Text: Various, Literary Reviews, Southern Literary Messenger, February 1835, 1:307-316


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ORIGINAL LITERARY NOTICES.

For the Southern Literary Messenger.

AN ORATION on the Life and Character of Gilbert Motier de Lafayette, delivered at the request of both Houses of the Congress of the United States, before them, in the House of Representatives at Washington, on the 31st of December, 1834, by John Quincy Adams, a Member of the House. Washington: Gales and Seaton. 1835. pp. 94.

EULOGY on La Fayette, delivered in Fanueil Hall, at the request of the Young Men of Boston, September 6, 1834; by Edward Everett. Boston: Nathan Hall & Allen & Ticknor. 1834. pp. 96.

“An Oration in praise of Hercules!!! And who ever thought of blaming Hercules!”

THE limits of the old world bounded the labors of Hercules. There nature had planted imperishable landmarks; and on these the gratitude of nations had inscribed, in imperishable characters, the name of their benefactor. What could the breath of man add to his glory?

But the pillars of Hercules have been passed. Beyond this ne plus ultra of the ancient world, the genius of Columbus opened a way to new regions, and extended the sway of his imperial master around the circuit of the earth. A new hero was wanting, whose labors, commensurate with this enlarged theatre, might compass the globe, and convey to the new world the benefits [page 308:] which his illustrious prototype had conferred on the old. Such a hero the bounty of Providence vouchsafed to man. But the spirit has returned to him who gave it; and it is in praise of his memory, that two distinguished orators have been required to task their acknowledged powers.

But “who ever thought of blaming La Fayette?” Who feels it necessary to utter his praise, even in this simple question? Who feels it necessary to answer it? Is not such silence the most expressive praise; the silence imposed by a common sentiment, which all are conscious is felt by all?

What can be expected from eulogy in such a case? What is there in the breath of praise; what is there in the pomp and circumstance of funeral pageantry, but a solemn mockery of the feelings that ” bleed deep in the silent breast?” We find a natural though sad pleasure in telling the world of the unobtrusive merit of some good man, who in voluntary privacy had passed and closed a virtuous and useful life. We may have a purpose in erecting monuments to the common great, which, perishable as they are, may somewhat prolong the memory of those to whom they are dedicated. The undying strains of bards may rescue from oblivion names which might have perished. There were heroes before Agamemnon; but they had no Homer to record their deeds, and died without their fame. But what need had Hercules of Homer? What need has La Fayette that one should tell his fellow of him? Why proclaim to the world what all the world already knows? Why tell posterity what posterity can never forget, until man has lost the records of the history of man?

We talk of monuments to Washington. Why is none erected? Is it for want of reverence for his memory? For want of love? For want of gratitude? These questions are reproachfully asked, from time to time, by novices in politics, who, in striving to signalize their patriotism, their enthusiasm, or their eloquence, do but signalize their ignorance of the human heart. Such appeals are always answered by silence. It is the answer dictated by the unsophisticated feelings of our countrymen. Where would you place the monument? In the capitol? Is not the capitol itself too small? But the capitol may be considered symbolically as imbodying the free institutions of the country which he made free. What then? Is not the thing itself worthier than the symbol? Is any monument to Washington so appropriate as that reared by his genius, his toils and his virtues, — HIS COUNTRY? And what matters it under what part of that vast tablet, every where emblazoned with his glory, his bones repose? The silence of the people is the appropriate, the only natural expression of those sentiments which all can feel, though all know not how to speak them. The unsuccessful orator who, having uttered his premeditated declamation, goes his way, reproaching their apathy, does but expose himself to scorn, as one who would substitute lip service for the homage of the heart. But even that scorn, (such is the influence of the all-pervading reverence for the the [[sic]] mighty dead,) even that is repressed, and finds no voice.

These remarks are made because they illustrate the difficulty of the task imposed on Messrs. Adams and Everett. It is a difficulty which grows out of the nature of the subject. We are not sure that any man, [column 2:] endued with all those qualities which enter into the composition of the perfect orator, would not instinctively shrink from such a task. Mr. Webster declined it; and it does not appear that it was sought by Mr. Clay, Mr. Leigh, or Mr. Preston.

Of one thing we are sure. Whoever attempted it must have failed. All such attempts must end in failure. The eulogies on Washington were all failures. Those on Adams and Jefferson were failures too, but from a different cause. When, on the 4th of July, 1826, the Declaration of Independence was celebrated in jubilee over the continent; while the political partizans of both those illustrious men, whose rivalship had so long divided the people, were hyming their praises, it pleased him whose instruments they had been, to touch them with his finger, and to show that they were dust. Never was any people so suddenly and so awfully reminded that it is God alone who doeth his will on earth and in the armies of heaven; and never did any people use so strenuous an effort to shake off a salutary impression. They refused to lay to heart the admonition of Providence. “The Lord of Hosts had called to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth; and behold joy and gladness; slaying oxen, and killing sheep; eating flesh, and drinking wine.” The worship of the living was closed by the apotheosis of the dead: the best talents in the land were engaged in the solemn mockery: and the very ministers of the living God were seen officiating in the profane ceremonial. What could come of all this; what did come of it, but failure? We have no fear of offending any one of the distinguished men who tasked his powers for that occasion, by saying that his effort was a failure. Each one must have felt that it was so; and each one will readily accept the excuse furnished by the unfitness of the ceremony to the occasion. How many of those who witnessed it, went home with hearts oppressed by a consciousness of something wrong? And as the evils of man — worship have advanced, (as they are now advancing,) to their fatal con summation, how many, recalling the circumstances of that ceremonial, have heard a voice as that of Jehovah, whispering, “Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you, until you die?”

We trust that the temper of these remarks will not be misapprehended. They cannot be made in the spirit of party, for the subjects of them were the very antipodes of conflicting parties. Whatever feelings such thoughts awaken in our minds, the thoughts themselves are suggested by considerations purely critical. We have but attempted to imbody [[embody]] and apply two maxims that every master of the art of eloquence will own as true. First; that, in cases calling for the highest reach of that art, every attempt that falls short of it is felt to be a failure. Second; that under circumstances that offend the better feelings of the heart, the highest reach of eloquence is unattainable by human powers.

