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THE INTERNATIONAL MISCELLANY
Of Literature, Art, and Science.
Vol. 1. NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1850. No. 3.
It is generally understood that this most illustrious Englishman now living, will, in the course of the present year, visit the United States. Whatever may be the verdict of the future upon his qualities or his conduct as a statesman, it is scarcely to be doubted that for the variety and splendor of his abilities, the extent, diversity and usefulness of his labors, and that restless, impatient and feverish activity which has kept him so long and so eminently conspicuous in affairs, he will be regarded by the next ages as one of the most remarkable personages in the age now closing—the second golden age of England. Lord Brougham is of a Cumberland family, but was born in Edinburgh (where his father had married a niece of the historian Robertson), on the 19th of September, 1779. He was educated at the University of his native city, and we first hear of him as a member of a celebrated debating society, where he trained himself to the use of logic. He was not yet sixteen years of age when he communicated a paper on Light to the Royal Society of London, which was printed in their transactions; and before he was twenty he had written discussions of the higher geometry, which, appearing in the same repository of the best learning, attracted the general attention of European scholars. In 1802, with his friends Jeffrey, Francis Homer, and Sidney Smith, he established the Edinburgh Review. In 1806 he published his celebrated "Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of the European Powers," and soon after was called to the English bar, and settled in London, where he rapidly rose to the highest eminence as a counselor and an advocate. On the 16th of March, 1808, he appeared in behalf of the merchants of London, Liverpool, Manchester, &c., before the House of Commons, in the matter of the Orders in Council restricting trade with America, and greatly increased his fame by one of the most masterly arguments he ever delivered. In 1810 he became a member of Parliament, and he soon distinguished himself here by his speeches on the slave trade and against the Orders in Council, which, mainly through his means, were rescinded. Venturing, at the general election of 1812, to contest the seat for Liverpool with Mr. Canning, he was defeated, and for four years he devoted himself chiefly to his profession. In this period he made many of his most famous law arguments, and acquired the enmity of the Prince Regent by his defense of Leigh Hunt, and his brother, in the case of their famous libel in "The Examiner." In 1816 he commenced those powerful and indefatigable efforts in behalf of education, by which he is perhaps best entitled to the gratitude of mankind. As chairman of the educational committee of forty, he drew up the two voluminous and masterly reports which disclosed the exact condition of British civilization, and induced such action on the part of government as advanced it in ten years more than it had been previously advanced in a century. In 1820 he displayed in their perfection those amazing powers of knowledge, reason, invective, sarcasm, and elocution, on the trial of Queen Caroline, which more than anything else have made that trial so memorable among legal and forensic conflicts. In 1822 he made his unparalleled speech in the case of the Dean and Chapter of Durham against Williams, and in the following year was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. On the downfall of the Wellington administration, in 1830, and the consequent general election, he was returned to Parliament as one of the members for Yorkshire, and a few weeks afterward was made Lord High. Chancellor, and elevated to the peerage under the title of Lord Brougham and Vaux. He continued in the office of Lord Chancellor until the dissolution of the Melbourne cabinet, in 1834. In 1823 he wrote his "Practical Observations on the Education of the People," and was engaged with Dr. Birkbeck in the formation of the first Mechanics' Institution. In 1827 he was one of the originators of the London University, and in the same year he founded the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, of which he was the first president, and for which he wrote its first publication, the admirable "Treatise on the Objects, Pleasures, and Advantages of Science." In 1830 he was elected a member of the Institute of France, and about the time of his resignation of the chancellorship he published his "Discourse on Natural Theology." In 1840 he published his "Historical Sketches of the Statesmen who flourished in the Time of George the Third;" in 1845-6, "Lives of Men of Letters and Science who flourished in the Time of George the Third;" and he has since given to the world works on "The French Revolution," on "Instinct," "Demosthenes' Oration on the Crown," &c., &c. Collections of his Speeches and Forensic Arguments, and of his Critical Essays, as well as the other works above referred to, have been republished in Philadelphia, by Lea and Blanchard.
In the language of the Editor of his "Opinions", Lord Brougham is remarkable for uniting, in a high degree of perfection, three things which are not often found to be compatible. His learning is all but universal: his reason is cultivated to the perfection of the argumentative powers; and he possesses in a rare and eminent degree the gift of eloquence.
Of his learning it may be said that there is scarcely a subject, on which ingenuity or intellect has been exercised, that he has not probed to its principles, or entered into with the spirit of a philosopher. That he is a classical scholar of a high order, is shown by his criticisms on the internal peculiarities of the works of the ancients and their styles of composition. They evince an intimate acquaintance with the great master pieces of antiquity. The book-worms of Universities—those scholastic giants who are great on small questions of quantity and etymology,—who buckle on the ponderous armor of the commentators in the contest with more subtle wits, on the interesting doubt of a wrong reading; such men, in the spirit of pedantry, have refused to Lord Brougham the merit of profundity, while they allow that he possesses a sort of superficial knowledge of the classics; they say that he can gracefully skim the surface of the stream, but that its depths would overwhelm him. Now, while this may be true as regards the fact, we dissent from it as regards the inference. It is a question to be decided between the learned drones of a by-gone school and the quicker intellects of a ripening age, which is the better thing,—criticism on words—on accidental peculiarities of style—or a just and sympathizing conception of the feelings of the poet or the wisdom of the philosopher. Men are beginning to disregard the former, while they set a high value upon the latter: so much laboriously-earned learning is at a discount, and allowance should be made for the petty spite, the depreciating superciliousness, of disappointment. Lord Brougham's classical knowledge partakes more of that intimate regard and appreciation which we accord to the great writers, than of this pedantry of the schools. Hence the cry of want of depth, that has been raised against him. Like many other great men of his age, he has read the authors of Greece and Rome in a spirit that has identified him with their thoughts and feelings, by taking into account the circumstances of their times; and the result has been, that he has exchanged the formalities and critical sharp-sightedness of acquaintance for the intimacy of friendship.
In point of general political knowledge, and particularly of that branch called political economy, Lord Brougham stands prominently among his contemporaries. In his speeches and writings will be found the first principles of every new view of these subjects that has been taken by the moderns. Of not a few he has himself been the originator. In the party history of the last century he is well versed, as many of his speeches show; and no public man of the present day is so well acquainted with the theory and practice of the constitution, whether as regards the broad principles of liberty on which it is based, or its gradual formation during the different periods of our history. It may not be amiss here to observe, that notwithstanding his long connection with the movement party, and the countenance he has from time to time given to measures of a decidedly liberal cast, he never was, and is still as far from being, a Democrat. Throughout his career he has been a consistent Liberal: always advocating such measures of reform as were calculated to remove abuses, while they in no way affected the stability and integrity of the institutions of the country. While, on the one hand, he has declared his most unequivocal opposition to the ballot and universal suffrage, on the other he has advocated popular education, as the ultimate panacea for all the evils to be feared from the extension of popular influence.
The legal knowledge of Lord Brougham has been questioned by the members of the profession whose abuses he desired to reform. It was even said, that while his elevation to the Chancellorship was the unjustifiable act of a party to serve party purposes, it was at the same time desirable to Mr. Brougham in a pecuniary point of view, from a falling off in his professional practice, caused by his hostility to those abuses. Now, although this is a question really of more interest to lawyers, than to the public in general, and one which might, therefore, be left to their decision, yet there was an animus at the time among this class of men, that rendered them not disinterested judges. Their opinion therefore must be taken with a qualification, as well on the score of particular immediate drawbacks, as on the score of their general professional prejudices. Lord Brougham respected too much the principles of justice, and he too little regarded the technicalities of law, to be agreeable to that body. He had a faculty too, for giving speedy judgments, and a determination to prevent unnecessary expenses, that were particularly disagreeable to men imbued with a conscientious desire that justice should not be prejudiced by an unprecedented and informal haste in its dispensation, or by a reduction of the number of its advocates. The new Lord Chancellor, too, thought that when one or two intelligent barristers had been engaged at a large expense, and had well stated the case of their client, it was quite unnecessary that the same ground should be again gone over by juniors, whose arguments marred more than they helped the interests of their employers. When, therefore, he either put them down, or was droned into a short nap, while the industrious advocate was earning his unnecessary fee, it was a specimen of "the arrogance of an upstart wholly unacquainted with Chancery Law," or "of an eccentricity bordering on insanity, and wholly unfitting its exhibitor for the high and responsible situation he held." Posterity will do justice to Lord Brougham in this respect. It will be felt to have been impossible that a man of such vast acquirements, who had been so successful in his profession, and who had, in all other branches of knowledge, evinced such clearness of intellect, could have been the inefficient lawyer his detractors have represented him to be.
