« ElőzőTovább »
“ Hall of Eblis” possesses a grandeur worthy of Milton. That such a word as “Vathek” should be written by a youth of twenty, is one of the most remarkable facts in the history of invention.
Heroic Women of the West. By John Frost, LL.D. Philadelphia : A. Hart. 1854.--Mrs. Ellet, by her interesting narratives of the “ Women of the Revolution,” has opened the way for a host of inferior followers. Among these is the compiler of the volume before us, who has done nothing more for his work, than simply compile from scattered sources the material which it contains. It is, perhaps, well that he has been content to attempt nothing farther. He is fit for nothing better. In a collection of this sort, indeed, we desire nothing more than the facts themselves. These are necessarily interesting. They form a body of interesting anecdotes of those strong-minded pioneer women of the country, with brave souls and hardy sinews--the result of training in a perilous time and region--who could pick up the rifle when their husbands had fallen, and revenge their fate with an aim as unerring as their own.
The volume is illustrated with engravings.
Ranke's Servia.--A history of Servia and the Servian revolution, with a sketch of the insurrection in Bosnia, from the pen of Leopold Ranke, promises large, if not thorough information, in respect to a region and events of great interest. Its author, known as one of the most searching and able of modern historians, affords the reader the best of guaranties in behalf of his sagacity and truthfulness. The translation is made by Mrs. Alexander Kerr. The volume constitutes one of the neatly designed and compact volumes of the standard library of Henry G. Bohn. An account of the slave Provinces of Turkey, from the French of Cyprian Robert, forms a supplementary narrative in the same volume, and greatly increases its interest and value.
The Barclays of Boston. By Mrs. HARRISON GRAY OTIS. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields. 1854.--A story of society in Boston scarcely implies any peculiarities in the materials. Society, in all the large American cities, varies very little. There are always so many classes, or orders, of it, each of which possesses certain recommendations for certain people. There are the tip-tops—“our set;"--and the "middles," or good people's set; and the “slip-slops," your set, perhaps; but one which you will not readily acknowledge. Our fair author introduces us to representatives of each of these sets, which are delineated in colours more or less attractive or disparaging. The persons of the drama are
all ordinary people enough ; none of them being very decidedly marked, and all passable as representatives of some one or other of the several orders. There is no drama, in fact--no action--and, consequently, no display, or bringing out the stronger, more passionate and concentrative of the moral or animal characteristics. The book is made up of descriptions of, and conversations among, all these sorts of people. The dialogue is not distinguished by force or brilliancy.
Saunterings in and about London. By Max. SCHLESINGER. The English edition by OrTo WENCKSTERN. London: Nat. Cooke. 1853.-We owe a copy of this very prettily printed and illustrated volume to the attention of Messrs. Bangs & Bro., the American agents of the publishers. The book, curiously enough, is by a German, who has prepared such a guide to the morals and mysteries of London as satisfies the Cockneys much better than any of their own writers could have done. Life in London, out of doors and in doors; among rich and poor; the princes and the people; street life; the squares; the Thames; the police; Newgate; the post office; sun-light, moon-light, gas-light; Hyde Park; the fashionable quarters ; gentlemen and foreigners ; locomotion ; royalty and government; Westminster; Parliament; the Abbey; the press; the Bank; the “mines;" the Frenchman in London ; the theatres :--these, and a hundred other topics furnish the bill of fare in this very comprehensive manual, which, illustrated with plates, is about as good a hand-book of the modern Babylon as could be had for love--or money.
Gibbon's Rome.--A very neat and portable edition of the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” has been begun by Bobn, the publisher, and the first volume now appears in his collection of the British classics. Apart from the equal cheapness and beauty of this edition, it is farther commended to us through the variorum notes, which include those of Guizot, Wenck, Schreiter and Hugo, and others. The editorship, which helps the work with further illustrations from the most recent sources, is done by “ an English Churchman," whose name is not confided to us. We take for granted that this edition will commend itself before all others to the American reader, in consequence of its superior cheapness and the excellence of its manufacture.
Memoirs of Moore.--The American publishers (Appletons) of Lord John Russell's Memoirs of Moore, including journals and correspondence, have favoured us with the Parts VI. and VII., bringing the Di
ary down to 1828, inclusive. We shall reserve all notice of this work, so attractive, yet so unsatisfactory, until it is fairly completed. In the meantime, we note some decidedly rich passages between the Editor and Mr. Croker, in which neither Moore nor Russell carry off the honours of the game. It is highly probable that the work will prove sufficiently provocative to commentators. They will bury it in cartloads of criticism. We shall wait events.
A Lecture on the Atmosphere. By BENNET PURYEAR, A. M. Richmond: H. K. Ellyson.--A subject of great importance to popular study, and which can best be taught through a medium like the present. As yet, but little has been done to render men familiar with this most familiar and vital of all the elements. Professor Puryear's contribution will have its uses.
