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readers, we should feel it incumbent upon us to give them copious extracts from it; but as it is, we contine ourselves to a single one, which we are led to select from a belief that its sentiments are in accordance with the spirit now prevalent in our national councils, and with the daily strengthening convictions of all honest men in the community. If we are right in this idea, it is certainly a harbinger of a brighter day in our political horizon than has risen upon us for a long while.
"What is it that preserves our existence as a people? What is it that constitutes us a nation ? Our form of government, our constitution and laws? They are the shell, the outward covering, the body merely. It is a pervading urity of thoughts and feelings and principles, a common aliachment to our federal union and our free institutions, and a common resolve to maintain and uphold thea, that alone bind us together as a nation; this pervading unity is the spirit and the life from which alone our constitution and laws derive their speaking energy and their constraining force, and this unity our party dissensions, if they continue and increase in violence, will first weaken, then destroy. Let this spiri: depart; this life be extinguished, and we shall cease to be one people. Dissolved as a nation, we shall be banded into factions, each seeking as its ultimate object, not the good of the country, but its own supremacy. We shall be banded into taetions, calumniating, distrusting, suspecting, reviling and hating each other, until at last the gratification of this hatred shall become to both parties an overruling necessity, and driven by a force they will have lost the power to resist, they will rush-as in other ages and countries, from similar causes, millions have rushedthey will rush, with an insane alacrity of joy, to the work of mutual destruction."
9. Treatise on the Eye, containing Discoveries of the Causes of meer
and far sightedness, and of the Affections of the Retina, with remarks on the use of Medicines as substitutes for Spectacles. By William Clay WALLACE, Oculist. Second Edition. New York: 12mo. pp. 88.
The ample title of this little treatise gives a very fair idea of the objects of the author. There is unquestionably some claim to originality in
of the observations of the author on several important points in the theory of vision, and his exposition of the anatomical structure of the eyes of different animals adds to our know. ledge of the comparative anatomy of this intricate organ. We find from the Report of the Eighth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, that Sir David Brewster adrerted to our author's labors in the following terms: “One of the most important results of Mr. Wallace's dissections is the discovery of fibres in the retina. These fibres may be rendered distinctly visible. They diverge from the base of the optic nerve, and surround the foramen of Semmering at the extremity of the eye. Sir John Herschell had supposed such fibres to be requisite in the explanation of the theory of vision, and it is therefore doubly interesting to find that they have been actually discovered.”
ART. X-NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
Rotteck's highly popular, and in many respects, excellent “General History of the World,” has been translated by Mr. Frederick Jones, and published in Philadelphia, by C. F. Stollmeyer, in four volumes, 8vo. Mr. Rotteck was of the ultra-liberal school in politics, and his account of historical events is sometimes discolored by the medium through which he views them, but his fidelity and accuracy are unquestioned. We have not found time to compare Mr. Jones's translation with the original; if faithfully done, it forms a highly valuable contribution to our historical literature, as the original is universally acknowledged to be to that of the language in which it is written. We cannot say much for the dress in which it appears. It would have been far better to have omitted the engravings, and laid out the cost of them upon a better paper.
Some five or six weeks since, a new book disappeared from our table almost as soon as we received it. In the hope of its re-appearance, we have deferred providing ourselves with another copy, and we had only read enough of it to know that it contained several pieces of very pretty poetry. We remember its title, and the name of its author—“A Year's Life, by James Russell Lowell”— and we think we remember a beautiful description of woman in a piece called Irene, and some very charming fancies in another called Ianthe, which certainly breathes the inspiration of love, if not of poetry. As to the rest, our recollections are too misty to be written down; we have only a general impression that the poetry was mostly of that descriptive kind which owes much of its interest to a personal acquaintance with the originals from whom the poet has sketched his portraits.
C. S. Francis, 252 Broadway, has collected into a beautiful volume the before scattered “Writings of Charles Sprague,” which are chiefly poetical. Mr. Sprague is a rare instance of union in the same person of an ardent love of letters and the most devoted attention to business. He is a genuine poet and a first-rate banker. He dares to acknowledge his homage to the Nine, in the very temple of the money-changers; and enjoys, at the same time, the most favoring inspirations of the former, and the unlimited confidence and credit of the latter. One part of this assertion needs no proof; for the other, should any doubt it, we refer to the volume of which we have been speaking.
Selections from the Poetical Literature of the West, is the title of a very neat volume which has just been published by U. P. James, of Cincinnati, containing specimens from about forty Western Poets. It came to us too late for present examination, and of course we cannot judge of its merits. We can only welcome it as a new proof that this grand and beautiful region is advancing with the same marvellous rapidity in its intellectual as in its physical
Taylor's Natural History of Society in the Barbarous and Civilized State, has been brought out in a cheap and convenient form, by Messrs. D. Appleton and Co., in the same commendable style in which all their reprints now appear. The subject of this work is, of itself, sufficient to recommend it to general attention; and, although it goes over much of the ground previously occupied by Guizot, it is in no respect superseded by his admirable history.
All the admirers of Scotland's sweetest bard—and who will acknowledge that he is not one-- will be delighted with the volume entitled the “ Life and Land of Burns," which the Messrs. Langley have just published, filled with various reminiscences and particulars about him, that have never before appeared. It would be enough to say that it is a joint tribute to the memory of the poet of nature, by Cunningham, Campbell, and Carlyle; but it has even more than this to recommend it. It has several original letters, never before published in this country, and is altogether one of the pleasantest books that has appeared for a long while.
