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wide one, but one that, strange to say, with exceptional periods only, has been but little discussed. Neither French nor English books supply the deficiencies. This said, we need not dwell upon the natural interest which belongs to such a body of lectures in the mind of the reader. We have no reason to doubt, that Mr. Stephen has pursued his labours with as much conscientiousness as industry. He is by no means a brilliant writer—can, indeed, hardly be considered a graceful one, but he is direct, downright, clear, and possesses a rude force of expression which redeems many an awkward sentence.
Journal of a Military Reconnaissance, from Sante Fé, New Mexico, to the Navajo Country, made with the troops under command of Brevet Lt. Col. John W. Washington, chief of ninth military department and Governor of New Mexico, in 1849. By JAMES II. SIMPSON, A.M., 1st Lieut. Corps of Topographical Engineers. Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Co. 1852. This is a very interesting narrative of a region of country, and tribes of Indians, antiquities, plants, and various objects of natural history, of which we have had previously but little information. The commission was well officered, and the results of the reconnaissance are considerable and valuable. The narrative will please by its arrangement as well as by its facts. It is illustrated by numerous maps and engravings, of a better class than usual, depicting the curiosities of the country, the antiquities, the costume, and portraits of particular chiefs. We note the fact, here given, contradicting the statements of previous narrators, “that, among the ten thousand (estimated) Pueblo Indians, inhabiting New Mexico, as many as six distinct dialects obtain, no one showing anything more than the faintest, if any, indications of a cognate origin with the other.” The historical antiquarian will find this volume of considerable value, in his researches
the red men of the West.
The Isthmus of Tehuantepec : being the results of a survey for a Rail Road, to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, made by the Scientific Commission under the direction of Major J. G. Barnard, U. S. Engineer. With a résumé of the Geology, Climate, Social Geography, Productive Industry, Fauna and Flora, of that region. Illustrated with numerous maps and engravings. Arranged and prepared for the Tehuantepec Rail Road Company of New Orleans. By J. J. WILLIAMS, Principal Assistant Engineer. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1852. "The text of this publication occupies one volume, the maps illustrating the Isthmus of Tehuantepec another. Both are octavos, and put up in excellent mechanical style and keeping. We can add nothing more to what is said in
the title page, which we have above given in full. The subject of the survey, and the motive to it, are not topics which we can now consider; and of the details, we have only to repeat, that they add considerably to our stock of information in regard to the country ; afford us a great many pleasing and instructive facts; while the numerous plates make visible to our eyes, scenes full of boldness and beauty, the picturesque under rare aspects of novelty, loveliness and grandeur. Works of this description, and possessing the real usefulness of the present, we are always pleased to commend to our readers.
School for Husbands. (Hart.) If the reader of this story, which is from the pen of Lady Bulwer, will be sufficiently indulgent to its writer, as to omit the perusal of the preface, he will not find it difficult or disagreeable to read the book. But he will be very apt, after attempting the preface, to forego all efforts at a farther progress. This tirade of fury and flippancy, insanity and spite, is at once wretched and ridiculous, showing the writer to be a monomaniac the moment she is brought to the consideration of her own affairs. We cannot blame her for being angry with her husband, for that would seem to be every woman's right--particularly a divorcee; as an author, also, one has surely a right to say saucy things about the critics who have said sarcastic things about her. But she has no right, in either case, to require mere vulgar readers, who want stories and not prefaces, and read a book for itself and not for the author, to listen to her eloquent paroxysms. Our readers, at all events, will be pleased to skip Lady Bulwer's preface; they will then find her book readable ; not as a story, by the way, for there is very little story, and what there is, is sorry enongh ; but for the spirited dialogues illustrative of the French court and society in the time of Louis Quatorze, the keen social reflections of the author, her excellent portraits of prominent persons, distinguished by a full acquaintance with their private and public lives, and, above all, by the admirable domestic history of Moliere, one of the most highly gifted of the many fine writers of genius, whom France has given to the world. This sketch of the heart, as well as the head, of a man of genius, suffering but strong, is enough to redeem the faults and defects of this volume were they thrice as great and numerous. It is a portrait which would do honour to the pens of authors far more renowned than Lady Bulwer can ever possibly expect to be.
Davidson's Illustrated Librettos. We have spoken, in a previous number, of the excellence of these editions of the modern operas, their completeness, and the superior style of their publication, which is very far superior to the wretched and meagre pamphlets
which are usually sold at the doors of the opera house. We owc to the publishers a variety of pieces, recent publications, the examination of which confirms fully our previous judgment. The operas just received are equally superior and various, including oratorios; the Creation, by Haydn ; the Messiah and Samson, by Handel; Fidelio, (opera,) by Beethoven ; La Sonnambula, by Bellini; Fra Diavola, by Scribe—music by Auber; Il Prodigo, by the same; Ernani, by Guiseppe Verdi; Lucia di Lammermoor, by Donizetti; Gustave, by Auber; and Otello, by Rossini. Each of these pieces, where the original is in a foreign language, is accompanied by a close and good English translation, leaving the opera-goer at no loss for the idea conveyed, when the talent of the singer or actor fails to supply it. We commend these librettos of Davidson, as incomparably superior to anything of the kind published in the countryindeed, as the only publications of the kind worthy of the name. They are to be had of John Russell, in this city.
