PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED, From December 15th te December 21st.
A Christmas Carol, in Prose ; being a Ghost Story of Christmas, By CHARLES DICKENS. With illustrations by JOHN LEECH.
Life of Geoffrey Chaucer. By Sir HARRIS NICOLAS.
Arabella Stuart; a Romance from English History. By G. P. R. JAMES, Esq., Author of " Darnley," &c. In three volumes.
St. Patrick's Purgatory ; an Essay on the Legends of Purgatory, Hell, and Paradise, current during the Middle Ages. By Tuomas WRIGHT, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., &e.
[This appears to be a curious and even an amusing work, on the singular sub- ject of Purgatory ; in which the idle and fearful dreams of superstition are to be first narrated as tales, and then applied as a means of deducing the moral character of the age in whtch they prevailed. We must, however, have more time to examine it than we have yet possessed, before we can speak positively.]
Agitation ; a Poetical Essay. By LAICUS. [There is not much of retry in this publication, though there are some re- spectable verses; but Agitation attracts and sustains a kind of attention by the evident earnestness of the author and his old-fashioned character. He is clearly a man who has "seen better days "—moral, political, religious, and poetical—or what comes to the same thing, days which he deems better. His model inverse is a self-sufficient satirist, of whom many of our readers may never have beard—one MATTHIAS, the "gifted author,' as LAICUS calls him, of The Pursuits of Literature, a poem of celebrity some half century ago. Over this book the layman seems to have pondeied, after the classical maxim for reading, "multnm non multa "; till, thoroughly saturated with the spirit of his prototype, be comes forth to denounce the evil days on which he has fallen, in verses which, to our taste, are quite as good as his model's.
The agitation which Larces attacks is not O'CONNELL'S agitation, or poli- tical movements of any particular class, but the state of agitation [from " agitatio, a moving backwards and forwards, frequent motion"] ] in which we of the present day are doomed to live The velocity of railroads and other means of locomotion—the 'rapidity of the printing-press, and the quantity of its " early information "—the struggling competition of trade—the combina- tions that everywhere seek to attain their ends by agitation—and lastly, the restless, audacious, speculative spirit that animates every one—are the evils that have inspired the muse of Lawns. " No place is sacred, not the Church is free": but agitation there is crab-like, and goes backward. The Puseyites are for re- viving the worst of the past ; as LAICUS thus sings, and not very badly consi- dering his age. " The mania raging—soon are brought to light The worthies of those ages, witlings slight :
Crowned with triumphant wreaths. indite stand Much injured Dunstan, Becket, Hildebrand; The long-lust glories of their time display Rich my thological Devotion's sway ! Al,, where her Minsters now?—how few remain.
And these how shorn of their respleadeut traiu
No more the long procession greets the eye With solemu pomp and lofty s)mphony `Where now the Convent ? th2 monastc Ehade.
For rime austere and deep seclusion made, Life's timid refugees to fix their lot-
' The world forgetting, by the world forgot?' Thus warm enthusiasts kindle, and at last.
Loathe their own days. and venerate the past.
An architectural grievance next enthrals—
Thy Abbey. Westminster, must beard St. Paul's; • To Gothic pi'es alone belongs the uame
ECCLEMASTIC—'lls their lawful claim ;
In other styles—hoe ever grand—we Pod
Too much of heathenibh Greece and Rome combined!
The sistcr arts too little we admire.
The storied window, the harmonious choir, And shapes fantastic, carved in wood or stone,
Of deep intent—though now nut always known.']
Poems on Man, in his various aspects under the American Republic. By CORNELIUS MATHEWS, Author of " The Motley Book," &c.
[These American poems are not devoid of poetical fluency or force ; and their meaning is perceptible, though scarcely their drift or purpose. The form and structure of the poems is not that of sonnets, yet they are rather of the nature of sonnets; and the whole design looks like an allegory, which we cannot nitrate. There are nineteen subjects ; and the first is on "The Child,"—
meaning, as we conceive, any American child. Yet Mr. MATHEWS addresses it, as VIRGIL might have addressed Marcellus when a youth, or a French lau- reate the infant Ring of Rome-
" Thou wield'st a hopeful empire, large and fair, With sceptred strength : about thy brow is set A fresh glad crown. with dewy morning wet, And noon day lingers in thy flaxen hair!
