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The French REVOLUTION.—It is, perhaps, too early in the day to indulge in any golden dreams about the results of the recent revolution in France. Of this we are certain, however: it is one of the most wonderful political phenomena, all things considered-in the mode of its accomplishment and in its probable consequences—which the world ever saw. From a monarchy, by no means the mildest, the French nation passed to a republic, very nearly after the model of our own, in less than a week, and almost without the effusion of blood! But it is not principally on account of the mode in which this phenomenon was brought about, that it will form a remarkable epoch in the world's history; it is in the results which have already followed to France, and which are still to follow, there not only, but all over Europe, if not all over the world. What are to be these results ? We cannot tellno one can tell. But the mutterings of discontent, which were heard before the scenes of the 22d February, in Paris, from the lips of many thousands of oppressed people in different sections of Southern Europe, have now increased to thunder-tones. Already a Constitution has been extorted from the King of Bavaria, at the point of the bayonet. The Emperor of Austria, quailing before the armed populace, has dismissed the ministers so offensive to the people. Metternich is disgraced, and has fled the country in disguise. Liberty of the press a representative constitution—trial by jury-all this and more has been guarantied to the clamorous people of Austria. The Roman Pontiff, having himself given the reins to some extent to the steed of liberty in his dominions, finds the nag running away with him, and he has not the power to stop her. Italy, Sicily, Prussia, Germany-slow-moving, phlegmatic Germany—all are waking up from the sleep of centuries; and liberty and equality are words which thrill through the hearts of the peasants, while their oppressors are terror-struck as they read an inscription as ominous, as full of meaning, and almost as mysterious, as that which Belshazzar saw written on the wall of his palace. What is to become of the doctrine of the divine right of kings? We shall see.
Meanwhile, under God, the French people are in one sense demonstrating a great problem for the thrones and dynasties of Europewhether in a country for ages under a regal government, with the many appliances of a monarchy interwoven in the whole structure of society, a republican form of government can be sustained or, in other words, whether the people are capable of self-government. For one, we have some fears about the issue fears of which merely political men seldom dream-fears which by some would be pronounced puritanical. We are afraid, we confess it, of any movement toward self-government, that has not a foundation deep and broad in religious principle; which does not recognize God as the Great Sovereign, at every step; which does not place allegiance to Him infinitely higher than patriotism and everything else beneath the sun. Thus, acknowledging God and relying on His arm, our fathers laid the corner-stone of liberty in this Western World; and thus, we are confident, if the edifice is preserved at all, it is to stand. There is no safety for a republic else. But we are getting tedious.
GERMANY AND GERMANISM.—Take them altogether, the Germans are the most singular people on the face of the globe, except the French, perhaps, and perhaps not. They defy all attempts at classification. Their philosophy, their ethics, their religion, are unique. One hardly knows what to think of Germanism, as a whole, even if he understands it; though, for our part, we are a little inclined to say of it, as some one is reputed to have said of his horse, that is, as having these two radical faults : first, being hard to catch ; secondly, being good for nothing after it is caught. We believe it was Coleridge who said there were two kinds of nature-human nature and French nature. We are something of that way of thinking, especially in view of the recent developments among that people. Moreover, we are not quite sure but to complete the classification, he ought to have added German nature. But be that as it may, the celebrated J. H. Merle D'A
? Geneva, author of the
time. So thought not Dr. Franklin, who can scarcely be accused of placing a low value upon such commodities as time and money. Chess with him was ever a favorite source of relaxation; and he wrote an essay upon the “Morals of Chess,” in which he says, “ The game is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions."
world-renowned history of the Reformation, in a recent work, entitled GERMANY, ENGLAND and SCOTLAND, published by Robert Carter, has, in a short paragraph, delineated in his masterly style the peculiar elements of the German mind; and the conclusions at which he arrives are not essentially diverse from ours. He says, “ The German has several features which distinguish him from the Englishman and the Scotchman. He lives within himself. He seems born for the ideal world. His faith, when he has any, is rather in his head than in his heart, and he easily loses himself in mysticism. He feeds upon the ideal; he seeks out the first principles of things, their general laws, their essence. Systems of philosophy succeed one another in his country more rapidly than the forms of government with the people most changeable in politics. While elsewhere the life of man assumes more and more a public character, the German leads a solitary existence. He lives in his study, from the window of which, late and early, the light of his lamp is ever shining. The Germans are a people to be taken separately and singly. They have seldom or never hitherto formed into groups and parties; and it may be said of Germany, as regards the empire of thought, what the Bible said of Israel, at one period, with regard to social order: 'In those days there was no king, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.””
