« НазадПродовжити »
“ “ Yes,' replied Adonijah, “but only the man at the helm hath for some time moved; all the others are in idleness—still, still.-A cold fear is crawling on my bones, to see so many persons and every one monumental,
• Some of those who are looking over the side,' said Rothelan, partaking in some degree of the Jew's dread, droop their heads upon their breasts, and take no heed of any object. Look at those on the deck; they sit as if they were indeed marble, resting on their elbows like effigies on a tomb.'
“. Merciful Heaven!' cried the Lady Albertina, “what horror does she bring?'
“ At that moment the boats assembled round the ship suddenly made rapidly for the shore-many of the watermen stayed not till they reached the landings, but leaped into the river; then a universal cry arose, and the people were seen scattering themselves in all directions. Rothelan darted from his mother's side, and ran towards the spot to which, instead of holding onward to the moorings, it was evident the vessel was steering to take the ground.
“ In his way thither, he met his old friends, Sir Gabriel de Glowr, and his lady, who, ai his request, were remaining in London. They, too, had been among the spectators, and were hurrying from the scene. The lady was breathiess with haste and fear, her mantle was torn, and she had lost a shoe in her flight.
“ The Baron of Falaside, before Rothelan could inquire the cause of so singular a panic, looked at liim wildly, and shook his head, dragging his lady away by the arm.
««Stop!'exclaimed Rothelan, “and tell me what is the cause of all this !! But they would not stop. He also addressed himself to others with no better success. Turn back, come back,' every one said to him, as he rushed against the stream of the crowd.
“ The pressure and tide of the multitude slackened as he advanced ; and when he was within a short distance of the place where the ship had in the mean time taken the ground, he found himself alone. Jle pauscd for a moment; as he saw nothing to alarm, but only the man at the helm, who, the instant that the ship touched the ground, had leaped on shore, and was coming towards him.
“ Rothelan ran forward to meet him, in order to inquire how it was that all on board appeared so motionless; but scarcely had he advanced ten paces, when, casting his eyes forward, he saw that each of those who were leaning over the vessei's side, and resting on the deck, were dead men, from whose bideous anatomy the skin bad peeled, and the flesh had fallen. They had all died of the plague.”
North American Review for July, 1825. This Number of the North American Review is much more national and popular than the general character of the work. The first article is an interesting sketch of the history of our Navy, from its first commencement down to the peace with Tripoli, in June, 1805. The facts are principally derived from Clarke's “Naval History,” and Goldsborough's “ Naval Chronicle.” The history of the brilliant achievements of our navy from 1805 to the present time would make another interest.
ing volume, which we hope soon to receive from some one capable of doing justice to the subject. And when we have a complete history of the achievements of the navy, we hope we may be favoured with one more volume, which shall penetrate a little deeper into some transactions connected with it, for the last ten or fifteen years.
The second is a continuation of an articles in a preceding Number of the North American, on “ Brown's Philosophy of the Mind.” To this last article is annexed some account of the character of Dr Browr, taken from the Edinburgh Magazine, and from information derived from private sources, together with some strictures upon his writings. These articles are beautifully written,-too beautifully, we think, for a metaphysical subject. We should be glad to see it stated, by some one capable of the undertaking (and no one is more capable than the writer of these articles), in distinct and definite propositions, which may be taken in at one view, precisely how far Dr Brown bas advanced the science of metaphysics beyond the points where its different branches were left by his predecessors. This we have not yet seen.
