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What was it that “did then so gently, sweetly sia, and that his muse may bring herself down to rise ?" Can any body tell ?

good English. The book may be had at all the The course of true love never did run smooth, bookstores of our city. however, and ere long the Venetian lover, who was esponsed to Alceste, comes to their cottage in the

Tue Poetical LANGUAGE of Flowers; OR THE Pildisguise of a monk, and tells a cock-and-bull story

GRIMAGE OF Love. By Thomas Miller. New York. of having been exiled from Thessaly, (the last J. C. Riker. 1848. place in the world that he ought to have mentioned Flower-books are among the most popular of literary to give probability to his tale,) on account of his gifts; and some of them from the judicious poetical selecreligious opinions. Then he draws his sword u pontions are well calculated to advance the cause of good taste. Heber, who, being on his guard, gives him a death-did quarto published two or three years since hy D. Apple

With the exception, however, of Nature's Gems-a splenwound. The disguised monk, however, as he lies ton & Co., - we do not recall any specimen of this species upon the floor, contrives to stab Alceste, and so of book, which in an artistic point of view is not more or they die away together in a very burnt-cork and less objectionable. In this respect, the volume above named melo-dramatic sort of fashion. Heber then tells deserves high praise. The flowers are admirably executed Boabdil el Chico that ever since the fatal hour, he and colored by hand, by Ackerman. The typography and

binding are superb ; while the text is far superior to the or. has wandered harp in hand, through many climes, dinary contents of similar works. All readers of taste copouring on the eze his tale of wo, and, in his incide in admiration of the poetical Basket-maker. His wanderings, has reached the Moorish palace. genuine moral taste and pure morality have made his books

Boabdil el Chico is disgusted with the poem and for the young and more elaborate writings deservedly popu. his comments thereupon are the very best criticism lar. In the present instance we note the same excellenthat could be adduced. Fadladeen himself never These attractions are enhanced by a brief, but pertinent

cies, accompanied by a richer vein of poetical moralizing. gave a nicer opinion.

introduction from the pen of Mrs. Oakes Smith, the Amer. "And you call this poetry-and moreover presume to of-ican editor of the volume. fend the ears of Boabdil El Chico with such balderdash! Why, my valet here can compose better rhymes, and may. The MIDDLE KINGDOM ; 4 Survey of the Geography, for hap sing them too. Out upon thee !" cried the ungenerous

ernment, Education, Social Life, Arts, Religion, f., wher monarch. Then calling to the guard—“Take him to prison

Chinese Empire and ils Inhabitants. By S. Wells Wil

liams. In Tuo Vols. New York and London. Wiley that his head as well as his harp may be confiscated." & Putnam. 1848.

The “other poems” of the volume consist of To an imaginative reader, the Chinese characters upon “Ki-tum-te-wa, or the Phantom Horseman," which the yellow covers of these handsome volumes suggest a we pass over, and several fugitive pieces, soine of mysterious attraction and revive all the strange anecdotes them really very pretty, under the title of “ Twi- plomacy of the Eastern empire. A glance at the interior

once current, of the stationary civilization and secret dilight Hours” and “ Heart-Whispers.” We wish will prove not less gratifying to the lover of accurate inforwe had room, in justice to Mr. Farmer, to insert mation. Our limits forbid an analysis of the contents ; but “Love's Choice,” which is far the best thing we we assure our readers that the study and observation of have seen from his pen.

twelve years is concentrated, as it were, into a result credThe book closes with a piece of silli

ilable alike to the industry and care of the author. The

ness, worthy of its opening. It is called “ Heart-Whisper, No. which it is executed indicates that no expense has been

scope of the work is indicated by the title. The manner in IV."

spared. A new map of the Empire is arranged and there are numerous graphic illustrations, principally engraved by

J. W. Orr. The enterprising publishers have not issued, “ A little flow'ret, sweet and fair,

among their many standard volumes, a work of its kind Once in a quiet valley grew :

more intrinsically valuable and thoroughly prepared. We 'Twas nurtured by the fragrant air,

commend it to our readers with the utmost confidence.
And by the fragrant dew.
Oh! 'twas a lovely, lovely flower!
To Love 'twas nearly allied ;

A TREATISE ON The Law of COPYRIGHT, &c., &c., &c.

with some notices of the History of Literary Property. But in a dark, ill-fated hour,

By George Ticknot Curtis, Counsellor at Law. Boston:
Rude fingers plucked it-and it died-

Charles C. Litle and James Brown. 1847.
And never bloomed again."

