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Who has not felt the cares and duties of life benumbing the fine fresh emotions of youth, which colored every object with a rosy hue?
• But yet I know, where'er I go,
It is a part of the noble task of the poet to strive against this tendency of worldly cares, and like religion, to make men become • as little children ;' to teach them the lesson contained in the last stanza of • Phantasia :'
Oh, strong should be the purpose not to lose
Our holy freedom from the cares of dust;
Its place in love omnipotent, and trust
Mrs. Hall's reflective turn of thought tinges nearly all of her poetry with a huo of sadness. We would not accuse her of being
As sad as night,
We are rather disposed to think that this is a common characteristic of many female poets. They too often like to indulge in the luxury of wo. Yet we confess that we should prefer to see from Mrs. Hall's pen more such lines as the following:
• For all of earth is beautiful,
Where'er the blue skies shine ;
To the snow-wreath on the pine :
• The stream upon its gurgling way
The willow shades above;
In some far quiet grove :
• The blue waves' music on the strand,
When stars begin to glow;
The embosomed vales below.'
We should be glad, had we the necessary space, to quote from some of the miscellaneous poems in this volume, especially from those entitled • POMPEY' and · Brutus ;' from Christmas Times,' • When in Summer,' and others; but we must leave such selections to the readers of the volume. Where all the poems are so worthy, it is difficult to choose ; yet we cannot forbear presenting a glimpse of Sunshine
the City,' for its graceful and melodious flow and poetic thought:
THE sunshine in the city!
How it glares along the street,
Beneath the passers' feet;
Nor think of the wasted ray
And the earth-chained fountain play.'
• The sunshine in the country!
How life springs in every beam !
Beside the rippling stream;
To meet the golden ray
And lightens its joyous way.'
A History OF WONDERFUL INVENTIONS. Illustrated by numerous Engravings on Wood. In two volumes. pp. 245. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
This is a work which at once commends itself to every reader who would be instructed as well as entertained. The volumes possess for us unwonted interest. The first division of the work contains brief yet sufficiently full and comprehensive accounts of the rise, progress and present completion or improvements of the mariner's compass, light-houses, gunpowder and gun-cotton, clocks, printing, the thermometer, barometer, telescope and microscope; the second division treats of the steam engine, cotton manufacture, steam navigation, the rail-way, gas-light, and the electric telegraph; thus bringing down the history of important inventions to the latest, and in many respects perhaps most wonderful, of the present age. The determinatiou of the young reader will be strengthened, by the perusal of this volume, to enlist under the peaceful but ennobling banner of science, by the remembrance that all its great names are held to be more honorable than the military conqueror, because the triumphs of knowledge and invention are gained without bloodshed, and it is their inevitable tendency to bring war to an end. The communication of mutual advantage by the diffusion of commerce; the perception of such advantage by the exchange of thought, of manufacture, of the comforts and refinements of existence, and by the cultivation of fraternal good-will, are certain results of the increase of science. We subjoin one or two extracts which will not be without interest for our readers. The following is from the article upon Gunpowder and Gun-Cotton :'
• ANOTHER of those terrible uses to which gunpowder is applied is the forcing open of the gates of fortified places; and a remarkable instance of the tremendous effect produced by it was exhibited during the late war in India, when Atfghanistan was over-run by the British forces. The long peace of Europe had thrown many of the military engineers out of employ. ment, and several had been taken into the service of the different potentates and princes of India. Among such as had retained some of these mercenaries were the Ameers of Scinde; and when the dispute with the British East India Company broke out they fortified Ghuznee, which was considered one of their strongest fortresses. Every effort had been used to render the place impregnable, and when their opponents approached it was fully believed by those in possession that it was quite strong enough to resist a siege of eight months, even if all the powers of artillery were brought against it, and all the balls fired, that could be found in India.
“The place was invested, and the ramparts presented a most imposing appearance; but the troops were posted, and Lord KEANE, at that time in command of the British forces, deter. mined to take the place by assault. About three hours before daylight the men were placed, and Lieutenant DURAND, of the Seventy-First Highlanders, was commissioned to open the way for his comrades. The cannonade had been growing louder and louder for a couple of hours, and every moment the peals of the musketry, both from the walls and the assailants, became fiercer and fiercer. The Affghans burnt blue-lights to ascertain the position of their foes; and in one of the intervals of darkness, DURAND advanced at the head of a party of men, each of whom bore on his shoulders a leathern bag filled with gunpowder. They succeeded in reaching the principal gate of the fortress without being observed : within were the Affghan soldiers appointed to guard the entrance, each smoking his pipe with the immovable gravity of Mahom. medans, utterly uuconscious of the tremendous catastrophe that was instantly to hurry them into eternity, and render all the precautions for the defence of the town useless.
