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since all the Bells selected incidents and per- | ising idea rises in the poet's mind, and he comsons of a singular character, produced by cir- mits it to paper; but time is needed to test its cumstances of a rare kind, or arising from iso- value — careful labor to elicit its full proporlated modes of life. In the prose works, the tion, and to clothe it in the most apt language; story, however strange and coarse, was con- after all, it may be doomed to the flames, as sistent with itself, and distinct in its purpose. falling short of necessary excellence. We In the larger narrative poems by Currer Bell, suspect such kind of care has not been beboth these qualities are wanting; there is stowed upon this volume : the indispensable often neither head nor tail : or, when the story arts of selection and of blotting are yet to be is distinctly told, it is not only unlikely, but learned by the Bells. If, as seems not uninconsistent with itself. As far as execution likely, they are infected with a rage for literary is concerned, the poems under the signature of experiment and an itch of writing, they will Currer are entitled to the preëminence. They by no means fulfil the expectation which some exhibit more power and possess a greater in- have formed of them, or even hold their terest : but this is not conclusive as to differ- ground; especially as their experience or their ence of authorship. Part of the comparative taste seems limited to one kind of life, and that inferiority of the others may arise from the both peculiar and extreme. greater quietness of a small or the triteness of One merit belonging to the Bells
, especially a common subject; it may be accident or even to Currer, is occasionally found in these pieces, art.
an easy naturalness, that imparts strength The essence of poetry — that quality so to common things without impairing their difficnlt to define yet so easy to recognize — is homely truth. Such are these lines; which, rare in the volume. Of the formal and sec- however, open a tale without intelligible drift. ondary properties there is a good deal. The poems have frequently much strength of
• Arranging long-locked drawers and shelves thought and vigor of diction, with a manner Of cabinets shut up for years, which, though degenerating into mannerism, What a strange task we've set ourselves ! is very far removed from commonplace; while
How still the lonely room appears ! in the poorest stanzas,” without a subject at
How strange this mass of ancient treasures;
Mementos of past pains and pleasures ; all, there is still a style which separates them These volumes clasped with costly stone, from the effusions of poetasters. The effect of With print all faded, gilding gone; the volume, however, is by no means propor These fans of leaves, from Indian trees — tioned to the abilities possessed by the authors.
These crimson shells, from Indian seas — The novels of the Bells have stopped short of
These tiny portraits set in rings —
Once, doubtless, deemed such precious things; an excellence that seemed attainable, from ill
Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith, chosen subjects, alike singular and coarse. And worn till the receiver's death; This defect is visible enough in the poems;
Now stored with cameos, china, shells, but a greater cause of ill-success is a disregard
In this old closet's dusty cells. of the nature of poctical composition. Where " I scarcely think, for ten long years, the knack or gift exists, verse can possibly be A hand has touched these relics old; written with as much certainty as prose, if And, coating each, slow-formed, appears, with less readiness and in less abundance : The growth of green and antique mould. but the result is the kind of poetry which is “ All in this house is mossing over; not endured by gods, men, or bookstalls. If All is unused, and dim and damp: the structure of the piece does not require
Nor light, nor warmth, the rooms discover more thought than in prose, it requires as
Bereft for years of fire and lamp. much ; and, most assuredly, an incident or a « The sun sometimes in summer enters narrative that would never be ventured in The casements with reviving ray; plain prose, is not from its excess of incon But the long rains of many winters
Moulder the very walls away. gruity adapted to verse. Yet " Pilate's Wife's Dream," *Gilbert,” and perhaps nearly all “ And outside all is ivy, clinging the story pieces by Currer Bell, are really in To chimney, lattice, gable grey; this predicament. As regards the sentiments
Scarcely one little red rose springing
Through the green moss can force its way. and" composition ” of poetry, there is no doubt but that a careful selection of the “Unscared the daw and starling nestle thoughts, and the exercise of the labor limæ Where the tall turret rises high,
And winds alone come near to rustle are more essential than in prose. Few persons
The thick leaves where their cradles lie.” who write down any sudden thoạghts that strike them would dream of publishing them The following verses, under the signature in prose;
and wherefore in versc? A prom- of “ Ellis,” are called a song, though without
any lyric quality; they are nearer the short “ They thought the tide of grief would flow ballad. But we quote them as exhibiting a
Unchecked through future years :
But where is all their anguish now, specimen of the taste which the works of these
And where all their tears? writers show for local manners, or singular “Well, let them fight for honor's breath, feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Or pleasure's shade pursue – "SONG.
