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From The Leader.
malice in an attack on the works of CampOLD-FASHIONED. CRITICISM.
bell, added, “ As a man, moreover, he is yulLectures on the British Poets, By Henry Reed. garly ugly." Campbell, in fact, was handShaw.
some, but an Irish critic wrote that “ he was What is written about poets is generally a miserable dwarf," a small, thin man, with not worth reading. There might be named a remarkably cunning and withered face, and some fine critics of poetry; but, for the most eyes cold and glassy, like those of a dead part, they have been a dull race, given to the haddock.” Having maligned the poet's perrepetition of platitudes, or to the elaboration son, the critic proceeded to misrepresent his of false parallels or affected panegyrics. opinions. Campbell, according to these bioFew can have failed, however, to notice the graphical notes, said of Petrarch that “he gradual improvement which has taken place was a detestable donkey ;” of Cervantes, in the tone of literary criticism, especially that “ he was a most dull and lugubrous where
poets are concerned. Formerly every jester ;” of Byron, that'" he was a liar, and poet seemed to have a faction and an enemy, in heart and soul a blackguard ; ” of Allan and reviews were written as though with the, Cunningham, that “ he was the most infernal one object of inflicting a wound. In our liar that ever left Scotland ;” of Hazlitt, that day's Gifford's virulence would not be toler- “ of all the false, vain, selfish blackguards ated for a week, except by the few ante-dilu- that ever disgraced human nature, he was vians who promise immortality to the brutal- the falsest, vainest, and most selfish;” of ities of Christopher North. “ If,” he said, Northcote, the sculptor, that he was speaking as a reviewer of Shelley, “we might ceited booby;" Shelley a filthy Atheist," withdraw the veil of private life, and tell Milton " a savage-minded wretch," Gray what we know about him, it would indeed be selfish scoundrel,” and “a harmless, dirty a disgusting picture that we should exhibit;
beast.” That was one way of clouding the and then, “ Of Mr. Shelley himself we know reputation of a dead poet. Byron says that nothing, and desire to know nothing ”-two Wordsworth boasted he would not give five savage insinuations altogether contradictory. shillings for all Southey had ever written, The same presumptuous noodle who under- and Mrs. Hemans, that the same poet talked valued Shelley pretended to correct Byron of Scots wha ha wi' Wallace bled as “misannotating his proof-sheets with “ Omit the erable inanity;" but we must accept these last six couplets."
Despicable stuff.” testimonies very cautiously, and make sure "Strike out this section.” But nothing was that we are not mistaking a jest for an opinstartling from the pen of a writer who ion. We know, however, how Wordsworth asserted that Shakspeare's most characteris- underrated Dryden, Pope, and Gray, and tic eloquence, and, indeed, the only quality in | marvelled how they had been ranked among which he excelled other dramatists, was poets, and how Byron thought Milton and wit. Rhythmical modulation, according to Shakspeare had been extravagantly praised, Gifford, was not one of Shakspeare's merits. preferred Rogers to Coleridge, affected to We are almost inclined to rank Gifford with value two or three of Moore's Melodies beRymer, who described Othello as “ a bloody yond all the epics ever composed, and considfarce, without salt or savor that fills the ered as a tragedy of the highest crder Horace head with a vanity, confusion, tintamarre, Walpole's play The Mysterious Mother,
“ and jingle-jangle.” Yet we can forgive these which Coleridge described as “the most dislibels
upon books, as we forgive Johnson for gusting, detestable, vile composition that ever despising Paradise Lost, and declaring that came from the hand of man.” Coleridge to read Lycidas a second time would be to himself, however, talked of Wordsworth's deserve death by surfeit. We have eccentric drama The Borderers as absolutely wonderopinions and silly critics among us to this ful, and containing a series of profound hour, but we have extirpated (or silenced) touches of the human heart found sometimes the venomous cowards who once spoke of a in Schiller and Shakspeare, but in Wordsbook in order that they might defame its worth always! There was no little personal author. To that race belonged the scribbler and political feeling mixed up in these diswho spoke of Hazlitt as a “ pimpled fellow," cussions. The taste of the day, moreover, and the other, who, having exhausted his often misled the critics, as when the verses
called Studies of Sensation and Event—a allowance in this respect, it is not to be quesmass of unintelligible, metaphysical, incohe- tioned that there is right judgment and rence-were largely and elaborately praised. wrong judgment,—a sound taste and a Warburton had his disciples when he foolishly sickly taste. There are opinions which we
hold with a most entire conviction of annotated Pope, Gifford his admirers when their truth, an absolute and imperious selfhe ferociously assailed Shelley, Bentham his confidence, and a judicial assurance that the disciples when he said that all the poetry contradictory tenets are errors. There is a ever written was of no more importance than poetry, for instance, of which a man may a game of pushpin, and, undoubtedly, that both know and feel not only that it gives reviewer had his dupes who wrote that poetic gratification to himself, but that it Shakspeare had done nothing but spread a well-constituted and well-educated mind.
cannot fail to produce a like effect on every poisonous fume over the mind of Europe.
