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t.'irougu the changes and chances of a life of self-renunciation, with a cheerful caanness, of which the sanctifying influence falls like a blessing upon all who come within its sphere. Yet is she neither idealized into an impalpable abstraction, which we admire, but feel to be impossible, nor made to appear a parson in petticoats, whose sermonizing strikes us as equally wholesome and unpalatable; but with all her excellence and superiority, she still remains "avery woman," a being loving, and to be loved. The main fault of the book is a want of self-consistency in the character of the bero, who, described as a moral Hercules, and placed m an equally original and striking position, conducts himself with a very " lady-like" degree of unreasoning radiation, which in real life would have lost him the respect, though it might not have deprived him of the toft of his inamorata. Of the other characters our limits merely enable us to point out the grand old artist, Michael Vanbrugli, in himself a picture well conceived and ably executed ; his good little sister, in ftom affection supplies the want of a mind; "Harold's Bother," a haughty matron, whose clear head and cool heart render the deep love which she really feels for h*r son, a most uncomfortable blessing; to whom no greater contrast can be imagined than that which we find in Olive's silly, fascinating, child-like mamma, *i:o, beginning her career by a dislike scarcely natural to ber slightly deformed, plain little girl, lives to tebowledge in that daughter's tenderness her only condition. For the rest (with the exception of an episode regarding a certain Christal Manners, with which ft could willingly have dispensed,) we give "Oiire" our warm approval, and cordially recommend it to oar readers.
"Imagination: an Original Poem," by Spero. This production (which is dedicated by permission to Mr. Charles Dickens) is evidently the work of an unpractised writer, who is, however, endowed with a considerable shares of the divine faculty which forms his theme. Many sweet descriptions and passages of great poetical excellence might be selected from the poem which he has presented to the public, whilst the frequeut occurrence of harsh and rugged lines seems to prove that it has been written iu haste, in the midst of uncongenial pursuits, and that little time or care can have been bestowed in polishing or correcting it. The poet tells us iu his preface that his life has been passed "in the cold city's crowd ;" that his view of nature's works has been contracted
To the same doll walk at morn, at eve— ,•
that lakes, mountains, and forests are strange to him, and that the " grasp of active, busy life" has held Lira back " from the bright longings of lis aspiring soul." These circumstances are calculated to bespeak the indulgence, and excite the interest of the reader; iuit the work itself is one of considerable merit, and indicates a power of fancy and faculty of observation which may, in the course of time, achieve still better things.
CHRISTMAS BOOKS AND NEW YEAR'S PRESENTS.
Our readers will be glad, perhaps, to have a few words recommendatory of such annuuls as we have already seen; and we shall, accordingly, give our modicum of advice, beginning with the more costly, and ending with the more economical, so that every one may choose what likes him best. 1'or handsome engravings on a large scale, and a world of miscellaneous matter connected with the fine arts in general, the volumes of the Art Journal arc, after all, by far the fullest and cheapest that are published; and to those who have not the work already in numbers, they constitute as handsome a present as can be made. Eor novelty and peculiarity of design, two publications by Mr. Bogue, of Elect Street, arc also well worthy of remark:—they are, " Sketches after English Landscape Painters," by Louis Marvy, with short notices by VV. M. Thackeray; and another entitled "Christmas with the Poets." The lirst is an elegant volume of coloured engravings from the works of our best landscapepainters, many of which are exceedingly beautiful. They are accompanied by short notices by the accomplished author of "Vanity Fair," who has most admirably discriminated the styles of the respective painters. The second is a volume still more to our taste,—novel in design, and happy in execution, consisting of a series of engravings on wood in the very highest style of the art, to illustrate poems, both ancient and modern, on the subject of Christmas. The typography and binding are really gorgeous, and the originality of the design must secure to these books a large share of the patronage bestowed on works of their class.
Much lower in price, and less expensive in getting up, but full of sterling and valuable matter, is " Mrs. Hall's Pilgrimages to English Shrines," written with great case and felicity, and accompanied by a host of woodcuts, from the clever pencil of Fairholt. The design of this work, reprinted from the Art Journal, and published at a surprisingly cheap rate, is to collect the scattered remnants connected with the memories of great and good men, and its execution is every way successful.
Those who delight in foreign, rather than domestic subjects, may turn to "Gleanings in the Overland Route," by the author of "Forty Days in the Desert," for a correct picture of our possessions of Malta and Gibraltar, and other matter connected with the interesting and popular subject of which it treats. This book also abounds in illustration, and is very handsomely got up.
Still cheaper than this is the " Year-Book of Remarkable Occurrences," of which the liberal use we have made in this number is the best eulogy we can pronounce. Eor an elegant present to children we may recommend Miss Meteyard's work, "The Doctor's Little Daughter." This unpretending story abounds in exquisite little episodes and passages of description, its fault being, perhaps, the redundancy of matter; which, duly diluted by the regular bookmaker, is equal to a whole catalogue of common-place stories. From these stores of art and poetry, historical illustration foreign and domestic, fact and fiction, there is abundant room to make a selection.
