« PreviousContinue »
* if no
HALLY-Brother of the last : asso- or Tales Of A TRAVÉLLER-every ciate editor with Bigelow (see vol. one of which the same publisher has XVI. Oct.1824,421,) of the New York put forth in two octavo volumes. Magazine, a journal which died of its This, we take to be a little too bad ; own talkativeness.
a little too barefaced--for even a court HUTCHINSON-The last royal go- publisher.We cannot well perceive vernor of Massachusetts ; about which why we are to pay double price for province he wrote a good, strong sub- the writings of Geoffrey Crayon : we do stantial history. It has been well con- not well understand why we are to give tinued by Miyor. Gov. H. was the 24s. for a certain quantity of matter client of Mr Solicitor General Wed- by him, when as much of that which derbourne (see FRANKLIN, p. 49) is quite as good—if not better-prowhen he abused Franklin.
duced by the ablest men of the British IRVING - WASHINGTON Author Empire, may be had for half the money. of sundry NEWSPAPER Essays, which Still, however--(these remarks do have been totally reproduced here ; of not apply to the author: we are only some papers in SALAMAGUNDI ; of laying a foundation here) - Still, KNICKERBOCKER'S New YorK ; of however, we have 110 sort of doubt, the Naval BIOGRAPHY, which ap- whimsical as the supposition may appeared, in a series of the ANALECTIC pear, that a part, perhaps a large part, MAGAZINE, we believe, at Philadel- of Geoffrey Crayon's popularity, has phia, about 1814; of the INTRODUC- been owing to this very short measure, TION to Mr Campbell's poetry (Ame- of which we complain. Things comrican edition); of the SKETCH-Book; paratively worthless may be made BRACEBRIDGE-HALL; TALES OF A genteel, by high prices alone-(The TRAVELLER ; and of one paper, Italian opera, for example.) But if more, in the New Monthly; making they are to be popular, they must apaltogether, about five good, fashionable, pear to be sold at something like a octavo volumes, (if they were fairly reasonable rate. Hence, with all the published,) in England; or five duo- attractions of the opera-noveltydecimo volumes, as they do publish, in high prices—the patronage of royalty, America.
itself that of all the nobility-genWe mention this, now,
because we try, &c. &c:-with Catalani into the mean to make use of it presently; be- bargain, while it was ungenteel to see cause Mr Irving has been called, among Shakspeare, at Covent-Garden, or Druother names, a
« voluminous writer, ry Lane-the Opera House could not (though he has written less, in all his be filled, even twice a-week last year. life, than one of his countrymen has, We are all prone to exaggeration. in four months, under the continual It is a part of man's nature. No time; pressure of serious duties, which ap- no suffering; no humiliation wilí parently took up his whole time;) be- overcome the propensity. You will bear cause Mr Irving has been regarded as a man boast of having gorged more a large, industrious contributor-or, food, or liquor ; quarrelled more freat least-as not a lazy one to the quently ; seen more sights; heard more world of literature : (though he has noises;
talked more than other peoactually produced less than half an ple :-Thus, too, you will hear a wooctavo page a-day, since he first be- man boast of having done more miscame to be known, as a professional chief; torn more laces, hearts, and author.) --And because (we have made gloves ; turned more heads or tunes; an estimate) KNICKERBOCKER's New caused more prattle ; spoilt more music YORK, which came out, in two small than her neighbours.--A man, whose duodecimo volumes, over the water; ambition it is, to carry off six bottles of and which has been put forth in one port under his belt-a beast-would volume, octavo, by the London pub- never complain of his butler ; nor dislisher, actually does contain more pute the bill of his landlord for twelve matter (shewing, thereby, at what bottles, at a sitting, if the landlord or price we have been buying his other butler could persuade him that he * Crayon” wares) than either BRACE- had really drunk the twelve--no inBRIDGE-HALL; THE SKETCH-Book; deed—not he-he would like them
Called “ Recollections of a Student.” We are assured, although we did not perceive him, that he is the author of this one paper.
the better for it; and go away, better able world-as they have, already, in satisfied with himself.
the world of literature--so far, we Now, this we take to be precisely mean, as they go, in that particular the case with our fashionable octavos. class of writing. People, who never study; never think But enough. Come we now, to the -are quite amazed, when they come author.-Irving has been foolishly to find how easy a thing it is, after all, praised ; cruelly, wickedly abused. He to read entirely through so vast a went up too high: he has fallen too work as that, which has come to them low. They made an idol of him; in two octavos. They think better they could see no fault or blemish in of themselves; their capacity; their him; they crowned him ; set him diligence; less of those, whom they above other men; offered up his felhave hitherto looked upon with a sort lows to him—in spite of his continual, of awe—the readers of a quarto : and, sincere expostulation. He was no we are sure, would never pardon us, Cromwell; no Cæsar--and he knew if we should venture to tell them, that, it: He did not refuse the honour, after all they have only been read that it might be put upon him, by ing a duodecimo-only as much as force. Well--they did this it was their fathers read for a duodecimo. very foolish of them; very profane.
