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The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851
Author: Various
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AMONG the periodical publications of Italy, the Rivista Italiana, a monthly review issued at Turin, occupies a high place. Its list of writers includes Mancini, Balbo, d'Ayala, Carracciolo, Farini, &c. Subjects of the first importance are treated with marked ability in its pages. Its political tendencies are toward constitutional monarchy.

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A correspondent of the Athenaeum says that an extraordinary and valuable collection of letters illustrative of the life, writings and character of the poet Pope has just "turned unexpectedly up,"—and has been secured by Mr. John Wilson Croker for his new edition of the poet's works. The collection consists of a series of letters addressed by Pope to his coadjutor Broome—of copies of Broome's replies—and of many original letters from Fenton (Pope's other coadjutor in the Odyssey), also addressed to Broome.

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LORD BROUGHAM gave notice some six months ago, of his intention to visit the United States, during the present month of February, but if it is true, as stated in the Liverpool Albion, that he has lost his sight (partly in consequence of some painful bodily infirmity with which he has some time been afflicted), he of course will not come.

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OF ALICE CAREY'S ballad entitled "Jessie Carol," printed in the last number of the International, J. G. Whittier says, in the Era, that "it has the rich tone and coloring and heart-reaching pathos and tenderness of the fine old ballads of the early days of English literature." Miss Carey is passing the winter in New-York, where a poem by her is in press, which one of the most eminent and time-honored literary men in America has declared to be, in all the best elements of poetry, decidedly superior to any work yet published from the hand of a woman.

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MRS. THERESE ADOLPHINE LOUISE ROBINSON, the wife of the distinguished Professor and traveller, is best known in the literary world under the name of Talvi, and is indisputably one of the most prominent of the few profoundly learned and intellectual women of the age. She is the daughter of the German savan, L. H. Jacob, who was long a Professor at Halle, where she was born on the 26th of January, 1797. In 1806, her father was called to a professorship at the Russian University of Charkow. Here the family remained for five years, and the daughter, though deprived of the advantages of a regular education, laid the foundation of that acquaintance with the Slavonic languages and literature, which she has since so profitably and honorably cultivated. During this time she wrote her first poems, songs full of the girl's longing for her German home, which the strange half Asiatic environment of Southern Russia rendered by contrast only dearer and more attractive. In 1811 her father was transferred to St. Petersburg, and there her studies were necessarily confined to the modern languages. But her own industry was intense and incessant; she devoted a great deal of time to historical reading, and privately cultivated her poetic talent. Her mind pursued the same direction, when, in 1816, her father returned to Halle, where she first made herself mistress of the Latin. Though her friends beset her to give some of her productions to the public, she long resisted. Meanwhile she wrote several tales, which were published at Halle in 1825, under the title of Psyche, with Talvi as the name of the author. This pseudonym is composed of the initials of Mrs. Robinson's maiden name. In 1822, she translated Walter Scott's Covenanters and Black Dwarf, under the name of Ernst Berthold. About this time there fell into her hands a review, by Jacob Grimm, of the collection of Servian popular songs, published by Mark Stephanowich. This increased her interest in that literature to such a degree, that she determined to learn the Servian language. Hence arose the translation of Popular Songs of the Servians, which, with the aid of some Servian friends, she brought out at Halle, in 1825-6, in two volumes. In 1828, she became the wife of Professor Robinson, and after a long journey with him in different parts of the old world, came to America. Here she was for some time engaged in the study of the aboriginal languages, and prepared a translation into German of Pickering's Work on the Indian tongues of North America, which was published at Leipzic, in 1834. At the same time, she wrote in English a work entitled Historical View of the Slavic Languages, which was published in this country, in 1834, and translated into German, by Karl von Olberg, in 1837. This work gives evidence of most remarkable literary attainments. In 1837 she again visited Europe with her husband and children, and remained in Germany till 1840. During this time she wrote and published at Leipzic, in German, an Attempt at a Historical Characterization of the Popular Songs of the Germanic Nations, with a Review of the Songs of the extra-European Races. This is a work of a most comprehensive character, and fills up a deficiency which was constantly becoming more apparent, in the direction opened by Herder. It evinces an unprejudiced and catholic mind, a just, poetic, sensible, clear and secure understanding, as well as the most extensive and thorough acquirements. Before her return to America she also published, in German, a small work on The Falseness of the Songs of Ossian. An article from her pen, entitled From the History of the First Settlements in the United States, published in 1845 in Rumei's Historiches Taschenbuch, is also worthy of notice. In 1847 she brought out at Leipzic, a historical work on the Colonization of New England, which has received the deserved applause of all the German critics, and which abundantly merits a translation into English. An elaborate reviewal of it appeared lately in the "Bibliotheca Sacra," in which justice was rendered to its character for research and judicious handling. In 1849 she published in New-York, with a preface by Dr. Robinson, a Historical Review of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic Nations; with a Sketch of their Popular Poetry. It is in one volume, from the press of Mr. Putnam, and it has been generally admitted that there is not in any language so complete and attractive an epitome of the literature and various idioms of the great Sclavonic Nations, north and south. Last year Mrs. Robinson gave to the world (through the Appletons) a novel, entitled Heloise, in which there are admirable pictures of social life in one of the minor capitals of Germany, and a very able one of the administration of the Russian government in the Caucasian provinces, and of the nature of Caucasian warfare. The last work (just published by the same house), is Life's Discipline, a Tale of the Civil Wars of Hungary. As a tale it is to us more interesting than Heloise, and it has no less freshness of incident, scenery and character. Though Mrs. Robinson's distinction is for scholarship and judgment, rather than for invention, these works entitle her to a very high rank among the female novel writers.

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MRS. H. C. KNIGHT (we believe of Portsmouth in New-Hampshire) has just given to the public a very interesting "New Memoir of Hannah More, or Life in Hall and Cottage." It is a book of genuine merit, displaying in a pleasing style the most striking scenes in the history of one of the noblest of the women of England. (Published by M. W. Dodd.)

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PROFESSOR H. B. HACKETT, of the Trenton Theological Institution, has in press a "Philological and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles," which will be published in the spring. It will embrace various critical discussions in an appendix.

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MADAME ANITA GEORGE, the authoress of the very clever books entitled "Memoirs of the Queens of Spain" (recently published by Baker & Scribner), is not, as some suppose, an American, though she began and has thus far advanced upon her literary life in this country. She is a native of Spain, and is the daughter of a French gentleman—an officer of the Empire—who married there. Her early life was passed in Cuba, where her father settled when she was about three years of age. In her seventeenth year she was married to Mr. George, who is an Englishman.

When Mr. FENIMORE COOPER published his Life of Commodore Perry, which the sober second thought of the people endorses as entirely candid and just, we remember that it was urged by the Philadelphia critics (who constitute a class, as much as the Philadelphia lawyers do), that even if every thing he advanced were true, Mr. Cooper had no right to disregard the "settled and satisfactory opinions of the country upon the subject." We could never so appreciate as perfectly to admit the truth of the canon in criticism here involved, and to this day we cannot help agreeing with Gibbon, that "Truth is the first virtue of history." Mrs. George seems to concur with Gibbon and Cooper, and disregarding the poetry and romance woven about the name of Isabella the Catholic, has painted her according to the documents, which by no means warranted the common good report of her.