It may be readily believed that we have felt reluctant to sit in judgment on the works of men so renowned as Messrs. Adams and Everett. A decided condemnation would seem to many the height of presumption. Even to ourselves it has so much of this appearance, that we are desirous to have it in our power to charge the main defects of their performances rather on the occasion than on themselves. [page 309:]

Mr. Everett has certainly made the most of it. His delineation of the character of La Fayette is highly graphic; the incidents of his life are judiciously and tastefully selected, and told with spirit, simplicity and distinctness; and the comparative summary of his claims to the grateful admiration of the world, commands the acquiescence of the reader. The whole is interspersed with just thoughts and natural sentiments, which do honor to the head and heart of the speaker.

But a higher praise is due to Mr. Everett. The history of La Fayette is the history of man, in the most portentous and eventful era of his existence. Of the events of that era Mr. Everett so speaks as to show that he has understood and rightly applied the lesson which they teach to the world. He does not profess to see any thing” cheering and refreshing” in the progress or the results of the French revolution. How should he? How should a man of “untaught feelings, with a heart of flesh and blood beating in his bosom,” find any thing cheering in theoretical good, purchased at such an expense of actual crime and suffering? How should a friend of liberty look, but with despondency, on the result of a series of horrors unutterable and inconceivable, only serving to confirm the sad truth “that men of intemperate minds cannot be free?” Those who could “hope against hope,” shut their eyes as long as possible, and tried to forget that rational liberty is but another name for self-government. But they have been forced to see that some appropriate training is necessary to qualify man for freedom. In what that training is to consist, it is not easy to say. Its application depends on him who rules the world. When he shall please so to order events as to qualify men by the discipline of life, for self-government, they will then be capable of freedom, and not till then. A corollary from this important truth comes nearer home to ourselves. When men, thus qualified for freedom and thus made free, become wiser than their teachers, and impatient to unlearn the lessons taught in this school of discipline, there is danger that they may imperceptibly lose those personal qualities on which their fitness for the function of self-government depends. The personal qualities of a limited monarch, who is but the minister of the actual sovereignty, may be of small consequence; but on the personal qualities of a free people, the efficient sovereign, de facto as well as de jure, every thing depends. If these be lost in experiments on the theory of government, all is lost.

We should extend our remarks too far, if we indulged in all the reflections on this subject suggested by these two orations. By that of Mr. Adams they are provoked by repeated allusions to it, which give to his performance something of the character of a dissertation (not very philosophical) on the philosophy of government. He doubtless felt the difficulties of his situation, not the less sensibly, because he had obviously sought it. The whole proceeding seems to have been planned by himself, but he was probably not aware how hard a task he had undertaken, until he set about its performance. He seems throughout to have been at cross-purposes with himself; never decided whether to play the statesman, the philosopher, or the orator; and not always certain which of his two sets of political opinions had the ascendant for the day. His digression at page four, in which he wanders away into a statement of the titles of Louis XV and George II, is [column 2:] certainly one of the strangest aberrations from the subject that we have ever seen. It is hard to imagine his motive for it, unless he was seeking an opportunity to record his testimony against hereditary monarchy. Why he should have felt this necessary, he best knows. But his observations on this point, after all, are superficial to very childishness; and we can hardly help questioning his sincerity when we see him affecting to be wholly unconscious of the true grounds on which the statesmen of the old world place their preference of the hereditary to the elective principle. Yet of these Mr. Adams could not have been ignorant, and had no right to suppose his hearers ignorant. What right had he then, to speak over their heads, to the uninitiated multitude, who have not yet learned that, in the judgment of the enlightened friends of liberty, it is not desirable that the throne should be filled by a man of high personal endowments? Such are the men to whom dangerous powers are conceded. Such are the men who seize prerogatives never claimed before, and transmit them to their successors. Even if the statesmen of England had been silent on the subject, could we have supposed them so unobservant of the history of their own country, as not to have remarked that all concessions in favor of liberty of which their annals bear record, have been obtained from weak princes, from those who held by doubtful titles, or from minors? Do they not know that the odious tyranny, the folly, the weakness, and the cowardice of John gave birth to magna charta [[carta]]? Had not this been extorted from him, could it have been wrung from the stern grasp of the first or third Edward? During the reign of this last, where slumbered that fierce spirit which broke out on the accession of the minor Richard II, and slunk away rebuked, the moment he showed that, though a boy in years, he was a man in spirit? Can we identify the abject slaves who crouched to the will of the bold and resolute Elizabeth, with the contumacious subjects of her silly and imbecile Scotch successor? Could the spirit which tumbled his son from the throne, have prepared itself for explosion during her vigilant and energetic reign? If little was gained at the restoration, it was because little was asked. The people had lost a sense of the value of liberty, from experience of the abuses perpetrated in her name. They only asked to be freed from a sour and gloomy tyranny which invaded the privacy, and marred the comforts of the domestic circle. They ask for nothing but leave to enjoy life. Charles opposed irreligion to fanaticism, and they wished no more.

The revolution found them in a different mood. Appetite was gorged, mirth had become stale, animal passion had spent its force, and men found themselves once more requiring something to engage the nobler faculties of the heart and mind.

Do we ask why, in this temper, they gained so little from William? Look at the character of the man, and you have your answer. Able, energetic, sagacious, firm and cold, he had power, even in the act of mounting the throne, to arrest the progress of reform in mid career.

The weak princes of the house of Brunswick enjoyed an advantage of a different sort, which supplied the place of talent to them. By contrast with the odious pretender of the house of Stuart they were popular; [page 310:] and this counter — prop upheld the power of the crown until that race became virtually extinct. So sensible of this was the purest, the ablest, and the most resolved of the friends of liberty in the reign of George II, (we speak of Mr. Shippen) — so sensible was he of the advantage which freedom has in contending with a weak prince, and an unpopular name, that he had serious thoughts of bringing in the pretender with that view.

But the house of Stuart passed off the stage; the bugbear of a popish succession was removed; the cant of the “great and glorious revolution” went out of fashion; and people instead of looking back to that, took leave to look forward to something better. Our own revolution was the first fruit of this change in public sentiment. That which was preparing in England was arrested by the horrors of the premature explosion in France. But that interruption of its progress was but temporary, and it is now finding its consummation under the reign of one who, having passed from first to second childhood, without ever being a man, seems fitted by Providence for the place to which the order of succession called, and in which the order of events required him.

