Page images
PDF
EPUB

hands of several of my young friends, for whose improvement I was particularly solicitous. The subject is, in my opinion, of the deepest interest. I have always believed, that national character, as well as happiness, depends more on the female part of society, than is generally imagined. Precepts from the lips of a beloved mother, inculcated in the amiable, graceful, and affectionate manner, which belongs to the parent and the sex, sink deep in the heart, and make an impression which is seldom entirely effaced. These impressions have an influence on character, which may contribute greatly to the happiness or misery, the eminence or insignificancy, of the individual.

'If the agency of the mother in forming the character of her children is, in truth, so considerable as I think it, if she does so much towards making her son what she would wish him to be, and her daughter to resemble herself, how essential is it, that she should be fitted for the beneficial performance of these important duties. To accomplish this beneficial purpose, is the object of Mr Garnett's Lectures, and he has done much towards its attainment. His precepts appear to be drawn from deep and accurate observation of human life and manners, and to be admirably well calculated to improve the understanding and the heart. They form a sure and safe foundation for female character, and contain rules of conduct, which cannot be too well considered, or too generally applied.

We have also the testimony of Bishop Moore, that this work points out to females the high road to character and distinction ;' and of his Excellency, De Witt Clinton, that 'in reference to diction or sentiment, to manner or matter, it is a production of extraordinary merit, and ought to be generally diffused.' To us there seems a little extravagance in these terms of commendation, though we have been pleased with the perusal of the Lectures, and think they possess qualities, which will render them attractive and useful to many readers. The author treats his subject under the following heads. 1. The moral and religious obligations to a right improvement of time. 2. The best means of improvement. 3. Temper and deportment. 4. Foibles, faults, and vices. 5. Manners, accomplishments, fashions, and conversation.

6. Associates, friends, and connexions. Under these topics is made to be embraced the whole compass of female education, duty, and character; and, in discussing some of them, the author discovers no inconsiderable knowledge of the human heart, the workings of the passions and affections, and the moving principles of society. One of the best traits of his performance is the excellent tone of ingenuous and charitable feeling, which pervades it, and the strict VOL. XX.-NO. 47.

57

ly moral and religious tendency of all his precepts and reflections. The style is not remarkable for precision, or elegance of phraseology, but it is animated, perspicuous, and forcible.

3.- A General Outline of the United States of North America,

her Resources and Prospects, with a Statistical Comparison, shewing at one View the Advance she has made in National Opulence in the Period of Thirty Years. Also, a Collection of other interesting Facts ; and some Hints as to Political, Physical, and Moral Causes ; including the Refutation of a Theory advanced with Respect to this Country by a London Writer, on the State of the British Nation. Being the Result of Letters addressed from Philadelphia, 1823, to a Friend in England; and some Additional Matter, Illustrated with Engrav

ings, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 238. Philadelphia. 1825. A spacious margin, numerous blank pages, a large type widely spaced, beautiful white paper, and a titlepage of such òminous length, that our patience failed us before we could transcribe it to the end,these are the external attractions of this outline of the United States, so called, which in an evil hour has fallen into our hands. We say evil hour, because no task can give us less pleasure, than to censure the labors of any writer, who has the industry and enterprise to make a book illustrating the resources, condition, and prospects of this country. But really our stock of forbearance is not enough, to enable us to pass over in silence so poor an attempt at book making, as we have in this specimen, and especially on a subject, which ought to be treated with minuteness, dignity, and compass, or not at all. Our disappointment, at finding the promise of the titlepage so indifferently fulfilled, may perhaps have blinded our eyes to such merits as the work actually possesses, but we have looked it through, and candidly confess, that we have discovered nothing in it, which may not be found in the common repositories of information, or which would seem to require the trouble of recompiling, or any additional expense of ink and paper to set it in a proper light before the public.

But let us go a little into the book itself, that we may show on what grounds our opinion has been made up. We are presented with an outline of the United States of North America, HER Resources and Prospects. Where did the author learn his grammar, or by what figure of rhetoric does he represent these United States under the similitude of a single person, and this a female ? Again, he proceeds to a "Statistical comparison, showing at one view, the

[ocr errors]

advance she, (that is, she, these United States,) has made in National opulence, in the period of thirty years.' Now, as to the resources and prospects of this country, we have searched the book in vain for any direct light on these important subjects. Speculations, or whatever else they may be called, we have in abundance, with one or two samples of which we will favor our readers. The author has stated that some striking difference in our lot, physical or moral, is obvious, on every comparison that can be made, and after drawing several comparisons, he adds the following.

Free, therefore, without and within, (that is, the nation, so to express it, exempt from any entanglements constraining the nation in her measures regarding external relations ; at home, exempt alike from the restraints of privilege, as well in all the routine of govermental (govermental?) regulations and measures for the public weal, as in the several vocations or pursuits of individuals, which have not been encumbered, for instance, with either corporation claims or compulsory apprenticeships ;-in a word, liberty in the nation, both collectively and individually, to pursue on equitable ground her own undeviating course ; and that liberty connected with a command over nearly the whole amount of her periodical revenues, applicable consequently to her advancement, these are traits, which are not found in the circumstances of other nations. p. 28.