We are gratified to learn that the poem entitled “ Niagara," written by our friend and contributor, the Rev. C. H. A. Bulkley, a production of which we have spoken in terms of commendation, and specimens of which have appeared in our Magazine, is about to be issued in an elegant volume, by Messrs. Leavitt, Trow & Company, of this city. We have examined the sheets of this poem as far as they have passed through the press, and our opinion of its merits, formerly expressed, has been confirmed by the more critical analysis we have thus been able to make of its plan and execution. It has become a proverb, almost, that nobody reads a volume of modern poetry; and we are somewhat inclined to the opinion that there is at least some foundation for the proverb. But of “ Niagara,” we confidently predict a fate very different from that of kindred and cotemporary aspirants to public favor. Our readers will be gratified to learn that Mr. Bulkley contributes an excellent article for our next number,
CHESS FOR WINTER EVENINGS.-D. Appleton & Company have just issued a work with this title. It contains the rudiments of this intricate game, and elementary analyses of the most popular modes of playing. It is a work which will be interesting to the young learner and the scientific student; abounding in anecdotes and tales relating to chess, and accompanied with beautiful steel engravings, from original designs. It is by far the most complete work on the subject which we have ever seen. A question here arises, which, perhaps, we shall be expected to answer, as to the moral character and influence of chess. While we must condemn, in general, games of mere chance, we are inclined to favor those of skill, and especially one so ingenious and scientific as chess. We cannot condemn it-no one, we think, can condemn it-without indiscriminately proscribing all amusements. It has been said that playing chess is a waste of
HOME.- Beautiful in the extreme, and true as beautiful, is the following picture of home. It is from the easel of Mrs. Ellis, and occurs in a recent work of hers on THE MORAL WANTS OF THE WORLD WE LIVE in, republished by D. Appleton & Company. “There is no word in our language, to which, in all probability, so many hearts have responded as that of home. To the sailor on the midnight watch—the soldier on the eve of battle--the shepherd on the hills—the wearied huntsman returning from the chase--the wanderer when he asks a stranger's welcome--even the outcast and the alien, when they watch the glow of evening fires, at which there is no place for themthe prodigal upon his death-bed, when no father's voice is near-to each and all, their childhood's home may be the brightest, purest spot on memory's page;' and often, like the
morning sun, forgotten in the busy noon of day, will this sweet home, with all its once endeared associations, its kind and gentle influences, be brought back to vivid recollection at the sad close of a long life ; for it is no mystery of the poet's art which has invested the word with all its powerful influence over the passions and the hearts of men, though verse has never found a more prolific theme, nor music sung a more enchanting lay. If there be one thing real in this life, it is the influence which home has exercised upon the heart, the conduct and the experience of mankind." Mrs. Ellis, in the volume from which this morceau is borrowed, has done an essential service to the cause of virtue and healthful morals; and those who have charge of the young, especially, in whatever capacity, will find her hints timely and valuable.
Apropos of this business of rhyming. We think it is Hannah More who says, that she is often at a loss to determine whether it is preferable to rhyme to the ear or to the eye, but that she is never quite satisfied unless she does both, We might pardon our author for doing one of these things, if he failed to do the other. But in many cases he does neither. In his “ Minstrel Pilgrim,” for example, written in pentameter, the alternate lines rhyming, we have such rhymes as these : time, grim; clang, song ; theirs, tears ; led, speed.
In one case, being hard pushed, we presume, he makes a word rhyme with itself. We beg pardon, if that is an Irishism. In another case-and this is pentameter, remember-he refuses to rhyme at all.
On the whole, he seems to be a genuine out-and-out disciple of the Coleridge schoolthat is, he goes for the “ largest liberty” in verse-making. He makes nothing of welding on an additional foot, or of cutting one off, as it likes him best. He essays to build a sonnet ; but he disdains to follow the architecture of the masters who have preceded him in sonneteering. Fourteen lines will not do for himnothing short of fifteen. Shades of Petrarch ! that is a little too bad.
