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have measurably prepared him to pursue such a career with distinction. Whether his views in this pamphlet are correct or not, it is something gained to have opened up this avenue for thought. Mr. Trescot reasons against the narrow policy which has hitherto prevented the United States from taking a just rank amomg the nations. He feels that she is a first rate, instead of a third rate power, and that her politics and opinions must assert themselves in all regions in which we may have a future interest. His views are not so much pitched to the survey of the present as the probable. It is true that the relations of France, Russia and Great Britain are of a sort to leave the latter in no apprehension of any immediate alliance by the two former against her; but is this to be so, when Russia fairly steps forth upon the sea as a great maritime power It is true that, at this juncture, there has been no rupture, and no cause of quarrel between Russia and the United States. But will this harmony continue, when Russia, becoming a great maritime power, shall penetrate the Pacific and plant her cities on the north-west coast !
Mr. Trescot's argument goes to insist on the natural and inevitable affinities between the United States and Great Britain, leading to the conclusion that prospective necessities, equally affecting both, render necessary a gradual approximation of the two to such an alliance as shall enable them to maintain a just joint position, strengthening themselves and one another against all other powers. In urging these propositions, Mr. Trescot exhibits much ingenuity. He has, perhaps, too much condensed his argument, which might have derived increase of force from a variety of illustrations, His theme is one for examination, for which, where so much is speculative, there is probably sufficient leisure. The essay is well written, with clearness and simplicity, yet with enough of the ardency of the advocate and orator to give it vitality and force.
13. The Seven Capital Sins; by EUGENE SUE. 1. Anger; or the Fire Brand. 2. Voluptuousness, or Madeline. New-York: Stringer & Townsend. 1849. Charleston : Geo. Oates.
MR. EUGENE Sue seems resolute to go through the whole calendar
of crime. Hitherto, he has given us the entire catalogue of human
frailties massed together in one terrible array—all the passions united
and struggling in complete possession of that easily entered citadel,
the weak and feebly garrisoned heart of man. He now proposes to give
us these dreadful passions in detail. To show them, one by one, each in 22 vol. xvi.-No. 31.
some startling example, which shall put to shame, and leave behind, all former presentments. He is not original in this plan of taking up the passions singly. Miss Baillie preceded him long ago, in her Plays of the Passions. They have both erred, working on an erroneous principle. The passions not only never go alone in the individual, but, where there are groups of persons, there must be conflicting passions for the purpose of contest and opposition. The two volumes before us are devoted to Anger and Voluptuousness. We have hitherto had Pride and Envy. The first of these was the best; but none of them are compara. ble to the Mysteries of Paris, unquestionally the chef-d'oeuvres of the author. Indeed, the works immediately under notice are exceedingly flat and cominonplace. The design is meagre and the details flimsily put together. The author is re-cooking meats already stale in his own and the dishes of others. Mere lust, and violence, without much if any displays of artist-like ingenuity in the development—forced scenes of strife and excitement, and unnatural and extravagant action—the merest fetches of a jaded invention—betray to us the fact that the author is engaged in a work of simple drudgery, and no longer sympathizes with his tasks. The very plan upon which he now works—the formal, arbitrary delineation of passion by passion, toiling ever in obedience to a highly artificial plan, to place his one passion forever conspicuously before his own and the eyes of the reader, is fatal to his invention, and a painful constraint upon the wings of fancy and imagination. These, in short, are colnmonplace narratives of crime and Hust, such as belong naturally to the cesspools of the city.
14. Memorial to the State Legislatures of the United States; by John W. KING. Cincinnati: Morgan & Overrend. 1849.
This is a brief pamphlet, the object of which is to effect an amendment of the article of the Federal Constitution which provides for the election of President and Vice President of the United States. Mr. King, the writer, is for taking the game out of the hands of King Caucus. He adopts a plan proposed forty years ago by Senator Hillhouse, of Connecticut, by which it was proposed that the President and Vice President shall be selected by the Senate of the United States, from their own body, the decision being made by lottery, and not choice, and every member being eligible. Mr. King gives numerous reasons for preferring this process above all others, for making a Chief Magistrate. He prefers it because it does not flatter the popular vanity—because it addresses itself neither to popular passion, nor sectional prejudices, nor individual ambition, nor personal or national hatred. He prefers it because it is so simple a contrivance, so noiseless, so definite, so just and equal, so prompt and certain, so incorruptible, so absolutely without danger; because it gets rid of bargain and corruption, of contingent elections by the house, of caucus packing, of merely available candidatism ; because it will necessarily operate a selection, inasmuch as the nominees under the proposed amendment can be no other than the representatives of the State sovereignties, who must be supposed to send thither their most decent men and minds ; because it will necessarily tend to elevate the character of the body; because it will bring the President into office as a gentleman, without compelling him to incur the risk of being blackguarded like a pickpocket—untrammelled by party forms, and unshamed by the necessity of making equivocal declarations of his political opinions; because it supersedes the periodical convulsions of society; because it places all the States on an equal footing ; because it lessens the abuses and dangers of the press;–and for other reasons, equally strong, which, in the author's enumeration, run out to twenty-two. We may recur to this pamphlet hereafter.
