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“Awful and sage he stood; his gracious form
Quelld the loud tumult, and controll'd the storm.
Theme of his subject's pride, and idol of their vows." The volume contains, besides the Henriade, a number of the minor poems of Voltaire.
La Fontaine's Fables.* —No one has ever succeeded so admirably as La Fontaine, in rendering fable into the language of poetry. He is acknowledged to be the Prince of Fabulists. He seizes, as if by instinct, the characteristics of the whole animal world, and uses them with a inaster's hand to illustrate all the passions, hopes, fears, and weaknesses of man. His insight into the human heart has never been surpassed. He makes his animal speakers always preserve perfectly their animal characters, and the moral he draws always commends itself to the conscience. This edition, the translation of Mr. Elizur Wright, Jr., is already well and favorably known to the American public. Mr. Wright seems to have entered fully into the genius of La Fontaine, and he is admitted to have reproduced, as nearly as possible in an English version, all the wit and humor of the original.
The copyright of the American version has been purchased by Messrs. Derby & Jackson, and they have given it a place in their series of French classics, to which it will be considered by all a valuable addition. The editor has added to it in the present volume, a life of La Fontaine, taken from the Biographie Nouvelle, and an estimate of La Fontaine's literary character, translated from M. Nisard's “ History of French Literature.”
* Fables of La Fontaine. Translated from the French by Elizur Wright, Jr. Two volumes. 12mo. pp. 347, 351. 1859. Derby & Jackson. For sale by Judd, New Haven, Conn. (See Advertisement in N. E. Advertiser, pp. 9, 10.)
CHATEAUBRIAND's Martyrs.*—The work of M. Chateaubriand, which is best known in this country, is the one entitled Genius of Christianity, which was intended to serve as a kind of defense of the Christian religion. The object of the author was to counteract as far as possible the effect of some of his earlier writings, in which he had spoken disrespectfully of religion. The book had an influence upon public feeling in France which has been rarely if ever equaled, and contributed very much to the revival of respect for Christianity among the people. The Martyrs is a prose poem, which was written subsequently, with a somewhat similar design. Chateaubriand had contended that even from an esthetical point of view, “ Christianity was more favorable than Paganism for the development of characters and the play of passions in an epic," and that "the marvelous of Christianity would contend for the palm of interest with the marvelous borrowed from mythology.” So, in illustration, he chose a subject which, as he said, "would include upon the same canvas the predominant features of the two religions; the ethics, the sacrifices, the ceremonies of both systems of worship; a subject wherein the language of Genesis might be blended with that of the Odyssey ; wherein the Jupiter of Homer might be placed by the side of the Jehovah of Milton, without giving offense to piety, to taste, or to probability of manners.” He made the scene to open " toward the close of the third century, at the moment when the persecution of the Christians commenced under Diocletian, and when Christianity had not yet become the predominating religion of the Roman empire, and when its altars arose near the altars of idols." The characters are taken from the two religions, and the catastrophe is connected with the general massacre of the Christians. The Martyrs was considered a less fortunate effort than its predecessor, but its reputation is established as one of the most brilliant works in the French language.
Corinne.f—The many admirers of this well known novel, the most popular of all the works of Madame de Staël, will be pleased to find that it has already received a place in the series of French Classics. Its delineations of character, its descriptions of scenery, and “its eloquent rhapsodies upon love, religion, virtue, nature, history, and poetry, have long since given it an enduring place in the literature of the world."
* The Martyrs. By M. DE CHATEAUBRIAND. A Revised Translation. Edited by 0. W. Wight, A. M. New York: Derby & Jackson. 1869. 12mo. pp. 451. For sale at Judd's Bookstore, New Haven. (See Advertisement in N. E. Advertiser, pp. 9, 10.)
† Corinne. By MADAME DE Staël. New York: Derby & Jackson. 12mo. 1859. pp. 396. For sale by Judd, Chapel street, New Haven.
The Three WAKINGS.* — This unpretending little 18mo., with its two hundred pages, in plain black cloth binding, lay upon our table for a month unopened. A book of poems from a nameless author does not usually make a very strong appeal to our curiosity. At last, from a sense of duty, we took it up, in its turn, and our interest was immediately awakened by the little ode bearing the title “Eureka," upon wbich our eye first rested, a part of which we quote below. Upon further examination, we found a collection of Odes and Hymns marked by no ordinary ability. It is true they do not reveal the power or the polish which we expect in the masters of song; but there is a quiet grace and beauty about them all that is very attractive ; and they breathe so invariably and so thoroughly the sentiments of a truly Christian heart, that for ourselves we do not hesitate to prefer many of them to what has been written by poets whose fame has been long established.
