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appropriate rank in the family library, Knick- amination. The hint about a reverse of erbocker's History will still be received with fortune was just such as could not fail to good-humored indulgence, and be thumbed and interest the generous heart of Scott. He chuckled over by the family fireside."

offered Irving immediately an editorship The preface to the Sketch-Book gives at Edinburgh, and wrote :some interesting details of its author's

"If my proposal does not suit, you need only literary history. These classic papers, keep the matter secret, and there is no harm with two exceptions, were written in done. • And for my love, I pray you wrong me England. He intended to prepare the not.' If, on the contrary, you think it could complete series before publishing; but

be made to suit you, let me know, as soon as

possible, addressing Castle-street, Edinburgh." pecuniary reverses compelled him to send them“ piecemeal to this country for pub

In a postscript, written from Edinburgh, lication in numbers.” They found their he adds :way to England, and were particularly “I am just come here, and have glanced over commended in the London Literary the Sketch-Book. It is positively beautiful

, and

increases my desire to crimp you, if it be posGazette. It was reported to him that a

sible. Some difficulties there are always in London bookseller was about to issue a

managing such a matter, especially at the outvolume of them. This induced him to set; but we will obviate them as much as we attempt to procure a publisher himself, possibly can.” that he might not only have the pecuniary The offer of an editorship at fifteen advantage, but also the opportunity of hundred dollars per annum, was rather a suitable revision. He applied to Murray, tempting bait for a poor and embarrassed the celebrated publisher, and met with one litterateur; but Irving was true to his of those discomfitures which form so fre- genius. He knew that editing a periodical quent a feature in literary biography. We was little more than mental mechanics, must give his own account of the matter : and that genius could find it but abject “ I took the printed numbers, which I had


Had he accepted, we should, received from the United States, to Mr. John probably, have had from him, as in the Murray, the eminent publisher, from whom I had case of Bryant, but an occasional intimaalready received friendly attentions, and left

tion of the brilliant powers which would them with him for examination, informing him that, should he be inclined to bring them be

be thus comparatively lost. Literary men fore the public, I had materials on hand for a

of real genius have usually made a poor second volume. Several days having elapsed figure at periodical editorship. Leigh without any communication from Mr. Murray, Huntran down several publications ; I addressed a note to him, in which I construed Wilson did well; Campbell

, Lockhart, his silence into a tacit rejection of my work, and begged that the numbers I had left with and a host of others, nearly spoiled their him might be returned. The following was careers by it. Campbell, as we said in our his reply:

last number, rejected Miss Mitford's papers "MY DEAR SIR,-1 entreat you to believe that I when he was editor of the “New Monthly feel truly obliged by your kind intentions toward me, and that I entertain the most unfeigned respect for Magazine;" they found a place in the your most tasteful talents. My house is completely “ Lady's Monthly Magazine," and were transact business in; and yesterday I was wholly oc subsequently brought together in a volume cupied, or I should have done myself the pleasure of

under the title of “ Our Village.” Irving seeing you. If it would not suit me to engage in the publication of your present work, it is only because I determined to depend upon higher efforts, do not see that scope in the nature of it which would enable me to make those satisfactory accounts between

and declined very courteously the offer. us, without which I really feel no satisfaction in en Scott answered him with other proffers of giging; but I will do all I can to promote their circulation, and shall be most ready to attend to any kindness. Irving says :future plan of yours.

*** With much regard, I remain, dear sir, your faith “ Before the receipt of this most obliging ful servant,

John MURRAY.'" letter, however, I had determined to look to no “ This,” he

leading bookseller for a launch, but to throw my was disheartening;" says,

work before the public at my own risk, and let but he remembered Constable, Scott's it sink or swim, according to its merits. ! famous publisher, at Edinburgh, with wrote to that effect to Scott, and soon received whom he had formed an acquaintance.

