Page images
PDF
EPUB

The silent pain of a dazzling breast,

The feverish throb of a jewelled brow,
The painful wish to seem most blest

When sighing with excess of wo;-
And the sight did chill my aching eye
As I mused of that gaudy misery.

The joys that live in a faithful heart,

Devoted to heaven and changeless love,
Were all unknown in that crowded mart,

Where pleasure's votaries torture prove-
The palled pursuit of joyless show,

The gay resort of gloomy souls,
Where truth would count the pulse of wo;

Though truth her banners ne'er unrolls
In such a masquerade of guile,
If each dared look beneath a smile.

The glare waxed dim as I gazed alone,
And the fairy forms I saw were gone;
And the rushing sound of mirth and glee
Retired like the waves of a stormy sea.
What pillows of fear will the revellers press ?
What dreams be their's of happiness?
When those gemmed robes are laid aside,
Where will their mirth be, pomp and pride?
The beds that ye press, I envy not,
Nor your heartless joys and painful lot.

I entered at morn—and it came full soon
To the banquet hall and the proud saloon;
And many a vestige of revelry there
Told of past pleasure-but where, oh, where,
Were the forms, and the shadows, so bright and gay?
Hide it from earth both love and lay!
The vacant chair, and the goblet broken,
And scattered viands, were many a token
Of what had been-and my lonely eye
Wandered over all, as a saddened sigh
Stole from my heart, at the mournful view

Of the wreck of those joys that man thinks true.
New-York, August 5, 1824.

Tales of a Traveller. Part 1. By Geoffry Crayon, Gent.

Philadelphia. H. C. Carey & I. Lea. pp. 165. Before entering upon the laborious task which he has undertaken, of superintending a compilation of the British Classics, Mr. Irving has thrown off, for the amusement of the reading public, which, in this country, comprises two-thirds of the adult population, another series of tales, which will be perused by all ages, sexes and conditions, until English literature becomes a dead letter. The • Tales of a Traveller' are to be published in four parts. The first has already been read by every body--for, who does not read the writings of Washington Irving? Unqualified amusement and delight are always produced by his lucubrations. Comment and criticism are superfluous; and, to extract from them would be, not only supererogatory, but ridiculous, as it would be supposing either that the public had not read the production, or, having read it, wanted the common perception of the arch, the humourous, the pathetic and the beautiful. In painting the lighter and livelier emotions of the mind, in every day life, our author is unrivalled at the present day, (if we except the Waverly novels ;) and if, in describing the more powerful operations of the stronger passions, he never reaches the sublime or the terrific, he is always natural; and can appeal with equal facility and success to the mirthful or tearful sensibilities of mankind.

In the preface to the first part he has made a very capital use of the hint thrown out touching the Stout Gentleman, in the introduction to Peveril of the Peak. Any man who had seen the author of Waverly' would be, indeed, a Lion; and might be shown, at least in this city, for almost any price.

of the relative merits of the first part of these tales, every one will form an opinion, according to his individual feelings, his lights, or the opinion of his neighbours. For our own part, we have found it much more amusing than Bracebridge Hall. The invention of Mr. Irving has lost none of its fertility ; his style is as pure and vivacious, as in the Sketch Book; and his humour seems more frolicksome and irresistible. Of the stories told after the hunting dinner, the Bold Dragoon' is the most interesting. The narrative of the Young Italian,' is one of our author's finest efforts, in pathos and in deep interest:the effects of the mysterious picture are described without a violation of probability; and the joke played off by the host, at the conclusion, is very happy, and relieves the gloom which the melancholy incidents of the story produce.

The half hour's unmingled enjoyment, which a perusal of this first part yields, terminates like all our genuine pleasures, with a sigh that it is so soon ended; and we wait with impatience, for a repetition of the same entertainment in the parts which are to follow.

The Witch of New England ; a Romance, Philadelphia, H. C. Carey & I. Lea. pp. 217.

The author of this story has borrowed his materials from the annals of New England, and has furnished additional proof of their peculiar fitness for the purposes of a writer of fiction ; since his narrative, though incondite, and without

any regular plot, possesses, withal, considerable interest.

The reading of the author has been too scanty, to furnish him with a fulness of matter for his invention to operate upon. He sometimes copies, word for word, from Mather's Magnalia ; and from passages too, which are now familiar to every one, from their having been, recently, so often quoted. In the conversations of his “ New England Witch,“ he has introduced the genealogy of the fairies, as given by Spencer; together with allusions from the Greek, Roman and Eastern mythology ; in addition to the notions of witchcraft, originating from certain parts of the scriptures, and the local vulgar superstitions, with which alone a pretender to the black art, of that period, can be supposed to have been familiar.

