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Upward the glittering spray was sent, i
And splintered rocks, by lightnings rent,"
He, who could ever compose another syllable after having given vent to this stupendous effort, must be sheer mad with inspiration. The tempest is really more awful in description than it could have been in reality.
“Stranger! a smile is on thy brow;"
exclaims the Outcast in the thirteenth part or division of his story ; meaning, thereby, an incredulous smile ; for, “perhaps you count it but a dream !” No! we count it no such thing, we would believe every word of it could we arrive at the most distant comprehension of its sense. However, as near as 'we can guess, he is off in Arkansas territory,
“Arkansas' ” sounds, like distant dreams,
Come whispering to my practised ear.”
But we hurry along -- and a light breaks upon our understanding at the opening of the sixteenth part,.."
“Stranger! a murderer stands before thee!"
Was there ever a reward offered for his apprehension ? If so, why does not the author turn an honest penny, by pointing out the hiding-place of this criminal ? No-It appears that he only killed a friend in a duel; and that, stung by remorse, he is dashing furiously from place to place, utterly regardless of danger. And here tu. multuously rush in our author's favorites, the wild beasts again, helter-skelter.
"I wandered forth, I wandered far;
Where oozy swamps, with shuddering jar
I strode at noon, I slept at night, -
The stealing serpent shunned my sight,
The bear fled howling to his den
The wolf yarred (!) at me and his glare
The startled wild horse from me flew,
The panther shrunk before my view,
Within a cave I niade my bed,
In wild festoons above my head,
I saw them in their horrid dyes,
Like writhing yeast their gleaming eyes
Was like some grisly glen at night,
Steal glimmering to the cheated sight -
Where panthers howling in their caves
Waken the ear with accents fell:
Bespeak some nightmare of the dell.”
This last must be a rare species. We do not remember ever to have seen it mentioned in any work on Zoology. But to refer back to our simile of an intellectual banquet, what could a bill of fare present more attractive than one furnished in the above lines, “Festoons of adders bubbling all their gleamy eyes over a braided heap, like writhing yeast !” Frightened as were all these animals, so thrillingly described, at sight of “the Outcast,” he has not yet quite done with them ; but tells us of “the moan of wolves,” “the panther's wail,” and “the whippoorwill's complaining song ;” and afterwards we are favored with "a sky-bent eagle," "an antelope,” “timed deer,” a “wild goat,” “the mocking-bird,” “the spider," " buzzing insects” of various kinds, “no toad," another “ lizard,” one more “ grumbling bear," and lastly, “a wolf.”
If we have not already said enough to inspire our readers with an unquenchable desire to read this “ wild and wonderful" poem, we do not believe that further quotation would be effectual. We have designated the sublimest passages ; and, having already exceeded our limits, which, except in so illustrious an instance, we could not bave done, we must with deep regret merely glance at “other poems," which shoot up like rockets into the firmament of fame. Were we to sit in calm judgment upon their merits, and, quenching the blaze of a fervent admiration, simply state a cool opinion concerning Mr. Goodrich as a poet, we should say that be seems pitifully bewildered in the realms of fancy, and enveloped in glorious obfus. cation, when treading the heights of Imagination ; but that when he condescends to enter into the door of common sense, and to walk in the halls of fact, his step be comes more steady and his vision almost clear. The lines to which he has given the absurd title of “ The Spirit-Court of Practice and Pretence," show that he has lucid intervals, in which he may be suffered to go at large without apprehension. We bave no space for much longer quotation, but recommend the poem to the admirers of modern theatricals, with the following as a sample
“The curtain rose, and, bursting on the view,
From mimic bowers a form fantastic flew,
We believe it is generally understood that our poet has written hitherto under the amiable appellation of “ Peter Parley;" and as a compiler of children's books, he has, we learn, been exceedingly successful. We congratulate him upon the brilliant prospect which opens before him in the new career upon which he has now entered. Although remarkably fortunate heretofore in “the book line,” he may consider that he has now found the “open sesame” to hordes of uncounted wealth ; and after the present work shall have passed through a hundredth edition, we hope the world will call to mind the excellence of our parting advice to the author; which is, that he will not suffer himself to be persuaded by injudicious friends to return to his old trade of patching up books and pictures into multifarious shapes; but, rather look
ing to the fame which has attended his late poetical effort, he will, regardless of all former works, like an indefatigable literary cobbler, “ stick to his last.”
