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The Literary World. A Journal of American and Foreign Literature, Science, and Art. Evert A. & George L. Duyckinck, Editors and Proprietors. Office of Publication, 157 Broadway. $3 per annum.
We have long been intending to call the attention of our literary friends and readers, in a formal manner, to the merits of this best of weekly papers, of the literary class. The Literary World undertakes to keep a perfect record of the American publications of each week, and to furnish notices of all works of the least importance that come into our market. It enables students, or persons of literary taste, living in remote or isolated places, to know promptly all that is going on in the world of bookswhat works are to be had, and how much they are worth. Nobody, in any part of our broad land, who takes the Literary World, need be a fortnight behind the booksellers themselves in the knowledge of the existence of any work; nor need any one, with the critical guidance afforded by this journal, ever send for a poor book, or fail to know something about every good one. The diligent reader of this paper necessarily knows more of contemporary literary history, than the most accomplished scholar in the country could know, ten years ago, about the current literature of his own time.
The critical notices in the Literary World seem to us to be characterized by ability, taste, and candor. A spirit of reverence, and a high moral tone, have distinguished the paper since it came into the hands of the present editors. They are, manifestly, "Churchmen;" but this does not inake them either sectarians in religion or partisans in literature. We have noticed, with peculiar satisfaction, the cordial praise bestowed by them upon the religious and literary products of the most opposite sects. Nor does this paper preserve a Catholic temper only by using a mealy-mouthed indiscriminateness of judgment. It knows how to be severe, and spares not popular favorites, who are not the favorites of the Muses, whose likes and dislikes it is pledged honestly and fearlessly to report.
Besides critical reviews, the "World" furnishes pleasant abstracts of "what is talked about," musical criticisms, and notices of all that transpires in the ever-widening sphere of American art. Take it altogether, it is just such a weekly paper as no general student or man of taste can afford to be without. It does credit to the country, and every man who takes it compliments his
We are the more free, and the more earnest, to say these things, both because the modesty of the editors of the Literary World does not allow them to enter the lists of self-praise and self-advertisement, with their contemporaries, and, also, because we have a constant apprehension that a paper of so high a class, and catering so little for popular tastes and prejudices, may not be sustained. Seriously, we should reckon the loss of the Literary World as a national calamity. Will our literary friends trust us so far as to order specimen numbers from the publishers? We are confident they will not be able, in that case, to refrain from becoming subscribers.-Chr. Inquirer.
The American Illuminated Abbotsford edition of the Waverley Novels, embellished with tinted engravings, by H. W. Hewet.
The second volume of this splendid edition, published by Hewet, Tillotson & Co., New York, contains ten very superior engravings, and comes bound very elegantly in cloth, and stamped. This edition promises to supersede all others. Mr. Hewet, the publisher and editor, is an artist and a scholar of fine accomplishments, and has gained much distinction for excellence in the art of wood engraving. He is one of the best Shaksperian critics and elocutionists in the country, and was the originator of the Harpers' Pictorial edition of Shakspeare. We may be sure that all that is beautiful and artistic relating to the Waverley novels will be made to cluster round this edition. The paper, press work, and general style of execution are all excellent.-Transcript.
The History of William, the Conqueror.
The tenth of the series of historical works, in the course of publication by Harper & Brothers, has made its appearance. This series of works is designed by the author, Mr. Abbot, for popular reading, and is well caculated to
accomplish the aim of the writer. Great historical names alone are selected, and the prominent and leading traits in their characters, and all the important events in their lives, are presented in a bold and free manner, and in simple language. The maps and engravings are numerous, and add to their usefulness, and, at the same time, make them more attractive for the class of youthful readers for whom they are mainly designed.-N. Y. Courier. Travels in Minesota, the New England of the West.