We quote a few lines of the ode “Eureka,” not because they are better than many others, but because they first drew our attention to the book:
“Come and rejoice with me!
I, who was sick at heart,
And knows the healing art.
“Come and rejoice with me!
For I wae wearied sore,
Which holds me evermore.
"Come and rejoice with me!
My feet so wide did roam,
And beareth me safe home.
“Come and rejoice with me!
For I have found a Friend
Yet loves me without end.
* The Three Wakings. With Hymns and Songs. By the Author of " Christian Life in Song." New York : Robert Carter & Brothers, 1860. 18mo. pp. 228.
“I knew not of His love,
And He had loved so long,
So tender and so strong.
Have heard and know His voice,
Can I enough rejoice ?"
We give a few more lines from the “The Poet's Food,” which serve as a key to the book.
“The Poet does not dwell apart, enshrined in golden beams;
He is not mail'd from time's rude blows in a panoply of dreams.
But he must tread the common earth, mingling in common crowds.
“The glory which around him shines is no fictitious ray ;
It is the sun which shines on all, the light of common day.
A glory in God's meanest works which passeth fiction far.
“Nature prepares no royal food for this her royal guest;
No special banquet is for him at life's full table dress'd.
The shower of cordial laughter which the clouded bosom cheers,
All of the world that is not husks,—this is the poet's food.
Not all man's backney'd renderings can make it less divine.”
Sylvia's World.*—The author of this book wields the pen of fiction with decided skill. Under the leading title we have a tale of so
Sylvia's World. Crimes which the Law does not reach. 1. Gossip. 2. A Marriage of Persuasion. 3. A Male Flirt. 4. The Best of Friends. 5. A Coquette. 6. A Man of Honor. New York: Derby & Jackson. 12mo. pp. 384.
cial life, filling the first half of the volume, and in the other half some very clever stories illustrative of "Crimes which the Law does not reach." Under the sub-titles: Gossip-A Marriage of Persuasion-A Male Flirt—The Best of Friends-A Coquette-A Man of Honor.
Beulah.*—This is a Southern Tale. We gather as much from the very first line: “A January Sun had passed the zenith.” This astronomical statement would locate the scene in Southern Brazil, or at least in some sunny land near the tropic of Capricorn. But this is altogether too far south. For further examination shows that the book is a very readable story of life, not in South America, but in our southern states, and by a southern authoress. The heroine is an orphan girl, whose name gives the title to the book. The leading characters are well drawn; the story is interesting; in many parts of very high merit; and the moral is good. The poisonous effects of the writings of Emerson, Carlyle, and other apostles of modern skepticism, on young and thoughtful minds, are admirably exhibited, and the religion of the Bible beld up as the only safe guide in matters of faith.
From Dawn to Daylight, is a story very evidently “founded on facts.” Its graphic portraiture of the experiences of a pioneer Western minister's family, could only have been drawn by one describing scenes quorum pars magna fuit. It is a book that will be read with interest both east and west. Many a Home Missionary, or other self-sacrificing laborer in the great vineyard, will find in it his own story so accurately told as to be saved by it the trouble of keeping a personal Diary. It is calculated to do good.
The White Hills. I—This is a book which will prove eminently popular with the public. It is devoted 10 the illustration of the legends, the landscape and the poetry of the “ White Hills" of New Hampshire. Nothing has been spared by the publishers which could add to the beauty, the attractiveness, or the value of the volume. It is printed upon tinted paper, and, as a specimen of typography, it is unsurpassed
* Beulah. By AUGUSTA J. Evans. New York: Derby & Jackson, 12mo. 1859. pp. 51.
+ From Dawn to Daylight ; or, the simple story of a Western Home. By a Minister's Wife. New York: Derby & Jackson, 185
12mo. $ The White Hills : Their Legends, Landscape and Poetry. By Thomas Starr King. With sixty illustrations, engraved by Andrew, from drawings by Wheelock. Boston: Crosby, Nichols & Co. 1860. 8vo. pp. 403.