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from Collins, and others, do honour to British art; and the discrimination of the public will not fail to discover and reward the assiduity displayed in getting up the present and fifth volume of this elegant work. The following sonnet, entitled “ Contemplation," is from the pen of Mary Howitt, “X Sketch from old John Bunyan.”

He sate within a silent cave, apart

From men, upon a chair of diamond stone;
Words he spoke not, companions he had none,
But stedfastly pursued his thoughtful art;
And as he mused, he pull'd a slender string,

Which evermore within his hands he held;

And the dim curtain rose, which had conceal'a
His thoughts ;--the city of the Immortal King-
There pictured in its solemn pomp it lay,

A glorious country stretching round about;
And, through its golden gates, pass'd in and out
Men of all nations on their heavenly way.
On this he mused, and mused the whole day long,

Feeding his feeble faith till it grew strong. The second of the family of Annuals, " The Friendship's Offering,” makes its appearance this month in a more superb binding than before. Truly elegant, solid, and unique, last year, it is now rendered splendid by the addition of a profusion of gold. Mr. Pringle, the Editor, has introduced several novelties into the literary part: a dedication to a lady of rank, in rhyme, and a prologue, in the way of the olden time, are prefixed to the volume. The plates consist of a beautiful engraving of Turner's view of Vesuvius during an eruption; it is engraved by Jeavons, and is well worthy of the artist, whose manner is accurately conveyed to the spectator by the copper: we have rarely been more pleased with any engraving. The frontispiece, “Lyra," by Dean, after Wood, is a pleasing, soft picture. “Echo,” is charming ; quite Italian. “ Reading the News,” from Wilkie, by Robinson, we prefer to " Catherine of Arragon," by Humphreys, from Leslie. “Mine Own;" “ Early Sorrow;" “ The Honeymoon;" and "Mary Queen of Scots presenting her Son to the Church Commissioners,” &c. are very pleasing engravings, and do credit to the work. The literary part, it is needless to repeat to our readers, evinces high judgment and taste. The contents are more choice than they were last year, and more care and aptitude have been displayed in their arrangement. “ The Friendship's Offering" for 1830 will be a general favourite, we are persuaded, on the triple ground of its literary merit, its beautiful engravings, and its elegant garb. The literary part is furnished by well-known writers of no small literary merit: James Montgomery, of Sheffield, T. Roscoe, the Howitts, Banim, Mitford, Hall, Dale, Delta, Clare, Frazer, Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Godwin, Bowring, Hofland, Hogg, St. John, Kennedy, Cunningham, &c. The editor has also contributed several poetical pieces of his own, which abound in sweetness, and that simple beauty, which is, after all, the great charm in such works. There is nothing suffered to pass which is not tasteful and elegant; and this is, in our eyes, the great secret of making up an annual. Every thing should be good; nothing is expected that shall astound, and nothing can be excused which is low and coarse. We might cite as an illustration of this, the editorial tact displayed in an annual of great pretensions last year, one of the most exquisite in art ever got up the illustrations spirited and superb, and well deserving patronage, but the effect of them deteriorated by unredeemed vulgarity in the literary department. We know not, from having no skill in heraldry, to whom Mr. Pringle has dedicated his volume; but as we are certain, from the description, that it cannot be her who "dignifies the ducal place” of his Grace of St. Alban's, we are satisfied. The prologue, in imitation of the olden time, is very happy. “Spoleto," by the editor, is the only piece we have room to copy, for it must be recollected we have, in this article, to dispose of ten or a dozen works, all similar, yet all different; all agreeable and beautiful, though perhaps not all equally so.

