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had had the good luck to stnmble on it, would not have gone further in his search after happiness.
There is, however, one trifling drawback-some shadows to temper the light of this glowing picture-the Typees are cannibals! The author makes an elaborate, but to our notion, a very unnecessary apology for this propensity of theirs. The Polynesians have the advantage of the cannibals of civilised life, for we have long since made the pleasant discovery, that man-eating is not confined to the Anthropophagi of the South Seas. The latter have undoubtedly one redeeming distinction they only devour their enemies slain in battle : there is nothing which man in a civilised state has a keener appetite for than his particular friend. Go to any race-course, and you will find some scented Damon picking his teeth with a silver tooth-pick after devouring his Pythias, as if he had relished the repast. Go to Tattersal's or Crockford's, and you will find that in a single night a man has devoured his own wife and children having been disappointed in supping off his intimate friends. We know instances of highly respected country gentlemen swallowing at a single election the whole of their posterity ; and could quote one huge Ogre who can gorge in his mighty man a few millions of “ the finest peasantry”-nothing, indeed, civilised men are more expert in than picking their neighbours' bones !
Possibly, we may have pushed the parallel to the furthest ; but it is impossible to read this pleasant volume without being startled at the oft-recurring doubt, has civilization made man better, and therefore happier ? If she has brought much to him, she has taken much away ; and wherever she has trod, disease, misery and crime have tracked her footsteps. She finds man a rude but happy savage, and leaves him a repulsive outcast, whose only relation to humanity consists in the vices which stain it!
We have dwelt more on the subject of Mr. Melville's “ Narrative, ** and the reflections it excites, than on the book itself, which is one of the most captivating we have ever read. What will our juvenile readers say to a real Robinson Crusoe, with a real man Friday ?-one KoryKory, with whom we will venture to say they will be delighted in five minutes from his introduction. The early part of the volume, narrating the author's escape from the prison ship with his strange comrade Toby, whose mysterious fate, after bailing our curiosity and speculation, is yet to be developed-for the best of all possible reasons, that the author himself has not found it out!-is full of vivid excitement The hair-breadth escapes of the adventurous seamen, their climbing up precipices and perpendicular rocks, their perilous leaps into cavernous retreats and gloomy ravines, are painted in vivid contrast to the voluptuous ease and tranquil enjoyments of the happy valley which they eventually reach. Although with little pretension to author-craft, there is a life and truth in the descriptions, and a freshness in the style of the narrative, which is in perfect keeping with the scenes and
adventures it delineates. The volume forms a part of “Murray's Home and Colonial Library,” and is worthy to follow “ Borrow's Bible in Spain,” and “ Heber's Indian Journals.” What traveller would wish for a higher distinction ?
Tak Nuns OF MINSK ; Narrative of the Abbess Makrena Mieczyslawska,
Abbess of the Basilian Nuns of Minsk; or, History of a Seven Years' Persecution, suffered for the Faith. Fcp. 8vo. Bogue.
The persecution of the Nuns of Minsk has been so loudly affirmed and denied, and has excited so much interest, that this little volume, which contains a translation of the authentic narrative of the Abbess, will be acceptable to the public as affording the best means of judging from internal evidence whether one of the most cruel persecutions or vilest impostures has been perpetrated. It is neatly printed in a cheap form, and appears to be carefully and graphically translated.
LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF David HUME. From the Papers bequeathed
by his Nephew to the Royal Society of Edinburgh; and other original sources. By John Hill BURTON, Esq., Advocate. 2 vols. demy 8vo. Edinburgh: W. Tait.
THESE volumes are a valuable contribution to our literature. Whatever may be the variety of opinions relative to the value of Hume's philosophical works, there can be no doubt that the shortest letter that throws a light on the working and progress of such a mind, is a useful contribution to mental investigation. Hume's mind, in whatever category it may be placed by the historian of philosophy, exercised directly in his life, and continues to exercise indirectly in his imitators and followers, so powerful an influence in the regions of thought, that it becomes a necessity to all interested in mental philosophy to avail themselves of the vast amount of illustration thus for the first time afforded them. It is strange that documents so interesting in themselves, and so important as additions to mental science, should have been so long in reaching the public. They have now, however, fallen into the care of one fully capable of making them available, and for the first time we may boast of possessing a biography worthy of the great Scotch philosopher. Hume's own brief but admirable autobiography may perhaps have rendered other writers less willing to enter the field against his terse and pregnant memoir ; and thus have caused what must hitherto have appeared, especially to foreigners, a disgraceful deficiency in our literature.
It is not only as a contribution to mental philosophy that the present volumes are interesting. The biographical narrative, developing as it does, by numerous admirable letters from and to Hume, a gradual history of the progress and fluctuation of his mind, and his connection with public events and the most eminent men of his time, is extremely interesting : and “the story of his life," though that of a scholar, has in its intellectual adventures a charm as great as that of many whose fortunes have been more various and violent. Hume's clear, close, and pointed style of analysation are brought to bear as rigidly on himself as on any other subject of investigation; and we therefore have that rare kind of biography which we feel to be a true reflection of the man. The experiences thus gained are of the utmost value, and the reader must rise from the book invigorated and informed. The earlier portion is also necessarily a history of the progress of thought in the last century, and Mr. Burton has given a very able exposition of Hume's philosophy and his various great treatises. This may be thought by some persons to be supererogatory, but we are by no means of this opinion, for there will be hundreds of readers of these volumes who will have but very vague notions of a philosophy, which it has for a long time been the fashion to decry, and which consequently is, though much talked of, but imperfectly known, especially to the younger students of the day.
