« ПредишнаНапред »
cessive numbers of the Magazine. Its profound delineations of character, and graphic pictures of New England life and manners, will now charm and instruct for the first time thousands of readers into whose hands it has not before fallen. None who read at all will fail to read and enjoy it, and to be more deeply impressed than ever with the genius and power of its gifted author.
THE PURITANS; OR, ENGLAND DURING THE REIGN OF EDWARD VI, AND ELIZABETH.-We opened this volume at the beginning, and were so attracted by its matter and style, that we almost forgot to ask what we were reading. After having finished some two hundred pages, we bethought ourselves to consider whether it was a sober history, or a historical novel. We could scarcely call it either, for it seems to share the characteristics of both. But whatever it may be called, it is a book which the descendants of the Puritans will read. It does not, in portions, lack the gravity and authority of history. The author states facts, cites authorities, reasons out and justifies his conclusions. But now and then, indeed very often, he makes his characters go into long conversations as truly imaginary as are those of Walter Savage Landor, and as obviously wrought out of the brain of the author as are the dialogues in the historical romances of James and Scott. It is in these dialogues that the characters of the principal personages are portrayed, and from them that the reader will receive his most definite and vivid impressions. No reader can follow our author without judging very hardly of Dr. Richard Cox and the Earl of Leicester. It is very likely that in so doing he would do them no injustice, but he is not so sure that he is not blindly receiving the prejudices of his writer, as where the historian narrates facts with a scrupulous and discriminating veracity, and sets forth his conclusions with a clear and calm reference to the evidence for and against them.
But, on the other hand, the greater interest that attends the course adopted by Mr. Hopkins, may be urged with force in its vindication. He has read thoroughly, and has intended to be impartial. At the same time he has conceived strongly the characters of his leading personages, and has the rare gift of being able to carry himself back to the times when they lived. His dramatic power is not inferior, and his
*The Puritans; or, the Church, Court, and Parliament of England during the reign of Edward VI, and Elizabeth. By SAMUEL HOPKINS. In Three Volumes. Vol. I. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1859. 8vo. pp. 549.
descriptions and dialogues are skillfully and powerfully drawn. They will make his book attractive, and secure it a very wide circulation. We wish the work the success which it deserves. It is time that the memory of the Furitans was vindicated anew in the minds of their descendants, and that the contemptuous flings of those "Goths in New England," who are ever ready to dishonor their memory, were once more put to silence by a spirited history like this of Mr. Hopkins. We cannot find room for an extract that would give a just impression of the dramatic style of the author, but transcribe the conclusion of this volume, as an example of his graver style:
"In other words, Elizabeth, far from considering these externals of dress and ceremony trifling, esteemed them of great political importance; of political importance, because they had religious influence, because they were Romish, consorted with Romish dogmas, gratified Romish habits, and fostered Romish superstitions. Hence it was, and hence only, that from the moment she felt her throne to be firm, she became strenuous that these Papistical features of her Ecclesiastical Establishment should not be suffered to relax, that none should be suffered to decline, either on the left hand or on the right hand, from the direct line limited by authority of her laws and injunctions;' and hence it was, that when her religious ordinances were approached, she was ever quick to rouse her preroga tive of supremacy, and ever hot, imperious, and choleric in using it.
'In her eyes, the rites, the ceremonies, the vestments of her Church had not acquired importance because ordained by law; but were ordained by law because they had importance,—because they had a specific character and a specific gravity.
"Upon these two points, then, the queen and the Puritans were agreed, viz, that the things ordained had an important influence, and that this influence was Papistical Each recognized a Papistical likeness-and so did the Papist-in the rites, and in the constitution also, of the English Church. Each regarded it as of fundamental importance; the one, to the Crown and Church of England; the other, to the Crown and Church of Christ. Upon this estimate of cap and surplice did the State covertly rely to justify its pertinacity. Upon the same did the Puritan openly rely to justify his. In regard to these matters, they differed only as the policy of the world differs from the policy of the Gospel The one was right, religiously; the other, as the world goes, politically. In the opinion of each, the things about which they contended were worth contending for; they were anything under heaven but trifles. The cap was more than woolen. The surplice was more than linen. The Puritan was fantastical, and a stickler for trifles, just as much as Queen Elizabeth, and no more.
66 Calling a man a Nazarene does not make him one. He may have been born in Bethlehem."—pp. 548, 549.
ART RECREATIONS.*-We are very sorry that we have space only to
*Art Recreations. Boston: J. E. Tilton & Co. 1859. 331 pp. 12mo.
call attention to an exceedingly interesting book, published by Messrs. J. E. Tilton & Co. of Boston, which we hope may find its way speedily into every family where there are young people. An enumeration of the subjects of which it treats will perhaps be its best recommendation. We give the list; viz: Pencil Drawing-Oil Painting-Water Color Painting-Crayon Drawing and Painting-Painting on Ground GlassGrecian Painting-Antique Painting-Oriental Painting-Sign Painting-Theorem Painting-Moss Work-Papier Mache-Cone WorkFeather Flowers-Potichomanie-Leather Work-Hair Work-Taxidermy-Gilding and Bronzing-Plaster Work-Wax Work-Shell Work-Magic Lantern-Paper Flowers-Imitation of Pearl-The Aquarium-Sealing Wax Painting-Panorama Painting-Coloring-Photographs-Enamel Painting.
The book is beautifully illustrated and makes in every way a very handsome volume. Wherever it goes it will receive a warm welcome, and will enliven many a family group this winter.