A very useful volume from the pen of a lawyer, whose
Dear sensibility, oh la !

aim has been to present a condensed exposition of the law I heard a little lamb cry ba !

as it obtains on the subject of copyright “ in books, dra

matic and musical compositions, letters and other manu. The poor little flow'ret died and (oh disastrous scripts, engravings and sculpture” both in England and

America. Apart from its intrinsic merit, as a contribution fate !) never bloomed again! The Italics are Mr. to legal science, we do not know when we have seen a Farmer's. All we can say to this is, what Sam more interesting book, and we do not hesitate, therefore, to Weller told Mr. Winkle, when that gentleman com- the fraternity of authors, but by every man who would

say that it should be read not only by the profession and plained that the ice was slippery, “ Not a wery un- keep up with the enduring and respectable literature of the common thing, sir."

age. The notes to the volume especially are full of agreea

ble reading and acceptable information. We cannot close We now conclade our remarks with the hope this hasty notice without expressing our satisfaction at the that if Mr. Farmer should ever write another poem the usual brochures of Little and Brown,) which is grateful

very excellent style of publication, (quite in keeping with on Virginia scenery, it may say a little less of Per-'to the eye, in this day of bad printing.

4 WHISPER IV.

PUBLISHED MONTHLY AT FIVE DOLLARS PER ANNUM—JNO. R. THOMPSON, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.

VOL. XIV.

RICHMOND, MARCH, 1848.

NO. 3.

| ature, perhaps the tastes and feelings of every sucANCIENT GREECE.

ceeding age, may be more easily imagined than

estimated, even by those conversant with her hisHER HISTORY AND LITERATURE.

tory. But though it would be a difficult task to

trace out the influence thus exerted, still it will In publishing the following clear and able view of Gre

ever be a pleasing and an instructive employment, cian History and Literature, we think it proper to express

to turn for a while from the scenes of confusion our dissent from the author's opinion upon The Homeric

and turmoil, of daring ambition and restless actiQuestion. We entertain the old belief, that Homer was

vity, that so strongly mark the outlines of the busy not a mere fanciful name, given by the Greeks to their per

world in which we live, and calmly survey the insonified idea of epico-poetic excellence, but was a MAN,

MAN, stitutions and the character of a people whose acprobably old and blind, who wrote, or at least composed, tions fill so large a space in the world's history. the bliad and Odyssey-whoever may have written the

en the The character of a people is undoubtedly influother poems attributed to him. Our author lays an ingeni

or lays an ingenienced in a considerable degree by that of the counous foundation for his Theory about Homer, in an earlier try which they inhabit, but in a manner so general page of the article ; where, having stated as probable, that and indefinite, that its amount cannot easily be deDeucalion was but a symbol of the Flood, and that his son

termined. The Geography of Greece is remarkHellen (from whom the Greeks were called Hellenes) was

able in many respects. Situated' at the Southonly a " personification of the tribe and intended by his

Eastern verge of Europe, and almost equally acrelation to Deucalion to indicate that the commencement

cessible to each of the three great continents of of the race dated back to the re-peopling of the earth;" he

the eastern hemisphere, it occupied the great censays, “This method of interpretation" is “a key to much that|

tre towards which the trade and commerce of the is otherwise mysterious and absurd in the fabulous genealo

ancient world tended, and from which the radiagies of" antiquity. “By the application of this beautiful prin

"tions of genius and knowledge extended in every ciple," adds he, “ modern criticism has converted into au

au, direction. The limits of this country, called by thentic history, or at least rationally explained, many of lits inhabitants Hellas, were never very accurately those wonderful legends," &c. And again—"This ten

defined, but at farthest embraced a tract of small dency of the Greek character to personify the indefinite

extent in comparison with that of most modern and to embody the ideal," **** "is strikingly exhibited

kingdoms. in their whole system of traditionary legends," &c.

