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Mr. Noble has performed his labor of friendship lovingly and well. If there is a fault to be found with his volume, we should point to what we consider the somewhat exaggerated praise of his subject's 'conversational powers.' Mr. Cole was a modest, simple, plain-speaking man, of feeling and of true poetical sensibility, and he expressed unaffectedly what he felt; but to our conception, he was the farthest possible removed from that class of talkers who 'speak,' not because they have any thing to say, but because they have earned the reputation of conversationists ;' a species of intolerable bores whom, when we encounter, we straightway long for the hat that sits on the table in the hall, and an early opportunity to escape from the 'wishy, washy, everlasting flood' of lingual exercises, into the open air. Mr. Cole's written descriptions, either of objects in nature or in art, or of his personal emotions, were also always characteristically simple and direct. His communications to the KNICKERBOCKER, both in prose and verse, were of this description, as many of our earlier readers will well remember. Mr. NOBLE has made his selections with good taste, and we heartily commend his volume to & cordial public acceptance. The enterprising publishers have presented the book in a handsome form and dress; leaving us nothing to regret, save the absence of a few good engravings, representing some of the renowned pictures of which the volume treats. Perhaps this may be done in some subsequent edition.
Peismatics. By RICHARD HAYWARDE. Illustrated with Wood-Engravings from Designs
by ELLIOTT, Þarley, Kensett, Hicks, and ROSSITER. "In one volume: pp. 235. NewYork: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
A MERE announcement of the publication of this very beautiful volume has already been made in these pages; but we reluct at permitting it to pass without farther notice, simply because a portion of its contents has appeared, at different times, in the KNICKERBOCKER. It is too rare an occurrence for a gentleman, engaged in the arduous and toilful pursuits of trade, to employ his hours of leisure in intellectual recreations, which confer pleasure alike upon himself and his readers, to pass without remark and without commendation. But the work before us claims no especial consideration on that score. It is not as a piece of penmanship from the hand of a blind man, or a musical composition from a deaf mute, that this genial book is to be regarded. It affords in itself another and a striking illustration of the fact, that our best writers are not always those who devote themselves to literature strictly as a profession. We can call to mind--we do call to mind involuntarily, as we write — American "authors,' so-called, who in any half dozen of their works cannot show a tithe of the keen observation of men and manners, the perception and clear limnings of the beautiful in nature, and the truthful delineations and contrasts of character, which may be found in this volume. And now, even at the risk of repeating a portion of our Magazine to some of our older readers, we must be pardoned for calling attention to a few gems of description, which if we re-read with renewed pleasure, in the book before us, it may be assumed will not be less interesting to those who follow us in
this notice. The lines entitled 'A Babylonish Ditty' have been frequently quoted, but we wish to call attention to three or four stanzas from it, as combining, to our conception, the beauty of a painted landscape, and the 'rarest art of musical worls:'
"Tuere amid the sandy reaches, in among the pines and beeches,
Oaks, and various other kinds of old primeval forest-trees,
While in ledges sighed the sedges to the salt salubrious breeze.
Holding prest against my vest her slender, soft, seductive hand;
With some graphic ode, or sapphic, "To the nymph of Baby-land.'
(Moles that dot the dimpledd bosom of the sunny summer sea,)
Any where, where none could note us, there we sought alone to be.
Dolphin-tints, and hectic-hints of what was shortly coming on,
Then we parted; broken-hearted I, when she left Babylon.
Flings her spars and spidery outlines lightly on the lucid plain,
Never more the old haunt knoweth, never more returns again --
Changing like the changing tide, and faithless as the fickle sea;
Was that coaxing piece of hoaxing - Amy Milton's love to me.' These are lines that require no comment. They carry their own commendation with them. The poem of 'Hetabel,' which is almost equally felicitous, appeared too recently in these pages, as one of the Century PAPERS,' to be quoted here. The essay on 'Old Books,' in its loving appreciation of the writers of the golden days of Old English Literature, will continually remind the reader of CHARLES LAMB; a man whom our author resembles in more points than one. If, like LAMB, he is, in business-hours, a 'slave to the day-book and ledger,' his tranquil evenings, like Elia's, have evidently been passed in affectionate companionship with his beloved folios.'