The meaning of this paragraph we leave to our readers to decipher, and proceed to select for them another.

"I say then, if these last positions, which, though I have stated them hypothetically, will probably be as little disputed as those which precede, be granted, it must, I conceive, likewise be granted, that the United States departs (depart) still more widely, that is to say, considered as a nation in the vigor of youth, from the precise line of analogy, or similarity of circumstance with other nations, ancient cr modern ; and, therefore, that her (HER, the United States,) prospective career is not to be measured in idea by any series of events, which have ever happened hitherto to them. In the speculation before us, we dismiss the ancient guide, and start with a new one. It is the act of comparing America with America herself ; from the recent past, to infer the proximate future. Which, with the discretionary allowances always understood, will, I trust, prove a safe conductor, and lead to what time shall unfold to be the truth. p. 31.

One more passage, in which the author sums up his labors, must suffice.

In the review I have taken, my business has rather been with the physical, moral, and intellectual capabilities of this great country, and with our national institutions taken in the aggregate ; assuming for truth, the general excellence of the latter, in virtue of experience had, down to the present day, of their effects ; also the probable stability of the same as to essential outline and feature, in virtue of a matter-of-fact or two, which, relative to that topic, I have stated. And, in thus treating the great subject, I have exerted my puisné strength in attempting to raise and cast aside a corner of the veil, which would seem as shrouding a MAGNIFICENT FUTURE.

pp. 98, 99. These extracts will serve as specimens of the author's style, and his method of considering the prospects of America, by ' inferring from the recent past the proximate future.'

As for his statistical comparison, showing our advance in national opulence for thirty years, it consists in a meagre selection of results, taken from the proper authorities, exhibiting the state of our commerce, navy, post roads, and population, in the years 1792 and 1821, all of which, and much more, may be seen at a single glance in Pitkin or Seybert.

We are next told of a collection of other interesting facts.' These we have not been able to discover, except in a few pages devoted to the canals, and facilities for the internal navigation of the country. Had this part of the volume been printed separately in a suitable form and type, accompanied by Mr Tanner's valuable map illustrating the subject, it would have been a praiseworthy undertaking. The matter, which now occupies thirty open pages, should have been brought into fifteen.

The work is closed with an entire reprint of the President's last message to Congress, extending to thirtyfive pages ; and an Index, spread over twenty pages, which might with perfect ease, and much greater convenience to the reader, have been compressed into three.

4.-Collections of the Newhampshire Historical Society, for

the Year 1824. Vol. I. 8vo. pp. 336. Concord. J. B.

Moore. The Historical Society of Newhampshire was formed on the 20th of May, 1823, and regularly organised by an act of the legislature of the state, on the 13th of June following. Its plan is nearly the same as that of the other historical societies of New England, it being designed to collect and publish arcient manuscript documents, and such printed papers, as have become rare and difficult to be obtained, but which, nevertheless, contain interesting and important facts, which it is desirable to transmit to posterity. Among the most valuable parts of this volume, is a republication of Penhallow's History of the Indian Wars, with Dr Colman's Preface. This curious work, which gives much information on

now.

a recom

the character of the Indians, and their modes of warfare, has become extremely rare, and is now very judiciously republished. It is accompanied with illustrative notes by the editors, and followed by a letter from Penhallow to Cotton Mather. Among numerous other papers, we have Mr Moore's Historical Sketch of Concord ; a letter from Oliver Cromwell to the Rev. John Cotton; and original letters relating to Dr Belknap's History of Newhampshire.

From these letters it would seem, that authors were not better encouraged, to say the least, thirtyfour years ago, than they are

On the 17th of February, 1791, the legislature of Newhampshire, in a fit of extraordinary generosity, voted that the Rev. Jeremy Belknap have and receive out of the treasury of this state fifty pounds, as an encouragement for his laudable undertaking of compiling and perfecting a history of this state. The following is an extract of a reply sent by Dr Belknap to the Honorable Nathaniel Peabody, who had communicated to him the vote of the legislature. After expressing his thanks for this grant, he adds, 'You will excuse my saying I cannot view it as pense,” when you consider my attention and labor for more than eighteen years past in collecting, compiling, digesting and copying the history, together with the expense and risk, which I have incurred. The expense of publishing the first volume was upwards of 250 pounds, and I expect that these which I have in hand will cost 400 pounds; the payment of which, excepting what the Assembly have granted, will depend on the sale of the books. The paper, printing, engraving, and binding, besides incidental charges, must absolutely be paid for by the author; for I cannot find, that the tradesmen concerned will risk anything.' Such are the rewards of authors, and such the bounty of patronage,-fifty pounds granted by a state legislature, for eighteen years' waste of strength, and talents and spirits, in searching after forgotten documents, and writing a history to perpetuate all that is most worthy of being remembered in the deeds of those, who first settled that state by their courage, and of those who afterwards adorned it by their wisdom and virtues !

We have only one hint to suggest to the committee of publication of the Historical Society, which is, that a good deal of interest would be added to the articles they publish, if each were accompanied by a few remarks on its origin, the mode in which it has been preserved and obtained, or any other collateral facts of history bearing on the point.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »