Text: Burton R. Pollin, “February 1836 (Texts),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. V: SLM (1997), pp. 105-129 (This material is protected by copyright)


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Texts of February [[1836]]

1. “Palæstine.”

2. [Morris Mattson]. Paul Ulrich [[Ulric]].

3. Joseph Martin. A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia.

4. [Anon.]. Rose-Hill.

5. [Lambert A. Wilmer]. The Confessions of Emilia Harrington.

6. [Alexander Slidell]. The American in England.

7. Henry F. Chorley. Conti the Discarded.

8. [Jessie Clement?]. Noble Deeds of Women.

9. [Edward Bulwer]. Rienzi, The Last of the Tribunes.

10. Peter Mark Roget. Animal and Vegetable Physiology.

11. Mathew Carey. Autobiography.

1

PALÆSTINE.

Palæstine derives its name from the Philistæi, who inhabited the coast of Judæa. It has also been called “The Holy Land” as being the scene of the birth, sufferings and death of our Redeemer. It was bounded on the north by Syria, on the east by Arabia Deserta, on the south by Arabia Petrea, and on the west by the Mediterranean. The principal divisions of the country were Galilea in the north, Samaria in the middle, and Judæa in the south. This country is at present under the Turkish yoke; and the oppression which it now experiences, as well as the visible effects of the divine displeasure, not only during the reign of Titus, and afterwards in the inundations of the northern barbarians, but also of the Saracens and Crusaders, are more than sufficient to have reduced this country, which has been extolled by Moses, and even by Julian the Apostate, for its fecundity, to its present condition of a desert. Galilea, the northern division, is divided by Josephus into Upper Galilea, called Galilea of the Gentiles because inhabited by heathen nations — and Lower Galilea which was adjacent to the sea of Tiberias, and which contained the tribes of Zebulon and Ashur. Galilea was a very populous country: containing, according to Josephus 204 cities, and towns, and paying 200 talents in tribute.

The middle district, Samaria, had its origin in a division of the people of Israel into two distinct kingdoms, during the reign of Jeroboam. One of these kingdoms, called Judah, consisted of such as adhered to the house of David, comprising the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The other ten tribes retained the name of Israelites under Jeroboam. Their capital was Samaria, which also became the name of their country. The Samaritans and people of Judæa were bitter enemies. The former differed in many respects from the strictness of the Mosaic law. Among the Judæans, the name of Samaritan was a term of reproach.

The southern division, Judæa, did not assume that name until after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity — though it had been called long before “the kingdom of Judah,” in opposition to that of Israel. After the return, the tribe of Judah settled first at Jerusalem; but afterwards spreading over the whole country, gave it the name of “Judæa.”

The only rivers of any note in Palæstine are the Jordanes, and the Leontes, which latter passes through the northern extremity of Galilea. The Jordan, according to a curious story of Philip the Tetrarch, has its origin in a lake called Phiala, about ten miles north of Cæsarea of Samochon. This is said to have been ascertained by throwing into the lake some straw which came out where the river emerges from the ground, after having run fifteen miles beneath the surface of the earth — Mannert the German, thinks this fabulous, and places the source of the river in Mount Paneas, in the province of Dan. The Jordan holds a south-westerly course — flows through the lake Samochon, or Samochonites, or as it is called in the Bible, Merom; after which, proceeding onwards till received by the sea of Tiberias, or lake of Genesareth, it emerges from this, and is finally lost in the Dead Sea. In ancient times it overflowed its banks annually, about the period of early harvest; and thus differing from most other rivers, which generally swell in the winter, it was supposed to have a subterraneous communication with the Nile. But now, we can perceive no rise, which is probably owing to the channel having been deepened by the swiftness of the current. The name is supposed to be derived from the Hebrew “Jarden,” on account of the river’s rapid “descent “ through the country.

The Dead Sea, called also Asphaltites, from the “asphaltos,” or bitumen, which it throws up, is situated in Judæa, and near 100 miles long and 25 broad: but it is called by Tacitus “Lacus immenso ambitu.” Its waters are extremely salt; but the vapors exhaled from them are found not to be so pestilential as they have been usually represented. It is supposed that the thirteen cities, of which Sodom and Gomorrah, as mentioned in the Bible, are the chief, were destroyed by a volcano, and once occupied the site of the Dead Sea. Earthquakes are now frequent in the country. Volumes of smoke are observed to issue from the lake, and new crevices are daily found on its margin.

The country is mountainous. The range of Libanus, so named on account of their snowy summits, from the Hebrew “Lebanon,” white, is imperfectly defined. The principal part of them lies towards the north of Galilea, but the name of Libanus is sometimes given to several chains, which run through the whole extent of Palæstine. Between two of these ranges lay a valley so beautiful that some have called it a terrestrial Paradise; though situated in a much higher region than the greater part of the country, it enjoys perpetual spring — the trees are always green, and the orchards full of fruit. Libanus has been famed for its cedars. Mount Carmel is a celebrated mountain, properly belonging to Samaria, but on which the Syrians had an altar, but not a temple, dedicated to their god Carmelus. A priest of this deity, according to Tacitus, (Lib. 2, cap. 78,) foretold the accession of Vespasian to the throne.

The principal towns in Galilea were Dio-Cæsarea, Jotapata or Gath, Genesareth, and Tiberias. Tiberias was built by Herod, near the lake of the same name, and called after the emperor. After the taking of Jerusalem, there was at Tiberias a succession of Hebrew judges, till about the time of the abdication of Diocletian and Maximinianus. Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, says that a Hebrew copy of St. John, and the Acts of the Apostles, was kept in this city.

The chief cities of Samaria were Neapolis, Antipatris, Archelais, Apollonia, Samaria, and Cæsarea. Cæsarea, was the principal, and was anciently called “Turris Stratonis.[[“]] It was much embellished by Herod, who named it Cæsarea in honor of Augustus — and was the station of the Roman governors. Samaria was situated on Mount Sameron, and was the residence of the kings of Israel, from the time of Omri, its founder, to the overthrow of the kingdom.

In Judæa, were the cities of Engedi, Herodium, Hebron, Beersheba, Jericho, and Jerusalem. Jericho was in the tribe of Benjamin, near the river Jordan; and is called by Moses the city of palm-trees, from the palms in the adjacent plain, which are also noticed by Tacitus. It was destroyed by Joshua, but afterwards rebuilt. Jerusalem, the capital, was anciently called Salem, or Jebus, by the Jebusites, who were in possession of it till the time of David; but it was then called by the Hebrews Jeruschalaim, signifying “the possession of the inheritance of peace.” The Greeks and Romans called it by the name of Hierosolyma. It was built on several hills, of which Mount Sion, in the southern part of the city, was the largest. To the north was Acra, called the “second,” or “lower city” — on the east of which was Solomon’s temple, built on Mount Moriah. North-east of this was the Mount of Olives, and north of it Mount Calvary, the place of the crucifixion. This city was taken by Pompey, who thence derived his name of Hierosolymarius. It was also taken and destroyed by Titus, (in the year of our Lord 71, by the account of Tacitus — but according to Josephus,) on the 8th of Sept. A.D. 70-2177 years after its foundation.

In this siege 110,000 persons are said to have perished, and 97,000 to have been made prisoners, and as Josephus relates, sold as slaves, or thrown to the wild beasts for the sport of the conquerors.

2

PAUL ULRIC.

Paul Ulric: Or the Adventures of an Enthusiast. New York: Published by Harper &Brothers.

These two volumes are by Morris Mattson, Esq. of Philadelphia, and we presume that Mr. Mattson is a very young man. Be this as it may, when we called Norman Leslie the silliest book in the world we had certainly never seen Paul Ulric. One sentence in the latter, however, is worthy of our serious attention. “We want a few faithful laborers in the vineyard of literature, to root out the noxious weeds which infest it.” See page 116, vol. ii.

In itself, the book before us is too purely imbecile to merit an extended critique — but as a portion of our daily literary food — as an American work published by the Harpers — as one of a class of absurdities with an inundation of which our country is grievously threatened — we shall have no hesitation, and shall spare no pains, in exposing fully before the public eye its four hundred and forty-three pages of utter folly, bombast, and inanity.

“My name,” commences Mr. Mattson, “is Paul Ulric. Thus much, gentle reader, you already know of one whose history is about to be recorded for the benefit of the world. I was always an enthusiast, but of this I deem it inexpedient to say much at present. I will merely remark that I possessed by nature a wild and adventurous spirit which has led me on blindly and hurriedly, from object to object, without any definite or specific aim. My life has been one of continual excitement, and in my wild career I have tasted of joy as well as of sorrow. [Oh remarkable Mr. Ulric!] At on, moment I have been elevated to the very pinnacle of human happiness, at the next I have sunk to the lowest depths of despair. Still I fancied there was always an equilibrium. This may seem a strange philosophy to some, but is it the less true? The human mind is so constituted as always to seek a level-if it is depressed it will be proportionately elevated, if elevated it will be proportionately depressed. But “says Mr. U., interrupting himself, “I am growing metaphysical!” We had thought he was only growing absurd.

He proceeds to tell us of his father who was born in Lower Saxony — who went, when only a year old, to England — who, being thrown upon the parish, was initiated into the mysteries of boot cleaning — who, at the age of ten, became a vender of newspapers in the city of London — at twelve sold potatoes in Covent Garden — at fifteen absconded from a soap-boiler in the Strand to whom he had been apprenticed — at eighteen sold old clothes at twenty became the proprietor of a mock auction in Cheapside — at twenty five was owner of a house in Regent Street, and had several thousand pounds in the Funds — and before thirty was created a Baronet, with the title of Sir John Augustus Frederick Geoffry Ulric, Bart., for merely picking up and carrying home his Majesty King George the Fourth, whom Mr. U. assures us upon his word and honor, his father found lying beastly drunk, one fine day, in some gutter, in some particular thoroughfare of London.

Our hero himself was born, we are told, on the borders of the Thames, not far from Greenwich. When a well grown lad he accompanies his father to the continent. In Florence he falls in love with a Countess in her thirty-fifth year, who curls his hair and gives him sugar-plums. The issue of the adventure with the Countess is thus told.

“You have chosen them with much taste,” said the Countess; “a beautiful flower is this!” she continued, selecting one from among the number, “its vermillion is in your cheeks, its blue in your eyes, and for this pretty compliment I deserve a — you resist eh! My pretty, pretty lad, I will! There! Another, and you may go free. Still perverse? Oh, you stubborn boy! How can you refuse? One — two — three! I shall devour you with kisses!”

* * * * *

* * * * *

We have printed the passage precisely as we find it in the book-notes of admiration-dashes-Italics and all. Two rows of stars wind up the matter, and stand for the catastrophe — for we hear no more of the Countess. Now if any person over curious should demand why Morris Mattson, Esq. has mistaken notes of admiration for sense-dashes, kisses, stars and Italics for sentiment — the answer is very simple indeed. The author of Vivian Grey made the same mistake before him.

Indeed we have made up our minds to forward Ben D’Israeli a copy of Paul Ulric. He will read it, and if he do not expire upon the spot, it will do him more real service than the crutch. Never was there a more laugh able burlesque of any man’s manner. Had Mr. Mattson only intended it as a burlesque we would have called him a clever fellow. But unfortunately this is not the case. No jackdaw was ever more soberly serious in fancying herself a peacock, than our author in thinking himself D’Israeli the second.

“Every day,” says Paul after the kissing scene, “filled me with a new spirit of romance. I had sailed upon the winding streams of Germany; I had walked beneath the bright skies of Italy; I had clambered the majestic mountains of Switzerland.” His father, however, determines upon visiting the United States, and taking his family with him. His reasons for so doing should be recorded. “His republicanism” says Paul, “had long rendered him an object of aversion to the aristocracy. He had had the hardihood to compare the salary of the President with the civil list of the king — consequently he was threatened with an indictment for treason! My mother suggested the propriety of immediately quitting the country.”

Mr. Mattson does not give us an account of the voyage. “I have no disposition,” says his hero, “to describe a trip across the Atlantic-particularly as I am not in a sentimental mood-otherwise I might turn over the poets, and make up a long chapter of extracts from Moore, Byron, and Rogers of the Old World, or Percival, Bryant, and Halleck of the New.” A range of stars, accordingly, is introduced at this crisis of affairs, and we must understand them to express all the little matters which our author is too fastidious to detail. Having sufficiently admired the stars, we turn over the next leaf and “Land ho!” shouts one of the seamen on the fore-topsail yard.

Arrived in Philadelphia, Mr. Ulric (our hero’s father) “is divided,” so says Mr. Mattson, “between the charms of a city and country life.” His family at this time, we are told, consisted of five persons; and Mr. U. Jr. takes this opportunity of formally introducing to us, his two sisters Eleanor and Rosaline. This introduction, however, is evidently to little purpose, for we hear no more, throughout the two volumes, of either the one young lady or the other. After much deliberation the family fix their residence in “Essex, a delightful country village in the interior of Pennsylvania;” and we beg our readers to bear in mind that the surprising adventures of Paul Ulric are, for the most part, perpetrated in the immediate vicinity of this village.

The young gentleman (notwithstanding his late love affair with the Countess) is now, very properly, sent to school-or rather a private tutor is engaged for him one Lionel Wafer. A rapid proficiency in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, music, dancing, and fencing, is the result; “and with these accomplishments,” says the young calf, “I believed myself fitted for the noise and bustle of the world.” Accordingly, his father having given him a flogging one afternoon, he determines upon running away. In two days he “arrives in one of the Atlantic cities.” Rambling about the streets he enters into conversation with a sharper, who succeeds in selling him, for forty dollars, a watch made of tinsel and put together with paste. This and subsequent adventures in the city form the best portion of the book-if best should be applied, in any way, to what is altogether abominable. Mr. Ulric goes to the theatre, and the play is Romeo and Juliet. The orchestra “breaks forth in full chorus” and our hero soliloquizes. We copy his soliloquy with the end of placing before our readers what we consider the finest passage in Mr. Mattson’s novel. We wish to do that gentleman every possible act of justice; and when we write down the few words to which we allude, and when we say that they are not absolutely intolerable, we have done all, in the way of commendation, which lies in our power. We have not one other word of praise to throw away upon Paul Ulric.

“Oh Music! — the theme of bards from time immemorial — who can sing of thee as thou deservest? What wondrous miracles hast thou not accomplished? The war-drum beats — the clarion gives forth its piercing notes-and legions of armed men rush headlong to the fierce and devastating battle. Again, the drum is muffled, and its deep notes break heavily upon the air, while the dead warrior is borne along upon his bier, and thou sands mingle their tears to his memory. The tender lute sounds upon the silvery waters, and the lover throws aside his oar, and imprints a kiss upon the lips of his beloved. The bugle rings in the mountain’s recesses, and a thousand spears are uplifted for a fearful and desperate conflict. And now the organ peals, and, with its swelling notes, the soul leaps into the very presence of the Deity.”

Our hero decides upon adopting the stage as a profession, and with this view takes lessons in elocution. Having perfected himself in this art, he applies to a manager, by note, for permission to display his abilities, but is informed that the nights are engaged for two months ahead, and it would be impossible for him to appear during the season. By the influence, however, of some hanger-on of the theatre, his wishes are at length gratified, and he is announced in the bills as “the celebrated Master Le Brun, the son of a distinguished English nobleman, whose success was so unprecedented in London as to have performed fifty nights in succession at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane” — a sentence in which we are at a loss to discover whether the English nobleman, or the English nobleman’s son, or the success of the English nobleman’s son is the distinguished performer in question.

Our adventurer succeeds in his debût, and is in a fair way of becoming a popular performer, when his prospects are suddenly nipped in the bud. His valet one morning announces a Sir Thomas Le Brun, and Sir Thomas Le Brun proves to be that worthy gentleman Sir John Augustus Frederick Geoffry Ulric, Baronet. A scene ensues. Paul screams, and Sir John clenches his fist. The father makes a speech, and the son makes a speech and a bow. At length they fly into each other’s arms, and the drama closes by the old personage taking the young personage home in his carriage. In all this balderdash about the stage, there is not one original incident or idea. The same anecdotes are told, but in infinitely better language, in every book of dramatic reminiscences since the flood.

