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come under their own observation. Others will even intimate that they have got, or know where they could obtain, two or three ounces a day; but in most instances their beggarly condition gives the lie to their assertions. There is an equal diversity of opinion with respect to the fertility of various placers (auriferous spots); but I believe that there is but little difference in the disposition of their products. In this country, the experienced miners of Peru and Mexico are often at fault; superior dexterity is acquired by practice, but veteran diggers and scientific miners are not more successful than the novice. About twelve places have been sufficiently tested to be found worth labour; but even at these the greatest uncertainty prevails. You may select a spot, and make an ounce by mid-day, yet continue working for twenty-four hours afterwards, without making that quantity.'--pp. 116, 117.

One of the greatest evils attending the operations at the diggings,' is the prospect they hold out to individuals to acquire wealth by their own independent labours. This is in fact a dissolution of one of the strongest bonds of social union. But this evil does not last long in its first virulence. Mr. Shaw tells us that the most profitable course of action is to work systematically ‘in companies—the gang-system, properly directed, is usually « found to have the most fruitful results. Now, working in gangs is the embryo of civilised society, and, with organised Lynchlaw, presents a chief element of complete social existence, in a form whose simplicity makes it an interesting study in political science. The severe punishment of a party of marauding Indians reminds us of the most thrilling narratives of life in the back woods, before the Red Man was so generally subdued. We observe that the last • President's message' recommends an increase of the United States army, on account of Indian depredations in the Gold State,--a dangerous step for a republic; and, judging from the vigour with which Mr. Shaw and his

companions chastised the robbers above mentioned, not altogether justifiable on the plea of necessity. The Parisians, the Cape colonists, and the English tax-payers, could perhaps read a few lessons to Brother Jonathan on this matter, which he might do well to ponder.

The gold-seeker's' retreat, in which his dangers were even greater than in his journey to the diggings, summons before us almost irresistibly Milton's description of the avenging treasure-keeper; thuugh here the crime was only in intent, not in performance. Fate seems to follow him as the

gryphon through the wilderness With winged course, o'er hill or mossy dale Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth Had from his wakeful custody purloined The guarded gold ..... O'er bog, or steep, through straight, rough, dense, or rare.'


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The road to Stockton lay through a deluged country, so that our author was almost drowned in fording a river; and was in frequent terror of the wolves, bears, and human savages of the wilderness. Arrived at the town, he finds that Californians have as little to throw away upon an inefficient workman as other people; and, since he has discovered that he cannot dig,' and is ashamed to beg, or to assume the semi-mendicant character of those who are there denominated loafers,' after many singular and rather humiliating adventures, with no certain employment, and bread selling at six shillings the loaf, he hires himself to a Mormon housekeeper, at the Jesuit Missions of Dolores, in a capacity menial in itself

, but where he seems to have been respected by the citizens. Nemesis, however, does not quit him till he is fairly out of the country, and sailing through Polynesia to Sydney, and finally home to England; whither, as we have said, he returned a wiser and a sadder man,' poorer in pocket but richer in experience, and more truly wealthy, perhaps, than if his 'golden dreams' had not been exchanged for the 'waking realities' which he had to encounter. We must add one concluding remark on the picture which this and other works present us of Californian doings. The labours and sufferings are not those of slaves, or of oppressed natives, as was the case with American gold regions formerly discovered; so that, with whatever retrogression of society the present state of this district may offend us, it bears at least one distinct mark of the general advance of civilization, on whose account we do well to rejoice.

*A Trip to Mexico' takes us towards the same regions of the globe as the Californian narrative above noticed, but under more agreeable auspices. Vera Cruz, Puebla, the city of Mexico, Guanaxato, and its mines—Tepic, with its English cotton-factory—the town of Panama and the isthmus, which promises to become one of the great thoroughfares of the world—are described with some vigour. Mexico presents singular combinations of the oldest and the newest importations of European habits and institutions. Anglo-Saxon manufactories, and United States' enterprise in every form, jostle strangely with Spanish catholicism, and savage robberies of an ultra Calabrian or Romaic order. We are happy to learn that, during the whole of the war, the factory at Tepic 'was never stopped for a single day. The road across the isthmus from Panama to Chagres is not much exposed to robbery. Half-idling workmen were found employed on the railway: the district presents few difficulties in the way of the undertaking, but little seemed to be doing. Since our author's trip, however, we have abundant proof that there can be no doubt of the speedy establishment of communication by this, or a more advantageous route.

