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man, plaintively, begging is n't what it was! It 's fifty pounds a year worse, than when I began the business!' The expedients of these street-beggars are infinitely varied. One gets a good living from the dropsy; another, shivering with wellfeigned chills, drives a successful trade with an effigy-babe pressed to her bosom, beneath tattered garments, or a pair of painted twins, for twilight custom; men with ten motherless children are more common than successful. One enterprising fellow, with an accomplice always at hand to give the alarm, in the character of a passerby or by-stander, derives an ample income from drowning himself in warm weather, and hanging himself during the winter; taking good care, ever, to have, in the one case, a boat at hand, and in the other, his friend near by, to cut him down from the lamp-post, just in time to tell his pitiful tale, describe the despair that drove him to the rash act, and to take up a liberal collection from the commiserating crowd around him.

We pass the prison scenes, and the sketch of the 'Lumber Troop,' as more immediately local, and of little interest to the American reader. Mention should be made, however, of the engravings which illustrate them, for they are very capital outlines. The 'Lock-up House,' and 'Cheering the Speech of a Comrade,' are worthy of CRUIKSHANK, in his happiest mood. The description of the VICTORIA Parliament is natural, lively, and spirited. The failure of young D'ISRAELI, and Mr. GIBSON CRAIG, a new member for Edinburgh, in their maiden attempt to address the House of Commons, are really painful to read; and how humane legislators could have looked gloatingly on, howling, and assailing, in all manner of forms, passes our poor comprehension. Common courtesy, decency, even, one would think, should have prompted a different course.

That division of the book which touches upon the penny theatres - unlicensed and cheap places of cheap amusement, unknown to American audiences, and familiar only to audiences happily unknown to America-is not without interest. They swarm in the poor and dense districts of the metropolis, and are patronized mainly by the children of indigent parents, from eight to sixteen years of age. Some of these establishments are capable of holding two thousand persons; and as the plays are clipped and short, Hamlet and Richard the Third, abbreviated, being 'done up' in about twenty minutes, they are cleared three or four times of an evening, for a new congregation of juvenile listeners, who can compass 'a consideration.' Our author tells an amusing story of an accident which befel a penurious manager of one of these houses, in endeavoring to avoid an engagement with the owner of two wonderful canine actors, when their services, and not his, were to constitute the principal attraction. The owner persisted. It must be his dogs and himself, or no dogs at all. The sagacious animals would perform their marvels with no one else. The huckstering manager doubted this, and craved permission to try whether, by running across the room, and using the words repeated by the owner, in the play, one of the animals would not seize him by his coat-collar, as well, without doing him any injury. The master consented, but the experiment failed. The dog remained motionless. It strikes me,' said the disappointed manager, 'that if you were to say 'Go, Sir!' in a harsh tone, when I repeat the words, that he would at once perform the feat.' 'Very well, Sir,' replied the owner, 'we will try the experiment, if you wish it.' The preliminaries were again gone through with, and when the master said 'Go, Sir!' the canine giant went, and with entire effect. He darted off like an arrow; seized the manager ferociously by the nape of the neck, threw him violently upon the floor, and giving two or three tremendous growls, seemed on the point of making mince-meat of his prey, who, petrified with fright, was glad enough to be rescued, and to permit the master to perform with his dogs, and on his own

terms. He was never quite satisfied, however, that there was not some peculiarity in the tone of the 'Go, Sir!' used on this occasion, which caused the dog so suddenly to sink the actor, in such a fearful manner!

The penny theatres are followed by a detailed account of the work-houses of London, and every thing connected with them, all of which is revolting enough; and the reader is left to conclude, that the picture presented of these establishments in 'Oliver Twist,' is by no means overdrawn. The celebrated etcher, 'Quiz,' has done ample justice to the sketch of the 'Work-house Dinner.' It speaks more eloquently than words, of the meagre accommodations afforded to the unfortunate inmates. The lunatic asylums of the metropolis are treated of at length, but the details are too melancholy for the sensitive reader. The engraved sketch of the interior of an asylum, is indeed most painfully true to nature. We cannot now call

to mind a more spirited etching, from the pencil of any living artist. The man of science, the philosopher, the scholar, whom much learning hath made mad, the enthusiast artist, the weak ultra religionist, moaning in agony, the imaginary king, and the victim of terror, all are admirably depicted, and placed in strong and effective

contrast.

We intended to have condensed a few passages of interest from the chapters, in the main rather passé, which are devoted to a description of 'Bartholomew and Greenwich Fairs,' 'Gaming Houses and Gamblers,' and the 'Courts of Request;' but our limits will not permit. Each chapter is accompanied with characteristic etchings. The one entitled 'Deep Play,' is a striking picture of the painful intensity of interest felt by the abandoned gamester, while waiting the hazard of the die, which is to decide his fate. A few copies of the beautifully-executed work under notice, by the time these pages will be laid before our city readers, will probably be on sale at the publication-office of this Magazine, Messrs. WILEY And Putnam's, Broadway.

