Imágenes de páginas

approach the glad tidings of international courtesy. The only bond between nations, which the rude stroke of discord cannot break, it stands alike through peace and war undimmed, one of ten thousand white-robed brothers who, with impartial light, throw out their kindly greetings to each other's distant coasts. It is the nation's finger raised in hospitable beckoning; it gathers at its base with equal care the timid shallop and the venturous seventy-four; and thus, with its gleaming kindred, helps to draw all shores together. That sail which specks the horizon, and steers inward with full confidence, because it knows and trusts the flaming greeting, may now be bringing to me news from home; and at that distant home, some other guardian beacon may at this moment be safely guiding into port the lines of love which I have last sent out. This, then, is why my thoughts are now led back into the currents of the past; and if there ever is a time when we most think of scenes of which we always wish to hold the memories in our hearts, it must be on such a night as this. And as I sit and muse, the view before me slowly seems to pass away, and distant and well-loved places rise before me. The brook flowing on with a gentle murmur before the homestead door; the grove of pines, beside the dusty road; even the old counting-room, with its great pile of warped and musty ledgers, all these now throng before me, not as mere spectres of the far distant, but as well-loved and cherished realities of the ever-present And as I think upon the kindly faces which

It is at this present moment that I wish murder was not a sin, for then would I kill Little Briggs of Boston. He comes in my room, with his pipe in his mouth, and seats himself before me, where he can shut out the moonbeams, and just at the moment when sweet voices beneath my window have commenced to sing ‘Di piacer mi balza il cor.'

'I have no good window to my room,' he says, “so, while I stay in Genoa, I think I will drop in, and spend my evenings with you. I mean to write a book about what I see,' he adds,my friends will expect it.'

"A book?'

“Yes; a book, for it is time the truth was told about these people. They want some stirring-up, they have no progress about them. This very day, I saw a horse-power, with thirty per cent of the action wasted. What, after that, are pictures good for? or all the talk about Garibaldi, or Dante, or Julius Cæsar, or what 's-his-name, the man who jumped off the Tarpeian Rock, playing upon the harp - Sappho, I believe, they called him? No; I shall write a book; and I thought I would tell you, so that we could compare notes, and not both get hold of the same ideas.'

'Go on,' I say, “and do n't think of me. I am not writing a book. from Ner-York, and it will not be expected, you know, We are too commercial for that sort of thing. But you, you are from Boston, you see, and of course you cannot help it.'

'Fact,' says Little Briggs, ‘are a literary city, that is so!'

I am

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]


GILMORE, No. 532 Broadway. CHARLES T. Evans. 1862. Third Edition.

When the tale of bricks is doubled, Moses comes. When there is a great demand for knowledge on some important subject, “the book,' whatever it may be, is not far off which combines facts in a striking form, with wisdom. At present the public is desirous of learning something of these social and natural conditions of the South, which may cast some light on what may be done with that sorely-tried land, when the great war shall have been reduced to something like a conclusion. And no impartial reader can deny that in these sketches such information is imparted in a more attractive form than it has ever before been presented to the public.

In this volume the author details the literal experiences of travel in the pine, or pitch, tar and turpentine districts of the Carolinas, and sketches with an exactness equalled only by OLMSTEAD, life as it is among the wealthy planters, the negroes, and the poor whites. He shows by description of scenes actually witnessed — for the work is, notwithstanding its romantic interest, literally true in its details that the planter, so often merely abused as a human fiend, is, in fact, rather the victim of a system in which he has grown up, and of whose defects he is often made bitterly conscious. The author has examined closely the condition of that wretched race, the poor whites of the South, and finds them in many cases actually the infcriors of the negro; while the capacity of the black for independent labor, and the degree to which this may be safely attempted, is suggested by numerous anecdotes and instances of interest. We can hardly call it an Abolition work, for its conclusions are far from being as radical, or as favorable to the negro, as are those of the Garrisons and PHILLIPSES; although it is most evident from the facts laid before us, and which coïncide to a remarkable degree with those of OLMSTEAD, that the slave-holders of the South wrong themselves by adhering to the old high-driving plantation system, and would find it infinitely more profitable should they increase the inducements of the black to labor for himself, and like a free man.