Queen Isabella, according to Mrs. George, owes to some agreeable qualities, but most of all to her patronage of Columbus, oblivion of remarkable faults, which were prolific of evil to Spain. She escaped at the expense of her husband Ferdinand, who has been charged with her sins as well as his own. She was not a person to yield to any one where her power and rights were in question, so that in all matters concerning home policy, she is at least entitled to an equal share of the discredit; and in the establishment of the Inquisition, and the persecution of the Jews and Moors, she stands alone. Ferdinand was always disposed to put his religion behind his interest, and was urged by his wife into measures of which he disapproved; sometimes, indeed, she ordered or permitted persecutions of which he was altogether ignorant. Beside the wickedness of these things, their impolicy was not less conspicuous. The oppression of the Moors, and the expulsion of both Moors and Jews, destroyed the mechanical and commercial industry of Spain; the overthrow of the feudal power and privileges of the nobility, and the establishment of despotism in the crown, checked the growth of civil freedom, as the introduction of the Inquisition induced religious bigotry, and withered mental independence and intellectual cultivation. Nor is Mrs. George disposed to allow weight to the excuse, urged in favor of Isabella upon such facts as undeniably tell against her. The Spaniards of the age, she says, were not so bigoted; the Kings of Aragon, supported by their subjects, had set the Popes at defiance; the Cortes of Aragon and of Valencia resisted the introduction of the Inquisition; some of the clergy, with Fray Francisco de Talavera Archbishop of Granada at their head, were opposed to all persecution; even the Pope remonstrated against some wholesale slaughter; and when persecution had provoked an insurrection, Ferdinand himself was wroth. Nor does the biographer even see an excuse in the Queen's conscience. When religion or churchmen stood in the way of her power or interests, they were blown aside. There is in these conclusions, something of the woman and of the Spaniard, anxious to excuse in any way the historical degradation and present weakness of Spain. If the Spaniards were really enterprising and industrious, there seems no reason why they might not have engaged in commerce, agriculture, and the useful arts, although the Jews and Moors were expelled: the Jews were ousted from England long before they were driven from Spain, yet the English got on in the absence of the house of Israel. The destruction of the enormous power of the nobility was absolutely necessary, not only to the establishment of order, but almost to the existence of society itself. It could only be brought about by throwing the power of the common people into the scale of the crown; and so far as Ferdinand and Isabella were concerned, it seems to have been a wise and politic measure. The real despotism of the crown was established by Charles the Fifth, and he might not have been able to effect it, had he been only King of Spain. For the religious tyranny, cruelty, and want of faith of Isabella in violating stipulations, Mrs. George is sparing in the quotation of authorities, and she often rather asserts than narrates in the account of facts that would prove the case. A strict analysis might also show that temporal power was the object aimed at, and religion a disguise for ambition. We think, however, that the case of relentless and cruel persecution is established against Isabella the Catholic; and that it was aggravated by the power which the priesthood exercised over her mind in things indifferent or which agreed with her inclination. In the graces of person and manner, and in suavity of temper towards her own party, or those whom she wished to gain, Isabella of Castile far excelled her granddaughter Mary of England. In tenacity of purpose, in obstinacy, and in indifference to the misery arising from their orders, it is possible they were more alike than the world has supposed. And Isabella might have had a similar cognomen, had not the Spaniards continued as bloody as her age and as bigoted as herself.

The style of Mrs. George is in the main very good; but occasional defects in diction and in the structure of sentences, are matters of course in a woman who writes in a foreign language. There are some points in the Queen's history passed over too lightly, and the narrative is not always continuous. Isabella's relations with Columbus, are barely noticed, on the ground that they had already been so largely illustrated by Irving and Prescott. Miss Pardoe, who has edited an English impression of the book, has supplied its most obvious defects induced by this consideration.

Mrs. George has just left this country for Madrid, and we have reasons for believing that she will devote the remainder of her life to literature. She has in contemplation two works, both relating to Spain, which can hardly fail under her spirited and ingenious treatment of being eminently attractive. Since she is no longer in America, we may gratify curiosity by remarking that she is some years under thirty, and is one of the most beautiful and brilliantly-talking women of the present day.

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WE are gratified to learn that there is a prospect of the appearance of the Memoirs and Inedited Works of our late eminent countryman HENRY WHEATON, the ablest and faithfulest and worst-used diplomatic servant of the United States in the present century. The last time this great man visited New-York he passed several hours in our study, and we remember that he said then that his Letters to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, his various Tracts, Reviews, Historical Essays, &c., which he would wish to collect, would make some three or four volumes as large as his work on "The Law of Nations." He had also nearly or quite finished a new work on the History of the Northmen, being a translation and improvement of his Histoire des Peuples du Nord, published in Paris, which was an extension of the volume he contributed originally to the Family Library, in 1831, upon the same subject. This important work was advertised, we believe, before the death of Mr. Wheaton, to be published in two octavos, by the Appletons, but it has not yet been printed.

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R. R. MADDEN'S "Infirmities of Genius," a very pleasant book, is in the press of Mr. J. S. Redfield. Madden is an Irishman, and he first became known to the public by his "Travels in Turkey," published about twenty-five years ago. The "Infirmities of Genius" appeared in 1833, and two American editions of the work have heretofore been printed. In 1835 Mr. Madden came to the United States, and in 1836-7-8-9, he filled the office of Superintendent of Liberated Africans, and Commissioner of Arbitration in the Mixed Court of Justice at Havana. His various experiences and observations, during eight years of official and private life in America, the West Indies, and Africa, led to the composition of several tracts on the slave-trade, and a volume printed we think some two years ago on "the Island of Cuba, its Resources, Progress, and Prospects." The "Infirmities of Genius" is, in a literary point of view, his best production; and it is likely to retain a place among the contributions of the age to standard English literature.

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THE REV. E. H. CHAPIN, whose effective elocution and brilliant rhetoric attract crowds to his ordinary discourses at the Universalist Church in Murray-street, has in the press of Mr. J. S. Redfield, a volume upon "Womanhood, Illustrated by the Women of the New Testament"—not treating of these characters in the offensive style of the small rhetoricians, but rather in that of Emerson's Representative Men, presenting Martha as a type of the women of society, &c. We believe we have not before referred in these pages to the fact, that Mr. Chapin was commonly regarded as by far the finest orator in the recent Peace Congress at Frankfort, in which were a large number of men from several nations eminent for eloquence.

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A DISCOVERY OF IMPORTANT HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS, according to a Chicago paper, has recently been made among the manuscripts which were saved from the pillage of the Jesuits' College in Quebec. "It is well known by those familiar with the resources of early American history, that the publication of the Jesuit Relations, which furnish so much of interest in regard to the discovery and early exploration of the region bordering on our northern lakes, was discontinued after the year 1672. Some were known to have been written, but the manuscripts were supposed to be lost. The Relations from 1672 to 1679 inclusive, have lately been discovered, and among them a manuscript containing a full account of the voyages of Father Marquette, and of the discovery by him of the Mississippi river. It was undoubtedly this manuscript which furnished Thevenot the text of his publication in 1687, of 'The voyages and discoveries of Father Marquette and of the Sieur Joliet.' The latter kept a journal and drew a map of their route, but his canoe was upset in the falls of St. Louis, as he was descending the St. Lawrence in sight of Montreal, and he lost them with the rest of his effects. What increases the value of the present discovery is, that the original narrative goes much more into detail than the one published by Thevenot. The motive which prompted and the preparations which were made for the expedition are fully described, and no difficulty is found in tracing its route. There is also among the papers an autograph journal by Marquette, of his last voyage from the 25th of October, 1674, to the 6th of April, 1675, a month before his singular death, which occurred on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Also, a chart of the Mississippi drawn by himself, illustrating his travels. The one annexed to Thevenot's account, above referred to, a copy of which is contained in the third volume of Bancroft's History of the United States, is manifestly incorrect, as there is a variance between the route of the Jesuit as traced on his map, and that detailed in his text. The manuscript chart now rescued from oblivion, reconciles all discrepancies, and constitutes a most interesting historical relic."

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AMONG the publications of the past month, A copious and critical Latin-English Lexicon, royal octavo, pp. 1663, from the press of the Harpers, is especially deserving of praise. We congratulate Professors Andrews and Turner on the honorable close to their long and arduous labors. They have earned thanks of all beginning students and riper scholars in the Latin tongue. These, and the advancement of sound learning, are the only adequate rewards for labors so untiring and long continued; so wearisome and beneficial. The highest and only just praise of this admirable volume, would be given by a plain statement of its merits, but these are too extensive and varied to be even catalogued within brief limits—we can only touch upon a few of them. For a year past we have had opportunity and occasion to examine parts of the work as it was going on to completion, and to compare it with others of similar design. We speak then advisedly when we say that it far surpasses any such Lexicon hitherto in use among us, and should supersede them all. Since the works of Forcellini, and Facciolati, and Gesner, very great advances have been made in all departments of classical Philology; many of the best results of these advances were embodied in Freund's great Lexicon, the first volume of which was published in 1834. But since then, and even since 1845, the date of the last volume, the thirst for antiquarian research has slaked itself at newly discovered sources. The present editors, to a discriminating selection from all that the zeal and activity of others have gathered, up to the latest time, have added valuable knowledge from their own varied stores, and at last furnished to American students a work superior in its kind to any that has preceded it here or abroad. It combines in a remarkable degree the copiousness of a Thesaurus with the brevity and convenience for ready reference of a school-dictionary. Citations abundantly sufficient to meet the wants of ordinary readers are given in full, while distinct references guide the more exacting scholar over a much wider field of original authority. In this way space is economized, and the book is made cheap without a sacrifice of learning. Its first general merit is its singular correctness. In a verification of the almost numberless passages quoted, and a correction of time-honored blunders, committed by subordinates, but sanctioned by names of great writers employing them; in a distrust of authority at second-hand, and persistent fidelity to the cause of learning, we recognize the diligence of Prof. W. W. Turner. Those who have never tried this kind of work have but an inadequate idea of its demands on the brain, and on the conscience too. Reading through a dictionary is an after-dinner pastime in comparison. The vocabulary is more extended than in other lexicons. But the peculiar and highest merit of this work appears in definitions, remarkable for clearness, fulness, and distinction of the subtle shades of meaning. Colloquial, technical, and other special uses of words, here receive their share of attention, and are felicitously rendered or illustrated by corresponding English terms. The arrangement is admirable. The words of the vocabulary are distinguished by an appropriate type. The etymology, the primitive and derivative, the general and special, the proper and tropical significations of a word; its meaning before the courts, in the temples, at the games, among the Roman mob or the Roman exquisites; its anti-classical, golden-augustan, neo-degenerate or patristic use—all this is given in a regular order, by changes of type and an ingenious system of abbreviations, so that the whole origin, history, value and application of any Latin word may be taken in, almost at a glance. The amount of archaeological learning—compressed indeed but never obscured by abridgment—scattered through these pages is immense. Finally there is an appendix, containing the XII. Tables, and other specimens of Archaic Latin; and another, giving a list of Italian and French words, varied by euphonic changes from the Latin origin. There are also a translation of Freund's original preface by Prof. Woolsey, and a modest preface by Prof. Andrews, the editor in chief.

