pence that there is not in American currency? Yet such is the fact to. the theological critic (not the editor) of the Churchman. The reading of that man must have been miserably- confined even among the book shelves of his own creed. The spirits of Old Latimer and of South and of Fuller and of Corbet and of Sterne and of Swift, should rise up and thrust such a willing as that from even the outer court of the sanctuary! He is a disgrace to a church renowned for wit and humor and the soul of the gentleman.

What follows is of a piece for candor — a passage being isolated and battered with dirty adjectives till we confound the innocent words with the shabbiness thrown upon it. With a foul mouth you may thus mar the whiteness of the Parian marble. If a dirty fellow will brush against a gentleman, the gentleman will be mistaken for a dirty fellow, and in this way vulgar and malevolent critics vilify pure authors.

Just censure is one thing, and this wholesale abuse is another. It is very possible that a practised knight of the quill might prick Dr. Cheever gracefully, and the public might be gratified at the spectacle, for the public loves to see an author tickled; but the public requires this spiriting to be done “gently“, and has no affection for the weapons of fish-women or scavengers, clerical or otherwise. [page 311:]

[[BJ November 15, 1845 - 2:293]]

BIOGRAPHICAL, ANCESTRICAL AND ROMANTIC ITEMS FROM LATE EUROPEAN JOURNALS. — The daily papers give but a brief abstract of the foreign intelligence on the arrival of the Steamers, chiefly confined to a few dry political facts, the price current, with a stray anecdote or two of a dwarf or a calf with two heads. It is singular how uniformly a few passages of the latter description come up, on such occasions, in the papers. A man snatches at an ‘extra’ in great haste and, ten to one, his eye first alights upon some such important item as the delivery of five children at a birth in one of the Orkney Islands. The finest portions, the gems of the literary, scientific and artistical world, are scantily given, if not altogether neglected. We have thought the endeavor to supply this defect might meet with favor, from our readers, and have gleaned the following paragraphs, none of which are likely to be met with in the newspapers of the day. If the plan meets with favor we shall continue it. For our own part, we think we are supplying a deficiency, and that our columns could not be better employed.

[[BJ November 15,1845 - 2:298]]

THE BROADWAY JOURNAL

Edgar A. Poe,: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Editor and Proprietor,

IS PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY. — OFFICE 135 NASSAU ST.

TERMS THREE DOLLARS PER ANNUM — SINGLE NUMBERS SIX AND A QUARTER CTS.

THE BROADWAY JOURNAL is, in its general character, a literary paper: occupying itself with original, and more especially with critical articles, to every department of Literature, properly so called — with a preference, nevertheless, for the B E L L E S L E T T R E S and the F I N E A R T S. There is no better medium in the country for literary or artistical advertisements.

AGENTS:

Redding & Co., Boston, Mash.

R. G. H. Huntington, Hartford, Ct.

M. Baullemet, Mobile, Ala.

Robinson & Jones, Cincinnati O.

D. M. Dewey, Rochester, N. II.

J. Robertson, Syracuse, N.Y.

W. E. Ruse II, Schenectady, N. Y.

Levi Willard, Troy. N. Y.

G. Jones, Albany. N. Y.

S. F. Hoyt, Newburgh, N. Y.

Shurtz & Wide, Baltimore, Md.

Colon & Adriance, Philadelphia.

Thos. H. Pease, New-Haven, Ct.

J C. Morgan, New-Orleans.

W. W. Kingslev, New-London, Ct.

G. N. Beesley, Utica, N. Y.

H. B. Strang, Peekskill, N. Y.

Haliburton & Dudley Bolton, Maas.

S. Thompson, Worcester, Ma a.

Peter Cooke, Hartford, Ct.

H. Fsten, Providence R.I. Salford & Park,

Norwich. Ct. John Tomlin, P. M. Jackson. Tenn.

S. Hart, Sen., Chaderton, S. C.

PRINTED AT THE OFFICE OF THE FARMER AND MECHANIC.

[[BJ November 22, 1845 - 2:307]]

Critical Notices.

We have again to apologise to our publishing friends for the brevity of our Critical Notices. In our next number we shall devote more than usual attention to this Department. There are several important works now lying before us, of which it is our intention to speak in detail — Mrs. Kirkland’s new book, for example — Von Raumer’s America — and the Life of Schiller — one of the Appleton series. We wish to say much, also, of the Annuals and Gift-Books — very especially of “The Missionary Memorial,” “The Diadem,” “The Rose,” and “The Mayflower,” — the best of these works, as far as we have yet had an opportunity of judging. For the present (owing to the bustle consequent upon removing our office) we must content ourselves with a mere announcement of the books on hand for notice. [page 312:]

[[BJ November 22, 1845 - 2:309]]

Editorial Miscellany.

WE HAVE to apologize for the insufficient variety of the present number. We were not aware of the great length of “The Spectacles” until too late to remedy the evil.