Traits of American Life.-By Mrs. Sarah J. Hale.-Philadelphia :
E. L. Carey L. A. Hart.—1 vol. 12mo. pp. 298.
Mrs. Hale has been long and favorably known to the American public as the Editor of the Ladies' Magazine and the author of many popular works - of which We believe that a novel in two volumes, called “Northwood,” was the first. We remember, when a boy, to have read that story with great pleasure; and, in maturer age, from a perusal of this, her latest production, we have derived no less real gratification. Her style is peculiarly graceful, and there are occasional flashes of thought and happy conceptions of character, which show that were circumstances perfectly favorable to the cultivation and employment of her powers, she might win for herself a reputation certainly not inferior to that of any lady-writer in our country, and worthy of being esteemed equal to that of an Edgeworth, a Hemans, or a Mitford. The labors of her pen have been devoted to the maintenance and educa. cation of her family, and she has therefore been compelled to write a great deal, and to regard the quantity rather than the quality of her efforts. In the noble task to which she has dedicated all her mind, we are happy to know that she has nobly succeeded : and we cannot let pass the present occasion without offering to so amiable and accomplished a woman our congratulations upon the bright prospects which are beginning to open before her in the talents and character of her children. The burthen which she has borne for them will soon be removed to younger and stouter shoulders, and her descent into the valley of age will be rendered easy and pleasant. With a pride, more grateful to the heart of a mother than Cornelia's, she will say to those friends who have witnessed her literary toil, and applaud the ability of her sons, “These are my jewels.”
In making these remarks, we are not obtruding into private life. One of Mrs. Hale's sons is in the Navy, where, if ever opportunity should offer, we feel assured that he would become distinguished. Another is a youth in the Junior Class of Harvard University, who was at an early age remark able for his love and knowledge of the Oriental languages; and who, besides holding a very high rank as a student, is already distinguished for wit and brilliancy of fancy. The readers of this Magazine can judge of his promise as a poet and a writer of prose by many pieces which we have printed, under the signatures of “Elah” and “H. E. H." The papers entitled “ Oriental Readings,” with their beautiful translations from the Eastern poets, may justly be regarded as uncommon efforts for a youth of eighteen. We take leave to mention here an anecdote told of him as a boy, which is full as worthy of record as many which are related in the biographies of great men. After having indefatigably studied the rudiments of many Eastern tongues, he applied to a learned friend for information with regard to the best sources of acquiring a knowledge of the Chinese ; — saying that it would render him perfectly happy if he could only get hold of a Chinese grammar and dictionary. To his no small delight he was at length supplied with both of these ; but whether he succeeded in mastering the nasal and gutteral mysteries of the language of the Celestial Empire we are not informed.
Without setting forth any reasons why our readers ought to read all Mrs. Hale's books, we have a word or two to say about the peculiar claims of the present on their approbation. The stories are well told and interesting, while each conveys an instructive moral lesson. It is peculiarly an American book, and is in every way
worthy of its title. The Lights and Shadows of American life are well delineated, and each sketch in itself would make an excellent cabinet picture. This is indeed only a “word or two,” but we trust it is a word spoken in season; and that a second edition will, by being soon called for, show that the public can reward as well as appreciate female talent.
The Philosophy of Living ; or, the Way to enjoy Life and its Comforts
-By Caleb Ticknor, D. D.-No. 77, Harpers Family Library. -New-York. Harper & Brothers.
This is, we believe, Dr. Ticknor's first appearance as an author, and the fact that a first effort should be judged worthy a place in the Family Library, will of itself attract notice to his publication ; nor will its merits disappoint the expectations thus excited. The great object which the author has in view is to teach us the science of health — to enable us to prolong life and avoid disease. Not by rejecting all the pleasures of life, but by such a use of them as is compatible with, and promotive of, that great end.
In pursuance of this object, Dr. Ticknor shows himself a judicious friend of Temperance, but a foe to the intemperate measures of the professedly temperate of this our day- a foe to that spirit of ultraism which is abroad in the land.