He unquestionably possesses some imagination, of a character adapted to the fabrication of romance; but, like many writers of the same class, has no accurate ideas as the distinction between prose and poetry ;-running too often into rant, in the former, and introducing attempts at the latter, which betray not only total ignorance as to the structure of verse, but a want of a poetical eur; since no mortal ingenuity can discover rhythm in the series of lines commencing with capitals, which he has compiled as samples of blank verse. This is so common a mistake with metre-mongers, that we should not deem it worthy of mentioning, were it not that this anthor really appears to possess talents, and has written some good descriptions and powerful scenes, in this sketch, which he designates as a Romance. With more labour in digesting his materials, and more judgment in their use, he has invention sufficient to create a novel, which might do him credit and be ereditable to our literature.

1

THE MORALITIES OF PAUNCH HOGABOUT.

MR. EDITOR,

I vainly tried to snatch a few moments from my numerous and painful vocations, in order to add the “moralities" of

con

Paunch Hogabout to his tale; but having been disappointed in this, I send you a few words, more in the shape of an apology, than of a correct moral, for this very instructive tale.

The fact is, Mr. Editor, I am at present, and have been, for some time past," an apothecary's drudge, with a salary so slim, that I am fain to augment the sum, so as to keep myself and family from absolute starvation, by acting as deputy to a bookseller's back; and “ I lead such a damnable life in this world," that I have no time to attend to morality.

The story of Paunch Hogabout is intended to illustrate by the interest of narrative, and the charms of a pure style, the baneful effects of avarice: and I insist that the same shall have a conspicuous place in the number, and be printed entire, without the alteration of a single syllable. I must say, you razeed * Joseph” at a fine rate, lopping off all the best parts, and sending it forth to the world in that most hotch-potch manner in which it appears in your fourth number. I will tolerate no such liberties again.

You will have perceived, sir, that I am powerful in all ancient and modern tongues, with the exception of the vernacular, which I have never studied profoundly, inasmuch as I ceive it to be but a vulgar accomplishment. I have given no quotations from the Russian, German, Hebrew or modern oriental languages, because, to my great scandal, I have been given to understand that you could not get them printed.

By the bye, Mr. Editor, I wish to know why I was not waited upon by a committee on the part of the Atheneum. I speak nothing but Arabic in my own family, who all understand it perfectly well, except my youngest daughter, who has a slight tinge of the modern Greek in her pronunciation.

If any one conceive himself to be personally noticed in my story, and feel inclined to make any remarks on the same in the public prints, I would have such person know that I am pugnacious. Two horse pistols, bequeathed to me by my defunct grandfather, are in excellent order :—to be sure, one of them is a little hard on the trigger ; but the choice of them shall be offered to any one that abuses my thing, and whose character and standing in society shall render him worthy of my aim. Moreover, I have many good friends in a low way, and am powerful in Billingsgate.--If I think proper to plant Toad Hill on Governor's Island, or to locate Tappan Sea in the jaws of the Narrows, and any improper person shall take upon himself to object to the same, I wish to intimate to him my intention to plant my fist (I have attended Fuller) in the Vol, I. No. V.

50

394

Bulletin Universel, des Sciences et de l'Industrie.

[Sep.

bread-basket, and to put out of joint, the jaw bone of such officious meddler.

N. B. I find the word meddler is omitted in Mr. Walker's Dictionary.

With these few remarks, which I hope will be considered tender,

I am, Mr. Editor,

Yours as you shall comport yourself.

BULLETIN UNIVERSEL DES SCIENCES ET DE L'INDUSTRIE.

We have this month received a prospectus of the above very valuable and extensive work, which is conducted in Paris, under the immediate superintendance of the learned Baron de Férussac. It is a continuation of the 6 General and Universal Bulletin of Scientific Notice and News," on an improved and more extensive plan. The object of the “ Bulletin Universel” is to present a substantial analysis of all the works, and a complete abstract of all the academical, memoirs and periodical collections, which shall be published throughout the civilized world; in order that it may form a Methodical Repertory of all facts relative to the arts and sciences, and a monthly exhibition of the successive efforts of the human mind among all nations.

An idea of the magnitude and importance of this vast undertaking may be formed, from the fact that upwards of three hundred of the most famous literati of France, most of whom are well known to the literary and scientific world, are engaged in conducting the various departments of the "Bulletin Universel.” The work is divided into eight sections, each of which is published separately, and may be subscribed for separately.

The first section is devoted to mathematical, physical, and chemical science, and is subdivided as follows: 1. Mathématiques élémentaires et transcendantes; Métrologie. 2. Astronomie et ses applications à l'art nautique. 2. Physique et Météorologie. 4. Chimie. This department is conducted by forty-eight of the most eminent mathematicians, philosophers, and chemists. The subscription price here, is twenty francs a year.

The second section treats of Nautical Science and Geology; and is subdivided into 1. Géologie et Minéralogie. 2. Botanique, Physiologie et Palæontographie végétales. 3. Zoologie, Anatomie et Physiologie générales et spéciales des animaux, Palæontographie animale. This department is conducted by fifty-two gentlemen. Subscription twenty-nine francs.

« PreviousContinue »