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should be both. It is, of course, not required son, the partiality is conspicuous. Mr. Griswold's that all American books should treat of Ameri- censure of Jefferson is quite as strong as his can subjects; but those which are specifically praise of Franklin, — but clearly the result of national will do so. A truly American writer | philosophical prejudice. To Madison he is more will rather describe the Niagara than the Nile. just — to Dr. Dwight more generous to Chief An American Boccaccio would tell tales chiefly Justice Marshall more reverent — to Citizen of his own people, – just as the Italian preferred Hamilton more compassionate — to Fisher Ames his native Florentines for the subjects of the more patronizing - and to Quincy Adams more • Decamerone, though occasionally permitting obsequious. With the name of Charles Brockothers for the sake of variety. It would have den Brown, we are introduced at length into a been, therefore, the safer course for Mr. Griswold purely literary arena. This writer elected literto have insisted on the twofold nationality re ature for his profession. His career was markquired; and, after all, we believe that his one- ed with the defects of the literary character — a sided concession is rather apparent than real — want of apparent aim at the outset and imperrather a measure of conciliation than the an- fect accomplishment at the end - an uncertain nouncement of a principle. Howbeit, we per life and a premature death, leaving plans unexceive plainly enough that he prefers the sub- ecuted and talents undeveloped. He was both jective side. He “ goes in ” for originality a novelist and a critic; but crude and inelegant rather of thinking than of perceiving. Hence in both. Concerning Mr. Paulding, the author he praises the primitive theologists of America of Westward Hol'it is desirable to add the - such men as Newman, Eliot, Cotton Mather, following citation. Jonathan Edwards, — and their successors, both

"Mr. Paulding's writings are distinguished for dead and living. We are afraid, nevertheless,

a decided nationality. He has had no respect that such writers are of no nation, but of the for authority unsupported by reason, but on all common mother, the Church. It is from the subjects has thought and judged for himself. poets, the romancers, the historians, and essay- | He has defended our government and instituists of a country that the national literature tions, and has embodied what is peculiar in our proceeds; not from ecclesiastical dogmatists, –

manners and opinions. There is hardly a char

acter in his works who would not in any country who, however honest, sincere, and original, more

be instantly recognized as an American.” or less speak only in the various dialects of a common language.

Mr. Timothy Flint, the next whom we shall America is not without the former. The names name, is remarkable as having commenced his of Prescott, Bancroft, Sparks, Cooper, and literary existence at forty-five years of age. others, hold a fair rank among historians. She The character of his works is sufficiently indicathas biographers many; and orators not a few, ed in a single sentence:– To the end of his whose printed speeches may be fairly admitted career “ he was an invalid ; but was compelled to compose part of the national literature. We to write constantly and rapidly, and to print might refer with pleasure to the learned and without revision.” Mr. Griswold has, however, scientific intellects which in America have cast neglected to notice, among the productions of light on archæological, oriental, and classical re- this writer, a series of excellent papers which searches, — or made discoveries in mathemati- appeared in the Athenaum in the year 1835, on cal and physiological investigation ; but our the Literature of America, — and to which we task confines itself chiefly to those who describe are happy here to re-direct public attention. the manners of a people, reveal the mysteries of To later writers it is that we must turn in vinits heart, and illustrate the relations of social life. dication of American authorship. The name

Mr. Griswold's volume — consisting, as it of loudest report in this connexion is not an audoes, of seventy-two pieces of literary biography, thor of imagination — no novelist nor poet, but with a considerable number of extracts given an essayist and a preacher - Dr. Channing. But as illustrative of the peculiar talent and style of he stands the centre of a literary group; and we each author — represents, as it were, the corpus extract a passage which represents him as such, of American literature, “ its form and pressure.” for the sake of the relations to which we are Here is a fund of amusement and instruction, thereby introduced. — of which, for the benefit of our readers, we willingly avail ourselves.

“ In 1780, Newport (in Rhode Island, the It is natural, perhaps, that an American critic place of Dr. Channing's birth] was the residence

of two of the most remarkable men who have should overvalue the writings of Benjamin

ever lived in New England: the Reverend DocFranklin. Utilitarian as he is, we should be tor Hopkins, whose writings had so great an disposed to assign to him a high rank; but when influence upon theological opinions in the last his biographer prefers his style to that of Addi- | century, and the Reverend Doctor Stiles, fa