"Across the Atlantic' proudly vindicates for itself the charac• ter of being perfectly superficial, and of containing nothing that • is either useful on the one hand, or philosophical on the other.' We believe, however, that its readers will find the superficiality more than amusing, and much that, if not philosophical, is near akin to it. Few more vivid and truthful sketches of cities and city life could be referred to than the record of 'first impressions' of Boston. The continental' aspect of some of its streets, of its bright sky, and even of its costumes, is a feature which we do not recollect to have seen so clearly depicted elsewhere. Interspersed with topographical remarks, are some humorous delineations of character, and entertaining fictions; at least we suppose the reader is not expected to regard them as founded on fact. The graphic powers of the writer, and his undeniable ability to appreciate character both national and individual, might, we think, have been a sufficient inducement to him strictly to confine these fancy sketches (if he deemed them absolutely necessary) to illustrations of the American Anglo-Saxon type of nationality. We think they deviate unnecessarily from this legitimate course, and give an appearance of book-making’ to the whole. But we have a graver charge to bring against the writer. On some serious subjects he has pronounced, by inference, sweeping condemnations in too trilling a tone; and on one most important topic, we mean that of slavery, his principle of judgment (if principle it may be called) is most defective. We must protest against the assumption, that, because many of those who are deprived of the first rights of humanity are fat and sleek, and physically well to do, their intellectual and moral degradation, and that of those who hold them in bondage, is a matter of indifference. We are sure that there are not a few of the enslaved population of the United States who are quite equal in native intellect to the author of Across the Atlantic;' some escaped slaves have performed feats of mental energy and skill, of which we may, without breach of courtesy, deem him incapable ; and though good feed- ing and smart work, under a humane master in a healthy settlement of Virginia or the Carolinas, might conduce more to bodily health than late hours and law studies in chambers,' or driving the quill in sketching“ Cantabs,' and apologising for the American • domestic institution,' we much question whether such gentlemen would not appeal most piteously to the phantom called justice, or the foolish fancy yclept liberty, if they were compelled to make the exchange. American sensitiveness, in regard to European observations on the social conventionalities of the United States, is very fairly and reasonably dealt with in the chapter entitled English Writers on America. The character of American


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women, as it presented itself to an English gentleman, gives us considerable hope of improvements in the direction of the comme il faut' on the part of the other sex. The writer's testimony on this head is to ourselves highly satisfactory. Part of it is as follows:

*On the very first Sunday that I spent in America, and while I still looked on the objects around me through my English-coloured spectacles, as it were, I was surprised to see so many stylish and elegant women handed out of their pews at church by persons who, at that time, appeared to me to be policemen in plain clothes, or attorneys’ clerks in their Sunday costumes, but who were in reality the husbands and brothers of these ladies.'-p. 231.

The first part of the title of Mr. Pridham's work, viz. · Kossuth and Magyar Land,' tends rather to discredit a very interesting book; inasmuch as there is almost the least possible notice of Kossuth, and the account of Magyar Land occupies only a part of the sixth chapter, and no other section of the book at all. As the record of a gallant piece of modern knight-errantry, we hardly know its equal. Mr. Pridham's resolution to penetrate into Hungary, and his successful evasion of the most clever system of espionage in the world, have produced a thoroughly interesting romance. At an earlier period of the war, and with a due use of the information which so enterprising a reporter would have acquired, important services might have been conferred by him on the cause of Hungarian freedom, such as would have entitled him to the reputation, among the friends of Magyar Land, of splendide mendax.' Had we space, we should have been inclined to notice at more length the barbarous treatment which Mr. Pridham met with from Austrian authorities, and the inefficient representation of English political principles abroad. We have a contrast drawn between the United States and Britain, in reference to foreign representation, very unfavourable to the latter. In looking back to ancient history, we imagine that we trace the more advantageous position of republics in their relations with other countries, and with their dependencies; and there would appear to be good reason for affirming that the worse side of the monarchical and aristocratic elements of mixed constitutions, makes itself chiefly manifest in matters of diplomacy and foreign representation, as also in colonial affairs. But we have not opportunity to pursue this subject farther; and must leave our review of Recent Books on Travel, by expressing the hope that future sketches of adventure may increasingly characterized by the good sense, and useful as well as ainusing information, which (with whatever drawbacks) are not wanting in any of the volumes we have noticed in this

paper. NO. XXIX.







ART. IV.-Die Pflanze und ihr Leben. Populäre Vorträge. Von Art

Dr. M. J. SCHLEIDEN, Professor zu Jena. The Plant and its Life. Popular Lectures by Dr. M. J. SCHLEIDEN,

Professor at Jena. What sort of idea unscientific people generally have of botany is a question which, if candidly answered, might be a source of some amusement. Many confine the whole matter to vague recollections of hard words hastily conned at school, or to still harder ones penned on the modest face of little sticks in their conservatory. Out-door botany they think rather mythical than otherwise, for they connect it only with such plants as the cactus and mimosa, not at all with the oak and the daisy. Some again have a righteous horror of a science which they are ready to believe deals only in tin boxes, blotting paper, and skeletonsscience of dead things—a sort of skilful distillery for whatsoever is dry and useless. Far be it from us to censure an abhorrence of botany when so viewed. Then others have a distant and respectful belief in it as a great science, to be at all understood only by aid of great books, great plates, great journeys, great collections of defunct specimens, such as they cannot compass, and therefore they remain in deferential ignorance. These, however, and many beside, tacitly agree in consigning it to the care of its friends, like an unfortunate lunatic with whom they bave no connexion, and cannot understand, but would like to see comfortably provided for.

It is high time to outgrow such ideas now that botanists are something beyond the mere keepers of herbariums, whose science ends in the classification of dead leaves and stalks, and the utterance of oracular mysteries shaped in Latin syllables. If people would only have a little more faith in their own powers of comprehension in this matter-would open theireyes and investigate it with somewhat of the energy they are able to devote elsewhere, botany would no longer appear to them a dull, isolated study, but a very spirit animating the dry bones around them. It would be found to consist, not in the mere names of trees and flowers, but in the history of their life and growth in all places and climates, with their endless varieties, affinities, and beauties: a life ever progressive and productive, unlike that of the crystal which necessarily ceases with its perfection. The history of the crystal can be that of its rise only. After passing through a series of changes, it ceases to be, in the very moment that it arrives at its last perfect stage. The plant, however, in its powers of growth and fructification, possesses, so to speak, a never-ending life.

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