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“Sweetly she goes, like the bright peacock; straight
Above herself, like to the lady crane."* This is not the way we conceive Imogen or Desdemona to have walked. The head is too stiffly held up; admiration is too much courted: there is a perking consciousness in it, as if the lady, like the peacock, could spread out her shawl the next minute, and stand for us to gaze at it.
The carriage of Laura, Petrarch's mistress, was gentle; but she was a Provençal, not an Italian. He counts it among the four principal charms, which rendered him so enamoured. They were all identified with a sentiment. There was her carriage or walk; her sweet looks; her dulcet words; and her kind, modest, and self-possessed demeanour.
“From these four sparks it was, nor those alone,
A bird nocturnal, warbling to the sun." And in another beautiful sonnet, where he describes her sparkling with more than her wonted lustre, he says,
“Her going was no mortal thing; but shaped
Like to an angel's.”+ Now this is the difference between the walk of the ancient and modern heroine; of the beauty classical and Provençal, Italian and English. The one was like a goddess's, stately and at the top of earth; the other is like an angel's, humbler but nearer heaven.
It is the same with the voice. The southern voice is loud and uncontrolled; the women startle you, bawling and gabbling in the summer air. In the north, the female seems to bethink her of a thousand delicate restraints; her words issue forth with a sort of cordial hesitation. They have a breath and apprehensiveness in them, as if she spoke with every part of her being.
“ Her voice was ever soft, gentle, and low,
SAAKSPEARE. As the best things, however, are the worst when spoiled, it is not
* “Soave a guisa va di un bel pavone ;
Diritta sopra se, come una grua."
S'accordan le dolcissime parole,
Che son fatto un augel notturno al sole."--Sonnet 131. In this sonnet is the origin of a word of Milton's, not noticed by the commentators.
" With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
“So warm a pleasure rains from her sweet eyes."
Ma d'angelica forma."-Sonnet 68.
easy to describe how much better the unsophisticated bawling of the Italian is, than the affectation of a low and gentle voice in 4 body full of furious passions. The Italian nature is a good one, though run to excess. You can pare it down. A good system of education would as surely make it a fine thing morally, as good training renders Italian singing the finest in the world. But a fu: rious English woman affecting sweet utterance!-" Let us take any man's horses," as Falstaff
says. It is an old remark, that the most beautiful women are not al. ways the most fascinating. It may be added, I fear, that they are seldom so.
The reason is obvious. They are apt to rely too much on their beauty; or to give themselves too many airs. Mere beauty ever was, and ever will be, but a secondary thing, except with fools. And they admire it for as little time as any body else; perhaps not so long. They have no fancies to adorn it with. If this secondary thing fall into disagreeable ways, it becomes but a fifth or sixth-rate thing, or nothing at all, or worse than nothing. We resent the unnatural mixture. We shrink from it, as we should from a serpent with a beauty's head. The most fascinating women, generally speaking, are those that possess the finest powers of entertainment. In a particular and attaching sense, they are those that can partake our pleasures and our pains in the liveliest and most devoted manner. Beauty is little without this. With it, she is indeed triumphant, unless affection for a congenial object has forestalled her. In that case, fascination fixed carries the day hollow against fascination able to fix. I speak only of hearts capable of being fixed as well as fascinated; nor are they so few, aş it is the interest of too many to make out. A good heart, indeed, requires little to fix it, if the little be good, and devoted, and makes it the planet round which it turns.
I reckon myself a widower, though I was never wedded; and yet with all my love for a departed object, a sympathizing nature would inevitably have led me to love again, had not travelling and one or two other cireumstances thrown me out of the way of that particular class of my country women, among whom I found the one, and always hoped to meet with the other. When I do, she may, or may not, as it happens, be beautiful; but the following charms, I undertake to say, she will and must have; and as they are haveable by others, who are not in possession of beauty, I recommend them as an admirable supply. They are far superior to the shallower perfections enumerated in this paper, and their only preservative where they exist.