AS WE Very confidently expected, our friends in the Southern and Western country (true friends, and tried,) are taking up arms in our cause — and more especially in the cause of a national as distinguished from a sectional literature. They cannot see (it appears) any farther necessity for being ridden to death by New-England. Hear the “Charleston Patriot”

POE’S POETRY. — Mr. Edgar A. Poe is one of the most remarkable, in many respects, among our men of letters. With singular endowments of imagination, he is at the same time largely possessed of many of the qualities that go to make an admirable critic: — he is methodical, lucid, forcible, — well-read, thoughtful, and capable, at all times, of rising from the there consideration of the individual subject, to the principles, in literature and art, by which it should be governed. Add to these qualities, as a critic, that he is not a person to be overborne and silenced by a reputation; that mere names do not control his judgment; — that he is hold, independent, and stubbornly analytical, in the formation of his opinions. He has his defects also; — he is sometimes the victim of capricious moods; — his temper is variable — his nervous organization being such, evidently, as to subject his judgments, sometimes, to influences that may be traced to the weather and the winds. He takes his colour from the clouds; and his sympathies are not unfrequently chilled and rendered ungenial, by the pressure of the atmosphere — the cold and the vapors ofa climate affecting his moral nature, through his physical, in greater degree than is usual among literary men, — who, by the way, are generally far more susceptible to these influences, than is the case with the multitude. Such are the causes which occasionally operate to impair the value and the consistency of his judgments as a Critic. — As a Poet, Mr. Poe’s imagination becomes remarkably conspicuous, and to sur render himself freely to his own moods, would be to make all his writings in verse, efforts of pure imagination only. He seems to dislike the merely practical, and it) shrink from the concrete. His fancy takes the ascendant in his Poetry, and wings his thoughts to such superior elevations, as to render it too intensely spiritual for the ordinary reader. With a genius thus endowed and constituted, it was a blunder with Mr: Poe to accept the appointment, which called him to deliver himself in poetry before the Boston Lyceum. Highly imaginative men can scarcely succeed in such exhibitions. The sort of poetry called for on such occasions, is the very reverse of the spiritual, the fanciful or the metaphysical. To win the ears of a mixed audience, nothing more is required than moral or patriotic common places in rhyming heroics. The Verses of Pope are just the thing; for such occasions. You roust not pitch your flight higher than the penny-whistle elevation of

“Know then this truth, enough for man to know,

Virtue alone is happiness below.”

Either this, or declamatory verse, — or something patriotic, or some. thing satirical, or something comical. At all events, you must not be mystical. You must not task the audience to study. Your song must be such as they, can read running, and comprehend while munching pea-nuts. Mr. Poe is not the writer for this sort of thing. He is too original, too fanciful, too speculative, too anything in verse, for the comprehension of any but ‘audience fit though few.’ In obeying. this call to Boston, Mr. Poe committed another mistake. He had been mercilessly exercising himself as a critic at the expense of some of their favorite writers. The swans of New England, under his delineation, had been described as mere geese, and those, too, of none of the whitest. He had been exposing the short comings and the plagiarisms of Mr. Longfellow, who is supposed, along the banks of the Penobscot, to be about the comliest bird that ever dipped his bill in Pieria. Poe had dealt with the favorites of Boston unsparingly, and they hankered after their revenges. In an evil hour then, did he consent to commit himself, in verse to their tender mercies. It is positively amusing [page 313:] to see bow eagerly all the little witlings of the press, in the old purlieus of the Puritan, flourish the critical tomahawk about the head of their critic. In their eagerness for retribution, one of the papers before us actually congratulates itself and readers on the (asserted) failure of the poet. The good editor himself was not present, but he hammers away not the less lustily at the victim, because his objections are to he made at second hand. Mr. Poe committed another error in consenting to address an audience in verse, who, for three mortal hours, had been compelled to sit and hear Mr. Caleb Cushing in prose. The attempt to speak after this, in poetry, and fanciful poetry, too, was sheer madness. The most patient audience in the world, must have been utterly exhausted by the previous infliction. But it is denied that Mr. Poe failed at all. He had been summoned to recite poetry. It is asserted that he did so. The Boston Courier, one of the most thoughtful of the journals of that city, gives us a very favorable opinion of the performance which has been so harshly treated. “The Poem,” says that journal, “called ‘The Messenger Star,’ was an eloquent and classic production, based on the right principles, containing the essence of true poetry, mingled with a gorgeous imagination, exquisite painting, every charm of metre, and a graceful delivery. It strongly reminded us of Mr. Horne’s ’ Orion,’ and resembled it in the majesty of its design, the nobleness of its incidents, and its freedom from the trammels of productions usual on these occasions. The delicious word-painting of some of its scenes brought vividly to our recollection, Keats’ ‘Eve of St. Agnes,’ and parts of ‘Paradise Lost.’

That it was malapropos to the occasion, we take the liberty to deny. What is the use of repeating the ‘mumbling farce’ of having invited a poet to deliver a poem? We (too often) find a person get up and repeat a hundred or two indifferent couplets of words, with jingling rhymes and stale witticisms, with scarcely a line of poetry in the whole, and which will admit of no superlative to describe it. If we are to have a poem, why not have the ‘true thing,’ that will be recognized as such, — for poems being written for people that can appreciate them, it would be as well to cater for their tastes as for individuals who cannot distinguish between the true and the false.”

