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tales of pauperism and crime, he “ The country round New York is surfinds his way to the “ Tombs,” the climute, as I have already intimated,
passingly and exquisitely picturesque. where he makes himself acquainted is somewhat of the warmest. What it with the keepers and the cells, and would be, without the sea breezes which with the details of the mode in come from its beautiful bay in the evewhich the punishment of death is ning time, I will not throw myself or my
readers into a fever by inquiring. inflicted. Afterwards, with the same “ The lone of the best society in this object in view, no doubt, he visits city, is like that of Boston ; here and the infamous Five Points, which there, it may be, with a greater infusion region of filth and vice and crime, polished and refined, and always most
of the mercantile spirit, but generally he enters under the escort of two po- hospitable. The houses and tables are lice officers, whom hundreds might elegant; the hours later and more rakish; pass in the streets daily without and there is, perhaps, a greater spirit of
contention in reference to appearances, suspecting their official character, and the display of wealth and costly liv: but whom our police reporter, long ing. The ladies are singularly beautifamiliar with Bow Street, Seven Di. ful.” als, and St. Giles's, would have re- The title of the next chapter is cognized had he met them in the “ Philadelphia, and its solitary prisGreat Desert. What scenes he wit- on.” It might with propriety be in. nessed at midnight in these abodes verted, for about one tenth part of of misery and sin, we shall proba- the chapter is devoted to a descripbly learn more fully from the tales tion of the city, and the remaining of fun and woe, which will embel- nine tenths, to meditations and solish the new work, by Boz,” to liloquies in the Eastern Peniten. be published in monthly numbers, tiary. We have never read a book, beginning in the present month. professing to give an account of He favors us with only one scene, any country, which, in respect to which seems to have afforded him its natural features, its towns and unspeakable delight. It was a ne- cities, its manners and customs, its gro dance in a low and filthy cel. social, civil, and religious institular, performed at his particular re- tions-in short, in respect to every
thing about which the reader wishes After describing, though in some- to receive information, or at least, what unfavorable terms, “ the dif. to ascertain the opinions of the auferent public institutions on Long thor, is so profoundly silent as the Island,” Mr. Dickens concludes his book before us. We should hardly notice of New York, as follows : have thought it possible for so many
“There are three theatres. Two of pages of “ Notes on America” to them, the Park and the Bowery, are be written, and so little to be said large, elegant and handsome buildings, in them which is of the least imand are, I grieve to write it, generally de
The exserted. The third, the Olympic, is a tiny portance to the reader. show-box for vaudevilles and burlesques. periment, however, has been sucIt is singularly well-conducted by Mr. cessfully made, and Mr. Dickens Mitchell, a cornic actor of great quiet has proved himself to be utterly humor and originality, who is well remembered and esteemed by London play: incompetent to write any thing which goers. I am happy to report of this de- does not savor strongly of his forserving gentleman, that his benches are mer occupation. In jails and almsusually well filled, and that his theater houses, amid scenes of vice and rinys with merriment every night. I had almost forgotten a small suinmer
crime, he is perfectly at home, and theater, called Niblo's, with gardens and often paints with a master's hand. open air amusements attached; but I be.
He is more graphic and eloquent in lieve it is not exempt from the general describing the habits of the pigs depression under which theatrical properiy, or what is humorously called by that roam through the streets of that name, unfortunately labors.
New York, than in portraying the
more elevated manners and refined seems to have been to him. He amusements of the Gothamites them. could not go from New Haven to selves.
