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Or one of the winged spirits that fly
Now for the touch of a master hand-
Then the living and breathing grace
SUNRISE FROM MOUNT WASHINGTON. The laughing hours have chased away the Night, Plucking the stars out from her diadem; And now the blue-eyed Morn, with modest grace, Looks through her half-drawn curtains in the East, Blushing in smiles, and glad as infancy. And see! the foolish Moon, but now, so vain Of borrowed beauty, how she yields her charms, And, pale with envy, steals herself away! The clouds have put their gorgeons livery on, Attendant on the day. The mountain tops Have lit their beacons,—and the vales below Send up a welcoming. No song of birds, Warbling to charm the air with melody, Floats on the frosty breeze; yet Nature hath The very soul of music in her looks, The sunshine and the shade of poetry ! I stand upon thy loftiest pinnacle, Temple of Nature ! and look down with awe On the wide world beneath me, dimly seen. Around me crowd the giant sons of earth, Fixed on their old foundations, unsubdued, Firm, as when first, Rebellion bade them rise, Unrifted, to the Thunderer;- now they seem A family of mountains, clustering round Their hoary patriarch, -emulously watching To meet the partial glances of the day. Far in the glowing East, the flecking light, Mellowed by distance, with the blue sky blending, Questions the eye with ever-varying for
The sun is up ;-away the shadows fling
Babylon the Great;m Dissection and Demonstration of Men and Things
in the British Capital. By the Author of “ The Modern Athens.” Philadelphia. 1825. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 306 and 303.
Parts of this book are very amusing, and upon some points it may be instructive to those who have not had better means of learning what kind of people and fashions one meets with in London. In its character, it is pretty well suited to the literary exigences of these days,—when there are so many among the reading public who require to be amused, while, from that measure of intellectual culture which is now common to all of almost all classes, they cannot be even amused by books which give us infor
mation and exhibit no indications of talent. Such works are sure to be made, but very rarely by men of commanding minds, simply because they can generally work to greater advantage. This book is filled with much the same sort of writing that one finds in the essays in the New Monthly and other magazines, which are intended to be very amusing and spirited. There is some wit in it, and much that is intended to be wit and is not; more attempts at fine writing than are successful, and frequent endeavours to say sensible and weighty things in a pleasant way, which rather excite a suspicion that the author is not pre-eminently endowed with sense or sagacity. He speaks of many distinguished persons, and his principal sketches are a good deal laboured; some of them are very interesting, because they state interesting facts and anecdotes of interesting men. There is much satire in these sketches, and perhaps the talent of the author is more distinctly exhibited in this way than in any other.
The author speaks of the general characteristics of London people-of the mayor and his shows and courts, of parliament and the great men who figure therein, of Babylonian literature, including printed things of all kinds, of law and lawyers, and many other subjects, “too tedious to mention.” Of the press he speaks very much at large, and there is no part of the work in which our author seems so much at home, or labours so much to our satisfaction, as that wherein he gives the detail of the admirable organization of the principal London newspapers.
History of the United States, from their first Settlement as Colonies, to
the close of the War with Great Britain, in 1815. New York. 1825. 12mo. pp. 336. At a meeting of the [New York] American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres, in October, 1820, a gold medal, and a premium of four hundred dollars were proposed for the best written history of the United States, “ calculated for a class-book in academies and schools." The premium and the medal were awarded to the volume of which the title is given above. The design of the Academy is certainly a patriotic and a laudable one; that the result is equally meritorious we are not quite prepared to say. The work professes to present a history of the United States in 336 duodecimo pages. To succeed in such an attempt, would, we think, be no easy matter. The difficulty of compiling a book of this sort, in such a manner as to do justice to the subject, is increased, exactly as the number of pages is diminished. It would, we conceive, be a much easier task to compose a good history of
our country in two octavo volumes, than in one duodecimo. In the history of a country, whose form of government is monarchical, the subject has a unity and simplicity which render the attempt at abridging comparatively easy. But, in the case of a country like ours, subdivided into so many states, it is impossible to be very brief, and yet sufficiently comprehensive. In abridging with the rigor which an attempt like the one now before us renders necessary, many things of importance must be sacrificed, and many of the statements can be little better than a mere newspaper notice.
We dislike abridgments when the smallness of the volume is owing not to a simpler view of the subject, but merely to one that is more brief and cursory. We dread the introduction of any school-book which would lead the young to be satisfied with a bare outline of knowledge, on a subject, especially, so important as the history of our own country.
We cannot but think that the premiums of the Academy would have been much more judiciously employed, had they been proposed for a history of the state of New York. The matter would not then have proved too bulky for the limits of the work; and a more substantial benefit wouid, in our view, have been conferred on literature and on the rising generation. Every state in the union should be furnished with its own history, to put into the hands of its youth, as soon as they can understand it. The history of the United States, is a work belonging to a later stage of education, and is not consequently required so early or so urgently as to make very rigid abridging necessary.
THE MILITARY FORCE OF CHINA.
The Russian traveller, M. Timbowsky, collected during his stay in China, some remarkable data relative to the present state of the military force of that empire, which, expressed in numbers, appears formidable, but is far from being so in reality. He thinks, however, that certain estimates, which make the Chinese army amount to a million of infantry, and eight hundred thousand cavalry, are much exaggerated. The regular troops are divided into four corps, according to the several nations. The first corps, sixty-seven thousand eight hundred strong, consists of Mantchous, the conquerers of the empire, to which nation the family of the reigning emperor belongs. These troops are the flower of the whole army, and enjoy extraordinary privileges. The second corps, of twenty-one thousand inen, consists of Mongols. The third, of twentyseven thousand men, is composed of Chinese, whose ancestors joined the Mantchous, and assisted them in the conquest of the empire. The fourth