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ticipate in the interests of the occasion; and each, noble lord himself and published. Wiley and however humble, may claim a share in the glory. Putnam afterwards gave the work to the AmeriThe principles of the constitution chasten all the can public in their Choice Library. It was read excitable elements of popular will. The instant with great interest by the true lovers of elegant letthe successful candidate is invested with the chief ters and won general admiration. But excelmagistracy, partisan weapons are laid aside ; lent as it was, that production falls far below and as the head of the nation, universal respect the able work, which, with the best taste and is awarded the President. Such are the redeem- judgment, the Messrs. Appleton have recently ing features of our political system and the noble published. There is a calmness and dignity episodes in the ceaseless struggle for power that in the style of Lord Mahon, which fits it perevive hallowed memories and patriotic delight. culiarly for historical writing. His narrative
The Inauguration Ball, as a social demonstra- has both the smoothness and strength of an intion, was an appropriate finale. Between three land river flowing through a level country, upen and four thousand people of both sexes, of every whose breast you may sail ever along without class, from all parts of the land, assembled in an fear of interruption from rocks or shallowness. immense saloon erected for the purpose. Mem- It is not broken with the rapids and falls that bers of the diplomatic corps and naval and mili- lend diversity to Macaulay's bolder course, but it tary officers by their rich dress gave variety to imparts more confidence to the mind while less the scene. From the stage at the head of the exciting its admiration. room, the view was magnificent when the old The stand-points, to use a Germanism, from General appeared. The mass opened to the which these two historians view their subject, are right and left to allow him to pass freely; a sea wide asunder, being separated by that broad of heads swayed to and fro; the band played space which divides the English Tory from the exhilarating martial airs ; jewels sparkled, mur- British Whig. So far as my preference goes, I murs of applause rose and fell, smiles beamed, must avow that I repose more undoubtingly upon cheers resounded and the crowd reunited like a the lord than the commoner. The former writes swelling flood, as the unassuming object of all like a judge, the latter like an advocate. The this festivity moved slowly on, with a meek, yet former gives a seemingly just, impartial, elevated gratified air. When he reached the elevated verdict; the latter indulges in a full
, eloquent platform he was received by a group of fair wo- and often heated argument. men and men of noble aspect; be stood among Since my last letter was written, I have read them in the simple dignity of a faithful citizen- the second volume of Macaulay's History as issoldier. The dance was resumed ; and the eye sued by Harpers. There is a decided falling of fell on a vast and brilliant throng, whose courte- in the interest and character of the work. It ous hilarity afforded a hopeful presage to every reads less like an opinion and more like a congenerous heart.
troversy. There is not the slightest doubt that Washington, March 7th, 1849.
the writer's object is to justify the lords, who invited over William of Orange, and to show that the people could not do otherwise than rebel against the weak and wilful King James. No
palliation whatsoever is found for that monarch's LETTERS FROM NEW YORK.
faults, and he is held up to the scorn and con
tempt of the world as the most cowardly, eruel ? New York, March, 1849.
and contemptible of monarchs. Mr. Macaulay':
views may be the true ones; but they might hare D. Appleton and Co. of this City have pub- been presented with less acrimony, and not to lished a “ History of England from the Peace of much in the manner of a partizan, endeavoring Utrecht to the Peace of Aix La Chapelle, by Lord to set forth in strong array the considerations Mahon.” I have for several years had this ad- which had justified, even on historical grounds mirable work in my library in the handsome the positions he had himself elected. English edition in four volumes octavo, as pub- Dr. J. G. Cogswell,—formerly well-knowi lished by John Murray in 1839.
throughout the country as the principal (in Attracted first by a review in the London Quar- connection with George Bancroft) of the Round terly of Lord Mahon's Life of Condé, written Hill School at Northampton, Mass., and sub originally in French, I became desirous to read sequently as Editor of the New York Review that brilliant sketch. As, however, only a lim- private Secretary to the late John Jacob As ited number of copies had been printed in Lon- tor and Librarian of the Astor Library to be don for private distribution, I could not gratify established in New York,—is now in London es that desire until a translation was made by the gaged in the purchase of books for this Library.
