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Melt to calm twilight, they feel overcast
With its own flickering; or a sword laid by,
“ He who ascends to mountain-tops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
Though high above the sun of glory glow,
Contending tempests on his naked head, And thus reward the toils which to those summits led.'
The stern sublimity of this highly-poetical and descriptive passage may be agreeably contrasted with the introduction to Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming,-a poem of rare merit and delightful beauty, but comparatively very little known, except by name, notwithstanding the celebrity of the author. The excellence of the execution, and the tenderness of feeling in this composition, should have secured it a much larger share of public admiration than it will ever obtain: the remoteness of the scene, however, and the imagery being drawn from descriptions in books, and not from impressions on the poet's sense, have impaired the effect of his power; and hence, though as a work of art, Gertrude of Wyoming will always rank high, yet it will never be in much request, notwithstanding all its numberless beauties, and the exquisite refinement of the sensibility that breathes and trembles in the pathos of every line.
GERTRUDE OF WYOMING. “ On Susquehana's side, fair Wyoming, Although the wild-flower on thy ruin'd wall And roofless homes a sad remembrance bring Of what thy gentle people did befall, Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all That see the Atlantic waves their morn restore. Sweet land ! may I thy lost delights recall, And paint thy Gertrude in her bowers of yore, Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore !
“ It was beneath thy skies that, but to prune
“ Then, where of Indian hills the daylight takes
His leave, how might you the flamingo see • Disporting like a meteor on the lakes
And playful squirrel on his nut-grown tree: · And every sound of life was full of glee,
From merry mock-bird's song, or hum of men,
“ And scarce had Wyoming of war or crime
And spoke in friendship ev'ry distant tongue;
« Nor far some Andalusian saraband
STANDARD NOVELS AND ROMANCES.
No kind of literary talent is more overrated than that of a reviewer, and this opinion Egeria was often in the practice of maintaining. “ Not,” she used to say, “ that I undervalue the endowment, independent of the learning, requisite to constitute a true critic; but, now-a-days, reviewers and rhymsters are a superabundant race, and among the innumerable swarms of both, which pester and sully modern literature, there are as few critics as there are poets.
« One of the most characteristic peculiarities of a reviewer is a certain pert and off-hand manner, oceasionally lively, sometimes gay, and perhaps now and then really witty. The free air, I would almost call it swagger, with which he carries himself, obtains much more consideration than would be accorded to his degree of ability differently employed. He is akin to those sprightly personages who are always on the best terms with themselves, and amusingly unacquainted with their proper place in society. They elbow themselves into notice with the most pleasant disregard, not only of all due precedence, but of the worth and the feelings of others. They say smart things with the happiest nonchalance, and, while they push aside modest or offended merit, are so very diverting in their selfconceit, that the grave and decorous are irresistibly led to join them in their laughter, even while condemning alike their impudence and deficiencies.
“ But though I have so little respect for the ephemeral progeny of the periodical press, I have yet still less for those authors who regard the faults of reviewers as proceeding from malice and malignity. I believe, indeed, that there is as much honesty of intention among reviewers as among any. other class of persons whatever, and that they are, really inclined to be as conscientiously just in their strictures as the flippancy of their natures will allow. It is well known, that they but undertake to review books; to think that they should read them 1.9 one of the many unreasonable expectations in which young authors are apt to indulge.
“ But if this be the general character of those on
whom so many book-buyers fix their faith, it is not to be denied, that now and then gleams of a better and brighter spirit of criticism occasionally break out from the mass of vapour that darkens and deforms the literature of the periodical press. It is, for example, an excellent compendiqus estimate of the most celebrated novels and romances by Mr Jeffrey,-one, in fact, of those articles which have established his fame as a critic, despite the innumerable impertinencies that he has allowed to escape from his pen."
“ The first-rate writers in this class are of course few; but those few we may reckon, without scruple, among the greatest ornaments and the best benefactors of our kind. There is a certain set of them, who, as it were, take their rank by the side of reality, and are appealed to as evidence on all.questions concerning human nature. The principal of these are Cervantes and Le Sage; and, among ourselves, Fielding, Richardson, Smollett, and Sterne. As this is a department of criti. cism which deserves more attention than we have ever yet bestowed on it, we shall venture to treat it a little in detail, and endeavour to contribute something towards settling the standard of excellence, both as to degree and kind, in these several writers. - “ We shall begin with the renowned history of Don Quixote, who always presents something more stately, more romantic, and at the same time more real to our imagination, than any other hero upon record. His lineaments, his accoutrements, his pasteboard visor, are familiar to us as the recollections of our early home. The spare and upright figure of the hero paces distinctly before our eyes ; and Mambrino’s helmet still glitters in the sun! We not only feel the greatest love