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In January, 1845, the specie was to specie clause, as far as government the circulation as four to one ; having transactions in relation to the army are increased from a proportion of one to concerned. And when the war on our four, in 1839, when those institutions own territory is carried on on a gigantic were required to resume payments. scale, the financial operations of the The large expenditure of the govern- Treasury Department exercise a great ment in that quarter, in specie, may influence upon money affairs generally. produce a considerable curtailment of It is the case, that capital leaves, for the the specie they hold—but not to an in- most part, those channels of employjurious extent. Texas may be greatly ment that it has occupied during peace, benefited by the war expenditure ; but and creates new interests, dependent as the specie will not leave the country, upon a war expedition. The difficulbut pass from the hands of contractors ties that environed this country during and soldiers into general circulation, it the last war with England, growing out will not affect unfavorably the general of the scarcity of manufactures, and business, unless, as is usually the case the small capital of the country, have in times of political difficulties, a dis- now, to some extent, been remedied, by position to hoard springs up, causing the natural growth and prosperity during coin to disappear from circulation. A thirty years of profound peace. state of war enforces, in a degree, the
TALES OF THE SOUTH AND WEST.*
English critics have noticed, as a trait in Mr. Simms, authors certainly entitled to American literature now becoming a veri- honorable mention. table something, the facility of invention Not to speak of the finish, the humor, and power, with skill of execution, of our the delicate grace of Irving, in his Dutch writers of fiction. American tales are at a and English tales; without referring to the premium at this present writing, in London fine invention, ærial fancy, and purely oriand Edinburgh, and are employed to eke ginal vein of Hawthorne, in bis admirable out the pages of some of the most flourish. fancy sketches and admirable pictures ing of their magazines. From English of New-England romances, characters, and critics of the present dynasty have come manners, and that practical mingling of some of the most generous praises of Ame- shrewduess and mysticism; entirely exrican authors, as from Jerrold, Miss Bar- cluding the domestic histories of Mr. rett, and even Dickens, who at first copied Dana, so earnest and true, instinct with Irving.
genuine passion, and with its rare accomThe article on American works of fic- paniment, deep, rich, “marrowy” sentition, in the Foreign and Colonial Quarterly ment, the very breath of our intellectual Review, some three years since, was much and sensitive life ; and leaving entirely out the honestest and most liberal piece of criti- of question the powerful fictions of Brown cism we have seen on American romance; and Cooper, we still can point to a large body but its excellence is in its general judg- of writers of fiction, tales, “ miniature noment almost wholly : inasmuch as many vels,” (which Schlegel thought the best capital writers are not even mentioned, form of the novel,) and narrative sketches, while inferior scribes occupy their place affording convincing proof, if any could be to their exclusion. Such sins of omis wanting, that imagination, at least ado sion and commission can result only from quate to the production of a prose fiction ignorance of their works. Dr. Bird, Mr. of the first class, and creative power, are Ware, and Mr. Carlton receive a just sen- not wanting here, and which, employed on tence; whilst we read not a word respec- American themes, whether of history, ing Mr. Dana, Mr. Mathews, Mr. Poe, or character or manners, legend or landscape, cannot fail to give our literature a Indian, negro or early settler, and the innational character, which, indeed, it is terest varies accordingly. European readevery day acquiring.
* Wiley & Putnam's Library of American Books." Western Clearings." By Mrs. C. M. Kirkland. “ The Wilderness and the War-Path." By James Hall. “ The Wigwam and the Cabin."-First and second series. By W. Gilmore Simms." Prairie Land.” By Mrs. Farnham. Harper & Brothers.