This, we say, is one cause, perhaps But he was innocent: he should not a great cause, of Geoffrey Crayon's po- have suffered. pularity, with a certain class of peo- Now-mark the change-now, in ple; the indolent, loitering, and fa- the freak of the hour, as if they could shionable. Another is, that, finding never forgive him, for their own folly themselves less weary, when they now, in the first paroxysm of rehave read a pair of his octavos through, turning reason-they have torn off than they have ever been before, with his crown; tumbled him into the a pair of octavos, by anybody else, dirt, with brutal derision, cries; and they take it for granted, naturally would, if they had power, grind him enough, that it is owing to his great to dust; casting the precious metal, superiority over all other octavo wri- that is within him, with all that he ters--owing to some witchery of his has of common earth, upon the waters, known only to himself that he is able or the winds. They anointed him to keep the attention awake, without wickedly: they are now dishonouring wearying it, for what appears to them, him, far more wickedly. It is high a length of time, wholly unprecedent- time for us to interpose. ed.
Shame on the dastards! There was If the Sketch-Book; or BRACE- a time, when he was talked about, as BRIDGE-HALL; or the TALES OF A a creature of miraculous purity-in TRAVELLER, had been published as whom there was no guile: a sort of KNICKERBOCKER was, not in two fa- superior intelligence, come out for shionable* octavo volumes;
but in one
the regeneration of our literature: a decent octavo volume, for the day; man, so kind of heart; so benevolent; and sold for twelve shillings—though so gentle, that none but a ruffian could either might have been more popular, speak affrontingly of him. But now ! neither would have been so fashion- - to hear what some people say, one able, as it has been.
would be ready to believe that he The LightS AND SHADOWS OF (who is, in truth, one of the most Scottish LIFE-papers, in that very amiable, excellent creatures, alive department of writing, for which Geof. with manhood enough, too, where trey has obtained a fashionable repu- manhood is called for, ) is a dangerous, tation-(the touching, pathetic, and lewd man; a licentious, obscene, abosimply beautiful,) are greatly supe- minable profligate; an atrocious conrior to anything of his in their class. spirator--at war, alike with morality A little more management; a little and liberty-a blockhead—(this climore courtly, bookselling address in max, for the late Westminster school) the publisher; and we believe that, political writer-an idiot--a pabefore this, they would have superse
trician. Geoffrey Crayon a political ded Irving, completely, in the fashion- writer ! God help the fools !
Qu. ---May not our author's text have run thus-too fashionable volumes : that is,"_&c. &c. - WARBURTON.
Yes—it is time for us to interpose. ed for England—where, since he came We throw our shield over him, there- to be popular, anybody may trace him. fore. We undertake, once for all, to He is, now, in his fortieth year: see fair play.. Open the field-with- about five feet seven : agreeable coundraw the rabble-drive back the dogs tenance ; black hair ; manly complex-give him fair play; and we will an- ion : fine hazel eyes, when lighted swer for his acquitting himself, like a up-heavy in general-talks better
If he do not, why-let him be than he writes, when worthily extorn to pieces and be
cited; but falls asleep-literally asleep In the day of his popularity, we
in his chair-at a formal dinner party, shewed him no favour : in this, the in high life : half the time in a revery: day of his tribulation, we shall shew little impediment—a sort of uneasy, him none.
He does not require any anxious, catching respiration of the We saw his faults, when there was voice, when talking zealously: writes nobody else to see them. We put our a small, neat hand, like Montgomery, finger upon the sore places about him: Allan Cunningham, or Shee, (it is drove our weapon home-up to the like that of each)-indolent-nervous hilt, wherever we found a hole in his irritable-easily depressed-easily beautiful armour; a joint, visible, in disheartened-very amiable-no aphis golden harness-treated him, in pearance of especial refinement—noshort, as he deserves to be treated, like thingreinarkable-nothing uncommon a man. But,--we have never done,- about him :-precisely such a man, to we never will do him wrong. We say all in a word, as people would connever have been—we never will be tinually overlook, pass by without nogladiators, or assassins, for the amuse- tice, or forget, after dining with him, ment of anybody. We have too much unless, peradventure, his name were respect for ourselves ; too much for mentioned ; in which case-odds bobs! him—too little regard for the changes they are all able to recall something of popular opinion, which is never remarkable in his way of sitting, eatright, where it is possible to be wrong ing, or looking-though, like Oliver -ever to join the mob of puffers, or
Goldsmith himself, he had never openblackguards.