this reply: He wrote to Scott to procure Constable's ** I observe with pleasure that you are going to come

forth in Britain. It is certainly not the very best way interest in the work, and mentioned that a to publish on one's own account; for the booksella

ers set their face against the circulation of such works pecuniary reverse made it necessary for

as do not pay an amazing toll to themselves. But they him to rely upon the publication for aid. have lost the art of altogether damming up the road in

such cases, between the author and the public, which The Sketches were sent to Scott for ex

they were once able to do, as effectually as Diabolus,


in John Bunyan's Holy War, closed up the windows the hands of their children. It is next to thing-that you have only to be known to the British impossible to withdraw from them entirely public, to be admired by them; and I would not say so what is called light reading. The prohiunless I really was of that opinion.'”

bition would, in many cases, be but a The Sketch-Book was brought out in

provocation to it. Most fortunately for London ; but, before it had got fairly under

our literature, there are amidst its teeming way, the publisher failed, and the writer corruptions some works of the kind which had another illustration of the fortunes of

are at once pure and classic-Addison, authorship; but Scott, whose heart was

Johnson, Goldsmith, and Irving. Who ever as generous as his genius was fertile, would ask for more attractive authors ? came again to his help. Irving says :

All of them, not excepting Irving himself, “At this juncture Scott arrived in London. some good men might wish to modify in I called to him for help, as I was sticking in some passages; but he that can confine the mire, and, more propitious than Hercules, the interest of his child to such “light he put his own shoulder to the wheel. Through his favorable representations, Murray was reading,” may expect in him not only quickly induced to undertake the future pub- good taste, but good and generous traits lication of the work, which he had previously of character. * declined. A further edition of the first volume was struck off, and the second volume was put to press; and from that time, Murray became

[For the National Magazine.] my publisher, conducting himself, in all his dealings, with that fair, open, and liberal spirit,

APRIL. which had obtained for him the well-merited appellation of the Prince of Booksellers."

They say thou wert a loiterer, lovely child, Irving refers gratefully to the kindness In days of Ela! thou art no lingerer now, of his great literary friend :

For soft I feel thy flower-breath on my brow:

They say when nature call'd her children round, “ Thus, under the kind and cordial auspices | To portion them, thou wert astraying wild of Sir Walter Scott, I began my literary career Through wood and vale-by streamlet, willow in Europe ; and I feel that I am but discharg- crown'd:ing, in a trifling degree, my debt of gratitude Nor till the dame had given to each her to the memory of that golden-hearted man, in blessing, acknowledging my obligations to him. But

With every gift and favor worth possessing, who of his literary cotemporaries ever applied | Didst thou appear—in sooth, a fairy child, to him for aid or counsel, that did not ex- With laughing lips, blue eyes, and sunny hair, perience the most prompt, generous, and effect- Of a capricious step, yet graceful air,ual assistance ?!

And bearing in thy hand a wreathlet wild

Of glade, and meadow-land, of wood, and We have given these scraps of literary

water flowers ; history to our readers, because nothing A fair and fragrant gift, cull'd in thy truant relating to our national literary favorite hours. is uninteresting. It is to be hoped that the “fable” tells how the great mother gloam'd his works, now beautifully reissued, will

Upon the child that hounded to her knee: find their way into every section of the “O thoughtless one! where hast thou idling States, and do much to displace the per


Now there is no allotted time for thee :nicious publications, which are corrupting Nor can I see thee more!" The fair child the public taste and morals. Our children

listen'd. demand a tasteful and entertaining litera- While on her cheek the heart-full tear-drop ture in addition to our many and excellent


" Ah, mother dear! revoke thy stern decree, purely religious works, and will have it. If

I am no laggard, look, I bring to thee we would divert them from the perverse or This flower-gemm’d crown!" Touch'd by this corrupt literary pretenders of the day, the tenderness Fanny Ferns, Barnums and Wikoffs, and Thy mother gave thee to the care of spring,

And while she yielded to thy soft caress, the deluging "yellow-cover” literature, let

Bound on thy brow the flowers thyself didst us put these elegant works into their hands.

bring— We can hardly conceive of a mind, ac- For this, 't is said, thou dost rejoice, sweet customed to such reading, degrading itself

child, afterward in the filthy mire of Eugene 'Mid smiles and tears, and wear’st the self-same

chaplet wild. Sue, or even Edward Lytton Bulwer. It is a perplexing question with right