Our author now indulges in what we suppose to be satire. The arrows of his wit are directed, with much pertinacity at least, against one Borel Bunting, by which name it strikes us that Mr. M. wishes to indicate some poor devil of an editor in bona fide existence perhaps some infatuated young person who could not be prevailed upon, by love or money, to look over the MS. of Paul Ulric. If our supposition be true, we could wish Mr. Borel Bunting no better revenge than what the novelist has himself afforded by this public exposure of his imbecility. We must do our readers the favor of copying for their especial perusal, a portion of this vehement attack.

“There has been much speculation as to the birth place of Borel; (in this respect he somewhat resembled Homer) but if I have been correctly informed it was in one of the New England States. Further than this I cannot particularize. When he came to Essex he managed to procure a situation in a counting-house, which afforded him the means of support as well as leisure for study. He did not overlook these advantages, and gradually rose in public estimation until he became the editor of the Literary Herald. This gentleman was deeply read in the classics, and had also perused every novel and volume of poetry from the earliest period of English literature down to the present. Such had been his indefatigable research, that there was not a remarkable passage in the whole range of the Waverley fictions, or indeed any other fictions, to which he could not instantly turn. As to poetry, he was an oracle. He could repeat the whole of Shelley, Moore, and Wordsworth, verbatim. He was a very Sidrophel in his acquirements. He could tell

“How many scores a flea would jump;”

he could prove, also, “that the man in the moon’s a sea Mediterranean,” and

“In lyric numbers write an ode on

His mistress eating a black pudding.”

He composed acrostics extempore by the dozen; we any extempore, though it was once remarked that he was months in bringing them to maturity. He was inimitable, moreover, in his pictures of natural scenery. When a river, or a mountain, or a waterfall was to be sketched, Borel Bunting, of all others, was the man to guide the pencil. He had the rare faculty of bringing every thing distinctly before the mind of the reader-a compliment to which a majority of his brother scribes’ are not entitled.

Borel Bunting possessed also a considerable degree of critical acumen. Southey was a mere doggerelist; Cooper and Irving were not men of genius; so said Borel. Pope, he declared, was the first of poets, because Lord Byron said so before him. Tom Jones, he contended, was the most perfect specimen of a novel extant. He was also willing to admit that Goldsmith had shown some talent in his Vicar of Wakefield.

In a word, Borel’s wonderful acquirements secured him the favorable attention of many distinguished men; and at length (as a reward of his industry and merit) he was regularly installed in the chair editorial of the “Literary Herald,” an important weekly periodical, fifteen inches in diameter. His salary, it is supposed, was something less than that received by the President of the United States.

The Literary Herald, Borel (or rather, Mr. Bunting we beg his pardon) considered the paragon of perfection. No one could ever hope to be distinguished in literature who was not a contributor to its columns. It was the only sure medium through which young Ambition could make its way to immortality. In short, (to use one of Bunting’s favorite words,) it was the “nonpareil “ of learning, literature, wit, philosophy, and science.

Mr. Bunting corresponded regularly with many distinguished individuals in Europe. I called upon him one morning, just after the arrival of a foreign mail, when he read me portions of seven letters which he had just received. One was from Lafayette, another from Charles X., a third from the author of a fashionable novel, a fourth from Miss L, a beautiful poetess in London, a fifth from a German count, a sixth from an Italian prince, and a seventh from Stpqrstuwsptrsnm, (I vouch not for the orthography, not being so well acquainted with the art of spelling as the learned Borel,) a distinguished Russian general in the service of the great “ Northern Bear.”

The most unfortunate charge that was ever preferred against Borel, in his editorial capacity, was that of plagiarism. He had inserted an article in his paper over his acknowledged signature, entitled “Desultory Musings,” which some one boldly asserted was an extract from Zimmerman on Solitude; and, upon its being denied by the editor, reference was given to the identical page whence it was taken. These things boded no good to the reputation of the scribe; nevertheless, he continued his career without interruption, and, had he lived in the days of Pope, the latter might well have asked,

“Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,

He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew:

Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,

The creature’s at his dirty work again —

* * * *

Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines.”

Mr. Ulric now indulges us with another love affair, beginning as follows: “ Oh thou strange and incomprehensible passion! to what canst thou be compared? At times thou art gentle as the zephyr; at others thou art mighty as the tempest. Thou canst calm the throbbing bosom, or thou canst fill it with wilder commotion. A single smile of thy benign countenance calleth new rapture to the anguished heart, and scattereth every doubt, every fear, every perplexity. But enough of this.” True.

A young lady falls into a river or a ditch, (our author says she was fishing for a water- lily) and Mr. Ulric is at the trouble of pulling her out. “What a charming incident!” says Mr. Mattson. Her name is Violet, and our susceptible youth falls in love with her. “Shall I ever,” quoth Paul, “shall I ever forget my sensations at that period? — never!!” Among other methods of evincing his passion he writes a copy of verses “To Violet,” and sends them to the Literary Herald. All, however, is to little purpose. The lady is no fool, and very properly does not wish a fool for a husband.

Our hero now places his affections upon the wife of a silk-dyer. He has a rival, however, in the person of the redoubted editor, Borel Bunting, and a duel ensues, in which, although the matter is a hoax, and the pistols have no load in them, Mr. Mattson assures us that the editor “in firing, lodged the contents of his weapon in the ground a few inches from his feet.” The chapter immediately following this adventure is headed with poetical quotations occupying two-thirds of a page. One is from Byron — another from. All’s Well that Ends Well — and the third from Brown’s Lecture on Perpetual Motion. The chapter itself would form not quite half a column such as we are now writing, and in it we are informed that Bunting, having discovered the perpetual motion, determines upon a tour in Europe.

The editor being thus disposed of, Mr. Mattson now enters seriously upon the business of his novel. We beg the attention of our readers while we detail a tissue of such absurdity, as we did not believe it possible, at this day, for any respectable bookseller to publish, or the very youngest of young gentlemen to indite.

Let us bear in mind that the scene of the following events is in the vicinity of Philadelphia, and the epoch, the present day. Mr. Ulric takes a stroll one May morning with his gun. “ Nature seems to be at rest,” &c. — ” the warbling of birds,” &c. — ” perched among trees,” &c. was all very fine, &c. “ While gazing,” says Paul, “upon these objects,” (that is to say, the warbling, of the birds) “I beheld a young and beautiful female trip lightly over the grass, and seat herself beneath a willow which stood in the middle of a park.” Whereupon our adventurer throws himself into an attitude, and soliloquizes as follows.

“It seems that there is an indescribable something in the features of many women — a look, a smile, or a glance of the eye — that sends the blood thrilling to the heart, and involuntarily kindles the flame of love upon its altar. It is no wonder that sages and philosophers have worshipped with such mad devotion at the shrine of beauty! It is no wonder that the mighty Pericles knelt at the feet of his beloved Aspasia! It is no wonder that the once powerful Antony sacrificed his country to the fatal embraces of the bewitching Cleopatra! It is no wonder that the thirst for glory cooled in the heart of the philosophic Abelard, when he beheld the beauty of the exquisite Heloise! It is no wonder, indeed, that he quitted the dry maxims of Aristotle to practise the more pleasing precepts of Ovid! But this is rhapsody!” It is.

The lady is dressed in white, (probably cambric muslin,) and Mr. Mattson assures us that her features he shall not attempt to describe. He proceeds, however, to say that her “eyes are hazel, but very dark,” “her complexion pure as alabaster,” her lips like the lips of Canova’s Venus, and her forehead like-something very fine. Mr. Ulric attempts to speak, but his embarrassment prevents him. The young lady “turns to depart,” and our adventurer goes home as he came.

The next chapter commences with “How mysterious is human existence!” — which means, when translated, “How original is Mr. Mattson!” This initial paragraph concludes with a solemn assurance that we are perishable creatures, and that it is very possible we may all die — every mother’s son of us. But as Mr. M. hath it — “ to our story.” Paul has discovered the mansion of the young lady-but can see no more of the young lady herself. He therefore stands sentinel before the door, with the purpose “of making observations.” While thus engaged, he perceives a tall fellow, “with huge black whiskers and a most forbidding aspect,” enter the house, in a familiar manner. Our hero is, of course, in despair. The tall gentleman could be no other than the accepted lover of the young lady. Having arrived at this conclusion, Paul espies a column of smoke in the woods, and after some trouble discovers it to proceed from “a log dwelling which stood alone, with its roof of moss, amid the silence and solitude of nature.” A dog barks, and an old woman makes her appearance.

This old lady is a most portentous being. She is, however, a little given to drinking; and offers our hero a dram, of which Mr. Mattson positively assures us that gentleman did not accept.

“Can you tell me,” says Paul, “who lives in the stone house?”

“Do you mean the Florence mansion,” she asked.

“Very like — who is its owner?”

“A man of the same name-Richard Florence.”

“Who is Richard Florence?”

“An Englishman; he came to this country a year or two ago.”

“Has he a wife?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Children?”

“An only daughter.”

“What is her name?”

“Emily.”

“Emily! — Is she beautiful?”

“Very beautiful!”

“And amiable?”

“Her like is not to be found.”

“What,” [exclaims our hero, perhaps starting back and running his fingers through his hair] — “what are all the fleeting and fickle pleasures of the world! what the magnificent palaces of kings, with their imperial banquetings and gorgeous processions! what, indeed, are all the treasures of the earth or the sea, in comparison with the pure, the bright, the beautiful object of our young and innocent affections!!!”

The name of the old hag is Meg Lawler, and she favors Mr. Ulric with her private history. The morality of her disclosures is questionable-but “morals, at the present day, quoth Mr. Mattson, are rarely sought in works of fiction, and perhaps less rarely found.” The gentleman means more rarely. But let us proceed. Meg Lawler relates a tale of seduction. It ends in the most approved form. “ I knew,” says she, “that the day of sorrow and tribulation was at hand, but alas, there was no saving power!” Here follows a double range of stars-after which, the narrative is resumed as follows.

“Dame Lawler paused, and turning upon me her glaring and blood-shot eyes exclaimed “Do you think there is a punishment hereafter for the evil deeds done in the body?”

“Such,” I replied, “the divines have long taught us.”

“Then is my destroyer writhing in the agonies of hell!!”

Mr. Ulric is, of course, electrified, and the chapter closes.

Our hero, some time after this, succeeds in making the acquaintance of Miss Emily Florence. The scene of the first interview is the cottage of Meg Lawler. Mr. U. proposes a walk-the lady at first refuses, but finally consents.

“There were two paths,” says our hero, “either of which we might have chosen: one led into the forest, the other towards her father’s house. I struck into the latter — but she abruptly paused.”

“Shall we continue our walk?” I asked, observing that she still hesitated.

“Yes,” she at length answered; “but I would prefer the other path”-that is to say the path through the woods — O fi, Miss Emily Florence! During the walk, our hero arrives at the conclusion that his beloved is “some unfortunate captive whose fears, or whose sense of dependence, might render it imprudent for her to be seen in the society of a stranger. In addition to all this, Dame Lawler has told Mr. U. that “she did not believe Emily was the daughter of Mr. Florence” hereby filling the interesting youth with suspicions, which Mr. Mattson assures us “were materials for the most painful reflection.”

On their way home our lovers meet with an adventure. Mr. Ulric happens to espy a-man. Miss Emily Florence thus explains this momentous occurrence. “There is a band of robbers who have their retreat in the neighboring hills-and this was no doubt one of them. They are headed by a brave and reckless fellow of the name of Elmo-Captain Elmo I think they call him. They have been the terror of the inhabitants for a long time. My father went out sometime ago with an armed force in pursuit of them, but could not discover their hiding place. I have heard it said that they steal away the children of wealthy parents that they may exact a ransom.” Once more we beg our readers to remember that Mr. Mattson’s novel is a Tale of the Present Times, and that its scene is in the near vicinity of the city of Brotherly Love.

Having convinced her lover that the man so portentously seen can be nobody in the world but “that brave and reckless fellow” Captain Elmo, Miss Florence proceeds to assure Mr. U. that she (Miss Florence) is neither afraid of man nor the devil-and forthwith brandishes in the eyes of our adventurer an ivory-hilted dagger, or a carving-knife, or some such murderous affair. “Scarcely knowing what I did,” says our gallant friend, “I imprinted a kiss (the first-burning, passionate, and full of rapture) upon her innocent lips, and — darted into the woods!!! “ It was impossible to stand the carving-knife.

As Mr. U. takes his way home after this memorable adventure, he is waylaid by an old woman, who turns out to be a robber in disguise. A scuffle ensues, and our hero knocks down his antagonist — what less could such a hero do? Instead however of putting an end at once to his robbership, our friend merely stands over him and requests him to recite his adventures. This the old woman does. Her name is Dingee O’Dougherty, or perhaps Dingy O’Dirty — and she proves to be one and the same personage with the little man in gray who sold Mr. U. the tinsel watch spoken of in the be ginning of the history. During the catechism, however, a second robber comes up, and the odds are now against our hero. But on account of his affectionate forbearance to Dingy O’Dirty no farther molestation is offered — and the three part with an amicable understanding.

Mr. Ulric is now taken ill of a fever-and during his illness a servant of Mr. Florence having left that gentleman’s service, calls upon his heroship to communicate some most astounding intelligence. Miss Florence, it appears, has been missing for some days, and her father receives a letter (purporting to be from the captain of the banditti) in which it is stated that they have carried her away, and would only return her in consideration of a ransom. Florence is requested to meet them at a certain spot and hour, when they propose to make known their conditions. Upon hearing this extraordinary news our adventurer jumps out of bed, throws himself into attitude No. 2, and swears a round oath that he will deliver Miss Emily himself. Thus ends the first volume.

Volume the second commences with spirit. Mr. U. hires “three fearless and able-bodied men to accomnpany and render him assistance in the event of danger. Each of them was supplied with a belt containing a brace of pistols, and a large Spanish knife.” With these terrible desperadoes, our friend arrives at the spot designated by the bandit. Leaving his companions near at hand, he advances, and recognizes the redoubted Captain Elmo, who demands a thousand pounds as the ransom of Miss Emily Florence. Our hero considers this too much, and the Captain consents to take five hundred. This too Mr. U. refuses to give, and with his three friends makes an attack upon the bandit. But a posse of robbers coming to the aid of their leader, our hero is about to meet with his deserts when he is rescued by no less a personage than our old acquaintance Dingy O’Dirty, who proves to be one of the banditti. Through the intercession of this friend, Mr. U. and his trio are permitted to go home in safety-but our hero, in a private conversation with Dingy, prevails upon that gentleman to aid him in the rescue of Miss Emily. A plot is arranged between the two worthies, the most important point of which is that Mr. U. is to become one of the robber fraternity.

In a week’s time, accordingly, we behold Paul Ulric, Esq. in a cavern of banditti, somewhere in the neighborhood of Philadelphia!! His doings in this cavern, as related by Mr. Mattson, we must be allowed to consider the most laughable piece of plagiarism on record-with the exception perhaps of something in this same book which we shall speak of hereafter. Our author, it appears, has read Gil Blas, Pelham, and Anne of Gierstein, and has concocted, from diverse passages in the three, a banditti scene for his own especial use, and for the readers of Paul Ulric. The imitations (let us be courteous!) from Pelham are not so palpable as those from the other two novels. It will be remembered that Bulwer’s hero introduces himself into a nest of London rogues with the end of proving his friend’s innocence of murder. Paul joins a band of robbers near Philadelphia, for the purpose of rescuing a mistress-the chief similarity will be found in the circumstances of the blindfold introduction, and in the slang dialect made use of by either novelist. The slang in Pelham is stupid enough-but still very natural in the mouths of the cutthroats of Cockaigne. Mr. Mattson, however, has thought proper to bring it over, will I nill I, into Pennsylvania, and to make the pickpockets of Yankeeland discourse in the most learned manner of nothing less than “flat-catching,” “velvet,” “dubbing up possibles,” “shelling out,” “twisting French lace,” “wakeful winkers,” “white wool,” “pig’s whispers,” and “horses’ nightcaps!

Having introduced his adventurer a la Pelham, Mr. Mattson entertains him a la Gil Blas. The hero of Santillane finds his cavern a pleasant residence, and so does the hero of our novel. Captain Rolando is a fine fellow, and so is Captain Elmo. In Gil Blas, the robbers amuse themselves by reciting their adventures-so they do in Paul Ulric. In both the Captain tells his own history first. In the one there is a rheumatic old cook — in the other there is a rheumatic old cook. In the one there is a porter who is the main obstacle to escape-in the other ditto. In the one there is a lady in durance — in the other ditto. In the one the hero determines to release the lady-in the other ditto. In the one Gil Blas feigns illness to effect his end, in the other Mr. Ulric feigns illness for the same object. In the one, advantage is taken of the robbers’ absence to escape — so in the other. The cook is sick, at the time, in both.