ed his mouth, while they were near : What we say, therefore, now, of or sat, in a high chair- -as far into it Washington Irving, we say, with a as he could get—with his toes just full knowledge, that a time will come, reaching the floor. when it shall appear against us. We We come now to the works of Geofshall put our opinion here, as upon frey.-1. The NEWSPAPER Essays: record-believing, in our hearts--for Boyish theatrical criticisms—nothing we have no temporary purpose to gra
more: foolishly and wickedly reprotify—that, after many years, he will duced by some base, mercenary counfind consolation, support in it; others tryman of his—from the rubbish of --that, in the time of these changes, old printing-offices: put forth as there was one, at least—who had cou- the author of the Sketch-Book."rage, power, and patience, to tell the How could such things be,“ by the truth of him-utterly careless of what author of the Sketch-Book," written, other men thought, or said.
as they were, twenty years before the One word of his life, and personal “ Sketch-Book” was thought of?-By appearance, (both of which are laugh- whom were they written ?-By a boy. ably misrepresented,) before we take -Was he the author of what we call up his works. He was born, we be- The Sketch-Book?_No. The Sketchlieve, in the city of New York; be- Book was written by a man; a fullgan to write for a newspaper at an
grown man.- Ergo the American pubearly age: read law; but gave it up
lisher told a Q. E. D. in despair-feeling, as Cowper did be Nevertheless, there is a touch of fore him, a disqualifying constitution- Irving's quality, in these papers-palal timidity, which would not permit try as they are: A little of that haphim to go out, into public life : en- py, sly humour; that grave pleasant
; gaged in mercantile adventure: ap- ry, (wherein he resembles Goldsmith, peared first, in Salamagundi ; follow- so much ;) that quiet, shrewd, gooded with Knickerbocker ; wrote some articles for the American Magazines, humoured sense of the ridiculous,
, was unsuccessful in business : embark- to make up the chief excellence of
Geoffrey—that, which will outlive the of seeing our old British writers-our fashion of this day; and set him apart, pride our glory--for ever upon the after all, from every writer in our lan- shelf-never-never upon the table. guage. The qualities which have We are quite serious, in what we made him fashionable, he has, in com- say concerning the safety, with which mon with a multitude:-Others, which our old fathers might be served up, are overlooked, now; but which will under a new title. It may be done cause him to be remembered hereaf- for it is done every day. Try the exter-perhaps for ages-are peculiarly, periment. Let Mr Campbell repubexclusively his own.
lish that paper of Goldsmith, wherein 2. SALAMAGUNDI;or WHIM
WHAMS, he gives an account of a trip to Vaux&c. &c.—The production of Paulding, hall-precisely as it is without alterIrving, Verplanck; and perhaps of ing a word. Our life on it, if Mr C. others, in partnership :the papers of keep the secret-as he would, unPaulding are more sarcastic, ill-na- doubtedly, after such a hoax, upon tured, acrimonious-bitter, than those him, or by him—that nobody else of Irving; but quite as able : Those by would smell a rat, for a twelvemonth Verplanck, we do not know: we have to come.-By and by, perhaps, when only heard of him, as one of the wri. we have a leisure afternoon, we may ters: It is a work in two volumes, amuse ourselves, with pointing out a duodecimo; essays, after the manner few cases, in our modern, stylish liteof Goldsmith-a downright, secret, rature, to justify what we have said. laboured, continual imitation of him- Among the characters of Salamagunabounding too, in plagiarisms: the di—about a dozen of which are capital, title is from our English Flim Flams: there is one of a fellow-whose name oriental papers--the little man in is Tom STRADDLE-an Englishmanblack, &c. &c. from the Citizen of the a pretty fair specimen too, of the EngWorld: Parts are capital : as a whole, lishmen, that our friends over sea, are the work is quite superior to any- in the habit of meeting with, in their thing of the kind, which this age has country. It was done by Irving, we produced. By the way, though, believe. It is admirable.—Some years What if some very enterprizing pub- ago, a man, who was prosecuted in lisher were to bring out a few of the Jamaica, produced a volume of Salaold British classics, in a modern, oc- magundi on his trial. The publication tavo dress, with a fashionable air- charged as libellous, it appeared, had We have an idea that he would find it been copied, literally, word for word, pay well. The Vicar of Wakefield, with a spiteful, malicious accuracy, now ; Tom Jones ; Peregrine Pickle from the character of Tom Straddle; What a run they might have, before printed-sold—sent abroad, mischiethey were discovered, in their large, vously enough, to be sure, while one handsome type ; fine, white paper; of those English “ Travellers," whom and courtly margins.