• The engraving at the head of our article is minded parents what works, mostly of

inserted by the permission of Irving's publishers elegance or taste, they can safely put into the Messrs. Putnam.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

SPRING Close at our ear

How rich the grass ! We can but hear

And as we pass The redbreast's simple verse;

The daisies flap against our feet, His mellow warblings, rich and full,

And here and there the cowslips sweet He need not now rehearse ;

Beckon us, nodding slow; For he, through all the winter dull,

We gather'd them so long ago : Has sung them to the lonely woods ;

I cannot pass a cowslip by, And oft, in shady solitudes,

They have a beauty to my eye His notes have come,

That is not all their own. Like thoughts of home,

Now on a turf of grass new-mown, Into a weary soul.

Where clover sheds Who does not own their mild control?

Its perfumed heads,

Sit down and take your fill. Familiar from our earliest year,

About us come,
His tranquil song, resign'd and clear,

With dreamy hum,
Brings thankful joy, yet wakes a tear:
For he has never ceased to pay

The honey-seeking bees, that know

Where all the sweetest blossoms grow. His visits to the churchyard lone, To sing his funeral lay

Rest for a moment, and be still !

There is a burden at my heart, Above each mossy stone.

Half sweet, half sad, And surely in his soothing strains

Which longs to start A dirge-like cadence yet remains.

Into a chorus wild and glad.

Come, let the joy of nature creep Lo! what a goodly carpet here

Into your spirit; let it send

Its fullness there,
Of wood anemonies,
Beneath the shade of hazel trees,

Outweighing care :
How fair their stars appear.

It is the welcome of a friend. The hyacinth begins to shake

For very gladness I could weep, Her scented purple bells,

To think the spring has come,—the spring, And hawthorn-blossom in the brake

That makes us rise, and soar, and sing, The tide of fragrance swells.

In free, unfetter'd strain,Come forth and walk beside the stream, The resurrection of the year, The yellow meadows laugh and gleam

The herald of a brighter sphere, With sunshine of spring flowers.

Where all that has been blessed here Here I could sit and gaze for hours :

Shall live again!

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T is late, and the

crowd is gone. You step out upon the balcony, and lie in the very bosom of the cool, dewy night, as if you folded her garments about you. Beneath lies the public walk with trees, -like a fathomless, black gulf, into whose silent darkness the spirit plunges and floats away,

with some beloved spirit clasped in its embrace. The lamps are still burning up

and down the long street. People go by, with grotesque shadows, now foreshortened, and now lengthening away into the darkness and vanishing, while a new one springs up behind the walker, and seems to pass him, revolving like the sail of a windmill. The iron gates of the park shut with a jangling clang. There are footsteps and loud voices ;—a tumult,a drunken brawl,—an alarm of fire ;—then silence again. And now at length the city is asleep, and we can see the night. The belated moon looks over the roofs, and finds no one to welcome her. The moonlight is broken. It lies here and there in the squares, and the opening of streets,angular, like blocks of white marble.


Under such a green, triumphal arch, O reader, with the odor of flowers about thee, and the song of birds, shalt thou pass onward into the enchanted land, as through the Ivory Gate of dreams! And as a prelude and majestic march, one sweet human voice, coming from the bosom of the Alps, sings this sublime ode, which the Alpine echoes repeat afar :

Come, golden evening! in the west

Enthrone the storm-dispelling sun, And let the triple rainbow rest

O'er all the mountain-tops. "T is done ;The tempest ceases ; bold and bright,

The rainbow shoots from hill to hill ; Down sinks the sun ; on presses night ;

Mount Blanc is lovely still !

All in a moment, crash on crash,

From precipice to precipice,
An avalanche's ruins dash

Down to the nethermost abyss,
Invisible: the ear alone

Pursues the uproar till it dies;
Echo to echo, groan for groan,

From deep to deep, replies.

There take thy stand, my spirit ; spread

The world of shadows at thy feet; And mark how calmly, overhead,

The stars, like saints in glory, meet. While hid in solitude sublime,

Methinks I muse on Nature's tomb, And hear the passing foot of Time

Step through the silent om.

