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it were practicable, it is doubtful whether it would be expedient. The advantages would scarcely repay the expense, or compensate for the immense trouble which the change would require. Some corrections of English orthography, which would be nothing more than restoring the ancient and true spelling, or rejecting a few superfluous letters, in conformity with analogies, and with the pronunciation, and a few points to note disa tinctions of sound, would render the acquisition of the English language very easy, without any new characters to offend the eye. Any alteration which gives much offence to the eye, will naturally be rejected.
*ALL OF THE OLDEN TIME.'- Ten to one, reader, that you never pored over the timer honored pages of quaint Phillip STUBBes; that you never surveyed his “Anatomie of Abuses,' wherein he denounces, in a catalogue raisonné of the vices and gayeties of his age, the pomps and vanities of the great Babel, in 1585. We therefore consider your hapless case, and will help you to a sample of his matter and manner. After demurring against the 'confuse mingle-mangle of apparell, and the preposterous excesse thereof,' which then prevailed, whereby it was difficult to know gentle from simple-'all whiche, he says, 'I coumpt a great confusyon' - he proceeds to particulars, beginning with the hat, the fashion of which seems to have been rather more various at that remote period than now:
* Sometymes they use them sharpe on the croune, pearking up like the spire or shaft of a steeple, standynge up a quarter of a yarde above the eroune of their hendes, some more, some lesse, as please the phantasies of their inconstante mindes. Other some be flat, and broad in the croune, like the battlementes of a house. Another sorte have round crounes, sometymes with one kind of baude, sometimes with another; now blacke, now white, now russet, now red, now grene, how yellow, now this, now that; oever content with one colour or fashion two daies to an ende. And thus in vanitie they spend the Lorde his treasure, consumynge their golden yeres and silver daies in wickednesse and sinne. And as the fashions be rare and strauuge, so is the stuffe whereof their haltes be made, divers also; for some are of silke, some of velvet, some of taffetie, some of sarcenet, some of wooll, and which is more curious, some of a certain kind of fine haire. These they call bever hattes, of twentye, thirtye, or fortye shillinges price, fetched from beyonde the seas, i'rom whence a great sorte of other vanities doo come besides: and so common a thingit is, that everie servyng man, contrieman, and other, even all indifferently, dooe wcare of these battes: for he is of no account, or estimation amongst men, if he have not a velvet or taflatie hatie ; and that must be pincked, and cinnyogly carved of the beste fashion. And some are not content, without a greate bunche of leathers, of divers and sundrie colours, peakynge on top of their heades.'
He passes down to the neck, and is kindled to tenfold rage, as he comes in contact with the manifold abominations of the ruff, and its diabolical auxiliary, starch. Hear him :
*They bave great and monstrous ruffes, made either of cambricke, holland, lawne, or els of some other the finest cloth that can be got for money, whereof some be a quarter of a yarde deepe; yen, some more, very few lesse ; so that they staude a full quarter of a yarde (and more) from their neckes, hanging over their shoulder-poiols, iusteade of a vaile. But if Æolun with his blasts, or Neptuve with his storms, chaudce to hit upon the crazie barke of their bruised ruffes, then they goeth flip-flap in the winde, like ragges that flow abroad, lying upon their shoulders like the dish cloute of a slut. But, wot you what? The devil, as he, in the fullnesse of his malice, first invented these great ruffes, so hath he now found out also two great pillars to beare up and maintaine this his kyngdome of great ruffes, (for the devil is kyng and prince over all the children of pride.) The one arche or pillar, whereby his kyngdome of great ruffes is underpropped, is a certain kipde of liquid matter, which they call starch, wherein the devil bath willed ihem to wash and dive their ruffes well; which beyng drie, will then stand stiff and inflexible about their neckes. The other pillar is & certaine device made of wiers, crested for the purpose, whipped over either with gold, thred, silver, or silke; and this he calleth a supportasse, or underpropper.'
Take tbis description with you, reader, into some gallery of old portraits -- such 'undoubted originals' as are multiplied abroad, (like Goldsmith's petrified lobsters,) for the New-York market - and mark with what ludicrous faithfulness the picture is drawn. But do not sneer with the satirical STUBBES ; because thirty years may not elapse, before your own dress shall be looked hack upon with scarcely less disfavor and contempt "The fashion of this world passeth away!'
