Billeder på siden

succeeded to his estate and title in 1632; and the commencement of the settlement in Maryland, in 1634. These events are spread before the reader as preparatory to the history of the Episcopal Church in that state, which began its organized existence in 1676.

The vicissitudes through which that branch of the church has been called to pass for nearly two hundred years, have been various, perplexing, and often marked with strong and vigorous party contention. And division, it would seem, is not yet at an end in that diocess. Its convention in 1838, after a protracted endeavor to elect a Bishop, failed of its object, the contest being between the high-church and lowchurch parties.

Unacquainted as we are, with many of the sources from which the materials of this narrative are drawn, we shall not presume to pronounce judgment in respect to our author's historical accuracy. He is “first in his own cause, and “ seemeth just." 'If he has failed in faithfulness and honesty, some neighbor of his will doubtless come and search him.

This volume is got up in the very best style of Mr. Taylor's publications. 5.The Poetical Works of Robert Southey, Collected by Himself.

Ten Volumes in One. New-York: D. Appleton & Co.,

1839. pp. 810, royal octavo. This is a beautiful complete edition of the Poetical Works of the splendid Laureate. We think it a good sign of the times, that an American publisher can trust enough capital to the taste of the community, to afford us such a treat, at such a moderate price. Heretofore, the admirers of Southey have been obliged to pay seven or eight dollars to Galignani and the revenue; or twice as much to an English publisher, for a possession which Appleton now affords them, at three dollars and a half. The Edition is better than Calignani's, though got up on the same plan. The type is larger, and certainly as handsome ; and the book is beautifully executed.

So much for the outside. Only en passant, we must remind our readers, that while for twenty years Southey has been unpublished in America, there has scarely appeared a dirty novel, or a scurrilous farce on the other side of the water, which has not been greedily snapped up by our American houses, and republished, some of them in twenty-four hours ! There must be something wrong in our copy-right laws! The boy who was willing to poison himself at college, with Bulwer's thin and washy messes, could be gratified at any book-shop for half-a-dollar: while the worthier student who desired the uncontaminated nourishment of Southey's real intellectual food, had weeks to wait, before he could get

his high-priced volume through some great house at New York, after paying two shillings a pound to the custom-house, a tai on sound learning!

No words are wanted from us, in praise of Southey's works themselves. The friend of Wordsworth and of Coleridge must be a man of more than ordinary genius, as well as goodness. He is well known in America, chiefly as a prose. writer; and certainly his eminence in that branch of literature, is sufficient to create a question whether he is to be more valued as a poet, or as a man of letters. His prose is nearly a library of itself, and the scholars of England usually regard him as authority, in the use of the Anglo-Saxon tongue.

We recommend this volume to every good man, who lores poetry. To students and clergymen it will be a welcome present; and no Annual could be half so acceptable to a lady of taste, however rare its binding and vignette. Thalaba is an exquisite oddity. We never can tell exactly what it is, that renders this poem so dear in memory! The story is certainly a secondary affair; but the music of the verse, and the richness of the language, are “a perpetual feast." Let ang reader take the passage, for instance, descriptive of the ruins of Babylon, and Thalaba wandering among them. The whole scene from the opening of the book, is so perfectly laid before us, that we seem to be there with the wanderer. The Pelican in the desert has been beautifully introduced ; and the language of Holy Writ in relation to that great city, is employed in a masterly manner; and with a calmness of detail, that is to our mind the very perfection of poetical painting. Of Southey as a versifier, it is sufficient to say that he was the master of Shelley.

The Curse of Kehama, is another triumph of genius-and is valuable as containing the only full account of Hindoo Mythológy, which we possess in any popular work. Madoc too. ought to be interesting to us in America, as containing a poetical explanation of the aboriginal remains of our country, with the traditional and fabulous histories of Aztlan, and other great cities that have been, in this our old-new world.

We welcome, and recommend the introduction of such works as these into our country. Their influence on our literature and national taste, cannot be other than happy and desirable ; and we confidently trust that the growing taste for poetry observable

among us, if thus directed, and well regulated by worthy standards, is destined to bring forth the latent genius of America, in poetical works which will amply repay our mother country for all she has given us.

6.- The Obligations of the World to the Bible: A series of

Lectures to Young Men. By Gardiner Spring. . New

York: Taylor & Dodd, 1839. pp. 404. This is a publication of more than ordinary value and interest. Aside from the influence, which the Bible exerts upon the spiritual welfare of men, it is maintained in these Lectures, that there is not a department of life, civil, social, or intellectual, which is not under special obligations to these oracles of divine truth. The author deserves well of the Christian community, for thus aiding to place the Scriptures in their legitimate sphere of honor and excellence. The style of the work is chaste and attractive, though somewhat labored ;-the topics, judiciously chosen and well arranged; the arguments and illustrations generally ingenious, logical, and conclusive. An instance of special felicity of argumentation may be found in the lecture, in which is enforced the obligations of the world to the Bible for the Sabbath. The same may be said of the lecture showing the influence of the Scriptures upon the social institutions. A somewhat defective course of reasoning is however to be found in the lecture in support of the hypothesis, that the art of writing was first imparted to Moses, at the giving of the law. The best critics agree in placing the life of Job in the early times of the postdiluvian patriarchs, or, at least, previous to the time of Abraham. As ancient writings are spoken of in his day, it seems quite clear that the art must have been taught and practised before the time of Moses.