When an English critic, Rymer, some bunWe extract from a series of thoughtful, dred and fifty years ago, disloyal in his folly, refined, and suggestive essays, by Henry pronounced the tragical part of Othello to be Reed, the well-known American critic, a pas- plainly none other than a bloody farce, withsage bearing on this topic:
out salt or savor,—when Voltaire scoffed at
the tragedy of Hamlet as a gross and bar. “ It is important, too, to shun the habit of barous piece, which would not be tolerated dogmatic criticism.
It is a singular but by the vilest rabble of France or Italy, familiar fact, that men are never more apt likening it, (I give you his own words) to the to be intolerant of difference of opinion than fruit of the imagination of a drunken savage, in what concerns the mingled powers of --when Steevens, an editor of Shakspeare, judgment and feeling denominated taste. I said that an Act of Parliament would not be need suggest no other illustration than the strong enough to compel the perusal of the striking contrariety of judgment on the sonnets and other minor poems of the bard, merits of the most distinguished poets who when Dr. Johnson remarked that Paradise have flourished in our own times, the discus- Lost might be read as a duty, but could not sion of which I shall not now anticipate by be as a pleasure, and pronounced a sweeping the expression of any opinion. To what is
condemnation Milton's incomparable this owing? Partly, no doubt, to variety of Lycidas,—when, in our own day, a Scotch character, intellectual and moral; to diversity critic, Lord Jeffrey, declared of Wordsworth's of temperament and education ; and whatso- majestic poem, the Excursion, that it would ever else makes one man in some respects a never do'-in each of these opinions I know, different being from his neighbor. Each
as anybody may, with a confidence not short reader, as well as each writer, has his pecu- of demonstration, I know that there was liar bent of mind, his own way of thinking, gross and grievous falsehood. Now, if these and feeling ; so that the passionate strains of opinions are defenceless on the score of poetry will find an adaptation in the heart of variety of mind, and safely to be stigmatized one, while its thoughtful, meditative inspirations will come home to the heart of an- that there must exist principles to guide to
as rash and irrational judgments, it follows other. This consideration must not be lost wise conclusions. And how is a theory of sight of, because it goes far towards allaying criticism to be formed? How, in a matter this literary intolerance, which, like political in which men are apt to think and feel so or theological intolerance, is doubly disas- differently,
to have such various fancies, pretrous, for it al the same time narrows a judices, and prepossessions, -how are we to man's sympathies and heightens his pride. But the variety of mind or of general dis- get at the truth ?" position will not wholly explain the variety Mr. Reed puts a question, and does not of literary opinions. After making all due wait for an answer.
An interesting case, turning upon the inter- | Military Knights of Windsor. In accordances pretation of the will of Henry VIII., has come with tho will, Prince Edward executed the deed. before the Master of the Rolls. King Henry And the lands thus secured being now worth declared that the Dean and Canons of Windsor about £14,000 a-year; the Military Knights should have certain lands secured to them by contend that they should have the benefit of the himself during his lifotime, or by his son, Prince increase in the value. The Dean and Canone; Edward, upon trust, among other things, to pay on the contrary, claim the 14,000 a-year, de twelve ponce a-day to thirteen poor men. These ducting the original thirteen penee a-day. are now known by the anomalous name of the amounting to about £600., paid to the knights,
MARBLES IN THE BRITISH goue on until I had dissolved
marble, and left a pure surface, even these PROF. FARADAY has addressed the follow- successive applications, made, of course, with ing letter to Dean Milman on the present care, but each time producing a sensible state of the marbles in the British Museum. and even abundant effervescence, and each
Royal Institution, Ablemarle Street, April 30. time dissolving enough marble. to neutralize My dear Dr. Milman, I wish I could the applied acid, were not sufficient to reach write any thing satisfactory, in reply to your the bottom of the cells and fissures in which note about the marbles in the British dirt had been deposited, so as to dislodge Museum. I examined them, in respect of the whole of that dirt from its place. The their conditions to dirt, on the 24th instant; examination has made me despair of the and more particularly a Caryatide, No. 128; possibility of presenting the marbles in the the Shaft of a Column, No. 118; and some British Museum in that state of purity and of the Metopes in the Elgin Gallery. The whiteness which they originally possessed," marbles