« 上一页继续 »
Now, despite the ability with which this review is written, this lastquoted sentence is nonsense: nay, it is worse than nonsense; for it is untrue, and of course unjust. Understandingly not an English word! Preposterous! Indeed, this remark is so infinitely absurd, that we hope, in mere charity, the editors will be able to say in their next number that it is a misprint, or some mistake. 'Bluff known only as a maritime word! Let the reviewer consult old SAM. JOHNSON, where he will find himself doubly in error; for bluff is there, but maritime is NOT! 'Imperious instead of imperative;' perhaps so, perhaps not. The criticism lacks force, because it lacks specification: the reviewer's assertion, after three such blunders as we have pointed out, will not suffice; and the same remark will apply to the imputation of the last two words of the sentence quoted, viz: 'many others.' If the 'many others' are like those cited, Mr. COOPER need not be ashamed of them. We have as little charity for Mr. COOPER's faults as any one; but we do not see the propriety, justice, or taste, of falsely accusing him of error. Fifty-two minor critical notices compose the eighth article proper, and with a 'Quarterly Chronicle,' close the number.
'THE SUBLIME AND RIDICULOUS.' We have remarked, within a twelvemonth or so, some two or three notices of the gifted BRAINARD, and bis productions; but in none of them have we seen allusion made to one of the most admirable sketches that ever proceeded from his felicitous pen. We yield to none in our estimate of the touching fragments, free from any tincture of affectation, from the same source, which have worked out their gentle triumphs in the hearts of so many readers; but for the following exquisite mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous, which is not included in the earlier edition of BRAINARD's works, we must express a superabundant admiration. It is entitled 'The Captain, a Fragment,' and was suggested by the subjoined passage in the ship-news of a Bridgeport, (Conn.) journal: 'Arrived, schooner FAME, from Charleston, via. New-London. While riding at anchor, during the storm on Thursday evening last, the Fame was run foul of by the wreck of the Methodist meeting-house, from Norwich, which was carried away in the late freshet.' What a skeleton-text is this for the magnificent descriptive soliloquy which ensues, and how rich the contrast which its change embodies:
SOLEMN he paced upon that schooner's deck,
Of Labrador; and I have scraped my keel
OUR COUNTRY IN THE OLDEN TIME. Through the kindness of an antiquarian bibliopolist, in London, we have been greatly amused, in turning over the leaves of an elaborate work, written and published in England, just after the American Revolution, by one J. FERDINAND D. SMYTH, Esq., and entitled, 'A Tour in the United States of America; an account of the Country, Anecdotes of several members of the Congress, and general officers in the Army; with many other very singular and curious Occurrences.' The volumes are interesting, as affording a picture of this republic, which is in striking contrast with its present appearance and condition. The work appeared at a time when nothing of the kind had been hitherto published,' and was written to gratify a universal craving in England, to hear more of a country, where had just occurred 'a great and very extraordinary revolution.' In the list of subscribers to the book, the names of earls, dukes, and lords, among them Lord North, are conspicuous. Our author was forcibly struck, on first landing in Virginia, with a peculiar native annoyance, which he thus describes:
'We were assaulted by a great number of musketoes, a very noxious fly, which seems to be of the species of gnats, but larger and more poisonous, leaving a hard tumor wherever they bite, with an intolerable and painful itching. They penetrate the skin, fill themselves with blood, and make their principal attacks in the night, accompanied by a small, shrill, disagreeable note, the very sound of which prevents you from sleep, after you have been once bit.'
He complains bitterly, also, of a kindred nightly tormentor, the species and character of which were so well indicated by the naïve query of the Frenchman: 'I was much dissatisfy last night in de bed wid a great many bites of-of-what you call dat d-n animal dat lie awake in de day-times, and promenade my leg in de night, eh?' But the American frog seems to have borne away the palm; and if the following be not over-colored, we fear the race has greatly deteriorated:
'The bull-frogs emit a most tremendous roar, louder than the bellowing of a bull, from the similarity of whose voice they obtained their name; but their note is harsh, sonorous, and abrupt. They surprise a man exceedingly, as he will hear their hoarse, loud, bellowing clamor just by him, and sometimes all around him, yet he cannot discover whence it proceeds; they being all covered in water, and just raising their mouth only a little above the surface, when they roar out, then instantly draw it under again. They are of the size of a man's foot.'
