« VorigeDoorgaan »
things. They proceed to search for the hidden treasures ; and what do they find? Why, nothing better or more, than they had learned before from the cookmaid or the coachman.
But books like those, at the head of our remarks, awaken curiosity at first sight; and an important point is gained when this is done ; since curiosity always leads to inquiry, and what are all the discoveries in science and the arts, but the results of inquiries? We are all more or less interested to know how persons, in circumstances similar to our own, became distinguished or great-we are equally interested in the habits, customs, and general characteristics of distant nations ; but we are too apt to forget that our sympathies were much more easily excited, in each case, in our boyhood, than they are
All this the authors of the volumes before us seem fully to understand There is certainly much to be learned from “Famous Boys"--much that is encouraging-much of warning against indolence, and of example as an incentive to perseverance in well doing. Among the famous boys that became great men, and of whom biographies are given in the book under consideration, are Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John Leyden, Robert Fulton, Humphry Davy, Thomas Chalmers, Stephen Girard, &c.
In the other two volumes, there is an amount of information on the social, political, moral and religious condition of China and British India, which gives a pretty correct insight into the characteristics both of the Chinese and Hindoos-quite enough, certainly, to awaken an interest in the histories of those nations. The author has in each volume, but especially in "The White Elephant,” arrayed his facts in the garb of fiction; and he has so well succeeded, that the stories would be well worth reading for their own sake, with their strange incidents and exciting adventures, altogether, independently of the amount of useful knowledge-historical, ethnological, geographical, religious and political, with which they are everywhere imbued. Each volume is appropriately illustrated-indeed, got up in every respect in a manner commensurate with the intrinsic value of the contents.
The Child's Home Story Book. By JANE STRICKLAND. With twenty-four illus
trations by Adams. Square 24mo., pp. 422. New York: James Miller. 1860.
Next to Miss Edgeworth, the author of this little volume is the most charming and successful female writer for the amusement and instruction of the young, whom the literature of England or America can boast of. And in the collection now before us, we have the best and most popular of her stories. Those who are not already familiar with them, will be able to form some idea of their character from the titles of a few, such as “ The Idler Corrected,"
," "The Consequences of Extravagance," “ The Two Brothers; or, the History of Cain and Abel,” « The Jealous Brothers; or, the History of Joseph," "The Twin Sisters," etc., etc. Each story inculcates a useful moral, and illustrates one or more of those proverbs of Solomon, which are particularly applicable to the young. The volume is got up in tasteful style, spiritedly illus. frated, printed in large, clear type, and neatly and substantially bound.
Climbing the Mountains. By the Author of “ The Mouse in the Pantry," and
“ The Little Sisters of Charity.” 16mo. pp. 142. New York: F.D.
Harriman. 1860. Whoever is the author of this, might well have claimed it on the title-page. From the parity of its sentiments, the chasteness of its style, and, above all, the love for children which it evinces, we are inclined to attribute it to a mother of a family, whose pen had previously done good work for the cause of religion and education. Whether this be correct or not, we know of no book of its size which we would more unhesitatingly recommend to those parents and guardians who have not time themselves to choose suitable books for the holidays, than “Climbing the Mountains." It is printed in large clear type, em bellished with handsome illustrations, and tastefully bound in muslin.
Chanticleer; A Thanksgiving Story of the Peabody Family. By CORNELIUS
MATHEWS. New York: Brown, Loomis & Co. 1860. THERE are few of our young friends but have at least heard of "Chanticleer." As a Thanksgiving story, it is undoubtedly the best that has been written, 80 far as we are aware. At all events, it is such as no intelligent child can read without profit. Its style is pure and simple ; its thoughts are forcible and high-toned ; and its moral lessons salutary and impressive. In short, it is a book that may be put into the hands of the young at any season, with the full. confidence that, in one form or other, it will do good.
1. The Missionary Sisters, a Memorial of Mrs. Seraphina Haynes Everett, and
Mrs. Harriet Martha Hamlin, late Missionaries of the A. B. C. T. M., at
Constantinople. By Mrs. M. G. BENJAMIN. 12mo. pp. 335. 2. The Morning Star, History of Children's Missionary Vessel, and of the
16mo.. Marquesan and Micronesian Missions. By Mrs. JANE S. WARREN.
