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27. The Sea Lions: or the Lost Sealers: by J. Fennimore Cooper, author of "the Spy," &c, 2 vols. New-York: Stringer & Townsend. 1849. Charleston: G. Oates.
In his more recent novels, Mr. Cooper seems resolved to forego, almost entirely, all the advantages which, in a work of prose fiction, result from the employment of the dramatic element. His stories are scarcely so much stories of persons as of things. His narratives derive their interest. ather from delineations of natural phenomena, than from human nature or society. In a previous work, he required our attention chiefly to the development of new abodes for man by volcanic ebullitions, and the story before us is given mostly to the empire of ice in the antartic regions. To those who seek for a very fair description of these little known regions—of their vast territories of cold—their extensive fields of frost,—their storms of snow,—their mountains of ice, and the novel terrors of such an agent, in such a world of void and desolation, these volumes should be satisfactory. As a tale involving human agency, there is really no stoiy at all ; or one of an interest so slight, and an ingenuity so feeble, that it scarcely calls for mention.
28. Adventures in the Libyan Desert, and the Oasis of Jupiler Ammon; by Bayle St. John. New-York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1849. Charleston: J. Russell.
To those who have followed the progress of Alexander the Great, in his pilgrimage across the desert of Libya, to the great temple of Jupiter Ammon, this slight but pleasant sketch of Mr. St. John, will awaken grateful memories, and strengthen old and agreeable impressions. The narrative, without possessing much force or novelty, is interesting, and written in a style so good humored and wanting in pretension ; that we naturally forgive the deficiencies of the author in consideration of his ease and modesty. The progress across the Eastern deserts is one that has become of late days exceedingly monotonous, particularly as most writers stek to supply the lack of incident, by the accumulation of commonplaces in sentiment and declamation. Mr. St. John does something, though not much, of this tedious business; but fortunately does not quite effect the overthrow and exhaustion of the reader. When he begins his details, his attention becomes fixed, and he narrates them with sufficient spirit and condensation. His account will interest where it does not excite, and rekindle waning memories, even where it supplies the mind with no new facts.
29. Iconngraphic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art; systematically arranged, by G. Heck: with five hnndred steel engravings, by the most distinguished artists of Germany. The text translated and edited by Spencer F. Bated, A.M., M.D., Professor of Natural Sciences in Dickinson College, Carlyle, (Pa.) Part I. NewYork: Rudolph Garrigue. 1849. Charleston Agent, Saml. Hart, Sen.
This admirable work is from the German. We rejoice to sec it rendered into the English by such competent hands, and under such favorable auspices. Its plan comprises histories of all the branches of human knowledge which can be illustrated by pictorial representation. Its subjects, accordingly. include mathematics, the natural and medical sciences, geography, ethnology, military science, naval science, architecture, mythology, the fine arts, technology, &c., forming a vast body of the most valuable literature. The publication supplies many deficiencies, and we give it cordial welcome in America. The first number, which is now before us, leaves nothing to be desired at the hands of the publisher. It is a fine octavo publication of 80 pages, with 20 steel engravings, all in a compact portfolio.
30. History of the American Bible Society, from its organization to the present time. By W. P. Strickland, one of the Society's agents. With an introduction, by Rev. N. L. Rice, D.D., of Cincinnati. Embellished with a likeness of the Hon. Elias Boudinot, L.L.D., First President of the Society. "Th; Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it."—Psalms. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1849.
A Well Printed octavo, giving an ample history of the great moral charity,par excellence, of modern civilization. The contents of the work range back to the first coming of the Puritans to America, and absorb a great variety of tributary matter, continued through the successive periods, to the present time. The condition of the country prior to the organization of the American Bible Society—the causes which prepared the way for the organization of the Society—its organization—managers and officers—auxiliary Societies—Bible house—acts of incorporation— printing, and circulation of Bibles, in prisons, among seamen, army and navy, Sabbath schools, societies, Indians, Mexicans, foreign lands— these are a portion of the topics, which must necessarily involve a various and highly interesting history.
31. Two Lectures on the Connection between the Biblical and Physicat History of Man, delivered, by invitation, from the Chair of Political Economy of the Louisiana University. Delivered 1846, by Josiah C. Nott, M.D. 1849.
The tone of these lectures is unfortunate. Dr. Nott was evidently angry when he wrote them. It is not our purpose to go into this controverey, or decide on the vexed question which he discusses. We must leave that to the patient working of time and thought, under the touch of which, error, wherever it may lurk, succumbs at last. It is fortunate for Christianity, however, that it does not depend, in any degree, upon the philosophical question involved in this discussion. It is a mistake with religious professors when they seek to identify the questions. Be the Jewish history what it may, the mission of Jesus Christ, and the faith which he taught, cannot be affected in any way by the decision of this controversy.
