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ly to contribute my mite to the fund of lit- this from ‘Gersdorf's Repertorium of Gererature, but I yield to the well-founded en- man Literature”—' the journey of a young treaties of my publishers, who fear the pi- bachelor through various provinces of the racy that mighi be facilitated by further United States, affords an opportunity of deconcealment. And accordingly he signs picting, in light but striking outlines, withhimself Charles Sealsfeld, but denies us, out exaggeration either of merits or defects, what we would gladly have received, fur- the institutions of the country, the various ther information concerning his career shades of difference in provincial character, since and previously to his taking up the pen. political views and private interests, as well Thus we remain in ignorance, save through as the peculiarities of classes and individindirect channels, of the circumstances uals, such as are nowhere to be found but under which he acquired his vast fund of amidst the motley population of North information and his thorough knowledge of America." the German tongue. Regarding his coun- These and similar opinions were univertry, our data are rather more positive, for sally expressed by the better class of Gerwe have seen a letter from one of his va- man critics and were soon echoed by numerious publishers, in which he is styled a rous readers. The farne of the 'Sketches' ' North American, long resident in Switzer- reached to Paris, and the 'Revue des Deux land.' Of the latter country we know Mondes' for April, 1835, thus referred to that he is at present an inhabitant. We them : 'Here is a writer who has no pretenhave also been told by a respectable German, sion to stand at the head of German literaprofessing to be personally acquainted with ture, for all manner of reasons, one of Mr. Sealsfield, that that gentleman has been which is that he lives in America. Nota planter in Louisiana, the scene of some withstanding that, his pictures of life and of his books; and the same authority ex- society are true to nature and abound in pressed his belief that he was not an esprit; one recognizes the practical man, American by birth, but a native of an Eng-employing with much skill the humor' Jish sea-port town. We would fain claim a peculiar to the north. And hen, he is no man of his talents for a countryman, but partisan ; he is certainly a little proud of the disfavor and dislike shown in various his quality of citizen of the United States, parts of his works to English character and and pities us Europeans for continuing to institutions, forbid the supposition, and languish under tyrants about whom most compel us to reject the information. of us trouble our heads very little : but for
In Germany, still more than in England, all that he holds his transatlantic country owing to the prodigious number of books tolerably cheap." annually published, readers find it necessa- We could not have summed up more ry to be guided in their choice by the briefly than by these extracts from reviews names of authors and publishers, and the of high standing in their respective counopinions of reviewers, and, the art of puffe- tries, our own opinion of the book in quesry being less extensively developed and in- tion, and, with some slight shades of differgeniously practised there thar: here, they ence, which will hereafter appear, of the are enabled to do so with less risk of four much more compendious volumes, by deception. Published anonymously, Mr. which the author, stimulated, as he tells us, Sealsfield's first work attracted compara- by public applause, was subsequently intively little notice, until subsequent produc- duced to lengthen it. tions of the same skilful pen forcibly drew Wearisomely didactic or childishly triattention to the writings of a man who had fling as, with some few honorable excepstruck out for himself
a new path in Ger- tions, the present race of German fiction man literature. But his second book, the writers unquestionably are, there is little to
Travelling Sketches,' was too remarka- astonish in the favorable reception which ble for freshness, character, and vivacity of the two little volumes of Travelling style, to pass even partially unnoticed, and Sketches' found at the hands of the Gerall the best reviews were at once loud in man public. From the dull mass their its praise. "These Sketches,' said a wri- fresh and sparkling pages stood out in ter in Brockhaus's Literarische Unter- bright relier, like flowers amongst faggots, haltung's Blätter for 1834,' 'give us more and were, in truth, water to the thirsty information about America than all the soul. A certain novelty of form also had lours and travels of Europeans put togeth- its charm. Not aspiring to the dignity of
'A very simple circumstance,' - a regular novel, the Sketches' consist of a series of short papers, traversed by a slight quaintance. An extract or two will best connecting thread, growing thicker and give an idea of the easy natural manner in binding them closer as the book advances, which Mr. Sealsfield places before the The plot, if it can be styled one, is most reader his pictures of American scenery, inartificial. A young Virginian bachelor feelings, and modes of life. The steamer of aristocratic tendencies—for America stops to take in firing. that is to say-has left his plantation in care of an overseer, and been on a tour to
