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infamous, and pourtrayed in colours much more favourable than those which history has employed upon his portrait. As a story, this book is interesting. Perhaps, there are too many scenes and catastrophes ; so many, that the harrowing fails to harrow, and the touching to touch. But it has, nevertheless, much merit, and will be read with pleasure. The author, we need scarcely add, perished at sea only last year.
A Buckeye Abroad. (Putnam.)-We owe this volume to the pen of Samuel S. Cox, a citizen of Ohio, who being too sick at sea to observe the sea, writes a long chapter on the subject. His second title describes the volume as containing his wanderings in Europe and the Orient. The writer is clever, and disposed to be lively, and the book is beautifully got up in the best style of Putnam, with fine paper and print, and several very prettily engraved pictures of foreign scenes. But, is there to be no end to these books of travel, or wandering rather, in familiar scenes, along common highways, from the pens of those who simply scamper over the thoroughfares of the world, never pausing, never stopping long enough to look around them, or to feel the life of the peoples and countries they describe ? There is something terribly afflicting in the thought of the dangers to which we are now subjected, from the steam facilities of European travel. A lively conceited Buckeye, with ordinary smartness, a few hundred dollars in his pocket, and six months to spare, leaps on board a steamer, and during a single summer, flits over the European world. What can he see but surfaces, what can he
say but what is shallow and insignificant ? Mr. Cox was a delegate from Ohio to the Great Exhibition. He leaves the United States in May; he returns in September. In that space of time he has done the work of Ariel, and girdled the whole realms of day. England, France, Genoa, Rome, Naples, Sicily, Malta, Athens, the Turk, Venice, Lombardy, the Alps, Switzerland, the Rhine; France again, England again, Scotland, &c.; here is the catalogue, at once, of fittings and flippancies. That the author is naturally clever, and tolerably well educated, does not enable him to help the matter, since he has left himself no time to study, to think, to muse, to write. He is lively, but superficial ; sees much but observes little, and fills his volume with all sorts of “screeds,” in dilating upon all sorts of commonplaces. "He spawns his quarto and demands our praise,” in vain.
1. Romance of Natural History; or, Wild Scenes and Wild Hunters. By C. W. WEBBER, author of “Shot in the Eye,” “Old Hicks,” &c. &c. Phila: Lippincott, Grambo & Co. 1852. 2. Tales of the Southern Border. Part 1. By C. W. WEBBER.
Lippincott, Grambo & Co. 1852. For writings of the class described under the two heads which we have given, there are few persons so well endowed, by nature and circumstances, as Mr. Webber. He is a Kentuckian by birth, warm, eager, and enthusiastic; he has seen and shared the life of the prairies, has seen service in Texas, and has enjoyed a wide range of wilderness, in the course of a somewhat wandering career. His tastes made him a naturalist; his opportunities facilitated his studies and researches. With enthusiasm akin to that of Audubon, he spared no painstaking, labour or money, when it was desirable to make the acquaintance of bird and beast; and he has the talent to describe, with glowing and lively pen, the groups among which it has been his fortune to fall. Mr. Webber is a frank, manly writer, full of impulse and movement, dashing, sketchy, free, versatile. He seizes upon the leading features of his subject, by the quickest instinct, and possesses the happy faculty of delineating it to the eyes of others as vividly as it appears to his own. He is all life, and he justly conceives that action is as much the essential of the narrator, in such fields as thuse he occupies, as of the orator. His story never flags, his per• sonages never drowse, his colours never lose their freshness. If he shows
you the catamount, it is on the bound; the bird, it is on the wing, with its throat bursting with song; if the “human varmint,” it is in the full flood of good fellowship, or in the mortal grapple, gladiator against gladiator. A more spirited series of sketches, more piquant or life-life, cannot easily be found, than those contained in the first mentioned volume. His ges, by the way, are illustrated pictorially by his wife, who accompanies him in his wanderings, and illustrates with the pencil, as happily as he achieves with the pen. His stories are sketches rather than stories—bold, spirited portraits of character; salient, true to the borders, always hurried, but always interesting. Like most writers of much boldness, Mr. Webber is somewhat careless of the graces of style, but the very carelessness of a free and impulsive writer has a grace of its own, which the more finished art seldom reaches. We commend our hunter naturalist to the favour of our public.
Mackey's Masonic Publications. These are two in number, both from the press of Charleston, and one of them from that of our own publishers. They are both issued in a style worthy that of any publishing house in the Union. The first of these publications, The Ahiman Rezon, is the ‘Book of Constitutions for the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons in South-Carolina. It was originally prepared by that distinguished Brother of the Order, the Rev. Dr. Dalcho, honourably known as one of the earliest historians of the State, and as the author of one of our very best church his.
tories. Dalcho's work has been long out of print, and it needed revision and enlargement. A new edition was resolved upon by the Grand Lodge, and the task of preparing it was confided to Dr. Albert G. Mackey. He has faithfully and ably performed this duty. He has used the original work of Dalcho as the basis for one entirely new; preserving what was good and necessary of the old, but entirely altering the arrangement, and incorporating with the contents a large amount of original matter. The work is a standard authority among the Masons of South-Carolina, and there is, we believe, no publication of comparable value in any other State. It should be adopted in general use. The second of these publications of Dr. Mackey, is a new edition of bis Lexicon of Freemasonry. This is one of those works, which, like the dictionaries of any other craft, art or science, will be found useful in every library. It is perhaps the most complete manual of Freemasonry extant, the compiler having devoted himself almost wholly to the brotherhood, yielding his thoughts entirely to his subject, and accumulating material daily, from all possible sources. The present edition is a great improvement upon the preceding, and one which no Mason, certainly, can safely dispense with.
