Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Edinburgh Review, No. 80.

The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, with Plates. 7 vols. 12mo. Philadelphia.

Don Juan, a Poem in Sixteen Cantos. By Lord Byron.. Price $ 2,50. Philadelphia.

Arthur Monteith, a Moral Tale, founded on a Historical Fact, and calculated to improve the Minds of young people, being a Continuation of the Scottish Orphans. By Mrs Blackford. Price 50.

New York. Wilder and Campbell. Prayers for the Use of Families; or the Domestic Minister's Assistant. By William Jay, 3d American, from the 7th Londou Edition. Salem. Whipple & Lawrence.

Recollections of the Peninsula, by the Author of Sketches in India. 1 Vol. 12mo. Carey & Lee.

A Treatise on the Principles of Pleading in Civil Actions, comprising a Summary View of the whole Proceedings in a Suit at Law. By Henry John Stephen, Esq. Barrister at Law. Philadelphia. A Small.

A Compendium of the Law of Evidence. By Thonas Peake, Esq. Sergeant at Law. From the 5th London Edition, with large Additions. The American Edition contains the largest Collection ever published of Decisions in the different State and United States Courts. By Joseph P. Norris, Jr. Esq. 1 Vol. 8vo. Philadelphia. A Small.

The Rambler, a new Edition. 4 Vols. With Engravings. Philadelphia.

The Influence of Tropical Climates on European Constitutions. By James Johnson, M. D. of the Royal College of Physicians, London. With large Additions from the third London Edition. 2 Vols. 12mo. B. & T. Kite.

A Dictionary of Select and Popular Quotations. By D. E. Macdonnel. Fourth American Edition, corrected, with Additions. Philadelphia. A. Finley.

Digest of the Law of Partnership; with a Collection of the Cases decided in the Courts of Law and Equity upon that Subject. By Basil Montague, Esq. Barrister at Law. First American Edition, enlarged by copious References to American Decisions. By a Member of the Philadelphia Bar.

Enfield's Institutes of Natural Philosophy. 4to. Cummings, Hilliard & Co. Boston.

The Cataract of the Ganges; or the Rajah's Daughter. A grand Melo Drama, in two Acts.

WORKS PROPOSED. REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS.—Gales & Seaton propose to publish a work with this title, to embrace a more full Re

An ap

port of the Speeches on topics of general interest, in each House of Congress, than has ever heretofore been published, or than can be given to the public through the ordinary channel of a newspaper.

The work is to be printed in an octavo form, on super royal paper. It is thought that the debates of the shorter session will make a volume of about 500 pages; the price of which to subscribers will be $3; and that of the longer session about twice as much, that is, one large volume of 1000 pages, or two small ones of 500 pages each; and the price to subscribers $5. pendix will contain a list of the Members of each House, the yeas and nays in each House on questions which have been the subjects of debate, documents, and proper indexes to the whole

*This undertaking,' say the Editors, is not of course intended to substitute or supersede the Reports of Debates for the National Intelligencer, but rather, by withdrawing the heavy and extended Reports from its columns, to enable the Proprietors of that Journal to furnish, every day, in a comprehensive form, intelligible Reports of the Proceedings and Discussions on the day preceding, in both Houses.'

“The “Register" is necessarily an experiment, but it is an experiment the success of which we have no reason to doubt. Every one who takes an interest in our political history, as well as all those who engage in the duties of political life, must have felt and lamented the want of a Record of Debates in Congress, in a convenient form, with indexes which might lead the inquirer to any subject debated, and to the name of any one engaged in debate. Such a work would be an elementary book for young politicians, and we have no hesitation in asserting that the possession of such a one, from the commencement of the existing government to this day, would be of immense value to the nation, were it only to show what has heretofore been said upon questions which are continually recurring for discussion, and producing needless consumption of time by superfluous debate. What is true of the years that have past, will, as soon as they are gone, be equally true of those in which we live.

'It is not only, therefore, as a vehicle of present information, but also as a book for future reference--as a National Political Repository and Text-Book, that we hope this work will be both useful and popular.'

This project is so excellent a one, and of such general utility to the country, that it cannot but be hoped the Editors will meet with the fullest encoura agement to prosecute the work as they propose.

CARY & LEA are publishing English COMMON LAW REPORTS, condensed and prepared by Thomas Sergeant and John C. Lowber. Five volumes have been published, viz. 1, 2,5,6,7, and vols. 3, 4, and 8 will shortly be published. The price is $5 a volume in numbers. Order's may be addressed to Philip II. Nicklin, Law Bookseller, Philadelphia.

M. R. BARTLETT, of Utica, proposes to publish The Young LADIES' ASTRONOMY, containing a concise System of Physical, Practical, and descriptive Astronomy, comprised in twentyseven chapters, divided into fiftythree lessons, designed for the use of schools, and particularly for young ladies.

NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.

·No. XLVII.

NEW SERIES, NO. XXII.

APRIL, 1825.

Art. 1.-Redwood, a Tale. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 565. New

York. Bliss and White. 1825.

This is a story of domestic life, the portraiture of what passes by our firesides and in our streets, in the calm of the country, and amidst a prosperous and well ordered community. The writer, who, we understand, is the same lady to whom the public is already indebted for another beautiful little work of a similar character, has not availed herself of the more obvious and abundant sources of interest, which would naturally suggest themselves to the author of a fictitious history, the scene of which should be laid in the United States. She has not gone back to the infancy of our country, to set before us the fearless and hardy men, who made the first lodgment in its vast forests, men in whose characters is to be found the favorite material of the novelist, great virtues mingled with many errors, the strange land to which they had come, and its unknown dangers, and the savage tribes by whom they were surrounded, to whose kindness they owed so much, and from whose enmity they suffered so severely. Nor does the thread of her narrative lead us through those early feuds between the different colonies of North America, who brought with them and kept alive, in their settlements, the animosities of the nations from whom they proceeded, and, in the midst of all their hardships and sufferings, contended about the division of the wilderness, with a fierceVOL. XX.-NO. 47.

32

ness and an obstinacy exasperated by the difference in the characters of those who composed them. Nor has the writer made any use of the incidents of our great national struggle for independence, at once so calamitous and so glorious, the time of splendid virtues and great sufferings, the war which separated friends, and divided families, and revived the half laid spirit of bloodshed in the uncivilised races about us, and called to our shores' so many military adventurers to fight under the standard of Britain, and so many generous volunteers in the cause of humanity and liberty to combat under ours. She has passed by all these periods and situations, so tempting to the writer of fictitious history, so pregnant with interest and teeming with adventure, to make a more hazardous experiment of her powers. She has come down to the very days in which we live, to quiet times and familiar manners, and has laid the scene of her narrative in the most ancient and tranquil parts of the country; presenting us not merely with the picture of what she has imagined, but with the copy of what she has observed.

We have called this a comparatively hazardous experiment, and this, because it seems to us far more difficult to deal successfully with the materials which the author has chosen, than with those which she has neglected. There is a strong love of romance inherent in the human mind. We all remember how our childhood was captivated with stories of sorcerers and giants. We do not, in our riper age, forget with what a fearful and thrilling interest we hung over tales of the interpositions of supernatural beings, of acts of desperate heroism, followed by incredible successes, of impossible dangers, and equally impossible deliverances. And when our maturer judgment has caused us to turn with disgust, from the relation of what is contrary to the known laws of nature, we transfer the same intense attention to narratives that keep within the bounds of possibility. We love to read of imminent perils, and hairbreadth escapes, of adventures in strange lands and among strange races of men, or in times of great public commotion or unusual public calamity. Something of this taste exists in every mind, though variously modified and diversified, and contented with a greater or less degree of verisimilitude, according as the imagination is more or less inflammable. Some preserve a fondness for fictions almost as wild as those, which amused their earlier years, while others can be pleased only with the recital of what is strictly probable. Some will listen with interest to stories of ‘antres vast and deserts idle,' and the adventures of the intrepid voyager who traverses them, while others delight to have their blood curdle at being told of

The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads

Do grow beneath their shoulders. In reading națratives of the romantic kind, our curiosity comes in aid of the author. We are eager to learn the issue of adventures so new to us. The imagination of the reader is also ready with its favorable offices. This faculty, always busiest when we are told of scenes and events out of the range of men's ordinary experience, expatiates at large upon the suggestions of the author, and, as we read, rapidly fills up the outline he gives with bright colors and deep shades of its own.

From all these causes it may happen, that by the mere fortunate invention and happy arrangement of striking incidents, a work of fiction shall succeed in gaining the public favor, without any considerable proportion of the bigher merits of that kind of writing, without any uncommon beauty of style, or any unusual degree either of pathos, or humor, or splendor of imagination, or vivacity of description, or powerful delineation of character.

But with a novel founded on domestic incidents, supposed to happen in our own time and country, the case is different. We have seen the original, and require that there be no false coloring or distortion in the copy. We want to be delighted with the development of traits, that had escaped our observation, or of which, if observed, we had never felt the

peculiar significance. It will not do to trust to the imagination of the reader to heighten the interest of such a narrative; if it ever attempts to fill up the sketch given by the writer, it is not often in a way calculated to increase its effect, for it is done with the plain and sober hues, that color the tissue of our own lives.

We are too familiar with the sort of life described, we are too well acquainted with the situations in which the characters are placed, we have stood too long in the very relations out of which grows the interest of the narrative, to be much interested by reading about them, unless

« PreviousContinue »