« PoprzedniaDalej »
a long period, in the merchant service, and a late and scanty acquaintance with polished society.' The frequent errors of the work under review are amusingly set forth. Mr. Cooper says, the reader will remember, that he frequently breakfasted with young friends, and found three or four horses at the door, with as many grooms, in waiting for the guests, who were on their way to one or the other of the houses. Now the houses of parliament do not sit until four in the afternoon! “But what,' adds the reviewer, 'is a paltry matter of fact, in competition with the éclat of 'breakfasting with young friends, members of one or the other house ? Apropos of breakfasts, and Mr. Cooper's frequent boasts of heing honored by invitations to this meal, at the poet Rogers', the reviewer remarks: 'It is by no means usual to invite strangers to breakfast in London, they being generally given when the guest is one about whose manners, character, or social position, there is some uncertainty. A breakfast is a kind of mezzolotermine, between a mere visit and the more intimate hospitality of a dinner. It is, as it were, a state of probation. Every word which Mr. Cooper says about heraldry, is pronounced to be either positively untrue, or an egregious blunder; and in relation to the story of the late Charles Matthews' expressed preference of the view from the 'Albany belfry,'over that from Richmond Hill, near London, the critic wonders that so sensitive a person as Mr. Cooper should be so easily duped. "This we take to have been,' says he, 'a transcendant triumph of the great mimic and mystificator. We think we have heard Matthews tell the story himself, with abundance of glee.' But more serious matters are in store; and the author of the Monnikins' may as well be getting his pistols in order, for ' peradventure some pellet may attain unto him, even here.' 'Before we take our leave of Mr. Cooper,' says the reviewer, (after quoting even more against America from bis autobiography of excoriated vanity' than had been cited against England,) we must observe, that amidst all the trash, which carries on its very face ridicule and refutation, there are two statements of alleged facts, so audaciously false, as to require special notice, and to which it is our bounden duty to make a direct personal appeal to Mr. Cooper, and to invite both the British and American people to expect his answer.' The first of these — namely, that the English government were the secret accomplices of the worst excesses of the French revolution — the reviewer pronounces, 'in letter and spirit, an infamous falsehood,' and calls for the proof. The second statement, that Mr. Gifford admitted to an American that articles unfavorable to this country were prepared under the direction of the British government, and inserted in the Quarterly Review, is also denounced to the world as 'a calumnious falsehood.' 'Coffee and pistols for two!'
Thus much, as a mere skeleton of Mr. Lockhart's article in the Quarterly. We have room, in addition, but for the expression of a single regret, that a criticism in so many respect justly pungent and deserved, should be marred by a slurring disparagement of Mr. Cooper's merits as a novelist. "Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's,' should have been in the reviewer's mind, when he penned the evidently interpolated lines of retrospective criticism to which we refer.
THE LATE CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF THE PHILLIPINE Isles. – A friendly subscriber at Manilla, a gentleman of education and fine talents, from whom, on behalf of our readers, we hope and expect hereafter to hear more frequently, writes as follows, in relation to the lamented demise of the late Captain-General of the Phillipine Islands : ‘DE TORRES was like our Washington; wise in council, brave in arms; mighty in the senate, and mightier in the field. At his death, there was not a dry eye in Manilla. Among his body-guard, were veterans who had followed him through all the South American wars; inen who had witnessed, unflinchingly, all the devastations, the horrors, of a campaign; who had rode over fields of the dying and the dead, fetlock-deep in blood, shed by themselves, without feeling even a touch of pity or remorse. Yet when their gallant general died, they could not contain their grief. They wept like VOL. XI.
children. I myself was witness to this. The same night, returning home from a visit in the city, I heard the guard behind me, just relieved from their post at the palace, and returning to the cavalry-barrack. As they were passing, I asked the officer, 'Como, esta el General?' “Ta murio ! 'Ile is dead! he replied, and burst into tears; and immediately, as if ashamed of his emotion, fell in with the rest, and rode on in silence. Think of that! — and from a soldier, too!- men who never weep. Theirs is the silent sorrow of those who know no tears.' Yet'none are all evil;' and although this man had been reared in a school where he had become familiar with horrors, and learned to look on death as a pastime, the loss of his old and beloved commander called up feelings which had doubtless lain dormant for years; and surely his tears were those of a brave man. Peace to the dead! They do but precede us by a few short years.'