In regard to Anne of Gierstein the plagiarism is still more laughable. We must all remember the proceedings of the Secret Tribunal in Scott’s novel. Mr. Mattson has evidently been ignorant that the Great Unknown’s account of these proceedings was principally based on fact. He has supposed them imaginary in toto, and, seeing no good reason to the contrary, determined to have a Secret Tribunal of his own manufacture, and could think of no better location for it than a cavern somewhere about the suburbs of Philadelphia. We must be pardoned for giving Mr. Mattson’s account of this matter in his own words.

Dingee disappeared, [this is our old friend Dingy O’Dirty] Dingee, [quoth Mr. Mattson,] disappeared leaving me for a time alone. When he returned, he said every thing was in readiness for the ceremony, [the ceremony of Mr. Ulric’s initiation as a robber.] The place appointed for this purpose was called the’ Room of Sculls’-and thither, blindfolded, I was led.

‘A candidate for our order!’ said a voice, which I recognized as O’Dougherty’s.

‘ Let him see the light!’ exclaimed another in an opposite direction. The mandate was obeyed, and I was restored to sight.

I looked wildly and fearfully around — but no living object was perceptible. Before me stood an altar, hung about with red curtains, and ornamented with fringe of the same color. Above it, on a white Banner, was a painting of the human heart, with a dagger struck to the hilt, and the blood streaming from the wound. Directly under this horrible device, was written, in large letters,

THE PUNISHMENT OF THE UNFAITHFUL.

Around, wherever I turned my eyes, there was little else to be seen but skeletons of human bodies-with their arms uplifted, and stretching forward-suspended in every direction from the walls. One of them I involuntarily touched, and down it came with a fearful crash — its dry bones rattling upon the granite floor, until the whole cavern reverberated with the sound. I turned from this spectacle, and opposite beheld a guillotine — the fatal axe smeared with blood; and near it was a head-looking as if it had just been severed from the body-with the countenance ghastly — the lips parted — and the eyes staring wide open. There, also, was the body, covered, however, with a cloth, so that little was seen except the neck, mangled and bloody, and a small portion of the hand, hanging out from its shroud, grasping in its fingers a tablet with the following inscription:

THE END OF THE BETRAYER.

I sickened and fell. When I awoke to consciousness I found myself in the arms of O’Dougherty. He was bathing my temples with a fragrant liquor. When I had sufficiently recovered, he put his mouth close to my ear and whispered-’ Where is your courage man? Do you know there is a score of eyes upon you?’

‘Alas! I am unused to such scenes-I confess they have unmanned me. But now 1 am firm; you have only to command, and I will obey.’

‘Bravo!’ exclaimed O’Dougherty,’ you must now be introduced to the high priest of our order. He has taken his seat at the altar — prepared for your reception. I will retire that you may do him reverence-trusting soon to hail you as a brother.’

The curtains about the altar had been grouped up, and there, indeed, sat the high dignitary in all his splendor. He was closely masked, and reclined in a high-backed chair, with his head turned carelessly to one side, with an expression of the most singular good humor. At that moment, also, there issued from numerous recesses, which I had not hitherto observed, a number of grotesque-looking shapes, not unlike the weird sisters in Macbeth, who quietly took their stations around the apartment, and fixed upon me their fearful and startling gaze. Their garments were hanging in shreds-an emblem, perhaps, of their own desperate pursuits. Their faces were daubed with paint of various colors, which gave them a wild and fiendish aspect. Each one grasped a long knife, which he brandished furiously above his head, the blades sometimes striking heavily together. They then sprang simultaneously forward, forming themselves into a circle, while one stationed himself as the centre, around whom they slowly moved with dismal and half-suppressed groans. They continued this ceremony until some one exclaimed

‘Bring forth the dead!’

‘Bring forth the dead!’ — they all repeated, until the cavern rang with a thousand echoes.

The banditti now stood in a line, stretching from one end of the room to the other, and remained some time in silence. Directly a dead body — mutilated and bloody — was borne by some invisible agency into our presence. It rested upon a bier — without pall or other covering — a spectacle too horrible for description. I thought, at first, that it was some optical delusion-but, alas! it proved a fearful reality-a dread and reckless assassination, prompted by that hellish and vindictive spirit, which appeared so exclusively to govern the ruffians with whom I was voluntarily associated. The victim before me was a transgressor of their laws; and this punishment had been dealt out to him as the reward of his perfidy. Life, to all appearance, was extinct; but the sluggish and inert clay still remained, as if in mockery of all law — all humanity — all mercy.

‘Behold the traitor!’ — exclaimed one of the number.

‘Behold the traitor!’ — they all repeated in concert.

‘Bear away the dead!’ — commanded the priest at the altar.

‘Bear away the dead! bear away the dead!’ — was reiterated in succession by every tongue, until the lifeless body disappeared — and with it the fiendish revellers who had sported so terrifically in its presence.

We have only to say, that if our readers are not absolutely petrified after all this conglomeration of horrors, it is no fault either of Paul Ulric’s, Morris Mattson’s, or Dingy O’Dirty’s.

Miss Emily Florence is at length rescued, and with her lover, is rowed down some river in a skiff by Dingy, who thus discourses on the way. We quote the passage as a specimen of — exquisite morality.

“Had I the sensibility of many men, a recollection of my crimes would sink me into the dust — but as it is I can almost fancy them to be so many virtues. I see you smile; but is it not a truth, that every thing of good and evil exists altogether in idea? The highwayman is driven by necessity to attack the traveller, and demand his purse. This is a crime-so says the law &m — ; so says society — and must be punished as our wise men have decreed. Nations go to war with each other — they plunder-burn-destroy-and murder — yet there is nothing wrong in this, because nations sanction it. But where is the difference between the highwayman, in the exercise of a profession by which he is to obtain a livelihood, and a nation, with perhaps less adequate cause, which despoils another of its treasures, and deluges it in blood? Is not this a proof that our ideas of immorality and wickedness are derived in a great measure from habit and education?” “The metaphysical outlaw,” [says our hero,] “the metaphysical outlaw here concluded his discourse.” [What an excessively funny idea Mr. Mattson must have of metaphysics!]

Having left the boat, taken leave of Dingy O’Dirty, and put on a pair of breeches, Miss Florence now accompanies our adventurer to a village hard by. Entering a tavern the lovers seat themselves at the breakfast table with two or three other persons. The conversation turns upon one Mr. Crawford, a great favorite in the village. In the midst of his own praises the gentleman himself enters — ” and lo!” says Mr. Ulric, “in the person of Mr. Crawford, I recognized the notorious Captain Elmo!” The hue and cry is immediately raised, but the Captain makes his escape through a window. Our hero pursues him to no purpose, and in returning from the pursuit is near being run over by a carriage and six. The carriage doors happen to be wide open, and in the vehicle Mr. Ulric discovers — oh horrible! — Miss Emily Florence in the embrace of the fellow with the big whiskers!

Having lost his sweetheart a second time, our adventurer is in despair. But despair, or indeed any thing else, is of little consequence to a hero. “It is true,” says Paul, “I was sometimes melancholy; but melancholy with me is as the radiant sunlight, imparting a hue of gladness to every thing around!!” Being, therefore, in excellent spirits with his melancholy, Mr. Ulric determines upon writing a novel. The novel is written, printed, published, and puffed. Why not?-we have even seen “Paul Ulric” puffed. But let us hasten to the denouement of our tale. The hero receives a letter from his guardian angel, Dingy O’Dirty, who, it appears, is in England. He informs Mr. U. that Miss Florence is in London, for he (Dingy O’Dirty) has seen her. Hereupon our friend takes shipping for that city. Of course he is shipwrecked-and, of course, every soul on board perishes but himself. He, indeed, is a most fortunate young man. Some person pulls him on shore, and this person proves to be the very person he was going all the way to London to look for-it was Richard Florence himself. What is more to the purpose, Mr. F. has repented of promising Miss Emily to the fellow with the big whiskers. Every thing now happens precisely as it should. Miss E. is proved to be an heiress, and no daughter of Florence’s after all. Our hero leads her to the altar. Matters come rapidly to a crisis. All the good characters are made excessively happy people, and all the bad characters die sudden deaths, and go, post haste, to the devil.

Mr. Mattson is a very generous young man, and is not above patronizing a fellow-writer occasionally. Some person having sent him a MS. poem for perusal and an opinion, our author consigns the new candidate for fame to immortality at once, by heading a chapter in Paul Ulric with four entire lines from the MS., and appending the following note at the bottom of the page.

“From a MS. poem entitled “Drusilla,” with which we have been politely favored for perusal. It is a delightful work, and shows the writer to be a man of genius and reflection. We hope it will not be long before the lovers of poetry are favored with this production; it will win deserved celebrity for its author.”

And as a farther instance of disinterestedness, see this conversation between Mr. Mattson’s hero, and a young lady in London who wrote for the annuals.

“What do you think of D’Israeli’s novels?” — asked she.

“Excellent! Excellent!” 1 replied, “especially Vivian Grey: take for example the scene in the long gallery between Vivian, and Mrs. Felix Lorraine.”

“Admirable!” — returned the young lady, “but, by the way, how do you like Bulwer?”

“Well enough,” I answered.

“Pray, Mr. Ulric, how many female writers of distinction have you in America?” Honest old Blackwood tells us of but two or three.”

“And who are they?”

“Miss Gould, Miss Sedgwick, and Mrs. Sigourney.”

“He should have added another — Miss Leslie.”

We fancy it is long since Miss Leslie, Miss Gould, Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Sigourney, Lytton Bulwer, and Ben D’Israeli have been so affectionately patted on the back.

Of Mr. Mattson’s style the less we say the better. It is quite good enough for Mr. Mattson’s matter. Besides-all fine writers have pet words and phrases. Mr. Fay had his “blisters”-Mr. Simms had his “coils,” “ hugs,” and “ old-times”-and Mr. M. must be allowed his “suches” and “so muches.” Such is genius!-and so much for the Adventures of an Enthusiast! But we must positively say a word in regard to Mr. Mattson’s erudition. On page 97, vol. ii, our author is discoursing of the novel which his hero is about to indite. He is speaking more particularly of titles. Let us see what he says.

“An ill-chosen title is sufficient to condemn the best of books. Never does an author exhibit his taste and skill more than in this particular. Just think for a moment of the Frenchman’s version of Doctor Johnson’s ‘Rambler’ into ‘Le Chevalier Errant,’ and what was still more laughable, his innocently addressing the author by the appellation of.ilr. Vagabond! By the way, the modern fanatics were somewhat remarkable in the choice of their titles. Take for example the following — ’ The Shop of the Spiritual.pothecary’ and’ Some fine Baskets baked in the Oven of Charity, carefully conserved for the Chickens of the Church, the Sparrows of the Spirit, and the Sweet Swallows of Salvation.’ “

Having admired this specimen of deep research, let us turn to page 125, vol. ii. Mr. Ulric is here vindicating himself from some charges brought against his book. Have patience, gentle reader, while we copy what he says.

“In the first place we are accused of vulgarity. In this respect we certainly bear a strong resemblance to Plautus, who was censured by the satirical Horace for the same thing. Next come Ignorance, Vanity, and Stupidity. Of the first two, the classic reader will not forget that Aristotle (who wrote not less than four hundred volumes) was calumniated by Cicero and Plutarch, both of whom endeavored to make it appear that he was ignorant as well as vain. But what of our stupidity? Socrates himself was treated by Athenaeus as illiterate: the divine Plato, called by some the philosopher of the Christians, by others the god of philosophers, was accused by Theopompus of lying, by Aristophanes of impiety, and by Aulus Gellius of robbery. The fifth charge is a want of invention. Pliny has alleged the same thing of Virgil — and surely it is some consolation to know that we have such excellent company. And last, though not least, is plagiarism. Here again Naucrates tells us that Homer pillaged some of his best thoughts from the library at Memphis. It is recorded, moreover, that Horace plundered from the minor Greek poets, and Virgil from his great prototype, Homer, as well as Nicander, and Apollonius Rhodius. Why then should we trouble ourselves about these sweeping denunciations?”

What a learned man is Morris Mattson, Esq.! He is intimately versed not only in Horace, Aristotle, Cicero, Plutarch, Virgil, Homer, Plato, Pliny, and Aristophanes — but (credat Judcetus!) in Nicander, Aulus Gellius, Naucrates, Atheneus, Theopompus, and Apollonius Rhodius! I. D’Israeli, however, the father of Ben D’Israeli aforesaid, is (we have no hesitation in saying it,) one of the most scoundrelly plagiarists in Christen dom. He has not scrupled to steal entire passages verbatim from Paul Ulric! On page 1, vol. ii, second edition, of’ The Curiosities of Literature,’ in a chapter on Titles, we have all about Dr. Johnson, Le Chevalier Errant, and Mr. Vagabond, precisely in the language of Mr. Mattson. O thou abandoned robber, D’Israeli! Here is the sentence. It will be seen, that it corresponds with the first sentence italicized in the paragraph (above) beginning ‘An ill-chosen title, &c.’ “The Rambler was so little understood, at the time of its appearance, that a French Journalist has translated it ‘Le Chevalier Errant,’ and a foreigner drank Johnson’s health one day, by innocently addressing him by the appellation of Mr. Vagabond!” And on page 111, of the same volume, we perceive the following, which answers to the second sentence italicized in the para graph above mentioned. “A collection of passages from the Fathers is called ‘The Shop of the Spiritual Apothecary’ — one of these works bears the elaborate title ‘Some fine Baskets baked in the Oven of Charity, carefully conserved for the Chickens of the Church, the Sparrows of the Spirit, and the Sweet Swallows of Salvation.’ There can be no doubt whatever of D’Israeli’s having pilfered this thing from Paul Ulric, for Mr. Mattson having, inadvertently we suppose, written Baskets for Biscuits, the error is adopted by the plagiarist. But we have a still more impudent piece of robbery to mention. The whole of the erutdition, and two-thirds of the words in the paragraph above, beginning ‘In the first place we are accused of vulgarity,’ &e. is to be found on page 42, vol. i, second edition, of The’ Curiosities!’ Let us transcribe some of D’Israeli’s words in illustration of our remark. We refer the reader for more particular information to the book itself.

“Horace censures the coarse humor of Plautus — Aristotle (whose industry composed more than four hundred volumes) has not been less spared by the critics. Diogenes Laertius, Cicero and Plutarch have forgotten nothing that can tend to show his ignorance, his ambition, and his vanity — Socrates, considered as the wisest and most moral of men, Cicero treated as an usurer, and the pedant Athenamus as illiterate — Plato, who has been called, by Clement of Alexandria, the Moses of Athens; the philosopher of the Christians by Arnobius, and the god of philosophers by Cicero; Athenaeus accuses of envy; Theopompus of lying; Suidas of avarice; Aulus Gellius of robbery; Porphyry of incontinence, and Aristophanes of impiety-Virgil is destitute of invention, if we are to give credit to Pliny-Naucratcs points out the source (of the Iliad and Odyssey,) in the library at Memphis, which, according to him, the blind bard completely pillaged-Horace has been blamed for the free use he made of the minor Greek poets. Even the author of his (Virgil’s) apology, has confessed that he has stolen, from Homer, his greatest beauties, from Apollonius Rhodius many of his pathetic passages, and from Nicander hints for his Georgics.”

Well, Mr. Mattson, what have you to say for yourself? Is not I. D’lsraeli the most impudent thief since the days of Prometheus?

In summing up an opinion of Paul Ulric, it is by no means our intention to mince the matter at all. The book is despicable in every respect. Such are the works which bring daily discredit upon our national literature. We have no right to complain of being laughed at abroad when so villainous a compound, as the thing we now hold in our hand, of incongruous folly, plagiarism, immorality, inanity, and bombast, can command at any moment both a puff and a publisher. To Mr. Mattson himself we have only one word to say before throwing his book into the fire. Dress it up, good sir, for the nursery, and call it the “Life and Surprising Adventures of Dingy O’Dirty.” Humph! — Only think of Plato, Pliny, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Nicander, Aulus Gellius, Naucrates, Athenaeus, Theopompus and Apollonius Rhodius!!

3

MARTIN’S GAZETTEER.

