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are best qualified to judge. For example, Mr. Hawthorne, the author of "Twice-Told Tales," is scarcely recognised by the press or by the public, and when noticed at all, is noticed merely to be damned by faint praise. Now, my own opinion of him is, that, although his walk is limited, and he is fairly to be charged with mannerism, treating all subjects in a similar tone of dreamy inuendo, yet in this walk he evinces extraordinary genius, having no rival either in America or elsewhere—and this opinion I have never heard gainsaid by any one literary person in the country. That this opinion, however, is a spoken and not a written one, is referable to the facts, first, that Mr. Hawthorne is a poor man, and, second, that he is not an ubiquitous quack.
Again, of Mr. Longfellow, who, although a little quacky per se, has, through his social and literary position as a man of property and a professor at Harvard, a whole legion of active quacks at his control of him what is the apparent popular opinion ?
Of course, that he is a poetical phenomenon, as entirely without fault, as is the luxurious paper upon which his poems are invariably borne to the public eye. In private society he is regarded with one voice as a poet of far more than usual ability, a skilful artist and a well-read man, but as less remarkable in either capacity than as a determined imitator and a dexterous adapter of the ideas of other people. For years I have conversed with no literary person who did not entertain precisely these ideas of Professor L.; and, in fact, on all literary topics, there is in society a seemingly wonderful coincidence of opinion. The author accustomed to seclusion, and mingling for the first time with those who have been associated with him only through their works, is astonished and delighted at finding common to all whom he meets, conclusions which he had blindly fancied were attained by himself alone, and in opposition to the judgment of mankind.
In the series of papers which I now propose, my design is, in giving my own unbiased opinion of the literati (male and female) of New York, to give at the same time very closely, if not with absolute accuracy, that of conversational society in literary circles. It must be expected, of course, that, in innumerable particulars, I shall differ from the voice, that is to say, from what appears to be the voice of the public—but this is a matter of no consequence whatever.
New York literature may be taken as a fair representation of that of the country at large. The city itself is the focus of American letters. Its authors include, perhaps, one-fourth of all in America, and the influence they exert on their brethren, if seemingly silent, is not the less extensive and decisive. As I shall have to speak of many individuals, my limits will not permit me to speak of them otherwise than in brief; but this brevity will be merely consistent with the design, which is that of simple opinion, with little of either argument or detail. With one or two exceptions, I am well acquainted with every author to be introduced, and I shall avail myself of the acquaintance to convey, generally, some idea of the personal appearance of all who, in this regard, would be likely to interest my readers. As any precise order or arrangement seems unnecessary and may be inconvenient, I shall maintain none. It will be understood that, without reference to supposed merit or demerit, each individual is introduced absolutely at random.
THE REV. GEORGE Bush is Professor of Hebrew in the University of New York, and has long been distinguished for the extent and variety of his attainments in oriental literature ; indeed, as an oriental linguist, it is probable that he has no equal among us. He has published a great deal, and his books have always the good fortune to attract attention throughout the civilized world. His " Treatise on the Millenium” is, perhaps, that of his earlier compositions by which he is most extensively as well as most favorably known. Of late days he has created a singular commotion in the realm of theology, by his " Anastasis, or the Doctrine of the Resurrection : in which it is shown that the Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body is not sanctioned by Reason or Revelation.” This work has been zealously attacked, and as zealously defended by the professor and his friends. There can be no doubt that, up to this period, the Bushites have had the
best of the battle. The “ Anastasis” is lucidly, succinctly, vigorously, and logically written, and proves, in my opinion, everything that it attempts-provided we admit the imaginary axioms from which it starts; and this is as much as can be well said of any theological disquisition under the sun. It might be hinted, too, in reference as well to Professor Bush as to his opponents, “que la plupart des sectes ont raison dans une bonne partie de ce qu'elles avancent, mais non pas en ce qu'elles nient." A subsequent work on "The Soul,” by the author of " Anastasis," has made nearly as much noise as the “ Anastasis” itself.
Taylor, who wrote so ingeniously “The Natural History of Enthusiasm,” might have derived many a valuable hint from the study of Professor Bush. No man is more ardent in his theories ; and these latter are neither few nor commonplace. He is a Mesmerist and a Swedenborgian-has lately been engaged in editing Swedenborg's works, publishing them in numbers. He converses with fervor, and often with eloquence. Very probably he will establish an independent church.