Comparatively little is known of the new territory lying to the north of Iowa and west of Wisconsin and Lake Superior. But it possesses agricultural and commercial resources, the developments of which, rapidly advancing under the labors of a hardy and enterprising population, will raise it ultimately to rank with the most flourishing states in the Union. The author of this work, Mr. E. S. Seymour, travelled over it last summer; and we have here a summary of his observations, presented in unpretending narrative, lucid, spirited, and judiciously succinct. The information it affords is of value to the immigrant, and interesting to those who remain contented at home. Governor Ramsay proclaimed the territorial organization of Minesota on the first of June last. The whole white population of the territory then amounted to only 4780 persons. Two or three years hence it will number a hundred thousand, and will send senators and representatives to Washington demanding its recognition
as a state.
The book is a duodecimo volume of 281 pages, published by the Harpers.-Journal of Commerce. History of the American Bible Society. By W. P. Strickland. New York: Harper and Brothers. This volume is prefaced by an introduction from the pen of the Rev. Dr. Rice, of Cincinnati. In the work itself many things are put on record which it was highly important to preserve, and which will afford material for many an able argument in behalf of the eminently useful society whose rise, progress, and present position Mr. Strickland clearly sets forth. At the first glance we were disposed to think that the author went too much into detail, but on closer examination we find that many of the minor particulars were absolutely necessary to the production of a harmonious whole-a complete history of the American Bible Society, available for reference in every branch of the society's operations. The appendix contains numerous extracts from addresses delivered by various speakers at the anniversaries of the society or its auxiliaA portrait of the Hon. Elias Boudinot, the first president of the society, accompanies the volume.
The Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Dr. Chalmers, by the Rev. Dr. Hanna,
Is in course of republication by Harper & Brothers. Of the three volumes of which it will consist, the first is just issued. The letters and extracts from the daily memoranda of Dr. Chalmers, constitute the larger portion of the work, which gives an interesting account of the labors by which, in the earlier part of his life, this eminent man accomplished himself in those learned and scientific pursuits which enabled him afterwards to press science with such mastery and effect into the service of theology.-Ib.
Cooper's Red Rover,
Which everybody, who reads such works, has read of course, and which nobody, who has not read it, thinks of laying down till its perusal is finished, is republished in a handsome edition by G. P. Putnam, of this city. The author has given a new preface, in which he discusses briefly, but satisfactorily, the original purpose of the building called the Newport ruin, in which some of the inci dents related in the work are supposed to have occurred. -Ib.
Miscellanies. By J. T. Headley. Authorized Edi- and high-sounding "Napoleons" and "Washingtons," tion. New York: Baker & Scribner.
with their attending satellites. We regard the critique on Alison's Europe," whether as regards the literary merits In time past, Mr. Headley has been no favorite with or demerits of the work, or the estimate of the mental and us, as some of our readers may recollect. While ever ac-moral calibre of Alison himself, as one of the soundest knowledging him to be a spirited and even a brilliant most unassailable, and most manly reviews ever prowriter, interesting one, in spite of himself, by his way of duced in this country. And the characteristics of almost presenting the object in hand, we have taken occasion to all the other contents of the volume are common sense and speak of his somewhat numerous and important errors a thorough acquaintance with the subjects under discusboth of matter and manner. To us there has always been sion. The papers on "Alfieri," "Cromwell," "The Crusomething artificial, superficial, and pompous in his most sades," "The French Revolution," and "Luther," will popular efforts; and, in fine, we had set him down as one be read with pleasure and profit. The author seems equal whose books must sell, from the fact that they are interest- to his subject, and expresses himself boldly, intelligibly ing and instructive to those previously ignorant of their and without offence. The last article on "The Prose subjects; but that they are of small literary and mental Writers of America, by Griswold," is more Headleyish in value to the educated and well informed. manner, though the matter is true enough, for the most part.