The review of “ Recollections of the Peninsula” is exceedingly interesting. To us, however, who reviewed the same book, in the same manner, viz. by quoting its best parts, about six months since, it has not the charm of novelty. But such beautiful descriptions as the “Recol. lections” contain will bear to be read many times. We think this is the correct course in reviewing books of this class. It is quite as instructive to readers; and much more just to authors, if they have any thing worth saying, to let them say it in their own way, rather than to catch their ideas from them-invert their sentences, and call them our own. To this review, thus made, is annexed twenty pages on the Popular Amusements in Spain. Here is an elaborate, classical, and ety mological history of the origin, progress, decline, and subsequent revic vals of bull-fights. It is one of the most beautiful and finished pieces of description which has ever come under our notice. The execution of the piece, we are sorry to add, is worthy of a better subject, than those brutal amusements of the Spaniards. It produces in the reader an intense interest, and will probably be read by many with greater avidity than any article in the present Number of the North American; but this is not a good reason why the public taste should be depraved, and, so far as its influence goes, the national character corrupted. These, we contend, will be the results of such descriptions; and we will omit no fair opportunity of protesting against them, in whatever form they appear. The more attractive the descriptions are, the more certain will be their influence, and the more to be deprecated the practice of making them. When we closed this article, we had become so interested by its elegance and the vividness of its descriptions, that we should have had no objection to witnessing such a scene without delay, although we were provoked with ourselves for yielding to the feeling a moment. No doubt many a chivalrous youth will feel not only no reluctance to witnessing such a scene, but perhaps even a desire to take a tilt at a mad bull, if it could be done so genteelly as is here described.
Upon the article on “Recent American Novels” and the bravery of the writer of it, in venturing to insinuate at this late period, that they are not all of them perfect, we have not much at this time to say, having given nearly the same opinions, without apology, upon all of them which we
deemed worthy of notice, in former numbers of this Gazette. The public opinion has long since settled down upon most of these subjects. The fortunate authors are enjoying their fame, and the sale of large editions of their books, and have no need to be cumbered with praise at this late period; and the unfortunate ones have become reconciled to their fate, and have no need to be told what the public have long since virtually told them. The booksellers too have cleared off the dusty remains of the editions from their counters, and placed them in their cel lars or their garrets, and are ready to begin upon some new work. So that none will be likely to be very much affected or disturbed by any anathenas now bestowed. It really requires no great boldness or independence to say what has before been said, and what every body is known to believe.
Upon the principle involved in the concluding paragraph, we beg leave to observe, that it is perfectly useless to attempt to sooth and pat into good nature, an author who has just been tortured by what he deems perversions of his meaning, or who is yet writhing under the lash of satire for his folly. It is an insult to his feelings and his common sense to make overtures for peace at such a moment. The authors of wicked or silly books, and reviewers in their official capacity, are natural enemies; though they may be at the same time personal friends. It is the ambition and the interest of the former to extend their fame and the circula. tion of their works; and it is the duty of the latter to limit their fame, if it be undeserved, and to prevent the circulation of their books; because they corrupt the public taste, and cumber the ground which would be otherwise occupied by tbosc of a higher and a better order. Upon the subject of w.sweeping denunciations,” and the efficacy of " flippancy," and bitterness,” we observe, that we have always thought the greatest refinement and the boldest exercise of " flippancy ” was to bestow the epithet upon others.
(To be continued.]
English Life, or Manners at Home, in four Pictures. London,-reprinted at New.
York. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 234 and 243.
This book has been some time under our hands for a character, but the difficulty of explaining in what its sigoal want of merit more particularly consists, and a reluctance to read enough to give a fair account of it, have prevented our noticing it before. There are so many good novels now, that a bad one is a heavy task; but as it comes within our plan to notice all republications of foreign books as well as native American productions, we must say something of this. For that purpose we have honestly read it through; and if we are not the last who do so, it shall not be our fault. The most remarkable thing about it is, that any one who can write so tolerable English, and can quote so much that others have written well, one who commits so few faults, should have made two volumes so utterly worthless as to defy all criticism. The worst and the best that can be said of them is, that they are good for nothing. They contain four tales, professing to be pictures of English Life. If they be really so, the whole business of life in England is love, and matrimony its only object ; for these tales tell of absolutely nothing else. And what is most remarkable, and must produce great confusion and distress in that singular country, every body at first falls in love
with the wrong person. Life there goes always to the same dull tune of perfect beings captivated by showy qualities in the unworthy,--discovering their mistake, and then marrying their own shadows. The only thing which we notice as a positive fault in these stories is, that they contain a large portion of religious cant. We should judge them to have been written on contract by some poor young clergyman, who put in just as much religion as would excuse him to his conscience for writing novels. If such books sell here, we are sorry for the public; if they do not sell, we are not sorry for the publishers.
