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Etymological Spelling Book and Expositor ; being an Introduction to the Spelling, Pronunciation and Derivation of the English Language: By H. Butler. Philadelphia. H. Perkins.

Nights at Mess. Philadelphia. E. L. Carey & A Hart. 1 vol.

Elements of Algebra ; from the French of M. Bourdon. Revised and Adapted to Instruction in the United States. By Charles Davis.

Yarrow Revisited and other Poems. By Wm. Wordsworth. Boston. James Munroe & Co. 1 vol.

Secret Counsels of the Society of Jesus, in Latin and English.

Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth. By Edward Osler. New York. Wm. Jackson. 1 vol.

Fabulas en verso Castellano, par Don F. M. Samaniego. New York.

El Amigo de los Nmos Traducido dal Castellano par D. Juan de Escoquiz. New York.

Cuvres Choisies de Jean Racine. 1 edition Americaine, revue et corrigée par C. L. Parmentier, Professeur, &c. New York.

Euvres Choisies de Moliére, &c. &c. New York.

Elemens de la Grammaire Francaise, par L'Amonde, Professeur, &c. New York.

English Common Law Reports, vol. 25. Philadelphia.
English Ecclesiastical Reports, vol. 5. Philadelphia.

Vattel's Law of Nations. By Chitty. Greatly Enlarged and Improved. Philadelphia.

Archbishop Secker's Lectures. 1 vol. 12mo.

Poetical Works of Mrs. Felicia Hemans. Philadelphia. Grigg & Elliott. 1 vol.

Barbary States. By Rev. M. Runel. 1 vol. Vol. 73 of the Family Library. New York. Harper & Brothers.

Elements of Chemistry. By Edward Turner, M. D., F. R. S., with Notes and Emendations; by F. Bache, M. D. Philadelphia. Desilver, Thomas & Co. 1 vol.

Life of Wm. Cobbett. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart. 1 vol.

Pilgrims of Walsingham, &c. &c. Philadelphia. Key & Biddle. 2 vols.

Life of Walter Scott, with Critical Notices of his Writings. By G. Allen, Esq. Philadelphia. Crissy, Waldie & Co. 1 vol. 8vo.

Jeauit Juggling. Forty Popish Frauds Detected and Disclosed. By R. Baxter. New York. Craighead & Allen. 1 vol. 12mo.

The Rambler in North America. By Joseph Latrobe. New York. Harper & Brothers. 2 vols.

The Marys; or the Beauty of Holiness. By R. Philips. New York. D. Appleton & Co.

Paul Pry's Comic Sketch Book. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea, & Blanchard.

Eloges Funébres de Washington, Paris. Albany. J. Townsend, Jr.

Lives of the Necromancers. By Wm. Godwin. New York. Harper & Brothers.

Will Watch. By the Author of Cavendish. Philadelphia. Carey &

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law of England; with References to American Cases. By a Member of the New York Bar. New York. W. E. Dean.

The Man of Faith. By John Abercrombie, M. D. New York. Van Nostrand & Dwight.

The Life of the Rev. Dr. Doyle. New York. John Doyle. The Christian Florist; with Plates. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea & Blanchard. 1 vol. 18mo.

A Law Dictionary, Explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State of the English Law. Philadelphia. R. M. Hall.

Kate Bouverie and other Tales. By Mrs. Norton. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart.

Random Shots from a Rifleman. By Capt. J. Kincaid. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart.

Thurlston Tales. By the Author of a Voyage to the Arctic Ocean. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart. 2 vols.

Works of Mrs. Sherwood, vol. 12. New York. Harper & Brothers.

The Naval Sketch Book. Philadelphia. Carey & Hart. 2 vols.


No. XCI.

APRIL, 1836.

Art. I. - Popular Poetry of the Teutonic Nations. 1. Volkslieder der Deutschen. Eine vollständige Samm

lung u. s. w. durch Fr. Karl, Freiherrn von Erlach

Mannheim, Hoff, 1834.' 2. Holländische Volkslieder. Gesammelt und erläutert von

Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann, Breslau, 1833. 3. Danske Viser fra Middelalderen etc. collected by Nie

rup, Rahbeck, and Abrahamson,3 Vols. Copenh. 1813. 4. Svenske Folkvisor, by Geijer. and Afzelius, 5 vols.

Stockh. 1814-1816.