There is another great department in which he has proved his excellence—that of physical science. With the principles of all the sciences, his works show him to be familiar. His treatise "on the Objects, Pleasures, and Advantages of Science" is admirable, as a bird's-eye view of the subject, while at the same time it is an enticing stimulant to study. The work on "Natural Theology" necessarily touches upon the physical sciences, and their connection with the great mechanism of nature. The geometrical and optical papers, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, when he was only fifteen years of age, show at least a firm groundwork of scientific knowledge. And if it be said that Lord Brougham's attainments are superficial only, we say that knowledge of detail does not of itself make a man competent. The principles of all sciences are a sine qua non.
Lord Brougham is eminently clear-headed; and he is distinguished for his argumentative powers. He has peculiarly the faculty of analysis; that of keeping in his own mind a comprehensive view of the whole bearings of a question, even while running at large into the minutest details; no man detects the fallacy of an opponent's argument more easily; nor can any man be more skillful in concocting a fallacy to suit a temporary purpose.
Lord Brougham's eloquence most distinguishes him from his contemporaries. Learning may be acquired; the habit of reasoning may be induced by constant dialectic contest; but eloquence is far more than these the gift of nature. Lord Brougham's eloquence savors of the peculiar constitution of his mind. It is eminently adapted for educated men. He was never intended for a demagogue; for he never condescends to the art of pandering to the populace. His speeches are specimens of argumentative eloquence; and their only defect arises from his fertility of illustration. The extraordinary information he possesses has induced the habit of drawing too largely upon it; and he is apt to be led aside from the straight road of his argument, to elucidate some minor disputed point. But the argumentative style of which we speak is almost peculiar to himself. There is a ripeness, a fruitfulness, in his mind, that places him above the fetters of ordinary speakers. Such men, from the difficulty of clearing their heads for the contest, too often present a mere fleshless skeleton, as it were, very convincing to the judgment, but powerless over the feelings; so that no lasting impression is produced. But Lord Brougham, from being a master in argument, is free to pursue his bent in illustration, and thus conjures up a whole picture that dwells on the mind, and is remembered for its effect on the feelings or the imagination, even by men whose levity or dullness precluded their being fixed by the argument. The very structure of his sentences is more adapted for this kind of speaking than any other. They sometimes appear involved, to an ordinary mind, from their length, and the abundance of illustration and explanation which they embrace; but the extraordinary vigor with which the delivery is kept up, and the liveliness of fancy or of humor that flashes at every turn of the thought, soon dispel the temporary cloud.
In irony and in sarcasm, Lord Brougham is unrivaled among the public men of the day. That his exuberant power of ridicule led him while Lord Chancellor, into some excess of its use, cannot be denied, although a ready excuse can be found in the circumstances of his situation. He might be held to be the representative of liberal principles in a place where almost the name of Liberal had, till then, been proscribed; and the animosity toward the new Chancellor, evinced by many peers, was calculated to induce reprisals. The eccentricities, too, of men of genius are of such value that they may well be said to atone for themselves.
A quality of Lord Brougham's mind, that is almost as extraordinary as his extent of information, is its singular activity. His energies never seem to flag—even for an instant; he does not seem to know what it is to be fatigued, or jaded. Some such quality as this, indeed, the vastness and universality of his acquirements called for, in order to make the weight endurable to himself, and to bear him up during his long career of political excitement. Take the routine of a day for instance. In his early life he has been known to attend, in his place in court, on circuit, at an early hour in the morning. After having successfully pleaded the cause of his client, he drives off to the hustings; and delivers, at different places, eloquent speeches to the electors. He then sits in the retirement of his closet to pen an address to the Glasgow students, perhaps, or an elaborate article in the Edinburgh Review. The active labors of the day are closed with preparation for the court business of the following morning; and then instead of retiring to rest, as ordinary men would, after such exertions, he spends the night in abstruse study, or in social intercourse. Yet he would be seen as early as eight next morning, actively engaged in the Court, in defense of some unfortunate object of government persecution; astonishing the auditory, and his fellow lawyers no less, with the freshness and power of his eloquence.
A fair contrast with this history of a day, in early life, would be that of one at a more advanced period; say in 1832. A watchful observer might see the Lord Chancellor in the Court over which he presided, from an early hour in the morning until the afternoon, listening to the arguments of counsel, and mastering the points of cases with a grasp that enabled him to give those speedy and unembarrassed judgments that have so injured him with the profession. If he followed his course, he would see him, soon after the opening of the House of Lords, addressing their Lordships on some intricate question of Law, with an acuteness that drew approbation even from his opponents, or, on some all-engrossing political topic, casting firebrands into the camp of the enemy, and awakening them from the complacent repose of conviction to the hot contest with more active and inquiring intellects. Then, in an hour or so, he might follow him to the Mechanics' Institution, and hear an able and stimulating discourse on education, admirably adapted to the peculiar capacity of his auditors; and, toward ten perhaps, at a Literary and Scientific Institution in Marylebone, the same Proteus-like intellect might be found expounding the intricacies of physical science with a never tiring and elastic power. Yet, during all these multitudinous exertions, time would be found for the composition of a discourse on Natural Theology, that bears no marks of haste or excitement of mind, but presents as calm a face as though it had been the laborious production of a contemplative philosopher.
It would be a great mistake that would suppose the man who has thus multiplied the objects of his exertion to be of necessity superficial; superficial, that is, in the sense of shallowness or ignorance. Ordinary minds are bound by fetters, no doubt. Custom has rendered the pursuit of more than one idea all but impossible to them, and the vulgar adage of "Jack of all trades, master of none," applies to them in full force. But it must be remembered that a public man like Lord Brougham, who has chosen his peculiar sphere of action, and who prefers being of general utility to the scholar-like pursuit of any one branch of science exclusively, is not bound to present credentials of full and perfect mastership, such as are required from a professor of a university. His pursuit of facts must of necessity be for the purpose of illustrating general principles in political or moral science; and where more than a certain amount of knowledge is not laid claim to, the absence of more is no imputation.
Lord Brougham is thoroughly individualized as regards his talents and all that constitutes idiosyncratic difference, even while he is identified with the political and moral advancement of the people. During all the agitations of a period almost unparalleled, he has remained untainted by the influence of party spirit. That he has entered, and hotly too, into almost every question of any moment that has come before the Legislature during many years is true; but he has never appeared in the character of a partisan; he has always been the consistent supporter of liberal measures per se, and not because they were the means adopted by a party to gain political power. With his political steadfastness he has preserved his intellectual integrity from profanation. For although, had he early devoted his powers to the study of abstract or practical science, as a leading and not a subsidiary pursuit, the acuteness of his mind was such, that he must have risen to eminence upon the basis of discovery, yet it is no slight proof how little the struggles of the world affect superior intellects, that he has all along turned aside, with a never cloying avidity, to the pursuits of mind—to science, to literature, and to philosophy.
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THE WHITE LADY.
