AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD, born in 1817 in Paris, is distinguished as the author of two works, Nineveh and its Remains (1848); and Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon (1853), describing his successful excavations, especially at the former place. Sculptured bulls and lions, with wings and human heads, stand, amid many other similar works of ancient art, in the hall of the British Museum, as trophies of Mr. Layard's toil. For a time he took a prominent part in politics as member for Aylesbury, and under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He has lately returned to political life. RICHARD Ford (1796-1858) wrote Murray's Hand-book for Spain, and also a work entitled Gatherings from Spain (1846), which together form the best authority we have on the modern condition of that romantic land. GEORGE Borrow, born near Norwich about 1800, when travelling in Spain as the agent of the Bible Society, gathered materials for a work descriptive of his personal adventures, which he called The Bible in Spain (1844). Few books possess more vividinterest. Gipsy life has an especial attraction for his pen. His other works are Zincali, or the Gipsies in Spain, published before his chief book; Lavengro, or the Scholar, the Gipsy, and the Priest; and a sequel to this, called The Romany Rye. ALEXANDER WILLIAM KINGLAKE, born in 1802 at Taunton, having passed through Trinity College, Cambridge, studied law at Lincoln's Inn. His book, Eöthen, descriptive of his travels in the East, which was published in 1850, is remarkable for its thought and eloquence. Mr. Kinglake is at present member of Parliament for Bridgewater. SIR JAMEs EMERSON TENNENT, born in 1804 at Belfast, is a merchant's son. Elected member for his native town in 1832, he devoted himself to political life, making literature his recreation. His books on Modern Greece, Belgium, and Wine are well known; but his great work is Ceylon, for which he collected materials during his five years' residence in the island as Secretary to the Colonial Government. He has been since 1852 one of the joint Secretaries to the Board of Trade.



Supplementary List. To the list of travellers in Spain, headed by Ford and Borrow, the name of HENRY DAVID INGLIS (1795–1835), son of a Scottish advocate, who wrote under the name of Derwent Conway, deserves to be added. Mr. Inglis also published travels in Northern Europe, France, and Ireland.

Sir John BOWRING (born in 1792 at Exeter), otherwise famous as a translator, has written an account of Siam. Eliot WARBURTON (1810-1852), an English barrister who was burned in the Amazon, has left, besides some novels and memoirs, an eloquent book of Eastern travel, The Crescent and the Cross (1846). China has been “done" and described by John FRANCIS Davis, Chief Superintendent there, and WINGROVE COOKE, Special Correspondent of the Times; and Japan by LAURENCE OLIPHANT, Secretary to Lord Elgin. The Rev. JOSIAS PORTER, now a Professor of Biblical Criticism in Belfast, is author of Five Years in Damascus, and Murray's Hand-book for Palestine and Syria. Captain SHERARD OSBORNE, author of Stray Leaves from an Arctic Journal, has since written A Cruise in Japanese Waters.

Arctic travel and discovery, during this period of English literature, are represented by many eminent names, among which those of Dr. Rar, Sir ROBERT M'CLURE, discoverer of the North-West Passage, and Sir LEOPOLD M‘CLINTOCK, commander of the Fox, are prominent. Sir FRANCIS HEAD (born 1793), for some time Governor of Upper Canada, wrote a popular work upon the Pampas and the Andes (1826); and a Yorkshire Squire, CHARLES WATERTON (born 1782), has depicted his wonderful adventures and toils in Wanderings in South America, the North-West of the United States, and the Antilles.

Murray's Hand-books, some of which have been already named, form in them. selves a most valuable geographical library. They are not the work of mere compilers, but, in nearly every case, of men who can describe clearly and gracefully what they have seen and heard in the land of which they write.

[blocks in formation]

UPON the opposite shores of the Atlantic a branch of our literature is flourishing in green and vigorous youth. We subjoin a brief view of American writers and their works, following the plan which has been adopted in the foregoing chapter.


WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, who divides the crown of American poetry with Longfellow, was born in 1794, at Cummington in Massachusetts. At first a lawyer, he afterwards devoted himself to journalism. His poem called Thanatopsis (a view of death) is full of Wordsworth's clear and pensive beauty of expression. The AgesLines to a Waterfowl Green RiverThe Yellow Violet --and The Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood, are among

his finest poems.