We have received the sheets of Mr. Bancroft's “History of the United States," - abridged by himself, from his larger work-especially for the use of schools. We are highly gratified to find that the result of his persevering and faithful researches into our early history is thus brought within the reach of our youth by the hand of the historian himself. The work will be in two volumes, 12mo., illustrated by maps and engravings, and must be a highly attractive book to young persons, from the great spirit he throws into his narrative and the fascinations of his style. It will be published forthwith, by Messrs. C. C. Little and James Brown, Boston.
An excellent selection from the dramatic works of Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca, has recently been made by Mr. Sales of Harvard University. It is a most desirable book for the learners of the Spanish language, and as good a one for the purpose as could be put into their hands. The publishers are James Munroe and Co., Boston.
NOTE TO ARTICLE II.-NO. XIV.
We publish the following letter of Mr. Carey, in reply to the review
of his work on Population, in our number for October, 1840, as an act of especial courtesy and respect to him, with a protest against its being taken for a precedent. It would have appeared in the January number of the Review, could we then have found
room for it: Dear Sir,
In the last number of the New York Review, I am made to assert,“ habitually and explicitly,” “the verbal as well as the scientific absurdity that sterility is the character of superior soils, and fertility of inferior ones; or, in plain terms, that the better soils are the worse soils, and the worse soils the better ones."
As the volume referred to contains no such assertion, nor, as I believe, a single statement upon the subject that cannot be established by the authority of the reviewer himself; and as I have entire confidence that there was no intention to misrepresent what I had said, I must believe either that he did not read my book with the attention due to the subject, or that I have not stated my views as clearly as he could have desired. It is not unnatural that I should suppose the fault to lie with him; and that the “ absurdity” which he supposes to exist, would disappear before a more deliberate
perusal of the book he has reviewed. Like most other
persons, feel that it is quite sufficient to be responsible for my own nonsense, without answering for that of which I am not the author; and therefore it is that I trouble you with this letter, containing a brief statement of what I did say of that for which I am responsible — trusting to your justice to afford your readers an opportunity of reading it.
According to the Malthusian doctrine, population tends to increase more rapidly than food; and its growth is accompanied, at every stage, with a tendency to a fall in wages, producing poverty, misery, vice, and death, by which its progress is retarded. The difficulty of obtaining food is supposed to increase with the progress of society. Thus Mr. M'Culloch says : "In despite of im. provements, the difficulty of adding to the supplies of food is progressively augmented as society advances and population becomes dense."
It requires very little inquiry to satisfy us that every step in the progress of the population of England, has been attended with increased facility of obtaining food. Within the last century, the quantity of land required to be brought into cultivation has been
NO. XVI.VOL. VIII.
immense ; yet wheaten bread has taken the place of brown bread, and the consumption of animal food has greatly increased. In Scotland, similar changes are observed. If we compare the present state of things with that which existed when the population was limited to two or three millions, the change has been immeasurably greater. On this continent there has been a constant increase in the quantity of food obtainable in return to any given amount of labor, from the days of King Philip to the present time; observation baving satisfied me that this increase of facility was constant, except where men were employed in making war upon, and plundering and murdering each other. I offered my views in the following propositions :
1. That in the infancy of society the want of capital compels man to depend for a supply of the necessaries of life upon the appropriation of those articles produced by nature without his aid, and he is compelled to roam over extensive tracts of land to obtain sufficient to support existence. He relies exclusively upon the superior soils. *
2. That he is, therefore, compelled to live apart from his fellow men, or to associate with them in very small communities. Population is, consequently, thinly scattered over the land. Fertile land is abundant, but he has not ihe means of rendering it productive.
3. That if successful in the search after food, he does not possess the means of transporting, or of preserving, that which he does not require for immediate consumption. His life is, therefore, a constant alternation of waste and starvation. He is poor and miserable.
4. That with the first accumulation of capital, he acquires the power of resorting to an inferior soil for subsistence. "He finds that a more limited space will supply his wants, and he is enabled to draw nearer to his fellow men, to unite with them in the division of employments, and thus to obtain their co-operation, by which the labor of all is rendered more productive.
5. That with the farther accumulation of capital, he brings into action soils still more inferior,t and with every such change, finds
* The Reviewer says, that I attribute "national poverty and scantiness of food” to the cultivation of the higher, or beller, soils, while riches and plenty of food are supposed to arise from the cultivation of the inferior or poorer soils." The words better and poorer are those of the Reviewer, not mine. The msn who scratches the ground with a stick turns up the superior soil. That which is turned up by the plough is an inferior, not a poorer, one. That which yields coal or iron is still farther inferior, yet not less productive. The soil «f Hlinois is, by situation, inferior to that near Philadelphia. It is not poorer. Superior and inferior are not synonymous with better and poorer. The disciples of Mr. Ricardo have never been agreed upon the definition of their terms; and the consequence is, that a soil is generally considered cither superior or inferior, as may suit the occasion of the moment. ' It would be easy to offer numerous examples
+ The superior soils of England - those which could, with rude machinery, be made to yield a return to labor -- were those of the south. With the increase of capital the inferiur soils of the north — those yielding coal and iron – have