Have these things been lost on Mr. Adams himself? And has not his own experience taught him the advantage which a questionable title, or the folly of a ruler may give his subjects? Has he yet to learn that vanity and obvious weakness may provoke a clamor for reforms, which the man of spirit and address, who is brought in to effectuate them, may laugh at? Does he believe that the revolution so “cheering and refreshing” to his spirit, would have taken place, had Henri IV occupied the throne of Louis XVI? Does he think the reform now going on in England would have commenced under Elizabeth or her grandfather Henry VII? Does he believe that the people of the United States would, at this moment, address themselves to the reform of their representation, however unequal, however corrupt, if its corruption only produced subserviency to the will of Andrew Jackson? In short is he to learn, at this time of day, that the power which the exigencies of public affairs require to be lodged in the hands of the Executive of a great and ambitious nation, implies a faculty of usurpation? That such power, passing from generation to generation successively, into the hands of men of mature age, of bold spirits and commanding minds, will increase and multiply itself without end, is certain. That such power will be deemed necessary, so long as men give themselves up to dreams of glory and the lust of conquest, is equally sure.

Why did our fathers hope that the experiment of free government might succeed with us, though it had failed every where else? Was it not because our local situation removed us far from war, and the entanglements of foreign politics? Let any infatuation tempt us to throw away this advantage, and seek the evil that seeks not us, and it is not difficult to foresee the consequence. We shall soon find ourselves, like the friends of freedom in England, reduced to inquire, “what hope remains to us, but to regulate the succession on a principle which may afford the people a chance of wresting from a weak prince, the advantages gained by the ability and address of his predecessors?” The solution of this problem was found in the device of “blending together the principle of hereditary succession [column 2:] with that of reformed protestant christianity,” at which Mr. Adams sneers so bitterly. Its inventors were the truest friends to freedom in the world. They were our masters in the science of government. Relieved from the necessity which drove them to this device, we imbodied in our institutions the lessons we had learned from them. Should our folly throw away our peculiar advantages, and our vices render some contrivance of the sort necessary to us as to them, may we be equally fortunate in applying the maxims learned from them! If monarchy become necessary, (and they who most feel the necessity often most deeply lament it,) may we hit on some contrivance as well adapted to give the people the comfortable sense of security, while the ruler is made to feel that he holds his power only by their will. That in every stage of our political existence we may choose wisely, let us shut our ears to those who would disguise their well known predilections for strong government, by ad captandum sneers at any of its particular modes. What end can such sneers answer at this moment, but to confirm our people in the fatal error of supposing liberty secure because the forms of the constitution are preserved? because our monarch is elective, not hereditary; a man and not a child?

Of a piece with this is the declaration (at page forty-three) that, in the contemplation of the great results of the French revolution, Mr. Adams finds something “cheering and refreshing.” It is well known that while the friends of freedom were animated with a hope, that the dark hour of its commencement was but the forerunner of a day of light and liberty and happiness, Mr. Adams belonged to a school which taught that this bright hope was but illusory; that all the horrors of the reign of terror were gratuitous; and that the French people would, in the end, return as near as might be, to the condition from which they were struggling to escape. These bodings have been fulfilled. The younger branch of the house of Capet has taken the place of the elder. The unteachable folly of those who could neither learn nor forget, has been superseded by the address, the subtlety, the energy and spirit of Louis Philippe. By these qualities, and by what is instar omnium, his private wealth, he has been able to stay the tempest of revolution in its wildest rage, and to establish himself firmly on the throne. The condemnation pronounced by Mr. Adams’s school of politics, in the earlier stages of the revolution, has been justified by the event, and he finds something “quite refreshing” in the result!

We have perhaps extended these observations too far, and left ourselves but little room to remark on the style of these compositions. There is certainly much to praise in Mr. Everett’s, and we would gladly adorn our pages with copious extracts from it; but it is in every body’s hands, and will be read by thousands whom our humble pages will never reach.

It has been well said “that truth is sometimes more incredible than fiction.” The history of La Fayette is a chapter in the romance of real life, more strange and interesting than any tale that imagination has ever suggested. The succinct sketch of that history, which forms the body of Mr. Everett’s eulogy, must be read with great interest even by those already familiar with the facts. It is quite felicitously hit off. We have already intimated the opinion, that the nature [page 311:] of the occasion fixed the doom of failure on the attempts of both gentlemen, however executed. We wish we could say that no part of the fault attached to the execution itself. The circumstances justified the expectation that each oration should be perfect in its kind. Men selected from among millions for the occasion, and having months for preparation, were bound to furnish specimens of composition without blemish. We are sorry to point out faults which would merit censure in works of less pretension. In Mr. Everett’s eulogy we mark a few.

Does he mean, at page six, to intimate that the “bold ness of truth” was ONLY “not WHOLLY uncongenial” to the character of La Fayette? We take this as a specimen of the faults into which men blunder, who adopt a sort of diluted style, in which affirmative propositions are stated by disaffirming the negation of the affirmative. This may be very polite and genteel. It betokens an amiable aversion to say any thing offensive; an eager ness to qualify and explain; and sometimes even a readiness to take back any thing that may displease. It may be called the apologetic or bowing style; for whenever we meet with it, we presently have before us the image of the speaker, ruffled, powdered and per fumed, and accompanying every sentence with the appropriate gesture of a deferential bow. This is Mr. Everett’s besetting fault. But for this he might have been an orator.

At pages twelve and thirteen, we were inextricably puzzled (to say nothing of the ungraceful introduction of the egomet ipse,) by the following sentence.

“Yes, fellow — citizens, that I may repeat an exclamation, uttered ten years ago by him who has now the honor to address you, in the presence of an immense multitude, who welcomed’ the nation’s guest’ to the academic shades of Harvard, and by them received with acclamations of approval and tears of gratitude; when he was told by our commissioners, ‘that they did not possess the means or the credit of procuring [credit of procuring!] a single vessel in all the ports of France, then, exclaimed the gallant and generous youth, ‘I will provide — my own.’ ”

The reader may unriddle this. We cannot. If the thing were possible, the most plausible guess would be, that the words “I will provide my own,” were the words of Mr. Everett. It is the only exclamation we hear of.

We have not often had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Everett speak, and cannot pronounce whether he possesses that magic power of voice, and countenance, and attitude and gesture, which should have been displayed in the utterance of his closing paragraph. Without these, it is a school — boy declamation. We rather fear that Mr. Everett is not so endowed. Such was our im pression on hearing him, and this is confirmed by the fact, that his power over the house of which he has long been a member, is no way commensurate to his acknowledged talents. le subjoin the paragraph, add ing this advice — ” that no man attempt to utter such a passage who is not very sure of his own powers.” He who can do it as it should be done, may rival Cooke in Richard, or Cooper in the ghost — scene in Hamlet. This ‘is the paragraph.

