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"we have academies, and colleges, and bly hostile to the true interests of letters, literary institutions, we encourage liter- however for a time it may seem to foster ary men, and we are a reading people, and protect them; a republic, on the All this
may very true, and yet A- other hand, always preferring the useful merica may be unable to produce any to the ornamental, does not afford much literary work, which is either original or encouragement to such pursuits. excellent. It is an attempt, and nothing In a country where the advantages of more. The national mind in America the different forms of government are is yet in its infancy, it is busy in storing united, as in England, where the freeriches, and has no time to impart them. dom of democracy is joined to the useSociety is not sufliciently advanced, ful patronage wbich the court and the there is no public call for the exertion of nobles can bestow, literature has the best intellect, they are sufficiently interested prospect of splendid and lasting success. in the routine of their daily occupations There will be nobler and higher genius to feel no cravings for literary enjoy- displayed in such a country, than under ment. In old countries, such as Eng. a despotic monarchy, and it will meet land, there are thousands and tens of with more encouragement than the aus. thousands of the higher, and even the terity of republican minds would be middle classes, who have no other em- willing to confer. England is indeed ployment but what the literary market a proud jostance of the effect of politiaffords them, and it is in general these cal institutions on national literature. classes which furnish our authors. In These observations may perhaps acAmerica, though reading forms an inci- count, in some degree, for the small dental and pretty general employment, progress which the Americans have it is, we apprehend, never the sole source made in letters, and if we, at the same of interest. The Americans have heads time,consider the nature of their pursuits of colleges, and professors and teachers, as a nation, they may not inadequately and men eminent in various departments account for it. It now remains for us to of science ; but they have not a class examine more particularly, the mode in of disengaged literati, such as exists in which these disadvantages operate on England. As the Americans acquire the literature of the Americans, and riches and importance, their frame of so- more especially on their poetical litera. ciety will alter, and a more due and equal ture. The most striking feature in their cultivation of letters will ensue. compositions, is, the want of original
Another circumstance has been men- and deep thought, such as proceeds tioned, as possessing a powerful influ- from minds, which have intensely studence over the literature of nations—the ied the mysteries of their art. Another form of government.
The historical failing is, a want of consistency and eevidence of this fact, if examined, will quality in their writings, and a great abbe found very strong, though the mode sence of good taste. From a poverty in which it operates, is by no means so of invention, they are also led into a well understood. Under an oppressive great habit of imitation, in which they and despotic government, literature nev are frequently run away with by their er continued to flourish, and never will; bad taste. As a nation, they write preit is too much to assert that it has never cisely like a young author, whose irreguflourished at all under such influence, larity has not yet been chastened down for some of the most splendid eras of into severity of thought and a dignified national literary excellence, have been equality of execution. We may meet marked by the subjection of the people, as we read, much good and some beauand the establishment of tyrannical tiful writing ; but when we turn the leaf
, power, of which the times of Pericles, it is more than probable that we shall of Augustus, and of Louis the Four: meet with some sentiment or expression, teenth are proofs.
to use an artist's pbrase, entirely out of While a despotic government, from keeping, something which runs com: its debasing the public mind is invaria- pletely
counter to all our pre-cooceived
ideas of taste and judgment, and which The locality of the poem, is displayed has almost power to obliterate the pre- jo the following lines . ceding beauties from our mind. This
“ I love to breathe where Gilead sheds her balm ; unfortunate lack of true poetical judg. I love to walk on Jordan's banks of palm ; ment, is no where so perceptible as in
I love to wet my foot in Hermon's dews; their national poems, if indeed they
I love the promptings of Isaiah's muse:
In Carmel's holy grots I'll court repose, may be so called, where the poet cele- And deck my mossy couch with Sharon's deathless brates the valour, wisdom, and excellence of his country. In these compositions, the causes we have endeavoured
The following picture is as fair a to explain, as influencing American lit- specimen, as we can select of Mr. Pier. erature, are more powerfully operative.
pont's talents There is in most of them, (for they are “Seest thou that shepherd boy, of features fair not without exceptions, the most com
Of eye serene, and brightly flowing hair, plete want of dignity and taste, accom
That leans in thoughtful posture on his crook,
And statue-like, pores o'er the pebbly brook? panied with an amazing degree of pre- Yes: and wby stands he there, in stupor cold? tence and bravado.
