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M. Wisniewski's punctuation too is rather peculiar.
These are serious blemishes which M. Wisniewski should have avoided, and which we trust he will avoid in any future edition of his poems that may be called for.--We would not however have our readers conclude that all M. Wisniewski's poetry is radically and irrecoverably bad. Far from it. M. Wisniewski's poems contain some very good lines ; and if we do not meet with any passages of particularly striking excellence and beauty, yet there are some far above inediocrity, and which prove indisputably that our author has something of the étoffe of the true poet in him. Let us give one extract by way of specimen. The following poem is entitled “ Illa dies, and some portions of it are very good
"Qui suis-je pour toucher à la harpe sacrée ?
“Le feu de son regard a balayé la terre,
pas voulu! Pitié pour leur folie!
Le glaive, en les frappant, ne les réveille pas !”—Pp. 59–63. The above poem is free from most of the defects which we have referred to above as observable in many of M. Wisniewski's productions, and we think our readers will agree with us in the judgment we have passed upon portions of it, namely, that they are very good. There is a certain air of boldness and grandeur in several parts, befitting the subject in a peculiar degree; and there is also a fine poetic spirit running through the whole of it, which is not always the prevailing characteristic of our author's productions. The first stanza strikes us as peculiarly happy. In the fourth stanza the word cieux should not be twice repeated within so short a space.
M. Wisniewski informs us in his Preface that he has a good many unpublished poems remaining in his portfolio, which may perhaps see the light some time or other. We shall be very glad to hear from him again ; but before favouring the world with any thing new, or republishing what has already appeared, we trust that he will submit the whole to a severe and thorough examination and revision, and that in any future volume he may publish we shall have better evidence of the lima labor, care, and attention, which poetry should have, than the present one affords. Dr. Johnson has said that he who would write English correctly should devote his days and nights to the study of the writings of Addison. We think that M. Wisniewski could very advantageously devote a few days and nights to the study of Racine's works; and we doubt not, if he did, that several of the defects we have taken the liberty to complain of as noticeable in the volume before us would disappear. A careful reperusal on the part of our author of some French “Art of Verse," would not be also without exercising a salutary effect upon all his productions, past, present, and future. Not of course that M. Wisniewski is the only living French poet who might improve his style, his language, and his diction by the study of Racine or of Lamartine ; neither is he the only one who might profitably refresh his memory by an occasional reference to some Treatise on the laws of versification. As it is, M. Wisniewski is, after all, a very respectable poet, quite as good a poet in the true sense of the word, to say the least, as many a French poet that we could name, who lives in the enjoyment of a not inconsiderable celebrity, and who has not the additional advantage of being, like our author, a man of honour, principle, and virtue.
THE BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND'S SERMONS.
The Work of Christ in the World. Four Sermons preached before
the University of Cambridge on the Four Sundays preceding Advent, in the Year of our Lord 1854. By GEORGE AUGUSTUS Selwyn, D.D., Bishop of New Zealand, formerly Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. Published at the request of the Vice-Chancellor. Cambridge: Macmillan and Co. 1855.
All who have been engaged in any work for any length of time must be aware how thankful they are for the opinion of those, who duly qualified and in an independent position, are able to pronounce a judgment which is worthy of attention. In everything we do ourselves, we are apt (particularly if we are interested in our work) to deceive ourselves ; to make too much of certain signs of success, too little of tokens of failure, exaggerate the one and depress the other, till we may really form a very wrong impression of the results of our efforts. An impartial observer, meanwhile, who is under no temptation of allowing his feelings to overpower his reason, and whose amour propre has no interest in a decision one way or the other, may often show us that we have made mistakes, or gained advantages of which we had but little idea. It is with our work as with ourselves : we are not the best judges in our own case.
The little volume which we have placed at the head of this paper is the expression (to some extent) of such an opinion, on the part of one peculiarly qualified to give it. It is now thirteen years since George Selwyn departed from these shores to plant the Apostolic chair of the Episcopate among the many islands of the Pacific. He was one of the first of those devoted men whom the Spirit, in our day, has separated for the office and work of a Bishop, in the many dependencies of this vast empire. He went not to preach the Gospel, indeed, for the first time; for even in those distant isles there were worshippers of the Crucified, but he went to strengthen and confirm the work begun, to supply what was wanting, to set in order the defective machinery, to organize a Church out of a number of separate congregations. That he has done this well, that he has laid the foundations deep and strong, is too trite a theme to enter on; and hereafter the Church of the Antipodes will regard Bishop Selwyn much as we do now S. Augustine, or the Germans S. Boniface.
The arrival, therefore, of such a man amongst us, after so many years of absence from the land of his fathers, naturally suggests the thought, What will he say, on his return to the scene of his labours, as to what he has seen here ? what account will he give of Church matters in England ? They have been very eventful years
that have passed since he left these shores. Some whom we trusted most have left us; and their learning, their zeal, their eloquence, their holiness, have passed to another portion of our Master's vineyard: we have been divided within, and assaulted from without; and the Hampden and Gorbam cases bave displayed the unsatisfactory character of our relations to the State. With so much to harass and perplex the work of Church restoration, thwarted and worried at almost every turn by the working of the Puritan leaven, and ofttimes tempted to think that we are making no way, we are anxiously interested in learning how things appear to one who has been removed from most of those influences which distress ourselves, and whose practical holiness is a sufficient guarantee that his words will be the words of " truth and soberness." We do not, of course, mean to say that such an ab extra view must be necessarily infallible; we only assert that there are many reasons for considering it worthy of serious attention, and as likely, in most respects, to be near the truth.
Here, then, is our picture drawn by our great Missionary Bishop after an absence of thirteen years :
“I cannot pretend to speak with the same confidence of the state of feeling here at home, but in the course of a long journey in almost every part of England, I seem to have observed, in the great majority of the clergy, a desire to give up all controversial bitterness, and to devote them. selves with earnestness to the great work which lies before them.
“ It has pleased God to awaken a zeal among us, which our elder brethren in the ministry speak of with astonishment when they compare it with the indifference of former times. A great and visible change has taken place in the thirteen years since I left England.
It is now a very rare thing to see a careless clergyman, a neglected parish, or a desecrated church. The multiplication of schools may well be made the subject of special thanksgiving to Almighty God. The teaching of our public schools and universities has risen to a far more religions character. Even our cathedral system, the last to feel the impulse of the spirit of the times, has put forth signs of life, while many were predicting its extinction.”
Now here, at least, is much to encourage us : a disposition in any portion of the clergy to avoid controversial bitterness (though, we believe, mainly confined to one school) is a great blessing. The leaven in time must work through Puritan bigotry and exclusive. ness. So again, the testimony to the increased zeal of the clergy and Church restoration, is valuable. These are solid goods. We fear, however, that Bishop Selwyn is a little too favourable here. The careless clergyman is still found in too many places. Would not a great many of our rural parishes present us with a number of clergymen doing as little as they can, and living as much like the neighbouring squirearchy as their means allow? Are there not many who are essentially farmers or country gentlemen ; with