• The bags were quickly attached to the gate ; the train was laid ; the fuze was lighted. DURAND and his men hurried to a distance, and in the next instant there was a tremendous explosion. The gate was scattered in fragments; the solid masonry of the walls, rent and torn, became a ruin ; immense stones were hurled from their places, and all within the gate met with an instantaneous death. The way was opened ; Colonel DENNY, at the head of the forlorn hope, dashed over the ruins; and, notwithstanding the brave resistance of the defenders, the British flag soon waved over the ramparts.'
•We are quite sure,' quotes the author, 'that if any man could invent a means of destruction by which two nations going to war with each other would see large armies destroyed and immense treasure wasted, on both sides, in a single campaign, they would both hesitate at entering upon another. We affirm, therefore, that in this sense the greatest destroyer is the greatest philanthropist ; and supposing what is said of M. SCHÖNBEin’s invention to be true, we think that all governments will, in the event
of differences, try all possible means of concession and conciliation before coming to a trial of strength in which the strong as well as the comparatively weak must be such great losers. We have in the paper upon • Clocks' this description of the one on the steeple of the Strasburg cathedral: It was a most complicated piece of mechanism, the plate exhibiting a celestial globe, with the motions of the sun, moon, earth and planets, and the various phases of the moon, together with a perpetual almanac, on which the day of the month was pointed out by a statue ; the first quarter of the hour was struck by a child with an apple, the second by a youth with an arrow, the third by a man with the tip of his staff, and the last quarter by an old man with his crutch. The hour itself was struck on a bell by a figure representing an angel, who opened a door and saluted the Virgin Mary; near to the first angel stood a second, who held an hour-glass, which he turned as soon as the hour had finished striking. In addition to these was the figure of a golden cock, which, on the arrival of every successive hour, flapped its wings, stretched forth its neck, and crowed twice.' Without farther quotation we cordially commend the work before us to the ready acceptance of our readers.
KALOOLAH, OR JOURNEYINGS TO THE DJEBEL KUMRI: an Autobiography of JONATHAN ROMER.
Edited by W. S. Maro, M. D. In one volume. New-York : GEORGE P. PUTNAM. London: DAVID BOGUE, Fleet-street.
This is a very clever book. It treats of several places in distant regions that it is not too much to presume have not often been heard of before. For example, we can truly say that we have not a single correspondent on the Buregrab, nor in the flourishing town of Rabat, nor in the dominions of Muley ABDERHAMMAN. We havo been more fortunate, however, in securing the services of a resident of the kingdom of Framazugda, whose communications to these pages we cannot doubt will prove acceptable to our readers. But badinage apart: we have been right well pleased and entertained with the contents of this volume. The writer's style, bating a little occasional over-writing, is natural and agreeable; and he possesses the rare faculty of making the reader see with his eyes. Without attempting a detailed analysis of the work, for which, even were it a less difficult task to classify so great a variety, we have not the requisite time and space, we shall leave our readers to form some estimnate of the writer's powers from a single extract. The following gives an account of a night-encounter which the writer's father had with a British vessel, on a voyage, in war-time,' to Vera Cruz, after certain specie which had accumulated there:
• It was just at the break of day when my father, tired out with the watchings of an anxious night, had retired to his berth, that the unwelcome announcement of Sail, ho l' broke upon
“Where away?? he shouted up the companion-way to Mr. Jones, the first mate, who was officer of the watch.
" Right off on the weather quarter,' was the reply. 6. What does she look like? "A large square-rigged vessel, Sir, with every thing set that can draw, from royals down. She looks like a man-ot-war.'
• In a moment he was on deck with his glass, and there, plainly to be perceived in the dull gray of the morning, was a large ship, five or six miles to windward. Dropping the glass from his eye, after a momentary survey, he turned to Mr. JONES.
"Well, Sir, what do you think? "I think, Sir, it is mighty suspicious.' "Suspicious! there is no suspicion about it. That is an English frigate, as plain as the nose on your face; the very fellow that has chased us so often.'