mous for profound and various learning, and during his freshman year in college, he deter• virtues proportioned to his intellectual acquisi- mined to adopt his profession. Under the casual tions,' who was atterwards President of Yale direction of Malbone he devoted as much time College. They were ministers of the two Con- to painting as he could borrow from his other gregational Churches in the town, and though pursuits, until he graduated, when he sold his in many respects very different from each other, paternal estate for the purpose of studying in and representatives of rival parties, they were Europe, and sailed for London. West was then both friends of the Attorney General, and often president of the Royal Academy, and he reat his house. Doctor Channing states that when ceived his young countryman very kindly. In a child he regarded Doctor Stiles with more rev- a few months he became an exhibitor, and sold erence than any other human being, and to the one of his pictures. In 1804 he went to Paris, influence of that extraordinary man in the circle and studied in the Louvre and Luxembourg : in which he was brought up, he attributes a part and proceeded to Italy, where he remained four of the indignation which he felt toward every years, with Coleridge and our own Irving for invasion of human rights. He was also much companions, and Thorwaldsen for a fellow-stuattached to Doctor Hopkins, whom he used to dent. At Rome, on account of his fine coloring, see riding on horseback through the streets, .in they called him the American Titian. In 1809 a plaid gown fastened by a girdle round the Allston returned to Boston, where he remained waist, and with a study cap on his head,' appear- nearly three years, marrying in this period a ing like a man who had nothing to do with the sister of Dr. Channing; and in 1811 he went world. In a sermon which he preached at New- again. to England. One of his first works after port, when he was himself an old man, he pre- his arrival was the great picture of the Dead sented an interesting picture of those peculiar Man Revived by Elijah's Bones, which obtained and venerable persons, around whom clung so a prize of two hundred guineas from the British many recollections of his early life. Washington Institution, and is now in the Pennsylvania Allston, who was but one year his senior, went Academy. While it was in progress he was to Newport in 1787, and contracted an intimacy seized with a dangerous illness, and retired from with him which continued through youth, the London to Clifton, a rural town, where on his strength of manhood, and old age. They roamed recovery he painted portraits of Coleridge, together through the picturesque scenery which Southey, and some others. When he went back still attracts annual crowds of strangers, and to the city his wife died, suddenly, and left me,' • amid this glorious nature' received impressions he says in one of his letters, ' nothing but my of the great and beautiful which had an influence art; and this seemed to me as nothing.' His in determining their modes of thought and habits intellect was for a while deranged, but the assiof life. Richard H. Dana, a cousin of Channing, duities of friends, and his own will triumphed, and afterwards a brother-in-law of Allston, in a and when his mind had recovered its tone he few years wandered, an inspired boy, over the painted The Mother and Child, now in the same fields, and on the rocky coast listened to collection of Mr. MacMutrie of Philadelphia ; the roar and dashing of the waters of that ocean, Jacob's Dream, which is owned by the Earl of which he was to describe with such effect in his Egremont; Uriel in the Sun, which was purnoble poetry. Allston, Channing, and Dana chased by the Marquis of Stafford; and some were thus connected in childhood. In old age other pictures. In 1818 he came back a second they often visited, from their neighbouring homes time to Boston, and he resided all the rest of his in Boston, these scenes of their earliest inspira- life near that city. He was married to a sister tion. Two of them, in the order of their ages, of Richard H. Dana, a man of kindred genius, have gone to the world in whose atmosphere and had many warm friends, some of whom they almost seemed to live while here among could have left him nothing to desire of sympa

thy or appreciation. Among the pictures which

he painted are Rosalie listening to Music, UrsuWe have a life of Allston in this volume,

lina, and The Spanish Maid, which he illustrated in which justice is done to his merits as an with beautiful and exquisitely finished poems ; artist. As an author he had but few claims. and Miriam singing her Song of Triumph, JerSome particulars of the American Titian cannot emiah dictating to the Scribe his Prophecy of be unwelcome.

the Destruction of Jerusalem, Saul and the

Witch of Endor, The Angel liberating Peter “ Washington Allston was born in George- from Prison, and Lorenzo and Jessica. In 1814 town, South Carolina, on the fifth of November, he had commenced a large piece, Belshazzar's 1779. His family is respectable, and several Feast, which it was thought would be bis mastermembers of it had been distinguished in the piece; but though he continued to work upon it public service. When he was seven years old

at times for nearly thirty years, it was never he was removed to Newport, Rhode Island, finished. * I may say with confidence that where he continued at school until 1796, when it is the judgment of the best critics of this age he was transferred to Harvard College. At that he left no equal, in his department of art, Newport he became acquainted with Malbone, in the world." whose beautiful miniatures were then beginning to attract attention, and was smitten with the Of Richard Henry Dana, the Elder, little is love of Art, so that meeting him again in Boston, known — though he is both a novelist and a poet


