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part, seems to be content to take Montesquieu's witticism for truth-that "the Spaniards have produced one good book, and the object of that was to laugh at all the rest." All, however, have not been so ignorant; and more than one cunning adventurer has found his way into the pleasant field of Castilian letters, and carried off materials of no little value for the composition of his own works. Such was Le Sage, as shown in more than one of his productions; such, too, were various of the dramatic writers of France and other countries, where the extent of the plunder can only be estimated by those who have themselves delved in the rich mines of Spanish lore.
Mr. Ticknor has now, for the first time, fully surveyed the ground, systematically arranged its various productions, and explored their character and properties. In the disposition of his immense mass of materials he has maintained the most perfect order, so distributing them as to afford every facility for the comprehension of the student.
We are everywhere made conscious of the abundance, not merely of these materials-though one third of the subjects brought under review, at least, are new to the public-but of the writer's intellectual resources. We feel that we are supplied from a reservoir that has been filled to overflowing from the very fountains of the Muses; which is, moreover, fed from other sources than those of the Castilian literature. By his critical acquaintance with the literatures of other nations, Mr. Ticknor has all the means at command for illustration and comparison. The extent of this various knowledge may be gathered from his notes, even more than from the text. A single glance at these will show on how broad a foundation the narrative rests. They contain stores of personal anecdote, criticism, and literary speculation, that might almost furnish materials for another work like the present.
The tone of criticism in these volumes is temperate and candid. We cannot but think Mr. Ticknor has profited largely by the former discussion of this subject in his academic lectures. Not that the present book bears much resemblance to those lectures-certainly not more than must necessarily occur in the discussion of the same subject by the same mind, after a long interval of time. But this interval has enabled him to review, and no doubt in some cases to reverse, his earlier judgments, and his present decisions come before us as the ripe results of a long and patient meditation. This gives them still higher author
We cannot conclude without some notice of the style, so essential an element in a work of elegant literature. It is clear, classical, and correct, with a sustained moral dignity that not unfrequently rises to eloquence. But it is usually distinguished by a calm, philosophical tenor, that is well suited to the character of the subject. It is especially free from any tendency to mysticism— from vagueness of expression, a pretty sure indication of vague conceptions in the mind of the author, which he is apt to dignify with the name of philosophy.
In our criticism on Mr. Ticknor's labors, we may be thought to have dwelt too exclusively on his merits. It may be that we owe something to the contagion of his own generous and genial tone of criticism on others. Or it may be that we feel more than common interest in a subject which is not altogether new to us; and it is only an acquaintance with the subject that can enable one to estimate the difficulties of its execution. Where we have had occasion to differ from our author, we have freely stated it. But such instances are few, and of no great moment. We consider the work as one that does honor to English literature. It cannot fail to attract much attention from European critics, who are at all instructed in the topics which it discusses. We predict with confidence that it will be speedily translated into Castilian, and into German; and that it must become the standard work on Spanish literature, not only for those who speak our own tongue, but for the Spaniards themselves.
Mr. Ticknor's History is conducted in a truly philosophical spirit. Instead of presenting a barren record of books-which, like the catalogue of a gallery of paintings, is of comparatively little use to those who have not previously studied them-he illustrates the works by the personal history of their authors, and this, again, by the history of the times in which they lived; afford- We have still a word to add on the typographiing, by the reciprocal action of one on the other, cal execution of the book, not in reference to its a complete record of Spanish civilization, both mechanical beauty, which is equal to that of any social and intellectual. It would be difficult to other that has come from the Cambridge press. find a work more thoroughly penetrated with the but in regard to its verbal accuracy. This is not true Castilian spirit, or to which the general an easy matter in a work like the present, instudent, or the student of civil history, may refer volving such an amount of references in foreign with no less advantage than one who is simply languages, as well as the publication of poems of interested in the progress of letters. A pertinent considerable length from manuscript, and that, too, example of this is in the account of Columbus, which contains passages from the correspondence of that remarkable man, which, even after all that has been written on the subject-and so well written throw important light on his character.
in the Castilian. We doubt if any similar work of erudition has been executed by a foreign press with greater accuracy. We do not doubt that it would not have been so well executed, in this respect, by any other press in this country.
From Burritt's Christian Citizen. EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY!