The good sense of this extract should do much towards enforcing the opinion which it conveys; and it confirms our own, previously entertained and expressed, in regard to the affair in question. Mr. Poe’s error was not, perhaps, in making verses, nor making them after a fashion of his own; but in delivering them before an audience of mixed elements, and just after a discourse of three mortal hours by a prosing orator. That any of his hearers should have survived the two-fold infliction, is one of those instances of good fortune which should bring every person present to his knees in profound acknowledgement to a protecting providence.

We thank our friend of “The Patriot” and agree with him fully, of course, in all points except his disparagement of Mr. Cushing, who read us a very admirable discourse. “The Patriot,” it will be understood, has not yet seen our reply of week before last.

Were the question demanded of us — “What is the most exquisite of sublunary pleasures?” we should reply, without hesitation, the making a fuss, or, in the classical words of a western friend, the “kicking up a bobbery.” Never was a “bobbery” more delightful than that which we have just succeeded in “kicking up” all around about Boston Common. We never saw the Frog-Pondians so lively in our lives. They seem absolutely to be upon the point of waking up. In about nine days the puppies may get open their eyes.

That is to say they may get open their eyes to certain facts which have long been obvious to all the world except themselves — the facts that there exist other cities than Boston — other men of letters than Professor Longfellow — other vehicles of literary information than the “Down-East Review.”

As regards our late poem. — Hear the “St. Louis Reveillé.” [page 314:]

“The Broadway Journal is edited and owned solely by Mr. Edgar A. Poe. If he had as much tact as talent, he would make success for half a dozen papers.”

So says an exchange paper. Poe, reliant upon his talent, has too much contempt for tact; he is wrong, but his error makes his career the more remarkable. He is full of eccentricity. Does he mean, by the following, that his late Boston Poem, was intended by him as a hoax?

“We have been quizzing the Bostonians, and one or two of the more stupid of their editors and editresses have taken it in high dudgeon. We will attend to them all in good time.”

To our friend Field we thus reply: We had tact enough not to be “taken in and done for” by the Bostonians. Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes — (for timeo substitute contemno or turn-up-our-nose-o). We knew, very well that, among a certain clique of the Frogpondians, there existed a predetermination to abuse us under any circumstances. We knew that, write what we would, they would swear it to be worthless. We knew that were we to compose for them a “Paradise Lost,” they would pronounce it an indifferent poem. It would have been very weak in us, then, to put ourselves to the trouble of attempting to please these people. We preferred pleasing ourselves. We read before them a “juvenile” — a very “juvenile” poem — and thus the Frogpondians were had — were delivered up to the enemy bound hand and foot. Never were a set of people more completely demolished. They have blustered and flustered — but what have they done or said that has not made them more thoroughly ridiculous? — what, in the name of Mo. mus, is it possible for them to do or to say?

We “delivered” them the “juvenile poem” and they received it with applause. This is accounted for by the fact that the clique (contemptible in numbers as in every thing else) were overruled by the rest of the assembly. These malignants did not dare to interrupt by their preconcerted hisses, the respectful and profound attention of the majority. We have been told, indeed, that as many as three or four of the personal friends of the little old lady entitled Miss Walters, did actually leave the hall during the recitation — but, upon the whole, this was the very best thing they could do. We have been told this, we say — we did not see them take their departure: — the fact is they belong to a class of people that we make it a point never to see.

The poem being thus well received, in spite of this ridiculous little cabal — the next thing to be done was to abuse it in the papers. Here, they imagined, they were sure of their game. But what have they accomplished? The poem, they say, is bad. We admit it. We insisted upon this fact in our prefatory remarks, and we insist upon it now, over and over again. It is bad — it is wretched — and what then? We wrote it at ten years of age — had it been worth even a pumpkin-pie undoubtedly we should not have “delivered” it to them.

To demonstrate its utter worthlessness, “The Boston Star” (a journal which, we presume, is to be considered as a fair representative of the Frogpondian genius) has copied the poem in full, with two or three columns of criticism (we suppose) by way of explaining that we should have been hanged for its perpetration. There is no doubt of it whatever — we should. “The Star,” however, (a dull luminary) has done us more honor than it intended; it has copied our third edition of the poem, revised and improved. We considered this too good for the occasion by one half, and so “delivered” the first edition with all its imperfections on its head. It is the first — the original edition — the delivered edition — which we now republish in our collection of Poems. [page 315:]

Repelled at these points, the Frogpondian faction hire a thing they call the “Washingtonian Reformer” (or something of that kind) to insinuate that we must have been “intoxicated” to have become possessed of sufficient audacity to “deliver” such a poem to the Frogpondians.

In the first place, why cannot these miserable hypocrites say — drunk” at once and be done with it? In the second place we are perfectly willing to admit that we were drunk — in the face of at least eleven or twelve hundred Frogpondians who will be willing to take oath that we were not. We are willing to admit either that we were drunk, or that we set fire to the Frog-pond, or that once upon a time we cut the throat of our grandmother. The fact is we are perfectly ready to admit any thing at all — but what has cutting the throat of our grandmother to do with our poem, or the Frogpondian stupidity? We shall get drunk when we please. As for the editor of the “Jeffersonian Teetotaler” (or whatever it is) we advise her to get drunk, too, as soon as possible — for when sober she is a disgrace to the sex — on account of being so awfully stupid.

