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Ko. 458, January 1, 1S59.1 THE L, E A D ...
DEBORAH'S DIARY. Dtboralis Diary. A Sequ...
BALLADS AND SONGS. Ballads and Songs.—By...
OUR VETERANS OF 1852. Our Veterans of 18...
A FEW OUT OF THOUSANDS. A Few out of Tho...
Proverbs With Pictures. Proverbs With Pi...
other " The course of true love never did run smooth , " is illustrated by a fat runaway , or rather crawl-away pair , who are making for the church on an old-horse who seems asleep , and who treads miserl y upon loose blocks of stone * like the stepfin ° -stones of a brook . We wind up with " All's well that ends well , " in which the actors on a stage seem all to have been killed , for they lie on their backs , \ vith their feet projecting beneath the curtain . These descriptions will give some faint idea of the design of the book , though a dash of the pencil can ronvev more than a page of writing . The book is
intended for the drawing-room table , and the engravings are printed on the finest paper . The notions of the artist do not always lie broadly upon the surface ^ and . a second or third inspection of the pictures will bring out much that is not seen in the first . We might suggest to Mr . Bennett that he has portrayed pigs too often , and that he has shown a strong disposition to dwell upon the conventional idea of the battered , crape-circled , white sheriff ' s officer ' s hat ; but taking the book altogether , it is calculated to advance the well-earned reputation o the author of Shadows .
Ko. 458, January 1, 1s59.1 The L, E A D ...
Ko . 458 , January 1 , 1 S 59 . 1 THE L , E A D ]& J *«_____ JML ,
Deborah's Diary. Dtboralis Diary. A Sequ...
DEBORAH'S DIARY . Dtboralis Diary . A Sequel to " Mary Powell .- " A . Hall , Virtue , and Co . The quaint narrative of Mary Powell—afterwards Mrs ; Milton—rwith its ancient binding , type , and spelling , is not likely to be forgotten by readers of literary taste and poetic associations . And . here is
a sequel thereto ; we have J ) e 6 ora / i ' s Diary , the diary . of Milton ' s daughter , the blind poet ' s chief amanuensis . There is something marvellous in the facility with which the author has impersonated the filial journalist , her secret feelings , her suppressed aspirations , her docility , her restlessness , her reverence , and-yet her free-thinking , and all those opposite moods which a daughter so placed with such a father and such a stepmother would naturally experience . Her sisters , the stepmother , and the mischievous maid-servant are also sketched in with admirableeffect . There is no force , no ostentation in the introduction of minute traits , but all take their piace in the easiest and most orderly manner . It is a moving picture of Milton ' s domestic life , charming in itself , and wondrously
Given a blind old poet with a third wife , and his three daug hters restive under the dominion of a stingy stepmother , and the answer is precisely as Deborah states it . ¦ . •¦ ¦ * . The household is > as we have said , ] most faithfully depicted ; but what say we of its central figure ? Here have we Milton , not , as we have already intimated , as a hero , but a man . The portrait is , truly , most human and touching . He meets us at the very opening of the book—" Father in his tall arm-chair , Quite uprighte , as his fashion is when very . thoughtfulle "— -proposing to make himself and children , in the absence of the stepmother ,
comfortable with some egg-flip , and chatting about the fairies , and his use of the god Pan in his " Hymn on the Nativity , " and his conversations with Charles Diodati , and other details of his former days . We next have him waking up Deborah at night , to jot down some new verses of his immortal poem . Soon after , the stepmother , an illiterate woman , appears on the scene ; but even toher , though annoyed , he is considerate . Then come news , of the plague , and the desirability of
their retiring to Chalfont to escape its perils ; all the preliminaries of the journey , and the magnanimous bearing of the ever-patient , though sometimes angered and ever much-persecuted Bard . A thousand touches are thrown in , which bring out the character , clearly , . distinct ly , admirably . In . a word , the readers of Mary Voiced must read this sequel . The . one book is incomplete . without the other . Of the two , the present , perhaps , is the more artistic . We detect , here and there , a few modern phrases ; but this is a defect that is inevitable . In other regards , the book is almost faultless .