In a letter to a friend in this city he speaks warmly editions, which I am very anxious to have for the of the uniform kindness and courtesy with which Astor Library, one is the Mazarin Bible, which he has been greeted and treated in England. He I despair of obtaining, the other Shakspeare, observes :
which I am resolved to have. As books, these "I would like to say a few words about things
are my three objects of veneration, and I mean in England generally. I would like to have it to speak of the Bible with all reverence, when I known at home, that every possible disposition connect it with anything human, as a book has been shown here to facilitate the great object merely, and not as the volume of inspiration." of my visit-everything I have asked for has
The Astor Library is fortunate indeed in havbeen granted me without hesitation; many gen- ing so erudite and tasteful a librarian. It will be tlemen on whom I had not the slightest claims have bestowed upon me hours and hours of their truly a magnificent collection and add greatly to time, in helping me to form catalogues of books the attractions of this Metropolis. No considin the special department of science to which erable part of the endowment, ($400,000,) will they were devoted, or in examining buildings be expended on the buildingbut a handsome which had some improvement important to be and appropriate edifice, not too costly, will be known; in these and in various other ways has erected. The management of the whole matter a spirit of uniform kindness been manifested towards America—for I regard none of this as
could not be in better hands, and not only the New personal to myself, it is to me as the representa-York, but the American public are to be warmly tive of a great Institution of our country. You congratulated on the literary treasures in store know bow men of science are sparing of their for us. time, and it may surprise you to hear, that in several instances, after an accidental introduc
Mr. Richard H. Dana has just concluded here tion at a party to some celebrité, I have inquired at our University Chapel an exceedingly valuaof him what were the great books in his depart- ble course of lectures on Shakspeare. They are ment, and had for answer, Come and breakfast the same which he gave in this city some eight with me the first day you are at leisure and we years ago, and which were then highly praised will talk over the whole matter—this has repeat- by our New York Sir Hubert Stanleys. Their edly given me three and four hours of the valuable time of the inviter. If it were not wrong to present repetition has been attended by our intelpablish anything of another, even praise without lectual aristocracy and others, forming a goodly his knowledge and consent, I would name sev- assembly. You should have Mr. Dana in Richeral individuals who have done this. I have mond. He would infuse a new spirit into your now been two months in London, and not an ill, literary circle. natured or discourteous word has been addressed to me by either high or low.
This employment of giving lectures on popu
lar topics seems, during this season, to have been Such language, such a tone indicates the gen- taken up by several respectable writers. It is tleman as well as the scholar. In his avoidance certainly honorable. The most distinguished of of mentioning publicly the names of those even lawyers, physicians and divines have been lectuwhom he is desirous to praise; in his extreme rers. It is both a pleasant and a reputable mode delicacy, his reverent regard for the implied con- for an author to increase his income, besides fidence of social intercourse, how does he differ bringing one in his perigrinations acquainted with many
American tourists and pencillers who numbers of agreeable and accomplished persons. have dishonored their country.
I have myself conceived the idea of giving Dr. Cogswell's description of his visit to the courses of lectures, as much for the entertaincelebrated Althorp Library is very interesting, ment as instruction of audiences, in our different and deserves transfer to your columns from those towns, on a somewhat novel plan-novel with of the Literary World. It is too long for intro- regard to such oral discourses, though not as to duction into this letter, but I enclose it that you printed books. I refer to making such mental may give it honorable place, if you think proper diversions cheap and within the range of humto do so. At the late sale of the Stowe Library, ble means. I would, par example, fix the mariwhich Dr. Cogswell attended, he purchased for mum price of admission for each person at a sinthe Astor Library a princeps Homer for twenty-gle New York shilling, (12 cents,) or even our nine pounds. “On getting possession of it,” he United States dime. Thus a pleasant evening's remarks, “ I could not but call to mind Petrarch's excursion into the field of letters may be taken eloquent apostrophe to the illustrious bard,' as for a trifling sum. So far as I have tried the exreported by Gibbon, when the Byzantine Am- periment, I have been met and cheered by large bassador presented him with a manuscript copy; audiences, steadily increasing with each new lecand something of the same veneration which he ture. Perhaps it would be an affectation of modthere confesses
, induced me to deviate from my esty in me to attribute my success wholly to the rule and buy a book at a great price, because it low price of admission; nor is it mere vanity to is a first edition. There are but two other first assert that people came in crowds to hear me,
(more always than could get into the lecture- of the ear. Her reading of the exquisite poetry room,) because they were amused. My constant of the Midsummer Night's Dream is also woneffort was not to be dry—but to irrigate my dis- derfully charming. sertation with little rills of humor, I will not say Mrs. Butler has taken up a regular residence wit, since that is said not to excite laughter. I with her friends the Sedgwicks in Pittsfield, Mashave been willing to expend a little dignity even, sachusetts. Her intimacy with this family of talif I could keep pleased expressions on the faces ents and blue-stockingism was a main cause of of my hearers, and prevent any undue distension her husband's dislike-of his wrath, the direful of visages by yawng. Thus have I, with no spring. great merit of my own, succeeded where I have I must as a special favor, ask here for the attempted lectures on the plan which I contem- space to praise two recent publications—the one plate carrying out extensively by-and-by, and a romance, and the other a magazine. Merry which I have taken the liberty to speak of here, Mount” is decidedly the cleverest novel of the because it is recommended at least by its novelty season. I am not sure that there are many books and reasonableness.
