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Redfield ; a Long-Island Tale, of the Seventeenth Century. New York, 1325. pp. 214.
There is very little to be said about this novel. There is nothing in it to praise very highly, and nothing that calls for very severe censure. It moves, for the most part, on a dead unvaried level of mediocrity, seldom sinking below, and as seldom rising above. The hero, Redfield, is a young gentlemen, who has left England, in the troublesome persecutions of the reign of Charles II. to take refuge in the colonies, and the volume is occupied with the narrative of his shipwreck,-his rescue by the Indians,-his introduction to an English gentleman-farmer on Long Island, with whose daughter he falls in love,-his doubts and misgivings on the propriety of this passion. Then follows a history of his trading voyage among the Indians for furs, occupying some fifty or sixty pages, which we would recommend to the especial consideration of the North West Company, and of all persons engaged in a similar traffic ;-his sagacity and prudence as displayed in the negotiation or rather the purchase of a treaty for the tribe of Indians, by whom he had been saved from drowning, which we believe might have been got for halt the money ;and finally, his own marriage and that of a couple of his aboriginal friends ; which with some circumstances of minor importance, close the book.
It will be perceived that, except to an author of very powerful genius, the subject atfords no opportunity for the excitement of strong feeling, and accordingly there are few striking scenes and little development of interesting individual character. The principal faults to be remarked, besides those which must be apparent from what has been said, are a looseness in the use of language, a carelessness in the construction of sentences, and occasionally some considerable defects of grammar. A few instances of such inaccuracies we subjoin.
“Here the rude sons of nature became expert whalers, the fat of which they tried down to oil.”
“There are few perhaps who have not heard the term, Indian file, made use of, which is this: the elder chief took the lead,” &c.
“ Tamane saw without a tear the conflagration of her nativity.”
There is a want of relish and spirit in the dialogue among some of the lower characters ;—this is not so remarkable; but among the gentlemen and ladies there is certainly a great want of colloquial powers. The following is a specimen ; though, perhaps, not a very favourable one.
“What sail is that?' says he, as he looked upon the Sound. "Certainly 'tis a vessel. It cannot be a waterfowl! Miss Norwood now rose from her seat, saying, • I will get the spy-glass,' and in an instant she handed the instrument into his hands.
“ He looked steadfastly upon the magnified object, saying, "It seems a sloop, and is standing this way. Her sails are hanging loosely, for want of wind. The tide is, however, in her favour, and wafts her along with the help of sweeps, I perceive. Possibly it is the trader, returned already. I think the vessel compares.'
We suspect no gentleman in the reign of Charles the First or Second could have invented so outrageous an Americanism, as is put into the mouth of such an individual, p. 53.
“ And before I left the place, located upon this site for the erection of my buildings.'
Poems by Joan TURVIL ADAMS. New Haven. 1825. 12mo. pp. 47. Who John Turvil Adams is, we do not know, and we are glad that we do not. We sct ourselves to read his poems through, but, while reading the first page, were surprised by a shadowy consciousness, that we had seen something like it before; as we read on, the mist began to clear away, till at length we took up our copy of Bryant's “ Ages;” and exclaimed, in the words of Wordsworth, * Like! but oh how different!” If any one will have patience to do as we have donc, co.npare Mr Adams' « Our Country ” with Bryant's * Ages,” he will see a curious process of transmutation; and learn that, though no alchymist may have succeeded in changing lead into gold, Mr Adams is a proficient in the art of transmuting gold into lead. The first half or three fourths of “ Our Country,” may be tolerable poetry to those, who have not read the “ Ages;” but after that, where Mr Adams has been either thrown upon his own powers, or has poached upon a less luxuriant manor, the drivelling is insupportable. As to the smaller pieces annexed, they are, it possible, worse. Truly, if there were not two or three such men, as Percival, Bryant, and Hillhouse, we should give up the poetical department of our review in hopeless disgust. We trust, however, there are more such men yet to make their appearance; and we consider it our duty to the young whose minds may be tainted by trash like these poems, before they have learned to discriminale, occasionally, to brush such insects as their author away from the fields of our springing literature. It is never our wish to depress hope, where there is any ground for hope; and if we could have found one good line, or hemistich even, in this volume, which we believed to be original, we would gladly have quoted and praised it; but we have travelled from the Dan to the Beersheba thereof, and it is all barren.
