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as well as manner, and a wortlıy contributor to the wit which he collected from friends and kindred, was a disburser of much admirable “ acute nonsense,' which it is a pity not to preserve.
What could be better than his Scotchwoman ? or his foreigners? or the gentleman who with infinite promptitude of mind, cut off the lion's head ?' or the Englishman, who after contemplating Mount Vesuvius, and comparing it with its fame (and himself), exclaimed, snapping his fingers at it, You’re a humbug !'
“ Endless are the quips and cranks' of Wit and IIumour. Puns (Pointes ?) are banished from good company at present, though kings once encouraged and Cæsar and Bacon recorded them, and Cicero and Shakspeare seem to have thought them part of the common property of good spirits. They are tiresome when engrossing, and execrable, if bad ; at least, if not very and elaborately barl, and of malice prepense. But a pun may contain wit of the first water. Those of Hood are astonishing for their cleverness, abundance, and extravagance.”
Of pure nonsense in parody we do not find an example, though Pope's “ Ude, by a Man of Quality," and the “Rejected Addresses)" imitation of Laura Matilda
“ Where is Cupid's crimson motion
Billowy ecstacy of woe !" must have been familiar to Mr. Hunt. The following also is so capital a sample of the kind, from a publication in which so many good things are gorgeously entombed, (for the current readers will not read continuously the back numbers even of “Punch,”') that several of our readers may not know it.
A BALLAD OF BEDLAM.
6 Oh! Lady, wake —the azure morn
Is rippling on the verdant skies.
Awaiting but thy snowy eyes.
To-morrow's hopes have fled away;
We shall be happy yesterday.
Drives off the ebon morn afar,
The Huntsman winds his mad guitar. ,
Pants, neighs, and prances to be free;
To some rich desert fly with me.” Nor is there any allusion to mere absurdity, nor any definition or analysation of the purport of satire: a point necessary to be determined, as many have thought it consisted in mere vehement denunciation.
But we are forgetting our own admonition, and from the fact of MIr. Ilunt's having done so much, are desirous for more. We must remember that it is but “ Wit and lIumour selected from the English Poets, with an illustrative Essay,” whereas we are eager to have from him á full and complete Dissertation on Wit and Humour-and a Collection of all the Premis, or Portions of Poems, containing anything worth preserving in the language.
The notices of the various poets are brief, but abounding in the genius of the author, pungently portraying the characteristics of each. We are not, and perhaps no one is, prepared to agree with all the opinions, but still no one can rise from their perusal without having acquired fresh glimpses of the excellence of the authors. Animal spirits go for a great deal with Mr. Iunt, and loubtless they are delightful things, both to possess and to witness, but there may be a great deal of them, which, at the best, only create rullicking and fun, that have nothing to do with Wit and Humour.
We may conclude our somewhat lengthened notice, with a hearty recommenilation to the reader to obtain and study for himself this delightful work, which seems inten led, by the elegance of its printing and binding, a present book, and one more suited to either sex we cannot imagine. To present it woull be a compliment to the receiver, as well as a sign of good taste in the donor.
FIRESIDE LIBRARY, 21 Volumes. 12mo, Gilt cloth. London:
JAMES Burys. This series of very cheap publications, elevating the standard of literature for young persons, while adapted to the entertainment of all, has reached its twenty-first volume. Whether we regard the neatness of the typography, the classical character of the embellishments, or the richness of the binding, we are equally struck with the spirit which has undertaken so beautiful, and extensive a publication. The contents of the series generally are selected with judgment; many of them are translated from the choicest morsels of distinguished foreign writers. To begin with the German series, we have the - Undine” of La Motte Fouqué, a favourite in this country, and the “Shadowless man,” better known as
“ Peter Schlemihl,” by Chamisso, “Liesli,” and “Heinrich and Blanca,” all for the sum of three shillings. Of course the printing is close, but of singular elegance. This work is another remarkable feature of the present time in that we get not only the cheapest, but the best of its kind, at so low a rate, that they may be in every one's hand. We find in this series the “Magic Ring” of Fouqué, in one volume. Here is Schiller in the “ Maid of Orleans,” and “William Tell.” The favourite tale of “Musæus,” Woltmann's romance of the “White Lady,” Quentyn Matsys,
," and other tales of Pichler; “Fables and Parables” from Lessing, Herder, Gellert, Meisonee, and others; the
“ Popular Tales of Hareff,” little known in England, and in poetry translations of Ballads and Songs from Schiller, Uhland, Bürger, Goethe, Körner, Becker, Fouqué, Chamisso, &c. All these in nine small volumes, abounding in interest, comprising that portion of the German series which has gone to press up to the present time.
Of English origin there are here the “Twelve Nights' Entertainments,"
," Household Tales and Traditions,” “ Ancient Moral Tales," in the series of fiction, together with “Marco Visconti,” from the Italian of Manzoni, and “Prasca Loupouloff” from the Russian. In the British poetical series we have “Ballads and Metrical Tales " from Percy, Ritson, Evans, and others; “Ballads from English History," and “Select Specimens of Scottish Songs ;” in biography, “The Lives of Alfred the Great, Sir Thomas Moore, John Evelyn, and several bishops," in one volume, with those of Walton, Wotton, Fanshaw, Earl of Derby, Lord Collingwood, Sir T. Raffles, Lord Exmouth, George Herbert, Dr. Donne, and Bishops Ken and Sanderson, in a second, and in a third volume Selections from the Lives of celebrated Greeks. There is also one volume devoted to a new edition of Poole's treatise on Churches, their structure, arrangement, and decoration.'