The readers of The International may have seen some account of an apparition said to have been seen recently in the royal palace at Berlin, and known under the name of the "White Lady." M. Minutoli, lately chief of the Police at Berlin, has been amusing himself by looking up the history of this visitant from the unknown world, and has published a variety of curious particulars respecting her, drawn in a measure from documents preserved in the royal archives, as well as from old-time chronicles and dissertations, Latin and German middle age doggerel, and the records of jurists, historians and theologists. Several persons are designated in the early history of the family of Hohenzollern as that unquiet soul who for some three hundred years has performed the functions of palace-ghost. Many writers agree that she was a Countess named Orlamuende, Beatrice, or Cunigunde, and that she was desperately in love with Count Albert of Nuremberg, and was led by her passion to a crime which is the cause of her subsequent ghostly disquiet. Mr. Minutoli proves that this lady cannot be the same that alarms the palace with her untimely visitations. The accounts of the White Lady ascend to 1486, and she was first seen at Baireuth. Subsequently two ghosts were heard of, one white and one black. They were several times boldly interrogated and interesting discoveries arrived at. In 1540, Count Albert the Warrior laid in wait for the apparition, seized it with his powerful arm and flung it head over heels down into the castle court-yard. The next morning the chancellor, Christopher Hass, was found there with his neck broken, and upon his person a dagger and a letter proving him to have had treasonable designs. Notwithstanding the spirit has several times been thus compromised, it has maintained itself to the present day. It was first seen in Berlin January 1, 1598, eight days before the death of the Prince Royal John George. When the French invasion took place, it returned to Baireuth and was patriotic enough to take up its abode in the new chateau which had never been occupied before the arrival of the French officer. Even Napoleon called the place ce maudit chateau, on account of its mysterious inhabitant, and had to give up his lodgings to the ghost. He stopped in the chateau on his way to Russia but when he returned next year he avoided passing the night there. With regard to the last appearance at the palace at Berlin just before the late attempt on the life of the king, and which has been described as "a fearful apparition of a White Lady dressed in thin and flowing garments, moving slowly and silently around and around the fountain to the terror of a corporal standing near the entrance to the silver chamber," M. Minutoli proves it to have been an old woman once a cook at the chateau who has since lived there and is known, by the nickname of Black Minna.
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MRS. FANNY KEMBLE'S "READINGS" IN LONDON.
MRS. KEMBLE has been giving a series of dramatic readings in London, and her success in the scene of her early triumphs appears to have been as decided as it was in New York. She was never in a situation more agreeable to her temper and ambition than that represented in the above engraving, which we have copied from one in The Illustrated News. She is triumphant, and "alone in her glory."
Mrs. Kemble is now about forty years of age. Gentleness is acquired in three generations; she is removed but two from the most vulgar condition; and by the mother's side but one. The Kembles of the last age were extraordinary persons. John Philip Kemble and Mrs. Siddons had both remarkable genius, and Charles Kemble has been an actor of consummate talent. Whatever intellect remains in the family is in his children; one of whom is a man of learning and refinement, another a woman of some cleverness in musical art, and Frances Anne, of whom we write more particularly.
The first appearance of Miss Kemble on the stage was on the evening of the 5th October, 1829, at Covent Garden, and was hazarded with the view of redeeming the fortunes of the theater. The play was "Romeo and Juliet," and the heroine was sustained by the debutante with unexpected power. Her Siddonian countenance and expressive eyes were the general theme of admiration; while the tenderness and ardor of her action went to the soul of the spectator, and her well-instructed elocution satisfied the most critical ear. It was then, also, that her father took the part of "Mercutio," for the first time. It is recorded that he earned by it thirteen rounds of applause. Nor was its merit overrated. It was then, and continued to be, a wonderful impersonation of the poetic-comic ideal. On the 21st of the same month of October, the performers of Covent Garden presented to Miss Kemble a gold bracelet as a testimony of the services which she had rendered to the company by her performance of "Juliet." It was not until the 9th of December that she had to change her role. She then performed Belvidera in "Venice Preserved," and achieved another triumph. For some time the part was alternated with that of "Juliet." The latter, during the season, was performed thirty-six times; the former, twenty-three. The "Grecian Daughter," and Mrs. Beverley, Portia in "The Merchant of Venice," Isabella, and Lady Townley, followed, and in all she was eminently successful. Her season finished on the twenty-eighth of May, and in it she performed altogether, one hundred and two times. Her reputation, however, proved to be greater in the metropolis than in the provinces. Nevertheless, on her return to London, she was greeted with an enthusiastic reception. The next season was celebrated by the failure of the "Jew of Aragon," and the affair with Mr. Westmacott; however, Miss Kemble added to her repertoire the characters of Mrs. Haller, Beatrice, Lady Constance, and Bianca in "Fazio."
In 1832 she came with her father to the United States, where she played with unprecedented success in the principal cities, confirming the reputation she had acquired, of being the greatest British actress of the age. While here she published her dramas, "The Star of Seville" and "Francis the First," and at this period she was a frequent contributor to the literary journals,—many of her best fugitive poems having appeared in the old "New York Mirror."
In 1834 she retired from the stage, and was married to Mr. Pierce Butler of Philadelphia, a gentleman of fortune, accomplishments, and an honorable character. The history of this union is sufficiently notorious. On both sides there was ambition: it was a distinction to be accepted by a woman of so much genius; it was a great happiness to change the dominion of a spendthrift and sometimes tyrannical father for that of a rich and indulgent husband. But a woman accustomed to the applause of the theater never yet was content with the repose of domestic life, and she was of all her sex the most ill-fitted by nature for such an existence. Her second resort to the stage in 1847, her fortunes at Manchester and in London, her return to America, her public readings of Shakspeare here, her divorce, and the very curious and unexplained circumstance of her translation of a profligate French play, and disposal of it as a piece of her own original composition, are all matters of too late occurrence to need recapitulation.
She is a woman of masculine abilities, tastes, and energies; fitted better for the camp than for the drawing-room, and often evincing a degree of discontent that she is not a man. She always acts, and has seldom, except when on the stage, the tact or ability even to seem natural. Her equestrian exhibitions in Boston and New York, during her more recent visits, illustrated the quality of her aspirations. Every day, at a particular hour, so that a crowd might assemble to look upon the performance, her horse was brought to the front of her hotel, and when mounted, with affected difficulty, made to rear and pitch as if he never before had felt the saddle or bit, and then to dash off as if upon a race-course or to escape an avalanche. The letters to her husband, with much tact but without any necessity displayed to the public, in her answer to his process for divorce, were admirable as compositions, and seemed to have been written in the very phrensy of passion; but their effect upon the reader was changed somewhat when he reflected that she had been sufficiently self-possessed meanwhile to make careful copies before sending them, to be exhibited, as specimens of her genius, to a mob of the pit, which never fails to recognize a point. Indeed, in petticoats or in pantaloons, making a show of her "heart" in the publication of these letters to a gentleman whom she had treated with every species of contempt, obloquy, and insult, until she had made his home insupportable, or courting the wondering admiration of country bumpkins by unsexing herself for feats of horsemanship, or for other athletic diversions, she is always anxious to produce a sensation, anxious to stir up the gentle public to a roar.
Still, with all her infirmities of taste and temper, Mrs. Kemble is a woman of unquestionable and very decided genius; a genius frequently displayed in literature, where its growth may be traced, in prose, from her foolish "Journal in America" to her more artistic "Year of Consolation;" and in poetry, where its development is seen from its budding in "Frances the First" to its most perfect blossoming in the recent collection of her "Poems." As an actress, her powers and qualifications are probably greater than those of any other tragedienne now on the English stage; and her characteristics and supremacy are likely to be far more profitably as well as distinctly evinced in her "Shakspeare Readings" than in any appearance before the footlights.
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LITERATURE IN AFRICA.
The Bible has been translated into the principal language of eastern Africa, and the American Bible Society has lately received a copy of "EVANGELIO za avioondika LUCAS. The Gospel according to St. Luke, translated into Kinika, by the Rev. JOHN LEWIS KRAPF, Phil. Dr.; Bombay American Mission Press: T. Graham, printer; 1848." The Kinika language is spoken by the tribes living south of Abyssinia, toward Zanzibar. Dr. Krapf is a German missionary, in the service of the Church Missionary Society. He is now in Germany for the recovery of his health. The language resembles in some particulars the dialects used in Western Africa. The Independent copies, as a philological curiosity, the Lord's Prayer in Kinika:
"Babawehu urie mbinguni, Rizuke zinaro. Uzumbeo uze. Malondogo gabondeke hahikahi ya zi, za gafiohendeka mbinguni. Mukahewehu utosao, hu-ve suisui ziku kua ziku. Hu-ussire suisui maigehu; hakika suisui kahiri huna-mu-ussira kulla mutu akos saye zuluyehu. Si-hu-bumire suisui magesoni, ela hu-lafie suisui wiini."