32. Church Polity; or, the Kingdom of Christ in its Internal and External Development . By J. L. Reynolds, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church, Richmond, (Va.) "Fiunt non nascuntur Christians"— Tertul. Apol. 18. Richmond, Va.: Harrold & Murray. 1849.
It is not within our province to discuss the claims of theological writings, or the virtues of individual sects. We can speak nothing more, accordingly, in regard to the little volume before us, than to commend the clearness of* its style, and the simplicity and frankness of its expression. It is understood to be an acceptable work to the Baptist Church. To others, it may be interesting also, as shewing the views which are held by a denomination of Christians second in numerical strength, we believe, to none in the United States.
33. A Paper upon California, read before the Maryland Historical Society; by J. Morrison Harris, Corresponding Secretary. March, 1849. Baltimore: Printed for the Society by John D. Foy. 1849.
Mr. Harris has made an excellent review of the whole subject of California, engrossing all the early history in a brief space, and sug23 Vol. xvi.—No. 31.
gesting all the topics of interest which belong to the present condition of the country. In doing so he has consulted the best authorities. We are glad to see that he adopts, with regard to Lieut. Colonel Fremont, a like tone with the writer of an article on the same subject, contained in our previous issue. These sentiments wilt become universal. The popular judgment, as well as the popular feeling, will, in a little while, make amends to a reputation which has been treated with as little justice as tenderness.
34. Constitution of the South- Carolina Institute for the promotion of art, mechanical ingenuity and industry. Adopted January, 1849. Charles, ton: Walker & James. 1849.
The objects of this Society—which are of very great importance in a community which has been long suffering from a too great indifference to the industrial arts, and which needs, above all things, a proper diversification of its pursuits—are sufficiently declared by the title of this pamphlet, which contains, in addition to a well considered plan of action, embodied in the constitution, a body of rules and by-laws, and an address which summarily unfolds the hopes of the Society, and the arguments upon which the members build, in contemplation of their future success. We cordially recommend the scheme of action to the favor of the community and country.
35. The Liberty of Rome: a history with an historical account of the liberty of ancient nations; by Samuel Elliot. "Romance spatium est urbis el orbis idem,"—Ovid. "The history of the world is one of God's great poems."—Hare. In two volumes. New-York: Geo. P. Putnam. 1849.
THis is not a work to be discussed in a paragraph. The subject itself, if not the author, requires much more consideration of the author, we confess to hearing for the first time. Yet his tone is that of a writer who has had experience A history of Roman liberty, in two volumes, of more than 500 pages each, is to be approached with deference. It may be judged, but cannot be read in a hurry. We shall examine it, and may report upon it hereafter. The work is beautifully printed, and is illustrated by several good engravings.
36. Benjamin Franklin: his autobiography and a narrative of his public life and services. Splendidly embellished by numerous exquisite designs by Chapman. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1849.
The eighth number of this publication, which completes the work, is now before us. The merits of Franklin's autobiography are almost as well understood as his public services. It deserves the very beautiful style of setting which it has received from the present publishers. A more handsomely printed octavo never found its way into the American library. Mr. Weld, the editor, seems to have performed his part faithfully and modestly. We regret that it was deemed necessary to illustrate the volume with wood engravings. Though done by Chapman, and with quite as much spirit as it was possible to exhibit in this connection, we are yet of the opinion that the Life of Franklin was the very last work that should have been chosen for such decorations. There was nothing in his career which was properly susceptible of pictorial ornament,—no fancy, no action, no exciting adventure; and the artist, accordingly, has really been embarrassed in his search after subjects which should be suitable to his objects. He has not often been successful in finding them.
37. An Oration delivered in the Fort at Moultrieville on the 28th of June, 1849; by J. J. Pope, Jr. Charleston: Jas S. Burges. 1849.
Mr. Pope begins well. We believe that this is his first appearance on the stage of oratory. His address is quite a spirited and appropriate one,—a little too discursive,—which is too much the mistake of young speakers. His style is at once forcible and easy, and his exuberances are such as time and practice will readily remove.
38. An Oration, on the subject of Education, delivered before the Healing Spring's School Association on the Ibth June, 1849; by J. E. Tobui. 1849.
The style of Mr. Tobin is very creditable to him as a young beginner. His views on education, if not new, are worthy of frequent repetition.