« ZurückWeiter »
tle which, standing alone or found in other we are tired of the subject. Reader, it is company, might not pass for pardonable probable, so are you. brusquerie and Irish candour. But - but
Chronicles of Life. By Mrs. Cornwell thirdly—that which gives origin to narra
BARON Wilson. 3 vols. London : tive or descriptive prose; an epic is neither BOONE, 1840.
more nor less than a novel or romance,
“done into rhyme," while a romance on the It has been observed, that most indivi- other hand is merely an epic in prose. For duals embracing the profession of author- the poet as well as for the novelist, the same ship, begin with poetry, whence, if their essentials are requisite, viz. :—a fertile imaefforts prove successful, they usually proceed gination; chasteness and felicity of expresto prose; and it has been also, invidiously sion; a good command of language, and an enough in our opinion, remarked, that such intimate acquaintance with individual chaa mode of proceeding is precisely similar to racter, or in other words the workings of the a child attempting to run before it has yet human mind under different circumstances, made an essay in creeping on all fours. and their effects on the actions of mankind, From this very absurd assertion we entirely whether severally and distinctively, or as dissent: we see nothing unnatural in a brought into juxta-position and contrasted young writer's commencing with short with each other. poetic pieces, and thus, as it were, trying Sir Walter Scott was both a novelist and his strength in short and hasty Autterings, a poet; he began with poetry, and had ere he ventures to extend his pinions, and already attained considerable fame in that seek in a lengthened flight the ethereal arduous and often perilous path, ere he realms of fiction and of fancy. “ Poeta ventured to produce Waverley, his first prose nascitur, non fit”-no circumstances can work of fiction. Sir Walter was successful convert a man, not naturally endowed with in both prose and poetry. Byron comthe requisite qualifications, into an author; menced his career with songs, lyrics, and he is either no author, or he is born such. sonnets ; from these he advanced to the A person then born with the qualities, and epic, or story in rhyme, as The Bride of whose soul is imbued with the spiritual es- Abydos, The Corsair, Lara, &c. Byron sence necessary to constitute a weaver of rested here, but had he lived, it is highly fiction, must early feel within him the in- probable that he'would subsequently have spiring influence, and must naturally expe- softened down to sober prose. We could rience an inexplicable desire, nay necessity, name many others, but must content ourto unburden his teeming fancy of the ex- selves with these. Our business is at alted ideas and vivid images which are present with the authoress of the beginning to crowd upon it. Under such lumes under consideration, Mrs. circumstances a short piece of poetry, or an Cornwell Baron Wilson, long known to equally short and doubtless hyper-romantic our readers as one of the most success. story, is the inevitable result. Should the ful lyrists of her time, the writer of mind of the individual be so formed as to many popular songs, and the editress mark him as a poet par excellence, he will of two fashionable periodicals. Mrs. probably remain so; that is to say, should Wilson made her entrée as a lyrist, and the impulse working within him relate only warbled sweetly for many years ere she took or especially to the purely imaginative, or up her pen and essayed a work of prose; speculatire, in other words to the ideal. perhaps she feared failure, and dreaded lest But in a majority of instances he will, after she might thus lose the laurels she had some probationary exercises, come forward already gained; perhaps she doubted her either as the author of a prose story, or of a own powers, and feared to embark in a work lengthened epic poem. There are thus so heavy as a novel, knowing, doubtless, three gradations of the effects of the “poetic that nothing short of three volumes will fire:"First—that which produces syrics, now-a-days go down with the public ; persongs, &c.; second-that which will give haps—but really it is no affair of ours--we birth to descriptive or narrative poetry ; and have no right to discuss a lady's motives,
nor is it ordinarily an easy matter to dis-rowing, too terrible, to be dwelt on with cover them. Be her motives for vot sooner much after-pleasure. We like the “ Loves coming before the public in the character of of Tim O'Flannagan" uncommonly. This a novelist what they may, she has now little sketch presents rather an anomaly ; done so, and it is our business to discuss an English writer giving a tolerably sucher-merits, not her motives.
