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4,500 dollars imposed on them by arbitrators, for the dedication of a few days to the dispensation of justice! This disgraceful catalogue needs not to be extended. If these pamphlets, and this review of them, should ever reach the shores of Greece, the bitter sensations which will be excited by the exposure of the transaction, may perhaps be alleviated by the assurance, that here sympathetic feelings also are found. But we shall be sorry on our own accounts, as Americans, if all these pamphlets, and particularly Mr. Bayard's,—which breathes an unseemly contempt and defiance, which is more remarkable for confidence than refutation,—shall come to their hands. The ungenerous and injurious assertion of the inferiority of the Greek moral character to that of the Americans, by one of the counsel, introduced into his pamphlet, and therefore countenanced if not adopted by the author, may tend to produce recriminatory sentiments towards such of our countrymen as may visit that classic country, when hereafter—as we humbly invoke the Divine Providence it may be enabled to do—it shall have attained peace, freedom, and independence.
1.—Forget Me not; a Christmas and New-Year's Present. London, 1827.
2.—The Amulet. London, 1827
3.—The Literary Souvenir; or, Cabinet of Poetry and Romance. London, 1827.
4.—Friendship's Offering. London, 1827.
5.—The Atlantic Souvenir; a Christmas and Nero-Year's Present. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1827.
6. — The Memorial. Boston, 1827.
The liberality with which literary talent, of every description, has of late years been rewarded, has stimulated every power of the mind into action. Wit has taxed its invention to open new veins of pleasantry; and Imagination has sought untried regions to furnish delights. Romance has made alliance with History, to give more substance to her feasts; and Poetry has assumed an hundred shapes to bring variety to her entertainments.
Nor has this eagerness to pamper the public appetite with the gifts of genius, been confined to the matter provided for it;
the manner of serving it up, has also exercised ingenuity and taste. The daily or monthly journals were, for a long time, the only repositories of the minor works of poetry and prose, whose authors, however richly gifted, had not the opportunity or inclination to swell their labours to a volume. They were thus mixed with a far greater mass of other matter, uninteresting to the belles lettres reader, especially of the gentler sex; and were circulated in channels to which they did not properly belong. The politician and the trader would pass his eye, carelessly if not disdainfully, over a precious morsel of the muse, which would afford exquisite pleasure to a large class of readers, to whom these journals are but little known. The invention or introduction of the annual offerings, under the names of "Forget Me Not," "Souvenir," &c., has provided a complete and acceptable remedy for this defect. An appropriate habitation is furnished for these sweet and delicate creations, where they dwell together, and combine their charms to instruct and delight . Whatever may be the rank which greater undertakings and extended volumes may be destined to hold in the world of literature, there can be no doubt about the beauty and excellence of the more unpretending effusions of genius to which we have alluded. The taste which they have charmed with their delicacy; the hearts they have touched with their sensibility, bear a testimony in their favour which cannot be impeached by criticism, nor shaken by disdain.
These annual presents are not only the nurses of intellectual enjoyment, but of the fmest talents in the arts. Designing, drawing, engraving, printing, are all encouraged to exert their utmost skill to embellish these little volumes. The most distinguished artists are employed; and, if we judge by the excellence of their work, no cost is spared to enable them to do full justice to their talents. The public have fully and fairly sustained the publishers in their munificent design. The editor of the " Forget Me Not," for this year, says, "Though nearly ten thousand copies of the last volume were printed, yet so rapid and extensive was the demand, that this large impression was exhausted, some time before Christmas, and the publisher received orders for thousands more than he was able to supply. A much larger edition has this year been prepared."
As the circulation of these works in the United States has not been very considerable, we think we shall perform no unacceptable task for our readers, in opening for them these caskets of brilliant gems, to scatter among them some of the rich and various flowers which shed their delicate perfumes
on the treasure. We have not been solicitous to exclude from our notice those pieces that have appeared in our daily journals, for this might have deprived us of some of the best parts of our selection; especially as we have, in several instances, transcribed but parts of the compositions selected. We begin with the "Forget Me Not."
This volume contains thirteen engravings, executed by artists of the highest reputation, from designs and drawings by the most celebrated pencils of England. There is great variety in the subjects; all of which are treated most happily. Every thing in the book is original, and prepared expressly for it . The editor is no vain-boaster, when, in his preface, he says— "A reference to the contents, and a glance at the numerous names, more or less eminent in the various walks of literature, displayed in the pages occupied by them, will at once show the great accession of contributors, and the mass of talent which has co-operated in the production of this volume."
