Imagens das páginas

and that dependance upon little things which binds us so surely to great ones. We cannot give the plot without marring the reader's enjoyment, but we have it in our power to give the history of the reception of the book in Germany, which to many, who might not be attracted by a mere work of fiction, will be a new source of interest. The whole will form a chapter in some future "curiosities of literature." The account is taken from the (English) Baptist Record. We must put our veto upon one sentence of the statement, however, as somewhat pharisaical, that in the opening which offers a sanctimonious apology for noticing a work of fiction, as such, without any reference to its being a good or bad book of fiction. It is time this cant and misappreciation of the imagination as one of God's good gifts were exploded-there can be no religion, worth possessing, without it.

"Our readers may have seen or heard of a sort of romance published last year by Murray, translated from the German by Lady Duff Gordon, entitled 'The Amber-Witch.' It is not a work to be noticed in these pages except on account of the theological purpose it was intended to answer. In order to explain this, it may be necessary to say a word or two on the history and present state of German theology. Fifty years ago a degree of scepticism prevailed in Germany, of which in this country we can form no adequate conception. Under various names, Neologists, Rationalists, and so forth, they took the most daring liberties with the Word of God. They explained away all the miracles, and everything, in fact, which was supernatural. They pretended to an acquaintance with the language and history of the sacred writings so profound, as to be able to decide respecting the most ancient portions of Scripture, what was genuine and what was not so, to a degree of certainty which overpowered all external evidence. Accordingly, there is hardly a book of the Old or New Testament whose genuineness, either in whole or in part, has not been impugned by them. And of what these writers have allowed to remain, the most important parts, the great facts on which our religion mainly rests, has been declared by others to be statements of the same kind as those which Niebuhr rejected from the early history of Rome, i. e., legends, or as they call them, myths, to which some ancient common opinion had given rise.

"Of this kind a portentous phenomenon has appeared within the last ten years. An elaborate work by Dr. David Strauss was published in 1836, to show that the whole history of Christ was exactly what the Apostle Peter said it was not, a cunningly devised fable;' i. e., not a fraud, but a myth, a sort of spiritual exhalation, the superlative beauty of which was one of the evidences that it could not be real. Astounding as this production appeared, it was soon perceived that it was likely to be the crisis of a disease which had long preyed upon the vitals of German theology. It is to the credit of Neander, the celebrated historian of the Church, that, as a member of the Censorship, he gave a casting vote in favor of its publication. The result has fully justified him. Osiander remarks, in the Studien und Kritiken' for 1840:-While the eagerness and concentrated activity of the contest shows the deep importance of the object, and indicates a vital crisis in theology, the universal excitement produced by it,-the number of defenders

of the Gospel history from among laymen as well as clergymen, Rationalists as well as Revelationists, Catholics as well as Protestants, who have come forward,-the multifarious positions from

which the defence is made,-and the entire unanimity among men of estimation which has prevailed, are all indications of a healthful action which has sprung from the influence of that

very history of the Incarnate God.'

"But what, it will be asked, has all this to do with the Amber-Witch, published last year by Murray? In 1826, a small treatise was written by a clergyman of Usedom, a small island at the mouth of the Oder, in Prussian Pomerania, intended to illustrate the witch trials and the belief in witchcraft, at one time so general. For some rea son or other, it was not allowed' by the Censorship of the Press. The author, therefore, kept it by him for some time, till the idea occurred to him of putting it into the form of a narrative professing to be derived from an old manuscript discovered in the church at Usedom, in which an account of a witch-trial and the events that led to posed period. It further occurred to him whether it is given in the language and manner of the suphe could not mistify the Rationalists of Germany, and thus put to the test, by means of a modern production, the skill to which they pretend, of detecting forgeries be they ever so ancient, and be the traditionary evidence ever so strong in favor of their genuineness. He, therefore, sent the manuscript to Dr. David Strauss, suggesting whether the account which it contained might not, in some degree, illustrate certain statements in the New Testament. The work, in short, was laid before the king himself, and by him ordered to be printed in 1843. Half a year after this, the author, finding that his myth was universally received as a piece of genuine history, made a public declaration of the entirely fictitious character of the work, and of the theological purpose it was intended to answer. He says, in Hengstenberg's Kirchenzeitung for last year, after the declaration referred to My view, as far as I can find out here, in my literary Patmos, is attained; the work is almost universally received as genuine; none of the critics mention the least suspicion of what is nevertheless the fact, that it is mere fiction, without any single historical ground to rest upon. In this way those persons have received my undisguised myth for genuine history, who have rejected as fabulous a history which is attested not only by its existence and wide extension to the present day, but by the united testimony of all antiquity and by the blood of thousands of martyrs―a madness more insane than if they were to affirm that the splendid cathedral at Cologne was commenced and obtained its present state without an architect and without a plan, by the act of pilgrims who merely cast stones together as they passed!