of uncommon merit. His · Buccaneer' and | York Review, Dana in turn became a writer for • Paul Felton’ are romances of considerable that miscellany, in which he published his first power, both descriptive and pathetic ; -- the poem, · The Dying Raven.' Discouraged by the former is, moreover, a manly poem, full of failure of · The Idle Man' Dana did not make thought and music. His novel of Tom Thorn- another attempt for himself until 1827, when he ton' is interesting, - and is written in a style of Buccaneer and other Poems,' which was well

gave to the public a small volume entitled “The earnestness which holds truth paramount even received, the popular taste having in the five to taste, and refuses to adorn vice with a veil of years which had elapsed since the publication of beauty. The system of piracy bas been pecu- . The Idle Man' been considerably improved ; liarly injurious to Dana's interests; and his but as his publishers failed soon after it was writings in consequence remain uncollected. printed, he was not made any richer by it. In

1833 he published his Poems and Prose Writ“Mr. Dana was of the glorious old federal ings, including, The Buccaneer,' and other party, of which Washington, Hamilton, Mar- pieces embraced in his previous volume, with shall, Jay, Ames, and so many other great men

some new poems, and The Idle Man,' except had been ornaments; and his first public produc- the few papers written for it by his friends. For tion was a politico-literary oration, pronounced this he received from his bookseller about on the 4th of July, 1814. From this time he enough to make up for the loss he had originally wrote little, perhaps nothing, for the press, until sustained by the last-mentioned volume. Here 1817, when he contributed his first article to the I must again refer to the atrocious system of North American Review. It was a brilliant and robbery of foreign authors, which, like every justly severe criticism of the poetry of Moore. other sort of crime, however imperceptibly, Not long after, he became a member of the North brings sure punishment to the criminals. The American Club, and when his relative, Edward printer to whom the privilege of snatching the T. Channing, now a Harvard professor, was

bread from the mouth of the European, author made editor of the Review, he took some part

was secured by act of Congress, was not going in the management of it, according to an agree Idle Man" succeeded, as it would have done if

to pay copy money to an American. Had - The ment between them, and continued to do so until Channing entered the college, in 1820, not undersold, and thus Mr. Dana encouraged when his connection with the work entirely to go on, he would have been a voluminous ceased. Among the articles which he wrote for writer, a benefactor, and a glory to the nation. it was one on Hazlitt's Lecture on the British As it is, indeed, what man that is a man does not Poets, which excited much attention at the time. feel that he has done more for the substantial The Pope and Queen Anne school was then advantage and honor of his country than the triumphant, and the dicta of Jeffrey were law. greatest of our heroes, so called, who have lived Dana praised Wordsworth and Coleridge, and in this generation ? Since 1833 Mr. Dana has saw much to admire in Byron; he thought

published nothing except two or three articles in poetry was something more than a recreation; the Literary and Theological Review, and the that it was something, superinduced upon the

Spirit of the Pilgrims, and a few poems, which realities of life ; he believed the ideal and the appeared in a magazine of which the writer of spiritual might be as real as the visible and the this was editor.” tangible; thought there were truths beyond the understanding and the senses, and not to be This is a sad account - the record of wa reached by ratiocination; and indeed broached heavy blow and great discouragement” by which many paradoxes not to be tolerated by the literary men of Boston and Cambridge then, but crushed, -scotched, if not slain. We may here

American genius has been visibly well nigh which now the same community has taken and carried to an extent at that time unthought mention that American literature has more than of. Soon after his withdrawal from the North one Dana : Richard H. Dana, jun., the son of American Club, Mr. Dana began • The Idle the poet, and author of the well-known work Man,' of which the first volume appeared in Two Years before the Mast,' -- and a Nathan 1821. In the following year came out what was Dana, the founder of a legal professorship in intended for the first number of the second Harvard College, and who is described by Mr. volume, but receiving information from his pub- Griswold“ as one of the wisest and purest men lisher that he was writing himself into debt, he stopped. In “The Idle Man’ was first printed who have lived” in his country. The celebrat• Tom Thornton,' his other stories, and several ed Judge Story was the first occupant of the essays, with poems by Bryant, and a few pieces chair. In the extract just given the name of by a third hand. Allston wrote for it Monaldi,' Bryant occurs — a name too famous even in which would have formed part of the second England as a poet to be passed over with a mere volume had the work been continued. Bryant allusion. William Cullen Bryant has, however, had also contributed to the North American Review while Dana was connected with it, long since exchanged poetry for politics — and (among other things • Thanatopsis,' the finest prefers the columns of the Evening Post, which poem ever produced by a youth of eighteen,) | he edits, to the pages of the North American and in 1825, when he was editor of the New Review, to which he was once an eminent con

tributor.” Mr. Griswold sums up his merits as rara, where the duke, baving been made aca prose writer in the following passage, to which quainted with all the circumstances, instead of we specially give insertion on account of its putting the parties to death and thus blazoning assertion of Mr. Bryant's nationality.

