Page images
PDF
EPUB

little propriutor of a monthly magazine, an intellectual pauper, whom we will call Mr. P. B. D. It overran, by a balf page or more, a ‘form' of eight pages. Unwilling to extend the number of pages, because of the cost, the sapient proprietor changed a comma into a period, at the end of the closing line of the page, leaving the gist of the article, the very dénoueinent of the story, undeveloped! The author, as may well be supposed, was 'a little riled. “Print the article entire, as it was written, Sir,' or leave it out altogether!' 'My dear sir,' responded P.B.D., 'what's the use? It stops very handsoinely; just let it go in !' Reasonable as the request was considered, the author peremptorily declined. The discomfitted proprietor took another tack, interposing what he thought would prove a 'clincher,' and remove all objections: 'Let it stand, Colonel KNAPP, let it stand. It is very good, as it is; and if it is n'ı, nobody will ever read it! - 50 where's the harm ?' The author took the expostulatory compliment home with him, together with the article.

*

'Any luggage, Sir?' — "Take a carriage, Sir?' — 'Eagle, Sir ? —'American Hotel, Sir ? — first-rate house, Sir? — Going west, Sir ? — 'Rail-road, Sir?' Ah! this is not agreeable. This is that part of travelling which is subject to drawback,' as the cominercial gentleman has it. Albany is a pleasant city — steeple-garnished, domecrowned, and commanding - and the mountains arise gloriously around her, in the distance. We were glad to rest, as the morning dawned, by the going forth of her ways.' But these pestilent porters ! Six of them have seized a bewildered-looking gentleman's valise, and are bearing it off in triumph to his lodgings. The owner ruminates, and is evidently angry; but what will he say to the foreign levy' on his purse, from these emulous operatives? That will touch him farther,' when he gets to his hotel. + As you roll toward Schenectady, in the rail-road cars, the hump-backed Catskills, far to the south, lift their rugged and pale blue outlines to the view. Losing sight of their cloud-capt summits, you come to the fruitless sand-soil not barren howbeit, for the frequent clumps of wild flowers, of palest pink, have beauty if not utility — and presently thereafter, you find yourself sweeping up the fertile valley of the Mohawk. Schenectady fading behind you, wide fields spread out around, and the fragrant clover blossom perfuming the way for miles, often growing up to the very wheels of the cars. What a noble valley !- what a glorious state! In four years, a continuous railroad will run side by side with the Erie canal, then widened to a walled river. What monument of enterpise had much-vaunted Rome to compare with this ? Talk of her aquedects! What acqueduct had she, that could vie with the one now constructing, to bring Croton river to New-York, a distance of forty miles? Americans ! let us look at home. We have enough to be proud of, young as we are much to learn, too -- and how much to hope!

Pleasant exceedingly was it, to sit in the swift car, with 'old familiar friends, and that one face, fair as the rose-bud that was clasped by those innocent lips, the faintest smile of which would send the circling dimples to cheeks of softest carnation, posdessing one's self in much quietness, and only interrupted by a gentle titilation of curiosity, as some pretty village is entered and left behind. Yet there was more. A strong sense of the sublime was engendered, as the snorting fire-steed gallopped off with the long train, at his own free pace, in the face of a dense storm-cloud, that finally burst in full force upon us, as we entered the dépôt at Utica. Utica – charming city! Why is not prose written, and song chanted, of its multiplied attractions? How gradually its wide and handsome streets rise on every side to the summit of the ascending table land on which the town reposes! It is a beautiful rus in urbe. To the air of a populous city, it unites the bloom and verdure of the country. Around it, are some of the finest views in the Union. Should you ever journey thitherward, reader, fail not of 'Prospect Hill,' which rises gently some four miles to the south-west. The great basin formed by the rich valley of the Mohawk, with its cordon of pale blue hills, lies before you, to the north and east; the city, softened by distance, in the foreground; and at your feet, the charming village of Whitesboro'; far to the south-west, gleam the white collegebuildings of Clinton University, and, southward and more near, stretches out a vale lovelier than Tempé's— the romantic vale of the Sadaqueda; while nestling on its soft and verdant bosom, reposes the pretty village of New-Hartford, and farther north, a clustered, uniform 'factory settlement.' Enchanting scene! The admirable lines of BRYANT came forcibly home to at least one observer of its manifold beauties :

• I stood upon an upland slope, and cast
My eye upon a broad and beauteous scene,
Where the wide plain lay girt by mountains vast,

And hills o'er hills lifted their heads of green,
With pleasant vales scooped out, and villages between.'

