Page images

THE AMERICAN THEATRE,' BOWERY. — The public are aware that a spacious and handsome edifice, an ornament to its vicinity, and to the town, has arisen from the ashes of the old Bowery Theatre. Mr. HAMBLiN has opened it, with a good company, and starry iofluences,' which have filled the house niglitly. The old dramas of Mazeppa,'' Ernest Maltravers,' etc., have already beea presented. We shall have an eye to this establishment hereafter.

How to BE LONG-LIVED.- We find before us a pamphlet, from the press of Mr. Adam Waldie, Philadelphia, which we have great pleasure in warmly commending to our readers. It is a lecture, delivered before the Athenian Institute of Philadelphia, by J. PANCOAST, M. D., and is a brief but comprehensive consideration of the art of prolonging life.' The comparisons drawn between the processes of animal and vegetable exis. tence, and the descriptions of the human frame and its functions, are not, as is 100 often the case with medical or anatomical illustrations, 'heathen Greek' to the merely general reader, but are lucid and interesting; while the warnings against the undue exposure of the body to the elements, the proper cultivation and exercise of, and the evils of overtasking, the mental faculties; and the indulgence of the depressing passions, as fear, envy, jealousy, chagrin, etc., are fruitful of most valuable lessons. Moreover, the style is excellent, as the annexed extracts will show:

"No error has been productive of more injurious consequences, than the opinion, which is too generally prevalent, that the true value of life depends less upon its length than its intensity. Those who practice upon such a belief, if they outlive their youth, drag out a premature old age, without energy and without enjoyment. Like Icarus, they would overstep the bounds of nature. Byron, who adopted this opinion as the molto of his youth, and died prematurely old at his thirty-seventh year, thus speaks in the last as well as the most sincere of his poetical effusions :'

[ocr errors][merged small]

"What a contrast does a virtuous, happy, and lengthened old age, present to that of one precipitated by a lite of dissipation !!

A striking contrast is afforded in the subjoined passage. The local allusion is, as we infer, to the late venerable Bishop White:

Cornaro, a noble Venetian, reformed, with philosophical fortitude, at the age of forty, a life of passion and dissipation, which had nearly brought him to the tomb. From that time forward, this excellent man graduated the amount of his food, bis wine, his exercise, his ainusements and his studies, so cxactly within the bounds of temperance and mode ration, as to have been enabled to preserve, much beyond the usual term of life, the freshness of youth, with the vigor of middleage. Between the ages of ninety and one hundred, he wrote two excellent treatises, in which the amiable garrulity of old age is mingled with the wisdom of the sage, and the benevolence of a christian. He lived past his one hundred and fourth year, enjoying life richly to the last, and died in his elbow-chair, with. nut pain or agony, like one who falls asleep, surrounded by a devoted family, by admiring friends, and in the midst of a region which his skill

had fertilized, and his kindness peopled with an admiring peasantry. To whom would not such a life be attractive — thus rationally prolonged, and deeply respected, enabling him to enjoy to its utmost limit, as the writings of Cornaro indicate to have been his case,

* All the boundless store
of charms, which oature to her votary yields;
The warbling woodland, the resounding shore,

The ponup of groves, and garniture of fields ;

All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
And all that echoes to the song of even,

All that the inountain's sheltering bosoms shields,

And all the dread magoificence of heaven.' ‘But we need not go to olden times, nor to a foreign region, for models of excellent and philosophic old age! Our own city may supply them. One now but lately lost, and

lamented - not only by the religious persuasion of which he was the head, but by a circle so wide that its limits have not been told ; a pattern of christian purity and moral worth. His earthly close was like that of a setting summer sun, whose beams having all day brightened, beautified the earth, and solaced the path of the way. farer upon it, fade at last solemnly and insensibly into the mellow light of even, and leave at their departure a lingering tinge of brightness on the sky - a halo, commemorative of expiring day, and propbetie of the glory of the future morn.'

While the professional features of the lecture in question evince that the writer is a worthy pupil of the distinguished physician to whom it is dedicated, its literary characteristics are equally honorable to his scholarship and his talents.

[ocr errors]

Gen. H. L. V. DUCOUDRAY HOLSTEIN. — The death, at Albany, of this distinguished officer and civilian, has been generally announced in the public journals. Our readers will remember the series of articles from his pen, upon Talleyrand' and the ' Secret Police of Napoleon,' which he contributed to these pages. They attracted much attention on this side the Atlantic, and were widely copied in England and France. Gen. Holstein was one of Napoleon's staff, and personally acquainted with, if not an actor in, some of the most prominent scenes and events of more modern French history. He was an accomplished scholar, and filled honorable collegiate offices, at Geneva, Albany, etc. Those who knew him best, speak of him as an exemplary and excellent man, in all the relations of life.