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THE REV. F. W. SHELTON, minister of an out-of-the-way parish on Long Island, and known in literature hitherto only by two or three wise lectures which he addressed to the young men of his village, (though his intimate friends have guessed all the while that his hand was in some of the wittiest and most unique contributions to the Knickerbocker,) has published during the last month one of the best specimens of allegory furnished by this age. It is entitled "Salander," and has for its subject the backbiting dragon sometimes called by similar name. It makes a neat duodecimo, illustrated with wood cuts, and is published by Samuel Hueston.

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PROFESSOR BUSH is editing and will soon publish (through J. S. Redfield), the pious and ingenious Heinrich Stilling's celebrated "Theory of Pneumatology." It is a remarkable book, and in this sea of silliness about knocking spirits, &c., which in so remarkable a degree has shown that the infidels who cannot receive the Bible, because it is "incredible," are the most credulous fools in the world, the German psychologist will command attention. Dr. Bush adds to the work a preface and notes.

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MISS MARTINEAU and a Mr. Atkinson have just published a volume entitled "Letters on Man's Nature and Development," in which they handle very boldly the subjects of Mesmerism, Clairvoyance, Phrenology, &c. It is altogether and avowedly materialistic.

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JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL has written a satire upon "The Rappers,"—a humorous and witty poem of a thousand lines or so, which will be out, we believe in Graham's Magazine, during the month.

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MR. HENRY C. PHILLIPS, once, we understand, a companion of the traveller Catlin, proposes to publish from his note-book and portfolio, "Sites for Cities, and Scenes of Beauty and Grandeur, to be made famous by the Poets and Painters of Coming Ages: observed in a Pedestrian Journey across the middle of the North American Continent, in 1850." This is a good title, and such a book will be interesting a thousand years hence, for its prophecies. Surveying the vast chain of mountains, which rises midway between the oceans, a poetical Jesuit said, "They are in labor with nations." Mr. Phillips might easily have fancied, as he pursued his summer journey through the wilderness from Oregon and California, among regions more lovely and magnificent than any that were seen by the fathers of art, that of such sights should be born nobler works than have yet been addressed to the senses or to the imagination; and it is not improbable that many a London, and Moscow, and Berlin, and Paris, will some time have their busy populations, where now the ground is hidden by the falling leaves of forests, and trampled by wild horses and buffaloes.

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ONE of the most eminent of the living English historians, lately discovered, as he thought, that "Old Sam Adams" was a defaulter, and that he was opposed to Washington; and not choosing to wait until the exposure could be made in his forthcoming work, he communicated it to a very distinguished American, by letter. Now this is all sheer nonsense. It is not necessary to deny the justice of the suspicion that Samuel Adams was unfriendly to Washington, and all the facts as to his conduct as collector for his Majesty's port of Boston, are perfectly familiar to our historical students. He did not indeed pay into the exchequer every shilling with which he was charged: well understood circumstances prevented the collection of a large amount of duties; but whatever he received was paid over, and his accounts were squared to a farthing.

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MR. WILLIS—the best artist in words, we have now, perhaps—is preparing a new volume for Baker & Scribner. His "People I have Met," "Life Here and There," and other books published by that house, have sold remarkably well—better, we are inclined to think, than any literary works reprinted in America for a long time—though the public was previously familiar with them under other forms and titles. This proves that the popularity of Willis is genuine and permanent. In his way, he is unrivalled,—in any way, he has among the authors of this country but some half dozen peers.

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J. G. WHITTIER has commenced in The National Era the publication of a new prose work, entitled "My Summer with Dr. Singleterry." It will probably be about as long as his admirable "Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal," which appeared first in the same paper.

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OF CHRISTMAS STORIES, the last season has been unusually prolific. Thackeray published one called "The Kickleburys upon the Rhine;" illustrated with fifteen of his own designs. Both the illustrations and the story are liberally praised by the journals. The authoress of "Mary Barton" published another, under the title of "Moreland Cottage," not, like her former work, a story of social wrong, but of gentle domestic life. At the same time it is, if we may judge by extracts in the papers, marked by the admirable peculiarities of her writing. There were some dozen others, most of which were by less distinguished writers.

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THE LIFE OF CALVIN, from the German of Henry, by the Rev. Henry Stebbing, is to be republished in this city immediately by Messrs. Carter, and we purpose making its appearance an occasion for some observations upon that extraordinary person, whose various and astonishing learning and genius, exhibited in speculation, and affairs, and wit—the small arms of his controversy, as terrible as the artillery of his logic—and really gentle and altogether noble nature, present a spectacle which, redeemed from sectarian prejudice and perverse historical misrepresentation, challenges in the most eminent degree the admiration of mankind.

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THE pleasantest book of travels forthcoming from an American press is "Nile Notes of a Howadje," an anonymous record of a voyage upon the Nile—not at all statistical or learned, but a diary, and sketches of personal impressions, aiming to give the picturesque of the country, and not vexing the reader with the mooted Egyptian questions. We have glanced over a few sheets of it, and are confident that if success depends upon quality, it will prove one of the most successful books yet published, upon a region which is illustrated by a larger amount of literature than any other in the world. (Harpers, publishers.)

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MR. PUTNAM has just published a third and very much improved edition of his excellent work, "The World's Progress." We have already expressed in this magazine the opinion that "The World's Progress" is the most interesting, valuable, and altogether indispensable manual of reference, for the student or general reader, that has been published in this country. It is a hand-book of facts, so perspicuously classified and arranged, as to suit the necessities of persons of every degree of intelligence, and so full, upon almost every sort of subjects, as to serve the purposes of a universal manual. The new edition is augmented by a supplement embracing the most recent statistics, etc.

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THREE eminent scholars and authors, Dr. Lushington, Mr. Falconer, and Dr. Twiss, are appointed by the British government, arbitrators to determine the boundary between the provinces of Canada and Nova Scotia, which has for some years been in dispute.

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THE FOURTH VOLUME OF MR. HILDRETH'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, being the first volume of the post-revolutionary history, will be published immediately, we believe, by the Harpers. We look for an exceedingly interesting book. Of the earlier volumes of the History, the London Spectator observes:—

"The distinguishing literary characteristic of this history is a careful succinctness. The convenience of a summary notice of the gradual discovery of America, and the necessity of singly narrating the foundation of each separate colony, render any substantial novelty of plan in a history of the United States impossible, except upon some scheme where fitness should be sacrificed to fanciful strangeness. Mr. Hildreth has judiciously refrained from attempting any thing of the kind: but perhaps he has pushed the mere chronological arrangement to an excess, and given undue prominence to the discoveries and settlement of North America by foreigners, in proportion to the scale of his work. In the execution, Mr. Hildreth has carefully read and as carefully digested his various authorities, and presented the results of his studies succinctly, closely, and comprehensively. In many cases the compendious style is apt to fall into a vague generality, or the pith of the matter is liable to be missed; but such is not the case with Mr. Hildreth's. He states all that he sees, though he would see more if he possessed a loftier and imaginative mind. We know not his profession, but there is something lawyerlike in his work. One subject seems the same to him as another: it is not so much that he wants variety of power; as that he does not seem to feel the variety in nature. His book is as much a digest as a history. The parts in which Mr. Hildreth succeeds best are those that relate to the social and religious opinions and practices of the colonists. In fact, it is as a social history that it possesses character and value. The author's quiet unimpassioned style presents the strange peculiarities that obtained among the New England colonists till within little more than a generation of the Revolutionary war, and some traces of which still remain."