Imprimis, an eye whether blue, black, or grey, that has given me the kindest looks in the world, and is in the habit of looking kindly on others.
Item, a mouth-I do not choose to say much about the mouth, but it must be able to say a good deal to me, and all sincerely. Its teeth, kept as clean as possible, must be an argument of cleanliVol. VII. No. 41.-Museum.
ness in general; and, finally, it must be very good-natured to servants, and to friends who come in unexpectedly to dinner.
Item, a figure, which shall preserve itself, not by neglecting any of its duties, but by good taste and exercise, and the dislike of gross living. I would have her fond of all the pleasures under the sun, except those of tattling, and the table, and ostentation.
Fourthly, a power to like a character in a book, though it is not an echo of her own.
Fifthly, a great regard for the country.
[New Monthly Mag.
SPLECTED FOR THE MUSEUM.
LATE AMERICAN BOOKS. 1. Peep at the Pilgrims; 2. Lionel Lincoln; 3. Memoirs of
Charles Brockden Brown; 4. John Bull in America; 5. The Refugee; 6. North American Review, No. XLVII,
About five years ago, or thereabout, an article appeared in the North American Review, advising the writers of America, or such of them as had pluck enough, and soul enough, to undertake a few straight-forward stories, partly true, partly untrue, after the Scotch fashion, about the early history and exploits of the New England fathers, or pilgrims,-the brave, devout, absurd, positive, original creatures, who are now looked upon, every where, as the “settlers" of a country, which they wasted, literally, with fire and sword; with uninterrupted cruel warfare, till nothing was left, not a single tribe, hardly a vestige, in truth, of a great people,-of countless hordes, who covered all that part of our earth; being the natural, and, perhaps, the original proprietors thereof.
The paper was well timed, pretty clever, and has done much good, we hope, to the hot-bed of North American literature and scholarship, from the very middle of which the said Review itself sprung up, some twelve years ago, like a thing of the soil; quite covered with fruit and flower, blossom and bud, nevertheless.
We did hope, when we saw this article, that some native, bold writer of the woods; a powerful, huge barbarian, without fear, and without reproach, would rise up to the call; come forth in his might; and, with a great regard for historical truth, give out a volume or two, worthy, in some degree, of the stout, strange, noble characters; the resolute, stern, thoughtful characters, who contrived, in a little time after they were cast away upon the rocks of another world, far beyond the reach of pity or succour, apparently without hope, sick and weary as they were, to build up a great empire along the coast, from the wreck and rubbish, the fiery material and brave ornament, which, after the convulsions of Europe, drifted ashore in America; a story or two, worth reading, of the prodigious old Puritans--the political martyrs--the plain-hearted,
religious, quiet men, so unlike all other men that we now read of, either in history or fable; the courageous fanatics; the sober, unforgiving, bad zealots, who, on account of their moral stature, which was, indeed, of most unearthly proportions, appear in the mist or twilight, which covers the early history of New England, very much like a troop of giants walking about over the hills, in á great fog; a story or two, worth repeating, of the witches and wizards, the wars and fights of the country; the men thereof; such as Winthrop and Bradford, Sir Harry Vane, Whaley, Goff, Roger Williams, Elliot, Standish, Cotton, with a host of others; mighty men of war, some (for that portion of our earth,) some, tried in the battles of Europe, and well known to the soldiers there; others, powerful in debate, or learned, or wise to a proverb, and all, every one, of a decided character, brim-full of heroic individuality; the women thereof, such as the celebrated Mrs. Hutchinson, or the female Quakers, who were scourged to death; or the witches, who were hung up for their beauty; the language, peculiarities, and habits of both:~We did hope for all this; and will continue to hope for it, though we see little to encourage us; for we have some idea of what might be made of such material, and have had, ever since the great Scotch novel writer himself, or a great Scotch novel writer, we should say, went a little out of his path, some three or four years ago, to take possession of the subject, as if it were a piece of uninhabited earth--and for what purpose, forsooth? Why, only to keep others away, it would