THE VISION OF RUBETA, AN EPIC STORY OF THE ISLAND OF MANHATTAN. With Illustrations done on Stone. In one volume. pp. 411. Boston: WEEKS, JORDAN AND COM

PANY.

THIS very beautiful volume opens with the subjoined sentence: 'I advise nobody to attempt to find me out; the endeavor can only end in disappointment.' Our author need not be alarmed. No one will take the trouble to seek to pluck out the heart of his mystery, nor to read his ponderous mass of awful satire, commentary, notes, and criticism the product of laborious fishing in all manner of waters with all manner of nets. Altogether, the volume is as pretty a specimen of pen-and-ink work, as one could find of a summer's day. The style of the prose is an elaborate carricature of 'The Doctor.' SOUTHEY, however, wrote from a full mind; while our author has only liberally availed himself of the researches of sundry parchment intellects, who have explored for him the charnel-houses of Grecian literature, and waded through the muddy deposits of dullest ancients. Yet he indulges the belief, we have no doubt, that a ground-work of English, spotted with all kinds of living and dead languages,

'a parti-colored dress
Of patched and pye-bald tongues,'

must establish the fame of his great and various learning, beyond all gainsaying or perad venture.

The first twenty passages of the work are quite sufficient to correct any hopes of

amusement, in which the reader may have indulged. After nearly dislocating our jaws with yawning over it, we handed it to a friend at our elbow, whose subsequent fate should be fruitful of grave monition. We chanced to have occasion to leave the apartment, for a half hour, in search of a missing manuscript, and on returning, we found that, like parson Langford's hapless critic, he had been plunged into a minor sort of trance. He was discovered with the book lying before him, in a state of the most profound sleep, from which it was found impossible to awaken him, for a great length of time. By much exertion, however, and carefully removing the book itself to a considerable distance, he was restored. The only account he could give of himself, was, that he remembered reading on regularly, until he came to the notes on page 121, beyond which, he recollected nothing. To sum up, therefore, from this sad accident, as well as upon our own dear experience, in a cursory perusal of the book—yet such perusal as only readers of an enterprising turn of mind will yield it we are compelled to say of the volume, that it is by no means what we took it for. On the contrary, aside from a general mechanical ease of rhythm, and a few clever passages, it is remarkable for little else than acidity, indecency, and laborious, invincible dullness. Our author and his editor (' a weak invention') are only great in little things, at the best; and their united labors will only be saved from speedy oblivion, by the distinguished garb in which the printer has clothed them. The designs of the cuts are not infelicitous, and the types and paper are clear and white; but since these qualities alone will not attract buyers, we deem it our duty to advise our friends the publishers, that if, as is more than probable, they have many sheets of the edition on hand, they would do well to enter at once into a contract for furnishing linings to some industrious band-box builder.

SKETCHES OF THE UPPER WABASH Valley. By HENRY WILLIAM ELLSWORTH. In one vol. pp. 175. New-York: PRATT, ROBINSON AND COMPANY.

THIS well-written book will gratify those who merely read for amusement or information, while for the thousands who have a pecuniary interest in the magnificent regions of the west, or look thither with the eye of curiosity as a future possible home, it is replete with valuable information. It touches precisely on those points concerning which a stranger to the great west would inquire of an intelligent resident in those regions. The purchase and sale of lands; the cost and profit of their cultivation; the products best adapted to their soil; the income to be derived from agricultural operations; the various labor-saving machines; the healthfulness of different sections; the lines of communication, and internal improvements, now finished, and in the course of completion; the inducements for capitalists to invest, and for laborers and farmers to emigrate; these are among the interesting topics discussed in this volume.

Mr. ELLSWORTH is a gentleman of education and talent, and has for many years been thoroughly conversant with the western world. He has himself been connected with extensive agricultural operations, and has added much experience and observation to the information derivable from books, in regard to the subjects of which he writes. He has also had access to the correspondence between the Hon. HENRY L. ELLSWORTH, of Washington, and eminent agriculturalists in various parts of the union. Many letters derived from this source are embodied in the text, or appendix, of this volume, and form a very valuable portion of its contents. This book, like the eloquent report of Mr. RUGGLES, to which indeed it is an ap

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propriate sequel, cannot fail to fill the reader with astonishment at the vast resources and immense agricultural value of the interior and western portions of our country. The report alluded to, has been reprinted in England, and has contributed largely to increase the confidence of all who have read it, in the wealth and future progress of the United States. Five or six powerful western states are rapidly rising into eminence at the west; a territory more than six times as large as England, and embracing more than one hundred and eighty millions of acres of arable, fertile land.

