« ElőzőTovább »
much to perceive his direction is toward the classics. His translations are numerous, speak well for his diligence and success, and it needs only that our young author should use the proper pains-taking to render his success as honorable as grateful.
Blackwood's Magazine maintains its ground, with strength and spirit, though the wizard staff of Kit North has been broken. No more “ Noctes" -no more of those glorious rights of eloquence, poetry, keen wit and irresistible force. John Wilson had gradually withdrawn from Blackwood, before he withdrew from life. Will old Ebony supply his work? Not in his vein certainly. In other respects, Maga shows no deficiency, and it is still to be read—however erring in its politics—however diseased in its prejudices on the subject of our institutions—with satisfaction and improvement. In this connection, let us briefly acknowledge the general merits of the British Quarterlies, which seem to furnish, at this day, the very best productions of the British mind, and to be, in fact, its best representation. Like our own, British literature seems on the decline. The foreign reprints of these periodicals, issued by Scott & Co., should be in the hands of ail readers who would keep pace with current literature and European progress.
T'he Bohn Libraries. We are indebted to the attention of Messrs. Bangs and Brother, for three new volumes, lately added to the fertile libraries of Henry G. Bohn. These are :
1. The works of John Locke-volume I., containing the famous essay on the “Human Understanding."
2 A History of the Church, from A. D. 322, to A. D. 427. By Theodoret, Bishop of Cyprus ; and from A. D. 431, to A. D. 594, by Evagrius, with memoirs of the authors.
3. The Poems of Catallus and Tibullus, and the Vigil of Venus. These elegant trifles are here given to us, not only in the metrical versions of Lamb, Grainger, and other translators, but in a literal prose translation, also, with copious notes, by Walter K. Kelly.
Of these productions our space will permit no further notice at present; nor is this necessary. The works are well known, and of established character. We can only express our thanks to the publisher, for his continued and laudable attempts to place within the hands of the general reader so many admirable volumes, in such excellent style, and at a price so moderate; and so many others, as curious as excellent, which have, hitherto, been quite inaccessible to the unlearned.
Shelton's Chrystalline, (Scribner).—Something between the tale and the allegory. An old story, that of the thieving magpie, re-wrought upon a fanciful plan. The author has erred, in the endeavor to make a legend, originally fanciful enough, still more so. The artificial takes freedom of the natural, which, in such fabrics, it should never entirely do. Still, the fabrication is quite pretty and shows good taste and delicacy. A slight domestic tale, called “Clarence,” follows, in this volume, but it calls for no remark, beyond the simple one, that it belongs also to the fanciful. Our authors would do wisely to attempt more earnest perform
Addison's Works.—The fine edition of Putnam, of the works of Joseph Addison, in five volumes, is completed by the publication of volume five, which is wholly taken up with the concluding portions of the Spectator. This edition of Addison is not only the only complete American, but we are inclined to think the most complete of European, editions. At all events, the editorship of Professor Greene renders it one of the most valuable. He has done his work faithfully, with good judgment and a competent knowledge of his subject, and all its literary relations.
Foot Prints of Famous Alen.—One of these volumes, which serve admirably in the hands of boys, to stimulate a manly industry, and a generous ambition. A collection of the biographies of famous and self-made men, whose greatness survives in moral monuments, and who, through great public services, to their own age, have left an indelible impress upon posterity.
Influence of the Mechanic Arts.-Two Lectures, delivered by CHAS. GAYARE, before the Mechanic's Institute at New Orleans. These lec. tures are written in the ardent vein of the author, well-known by his highly interesting lectures on the History of Louisiana. For popular discourse no style is preferable to that of Mr. Gayare ; copious, warm, passionate—its exuberance and fancy enable him to convey to his audience, with emphasis and effect, the gravest propositions. In dealing with the simple subject before us, the merits of his manner are admirably shown.
Washington's Virginia Constitution of 1776.-A discourse delivered before the Virginia Historical Society, by II. A. WASHINGTON, showing thought and study and provocation of both. The same thing may be said of
Burnap's Democracy in America—its origin and causes—a discourse by GEORGE W. BURNAP, before the Maryland Historical Society - The question of democratic progress is, in fact, the great question of the age, involving all others, and not to be dismissed in a sentence—not to be approached, indeed, unless with great care, study, circumspection. It has in its care a truth and a terror-a virtue and a danger, which should compel wisdom to prayer, and humble the highest talent to the necessity of fervent thought.
Chemistry of Common Life. (Appleton.)—The second number of this useful series contains, as subjects, “The Bread we eat,” “ The Beef we cook,” and “The Beverages we infuse.” These are subjects of which we should know something, and of which this pamphlet tells us much; but, of course, the reader understands that is a proper policy to read such books only after dinner.
