24 NOVEMBER 1855, Page 16

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The legion admirers of Longfellow will hail this splendid edition, with its blue and gold binding, cream-tinted paper, choice type, and fair-margined quarto pages. It appears to contain the body of the poet's works, with the exception of The Golden Legend, The Spanish Student, and of course the new Song of Hiawatha.

Without affording, in particular productions, very marked sugges- tions for illustration, Longfellow is nevertheless a poet of that kind whom one can reasonably set about illustrating. When the poet is what Goethe called a dxmonic man,—one that is, who cannot be classified with others, but whose every doing reveals a new individuality, and the working of an impulse which other men can scarcely estimate,—an illustrated edition is wont to be rather unsatisfactory than otherwise, especially if the artist is as dsemonic as his poet ; for the poet has already made his works realities to the readeea mind with a peculiar and intense character about them which there is but the barest chance that the artist will be in harmony with. This is not the ease with Longfellow who, while certainly not wanting in distinctive style, is free from peculiarity, and has nothing of the occult or intangible.

The volume is heralded by a portrait of Longfellow after Samuel Law- rence; a fine, powerful, and even grand head, as different as possible from the likenesses hitherto current ; though this gives us the notion of its ex- ceeding on one aide as much as the rest fall short on the other. Mr. Gil- bert, the artist of the wood-cut designs, is so familiar in every nook of Angin•Lai-Liictru by the thousands of designs which he seems to have spun rather than drawn within the lag dozen or fifteen years, that no description of his manner were so eloquent as his simple name. No one can be more thoroughly than Mr. Gilbert a born artist ; and his range of observation, power, dramatic invention, and rapid faculty of rendering, is very remarkable in one who works too fast to recur often to nature, and in whom an unmistakeable manner marks without cramping every effort. The best of his productions are those which he does quickest ; the highly-finished gift-book embellishments haying generally been weak and petty in comparison. The present is the instance in which he has suc- ceeded best in reconciling the two principles. Many of his landscape de- signs have a very, artistic notion and feeling expressed with grace ; and there is great brilliancy of effect throughout. The cuts, with a compara- tively feeble one here and there, axe exqiii.site specimena of weed-en- graving.

• The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A new edition, illus- trated with upwards of 100 Designs, drawn by John Gilbert, engraved by the Brothers Dalziel. Published by Routledge and Co.