Our author is a zealous Briton, and seems to have made himself useful to his king. He was not always successful, however, in his loyal endeavors, but was once or twice imprisoned by 'the rebels.' On one occasion, he tells us, he was on his way through Pennsylvania, 'to join the royal standard erected at Norfolk, by the Earl of Dunmore, His Majesty's Governor,' when he was arrested by 'some rebel Dutchmen,' and dragged before a committee of safety, from which he had recently escaped, and which consisted of 'a taylor, a leather-breeches-maker, a shoe-maker, a ginger-bread-maker, a butcher, and two publicans!' Here he was subjected to an examination, which evinces the spirit of the time. 'Tamn you!' says one member, 'howst darsh you make an exshkape from dish honorablesh committish?' 'Howsh der duyvel can you shtand sho shtyff for King Shorsh, akainsht dish koontery?' asked a second; while a third declared, that 'de committish would let King Shorsh know howsh to pehave hisself,' and that 'dey would kill all de English tiefs as soon as von ox or von cow!'
Philadelphia, at this time, had 'upward of thirty thousand inhabitants,' with a few praiseworthy public edifices, conspicuous among which were a lunatic asylum, and the 'convenient and handsome barracks of the king's troops.' Here it was that our author was imprisoned by the 'rebel' enemy; and where, if we may believe his story, he suffered every species of indignity, with many violent attacks upon his loyal principles. He mentions, among his occasional visitors and lecturers,' Dr. BENJAMIN RUSH, ‘a member of congress, and a man eminent in physic, but more eminent in rebellion.' At some future day, we may revert to these volumes, for the purpose of sketching two national pictures of the past and present.
TAGALO POETRY. - Very grievous is it, to a generous and sensitive purveyor of literary edibles, that he should be unable to scatter to his thousands of readers those choice bits of chance provender, wherewith his own intellectual palate is often most delectably regaled. Such, not to say it boastingly, have been our emotions, while feasting upon two thin volumes of Tagalo poetry, printed in 'Sampaloe, suburb of Manilla,' with which we have been kindly favored, by a correspondent in China. The externals of these pamphlet-tomes are worthy of note. A thin, gay paper cover, like that seen on tea-chests, envelopes some thirty leaves of whitish-brown paper, of the coarsest texture, bearing the impress of types which may have been stolen, as a foreign 'venture,' by some enterprising 'outside barbarian,' from the place named 'hell,' or Hades, by the printers, into which are cast all worn-out and irreclaimable letters. The volumes are entitled 'Salita At Bvhay na Nassapit ni Dona MARCELA, at nang isang Mercador sa Reinong Portuga, and Salita Nang Buhay na Pinagdaanan, nang Priccipe YGMIDIO, at nang Princesa GLORIANA, na anac nang Haring GRIMALDO, sa Caharian nang Gran-Cayro;' or, in a Christian tongue, a 'History of the Life and Adventures of Donna MARCELA and a Portuguese Merchant,' and a 'History of the Life and Wanderings of the Prince YGMIDIO, and the Princess GLORIANA, daughter of King GRIMALDO, of the kingdom of Grand Cairo. No sooner had we turned to the promising title-page, than we launched at once into the volumes, cruized outside the first two leaves, and presently found ourselves beyond our reckoning, and obliged to anchor. Indeed, we doubt if the following passage, the rock on which we split, be laid down in any of the literary charts:
Caya magsabica,t, houag cang maglihim
uicang hindi mapapacnic
Cun sa camahalan aco po ay usla,
Now the premises of the enthuymem involved in these stanzas, we are not so much inclined to dispute; and as they will be equally clear to most of our readers, we look to be sustained in our judgment; but we would respectfully ask, if the collateral sentiments here expressed, do not demand the severest rebuke from the friends of humanity and the rights of women? 'Decidedly, these are the opinions,' in this meridian. In the annexed stanzas, from a minor poem, we think we recognise a translation of the first part of the popular song of ' Woodman, spare that Tree!' by our enterprising contemporary, General MORRIS:
Bucod pasa iyong!
Ynihatid co po,
If the above be indeed a veritable rendering of the first two stanzas of the song in question, and of this the reader can judge as well as ourselves, it must be admitted that the translator has taken some important liberties with our friend's production. Much of the spirit of the original has been permitted to evaporate. Nevertheless, we should be pleased to hear Mr. RUSSELL sing the lines, at his next soirée. Harsh as they seem, he would doubtless evoke melody from them.
