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It does not lie in the mouths of the men of the present day, to cry out treason, for an attempt to reclaim Texas. If this was part of Burr's design, therefore, it stands well supported at the present period. Meetings called by the drum, have been held all over the South and West, to enlist volunteers, and raise contributions of money and arms in aid of Texas, in her war with Mexico. Persons, high in authority, have organized committees and publicly called upon the people to aid in this war. We condemn in most unmeasured terms, this course, as unnational and of bad faith. But we say, its history is entitled to much consideration, in scanning the events of Burr's time, and the character of his actions. It may act as a species of barometer, by which to measure the variation of political ethics, and the changes of the moral atmosphere.
It is true, that much that we have said of Burr's views respecting Mexico, are speculations. But, it is also true that they are the most rational speculations which the evidence authorizes. They are speculations, too, made disin. terestedly ; with no motive to conceal what is true, or allege what is false. We cast our opinions upon the world, for what they are worth, as founded upon facts, not baseless presumptions, or misguided prejudices.
We cannot close, without a remark, which we make with all charity to the dead; in the hope of being useful to the living. It is, that the history of Aaron Burr's life and troubles, is a triumphant vindication of the truth, that the noblest of all lives, is the good man's life. All nature and all exis. tence, seem bound together by a beautifully arranged system of harmonies. Virtue, is the inspiring agent of them all. This, the laws, and feelings of all men, good and bad prove. The outbreaks of vice and immorality immolate the aggressor, but vindicate the truth. They act like those tremendous geological convulsions, which destroy whole countries, break up mighty seas, engulf immense mountains, annihilate whole races of animals, only to prepare the atmosphere for a more etherial existence. The events of Burr's life were a moral convulsion. He was, while prosperous, impetuous, vindictive, ambitious. He leaned on himself alone, and he fell. Men took up the opinion that he was a bad man; and nothing but a life of strict morality, of Christian resignation, of Job-like meekness, could have dispelled the belief. These, he seemed to despise. He knew he had talents; and
depended on them alone. He was constitutionally cautious and reserved ; and these excited suspicion. Distrust, sometimes, is improperly indulged; but when this distrust is met with a reserved haughty behavior; it becomes the parent of many breaches between men. Burr's manners and sentiments were not calculated to reduce, but rather increase distrust. It is therefore, not wonderful, that he had many and bitter enemies: nor is it strange, that on some occasions he was “more sinned against than sinning." Burr was probably condemned for many things, with regard to which, he had no evil intentions. Many men err, grossly, in carrying out measures, with respect to the propriety of which, ihey depend too much on their own judgments. A man had better be without judgment, than have one which sets itself up against the whole world. Public opinion may not twist the truth ; but it must frequently be the guide of men's actions. We may not turn from virtue to conform to public sentiment ; but we are obliged in questions of utility, as was told the pious Stilling, to consider whether certain means, are approved by the world. As we have said, it is now wholly indifferent to Burr, whether remembered in sorrow or in anger. We have raised the veil which covers his mortal remains, to gather wisdom for the future. Let us see and acknowledge the truth, that an humble dependence upon God, perfect faith in his providences; a strictly moral life ; resignation in persecution, and forbearance and charity towards our fellow men; should be the great guides of life; and will sooner or later do ample justice to any station.
ART. IX.-CRITICAL NOTICES.
1.—Notes on Cuba. Containing an account of the discovery and early
history; a description of the face of the country, ils population, resources and wealth ; its institutions, and the manners and customs of its inhabitants. With directions to travellers visiting the Island. By a Physician. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 1844.
The subject of this volume must be of deep interest to our countrymen-more especially of the Southern States. We would have undertaken an analysis of it ourselves, perhaps, had we not been prevented by the able and elegant article on the same topic in our present number -furnished by one of the first American scholars. We are fortunate in being relieved of the task, by one, so pre-eminently qualified to do it justice in every particular; and to present the result of his labours, in the most chaste and captivating style. Cuba, has been almost a terra incognita to the great mass of readers. With the exception of Mad. Merlin's and the work before us, we know of no attempt in a popular way, to exhibit the features of this most interesting portion of the globe. Works there have been to be sure, but of a different kind. Every thing connected with the history, politics and internal economy of the Island, its manners, customs, soil and products, has been kept out of view. The desultory remarks of travellers, have only increased the appetite for information. Every thing relating to the Island is deeply interesting ; scarcely a newspaper paragraph but what is devoured with avidity. England and America are on the qui vive. The one pondering upon the possible influence, which the declining power of Spain, may give her in the local concerns of the Island; and in consequence, in the local concerns of all North America :-the other, watching over the signs of the times, ready at any moment and at every hazard, to arrest the progress of this grasping empire, before she can plant herself on the Gulf of Mexico—or gain an additional foot of land on the Western Continent. This well timed jealousy of our people, expressed so long ago as 1823, by Mr. Monroe, will perhaps have great influence in preserving to Spain her interesting province; but let it once appear, that the old Castilian grasp is about to be released—and Cuba is an independent government, -or ours forever, whatever England, or Europe itself, may advance to the contrary. This in the natural and necessary course of things.