The volume contains a beautiful plan and drawing of a 'prairie cottage,' with details which will render its construction perfectly easy. It contains two rooms fifteen feet square, with chambers and a piazza; and the estimated expense of the whole is but two hundred dollars! It is a benevolent exercise of a cultivated mind, to furnish the details of such economical and pleasant structures, surpassing in convenience, and even in cheapness, the log cabins to which emigrants so often resort. In perusing this pleasant book, nothing has struck us with more surprise, than the extent to which machinery has been applied to the purposes of agriculture. Our author has gathered the fullest information on this subject, and has given descriptions of eighteen different labor-saving inventions, some of which perform the labor of several men. He has chapters, also, on the cultivation of the sugar beet, broomcorn, tobacco, the sun-flower, and flax. A new process for the manufacture of the latter product, of the highest importance to the northern and western states, is here described. It bids fair, we should judge, to render the manufacture of flax so rapid and cheap, as to supplant, in some measure, the use of cotton. For the particulars, we must refer the reader to the volume itself. The privations incident to a western residence, are in a great measure an offset to the prospect of rapid wealth; but they are yearly becoming less and less; and so far as society is concerned, the most fastidious emigrant will hardly complain, if the west numbers among its population many gentlemen possessing the intelligence, taste, and scholarship, of the accom. plished author of this work.

THE GIFT: A CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S PRESENT, for 1839. Edited by Miss LESLIE. pp. 324. Philadelphia: E. L. CAREY AND A. HART. New-York: WILEY AND PUTNAM.

THIS is certainly a very excellent annual, whether we regard its tasteful and deli, cate arabesque binding, the general beauty of its engravings, or the entertainment to be derived from its clear letter-press pages. The frontispiece and title-page vignette, engraved by CHENEY, from paintings by CHALON and SULLY, are gems, especially the latter. 'Rustic Civility,' is another very felicitous picture, painted by COLLINS, and engraved by PEASE; and so too is 'The Goldfinch,' from the pencil of PARRIS, and the graver of FORREST. There are also several other prints of merit. The contents are from the pens of some of our best writers. JOHN INMAN leads off the dance, with a very spirited story, entitled 'The Prisoner's Last Dream ;' Morgan Neville, a western littérateur of eminence, has an extended and very clever sketch, called 'Poll Preble, or the Law of the Deer-Hunt;' and the accomplished author of 'Clinton Bradshaw' another, entitled 'A chapter from the Adventures of a Lame Gentleman.' Miss EMMA C. EMBURY, Robert Walsh, Jr., Miss H. B. Srowe, and others whom we have not space to mention, add to the prose attractions of the volume. The poetry is abundant, and much of it good; among the best, that by Park Benjamin, Mrs. SIGOURNEY, Mrs. GILMAN, Miss H. F. GOULD, and Mrs. HALE. Altogether, the volume is such a 'Gift' as any friend may make to a sister or a lover, with the assurance, that while its adornments may delight, its intellectual qualities will interest and improve, the reader.

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EDITORS' TABLE.

A GOSSIP WITH SOME OF OUR CORRESPONDENTS. We have opened our 'drawer' once more, for a short parley with some of the literary prisoners, that have been awaiting their trials for several weeks, and even months, charged with apparent offences against taste or propriety. As usual, many have suffered confinement, by reason of a hasty suspicion originally attached to them, which finally proves to have been groundless. A few of these are honorably discharged below; and to the friends of others yet in duresse, we can only say, that they too 'shall have all justice,' when time and space shall serve. In short, to drop an unmanageable metaphor, and proceed to business, we resign a copious 'note-book,' to make room in the present number for more acceptable matter, from various correspondents; and in a subsequent issue, we shall consider many remaining favors, of a kindred character. The subjoined deserves the place of honor, and it shall have precedence. Make way, therefore, ye intellectual dapperlings, and literary exquisites, who beat the coverts of the imagination for hard-wrought similes, make way for a farmer's boy, from a sequestered vale of the Connecticut, who draws his figures from ever-glorious nature! What an unassured and faltering hand he throws across the lyre, in the annexed stanzas, which were carded and spun at the plough-tail, in the open field, and under the clear sky! The letter which accompanied the lines, is characteristic, and we cannot resist the inclination to quote it here. 'I can't think of any lie,' says the writer, 'to serve as an apology for this intrusion :

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'My calling is the plough; my delight the wondrous works of Nature; and when abroad, pursuing my labors in the open air, the melody of birds, and the music of winds and waters, fill me with what shall I call it? — inspiration? It is something more difficult for me to describe, than it would be to write off the notes played by an Æolian harp. At such times, conning over the sweet strains of some favorite bard, or raving to the winds in my own imperfect measure, gives my spirit ease, and fills my breast with that' peace which passeth all understanding.' Any thing which savors of Indian memory an arrow-head, a mouldering bone, a broken pipe, or other like relics, which are often disinterred by our farmers is sure to affect my poor muse. From a child, I have been an ardent admirer of the Indian character; have indulged, alternately, in tears of sympathy, while poring over the red man's wrongs, and the burnings of indignation, at the iniquities practised upon him by villanous white men, libelling the name of Christian. This attachment led me, in the autumn of 18-, to the wilds of Wisconsin and Iowa, where I sojourned for a considerable period, revelling in the romance of burning prairies and primeval forests, and entering with spirit into all the soul-stiring scenes of a savage and backwoods life. * I subjoin an offspring of my rustic Muse,

*

which is about a day and a half old. Should the old gentleman of the long pipe and antique chair think it promising enough to become its sponsor in baptism, and give it a

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