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NILE NOTES OF A HOWADJI. New York. Harper & It was only a wailing voice in the air."
Brothers: 82 Cliff Street.
the edge of the desert, in the starlight before the dawn.
"Nile Notes, by a Howadji," (traveller that is to say,) is the last of these volumes up to e present time, and we have lingered over its dreamy poetic pages for many pleasant hours, with all the "splendor and havoc of the East" before us. The style of the notes is to the last degree poetical, and some outrageous affectations apart, in many places exceedingly striking. The shores of the Nile bathed in the "creamy sunlight" of the East, the wonders of Thebes, Memphis and Memnon, the Dancinggirls, Dragomen. Hadji-all are warm and distinct in the mind's eye as they could be drawn in a painting to the outward vision. The work is evidently from the pen of one who has dreamt from his childhood of this glorious domain of ancient wonders, and Egypt to his enamored eye was not the squalid, worn out land it really is, but an enchanted region which none but poets could rightly appreciate. The "Howadji" read up for his eastern tour in the pages of Alfred Tennyson. Vide Nile Notes passim. Some passages of the "Notes" are, we fancy, a little too warmly colored for that Gotham, to whose elegant "Astor" and virtuous "Wall street," the author, with the heart of a true cockney, ever turns; but many others are free from this blemish and strike us as very forcible. We subjoin a few sentences taken entirely at random.
1851. "But most melancholy was the case of a Howadji, Whatever may be her relative position in other branches whom we found wandering in the remote regions of the of literature, America undoubtedly bears the palm of late Nile. He was a kind of flying Dutchman, always gliding years, from all Europe, in her books of Travels. We about in a barque haunted by a dragoman and a Reis, or question if the produce of any age or nation in this de-a captain, who would not suffer him to arrive anywhere. partment of letters can equal the long series of delightful The moons of three months had waxed and waned since narratives of which "Typee" is the first, and the work they left Cairo. Winds never blew for that unhappy boat, whose title is given above the last. Typee was a new currents were always adverse-illness and inability seized chapter in book-making. Nothing like its poetic reality the crew. Landing at lonely towns the dragoman sold had ever before issued from travelled brains, and it attract him his own provisions, previously sent ashore for the pured universal attention here and in Europe, more for this pose, at an admirable advance. Gradually he was benovelty even, than for its striking merit. For ages travel- coming the Ancient Mariner of the Nile. He must have lers had been writing books which contained facts, obser- grown grisly—I am sure that he was sad." vations, reflections, opinions,-everything but the pictu- "Nile Notes" is for sale by Morris & Brother. resque. The volumes of English travellers were filled with wearying commonplaces, tiresome "impressions," and personal details which their authors vainly fancied would interest the public equally with themselves. Travelwriting was becoming the common resort of the commonest minds, who published their volumes of tedious narratives solely as some offset to the expenses of the journey. "Typee" was in direct contrast to all this. In it were marvellous adventures, strange lands, a wild people, and all the gorgeous natural wealth of those remote "ultimate dim Thules," delineated with the pen of a master. The interest excited by the book was kept up by "Omoo" and other works from the same hand, and then followed in picturesque succession, "Los Gringos," "Kaloolah," and a host of sparkling volumes, not one of them inferior to “Eöthen," and in many particulars far superior to that much be-praised performance. Thus has America surpassed beyond all comparison the nation which "never read an American book," and we may say with equal truth, that in spite of MM. Chateaubriand, Lamartine, and Dumas, who have so pleasantly recorded their experiences, she has also excelled the most brilliant writers of France.
TWICE TOLD TALES. By Nathaniel Hawthorne. In
Hawthorne is one of our peculiar favorites, among the New England men of letters, and perhaps for the reason that his literary fame has not been acquired by that system of friendly puffery to which most of these writers are indebted for their position. He has had no band of claquers to cry his writings into favor, but they have made their way by virtue of their own intrinsic merits. His reputation is therefore legitimate, and is not likely to be disturbed. We are glad to see this new edition of Twice Told Tales in the choice typography of Ticknor & Co. It is embellished with a very handsome portrait of the author, and contains a Preface, which is quite as good as any thing in either of the volumes, wherein the history of the popularity (or want of popularity, as Mr. Hawthorne thinks it) of the sketches, is pleasantly narrated. The quiet good humor, with which our author discusses his chances of permanent fame, and the altogether disinterested point of view from which he looks at himself, remind us of De Quincey.