We regret to find in a work so truly meritorious, many inaccuracies both historical and typographical. Chedorlaomer, (inaccurately printed Cherdorlaomer) is in one place made to be contemporary with Moses. On p. 48, Sanchoniathan, (inaccurately printed Sanconiathan,) Berosus, Ctesias and Manetho are styled, “the oldest human historians," whereas Ctesias was contemporary with Xenophon, and Manetho and Berosus flourished still later, in the time of Alexander the Great. They all, with the exception of Sanchoniathan, if such a person ever existed, which is quite doubtful, lived subsequently to the time of Herodotus the father of profane history, and also of Thucydides. Page 58, Dr. S. says, the Bible “has given to devotional poetry a glow, a richness, a tenderness in vain sought SECOND SERIES, VOL. II. NO. IV.


for in Shakspeare or Cowper, in Scott or Byron." On what ground Cowper is thus excluded from the class of derotional poets, and named in connexion with Shakspeare, Byron, etc., we know not. On page 59 is the following sentence: "How much more picturesque than Homer is Solomon or Job.” We have often seen comparisons instituted between Isaiah and Homer, and indeed the matchless fire and energy of these great poets will allow, and even invite a comparison. But we never before heard that the picturesque was the chief or peculiar characteristic of the Grecian bard; or that his epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, could be compared to the pastorals of the Jewish monarch. A similar failure to designate by a single epithet the peculiar excellence of a writer, may be seen on page 53, where Addison is styled “the most neat and netrous" of all the English classical writers. Surely the author must have forgotten the prose writings of Milton, Swift, Sir Francis Bacon, Hooker, Chillingworth, Harrington, Cudworth, and other writers of the early age of English literature: or of Johnson, Burke, and a host of others of a later age, all of which are far superior in strength to the writings of Addison. The harmony, simplicity, and elegance of Addison's compositions have rarely if ever been equalled, but they have always been regarded as deficient in strength. Blair represents him as "sailing in strength and precision."

We observe a want of uniformity in the orthography of proper names.

The followers of the false prophet are some times called Mahomedans, and sometimes Mahometans. The name of Prof. Dugald Stewart is at one time, Stewart, at another Stuart. Bishop Warburton's name is also printed in different ways. Nor is the author always correct in his Latin quotations, as may be seen in “clare et venerabile nomen,” on page 98. The typographical errors are numerous.

We allude to these blemishes, not as detracting from the essential merit of the Lectures, but as furnishing a warning to every author to examine well his positions, authorities, and proof-sheets. The type and external execution of the book, aside from these inaccuracies, is altogether attractive.

7.-Annals of Yale College, from its Foundation to the year

1831. By Ebenezer Baldwin. To which is added an Appendix, bringing it down to 1838. Second Edition.

New Haven: B. & W. Noyes, 1838. pp. 343. It is interesting to trace the history of our oldest institutions of learning to their small beginnings in the piety, patriotism

and enlightened philanthropy of the early inhabitants of this country. These histories read lessons to us of important practical bearing upon the numerous enterprises which are now on foot, to establish similar institutions in our new states and territories. In the light of what has been, we may anticipate the most desirable results from similar endeavors. We may learn, too, the many difficulties and severe trials which the founders of such institutions, in new countries, will have to encounter.

Yale College is one of the most venerable of our literary seminaries, Though second to Cambridge in age and extent of endowment, it yields not the palm in the thoroughness of its instruction and the extent of its usefulness; and on these and some other accounts, it has of late become more a favorite than its senior. That it is so much younger than Cambridge, appears to have been the result of the kindness of its founders towards that institution, in its infancy, rather than of their lack of literary zeal. For a number of years previous to the commencement of their own institution, the inhabitants of the New Haven colony freely contributed to the support of Cambridge College, under the approval of the General Court, authorizing the collection, from every one in this plantation, whose heart is willing to contribute thereunto, a peck of wheat or the value of it.These acts of kindness are related in the Annals in the language of original records from the year 1639. In 1701 the charter of Yale College was granted, and its first Commencement was held in Saybrook, 1702, where it remained until 1713, after which the change of its location was warmly discussed; it was removed from town to town, in the colony, and had no certain dwelling-place, until 1717, when it was permanently established at New Haven.

To the numerous graduates of Yale College, these Annals should be an acceptable present while they contain much that is curious and instructive to the founders and conductors of other institutions.

8.-—The Condensed Commentary and Family Exposition of

the Holy Bible ; containing the most valuable Criticisms of the best Biblical Writers, with Practical Reflections, and Marginal References, Chronology, Indexes, etc. By Rev. Ingram Coðbin, M. A. London: Thomas Ward &

Co., 1837. This Commentary is of nearly the same dimensions as the “Cottage Bible," which was re-printed in New York several

« ForrigeFortsæt »