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ARTICLE X.-NOTICES OF BOOKS.
Life of Andre.*—A valuable and readable book which ought to get attention even in these times, when the public mind is too anxious to warrant the usual amount of new miscellany. It has the more value on the whole for a reason which impairs its artistic merit as a delineation of André; for the author has industriously brought together, especially in the earlier part, many historical notices of the Revolution, which are not even as closely related to his subject as to many other personages of the times. This criticism, indeed, he has fairly anticipated in the preface. The only link between André and some of the incidents portrayed is in the possibility of his having witnessed them. These sketches, like all other lively accounts of our Revolution, confirm the thought we have often entertained of late, that the evils now complained of in our public affairs are "nothing new under the sun." The number, activity, and influence of the native loyalists or tories, the delays and reverses in our military movements, the feuds in Congress and in the army, the jealousies and misunderstandings among our public men, the popular complaints against Washing ton, personal ambition and mercenary intrigue,-these and like obstacles stood in the way of establishing our national independence, even more formidably than they now hinder the mainte nance of our Federal Government. As to André himself—a subject that has never ceased to interest both British and American readers-Mr. Sargent, we believe, has collected all that may be known of him from every source, whether histories or traditions, with discrimination however, as well as zeal. His social life, particularly, is more fully on record here than in any account we have seen, his acquaintance and correspondence with Miss Seward and her friends, and his love for Honora Sneyd, before he joined
*The Life and Career of Major John André, Adjutant General of the British Army in America. By WINTHROP SARGENT. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1861. 12mo. pp. 471. For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $1.50.
the army, his intercourse and adventures as a British officer, his participation in the dramatic gayeties of Philadelphia and New York while the army held those cities, with various articles in prose or verse ascribed to his pen, and especially the Mischianza, a scenic entertainment gotten up in honor of Sir W. Howe, on his departure for England, at which there was a mimic tournament between the "Knights of the Burning Mountain" and those of "the Blended Rose." We must quote a paragraph showing at once the length to which the British officers carried their festivities, making their occupation of our cities memorable for years afterwards among the belles of that day, and also the respect felt among them for Washington.
"When the Mischianza was in every one's mouth, a young person of the family asked of an old [British] Major of artillery, what was the distinction between the Knights of the Mountain and the Rose? Why, child,' quoth he, 'the Knights of the Burning Mountain are tom-fools, and the Knights of the Blended Rose are damned fools-I know of no other difference between them.' Then, placing a hand on either knee, he added, in a tone of unsuppressed mortification- What will Washington think of all this!"
All the details given in this book confirm the impression, from foregoing accounts, of André's amiable character, personal beauty, winning manners, and graceful accomplishments, which made him so great a favorite with his comrades and in society; and the im pression is in keeping with the delicacy and sweetness of the portrait here given in his military costume. We can understand why his own family, and afterwards Miss Seward and her friends, familiarly called him "cher Jean." His personal popularity conspired with his final misfortune to make him so generally and so long commemorated.
It has been supposed that André left his mercantile business and entered the army, on account of his disappointment when Honora Sneyd, whom he so ardently desired to marry, and who was one of the most beautiful and attractive women of her time, became the second wife of Richard Lovell Edgeworth in 1773. But it appears from this narrative that André's commission dated more than two years earlier, and in joining the army he seems to have only taken a step which he had originally desired, and which he had postponed, at the suggestion of friends, in order that he might improve his fortune by business so as to remove the objection made by her guardian and his own mother to their marriage. It
appears, too, that Honora had not so far committed herself to André but that she had another acknowledged suitor before Mr. Edgeworth, in Mr. Thomas Day, the author of "Sandford and Merton." She had not loved André, as he loved her, against all delay and to the end.
The question has been reasonably asked, why, on this side of the water as well as on the other, so much more celebrity has belonged to John André than to Nathan Hale, the American officer, who four years sooner suffered the same penalty for the same offense? The parallel is close between them, but André was the more widely known before his death; there were more to witness his execution; and pity for his doom was inflamed and kept alive by detestation for his coadjutor, Arnold, and regret at his escape. It must be added that at that time, and since, the British people have better appreciated public services than their American kinsOf late years, however, Hale has more of the fame which he so well merited. There is every reason in his character and fate why he should be honored no less than André. Certainly he should be the dearer of the two to his own countrymen; and impartial history must place the two names side by side in merit and in misfortune.
