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K nickerbocker M a gazine.
The Twenty-Sixth Volume of the KNICKERBOCKER Magazine commences on the first day of July, 1845. The work has been so long before the public, that the Publis her deems it unnecesary to set forth its acknowledged claims to general favor. Its list of contributors, beginning with Irving, Cooper, Paulding, Bryant, HalLECK, Longfellow, etc., etc., numbers more than one hundred writers, and em. braces every literary celebrity in the country, including several eminent authors from abroad; while in point of typographical neatness and beauty the Magazine will challenge comparison with any periodical in the world. It is promptly published on the first of each month, in all parts of the United States. As evidence of the estimation in which the KNICKER BOCKER is held by the public, we annex the following recent notices of the American press; having in our last advertisement quoted previous kindred tributes from many other American journals, as well as from the London • Times,' • Examiner,' Spectator,' • Athenæum, Literary Gazette,' Morn. ing Chronicle', etc.
• There is no mistake ; the KNICKERBOCKER grows better and better with each successive month and is a credit to its Editor, who has the good taste to make it, and to its subscribers, who have the good taste to read it. It is certainly the best of the American monthlies, and we are glad to learn that it continues its successful carrer, in spite of all the 'embellishments' and prize offers' of its younger brethren.'— Boston Morning Post.
'THE KNICKERBOCKER for April is on our table. The pleasant gossip of its Editor, with which he favors his readers every month, should alone make this Magazine one of the most popular in our land, to say nothing of its excellent contributors both in prose and verse.'
Charleston (S. c.) Courier. • MORE beautifully privted than any Magazine in the known world, and abounding in literary papers of the most graceful order, this old favorite is always welcomed to our desk with cordial greetings and heart good wishes.' *No American periodical has ever presented so great a number and variety of Literary papers, ranging from grave to gay, pathetic to humorous, from song to sermon, poem to critique, essay to anecdote, as the KNICKERBOCKER.' 'Its path is always along the runny side of life's highway; gathering flowers of all hues, now plucking.cypress to adorn the tomb, now weaving gurlands for living foreheads ; making friends monthly in its quiet way, and making lighter and better, happy hearts in many an evening family circle, with its lighis and shadows of universal life.' We frankly confess to something more than an ordinary interest in the success of this periodical and its indefatigable Editor. Mr. Clark's connexion with the KNICKERBOCKER commenced nearly simultaneous with our own issue of the New-Yorker; and through the years that have intervened, though our personal acquaintance has been slight, our fortunes have not been dissimilar, and our regard for his Editoral worth has been ardent and increasing. No number of the KNICKERBOCKER has been issued uuder bis supervision which did not bear indubitable evidence of Edi. torial care, and anxious thought, and well-directed labor, enstamped ou its pages. We have known no Monthly of this country or Europe so well edited, in the stricter sense of the term.'-New-York Tribune.'
THERE is a charm about the KNICKERBOCKER which attaches to no other of our acquaintance : a deference for the • American Blackroood' is associated with our early prejudices; and now we bail its each successive advent as something which brings back to is the sunshine of our boyish days. Here it is, all nent, and pure. and fresh, just as it came to us years ago; and though it looks the same -- and we would not see it altered a shaile - it has grown with us. While we have travelled up the hill of life to manhood, it has increased in usefulness and importance, until it has attained to adult perfection; and he who then occupied that arm-chair, the youthful and inexperienced Editor, has grown venerable (not quite !) in the literary anuals of his country. He was among the pioneers of the American periodical press ; he had the prejudices and apathy of the people to combat ; and though numerous contemporaries now enjoy with him the encouragement of national literature, few can participate with him in the honor of its achievement. May the Editor live loug to enjoy the reward of his labors!' - Arkansas Journal.
See third page of Corer.
Art. I. THE POLYGON PAPERS. NUMBER FOURTEEN,
II. STANZAS: TO A VERY SHORT LADY,
LITERARY NOTICES :
535 1. TENNYSON. 2. Miss BARRETT. 3. COVENTRY PATMORE. 4. R. H. HORNE. 5. Ro
547 3. POEMS BY WILLIAM W. LORD,
552 4. AN OMITTED POEM OF THE LATE WILLIS GAYLORD CLARK, 5. MEN WITHOUT SOULS,
554 6. GOSSIP WITH READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS,
555 1. OUR TWENTY-SIXTH VOLUME. 2. CRIME vs. SCOUNDREL-VIRTUE. 3. A DUEL
IN THE DARK. 4. A SUMMER REVERIE. 5. SNUFFING BATTLE AFAR OFF. 6.
