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A Letter to Rev. W. E. Channing, D. D. By O. A. BROWNSON; an earnest, singular tract, of which we have the promise of a critical notice from a correspondent for the next number.
Henry of Ofterdingen. Translated from the German of Novalis. Cambridge, John Owen. We hail the appearance of this book. The translation appears to be faithful, and the poetry is rendered with great spirit.
Chapters on Church Yards. By CAROLINE SOUTHEY. Wiley & Putnam, New York. Another reprint from the inexhaustible English stock, and a book pleasing to those who delight in sketches of the Wilson and Howitt school.
The London Phalanx for June. We regret that we have no room for some extracts from this paper.
Exploring Expedition. The United States Corvette Vincennes, Captain Charles Wilkes, the flag ship of the Exploring Expedition, arrived at New York on Friday, June 10th, from a cruise of nearly four years. The Brigs Porpoise and Oregon may shortly be expected. The Expedition has executed every part of the duties confided to it by the Government. A long list of ports, harbors, islands, reefs, and shoals, named in the list, have been visited and examined or surveyed. The positions assigned on the charts to several vigias, reefs, shoals, and islands, have been carefully looked for, run over, and found to have no existence in or near the places assigned them. Several of the principal groups and islands in the Pacific Ocean have been visited, examined, and surveyed; and friendly intercourse, and protective commercial regulations, established with the chiefs and natives. The discoveries in the Antarctic Ocean (Antarctic continent, observations for fixing the Southern Magnetic pole, &c.) preceded those of the French and English expeditions. The Expedition, during its absence, has also examined and surveyed a large portion of the Oregon Territory, a part of Upper California, including the Columbia and Sacramento Rivers, with their various tributaries. Several exploring parties from the Squadron have explored, examined, and fixed those portions of the Oregon Territory least known. A map of the Territory, embracing its Rivers, Sounds, Harbors, Coasts, Forts, &c., has been prepared, which will furnish the
information relative to our possessions on the Northwest Coast, and the whole of Oregon. Experiments have been made with the pendulum, magnetic apparatus, and various other instruments, on all occasions, - the temperature of the ocean, at various depths, ascertained in the different seas traversed, and full meteorological and other observations kept up during the cruise. Charts of all the surveys have been made, with views and sketches of headlands, towns or villages, &c., with descriptions of all that appertains to the localities, productions, language, customs, and manners. At some of the islands, this duty has been attended with much labor, exposure, and risk of life, the treacherous character of the natives rendering it absolutely necessary that the officers and men should be armed, while on duty, and at all times prepared against their murderous attacks. On several occasions, boats have been absent from the different vessels of the Squadron on surveying duty, (the greater part of which has been performed in boats,) among islands, reefs, &c., for a period of ten, twenty, and thirty days at one time. On one of these occasions, two of the officers were killed at the Fiji group, while defending their boat's crew from an attack by the Natives.
Association of State Geologists. After holding annual meetings in New York and Philadelphia, the Geologists assembled in April of this year in Boston, to the number of forty, from the most distant points of the Union. Members were present from Natchez and Iowa. Mr. Lyell from London was present. From we know not what inadvertence, the notice of so unusual a scientific union failed to reach the ancient ears of the University, at three miles' distance. Neither its head nor its members, neither the professor of Geology nor the professor of Physics arrived to welcome these pilgrims of science, from the far East and the far West, to the capital and University of New England. The public Address was made by Mr. Silliman, and reports and debates of the most animated and various interest, by the Messrs. Rogers of Pennsylvania and of Virginia, Dr. Morton of Philadelphia, and others, a full report of which is in the course of publication. The next annual meeting is to be holden in Albany, N. Y.
Harvard University. The Chair of Natural History, vacant since the resignation of Mr. Nuttall, is filled by the appointment of Asa Gray, M. D., known to the botanists as the associate of Mr. Torrey of New York. In the Divinity College, the Chair of Pulpit Eloquence and Pastoral Care, vacant by the resignation of Henry Ware, Jr., is to be filled by Dr. Convers Francis. A generous subscription by several friends of the
College has resulted in a fund of more than 20,000 dollars for the purchase of books for the College Library. The College has also received a bequest which promises at a future day to be a valuable foundation. Benjamin Bussey, Esq. has provided in his will for the application of the income of his property to the benefit of certain heirs therein named. At the decease of the survivor of them, and subject to the payment of any annuities then existing, he gives all his property to Harvard University for the following purposes. His Estate in Roxbury is to be held forever as a Seminary for "instruction in practical agriculture, in useful and ornamental gardening, in botany, and in such other branches of natural science, as may tend to promote a knowledge of practical agriculture, and the various arts subservient thereto, and connected therewith." The government of the University is also "to cause such courses of lectures to be delivered there, at such seasons of the year and under such regulations as they may think best adapted to promote the ends designed; and also to furnish gratuitous aid, if they shall think it expedient, to such meritorious persons as may resort there for instruction." One half of the net income of his property is to be appropriated to maintain that institution; and the residue of the income is to be divided equally between the Divinity School and the Law School of the University. Mr. Bussey's property is estimated at not less than three hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
On the subject of the University we cannot help wishing that a change will one day be adopted which will put an end to the foolish bickering between the government and the students, which almost every year breaks out into those uncomfortable fracases which are called 'Rebellions.' Cambridge is so well endowed, and offers such large means of education, that it can easily assume the position of an University, and leave to the numerous younger Colleges the charge of pupils too young to be trusted from home. This is instantly effected by the Faculty's confining itself to the office of Instruction, and omitting to assume the office of Parietal Government. Let the College provide the best teachers in each department, and for a stipulated price receive the pupil to its lecture-rooms and libraries; but in the matter of morals and manners, leave the student to his own conscience, and if he is a bad subject to the ordinary police. This course would have the effect of keeping back pupils from College, a year or two, or, in some cases, of bringing the parents or guardians of the pupil to reside in Cambridge; but it would instantly destroy the root of endless grievances between the student and teacher, put both parties on the best footing, — indispensable, one would say, to good teaching, and relieve the professors of an odious guardianship, always degenerating into espionage, which must naturally indispose men of genius and honorable mind from accepting the professor's chair.
