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AMERICAN.-Prismatics, by RICHARD HAYWARDE, is a unique and delightful book, delicately illustrated by Hicks, Darley, Kensett, Rossiter and Elliott, and handsomely published by the Appletons. It is a collection of desultory sketches and poems, full of genial humor and tender pathos, revealing in Mr. Haywarde a rare and quaint taste for old English literature, and the most sensitive appreciation of its finest characteristics. Essay, tale, ballad and elegy, are clustered together; they follow in graceful sequence, each betraying the cunning touch of an artist, and the inspiration of a dainty taste, which is evinced also in the "getting up" of the work. Prismatics strikes us as a series of studies-not imitations-in various admirable styles. It is not only an indication of the artist's native power, but an exquisite remembrance of the great galleries of literature in which he has wandered and mused.
-We had thought the Captain Kidd mystery long since laid, but JUDGE CAMPBELL has revived it in a small volume, which he calls, "An Historical Sketch of Robin Hood and Captain Kidd," romantic themes, both of them. It is wonderful with what an interest you invest a man when you proclaim him the biggest scoundrel in the world. Here is Hood, for instance, a notorious outlaw and highwayman, and Kidd, the rabidest mad pirate that was ever hung,-and yet they keep possession of literature with a sort of permanent bloom! Wordsworth has sung
"A famous man was Robin Hood,"
and every body remembers "ye lamentable ballad and ye true historie," which begins, "My name was Captain Kidd, when I sailed, when I sailed,” and continues
"I murdered William Moore, as I sailed, as I sailed, I murdered William Moore, as I sailed';
I murdered William Moore, and left him in his gore,
Not many leagues from shore, as I sailed,"
and so on, through several hundred verses, more or less. But it was reserved for a dignified functionary of a Court of Law to do them final justice.
"The Translators Revived" is a work by A. W. MCCLURE, which gives an historical account of the forty-seven learned clerks who translated the Bible into English, at the order of King James. All the facts known of them are diligently collated, with the object of showing how learned they were, and consequently fitted for their important task. Even a
modern German professor, who reads all night with his legs in cold water, to keep him from going to sleep, would look with admiration upon some of these old worthies of Cambridge, Oxford and Westminster,-Bishop Andrews, for instance, or Reynolds, or Sir Henry Saville. The truth is, of some of them, we suspect, as Robert Hall said of Dr. Kippis, that they had so many books on their heads, that their brains couldn't move. We are very glad, therefore, that our more superficial age, and far more useful one, does not require such a mass of learning from its scholars. With "little Latin and less Greek" now, one may contrive to make a highly respectable appearance even at a College commencement. Indeed, we know an eminent Professor of the Humanities, at a learned institution, somewhere this side of the Mississippi, who cannot read Longinus in the original, and prefers Quinctilian in a good translation.
-MRS. ELLETT's "Summer Rambles in the West" have mostly appeared in print, as letters to a popular newspaper, and are therefore pretty well known to the reading public. The writer travelled over the Lake Superior region, and the country about the upper waters of the Mississippi, and has carefully collected and described the experiences of her wilderness life. Her book will be a pleasant companion to many a reader, we doubt not, in the summer rambles that he or she may have in the immediate prospect: Mrs. Ellet is a keen observer, and writes with unusual vigor and spirit.
-All the excitements of the day, failing to attract the attention which the actors in them may fancy they deserve, are revenged upon the innocent public in books. How different the case now from what it was formerly, when a book was the result of a ten years' gestation, and an author was a man who really had something to say. But in these times every transient spasm produces its spawn of books. The Jenny Lind rage, the Kossuth fever, and now the Spirit rappingsall have a literature of their own,-histories, polemics, essays and poems. As to the last flurry, the Rappers, our table is covered with publications about them, some going to show that it is a new revelation, others that it is a simple natural fact, others, again, that it is an outrageous humbug, and others, still further, that it is a touch of each or a combination of all. Mr. BALLOU and Mr. CHARLES HAMMOND treat these manifestations as entirely spiritual: Dr. ROGERS, of Boston, as natural phenomena; the Rev. Dr. MATTISON, as an ar
rant imposture, and the Rev. CHARLES W. BEECHER as partly natural and partly spiritual, but most decidedly unchristian. It is our intention, if the interest in the subject holds long enough, to give our own views of the entire discussion, with considerable study and care.