Marcus Warland. (A. Hart.) Quite an interesting story of the South, by Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz, a lady who is usually very successful in the domestic legend. Her subject is the progress, from boyhood to manhood, of a brave and generous youth, through a thousand vicissitudes, all of which his pure integrity and serene wisdom overcomes, to the attainment, finally, of high professional and social eminence. The story is full of life and interest; but it has several serious defects. The chapter of accidents is quite too frequently invoked for the supply of incidents. There are two or three conflagrations—burnings of houses, of steamers and of per
The recurrence of this sort of catastrophe lessens its probability, and thus impairs the interest. The author makes her friends or lovers too credulous, when they listen to the slanderer, at the expense of those whom they love, without investigation, even without suffering a hearing to the slandered party. This is unnatural. Neither love nor friendship, when earnest and deep, ever acts in this
These are some of the objections to this otherwise pleasing story. There is another, of a different sort. Mrs. Hentz does not provide the argument in regard to slavery. Slavery is not to be apologized for; to be sustained it is to be justified. If slavery is an evil to the South, and a wrong to the negro, it cannot be maintained for a day. No Southron, who knows anything of the subject, argues in this manner. Our plea in justification is right, good morals, propriety; the good of the slave himself; the decree of heaven ; and any argument falling short of this, is false and treache
is one of the races of earth decreed to a condition of changeless minority. We are his guardians, as his superiors. We compel him to his tasks and duties, and if we perform our NEW SERIES, VOL. VI.—NO. 11.
duties to him, as a just guardian, we fulfil our stewardship, and are justified in the sight of heaven. To no other tribunal are we accountable.
Thorpe. (Ticknor, Reed & Fields.) The further title of this volume describes Thorpe as a quiet English town, which, with the life therein, the author proposes to depict. He writes himself William Mountford. The book modestly proclaims itself a story, and there is some sort of story, vague, misty, wandering, unelaborate. The story, however, is nothing to the volume, and makes no part of its merits. These lie in its morals, in its essayical and didactic passages, in thoughtful conversation, in its continual risings from the ordinary into the morally elevated and religious. Many of these passages are forcible and beautiful. The tone of the writer belongs to an old school, and not a bad one. He is an essayist, of a time when earnestness and intensity, rather than mere play of fancy, humour, and the simply contemplative, were found to constitute the whole requisites of the essay. There is a mixed quaintness and heartiness about the musings and meditations of the book, that carry you back to the days of Fuller and Walton and Milton. To take up the several subjects of speculation and discussion, with our author, scattered as they are, every where throughout his pages, would be out of our way, and might provoke a volume ; and we must content ourselves with saying that, to the reader who is not solicitous about the story, but who relishes a moral or religious essay, “ Thorpe" is a volume to be commended. Of course, we do not answer for all the author's opinions; but we prefer to listen to one who errs but thinks, rather than one who repeats the known truths from dayn till dark, yet never finds the heart to venture upon a wholesome error of opinion for himself.
A Treatise on Metallurgy; comprising Mining, and General and Particular Metallurgical Operations, with a description of Charcoal, Coke and Anthracite Furnaces, Blast Machines, Hot Blast, Forge Hammers, Rolling Mills, etc. By FREDERICK OVERMAN, Mining Engineer, author of a “Treatise on Iron.” New-York : D. Appleton & Co. 1852. This work is eminently practical in its objects and details, yet philosophical in its character. It is meant, chiefly, to present a plain and simplified view of the various operations of metallurgy; and we cannot doubt that this object will be found to be fully attained in its pages. At this moment, when, in all our States, no less than California, the mineral and metallic possessions are found to be abundant, easily available to search, and highly profitable to the worker, such a manual as the one before us is a desideratum, and will soon be found in general use. It is only to be
regretted that its able author, Mr. Overman, should not have lived to put the finishing touches to his performance. He died literally a victim to his love of science, while engaged in a chemical analysis
, from the effects of arsenited hydrogen, at the age of forty-nine, in the city of Philadelphia. He was a native of Germany, a pupil of the Royal Polytechnic Institute, at Berlin, and had acquired a high rank, and enjoyed the best social intercourse with most of the first artists and scientific men of his age, in that country. The publishers, we may add, have spared no pains in bringing out the work in a style worthy of its own character, and that of the author. It is illustrated by nearly four hundred wood engravings.
The Days of Bruce. Grace Aguilar is a name well known to most readers, as that of a very pure and pleasing writer of the domestic story. Her theme, in the present volumes, is a more ambitious one than usual. She is emulous of a place alongside of Miss Jane Porter, and the story before us takes up the history of the Scottish Chiefs, just where Jane Porter finished hers. With the death of Wallace, Bruce, sore and stricken in conscience, deserted the banner of Edward, and placed himself at the head of the adherents of the great Scottish patriot. The two volumes before us show the progress of his fortunes, through adversity, frequent defeat, much suffering and sorrow, to the triumphant moment when he could wear the Scottish crown and wield the Scottish sceptre, in complete defiance of the rival and hostile power. Certain interesting love histories are interwoven with the historical material in these volumes, very much in the vein of Miss Porter; but it will be no wrong to the talent of Miss Aguilar to say that the peculiar charm of her predecessor, which made her so precious to young hearts, is still unrivalled, is still unapproached.
Cabinet Histories of the States. This new series, from the press of Lippincott, Grambo & Co., of Philadelphia, compact, readable, and got up in very neat style, in single duodecimo volumes, promises to answer a very excellent purpose, in providing a popular collection for the miscellaneous reader. Histories of States, only one or two hundred years old, may very well be compressed into single volumes, such as these, and serve very sufficiently for the popular information.
The series is edited by Messrs. T. S. Arthur and W. H. Carpenter, the former well known by his interesting and popular moral nouvelettes, the latter by some poems and romances, of particular beauty
From which of these two writers proceed the three volumes before us -the one a History of Georgia, the other of Kentucky, the third of Virginia—or whether only edited by them, from the
persons, we are not suffered to know ; it is suffi
pens of other