The preface to the present elegant volume has something of the tone of Mr. Headley's previous productions. Its defects could not be enumerated, perhaps, in a satisfactory manner; but the impression which it leaves is unpleasant. It seems egotistical and self-conceited in some way or other. And in this remark, we do not forget the aggravation received by the author, in having a pirated and illdigested edition of a portion of these very Miscellanies" published under his nose. This combination of insult and injury is hard enough to bear, we admit, but it does not excuse Mr. Headley from the bad taste of evening himself with Irving, Willis, and Dana-it does not excuse him from the bad taste of bringing the names of these gentlemen into his preface at all; for although he could reply that he had not the least intention of placing himself upon their platform, yet their introduction in any way, in connection with the spirit of the preceding remarks, leads the reader to infer that Mr. Headley, smarting under unmerited wrong, and thinking no "small beer" of himself at any time, really believes himself to be on a literary par with any of the writers named. We say "bad taste," because we cannot think that our author can seriously and deliberately believe that his past efforts, whatever his future ones may be, are worthy a place with the best productions of Irving, Willis, or even Dava; or that the general public care one copper whether his writings or those of either the other gentlemen are or are not pirated by some unrighteous book-makers and publishers. A simple statement of the reason for issuing the present collection is all that should have been made the paragraphs growing out of this statement are neither creditable to the writer nor satisfactory to the reader. The admission of a portrait also, in an edition emanating directly from the author, is not to our liking, for we do not hesitate to say, that Mr. Headley, though enjoying quite a popular reputation as a maker of readable books, and even as a smart and eloquent writer, is nevertheless a man of the "flash and catchpenny school" in the opinion of the better informed. And this remark, it must be owned, may render us also liable to the charge of presumption, as it really places ourselves among the most favored portion of the public. But the words must stand, nevertheless, for we do claim a more than average acquaintance with the particular subjects which Mr. Headley happened to select for his best and second-best volumes. Our author's best and brightest effort is "Napoleon and his Marshals," but we defy any one, to whom the life and character of the great Napoleon have been a favorite study, to read it without receiving the impression that it was made to sell, not to be studied, that its style is bombastic, that its matter is superficial. With many really brilliant passages, it proves that its author is absolutely unfitted to gauge the height and depth of Napoleon, that mighty intellect, embedded in almost all the weakness, passion, littleness and meanness, of which human nature can be capable. "Washington and his Generals" is simply an imitation of its predecessor.
With the thoughts that we have endeavored to present In the foregoing paragraphs, our readers may imagine how much and how agreeably we were disappointed, in finding this volume of Miscellanies" to be filled with sound criticism and accurate knowledge, set forth in a subdued and tasteful, but strong and straight-forward manner. The character of the book is of a kind which does not call for more than general remarks, and a few sentences will give our opinion of its merits.
Although but a series of critical essays, it is, to our mind, the best production of its author. It should give him, and it will give him, a higher literary rank than he has ever before attained, with those whose good word is truly worth having; and if his portrait be ever acceptable to the rea ting public, it should be as that of the author of the present volume rather than of the more assumning
We shall be ready to welcome the remainder of Mr. Headley's "Miscellanies," if they be like these in hand. We do hope that he may never again seek to please or to dazzle by the tricks of writing, so common in his former books. Such tricks have already injured him with a portion of the public, whose good opinion will be of far more account, some day or other, than the senseless applause of the inexperienced and uneducated. Mr. Headley has a clear, energetic and poetic mind, and a clear, powerful and eloquent speech. Let him not mar the effect of these prime attributes of a sound and valuable as well as popular and entertaining writer, by studying his subject superficially, by presenting the results of his study in a style which is tawdry and over tinselled.-Boston Post.
[From the "Fly Leaf of Art and Criticism," a page attached to the "Gallery of Illustrious Americans," edited by C. Edwards Lester.]
A Tour to Circassia. By George Leighton Ditson.