N. B. The “Washingtonian Teetotaler” is edited by a little old lady in a mob-cap and spectacles — at least, we presume so, for every second paper in Boston is.

P. S. Miss Walters (the Syren!) has seen cause, we find, to recant all the ill-natured little insinuations she has been making against us (mere white lies — she need not take them so much to heart) and is now overwhelming us with apologies — things which we have never yet been able to withstand. She defends our poem on the ground of its being “juvenile,” and eve think the more of her defence because she herself has been juvenile so long as to be a judge of juvenility. Well, upon the whole we must forgive her — and do. Say no more about it, you little darling! You are a delightful creature and your heart is in the right place — would to Heaven that we could always say the same thing of your wig!

In conclusion: — The Frogpondians may as well spare us their abuse. If we cared a fig for their wrath we should not first have insulted them to their teeth, and then subjected to their tender mercies a volume of our Poems: — that, we think, is sufficiently clear. The fact is, we despise them and defy them (the transcendental vagabonds!) and they may all go to the devil together.

————————————

(a) TO CORRESPONDENTS. — Many thanks to W. W. — also to R. S. R.

[[BJ November 29, 1845 - 2:318]]

Art-Singing and heart-Singing.*

——

WALTER WHITMAN.

(b) * The author desires its to say, for him, that he pretends to no scientific knowledge of music. He merely claims to appreciate so much of it (a sadly disdained department, just now) as affects, in the language of the deacons, “the natural heart of man.” It is scarcely necessary to add that we agree with our correspondent throughout. ED. B. J. [page 316:]

[[BJ November 29, 1845 - 2:320]]

Critical Notices.

(a) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of American Books. No. 7. Western Clearings. By Mrs. C. M. Kirkland, Author of “A New Home” etc.

Very few American books have produced as widely extended a sensation as Mrs. Kirkland’s “New Home.“The cause of this lay not merely in its picturesque and amusing descriptions, its fresh and racy humor, or its animated individual portraitures. It was the truth of its delineations that constituted its great charm. The West — the wild, rich, independent, glorious West — has been a field hitherto untrodden by the sketcher or the novelist. Some few brief glimpses of character we had, strange to sojourners in the civilized Fast, in the works of other writers; but to Mrs. Kirkland alone we owe our acquaintance with the home and home-life of the backwoodsman. She has represented scenes that could have occurred nowhere else, with a fidelity and vigor that show her pictures taken from the very life; with a fine chisel that cut breath itself, she has placed before us the veritable settlers of the forest, with all their peculiarities, national and individual; their free and fearless spirit, their homely, utilitarian views; their shrewdness, and sharp looking out for self-interest; their thrifty care, and inventions multiform; their coarseness of manner, united with real delicacy and substantial kindness, when their sympathies are called into action; in a word, with all the characteristics that stamp the “Yankee,” in a region where the salient points of character are not smoothed down by contact with society, as an original creation among men. So life-like, or rather so living, have been the representations of Mrs. Kirkland, that they have not only been recognized universally abroad, but appropriated at home as individual portraits, by many who have been disposed to plead trumpet-tongued, if not like angels, against what they imagined “the deep damnation of their taking off.” This was to be expected, and inevitable.

It will readily be seen that a minute and truthful picture of Western life could never be given in any grave history half so well as in the form of stories, where the persons are suffered to develope themselves. This method has been in part adopted by Mrs. Kirkland, in her former sketches of Forest Life; and more entirely in the present volume. “Western Clearings” is a collection of graphic Tales, each illustrative of the customs, manners and ideas of a peculiar people, and descriptive of a new and uncivilized, but great and growing country. We can only glance at a few of these. “The Land Fever,” is a story of the wild days when the madness of speculation in land was at its height. Both it, and “The Ball at Thram’s Huddle,” are richly characteristic. Only those who have had the fortune to visit or live in these newly settled regions, can enjoy such pictures to the full. “Chances and Changes,” and “Love vs. Aristocracy,” are more regularly constructed Tales, with the “universal passion” for the moving power, but colored with glowing hues of the West. “The Bee-tree” exhibits a striking, but too numerous class among the settlers, and marks, also, the length and breadth of the bitterness that grows out of an unprosperous condition.

“Ambuscades,” and “Half-lengths from Life,” we remember as the most piquant and delightful of the stories in an annual a year or two since, to which the book owed, according to the confession of the publishers, a large sale among the conscious and pen-dreading Western people themselves. Tom Oliver, in the first mentioned Tale, is admirably sketched ” Half-lengths from Life,” has the [page 317:] heart’s core and spirit of a backwoods life, on the trying subject of caste. “The Schoolmaster’s Progress,” is unrivalled in truth and humor. The Western Schoolmaster — that walking nondescript — that stiff, solitary, unique figure in the drama of a new settlement — sublimely mingled with the associations of our school-days — occupying a middle position between “our folks” and “company,” where he “boarded round” — is depicted to the very life. The individual cannot fail to be recognized as the representative of a class. The occupation, indeed, always seems to mould those engaged in it into the same like ness. They all, like Master Horner, “know well what belongs to the pedagogical character, and that facial solemnity stands high on the list of indispensable qualifications.” The spelling school, also, is a new country feature which we owe thanks to our fair author for recording. How important that such good old customs should be preserved on the speaking page, when hereafter they may lose their peculiarity, if they be not effaced from the memory, in the march of improvement!