SPOLETO.
A scene such as we picture in our dreams;
Grey castled rocks, green woods, and glittering streams;
Mountains in massive grandeur towering high;
Spires gleaming in the soft Ausonian sky;
Groves, gardens, villas, in their rich array;
Majestic ruins, glorious in decay ;
Marvels by Art and Nature jointly wrought-
And every stone instinct with teeming thought :
Such look'st thou, fair Spoleto!-And the Art
That through the eye speaks volumes to the beart,
Lifting the veil that envious distance drew,,
Reveals thee, bathed in beauty, to our view;
Each feature so distinct-so freshly fair, ....
We almost seem to scent thy mountain air
Breathing upon us from yon clump of pines,
Where the blithe goatherd 'mid his flock reclines.
How rich the landscape !-opening, as we look,
To many a sacred fane and sylvan nook ;
While through the vale, by antique arches spann'd,
The river, like some stream of Fairyland,
Pours its bright waters,—with deep solemn sound,
As if rehearsing to the rocks around
The tale of other times. Methinks I hear
Its dream-like murmur melting on the ear,--
Telling of mighty chiefs whose deeds sublime
Look out gigantic o'er the gulphs of Time;
Of the stern African whose conquering powers
Recoil'd abash'd from these heroic towers;
Of him who, when Rome's glorious days were gone,
Built yon grim pile to prop his Gothic throne;
Of Belisarius, Narses—But 'twere vain
To weave such names into this idle strain;
These mouldering mounds their towering aims proclaim .
-The historic Muse hath given their acts to fame.
Spoleto! midst thy hills and storied piles,
Thy classic haunts and legendary aisles,
"Twere sweet, methinks, ere life hath pass'd away,
To spend one long, reflective summer's day ;
Beneath those quiet shades my limbs to cast,
And muse o'er all that links thee to the past ;
To linger on, through twilight's wizard hour,
Till the wan moon gleam'd high o'er rock and tower,
And, with her necromantic lustre strange,
Lit up the landscape with a solemn change
Gilding its grandeur into sad relief,
Like a pale widow stately in her grief.

So rose the scene on ROGERS' classic eye-
And thus, embalm'd in words that ne'er could die,
Its touching image had remain'd enshrined,
Had he to verse transferr'd it from his mind.
Far other fate awaits this rustic lay,
Framed for the passing purpose of a day :
Enough for me if he its tone commend

Whom 'tis a pride and grace to call my Friend. The prose compositions harmonize well with the poetry in point of merit, and the simple elegance of the volume. “Il Vesuviano,” is well written and impressive. “The Voyage Out,” is a pleasing narration. “The Lover's Leap," is a terrible story, but not so faithful to the truth of nature, as it should have been. The White Bristol,” by Banim, is good, as are all the other tales-equable and agreeable reading. But we must end, and proceed to the next Annual, in the order in which they reached us, and this is the " Gem."

Last year this Annual was remarkable, rather for the puns and conceits which were bestrewed over it without mercy by its editor, than for careful selection, or a literary excellence rivalling its compeers. Its engravings, however, were truly elegant, and are understood to have been superintended by that distinguished artist, A. Cooper, Esq. R. A. This has been now acknowledged in the modest preface of the editor; and the plates, which are thirteen in number, are elegant specimens of art. “The Ruins of Trionto," by Martin, engraved by Smith, is an effective specimen of a subject, in which that painter does not often figure. He has abandoned the gorgeous, gloomy grandeur of the East for a Salvator Rosa scene, of wild sublimity, which we could wish he would pursue farther; the success of his pencil so directed is certain. Lightning, it is true, is introduced, but if it were not, the character of the picture would remain the same. "The Love Letter," by Smirke, is a fine engraving of Warren's. “ Verona," the sweet Verona, after Bonington, is good ; and Cooper's “ Mameluke,” by Warren, is excellent; so is “Rose Malcolm,” by the same artist, engraved by Rolls; nothing can be more spirited than the horses ; the whole of the figures, too, are good. The infant “ Bacchus," brought by Mercury to the Nymphs, after Howard, by Edwards, is only outdone, if it be outdone, by the “ Oberon and Titania,” of the same artist, in the present year's “Literary Souvenir.” “The Coquette,” from Chalon, and the “Stolen Interview," from Stephanoff, are very pleasing. “Tyre” is, to our seeming, a better engraving than painting, in the matter of composition. Where are her immense fleets and warehouses, the bustle of commerce, and the riches of the world? We suppose the former are at sea, and the latter in the cellars. Wilkie's “ Saturday Night” is Wilkie himself, in his very best vein. The “ Halt on the March" is good, and the “Gipsey Belle" very interesting and characteristic. We now advert to the literary department, and find a very great improvement indeed. We have Keats, Horace Smith, Delta, Malcolm, Norton, Bowring, Hogg, T. Roscoe, Don T. de Trueba, C. B. Sheridan, James Montgomery of Sheffield, Cunningham, Lord Nugent, Miss Bowles, J. Carne, Wrangham, Harvey, the indefatigable Howitts, Clare, Kenney, and several other well known writers, either in verse or prose; as usual, it is difficult to select, so as to have a due regard to our limits, and not be deemed partial. The following is from the pen of the late John Keats. The sonnet by Richard Howitt.

