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THE DEATH OF THE BUTTERFLY.
A deadly water sonnet.
[From the same.]
WAERE the blue stream reflected flowerets pale,
A fluttering butterfly, with many a freak, Dipped into dancing bells, and spread its sail
Of azure pinions, edged with jetty streak. I snatched it passing; but a pinion frail,
Ingrained with mealy gold, I chanced to break.
The mangled insect, ill deserving bane,
Falls in the hollow of a lily new.
The cup, embalmed with azure airs and dew,
So guileless nymphs attract some traitorous eye,
ON A PRETTY LITTLE MAID OF MY MOTHER'S.
To Dorothy Pulvertaf.
[From the same.]
IF Black sea, White sea, Red sea ran
'THE New-York HISTORICAL, SOCIETY have in the press a second volume of their collections. This will probably be a volume of much interest. It will contain, among other things, the anniversary discourses delivered before the society by the Hon. De Witt Clinton and Gouverneur Morris, and Drs. Williamson and Mitchill, the petition lately presented to the legislature of the state of New York by the society, containing an extensive and accurate view of the different sources from which historical information with respect to this country is to be derived, and a translation of De Salle's travels in America, a very rare and curious old tract. The first volume of the society's collections published in 1811, though containing some valuable matter, particularly the learned anniversary discourse of the Rev Dr. S. Miller, has yet too much the air of a compilation got up in a hurry for the desire of appearing imme. diately before the public. This observation will not, however, by any means, apply to the volume now in press; and if the society will persist in their present laudable plan of pot considering themselves bound to publish regularly, after the fashion of many of our learned societies, whether they have any thing worth publishing or not; we may reasonably anticipate in their future volumes an honourable accession as well to the literature of the country as to our stock of historical information.
We understand that the Rev. Dr. Mason is appointed to deliver the next anniversary oration.
Life of WELLINGTON. Van Winkle and Wiley have in the press Clarke's Life of Lord Wellington. The character and exploits of Lord Wellington are among the most remarkable circumstances of an age fertile in prodigies. Nearly a century has passed away since Great Britain has produced any very brilliant military charaeter. The nation, absorbed in proud admiration of its own naval glory, has looked upon the land service with indifference, and sometimes with mortification. Lord Wellington has at once changed the current of popular opinion, and the nation sees in him with pride her second Marlborough.
Besides the gratification which it affords to the curiosity naturally excited by the exploits of such a man, Mr. Clarke's biography is highly interesting, as it displays the chain of causes and the series of military experience by which, while almost all the talents of the nation were turned into another direction, Lord Wellington was silently and gradually formed into the most accomplished general of the age. Mr. Clarke's work is brought down only to 1812. The task of continuing the narrative to the present time, as well as of revising and correcting the former part of the work, bas been undertaken by a gentleman of New-York every way well qualified for the purpose.
Port Folio. We perceive that the gentleman who has edited this miscellany, since the death of Mr. Dennie, has relinquished the editorship, and that it will in future be conducted by Dr. Caldwell. Report speaks favourably of the present editor's competency for the undertaking, from his varied knowledge both scienti fe and literary, his ready talents, and industrious application. We cannot, however, permit his predecessor to make his modest retreat into the shades of private life, without giving him our applause for the independence, the candour, the correct taste, the national spirit, and the amiable and courteous temper with which he has discharged his editorial duties. We trust that though relieved from the irksome and ever recurring task of a periodical work, he will not suffer his mind to be idle, but that we may still be gratified by the chaste productions of his classic pen.
The infant state of letters in this country gives the public a peremptory claim on the intellect of every scholar and man of genius; and the stream of national literature is yet too turbid not to covet the contributions of every rill of pure and elegant English.
Dunlar's Life or Cooke. While this work was in the press here, Mr. Dunlap sent a copy in manuscript to England for publication. A bargain was made with an English bookseller which would have been very advantageous, but, unfortunately, a printed copy got out in time to be seized upon and published by another bookseller, with the customary avidity of the craft, so as to forestall the manuscript copy, and to rob the author of his well merited profits. The work appears to have been well received in England, and to have met with a very extensive sale. The Eclectic Review observes, “We are very glad that the biography of Cooke has fallen into the hands of a man like Mr. Dunlap. With an enthusiastic admiration of his hero's talents, Mr. D. never attempts to palliate his vices-not even to apologize for them. They appear to have struck the mind of the author very forcibly, and very forcibly he gives them to the reader.” The reviewers take particular notice of the great curiosity excited by the arrival of Cooke; the extravagant sums paid, in some of the cities, to procure advantageous seats at the theatre, and the enthusiasm with which he was admired. One observes, “We did not know that the Americans had carried thcir rage for theatrical amusements to so great a height. Our readers will draw their own inference from the fact. It seems to mark a state of society, differing essentially from that which prevailed some years ago.” “ It proves the action of curiosity on the public mind in America, with a force at least equal to its action on the public mind in Britain ; connected with preceding extracts, it seems to mark a disposition to excess in the American character, wbieb deserves notice."
Histoire des Croisades. Première Partie contenidnt l'Histoire
de la première Croisade. Par M. Michaud. Avec une Carte de l'Asie Mineure, les plans d'Antioche, de Jerusalem, &c. 8vo.
[From the Critical Review.]
IF the present circumstances of the French empire are unfavourable to the free and vigorous exertions of native genius, to the exercise of political talent, and the advance of moral and religious philosophy, we should yet be far from the truth were we to infer that the unparalleled restrictions of the liberty of the press bad VOL. III. New Series.
operated to the extinction of all literary power and energy. It remains to be proved (and we may hope that it is a problem never likely to be solved) how long a continuance of the system pursued by the present ruler of France, will be necessary to put an entire stop to the progress of the human intellect, and drive back a highly cultivated people to their original barbarism; but we have sufficient evidence that no such effect is yet to be contemplated; and the annals of French literature have probably never displayed, within so short a space of time, so great a number of valuable and interesting works in the departments of history and the belles lettres, as during the period that ihese restrictions have been in force.
Of these productions we have noticed several of late, and need only, to justify our assertions, recall to our readers the works of M. M. Sismondi and Ginguéné, relating to the civil and military history of the middle ages in Italy. That which we now announce, from the portion already executed and at present in our hands, bids fair to rival the works last mentioned in interest and utility. We have not, as yet, possessed any general history of the crusades that can be read with satisfaction and pleasure. The best are short and imperfect summaries, which leave the reader to desire much more information than they are capable of communicating, while, for the knowledge of particulars, he has hitherto been condemned either to have recourse to original authorities, which are almost unattain- . able, and if attained, scarcely legible, or to dry, tasteless compilations, which repel curiosity and demand attention only on account of the matter they contain, and which is nowhere else to be met with.
With this preface, we sit down, not to add to the list of insipid details, by furnishing an abstract of the contents of the present volume, but to select some passages of the most striking interest, and most ably wrought in description, to enable our readers to judge for themselves of the value which ought to be set upon the work itself. It is just, however, before we look further, to let our author speak for himself as to his view of the task he has undertaken to execute.
“Those among us who have undertaken subjects of ancient history, had for their guides the historians of Rome and Athens. The brilliant colours of Tacitus, Livy, and Thucydides, were ready for their pencil. For me, I have no models to follow, and am reduced to the necessity of giving a language to those historians of the middle ages whom our era disdains. They have seldom supported me in my labour by the charm of style, and the elegance of narration; but, if they have afforded me no lessons in the art of writing, they at least transmit lo me events of an interest sufficiently powerful to redeem all the defects