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SCHOOLCRAFT'S GREAT NATIONAL WORK ARCHIVES OF ABORIGINAL KNOWLEDGE. Containing all the Original Papers laid before Congress respecting the History, Antiquities, Language, Ethnology, Pictography, Rites, Superstitions and Mythology of the INDIAN TRIBES OF THE UNITED STATES. In Six Volumes, Imperial Quarto. By HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT, LL.D. Philadelphia: J. B. LIPPINCOTT AND COMPANY.
THE publishers announce that, since the recent act of Congress granting to the author the ownership of this important work, they have made arrangements for its publication and sale; and they now offer it to the public in the elegant style of the edition recently furnished by order of Congress. It is a monument of labor, research and learning; for it forms a complete Thesaurus—an overflowing treasury of knowledge, respecting the Aborigines of America. It embraces their history, ethnography, antiquities and languages; their ancient and modern geography; their manners and customs, religion and superstitions; their agriculture, commerce and trade; their ornamental arts, and their physical and intellectual peculiarities. All these subjects are treated, not in a general and summary manner, but in detail, each topic being patiently and thoroughly discussed and exhausted; the work, although mainly executed by the author's own hand, having received the contributions of many savans thoroughly conversant with particular subjects embraced in its pages.
The author, HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT, Esq., long and favorably known to the readers of the KNICKERBOCKER, may be said to have passed a long life in preparation for the proper execution of this great national work. He spent his early years of manhood among them as Indian agent, and thus learned the Indian character in all its phases. His subsequent pursuits brought him still into constant intimate relations with Indian affairs; and when, by the liberality of the Government of the United States, he was enabled to publish the rich results of his extensive observation and study in a style of magnificence corresponding with the importance of the subject, he did not fail to avail himself of the best talent in the country, and to incorporate in this great national work the fruits of all the researches of other travellers, government officers, and men of science, who had made the Indians a special subject of study.
The result is such a work as could have been produced in no other way. It is the most complete and thorough collection of treatises relating to the Indians, and comprises also the only general history of the aboriginal race which has ever been published. It is literally a Library of Indian History and Ethnography, and embraces within itself the substance of all that is known concerning the tribes as tribes, and the race as a race. To the scholar, the historian, the statesman, and the philogist, such a work is indispensable. No public or well-appointed private library can be considered complete without it; and the general reader who wishes for satisfactory and reliable information about the Indians as they are at the present time, or as they have been at any previous period since America was discovered, must have recourse to these volumes. The illustrations of the Archives' are executed in the most complete and finished style, evidently without regard to expense;' and, as a whole, they comprise one of the proudest monuments of American art. The subscription-price of the work is eleven dollars per volume.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH: A BIOGRAPHY. BY WASHINGTON IRVING. With Illustrations. In one Volume: pp. 382. New-York: G. P. PUTNAM, 532 Broadway.
THE enterprising and tasteful publisher to whom we are indebted for this beautiful volume, has established for himself the reputation of a public benefactor: and this reputation he richly deserves at the hands of his reading countrymen. He is giving to American readers, in the most convenient and elegant form, and at the most reasonable prices, all the writings of Washington Irving. What a LIBRARY, ‘various, rich and rare,' do these present! Pictured history; portraiture, as faithful to life as life itself;' humor the most felicitous and genial, and pathos that melts into the heart, and overflows the eyes - all elements in literature, in short, which once read, can never be forgotten by any reader who has a particle of fancy or imagination, or one atom of heart. But why dwell upon a theme such as this? WASHINGTON IRVING is read, and will continue to be read, wherever the English language is spoken or translated, through all the coming generations. Comparisons' may be 'odorous:' but while WASHINGTON IRVING is always himself, and his style is emphatically his own, yet he was the 'American GOLDSMITH,' past all gainsaying or peradventure.