It is remarkable for the great extent of its seaBy all this, the reader is well prepared to receive our

"coast in proportion to its whole area ; and if we author's closing remark upon the Homeric Question--that

consider the clusters of islands in the Ægean, as "Homer and Hesiod will stand, each as the personification of a whole class of heroic bards."

properly forming a part of the same country, it is Certainly, to our view,

peculiarly distinguished in this respect from every Do structure ever had a more “ ideal” basis. But no one Can fail to be struck with the modesty, so characteristic of

other portion of the globe.

It has been thought by some that the proportion true scholarship, that pervades our correspondent's discus

of sea-coast in any country is always connected sion of this question. He evidently but glances at the ar

with, and probably exercises a great influence over guments wbich are in his mind : and we should be gratibed, as doubtless our readers would, if he would present

the progress of civilization and the arts, as well

as the general developments of the genius and enthose arguments-in a form, however, as brief and popular

terprise of its inhabitants; and if this theory be as he can, to suit the general taste and the dimensions of

not altogether fanciful, we may look to this circumoor magazine. It seems to us easy to answer his reason drawn from the doubtful existence of alphabetical writing

stance as one index to the character of the people in Homer's time : but we do not wish to detain the reader.

who dwelt in a land so strongly marked by this

peculiarity. [Ed. Mess.

But whilst thus noted for its general position, it « Vos exemplaria Graeca,

is no less so for its own internal features. In glanNocturna versate manu, versate diurna.”

cing at a map it will be seen that almost every disTo the student of ancient history, there is no trict is encircled by ranges of sleep and lofty mounname that awakens so many thrilling associations tains, and thus separated from the others by natural as that of Greece.

barriers, broken occasionally by the abrupt defiles The influence of her institutions, her history, and narrow passes so celebrated both in the history her philosophy and her poetry in forming the liter- and the poetry of the inhabitants. It was doubt

VOL. XIV-17

less in a great degree owing to this circumstance to the same great Pelasgic family. If this be the that they were divided and sub-divided into so many correct view, it will be much less important to depetty independent States, forever embroiled in dis- termine which was the more ancient location. putes with each other, and always jealous of the Whether when they came into Greece they supremacy of any: a feeling fostered by the tem- found a population then seliled in the country, and per of the people, until it led to the final destruc- if so who they were, are questions that we have tion of the liberties of their common country. no means of solving. We know from another

Their rivers indeed are not on the same scale source that the human family began to spread from with those majestic streams that circle our west- the central and western parts of Asia. Greece ern continent. They belong altogether to another then, as well as the rest of Europe, must have been class. At one season almost entirely deprived of peopled by a tide of emigration from the east. their waters, and at another dashing furiously on. And it may be that it was a part of this tide that ward like a mountain torrent when swollen by the poured in under the name of the great Pelasgic rains of the winter, they may be taken as fit em- family. In this event they must have found the blems of the impetuous and ardent genius of the country uninhabited, and themselves have been the people that dwelt on their banks.

first settlers. If, however, the Pelasgians belong The bold and rugged mountains shooting up ab- not to so early a date as this, and there was alruptly from the plain, the beautiful vales, the ro-ready a population located there when they first mantic and picturesque glens, and the clear spark- made their appearance, we must be content to stop ling fountains of this favored land, if they had no our enquiries and rest satisfied in utter ignorance agency in giving tone to the character of the race, of the names and the history of these earlier tribes. afforded at least striking objects for their genius For not only is the presence of the Pelasgians the to play upon and to invest with all the glowing first fact in Greek history, but the first referred to tints of romance and poetry, that breathe through even in their traditions.* the fables of their early mythology.