THEN it is noon on the dial-plate of the nineteenth century! And have we reached such a high semicentenary stand-point of time? SEVENTEEN Hundred and Fifty! Eighteen Hundred! Eighteen Hundred and Fifty! What eventful periods have been told off to humanity by these bells of time! What epochs in the life of nations, what spaces of human progress, what vicissitudes of experience, what revolutions and renovations of human society, have been included in these three periods! Turn to any middle-aged man around you, and he will tell you that his grandfather heard the clock strike Seventeen Hundred and Fifty. And that grandfather could read and write, and was a sensible man, and owned and tilled, it may be, the farm which that grandson owns and tills; and there was, perhaps, as close resemblance, in form and feature, between him and his own son, as between the latter and his son. In fact, no essential or striking difference may have existed in these three links of individual life. If that grandson lives, and moves, and thinks, in this age of railways and electric telegraphs, and has mastered ideas unknown to his predecessors, his experience is rather a quiet inheritance than an acquisition which has cost him effort. No great vicissitudes, revelations, struggles, or transformations may have changed the course or condition of these three individuals. Their family line holds the even tenor of its way on the tide of time. But turn to the life of nations, and what vast changes have marked their experience during these three periods of time which can be spanned by the united memories of three individuals! When the clock struck Seventeen Hundred and Fifty, there were about 3,000,000 of the Anglo-Saxon race in America, scattered sparsely in little settlements from the mouth of the Mississippi to the mouth of the St. Lawrence. What an epoch in the history of Christendom was included in the succeeding fifty years! What long and sanguinary struggles convulsed Europe during this period! And all perhaps taking their rise in circumstances connected with the settlement and development of the New World.
It was virtually an unbroken age of war and rumors of war, and revolutions that shook down thrones and dynasties. From the Cossack on the Don to the painted Indian on the Ohio, all peoples, tribes, and tongues, would seem to have taken part in these bloody conflicts. There were no railways, nor electric telegraphs, nor any quick facilities of communication between the world's populations in those dark years of mutual jealousy and alienation. Christian philanthropy confined its pale and stinted charities at home; or, if it ventured abroad, it found no rest for the sole of its foot on the wild deluge of violence which covered the earth.
Then the clock struck Eighteen Hundred; and, heedless of the great lessons of the past, the nations of Christendom lighted the new century into the world with the torch of war, and baptized its first years in the blood of five millions of human beings slain in battle, and that too-awful fact!-in the name of the Christian Religion! It was not until the nations had given all their power to the Beast of Brute Force, and lay exhausted from loss of blood and treasure, that a still, small voice arose, uttering the rebike of the Gospel against all war; and men began to associate their convictions, sympathies, and efforts, to banish it from the earth.
Slowly, evangelical ideas and benevolent thoughts took hold of the mind of the age and germinated into enterprises of philanthropy. Slowly, the humanizing arts and sciences worked out their feats on time and space, and all the other partition walls which divided different countries and communities. The Iron Horse began to thunder across the islands and continents. The steamship trod the waves and the stout head-winds of the ocean beneath its feet, and walked the seas, a thing of giant life. The wires of the electric telegraph thrilled with messages sent by bitted lightning from metropolis to metropolis. Nations approached each other. Old animosities vanished before the genius of another age. Commerce plied its ceaseless shuttles across the ocean and the sea, and in the silken warp and woof of mutual interests inwove peoples once alienated by hereditary jealousies. And over, and above, and through all these agencies, permeated the ideas of Christian faith, and the light of the new revealed revelation, that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men." Swifter flew the Iron Horse, and with longer reach the steam-ship paced the ocean, and the lightning flew on smaller errands, and great nations fraternized, and peoples of different tongue met in congress to organize perpetual peace and brotherhood within their family circle.
And now the great clock of time has struck Eighteen Hundred and Fifty. The men who remember the century's birth and the early and latter years of its history, may command such a retrospect as never came within the reach of one human vision or memory since the Christian era. No men who have lived upon the earth were ever permitted to contemplate the past and future from such a Pisgah of observation as they have now reached. What a vista of momentous events to humanity must fill that retrospect! What changes, what progress, what new conditions in the being of nations and individuals, have they not witnessed! They saw, and remember vividly, the slaughter-day of Waterloo, and all the bloody days in which the young century was cradled in its infancy. They remember the awful mêlée, in which all the nations of Christendom took a sanguinary and ruinous part, and acted out such an enormous drama of fruitless violence as the world had never witnessed. How natural to contrast that period with the last fifteen years! to contrast the conquests of brute force of the one with the moral force conquests of the other; the garments rolled in blood, and the shout of victory on the field of Waterloo, with the garments of praise and freedom-shouts of 800,000 slaves in the British islands on the morning of their emancipation; the Bridge of Lodi with the Bridge with which steam has spanned the ocean, and connected two worlds; England and France, with all their Titan-handed energies, grappling in deadly struggle on the field of battle, with England and France walking arm in arm, as mediators and peace-makers among the nations, whom they taught the art of war; the Peace Congress at Paris, with the Congress of Vienna; the principles enunciated at the one with those which monarchs decreed divine at the other; the spirit of fellowship and brotherhood between the peoples now, with their mutual jealousies and alienation in 1815!
