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LONDON REVIEW:

OR,

NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.

QUID SIT PULCHRUM, QUID TURPE, QUID UTILE, QUID NON.

ENGLISH.

Russian Anthology; or, Specimens translator, in the following passage of the Russian Poets. Translated

from Mr. Bowring's well - written in

troductory observations: by John Bowring, F.L.S. London.

“ No one can be more alive than 12mo. pp. 239. 7s.

I am, to the extreme difficulty of com

municating to a foreign version the This is, indeed, a curiosity, and we peculiar characters of the original. cordially invite the lovers of what is The grace, the harmony, the happy rare and elegant to its inspection. We arrangement, the striking adaptation have fruits and flowers imported from of words to ideas; every thing in fact, the Frozen Regions of the North, which except the primary and naked thought, we have been hitherto taught to believe requires, for its perfect communication, bloomed and ripened only under south a genius equal to its first conception." ern suns, equal in flavour, nor inferior Pope has asserted, that critics as jn hue and fragrance to the productions well as poets, must be born such; and of the Tropics. But to speak without Mr. Bowring, very properly, puts in a a metaphor, the little volume before us similar claim for translators also. deserves the particular consideration Fully aware of the difficulties the of all, to whom intelíectual develop- translator has to encounter, we do not ment is an object of interest-of every hesitate to say, that, so far as we have one, who has the magnanimity, in a had opportunities of comparing the selfish age and generation, to encou poems now rendered with the ori. rage the efforts of genius, struggling ginals, Mr. Bowring has not only perfor emancipation from the thraldom in formed his task with fidelity, the first which ignorance and vassalage would duty of a translator, but with an ease confine it. We bail this specimen of and elegance, which exhibit a mind Russian literature as the pledge and largely gifted with the poetical tempromise of a speedy liberation from perament, and a genius closely allied her long intellectual bondage ; as the to the fine spirits, whose language and day - spring, visiting the protracted sentiments he has clothed in the most night of her mental darkness and mo harmonious English versification. We ral degradation.

may be here permitted, by way of digresTo Mr. Bowring we are indebted forsion, to state a fact, which cannot be an agreeable introduction to the ge- generally known, but which deserves peral literature of Russia, and for a to be widely circulated. A venerable particular acquaintance with her poets. minister of the Church of Iceland cul-How gracefully and how well he has tivated his native poetry with success, performed his part, it remains for us to' and enriched it with a translation of shew.

our divine Epic-The Paradise Lost. The poets, with whose writings it He presented bis MS. to the library bas been Mr. Bowring's attempt to fa of the Literary Fund. This version is miliarize us, are thirteen, of various' stated, on competent authority, to be degrees of merit and interest. Of the executed with uncommon spirit, and, extreme difficulty of doing justice to in many instances, to rival the original. the subject, every one, conversant with We have been tempted to the commuthe Sclavonic or modern Russ, must be nication of intelligence so interesting, sensible: there are many words, the from a conviction that it will prove meaning of which can only be partially acceptable to such of our readers as given by lengthened compounds and have been accustomed to associate circumlocutory phrases. We are tho- sterility of poetical intellect with friroughly disposed to concede, as much gidity of climate. as seems to be demanded of the perfect But to proceed to the work before

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The first poet, in order as in Fate so desolate and dread, talent, is-Derzhavip.-His compositions Says, “She blossoms not for thee breathe a sublime spirit. His Ode on

In vain thou shrddest the bitter tear ; God is singularly impressive. It is

Ánother hand shall gather her:

And thou-go muurn thy misery!" a compressed selection and beautiful

O flower so lovely! Lilea fair! arrangement of the established but

With thee I fain my fate would share, sublime conceptious of the Deity. It'

But heaven has said, “ It capnot be." is stated to have been rendered into

Page 114. Japanese by order of the Emperor, and of the pational songs, that in page to have been hung up, embroidered 201 is remarkably happy,--but we can with gold, in the temple of Jeddo ; it no further indulge in extracts from has also been translated into the Chi.

this interesting volume. nese and Tartar languages. The last In recalling the memory of our paragraph, beginning with “ Creator, readers to the fact, that this volume yes,” is remarkably impressive..

is a representative of the unformed From Derzhavin's Poem of the Water. and infant literature of Russia, we fall we extract the following beautiful

may confidently ask, if, even through passage:

the imperfect medium in which our “Thon parent of the Waterfall! proud lents, they have, for one moment, found

short Review has exbibited these ta. river! Thou northern thunderer, Suna! hurry

such apology necessary-or, whether ing on

they have felt disposed to qualify tbeir In mighty torrent from the heights; and praise, by any reference to tbe imma

turity we have noticed. If this be the Sparkling with glory in the gladdened infancy of Literature, a gigantic mansun,

hood is indeed to be anticipated. Now dashing from the mountain to the

We should not do justice to our own plain, And scattering purple fire and sapphire Bowring for the tardy honours we

feelings, did we not apologise to Mr. ruin."