A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer of Virginia, and the District of Columbia: containing a copious collection of Geographical, Statistical, Political, Commercial, Religious, Moral and Miscellaneous Information, collected and compiled from the most respectable, and chiefly from original sources; by Joseph Martin. To which is added a History of Virginia from its first settlement to the year 1754: with an abstract of the principal events from that period to the independence of Virginia, written expressly for the work, by a citizen of Virginia. Charlottesville: Published by Joseph Martin. 1835.

We ought to have noticed this book sooner. Mr. Martin deserves well of the country for having laid the foundation, amidst numerous obstacles, of a work of great utility and importance. In his preface, he disavows all pretension to literary attainment, and claims only the merit of enterprise and perseverance in the execution of his design. He is entitled to all the rewards of a bold pioneer, struggling with pecuniary difficulties, and, we might add, with public indifference, in amassing a large amount of valuable information-interesting to almost every man in the Commonwealth. It is one of the evils attendant upon a high state of political excitement in any country, that what is really and substantially good, is forgotten or neglected. The resources of our great Commonwealth are immense, and if we could once get the public mind into a condition favorable to their full development, the most important consequences might be expected to follow. Societies and associations for collecting information in the various departments of moral and physical science, have abounded in most countries having the least pretension to civilization; and even in some of the States of our confederacy, it is known that an enlightened spirit of inquiry exists on the same subject. Our own state indeed, boastful as it is of its early history, the renown of some of its sons, and its abundant natural advantages, has nevertheless, we are pained to admit, manifested too little of that public spirit which has animated other communities. Of late, indeed, some signs have been exhibited of a more liberal and resolute course of action, and we are not without hope that these efforts will be crowned by highly useful and practical results.

It is because Mr. Martin has been obliged to rely principally upon individual contributions, in order to obtain which he must necessarily have used great diligence, and submitted to much pecuniary sacrifice, that we think him entitled to a double portion of praise. Few individuals would, under such circumstances, have incurred the risk of failure; and our wonder is, not that the work is not perfect, but that, contending with so many disadvantages, it should have so nearly accomplished what has been long a desideratum in Virginia literature. Our limits will not permit any thing like a minute analysis of its contents. The arrangement of the volume strikes us as superior to the ordinary alphabetical plan; and although there is much repetition even in its present form, much more we think has been avoided. That part of the General Description of the State, which especially treats of the climate, is admirably well written; and, considering the scantiness of the author’s materials, owing to the general neglect of meteorological observations in Virginia, his reasoning is clear, forcible, and philosophical. In the Sketch which is given of the county of Louisa, we think we can recognize a pen which has not unfrequently adorned the pages of the “Messenger” — and the History of the State from its earliest settlement, appended to the work, is written with vigor and ability, and, as far as we can judge, with accuracy. If Mr. Martin is sustained by public liberality, which we earnestly hope will be the case, he will not only be enabled, in the next edition, to correct such imperfections as may be found to exist in the present, but to engraft a large amount of additional information, derived from authentic sources. The report of Professor Rogers, for example, on the Geology of Virginia, made to the present Legislature, will shed much light on the mineral resources of the State; and the report of the President and Directors of the Literary Fund, embracing as it does, detailed information with respect to all our literary institutions, will greatly illustrate the means in operation for diffusing the blessings and benefits of education. The statistical tables, too, can be revised and corrected in another edition; and we doubt not that many individuals into whose hands the work may fall, will voluntarily contribute such suggestions and improvements as their means of information will authorize. Such a work to the man of business, and to the traveller, and indeed to the general reader, s invaluable, and we heartily recommend it to public patronage.

4

ROSE-HILL.

Rose-Hill: A Tale of the Old Dominion. By a Virginian. Philadelphia: Key & Biddle.

This is an unpretending little duodecimo of about two hundred pages. It embraces some events connected with two (fictitious) families in the Western section of Virginia during the Revolution. The chief merit of the work consists in a vein of piety and strict morality pervading its pages. The story itself is interesting, but not very well put together, while the style might be amended in many respects. We wish the book, however, every success.

5

EMILIA HARRINGTON.

The Confessions of Emilia Harrington. By Lambert A. Wilmer. Baltimore.

This is a duodecimo of about two hundred pages. We have read it with that deep interest always excited by works written in a similar manner — be the subject matter what it may — works in which the author utterly loses sight of himself in his theme, and, for the time, identifies his own thoughts and feelings with the thoughts and feelings of fictitious existences. Than the power of accomplishing this perfect identification, there is no surer mark of genius. It is the spell of Defoe. It is the wand of Boccacio. It is the proper enchantment of the Arabian Tales — the gramarye of Scott, and the magic of the Bard of Avon. Had, therefore, the Emilia Harrington of Mr. Wilmer not one other quality to recommend it, we should have been satisfied of the author’s genius from the simple verisimilitude of his narrative. Yet, unhappily, books thus written are not the books by which men acquire a contemporaneous reputation. What we said on this subject in the last number of the Messenger, may be repeated here without impropriety. We spoke of the Robinson Crusoe. “ What better possible species of fame could the author have desired for that book than the species which it has so long enjoyed? It has become a household thing in nearly every family in Christendom. Yet never was admiration of any work — universal admiration — more indiscriminately or more inappropriately bestowed. Not one person in ten — nay, not one person in five hundred has, during the perusal of Robinson Crusoe, the most remote conception that any particle of genius, or even of common talent, has been employed in its creation. Men do not look upon it in the light of a literary performance. Defoe has none of their thoughts; Robinson all. The powers which have wrought the wonder, have been thrown into obscurity by the very stupendousness of the wonder they have wrought. We read, and become perfect abstractions in the intensity of our interest — we close the book, and are quite satisfied we could have written as well ourselves.”

Emilia Harrington will render essential services to virtue in the unveiling of the deformities of vice. This is a deed of no questionable utility. We fully agree with our author that ignorance of wrong is not security for the right; and Mr. Wilmer has obviated every possible objection to the “Confessions,” by a so cautious wording of his disclosures as not to startle, in warning, the virtuous. That the memoirs are not wholly fictitious is more than probable. There is much internal evidence of authenticity in the book itself, and the preface seems to hint that a portion at least of the narrative is true — yet for the sake of human nature it is to be hoped that some passages are overcolored. The style of Mr. Wilmer is not only good in itself, but exceedingly well adapted to his subjects. The letter to Augustus Harrington is vigorously written, and many long extracts might be taken from the book evincing powers of no ordinary kind.

Within a circle of private friends, whom Mr. Wilmer’s talents and many virtues have attached devotedly to himself, and among whom we are very proud in being ranked, his writings have been long properly appreciated, and we sincerely hope the days are not far in futurity when he will occupy that full station in the public eye to which his merits so decidedly entitle him. Our readers must all remember the touching lines To Mira, in the first number of our second volume-lines which called forth the highest encomiums from many whose opinions are of value. Their exquisite tenderness of sentiment — their vein of deep and unaffected melancholy — and their antique strength, and high polish of versification, struck us, upon a first perusal, with force, and subsequent readings have not weakened the impression. Mr. W. has written many other similar things. Among his longer pieces we may particularize Merlin, a drama — some portions of which are full of the truest poetic fire. His prose tales and other short publications are numerous; and as Editor of the Philadelphia Saturday Evening Post, he has boldly and skilfully asserted the rights of independent criticism, speaking, in all instances — the truth. His Satiric Odes in the Post, over the signature of Horace in Philadelphia, have attracted great attention, and have been deservedly admired.

We copy with true pleasure from the editorial columns of a Baltimore contemporary, (for whose opinions we have the highest respect, even when they differ from our own,) the following notice of Emilia Harrington. It will supersede the necessity of any farther comment from ourselves.

“This book is one of a class the publication of which is considered by many as objectionable. The lifting up of the veil which covers crime; crime of the most disgusting and debasing character — is thought by moralists of the present day to be an act of questionable utility. This opinion has gained strength from the intemperate zeal of too many who have thought fit to publish flauntingly to the world the result of their startling discoveries while penetrating the haunts of corruption and vice, instead of silently moving on in the cause of Christian benevolence, and, when called upon for disclosures, giving information in such a way as not to startle the virtuous into shrinking, nor cause the vicious to raise the hue and cry against them. From the objection of ultraism the “Confessions” are to a great extent free — although in some few instances the author has allowed himself a latitude which it would have been as well not to have taken.

“Apart from the character of the book, it possesses for us no trifling interest. Our thoughts run back continually from its pages to the gifted young author, prematurely gray; nor can we conquer a gathering sadness of feeling as we contemplate him bending wearily beneath the accumulating weight of adverse circumstances — broken in spirit, and yet uncomplaining. That the writer of this book possesses talents of an order far superior to many of twice his reputation, we have long been convinced, and yet he is scarcely known. Ten years ago his promise of future success in the walks of literary fame was flattering, almost beyond example; but, who can struggle against the ills of life — its cares, its privations and disappointments — with the added evils which petty jealousy and vindictive malice bring in to crush the spirit, — and not, in the very feebleness of humanity, grow weak and weary. And thus it seems in a measure to have been with the author of this book; he has not now the healthy vigor which once marked his production — the playful humor, nor the sparkling wit; and why — as continual dropping will wear away the hardest rock, so will continued neglect, and disappointment, and care, wear away the mind’s healthy tone and strength of action. And yet, after all, may we not be mistaken in this. Is not the unobtrusive volume before us a strong evidence of unfailing powers of mind, which, though aiming at no brilliant display, acts with order, conciseness, and a nicely balanced energy? It is even so. One great attribute of genius is its power of identifying itself with its hero, and never losing sight of all the relations which it now holds to the world in its new character; and this identity has been well kept up by Mr. Wilmer — so much so, that in but few instances do we forget that the writer is other than the heroine of the tale.”

6

AMERICAN IN ENGLAND.

The American in England. By the Author of “A Year in Spain.” 2 vols. New York. Harper and Brothers.

Lieutenant Slidell’s very excellent book, “A Year in Spain,” was in some danger of being overlooked by his countrymen when a benignant star directed Murray’s attention to its merits. Fate and Regent Street prevailed. Cockney octavos carried the day. A man is nothing if not hot-pressed; and the clever young writer who was cut dead in his Yankee-land habiliments, met with bows innumerable in the gala dress of a London imprimatur. The “Year in Spain” well deserved the popularity thus inauspiciously attained. It was the work of a man of genius; and passing through several editions, prepared the public attention for any subsequent production of its author. As regards “The American in England,” we have not only read it with deep interest from beginning to end, but have been at the trouble of seeking out and perusing a great variety of critical dicta concerning it. Nearly all of these are in its favor, and we are happy in being able to concur heartily with the popular voice — if indeed these dicta be its echoes.

We have somewhere said-or we should have somewhere said-that the old adage about “Truth in a well” (we mean the adage in its modern and improper — not in its antique and proper acceptation) should be swallowed cum grano salis at times. To be profound is not always to be sensible. The depth of an argument is not, necessarily, its wisdom — this depth lying where Truth is sought more often than where she is found. As the touches of a painting which, to minute inspection, are ‘confusion worse confounded’ will not fail to start boldly out to the cursory glance of a connoisseur — or as a star may be seen more distinctly in a sidelong survey than in any direct gaze however penetrating and in. tense — so there are, not unfrequently, times and methods, in which, and by means of which, a richer philosophy may be gathered on the surface of things than can be drawn up, even with great labor, e profundis. It appears to us that Mr. Slidell has written a wiser book than his neighbors merely by not disdaining to write a more superficial one.

The work is dedicated to John Duer, Esq. The Preface is a very sensible and a sufficiently well-written performance, in which the Lieutenant while “begging, at the outset, to be acquitted of any injurious prejudices” still pleads guilty to “that ardent patriotism which is the common attribute of Americans, a feeling of nationality inherited with the laws, the language, and the manners of the country from which we derive our origin, and which is sanctioned not less by the comparison of the blessings we enjoy with those of other lands, than by the promptings of good feeling, and the dictates of good taste.” It is in the body of the book, however, that we must seek, and where we shall most assuredly find, strong indications of a genius not the less rich, rare, and altogether estimable for the simplicity of its modus operandi.

Commencing with his embarkation at New York, our author succeeds, at once, in rivetting the attention of his readers by a succession of minute details. But there is this vast difference between the details of Mr. Slidell, and the details of many of his contemporaries. They — the many — impressed, apparently, with the belief that mere minuteness is sufficient to constitute force, and that to be accurate is, of necessity, to be verisimilar — have not hesitated in putting in upon their canvass all the actual lines which might be discovered in their subject. This Mr. Slidell has known better than to do. He has felt that the apparent, not the real, is the province of a painter — and that to give (speaking technically) the idea of any desired object, the toning down, or the utter neglect of certain portions of that object is absolutely necessary to the proper bringing out of other portions — portions by whose sole instrumentality the idea of the object is afforded. With a fine eye then for the picturesque, and with that strong sense of propriety which is inseparable from true genius, our American has crossed the water, dallied a week in London, and given us, as the result of his observations, a few masterly sketches, with all the spirit, vigor, raciness and illusion of a panorama.

Very rarely have we seen any thing of the kind superior to the “American in England.” The interest begins with the beginning of the book, and abides with us, unabated, to the end. From the scenes in the Yankee harbor, to the departure of the traveller from England, his arrival in France, and installment among the comforts of the Hotel Quillacq, all is terse, nervous, brilliant and original. The review of the ship’s company, in the initial chapter of the book is exceedingly entertaining. The last character thus introduced is so peculiarly sketched that we must copy what the author says about him. It will serve to exemplify some of our own prior remarks.

“Let me not forget to make honorable mention of the white-headed little raggamuffin who was working his passage, and who, in this capacity, had the decks to sweep, ropes to haul, chickens and pigs to feed, the cow to milk, and the dishes to wash, as well as all other jobs to do that belonged to no one in particular. As a proof of good will, he had chopped off the tails of a dandy, velvet-collared, blue coat, with the cook’s axe, the very first day out. This was performed at the windlass-bits, in full conclave of the crew, and I suspected at the suggestion of a roguish man-of-war-’s-man, a shipmate of mine. The tails were cut just below the pocket flaps, which gave them a sort of razee look, and, in conjunction with the velvet collar, made the oddest appearance in the world, as hie would creel), stern first, out of the long-boat after milking the cow. Blow high or blow low, the poor boy had no time to be sea-sick. Some times he would get adrift in the lee scuppers and roll over in the water, keeping fast hold of the plates he was carying [[carrying]] to the galley.”

Some incidents at sea — such as the narrow escape from running down a brig, and the imminent danger incurred by an English pilot — are told with all the gusto of a seaman. Among other fine passages we may particularize an account of British sailors on shore at Portsmouth — of a family group on board a steamer — of the appearance of the Kentish coast — of the dangers of the Thames-of the Dover coach-of some groups in a London coffee-room — of a stand of hackney-coaches — of St. James’ Park — of a midnight scene in the streets — of the Strand — of Temple-Bar-of St. Paul’s and the view from the summit — of Rothschild — of Barclay and Perkins’ Brewery — of the Thames’ Tunnel — of the Tower of the Zoological Gardens — of Robert Owen — of the habits of retired citizens — and of the rural tastes of English men. A parallel between Regent Street and Broadway brings the two thoroughfares with singular distinctness to the eye of the mind-and in the way of animated and vivid description we can, at this moment, remember nothing in the whole range of fact or fiction much superior to the Lieutenant’s narrative of his midnight entrance into London. Indeed we can almost pardon a contemporary for speaking of this picture as sublime. A small portion of it we copy — but no just idea of its total effect can be thus gathered — an effect depending in a great measure upon the gradual manner in which it is brought about.