The story of 'Aunt Miranda' appeared in advance of the publication of *Prismatics,' in the KNICKERBOCKER; and many an eye has moistened over its simple but most effective records. 'Orange-Blossoms,' a tale of love and marriage, is no whit behind it, in picturesque grouping of scene and character; but to that we must commend the reader in the volume itself. From ‘The First Oyster-Eater' we select a single passage, describing the manner in which that fortunate individual first ‘scraped acquaintance' with that now illustrious bivalve:
The word Oyster is unquestionably primitive. The broad open vowel-sound is, beyond a doubt, the primal, spontaneous thought that found utterance when the soft, seductive mollusc first exposed its white bosom in its pearly shell to the enraptured gaze of aboriginal man! Is there a question about it? Does not every one know, when he sees an oyster, that that is its name? And hence we reason that it originated in Britain, was latinized by the Romans, replevined by the Saxons, corrupted by the Teutons, and finally barbecued by the French. Oh, philological ladder by which we mount upward, until we emerge beneath the clear vertical light of Truth!! Methinks I see the First OYSTER-Eater! A brawny, naked savage, with his wild hair matted over his wild eyes, a zodiac of fiery stars tattooed across his muscular breast --- unclad, unsandalled, hirsute and hungry -- he breaks through the under-woods that margin the beach, and stands alone upon the sea-shore, with nothing in one hand but his unsuccessful boar-spear, and nothing in the other but his fist. There he beholds a splendid panorama! The west all a-glow; the conscious waves blushing as the warm sun sinks to their embraces; the blue sea on his left; the interminable forest on his right; and the creamy sea-sand curving in delicate tracery between. A Picture and a Child of Nature! Delightedly he plunges in the foam, and swims to the bald crown of a rock that uplifts itself above the waves. Seating himself, he gazes upon the calm expanse beyond, and swings his legs against the moss that spins its filmy tendrils in the brine. Suddenly he utters a cry; springs up; the blood streams from his foot. With barbarous fury he tears up masses of sea-moss, and with it, clustering families of testacea. Dashing them down upon the rock, he perceives a liquor exuding from the fragments; he sees the white, pulpy, delicate morsel half-hidden in the cracked shell, and instinctively reaching upward, his hand finds mouth, and amidst a savage, triumphant deglutition, he murmurs - Oyster!! Champing, in his uncouth fashion, bits of shell and sea-weed, with uncontrollable pleasure he masters this mystery of a new sensation, and not until the gray veil of night is drawn over the distant waters, does he leave the rock, overed with the trophies of his victory.'
For an example of analytical criticism, we would commend to the perusal of the reader the essay upon "Wit and Humor,' and the remarks upon 'Alliteration. In the latter, we think that in some instances the writer has carried his theory a little too far; although the general argument is unquestionably well based. In quoting examples of the liquidity of the letter l in poetry, two passages, among others cited, might have been presented, which always struck us (naturally enough, perhaps) as very beautiful. The first embraces two stanzas from the · Lines on Laurel Hill Cemetery,' near Philadelphia, by the late Willis GAYLORD CLARK ; and the second the last two lines of a closing stanza in another little poem by the same writer :
“Here the lamented dead in dust shall lie,
Life's lingering languors o'er, its labors done,
Admit the farewell radiance of the sun.'
No more to suffer, and no more to sin.'
When, or in what occasional fugitive effusion the couplet below appeared, we do not now remember; but we think it formed the conclusion of a brief tribi to a lady-friend, in the pages of an album, when those omniumgatherums' of poor verse and worse prose were more in vogue than at present:
OH, who on earth would love to live,
We cannot dismiss this volume without adverting to the high character of its illustrations and its typography, which reflect so much credit upon the liberality and good taste of the publishers. The designs, which were a labor of love' on the part of the eminent artists who prepared them, have been beautifully transferred by the engravers; while the thick, smooth, white paper, and excellent printing, leave nothing to be desired. Finally, and to conclude:' a more pleasant companion for an unemployed hour; á more matter-full, enjoyable tome, in a small compass; a work better calculated to please alike the heart, the fancy, and the eye, we cannot now recal, than this same charming volume of “Prismatics,' by our old correspondent, “RICHARD HAYWARDE.'
MEMOIRS OF MARGARET Fuller Ossoli. In two volumes. Boston: PHILLIPS, Sampson, AND COMPANY. Second Notice. 1853.
EMERSON ‘hits the nail on the head' when he says of MargARET FULLER'S letters: “They are tinted with a mysticism which to me appears so much an affair of constitution, that it claims no more respect than the charity or patriotism of a man who has dined well, and feels better for it.' The truth is, that MARGARET's estimate of truth was the highest fact in her consciousness. When very young, as she relates in the touching story of Mariana, she had been betrayed by a school-girl pique into falsehood and calumny, and discovery was the prelude to reform. From that hour, the love of truth and virtue became the central pivot on which her whole character revolved. Her word and dealings shone transparent as crystal. What she gave, she asked
Nothing but truth will do: no love will serve that is not eternal, and as large as the universe.' 'I have known her, by the severity of her truth, mow down a crop of evil like the angel of retribution itself, and could not sufficiently admire her courage. A conversation she had with Mr. - just before he went to Europe, was one of these things; and there was not a particle of ill-will in it, but it was truth which she could not help seeing and uttering, nor he refuse to accept.