Why not pursue those wanderers from his fold ? The American poets form ao partic- Or, mid the playful children of his flocks, ular school. They generally take some
Toss his light limbs, and shake his amber locks, of our standard authors as their model, That boy is lost in a poetic dream :
Rather than idly gaze upon the stream ?and follow with such steps as they may. And while his eye follows the wave along Most of thero pursue the system of the His soul expatiates in the realms of song, French school, while others track the For oft where yonder grassy hills reeede, footsteps of some of our modern bards. And then such sweetness from his fingers stole,
I've heard that shepherd tune his rustic reed ; Amongst the former may be reckoned I knew that music had possessed his soul. the 'Airs of Palestine,' and amongst the Oft in her temple shall the votary bow, latter, the Bridal of Vaumond,' the oft at her altar breathe his ardent vow, writer of which, however, seems to aim And oft suspend, along her coral walls
The proudest trophies that adorn her balls; at something more original.
the heralds of the monarch bear It would be very possible, to form The son of Jesse from his fleecy care, from the works of these gentlemen, Still on his brow, the crown of Israel gleams,
Where sits a being, that was once a king; should we select only the best written And cringing courtiers still adore its beams, portions of their volumes; but this we Though the bright circle throws no light divine, are afraid would hardly tend to eluci- But rays of hell, that melt it while they shine.” date the truth of our speculations, so The following address to the Deity that our readers may depend upon see- is the most poetic part of the volumeing both good and bad. The Airs of Palestine by Mr. Pier- "O! Thou Dread Spirit! being's end and source !
0! check thy chariot in its fervid coursePONT, has attracted some notice in
Bend from thy throne of darkness and of fire, England, and is, on the whole, a pleas- And with one smile immortalize our lyre! ing poem. The author informs us, that it was written in the cause of charity,
Still hast thou stooped to hear a shepherd play, and was intended to form a part of the Hast Thou grown old, Thou who for ever livest!
To prompt his measures, and approve his layperformances of an evening concert, for Hast Thou forgotten, Thou who memory givest! the benefit of the poor. It is written How on the day thine ark, with loud acclaim with much ease and harmony, and bears From Zion's Hill to Mount Moriah came,
Beneath the wings of cherubim to rest, the marks of a pen accustomed to poet- In a rich veil of Tyrian purple drest; ical composition. The theme of the When harps and cymbals joined in echoing clang, poet is music, and, as the title imports, When psalteries tinkled, and when trumpets rang,
And white-rob'd Levites round thine altar sang! sacred music, and it is managed with po
Thou didst descend, and rolling through the crowd, small degree of ingenuity and taste. Inshrine thine ark and altar in thy shroud, Iodeed, Mr. Pierpont possesses more of And fill the temple with thy mantling cloud. the latter quality, than any of the trans. And now, Almighty Father, well we know, atlantic bards who have fallen into our
When humble strains from grateful bosoms flow,
Those humble strains grow richer as they rise, hands.
And shed a balnier frukieas on the skies."
It is however, evident, that these ex- knowledging, that the impelling princitracts exhibit very few sigos of genius; ple is the same with that which instithis is such poetry, as any man of a gates all authors, whose reasons are quick and cultivated mind, would write worth scrutinizing." without difficulty. Mr. Pierpont en The author is
disciple of Walter deavours, in his preface, to defend the Scott, with introductory epistle, &c. in use of double rhymes, wbich occur very due form, and with a sufficient, and frequently in this poem. To a certain more than sufficient change of stanza. degree, they undoubtedly lighten the Spencerian and heroic, and octo-syllamonotony of the heroic verse, but Mr. bic verse, with many other kinds, for P. has made an unsparing use of them, which names have never yet been invenwhich gives 100 great an air of levity to ted, consisting of lines of various length, a poem like the present, especially when from three syllables to ten,are all mixed he is treading upon religious ground. - up together, to the no small disconfitWitness the following:
ure of regular ears ; the plot of the ro
mance is shortly as follows.“ There in dark bowers embosomed, Jesus flings
Vaumond, the son of a peasant, deHis hand celestial o'er prophetick strings ; Displays his purple robe, his bosom gory,
formed in body, and of a greater conHis crown of thorns, his cross, his future glory : tortion of mind, sells the reversion of And while the group, each hallowed accent gleaning, his soul to the powers of darkness for On pilgrim's staff, in pensive posture leaning ;
earthly beauty, honour and dominion, Their reverend beards, that sweep their bosoms, wet With the chill dews of shady Olivet,
or as ihe author expresses it:Wonder and weep, they pour the song of sorrow,
* He hath given the whole With their lov'd Lord, whose death shall shroud the
To the mountain power, morrow."