In a subsequent communication to the same periodical, the author says:-After I had made my former declaration, the uproar was unbounded at the manner in which the critics had been deceived; they not only abused me and accused me of wickedness, but persisted in declaring that my Amber-Witch was a genuine historic document. I, therefore, hereby subjoin the united testimony of the Synod of Usedom that my declaration is correct.' Here follows their testimony. The author continues:-'From the history of my work the following conclusions may, I think, be drawn, which I would fain circulate far and wide:-1. The critics who assert that they can develope, from the letters and the style of the sacred writings the author, and the exact time of composition, ought to blush at the present failure of their skill. 2. Those of them who declare that history of Jesus Christ, whose historic truth has a far better foundation than any other historic fact whatever, to be a romance, ought to be ashamed of themselves for taking the romance of Dr. Meinhold (the author's name) for real history. 3. If they per

sist, as they probably will, in declaring my fable to be a fact, in spite of my own assertion to the contrary and of the affidavit of a synod of divines, and yet declare the history of the Gospel to be false or fabulous, though its authors have sealed their testimony to its truth with their own blood; all reasonable men will judge that they have pro

nounced their own condemnation. If the device by which I have proved this is wicked, it is the wickedness of one who, by an artifice, would detect a thief that had broken into the sanctuary. To me and thousands of others the Gospel is such a sanctuary."



Mr. Cooper's new novel, to be published early this month by Burgess & Stringer, is entitled "Satonstoe, or the family of Little Page."

A new edition of the Poems of Halleck has just been issued by the Messrs. Harper.

Wiley & Putnam have in press a volume of "Tales by Edgar A. Poe," and a new and complete edition of the "Letters from Italy," by Mr. Headley. The poems of Alfred B. Street are also to be published soon.

"A Chance Medley," a collection of Miscellaneous papers from the Quarterlies and Monthlies, by Thomas Colley Grat

Messrs. Harper have in press


The Esthetic Letters, Essays and the Philosophical Letters of Schiller, translated with an introduction by J. Weiss, 1 vol., 12mo., published by Little & Brown: Boston.

Saul a Mystery, a poem by Arthur

Cleveland Coxe, will be issued immediately at Hartford, Conn. Phreno-Mnemotechny, or the art of Memory; the series of Lectures explanatory of the principles of the system delivered in New York and Philadelphiain one large octavo of 600 pages, accompanied with fine mezzotint Portrait of the author, Professor Gouraud, is just issued.

Mr. Downing's New Work on Fruit trees, is nearly ready. Wiley & Putnam are the publishers.

We have the pleasure to announce a new work, by Rev. John Dowling, A. M., of this city. "A New and Complete History of Romanism." It will comprise a copious yet succinct history of the Latin Church, its rise, progress and present state, derived from the most accredited authorities, both Catholic and Protestant, including among_the former, Bellarmine, Baronius, Raynaldus, Sarpi, &c., accompanied with notices of the most celebrated Roman VOL. XVI.-NO. LXXXII.

Pontiffs, Ecclesiastical Councils, bulls, decrees, persecutions, &c. The work will form an octavo volume of about 600 pages, illustrated by some 40 or 50 engravings, and will be published by E. Walker, 114 Fulton street, in a few weeks.

J. S. Redfield has just published a "Pictorial History of the American Revolution," illustrated with several hundred engravings, in one volume, octavo. Nearly ready, The Snow Drop, a gift for a friend, by Rev. C. W. Everest; and the Sinless Child and other Poems, by Mrs. Seba Smith, in Miniature Library style.

