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still good-looking. His forehead is, phrenologically, bad--round and what is termed "bullety." The mouth, however, is much better, although the smile is too constant and lacks expression ; the teeth are white and regular. His hair and whiskers are dark, the latter meeting voluminously beneath the chin. In height Mr. C. is about five feet ten or eleven, and in the street might be regarded as quite a "personable man;" in society I have never had the pleasure of meeting him. He is married, I believe.
ANNE C. LYNCH. Miss ANNE CHARLOTTE Lynch has written little ;-her compositions are even too few to be collected in volume form. Her prose has been, for the most part, anonymous—critical papers in “ The New York Mirror” and elsewhere, with unacknowledged contributions to the annuals, especially “The Gift," and " The Diadem,” both of Philadelphia. Her “Diary of a Recluse," published in the former work, is, perhaps, the best specimen of her prose manner and ability. I remember, also, a fair critique on Fanny Kemble's poems ;-this appeared in " The Democratic Review."
In poetry, however, she has done better, and given evidence of at least unusual talent. Some of her compositions in this way are of merit, and one or two of excellence. In the former class I place her “Bones in the Desert,” published in “The Opal” for 1846, her “Farewell to Ole Bull,” first printed in “ The Tribune," and one or two of her sonnets—not forgetting some graceful and touching lines on the death of Mrs. Willis. In the latter class I place two noble poems, “The Ideal” and “The Ideal Found.” These should be considered as one, for each is by itself imperfect. In modulation and vigor of rhythm, in dignity and elevation of sentiment, in metaphorical appositeness and accuracy, and in energy of expression, I really do not know where to point out anything American much superior to them. Their ideality is not so manifest as their passion, but I think it an unusual indication of taste in Miss Lynch, or (more strictly) of an intuitive sense of poetry's true nature, that this passion is just sufficiently subdued to lie within the compass of the poetic art, within the limits of the beautiful. A step farther and it might have passed them. Mere passion, however exciting, prosaically excites; it is in its very essence homely, and delights in homeliness: but the triumph over passion, as so finely depicted in the two poems mentioned, is one of the purest and most idealizing manifestations of moral beauty.
In character Miss Lynch is enthusiastic, chivalric, self-sacrificing, "equal to any fate," capable of even martyrdom in whatever should seem to her a holy cause--a most exemplary daughter. She has her hobbies, however, (of which a very indefinite idea of “duty” is one,) and is, of course, readily imposed upon by any artful person who perceives and takes advantage of this most amiable failing
In person she is rather above the usual height, somewhat slender, with dark hair and eyes—the whole countenance at times full of intelligent expression. Her demeanor is dignified, graceful, and noticeable for repose. She goes much into literary society.
CHARLES FENNO HOFFMAN.
MR. CHARLES Fenno Hoffman has been long known to the public as an author. He commenced his literary career (as is usually the case in America) by writing for the newspapers—for “The New York American” especially, in the editorial conduct of which he became in some manner associated, at a very early age, with Mr. Charles King. His first book, I believe, was a collection (entitled “A Winter in the West") of letters published in “ The American” during a tour made by their author through the “far West." This work appeared in 1834, went through several editions, was reprinted in London, was very popular, and deserved its popularity. It conveys the natural enthusiasm of a true idealist, in the proper phrenological sense, of one sensitively alive to beauty in every development. Its scenic descriptions are vivid, because fresh, genuine, unforced. There is nothing of the cant of the tourist for the sake not of nature but of tourism. The author writes what he feels, and, clearly, because he feels it. The style, as well as that of all Mr. Hoffman's books, is easy, free from superfluities, and, although abundant in broad phrases, still singularly refined, gentlemanly. This ability to speak boldly without blackguardism, to use the tools of the rabble when necessary without soiling or roughening the hands with their employment, is a rare and unerring test of the natural in contradistinction from the artificial aristocrat.
Mr. H.'s next work was “ Wild Scenes in the Forest and Prairie,” very similar to the preceding, but more diversified with anecdote and interspersed with poetry. “Greyslaer” followed, a romance based on the well known murder of Sharp, the SolicitorGeneral of Kentucky, by Beauchampe. W. Gilmore Simms, (who has far more power, more passion, more movement, more skill than Mr. Hoffman) has treated the same subject more effectively in his novel "Beauchampe;" but the fact is that both gentlemen have positively failed, as might have been expected. That both books are interesting is no merit either of Mr. H. or of Mr. S. The real events were more impressive than are the fictitious ones. The facts of this remarkable tragedy, as arranged by actual circumstance, would put to shame the skill of the most consummate artist. Nothing was left to the novelist but the amplification of character, and at this point neither the author of " Greyslaer" nor of "Beauchampe" is especially au fait. The incidents might be better woven into a tragedy.
