On this page
- Text (3)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
" Like strangers * voices here they sound , In lands where not a memory strays , Nor landmark breathes of other days , But all is new unhallow'd ground . " This one more , and we have done : — " Yon thought my heart too far diseased ; You wonder , when my fancies play , - . ' To find me gay among the gay . Like one with any triftV pleased . " Th «* shade by wh ' ch my Ufa was crost , Which makes a desert in the nund , Has made me kin ily with my kind , And like to him whose eight is lost ; " Whose feet are guided through the land , Whose jest among his friends is free . Who takes the children on his knee , And winds their curls about hia hand : " He plays with threads , he beats his chair For pastime , dreaming of the sky ; His inner day can never die , His night of loss is always there . " From the specimens already given you may estimate the beauty of the volume . We shall be surprised if it do es not become the solace and delight of every house where poetry is loved . A true and hopeful spirit breathes from its pages . Sorrow has purified him . Its lessons are no ungenerous or repining thoughts ; and truly does he say , " I hold it true , whate ' er befal ; I feel it , when I sorrow most 'Tis better to have loved and lost , Than never to have loved at all . " And elsewhere : — " O last regret , Regret can die ! No—mixt with all this mystic frame , Her deep relations are the same ; But with long use her tears are dry . " Sorrow is the deepest teacher ; it opens the portals of worlds which otherwise were unexplored ; it mingles with our life , enlarges our capacity of feeling , deepens our sympathy , corrects the egotism of our nature , and raises our moral development . All who have sorrowed will listen with delight to the chastened strains here poured forth In Memoriam .
NEW NOVEL BY DUMAS . Les Mills et Un Fantomes . Par Alexandre Dumas . Tomes l-f > . London . W . Jeffs . We were immersed in the ocean of Jules Janin ' s inexhaustible prose ; a voice with aspirations towards the falsetto and some difficulty in articulating its notes drawled forth , " I say , Jeffs , have you a new volume of Dumas ' s Fantomes ? they ' re devilish good ! " "We looked up . A youth with straw-coloured moustaches , and an appearance of indescribable languor stood beside us . awaiting the new volume as the only thing that could for an hour charm his ennui . La Femme au Collier de Velours wns handed to him . He turned over the leaves , whistled beween his teeth an imperfect reminiscence of Idol de ma vie , and finally departed . No sooner had he left the shop than we , who had seen Les Mille et Un Fantomes lying on Jeffs' counter any week this last six months , without the faintest curiosity as to their contents , were suddenly seized with a desire to look into the volumes which had charmed
our languid friend . The best part of this is , that in our own minds the conviction that the said youth was a noodle had been instantaneous , complete ; yet this hypothetical noodle ' s opinion determined our acts ! What is man ! Enough ; we looked into the volumes , and saw sufficient promise to make us carry them away . Having read them and formed the same opinion of them as our friend with the straminal moustaches ( his noodleism , by the way , is now an open question !) we proceed to render an account thereof for the benefit of our bclovod readers , who will thank us for indicating some amusement to them .
