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EDITORIAL NOTES.

AMERICAN

LITERATURE

AND

REPRINTS.

-Doré (Harper & Brothers) is one of tion as he emerges from his African barthe liveliest and most sparkling of the late bariem; but, on the contrary, laws are exbooks of travel. Half of the volume, and pressly enacted forbidding bis education, the best half, is devoted to life in Paris, and, consequently, perpetuating bis barand overflows with shrewd and sympathetic barism. It is a pity that a man of humor, observation and criticism of French cbar. like our author, should have failed to see acter and habits. The title of the book this extravagant practical jest. lle falls expresses the gilded surface of tbings which into the same error as the Rererend Irenæus is most obvious to every spectator, and Prime, wbo published two dreadfully dull which the author occasionally pierces to books of foreign travel, a year or two since, show us that, after all, it is only doré, and which were most justly condemned in these that the smile is not a rose, but a bit of pages. We beg pardon of Doré, for eren scented muslin. There is thus a kind of binting that so succulent a dish resembles, philosophy in the book, not obtrusive, in any degree, so dry a one ; but when the hardly intentional, but which redeems it author speaks of the sad European laborer from being pure persiflage. The author is · and the gay American slave, be is only himself, evidently, one of the jeunesse dorée. echoing the cmotion of the Reverend He speaks familiarly of Oregon, and the Irenæus Prime, who, scciog women at work West Indies, and New Orleans, showing in the field, instantly thanked God that that he is no cockney-critic. The cockney. women did not work in American fields, critics, indeed, have no mercy at his bands. and exclaimed that such a state of things The silly Frenchmen and women, who bare was quite as bad as American slavery. Is written silly little books about this coun- it any justification of wrong in one place try, are pleasantly spitted and roasted. that there is also wrong in another? Is it Eepecially, perbaps, our old friend Léon any more agreeable to break your leg beBeauvallet, tragedian, whose mission it cause your cousin broke bis arm? There was to introduce Rachel and Racine to the is an endless stampede of the candidates Choctaws of Broadway, and whose great from this Cbristian opportunity, called pational drama of Vashington was not per- slavery, and, while we write, the region in formed, is treated quite without ceremony which it exists trembles with terrible doubt, by our author. Why, then, we must ask, like a city upon a volcano. It is not diffiwith this clear perception of the absurdity cult for a gentleman, wbo studies the doré of the amiable Léon, why did the author aspect of the world, to enjoy gilding, and of Doré condescend occasionally to become to say, as he saunters on, “ Come, let us be a Beauvallet himself? His philosophizing fat and jolly. You, my dear Cuffee, are no about tbe slavery question is as wise as worse off than many other men. Think that of the tragedian upon American life what you might have been bad you and and society. His argument is, that since your ancestors staid in Africa. Now, you immediate emancipation would be disas- are sold, and your wife and children-you trous, and since he believes the slave to be are made a thing, by law, and have no infat and jolly, while he thinks the European terest in, or right to, your own labor, and laborer is not, therefore, although slarery 80 will it be with your children forever be“ abstractly wrong," it is much better and ever, world without end. But then, for the slave to remain a slave. If the if Providence allots your Christian educaquestion were one of pork, the argument tion to the state of Louisiana, you shall of fatness would be good. But our author have one barrel of Indian corn and a pint forgets that, amid all the ineffable twaddle of salt per month; and, if you don't get it, about the benefit of bringing the African your oath is not valid against your master, to this country, and the general beatifying if in North Carolina, you shall bave a influence of slarery, the fact is, that not a quart of corn per day-you lucky dog!single law in a single state provides for you may also bc 'moderately corrected,' the cmancipation of the slare, in propor- and, if you resist, you may be put to death;