15. Historical Sketch of the Second War between the United States of America and Great Britain, declared by act of Congress, the 18th of June, 1812, and concluded by peace, the 15th of February, 1815. Two vols. By Charles J. Ingersoll. Embracing the events of 1814. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard. 1849. Charleston, J. Russell.
MR INGERsoll was held a very good writer when he published his Inchiquin Letters. Nobody will impute this merit to him now. His career in Congress has spoiled all his grace as a writer, -as, by the way, in the Lower House, it is véry apt to do. Such an atrocious and complicated style as marks the two volumes which he has put forth on the subject of our last war with Great Britain, it is rarely the fortune of the modern press to exhibit to simple readers. But his history must not be measured wholly by its style. It will demand our examination hereafter. It embodies a great deal of valuable material, which, in the author's commentary, will be likely to challenge a great deal of discussion. If not a writer, Mr. Ingersoll is both an observer and a thinker; and, thinking and observing are qualities which must everywhere command respect, even where the thought is misdirected and the observation biassed and controlled by the prejudices of the partisan. It is the accusation against Mr. Ingersoll that he is a partisan. We shall ascertain this fact hereafter. Enough, for the present, to say that, in spite of bad style, and a crude arrangement of materials, these volumes are essential additions to our historical collections, and betray, on every page, not only the industry and research of the writer, but a discriminating judgment, a keen scrutiny, and the independence of an intellect, so seldom to be met with among American historians,—which is not to be fettered by the usual Yankee trammels.
16. Dermot O'Brien, or the Taking of Tredagh. A Tale of 1649. With Illustrations. By HENRY W. HERBERT, author of the “Roman Traitor,” &c. New-York: Stringer & Townsend. 1849.
The quality in which Mr. Herbert is defective is invention. His plot is usually very meagre. The quality in which he most excels is in the delineation of the active struggle of combatants. This is the chief feature in all his productions, which greatly lack variety. A pursuit is begun and continued through certain chapters of frequent vicissitude. Now the chase is greatly in advance; now the pursuer presses closely on his heels. At the awkward moment, new parties are put in, and the pursuit is thwarted, to be resumed, when the opportunity shall offer, at the next turn of the road. Another chase, and another escape. Anon, the castle is gained. An army appears. It is besieged. It falls, and a deadly struggle between the vindictive rivals takes place among the ruins. This is made to assume many varying aspects, duly to exercise the nervous sensibilities of the reader. The conclusion is usually of mixed character. The hero and heroine escape, perhaps, but some faithful friend, in whom we have an interest, pays the tribute which fate exacts for the good fortune which our favorites enjoy. A deity steps in at the suitable moment to effect all these purposes. But Mr. Herbert is a good classic, and, in this intervention, he never outrages the sterling rule of the poet: “Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice modus.”
17. Oration, delivered before the “Fourth of July Association ;” by Nelson MITchell, Esq., on the 4th of July, 1848. Charleston : J. S. Burges. 1849.
MR. Mitchell is known among us as a sound lawyer, and a sensible politician. There is no flummery about him. If he has to deliver an oration, he thinks of the cause, and not of the banners. He makes no
flourish of trumpets—is, indeed, a little too much of the ascetic in this matter. It may be permitted to the orator, celebrating the anniversary of American independence, to deal in some of the flourishes of rhetoric, and pile up, at moments, his mountain of metaphor. Mr. Mitchell does no such thing. His oration is rather an essay on the causes of our independence, and its necessity, than a glowing declamation about the history. He pursues his subject in a series of generalizations, which almost exclude details and events. Severely concentrative, he is turned aside by none of the temptations of his subject, and his oration reads like the introductory chapter to a history of the revolution. As such, it has a value beyond the merits of mere oratory. It compels inquiry and thought. It is, perhaps, the highest praise to Mr. Mitchell, that it satisfies both, and fulfils all the conditions of the plan which he seems to have proposed to himself.
18. Oration, delivered before the Fourth of July Association; by W.M. Popchek Miles, on the 4th of July. Charleston: James S. Burges. 1849.
We had the pleasure of hearing this oration. Professor Miles happily unites the arts of the speaker with those of the writer. His style, in both respects, is polished, forcible, and persuasive. He is an artist; with this defect, which he has yet to overcome, that he does not quite succeed in concealing the artist. When the orator, heated with his own fervor not less than the season, stops in the midst of his harangue, to wipe the moisture from his face and brows, let him wipe it honestly, frankly, after the genuine English method, with a bold dash of the handkerchief upon his front, thrusting the silk into his pocket or upon the table when he has finished the operation. But don't let him touch the cheeks and lips gingerly, as if he were afraid of removing some of the flesh. This was one of the defects which struck us in our author's manner. In most other respects, we were quite satisfied and delighted. Professor Miles knows excellently well how to adapt the action to the sentiment. The latter was glowing, and his action was not only animated happily, but marked by an ease and symmetry which realized all the grace which the audience could desire. His oration, with a full knowledge of history, was marked by a parallel between the principles governing our revolutionary action, and the history which is mos. pressing upon us in the progress of present times. He speaks the sentinent of a large portion of the South—we may safely venture to say the whole people—when he declares the indignant conviction