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THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
The British Association for the Advancement of Science assembled this year at Edinburgh, and its first general meeting was held on Wednesday, the 31st of July, when Sir DAVID BREWSTER, upon taking the chair, delivered a very interesting address upon the history of the Association, and the progress of the Sciences. On Thursday, business began in all the sections, and in the evening Prof. Bennett delivered a lecture on the passage of the blood through the minute vesicles of animals, in connection with nutrition. On Friday, a party of about seventy started under the direction of Mr. R. Chambers, to examine into the groovings on the western face of Corstophine Hill, and the striae on the sandstone near Ravelstone. They afterward visited Arthur's Seat and St. Margaret's, where they examined the striated rocks and stones. In the evening there was a conversazione and promenade. Saturday was devoted to excursions. On Monday afternoon upward of two hundred members dined together, Sir David Brewster presiding. In the evening, Dr. Mantell delivered a lecture on the extinct birds of New Zealand. On Tuesday evening there was a full-dress promenade and soiree. On Wednesday, the general committee assembled to sanction the grants that had passed the Committee of Recommendations: and in the afternoon of the same day the concluding general meeting of the Association, for the accustomed ceremonial proceedings, was held. The next annual meeting is to take place at Ipswich, and Mr. Airy, the Astronomer Royal, will preside. The meeting, altogether, was one of unusual interest; among the persons present were the chief lights of science, in the empire and from the continent, and our own country was represented by Prof. Hitchcock and several other scholars. The papers read in the various sections were numerous, and some of them are described as of very remarkable freshness and value. They will soon be accessible in the published Transactions, which will this year be more voluminous than ever.
The retiring President, Dr. Robinson, at the opening meeting, congratulated himself on being able to surrender his dominion to his successor in a more prosperous condition than he had received it, and spoke in glowing terms of the character and scientific achievements of that successor, of whose labors he gave a brief but glowing history. Sir David Brewster, who was one of the founders of the Association, is a native of Jedburgh, in Roxburgshire; where he was born December 11, 1781. He was educated for the Church of Scotland, of which he became a licentiate; and in 1800 he received the honorary degree of M. A. from the University of Edinburgh. While studying here he enjoyed the friendship of Robison, who then filled the Chair of Natural Philosophy; Playfair, of Mathematics; and Dugald Stewart that of Moral Philosophy. In 1808, he undertook the editorship of the "Edinburgh Encyclopaedia," which was only finished in 1830. In 1807 he received the honorary degree of LL. D. from the University of Aberdeen; and in 1808 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Between 1801 and 1812 he devoted his attention greatly to the study of Optics; and the results were published in a "Treatise on New Philosophical Instruments," in 1813. In 1815 he received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society for one of his discoveries in optical science; and soon after was admitted a Fellow of that body. In 1816, the Institute of France adjudged to him half of the physical prize of 3000 francs, awarded for two of the most important discoveries made in Europe, in any branch of science, during the two preceding years; and in 1819, Dr. Brewster received from the Royal Society the Rumford gold and silver medals, for his discoveries on the Polarization of Light. In 1816 he invented the Kaleidoscope, the patent-right of which was evaded, so that the inventor gained little beyond fame, though the large sale of the instrument must have produced considerable profit. In 1819, in conjunction with Dr. Jameson, he established the "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal"; and subsequently he commenced the "Edinburgh Journal of Science," of which sixteen volumes appeared. In 1825, the Institute of France elected him a Corresponding Member; and he has received the same honor from the Royal Academies of Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark. In 1831, he received the Decoration of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; and in the following year, the honor of Knighthood from William the Fourth.
Sir David Brewster has edited and written various works, besides contributing largely to the Edinburgh Review, the Transactions of the British Association, and other scientific societies, and the North British Review. Among his more popular works are "A Treatise on the Kaleidoscope;" an original Treatise on Optics for the Cabinet Cyclopaedia; and Letters on Natural Magic and a Life of Sir Isaac Newton for the "Family Library." The latter work has been translated into German.
Sir David Brewster is likewise one of the editors of the London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine.
The discoveries of Sir David Brewster range from the kaleidoscope to the law of the angle of polarization, the physical laws of metallic reflection, and the optical properties of crystals; and the venerable philosopher is the author of an immense number of facts and practical applications in every branch of optics.
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The AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATION assembled this year at New Haven, and Was presided over by Alex. D. Bache, LL. D. of the Coast Survey. It was attended by many of the most eminent men of science in this country, among whom were President Woolsey, Professor Denison Olmsted, the elder and the younger Silliman, E. C. Herrick, and E. Loomis, of Yale College; Professors Louis Agassiz, E. N. Hosford and Benjamin Pierce of Harvard University; Lieutenant Charles H. Davis, U. S. N.; Professor O. M. Mitchell, Superintendent of the Cincinnati Observatory; Dr. A. L. Elwyn of Philadelphia; Professor Walter R. Johnson of Washington; Professor Joseph Henry, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; William C. Redfield of New York; and an unusual number of amateur scholars from various parts of the Union. There were several papers of remarkable value, among which that of Mr. Squier, our Charge d'Affaires for Central America, was perhaps at this period of the most general interest. Others were puerile, and as unfit in subject as in ability for presentation in such an assembly. It is to be regretted that the Association does not adopt the only protection against such discreditable annoyances, by insisting upon the submission of everything offered for its consideration to a competent private committee.
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A GREAT NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING, is said to have been discussed recently at the meetings of inferior societies, and we have read a circular upon the subject, which contemplates a convention of scholars and men of letters, at Washington, some time in the coming winter. The American Philosophical Society, founded by Franklin, and made respectable by the labors of many eminent men, is no longer in authority, and its proceedings command little attention. The various societies for the cultivation of the natural sciences, in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York, are undoubtedly accomplishing much good, but the spheres and degrees of their influence would be greatly enlarged under a central organization. In such a design, the initiative should be taken by men of nerve as well as men of abilities, so that the dead weights of mediocrity so constantly obtruding into and making ridiculous the present societies, should be altogether excluded.
Hitherto, in this city, the most reputable and dignified association connected with the advancement of learning, has been the Ethnological Society. It is to be feared that with the death of Mr. Gallatin, its president, and the dispersion of so many of its active members in the diplomatic service, its action hereafter will deserve less consideration than has thus far been awarded to it.
LAMARTINE'S APOLOGY FOR HIS CONFIDENCES.
Lamartine has just commenced the publication of a second part of his Confidences, in the feuilleton of La Presse, and precedes it by the following letter to the editor of that paper, which we translate for The International from La Presse of July 30. It relates to the way in which he came to publish the work, and gives a deeply interesting account of the pecuniary embarrassments under which he had for some time been laboring, and then eloquently defends the publication of what is real, and glowing in private life and experience.
To M. de Girardin:
In addressing to you, my dear Girardin, this third volume of private notes, to which the public have given the name of Confidences, I cannot repress an emotion of pain. What I foresaw but too well has happened. I have opened my life, and it has evaporated. This journal of my impressions has found grace, indulgence, interest even, with some readers, if I may judge from the anonymous friends who have written me. But the unsparing critics, men who mingle even our tears with their ink, in order to give more bitterness to their sarcasms, have not pardoned those outbursts of a soul of twenty. They have believed, or have pretended to believe, that I was seeking a miserable celebrity in the ashes of my own heart: they have said, that by an anticipation of vanity, I desired to gather and enjoy in advance, while yet living, the sad Flowers which might one day grow after me upon my tomb. They have cried out at the profanation of the inner feeling; at the effrontery of a soul shown naked; at the scandal of recollections made public; at the venality of sacred things; at the simony of the poet selling his own fibers to save the roof and the tree that overshadowed his cradle. I have read and heard in silence all their malign interpretations of an act, the true nature of which had been revealed to you long before it was to the public. I have answered nothing. What could I say? The appearances were against me. You alone knew that these notes had long existed, shut up in my casket of rosewood, along with the ten volumes of the notes of my mother; that they were intended never to be taken thence; that I rejected the first suggestion of publishing them, with all possible warmth of resolution; that I refused the ransom of a king for those leaves of no real value; and that finally, one day—a day for which I reproach myself-constrained fatally to choose between the necessity of selling my poor Charmettes—Charmettes, as dear and more holy than the Charmettes of the Confessions—and the necessity of publishing these pages, I preferred myself to suffer rather than cause suffering to good old servants, by selling their roofs and their vines to strangers. With one hand I received the price of the Confidences, and with the other I gave it to others in order to purchase time.
Behold here all the crime that I am expiating.