“You have now assembled within these renowned walls, to perform the last duties of respect and love, on [column 2:] the birth — day of your benefactor, beneath that roof which has resounded of old with the master voices of American renown. The spirit of the departed is in high communion [does this mean high mass?] with the spirit of the place; — the temple worthy of the new name, which we now behold inscribed on its walls. Listen, Americans, to the lesson, which seems borne to us on the very air we breathe, while we perform these dutiful rites. Ye winds, that wafted the pilgrims to the land of promise, fan in their children’s hearts, the love of freedom; — blood which our fathers shed, cry from the ground; echoing arches of this renowned hall, whisper back the voices of other days; — glorious Washington, break the long silence of that votive canvass; — speak, speak, marble lips, teach us THE LOVE OF LIBERTY PROTECTED BY LAW.”*

At pages six and seven, we have a passage, which besides savoring of transcendentalism, smacks of the school of Garrison and Tappan. We pass it by, because it is not with a mere occasional volunteer like Mr. Everett that we would discuss the subject there hinted at. Indeed we would touch him with a lenient hand, for his eulogy has great merit, and has deepened the kindly impression which his amiable character and classic talent had already made on us. The blemishes we have noted are but

“Stains upon a vestal’s robe,

The worse for what they soil.”

We recommend it to the perusal of all (if any there be) who have not read it.

We had noted for animadversion some of the most faulty passages of Mr. Adams’s oration, but do not find them so much at variance with the general character of the work as to merit particular censure. When Secretary of State to a President, who, while minister to England, informed his government, in an official despatch, that he “had enjoyed very bad health,” he acquired by contrast the reputation of a fine writer. He was the cheval de battaille of the administration. Afterwards, when the head of a dominant party, it pleased him to lay claim to the first place among the writers of the day, and his followers of course accorded it to him. A fatal claim, most fatally acknowledged! Had he known no more of writing than his successor, he might have been President now. As it was, he perilled the enjoyment of power, for the sake of vaunting it, in well turned sentences about “light — houses in the skies.” His vanity tore away the veil under which federalism had lain securely hid for years. Had he, like his successor, unmasked a battery in doing so, he might have [page 312:] done it safely. This may explain some of our former remarks, when classing him among those whose weakness afforded the people an opportunity (fatally abused) of retrieving their rights.

Mr. Adams’s style is any thing but felicitous. He has not the art of gliding gracefully on from topic to topic. His digressions are abrupt, untimely and rectangular; his allusions are generally of the ebony and topaz school; his blows are never inflicted with that dexterous sleight which engages our admiration too much to permit sympathy with the sufferer. They never take effect but when the victim is bound hand and foot, or on some imbecile wretch, like Jonathan Russel, who can neither parry nor elude them. His oratory reminds us of the fa sol la of a country singing school, differing as much from the easy flow of spontaneous eloquence, as the mellifluous stream of real music from that harsh jangling in which each note claims its separate syllable.

To those who may be startled at this account of Mr. Adams’s style, we recommend the perusal of his oration as an exercise. We venture to predict that by the time the sixty thousand copies ordered by Congress have found as many readers, our judgment will be confirmed by at least fifty — nine thousand of them. But that will never be.

To Mr. Everett’s address are appended a requiem and a hymn, of which we will say, but more emphatically, what we said of the orations. They should have great excellence and no fault. Each should be a gem of the first water, and without flaw. The first consists of six stanzas, of which two or three are very fine. But what shall we say to this:

“One pulse is echoing there.”

An echoing pulse!

“One pulse is echoing there!

The far voiced clarion and the trump are still,

And man’s crushed spirit to the changeless will

Bows in rebuke and prayer!”

Whom or what does man rebuke? If the writer meant “under rebuke,” he should have said so. Again —

“Gather about his pall,

And let the sacred memory of years

That he made glorious, call back your tears,

Or LIGHT them as they fall!

If the writer had an idea connected with the last line it is incomprehensible to us.

The hymn of four short stanzas being destitute of any original thought, has not merit enough to be chargeable with any particular fault. There may be something new, though common — place, in the last stanza. Astronomers tell us that Venus and Mercury are morning and evening star by turns. Our poet, if we can understand his orrery, has a mind to make the name of La Fayette both morning and evening star at once.

———

For the Southern Literary Messenger.

THE BEAUTIES of the Court of Charles the Second; a series of Memoirs, Biographical and Critical, illustrating the Diaries of Pepys, Evelyn, Clarendon, and other contemporary writers. By Mrs. Jameson, authoress of “The Loves of the Poets,” “Lives of Female Sovereigns,” “Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad,” &c. &c. Philadelphia: E. L. Cary & A. Hart. pp. 304. 8vo.

FEW portions of history are more replete with characters illustrating the good and evil of human nature, in both extremes, than that of the reign and court of [column 2:] Charles I. The stern dominion of a sour and superstitious bigotry had just passed away; the disgusting hypocrisy which had disguised all vice under the mask of religion and virtue had been exposed; and the disclosure had awakened a doubt, even in the minds of the wise and good, whether unbounded license was not more tolerable than the enormities practised in those hiding — places of crime, into which the severe discipline of the Protectorate had driven it. The public eye might impose some restraint; but when the indulgence of harmless mirth and the enjoyment of innocent amusement were unsafe, except in private, who could tell what unseen abominations might be perpetrated in recesses which the world was not permitted to look into.

Nothing is more true, than that the appetite for pleasure grows by indulgence, and that, pushed to the verge of what is lawful, it is too apt to pass into criminal excess. But innocent pleasures men will have. What security that they will be content with these? None but the influence of public sentiment, constraining them to respect the almost viewless boundary that divides the extreme of lawful indulgence from the beginnings of licentiousness. The exercise of this influence is a duty society owes to itself; but to exert it, we must bear to look upon the scenes where its authority should be felt. If we fastidiously turn away, and refuse to the young, the gay, the sanguine and the thoughtless, the benefit of that aggregate judgment concerning right and wrong, which we distinguish by the name of “public sentiment,” we incur more risk of becoming “partakers of the sins of others,” than we should by looking on with that complacent smile of benevolent sympathy, which its objects would not willingly exchange for the frown of merited disapprobation. In this smile and this frown are the sanctions for that “regulated indulgence” which a wise and good man has pronounced to be “the best security against excess.”

