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bazaars, and examining the merchandise every where exposed in a way the best calculated to inspire a resolution for purchasing, heard the shouts of Greek and Turkish urchins, announcing the approach of a prince. The person so styled was of ordinary stature, plainly habited in the costume of the East; with a phez sitting so loosely upon the head as partially to obscure the expression of his countenance. His features were regular, his complexion fair, and of feminine delicacy; his gait magisterial, without affectation; in fine, he was in appearance one of those personages whom he of Ioannina would have pronounced a 'lord,' without reference to the hand. It was PUCKLER MUSKAU. He was preceded by a janizary. With him were two persons, Germans, apparently secretaries, who walked by his side a half step in the rear; next came two uncouth Nubians, of diminutive stature, dressed in the fantastic garb of their country, with certain Germanized improvements, which excited the wonder even of a Turkish spectator. Farther behind, were some half dozen personages and dogs, forming the remainder of his suite. He was engaged in a minute examination of the articles exhibited for sale in the multitudinous shops of the bazaars. I met him frequently in various quarters of the town: and whether at the Casermo, contemplating the maiden evolutions of the raw recruits from the Asiatic provinces, or the rude artificers at their various occupations, there was no lack of attention on his part. Every thing was subjected to a most rigid scrutiny. I regret that the shortness of my stay at Smyrna compelled me to forego the pleasure of an introduction to this singular traveller, which was politely tendered me by a mutual friend. The Prince was then sojourning at Barnabat, a small village about two hours' distance from town, and was said to be easy of access to such as came properly introduced. The literary world, it may be reasonably expected, will ere long have the result of our tourist's migratory residence of seven years in the East. He has visited almost every nook and corner of Asiatic Turkey and Egypt; and reasoning from the past, it may be safely assumed that his forthcoming work on those countries will afford more information respecting their internal condition, than all those which have preceded it; and from which some future Gibbon may write, without much additional research, the last chapters of the decline and fall of the Mahometan power in Europe and Asia.’
A LITTLE OUT OF THE WAY!-In a note to a very grave and learned work on International Law, recently published in Germany, and but just received in this country, there may be found the following important information: 'Der beliebte Amerikanische Schriftsteller, WASHINGTON IRVING, hat unter dem Namen 'Astoria,' einen sehr unterhattenden Roman geschrieben, wovon Herr JOHANN JACOB ASTOR der Held ist.' Which being hastily interpreted, meaneth: "The popular American author, WASHINGTON Irving, has published a novel, called 'Astoria,' of which Mr. JOHN JACOB ASTOR is the hero! However this may be regarded in Germany, it will be considered a capital joke in America. Apropos to GEOFFREY CRAYON: We find the following in a very friendly notice of the KNICKERBOCKER for July, in the Providence, (R. I.) Daily Journal: 'We instinctively turn to the table of contents, upon opening the KNICKERBOCKER, to see if the name of IRVING yet stands there, and we have not been disappointed for many months.' Our friend is informed that he need never turn to our table of contents, in doubt to find GEOFFREY CRAYON there. Mr. IRVING's connection with this Magazine is a permanent one; and our readers will find occasion to admit, that in what he has already written for the KNICKERBOCKER, widely popular as his articles have proved, he has not yet exceeded, if he has equalled, some of the papers of which we have been permitted to gain distinct inklings.' The 'Early Experiences of Ralph Ringwood' we have perused entire; and can assure the reader that the fresh adventure, lively incident, and quiet humor, which pervade the remaining numbers of this 'Mountjoy of the West,' cannot fail to win their admiration; and this admiration, we have good reason to know, will suffer no diminution, in the articles that shall succeed it, glimpses whereof have already been afforded.