And let the critics rejoice till their vengeance is satiated. This sacrifice was in vain. It is in vain that I have cast upon the wind these leaves, torn from the book of my most pious memories. The time that their price procured has not proved sufficient to conduct me to the threshold of that abode where we cease to regret anything. My Charmettes have been sold. Let them be content. I have had the shame of publishing these Confidences, but not the joy of having saved my garden. Steps of strangers will efface there the steps of my father and mother. God is God, and sometimes he commands the wind to uproot the oak of a hundred years, and man to uproot his own heart. The oak and the heart are his, we must yield them to him, and yield him therewith justice, glory, and benedictions!
And now that my acceptance of these critics is complete, and that I confess myself guilty, and still more, afflicted—am I as guilty as they say, and is there no excuse, which, in the eyes of indulgent and impartial readers, can extenuate my crime?
In order to judge as to this, I have but one question to ask you, and the public, which deigns with distracted finger to turn these pages. My question is this:
Is it to myself, or to others, that the published pages of these Confidences can have done injury in the view of those who have read them? Is there a single man now living, is there a single memory of one of the dead, on whom these recollections have cast an odious or even unfavorable light, whether on his name, his family, his life, or his grave? Have they brought sadness to the soul of our mother in the heaven where she resides? Has the manly face of our father been lessened in the respect of his descendants? Has Graziella, that precocious and withered flower of my early manhood, received aught beyond a few tears of young girls shed on a tomb at Portici? Has Julia, the worship of my young enthusiasm, lost in the imagination of those who know the name, that purity which she has preserved in my heart? And my masters, those pious Jesuits, whose name I love not, but whose virtue I venerate; my friends, dearest and first harvested, Virieu Vignet, the Abbe Dumont, could they complain, returning here below, that I have disfigured their beautiful natures, discolored their noble images, or soiled one place in their lives? I appeal to all who have read. Would a single shade command me to efface a single line? Many of whom I have spoken are still living, or their sisters, or their sons, or their friends: have I humiliated them? They would have told me.
No! I have embalmed only pure recollections. My shroud was poor, but it was spotless. The modest name I have wrapped there for myself will neither be adorned nor dishonored by it. No tenderness will reproach me; no family will accuse me of profanation in naming it. A remembrance is an inviolable thing because it is voiceless, and must be approached with piety. I could never console myself if I had allowed to fall from this life into that other life, whence no one can answer, one word which could wound those absent immortals whom we call the dead. I desire that not a single word, thoughtfully uttered, should remain after me against one of the men who will one day be my survivors. Posterity is not the sewer of our passions—it is the urn of our memories, and should preserve nothing but perfumes.
These Confidences have then done injury or caused pain to no one, among the living or among the dead. I mistake, they have done injury to me, but to me alone. I have depicted myself such as I was: one of those natures, alas! so common among the children of women, wrought not of one clay only, not of that purified and exceptional substance which forms heroes, saints, and sages, but moulded of every earth which enters into the formation of the weak and passionate man; of lofty aspirations, and narrow wings; of great desires, and short hands to reach whither they are extended; sublime in ideal, vulgar in reality; with fire in the heart, illusion in the mind, and tears in the eyes; human statues, which attest by the diversity of the elements that compose them, the mysterious failings of our poor nature; in which, as in the metal of Corinth, we find after the fire the traces of all the melted metals which were mingled and confounded in it, a little gold and much lead. But, I repeat, whom have I injured but myself?
But they say, these unvailed exposures of sentiments and of life offend that virginal modesty of soul, of which outward modesty is but an imperfect emblem? You show ourself unvailed, and you do not blush! Who then are you?
Alas! I am what you see, a poor writer; a writer, that is to say, a thinker, in public. I am, less their genius and virtue, what were St. Augustine, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Montaigne, all those men Who have silently interrogated their souls and replied aloud, so that their dialogue with themselves might also be a useful conversation with the century in which they lived, or with the future. The human heart is an instrument which has neither the same number nor quality of chords in every bosom, and on which new notes may eternally be discovered and added to the infinite scale of sentiments and melodies in the universe. This is our part, poets and writers in spite of ourselves, rhapsodists of the endless poem that nature chants to men and God! Why accuse me, if you excuse yourselves? Are we not of the same family of the Homeridae, who from door to door recount histories, of which they are by turns the historians and the heroes? Is it, then, in the nature of thought to become a crime in becoming public? A thought, vulgar, critical, skeptical, dogmatic, may, according to you, be unvailed innocently: a sentiment, commonplace, cold, not intimate, awaking no palpitation within you, no response in others, may be revealed without violation of modesty; but a thought that is pious, ardent, lighted at the fire of the heart or of heaven, a sentiment burning, cast forth by an explosion of the volcano of the soul; a cry of the inmost nature, awaking by its accent of truth young and sympathetic voices in the present age or the future: and above all, a tear! a tear not painted like those which flow upon your shrouds of parade, a tear of water and salt, falling from the eyes, instead of a drop of ink, falling from the pen! This is crime! this is shame! this is immodesty, for you! That is to say, that whatever is cold and artificial is innocent in the artist, but what is warm and natural is unpardonable in the man. That is to say, modesty in a writer consists in exposing what is false, immodesty in setting forth what is true. If you have talent, show it, but not your soul, carrying mine away! Oh, shame! What logic!
But after all, you are right at bottom, only you do not know how to express it. It is perfectly true that there are mysteries, nudities, parts of the soul not shameful but sensitive, depths, personalities, last foldings of thought and feeling, which would cost horribly to uncover, and which an honorable and natural scruple would never permit us to lay bare, without the remorse of violated modesty. There is, I agree with you, such a thing as indiscretion of heart. I felt this cruelly myself, the first time when, having written certain poetic dreams of my soul certain too real utterances of my sentiments, I read them to my most intimate friends. My face was covered with blushes, and I could not finish. I said to them: "No, I cannot go farther; you shall read it." "And how is it," answered my friends, "that you cannot read to us what you are about to give to all Europe to read?" "No," I said, "I cannot tell why, but I feel no shame in letting the public read it, though I experience an invincible repugnance to reading it myself, face to face to only two or three of my friends."
They did not understand me—I did not understand myself. We together exclaimed at the inconsistency of the human heart. Since then I have felt the same instinctive repugnance at reading to a single person what cost me not a single effort of violated modesty to give to the public: and after having long reflected on it, I find that this apparent inconsistency is at bottom only the perfect logic of our nature.
And why is this? The reason is, that a friend is somebody and the public nobody; a friend has a face, the public has not; a friend is a being, present, hearing, looking, a real being—the public is an invisible being, a being of the reason, an abstraction; a friend has a name, and the public is anonymous; a friend is a confidant, and the public is a fiction. I blush before the one, because he is a man; I do not blush before the other, because it is an idea. When I write or speak before the public, I feel myself as free, as exempt from the susceptibilities of one man to another, as if I were speaking or writing before God and in the desert; the crowd is a solitude; you see it, you know that it exists, but you know it only as a mass. As an individual it does not exist. Now this modesty of which you speak, being the respect of one's self before some other person, when there is no person distinct on account of the multitude, becomes without a motive. Psyche blushed under a lamp because the hand of a single god passed over her, but when the sun gazed at her with his thousand rays from the height of Olympus, that personification of the modest soul did not blush before the whole heaven. Here is the exact image of the modesty of a writer before a single auditor, and of the freedom of his utterance before all the world. Do you accuse me of violating mysteries before you? You have not the right: I do not know you, I have confided nothing to you personally. You are guilty of impropriety in reading what is not addressed to you. You are somebody, you are not the public. What do you want with me? I have not spoken to you: you have nothing to say to me, and I nothing to reply.
So thought St. Augustine, Plato, Socrates, Cicero, Caesar, Bernardin de St. Pierre, Montaigne, Alfieri, Chateaubriand, and all other men who have confided to the world the genuine palpitations of their own hearts. True gladiators they are in the human Colosseum, not playing miserable comedies of sentiment and style to distract an academy, but struggling and dying in earnest on the stage of the world, and writing on the sand, with the blood of their own veins, the heroism, the failings, or the agonies of the human heart.
Having said this, I resume these notes where I left them, blushing for one thing only before these critics, that is, for not having either the soul of St. Augustine or the genius of Jean Jacques Rousseau, in order to merit, by indiscretions as sacred and touching, the pardon of tender hearts and the condemnation of narrow minds, that take every movement of the soul for an obscenity, and hide their faces whenever they are shown a heart.