“I know nothing more exhilirating [[exhilarating]] than to be suddenly ushered in the night into a populous quarter of a great city. My recollection readily conjures up the impressions made upon me under similar circumstances in entering Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Milan, or gay and lively Naples. The lower classes, with their good humor, their quaint drollery and sprightliness, there offer the most agreeable objects of contemplation. Here, however, there was in the corresponding classes nothing pleasing, or even picturesque. All seemed in search of food, of the means of intemperance, and of gratifying low and brutal passions. The idea of amusement had evidently no place. The streets swarmed with abandoned women, filthy in their dress, open, brutal, and indecent in their advances. In the places of the guitar, the serenade, the musical cries of chesnut-women, lemonade-sellers, and watermen, the sounds here were harsh and grating: uttered in words ill pronounced and nasally prolonged, or in an unintelligible and discordant slang which I no longer recognized as belonging to my own language. In the place of skilful musicians performing the favorite airs of Mozart or Rossini, or the witty colloquies of the sententious Punchinello, the poor were invited, in the nasal twang of clamorous mountebanks to amuse themselves by a sight of the latest cases of seduction, murder, suicide, and hanging, represented in the shadows of the camera obseura. The dark masses of dwelling-houses had a confined, narrow, gloomy, and lugubrious aspect. They were of brick, without window-sills of marble or other colored stone; unpainted, and unenlivened by blinds. They were closely shut, and the glimpses of cheerfulness and domestic comfort exhibited in our streets were here unseen. All the shops were open to the weather: Many of them having the whole front removed, and gas-lights blazing and streaming like great torches, rather than with the puny and flickering illumination seen in ours. The articles were completely exposed to view at the side of the street; clothing, provisions, crockery, hardware; whatever is necessary to the wants of man. The druggists, with their variegated vases, as with us, cast the Iris hues of their nauseous mixtures into the street. Sellers of cheap goods exposed them in the windows, with their price labelled. The butchers hung out beef, pork, sausages, and enormous coarse sheep, in a nearly whole state, with sometimes the price affixed to the inferior portions, in order that the poor might judge whether the price they had received for their day’s labor, would compass a meal of meat; or whether they should seek a diet more suited to their means, of a neighboring potato merchant: or whether to turn in despair, as many of the most wretched seemed to do, to accept the flattering invitation of the magnificent gin-palace at the corner. It was the most splendid building in the neighborhood; built with some little architectural elegance, whose effect was magnified by the unadorned character and gloomy air of the surrounding edifices. A beautiful gas-light, in a richly ornamented lamp, stood as an inviting beacon, visible in many diverging directions. The windows were glazed with costly plate-glass, bearing inscribed, in illuminated letters, the words-gin at threepence-generous wines hot-spiced; — and the door surrounded by stained panes of rich dye, having rosettes, bunches of grapes, and gay devices.”

There are some few niaiseries in the work before us, which, although insufficient to affect its character as a whole, yet constitute a weak point in what otherwise is beautiful, and cause us to regret sincerely, the accidents which have admitted them. We may mention, in especial, the too frequent introduction of the monosyllable “how,” in such sentences as “they told how” — “it was related how” — “I was informed how,” &c. Mr. Slidell will find, upon self-scrutiny, that he has fallen into this habit through the sin of imitation. The Lieutenant, too, suffers his work to savor far too strongly of the ship, and lets slip him no opportunity of thrusting upon the public attention the fact of his particular vocation — insisting, indeed, upon this matter with a pertinacity even ludicrous — a pertinacity which will be exemplified in the following passage:

“Unaccustomed as I had been in the larger vessels, in which I had sailed of late, to be thus unceremoniously boarded on the hallowed region of the quarter-deck, this seemed to me quite a superfluous piece of impertinence. The remains of my sentiment were at once washed away, and not minding a little honest saltwater, I betook myself forthwith to the substantial comfortings of the repast, which I found smoking on the cabin table. Dinner was over: tea and conversation had followed; the evening was already far advanced, and I began to yield to the sleepy sensation which the familiar roll of the sea inspired. Before turning in I ascended to the companionway to breathe the fresh air, and see what progress we were making. Familiar as I was with the sight of ships in every possible situation, I was much struck with the beauty of the scene.”

Again. Although the author evinces, in theory, a very laudable contempt for that silly vanity so often inducing men to blazon forth their intimacy with the distinguished; and although, in the volumes now before us, he more than once directs the arrows of his satire at the infirmity — still he is found not altogether free from it himself; and, in one especial instance, is even awkwarkdly [[awkwardly]] uneasy, lest we should remain ignorant of his acquaintance with Washington Irving. “I thought,” quoth the Lieutenant, when there was no necessity for thinking about any such matter, “I thought of the’spectral box-coats’ of my inimitable friend Geoffrey Crayon; and would have given the world in that moment of despondency, for one of his quiet unwritten jokes, or one friendly pressure of his hand.”

Upon Mr. Slidell’s mechanical style we cannot bring ourselves to look with favor. Indeed while running over, with some astonishment, a few of his singularly ill-constructed sentences, we begin to think that the sentiments expressed in the conclusion of his Preface are not, as we at first suspected, merely the common cant of the literateur, and that his book is actually, as he represents it to be, “the result of an up-hill journey,” and “a work which lie regards with a feeling of aversion.” What else than great tedium and utter weariness with his labor, could have induced our author to trust such passages as the following to the critical eye of the public?

“The absence of intellectual and moral culture, in occupations which rendered it unnecessary for those who worked only to administer food to themselves and profit or luxury to the class of masters, could only account for the absence of forehead, of the ornamental parts of that face which was moulded after a divine model.”

We perused this sentence more than once before we could fathom its meaning. Mr. Slidell wishes to say, that narrowness of forehead in the rabble is giving to want of mental exercise — they being laborers not thinkers. But from the words of our author we are led to conclude that some occupations (certainly very strange ones) rendered it unnecessary for those who worked, to administer food to themselves — that is, to eat. The pronoun “it,” however, will be found, upon examination, to refer to “moral culture.” The repetition of the word “only” is also disagreeable, and the entire passage is overloaded with verbiage. A rigid scrutiny will show that all essential portions of the intended idea are embodied in the lines Italicised. In the original sentence are fifty-four words — in our own eighteen — or precisely one third. It follows, that if all the Lieutenant’s sentences had been abridged in a similar manner — a process which would have redounded greatly to their advantage — we might have been spared much trouble, and the public much time, trouble, and expense — the “American in England” making its appearance in a duodecimo of one hundred and ninety-two pages, rather than in two octavos of five hundred and seventy-six.

At page 122, vol. I, we have what follows.

“My situation here was uncomfortable enough; if I were softly cushioned on one side, this only tended, by the contrast, to increase the obduracy of a small iron rod, which served as a parapet to protect me from falling off the precipice, over which I hung toppling, and against which I was forced with a pressure proportioned to the circumstances of my being compressed into a space somewhat narrower than myself; the seat having doubtless been contrived to accommodate five men, and there being no greater anatomical mistake than to suppose there would be more room because four of them were women.”

‘If I were,’ in this sentence, is not English — but there are few persons who will believe that “if “ does not in all instances require the subjunctive. In the words “a small iron rod which served as a parapet to protect me from falling off the precipice over which hung, and against which I was forced,” &c. let us say nothing of the injudicious use of the word parapet as applied to a small iron rod. Passing over this, it is evident, that the second relative pronoun “which,” has for its antecedent, in strict syntactical arrangement, the same noun as the first relative pronoun “which” — that is to say, it has the word “precipice” for its antecedent. The sentence would thus imply that Mr. Slidell was forced against the precipice. But the actual meaning (at which we arrive by guessing) is, that Mr. Slidell was forced against the iron rod. In the words “I was forced with a pressure proportioned to the circumstances of my being compressed into a space,” &c. let us again be indulgent, and say as little as possible of the tautology in “pressure” and “compressed.” But we ask where are the circumstances spoken of? There is only one circumstance — the circumstance of being compressed. In the conclusion of the passage where the Lieutenant speaks of “a seat having doubtless been contrived to accommodate five men, and there being no greater anatomical mistake than to suppose there would be more room because four of them were women,” it is quite unnecessary to point out the “bull egregious” — a bull which could have been readily avoided by the simple substitute of “persons “ for “men.”

We must be pardoned for copying yet another sentence. We will do so with the single remark that it is one of the most ludicrously ill-arranged, and altogether ungainly pieces of composition which it has ever been our ill fortune to encounter.

“I was not long in discovering that the different personages scattered about the room in such an unsocial and misanthropic manner, instead of being collected about the same board, as in France or my own country, and in the spirit of good fellowship and of boon companions relieving each other of their mutual ennuis, though they did not speak a word to each other, by which they might hereafter be compromised and socially ruined, by discovering that they had made the acquaintance of an individual several grades below them in the scale of rank, or haply as disagreeably undeceived by the abstraction of a pocket-book, still kept up a certain interchange of sentiment, by occasional glances and mutual observation.”

Such passages as the foregoing may be discovered passim in “The American in England.” Yet we have heard Mr. Slidell’s English called equal to the English of Mr. Irving — than which nothing can be more improbable. The Lieutenant’s book is an excellent book — but then it is excellent in spite of its style. So great are the triumphs of genius!

7

CONTI.

Conti the Discarded: with Other Tales and Fancies. By Henry F. Chorley. 2 vols. New York: Published by Harper and Brothers.

Mr. Chorley has hitherto written nothing of any great length. His name, however, is familiar to all readers of English Annuals, and in whatever we have seen from his pen, evidences of a rare genius have been perceptible. In Conti, and in the “Other Tales and Fancies” which accompany it, these evidences are more distinct, more brilliant, and more openly developed. Neither are these pieces wanting in a noble, and, to us, a most thrillingly interesting purpose. In saying that our whole heart is with the author — that the deepest, and we trust, the purest emotions are enkindled within us by his chivalric and magnanimous design — we present but a feeble picture of our individual feelings as influenced by the perusal of Conti. We repeat it-our whole heart is with the author. When shall the artist assume his proper situation in society — in a society of thinking beings? How long shall he be enslaved? How long shall mind succumb to the grossest materiality? How long shall the veriest vermin of the Earth, who crawl around the altar of Mammon, be more esteemed of men than they, the gifted ministers to those exalted emotions which link us with the mysteries of Heaven? To our own query we may venture a reply. Not long. Not long will such rank injustice be committed or permitted. A spirit is already abroad at war with it. And in every billow of the unceasing sea of Change — and in every breath, however gentle, of the wide atmosphere of Revolution encircling us, is that spirit steadily yet irresistibly at work.

“Who has not looked,” says Mr. Chorley in his Preface, “with painful interest on the unreckoned-up account of misunderstanding and suspicion which exists between the World and the Artist? Who has not grieved to see the former willing to degrade Art into a mere plaything — to be enjoyed without respect, and then cast aside — instead of receiving her high works as among the most humanizing blessings ever vouchsafed to man by a beneficent Creator? Who has not suffered shame in observing the Artist bring his own calling into contempt by coarsely regarding it as a mere engine of money getting, or holding it up to reproach by making it the excuse for such eccentricities or grave errors as separate him from the rest of society?”

That genius should not and indeed cannot be bound down to the vulgar common-places of existence, is a maxim which, however true, has been too often repeated; and there have appeared on earth enough spirits of the loftiest and most brilliant order who have worthily taken their part in life as useful citizens, affectionate husbands, faithful friends, to deprive of their excuse all such as hold, that to despise and alienate the world is the inevitable and painfully glorious destiny of the highly gifted.

Very few of our readers, it may be, are acquainted with a particular class of works which has long exercised a very powerful influence on the private habits and character, as well as on the literature of the Germans. We speak of the Art Novels — the Kunstromanen — books written not so much in immediate defence, or in illustration, as in personification of individual portions of the Fine Arts-books which, in the guise of Romance, labor to the sole end of reasoning men into admiration and study of the beautiful, by a tissue of bizarre fiction, partly allegorical, and partly metaphysical. In Germany alone could so mad — or perhaps so profound — an idea have originated. From the statement of Mr. Chorley, we find that his original intention was to attempt something in the style of the Kunstromanen, with such modifications as might seem called for by the peculiar spirit of the British national tastes and literature. “It occurred to me, however,” says he, “that the very speculations and reveries which appeared to myself so delicious and significant, might be rejected by the rest of the world as fantastic and over-strained.” Mr. C. could never have persevered in a scheme so radically erroneous for more than a dozen pages, and neither the world nor himself will have cause to regret that he thought proper to abandon the Art Novels, and embody his fine powers and lofty design in so stirring and so efficient a series of paintings as may be found in the present volumes.

A single passage near the commencement of Conti, will afford to all those who feel and think, direct evidence of the extraordinary abilities of Mr. Chorley. Madame Zerlini is an Italian prima donna, who becoming enamored of Colonel Hardwycke, an Englishman, accompanies him to England as his mistress, and after living with him for twelve years, and bearing him a son, Julius, dies suddenly upon hearing of his intention to marry.

“A strange scene greeted his eyes (those of Julius) as he entered the spacious hall, which, as its windows fronted the east, was already beginning to be dusky with the shadows of twilight. On the lowest step of the stairs lay, in violent hysterics, one of the women servants — she was raving and weeping, half supported by two others, themselves trembling so as to be almost powerless.

“ ‘And here’s Master Julius, too!’ exclaimed one of the group which obstructed his passage,’and my master gone away-no one knows for flow long. Lord have mercy upon us! — what are we to do, I wonder?’

“ ‘ Don’t go up stairs!’ shrieked the other, leaving her charge, and endeavoring to stop him. ‘Don’t go up stairs — it is all over!’

“But the boy, whose mind was full of other matters and who, having wandered away in the morning, before the delirium became so violent, had no idea of his mother’s imminent danger, broke from them without catching the meaning of their words, and forced his way up stairs, towards the great drawing room, the folding doors of which were swinging open.

“He went in. Madame Zerlini was there — flung down upon a sofa, in an attitude which, in life, it would have been impossible for her to maintain for many moments. Her head was cast back over one of the pillows, so far, that her long hair, which had been imperfectly fastened, had disengaged itself by its own weight, and was now sweeping heavily downward, with a crushed wreath of passion flowers and myrtles half buried among it. Every thing about her told how fiercely the spirit had passed. Her robe of scarlet muslin was entirely torn off on one shoulder, and disclosed its exquisitely rounded proportions. Her glittering negligé was unclasped, and one end of it clenched firmly in the small left hand, which there was now hardly any possibility of unclosing. Her glazed eyes were wide open — her mouth set in an unnatural, yet fascinating smile; her cheek still flushed with a more delicate, yet intense red than belongs to health; and the excited boy, who was rushing hastily into the room, with the rapid inquiry, ‘Where is Father Vanezzi?’ stood as fixed on the threshhold, with sudden and conscious horror, as if he had been a thing of marble.”

It is not our intention to analyze, or even to give a compend of the Tale of Conti. Such are not the means by which any idea of its singular power can be afforded. We will content ourselves with saying that, in its prevailing tone, it bears no little resemblance to that purest, and most enthralling of fictions, the Bride of Lammermuir; and we have once before expressed our opinion of this, the master novel of Scott. It is not too much to say that no modern composition, and perhaps no composition whatever, with the single exception of Cervantes’ Destruction of Numantia, approaches so nearly to the proper character of the dramas of Æschylus, as the magic tale of which Ravenswood is the hero. We are not aware of being sustained by any authority in this opinion — yet we do not believe it the less intrinsically correct.

The other pieces in the volumes of Mr. Chorley are, Margaret Sterne, or The Organist’s Journey — an Essay on the Popular Love of Music — Rossini’s Otello — The Imaginative Instrumental Writers, Haydn, Beethoven, &c. — The Village Beauty’s Wedding — Handel’s Messiah and A few words upon National Music — all of which papers evince literary powers of a high order, an intimate acquaintance with the science of music, and a lofty and passionate devotion to its interests.

8

NOBLE DEEDS OF WOMAN.

Noble Deeds of Woman. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard.

These are two neat little volumes devoted to a theme of rich interest. From the Preface, or rather from the date and place of date of the Preface, we may form a guess that the work was originally published in London, and that the present edition is merely a reprint. There is nothing in the title-page or in the body of the book indicative of its derivation. But be the “Noble Deeds of Woman” English or American, we recommend them heartily to public attention.

The content-table is thus subdivided: Maternal Affection — Filial Affection — Sisterly Affection — Conjugal Affection — Humanity — Integrity — Benevolence — Fortitude. Under each of these separate heads are collected numerous anecdotes in the manner of the Brothers Percy. Of course it will be impossible to speak of them as a whole. Some are a little passés — for the most part they are piquant and well selected — a few are exceedingly entertaining and recherchés. From page 139, vol. i, we select one or two paragraphs which will be sure to find favor with all our readers. We rejoice in so excellent an opportunity of transferring to our columns a document well deserving preservation.

During the late war between the Turks and the Greeks, some American ladies, touched by the hardships and sufferings of the latter people, presented them with a ship containing money, and various articles of wearing apparel, wrought by their own hands; an offering which, under their forlorn situation, must have been highly acceptable to the unfortunate Greeks. The letter of Mrs. Sigourney, of Hartford, Connecticut, to the Ladies’ Greek Committee of that place, to accompany the contributions prepared for the Archipelago, was as follows: “United States of America, March 12, 1828. The ladies of Hartford, in Connecticut, to the ladies of Greece.