6 Monsieur, voilà votre terre,' said the Crethe northern states of the union, hoping to the window and saw that he was right. Whilst
ole, pointing to the shore. I looked through bring back a fair and amiable helpmate to chatting with the young ladies, hours and cheer his solitude on the thinly-peopled miles had passed almost unperceived. During banks of the Red River. After more than my absence, my overseer has established a one disappointment, he has attached him- wood-store for steamers. One improvement, self to a New York coquette, on whom he at least. And there is Mr. Bleaks in person. has long danced attendance, not without The Creole seems disposed to accompany me encouragement, but without positive ac, he will not be so exceedingly kind. Nothing
10 the house. I cannot prevent it, but hope ceptance. At the moment of anticipated more terrible than such a visit when one has success, our author takes up bis history, been for years absent from house and home. and shows poor Howard jilted by the young The lares and penates of a bachelor are the lady for a man twice his age, but four most careless of all deities. times as wealthy. Disgusted and heartsore,
*** Mister Bleaks,' said I, approaching that he leaves New York in company with his vorthy, who, in his red flannel shirt, calico friend Richards, Their journey is the inexpressibles, and straw hat, did not appear
to trouble himself much about the arrival of pretext for introducing more portraiture of his employer;" will you be so good as to have American life and manners ; Yankee trad- the gig and luggage brought on shore ?' ers, Alabama orators, the fun and frolic of “* Ah, Mr. Howard,' said the man, 'is it a backwoods election ; all traced with a you? Didn't expect you so soon.' free pen, and with a naiveté and slyness of
"Nevertheless, I trust I am not unwelhumor that often reminds us of Washing-come, replied !, a little displeased at his
thorough Pennsylvanian dryness. ton Irving. At the house of Richards, the
5. You've surely not come alone? continsusceptible Howard again falls half in love, ved he in the same tone. Are you ?' said he, but he has arrived rather too late, and the measuring me with a side-glance. 'Thought object of his flame departs as the affianced you'd have brought us a dozen blackies; we of Ralph Doughby, a mad Kentuckian, who want them.' cuts an important figure in the continuation "Est-il permis, monsieur ?' said the Creof the Sketches.' Soon afterwards How- ole, taking my hand and pointing to the ard overhears part of a conversation be
66 And the steamer?' said I, in a tone that tween Richards and his wile, a smart young would have told any one only moderately lady from the Yankee capital of Boston. versed in physiognomy or psychology, that his It serves to inform him that his last court- presence was really superfluous. ship has purposely been embarrassed and ** Oh, that will keep,' replied, he, smiling. impeded. Richards is his debtor for a sum
What could I do? I was fain to take the of eight thousand dollars, and he, and espe
strange creature to my house, unwillingly cially Mrs. Richards, feared that on the an abomination of desolation. Every thing
though I did it. It was a frightful apectacle, occasion of his marriage with a lady who, looked so decaying, so neglected and spoiled, — although pretty, was portionless, he might far worse than I had anticipated. Of the garhave need of the money. These slight in- den fence but a few fragments remained, and cidents give opportunities for the display of the pigs were routing in the parterres. And much character.
the house! God help me! Not a pane in the Crossed in his loves, and deceived by his windows; the frames stuffed with old rags,
remnants of men's breeches and women's friend, it is in no good humor that Howard
gowns. I could not expect to find groves of goes on board a Red River steamer to re- orange and citron trees; I had not planted turn home. On the boat he falls in with a them; but this !-no; it was really too bad. Creole family, a father and two daughters, Every picture that is not a fresco must have its whose lands are within a few hours steam- shady side, but here all was shade-night. ing of his own-near neighbors in Louis-Not a creature to be seen as we wind our way jana. Monsieur Menou succeeds, in spite cumber the ground. At last we stumble upon
through the mouldering tree-trunks that enof his young fellow-planter's irritated and something living; a trio of black monsters inaccessible mood, in striking up an ac- I wallowing in the mud with Marius and Sylla;
half a shirt on their bodies, and dirty as only I had just openrd my trunk and glanced over the children of men can be. The apes stare some letters and receipts when she re-appeared at us with their rolling eyes, and then gallop with the account books, and took her station, away behind the house.