of the kind written with so much splendor of Let me tell you about Fanny Kemble Butler. fancy, felicity of description and artistic paintWhen she proposed to read Shakespeare in Bos- ing of character. An experienced dramatist 15 ton, because it had become necessary for her to might work its materials into a play that would do so, she did not anticipate to be listened to by run fifty nights. The scenes are laid at that more than some two hundred persons. Great eventful period in the history of New England, was her surprise therefore to find more than four when the Puritans or Roundheads had acquired times that number crowded into the hall of the almost exclusive possession of the colony and Masonic Temple. Her auditors consisted en- had begun to rule after the Cromwellian fashion tirely of that intelligent and fashionable set of with despotic and iron hand. A few brave and exclusives, who in Boston seem to preserve their jolly cavaliers who were still remaining, claimed social position as undisputably as similar folk do a portion of territory and held their jocund revels! in England, and to give the tone to wider and on an eminence, which they christened " Merry lower circles. Accordingly, the whole town Mount.” I know of few things finer in its way thronged to Mrs. Butler's readings and paid her than the account of the May-day revels and of some three hundred dollars a night, net, as the a Hawking Party. If I were to say that this dry-goods dealers say. This must have looked romance would be popular, I might propheas to her like old times, when her father and herself falsely-for much of it is decidedly " caviare to created in the quiet capital of Massachusetts a the- the general”—but if I should say that it will be atrical furore of the wildest sort, and box tickets read with delight by people of taste and imagiwere sold at auction and brought five dollars a nation, I should run no risk of speaking other piece,- before her unpropitious marriage with than strict truth. The author of the novel is de Mr. Pierce Butler of Philadelphia, who was at Lathrop Motley, an accomplished gentleman, that time a young man and not a perverse Bene- member of the present Legislature of Massadict bent on having his own way.
chusetts and formerly United States Secretary Mrs. Butler has recently repeated her readings of Legation to the Court of St. Petersburgb. in New York. She has not exactly carried the The magazine which I beg leave highly and citadel by storm, for we are rather less notional with emphasis to recommend to Southern reads than the Bostonians, and seldom suffer our per-ers, and espeically the fairer portion, is “Sarsonal feelings to sway our judgment concerning tain's Union Magazine,” published by John Sar a public performer. But Mrs. Butler has made tain & Co. in Philadelphia. Mr. Sartain is an a decided sensation. Her Merchant of Venice artist of extraordinary merit. No one could be was immense; her Shylock greater than any- more capable of tastefully arranging and selectbody's except George Frederick Cooke's, who, ing the embellishments of a periodical of this by-the-by, is remembered only by that omnipres- kind. His mezzotint engravings have never ent individual, the oldest inhabitant.” She lets been surpassed, and he may justly claim the you know what characters she is personating honor of giving that style vogue in this country simply by a change of tones, after she has an- Look for example at the most beautiful specinounced them at the beginning of each scene. men after Richard Westall in the March nuHere she employs her full, rich, flexible vocal or- ber, and “ Undine” from an original, by C.L. gan with fine effect. For instance, in the dia- Muller. The Editors are Mrs. C. M. Kirk logue botween Portia and Nerissa, the change land and Professor John S. Hart-the former from the lady-like tone of the former, to the pert, known to the lovers of genuine and happy ba? chambermaid manner of the latter is strikingly mor by her “New Home, Who'll Follow ". perceptible and even dramatic in its deception and the latter a man of fine talents and a scholar
of high celebrity. Mr. C. H. Wiley, author of serary gems of tasteful collectors. His prose is, * Alamance,”—a Southern writer-has just com- moreover, strong, nervous, ornate, “drawn from menced in this magazine a novel that promises the pure wells of English undefiled” and cast in to be exciting in its interest. It is entitled a style similar to that of the old divines. * Roanoke, or Where is Utopia.” William How- Is it not rather an amusing fact, apropos to my itt, Frederica Bremer, (translated by Mary How- comments on the liberties taken with the orthogitt) Willis, Mrs. Sigourney, Dr. Bethune and raphy of Mr. Macaulay by the Harpers in their several others of equal fame are contributors. edition of his History of England, that these Longfellow is also engaged to contribute a poem very publishers, who persisted that their standard monthly. The critical notices are fairly and of spelling was the true one, should now adverhandsomely made.