The dweller in the land of death
Is changed and careless too. “The linnet in the rocky dells, The moor-lark in the air,
“And if their eyes should watch and weep The bee among the heather-bells
Till sorrow's source were dry, That hide my lady fair :
She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
Return a single sigh ! “ The wild deer browse above her breast ; The wild birds raise their brood;
“Blow, West-wind, by the lonely mound, And they, her smiles of love caressed,
And murmur summer-streams Have left her solitude !
There is no need of other sound
To soothe my lady's dreams." “I ween that when the grave's dark wall Did first her form retain,
Spectator, They thought their hearts could ne'er recall
The light of joy again.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
THE CHOLERA. As with all the ills of life, the use of pork or bacon ; or of salted, dried, and especially with this impending calamity, or smoked meat or fish, which have not been prevention is both easier and better than cure, proved to exert any direct influence in causing we are desirous of helping to give circulation this disease. Nothing promotes the spread of to the plain and practical instructions given for epidemic diseases so much as a want of nourthis purpose by the Committee appointed by ishment; and the poor will necessarily suffer the London College of Physicians.
this want if they are led to abstain from those They say: that in a district where cholera articles of food on which, from their comparaprevails no appreciable increase of danger is in- tive cheapness, they mainly depend for subsiscurred by ministering to persons affected with tence. The Committee also recommended the it, and no safety afforded to the community by establishment of dispensaries in those parts of the isolation of the sick. The disease has al- the town which are remote from the existing most invariably been most destructive in the medical institutions; and distinct cholera hosdampest and filthiest parts of the towns it has pitals, which it will require some time to or visited. A state of debility or exhaustion, ganize, and which they believe will be found to however produced, increases the liability to be absolutely necessary, should the epidemic cholera. The Committee, therefore, recom- prevail in this metropolis with a severity at all mend all persons during its prevalence to live approaching that which it manifested on its in the manner they have hitherto found most first appearance in England. In conclusion, conducive to their health ; avoiding intemper- they urge on the rich, who have comparatively ance of all kinds. A sufficiency of nourish- little to fear for themselves, the great duty of ing food, warm clothing, and speedy change generously and actively ministering to the re of damp garments, regular and sufficient sleep, lief of the poor while the epidemic prevails ; and avoidance of excessive fatigue, of long bearing in mind that fuel, and warm clothing, fasting, and of exposure to wet and cold, more and sufficient nourishment are powerful safeparticularly at night, are important means of guards against the disease. promoting or maintaining good health, and thereby afford protection against the cholera. The Committee do not recommend that the The Paris papers announce the death in public should abstain from the moderate use of England of M. Vatout, a member of the well-cooked green vegatables, and of ripe or French Academy - a writer of considerable preserved fruits. A certain proportion of these talent -- - at one time President of the Council articles of diet is, with most persons, necessary for the Conservation of Civil Buildings in for the maintenance of health. The Commit- France -and recently Chief Librarian of the tee likewise think it not advisable to prohibit | (now broken) Crown.
The doings literary or artistical of our period- | dilection for that race. The same paper states ical contemporaries are not formally before us that the middle window of the “Stiftskirche,” for comment — and it is not often that we go Stuttgart, is now adorned by a large glass out of our way to take critical notice of them. painting, consisting of two compartments ; the The pictorial leader however, in last week's larger representing the Crucifixion—the smalPunch is a production so striking that we ler the Entombment. The work of Art is are tempted to turn out of our ordinary course designed by Neher, and painted by the brothfor its sake. Within the compass of an epi- ers Scherer of Munich. Among the pictures gram we have there a great epic — and the in the Exhibition at Cologne, A. Schroedter's penciled jest passes out of its professional do- “ Faust in Auerbachs Keller,” after Goethe's main into the region of the sublime. The fiction, deserves to be particularly noticed. humor of the intention has grown majestic in "The artist," says a correspondent in the the execution. The title is " The Great Sea Allgemeine Zeitung, “has given us unconSerpent of 1848;” and our readers must look ciously an allegory of the doings of the presat it if they would feel its meanings as we do: ent day. What else do we see but revellers
- but thus they are in our prose version. intoxicated with the wine of Liberty? There Upon a sea, dark and wild with tempest, the where the liquor overflows, red flames arising, Sovereigns of Europe are tossing in one frail - and behind the tumultuous uproar the devil boat that has neither oar nor sail. The name stands grinning his of the boat is the Ancien Régime ; and the
Den Teufel spurt das Voelklein nie rudder is the hand of King Louis Philippe