generally were very dirty; some of or in which as I am informed like marbles can them appeared as if dirty from a deposit of be seen in Greece and Italy at the present dust and soot formed upon them, and some day. The multitude of people who frequent of tbem, as if stained, dingy, and brown. the galleries, the dust which they raise, the The surface of the marbles is in general necessary presence of stoves, or other means rough, as if corroded ; only a very few spec- of warming, which, by producing currents in imens present the polish of finished marble: the air, carry the dust and dirt in it to places many have a dead surface; many are honey- of rest, namely, the surfaces of the marbles ; comed in a fine degree, more or less ; or and the London atmosphere in which dust, have shivered broken surfaces, calculated to smoke, fumes, are always present, and often hold dirt mechanically. I found the body of water in such proportions as to deposit a the marble beneath the surface white. I dew upon the cold marble, or in the dirt found very few places where the discoloration upon the marble, are never-ceasing sources seemed to be produced by a stain penetrat- of injury to the state and appearance of ing the real body of the unchanged or un- these beautiful remains. Still, I think that broken marble. Almost everywhere it ap
much improvement would result from a peared to be due to dirt (arising from dust, more frequent and very careful washing; smoke, soot, &c) held, mechanically, by the and I think that the application of a little rough and fissured surface of the stone. carbonated alkali (as soda) with the water The application of water, applied by a sponge
would be better than soap, inasmuch as the or soft cloth 'removed the coarsest dirt, but last portions of it are more easily removed. did not much enlighten the general dark It requires much care in washing to secure tint. The addition of rubbing, either by the this result; but whether soap or soda be finger, or a cork, or soft brushes, improved employed, none should be allowed to remain the color, but still left it far below that of a behind. Dry brushing or wiping is probably fresh fracture. The use of a fine, gritty employed in some cases; if so, it should be powder, with the water and rubbing, though applied with care, and never, whilst the objects it more quickly removed the upper dirt, left are damp, or from the conditions of the much imbedded in the cellular surface of the
weather likely to be so.
In several cases marble. I then applied alkalies, both car
there is the appearance as if such a probonated and caustic ; these quickened the a darker coat of dirt than would have been
cess had resulted in causing the adhesion of loosening of the surface dirt, and changed produced without it; for convex, front, unthe tint of the brown stains a little; but derlying portions of a figure are in a darker they fell far short of restoring the marble state than back parts of the same figure, surface to its proper hue and state of clean- though the latter are more favorably disposed liness. I finally used dilute nitric acid, and dear Dr. Miman, humbly and truly yours,
for the reception of falling dirt.- I am, my. eren this failed ; for, though I could have
1. A Woman Growing Old-By a Woman,
321 2. Richard Hooker,
North British Review,
328 3. The Student-A Story of Blen Cathara, -- Dublin University Magazine, 355 4. Essays of John Wilson Croker,
368 5. A Christmas Phantasy,
369 6. A Really Good Day's Fishing,
371 7. Sweden, Lapland and Norway-By Bayard Taylor, Athenæum,
375 8. Old Fashioned Criticism–Henry Reed's Lecture, Leader,
381 9. The Marbles in the British Museum-Dr. Faraday, Athenæum,
383 POETRY.—Below and Above, 354. Evening Rhymes, 354. Christmas Phantasy, 369. The Wand of Light, 370. Old Letters, 370. Autumn Verses, 370.
SHORT ARTICLES.—Roman Senate, 327. The Organ Boys, 353. Six Songs by Longfellow, 353. New Stereoscope, 374. Portuguese Africa, 380. Samuel Lover ; Mr. Prescott in Russia, etc., 380. Will of Henry VIII., 382.
TO OUR READERS.
A Woman's Thoughts About Women—the first article in this number—is a very pleasant one. Long ago we saw dear Aunts going through the process; and in later years have friends of our own youth now ceasing to be young; Were it said that they are growing more like Angels, they would think it flattery;—and yet of some of them it is doubtless true. “A middle-aged angel” is an old wish of ours.
Poor Hooker! «The Judicious Hooker! His works were an all-sufficient consolation to him. What a spite that his wife should have destroyed some of them. This shadowy notice of his Life, will draw many readers to his incomparable Writings.
LITTELL’S LIVING AGE.
WASHINGTON, 27 Dec., 1845. Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe, and in this country, this has appeared to me the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the English Language; but this, by its immense extent and comprehepsion, includes a portraiture of the buman mind, in the utmost expansion of the present age.
