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broods over a dainty bit of fancy or feeling, until he overflows with affection for it. He dandles a poetic image on his knee, as though it were a child, pats it lovingly on the back, and addresses to it all manner of dainty phrases; and, consequently, he has much of the baby-talk, as well as the warm appreciation, which comes from affection. This billing and cooing is often distasteful, especially if it be employed on some passages which the reader desires to keep sacred from such handling; and we cannot see him approaching a poet like Shelley, without a gesture of impatience; but generally it is far from unpleasant. His "Imagination and Fancy" is a delightful book. "The Indicator" and "The Seer" are filled with essays of peculiar excellence. Hunt's faults of style and thinking are ingrained, and cannot be weeded out by criticism. To get at what is really valuable in his writings, considerable toleration must be exercised towards his effeminacy of manner and daintiness of fancy. That, with all his faults, he has a mind of great delicacy and fulness, a fluent fancy, unrivalled good-will to the whole world, a pervading sweetness of feeling, and that he occasionally displays remarkable clearness of perception, must be cheerfully acknowledged by every reader of his essays.

In these hurried remarks on some of the essayists and critics of the time, we have not noticed two, who are well entitled to an extended consideration. We refer to Thomas Carlyle and John Stuart Mill. The influence of Carlyle on the whole tone of criticism at the present day has been powerfully felt. Mill is principally known on this side of the Atlantic by his work on Logic; but he has been for a number of years a writer for the "Westminster Review," over the signature of "A," and his articles, especially his masterly disquisition on Jeremy Bentham, evince uncommon solidity, fairness, and reach of thought. These are worthy of a more elaborate review than our limits will now permit; but we trust at some early period to repair the deficiency.

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ART. VIII. Travels in North America in the Years 1841-2; with Geological Observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia. By CHARLES LYELL, ESQ., F. R. S., etc. New York: Wiley & Putnam. 1845. 2 vols.


MR. LYELL's book, to borrow a term from his favorite science, may be likened to a pudding-stone, in which the geological plums are thickly set in a thin paste of travel. As the latter is seasoned with praise nearly to the American taste, the whole will be devoured by the omnivorous general reader, although much of it will be somewhat beyond his comprehension. We may try, perhaps, to extract the kernel from some of the geological speculations, for the unprofessional reader's benefit; but we must first entertain him with more generally palatable, not to say more substantial fare.

Although, as we have already intimated, only a small part of these volumes is made up from the materials of an ordinary book of travels, yet as such it is none the worse because the author came to inspect American rocks, rather than American manners. The remarks he does offer are so sensible and discriminating, so evidently thrown out by one who possesses that rare knowledge, how to observe, and who thinks for himself, that we only regret they are so few and cursory, and are a little provoked when he cuts short his observations upon the current topics of the day, and falls to "napping the chuckie stanes "again. Arriving at Boston in midsummer, when nearly deserted of fashionable society, our author hastens at once to Nahant, speaks with delight of the polished rocks he found there, and falls to comparing, not the society and manners, but the shells, with those of Brighton and Margate. The reader will be gratified to learn the curious and very unexpected fact," that they were very much alike, "only a fraction of the whole affording characteristic or peculiar forms." As to his dinner, and the cuisine at the hotels, over which his countrymen commonly delight to grumble, we are left in utmost ignorance, save an incidental observation, that." the Tremont merits its reputation as one of the best hotels in the world"; but he speaks with evident satisfaction of the "roches moutonnées"


- tough old bellwethers they must be- which he met with in the environs of the city. At Bunker Hill, the peculiar reminiscences of the place are all unnoticed, indeed, the monument is only obliquely mentioned, — but an ambiguous allusion is made to some terribly hard scratches on the rocks. Excepting Niagara, which falls unavoidably in his way, he passes with a cold and casual glance all the objects most attractive to the common tourist; but he talks volubly about marl-pits, examines heaps of gravel and all sorts of rubbish, digs about the floors of coal mines, and expatiates with manifest delight upon Big-bone Lick and the Dismal Swamp.

Mr. Lyell's first departure from the ordinary route of travel occurred in an excursion from Geneseo to the northern border of the great coal region at Blossberg, Pennsylvania.

"On this occasion we left the main road, and entered, for the first time, an American stage-coach, having been warned not to raise our expectations too high in regard to the ease or speed of our conveyance. Accordingly, we found that after much fatigue, we had only accomplished a journey of 46 miles in 12 hours, between Geneseo and Dansville. We had four horses; and when I complained at one of the inns that our coachman seemed to take pleasure in driving rapidly over deep ruts and the roughest ground, it was explained to me that this was the first time in his life he had ever attempted to drive any vehicle, whether two or four-wheeled. The coolness and confidence with which every one here is ready to try his hand at any craft is truly amusing." Vol. 1., p. 46.