Theory of Sounds, Thunder-SHOWERS, AND WESTERLY Winds. – We give, in the present number, the conclusion of our correspondent's article upon the subjects of looming, electricity, sounds, thunder-showers, and west and north-west winds. In relation to the extended transmission of sound, in the peculiar state of the atmosphere described, we are entirely convinced of the correctness of our contributor's theory. Under circumstances precisely similar to those mentioned in preceding pages, a gentleman of intelligence and observation informs us, he once heard, over Long-Island Sound, where it is ten or eleven iniles in width, the sound of human voices, and the fall of .bars,' which were let down to admit cattle into a pasture-enclosure. A distinguished philosophical writer of this city, now deceased, to whom the 'Theory of Thunder-Showers and of West and North-West Winds' was submitted, in returning the ms., observed: "The writer is correct in his opinion of the powerful influence of caloric in the atmosphere. The two great foci seein to be the tropical region situated south, and the Atlantic ocean, with its warm gulf-stream, on the cast. If the former prevailed, the air would move south in meridional lines, and produce north winds; if the latter obtained, the atmospheric currents would travel east, and occasion west winds. But there is an exertion of two forces, which, agrecably to the laws of motion, cause a result in the direction midway between suuth and east, that is, south-east; which, in proportion to its strength and duration, niakes a blast from the north-west.' The descent of cold air from above, the same writer adds, is one of the most frequent occurrences in meteorology. What need,' he writes, “is there of bringing these cool or refrigerating currents horizontally from the arctic regions, when there is a source for every demand, about twelve or filten thousand feet above our heads, all the year round ?' We again commend these 'Observations' to the attention of our readers.
'YANKEE Notions.' – Timothy TITTERWELL, Esquire, of Merry-gc-Nimble Court, Boston, (No. 2, round the corner, next duor to the fat man's,) has issued a goodly volume for these high pressure times, entitled as above. We have read it, and laughed over it, with decided goût. The preface is an eflective 'salsa del libro,' and at once creates an appetite in the reader to devour the hook itself. The picture of the newlyelected member of the General Court' is a rich one. The functionary affects a dignified indifference at ihe news of his elevation, but is at the same time so elated, that his 'skin does n't seem to fit him. Feeling the importance of his station, he bethinks him of the adornments of the outer man. He has his old bell-crowned drab hat newly ironed, and countermands liis orders for cow-hide boots, because 'kip-skin' would be more genteel; and, imbued with a due sense of bis superiority over those country members, who come to the legislature with their pedal extremities encased in the town boots,' (provided at the public expense, for the legislative representative, and 'heel-tap
ped,' every two years, by a vote of the town,) he repairs to the 'General Court,' charged with a speech 'full of Bunker-Hill, and heroes of seventy-six, and dying for liberty.' Ambitious for action, he distinguishes himself at first by seconding all the motions that are made, by both parties, biding his time for his own speech; but for this effort, and the amusing circumstances attending its delivery, we must refer the reader to the book itself. The 'Chapter on Metaphysics' is capital. The abstract and ‘inward soul-ofnature' philosophers, of the ultra German and transcendental schools, are depicted to the life. The misty 'Doctor' well replies to 'Uncle Tim's remark, that 'in common cases, those who utter nonsense are considered block heads, that 'in metaplıysics, the case is different!' 'The Science of Siarvation' we commend to every dietetic eremite's perusal. It will go far to counteract the influence of the 'Library of Starvation,' the 'Sawdust Journal,' and other works on short commons. The Decline and Fall of Dogtown may be commended to sanguine speculators, as a beacon above sunken rocks and quicksand3. The 'Proceedings of the Society for the Diffusion of Useless Knowledge is after the manner of the Report of the 'Mudfog Association,' by Boz, but less humorous and effective. The 'Biography of a Broomstick' was doubtless suggested by the papers under that title, which were published, some time since, in these pages. We must be pardoned for yielding our biographer the palm. There are several other 'notions,' in prose and rhyme, which we will not particularize, but close with commending the volume to all who would rather laugh than cry.
