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GLEANINGS IN ECROPE. Italy. By an AMERICAN. In two volumes, 8vo. pp. 500.
Philadelphia : Carey, LEA AND BLANCHARD.
This is certainly the most entertaining of Mr. COOPER's series of gleanings.' Italy may be, as the author observes, a hackneyed theme; yet we are bound to thank him for causing his readers to lose sight of the fact. With an eye ever open to the beauties or grandeur of nature, and with a power, always active, of research into, and observation of, the spirit and condition of the people among whom he journeys, it is not surprising that in a field so rich and ample, in these respects, as Italy, Mr. Cooper should have written a most agreeable work. There is very little also, in these volumes, of political or personal prejudices, which have heretofore, in some instances, detracted greatly from the pleasure of the general reader. Several spirited extracts, although in type, are omitted, by reason of an oppressive 'sense of fulness' in this department of our Magazine.
Cesar's COMMENTARIES ON THE GALLIC WAR, AND THE FIRST BOOK OF THE GREEK
PARAPHRASE. With English Notes, Critical and Explanatory, Plans of Battles, Sieges, etc.; and Historical, Geographical, and Archæological Indexes. By CHARLES ANTHON, LL. D. In one volume. pp. 493. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
We perceive, with sincere pleasure, that the enterprising publishers, from whose press this valuable classic was issued a few weeks since, are turning their attention steadily to the promulgation of classical knowledge, through the medium of a series of works, edited under the supervision of that sound and ripe scholar, Professor ANTHON, of Columbia College. It has, until within a few years, been too justly remarked, that, while the facilities of a common education were extended to the whole community, the higher branches of learning were rarely if ever carried beyond an extent so limited as to be in fact almost useless; a slight knowledge of the Latin, and a still slighter acquaintance with the Greek tongue, being nearly the whole results of a scholastic and collegiate education, and being thrown aside, as things to be forgotten, on the first step made by the student beyond the threshhold of his alma mater. Many reasons have been ciled, in explanation of this fact; and unquestionably the most solid of these, is that which throws the blame on the very gross deficiencies of the teachers in general, and on the miserable character of the school books; the former being, for the most part, young men sent out, half educated themselves, from some of our colleges, to spread faulty latinity and false quantities over the whole continent; and the latter being edited, by thousands, by every petty usher, whose self conceit was equal to the task, for which his abilities were in truth wholly disproportionate. Hence, as we have said, it was with sincere pleasure that we welcomed the excellent school edition of Sallust and Cicero, heretofore put forth by the HARPERS, and especially the work whose title stands at the head of this notice. The Horace of the same author – a work displaying entire acquaintance with his subject, the deepest research, and the soundest judgment, united to a severe and practised taste- has already received the stamp of general approbation; being admitted, even on the continent of Europe, to be the best existing edition of that poet, and being almost universally adopted in the schools and colleges of England. With regard to the Sallust and Cicero, they fully equalled, in ability and fitness for that scale of intellect to which they are intended to apply, their predecessor; and the Cæsar, with its admirable notes, full of all that boys can require, and of much that men may read with interest and profit; with its indexes, clear, comprehensive, and at the same time highly entertaining; with its well executed plans and sketches, affording felicitous illustrations of the text, and with the curious and rarely-published paraphrase, is in no degree inferior, or rather is so far superior to the earlier numbers of the series, that it may safely be pronounced the best school book ever published in this or in any other country. The work is admirably executed, in its externals; indeed the cditor and publishers seem to have vied with each other, and both have been eminently successful, and may justly be proud of their beneficial labors; for if he has been termed the most useful member of a state, who causes two blades of grass to spring up where but one grew before, what name shall be applied to him who calls forth two ideas in the place of one, from that most noble field, when cultivated duly - the mind of rational and thinking man?
THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF Missions. A Record of the Voyages, Travels, Labors,
nd Successes, of the various Missionaries who have been seni forth by Protestant Societies to evangelize the Heathen. By Rev. Jonx 0. CHOULES, A. M., and Rev. THOMAS Smith, London. In two volumes, large quarto. Boston: Gould, KENDALL AND LINCOLN. New-York : JOHN S. TAYLOR.