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and, above all, you shall not be taught to cover that they have met some of these read, but you shall enjoy the glorious pri- essays before. No student of English literavileges of the Gospel. Come, therefore, ture will bave forgotten the paper in the my black brother, let us rejoice together North American Review upon Laurence that women do not work in American Sterne, wbich, appearing 60 soon after fields.": This is Doré with a witness. But Thackeray's delineation of the famous senthe author chooses to philosophize in this timentalist, took a different view, with as way, and so we must needs criticise. If much force and skill as Thackeray gave to the poor gilding at home can thus deceive bis trencbant and amusing portraiture. bim, the reader instinctively becomes a Tbackeray's object was to show, at one little skeptical of bis foreign criticism. stroke, the peculiar significance of Sterne But the same reader cannot fail to enjoy in English literature, which is an inherent the spirit and humor of the book-a bumor necessity of a lecture, and of the end Thackwhich is nerer forced, but genial and gush- eray had in view. But this kind of treating, with an occasional strain of tender ment creates, necessarily, an appearance sentiment, not unlike Sterne. Had the of injustice. It is true, indeed; but then author given his work a more narrative other things are true, aleo. Ms Tuckerform, and treated his material more artiet- man's cssay contemplates the particular, ically, Doré would have been a more per- as well as the general, truth; and the manent addition to our literature of travel greater detail is, therefore, a greater value. than it is now likely to become.

His estimate of Southey, too, is the best - The name of HENRY T. TUCKERMAN is we know. It gives a very clear and very justly conspicuous in our literature; but complete view of his life, talent, and perby nothing bas Mr. Tuckerman more justly formance. We may say the same of the deserved his distinction than by the volume papers upon Lord Jeffrey and Jenny Lind. of Essays, Biographical and Critical (Phil. Indeed, we have found them all singularly lips, Sampson & Co.), which has just been graphic and entertaining-for they are iseued in a style worthy its merits. They biographical as well as critical—the maare what they are called studies of charac- terial being so wisely mingled that the ter ; and those who have always remarked attention is constantly allured and beguiled Mr. Tuckerman's peculiar power of analy. from page to page. We cannot omit to sis and statement, bis calm and well- notice the tone of sincerity and modesty balanced diecrimination, eulogistic without which pervades the work. It is hard to extravagance, and critical without bitter- sketch character without flippancy. Even ness, will find the present volume an en- Macaulay is brilliantly, and Carlyle savageduring monument of his characteristic ly, unjust. The one must sparkle, the talent. It is a gallery of interesting por- other loves an Olympian sneer. And so traits, thirty in number ; and the subjects of the smaller critics, according as they are chosen with a happy variety, which call one or the other master. But Mr. shows the extent and quality of the author's Tuckerman's sketches are not the legs vivid studies and sympathies. Indeed, every- because they are simple and modest. They thing from Mr. Tuckerman's pen has the are like an introduction to celebrities by a air of fine scholarship and affectionate ac- gentleman, and not by a chasseur or a requaintance with the best literature. Ilis cluse. style is simple and transparent. It is the -A book has lain upon our table for a cskay style-the manner of a mau whose month or two, which is not for a season carly loves and later approval linger with but for all scasons; not only for all seasons the Spectator and the London wits. But of the year, but for all moods of the mind. this preference by no means excludes from Selections from books are bere sometimes his appreciation the highly-colored rhetoric called a dangerous experiment, but more of other times and manncrs. Our author's and more a necessary one. “Come, now, mind is eminently judicial. His judgments sbow me your best pictures," says the conare just, whatever the age or character of noisseur to the art-collector, in Goctbe's the subject before him. All these remarks Essays upon Art." And who, if he wished are illustrated in the Biographical Essays, to sec something peculiarly characterthe latest, and, we think, the best of Mr. istic of Turner, and had but a day in LonTuckerman's books. Our readers will dis- don, would not willingly confidc himself to Ruskin, and look at what that critic desig- ought we to trust ourselves to say so long a nated, and knew that he had seen Turner ? word as immortality ? Mr. Josiau Qorxcy, Now, our chances of reading, among all the author of "Lyteria," grandson, as we the books and in all the libraries, are but a learn, of the old man eloquent, has written day in London. Of all the men who have Charicles (Ticknor & Fields). The subject libraries of a thousand books, how many is classical. It concerns the death of have read them all? How many, even of Tiberius, and the title of the poem is the those who bave a true scholarly love of name of the physician. This is unfortuletters, do not buy many and many a nate; for Becker'8"Charicles" has given the famous book, and put it upon the shelves, name another kind of familiarity. This against that happy millennial day, wben drama is a good academic exercise, but not they shall read all they wish to read ? In much of a poem. Talfourd's“ Ion" was the the degree of the impossibility of reading best specimen of this style of performance, all the good books, even, is the value of a and that is poor enough. Talfourd and work which collects the best things from Mr. Quincy are modern men-why should many good ones, and, with the skill of the