the dishonor of his house, attempted to throw discredit upon

the whole affair by compelling "Mr. Bryant is the leading journalist of his Tasso to feign madness and lead a dissolute life ; party, which is honored in having so illustrious that the poet for a time complied with these a person among its champions. *** So much is whence, urged by his extreme passion, he re

conditions, but at length escaped to Turin, certain sort of critics it is so constantly and with turned, with permission, professing himself cured such offensive arrogance denied that there is of his malady, and was ultimately, upon his any thing national in the productions of the bursting out into some public paroxysm of rage American mind, that I cannot forbear an allusion

at the treatment he had received from the court, to this quality in Mr. Bryant's writings. It may

thrown into prison and there detained seven be truly said that, whatever is in them of intrin-weary years. This is a very meagre outline of sic truth, the views of Mr. Bryant on every sub

what seems to be perfectly established in Mr. ject respecting which the intelligent in all coun

Wilde's masterly examination of Tasso's mystetries do not agree, are essentially American, both rious history. The work contains numerous adof and nurtured by our institutions, experience, mirable translations from the Italian, and the and condition, and held only by ourselves and

style of it throughout is chaste and classical.” by those who look to us for instruction and ex

The poet Dante likewise received a large ample."

share of his attention. We must now become more miscellaneous in

“ Embarrassed with the contradictions in acour references than we have hitherto been.counts of Dante, he obtained from the Grand Rather taking our matter at random than attempt- Duke of Tuscany permission to examine the seing selection, we come to the name of Richard çret archives of Florence, for the period in which Henry Wilde, and some record of his labors on

he lived, and with indefatigable ardor devoted

himself to this difficult labor many months, in the subject of Italian literature. Mr. Griswold

which he succeeded in discovering many interthus speaks of that writer's · Conjectures and

esting facts, obscurely known, or altogether forResearches concerning the Love, Madness, and gotten, even by the people of Italy. Having Imprisonment of Torquato Tasso.'

learned incidentally one day, in conversation

with an artist, that an authentic portrait of this “ Mr. Wilde collected his materials with a pa- great poet, from the pencil of Giotto, probably tient industry only surpassed by the clear and still existed in the Bargello, (anciently both the luminous manner in which he lays the whole prison and the palace of the republic,) on a wall, evidence before the reader, and by the ingenuity which by some strange neglect or inadvertence with which he makes his deductions. The whole had been covered with whitewash, he set on foot investigation indeed is conducted with the care

a project for its discovery and restoration, and skill of a practised lawyer. The title of which, after several months, was crowned with the work is perfectly descriptive of its contents; complete success. This discovery of a veritable for starting with no theory, assuming nothing, portrait of Dante, in the prime of his days, says nor seeking to establish any preconceived opin- Washington Irving, produced throughout Italy ion, Mr. Wilde has been content to bring to some such sensation as in England would follow gether all the facts bearing on the points at issue, the sudden discovery of a perfectly well authento indicate very ably all the deductions that

ticated likeness of Shakspeare, with a difference may be made from them, and there to leave the in intensity, proportioned to the superior sensireader, fairly in possession of the case, to judge tiveness of the Italians. It is understood that for himself, and form his own opinion. This Mr. Wilde has since finished his life of Dante, plan is original and proves the writer's honesty but it has not yet been offered to the public. and candor, but most persons would have been His printed writings on subjects connected with better satisfied if he had indicated clearly what Italian literature, besides the work on Tasso, are he wished to prove, and gone on step by step, to an elaborate notice of Petrarch, in the form of a prove it. By, a close comparison of Tasso's review of Campbell's worthless biography of that writings, especially his sonnets and canzone, and poet, and a Letter to Mr. Paulding on Count a searching cross-examination of their hielden

Alberto's pretended mss. of Tasso. His miscelmeanings, he convinces us that Tasso was really lanies, in several magazines, mostly written durin love with Leonora of Este, and that she was ing moments of relaxation while he was a mem the person to whom he addressed his amatory ber of Congress, or engaged in the business of poems; that this princess granted to him all that his profession, are elegant and scholarly, and virtue should have denied, and that he wrote pri- make us regret that his whole attention has not vate pieces of poetry proclaiming the fact, which

been given to letters.” were stolen by a traitorous friend ; that fearing his amour had been revealed to the duke Alphon