We have no hesitation in asserting, that in our judgment WASHINGTON IRVING'S 'Life of OLIVER GOLDSMITH' is one of the best, the most entertaining, the most natural biographies of the last three centuries. The writer's heart was full of his subject: his sympathies were with him in all his sorrows and trials, in all his successes and triumphs: and familiar as these may be to all who have treasured the writings of the author of 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' his latest biographer has invested them with a new interest. The style of no writer since his time was unconsciously so much like GOLDSMITH's as that of IRVING. No one familiar with the works of the latter, but will at once admit that the following might as justly and as truly have been written of IRVING as of GOLDSMITH: "There are few writers for whom the reader feels such personal kindness as for OLIVER GOLDSMITH, for few have so eminently possessed the magic gift of identifying themselves with their writings. We read his character in every page, and grow into familiar intimacy with him as we read. The artless benevolence that beams throughout his works; the whimsical yet amiable views of human life and human nature; the unforced humor, blending so happily with good feeling and good sense, and singularly dashed at times with a pleasing melancholy; even the very nature of his mellow and flowing and softly-tinted style, all seem to bespeak his moral as well as his intellectual qualities, and make us love the man at the same time that we admire the author. While the productions of writers of loftier pretension and more sounding names are suffered to moulder on our shelves, those of GOLDSMITH are cherished and laid in our bosoms. We do not quote them with ostentation; but they mingle with our minds, sweeten our tempers, and harmonize our thoughts: they put us in good humor with ourselves and with the world, and in so doing they make us happier and better men.'
We have before mentioned in these pages the estimation in which WashingTON IRVING, in this biography, holds the sneaking, prying, envious, selfish Scotch toady, BOSWELL, who labored so hard to undervalue GOLDSMITH in the
eyes of JOHNSON, and in various ways to undermine his plans for bettering his condition, and enhancing the character of his social position. It is fortunate that the best life of GOLDSMITH should also contain the best incidental sketch of his mean traducer. The illustrations of the work are well designed and engraved, and clearly printed: while the beautifully tinted, strong paper and neat binding leave nothing to be desired.
THE WITS AND BEAUX OF SOCIETY. BY GRACE and PHILIP WHARTON. With Illustrations from Drawings by H. K. BROWNE and JAMES GODWIN. In one Volume: pp. 481. New-York: HARPER AND BRothers.
THIS is a book to be read piece-meal. The sketches are graphic and spirited, and they have the great merit of not being over-written. But the beaux of the olden time were too much alike in their general characteristics to make their several histories pleasant reading 'at a sitting:' at most, we should advise the consideration of two at a time, until the whole series, nineteen in number, including the 'wits,' down to THEODORE HOOK and SYDNEY SMITH, of our day and generation, had been accomplished. BEAU NASH and BEAU BRUMMELL, with the 'doings' of the one, and the sayings of the other, are well known to fame; yet there are some 'features' of each presented in this book which will be new, we think, to many readers. Judging from our own too little acquaintance with the other worthies mentioned, we take it that the sketches of GEORGE VILLIERS, Second Duke of Buckingham, Count DE GRAMMONT, Lord ROCHESTER, CONGREVE, the Abbé SCARRON, (the 'laughing' wretch !) ROCHEFOUCAULT, and the Duc de ST. SIMON, will convey to the American reader much fresh and entertaining matter. After all, however, it is sad to see what a heartless and profligate set most of the beaux and wits of the olden times were. One sickens at the thought that such 'bright particular stars' in their artificial firmament as BRUMMELL and LOVELACE, (the latter not included, we are somewhat surprised to see, in this collection,) should have sunk into such utter darkness before the close of their varied but unhappy career. The annals of the 'wits' in this volume contain a striking moral application. They show how little the sparkling attributes so effectively portrayed conferred happiness; how far more the rare, though certainly real touches of genuine feeling and strong affection which here and there appear in the lives of the most thoughtless, elevate the character in youth, or console the spirit in age. Happily, the time has come when mere 'wits,' as a distinct class, are repudiated; when good feeling, general intelligence, and personal probity are required as 'a compensation for repartees or practical jokes.'
And apropos of this: we are glad to see that THEODORE Hook and his memory are set down for 'what they are worth,' and what they teach. Since we read, three or four years ago, in a memoir of Hook, that he ‘had a contempt for Hood' who was as much beyond himself as a wit and humorist as he was as a MAN, with a warm heart in his bosom - we have believed thoroughly in the truth of the picture here drawn of the heartless, soulless joker. That he envied HOOD, and was annoyed at his superiority over him in the very qual
ities upon which he ostentatiously prided himself, is abundantly apparent. Hook was a maker of puns — puns dragged in by ear and horn' into all conversations, whether appropriate or not: Hoop, on the contrary, was an utterer of puns which sprang from the occasion, and were as much a part of himself' as his nose. Hook dug for puns: he lay in ambush for them: but the game was seldom worth the trouble. He was a jester,' we read; a fool, in many senses; although he did not, like SOLOMON's fool, say in his heart very much. He jested away even the practicals of life: jested himself into disgrace, into prison, into contempt, into the basest employment, that of a libeller. He was a certified jester. He had all the impudence, all the readiness, all the indifference of a jester - and a jester he was.' Yes: and the biographist and truthful commentator might have added, in our expressive American phrase, 'he wasn't any thing else.' His 'practical jokes' were not simple annoyances, practised upon innocent people: they were only deliberate cruelties, which could only have originated with a thoroughly heartless man - a 'funny man.' Heaven save us from the companionship of a merely Funny Man!'
