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wood, but the graver in a heedless hand or in sensual appetites, coarse or childish the manipulation of an injudicious pressman pleasures, and paltry aims, and varnished left little except the broad, indestructible with a weak and extravagant sentimentality, characteristics in the impression which was — that social order still so feudally aristoeventually made public.
cratic and feudally plebeian, in which the At last, let us be thankful, a new era has poor are little better than vassals, and their dawned, and we have here woodcuts which women toil in the fields like beasts of burmay confidently invite comparison with any den, and the women of all classes are treatas examples of the highest excellence which ed with rude and clumsy disesteem. has yet been reached in this department. Mr. Browne's book is devotedly funny, The thorough and intelligent workmanship as we hinted, but, in spite of this, is really of the University Press has preserved to us very amusing. A Californian, rich from the every line and shade which was intrusted to subiti guadagni of his shares in the Washoe its care, and the prints are free alike from mines, is carried to Frankfort by his enfade indistinctness and from ruinous weight thusiastic wife, who is persuaded that Gerof color, The engraving which is so admin many is the proper place to bring up Amerrably represented is thoroughly good, and, ican children. They live there in the Gerto our thinking, it is of a better school than man fashion, - Mrs. Butterfield charmed that which largely obtains in England at this and emulous of German civilization, Mr. time, and the degeneracy and slovenliness Butterfield willing, but incorrigibly Califorof which have been of late so much criticised nian to the last, and retaining throughout and deplored by the best judges. The most that amazing local pride in the institutions, of the designs have been engraved by Mr. productions, and scenery of his adopted A. V. S. Anthony, who ranks probably at State which Americans so swiftly acquire the head of American engravers, and whose in drifting from one section of the Union delicacy of feeling and touch, beautifully to another. The invention of this family is exemplified in the eighth and twelfth pic. not the least truthful thing in the book, tures of "Maud Muller," entitle much of which in many respects is full of droll his work to an estimation not far below that good-sense and good humor. accorded to Linton or Thompson. The few remaining blocks were cut by Mr. J. P. Davis and Mr, Henry Marsh, who emu- Charles Lamb. A Memoir. By BARRY late most praiseworthily the excellence, CORNWALL. Boston : Roberts Brothers. skill, and fidelity of Mr. Anthony.
It is not to any very definable cause that
this charming book owes the interest with An American Family in Germany. By which it holds the reader throughout. It
J. Ross BROWNE. New York: Harper can scarcely be said to present the life or & Brothers.
character of Lamb in a novel aspect, and
even the anecdotic material in which it If the author of this amusing book had abounds does not appear altogether fresh. been less devoted to his purpose of making The very manner in which the subject is fun, we think he could have made us a pic treated is that to which we are accustomed: ture of German life which we should have for who has ever been able to write of been very glad to have in the absence of Charles Lamb but in a tone of tender and much honest information on the subject compassionate admiration? and the presence of a great deal of flimsy Something, however, better than novelty idealizing. As it is, we fear that his work, of matter or method appears in this Memoir, for the most part a truthful portraiture, will and makes it the best ever written concernpresent itself only as a caricature to those ing the fine poet, exquisite humorist, and unacquainted with the original, and that noble man, whom it brings nearer than for all Mr. Browne says to the contrary, ever to our hearts. Much was to be exmany worthy people must go on thinking pected of Mr. Proctor in such a work, though German life a romantic, Christmas-tree much would have been forgiven him if he affair, full of pretty amenity, and tender bal- had indulged himself far more than he has lads, and bon-bons. But some day, the done in an old man's privilege to be gartruth will avenge itself, and without the rulous upon old times and old friends, and least air of burlesque show us that often had confined himself less strictly to the narrow and sordid existence, abounding life and character illustrative of Lamb's. As it is, there is nothing concerning any learning is so at the service of his philosof Lamb's contemporaries that we would ophy that it never burdens, but only arms. willingly lose from this book. In these There is a tough welding of principle with sketches of the humorist's friends the sub- fact, and fetching of opposite poles together tile and delightful touches bring out his in the constant circulation betwixt ideas and own nature more clearly, and he appears events. Sometimes an excess of antithesis in the people who surrounded him hardly shows a little too much the wrinkled brow less than in his essays or the events of his of thought, striving to put more into a sencareer ; while Mr. Proctor's long acquaint- tence than it will fairly carry, and corrugatance with Lamb becomes the setting to a ing the elsewhere smoother lines, - as in more careful picture than we have yet had a hilly country there was said to be too of his singularly great and unselfish life; much soil to be evenly disposed of, and so and we behold, not a study of the man in part of it had to be pushed up into the this or that mood only, but a portrait in sky. But this roughness is better than which his whole character is seen. The thinness; and in Mr. Whipple's book there sweetest and gentlest of hosts, moving are passages of swift, grand eloquence, and among his guests and charming all hearers of intense peace and depth. Wit and huwith his stammered, inimitable pleasantry; mor, native to our author, with no maligthe clerk at his desk at the India House, nity or pride for an ally, combine with sentiand finally released from it into a life of il- ment and reflection, and his talent is never limitable leisure ; the quaint little scholar wrapped up in a merely elegant phrase, of Christ's Hospital ; the quaint old humor. but in plain and homely words is the deist taking his long walks about his beloved livery of his sense. We would cite, in London ; the author, known and endeared proof of the justness of our criticism, such by his books; the careworn and devoted essays as those on “Character," "Intelman, hurrying through the streets with his lectual Character,” and “Washington and maniac sister on his arm, to place her in the the Principles of the Revolution.” Those shelter of a mad-house, - it is not some on Thackeray and Nathaniel Hawthorne one of these alone, but all of these together, show, with appreciative praise, the literthat we remember, after the perusal of this ary doctor's fatal feeling of the patient's Memoir, so graceful in manner, so simple pulse. The courtesy of Everett is gracefully in style, and so thoroughly beautiful and owned ; and there is a fine glimpse of that unaffected in spirit. There is no story from face of Thomas Starr King, which did not which the reader can turn with a higher seem so much to mirror the sun as to sense of another's greatness and goodness, make the sunbeam a shadow of itself; while or an humbler sense of his own.
a just tribute is paid to the original and courageous genius and research of our great
enthusiast and naturalist, Agassiz. But Character and Characteristic Men. By ED- this is a book to be mastered only by a
WIN P. WHIPPLE. Boston : Ticknor and thorough perusal, and no hasty diagonal Fields.
glance along the leaves can render justice
to it. While deserving attention for its If we should say this is a book that general merits of intelligence, morality, hubrings its author under its title, and that he manity, and a spiritual faith, which no eye is in every page of it to us the unconscious of friendship is needed to discern, in the subject of his own pen, we might sufficient judiciary department of letters it has an ly express our sense of its reality and vital unrivalled claim. For faculty of pure critstrength. But no self-introduction could icism we know not Mr. Whipple's equal. be more modest or undesigned. We know The judgment-seat shines in his eye. We of no volume in which vigor walks with seem to be hearing all the time the kindly less attendance of vanity, or less motion of sentence of an infallible sight. We should covert cgotism in the stalwart stride ; yet be afraid of the decree which such knowlthe style, which proverbially is the man, edge, intuition, imagination, and logic comdoes not lack decisive stamp, but is too bine to pronounce, but that no grudge propeculiar to be confounded with any other. vokes, or bribe can ever bias the court; It is not flaming, or flowing, or architec- and, while its just conscience cannot acquit tural. It is not built, but wrought, with hollow pretensions, over its own decisions blows of the hammer. We should empha- preside an absolute purity and the loftiest size the writer's historic taste, but that his ideal of human life.