they write upon ancient subjects, is an selection, inspires perfect confidence in the ancient way, except to show how skillfully taste of the compiler, so that the work be- they can do it! If you have strength in comes a collection of choice, and not of your arms, it is a pity to expend it upon chance, extracts. Such, among all similar climbing poles, with nothing at the top. books, is eminently Seed Grain, for Thought -André, a tragedy in five acts, by W. W. and Discussion. A compilation. By Mrs. LORD (Charles Scribner), is a very different Assa C. LOWELL, author of “Theory of drama, both in topic and treatment, from Teaching,” “Thoughts on the Education Mr. Quincy's. It was the great misfortune of Girls," etc. (Ticknor & Fields). It is in of Mr. Lord, upon his first essay, several two neat volumes, which contain nothing years since, to be prematurely praised. paltry, or pretty, or sentimental, but are Before his book of poems was published, it full of the truest and most beautiful things was announced that a new American poet of the wisest men. We bave but one little had been born. But fame cacnot be antefault to find, and that is, that the names of dated, and it seemed as if Mr. Lord were the authors are not placed against the titles about to disappear before his immorof the extracts, in the index. But this is a bad fairly been pronounced. small defect in a work so valuable upon In the thin, handsome volume before us, the table of the many cultivated and ac- he now presents grave claims. The atcomplished persons who bave small oppor- tempt is certainly audacious, to treat a faiunity of reading, but who wish sometimes miliar incident of our revolutionary his to see a pearl, to remind them that they tory as Shakespeare treated the story of once sailed the Persian Gulf.

Othello and the history of Queen Catha-Our pocts are winter-birds, and burst rine. Mr. Lord does not enter upon the into song with the coming of snow. A task blindly or inconsiderately. He acsilent chorus of them sit patiently at our knowledges, in his preface, the obvious eide. Patience, still, poets! There is a difficulty. But be declares that neither more terrible critic than we, sitting in judg. "rbyme nor reason forbid that dramatic ment upon all of us, night and day. The verge should now approach as near to our race-course of literature is like the bridge spoken language, as it did in the age of ia Mirza's dream-tbe blithe figures are Elizabeth to a now obsolete but then famiforever disappearing, silently going under. liar on." A poct should never write Not the bottest-pressed paper, not the an- a prcface involving a theory; for the tiquest type, not the comeliest binding, not proof of his theory and its illustration even the cheapest price avails to save us. necessarily lie in the performance. If that We write our books and print them; our be good, there is no necd of saying upon cheerful companion prophesies for us fame what principles it was wrought. If it be and immor-; pop! the trap slides, and we bad, the principle remains undetermined. are gone before his sentence is ended. This We think that Mr. Lord has told the story is, perhaps, not the liveliest exordium for of André with interest and force. His the poets, of whom we are about to say a poem bas finc lines; it is clear and conti. word. But, considering Mirza's dream, nuous, but it gives the tale no dignity or

