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The .Rev. C. B. Taylor, author of 'May you like it,' announces a volume undei the scarcely less singular title of 'Is this Religion? Or a Page from the Book of the World.'
Mr. Mackworth Praed is, we learn, about to present the public with a volume, to be called the 'Labours of Idleness; or Seven Night's Entertainments.' It is to contain seven prose tales, viz. Contents:—Epistle Dedicatory.—1. The Enchanted Lyre.— 2- Love's Devotion.—3..Pedro Ladron, or the Shepherd of Toppledown Hill.—4. Aileen Astore; or the Glen of the Grave.—5. The Dead Man's Dream.—6. Ellinore— 7. LilianMrs. Cormvell Baron Wilson is on the eve of publishing a collection of her best poems, in one volume, with numerous additional pieces, under the title of 'Hours at Home.' Mrs. W. has written a great deal of very sweet and touching poetry which, if published in a popular form, cannot fail of being duly appreciated.
We are glad to see that our friend John Clare, the Northamptonshire Peasant, has a volume in the press, christened 'The New Shepherd's Calendar, with Village Stories." Clare is a very original poet, and approaches nearer to Burns in the feeling and character of his Songs than any/>ther writer of the present day. There is a production of his in the Literary Souvenir for the present year, entitled 'First Love's Recollections,' which is one of the most touching and beautiful poems with which we are acquainted. We shall pay our early respects to his volume when it appears. '
The announcement of Mr. Murray's new daily newspaper, 'The Representative,' teems to have created a considerable sensation among his political opponents. The statemeut,however, that Mr. Lockhart is to edite it, is quite premature.
Mr. Hallam, of' The MiddleAges,'hasa' Constitutional History of England,' intwq big quartos, just ready to hurl at the heads of the 'reading public'
The title of Mr. Southey's forthcoming volumes, alluded to in our last number, is Sir Thomas More; a series of Colloquies on the Prospects and Progress of Society.' The second volume of the 'History of the Peninsular War' is also nearly ready. For the continuation of this important and most interesting work, the public is looking with great anxiety.
The Rev. Mr. Polwhele announces, in two volumes 8vo, * Traditions and Recolcollections, Domestic, Clerical, and Literary; including anecdotes, and the original correspondence of a great number of distinguished persons.' Having been favoured^ with a sight of the manuscript of these volumes, we are enabled to state that they contain a great deal that is curious and interesting.
Whittaker's new Series of the Monthly Magazine has not disappointed the expectations we had been led to form of its merits. It contains some very excellent papers, among which may be mentioned * Tasso and hjs Sister,' a beautiful copy of verses from the pen of Mrs. Hemans; 'The Gipsey,' a clever sketch, by Miss Mitford; 'The Rat-trap,' by Mr. Hood; and a few admirable remarks on the subject of a plan for the gradual abolition of Negro Slavery, Of the Literary Criticism we can say but little. The outrageous puff of Dr. Kitchener is out of time and place, and some of the minor notices of new books, remarkable rather for pertness and flippancy than reviewer-like acumen. The verses on autumn are by Miss Porter. The late editor of this Magazine, Mr. Orator Thelwall has taken his dismissal in great dudgeon. He announces a new monthly work to be published by Mr. Relfe, viz. 'The Panoramic Miscellany!' The more the merrier, say we!
A new novel, from the pen of the author of that admirable work ' To-Day in Ireland,' is in the press. It will be entitled, 'Yesterday in Ireland.' Mr. Crowe is undoubtedly a man of first-rate talent, and his book cannot fail of proving extremely popular. Mr. Colburn, who seems to have got hold of all the good things this season, is his publisher.
A new periodical, called 'The Time-Piece,' warranted^to go well, commences in March.
We have the melancholy task of recording the death of another enterprising traveller in Africa: Captain Beaufort, of the French Navy, who returned to Senegal in 1822, has just been snatched from our hopes. He thought himself well inured to the climate after two voyages, and five years' residence; but the efforts which he has beer» making for a year past, in three different attempts to advance to the river Timbuctoo, enfeebled his health, and brought on a fatal crisis, justas he was going to ascend tha upper Senegal, and then to proceed directly to that great river.
