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we may be obliged, for the instruction of that large class of our young countrymen, whose improvement we seek, sometimes to come into contact with specimens so disgusting that, if we could, most gladly would we be excused the loathsome office of exhibition. But God bids successive generations to gather wisdom from those that have gone before them: he hath commanded the sons of men to 'mark the perfect man, and behold the upright,' as he cometh to his peaceful and honored end: and he bids them note also the fearful instances by which he sometimes illustrates the truth of his declaration, that 'the name of the wicked shall rot.' We have dwelt upon the life of Aaron Burr, because to our minds, that life presents a most impressive moral lesson. It speaks with emphatic solemnity to our young countrymen, and especially to those among them who are looking forward to public life. The successive steps by which he trod the path to ruin are plain to the reflecting mind. Reputably descended, born of parents whose piety was better honor than a mere patent rank; endowed by his Maker with high gifts, and many a lofty trait of character, which needed but the guidance of virtuous principle to have made him one of God Almighty's noblemen; Aaron Burr, at the early age of eighteen, deliberately cast behind him the teachings of heaven, and surrendered himself to the grossness of a beastly sensuality. At twenty, already an adept in profligacy, his vice lost him the confidence of Washington; and he repaid the loss with embittered hatred. Thrown, in after-life, into competition with one who was the friend of Washington, resentment gave strength to his ambition; and in seeking to rise, he thought as much of the depression of others as he did of the elevation of himself. Political opposition in him was in part, if not entirely, the indulgence of personal hatred; and hence he rushed to the embrace of that democracy which received him with open arms. Blind to the sagacious foresight of one whose political antipathies were distinct from his personal resentments, he toiled successively to elevate to power the man who was destined to repay him with persecution. Circumstances unforeseen threw him into accidental competition with that man, whose policy was the cunning of selfishness, and whose friendship was the treachery of deceit. To have been, however undesignedly, a competitor, was to have been an enemy; and with that man, the ruin of an enemy wore the semblance of virtue. Lending, by the faults of his own character, but too much aid to the machinations of him whom he thus placed in a station which increased his powers of injury, he felt the injury in the destruction of that confidence he once enjoyed with his party. Chagrined by a defeat which attested that want of confidence, in an evil moment for the country and for himself he purposed and accomplished the gratification of his revenge in the murder of one whom he hated none the less because Washington had loved him. Followed by the resentment of an outraged and indignant community, he sought, in his desperation to retrieve his broken fortunes and gratify his indomitable ambition, by plans and purposes which only enabled his most subtle foe to heap upon him an accumulation of disgrace, and subject him to the risk of an ignominious death. An exile from his country, he wandered in poverty a stranger in other lands; and when at last he returned to his own, it was to encounter the harder calamity of being treated as a stranger among his countrymen. With the recklessness produced by a present which had no comfort, and a future which promised no hope, he surrendered himself without shame to the grovelling propensities which had formed his first step on the road to ruin, until at last, overcome by disease, in the decay of a wornout body and the imbecility of a much-abused mind, he lay a shattered wreck of humanity, just entering upon eternity with not enough of man left about him to make a Christian out of. Ruined in fortune and rotten in reputation, thus passed from the busy scene one who might have been a glorious actor in it; and when he was laid in the grave, decency congratulated itself that a nuisance was removed, and good men were glad that God had seen fit to deliver society from the contaminating contact of a festering mass of moral putrefaction."
We honor the enthusiasm of the reviewer of TALFOURD's Life and Correspondence of LAMB, to which work he has done no more than justice. A score or so of brief but well-digested critical notices succeed, upon which we lack leisure and space to comment. Rev. C. S. HENRY will hereafter be assisted, in the editorial management of the Review, by Rev. FRANCIS L. HAWKES; and their combined reputation, not less than the examples already given of their abundant ability, is a sufficient guarantee, that the success of their periodical will be ample. Such, at least, is both our hope and expectation.
