Page images

make use of these words, while speaking of Randolph. He (Neal) says that he did not write the book'-To which I answer, thus: Mr T. Parsons-That's a lie.' By what authority dare you say such a thing of me? I never denied, I never will deny, those books. Nor do I choose to own them. But you say also, that you, 'understand, I was much beaten,' therefore.—That's another lie. You never understood any such thing. You, yourself, know me better. There does not live the man, who would venture to say so fool ish a thing of me, where I am at all known. For your especial comfort, however, until we meet, I would mention that I never was beaten; that I never will be; that I hate a liar; never put up with insult-or forgive a falsehood unless I think proper. Let me proceed.

"LOGAN is a piece of declamation: SEVENTY-SIX, of narrative: RANDOLPH, epistolary: ERRATA, or WILL ADAMS, colloquial-They are a complete series; a course of experiment, as the author himself declares, upon the forbearance of the age: a multitude of papers thrown off in a sort of transport: amounting to fifteen large -English duodecimos-written at the rate of three such volumes a-monthwhile the author was publicly engaged, nearly the whole of each day, in professional business.-I have it in my power to give dates, for all but Logan.

I know this to be true. I know that one of the series was actually begun and completed within thirty-one days. It would make three or four English duodecimos !*

"These books were not written for the British market; or with any expectation or hope of their being repub

lished in England. They were not written-I may venture to say that, now, I hope-for the appetite of the age. They were the feverish productions of a man, who could not be idle-whose very trifling was always desperate, or serious. They were reproduced in London, without his consent, or knowledge. Otherwise they would have been wholly transformed. A multitude of errors-a multitude of absurditieswould have escaped a second edition. Yet-with all their great faults; and with all their monstrous follies-there was only one man, alive, when they appeared, who could have written them. "LOGAN is full of power-eloquence poetry-instinct, with a more than mortal extravagance: Yet so crowded -so incoherent-so evidently without aim, or object, worthy of a good or a wise man-so outrageously overdone, that nobody can read it entirely through. Parts are without a parallel for passionate beauty ;-power of language: deep tenderness, poetryyet every page almost every paragraph, in truth, is rank with corruption-the terrible corruption of genius.

It should be taken, as people take opium. A grain may exhilarate-more may stupify-much will be death.

"SEVENTY-SIX. I pronounce this to be one of the best romances of the age. With a little care-some pruning: a few alterations, it might be made an admirable book of. So far as it goes, it is quite a faithful history of the old American War-told with astonishing vivacity. The reader becomes an eyewitness in spite of himself. It was published here, long before MATTHEW WALD appeared, wherein there is a world of resemblance and a fight, with small swords, which otherwise,

• I give the dates-and order in which they were written, from the notes of the author.

"LOGAN-begun (....) ended-Nov. 17, 1821. "RANDOLPH-begun 26. Nov. 1821.

1st vol. finished 21 Dec. 1821-2d, 8th Jan. 1822, with the interval of about a week, between the two, when I wrote nothing- -4 English volumes in thirty

six days.

"ERRATA-begun after (time uncertain) after the 8th of Jan. 1822.-Finished 16

Feb. 1822-4 English volumes, in less than thirty-nine days. "SEVENTY-SIX-begun after Feb. 16, 1822-finished, 19th Mar. 1822 (with four days off, during which I did not see the MS.)-3 English volumes in twenty-seven days."

N. B.-During this time, the author was publicly engaged, every day, save Sundays, in professional business. They were the work, therefore, of only a few hours, instead of days.

the American author might be charged with having imitated.

"RANDOLPH-about as courageous a book as ever was, or ever will be, written; full of truth-alarming truth to the great men of North America. It struck them with consternation. It is a novel; a plausible, well-connected, finely developed novel; but, by reason of a continual departure, for purposes of criticism, or biography, it requires great attention to enjoy the plot, or believe in it. Randolph sits in judgment, as it were, upon all Ame


"ERRATA, or WILL ADAMS. A curiosity in literature: a powerful work -loaded with rubbish-full of deep interest, nevertheless.—I have done I love modesty: and whatever you may think, have not been imitating William Cobbett-in this my criticism."

NILES-HEZEKIAH. Editor of NILES' REGISTER, a work of great value, for reference. Mr N. was, for a long time, the Cobbett of America. He imitated Cobbett in everything, save his unprincipled self-contradiction-until a quarrel took place, which has ended in the salvation of Niles.-By the way -this brings to our recollection a little anecdote of Cobbett, worth telling. It shows the very nature of the manhis pretension; his talent; his impudence. While he was in America, he ran a-foul of some Frenchman, who had been republishing a grammar of Cobbett's-with a preface of his own. Cobbett swore that he couldn't write a word of English. To prove it, he quoted from his preface, the following words-we give them with Cobbett's typography-Recorded honours shall gather round his monument, and thicken over HIM. IT is a solid fabric; and will support the laurels, which adorn IT.'-Quere, Did Cobbett know-or did he not, while he was writing these words, that they were the words of Junius, to Chatham? If he did what are we to think of his decency?-If he did not-what are we to think of his knowledge, in that sturdy literature about which he is eternally talking, as if it were that for which he has a religious veneration that, with which he is more familiar, than almost any other man of our country?

