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creation of Leatherstocking is a work apart. I am not acquainted with the English language, and therefore cannot judge of the style of these two great authors, happily for us so different; but I nevertheless think the Scotchman much superior to the American in the expression of thought, as well as the mechanisin of style. Cooper is not a logician. He proceeds by sentences, which taken one by one, are confused; the first has no connection with the last ; but taken together, they make an imposing whole. To comprehend my meaning, we have only to read the two first pages of his ‘Lake Ontario,' examining each proposition separately. They exhibit a mass of ideas which would furnish tasks for a scholar of rhetorio in France; but very soon we yield ourselves to the majesty of nature, and forget the embarrassing course of the vessel, in our admiration of the ocean-lake. Finally, we repeat, that the one is the liistorian of external nature, the other that of humanity ; one reaches the beau-ideal by images, the other by actions, without omitting any poetical associations. The high tide in the 'Antiquary,' and the first landscape in Ivanhoe,' exhibit a talent for description equal to that of COOPER.'
We annex to this beautiful critique of M. DE BALZAC an anecdote which we find in the recently published memoirs of M. Gisquet, formerly a prefect of the French police under Louis PHILIPPE, which exhibits the moral force and truth of one of Cooper's characters. Monsieur Gisquet, in his chapter on the secret agents of the police employed under his administration, observes:
'I will now cite another instance of a very rare and uncommon variety of men, who became agents of the police from motives of patriotism. These are persons of a romantic turn of mind, who feel the necessity for strong excitement, and for whom the incidents of real life are too uniform and prosaic. When such men are not placed in situations to satisfy their cravings, and are unable to gain for themselves celebrity by some remarkable act, they are compelled to lower their pretensions, and seek for distinction by the singularity of their conduct.
*Among the thousands of my police agents, there was one individual of this species. A succession of ordinary occurrences bad made him acquainted with the secrets of a correspondence between the Legitimists and the Duchess de Berri. This man, who could not disengage himself from the position which he occupied, and would not aid the opposite party with his opinions, demanded an audience. He made me comprehend the peculiarity of his situation, and revealed all the advantages which I might derive from it. I expected very elevated pretensions on his part; but judge of my surprise when my new agent declared his determination of serving his country without fee or reward, by rescuing France from the evils of a civil war, which then threatened her. Struck with the reading of one of COOPER's novels called the “The Spy,' he aspired to the sort of ambition which distinguishes the hero of that work, and was desirous of playing in France the part which Cooper has assigned to Harvey Birch, during the American war of independence. He only stipulated in behalf of his friends, my promise that no rigorous measures should be taken with regard to the several persons whom he designated, and who had a friendship for him. “Harvey Birch,' for he adopted this name in all his reports, never belied his professions of fidelity. He rendered services which would have merited a competent fortune; but when the term of them arrived, he contented himself with asking for a humble employment, barely enough to supply his daily necessities.'
MEMOIRS, LETTERS, AND Comic MISCELLANies, in Prose and Verse, of the late James
SMITH, Esq., one of the Authors of 'The Rejected Addresses. Edited by his Brother, Horace SMITH, Esq. In two volumes, 12mo. pp. 501. Philadelphia : CAREY AND HART. New York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.
Did our readers but know that these well-printed volumes are composed of a great variety of articles, written many years ago for English periodicals, over which they once shook their sides with irrepressible laughter, they would not need our roommendation to obtain and peruse them at their earliest leisure. The fact is as we have stated. Those lively and graphic papers, which were the life of the London Magazines; the series of 'Grimm's Ghost,' the numerous songs and recitations of Matthews, 'The Bachelor's Thermometer,' "The Wedding Party,''The First of April,' and nameless numbers more, of a similar character, and equally pleasant to remember; are by JAMES Smith, and are here collected together, with a correspondence not less various and entertaining. No book of the season will better repay perusal.