AFTER a night's sound repose, during which we had glided sixty miles in the good canal-packet Cleaveland,' we awoke 'at the sound of the horn' which called the Syracuse lock-master to his duty, and emerged to the deck, to survey this flourishing but crude-looking town, and to disembark, on a short excursion over the hills that ‘looked on our childhood.' And certes, as we wound slowly over them, checking the good Jehu, ever and anon, to gaze upon the magnificent prospect behind, we deemed, with pride that, save the view from Pine Orchard House, we had never seen its fellow. Far-stretching, even to blue Ontario, spread the wide region, populous with villages, the long Oneida and the placid Onondaga lakes 'glinting' in the sunbeams, in the midst. And beyond all

Vexation! We are interrupted. “There is copy enough; the number is out! 'Indeed! So the 'note-book' must be nipped i' the bud, eh? - and the travel's history, and the 'good'uns' gleaned on the way, and the bon mots of our agreeable travelling companions; also the towns, cities, and their incidents - Geneva, Canandaigua, Rochester, Lockport — the Great Cataract!- eh? Good reader, it is even so! The July number is 'overflowing full;' but the August, treading fast upon its heels, and even now grown almost as big, shall salute you betimes; and thereafter shall be always promptitude. We will join you at

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain!'

THE GIRAFFES. These rare and beautiful animals, the first ever brought to this country, afford a very interesting exhibition. They seem to be quite vain of their personal appearance - of their leopard skins, dark eyes, pretty eye-lashes, and expressive mouths - and they hold their heads pretty high in the world,' in consequence. They are exceedingly difficult of 'captivation,' and even in Europe possess the greatest novelty. The one in the Zoological Gardens at Paris, came to that city like a crowned conqueror. She rode from the frontier to the metropolis, we are informed by Mr. SanDERSON, author of the entertaining 'Sketches of Paris,' in state, in a splendid carriage, attended by grooms, footmen, and gentlemen of the bed-chamber,' and followed by an antelope and three goals, in an open barouche ! A military escort proceeded from Paris, with members of the Institute, and other learned bodies, which met her at Fontainbleau. Her entry was a triumphal procession. From ten to twenty thousand citizens poured into the garden daily. Fresh portraits of the favorite were taken by eminent artists, and bulletins of every thing she did were published weekly. Bonnets, shoes, gloves, and gowns, were made à la giraffe ; quadrilles, too, were danced, and café-au-lait made à la giraffe. Excitable Parisians! Yet the object certainly justified some enthusiam,

'Dental Hygeia.' – Such is the title of a poem by Mr. SOLYMAN Brown, Dentist, and author of 'Dentologia.' It contains sundry useful hints in relation to health in general, and the preservation of the teeth in particular, which, our author observes, with truth as well as great poetic fervor,

– require Much more attention than mankind suppose! The verse is flowing enough, and mechanically correct, but not otherwise remarkable; unless it be, in portions, for certain transparent qualities, regarded in the light of confined prose. Take the following lines, for example, which set forth the advantages of cool ablution,' and a proper sufficiency of clothing. 'Colds,' says our bard,

And raging fevers, and acute disease,
In various forms, spring from the long neglect
Of cool ablution. Let it then be done
Daily, and semi-daily, if required.
The infant first, and then the child, becomes
Fond of the habit, which, if firmly fixed,
Contributes greatly to longevity.