—Or,“tomakeas- Irving had so delightfully hit off, was surance doubly sure;” and escape the in Jamaica-exploring and astonishcritical guardians of the day, what if ing the natives. This fact, alone, he change the titles ; names; dates, etc. proves the truth of resemblance. —the chances are fifty to one, that he 3. KNICKERBOCKER: A droll, huwould never be found out-at least, morous history of New York, while until two or three editions had run the Dutch, who settled it, were in off. It would be more fair, than such power: conceived, matured, and plagiarism, as we do meet with every brought forth, in a bold, original temday-like this of Salamagundi-about per-unaided—and alone—by Irving: which nobody ever thought of com- more entirely the natural thought, plaining.-Beside ; where would be language, humour, and feeling of the the harm ?- the copyrights have run man himself-without imitation or out. Would it not be doing a favour plagiarism-far more-than either of to the public; a handsome thing, af- his late works: It was written, too, in ter all, by our brave, old-fashioned li- the fervour and flush of his populaterature, which, we ate afraid, will rity, at home-after he had got a soon be entirely obsolete?-The truth name, such as no other man had, is, that we are tired and sick of these among his countrymen; after Saladaily, hourly imitations-thefts and magundi had been read, with pleasure, forgeries ; angry, weary, and ashamed all over North America : In it, howa ever, there is a world of rich allusion weeks, more testimonials of public a vein of sober caricature—the me- favour-than have ever been bestowed rit of which is little understood here : upon all the public men of America Take an example "Von Poffenburg" - from the time of Washington, up to is a portrait-outrageously distorted, this hour.-The consequence was naon some accounts, but nevertheless a tural. The commanders of their little portrait, of General Wilkinson-- navy adventured everywhere, with a « bellipotent" officer, who sent in a preternatural ardour; fought nobly, bill, to Congress, for sugar plums, or desperately—and were the talk of a segars, or both, after “ throwing up” whole country. Battle after battle -in disgust we dare say, as“ he could was fought; victory after victory folnot stomach it,” his military command lowed-before the tide was turned, by upon the Florida frontier : So too—in the capture of their Chesapeake. the three Dutch governors, we could The Analectic Magazine took fire point out a multitude of laughable se- —with an eye to profit: hunted up cret allusions to three of the American materials: employed Irving to write a chief magistrates (Adams, Jefferson, Biography of these naval captains, one Madison) —which have not always after the other; and gave it out, with been well understood, anywhere-by portrait after portrait, month after anybody-save those who are familiar month, to the overheated public. with American history.
Some of these papers are bravely By nine readers out of ten, perhaps, done : In general, they are eloquent, Knickerbocker is read, as a piece of simple, clear, and beautiful : Among generous drollery-nothing more. Be the Lives, that of poor Perry, the it so. It will wear the better--The de- young fresh-water Nelson, who swept sign of Irving himself is not always Lake Erie of our fleet, in such a galclear: nor was he always undeviating, lant, seaman-like style, is quite rein his course. Truth or fable, fact or markable--as containing within itself, falsehood-it was all the same to him, proof, that Irving has the heart of a if a bit of material came in his way. poet. We do not say this, lightly-.
In a word, we look upon this vo- we say it as a fact-we shall prove it. lume of Knickerbocker; though it is We had seen him try hard, before, tiresome, though there are some in that paltry, boyish piece of descripwretched failures in it; a little over- tion—the passage through Hell Gate* doing of the humorous-and a little - which has been so be-praised : we confusion of purpose, throughout-as had really dozed over his laboured ema work, honourable to English litera- bellishments—they were affronting to ture—manly-bold-and so altogether our natural sense of poetry--we had original, without being extravagant, no suspicion of the truth. It is only as to stand alone, among the labours a word or two, that we speak of. It of men.
is not where he tries, that Irving is po4. NAVAL BIOGRAPHY. Irving had etical: it is only where he is transnow grown so popular, in America, ported, suddenly, by some beautiful that he was consulted with, or pester- thought-carried away, without knowed about, almost every undertaking of ing why-by inward music--his the day, in matters of literature. heart beating ; his respiration hurried.
The war with us had become seri- —He is never the man to call up the ous. The navy had grown popular, anointed, before him, at will: to imawith everybody. The pride of the gine spectacles; or people the air people was up; their passions; they earth, and sea-like a wizard—by the were almost ready to launch their waving of his hand.—He has only the houses upon the water.-When Hall heart of a poet : He has not-he netook the Guerriere; and broke, as they ver will have the power of one. It say, there, the charm of our invinci- is too late, now. Power comes of perbility (they never say how, by the petual warfare-trial---hardship: He way; or with what force)-the whole has grown up, in perpetual quietcountry broke out, into acclamation. sunshinema sort of genteel repose.They loaded him down with honour. He may continue, therefore, to feel They lavished upon him, within a few poetry ; to think poetry--to utter po