have bestowed upon his work, which, To Derzhavin succeeds Batiusbkov, by its own intrinsic excellence, has and his very interesting Poem, “ Tó already reached a second edition ; por My Pevates," has been as touchingly

can we refrain from the expression of rendered by the translator, and reminds

our high admiration of the healthy us of L'Allegro of Milton.

tone and the manly vigour wbich disFrom the father of Russian poetry,

tinguish these productions. The torch Somonosov, we have a short poem as

of Russian poesy bas been kindled by original as profound. But we must " a ray from heaven;" it burns with waive this formal ceremony of particu.

a lustre as brilliant as it is steadylar introduction, and bring before our

The Muse stands here invested with readers“ Karamsin," of whose genius

her sublimest attributes, and faitbful we have here some fine specimens.

to her trust, and true to her allegiance, He has been styled, the Nightingale of

the interests of virtue are ber jogfel Poetry, and it is meet that we should theme, and the aim and object even of be indulged with a strain. We have her more rapturous aspirations. selected a little plaintive poem, not so much for its superiority to the others,

Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, a Dra. as from its convenient adaptation to our limits.

matic Poem; the Mermaid of GalLILEA.

loway; the Legend of Richard Faul“ What a lovely flower I see

der ; and twenty Scottish Songs. Bloom in snowy beauty there! O how fragrant-and how fair! By Allan Cunningham. 12mo. Can that lily bloom for me? Thee to pluck be mine the bliss;

There is in the poets and original Place upon my breast and kiss!

writers of Scotland, as well as in their Why, then, is that bliss denied ? critics, an uptamed energy, a rempant Why does heaven our fates divide ? of that original ferocity which charac. Sorrow now my bosom fills;

terizes human nature, before the softer Tears run down my cheeks as rills : charms of science have tempered its Far away that flower must bloom, And in vain I sigh "O cone!"

grossness, and regned ibe barsher eleSoftly zephyr glides between

ments of its constitution. Scotchmen, Waving boughs of emerald green.

in general, reason closely and acutely, Purest flowrets bend their head;

but they feel coarsely and palpable : Shake their little cups of dew:

their sentiments are seldom impressed Fate onpitying and untrue,

with the characters of mind or unearthly

sympathy. To that divine commu feeling in professed amatory writers. nion which exists between kindred spi. Perhaps the reason may be, that in love rits, to that sympathy which is the off there is no medium between beauty spring of mentalized and spiritualized and deformity. The language of love feelings, and to all the milder affections is the language of passion, and passion which give them character and express always tells truth. A real lover, there. sion, he is a perfect stranger. His fore, never speaks but what he feels, sympathies are what naturally results though he generally feels more than he from his physical propensities, or con ean venture to express. He, who imi. stitutional temperament, and therefore, tates the true lover, must use the same the Scotch poets are generally natural, language, though he wants the same but seldom refined. They write, it is feelings. But how difficult is it to true, as they feel: so far they are right, express feelings which we do not feel, for feeling is the soul of poetry; but and with which, consequently, we must as their feelings are gross, their poetry be unacquainted. He, who describes inust be equally so. Such was the poe. love without feeling it, resembles a try of Burns, and such is now the poe blind man describing colours. Both try of Cunningham. Mr. Campbell is describe wbat they know nothing about, the only exception, we kpow of, to the and, consequently, they have no cerobservations which we bave made, for, tainty of being right but while they however intimate the Scotch baronet travel in the footsteps of others. In may be with the fairy lands of imagi mere imitation, however, there can be pation, he is a true sawny with regard no novelty, and without imitation there to delicacy and refinement of feeling. can be no certainty. Now admitting In general, Scotch poets will be found that an amatory poet, such as Mr. Cun. to resemble Dutch painters: they excel ningham, should possess from nature a only in describing low life, or rather, considerable portion of natural feeling, in caricaturing it. It is not human how is it possible that he can be in love nature they describe, but some ludi. with every new lassie and bodnie lady crous deviation from it. They describe to whom he professes an attachment? manners, not passions, but so far as the True love is constant and fixed to one description is true, it must be considered object, and, therefore, there is much natural, however widely the originals reason to doubt the sincerity of him, which they copy may be at variance who is in love with a great many at with nature. We do not mean to say the same time. Hence it is that those, that the northern poets do not some who make a trade of love-songs, seldom times describe natural as well as na. succeed in them; they generally subtional manners, but we mean to say, stitute false sentiment and uppatural that they excel more in the latter, and feeling for the genuine effusions of the that they seldom give us a picture of heart, because these effusions can only natural manners without enriching it, be described by those who feel them. as they think, with national sentiment. We must confess, at the same time, At any rate, whether they describe that though these observations apply natural or national manners, they al. more or less to Mr. Cupningham, as ways describe low mappers, and conse well as to all other love-poets, (if we quently the resemblance between them make any exception, it must be in and Dutch painters will always bold favor of Moore) many of his songs are good; for Sir W. Scott himself, the extremely tender and affecting, and as most favoured of their bards, is a mere refined as we can expect them to be, describer of low national manners. coming from Scotch shepherds and