It was our purpose to have devoted liberal space to a notice of this work, a fifth edition of which, enlarged and improved, has just been published. But truth to say, the volumes scarcely need our humble recommendation, after having received the highest praise from most of the eminent divines in this country, as well as that of the American secular and religious press, without distinction of party or sect. It need only be said, that these copious volumes are signally compiele, enibracing every thing that could with relevancy or propriety be included under their comprehensive title. The work is wholly without sectarianism, and contains nothing offensive to the religious opinions of the Christian, to whatsoever denomination ne may belong. The type is large and clear, and impressed in double columns, and in blackest ink, upon paper of a beautiful texture and color. The engravings, which are very numerous, are large, mostly executed in the best style of the art, upon steel, and are remarkably clear and distinct. The volumes are afforded at not only a reasonable, but considering their great value, a remarkably cheap price. We commend them cordially to the religious, of every class, as well as to the mere general reader.
GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND BELGIUM: A Short Tour in 1835. By HEMAN HUM
PHREY, D. D., President of Amherst College. In two volumes, 8vo. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS. A. K. BERTRON, 451 Broadway.
Very many of the qualities which we have elsewhere enumerated, as characterizing the travels of Dr. Fisk, are to be found in these unpretending volumes. Going over a beaten track, it was scarcely to be expected that the author would be enabled to present us with much that was entirely new; yet he has imparted an air of freshness even to that which had nothing of novelty to recommend it, while the spirit of his work is every where worthy of especial commendation. He has not attempted to underrate the countries he visited, nor has he obtruded overestimates, by contrast, of the importance of his own. The volumes are replete with valuable information, in relation to the state of religion, the physical and moral condition of society, as well as agriculture, manufactures, and the arts. The 'Scraps from my Note-Book,' with which they close, are not the least interesting portion of the work. They possess a sprinkling of satire, and mean more than the superficial reader would at first imagine. VOL. XI.
Pulpit ELOQUENCE. - The pages of this periodical have borne frequent evidence of the popular interest which is felt, and is every day growing to be more widely felt, in relation to pulpit eloquence, as a great mean of enforcing and extending the doctrines and blessings of the Christian religion. It has at length come to be considered, that a divine, to be eminently useful, should not only be 'sound in the faith,' but that he should possess the ability to awaken and keep alive the attention of his hearers, by those rlietorical adjuncts, which are powerful auxiliaries of success in every kindred department of mental action. How can the preacher hope to influence his hearers, when, to adopt a theatrical phrase, he merely walks through his part ?' No matter how important his inculcations, or how clear his arguments; if both be not enforced by a manner bearing some proportion to the nature of the lessons or principles set forth, many hearers must be utterly indifferent to them. They have not been made to feel, by the earnest eloquence of the speaker -- that true eloquence which springs from feeling, and without which all attempts to catch the aura popularis will prove unavailing -- that he himself was firmly persuaded of the truths he taught. These thoughts have been suggested, by a recent attendance upon the discourses of one or two eminent divines, in the Methodist connexion, during the anniversary conference of that large and respectable denomination, lately held in this city. We allude more particularly to the Rev. HENRY Bascom, of Augusta college, Kentucky, and the Rev. Mr. Taylor, of the Seamen's Bethel, Boston. Of the former, we had before repeatedly heard good report. His fame had evidently preceded him ; for, a long time previous to the appointed hour of service, the immense church in Greene-street was crowded to the outer steps, with more standing in the aisles, perhaps, than were seated in the pews, and on the temporary benches. When the hymn was concluded, Mr. Bascom arose. That'first appeal, which is to the eye,' was greatly in his favor. His person has a commanding presence, and as well in this particular, as in the firm, compressed mouth, the ample brow, and large, searching black eye, he bears a very striking resemblance to DANIEL WEBSTER. The expression of his countenance was thoughtful and impressive:
idcep on his front engraven,
