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his memoirs have been repeatedly cited, by some of the first zoologists and geologists of the age, as of standard authority.
In an address before two literary societies of Columbia college, Mr. Verplanck pours forth the feelings of a warm filial and fraternal attachment to some of his distinguished fathers and brethren, the patrons and sons of the college. Among the subjects of his discriminating eulogy, are Hamilton, Jay, R. R. Livingston, Gouverneur Morris, Benson, Dr. Cooper, Dr. Mason, and De Witt Clinton.
Mr. Verplanck deserves the thanks of his country, for his diligent efforts in congress, in 1830 and in 1831, in procuring the passage of a law for the amendment and consolidation of the several acts for the protection of copy-rights to books, prints, &c. This act more than doubled the term of legal protection to copyrights, besides improving and simplifying the law in various other respects. A public dinner was given to Mr. Verplanck in New York, in compliment for his agency in producing this beneficial result. We are glad to see the speech, delivered by him on this occasion, inserted in the volume. It contains a sketch of the legislation of the United States, on the subject of literary property.
The last composition in the volume, is an address delivered before the Mercantile Association of New York.
A striking characteristic of all these compositions, is the charming historical and biographical illustrations, which the author interweaves in his propositions and arguments. A truly liberal spirit is manifested, towards men of all professions and creeds. Scholars, we are sure, will properly esteem this volume, for the enlightened views and chaste' enthusiasm every where manifested. The moral tone of all Mr. V.'s writings is high. We hope he will find much more leisure, now that he has withdrawn from congressional life, to cultivate a field, in which he can do his country so much honor.
7.-A View of the Elementary Principles of Education, found
ed on the Study of the Nature of Man. By G. Spurzheim. Second American edition. Boston: Marsh, Ca
pen & Lyon. 1833. 12 mo. pp. 318. The views of the Philosophy of Mind, which are based on the science of Phrenology, whether true or false, are such as, if adopted, will immediately influence every mode of acting upon human beings: they must especially modify, at once, the science of education. They assign to every propensity, whether intellectual, moral, or animal, a bodily organ, which is the instrument or medium of its exercise. The existence of these propensities is accordingly taken more distinctly into view, by the phrenologist.
He considers them as constituent parts of human nature, and only to be watched in their developement, and to be controlled and restrained, or awakened and cherished, as the circumstances may require. He gives prominence to nature, as the basis of all he shall do; education is only the handmaid. The physical constitution, too, so often neglected, attracts a very important share of his attention.
The work before us is a very popular and practical exposition of the views of education, which are based upon this science. By education, the author understands all the influences which may be made to conduce towards the perfection of the human being. To discuss the theory on which Dr. Spurzheim's plans of education are based, would require much greater space than can be allotted to it here. The practical results, however, to which his theory leads him, commend themselves to sound sense, and cannot fail of being useful. There is something in the foreign air, however, which characterizes much of the work, which must greatly interfere with its becoming extensively popular among us. With some of its speculations on religious subjects, we have no sympathy. His views of the institution of the Sabbath, and of the character of the Old Testament, were gathered any where, but from the Bible itself.
8.-A Collection of the Familiar Letters and Miscellaneous Pa
pers of Benjamin Franklin-now, for the first time, pub
lished. Boston: Charles Bowen. 1833. pp. 295. The Letters and Miscellaneous Papers of Dr. Franklin, contained in this volume, and now for the first time published, came into the hands of Mr. Sparks, from various sources, while prosecuting researches for other objects. We are glad that he has given them to the public.
Genius always imparts life and interest to whatever it touches, so that the great reason why the public have so strong a desire to look into the familiar and private writings of really eminent men, is not mere curiosity to become acquainted with their private history—it arises from the fact, that a pen, which is really skilful on any subject, will throw a charm over any one which it touches. In fact, the principles which guide in one case, will guide in all. This is shown, very distinctly, in the work before us. The clear view of human character and conduct the forcible and lucid expression—the sound, irresistible reasoning, and the dexterous appeal-illuminate these letters, relating often to the merest minutie of family arrangements, as brightly as they do discussions, by the same writer, of the most important questions of politics and science.
The perusal of these letters is calculated to have a good influence, in many respects. First, in style and language. Like VOL. I.
all of Franklin's writing, the book is a model of simplicity, ease and force. The great, we may say, the almost universal fault, of American writers, is affectation of eloquence. Writing can never be of any permanent interest, except from the thought it conveys; and the more simply, and tersely, and sententiously, this thought is expressed, the better. Some of our leading writers, such as Franklin, Rush, Jefferson, and others, have been models in this respect. It has been said of Rush, for example, that a quotation from his works makes a bright spot on the page to which it is transferred. It is so with Franklin. He makes use of language, merely as a medium by which to convey his thoughts. Many other writers employ thought, only as a groundwork on which to display language.
Again, the letters are written in a great variety of circumstances, and relate to a great variety of subjects in common life; so that they teach wisdom, by a practical exhibition of it. No one can read them, attentively and thoughtfully, without learning lessons of prudence and good management from them. We give an example, by extracting a letter. The circumstances were these. Franklin was at Philadelphia, a printer, and he had interested himself in getting his nephew, whom he calls Benny, apprenticed to a printer in New York. In process of time, difficulties arose between the young apprentice and his master. The former complained to Franklin, and to his mother, at Boston; and this letter is an effort of our author's to allay the rising irritation. It is a model, worthy of the study of many a father and master, in our days. Firmness and good sense, united with good humor and dexterity, characterise his management. It seems, too, to have been successful. We insert this letter as a favorable specimen of the work; as our readers will probably desire one.