This is a genuine American characteristic. The English laborer or artisan confines himself to one task, which he makes a business of, and learns to do it well. The coachman, who drives inimitably, has perhaps only a remote conception of the mode in which his horses are harnessed; and, when any part of the apparatus gives way, finds himself literally "in a fix." The Yankee is capital at a succedaneum. If he cannot do any particular thing to perfection, he can do passably well more diverse things than any other mortal. one particular, we venture to say, our author was misinformed, or else the stage-driver spoken of was a recent importation. We doubt if there can be found in all that region a native lad, seven years breeched, who has not tried his hand at driving every kind of vehicle that has fallen in his way.


We have next an "infant phenomenon," in more senses than one; for it seems that he had accumulated a fortune as an editor.

"A few days afterwards I engaged a young man to drive me in a gig from Tioga to Blossberg. On the way, he pointed out, first, his father's property, and then a farm of his own, which he had lately purchased. As he was not yet twenty years of age, I expressed surprise that he had got on so well in the world, when he told me that he had been editor of the Tioga Democrat for several years, but had now sold his share of the newspaper." - Vol. 1., p. 46.

It was in Alabama, if we rightly remember, that the Duke of Saxe Weimar was inquired of on this wise: "Are you the man that wants to go to ? Then I am the gen

tleman that is going to drive you." As the following happened in the State of New-York, at the other extremity of the long range of the Alleghanies, we are compelled to accept this mode of speech as a national characteristic.

"I asked the landlord of the inn at Corning, who was very attentive to his guests, to find my coachman. He immediately called out in his bar-room, Where is the gentleman that brought this man here?' A few days before, a farmer in New York had styled my wife the woman,' though he called his own daughters ladies, and would, I believe, have freely extended that title to their maid-servant." - Vol. 1., p. 49.

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The brief notice of the "Helderberg war" may serve to show the sensible manner in which Mr. Lyell treats such topics. Still more painful scenes have since been enacted; but we have not the heart to continue the narrative down to the present day. Until the laws of the State are fully enforced, and the recent murderers brought to the gallows, our author, on revisiting the country, will be fairly entitled to wave this tone of forbearance, and draw those unfavorable conclusions which it will not be easy for us to gainsay or resist.

"On our way back from Schoharie to Albany, we found the country people in a ferment, a sheriff's officer having been seriously wounded when in the act of distraining for rent, this being the third year of the Helderberg war,' or a successful resistance by an armed tenantry to the legal demands of their landlord, Mr. Van Rensselaer. It appears that a large amount of

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territory on both sides of the river Hudson, now supporting, according to some estimates, a population of 100,000 souls, had long been held in fee by the Van Rensselaer family, the tenants paying a small ground rent. This system of things is regarded by many as not only injurious, because it imposes grievous restraints upon alienation, but as unconstitutional, or contrary to the genius of their political institutions, and tending to create a sort of feudal perpetuity. Some of the leases have already been turned into fees, but many of the tenants were unable to unwilling to pay the prices asked for such conveyances, and de. clared that they had paid rent long enough, and that it was high time that they should be owners of the land.

"A few years ago, when the estates descended from the late General Van Rensselaer to his sons, the attempt to enforce the landlord's rights met with open opposition. The courts of law gave judgment, and the sheriff of Albany having failed to exe cute his process, at length took military force in 1839, but with no better success. The governor of New York was then compelled to back him with the military array of the state, about 700 men, who began the campaign at a day's notice in a severe snow-storm. The tenants are said to have mustered against them 1,500 strong, and the rents were still unpaid, when, in the following year, 1840, the governor, courting popularity, as it should seem, while condemning the recusants in his message, virtually encouraged them by recommending their case to the favorable consideration of the state, hinting at the same time at legislative remedies. Their legislature, however, to their credit, refused to enact these, leaving the case to the ordinary courts of law.

"The whole affair is curious, as demonstrating the impossibility of creating at present in this country a class of landed proprietors deriving their income from the letting of lands upon lease. Every man must occupy his own acres. He who has capital enough to stock a farm can obtain land of his own so cheap as naturally to prefer being his own landlord."— Vol. 1., pp. 55-57.

The next paragraph introduces a topic more creditable to the country. So long as the estimation in which the female sex is held by the mass of the people shall be acknowledged to constitute the best criterion of civilization and refinement, our national character is saved from utter perdition. It was Charles Lamb, we believe, who refused to believe in the existence of any such thing as deference to the fair sex, as a principle, until he should see a gentleman hold his umbrella

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