In one of his miscellaneous poems of some twenty lines, he tries his hand at blank verse. Here, to say nothing about such a line as this,
“ Then I said I will be fearless, wise, and calm,”
THE MINSTREL PILGRIM.–Such is the title of a volume of poems which has just dropped from the press, for which the public are indebted in the first instance to the pen of T. W. Field. The first thought that struck us, on glancing over the book, was that the bard was in a great hurry to publish; and on examining it more critically, our opinion has been rather strengthened than otherwise. In the first place, there are only sixty-four pages in the volume, and twenty-eight of these are as white as when they came out of the paper-mill, leaving only thirty-six pages occupied with the oracles of the muse. There are not seven hundred lines, all told. So much for quantity. In the second place, while some of the poetry, as to quality, is tolerable, a great deal of it will hardly pass muster. For instance, the author, in his very first fugitive, called “Symphony,” selects the very convenient measure of seven iambuses, split up in the common way, so that four ride in the first line, and three in the second. Well, there is no great sin in that, that we know of, though we do honestly believe that unless the octo-syllabic lines rhyme, the measure is not fit for anything under the sun except the ballad, and hardly then, unless the ballad partake somewhat of the comic. But our author sometimes rhymes and sometimes he does not. That is quite unpardonable. It is as much as to confess that he ought to rhyme, but that, either because it is rather inconvenient to do so, or because he thinks his readers will let him off, he stumbles along without rhyming.
except that, as it now stands, it possesses the merit of being perfectly unique, and that when cured of its chronic spring-halt, it might suit Wordsworth, as he could never see much difference between prose and poetry—passing by this, Mr. Field pounds us with the Alexandrine hammer twice, and then, as if his breath was all spent, winds up
with a tame octo-syllabic !
It is our deliberate conviction, as our readers will by this time have surmised, that such productions as this “Minstrel Pilgrim," do not form very valuable contributions to the treasury of Anglo-Saxon literature, and are not likely to be generally regarded as very dazzling coruscations of genius.
This mention of light, jostles our thoughts about a novel and exceedingly convenient lamp, which has just come under our notice, and which we have duly installed in our edi
torial laboratory, as a sort of nocturnal presiding genius. The light in this lamp is produced by the burning of aëriform gas, which is emitted in jets from small perforations in platina. But this is not the most curious part of it. The gas is generated as it is used, by the heat of its own combustion acting on the burner, connected with the liquid in the lamp. It is perfectly safe and portable, and requires no cleaning or trimming. In our way of thinking, it is quite the most perfect thing in the shape of a lamp for the study that we have ever met with. It is called the Phosgene, or Safety Gas Lamp, and is manufactured and sold in a multitude of different styles, by Charles Starr, Jr., & Company, of this city. Whoever wishes to pursue the even tenor of his way, without being vexed with the odor of lamp oil--to say nothing about occasionally spoiling his books and manuscripts, and perhaps his best coat-can hardly do better than to patronize the Phosgene Lamp.
Portrait ; Sketches from a Friend's Journal; and Sunlight in the Storm.
We have accepted The Wayfaring Laborer; Lines on Seeing a Gifted Young Lady Insane ; Night; History of a Lord; Raphael's Picture ; Letter from a Whale Ship; Forgotten the Past! The Invocation ; The Two Spirits ; Remember Me; To One Beloved ; True Aspiration, and Unwritten Poetry.
A few manuscripts are yet unread. We think, however, that we may safely promise to render a verdict upon all the cases now on the docket in our next number. Meanwhile, we assure our friends that our table is not by any means so overwhelmed with good articles that others will not be acceptable.
p The writer of the very pleasant lines under the caption of “Forgotton the Past," which have just been laid upon our table, will oblige the Editor by affording him a personal interview.
To CORRESPONDENTS.--We have been at work for some two or three weeks, at intervals, looking over the huge pile of manuscripts which had accumulated on our table editorial, and have succeeded in forming an opinion of the merits of most of them, as candidates for our magazine. Many of those which we are forced to decline are almost good enough, while some are excluded more for want of sufficient adaptation than for a lack of intrinsic merit.
