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boots, I had bought a pair made for the President. When I set them out over night to be blacked at the Smithburgh Hotel,' the waiter had read the name, and communicated the important secret to the landlord, from whom it had spread like wildfire through the town. I had been passing with the Smithburghers for President Pierce!

I have not ventured to show myself in Smithburgh since. I have never heard of General Pierce's going there either, so I suppose they are not undeceived to this day.

P.S.: If you print this story in the KNICKERBOCKER, do n't let any copies of it go to Smithburgh.

1 Ν Τ Η E F o R Ε S T .

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WE lie beneath the forest shade,

Whose sunny tremors dapple us :
She is a proud-eyed Grecian maid,

And I am SARDANAPALUS;
A king uncrowned, whose sole allegiance
Obtains in dusky forest-regions.
How cool and liquid seems the sky!

How blue and still the ditance is !
White fleets of cloud at anchor lie,

And mute are all existences;
Save here and there a bird that launches
A shaft of song among the branches.
Within this alien realm of shade,

We keep a sylvan passover :
We happy twain; a wayward maid,

A careless, gay philosopher :
But unto me she seems a VENUS,
And Paphian grasses nod between us.
Her drooping eyelids half-conceal

A vague, uncertain mystery ;
Her tender glances half-reveal

A sad, impassioned history ;
A tale of hopes and fears unspoken,
Of thoughts that die and leave no token.
"Oh! braid a wreath of budding sprays,

And crown me queen!' the maiden says :
Queen of the shadowy woodland ways,

And wandering winds whose cadences
Are unto thee that tale repeating
Which I must perish while secreting!
I wove a wreath of leaves and buds,

And blooms with golden chalices,
And crowned her queen of summer woods,

And dreamy forest-palaces;
Queen of that realm whose ancient story
Makes life a splendor, death a glory.

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BENEATH the new-leaved maple trees that drop

Their gulfs of shadow on the warm, deep grass,
In dreamy sort I lie, while down the slope
With idle face the cloud-shades pass,

And flitting o'er the stream,
Drift up the mountain wall that zones the vale,
And vanish like the memory of a dream

When night grows pale.
The incense from white-tented fields of bloom

Makes it an ecstasy to lie and breathe
The cool airs from the forest's emerald gloom,
Where wine-dark runnels with gray mosses wreathe,

And sombre pines complain.
A soft and wooing touch is in the air,
A touch like lovers' lips that close with vain,

Impassioned prayer.
On kindling hills and slumbrous mountain-sides

The air melts to an amethystine sea,
Folding each piny crag and scar in tides
Of hazy, dreamy unreality.

Ancient, vast, and solemn,
The smoky peaks loom on the sky afar,
As when on Arctic seas an ice-berg's volume

Hides Hesper's star.
Thoughts of the loved and lost : scenes that were dear,

Because in other eyes their beauty shone;
Fair ghosts of hopes and pleasures reäppear,
And glow with saddened splendor not their own.

Thus in the plaintive shell
The ripple's whisper and the tempest's roar
Of its remembered shore, or sink or swell

For evermore.

Far-wandering winds and melancholy seas,

The wash of surges on a desert isle:
White rafts of cloud, like anchored argosies,
Green eastern wolds that in the sun-set smiles:

Such visions fade and come
In shadowy glimpses of those old abodes
When Progress, primal curse of earth, was dumb,

And men were gods.
These daisied meadows piping shepherds dance,

Rude altars smoke upon the windy lawns,
Misshapen Satyrs peer from woodland haunts,
The forests echo to the laugh of fawns,

And everlasting PAN,
His curled horns prankt with wreaths of varied blooms,
His ancient sway o'er nature, brute, and man

Again resumes.
The green-haired Nereids pour their foaming urn

In yonder willow-girdled chasm, where
The noisy wild bee blows his breezy horn

And leafy murmurs lull the sleepy air :

The idle waves ensue,
A stream of wrinkled silver to the main,
Like some rare dream of song that wanders through

A poet's brain.

The round earth is a mighty censer, swung

By hands sublime before the starry choir :
Its rhythmic hymn by rolling worlds is sung,
Its incense drifts from fields of flowery fire,

Being's exhaustless source !
Each May that stirs th' insensate clod to tell
Of coming bud and fruit, in man restores

Life's miracle.

BRITISH AND FRENCH ART IN NEW YORK.

John Bull, in the plenitude of his good nature — but we must digress thus early from our subject, after the fashion of the veritable history of Tristram Shandy, to defend this expression, lest some one of our downright Yankee brethren, with his prejudices refreshed by a glance from his window at his pet granite obelisk, should take us to task for advancing such heresy as that John Bull is ever good-natured. Now, albeit that our male parent (we take him to be the husband of our mother country) has gained the reputation of being a grumpy and somewhat belligerent old codger, yet we cannot but give him credit for an occasional amiable low, when we see him caring for the amusement of his herd by Sydenham Crystal Palace and Manchester Exhibition, even while all Europe is shaking red flags at him across the Channel, and black ban-dogs are worrying his fair cows and tender calves in the faroff pasture-field of India.

John Bull, then, in the plenitude of his good nature, has not even forgotten his prodigal offspring in these troublous times, but has sent over for our admiration and instruction, an Exhibition of British Art, with a royal good fellow of a British custodian to aid our weak perceptions in the discovery of its beauties. Let no captious grumbler whisper in our ear, that may be, after all, it is but a trading speculation of some London print-seller, who did not go to see Church's Niagara, and never heard of Cropsey or Kensett, but believed that “the Americans do not know what pictures are, and will buy any thing that has a name to it.' Did he, too good, honest advocate of the French Alliance – promote the sending of a more showy representative congress of Gallic painters, and calling it The Exhibition of Paintings by Modern Artists of the French School,' forward the interest of each sales-room by generous rivalry ! Out upon such damnable heresy, and let us learn gratefully our first lessons in the appreciation of high art, without making faces at our kind preceptor. Let us premise that we have never been to the other side,' and knowing only Ruskin, the 'Art

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Magazine,' and kindred publications, let us enter humbly upon the task of discovering, first in the British Exhibition, the beauties of art, in the works of painters whose talents are therein exalted. Hermes ! Thot! or by whatsoever name thou art called, tutelar divinity of artists, forefend that we should discover, within this thy shrine, the Bathos of Art!

