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the facts came in direct collision with it. humors,” but his “ quality of mercy" seems That he held fast to his theory after his to us a little “strained," and we are thorown facts had falsified it, is more to his oughly inclined to the opinion that such credit as a sworn champion than as a prac- compassion as he is in the habit of bestowtical philosopher ; but his faith in it, if faith ing on his customers, “blesses him that gives he has, must be of that sort that will remove more than him that takes.” In parting, we mountains.
will give him one word of advice, and that However, let it not be forgotten that shall be, to spin out no more fine theories of John Bull has compassionate bowels, and political economy on the topic of this counthat we are the special objects of his pity. try before he has looked well to the facts. He pities us that we have no king ; If he will lay this advice to heart, and act he pities us that we have no House of accordingly for the future, we will do him Lords; he pities us that we have no church the favor to forget that joke of his about establishment; he pities us 95 per cent. on the “Britishers," and we will laugh as litwindow glass, and he pities us fore and aft tle as possible at his stupendous mare's on steam revenue-cutters. “These be good l nest of the “ eam revenue-cutters."
THE A N G ELS.
Not always in tumultuous sea,
Our aims and passions madly heave;
And the torn billows cease to grieve.
And thoughts there are of loftier birth,
Than this poor pageantry of dreams;
The soul an hovering angel seems
Beholds, on earth's maternal breast,
Her children all together laid,
And veiled in star-attempered shade.
The striving heart no more exults
Beneath the decent folds of pride ;
No more; and silent, side by side,
Fierce altercations, breathing deep,
Dream, now, of ancient truce renewed ;
Unknown to love's sweet habitude.
Night! festival of banded stars !
Mild empire of the kindly elves!
Lost souls restoring to themselves ;
The calmness of the utmost sphere
Where angels, on eternal thrones, All silent rest, serene, severe
With Night full near communion owns.
Pure bliss the empyreal air instills ;
Not raised from flushed emotion's deep, That now with after-sorrow fills,
But like to thine, O sacred Sleep!
On sapphire thrones, eternal they
Informing suns, or through the whole, Glide viewless, in ethereal play,
Through beauteous earth, and weightless soul.
They know the secret of the vast,
Nor time, nor force their will denies ; No future dread they, grieve no past,
Theirs are the twin eternities.
Great Sons of Eld! ye hear our voices,
Outcries of woe, and bursts of mirth, That, mingled with insensate noises,
Thrill in the trembling veil of Earth.
Though piteously we strive and cry,
Like plumeless birds ; alike to you, The flickering light of mortal joy,
The quivering flame of mortal woe!
Alone, above the war of things,
CHARLES BROCKDEN BROWN.
The name of Brockden Brown had ac- | perhaps, fixed itself permanently in the quired an attractive sound to our ear, be- hearts of many ages; but this is a rare fore ever we read a line of his writings. composition, far above the rank of “ WieThe honorable distinction which was award- | land.” ed to him, as a novelist, by the British It is plain that the novel has a place press, at a period when it was almost cer- provided for it among the literary wants tain that every book with an American of man. Little intervals of businessimprint would only be mentioned to be odd ends and fragments of time-such carped at, and which, perhaps, more than as would otherwise almost inevitably be any other single circumstance, prepared | given to idle musing, or still worse, to the
way for the Transatlantic fame which melancholy self-reflection, are, by the aid Irving and others of our countrymen have of these products of the fancy, made to since so abundantly enjoyed, contributed give an agreeable relaxation and refreshnot a little to impress our boyish imagina- ment to the mind, with a secret impulse tion with reverence for this remarkable onward and upward in spiritual culture, to man. As a nation, we have been accused, i be found nowhere else. Neither is it alby the great critics across the water, of an together foolishly, we think, that some insensibility to the genius of this writer, persons make these books the companions · and the sole glory of duly appreciating of a tedious voyage, or of a temporary his merits has been strongly claimed in the stay at an inn, seeking from them a sort of same quarters. We suspect, however, that oblivious exhilaration, that shall for a mothis charge, and the pretensions with which ment stifle all the vexations of the present it is coupled, are somewhat groundless circumstances, and remove every anxiety that the chief fault of our ancestors was, and disquietude of life: just as one somethat, while they appreciated and liberally times takes an opiate before submitting to patronized one of the most brilliant of the a painful surgical operation, or inbales the men of letters in their day, they would sulphuric ether when about to take due persist that Barlow's Columbiad and | vengeance on a mutinous tooth. In short, Dwight's Conquest of Canaan were true we may easily discover a thousand differpoems, and might very properly be placed ent ways, in which this species of literaon the same shelf with, at least, the “ Last ture becomes an important provision for Judgment,” and “Leonidas.” Brown was the human mind. Among all these cireagerly read in his time; obtained a con cumstances, however, we find no occasion siderable income from his novels; and re for admitting “ Pelham ” to the brain of ceived flattering attentions from the learned a miss at school, nor the “Sorrows of and the influential of our land. But that Werter” to the meditations of a youth since his death he should have fallen into | desperately in love with himself. We comparative neglect, was nearly unavoida- suppose that nobody under the sun is jusble, from the very character of his writings. tified in reading, or blessed in being suffered