Body and Soul, It is perhaps scarcely fair to bring
He is our's !" forward The Bridul of Vaumond as a -But the evil gifts are to be recalled, criterion of American talents, as the when he acknowledges the power of the writer tells us that he is yet a youth, cross, and he is forthwith to be conand, amongst the rhymers of the day, demned. The fair Isabel is beloved • a child,' in a legal as well as a poetical by a true koight Lodowick, but Vausense of the term. We believe, how- mond is his rival. At a tournament, ever, that this child' bas obtained a the satanic knight conquers Lodowick, certain celebrity on the other side of who had no such powers, and receives the Atlantic, and the Bridal of Vau- from the hand of beauty the reward of mond has been mentioned, by a writer valour, at which circumstance Lodoin a popular Northern publication, as wick appears to have been chagrined, as one of the finest of the transatlantic we are told, that compositions. We cannot join in this eulogy.-The poem possesses, and
"---wounded pride and recent smart, no inconsiderable degree, all the faults Were burrowing in his inmost heart.” which characterise all the writings of the This displeasure is not removed, Americans. It is crude, careless, and when at a banquet where Isabel was pretending, with great attempts at effect, present, and with very little taste. In the pref
" He saw the baron clasp her hand, ace, the author insinuates, that fame is He heard her tones divinely bland, bis object in publishing, and he seems
Breath'd into his rival's ear; slyly to hint, that it was Mr. Pierpont's
That glance so arch-its living light
Had fir'd the frozen anchorite" also, though he veiled it under the cloak of charity.
Of course the earthly knight challen“The author publishes from none of ges the supernatural one. the avowed motives of his countrymen, “Then meet me if thou durst”—He cried, neither at the solicitation of friends, and left the hall with hurrying stride." for the good of the poor, nor for his Lodowick ought to have known own good. He is not ashamed of ac- with what kind of an nemy he is
dealing, before he provoked him, for he Lodowick and the old peasant, who tell is seized in his own castle by some of her, that when the earth opened before his rival's ministers, blind-folded, and them, they were led by curiosity, to walk carried away, from tbe mode of con- into the chink, where they discovered veyance, we should suppose to Ireland. her lifeless form; and they then con"Now the jolt of a car he feels,
ducted her to a neighbouring convent. He caught the rumbling of the wheels.” Lodowick, for a second time, challen
It appears, however, that he was ges Vaumond, and the heroes meet in transported to Mount Etna, and con
the lists. They are both required to fined in a chamber, in the midst of the kiss the cross, and abjure all magic aid ; volcanic mountain, from wbich he is at but this Vaumond stoutly refuses, and last, fortunately spit up by an eruption; at last proceeds so far, as to dash the not however, before he had beheld his sacred symbol on the ground, and rival conversing with some of his suspi- trample upon it. At this outrage evecious looking friends.—The Knight ry sword starts from its scabbard, and proceeds, and on his way, bears an old Vaumond would have perished, had he peasant singing “a descant wild,” not blown his horn, at which, an army which turns out to the lamentation of subterraneous warriors start up, and of Vaumond's father, over his son's un
a furious conflict ensues; Vaumond dutiful conduct, in forsaking him for and Lodowick meet, but the sword of the mountain powers.
We certainly the latter makes not the slightest immust confess it a very impartial account pression on his enemy; at length he which he gives of his offspring
seizes the large cross, and is about to
dash it upon the Baron's forehead, who * The child grew up of dwarfish size, Huge feet, crook'd legs, and goggle eyes,
bends his head to avoid it—The“ jugWith bow-bent back, and monstrous head." gling fiends” pretend, that this is a reLodowick having heard his tale, invites cognition of faith, and restore him to his the peasant to accompany bim promis- original deformity, and immediately afing him innumerable Ave Marias, at Messina.