" Kingdom. authority. and power. to thee
Belong; the hand that frees, the chain that thralls—
Each attribute on various man that falls.
Strides he the globe, or canvass tents the sea: The sword, the staff, the judge's cap if death.
The ruler's robe, the treasurer's key of gold.
All growths the world-w tile scope of life may hold. Are formed in thee, and people in thy breath."
This is probably intended to typify the germ of the next American gene- ration; but such hyperbole and vague generality is destructive of effect. "Whatever pleases must please at once,"—which can never be the case where a writer sets us a riddle to read, and which is not very satisfying when accomplished.]
A Vision of Julian • a Poem. By JOHN WILLIAM HODGES, late of Uni- versity College, Oxford.
[This is nuts vision of Julian the Apostate, or of any Spanish Julian, but a vision of Mr. HODGES, in which he Bees the beatified spirit of KEATS, accom- panied by SHELLEY ; at least such is our interpretation. The poem consists of a description of the author's state of mind before he is entranced—which strongly resembles that of Manfred, or any Byronic hero—the appearance of the spirits in a ship, and the address of Julian (Kzars) to the dreamer. The model of Mr. HODGES is the poet whom he imitates ; and his design and ex- ecution are just as unlike any thing that can be found in nature as the com- positions of his prototype.] The Nursery Rhymes of England, collected chiefly from Oral Tradition. Edited by JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, Esq. Third edition, with Illustrations.
[This third edition has been revised with some additions and omissions; it is also adorned by cuts, and rather prettily got up, so as to form an appropriate present for the coming season, either for nursery-folks or children of a larger growth. There is more matter for reflection and curious consideration in these memorials of the " wisdom of our ancestors," and of their habits and modes of thought, than in many Christmas presents of more pretension.]
The Poems of William Shakspere ; with Facts connected with his Life, abridged from "William Shakspere, a Biography." (Knight's Cabinet Edition of the Works of Shakspere.) [This volume completes Mr. KNIGHT'S pocket edition of the Works of Swale- SPREE. The illustrations to the Puems are brief, but the Life is a copious abridgment of William Shakspere, a Biography; the matter omitted rather relating to the age than to the life of the poet.] The Early History of Freemasonry in England. By JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, Esq., F.R.S., &c. Second edition. [A very old English poem, describing the origin of Freemasonry, and published by Mr. HALLIWELL from a manuscript in the British Museum, "written not later than the fourteenth century." It is probable the masonic interest has in- duced the demand for a second edition, as its curiosity is its chief attraction.] Faust; a Tragedy. Part the Second. Rendered from the German of GOETHE, by ARCHER GURNEY.
Picciola. Par M. X. B. SAINTINE. Nouvelle edition, revue et abreg6e par E. DUBUC, M.D. [A beautiful little story ; full of interest, abounding in good traits of cha- racter and delicate sentiment, and written in a style of elegant simplicity. A. state prisoner beguiles his cjsptivity by lavishing his tenderness on a common nearer alit he sere growing hi a court-yard of the prison : it is to him as a child, whose existence is bound up with his own; and he calls it his Picciola. Being pardoned, through the intercession of the daughter of a fellow-prisoner, whom he marries, he is released. Carefully does he take his cherished Piccione with him ; but, while he and his bride enjoy liberty and happiness, the poor flower is forgotten, and perishes for want of care. The Gaoler is a noble cha- racter, naturally drawn ; the adventures of tbe girl who procures the captive's liberation, too, are interesting; but the fondness of the prisoner for his darling flower is the most touching portion of the story, and its fate points the moral. This charming fiction is well adapted to the purpose with which it has been revised and republished here—that of a class-book for young persons learning French. In this edition it seems perfectly unobjectionable; though the fiction being by a modern French writer—we believe it originally appeared in the feuilleton of a contemporary journal—it may have required a little chastening.] Penmanship, Theoretical and Practical, illustrated and explained. By B. F. FOSTER, Author of " Elementary Copy-Books," &c. [A manual for teaching writing according to a rational plan, which includes MULIIKUSER'S analysis of the letters andnCARSTAIRS'S practice for running- hand ; with examples of copy-books for learners by the method of tracing re- commended by Locale. This little treatise is useful both in schools and fami- lies; and also for those who would wish to learn without any other instruction than it affords.] The insect World; or a Brief Outline of the Classification, Structure, and Economy of Insects.