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We have news from Paris of the death of Honore De Balzac, one of the most eminent French writers of the nineteenth century. "Eighteen months ago," says a Paris letter, "already attacked by dropsy, he quitted France to contract a marriage with a Russian lady, to whom he was devotedly attached. To her he had dedicated 'Seraphitus,' and he had accumulated in his hotel of the Beaujoin quarters all the luxuries which could contribute to her pleasure. He returned to France three months ago, in a state of extreme danger. Last week he underwent an operation for abscess in his legs: mortification ensued. On the morning of the 18th he became speechless, and at midnight he expired. His sister, Madame de Surville, visited his deathbed, and the pressure of her hand was the last sign he gave of intelligence." We must defer for another occasion what we have to say of the great novelist-the idol of women, even at seventy-the Voltaire of our age, as he was accustomed to style himself in private—the historian of society—French society—as it is. The author of Le Peau de Chagrin, Le Physiologie du Marriage, Le Dernier Chauan, Eugene Grandet, and the Scenes de la Vie Parisienne, and Scenes de la Vie de Province, was one of the marks of the era, and being dead, we will speculate upon him. At present we can only translate for the International the following funeral oration by Victor Hugo, pronounced at his grave:
"GENTLEMEN—The man who has just descended into this tomb is one of those whom the public sorrow follows to the last abode. In the times where we are all fictions have disappeared. Henceforth our eyes are fixed not on the heads that reign but on the heads that think, and the whole country is affected when one of them disappears. At this day, the people put on mourning for the man of talent, the nation for the man of genius.
"Gentlemen, the name of Balzac will be mingled in the luminous trace that our epoch will leave in the future.
"M. de Balzac belonged to that potent generation of writers of the nineteenth century who came after Napoleon, just as the illustrious pleiades of the seventeenth century came after Richelieu, and in the development of civilization a law caused the domination of thought to succeed the domination of the sword.
"M. de Balzac was one of the first among the greatest, one of the highest among the best. This is not the place to say all or that splendid and sovereign intelligence. All his books form only one hook, living, luminous, profound, in which we see moving all our contemporaneous civilization, mingled with I know not what of strange and terrible; a marvelous book, that the poet has entitled comedy, and which he might have called history; which assumes all forms and all styles: which goes beyond Tacitus and reaches Suetonius, which crosses Beaumarchais and reaches Rabelais; a book which is observation itself, and imagination itself; which is prodigal of the true, the passionate, the common, the trivial, the material, and which at moments throws athwart realities, suddenly and broadly torn open, the gleam of the most somber and tragic ideal.
"Without knowing it, whether he will or not, whether he consents or not, the author of this strange and immense work is of the mighty race of revolutionary writers. Balzac goes directly to his object. He assails modern society face to face. From all he forces something: from some illusions, from others hope, from these a cry of pain, from those a mask. He unvails vice and dissects passion. He penetrates and sounds the heart, the soul, the sentiments, the brain, the abyss that each man has within him. And by a gift of his free and vigorous nature, by a privilege of the intelligences of our times,—who, having seen revolutions nearly and with their own eyes, perceive better the end of humanity and comprehend better the course of Providence,—Balzac came forth serene and smiling from those redoubtable studies which produced melancholy in Moliere and misanthropy in Rousseau.
"This is what he has accomplished among us. Such is the work he has left us, lofty and solid, a pile of granite, a monumental edifice, from whose summit his renown will henceforth shine. Great men make their own pedestals: the future charges itself with their statues.
"His death has struck Paris with stupor. But a few months since he returned to France. Feeling that he was about to die, he desired to see his country, like one who on the eve of a long voyage comes to embrace his mother.
"His life was brief, but crowded; fuller of labors than of days.
"Alas, the powerful and indefatigable laborer, the philosopher, the thinker, the poet, the man of genius, lived among us the life of storms, of struggles, of quarrels, of combats, common in all times to all great men. Today, behold him here at peace. He leaves collisions and hostilities. The same day he enters on glory and the tomb. Henceforth he will shine above all the clouds over our heads, among the stars of our country.
"And you all who are here, are you not tempted to envy him?
"Gentlemen, whatever be our sorrow in the presence of such a loss, let us resign ourselves to these catastrophes. Let us accept them in their poignancy and severity. It is good perhaps, and necessary, in an epoch like ours, that from time to time a great death should communicate a religious book to minds devoured by doubt and skepticism. Providence knows what it does when it thus puts a whole people face to face with the supreme mystery, and gives it Death to meditate upon, which is at once the great equality and the great liberty.
"Providence knows what it does, for here is the highest of instructions. There can be in all hearts only austere and serious thoughts when a sublime spirit majestically makes its entrance upon the other life; when one of those beings whom the visible wings of genius have long sustained above the crowd, suddenly puts forth those other wings that we cannot see, and disappears in the unknown!
"No, it is not the unknown! No, I have already said it on another mournful occasion, and I shall not weary in repeating it, it is not darkness, it is light! It is not the end, it is the beginning! It is not nothing, it is eternity! Is not this true, I ask all that hear me? Such graves as this are proofs of immortality. In the presence of the illustrious dead we feel more distinctly the divine destinies of this intelligence called man, which traverses the earth to suffer and to be purified; and we know that those who have shone with genius during life, must be living souls after death."
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DR. GUTZLAFF, THE MISSIONARY.
CHARLES GUTZLAFF the famous missionary in China is described in the Grenzboten by a writer who lately heard him preach at Vienna, as a short, stout man, with a deep red face, a large mouth, sleepy eyes, pointed inward and downward like those of a China man, vehement gesticulations, and a voice more loud than melodious. He has acquired in his features and expression something like the expression of the people among whom he lives. His whole manners also, as well as his face, indicate the genuine son of Jao and Chun, so that the Chinese when they encounter him in the street salute him as their countryman. We translate for The International the following sketch of his life and labors:
Charles Gutzlaff was born in 1803, at Pyritz, a village of Pomerania. His zeal as an apostle was first manifested some fifteen years ago. He married an English woman, who was animated with the same aspiration as himself and who accompanied him on his voyages as a missionary. His extensive acquaintance with the Chinese and kindred languages even then made deep impression on Robert Morrison, the founder of the Evangelical Mission in China, whom he joined in 1831 at Macao, and caused his Acquaintance to be much sought by the merchants. In 1832 and 1833 he was employed as an interpreter on board ships engaged in smuggling opium, but turned this occupation, which in itself was not of a very saintly character, to his religious ends, by the dissemination of tracts and Bibles. A missionary journey to Japan which he undertook in 1837 was without any result. After Morrison's death Gutzlaff was appointed Chinese Secretary to the British Consulate at Canton, and in 1840 founded a Christian Union of Chinese for the propagation of the Gospel among their countrymen. His present journey through Europe has a similar purpose, the foundation of Missionary Societies for the spread of Christianity in China.
His literary labors have had an almost incredible extent and variety. He Himself gives the following enumeration of his writings: "In Dutch I have written: a History of our Mission and of distinguished Missionaries, and an appeal for support of the Missionary Work; in German: Sketches of the Minor Prophets; in Latin: The Life of our Savior; in English: Sketches of Chinese History; China Opened; Life of Kanghe, together with a great number of articles on the Religion, History, Philosophy, Literature and Laws of the Chinese; in Siamese: a Translation of the New Testament, with the Psalms, and an English-Siamese Dictionary, English-Cambodian Dictionary and English-Laos Dictionary. These works I left to my successors to finish, but with the exception of the Siamese Dictionary they have added nothing to them. In Cochin-Chinese: a Complete Dictionary Cochin-Chinese-English and English-Cochin-Chinese; this work is not yet printed. In Chinese: Forty Tracts, along with three editions of the Life of our Savior; a Translation of the New Testament, the third edition of which I have carried through the press. Of the Translations of the Old Testament the Prophets and the two first books of Moses are completed. In this language I have also written The Chinese Scientific Monthly Review, a History of England, a History of the Jews, a Universal History and Geography, on Commerce, a short Account of the British Empire and its Inhabitants, as well as a number of smaller articles. In Japanese: a Translation of the New Testament, and of the first book of Moses, two tracts, and several scientific pamphlets. The only paper to which I now send communications is the Hong Kong Gazette, the whole Chinese department of which I have undertaken. Till the year 1842 I wrote for the Chinese Archives."
