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INDEX TO VOLUME LIX.
Gather Ripe Fruits, 0 Death! By H. L. PAR-
The Battle-Ground of Tippecanoe,
The Haunted House,
The Last of the Stuarts. By Ġ. M. Towie, 358
The Mysteries of the Worlds,
Letters and Science under Louis xiv., 148
The Turk in Syria,
The present publication in the pages of the KNICKERBOCKER of the “Revelations of Wall-Street.: or The History of Charles Elias Parkinson,' by Richard B. Kimball, author of 'St. Leger, or the Threads of Life,' has even in these days, when War is the monopolizing theme of public interest, aroused the latent curiosity of the reading public to investigate the mental phenomena of a writer who could produce two such remarkable works, revealing qualifications and mental attributes so absolutely distinct. For so antagonistic are the two productions, it would seem æsthetically impossible that both should be the emanation of the same mind.
As the works of Mr. Kimball have for so many years made part and parcel of the reputation of the KNICKERBOCKER, it is eminently proper that its pages should contain some account of his life and genius.
A contributor to every volume of this Magazine since 1842, he printed in it his ‘Reminiscences of an Old Man,' The Young Englishman,' 'Letters from Cuba,' and the successive chapters of 'St. Leger,' besides a great variety of tales, poetry, letters, reviews, and so forth. “St. Leger' was published by Putnam, and by Bentley in London, and it passed rapidly through two English and eight: American editions ; subsequently, it was published in the 'Railway Library' in London, and also by Tauchnitz, the great Leipzig publisher, whose reprint is a guarantee of the most decided European popularity. Bursting like a meteor upon the literary horizon, 'St. Leger at once arrested the attention of the ablest critics. An article in the ‘International' of 1851, thus alludes to it:
' IN 'St. Leger,' a mind predisposed to superstition by some vague prophecies respecting the destiny. of his family; a mind inquisitive, quick and earnest, but subject to occasional melancholy, as the inherited spell obtains a mastery over reason, is exposed to the influences of a various study and startling experiences, all conceived with a profound knowledge of human nature, and displayed with consummate art; having a metaphysical, if not a strictly dramatic unity ; and conducting by the subtlest processes, to the determination of those momentous, questions, Whence are we? What are we? Whither do we go? - and the flowering of a high and genial character, as Professor VOL. LIX.
TAYLER LEWIS expresses it, at rest, deriving substantial enjoyment from the present, because satisfied with the respect to the ultimate, and perfect and absolute.'* Aside from its qualities as a delineation of deep inner experience, “St. Leger' has very great merits as a specimen of popular romantic fiction. The varied characters are admirably drawn, and are individual, distinct and effectively constructed. The incidents are all shaped and combined with remarkable skill; and, as the London Athenceum observes: 'Here, there, every where, the author gives evidence of passionate and romantic power. In some of the episodes, as that of Wolfgang Hegewisch,' for example, in which are illustrated the tendency of a desperate philosophy and hopeless skepticism, we have that sort of mastery over the feelings, that chaining of the intensest interest which distinguishes the most wonderful compositions of Poe, or the German Hoffman, or Zschokke in his Walpurgis Night;' and every incident in the book tends with directest certainty to the fulfilment of the main design.'
That exquisite morale of womanhood, 'Theresa Von Hofrath,' is one of the richest gems in this tiara of diamonds. We cannot resist copying the following mental soliloquy which one of the ablest critics of the day pronounces 'one of the grandest pæans ever sent up from the altar of the human heart, since the days of inspiration. It is the mental communing of 'St. Leger' with the reader - youth, man, or maiden,' one summer eve, in Bertold Castle, on the banks of the Avon, in “gentle Warwickshire.' To our personal knowledge, it has nerved both the timorous and strong mind, 'weary of the march of life,' to go grandly forth at the beck of duty, rejuvenated with glorious hopes and noble purpose, and manfully fight the battle of life. We cannot imagine the reader who will not be benefited by its perusal:
• The casement is open. The delicious perfume of summer finds its way hither unbidden. The still, solemn pines tower upon the twilight. • Across the Avon the 'New Forest stands lonely and silent. The river runs between, dark and deep, always flowing. Season after season, year after year, age after age, flowing on, an emblem of permanence and of change.
'I feel like labor. Go to ! I will spoil this beautiful twilight ! 'Bring candles.'
"Now comes the moth to seek destruction in the flame. Hark! the cricket is chirping its unvarieť note ; the nightingale whistles his sweet but melancholy strain. The owl and bat, the fire-fly and will-o'-the-wisp, they, too, are busy enough.
* Where is the lively squirrel that has been springing all day from bough to bough? where the pigeon and the hawk? where the lark and the vulture, the linnet and the eagle, the coney and the fox ?
"The snake no longer glides across the path, and the toad has found a resting-place. But the owl hoots from the tree, and the bat flits crazily through the gloaming; the firefly and will-o'-the-wisp, see! there they sparkle and flicker and brighten again !
• Where is God my Maker, who giveth songs in the night ?
* Reader, who hast borne me company thus far, if indeed you have entertained a sympathy in this narrative, then let us rest a moment here.
* « The Inner Life,' a review of 'St. Leger,' By Professor TAYLER LEWIS, LL.D., etc.,