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since it owes its existence to those noble-minded men who fled from persecution to find freedom and toleration in the New World; and who, in after years, when tyranny followed them to their new home, went forth to battle, and with the pebble of Truth in the sling of Freedom laid low at their feet the giant Goliah of the world.
We conclude our notice of Miss Fuller by confessing that she is one of those few authors who have written too little. We hope to read more of her prose, so thoughtful and vigorous ; and of her poetry, at once so graceful, yet so strong and simple.
We regret that the scope of this volume will not allow us to consider her as a politician. In this character, however, she is familiar to all those who read the “ Tribune”—a journal which has of late sullied its high reputation for dignity and forbearance by indulging in personal attacks, and suffering itself to be converted from a great organ of truth to a vehicle of individual malignity.
MRS. C. M, KIRKLAND.
AMERICA has produced few women superior to the authoress of “ Western Clearings," "A New Home, Who'll Follow ?” “Forest Life,” and “ Holidays Abroad.” There is a clear, bright intellect displayed in her writings generally, which inevitably compels us to respect her conclusions, however much we may differ from them. This we do in many points, and in some to a great extent.
We shall commence with her last work, “ Holidays Abroad,” and present to our readers those parts which seem to illustrate most pointedly those peculiarities which constitute the individuality of Mrs. Kirkland.
Nature seems to possess the faculty of the kaleidoscope in never producing the same aspect twice. However much men and women may appear to resemble each other, the difference is as distinct as though they belonged to separate races. This is a conclusive reason why a man of intellect never despises the lowest of his fellow creatures. Every one is an undiscoveredworld, infinitely more wonderful than a new planet. When we remember into how few elements human nature is resolved, the imagination is not capable of realizing the countless variety of
individuals produced by a different combination of the passions. We may illustrate this in a faint degree by observing that out of twenty-five letters Shakspeare and the poets have produced all those marvellous creations which constitute the realm of thought.
When we take into account the variety of human passions, the senses, the modifications of climate, the different ages of the world, the disturbing influences of creeds, whether of religion, politics, or taste, and then multiply all these by the countless accidents of circumstances, we shall find a numerous alphabet of creative facts and elements, out of which nature can form that great dictionary of men—the human race—that wonderful language of which every word is a living and immortal being
We met with some verses lately in a manuscript poem, which reverse this illustration. Without vouching for the philosophy they embody, we quote them :
“ • Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' this knells
The common lot; but it is ink to ink,
The fate of those who sing, and those who think.
Still makes all human nature weep or laugh.” ' Mrs. Kirkland is one of the few travellers who have avoided the old stereotyped plan of diluting the “Guide Book,” and plagiarizing the “ Catalogues of Art.” In her preface she says: “I was obliged to make a compromise with modesty, by secretly vowing to resist all temptations to put anything in my book
which could be suspected of an intent to convey information, properly so called ! A faithful reading of Murray's Guide Books will give more of that than one can use."
This is the avowal of a woman of a superior intellect, a scorner of the commonplace; and it is infinitely preferable to have the impressions left on such a mind by the new aspects continually presented to her by foreign countries, than a tedious detail of the statistics of the places she has visited.
Our fair traveller's enthusiasm is very creditable to her feelings, but we are too frequently reminded by the largeness of her admiration, that she is expressing her astonishment rather than her critical opinion.
She is certainly one of the warmest admirers of England that it has been our fortune to meet. How truly the impulsive woman's nature is shown in the following apostrophe!
“ Who shall describe the exquisite delight with which the land is welcomed at the termination of a first voyage across the ocean! To see mere earth, though it were but a handful, enough to smell and to feel, were something! but to see land, and know that it is the land towards which your curiosity, gratitude, and affections, your nursery songs, your school stories, your academic education, your studies in history, your whole literary experience, have been directing and drawing you from your cradle; to see before you the shores of “merry England, the country of Alfred, and old Canute, and Robin Hood, and Mother Goose—the land whose Christmas and Twelfth-night revels Washington Irving made so unspeakably fascinating to our imagination—the land of Shakspeare, and of Shakspeare's creatures—the only Englishmen of the ages gone as much alive now as they ever were; England ! the country to which appertain the glorious ages of Anne and Elizabeth, and the splendid
names that are blazing round those queens, and lending them a more substantial royalty in the imaginations of men, than they ever exercised in their own right; England! the Old-country, the Mother-country-land of our fathers—fountain of our liberties source of our laws; from whose full bosom we have not ceased to draw the milk of gentle letters, though we spurned her maternal claim to rule us; England! the home of the noblest race earth has ever borne; the scene of a civilization without a parallel since time was. What educated American can first see the coast of England, without such a thrill as life is too short, and the heart too narrow, to afford many as keen, and deep, and universal !"
After the discomforts of a sea voyage we can well understand the exaggeration of sentimental feeling which the sight of land must raise, but Mrs. Kirkland's philosophy or good sense ought to save her from presenting this magnified appearance as a reality. Admiration and enthusiasm are fearful microscopes !
She possesses the power of presenting in a few words those mental sensations which so many have felt, but so few have well expressed. How truly she observes—“ When we stop at Chester, we seem to have plunged at once into some crypt, so subterranean do its dark streets appear after the riant freshness of the country !"
To an American fresh from the right-angular streets of Philadelphia and New York, we doubt not the queer, old, tumble-down gabled houses of an old country town appeared strange. We are, however, somewhat amused at her considering them the Father of Romance. There is a romance to every age, and it springs from the mind and not from the matter; from men's hearts and not from their houses. In a hun