« ZurückWeiter »
better known to herself, for beginning with the stance of prowess or patriotism occurs to reMerchant. The book now before us is the deem the national character from the disgrace first in order in the series and purports to teach of constant defeat. We believe that few Mex. the means of success in a commercial career. icans would have possessed the hardihood, The authors characteristic knowledge of Amer-single-handed to produce a work so singularly ican history, and her acquaintance with the free in pointing out the true causes of their leading events in the lives of the successful country's misfortune as the one we are now merchants of America, furnish her with mani
noticing. For is it not the result of individual fold opportunities of enlivening her text with enterprise. It seems that it grew out of the deanecdote and incident.
bates of a literary society composed of men of So far the series of Mrs. Tuthill's Lectures different parties who had assembled at Queretaro on Success bodes well. When we become a for the purpose of discussing topics of general merchant we will turn to these agreeable pages interest. Fifteen editors have appended their for our first lessons in the art of thrift." Yet names to this work. As far as we are able we are somewhat curious to know how she (for causes presently to be mentioned) to judge will manage that part of her subject which re- of the style of the original it does credit to the fers to lawyers. Success in that profession is authors as men of taste and refined acquirescarcely attainable by any of the means which ments. The several parts are arranged in a Mrs. Tuthill is likely to advocate. And, even lucid' manner, the action is rapid, the descripthe straight-forward path which we presume tions are vivid and animated, and the numershe will point out, is beset with thorns and ous plans, maps, and portraits, if these belong precipices of which the fair authoress can en- to the Mexican work and not merely to its Ametertain but an inadequate idea. Supposing, rican version, attest the care and liberal enterhowever, that her talent will surmount those prize which presided over the publication. Not obstacles, and that her accurate knowledge of to speak of its value in another point of view, the public men of America will furnish us with it will prove useful as well as curious to the sketches of such men as Hamilton, Jay and general reader in this, that it will point out with Ogden in the same pleasing manner as she sad clearness the true causes of the ignominihas in the book before us painted Astor, Gir- ous fall of the Mexican Republic in her conard and Morris, — supposing all this, our test with us. We see leaders promoted anxiety on her behalf, is but removed one through favoritism and wholly incompetent for step. How will she contrive to point out suc- their position. We see several generals comcess in the physician's career without mention- manding one corps and unable to agree. We ing that the surest avenues to the desirable behold Arista seated in his tent and insisting end are of a character which neither her sex, that the battle of Resaca de Guerrero was a her reputation, nor her good sense will per- mere skirmish, until he saw his disbanded solmit her to advocate ?
diers seeking safety in the waves of the Rio At all events we shall await the future num- Grande. We hear of Paredes negotiating a loan bers of her series with as much impatience as of $1,000,000 from the church to meet the preswe have taken pleasure in perusing the first. sing exigencies of the state, assembling a
in haste, and then we find the officers of that very army, inmediately after receiving an instalment
of their pay out of that same fund, rush to the citadel and improvise
a revolution. In the ranks, in the cities, in the The other Side ; or Notes for the History of the legislative assemblies, we meet with nothing
War between Mexico and the United States, but want of mutual confidence, and hot indiwritten in Mexico. Translated from the vidual ambition, that pauses at nothing for its Spanish, and edited with notes, by ALBERT own gratification. In regard to Colonel RamC. Ramsay, Colonel of the 11th United States say's share of the work, we are compelled to Infantry during the War with Mexico. New say, that he ought to have prepared himself York: Jno. Wiley.
for his task by the study of the difficult art of To those who know the intense bitterness of Translation. The first part of the work
To those who know the intense bitterness of especially is lamentably deficient in point of party spirit that prevails in Mexico, it must appear almost impossible that an account having
diction. Castilian idioms are given literally,
and either present no sense to one who is not any pretensions to impartiality should be given of any contemporary fact by a citizen
a Spanish scholar, or else give the narrative of that country. The difficulty is obviously
a ludicrous air of incongruity. We scarcely increased when the fact to be related involves know how to account for this anomaly, for
in the notes which the American Editor signs not only the usual dissensions of faction but also the humiliation of the author's native land in propria persona, the style is remarkably during a long contest, where scarcely one in
pure and flowing.