* with arms a-kimbo, in the middle of the floor. In-doors, instead of sofas and chairs, the draw Her husband walked very leisurely into the ing-room was piled with Mexican cotton-seed; next rook. ferched a couple of chairs, and the in one corner old blankets, in another wash- pair seated themselves. Truly our beloved ing-tub. The other rooms were in still worse liberty has much that is cursedly disagreeplighı; Bangor. the negro, had established able." himself in my sleeping apartment, whence the mosquito-curtains had disappeared, having
Long absent from home, and inattentive probably been found useful by Mrs. Bleaks. to his affairs, Howard does not even attempt Heartily disgusted, I hurried from this scene io detect numerous wilsul errors in the of disorder.!!
books of his overseer, who accounts to him
but for a small portion of the real produce Monsieur Menou proposes that Howard of the plantation. The Creole steps in to should accompany him home for a time, the rescue, and Bleaks, convicted of fraud, and offers to send his son to set things to is kept prisoner in his house till he can be rights. Howard thoughtlessly accepts, and transferred to the custody of the authorities. is returning to the steamer, when his fiveand-twenty negroes come howling about
6 . But, my dear Mr. Menou,' said I, as we him and exhibit their backs, 'scarred sat at dinner and he uncorked a second bottle and cut by the whip. Shocked and indig- thy man had not forgot'en to bring on shore
of some excellent chambertin, which the wornant, he retracts his over-hasty acceptance with him, whence comes it that you show me of the Creole's invitation, resolves to re- such unmerited sympathy?' main where he is and to see justice done to "• Ah! replied he, half-smiling, hali-serithe ill-treated negroes. The steamer has 00s; you citizen aristocrats, in your proud, departed, when, to his great surprise and stiff, republican egotism. may have difficulty to annoyance, he finds M. Menou again at his understand that you think only of yourelbow. The officious but kind-hearted man upon the rest of the world as beings of an in
selves, and look down upon us Creoles and insists on remaining to give him his advice ferior race. We do not forgct ourselves, but and assistance.
we also think of our neighbors. Your affairs,
both of the heart and as regards your temporal “My poor negroes and negresses wept and goods, are well known to me, and you see that laughed for joy; the children hung about their I make good use of the knowledge. parents; all eyes were fixed upon me with an “I pressed his hand, heartily and in silence. expectant gaze. I ordered them to go to their 6. We are not particularly fond of you huis, whence I would send for thenu as 1 northern gentlemen, continued he, “but you wanted them.
are an exception. You have a dash of the “D— the blackies ! cried Mr. Bleaks, as French étourderie, and a good deal of our genthey walked away: it's long since they tasted erosity.' the whip.'
“ I could not help smiling at this sketch of “I did not answer. but, signing to him to my character. leave me, desired old Sybil to call Beppo and “ The next morning brought young Menou, Mirza.
an active, sensible youth of twenty. The day 6. This looks like an examination,' snarled passed in an inspection of the plantation, and the overseer, 'If so, I shall be present.' in a few hours the young man had acquired
"None of your impudence, Mr. Bleaks,' my full confidence. I recommended my people said I. • Take yourself off, and wait my or- to his care, and that evening his father and ders.'
myself went on board the “Ploughboy' " And none of your fine airs,' retorted he. steamer. We are in a free country, and you've no nig- “The good Creole had behaved towards me ger before you.
like a Christian. When the boat stopped be“ This was too insolent. Mr. Bleaks,' said tore the house of the justice of peace, who I, with as much coolness as I could command, was just going to bed, and I went on shore to "I discharge you from my employment. Your explain the reasons of my application for Mr. engagement is till the first of July. You shall Bleaks'arrest, the worthy functionary accosted be paid up to that date.'
me with this naïve confession:“Not a foot will I set over the threshold ** I saw it all, my dear Mr. Howard,' said till I have received my salary, and expenses, he, “as clear as sunlight; saw every bale that and advances,' replied the man, drily. they stole from you, or tried to steal.'
“ Bring me your accounts,' cried I. My But, in Heaven's name, man! I exclaimblood began to boil. The man called through ed, 'Why did you let it go on?'. the window to his wife, who came in. They 6. No business of mine, friend,' was his dry exchanged a few words, and she went away. I reply.
