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New England. inere is a national character
"De la Littérature et des Hommes de Lettres
and making every proper allowance for the
We propose in this article to enter on no departments of literature, than a majority of proper discussion of American literature, but our readers will be apt to believe were ever merely to present such an array of carefully written. The library of the British Museum ascertained and interesting facts, with brief contains an immense number of American and hastily written but deliberately formed Histories, Biographies, Reviews, &c., and is opinions, as will guide the intelligent reader by no means deficient in what with more to a just estimate of the general intellectual propriety may be called American Literature, activity in the United States; reserving for though the privilege that we enjoy, while a separate article an account of the books occupied with these pages, of consulting a that have recently issued from the American library in which there are thirteen thousand press. We have been over the field with works composed in the United States, leaves some care, having in the last few months on our mind an impression that Mr. Panizzi examined with more or less attention a larger might, with some advantage to British stunumber of American books, in the various dents, suggest the bestowal of a few hundred
guineas more on the speculation, the poetry, *“The Prose Writers of America. With a Survey romance, and ästhetical dissertation of the of the Intellectual History, Condition, and Prospects cultivators of their language across the Atof the Country." By Rufus Willmot Griswold. 1 vol. 8vo, pp. 552. Fourth edition. London: Rich.
lantic. ard Bentley, 1849.
We cannot but think, despite the contrary “The Poets and Poetry of America, to the Middle judgment of some wise persons who have deof the Nineteenth Century.”. By Rufus Willmot bated this point, that the distinct bistory of Griswold. I vol. 8vo, pp. 550. Eleventh edition. Philadelphia : A. Platt, 1851.
the American mind should be commenced, “The Female Poets of America." By Rufus far back, in the times of the first Puritans in Willmot Griswold. 1 vol. 8vo, pp. 400. Second New England. There is a national character edition. Philadelphia: H. C. Baird, 1850. in America ; it is seen, very decided and
"De la Littérature et des Hommes de Lettres strongly marked, in the free northern States ; auteur de la Notice sur les Indiens de l'Amerique and making every proper allowance for the du Nord. Svo, pp. 617. Paris, 1841.
Dutch element and its influence in New York, VOL XXV. NO. III.
that national character was born in England, i ence altogether more powerful than it has had cast out from thence because it was not agree in England ; and soon after was commenced able to a majority of the people, and has the propagation of the Franco-German phiremained until now, unchanged in its essen- losophy, in translations of its leading expositials, where it first found a home, in the area tions, and the composition of original works,
, of civilization ever widening from the British which, in number and character, now constisettlements on this continent. The history tute a philosophical literature, many-sided of American literature begins in the good old indeed, but abounding in able and ingenious days of the Dudleys, the Cottons, Nortons, dissertations on the chief points which have and Mathers, or earlier still, in those of John interest in the modern schools. MILTON, who has been claimed as the “ most We have space only for a sort of catalogue American author that ever lived." And with raisonné of a few of the most conspicuous justice. For what had that stern and sub- living writers in this department. Professor lime intelligence in common with kingly dom- Upham, of Bowdoin College, is known to the ination, or hierarchical despotism, against both religious world by “Memoirs of Madame of which he made “all Europe ring from side Guyon,” and other works illustrating a belief to side”? And are not his immortal books in Christian perfection, and as the translator on State and Church polities the very fixed of “ Jahn's Biblical Antiquities.” His metaand undecaying expression of the American physical productions consist of a "Philosoideas on these subjects ?
phical and Practical Treatise on the Will;" Philosophers.—Before the commencement Elements of Mental Philosophy, embracing of this century, America had but one great the two Departments of the Intellect and the man in philosophy; but that one was illus- Sensibilities;" the same work abridged ; and trious. From the days of Plato there has " Outlines of Imperfect and Disordered Menbeen no life of more simple and imposing tal Action.” These works have passed through grandeur than that of Jonathan Edwards, many editions, and are very largely used as who, while living as a missionary at North. text-books. They are, in the main, eclectic ampton, then on the confines of civilization, and Anglo-Scottish, but have some original set up his propositions, which have remained and striking views, particularly in regard to as if they were mountains of solid crystal in the sensibilities, in his chapters concerning the centre of the world. We need not re- which he discusses very amply and clearly peat the praises of Edwards, by Robert Hall, the distinctions between the intellectual and Mackintosh, Stewart, Chalmers, and the other sensitive parts of our nature. Professor C. great thinkers of Britain and of the Conti- S. Henry, D.D., of the University of New nent, who have admitted the amazing sub- York, an accomplished scholar, whose first tlety and force of his understanding. In considerable work was a Compendium of America, his doctrines were constantly dis- Christian Antiquities,” is best known by an cussed among theologians, but until the “Epitome of the History of Philosophy, present generation he had scarcely a disciple from the French, with additions, and a transor an antagonist deserving of much consider-lation, with commentaries, of “Cousin's ation. Of writers now living who have treated Elements of Psychology.” In all his writwith most ability and earnestness his Doctrine i ings he agrees with Cousin. Henry P. of the Will, we may mention Dr. Day, late Tappan, D.D., is the author of an admiraPresident of Yale College, Professor Tappan ble " System of Logic,” to which is prefixed of New York, Professor Upham of Maine, an “Introductory View of Philosophy in and Professor Bledsoe of Louisiana; but General, and a Preliminary View of the there are many others who have written with Reason;" the most able and satisfactory acuteness against the great necessitarian, or reply that has ever appeared to the docin his defence.
trines of “Edwards on the Will;" a volume The text-books of the old country—the on “University Education," and many imworks of the Scotch metaphysicians, or those portant papers in the reviews. S. S. Schof Locke, were used commonly in the schools, mucker, D.D., Professor of Theology at Getand for fifty years there was scarcely a pre tysburg, in Pennsylvania, is a voluminous tence of originality or independence; but in writer in metaphysics and theology, and is 1829, the late James Marsh, then President noticed here chiefly for his “ Psychology, or of the University of Vermont, republished, Elements of a new System of Mental Phiwith a masterly Preliminary Essay, the Aids losophy on the Basis of Consciousness and to Reflection, by Coleridge, which was des- Common Sense.” What is “new” in this tined in the United States to bave an influ- I work is rather in classification and terminol