• Ay, ay, Sir, there can be no doubt of it,' returned Mr. JONES ; 'you see she has got the identical brown fore-top-gallant-sail. She is coming along like a race-horse.'
“Ay, she's got a fresh breath of wind; we shall get it in a moment more, when I hope the Atalanta' (the name of the schooner) will show a little of her usual activity.'
“Never doubt, Sir, the old girl can show her heel to any thing in His Majesty's service, and we have tried this fellow too often not to know his rate. To be sure, if we were up there to windward, close-hauled, it would be a little more easy; but as it is, she can do it without straining.'
“Yes, she can do it easily enough, any way; and as we have headed up long enough to be elear of the reef now, we will lay our course. Ease off the sheets, and set the square-sail. We can afford to indulge that fellow in his humor for studding-sails.'
"The Atalanta fell off before the wind, bringing the frigate nearly astern; a point of sailing in which square-rigged vessels generally have the advantage, but of no use in the present case, as the schooner had the unusual quality for vessels of her class of sailing as well before the wind as close hauled. In this way they continued for some time, the Atalanta rapidly increasing the distance from the frigate, when a sail to the leeward, and ahead, was announced. In a few minutes it was ascertained that she too was a man-of-war. Orders were given to brace up, bringing the schooner into her original position, with the wind a-beam; the new vessel to leeward; and the frigate to windward, and a little astern.
“Sail, hol' shouted a look-out, for the third time. •What, another? Where away!' • Dead ahead!' “This is something more than we bargained for, Mr. JONES !! “Ay, Sir; this is coming thicker and faster, and considerably more of it! If that chap ahead is a JOHNNY Bull with his teeth cut, we shall be in a regular fix.'
"Well, a fix it is, then,' said the captain, with his glass to his eye; .he's an Englishman, and there's at least three rows of teeth beneath that mass of spars.'
The sun was now fairly up above the horizon, dispersing by his warmth a slight haze which had obscured objects at a distance, and disclosing two more sail, one on the starboard and the other on the larboard bow.
“We are in a nest of 'em, by Heavens l'exclaimed the captain. What do you think, Mr. JONES ?'
"A regular trap, Sir ; and I think the sooner we turn tail and try to creep out the way we got in, the better."
“We never could do it. These two chaps could rub us to chips between the muzzles of their guns, without firing a shot!'
"Well, then, captain, I'm really afraid that it is a gone case with us. Oh! if we were only up there,' (pointing to windward,) we should be safe enough.' * Well, we must get there.' “It is impossible, Sirl'
“Impossible or not, we must try; they can't do more than sink us. Take in the gaft-topsails ! Haul aft the sheets ! Luff! luff up! Let her come to it as close as she will lie !'
. In an instant the schooner had altered her course, heading up to the wind in a direction obliquely across the bows of the rapidly-advancing frigate.
"There, well all that!' exclaimed the captain, taking the wheel into his own hands ; ‘now men, go below, all of you! We shall catch a grist or two of grape, and you may as well keep under cover as much as you can.'
• The two vessels were now rapidly approaching each other, the frigate steadily pursuing her course, apparently confident that the prize was within her grasp; while the Atalanta, with the luff of her fore-sail shivering, was, in the expressive language of the sailor, 'eating into the wind' at a rate which put all the calculations of her pursuer at fault. Soon she was nearly athwart the fore-foot ot the frigate, and within musket shot.
• A flash from the bow.port, and a twenty-four-pound shot dashed up a cloud of foam directly beneath the schooner's bows. In an instant another, evidently aimed at her, passed a few feet astern; and in a moment more the frigate braced sharp up and let fly all the guns she could bring to bear. This mancuvre lessened her headway, and before she could repeat the dis. charge the schooner had got so far up to windward as to be out of range of her lee-broadside.
• Although unable to hold her wind with the schooner, and rapidly falling off to leeward, the frigate advanced through the water with a velocity that soon brought her close-to on the lee. quarter of the Atalanta. Falling off a little — wbich, while it made her lose ground, enabled her to open her weather broadside - she sent forth a storm of shot, which at first hurtled harmlessly over the little craft. Again and again it came, but with better aim, enveloping her in a shower of grape, riddling her sails, which were fortunately new and strong, and tearing the splinters from her bulwarko, masts and booms; but still not an essential rope was cut, or a spar materially injured, while each instant the distance between the two vessels was increasing.