Utah and the Mormons. By BENJAMIN G. FERRIS. New York : Harper & Bro. 1854 —Mr. Ferris is a good witness on the subject of the diabolical absurdities of Mormonism, having been secretary of the government of the Utah territory. His work, in plain style—which is not always plain English-gives us a summary history of this miserable and filthy superstition, the government of Mormonism, and the doctrines, customs and prospects of the Latter-Day-Saints-a six months' personal residence
among them having not effected the conversion of the author to the faith, while it has enabled him to provide a very pretty scandalous chronicle for the benefit of outsiders, for their amusement or loathing, as they scverally incline. We confess to a sufficient knowledge already of what the Mormons are, and really do not care for any increase of intelligence. To those who know nothing of them, this volume would be amply sufficient.
Farmingdale. By CAROLINE THOMAS. New York : Appleton & Co.-A domestic story, little details and long dialogues, after a fashion particularly introduced by “The Wide, Wide World,” and the “Queechy” of Miss Warner.
The Hive of the Bee Hunter, &c. By J. B. THORPE. New York: Appleton & Co. 1854.—Quite a pleasant and sketchy series of pictures, chiefly drawn from American life in the South, by a well known and highly successful sketcher. These include agreeable variations, illus
trative of character, customs, scenery and rural sports—the writer shewing equally a personal knowledge of the customs of people and places, natural and human history. The narrative is helped throughout by frequent wood engravings, mostly very spirited, of the scenes and events described in the text.
Smith's History of Greece, revised, with an Appendix. By GEORGE W. GREENE, A.M. New York: Harper & Bro. 1854.–We are of opinion that no better history of Greece, for the use of schools, could be provided than this of Dr. Smith, who is already well known to us by several excellent and popular works of this order. The author bases his work, very judiciously, on that of Grote. He accordingly teaches from the republican point of view—the only true standard in considering Grecian history-instead of insidiously perverting the history, as Gillies and Mitford have done, to the purposes of a selfish political supremacy.
Farm Implements, and the Principles of their Construction and Use; an elementary and familiar treatise on mechanics, and on natural philosophy generally, as applied to the ordinary practices of agriculture. With two hundred engraved illustrations. By JOHN J. THOMAS.—We have no reason to question the excellence and utility of this snug handbook, which, Mr. Downing tells us, ought to be hung up in every workshop, tool-room and farmer's book-shelf in the country. It is further commended to general use, as chosen for publication by the New York State Agricultural Society. A neat volume, teeming with engraved illustrative figures, which must greatly facilitate the labors of the student.
Wensley.-A good moral story, "without a moral," from the press of Ticknor & Fields, was originally published in Blackwood's Magazine. It is a well written and interesting narrative.
Essays on the Formation and Publication of Opinions, the Pursuit of Truth, and on other subjects. By SAMUEL BAILEY. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1851.-A reprint from the English ; a very instructive collection, highly provocative of thought, and most usually right in conclusion. We commend the volume as one likely to be popularly useful in a high degree.
The Dietetics of the Soul. By ERNEST VON FEUCHKISLEBEN, M. D. New York : Francis & Co. 1851.-A volume that will be read with some curiosity in this era of spiritual manifestations. It consists of a
series of essays, medical and psychological, of a character too desultory to be satisfactory, but conveying clues and suggestions which the mataphysician may peruse with profit.
The Report upon Public Schools and Education in Rhode Island, for 1854, is a thick pamphlet of mixed argument and statistics, which we commend to the examination of those who are looking to the conditions of our own schools in the South. The popular features of the two sections are quite unlike in many respects; but there are certain features, common to both, which may render the discoveries of one of importance to the development of the other.
New Novels.—Mrs. Marsh's “ Aubrey” is a sombre story, in the wellknown manner of this writer-a manner which does not commend itself to our tastes, and which, in the present story, appears to still worse effect than ever. The tale is one rather too full of vulgar sentimentalities, and sentimentalizing vulgarities; of an atmosphere at once artificial and offensive, with as little of wholesome nature in it as possible.— « Leather Stocking and Silk” is the absurd title of a magazine story which one may dawdle over without absolutely sleeping. The author is neither a deep-diver or a high-flier ; but skims along among the flowers, butterfly fashion, without using the butterfly alembic. His distillations will fill no Cologne bottles.—“ The Quiet Heart is the title of a cool domestic narrative from Blackwood, faithful enough in portraiture in a certain but limited province-healthful enough, too, but without any strong interest, and wholly without variety. These volumes are all from the press of Harper & Brothers.
Sir Jasper Carew. By CHARLES LEVER. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1854.-A stirring and interesting narrative, the variety of which is obtained at the cost of much desultory, and some purposeless wandering. Not altogether satisfactory as a story, too inconsecutive in fact, and frequently defective in the matters of propriety, symmetry and poetical justice—it is yet a narrative which will equally fix attention and persuade curiosity. Lever is a writer who cannot wholly fail in any subject which he undertakes; and though the present is not quite so clever a book as the “Dodd Family,” of which he has recently made a copious report. It belongs to the same class of writings, and is productive of a similar interest.