We do not mean to be understood that to read, a romance of any kind, who is not such works are useless or trivial. We will fully competent to understand that a pretnot go so far as to say, with some whose ty story is not a history of the whole judgment we respect, that, from its own world, and that a fine piece of sentimental nature, it is impossible for a novel to live ; philosophy is not the sum of human wisbut we do say that, in the main, every dom and genius. generation will have its own favorites, and This department of literature has a disthat one novelist will, in ordinary cases, tinct character, and a plainly marked succeed to another with a tolerably rapid boundary, that divides it from all others. movement. The Vicar of Wakefield has, The author of a novel, no less than the
dramatist, is required by the nature of his sufficient ground for predicating the relawork to observe certain " proprieties.” tion of master and disciple. That Brown Not that any critical Frenchman, within was, in the highest sense,
original, is our knowledge, has ever gone so far as to ertheless true. And we do not think it lay down exact "rules,” to which every too much to add, that many of the later writing of this kind must be conformed; and more celebrated novelists of Great neither has any Quintilian applied the irre- Britain have many incidents and scenes, sistible power of analysis to the best models not to say characters, which seem to have in this species of ideal creation. But there been rather more than suggested by pasis a sort of critical common sense, neverthe- sages in the fictions of our own countryman. less, respecting these matters, which we Charles Brockden Brown was born at must esteem, for all practical purposes, at Philadelphia, in the year 1771. His famleast, infallible. A novel is universally ily was highly respectable, though involved understood to be a story of passion ; of in the heresy of George Fox. He was adventure ; of events intricately involved always studious, and, in some particulars, and marvellously extricated; of insur- he was considerably precocious. After a mountable obstacles swept away by the pupilage of five years with a Mr. Proud, force of heroism, by the violence of love, from whom he learnt Latin and Greek, he or by the frenzy of gloomier passions ; began to devote his attention, at sixteen, perhaps of supernatural occurrences and to poetical composition; sketched no less of divine or angelic interpositions ; and than three epics--of the “six weeks" certainly of experiences passing through kind—and made some progress towards the whole range from the depths of grief their completion. Fortunately, no Joseph and anguish to the full rapture of realized Cottle standing ready to publish, the manwishes and hopes. We generally expect uscripts soon after fell
, by design doubtless, a m, sunny beginning, among the ardent into the fire. In addition to these more yet tranquil thoughts of dreamy youth, magnificent endeavors, it is known that he in the abodes of childish years, and amidst now and then gratified the vanity, incident all the delights of nature; a series of to boyish years, of gracing the Poet's events issuing from this point, thickening Corner of a respectable country newspaand confusedly mingling as they proceed per. Subsequently, he studied law-main-lover and loved playing at cross pur- ly, it is evident, to gratify the wishes of poses, thrown into seemingly inextricable his friends, and without
purconfusion, every incident increasing their pose of his own. He never entered on embarrassment, and proportionally increas- the duties of that profession. He always ing their affection, as the impossibility of had one favorite purpose, manifestly, howits gratification becomes more and more ever at times he may have suffered it to lie apparent, until they come into a state of dormant. From the time of relinquishing downright despair; and lastly, an entire his law studies, his attention was turned and triumphant unravelling of all the in- to literary pursuits; and henceforward he tertwisted threads, and the completion of continued to write more or less assiduously a perfect web of golden felicity." All this, until the time of his death. He published we say, is generally expected ; and that no work, of any pretensions, before “ Wieauthor
may, in most cases, be safely said land,” which appeared in 1798. This was to possess either very insignificant, or else followed, in the next year, by “Ormond,” very confident, powers, who ventures to “Arthur Mervyn,” and “Edgar Huntley." disappoint this common anticipation. It In 1801, he published "Clara Howard,” needs some courage, even, to give the chief and in 1804, “Jane Talbot,” which was prominence to any other passion than love. first issued in England. During the same The author of “Caleb Williams
year of the latter publication, he was marmost the first who dared, in a decided ried to a lady of New York—where he manner, to transgress the general custom had spent a considerable portion of his in this respect; and it was not altogether time since he first became known as an without reason that Brown was, by some, author-and was, the rest of his life, perreckoned to be of the school of Godwin- manently settled at Philadelphia. He died if resemblance in a single particular is a l'in February, 1810.