NUTTAL & Yorkshireman: proessor of botany in the Harvard uni

versity: author of a work upon the languages of the North American Indians of another upon BOTÁNY, WE believe. We have not seen them. He is a man of science.

OGILVIE-a Scotchman: a declaimer of wonderful powers, if we may be. lieve what is told of him: author of a large work, entitled, if we do not forget, PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS-mere talk-nothing more. We have not seen them, for years; and hope never to see them again. He was a man of genius, destroyed by opium-eating.

OSBORNE SELECK. A man of decent powers; formerly the chief, among ten thousand-American poets; now the editor of a country paper. Mr O. was a good, but not a great poet.

PAINE THOMAS. A Goliah among political writers, who, unprincipled, coarse, and wicked as he was, by his RIGHTS OF MAN (assisted, we believe, by Dr Franklin,)-did more good, without wishing it-(we cannot well say more, of such a writer) than he did mischief, by his AGE OF REASON. Cobbett is a follower of his. Both are greatly over-rated. Paine was an Englishman: secretary to the first Ame rican Congress a useful writer for the Republican cause; but, neverthe less-a man-whose memory is held in utter abomination throughout America. The mischief that he did was intentional: the good-accidental.

PAINER. TREAT- originally THOMAS, which he changed, merely to avoid, we believe, the opprobrium which followed it: a prose writer; and a poet: one, whose language, two or three times, during his life, was inspiration: a part of his works are collected-chiefly orations; poems; and songs. We think very well of his ge nius, but humbly, of his understanding. The song," Adams and Liberty," was written by him.-We know of no other tolerable song-except one by Dr Percival-that ever was written by an American.

PARSONS-THEOPHILUS-a melancholy proof that great men will degenerate, in America. His father was a giant, he is hardly a dwarf. He wrote one or two articles for the North American Review, some years ago; on the strength of which, he has lately presumed-with a platoon of helpers, to conduct a literary paper, in Boston, which is really-so far as the paper, printing, &c. are concerned-honour

able to the country. The editorial work is very dull-foolish-of a temper, that one cannot well describe not bad enough to make people sick; nor good enough to be remembered, from one paragraph, to another.Parsons wrote also, for the CLUB Rooм; a paper of some twenty pages; the joint production of a Club; which got along, if we are not mistaken, to the fourth or fifth number.-In short -he is a blockhead. - PAULDING good prose writer, with audacity enough, some years ago, to publish a volume of poetry, which others have had impudence enough to praise: a Yankee-born, we believe, in Connecticut. His works are-1. JOHN BULL AND BROTHER JONA THAN; a small book, (1 vol. 18mo,) giving some account, in the style of Scripture, as we see it, in the Chronicles, of our squabbles with America. -We have not seen it, for many years; have no safe recollection of it; and shall, therefore, pass it over:-2. Papers in SALAMAGUNDI (see IRVING, p. 61.) most of which are capital; but ill-tempered. No two writers could be more thoroughly opposed, in every thing-disposition-habit-stylestyle than were Irving and Paulding. The former was cheerful; pleasant; given to laughing at whatever he saw-not peevishly satirically or spitefully but in real good humour: the latter -even while he laughed as Byron says of Lara-sneered. Irving would make us love human nature-wish it well-or pity it: Paulding would make us ashamed of it; or angry with it. One looks for what is good-in everything; the other, for what is bad: 3. LETTERS FROM THE SOUTH, (one vol. 12mo,) a well-written book-not very malicious-nor very able; giving some account, but a very imperfect one, of the southern habits; and west ern habits of his countrymen: 4. THE BACKWOODSMAN-NATURE and ART -&c. &c.: one vol. 12mo, purporting to be poetry-absolute prose, nevertheless; a little in the style of Goldsmith:-6. A new SERIES OF SALAMAGUNDI, altogether by himself: quite equal to the first; but, such is the miserable caprice of popular opinion-altogether neglected. Only a few numbers-five or six, if we are not mistaken-were published:-6. Mr P. is charged with having written the Letters on "OLD ENGLAND, by a

NEW ENGLANDMAN;" a mischievous, wicked, foolish book: with little or no plain truth in it: a few downright lies a multitude of misrepresentations. We do not say that Paulding is the author of this book-in fact, we have some reason to believe that he is notbut he is universally charged as the author, passes, thus far, for the author: and will, of course, be treated as the author, so far. He is a man of good, strong talent; a hearty republican: a sincere lover of his countrya cordial hater of ours-with little or no true knowledge concerning us, or it: of a most unhappy disposition; sarcastic humour; and-we are afraid -not a very good heart.-His caricatures are too serious for pleasantry. There is nothing like fun or frolic in his misrepresentations:-He is the au thor, too, of a novel, the name of which we forget, published, we be lieve, about one year ago, by the Whit akers. It was a satirical affair of course; cuts up the city of Washing ton speculators in good style; with no pathos; no passion-but is full of meaning.