"The Law of SPECTRES.' — We gave some months since a condensed record of an amusing article in Blackwood's Magazine, upon 'Murder, considered as one of the Fine Arts,' which we trust our readers have not forgotten. A late issue of the same work contains a paper, evidently by the same author, which is marked by kindred ludicrous characteristics. It purports to be a retrospective review of two works, by an old German author, John SAMUEL STRYCK, of Halle, printed at 'Francofurt et Leipsig,' in the eighteenth century, and entitled 'De Jure Spectrorum,' and 'Dissertationes Juridicæ.' This spectral code, or digest of the law as applicable to the relations of the world we live in with the devil and his emissaries, is treated in the most elaborately mock-serious manner. After a glance at a host of contemporary works on ghosts, to indicate the profound knowledge of the writer on his general theme, the reviewer proceeds to cite his author's subdivisions of the genus spectre into classes; as the domestic spectre; the feld-teuffel, field-spectre, or out-door devil; the mountain-spectre, or spirit of the mine; together with lamiæ, incubi, and succubi, and that large class of incognito spirits who make no personal appearance, but unequivocally announce their presence by uttering pestilent noises, subverting the pots and pans in the kitchen, and kicking the tables down stairs ; 'in domus turbant, ollas patinas,' etc., subvertant scamne, mensas per scalas dejiciunt It was in view of this large spiritual standing army, constantly in commission, and to whom all hours are the same, that Stryck became impressed with the necessity of a code which should place the legal relations of men and things with these ghostly beings upon a distinct and systematic footing, both in a civil and criminal point of view. As this is generally a season of 'marrying and giving in marriage,' we shall first quote a section which defines the rights of an affianced bridegroom, in the case of a haunted bride:
*Your marriage contract is extended; the party invited, the ring ordered, when you discover to your consternation that your intended spouse is haunted by spectres, one or more. Quid juris ? Stryck, with some hesitation, gives it as his opinion that the party may, in that case, resile, rebus integris, there being, in his view, an error in the substantials of the contract; and certainly, in our own case, if we had reason to suspect, beforehand, that the lady bad any dealings with spirits, we should be off forthwith, and take all risks of an action of damages for breach. If the marriage is over, and you discover your bride to be haunted, Stryck, though not without difficulty, and a strong feeling of the hardship of the case, conceives there is no remedy. You have taken your companion for better or for worse, and must bear the visitation as a trial from heaven, as you best may.'
On the subject of the discovery of hidden treasures by means of spirits, our author's exposition is not eminently lucid. He answers the question, says the reviewer, whether we can with a safe conscience take possession of a treasure which is in the custody of a spirit, 'by a distinction which to us appears rather thin. If the spirit stands by, and remains neuter, have ning do with the treasure. It is a temptation from Satan to burn your fingers; there let it lie. But if the spectre offer it, press it upon you, make a point of your pocketing it - in short, won't be denied -- then you may take it safely, and ask no questions, presuming that 'it is all right.'
If the spectre not only shows the treasure itself, but points out some charm or magical operation by which the treasure is to be got at, and you follow its suggestions, and by magical practices make yourself master of the money, it is forfeited to government as an illegal acquisition. "If, on the con
trary, the spectre merely shows it, and allows you to get at it in the best way you can ; or if you politely decline his suggestion of using spells and enchantments, and content yourself with a pickaxe and a spade, you may safely take the ghost's word for the thousand pounds, and may bid defiance to the revenue officer. In regard to the discovery of treasure in another man's ground, Stryck lays it down as law, that, although in the ordinary case a person discovering by his own exertions a treasure in another man's property, is entitled to no part of it; yet in the case of its being pointed out to him by a spectre, the fortunate individual may lay claim to a half.'
Touching the rent and location of buildings, the law of spectres is very clear. If after the lease of a house, the devil appears for his interest, and the house becomes a nuisance, the tenant may recover: a moderate spectral annoyance, however, is no ground for voiding the contract, though it may entitle the tenant to a deduction from the rent, when the landlord presents his receipt, in due form: as, 'Deduct for spectres in bed and bed-room, five pounds.' The onus of proof rests with the occupant:
Because otherwise, as Stryck obscrves, it would be easy for any one who had a dislike to the payment of rent, to blast the character of a house, and escape scot free. On the other hand, this view is not free from difficulty. Suppose the tenant proves the nuisance to exist, and to such an extent as to void the contract, how is he to escape the reply of the landlord, that the house had a perfectly good character before ; and that if there were spirits there now, the tenant must have brought them along with him ? In short, that they are personal rather than real incumbrances upon the subject. Stryck thinks that, in that case, the burden of proof may be thus divided. It lies with the landlord to prove that his house had a good character up to the time of the tenant's entry; that done, he has the benefit of the presumption that the supervening spectres have been introduced by the tenant, in which case, of course, the landlord is entitled to exact the last stiver, since it is plain that he is not to suffer merely because his tenant is on bad terms with the world of spirits.'