“An Embroidered Fact,” is a narration of actual events, described to the author by the hero himself. We like it less than the other stories. The incidents are singular but not illustrative of the country. The same may be said of the tragic occurrences in “Bitter Fruits from Chance-sown Seeds;” but this last abounds in capital touches of character. All the horrors of the Tale are caused by the suspicion of pride; an accusation, says the author, as destructive at the West as that of witchcraft in olden times, or the cry of mad dog at the present day. “Western Clearings,” we are confident, will sustain the author’s high reputation as one of the most original and accomplished of American writers. Even her style has a touch of Western freshness that renders it, and her arch, playful satire, especially charming. The imaginative or creative faculty is possessed by Mrs. Kirkland in a high degree; but she is unrivalled in power of delineation; and in a marvellous felicity of expression, whereby a world of meaning or humor is conveyed in some brief phrase, she is approached by no female writer in the country.

———

(a) America and the American People. By Frederick Von Raumer, Professor of History in the University of Berlin, etc, etc. Translated from the German by William W. Turner. New-York; J. & G. H. Langley.

WE cannot better preface the few words we have to say of this book than by the citation of a passage in Professor Turner’s introduction.

His opinions on the whole respecting the institutions, the past history, and the future prospects of this country, are in the highest degree favorable; and whenever he allows himself to find fault, which is but seldom, he does it with evident reluctance, and with the air of a friend whose admonitions are wholesome, not with the bitterness of an enemy. The comparisons too, which he makes between many of the American institutions and the corresponding institutions of Europe, will be found useful and instructive. One virtue of his will not be the less esteemed on account of its rarity among writers in this country; and that is, that he has at least endeavored to make himself well acquainted with what he has under taken to write about. He has also shown great and commendable carefulness in every instance, not to violate the privileges of a guest by exposing to the world the confidences of private and social intercourse, — a proceeding which some writers on both sides of the water might imitate with advantage.

Elsewhere the translator well observes that it is rather the subjectivity than the objectivity of the book that will claim the attention of readers in this country [page 318:] — that Americans will not resort to a work of this kind, written by a foreigner, and which treats of such a variety of delicate and different topics, to obtain minute information on matters of fact.

The Baron himself, with a genuine modesty, admits that he is not unaware of his incapacity for such detail. “Should my book reach America,” he says, ” I request my readers there not to forget that it is especially intended for Germany and that it can offer nothing new to the well-informed inhabitants of the United States.”

These considerations and admissions should be carefully borne in mind by every American who reads the book. Its commendable features are candor, evident desire for truth, freedom from prejudice, comprehensiveness, and masterly breadth of generalization.

Perhaps there are no points at which we have greater need of making allowance for the foreigner’s imperfect means of information in detail, than those which concern the state of our National Literature. Were we to say, in round terms, that Professor Von Raumer has set forth with accuracy not one fact in relation to American letters, we fear that we should not be very far from the truth. The German who is so rash as to estimate our condition by what he here reads, will find himself in what may be termed a high state of information.

“The greater American periodicals or critical reviews” says the Baron, among other things, — distinguish themselves by propriety, moderation, and dignity; they display an accurate knowledge of all sciences and often contain criticisms which are masterly both in form and substance.”

Of the “propriety” we are not prepared to speak — and the “dignity” will do — but the “moderation” (so far at least as concerns the Down-East Review) must have reference to the applause or attention bestowed upon those insignificant indivduals [[individuals]] who have the misfortune to reside out of the limits of Massachusetts.

“Authors of really able productions” continues the Baron, “are liberally rewarded in America.”

Some one has informed the traveller, no doubt, that Mr. Prescott received six thousand dollars for “The Conquest of Mexico” — for this is the one brilliant point usually cited in defence of the liberality of American publishers. Had the Professor made farther inquiry he would have found that Mr. Prescott was engaged for many years at his work, and that he expended for the necessary books and other materials a large sum the compensation thus afforded him, amounting in the end to little more than any common scavenger might have earned in the same period, upon our highways.

The most really curious portion, however, of the comments on American Literature, is to be found in the following passage:

The richest or at least the most prolific department of poetry is the lyric. But as in thousands of years there have been but one Pindar and one Horace, (although every spring puts forth countless pleasing yet mostly perishable lyric blossoms,) it is performing a valuable service, when a man of taste and information makes a suitable, well assorted selection, and guides the friend of poetry in his ramble through those groves, from which he might otherwise be deterred by their immensity. Such service has been rendered by Mr. Griswold, in his Poets and Poetry of America.

We have heard it asserted that it was out of the power of any such book as that of Mr. Griswold to effect either good or evil — but we think that the evil is here sufficiently obvious. His book is the largest one of its kind. A distinguished foreigner very naturally supposes it the best. He is not in condition to consider or to comprehend [page 319:] the innumerable petty arts by which, in America, a dexterous quack may force even the most contemptible work into notoriety and consequent circulation. The foreigner’s opinions, and through him the opinions of his countrymen, are thus in danger of being based (at least for a time) upon a foundation, for which “frothy” is far too solid — far too respectable a term. If Dr. Griswold’s book is really to be received as a fair representation of our poetical literature, then are we in a very lamentable — or rather in a very ridiculous condition indeed.