"You might, at any rate, have informed texture less slight; more pains have obvimy lawyer.'
ously been taken, and greater finish has **No business of mine,' was again the an- been given, but without detriment to freshswer; and then, fixing his eyes hard upon me. he began a sort of lecture for which I was
The scene of nearly the whole voltotally unprepared. “Yes, yes,' he said, push-ume, as compendious as the two of Traving his nightcap over his left ear, “ you young elling Sketches,' passes on board Missisgentlemen come out of the north with your sippi and Red River steamboats; but, notdozen blackies, hand over your couple of withstanding the narrow stage whereon the thousand dollars to the county, and then fancy actors move, there is infinite variety in their you have nothing to do but to play the absentee, and that you honor us greatly by allowing ard exactly where he left him, on his wed
performance. Mr. Sealsfield takes up Howus to collect your dollars and bank-notes and send them to you to spend out of the country. ding-day, when, in company with his bride I could almost be sorry, Mr. Howard, that you and her friends, and with Richards, whom didn't come six months later.'
he has met at New Orleans and forgiven, 66 And so leave the rogue time to make off he sets out for the Red River. A graphic with his booty ??
description is given of the company on “« He had worked for it, at any rate, and has
board the steamboat. wise and children, and has been useful to the county and the country.' ". The devil! cried I. "For a justice of the boundary line between quarter-deck and
“Truly the night-piece was no bad one. On peace, you have certainly a singular code.' “Made neither by Bony nor Livingston, stern, stood a group of men of such varied and
forecastle, at equal distance from stem and replied the man earnestly, ' but not the less strange appearance as it would be useless to patriotic.'”
seek in any other country than America. Ev
ery western state and territory had, as it seemDoubtless, no untrue or over-colored ed, sent its contingent to our steamer. Suckers picture of the state of feeling in the more from Illinois and Badgers from the lead-mines newly-settled districts of America, on
of Missouri; Wolverines from Michigan and point of vital importance. Such opinions, Kentuck and Hunters from Oregon, stood in
Buckeyes from Ohio; Redhorses from Old in spite of their abstract immorality, must strange medley before us, and in garbs which, find many proselytes in countries to whose seen by the torch-light, lent a sort of antediluprosperity and progress the principle of ab- vian aspect to their gigantic forms. One had senteeism, once introduced and acted upon, a hunting-shirt of blue and white-striped calico, would be certain destruction. Howard giving to its wearer, on account of his extraordigests Squire Turnip's reproof as best he dinary breadth of shoulder, the appearance of may, and continues his journey to the a wandering feather-bed; another was distinMenou Plantation. There he falls in with as well above bis bronzed countenance as their
guished by a new straw-hat,which looked about Santa Anna, then in exile in consequence Chinese rooss do upon our summer-houses. of one of the frequently occurring Mexi- Winnebago wampum-belts and Cherokee can revolutions. An accident at a noctur- moccasins, doublets of tanned and untanned nal hunting party is the means of revealing deer-hide, New York coats, and red and blue to Howard, what he had previously in no jackets, composed altogether a sample of our
national costume than which nothing could be way suspected, that he is an object of affec
more picturesqe. In the centre of the crowd tionate interest to Menou's younger daugh, stood a person bearing no bad resemblance to ter. The love passages are naturally and Master Reynard when he crept out of his earth delicately treated, and the book concludes and saw the merry hunters filing joyously past with a journey to New Orleans and the him; a truly interesting Yankee specimen, marriage of Howard and Louise Menou. with his look of earnest rebuke, his forehead
After the lapse of nearly two years, and plaited into innumerable wrinkles, his sparkthe publication of two books on other sub- ling red-grey eye apparently fixed but yet conjects, Mr. Sealsfield again brought upon the woodsman, and then at his boxes of goods; his
tinually rolling, now glancing at the backscene the personages of bis · Travelling lips tightly compressed, his whole atitude renSketches' This was done in the third dering it doubtlul whether he was about to volume of the Lebensbilder,' which also preach, or sing, or play the schoolmaster. The bears the second title of 'Ralph Dough- man might be thirty years of age, but was dry by's Wedding Trip.' In opposition to as leather; he had a roll of chewing-tobacco what is too often the case in continuations, ribands, abstracted, apparently, from a chest
in one hand, and in the other a bunch of silk this volume, is, if any thing, superior to the that stood before hiin half open, and disclosing preceding ones. The personages are more the motley articles of a pedlar's trade. Beside numerous, the incidents more striking, the this chest were two others, and near to one of these lay a howling negro, scratching by turns and was eighteen years old, when I became his right shoulder and his left foot, but accord- acquainted with Peggy, a darling little thing, ing to all appearance still in no danger of de- as delicate as fresh butter and as sweet as honparting this life. The Yankee raised his hand ey. It was corn-husking time, and I told her and motioned to the noisy black to be silent, and about the Indian war, and how we had bivouas he did so his countenance assumed that stiff, acked and the rest of it, and she listened to it earnest, and yet drolly cunning expression all, and in less than a fortnight I was in love which betrays these double distilled Hebrews, over head and ears. Was, as I said, just eighand serves ae a warning to these southlanders teen-she sixteen. For her sake I could have whose good dollars they are plouting to obtain, whipped a whole wigwam full of Seminoles, in a quasi legal manner, in barter for their that could I, by jingo! Several months passnorthern equivalents."