Of clothing, 't is sufficient to advise
Never to dress too much that is, too warmly.
A cumbrous load of garments but impedes
The quick and graceful action of the limbs,

And renders awkward what were else gentcel!'
The 'poetry' in these and many kindred lines which might be cited, consists, as will
be seen, entirely in the short lines, and in the capital letters which commence them.
They will remind the reader of similar measured lines in the 'Warreniana' imitation of
Wordsworth, descriptive of the external aspect of 'Peter Bell:'

He was clad
In thick buff waistcoat, cotton pantaloons
I'th' autumn of their life, and wore beside
A drab great coat, on whose pearl buttons beamed
The beauty of the morning. As we strolled,
I could not choose but ask his age, assured
That he was seventy-five, at least ; and though

He did not own it, I'm convinced he was!' But there are many redeeming passages in this little volume, especially in the descriptions of bounteous nature; and the beauty of utility which pervades the poem, should serve to redeem, in some measure, its poetical deficiencies.

THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. — This national enterprise, in which there has been so much vexatious delay, will soon, it is believed, be in effective operation. We refer to it for the purpose of awarding a brief tribute to the exertions of J. N. REYNOLDS, Esq., who is the author, the projector, and the untiring, uncompromising advocate of the expedition, against every obstacle, and all open as well as secret opposition. Whether this gentleman shall accompany the expedition or not, he will have the consolation of knowing, what his countrymen know and feel, that to him, more than to any and all others, shall we be indebted for any honor which may accrue to the nation from the successful result of the enterprise,

CATHERWOOD's PANORAMAS. - The panoramas of Jerusalem and Niagara Falls, now exhibiting at the spacious circular edifice, recently erected on the corner of Prince and Mercer streets, deserve the extensive encouragement they have received. The first; .especially, is the largest and most perfect painting of the kind ever exhibited in this country. The drawings were taken on the spot by Mr. Catherwood, and the painting is of the first order of excellence. The whole covers an area of ten thousand square feet, and represents the city of Jerusalem, with its thousand objects of sacred interest, and the adjoining country on every hand, all round to the horizon. The coloring is rich but natural. The panorama of Niagara is perhaps as good a representation of the mighty cataract as a painting can convey. But the sound, the motion, the awful volume of

these, of necessity, are wanting.

water

[ocr errors]

WEINEDEL'S GALLERY. — Many of the pictures in the gallery of this gentleman, at No. 200 Broadway, are of very superior merit. The head of Christ, in the 'Tribute Money,' after Titian, satisfies the imagination of the personal presence of our SAVIOUR. How calm, spiritual, and God-like! 'The Daughter of Herodias,' after Carlo Dolci, is a gem of art. Although hold, the coloring has all the softness and delicacy of the finest miniature. The face is of perfect beauty. "Potiphar's Wife,' after Cignani, a celebrated painter of the Lombardic school, is a rich, voluptuous effort, and belongs, like 'Adam and Eve,' to the class of 'great moral pictures ! There are some thirty other paintings, of various merit, which we lack space to particularize.

[blocks in formation]

New-YORK REVIEW.— Judging from such articles as we have found leisure to peruse, the number of the 'New-York Review' for the July quarter is even an improvement upon its predecessors, spirited as they have been. The review of Gardiner's 'Music of Nature, and the article on Steam Navigation, are replete with various interesting matters, connected with their general themes, and the notice taken of Miss MARTINEAU is capital. Some of the opinions of the reviewer are identical with those expressed in these pages, in a review of her 'Retrospect of Western Travel.' The system of reputationmaking, by small literary cliques, is well and fearlessly exposed ; although some American writers are mentioned, who would scorn, as we think, to acquire fame, or confer it, by any other than the legitimate means. High praise is awarded to the 'Life of Brant,' in an able and elaborate review of that excellent work, and some one who loves learning for learning's sake, and the good it achieves, has furnished an admirable paper upon education, embracing, collaterally, a spirited defence – unhappily needed in this cui bono age of the study of the ancient languages. Several other reviews, with numerous briefer but well-digested literary notices, make up the number, which we have rather mentioned than noticed.' But time and space are imperative.