The Vigo Bay Joint-Stock Company, for weighing up treasure from the bottom of the sea, have during the last season actually fished up one piece of silver plate (a saltcellar, we believe.) Mr. Dixon, one of the directors, is on his return for machinery of greater power!! *
The excellent Octagenarian, Mr. Cradock, is so well pleased with the success of the volume of his memoirs just published, that he is likely to be induced to present the public with one or two more
Mr. Prowett, encouraged by the great success which has attended the publication of his outlines of Canova, announces a third volume, to consist of six double parts.
Mr. N. T. Carrington, the author of a very elegant poem, entitled, 'The Banks of the Tamar, and of some very pleasing fugitive poetry, under the signature of N. T. C. in the Literary Gazette and other periodicals, will publish early in the spring a descriptive poem, entitled ' Dartmoor,' embellished with several interesting views of scenes mentioned in his book.
A splendid quarto volume is announced, to 5e entitled ' British Ichthyology,' with engravings of the principal fish of Great Britain, from drawi ngs by Sir John Fleming Leicester, and several of the first artists of the day; with a preface and occasional remarks by William Jerdan, Esq.
A Mr. Whatton, of Manchester, has nearly ready for the press 'Historical and Biographical Memoirs of Illustrious Natives of the County Palatine of Lancaster.'
The publication of the new volume by the author of Waverley, ' Woodstock, a Tale of the Long Parliament,' is, we hear, likely to be delayed a few days beyond the time specified for its appearance.
An unusual number of Catalogues of Old Books have been published during the last month, by booksellers in all parts of England.
iH,oti«0 to Ifoalrm ants <Sotte&pon'Omt&.
A Correspondent who signs himself J. D. B. or T. D. B. (we cannot say which J, and dates his communication from Birmingham, appears to have put himself to considerable trouble on our account. To notice his complaints seriatim ; part of a sheet of the copy of the Literary Magnet for January with which he had been furnished, has, it seems, owing to the neglect or inadvertence of the binder, been omitted. He adds, too, that other copies in the possession of' his friends,' are in the same predicament. We never yet heard of a querulous correspondent, either of a Newspaper or Magazine, who did not, by some remarkable coincidence or other, happen to have a host of 'friends' who sympathised with him in his grievances. We are sorry for the omission to which J. or T. D. B. refers, and if he and ' his friends' will send their respective numbers to the publisher, through the medium of the bookseller from whom they may have received them, they will be furnished with others in their stead. But our correspondent has further grounds of dissatisfaction. 'It is a ques tionwith several subscribers' to the Literary Magnet, with whom he ' is intimate,' 'whether the articles purporting to be from the pens of Messrs. Alaric A. Watts, Wiffen, Bowles, and Mesdames llolls, M. J. J. and Spence, were written expressly for the work.' On this point we are happy to have it in our power to calm the doubts of our sceptical correspondent, and his equally Incredulous associates. If they were not all' written' they were all furnished expressly for our pages by their respective authors, and have never, as far as we are aware, appeared in print before. What is better still, is, that we are promised many more original contributions from the same pens. The next groan of this Birmingham ' Smell-fungus' is, that some remarks on the Poetry of Wordsworth were given in a former series of the Literary Magnet.' We are, of course, to infer from this hint that we ought to have left him out of our projected Series of Papers on the Living Poets of England. We think differently on the subject; and such of our readers as have perused the very able essay in question, will, we feel assured, sympathise with us in our opinion. Besides, the present Editor of the Literary Magnet, has no wish to identify himself with any of the opinions, critical or moral, of which the series of the work closed in December last may have been the medium. Another groan refers to two or three typographical errors too obvious to need correction. The next time this Birmingham Oracle takes occasion to address us, either in his own behalf or in that of the 'several subscribers' to our work, with whom he is 'intimate,' he is requested (instead of confining himself to the stale trick of putting the word 'Paid'upon his letter), to send his communications postage free, otherwise they will not be taken in. It is, too much to have to pay the postage of every idle and ill-natured blockhead who, like J. or T. D. B. may be disposed, at the expense of a sheet of paper, to vent his spleen upon us.