AUTOBIOGRAPHY, LETTERS, AND LITERARY REMAINS OF MRS. PIOZZI (THRALE).*-No reader of Boswell (and who has not read Boswell?) can fail to have his curiosity excited at the prospect of obtaining, from whatever quarter, additional memorabilia of the circle of men and women about Johnson. It is fortunate for posterity that the eavesdroppers and reporters were so numerous. We have read far enough in this new volume to be able to assure our readers that they will find in it a store of thought and anecdote. It throws new light on the relations of Mrs. Thrale to Johnson, and on the stormy scenes attending her second marriage. Her resolution and spirit under the vulgar and unwarrantable attacks made upon her, for presuming to marry the man of her choice, are well exhibited in her letters. She possessed the heart of a woman, in combination with rare sense and intellect. Able
*Autobiography, Letters, and Literary Remains of Mrs. Piozzi (Thrale). Edited with notes and an introductory account of her life and writings. By A. HAYWARD, Esq., Q. C. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 12mo. 1861. pp. 531. For sale in New Haven by T. H. Pease. Price $1.50.
to appreciate the noble qualities of Johnson, who had made her house his home for a score of years, she saw his weak sides and resented his arrogant dictation and reproof in regard to her marriage to Piozzi, in a manner that subdued him to the use of proper language, if not to the exercise of proper feelings. In the letters, notes, poems, reminiscences, scattered over the pages of this volume, we are provided with a choice dish of instructive miscellanea.
MEMOIR OF DANIEL SAFFORD.*-This is a book of which scores of thousands of copies should be everywhere circulated. We do not know of any biography of a religious man which is better calculated to exhibit a correct view of the practical working of Christianity, as we understand it. Deacon Safford was a noble specimen of the best class of New England men. In early life he was a prominent mechanic of Boston, and to the last claimed with pride to be a "blacksmith." For nearly fifty years he was interested in every good work of every name, and gave to each and all most liberally of his money and time. This Memoir, by his wife, is published under the auspices of the American Tract Society of Boston.
YOUNG CHRISTIAN MERCHANT.t-The American Tract Society, of Boston, publish, also, an interesting Memoir of Mr. GEORGE W. BLAKE, who was a young American merchant, resident in Buenos Ayres, S. A. As illustrating how a religious life may be maintained in a foreign land, and in the absence of nearly all those influences which are usually deemed so necessary, this book is specially valuable.
GENIUS OF BURNS.-Mr. William Gowans, to whom the public is indebted for several admirable reprints of choice English
* A Memoir of Daniel Safford. By his Wife. Boston. 1861. 16mo. pp. 384.
American Tract Society.
The Young Christian Merchant. A Memoir of GEORGE W. BLAKE, late of Buenos Ayres, S. A. Compiled chiefly from his journal and letters, by his Sister. American Tract Society. Boston. 1861. 16mo. pp, 296.
The Life and Character of Robert Burns. An Essay and Criticism on his Life and Writings, with quotations from the best passages. By JOHN WILSON, late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. New York: William Gowans. 12mo. 1861. pp. 222.
works, has given us an American edition of the late Professor Wilson's "Genius and Character of Robert Burns." To all admirers of the Ayrshire bard, this volume of genial and appreciative criticism, by a man of the highest literary culture, will be a source of great interest and real enjoyment.
LIFE OF JOHN ANGELL JAMES.*-At the last moment, and only in time to make the announcement of its publication, we have received this work which will be read everywhere in the United States with eager interest. Scarcely another English preacher or religious writer is better known or has been more extensively read by the masses in this country. The Memoir makes, in the Messrs. Carter's very handsome edition, a large volume of six hundred and thirty-three pages, royal octavo.
It includes a very extended autobiography, with full editorial comments, by Rev. R. W. Dale, his colleague and successor, together with a supplementary chapter by T. S. James, Esq., his son. A copious selection has also been made from his letters, of which many of the most interesting were addressed to our countrymen, Rev. Drs. Sprague and Patton. A spirited engraving of the subject of the Memoir faces the title page, which adds much to the value of the book.
GREEN'S HEBREW GRAMMAR.t-This new Hebrew Grammar, by Professor WILLAM HENRY GREEN, of the Theological Seminary at Princeton, mainly based upon the three leading grammars of Gesenius, Ewald, and Nordheimer, has come to hand only in time for us to mention its publication. We shall speak of its peculiar merits hereafter.
WHITON'S FIRST LESSONS IN GREEK.‡-Mr. Whiton, Rector of
*The Life and Letters of John Angell James: including an unfinished autobiography. Edited by R. W. DALE, M. A., his colleague and successor. York. 1861. Royal 8vo. pp. 633.
A Grammar of the Hebrew Language. By WILLIAM HENRY Green, Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, N. J. New York: John Wiley. 1861. 8vo. pp. 322.
First Lessons in Greek: the Beginner's Companion-book to Hadley's Gram. mar. By JAMES MORRIS WHITON, Rector of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Ct. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1861. 18mo. pp. 120,