THE NORTH AMERICAN opens with a rambling and desultory review of the merits of COOPER, in which due credit is awarded to his excellencies, and equally proper condemnation bestowed upon his defects, as a novelist. We join cordially with the reviewer, in the hope that Mr. CoOPER will turn again to that department of author.
ship in which he won his earliest and most enduring laurels. He has been losing ground for years. A rich article, imbued with the proper spirit, and refreshing to the scholar, is that on the intellectual character of Cicero; and the selections from the great orator are made with fine taste and discrimination. A review of TALFOURD'S Life and Correspondence of Lamb, succeeds. The writer manifests an adequate appreciation of the prose writings of this delightful author, but denies that he was a poet. We should be glad to sit down with the reviewer, for one evening, with LAMB'S poetical works before us, and by ample quotation, convince him of his error. We look to do him this service yet, malgré his 'severe limitations of poetry,' for one can see that he has sometimes an eye and a mind open to the delicate and the beautiful. 'HOFFMAN'S Course of Legal Study,' 'DE QUINCY'S Life of Raphael'—the latter of which evinces research, and possesses much interest — and GRUND's work on America, noticed some months since in these pages, are the next articles; and these are succeeded by 'Constitutional Law,' a review of PETERS' Reports, and a very interesting paper from the pen of Gov. EVERETT, upon the 'Discovery of America by the Northmen.' PRESCOTT'S History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella' constitutes the theme of the next article, which we have not found leisure to read. The remainder of the number is devoted to brief critical notices, and a quarterly list of new publications.
THE ORIENTAL KEY TO THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, as they are Illustrated by the Existing Rites, Usages and Domestic Manners of the different Books and Writers of the Sacred Volume. By M. CORBETT. The Introduction by the Author of the Oriental Annual. Philadelphia: JOSEPH WHETHAM. One vol., 18mo. pp. 336.
THE nature of this little volume, which we would recommend to the notice of our readers, is sufficiently explained in the foregoing title-page. It is executed with much ability. The style is clear, unaffected, and alluring. For the younger class of readers, we know no work of the sort meriting a more cordial recommendation, as a companion and an explainer of the narrations in the Bible, which cannot be understood too early, because they are the only records of events and character upon which we can place implicit reliance; all other history being rendered imperfect by prejudice, misjudgment, and broken perceptions. Miss CORBETT, to whose pen we are indebted for these pages, has distinguished herself in many departments of literature, by publications equally well known on both sides of the Atlantic; but this is the first of her produc
ons to which her name has been affixed, and the first which has appeared since her arrival from England, a few months ago, on a visit to our country. It is preceded by letters of earnest approval from several eminent clergymen, and we trust it will ere long find its way into families and Sunday schools, and every where among the young. That even the mature mind may consult it with pleasure and with advantage, there is not a page of the work but affords good evidence.
MR. COOPER AND THE LONDON QUARTERLY.-What will our amiable novelist say, to the reception given his 'England' by the London Quarterly Review? If the mere buz of a musquito has the power to annoy him, what will he think of an ambuscade of wasps, more fierce than Pandours?' for such must be considered the biting things which the reviewer has collected together, to prick and sting him. If he winces at a single shot, how can he endure the 'raking fire of arrowy sleet,' which the Quarterly pours upon his defenceless head? We read on, and on, thinking that perchance the reviewer might cicurate his criticism, toward the last. Not so. But let us essay a sketch of the article in question. So ill-written, ill-informed, ill-bred, ill-tempered, and ill-mannered a production, as the one before us,' says the critic, 'it has never been our fortune to meet.' He pronounces it a 'phenomenon of vanity, folly, and falsehood,' and as a literary work, beneath contempt, having 'nothing solid about it but its ignorance, and nothing deep but its malice.' Instead of its present title, the reviewer would substitute, as more appropriate, 'J Fenimore Cooper, Esquire, in England, with Sketches of his Behavior in the Metropolis,' since the entire subject of the hook is himself. A contrast is drawn between the two works of Cooper and Slidell, upon England. That of the latter, it is said, was written in good faith, and with good manners; and although severe, its strictures may sometimes be read with profit, often with regret, but never with any thing like the mingled disgust and contempt which are excited by the rancorous triviality' of the former. The critic ridicules Mr. Cooper's attempts to make his personal distastes national grievances, and to enlist his countrymen as parties in imaginary slights and visionary insults, which were incurred by him, not because, but although he was an American; since, from his own account, he received much attention in his national character, which he forfeited when he became personally known. 