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doubly so by the contrast with the white | gracefully growing, and on the ground, dresses of the ladies near her.
the rich roses that the ladies have amused In the disposition of the figures the themselves in gathering. Indeed, these artist has exhibited a judicious taste. flowers are worthy of a more than passing Thus the Marchioness de Latour-Mau- notice; they are certainly as near perfecbourg, a lady with noble Italian cast of tion as a floral representation on canvas features, and dark hair and eyes, is seen can possibly be. leaning over and talking to the fair Eng There will, about a group of this kind, lish blonde — the contrast between the always be a certain stiffness an appeardifferent styles of beauty being at once ance of sitting for a portrait - which is striking and pleasing. The dresses of the almost impossible to avoid. In the preladies, chiefly white, are pleasantly re- sent picture this stiffness of position is not lieved by the colored ribbons, coquettishly as obvious as in most paintings of the displayed in various parts of their cos- kind, but still it is there to a small degree. tume, and by the flowers with which some Exception might also be taken to the unof them are carelessly playing. The de- pleasant, dark sky, seen occasionlly behind tails of the picture are lovely; as, for the foliage. instance, the vase round which vines are
THE EMIGRANT ON THE SEA-SHORE.
OLD Ocean, wondrous ocean—as of yore, (I ask thee of the past. I bid thee tell, With the same well-known voice and mobile By those soft waves the pink-hued sand cafeatures,
ressing, As when in childhood, from thy varied store, How in my native bay the waters swellThou brought'st deep lessons by unrecked-of How their low murmurings chime with by. teachers!
Young were my griefs, and blithesome was my Once on that far-off strand a thoughtless heart,
childWhen I first met thy glance, O glorious Ocean!
I traced my name in rudely-printed letters; With mind unripe for thought, yet tears could Then stood and watched, while billows harsh start
and wild To trace Divine Pulsation in the motion.
Washed out the lines and bound with sandy
fetters. To see the stamp of a Creator's Hand
In the frail seaweeds and the wondrous corals; Reckless I mocked at what the tide had done, Or strive, with earnest faith, to understand And wrote beyond another and another; Old Nature's fables and their soul-dcep morals. All that I loved I placed there--one by one,
And watched them vanish — parent, friend, Oh! 'tis a wondrous thing, and bright as and brother.
strange, That He who made us gave us earth in Old Ocean! as in childhood did thy wave, blessing;
So has cold Time, in harsh and bitter measure, Who framed the dew-drop, made the Ocean's Retaken all the loved ones that he gave, range,
Washed out their names and robbed me of And gave us both — to praise him in pos
my treasure. sessing
I am alone—a gray-haired man-and thou Now, on a distant and unfriendly shore,
Art young and strong as in the years long We meet again who have not met for ages;
vanished; But not with wondering thoughts as heretofore- As at my hour of birth, so even now,
A simpler, softer dream my heart engages. And yet wilt be the same when I am banished.
From the Eclectic Review.
BRITISH NOVELISTS AND THEIR
AND THEIR STYLES. *
It is computed that there has been novels go that fly before us in such inter“produced in these islands, since the pub-minable procession ? To rest and sleep lication of Waverley,” in all about three like every one of us.
What strange thousand 'novels, counting about seven places these books see, into what strange thousand volumes. A goodly result of companies they fall, what various hands human industry. Novel-writing is at this turn over their pages, what various eyes moment a flourishing trade, and it would bend above them in their progress from seem to be likewise profitable. Huge is the printing-press, to final absorption into the demand; still more huge the supply. Lethe. Salvoes of praise, like artillery The number of novels produced in this proclaiming to the world that a prince is country is something enormous. Weekly born, announce the appearance of some. come forth the Athenæum and the Lite- Immortality is promised them by the rary Gazette, their advertising pages cov- sweet voices of the multitude. Others ered with announcements. There is no are received coolly, and prematurely die, scarcity of bread for those who are a- unwept. There lies the three-volumed hungered. The manufacture is even now infant, fresh from the pen, radiant in ungoing on. Think of it, at this moment in smirked drab and gold—who will cast its England some hundred or more pens are horoscope? The languid lady kills a weary gayly careering over foolscap sheets, pur- day with it, cutting the pages as she reads. suing the fortunes of imaginary characters. In summer it is sent to sea-bathing quarHow many heroines are weeping at this ters, and does hard duty there. It sees hour! How many heroes are cursing their the moonlight, hears the sound of the sea hard fate! In a few months each of these waves, and lies for hours upon the yellow young people will be married happily at sands. For a swift stolen second, Alfred's the close of the third volume; and the and Sophia's hands are clasped above it, chronicles of their misfortunes and adven- and it listens to vows and words as pastures will have been printed, published, ad- sionate as