seem; for, having set up the standard of dominion there; said over a form of exclusive appropriation, very peculiar to himself—a few words of power-and looked about him, for a breath or two, he went away for ever. We allude now to the case, where he lugs in a warlike stranger, we forget how, Whaley or Goff, we forget which—from the woods of Connecticut-a gray-headed man-a regicide, if our memory serves, for the rescue of a people, who were attacked on the Sab. bath, while at prayer~" at meeting," we should say,-by a party of savages. Do not mistake us, though. We complain of that novel writer, for leaving the New World in a hurry; not for going • to it; for doing so little, where he might have done so much-not
for doing little, where he should have done less; for, let him search the records of all history through, page by page-ransack all the traditionary lore of allantiquity, and he will never find a people more worthy of his great, peculiar power-that which delights in the dramatic portraiture of men above their fellows-than were the people of North America, up to the time of the revolutionary war. They grew up in strise; in perpetual commotion. They flourished all the better for earthquake and storm. There were feuds in every province, up to the very day, when they united for mutual safety; leaders, political, religious, and military, of surprising waywardness and great energy, -energy, almost without example; superb characters for the pen, or the chisel rather; for he, of whom we speak, writes with a chisel, when occupied with a subject worthy of his whole power; magnificent characters, in truth ; broad over the chest; with every muscle up, and every sinew, by continual warfare, alive and articulate; all over, in short, with courageous individuality.
Yes, we did hope for a story or two of the right shape, nor have we been altogether disappointed; for the writers of America started up, with a new impulse, after it appeared; broke out, from every wood, as their brave old fathers did, fifty years ago, in the day of their political emancipation, with loud cries; and every month of late, nay, almost every week, we have been treated with a von lame or two, such as they were, of tales founded, with some regard for historical truth, upon the early transactions of their people. The favourite period with all these new writers, however, would seem to be that of the Revolution there, about which, quite enough has been said, “partly true, partly untrue;" quite enough now, to satisfy the appetite of this, or any other age, though it were said ever so well-fifty times better than it has been said. We, for one, are sick of it, glad as we are of the bustle “at home;" sick and weary of it, although it augurs well for a new growth of literature, in a country where, till of late, authors were obliged, what ever might be their worth, to work for nothing and find themselves;" but where, within a few days, five thousand dollars have been offered (by Carey and Lea, Philadelphia) for two years' privilege of a novel, (Mr. Cooper's LIONEL LINCOLN,) with a "bonus" of two or three hundred more, to Wiley of New York, (the publisher,) if he would forego his claim; that is, about eleven hundred guineas for the privilege of supplying the markets of America, with a native story, for two years. If this be true, and we have good reason for believing it; and if it be true also, that certain of the chief publishers in the United States are beset on every side, almost every day, by young authors, overloaded with manuscript, or in travail with a book or two, (all which we believe to be the case, on authority good enough to satisfy us, who are not easily satisfied,) we venture to say that another revolution will soon take place in the New World--a more complete and absolute emancipation by far, than has ever yet occurred among the people of our earth; an escape from the worst of bondage that of the soul; the true bondage of death--literary, not political bondage.
Who that wishes well to the great republic of literature,—who that knows what miracles may be wrought, with a spirit entirely free,-when a whole nation goes forth to generous warfare; every heart swelling with courage, heaving with joy, beating with hope; all on fire, with a new taste of immortality, ripe for adventure in every possible shape; who that knows aught of this will not pray for that hour to arrive?
It will arrive. The day of thorough emancipation is near, we hope and believe; emancipation, we should say, from that unwor thy prejudice, (made up of a stupid apathy, self-distrust, and childish deference, God knows wherefore, which degrades a people;