Byron. – We have been gratified to perceive the applause which has been bestowed upon Mr. Simmons' lecture on the ‘Poetry of ByroN,' before a crowded and delighted audience, at the hall of the Mercantile Library Association. It was admirable in every sense; and its delivery, it is unnecessary to add, was perfect. The lecturer regarded Byron as having been, more emphatically than any of his contemporaries, the poet of the age and of the people; more a cosmopolite ir, his spirit; presenting scenes, images, and contemplations, of a more universal interest; not addressing the sympathies or tastes of any particular class, temperament, or neighborhood, bui dealing with the common mind of man. In these respects, the lecturer instituted a comparison between 'Childe Harold' and the poetry of Pope, Cowper, Goldsmith, Scott, Campbell, Moore, and Wordsworth. In the extent and variety of scenes, and the amount of observation on men and manners, he placed Childe Harold side by side with the Odyssey of Homer. The dissimilarity, however, of the ancient and the modern poet, in their descriptions of artificial objects, and of natural scenery, was very strikingly developed, and philosophically accounted for. The principal faults, in the style of Childe Harold, were occasional prolixity, over-statement or exaggeration, and frequent egotism. On these points, especially the last, the lecturer commented with candid severity. He charged, however, a more subtle form of egotism on such poets as Coleridge and Wordsworth, Hunt and Keats, who so completely infuse their own very peculiar idiosyncracies into every fibre of their compositions, that these can be fully appreciated only by readers of their own temperament and tastes; so that much of their poetry must ever be insignificant to the ardent, the energetic, and the occupied.
With Mr. Simmons' views of the spirit of Byron's poetry, we fully agree. We think them generous and manly. The ultra rigid, howbeit, may have deemed thein 100 indulgent. He traced back the misanthropy, the scepticism, and the voluptuousness, that occasionally sully our poet's page, to certain elements in his temper, which combined to inspire him with 'a perverse spirit of nonconformity, and a delight in defying the frown of a harsh or hypocritical morality, and subduing its professors, in their own despite, by the laughing sweetness of his strain.' 'So far,' said the lecturer, in substance, 'as this spirit may have induced him to represent the gratification of the senses as the highest good, or to encourage a voluptuousness of the heart, by stimulating our sensibility to material beauty, without rousing those energies of the soul which alone can direct that sensibility aright, the fault carries its punishment with it; for such a spirit can be entertained by none but an unhappy man, and embodied on none but a perishing page.' Mr. Simmons made it appear, however, that much that had been objected to, among Byron's gayeties, was written with no other view than to expose that cunt, which the poet so frequently pronounced to be the besetting sin of the times. After a brief analysis of Byron's poetic genius, intellectually considered, the lecturer closed with a very touching allusion to his zeal and self-sacrifice in the cause of Grecian freedom; and with the quotation of a noble passage from Walter Scott, written on hearing the news of Byron's death.
LETTERS FROM Roye.' - Our readers, we are sure, will share our gratification, in the perusal of another series of Letters from the popular author of the 'Letters from Palmyra.' They will form, in some sort, a sequel to those well-known papers, and will be found to possess, as they proceed, we have reason to believe, an equal, or if possible a superior interest. They will bring back, we may judge as well from the scene and era chosen as from the ability of the writer, with vivid distinctness, the long-vanished Past. There will be heard the voice of Time disparting towers;' and the mighty events which are now buried in the dark backward and abysm of years,' will be bared, like the splendors of Palmyra, to the eye of the Present. But enough for conjecture. We shall see anon.
'La Petite AugusTA.' – Crowded as we are for space, we yet cannot resist the inclination to devote a few lines to the expression of an opinion, touching the merits of this extraordinary little girl – a mere child of twelve years. Graceful, lithe, and fairylike, yet firm in her step, and ripe in her execution, she has won at once a high reputation as a finished artiste. With an expressive and handsome countenance, finelymoulded limbs, and such richness of early talent, what may not be expected of her, when she shall have returned from abroad, with the advantages of study, under the best masters and mistresses of her art? The delighted audiences who have attended her recent performances at the Park, can realize what such improvement will effect, in one so prëeininently promising.
"The Motley Book.' — Our deceased friend, ‘Bex. SMITH,' whose funeral obsequies were celebrated in these pages many months since, comes before the public again in "The Motley Book' - much to our surprise, of course; since, as Scott said to his wife, if he was not dead, his friends treated him very wrongfully in burying him. The work will consist of a series of tales and sketches, intended to represent what is humorous and touching in life and character; and its professed object is, to 'while away a dull hour, to cheer a doubting or despondent heart, and to prove that the world is not yet turned into a moping, melancholy pageant.' Mr. Smith has a tolerable eye for the burlesque and the humorous; but generally, in his lighter sketches, his canvass is quite too crowded ; and a sense of vagueness - of something sometimes sufficiently droll, it may be, but still always shadowy and in patches - detracts from the merit of his humorous performances. Let him curb his fancy somewhat, when it is most disposed to curvet and rolick, if he desire to gain or retain his reader's remembrance and admiration. 'Pickwick,' for example, is inimitable in its humor; but that humor is never confused, nor frittered away in elevating trifles, unless they are effectively accessory to the writer's purpose. The 'Potters' Field' is not ill conceived. It has a touch of the German spirit, with something Radcliffeian in language; and it brings collateral satire to bear upon certain abuses of the cold and heartless present. The 'Motley Book' is illustrated by three engravings on wood, and the whole is creditable in externals. JAMES TURNEY, Jr., Gold-street.