-We think that an acceptable service has been rendered the religious community by PROFESSOR MOFFITT, in his "Life of Dr. Chalmers." It is abridged from Hanna's larger memoir, but gives all the essential and leading facts, and is most judiciously edited. Dr. Chalmers was one of those large minded, enthusiastic, and aggressive men, whose influenee both in Church and State is widely useful, if not by contributing new truths to the world, at least by keeping it from growing stagnant. Their restless impulses set many circles of activities in motion, which keep the world in the path of progress. Dr. Chalmers cannot be commended as a model of style, nor do we accept his opinions especially those he puts forth on the subject of political economy; but his was a sincere, noble and resolute nature, so that it is impossible to come in contact with him without feeling that your mind has been quickened and improved. Our Reverend Morphine Velvets and Dr. Doves ought to take a daily course of reading in his manly, robust, healthful pages, not for the doctrines they contain so much as for the fearless spirit in which they were uttered.
-Some capital reading has been lately published by the eminent publishing house of UNCLE SAM & Co., we mean, the elaborate reports issued by several of the departments. That of Dr. BACHE, for instance, on the Coast Survey, giving the present position of his scientific undertaking, is valuable to the commercial world, as well as to scientific men. ANDREW's" Report on the Colonial and Lake Trade" is also full of important and readable statistics, out of which a man might select a demonstration of the rapid growth of this country that would startle even our own excited expectations. Nor is the "Report on the Fisheries," by Mr. SABINE, without great interest at the present juncture. We wish, however, that the gentlemen who compile these documents would take the time to furnish them with complete indexes and tables of contents, which would greatly facilitate their uses to practical men. The English and French governments are greatly in advance of us in these respects, in the preparation of their public papers.
"A theory of Legislation," by RICHARD HILDRETH, the historian, will be issued by the time this number reaches our
readers. It is an elaborate attempt to treat the whole subject of government, in a novel and original point of view, as a part, however, of a series of dissertations, on Morals, Taste, Politics, &c. Mr. Hildreth is known as a man who thinks for himself, of penetrating and acute mind, great independence of judgment, and of inflexible reliance upon his principles. His speculations, therefore, are always worthy of study, although it is clear to us that his rigid utilitarianism is a bad basis for a comprehensive scheme of philosophy of any kind. No great superstructure can be built upon it, as Mr. Hildreth will find in time.
Heavens! what names, we exclaimed, as we took up the "NEW ROME, Or The United States of the World," by T. Prosche and C. Goepp, two gentlemen of unmistakable teutonic derivation. their book paid for the perusal of it, in its earnest defence of American republicanism, not as a local or transient doctrine, but as a universal principle. Those readers who may recall our "Letter to John Bull " in the February number, will get an idea of the stand-point from which our friends survey the questions they discuss. Their argument is an enlargement of Brother Jonathan's, an appeal to the facts and the testimony for the practical effects of liberal government-no return of railing for railing to our assailants, but a broadside of statistics and the inferences they contain. Their expectations of the Future of the republic are truly magnificent and animating; but not greater than the promises of the present warrant.
A most charming collection of poems is "Thalatta, a Book for the Sea-side," made by the Revs. S. W. LONGFELLOW, and T. W. HIGGINSON, somewhat in the style of poet Longfellow's Waif. It gathers together many beautiful things-but not all -that have been written about the Sea, and its associations, from Homer to Epes Sargent, but chiefly those by modern English and American poets. The compilers may have been partial to their own countrymen so that the comparison is not a fair one, but their collection makes it very clear that the Americans, with Bryant's fine hymn to the Sea, and Whittier's Hampton Beach, and Longfellow's Sea Weed and Drift Wood, Dana's Little Beach Bird, and many other poems, may hold up their heads as poets, in the presence even of Shelley, Byron, and Tennyson.