In discussing the amount of spiritual annoyance that justifies the annulling of a contract, Stryck stretches the point in favor of the landlord. His view of the law is, that if the inconvenience be moderate, as for instance, if the spirits confine themselves to the remoter quarters of the house, and merely knock occasionally at the dining room door, or utter disagreeable sounds, the tenant must put up with it. The objections of the reviewer 10 this rending the law of spectres from its wise intent, are so well put, that we cannot forbear to cite them here:
Now, perhaps, it may be true, that so long as Truepenny confines himself to the cellarage, the inhabitants of the upper stories need give themselves little trouble about his movements; nor, perhaps, would the squalling of an additional imp from the nursery be matter of just complaint. Still the constant scratching of such a creature as old Jeffrey, who continued to haunt Wesley's study so perseveringly, would to our nerves have been disagreeable; and we must strongly protest against the doctrine that these wretches can be allowed, on any account, to approach the dining-room. If they are permitted to knock at the door with impunity, the next step will be to take a seat at table, in which case it is plainly impossible that good digestion can wait on appetite, and the comfort of existence would be destroyed. On the whole, therefore, the view of Romanus seems at once the sounder and the simpler of the two. With him the question is not one of degree at all: whether the spiritual existences confine themselves to the garret and the basement story, or intrude into the dining-room or bed-room, seems to him, on principle, to be all one; it is enough that there they are. No one is bound to put up with such inmates. Prove the fact by notarial instrument, or in any other way that may be legal, and you are entitled to get quit of the bargain entirely. We own this would be our own view of the case; for we really do not see what security a tenant who tolerates with impunity the gambols of a troop of ghosts in the basement can have, that these subterranean performers may not occasionally take it into their heads to walk up stairs.'
We confess to a far greater reverence for the legal acumen of Romanus than for that of STRYCK. The above consistent and humane exposition, as well as the subjoined directions to the tenant for obtaining legal evidence that his house is haunted, fully establish the prëeminence of the former jurist: 'Get hold of a notary-public; shut him up in the haunted room; there let him witness a dance of spectres, or hear the racketing of pots, pans, tables, and elbow-chairs; give him just light enough to enable him to extend a protocol of what passes, and the document thus obtained will be good evidence of the fact.' This must be rather sharp practice, we think, for the notary : but probably he would charge accordingly. We would here humbly insinuate the shadow of a hint, whether the legal rights of the ghosts themselves have not been over looked in this discussion? - and whether it be altogether fair to put a lawyer's ghost, for example, out of view, simply because he has lost the use of his 'quiddits and quillits," and can't conveniently set forth his action of trover, in any christian court ?
THE BLIND. Who that has ever heard Braham sing 'Sampson's Lament for the loss of Sight,' can ever forget the emotions which filled his mind, when the passage, so effectively rendered, “No sun, no moon, no stars - ALL DARK!' falls full on the ear } For ourselves, so powerful was the illusion, that for a moment it seemed as though
swift from zone to zone Swept a vast shadow, swallowing up all light;'
and the first impression we received on entering recently the New-York Asylum for the Blind, was a vivid renewal of the feeling which the performance in question awakened. It was our purpose, in the present number, to have described our visit to this noble insti. tution ; the interesting processes of reading and cyphering, by means of raised letters and moveable numerals; the exquisite musical performances, in full instrumental band, by the male pupils, and the excellent vocal efforts of the females ; together with the ingenious manufactures, of various kinds, which enliven the manual department, and cheer the hearts of the willing laborers; but we rather choose to leave these interesting objects undescribed, that our town readers, during the season of kind wishes and kinder deeds which is now upon us, may improve the occasion to visit the Asylum, and thus themselves be participants in the doubli gratification of receiving and giving pleasure. In the mean time, we annex the following version of a brief but pathetic narrative, which was related to us a few months since, by a warm-hearted friend in a neighboring village, who has been kind enough recently to reduce it to writing, at our request, for the benefit of our readers.
How gross are we in our mortal natures, yet how refined; how sensual, yet how spiritual! What sublime emotions, what delicious sensations, what glorious anticipations of immortality, are conveyed to us through the external senses! The goodness and power of God have formed us fearfully, wonderfully; and all nature has been adapted to administer to our joys. Did we not suffer our souls to become dull and insensible; were we acutely sensitive to impressions, and did we know how to keep our mysterious harps in tune, the works of God would continually fulfil the end for which He intended them. They would be beauty to the eye, and music to the ear. It is this keen appreciation of external things, which makes us to delight in what the dying Hoffınan called the 'sweet habitude of being. With this the shortest existence is in reality long; without it, the longest is but short. For the hours may die, and the clock may toll their death-knell from the turret, and the sun may run his career through the zodiac, and we, like inanimate plants, may inhale the vital air, and take no note of time.' But it is the affections alone which should measure the sum of human existence; and then, whether we die in the spring-time, or be reaped down with the golden harvest, or linger into the bleak winter, life shall have been long or short, as we have felt most, or been devoid of feeling. Who has not been willing, in order to arrive at a point of time, to have the interval blotted out as a thing of no value, or felt as though the raptures of an age were crowded into the short delirium of a dream?
Such reflections were excited in my mind, after having witnessed the intense happiness of one who had been recently restored to sight; a happiness which was communicated in a high degree to all who ever knew the lovely recipient. She was a young and interesting girl, to whom, at her birth, nature had given the precious boon of sight, and with it a heart acutely alive to the beautiful. But accident deprived her of the use of her eyes at an early age, and a film spreading over them, soon left her in total darkness. For ten long years she had groped about, a patient sufferer, hearing the voices, but never seeing the faces, of those she loved. The world in wbich she would have revelled gaily as a bird revels in its own element, was shut from her view, and would be, in all human probability, until she had passed the portals of that grave which was not more dark than the earth in which she moved. Thus she had arrived at her fifteenth summer, when it was permitted her to cherish the fond hope that she' might yet see. It was a hope modified, indeed, by doubts and fears, but fruition seldom imparts such exquisite happiness.
