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Dana's Poems and Prose Writings

Brownson's Quarterly Review, October, 1850
Art. III. - Poems and Prose Writings. By Richard H. Dana. New York : Baker & Scribner. 1850. 2 vols. 12mo.    pp. 443, 440.
Mr. Dana is one of the patriarchs of American literature, and we are not called upon to treat him as an author making his first appearance before the public. The contents of his volumes were written many years ago, and have long been fa­miliar to the grown-up generation of the author's countrymen. They have already passed the ordeal of the critics, and their author's reputation is too well established to be much affected one way or the other by the comments of reviewers. All that need be done on the appearance of any new edition of them is simply to announce it. Nevertheless, we are unwill­ing to let this new edition pass without making it the occasion of paying the tribute of our respect to the author, and of throw­ing out some suggestions which may not be wholly unprofitable to our younger aspirants to artistic excellence and literary glory.
We are reviewers by profession, but reviewers of the subjects, doctrines, principles, or tendencies of books, rather than of books themselves, as mere literary productions. We prize literature and art only as they subserve Christian doctrine and morals. Apart from their relation to these, they have little value in our eyes ; for so considered they cease to be genuinely artistic, and have at best merely the form, without the substance, of art. We esteem no literature which treats of matters and things in their generality, without touching any thing in its spe­ciality, for the general without the special is mere possibility ; and we belong to that class of moralists who hold that every human action is either moral or immoral, either good or bad, and that no human action is ever morally indifferent. To us the end is no less important than the principle, and the philos­ophy that denies the final cause is as atheistic and absurd as that which denies the first cause. Our theology determines our ethics, and our ethics determines our aesthetics. Theology is the queen of the sciences, and they have no rights or reason of ex­istence but to be employed in her service. Art in its most general sense is simply the application of science to practical life. Hence we are alsvays obliged, whether we are reviewing a work of science or of art, to review it under its relation to Catholicity, and1 to judge it by its bearing on Catholic doctrine and morals.
This is not a fashionable mode of reviewing, we admit, and is generally regarded as narrow, illiberal, and bigoted ; for it is in our days thought to be a mark of wisdom to deny the unity and universality both of the first and of the final cause of the universe, to separate philosophy from theology, truth from revelation, Christianity from the Church, morality from relig­ion, and art, or, as it is improperly called, cesthelics, from morality. But this is a fact not precisely to the credit of the age. Catholicity, in the order of ideas or principles, is the truth and the whole truth, whether the truth evident to natural reason, or the truth revealed and affirmed to us by supernatural authority. It therefore necessarily extends to every depart­ment of human thought, feeling, and action. Nothing, then, in any order, or under any relation, is really separable from it, exempted from its law, or commendable save as inspired by it and as it conforms to it. Falsehood either as to the principle or as to the end is never commendable, and moral deformity is no less repugnant to the beautiful than physical deformity. The Wahlverwandtschaftcn, or Elective Affinities, of Goethe is as offensive to good taste as shocking to the moral sense.
We do not say that the beautiful is not, in some sense, dis­tinguishable from truth of doctrine and soundness of morals, but we do maintain that it is never separable from them. All art or resthetics must be addressed to man under one or all of three relations, - 1. The intellect, or understanding ; 2. The will ; 3. The imagination. The proper object of the under­standing is truth ; of the will, moral good ; of the imagination, if you please, the beautiful. All literature, or any other species of art, in order to meet the demands of intellect and will, must be true and morally good, therefore must be grounded in Cath­olic doctrine and morals ; for aside from these, in the intellect­ual and volitive orders, all is false and immoral, neither true nor good. The imagination is commonly regarded as a mixed fac­ulty, partaking both of the rational nature and of the irrational, and in some sense as a union .of the two, so to speak, of the soul and body. But it is primarily and essentially rational, or intellectual, and moves as intellect before moving as sensibility; or, in other words, it is intellectual apprehension before it is sen­sitive affection, as the life and activity of the body are from the soul, not the life and activity of the soul from the body. The beautiful, then, as the proper object of the imagination, must be really objective and intelligible, and therefore belong to the or­der of the true and the good, and be at bottom identical with truth and goodness ; for the true is, in reality, identical with the good. Consequently imagination, therefore aesthetics, de­mands truth and goodness for the basis of its operations, as much as does Christian theology or Christian ethics.
This is undeniable, if imagination is considered on its intel­lectual or rational side, and it is not less so if we consider it on its sensitive or irrational side. Undoubtedly, we may be and often are delighted, charmed, with what is neither true nor good, pleased with a literature or an art which Christian doctrine and morals do and must repugn ; but this is by virtue of the ir­rational and sensitive side of our nature, which, in consequence of original sin, is in an abnormal state. The understanding by the Fall has been obscured and the will enfeebled, but the lower nature, concupiscence, the flesh, has been turned wholly away from God, so that in it dwells no good thing. Physically, it has not, indeed, been essentially changed ; but it has morally es­caped from its original subjection to reason and the law of God, in which it was, prior to the Fall, held by grace ; and it now follows its natural tendencies, - all of which are towards the creature instead of the Creator. If we follow these nat­ural tendencies, or seek their natural gratification, we convert intellect and will into slaves of appetite and passion, and are brought into bondage to sin and death. These tendencies are not destroyed, or changed, by the infusion of sanctifying grace. The flesh remains after baptism, continues to lust against the spirit, and as long as he lives the Christian must combat it un­ceasingly, and labor by self-denial, mortification, and prayer to overcome or subdue it, as revelation teaches us, and as all ex­perience proves.
There are two modes in which art may affect us on this side of our nature, - one by exciting corrupt appetites and gratify­ing perverse tendencies, the other by allaying or tranquillizing the passions, and so diverting us from the sensitive affections as to prevent them from obscuring the understanding, or enslaving the will. The art that operates in the first-mentioned mode is not unknown, nay, is quite common. It is the fashionable art of our age, especially if we speak of literature. Under its cat­egory we must place the principal part of the poetry of Byron, Moore, and Shelley, all the fashionable novels from Sir Walter Scott down to George Sand, and the light, with no small part of the grave, literature of the day, and which the young man or the young woman can no more read without being corrupted than one can touch pitch and not be defiled.    But art of this sort is a counterfeit or false art ; because just in proportion as we follow the sensitive nature, we run away from God, " the first good and the first fair," the supreme and absolute truth, the supreme and absolute good, and the supreme and absolute beauty, and tend towards the creature as final cause, or ultimate end, therefore towards supreme and absolute falsehood, and consequently towards supreme and absolute nullity, since the creature separated from God is a nullity, and absolute nullity must needs be as far removed from the beautiful as it is from the true and the good.