RAMBLES ABOUT PORTSMOUTH.*-Portsmouth is well known to be one of the oldest towns of New England. At a very early period it was the home of many families of wealth and refinement, and since the revolution there have always been there men of mark and of continental reputation. Till recently it has been the leading town in all northern New England. Its broad streets and numerous and spacious old family mansions give it an air of dignity and testify to the character of those who made it what it is.
Portsmouth is rich in historical associations. It would seem as if every house had a history that gave it individuality and a claim to be regarded with more than common interest. One house is described as having been occupied successively by Jeremiah Mason and by Daniel Webster, as they each became the head of a family. As we read the long list of its distinguished tenants, before and after these two great men made their homes in it, we had something of the feeling which we saw manifested, some years ago, by an intelligent Italian gentleman, to whom we pointed out the house in New Haven, formerly occupied by Roger Sherman. As we called his attention to it, he raised his hat in token of his respect. That old "Meserve house,"
*Rambles about Portsmouth. Sketches of persons, localities and incidents of two centuries; principally from tradition and unpublished documents. By CHARLES W. BREWSTER. Portsmouth, N. H. 1859. 8vo. pp. 376.
in Portsmouth, will lony be an object of historical interest. It is for the preservation of these thousand items of local history that Mr. Brewster, the author of these “ Rambles," has taken up
He has made an exceedingly interesting book, even to those who are not “ to the manor born.” It abounds with anecdotes and sketches, of persons and localities, and “incidents of two centuries." We wish that a similar book of sketches might be prepared for New Haven, Hartford, Providence, and others of our old New England towns.
In return for the pleasure his “ Rambles” have afforded us, we will give Mr. Brewster a bon mot with regard to Mr. Webster that is deserving of a place in his book. We found ourselves, on a late visit to Portsmouth, in the company of an elderly lady renowned for her wit, who
, had known the great statesman intimately in his younger days. We were trying to find out whether, when he first went to Portsmouth, he had the same genial and attractive manner and conversational power which so distinguished him later in life. “Mr. Webster always adapted himself to the company that he was with,” was the reply to our question. “ When he was with me he always talked like a fool !"
Bail's “HUMAN HEAD.”—This volume is a collection of studies on the human head, in outline, by one who is well known in this vicinity not only as a master of his art, but as an enthusiastic teacher of all who have the patience to begin at the bottom, according to the wise advice of Leonardo da Vinci, and take but one upward step at a time, till the acme of perfection is attained.
The first four of the plates exhibit the anatomy of the head, showing however none of the muscles but those that lie on the surface and regulate the expression of the features. The next eight plates are devoted to the eye, the mouth, and the ear, in various positions, and from different points of view, singly and combined in profile. Twenty-eight more are devoted to the construction and various postures of the head. The remaining twenty-four are delineations of character.
About thirty pages of introductory observations precede the plates, Besides the necessary explanations of the plates, there are dissertations upon the eye, the mouth, the action of the muscles in the expression of the passions, and individual and national character. In these chapters, which abound with the most fruitful suggestions to the learner,
* The Human Head; a correct delineation of the Anatomy, Expressions, Features, Proportions and Positions of the Head and Face; with numerous Plates and Explanatory Text. By Louis Baru, Graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Published by the author, New Haven, Conn. Price $1.
the author combines, in a manner as happy as it is rare, a straight-forward practical style with an artist-like idealism.
We had intended, but for our limited space, to introduce more extended extracts to show the scope and tone of Mr. Bail's work. The following, however, as an interesting discussion of a controverted point, we cannot forbear to quote:
“Much controversy has arisen respecting the individual influence of the eye and mouth in the expression of the face. I contend that the eye, comprising, of course, the muscles that surround it, surpasses the mouth in the expression of the purely spiritual and intellectual emotion; and that the mouth, including the action of the muscles in the lateral portion of the face, claims precedence in thosc expressions belonging more especially to our human and physical nature. The eye is more expressive of thought, the mouth of feeling. The upper and lower portions of the face are however entirely dependent upon each other, for truth and harmony of expression. If you meet an individual whose smile simply curves the corners of the mouth, and spasmodically twitches the lips, but never illuminates the eye and brow, you may assure yourself that he is either soulless, joyless, or a hypocrite. The hypocrite should be painted with a smiling lip, a still, smooth brow, and a cold, dead eye; bis smile is affected; he has power to contract the muscles by the force of will, but the soul is wanting.
Alcott's FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS OF PILLS AND POWDERS.* -Dr. Alcott, the author of this book, died last spring, and the book has been published since his death. The personal experiences which it contains, awkardly strung through a hundred chapters, are, we have no doubt, honestly told, for Dr. Alcott was an honest man.
But he was essentially an ultraist on every subject to which he gave his attention, and therefore he failed to get at the exact truth. His was one of that class of minds that with strong views never make accurate discriminations. In the book before us there is little else than one single impression made by all the varied experiences, viz, that there is a great deal too much of medication in the world. But the grand practical question, how far and under what circumstances is medication required, is almost entirely left untouched. Dr. Alcott had neither the cast of mind nor the ability requisite for grappling with it. Still, the book is, on the whole, a tolerably good one to put into the hands of either a physician disposed to give, or a patient disposed to take, much medicine.
* Forty years in the Wilderness of Pills and Powders, or the Cogitations of an aged Physician. Boston: John P. Jewett & Co. 1859.