Our unaccustomed eyes are first attracted to strange, bright-colored pictures, vividly distinct in all their details, of impossible boys and unearthly infants, with grass of brightest green, running up into where we look for the sky; we do not like to exhibit our ignorance before the Briton, so we appeal privately. to our countryman, quondam editor of the' Crayon,' who has lent his taste and judgment to aid in the arrangement of the galleries and hanging of the pictures. These are works of the new school of Pre-Raphaelite painters, We approach the representation of a yellow-haired boy, whom, at first sight, we judge to have lain so long upon his mother's grave, that his white-duck sailor-trowsers have become mildewed, but the improbability of this theory leads us to the conclusion, that these gray spots are the shade of a tree, which, as it does not appear, we receive on faith. In the back-ground (if the remembrance of there being no perspective taught in this school had not flashed upon us, we should have thought it up a grassy hill) a lamb hidden from its mother by an intervening tomb-stone, is intended as an allegorical coadjutant to the main subject, the presence of which is one of the technical characteristics of this school ; but so awkward is the whole composition, an otherwise pure and touching sentiment is spoiled by the bad company it has got into. Finally we turn away with fixed determination, in our secret mind, to gyrate our small brother in order to discover whether it be possible for the most flexile of mortals to assume the position of that boy upon the

grass. quam quam

ridentem dicere verum

Quid vetat, This is not Art; neither do we conceive it to be a fair exponent of that school of art, which, still new to our times, has called itself by the unfortunate and undescriptive name of Pre-Raphaelite. We are fully mindful that the school is an infant one, yet in its primary department, but we submit that too many square feet of daubed canvas (of which the picture we have first come upon is no unfair sample) go to prove, that the spirit and intention of its teachings are misunderstood by many professing to call themselves by its name, who are bringing it into disrepute, if not into ridicule, by their false representations. If we rightly understand the animus of its founders, its Pre-Raphaelism consists not in an assumed unlearning of all that art has gained since the days of Raphael, in absence of perspective, in glaring tapestry coloring, or in a mock religious sentimentality. The all-pervading spirit which gives it life are those elements of ideal beauty, which Ruskin has, with quaint force, named the Lamp of Truth and the Lamp of Religion. Much maudlin talk there has been of Earnestness and Earnest men, but there is behind, or shall we not rather say above, all this, elevated upon a height from which the unreal has fallen, a genuine love, inborn with every

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noble heart, that craves for that truth and energy of purpose which constitute real earnestness? Herein, therefore, we find the power,

after which this school of painting is now half-blindly groping. Seeking no aid from melo-dramatic contrasts of light and coloring, it needs not to rob itself of all that Art has learned ; it may be all truth, and yet have breadth, and depth, and effective force of composition; foreground and back-ground need not to be rolled out flat, like the pie-man's crust, and plastered, thus distorted, on the canvas; your crag, two miles away, needs not to topple over the heads of sheep here at our feet, that the artist may prove himself too much in earnest with his main design for any care of such trivial considerations as distance, relative distinctness, or real appearance to the eye.

The marked feature of the paintings of this school, as they strike the mere casual observer, is the finish which is given to all the details, even to those of the most trivial importance; every leaf and every blade of grass seems to have been made the subject of a study, and in an extended landscape the effect is displeasing and false. The eye in looking, rests but upon few objects, and these the ones to which it is attracted by some exciting cause; so in painting, the objects, which give the name and character to what is painted, have a distinctness to which all their surroundings must be subordinate. Thus in portraits, the most pleasing finish, more common in crayon drawings than in painting, is that which makes the head a finished study, but leaves the figure a mere blur of hasty pencil-strokes. Where but few objects are represented, and no great extent of surface painted, we are not affected by this glare. Middlemas’ Interview with his Unknown Parents,' by Windus, would not be immediately detected as belonging to this school ; but three figures are introduced, and, as the interest centres naturally in them, the elaborate finish does not so stare us in the face. The same effect of unity subduing this too great distinctness is observable in

Ophelia,' and · April Love,' by Arther Hughes, the painter of what we have already described as the · Mildewed Boy,' a name which has universally supplanted that of the Catalogue, 'Home from Sea; The Mother's Grave;' but we cannot say as much for 'A Finished Sketch,' by the same artist, of a fearsome maiden, who is braiding long strands of yellow tow, no doubt a wig, för no such hair ever grew on human head.

Happily for the reputation of the Pre-Raphaelite brethren, there is in the collection a small copy of Holman Hunt's noble and now worldrenowned painting, The Light of the World. We cannot convey any idea of its beauty by mere description. The design is simple and quaint; the SAVIOUR is standing at a door, strong barred, and grown over with ivy, thorns, and worthless weeds ; He has just knocked, and, with anxious face and half-bowed head, listens for the soul's reply; the time is evening, and the pale-green shimmer of an English moon-lit night but half reveals the objects in the back-ground, while the SavIOUR’s figure and the door are brought out in strong relief by the gleam of the lantern which He carries, hung by a chain from His left hand. CHRIST is represented with the golden crown and royal jewelled robe of His exalted state ; but we cannot better embody both the details of the

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