Und wenn er sie beim Kragen hätte." who has steered it into a fearful and majestic Presence. Right in the course of the boat has An ingenious discovery, likely to be useful to risen up the great Sea Serpent of 1818! Coil collecters of old engravings, has just been made after coil of the monstrous reticulation shows by a young man—a Mr. Baldwin. It is, the amid the seething waters, to the very limits of means of splitting into two parts one sheet of the plate ; suggesting fold after fold of the paper, so as to separate the engraving in front same. Terror stretching beyond what that from the text which may have been printed at can hold or kings can see - save with their the back—often to the obscuring of the former. fears. The neck rears itself out of the waters, We have seen a leaf thus divided ; in which crowned by a woman's face, with the calm, the one part shows the engraving perfectly clear stern, passionless, majestic look of Egyptian from the previous confusion of the lines that sculpture --- only more threatening; and on showed through-the other exhibiting the text the Phrygian cap is written “the name of as if had been printed on a page with a clean the Beast”
LIBERTY. The scared look of back. Each page is as sound as if it had been the royal puppets, brought thus suddenly into originally of a distinct fabric. The discovery presence of the great social secret which the will probably be valuable applied to drawings Sea of Ages has kept from them so long, con- by the old masters; who were frequently in the trasts wonderfully with the grand, still es habit of making studies on both sides of the pression of the face which seems immortal for same piece of paper. We are curious te see if the time, as the body seems endless for space. the agency by which the separation is effectedThe picture is full of fine suggestions. The and which, for obvious reasons, is yet a secret Sovereigns — all “in the same boat” — show -be such as may be applied to drawings withlike unreal figures in presence of this great out chemically disturbing their constituents. and sudden truth. They resemble so many The application of the means to letters and toys carved out of wood, before the terrible manuscripts for mounting and illustration, is apparition that frowns on them like a god. obvious. We will return to the subject when The sketch is a wonderful one, we repeat. It we have fuller information. Since writing the bears for signature the initial D. : - which re- above, we have seen Mr. Baldwin's discovery presents, we persume, the name of Doyle. applied to the division of the leaf of a common
Athenæum. newspaper. A sheet of the Ilustrated London
News, on which was printed the wood-cut from The Allgemeine Zeitung states that two co Maclise's large picture of the 'Knight arming lossal horse-tamers of Carraran marble, by for Battle,'-exhibited at the Royal Academy Hofer, -executed by order of the King of last year, --being so divided, presented the Würtemberg, — have recently been placed in engraving free as if it had been printed on very the Royal Park of Stuttgart. They are des- thin paper—like an India-paper impression. cribed as “full of life, vigor and movement.' Some prints from the Pictorial Times were The animals are formed after the model of the similarly treated,--and all with equal success. Arabian horse, - the king entertaining a pre- - Athenæum.
SHORT REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
POEMS BY John G. WAITTIER. Illustrated | reader. On the other hand there is a spirit by Billings. Boston : Benjamin B. Mussey of fervor and zeal, an earnestness and a de& Co. 1849.
termination about these poems which must This is, both internally and externally, a strike a responsive chord in the human heart, truly beautiful volume. The engraver, the and carry with them the feelings and sympaprinter, and the binder have successfully ex thies even of readers whose opinions may not erted themselves to produce a book which be in unison with those of the stern Quakerspeaks highly for American taste and skill, poet. And this after all is the test of poetry: and is an honor to the enterprising publisher, let critics lay down what rules they please, he under whose auspices it is presented to the will always be the good poet, whose poetry public. Above all, we must award our meed
men feel. of praise to the engravings, which appear to us to be but little, if at all, inferior to the illustrations in the best of the English annuals. lowed by an a priori Autobiography. Boston:
REMARKS ON THE SCIENCE OF HISTORY ; folBut it is more especially of the pearls con- Crosby & Nichols. 1849. tained within this brilliant shell that it is our
When we state that this volume is dedicated task to speak. Of John G. Whittier’s capa- to " Citoyen Pierre Leroux, Republican and bilities as a poet we are partly willing to ac Philosopher,” and that the materials requisite cept his own estimate. He says, in his
for the construction of the “Remarks” and Proem, that
* Autobiography” are avowedly gathered
from “ The rigor of a frozen clime,
'the works of Jacob Boehme, Fabre The harshness of an untaught ear,
d' Olivet, and P. J. B. Buchez," the first The jarring words of one whose rhyme President of the present French National Beat often Labor's hurried time,
Assembly, our readers will conclude that we Or Duty's rugged march through storm and did not sit down to its perusal with any great strife, are here.
prejudice in its favor. Nor did we find that Of mystic beauty, dreamy grace
this feeling was altogether removed by a closer No rounded art the lack supplies.” &c.
acquaintance with the work. But we did
find, what we hardly expected, a few Fery We certainly do not find in the poetry of striking remarks, and some small insight into Whittier that exquisite felicity of rhythmical the principles of that modern French philosostructure which makes the lines of Longfel- phy, which is the basis of the new social and low so musical, nor the tender gracefulness political views which are now so actively prowhich is shed over the verses of Bryant. mulgated. Those of our readers who may be, This, we suppose, is all that the author means ; as to our shame we confess ourselves, rather for if his ear be untaught and barsh, we can in the dark upon the subject, may find that discover no traces of it in any “jarring this little volume is able in some degree to words or sounds that are offensive to the enlighten their ignorance.