Silence again the darkness seals,

Darkness that may be felt; but soon
The silver-clouded east reveals

The midnight spectre of the moon;
In half-eclipse she lifts her horn,

Yet o'er the host of heaven supreme
Brings the faint semblance of a moru,

With her ning beam.



Ah ! at her touch, these Alpine heights

Unreal mockeries appear;
With blacker shadows, ghastlier lights,

THE two groups which we present to
Emerging as she climbs the sphere;
A crowd of apparitious pale !

readers cannot certainly merit I hold my breath in chill suspense,

consideration on account of the novelty of They seem so exquisitely frail,

their subject. There are scores of stoLest they should vanish hence.

ries, old and new, about the fidelity of the I breathe again, I freely breathe ;

dog, and what brave deeds dogs have done Thee, Leman's lake, once more I trace, to save a master's child from harm. With Like Dian's crescent far beneath,

mallet and chisel, the artist, M. Lechesne, As beautiful as Dian's face: Pride of the land that gave me birth!

has told such a story.

Here the sportive All that thy waves reflect I love,

child, with his huge, shaggy companion, Where heaven itself, brought down to earth, half guardian, half playfellow, is attacked Looks fairer than above.

by a serpent. The scaly monster is ready Safe on thy banks again I stray ;

for the fearful dart, and the boy's peril is The trance of poesy is o'er,

imminent—the dog, with a look of mingled And I am here at dawn of day, Gazing on mountains as before,

rage and terror, regards the reptile as if Where all the strange mutations wrought

uncertain what to do. But the next group Were magic feats of my own mind; tells the end of it. There the serpent lies For, in that fairy land of thought,

dead ; the dog has not only “scotched" Whate'er I seek, I find.Hyperion.

but killed him outright; and the child

hangs upon the neck of his good friend, THE VOICE.

whose kind, gentle, loving look, affords a

fine contrast to his former expression. Thou art not now so fair and gay as thou wert

The story is simply and clearly told, and wont to be ; Pale is thy cheek, once blooming as the wild both designs are worthy of high praise. rose on the tree ;

As to the novelty of subject, painters No longer are thy coral lips by sportive dimples and sculptors rarely invent. The creation

crown'd, Thy form hath lost its airy grace, thy step its object. Commonly they are content to

of people and scenes is not their principal springing bound.

draw the subjects of their compositions Thine eyes—those deep and glorious eyes, at

from history, sacred or profane, legendary once so dark and brightShine with a sadden'd luster now, a vaild and lore, or the imagination of the poet. They languid light;

do not seek in this way to be original, but I see upon thy noble brow the lines of anxious rather to present such scenes and such Aud silver threads are twining with thy locks figures as may occasion the spectator at of ebon hair.

the first glance to say, “I know that sub

ject;" it is their effort to seize upon what Yet hast thou kept one gift from Heaven, unharm’d, unalter'd, still;

has already engaged the public mind, and How on my eager senses seems that tuneful to present it with new and unimagined voice to thrill!

beauties. Like to the gushing melody of waters pure and Everybody has heard of the fidelity of clear,

the dog. Deeply affecting is the story of It comes amid the din of life to soothe my wearied ear.

Gelert. We remember how the Welsh

prince followed the chase, and as the sun Visions of bright and banish'd scenes around me seem to throng,

went down came home to his castle ; how When dayly I held speech with thee, whose his heart was glad as he thought of his very speech was song:

child, a bud of promise ; but how he tremAnd now, methinks, that well-known voice with bled and grew pale as Gelert, the hound,

soft and silvery chime Pours forth a lay of triumph o'er the startling his boy's companion, bounded forth, while wrecks of Time!

his lips and fangs ran blood ; how LlewThy fresh and youthful loveliness has ceased to elyn sought his child, a fear at his heart charm the sight,

that he dared not express, but sought in Yet deem not, sweet enchantress, that thy wand vain, and at last, in frantic rage, supposing is broken quite ;

the dog had devoured his little one, drew Love's subtle spell thou yet mayst weave, since his sword and slew the creature as it

yet thou canst rejoice In woman's most resistless charm—the magic fawned upon bim ; how the dying yell of of a voice !-Mrs. Abdy.

the dog was echoed by an infant's cry,


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