DON ESTABAN, OR MEMOIRS OF A SPANIARD. We have long thought that a work describing Spanish manners, and sketching the changes which have taken place in the Spanish Government for the last twenty years, would be peculiarly acceptable to all, who have taken any interest in the struggles of that devoted nation. And if the title of the following work is any indication of what we may expect it to contain, it will be eagerly sought for here as well as in England. All we have seen upon the late Spanish revolutions amounts to little more than newspaper paragraphs, or books written by those who, from their situations, could take but partial views of the important events which they have attempted to describe. « Don Estaban, or Memoirs of a Spaniard,” has lately been published in England, and is said by the London papers to contain, not only a picture of the Spanish manners in the various classes of society, and at the court of Spain, anecdotes of the king and the royal family, and of public and private individuals; but also sketches of the Guerilla Partisans and their mode of warfare, descriptions of scenes in various parts of the Peninsula, and an account of the most remarkable public events from 1808 to 1823,—the whole blended with the author's own interesting adventures. We cannot but hope this work, which we expect soon to receive, will give us what we have hitherto sought for in vain.
RECORDS OF SCOTLAND.
The Public Records of Scotland have lately been reprinted by the king's command under the direction of Thomas Thompson, Deputy Clerk and Register. They now amount to fourteen large folio volumes, a full copy of which has been sent as a present to the Library of the Northern Scientific and Literary Institution. The work contains the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland from 1424 to the Union in 1707 in ten volumes, the Returns of Services in three volumes; and the Register of the Great Seal during the Reign of Robert I., David II., Robert II., and Robert III.
BARTON'S POEMS. The poems of the Quaker, Bernard Barton, have reached the fourth edition, to which he has added several pieces.
NEW ROMANCE FOUNDED ON IRISH HISTORY AND SCENERY. The London Courier states, that a Romance founded on the celebrated Geraldine Rebellion, in the reign of Henry VIII., and headed by Thomas Fitzgerald, has made its appearance ; that the writer is thoroughly conversant with the manners and customs of that period ; and that the language is very good, and the story possesses great interest.
The prize of £300, assigned by the LORDS OF THE ADMIRALTY for the best chronometer, after one year's trial at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, has just been awarded to Mr R. Widenham of East street, Red Lion square, a very young and ingenious artist. His chronometer, which was an elegant piece of mechanism, only suffered within the year an extreme variation of one second and 34 hundredths of time, according to the tables of mean rates computed by the Astronomer Royal, from actual daily observation. There are generally thirty chronometers sent to the Royal Observatory for competition. Mr Widenham's, having varied the least, has been purchased at the prize value by the Lords of the Admiralty.
LONDON EDITIONS OF MR WAYLAND'S SERMON. Four editions of the sermon of the Rev. Mr Wayland of this city “on the Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise,” have been published in London.
THE ROYAL INSTITUTION.
Great differences are said to exist among those, who have taken an active part in the management of this institution ; and it is feared, that the consequences will be a dissolution of the institution.
NEWLY DISCOVERED FRESCOES.
We learn from the London Literary Gazette, that two new frescoes have just been discovered at Pompeii, which are most remarkable for the perfect correctness of their design and for the excellence of their colouring. They represent Briseis taken from Achilles, and the Nuptials of Thetis and Peleus. These pictures still remain in the place where they were found, and are considered as the finest that have ever been discovered belonging to ancient times.
REMAINS OF THE OBELISKS AT ROME.
The same paper informs us, that M. Champolion Jr. is pursuing with great zeal his archæological researches at Naples and in the surrounding country. He has visited Pozzuoli, Baia, Pompeii, and Pæstum, and has been present at the searches made at Nola. The Bourbon Museum at Naples has furnished him with new subjects of Egyptian investigation ; he has ascertained that three large engraved fragments of red granite, which are there preserved, are remains of three of the obelisks at Rome. He has discovered also for the first time the case of a mommy, the legends drawn on which are in hieratic characters;