Reid's English Family Robinson. (Ticknor.) Every body has read the famous “Swiss Family Robinson.” Capt. Mayne Reid has undertaken in this volume to give us a companion history to that interesting work, the scene of which is laid in the great American desert. His further title, is “The Desert Home, or the Adventures of a Lost Family in the Wilderness." Capt. Reid has made himself known by other works, all of which displayed talent, but most of which were disfigured by the Captain's propensity to a sort of literary and moral pyrotechnics. He was quite too apt to explode in gunpowder, or disappear in flashes of lightning. He is not altogether free from these infirmities yet, but we owe it to justice to say, that his present work indicates a very great improvement over all the past, and is a story of very great and peculiar interest. He has made his desert blossom as the rose, and found for the reader a world of pleasant fruits in the wilderness. His extravagances are, in most cases, ingeniously made to seem probable~possible, certainly—though, to use the backwood's phrase, he has occasionally stretched his blanket, somewhat to the danger of its texture. It will be hard to persuade the good reader, who has any honest instincts left, that wolves can be tamed into proper watch dogs, and that a lady may safely venture to substitute a panther for a tabby, giving it freehold privileges on the hearth rug. But we are willing to be of easy faith, when our travelling companion lies with dexterity and an honest face. The Captain tells a very pleasant story, and we
should be absurdly captious to question bis authorities or experiences too closely. The volume is illustrated by numerous and spirited engravings.
Dollars and Cents; by Amy Lothrop. (Putnam.) Miss (?) Lothrop is decidedly clever, and talks, or makes her personages talk, with rare facility. This is the great defect of her book, which will operate grievously upon its currency. The dialogue is incessant. The writer has aimed to convey her story through the conversational medium wholly. There is little or no narrative, and as there is nothing intense in the action of the story-indeed, very little story and scarely any incident—the dialogue is occasional mostly. A book of two volumes, only to show how cleverly everybody can chat away, at all hours,—this chat being like Gray's long story—so many long passages that lead to nothing "—is apt to become a very wearisome performance, even though the chat should contain, every now and then, a good thing or thought, a moral or a fancy, which commends itself to good taste and a just judgment. We beg Miss Lothrop to think of this before she begirs another book. Her present labour is a series of household dialogues, the title of the book “Dollars and Cents," being employed only to convey the idea of the utter absence of both. The story is one of a reduced family, in which, while all the persons are amiable, and clever, and interesting people, not one of them seems to have a just idea of the true way by which to work out the problem of poverty, through application, to the results desired. The story, such as it is, is one of petty cares and privations, which end at last in a marriage, in which two of the parties are made quite happy at the expense of the reader's favourite, in violation of what old time critics called poetic justice.
1. Considerations upon the nature and tendency of Free Institutions. By FREDERICK Grimke. Cincinnati: H. W. Derby & Co. 1848. 2. An account of discoveries in the West until 1519, and of voyages to and along the Atlantic coast of North America, from 1520 to 1573. Edited by Conway ROBINSON. Richmond : Shepherd & Colin. 1848. 3. Studies on Slavery, in easy lessons, compiled into eight studies, and subdided into short lessons, for the convenience of readers. By John FLETCHER, of Louisiana. Natchez: Jackson Warner. 1852. These three publications are all from the hands of Southern men, and are all, from their topics, and the degree of study and ability brought to bear upon them, deserying of calm and careful consideration. We shall endeavour, as we have leisure, to see that they receive it. For the present, we can only briefly acknowledge the receipt of these volumes, and indicate
passingly the claims of their authors. Mr. Grimke, the author of the work on the tendency and nature of Free Institutions, has been long known in the South as a gentleman, at once of great ability and modesty ; of an ability which would justify his claim upon general attention, yet of a modesty that shrinks from notice altogether. His work, published nearly four years ago, can hardly be said to have been published at all. It was announced by none of the usual trumpet flourishes of the press, but has been suffered silently to steal into the notice of the public, which, as silently, has been taking it to favour. The compilation of voyages by Mr. Conway Robinson, is an excellent one, made under the auspices of the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society; an institution which, in a very quiet manner also, seems to be performing the most valuable service to the literary public of the South. Our third work, Studies on Slavery, is a huge octavo, evidently a work of conscientious industry, and apparently of great and various learning. We trust that it will not be found too learned or too bulky for ordinary use, which seems to us the danger to such a work, in these superficial times. We shall seek the first opportunity to speak more fully and at large of these several important publications.
Lectures on the History of France. By the Right Honourable Sir JAMES STEPHEN, K.C. B., LL.D., Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1852. Sir James Stephens was one of that famous band of young philosophers, who stirred up the stagnant waters of society, political, poetic, moral and religious, years ago, through the medium of the Edinburgh Review. He was not one of the most remarkable of this band, but he was quite worthy to commune with them at the same critical table. His contributions to that, and, we believe, other periodicals, have been collected in a separate publication, and enjoy the honours of an American edition. The article by which he is best known to our readers, is one upon Jesuitism and the Life of Loyola. The work before us is the fruit of his present position as Professor of History at Cambridge, and of the counsel of three friends, the names of whom, in this connection, will perhaps prove a sufficient warranty for the author, in the thought of the reader. These friends are Rev. Wm. Whewell, Babington Macaulay and Mr. John Austin. The work is contained in twenty-four lectures, commencing with French History, from the Decline of the RomanoGallic province, and continuing regularly on, discussing all the fluctuations of French state politics, power, attributes, &c., down to the period of absolute monarchy as administered by Louis XIV. The last lecture compares the growth of the English and French monarchies. One sees that such a field is not only a wonderfully