-A little work called “Considerations on some recent social theories,” is well intended, and well written.-clear in its statements and arguments, and elevated in tone; but the author has not pondered his subject as deeply as he ought to have
done, and by taking for granted often what it was incumbent on him to prove, lays himself open to the most damaging replies.
Coral Reefs and Islands" have furnished JAMES D. DANA materials for a brief but instructive scientific work, admirable for its arrangement, and of great worth as a contribution to knowledge, especially the part which relates to the Changes of Level in the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Dana was the geologist to the Wilkes exploring expedition.
-Now that every body goes to Europe, the little "Handbook for American Travellers," by Dr. ROSWELL PARK, will be found a most faithful, judicious, and, we should think, indispensable guide. It is succinct and methodical, touching on almost every point of interest to the voya
-The "Standard Speaker," of Mr. EPES SARGENT appears to have achieved a notable success among the school-books of the day. Although it has not been a year before the public, it has reached a seventh edition, and the cry is still for more. It has been widely introduced into our colleges and schools. The editor appears to have bestowed great pains to render the work the most thorough of its class. In the number, variety, and appropriateness of its exercises, it is probably unexcelled.
-An unusual number of new publications are in press, and will be out, probably, before this notice reaches the reader, among the rest, splendid standard editions of the old English writers, CHAUCER, SPENSER, BEN JONSON, DRYDEN, ADDISON, GIBBON, JUNIUS, and POPE,-all from the press of the Appletons. Two important geological works by SIR CHARLES LYELL, are also forthcoming, with the long promised "Thirty Years in the Senate of the United States," by the Nestor of that body, COLONEL BENTON.
-An excellent translation is Mr. M. B. FIELD'S, from the French of the Comtesse D'Arbouville, consisting of "Three Tales," beautifully conceived and executed.
-Mr. CAREY's new work on the "Slave Trade, Domestic and Foreign" is a most elaborate and able discussion of the whole subject of slavery, in the light of his peculiar notions of Political Economy.
-A great deal of pleasant reading is to be had in Mr. CHARLES L. BRACE's new book about "The Home Life of the Germans" which is not made up from the guide book, but his own personal adventure. It is a kind of companion book to his interesting sketches of Hungary.
-"One Year of Wedlock" by a cele
brated Swedish writer, EMILY CARLEN, is a touching story, well told. The title alone, we should think, will attract every female novel reader in the nation, but we cannot say that they will be equally pleased with the ascetic" one year" which the hero and heroine passed.
-The collected writings of Prof. B. B. EDWARDS, are the records of the life and activity of an accomplished scholar and Christian. He was an acute critic as well as a man of cultivated thought, deeply interested in all those pursuits which enrich and embellish life, with poetic sensibility no less than practical energy. His Essays on Hebrew Poetry, on Female Education, on Slavery in Ancient Greece and Rome, and on the Poetry of Wordsworth, are vigorous in their tone and polished in style. The Memoir prefixed to the volumes, which Professor Park makes the memorial of long years of affectionate intercourse and study, is a touching tribute to the virtues of his friend.
-Professor BOYD'S annotated edition of Cowper's principal poems, similar to his edition of Milton and Young, though not of a kind to endure a severe critical examination, is yet a service rendered the popular reader.
-The reader may remember the lectures on the Hebrew Commonwealth, delivered in our principal cities, a few winters since, by E. C. WINES, and will be pleased to hear that they are now gathered into a book with the name of 66 Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews." This is a faithful attempt to develop systematically the civil polity of the Hebrew lawgiver, preceded by a chapter on civil society and government, explanatory of the general principles of political philosophy. Mr. Wines finds that Moses was the true originator of the doctrine of self-government, and that the commonwealth he established was a genuine Republic, and the first on record. This point is made out with much research and argument, and a great many striking incidental illustrations of the spirit of the Hebrew leader. What struck us as especially worthy of note were the remarks on the agrarian legislation of Moses, which we commend to our more conservative thinkers. The jurisprudence of the Hebrews is reserved for a second volume by the author.