The following are respectfully declined, and are on file at the office of the publisher, awaiting the orders of their writers respectively :To Summer; Memories of Badger Land; We, too, will Fade ; Lines on the Falling of a Gallery ; To the Patriot Spirit of Brooklyn ; To Candidates for Missionary Life; Afflictions ; Divine Love; Hymn to the Saviour; Ruth's Address to Naomi ; Old Maids and Wives; Piscatorial Lines; A Psalm of Cheerfulness ; The Spirit of Reform ; The Camp Meeting ; Grief; The Man of 1847 to the Man of 1947; Mourning; The Garden of Gethsemane ; Lines to a Young Missionary ; Eleanor ; The Old Oak Tree; Stray Leaf from my Portfolio; Sketch of Southern Life ; Shopping ; Lines on the Death of a Clergyman's Wife; The Last of the Sturles; The Church of St. Paul's; The White Dove ; On Hearing the Report of a Rifle (postage unpaid); Death of the First Born ; Sarah Barrett; Take no Thought for the Morrow; the Music of Earth ; the Mother's
Cole's PAINTINGS.--What a world of beauty there is in this artist's landscapes! May it not with truth be said in the matter of landscape pictures, no other of our countrymen has done so well? We think so. A genuine child of nature as he was, sympathizing with all that is lovely, and identifying himself with it, as it were, how rural nature seems to live, and breathe, and smile, and warbie, as he portrays her on the canvas! Oh these artists of nature! We would give more for one Cowper, One Bryant, one West, or one Cole, than for a regiment of artificialists--we hope we shall be pardoned for the verbal coinage. “ The Hunter's Return,” the original of which is a remarkably picturesque scene among the Blue Hills, is a beautiful conception. One loves to study such a picture for hours. We are gratified to be able to inform our friends that the works of this lamented artist are now on exhibition at the rooms of the American Art Union.
ORMsby's PICTURE OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.--This is a most admirable work of art, beautifully engraved on steel, on a surface more than two feet square. It is said to be the result of two years' labor. Our publisher, as will be seen by an advertisement on the cover, has placed this great national picture within the reach of almost every one. He could scarcely have selected a more generally acceptable premium.
He art of making our homes happy, is one of general concernment, for there are few who cannot point to some
sacred inclosure and say, “ There is that selectest of earthly possessions, our own dear Home.” The name of Home is the symbol of a happiness rarely
found in the dusty highways of life ; a happiness which, once tasted, leaves its savor in the heart through all the after stages of our pilgrimage, so that wherever or in whatever circumstances we may at any time be placed, we find ourselves returning with a relish and a rapture to the hearth-stone and the endearments of childhood's home. So it is; and might we penetrate at all times the secret longings which lie hidden beneath business cares and heartless conventionalities, we should see the hearts of our fellow-men everywhere setting out on silent, unannounced pilgrimages to the homes of their childhood, hastening thither like so many devotees, and revelling amid the images and memories of scenes, faces and joys that belong now to the past and the departed. Oh, what a mighty, nay, innumerable throng crowd back from the busy, bustling present—from islands of the ocean ; from ships tossing on the deep; from the poles and the tropics ; from cots and palaces; from prisons and counting rooms; from the abodes of plenty and the refuges of want; all animated by a common desire, aiming at a common goal, swept backward by a common impulse—the cherished love of childhood's home—that blest spot which, viewed from whatever point, and however homely to others, is
elevate and purify home influences, as to make them act with power upon the heart. Imperfectly as home virtue and happiness are now cultivated, it is not to be doubted that great and important advantages accrue to society from that source. Many a man has been brought to sober reflection and an altered life, through the influence of some home remembrance. A mother's prayer, a father's counsels, a sister's love, the nursery hymn, a visitation of sickness, or death removing some loved one—these and like events happening in the home of our early years, and remembered amid the heated action and urgent pressure of after life, have often made the thoughtless think, and the hardened and impious pray. Many a man, contrasting his character in middle life with the remembrance of himself as he was when a boy, has bitterly reproached himself with the change. And even when the dull round and palling satiety of luxurious pleasure is experienced by the mere pleasure seeker, how often will he turn wistfully to the simple joys and innocent delights of the home of his childhood, and wish he were again a child.
And if every family were made as virtuous and happy as it might and should be, what blessed and genial instruments for good upon one's whole after life would household memories become. If every man, while experiencing the sorrows and disappointments of the world, could look back upon charming visions of a loved and loving home ; if, as often as memory returned from communing with those visions, she should come laden with images of love and genial tenderness, and with the freshened and fragrant record of household charities and sympathies, who can estimate the effect of such memories upon the whole heart and life? Like a mild golden aurora, it would bathe the earth and baptize the clouds, and roll waves of light all around us. Like the breath of southern breezes over flower fields; like the voices of spring birds after winter winds and frosts, the influences of happy childhood's home would come upon us and calm our hearts, or renew them for the great life-battle raging around us.
from which each has fallen, and to which each longs oft-times with tears of penitence to return.
It is of unspeakable importance that this everywhere prevalent love of the home of early life should be noted, and an attempt made so to