FUSS IN A BOOK-CLUB,
AS RELATED BY A COPY OF MISS MARTINEAU'S “EASTERN LIFE," ETC. ETC.
" another. “. How
Can I ever forget the bright summer even round table in the tidiest of drawing rooms, ing which saw me released from the last con among the prettiest of girls. My entrance summating bookbinder's squeeze ? Can I ever caused excitement. forget the satisfaction it was to feel my
No pictures !” exclaimed one pair of purple coat, my gold-lettered back, enveloped rosy lips; and I felt as guilty as a man might, in stout cartridge-paper, and to find myself if detected in wanting a shirt.
a Surrey rectory, far from that horrible workshop, redolent of could you bespeak anything so dull, Annie ?" the complicated odors of stale paste, fresh glue, I would have given the world to have opened and the exudation of warm, young mechanics, at that part where I treat of jumps up a pyrato whom baths and wash-houses were as yet mid. but châteaux en Espagne ?
“It's just what I like," said the eldest, From the moment that my originator, Mo- taking me from the other's hand. “ Papa told ther, Venus genitrix, Cybele, Magna Mater, me I might choose a book this time, and I am —what shall I style her ?—first called me sure I have done well ;” and, armed with a from nothingness, to that when, fairly launched paper-cutter, she forthwith began carbonadoing at Knighton Rectory, I felt the satisfaction of among my hot-press. It is charming to rest being a completed thing, my days have been on the knees of a beautiful girl, who, reclining passed in unvarying disquietudes. Oh ye on a low chair, with ringlets drooping over volumes ! who are called into existence by fine one, reads, with no sour criticism rufling the ladies in easy chairs, with enamel pen-holders softness of the mild blue eye, determined to be and Dresden inkstands, can ye ever imagine pleased. The desire of knowledge was in the dread reverse of being brought into this that fair girl, and she imbibed my words as world under the alternating inflictions of burn- greedily as my pages had the printing-ink. I ing suns and raging toothache, vermin-stocked question whether I made so indelible an imNile boats and jolting camels, foot-sores and pression ; but I was read, cela me suffit. A rough-dried chemises, tiresome company and few days after my arrival, and when I was getting up fine linen, romping harem girls and precisely in the position above described, " Mr. bullying sheiks ? I shudder at the retrospect
. Murray” was announced. He was down in And then the copying, the revising, the ampli- my list as the “Hon. and Rev. John Murray.” fying at home, was almost as painful. The I learned afterwards that he was curate of haste, the excitement, the counting, not the Knighton, the rector-secretary having given cost, but the gain ; the consulting learned him a title of orders; his good looks and books, the cribbing from the obscure, honestly frank manners, with the expectation of the best quoting from the well-known! Then the bar- living in the archdeaconry of Surrey, giving gaining with Moxon ; then those horrid proof- him a title to everything else. sheets, with one's best tropes marred by full “So
Miss Martineau !” he said, stops for commas, c's for e's, and all those taking me from the table. “Do you like it?" eccentricities which compositors indulge in, "Extremely,” said Annie Arden. "I am who study between whiles the People's Char- quite proud of my bespeak.” ter! Ah, kittens ! ah, puppies ! ye
“And we all quarrel with her on the subplump into life in baskets lined with straw, ject,” said a rosy girl, hard at work in a and your restaurants close at hand, little do
“We all wanted Sadness and ye dream of the anguish of thus getting, bit by Gladness.' bit, into existence. On arriving at the rectory, With the clairvoyance, I suppose, inherited I found, by the assemblage of newly-born and from my Magna Mater’s dabbling in mesmerwell-dressed brethren, and some passing words ism, I saw Mr. Murray's heart beat with afof those who looked us over-that I formed a foction for the young girl so sedulously stitchcomponent part of the Knighton Book-Club; ing at the binding of one of her little sister's the secretary of which affixing a list of names old shoes, while Annie's literary fervor failed and dates to the first fly-leaf of us all, sent us to move him. Yet he replied not to the sempon our travels. My destination was to the stress, except with that look which she at once snuggest parsonage in Christendom; and I sought and avoided, while he said to Annie,found myself lodged on a crimson-covered "I am not surprised at your liking the book.