Following such authority, Professor Von Raumer quotes in especial, “The Old Man’s Carousal” by Paulding and a lyric (the name of which we forget) by the Right Reverend Bishop Doane!

We have been much surprised to find, in the Translator’s Preface, no acknowledgment of his indebtedness to those who aided him in his very difficult task — to Mr. Kirkland, for example, and to the accomplished Mrs. Ellett — who, between them, prepared nearly, if not quite, one half of the book. The omission, however, may either have been accidental or have arisen from some motives of publishing policy — motives which, we admit, are now and then exceedingly difficult to understand.

———

(a) The Philosophy of Mystery. By Walter Cooper Dendy, Fellow and Honorary Librarian of the Medical Society of London, etc. etc. New York: Harper and Brothers.

This really beautiful volume is No. 3 of Harper’s New Miscellany. The style of this series is especially good; the type is of proper size, the paper unusually fine, and the binding (in boards, with embossed muslin,) particularly neat and tasteful. The number of pages in a volume is about 450. In literary character, the books of this series will tend towards the utile rather than the dulce — combining the two as far as possible.

“The Philosophy of Mystery” is an exceedingly able work — far better, we think, than the “Natural Magic” of Brewster — a book of identical purpose carried out in a totally different way. The “Natural Magic” is the more ratiocinative — Mr. Dendy’s essay the more poetical, the more imaginative, and to us the more interesting. Seldom, indeed, have we read any book which, for the time, so thoroughly engrossed us.

———

(b) Wiley & Putman’s Foreign Library. Nos. 3 and 4. The Rhine. By Victor Hugo.

This is a re-print of the best of two British translations — and is the first American edition. A prefatory discourse on European affairs, is very properly omitted.

The style of this “Tour” is particularly French-there is no other word for the idea. We find a great deal of point, vivacity, wit, humor, archness, novelty — the whole pervaded and “toned down” by a delicious simplicity. It is not as a tourist, however, or as a sketcher, that Victor Hugo is most remarkable. His essays in this way are scarcely better than those of fifty other Freachmen — but as a builder of brief fictions he is unequalled among his countrymen — very far surpassing, we think, Eugene Sue. His “Notre Dame” is a work of high genius controlled by consummate art.

———

(b) Wiley & Putnam’s Library of Choice Reading, Nos. 34 and 35. The Life of Condi. By Lord Mahon.

This is also a translation; the work having been originally [page 320:] written in French and without any view to publication. We need scarcely add that the work is one of interest — for it concerns “The Great Condé,” and is written by Mahon.

———

(a) Trippings in Authorland. By Fanny Forrester. New York: Paine & Burgess.

This will assuredly prove to the public a very acceptable collection. Few Americans have attained so much of celebrity as has “Fanny Forrester,” in so brief a time. Some of her fame is, beyond question, due to the kindly and frequent notices of Mr. Willis, but the greater portion of it springs from intrinsic merit — from the vivacity and talent of the author. She is one of our best Magazinists the very best in her way — and her way would be admirable in all respects but for a slight taunt of Willisism. Not that we object to Willisism — in Willis.

We quote a portion of the Preface:

About a year ago, a girl sat down in her own quiet little room, and, for very idleness, without object and without plan, produced plan, produced a letter, which, the next week, found its way into the New York Mirror. It was the first letter in this collection; and Mr. Willis, one of the editors, after various speculations concerning the author, added

“Well — we give in! — On condition that you are under twenty-five, and that you will wear a rose (recognizably) in your boddice the first day you appear in Broadway with the hat and ‘balzarine,’ we will pay the bills. Write us, thereafter, a sketch of ‘Bel’ and and [[sic]] yourself, as cleverly done as this letter, and you may ’snuggle down’ on the sofa, and consider unpaid, and the public charmed with you.”

A reply was given by way of carrying out the frolic still farther, accompanied by the sketch of “The Cousins,” which appeared in the Mirror immediately after. These met with such a kind reception, that the pen became a more familiar thing than formerly in those fingers, and so, behold upon them an indelible ink-mark.

We presume that there are not more than one or two of our readers unaware of the fact that “Fanny Forrester” and Mrs. Emily S. Chubbuck are one and the same.

———

(b) The Songs and Ballads of George P. Morris. First Complete Edition. New York: Paine & Burgess.

It is utterly impossible to deny that many of these compositions have merit of a high order — and, of course, we have no disposition to deny it.

———

(c) The Sibyl’s Wreath and Floral Emblems, with the Natal Months. New-York: Published for the Proprietor by E. G. Langdon, 409 Broadway.

Some person has had the audacity to send us a book thus entitled, with a slip of paper containing the following words:

“The Sibyl’s Wreath.-In this very pretty little volume we have found more real fun than all the games we have yet seen.It is well got up, and deserves the patronage of every family in the Union.”

The intention, of course, is that we shall adopt this opinion as editorial — as our own.