New York, without " exhausting the From Philadelphia, Mr. Dickens stock of bottled beer” on board the proceeded to Baltimore and Wash. boat, and we believe that he even ington. In the former city his stay found a bar on board the little was brief. He simply enumerates steamer between Springfield and its various public buildings in a sin. Hartford. The babits of Mr. Dick. gle sentence, and then occupies four ens, in this respect, as our readers or five paragraphs in delineating have already seen, need no incon“ two curious cases” which were siderable reformation. brought under his observation in the The appearance of Washington, State Penitentiary. In this city, as it strikes the eye
of a Londoner, he found the only hotel which af. is facetiously described ; though on forded him perfect comfort and sat- the whole, he seems to have been isfaction, though there were many in something of an ill humor while approximations to his beau ideal in visiting the Federal city. other places. “ The most comfortable of all the hotels of which I Magnificent Distances, but it might with
" It is sometimes called the city of had any experience in the United greater propriety be fermed the city of States, and they were not a few, is Magnificent Intentions ; for it is only on Barnum's, in that city; where the taking a bird's-eye view of it from the
top of the Capitol, that one can at all English traveler will find curtains comprehend the vast designs of its pro. to his bed (mark this !] for the first, jector, an aspiring Frenchman. Spacious and probably the last time, in Amer- avenues, that begin in nothing, and lead ica ; and where he will be likely
no wliere ; streets, mile-long, that only
want houses, roads, and inhabitants ; to have enough water for washing public buildings that need but a public to himself, which is not at all a com- be complete; and ornaments of great mon case.” On reading this sen.
thoronglifares, which only lack great tence we were strongly impressed ing features. One might fancy the sea
thoroughfares to ornament, are its leadwith the idea, that Mr. Dickens was son over, and most of the houses gone a physiological phenomenon, exhib- out of town for ever with their masters. iting in his own person the remark
To the admirers of cities it is a Barme.
cide feast ; a pleasant field for the imagiable properties of the opposite mag nation to rove in; a monument raised to netic poles ; for, while externally a deceased project, with not even a legi. he manifested a very powerful at
ble inscription to record its departed great
ness." traction for water, internally he manifested a no less decided repul- Our traveler was not very favor. sion towards it; and we afterwards ably impressed with the appearance find it a ground of complaint against of the House of Representatives, two or three hotels, that they had though he gives the Senate much nothing but water for “the English credit for its dignity and decorum. traveler to drink !
His criticisms on these two bodies, On his journey to Washington, though not a little exaggerated, are Mr. Dickens was particularly dis. in the main so pungent, and have gusted with the exuberant use of so much truth in them, that we tobacco which he witnessed on all cannot refrain from expressing the occasions. We heartily join him wish, that they might be read and in his “counterblast” against the pondered, not only by the members Stygian weed ; yet we apprehend, of Congress, but by all who have that his practice of frequenting the any thing to do with sending them bar was no less disgusting to some there. Our author of course vis. of his fellow travelers, than the use ited the President, and was well of tobacco on the part of others pleased with the republican simpli
city of the various domestic ar- mode of traveling, or of American rangements at the White House. society as exhibited in his fellow He satirizes the bustle and parade travelers. Having left Harrisburg of a presentation to her Majesty, on Friday evening, he reached by contrasting with it the easy and Pittsburg on Monday evening by unceremonious introduction to the dint of traveling on the Sabbath, and chief magistrate of the United States. remained there three days, but he He bears his testimony likewise, has hardly a word to say about the to the “decorum and propriety of place. There is nothing worthy of behavior which prevailed” at the remark in his account of the jourPresident's levee, even “among ney by steamboat, from Pittsburg the miscellaneous crowd in the to Cincinnati, except the dissatisfac. hall,” thus showing, that there is tion which he expresses, because a tendency in republican institu- at dinner there was nothing to tions to engender the feeling of self- drink upon the table, but great jugs respect.
