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of boys would rather tend to defeat than accelerate the intentions of the founders. It is essential to the well working of the system, that a preponderance of good be at all times maintained; for as soon as vicious principles or habits are encouraged by the outward manifestation of similar propensities in others, there is great danger that the experiment may fail. So also at the commencement of the undertaking it appears desirable that the Committee should abstain from taking in boys who belong to Exeter itself, or the immediate neighbourhood; and if they would pardon the suggestion, we would venture to recommend that as one great means of avoiding the demoralising influence of escapes, they should rather direct their efforts in the first instance to the reclamation of youthful criminals in the more distant parts of the county. With this view we would also venture to intimate that the Magistrates in petty sessions, and the Borough Magistrates at Plymouth and elsewhere, might not merely confer advantages on the locality with which they are connected, by sending their young criminals to the Farm School, but they would also be affording the Executive Committee the best opportunity of commencing their labours with a fair prospect of success. With reference to the financial prospects of the Institution, we regret to say, that small though the proposed establishment may be at its commencement, yet in order to keep it up the Executive Committee will require their hands to be strengthened by additional subscriptions to the extent of £50 at the very least. Many of the leading Magistrates and Clergy, in addition to their princely donations towards the General Reformatory Fund, have given in their names as annual subscribers of sums varying from one to twenty pounds. In a matter of this importance we trust the County of Devon will assume a position worthy of her wealth, extent, and influence; and in order to promote so desirable a result, we beg to intimate that subscriptions are received by JOHN MILFORD, Esq., treasurer; at any of the Exeter Banks; or by Mr. E. OSMOND, the honorary secretary, at Woodrow, Brampford Speke."
MEMOIR OF THOMAS MOORE.
The Publisher of THE IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW begs to inform those readers who are only acquainted with the recently issued numbers,that in the number for June, 1853, Vol II. No. 6, a MEMOIR OF THOMAS MOORE appeared. It is the only complete Memoir as yet published, and has been quoted with approbation by LORD JOHN RUSSELL in the introduction to the first volume of The Memoir, Journals, and Correspondence of the Poet.
IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.
No. XVIII.-JUNE, 1855.
ART. I. THE POETS OF AMERICA.
1. Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. New Edition. London: David Bogue. 1854.
2. The Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant, with Griswald's Memoir. Edited (with an introduction) by F. W. N. Bayley, Esq. London: Geroge Routledge and Co. 1852. 3. The Poetical Works of Mrs. L. H. Sigourney. Edited by F. W. N. Bayley. London: George Routledge and Co. 1852.
4. The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes. First English Edition. London: George Routledge and Co.
It is not altogether four hundred years since Columbus was quoting, in Lisbon, such authorities as Strabo, Ptolemy, Aristotle, Seneca, and Pliny, in support of that meditated voyage which has resulted not only in the discovery, but also in the civilization of the noblest of earth's continents, and in the foundation, if permanently united, of a people destined to be the mightiest the earth has ever beheld. Yet, still more extraordinary, it is little over seventy years since that people sprung into existence, and already they have accomplished the work of ages in the growth of their civil constitution, and in the development of every leading characteristic which marks the progress of a nation. The impulse which the Poets of America may have already given to the great work of organization which has been so rapidly effected in their country, cannot with any accuracy be determined, and though it would be equally as difficult to hazard an opinion on the amount of their
VOL. V.-NO. XVIII.
future influence on Transatlantic society, it is wonderfully evident that such influence will be immense. Greatness of capacity, apparently justifiable as such a basis would be, does not form the groundwork of this belief, which, on the contrary, has naturally grown from observing the adaptation of that capacity, to the wants and aspirations of the people, and from the unceasing vigilance with which it cherishes the bulwarks of the country's freedom. We search in vain through the records of European Literature, for instances such as the majority of these Poets afford us, where each inspiration of the Bard, seems consecrated at the shrine of public utility, and transferred into an oracle for the dispensation of the most invaluable truth. In like manner we are completely unsuccessful in discovering any other generation of Poets, who have been so generally distinguished for the vestal purity of their patriotism, or their manly advocacy in its behalf. The care with which those subjects are selected, most calculated to improve the intellect, and the heart, the paternal solicitude which is evinced in their treatment, and the practical ameliorations they suggest, have rendered the Poetry of America sacred, and have embued its people with a reverence for their Poets totally distinct from the admiration which their genius has elicited.