We are not therefore to be surprized, swains. But still he frequently outif Mr. Covningham has not surmounted steps the modesty of nature: he makes this predeliction for low manners, which his lovers say; or he says himself for characterises all the poets of his coun. them, what no person who really felt try, Mr. Campbell excepted. We are the passion would ever think of saying. far from wishing to depreciate his ta A lover never thinks of saying any lents: his genius is original, though thing but what his passion suggests ; confined to one species of poetic excel. as passion, then, would have never soglence. We do not know that he imi. gested the following far-fetched idea, tates the style or manner of any of his it is ridiculous to suppose it the lancouptrymen, but he has caught the guage of love. Indeed the whole standownward spirit that aniniates them all. za is a true specimen of the false sub. The subject of all his songs, are the lime. love-sick breathings of the Scotch pea. saotry; but we must confess, we could « My love's two eyes are bonnie stars, never discover much nature or true Born lo adorn the supymer skjes, Eur, Mag. Vol. 82.

31

And I will by our triste-thorn sit

if we were permitted to take the poem To watch them at their evening rise ; in pieces, and judge of every member That, when they shine on tower and free, by itself. But, unhappily, considering Their heav'nly light may full on me." it as a whole, there is little dependance

on harmony between its parts. He Whenever Mr. Cunningham falls excels more in execution and coloorinto an error of this kind, it arises ing than in original design, and his from the untamed energies of a restless mind seems never to wander beyond and obtrusive imagination, which per- the immediate scene before him. Neipetually seeks to carry him away from ther in the classification of facts, por the direct object of his affections to in the union, harmony or proportion of remote images and fanciful situations.

parts, does he manifest himself a skil. Thus he confounds the intense pathos ful artist; and without these qualities of love with the luxuriant associations of dramatic excellence, all others are of imagination, but in doing so, be thrown into the shade. only deceives himself, not bis mistress.

The subject of this poem is the murA woman immediately begins to' sus. der of Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, by pect her lover the moment he begins Halbert Comyne, one of his own kins. to raise her to the skies. She knows men and retainers, who usurped his well, she has no claim to so elevated a

castle and estate, but afterwards fell situation, and she also knows, tbat true by the hand of his son, the Young Sir love deals not in images of any kind. Marmaduke. The story derives a conThe feelings of the heart bear no ana siderable portion of its interest fron logy to, and consequently cannot be the amours of Sir Marmaduke with the typified by, sensible representations. beautiful Mary Douglas, the parliaIf the creations of fancy be at all to.

mentary war in Scotland, Mag Morison, lerable in a love-song, it must be in the

the pretty waiting-maid, and Mabel opening of it, were it may serve as an Moran, the witch. The scene is laid introduction to the ensuing scene. But in “ the beautiful but ruinous castle when passion once begins to speak, of Caerlaverock, on the Scottish side imagination must be silent. For this

of the sea of Solway; and the time of reason we admire the following stanza, the story is the close of the Commor. with which our author commences one wealth, under the Second Cromwell." of his love-songs.

Instead of the language of true pas.

sion, we have cold and inflated senti. “ The shepherd seeks his glowing hearth, ment. The author is continually in The fox calls from the mountain,

the clouds, even when his business is The folded flocks are while with rime, to describe the secret workings of love, Swans seek the silent fountain; And midnight starless is and drear,

and we have no hesitation to say, that And Ae's wild waters swelling,

there is not a poem in the English Far up the lonesome greenwood glen,

language of equal length, except the Where my fair maiden's dwelling.” subject be astronomy, in which the

stars" are so frequently introduced, When we say that the creations of though we cannot see what analogy fancy should be religiously excluded there is between love and the stars. from the language of passion, we con -Sir Marmaduke, however, seems to fine our observation to shorter pieces, have been of a different opinion, for be such as songs, &c. for the lover who counted nearly all the stars in the West has not much to say, should reserve it while he was waiting for his mistress. all for bis mistress, and not waste it in This, to us, would not appear as a test idle, and gratuitous declamation : and of his affection ; and we think, also, even in poems of greater length, fancy he paid his mistress no compliment in should never be indulged except wbere telling her of it; for if his thoughts it seems to force itself upon the lover, were fixed upon her, be certainls could and to heighten the depth and intense. not employ them in counting the stars. ness of his misery. Whenever it ap- Mary Douglas seems also to think the pears to result from a light and buoy- stars busy themselves in love-affairs, ant imagination, instead of beightening for she apprehends they may i tura it destroys the pathetic, and conse tell-tales," and disclose their secrets. quently the poetic effect.