This is the title of a new book of travels which has just been issued from the press of Stringer & Townsend. It is published after the manner of "Ferdinand and Isabella." The scene of the work is laid among the snows of the Caucasus. The author has been a great traveller. Some three years ago, after having visited almost every country, he turned his face towards those once well known, but now least understood, portions of the world, the suggestive scenes of the origin of the Caucasian race. It was, in anticipation, not an easy or pleasant enterprise, to visit so wild and inhospitable a part of the world; for we insensibly associate with Mount Caucasus images of frost and barbarism. But Mr. Ditson seems to have gone through the perils and adventures of his journey, with a blood-felt enthusiasm and a spirit of romance, which sometimes give to his volume the charm of fiction, without detracting from its air of veracity. So far as the style is concerned, it betrays occasionally a lack of familiarity with the established laws of finished composition. There is little that is offensive to a refined literary laste, but there is much that indicates inexperience in the making of books. But with all these minor blemishes, the work possesses unusual value and extraordinary interest. The story is honestly told, and there is an air of simplicity about it which begets confidence and awakens gratification.
Within the last few years a considerable number of extraordinary books of travel have been written, which have gained great popularity, chiefly because they ap peared in captivating styles, and related to regions very little known. Among the most extraordinary of these, are the works of Stephens and Layard. Mr. Ditson is likely to fill nearly or quite as large a space in the popular mind. Hitherto the readers of this country have known very little of Circassia. Various French, German and English travellers have been to that part of the world, and published the result of their travels; but many of these works have been unsatisfactory attempts to clear up the shadows that have for ages been gathering over the region of the Caucasian race, or they have been trivial records of personal incidents in which the world took very little interest. Some of them, indeed, have been so learned that they have been of no service except to ethnologists and antiquarians. Among these writers are Spencer and Monsieur De Hell. Mr. Ditson seems to us to be better qualified for writing a useful and entertaining book about Circassia, than any of his predecessors. He evidently started with a firm resolution to overcome every obstacle, and press on to the very heart of the Caucasian country. Early in his progress he met with a generous reception from Prince Worenzoff, whom our readers have long heard
of under many distinguished titles, such as Conqueror of nent. It is issued weekly, at the price of three dollars Napoleon, Governor of Southern Russia, Prince of, and a year, and is managed with great literary ability, conCount of Heaven only knows how many cities and taining many well written original articles, legends, tales towns and nations-but above all, the intimate friend, for and essays, as well as thoroughly digested reviews of inmany years, of the present Emperor of Russia. The teresting books, criticisms on the arts, music and the undertaking of the traveller, who had come from the other drama, and valuable extracts, often in advance of publi. side of the globe, from that new but vast republic which cation. It is well printed on good strong paper, in a has always to the czars seemed like another Russia, quarto form, a suitable size for binding, each number struck the princely old soldier as worthy of encourage-containing twenty-four pages, including four or five pages ment, and he immediately placed at his disposal all the of advertisements. A new volume commenced on the 5th facilities necessary to conduct him safely to the very ex- of January.-Boston Journal. tremities of Circassia. Having travelled among savage tribes and barbarous people in almost every part of the world, he was armed with the important implement of experience. He seems to have known how to deal with suspicious and ferocious men. He pushed his travels further than any modern traveller in these unknown regions.
Lectures and Essays.