ed, and I thought I was getting on well with
her, and kept sneakin' about her like a wolf The scene of which this is the opening round a flock of sheep, or a sentry round the is richly comic, and as good as any part of watch-fire when we were out against the In
One Sam Slick.' The negro is a decoy-duck, dians, but she said neither no nor yes.
evening, however, she said to me, bribed by the Yankee pedlar to exhibit in his own person the miraculous effects of a too wild.
*** Ralph,' says she, 'you are really a deal certain Palmyra ointment, which wonder- 66 What! cried I, 'Peggy, I too wild ! you working remedy is speedily in demand should see old Hickory, that's the man you amongst the back woodsmen. The discov- may call wild.' ery of its real ingredients, and of the bad
" Ralph,' says she, 'indeed you are too quality of many other of the pedlar's wares, whiskey!
wild, rough as a bear, and you drink too much his punishment, their destruction, but, above
6 Monongahela, Peggy, genuine Monongaall, his puffing address in their praise, and hela, and why should I not drink it since God flattery of the buyers, make up a most di- let's it grow? Peggy,' says I, 'genuine Moverting and characteristic chapier. Ralph nongahela, and all paid for, owe no man a cent; Doughby now comes upon the scene.
He have got six niggers, as stout niggers as you'll is the type of the Kentuckian, impetuous,
find in old Kentuck, and a thousand dollars
cash besides, that my father leti me, and a trifle reckless, warm-hearted; risking his neck for the pleasure of doing so, giving pain to and wile.
over, and if you'll say the word we'll be man no one intentionally but to many through “Ralph,' says she, “you are quite too wild, thoughtlessness, a hard drinker but no drink too much'; will see about it in eight days, drunkard, a violent democrat but neverthe will think about it, and you may come and ask less possessing some of the instincts and me in eight days, but no sooner.' feelings of a gentleman. His entrée en scène eight days, as restless as if I had Spanish pep
"I was obliged to do her will and wait the per
rubbed into me, and when they were past when coming on board, and after shifting
went down to Peggy's house, and whoin do his clothes and swallowing a tumbler of todo you think I found there? Asa Dumbling, sitdy, sits down with his friends Howard and iing arm-in-arm with Peggy before the kitchenRichards to tell them his misfortunes. He lire, and when he saw me he laughed in my has been sent to the right-about by his lady- face, and Peggy laughed too. I had half a Jove, a stiff, chilly Yankee damsel, on ac
mind to leather him by way of a wedding precount of certain wild exploits of which he sent. I could't get her out of my head for ever
so long, but at last my brother said to me, was guilty whilst accompanying her and her
66 • Let the girl he, Ralph,' said he, 'if she father to New York. He describes his adven- meant to have you, she wouldn't let Asa come tures during the journey, amongst others a sparking about her, she's only making a fool steam-boat race, which he promoted in spite of you.' of the terrors and entreaties of his intended *. And I thought to myself, Joe's right about
that. And so says Joe, bride and father-in-law, and which was near terminating in bursting of boilers—a com- thing if you made your niggers knock up a
6 'Ralph,' says he, 'you'd be doing a better mon catastrophe on American rivers. The flat-boat; you've a couple of hundred casks of account of the race is perfect in its way. meal, and Indian corn, and hams, and cider, We would willingly extract it, but it is too and apples; the articles will fetch good prices long and too good to mutilate. Doughby's in Louisiana.' account of courtship in Kentucky, and of
“Hallo, Joe,' says I, 'reckon that's a good the causes and manner of his emigration, off; old Kentuck is reg'lar spoilt for me; will
notion: the Cumberland's rising, and I'll be may serve to give a notion of the Kentucky down the Mississippi, and see what the folks style of narrative.
do in Louisiana.' No sooner said than done. Or
boards and beams I had plenty; in three weeks "Had just returned from the Seminole war, l I had knocked up a flat-boat, as solid as ever