FREEDOM OF OPINION AND Action.– We have somewhere heard of a counoisseur in the arts saying to a friend, 'I wish you would come down and see a picture I have just purchased. I would like you to give me your candid opinion of it. A friend of mine had the impudence to say, this morning, that it was not an original! If there's another man says it is not an original, by Jove! I'll knock him down ! But come and see it, and tell me honestly what you think of it.' Here was freedom of opinion; and something akin to the liberty of action said to have been granted by Col. M'LANE, (whose 'Journal' we give elsewhere,) to the troops under his command, before going into winter-quarters, at Valley-Forge. They were suffering for provisions and clothing, and Congress had been repeatedly petitioned for that relief which it was not in their power to bestow. Under these circumstances, Col. M'LAXE paraded his band of suffering soldiers, and harangued them as follows: 'Fellow-Soldiers! You've served your country faithfully and truly. We've fought hard fights together, ag'inet the enemy. You 're in a bad way for comfortable clothes, that's a fact; and it makes me cry, a' most, to see your feet bleeding on the frozen ground. But Congress can't help it, nor I n'ither. Now if any of you want io return home, you may go. Let them that would like to go, step out two paces in front. But the first man that steps out, darn my skin! if I don't shoot him as quick as I would a red-coat!' It is needless to add, that not a solitary volunteer' was to be found.
THE WRITINGS OF 'Boz.' - The last number of the London Quarterly has an extended review of the writings of this modern humorist, which assigns him an elevated position as an author. The reviewer states that his popularity is the most remarkable literary phenomenon of the present times, for it has been fairly earned, without resorting to any trickery to excite public attention. Mr. Dickens is the grand object of attraction to all the male and female lion-hunters of the metropolis. 'Pickwick chintzes' figure in linen-draper's windows, and "Weller corduroys' in breeches-makers' advertisements; 'Boz cabs' are seen rattling through the streets, and the author of 'Pelham's portrait is scraped down, or pasted over, in the omnibuses, to make room for that of the new favorite. In some observations upon the originality of the 'Pickwick Papers,' the reviewer takes occasion to remark, that the only writer who appears to have exercised any marked influence over his style, is Washington Irving, whom he has undoubtedly imitated in parts. "The Bagman's Story' is pronounced to be a palpable plagiarism from the ‘Adventure of my Grandfather;' the description of an English coachman is also very like the picture of the same original, in the 'Sketch-Book ;' while 'Wardle's manor-house, with its merry doings at Christmas-time, is neither more nor less than
Bracebridge Hall' at second hand. Mr. Dickens receives just commendation for following nature, and for treating his humble characters as if he were not ashamed of them; and it is mentioned, that a celebrated beauty jocularly proposed a party, to which nune were to be admitted who did not consider Sam. WELLER a gentleman! The reviewer expresses fears lest 'Boz' may exhaust his genius by such large drasts upon his intellectual treasury; but admits that in 'Oliver Twist,' his latest and still unfinished series, so far from there being any dimninution of talent, it really exceeds, in many respects, the best of his previous efforts.
'ADVENT : A Mystery.' – Thus is entitled a poem, in the form of a drama, recently published by Mr. John S. Taylor, of this city. It comes to us too late for an extended review ; yet we have hastily perused it, and can record a brief sketch of its alleged character. It portrays the incidents which attended the coming of the Saviour; the restoration of peace and good will among men; the dispersion and overthrow of the devils, whose power on earth was now ended; the holy converse and bright anticipations of Zacharias and Elizabeth, over the cradle of their infant son; the high themes on which the Magi dwelt, as they journied on, guided by the star of Bethlehem; the ancient lays and sacred songs of the shepherds, watching their flocks through the starlit hours; and the chorus of angels who came from their starry mansions to join them in hymning praises. The author is Mr. ARTHUR CLEVELAND Cox, a young gentleman scarcely twenty years of age. There is evidence, judging from a cursory perusal, of some imagination; and there are portions of the poein which do not require the apology of youth, and an inexperienced pen; but candor compels us to say, that there are many defects of language and rhythm, and diverse infelicitous terminations.