“You are hit!' exclaimed Mr. Jones to the captain, observing his left hand drop from the wheel, shattered by a grape-shot.
“Ready about!' was the only reply, shouted in a tone which brought the sailors instantly to the deck. "In a minute more we shall be within shooting distance of the other fellow, ahead.'
“Down with the helm, Mr. JONES!' • Helm's a-lee!'
•The jib.sheets were loosened, and the schooner came up, forereaching when in the very eye of the wind, at the rate of three or four miles the hour, and then falling off upon the other tack, in a direction contrary to that the frigate was pursuing. Following the example, the frigate also tacked; but it took her much longer, and when she came round and gathered the headway she had lost the Atalanta was more than a mile off, hugging the wind with a closeness and tenacity peculiar to fore-and-aft clippers, and chopping her way up to windward after a fashion which would have rendered pursuit by any square-rigged vessei perfectly use. less. A shot from the frigate's bow.chaser sunk, its force quite spent, a few feet astern.
“Hurrah !' shouted the mate, unable any longer to control the pent-up excitement of the chase ; .hurrah !' and swinging his cap round his head, he gave it a shie over the lee quarter.
"Hurrah l' echoed the crew, with responsive enthusiasm, and imitating the monkeys in the well-known story of the sailor and his caps, they followed the example of their officer, and
in an instant a dozen tarpaulins were floating in the wake astern. Whether the Englishman fished any of them up as he came by is not known; but at any rate, it was his only chance for a prize. At daybreak the next morning the frigate was no where to be seen, and the schooner and cargo, without any farther adventure, arrived in safety at New-York.'
This is very spirited description, and would of itself justify the encomium we have passed upon our author's style. His early education however, bis Indian adventures, his leaving home, and the pursuit of professional knowledge, are all depicted with a graphic pencil. This is eminently true also of his life on the ocean, his various adventures in manie londs ayont ye seas,' (scarcely less interesting than the records of Sir loun MauNDEVILLE,') and his common-sense reflections upon the peoples' and manners of the countries which he visited. We shall recur again to the interesting work thus hastily despatched.
The HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, from the Discovery of the Continent to
the Organization of the Government under the Federal Constitution. By RICHARD HILDRETH.
In three volumes : Volume First. New York: HARPER AND BROTHERS. With a single remark touching the admirable typography, mechanical arrangement, and excellent paper and printing of this work, and of its style, which is simple, pure and direct, we commend the reader's attention to the following: Of centennial sermons and fourth-of-July orations, whether prosessedly such, or in the guise of history, there are more than enough. It is due to our fathers and ourselves, it is due to truth and philosophy, to present for once, on the historic stage, the founders of our American nation unbedaubed with patriotic rouge, wrapped up in no fine-spun cloaks of excuses and apology, without stilts, buskins, tinsel, or bedizenment, in their own proper persons, often rude, hard, narrow, superstitious and mistaken, but always earnest, downright, manly and sincere. The result of their labors is eulogy enough ; their best apology is to tell their story exactly as it was. We have accordingly, in this book, an attempt to set forth the personages of our colonial and revolutionary history, such as they really were in their own day and generation, living and breathing men, their faults as well as their virtues, their weaknesses as well as their strength, for to know men we must know them in both aspects; an endeavor to trace our institutions, religious, social and political, from their embryo state ; to show, in fine, from what beginnings, by what influences, and through what changes, the United States of America are what they are. For facts, recourse has been had to the origi. nal authorities, particularly laws, state papers, public documents and official records, printed and manuscript. Free use has also been made of the numerous valuable collections of letters and memoirs relating especially to the Revolution, published within the last twenty-five years. It has not been thought necessary to distract the reader's attention, and to increase the size and cost of the book, by a parade of reserences; but in all cases of citations from statutes, which are very numerous, public records, letters, and generally from memoirs and histories, the dates in the margin will furnish a guide to those who may desire to verify the quotations. To combine a mass of materials, generally dry, sometimes defective, and sometimes contradictory, embracing a multiplicity of petty details concerning numerous independent communities, into an harmonious, well-proportioned whole, all the parts of which shall illustrate each other, and, preserving the necessary brevity, to convey to the reader a distinct idea of the persons, facts and bearings of our history, in narrative somewhat picturesque and life-like, is a difficult task ;' but this task is here accomplished.