He is one of the most amiable men in the world, universally respected and beloved. His frank, unpretending simplicity of demeanor, is especially winning.
In person he is tall, nearly six feet, and spare, with large bones. His countenance expresses rather benevolence and profound earnestness, than high intelligence. The eyes are piercing; the other features, in general, massive. The forehead, phrenologically, indicates causality and comparison, with deficient ideality--the organization which induces strict logicality from insufficient premises. He walks with a slouching gait and with an air of abstraction. His dress is exceedingly plain. In respect to the arrangement about his study, he has many of the Magliabechian babits. He is, perhaps, fifty-five years of age, and seems to enjoy good health.
GEORGE H. COLTON.
Mr. Colton is noted as the author of " Tecumseh,” and as the originator and editor of “The American Review," a Whig magazine of the higher (that is to say, of the five dollar) class. I must not be understood as meaning any disrespect to the work. It is, in my opinion, by far the best of its order in this country, and is supported in the way of contribution by many of the very noblest intellects. Mr. Colton, if in nothing else, has shown himself a man of genius in his successful establishment of the magazine within so brief a period. It is now commencing its second year, and I can say, from my own personal knowledge, that its circulation exceeds two thousand-it is probably about two thousand five hundred. So marked and immediate a success has never been attained by any of our five dollar magazines, with the exception of “The Southern Literary Messenger,” which, in the course of nineteen months, (subsequent to the seventh from its commencement,) attained a circulation of rather more than five thousand.
I cannot conscientiously call Mr. Colton a good editor, although I think that he will finally be so. He improves wonderfully with experience. His present defects are timidity and a lurking taint of partiality, amounting to positive prejudice (in the vulgar sense) for the literature of the Puritans. I do not think, however, that he is at all aware of such prepossession. His taste is rather unexceptionable than positively good. He has not, perhaps, sufficient fire within himself to appreciate it in others. Nevertheless, he endeavors to do so, and in this endeavor is not inapt to take opinions at secondhand—to adopt, I mean, the opinions of others. He is nervous, and a very trifling difficulty disconcerts him, with out getting the better of a sort of dogged perseverance, which will make a thoroughly successful man of him in the end. He is (classically) well educated.
As a poet he has done better things than “ Tecumseh," in whose length he has committed a radical and irreparable error, sufficient in itself to destroy a far better book. Some portions of it are truly poetical ; very many portions belong to a high order of eloquence; it is invariably well versified, and has no glaring defects, but, upon the whole, is insufferably tedious. Some of the author's shorter compositions, published anonymously in his magazine, have afforded indications even of genius.
Mr. Colton is marked in his personal appearance. He is probably not more than thirty, but an air of constant thought (with a pair of spectacles) causes him to seem somewhat older. He is about five feet eight or nine in height, and fairly proportioned-neither stout nor thin. His forehead is quite intellectual. His mouth has a peculiar expression difficult to describe. Hair light and generally in disorder. He converses fluently, and, upon the whole, well, but grandiloquently, and with a tone half tragical half pulpital.
In character he is in the highest degree estimable, a most sincere, high-minded, and altogether honorable man.
He is unmarried.
N, P. WILLIS.
Whatever may be thought of Mr. Willis's talents, there cap be no doubt about the fact that, both as an author and as a man, he has made a good deal of noise in the world—at least for au American. His literary life, in especial, has been one continual émeute ; but then his literary character is modified or impelled in a very remarkable degree by his personal one. His success (for in point of fame, if of nothing else, he has certainly been successful) is to be attributed, one-third to his mental ability and twothirds to his physical temperament—the latter goading him into the accomplishment of what the former merely gave him the means of accomplishing.
At a very early age Mr. Willis seems to have arrived at an understanding that, in a republic such as ours, the mere man of letters must ever be a cipher, and endeavored, accordingly, to unite the éclat of the littérateur with that of the man of fashion -s of society. He “pushed himself,” went much into the world, y ade friends with the gentler sex, "delivered” poetical addresses, wrote a scriptural" poems, travelled, sought the intimacy of noted