The Battle Summer : being personal observations Goethe the Writer. These he seems to take as
in Paris, during the year 1848. By Ik. MARVEL, | representatives of varieties of the human mind, Author of “Fresh Gleanings." New York: displaying itself in its greatest activities. There is Baker and Scribner. 1850.
no writer that is more profound in analyses, or
clear in critical deductions, or philosophic in genAn almost quaint and curious book, this: yet eralization, than Mr. Emerson, out of his we must say, notwithstanding, that it is a most
peculiar mood, and this book is full of passages vivid portrayal of the events and characters of the
of great power and beauty in these respects. last French Revolution. Nor is it alone a re- There is in this book too, a remarkable simplimarkable exhibition of skill in the painting of pic- city, directness, and force of language. tures and portraits ; but it shows also a hand, presided over by a philosophical and candid intel- “ Socrates and Plato are the double stars that lect. Motives and characters of individuals and
the most powerful instruments will not entirely classes are presented with a certain clearness and
Socrates, man of humble force, deserving of great admiration. So well are
stem, but honest enough ; of the commonest histhese two qualities combined that, after reading
tory; of a personal homeliness, so remarkable as the book, we seem to have been a witness of the
to be a cause of wit—the rather, as his broad astonishing drama, with a companion, whose com
good nature, and exquisite taste for a joke, invited mentary on the performers and performances, was the sally, which was sure to be paid. The players worth listening to, piquant, and, at the same time, personated him on the stage ; the potters carved thoughtful. In the next place, the book is entirely his ugly face on their stone jugs. He was a cool free from tedious disquisition, or elaborate descrip- fellow, adding to his humor a perfect temper, and tion ; everything is condensed, and to the point. a knowledge of his man, be he who he might, I one short chapter we have the best account of whom he talked with, which laid the companion that remarkable phenomenon,—the Paris Press, open to certain defeat, in any debate; and in dethat we have anywhere seen. For the rest, the bate he immoderately delighted. The young men style is somewhat Carlylean, and this must be
are prodigiously fond of him, and invite him to somewhat a disappointment to those acquainted their feasts, whither he goes for conversation. He with the author's previous works, which have been
can drink too; has the strongest head in Athens ; so remarkable for their beauty, in this respect. It and, after leaving the whole party under the table, is, however, more, perhaps, in the manner than
goes away, as if nothing had happened, to begin the style of Carlyle ; for there is none of his
new dialogues with somebody that is sober. In involution of sentences, or uncouthness of philo- | short, he was, what our country people call an sophy.
old one." This, by way of specimen. The whole The author's object, in employing this manner, description of Socrates is a most perfect synopsis was, doubtless, to give boldness of graphic effect, of the character, as given by Plato. and condensation of views; as well as to re-present a subject somewhat hackneyed, and we do not know that he could have accomplished these purposes in any better way. It is a book, in short, The Miscellaneous works of the Rev. J. T. of decided raciness and pith ; and we like it. A Headley, with a biographical sketch and porword in conclusion, we must say, for the beautiful trait of the Author. New-York : JAMES style in which it is printed.
There are few men who, having made Litera
ture a pursuit for several years, have not their Representative Men : seven Lectures. By Ralph portfolios full of essays, sketches, notes of travels,
WALDO EMERSON. Boston ; Philips, Samp- and magazine articles. These will naturally acson, & Company.
cumulate upon an author's hands, and it is but
fair that he should be allowed to take advantage In the space of a short notice it is impossible to of the celebrity he has earned by other and more present any sufficient view of a new book, by Mr. serious labors, to publish those desultory papers in a Emerson. All his writings involve questions the connected form. This appears to be the case with profoundest. We must record great genius and the work, whose title heads this notice. The originality, with power of expression, and beauty of pieces contained in the collection are on various illustration, enchanting as the voice of the syren ; but subjects, and embrace the staple topics of works of we would have to discuss with him first principles. this kind-impressions derived from voyages, From his cloud-land, we would have to appeal essays upon the productions of other writers, an to our mother earth. The book before us is some- occasional historical sketeh, and a metaphysical what vague in its purpose ; the usual fault of the disquisition, or two. Their merit is occasional and author. We have not space to define what we fitful. They present Mr. Headley's habitual charmean by vagueness in this case ; but, we think, the acteristics, a plentiful flow of words, a fondness for generality of readers will be with us in the asser- rhetoric, and a straining for effect, which sometion. After, in the first lecture, discussing, vaguely times attains eloquence, and, not unfrequently, falls enough, the uses of great men, the others are de- as far from the mark, as Bathos differs from voted to Plato the Philosopher, Swedenborg the Pathog. But, surely, there is nothing so exalted Mystic, Montaigne the Skeptic, Shakespeare the in the merit of this medley of articles, as to warrant Poet, Napoleon the Man of the World, and its being introduced by a flourish of trumpets. And, indeed, we feel disposed upon our own re- excess of youthful genius") to be a particular charsponsibility to exonerate Mr. Headley from the acteristic of his style. We cannot state whether charge of having even sanctioned so entire a breach or not “the society” where he formed “ his nature" of good taste. We feel certain that he will feel was “sincere and unsophisticated ;" but, sure we inclined to bestow but small thanks upon the per- are, that his printed works show a breadth of son whose injudicious, though friendly criticism, bigotry, and obstinacy of prejudice, as blameable compels us to notice somewhat at large a work of as anything he blames so harshly in Italy or this character.
