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the scene of destruction and woe which was passing beneath. On the opposite side of the city, and beyond the Tiber, stands the magnificent temple of St Peter's — the most sublime and glorious monument ever reared — the work of ages — the wonder of earth. There, are heard those marvelous tones, never equaled and inimitable — the perfection of Christian music. These edifices may be regarded as the monuments of ancient and modern music ; each tells its own tale.
Suggested by a picture of Murat, taken a few moments after his execution.
FAREWELL! for the light of thy speaking eye
Is dim with the shade of death ;
Unstirred by the faintest breath.
As thou liest so stilly there,
And thy stirless folds of hair,
And the wave of thy red right hand,
At the head of thy stern, wild band ?
And perish ignobly here?
And thine was a soldier's bier.
Thy queen's - it was true to the last ;
A look of the happy past :
No diadem girt thy brow;
And thy splendor the red field's glow.
And dim is thy starlike eye ;
Mrs. Frances Anne Butler's Journal. Philadelphia: Carey,
Lea & Blanchard. Among the recent publications of the day, this is one of the most attractive. It is, in some respects, rather an extraordinary book, but, withal, a very amusing one — the production of a writer of no mediocre talent. As it is easily abused, it has received from the press the most severe comments, while the author has been held up to public ridicule in a series of gross caricatures, in some of which the mauvaise plaisanterie of the artist (?) is pushed beyond the limits of decorum. An attempt to annihilate Mrs. B. has been made in a published review, declared to be from the pen of an English lady; but which, in fact, is, to say the least, a most deplorable specimen of bad taste, and a practical satire upon the American public, far more severe than anything to be found in the book.'
That there are very many things in the Journal,' which are gross and inexcusable, it is impossible to deny. Some of its language is, to say the least, very extraordinary, as coming from a lady ; and the publication of so many trivial details, is in bad taste. But, in our estimation, it is quite as puerile to harp incessantly upon a peculiar phrase, and to hunt through the book, as some editors have done, to ascertain how many times dawdled and pottered’occur ; or how often Miss Kemble indulged in the luxury of a siesta — passing over whole pages of glowing, descriptive sketches, the tribute of a talented mind to the surpassing beauties of our country.
How much of the singular conduct complained of in Miss Kemble is the consequence of the treatment she experienced, remains to be seen. At a very early age, she entered upon the duties of an arduous profession, from the very best of motives. Her father had become involved in pecuniary difficulties, from which it seemed almost impossible to rescue him — quite impossible to all but his daughter. As she had a strong dislike to the profession, (as she avers — and we have no right to disbelieve her) she resolutely determined to sacrifice her inclinations, and make a bold attempt to save her family from ruin. Her reception by the London public was most enthusiastic. Young and inexperienced, she was, all at once, exposed to the intoxication of success and flattery. She received, not merely the vulgar, noisy applause of crowded theatres, but the homage of the most enlightened men of the age — men who had toiled years to obtain the laurel with which she was instantly crowned. Through the fiery ordeal of so general an enthusiasm, she can hardly be said to have passed unscathed. Yet she was not negligent of duties; but, in the study of parts, their rehearsal and performance, she went through an amount of mental and physical labor, during her first season, which may be justly called unparalleled. Nor did she confine herself to what may be termed, comparatively, the merely mechanical part of her profession ; for she produced a tragedy, (Francis the First) which is highly creditable to the youthful talent of the author.