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"THE MEMORIAL, written by friends of the late Mrs. Osgood," to which we have heretofore referred in these pages, is the most beautiful book published in America during the season, and as an original literary miscellany it surpasses any volume that ever appeared in the English language. The Albion says of it:

"Seldom has a more graceful compliment been paid to the memory of departed worth, than is exhibited in this handsome volume, which is edited by Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt. It originated at a chance meeting of a literary coterie, soon after the death of the gifted and amiable woman in whose honor it has been put together. When the conversation turned upon the many claims which she possessed on the affections and the esteem of those present, it was resolved that a souvenir volume should be made up from their voluntary contributions, and that the profits arising from the sale should be devoted to erecting a monument over her grave, in the Cemetery of Mount Auburn, near Boston. Many writers of distinguished merit have engraved their names upon this preparatory tablet, not all being numbered amongst her friends and acquaintances, but all appreciating the many virtues of the deceased lady, and the kindly motives of her sorrowing friends. The table of contents shows indeed such a list of names as should insure the speedy attainment of the object in view. We can but mention half-a-dozen—Hawthorne, Willis, G. P. R. James, the Bishop of Jamaica, John Neal, Stoddard, Boker, G. P. Morris and Bayard Taylor, amongst the men, and Miss Lynch, Mrs. Whitman, Mrs. Oaksmith, Mrs. Sigourney, and the Editress to represent the sisterhood of authorship. An admirable likeness of Mrs. Osgood, from a portrait by her husband, serves as a frontispiece, and, with some charming vignettes on steel and other illustrations, enhances the value of this choice and creditable book." (Putnam, publisher.)

* * * * *

FORTUNE-TELLING is as much in vogue as ever in Paris. A book, which is said to have caused much observation, appeared there lately, which is thus described in the correspondence of the London Literary Gazette:—

"It consists of extracts from the voluminous writings of a poor gentilhomme of Brittany, during a period of upwards of sixty years, and each extract is a prediction of some one of the great political convulsions which have occurred in this country during that time. Never was there a more correct Vates; but Cassandra herself was not more disregarded than he. The downfall and execution of Louis XVI., the horrors of the Terror, the power and overthrow of Napoleon, the revolution of 1830, and the republic of 1848, were all predicted years before they came to pass; but the poor prophet was set down as a madman by all his literary contemporaries, and during his lifetime not a single newspaper would consent to say any thing about his predictions. What is the most singular thing of all is, that he foretold (years ago, remember—when Louis Philippe was at the height of his power), that the proclamation of the republic would lead to the domination of a member of Napoleon's family, and so it has; though if any one only six months before Louis Napoleon's election had predicted the same thing, he would certainly have been set down as a lunatic. In consequence of this extraordinary foresight of our prophet, people have looked with no little concern to what he says for the future. And alas! they have met with nothing very consolatory. We are, it seems, on the brink of a fearful social crisis, the consequence of which will be the complete destruction of European society as at present constituted; and this destruction is only to be effected by the shedding of rivers of blood, and the weeping of oceans of tears!"

* * * * *

WE are pleased to perceive that the writings of Hartley Coleridge are soon to be collected and suitably published. Mr. Moxon advertises as in press, his Poems, with a Memoir of his life, by his brother, the Rev. Derwent Coleridge; Essays and Marginalia, in two volumes; and Lives of Distinguished Northerns, a new edition, in two volumes.

* * * * *

LAMARTINE receives for his Histoire du Directoire—the sequel of The Girondists—at which he works from fourteen to sixteen hours every day, only 12,000 francs, equal to about $2,400.

* * * * *

AMONG the "books in press" advertised in London at the beginning of the year, by Bentley, are The Correspondence of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, and the Rev. William Mason, now first published from the original MSS., and edited, with notes, by the Rev. J. Mitford, author of "The Life of Gray." This work will contain the last series of Walpole's unpublished letters. A History of Greek and Roman Classical Literature, with an introduction on each of the languages, biographical notices, and an account of the periods in which each principal author lived and wrote, so far as literature was affected by such history, and observations on the works themselves, by R. W. Browne, one of the professors in King's College, London. And The Literary Veteran, including sketches and anecdotes of the most distinguished literary characters, from 1794 to 1849, by R. P. Gilles.

* * * * *

THE REV. HENRY T. CHEEVER has just published a volume entitled "The Island World of the Pacific," (Harpers,) which for various personal interest, fulness and accuracy of information, and right feeling, is to be preferred to any book on the subject since the appearance of Cook's Voyages. We know of no traveller in Polynesia who has had better opportunities for observation than Mr. Cheever. His abilities as a writer were illustrated by "The Whale and his Captors," published two or three years ago. The style of the present performance is not at all inferior, and it is especially commendable for a perspicuous compactness. So much misrepresentation of the Sandwich and other Islands has appeared lately, that we are glad of an opportunity to commend a book so authoritative and satisfactory upon the whole subject.

* * * * *

M. J. MOREAU of Paris, has completed a new version into French of the Imitatio Christi, and has accompanied it with select passages from the Fathers and other pious authors. The same writer has also published under the title of Le Philosophe Inconnu, an essay on the ideas and writings of the celebrated theosophist Saint-Martin. This remarkable mystic, who in his lifetime was surrounded by so many disciples and admirers, is now known only to the curious seekers among the dusty shelves of libraries. M. Moreau attempts to show that his heresies contained a spice of orthodoxy, and this he endeavors to develop for the benefit of whom it may concern.

* * * * *

BISHOP ONDERDONK of Pennsylvania is a person of large abilities; he is one of the strongest writers of the Episcopal Church in the country; and it is unjust that the unfortunate circumstances of his ecclesiastical position should prevent the recognition of his merits as a scholar and dialectician. We are pleased, therefore, that his friends have taken measures for the publication of a collection of his Theological Works, including sermons and Episcopal charges.

* * * * *

NEW GERMAN POEMS.—Louise von Ploennies has published two new books of poetry, one under the title of Neue Gedichte (New Poems), the other Oskar und Giaunetta. They are spoken of as superior to her former productions, and worthy of a most honorable place among the productions of German poetesses. Oscar and Giaunetta is a love story in verse. The purpose of the writer is to exhibit the masculine and feminine principles, Thought and Beauty, as mutually completing each other in the passion of love. The Monates-Maehrchen (Tales of the Month), by Gustar von Mayem, are poems of another sort. Instead of sentimentality, the stock in trade of this writer is patriotism and politics. His inspiring thought is the unity of Germany and the national greatness which must result therefrom. Unfortunately this thought does not find so welcome a reception with statesmen as with poets.

* * * * *

A PRODUCTION of the most indisputable German plodding and erudition is the Satzungen und Gebraeuche des talmudisch-rabbinischen Judenthums, by Dr. I. F. Schroeder, lately issued at Bremen. It gives a complete account of the religious notions, doctrines, and usages of the Jews. To theologians it is of high value for the light which it casts upon the formation and institutions of the Christian Church. The author has employed in its composition the writings of every sect, and has condensed in it the result of a thorough study of the entire literature relating to the Old Testament and the rabbinical writings. He writes with the greatest impartiality, and in the interest of no particular creed or tendency.

* * * * *

M. ARAGO said lately in the Academy of Sciences, upon the suggestion of some possibilities in aerostation, that a long time since the whole subject had been treated in a masterly manner by Mousnier, a celebrated member of the Academy of Sciences. His treatise had remained in manuscript in the public library of Metz, and if it should be committed to the press, it would prove to those who think they have discovered new methods of aerial locomotion, that what is plausible and rational in their ideas was already perfectly well known, expounded and appreciated, in the last century.

* * * * *

THE government of Naples constantly increases its list of prohibited books. Among the works now excluded, Humboldt's Cosmos, Shakspeare, Goldsmith, Heeren's Historical Treatises, Ovid, Lucian, Lucretius, Sophocles, Suetonius, Paul de Kock, Victor Hugo, E. Girardin, G. Sand, Lamartine, Valery's L'Italie, Goethe, Schiller, Thiers, A. Dumas, Moliere, all the German philosophers, and Henry Stephens's Greek Dictionary.