Our preseut business is with M. Guizot as a historian and philosopher; a character in which he will be remembered long after his services to humanity, as a statesman and a minister, have ceased to attract the attention of men. In those respects we place him in the very highest rank among tiie writers of modern Europe. It must be understood, however, in what his greatness consists, lest the readers, expecting what they will not find, experience disappointment when they begin the study of his works. He is neither imaginative nor pictorial; he seldom aims at the pathetic, and has little eloquence. He is not a Livy nor a Gibbon. Nature has not given him either dramatic or descriptive powers. He is a man of the highest genius; but it consists not in narrating particular events, or describing individual achievement. It is in the discovery of general causes; in tracing the operation of changes in society which escape ordinary observation; in seeing whence man has come, and whither he is going, that his greatness consists; and in that loftiest of the regions of history he is unrivalled. We know of no author who has traced the changes of society, and the general causes which determine the fate of nations, with such just, views and so much sagacious discrimination. He is not, properly speaking, a historian; his vocation and object were different. Ho is a great discourscr on history. If ever the philosophy of history was embodied in a human being, it is in M. Guizot.—Mr. Alison's Essays.
DINNERS AND DIPLOMACY.
People possessing but a slight knowledge of diplomatic affairs, can have but an imperfect idea of the importance of a dinner in arranging international difficulties. The enormous salaries paid to our ambassadors and consuls have recently been subjected to a severe overhauling, with a view to their reduction. A committee of commoners was appointed, before which Lord Palmerston, and several of the most distinguished diplomats in London underwent a crossexamination as rigid as that adopted towards equivocating witnesses on a criminal trial. Prom the facts elicited, it would appear that dining his rivals is the most important and arduous part of an ambassador's duty. We know that in olden times "wretches were hung that jurymen might dine." That is passed ; indecisive juries are no longer starved into a decision, but the principle is carried into a higher sphere, and now nations are taxed that their representatives may outsiiine rivals in the splendour of their cuisine.
Sir Richard Pakenham, the late minister to Washington, averred that good dinners were all-powerful agents of diplomatic success, and boasted, with bad judgment and worse taste, that when there, his dinners were the admiration of all, and that he gave belter dinners than the President of the United Slates. He might have seen that it is both extravagant and invidious for any country to allow its ministers incomes that enable them to eclipse in splendour the first magistrate of the state to which they arc accredited. Sir George Seymour, who has had thirty-three years' experience in diplomacy, said boldly,—"I consider that giving' dinners is an essential part of diplomacy. I have no idea of a man being a good diplomatist wiio does not give good dinners!"
"Well, if by feeding ministers national quarrels can be accommodated, why should they not be well fed? History tells from what trivial causes great wars have arisen, and why should they not be averted by means equally insignificant? Who shall tell how much canvas-backs and Champaigne had to do with the settlement of the Oregon question? "Fifty-four forty or fight" was a very good cry before dinner, but no man with a Christian-like digestion feels like fighting in his calm post-prandial moments. We understand that some ill-feeling has arisen in Washington towards Sir Richard Pakenham on account of his boastful confession; but his candid avowal will probably be one chief cause of removing the evil.' Palmerston and Pakenham both allowed that "American ministers arc most successful in diplomacy, though unprovided with the means of giving sumptuous entertainments ;" and their cross-questioners refused to believe that the poor bribe of a dinner can influence state affairs. Resides, say they, "if their excellencies be freely regaled overnight, they may think next morning, and with a bitterness aggravated by previous indulgence." They can sec no reason, in short, why the British diplomatist should be better paid or give better dinners than an American minister, who does his work equally as well; and the consequence is, they recommend a sweeping reduction of the enormous salaries now paid. „
STATISTICS OP TRADES.
Different trades and professions seem to suit the inhabitants of different countries. In London all the milkmen are Welsh; all the sugar-bakers arc German, and a great many of the tailors. The vast majority of the bakers arc Scotch, but there is not a Scotch butcher to be found. While no theatrical performer ever came from Scotland, we have had considerable success in medicine and in law. To the literature of the country, I trust, it will be allowed that we have brought at least our fair contribution, when it is considered that there are less than 3,000,000 of inhabitants in Scotland, while there are 8,000,000 in Ireland, and M-,000,000 in England.—Lord Campbell —Licet of Ike Chief Justices, Vol. II.