We take this opportunity of calling attention to Dr. Ruschenberger's excellent series of Elementary text-books, designed for the use of colleges and schools on the subject of Natural History. Eight volumes have already appeared, comprising the following divisions: Anatomy and Physiology; Mammology; Ornithology; Herpetology and Ichthyology; Conchology; Entomology; Botany; and Geology. This series has been adopted in several of our colleges and public schools, and with, as we learn, unqualified satisfaction. One admirable feature among others, which characterize these works, is their perspicuity and simplified arrangement, combining a vast amount of information in the smallest compass-a mode of imparting instruction quite up to the labor-saving and time-economising spirit of the age. Gregg & Elliot, of Philadelphia, are the publishers; and they are for sale by Langley, Wiley & Putnam, and the booksellers generally.

Prof. Gregory has in press a new compendious work on Chemistry for students, condensed from his larger work, which has acquired such high repute. The work will pass under the supervision of Dr. Webster, and will be issued by Ticknor & Co., Boston. Jewett & Co., of Philadelphia, have now ready an attractive little work-" Sto


ries of the American Revolution," comprising a complete anecdotic history of that great event-a valuable and interesting book for the perusal of the young. "The Maiden, a tale for my countrywomen, by T. S. Arthur," is the title of another little volume from the same publishers. Prof. Frost has just commenced a serial issue of a "Pictorial History of the World" a work entitled to special consideration both as to its superior artistic embellishments and the judicious. arrangement of its literary department. The first part contains a well-digested sketch of Egyptian history, based upon the latest authorities, including the monumental records of Gliddon and others. Geo. S. Appleton has in press "Melodies adapted to gems of Music," by Mr. S. T. Sullivan, of Philadelphia. one of the best Artistes in this department, we know of; like Anacreon Moore -he composes his song and chants its melody, extemporaneously. The forthcoming collection will receive a cordial welcome.

Wilkins & Carter, of Boston, have in preparation a thoroughly revised edition of "Worcester's Dictionary of the English Language," which is to combine many new features.


The Fourth number of Wiley & Putnam's Library of Choice Reading will be "Leigh Hunt's Imagination and Fancy;" to be followed by the "Indicator," "The Seer," and his other writings. The same series will also include the Works of William Hazlitt, to appear in successive volumes.

Wiley & Putnam have also in press, "Stories from the Italian Poets," "Dante, or the Italian Pilgrim's Progress." "Pulci, or the Humors of a Giant," and the "Battle of Roncesvalles." By Leigh Hunt.

Appleton & Co. have in press, "Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities," for Schools. "Smith's New

Classical Dictionary," for Schools.
Mrs. Loudon's "Country Companion."
Templeton's "Operatives' Mechanics'
Companion." "Goldsmith's Village,"
by Zschokke.

Carey & Hart, of Philadelphia, are about

to publish a cheap stereotype edition in double columns, of "The Modern Essayists," to include the works of Macaulay, Alison, Sydney Smith, Professor Wilson (the Recreations of Christopher North), the critical and miscella

neous writings of Carlyle, the critical papers of Talfourd and Stephen; a selection from the Quarterly Review, including Southey, Hallam, Milman, Croker, Gifford, Scott, Lockhart, Heber, and others; Sir James Mackintosh's contributions to the Edinburgh Review; Sir Walter Scott's Critical Writings, and those of Lord Jeffrey.

The same publishers are about issuing the Waverly Novels complete, in five royal 8vo. volumes, for two dollars and a half.

Lea & Blanchard, Philadelphia, will publish, "Browning's History of the Huguenots," in 1 volume octavo. "Wraxall's Historical Memoirs of his own times," in one volume octavo. "Guthrie on the Anatomy and Diseases of the Bladder and Urethra," in 1 vol.


"Esquirol on Insanity," translated by Dr. E. K. Hunt, in 1 volume 8vo. Miss Strickland's "Memoirs of the Queens of England," volume 8. Ranke's "History of the Reformation in Germany," parts 3, 4 and 5.

Gregory's "Outlines of Chemistry," for the use of Students, in one volume, small 12mo.

"Fowne's Chemistry," edited by Bridges, in one thick volume, royal 12mo. "Hoblyn's Dictionary of Terms used in Medicine and the Collateral Sciences." Edited by Isaac Hays, M. D., in one volume, 12mo.