ers cannot be supposed to read with suffiThus, beside the genuine originals we cient knowledge, or with analogous feeling have mentioned, [Irving, Dana, Hawth- of patriotic interest, and hence these nation. orne, Brown, Cooper, Poe and Irving,] we al and local narratives lose for them a strihave to fill out a good list of tale-tellers; king and peculiar charm. To us, Americans, Miss Leslie, a sort of modernized Miss for this reason, they offer a very strong atBurney on a smaller scale, and like her, traction, independent of the genius involv. expert in strong satire of vulgarity; Miss ed in the conception of them, or the artistic Sedgwick, pleasing in her home pictures skill employed in their execution. and tales for children, and pre-eminent We have for the West, Judge Hall and among American female writers; Mrs. Mrs. Kirkland ; for the South, Mr. Simms; Kirkland, the cleverest sketcher of western for New-England, Mr. Hawthorne; Dutch manners we have, and the best western ra- New-York has her Irving; for revolutionconteur, at the same time ; not in the same ary historical novelists, Cooper and Neal, line with Judge Hall or any other western [both of whom might have been trimmed writer, but in a class unique and indivi- down into good writers of novelettes) ; dual. Of the two Neals, John has tact Philadelphia has her Brown; Virginia, and power; Joseph, humor, (of the Wirt. The South-west is ably represented, broadest) and copiousness. The Portland so far as Texas is concerned, by a spirited writers are expert in a love history or life. writer of interesting adventure, in the assurance story; while the Philadelphians Americau Review, though the best picare best in city scenes of local and burlesque tures of the life of the planter and society humor. Briggs is quite at home in a sati- in general, in the South-west, have been rical tale, with his ingenuity, tact, keen painted by a German-Seatsfield. The river observation and dry humor. Hoffman can scenes, and personal histories of the throw off a better hunting or sporting story Creole and emigrant planters-his capital than any writer we have. Mathews has analysis of democracy and the banking sysboth humor and pathetic skill, and in his tem ; his Creole balls and dinners, are inMotley Book has done some excellent imitable. We must honestly profess ourthings. Sands left some laughable pieces, selves ardent admirers of the foreigners verging on caricature.
At different times, who so easily, so truly, so vividly descrieven Mr. Bryant, Leggett, and many oth- bed, what appears mysteries to most of us, ers, have published very readable efforts of at the North-west, with regard to the instithis kind. The critic in the Quarterly re- tutions and manner of life of the South. ferred to, says, and says handsomely, with what acute eyes did not this German though truly : “We rarely, if ever, take remark upon apparent paradoxical inconsisop an American Annual or Magazine, tencies in the Southern character, and how without finding some one contribution in- willingly, how lightly does his style glide dividually racy, and without any peer or and flow in those admirable conversations prototype on this side of the ocean. With at table, or on board of steam-boats, which the same critic we heartily agree, that teach us so much more of practical political though more unpretending in form thau philosophy, than the elaborate disquisitions the regular novel, the skill of tale writers, of Detsequeville. with their best attempts, "contains more New-Orleans, that great mart of comcharacteristic excellence than is to be found merce and city of pleasure combined, is in the libraryofaccredited novels." We have still to be painted. We could point' to no one admirable novel except perhaps the writers who might do something of what Pilot; all Cooper's fictions, admirable as we suggest ; the writer of some admirable they are in scenes and particular descrip- letters in Arcturus might unite more study tions, being confessedly, even according to of the town, as the Paris of the South-west, Mr. Simms, Cooper's heartiest critic, ex- to represent it vividly and picturesquely. cellent only in those passages, and abound- Mr. Simms ought to be able to do his part, ing in faults elsewhere. But we do pos- though he has confined himself more to Bess, without dispute, a body of expert his native state and its vicinity. Mr. Briggs story-tellers, to be cherished and made might revive old recollections, and give much of, and to be (a serious climax] ste- original impressions of that [in some resREOTYPED.