ASSININE CONNOISSEURS IN ART. Our readers will remember the admirable paragraph which we quoted in the last KNICKERBOCKER from Rev. Dr. BETHUNE'S Address, describing those travelled personages, miscalled Americans, who pass through our own galleries of pictures, with a supercilious smile of contempt for every thing like indigenous effort; young bloods, 'full of scraps from foreign languages, and abusing by misuse the terms of art,' a matter in which they affect great delicacy of taste, and profound knowledge; who would shrink from the purchase of an American picture, and yet would not hesitate to parade upon their walls the miserable dark daubs imposed upon them by scheming picture-dealers. We termed these pretenders, whom we had frequently encountered at our exhibitions and at picture-auctions, 'solemn asses;' little dreaming that at that very moment a representative of the genus was sitting, or rather standing, for his portrait, and that the wily picture-dealer had the honor of sharing the canvass with his victim. But here (thanks to the kindness of Mrs. MASON,) is the sketch:
Observe the practised squint of the unopened eye, the hand-tube, and the decidedly appreciating aspect of that uncommonly great donkey's physiognomy! It is evident that he is 'nothing, if not critical.' Remark, too, the expression in the countenance of Mr. Fox, the picture-seller. He is 'coming the evil eye' over the connoisseur, and in a sort of 'Irish blarney, diluted with honey-water,' is enlarging upon the merits of the 'noble piece of art' which he holds in his hand. And the superficial dupe admits that there is 'a something about the style of the artist that is peculiar; a softness, a tone, a je ne sçais quoi, a keeping about his capi d'opera, his chefs dœuvre, that prove him a master.' 'Right!' exclaims Mr. Fox, 'exactly so! I see you are no ordinary commonsewer of the arts; you are a judge. Allow me to call your attention to the splendidly graceful arrangement of the drapery; the natural and glowing tints of the roseate cheek; the unity in design and coloring! Why, Sir, you may explode the whole European continent, and you will find but two copies from this unquestionable original; and them is owned, one by a distinguished Italian prince, who has kindly permitted it to be exhibited in the Vacuum, at Rome, in conjunction with PAUL POTTER'S pictures of the pope's
bulls, and the other by the king of Paris, at his country-seat at Sanclew.' Possibly, good reader, you may deem this colloquial sketch exaggerated; but there are hundreds in this metropolis who will scarcely consider it overdrawn. We ourselves have seen a wretched 'church-piece,' by some modern Italian copyist, representing diverse naked angels playing upon violins, and cherubs blowing the flute, to amuse the Holy Virgin, bought by an American pseudo-amateur at a price incredibly high; and a muddy landscape, with forests blacker than Mrs. RADCLIFFE's, and lakes like a pall,
'Where Chinese cake dispensed a ray
Of darkness like the light of DAY
purchased at a still dearer rate: and yet good native pictures, at the same sale, could not command the value of their frames. These facts are not unknown abroad. We have been credibly informed, indeed, that there are inferior foreign 'DAUBSONS' in Rome and Florence, who drive a brisk trade in 'pictures for the American market;' and the identity of their figures is so apparent, that no doubt can be entertained that they have three or four favorite domestics, who are the saints and demons of their necessities. A few facts like these, properly appreciated, would render artistical humbug inoccuous among us, and secure that respect for native paintings, which their excellence demands.
POEMS BY 'FLACCUS' IN THE KNICKERBOCKER. It is somewhat rare, we believe, for a grave quarterly, like the North American Review, to notice productions, whether in prose or verse, while in progress of publication in the magazines of the day. Our correspondent 'FLACCUS,' therefore, has good reason to be gratified with the exception in his favor, in the number of this Review for the July quarter; which issue contains a highly commendatory notice of 'The Great Descender,' the first poem in the 'Passaic' series, of which 'The Lover's Journal,' completed in the present number, is the continuation. The reviewer observes:
'Here is a mock-heroic poem, of very moderate compass, but with a great deal of ingenuity and poetic fire, on the story of Sam Patch, who jumped himself into strange notoriety and a melancholy fate, a few summers ago. The facts themselves are so ludicrous, yet so thrilling and tragical-there is such a mixture of the mean and sublime in them, from beginning to end - that they offer one of the most suitable subjects that can be imagined for a composition of this kind. The poet is compelled to be lofty and droll at the same time. His strain will naturally be wild and serious; for his scenes are cataracts, and the action of his piece is really terrible. And yet he can demean nothing, nor is tempted to throw burlesque over what is too awful for merriment. The task seems to us to be accomplished with no little talent; and indeed could scarcely have fallen into better hands. New-York is happy in the names of its well-known bards; names that have been mentioned too often in our journal, to need being repeated here. This little epic leads us to think, that the list is likely to be increased. But we must leave Flaccus at present under his disguise, and will only present our readers with a taste of his verses, in order to justify our praise.'
The writer proceeds to quote what he terms 'a very picturesque description,' with PATCH'S soliloquy before leaping into the cataract. The courteous reviewer, however, must permit us to set him right in relation to the 'physical difficulty of tracking meteors, and seeing stars, in a rainy night.' It was the mist-rain of the Falls that dripped from the drenched hat of the 'Great Descender.' The gushing deluge that at first 'outrained and roared' the cataract, had ceased, before SAM commences his soliloquy, in which allusion is first made to the meteor :
'The glancing moonlight, as the clouds roll by,
The rain over, and the clouds dispersed, stars and meteors might surely be visible, without the aid of poetic license. A critical eye,' adds the reviewer, ' may discover, now and then, an obscurity, or a mixture of metaphor, or even an inadvertency in syntax.
But these faults are such as a little care might have avoided; and we are ready to give our cheerful 'So be it!' to the truly Horatian confidence with which the writer concludes his theme:
"Yes! I shall buoy thee on th'immortal sea,
Or, failing that, thyself shalt carry me.''
