Imágenes de páginas

of things which existed before the French Revolution, and called it into existence. In the introduction to the present volume the author does not conceal his preference for the instruments of those bad rulers who: brought on the fearful hurricane which then devastated Europe ; a convulsion which it would appear he attributes to any but the true cause. That such a writer should think the greatest characters of modern times the men who were the favourites of the absolute sovereigns of Europe is. very natural. He has sketched, with all the mth of partisanship, Metternich, Talleyrand, Pozzo di Borgo, Pasquier, Hardenburg, Nesselrode, Wellington, and Castlereagh, in the present work. We have not before: us documentary evidence to test the truth or falsehood of what he advances respecting most of the diplomatists above named; but, reasoning from analogy, when we find nothing new in the character of Wellington, and in that of Castlereagh, whom M. Capefigue declares he has made it his business to elevate above the position in which we believe those who remember his career will not hesitate to state their belief he: was worthily placed-discovering statements notoriously the reverse of truth, we can place small reliance on the verity of the whole. As it is, the volume will be read by those who think with its author : by the rest. of the world it may be read also, but it will be with a very strong feeling of its dubious fidelity.

REVELATIONS OF AUSTRIA. By M. KOUBRAKIEWICZ, ex-Austrian Functionary. Edited by the Author of “ Revelations of Russia," &c. Two vols. Newby.

These revelations, making full allowance for the feeling of the author, are well worthy of being perused, because they disclose a good deal of the secret and unscrupulous policy of Austria. They are rendered still more interesting by the recent statement of M. Montalembert in the French Chambers, when he charged upon the Austrian Government the hor-rible crime of inciting the peasantry in Gallicia to murder the nobles. After the perusal of the present work, which we trust will be widely read, the charge thus made is strengthened, and we no longer hesitate to credit things which, without this auxiliary testimony, might not be credited. The present author has been in a position to witness the secret workings of that system by which Austria has upheld her power over her own territories, and embarrassed the position of other cabinets. He has seen the perseverance with which Metternich follows up his undertakings, and the small concern he exhibits about the means through which he obtains his ends. A native Pole, the author may have been somewhat severer in his judgments than another writer, but. the Austrian policy has been, for half a century or more, reproach among modern nations. Nor is this state of things likely to change, without something of popular influence being infused into the Government; an effect only to be produced by a united people, and therefore hopeless in a country divided into petty states speaking different lan

guages, and moved by varying interests : yet in process of time a change must happen when outrageous wrong can no longer be the main instrument of government.


By (Captaiy R. (. .1. LEVINGE. Two Volumes. Colburn, These volumes contain sketches taken partly in the British provin «f New Brunswick, and partly in the United States and Canada. The last portion of the work can boast of little novelty, as the numerous tours which continually appear, made at later periods than the visit of Captain Levinge, which dates as far back as 1835, may enable the realer to conceive. In regard to New Brunswick, with which Englishmen have but a slight acquaintance, we have some considerable information. The towns are described, the scanty remains of the aborigines, the natural productions, and the pursuits of the sportsman. Captain Levinge crossed the Atlantic in a miserable transport, passed through the fogs off the Banks of Newfoundland and in the Bay of Fundy, with some hazarıl of shipwreck. The town of St. John's was made in safety at last, and there the voyagers landing, were solaced for their sea fare with bowls of wood strawberries and cream. The first settlement of the province and a sketch of its history then commences. We are enabled by the author's notes to obtain some idea of this valuable colony and its geography, written, it must be confessed, in a style which convinces us that the author saw much more than he recorded, and that he is not accustomed to the ungentle craft of authorship. The climate, it appears, is in severe extremes ; in summer the thermometer ranging from 85" to 95", and in winter oftentimes twenty degrees and more below zero.

