« AnteriorContinuar »
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 sportsmen— the 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.
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 Ho! 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 adoption 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-House of the Modern School,
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 ; .# 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.
THE SceNERY AND PoETRY of THE ENGLISH LAREs, &c. By CHARLEs 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 the 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. e 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 Wilsen, 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
ide books, and the lake poets, a volume equally useful and entertaining, without the assumption which marks the present work only but to quicken disappointment.
The Book of Costume; or, Annals of Fashion. From the Earliest Period to the Present Time. By A LADY of RANK. Large 8vo. Colburn.
The idea of a book of costume, carried out with care, and filled with genuine representations of the dresses of all nations, forms a part of the ersonal history of every people. In the present instance we have fore us a very handsome volume, beautifully printed, and illustrated very satisfactorily, as far as the subjects described extend. But this book is not the production of an antiquary, who, to perseverance of research, joins the desire to illustrate one portion of the characteristics of nations. It professes to be the production of a Lady of Rank, a rofession too much and directly applied to the attraction of the É. of fashion, to impress the reader with the sterling merit of the undertaking. We cannot get ourselves to credit this authorship; the classical authorities come up too appropriately for quotation at a call so obliquitous, and though history is marvellously complaisant, oetry highly gallant and obedient, and the style as masculine as any dy of rank can desire, weimagine the author, to place thesaddle upon the right horse, to be a diligent compiler of other works besides the present. The idea of the present work then is excellent, but the author has endeavoured to do too much within the limited space of a volume. As a mere elementary treatise it may be useful enough, but as furnishing what it pretends to do—a description of the costume of every country—it falls far short of its end. It is a neat and well-complexioned work to lay upon a drawing-room table; but it is not a work of reference for the library. We do not desire to discommend it, save for its sickly affectations about authorship, and the air it endeavours to put on, awkwardly enough, of a genteel, or, as the cant word is, a “fashionable” recommendation, under the idea, perhaps, that the vulgar part of the aristocracy may be thus attracted to its contents. The writer has been at considerable trouble to make a book which will suit a certain class of readers, who do not go deeply into things, and who will find some entertainment in loosely contrasting the attire of one country with another. To the artist it can furnish nothing new. In fact, works of the present class must take their station among the luxuries of the wealthy, or may be Fo in the hands of the young, to impart to them the vague outline that superior treatises on the subject must fill up. The examples given, and very neatly engraved, are too few in number to do more than this. We are of those who would rather see a perfect work of the kind sent into the world at once, or one as perfect as time and research can make it. But the tendency of the time is otherwise, and the communication of some knowledge is praiseworthy; so we must even accept such things as they come to our DOUGLAS JERROLD'S
SAMPSON HOOKS, AND HIS MAN JOE LING.
As I have said, before my day all the old race of the village and neighbourhood—all those who made the staple talk of the older people—old Squire Fletcher, old Kester Colclough, Bill Newton, Jack Shelton, and the rest had passed away, and we saw the last of all the tribe, once the sun of mirth to the whole circle, like many another sun of the same kind, burnt out and laid, after having been long sorely torn and gnawed by Melancholy, as if she owed him a grudge for having chased her for so many years from so many hearts, the wasted victim of this Melancholy in his narrow house. Sampson Hooks, and his man Joe Ling, were now figuring on the scene in a very different fashion. But before we proceed to paint them more at large we must pause a moment to sketch some traits of a mighty revolution in this country, of which thousands and tens of thousands are now daily feeling the effect, and of which thousands have no adequate conception, and few or none of those who have, have yet adequately described.
It is a fact that, within the last two hundred years, almost every acre of land in this country, except the large entailed estates of the aristocracy, have quite changed hands. There is quite a different race and class of men now living on all the small possessions of land, or on what has been formed out of those small possessions; but the greatest and most rapid and striking alterations of this kind have taken place within the last fifty years. The French
No. XXI.-WOL. IV. O