Les Mille et Un Fantomes is a collection of stories all belonging to the " supernatural " in their incidents . The great Dumas tells us that ho was wearied of the actual world and forced to fly for refuge to the world of imagination . Among the many incredible buffooneries of this amazing Frenchman there is one which occasionally delights him and ua , and that is the gravity with which he assumes tho chnracter of a poet , a dreamer , an enthusiast ; Dumas " the friend
of princes ' is nothing to Dumas the poet ! There ore several touches of this in the present work ; and in tho preface ho nnys that ho very much fears , alas ! that every elevated , every poetical , every dreaming mind , is in tho same condition as his awn—fatigued with tho world and seeking God's ¦> nly refuge , tho Ideal ! When you come to road tho fictions— -which n careful mother is hereby not recomnenriod to place in her daughter ' s hands —you will ippreeiate the full force of this ; for , although the
stories are unreal enough , the ideality is somewhat peculiar . But the stories , amusing as they are , are not half so amusing as the biographical buffooneries with which this most intrepid charlatan and most readable of braggadocios beguiles the time . There is something colossal in the man ' s conceit . It is so audacious that you relish it as you would relish Arnal or Keeley . He is always " en scene , " ; you don ' t believe a word he says , and yet you read every word , and are amused by it . He chats with you about himself—lying considerably , as you cannot but feeltells you how he knew Nodier , Villenave , James ,
Rousseau , Biard , the King of Holland , and " amis les princes ; " howheis read in Acre , Damascus , Balbeck ; and how , in fact , the whole " universe " knows the author o f Les Trots Mousquetaires ; and while he chats you cannot set down the book . When he was in Spain he bethought him that a hunt in the Sierras Morenas would be delightful . But then the Brigands ? ... Bah ! as if all the Brigands of Spain were not admirers of Monte Cristo , and " why should not the same lot befal me as that which befel Ariosto with the brigands of the Duke of Alphonzo ? " Without a doubt . Accordingly Dumas indites ( if you believe him , which we don ' t ) this epistle , and sends it to the brigands by a safe hand : —
' ? To Messieurs the Gentlemen of the Sierras Morenas . —An admirer of the immortal Cervantes , who , although he is not fortunate enough to have written Don Quixote , is quite ready to give the best of his novels to have written it , desiring to know whether the Spain of 1846 is the same as that of 1580 , begs messieurs to acquaint him whether he will be welcomed by them in case he should venture to demand their hospitality , and the permission to hunt with them among the mountains . "
Dumas is not conspicuous for his modesty ; but should not his tact have suggested that it was scarcely a compliment to Spain that he , Alexandre , should be willing "to give the best of his novels" to have written Don Quixote ? " Monte Cristo may be superior to Don Quixote ; so may Les Trots Mousquetaires ; so may La Guerre des Femmes ; so may Amaury ; so may any of the thousand and one volumes which have made him known to the " universe ; " it is , however ,
somewhat questionable whether the national pride of Spain would be flattered by the supposition . However the brigands were men qui savaient vivre , and they at once offered the great poet every hospitality . But the reader must look it out for himself ; the narrative is perfect . One passage from these biographical confidences we must give , it is so characteristic of the man : — " I am never alone whilst I have one of my own books by me . I open the volume . Each page brings back to me a day spentand that day instantly revives , from the
, moment of its dawn to its twilight , throbbing with the same emotions that filled it , peopled by the same persons who passed through it . Where was I on that day ? In what part of the world was I seeking diversion , asking for souvenirs , culling hopes , buds which fade before they blossom , blossoms which fall to pieces often before they burst into bloom ! Was I visiting Germany , Italy , Africa , England , or Greece ? Was 1 sailing up the lihine , praying in the Coliseum , hunting in the Sierra , encamped in the desert , dreaming at Westminster , engraving my name on the grave of Archimedes or the mine
rock of the Thermopylae ? What hand touched that day ? Is it that of a king seated on his throne ? Is it that of a herdsman guarding his flock ? What prince called me friend ? What beggar called me brother ? With whom did I share my purse in the morning ? Who broke bread with me in the evening ? During twenty years , which have been the happy hours scored in chalk ? which the dark hours marked in charcoal ? Alas ! The best part of my life already lies in with thick
reminiscences . I am like one of those trees foliage , full of birds , silent at noon , but which wake up towards the close of the day , and which , when night falls , will fill my old age with fluttering of wings and with songs ; they will thus enliven it with their joy , their loves , and their noises , until death touches the hospitable tree in its turn , and the tree in falling frightens all those noisy singers , each of which will be nothing but one of the hours of my life . "
You believe nil this , of course . 33 ut wo have forgotten the works in the man . A word of recommendation will suffice : as stories they arc very amusing , especially Les Mariagcs du Pere Olifus , which is not reading for young ladies , but which rocals tho inimitable talcs of Voltaire ; and La Fcmme au Collier de Velours is a fine bit of Hoffmanism . Altogether , looking at tho state of the thermometer in the shade , and the general
indisposito think , accompanied by the languor in which novels are most acceptable , because one can enjoy them passively , the render cannot do better than
follow the example of our young friend with the blonde moustaches and our own graver selves , and read Les Mille et Un Fantomes .