Naming his text, in a voice deep, but slightly husky, he proceeded, somewhat tamely, as it appeared to us, although systematically, to lay down his premises, array his arguments, and marshal his proofs. While we were yet in a state of dubiety' whether or no his audience were not to be treated to a merely nebulous disquisition, of no particular merit, and asking, mentally, whether this could be the man whom Henry Clay had pronounced the greatest natural orator he had ever heard, when a brilliant thought, wreaked upon eloquent and original expression, enchained our attention; and thenceforward, to the close of the discourse, we wist not that we were occupying a narrow
spot in the middle of a crowded aisle cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in'. with the thermometer at ninety. When once fully engrossed with his subject, (the progress and effects of the Christian faith, and the arguments in favor of its promulgation) every eye in the congregation was upon the speaker, and each heart beat quicker, as the glowing thoughts dropped from his tongue. His similes are vivid and striking, to a degree; his impressions of nature, and the comparisons which he draws from her external aspects, are not minute and in detail. They are upon a noble scale – 'taking in whole continents and seas. Such was the character of that portion of his discourse, wherein he spake of the past ages, to whom the great volume of nature was a sealed book; who saw no God in the works of his hand; who could read the starry rhythm of the heavens, survey the towering mountains, the rivers sweeping to the main ; who could hear the roar of the great ocean, and the far-sounding cataract, and see in all these no evidences of the Power who spake, and they existed. He was scarcely less effective, in describing the origin and spread of the Christian faith. The good seed had been sown, and for eighteen hundred years it had, in one way or another, been producing fruit. The germ expanded, and the tree had arisen and spread, until the nations of the world sat under its branches. Efforts had often been made to root it out, and to destroy it. The lightnings of persecution had scathed it — the axe of the wicked had sought to lop its boughs — the wild boar of the forest had whetted its tusk against its time-worn trunk — yet still, in living green, it spread its inviting arms abroad, every where overshadowing evil with good. Kingdom after kingdom had arisen, flourished, and fallen. The wrecks of dead empires — the long labors of emperors and kings, of principalities and powers had passed away on that deluge-food of earthly grandeur, ever rolling onward to the ocean of eternity; yet still afar widened the blessings of christianity. Like the beams of the sun, each ray had radiated in separate streams of light; but they were soon swallowed up in one glad effulgence, blessing all upon whom it fell, even as the common light of heaven. These remembrances can afford the reader little save a faint idea of the general character of one or two of his positions and illustrations. The nervous style, the appropriate gesture, the beaming eye, may be imagined, but must be seen to be realized. The very hesitation, which our orator occasionally manifests, in making a selection from thoughts which are pressing for utterance, is in itself an essential feature of eloquence; for when the key-word unlocks the treasure, the intellectual flood rolls on with a resistless force, the greater from having been pent up and kept back; while the speaker's language illustrates and adorns his thoughts, 'as light, streaming through colored glass, heightens the object it falls upon.' Such are our impressions of the pulpit efforts of Mr. Bascom; and we belive them to be faithful counterparts of those entertained by all who heard the discourse to which we have alluded. On a subsequent occasion, at the Broadway Tabernacle, he was less successful and no marvel. He was placed before an immense auditory, as a clerical
lion of the west,' of whom wonders were anticipated, and he was to roar by contract, at so much a head, from his hearers. This was ‘doing evil that good might come,' beside being in very bad taste; and the result, so far as the speaker was concerned, was a perfectly natural one. We had intended, in this connection, to have spoken of the Rev. Mr. Taylor, of the Seamen’s Bethel, Boston, who is celebrated for a species of effective pulpit eloquence; but our limits will only permit is to say, that in our judgment, as well as in that of many of his friends and fellow Christians, he greatly diminishes his usefulness, by a certain air of unique drollery, vastly amusing, indeed, but inappropriate, as it seems to us, to the sacred desk. One can scarcely think that preacher in earnest, who seeks occasion to be facetious, in reasoning of 'righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come.' We may refer to the subject of pulpit eloquence, in other points of view, at no distant day; and in the mean time we invite our correspondents to aid us, by such suggestions, or brief examples, as may serve to illustrate the importance of, or exhibit the varieties embraced in, the general theme.