France. His Anglo-Saxon predilections even Until a late period, Mr. Headley was generally carry him so far as to make him abuse the French reputed as a writer who had drawn his inspirations language, in a style without parallel out of the from the German school, either directly or through
columns of Punch. Hear him, he is speaking of its British imitators , and whose name had obtained
Guizot: “ With a Saxon soul, he is forced to bend a sort of chiaro obscuro celebrity, by some few
it to the wordy language of his native country. I ephemeral, but creditable papers. One day, how
have always thought it would appear strange to ever, whether under the inspiration of Minerva or
hear such men as Ney, Soult, McDonald, and Plutus does not appear, he conceived a marketable Bonaparte talk French.” idea,—the idea of a literary speculation, sans Why is it strange that the military leaders parallel in the annals of American authorship, should talk the language of mathematics and since the famous account Herschell's discoveries treaties, the language of Pascal, Lavoisier and in the Moon. The idea consisted in drawing,
Descartes ? Surely, if there be anything more from readily accessible materials, a series of por
blind than ignorance, it is prejudice. French may traits of the great warriors who flourished at the be too precise a language to admit of the imagibeginning of the present century. The subject was native flights of empty rhetoric, which Mr. Headley well chosen ; the interest which attaches to their ca- affects. But, sure we are, that French taste would reer, the brilliant events through which they passed, never permit the use of sentences like the followthe rapidity of their progress, and the epic scale of ing, copied from“ Persecutions of the Waldenses," their exploits, furnished a fitting theme for the exer
one of the articles of the work under notice. cise of the most fervid eloquence. And if the author, more anxious for his reputation than for the sale “ With one wild and thrilling shout that little of his book, had taken counsel from a sober love band precipitated itself forward. Through the of Fame, and had adhered to the strict truth of devouring fire, over the rattling, groaning bridge, history, he might have added one to the many up to the entrenchments, and up to the points of really great American works, which are fast the bayonets, they went in one resistless wave. growing, to constitute a literature for the country.
Their deafening shouts drowned the roar of musBut this was no part of Mr. Headley's project. ketry, and, borne up by that lofty enthusiasm, The sale, not the worth of the book, was his aim. which has made the hero in every age, they forgot Wherefore, he dressed his heroes in theatrical tin- the danger before them. On the solid ranks they sel and adopted, for his style, the standard of that fell, with such terror and suddenness, that they which draws down mighty applause from the well- had not time to flee. The enraged Waldenses filled benches of the Bowery. The result was,
seized them by the hair, and trampled them under "a hit.” Napoleon and his Marshals sold well. their feet ; and, with their heavy sabres, cleaved We do not know that Mr. Headley is to blame them to the earth. The terrified French underin all this; a man has as good a right to pre- took to defend themselves, with their muskets; fer money to unsubstantial Fame, as the reverse. and, as they interposed them between their bodies But we again insist that there is nothing in the and the foe, the Waldensian sabres struck fire on fact of his having acquired a little notoriety by the barrels, till the sparks fler in every direcsuch means, to superinduce the necessity of a tion." pompous eulogy being prefixed to a collection of his waste paper.
Oh! most promising of the youthful writers of We are told, by his biographer, that “Mr.
E. L. Headley is one of the most promising of the youthful (35 years old, last December) writers of this country.” Of one of his earlier works we are Dark Scenes of History. By G. P. R. James, informed that "it possesses the unfatiguing charms Esq. New-York: Harper & Brothers. of perfect simplicity and truth, – it exhibits a thousand lively traits, of an ingenuous nature, Since the times of the “ Great Unknown" his which, formed in a sincere and unsophisticated imitators have inundated our shelves with their society, and then brought into the midst of the old productions. The Historical Novel offers such world, retains all its freshness and distinctness." temptations, it is so easy to ransack an old chronAlso, that “the style is natural, familiar, and icle, for obscure proper names, and borrow a litidiomatic.” We freely confess that we have never tle local color from contemporary writers, that read the Letters from Italy ; but, from what we almost every tyro in literature has chosen this have read of Mr. Headley, we had deemed it im- style for his debut. Little, however, did they possible that he should ever have written anything
trouble themselves to imitate their great model, either simply, or naturally, or familiarly. We had by deeply studying their task beforehand, by learnalways considered bombast (probably the same ing thoroughly the manners, modes of speech, and quality which the “ biographer” points out as“ the various peculiarities of the far-distant time to which
they referred their actors. They did not wait be ful to the eye-a pure, solid page, with type, archi fore commencing their work, until they had tecturally proportioned, cut by a true artist, become, as it were, cotemporaries of their actors; and printed smoothly, and of a raven black ! a love intrigue for a plot, a few hints from the The work before us has all these excellencies. most accessible sources, and a little reading in Taken altogether, it is perhaps, artistically, the some author of the period to be illustrated, are best possible. Its purpose, as it has been explaindeemed sufficient preparation for launching into a ed to us, is to group together, into a gallery, historical novel. Whence it follows that the twenty-four heads of the most eminent citizens of works of that school differ from each other in America, who have flourished since the death of little else than the different proportions of truth Washington : each portrait to be accompanied and fiction in the mixture.