The day at last arrived, the eventful day, when human skill was to exert itself in the benevolent attems: to restore sight to the blind. Many were the eager, anxious countenances gathered around, and gazing in deep silence and with intense interest on the heroic girl, whose pale face rather indicated the trembling suspense of the soul, than the fear of bodily anguish. I attempt not to describe the little preliminary preparations, which make the heart dutter so much when any grand act is on the eve of being done. She sar them not, but she felt them, by that keen intuition which nature has given to the blind. The moment came. The cautious, calm hand of the occulist proceeded to remove the veil which had so long shut out the glory of the world. It was a task soon over, and when the benevolent man, in a voice which did not indicate the feelings of his heart, inquired' Ellen, do you see any thing?' the glorious triumph of the art was at once announced by the rapturous response, 'Oh God, I see!' All present burst into tears. A mother, a brother, a sister wept, and God heard the prayers which went up from the altar of those hearts, if prayers are heard for their fervency. No sooner was the light admitted, than it was again excluded, to be let in by just degrees, that the organ might be accustomed gradually to its refulgent blaze; and nothing remained but to await with patience the transition from the imperfect state of him who saw •men as trees walking,' to a clear and unobstructed vision.
I remember having gone soon after this to congratulate that happy child, and to express the joy which I felt for her restoration. On entering the apartment, it was so dark that, coming from the bright sun-light, I could distinguish nothing. But presently the surrounding objects revealed themselves, and by the rays that struggled dimly through the curtains, I boheld a countenance with an expression so innocent, and supremely happy, that I can never cease to remember it. It was beaming with gratitude to God. A small stand stood by the side of the fair girl, containing a Bible, from which she was soon to read with her own eyes those words of eternal life which had been the solace of her blindness. * Ellen,' said I,. would you not like to go forth into the green fields, and behold the beauty of the Spring ? -- for in the words of that Book which you so much reverence, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.' A brighter smile illuminated her features, and a look which told me that so great a rapture might be soon enjoyed, but must be still deferred. She said that all objects seemed beautiful, and that human countenances were bright and shining like angels. I arose from my seat, and drawing forth a moss-rose which I had plucked that morning, placed it in her hands. It was fresh and fragrant, and just opening its petals to the sun. She received it with ecstatic pleasure, gazed at it, kissed it again and again, pressed it to her bosom, and bursting into a torrent of tears, exclaimed : . It is fair as Eden ; beautiful as if plucked from the gardens of Paradise!' I watched the changing expression of her countenance with an interest growing every moment more intense.• Alasthought I, 'if an object so simple is capable of exciting such emotions in the soul, how mute and insensible are we! For the most illustrious exhibitions of God's power and goodness do continually present themselves without our notice. We are unaffected by times or seasons; by the morning or the refulgent noonday, or the solemn midnight; by spring or summer, autumn or snowy winter. The sun rises and sets, and the moon and stars take up the wondrous tale ;' and how are we better or more happy ? How delightful is it to meet with one whose acute ear can listen to those harmonies impalpable to the grosser sense, and who can find in all nature something to love or admire ! But perhaps I shall one day ramble over fair scenes, refined into such a happy frame, plucking every flower that springs up to view, and pressing the hand of that fair girl!
'The CHRISTIAN REVIEW,' a monthly work published at Boston, one number of which we have lately received from a friend, has impressed us with a favorable idea of its character and literary execution. We were especially struck with a few forcible observations in an article upon the ‘Pilgrim's Progress' of BUNYAN. 'What inind,' says the writer, 'does not retain, treasured up among the things it will never forget, the forms of Christian and the Evangelist, of Greatheart and Faithful, of Apollyon and Giant Despair, or the scenes of the Interpreter's house, and the land of Beulah, and the Delectable Mountains ? And who is not familiar with every step of the way, through the wicket gate from the City of Destruction where Christian dwelt, to the swelling river and the Celestial City beyond, to which he made his eventful and perilous pilgrimage? We have it all in our mind's eye. Yet BUNYAN was not a learned scholar from the halls of Oxford or Cambridge; not the heir of wealth or fame and the world's esteem ; but a travelling tinker, an itinerant preacher ; in boyhood a blackguard in the streets of Bedford; in manhood, the persecuted tenant of Bedford jail.' A review of MACAULEY'S 'Miscellanies' affords some admirable examples of that writer's vigorous yet graceful style, to which, both for their matter and manner, we may hereafter advert.