The beautiful is not a human creation ; men do not make it; it is real, and independent of the genius that discovers it or seeks to embody it in works of art, in poetry, eloquence, music, paint­ing, sculpture, or architecture.    It then, like all reality, has its origin in God, and even as created beauty must be, though dis­tinguishable, yet inseparable from God, and like every creature in its degree an image of God.    God creates all things after the ideas or archetypes in his own Divine mind, or infinite in­telligence.    These ideas or archetypes in his intellect are in­distinguishable from his essence ; for, as St. Thomas, after St. Augustine, teaches, "ideain Deo nlhil estaliud quam essentia Dei."    It is precisely in this image of God in which all things in their degree and according to their nature are created, that reside the truth, goodness, and beauty of things.   Whatever ob­scures this image, or leads us away from it, or substitutes for it the image of the creature, obscures the beautiful, and leads us away from it, into the deformed and the inane, which is evi­dently the case with the art that takes for its object the pleasure or satisfaction of the inferior soul, or the corrupt appetites and passions of our nature. Whence it follows that only the art that operates in the second mode we have defined, that is, to allay concupiscence, to tranquillize the passions, and enfeeble their force, can be true and genuine art, or the art that really and truly embodies the beautiful.    This it can do only by elevating us into a region above the sphere of the sensitive soul, above the merely sensible world, into the intelligible world, by excit­ing in us noble  thoughts, lofty aspirations, and   so charming the rational soul, the intellect and will, with spiritual truth and goodness, that the sensitive soul, so to speak, is for the time being overpowered and rendered unable to disturb us.    This is what the Church has always aimed at in her sacred art, whether manifested in her noble hymns, her grand cathedrals, her splen­did ritual, or her solemn chants and soul-subduing music ; - not, as shallow, heretical, and infidel travellers would fain persuade us, the positive enlisting of the senses, the passions, and sensi­tive affections in her service.
Some would-be philosophers and moralists, indeed, attempt to steer a middle course between the two extremes we have in­dicated. They would condemn the purely sensual art as op­posed to true beauty, and yet would not require all art to be purely ascetic. They persuade themselves that the artist, the poet, the orator, or the rhetorician may lawfully avail himself up to a certain point of our sensitive emotions, passions, affec­tions, tendencies, if he only recognizes at the same time that he delights and charms us by exciting and employing them, that we must not forget to be orthodox and moral, and takes care to caution us against suffering them to run into excess. They assume that nature is essentially good, and that its tendencies are all proper to be consulted, unless unduly excited, and in­ordinately strengthened. They see evil only in their excess,- in suffering them to exceed a certain proportion, - and charm us by their indulgence and moderation, by their suavity and con­descension to our weakness. But for this very reason they are the most dangerous class of philosophizers and moralizers we have amongst us ; they soothe and lull the conscience while they delight the flesh. Their error is subtile, and not easily detect­ed by the ordinary mind. They deceive many, and would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect.
Physically considered, we grant that our nature is good, and so is the nature of the Devil himself ; as follows from the fact that summum ens is summum bonum, and every creature of a perfect and good creator must be itself good. Of this there is no doubt; and hence no ascetic, no master of spiritual life, ever demands of us the physical immolation of ourselves, either in whole or in part. But morally considered, our nature is not good ; on the contrary, it is corrupt. True, physically con­sidered, our nature was not essentially changed by the Fall. We had the same lower nature in the state of innocence that we have in our lapsed state, and the natural ends and tendencies of that nature were then, in themselves considered, precisely what they are now ; but they were then subordinated to rea­son, and through grace held in strict subjection to understand­ing and will, which were themselves by the same grace held in strict subjection to the will of God. Their natural objects were not then pursued inordinately, nor for their own sake; and the action of the man, in so far as he sought those objects, <lid in no sense terminate in them.    He ate, but not to enjoy the pleasures of the palate, nor merely to preserve the life of his body ; but to preserve the life of his body for the sake of God, of employing himself in the service of his Maker.    But when he sinned, he lost the grace which held concupiscence, or the inferior powers of the soul, in subjection to the higher or rational powers, and escaping from the dominion of reason, they recovered their natural freedom, and henceforth operated according to their own inherent laws  for the various sensual ends to which they all naturally tend, when unrestrained by reason and grace.    The common end of all these tendencies is sensual pleasure ; sensual pleasure is derivable only from the possession of sensible objects or sensible goods ; and hence the sensual man, the natural or carnal man, seeks always sensual pleasure as his ultimate end, and the possession of sensible goods as the means of obtaining it.    Intellect and will - the nobler part of his nature - are for him only " instrumental fac­ulties," as the Fourierists expressly denominate them, and he esteems and cultivates them only as means of gaining these sensible  goods,   and for  procuring  sensual   pleasure.    This carnal or natural man, following his natural  tendencies,  and seeking his own sensual pleasure, is intellectually and morally dead.    The end and the objects he seeks are in the created order, and his activity terminates in the creature, and therefore he acts in a direction from God, and adopts as his final cause, or ultimate end, a final cause or ultimate end opposed to God, who is his sole final, as his sole first cause, his last end, as his first beginning.     He sins, then, intellectually, by assuming a false final cause, denying his true, and asserting a false, ulti­mate end ; and he sins morally, by rejecting God as his sover­eign, and devoting himself to a false sovereign, and giving what is due to God alone to the creature who has no right to it. We may lawfully seek the creature in God, for the creature is in God as his beginning and end ; but not God in the creature, as our modern socialists and neologists falsely teach, for, mor­ally considered, God is not in the creature.    To set our affec­tions on the creature,  to propose the  creature  as our final cause, as the end of our activity, or any portion of our activity, is to turn our backs upon God, is to march from him, to de­part from our supreme good, and to rush into falsehood and sin, the death of the rational soul, which lives and can live only by virtue of truth and moral good.    This lies in the very na­ture of things, and God himself cannot alter it, for not even Omnipotence itself can make the creature the creator, or seek­ing the creature seeking God himself, as final cause. As all morality, or all truth of conduct, lies precisely in seeking God as our final cause, or ultimate end, every act that rejects him as that end, and terminates in any created object, is immoral, and tends to kill the soul. As this is the case with every act of concupiscence, or every act of ours having for its end, no matter in what degree, sensual delight or satisfaction, there can be no compromise in the case, and the attempt of the artist, in any degree, to avail himself of our natural emotions, passions, or affections in their natural order and relations, within what­ever limits he may intend to remain, is of a false and immoral tendency, and therefore unartistic.
