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symmetrical, though somewhat varied forms; the roof itself exhibiting a rich grouping of overhanging pillars, some of snowy whiteness, from the calcareous covering by which they have become encrusted; the whole rising from, and often seen reflected by the ocean-waters, forms truly a picture of unrivalled grandeur, and one on which it is delightful to dwell, even in remembrance.'
Nature was in a wild mood. The lowering clouds were discharging even more than a Scotch mist. The sea-birds were whirling round in the air. I had been all the morning dancing over waves which sung more than a lullaby. Wearied in body, and with spirits awed and subdued, I entered under the vast arch-way, and clambered along a projecting ridge of rocks to nearly the extreine end of this noble specimen of nature's handiwork. There I sat down, and watched the never-ceasing ebb and flow of old Ocean, now surging in and rolling onward, beating against the wall of basaltic rock at the extremity of the cave; and then, broken and retreating back, only to prepare for a renewed assault
. Here Neptune might have swayed his sceptre; old Æolus may have gathered here his winds, and the monks on Iona have turned pale as the north-wind and the west-wind, issuing forth, swept by in wild fury, lashing the sea into foam, and singing the death-song of many a mariner whose course lay across the stormy sound of Mull. As I mused here, the questions arose, Did Ossian live and sing? Did old Fingal reign? Did the old monarch of the islands sit here in the cave which bears his name, and chant the wild songs of the Hebrides and the mountains of Caledonia ? If Reason answered no, Fancy contradicted, and said all was true. So Fancy took the reins: and was sitting on the spot where Fingal sat of yore. Here he sang
songs of war, of peace, and of love, a century before the arrival of Columba on the island of Jona. Here Ossian, the witness of his father's valor, and the heir of his virtues, drank in inspiration, and gathered some of the most beautiful of his images. Here the old Scottish Homer, himself both hero and bard, may have embodied some of the memories which are sweet, yet mournful. Here came the monks. Here they worshipped at early dawn, bowing the knee as they entered the temple built by an Almighty hand. Here came architects to take the
gauge and measurement, so that they might imitate the Creator's works in the cathedrals which they designed to build or the British Islands and the main-land of Europe. Who can tell how many a missionary monk from Iona carried the story of this famed temple to distant parts of the earth?
But the day is waning, and we must away. The whistle of the boatswain is heard ; we cannot see the fair island of Ilay to-day. At another time we must look over it, and visit Loch Finligan, and search among the ruins of its little isle of the same name for the stone on which the McDonalds stood when they were crowned Lords of the Isles.
And so night settles on the lonely island of Staffa; and we are once more out on the sea, and again
Merrily, merrily goes the bark;
Before the gale she bounds:
Or the deer before the hounds.'
Peruvian ANTIQUITIES. By MariaNO EDWARDO RIVERO and JOHN JAMES Vox TSCHUDI. Translated into English from the Original Spanish, by FRANCIS L. Hawks, D.D., LL.D. In one volume: pp. 306. New-York: G. P. PUTNAM AND COMPANY.
It is a gratifying thing to recollect that the KNICKERBOCKER was among the first, if not the very first, among American periodicals, to stimulate the latest discoveries which have been made in Central America. The publication of a series of articles upon 'American Antiquities' in these pages, accompanied by engravings, first suggested to the late lamented STEPHENS, his visit to and explorations in Yucatan. We well remember his calling upon us to obtain an interview with the writer, Mr. LORIN D. CHAPIN, since deceased, at which time he announced his intention of visiting that region in person, to pursue the investigation of its wonders upon an ample scale. STEPHEN'S work, and its wonderful success, undoubtedly led the way to Mr. SQUIER'S Serpent Worship,' which has also been received with some favor by the public. This work of Dr. Hawks has been prepared with his accustomed skill and carefulness. He has taken from his two eminent authors, and com. bined in an account replete with interest, all that remained, or at least that was necessary, to be advanced, upon the interesting themes of which it treats. In part, at least, it will be borne in mind by the reader, the important information it contains is from the pen of a native Peruvian, at a date as late as 1851. Von Tschudi is a distinguished savant, residing at Vienna, to whom the materials collected by Rivero were sent for revision; consisting, for the most part, of observations upon the Peruvian crania and the Quichuan language and religion. RIVERO is well known to the scientific world by his large folio work, of some seven hundred pages, upon the primitive races of SouthAmerica, and the quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, and fishes of Peru. There is an increasing interest, even now, felt in works of this class. Every one knows with how much curiosity the Aztec children were visited in America, and with what interest they are regarded at the present time abroad. It was the newness of the objects, and the mysterious antiquity of their history, as a race, alone, which drew toward them the attention of the public. So of the countries, and scenes, and peoples, depicted in this well-executed and liberally-illustrated volume. Some portions of it may in part have been anticipated: Mr. Prescott, for example, has touched briefly and incidentally apon some of its themes; but the information which it conveys, relative to the political institutions of the Incas, the degree of cultivation to which they had arrived, and the progress which they had made in the arts and sciences, supplies an important desideratum in a manner which reflects honor alike upon the authors and their accomplished translator.