*My friends told me of a similar verdict pronounced upon Mr. at Paris, which they said was perfectly tremendous. They themselves sat breathless; Mr. was struck dumb; his eyes fixed on her with wonder and amazement, yet gazing too with an attention which seemed like fascination. When she had done, he still looked to see if she was to say more; and when he found she had really finished, he arose, took his hat, said faintly, 'I thank you,' and left the room. He afterward said to Mr. 'I never shall speak ill of her; she has done me good.”
In August of 1846, MARGARET carried out a long-cherished desire of visiting Europe, in order to a better acquaintance with its forms, ideas, and men, and the attainment of a wider horizon of experience.
There she saw Mazzini, WORDSWORTH, DE QUINCEY, CHALMERS, JOANNA BAILLIE, the the Howitts, SOUTHWOOD Smith, and CARLYLE. THOMAS CarLYLE, whose talk was as copious and more amusing than that of COLERIDGE, drew from MARGARET the following good-humored complaint: He "allows no one a chance, but bears down all opposition, not only by his wit and onset of words, resistless in their sharpness as so many bayonets, but by actual physical superiority, raising his voice, and rushing on his opponent with a torrent of sound.' From England again, to Paris, where she saw GEORGE SAND; a woman who “needs no defence, but only to be understood, for she has bravely acted out her nature, and always with good intentions.' She visited, also, LA MENNAIS, the Apostle of Democracy; and BERANGER, the people's poet; and saw and touched the manuscripts of Rousseau, a man of whose genius she stood in great admiration. From Paris to Rome, Florence, Milan, studying the arts of a country whose literature was a part of her existence, and
making many friends; above all, MAZZINI, whose sterling efforts in behalf of Italian progress she fully considered and estimated. • He has stood alone in Italy, on a sunny height, far above the stature of other men.
He has fought a great fight against folly, compromise, and treason; steadfast in his convictions, and of almost miraculous energy to sustain them, is he.'
In December of 1847, MARGARET was privately espoused to GIOVANNI ANGELO Ossoli, one of the Italian liberals, and endured with him the struggles and trials of the revolution; and on the 17th of May, 1850, amid prayers and presentiments, she embarked with her husband and child on the barque ELIZABETH, for New-York. The story of the shipwreck, the loss, and piratical brutality, has been told by a hundred pens, and is engraved on tens of hundreds of hearts. Only the dead body of the beautiful ANGELINO was rescued, of all MARGARET's treasures, from that terrible destruction, which swept her, with all the sad vicissitudes of life, into an unexpected grave, but which brought to her the glorified reality, transcending all her hopes, and but faintly typified in the highest hours of her experience.
'In person, MARGARET was rather under the middle height. She had a face and frame that would indicate fulness and tenacity of life; her complexion was fair, with strong fair hair.' She was careful and tasteful in her dress, and of lady-like self-possession. She was naturally inclined to luxury and good appearance before the world. Her temperament was predominantly what the physiologist would call nervous-sanguine. Beauty she had not; but the expressive feature, and air of mingled dignity and impulse, gave her & commanding charm. Such is the description which these volumes give of her
person. She was always painfully conscientious in the performance of duties, and thought, read, and wrote much, in defiance of severe bodily pain. Of her character we have spoken much in various parts of this notice. Her life developed itself in common-sense and passionate energy; and these characteristics were always subordinated to a terrible sincerity, stern integrity, and unalterable love of justice and truth. To use her own expression :
Through the woman's smile looks the male eye.'
The poetic in temperament was strongly developed. She had quick and keen perceptions of the beautiful in nature and art, and derived great satisfaction from the contemplation of lovely forms. She was an intellectual poet, separated from the ‘fine frenzy,' and wanting the large utterance of the early gods.' Hence, thought usurped the seat of melody, and her poems lacked that beautiful completeness which stamps the true work of art. Her poetry was closely allied to the BARRETT and BROWNING school, indicating the presence of an ideal, which language struggled in the attempt to convey. Writing was, to a degree, always irksome and tiresome to her, and so she relied much on better hours and moments of inspiration for the performance of this task. "There was somewhat a little pagan about her: she had some faith, more or less distinct, in a fate, and in a guardian genius; her fancy, or her pride, had played with her religion. She was attracted by the problems of Mythology and Demonology, French Socialism, and all projects of reform; set a high value on sortilege, and attached importance to those events and