All Christian moralists, all masters of spiritual life, teach that humility is the foundation and root of all the virtues, and that pride is the foundation and root of all sin. But pride is simply the as­sertion, in the moral order, of our own self-sufficiency, that is, the denial of God as our final cause, and the assertion of our­selves as our own ultimate end ; that is, again, the blasphemous assertion of ourselves as God, and sovereign lawgiver, accord­ing to the words of the serpent to our first parents, " Ye shall be as gods." In its essence, every act of pride is the absolute denial of God in the moral, and therefore in the physical or­der, and the assertion of the absolute supremacy of man, of me, myself, not vaguely hinted in Dr. Channing's doctrine of the " dignity of human nature," in which, one of his brother ministers was accustomed to say, the eloquent doctor "made man a great god, and God a little man." Humility is the op­posite of pride, that is, the absolute denial of man's supremacy, and the assertion of the absolute supremacy of God, in the moral order, - the annihilation of the creature as final cause, and the assertion of God as final cause, and sole final cause, or ultimate end in all things whatsoever. Pride is a stupendous lie, and as gross a violation of dialectics as of ethics ; humility is simply the assertion of the truth, and conformity to it, since God, as sole creator of man, must needs be his sole final cause or ultimate end. Humility simply recognizes and practically conforms to this truth ; and to recognize and practically con­form to this truth in all our actions is the whole of virtue. It follows, then, that just so far as we seek sensual or natural pleasure, and make the creature the termination of our activity, we act contrary to virtue, and are immoral. We know no way to avoid this conclusion, undeniable in the nature of things.
It follows from this that these via-media philosophers and moralists are mistaken in assuming that the evil lies in the ex­cess, in the undue lengths to which we suffer ourselves to be borne by our natural tendencies, appetites, passions, and affec­tions. It does not lie in following these too far, but in following them at all. Their natural direction, from their very starting-point, is away from God towards the creature, that is, from the end we are bound, either explicitly or implicitly, actually or habitually, to seek at all times and in all our actions, great or small. Here is the fact. We cannot serve two masters ; and we cannot serve God in seeking our own pleasure. The sensitive nature must be subordinated and completely subjected to the rational ; and as this has become impossible since the Fall, for the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be, nothing remains for us but to resist it, - by the grace of God to fight it, and to fight it unceasingly, as long as we live. We can make no compromise, no truce even, with it, and the least relaxation of our vigilance gives it the victory over us, and enables it to bring us again into bondage to sin and death. There must be no dallying with the flesh, any more than with the world and the Devil. They who fancy that there is no necessity of being so very strict, who flatter them­selves that they can yield somewhat to concupiscence, and give a portion of their time, thoughts, and affections to the world, to its pomps, its shows, its vanities, and dissipations, without danger, labor under a fatal delusion. It requires no violent effort to live for the world ; our natural tendencies are to it, and before we are aware of danger, we become so absorbed in it, that we have no longer the courage or the energy to throw it off and return to the duties of religion. Authors who set out with the lax notions we are combating, disposed to stop every now and then to gather the flowers of sense that border the path of life, without wholly losing sight of religion, always delay longer than they intend, and in the ordinary course of things finally stray from the path and lose themselves, either in gross sensuality, or in open, decided heresy. None of our natural passions or affections can be trusted ; the trail of the serpent is over them all ; they are all branded with the curse of original sin, and the purest and best of them, - conjugal love, love of children, love of parents, love of country, love of mankind, - when indulged for their own sake, place us on the declivity, whence it is difficult only not to slide into the hell burning at the foot.
These views are necessary, not merely to our own justifica­tion as reviewers, but also to all who aspire to artistic excel­lence and literary glory. These should remember that they must know and will, as well as feel, study as well as dream, and labor to rise above the merely sensible world, and fill their minds and invigorate their hearts with the highest order of in­tellectual and spiritual truth that Almighty God has revealed or made accessible to the human mind. It is not enough to study human nature, and to become able to address successfully, or acceptably, the various natural passions and affections from the point of view of the objects to which they naturally tend. In doing this one only speaks from fallen human nature to fallen human nature, and the truth we attain to is only truth to man in his abnormal state, which, since what is abnormal is false, is after all only falsehood, and alike remote from the good and the beautiful. Our popular authors, we are sorry to add, seem not to have considered this important fact, and hence our popular literature, almost without exception, expresses only the truth and beauty of our corrupt nature. Indeed, among non-professional writers, it is rare in these days to find an author who even aims, whether he speaks in prose or verse, at any thing more than delighting and charming us on the sensitive or -irrational side. It is the tendency of the age, and indeed, as to that matter, of the world in every age, to forget that man's glory is in his intellect and will, in his reason, by which he is made but a little lower than the angels, and through grace able to rise to the contemplation of God himself and to the exhibi­tion in his life of sublime and heroic virtue, and to place it simply in that which he possesses in common with the animal world. To divert him from all deep and masculine thought, to divest him of all rational or spiritual truth, to render him dead to all religious affections and aspirations, and to reduce him to a better sort of animal, - to a creature of mere sensation, or weak and silly sentimentality, - is seriously regarded by those who claim to be the great lights of the nineteenth century as vindi­cating his manhood, asserting the nobility of his nature, and elevating him to his true rank in the scale of being. To this the "movement party" of our times, following the spirit of the world, have come, and to this conspire all our popular phi­losophy, science, art, and literature.