'Whatever civilities he receives, he always assumes as paid to his individual merit; but whenever he fancies neglect, he complacently sets down his failure to the score of national prejudices;' and seems to 'think, that because the personal manners of the individual Cooper were disliked, that therefore there must be a settled antipathy to the American nation; a delusion which induces an 'extravagance of vanity, morbid as Bedlam, and impudent as Billingsgate.' The comments upon the circumstance of being seated lower, by a few seats, at a nobleman's table, than he deemed courteous, of being preceded by an 'old lord,' in ascending to a drawing room, and that of being mistaken by a lady for another person, are mentioned as rare examples of ingenuity in turning every thing, even praise, into personal affronts and national insults. Mr. Cooper's fondness for lords, which we cited in a notice of his work, in our October number, is well exposed by the critic. His old hacknied tavern-waiter of a footman was less delighted at seeing the nobleman's card, than his master. His imagination, whenever the vision of a lord passes across it, appears to have been in a state of fever between envy and vanity; between the delight of associating with a lord, and the pain of meeting a superior.' 'He cannot so much as mention a lord, (whom he knows by his knock,) without getting into a flutter between awe and envy, that confuses his very senses.' This is attributed to an ever-present remembrance of his early disadvantages, as a common seaman, for
a long period, in the merchant service, and 'a late and scanty acquaintance with polished society.' The frequent errors of the work under review are amusingly set forth. Mr. Cooper says, the reader will remember, that he frequently breakfasted with young friends, and 'found three or four horses at the door, with as many grooms, in waiting for the guests, who were on their way to one or the other of the houses.' Now the houses of parliament do not sit until four in the afternoon! 'But what,' adds the reviewer, 'is a paltry matter of fact, in competition with the éclat of 'breakfasting with young friends, members of one or the other house? Apropos of breakfasts, and Mr. Cooper's frequent boasts of being honored by invitations to this meal, at the poet Rogers', the reviewer remarks: 'It is by no means usual to invite strangers to breakfast in London, they being generally given when the guest is one about whose manners, character, or social position, there is some uncertainty. A breakfast is a kind of mezzototermine, between a mere visit and the more intimate hospitality of a dinner. It is, as it were, a state of probation.' Every word which Mr. Cooper says about heraldry, is pronounced to be either positively untrue, or an egregious blunder; and in relation to the story of the late Charles Matthews' expressed preference of the view from the 'Albany belfry,' over that from Richmond Hill, near London, the critic wonders that so sensitive a person as Mr. Cooper should be so easily duped. This we take to have been,' says he, 'a transcendant triumph of the great mimic and mystificator. We think we have heard Matthews tell the story himself, with abundance of glee.' But more serious matters are in store; and the ' author of the Monnikins' may as well be getting his pistols in order, for 'peradventure some pellet may attain unto him, even here.' 'Before we take our leave of Mr. Cooper,' says the reviewer, (after quoting even more against America from his autobiography of excoriated vanity' than had been cited against England,) we must observe, that amidst all the trash, which carries on its very face ridicule and refutation, there are two statements of alleged facts, so audaciously false, as to require special notice, and to which it is our bounden duty to make a direct personal appeal to Mr. Cooper, and to invite both the British and American people to expect his answer.' The first of these namely, that the English government were the secret accomplices of the worst excesses of the French revolution the reviewer pronounces, 'in letter and spirit, an infamous falsehood,' and calls for the proof. The second statement, that Mr. Gifford admitted to an American that articles unfavorable to this country were prepared under the direction of the British government, and inserted in the Quarterly Review, is also denounced to the world as 'a calumnious falsehood.' 'Coffee and pistols for two!'
Thus much, as a mere skeleton of Mr. LOCKHART's article in the Quarterly. We have room, in addition, but for the expression of a single regret, that a criticism in so many respect justly pungent and deserved, should be marred by a slurring disparagement of Mr. Cooper's merits as a novelist. 'Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's,' should have been in the reviewer's mind, when he penned the evidently interpolated lines of retrospective criticism to which we refer.