any within its boards. Returnvertised, reviewed, read, forgotten; and ing, its first youth over, it is sent to the the hundred pens will be careering over provinces, knocks about the provincial foolscap sheets as gayly as ever, pursuing world, getting soiled and dingy, thumbed the fortunes of another set of characters, by careless hands; not altogether without who will in their turn be married; the a remembrance of its former conquests, book containing an account of the same when by her single candle, when work is will be printed, published, etc., etc. The over in the kitchen, Cinderella pores over wielders of these hundred pens consume it, blurring it with tears, conceiting herbread and beer even as ordinary men and self the while to be Georgiana, and the women. They employ tailors and boot-magnificent Fitz George, her sweetheart makers, and it is charitably hoped duly -the pot-boy round the corner, Misforpay the same. To keep the wolf from tunes accumulate upon it. Its margins, the door there is but the deft flourish of once so pure and unsullied, are scribbled a gray goose quill. The cash received for over with insolent comments; it loses bundles of stained foolscap, delivered leaves, it gets detached from its boards, yearly or half-yearly, being what keeps and finally in the dust-bin, like poor huhouse over head, shoes upon feet, nay, man mortals in their graves, it has rest which pays poor-rates and double income from all its sorrows. "The king is dead: tax. Wonderful! Verily, man has sought long live the king.” The race of novels out many inventions! Where do all these is never extinct.
Authorship, in a rich and luxurious British Novelists and their Styles. By David Mas- community, in which half the men are son. Cambridge: Macmillan & Co.
idle, and more women, becomes a trade,
and the deft workman inherits the pud-1 gallant way, faces the curled waves braveding and the praise. In such communi- | ly, going through them when he can not ties books are manufactured for daily use, mount them; and when he arrives at port, even as muffins are. Idle men and wo- from his deep hold we are sure he will men must be amused, excited, and he who unlade rich stuffs. You may object to his “peppers the highest is sure to please.” speed; you can not with a
pure conscience Much skill is brought to bear on the object to his cargo. Professor Masson preparations of these intellectual comfits. enters his protest against fun. He is Others, too, than readers exist upon plainly of opinion that there should be no books. The publishing season sets in more cakes and ale. He detests “comic upon the world like the herring shoals literature,” and expresses his belief that upon the Hebrides. Onward comes glit- could he wish “in this age of abounding tering the annual army, the shark, por- wits and humorists for that which, from poise, and dog-flesh feeding upon its its very rarity, would do us most good, it edges, while the gull and cormorant has- would be for the appearance among us of ten to the feast from afar.
a great soul that could not, or would not, The fact that at present novels are pro- laugh at all; whose every tone and sylladuced at the rate of two per week is ble should be serious, and whose face worthy of being taken notice of, and may should front the world with something of suggest meditation not altogether unedi- that sublimity of look which our own Milfying. Of this fact Professor Masson ton wore, when his eyes rolled in darkness essayed to take sufficient notice in four in quest of suns and systems, or of that lectures delivered last winter before the pitiful and scornful melancholy which art audience which is wont to assemble itself has fixed, for the reprehension of frivolity in the Philosophical Institution at Edin- forever, on the white mask of the Italian burgh, and he now, the lectures meantime Dante." having been corrected and extended, and In his first lecture, Professor Masson gathered up into a handsome volume, enters into a variety of ingenious specucommends his thinkings thereupon to the lations concerning the relations existing readers of the entire country. Having between the epic and the novel, and disduly perused the Professor's book, we are cusses the question which is the better constrained to give it our cordial approval. fitted for purposes of narration, prose or It is honestly done work; full of good verse. thinking, and not without a sufficiency of It may be said that, as the medium of bravura passages, exhibiting a literary impassioned thought, the powers and cadexterity and an eloquence far from com- pabilities of prose have never yet been mon. He brings to his task large know- fully developed. Supreme verse has been ledge, and his verdicts on the great writers in our literature written much more freof the present and of bygone times are in quently than supreme prose. Perhaps, on the main to be approved. As a book, it the whole, supreme prose writing is the is singularly free from extravagance. Its more difficult task. And, remembering tone is eminently sober and judicial