These volumes are for sale by Morris & Brother.
THE CITY OF THE SILENT; A Poem. By W. Gilmore
A most graceful poem, worthy in all respects of Mr. Simms, and full of fine and effective passages. We should like to quote some of these, but our narrow limits forbid, and we can only therefore unite in the general commendation which the poem has called forth, without permitting the reader of our remarks to judge for himself. There are, perhaps, some parts of the poem which show haste in its preparation, but productions of this sort are most frequently written against time, and we should not therefore expect the same finish in them that we look for in an epic. On the whole, we think a performance, purely occasional, of more merit than “The City of the Silent" has rarely appeared.
Messrs. Nash & Woodhouse, 139 Main street have sent us the Foreign Reviews for the last quarter, and Blackwood's Magazine for March. The North British contains
"Abon Hassan sat at the city gate, and I saw Haroun Alraschid quietly coming up in that disguise of a Mous-two charming biographical sketches-one of Philip Dodsoul merchant. I could not but wink at Abon, for I knew dridge, from the same pen evidently with the article on him so long ago in the Arabian Nights. But he rather Simeon, and the other of young Hallam, the subject of stared than saluted as friends may in a masquerade." Tennyson's "In Memoriam." The other Reviews are fully up to their ancient fame, and Blackwood contains a delightful instalment of "My Novel."
"Once I heard the Muezzin cry from a little village on
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SOUTHERN LITERARY MESSENGER.
JNO. R. THOMPSON, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
VOL. XVII., No. 5.
ORIGINAL PROSE ARTICLES.
1. Greeley on Reforms. Rashness of the new philosophers-such presumption less excusable in America than in France; Literature of ReformThe School of Socialism: Comte's Cours de Philosophie Positive: Love of money the great social evil of the day,-Organization of LabourAssociation, its fallacy set forth-Emancipation of the Working class, as taught by Mr. Greeley, considered: Labour and Capital-fever of Speculation-Questions of Land Reform and Labour Reform-Mr. Greeley's errors exposed,-Education of the Poor-the author's "Lectures," &c..257 2. "Southern Passages and Pictures." A Review of the poems of W. Gilmore Simms. Popular Poetry considered: What constitutes the great poet-most striking elements of the great "Masters of Song"-peculiar qualities of Mr. Simmshis verse a reflection of his character-Extracts from various poems, &c., &c......
3. Sketches of the Virginia Convention of 1829-30. By Hugh R. Pleasants. The Debater as distinguished from the mere orator-Wм. B. GILES, his remarkable readiness in discussion, lucid style of speaking and powerful memory: PHILIP P. BARBOUR, chosen President of the Convention-Logical acuteness of his mind, his indomitable energy; his reputation at the bar and in Congress continued exercise in debate of great importance to public speakers-MR. MONROE, resemblance intellectually to Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Monroe in the War Department: Influence of scenery upon the formation of characterPHILIP DODDRIDGE, freshness of his style of eloquence-the Patrick Henry of Western Virginia-beauty and fitness of Mr. Doddridge's lan
KEITH & WOODS, St. Louis, Mo.
10. Lines... .289
ORIGINAL PROSE ARTICLES (CONTINUED.)
Whole Number, CXCVII.
guage: Gen. ROBERT B. TAYLOR of Norfolk, amusing anecdote-Gen. Taylor's resignation: JOHN RANDOLPH again-Mr. R.'s voice and eyes. 297 4. The Seldens of Sherwood. Chapters XLVIII, XLIX, and L.
5. Fort Polk. A Letter from Major Sanders of the Engineers
6. A Revelation of the Spirits. Ghostly meeting in the African Church-mysterious orator; sketch of his remarks, Fonetic Nuz," the "Supplement," &c., &c......
9. Sonnet: Metastasio....
7. Alethe. By W. M. R...
8. Norman Maurice; or, the Man of the People. An American Drama. In Five Acts. By W. Gilmore Simms. Act II..
11. "He Does Well who Does his Best." By William Pembroke Mulchinock..
12. To Kossuth......
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EDITOR'S TABLE. Labour and Capital-Dollar Magazine-Our Correspondent L. I. L-Tuckerman's poems—A Suggestion-Sully's picture of Patrick HenryNew Music-Mr. Tefft-Diary of a SwindlerHeriot's Home Journal-Sir Henry Bulwer on St. Jonathan-Two excellent Serials-Mr. Schoolcraft and Lieut Maury.....
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