-A bulky volume is Mr. Spooner's "Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors, and Architects," but it is none the less valuable. Its title explains its object, and we need only say of the execution of it, that it does credit to the intelligence and industry of the editor. It is a matter, of
course, that in a work of so great a compass, embracing so many details, and more liable than usual, because of the number of strange names used, to typographical errors, that errors should occur; we accordingly remark that Mr. Inman is not among the American painters, and that the birthplace of Allston is wrongly given, with several other smaller oversights; but on the whole, the book is accurate and useful. Mr. Spooner utters an idea which is new to us, in his introduction, where he contends that there are a large number of the original pictures of celebrated masters, in this country, alleging as the ground of his opinion, that before the taste for art became general among the wealthier classes of Europe, which has been within the last ten or fifteen years, the United States was the only safe and profitable market for old pictures. High duties kept them out of England, and there was no demand for them on the continent. We very much doubt the historical accuracy of this statement.
ENGLISH.-The third and fourth volumes of the "Memoirs of Thomas Moore," taken mostly from his private journal, are full of vivacious matter, anecdotes, sketches of character, accounts of dinner parties, conversations with distinguished and personal incidents. They cover a period which may be called the heyday of the jolly little genius's life, when he had a dozen invitations to dinner-happy fellow-every day, and was the pet of the ladies, as well as the admiration of men. The remarkable frankness with which he speaks of his contemporaries, lends a rare charm to the details. Our English friends complain of the liberties which Americans are said to take with domestic privacies; but, we think they will find in their own memoirs, specimens in that kind to which our literature furnishes no parallel. It is true that in the case before us, most of the persons alluded to are dead, yet their families survive, and doubtless of their friends are living. many John, however, is famous for assuming dignity when he talks with strangers.
Our remaining English notes are excluded by the press of other matter.
FRANCE.-Le Règne Social du Christianisme. (The Social Reign of Christianity), by M. F. HUET, is an elaborate and eloquent attempt to reconcile Socialism and Christianity, and to show that the Kingdom of God must prevail on earth as well as in Heaven. Starting from religion and from the regeneration of the soul by divine grace, the author goes on to demonstrate the logical neces
sity of a harmonious, just, benignant and fraternal state of Society. In his view the purification of the spirit must result in the health of the body; and the Christian church is the antecedent of universal cooperation, abundance, intelligence, health, liberty and happiness. Such is the theme of the book, and so calm and religious is its spirit, and so genial its style, that even those who most dislike the doctrine it teaches, must conceive something like an affectionate esteem for the author.
A curious little volume is M. WALLON'S Presse de 1848; it gives an account of the brood of newspapers which sprang up at Paris, like mushrooms, after the revolution of February, and disappeared, most of them, within a few months. Extracts from the most singular and bitter, give an idea of the passions fermenting at the time.
- Perhaps the most valuable contributions to our knowledge of Indian and Chinese literature have been made by recent French philologians, among whom M. STANISLAS JULIEN holds an enviable place. He has just published at Paris a volume, full of curious interest to the general reader, as well as the scholar. It is the history of the life and travels of a famous Chinese lama, or monk, who in the seventh century of the Christian era went to India, to study the doctrines of Buddhism at their source, with a view to reform and purify the religion of his native country. He was absent seventeen years, and his adventures, his religious experiences, the occasional desolation and visions, his public disputations, and so occasional ecstasy pervading his soul, his forth, are all narrated in this book. As a psychological study, nothing could be more attractive. Changing the names and the doctrines, one might suppose he were reading the life of some eminent Christian theologian, or missionary of modern times. It also affords incidentally a great deal of information as to the geography and ethnography of the period and the regions to which it relates.
-Most worthy of notice, perhaps, among the month's literature in France, is AUGUSTINE THIERRY'S Essai sur l'Histoire de la Formation et des Progres du Tiers-Etat (History of the Formation and Development of the Tiers-Etat), which has appeared in two editions simultaneously, one an expensive octavo, and the other a cheap and convenient duodecimo. The learned and brilliant author, political theory, exhibits the growth of who is a constitutional monarchist in his the communes, the middle class, and the people, along with the system of representative government, in a manner more
striking and satisfactory, though not always more profound,, than any one who has before treated that interesting subject. He brings down the history, however, only to the end of the reign of Louis XIV., having been prevented from carrying it farther by the revolution of 1848. If his life is spared, he will doubtless continue it.