. Per- great passages in the writings of Jeremy haps if one might hint a fault, the writing Taylor, Wilson, Carlyle, De Quincy, one is too uniformly serious and solemn. X is inclined to ask what want they in little more ease and gayety might be de. thought, or in imagination, or in music, sired. When he does break a butterfly it that verse could possibly possess. Still, is upon a wheel altogether out of propor- even admitting that prose is superior to tion to the task. Fashionable novels, verse in so far as it holds a wider region, even, he will not “laugh into Hades ;" he and can achieve a greater variety of trigoes at them fiercely, like the early Icono- umphs; that in the hands of a master it clasts at the gilded shrines and niched is quite equal to verse as a vehicle of passaints and apostles in a Popish cathedral. sionate or imaginative utterance, we can Seriousness evidently is the habit of his not anticipate the time when“ verse, mind. He is not a pleasure yacht, the sacred and aboriginal verse,” will be drivwind sitting in its great sheet of canvas, en by its rival to the “remotest fastnesses skimming the foam like a seabird. He is of the mountains.” Drive verse to the rather a lugger, with bows like a Dutch- mountain top, and, behold! she appears man, deep in the water from a supera- on the plain. Nay, is the fact not really bundance of ballast, and, if slow, he makes | so ? During the years that prose, in the
hands of Burke, and Wilson, and De lower platform of prose. To ask which, Quincey, and Carlyle, produced its most verse or prose, is the better vehicle of brilliant effects, verse, in the person of thought, is an inquiry somewhat useless ; Robert Burns, made the grotesquest satire both are perfect in their proper place, and her own, in the Deil and Doctor Horn- in such a discussion reference must always book ; Cowper sang the Sofa ; the be had to the mind of the writer - what muse of Wordsworth celebrated' Idiot moral does he wish to inculcate, and Boys, and wandered over the country through what medium, passionate or with wagoners and peddlers. Byron satirical
, does he wish that moral to be made a successful inroad into the domain made visible ? Perhaps on the whole it of prose in Don Juan, and one of the no- is better to let great writers alone, and blest poems of our own day, Mrs. Brown. not trouble them with impertinent quesing's Aurora Leigh, is a veritable novel tionings or theories. Had the Idylls of in verse, in which many of the most pro- the King been written in prose, they saic elements of modern social life are might have reminded one of Mr. G. P. R. represented—literary soirées and the bald James ; had the Newcomes been written chit-chat of the “ Blues.” And what in verse
it would be difficult to say means the cry so often raised in critical of what it would have reminded us. journals, that poets do not consider the In the second lecture Professor Masson subject matter of their song sufficiently treats of Swift, Defoe, Richardson, Fieldnowadays, that they concern themselves ing, Smollett, and Sterne, in a manner sinwith themes very far removed from the gularly appreciative and manly. Of the heroic; but that if prose has entered and third lecture we need only say that its taken possession somewhat of the realm subject is Scott, and that it was delivered that from time immemorial belonged in Edinburgh. The great man is celeto verse, verse has returned the compli- brated; but there is perhaps more than ment by transplanting her airy hosts and sufficient celebration of the beauty of the pitching her tents on the acknowledged city by night and by day; more than sufterritory of prose? The question pro- ficient celebration of the men who have posed by Professor Masson,“ What can followed Scott in the “gray metropolis verse do in narrative fiction, that prose of the North,” with an amazing prophecy can not; and, on the other hand, are ventured as to the great men—their name there any compensating respects in which, is to be legion - who in that city are yet in the same business, prose has the ad- to appear and make their times glorious. vantage of verse ?” is not one likely to be It is not without reason that Professor discussed by a writer filled with the in- Masson, in his preface, bints that " with spiration of his subject. Whether the respect to one of the lectures — the third writer chooses prose or verse depends in --it might even be obliging if the reader the first instance on the constitutional were to remember specially that it was bent or proclivity of his mind; and in the prepared for an Edinburgh audience.” second, on what he purposes to achieve. The fourth lecture is the most interestTennyson chose verse to set forth the ing of the series, in so far as it deals with monotonous sorrow of In Memoriam ; contemporary fiction, and with writers Goethe verse in Faust; but with a wider who are at present alive. It is full of alfield before him, with a far deeper moral lusions to Bulwer, the Brontés, but is to inculcate, and with more stubborn and mainly occupied with a comparison of alien elements to reduce to obedience and the merits of the two great rivals, Dickens order, in Wilhelm Meister he chooses, and Thackeray. Here is a glimpse of and rightly so, prose for his vehicle. both on Douglas Jerrold's funeral day: Whatever passionately possesses the imagination of a writer, and which does not “Perhaps there is a certain ungraciousness require for its fit setting forth the admix- in our thus always comparing and contrasting ture of prosaic elements, will not move the two writers. We ought to be but too glad happily in a less elevated region than that that we have such a pair of contemporaries, yet of verse. Whatever has to work out its living and in their prime, to cheer on against moral from the “ thick and miscellany of each other. I felt this strongly once when I