" Dear Sister,-I received your letter, with one for Benny, and one for Mr. Parker, and also two of Benny's letters of complaint, which, as you observe, do not amount to much. I should have had a very bad opinion of him, if he had written to you those accusations of his master, which you mention; because, from long acquaintance with his master, who lived some years in my house, I know him to be a sober, pious, and conscientious man; so that Newport, to whom you seem to have given too much credit, must have wronged Mr. Parker very much in his accounts, and have wronged Benny too, if he says Benny told him such things, for I am confident he never did.
“ As to the bad attendance afforded him in the small-pox, I believe, if the negro woman did not do her duty, her master or mistress would, if they had known it, have had that matter mended. But Mrs. Parker was herself, if I am not mistaken, sick at that time, and her child also. And though he gives the woman a bad character in general, all he charges her with in particular, is, that she never brought him what he called for directly, and sometimes not at all. He had the distemper favorably, and yet I suppose was bad enough to be, like other sick people, a little impatient, and perhaps might think a short time long, and sometimes call for things not proper for one in his condition.
“As to clothes, I am frequently at New York, and I never saw him unprovided with what was good, decent, and sufficient. I was there no longer
ago than March last, and he was then well clothed, and made no complaint to me of any kind. I heard both his master and mistress call upon him on Sunday morning to get ready to go to meeting, and tell him of his frequently delaying and shuflling till it was too late, and he made not the least objection about clothes. I did not think it any thing extraordinary, that he should be sometimes willing to evade going to meeting, for I believe it is the case with all boys, or almost all. I have brought up four or five myself, and have frequently observed, that if their shoes were bad, they would say nothing of a new pair till Sunday morning, just as the bell rung, when, if you asked them why they did not get ready, the answer was prepared, 'I have no shoes,' and so of other things, hats and the like; or if they knew of any thing that wanted mending, it was a secret till Sunday morning, and sometimes I believe they would rather tear a little, than be without the
“ As to going on petty errands, no boys love it, but all must do it. As soon as they become fit for better business, they naturally get rid of that, for the master's interest comes in to their relief. I make no doubt but Mr. Parker will take another apprentice, as soon as he can meet with a likel In the mean time I should be glad if Benny would exercise a little patience. There is a negro woman that does a great many of those eriands.
“I do not think his going on board the privateer arose from any difference between him and his master, or any ill usage he had received. When boys see prizes brought in, and quantities of money shared among the men, and their gay living, it fills their heads with notions, that hall distract them, and put them quite out of conceit with trades, and the dull ways of getting money by working. This I suppose was Ben's case, the Catharine being just before arrived with three rich prizes; and that the glory of having taken a privateer of the enemy, for which both officers and men were highly extolled, treated, presented, &c. worked strongly upon his imagination, you will see, by his answer to my letter, is not unlikely. I send it to you enclosed. I wrote him largely on the occasion; and though he might possibly cuse that slip to others, complain of his place, you may see he says not a syllable of any such thing to me. My only son, before I permitted him to go to Albany, left my house unknown to us all, and got on board a privateer, from whence I fetched him. No one imagined it was hard usage at home, that made him do this. Every one, that knows me, thinks I am too indulgent a parent, as well as master.
“ I shall tire you, perhaps, with the length of this letter; but I am the more particular, in order, if possible, to satisfy your mind about your son's situation. His master has, by a letter this post, desired me to write to him about his staying out of nights, sometimes all night, and refusing to give an account where he spends his time, or in what company. This I had not heard of before, though I perceive you have. I do not wonder at his correcting him for that. If he was my own son, I should think his master did not do his duty by him, if he omitted it, for to be sure it is the high road to destruction. And I think the correction very light, and not likely to be very effectual, if the strokes left no marks.
“ His master says farther, as follows :—' I think I can't charge my conscience with being much short of my duty to him, I shall now desire you, if you have not done it already, to invite him to lay his complaints before you, that I may know how to remedy them.' Thus far the words of his letter, which giving me a fair opening to inquire into the affair, I shall accordingly do it, and I hope settle every thing to all your satisfactions. In the mean time, I have laid by your letters both to Mr. Parker and Benny, and shall not send them till I hear again from you, because I think your appearing to give ear to such groundless stories may give offence, and create a greater misunderstanding, and because I think what you write to Benny, about getting him discharged, may tend to unsettle his mind, and therefore improper at this time.
“I have a very good opinion of Benny in the main, and have great hopes of his becoming a worthy man, his faults being only such as are commonly
incident to boys of his years, and he has many good qualities, for which I
“I am, with love to brother and all yours, and duty to mother, to whom I have not time now to write, your affectionate brother,
« B. FRANKLIN.” The first part of the volume is occupied chiefly with letters to the various branches of his family, and were written previously to his first going to England, on political business. While in England, he resided in the family of Mrs. Stevenson, whose daughter seems to have been a favorite with him. The volume contains many of his letters to her, on a great variety of topics, amusing and instructive.
As years move on, the correspondence becomes gradually involved with political events; and many of the letters on these subjects, written in France, are highly interesting, especially those relating to the movements and operations of the celebrated John Paul Jones.
The volume is concluded with what are called Miscellaneous Pieces—chiefly arguments, and memoranda of arguments, on the political controversies in which Franklin was engaged. The spirit and force of his writing gives interest to what would othererwise, now, deserve little attention ; and the whole closes with a very amusing article, entitled the “ Craven-street Gazette,” in which the occurrences of a few days, in the family in which he resided at London, are pompously described, in the technical phraseology used by the newspapers, in recording the measures of a ministry. The whole is highly interesting and instructive, and of decidedly good moral tendency.
9.-Notes, Erplanatory and Practical, on the Gospels; design
ed for Sunday school teachers and Bible classes.