SCARCELY was the ink dry with which the foregoing synopsis of the article in the North American was jotted down, when an afternoon journal, which is gathered weekly into the huge folds of the 'NEW-WORLD,' was laid before us, and our attention called to a notice, in the true slashing, M'GRAWLER style, of' The Lover's Journal,' by our correspondent, in which its simple, connecting records were separated from the context, with the evident intention to render the whole ridiculous, in the eyes of those who had not seen the entire performance. 'But what matters it?' said we, after a moment's reflection; 'our readers have seen the whole poem, and have doubtless judged it according to its merits; and very many of them have recorded the gratification which its perusal afforded them, in terms of cordial eulogy. We are quite content that other readers shall derive their impressions of the 'Journal' from the apparent fairness of the notice in question,* and from the reputation of 'FLACCUS,' as an old and popular correspondent of the 'New-York American.' But at the same time,' thought we, 'FLACCUS belongs as legitimately as his critic to the genus irritabile, and what will be the effect upon him, when some good-natured friend, seizing him by the button-hole, shall thrust the obnoxious critique into his hand, and exclaim: 'Tremble! -for a pleasant man has come out against thee, and thou shalt be laid low by a joker of jokes, and he shall talk his pleasant talk against thee, and thou shalt be no more!' May he not peruse the missive, with one hand holding convulsively 'by the hair of his head,' and then, in stress of criticism, put some paving-stones into his pocket, and walk deliberately off the pier, or take some other easy method of 'suaciding his self,' as Mr. YELLOWPLUSH would term it?' Indeed, we almost longed-shall we say it?-for some such catastrophe, that compunctious visitings might thenceforth molify the heart and cicurate the literary notices of our Cerberus of criticism. What would have been the emotions of our friend — we put it to his conscience, or rather to a jury of his consciences, for we would not so far impugn the stability of his opinions, or the impartiality of his reviews, as to regard him in the light of one individual - what would have been his emotions, to have encountered an obituary notice like the following, in the daily journals:
'DIED, last evening, of a short but violent critical attack, Mr. PASSAIC FLACCUS, in the thirtieth year of his age. Mr. FLACCUS was a gentleman of reputation and integrity, and esteemed by all who knew him. Indeed, with the exception of an attempt, on one occasion, to amuse the public, through the pages of the KNICKERBOCKER, We never heard a syllable breathed against his character, either as a man or a gentleman.'
What, we repeat, would have been the effect of such a melancholy announcement upon the conscience of our censor-general? Would he require to be trepanned, before his opinions would be changed? Would he not rather remark, somewhere on the vast surface of his very next weekly sheet, as a corollary upon an affecting narrative of the sad event, and the causes which led to it: 'Hence we view the error of being ever upon a cold scent after literary matériel to ridicule or condemn! Henceforth, unless a violent discharge of ink be absolutely necessary to avoid a fatal and plethoric congestion, we will never more aim to do injustice to the fair fame of any clever poet; and in the mean time, we cordially commend to our readers the following passage from an article on
* THIS reasoning must be our apology for declining the communication of 'PHILO-Vincent.' We have no revenges to gratify, as he would seem to infer; nor would we willingly scatter agreeable remembrances of the past, like chuck-farthings, or let old and pleasant associations drop from our heart like hour-glass sand. Beside, in nine cases out of ten, unjust criticism injures the censor more than his subject. It has even a better effect, we may believe, upon the latter, than the noxious sweetness of undiscerning praise.
'Criticism and Critics,' by WASHINGTON IRVING, in that highly popular and never-to-besufficiently-esteemed publication, the KNICKERBOCKER for August, of last year:
"Were every one to judge for himself, and speak his mind frankly and fearlessly, we should have more true criticism in the world than at present. Whenever a person is pleased with a work, he may be assured that it has good qualities. An author who pleases a variety of readers, must possess substantial powers of pleasing; or, in other words, intrinsic merits; for otherwise we acknowledge an effect, and deny the cause. The reader, therefore, should not suffer himself to be readily shaken from the conviction of his own feelings, by the sweeping censures of pseudo critics. The author he has admire may be chargeable with a thousand faults; but it is nevertheless beauties and excellencies that have excited his admiration; and he should recollect that taste and judgment are as much evinced in the perception of beauties among defects, as in a detection of defects among beauties. For my part, I honor the blessed and blessing spirit, that is quick to discover and extol all that is pleasing and meritorious. Give me the honest bee, that extracts honey from the humblest weed, but save me from the ingenuity of the spider, which trails its venom, even in the midst of a flower-garden.''
'Once it was not so! The fore
A WEEK has elapsed, and 'FLACCUS' comes not. going sad obituary and sadder recantation may yet be needed. . . . 'A pacquet, Sir, from the country.' 'Lay it on the table, Thomas, and set the dog on it.' from FLACCUS, by the head of Confucius! 'He lives!'. - as they say on the stage, with a double-stamp, and a rushing slide toward the foot-lights- 'he lives! thank the gods for that!'-and lives to write! And the reader will agree, moreover, that under all the circumstances of the case, he has a right to write, being a 'very ill-used gentleman :'
Would that it were! ah, no! I see it now-
That ten of thy ten hundred sonnets read,
Stands on Parnassus somewhat nearer thine;
What! art thou stirred by noises such as these?
Lashed home the pseudo critics of the age,
He by some miracle escaped unharmed. [greet
Too true too true; I feel my humble name
And dost thou think that JUSTICE deference