Foscari, a Venetian Story, on the leading incident of which Lord Byron founded his Tragedy of the TwoToscari, in our next.
The Author of the 'Veiled Bride' is requested to mention where a note will find him ; as is also Mr. Simpson, the translator of two Sketches from Hoffman, which have been in our possession some months.
To the inquiry of Mr. D , we reply ' Yes,—but not for balaam.'
The Article on Dr. Kitchener, is inadmissible, for various and weighty reasons. 'Simon Sir-loin,' although a wag, is, we suspect, a very ungrateful specimen of humanity* We shall not allow the worthy Doctor to be roasted in our pages. The cooks of our readers would weep tears of grease at such a consummation.
H. B's verses are on the whole pretty j but not, we regret to say, sufficiently correct for publication in our pages. Besides, Delia is a name out of all date, and reminds us strongly of the worst productions of Shenstone. He, however, couM write with real force and feeling when he chose, and so we dare say can H. B. Our correspondent is mistaken as to the identity of the present Editor of the Magnet The gentleman to whom he refers is the proprietor of the work, but not the . Editor.
A Packet for Mr. Polwhele was forwarded more than two months ago, through the medium of our worthy friend, 'Sylvanus Urban.'
N. T. C's favour has reached us, and we shall reply to it at our earliest convenience.
We are obliged to the 'Hermit in Oxford' for his communications; but although we have his introductory article in the types, we are unwilling to publish it until we have received more than one other of the same series.
C. D. M. has written some pleasing little poems, but, in the two last with which he has favoured us, he has been unfortunate. We hold a little piece, entitled the ' Palmer,' which we shall probably publish in an early number.
Our Bath friend is informed, that we are 'constant readers' of The News of Literature, and had, consequently, met with the obliging notice of our last number in its pagefcbefore his letter arrived. He is, however, entitled to our thanks, for, although there is always some ' d—d good friend,' or other on the alert to direct the attentiou of an Editor to the abuse of his rivals or opponents, there are few who (like our friend) will write him post free to tell him where he has been praised.
Ii. D. is requested to specify some definite sum. What you please is a very unsatisfactory mode of reply, and usually means (as the amusing octogenarian Cradock justly remarks in ms Auto-biography) more than the applicant feels conscious he ought to ask.
Zelie's Poems are not, we regret to say, eligible for insertion in the Literary Magnet.
Such of our correspondents as may not have received replies, either through this medium or privately, to their communications, will be pleased to infer 'hat their favours have never reached us, in consequence of their having omitted to address them to the care of Messrs. Hurst, Kobinson and Co.
At Page 98, line 2 from the top, for * rolling' read 'rotting.'
THE LIVING POETS OF ENGLAND.
