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She dimples the wave where the green leaves dip,
EPITAPHS FROM THE ITALIAN.
ON AN HONEST MAN.
ON A BANKRUPT.
The ashes of a beauteous maid.
ON A MAGISTRATE.
ON A PLOUGHMAN.
Westminster Review for April, 1825.
Concluded.] An article on the “Corn Laws” is opposed to a late opinion of the Edinburgb reviewers, that the price of corn would not be much lowered by the removal of the prohibitory regulations. The Westminster reviewers contend that it would be so, and we think reasonably. Neither party appears to us to be aware of the increasing quantity which is likely to be exported from New York, as the back part of that state becomes settled.
A writer on “Prison Discipline” joins in the general cry, which seems to prevail throughout Great Britain, against the use of the tread-wheel, as a means of employment in penitentiaries.
There is a long article on “Emigration," of which the interest is principally of a local nature. It contains some erroneous opinions respecting the treatment of the coloured population in our northern states, which we intended to notice at length, but are prevented by the limits assigned to this article.
The remaining articles are on “ Boaden's Memoirs of Kemble,” which is treated with great contempt; on “ Contagion and Quarantine,” which is interesting, without containing any thing very novel to those familiar with the various reviews, which have been published on this subject for the last ten years.
In perusing the various political articles in this volume, we were led to remark, what has occurred to us before, namely, the apparent popularity and enlightened character of the present ministry of Great Britain. This seems to be admitted, with little exception, by all parties in the state; and if they go on long as they have begun, the opposition will have no “ thunder" left.
There is nothing particularly interesting among the Critical Notices of this number.
Sayings and Doings, or Sketches from Life. Second Series. Philadelphia, 1825.
2 vols. 12mo. The first of these volumes contains three tales, the latter only one, Like those of the former series they are intended to illustrate certain proverbs, of which the reader never hears till the end of the story. They are of unequal merit, but are all interesting; and indeed we consider the work as among the most entertaining of any of those ephemeral matters, which one reads but to forget.
The principal merit of the tales consists in the liveliness of the dialogue and spirited sketching of common characters. The writer does not attempt to paint the workings of remarkable minds, from strong motives, or on great occasions. His characters are every-day people, placed now and then in picturesque or strange situations, and acting from ordinary motives, and generally, as he himself expresses it, from those eight-and
sixpenny ones, which lie at the bottom of so much of human conduct. The writer seems to have seen much of the world, and to bave regarded mankind with some shrewdness, without penetrating far beneath the surface. He has a kind of easy pbilosophy, which leads one to laugh goodna. turedly at the follies and vices of one's fellow-creatures, without being much disgusted with the one or offended with the other. He is evidently of the Democritus school, and considers ridicule better than preaching ; and if he does not always paint vice in colours sufficiently revolting, be certainly does not attempt to make it agreeable. It is a fault of many good books, that they paint both virtue and vice in colours so much stronger, than commonly exist in nature, that they defeat their own purpose. The pictures are evidently caricatures, and the characters monstrous. In these tales the aim is to make the virtuous respectable, and the evil not so much hateful as contemptible.
In this attempt he has succeeded indifferently well; and the effect, though not considerable, we think likely to be advantageous, since it is not ditficult to identify the characters of such a work with many that we see around us in nature, and it leads us to associate the ideas of contempt with their evil and of respect with their good qualities. We shall not attempt an analysis of either tale. The following is a specimen of the dialogue. Colonel Arden, the principal personage of the second story, on setting up an establishment in London, is presented, ainong others, with a French cook.
“ The particular profession of this person, the Colonel, who understood very litile French, was for sometime puzzled to find out; he heard a vocabulary of disbes enumerated with grace and fluency, he saw a remarkably gentlemanly looking man, bis well-tied neckcloth, his well. triinmed whiskers, his white kid gloves, his glossy hat, his massive chain encircling his neck, and protecting a repeating Breguer, all pronouncing the man of ton; and when he came really to comprehend that the sweet-scented, ring-tingered gentleman before him, was willing to dress a dinner on trial, for the purpose of displaying his skill, he was thunderstruck,
• Do I mistake?' said the Colonel : 'I really beg pardon-it is fiftyeight years since I learned French-am I speaking to-a-and he hardly dared to pronounce the word)—cook ?'
Oui, Monsieur,' said M. Rissolle; “I believe I have de first reputation in de profession : I live four years wiz de Marqui de Chester, and je me fiatte dat, if I had not turn him off last months, I should have superintend lis cuisine at dis moment.'
• Oh, you have discharged the Marquis, Sir ? ' said the Colonel.
• Yes, mon Colonel, I discharge him; because he cast affront upon me, insupportable to an artist of sentiment.'
• Artist!' nentally ejaculated the Colonel.
« Mon Colonel, de Marqui had de mauvais gout one day, when he had large partie to dine, to put salt into his soup, before all his compagnie.'
• Indeed,' said Arden; 'and, may I ask, is that considered a crime, Sir, in your code?'
• I don't know code,' said the man, · Morue ?-dat is salt enough without.'
• I don't mean that, Sir,' said the Colonel ; • I ask, is it a crime for a gentleman to put salt into his soup?'