With regard to the work before us, we are prepared to commend it to general attention ; we have read it with great pleasure and never laid it aside, without regret. It is a plain narrative, simple-unpretendingpractical ; no forced attempt to attain high things in the world of literature—but just what it should be, and in every respect satisfactory. The
information has been collected on the spot, during several years travel and residence. The author entitles his work “Notes"—this, with characteristic modesty. “These rough and unpretending notes,” says he, “were written chiefly to relieve, by mental exercise, the tedium of an invalid's useless life.” The style throughout, though devoid of ornament, is forcible and often eloquent in its simplicity. If there is no rhetoric—there is good sense. Many pictures of tropical scenery, et cetera, are striking and impressive, though there is no apparent attempt to be so. The author, is more concerned with his subject than his style. He has viewed the Island, in all its relations, in the most candid and impartial manner; and if he has not gone enough, into the characteristics of its higher classes of society, he has given sufficient reasons for not doing so. The book should be in every one's hands. To invalids it is invaluable—being the work of an invalid, it gives a thousand useful hints to those in his condi. tion. The author is a physician—a Southern physician-one of our own citizens. He is a close observer, and of highest scientific attainments. His investigations do not rest on the surface of a subject. To all who would seek an adequate acquaintance with Cuba—its manners and customs—its climate, soil and productions—its government, laws and history—its minerals, shells, fishes, birds, quadrupeds, plants—its whole mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms-we commend the work.
2.- Ellen Woodville : or, Life in the West. New York : Henry G.
We would be glad to identify the author—but non constat this. He is evidently in a new field and occupies it well. His sketches are interesting; fact supplies the ground work, and the edifice is well-proportioned. The reader's attention will nowflag, and the many substantial truths developed, will amply repay him. In the delineation of “Western Life and Manners," does, the chief merit of the sketch consist. As a tale, it is deficient in plot, and the characters move about in it, with too much stiffness and too little life. Their parts seem to be committed to memory, for the occasion ; and the language, which should come fresh and warm from the heart, is too often studied and elaborate. In narra. tive, the success is admitted; the incidental reflections are, in general, happy; but in dialogue, that department, most important of all and beyond measure most difficult, a great deficiency is manifest. We are under the impression, that we are criticizing the production of a young
Southerner, and we infer from the work-a fellow-citizen. This has given the whole an interest, in our eye, which predisposes us to hold up its excellencies, which are many, rather than its defects which are few. Right glad are we, to hail any thing of the kind, which emanates from a Southern pen, and welcome into the literary world any
aspirant for its honors. The author of the work before us, has taste and judgment; he has read much, and digested well what he has read. His frequent classical allusions, and quotations of standard English poets and prose writers, prove much for his industry. We have only to regret, a deficiency of imagination, whose highly colored and life giving touches, must always confer upon works of this kind, their chief merit.
The scenes are laid in the wild West, at the time when that desperate spirit of speculation, was abroad in the land ; when towns and villages rose up as by enchantment, figuring larger full often upon maps than upon terra firma ; when millions were squandered upon acres, which at no distant period, were to be worth their surfaces in gold. To exhibit the workings of this mad spirit, in the new formed communities of the West, and the consequent deterioration of morals and manners, is a great aim with the writer. In this, he has not failed. The pictures appear to have been drawn upon the spot, with the eye of an accurate observer. The character of “Goldborough,” is the highest wrought—his cool and calculating villanies—his genius—his profound dissimulation. The progress of "Woodville" through all the stages of the speculator,-the gambler—the suicide, is strongly marked. “Belmont” does not always please, and “Ellen” will inspire more of admiration than of love. “Morgan” is a desperate villain. “Mrs. Thompson,” we vote a nuisance, as our hero and hefdine doubtless did a thousand times over ; and as for Messrs. “Clodpole” and “Pleadit,” their names are quite sufficient. We wish we had more space to allot to the work.
3.--Medicines ; their Uses and Mode of Administration, including a
complete Conspectus of the British Pharmacopæias, an account of all the new remedies, and an Appendix of Formula, by J. Moore Nelligan, M. D., Physician to Jervais-street Hospital, and Lecturer on Materia Medica and Theraputics in the Dublin School of Medicine. With Notes and Additions, conforming it to the Pharmacopæia of the United States, and including all that is new or important in recent improvements. By David MEREDITH REESE, A. M., M. D., late Professor of the Institutes of Medicine and Surgery in the Washington University Baltimore, &c. NewYork: Published by Harper and Brothers, No. 82 Cliff-street. 1844.
The above is a new and valuable work, just presented to the Medical profession and to the public, through the enterprise of the Harpers. Its unassuming title, seems to be indicative of the modest merit of its author. The work of Professor Dunglison on “New Remedies," which was a great desideratum to the practitioner of Medicine at the time it appeared, and which has passed through several editions, seems to be