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positive idolatry; while Drumann and others have delighted in drawing his character in contemptible or odious colors. It is strange, but it is proof of the strong interest in a public character, that it cannot be contemplated, even in later ages, without intense partisan feeling. Beyond all question, Cato and Cicero were the two purest statesmen of a most depraved age. Surrounded by characters of the most intense and turbulent selfishness, Cicero, whatever his foibles and faults, was ever a true and lofty patriot. This, indeed, is most strikingly demonstrated by that very passage of his life upon which contempt so loves to dwell, his weeping and disconsolate banishment. That he was irresolute on some trying occasions, that the expressions of his grief were, according to our northern modern standard, excessive, is true. But he was not deficient in physical courage; he was pure from the vices of his time; his ambition was limited to the purest purpose of serving his country, and in the most trying times he displayed a statesmanship of the most commanding order. His genius wrought the Latin language to its highest power and beauty; and as specimens of architectural grandeur in oratory, availing themselves of the full power of the unsurpassed dignity of the Roman dialect, his orations as yet stand, and probably forever will stand, above all rivalry. His morality was almost Christian; and few statesmen, even of the present Christian age, can present a clearer record. We envy not the man who does not feel that he wrongs humanity who depreciates such a character.
Mr. Forsyth's book is, as he confesses, a labor of love. But it is not merely a passionate love for his hero; it is the artistic and ethic. love for presenting his hero in the true lights of history. He takes his character as he finds him. He depicts him as he beholds him. He writes with a conscientious pen. His style is clear, pure, idiomatic; devoid of antithetic point, or measured rhetorical cadence. He exhibits a full mastery of his subject and of its literature. The amplitude of the materials, supplied, indeed, in a great degree, by the pen of Cicero himself, furnishes such a copiousness of narrative and picture, as fills his pages with an absorbing interest. On the whole, we may say that our language now possesses a suitable biography of the great Roman orator.
History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. By JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, M.A., late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. Two vols., 12mo., pp. 447, 501. New York: Charles Scribner & Co. 1865.
As a fresh investigation of an important period of the history of England, Mr. Froude's work has gained the profoundest respect of
the English public. It traverses a portion of history that, from the marked characters in the scene and the pregnant nature of the momentous events, is still a subject of partisan discussion, and will not soon lose an intense interest for the thoughtful mind. Mr. Froude does not adopt the judicial style of Macaulay, pronouncing as decisively as if his utterance were the ultimate of the matter. Said a living English statesman, "I wish I were half as sure of anything as Macaulay is of everything." Nor does he deal in the polished rhetoric which renders that historian so fascinating. In simpler, calmer, more inquiring style, Mr. Froude narrates the events, describes the manners, and pictures the characters of " merry old England." The work takes its place among the unquestioned standards of British history.
The Mother of the Wesleys: A Biography. By Rev. JOHN KIRK. 12mo., pp. 398. Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock. 1865.
One of the most pleasing in the whole library of Methodist biographies. Susannah Wesley is styled by good authority the "mother of Methodism." There is consequently no little interest in tracing the parentage, girlhood, development and age of one destined to so high a title. Mr. Kirk has brought to his subject a spirit of thorough research, and has added some fresh information; yet he sifts the authenticity of traditions with a severe scrutiny. His purpose is history, and he is unseduced by the beauty of historic fiction. He mars some of our pleasure in flinging doubt over the genuineness of the picture of Mrs. Wesley in Dr. Stevens's history. He is very peremptory in a matter of opinion, namely, as to the Wesleyan character of the features presented in that picture. Mr. Kirk's style is full of vivacity, and we should certainly rather advise retrenchment in some parts, than an increase of exuberance. As it is, however, the American public are indebted to both author and publishers for a very interesting and valuable specimen of biography. Especially do we commend it to the attention of our feminine readers.
Belles-Lettres, Classical and Philological.
The Iliad of Homer rendered into Blank Verse. By EDWARD, Earl of Derby. Two vols., 12mo., pp. 430, 457. New York: Charles Scrib
This able English statesman in 1862 printed, for private circulation only, a small volume of "Translations of Poems, Ancient and Modern," in which was included a version, in blank verse, of the First
Book of the Iliad. It was "an attempt to infuse into an almost literal English version something of the spirit as well as the simplicity of the great original." "Pope's Iliad can hardly be considered as Homer's Iliad." And this old dictum, repeated by the earl, will be readily indorsed by any man who has read both Homer's and Pope's epics. A man will feel more as if he were reading Homer while perusing Scott's border poetry, than while reading anything ever written in Queen Anne's reign. The earl condemns every attempt to introduce the hexameter into English poetry. The only measure that can sustain any in the case is the English blank verse, a confession as inevitable as it is humbling to our English tongue in the comparison. Probably the version of the earl is as near an equivalent for the original as our language will ever furnish. Perhaps the following, being the description of the wrath of archer Apollo, is an average specimen :
Thus as he prayed, his prayer Apollo heard:
Household Poems. By HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. With Illustrations by John Gilbert, Birket Foster, and John Absolon. 24mo., pp. 96. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1865.