From London we have Mr. Wordsworth's new volume of poems, which is not a bookseller's book, but a poet's book. We have read them all with great content, and very willingly forgave the poet for writing against the abolition of capital punishment, for the sake of the self-respect and truth to his own character, which the topic and the treatment evinced. We should say the same thing of his sonnet levelled at Mr. Thomas Carlyle. But the name of Wordsworth reminds us of another matter far less pleasant than poetry, namely, the profligate course recently adopted by some of the States of the Union in relation to their public debt. The following is an extract from a letter of Mr. Wordsworth to Bishop Doane of New Jersey. "The proceedings of some of the States in your country, in money concerns, and the shock which is given to the credit of the State of Pennsylvania, have caused much trouble under our roof, by the injury done to some of my most valuable connexions and friends. I am not personally and directly a sufferer; but my brother, if the State of Pennsylvania should fail to fulfil its engagements, would lose almost all the little savings of his long and generous life. My daughter, through the perfidy of the State of Mississippi, has forfeited a sum, though but small in itself, large for her means; a great portion of my most valued friends have to lament their misplaced confidence. Topics of this kind are not pleasant to dwell upon, but the more extensively the injury is made known, the more likely is it, that where any remains of integrity, honor, or even common humanity exist, efforts will be made to set and keep things right." We have learned also with mortification that John Sterling, whose poems have been lately reprinted in this country, had invested £2000 in the worthless stock of the Morris Canal Company, and later, that Mr. Carlyle had invested $1000 in stock of the State of Illinois, which presently proved worthless. In this way the heavens have taken care that the character of our rotten public stocks and the doctrine of 'Repudiation' shall be damned to fame.
Alfred Tennyson, moved by being informed of his American popularity, has given himself to the labor of revising and reprinting a selection of his old poems, and adding as many new ones, which he has sent to Mr. Wheeler of Harvard University, who is republishing them here.
Henry Taylor, too, the author of Van Artevelde, announces a new dramatic poem in press in London. John Sterling is still engaged on a tragedy, "Strafford," which should have been finished before this time, but for the ill health of the poet, which has driven him to the south of Italy. Thomas Carlyle is understood to be engaged on the Life of Oliver Cromwell.
Berlin. From Berlin, "The City of Criticism," we learned, in the past months, that the king of Prussia was gathering around him a constellation of men of science. The city was already the residence of Humboldt, of Bettine von Arnim, of Raumer, of Ranke, of Ritter, and of Ehrenberg. G. F. Waagen is director of the Royal Gallery; and now Cornelius, the great fresco painter; Ruckert, the poet; Tholuck, the theologian; and, greatest of all, Schelling, from Munich, are there. The king is discontented with the Hegel influence, which has predominated at Berlin, and, we regret to say, set himself to suppress the "Hallische Jahrbucher"; which, though published at Halle, depended for its support mainly on Berlin. With this view, also, he summons the great Schelling, now nearly seventy years old, to lecture on the Philosophy of Revelation. We have private accounts of these lectures, which began in the last November. The lecture room was crowded to suffocation; the pale professor, whose face resembles that of Socrates, was greeted with thunders of acclamation, but he remained pale and unmoved as if in his own study, and apparently quite unconscious that he was making a new epoch in German history. His first lecture has been published at Berlin. Such are the social and æsthetic attractions of this city, that it is said to acquire a new population of six thousand souls every year, by the residence of travellers, who are arrested by its music, its theatre, and the arts.
New Jerusalem Church. We learn from a communication from Dr. Tafel of Tubingen, in Germany, published in the Philadel phia New Churchman, that a dissenting party has arisen among the disciples of Swedenborg in that country, and that a periodical has appeared, called the "Christenbote," (Christian Messenger,) claiming to issue from the New Church, but deviating from the faith of the majority, among other things in the following points. 1. It recommends new revelations, such as those of Tennhardt, which not only contradict those given by Swedenborg, but even dare to put themselves on a par with those of the prophets and apostles. 2. It establishes the idea, that the New Church has only two fundamental principles; whereas, says Dr. Tafel, the New Church has acknowledged the writings of Swedenborg as her symbolical books. "True it is, if we had only two fundamentals, namely, the acknowledgment of the Lord, and the life of his Commandments, such contradictory revelations might be received alongside of each other, though merely externally; for internally we cannot hold fast anything contradictory. 3. It inculcates the belief in a general conversion of the Jews, relying, in this case likewise, upon Tennhardt, and 'peculiar revelations.'"