The glimpses of social life, both in our own and foreign countries during the past century, and the graphic account of his travels, interspersed with characteristic remarks and anecdotes, bring a great portion of the work actually within the class of light reading. In its most profound portion it is never dull, and the perspicuity of Hume's style, as well as that of the biographer, render all parts of it the easiest and most agreeable reading. Mr. Burton appears also to be extremely impartial in his critical examination, and with a perfect appreciation of the great subject of his work, never to be deluded into any unbecoming enthusiasm. It is a book worthy of a philosopher.
It is such kind of works we would specially recommend to our readers. They cannot but elevate all who peruse them, and thus have an immediate and powerful tendency to produce that equality of mind, which will prove the means of redemption both mentally and physically to the hitherto neglected and injured masses of mankind. Book societies, formed so as to circulate such works amongst those unable to purchase them singly, would be one of the readiest means of elevating the people. Our hope and reliance is in the dissemination of works engendering reflection and fortifying the rational faculties.
THE HISTORY OF ST. GILES AND ST. JAMES. *
BY THE EDITOR.
CHAPTER XXVI. Having travelled half our story—(courage, reader ; only half!) we have to explain a few matters of the past for the better apprehension of the future. Let us therefore gossip five minutes. Let us pause awhile in this green lane—it is scarcely half-a-mile from the Town Hall of Liquorish,-ere mounting Pen, our familiar hippogriff, with you, sir, on the crupper, we take a flight and in a thought descend upon the mud of London. The sweet breath of the season should open hearts, as it uncloses myriads of buds and blossoms. So, let us sit upon this tree-trunk—this elm, felled and lopped in December. Stripped, maimed, and overthrown, a few of its twigs are dotted with green leaves ; spring still working within it, like hope in the conquered brave.
Is not this an escape from the scuffling and braying of immortal man, moved by the feelings and the guineas of an electiou? What a very decent, quiet fellow is Brown! And Jones is a civil, peaceable creature! And Robinson, too, a man of gentle bearing! Yet multiply the three by one, two, three hundred. Let there be a mob of Browns, Joneses, and Robinsons, and then how oftenmade up of individual decency, and quietude, and gentleness is there a raving, roaring, bullying crowd! The individual Adam sets aside his dignity, as a boxer strips for the fight; and whether
* Continued from Vol. iii., p. 323. xo, XVII.-VOL. III.
the thing to be seen is a lord mayor's coach, fireworks, or a zany on à river, goose-paddled in a washing-tub, the sons of Adam will throng to the sight, and fight and scream for vantage-ground, with a violence that would shame any colony of monkeys, clawing and jabbering for stolen sugar-cane. Sweet, then, is it to the philosopher to moralize upon the hubbub and the jostling crowd. He pities the madness of the multitude, and respects the serenity of his own soul : the more so, if looking from a window, his own toes are untrodden, and his own coat-tails untorn.
And so, reader, let us breathe awhile in this green solitude-if, indeed, it be a solitude. For who shall count the little eye-like flowers peeping at us from the hedges-looking up from the sward in our face, openly as loving innocence ? A solitude! What a world of grasses do we tread upon, a world so crowded and humming with insect citizens! If only one turn of the peg we would let down our pride-of all the heart-strings the bass and grumbling one—we might compare many of these children, fathers, and grandfathers of a day with the two-legged kings of creation, the biped majesties of threescore years and ten. We might watch their little runnings to and from their hoards"; their painful elimbings to the very needle point of some tall blade of grass ; wateh them and smile, even as the angels, at their pleasant leisure watch and smile at you, Grubbings, when you go to the Bank and add to your sweet salvation there, the balance: smile, as at poor Superbus when, climbing and climbing, he rose to great Gold Stick, and kept it twenty years,--to angelic computation just twenty throbbings of a fevered heart. Surely, there is not an insect that we might not couple with an acquaintance. Here, in this little, trim sobriety, is our quaker friend, Placens; and here, in this butterfly, tipsy with its first-day 's wings, is Polly, foolish Polly, who cannot consent to see the world, unless she sees it in her finest clothes. And so, looking at a piece of turf, no bigger than a lark's foot-stool, we may people it with friends and world acquaintance.
Is this solitude ? And the blackbird, with his notes of melted honey, winds and whistles-no. Solitude? The jay, whose voice is a continual dissent, grates-10. Solitude ? And the household rook swims upward in the air, and with homeward caw, awakens busy thoughts of life, of the day's cares and the day's necessities. The earth has no place of solitude. Not a rood of the wilderness that is not thronged and eloquent with crowds and voices, com