The language of these people is involved in alWho the first inhabitants of Greece were, and most as much obscurity as their origin. We only whence they came, are questions no less interest- know that to the ears of Herodotus it sounded like ing to us now, than they were to their own de- a barbarous jargon,t though he had but slender opscendants, when they first began to suspect the im- portonities of judging of it. Of their name also portance of their national history,--and the inter- two etymologies are given, both relating to the est with which they are intrinsically invested is habits of the people, and each plausible enough to enhanced still farther by the mist and obscurity in render it doubtful which is the irue one. Accordwhich they are involved.

ing to one, they were so called from the cultivaThe early history of any nation, whose existence tion of the plains, and according to the other from dates from a period anterior to the introduction of their wandering disposition. The latter is the letters, must ever remain a subject for speculation one more ordinarily adopted, and is also perhaps and conjecture rather than for sober criticism. We more appropriate to their habits of life. Whathave, however, some fragments of historic truth ever may have been the origin of this race,

it is relating to the early settlers of Greece, which have more than probable that in their wanderings, they been carefully sisted by the enlightened and acute either fell in, and became incorporated with other criticism of the last half century, and developed, tribes and thus spread their name much more widely at least, into a consistent form.

than their real nation ever extended, or that the The first race of which we have any knowledge same name was bestowed, as Niebuhr supposes, in the early history of this country, is that of the upon other tribes from similarity of customs, but Pelasgians.* And it seems from the universal in reality possessing no national affinity. Among traditions concerning them, as well as from the the monuments still remaining of this once widely monuments which attest their presence, that they spread race, may be mentioned the Cyclopean tow. were widely spread over many parts of Greece. ers in Greece, Italy and Asia Minor, monuments They were found in Thessaly, in Attica, and in that testify at once the extent of their migrations Peloponnesus, and much learning and time have and the bold genius of the people. been spent in attempting to determine in what part

After the introduction of this race into Greece, they first appeared, without, however, leading to or perhaps rather coeval with it

, many other tribes any definite conclusions. The truth probably is also appear, of more or less afinity with them, and that they came into the different parts of Greece at different times, and at different points, and that the tribes found in Thessaly and in Peloponnesus,

* Thirl, Hist. Gs., vol. i, ch. ii, p. 48.

+ Herod., 1. i, ch. lvii. did not stand in the relation of parent and colony to each other, but were only related as belonging i, ch. ii, p. 51.

1 (From new to cultivate, and apyos a plain,) Thirl, vol. scattered to a considerable extent over the coun- divinity. These were but the early efforts of that try. They all appear to have partaken of the same same wonderful genius, that afterwards developed wandering disposition, and being bound by no ties itself in the immortal productions of Phidias, and of a local nature, to have easily given place to found others, more powerful or more restless than them

0 (From #slapyos, a stork.) Lemp., art. Gre, on the auHerod, 1. i, ch. Ivi.

thority of Niebuhr.

“A local habitation and a name" selves. *

None, however, appear of sufficient importance for all time to come in the glowing pages of her to demand a separate notice, until the rise of the poets and her orators. Hellenic race, which took place some years later. This Hellenic race, whose bold, manly characThis tribe, which afterwards gave its name to the ter constitutes so large and important an element whole country, is distinctly located by all the au- of the Greek nation, seems to have been even thorities in the southern part of Thessaly.t But more restless than the other tribes of the same age, their origio is wrapt in almost as much obscurity and finally swallowed up in its name, if not in its as that of the Peslagians. According to the most race, all the inhabitants of the land, called after it probable account, they are generally considered as Hellas. The manner in which they were mingled having first migrated into Thessaly from the west, with and engrafted upon the old Pelasgic stock though at what period is entirely uncertain. seems to be but imperfectly understood. Herodo