We have no such opinion. The book is contemptible at all points, and we should be sorry to recommend it to “every family in the Union.” What would “every family in the Union” think of us, if, upon looking into a book at our recommendation, “every family in the Union” should find the detestable vulgarity which follows:

Love and stewed oysters.

A handsome husband, (or wife) and a moderate portion of juvenile responsibilities.

One dumpling and two plates.

Quizzing, courting, a quilting frolic, and a glass of soda-water, with a stick in it. [page 321:]

Love, lace, literature and ‘lasses.

Oh, Mr. Cuon, you‘re come too soon.

Prehaps I mought — prehaps I moughn n‘t, etc., etc.

These things are designed as answers — and are nearly all of them to be found on one page.

———

(a) Poems, by Alfred Tennyson. Two Volumes. Boston: William D. Ticknor & Co.

This is a very neat, and altogether tasteful new edition of a poet, who (in our own humble, but sincere opinion,) is the greatest that ever lived. We are perfectly willing to undergo all the censure which so heretical an opinion may draw down upon us.

———

(b) Poems of Many Years. By Richard Monckton Milnes. Boston: William D. Ticknor & Co.

This is also a new edition of a poet much and justly admired in England — and insufficiently appreciated by ourselves. We may allude to the volume hereafter.

———

(c) Americanism. An Address delivered before the Eucleian Society of the New-York University, 30th of June, 1845, by Cornelius Mathews. New-York: Paine & Burgess.

An excellent address, to which we shall refer more fully next week, and from which we shall take the liberty of making some extracts.

———

(d) Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the year 1842; and to Oreg on and North California, in the years 1843-4. By Brevet Captain J. C. Fremont, of the Topographical Engineers. Reprinted from the Original Copy published by order of the Senate of the U. S. New-York: D. Appleton & Co.

We scarcely know what to say of this narrative — so as to recommend it with sufficient positiveness to our readers. Undoubtedly it is one of the most interesting books ever penned. “Robinson Crusoe” is not better as a composition, and here we have the additional charm of truth — a truth that cannot be doubted, and which, the tone of narration assures us, is not exaggerated in any degree.

———

(e) Harper’s Illuminated Pictorial Bible, No. 43.

A number of more than average excellence. The smaller wood-engravings are especially meritorious. No English edition approaches this in the general beauty of its embellishments.

———

(f) The Wandering Jew, superbly Illustrated by the Most Eminent Artists of Paris. A New and Elegant Translation. Harper & Brothers. New-York.

No. 4 is issued. Its designs are beyond praise. When completed, this will form one of the most richly illustrated works ever published.

———

(g) The Modern Standard Drama. Edited by Epes Sargent. No. 7. The School, for Scandal, etc. etc. New York: William Taylor.

We are glad of the opportunity again to call attention to this series. It is in all respects an excellent one.

———

(h) The Columbian Magazine, for December, has an excellent line engraving by Dick, from a painting by Allom — the subject a Chinese Raree-show — also a good mezzotint by Sadd. Its contributions are of more than average merit. The number opens with “A Remembrance” by Mrs. Osgood — touching and graceful. There are articles, also, by Mrs. Child, Mrs. Sigourney, Fanny Forrester, Wm. Kirkland, Park Benjamin, John Brougham, and others of note. “Lake Michigan at Night” is the title of a particularly meritorious poem by M —— e.

We are happy to understand that The Columbian is in [page 322:] a very prosperous condition. It is published by Israel Post, 140 Nassau street.

———

(a) The Aristidean, for October, is unusually rich in good things — more particularly in the way of poetry. “The Nameless River,” (which we attribute to A. M. Ide, Jr.) is exquisitely versified and has some passages of a high order of poetic excellence. We make a few quotations.

Serene its radiant waters flow,

In valleys calm and deep,

Where pine and ever-green cedar grow

And bending willows weep.

Beautiful flowers its banks adorn,

Its waves are lily-crowned,

And harvests of the emerald corn

Swell o‘er the plains around.

Yet not for this, for evermore

I love its silvery tide;

My steadfast, peerless Isadore

Dwells an the river-side!

Still unto her my spirit leans,

When, by the river side,

‘Mid fragrant flowers and evergreens

I walk at eventide.

Upon its grassy banks at noon,

Like one in dreams astray,

I listen to the tremulous tune

The gliding waters play.

I loiter by its waves at night,

Through shadowy vales afar,

With visions of ideal delight

Entranced as lovers are.

With tremulous stars the waters gleam,

Like old enchanted streams:

Beneath her lattice, wreathed with vine,

They murmur whilst she dreams!

“The Hope of the Broken-Hearted” is remarkable for its passionate expression. We attribute it to the pen of T. Mayne Reed, Esq., of Philadelphia.

Here is something terse and passionate — undoubtedly by Mr. English.

Take back the token!

The words have been spoken;

The cord and the chain

Have been severed in twain,

So that never again

May we bind up the links that are broken.

Quench the last ember,

Nor ever remember

The heart tempest-tost,

Nor the love thou halt lost,

Nor the tears that it cost,

Nor the life which has reached its DECEMBER.

Now and forever

Our spirits must sever, —

Must sever, and yet

Can we ever forget

Our delight when we met?