Yet this brutal result should not surprise us. It lay in the natural course of things, and might have been foreseen by or­dinary sagacity as inevitable, except by miracle, when Dante instaurated the lay genius, and commenced the creation of a lay literature by the side of the sacred literature of the Church. The literature that leaves the intelligible world, and the high order of supernatural truth, which Almighty God has revealed for our instruction, and confines itself to the sensible world, to delight and captivate the natural man, is always that which is the most easily produced, and for which there is the greatest demand.    It chimes in with our natural tastes and tendencies, and imposes no self-denial, no restraint, on either author or reader.     Its authors may always, where the simple ability to read is general, count on a fit " audience," and not " few " ; for to appreciate it exacts no preparatory discipline.    In our fallen state falsehood and evil are natural to us, and we need no previous instruction, no previous training, to embrace them, or to be charmed with them.    Error and sin, like Dogberry's reading and writing, come by nature, and there is no one who cannot err and sin without being taught, without violent effort, self-denial, or mortification.     When we choose to err or sin, wind and tide are in our favor, and we can rest upon our oavs. Any fool is competent to err ; but it takes a wise man to avoid error, to know the truth and to practise it, or to lead others to know and practise it ; and wisdom and virtue do not come by nature, are not natural to us in our lapsed state, and can be ac­quired only by hard and persevering labor, - by violence to all our natural tendencies, severe discipline, rigid self-denial, and painful mortification, - by a constant struggle against both wind and current, against the whole force of our nature, to which no man is equal, unless excited and assisted by Divine grace. It is not surprising, then, that, in an age when authorship is re­sorted to as a profession, as a livelihood, and when almost every body reads, popular literature and philosophy should regard only the human animal, the irrational elements of man's nature, and address only our natural tendencies to error and sin ; or that the great body of the people, accustomed to no other intellectual food, and incapable, without a  discipline  they  are far  from receiving, of relishing any other food, should feel themselves flattered in being allowed to stand at the head of the mammalia family, and to look upon themselves as first cousins to the orang-outang and baboon.    He who begins by reverencing the animal man will soon see in man nothing but the animal to rev­erence ; and if things go on as they are now going, we must expect to see fetichism reestablished among the poets, artists, and philosophers of the nineteenth century.
The sensitive soul is indeed integral in man, and the animal man is the same individual or person that we call the rational or spiritual man.    Man is composed of body and soul ; by his soul he is related to the spiritual world, and by his body to the material world.    Considered on the former side he is the ra­tional man ; on the latter, the animal man.   Yet he is the same man, the same individual, the same person, physically, let us consider him on which side we will, and he always acts with the unity which belongs to his nature.    He never acts as intel­lect and will without sensibility, or as sensibility without some affection of reason ; for the soul is essentially rational nature, and also the life of the body ; for when bereft of the soul, the body is a corpse, incapable of performing a single function. What we call the irrational or animal soul must, then, undoubt­edly, have its place  and   office in the  physical  economy  of human life, and, physically, a share in every human act.     Un­doubtedly, therefore, the artist cannot move intellect and will without affecting it, and in some degree moving it also.    He must, then, understand the instinctive and irrational nature, and study and even address the emotions, passions, and affections. This we grant; but what we maintain is, that he must not do it from the direction of the ends to which they tend, or by presenting them their natural objects ; he must do it from the side of intellect and will, through reason, the teachings of rev­elation, and the precepts of the Gospel.      He cannot, if he would, avoid presenting them more or less of sensible beauty, and with sensible beauty they are always pleased ; but he must not present that beauty in its nakedness, in the form which car­ries away sensibility in its natural direction ; he must clothe it with a higher beauty, a beauty not sensible, but ideal, spiritual, moral, celestial, and immortal, which is undoubtedly an achieve­ment of great difficulty, and within the reach of none but the very first masters.    It is precisely one of the miseries of our fallen state that we cannot indulge our natural taste for sensible beauty without danger j and hence, to preserve our moral in­tegrity, we are1 obliged to deny and mortify that taste.    The earth has been cursed for our sake, and this curse, in no small part, is in the fact that the very beauties of nature, strewn in such rich profusion around us, the mountain and plain, the streamlet and lake, the river and ocean, the varied and smiling landscape, the many-colored and fragrant flowers, the glorious sunshine, the golden-tinted clouds, the starry vault of heaven, all that poets love to see and describe, and which, had we remained in the state of innocence, would have given so pure a delight to our existence, have hecome to us in consequence of sin a temptation and a snare. The saints, though keenly alive to all that is beautiful in nature, are accustomed to'restrain their eyes, "to close them to the beauty which appeals to the senses, and to open them only to the contemplation of the beauty of truth and holiness. Yet if, in contemplating spiritual truth, the goodness, the love, and mercy of God, if, enraptured with the celestial beauty with which all truth and good of the spiritual order are always clothed to the mind and the heart open to them, we overflow with joy, and our whole body thrills with delight, as sometimes happens, we may accept with gratitude to God the sensible sweetness, for it is then a divine pleasure, as it were a slight, a very slight foretaste of heaven ; but we must never seek it, and above all we must beware of confounding it with the voluntary devotion which God demands of us, and of the false notion which some entertain, that we can press the sensitive affections into the service of religion, and make them helps to our growth in knowledge and virtue.
We add here, to prevent misconception, that we do not, in bringing every work to the test of Catholic doctrine and morals, necessarily exclude from trial all works not the works of orthodox and practical Catholics. We find in Plato and Aristotle much sound philosophy ; no little beauty in the ancient Greek and Roman classics ; and some in the master­pieces of poetry, music, and eloquence of modern Protestant and infidel nations. This is because all nations, ancient and modern, even the heretical and corrupt, have had some rays of truth and goodness from the Catholic sun furrowing their dark­ness. Catholicity, in the order of ideas or principles, we have said, is the truth, the whole truth, whether the truth evident per se to natural reason, or the truth pertaining to the supernatural order, and evident only as revealed and affirmed to us by super­natural authority. This is evident from the fact that theology is the queen of the sciences, and the Church is the supreme judge and interpreter, under God, of both the revealed law and the law of nature. The first order of truth, embodied in lan­guage and evident of itself to natural reason, is in some meas­ure known to all men ; the second order, that pertaining to the supernatural, was, as to its substance, revealed in the beginning to our first parents, and has been preserved by tradition, and never entirely lost by any people. It is therefore retained, and in  some  measure  known, even by heretical and unbelieving nations and individuals. It is true, the works of heretics and unbelievers, whether ancient or modern, considered in relation to the merit of the operator, or as entitling one to eternal life, have no value ; for they are, as to the operator, defective both in their principle and end. The heretic or the infidel, the gen­tile or the Protestant, acts always from nature to nature, which is never enough for everlasting life, for that lies in the supernat­ural order. The noblest works of heretics and individuals avail nothing for salvation. Only Catholics do, or can, act from human nature elevated by grace, and for God as author of grace and the supernatural end of man ; and therefore none but Catholics can enter into heaven, as we are taught in the dogma, that out of the Church no one can ever be saved. But consid­ered apart from the principle and end of the operator, and re­garded only for what they are in themselves, the works of indi­viduals not Catholics may have, under a philosophical and an artistic point of view, no inconsiderable degree of merit. It is thus that in purely metaphysical questions St. Thomas and the fathers cite the gentile philosophers, and good Catholics admire the Apollo and the Laocoon. But what we admire in the phi­losophy or art of heterodox nations and individuals is precisely that in them which conforms to Catholic doctrine and morals, and which has been inspired by those elements of Catholicity which they have retained after their lapse into heterodoxy and in­fidelity. So, though our rule obliges us to condemn as opposed to true art whatever cannot abide the Catholic test, we are still free, under it, to judge any work without inquiring whence it came or who has produced it ; yet we expect the masterpiece only from the Catholic who spends no small portion of his time at the foot of the crucifix, and the art of all pagan or heterodox nations will always betray its origin.