The works of James Fenimore Cooper, the so, he fled to Sorrento, but his passion for the American Scott, as he is called, are so well princess overcoming his fears, returned to Fer- | known in this country that the slightest allusion

to them will be sufficiently understood. Some broadbrim who had insulted him.” This spirit account, however, of the sources from which he of insubordination seems to have grown up with derived his materials for maritime description him; to bave been manifested at home, at school, cannot fail of being welcome. In 1805, Mr. and in the shop. Neal was for about six years Cooper entered the navy, being then fresh from what is called an accountant or salesman in PortCollege; and he was six years afloat, - when land and Portsmouth (U. S.); and afterwards, he retired from the sea-service to indulge in at the age of twenty-three, established a wholematrimony and authorship. The American pe- sale store in Baltimore, - where he failed. Beriodicals, it seems, regarded Mr. Cooper's earliest ing without money, be looked out for a profesworks, such as · Precaution' and 'The Spy,' sion. At first he thought of the law; but found with coldness :— the latter, notwithstanding, there was in it something to learn. So he chose quickly became popular. For · The Pilot' and literature, - in which he thought there was The Last of the Mohicans' Mr. Griswold nothing. claims the praise of originality and nationality. He asks,

“ He would turn author! he had scarcely any

education, was ignorant even of the first princi“ Where can the model of the The Pilot' be ples of English grammar, and had never written found ? I know of nothing which could have a line for the press except his advertisements; suggested it but the following fact, which was but nevertheless he determined to be a scholar related to me in a conversation with Mr. Cooper. and a critic, and do what no other person was

The Pirate' had been published a short time then able to do in this country, gain a living by before. Talking with the late Charles Wilkes, literature.” of New York, – a man of taste and judgment

-our author heard extolled the universal Unpromising as might seem this commenceknowledge of Scott, and the sea portions of • Thement, Neal was successful. A review on ByPirate'cited as a proof. He laughed at the ron introduced him to the • Portico' as a reguidea, as most seamen would, and the discussion lar contributor; and within a month or two we ended by his promising to write a sea story which find him regularly editing · The Baltimore Telecould be read by landsmen, while seamen should feel its truth. * The Pilot' was the fruit of that

graph.' conversation. It is one of the most remarkable

“ In 1817 he published his first book, 'Keep novels of the time, and everywhere obtained in- Cool

, a Novel written in Hot Weather," which stant and high applause."

he himself has described characteristically as a We are prepared in a work of this kind to foolish fiery thing, with a good deal of nature find such a writer as Mr. Cooper overrated,

and originality, and much more nonsense and

flummery in it.' About the same time he preand even praised for qualities which we should pared an Index to Niles's Weekly Register, rather be disposed to censure. Thus, the ex which made over two hundred and fifty very treme Americanism of his conduct and opinions closely printed imperial octavo pages, and is during his residence in Europe meets here with spoken of by Mr. Niles as “ probaby the most laan unflinching advocate. A less exclusive spirit, borious work of the kind that ever appeared in we think, would not only have been more amia- any country.' In 1818 he published • The Battle ble but have exhibited a larger intellectual range. Other Poems, by Jehu O'Cataract,' and Otho,

of Niagara, Goldau, the Maniac Harper, and As a novelist Mr. Cooper's failures are nearly as

a Tragedy,' and in the following year be assistmany as his successes : — but it may be worth ed Dr. Watkins in writing the History of the recording that his later works have derived extra American Revolution, which is commonly ascribimportance in the eyes of his countrymen fromed to Paul Allen. He had succeeded in supporttheir social and political tone.

ing himself very handsomely by his literary laThe biographies before us, though numerous, bors, and was now admitted to the bar, and are deficient in adventure. Their brevity pre- tice of his profession.”

with flattering prospects entered upon the praccludes the accumulation of incident; and thus they have less interest than might have been The name of Jehu O’Cataract, above adopted, expected. They are sketches, not portraits. was given to Neal by the members of a club to There are, however, some events in the life of which he belonged; and is said to be characterJoho Neal which are remarkable. This writeristic of his “impetuous and scornful temperawas of Quaker parentage, but of a most warlike ment.” disposition. “ His mother, though she put bim The brief history which we have sketched inin drab, could by no means instil into him the dicates a remarkable determination of character peaceable notions of which that color is the sign, and promptitude of action. Such a man was - as appeared when he disturbed the silence of likely to hit hard, if at all he reached the mark a meeting in which there had been no moving he aimed at. His novel of. Randolph,' published of a better spirit, by knocking down a young I in 1823, comes in excellent illustration. Hur

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