Eighteen Hundred and Fifty! Blessed be the young eyes that shall see its future through of fifty years! Blessed be the ears that shall hear the clock strike the century-hour of Nineteen Hundred! Blessed be those who shall ascend that Pisgah's
top of time and look back over the pathway of but the suggestion was ridiculous. humanity to this hour, and contemplate its great amici, was all that he, the Onion, had to say to progress-points, and the events of happy augury that. (Loud laughter, in which all but the Melon and impetus which shall divide the distance like
illuminated mile-stones along the road! And joined.) He, the Onion, would "not detain them blessed be the eyes, thrice blessed, that shall look longer, but would conclude by proposing health, futureward from that sublime stand-point, and see long life, and prosperity to the Potato."
what God has prepared for the vision of human
GRAND BANQUET TO THE POTATO.
The toast was received with enthusiasm by all but the Cucumber, whose coolness seemed to excite much disgust among his brother vegetables. The Onion had, in fact, affected many of those present to tears, and the Celery, who sat next to the Horseradish, hung down his head in an agony of sensibility. When the cheering had partially subsided, the Potato rose, but that was only a signal for renewed enthusiasm; and it was some minutes before silence was restored. At length the Potato proceeded nearly as follows:
Friends and fellow-vegetables: It is with difficulty I express the feeling with which I have come here to-day. Having suffered for the last three or four years from a grievous disease, which seemed to threaten me with total dissolution, it is with intense satisfaction I find myself once more among you in the vigor of health. (Cheers.) I should be indeed insensible to kindness were I to forget the anxious inquiries that have been made as to the state of my health by those who have held me in esteem, and sometimes in a steam. THAT highly respected vegetable, the Potato, (A laugh, in which all but the Melon joined.) 1 canbeing now, it is hoped, thoroughly reestablished in not boast of a long line of ancestors. I did not, health, it was determined by a few leading mem-like some of you, come in with the Conqueror ; bers of the Vegetable Kingdom to offer a banquet but I came in the train of civilization, amidst the to the worthy and convalescent root on his happy recovery. The arrangements for the dinner were on a scale of great liberality, and the guests included all the principal vegetables. The invitations had been carried out by an efficient corps of Scarlet runners, and the Onion occupied the chair. He was supported on his right by the head of the Asparagus family, while Salad occupied a bowl at the other end of the table, and was dressed in his usual manner. The Potato, though just out of his bed, was looking remarkably well, and wore his jacket, there being nothing to mark his recent illness except perhaps a little apparent blackness round one of his eyes. After the cloth had been removed,
The Onion got up to propose as a toast, "The Potato, their much-respected guest." (Immense cheering.) He, the Onion, had known the Potato from infancy; and though they had not always been associated in life, they had frequently met at the same table. They had sometimes braved together the same broils, and had found themselves often together in such a stew (He alluded to the Irish stew) as had brought them, for the time being, into an alliance of the very closest kind. He, the Onion, was delighted to see the Potato once more restored to his place in society, for he, the Onion, could say, without flattery, that society had endeavored to supply the place of the Potato in vain. (Hear, hear.) They had heard of Rice having been suggested to take the place of his honorable friend, CCXCVIII. LIVING AGE. VOL. XXIV. 15
memorable luggage of Sir Walter Raleigh, in
The Potato resumed his seat amid the most tumultuous cheering, which lasted for a considerable time.-Punch.
From the Examiner.
THE ANNUALS FOR 1850.
WE have had to notice, for many successive seasons, the deterioration and decline of the annuals. Other gift-books have usurped their place; and they must have perished altogether, several years back, but for the accident of having in their service the talents and tact of Lady Blessington. She had a circle of wits of her own, poets and painters, who did not think this kind of literature beneath them as long as she took part in it. Thus her annual books had always a merit beyond the average-some pleasing illustration, and some pointed passages of literature. Often the popular tone or color of the year was reflected in them, and what she wrote herself was admirably suited to the idle yet social mood in which such books are taken up. We could not expect
that the annuals would survive the death of this accomplished woman-though it certainly is the least of the many sad regrets attending her loss. The Book of Beauty has been changed into a Court Album, and is a mere collection of female heads with accompanying explanations in prose. The Keepsake appears once more, probably for the last time.t
Lady Blessington's name is still on the titlepage. She had prepared a portion of it, and its conclusion appears to have been entrusted to her niece, Miss Power, who remarks, in the course of a preface written with much feeling, that
When the career of her under whose auspices this periodical had so often appeared was suddenly brought to a close, the proprietor, unwilling to keep back a volume which he felt was invested with so peculiar and melancholy an interest, ventured to trust its conclusion to one who, however deficient she may be in those qualifications which so eminently fitted Lady Blessington to produce a work of this nature, has at least had the advantage of being thoroughly acquainted with the system of management pursued by the late editress, who had even assisted in her labors, and who was in communication with the contributors whose names appear in its pages.