The pure and pensive genius of Longfellow may be safely welcomed to every "household" in the land. He has none of the worldly "quips and cranks," trifling with sacred things, and flippant about holy truths, of the autocrat. He is not, indeed, professedly a "religious poet." We do not remember that he often, if ever, writes what are really and truly "hymns." What there is of religion in his poetry is rather that of sentiment, than of experience such as we find in Watts or in Wesley. But, on the other hand, he is no pantheist, no Brahmin, no soulless rationalist, no sparkling sneerer. He dwells amid the circle of Christian truths, and they are to him full of beauty and power, both in heart and verse. He cherishes the blessed faith of the Christian ages. Sabbath, God, Church, Christ, immortality, retribution, duty, holy love, are themes that inspire his strains. Of the European and world-wide fame of such a poet Americans may be justly proud, and his poetry may be welcomed to
the purest hearts and households of our land. The present little selection, we need not say, though a simple primer in a blue paper cover, is done up with perfect taste, for it is done by Ticknor & Fields.
Carlton & Porter furnish us the following:
Little Aggie's Library; done up in a blue box and containing Matty's Hungry Missionary Box: Motherless Martha's Home; Hope On, or The House that Jack Built; Little Aggie's Fresh Snow-Drops.
The Babe and the Princess, and other Poems for Children, with illustrations.
Children's Book of Sermons. By G. P. DISOSWAY.
An Infant Class Manual, Designed for Teachers of Infant Classes. By PAMELA BELDING. 24mo., pp. 344. Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock 1864.
The Young Crusoe; or, Adventures of a Shipwrecked Boy. A Story for
Report of the New England Annual Conference for 1865 on Church Reconstruction.
The Report on Church Reconstruction adopted and published by this Conference, profoundly as we respect the authority whence it comes, we are not prepared wholly to indorse. It draws a dark picture of the Church South as apostate, hopeless of reformation, unworthy of aiding in the new renaissance, and unentitled to any recognition by us in the work. In other parts of the Church there are a few, and we think but a few, who take the other extreme, and boldly propose an offer from us of complete reunion, by our acceptance of the Southern bishops, and an incorporation of the legislative power into General Conference. All differences about slavery are to be treated as an "effete question;" all who would open discussion on such points are to be summarily put out of the way; and the "lacerated feelings
of the Southern Church are to be soothed and won by soft words and abundant concessions.
Now, with due deference to such advisers, and in perfect kindness to Southern Methodism, we must say that all this looks immensely like restoring the reign of old Northern subserviency to our Southern masters. We apprehend that such propositions, even if they had a chance of Southern acceptance, will gain no audience at present from the earnest antislavery men of the Church. Can we accept the rule of the Southern bishops? They can only be made our bishops by a General Conference election; and does any one suppose that Bishop Andrew and Bishop G. F. Pierce would receive such a vote? Would our young ministry be willing to bow their heads to their ordaining hands? And are we sure that all questions of oppression or freedom are "effete?" The Southern maintainers of the divine right of slavery were doubtless ultimately sincere, however unhappily they were originally brought to adopt these opinions. Can they, with self-respect, pretend to a sudden, convenient, ecclesiastical conversion to the doctrine of that New Rule just adopted by us as a test of membership? Can they come into an organization impregnated with an antislavery spirit, glorying in its antislavery history, claiming the fullest right for the freest expression of the principles of freedom? Is there not still deep danger that the Southern Church may be the advocate of the oppression of the colored race? And are the earnest and outspoken opponents of such oppression to be overslaughed as "clamorous stormers," in order that the new incomers may have an agreeable time? Can we even at present consent to subject the government of our Church to the vote of their ministry in our General Conference? To all these proposals we think there would be for some time to come, and from South quite as promptly as from North, a very decisive negative.
But, on the other hand, we pronounce no general unchristianizing ban, nor would we open any mission of destruction either upon the character or the organization of the Church South. As to unchristianizing them-God help us!-are we not all, even herein, sinners? How pure, in regard to slavery, has been our own Church? And how much purer in the same region, and under the same pressure, should we have been than Southern Methodism? Mark how the degree of purity has coincided with our geographical and political latitude. Had slavery existed over our whole country as densely and as despotically as in South Carolina, would the New England Conference have rung quite so clearly her peal of purity and freedom? Let us be destructive of the sin; but when it comes to the sinner, let us neither submit to his power nor decide his case before God.