-Again, she is afraid some star bas We have dwelt on Mr. Cunningham's fallen in love with Sir Marmaduke; songs, as we believe he owes to them

and Sir Marmaduke tells her, that he the greater portion of his poetic fame, will be to her In Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, it is true, there are many beautiful passages ; « True as these stars are to the cold, at least we should call them beautiful, clear sky."

For our parts, we are strongly in work, for we are persuaded they will clined to think, that real lovers seldom be amply gratified, the process of ingo so far as the stars in search of struction is so peculiarly simple, novel, images, and that they find within them- and curious. Instead of writing from selves all that they have occasion to left to right, the mode constantly purexpress. Perhaps Mr. Cunningham sued in schools from the commencethinks, that whatever is sublime in ment to the end of instruction, Mr. nature must be equally so in descrip- Carstairs' plan is to make the learner tion. What is improperly introduced begin at the top of the page and write cannot be natural in description, even in a perpendicular direction down the though it be an image taken from whole length of the page, without liftnature ; and whatever is unnatural, ing the pen, in columns of single letcan neither be poetic nor sublime, ters, and gradually increasing the

number of letters from left to right,

until the pupil becomes a proficient in Lectures on the Art of Writing.' the art, which mode must counterBy J. Carstairs, Writing Master. act the natural tendency which begin

ners bave of leaning too heavily on the 8vo. pp. 189. 12s. Fifth Edition.

right arm. Mr. Carstairs' method of

holding the hand and pen is surely a This very useful book has arrived at the fifth edition, and, although it is

desideratum in the art, and will tend

to lessen the labour of teachers in not usual with us to notice new edi.

making their pupils hold the hand and tions, upless they contain much additional matter, on this occasion we think

pen correctly. From our own obser

vations on Mr. Carstairs' Lectures, we we consult the interest of our readers

feel no hesitation in recommending his by so deviating from our usual course, This volume contains, amongst other

valuable system to the notice of all, matter, observations on the impedi- especially

ihose who are employed in ments that retard the progress of pu.

teaching penmanship in our scholastic

establishments. pils who learn to write by means of the old method. It includes a brief his. tory of the art, and of the materials Confessions of an English Opium that have been in use from the earliest

Eater. 12mo. pp. 206. 5s. ages to the present time. There are twenty-two plates, which are elucidated This work is the offspring of an acby pertinent observations.

curate and vigorous pen; it is divided Among the multiplicity of improve into two parts, of which the second ments that are continually introduced alone has any relation to opium-eating, into our mechanic arts, the improve and it may be described as ingenious, ments in the art of penmanship, by and containing descriptions of actual Mr. Carstairs, ought to be mention- sensations, which will, we appre. ed with unqualified approbation--by hend, pass with most as tbe mere ficthe assistance of his method, which tions of a vigorous fancy: but of the principally consists in the looping of first part we must acknowledge, that, letters and words together, any person if to awaken the most lively feelings however bad bis writing, will acquire of curiosity and tenderness without purity, precision, and celerity in a very effort, and without matter adapted to few lessons. We should like to see patbos, be a proof of superior gepius, this book introduced into all respecta the author of these confessions is unble academies, being assured that the doubtedly entitled to a bigh degree of principles of writing inculcated by Mr. commendation from the critic. The Carstairs could not fail to be beneficial first part of the Confessions relate to to the rising generation, as well as to the author's boyish days. The death the majority of adults. We are glad of his father, his being left to the care to hear that this new system has been of four guardians, his precoce profici, found successful wherever it has been ency in classic lore, and his contempt tried; and we hope the industrious for his masters. At sixteen the author author will not be less benefitted than feels an unexampled fervour to enter he ought to be, for he has evidently the classic halls of Oxford, bot sues in bestowed much labour, and exhibited vain to “ the haughty, obstinate, and great ingenuity in maturing a system intolerant” man, who, of the four 'nowhich teaches pupils of all ages, and minated guardians, was the only one both sexes, to write well in one-twen who would consent to act in that capatieth part of the time they usually con. city. According to the dramatist and sume in learning to write ill. We re novellist, a crabbed guardian of a commend our readers to examine the young lady is ip natura rerum a cause

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