THE WORKS OF FRANCIS BACON, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans, and Lord High Chancellor of England. Volume XIV.; being Volume IV. of the Literary and Professional Works. Boston: BROWN AND TAGGARD.
As each successive volume of this superb edition of BACON's works is printed, we feel an increased gratitude to the enterprising publishers who have undertaken, and thus far with entire success, to present to the public a most perfect collection of the writings of one of the greatest men that ever lived. These volumes are just the right size; with just the proper type; with the best paper, a choice cream-color, indicating the richness of the material within. Whoever aspires to a library should place this edition on the shelves. With the design of contributing our mite toward rescuing the character of Lord BACON from the envious detractors of his good name, we have lately printed in the body of our Magazine some admirable articles by Judge EDMONDS. These, with several critical notices which have already appeared in our pages, will testify our appreciation of the man. In the volume now placed on our table we have enough in BACON's 'Confession of Faith,' to show how this great man was also the humble Christian. Let certain philosophers of the progressive school, especially that class who are accustomed to speak of the sayings and doings of 'JESUS' with a patronizing complacency, read the 'Confession' of one before whose intellect their own dwarfs into insignificance. Let them regard his humble faith in 'CHRIST the SAVIOUR,' and, if they can, let them profit by it.
Beside the Confession of Faith,' we have the 'Sacred Meditations,' 'Translations of Certain Psalms,' and 'Christian Paradoxes.' Then comes the commencement of the 'Professional Works,' embracing in this volume 'Maxims of the Law,' 'Reading on the Statute of Uses,' 'The Use of the Law.' We earnestly hope that the publishers who have shown so much enterprise in getting out this work will reap something more substantial than the praise of the critics. In short, we trust the public will add the proof of their appreciation by ample orders. Mr. E. FRENCH, Number 35 Cedar-street, is the Agent for New-York.
INTERMINGLED NOTES OF KNICKERBOCKER EDITORIAL NARRATIVE AND CORRESPONDence. - The accidental mislayal (that strikes us as a good word, whether found in any of the differing authentic' dictionaries or not) of one or two letters from TYRONE POWER, and Gentleman ABBOTT,' both of whom contributed to our pages long years ago, has prevented our carrying out, in the present number, the 'contrast in reminiscence,' of which we spake, in concluding our recollections of the late Rev. HENRY B. BASCOM, the most eloquent of all the eminent orators in the Methodist connection. The personal reminiscences of 'Poor POWER' and 'Gentleman ABBOTT,' (both true MEN and true GENTLEMEN,') are engendered, however, if not recorded and our readers shall hear from and of them, in our next number. In the mean time, let us revive the recollection of a matter which is as good as a play :' so at least thought WASHINGTON IRVING, (with love and reverence let his name always be spoken in these pages!) through whose kind instrumentality — exercised for us in this as in an hundred similar cases - we received it. It will make our railroad friends, and 'their name is legion' throughout the country, laugh consumedly.
'Well, what was it? — and who was it written by? Don't keep us waiting all day.'
'Jes 80-yaës!' as JACK DOWNING would say: and it was no less a man than the 'immortal JACK DOWNING,' (the political 'crittur,' we mean, not the no less clever original 'JACK,' Mr. SEBA SMITH,) Mr. CHARLES AUGustus Davis, who wrote for us
'The First Locomotibe,'
just thirty years, as he said in his opening, after the first steam-boat of FULTON ascended the Hudson, being the first practical application of a steam-engine to water conveyance. 'It is not my purpose,' he adds satirically, 'to enter the list of disputants, lately sprung up, striving to prove that the immortal FULTON was not the first successful projector of a steam-boat. In common with the world, I can but mourn over the poverty of history, that tells not of any previous successful effort of the kind. Steam, no doubt, was known before. The irst tea-kettle that was hung over a fire, furnished a clear development of that important agent. But all I can say now is, that I never heard of a steam-boat, before the Clermont' moved her paddles on the Hudson. The invention was not only of this country, but no other country yet knew of it. In fact the