pects we must consider it, at least] most Many of these tales have a sectional remarkable city of our country. character and reputation. They are, pro- For the West, Mary Claver, the most fessedly, sectionai in their choice of sub- agreeable and original of American female ject and back-grounds. It is a history of writers, the equal, not the imitator of Miss love or hate, to be sure; but the locality is Mitford, is one of the best writers of western laid in Illinois, Michigan or South Caro- sketches and manners we have seen; she lina, with the scenery peculiar to those re- pursues a course, and occupies a promi. gions. It is a love-history, but of planter, nence in historic authorship, quite dis
tinct from Judge Hall. The latter writer painted. Judge Hall seems to be most at illustrates rather the historical romance of home in his romantic legends and domesthe west-especially that of Indian and tic history of the early French settlers, their French settlers' life, than the manner of manners, customs, character and disposithe present race of emigrants. Mrs. Kirk. tion. He is an enthusiastic (preserving the land is as much at home in Michigan as proprieties of the respectable, gentlemanly, the Judge is in Illinois. Her sprightliness, JUDICIAL author, ] lover and describer of good sense, high feeling, keen penetration, western scenery and life. His narrative is are inexhaustible, and her style is a clear clear, easy, natural, continuous. If he has and natural reflection of these fine qualities. none of the giant's power of genius, he is This writer is, perhaps, the best sketcher we also without its harshness, abruptness, and have, as Mrs. Farnham is the best writer of occasional extravagances. He is a remarkwestern tales. Her circle is apparently ably equable writer, and if we may infer, confined to that region; but why it should from the cast of his style and his idiomatic be so, does not follow, necessarily, or by terms, something of a purist, in his notions any equal places. Though after the uni- of English composition. His sentimental versal applause with which her western reflections evince thought and feeling, and tales have been received, what can we though by no means profound, are invarisay of Prairie Land ? what new tri- ably just and liberal. We have marked a bute can we bring to her grace, humor and few sentences of this description, which naturalness? Mrs. Farnham is the Miss we will transcribe: “They who decry feBurney of the new settlements, (not the male beauty as mere vanity, are but superMadame d'Arblay, for Evelina is the best ficially versed in the movements of the huof the fictions of that writer, as well as the man heart. To speak of it lightly as an earliest ) Her ordinary vision is not con- outward show, as an ephemeral possession, fined to the city or village, but flourishes that blooms and is blighted with the passing also in the back-woods. The broad vul- season, may be very plausible, but it is also garity, the rustic proneness, the senseless very fallacious. The beauty of a woman pretensions of a certain class of vulgaris a substai tial quality of such value, that minds the world over, is to be found there is scarcely a doubt whether it be not wherever real coarseness but affected fasti- the pearl of price, the most precious gift diousness exists. Mrs. Clavers, with all of nature. It is the talisman of her power, her satire of such persons, has nothing of the agent and the symbolof her sovereignty. the same quality in her own writings, a Men not only admire, but do homage to it; criticism that cannot be so justly passed they not merely love, but worship. it. upon the authoress of Evelina, who cher. Wealth, intellect, and attainments sink into ished a certain artificial gentility, the re- nothing in comparison with this power, verse in appearance of vulgarity, but still which outshines while it adorns and viviits invariable accompaniment. The hu- fies them all. It is so irresistibly attractive mor of Prairie Land is gay and sympathe- as to produce a powerful reactive influence tic, as well as keen and satirical. Sho on the character of its possessor. The can jest as well as ridicule; she laughs beautiful girl soon becomes conscious of a with, as often as she laughs at, her char- power that elevates her above her comacters.