That they derived the name of Hellenes from tus is of the opinion that the Hellenic race Hellen the son of Deucalion, is stated indeed, not was greatly enlarged by readily absorbing into itonly by the poets, bot also by the gravest histori- self other barbarous tribes, but that the Pelasgians ans. It requires, however, only a slight acquaint-being always averse to this mode of increasing, ance with the traditionary history of the ancients, gradually diminished, until in his day they had particularly of the Greeks, to understand such fic- dwindled to one or two insignificant remnants. It titious genealogies. As Deucalion is probably is doubtful how far this opinion, for it is merely adbat a symbol of the flood itself, so when it is said vanced as such, is to be admitted, so far as it refers that the Hellenes sprang from his son, we are only to the Pelasgians. There is, at least, no evidencet to regard Hellen as the personification of the tribe, of their ever having been expelled in any considand intended by his relation to Deucalion, to indi- erable number from any part of Greece, and it is cate that the commencement of the race dated back bighly probable that it afforded a considerable porto the repeopling of the earth.

tion of the basis upon which the Hellenic name This method of interpretation furnishes a key to and race were engrafted. It is at least equally much that is otherwise, not only mysterious, but certain that it was the Hellenic race that imabsurd in the fabulous genealogies of the ancient pressed upon the Greek character that peculiar Greeks and Romans. By the application of this stamp, that distinguished them from the rest of the beautiful principle, modern criticism has convert- world. ed into authentic history, or a least given a ra

The means by which this small tribe acquired tional explanation of many of those wonderful le- the ascendancy so universally over its neighbors, gends that are so intimately interwoven with the is also a matter of doubt. may be inferred from early Grecian and Roman history, and implicitly the language of Thucydides, above referred to, believed by the learned world for so many centu- that these sons of Hellen, as he calls them, were ries. It is at once so simple and so satisfactory, before the others in the arts of civilization as well ihat it scarcely needs more than a bare statement as in those of warfare ; and it is quite likely that to be admitted as true. Its explanation must be such may have been the case to some extent. But looked for, not in any conventional system, adopted we should rather be inclined to look, for the reason by general consent, but in the poetic genius of the of their ascendancy, in that restless and indomitapeople by whom it was used, and in the character ble energy of character, that prompted them to inof the age. This tendency of the Greek charac- terfere at a very early day in the affairs of the surter to personify the indefinite and to embody the rounding tribes, and to lend their assistance whenevideal, connected with an exquisite sense of symme- er it might be needed. In fact, the historian just retry and beauty, is strikingly exhibited in their whole ferred to distinctly states that it was by this means system of traditionary legends and fabulous my- that their name became generally known and in the thology. Every tribe had its legendary hero of course of time came to be applied to all the inhabOlympian descent-every city its tutelary deity, ilants dwelling in Greece. From this period then every mountain and vale, every stream and foun- the term Hellenes was a general appellation for tain, was under the peculiar care of some presiding the Greeks, and in this sense we are to understand According to the popular tradition, Hellen had its wildest mood, peopling every nook and cranny three sons, Æolus, Dorus and Xuthus. From of that romantic land with the bright creations of the former two sprang the Æolian and Dorian ra- fancy, and weaving its history into strange and ces, and from the latter through his two sons, Ion marvellous, but beautiful and expressive legends. and Achæus, the Ionian and Achæan. These ge- Then it was, too, that their language, just passing nealogies will be readily understood as referring to from that state termed rude and barbarous into a the general division of the nation into four leading form better suited to a civilized people, abounded in tribes. Of these, the first was by far the most those bold and striking epithets, so admirably adapwidely spread, -and this was well expressed by ted to express poetic ideas with a simplicity and a that part of the tradition, which asserts that Æo vividness to which the polished elocution of more relus was the eldest son, and inherited his father's fined ages can never possibly attain. It is needless possessions whilst his brothers, were sent forth to to specify any of the wonderful legends of this seek their fortunes. The Æolians occupied the period. The names of Hercules and Theseus, of greater portion of northern Greece and the west- Bellerophon and Jason, will at once suggest rich ern side of Peloponnesus. They seem generally and varied trains of fabulous lore. to have preferred maritime situations ; a circum- We have already alluded to the siege of Troy as stance that accounts for the frequent appearance the event that marked the close of the Heroic age. of Neptune and the other divinities of the sea in The most remarkable and imporlant circumstance their fabulous genealogies, as well as in their sa- that attended this expedition was the union, in one cred rites. The Achæans who, according to the common enterprise, of the different independent tradition would seem to be more closely connected tribes that had now established themselves permain some way with the lonians than with the others, nently in Greece. attained to a considerable celebrity at a very early Upon the history of this interesting expedition period. They are more celebrated in the ancient we must refrain from entering, except as it is conpoetry than either of the other tribes, and their name nected with, and exerted an influence in producing (A xalo) is oftener used by Homer as a general ap- that general change in the condition of the Greek pellation for the Greeks before Troy, than that of nation by which it was succeeded. any other.