SUBSIDENCE OF THE BALTIC.
A very singular and interesting fact has been ascertained respecting the level of the Baltic. It had been long suspected that the waters of this sea were gradually sinking; but a memoir, published in the Swedish Transactions for 1823, has put the change beyond a doubt. Mr Bun. crona, assisted by some officers of the Swedish piloting establishment, has examined the Swedish coast with great care from latitude 56° to 62°, and Mr Halstrom bas examined those of the Gulf of Bothnia. The results of both inquiries are given in the form of a table ; and though, as might have been expected, they are not completely uniform, they correspond sufficiently to place the subsidence of the waters beyond dispute. The Baltic, it is to be observed, has no tides, and is therefore favourably situated for making observations on its level; but with regard to the periods within which the changes observed have taken place, it was of course necessary to rely on records or oral testimony. At the latitude of 55°, where the Baltic unites with the German ocean through the Categat, no change seems to be perceptible. But from latitude 56°
to 63°, the observations slow a mean fall, of one foot and a half in forty years, or four tenths of an inch annually, or 3 feet ten inches in a centry. In the Gulf of Bothnia, the results are more uniform and indicate a mean fall of four feet four inches in a century, or rather more than half an inch annually. The Baltic is very shallow at present, and if its waters continue to sink as they have done, Revel, Abo, Narva, and a hundred other ports, will by and by become inland towns; the gulf of Bothnia and Finland, and ultimately the Baltic itself will be changed into dry land.
SAY'S AMERICAN ENTOMOLOGY. The first volume of this work has been published, and so far as chanical execution is concerned, it fully answers the most sanguine expectations which had been formed respecting it. Of its merits in a scientific point of view we do not pretend to be competent judges; but there can be little doubt, from the well known talents, science, and industry of its author, that it is deserving of equal commendation in this respect. As a work of American art it fully keeps up the character established by Wilson's American Ornithology ; and the engravings of some of the most beautiful insects are executed in a style not inferior to that of the most celebrated foreign productions of the same kind. In its plan, however, we fear that this book is essentially defective. As a book to be read, it is fit only for the mere scientiiic entomologist; it consists almost wholly of the dry details of technical description, with very little notice of the manners, habits, physiology, &c. of iosects, which are the only interesting parts of this subject to the general reader, and ought to be the most so even to the entomologist. The charm which the excellent work of Wilson possessed to all readers was derived from this source, and the subject of entomology is capable of being made almost as interesting as that of ornithology. At present the work of Mr Say is not exactly what is wanted, by either the man of science or the general reader. It is too costly and ornamental in proportion to its quantity of matter, to suit the purposes of the former, and too dry and technical to be relished by the latter, except as a book of iine engravings. We hope however, notwithstanding this, which we consider a mistake in the plan, that it will receive the ample encouragement which it deserves as a specimen of art and a monument of the talents and science of its author.
Mr Thomas Roscoe has translated selections from the Italian novelists, in four volumes 12mo, and added notes, critical and biographical. "It is interesting to observe,” says a reviewer of the work, “ the progress of that mental alchymy, by which metal, base, soiled, or shapeless, becomes delicate in its polish, and graceful in its proportions. Into no worthier hands could the task of selection and translation have fallen than into those of Mr Roscoe; he has both the industry for research and the taste for appreciation. The character of these Italian povels is well known ;-partly historical facts dressed up romance fashion ; -odd hoaxes ;-love tales, purely imaginative, and others of a humorous and satirical turn. They reflect the whole spirit of the age in which they had birth.” The collection contains selected tales so far back as the Cento Novelle Antiche, or Hundred Ancient Tales, down to Robustiano Girono; and it is to the last degree curious to remark in how many forms these fictions have become familiar to us.
Dr Lyall, in his travels in Russia, describing his visit to the Imperial vineyards in the vale of Sudák, says, they are of considerable extent, and, besides the native vines of the climate, they contain many species which have been introduced at different times. The kinds of wine now made here, chiefly from foreign vines, are (as literally translated) red and white wine of Zante, -red and white wine of Corfu,-red French wine,-white Hungarian wine, -and red claret! besides different kinds of red and white Krimean wine. The whole quantity of wine produced by these vineyards in 1821, amounted to 60,000 védros (each of fifteen small-sized bottles). According to their quantity they were sold at from two and a half to four roubles per védro; so that the whole revenue, perhaps, amounted to above 200,000 roubles.
