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other things, reprinted Thomas Paine's Common Sense, Trumbull's McFingal, and a rather tedious poem by David Humphreys. The undertaking appears to have had the valuable aid of Benjamin Franklin and of Dr. Benjamin Rush. The Museum was continued
Another magazine wis published in Philadelphia from 1803 to 1808, conducted, with considerable ability, by the celebrated novelist, Charles Brockden Brown. It was called The Literary Magazine and American Register. In 1813 The Analectic Magazine was commenced in Philadelphia, remembered chiefly as being edited by Washington Irving. This was mainly a compilation from foreign sources, although Irving wrote for it several able critical articles and biographies of naval commanders.
Isaiah Thomas, already mentioned in connection with The Farmer's Museum, published The Massachusetts Magazine from 1789 to 1796.
In New York, in 1811, was published The American Review, edited by Robert Walsh. This was the first quarterly established in this country. It continued for two years only.
One other magazine in this period deserves mention, and that is The Monthly Anthology, issued in Boston from 1803 to 1811. It was founded by a club (first of the series of Mutual Admiration Societies of the city) purely for the love of literature. It was conducted without reward, and the printer was magnanimously paid by the contributors. It numbered among its members Rev. William Emerson, father of the essayist and poet, Judge William Tudor, author of the Life of James Otis, Rev. William E. Channing, the famous preacher and essayist, Richard H. Dana, the poet, Dr. J. C. Warren, Dr. James Jackson, Dr. J. S. J. Gardiner, and others. To this club Boston owes the Athenæum Library, and Gallery. There are valuable critical and didactic articles in the Anthology, but it would not be considered a very brilliant magazine in our day. We give an extract from a poem by Thomas Paine (not the Thomas of the Age of Reason and the Rights of Man, but a Boston Thomas, who afterwards had his name changed to Robert Treat Paine, Jr., because he had not, he said, a Christian name). The poem was delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge in 1797, and the reviewer in the Anthology, without rating it very high, considered that the poem, on the whole, was the best that had been written in the country at that time.
[From The Ru.ing Passion.]
The blythe SAVOYARD hails the peep of morn;
A few years later, in 1815, the North American Review was commenced. It was conducted mainly by the coterie that had maintained the Anthology. The country had become independent and prosperous. Public and private libraries were doing their silent but prodigious work. The tone of public sentiment was hopeful and patriotic. The Review became a leader of public opinion, and promoted the interests of learning and the development of taste. When we remember that most of its early contributors have been active men within the memory of the present generation, and that one of them, Richard H. Dana, Sen., still survives with unimpaired faculties, we shall be sensible of the short space of time in which the bulk of our literature has been created. The venerable Review also survives, like an ancient line-of-battle ship, with a record of brilliant service, and not wholly superseded by the swifter craft of modern build.
Let us not be raisunderstood. All the libraries and learning, all the literary clubs and reviews in the world can never produce a work of genius; but they create a literary atmosphere in which genius is nourished ; they attract authors and artists to literary centres; and many minds are brought through these influences to a consciousness of their own powers.
As we have before mentioned, Bryant is the first of our poets, and Irving of our prose writers. From the time of their appearance the enumeration of our authors becomes more difficult, and we can mention only a few conspicuous names. With all our disadvantages, and in spite of the absence of an international copyright law, our literary fields show abundant culture and fruit. We are inclined to think that this is our Elizabethan age, and that the names of our chief poets will be hereafter remembered as the constellation of the nineteenth century. Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Holmes, and Emerson are already classic on both sides of the Atlantic, and have their assured place in history. There are many others who, if they do not eventually come into the first rank, will have affectionate remembrance. Among novelists and romancers the world will not forget Cooper, Hawthorne, nor Mrs. Stowe. Prescott, Motley, and Parkman are secure for this age in the fields of their historic labors. The classic oratory of Webster, Everett, Wirt, Calhoun, and Sumner will only perish with the history of their times. Future generations, we like to believe, will turn over the pages
many of our brilliant essayists with the delight we feel in the fancies of Lamb and Leigh Hunt.
In literature, as in life, there is an ever-moving procession. At the most we can give only an instantaneous view of living writers and their works, and before the picture can be prepared for exhibition we may find the grouping and perspective all wrong. Immature geniuses have begun to dwindle, and some venerable reputations to grow dim ; monuments fondly thought to be more enduring than bronze have begun to crumble ; the wisdom we reverenced is growing obsolete, and the humor we relished has gone, like the expression from poor Yorick's skull ; while new men with strange names are coming to take the leading places without the least consideration for the elders whom they crowd into the background. Even while we write, and before the printer has done his work, new poems, new histories, and new travels may be appearing, which will totally disarrange the bestconsidered estimates of contemporary literature. Some author, inconspicuous hitherto, may blaze with a new ard unexpected lustre. The attraction of some great genius may draw the thoughts and emotions of men into new channels, and leave our present favorites in hopeless neglect — until the turn of the tide.
The booksellers tell us that the lifetime of books does not exceed thirty years. (We do not refer to novels and tales, which the public expects fresh daily, like muffins.) It will be in vain to look on their shelves to-day for a volume bearing the date of 1840, unless it is one of the few that have become classic, in which case it will be catalogued as Vol.
of the Complete Works of If it were only the worthless books that are whelmed in oblivion, there would be some satisfaction in the sure though slow vengeance which overtakes dulness and pretension. But there are notable exceptions. The reader of this volume will find on pages 378-9 several poems that are imaginative, thoughtful, and delicately wrought. It will be surprising, perhaps, to learn that he cannot find a copy of the volume from which they were taken in any bookstore in America. There are instances of the same kind in this collection, well known to those who have made a study of the subject, -instances which furnish some justification for the existence of Hand-books.
With these reflections in mind we are willing to abandon the task we had proposed, of making a preliminary survey of contemporary literature. It will perhaps be sufficient if we make some observa.
tions upon the character and tendencies of the current thought and the prevailing style of the time.
It is obvious that our literature has to a great extent adopted the thought and reflected the changing taste of the mother country. Every English master has been acknowledged here as faithfully as in London. A collection of our articles in chronological order, whether in prose or verse, will hardly need any marginal dates, since the style will enable us to fix the period to which it belongs. Even to this day the independence of this country has not been achieved as far as literature is concerned. Admirable works in many departments have been written here, and a feeling of nationality is beginning to penetrate literary classes ; but we have not produced a half dozen authors who are not almost wholly indebted to English models. All the stately, heroic lines of the provincial period, as well as the poems for college anniversaries, still in vogue, are so many tributes to Pope. The Lay Preacher, by Dennie, and the Letters of a British Spy, by Wirt, were only heartfelt acknowledgments to the Addisonian essayists. Wordsworth, without being directly imitated (which, considering his occasional tendency to prosiness, is fortunate), has strongly influenced most of our poets. New York gave its homage to Byron in Willis's Lady Jane, and in Halleck's Fanny, and in Marco Bozzaris ; and lately a new echo of his ringing verse comes from Californian sierras. Were Tennyson to claim his own laurels, many of our bards would find their brows as bare ds Cæsar's. But this is an ungracious theme.
One thing more should be said, however; and that is, our great indebtedness to English scholarship seems likely to continue. While education is more generally diffused in the United States, conspicuous scholarship is far more frequent in England. Literary labor is poorly paid in this country, unless one is willing to become a buffoon, or has an alacrity in sinking to the level of " sensational” writing. It is the demand for cheap books that has made the profession of authorship a beggarly one ; and until literature as a profession is remunerative, it will not retain the best minds permanently in its service. The few men of genius
- half a dozen in a genera