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vigor was permanently impaired. Well did Coleridge say of himself, in a letter to Joseph Cottle : “ Conceive whatever is most wretched, helpless, and hopeless, and you will form as tol. erable a notion of my state as it is possible for a good man to have.” The same was true of Mr. De Quincey; and he saw it. By an extraordinary effort he at length threw off the wretched practice. But its results are still visible. Whatever defects are discoverable in his style are to be traced directly to this habit. It has disturbed the proper balance of his mind, and rendered his productions too often fragmentary and discursive. It has weak. ened that mighty influence for good which he might have exerted with his great powers; and which he doubtless has exerted to a considerable extent. It has embittered his own life, and in a great degree withdrawn him from the sympathy of others. The lives of Coleridge and De Quincey are memorable instances of the effects consequent upon an unrestrained indulgence in this worst form of intoxication. It is not easy to estimate the position which they would have held if they had lived as spotless lives as Wordsworth and Southey. Yet it may be considered nearly certain that they would have occupied a much higher rank than either of those writers ; but as it is, neither has left any adequate memorial of himself.
One chapter of Mr. De Quincey's experience has long been familiar to the public in the Confessions of an English Opium. Eater. In the present volume we have an account of his childhood and youth; and the remaining portions of his autobiography will be comprised in two volumes of Personal Recollections. The part now before us is less eloquently written than the Biographical Essays; but the original matter which it contains, and the reminiscences of former days, particularly those referring to the Irish Rebellion and to his residence at Oxford, render it not less interesting than those brilliant and powerful papers. The remarks on German literature are also deserving of especial notice.
A Collection of College Words and Customs. Cambridge : John Bartlett. 1851. 12mo.
Till we had turned over several pages of this volume we were wholly sceptical of the sufficiency of the subject-matter to make a book. But we have been pleasantly engaged by its perusal, to a degree exceeding the measure of interest which the large majority of our modern publications excite. The unknown editor has done his work well, and made it fruitful and instructive. He has introduced a great deal of historical information, as any one may see who will refer to the words, Buttery, Class Day,
Commencement, Commons, Corporal Punishment, Dress, Fines, Freshman Servitude, Manners, Prayers, Seventy-Eighth Psalm, etc., etc. It will be evident from what is suggested by these words, that the volume is by no means a mere collection of slang terms used by college students, but even has something of the dignity of a literary vocabulary, and of an academical dictionary. Full justice, however, is done to such matters as the Med. Fac. Society, and the Navy Club, and the Jack-knife, which only the initiated can fully understand. If the book should go to a second edition, which ought to be and doubtless will be the case, we hope the ingenious editor will enlarge the historical and antiquarian notices, as he has given full proof of his ability to do in a most interesting manner.
The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United
States : with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS. Boston: Little & Brown. 1851. Vols. III., IV., and V. pp. 576,588, 496.
These elegant volumes, which are fair specimens of the productions of our first publishers, continue the series of works al. ready announced in our pages. While waiting for the first vol. ume to appear before we enter upon any extended notice of the work, we will give the contents of the volumes now in our hands. Volume III. contains the remainder of the fragment of Autobiog. raphy, a Diary, Literary and Political Essays and Papers, and Controversial Papers of the Revolution. Volume IV. contains Novanglus, and Works on Government, embracing an historical review and critique. These are continued in Volume V., which is also illustrated by a finely engraved full-length portrait. It is now time that the literature of our Revolution should be presented in a form suited to attract a new generation of readers, and to offer a complete view of the men and events of that era in the light of candor and justice. Even our school-boys need something better than the superficial and often fictitious matter which is read in our class-books. We receive these volumes, therefore, with gratitude, and shall value them highly.
A Popular Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, condensed from
the larger Work. By John Kitto, D.D., F. S. A. Assisted by Rev. JAMES Taylor, D. D., of Glasgow. Illustrated by nú. merous Engravings. Boston : Gould & Lincoln. 1851. 8vo.
We have seen and examined Kitto's complete work, and regard it as admirably adapted to supply a want which all attentive readers of the Bible feel on the perusal of each chapter. The principle upon which this abridgment is made is, by omitting matters intelligible or desirable only to scholars and critical students, and retaining all the illustrative and instructive contents, to reduce the compass of the work one half, and thus to make it all that is needed by the majority of readers. This condensation has been effected by the author himself. He is perfectly qualified for the work which he has undertaken, as the principal labor of his life has been given to gathering materials for it. The American publishers assumed no slight risk in issuing this substantial volume, but they will be abundantly recompensed if the merits of the work can be made known to those who are looking for something of the kind. No such work can be free from defects. We would that all were as little faulty as this.
Travels in the United States, etc., during 1849 and 1850. By
the LADY MARY WORTLEY. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1851. 12rno. pp. 463.