The liberality of spirit in which these sketches are penned is worth noting. While pointing out the abuses resulting from the present working of the involuntary servitude system, there is none of that bitterness or hate for the Southerner apparent, which characterizes most “anti-slavery' narratives; indeed, the lash is only laid severely on those Northern renegades who, for the sake of making money, out-Heron the slave-owning HERODS, in abusing the black, and in vilifying their native States.

The author of these sketches has, as we are assured, no literary ambition whatever to gratify, his object being merely to present facts and truths to the public, in reference to a most important subject. Hence we find no effort at elaborate writing, or fine language. All is clear, concise, and straightforward ; and to this very directness and simplicity the work owes its peculiar charm. Its incidents, being drawn from actual observation, come before us, like letters from a friend, detailing with accuracy and interest, scenes which he has just witnessed. Yet an artistic command of resources is manifest in many things. The different scenes, though given simply as pictures of travel, form an extremely well-balanced whole, and the interest which is awakened in the beginning steadily increases, so that we involuntarily declare the last part of the book to be the best — perhaps as high praise as can be awarded to any narrative whatever.

Could we induce the reader to peruse a few pages of Among the Pines,' our comments on it would be needless. It is one of those rare and excellent books, written by one who, to the most searching common-sense, and freedom from prejudice, adds a keen eye for the locally remarkable, for the humorous, and the pathetic. The remarkable success which it had as a serial in The Continental Magazine, and the fact that it has leaped almost simultaneously with its appearance in book-form into a third edition, shows that it was the work for a critical time, and contained elements of great value. It is natural, national, and vigorous; and we sincerely trust that our literature is destined to be enriched with many other works from the pen of the mysterious ‘EDMUND KIRKE.'

The City of the SAINTS, AND ACROSS THE Rocky MOUNTAINS TO CALIFORNIA. By RICHARD F. Burtos, Author of • The Lake Regions of Central Africa.' With Illustrations. New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS. 1862.

Richard F. Burton is probably one of the most accomplished cosmopolites and world-widely experienced man living, while as a traveller, his journey to Mecca has placed him, in daring, beyond any modern competitor. He is natively' familiar with several Oriental languages, is withal a ripe scholar, and yet one who has had all the pedantry and nonsense well knocked out of him by extensive and very practical intercourse with mankind. In fact, the old stager,' or thorough-going man of the world, is shown in his writings to a degree which is sometimes rather amusing in its naïveté. He is shocked by nothing, astonished at nothing, and takes all rubs, however hard, with a most creditable nonchalance.

The travel portion of his book is accurate and varied. The author sees much that would escape many a man less versed in the mysteries of travel, and his wide experience gives him many an opportunity for piquant compari

He suspects himself of humor, and in fact apologizes in his preface for the great amount of fun in which he has indulged; but few men, however, ever sinned so little in reality in this respect, for of that deeply penetrating exquisite spirit of Humor, which is allied to the most perfect genius and poetry, he has none, or quite as little as the great majority of modern travellers. The Mormons will owe him, however, a good turn for his many and earnest vindications of nearly all the charges brought against them. Looking at all mankind, and not at a portion in making his comparisons, evidently quite indifferent whether a single wife or a dozen is the rule, and reminding his readers that the great majority of mankind are polygamists, Mr. Burton is not particularly shocked at an institution so long familiar to him in that East, of which he is almost a child. He does not find the Mormons so vile in most respects as Turks or Syrians; and as the latter with him seem to rank as very good people, (it is true that they are superior to many millions of Chinese and negroes,)


he seems to have concluded that the Mormons are a very nice and sadlyabused set.