panions. The love of admiration plants We have previously written fully of the itself deeply in her mind, and the desire to merits of Mr. Simms' Wigwam and Cabin. deserve and win that tribute inspires her We know not anything we can add to our thoughts and polishes her manners. The previous judgment, save in the way of par- ambition to please becomes a ruling pasallel with the somewhat similar series of sion; and no woman of superior personal tales by Judge Hall, the western historian, attractions ever made that attempt in vain. par excellence. Books are accomplished Politeness and gracefulness grow out of raconteurs, but Mr. Simms brings more of the continual effort to gain approbation ; the novelist's art, and the concentrated force unless, indeed, where the defect of mind of the practised writer to his aid, than the is so great as to substitute arrogance and Judge appears to us to possess, or to be self-conceit." able to control. In level passages, Hall Judge Hall holds a pleasing pencil, and is generally the neater writer, always cor- with which he has sketched many a fair rect and pleasing: yet Mr. Simms throws scene. His descriptions of the prairie scatmore power, passion and energy into his tered through all of his tales, are peculiarly narratives. The Judge is something of a well done. humorous satirist, and indulges in a playful Judge Hall has been very justly classified vein of innocent raillery, which we are not by a judicious critic, as a Western Irving, apt to nieet in the pages of the southern without his force of humor or fertility of novelist. Making a fair allowance for the resources; comparatively a feebler writer, difference between the Indian in the south yet still well worthy of a place among our or at the west, we still think Mr. Simms' first American standards. For Irving's Indians the most truly and graphically rich humor and charming description, you
find in him agreeable pleasantry: He has constructed with practised art, (Mr. Simms not equal fineness, yet as much truth of has at least as much judgment as invention) sentiment. In style he is equally pure, and thoroughly American. In these nova though by no means as rich and musical. elettes the interest is always well sustain
If Judge Hall is justly styled a Western ed; sometimes to a pitch of painful interIrving, Mr. Simms may be at least as appro- est, especially in the first series of these priately called the Cooper of the South. tales, as in the very first of the volume and For, with his favorite novelist, the Southern the last work. Mr. Simms, besides, as writer enjoys in common many of his best critic and miscellaneous writer no less qualities; his directness, manliness, force than an imaginative writer, is the foremost and skill in painting details. Mr. Simms writer of the South, and is naturally the has produced no long work of the same idol of those generous critics whose blood sustained interest and power as the Pilot, runs warmer than in these Hyperborean but he has done many capital things which regions. He has identified himself with either his Northern rival cannot execute, their feelings and institutions, and labors or will not attempt.
manfully to earn an honorable place for his In shorter tales, each of which embodies native state, not only in a political, but also all the interest and concentrates the power in a literary point of view. He is employed of a fiction of higher pretensions of Indian now in illustrating the lives and characters and Planters' life, our southerner is at the of certain of the noblest sons of the Southhead of a very respectable class of writers. the Marions and Smiths—and also of the He is a faithful painter, also, of negro char- greatest men of the Revolution, one of the acter, and perfectly at home with the he- most brilliant of whom, Paul Jones, he will roes, the average society and current man- worthily history as one of the wisest and ners of the south. He is admirable in his most gallant spirits (for he was both wary personal histories, as of Boone; in his local and bold, prudent and fearless) of our scenery, especially in Carolina and Geor- heroic era. gia. His narrative is clear, racy, natural,
A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE LATE OCCURRENCES IN POLAND.
The tragedy which was playing in the that nation unanimous ?—Had this been the 80 called Republic of Cracow, and in Galli- case, all the troops and powers of the three cia, is at an end, and the debut of the actors empires would have been insufficient to has been such that they cannot expect pro- oppose their will. This question has either motion, and only the worst reward. If we been wilfully neglected by the leaders, or cast a calm retrospect at this revolution of else they were laboring under a most won14 days, we naturally ask the question: derful hallucination in regard to it. They What did these people want, and what had forgotten that the present generation means and measures did they adopt for the was no longer the same who witnessed the accomplishment of their object, if any division of Poland with tears of bitter they had? The reply to the first question blood; they did not remember, or overis very easily given, and is comprised in looked in the most careless and unpardonthese words: the Independence of Poland, able manner the fact, that the pillars of the in its entire former extent. Twenty mil. nation, the agricultural and working classes, lions of Polanders should become free, and had become strangers to the ancient Polish again have a government of their own! throne; and that in many large districts
But to give a reply to the second ques- they had partially become reconciled to tion: How was this gigantic plan to be ac- the existing state of things—nay, that they complished? Or, where was even a pos- felt well under their present master; they sible chance of success ? might now puz- had forgotten, that in these districts, among zle the leaders as well as the willing tools the traditions of former highly-lauded of this revolt, even since they have time times, only remained a remembrance of for calm consideration and thought. A the oppression and absolute political nongreat nation, (but divided among three existence of these same lower classes. powerful empires) was to rise unanimous- For this reason alone, the attempts at a ly, even as a single individual. But was universal revolution in the Grand Duchy of Posen, and in Western Prussia, had to the inciting part of which could have no remain like single sparks which would ex. effect whatever upon the Poles under the pire without producing any effect, since Prussian and Austrian Government, for ihey could not ignite the entire mass. In these had never become acquainted with those districts the very large masses of the fearful dungeons, or the lash, whicla troops would not at all have been neces- those under Russian dominion knew BO sary to quell an impracticable insurrection, well. The mountains of gold which were had it not probably been the object of the promised in that proclamation could not government to prevent unnecessary blood. sure them much, as their experience showshed, by these imposing measures. ed them different pictures from former
In Cracow the great blow was to be times; and as they had no security for a struck which should give Poland her change of disposition since that time. liberty, and again make her a great and Then the Provisional Government issued an independent country. But how was that instruction for the general and immediate blow struck? We will briefly answer that organization of the revolution, and the question, by a connected review of au- turning point of this instruction was capital thentic occurrences.
