Page images
PDF
EPUB

And again

Mr. Hammond is fortunately settled in our neighborhood, for the present at least; and he has the neatest little cottage in the world, standing, too, under a very tall oak, which bends kindly over it, looking like the Princess Glumdalclitch inclining her ear to the box which contained her pet Gulliver,

Mrs. Kirkland's personal manner is an echo of her literary one. She is frank, cordial, yet sufficiently dignified-even bold, yet especially ladylike; converses with remarkable accuracy as well as fluency; is brilliantly witty, and now and then not a little sarcastic, but a general amiability prevails.

She is rather above the medium height; eyes and hair dark ; features somewhat small, with no marked characteristics, but the whole countenance beams with benevolence and intellect.

PROSPER M. WETMORE.

GENERAL WETMORE occupied some years ago quite a conspicuous position among the littérateurs of New York city. His name was seen very frequently in “The Mirror," and in other similar journals, in connexion with brief poems and occasional prose compositions. His only publication in volume form, I believe, is “ The Battle of Lexington and other Poems," a collection of considerable merit, and one which met a very cordial reception from

the press.

Much of this cordiality, however, is attributable to the personal popularity of the man, to his facility in making acquaintances, and his tact in converting them into unwavering friends.

General Wetmore has an exhaustless fund of vitality. His energy, activity and indefatigability are proverbial, not less than his peculiar sociability. These qualities give him unusual influence among his fellow-citizens, and have constituted him (as precisely the same traits have constituted his friend General Morris,) one of a standing committee for the regulation of a certain class of city affairs-such, for instance, as the getting up a complimentary benefit, or a public demonstration of respect for some deceased worthy, or a ball and dinner to Mr. Irving or Mr. Dickens.

Mr. Wetmore is not only a General, but Naval Officer of the

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

Port of New York, Member of the Board of Trade, one of the Council of the Art Union, one of the Corresponding Committee of the Historical Society, and of more other committees than I can just now remember. His manners are recherchés, courteous --a little in the old school way. He is sensitive, punctilious; speaks well, roundly, fluently, plausibly, and is skilled in pouring oil upon the waters of stormy debate.

He is, perhaps, fifty years of age, but has a youthful look; is about five feet eight in height, slender, neat, with an air of military compactness; looks especially well on horseback.

EMMA C. EMBURY.

Mrs. EMBURY is one of the most noted, and certainly one of the most meritorious of our female littérateurs. She has been many years before the public-her earliest compositions, I believe, haring been contributed to the “New York Mirror" under the nom de plume “ Ianthe.” They attracted very general attention at the time of their appearance and materially aided the paper. They were subsequently, with some other pieces, published in volume form, with the title “Guido and other Poems." The book has been long out of print. Of late days its author has written but little poetry--that little, however, has at least indicated a poetic capacity of no common order.

Yet as a poetess she is comparatively unknown, her reputation in this regard having been quite overshadowed by that which she has acquired as a writer of tales. In this latter capacity she has, upon the whole, no equal among her sex in America-certainly no superior. She is not so vigorous as Mrs. Stephens, nor so vivacious as Miss Chubbuck, nor so caustic as Miss Leslie, nor so dignified as Miss Sedgwick, nor so graceful, fanciful and spirituelle as Mrs. Osgood, but is deficient in none of the qualities for which these ladies are noted, and in certain particulars surpasses them all. Her subjects are fresh, if not always vividly original, and she manages them with more skill than is usually exhibited by our magazinists. She has also much imagination and sensibility, while her style is pure, earnest, and devoid of verbiage and exaggeration. I make a point of reading all tales to which I see the name of Mrs. Embury appended. The story by which she has attained most reputation is “Constance Latimer, the Blind Girl."

Mrs. E. is a daughter of Doctor Manly, an eminent physician of New York city. At an early age she married a gentleman of some wealth and of education, as well as of tastes akin to her own. She is noted for her domestic virtues no less than for literary talents and acquirements.

She is about the medium height; complexion, eyes, and hair, light; arched eyebrows; Grecian nose ; the mouth a fine one, and indicative of firmness; the whole countenance pleasing, intellectual, and expressive. The portrait in “Graham's Magazine" for January, 1843, has no resemblance to her whatever.

EPES SARGENT.

MR. SARGENT is well known to the public as the author of “Velasco, a Tragedy,” “The Light of the Light-house, with other Poems,” one or two short nouvelettes, and numerous contributions to the periodicals. He was also the editor of “Sargent's Magazine," a monthly work, which had the misfortune of falling between two stools, never having been able to make up its mind whether to be popular with the three or dignified with the five dollar journals. It was a "happy medium" between the two classes, and met the fate of all happy media in dying, as well through lack of foes as of friends. In medio tutissimus ibis is the worst advice in the world for the editor of a magazine. Its observance proved the downfall of Mr. Lowell and his really meritorious “Pioneer.”

“ Velasco” has received some words of commendation from the author of " Ion," and I am ashamed to say, owes most of its home appreciation to this circumstance. Mr. Talfourd's play has, itself, little truly dramatic, with much picturesque and more poetical value; its author, nevertheless, is better entitled to respect as a dramatist than as a critic of dramas. “ Velasco," compared with American tragedies generally, is a good tragedy-indeed, an excellent one, but, positively considered, its merits are very inconsiderable. It has many of the traits of Mrs. Mowatt's “Fashion,”

« PreviousContinue »