TRIUMPHS OF STEAM.1
Hatixg traced the progress ami successful establishMiit of river steamboats in a former paper, let us sat glance at the early ocean voyages of these connectors of continents and contractors of seas: it TMld scarcely seem extravagant to add, annihilators of time and space—when comparing records of voyages made less than a century ago, with those effected by steam-ships in the present day. During Fielding's voyage to Lisbon in 1754, thirty days elapsed between embarkation at the Tower Wharf, London, and anchoring at Torbay, in Devonshire. Compare this fact with the performance of an American merchant last year, and judge if the above epithet is not almost justified. On the 4th of April, 1849, this putleman left New York for Canton, and arrived at his destination on the loth of June, after accomplishing a distance of nearly fifteen thousand miles. Tins, "in little more than two months, lie traversed Ik Atlantic and Indian oceans, and the Mediterranean, Red, and China Seas. Starting from the United States of America, be called at England, Gibraltar, and Malta, in Europe; Alexandria and Suez, in Africa; and at Aden, Ceylon, Penang, Singapore, and Hong Kong, in Asia. With the exception of passing through England and Egypt, the whole of his journey To performed by water in British ships."
I/:og after Fielding's time such a change in the fe> of travellers was beyond mortal ken or credit. Saitasand savant alike decried the feasibility of seavotiges in steamboats. When first it was proposed to ear% them on the Forth and Tay ferries, Admiral Sir Philip Durham declared, "I have viewed the Baiter with a seaman's eye, and am certain that a steamboat can never live on the Forth;" and Dr. Larimer, penetrating a kindred subject with a philosopher's eye, staked his " reputation and knowledge as a man of scieuce," on the impossibility of any steamer cosing the Atlantic Ocean. In 1820, however, Kearoboats attempted those very ferries; yet their h'Q escaped the sacrifice considered due to their twenty; and, cruelly regardless of the Doctor's 'reputation," steamers whistle at "men of science," ic-i paddle across from New York to Liverpool in spite of the demonstrated impossibility of the thing. Let us seek out and proclaim the daring iasolent, who first ventured to set at nought the fiat of the wise. Bring her forth trembling,—not from contrition for opposing philosophy, but from the pulsations of that iron heart within, which gave her might to brave and overcome,
".... on the Atlantic
Kil the raging waves it lashes into being.
The success of ocean-navigation was confidently predicted by Fitch; and it has already been mentioned that to another American, Mr. Stevens of Hobokcn,
U) Continued from p. 10.
the honour is due of performing the first, sen-voyage with a steamboat, in transferring his vessel by sc» to Philadelphia, for the navigation of the Delaware, from the River Hudson; in consequence of the exclusive privilege then enjoyed by Fulton of navigating this river.
Deep-sea communication by steam-vessels, and the establishment of Post-office steam-packets in Great Britain, originated with Mr. David Napier. The Rob Roy was built for this gentleman in 1S18, by Mr. Denny of Dumbarton, a vessel of 90 tons burden, with an engine of 30-horsc power, with which he established regular communication between the ports of Greenock and Belfast. Subsequently she plied between Dover and Calais. Messrs. Wood shortly afterwards built for Mr. Napier the Talbot, 120 tons, which was fitted with two of his engines, each of 30-horse power, supplied from the celebrated Vulcan Foundry, Glasgow. "This vessel," says Mr. Scott Russell, "was in all respects the most perfect of her day, and was formed on a model which was long in being surpassed." The Talbot ran between Dublin and Holyhead; and steam-packets connecting Liverpool, Greenock, and Glasgow, were established by the same enterprising gentleman.
In the following year to that which witnessed the successful efforts of the Rob Roy, the Americans achieved another triumph by building and equipping the Savannah, the first steam-vessel that dared to breast the billows of the Atlantic; which, after a passage of twenty-six days from the port whose name she bore, and without stopping at any intermediate station, arrived safely at Liverpool on the 20th of June 1819. She was of 350 tons burden, and her hold between the main and fore-masts was entirely occupied by the coals and the machinery. The consumption of coals by this engine amounted to nearly ten tons daily. The construction of the paddle-wheels was such as to admit of their easy removal in adverse weather. They were fitted when in use to a cast-iron axle-tree fixed through the sides of the vessel; and it does not appear that it was ever found necessary to shelter them from the too-rough treatment of the waves. The following most amusing account of her first voyage was given in the " New York Tribune :"—
"For fourteen days the Savannah on her passage to Liverpool went without canvass, depending entirely on her steam-power for propulsion, and never using sails and steam at the same time. Her engine was a low-pressure, one of only 80 or 90-horse power, with which she could generally make eight knots in the hour. When the ship arrived off Cape Clear, she was immediately telegraphed to Liverpool as a 'ship on fire,' and the British Admiral then lying at Cork, despatched a king's cutter to her relief; but the officers and crew were struck with astonishment in being unable to overhaul a vessel under bare poles. However, after several shots had becu fired from the cutter, the engine was stopped, and they were permitted to come on board, and were greatly gratified as well as astonished at the marvellous craft.