The perils of the sportsman are, in such a climate, of a very formidable character. The bivouack excavated in the snow and lined with fir branches—the feet at the fire and the head in a freezing atmosphere of the most intense character-is one of the modes in which the winter must be passed in such excursions. Skating, sleighing, and dancing, in the same degree of cold, are considered common amusements, and the danger at the breaking up of the ice, are encountered as matters of common moment. The native tribes of Indians remaining are but two in number, called the Milicates and the Micmacs. The language of the latter people is said to be comprehensive and full of lofty imagery. It has a dual number like the Greek, and the changes of mood, person, tense, and number are formed by changing the terminals. In the Micmac tongue two thousand terminals are made on one radix. The birds here described as belonging to New Brunswick have all been classed by Audubon. The animals are bears, a species of wolf called a lucifer, and a kind of wild cat, being the only animals

Vermin are numerous, and among them the ill-odoured skink or skunk, which neither man nor beast will knowingly approach. Wolves have been found following the wild deer, though not indi

of prey.

genous. Small game is numerous. The moss-deer is met with, and several of the smaller tribe, as well as the rein-deer. In fact, the backwoods of New Brunswick furnish plenty of amusement for sportsmenthe water not less than the land.

St. John's, subject to fires from its wooden houses, is a very considerable place, and the whole province numbers not less than 200,000 inhabitants. Captain Levinge thinks it one of those best adapted for the purposes of emigration of all our North American colonies. His volume contains considerable information upon the subject. Out of 16,500,000 acres, of which the province consists, 12,000,000 are capable of immediate cultivation, while 3,624,280 only have been granted by the crown, and 440,000 cleared. Here we must close Captain Levinge's work, the whole of his second volume being devoted to countries described by later visitants, and his entire work gaining its recommendation from his account of New Brunswick alone.

THE POETICAL WORKS OF HORACE Smith, one of the Authors of the

“Rejected Addresses,” now first collected. Two Volumes. Colburn.

WE greet these poems in their collected form, many of them being old acquaintance, and some having been exceedingly popular. Witness the “Lines to the Mummy,” nearly the first piece in the present volumes, written more than twenty-five years ago.

The collection has been apparently divided into the serious, serio-comic, and comic pieces. Some of the last are exceedingly humorous, and have served to beguile many a weary moment with those who belonged to a departed era in our literature, or from 1820 to 1831. The blending together deep moral reflection and agreeable humour, is a marked feature in much of Horace Smith's poetry, and is sometimes very happily achieved. The author has introduced almost every kind of metre into his works, and often with a very happy effect. We can cordially recommend the volumes.

Poems, by CAMILLA Toulmix. Fcp. 8vo. London: W. S. Orr & Co.

trations by R. R. M'Ian. Fcp. 4to. London : G. W. Nickisson.

Previous to passing an opinion on any volume of poems, as they are uniformly termed by their producers, it is almost necessary to declare our own theory of poetry. This it is not convenient, from many causes, ever to be doing; and it were greatly to be desired that some generic term could be invented, and be received, to express that large class of authorship delighting to manifest itself in a form which is neither poetry nor prose. Eloquence, fervour of feeling, delicacy of discrimination and powers of observation, and descriptive talents to record sensations and observations, although all necessary to the poet, cannot make poetry, any more than a knowledge of perspective or anatomy

can make a painter. Unless the enunciator stand in that peculiar relation to Nature, that he sees and feels her operations in that mode, which perhaps occasionally many men have glimpses of, but no power of recording; unless he be thus posited, with regard to the outer world, he cannot be a poet. Perhaps it may be said briefly, unless nature and the outer world become subjective to him, he is no poet. To all other classes of mind the outer world is objective; but to the poet the case is reversed.