full of cold water,” whilst at the From Washington, Mr. Dickens same time he complains of the scan. proceeded to Richmond, where his tiness of the “ washing apparatus," stay was short, and concerning thus again illustrating the theory of which he has recorded nothing wor- opposite poles. thy of notice. He was particularly With Cincinnati he was particu. pleased, however, with the luxuri. larly pleased. While there he had ous and dissipated style of living the privilege of seeing a temperwhich he saw, as the reader may ance convention and parade, which judge from the following reminis. he regarded with much interest as
holiday concourse,” though he
felt little sympathy in its peculiar " It was between six and seven o'clock in the evening, when we drove to the
design. hotel; in front of which, and on the top
His description of Louisville, his of the broad Alight of steps leading to the next stopping place, comprises little door, two or three citizens were balancing
more than an account of its superb themselves on rocking chairs and smoke ing cigars. We found it a very large and hotel and of the rooting of swine elegant establishment, and were as well in the streets. Thence entertained as travelers need desire to ceeded to St. Louis, where he rebe. The climate being a thirsty one, mained long enough to make the there was never, at any hour of the day, a scarcity of loungers in the spacious bar, discovery, that the city owes much or a cessation of the mixing of cool li- to the influence of the Unitarian quors : but they were a merrier people church, " which is represented there here, and had musical instruments play: by a gentleman of great worth and ing to them o'nights, which it was a treat to hear again."
excellence." From St. Louis, he
made an excursion to the Looking From Richmond, Mr. Dickens re. Glass prairie, and then retraced his turned to Baltimore, whence he steps to Cincinnati. From Cincinpursued his journey by stage to nati, his course was to Canada, by Harrisburg. There (being moved way of Sandusky and the lakes. perhaps by considerations of econ- A scene described at one of the omy, since the hope of securing towns between Cincinnati and Co. an international copy-right law was lumbus, may have been admired by fast vanishing away) he went on some as an illustration of the wriboard a canal-boat for Pittsburg, ter's talent for caricature. We copy in company with numerous emi- a part of the concluding paragraph grants for the west, and of course as another illustration of his love received no very favorable impres- for brandy, and his dislike of any sion, either of the comforts of this internal application of water.
“We dine soon afterwards with the diately to New York; but having boarders in the house, and have nothing five days of leisure before embarkto drink but tea and coffee. As they are both very bad, and the water is worse, I ing for England, he made a short ask for brandy, but it is a temperance bo- excursion to West Point and [New] tel, and spirits are not to be bad for love Lebanon. At New Lebanon, he or money. This preposterous forcing of unpleasant drinks down the reluctant suffered dreadfully by the misera. throats of travelers, is not at all uncoin.
ble accommodations of the hotel, mon in America, but I never discovered at which he would have slept had that the scruples of such wincing land- sleep been possible. lords induced them to preserve any unu. sually nice balance between the quality
On Tuesday, the seventh of June, of their fare, and their scale of charges': Mr. Dickens embarked in the packet on the contrary, 1 rather suspected them ship George Washington, for his of diminishing the one and exalting the
native land. The chapter describ, other, by way of recompense for the loss of their profit on the sale of spirituousing the passage home is pleasantly liquors. After all, perhaps, the plainest written, and cont some import course for persons of such tender con.
ant suggestions respecting the ship. sciences, would be a total abstinence from ping of emigrants. It is followed lavern-keeping.”
by a chapter on slavery, embody. From Sandusky, Mr. Dickens has. ing some facts, but lamentably defi. tened by steamboat to Buffalo, and cient in argument and force. The thence to Niagara Falls, where he chapter was written for the English remained two days—spending the market, and would probably have time however, on the Canadian side. been different, had the author's He was not probably aware, that scheme for an international copy. some of the most magnificent views right been successful. of the falls are presented from the The last chapter of the work American bank of the river. His contains some general remarks on reflections are worth quoting, as a the prominent features of American specimen of his descriptive powers, society, but none of them betray but as the book itself is in the hands an accurate or philosophic mind. of millions of readers, we need only The topics discussed are some of refer to it. If Mr. Dickens had not them important, but they are dis. been educated to the trade of ma. missed with a few hasty, discon. king police reports, he might have nected observations. The writer
censures that “universal distrust," Mr. Dickens visited Toronto, which he regards as characteristic Kingston, Montreal, Quebec, and of the American people, condemns St. John's, neither of which places the general character of the news. is described very minutely, but all paper press, laments the prevalence of them more at length, and appa. of the “real” to the exclusion of rently with far more satisfaction, the “ideal," complains of the de, than any American cities of the ficiency of the organ of wit in the same or even greater importance. American cranium, and the want He is more particular in describing of that "lightness of heart and gai.