By Henry Giles. In Two Volumes. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. These two volumes will be welcomed far and near. Mr. Giles is so popular as a lecturer, and has said so much, to so many people, through so many years, that there are thousands of folks ready and willing to buy hie We have not space to trace the course, or to notice the books, if for no other purpose than the freshening of their Incidents, of his wanderings. This will be done by those own recollections. Our readers will recognize much that journals which are specially dedicated to extended re- they have heard or read. The subjects of the articles views; but we wish to inform our readers of the kind of are, Crabbe, Falstaff, Moral Philosophy of Byron's Life, book Mr. Ditson has written about the countries he vis-Moral Spirit of Byron's Genius, Ebenezer Elliott, Oliver ited. In the first place, there is nothing hackneyed in the Goldsmith, Spirit of Irish History, Ireland and the Irish, subject. It is, indeed, newer than Stephens', and almost The Worth of Liberty, True Manhood, The Pulpit, as exciting as Layard's. It is singular that, with the ad- Patriotism, Economies, Music, The Young Musician, A venturous spirit of our time, no American traveller should Day in Springfield, Chatterton, Carlyle, Savage, and have explored before so alluring a field. In the second Dermody. We cannot now pronounce upon the literary place, spite of a considerable number of typographical merits of these productions. Hearing an eloquent speaker blunders, which mar the beauty of the otherwise excellent is not reading to one's self by any means, and with some typography, the general style of the work is captivating, of the above we are entirely unacquainted. But it may and will prove popular. It is pervaded by a genial, hu- be remarked of Mr. Giles, in a general way, that he has mane, and cheerful spirit. The personal inconveniences the florid eloquence of his country, both in his style of encountered by the author find little space in his volume. writing and his manner of speaking. He is apt to be He has the eye of an artist in seizing the picturesque and wordy, but his words are well chosen. If rather a combeautiful. The coloring is warm, rich, and glowing, mentator, an imaginer, and an essayist, than a critic, he sometimes it becomes gorgeous. Even on the cold banks has the art of delighting people with his thoughts, fanof the Phasis, and in scaling the snowy summits of thecies, and descriptions.--Bost. Post. Caucasus, the writer finds some cheerful image or some inspiring incident. At one time we follow him as he dashes along in his snow-sledge gayly over a frozen steppe; again, we trace him over the frozen steeps of the Caucasus, wrapped up in his furs. Sometimes we find him halting, for his siesta, in a very tempting place, some illustration of which may be gained from the frontispiece of his volume, where we find the portrait of a captivating Circassian face; and these, undoubtedly, were met with often on his tour. Again, he is seen combating the billows of the Black Sea in a Russian man-of-war; and we are happy, after all his adventures, to meet him once more on the shores of sunny Italy.
We wish we had space for a more elaborate notice of this beautiful volume. If the more fastidious critics he severe in some of their remarks on the inaccuracies or inelegance of the author's style, his readers will form a corps of reserve who will be found mingling in the action, if these captious knights of the quill wish to bring on an engagement. It is a right down honest, cheerful, dashing, Independent, racy book, and it will find a place in the library of every man of taste or curiosity, and gain for its author, on his first entrance into the republic of letters, a respectable and even an enviable fame.
While we have never regarded with much favor the practice of speaking of every new author in language of exaggeration, it is, however, no more than just that he should have a fair and candid hearing from the public, especially in a case like this, where so distant and attractive a field has been entered.
[The errors of the press, noticed by Mr. Lester, will, no doubt, be corrected in the second edition, which we are told may shortly be expected.-Liv. Age.]
Literature and Literary Men. By George Gilfillan. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 12mo. pp. 376.
This is a second gallery of literary portraits from an author whose sketching has already won a wide circle of admirers. This volume, however, differs from the other in that it is more elaborate and discriminating, and, it should be added, it exhibits these qualities without losing anything of the life and piquancy which distinguished its predecessor. That it is not sometimes extravagant it would be too much to say. Its extravagance, however, is not mere invention, like Lanman's descriptions of things he never saw, but, like Headley's sketchings, having a basis in truth and only coloring with over-bright tints. We have found that Gilfillan's portraits hear study, and if the reader is like us he will find the author continually giving form and expression to features which, though the reader has never so conceived or stated them, are instantly recognized as true to the life. We have noticed this particularly in the sketch of Byron. Of the literary portraits in this volume there are twenty-five, some of them old paintings retouched, as Macaulay and Emerson. The following is the list: Milton, Byron, Crabbe, Foster, Hood, Macaulay, Croly, Lytton, Emerson, Dawson, Tennyson, Nichol, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Shelley, Cobbett, Montgomery, Sydney Smith, Anderson, Hunt, Moore, Isaac Taylor, Longfellow, Bailey, John Sterling. The book is certainly a most readable one, and will be read widely and attentively.-N. Y. Recorder.
