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Having received the 'Janus, or Edinburgh Literary Almanack,' too late in the month to be enabled to include any extracts from it in our last number, we are induced to supply the deficiency in our present publication. The following article may, be regarded as a very favourable sample of the work:
The great eye of day was wide open, and a joyful light filled air, heaven, and ocean. The marbled clouds lay motionless far and wide over the deep-blue sky, and all memory of storm and hurricane had vanished from the magnificence of that immense calm. There was but a gentle fluctuation on the bosom of the deep, and the sea-birds floated steadily there, or dipped their wings for a moment in the wreathed foam, and again wheeled sportively away into the sunshine. One Shiponly one single Ship—was within the encircling horizon, and she had lain there as if at anchor since the morning light; for, although all her sails were set, scarcely a wandering breeze touched her canVas, and her flags hung dead on staff and at peak, or lilted themselves uncertainly up at intervals, and then sunk again into motionless repose. The crew paced not her deck, for they knew that no breeze would come till after meridian,—and it was the Sabbath-day.
A small congregation were singing praises to God in that chapel, which rested almost as quietly on the sea as the house of worship in which they nad been used to pray then rested far off, on a foundation of rock, in a green valley of their forsaken Scotland. They were Emigrants—nor hoped ever again to see the mists of their native mountains. But as they heard the voice of their psalm, each singer half
forgot that it blended with the sound of the sea, and almost believed himself sitting
in the kirk of his own beloved parish. But hundreds of billowy leagues intervened
between them and the little -tinkling bell that was now tolling their happier friends
to the quiet house of God. And now an old grey-headed man rose to pray, and held up his withered hands in
fervent supplication for all around, whom, in good truth, he called his children—for
three generations were with the patriarch in that tabernacle. There, in one group, were husbands and wives standing together, in awe of Him who held the deep in the hollow of his hand,—there, youths and maidens, linked together by the feeling of the same destiny, some of them perhaps hoping, when they reached the shore, to lay their heads on one pillow,—there, children hand in hand, happy in the wonders of the ocean,—and there, mere infants smiling on the sunny deck, and unconscious of the meaning of hymn or prayer.
A low, confined, growling noise was heard struggling beneath the deck, and a sailor called with a loud voice,—" Fire—fire,—the Snip's on fire!" Holy words died on the prayer's tongue—the congregation fell asunder—and pale faces, wild eyes, groans, shrieks, and outcries, rent the silence of the lonesome sea. No one for a while knew the other, as all were hurried as in a whirlwind up and down the Ship. A dismal heat, all unlike the warmth of that beautiful sun, came stiflingly on every breath.—Mothers, who in their first terror had shuddered but for themselves, now clasped their infants to their breasts, and lifted up their eyes to heaven. Bold brave men grew white as ashes, and hands, strengthened by toil and storm, trembled like the aspen-leaf. "Gone—gone,—we are all gone!" was now the cry ; yet no one knew whence that cry came ; and men glared reproachfully on each other's countenances, and strove to keep down the audible beating of their own hearts. The desperate love of life drove them instinctively to their stations, and the water was poured, as by the strength of giants, down among the smouldering flames. But the devouring element roared up into the air ; and deck, masts, sails, and shrouds, were one crackling and hissing sheet of fire.
"Let down the boat!" was now the yell of hoarse voices ; and in an instant she was filled with life. Then there was frantic leaping into the sea ; and all who were fast drowning, moved convulsively towards that little ark. Some sank down at once into oblivion—some grasped at nothing with their disappearing hands—some seized in vain unquenchea pieces of the fiery wreck—some would fain have saved a friend almost in the last agonies ; and some, strong in a savage despair, tore from them the clenched fingers that would have dragged them down, and forgot in fear
both love and pity.
Enveloped in flames and smoke, yet insensible as a corpse to the burning, a frantic mother flung down her baby among the crew ; and as it fell among the upward oars unharmed, sh" shrieked out a prayer of thanksgiving. "Go, husband, go; for I am content to die.—Oh ! live—live—my husband, for our darling Willy's sake." But in the prime of life, and with his manly bosom full of health and hope, the husband looked but for a moment till he saw his child was safe'; and then taking his young wife in his arms, sat down beneath the burning fragments of the sail, with the rest that were resigned, never more to rise up till the sound of the last trumpet, when the faithful and the afflicted shall be raised to breathe for ever empyrean air.
ADDRESS TO THE INFANT ROSCIUS.
