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though less graceful and imaginative than some other fruits and esculents. If Christmas is not an honored festival, the best course is to make it so ; and we are glad to see a disposition to replace it in the general affection, to reunite the broken associations into the same bright chain which, in former years and other lands, has bound hearts together in happy and holy sympathy, resisting the tendency of the world's influence to throw them apart from each other, and giving them the most delightful fancy and anticipation of a Father's house on high.

We cannot follow Mr. Taylor in his travels through Germany, though they abound in pleasant description. He went forth to make the tour of that country on foot, with about thirty dollars in his pocket, but nothing dismayed at the prospect of short commons and hard walking. He alludes to the observation which his appearance excited, and "the strange magnetic influence of the human eye," as he happily terms it, which most men are conscious of when in a land of strangers. But he appears to have found acquaintance by the way, and the name of American almost everywhere insured him a welcome. Of Göttingen he has no recollection so vivid as that of sickness, and the sympathatic consumption of the purse which it threatened; but we soon find him manfully striding off among the Hartz mountains, with that resolution to get to the top of every thing which appears to have been his passion. Through Leipsic, Dresden, and Prague, he made his way to Vienna, a place which had the same attraction for him that it has for all other strangers, since with all that activity and bustle of cities which make a foreigner feel more lonely because he has no part in them, there is an unreserved and social manner in the public walks and gardens, which are universally frequented, such as is found in no other capital in the world. It has many objects of interest; but what appears to have engaged most of his attention was the pictures, a luxury in which our country is at present deplorably wanting. He mentions in a simple and manly, but enthusiastic manner, those which he liked the best. Of the celebrated Madonna in the Dresden gallery he has given an excellent description, entirely without that pretension to connoisseurship, which is so intolerable, and so easily detected; since in case of that affectation, the author falls vigorously to work to paint his own emotions, which, all the while, we are tolerably sure he did not feel. Neither

is there any overweening confidence in his attempting these descriptions; for we believe that what is best in the efforts of every art comes back to simplicity. Many things may be excellent for those who have acquired a taste for them, which will not be appreciated by others; but we believe that in poetry, music, and painting, the last results of cultivation return to nature, and therefore can be understood and valued by the intellectual and refined without any unusual training in the fine arts.

While he was enjoying his residence in the capital of Austria, it suddenly occurred to him to examine his subtreasury, and he was agreeably entertained to find, that when his expenses there were paid, he should have four dollars left to sustain him back to Frankfort. To most men this discovery would have been alarming; but it did not prevent his enjoying the summer climate and scenery of Lower Austria, which seemed to him the most beautiful in the world. It is really curious to hear him speak at one time of walking in the rain, and dining on a short allowance of bread and water, and, in the next sentence, of the delightful region he was passing through. But it teaches a lesson which it is well to know; which is, that the power of enjoyment is often in an inverse proportion to the means, and many of our happiest recollections grow out of serious trials; as it has been ascertained by experiment that the fairy-like creations of frost upon the morning window follow the unseen traces left by rough hands that have cleansed the panes.


Mr. Taylor went, of course, to Switzerland; and without taking notice of his descriptions of that scenery which is served up to us by so many writers, not, however, because his word-painting is not as good as theirs, we are more engaged with his humanity, and the social interest which he took in the men whom he encountered. Though he had received a prejudice against the Swiss while in Germany, he was agreeably struck with a look and bearing of independence, which are not found among the lower classes of Germans. The children, too, seemed bright-eyed and beautiful, which he was disposed to ascribe not wholly to their bracing climate, but to their inheriting the birthright of the free. He says that nothing ever made him happier than a little child. who ran up to him, clasped his hand in both of his tiny ones, and looked up to him so affectionately that he loved him at

once. The farmers everywhere spoke cheerfully to him. He says, "We learned a lesson from all this; we felt that not a word of kindness is ever wasted, that a simple friendly glance may cheer the spirit and warm the lonely heart, and that the slightest deed, prompted by generous sympathy, becomes a living joy in the memory of the receiver, which blesses unceasingly him who bestowed it." Many, unfortunately for themselves, travel all the way through life, without coming to an acquaintance with the truth which he here expresses; a truth which, if admitted to the heart, and carried into action, would remove that ill-taste of existence, of which so many are ever complaining, would fill with gladness the dry and vacant channels of feeling, and make glorious summer in wintry and barren souls.