A second gallery of literary portraits, by George Gilfillan, is republished by D. Appleton & Co., from the Mr. Ditson is a lively, entertaining, impressible travel-London edition, which is itself fresh from the press. ler, with a sufficient stock of assurance, and has preserved is the work of a clever, conceited man, who is perpetuthe record of many odd adventures in this clever volume. ally striving to say brilliant things, and who often sucThe path he has struck out has been little explored by the same ambition, he has great sympathy, and in his ceeds. With that class of writers who are haunted by previous tourists, and the description he gives of personal experiences in the enchanted regions of the East has the delineations of literary character, dwells upon them with air of novelty. He makes no pretension to the skill of a particular fondness. In the present work he gives the practised writer, though he occasionally attempts an amliterary portraits of two eminent Americans-Emerson bitious flight, from which he does not escape without and Longfellow-and of two men across the water who damage. His volume cannot be praised for any remark-have been little heard of here-William Anderson, a popu able literary merits, but as a recital of many curious in-lar preacher at Glasgow, and George Dawson, another eidents, illustrative of a social and political state little popular preacher, or, more properly speaking, a Sunday known to the generality of readers, it may be dipped into lecturer at Manchester, whom Mr. Gilfillan calls an inwith considerable interest.-N. Y. Tribune.
The Literary World, published in New York, is one of the most valuable literary publications on this conti
terpreter of Carlyle. The book will find readers partly on account of its sparkling, slashing manner, and partly on account of the interest which belongs to all personal delineations of living men.-N. Y. ED. Post.
POETRY Vein of Gold; Fata Morgana, 545; The Shipbuilders of England, 563; Song; Mother Margary, 564; An Hour with God; Our Country; Light behind the Cloud, 568; Remembrance; Aurora Borealis; My Een are Dim, 569; The Men of Old; I am so hapLast Wishes of a Child, 570; A Cemetery without a Monument; Convict to his Mother; Malleus Domini, 571; Music Grinders; Book of Light; Milton on his Loss of Sight, 572.
SHORT ARTICLES; Sporting "Face," 535; Buckland, on Artesian Wells, 247; Overprayed; Buried 2000 years, 553; Manufacture of Glass Beads; Invention for making Iron; A Thought, 561; Whaling Enterprise; Night in a Wharf Boat, 562; Watt; Pure Light, 563; Oyster Trade; Scotish Stoic, 567; New Books, 573, 574, 575.
Complete sets, in twenty volumes, to the end of March, 1849, handsomely bound, and packed in neat boxes, are for sale at forty dollars.
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Binding. We bind the work in a uniform, strong, and good style; and where customers bring their numbers in good order, can generally give them bound volumes in exchange without any delay. The price of the binding is 50 cents a volume. As they are always bound to one pattern, there will be no difficulty in matching the future volumes.
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Postage. When sent with the cover on, the Living Age consists of three sheets, and is rated as a pamphlet, at 4 cents. But when sent without the cover, it comes within the definition of a newspaper given in the law, and cannot legally be charged with more than newspaper postage, (14 cts.) We add the definition alluded to:
A newspaper is "any printed publication, issued in numbers, consisting of not more than two sheets, and published at short, stated intervals of not more than one month, conveying intelligence of passing events."
Monthly parts. For such as prefer it in that form, the Living Age is put up in monthly parts, containing four or five weekly numbers. In this shape it shows to great advantage in comparison with other works, containing in each part double the matter of any of the quarterlies. But we recommend the weekly numbers, as fresher and fuller of life. Postage on the monthly parts is about 14 cents. The volumes are published quarterly, each volume containing as much matter as a quarterly review gives in eighteen months.
WASHINGTON, 27 DEC., 1845.
Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, this has appeared to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind in the utmost expansion of the present age. J. Q. ADAMS.
LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.-No. 306.-30 MARCH, 1850.