O Would! there was a time in thy past life,
And when one prodigy would kindle strife,
But now, so many marvels dost thou own,
Musical, literary, learned, religious;
That only ' Dominies' cry out' Prodigious!'
The march of intellect' did sure begin,
Those days are gone! Now bird and beast in vain
For wondrous bullfinches—we've Lyra's strain ;—
'A satire upon Shakespeare come and see,'—
'His heroes and his monarchs played by me,
Go to, thou tiny elf,—or rather back,
Ride on thy rocking horse,—thy new whip crack,
VII. Why should'st thou learn of love, hate, strife, or care ;
Dark deeds and thoughts thine infant bosom shock ?
Far other king and warrior suiteth thee:-
But let thy Juliet be of sugar-candy;
A new milk potion to support, not end thee.
Be not Othello,-else must thou forego.
Ear piercing fife, and spirit stirring drum ;'
Thou blossom forced into a flower for pelf ;-
But the Grave-digger digging for thyself!
BY J. H. WIFFEN.
The birth of spring? I warbled with like glee,
Fell first on me. Heard'st thou the turtle-dove in summer's noon
Çoo to its mate from yon aerial pine ? As full and fondly did my spirit soon
Respond to thee.
Mourn in the woods so soon to be resigned ?
Thy smile hehind.
Heard'st thou the lorn owl from her wintry bough
Wail to the unregarding moon, as shrill The hail-storm echoed ? so bewail I now
Thy silence chill,
CHIT-CHAT, LITERARY AND MISCELLANEOUS,
We are happy to learn that a new poem from the pen of Mrs. Hemans is almost ready for publication, entitled ' The Forest Sanctuary, with Lays of many Lands, and other Poems.' The' Forest Sanctuary' is said to narrate the history of a Spaniard who flies from religious persecution in his own country to the wilds of North America. Reports speaks of this poem as one of the most successful productions of the pen of its deservedly popular authoress. Mrs. Hemans requires only to be read to be properly appreciated by all who have the slightest pretensions to poetical taste.
Some people have affected to doubt that Sir Walter Scott is really engaged in writing
• Life of Napoleon Buonaparte. Strange, however, as it may appear, it is no less trne than strange. The work, which is expected to he comprised in five post octavo volumes, is already far advanced, and will probably make its appearance some time in the autumn. Report states it to be written, so far as it has proceeded, in a line vein of philosophical impartiality, and to breathe throughout the most perfect candour and good temper. The style is also spoken of as having been carefully attended to, and as a chaste example of historical excellence.
A series of very beautiful poems is being published, from week to week, in tie Literary Gazette, by L. E. L. under the signature of' lole.' The worthy editor would fain have us believe that these verses are indeed by a new hand, but an admirer of the
* Improvisatrice' will have no difficulty whatever in falsifying the insinuation from internal evidence alone. This is a very pardonable species of humbug,—but still it is IfiBinbug.
"Vharles Lamb has, we perceive, become a contributor to the New Monthly Magazine. His first paper, however,' Popular Fallacies,' is by no means in his happiest style. The article on the late Emperor Alexander, in the same Magazine, is said to have been furnished by Dr,Lyall,—a very ominous name for a traveller.
The elegant translator of Tasso, Mr. J. H- Wiffen, announces, we perceive, a version of the choicest specimens of the Spanish Poets ; with notices, critical and biographical. This work will be published uniformly with the works of Gurcilasso de la Vega.
The editor of Friendship's Offering, Mr.T. K. Hervey, is, we understand, about to publish a volume, entitled ' Sketches from the Note Book of Charles Hamilton, Esq.'
The work advertised by one of the authors of the' Rejected Addresses' is, it appears, a novel, entitled * Brambletye House.'
Mr. Bowles's new pamphlet on the Pope Controversy, has just reached us. He gives the 'Liverpool Historian' some desperate facers; but as an able correspondent has promised to furnish us with the pith of the twenty or thirty pamphlets which have been printed on this subject, in a brief and popular form, for our next number, we shall only observe, for the present, that these ' additional last words' were unnecessary, since every individual, save the Quarterly Reviewer and Mr. Roscoe, not stark mad, is on the side of Mr. Bowles. This dispute has certainly been carried to most extraordinary lengths pn both sides, and ought now to be suffered to drop. In spite of Mr. Roscoe, it must be universally admitted that the poetry of arr is inferior to that of nature, and that Pope was not that rigid purist in morals which hisblind idolaters would fain have us believe. Some of his letters to the Misses Blount and Lady Montague, and one or two of his lampoons, are of a most disgustingly obscene character. On the whole it may be remarked with truth, that his late eulogists have greatly injured his fame with the present generation, by compelling their opponents to produce proofs with whicli the public would never otherwise have been made acquainted.