The writer in the Grenzboten goes on to say that "so vast a surface as these writings cover, requires a surprising facility of mind and an indefatigable perseverance. When you see the man engaged in his missionary toils you understand the whole at once. He arrives in a city and hastens to the church which is prepared for his reception. After preaching for an hour with the greatest energy he takes up his collection and is gone. He speaks with such rapidity that it is hardly possible to follow him. Such rapidity is not favorable to excellence in the work. Of all his writings, only one work is known to me, that published in Munich, in 1847, under the title of 'Gutzlaffs History of the Chinese Empire from the earnest times to the Peace of Nankin'. In our imperfect acquaintance with Chinese history this compendium is not without value, but it displays no critical power, and is a mere external compilation and poorly written. From it we learn as good as nothing of the peculiar customs and state of mental culture of the country. The whole resembles a Christian History of the World written in the eighteenth century, Beginning with Adam and Eve, and leaving the Greeks and Romans out altogether because they were without a divine revelation."
Mr. Gutzlaff's family were recently for several months in the United States, and the proceedings of the great missionary—second in eminence only to our own Judson—have always been regarded with much interest by the American churches.
AUTHORS AND BOOKS
The Asiatic Society at Paris has just held its twenty-eighth yearly session. According to the report of its Secretary and Financial Committee, this society has suffered little from the disastrous times which have fallen on literature generally. In 1848, being uncertain as to the future, it stopped receiving subscriptions to works with a view to their publication, and arrested the printing of those which were already commenced, with the single exception of the Asiatic Journal, which the members determined not to alter in any case. The series of this journal is of great value, containing already fifty-five volumes, to which two new ones are added every year. For many years it has contained only original articles, though formerly it admitted translations from other European languages. Of course, in so voluminous a periodical work, the contents vary in character, but the whole is of the greatest importance to History, Belles Lettres, and Philology, and should not be wanting in any public library. The society has now resumed the suspended publications, beginning with the "Chronicles of Cashmir", by the Austrian Orientalist Captain Troyer, two volumes of which were issued some time since. Troyer is a remarkable man. As an Austrian artillery and staff officer he served in all the wars, from the breaking out of the French Revolution to the Peace of Paris. While in Italy, he passed some time at the head-quarters of Lord William Bentinck, as an Austrian Commissioner, and so gained his esteem and confidence that he was invited to go with Lord William to Madras as his military secretary. When Lord William resigned the government of Madras, Troyer remained for some time as Director of the East India Company's School for Artillery and Engineers, till finally he resigned and came to Paris. In 1829, Lord William went again to India as Governor-General, and persuaded Troyer to go with him. While in India at this time, among other offices Troyer filled that of Secretary of the Hindoo College. In 1834, when Bentinck again left India, Troyer once more resigned his functions, and has since been in Paris, devoting an active and honorable old age to constant labors upon Persian and Indian literature.
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The FRENCH ACADEMY held its annual public session on the 8th of August, in the presence of a large audience, including almost all the literary celebrities of the metropolis, both masculine and feminine. The prizes of victory were given to Napoleon Hurney, who had saved the lives of fourteen persons, and to Marguerite Briand, for having supported and taken care for forty-five years of her mistress, who had fallen from wealth into the extremest poverty. M. de Salvandy, who bestowed these prizes, delivered the usual eulogy on virtue in general, winding up with praise of Louis Philippe and his reign, a thing more creditable perhaps to the fidelity and consistency of the speaker, who has never renounced his allegiance to the Orleans family, than proper to the occasion.
The literary prizes were distributed by M. Villemain. The grand prize of ten thousand francs for the best work on the history of France, was given to Augustin Thierry. Emile Angier received a prize of seven thousand francs for his comedy of "Gabrielle," and M. Antran one of three thousand for his "Daughter of AEsehylus." Three ladies got prizes worth two thousand francs each for works of a popular nature on moral subjects; M. A. Garnier got one of one thousand for his Morale Sociale; M. Martin the same for his Philosophie Spiritualiste de la Nature, and M. Kastus the same for his Psycologie d'Aristote. The crown for the best specimen of eloquence was awarded to M. Baudrillast for his Eulogy on Madame de Stael, in which the literary history and character of the subject were served up in the most florid style. The same writer once before won the same prize by a eulogy on Turgot. His productions are more elaborate and showy than substantial and permanent in their character.
It must be said that this Academy is rather a respectable and slow-moving institutution. The most illustrious names of France are not always included in the list of its members. Neither Beranger nor Lamenais belong to it. A writer in the Paris National says that after three hours at its meeting everybody he met in the street seemed to belong to the time of Louis XI.
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EDWARD EVERETT has been many years engaged in the collection and arrangement of materials for a systematic Treatise on the Modern Law of Nations; more especially in reference to those questions which nave been discussed between the governments of the United States and Europe since the Peace of 1783. This will be Mr. Everett's "life poem." Hitherto he has written nothing very long except the "Defense of the Christian Religion," published when he was about twenty-one years of age. We have just received from Little & Brown their edition of the "Orations and Speeches" of Mr. Everett, in two very large and richly-printed volumes, which we shall hereafter notice more largely. These are to be followed, at the author's leisure, by his Political Reports and Speeches and Official Papers, in two large volumes, and his contributions to the North American Review, which, if all included, we think will make four others: so that his works, beside the new treatise above mentioned, will be completed in not less than eight volumes. We are gratified at the prospect of such a collection of these masterpieces of rhetoric, so full of learning and wisdom, and infused by so genial a spirit. We wish some publisher would give us in the same style all the writings of Alexander Everett.
CHARLES MACKAY has lately published in London, a work upon which he had long been engaged, under the title of "Progress of the Intellect." We suspect, from the reviewals of it which appear in the journals, that it is of the German free thinking class of philosophical histories. It embraces dissertations on Intellectual Religion, Ancient Cosmogony, the Metaphysical Idea of God, the Moral Notion of God, the Theory of Mediation, Hebrew Theory of Retribution and Immortality, the Messianic Theory prevailing in the days of Jesus, Christian Forms and Reforms, and Speculative Christianity. And these dissertations are written with an eloquence and power unexampled in a work of so much learning.
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M. AND MAD. DE LAMARTINE having returned from the East, are at present Staying at the Villa du Prado, a branch of the Hotel des Empereurs, a pleasant house on the banks of the Huveaune, in the midst of the most beautiful landscape. It was in a country box, upon the Avenue du Prado, that Lamartine wrote, in 1847, his "Histoire des Girondins." Lamartine is pleased with his Smyrna estate; he was received there by his vassals en grand seigneur, but he found that he would be obliged to expend a good deal of money before the estate would be profitable.
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THEODORE PARKER'S "Massachusetts Quarterly Review," is dead, and—God be Praised that New England refused to support it any longer. Mr. Parker says in the farewell to his readers, that the work "has never become what its projector designed that it should be;" and expresses a hope that "some new journal will presently be started, in a more popular form, which will promote the great ideas of our times, by giving them an expression in literature, and so help them to a permanent organization in the life of mankind."
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CAPT. SIR EDWARD BELCHER, R.N., known in the literary and scientific world by his extensive voyages of survey and discovery, is now on a visit to New York, whence he will shortly proceed to Texas. Sir Edward Belcher is a gentleman of remarkable energy of character, and of eminent abilities.
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A LETTER from M. Guizot, assigning the motives of his refusal to appear as a candidate of the Institute for a seat in the Superior Council of Public Instruction, is published by the Esperance of Nancy. The Principles avowed by M. Guizot lead directly to a separation of Church and State.
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JOHN G. SAXE will soon publish a new poem which he delivered recently at the commencement of Middlebury College, with the applause which crowns all his efforts in this way.
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A RE-ISSUE of the Complete Works of Eliza Cook will be shortly commenced in her Journal, and continued weekly until completed.