When Charles on his accession avowed a disposition to claim for himself, and to allow to others the unbounded license which his foreign habits had rendered necessary to him, it was of course, that multitudes should eagerly avail themselves of the privilege. It was not wonderful that even the virtuous should acquiesce in this new scheme of things, instead of endeavoring to apply correctives which they had just seen so much abused.

The consequence was, that during that most flagitious reign, the mind was left to put forth all its wild unpruned luxuriance. Human nature displayed itself in all the forms of all of its varieties, each in the most e:treme dimensions. Vice walked abroad in naked deformity; and orgies, such as the sun had never before been permitted to look on, were perpetrated in the face of day.

But if the “poor virtues of the age lacked countenance,” how conspicuous was that virtue, which still resolutely resisted all the allurements with which fashion invests pleasure, and in the midst of a corrupt generation, preserved its purity inviolate. God has never left himself without a witness. There were, even in in that day, men devoted to all their duties to him, to their fellows, and to themselves, and their light did but shine the brighter for the darkness that surrounded it. The pacific policy of a monarch, who is now known to have been the pensioner of the natural enemy of his [page 313:] country, afforded few opportunities to acquire fame in the service of the crown. It was chiefly in private life that virtue had to seek that honorable distinction which it naturally covets. That distinction the character of the age rendered more conspicuous and honorable, and it was therefore the more eagerly sought.

We are not particularly anxious about this theory, but it helps us to understand, not only how it was that the pure and muddy waters mingled without blending, but how it happened that the unexampled excellence of an Ormond and an Ossory were found side by side with the unheard of depravity of a Buckingham and a Rochester.

Of the private as well as public history of the courtiers of Charles II, we have the most authentic records, and they are full of amusement and instruction. It has been lamented that they have been, for the most part, transmitted to us through channels which must soil the reader’s mind, and endanger an injury more than commensurate to the value of the information. We have reason to rejoice therefore, that we are at length per mitted to receive them through the refining filter of a female mind, from which they are transmitted pure and “bright as diamond spark.”

What lover ever read the history of Grammont without lamenting that it was impossible to impart any portion of his delight to his mistress. The difficulty is now removed; and Mrs. Jameson deserves the thanks of her sex, for having rendered accessible to them, not only a theme of most amusing gossip, but one of the most instructive and edifying chapters in the history of man. We especially recommend this work to their perusal. The witty Hamilton and the gay Grammont will still perhaps be most read by the men, but even they will derive advantage from looking, through the chaste eyes of a virtuous female, on the same scenes and the same characters exhibited by this profligate pair.

Of the manner in which this work is executed, no thing need be said to those familiar with the writings of Mrs. Jameson. It is every way worthy of her well merited reputation. We extract a few passages, which may serve as examples of the work. But they are not selected for any particular merit, but merely to illustrate the foregoing remarks. They are most attractive pictures of virtues, the exact opposite of the vices which characterized the age; and we are not sure that they do not as widely differ from the average standard of the human character.

What can be more captivating than this account of La belle Hamilton.

“She was then just arrived at that age when the budding girl expands into the woman: her figure was tall, rather full, but elegantly formed; and, to borrow Lord Herbert’s beautiful expression,’ varied itself into every grace that can belong either to rest or motion.’ She had the finest neck and the loveliest hand and arm in the world: her forehead was fair and open; her hair dark and luxuriant, always arranged with the most exquisite taste, but with an air of natural and picturesque simplicity, which meaner beauties in vain essayed to copy; her complexion, at a time when the use of paint was universal, owed nothing to art; her eyes were not large, but sparkling and full of expression; her mouth, though not a little haughtiness is implied in the curve of the under lip, was charming, and the contour of her face perfect. [column 2:]

“The soul which heaven had lodged in this fair per son was worthy of its shrine. In those days, the very golden age of folly and affectation, the beauties, by prescriptive right, might be divided into two factions, whom I shall call the langinishers and the sparklers; the languishers were those who, being dull by nature, or at least not bright, affected an extreme softness lounged and lolled — simpered and sighed — lisped or drawled out their words — half shut their eyes — and moved as if they were not born to carry their own weight.’ The sparklers were those who, upon the strength of bright eyes and some natural vivacity and impertinence, set up for female wits: in conversation they attempted to dazzle by such sallies as would now be scarcely tolerated from the most abandoned of their sex; they were gay, airy, fluttering, fantastical, and talkative — they dealt in bon mots and repartees — they threw their glances right and left, a tort et a travers — and piqued themselves upon taking hearts by a coup-de-main. Miss Hamilton belonged to neither of these classes: though lively by nature, she had felt perhaps the necessity of maintaining a reserve of manner which should keep presumptuous fops at a distance. She wore her feminine dignity as an advanced guard — her wit as a body of reserve. She did not speak much, but what she said was to the purpose, just what the occasion demanded and no more. Fiere a toute outrance, whenever she was called upon to stand on the defensive, she was less possessed with the idea of her own merit than might have been supposed; and, far from thinking her consequence increased by the number of her lovers, she was singularly fastidious with regard to the qualifications of those whom she admitted upon the list of aspirants.”

In the family of Ormond we have a galaxy of excellence. The following extracts make us balance the truth of history and our experience of real life. Whom do we know like old Ormond and his wife? Whom like his noble son and his charming countess?

Take the character of the Duchess from the lips of an enemy.

“When the Duke of Ormond withdrew to France, in 1655, he found himself obliged to leave his wife and family behind: and soon afterwards Cromwell caused the Earl of Ossory to be arrested upon no specific charge and committed to the Tower. His mother waited upon the protector to remonstrate, and to solicit his enlargement, pleading the quiet and inoffensive life which she led with her children in London. Cromwell told her plainly, that he had more reason to fear her than any body else. She replied with dignity and spirit, and in the presence of a numerous drawing — room, that’ she desired no favor at his hands, but merely justice to her innocent son;’ — and that ’she thought it strange that she, who had never been concerned in a plot in her life, nor opened her mouth against his person and government, should be represented as so terrible a person. ‘‘No, madam!’ replied Cromwell, ‘that is not the case; but your worth has gained you so great an influence over all the commanders of our party, and we know so well your power over your own party, that it is in your ladyship’s breast to act what you please.’ ”

The following descriptions of the Earl and Countess of Ossory are delightful.