The Planter's Northern Bride (Hart), by Mrs. CAROLINE LEE HENTZ, is a pleasantly written story, picturesque, and with much dramatic force, designed as a foil to the work of Mrs. Stowe. It has not the passionate power of Uncle Tom ; in other words, Mrs. Hentz has not the power of Mrs. Stowe; but she is more truthful, more pure, and imbued with a more becoming Christian spirit. She has no hobby to ride, no crusade to promote, and she does not promise herself any particular pleasure in maintaining an argument by the destruction of a nation. She is a better witness, in all respects, than Mrs. Stowe; is a Northern woman by birth, and has seen with her own eyes, without green shades of any sort, the society which she describes. She has lived in close communion with the institution, which she has accordingly learned to love and honour, and desires to sustain. She has veneration, one of the most precious of moral virtues, in which the feminine Uncle Tommys are marvellously deficient. Her book will be found of grateful reading in the South, and may become of great Christian utility in the North.
The Attic Philosopher in Paris. (Appletons.)--- A slender brochure from the French of Emile Souvestre, a light sketchy writer, who thus gives us the benefit of his “peeps at the world,” from the garret of an author. As the " Journal of a Happy Man," which is its further designation, it may be read by others, of the same order, with sympathy; the unhappy, too, may read it without being soured. It treads on no one's toes. It does not seek the sources of individual happiness at the expense of its neighbours. It trespasses upon no one's philosophy; it advocates no new theories or systems. In fact, it is nothing more than a series of light
sketches of common life, and common people, in Paris, inartificially written, not profound in any degree, not startling, and by no means remarkable for originality. Its moral is to teach content with one's condition, and the just appreciation of the natural sources of human satisfaction ;--a lesson more easily taught than acquired, and one which our author will scarcely teach directly, but only through the medium of pleasant impressions, which induce temporary forgetfulness of present
Natural History of Selborne. (Bangs & Bro.)--The work of Gilbert White is too well known to naturalists, and readers in general, as a favourite contribution to natural history, to render any eulogies necessary. Scientific, descriptive, practical and essayical, the reverend author has brought to bear upon his theme, and the locality which he has made famous, a variety of the most attractive of mental and educational attributes. The publishers of the beautiful edition before us have served up to us his labours in a style of adequate neatness and excellence, and a more appropriate hand-book for either sex, pursuing their grateful walks through the natural world, can hardly be conceived. The illustrations, finely engraved, are numerous, and accurate in high degree. In all respects, this is a most charming volume for the genial, the loving and the contemplative nature.
Mourice's Theological Essays. (Redfield.)-These essays have attracted attention in England, where they were originally published. The author, Frederick Denison Maurice, M. A., Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn, is a writer of ability, and a thinker of penetration and discretion. But his themes are forbidden to our consideration, even were we altogether prepared for their discusssion. It is enough, then, in addition to what we have said touching the writer himself, to mention that, though urged to the task, with the view to the condition of the Unitarian sects of Christians, he has not addressed himself particularly to this sect, and believes that what he has written will be applicable to all other religionists. We can only hope that, if applicable, his essays mer be useful also. We may add that the author writes earnestly, and in good style, and that just now he is causing some sensation in England, where he has been put under the ban of church and state for alleged heresies. It is possible that this book may be full of them. The innocent reader will be cautious, therefore, how he meddles with it, remembering the old caution to young children, of the danger that may follow the handling of edged tools.
Too Clever by Half, is the title of a lively story of military life, from an English pen, and in an English cheap edition, which comes to us from Messrs. Bangs, Brothers & Co., with various other publications of more value. It is a shilling book, illustrated with numerous really good engravings, and sent forth in a style superior to most of the fifty cent volumes of the American press.
Chemistry of Common Life, (Appleton & Co.) from the able pen
of JAMES F. W. Johnson, M.A., F.R.S., F.G.S., &c.—a compendious and instructive little volume, the first of a series designed for popular education in science, and discussing “ the air we breathe," “ the water we drick," the "soil we cultivate," and the plants we rear," in a style at once highly pleasant and instructive.
Maury's Sailing Directions, a sixth edition, enlarged and improved, sufficiently establishes the equal usefulness and excellence of this contribution to our nautical knowledge.
Handbook of German Literature. (Appleton & Co.) This excellent manual for students in German, is well edited by G. M. ADLER, A.M., Professor of the Literature of that language in the University of New-York; a writer whose educational publications have already proved variously useful in this country. It will be only necessary to mention the contents of this volume to satisfy the student of the useful and charming materials here collected, which the editor has chosen with the view to facilitate and beguile the learner on his progress. Schiller's Maid of Orleans, Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris, Tieck's Puss in Boots, and the Xenia by Goethe and Schiller. Of none of these works have we ever before had an American edition. The editor accompanies these works with his own critical and explanatory notes, and, in an appendix, gives us specimens of German prose of the sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century.
Books for Boys.---The publishers, Appleton & Co., are providing for the intellectual wants of boys and girls, with a just reference equally to their minds, hearts and physical habits. Nothing of this sort could be better conceived than the stories of juvenile life, meant to train the youthful moral, than their occasional publications. Edgar Cliffton, by C. Adams, was an excellent book of this sort. The same author now gives us "Boys at Home," a volume of like description. The story of “The Sunshine of Greystone," is designed for girls. The