In a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy Tree !
Thy branches ne'er remember

T'heir green felicity.
The North cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them ;
Nor frozen thawingy glue them

From budding at the prime !
In a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy Brook!'
Thy bubblings ne'er remember

Apollo's summer look ;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never-never petting

About the frozen time!
Ah! would 'twere so with many

A gentle Girl and Boy!
But were there ever any

Writhed not at passed joy ?
To know the change and feel it,
When there is none to heal it,
Nor numbed sense to steel it,

Was never told in rhyme

SONNET TO AN EARLY VIOLET.
One on this shelter'd bank, and only one:

Fair comer of rude March! the first to show
A smile of triumph o'er the season gone,--

White in the winds as is the drifted snow.
Untended thou dost wear a cheerful look,

Cheerful as unto kindred sweets allied ;
And from thee seems content breathed round this nook,

With thine own worth and grace self-satisfied,
Here art thou safe, now largest ships are strewn

In shapeless wrecks about the restless sea :
Here dosi thou smile, now giant arms are blown

From oaks, and pines lie prostrate on the lea.
Quiet in storms! Beauty in dearth! What power

Is in thy lowliness, sweet simple flower! The prose tales of the “Gem” are also very fair in merit, and we may justly hail this Annual as well established in its claims to public favour.

Since last year the “ Anniversary” is defunct. The “ Bijou," which came to our hands the last of the series, is this year got up with increased elegance. If we have fault to find with it, it is that we miss the stamp of antiquity about its beautiful embellishments which gave it before such an air of the olden time. One, indeed, we have, in Lady Jane Grey, from De Heere, engraved by Dean, most charmingly. We wish Mr. Pickering had kept up this unique feature of his Annual. The first engraving is by Ensom, from Laurence, a likeness of the King, when a much younger man than at present; the second a beautiful little head by the same artist, called “ Ada," quite a gem. The “ African Daughter," from Bonington, follows, well engraved by Sangster. The « Bag Piper,” by Fox, from Wilkie ;“ Milton's composing between his two Daughters," by Ensom, from Stothard, and “ Rosalind and Celia," (not at all to our mind,) from Stothard, by Phelps; with the “* Blue Bell," by Fox, from Hastings, complete this elegant little Annual. In the literary part, at which we could only cursorily glance from lack of time, there does not seem to be any failure of past character. We have only space to copy a striking sonnet by a man remarkable for talent and error. Ugo Foscolo, on himself.