We thus particularise, because the present series of works issues from a quarter which we suspect is influenced by certain theological tendencies. A peculiar party is up and stirring in this matter, active, anxious to be foremost in the field, and leaning upon a creed of tradition, mouldering amid moss-clad ruins of gothic barbarism. We infer this from the tendency displayed in this work, in a solitary volume or two it is true, for the majority are of a character which will not admit of the introduction of those flashes from the guiding spirit which are seen here and there when opportunity proffers. It will be right to particularise. To the German series, every way excellent, we do not make reference, nor, in fact, to either of these works, except the biography. Here we see the leaning to which we allude. In the life of the Rev. John Evelyn are recorded, among other things, his idea of a species of monastic brotherhood. This is given with the preface—“Now that the thoughts of English churchmen are turned towards the revival of the monastic system, purged of its corruptions, &c." What English churchmen are thinking of re-establishing monasteries! None, we boldly assert, except the small party that, addicted to the more objectionable tenets of Romanism, has not the honesty to declare itself Roman, while from the English church it stands wide apart. In the same life we have found carefully recorded the cure of a decrepit and sick child by the rite of baptism, and the cure of the blind by the blood of the holy martyr, Charles I.! The king, who rode through Leicester streets, commanding his soldiers to cut down the people; the paternal monarch, who raised a bloody war to enforce his privilege of taxing the people without a parliament; the monarch, whose word could not be trusted; the haughtiest prince as a man, and the greatest double-dealer of his time. In these days it were better, in making selections, to omit such passages,
when writing works to the young, as can now only provoke a laugh of contempt from sane persons, unless the object be to enforce the principles of superstition and tyranny, which the new sect so strongly favours, viih whom Charles is both a hero and a martyr. The political mea
of late yours -- all that has a tendency to produce the abandonmount of the band and untenable things of the past, and to enlarge the llenial vision, and elevate the mind all that is favourable to the cause of the people is evidently viewed in these biographies with intolerance. 'The Lite of Lord Exmouth” furnishes a text book for the compiler in this regard, as if that vallant officer were any authority upon civil or religious questions. Lord Exmouth was a true seaman ; of a narrow Calpiteity, ever meaning well; of whom it was observed by a naval officer, that he would have fought the battle of Trafalgar as well as Nelson, as far as the fighting part was concerned, but he would never have shown Nolson's previous strategy. Both Pellews were truly brave and kind men, but not of the wine out of their profession, as is well known. The biographical part of the present series is tinctured with a spirit we cannot commend, and we observe somewhat of the same in “ Poole’s volume on church decorations.“ Bad enough, we agree, are most of the new churches that have been recently constructed; but we can see no reason for reviving (othic ornaments and imagery, with their carved inelegancies, not to say gross indecencies in some cases, merely because they are old. Some of the noblesi churches in the world are Greek and Roman in architecture. Our olil edifices derive half their charm from the associations of age, which cannot accompany new buildings in the same style. The arloption of the Gothic in all cases, in preference, only shows a craving after what is part and portion of the days of spiritual despotism, political tyranny, and deplorable popular ignorance. Hence the least elevated minds now among the higher classes go back to dark ages in all their imaginings; feudality is their idol, and the glorious advancement in science and popular power-our might as a nation, our arm of rule, that some portion of every region and climate of the earth confesses -our advanced progress and tremendous energies, are all innovations upon the era when, at intervals, breaking each other's witless heads in the tilt, or seeking Quixotic glories in Palestine, in border feuds, and boar hunting, lay the glories of the aristocracy. At that time they could scarcely scrawl their names on paper, but abandoned the unenvied empire of mind to bishops and clerks, who knew pretty well how to turn it to their own profit. Hence the ecclesiastics of the new class extol the Beckets and Lauds of departed years. We state these things more in sorrow than in anger, on viewing the tendencies of several recent works, though in the present series they are manifested but in a solitary instance or two.
THE HISTORY OF ST. GILES AND ST. JAMES.*
BY THE EDITOR,
CHAPTER XXXIV. And now is Snipeton widowed. Yes: with a living wife, damned to worst widowhood. It would have worn and tortured the spirit within him sometimes to wander from the desk to the churchyard, and there look down
To have read, and read with dreamy, vacant eyes, the few tombstone syllables that sum up-solemnly brief—the hopes, and fears, and wrongs, and wretchedness; the pleasant thoughts and aching weariness that breath begins and ends. * Clarissa, wife of Ebenezer Snipeton, died Words to dim a husband's eyes ; to carry heaviness to the heart; to numb the soul ; and for a time to make the lone man, with his foot at the treasure-holding grave, feel the whole world drifted from him, and he left landed on the little spot he looks on. And then breaks small, mournful music from those words : pleasant, hopeful sounds, that will mingle her name with his ; that will make him own the dear, the still incor
The flesh of his flesh, the bone of his bone, is lapsed into the disgrace of death : it is becoming the nourishment of grass ; and still his heart yearns to the changing form : still it is a part of him ; and his tender thoughts may, with the coffined dead, love to renew the bridal vow the dead absolves him of. And Snipeton, his wife in her winding-sheet, might so have solemnised a second wedlock. For surely there are such nuptials. Yes ;
* Continued from page 395, Vol. IV. NO, XXIV.-VOL, IV.