He has less enjoyment in travelling in Italy, where the people are too apt to take vengeance on strangers for the oppression of their masters, after the fashion of other animals, as mentioned in the Pursuits of Literature, when "this dog smarts for what that dog has done." His finances were not in a condition to bear the imposition of landlords; he therefore was indebted to them only for lodgings, and as he and his companion ate their simple meals by the road-side, and moreover were arrayed in long white blouses, he believed that they were taken for pilgrims; at any rate, they excited a curiosity which was more inconvenient than gratifying. He had thus a fair chance for studying the Italian sky, and he allows, that, in the day, it deserves its reputation for depth and transparency, but maintains that the light of its setting suns does not compare with the rich western glory which he has often seen at home. We like the manner in which he speaks of works of art, the Venus, for example; he neither follows nor defies the common opinion, but simply gives his own. is much better than making an inventory, as some travellers do, of emotions which they think it highly proper to feel, and would fain persuade others that they do. In the endeavour to convince the world of their enthusiasm they do not at all succeed; but they impose to some extent on themselves, and that is the full reach of the delusion. He evidently cares more for pictures than statues, and more for nature than for either. Nothing can be better than his description, in few words, of the musical echo in Pisa, answering to the notes of the cicerone's voice. "After a moment's pause,



they were repeated aloft in the dome, but with a sound of divine sweetness, as clear and pure as the clang of a crystal bell. Another pause, and we heard them again fainter and sweeter, followed by a dying note, as if they were fading far away into heaven.” The person who can write like this will soon find echoes in the literary world which will delight to answer to his voice.

But it is not necessary to give much account of a popular work like this, which is already in the hands of many, and which many more might read with profit and pleasure, not merely for the animated and intelligent account of most interesting countries which it contains, but for the example of energy in the pursuit of improvement here presented, without the self-complacency with which that bold trait of character is too often attended. It is a new opening for that fearless adventure in which our country abounds; there is not much money to be made in it, certainly; neither, to say truth, is there much to be lost; but intellectual and moral improvement is a full compensation for all the effort and sacrifice required; and we should not be at all surprised, if many others should follow Mr. Taylor in his enterprising march, and secure the same advantages which he has so well improved. He says that much spiritual and mental experience was crowded into a short time, and though some of it was painful, it was all welcome. He passed through many changes of hope, anxiety, and aspiration, but despondency was a feeling which he was not condemned to know. He says, -"Difficulty and toil give the soul strength to crush, in a loftier region, the passions which draw strength only from the earth. So long as we listen only to the pure promptings within us, there is a Power, invisible, though not unfelt, which protects us; amidst the labor, and tumult, and soiling struggle, there is ever an eye that watches, ever a heart that overflows with Infinite and Almighty Love. Let us, then, trust in that Eternal Spirit, who pours on us his warm and boundless blessings through the channels of so many kindred human hearts."

ART. X.-La Guerra del Vespro Siciliano, o un Periodo delle Istorie Siciliane del Secolo Decimo Terzo. Per MICHELE AMARI. Seconda Edizione. Parizi: Baudry. 1843. 2 vols. 8vo.

It is curious that some of the most important events of history have been so misrepresented by popular tradition as to be understood in their true light by only a few learned antiquarians. We are often taught to believe, that circumstances, in reality the result of a long series of secretly working causes, occur on a sudden, and without the slightest preparation; or that events which are manifested by spontaneous outbreaks of popular feeling- although these, too, have a deep root in the past - are but the result of some petty machination or ignoble conspiracy. The cause of these errors in historical traditions is, no doubt, to be found in that disposition of our nature which leads us to fix our attention upon some one simple and dramatic occurrence, whilst we throw into the shade the minor events which alone can furnish any explanation of the leading phenomenon. By thus reducing history to the simple narrative of those events which we consider as the most important, we lose many of its most instructive lessons. Providence often inculcates the most salutary truths by means of those circumstances which are too apt to escape our notice altogether. To its superintending care no occurrence is insignificant; to us also none would seem so, if it were possible for human eyes to gain the same comprehensive view.

Of all the errors in history which may be attributed to this cause, few are more striking than those which have been propagated on the subject of the celebrated revolution, commonly known as the Sicilian Vespers. It has been generally believed, that this cruel massacre was the result of a conspiracy headed by Giovanni da Procida, in order to place Peter of Aragon on the throne of Sicily. In the work before us, Mr. Amari has endeavoured to show how erroneous is this view of a revolution which was equally just and noble in its origin and important in its effects. The whole aim of his book is to prove that the Sicilian Vespers, far from being the result of a conspiracy, was rather a popular outbreak, the immediate occasion of which was the insolent

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