bigsby ' s shoe and canoe . The Shoe and Canoe , or Pictures of Travel in the Canadas illustrative of their Scenery and of Colonial - Life , with Facts and Opinions on ( emigration . State Policy , and other Points of public interest . With numerous maps and plates . By John Bigsby , M . D . In 2 vols . Chapman and Hall . There are qualities in this book which go far to redeem its bulkiness and triviality , and could some stern and friendly pen strike out about on e half of the matter here printed , the shorn remainder would have both value and interest . Dr . Bigsby , pencil in
hand , wandered for some six years over the Canadas , and mostly out of common tracks , visiting Lakes Simcoe , Huron , and Superior , a portion of South Hudson's Bay , and journeying up the River Ottawa into Lake Nipissing . He has experience , therefore , which we gladly welcome ; but our gratitude for some of the matter of these volumes will not extend to the manner . Dr . Bigsby has almost every fault which a narrator should avoid . He does not make
the necessary distinction between details that are characteristic and details that are trivial . He records the vulgarest incidents of his day ' s journey with heavy minuteness , and delivers himself of platitudes with an air that is irresistibly ludicrous ; thus , after a story about Huerta , the guitarist , he deems it necessary to make a reflection ; and this is the reflection he makes—giving it all the honours of a paragraph standing by itself : —
" We frequently meet with great musical talent in the most unlikely place . " Very true , Doctor ; and we frequently meet with platitudes , but not so frequently in independent paragraphs , looking like aphorisms , as in your volumes . It is but a matter of printing , you will say . Perhaps so ; yet if by printing artifices you give importance to a platitude , the reader will resent it : as in this case : — " The physical condition of man—how wretched , how inconsistent with his destinies ! and yet how full of promise ! "
Why is such a remark to be framed and glazed , and the reader called upon " to walk up and admire" ? Does there perchance lie some profundity of thought in it worthy to solicit our meditative leisure ? In his preface he says : — ? 'Mine is a personal narrative . The reader ' s indulgence is , therefore , requested for the egotism which is
unavoidable . The impersonal is unreadable : it is the current incident of the day which gives transparency and life . Some may say , that I gossip a little . This possibly may be so . It happened to the wisest of men when beguiled by an agreeable theme . The cheerful get-along style which I desire to adopt is now acknowledged to be the true descriptive ; and the stately and sonorous circumlocution of our forefathers is happily out of fashion . "
Having read the book , this passage is pregnant with . humour to our minds . " The impersonal is unreadable " ? e ' est selon ! we can assure the excellent Doctor that the " personal" also can become unreadable , very ; and that his little theory about current incidents giving transparency and life must be supported by better evidence than the Shoe and
Canoe . But what tickles us most is the strange delusion existing in his mind respecting his own style , which he imagines to be the " cheerful getalong style , " now " acknowledged to be the true descriptive . " Well , some people have their own private notions of liveliness . We have known a flabby-faced family-joker retail Joe Millers with remorseless circumlocution , and be considered by his
friends " very good company indeed . " To quit this skirmishing with Dr . Bigsby ' s strange pretensions , and confine ourselves to his actual claims , we arc bound to declare that his volumes contain both new and interesting matter ; tho maps and plates are of great utility ; and , if many pages are somewhat unsubstantial and excrescent , there are many containing facts and descriptions of real value . We are almost puzzled where to cull our extracts , the volumes offer so many . Here is an amusing description of CHARIVARI AT QUEI 1 EC .
" Here a stout , high-spirited young afljutant of a marching regiment , thought well to marry the widowstill handsome and but little past her prime—of an opulent , brewer . She was of a good French family , and resembled the famous widow of Kent iu haviug a most agreeable annual income . For aught I know she may have thrown off her weeds too soon , or was thought to have made a mesalliance . Be these things as they may , there was a charivari . " I was at home , in one of the principal streets , when
304 ® tie & £ && *? + [ Saturday ,
Leader (1850-1860), June 22, 1850, page 304, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1843/page/16/