THE LATE CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF THE PHILLIPINE ISLES. A friendly subscriber at Manilla, a gentleman of education and fine talents, from whom, on behalf of our readers, we hope and expect hereafter to hear more frequently, writes as follows, in relation to the lamented demise of the late Captain-General of the Phillipine Islands: 'DE TORRES was like our Washington; wise in council, brave in arms; mighty in the senate, and mightier in the field. At his death, there was not a dry eye in Manilla, Among his body-guard, were veterans who had followed him through all the South American wars; men who had witnessed, unflinchingly, all the devastations, the horrors, of a campaign; who had rode over fields of the dying and the dead, fetlock-deep in blood, shed by themselves, without feeling even a touch of pity or remorse, Yet when their gallant general died, they could not contain their grief. They wept like 24
children. I myself was witness to this. The same night, returning home from a visit in the city, I heard the guard behind me, just relieved from their post at the palace, and returning to the cavalry-barrack. As they were passing, I asked the officer, 'Como, esta el General? Ta murio? 'He is dead!' he replied, and burst into tears; and immediately, as if ashamed of his emotion, fell in with the rest, and rode on in silence. Think of that! and from a soldier, too!— men who never weep. Theirs is 'the silent sorrow of those who know no tears.' Yet 'none are all evil;' and although this man had been reared in a school where he had become familiar with horrors, and learned to look on death as a pastime, the loss of his old and beloved commander called up feelings which had doubtless lain dormant for years; and surely his tears were those of a Peace to the dead! They do but precede us by a few short years.'
THEORY OF SOUNDS, THUNDER-SHOWERS, AND WESTERLY WINDS. We give, in the present number, the conclusion of our correspondent's article upon the subjects of looming, electricity, sounds, thunder-showers, and west and north-west winds. In relation to the extended transmission of sound, in the peculiar state of the atmosphere described, we are entirely convinced of the correctness of our contributor's theory. Under circumstances precisely similar to those mentioned in preceding pages, a gentleman of intelligence and observation informs us, he once heard, over Long-Island Sound, where it is ten or eleven miles in width, the sound of human voices, and the fall of 'bars,' which were let down to admit cattle into a pasture-enclosure. A distinguished philosophical writer of this city, now deceased, to whom the Theory of Thunder-Showers and of West and North-West Winds' was submitted, in returning the MS., observed: "The writer is correct in his opinion of the powerful influence of caloric in the atmosphere. The two great foci seem to be the tropical region situated south, and the Atlantic ocean, with its warm gulf-stream, on the east. If the former prevailed, the air would move south in meridional lines, and produce north winds; if the latter obtained, the atmospheric currents would travel east, and occasion west winds. But there is an exertion of two forces, which, agreeably to the laws of motion, cause a result in the direction midway between south and east, that is, south-east; which, in proportion to its strength and duration, makes a blast from the north-west.' The descent of cold air from above, the same writer adds, is one of the most frequent occurrences in meteorology. What need,' he writes, 'is there of bringing these cool or refrigerating currents horizontally from the arctic regions, when there is a source for every demand, about twelve or fifteen thousand feet above our heads, all the year round?' We again commend these 'Observations' to the attention of our readers.
'YANKEE NOTIONS.' TIMOTHY TITTERWELL, Esquire, of Merry-go-Nimble Court, Boston, (No. 2, round the corner, next door to the fat man's,) has issued a goodly volume for these high 'pressure' times, entitled as above. We have read it, and laughed over it, with decided goût. The preface is an effective 'salsa del libro,' and at once creates an appetite in the reader to devour the book itself. The picture of the newlyelected member of the General Court' is a rich one. The functionary affects a dignified indifference at the news of his elevation, but is at the same time so elated, that his 'skin does n't seem to fit him.' Feeling the importance of his station, he bethinks him of the adornments of the outer man. He has his old bell-crowned drab hat newly ironed, and countermands his orders for cow-hide boots, because 'kip-skin' would be more genteel; and, imbued with a due sense of his superiority over those country members, who come to the legislature with their pedal extremities encased in the town boots,' (provided at the public expense, for the legislative representative, and 'heel-tap