We have often been struck with the truth of Herder's remark, that the line of characteristic distinction is drawn far. more sharply between the popular poetry of the different nations, than between their printed literatures. Learned writers borrow from, or imitate each other ; while the analogies in the popular productions are only to be ascribed to agreement in a common nature. It is chiefly. in respect to these characteristic differences, that these latter ought to be of the deepest interest to the philosopher and the historian. The different languages of the different nations are the store-houses of their respective thoughts and sensations. The treasures, accumulated there in the course of centuries, enriched by each thinking and VOL. XLII. — NO. 91.


imaginative mind, but also often falsified by foreign influence and deficiency in discernment, are coined in the most national, in the most idiomatic form, in traditional tales and popular poetry. There is indeed a symbolic language common to the human race; but only in its principal outlines; all the finer shades are the result of the climate or of historical influences. We do not wish however to be thought to overrate the poetry of the people in respect to its absolute beauty. William Grimm, speaking of the ancient Danish popular ballads, calls the poetry of nature “a mighty stream, which advances, dashing and foaming with its own living pulses, and slowly rolls on to traverse the whole land;" while he compares the poetry of art to "the ornamental aqueduct, which forces the waters of the living stream through narrow pipes, and causes them to rise in jets or fall in artificial cascades." But natural and popular poetry are two distinct things often confounded. Genuine art never injured natural talent. Men do not, like nightingales, bring song with them into the world, but only the capacity for song. The mind of the popular poet is in general the most cultivated in his circle. He thinks as much of the effect of his song, as the learned poet does; and his effusions are beautiful, not because he is an uneducated man, but in spite of his being so.

In comparing the nations of Europe to those of the other continents, there is nothing which can give us a stronger proof of the superiority of the former, than their respective popular poetry. We were prepared to find the latter infinitely below us in civilization and intellect; but the wild flowers we are looking for, do not require a cultivated soil ; and from the very bosom of a rough and stony earth, the miner fetches precious gems. In respect to the Oriental races, it may justly be said, that their best mental productions are deposited in their written literature; and that the small information we have as to the East, must necessarily prevent our discovering hidden trea

But the literature of a nation is after all only the product of the faculties of a few individuals; and as to the latter objection, we doubt, whether Hindoostan is not better known to our scholars than Servia. We do not hesitate to maintain, that a single village of this latter province harbors more real poetry than all the Indo-Chinese countries together; and one valley of South Western Germany, more than the whole Celestial Empire. The very rudest beginnings of the European nations exhibit at least some features of energy and ardor ; while a feebleness and tameness prevails in most of the productions of the Eastern semi-barbarians to such a degree, that we are inclined to assent to the opinion of a sagacious English writer, who “ sometimes thought that the extreme monotony and uniformity of season, production, and scenery in the East, might contribute to deaden and tranquillize the faculties, removing from the mind the powerful incentive of variety to animate and rouse it to action."*


There are certainly among the Oriental nations some, which, as a whole, bear decidedly the stamp of poetical nations, e. g. the Afghauns, whorn Mountstuart Elphinstone thinks the only Eastern people who know the feeling of love, in the ChristianEuropean sense of this word ; and also the Arabs, even independently of their former wide and well known influence. Indeed the whole life of the Bedouins is interwoven with a kind of wild poetry ; and other nomadic nations of Asia have more or less of the same stamp. But compare their poetical productions, the creations of their fancy, with those of the European races, Teutonic or Slavic, and you will be struck with the difference. We are however far from denying the influence which the East has exercised on our poetry, as well as on other tendencies of our mental developement. And how could we deny what history herself has written with distinctly legible characters, when she informs us that all the great families of nations, which now form the population of Europe, issued from the inexhaustible sources of Asia ? Education begins in the cradle ; and even education cannot entirely extirpate natural propensities and faculties. To this was added the general influence of the Crusades, direct and indirect. There are numerous tales still living among all the European races, evidently drawn from the great fountain of the East. But, if we except those nations which are by their local situation connected with oriental ones, as are most of the Slavic and the Hungarian tribes,-only the body of those tales is the same ; another spirit breathes in them.

On the other hand we recognise, notwithstanding our remarks about their characteristic distinctions, a certain family resemblance in the popular poetry not only of such of the European nations as belong to one and the same stock, but among them all; the stamp impressed by a common religion, and by

* Crawfurd's History of the Indian Archipelago.

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