woare,

grandeur that it had not before, and, as a by a dry, fibrous strength, which is very drama, it is faulty, because tbe chief inter- unusual, aod bas little sympathy with the est is not in the hero, André, but in Ar- currcot mander of the time. Sympathetic nold, the betrayer. The character of study of a sturdier literary epoch may Arnold is well-conceived, and developed thus bave left its mark upon bim, but the with power ; but André, wbose interest in tendency to that epoch was, of course, in history is an interest of situation more bis nature. This manly tone is one of the than of character, bas obviously not the pleasantest characteristics of Mr. Boker's stut for the hero of a drama. Major muse. It gives a kind of marrowy swectAndré was a gallant youth, who lived and ness to bis verse, besides inepiring a perdied a gentleman. His story is one of the sonal respect for the poet. No mau sad episodes that occur in all wars; but interested in our literature will fail to acbis situation, however sad, is never really quaint himself with these poems and tragic. His fate is exterior to himself, not dramas, of which, in illustration of what evolved from his character. Had this we bare said, we can only find room for been so, the author bimself could not bave this sondet : suffered the drama to continue after the

“Not when the buxom form, which nature death of André, which is its natural end. The poet, in fact, follows the truer dra.

Is fragrant with the lusty warmth of

spring: matic development of the tale, and leads

Nor when bot summer, sunk with what she us on to the proper culmination of the bears, circumstances, which is not the death of

Lics panting in her flowery offering;

Nor yet when dusky autumn sadly fares the lesser man—that being only an event

In tattered garb, through which the -but the consummation of the dishonor ebrewd winds sing. of Arnold, the stronger agent.

To bear her treasures to the griping snares

Hard winter set for the poor bankrupt -By the side of the two slight volumes thing; of Mr. Quincy and Mr. Lord, stand two Not even when winter, heir of all the year,

Denis, like a miser round his niggard goodly books, Plays and Poems, by GEORGE

board, H. BOKER (Ticknor & Fields). Mr. Boker's The brimming plenty of his luscious is no new name in our literature, and his

board ; reputation, as the most fertile and success

No, not in nature, change she howsoe'er,

Can I find perfect type or worthy peer ful of American dramatists, is already cs- or the fuir maid 'in whom my heart is tablished. We are glad that he has col. stored." lected his works into so bandsome a form, - And here, dedicated to George II. and that bis literary claims may thus be Boker, in smooth, sweet verses, in antique properly asserted. If the theory of the type, is a book of Songs of Summer, by article in this issue of the Montbly be cor- RICHARD HENRY STODDARD (Ticknor & rect, Mr. Boker bas not erred in bis choice Fields). The antique type runs through of subjects for bis various dramas. He the book, and gives it a quaint, dainty air, has not hesitated to go to the same historic- harmonious with the dainty sentiment and al sources even at wbich Shakespeare melody of the poetry. We may be pardrank, and in bis Anne Boleyn restores to doned for an especial tenderness toward us again the court and the circumstance this volume, when the reader finds in it of Henry VIII., wbile in Francesca da Rimi- some of the most beautiful poems that ni we trench upon the gloomy grandeur bave been printed in Putnam. The first of the great Tuscan. All these dramas,

song in the collection, and they are six in number-seem to us written with consummate ability.

The

“There are gains for all our losses," plot is always precise and well developed, is a gush of the purest pathos and music, the characters dramatic and consistent, which our readers will well remember. As the costume and the accessories of circum- the eye wanders along the pages, it secs stance, the details of local and contempo- that there is a kind of dramatic interest rary knowledge, remarkably affluent and in the poems, the subjects and the treataccurate. Tbe plays bave the full Davor ment being, so to say, studies in different of the old drama, and the author may lands, moods, and languages. There are fairly be ranked in the best echool of dra. songs tbat would have sparkled as gems in matists. Mr. Boker's poetry is all marked the old dramas-as thus :

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“ The sky is a drivking cup,

Every poem in this book is full of the That was overtuned of old,

most passionate feeling, strained with inAnd it pours in the oyes of men Its wine of airy gold !