The writer of this book was in good humor, and moved by a kindly spirit. She does not appear to have been imposed upon by large and silly stories, told to her for the sake of humbugging her, so often nor to such an extent as are most English travel. lers in our country, of either sex. Whoever informed her, how. ever, that the young folks in Boston were in the habit of discharging loaded pistols at each other, as a part of the celebration of the anniversary of Independence, tried upon her successfully a trick of the frequent practice of which we find ludicrous evidence in the journals of all who have preceded her. The authoress makes a free use of names, and enters into many particulars of merely private concern. But she evidently was led by a good purpose, and saw what passed under her eye with the intention of making a fair report of it. Her book will be pleasant reading to many who are not convinced by Dr. Johnson's Essay upon the folly of wishing to know what others think and say of us. The lady passed over too much space in too brief a time to give to her remarks any more value than that of easy and good-humored gossip.
A History of the Church in Brattle Street, Boston. By its
Pastor, SAMUEL K. LOTHROP. Boston : Crosby & Nichols. 1851. 16mo. pp. 218.
The admirably thorough and comprehensive historical discourses by Dr. Palfrey, when pastor of Brattle Street Church, have left but little of chief interest in its annals to be learned or presented by a successor. But Mr. Lothrop has given us some very engaging discourses, which mingle moralizing and sermonizing with a review of the records of the past. The church has a history which will bear repetition. It has been served by eminent and faithful pastors. Its origin marks an important phase in the ever-changing religious aspect of Massachusetts, and events have transpired here which are in various ways interwoven with the records of all of our churches, with that in Brattle Street in an especial manner.
The Silent Pastor ; or Consolations for the Sick. By THOMAS
SADLER, Ph. D. A New Edition, much enlarged. London: E. T. Whitfield. 1851. 16mo. pp. 224.
This little work having already proved itself, both at home and abroad, suited to perform a holy ministry to the suffering, now appears again in a form which adds to its value. Some of the choicest utterances of piety and trust, under the experience of trial borne with Christian submission, are here gathered together. There is enough of variety in the different pieces to express the strains of several hearts under similar discipline. Prose and Poetry, the Essay, the Sermon, the Meditation, the Prayer, the Psalm and the Hymn, from writers whose lives were fragrant, and whose works have secured a currency not bounded by sec. tarian folds, are found upon the pages of Dr. Sadler's volume.
Lectures on the Lord's Prayer. By WILLIAM R. WILLIAMS.
Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1851. 12mo. pp. 241.
The author's reputation for fervid eloquence is borne out by this new volume from his pen. He allows himself a wider range of allusion and illustration than do most preachers, but he enchains the thoughts and kindles the sentiments which he addresses.
Sketches of European Capitals. By William Ware.
Boston : Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 1851.
1851. 12mo. pp. 320. Though the title of this book might lead a reader to expect that a larger number of the cities of Europe were to be noticed in its pages, he will find himself more than compensated by the amount and variety of description relating to a few of them,
which are embraced under the modest word “ Sketches.” Rome, Florence, Naples, and London are the themes of the volume. Some of our city readers have already enjoyed the pleasure of partaking with the author in his delightful sketches of these cities when he delivered the substance of this volume in lectures. To others we will say, that there is a charm in these pages which will greatly raise their interest in perusing them. Every observer sees different sights in the same place. Every thinker thinks different thoughts upon the same subject. According to the taste, genius, fancy, knowledge, and skill of each person who describes what he has observed, and writes what he has thought, will there be degrees and variety of interest in what he offers us. We need not say how Mr. Ware's own genius and grace have adorned his themes, nor how admirable are his criticisms on art, and his incidental moralizings.
English Literature of the Nineteenth Century: on the Plan of
the Author's " Compendium of English Literature” and supplementary to it. Designed for Colleges and advanced Classes in Schools, as well as for Private Reading. By CHARLES D.
CLEVELAND. Boston : Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 1851. 12mo. Hymns for Schools, with Appropriate Selections from Scriptures, and Tunes suited to the Meires of the Hymns. By CHARLES D. CLEVELAND. Boston : Phillips, Sampson, & Co. 1851. 24mo. pp. 270.
The former of these two new school manuals is a very judicious compilation of extracts from the more prominent English writers of the present century. The selections are made with discretion and taste, from a large number of authors. Brief biographical and critical notices introduce the pieces of each. The book will serve to foster a taste for reading, and lead many who peruse it to acquaint themselves more fully with the respective authors.
The second book is of rather more questionable utility. Though it is skilfully put together, contains most excellent hymns attached to excellent texts of Scripture, and is designed to suit each day of the year with something appropriate to the season or the historic associations of the day, yet we cannot say that it meets our conception of a manual for singing in schools. Perhaps we have acquired some pulpit associations with some of the hymns, which lead us to regard them as rather unsuitable for the generally gleeful, undevout, and thoughtless crowds in a school-room, upon whom it is so difficult to impress the humani. ties, to say nothing of the spiritualities.