From these last remarks it must appear, that, as reviewers, we hold our business to be with the work presented for our judgment, rather than with the workman abstracted from it. We do not belong to the new school of criticism, if new it is, springing up amongst us, and which values a work of art only in so far as it is a revelation of the psychological character of its author, and lets us into the secrets of his interior soul. We cannot, with a bold but flippant critic on Mr. Dana, in a late number of the Christian Examiner^ leave the consideration of the intrinsic merits or demerits of the works themselves, as revelations of the true, the good, or the beautiful, and proceed by their aid to analyze the author as a man, to dissect his moral and mental constitution, and to set forth, to the wonderment of our readers at our own sagacity and penetration, what he is or is not in himself.    This exceeds, in our judgment, both our prov­ince and our ability.    The author, in so far as he enters into his work, that is, as strictly the author and distinguishable from the man, is, no doubt, the proper subject, of criticism, but be­yond he is not, for beyond he does not publish himself, and is not amenable to a literary tribunal.    Because a man has seen proper to publish a poem or a series of tales and essays, it does not follow in our code of morals that we have the right to treat him as a psychological phenomenon, or to make him a psychological study.    The man has a right to determine for himself how far he will and how far he will not publish himself, and so far as he does not publish himself he is a private man, just as much as if he had never published any thing at all.   The end of art is not to reveal the artist.    It is somewhat necessary in these democratic times, when there is a universal tendency to invade every man's privacy, to violate all private rights, and merge the individual in the public, or rather in the mob, to in­sist on this obvious fact, if we would preserve any degree of personal independence   before the many-headed and   meddle­some multitude.    It will be a sad day for personal independ­ence, freedom of thought, manly conduct, and strong and mas­culine literature, when your Edwin P. Whipples unrebuked sit in judgment on   the   interior  character  of your Richard  H. Danas, and publish to the world their psychological lucubra­tions.    No man of any native modesty, or delicacy of feeling, will then venture to lay before the public the creations of his genius, or the results of his deep thought and patient investiga­tions, his fervent meditations, or private musings.
Moreover, the critic can never give a judgment of an author beyond his works that can be worthy of much reliance, for the workman always surpasses his work, and it is only an infinites­imal part of himself that any tolerable author does or can ex­press in his writings. Only emptiness can tell all that it is. The man of true genius, great abilities, and full mind can com­press only the smallest portion of what he is into words intelli­gible to all the world. He can fully open himself only to minds of a like order and cultivation with his own. Good read­ers are nearly as rare as good authors, and the best part of a really good author is lost upon the crowd even of his admirers. It is not seldom that he is pained to hear himself compli­mented for what he would blush to have meant, and what is at best only the merest commonplace. The evil is already one of serious magnitude, and becomes and must become every day greater and greater as nominal readers multiply, and the proportion of genuine scholars to mere sciolists diminishes. Ev­ery body now-a-days fancies himself a fit judge of every thing, and is ready to swear that whatever is true, beautiful, or good to him, is so in itself, and that whatever transcends his puny un­derstanding is a nullity. " The schoolmaster is abroad," we are told, and it is no doubt true ; but we think it were quite as well if he stayed at home, and formed scholars who might write as scholars for scholars. The world has not profited by leav­ing behind the old maxim, ne sutor ultra crepidam, and install­ing the Whipples as literary and psychological critics of the Danas.
We have dwelt so long on the canons of literary and aesthetic criticism, that we have reserved ourselves little time or space to apply them to the .works before us. Nor can we proceed with the same confidence in their application that we have felt in stating them. They are founded in the eternal truth and nature of things, and we have been guided by our religion in de­termining them ; their application is an act of human judgment, in all cases fallible, and peculiarly so in ours, especially when the application is to be made to poetical or artistic productions, of which we are very indifferent judges. Art is the expression of the true and the good under the form of the beautiful; the form of the beautiful is not created by the mind of the artist, is not projected from his mind, before having been drawn in from without, or from above ; it is real, objective, - the real and eternal form of the true and the good themselves, as they exist independent of our apprehension ; but it is not given to every eye to behold it, and it is only privileged minds, minds en­dowed with some portion of that extraordinary power called genius, and which escapes all definition, that can detect or em­body it. We ordinary mortals can apprehend the true and the morally good, can know our duty and perform it ; but we are not privileged to see them always and everywhere under the form of the beautiful; far less are we able to seize that form and embody it in our works. In so far as it is identical with the true and the good we can judge of it; but in so far as it is dis­tinguishable from them,- for distinguishable, though not sepa­rable, from them we conceive it may be, - we hold ourselves poorly qualified, either by nature or discipline, to determine its presence.
Mr. Dana's writings consist of moral and political essays, literary reviews and criticisms, and tales and poems. The essays are the most to our taste, and are the portion of his writ­ings with which we have the most sympathy. Mr. Dana is no Red Republican, no radical, no revolutionist, but, without being hopelessly wedded to any particular form of political constitu­tion, is a genuine conservative, a believer in the necessity of law, and in the almost forgotten fact that loyalty is a virtue. His essays, entitled Old Times, The Past and the Present, and Law as suited to JVIan, - the first published in 1817, and the last two, one in 1833, and the other in 1835, written with rare eloquence and grace of style, and clearness and force of expression,- prove very satisfactorily that he is far from hold­ing what is called the "sacred right of insurrection," and from believing that all innovation is improvement, and that the surest way to protect liberty is to obliterate from the mind the notion of law which guaranties it, and to break down all the bulwarks the wisdom of our ancestors erected for its defence. Mr. Dana is one of the few men remaining amongst us that retain somewhat of the views and tastes of the better class of the Loyalist gentry in ante-Revolutionary times, and who have never adopted all the peculiarities of our modern democracy.