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THE INSTITUTE OF GOETHE has just been founded by the government of Saxe Weimar. It consists simply of a prize of twenty thousand francs offered to the competition of the literary and artistic world. The first year it will be given to the best among the poems, romances, and dramatic works submitted; the second year to the best picture; the third year to the best piece of statuary; the fourth year to the best piece of music, whether sacred or profane, opera or oratorio. This circle having been completed, the prize will next be given as at the first year; and so on in regular succession. The successful competitor is to remain proprietor of his work, as are all the others. The prize will he allotted by two committees, one at Weimar the other at Berlin. The establishment of the fund was celebrated at Weimar on the 23d of August.
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GIFFORD, some five-and-twenty years ago, declared that all the fools of the country had taken to write plays; and it would appear that all the dull Englishmen of our day have taken to write pamphlets on the slave-trade. The London Times is very severe upon a book just issued by Mr. W. Gore Ouseley, who was several years British Charge d'Affaires at Rio, as such conducted a voluminous correspondence on the subject with the government of Brazil, and might have been expected to have there learned something on the slave-trade worth telling. According to his reviewer he appears, however, to be one of that class of persons described by Sterne, who, traveling from Dan to Beersheba, found all to be barren; and no amount of observation can in any human being supply defective reasoning faculties. So, says the Times, he has little or nothing to say about the Brazilian slave-trade that has not been better said a thousand times before; and when he does venture on a special statement of his own, it topples down the whole superstructure of his argument.
A work of rather more interest is "Seven Years' Service on the Slave Coast of Africa", by Sir Henry Huntley, who, when a lieutenant in the navy in 1831, was ordered to the scene of his observations. Shortly after his arrival, he was appointed to the independent command of a small vessel, in which he visited stations, looked out for slavers, chased them when he saw them, and captured them when he could. A few years subsequently he was nominated Governor of the settlements on the Gambia. His two volumes contain his adventures during the whole or nearly the whole of his seven years' service upon the station; the last closing abruptly in the middle of preparations for a congress of black kings. The public is already familiar with many of the topics, from the occasional narratives of voyages and adventures along the coast. Visits to the commandants of the so-called castles; a description of the European and native mode of life at the settlements; accounts of the slave-stations, the slave-dealers, the slaves, and the slave-trade, together with sketches of more legitimate commerce, and occasional trips to the islands lying off the coast, for change of air and fresh supplies, are frequent features. Sir Henry Huntley's duties sometimes brought him in contact with native chiefs, and continually with slavers, in the search, the capture, and the pursuit. During the latter part of his career, the office of Governor gave great variety and largeness to his subjects; consisting of public business, palavers with native potentates, and matters connected with home policy. In point of literary character this work very nearly resembles the author's "Peregrine Scramble." Indeed, the "Seven Years' Service" is a sort of continuation of that book, without the form of fiction.
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M. JULES LECHEVALIER, known in this country chiefly as one of the foreign Correspondents of The Tribune, but in Europe as an able writer on the Social Sciences, has recently delivered in Paris and Berlin, and in London, (where he is residing as a political exile,) a series of lectures, which will soon be given to the world in a volume, upon the subject of his favorite studies. M. Lechevalier's system, which he denominates "New Political Economy," is based upon the principle of association, in opposition to that of competition and laissez-faire, which constitute the groundwork of the school of the present political economists. In the course of his series he pointed out the gradual tendency of the competitive principle to produce extremes of riches and poverty, and ultimately revolutions, and maintained, that by the adoption of the associative principle alone, society can be preserved from confusion and destruction. He contends that the new political economy, or Socialism, is essentially Conservative, while the present system of unlimited competition, or buying cheap and selling dear, is destructive, M. Lechevalier pretends to base his system on the moral principles of Christ, and maintains that Christianity cannot be practically carried out in any other way. His lectures abound in examples of the working of the two opposing systems.
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The Doctrinal Tract and Book Society, Boston, are going forward in the work of re-publishing the old standard works of the New-England theology. They have issued a fine edition of Bellamy and have procured an edition of Edwards the younger. They are now about commencing the stereotyping of Catlin's Compendium, and the whole works of Dr. Hopkins. We wish they would go back a century further, and give us the best works of Mather and his contemporaries.
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There is a political novel by OTTO MULLER, of Manheim, announced, under the title Georg Volker: ein Vreiheits Roman, which is said to give a faithful picture of the Baden revolution, and to open with the rise of the peasantry in the Ottenwald.
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THE DUC DE LA ROUCHEFOUCAULD's celebrated "Moral Reflections, Sentences, and Maxims," have just appeared in a new and very much improved translation, and with notes, pointing out similarities of sentiments in ancient and modern authors, and sometimes proving that Rochefoucauld's good things have been made use of without sufficient acknowledgment, by moderns. There is also an introduction, which dissertates well on the purpose and quality of the reflections. Such books were once very popular; but in this country they have not been much read. We have indeed had numerous editions of "Lacon," and Dr. Bettner's "Acton" has found a thousand purchasers; but the Rev. Dr. Hooker's "Maxims," which, in our opinion, are as good as anything of their kind in the English language, we believe have not attracted attention, and Mr. Simms's "Egeria" has been printed only in the columns of a newspaper.
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A new theory has just been propounded at Paris in a book called "Armanase," (a Sanscrit word, meaning the "Reign of Capacity"). The author asserts the present forms of administrative government are injurious instead of useful to society, and ought to be replaced by institutions of a new and different order. His principle is, that the sovereignty of the individual ought to be instituted for that of governments, and that great associations of mutual assurance may be advantageously substituted for the existing system of management by office-holders. The author shows also that the progress of the natural and mechanical sciences will deliver man from the pressure of the more painful sorts of labor; and that wealth, freed from the barriers which now hinder its circulation, would be distributed freely throughout society. Intellectual property would be seriously guaranteed, and would enrich the men of genius, whose inventions and discoveries are now profitable, not to the authors, but to the capitalists who take advantage of them. By this means an important element of revolutions will be removed. The author proposes, that in order to prevent all suffering, a civil list shall be set apart for the people, who will be the king. This civil list is to be composed of a tax of one per cent., levied on all who have property in favor of those who have nothing. But, says he, let no one imagine that all would be dissolution and ruin in this system, without law or government. Crimes and offenses will be tried by juries, that is to say, by a living code. Property will no longer be seizable for debt, and the courts will become useless. Everybody shall have the absolute right to buy land by paying its possessor ten per cent, on its value: this is to give a chance for carrying on all sorts of grand public enterprises without trouble from the proprietors of little pieces of land. It may perhaps be doubted, whether the "Reign of Capacity" has exhibited any astonishing endowments in that respect.
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THACKERAY, in Pendennis, has given offense, it appears, to some of the gensd'armes of the Press, by his satirical sketches of the literary profession. Those whose withers are unwrung will admit the truth of many pages and laugh at the caricature in the rest. In the last number of the North British Review is a clever article upon the subject, written with good temper and good sense. Hitherto publishers have been ridiculed and declaimed against as "tyrants" and "tradesmen,"—made to bear the onus of "poetical" improvidence, and to sustain the weight of a crime which no author can pardon—the rejection of manuscripts. The authors have painted the portraits of publishers; but an ancient fable suggests that if the lion had painted a certain picture, it would not have been a lion we should see biting the dust.
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M. DE LUYNES is now engaged at Paris in publishing a work on the antiquities of Cyprus. He has discovered a number of inscriptions in ancient Cyprian writing, and is having them engraved on copper. The writing is that which preceded the introduction of the Phoenician character upon the island, and seems to have no affinity either with that or with the Assyrian, which is discovered to have been once used there. The work of M. de Luynes will open a new problem for the philologists. It will be difficult to decipher the inscriptions and language, unless there can be found somewhere an ancient Cyprian inscription, with a translation in some known tongue; but in a time which has read the riddles of the pyramids, nothing of this sort is to be despaired of. M. de Luynes is the last of the great French nobles who makes a worthy use of his riches.
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SIR ROBERT PEEL left full and specific directions in his will for the early publication of his political memoirs; and ordered that the profits arising from the publication shall be given to some public institution for the education of the working-classes. He believed his manuscripts and correspondence to be of great value, as showing the characters of the great men of his age; and directed that his correspondence with the Queen and Prince Albert shall not be published during their lives without their express consent. He confided the task of preparing these memoirs to Lord Mahon and Mr. Cardwell. Their duty will, however, be comparatively light, though delicate, from the admirable and orderly state in which he left his papers.