cessful picture of a wild, love-making, We confess that we do not approve of laughter-loving, rollicking blade of a a number of stories being collected together, young Irishman, permitting him to speak, and then "made into a book”—but what with few exceptions, like a gentleman, are authors to do? No publisher will un- and to act like a man, instead of foldertake anything short of the fashionable lowing the ordinary routine of making complement of paper and letterpress. A him employ the diction of a cow-boy, and few years ago the prescribed quantum was betray the ignorance and imbecility of an four volumes—Heaven save the mark'! let idiot. “ The Pawnbroker's Window" is an us be thankful that it is now reduced to extremely pleasing and pathetic little story, three. It is to be hoped that a still further and would of itself be sufficient to put us reduction may yet be effected, till when we on good terms with the whole. In fine, must take matters as we find them, and Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson has entered wait in patience. We are not, we repeat, on her new career most creditably; if ber fond of a number of short tales collected to- subsequent novels fulfil the promise disgether in three volumes, but the fault, as played in “ The Chronicles of Life," we we have observed, is to be laid at the door shall be much mistaken if we do not in a of fashion-not of the writer. Yet if any- few years find her name and reputation thing could put us into good humour with greatly extended and increased. Throughtales thus collected, it would be the circum- out her writings breathes a strain of piety stance of each tale being individually good, and morality, which without obtruding itself and able to stand by itself on its own merits. on the notice of the reader, is nevertheless This, be it observed, is by no means usual ; certain to awaken his better feelings, and stupid stories are frequently thrown in to we question whether any person will peruse “fill up," and one or two good ones are in these tales and lay them down again, withterspersed merely to "sell the rest." The out being improved both in the heart and volumes before us, we are happy to say, in the understanding; and under this imare, on the whole, an exception to the rule; pression we cordially recommend the work almost every story is good of itself and by to our readers' notice. itself; hence the entire of the three volumes will be perused with pleasure.
Yet excellent as are most of the tales com- First and Second books of Reading Lessons, prised in these volumes, we must be allowed arranged by the Christian Brothers. to have our preferences; and, in our capa- Powell, Dublin, 1840. city of reviewers, we conceive it our duty to state them. We think the or
Young The late lamented and highly gifted Mr. Jew,” which forms the principal part of the Griffin, the author of the “ Collegians,” and first volume, decidedly the best story of the other deservedly popular works, determined whole. We do not remember recently to have to devote his rare talents in a manner which met with any tale of the same length, in would most effectually benefit society, and which is shewn greater knowledge of the with that intention he joined the Brothers of passions, greater insight into human na- the Christian Schools, and assisted them up ture, or more masterly conceptions of cha- to his latest hour, in preparing for the press racter and plot. We only regret that works of acknowledged merit, and of the the “ Young Jew” was not, with some greatest utility to the rising generation. further developement, made the only tale. The popular school books, which the The “ Young Jew” is tale which no one Brothers have recently published, are en, who commences it will lay down until read entitled to the high eulogiums bestowed to the end, and which the reader cannot ba- upon them by very competent judges. We nish from his mind in the hasty manner in cordially join in recommending to the use which he is accustomed to dismiss many of schools and seminaries their elementary fictions from his memory.
Next to the works on education, which surpass most Young Jew” stands, in our estimation, compilations of the kind we have seen, “The First Brief." It is an exciting and deeply for cheapness and their successful adaptation affecting narrative; but the subject is too har- to promote the important objects which the
instructors of youth should ever sedulously, The Catholic Luminary and Ecclesiastical endeavour to advance.
Repertory. Published every fortnight. The First Book of Reading Lessons is Dublin : DIRHAM. neatly bound in cloth, and sold at the low price of three pence; it is arranged on an
It is not properly within the province of original plan, and is well adapted to a journal like ours, to notice publications of a enable children to master the first elements purely religious or controversial nature. At of reading. The matter on each page is the same time we may observe that the numcomplete in itself, which adds considerably, bers of this periodical which we have seen,connot only to the convenience of the learner,
many papers which display no common but also to the appearance and value of the ability; we remarked in particular some book; and the classification of words is notes of lectures by the late Right Rev. Dr. effected with such judgment, that every Doyle. At a time when, in this department lesson presents, as it should do, an appro
as in every other, we are inundated with priate exercise in the leading principles of English publications, anti-Irish and denatiogrammar and composition.
nalizing in their tendencies, we deem it the The Second Book of Reading Lessons is bounden duty of every Irishman to support designed for those who have just learned the the native production against the foreign first book; we are much pleased with the
The Luminary is ably conducted, arrangement and judicious matter of every cheap, and instructive: it is well entitled to page; it is bound in cloth, and the price is the support of the Catholic community. eight pence. The high reputation of the exemplary Brothers as instructors of youth Fox's Book of Martyrs. Part I. Pictorial is well sustained by these works, which are
Edition ; revised by the Rev. John Cumnot only practical in their detail, but general
ming, M. A.