With the objective writer we can have great power manifested, but it must be essentially a prose power; very great, very valuable results accrue from it, and those who possess it in excess are giants among their fellow pigmies. The poet, however, is not a giant by comparison, but in reality. We have stated thus much, that when we assert that neither of these volumes manifest the slightest proof of poetry, it may not be supposed they are cavalierly treated, and dismissed as worthless. Quite the reverse. They both possess much that is pleasing and entertaining:

Miss Toulmin possesses the art of versification : has delicate perceptions and tender feelings; and the perusal of her volume will afford an hour of placid gratification. There is too indiscriminate an ad tion of the contagious feelings of the time. The political economists of the day are doubtless sufficiently in error, but they should not be represented as Atheists :

“ Behold a Poor-Ilouse of the Modern School,

The Trial test of Atheistic Rule." This probably arises from an excess of good feeling ; and there are many pieces in the volume which contain some thoughts well expressed, and others which a judicious friend could have wished omitted. Miss Toulmin, however, may console herself, (if she pays any regard to our standard of poetry at all,) by the self-assurance that her volume contains verses which quite equal, if not surpass, that of versifiers who have been enrolled among the genuine poets of the land.

Mrs. Ogilvy's work is more ambitious in appearance, though perhaps less in reality, as she has called in the assistance of the artist. The book is very readable, but more on account of its prose than its verse. The legends of the land of the mountain and loch must ever have a strong interest. The passions and the affections are there manifested in unadorned strength, and our sympathies correspondingly excited. Imitations of imitations can have no intrinsic charm; and such we must really pronounce both the verses and the illustrations to be: the one, of the modern revivers of the old ballad, and the others, of the received forms, as filtered from the old masters, through German models. It would be doing injustice to Mrs. Ogilvy, however, not to say she understands the mechanical part of her art better than the artist does of his. It is handsomely printed, and after all, quite worthy to lie beside most Annuals and Picture-books,


MACKAY, LL.D. With Illustrations from Original Sketches. Engraved by Thomas GILKES. 8vo. Longman and Co.

We opened this volume in the expectation that we should find something pleasant in the way of description, and novel in regard to the poetry of an extensive and beautiful tract of country. The object of the work, its author rather ostentatiously informs us, is “ to narrate the romantic history, and cull the poetry” of a celebrated district, and “ to describe every scene that has claims upon the admiration or attention of the visitor.” Wenaturally expected that the professions of thie writer would be fulfilled to a reasonable extent, but confess our hopes have not been realised. There is little or nothing more in Dr. Mackay's book relative to the lake scenery than may be gleaned from long existing guides-- from Mr. Wordsworth's descriptions, and publications of the same nature. We have nothing original, nothing with which that reader is not already familiar, where attention has been at all attracted to the subject; while, viewed in the light of a guide book, Scott's unpretending little volume furnishes much more information. The wood illustrations which adorn this volume are exceedingly creditable to Mr. Gilkes; indeed, the descriptive portion of the letter-press might in justice be considered as an appendage to them, rather than they its accessories. With large pretensions we are put off with small things. We find no vivid delineations of the endless picturesque beauties which the lakes everywhere present. Nothing relieves the arid descriptions, few as they are, which appear to be the author's own. From numerous familiar sources more than half the volume is borrowed ; Wordsworth figures in almost every page. • Tait's Magazine,” Hone, Gray, de Quincy, Southey, all that can swell out the page, are laid under contributions for what, it is presumed, the author calls the “ romantic history' in his undertaking. The poetry of the district is much of the same character; Wordsworth's, Punch's, and Moncton Milnes', reciprocated sonnets, commenced from Wordsworth's horror of railway improvement, that have had the run through all the newspapers. Next, copious and numerous extracts from the poems of Wordsworth, from Wilson, Shelley, Scott, Percy's “Ballad Reliques,” Ritson, and Southey's “Lodore,” are denominated the “ poetry of a celebrated district." The truth is, that the author, if he possess a true feeling for scenes of natural beauty, which from his book is doubtful, has not the power of delineating them in language. If he had it is impossible but he must have exhibited it, incited by a country so picturesque, abounding in the beautiful, the grand, and even the terrible, calculated to move the most sluggish spirit, and kindle it into enthusiasm. The professions made in the preface with such confidence are not realised. It would be easy for one who had never seen the lakes at all to compile from existing guide books, and the lake poets, a volume equally useful and entertaining, without the assumption which marks the present work only but to quicken disappointment.

« AnteriorContinuar »