* * * * *

THE ABBE LACORDAIRE has published an introduction to a work entitled Le Monde Occulte—an exposition of the mysteries of magnetism, by means of somnambulism.

* * * * *

A BOOK which contains some excellent sketches relative to MAZZINI and the Roman Republic, has been published at Bremen, with the title, Des Republikaner's Schwerdfahrt, (The Republican's Sword-Pilgrimage). The author is a German, Ernst Hang, who held a high post in the Roman army. He is now in Asia Minor, where his work was written. It is eloquent sometimes, and entertaining and sensible always. His remarks on the mutual relations of Germany and Italy, are admitted to be sound and judicious.

* * * * *

THE HON. CHARLES A. MURRAY, author of a volume of Travels in America, and of three or four novels, is now the British Consul-General in Egypt, and with his newly-married wife was to depart for Alexandria, to resume his consular duties, towards the close of January.

* * * * *

THE first volume of a most valuable and interesting work has just made its appearance at Frankfort-on-the-Main. It is called Geschichte der Frauen (History of Woman), and is from the pen of G. Jung. The volume now issued contains the history of the oppression of woman, and her gradual self-emancipation down to the Christian era. It is written with great talent, and comprehensive learning, but without pedantry. The author believes that the emancipation of woman is not yet completed, and she has a right to a free development of her faculties, and a perfectly independent position in society. Two more volumes will complete the work.



The Fine Arts.

RICHARD WAGNER, well known as an artist, has brought out at Leipzic a book called Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft (Art in the Future), which excites a good deal of attention, and is soundly assailed by those who dislike it. Wagner adopts the philosophical ideas of Feuerbach, and treats his subject from that stand-point. Into modern art he pitches with all the force of a genuine iconoclast. He says it is a sexless, sterile product of dreams, not art, but merely manner, &c. With him art must come out of the people, and be the apotheosis of the people. The people are immortal and ever young. With the poets and novel-writers of the day, Wagner has no more patience than with the artists. They are, he thinks, dilettanti, sentimentalists, who coquet with the misery of the masses, in order to serve the same up well spiced and warmed to their luxurious and fashionable readers. The ideal and absolute in art he finds in the drama, which is the sum and type of all other artistic creations. But no drama yet produced satisfies him, and he tells the reasons why without hesitation. Those who wish to be entertained and set thinking by an author who is in earnest even when most paradoxical, may look at Wagner's book with advantage.

* * * * *

THORWALDSEN.—The Danish Government some time since sent Mr. Thiele, a competent person, to Rome, for the purpose of collecting every thing that could be obtained toward a history of the life and works of this illustrious sculptor, whose early life is so obscure that even the date and place of his birth are unknown, as well as the employment he made of the first years that he was in Italy. Mr. Thiele has found a number of casks in the cellars of the Tomati Palace at Rome, filled with letters, addressed to Thorwaldsen, and among them a long and constant correspondence between him and his mother, who lived part of the time in Denmark and part of the time in Iceland, her native country. It seems that Thorwaldsen had the habit of preserving his papers, even to the most trifling, by flinging them confusedly into a cedar box in his room; when that was full they were emptied into the casks where they have now been found; these casks were not noticed when all the other contents of the palace were removed to Copenhagen. Whatever is interesting in these papers will, of course, be published. Mr. Thiele has also discovered in the same cellar the model of a bas-relief by the same great artist, representing the Muses dancing by Helicon. It will be added to the collection of his works at Copenhagen.

* * * * *

THE artist HEIDEL has published at Berlin a series of Eight Illustrations to Goethe's Iphigenia. He aims in them to preserve unmixed the spirit of antique art, and thus to prove that the Germans are the true successors of the Greeks. The subjects of his designs are:—The Fall of Tantalus; the Departure of Agamemnon; the Sacrifice of Iphigenia; the Death of Agamemnon; the Death of Clytemnestrae; the Flight of Orestes; the Meeting of Orestes and Iphigenia; and the Return of Iphigenia. The designs are praised by the German critics. They say that in beholding the Flight of Orestes, pursued by the Furies, who dare not enter the sacred temple of Apollo where he seeks refuge, one imagines that he hears the fearful chanting of a chorus of AEschylus.

* * * * *

A NEW ART called Metallography has been discovered by Nicholas Zack, a lithographer at Munich, by means of which designs that have hitherto been engraved on wood can be put directly upon metal, and in such a manner as to be printed from. The plate is prepared beforehand, and the artist draws his design upon it with a pencil or a needle. Without any further labor, by means of the preparation alone, the plate will be ready for printing. Worn-out plates may be restored with very little expense.

* * * * *

A BOOKSELLER of Munich has published Albert Duerer's sketches from the prayer-book of Emperor Maximilian I., with the original text, colored initials, and an introduction. Price eight thalers, about $6,00.

* * * * *

MORITZ RUGENDAS, a German artist, who has lately spent a considerable time in Mexico and the countries of South America, is now engaged at Munich, in arranging the pictures for which his journeys in those countries furnished him the materials. A work of such magnitude has never before been undertaken by any artist. He intends to treat each country in a continuous series of views. The Mexican series is now nearly completed, consisting of about 100 landscapes, in oil. It begins with Vera Cruz, where the artist landed, and goes through the whole country to the Pacific. First is the coast seen from the sea; next we behold the coast with the sea as it appears inland; then we mount to the plains, noticing the gradual change of the mountain formations, and the vegetation, with views in every direction from each interesting point; we pass through the great plateau, ascend the volcanoes and survey their craters, and admire the beauty of the region about the city of Mexico. From the city there are sketches of journeys in every direction, and at last we traverse the palm forest of St. Jago, and stand upon the heights whence the eye reaches to the Pacific. Every picturesque scene is finished with the greatest care and with special regard to the natural features of the landscape. Buildings and human figures are either avoided altogether or used as merely subordinate. When Mexico is completed, Rugendas will use in a similar manner the sketches he has taken in other countries. It is not known whether his pictures will be engraved or not. They will, we believe, become the property of the Royal Pinakothek, at Munich.

* * * * *

The painters at Vienna have formed an Art-Union, which is succeeding in its first exhibition, which is now open. Some well-known artists of Germany have sent pictures. Foltz, of Munich, has a landscape with a flock of sheep; Zimmerman a landscape with effect of sunlight; Huelner, of Duesseldorf, a boy reading the Bible to his mother, Vienna. Koeckoeck, of Holland, has two landscapes. The artists of Vienna have also not been backward. Among the names of the exhibitors we notice that of Waldmueller, who is known in this country for his picture of the Children leaving School, which was drawn a year since by one of the subscribers to the International Art-Union, and was regarded as one of the chief attractions of its collection.

* * * * *

We hear from Berlin that KAULBACH has painted in miniature the Four Evangelists, in a copy of Luther's translation of the New Testament, which is destined for the World's Fair. The book is a folio; the leaves are of vellum, and the printing is done in Gothic letters and in various colored inks by four accomplished masters of calligraphy. These artists have also ornamented their work with numerous vignettes. The book is now being exhibited at the Royal Library in Berlin.

* * * * *

MR. PRESCOTT, Mr. Ticknor, and other Boston gentlemen of high cultivation and artistic taste, have prepared a memorial to Congress that POWERS should be commissioned by government to put into marble his statue of America. For less than twenty-five thousand dollars, probably—for a sum not larger than that which was paid by the government for the two specimens of commonplace by Mr. Persico, this admirable production might be obtained in colossal size for the capitol.

* * * * *

The GERMAN Archāologische Institut, at Rome, celebrated the birth-day of Winckelmann on the 13th of December. Dr. Emil Braun read an essay on the two chief groups of the frieze of the Parthenon. These groups have hitherto been supposed to represent the twelve gods of Olympus; Dr. Braun attempted to show that they represent, in a double point of view, the native heroes of Attica. The physical development of the country is expressed in the genealogy of a royal race, beginning with Cecrops and his wife Agraulia, continued in Cranaus and Amphictyon, and finally passing into Erichthonius, the son of Atthis, and foster son of Pandrosos. The social organization of the state begins with Erechtheus, who is aided by his wife Praxithea, and his daughter Creusa. He annexes Eleusis to Athens, the former being here represented by Demeter and Triptolemus; finally Theseus with his friend Pirithous completes the civil organization of Athens, and establishes it upon a firm basis. Essays on subjects connected with antique art and history were also read by Dr. L. Schmidt, Dr. H. Brunn, and Dr. W. Heuzen.