saw the two men together. The occasion was things,” from the humors, prejudices, the historic. It was in June, 1857 ; the place was unloveliness and ordinariness of human Norwood Cemetery. A multitude had gathered life, must perforce betake itself to the there to bury a man known to both of them,
and who had known both of them well—a man is constantly tempted into extravagance whom we have had incidentally to name as and rhapsody. He has little command holding a place, in some respects peculiar, in over his own creations, and they use him the class of writers to which they belong, though
as they please. He is constantly wanderhis most effective place was in a kindred department of literature; a man, too, of whom I ing on the confines of existence, where will say that, let the judgment on his remaining the man melts into the shade. Most of writings be permanently what it may, and let his characters commit suicide, so far as tongues have spoken of him this or that awry, the faith of the reader is concerned. They there breathed not, to my knowledge, within either crumble away into nothing before the unwholesome bounds of what is specially the book is closed, or change into someLondon, any one in whose actual person there thing else. Mr. Pecksniff is not the same was more of the pith of energy at its tensest, Pecksniff all through. We wonder his of that which in a given myriad any where, distinguishes the one. How like a little Nelson he daughters did not express astonishment stood, dashing back his hair, and quivering for at the aspect of their changed papa. the verbal combat ! The flash of his wit, in Thackeray plants himself more firmly on which one quality the island had not his match, the reality of character, he hold his subwas but the manifestation easiest to be object more in hand; and although his
proserved of a mind compact of sense and informa: cess is comparatively slow, his work, when tion, and of a soul generous and on fire. And finished, looks like a thing that will ennow all that remained of Jerrold was inclosed
dure. within the leaden coffin which entered the
There is nothing lyrical about cemetery gates. As it passed, one saw Dickens Thackeray, he never loses his self-possesamong the bearers of the pall, his uncovered sion through enthusiasm. His tone is head of genius stooped, and the wind blowing sober, and he seems to have made up his his hair. Close behind came Thackeray; and, mind on every subject he touches, and on as the slow procession wound up the hill to the chapel, the crowd falling into it ip twos and to say nothing about. He has a quick
many subjects besides which he prefers threes and increasing its length, his head was and merciless eye for the little meannesses to be seen by the later ranks, towering far in
and vilenesses of human nature. He has the front above all the others, like that of a marching Saul. And so up to the little chapel the instinct of a flesh-fly for a raw.
He they moved; and after the service for the dead, does not care about grand passions and down again to another slope of the hill, where, tragic crimes. He does not believe in by the side of one of the walks, and opposite to them. A grocer sanding his sugar he the tombstone of Blanchard, Jerrold's grave rolls like a sweet morsel under his tongue; was open. There the last words were read; he can not away with Othello in his jealthe coffin was lowered ; and the two, among hundreds of others, looked down their farewell. ous rage smothering a pure Desdemona And so, dead at the age of fifty-four, Jerrold with a bolster. Reading his books is like was left in his solitary place, where the rains sitting in a police-court; there is always were to fall, and the nights were to roll over- something going on, and respectable parhead, and but now and then, on a summer's ties in the witness-box are continually letday, a chance stroller would linger in curiosity; ting out the shabbiest secrets about themand back into the roar of London dispersed the funeral crowd. Among those remitted to the selves, and the judge or bench is never living were the two of whom we speak, aged astonished at the amount of that kind of the one forty-five, the other forty-six. 'Why thing which transpires; he seems to exnot be thankful that the great city had two such pect it, and to consider it the most ordimen still known to its streets; why too curi- nary thing in the world. It would take ously institute comparisons between them ?” a good deal to shock him. Dickens is
the more pleasing writer, and he really In his estimate of the two writers Pro. I awakens the most benevolent sensations fessor Masson does not in the least run in the reader. After reading one of his counter to popular feeling. He admits books you wish every day in the year that Dickens is the more productive, ver- Christmas, and every man, woman, and satile, and essentially rich mind ; that child in the world nothing to do but to sit Thackeray is the more cynical, melan- down to a table groaning with roast meat, choly, weighty, and cultured. Dickens with a huge plum-pudding to follow. Mr. possesses gayer spirits and more exube- Dickens empties his pockets of their loose rant natural genius; Thackeray has the silver to the first beggar he meets shivermore meditative eye, and is by far the ing ankle-deep in the snow; Mr. Thackeprofounder artist. Dickens from his lyri- ray growls “tramp” from bencath his cal turn, and in the excitement of work, I warm comforter, and buttons them more