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He's as good as a lord: well, let's grant that he's


If a person prefer that description of praise,
Why, a coronet's certainly cheaper than bays;
But he need take no pains to convince us he's not
(As his enemies say) the American Scott.
Choose any twelve men, and let C. read aloud
That one of his novels of which he's most proud,
And I'd lay any bet that, without eyer quitting
Their box, they'd be all, to a man, for acquitting.
He has drawn you one character, though, that is


One wildflower he's plucked that is wet with the dew

Of this fresh Western world, and, the thing not to mince,

He has done naught but copy it ill ever since; His Indians, with proper respect be it said, Are just Natty Bumppo, daubed over with red, And his very Long Toms are the same useful Nat, Rigged up in duck pants and a sou' wester hat (Though once in a Coffin, a good chance was found

To have slipped the old fellow away underground).

All his other men-figures are clothes upon sticks, The dernière chemise of a man in a fix

(As a captain besieged, when his garrison's small, Sets up caps upon poles to be seen o'er the wall); And the women he draws from one model don't vary,

All sappy as maples and flat as a prairie.
When a character's wanted, he goes to the task
As a cooper would do in composing a cask;
He picks out the staves, of their qualities heedful,
Just hoops them together as tight as is needful,
And, if the best fortune should crown the attempt,


Has made at the most something wooden and empty.

"Don't suppose I would underrate Cooper's abilities;

If I thought you'd do that, I should feel very ill

at ease;

The men who have given to one character life
And objective existence are not very rife;

You may number them all, both prose-writers and singers,

Without overrunning the bounds of your fingers,
And Natty won't go to oblivion quicker
Than Adams the parson or Primrose the vicar."


"There comes Poe, with his raven, like Barnaby Rudge,

Three fifths of him genius and two fifths sheer fudge,

Who talks like a book of iambs and pentameters, In a way to make people of common sense damn metres,

Who has written some things quite the best of their kind,

But the heart somehow seems all squeezed out by the mind."


"What! Irving? thrice welcome, warm heart and fine brain,

You bring back the happiest spirit from Spain, And the gravest sweet humor, that ever were there Since Cervantes met death in his gentle despair; Nay, don't be embarrassed, nor look so beseeching,—

I sha'n't run directly against my own preaching, And, having just laughed at their Raphaels and Dantes,

Go to setting you up beside matchless Cervantes;
But allow me to speak what I honestly feel,-
To a true poet-heart add the fun of Dick Steele,
Throw in all of Addison, minus the chill,
With the whole of that partnership's stock and

Mix well, and while stirring, hum o'er, as a spell, The fine old English Gentleman, simmer it well, Sweeten just to your own private liking, then strain,

That only the finest and clearest remain,

Let it stand out of doors till a soul it receives

From the warm lazy sun loitering down through green leaves,

And you'll find a a choice nature, not wholly deserving

A name either English or Yankee,—just Irving."


"There is Lowell, who's striving Parnassus to climb

With a whole bale of isms tied together with rhyme,

He might get on alone, spite of brambles and boulders,

But he can't with that bundle he has on his shoulders,

The top of the hill he will ne'er come nigh reaching

Till he learns the distinction 'twixt singing and preaching;

His lyre has some chords that would ring pretty well,

But he'd rather by half make a drum of the shell,
And rattle away till he's old as Methusalem,
At the head of a march to the last new Jerusalem.”

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