suggestive . The mighty poet is here no hero , but a , poor blind man , dependent on bis daughter for the register of his mental operations— -loved , but little respected by his wife , who suffers too much from the stiii " of poverty to be able to believe in her husbania s greatness—and a rather irascible parent to his daughters Mary and Anne , somewhat less gifted than Deborah , the latter , too , being slightly deformed , Such is the group , a perfectly natural one , hiding the greatness that it really contained . The moral of the whole is cpuched in a few sentences . They are beautiful sentences , and worth quoting , if only for the concluding image , which is
remarkably happy : — I grieve to think Mary can sometimes be a little spightfull as well as unduteous . She is ill at her Pen , and having To-day made somo Blunder , for which Father chid her , not overmuch , she rudely made Answer , " I never had a Writing-master . " Betty , being by , treasured up , as I" could see , this ill-natured Speech : and 'twas unfair too ; for , if we never had a Writingmaster , yet my Aunt Agar taught us ; nnd ' twas our own Fault if wo improved no more . Indued , wo have had a scrambling Sort of Education ; but , in many rtiepecta , our Advantages have exceeded those of ninny young Women ; and among them I reckon , first and foremost , continuall Intercourse with a superior mind . — If a Piece of mere Leather , by frequent Contact with
Silver , acquires a certain Portion of the pure and bright Metal ; sure , the Children of a gifted Parent inuat , by the Collision of their Minds , insensibly as ' twere , imbibe Bomowhat of his finer parts . Nnd Phillips , indeed , say * th , « W ore like Peojrtt living ao close under a big Mountain , at not to know hoto High it it $ but I think wo nt least , I do , Yes , yes ; that was a grand thing to make tho filial Deborah set down in her diary , nnd throws a commanding light on tho whole subject . Under itsdireotion , tho author loads us to interpret Milton ' a OCmduct towards his children , partieulnrly in tho nuitter of " the nuncupative will , and to rcliovo them from the aspersion of having acted " un-W » d ) y" towards their father . The falsehood of ¦ Betty Ifishor ' a ovidenoo is , in particular , ilomonotrated , aud Deborah ' s motives for leaving tho paternal roof arc cleared of all suspicion . Tho aojution is , indeed , easy enough of tho whole .
Ballads And Songs. Ballads And Songs.—By...
BALLADS AND SONGS . Ballads and Songs . —By Edward Capern , Rural postman of Bidefbrd , Devon . W . Kent and Go . The distinction made by the German critics between the Singer and the Poet becomes more needful with the extension of intelligence . Wherever a man has begot the love of reading and the habit of writing , with an education limited in other respects , it is natural for'him to express himself in lyrical measures . It is thus he registers his rising thoughts , his
m omentary feelings , his casual observations . No learning is demanded for all this ; nothing but so much poetical diction as may be gathered even from the popular songs of a district . A little practice will give a certain degree of facility of expression , and , with a little encouragement from a friendly , however humble circle , a sensitive thinker may easily acquire a local reputation as a singer : add to all this some probable accidental patronage * and he may rise into a sort of fame as such ; productions thus generated are properly enough esteemed as songs , it is not necessary that they should rise to the dignity of
poems . Poetry , properly so called , requires something more ; and the poet , truly so named , is a far higher style of man , Not only the aptitude for lyrical expression is demanded , but suuh a cultivation in the art of metrical composition that the widest ranges of knowledge and the deepest reaches of philosophy may readily find a place , in the best order and method , with the most eloquent utterance- that the poetic nijnd can invent . Poetry produced under these conditions is fairly tho subject of criticism , but the effusion of the singer nppoals to sympathy ; it demands neither admiration nor analysis , but simply support nnd recognition .
district of his native country . " Such , in his owx words , are the author ' s simple claims , and it / wouk be . absurdly unjust towards him to overstate them or to mistake his verses for more than they are . Mr . Capern ' s songs are distinguished for theii sweetness and cheerfulness . They are also to be re garded for the fitness to the themes which thej treat . The singer is riot ambitious of being a poli t-i-cal reformer , whether in Church or State ; but b < is content with celebrating the natural aspects oi things , all of which appear to him to be equalij good , whether the objects of nature or the customof the village are to he regarded . He sympathise *
thoroughly with country folk . He enters into theii sports , their loves , their humble hopes and fears their difficulties and dangers . He would see , likewise , their social position improved , but is noi solicitous to bring into strong relief the contrast between them and the wealthy classes . The latter indeed , he accredits with a sincere desire to . helj them in every possible way ; nay , it is clear he has i reverence for rank and riches . He dedicates his book to Miss Burdett Coutts ; and probably ascribes her large-hearted benevolence" to every membei of the Order to which she belongs . Mr . Capern it not only a sweet singer , but one perfectly inoffensive and innocent .