The American Revolution and Independence have had an astonishing effect in developing the material resources of our country, and in stimulating industrial activity and enterprise, but they have not had an equally salutary influence on our man­ners and morals, and our general habits of thought and belief. The tone of good society under the republic is below what it was in colonial times, and thought has lost in depth and sound­ness what it has gained in expansion. American society has not yet recovered the loss of the old Loyalist or Tory families, for the most part the Mite of the colonial gentry. Democracy is great and glorious in the order of mere material industry and prosperity, when that industry and prosperity are able to thrive in spite of the government ; but it is not remarkably favorable to the growth of reverence, respect, and courtesy. Its funda­mental principle is pride, - is, "I am as good as you, and will not bow or take off my hat to you," - and therefore its natural tendency is to lower the standard of morals and man­ners. It invariably tends to invade every man's privacy, to make war on all individual freedom and mental independence, and to deny to every one the right to think, to act, or to be, save as merged in the crowd, and going to make up the public. Its natural tendency is to bring every thing down to a common average, to the level of the common mind, and to make public opinion the standard of doctrine and morals. It puts the peo­ple, or rather the mob, in the place of God, and makes all men taken individually slaves of all men taken collectively. Of all conceivable governments democracy is the most unfa­vorable to free and manly thought, to mental independence, to freedom and nobility of soul.*
* Let no one infer from our strictures on democracy that we are dis­loyal to the republican institutions of this country.    In condemning de­mocracy we have no reference to either of the two great political parties which divide our countrymen, for in the sense in which we condemn it, democracy is common to both  parties;-we refer not to the particular measures of administration which either party advocates, for in this journal we are neither Whig nor Democrat; nor do we refer to the fundamental principles of the American Constitution, State or national, for we deny that the American Constitution is democratic or was ever intended to be democratic.   The democracy we condemn relates neither to parties nor to measures of administration, but to the origin of power and the constitu­tion of the state.    We condemn as destructive of freedom all government of mere will, whether the will of plebeians or of nobility, of the people or of the monarch.    We demand a government of law, - a government legal in its origin, in its principles, and in its administration, and such a government we hold the American government to be when rightly inter­preted ; and such a government we hold a democracy is not and never can be.     Democracy, as the word is now universally understood, and rightly understood, is nothing but mohocracy.   We are opposed, not to our American institutions, but to the democratic interpretation of them in­sisted on by the majority of our countrymen, and even by some few of our nominally Catholic fellow-citizens, who  are Catholics in   the  old Anglican fashion, that is, Catholics who are for this world at any rate, and for heaven in so far as it demands no self-renunciation, and 1 hey are able to accommodate its livery to the service of the Devil.    What we oppose is not the institutions, but the mobocratio principles, doctrines, and practices become so prevalent that no man of tolerable ability can hope to be elevated to any place of honor or trust unless he makes a public profession of them, and sets law and common sense at defiance.
For ourselves, we advocate not monarchy, not timocracy, not oligarchy, not aristocracy, not democracy, not ochlocracy, but simply legitimacy and legality, and precisely such, we hold, is the government which Providence through the wisdom of our ancestors has established in this country. To this form of government, and the laws made in conformity to its con­stitution, we owe civil allegiance, and are always ready to comply with all the demands of such allegiance. ]3ut the democratic doctrines floating1 in the minds of our countrymen outside of the constitution, we do not hold ourselves bound to obey ; and we maintain that no man in this country can follow or encourage them without ceasing to be a loyal citizen, and becoming treasonable in his thought and deed. It is not we in opposing, but our countrymen in encouraging, these doctrines and tendencies, that are disloyal to American institutions.
In consequence of the natural influence of democracy, but an influence against which the framers of the Federal Consti­tution intended to guard, we of the present generation are far inferior in a moral and intellectual point of view to the genera-lion that won our Independence, and which was formed under the colonial regime, as is evident to all among us old enough to have known that generation before it had wholly disappeared. Even the more ultra members of the revolutionary party, not excepting even Mr. Jefferson, entertained views far more pro­found, just, and conservative than it is common to meet among those who now pass for aristocrats or monarchists, because not absolutely mobocrats. Since even our own memory there was no party in the country that would own the name of democrat, and the term was rarely used, save as a term of reproach. Men would say, " We are republicans, but not democrats " ; and the Whig party of to-day is more democratic than was the republican party under Jefferson and Madison. There was, when the War of Independence commenced, and till many years after Independence had been gained, and we had taken our place among sovereign states, something of loyalty in our disposition, and a general conviction in our minds of the neces­sity and obligation of law. The sound doctrines and moral habits that we had inherited from remote ancestors were not yet worn out, and we retained some precious elements of moral and social life. These are now gone, and our country passes into the hands of the generation formed under the practical oper­ations of democratic convictions and tendencies, -• a puny gen­eration, so degenerated in mental and moral stature from its predecessors that one can hardly believe that it has really de­scended from them. They who with us see and deplore this constant deterioration of American society, will read these essays of Mr. Dana with great pleasure, and with thanksgiv­ing that there is one writer amongst us, of the highest order of American writers, who dares intimate to his countrymen lhat their march of intellect is downward, not upward, and to labor to recall their attention to the good old things that have passed or are passing away. The chief regret we feel in reading these essays is, that he who wrote them has not followed them up and given us many more like them, a regret we seldom have occasion to feel in the case of contemporary essayists.
The literary reviews and criticisms prove that Mr. Dana has made criticism a study. We have been particularly pleased with the paper on Edgeioorths'* Readings on Poetry, in which the sound sense and just and acute observations of the author are surpassed only by his wit and humor. The Edge-worth tales, if man had no end but to get on well in the world, to be respectable and prosperous here, without reference to an hereafter, would have been highly meritorious. The father and daughter were very respectable pagans. But the Edgevvorth notions of education, and the Edgeworth utilitarianism, cannot be too severely ridiculed, and are as contemptible as the school system and school-books of Peter Parley. We have seen no reason to believe that the modern methods of education surpass those practised by the ancients, and we are strongly inclined to the belief, that the attempt to make a young child understand every thing is the most effectual way of preventing him from ever understanding any thing.
The paper on The Sketch Book is a fair and discriminating review of the earlier writings of Washington Irving. We were pleased to observe, that, while the writer is just to the many merits of Mr. Irving, he is not blind to his defects, and with great kindness and delicacy indicates them. We confess that, as much as we admire the inimitable Knickerbocker, we tire of his History before reaching the end, and in fact have never yet succeeded in reading to the last page. Irving has true wit and delicate humor, a lively and fertile fancy, a pure, chaste, and elegant style, but he is a little monotonous, and his uniform sweetness now and then cloys the appetite.
