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The Christian Pilgrim ; a Poem of Palestine. By EDMUND Peel,
Bonchurch. T. C. Newby, Mortimer Street. The spirit of Poetry, like that of religion, dwells in the Holy Land, breathing over it the witching spells of the former, and infusing into the hearts of its travellers the deep, pure feelings of the latter. No spot on earth brings to the imagination such rich recollections of the past, or leads to such, perhaps romantic yet vivid, anticipations for the future. This, no doubt, was Mr. Peel's feeling when he selected Palestine for the scene of the Poem now before us ;-the spirit of its poesy formed his verse—the spirit of its religion inspired his sentiments. He felt as he expresses it, that it is a
“ Region of wonder! where, in olden time,
Prophet and bard and apparition bright
Who rais'd the humble, and the proud withstood,
Who died and rose again! miraculous neighbourhood!” To this “region of wonder” Mr. Peel leads his “ Christian Pilgrim," and omitting the prayer with which the poem commences, we quote the following, not, perhaps, that it is the best passage, but because it describes the first glimpse of that land the wanderer so ardently longs to behold
“ So pray'd the pilgrim, musing by the shore
Of the Great Sea renown'd in days of old,
Beyond the rock of Calpe, swept the sea
Had sail'd the stranger for the Holy Land,
The fields of promise which before him lie,
And shadowy cypress bending o'er the tomb,
Engage the rapt beholder, by the sound
* The sky without a cloud-the snowy mountain,
And floating eagle 'midst the blue serenem
Unmov'd—who would not mark the flashing eye,
The west beholding when the sun is bright,
Who, in the calm of heaven-embracing earth,
Creation would deny to be a blessed birth?” After perusing these lines, we are sure our readers will gladly accompany the traveller in his pilgrimage; and they will be well satisfied to be led through scenes of beauty, described with such evident, heartfelt imagery of expression. We do not offer to Mr. Peel the fulsome flattery of saying that he ranks first amongst the poets of his country—but he possesses powers far superior to most of the modern writers who fill our library tables with rhyme, and designate it poetry. If there are no extravagant passages, no outrageous “ Aights of fancy” -an apparent feeling of calm devotion, an inherent love for Nature, and a just conception of the beautiful, pervades the whole. The following lines are more eloquent than if pages had been devoted to describe
Sun-rising in the East.
Beguile the wounded breast, and toil-devoted brow."
Beneath the cedar are the people kneeling
Rest to the weary, to the wounded balm,
It is rarely we find Poets directing their energies to impart lessons like these ; but it is to such purposes that the most transcendent of human qualities should be applied. Mr. Peel evidently feels the responsibility of an author, and presents only scenes to inspire virtue : his classical attainments are made subservient to this purpose ; and though the imagination of the Poet gilds all, that imagination is regulated by reason and restrained by virtue. After describing the beaulies of Palestine, how feelingly he laments over the obstinacy of the lawful possessors of the soil —
«« Would alienated Judah only bow
Beneath the Cross, the beauty we behold
But while our brethren pine, away from home,
The region they lament, can we exulting roam?" We will extract no further, though there are many beauties press forward almost demanding notice, particularly the nine concluding stanzas containing a visionary picture of the return of the converted Jews to their country.
We believe this to be Mr. Peel's first Essay as a Poet; we sincerely hope it may not prove his last. His rising sun sheds too pleasing a light on the paths of poesy to set in darkness : let it attain its meridian height, and the laurels encircling the brows of Sir Robert Peel as a Statesman, will not shine more brightly than the bay leaves on the temples of his cousin.
The Herberts. By the Author of “ Elphinstone." Saunders
and Otley. Through the medium of some such writer as the author of “ Elphinstone," we learned that it is the custom in Gin Palaces to turn the glasses, out of which the customers have taken their drams, upside down upon a piece of perforated metal placed expressly for the purpose,-thus the drainings of Rum, Brandy, Gin, Whisky, Aniseed, Bitters, or any other Compound or Cordial, from the lips of Costermongers, Demireps, Basket-women, and other visiters to the Bar, are collected together, and this precious mélange is dispensed at a cheaper rate than the “ Neat as Imported,” under the Inviting title of “ All Sorts.”