By the wo of our memory never!

Among the prose papers there is an exceedingly queer, one (no doubt by the editor.) We give an extract which will explain the design:

Anxious to present our readers with the best specimens of the poetry of this country, we addressed notes to various of our poets, [page 323:] requesting them to furnish us, without charge, the means of fulfilling our desire. This, we conceived, to be a very modest re quest. To our surprise, some of these notes were returned; and others were retained, but no reply made. To some we received answers, with the required poems.

Here is a specimen:

BOSTON.

Dear Sir: — I am happy to oblige you. I send you the enclosed written in my usual, terse, epigrammatic style. The high opinion! O you express of my powers as a poet, are just; and show you have more taste than the Hollis street congregation.

I am, very truly,

JOHN PIERPONT.

ODE TO THE MUSES

——

BY THE REV. JOHN PIERPONT.

Ye gentle muses! make the first

Of bards — like HARRY HIRST!

To me the fire afford,

Of WILLIAM W. LORD!

And be my songs like COXE’S “SAUL,”

Filled up with most abundant fol

lol,

fol

de riddle dol!

Ye gentle muses! let my rhymes

Ring like the clinking chimes

Of those Campanalo

— gian ringers, whom you know,

Within the Tabernacle Hall,

Present abundantly the fol

lol,

fol

de riddle dol!

Ye gentle muses! if you will,

With fire my verses fill;

Permit this lamp of mine

O‘er other lamps to shine;

And, if you won‘t, confound ye all!

I‘ll treat you to abundant fol

lol,

fol

de riddle dol!

———

(a) Simms’ Magazine, Graham, Godey, The Illustrated, The Western, The Southern Messenger, and the South ern Quarterly Review, have all been received and shall be noticed next week — until when, also, we must defer what we have to say of the Annuals — some of which (The Missionary Memorial, for example, The Rose, The Diadem, and the Mayflower) are of a very high order of excellence. We have on hand for immediate notice Mrs. Osgood’s Poems — Mr. Cist’s. — The Pilgrim’s Progress (Illustrated edition.) — The Sufferings of Christ — and The Whiteboy, a Story of Ireland — the three last from the fertile press of the Harpers. [page 324:]

[[BJ November 29, 1845 - 2:325]]

Editorial Miscellany.

(a) THE FROG-POND seems to be dried up — and the Frogs are, beyond doubt, all dead — as we hear no more, croaking from that quarter.

(b) WE copy the subjoined passage from “Wilmer & Smith’s European Times.” The observations are so plainly just as to need not a word in the way of comment

A Boston publication, called ‘Littell’s Living Age, has found its way to this city, and is advertised in our newspapers, though it consists of nothing but pilfering from the English magazines and reviews. It may also be met with in one or two cabinets de lecture, frequented by the English and Americans. Pirated editions, or if you prefer the phrase, reprints, of the works of Scott, Bulwer, Dickens, and other eminent authors, are imported into France in great numbers from America, and, from the lowness of their price, meet with a ready sale. There are one or two English circulating libraries in this city entirely stocked with American reprints. The injury this causes to the authors and proprietors of the works is incalculable. Atone time a brace of publishers here carried on a roaring trade by reprinting all the works that issued from the English press, and smuggling them into England for the circulating libraries; one of these honest men actually became enriched from his wholesale piracies on Walter Scott alone.

But a law lately passed, directing the immediate destruction of every pirated work, has put a considerable check on their conscientious trade; and it now appears that they find it more profitable to import from the United States than to reprint. Belgium preys with a voracious audacity on French literature, — not a work can be published here that is not brought out there, and sold all over the Continent infinitely cheaper than French publishers, who have authors to pay, can afford. The publishers of M. Thiers’ Histoire du Cansulat et de l‘Empire has been cruelly victimized by those Belgian pirates. He has paid somewhere about £20,000 for the copyright of the work. and has sold some 30,000 copies. The Belgians have not paid one single farthing for copyright, and have sold 100,000 copies. It is a burning and scandalous shame to governments of such enlightened countries as America, England, France and Belgium, that a law of literary copyright is not established.

THE MIRROR Says:

AMERICANS. — An address delivered before the Eucleian Society of the New-York University, June 30, 1845, by Cornelius Mathews. We published the address in the Mirror soon after its delivery. We could not understand it then, and cannot now.

Mr. Mathews, we should judge, punctuates his manuscript with a pepper-box. We like his thoughts better than the idiosyncrasies of his style. He should reform it altogether.

Whatever, in the opinion of the worshippers of Britain and everything British, may be objectionable in the matter of Mr. Mathews’ address, its manner, at least, is simple and unaffected, and we are quite at a loss to discover anything incomprehensible in any portion of the essay. There is a good saying of Dr. Johnson’s, about the extreme unfairness of requiring an author to supply at once thought and brains for its comprehension.

———

WE DO NOT intend to claim the honor of originating in the Journal the exquisite poem, by Halleck, now published. It is not included, however, in any edition of his poems. Independently of the high intrinsic merit of the piece, there is a tale about it — a romantic tale — which we could unfold, if we thought proper, and which to certain readers will give it additional interest.

 


[[Footnotes]]

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Notes:

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