'The New-YORKER.' – The fifth volume of this widely-circulated weekly journal will commence on the 24th instant. The favorable opinion which we have heretofore expressed of this periodical, has been enhanced by its increasing merit. Its literary articles, original and selected, evince talent and good taste, its editorial department great industry and sound judgment, and its criticisms, discrimination and fearless candor. Its professed political aims are, to exhibit the views of all parties and sects, as set forth by their leaders and oracles. Park BENJAMIN, Esq., Editor of the American Monthly Magazine,' has recently assumed the supervision of the literary department. There is a city and foreign department, under the charge of Dr. ELDRIDGE, a competent co-laborer with Messrs. GREELEY and BENJAMIN, in the editorial conduct of the work. We cordially wish the 'New-Yorker' that support, to which it presents undeniable claims, and which it has secured, to an almost unexampled extent.
PORTRAIT OF OscEOLA. A full length likeness of Osceola, drawn on stone by one of our first artists, will soon be published. The sketch was taken in May last, from life, by Capt. J. R. VINTON, of the United States' Army, and includes a view of the locale, Lake Monroe and the adjacent scenery. It is a striking portrait of the renowned warrior, while in full health and vigor. It will be executed upon fine India paper, in the first style of the art, and with an appropriate margin for binding. New-York : WILLIAM W. HOOPER, engraver, 126 Nassau-street.
THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF Medical SCIENCE, for the February quarter, has just been published. It is a full and varied number. The contents embrace, among other things, the singular story of a lady in New Hampshire, who, after having beheld an exhibition of the aurora borealis, 'gave out lambent glories' for the space of two months, from the extremities of her person, in the shape of electric sparks; and a report of a well-known trial for murder, in Massachusetts, by means of abortion. There are descriptions, moreover, of some splendid funguses, several admirable tumors, one or (wo pleasing 'issues,' and a beautisome case of 'infantine monstrosity,' of which we perceive our charming bard, O. W. Holmes, Esq., with characteristic (professional, not poetical,) enthusiasm, has secured a cast. Delightsome reading, especially to the uninitiated, are the 'General Therapeutics;' but, beside these and the other attractive subjects we have mentioned, we were chiefly interested in the treatises on opthalmology, toxicology, staphylorophy, and anchylosis — not forgetting the pleasant miscellaneous matter, (we trust we are understood,) in the 'Quarterly Periscope,' or medical 'Editor's Table,' whereon many subjects are cut up with great coolness and evident discrimination, Philadelphia: CAREY, LEA AND BLANCHARD. New-York : WILEY AND PUTNAM.
*THE GREAT METROPOLIS.' — A second series of the 'Great Metropolis,' by the author of 'Random Recollections of the Lords and Commons,' has just been issued, in two volumes, by Messrs. E. L. CAREY AND A. Hart. The first of these volumes is much the most novel and entertaining. 'Almacks, that tyrannical congress of metropolitan 'society'-dealers, is here laid open, in all its ramified details; there is a chapter upon parties and politics; literature, authors, and publishers, furnish themes for two more divisions; and the Bank of England, with its diversified objects of interest, forms the subject of another. A history of, and scenes at, the Stock and Royal Exchanges, and sketches of the Old bailey and Newgate prisons, with some very hard reading under the caption of Penny-a-Liners,' complete the second volume. The wit and pathos of the prison portions of the work are labored and feeble; and both are hacknied, withal. For the rest, there is much of entertaining information embraced, in a book-making way; that is, a large piece of bread is covered with a small piece of butler. The style is loose and gossiping, but perhaps it will not be the less attractive on this account, to the general reader.
A REVIEWER REVIEWED. - We have looked over the sheets of a neat pamphlet, from the pen of a resident Virginian, now passing through the press, entitled ' A Defence of the Character of Thomas JEFFERSON, against a writer in the 'New-York Review. After animadverting with much severity upon the character and spirit of the article in the review, as well as upon the precepts and practice of the supposed author, the writer proceeds to notice, seriatim, the various charges against Mr. JEFFERSON ; as his religious opinions, attempts at proselyteism, perversions in his 'Ana,' authorship of the Declaration of Independence, etc. The whole concludes with a summary of Mr. JEFFERSON's public acts, and a few reflections upon his life and character. The pamphlet will soon be published.