The Subscribers to the KNICKERBOCKER are hereby notified, that after the first of July next, the PosTAGE on this work will be reduced to six and a half cents per number : and the publisher now offers to send the work free of postage to all who will remit the amount of one year's subscription in advance before the 15th of June next.
JOHN ALLEN, New-York, May 1, 1845.
Publisher, 139 Nassau-street.
* FRESH fish from Helicon! Who'll buy? Who'll buy?
ENGLISH BARDS AND SOOTOX REVIEWER
LITERATURE is full of cant. From Canterbury to Canton, the gait of Pegasus, whether poetic or pedestrian,' is invariably that of a canter. Some cant in behalf of the glories of modern improvement, while others sing a canticle to the mellow splendor of antiquity. I hope I do not reverence antiquity because it is ancient, any more than I worship the Dagon of to-day, because it is but just erected.
But I can't say. Very likely I cant too. If so, I choose to do it in praise of the good old ways. Veneration for the old, and astonishment at the new, are antagonist principles, which divide the soul between them, and rule in harmonious conflict. Both principles are strong, and both are natural. If I incline to the former, it is not that I do not gaze in admiration at the rapid progress of our race in physical discoveries, and glow with a rapture, I fear irrational, at the prospect of its moral amelioration. Yet if steam-boats - whose captains may God forgive for their perilous short-comings! have displaced the cumbrous conveyances of old, it does not follow that our poetry has improved. And if I can assign to the student of English poetry a reason for the faith that is in me,' I shall be content with having spoken what I think the truth, letting it pass for its value, be the value little or much. It is very easy to sneer at that spirit as timorous, which loves old books and old notions, and prefers to lean on the experience and belief of men, and it is not difficult to declare it conscious of incapacity to form a judgment for itself on any new production. But that seems to me a far more timorous and dependent mind, which dares not stem the current of popular opinion, and doubt the infallibility of contemporary taste, when exercised on contemporary matters.
Arthur Blowtrump announces of Charles Dingdong that he is the first poet of modern days, a “bird of Homeric song. The opener of a new VOL. XXV.
and sparkling avenue through the stars of the crowded concave; and Charles Dingdong, as in duty bound, publishes of Arthur Blowtrump, that he is the most imaginative and deeply.musing of modern minds, alike distinguished for his profundity as a thinker, his acumen as a critic, and his perfect mastery of style. And this manufactured popu. larity, this interdependent eminence, this partnership reputation, is fre. quently forced upon us as the mature and undisputed decision of the age. Beside, is not all men's admiration the creature of sympathy; the child of other men's wonders? We read in Erasmus that a wag by the name of Poole, when riding out of London one day with some of his acquaintances, suddenly stopped short, and crossed himself in a pretended paroxysm of terror; for he beheld a huge, fiery dragon in the heavens. His companions could not at first discover the whereabout' of the serpent-meteor ; but unwilling to be thought so dull-eyed, first one, and then another, and at last all thought they saw, and thinking, found that they actually could see the flaming monster in the bright blue sky of noon-day,
'Swinging the scaly horror of his folded tail.' And very often, both before and since that ludicrous hallucination, have men seen things because they thought that others saw them. Further. more, every thing new pleases the majority, simply because it is new; and if it possess something of talent, it will interest and delight even those capable of forming a judgment. Now ought you not to guard yourself against this morbid taste for novelty ; this restless curiosity to peruse the tame, fat features of every parvum in multo’ foetus, that drops hourly from an exuberantly-teeming press ? Otherwise, will you not spend half your life in reading new works in order to discover whether they are worth reading, and in devouring that which is worthless, or less worthy than much that is old and indisputably good ?
There is another and a very strong reason why you should prefer, as familiar friends and faithful teachers, those whose merits are incontestably settled by the consent of several ages, to those who have lately advanced their claims, aided by the passionate feelings of the moment, the love of novelty, the warmth of friendship, and the force of pur. chased puffs. Every generation has had some peculiar notions in respect to its own characteristic style of thought and language ; notions enforced upon it by the practice of its master-spirit, or pet writer; while at the same time, all have united in their estimate of the great authors of old, however widely differing from their own contemporary standards of excellence. Thus, in the age of Cowley, far-fetched allusions, quaint refinements, and the driving of a metaphor to the very verge of annihilation, were thought admirable efforts of genius. The most successful gold-beater, that is to say, he who could hammer out an elegant thought to cover the greatest possible extent of surface, was thought to be the most perfect poet. As Cowley himself carried this malleability of fancy farther than any of his rivals, he was voted the first poet of his day: and yet he lived in the age of Milton and Dryden! At the same time, the countrymen of Cowley read and admired the pure, chaste, simple productions of the ancients. But their taste was