A furrow'd brow, intent and deep-sunk eyes,

Fair hair, lean cheeks, and mind, and aspect bold;
The proud quick lip, where seldom smiles arise,

Bent head, and fine-form'd neck-breast rough and cold.
Limbs well composed ; simple in dress, yet choice,

Swift or to move, act, think, or thought unfold ;
Temperate, firm, kind, unused to flattering lies ;

Adverse to the world, adverse to me of old.
Oft-times alone and mournful. Evermore

Most pensive-all unmoved by hope or fear :
By shame made timid, and by anger brave.
My subtle reason speaks : but, ah! I rave;

Twixt vice and virtue, hardly know to steer :

Death may for me have FAME and rest in store. Since last year, we have heard that another religious Annual is to appear, for which, of all names, that of “ The Emanuel” has been selected. This, from its title, will, no doubt, be something startling to the “faithful”— we say nothing about the adoption of the name till the work is before us. A zoological Annual has also appeared, which we have not yet seen. . Mr. Roscoe has brought out his “Juvenile Keepsake,” which we noticed last year, when it commenced. It is designed for youth of more advanced years than that of Mrs.Watts, and is got up with care and attention truly praiseworthy. Its contributions are from pens of known celebrity ; it is scrupulously pure in sentiment, as may be expected from the high moral character of its editor, and may be safely put into the hands of those for whom it is designed. Mrs. Watts's “ Juvenile Souvenir" is foremost in the excellence of the engravings this year, and is admirably adapted for children, the contents being as simple and clear as possible ; a thing it requires tact to manage, and a knowledge of infant years to arrange. There are eleven pictures, none of which will accustom the young eye to distortion of form and ill-proportioned outline. The contents are by well-known authors, and the preface exhibits correct views of the true nature of such a work.

Mrs. S. C. Hall has bronight out her “ Juvenile Forget me Not” for 1830, in a superior style even to that of last year, which we then commended. The engravings are good, and the contributors distinguished in the literary world. The activity of this lady is highly commendable, and the powers she displays in many of her compositions are of the first order. Mr. Ackermann has also this year published a “Juvenile Annual,” under the same title as Mrs. Hall's. The engravings are good ; it is edited by Mr. Shoberl. A sort of literary sparring has commenced respecting the adoption of the title, which it is not our province to enter upon, wishing all and every of these attempts the success they merit, and hailing them all as vast improvements upon the old works for youth.

We have now mentioned of these beautiful works all published, we believe, save one. We hear that a new and interesting work, called “ The Landscape Annual," of which we have seen several of the plates, is about to appear; and it is sufficient to say they are of the first order, being got up by that excellent artist Mr. Heath, whose activity and talent are so well known. There are to be twenty-six fine engravings of celebrated scenes; and in this work the literary department is in experienced hands, and the artists' engravings will have justice from the pen of Mr. T. Roscoe, whose ability for such a task it is not for us to question. We must now take leave of these interesting volumes until 1831, when we have little doubt we shall hail farther improvements. Such is the effect of honest rivalry, or, as Mr. Pringle has it in this year's “ Friendship's Offering,” “A generous rivalry in merit,”-the bold and emulative spirit of British enterprise and industry.

TO MARY.
Au, joyous spirit ! radiant star!
Through Sorrow's gloom discern'd afar,
Still do those cheering beams impart
Life, joy, and gladness to my heart !
No meteor glance was thine which stole
Through the dark confines of my soul
Thy light was Heaven's ethereal ray, .
Its path, devotion's hallow'd way.
A rainbow thou, in troublous skies,
A seraph form, in Love's disguise,
With just so much alloy, as told
Thy spirit cast in human mould;
And, should Perfection steal that dross,
I'd count thy gain my heaviest loss!
Since that alone has power to bind
Thy steadfast to my erring mind!
For, ah! should Caution teach those eyes
To hint the cold, the harsh surmise ;
Or bid thy lip, in converse, feign
A less heart-flowing, guileless strain-
Should Time thy bosom's warmth impair,
And goodness, only, claim thy care ;
If in the balance duly laid,
Each venial fault be strictly laid-
Should Candour e'er forsake thy side,
Or half these chilling woes betide-
Though I might deem thy judgment mended,
The history of our loves were ended.

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