AMERICAN MonthlY MAGAZINE. — A new volume of this periodical commenced in January last, with increased attractions, both in a literary and external point of view, The editor, Park BENJAMIN, Esq., is the capable pilot at the helm, and under him is a 'branch' adjunct, in the person of Mr. Robert Walsh, Jr., of Philadelphia, (son of the sometime editor of the American Quarterly Review, and 'National Gazette' newspaper, now abroad,) of whom report speaks favorably. Imbued with the proper American spirit, in relation to our literary interests and repute, rendered entertaining by good contributors, and valuable from unbiassed critical and competent editorial direction, we cannot choose but solicit for the work the patronage which its merits demand, and should secure, and to wish for it a prosperous and useful longevity.
THE PICKWICK PAPERS. - A large and very handsome volume, with numerous illustrations by Sam WELLER, JR., and ALFRED CROWQUILL, recently published by Messrs. Carey, LEA AND Blanchard, contains all the 'papers' connected with the life and times of that renowned old twaddler, 'SAMUEL PickWICK, Esq., G. C., M. P. C. But what an incarnation of benevolence was he, and what a very clever servant that was of his - young Mr. Weller! Oh, quite so! Mr. Turney, Gold-street, has issued a similar edition, but upon a larger type, and with more numerous, and in some instances better, engravings, fac similes of the London edition. Wiley AND PUTNAM.
THOMAS CAMPBELL, Esq. – We have examined a specimen or 'order' copy of a new London edition of CAMPBELL's poems, admirably illustrated, (after the manner of the English issue of Rugers'. Italy,') by numerous engravings in the best style of the art. Two or three poems, never before published, will appear in the work. One of these is given in preceding pages of our present number. We cannot doubt that when the splendid yolume in question shall have been published in this country, it will command an extensive sale. How indeed should it be otherwise?
THE 'REJECTED Addresses.' -- Why is not this admirable work reprinted, and "Warreniana' along with it? Both are as rich as they are rare. We have had numerous inquiries for the former, but it is not to be obtained. A friend writes us from Buffalo, in this state: 'I possessed, some eighteen years since, a copy of the 'Rejected Addresses,' and lost it by casualty. I have been ever since seeking it, in vain; nor have I seen, in all that time, an extract made from its pages, until I saw yours. I heard of a copy in a private library in Vermont, and commissioned a friend to procure it for me, but as yet without success.'
New Works. --- The Brothers Harper have published, in one volume, with illustrations by CRUIKSHANK, FIELDING'S 'AMELIA.' Good wine needs no bush. The same publishers will issue, in the course of the present month, 'Scenery of the Heavens,' by our correspondent, Dr. Dick, of Scotland; Rev. Dr. Fisk's Travels in Europe ; "The Monk of Cimiès,' by Mrs. SHERWOOD, and Cromwell,' by the popular author of "The Brothers.'
The New-York Daily Whig' and 'MORNING Chronicle' are two diurnals, of the smaller class, which deserve mention and praise, for literary and other merits. Mr. Dawes, of the former, is a fine poet, a ripe scholar, and an able prose-writer; and the last named journal, aside from its claims as a literary vehicle, is the most perfect specimen of newspaper typography we have ever seen.
The Albion. — This excellent literary journal commenced its sixth volume, of the new series, on the first Saturday in January. The two plates of the New Houses of Parliament,' and Miss Ellen Tree, to which we have heretofore referred, have been retouched by the artist, and together with a new one, of equal merit, will be included in the numbers forwarded to new subscribers.
'Multum In Parvo.' - Messrs. E. L. CAREY AND A. Hart have issued, in two very handsome and corpulent volumes, the COMPLETE works of Captain Marryat and Lady BLESSINGTON. Fine portraits of each author embellish the volumes.
THE DRAMA. -- The dramatic notices for the last month, with much other matter, prepared for the proseut number, are bidden, by inexorable Necessity, to bide their time. Mr. Wallack certainly deserves the praise so liberally bestowed by our correspondent; for better scenery, a better company, aud better acting, are not to be found hereabout, than at the National Theatre. And equally just is the critique of .C.' upon the 'Love Chase,' as performed at the Park ; since its involutions, convolutions, inversions, and affectations of quaintuens, where plain prose is alone the raw matériel, deserved 'showing up. Yet are we compelled to omit both these articles, `aud nameless numbers moe.'
**The poetical favors of three or four valued correspondents, some of which are in type, have presented accidental barriers to insertion. · King Christian,'· Marks of Time,' and 'Our Wedding. Days,' will appear in the April vumber.