tense emotion. The verse is the very in“We drink that wine all day,

adequate expression of a longing, rcstless, 'Till the last drop is drained up,

imperious, and affectionate nature ; it is And are lighted off to bed

full of reality, full of the deepest pathos By the jewels in the cup."

and pride. It is a purely private and perAnd, again, strains as mournful as the sonal book, showing, certainly, tbe vision, sighs of Heine-thus:

but not proving the faculty divine. By * Down at the end of the long, dark street,

this we mean only that the faculty is not Years, years ago,

commensurate with the vision, not that it I sat with my sweetheart on the pier, Watching the river flow.

does not exist ; for, of all the many vol

umes of poetry recently published, Mrs. “The moon was climbing the sky that night, White as the winter's snow;

Howe's seems to as by far the most startWe kisscd in its light, and swore to true, lingly real. It is a leaf out of life. She But that was years ago.

sings wbat she is. It is a troubled and Once more I walk in the dark old street, tearful book--the song of a mind that is Wearily to and fro,

yet struggling, and an unsatisfied hcaft. But I sit no inoro on the desolato pier, Watching the river flow."

All the best things in it are personal a pos

trophes and dirges, until, in “ High Art," It is in these bursts and jets of song,

all the subtle sarcasm of a shrewd wit, that Mr. Stoddard's peculiar talent lies.

hampered by monotonous conventions, His songs are not so ingenious as Hoffman's,

bursts forth, and balances any account of por so claborate as Pinckney's, nor so

criticism that may be made upon the popular as Morris's; but they bave a truer

book, by forestalling the utmost severity. poetic sense, a finer poetic feeling than all

Let wboever is going to say smart things of them together. Our poet is not so bap

about these poems read “High Art," and py in the longer poems. They bave all his

pause. Think of what a brilliant, witherexcellence of melody, and feeling, and ing, satiric onslaught upon all of us, pubdelicate perception, but they have a

lic and private, easy dilettante litterateurs, foreign flavor. Even the last pocm in the

and ditto ditto private readers and judges book, affectionate, and graceful, and beau

of books, this talent is capable of! Think tiful, as it is, has yet a touch of Tennyson bow we might all have been spitted upon which tcases the memory. This is some

puns and stung with sarcasm! But this thing, however, that Mr. Stoddard sbares

band writes with “a sad sincerity," and with all young authors; the inspiration of this heart of exuberant passion cannot books rather than of actual experience. free itself from itself. After the reiga of But a song like the following is wbolly the myriad Lady Magazine poetesses (the his own, and shows the poet :

mongrel word is proper here), ladies who “THE FALCON.

bave written the most graceful good "In-doors, on a summer day like this,

grammar about emotions they never had, I pine with a fanciod wrong;

it is truly refreshing to encounter a But out in the sunshine, out in the wind, torrent of lava streaming out of the My soul is a falcon strong.

heart of real experience. Evidently an “The brave, bright sun, so merry and old- ardent personal friend of Senator Sum.

He lends his strength to my wings, And I soar till I see the golden gnto,

ner, and of the cause in wbich he has suf. Where the lark at morning sings.

fered, the author devotes several poems “But let my Indy summon me back,

to the national disgrace of last May at I coinc, as a falcon should,

Washington, and enthusiastically idealizes Out of the sunshine, out of the wind, ber friend as the representative of the and yield any eyes to the hood."

cause. There is a stately music in “ The Still more poems, and still poetry, Senator's Return" worthy the scnator and Words for the Hour, by the author of the occasion. It was, doubtless, written “ Passion Flowers" (Ticknor & Fields), before his return; but that event was unand the name Mrs. Howe upon the back paralleled in the history of New England of the book — Mrs. S. G. Howe, of Boston, for its simplicity and sublimity. We find, wise of the distinguished philanthropist. also, an exquisite reminiscence of a friend

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