* * * * *

The paintings of the Chapel of the Virgin in the Church of Notre Dame de Lorette, a vast work, which has hitherto remained unknown to the public, and which has been interrupted by the recent death of the painter, M. Victor Orsel, are now attracting attention. M. Perrin, intrusted with the execution of a similar chapel in the same edifice, will undertake the pious task of terminating the work of a friend, with whom he had lived on terms of the closest friendship, cemented by a community of ideas and talent. Orsel was making rapid strides towards a great reputation.

* * * * *

We had occasion lately to notice in the International the illustrations of Hood's "Bridge of Sighs," by Mr. Ehninger. This young artist has just published in a large quarto (through Putnam) a series of Outline Illustrations of Washington Irving's "Dolph Heyliger," which are an improvement upon his first performance. Many of the scenes are admirably rendered. We believe Mr. Ehninger is now pursuing the study of art abroad.

* * * * *

The German sculptor, WOLFF, has added to, his many admirable works a figure of Paris, which is much praised.



THE AUTHORESS OF "JANE EYRE," AND HER SISTERS.[13]

Miss Bronte has just published in London the literary remains of her sisters, "Ellis" and "Acton Bell," with interesting sketches of their histories, including some glimpses of her own. We copy a portion of the reviewal of the work in the Athenaeum:

The lifting of that veil which for a while concealed the authorship of 'Jane Eyre' and its sister-novels, excites in us no surprise. It seemed evident from the first prose pages bearing the signatures of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, that these were Rosalinds—or a Rosalind—in masquerade:—some doubt as to the plurality of persons being engendered by a certain uniformity of local color and resemblance in choice of subject, which might have arisen either from identity, or from joint peculiarities of situation and of circumstance. It seemed no less evident that the writers described from personal experience the wild and rugged scenery of the northern parts of this kingdom; and no assertion or disproval, no hypothesis or rumor, which obtained circulation after the success of 'Jane Eyre,' could shake convictions that had been gathered out of the books themselves. In similar cases, guessers are too apt to raise plausible arguments on some point of detail,—forgetting that this may have been thrown in ex proposito to mislead the bystander; and hence the most ingenious discoverers become so pertinaciously deluded as to lose eye and ear for those less obvious indications of general tone of style, color of incident, and form of fable, on which more phlegmatic persons base measurement and comparison. Whatever of truth there may or may not be generally in the above remarks,—certain it is, that in the novels now in question instinct or divination directed us aright. In the prefaces and notices before us, we find that the Bells were three sisters:—two of whom are no longer amongst the living. The survivor describes their home as—

"A village parsonage, amongst the hills bordering Yorkshire and Lancashire. The scenery of these hills is not grand—it is not romantic; it is scarcely striking. Long low moors, dark with heath, shut in little valleys, where a stream waters, here and there, a fringe of stunted copse. Mills and scattered cottages chase romance from these valleys; it is only higher up, deep in amongst the ridges of the moors, that Imagination can find rest for the sole of her foot: and even if she finds it there, she must be a solitude-loving raven,—no gentle dove. If she demand beauty to inspire her, she must bring it inborn: these moors are too stern to yield any product so delicate. The eye of the gazer must itself brim with a 'purple light,' intense enough to perpetuate the brief flower-flush of August on the heather, or the rare sunset-smile of June; out of his heart must well the freshness that in later spring and early summer brightens the bracken, nurtures the moss, and cherishes the starry flowers that spangle for a few weeks the pasture of the moor-sheep. Unless that light and freshness are innate and self-sustained, the drear prospect of a Yorkshire moor will be found as barren of poetic as of agricultural interest: where the love of wild nature is strong, the locality will perhaps be clung to with the more passionate constancy, because from the hill-lover's self comes half its charm."

Thus much of the scene:—now as to the story of the authorship of these singular books:—

"About five years ago, my two sisters and myself, after a somewhat prolonged period of separation, found ourselves reunited and at home. Resident in a remote district where education had made little progress, and where, consequently, there was no inducement to seek social intercourse beyond our own domestic circle, we were wholly dependent on ourselves and each other, on books and study, for the enjoyments and occupations of life. * * One day, in the autumn of 1845, I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting. Of course, I was not surprised, knowing that she could and did write verse; I looked it over, and something more than surprise seized me,—a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. * * Meantime, my younger sister quietly produced some of her own compositions, intimating that since Emily's had given me pleasure, I might like to look at hers. I could not be a partial judge, yet I thought that these verses too had a sweet sincere pathos of their own. We had very early cherished the dream of one day becoming authors. This dream, never relinquished even when distance divided and absorbing tasks occupied us, now suddenly acquired strength and consistency: it took the character of a resolve. We agreed to arrange a small selection of our poems, and, if possible, get them printed. Averse to personal publicity, we veiled our own names under those of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; the ambiguous choice being dictated by a sort of conscientious scruple at assuming Christian names positively masculine, while we did not like to declare ourselves women, because—without at that time suspecting that our mode of writing and thinking was not what is called 'feminine'—we had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice; we had noticed how critics sometimes use for their chastisement the weapon of personality, and for their reward, a flattery, which is not true praise. The bringing out of our little book was hard work. * * Ill-success failed to crush us: the mere effort to succeed had given a wonderful zest to existence; it must be pursued. We each set to work on a prose tale: Ellis Bell produced 'Wuthering Heights,' Acton Bell 'Agnes Grey,' and Currer Bell also wrote a narrative in one volume. These MSS. were perseveringly obtruded upon various publishers for the space of a year and a half; usually, their fate was an ignominious and abrupt dismissal. At last 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Agnes Grey,' were accepted on terms somewhat impoverishing to the two authors."

The MS. of a one-volume tale by Currer Bell had been thought by Messrs. Smith & Elder so full of promise, that its writer was asked for a longer story in a more saleable form.—

"I was then just completing 'Jane Eyre,' at which I had been working while the one-volume tale was plodding its weary round in London: in three weeks I sent it off; friendly and skillful hands took it in. This was in the commencement of September, 1847; it came out before the close of October following, while 'Wuthering Heights' and 'Agnes Grey,' my sisters' works, which had already been in the press for months, still lingered under a different management. They appeared at last. Critics failed to do them justice."

The narrative may be best concluded in the writer's own words.

"Neither Ellis nor Acton allowed herself for one moment to sink under want of encouragement; energy nerved the one, and endurance upheld the other. They were both prepared to try again; I would fain think that hope and the sense of power was yet strong within them. But a great change approached: affliction came in that shape which to anticipate, is dread; to look back on, grief. In the very heat and burden of the day, the laborers failed over their work. My sister Emily first declined. The details of her illness are deep-branded in my memory, but to dwell on them, either in thought or narrative, is not in my power. Never in all her life had she lingered over any task that lay before her, and she did not linger now. She sank rapidly. She made haste to leave us. Yet, while physically she perished, mentally she grew stronger than we had yet known her. Day by day, when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with an anguish of wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but, indeed, I have never seen her parallel in any thing. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone. The awful point was, that, while full of ruth for others, on herself she had no pity; the spirit was inexorable to the flesh; from the trembling hand, the unnerved limbs, the faded eyes, the same service was exacted as they had rendered in health. To stand by and witness this, and not dare to remonstrate, was a pain no words can render. Two cruel months of hope and fear passed painfully by, and the day came at last when the terrors and pains of death were to be undergone by this treasure, which had grown dearer and dearer to our hearts as it wasted before our eyes. Towards the decline of that day, we had nothing of Emily but her mortal remains as consumption left them. She died December 19, 1848. We thought this enough; but we were utterly and presumptuously wrong. She was not buried ere Anne fell ill. She had not been committed to the grave a fortnight, before we received distinct intimation that it was necessary to prepare our minds to see the younger sister go after the elder. Accordingly, she followed in the same path with slower step, and with a patience that equalled the other's fortitude. I have said that she was religious, and it was by leaning on those Christian doctrines in which she firmly believed that she found support through her most painful journey. I witnessed their efficacy in her latest hour and greatest trial, and must bear my testimony to the calm triumph with which they brought her through. She died May 28, 1849. What more shall I say about them? I cannot and need not say much more. In externals, they were two unobtrusive women; a perfectly secluded life gave them retiring manners and habits."