“Sisters and Friends, — From the years of childhood your native clime has been the theme of our admiration: together with our brothers and our husbands we early learned to love the country of Homer, Aristides, of Solon, and of Socrates. That enthusiasm which the glory of ancient Greece enkindled in our bosoms, has preserved a fervent friendship for her descendants. We have beheld with deep sympathy the horrors of Turkish domination, and the struggle so long and nobly sustained by them for existence and for liberty.

“The communications of Dr. Howe, since his return from your land, have made us more intimately acquainted with your personal sufferings. He has presented many of you to us in his vivid descriptions, as seeking refuge in caves, and, under the branches of olive trees, listening for the footsteps of the destroyer, and mourning over your dearest ones slain in battle.

“Sisters and friends, our hearts bleed for you. Deprived of your protectors by the fortune of war, and continually in fear of evils worse than death, our prayers are with you, in all your wanderings, your wants and your griefs. In this vessel (which may God send in safety to your shores) you will receive a portion of that bounty wherewith He hath blessed us. The poor among us have given according to their ability, and our little children have cheerfully aided, that some of you and your children might have bread to eat, and raiment to put on. Could you but behold the faces of our little ones brighten, and their eyes sparkle with joy, while they give up their holidays, that they might work with their needles for Greece; could you see those females who earn a subsistence by labor, gladly casting their mite into our treasury, and taking hours from their repose that an additional garment might be furnished for you; could you witness the active spirit that pervades all classes of our community, it would cheer for a moment the darkness and misery of your lot.

“We are inhabitants of a part of one of the smallest of the United States, and our donations must therefore, of necessity, be more limited than those from the larger and more wealthy cities; yet such as we have, we give in the name of our dear Saviour, with our blessings and our prayers.

“We know the value of sympathy — how it arms the heart to endure — how it plucks the sting from sorrow — therefore we have written these few lines to assure you, that in the remoter parts of our country, as well as in her high places, you are remembered with pity and with affection.

“Sisters and friends, we extend across the ocean our hands to you in the fellowship of Christ. We pray that His Cross and the banner of your land may rise together over the Crescent and the Minaret — that your sons may hail the freedom of ancient Greece restored, and build again the waste places which the oppressor hath trodden down; and that you, admitted once more to the felicities of home, may gather from past perils and adversities a brighter wreath for the kingdom of Heaven.

“LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY,

“Secretary of the Greek Committee of Hartford, Connecticut.”

9

BULWER’S RIENZI.

Rienzi, The Last of the Tribunes. By the Author of “Eugene Aram,” “Last Days of Pompeii,” &c. &c. Two Volumes in one. Philadelphia: Republished by E. L. Carey and A. Hart.

We have long learned to reverence the fine intellect of Bulwer. We take up any production of his pen with a positive certainty that, in reading it, the wildest passions of our nature, the most profound of our thoughts, the brightest visions of our fancy, and the most ennobling and lofty of our aspirations will, in due turn, be enkindled within us. We feel sure of rising from the perusal a wiser if not a better man. In no instance are we deceived. From the brief Tale — from the “Monos and Daimonos” of the author — to his most ponderous and labored novels — all is richly, and glowingly intellectual — all is energetic, or astute, or brilliant, or profound. There may be men now living who possess the power of Bulwer — but it is quite evident that very few have made that power so palpably manifest. Indeed we know of none. Viewing him as a novelist — point of view exceedingly unfavorable (if we hold to the common acceptation of” the novel”) for a proper contemplation of his genius — he is unsurpassed by any writer living or dead. Why should we hesitate to say this, feeling, as we do, thoroughly persuaded of its truth. Scott has excelled him in many points, and “The Bride of Lammormuir” is a better book than any individual work by the author of Pelham — “Ivanhoe” is, perhaps, equal to any. Descending to particulars, D’Israeli has a more brilliant, a more lofty, and a more delicate (we do not say a wilder) imagination. Lady Dacre has written Ellen Wareham, a more forcible tale of Passion. In some species of wit Theodore Hook rivals, and in broad humor our own Paulding surpasses him. The writer of “Godolphin” equals him in energy. Banim is a better sketcher of character. Hope is a richer colorist. Captain Trelawney is as original — Moore is as fanciful, and Horace Smith is as learned. But who is there uniting in one person the imagination, the passion, the humor, the energy, the knowledge of the heart, the artist-like eye, the originality, the fancy and the learning of Edward Lytton Bulwer? In a vivid wit — in profundity and a Gothic massiveness of thought — in style — in a calm certainty and definitiveness of purpose — in industry — and above all in the power of controlling and regulating by volition his illimitable faculties of mind, he is unequalled — he is unapproached.

As Rienzi is the last, so it is the best novel of Bulwer. In the Preface we are informed that the work was commenced two years ago at Rome, but abandoned upon the author’s removing to Naples, for the “Last days of Pompeii” — a subject requiring, more than Rienzi, the advantage of a personal residence within reach of the scenes described. The idea of the present work, how ever, was never dismissed from the writer’s mind, and soon after the publication of “Pompeii” he resumed his original undertaking. We are told that having had occasion to look into the original authorities whence are derived all the accounts of modern historians touching Rienzi, Mr. B. was induced to believe that no just picture of the Life or Times of that most remarkable man was at present in the hands of the people. Under this impression the novelist had at first meditated a work of History rather than of Fiction. We doubt, however, whether the spirit of the author’s intention is not better fulfilled as it is. He has adhered with scrupulous fidelity to all the main events in the public life of his hero; and by means of the relief afforded through the personages of pure romance which form the filling in of the picture, he has been enabled more fully to develop the private character of the noble Roman. The reader may indeed be startled at the vast difference between the Rienzi of Mr. Bulwer, and the Rienzi of Sismondi, of Gibbon, and of Miss Mitford. But by neither of the two latter are we disposed to swear — and of Sismondi’s impartiality we can at no moment be certain. Mr. B., moreover, very justly observes that as, in the work before us, all the acts are given from which is derived his interpretation of the principal agent, the public, having sufficient data for its own judgment, may fashion an opinion for itself.

Generally, the true chronology of Rienzi’s life is preserved. In regard to the story — or that chain of fictitious incident usually binding up together the constituent parts of a Romance — there is very little of it in the book. This follows necessarily from the character of the composition — which is essentially Epic rather than Dramatic. The author’s apology seems to us therefore supererogative when he says that a work which takes for its subject the crimes and errors of a nation and which ventures to seek the actual and the real in the highest stage of action or passion can rarely adopt with advantage the melo-dramatic effects produced by a vulgar mystery. In his pictures of the Roman populace, and in those of the Roman nobles of the fourteenth century — pictures full at all times of an enthralling interest — Mr. B. professes to have followed literally the descriptions left to us.

Miss Mitford’s Rienzi will of course be remembered in reading that of Bulwer. There is however but one point of coincidence — a love-intrigue between a relative of the hero and one of the party of the nobles. This, it will be recollected, forms the basis of the plot of Miss M. In the Rienzi of Bulwer, it is an Episode not affecting in any manner either the story itself, or the destinies of the Tribune.

It is by no means our intention to give an analysis of the volume before us. Every person who reads at all will read Rienzi, and indeed the book is already in the hands of many millions of people. Any thing, therefore, like our usual custom of a digest of the narrative would be superfluous. The principal characters who figure in the novel are Rienzi himself — his brother, whose slaughter by a noble at the commencement of the story, is the immediate cause of Rienzi’s change of temper and consequent exaltation — Adrian di Castello, a young noble of the family of Colonna but attached to the cause of the people — Martino di Porto the chief of the house of the Orsini — Stephen Colonna, the chief of the house of the Colonna — Walter de Montreal, a gentleman of Provence, a knight of St. John, and one of the formidable freebooters who at the head of large “Companies” invaded states and pillaged towns at the period of Rienzi’s Revolution — Pandulfo di Guido a student, whom, under the appellation of Pandolficcio di Guido, Gibbon styles “the most virtuous citizen of Rome” — Cecco del Vecchio a smith — Giles D’Albornoz of the royal race of Arragon — Petrarch the poet, and the friend of Rienzi — Angelo Villani — Irene, the sister of the Tribune and betrothed to Adrian di Castello — Nina, Rienzi’s wife — and Adeline, the mistress of Walter de Montreal.

But as was said before, we should err radically if we regard Rienzi altogether in the light of Romance. Undoubtedly as such — as a fiction, and coming under the title of a novel, it is a glorious, a wonderful conception, and not the less wonderfully and gloriously carried out. What else could we say of a book over which the mind so delightedly lingers in perusal? In its delineations of passion and character — in the fine blending and contrasting of its incidents — in the rich and brilliant tints of its feudal paintings — in a pervading air of chivalry, and grace, and sentiment — in all that can throw a charm over the pages of Romance, the last novel of Bulwer is equal, if not superior, to any of his former productions. Still we should look at the work in a different point of view. It is History. We hesitate not to say that it is History in its truest — in its only true, proper, and philosophical garb. Sismondi’s works — were not. There is no greater error than dignifying with the name of History a tissue of dates and details, though the dates be ordinarily correct, and the details indisputably true. Not even with the aid of acute comment will such a tissue satisfy our individual notions of History. To the effect let us look — to the impression rather than to the seal. And how very seldom is any definite impression left upon the mind of the historical reader! How few bear away — even from the pages of Gibbon — Rome and the Romans. Vastly different eras the genius of Niebuhr — than whom no man possessed a more discriminative understanding of the uses and the purposes of the pen of the historiographer. But we digress. Bearing in mind that “to contemplate” — ιστορειν* — should and must be allowed a more noble and a more expansive acceptation than has been usually given it, we shall often discover in Fiction the essential spirit and vitality of Historic Truth — while Truth itself, in many a dull and lumbering Archive, shall be found guilty of all the inefficiency of Fiction.

* History, from ιστορειν, to contemplate, seems, among the Greeks, to have embraced not only the knowledge of past events, but also Mythology, Esopian, and Milesian fables, Romance, Tragedy and Comedy. But our business is with things, not words. [This footnote appears at the bottom of page 198, column 1.]

 

Rienzi, then, is History. But there are other aspects in which it may be regarded with advantage. Let us survey it as a profound and lucid exposition of the morale of Government — of the Philosophies of Rule and Misrule — of the absolute incompatibility of Freedom and Ignorance — Tyranny in the few and Virtue in the many. Let us consider it as something akin to direct evidence that a people is not a mob, nor a mob a people, nor a mob’s idol the idol of a people — that in a nation’s self is the only security for a nation — and that it is absolutely necessary to model upon the character of the governed, the machinery, whether simple or complex, of the governmental legislation.

It is proper — we are persuaded — that Rienzi should be held up in these many different points of view, if we desire fully to appreciate its own merits and the talents of Mr. Bulwer. But regard it as we will, it is an extraordinary work — and one which leaves nothing farther to accomplish in its own particular region. It is vastly superior to the “Last Days of Pompeii” — more rich — more glowing, and more vigorous. With all and more than all the distinguishing merits of its noble predecessor, it has none of its chilliness — none of that platitude which (it would not be difficult to say why) is the inevitable result of every attempt at infusing warmth among the marble wildernesses, and vitality into the statue-like existences, of the too-distantly antique.

We will conclude our notice of Rienzi with an Extract. We choose it not with any view of commending it above others — for the book has many equally good and some better — but to give our readers — such of them as have not yet seen the novel, an opportunity of comparing the passage with some similar things in Boccaccio. We may as well say that in all which constitutes good writing the Englishman is infinitely the superior. What we select is Chapter V, of the sixth Book. Irene, the betrothed of the noble Roman Adrian di Castello, being in Florence during the time of the Great Plague, is sought by her lover at the peril of his life. Overpowered by a fever he meets with Irene — but his delirium prevents a recognition. She conveys him to one of the deserted mansions, and officiates as his nurse. Having thrown aside her mantle, under the impression that it retained the infection of the Pestilence, it is found and worn by another.

THE ERROR.

For three days, the three fatal days, did Adrian remain bereft of strength and sense. But he was not smitten by the scourge which his devoted and generous nurse had anticipated. It was a fierce and dangerous fever, brought on by the great fatigue, restlessness, and terrible agitation he had undergone.

No professional mediciner could be found to attend him but a good friar, better perhaps skilled in the healing art than many who claimed its monopoly, visited him daily. And in the long and frequent absences to which his other and numerous duties compelled the monk, there was one ever at hand to smooth the pillow, to wipe the brow, to listen to the moan, to watch the sleep. And even in that dismal office, when, in the frenzy of the sufferer, her name, coupled with terms of passionate endearment, broke from his lips, a thrill of strange pleasure crossed the heart of the betrothed, which she chid as if it were a crime. But even the most unearthly love is selfish in the rapture of being loved! Words cannot tell, heart cannot divine, the mingled emotions that broke over her when, in some of those incoherent ravings, she dimly understood that for her the city had been sought, the death dared, the danger incurred. And as then bending passionately to kiss that burning brow, her tears fell fast over the idol of her youth, the fountains from which they gushed were those, fathomless and countless, which a life could not weep away. Not an impulse of the human and the woman heart that was not stirred; the adoring gratitude, the meek wonder thus to be loved, while deeming it so simple a merit thus to love; — as if all sacrifice in her were a thing of course, — to her, a virtue nature could not paragon, worlds could not repay! And there he lay, the victim to his own fearless faith, helpless — dependent upon her — a thing between life and death, to thank, to serve — to be proud of, yet to protect — to compassionate, yet revere — the saver, to be saved! Never seemed one object to demand at once from a single heart so many and so profound emotions; the romantic enthusiasm of the girl! — the fond idolatry of the bride — the watchful providence of the mother over her child.

And strange to say, with all the excitement of that lonely watch, scarcely stirring from his side, taking food only that her strength might not fail her, — unable to close her eyes — though, from the same cause, she would fain have taken rest, when slumber fell upon her charge — with all such wear and tear of frame and heart, she — seemed wonderfully supported. And the holy man marvelled, in each visit, to see the cheek of the nurse still fresh, and her eye still bright. In her own superstition she thought and felt that Heaven gifted her with a preternatural power to be true to so sacred a charge: and in this fancy she did not wholly err; — for Heaven did gift her with that diviner power, when it planted in so soft a heart the enduring might and energy of Affection! The friar had visited the sick man, late on the third night, and administered to him a strong sedative “This night,” said he to Irene, “will be the crisis should he awaken, as I trust he may, with a returning consciousness, and a calm pulse, he will live — if not, young daughter, prepare for the worst. But should you note any turn in the disease, that may excite alarm, or require my attendance, this scroll will inform you where I am if God spare me still, at each hour of the night and morning.”

The monk retired and Irene resumed her watch.

The sleep of Adrian was at first broken and interrupted — his features, his exclamations, his gestures, all evinced great agony whether mental or bodily — it seemed, as perhaps it was, a fierce and doubtful struggle between life and death for the conquest of the sleeper. Patient, silent, breathing but by long-drawn gasps, Irene sate at the bed-head. The lamp was removed to the further end of the chamber, and its ray, shaded by the draperies, did not suffice to give to her gaze more than the outline of the countenance she watched. In that awful suspense, all the thoughts that hitherto had stirred her mind lay hushed and mute. She was only sensible to that unutterable fear which few of us have been happy enough not to know. That crushing weight under which we can scarcely breathe or move, the avalanche over us, freezing and suspended, which we cannot escape from, with which, every moment, we may be buried and overwhelmed. The whole destiny of life was in the chances of that single night! It was just as Adrian at last seemed to glide into a deeper and serener slumber, that the bells of the death-cart broke with their boding knell the palpable silence of the streets. Now hushed, now revived, as the cart stopped for its gloomy passengers, and coming nearer and nearer after every pause. At length she heard the heavy wheels stop under the very casement, and a voice deep and muffled calling aloud “Bring out the dead!” She rose, and with a noiseless step, passed to secure the door, when the dull lamp gleamed upon the dark and shrouded forms of the Becchini.

“You have not marked the door, nor set out the body,” said one gruffly, “but this is the third night! He is ready for us!”

“Hush, he sleeps — away, quick, it is not the Plague that seized him.”