"Costello's Cyclopedia of Surgery." "Modern Cookery," by Eliza Acton, in one volume, 12mo, with cuts. "Every Man his own Farrier," by Cla

ter. Edited, with numerous additions, by J. S. Skinner, 1 volume, 12mo. Greeley and McElrath have just issued "Popular Lectures on Astronomy, &c." by M. Arago, with additions and illustrations by Dr. Lardner. We need not add a word of commendation on a work endorsed by two of the most eminent names that adorn the annals of this department of science. We are gratified to find that Dr. Lardner is preparing for publication a series of his Scientific Lectures, delivered during the past four years, in the several cities of the Union. The entire work will occupy about a dozen numbers, at 25 cents each; the first of which will appear 1st May.

Taylor & Co. have issued an excellent little story for youth, entitled "The adopted Child," &c., by Charles Burdett. The same firm has also issued Charlotte Elizabeth's Judæa Capta, being a sketch of the overthrow of Jerasalem.


Charlotte Elizabeth, in her full name Charlotte Elizabeth Tonna, is engaged in writing a new work, expressly for this country, for which a copyright will be secured by the publisher Mr. M. W. Dodd of this city.

Ja Stuart Mills's "New System of A Logic," the English edition of which was published some time since in two large octavos, is about to appear from the press of Appletons. The same publishers issue shortly Dr. Arnold's "Lectures on History," with notes and an introduction by Prof. Reade of Pennsylvania University; it will form a volume uniform with the life and letters of the author. Reid's new "Dictionary of the English language," is also in press; this will, besides other new features for a portable dictionary, comprise those of punctuation and derivation.

A fine library edition has just appeared of Bishop Horne's "Commentary on the

Psalms," with an Introductory Essay by Rev. Edward Irving. Few Theological works enjoy a higher reputation with the whole religious public than this excellent commentary; and the accompanying Essay, by Irving, is a splendid specimen of his masterly style; a rich florid gothic, full of quaint conceits and exuberant in imagery and illustration; R. Carter, of this city, is the publisher.

R. Carter, of this city, has also issued a fine edition of Prof. Wilson's "Lights and Shadows of Scottish life," a work, like the "Diary of a late Physician" of such striking verisimilitude that the reader cannot doubt the reality of the narratives; those who have never read this admirable work have a rich treat in reserve. "A world without souls," by Rev. Mr. Cunningham, is a specimen of religious allegorical writing no less fitted to arrest attention than to impart instruction.



The production of a new five act local Comedy, by an American Author, on the boards of the Park Theatre, is a circumstance of sufficient importance in itself, whatever the merits of the play, to be carefully recorded. Something should be gleaned from such a fact to survive for the benefit of the Drama, when the immediate occasion shall be entirely forgotten. It is one point gained that a play by an American author has been acted at all; it is another, that the scene is laid in New York in the year 1845; and it is another, of less consequence, that the play is called a Comedy and extends to five acts. It is not to be doubted that at some future day the country will possess a national drama. The instinct for theatrical amusements is as keen here as in any part of the world; perhaps keener than in most lands, as any one may have noticed who has cast even a careless look at the holiday amusements of the people, and the dramatic element exhibited in Camp Meetings, Revivals, and especially Political Processions. No people more greedy of shows, none fonder of amusements, gossip and criticism in which the stage delights, can be found in the world. Now this is a taste to be grati

fied, and when once the Theatre offers greater attraction of this kind than is found outside of it, every one will run to the Theatre. The contrary is at present the case. There is more that is really dramatic to be found in the committee room, the political meeting, the lecture on magnetism, the newspaper and the ale-house, where the dialogue is always more pointed and amusing than on the present stage, than in the Theatre itself. Notwithstanding this our people are, in reality, still great supporters of the stage. The number of houses open and the large sums of money expended are sufficient proofs of it, but yet, with the exception perhaps of a particular class of "roaring boys" at the Bowery, there is no regular dramatic audience-no set of people constant in their support of the drama, to be relied on for their presence habitually or even occasionally, and to constitute, what is essential, a fashionable society in the boxes. There is nothing on the stage to hold such a set of desirable people together. The London cockney drama which has exclusive possession is a thing to be laughed at,-not with. It is mere farcical distortion and absurdity, with not even the good laughter of broad honest farce. Until we have some sympathy with what is going on upon the stage, there can be no true interest ex