punishment; but here also they forgot one If we first look at the locality it may be important point, namely: that such threats called favorable, inasmuch as the military only have effect when an army stands and police vigilance was ouly slight here ; ready to fulfil them. This was the entire and as a conspiracy could advance freely, work of the revolutionists. and here be nourished by many remem- On the morning of the 23d they rejoiced brances of former Polish grandeur. But, and glorified their deeds, as if it had been on the other hand, it was a most unfavor- the morning of a new era in Poland's hisable locality, inasmuch as a revolt once tory; and when, on the following day, even commenced, would have, instead of one, Podgorze was cleared by the Austrians, three gigantic opponents at its very door. they already believed that the white eagle Austrian troops would reach the very heart had completely vanquished the Imperial of the revolution in an hour's march; the double eagle. They even found time and Russians required but little longer time- leisure for disputes and quarrels among and the Prussians could reach it in a two the leading committees ; and for internal days' march. Besides this, Cracow is with intrigues and minor conspiracies, just as if ont any fortification, without any kind of no external enemy was any longer to be natural protection, and contained not even feared. The only acts of Government heavy armament enough, (even had there done by these wiseacres was to send a few been experienced soldiers enough among corps to the support of the revolt in Galthe conspirators to use it) to oppose the licia, and to issue a requisition for the neenemy even for a short time. All these cessary materials of war,--and above all things seem not to have been remembered for money. The main body of the Crauntil the enemy was at the door.
coviennes sent to Wielicskā failed in its But the entire district of Cracow offers attempt upon the treasury; they gained not a single natural fortress which could possession of Wielicska, but found no keep a body of insurgents, and aid them money, against an enemy superior in numbers. On the 26th February that body was toThe Republic has no Swiss mountain pass. tally vanquished near Gdow, by the Auses, no North American forests. Whether trian Colonel, Von Benedek, whereupon a plan of a campaign was drawn or not, Wielicska was atonce relinquished without has never transpired, but is very doubtful; a blow. Once more that corps gathered not even an experienced and valiant mili- on the 27th, and made an attack upon tary chief had been provided-one wbo General Collin, who had already returned should have united courage, circumspec- to Podgorze, but here again they were tion and full experience in tactics to a vanquished and entirely dispersed. celebrated name, in order to obtain the A second corps traversed the Gallician implicit confidence of the people. They mountains, towards Wadowice, but was had thought of obtaining arms, (muskets at this point forced to a retreat, although and scythes,) and had probably imagined only opposed by rustics and a very small that all else would find itself. With this division of military. A similar fate befel self-satisfied belief the leaders allowed the a third corps near Limanowa. Meanrevolt to proceed on the 20th of February, while General Collin had gathered a connominated a Provincial Government on the siderable body of troops at Wadowice, 22d, and vainly believed now to have done with whom he left that place and marched enough by selecting, as members of said by way of Izdebnik to Podgorze. Here, Government, young and inexperienced for the first time, the want of artillery was persons, with whose names no reminiscen- most deeply felt by the insurgents. Not ces were connected, and of whom noth- only, that through the want of it they could ing had ever before been heard. This not make any successful resistance, but Government now issued a proclamation, they suffered fearfully on their retreat by