Though the above particulars be little more than the filling-up of an outline already clearly traced and constantly present whenever those characteristic tales recurred to us,—by those who have held other ideas with regard to the authorship of "Jane Eyre" they will be found at once curious and interesting from the plain and earnest sincerity of the writer. She subsequently enters on an analysis and discussion of "Wuthering Heights" as a work of art;—in the closing paragraph of her preface to that novel, insinuating an argument, if not a defence, the urgency of which is not sufficiently admitted by the bulk of the world of readers. Speaking of the fiendlike hero of her sister's work, she says:—

"Whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff, I do not know: I scarcely think it is. But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master—something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. He may lay down rules and devise principles, and to rules and principles it will perhaps for years lie in subjection; and then, haply without any warning of revolt, there comes a time when it will no longer consent 'to harrow the valleys, or be bound with a band in the furrow'—when it 'laughs at the multitude of the city, and regards not the crying of the driver'—when, refusing absolutely to make ropes out of sea-sand any longer, it sets to work on statue-hewing, and you have a Pluto or a Jove, a Tisiphone or a Psyche, a Mermaid or a Madonna, as fate or inspiration directs. Be the work grim or glorious, dread or divine, you have little choice left but quiescent adoption. As for you—the nominal artist—your share in it has been to work passively under dictates you neither delivered nor could question—that would not be uttered at your prayer, nor suppressed nor changed at your caprice."

It might have been added, that to those whose experience of men and manners is neither extensive nor various, the construction of a self-consistent monster is easier than the delineation of an imperfect or inconsistent reality—with all its fallings-short, its fitful aspirations, its mixed enterprises, and its interrupted dreams. But we must refrain from further speculation and illustration:—enough having been given to justify our characterizing this volume, with its preface, as a more than usually interesting contribution to the history of female authorship in England.

Pertinently of these biographies, the Athenaeum remarks that "some of the most daring and original have owed their parentage, not to defying Britomarts, at war with society, who choose to make their literature match with their lives,—not to brilliant women figuring in the world, in whom every gift and faculty has been enriched, and whetted sharp, and encouraged into creative utterance, by perpetual communication with the most distinguished men of the time,—but to writers living retired lives in retired places, stimulated to activity by no outward influence, driven to confession by no history that demands apologetic parable or subtle plea."

FOOTNOTES:

[13] Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. By Ellis and Acton Bell. A new Edition Revised, with a Biographical Notice of the Authors, a Selection from their Literary Remains, and a Preface. By Currer Bell. Smith, Elder & Co.



DAVIS ON THE LAST HALF CENTURY.[14]

ETHERIZATION.

In 1802, the late reverend and venerable DR. MILLER of New Jersey, then an active minister of the Presbyterian church in this city, published here, in two large octavo volumes, the First Part of A Brief Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century, containing a Sketch of the Revolutions and Improvements in Science, Arts and Literature, during that Period. Six other volumes were contemplated, to cover grounds since occupied by the great work upon the Eighteenth Century, by Dr. Schlosser, but they never appeared. The facts embraced in Dr. Miller's Retrospect illustrated an extraordinary and successful intellectual activity in the preceding hundred years; but the fruits of investigation and reflection in that time were less remarkable and important than those which have marked the first half of the Nineteenth Century, of which the Rev. EMERSON DAVIS, D.D., has attempted to give us a survey in a single duodecimo. Within such brief limits completeness and fulness were out of the question, but we had a right to ask a judicious selection of topics, and—however brief and imperfect,—a careful and an honest statement of facts. We are sorry to perceive that brevity is the only redeeming quality of Dr. Davis's performance. It is altogether worthless, in almost every respect, and unless it tempt some competent person to the composition of an Account of the Progress of Society from 1800 to 1851, its appearance will be a public misfortune, as well as a private disgrace. Perfectly to justify this condemnation we will copy a single section—the one treating of the discovery of

"LETHEON, OR SULPHURIC ETHER, &c.

"In the autumn of 1846, it was announced in the public journals that a dentist in Boston, W. T. G. Morton, had discovered a method of extracting teeth without pain. Dr. Morton, it seems, was satisfied that he could increase his business to any extent he pleased, if he could only discover a method by which he could extract and insert teeth without any pain to the patient. Having some knowledge of the fact that, by inhaling the vapor of ether, a state of insensibility could be produced, he applied to Dr. Charles T. Jackson to know if it could be done with safety. It occurred to him that it might produce such a degree of stupor that a tooth might be extracted without a consciousness of what was doing [meaning being done]. On the 30th of September, 1846, he inhaled the vapor himself, and found that he remained in an unconscious state eight minutes. On the same day, he administered it with success to a man who called to have a tooth extracted. The man, on recovering his consciousness, did not know that any instrument had been applied to his tooth. On the 16th and 17th of October, at the suggestion of Dr. Morton, ether was administered to two patients at the hospital, who were to have surgical operations performed. The experiment was successful. As soon as the fact was known, it was generally applauded by the newspapers as a wonderful discovery, and the question came up, To whom belongs the honor, and who shall reap the reward? Dr. Jackson, in a letter to M. Beaumont, published in Galignani's Messenger, in Paris, January, 1847, says, 'I request permission to communicate to the Academy, through you, a discovery which I have made, and which I regard as important to suffering humanity.' It appears that the idea of using ether to render a person insensible to pain, was original with Dr. Morton, and that Dr. Jackson did no more than give Dr. Morton some information respecting the nature of ether, and the best mode of inhaling it. But as Dr. Jackson was better known as a man of science, Dr. Morton consented to take the patent in the name of both, and Dr. Jackson sold out his share to Dr. Morton for ten per cent. of the income that might be derived from the sale of rights to use the discovery.

"In February, 1847, another letter appeared in Galignani's Messenger, from Dr. H. Wells, of Hartford, Connecticut, in which he claimed to be the discoverer of the fact that the respiring of gas would produce insensibility to pain. Dr. Wells had been about the country for a few years previous, lecturing upon gases, and had often administered the exhilarating, or nitrous oxide, gas. There is no evidence that he ever administered ether. He might, in his experiments, have found that persons under the influence of the nitrous gas were insensible to pain, but he had no right to claim that he discovered that the vapor of ether would produce that effect. The French Academy, however, conferred rewards of merit upon both Jackson and Wells, and, in 1848, the American Congress awarded to Morton the honor of the discovery.

"In 1847, several sharp articles appeared in the Boston papers, some favorable to Morton, and others to Jackson. Wells committed suicide that year, and nothing more was said respecting his claims. Some spicy pamphlets were written. The result has been that, under the shelter of the smoke of controversy, every one that chose has made use of the discovery without paying Morton for the right, and that he has been actually impoverished by the attention he gave to the subject."

This statement is a tissue of falsehood and absurdity. To deny to Dr. Wells the entire credit of this discovery, argues simply gross ignorance or insolence. Whenever any matter deserving of historical commemoration is submitted to controversy, and the evidence is not full and absolute, and the decision is not unanimous or nearly so, the historian must himself enter into the investigation, and in his own person pronounce judgment. Therefore Dr. Davis has no excuse for so scandalous a misrepresentation of these events, in any communications or suggestions by unknown parties. It was easy to be rightly informed, and under such circumstances, ignorance is scarcely less criminal than designed falsehood. In this case, the decision has plainly been in favor of Dr. Wells, wherever there was authority of action. By means which we do not care to state, but which are well known to us, Drs. Jackson and Morton did indeed procure of the Academy of Sciences in Paris, a recognition of their joint claims to be regarded as the discoverers of etherization. The Academy of Sciences is not a fit tribunal. The Paris Medical Society (of which the celebrated Chevalier Ricord is President) is; and this society, after an elaborate investigation of the whole subject, during which it listened to a speech of several hours by Mr. Warren, the agent of Drs. Jackson and Morton, decided with the utmost unanimity that Dr. Wells made the discovery, and awarded him therefor the sum of 25,000 francs.

The statement that Dr. Wells "went about the country lecturing upon gases," is characteristically false. He never delivered even one lecture, upon any subject whatever, in his life. It is equally false that "the American Congress awarded to Morton the credit of the discovery." Congress has never made any decision or award at all in the premises. A committee was hastily appointed, and it presented a report, probably prepared in Boston. The friends of Dr. Wells were not advised of any such attempt, and it was thought this report, with agreeing resolutions, could be smuggled through the House. But a counter report was immediately offered, nevertheless, and so the game stopped.

We cannot, in these pages, enter into any detail of the history of this important discovery; but those who wish to investigate it, are referred to a pamphlet lately issued at Hartford, entitled, "Discovery by the late Dr. Horace Wells of the Applicability of Nitrous Oxide Gas, Sulphuric Ether, and other Vapors, in Surgical Operations, nearly two years before the Patented Discovery of Drs. Charles T. Jackson and W. T. G. Morton." This pamphlet was prepared by Mr. Toucey, recently Attorney General of the United States, and nothing can be more conclusive and satisfactory, to a fair inquirer, than the evidence contained in it, that Drs. Jackson and Morton had never even the slightest thought of any thing like etherization, until Dr. Wells, some time after the discovery, proceeded to Boston, in the hope that Dr. Morton (who was under especial private obligations to him, and therefore was regarded by him as a friend) would assist him in procuring for it larger publicity and recognition. Poor Wells was only laughed at by these gentlemen, who, two years afterward, claimed the discovery as their own!