The most striking contribution is from Barry Cornwall. It is one of those mournful and terrible romances of the streets of a great city, which the same writer has so often addressed, in plain, strong, unsuperfluous verse, to thoughtful and feeling hearts. These lines are beautiful throughout, but eminently so in the concluding stanzas. VERDICT," FOUND DEAD. THE SURGEON'S TALE.
BY BARRY CORNWALL.
"T was on a dark December evening;
Not a beggar upon his beat:
The Court Album: fourteen portraits of the Female Aristocracy. Engraved by the best artists, from drawings by John Hayter. Bogue.
The Keepsake, 1850. Edited by the late Countess of Blessington. With engravings under the superintendence of Mr. Frederick A. Heath. Bogue.
Wind and rain, and cold and darkness,
I was struggling in the storm,
You will find a woman-dead.
"Never stepped a finer creature,
When she was a simple maid;
Riding, diamonds in her hair;
Up the worn and slippery stair
And looked down upon the floor!
There, on the rough and naked boards,
Nothing!"-yet what more could Pity
Than sweet words from one she worshipped,
In the midnight of her pain,
And with her they now lie mouldering,
Telleth where (to end the story)
Love's poor outcast sleeps alone.
Last, fit pillow for her head.
About ten years ago, a paragraph appeared in some of the daily newspapers, giving an account of an inquest held on the body of a young woman "found dead" in some obscure street or lane in London. The body was discovered, frightfully emaciated, scantily clothed, and in a poor garret. which was entirely destitute of every article of furniture, comfort or otherwise, except a few ragged love-letters which she had preserved through every privation. According to the evidence she had been at one time a person of considerable beauty, and had evidently died of hunger.
there is agreeable writing throughout the volWe need not particularize other papers, but ume, and if the Keepsake series is to close here
it closes not unworthily. Of the Court Album we have little to say, but that its fourteen portraits embody several very pretty faces, though savoring somewhat of a monotonous style in the painter. The most attractive are those of Miss Lygon, the Ladies Clementina Villiers and Adela Ibbetson, Miss Ogilvy, the Princess Nicholas Esterhazy, and the Lady Frances Russell. The accompanying prose notices are occasionally not ill written, but they have marvellously little connection with the young ladies' faces or histories.
The Drawing Room Scrap-Book is this year edited by Mr. Charles Mackay, who contributes to the illustration of its "scraps" several flowing and some earnest verses. The peculiarity of this annual, and that which will probably give it longer life than its fellows, is that its engravings are not expressly prepared for its pages, but, being used in other works during the year, are at the end of it collected into this. It gives a place to every possible subject-portrait, landscape, fancy, history-and imposes, therefore, no light tax on the ingenuity and variety of its laureate. But Mr. Mackay gets through his task exceedingly well. He has the art of popular writing, having already taken a degree from the street-singers and organ-players such as no writer may becomingly affect to despise. His subjects are intelligible to everybody, and his verse has an easy fluency of movement and thought which is caught like a lively tune. We borrow from the book before us a set of stanzas in honor of the " storytellers."
All blessings on their name and fame,
The benefactors of the world,
Blessings upon them each and all,
To modern times when other dames,
Blessings upon them! whatsoe'er
Their language or their nation,
On old BOCCACCIO, gay as youth-
On stanch DEFOE, whose fruits were sweet,
On SWIFT, from out whose bitterness
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap-Book, 1850. By Charles Mackay, LL.D. Jackson.
On FIELDING, from whose wondrous pen
Of wit and mirth, and feeling, too,
On SMOLLET, GOLDSMITH, RICHARDSON ;-
On DICKENS, monarch of our hearts-
On all who 've spurred through Fairy land
On RABELAIS, VOLTAIRE, ROUSSEAU,
But if my voice might claim for one
The roguish boy of Santillane-
Who has not learned in youth or age
Some wisdom from his preaching,
But blessings on them each, and all,
If in their page they love mankind,
If evermore, both right and wrong
If evermore their words console
My choicest blessings on their heads-