that the ideal personage Hellen is called the father

of the Greek nation. + Thuc., 1, 1, ch. ii. + Herod., 1. i, ch.lvı, and Thuc., 1. i, ch. iii.

Herod. 1. i. c. lviii. Thirl., vol. i, ch. iv, p. 58.

+ Thirl. vol. i. c. ii, p. 49. +Thúc., ubi. Supr8.

+ Thuc. , 8.

Before this event the different tribes had reThe Ionian and Dorian races did not rise into garded themselves as related to each other only so much notice until a later period, but they afterwards far as they could trace the ties of relationship and extended their fame and reputation much more affinity. They had never looked upon themselves widely than either of the others, and finally became as the inhabitants of one common country. And the two great leading divisions of the Greek na- even when they united under the lead of Agamemtion. These two races were ever actuated by a non to avenge his brother's wrong upon the devoted spirit of rivalry and jealousy, that often arrayed city and race of Priam, they met rather as distinct one half of Greece against the other in long and nations than as members of one confederacy, and bloody contests, in which the Athenians were al- the supremacy * of their leader was distinctly limways regarded as the head of the Ionian confeder-ited and restricted to this expedition alone. That acy, as the Lacedæmonians were of the Dorian. such was the case is clearly shown from the fact

The Ionians were probably located originally in that Homer never confines himself to any special Attica, to which, as we have just mentioned, they name as a general appellation for the Greeks. The seemed to have looked as the head of their con- terms Agaioi, Aaraoi and Apyetoi are used indifferfederacy. The Dorians were at first seated* in the ently to represent the whole multitude † assembled Northern part of Greece, but, as we shall presently in the plains of Troy. see, migrated from thence to Peloponnesus. It would naturally be expected, that finding them

Such is a slight and imperfect sketch of the lead- selves opposed as one body against the Trojan waring divisions of the Greek nation during that ob- riors, they would gradually begin to acquire a scure but interesting period denominated the He- stronger feeling of nationality amongst themselves. roic age. This period is usually considered as last- And this feeling was heightened to a much greater ing from the rise of the Hellenic nation to the re- degree by the unusually great length to which the turn of the Greeks from the siege of Troy; an siege was protracted. At last, however, when the age not only interesting in the national history of fated hour had arrived and the lofty walls of Ilium the country, but also as affording the materials for that had baffled every effort of the invading foe, some of the ablest productions of the Grecian mind. yielded to his subtile arts, the remnants of the

It was during this period, just verging as it were Grecian host again sought their native homes. But upon the dawn of civilization, that the national ge- the feelings and recollections which they carried nios first began to develop itself. And moving in back with them were of a far different character all the unrestrained freedom of nature, it sported in

* Iliad. 1, v. 278-81, where the independence of each • Herod. u. s.

chieftain is clearly recognized. + Vid. Iliad passima.

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