How complete the discovery, and how successful the application of it, will appear from the affidavit of Dr. Marcy. Mr. Toucey says:

"Dr. E. E. Marcy, formerly of Hartford, now of the city of New-York, was present at the rooms of Dr. Wells, by his special request, to witness the operation upon Mr. F. C. Goodrich, and witnessed it with the strong sensations produced by a new and wonderful discovery upon a scientific observer. He says, not only was the extraction accomplished without pain, but the inhalation of the gas was effected without any of those indications of excitement, or attempts at muscular exertion, which do commonly obtain when the gas is administered without a definite object or previous mental preparation. 'By this experiment,' says Dr. Marcy, 'two important, and, to myself, entirely new facts were demonstrated: 1st. That the body could be rendered insensible to pain by the inhalation of a gas or vapor, capable of producing certain effects upon the organism. And 2d. When such agents were administered, to a sufficient extent, for a definite object, and with a suitable impression being previously produced upon the mind, that no unusual mental excitement, or attempts at physical effort would follow the inhalation.

"'Witnessing these wonderful phenomena, these new and astounding facts, the idea at once occurred to me whether there were not other substances analogous in effect to the gas, and which might be employed with more convenience and with equal efficacy and safety. Knowing that the inhalation of sulphuric-ether vapor gave rise to precisely the same effects as those of the gas, from numerous former trials with both these substances, I suggested to Dr. Wells, the employment of the vapor of rectified sulphuric ether—at the same time detailing to him its ordinary effects upon the economy, and the method of preparing the articles for use. Our first impression was, that it possessed all the anaesthetic properties of the nitrous oxyd, was equally safe, and could be prepared with less trouble, thus affording an article which was not expensive, and could always be kept at hand. At the same time, I told Dr. Wells that I would prepare some ether, and furnish him some of it to administer, and also make a trial of it myself, in a surgical case which I expected to operate upon in a few days. Not long after this conversation (to which allusion is made by Mr. Goodrich, in his affidavit) I administered the vapor of rectified sulphuric ether, in my office, to the young man above alluded to, and after he had been rendered insensible to pain, cut from his head an encysted tumor of about the size of an English walnut. The operation was entirely unattended with pain, and demonstrated to Dr. Wells and myself, in the most conclusive manner, the anaesthetic properties of ether vapor.'

"We have narrated this important experiment in the language of Dr. Marcy, to whose affidavit we take leave to refer, as no part of it can, with any propriety or justice, be overlooked by any one who proposes to subject this matter to a searching examination. It shows the progress and the successful result of these inquiries and experiments of Dr. Wells, and of those skilful and liberal professional gentlemen who co-operated with him. It shows that the opinion was then entertained by Dr. Marcy, that the constituents of the gas were more nearly allied to the atmospheric air than were those of ether vapor—that the former was more agreeable and easy to inhale than the latter, and upon the whole was more safe and equally efficacious as an anaesthetic agent—and that this opinion was fully confirmed by numerous experiments subsequently made by Drs. Ellsworth, Beresford, Riggs, Terry, Wells and himself. It shows further, that Dr. Wells visited Boston in 1844, for the purpose of communicating his discovery to the faculty of that city, and that, on his return, he informed Dr. Marcy that he had communicated it to Dr. C. T. Jackson, and to Dr. Morton, and received from the former, and from other medical gentlemen of Boston, nothing but ridicule for his pains."

We have no room for testimony. Mr. Toucey concludes his statement in the following manner:—

"More than a year and a half after Dr. Wells had personally made known to Dr. Jackson, and to Dr. Morton, his former pupil, the result of his experiments, more than one year after the announcement in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, published at their doors, we find Dr. Jackson and Dr. Morton confederating together, taking out a patent for this principle, and attempting ineffectually to appropriate it to their joint pecuniary benefit! Dr. Jackson as the philosopher, Dr. Morton as the operator! And shortly afterwards, differing in almost every thing else, agreeing nevertheless in one thing—each affirming of the other that he was not entitled to the merit of the discovery!

"Such is a brief statement of the proof, by which the mere matter of fact is established, which induced the Legislature of Connecticut to hail the late Dr. Horace Wells as a public benefactor. With this accumulation of evidence on one side, bearing directly upon the point, and nothing to countervail it on the other, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that he was the fortunate author of this great discovery, unless one or the other of two propositions can be established, namely, either that such a paralysis of the nervous system as would render the subject insensible to pain during the process of extracting teeth, would not embrace the principle of it, or on the other hand, that nitrous oxyd gas is arbitrarily to be excluded from its proper place in a class of agents, all of which are nearly identical in their operation. And even if this difficult task could be accomplished, there would still remain another equally difficult to be encountered; because it has already been shown that Dr. Wells went beyond these limits, and that Dr. Marcy, in conjunction with him, subjected the use of sulphuric ether in a larger surgical operation, to the test of successful experiment. But either of the foregoing propositions would be too absurd to require a moment's consideration. The principle is as fully developed by the painless extraction of teeth, as by the painless amputation of a limb; by the successful use of nitrous oxyd gas, as of rectified sulphuric ether. In the language of Dr. Marcy: 'The man who first discovered the fact that the inhalation of a gaseous substance would render the body insensible to pain under surgical operations, should be entitled to all the credit or emolument which may accrue from the use of any substances of this nature. This is the principle—this is the fact—this is the discovery. The mere substitution of ether vapor or any other article for the gas, no more entitles one to the claim of a discovery, than the substitution of coal for wood in generating steam, would entitle one to be called the discoverer of the powers of steam.'

"It is unnecessary to pursue the subject further. It would be one of the greatest marvels of this wonderful age, if the world, with these facts before it, did not confirm the decision which it has already pronounced, and award to Dr. Wells the merit of a discovery, which will be remembered and appreciated as long as mankind shall be exposed to suffering, or have occasion to apply an antidote."

The section upon etherization, we presume, will serve as a specimen of Dr. Davis's History of the First Half of the Eighteenth Century.

FOOTNOTES:

[14] The Half Century; or a History of changes that have taken place, and events that have transpired, chiefly in the United States, between 1800 and 1850; with an introduction by Mark Hopkins, D.D. By Emerson Davis. D.D. Boston: Tappan & Whittenmore.



POPULAR LECTURES.

Thus far this season, there has been even more than the usual amount of lecturing in our principal cities. The mania lasts longer than was thought possible. The "phenomenon" has really become a feature of the times. It absorbs a great share of the current literary enthusiasm—much of which it has created, and will, it is to be feared, entirely satisfy. Professor Pease, of the University of Vermont, in an essay upon the subject, seeks to determine its import and value; to trace the feeling which gives it birth to its source, and to determine as accurately as possible the grounds of promise or of fear which it affords. "These interpretations," he says, "vary between the widest extremes. On the one side is heard the exulting shout of those who whirl unresistingly in the vortex—'Does not wisdom cry and understanding put forth her voice?' behold the 'progress of the species' and the 'march of mind!' And, on the other side, the contemptuous murmur of those who will be overwhelmed rather than gyrate against their will, they know not whither—'What meaneth this bleating of the sheep in mine ears?'"

This mania for lectures, taken in connection with the prevailing literary taste (of which it is in some sort an index), is regarded as pointing, more or less directly, to a want of the human spirit—to its cry—strong and importunate, though often stifled and but dimly felt, for light—the light of science and of truth. Many feel this want only as a traditional need—one which their fathers before them have felt and have taught them to feel—and they are apt to be satisfied with a traditional supply. Others ask for science because it will help them make, or work, and perchance become machines, whereby they may earn bread: and oftentimes, says the writer, "does this mere irritability of the coating of the stomach pass itself off as the waking up the life of the soul, and the sublime and pure aspirations of the spirit, for high and ultimate truths, pure as itself." Then, it is the fashion to be learned, and the fops of literature, who must "follow the fashion," of course, get wisdom as quickly and easily as possible. These are the main features of that demand for science, which is now so clamorous. Mr. Pease divides the lectures of the day into three classes; first those of which the object is instruction, then those designed to amuse, and last, those which profess to serve both these purposes; and he thinks it may be said of all, that they have no vital, form-giving, organific principle, running through them, developing properly each separate part, and uniting them all by its own power.

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