The elaborate paper on HazHWs Lectures on the English Poets is to our judgment the ablest and most characteristic of any in the collection. Of Hazlitt's Lectures themselves we cannot speak, for we have never read them, nor any thing else from the same author ; but Mr. Dana's own criticisms are su­perior to any thing of the sort written on this side the Atlantic we remember to have read. We know nothing finer, more tasteful, acute, or just in the whole range of literary criticism than the remarks on Alexander Pope, and his poetry. We were delighted exceedingly to find Mr. Dana doing justice to Swift, in spite of the Edinburgh Review's attempt to exclude him from good society. Swift had his faults both as a man and as a writer; he is occasionally coarse, and in his Tale of a Tub downright profane ; but he was taller by the head and shoulders than any of his Protestant literary contemporaries, and among all the celebrated writers of Queen Anne's reign the author for whom we have the most esteem and affection. We have no sympathy with his cynicism, whether it was real or affected ; we regret his coarseness, and detest his Protestant­ism ; but we conless his rare genius, his satirical wit, his strong masculine sense, and have a profound respect for his political sagacity and wisdom. The political policy he advocated, and which the Whig Addison opposed, was wise and profound, and England is the sufferer to-day, and will be the greater sufferer hereafter, for having rejected it. His policy was to save the independence of the crown, to guard against parliamentary des­potism, and protect and strengthen the country population against the urban population, that is, prevent the government from falling into the hands of fund-holders, stock-jobbers, mer­chants, and manufacturers, - a population that lacks stability, and fluctuates with the fluctuations of trade and the state of the markets, not only at home, but also abroad. Mr. D'Israeli, if we understand him, is attempting to revive this policy, but we fear it is too late ; the Reform Bill and the late Sir Robert Peel's free-trade measures, together with the changes as to the balance of property produced in Great Britain by the marvel­lous development of commerce and manufactures during the last sixty years, have given the preponderance hopelessly, we are inclined to believe, to the urban system, so zealously defended by Addison in the time of Swift. England's opportunity of recovering from the sad effects of the rebellion and revolu­tion of the seventeenth century was lost when she called in the present House of Hanover, instead of the legitimate heir of her throne, and she must, we fear, reap the consequences of her wickedness and folly. Sacred rights are never violated with im-puniiy, and the injured in the long run are sure to be avenged.
Mr. Dana rates Wordsworth as a poet higher than we have been in the habit of doing. Our early dislike of Wordsworth may have proceeded from our early admiration of Byron, and perhaps, since we have ceased to admire Byron, we ought to overcome our distaste for Wordsworth. Wordsworth did not lack the poetic temperament, and he has written, for an Angli­can, some very good poetry. Many of his sonnets, we ac­knowledge, are very beautiful, although we dislike sonnets, as we do hexameters, in English, and we cannot deny that they produce the effect of true poetry on the mind and heart of the reader. He wrote, too, with an honest aim, and with such re­ligious thought and feeling as he could have without being a Catholic. But he remains always too near the ground, and never rises above a respectable Greek or Roman gentile, save in words.    His   philosophy  is, perhaps, higher   and  broader than that of Locke and Paley, but it is still low and narrow, and now and then even verges upon pantheism. He is too much of an idolater of nature to please us, and we grow weary, half to death, of his interminable descriptions of natural scenery, mountain and lake, hill and dale, park and paddock, woodland and meadow, clouds and sunsets, especially in his Excursion. We can endure no poetry that gives us any description of na­ture, or merely natural objects, any farther than it subserves the action of the piece. All description, introduced for descrip­tion's sake, however beautiful in itself, is a blemish. In poetry, in eloquence, in painting, in every species of art, the moral must predominate, be the principal, and the merely natural only the accessory, and must never, as Cole's pictures of the Voyage of Life, overlay the moral. Wordsworth seems to us to have formed a tolerably just conception of what poetry should be, but to have labored all his long life in the nearly vain attempt to realize it. He made poetry step down from her stilts, and walk on her own natural feet and legs, and so far he did good service, but we are afraid that he will have to answer for not a few of the sins of the more recent schools of the Brownings, the Barretts, the Tennysons, the Lowells, and their fel­lows, with which our present youthful generation is so griev­ously afflicted.
Of Mr. Dana's poems and tales, we can offer only a brief criticism. As a poet, he steers clear of the literary faults we have, rightly or wrongly, charged upon Wordsworth. He has a quick eye for external beauty, and he gives us some exquisite pictures of nature, but they never divert our attention from the action of the piece, or mar its unity, but for the most part help it on, and deepen the impression intended. He does not ap­pear to have learned that rhythm is unessential to poetry, or that mere feeling without thought, clear and distinct thought, is the chief element in the composition of a poet. It is pretty evident, therefore, that his poems were written some years ago, and that he did not anticipate our recent discoveries. His rhythm is always good, and his poetical language is natural, easy, and, for aught we can see, is used as properly, as simply, as plainly, and as intelligibly as if he were talking prose. To us this is a great merit, but in these days it may be thought a defect. His diction is choice, and his style, clear, strong, terse, energetic, and free from all exaggeration and diffuseness. In his Buccaneer he compresses as much meaning into a single line as our younger poets succeed in getting into a score of stanzas. In nothing he has written in his poems or in his Idle Man, the general title of the collection of tales, is there any thing that transgresses good taste, or ordinary morality, as understood by the better class of our Protestant countrymen.    They are both marked by a certain moral aim, a certain religiousness, and, so far as words go, express a reverence for and belief in Christian­ity.     Yet we feel when reading them that the author lias never been really elevated above the natural order, and that the sphere in which he lives and moves lies far below the supernatural into which Divine grace elevates us, and in which are the secret springs of the Christian's life.     The only sanctity we recognize in his works is forensic and imputed, not infused and intrinsic. Hence they fail to express the higher order of beauty, and to produce the effect we have always the right to demand of all productions claiming to be artistic.     The supernatural in The Buccaneer is terrible, but neither beautiful nor sublime, - for it is infernal, not celestial ; demoniacal, not divine.    And bad as Mat Lee was, we should have  been better satisfied, since supernatural agency was to be introduced, if it had been intro­duced to save and not to destroy.    As it is, the Spectre-Horse is simply terrible, and affects us as unfavorably as the diablerie of Hoffman.