*RAREMENT en courant le monde

On devient homme de bien.' But despite his freedom, Mr. Burton is English enough, though he disavows it, to thoroughly despise the United States. It peeps out in many trifles. Speaking of Salt Lake City, he says: “There is only one ' Yankee gridiron’in the town, and that is a private concern. I do not ever remember seeing a liberty-pole, that emblem of a tyrant majority, which has been bowed to from New-York to the Rhine.' And he accordingly sympathizes with the anti-Uncle Sam Mormons.

But laying aside these minor blemishes, the work is one of great value. It combines scholarship with observation of no common order, and is a repertory of facts so extensive and so well set forth, that it must always bear a high value as a book of reference. The volume before us is well printed, very neatly bound, and copiously illustrated.


CONFLICT. By E. W. REYNOLDS, Author of the ‘Records of Bubbleton Parish.' Boston: WALKER, WISE AND COMPANY.

A STRONGLY worded work, advocating Emancipation, giving its history, and analyzing the different conditions of Southern and Northern society. In style it is between Conway's 'Rejected Stone,' and the Speeches of CHARLES Sumner, and full of that earnest eloquence characteristic of all books whose authors believe very much indeed' in what they advocate.

Love's Labor Wox. By Mrs. Emma D. E. N. SOUTHWORTH, Philadelphia: T. B. Peter


A PLOT-NOVEL as all those of the really 'popular' romancers still are, and will be for some time to come — and the best we may add, which we can remember to have looked through from the pen of this extremely prolific writer. The opening scenes are well laid in the Republican Court' of the days of WASHINGTON, and the interest of the story is very well sustained, though the novel is too deficient in local color and study of character to aspire to more than temporary fame.

TRENTOn Falls: PICTURESQUE AND Descriptive. Edited by N. PARKER Willis. Em

bracing the Original Essay of Joux SHERMAN. New-York: J. G. GREGORY. 1862.

A VERY delicate, dainty, and delightful booklet; born for butterflying about with and admirably adapted for couleur de roseate hours of summer travelhood. The fairest things slip easiest out of memory, even the 'subter-natural' charmingness of ambery rivulets in their shadowy deep-down-itude' would vanish from memory without some pen-and-pencilvering over by genius and art, and we accordingly have this little folioed reminder of the loveliest scenery in America. Carry it in your cabas, fair dame, when you next flatter with a visit Trenton, (we have a French friend who writes the word 30 – 1,) and you will never plead non mi ricor lo when interrogated as to what you saw, by one of the terrible tribe of quomodo? quis ? quibus auxiliis ? curs?!


[ocr errors]

'It is well worth observing,' quoth Knick's Familiar unto us the other evening as we sat listening to the far away rural hum of a quiet evening, and watching the lost crimson of sunset which endured so far into the night, that it seemed resolved to wait for its friend the Morning Red .

'I was speaking,' observed the Familiar, and will trouble you, my venerable youth, to be more attentive. And I intended to remark that it is worth noting that there is unconsciously growing upon this country and upon this war a feeling of reliance and a grand earnestness which will produce in coming years a character and a literature. People never suffer and think at the same time without being repaid for it. France, England and Germany learned in sorrow what in after-years they taught in song. There is a national moral law of compensation — and we shall benefit by it.

• Proceed!'

'I will. People do not learn to be poorer than they were to economize and yet retain their social standing and self-respect, without finding themselves practically wiser. They feel freer and stronger for having got rid of certain ostentations, and they are more self-reliant after learning to master their wants. There are few families which have not learned many such lessons during the past year, and in every one there has been planted a seed of earnestness and of truth which will bear its seventy and its hundred fold.'

* Thou speakest wisely.'

* Again, O Master mine ! people have in this time, become familiar with great thoughts and serious questions. Every day has brought in an array of events — historical events, mind you - stories of battles and fierce forays, of raids and ridings, of great political movement, and of startling legislative action, such as would in the old time have given us excitement for months. The young who are growing up in these days, are becoming familiar with strength and with greatness, with prompt and giant-like work.'

It is true.'

* We have all been all too young, O KNICK ! as a nation. We have been thin-skinned, irritable, jealous, anxious for foreign praise, greedy of puffs in the


« AnteriorContinuar »