Inasmuch as the predominance of these shining virtues has not received due appreciation in this country, and as the works of the authors themselves, from Longfellow to Read, have not been collectively reviewed, so as to give the reading public an opportunity of glancing at their many various peculiarities, and thus deducing the characteristics which stamp the whole, we are induced to give our aid in sketching their literary portraits, and illustrating their solid beauties. The time will inevitably come when the greatest of our critics will enter the lists as rivals in their praise, and in the meantime let us be content if in bringing them forward in "serried rank," we are, at least, the first who have introduced them to the world as a literary class.* This in itself will form sufficient matter for self-complacency, for assuredly the introduction to the reading world of the leading Poets of a country, in a collective form, unchequered by any invidious distinctions, unworthy partiality, or unpardonable omissions,
Our readers will therefore be easily enabled to solve the otherwise difficult problem, why the works of a Poet so well known as Longfellow should be included in this paper.
is a task entitled to indulgence and calculated to fill the mind of him who undertakes it with the most pleasurable and consoling reflections.
The cause of philanthropy is assisted by inducing contemplation on novel principles of a salutary kind, and the interests of civilization are observed in opening the sluice gates for a grateful current of ideas, which are about to re-animate the weary laborers in the vineyards of art, and to revive the drooping leaves and tendrils they contain,
"From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill,
And swells, and deepens to the cherished eye."
It is like Elysian happiness after tasting the rank and uninviting food of the transcendentalists with their starry nothings, and impossible essences, to inhale the revivifying sweetness which proceeds from those "Fresh fields, and pastures new;" to exchange the glittering inanities of the one, for the unfading splendors of the other, to barter those simulated gems which resemble the
"Dead Sea fruits, that tempt the eye,
But turn to ashes on the lips,"
for those real treasures which will shine with steady and unfailing lustre, while virtue commands respect, and genius
But while we eulogise their merits, let us not shut our eyes. to their imperfections. In common with the whole race, a peculiar species of emphatic egotisin which decidedly does not tend to impart elevation to the subject, is strongly apparent in a great number of the productions of American Poets. This injurious weakness it is to be hoped, and, indeed, expected, will gradually wear itself away while it lasts it must act as a weighty drag chain on even the most splendid efforts, and cannot but deteriorate their merit. Another disadvantage under which these Poets labor, is the want of a native style, sufficiently robust and dignified: their deficiency in this respect obliges them to fall back on the idioms, and rythmical peculiarities of the mother country, which consequently lessens the compass of their originality, and the raciness of their expression. Time, however, the great teacher, will rectify this defect, for, as their ideas become more settled, and their character more developed, the increased improvement will necessarily be reflected in their literature.
One of the mighty elements which compose the Poetic system of our American brethren, and which can be evidenced in almost every individual member of their tuneful band, is the acknowledgment and practical pursuance of that valuable aphorism of Pope, "The noblest study of mankind is man." This great principle establishes in a moment the exalted tendency of such Poetry, and is big with the presage of its future universality; in the hands of such Poets as we are now proceeding to review, whose heroism of purpose, buoyant hope, and unflagging zeal, are as remarkable as the beneficent fecundity of their genius, the realization of this great predominating idea will probably include the colossal inauguration of a great social frame work, furnished with all the connecting and ramifying principles which characterize the establishment of polite society, and endued with that unconquerable vitality, and ameliorative capacity, which would ensure its gradual growth, and triumphant generalization. "Finis coronat opus,' should be stamped in the title-page of every American Poetical publication, for it is this consistent development of the study of mankind which all profess to love, which will ensure its success. What chivalry was to Europe, this philosophy will be to America; and as the former with "its generous loyalty to rank and sex, its dignified obedience, its subordination of the heart which kept alive even in servitude itself the spirit of an exalted freedom," erected the platform upon which European civilization arose into existence, and gradually sprung the arches, and shot up the columns which gave permanence and finish to the building, so the latter, on still more stable foundations, and impelled by a more spiritual enthusiasm, will ultimately construct an edifice, which, free from the imperfections of the old architectural design, will engraft its ennobling reverential suggestiveness, on the intellectual grandeur which will typify its own. Yet more, it would be irrational to suppose that with America for an object, a country young, and vigorous, and abounding in the elements of mental organization, the practicability of such a theory would not include the pouring forth of enriching materials, destined by their priceless value, heretofore unknown, to benefit general society throughout the world. What food have we not here for reflection? The mind prone to anticipation soon arrives at that period when the influence of this benignant teaching will have produced a plenteous harvest, already grown ripe beneath its