“ scenery and location, and has far ety," which abounds in “
merry less fault than usual to find with old England,” discusses the prev. the modes of conveyance, the pro- alence of various forms of dissent," visions for refreshment and com- and the tendency of republican in. fort, and the manners of the people. stitutions to engender the feeling of All this is quite natural. In Can. self-respect. The latter point is ada he was on British ground. illustrated by the independent air
From St. John's, our traveler re- of a boot-maker, who came to take entered America by way of Lake his measure as he was enjoying his Champlain, and proceeded imme. “ book and wine-glass,” and with
been a poet.
this anecdote, followed with a brief and galleries greets the broadest dissertation on cleanliness and health, kind of farce—that Mr. Dickens the " circulation” of “ American owes his chief renown. In that Notes” is suddenly stopped--the work, every character, every scene said notes being found completely and incident, is in perfect harmony
with the whole. Mr. Pickwick and We regret that Mr. Dickens has his associates, Mrs. Leo Hunter and published these volumes, for they the elite of Eatanswill, the Wellers bear the marks of hasty composi- elder and junior, Mrs. Bardwell and tion, evince no genius, add nothing her boy, the scenes of the election to the author's reputation as a wri
and those of the law-suit, are all of ter, and exhibit his moral character a piece; and it is not to be wonderin a most undesirable light.
ed at, that with the aid of Cruik. It remains that, in concluding this shank, (whose “ illustrations” are article, we present briefly the judg. a great help to the story,) they have
. ment which we have formed of Mr. become so well known, and have Dickens as a writer. These Notes furnished so much food for unmaare by no means a favorable speci. licious merriment. men of the talents of the author. The later works of Mr. Dickens They are very carelessly written, are less exclusively humorous; in and the subject affords but little fact, they deal not unfrequently in scope for the exercise of his pecu- the stern and sad realities of life. liar powers. Mr. Dickens is un. But while they thus indicate another questionably a man of genius. He kind of talent, and show, as is possesses in a rare degree a talent often shown, that the broadest hufor caricature; yet it seems to be mor and the most resistless pathos almost uniformly under the control may be nearly allied, they are defiof good nature, and is seldom ex- cient in respect to unity in the deercised for a malicious purpose. sign and harmony in the effect; His mind is continually on the alert and the reader feels that a certain for the ludicrous; and the faculty violence is done to truth and nature. to which he owes his greatest suc
The hero of the tale is commonly cess, is a faculty for making exag. selected from the lower walks of gerated descriptions of laughable life, perhaps is taken from the scenes and odd characters. It may parish workhouse, and in spite of be said of him, as Dryden said of the most untoward circumstances,
rare Ben Jonson,” that “ humor notwithstanding the baneful influis his proper sphere.” Such a sen- ences by which he is surrounded, tence, we are aware, would assign without instruction or sympathy, deto him no very lofty niche in the prived of the counsel and example temple of Fame. No man would of judicious parents and friends, think of placing the author of Tris- perhaps even against the vicious extram Shandy as high as the author ample of those who gave
him birth, of the Task. Yet in conformity he appears to the world a model of with this estimate of the nature and excellence, adorned with every virrank of our author's genius, we are tue and grace, and wins his way to much inclined to regard the “ Post respectability and fortune. So rare, humous Papers of the Pickwick however, are such instances of selfClub," as his chef d'auvre. It is guardianship and promotion in real to the Pickwick Papers—a work of life, in fact so contrary are they to mere fun, for which the epithet our experience, that however deep. comic is quite too dignified-a work ly we may be interested in the story having no aim but to make the pub- of such a character, we cannot at lic laugh, as laughter from the pit the same time resist the impression