Among the latest of this class may bo honourably ranked Mr . Cupern , tho Devonshire postman , who 1 ms received considerable patronage for a volume of spontaneous effusions published not long ago , Of that volume he now sensibly observes , in his prefaco to tho present , that its favourable reception was duo to n kindly sense of its author ' s difficulties ; but that in n second venture tho case is changed . " It is not tho X ' oatman , " ho says , " but tho Poet , whom critica will now review . " The moaning of this is good , though the phrase is a little too fast . Concurring in all tho praiso bestowed on his former productions , mid in much tliat tho present will
deservedly command , wo aro compelled to observe that , wcro ho yet taken at his word , 1 ) 6 would bo unjustly treated . It ia not as tho Poot that Mr . Cnporn can yot safely invite attention at present ; and perhaps alwaya ho must bo con tout with tho humbler , but still highly honourable , appellation of the Singer . Nor will he , wo aro conlldout , demur to tho proposed arrangoinont ; for-ho , sooma to hay-o'boon wonsoioua of tho truth wo ard enforcing , whoa writing his profaoo . In this tho author status that his rustic songs " ahpulil be judgoil as songa , originally written to bo aung rathor than to bo read . " Furthermore , ho tolla us , that . " ho has endeavoured to illustrate that singing clement which still lingers in tho northor »
Our Veterans Of 1852. Our Veterans Of 18...
OUR VETERANS OF 1852 . Our Veterans of 1852 . By a Regimental Officer . C . J . Skeet . The " Regimental Officer" should have given us his experiences a little earlier . The disasters and disgraces of Sebastoppl are by this time : i well-worn story . Three years have served to blunt the appetite and the resentment of the nation towards details of national or rather of official failure . The discusr sions and investigations which have occurred have pretty well laid bare the sources of our mishaps , and the harrowing arid humiliating tale of the dreadful sufferings of our brave soldiers , which prudence and foresight might have mitigated , if they could
not wholly have prevented , is pretty familiar to all , But still personal experiences will continue to be welcome . They either add something to our previously large stock of information , or they corroborate facts -which have been made public through other sources . The present volume will be valuable iu this point of view . We cannot doubt that we have the results of actual experience j and though a good part of the book is evidently made up from newspaper statements and-official inquiries , enough of originality is to be found to cause the work to be widely read , and to be found deeply interesting . The narrative commences with the embarkation of the troops for Malta , and closes just after the battle of
Inkermann and the storm in the Black Sea . The writer possesses great descriptive powers ; he has the rare talent of bringing scenes vividly before the reader ; he tells the story of the three important battles , Alma , Balaklava , and Inkermann in true soldierly fashion ; and he shows with fearful truth the dangers which the British army encountered through , want of proper military management and handling , and the miraculous way in which British honour and the British army were saved by stern , unflinching , unsurpassed British valour . Whenever the writer touches on purely military subjects he is at home , and he creates a vivid and lasting interest , Whenever he steps out of purely military details we
hare attempts at lino writing , which is the besetting sin of writers of the present day . Neither can we wholly bow to his decisions on the respective merits of the various commanders in the Crimea . The " Regimental Officer" underrates the ability of Lord Raglan ; ho has too high an opinion of the merits of Generals De Lacy Evans and Colin Campbell as leaders . Wo will not , however , enter ' upon this debatable ground . Wo have said tho " Regimental Officer" has considerable literary powers ; we add that ho ' caii write with energy and feeling whenever tho occasion demands tho exorcise of those qualities . With somo reservations as to stylo and dicta , wo cordially recommend this work .
A Few Out Of Thousands. A Few Out Of Tho...
A FEW OUT OF THOUSANDS . A Few out of Thousands : their Sayings and Doings By Augusta Johusou . Groombr-idgo and Sons . Twenty stories illustrative of men and manners in various grades of society , have exorcised Miss Johnstone ' s pon . Wo cannot with a proper regard for truth toll tho public that these sketches have any very high literary merit , or that they betray a practical acquaintance witli tho classes , and tho individuals which they attempt to illustrate . Miss Johnatono possesses considerable facility of composition and a good deal of graphic powor . If she would exorcise hor undoubted abilities on subjects with which aho is personally conversant , no doubt we should havo somothing to say of a more thoroughly laudatory character than wo can conoiontiously say with rufereuue to this work .
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 1, 1859, page 13, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_01011859/page/13/