Speaking in general terms of Mr. Dana's poems, and espe­cially of The Idle Man, we are obliged to say, that the author, beyond the exquisite beauty of his style and diction, seldom at­tains to the truly beautiful.    His Edward and Mary is a very sweet love story, pleasantly and delicately told, but it is only a story of ordinary human love, which in no respect rises above the natural order, and is as much within the reach of the gentile as the Christian.    But the rest are, for the most part, dark, gloomy, and morbid.    They are terrible, rather than beautiful, and recall too vividly the general effect of the novels of God­win and Charles Brockden Brown.    We do not mean to say Mr. Dana copies or imitates these writers, nor imply any thing against his originality both of style and thought, but he writes with the same morbid spirit that they do, and leaves on his reader a painful and unhealthy impression.    His Paul Felton is a powerfully written story, but it is fearful.    It displays in the most masterly manner the workings of a richly endowed mind, left to its own solitary musings, strong passions, and deep affec­tions without steady principle, and grown morbid ; but scarcely any thing in the world would induce us to give it a second read­ing.    The author in it is true to our morbid or fallen nature placed in the circumstances he imagines, and subjected to Sa­tanic influences ; but he must pardon us if we intimate, that, let the case stand with him now as it may, when he wrote the story of Paul Felton, he did not at all understand the philosophy of the case he so powerfully and fearfully sketched. His hero wanted two things, the infused habits of grace, and an enlight­ened conscience. The errors and defects of Paul did not arise from the solitude in which he was brought up, nor from his mingling so little in general society. Had the boy been bap­tized, had he been well instructed in Christian doctrine, and been under the direction of a wise master of spiritual life, the circumstances in which he was placed and his manner of life would have favored enjoyment and the growth of virtue. But as it was, he had nothing of the grace by which the Christian lives, and the little knowledge of Christianity he had was just enough to give him a scrupulous conscience in matters not of moment, and a lax one in all else.
Paul Felton is the conception of a Calvinist, and is an ad­mirable illustration of Calvinism in real life. Calvinists have no adequate instruction in Christian duty. A few minor things they are taught, and if in regard to these they keep tolerably clear of sin, they are satisfied with themselves, and have no trouble of conscience, however grossly they may sin in matters of real spiritual magnitude. This is the case with the great majority of them. They satisfy themselves, and maintain their self-complacency on matters of little consequence, and leave the rest to take care of itself. They can without remorse de­stroy the widow's house, if they do not forget to make long prayers. If they " pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin," they can with a self-approving conscience pass over " the weightier things of the law, judgment, and mercy, and faith." But when one of them fails in small matters, his conscience takes the alarm ; he is filled with scruples ; he becomes mor­bid, he grows mad, and plunges into the most fearful crimes and hideous sins. The basis of this character is pride and spir­itual ignorance, oftenest met with in persons of good natural parts, respectable literary and scientific attainments, but unac­companied by proper spiritual or ghostly direction. Such was Paul Felton, the jealous and tyrannical husband, the leaguer with the Devil, the murderer of his wife and of himself, yet a man of tender conscience, persuading himself that he is in all acting in accordance with conscience, and under the dictates of a superior power.
Mr. Dana in stories of this sort offends Christian morality, not indeed because he* paints great crimes, but because he paints them in unchristian colors, from the point of view of mere nature, without directing the mind to their remedy. The saints relate to us crimes of the deepest die, but they do it with inward sanctity of their own, and so as not only to inspire hor­ror for the deeds, but a love for God and heroic virtue. Mr. Dana gives us, in contrast with his bold sketches or finished de­tails of crime and sin, no glimpses of the justice and mercy of God, no gleams of hope in the Divine charity, no heroic sanc­tity to which the mind and heart, sickened with the disgusting views of sin and iniquity, can turn and find relief and refresh­ment. The effect on the reader of all the kind of writing he here gives us is bad, enervating, and tends rather to fit one to be a villain and a desperado, than to recall him from error and sin, and to fix his affections on the true and the holy. In med­itating on the passion of our Lord, it is more wholesome to dwell on the ineffable love, the infinite mercy of God mani­fested in it, than even on our own sins for which our Lord suf­fered on the cross : for love to God is a nobler affection than simple hatred of sin. The sinner not unfrequently loathes the sin he continues to commit, but not loathing it because opposed to the Divine charity, or to the possession of God as his su­preme good, he is rather the worse than the better for the loathing ; because the loathing only drives him deeper and deeper into iniquity, in the vain hope of curing, or at least of concealing itself. Finally, we see now and then a recognition in Mr. Dana's writings of the prevalent and fashionable doctrine of the purifying and ennobling influence of mere human love. This doctrine, however disguised, is nothing but the pander to lust. We know that woman's love, a mere natural sentiment, is half deified, and represented as thaumaturgic ; but we have no more confidence in either woman's or man's love as a prin­ciple of virtue than we have in any other natural sentiment, nor half so much. Marriage may sometimes reform the rake of his rakishness, as avarice will sometimes cure a man of intemper­ance and sloth, but it does not elevate him into the sphere of virtue. The fact is, nature is never sufficient, and always does and must disappoint those who rely on it. It must be elevated by grace, and charity must enter, pervade, and rule the domes­tic circle, or the domestic affections themselves can do nothing for real virtue. The state, and the family, as well as indi­vidual virtue, must have a truly religious basis, be based  in Christianity, and sustained by supernatural grace, or they are no better than castles in the air.
But we have extended our remarks to an unreasonable length, and must close. We have given Mr. Dana's works themselves a very inadequate review, and the author may feel that, in common justice, we should have entered more into de­tail. But our purpose has not been a regular criticism of his writings, but to discuss with some depth and clearness the sub­ject they very naturally suggested, and that not for his sake, but for the sake of our young Catholic aspirants to literary and artistic excellence. As a writer Mr. Dana is morbid, and wants that mental serenity and that buoyancy of spirit which only the Catholic faith and fidelity to the Catholic Church can give. We see in his writings the absence of the operations of Catholicity on the mind and heart, and the presence of much Puritanic pride and scrupulosity. But we see at the same time a writer of great intellectual power, of true genius, and for the most part, so far as the form goes, of cultivated, pure, and delicate taste. His style may be studied as a model, and is among the very best specimens of pure English that has been written by one born and trained on this side of the Atlan­tic, and is rather that of an Englishman than of an Ameri­can. His relative rank as a poet we stated in the brief notice of his works in our Review for last January, and though his works are not by any means all we could wish them, few if any American productions of the sort are more creditable to our literature.