3. The Young Christian Merchant, a Memoir of George W. Blake, late of Buenos
Ayres, S. A. Compiled chiefly from his Journal and Letters, by his Sister.
16mo. pp. 296. 4. The World's Birth Day. A Book for the Young. By Professor L. GAUSSEN,
Geneva, author of “It is Written," &c. 16mo. pp. 270. 5. The Ruined Cities of the East. By Rev. Dr. TWEEDIE. 16mo. pp. 193.
Boston: American Tract Society, 1860.
There are many intelligent people who, without taking the trouble to examine the facts, are under the impression that the American Tract Society publish nothing but tracts, and of those who know they publish books, probably the majority regard the latter as exclusively theological. We confess we were under the latter impression ourselves, until very recently; but the volumes whose titles we place at the head of these remarks, would show by themselves a different state of things. Religious, indeed, each of them is ; but none of them is the less interesting or instructive on this account. The letters of Mrs.
Everett and Mrs. Hamlin, in “The Missionary Sisters," would be read with profit and pleasure, by a large number, for the information they contain and the high moral tone which everywhere pervades them, altogether independently of the admirable lessons of Christian resignation and true piety which they teach, as only the female mind, and that in a high state of culture, is capable of. The biographer has done her part well, though without any pretension to literary merit, and apparently without any less noble ambition than “ the luxury of doing good.” A brief extract or two, from her concluding remarks, may be regarded as a just and discriminating tribute to the Sisters, both as women and missionaries.
" For those who have read through the preceding pages, a summary of character, will hardly be necessary. Yet it may not be unprofitable to consider briefly some of the more prominent traits which made these two Missionary Sisters so lovely and useful.
“It has been remarked that in natural temperament they were quiet dissimilar, and the reader will doubtless have noticed something of this dissimilarity in their letters. Urs. Everett was of an ardent, impulsive nature, and very lively and social ; Mrs. Hamlin serious, quiet, and reserved. But the samo grace modified both these temperaments, and from each wrought out beautiful and consistent Christian characters. If Mrs. Everett's liveliness ever led ber into lightness, as she intimates in some of her letters that it did, in her early years, the love of Christ, and a deep sympathy with him in his yearnings for the salvation of perishing souls, chastened that liveliness into a steady cheerfulness, which helped much to keep up her energies, and enable her to meet, with such unrufiod sweetness, the varied and arduous duties of her missionary life. The same love for Christ and lost sinners, diverted Mrs. Hamlin's mind from all morbid tendencies, if it ever had any, and by keeping constantly before her a great object to pray, and labor, and hope for, made her also a choorful as well as earnest Christian."
“ Thero is another thing to be noticed, as showing how they accomplished so much,-their industry. It has been remarked by those who knew them most intimately, that they were never idle. Every little fragment of time was carefully gathered up by them; they seem to keep ever before them that they were to do with their might what their hands found to do.' And habits of system and ordor helped them to do all they did without hurry or confusion.
" Yet one other trait which was prominent in both, should not be overlooked,—their feminin delicacy, and nice sense of propriety. Their zeal for Christ, and desire for the salvation of the perishing, never led them to overstep the proper limits of their position. In their own sphere they exerted all their energies to do good, and point the lost sinner to the Cross; but the sweet womanly virtues of gentleness, meekness, and the most retiring modesty, were their crowning ornaments.And in nothing is their example more worthy of imitation than in the fidelity and grace with which they discharged every domestic duty. They had not so learned Christ' as to believe that in following him they were to neglect their first and most sacred duties as wives and mothers, and heads of households, and it was in all the relations of home that their deep and earnest piety shone most beautifully."
It is pleasant thus to see a lady devoting her talents to the vindication of departed worth and self-sacrificing devotion among her own sex. The influence of such books cannot be otherwise than powerful for good.
Of a somewhat similar character, but containing more variety and more that will be interesting to the general reader, is the “Morning Star.” The title of the book coincides with the name of a vessel built pressly for missionary purposes, and whose history is given in the volume, together with that of the Marquesan and Micronesian missions. This affords the author opportunities of relating many facts and anecdotes illustrative of the manners, customs, and religious and moral condition of many tribes, of whom we have scarcely any other knowledge than that afforded us by missionary enterprise, industry and
intelligence, The tiny work is written in a lively, graphic style, and has the additional advantage of some well executed pictorial illustrations of strange scenes and remarkable objects.