In the way of poetry, Mr. Hoffman has also written a good deal. “The Vigil of Faith and other Poems” is the title of a volume published several years ago. The subject of the leading poem is happy-whether originally conceived by Mr. H. or based on an actual superstition, 'I cannot say. Two Indian chiefs are rivals in dove. The accepted lover is about to be made happy, when his betrothed is murdered by the discarded suitor. The revenge taken is the careful preservation of the life of the assassin, under the idea that the meeting the maiden in another world is the point most desired by both the survivors. The incidents interwoven are picturesque, and there are many quotable passages ; the descriptive portions are particularly good; but the author has erred, first, in narrating the story in the first person, and secondly, in putting into the mouth of the narrator language and
sentiments above the nature of an Indian. I say that the narration should not have been in the first person, because, although an Indian may and does fully experience a thousand delicate shades of sentiment, (the whole idea of the story is essentially sentimental,) still he has, clearly, no capacity for their various expression. Mr. Hoffman's hero is made to discourse very much after the manner of Rousseau. Nevertheless, “ The Vigil of Faith” is, upon the whole, one of our most meritorious poems. The shorter pieces in the collection have been more popular ; one or two of the songs particularly so-"Sparkling and Bright," for example, which is admirably adapted to song purposes, and is full of lyric feelings. It cannot be denied, however, that, in general, the whole tone, air and spirit of Mr. Hoffman's fugitive compositions are echoes of Moore. At times the very words and figures of the “ British Anacreon" are unconsciously adopted. Neither can there be any doubt that this obvious similarity, if not positive imitation, is the
source of the commendation bestowed upon our poet by “ The Dublin University Magazine," which declares him " the best song writer in America,” and does him also the honor to intimate its opinion that “he is a better fellow than the whole Yankee crew" of us taken together-after which there is very little to be said.
Whatever may be the merits of Mr. Hoffman as a poet, it may be easily seen that these merits have been put in the worst possible light by the indiscriminate and lavish approbation bestowed on them by Dr. Griswold in his “Poets and Poetry of America." The editor can find no blemish in Mr. H., agrees with everything and copies everything said in his praise-worse than all, gives him more space in the book than any two, or perhaps three, of our poets combined. All this is as much an insult to Mr. Hoffman as to the public, and has done the former irreparable injury-how or why, it is of course unnecessary to say. “ Heaven save us from our friends !"
Mr. Hoffman was the original editor of “The Knickerbocker Magazine,” and gave it while under his control a tone and character, the weight of which may be best estimated by the consideration that the work thence received, an impetus which has sufficed to bear it on alive, although tottering, month after month,
through even that dense region of unmitigated and unmitigable fog—that dreary realm of outer darkness, of utter and inconceivable dunderheadism, over which has so long ruled King Log the Second, in the august person of one Lewis Gaylord Clark. Mr. Hoffman subsequently owned and edited “The American Monthly Magazine," one of the best journals we have ever had. He also for one year conducted “ The New York Mirror,” and has always been a very constant contributor to the periodicals of the day.
He is the brother of Ogden Hoffman. Their father, whose family canie to New York from Holland before the time of Peter Stuyvesant, was often brought into connexion or rivalry with sueh men as Pinckney, Hamilton and Burr.
The character of no man is more universally esteemed and admired than that of the subject of this memoir. He has a host of friends, and it is quite impossible that he should have an enemy in the world. He is chivalric to a fault, enthusiastic, frank without discourtesy, an ardent admirer of the beautiful, a gentleman of the best school—a gentleman by birth, by education and by instinct. His manners are graceful and winning in the extremequiet, affable and dignified, yet cordial and dégagés. He converses much, earnestly, accurately and well. In person he is remarkably handsome. He is about five feet ten in height, somewhat stoutly made. His countenance is a noble one-a full index of the character. The features are somewhat massive but regular. The eyes are blue, or light gray, and full of fire; the mouth finely formed, although the lips have a slight expression of voluptuousness; the forehead, to my surprise although high, gives no indication, in the region of the temples, of that ideality (or love of the beautiful) which is the distinguishing trait of his moral nature. The hair curls, and is of a dark brown, interspersed with gray. He wears full whiskers. Is about forty years of