The work is written in a plain and unaffected style, and will be rendered more attractive to some readers by the quaint simplicity, the quiet drollery with which some of his own views are illustrated and the errors of the ultraists exposed. We commend it with confidence to the favorable notice of all who feel that interest which all men should feel in the Art of Living.
The Works of Lord Byron, with his Letters and Journals, and his
Life, by Thomas Moore-In six volumes, Vol. II. George Dearborn.
We have heretofore had occasion to mention that this is the only complete uniform edition of Byron's works which has appeared either in Europe or in this country. Mr. Dearborn, we perceive by the back of the title-page, has taken out a copyright for it; and we are happy to see, by the excellent manner in which this volume is got up, that he means to make the whole set worthy of the exclusive character which is thus given to it. An exquisitely engraved portrait of the Countess Guiccioli enriches the volume. It was executed by Dick of New-York; and it gives us great pleasure to introduce to our readers such a specimen of the skill of this excellent artist.
The Parent's Assistant.—By Maria Edgeworth.—Complete in one volume. Harper & Brothers.
Which of our youthful readers, or of those no longer youthful, does not recall with delight the first perusa) - aye the second -- and mayhap the third -- of “The Little Merchants,” “Simple Susan,” and “Barring Out ?" We rejoice to see this collection of admirable stories brought anew before the rising generation; the many years that have elapsed since they were written has produced nothing that can or ought to supersede them.
A Life of Washington.—By James K. Paulding.-2 vols.
pers' Family Library.
MR. PAULDING has been well employed in preparing this gist for the youth of his country. The character of the man who scarcely conferred greater benefits on his country by his actions than posterity will derive from his example,” cannot be too familiar to the young American; and yet, up to the present moment, there has been no biography deserving the name in popular use. Brief, but sufficiently mi. nute in its details to illustrate every feature in the life of Washington, the memoir of Mr. Paulding well supplies the desideratum; and the strong cast of nationality about it, which some have objected to in many of the writings of this author, is here well applied, and in our opinion the best recommendation of the work. We are no cosmopolites. We have no part nor lot in that sentimental-pbilosophizing spirit which preaches the doing away with national distinctions, and merging the genial feeling of kindred, home, and country, in a cool and speculative regard for the human family at large. We believe that with all the prejudices and disagreeableness of character and manners which it has entailed upon the peculiar people from whom we derive our origin, their strong and exclusive nationality is at once the parent and the guardian of so much that is good and great in the English - the ever salient source of their national energy, the shield and muniment of their national integrity; in a word, the agent that has carried their proud island to her present pitch of glory. And when they tell us that it displays only a narrow and vindictive spirit to recall the horrors of the Revolution, the burnings and massacres among the inoffensive American yeomanry, or the loathsome trials to which their prison-ships condemned those who were taken in arms against them; they are striking at the very root of our national feelings by bidding us forget the price of our free. dom - the sacrifices to which we owe our existence as a people. To value that freedom, we must ever be mindful what it cost; and harsh feelings must mingle with nobler ones when reading of those from whom it was wrung. The weak glossing over of their crimes is a manifold injustice to the dead. But in reviewing the times when those crimes were perpetrated, and according the full measure of indig. nation which they should call forth in every patriotic bosom, it by no means follows that a feeling of hereditary hostility must exist to their descendants. An inheritance of hatred was never bequeathed us by our fathers; and if it had been, there is no reflecting person who, in the present condition of the world, would claim the heritage. The living generation is no longer bound to espouse the animosities of that which preceded it. Men stand and fall in our day by their own deeds; but no revolution of feeling and taste can alter the relative position of parties whose acts, whether of good or evil, have now passed to the page of history. It is, therefore, we repeat, that we hold one of the best features of the book to be the unflinching manner in which Mr. Paulding, without a particle of bitterness, has painted the acts of oppression which first drove his countrymen to resistance, and the cruelties which tried their patriotism before that resistance terminated in establishing our national independence.
To estimate the value of our liberties must be the first lesson in every book, however, which treats of the men of those trying times. The second is hardly less im