PHILLIPS-WILLARD: a Yankee another self-educated man: formerly (before DANA) editor of the NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW: a good writer; and a sound, excellent lawyer. His work upon the LAW OF INSURANCE, cannot be too highly praised. (See Dec. 1824, p. 636.)

PITKIN. A Connecticut man; formerly member of Congress. A STA TISTICAL VIEW OF THE UNITED STATES, by him, is a work of great value and authority. It is loaded with official evidence, clearly arranged.

PERCIVAL, Dr: Among poets, very much what GEOFFREY CRAYON is among prose writers; calm, gentle, steady and beautiful: an imitator of Byron-so successfully too, in his PROMETHEUS, that, stanza after stanza, would pass for Byron's, if they appear ed, in a collection of his poetry: The best of Dr P.'s workmanship, however, is to be found in his little pieces; many of which are very beautiful pure, sweet poetry without being wonderful, or great. Mr Millar, Bridge Street-has republished a volume or two of Dr P.'s poems. They deserve patronage, and so does Mr M.: for, it was he, who brought out Geoffrey Crayon, to the public.

PENN-WILLIAM-One of the ear

liest Quakers: the founder of Pennsylvania: a great man-a good one, to speak of whom worthily would require a volume. His writings are well known: they are chiefly controversial, -His NO CROSS, NO CROWN, 'is an able, tiresome work.

PICKERING-TIMOTHY: Some twenty years ago, a very able man-a Roman, for his truth-a Cato, for his integrity Of late (we know not if he be alive now) of late, only a talkative old gentleman. He was a formidable adversary of Jefferson. His writings are political, or official; not collected.

PICKERING-son of the latter a man of great erudition; a fine scholar; learned in many languages: author of PICKERING'S VOCABULARY— a work of some value in the United States.

those who are called ORATORS.-We do not, however, think much of his eloquence. It was noisy, clamorous, artificial. But of his mind-his powers of reasoning, we entertain the most exalted opinion.

PORTER-DAVID-a brave, desperate fellow; a naval captain; of the United States: PORTER'S NARRATIVE' is by him. It is a foolish, pompous, ridiculous-true book-wherein he gives an account of his adventures in the South Seas; among the SouthSea islanders-while he was cruizing for the protection of his enterprizing countrymen, through every nook and corner of the Pacific.

PIERPONT-JOHN-a Connecticut man: first a lawyer; then, a merchant; then-though not professionally-an author-now, a preacher: a man of sound, powerful, talent.-As a lawyer, he would have been greatly distinguished as a merchant, he was good for nothing: as a poet-he might have been-he is in the rank of Beattie, Campbell, and all that class. The PoRTRAIT-a poem, by him, was a political squib. THE AIRS OF PALESTINE, another poem, was written for a charitable purpose-while he, himself, was perishing, for lack of that very charity which he showed: It is tame, badly arranged, incomplete-and worse than all-afflicted with plagiarism, imitation, and alliteration. Yet, is it, nevertheless, full of beauty-with a few eloquent-a few good-and a few great passages in it.-His account of the rattle-snake, from Chateaubriand, is capital. We have no room for it, however. The whole poem has been republished here, with a miserable selection of American poetry.-Two or three of Mr Pierpont's little pieces: with a few of his hymns, after all, are worth a dozen of his long poems. He is a fine pulpit orator; writes bravely; reasons, with remarkable force; and should publish a volume of his chief sermons. He will be forgotten else. PINKNEY-WILLIAM. One of the greatest lawyers, not only of the age this age-but of any age. The little that he has written is not worthy of him. He was formerly minister to this court; and, up to the hour of his death, held the foremost rank among

PROUD Wrote a HISTORY OF PENNSYLVANIA; and a HISTORY of New YORK: both of which are insupportably tiresome..

RAMSAY-DR: an amiable, good man: a warm, eloquent writer. The LIFE OF WASHINGTON, by him, is a delightful book; but not so carefully -so severely true, as it should have been: HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION-very much the samenot such authority, as one of a scrupulous temper would have; but such authority as the multitude are content with: HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

a very interesting, faithful work. Let him, who would know the truth concerning whole nations of the red men, look into this work. It will make his blood run cold-casually mentioned as they are.