* Not a crime, mon Colonel,' said Rissolle, but it would be de ruin of me, as cook, should it be known to the world,—so I told his Lordship I must leave him; dat de butler had said, dat he saw his Lordship pul de salt into de soup, which was to proclaim to the universe dat I did not know de proper quantité of salt required to season my soup.'
An Address pronounced at the Opening of the New York Athenaeum, December 14,
1824. By HENRY WHEATON. New York. 1824. 8vo. pp. 44. It is not unknown to our readers that, in emulation of the liberal endowment and patronage of the Buston Athenæurn, a similar association was recently formed among the opulent and enlightened citizens of New York. Mr Wheaton's Address, at the opening of this institution, is very properly devoted to considering the intellectual progress of America thus far, and inquiring wbat is to be anticipated from the genius of our countrymen in future times. In the pursuit of this investiration, he casts a rapid but penetrating glance over a wide and fruit. fui field.
lie hastily alludes to the embarrassments of our colonial condition, and the peculiar difficulties with wbich our country's young strength was forced to grapple, as being fully adequate to account for the tardy development of an elegant literature in the land. Our faculties were tasked in the bard duty of reclaiming a wilderness to the uses of civilized man; in ascertaining, defending, and enforcing free principles of civil polity; in achieving an independence not dearly bought with their blood ; in laying deeply and broadly the foundations of a great republican government. Strangers in the crowded family of nations, enough was it for us, newly emerged from European guardianship, to make good our place in that mighty contention for wealth and power, in which empires, pot men, are the competitors. But that period, he conceives, is now quickly passiog away, and our country is beginning to afford ailurements to something beside active, professional, and business talents.
Mr Wheaton refers to the want of a peculiar national language and literature, and the consequent servitude to foreign models and the habit of self depreciation—the absence of patronage and of the aid of extensive libraries, as being serious obstacles to our advancement in the cultivation of objects of refinea taste. But the injurious operation of all these circumstances, in his opinion, is counteracted by the advantages derived from ihe geographical features of the country-its federal constitution-its division into states, which will be emulous to excel as much in liberal arts and science as in affairs of government-and, above all, by the free spirit, which is the moving, animating, and sustaining power of all our institutions. The consideration of this last point leads him into remarks upon the question, whether there is any sympathy between civil freedom and the polite arts,—which occupy most of the residue of the Address.
Mr Wheaton is entitled to great praise for his persevering attention to literature, amid the cares of professional and public duties ; and every thing, which comes from him, evinces the liberal taste of a schols ar, and is stamped with the marks of a vigorous and accomplished mind, The piece before us bespeaks a ready, practised, and skutul writer,
alike familiar with the classic lore of ancient and modern ages, and versed in the living wisdom of our own busy days. His subject led him, in some portions of it, over the same paths which Mr Everett trod in his Phi Beta Kappa Oration; and this last is so rich in pregnant matter, so profusely stored with admirable allusions in support of his opinions, that, in subsequently handling a kindred topic, Mr Wheaton sometimes inevitably falls into trains of thought, and adopts illustrations, which had been preoccupied by Mr Everett. But Mr Everett is an unfair writer, in the sense in which King Charles accused Dr Barrow of being an unfair preacher. His acute and comprehensive mind instantly seizes upon the strong points of a subject, and works up its best parts, so as to leave little for the diligence of aftercomers to glean, where his sickle had entered ;-and to such a man neither Mr Wheaton, nor any other American, need be unwilling to own acknowledgments.
The Refugee, a Romance. By Captain Matthew Murgatroyd, of the Ninth Conti
nentals in the Revolutionary War. In two vols. New York, 1925. 12mo.
pp. 325 and 328. We suppose it has happened to most persons, at some time in their lives, to be placed in situations which they felt to be awkward, and to conceal their own consciousness by a display of ease and vivacity, which, instead of imposing upon the bystanders, served only to make themselves more ridiculous. This seems to us to be precisely the case with the author of the work before us. Now when a person is so unfortunate as to get into such a predicament, without any fault of his own, it is the lieight of rudeness to attempt to aggravate his mortification by ridiculing, or even noticing it. Our novel-writer, however, being under no compulsion, and having put himself in this situation with his eyes open, cannot fairly shelter himself under any law of politeness, which is acknowledged by reviewers; and we have therefore the less hesitation in noticing the combination of restraint and counterfeit ease which seems to us to distinguish this work.
The hero of this story is Gilbert Greaves, of Welsh descent, and the son of an ex-officer in the British service, who resided on the banks of the Hudson at the commencement of the Revolutionary War. On that occasion, the father joins the British army in New York, and is followed by the son; the latter soon sees cause to repent, revolts to the American army, is taken prisoner, and hardly escapes execution as a deserter.
The scene is principally in New York and its vicinity. The characters are numerous; so much so, indeed, that it is difficult to keep them all in mind, whilst one is perusing the work. We find some returning, at the close of the second volume, whom we had utterly forgotten our introduction to, in the first. Like too many of our novelists, the author spreads himself over too great a surface, apparently finding it easier to say a little of many persons and things, than to give an accurate, full, and lively description of any individual. There are many strange anachronisms in the course of the work, and occasionally a degree of levity in treating serious things, which we consider reprehensible. But the most serious objection to it, as we have already intimated, is the laborious affectation of the style. There is a continual effort to be