tise a cheap edition of the same work, “spelled I met Mr. Halleck a few days since looking according to the English edition ?" Do not bevery intellectual and very well as usual. I asked lieve that the critics brought about this favorable him if he intended that all his new poems should change: it was entirely owing to the appearance be published posthumously; but he replied laugh- of two correct editions, one published in Boston ingly that he should not put his executors to and another in Philadelphia. much trouble in that respect. I suspect, never- I take pleasure in transmitting to you a fine theless, that he writes, but is too infinitely fas- and spirited poem by an English gentleman of tidious to publish. I love Halleck; he is em- high abilities. Though written in 1824, when phatically a gentlemanly poet.
its author was connected as editor with one of Your correspondent, Tuckerman, who is ano- the prominent journals of the time, it is now pubther capital specimen of the genus homo, has lished for the first time in the United Statesbeen some time in Washington enjoying the In- where the genius and wit of Sheridan have been auguration festivities.
always appreciated at their full value. A new American Drama, entitled Kate Woodbull
, from the pen of Mr. C. Edwards Lester, has just been produced at the Broadway Theatre.
THE DEATH BED OF SHERIDAN. I sincerely hope that it may succed.
The Italian opera has closed its first season with considerable loss to its urbane and compe
They fled from thee—all the gay, titled and proud,
When thy evening of life in its dreariness came ; tent manager. The successive failures of two They fled from thee—all who had joined with the crowd winters must have at length convinced a set of
To echo thy praise in thy morning of fame. people, whom Mr. Willis exaggeratingly called " The Upper Ten Thousand," but who would be to thy bedside unblessed came the harpies.whose fangs more than comprised in Hundreds, that they can- Were rudest and sharpest in fortune's decay, not sustain an establishment of this sort against And of all who should soften the victim's last pangs, the ét follol. Their “odi profanum vulgus et
None scared the foul birds from their desolate prey. arceo," will not do for this region. They cannot monopolize all the best boxes and turn up their
In loneliness withered the spirit that shed
The eloquent charm that might Senates command, noses at the commonalty in the pit and upper Who the mask and the pageant and revelry led tiers. No theatre or opera can be sustained here And waved over fashion a magical wand. unless all parts of the house are free to all comers. Exclusiveism must confine itself to private Not lonely-one ministring angel was there ! edifices. It is an exotic that dies in the open,
Oh, woman! how faithful, how changeless thou art strong air of democracy.
To the man of thy love; though his eye gleam despair The numerous friends of the good Bishop
And a wilderness gather its gloom round the heart. Doane of New Jersey will be glad to learn that bis health has greatly improved. He was, du- The struggle is over-the mutes at the gate,
And the recreant grandeur which struck the worst blow ring the winter, sick unto death ; but the arm on Thy spirit had felt, ere it bowed to its fate, which he has ever leaned confidingly for support, Now follow thy bier in the trappings of wo. has upheld him so that his footsteps have wandered on the borders of the dark valley of the Oh, faithless such chivalry-ye who rely shadow and he has not been hidden from the On its promise, behold! how its friendship could spurn light of existence. Not only to the church but Misfortune's last claim, and leave genius to die to literature would this excellent Prelate have
And then with late homage embrace its cold urn. been a serious loss. Though his name is scarcely mentioned now among the herd of common
They thronged round his hearse, who had let him depart
Like an outcast too mean and too worthless to save ; writers, yet has he produced many beautiful short Who cheered not his gloom with one ray of the heart poems, remembered and hoarded among the lit- And threw the vain splendor of pomp on his grave.