[A compendium of the most remarkable facts connected with the natural his- tory of insects, interspersed with some useful directions for the young entomo- logist The matter is thrown into the form of family dialogue; and though the young tyro is, perhaps, occasionally too readily convinced, the dramatic con- sistency is pretty well preserved, and relief, with a living character, given to the science by the plan adopted.]
Lessons on Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals. By Mrs. MARCET, Au- thor of "Conversations on Chemistry," &e. [A simple introduction to the knowledge of Nature, in the shape of familiar conversations; in which young children, for whom this little book is designed, take a abate. The child is first made to understand the difference between the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, and the cause of man's superiority ; and then the distinguishin characteristics of each class of creatures and sub- stances, their properties and uses, are indicated. It would be a useful book in infant schools as well as in families ; and may be regarded as preparatory to Mrs. MARCET'S Conversations.]
Thornton's History of the British Empire in India, Vol. V. Part VL [Completes the work ; which we will take an early opportunity to read, and report upon.]
Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Noe. CXXXIV. to CXXXVL. New York Methodist Quarterly Review, for October.
New York Democratic Review, for November.
ILLUSTRATED WORKS AND PRINTS.
Description of the Plates in "Puss in Boots," from the original Designs of OTTO SPECHTER.
[In our notice last week of these humorous designs, having before us proof- impressions previous to publication, without the letterpress, we did not advert. to some new points that are introduced, being uncertain whether they belonged. to the original story or not. From the text of the old nursery-tale, as printed in this handsome little volume, it appears that they do not: a separate description
of each picture explains the additional circumstances attending the well-known incidents. This, therefore, is a variorum edition of Puss in Boots : a story, by the way, with a very indifferent moral, since the exploits of Puss are a tissue of cunning and lies from first to last, and the tricks by which he con- verts the miller s son into a rich prince only exemplify the worldly success of lying and deception. One of the new points alluded to is a sly stroke of political satire : when Puss is announced as the bearer of a present of par- tridges from the Marquis of Camino, the King instantly dissolves his Parlia- ment !, The gloating eagerness of the royal gourmand and the impatient wave of his sceptred hand are expressed with genuine gusto ; the discontented air of the retiring legislators, the delight of the cook, and the absorbing interest of the group of courtiers, bringing out the incident most amusingly.]
The Pictorial Museum of Animated Nature. Volume 1.—Mammalia- Birds.
[This folio volume of 400 pages—half the number being entirely filled with wood-cuts—is the first portion of a cheap and popularly-scientific account of the whole animal creation, which has appeared in weekly numbers; and its great utility consists in the quantity of information conveyed in a graphic &apa. In most books one reads on, referring to the plates for illustration; but in this the pictures attract the eye, and the text is referred to for explana- tion. This renders it an excellent book for the young; as the lively impres- sions produced by these representations of the outward appearance and internal structure of animals will induce inquiry and habits of observation : a child, after looking at these pictured pages, will visit the Zoological Gardens and Museum with new interest and increased advantage. It is still more valuable to the adult reader ; the materials being gleaned from the latest and best authorities. The view of the animal kingdom is retrospective, including fossil remains and extinct species; and though the descriptions are given in scientific phraseology for the sake of precision and brevity, there is nothing to puzzle an intelligent person.]
Twelfth Night Characters from Shakspere, designed and drawn on stone by J. S. ALPENNY.
Introduction and Rondo Vivace, for the Pianoforte, with Orchestral Ac- companiments. Composed by C. J. Toms, King's Scholar of the Royal Academy of Music.