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VOL. I. New Series. JANUARY, 1823.

No. 1.

ART. I. Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathaniel Greene, Major General of the Armies of the United States, in the war of the Revolution; compiled chiefly from origi nal materials: by WILLIAM JOHNSON, of Charleston, South Carolina. 2 vols. 4to. pp. 992. Charleston. A. E. Miller. 1822.

CRITICS, in the graphic art, take a distinction between historical and portrait painting; it is the business, they say, of the one, to group several individuals, and to give to the looks and attitudes of these, such an expression, as shall characterize, at once, the act common to all, and the parts which they severally perform in it; while it is the duty of the other, to select an individual, whose shades and lineaments, whether derived from nature or from accident, must be exactly represented.

A similar distinction is taken between historical and biographical writing. The objects of the former, are too vast and multitudinous and complicated, to admit of minute details; and the genius of the historian is best displayed in seizing only important circumstances, and in so presenting these, as to make them all contribute to the production of a common effect. To this, has been given the name of the spirit of history; and it is to the ancient Greek and Roman writers, that we are to look for the finest specimens of it.


To bring together many instances of this rare felicity, would belong only to a dissertation on rhetoric: but, as an illustration of the doctrine we have laid down, it may be permitted, in even a work like ours, to offer a specimen or two VOL. I. 1

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