pected in the matter. And this constitutes, we may remark, the difference between comedy and its caricature, and leads us, by a short turn, to the so-called comedy of "Fashion." With all genuine comedy we have a certain sympathy, with this play of "Fashion" we have none at all. There is too little humor in it for comedy, and too little force for satire. This may be, and we think it is, a fault of the subject, which has not depth enough for the profound qualities essential to a comedy. Fashion in its present stage in New York affords materials for broad farce, or in the hands of a keen writer for indignant satire; but of that mode of treatment which is indispensable to create an interest in the hearts of men, it is not capable. It is only when fashion shall have become a settled power in society, when it has its acknowledged good laws as well as its abuses, when its authority is felt and recognized, and it requires to be held responsible for its failures, when it is something real and tangible, that it can be put upon the boards with any effect. At present, Fashion (we mean the thing and not the play) is poor and meager, a mere unsettled piece of pretence, too thin and flimsy to get humor out of. It will be time enough to think of comedies of Fashion a hundred years hence. A very thin species of farce seems the embodiment of the hurrying incident of the present day, which does not survive long enough to deposit character.

A man of great wit and severity-a stern biting censor might, we think, make something of our ways and manner on the stage-might find abundant material for satire in the popular ignorance, the flippancy, the pretence and corruption of the Times. But he should write with a pen of iron, and the audience should tremble while the actor spoke. We need some one to strike our hollow life and show it a "sounding brass ;" to strip us of our conventionalism and disguises; to be thoroughly in earnest with sharp naked words.

The "Fashion" of Mrs. Mowatt, measured by the strictest stage requirements, had undoubtedly many faults, and we may expect many faults in the commencement of our attempts at the much talked of" National Drama." As we have said, too, there was not material for a comedy in the subject matter; the plot was without strength and the language without any epigrammatic niceties. But it is creditable that a lady should have made the attempt. If it do not contain the germ of any future dramatic authorship, which it does not, it is at least a good pre

cedent for managers, for its performance proved one thing incontestably,that a good audience can be easily called together to witness an American play, nay that there is great readiness to appreciate and positive enthusiasm for the faintest excellence. Let this be remembered, and when opportunity offers, acted upon. It is no pleasant task to labor in the raw infancy of any business.-Mrs. Mowatt will be remembered for her courage and zeal in encountering the difficulty.


Mr. Hudson as a critic is in the right line of succession in the same branch as Coleridge, Schlegel, Hazlitt and Lamb, and not at all in the spurious line of Rymer, whose glory it was to show up the absurdities of Othello, Steevens who said people could be compelled to read the Sonnets only by Act of Parliament, Malone who whitewashed the bust, and the other numerous Stupidities who offered up their incense, according to Geoffrey Crayon, as worshippers in Roman countries smoking with their farthing candles the image which they pretend to glorify. It is the fashion to praise Shakspeare, a fashion which has silenced much empty criticism, but it is doubtful whether the old spirit which suggested the objections does not yet exist-suppressed within the heads and hearts of a great many. The readers who understand Shakspeare are, perhaps, as few this day as ever. Mr. Hudson puts life into this empty creed by bringing home to his audience the principles and mode of thinking and acting of his great author. Others have done it before, nor does the lecturer claim anything on the score of novelty or originality, as the latter is generally understood. It is because his thoughts are old, he says, that they are likely to be true. It is a circumstance worth mentioning that just now, in the lecture room of New York, the oldest and most assured truths are the most striking and novel. People listen to tales of the wonders of magnetism and the rights of women, and perfectibility of man, with the greatest indifference and complacency, but talk to them of such old matters as the character of Adam and Eve, and the spiritual philosophy of the Bible, and they stare. Mr. Hudson's simplest truisms create the greatest sensation, when he says, for instance, that it is impossible for woman in all respects to become man.

The general scope of Mr. Hudson's Lectures may be indicated, when we say that he traces the genius of Shakspeare through every part of his writings with

« AnteriorContinuar »