It must not be supposed, that she was totally exempt from the influence of those jealousies, and breakings forth of envy, which are found in every profession, and particularly in the histrionic. She was assailed in a London paper, and invidious reports were daily circulated. These petty annoyances may have had a favorable effect, as contrasting with the overweening flattery of her admirers. On the whole, the reception of Miss Kemble, in England, contributed to strengthen all her early prejudices, to fix forever her love for the land of her birth, and for those institutions her ideas of which were inseparably connected with the members of the brilliant and aristocratic circles which had done her honor. With high tory principles, she came to this country, necessarily prepared to look upon it through a medium which would somewhat disguise the natural colors of the objects she beheld. In America, her public reception was warm and welcome ; but, admiration was not confined within its proper limits. There was a Kemble mania. The young lady could not appear, without having her dress, her every action noted. When she entered an evening-party, all eyes were at once riveted upon her. Caps and curls, a la Kemble, were immediately adopted. When she was found to ride our horses, notwithstanding their shuffling, rollicking, mongrel pace, half-trot, balf-canter,' the multitude of female equestrians, that immediately took the road, is quite inconceivable. It is rather humiliating to be made a lioness ; certainly, there is nothing very flattering in it. Nine persons out of ten will revenge themselves by attempting something very singular, for the mere pleasure of observing the gaping astonishment, and half-hesitating admiration it excites. To rebuke a folly by committing a similar one, is certainly weak ; but Miss Kemble, like other persons of genius, has her little weaknesses. Nemo omnibus horis, &c. Qui vive sans folie n'est pas si sage qu'il croit.
Miss Kemble recorded in her Journal' her "First Impressions. Mrs. Butler acknowledges many of their errors in the notes. Whatever struck her, at first sight, as new, was hastily condemned as faulty ; but a second examination has led her, in many instances, to correct her mistakes. It may be said, that there still remain many unfounded charges, and many misrepresentations ; but the writer may frequently have been misinformed herself. In some cases her prejudices misled her ; but, in none has she betrayed any personal malignity, or deep-seated aversion to the country which has given her so warm a welcome. It is true, that the weak desire of criticism frequently betrays her into a little fault-finding ; and this reminds us of our own vocation, which cannot permit us to notice even a favorite author, without giving him a little advice, and pointing out a few defects. But, after all, the fair critic has been no more severe upon us than many of our our own writers, of whose license, in this respect, a thousand instances might be given. The truth is, we are aware that we have not attained that perfectibility which is incompatible with mortality, and are willing to hear a little good-humored raillery from compatriots ; but, wo to the foreigner who dares to show us up! If Mrs. Butler were as grossly abusive as the Hamiltons, the Trollopes, the Fiddlers, the Schmidts, et id genus omne, we could cry amen! to the denunciations of the press ; but we cannot class her with them, nor rebuke her in terms which are appropriate to them. We have too high an opinion of our country and our noble
selves, to fly into a passion with her because she finds or fancies blemishes among us; and, above all, we cannot forget that she is a member of the beau sere, young, talented, and fresh from the most intoxicating flattery and bewildering admiration.
For the literary reputation of the author, it would have been well if some severe critic had separated the wheat from the chaff, which is now so liberally sprinkled throughout the pages of the “ Journal.' But, as it stands, it is amusing, and abounds with striking passages. There is occasionally a flow of easy and graceful writing, which proves the author to possess great command of language. Take, for instance, the following passage, selected at random :— I like to linger around the sweet hourly and daily fulfilinent of hope, which the slow progress of vegetation, in my own dear country, allows one full enjoyment of; to watch the leaf from the bark, the blossom from the bud ; and the delicate, pale-white, peeping heads of the hawthorn, to the fragrant, snowy, delicious flush of flowering; the downy green clusters of small round buds on the apple-trees, to the exquisite, rose-tinted elouds of soft blossoms, waving against an evening sky.'
By a few well-chosen words, a whole scene is placed distinctly before us, as in the following description of a view from the Battery, New-York :— The wind blew tempestuously ; the waters, all tumbled and rough, were of a yellow-green color, breaking into short, strong, angry waves, whose glittering white crests the wind carried away, as they sank to the level surface again. The shores were all cold, distinct, sharp-cut, and wintry-looking ; the sky was black and gloomy, with now and then a watery, wan sunlight running through it."
The poetry, interspersed throughout the volumes, is far above mediocrity ; indeed, it bears the stamp of genius. If the author, as she hints, be indeed engaged upon a novel, we may expect a production of talent, and, as such, shall freely welcome it, provided the scene be not in America, nor the heroine Fanny Kemble.
Outre-Mer ; a Pilgrimage beyond the Sea.