event every thing is set right. In the meantime, the plans of Vau- specimen of the poetry, which is ex
So much for the plot; now for mond are rapidly coming to maturity: tremely unequal
, in some parts rising Rugero, the father of Isabel, on his above inediocrity, in others sinking far death-bed, “ bids tbem tie the knot of
below it. fate," and dies; and the baron desires that the ceremony may be immediately
There are several songs interspersed celebrated in a neat chapel of his own will give the best idea of our author's
in the poem,and some verses from these without any pomp, or attendants ; Isabel, who does not hesitate, on account
style. of her father's illness, dutifully obeys—
A FEMALE HEART. Vaumood, leads his bride down a flight Hast thou e'er marked on Ocean's breast, of steps, to which there seemed no ter When the wild wave hath sunk to rest, mination, but at length they reached a
The golden sunbeams play
-As upon hearts as soft, as mild; chamber, which appears to have been
But ah! too oft as yielding, wild his Satanic Majesty's Chapel of ease. Dances fond flattery's ray.The cross is seen reversed, and envi Their frolic measures couldst thou tell, roged with flames, the book is made of
Or heed their mystic union well ? dead men's skin, and the priest carefully hides his face, lest his real character
Or hast thou seen, where Autumn's blast
Around the forest leaves hath cast, should be discovered. At the moment --Such wrecks can passion make! the ceremony is to take place, the shock Destroying all that once was there, of an earthquake is felt, the whole scene Lovely, of good report, and fair, disappears, and Isabel finds herself in
The boughs when whirlwinds shake
And, from their traces couldst thou tell the
green-wood shade, supported by The breeze that bore, or when they fell?
Or canst thou, on the boundless deep,
The treacherous rock and shoal- As darkling oft on passion's waste. The bark unheedingly is cast,
A shipwreck of the soul.--
And number every world ;
Unspherd, in ruin hurld !
After turning over the leaves three or four times, a better extract cannot be furoished,
From Ackerman's Repository.
LONDON FASHIONS, FOR THE SUMMER.
from the face ; the edge of the brim A CAMBRIC muslin high dress :: is finished with blond, and a bouquet
, the body is laced bebind : the composed of a full-blown rose, surback is plain, and moderately wide : rounded with buds and leaves, is plathe front is ornamented with lace lo- ced in front : strings, to correspond zenges; there are two rows let in on with the pelisse, tie it under the chio. each side, which forms the front
' in the Lavender-coloured kid boots, and Listomacher style : the waist is very meric gloves. long. Long sleeves, made rather tight,
EVENING DRESS. and finished at the band with lace: the epaulette, which is very full, is formed A low dress, composed of Urlings' into lozenge puffs by narrow tucked lace, figured in a leaf pattern : it is bands of cambric muslin. There is no
worn over a white satin slip; the waist collar, but a full fall of lace goes round is rather long; the back plain, and the the dress at the throat. A single front formed exactly to the shape of the Aounce of very rich work ornaments bosom. The dress is cut much lower the bottom of the skirt. The pelisse in front of the bust than behind. A worn with this dress is composed of the wreath of leaves, composed of lace, beautiful new silk called zephyreene ; and edged with pink gros de Naples, the colour is a peculiar shade of laven- goes round the bust. The sleeve is a der : it is made tight to the shape, mixture of pink gros de Naples and long in the waist, ornamented with ro- rich lace : the former in full bias folds, settes on the hips, and has a high col- the latter quilled between the folds ; lar rounded in front: the sleeve is these folds are so disposed, as to form moderately wide ; it is finished at the a finish to the bottom of the sleeve, hand by three narrow rouleaus of gros which is also ornamented by two de Naples, each at a little distance small bunches of leaves, one attached from the other. The half-sleeve is to each of the folds. The skirt is face composed of alternate folds of gros de cifully trimmed with pink gros de NaNaples and zephyreene, which are cros- ples, laid on plain in separate pieces ; sed in front of the arm. The skirt is the top of each is something in the loof an easy fulness, and is trimmed at zenge style: a rich and uncommonly bottom only with a fulness of lav- good imitation of Valenciennes lace is ender-coloured gauze, intermixed with quilled round this trimming, and a deep satin to correspond.
Head-dress, a flounce of lace to correspond finishes it bonnet composed of white gros at the bottom : the effect is novel and de Naples :
the crown is low ; strikingly elegant. The front hair is the brim large, but extremely becom- dressed in loose curls, which fall low ing, formed something in the capuchin at the sides of the face; it is less parted style, but to stand out a good deal on the forehead than we have lately