"THE CORSAIR.' Proposals have been issued for the publication of a weekly gazette 'of literature, dramatic news and criticism, fashion and novelty,' entitled as above, and to be under the direction of N. P. WILLIS and T. O. PORTER, Esquires. The first named gentleman, we are desired to state, will bring to the new journal not only the undivided aid of his own acknowledged talents and industry, but all the distinguished talent, domestic and foreign, which he has been enabled to direct to the columns of the periodical in which his own contributions have hitherto appeared, but with which he has recently relinquished all connection. Mr. PORTER is a gentleman of fine taste, and so far as we have had an opportunity of judging, holds an agreeable and graceful pen. There is a touch of sly satire, we have good reason for 'guessing,' in that portion of the prospectus which alludes to the immunities afforded the editors by the 'piratical law of copy-right;' for although it is their purpose to collect the spirit not only of the English, but of the French and German belles-lettres, yet we are informed it is equally their design to elicit their share of the current wit, humor, and literature of our own country. Unlike the ALBION - one of the best weekly journals of English and foreign literature that is perused in the United States, and an indispensable work to general literary readers the 'Corsair' will combine choice American effort, in liberal propor. tion with trans-Atlantic gatherings, including ample and impartial criticisms upon our drama, literature, arts, etc. In short, the editors propose to reap the 'harvest of event, wit, genius, and poetry,' at home as well as abroad; and we hazard little in predicting that they will do it successfully. At any rate, we desire for them a multitude of sheaves, and abundant stores of 'golden grain.' The first number of the work is soon to be issued, with distinguished beauty, it is hinted, in its externals of paper and printing.
SAINT NICHOLAS INTERLOPERS. A veteran daily journalist, who knows all about it,' complains that the Saint Nicholas Society has 'very few of the old Dutch blood of the KNICKERBOCKERS among its supporters.' This must be the case; for the moderns are getting sadly out of the 'old paths.' Shade of Walter the Doubter! - no deliberation, no long smokings, and short speeches; but, contrariwise, long harangues, which, if pleasant to hear, are exceedingly hard to read, and all despatch in reporting proceedings for the papers! But DIEDRICH KNICKEKBOCKER Will not desert them, while there is hope of amendment, and a return to the ancient ways, from which there have been backslidings; nay, though they misprint him in the daily journals, making nonsense of the toasts which he transmits to their annual festivals. We place on record the recent sentiment of our illustrious progenitor, with its accompanying note to the president, with the assurance that filial care hath been taken that no lapsus type should mar its benevolent intention:
'Ik hab gezeilt in myu schip genaamt 'die Goede Vrouw,' van Albanie aan di Nieuw-Nederlandts, ende hier ben ik gevangt in het ystegen over Kinderhook!
'Vor Zekers. Ik ben bedroeft dat ik can niet middag met u eeten.
Sihenken u glassen ende drinken. Oranje boven. Ik blyve u getrouwr Vriend,
'SOIREES MUSICALES.'- We are glad to perceive that Mr. C. E. HORN proposes giving six concerts, or 'soirées musicales,' on Thursday of each alternate week, during the ensuing three months. The object of these performances is to present to the admirers of classical music an opportunity of hearing the works of HANDEL, HAYDN, MOZART, SPOHR, ROSSINI, etc.; and the terms and arrangements are such as cannot fail to render them sociable and select. These may be ascertained, and tickets secured, at the music stores, and at the beautiful 'Repository of Arts' of Messrs. DAVIS AND HORN, 411 Broadway. The first concert will take place on Thursday, the fourteenth of February.
ORIGINAL POEM BY JOEL BARLOW. - The following are extracts from an original poem, by JOEL BARLOW, author of the 'Columbiad,' written in May, 1782, and enclosed in a letter to the widow of Hon. CHIEF JUSTICE HOSMER, of Connecticut, then recently deceased. The poem is entitled, 'An Elegy on the late Honorable TITUS HOSMER, one of the Counsellors of the State of Connecticut, a Member of Congress, and a Judge of the Maritime Court of Appeals for the United States of America.' The style of the entire production is strikingly characteristic of the verse of that period; while some of the stanzas will compare with the best efforts of their author. The lines are placed in type from Mr. BARLOW's own manuscript. After invoking the spirit of the departed to preside over his pen, the writer proceeds:
Come, in the form that glare-ey'd spirits dress,
When death's dim veil hath shrouded all their pride,
Where the lone moon-beam trembles through its side.
Come, on the gale that listening midnight heaves,
The following stanzas succeed, and are immediately connected with, a description of the bereaved wife, and her blooming, fatherless children, scarcely conscious, as yet, of their great loss, and 'demanding their sire, with tears of artless innocence :'
So lonely Cynthia, on her evening throne,
And all her young-ey'd planetary train,
Down the still chambers of the western main.
Yet that broad beamer from his nightly race,
With rising radiance shall the day restore;
And years and ages die to purchase more.
But thou, alas! no more on earth wilt tread,
Nor one short hour thy blest employments leave,
Thy country, whose still supplicating moan
The annexed lines will bring forcibly back to the present reader the spirit (not less
than the phraseology and pronunciation) of the time in which they were penned :
Wilt thou, in seats of blessedness above,
Where cares of empires claim the Eternal ear,
There, while the dread sublimity of soul
O'er all the star-ey'd heaven exalts thy throne,
And show the well known circuit of thy own;
Wilt thou remark the bluely-bending shore,
Where hills and champaigns stretch abroad their pride,
Wilt thou recognise that confused uproar,
Towns, curl'd in smoky columns, mounting high,