“At this time, the Earl of Ossory was about four and twenty; he was tall, well made, and handsome; with an open expressive countenance, and fine teeth and hair; he rode, fenced, and danced remarkably well; played on the lute and the guitar; spoke French eloquently, and Italian fluently; was a good historian; and seems to have had a taste for light and elegant literature, for Sir Robert Southwell represents him as so well read in poetry and romance, that ‘in a gallery full of pictures and hangings, he could tell the stories of all that were there described.’ These however were the [page 314:] mere superficial graces which enabled him to please in the drawing — room, and to these he added all the rare and noble qualities which can distinguish a man in the cabinet and in the field. He was wise in council, quick and decided in action, as brave in battle as an Amadis of Gaul — gallant ‘beyond the fiction of romance ‘humane, courteous, affable, temperate, generous to profusion, and open almost to a fault. ‘In a word,’ says the historian, ‘his virtue was unspotted in the centre of a luxurious court; his integrity umblemished amid all the vices of the times; his honor untainted through the course of his whole life;’ and it is most worthy of remark, that in those days, when the spirits of men were heated with party rage; when profligate pens were wielded by profligate and obscure individuals, and satire ‘unbated and envenomed,’ was levelled at whatever was noble, or beautiful, or good in the land; not a single expression can any where be traced to contradict or invalidate this universal testimony. ‘No writer,’ (I quote again from history,) ‘ever appeared then or since, so regardless of truth and of his own character, as to venture one stroke of censure on that of the Earl of Ossory.’ ”

“ ‘She was, indeed,’ adds the grave historian of the family, ‘an admirable economist; always cheerful, and never known to be out of humor, so that they lived together in the most perfect harmony imaginable. Lord Ossory never found any place or company more agreeable than he found at home; and when he returned thither from court, they constantly met with open arms, with kind embraces, and the most moving expressions of mutual tenderness.’

“But this picture, bright and beautiful as it is, had its shades. In this world of ours,’ where but to think, is to be full of sorrow,’ Lady Ossory was so far most happy, that though she suffered through those she loved, (as all must do who embark their happiness in their affections,) she never suffered by them: but she lost several of her numerous family at an early age; and the frequent absence of Lord Ossory, whilst engaged in the highest civil and military employments, must have doomed her to many widowed hours. The reckless valor too, with which he exposed his life, and which was such as even to call down a rebuke from his brave father, must have filled the gentle bosom of his wife with a thousand fond anxieties: yet might not those partings and meetings, those alternations of hope and fear, those trembling terrors for his safety, those rapturous tears which greeted his return, have assisted to keep freshly alive, through a long series of years, all the romance of early passion? And was not this much? Did Lady Ossory buy too dearly the proud happiness of belonging to that man, upon whom the eyes of all Europe were fixed to gaze and to admire; who from every new triumph brought her home a faith and love unchanged — deposing his honors at her feet, and his cares in her gentle arms? Let the woman who reads this question, answer it to her own heart.”

The following anecdote, with the appended note, illustrates a point of character on which we always dwell with delight, though it is not often found associated with prudence and wisdom.

“In 1671 occurred that extraordinary attempt on the life of the Duke of Ormond by the ruffian Blood, of notorious memory; it is supposed at the instigation of Buckingham. There was, in fact, something so audacious and so theatrical in the idea of hanging the duke upon the gallows at Tyburn, that it could only have originated with that ‘Fanfaron de crimes.’ Such, at least, was the general opinion at the time. A few days after this event, Lord Ossory meeting the Duke of Buckingham in the king’s chamber, the color flushed to his temples with passion, and his eyes sparkled with such ire, that the duke took refuge behind the king’s chair. ‘My lord,’ said Ossory, stepping up to him,’ I know well that you are at the bottom of this late attempt of Blood’s upon my father1 and therefore I [column 2:] give you fair warning, if my father comes to a violent end by sword or pistol, — if he dies by the hand of a ruffian, or the more secret way of poison, I shall not be at a loss to know the first author of it; I shall consider you as the assassin; I1 shall treat you as such, and I shall pistol you, though you stood beside the king’s chair; and I tell it you in his majesty’s presence, that you may be sure I shall keep my word.’ So saying, he turned upon his heel, leaving the duke so completely overawed, that he had not even spirit to utter a denial.”*

We will conclude by adding the character of a lady (the wife of Hyde Earl of Rochester,) of whom it is praise enough to say, that she was beautiful, rich, noble and powerful, and chose to love her husband, nurse her children, and live in obscurity.

“It is perhaps the highest eulogium that could be pronounced on the character and conduct of his fair, gentle — looking, and really amiable wife, that while her husband was treading the steep and tortuous paths of court diplomacy, rising to rank and honors, and filling the highest offices in the state, we do not even hear of her, except in her domestic relations. In the recent publication of the Clarendon papers, Lady Rochester is seldom mentioned; but from the manner in which she is alluded to, we may infer, without danger of being mistaken, that she was the excellent and submissive wife of an impatient and despotic husband; that she lived in the utmost harmony with her children and her relatives; that she frequented the court but little.

“It should seem that her days flowed along in one even course of unpretending duties and blameless pleasures: duties such as her sex and station prescribe, pleasures such as her rank and fortune permitted, — interrupted and clouded by such cares and infirmities as are the common lot of mortality. This description of Lady Rochester may appear a little insipid after the piquante adventures of a Cleveland and a Chesterfield, and others of her more brilliant and interesting con temporaries; yet there is in its repose and innocence something that not only refreshes, but sweetens the imagination: as in a garden where peonies, and pinks, and carnations, and tall lilies,

‘And canker blooms, with full as deep a die,

As the perfumed tincture of the roses,’

flaunt to the eye and allure the sense, should we suddenly find a jasmine, trailing its light tendrils and luxuriant foliage round a lordly elm, with what delight should we appropriate its starry, unsullied blossoms, and place them in our bosom!” [page 315:]

[[———]]

CALAVAR; or The Knight of the Conquest: a Romance of Mexico. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard. 1834.