With bards rest thy ashes whose fate like thy own must on to the park; it is very spacious and grand,
Was neglect from the proud in Lise's cheerless decay, adorned here and there with a fine old far-stretchWho were left, unbefriended, lo wither alone
ing oak or a stately elm, varied with clumps of By those who strewed flowers on their passionless clay.
evergreens or smaller trees; the drive through it
to the house is half a mile or more, winding Had talents like thine but by virtue been crowned,
amid a lawn as clean as a parlor carpet. The Their blaze had not set in so sullen a night; But the circle allured thee where folly was found
house has nothing imposing in its external aspect, And the red cup of Circe was sparkling and bright. and is in no particular style of architecture; but
in passing its threshold, one feels that he is standHad wisdom, oh Sheridan, guided thy mind,
ing on holy ground, and would almost instinctShe had taught thee that genius was best when its powers ively 'put off his shoes from his feet. I read Beam forth like the sun for the good of mankind,
Dibdin in my young days, and from him learnt Not neglecting the fruits in its fondness for flowers.
to regard the Spencer Library with nearly the
same veneration I entertain for the Vatican, and The glory which genius thought never could die
the feeling came back upon me in its full strength Too oft on the bosom of riot decays; Like the bird that, while singing his wild song on high,
when I found myself within it. Knowing that Droops, flutters and dies by the rattlesnake's gaze.
I had allotted but one day to the inspection of
the library, Mr. Appleyard the librarian, who Thy laurels were twined with the roses that grew was all courtesy and kindness, proposed to be
In the garden of pleasure, all flaunting and gay ; gin our work at once. The library is distributed But the canker lurk'd under their brightness of hue through various rooms of the house, eight altoAnd the rose and the laurel both withered away.
gether I think, several of which are very large; P. B. the first in order is the room of the Incunabula,
which is devoted entirely to editions of the fif. teenth century, and works inseparable from them. This room is larger than a common sized parlor in New York, and is completely full. And bere, indeed, are the things which the prophets and
kings of literature might well desire to see, sono THE ALTHORP LIBRARY.
of which can be seen in no other library in the
world. What shall I select from this multitude We gladly act upon the suggestion of our New York cor- of treasures to describe to you, for the time must respondent in republishing from the Literary World, the fail me, were I to attempt only to name the cufollowing description of the Althorp Library by Dr. Cogswell.-(Ed. Mess.
rious and precious volumes which were succes
sively placed before me by the learned librarian! I have already referred to the Althorp Library, We must begin with the block books. In speand as I have recently made a visit to it, you cimens of this forerunner of printing, Lord Spedmay like to have some account of it from me, cer is very rich; his earliest is a single leaf, on however familiar you may be with the Biblio- which there are two wood cuts, one representing theca Spenceriana and Ædes Althorpianæ of St. Christopher carrying the infant Jesus through Dibdin. Althorp, as you doubtless know, is one the sea, the other the Annunciation ; beneath of Lord Spencer's country residences, about five the cuts is an inscription, with the date 1423, miles from Northampton, and seventy-two from which is regarded as the earliest known use of London, or as distances are now marked, it is printing ink—there is clearly no falsification of three hours from the metropolis by rail, with any kind about it; there cannot be a doubt that three quarters of an hour more for the five miles it was executed at the time it was dated, and footing. The country between Northampton nothing of an earlier date exists, which is admitand Althorp is not particularly striking, but it ted to be genuine, that of 1418 not being sowas certainly pleasant to enjoy an old fashioned From this onward there is a fine series of block drive, sitting in an open carriage drawn by books, besides many of the blocks with which horses, with an opportunity of seeing things by they were stamped ; nowhere can one see more the road side, and not have them flit by you like perfect specimens of the early Xylographic art. spectres; it was pleasant, too, to look upon the One portion of the Biblia Pauperum is in eurigreen fields, as green as ours in June, and see ous old skin binding, on the cover of which the the men at work ploughing the long furrows as name of the owner is stamped, with the date of cheerily as if spring were back again. It was the binding, 1467—probably it would be difficult most refreshing also to breathe the fresh air of to produce a book bound earlier than this. We the country, after being cooped up two months passed from the block books to the movable typ: in the smoky atmosphere of London. But Ilincunabula ; of the art in this style Lord Spencer