-More romantic than a novel is M. PIERRE CLEMENT's Jacques Cœur et Charles VII, or France in the XVth Century. It not only treats of one of the most stirring and singular episodes of French history, but the characters brought, upon the stage are among the most remarkable of the epoch. Jacques Coeur was the executor of Agnes Sorel, the master of the mint, an ambassador, a banker, and finally a fugitive, who saved his life by fleeing from France only to lose it in the island of Chió, as leader of an expedition sent by the Pope against the Turks. The book is founded on documents hitherto unpublished, and abounds in new and interesting details as to the prominent persons and events of the period.
-JULES LECOMTE, the witty correspondent of the Independance Belge, has collected into a volume his letters written during the Great Exhibition at London. Its ominous and amusing title is Un Voyage des Desagremens à Londres.
-A solid book for the library of the historian and economist is that of M. HENRI BAUDRILLART on Bodin and his Times. Bodin was a political philosopher of the XVIth century, who wrote a once famous treatise De Republica, from which Montesquieu is said to have drawn largely. Of that treatise M. Baudrillart reprints considerable portions, along with erudite and clear accounts of the doctrines of other eminent writers of the epoch, such as Machiavel, Calvin, Thomas More, and Commynes. The volume affords an excellent view of the state of political science in the period.
-If any lady needs instruction on the use and abuse of corsets, we commend her to the study of Dr. Bouvet's treatise on that subject, just published at Paris.
-L'Architecture Monastique, by M. ALBERT LENOIR, architect of the Imperial Government, is spoken of as a more complete treatise on Christian architecture than we have before possessed. It is in two quarto volumes, with numerous plans and pictures of edifices.
-Printers enthusiastic for their art, will find a treasure in BERNARD's Origin and Progress of Printing in Europe, just published at Paris in two large vol
-In 1848 M. EVARISTE BAVOUX was a
famous republican; in 1853 he is a furious Bonapartist. He has written Quatre · Années de Presidence de la Republique, all in glorification of Louis Napoleon, and hopes to be made a senator in return. We share in his hope.
-L'Orient, by EUGENE FLANDIN, has reached the fourth of the thirty parts of which it is to be composed, and thus far both the engravings and the letter-press are of a high order of merit. The views of natural scenery and domestic and popular life were taken during a journey from the Bosphorus to the head of the Persian Gulf. The author is skilful with the pen as well as with the pencil. The parts are sold in Paris at 10 francs, each containing five plates. Another illustrated serial is Le Caucase Pittoresque, by Prince GAGARINE, of which some dozen parts have made their appearance. The Cemeteries of France belongs in the same category, and is most characteristic and curious. A Journey around the Dead Sea, by M. DE SAULOY, is announced, to consist of eighty engravings and a large map. The Works of Rembrandt, copied by photography, with a commentary and life of Rembrandt, by CHARLES BLANC, are to be published by subscription. There are to be forty plates in the series, containing the finest pictures of the great artist. The price of the whole is fixed at 200 francs. Photography is also applied to the representation of nature in M. Du CAMP'S Egypte, Nubié, Palestine, et Syrie. Here the relics of the most ancient art are reproduced with a mechanical fidelity which no draughtsman could attain. The price of this work, with its 125 views, is 500 francs.
- Among the books with attractive titles announced at Paris, which we have not had an opportunity to examine, are: History of Constantinople, by M. PUJOULAT; and Studies in Russia and the North of Europe, by M. LEDUC; Count GARDEN'S History of Treaties of Peace, Vol. XIII.; this volume of Garden's work is devoted to Napoleon's Russian campaign.
-A new edition of HEINE'S Reisebilder is published at Paris,-one of the wittiest and wickedest books of the age. The author has also an article in the April issue of the Revue des Deux Mondes, called the Gods in Exile, full of the old salt and spirit. Though his body is paralyzed, and only his head remains alive, Heine's mind bids defiance to nature, and refuses to quit the world or to spare it from the shafts of his satire.
-The best work that has yet appeared on the Revolution of 1848, is beyond
doubt that of DANIEL STERN (the Comtesse