“Not the Plague,” growled the Becchino in a disappointed tone, “I thought no other illness dared encroach upon the rights of the gavocciolo!”

“Go, here’s money, leave us.”

And the grisly carrier sullenly withdrew. The cart moved on, the bell renewed its summons, till slowly and faintly the dreadful larum died in the distance.

Shading the lamp with her hand, Irene stole to the lied — side, fearful that the sound and the intrusion had disturbed the slumberer. But his face was still locked, as in a vice, with that iron sleep. He stirred not — his breath scarcely passed his lips — she felt his pulse, as the wand lay on the coverlid — there was a slight heat — she was contented — removed the light, and, retiring to a corner of the room, placed the little cross suspended round her neck upon the table, and prayed — in her intense suffering — to Him who had known death, and who — Son of Heaven though he was, and Sovereign of the Seraphim — had also prayed, in his earthly travail, that the cup might pass away.

The morning broke, not, as in the north, slowly and through shadow, but with the sudden glory with which in those climates Day leaps upon earth-like a giant from his sleep. A sudden smile — a burnished glow — and night had vanished. Adrian still slept; not a muscle seemed to have stirred; the sleep was even heavier than before; the silence became a burthen upon the air. Now, in that exceeding torpor so like unto death, the solitary watcher became alarmed and terrified. Time passed — morning glided to noon — still not a sound nor motion. The sun was mid-way in heaven — the friar came not. And now again touching Adrian’s pulse, she felt no flutter — she gazed on him, appalled and con founded; surely nought living could be so still and pale. “Was it indeed sleep, might it not be — .” She turned away, sick and frozen; her tongue clove to her lips. Why did the father tarry — she would go to him — she would learn the worst — she could forbear no longer. She glanced over the scroll the monk had left her: “From sunrise, it said, “I shall be at the Convent of the Dominicans. Death has stricken many of the brethren.” The Convent was at some distance, but she knew the spot, and fear would wing her steps. She gave one wistful look at the sleeper, and rushed from the house. “I shall see thee again presently,” she murmured. Alas! what hope can calculate beyond the moment. And who shall claim the tenure of “The Again!

It was not many minutes after Irene had left the room, ere, with a long sigh, Adrian opened his eyes — an altered and another man; the fever was gone, the reviving pulse beat low indeed, but calm. His mind was once more master of his body, and, though weak and feeble, the danger was past, and life and intellect regained.

“I have slept long,” he muttered — ” and oh such dreams — and rethought I saw Irene, but could not speak to her; and while I attempted to grasp her, her face changed, her form dilated, and I was in the clutch of the foul grave-digger. It is late — the sun is high — I must be up and stirring. Irene is in Lombardy. No, no; that was a lie, a wicked lie — she is at Florence — I must renew my search.”

As this duty came to his remembrance, he rose from the bed — he was amazed at his own debility; at first he could not stand without support from the wall — by degrees, however, he so far regained the mastery of his limbs, as to walk, though with effort and pain. A ravening hunger preyed upon him; he found some scanty and light food in the chamber, which he devoured eagerly. And with scarce less eagerness laved his enfeebled form and haggard face with the water that stood at hand. He now felt refreshed and invigorated, and began to indue his garments, which he found thrown on a heap beside the bed. He gazed with surprise and a kind of self-compassion upon his emaciated hands and shrunken limbs, and began now to comprehend that he must have had some severe but unconscious illness. “Alone too,” thought he, “no one near to tend me! Nature my only nurse! But alas! alas! how long a time may thus have been wasted, and my adored Irene quick, quick, not a moment more will I lose.”

He soon found himself in the open street; the air revived him; and that morning, the first known for weeks, had sprung up the blessed breeze. He wandered on very slowly and feebly till he came to a broad square, from which, in the vista, might be seen one of the principal gates of Florence, and the fig-trees and olive-groves beyond. It was then that a pilgrim of tall stature approached towards him as from the gate; his hood was thrown back, and gave to view a countenance of great but sad command; a face, in whose high features, massive brow, and proud, unshrinking gaze, shaded by an expression of melancholy more stern than soft, Nature seemed to have written majesty, and Fate disaster. As in that silent and dreary place, these two, the only tenants of the street, now encountered, Adrian stopped abruptly, and said in a startled and doubting voice: “Do I dream still, or do I behold Rienzi?”

The pilgrim paused also, as he heard the name, and gazing long on the attenuated features of the young lord, said: “I am he that was Rienzi! and you, pale shadow, is it in this grave of Italy that I meet with the gay and high Colonna? Alas, young friend,” he added in a more relaxed and kindly voice, “ hath the Plague not spared the flower of the Roman nobles? Come, I, the cruel and the harsh tribune, I will be thy nurse: he who might have been my brother, shall yet claim from me a brother’s care.”

With these words, he wound his arm tenderly round Adrian; and the young noble, touched by his compassion, and agitated by the surprize, leant upon Rienzi’s breast in silence.

“Poor youth,” resumed the Tribune, for so since rather fallen than deposed he may yet be called, “I ever loved the young; (my brother died young!) and you more than most. What fatality brought thee hither?”

“Irene!” replied Adrian falteringly.

“Is it so, really? Art thou a Colonna, and yet prize the fallen? The same duty has brought me also to the City of Death. From the farthest south — over the mountains of the robber — through the fastnesses of my foes — through towns in which the herald proclaimed in my ear the price of my head — I have passed hither, on foot and alone, safe under the wings of the Almighty One. Young man, thou shouldst have left this task to one who bears a wizard’s life, and whom Heaven and Earth yet reserve for an appointed end!”

The Tribune said this in a deep and inward voice and in his raised eye and solemn brow might be seen how much his reverses had deepened his fanaticism, and added even to the sanguineness of his hopes.

“But,” asked Adrian, withdrawing gently from Rienzi’s arm, “thou knowest, then, where Irene is to be found, let us go together. Lose not a moment in this talk — time is of inestimable value, and a moment in this city is often but the border to eternity.”

“Right,” said Rienzi, awakening to his object. “But fear not; I have dreamt that I shall save her, the gem and darling of my house. Fear not — I have no fear.’

“Know you where to seek,” said Adrian, impatiently; “the convent holds far other guests.”

“Ha! so said my dream!”

“Talk not now of dreams,” said the lover, “but if you have no other guide, let us part at once in quest of her I will take yonder street, you take the opposite, and a sunset let us meet in the same spot.”

“Rash man,” said the Tribune, with great solemnity, “scoff not at the visions which Heaven makes a parable to its Chosen. Thou seekest counsel of thy human wisdom; I, less presumptuous, follow the hand of the mysterious Providence, moving even now before my gaze as a pillar of light, through the wilderness of dread. Ay, meet we here at sunset, and prove whose guide is the most unerring. If my dream tell me true, I shall see my sister living, ere the sun reach yonder hill, and by a church dedicated to St. Mark.”

The grave earnestness with which Rienzi spoke, impressed Adrian with a hope his reason would not acknowledge. He saw him depart with that proud and stately step to which his sweeping garments gave a yet more imposing dignity, and then passed up the street to the right hand. He had not got half way when he felt himself pulled by the mantle. He turned and saw the shapeless mask of a Becchino.

“I feared you were sped, and that another had cheat ed me of my office,” said the grave-digger, “seeing that you returned not to the old prince’s palace. You don’t know me from the rest of us, I see, but I am the one you told to seek — “

“Irene!”

“Yes, Irene di Gabrini, you promised ample reward.”

“You shall have it.”

“Follow me.”

The Becchino strode on, and soon arrived at a mansion. He knocked twice at the porter’s entrance; an old woman cautiously opened the door. “Fear not, good aunt,” said the grave-digger, “this is the young lord I spoke to thee of. Thou sayest thou hadst two ladies in the palace, who alone survived of all the lodgers, and their names were Bianca di Medici, and what was the other?”

“Irene di Gabrini, a Roman lady. But I told thee this was the fourth day they left the house, terrified by the deaths within it.”

“Thou didst so — and was there any thing remarkable in the dress of the Signora di Gabrini?”

“Yes, I have told thee, a blue mantle, such as I have rarely seen, wrought with silver.”

“Was the broidery that of stars, silver stars,” exclaimed Adrian, “with a sun in the centre.”

“It was!”

“Alas! alas! the arms of the Tribune’s family! I remember how I praised the mantle the first day she wore it — the day on which we were betrothed!” And the lover at once conjectured the secret sentiment which had induced Irene to retain so carefully a robe so en deared by association.

“You know no more of your lodgers?”

“Nothing.”

“And is this all you have learnt, knave?” cried Adrian.

“Patience. I must bring you from proof to proof, and link to link, in order to win my reward. Follow, Signor.”

The Becchino then passing through the several lanes and streets, arrived at another house of less magnificent size and architecture. Again he tapped thrice at the parlor door, and this time came forth a man withered, old, and palsied, whom death seemed to disdain to strike.

“Signor Astuccio,” said the Becchino,” pardon me; but I told thee I might trouble thee again. This is the gentleman who wants to know, what is often best un known — but that’s not my affair. Did a lady — young and beautiful — with dark hair, and of a slender form, enter this house, stricken with the first symptom of the “plague, three days since?”

“Ay, thou knowest that well enough — and thou knowest still better — that she has departed these two days; it was quick work with her, quicker than with u most!”

“Did she wear any thing remarkable?”

“Yes, troublesome man, a blue cloak with stars of silver.”

“Couldst thou guess aught of her previous circumstances?”

“No, save that she raved much about the nunnery of Santa Maria dei Pazza, and bravos, and sacrilege.”

“Are you satisfied, Signor?” asked the grave-digger, with an air of triumph, turning to Adrian. “But no, I will satisfy thee better, if thou hast courage. Wilt thou follow?”

“I comprehend thee; lead on. Courage! what is there on earth now to fear?”

Muttering to himself — “Ay, leave me alone. I have a head worth something; I ask no gentleman to go by my word; I will make his own eyes the judge of what my trouble is worth.” The grave-digger now led the way through one of the gates a little out of the city. And here under a shed sat six of his ghastly and illomened brethren, with spades and pick-axes at their feet. His guide now turned round to Adrian, whose face was set and resolute in despair.

“Fair Signor,” said he, with some touch of lingering compassion, “wouldst thou really convince thine own eyes and heart; the sight may appal, the contagion may destroy thee, — if, indeed, as it seems to me, Death has not already written ‘mine’ upon thee.”

“Raven of bode and woe,” answered Adrian, “seest thou not that all I shrink from is thy voice and aspect? Show me her I seek, living or dead.”

“I will show her to you, then,” said the Becchino, sullenly, “such as two nights since she was committed to my charge. Line and lineament may already be swept away, for the Plague hath a rapid besom; but I have left that upon her by which you will know the Becchino is no liar. Bring hither the torches, comrades, and lift the door. Never stare; it’s the gentleman’s whim, and he’ll pay it well.”

Turning to the right, while Adrian mechanically followed his conductors, — a spectacle whose dire philosophy crushes as with a wheel all the pride of mortal man — the spectacle of that vault in which earth hides all that on earth flourished, rejoiced, exulted — awaited his eye!

The Becchino lifted a ponderous grate, lowered their torches (scarcely needed, for through the aperture rush ed, with a hideous glare, the light of the burning sun,) and motioned to Adrian to advance. He stood upon the summit of the abyss and gazed below.

* * * * * *

* * * * * *

It was a large, deep and circular space, like the bottom of an exhausted well. In niches cut into the walls of earth around, lay, duly confined, those who had been the earliest victims of the plague, when the Becchino’s market was not yet glutted, and priest followed, and friend mourned, the dead. But on the floor below, there was the loathsome horror! Huddled and matted together, — some naked, some in shrouds already black and rotten, — lay the later guests, the unshriven and unblest! The torches, the sun, streamed broad and red over corruption in all its stages, from the pale blue tint and swollen shape, to the moistened undistinguishable mass, or the riddled bones, where yet clung, in strips and tatters, the black and mangled flesh. In many the face remained almost perfect, while the rest of the body was but bone; the long hair, the human face, surmounting the grisly skeleton. There, was the infant, still on the mother’s breast; there, was the lover stretched across the dainty limbs of his adored! The rats (for they clustered in numbers to that feast,) disturbed, not scared, sate up from their horrid meal as the light glimmered over them, and thousands of them lay round, stark and dead, poisoned by that they fed on! There, too, the wild satire of the grave-diggers had cast, though stripped of their gold and jewels, the emblems that spoke of departed rank — the broken wand of the Councillor; the General’s baton; the Priestly Mitre! The foul and livid exhalations gathered like flesh itself, fungous and putrid, upon the walls, and the ———

* * * * * *

* * * * * *

But who shall detail the ineffable and unimaginable horrors that reigned over the Palace where the Great King received the prisoners whom the sword of the Pestilence had subdued.

But through all that crowded court-crowded with beauty and with birth, with the strength of the young and the honors of the old, and the valor of the brave, and the wisdom of the learned, and the wit of the scorner, and the piety of the faithful — one only figure attracted Adrian’s eye. Apart from the rest, a late comer — the long locks streaming far and dark over arm and breast — lay a female, the face turned partially aside, the little seen not recognisable even by the mother of the dead, — but wrapped round in that fatal mantle, on which, though blackened and tarnished, was yet visible the starry heraldry assumed by those who claimed the name of the proud Tribune of Rome. Adrian saw no more — he fell back in the arms of the grave diggers: when he recovered, he was still without the gates of Florence — reclined upon a green mound — his guide stood beside him — holding his steed by the bridle as it grazed patiently on the neglected grass. The other brethren of the axe had resumed their seat under the shed.

“So you have revived; ah! 1 thought it was only the effluvia; few stand it as we do. And so, as your search is over, deeming you would not be quitting Florence if you have any sense left to you, I went for your good horse. I have fed him since your departure from the palace. Indeed I fancied he would be my perquisite, but there are plenty as good. Come, young Sir, mount. 1 feel a pity for you, I know not why, except that you are the only one I have met for weeks who seem to care for another more than for yourself. I hope you are satisfied now that I showed some brains, eh! in your service, and as I have kept my promise, you’ll keep yours.”

“Friend,” said Adrian, “here is gold enough to make thee rich; here too is a jewel that merchants will tell thee princes might vie to purchase. Thou seemest honest, despite thy calling, or thou mightest have robbed and murdered me long since. Do me one favor more.”

“By my poor mother’s soul, yes.”

“Take yon — yon clay from that fearful place. Inter it in some quiet and remote spot — apart — alone! You promise me — you swear it — it is well. And now help me on my horse.”

“Farewell Italy, and if I die not with this stroke, may I die as befits at once honor and despair — with trumpet and banner round me — in a well-fought field against a worthy foe! — save a knightly death nothing is left to live for!”

Here, in many incidents of extraordinary force — in the call of the Becchini on the third night — in the most agonizing circumstance of Irene’s abandonment of Adrian — in the bodily weakness and mental prostration of that young nobleman — in the desolation of the streets — in the meeting with Rienzi — in the colossal dignity of the words, “I am he that was Rienzi!” — in the affectionate attention of the fallen hero — and lastly, in the appalling horror of the vault and its details — may be seen and will be felt much, but not all, of the exceeding power of the “Last of the Tribunes.”

10

ROGET’S PHYSIOLOGY.

Animal and Vegetable Physiology, considered with reference to Natural Theology. By Peter Mark Roget, M.D. Secretary to the Royal Society, &c. &c. 2 vols. large octavo. Philadelphia: Republished by Carey, Lea, and Blanchard.

As we have no doubt that the great majority of our readers are acquainted with the circumstances attending the publication of the Bridgewater Treatises, we shall content ourselves with a very brief statement of those circumstances, by way of introduction to some few observations respecting this, the fifth of the Series.

Francis Henry, Earl of Bridgewater, who died some time in the beginning of the year 1829, directed certain Trustees mentioned in his Will, to invest eight thou sand pounds sterling in the public funds, which eight thousand pounds, with the interest accruing, was to be under the control of the President, for the time being, of the Royal Society of London. The money thus invested, was to be paid by the President to such person or persons as he, the President, should appoint to “write, print and publish, one thousand copies of a work, On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation; illustrating such work by all reasonable arguments, as, for instance, the variety and formation of God’s creatures, in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms; the effect of digestion, and thereby of conversion; the construction of the hand of man, and an infinite variety of other arguments; as also by discoveries ancient and modern, in arts, sciences, and the whole extent of literature.” The profits of the works were to be paid to the authors.