LYDIA HUNTLY SIGOURNEY, born in 1791, at Norwich in Connecticut, is the Mrs. Hemans of American poetry. As Miss Huntly she appeared before the public in 1815. later she married a merchant of Hartford. The delicate pathos

Four years


of The Dying Infant, The Emigrant Mother, and To-morrow, is worthy of all praise. Pocahontas is her most elaborate poem.

HENRY WADsworth LONGFELLOW, born in 1807, at Portland in Maine, has been since 1835 Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres in Harvard College, Cambridge. He first appeared as a poet in 1840, when he published Voices of the Night. The study of European literature, especially that of Germany, has had a powerful influence upon his mind. Tennyson is the English writer whom he most resembles. His chief works, verse and prose, are as follows:–

WERSE. PROSE. Woices of the Night. Outre-Mer, or Sketches from Beyond Poems on Slavery. Sea. The Spanish Student, a play. Hyperion, a Romance. The Belfry of Bruges. Poets and Poetry of Europe.

Evangeline (in English hexameters). Kavanagh, a Tale.
The Sea-side and the Fire-side.
The Golden Legend (mediaeval).

Hiawatha, an Indian tale.
The Courtship of Miles Standish.

Many translations, from Spanish, German, Swedish, Danish, and Anglo-Saxon, attest the linguistic power and poetic skill of this favourite author. On this side of the Atlantic Longfellow and Washington Irving are as well known as Tennyson and Goldsmith.

NATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS, born in 1817 at Portland, has written poetry and prose with grace and lightness. There is something of Leigh Hunt about his pen. He is the editor of the New York Mirror. Some of his Scriptural pieces, such as The Leper, The Daughter of Jairus, and The Shunamite Mother, are very beautiful. Melanie and Lord Ivon and his Daughter afford good specimens of his romantic style. But such sweet, natural lyrics as Better Moments, and Lines to a City Pigeon, surpass his more laboured works. In prose he has produced various clever, readable, gossipy books,—Pencillings by the Way—Inklings of Adventure—Loiterings of Travel, &c.

(15) 34



EDGAR ALLAN POE, author of that exquisite piece of mystery and music, The Raven, was born in 1811 at Baltimore. Annabel Lee, a tender lament for his dead wife, is one of the sweetest lyrics in the language. His prose tales are full of wild and absorbing interest. Reckless intemperance brought his short life to a close in 1849.

Supplementary List. JOHN PIERPONT.-(1785) Litchfield, Connecticut-Airs of Palestine; Lyrics. RICHARD DANA.-(1787)—Cambridge, Massachusetts-The Buccaneer; Thoughts

on the Soul; also noted as an Essayist. CHARLES SPRAGUE.-(1791)-Boston--a bank cashier-Curiosity; The Brothers;

The Family Meeting. JAMES GATES PERCIVAL.—(1785)—Kensington, Connecticut-Lyric Poems. Firz-GREENE "HALLECK. -- (1795) — Guilford, Connecticut - Fanny; Alnwick

Castle; Marco Bozzaris. JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.-(1819)—Boston-author of many serious poems

(Rhæcus, Prometheus, &c.), but better known for the Papers of Hosca

Biglow, abounding in Yankee fun and shrewd sarcasm. Southey gave great praise to Zophiel, or the Bride of Seven, by MARIA BROOKS. CHARLES HOFFMAN, author of The Vigil of Faith; and JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, a Quaker poet, may be added to this list.


WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT, born in 1796, at Salem in Massachusetts, is the chief of American historians. An accident at college—the throwing of a crust-deprived him almost wholly of one eye. Thus situated, he began a career of literary toil which resulted in the production of four great historical works,—The Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, The Conquest of Mexico, The Conquest of Peru, and The History of Philip II.,-all of which have been remarkably successful. The sight of his single eye failing, he was for several years unable to read. He died of a paralytic stroke in 1859.

GEORGE BANCROFT, born in 1800, at Worcester in Massachusetts, is the author of the principal existing History of the United States. He was for three years (1846-49), Minister for the States at the British Court.

« ElőzőTovább »