New BOOKS, ETC. -We notice the publication, and acknowledge the receipt, of the following works. A hasty and inadequate perusal, at a late period, entitles us only to this brief record of their names and character: 'Memoirs of Sir William Knighton, Bart., keeper of the privy purse, during the reign of His Majesty, George the Fourth, including his correspondence with many distinguished personages. By Lady Knighton.' Philadelphía : CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD ; 'The Athenian Captive, a Tragedy, in five Acts. By Talfourd, author of 'Ion.' New-York : J. AND H. G. LANGLEY; “The Squire, a Novel, by the author of 'The Heiress,' 'Agnes Searle,' etc. Philadelphia : E. L. CAREY AND A. HART; "The credit system in France, Great Britain, and the United States. By H. C. Carey, author of 'Principles of Political Economy,' etc. Philadelphia : CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD; Turner's Sacred History of the World, third volume, and eighty-fourth of HarpERS' Family Library. A notice of an Address delivered before the 'St. Patrick's Benevolent Society of South Carolina, by B. R. CARROLL, Esq., prepared for the present number, will appear in our next.

'ST. JONATHAN, THE LAY OF A SCALD.' — Canto II. of this poem has appeared. It exhibits the same fluency of versification, the same bizarre conceits of rhythm, the same forcing of words and names into most grotesque positions, which were remarkable in the first canto. Yet is there decided talent in the poem, and great cleverness in the general management of so great a variety of interpolated themes, in the way of interlude or episode. Let our young author persevere. The true spirit is in him; and he needs but time, to make him all he may desire for himself, or his friends expect of him. Let him emulate, to some extent, the Italian poet, who had a desk with forty divisions, through which his verses were made to pass in succession, before they were given to the world. If he would wake the strings of his lyre to higher utterance, let him avoid hasty publication. It may be irksome to hammer, and file, and polish, but inasmuch as ripe fruit is better than green, he will find abundant reward in the final result of his labors.

Col. Stone's LIFE OF BRANT. We were prepared to expect an elaborate and excellent work in the life of Brant, by Col. STONE; but in truth, the two superb volumes before us have altogether exceeded our anticipations, not only in their copiousness and general literary execution, but in their numerous elegant embellishments, and the unusual beauty of their typography. We shall take an early occasion to present such a review of this work as its many merits demand. It is the fruit of great labor and untiring research, and beside the varied life of its subject proper, embodies a greater number of interesting facts in the history of the war of the revolution, than any half dozen similar works extant. We unhesitatingly commend it to our readers, as replete with rare information, entertaining narrative, and romantic incidents. Mr. George DEARBORN, Goldstreet, is the publisher, and he deserves high praise for the manner in which the volumes are given to the public.

[ocr errors]

BURTON, OR THE Sieges.' - This is an American romance, in two volumes, by the author of 'Lafitte,' and that very entertaining and popular work, 'The South-West, by a Yankee.' Doubtless it would have received adequate notice at our hands, had it been a more indifferent production, for then it had not been purloined from our table by some tasteful novel-reading friend, who has robbed us of its perusal. There is a goodly number, however, who are more fortunate ; for the first edition was gone, as we learn, in a week, and a second large one hurried to press, before the author had an opportunity to correct a few errors. In discussing the merits of the work, whatever they may be, the public seem to be employing the argumentum ad crumenam, a species of reasoning so gratifying to publishers in general, and authors in particular.

CONSTANCE LATIMER. - A very beautiful and affecting story is 'Constance Latimer, or the Blind Girl,' from the pen of a valued correspondent, Mrs. Emma C. Embury, rccently published by the HARPERS. We have but space to say thus much, at the late hour of the receipt of the volume, and to add, that it is published for the benefit of the

New-York Institution for the Blind,' and that there are beside, in the little book, two other tales, seasoned, like the first, with kindly mixtures of matter calculated to feed and fertilize the mind. The cause of a noble charity, and purposes of private intellectual gratification, will be equally served, in the purchase of 'Constance Latimer, and other Tales.' It is proper to add, that this brief notice was in type for our last number.

'LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF IRISH LIFE,' is the title of two thin volumes, from the press of Messrs. CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD. They contain sixteen tales of the poor, warm-hearted, blundering peasantry of Ireland, which are remarkable for their natural and graphic pictures. They proceed from the well known pen of Mrs. S. C. HALL, and several of them have already appeared in an English periodical, conducted by the writer's husband.

« PreviousContinue »