TRAVELS IN GREECE. Dr P. O. Bröndsted has issued a prospectus of an extensive work to be published in London, called “Travels in Greece,” accompanied with critical and archæological researches, and illustrated by maps and numerous engravings of ancient monuments recently discovered. A society of artists and travellers, of whom the author was one, undertook and executed a series of journies in European and Asiatic Greece, in the course of which they discovered, chiefly by means of excavations, several monuments of Greek art of the highest interest, as well as many other remains very important to Grecian archæology, and to the elucidation of the manners and institutions of this illustrious people. These researches were made in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1820; and the proposed work will contain their principal results.
“ His great object has been to collect, from his journals and portfolios, all that appears to him new, remarkable, or important, whether it has reference to science, to art, or to the proper understanding of the present state of Greece ; to place these chosen materials before the reader with a rigorous regard to historical truth, and to explain them, as well as he is able, by the assistance of modern erudition.
“ The large plates will contain works of Greek sculpture never before published, together with figures, bas-reliefs and bronzes recently discovered, views of remarkable places, geographical and topographical plans, fac-similes of unpublished inscriptions, and outlines of many other objects, which will be regularly classed.”
The work is divided into eight parts or numbers, the last of which will be concluded by a critical review of all the travels or rather of all the scientific inquiries undertaken in Greece from Pausanias to the present time. Four of the numbers will be published during the present year, a part in Royal and a part in Imperial 4to, and the remaining four in the course of the next.
ARTS AND PHILOSOPHY.
The Boston Journal of Philosophy and the Arts. No. XI. Boston; Cummings, Hilliard, & Co.
A Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, on the Commerce and Navigation of the United States during the year ending on the 30th of September, 1824. 8vo. pp. 300. Washington, D. C. Gales & Seaton. Price $2.
A Complete Key to Smiley's. Arithmetic, entitled, The New Federal Calculator, or Scholar's Assistant, &c. By T. T. Smiley, Teacher, author of School Geography, &c. Philadelphia. I. Grigg.
GEOLOGY. Lectures on Geology ; being Outlines of the Science; delivered in the New York Athenæum in the year 1825. By Jer. Van Rensselaer, M. D. Associate, and Lecturer on Geology to the Athenæum, &c. 8vo. pp. 358. New York. E. Bliss & E. White.
The History of Boston. No. XI. Boston. A. Bowen.
Trial of Amos Furnald for the Murder of Alfred Furnald, before the Superior Court of Judicature, holdeo at Dover, within and for the County of Strafford and State of New Hampshire, on the first Tuesday of February, A. D. 1825. Reported by Richard Ela. 8vo. pp. 127. Concord, N. H. Jacob B. Moore.
An Address to the Members of the Bar of Suffolk, Mass. at their Stated Meeting, on the first Tuesday of March, 1824. By William Sullivan. 8vo. pp. 63. Boston.
Review of a Pamphlet entitled “A Report of the Evidence in the Case, John Atkins, Appellant, vs. Calvin Sanger & al. Executors, relative to the Will of the late Mrs Badger, of Natick, &c. By Thomas Noyes. 8vo. pp. 71. Dedham, Mass.
Ăn Oration in Honor of General Lafayette, delivered in his presence, at Nashville, May 4, 1825, at the request of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. By William Gibbes Hunt. 8vo. pp. 12. Nashville, Tenn.
Address delivered before the Alumni of Columbia College, on the 4th of May, 1825, in the Chapel of the College. By Člement C. Moore, A. M. 8vo. pp. 37. New York. E. Bliss & E. White.
New York Review and Athenæum Magazine. No. I. June, 1825.
The Duties of an American Citizen. Two Discourses, delivered in the First Baptist Meetinghouse in Boston, on Thursday, April 7th, 1825, the Day of Public Fast. By Francis Wayland, jun. 8vo. pp. 52. Boston. James Loring.
These are able political discourses. The author takes broad and comprehensive views of the state and organization of society in the old as well as in the new world. He sketches with discrimination and power the causes which are in operation to