with a suitable brief biography. Of this system it is a melancholy consequence The numbers are sold separately for $1 each, that many of our ingenious youth study from such the entire subscription being but $20, payable productions, the little of the world's chronicle that quarterly, in advance. The whole is on fine they condescend to acquire, until it is impossible drawing paper, enclosed in tinted covers, and ento persuade them that the clerical Avenel and his veloped in a fine, buff-colored portfolio case, instead chivalrous nephew. were not personages quite as of a common wrapper. seriously engaged in the affairs of their time, as On the cover of the present, or possibly the suce Mary Stuart and Elizabeth ; or that Quentin ceeding number of this journal, the reader will find Durward was not as mighty a man as Louis XI. a prospectus of the work. It is certainly the best
Mr. James, than whom no literary sinner has thing of the kind. more trespass, of the kind alluded to, to atone for, Any of our friends or subscribers who wish to now offers to do some light penance for past trans- procure a specimen number of the work can have gressions,—or transgressions against the past,—by it forwarded to them by enclosing five dollars, mixing his compound on a principle absolutely with the order to this office, and directions for its novel and un-novel like, viz.: a homeopathic safe transmission. dose of fiction to a large quantity of truth. In
-Publishers of the Amer. Review. other words, he takes real events, of a striking
The work is peculiarly worthy of Whig patroncharacter, and adds, of his own invention, only what is necessary to give them a dramatic effect.
age, as it will embrace the portraits of the most
illustrious men of that party. (Ed.] It might occur to some malicious critic that the “ Dark Scenes," now before us, are only a bundle of novels, in embryo ; every one of which threat
Saroni's Musical Times. ened the poor public with an octavo, at least, if Mr. James had had the leisure, or the inclination, We are given to understand that the editor of to dilute them. Indeed, they do bear somewhat this valuable and singularly successful musical the appearance of sketches intended for future ( journal, has lately united himself in a joint editor “filling up," cartoons of romances, or discarded and proprietorship with Eugene Lies, Esq., known materials, of past labors, hastily bound together by his poetical and critical labors, to the readers of into a book. But, whatever be the secret history
the Democratic Review. Mr. Lies' excellent of the “ Dark Scenes," we, for our own part, vastly
taste and scholarship, will, doubtless, add greatly prefer them, in their present shape, and do heartily to the value of the Musical Times. His attention recommend them as harmless, and rather instruct- will be given solely to the literary department of ive reading.
The Gallery of Illustrious Americans.
Family Pictures from the Bible.. By Mrs. The first number of a very elegant work, with
ELLET, author of the Women of the American this title, has been shown us by the editor, C. E.
Revolution. New-York: G. P. Putnam, 115 Lester. It contains a magnificent engraving of
Broadway. General Taylor ; the best we have seen, without any exception or reservation. It is executed The plan of this gifted author, in preparing the (lithographed !) by D'Avignon, perhaps the best work we are now noticing, seems to have been not living artist, in this line, who has given lithography so much to paraphrase the Bible, as to call her an effect almost equal to the mezzo-tints etchings reader's attention to the beauties, artistically speakof Cozzens. The daguerreotypes for the work are
ing, of the Holy Scriptures. Her groups are well by Brady. Twenty-four numbers, semi-monthly, chosen, and several of the papers in her collection, will complete the work. A portrait of Henry
have been contributed by eminent divines, such as Clay, and another of Daniel Webster, will succeed Dr. Bethune, Dr. Hutton, Rev. S. D. Burchard, this one of President Taylor.
and others. These papers are every way worthy The work is of the largest size, and the letter- of the names by which they are signed. As for press the finest, perhaps, that has ever come from the part which Mrs. Ellet has reserved for herself, à New-York press.
we would observe that she usually displays unThree centuries ago, the fame of a good printer common tact, in pointing out the picturesqueness was as wide as the civilized world ; in these days and dramatic effect of the events she illustrates. of cheap reading and cheap writing, the art of Artists in want of a subject may consult her pages, printing is slighted, as something merely mechan- with manifest advantage, and the general reader ical. And yet what an elegant piece of taste and will derive from her book entertainment and iningenuity is an elegantly printed-how delight. struction at the same time.