WHO reads an American book? was tauntingly asked some years since, by the Edinburg or Quarterly Review, — we do not recollect which, — nor is it important to know. For the present we will answer the question somewhat in the Hibernian or Yankee style, by a remark which is not exactly responsive; and that is, that if Sir Walter Scott himself were living, he would have the candor and honor to acknowledge that “Calavar” was vastly superior to some five or six of the last litter of his own great genius, and not very far behind the very best of those renowned performances which have thrown a classic glory over the bleak hills and barren moors of Scotland. But whether that would have been the award of Sir Walter or not, impartial critics on both sides of the Atlantic, and coming generations, if “Calavar” should escape the vortex of oblivion, — will undoubtedly render a judgment somewhat similar. It is certainly the very best American novel, excepting perhaps one or two of Mr. Cooper’s, which we have ever read; that is, if boldness of design, vigor of thought, copiousness and power of language, — thrilling incident, and graphic and magnificent description, can constitute a good novel. For the first fifty or sixty pages, it is confessedly somewhat heavy; still the reader will perceive that a master spirit is at work, to whose guidance he confidingly trusts. In a short time the whole interest of the narrative rushes upon him; he gazes in imagination upon the beautiful and Eden like vallies of Mexico; he throbs with pain at the spectacle of slaughtered thousands of the brave aborigines, and he sympathises with the tender sorrows and heroic sufferings of the only female who figures in the story, and she too in the unwomanly garb of a page, destined to perform the somewhat curious, and certainly very unthankful office, of a menial to her own lover. Here we think the author has decidedly failed, — we mean in the invention and arrangement of his story. He is entirely too unnatural even for romance. There is too much improbable and miraculous agency in the various life-preserving expedients, and extraordinary rescues which are constantly occurring, — and which, although taken singly, do not surpass the strange events of actual life, shock us nevertheless by their perpetual succession, and impart to a tale founded upon historical truth, an air of oriental fiction which is not agreeable. The author, who is vastly superior to Cooper in dialogue, is, we fear, equally unqualified with that writer, to depict the female character in all its exquisite traits and attractive graces — else why not give us more than a mere glimpse at the daughter of Montezuma, (the beloved of the melancholy De Morla,) whose image we behold as in a “glass darkly,” and whose wretched fate we regard with the less anguish, knowing so little as we do of the fair and unfortunate victim. Even Jacinto is a mysterious and shadowy, though lovely being, with whom we have not, and cannot well have much sympathy. Some few passages indeed, illustrate the disguised princess with great force, — and throughout there is an unaccountable anxiety felt towards her; but she is not sufficiently presented in the foreground of the picture, to awaken a positive and powerful interest in her behalf Jacinto, alias Leila, is nevertheless a most delightful vision, — seen always under very unfavorable circumstances, [column 2:] — but when seen, winding around the heart of the reader in spite of himself, — a beautiful, modest, heroic boy, — and yet a girl, — the discovery of whose sex, though anticipated, does not beam upon the reader until towards the latter end of the story. By the way, there is something very strange and improbable in the idea, that this same sweet creature should have waited upon her own lover in the assumed character of page or servant, and he, the lover, not to know it. It is altogether too marvellous, and the author of “Calavar” ought not to have drawn such a heavy draft upon the reader’s credulity. As to Don Amador de Leste, he is in fact the hero of the story; instead of that demented melancholy uncle whose name gives the title to the romance, but whose agency in it is of very little importance, and whose wild and mournful aberration of mind attracts less of admiration than pity, sometimes mingled with a feeling allied to disgust. The character of Botello too, half knave and half conjurer, is, we think, somewhat of a failure; perhaps not altogether so, for he relieves the mind from the contemplation of spectacles of blood and misery, — and that of itself is a refreshment for which we ought to be thankful.

Notwithstanding these strictures, which impartial justice required, we still maintain the opinion that Calavar is the production of a man of great capacity. If he follows up this first effort by corresponding success in the region of historical romance, he will assuredly outstrip all his competitors on this side of the Atlantic. The history of the conquest of Mexico, affords an admirable field for the novelist; and in the faithful delineation of Cortez, the extraordinary spirit who directed the work of devastation and surmounted almost superhuman difficulties in his triumphant career, — we think that the author of “Calavar” has been wonderfully successful.

We forbear making quotations from the work, or entering into a more minute analysis of the story. Our chief object is to inform our readers that “Calavar” is an American production, which will not shrink from competition with the very best European works of the same character. Faults it has, and some of them obvious and censurable; but its display of intellectual power and its various beauties are so transcendant [[transcendent]], that its blemishes are lost like specks upon the orb of day.

The description of the flight of the Spaniards over the dike of Tacuba, and of the horrors of the “Melancholy night,” so called in history, is awfully sublime. In truth the whole work abounds in powerful delineation both of character and scenery, and it is with pride that we hail it as at once assuming and commanding a proud rank in the department of historical romance.

———

JUDGE BLACKSTONEA Poet.

A correspondent in January’s Messenger said, that on the death of this great lawyer, poems were unexpectedly found among his papers. The following is the only one of them we have seen. Its smooth yet vigorous numbers, its simply touching strain of thought and language, the deep and just feeling it evinces, and the apt felicity of its imagery, prove the author to have possessed a genius which, had it been so inclined, might have rendered him as conspicuous in the flowery paths of elegant literature, as he actually became in the sterner [page 316:] walks of the law. There is something strikingly magnanimous in the self-denial, which could make such a mind relinquish pursuits so congenial to its tastes and so meet for its abilities, for a profession the most abounding of all others in dry, ponderous, and perplexing drudgery, yet amongst the most vital to the well-being of society. What a lesson to our dilettanti, who, even after having adopted that profession, cannot bravely face and grapple with its difficulties, but remain entranced by the Circean draughts and Syren songs of the lightest and most frivolous of the Muses! What should be their humiliation, when they compare their own inability to renounce the novel, the newspaper, and the frothy magazine, with Blackstone’s generous farewell to his so far nobler muse? They may rest assured, that it is only to one capable of such a sacrifice, that Lord Coke’s parting wish is not addressed in vain: “I wish unto him the gladsome light of Jurisprudence, the lovelinesse of temperance, the stabilitie of fortitude, and the soliditie of justice.”

The Lawyer’s Farewell to his Muses

BY SIR WM. BLACKSTONE.

As by some tyrant’s stern command,

A wretch forsakes his native land,

In foreign climes condemned to roam,

An endless exile from his home;

Pensive he treads the destined way,

And dreads to go, nor dares to stay;

Till on some neighb‘ring mountain’s brow

He stops, and turns his eye below,

There, melting at the well known view,

Drops alast tear, and bids adie‘u:

So I, thus doomed from thee to part,

Gay queen of fancy and of art,

Reluctant move with doubtful mind,

Oft stop, and often look behind.

 

Companion of my tender age,

Serenely gay, and sweetly sage!

How blithesome were we wont to rove

By verdant hill and shady grove,

Where fervent bees with humming voice

Around the honeyed oak rejoice,

And aged elms, with awful bend,

In long cathedral walks extend!

Lulled by the lapse of gliding floods,

Cheered by the warbling of the woods,

How blest my days, my thoughts how free,

In sweet society with thee!

Then all was joyous, all was young,

And years unheeded roll‘d along:

But now the pleasing dream is o‘er,

These scenes must charm me now no more:

Lost to the field, and torn from you,

Farewell! — a long, a last adieu!

 

The wrangling courts, and stubborn law,

To smoke, and crowds, and cities draw;

There selfish faction rules the day,

And pride and avarice throng the way;

Diseases taint the murky air,

And midnight conflagrations glare;

Loose revelry and riot bold

In frighted streets their orgies hold;

Or when in silence all is drowned,

Fell murder walks her lonely round; [column 2:]

No room for peace, no room for you,

Adieu, celestial nymph, adieu!

 

Shakspeare, no more, thy sylvan son,

Nor all the arts of Addison,

Pope’s heaven — strung lyre, nor Waller’s ease,

Nor Milton’s mighty self must please;

Instead of these a formal band

In furs and coifs around me stand,

With sounds uncouth, and accents dry,

That grate the soul of harmony.

Each pedant sage unlocks his store

Of mystic, dark, discordant lore;

And points with tottering hand the ways

That lead me to the thorny maze.

 

There, in a winding, close retreat,

Is justice doom‘d to fix her seat;

There, fenced by bulwarks of the law,

She keeps the wondering world in awe;

And there, from vulgar sight retired,

Like eastern queens, is much admired.

 

Oh let me pierce the secret shade,

Where dwells the venerable maid!

There humbly mark with reverend awe,

The guardian of Britannia’s law;

Unfold with joy her sacred page,

(Th’ united boast of many an age,

Where mixed, though uniform, appears

The wisdom of a thousand years.)

In that pure spring the bottom view,

Clear, deep, and regularly true,

And other doctrines thence imbibe,

Than lurk within the sordid scribe;

Observe how parts with parts unite

In one harmonious rule of right;

See countless wheels distinctly tend,

By various laws, to one great end;

While mighty Alfred’s piercing soul

Pervades and regulates the whole.

 

Then welcome business, welcome strife,

Welcome the cares, the thorns of life,

The visage wan, the pore — blind sight,

The toil by day, the lamp by night,

The tedious forms, the solemn prate,

The pert dispute, the dull debate,

The drowsy bench, the babbling hall,

For thee, fair justice, welcome all!

 

Thus, though my noon of life be past,

Yet let my setting sun at last

Find out the still, the rural cell

Where sage retirement loves to dwell!

There let me taste the home — felt bliss

Of innocence and inward peace;

Untainted by the guilty bribe,

Uncursed amid the harpy tribe;

No orphan’s cry to wound my ear;

My honor and my conscience clear;

Thus may I calmly meet my end,

Thus to the grave in peace descend!

————

There are moments of despondency, when Shakspeare thought himself no poet and Raphael no painter; when the greatest wits have doubted the excellence of their happiest efforts.

 


[[Footnotes]]

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 311, column 2:]

* Subjoined to Mr. Everett’s speech is an account of the circumstances of the ceremonial, much in detail. From this it appears that by his side, on the platform where he stood, was placed a bust of La Fayette, on a pedestal just high enough to bring the face on a level with the speaker’s. The taste of this we do not propose to discuss with the committee of arrangement. It seems to have imposed on Mr. Everett a sort of necessity to have a word to say to the figure, and we do not know that he could have done it better than he has done. We incline to suspect that he would gladly have escaped from that part of his task. We are glad he got through it so well. We are glad too we were not there. The thought of Punch and the Devil knocking their noses together, might have made us laugh most unreasonably. Now that the thing is over, we venture to intreat that no man of genius and taste may be placed in a situation so perilous and so painful.

[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page 314, column 2:]

* I believe no writer has remarked the singular coincidence between the characters and fortunes of the Duke of Ormond, and his ancestor, the Earl of Ormond, of Elizabeth’s time. Both were brave, popular, enthusiastically loyal, and inflexibly honest; both were accomplished courtiers, and lived to experience the ingratitude and injustice of the princes they had served; both experienced many changes of fortune, and lived to an extreme old age, so as to behold their heirs in the third generation. Both were opposed to the reigning favorites, for the enmity of the Duke of Ormond and Buckingham was at least equal to that of the Earl of Ormond and Lord Leicester. As Buckingham was believed to have instigated Blood in his attempt on the Duke of Ormond, so Leicester was known to have attempted the assassination of Ormend, by means of a hired cut-throat, who was afterwards, like Blood, forgiven and rewarded. The following anecdote is very characteristic: — The Earl of Ormond coming one day to court, met Lord Leicester in the antechamber: after the usual salutations, ” My lord,” said Leicester, insolently, ” I dreamed of you last night!” “Indeed!” replied Ormond, “what could your lordship dream of me?” “I dreamed that I gave you a box on the ear.” “Dreams are interpreted by contraries,” replied the high spirited Irishman, and instantly lent him a cuff on the ear, which made the favorite stagger; for this he was committed to the tower by Elizabeth.


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Notes:

Although the review of Calavar has sometimes been assigned to Poe, the attribution is highly problematic. The general argument against giving Poe as the author is that it appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger prior to Poe's known initiation of his involvement with that magazine. (The February issue was not available until about March 15, 1835.) The argument in favor of Poe's authorship depends primarily on the link between this review and a review of Bird's Infidel (SLM, June 1835). Poe is known to have reviewed Bird's Hawks of Hawks-Hollow (SLM, December 1835), and the three reviews are often considered as a trio. On the other hand, Poe's entry from the 1850 Griswold edition of the "Literati," presumably prepared by Poe himself, combines the reviews of Hawks of Hawks Hollow and part of Sheppard Lee, but does not include anything of these two earlier reviews, suggesting that Poe was not the author.

Mr. Cooper, mentioned twice in the course of the review, was James Fenimore Cooper, a well-known novelist for whom Poe almost always had harsh words.


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[S:0 - SLM, 1835] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Criticism - SLM Literary Reviews (Feb. 1835)