How soft the landscape, and how balm the breeze,' is hardly allowable; and
Queen of fiends, we bow to thee,
By the name of Hecaté,' is a strained, and withal, as accented, erroneous pronunciation. There are one or two expressions, also, wherein the choice of terms favors strength, rather than poetical beauty. The lines deseriptive of the cave where Hecate holds her reign, and the dialogues and chorus of the fiend, wherein
* More will quake at that bright face of thine,
Tban would an angel at all hell let loose!"
may be cited as examples in point. There is something, too, of plain prose, cut into
I thought we were to have
Forgive me! it was meant in harmless jest..
I thought some sport would suit you.
But a song
This is both feeble and prosaic, to a degree. Not so the dedication to the author's father, which is both filial and beautiful :
'TO MY FATHER.
The first young sheaves to Him did dedicate
So I to thee these numbers consecrate,
And if of hours well saved from revels late
Aceept my early vow, nor frowu on what I sing.' The volume is handsomely executed; and its subject constitutes it an appropriate gift for the Christmas Holidays, (which have passed, since the above was placed in type.)
THE TOURIST IN EUROPE. — We have examined the mss. of a work under this title, now in the press of Messrs. WILEY AND PUTNam, the plan and execution of which combine the useful and entertaining, in a very happy manner. In addition to the memoranda made during a tour of eight months in Great Britain and on the Continent, in 1836, which alone comprise a mass of valuable facts and interesting descriptions, in a style at once spirited and unassuming, this volume will contain a variety of valuable information for Americans going to Europe; such as outlines of the various routes ; references to places and things most worthy of notice; hints on time, distances, hotels, conveyances, passports; tables of actual expenses during recent tours in Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgiuni and Holland; table of coins of those countries, and their relative value; list of travels, 'guide books;' and other details, carefully collected from original sources, and personal observation. Thus, while of special value to the tourist, this book will be no less attractive to the general reader.
In connection with the above, the same publishers will also issue in a few weeks a New French Manual, on a novel and decidedly excellent plan, so arranged that the language and pronunciation may be rapidly acquired, without an instructor. It includes, also, a series of conversational phrases, of every-day life, and dialogues relative to the curiosities of Paris, and other European cities, both amusing and instructive. Altogether, we have no hesitation in pronouncing it far superior to any thing of the kind within our knowledge. It is edited by Mons. A. Pestiaux, well known as a successful teacher of the French language in this city.
ANGLO-Saxon DICTIONARY. - This valuable work, by Dr. Bosworth, of Cambridge, has lately appeared in England, and may be had of the American agents, Messrs. CHARLES LITTLE AND COMPANY, Boston. The work is very full and complete, containing the accentuation; the grammatical inflections; the irregular words referred to their themes; the parallel terms from the other Gothic languages; the meaning of the Anglo-Saxon in English and Latin; and copious English and Latin indexes, serving as a dictionary of English and Anglo-Saxon, as well as Latin and Anglo-Saxon. The whole is clearly and methodically arranged, and preceded by a long preface, containing a sketch of the Teutonic and Scandinavian Language, and a synopsis of Anglo-Saxon Grammar; forming altogether a large and elegant volume, of eight hundred pages. It receives high praise, we are glad to perceive, from Mr. PICKERING, of Boston, the officers of Harvard University, and other eminent literary sources.
CROMWELL.' - The author of "The Brothers' has an historical novel in two volumes in the press of the Brothers Harper, entitled as above. Through the courtesy of the publishers, we arc enabled to present a scene from the work, much in advance of its publication; and we have little hesitation in saying, that if this spirited sketch be but a fair specimen of the volumes, they will reflect high honor upon their author, as a minute observer, and most graphic describer.