Mr. Blanco White, the author of the interesting Spanish Novel, entitled ' Don Esteban.' and of the still more admirable 'Preservative against Popery,' is, we are happy to learn, about to produce another work, to be called ' Sandoval, the Freemason,' the incidents of which are said to be founded on facts.
Mr. Colburn, ever on the alert to minister to the public amusement, is, we see, about to publish ' The Adventures of a Young Rifleman;" an imitation, of course, of the interesting series of papers published in ' Blackwood,' under the designation of 'The Subaltern,' and since collected into a handsome post 8vo. volume.
Mr. Croly's book on the Prophecies, of which report speaks in very high terms, is at length about to make its appearance.
Miss Roberts, the authoress of some very able sketches in prose and verse in some of the leading periodicals of the day, is preparing for the press a * History of the Wars of the Rival Houses of York and Lancaster.' From what we have seen of the productions of this young candidate for historical fame, we are led to expect that her two Roses will not prove deficient either in bloom or odour.
Some months ago Leeds sported a new periodical work, of a very inferior character, entitled ' Tiie Provincial Magazine,' which was gathered to the' Tombof all the Capulets' after three or four publications. We are far from thinking that Leeds, or any other town of similar magnitude, is not equal to the production of a respectable publication of this class; but the work in question, with the loftiest possible pretensions, was really a most contemptible affair, and by no means calculated to impress the Southern public with a favourable ,idea of the literary taste and intelligence of the place from which it emanated. A new monthly work, of the Magazine genus, is, we understand, on the eve of making its appearance in Manchester, but under what aus» pices we are ignorant. If publications of thi3 class would not aim at more than a local circulation, there might be some chance of their success; but considering the number and quality of their Metropolitan competitors, they have little chance of circulation out of their own neighbourhood. Ifbdiligently conducted we have little doubt of the success of a monthly periodical in Manchester, but then it ought to devote its pages to discussions calculated to interest mercantile as well as literary and scientific readers.
It is a curious fact that notwithstanding the great competition this year among the Annual Literary Works, a very much larger number of the 'Literary Souvenir; or Cabinet of Poetry and Romance,' and ' Forget me not' have been sold than on any previous occasion. Had the former of these volumes been published along with its rivals it would rnost certainly have had a still further circulation of several thousands.
The King of France has appointed a commission to prepare a law for the protection of literary property. A great number of the most eminent noblemen and literati in the country have been included in this body. A long projet of a law has been submit' ted to the consideration of the commission, divided into twenty distinct heads; which, after they have been thoroughly discussed, will be formed into the four following chapters .—On the property of literary works in general; on the property of dramatic works; on the property of works of art; on the property of musical compositions. Wewant something of the same kind in this country very much. In England literary property, which ought to be held quite as sacred, if not more so, than personal property, >s only afforded a temporary protection. Why should not an author's works descend to his heirs in the same manner as landed property? The time and talents of a literary ■nan are said to constitute his estate. It is the limitation of the term of copyright that wakes all modern publications so expensive; remove this and they would be printed in a cheaper form, and enjoy (those that were worthy of being read) a popularity to ten times the extent they do now.
The King of France has given orders for a new voyage of discovery; the direction of which will be entrusted to three very able and experienced persons. The particular object of the voyage is to explore more accurately several of the islands in the Pacific, and especially those among the shoals of which it is presumed that the unfortunate Perouse perished.
A very admirable Caricature.not unworthy the pencil of Hogarth, designed by one of the authors of ' Odes and Addresses to Great People,' has just made its'appearance. It is certainly one of the most humorous productions we ever remember to have seen.
A volume, which, from its title, we should judge to be of a very useful character, is in the press, entitled ' The Father's Guide in the Selection of a School for his Son being a brief account of all the schools in England from which scholars have a claim to fellowships, scholarship exhibitions, or other honors and emoluments in the two Universities.
A Life of the late Emperor of Russia, (a vamp of course,) is announced for immediate publication, in one large volume, octavo.
The seventh and eighth volumes of ' Madame de Genlis' Memoirs' have just issued from the press, and are not inferior in interest to their predecessors. The supplement contains the Madame de.G's opinions of the authors of the day, French as well as English.
The admirable pen of Miss Benger is, we are happy to hear, engaged on a History of the reign of Henry the Fourth of France. The period is one of surpasing interest, Md the work will, we doubt not, be worthy the fame of its distinguished authoress.