RAYMOND DANIEL: A Yankee; from Connecticut-New England: A counsellor-at-law: Author of a work on POLITICAL ECONOMY (2 vols. 8vo,)

where a multitude of problems; phenomena, etc. etc. are explained, with a simplicity, quite startlingnay, quite provoking-to those who have been wasting years upon the science. We look upon it, as a work of extraordinary value.-It should have been republished here-or, at least, reviewed. A friend of ours (Neal) brought a copy "out" and exerted himself not a little, in trying to get some notice taken of it, by somebody equal to the job.-Twice he was promised, without qualification, that it should he done. Twice he was disappointed. He then gave up the point.

RUSH DR BENJAMIN-A medical writer; remarkable for the eloquent fervour of his theories-the comprehensiveness of his philosophy: one of

the greatest physicians of the agethe first among his countrymen. His works are in 4 vols. 8vo. He was an early, and zealous advocate of the Blacks. Mr Rush, the American minister, is a son of his..

SANSOM-A Philadelphian, we suspect: Author of a foolish book about Canada-called a Tour, by him: (No "SKETCHES OF UPPER CANADA.") SANDERSON-A respectable, tedious writer-living in Philadelphia, at any rate: Author, we are afraid, of some parts, in DELAPLAINE'S REPOSITORY. (See DELAPLAINE, Nov. 1824: p. 566:) Author, we know, of a work, purporting to be the BIOGRAPHIES of those, who signed, the Declaration of Independence: a work much wanted; but not from such a workman. Mr S. loves to make too much of everything. There is no sort of proportion between the language, and the subject; the words and the thought of his BIOGRAPHIES. The style is always the same; always a kind of grave, pompous eulogy-as if he were under a contract, for his bread, with all the families of those, about whom he presumes to write.

[ocr errors]

SEDGWICK-MISS. A very good female writer; simple, chaste, and very sensible; without pretension that is-if she be the authoress of "THE NEW ENGLAND TALE"-and of another novel, recently published by Millar (the name of which, we forget) by the authoress of that.

WALES, and HOLLAND, is highly cre
ditable to his temper, heart, and good
sense. It is a very fair picture of
here; and a work, which
what he saw,
deserves to be, as it is, popular, in his
country. His TOUR IN CANADA is
contemptible; a piece of egregious
book-making. We think very highly
of Professor Silliman, as a writer; as
a mineralogist; as a geologist; and as
a chemist; but very humbly, as a

SILLIMAN-PROFESSOR. The JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, by Mr S., we look upon, as a work of great value. His LETTERS FROM ENGLAND; or SILLIMAN'S TOUR, a book published in America, after his return from a tour through ENGLAND, SCOTLAND,

SLOANE A Baltimorean: author of RAMBLES IN ITALY a very agreeable book-written with a sort of gentlemanly air, which would make anything popular,

SMITH-Wrote a HISTORY OF NEW YORK: A dull, heavy, circumstantial affair.

SOMERVILLE-Author, many years ago, of some poetry, which his friends -nay, his very enemies, have long since forgotten. He has lately brought forth an octavo, about France. It is a remarkable book appears to have been produced by two different people; a boy and a man: a politician-or something better, and a gossip.-Speaking of these LETTERS though-they remind us of a criticism concerning them, in the last North American Review-we say concerning them ; not upon them-because no sort of opinion, one way or the other, is given of the work, in this One would be long review of it. ready to believe that some one had written the article-by the job-under the eyes of the author; who wanted boldness to praise himself—and courage, to cut his own throat.-Mr S. may become a very good writer: he is a man of talent-such as it is. SPARKS-JARED. Editor of the NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW: Former

The observations of Dr R. concerning the multitude of diseases, which proceed from decayed teeth, have been fully confirmed, of late, by DÅ KOECKER (a German dentist-probably without an equal in the world, as a dentist)-Dr Rush saw cases of epilepsy; rheumatism in the hip, etc. etc. cured by the extraction of teeth.-Dr Koecker is now in London-(5, CHARLES STREET, GROSVENOR SQUARE.)-While in America, he was at the head of his profession there, which is no light praise; for, in America, the diseases of the teeth are more frequent, more wasting, and better Dr K. cures many diseases, understood, than they are anywhere else, on earth. that have always been regarded as incurable, even to the time of our celebrated Mr Fox, who looks upon the devastation of the gums, and alviolar processes, in that light: Nearly three persons out of four, above the age of forty, in Great Britain, who have occasion for a dentist, are suffering by this terrible disease.-We think it worth our while, therefore, to give Dr K. a puff.-His treatment of denuded nerves and plugging, or stopping, are peculiar to himself; and altogether unrivalled. He has written ably upon these very subjects.

« PreviousContinue »