A second LEAF FROM OUR Note-Book. — Let us hope that those who have approved uf the sample' we have already furnished - if happily any such there are — of what may be anticipated from our unpremeditated note-book extracts, will manifest some little enterprise, and take the lot,' for better or for worse.
Some months since, to fill up a vacant space in a waiting 'form,' we threw off a hurried paragraph of Mathewsiana,' touching that fine actor's impression of how long it generally took 10 'do things in this country. Since that fragment has been honored with a wide circulation abroad, and has come back upon, and is now going the rounds of, the American newspaper press, we will proceed 10 sketch another, ' in about twenty minutes. During Mathews' last visit to this country, he was, for the most part, in ill health. Aches and pains, incident to his years, together with an exquisitely nervous temperament, kept him a good portion of the time in hot water. His manner, at such periods, was querulous in the extreme. Every trifling annoyance was construed into a personal affront, or intentional persecution. The courteous and accomplished chief of the Tremont House, at Boston, was called in hot haste to his apartment, late of a dull March afternoon - the wind east. He found the inimitable mime limping about the room, in a state of great agitation. 'Mr. S-' said he, 'I'm a niiserable dog. You know it - every body knows it. Nerves out of order' — here he described a semicircle with his game leg, and drew down the sloping corner of his mouth -- 'nobody thinks any thing of annoying poor Mathews. Look here – look there— There!' he continued, as he drew his companion to the window, and pointed to a servant, who was cracking walnuts for the next day's dessert, in the court-yard. "There's a fellow for you! Click! click!' for an hour together, and looking up to me, (miserable dog!) with that infernal grin. There -- there he goes again!' An explanation followed, the servant was ordered away, and the excited drôle became comparatively calm. But hardly had Mr. S reached the 'office,' before he was again violently recalled. Some one had entered the house by the private entrance, and by a slight rap or two at the door of a neighboring room, was 'pulling the wires' of the unstrung actor's nervous system. This time, it was with much difficulty that he could be pacified. From divers indigenous annoyances, he finally widened to the people in general of this country. 'Every body delights to vex me,' said he – 'every body. Sometimes I'm bored to death with impertinent questions; and then again I can't get more than a word from any body, and that always of the shortest. I asked a passenger at table, on board the steamer, coming on, what I should carve for him, (we had waited 'twenty minutes' for a servant,) from two meats before me, but beyond his reach. 'Mutton!' said he. What shall I give you, Sir?' said I, to his neighbor. 'Beef!' was the reply, sent to me like a projectile. Just reach me that salt,' said the taciturn fellow to a man opposite. "There's salt by yon,' he replied. 'I did n't see it,' rejoined the other. "Who said you did ?' answered the amiable gourmand, keeping his eye on a plate of green peas, and exclaiming, at the same time, to a man near him, who was ' looking out for number one,' • Halves, Mister! -- halves! 'f you please!' When they had nearly bolted their meal, (you eat like pigs in America,) I ventured to observe to the first specimen, the weather behaving ridiculous, that it was getting roughish. 'Humph!' said he. I repeated the remark. 'Humph!' again. 'Do n't you think the weather rather roughish ?' I perseveringly inquired of his grum counterpart. 'I leave it entirely to you!' said he, picking his teeth with an iron fork, and rising from the table. They call the Americans a civil people!' continued Mathews, in the very tone of 'Mr. Samuel Coddle,' complaining of the wind whistling round his 'corner house;' 'civil ! — well, sometimes they are. Then they are bores. But generally, the Yankees are as short as a ship-biscuit. One night last week, I said to a man in New-York, as I was groping along somewhere near my lodgings—(no lights— lamps half out-could n't find the way) – 'Friend, I wish to go to Murray-street.' 'Well,' said he, taking a long, ill-favored cigar from his