We cannot pass by the "Household Spaniel," without a tribute of commendation, although we shall make no extracts from it . Most families have had a favourite domestic dog, who has died in age and infirmity, " crippled and blind;" and such will appreciate properly the truth of the description and reflections prettily displayed in these lines.
"-Amba, the fVitch's Daughter," to the lovers of pathetic legends, will be found an interesting tale, displaying strong feeling, and uncommon powers of description. We offer a short extract . Tarbara, the husband of Jlmba, had gone forth to defend his country from an invasion of the Ashantees. A battle had been fought on the frontier, in which the invaders were victorious; and news is brought to Amba, that Tarbara was slain. Her grief is strongly depicted; but she will not be convinced that her husband has fallen; and partly on this account, but more to avoid the dishonourable solicitations of an European governor, she resolves to depart from her home; to visit the field of battle, and seek for her Tarbara. She travels through desolate forests, made more terrible by ferocious beasts; she walks amidst the whitened bones of the slaughtered; and is overtaken by an appalling tempest.
•'Overcome with fatigue, and unable to distinguish even a deserted habitation, the poor wanderer heard with awe the whistling of the breeze, which, to an experienced ear, foretold the approach of a tornado. A low hollow murmur moaned through the forest, and was succeeded by a death-like stillness; not a breath of air was to be felt, and the bombax and the baobab, lords of the vegetable world, seemed to stand in their proud strength, awaiting the blast of heaven, like the giants of old, who breathed defiance to the lightnings of the mighty Jupiter. This awful tranquillity was at length broken by a deep groan, which increased in strength, and became more frequent, as it approached Amba. Scarcely knowing whither she fled, she reached the buttress of a bombax, projecting like a low wall several yards beyond the parent stem, and running along the narrow ridge, she twisted her hands into the parasitical plant which encircled its massy trunk, and gradually mounted till she reached one of the lower branches, where, taking off her scarf, she tied herself fast to it, that the rockings caused by the storm might not precipitate her to the ground. She had scarcely done this, when a huge lion came to the spot she had just quitted, continuing his howlings, rolling his large fierce eyes, and lashing his sides with his tail. He solemnly paced on, making the whole forest echo with his cries. The monkeys were heard jumping through the boughs, that they might nestle close to each other in groups, one of them occasionally setting up a shrill piercing scream, as he was in danger of falling, from the pressure of his companions, who were anxious to get into his place. A faint cry, like that of an agonized human being, proceeded from the sloth, which was answered by the loud laugh of the hyaena, as if in mockery of distress. But the storm began, and all voices were drowned in the sweeping whirlwind, which seemed to shake every tree from its roots; many of the lower ones fell. But as the blast increased, a mighty crash was heard, which seemed to involve the forest in ruins. A huge baobab, which had defied the storm for centuries, at last gave way before its fierce enemy, and fell prostrate, bringing with it every tree which grew in its vicinity, and crushing all the living beings which had sought refuge in its branches. As if satisfied with the deed, the whirlwind ceased, and was succeeded by a lengthened roll of thunder, like a shout of triumph. Large drops of rain followed, and heaven and earth seemed as if joined by one broad sheet of water. The lightning alone illumined the darkness, and striking a tree not far from Amba, split it to its base,and set the forest in ablaze, which was stifled by the torrents that poured upon it. The thunder which followed seemed to shake the earth even to its centre, as it rose to the shock with a convulsive heave. At length the storm died away, and the sun flashed his bright beams through the massy foliage, the drooping branches raised their heads, the birds trimmed their feathers, and from the smallest insect to the huge elephant, all nature seemed to wake as if from a stupor."
Incidents and images of terror are here powerfully collected and narrated. The nature of the scene requires all the strength ef colouring used in portraying it.
Vol. i.—No. 1. 38
We take a large portion of the stanzas entitled "Forget me Not"—but not more than will be read with pleasure—
The star that shines so pure and bright,
Like a far-off place of bliss,
Like man's uncertain doom,
Now wrapp'd in deepest gloom,—
A fearful emblem given
From the blessed light of heaven;—
Of perfume on the gale;
With melancholy wail;
Or gurgles from the grot—
And say " Forget me not!"
When man's vain heart is swoln with pride,
And his haughty lip is curl'd,
Contempt upon the world;
Like stars that gem the skies,
To blind a monarch's eyes;
A royal ear beguiles;
And sycophants on smiles;
Is made to play his part;
And the star an aching heart:
Is oft a voice that calls
Throughout the palace halls.
Go! hie thee to the rank churchyard,
Where flits the shadowy ghost,
Whereon to raise a boast.
With the noisome reptile worm;—
That once array'd her form!
Nor wither at her frown:
Thau when it slept on down.