« VorigeDoorgaan »
last twenty years. His data, as to matters of fact, may, with some exceptions, be accurate enough. But his power of giving a lively view of these or of the more genial F. of his subject does not equal his industry; and the effect of the several essays, as now read in sequence, is, on the whole, both dry and fragmentary.”
Mr. Whipple's Essays and Reviews, recently republished in London, get the following notice from the Athenæum : ‘Prosy, but rich and droll,’ was Miss Martineau's general character of American conversation. Of this we have been reminded by Mr. Whipple's ‘Lectures.” . The prosiness, however, makes the largest third in the compound. He has collected numerous examples and anecdotes, unfamiliar and familiar. There is a general want, however, of perspicacity of view and of decision of language. Are these utterly to vanish from the Essay, because of our fear of dogmatism?—or because of our love of intellect val dissipation, which thirsts for pleasant songs rather than for those plain truths that grow importunate unless they be acted on There appears to be some chance of such a catastrophe on the other side of the Atlantic. Rarely has there ever existed a more practical people than the people of America. Their magnificent enterprises—their rapid growth in wealth and in the love of wealth— announce it. But rarely has there been, at any period of the world's literary history, such a body of hazy literature as now floats about in their cities and lecture rooms.”
The Book of Home Beauty, by Mrs Kirkland, and the Home Book of the Picturesque, published o PUTN AM, have been well received abroad. The thenæum says: “These are both magnificent books; and the care and cost, which have gone to their production can be repaid only by a very extensive sale. It is not long since that we were led to comment on the ‘avidity with which our Republican kinsfolk desire to be on a par with us in all that is most sophisticated in European proceedings and tastes;’ |. scarcely did we expect to receive so signal a warrant to the truth of our remark as this “Book of Home Beauty.’ Its twelve clever engravings are not after pictures in which the Allstons and Sullys of the New World have given to the loveliness of the Transatlantic Mona Lisa or Fornarina that artistic consecration which removes it beond the pale of watering-place curiosity and drawing-room enthusiasm. They are spirited transcripts of pretty drawings made apparently on purpose, and equalling in style those which have been furnished to our boudoir books by Messrs. Parris, Rochard and Buckner.” “If the ‘Beauty' bears the bell on the other side of the Atlantic, the ‘Picturesque' will prove the more acceptable of these two books in England. Many, like ourselves, will turn with avidity to these records of American scenery by American landscape painters. Good justice has been done by the engravers; and a few of the subjects fulfil the promise of the title. Especially do we like the vignette of “The Cascade Bridge, Erie Railroad,” for the sake of its character. Let us also specify Mr. Kensett's • Catskill Scenery' as one of the landscapes which has pleased us best; because it is free from a certain insipidity and stiffness in the treatment of the trees and foliage which we have remarked in other of the designs. Then, who should write about “Catskill scenery' but the Geoffrey Crayon who gave it
first an European reputation by his capital legend of “Rip Van Winkle?'—and pleasantly, according. ly, Mr. Washington Irving has written, to illustrate the striking landscape in question.”
LrtERARY ITEMs. —The French papers state that Lord Brougham, in his retreat at Cannes, is preparing for publication a work entitled, “France and England before Eu. rope in 1851.”
—The Royal Netherlands Institute of Sciences Letters and Fine Arts recently |. the King of Holland, in consequence of their limited income, for letters of dissolution. The King took the Institute at its word, and granted letters which fix the 31st of December for the term of its existence. From the 1st of January, 1852, the Institute will be replaced by a Royal Academy, which will specially devote itself to exact and natural sciences. This body will receive from the state an annual grant of 6,000 florins. It will be composed of twenty-six ordinary, twenty-two extraordinary, and five free members. There are to be eighteen foreign mem. bers, and an unlimited number of correspondents.
— A cargo of books on Oriental languages and literature recently arrived in Cork, as a present from the East India Company to the Queen's Col. lege in that city. The good people turned over the leaves of these works, admired the curious twists and contortions of Sanscrit and Arabic letters, and wondered what was meant by sending such a present to the capital of Munster. The secret has now come out in the agreeable shape of an announcement that the President of the Board of Control, Lord Broughton de Gyfford, has placed at the ditposal of Lord Clarendon, in his capacity of Char: cellor of the University, a Writership in the civil service of the great company, to be bestowed by him on one of the students as a reward for academic merit.
— Mr. Samuel Beaseley, the dramatic writer and novelist, recently died. Of his literary works, the chief were—novels, “The Roué,” and “The Oxonians;” farces, Old Customs, Bachelors' Wives, Is He Jealous? and others of less merit.
—The catalogue of books for the Leipsic fair shows, that in the short space of time between the Easter fair and the 30th of September there were published in Germany no less than 3,860 new works, and that there were on the latter date 1,130 new works in the press. Nearly five thousand new works in one country of Europe in one half year! The amount of intellectual labor . represented in the catalogue appears to have ho on the whole a healthy impulse. Of the 3,860 works already published, more than half treat of various matters connected with science and its concerns. That is to say—descending to particular106 works treat of Protestant theology; 62 of Catho: lie theology; 36 of philosophy; 205 of history and biography; 102 of languages; 194 of natural sciences; 168 of military tactics; 108 of medicine; 169 of jurisprudence; 101 of politics; 184 of politi: cal economy; 83 of industry and commerce; 8 of agriculture and forest administration; 69 of public instruction; 92 of classical philology; 80 of living languages; 64 of the theory of music and the art, of design; 168 of the fine arts in general: 48 of É. writings; 28 of mixed sciences; and 18 of