It is unnecessary to state to our readers, that the author of these pleasing volumes is H. W. Longfellow, recently appointed Professor of Modern Languages and Belles-Lettres, in Harvard University, and now abroad for the purpose of gathering materials to illustrate the department of learning covered by his professorship. The writings of this gentlemen show a rare union of the scholar and the poet. To a minute and laborious research, a well-arranged and copious fund of erudition, he adds a lively sense of the harmony of language, an artist-like power of delineation, and a ready humor, that peeps out, ever and anon, and is always greeted with a hearty welcome.
These volumes contain a series of sketches and tales, illustrative of the peculiarities of the European nations among whom Mr. L. was a sojourner. There is a vein of quiet and sober reflection running through the sketch of the village of Auteuil, that takes strong hold on the heart: “the Valley of the Loire' is full of beautiful description: and “the Trouveres' contains much agreeable information on a curious portion of the poetry of the middle ages. But the best thing in the first volume is the Baptism of Fire' - a story of martyrdom, told in a strain of high and moving eloquence.
The second volume begins with an essay on Spanish ballads. This is intrinsically one of the most interesting subjects within the range of modern literature. Mr. Longfellow is deeply read in these, and enters, with the enthusiasm of a poet, into their marvelous grace, simplicity, and pathos. The translations he has given us, are done with singular beauty and truth to the originals. The “Coplas de Don Jorge Manrique' is an extraordinary poem, and Mr. Longfellow's English version is wrought with remarkable felicity. Passages might be selected from the essay on the moral and devotional poetry of Spain, marked with the finest spirit of criticism, and a most delicate perception of the ancient shades in the coloring of national poetry. There are, also, exquisite passages in the Italian sketches, that breathe the very inspiration of Italian skies, and the myriad associations that clustre around every spot of that classic land. The · Defence of Poetry' is, we believe, the substance of an article published some time since in the North American Review, and contains an able statement of the claims of poetry on our respect and love.
We think the readers of this work will welcome it as an agreeable and valuable addition to our literature. The style is pure and polished; the language flows with fullness, beauty and hardrony. Many of the humorous sketches are drawn with a true and discriminating hand ; while the serious portions are written in a noble spirit, adorned by well-sustained eloquence. But there are some points, of small importance, in which the work is open to criticism. A few pet words and phrases have crept into our author's style, and established themselves without his knowing it, such as “merry,' 'merrimake,' holiday finery.' Mr. L. writes, too, sometimes in the character of an idler, who goes about with his eyes half shut, indulging in all sorts of day-dreams and vagaries ; now, everybody knows that Mr. L. is the most wide-awake of mortal men— that he never idled away an hour in his life ; and that, instead of wandering listlessly over the storied scenes of Europe, he contrived to gather an astonishing amount of information on all matters pertaining to literature, down to the provincial dialects of the various languages, of of which he made himself thoroughly master. We should have been better pleased, had our author written more in his own character, though, it is true, he has Mr. Irving's authority for falling into reveries, whenever the humor takes him. Mr. L. has a way of picking up some odd, tatterdemalion ne'er do weel, and making a picture of him. He does this with a good degree of skill and graphic power ; nevertheless, people will be reminded of Mr. Irving again. But, our author is no imitator; only these coincidences in manner, once in a while, bring up the author of the Sketch-Book' and · Bracebridge-Hall.' A very few changes would have removed these traces of resemblance ; for they are traces, and nothing more. But this picking flaws, in beautiful works of poetry and imagination, is an ungracious task, and we gladly bid it adieu.
The Infidel; or, the Fall of Mexico. By the Author of Cala
var.' Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard.
Dr. Bird has not abandoned the ground which he assumed in his first novel ; neither does the present give any evidence of diminishing power, or a dearth of materials. Everything in the 'Infidel' is new, striking, and interesting. The opening of the tale finds the army of Don Hernan Cortes making preparations for an attack on the city of Mexico, by conveying to the shores of the lake, which surrounds it, the materials for building a fleet of brigantines. While Cortes, now holding a royal commission, and strengthened by the accession of a vast host of