Mrs. Hemans is unquestionably the first female poet—the mistress-mind of the day. Mrs. Joanna Bailie has more dramatic power, a more condensed and masculine diction; her writings contain more philosophy of thought and feeling:—Miss Landon's strains certainly breathe more intense and simple passion, more of the burning heart and eager soul; bat neither the tragedian of Montfort, nor the young minstrel of the Improvisatrice, have minds so essentially poetic. Admitting that her Metres are occasionally fanciful, her diction overgemmed, her portraits of character and emotion sometimes wanting in vitality—' Felicia Hemans, (we quote the words of an American reviewer) is full of poetry—brimful of that miraculous, deep, and sure instinct, the least portion of which is a longing after immortality. The light within her is that which no woman ever had before. Others have had more dramatic power, more eloquence, * more manly temper, but no woman had ever so much true poetry in her heart as Felicia Hemans.' This is saying much, but only look at the feelings she loves to pourtray—they are the purest, most profound, in other words, the most poetic of our nature;—look again at the characters she delights to honour—the wise, the virtuous, the heroic, the self-devoted, the loving, the single-hearted;—those who have been faithful unto death W a holy cause—those who have triumphed over suffering—those who have led on to noble deeds—those who have lived, and those who have died for others. She writes like one who feels that the heart of man is a sacred thing, not rashly to be wounded; and even her darkest delineations of guilt or grief are tempered by the influence of her own womanly spirit. At once gifted and childlike, she exemplifies Wordsworth's line, and preserves
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks. Delicacy is not the word which defines the peculiar charm of her poetry; ye want one that shall express the combination of sobriety of understand\aS, and matronliness of feeling, with ,all that is picturesque and etherial in fancy. The surface of her poetry is smooth, and clear, and sparklingalive to every breeze—varying alike to the shadow and the sunbeamYet more, the depths have more—
Measures of thought and experience—chastened views of human life—
earnest longings after all that is fair and good—the wisdom of a heart that has preserved its sensibilities unimpaired, whilst the judgment has imbibed a sober colouring from daily views of man's mortality.
We come now to speak of her acquirements. Mrs. Hemans has furnished an additional proof that genius and industry, talent and studious habits, are quite compatible; for independently of being the most gifted, she is one of the best informed women of the day. Occasionally we are tempted to regret this; for though poets cannot possess too much knowledge, they may make too much use of it;—and though there is not the slightest tincture of pedantry or display in Mrs. Hemans' poetry, she does sometimes fetter the movements of her mind with facts and authorities, and draws upon her memory when we would rather she relied upon her genius. The author of the Waverley novels has, it is true, made an almost unlimited use of historical data; but his mind has the bee-like property of converting acquired into original matter, old things into new; and if deprived of the charm with which the costume and circumstances of antiquity invest them, his scenes and characters would retain their hold upon our hearts. The grand distinction apparently subsisting between this author and all others who have engrafted fiction upon facts, is, that in the one case, we fancy ourselves reading of things that really have been; in the other, of things that have only been fancied. In many of her historical sketches, Mrs. Hemans has produced this realizing interest; where, as in some of her Greek and Spanish ballads, she has failed, it has not been from any deficiency of poetic feeling in her own mind, but either from the subjects not appealing to our immediate sympathies, or their not being fit subjects in themselves. It is exceedingly difficult to decide, when historical facts are, and are not, fit subjects for poetry. An incident like the burial of Alaric the Goth, or the devotedness of Arria, is so essentially poetic in the bare prose recital, that versification only weakens the original impression; but when, as in Mrs. Hemans' 'Coeur de Lion at the bier of his Father'—and 'He never smiled again'—the interest of the fact lies in some point of feeling not fully developed—poetry steps in with peculiar propriety, to illustrate and embellish. Her Historical Sketches are not, however, what we should call Mrs. Hemans' peculiar poetry; not that which is emphatically, altogether her own; that, on which we most confidently rest her fame. Her * Tales and Historic Scenes' are admirable; her 'Wallace and Bruce' is instinct with poetic feeling; and so is her ' Siege of Valencia;' but her * Voice of Spring,' her ' Hour of Death,' her 'Treasures of the Deep,' her * Graves of a Household,' her 'England's Dead, ' her 'Trumpet,' and a host of similar pieces—these are the undying lays, the 'lumps of pure gold.' We do not think thus with reference to Mrs. Hemans' lyrics only; it strikes us, that nearly all our present poets must depend for future fame on their shorter pieces;—that their immediate popularity depends upon them, is beyond all question. Were 'Paradise Lost' in the present restless state of literary taste, to issue from the press as a new poem, it is doubtful whether it would soon pass a first edition. Long poems require a close and continued attention which many cannot, and more will not give; short lyrics, on the other hand, are not only more rememberable, but also more quotable; through the medium of periodicals, newspapers, and collections, they get disseminated all over the world; and, like the seeds of flowers wafted away by the passing wind, every where meet us springing up in unexpected beauty. And how will it be thirty or