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM PINKNEY, of Maryland. By his Nephew, the Rev. WILLIAM PINKNEY, D. D. In one volume: pp. 407. New-York: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
It has always seemed to us that the common pride felt in relation to our eminent public men, in whatsoever quarter of the Union they may have passed their lives, is among the strong bonds that help to make us feel — no matter what may be our transitory 'intestinal turmoils,' — that we are one people.' For our own poor part, we could wish that every portion of the country, the east and the west, the north and the south, might know, might become familiar with, the characters of each others' great men. And here we cannot help regretting that, as yet, we have had no adequate life and history of CALHOUN, that embodiment of INTELLECT, searching, determined, immovable; in his public career, notching hiş years into the rock of American history in his era, and in his blameless private-life, as simple and affectionate as a child. While our eminent men of the east and the west, our WEBSTER and our Clay, are made familiar to general readers and to schoolchildren, the great southern statesman should not be forgotten.
But this apart: we are glad to meet with, and most cordially welcome, the volume under notice; the life of a true patriot and noble man, whose intellectual greatness sheds lustre upon his country; but who was far less known to the busy, bustling present' than would be willingly acknowledged by any well-instructed American. PINKNEY was an orator of the first rank. Incomplete specimens only of his forensic efforts have been preserved, but these bespeak him a man of sterling metal, with thoughts clear and accessible, and a manner of the highest grace and finish. The principal memorials of his life are brought before us in the present volume, most agreeably arranged, with a regularly-convergent interest to the close. The writer has an easy, classical style, and the inculcations of his volume are of the highest order. It is a book which we can earnestly commend to all American readers. Its lessons to the talented, aspiring citizen, will not be lost upon our young men. It is a work well calculated to 'exalt patriotism, to inspire earnestness, to confirm principle.' 'It is for the young men of the Union,' says the author, that I write:
'It is for them I have endeavored to draw this character, and disclose the life of one of our distinguished sons. Satisfied that every exemplar of noble energy and aspiring character set before them, must tend to stimulate their efforts, and awaken emulation in their bosoms. In his loyalty to the Union; in his deep and patient examination of its stupendous principles; in his awful reverence for the Constitution; in his broad and expansive patriotism, that scorned all sectional boundaries, and aspired to be coëxtensive with the limits of the land of his fondest love; in his high-toned and energetic endeavor to assist in the establishment of the true principle of its interpretation; in all these respects we fancy we may behold in Mr. PINKNEY an example worthy of their imitation in this day, on either side of the line that separates between North and South.' The volume, we take pleasure in adding, is exceedingly well-executed, upon fine, firm paper, and contains a very striking portrait of its illustrious subject, which, in the upper frontal region of the head, bears a remarkable resemblance to DANIEL WEBSTER.
Harry Harson: OR THE BENEVOLENT BACHELOR. By the Author of 'The Attorney.' New-York: SAMUEL HUESTON.
This new work will add fresh honors to the author of 'The Attorney,' and deservedly so, for while it belongs to the same class of fictions, it excels 'The Attorney’ in vividness of description, in dramatic interest, and in successful continuation and result of plot. The school to which it belongs is that of which Mr. CHARLES DICKENS is, we suppose, the acknowledged head. The characters are chosen from low or middle life; a strong interest is given to the sufferings of little children; the villains are not like those of AINSWORTH and FIELDING, bold, open, brutal, reckless dare-devils, but hypocritical, quiet, sly, mean, cowardly, and unprincipled. In the old villain there were always some good points; the modern villain is of irredeemable viciousness. We have grown tired of JONATHAN Wilds, Dick TURPINS, and Jack SHEPPERDS, and our taste now craves for whining Fagans, sleek PECKSNIFFS, and MICHAEL Rusts— men, if they may be called men, who only by occasional momentary out-bursts prove that they have passions, from whom nothing less than a whirlwind can tear the cloak of hypocrisy, and make manifest the demon within it. Neither do these books exhibit the accomplished, romantic, enthusiastic heroine of the last age of novels; but they picture only the sensible, well-conducted girl, of simply respectable station, full of common sense, and content with the discharge of daily domestic duties; good sisters and daughters.
Another essential to this literature is a remarkable animal, a Ralpa, a WoMut, a BITTERS, or, as in this book, a SPITE. Also, the stately wolf-hound, the noble Newfoundland, have disappeared. This is the day of sullen bulldogs and irritable, tight-tailed pugs. Well, every dog must have his day; Tray, BLANCHE, and SWEETHEART, little dogs and all; wherefore not SPITE? SPITE is a good little dog, whether ‘he run upon three legs, after the manner of his kind,' or 'walk with a tight, indignant tail' to the corner of Mrs. CHowles's room, or perform feats worthy of a bigger dog at the heels of villainous attorneys.
For the characters in this book, they are all well drawn, with a certain exag. geration in Rust, and Mrs. Blossom, and Mr. SNORK. But the gentle, patient Kate, the benevolent HARRY Harson, and the rest, are good portraits of every-day people, who now and then rise above the current of their calm life by the pressure of untoward circumstances. As a whole, we repeat our already-expressed opinion, that this volume is superior to 'The Attorney;' and we feel assured that Mr. IRVING will reap additional honor and profit from it. The execution of the work, being uniform with 'The Attorney,' it is hoped will meet, like that, with the approbation of all lovers of well-printed books.