CRITICISM UPON THE National ACADEMY or Design. It is proper to mention, that the review of the exhibition of pictures at the National Academy, which appears elsewhere in this department of the KNICKERBOCKER, proceeds from the pen of an artist, who claims to have the honesty to acknowledge the merits of his rivals, and courage to make a temperate opposition to popular errors.' He has the advantage of having been for upward of six years a student in the Royal Academy of England, and the benefit of an intimate acquaintance with many of its most distinguished members. Having used all plainness of speech,' the writer desires no concealment of his name; and only affirms, that his freedom of animadversion arises from no sinister causes. He assures us, that he has no individual wrongs to avenge, nor personal pique to gratify. He has experienced no slight from the National Academy, having never been a candidate for its titles, or an applicant for its benefits, in any way. He clains, therefore, 10 be considered a candid and disinterested critic; and we leave the publie to confirm or annul his pretensions.

ROMANCE OF AMERICAN HISTORY. — We have read, with unmixed gratification, if we except a feeling of regret that we are unable to quote from its pages, 'A Lecture on the Romance of American History,' delivered at the Athenian Institute, Philadelphia, in February last, by William B. Reed, Esq. It is a rapid yet lucid sketch of prominent historical incidents, the discovery of America, the annals of Mexican conquest, the early history of this continent, etc., with incidental allusions to remote and foreign history, appositely adduced. The writer, though but in the vestibule, as it were, of his great theme, shows conclusively, that the romance of history is the poetry of iruth; that viewed aright, recorded truth is as picturesque as fiction; and that'lbe archives of the past are not stored only with dry bones and shapeless mummies, but have their walls clothed, in colors which never fade, with the forms and figures that realize the spirit of departed ages.' Adam WALDIE, Philadelphia.

LITERARY RECORD. New Books, ETC. Notices of some of the following works were prepared for the review department of the present number; but owing to the length of the articles upon the fine arts and the drama, and other causes, they are necessarily excluded. We are compelled, therefore, barely to advert to, instead of adequately noticing them : 'A L'Abri, or the Teni Pitched, is the naine given by Mr. Wallis to a handsome volume, from the press of Mr. Samuel COLMAN, containing a collection of all bis well-known 'Letters from under a Bridge;' "The Idler in Italy,' published by Messrs. CAREY AND HART, in two clearly-printed volumes, is a specimen of LADY BLESSINGTON's best style, and embraces the journal of a tour in Italy, with picturesque descriptions of scenery, reflections, account of various lions, etc.; "The Cabinet Minister,' from the never-ceasing press of those popular publishers, the BROTHERS HARPER, is by Mrs. GORE, who wrote Mothers and Daughters,' 'The Heir of Selwood,' etc., and has received commendation from praiseworthy sources in England; 'The Phantom Ship,' by CAPTAIN Mangyat, which has been 'to be continued' so long, in many American journals, is completed in iwo volumes, from the press of Messrs. CAREY AND Hart, and reads infinitely better, as a whole, than in detached numbers; ‘Adam Buff, and other Men of character,' containing eight of Douglas JERROLD's capital stories, from English and Scottish periodicals, from the press of LEA AND BLANCHARD. The works whose tities are annexed, reached us at too late a period for perusal: 'Robin Day,' a novel by the author of 'Calavar,’ in two volumes, by LEA AND BLANCHARD; 'Isabel, or Sicily, a Pilgrimage, by H. T. TUCKERMAN, by the same publishers; `Behemoth, a Legend of the Moundbuilders,' by J. and H. G. LANGLEY ; SCHOOLCRAFT's 'Algic Researches,' in two volumes, by the Brothers Harper, heretofore alluded to; "Mr. BARNARD's Discourse on the Life and services STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER, with an Historical Sketch of the Colony and Manor of Rensselaerwick; “The Characters of SCHILLER,' by Mrs. ELLET; 'Francia's Reign of Terror,' a sequel to the 'Letters on Paraguay,' noticed a short time since in the KNICKERBOCKER ; and 'Phantasmion,' from the press of Mr. SAMUEL COLMAN.

[ocr errors]

THE BEAUTIES OF DANIEL WEBSTER. -- Mr. EDWARD WALKER, Fulton-street, has published, in a small and handsome volume, of an hundred and uinety-six pages, 'The Beauties of Daniel Webster, selected and arranged; with a Critical Essay on his Genius and Writings.' It is a second edition, with considerable additions, and a very good reduced portrait. The selections are made with judgment, and their subjects are various. The compiler's unnecessary preface and essay are less to our taste. They strike us, in a hasty perusal, as being ambitious and inflated, to a degree. Errors have been permitted to escape, or alterations have been attempted, in the text itself, which evince either carelessness or amusing temerity. In the last extract, for example, Mr. WEDSTER is assisted with an emphatic word, which makes the whole sentence ridiculous : 'When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union,' etc. What are we to make of the armies and trophies streaming in their original lustre,' on the gorgeous ensign of the republic? A more careful revision should have been bestowed upon fragments, professedly authentic, from the productions of an eininent American statesman.

Our New VOLUME.- We would respectfully invite the reader's attention to an advertisement of the FourteeNTH VOLUME of the KNICKERBOCKER, wbich accompanies the present number. It would have been easy to bave added many well-known names to our regular list of contributors, and numerous commeudatory paragraphs to the subjoined opinions of the public press; but it is unnecessary. Reasoning from pleasant experience, we need desire no more ample support than will be voluntarily contributed by the public, nor a wider repute thao will naturally accrue from exertion, which, with additional resources, shall be ns untiring in the future, as it has been in the past.

« PreviousContinue »