To be completed in thirty in their application, and therefore we are
monthly parts. London: Virtue. 184 1. not surprised to hear that the stamp of pub- The editor of this work, in a well-written lic approbation has been manifested in an but narrow-minded and bigoted introduction, encouraging manner, by the large and in- remarks that, with the exception of the Pilcreasing sale which has already taken place grim's Progress, there has been no book so in various parts of the empire.
popular in England as Fox's Martyrs. It now depends upon a discerning com- This is, we believe, not very far from the munity, by patronizing those excellent com- fact; but how far such a fact is creditable to pilations, to realize all the advantages they the people of that country, and how much were intended to produce; and it is but just the spirit of true religion must have decayed, to add, that they have been undertaken with while fed with such gross aliment, would be the sole, pure, and disinterested view of promo- a melancholy investigation, and one into ting the best interests of others, and that no which, as we do not meddle with controversy, earthly recompence is expected or desired i we are not inclined to enter; nor, were we by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, inclined, could we afford space for such diswhose valuable services are gratefully ac- cussions. For those, however, who like such knowledged, not only in this country, but in a commodity, we can fairly state that this various other parts of the British empire edition is well printed on beautiful paper, where branches of the institute are estab- and embellished with portraits and woodcuts, lished. We have not been surprised to hear in subject the same, (though vastly improthat applications have been made from New ved in execution,) as those which a couple of York, Philadelphia, and New South Wales, centuries ago adorned the black-letter editions. soliciting some of the members to visit those Altogether, for those who want such a book, distant parts of the globe, and superintend this edition is cheap, and will, when complethe education of youth there. In conclusion ted, be both handsomer and more convenient we may remark, that these useful books than any hitherto published. The price of are Irish Manufacture—the paper is Irish- each part is two shillings, and the total cost the printer is Irish, and we need scarcely when completed will be three pounds. The add, that the Christian Brothers are a very embellishments in this first part are rather creditable specimen of native talent, inva- scanty, and we recommend the publisher to riably exerted in a most meritorious manner. I be more liberal of them as he proceeds.
THE NATIVE MUSIC OF IRELAND.
We must "try back;" not that we intend to retrograde, on the contrary, we say, “push on-keep moving.” We belong to the movement. But, don't we all understand the skilful manœuvre of our countryman who commanded his troop to advance backwards ? That is the way in which we must now resume our progress. Whether we can or cannot satisfy thee, courteous and kind reader, as to our reasons, is not now the question. Thou canst not compel us to it; or if it were thy wish, we say--no; were we at the strappado, or all the racks in the world, we would not tell thee on compulsion; not if reasons were as plenty as blackberries. We have made up our minds;—forwards we go regressively, -from the present station to the place behind,—with our front backwards with our back forwards -So it is our will to march, and why not?
King Cerberus; and let the welkin roar! Have we not been cut at, hacked, and hewn! Accused, maligned, condemned, and, worse than all, damned with faint praise, and thrown to dunghill grubs! Have we not had incision, and shall we not imbrue?
Then death rock us to sleep, abridge our doleful days!
Untwine the Sisters Three! Come Atropos, say we! Having thus vented and spent the bombast of our wrath and fury, let us proceed to unfold "the parcels and particulars of our griefs." To begin with the mildest charge against our last number, we are accused of FORGERY-forging sense into nonsense—and so, of stupid, as well as villainous and profligate forgery. We plead, not guilty. Saith our indictor, speaking of our reprint of the famous song. Our Island, '-"We would counsel the editor of such songs, not to make any alterations in songs which are the property of the author's fame and the nation's heart; but, above all, not to alter for the worse, as in the first verse of this song, the first sentence of which is altered into nonsense,” &c. We pray your worships that this indictment may be tried by the record. Here is the original song :
“Dublin, published by I. Robertson, Engraver, Printer & cheap Music Seller, 28, Essex-street." It has the identical words
“Inspire our good king
Il advisers to fling,
Ere destruction they bring on our Island.” “Now, may it please your Worships, first of all, we reprinted that precisely as we found it-totidem verbis totidem literis, (which means, Madam, in so many words—in so many letters) and we emphatically indicated that we did so, by a special reference to these self-same, unaltered lines, pointing to the internal evidence they afforded; viz: that the "destruction” spoken of in them was plainly the contemplated Legislative Union, and that therefore the composition of the words was clearly antecedent to 1800. Then what is the alleged version of this our prosecutor ?
“ Inspire our good king
From his councils to fling
* Mr. O'Callaghan, a gentleman, whose extensive learning and indefatigable research have been recently most favourably made known to the public by his “ GREEN Book," has given a copy of this song, in a note to that interesting work, page 134. His reading of the disputed passage is
“ Inspire our good king
From his presence to fling