From Fraser's Magazine. in the room, which he had peopled with the SOUTHEY'S LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE. *
noblest spirits of all lands, to relate the story of
his struggles and victories. He was then a ripe We are glad to meet Dr. Southey at last. scholar of forty-six years; it was dark weather in We began to despair of hir:, since he has been so
a season of sunshine ; a lonesome and showery long on the roadot that we were altogether evening had closed a cloudy and ungenial day. ignorant of the causes of delay. From time to Perhaps a mind like Cowper's, ever forecasting sime strange rumors have reached us of feuds, the fashion of uncertain sorrows, might have seen and strifes, and heart-burnings, and unseemly con- something ominous in the coincidence. But the tentions, over the gooid man's literary ashes. poet felt no sadness or apprehension. Living in These things are painful to hear or speak of. the sunshine, he still looked forward with hope. However, the Poet now returns to us in that intel- Many of our readers will recollect that charmlectual form and fashion in which he was always ing essay on a man's writing memoirs of himself, most likely to gain friends, and to keep them. for which we are indebted to one of the deepest We rejuice to welcome him in that winning shape. thinkers of the earlier part of this century. He He—the high-souled, bright-minded, troubled, suggests the sensation of surprise, that would worn-out man-rests from his many sadnesses and startle a reflective man in advanced age, on distoils. Peace be with him! If he were visibly covering at the bottom of an old chest an account and bodily present in this solemn home of litera- of himself, which he had written fifty years before. ture, where we are writing, or in his own green The web of feeling would be curiously woven of haunts by the musical Lodore, he might have various colors and patterns; light and shadow wondrous stories to tell, lovelier and more gor- intermingled. One great beauty of the tale would geous than the cloudy richness of Thalaba ; stories, be its reality; a garland flowers all gathered Brought from a pensive though a happy place,
in the fresh morning of life, with the dew and Of all that is most beauteous, imaged there
bloom on the leaves. What misty, uncertain, In happier beauty; more pellucid streams,
glimmering shapes would come thronging into the An ampler ether, a diviner air, And fields invested with purpureal gleams;
memory! perplexed and intricate, like the moonClimes which the sun, who sheds the brightest day beams on curtains, which shine and break up into Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.
gloom, as the wind rustles them with a sudden
gust. The old man wonders at himself. It is But he stands now before us in his earthly dress, and again we say that we rejoice to see him like looking into a glass once in half a century.
He forgets what manner of man he was. The Writing in his twenty-second year to one of his earliest and dearest friends, Mr. Southey said :
vernal fancies are faded; the merry-speaking
thoughts are silent. “They died like the singNo man ever retained a more perfect knowledge ing-birds of that time which sing no more." of the history of his own mind than I have done. Nothing is as it was. All is changed. Eve's I can trace the development of my character from garden was not more defaced when the slime of infancy-for developed it has been, not changed. the deluge had passed over it. " The life which I look forward to the writing of this history as the we then had, now seems almost as if it could not most pleasing and most useful employment I shall
have been our own. We are like a man returnever undertake.
ing, after the absence of many years, to visit the We have a specimen of the intended narrative embowered cottage where he passed the morning in the first 157 pages of the first volume. It is of his life, and finding only a relic of its ruins." contained in a series of letters to his friend Mr. Opinions will always differ as to the becoming John May, and gives a familiar and most particu- style of these autobiographies. The most famous lar account of his family and himself, their say- performer need not keep us very long. In a genings and doings, chances and changes, up to the eral way, the expenditure of time may be set down period of his school days at Westminster in his in a short column. We want only an entry of the fifteenth year. At that interesting epoch the his- gold coins ; the copper may be left out.
It was tory breaks off. It might have been hardly possi- pleasantly remarked of many popular biographies ble to continue it, with equal minuteness, as it in modern times, that a chronicle of the coats a wound into the diversified labors and business of man has worn, with the color and date of each, his maturer life.
might, for every useful purpose, be as well called It was in the summer of 1820 that he sat down his life. We have few examples in our language.
Cowley, Bishop Hall, and Walter Scott, have * Life and Correspondence of the late Robert Southey given specimens, slighter or graver, in three op Edited by his Son, the Rev. C. C. Southey, M. A. Lon. don: Longman and Co. 1849. [Reprinted by Messrs. posite ways. Perhaps no memoir written by one's Harpers : New York.]
self could equal the truthfulness of letters, flowing 37