J. Q. ADAMS. This work is made up of the elaborate and stately essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, Westminster, North British, British Quarterly, New Quarterly, London Quarterly, Christian Remembrancer, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Comentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and contributions to Literature, History and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, tbe sparkling Examiner, the judicious Atheneum, the busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the learned and sedate Saturday Review, the studious and practical Economist, the keen tory Press, the sober and respectable Christian Observer ; these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with the best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's and Sporting Mogazines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal, and Dickens Household Words. We do not consider it beneath our dig. nity to borrow wit and wisdom from Punch; and, when we think it good enough, make use of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new growth of the British colonies.
Published every Saturday, by LITTELL, SON & COMPANY, Boston. Price 12 cents a number, or six dollars a year. Remittances for any period will be thankfully received and promptly attended to.
We will send the Living Age, postage free, to all subscribers within the United States, who remit in advance, directly to the office of publication, the sum of six dollars; thus placing our distant subscribers on the same footing As those nearer to us, and making the whole country our neighborhood.
Complete sets, handsomely bound, packed in neat boxes, and delivered in all the principal cities, free of ex. pense of freight, are for sale at two dollars a volume.
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LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.-No. 716.-13 FEBRUARY, 1858.
the venerable Bishop of Hippo preaching to a congregation of rude soldiers, much in the manner of the author of " Village Sermons.” On the other hand, Dr. Pusey, who, in his
preface to the confessions in the “Oxford BEFORE the art of “ stealing a thought and Library of the Fathers," tells us that cathoclipping it round the edge” had reached its lic antiquity, rightly and devotionally studied present perfection—in the days when authors is calculated to satisfy the cravings of earwere more studious of displaying their erudi- nest souls, and “ to provide a haven for those tion than affecting originality, and a false weary of modern questionings,” recommends taste made them garnish their compositions Augustine as one in whom the stream of with scraps
of learned quotation—Latin sen- catholic truth flowed strong and deep, altences headed with, as St. Augustine saith, though there floated on its surface straws did not rarely occur in sermons.
and sticks of predestinarianism and other The faithful no doubt were greatly edified idiosyncrasies of opinion. and refreshed by the mouthing of the Latin His writings were carefully preserved by of the father, and it is to be hoped they were the church; but the truths they contained still more so by the translation into vernacu- remained for a long time dry and unproduclar speech of his quaint golden sayings, stuck tive as wheat in a mummy's hand. His sayon the thorns of scholastic theology, through ings were read, admired, and classified by which shepherds not a few delighted to lead the Dryasdust theologians of the middle their flocks.
ages, of the ninth century in particular. At Indeed, few authors are better adapted for last they became living germs of doctrine, quotation. The writings of Augustine are thought, and action, in the souls of Luther, auriferous to an uncommon degree, and have Calvin, and Jansenius. Although, however, attracted swarms of diggers philosophical, both Luther and Calvin had closely studied theological, psychological, and pietistic; for the theology of this father, and were much the precious metal not only is held in suspen- indebted to it, it is only Jansenius and his sion by the full-flowing stream of language, followers that can, with any propriety, be or is detected sparkling in minute grains called Augustinians. His book, published amid much that is mere sand, but is found after his death, at which he had worked abundantly in solid nuggets. Interspersed for twenty years, was entitled “ Augustinus,” through the ten folio volumes filled by the and was professedly an account of the opinBenedictine edition of his works, are many ions of this father. Augustine, thus evoked sentences of compressed wisdom, and many from the shades by Jansenius, was in the pitby, profound, and pious sayings, to adopt seventeenth century nearly as formidable to , a metaphor of his own, strung like pearls on Jesuits as he had been, alive, to Donatists, . the links of a golden chain of argumenta- Pelagians, and Manicheans ; not alone by
the strength of his single arm, but by rousNone of the ancient church fathers af- ing and influencing, among others of name fected his own times more, or transmitted and worth, such spirits as Blaise Pascal, Anmore influence to future ages. He has at- thony Arnauld, Nicolo, and Quesnel. In this tracted towards him men of the most oppo- own day, he was the great champion of or site tendencies ; and his authority has been thodoxy, and the antagonist of separatists : claimed for opinions the most conflicting. and heretics ; for his love of truth made bim. Mr. Maurice tells us that he finds his gospel war with falsehood to the knife, and his love in Augustine : and Mr. Kingsley, who in of peace made him labor vigorously to put · "Two Years Ago," and elsewhere, publishes down the divisions that were distracting the a gospel very much according to Maurice, in church. The work he did required. One the close of his " Hypatia," introduces to us specially fitted for it, and in looking at the
DCCXVI. LIVING AGE.