Davies Gilbert, Esq. being President of the Royal Society, advised with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, and “a nobleman immediately connected with the deceased,” in regard to the best mode of carrying into effect the design of the testator. It was finally resolved to divide the eight thousand pounds among eight gentlemen, who were to compose eight Treatises as follows. Thomas Chalmers, D. D. Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, was to write on “The Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as manifested in the Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man,” — John Kidd, M.D. F. R. S. Regius Professor of Medicine in the University of Oxford, on “The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man,” — William Whewell, M. A. F. R. S. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, on “Astronomy and General Physics considered with reference to Natural Theology,” — Sir Charles Bell, K. G. H. F. R. S. L. and E. on “The Hand: its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design,”-Peter Mark Roget, M. D. Fellow of and Secretary to the Royal Society, on “Animal and Vegetable Physiology,” — William Buckland, D. D. F. R. S. Professor of Geology in the University of Oxford, on “Geology and Mineralogy,” — William Kirby, M. A. F. R. S., on “The History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals” — and William Prout, M. D. F. R. S., on “Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion, considered with Reference to Natural Theology.”

However excellent and praiseworthy the intention of the Earl of Bridgewater, and however liberal the sum bequeathed, there can be little doubt that in the wording of his bequest, in the encumbering of the work so nobly proposed with a specification of the arguments to be employed in its execution, he has offered a very serious impediment to the fulfilment of the spirit of his design. It is perhaps, too, a matter of regret, that the introduction of the words “person or persons” in the paragraph touching the contemplated publication, should have left it optional with the President of the Royal Society to divide the eight thousand pounds among so many. We are sorry that the eight treatises were determined upon for several reasons. First, we do not believe any such arrangement to have been contemplated by the testator — his words “write, print, and publish one thousand copies of a work,” &c., inducing the opinion that one single book or treatise was intended: and we the rather hold to this belief, as it might easily be proved (we will speak farther of this hereafter,) that the whole argument set forth in the words of the Testament, and indeed the whole arguments of the whole eight Treatises now published, might have been readily discussed in one connected work of no greater bulk than the Physiology whose title forms the heading of this article. In the second place — the bequest of the eight thousand pounds, which en masse, is magnificent, and which might thus have operated as a sufficient inducement for some one competent person to devote a sufficiency of time to the steady and gradual completion of a noble and extraordinary work — this bequest, we say, is somewhat of a common-place affair when we regard it in its subdivision. Thirdly, one thousand pounds is but little for the labor necessary in a work like any one of the Treatises, and we are mistaken if the “profits of the sales” meet in any degree either the merits or the expectations of the respective authors. If they do, however, it is a matter altogether foreign to and apart from the liberality of the testator — a liberality whose proper development should have been scrupulously borne in view by the Trustee. Fourthly — the result of the combination of a number of intellects is seldom in any case — never in a case like the present — equal to the sum of the results of the same intellects laboring individually — the difference, generally, being in precise ratio with the number of the intellects engaged. It follows that each writer of a Bridgewater Treatise has been employed at a disadvantage. Lastly — an accurate examination of the nature and argument of each Treatise as allotted, will convince one a priori that the whole must, in any attempt at a full discussion, unavoidably run one into the other — this indeed in so very great a degree that each Treatise respectively would embody a vast quantity of matter, (handled in a style necessarily similar) to be found in each and all of the remaining seven Treatises. Here again is not only labor wasted by the writers — but, by the readers of the works, much time and trouble unprofitably thrown away. We say that this might have been proved a priori by an inspection of the arguments of the Treatises. It has been fully proved, a posteriori, by the fact: and this fact will go far in establishing what we asserted in our first reason for disapproving of the subdivision — to wit: that the whole argument of the whole eight Treatises might have been readily discussed in one connected work of no greater bulk than the Physiology now before us.

We cannot bring ourselves to think Dr. Roget’s book the best of the Bridgewater series, although we have heard it so called. Indeed in the very singular and too partial arrangement of the subjects, it would have been really a matter for wonder if Dr. Whewell had not written the best, and Sir Charles Bell the worst of the Treatises. The talents of Dr. Roget, however, are a sufficient guarantee that he has furnished no ordinary work. We are grieved to learn from the Preface that his progress has been greatly impeded by “long protracted anxieties and afflictions, and by the almost overwhelming pressure of domestic calamity.”

The chief difficulty of the Physiologist in handling a subject of so vast and almost interminable extent as the science to which his labors have been devoted — a science comprehending all the animal and vegetable beings in existence — has evidently been the difficulty of selection from an exuberance of materials. He has excluded from the Treatise — (it was necessary to exclude a great deal) — “all those particulars of the natural history both of animals and plants, and all description of those structures, of which the relation to final causes cannot be distinctly traced.” In a word, he has admitted such facts alone as afford palpable evidence of Almighty design. He has also abstained from entering into historical accounts of the progress of discovery — the present state of Physiological science being his only aim. The work is illustrated by nearly 500 wood cuts by Mr. Byfield, and references in the Index to passages in the volumes where terms of mere technical science have been explained. Appended are also a catalogue of the engravings, and a tabular view of the classification of animals adopted by Cuvier in his “Regne Animal “ with examples included. This Table is reprinted from that in the author’s “Introductory Lecture on Human and Comparative Physiology,” published in 1826. Such alterations, however, have been introduced as were requisite to make the Table correspond with Cuvier’s second edition.

11

CAREY’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

We have been delighted with the perusal of this book, and consider it one of the most instructive as well as one of the most amusing of autobiographies. The ruling feature of the work is candor-a candor of the rarest and noblest description. The author has not scrupled, or even hesitated, in a single instance to declare, without prevarication, the truth and the whole truth, however little redounding to his own credit. Nor in the details so frankly laid before the eye of the public, are the many — very many other excellent qualities less manifest, which have exalted the autobiographer to so enviable a station in the opinions of his fellow-citizens. In the whole private and public course of Mr. Mathew Carey, from that chivalrous Essay against Duelling, of which he has rendered so amusing an account in the commencement of his “Life,” to the more important yet equally Quixottic publication of the Olive Branch, the strictest scrutiny can detect nothing derogatory to the character of “the noblest work of God, an honest man.” His energy, his high-mindedness, and his indomitable perseverance, will force themselves upon the most casual observer. It is not surprising that, with qualifications so well adapted for success in life, Mr. C. should have been enabled finally to set at defiance the innumerable obstacles which obstructed his path. Indeed, although few men have labored under greater incidental disadvantages, very few have been better prepared to overcome them by both moral and physical constitution.

There is much in these Memoirs of Mr. Carey, which will bring to the mind of the reader Benjamin Franklin, his shrewdness, his difficulties, and his indefatigability. It is therefore almost unnecessary to add, that apart from its other merits, the Autobiography now before us has all the value so unequivocally due to good example. Its perusal cannot well fail of having a salutary effect upon those who struggle with adversity — of imparting a salutary strength to all who grow feeble under the pressure of the innumerable harassing cares which encumber and weigh so ponderously upon the “man of the world.” It may, indeed, if rightly considered, have a still more beneficial influence. It may incite to good deeds. It may induce a love of our fellow-men, in many bosoms hitherto self-hardened against the urgent demands of philanthropy. What so likely to bring about a kindly spirit in any human heart as the contemplation of a kindly spirit in others?

It is perhaps already known to many that Mr. Carey was born in Dublin in 1760. His hatred of oppression, which broke out, as early as his seventeenth year, in the “Essay against Duelling,” to which we have already alluded, and which, in 1779, rendered him obnoxious to the British Government, and forced him into a temporary exile, at length, in 1784, made it necessary for him to abandon his country altogether, and seek an asylum in America. He arrived in Philadelphia, greatly embarrassed in his pecuniary circumstances; and an incident by means of which he obtained relief, has proved of so deep interest to ourselves, that we cannot but think it may prove equally so to our readers. We copy the following from page 10 of the Autobiography.

Behold me now landed in Philadelphia, with about a dozen guineas in my pocket, without relation, or friend, and even without an acquaintance, except my compagnons de voyage, of whom very few were eligible associates.

While I was contemplating a removal into the country, where I could have boarded at about a dollar or a dollar and a quarter a week, intending to wait the arrival of my funds, a most extraordinary and unlooked — for circumstance occurred, which changed my purpose, gave a new direction to my views, and, in some degree, colored the course of my future life. It reflects great credit on the Marquess de La Fayette, who was then at Mount Vernon, to take leave of Gen. Washington. A young gentleman of the name of Wallace, a fellow passenger of mine, had brought letters of recommendation to the General; and having gone to his seat to deliver them, fell into the Marquess’s company, and in the course of conversation, the affairs of Ireland came on the tapis. The Marquess, who had, in the Philadelphia papers, seen an account of my adventures with the Parliament, and the persecution I had undergone, inquired of Wallace, what had become of the poor persecuted Dublin printer? He replied, “he came passenger with me, and is now in Philadelphia,” stating the boarding house where I had pitched my tent. On the arrival of the Marquess in this city, he sent me a billet, requesting to see me at his lodgings, whither I went. He received me with great kindness; condoled with me on the persecution I had undergone; inquired into my prospects; — and having told him that I proposed, on receipt of my funds, to set up a newspaper, he approved the idea, and promised to recommend me to his friends, Robert Morris, Thomas Fitzsimons, &c. &c. After half an hour’s conversation, we parted. Next morning, while I was at breakfast, a letter from him was handed me, which, to my very great surprise, contained four one hundred dollar notes of the Bank of North America. This was the more extraordinary and liberal, as not a word had passed between us on the subject of giving or receiving, borrowing or lending money. And a remarkable feature in the affair was, that the letter did not contain a word of reference to the enclosure.

In the course of the day I went to his lodgings, and found that he had, an hour or two previously, departed for Princeton, where Congress then sat, having been in some measure driven from Philadelphia, by a mutiny among the soldiers, who were clamorous for their pay, and had kept them in a state of siege for three hours in the State House. I wrote to him to New York, whither, 1 understood, he had gone from Princeton, expressive of my gratitude in the strongest terms, and received a very kind and friendly answer.

I cannot pass over this noble trait in the character of the illustrious Marquess, without urging it strongly on the overgrown wealthy of our country, as an example worthy of imitation. Here was a foreign nobleman, who had devoted years of the prime of his life, and greatly impaired his fortune, in the service of a country, separated by thousands of miles distance from his native land. After these mighty sacrifices, he meets, by an extraordinary accident, with a poor persecuted young man, destitute of friends and protectors — his heart expands towards him-lie freely gives him means of making a living without the most remote expectation of return, or of ever again seeing the object of his bounty. He withdraws from the city to avoid the expression of the gratitude of the beneficiary. I have more than once assumed, and I now repeat, that I doubt whether in the whole life of this (I had almost said) unparalleled man, there is to be found any thing, which, all the circumstances of the case considered, more highly elevates his character.*

* It is due to myself to state, that though this was in every sense of the word a gift, I regarded it as a loan, payable to the Marquess’s countrymen, according to the exalted sentiment of Dr. Franklin, who, when he presented a bill for ten pounds to the Rev. Mr. Nixon, an Irish Clergyman, (who was in distress in Paris, and wanted to migrate to America,) told him to pay the sum to any Americans whom he might find in distress, and thus “Let good offices go round.” I fully paid the debt to Frenchmen in distress-consigned one or two hogsheads of tobacco to the Marquess, (I believe it was two, but am uncertain,) and, moreover, when in, 1824, ho reached this country, with shattered fortunes, sent him to New York, a check for the full sum of four hundred dollars, which he retained till he reached Philadelphia, and was very reluctant to use, and finally consented only at my earnest instance.

The annexed little anecdote, which Mr. Carey justly considers an instance of the truest pathos, we must be pardoned for inserting as an appropriate pendant to the above.

To an importunate mendicant, whom I had sometimes relieved, I said one day, on giving him a trifle — “Do not let me see you again for a long time.” He conformed to the direction, and refrained from applying for about seven months. At length he ventured to bring and hand me a billet, of which 1 annex a copy verbatim et literatim.

“Sir — You desired me, last time you relieved me, not to call for a long time. It was a few days after Easter. To a wretch in distress ‘it is a very long time.’

Yours gratefully,

Nov. 14. R. W.”

At page 21, is an account of a publication, some of whose predictions were certainly imbued with a rare spirit of prophecy.

In October 1786, I commenced, in partnership with T. Siddons, Charles Cist, C. Talbot, W. Spotswood, and J. Trenchard, the Columbian Magazine. In the first number, I wrote four pieces, “The Life of General Greene,” “The Shipwreck, a Lamentable Story, Founded on Fact,” “A Philosophical Dream,” and “Hard Times, a Fragment.”

The Philosophical Dream was an anticipation of the state of the country in the year 1850, on the plan of Mercier’s celebrated work, “The Year 2500.” Some of the predictions, which at that period must have been regarded as farcical, have been wonderfully fulfilled, and others are likely to be realized previous to the arrival of the year 1850. I annex a few of them, which may serve to amuse the reader.

“Pittsburg, Jan. 15, 1850. The canal which is making from the river Ohio, to the Susquehanna, and thence to the Delaware, will be of immense advantage to the United States. If the same progress continues to be made hereafter as has been for some time past, it will be completed in less than two years.”

This was probably the first suggestion of the grand project of uniting the waters of the Delaware with those of the Ohio. It preceded by four years the project of the financier, Robert Morris, and his friends, to unite the Delaware with the Schuylkill and the Susquehanna, which was broached in 1790.

Pittsburg, Jan. 15. Delegates from the thirtieth new state, laid off a few months since by order of Congress, lately arrived at Columbia; and on producing their credentials, were received into the Federal Council.

Charleston, April 15. No less than 10,000 blacks have been transported from this state and Virginia, during the last two years, to Africa, where they have formed a settlement near the mouth of the river Goree. Very few blacks remain in this country now: and we sincerely hope that in a few years every vestige of the infamous traffic carried on by our ancestors in the human species, will be done away.

Richmond, April 30. By authentic advices from Kentucky, we are informed, — that ‘no less than 150 vessels have been built on the river Ohio, during the last year, and sent down that river and the Mississippi, laden with valuable produce, which has been carried to the West Indies, where the vessels and their cargoes have been disposed of to great advantage.’

“Boston, April 30. At length the canal across the Isthmus of Darien is completed. It is about sixty miles long. First-rate vessels of war can with ease sail through. Two vessels belonging to this port, two to Philadelphia, and one to New York, sailed through on the 20th of January last, bound for Canton, in China.

Columbia, May 1. Extract from the Journals of Congress. — ” Ordered that there be twenty professors in the University of Columbia, in this city; viz. of Divinity, of Church History, of Hebrew, of Greek, of Humanity, of Logic, of Moral Philosophy, of Natural Philosophy, of Mathematics, of Civil History, of Natural History, of Common and Civil Law, of the Law of Nature and Nations, of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, of Botany, of Materia Medica, of Physic, of Chemistry, of Anatomy, and of Midwifery.”

Philadelphia, Oct. 1, 1786.

There is much characteristic simplicity in Mr. Carey’s manner of telling the anecdote annexed.

In travelling from New York to Philadelphia, some years since, the slenderness of my knowledge of the French led me into a most egregious error, and excited the displeasure of a splendid French lady who was in the stage. She had lived a long time in New York, and yet spoke the English language very imperfectly. I told her she ought to speak English constantly, when she was in company with English or Americans: that this was the only way in which she could acquire it. “Monsieur,” says she, “ ‘j’ai honte,” I am ashamed; literally, “I have shame.” Reiterating her own word, I replied, “Madame, je croyais que les dames Francoises n’ avaient pas de honte “ — whereas I ought to have said, as I really meant, “mauvaise honte.” She was exasperated, and told me indignantly that the French ladies had as much “shame” (meaning modesty) as the Americans; and that there was more immorality practised in New York than in Marseilles, of which she was a native, or in Martinique, where she had long resided. It was in vain that I repeatedly pledged my honor that I had not meant to affront her; that I was led into error solely by repeating her own word. It was equally in vain that I appealed to some of the passengers who understood French, who testified that the mistake was perfectly natural, and was justified by the imperfection of my knowledge of her language. Nothing could pacify her, and after several vain attempts, I relinquished the hope of soothing her feelings, and she scarcely spoke another word during the rest of the journey.

 


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Notes:

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[S:0 - BRP5S, 1997] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (February 1836 (Texts))