We have accounts equally interesting from other parts of the world, in the Young Christian Merchant,” and “ The Ruined Cities of the East”—the former having reference to missionary labors in South America, especially in Buenos Ayres and Brazil—the latter, as the title implies, to the influence of time on cities once great and famous, but of which there is now scarcely a vestige left—such as Babylon, Nineveh, Ephesus, Palmyra, Tyre, and Persepolis. The colored plates representing the ruins are better executed and of more value than those often to be met with in expensive octavos. Yet, probably the most instructive of the five volumes is that entitled “ The World's Birth Day," and in which the discoveries of science are ingeniously reconciled with the teachings of the Bible. This work is a translation from the French, in which language it has done much good throughout Europe. The author gives conjectural descriptions of the work done on each of the six days of the creation, with plates illustrative of different geological periods, including fossils of various kinds. Books of this kind are the best that could be put into the hands of young persons during the approaching holidays.
A Forest Hymn. By WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. Illustrated from original
drawings, by John A. Howe. New York: W. A. Townsend & Co. 1860.
We can truly say that neither in Europe nor America has it ever been our privilege to examine or read a more exquisite gift book than this. Whether we regard the engravings, the typography, the paper, or the binding, we are equally. forced to admit that it is a model of elegance and taste—such as its publishers may well be proud of. We are not of those who think that a good poem is always enhanced in value, or rendered more pleasing to the fancy by means of pictorial illustrations ; on the contrary, we hold that such happens but rarely. But in the present instance the artist has caught the very spirit, grace and delicacy of the poet with all the felicity of a kindred genius ; and each of the thirty-two illustrations is as finely finished as it is expressive and truthful. As to the “Hymn" itself, there is hardly a nobler sacred lyric in our language. Nothing in modern poetry is calculated to inspire a more elevated conception of the Deity than the passage beginning thus :
“Let me at least
“Father, thy hand
The illustrations to each of these stanzas are singularly appropriate. The tone of subdued but hopeful melancholy pervading the following passage, has, for us, an inexpressible charm, which is heightened in no slight degree by the pencil of the artist :
6. The century living crow,
". These dim vaults,
But we must not forestall the pleasure which is in store for those who may not have yet seen * A Forest Hymn,” by extending our quotations. Suffice it to add that, in our opinion, a more happy combination of poetry and art will not adorn either a European or American centre table during the forthcoming festive season.
A New Method for the Pianoforte. By NathaN RICHARDSON, author of " The
Modern School,” &c. pp. 239. Boston : Oliver Ditson & Co.
A METHOD for the piano, containing all the instructions and exercises necessary to the acquisition of a tolerable mastery of the instrument, has long been a desideratum. To meet this want, we have methods by Beyer, Bertini, Cramer, Czerney, Hummell, Hunten, Knorr, Muller, &c.; none of which are entirely satisfactory, although each possesses some peculiar merit. An instruction book for the piano, in order to meet the wants of teachers and pupils, must possess certain characteristics, e. g.: Ist. A sufficient number of mechanical exercises, including the scales in every key, both major and minor, and in all movements. 2d. Studies to aid in the mastery of particular diffculties such as octaves, arpeggios, staccato, legato, singing tone, &c. 3d. There should be interspersed with these a number of extracts from different authors, to serve as amusements, studies in style, and for cultivating a correct taste. 4th. The book ought to contain complete, though concise directions, in regard to the manner of practising each exercise, study, or amusement. And finally, the whole ought to be arranged in a progressive order, from the very simplest exercise for beginners, to the extremely difficult studies, or exercises at the close.
In the Modern School, (published in 1853,) Mr. Richardson, then just returned from several years' study under the best masters in Europe, attempted to solve the problem. The "fundamental conception" was excellent-; but the execution was faulty, from a lack, on the part of the author, of an extensive teaching experience, without which no one can write a good elementary book in any branch of knowledge. In the words of Mr. Richardson, the method was unsatisfactory in relation to the difficult progressions and man. agement of many important features in a course of piano tuition, a skilful treatment of which is indispensable to the pupils' rapid progress.” Even the