Figuratively speaking, this writer instead of drinking deep at the Pierian spring, has regaled himself copiously on literary All Sorts; bis work is a mixture of the dregs of Bulwer, Dickens, and Ainsworth,
- "and the meer lees
Is left this book to brag of.” The Story for the most part is disgusting from its unredeemed vulgarity. It is not to be supposed that because a writer of Fiction clothes his characters in crime, that he has ever been guilty of similar sins himself. Crime, to its utmost and most fearful extent may be
imagined by the pure in heart, but Slang, low Slang, must be learnt. You must positively visit the haunts of Thieves and Pickpockets to acquire their language. We have little doubt but that Bulwer explored the Back Slums ere he gave his finishing touches to “ Paul Clifford;" doubtless the Baronet took especial care to dress for the occasion, and preserve a strict incognito, the drawing forth of a perfumed handkerchief might have occasioned the inconvenience of a broken head. We repeat, that such scenes must be witnessed to be described, and on this conviction we are strongly tempted to believe that the author of “ The Herberts," must at one period of his life have belonged to some large Linen Drapery House, and thus situated forced to share a miserable attic with five other Assistants (Shop-men they used to be called) under the pleasing arrangement of two in a bed, as he so graphically relates. The low lived conversation of these people, their horrid cant of “Grosdenap," “ Gents,” and other detestably vulgar contractions, could not have been invented; or the mysteries of “ Selling off at a Sacrifice, at and under Prime Cost," exposed by any, but one who had been engaged in such operations.
The author's attempts at the terrible are absolutely ridiculous. He introduces a mad old man, for whom he is anxious to create sympathy, but the poor driveller's eternal ravings for his “ Polly,” becomes sickening and wearisome beyond endurance. The winding up of the story is as clumsy and ill arranged as can be imagined, it has only the merit of being the end of such utter trash. A “ more lame and impotent conclusion" was never known since Iago talked of “suckling fools ;” we will no longer waste our time in “ chronicling” such “ small beer !"
The Expectant. By ELLEN PICKERING. T. C. Newby, 65,
Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square. Miss Pickering belongs to the utilitarian school of novelists, for the object of her work seems rather“ to point a moral” than “to adorn a tale." . And yet she is deficient neither in grace nor animation, though she may not draw so largely on her imagination as the writers of the metaphysical school, such as Bulwer or Godwin, who delight in dazzling the reader by the brilliant verbiage in which they clothe their ideas. Of all the popular writers of the present day, Miss Pickering approaches nearest to Miss Edgeworth, whom we regard as a model of chaste simplicity and elegance of style. The resemblance is still more striking in the sound philosophical reasoning with which Miss Pickering's works abound, and which shows a strength and depth of understanding which is rarely to be met with in a woman. Such writers as these confer more benefit on the human race than hosts of prosing essayists, for they clothe morality in an attractive guise, which renders it palatable to the million, and lead us by silken strings into the paths of virtue. In the work before us we recognize one of the happiest efforts of Miss Pickering's pen. Here is life painted as it is, not what optimists would make it-presenting alternately its good and bad side --but unlike the vitiated taste which clothes vice with attractive features, and makes heroes of highwaymen, it is consistent in its delineation of character, and has the triumph of virtue and principle always in view. Here we find satire without malice, sentiment without being diluted into sentimentality, and a dashing, off-hand style of dialogue that never flags in interest. How is it that the fair authoress has never tried her hand at dramatic writing ? Each of her novels is in itself a drama, and wants but scenic effect to entitle it to a place amongst the best of our modern comedies. The forte of the writer lies in action, not in “ still life,”-she has a taste for intrigue, and is unrivalled in the construction of a plot. What a glorious old quiz would be Sir Thomas Medlycott in the hands of Farren, and what an impersonation of honied hypocrisy the Mrs. Fleming of Mrs. Glover or Mrs. Orger. We are perfectly sincere,- the book before us would require no other alteration or addition than to mark the exits and entrances, and to cut it down to the usual stage allowance, for it consists of incident and dialogue from beginning to end; and dialogue, too, as smart and telling as a laughter-loving audience can desire. We trust that our hint will not be lost on the writer.
Thoughts on Salvation. By Thomas RagG, Author of “ The Deity,” “ 'The Martyr of Verulam,” “ Heber,” &c. &c. Longman and Co.
A small volume full of the pious outpourings of a truly good man, who beside his moral character, is gifted by the God he serves with a power of clothing his thoughts in language that must win the heart, and captivate the senses of the Reader.
Of Mr. Ragg's extraordinary capabilities and Genius as a Poet, we have already given our humble opinion ; in this little volume his prose assumes a poetical character; inspired by the sacredness of his theme he breathes forth his thoughts in accents of sweet melody. May his excellent intentions in giving to the world a subject so all absorbing as Salvation, in a form within the reach of every man, and in a style suited to the capacities of all, meet with that reward which is above all price-the consciousness of having served his fellow creatures by leading them towards the only road by which they may hope to find Everlasting Life. Memoir of the Right Honourable Sir Robert Peel, Bart. In Two
Volumes. T. C. Newby. We consider ourselves particularly fortunate in having obtained a sight of the first volume of this highly interesting work. We hail its appearance at this particular juncture most cordially, the illustrious subject of the Memoir occupying at present the most prominent position in the Political world.
It is natural to covet every particular connected with the life of a man on whom all eyes are fixed, and from the perusal we have given this portion, we are well convinced such a compilation, as the one before us, will satisfy the most curious.
The work is written in a clear, manly style ; in the early pages we find the following remark, connected with the party of whom Sir Robert is the acknowledged head :
“On the other hand the Tory party, though its measures have always