The main incidents in the life of an au ture, to which these two have attained. thor, almost always, are the conception The author of "Wieland” was only a and birth of his books, and their progress youth—bis life never passed that limit. in the world. It is in these, therefore, Schiller, and Byron, and Shelley, are all that we are to look for his character, and said to have died young; but their youth for the sum of his life. It was, at least, was manhood compared with his. In the fortune of Brown to make no very de- years, to be sure, there was not this difcided and abiding impression on those ference—but youth knows no exact bounabout him, aside from that which was left dary of time. And he lived, too, buron their minds by his writings. We are dened with an almost constant melancholy told, indeed, that he was of a gentle na and gloom, which he never could wholly ture; that his manners were, in general, overcome, and under the thraldom of which, pleasing ; that he conversed with ease and none of the security and peace, essential effect, and that he was at one time rather to the highest achievements, could ever be skeptical in matters pertaining to religious his. But for physical inabilities, he might, faith.
To the many, he appeared to be doubtless, have risen above his mental inonly a man much given to reveries and firmities, and accomplished results of which moods of abstraction; and perhaps his ab- he has now left behind only some faint sent manner sometimes so unconsciously promise ; but he was himself destined to possessed him, when in society, as to call be overcome, and he perished in the midst forth a smile on the countenances of some of the conflict. of the less polite and less intelligent of the True genius, we are confirmed, never circle in which he moved. But all these blazes forth at once with its noonday little incidents, that go to make up an ex- splendor. Chatterton, indeed, may have tended biography, after all concern us but written remarkable verses at sixteen, and little. It is not in circumstances like these, Pope may have lisped in numbers; but of that the real man is exhibited. We are this we are sure, neither Shakspeare nor forced to recur to the only sure index and Milton, neither Goethe nor Schiller, achievrepresentative-his work—in order to gain ed their greatness without a long and seany correct knowļedge, or to form any true vere process of culture. Re-modellings judgment.
of Titus Andronicus, hard struggles with The first work which finds its way into the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and anxthe world, from the pen of whatsoever ious pains with Venus and Adonis, must writer, has probably within it some true inevitably precede Hamlet and the Temtokens of the power in which it originates. pest. Lycidas, and Comus, and Samson, The best qualities of such a mind may in must appear, as premonitions and exercises deed be altogether concealed. Its defects of a strength, which only years of wrestmay here assume their worst form. The ling with “evil tongues and evil times' work itself is by no means the measure of could nurture up for the realization of what this mind may bereafter create. But Paradise Lost. Wallenstein and the Roba book earnestly written, deliberately put bers seem scarcely to be products of the into the hands of a publisher, and willingly same mind; and that Wilhelm Meister was exposed in the literary shambles, may be written by the author of the Sorrows of esteemed a rare book indeed, if it contains Werter, seems to require some credulity to no certain intimations of the quality of believe. Yes,--the evolution of genius the mind from whence it proceeds. demands a vehement and long-protracted
We do not hesitate to pronounce “ Wie struggle. None can be developed without land” to be the product of an extraordi- it, and the more powerful, the greater the nary mind-such a work as could proceed throe of parturition. from no other than a gifted spirit. We Many persons, doubtless, will question are quite sure that we detect in it the lin- whether the species of writing, in which eaments of a genius fully as original, and Brown was engaged, was of a character profound, and comprehensive, as that of that would tend very much to the proİrving or Bryant. But then we are com motion of the culture he above all things pelled to add, that Brown never lived to needed. This suspicion is not without its reach that maturity of experience and cul- good reason. Of two such novels as