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has condescended to favor us with a dull account of his travels in the United States; and several French writers bave discussed our character and institutions with candor, impartiality, and ability. Among the latter is De Tocqueville, whose work we do not despair of seeing republished in this country; and who, among all, of any nation, who have written about the United States, stands forward facile princeps. In Prussia, we have understood that Dr. Julius, whose visit will be remembered with pleasure by many of our readers, is now preparing for the public the results of his observation during his tour.
The present work is by a German, after a residence of many years in the country. It originally appeared in England; and has since been republished, with slight alterations, among us.
We have been informed that it has been translated into the German language, and already passed through no less than three editions in that tongue. It is not a little remarkable that, while the author was preparing a translation, another appeared in a different part of Germany from a different pen; no feeble token of the merits of the work, and of the literary activity of that great country. Pursuing, then, the allusion with which we commenced, we may call this work a mirror of transcendent inagnitude, held up to the multitudes of England and Germany;
In approaching the consideration of its merits, we are struck with the singular correctness, force, and often eloquence of the style, in which it is written. The style would do high credit to any native, and to the manner born; in a foreigner it seems wonderful. We could hardly believe that it was the production of one whose early days were spent in the sound of another language, if we did not know that the author was a German ; for we are mindful of the old saw, that a German has a tongue for every language. Mr. Grund seems to have obtained a mastery, almost perfect, over the English. One might read his work, and, unless his suspicions were aroused by previous knowledge of the author, or the suggestion of another, hesitate to pronounce it the production of other than a native. So remarkable is it in this respect, that we are reminded by it of the feats of Politian, whose Latinity was thought to rival that of Cicero. The idiom of our language, which is often so subtile, and eludes the grasp of the severest study, Mr. Grund uses with great, and almost unfailing accuracy. An English critic has said that he has scarcely ever offended in this particular, except when he attempts poețical versions from Schiller or Goethe. A few signs occur in the progress of the work, which show that the author saw things sometimes through a different medium from his readers. Thus, in the London edition, the term "meat-pots" is used for the well-known phrase from the Bible, “ Aesh-pots”; a form of speech which the author has altered in the American edition. The word "compare” is constantly used at the bottom of the page to indicate a reference, instead of the word “see"; the former word being the literal translation of the German vergleichen, which is the word used for this purpose by writers in that language.
Some passages in the present work are of remarkable eloquence; and the style is uniformly precise and intelligible, abounding in energetic expressions, yet without liveliness ; brilliant, yet often heavy. There is nothing about it light and airy, as if dashed off by a stroke of the pen ; but all seems constructed with care and weariness. Neither is there about it any of the interest of a personal narrative, or of sketches of scenery and men. In these the author has .ventured only when it was necessary to illustrate the various relations of the people, moral, social, and political, which was the distinct subject proposed by him, and which is of indefinite comprehensiveness. Every topic of manners, opinions, prejudices, government, and civilization, naturally arises in the review of these relations. Quicquid agunt homines, nostri est farrago libelli. Besides, this review is often intermingled with apt historical reflections, and particularly with comparisons with things in Germany, sometimes by way of contrast, which, as is not unfrequently the case with such efforts, are often carried too far.
The author says, that he has anxiously endeavoured to give an impartial account of the present condition of the United States, and faithfully to delineate thuse characteristic features, which distinguish the Americans from the different nations of Europe. And he adds, that the object of his publication will be attained, if it serve to inspire the English with more just conceptions of American worth, and increase the respect and friendship of America for England. A work written with such views does not address itself to any vulgar prejudices, and can, of course, succeed only by the judgment of intelligent readers. Abuse, caricature, and con
demnation, have become a condiment almost essential, to make a book of travels relish ; a truth which Sam Weller appears to have been well aware of, when he endeavoured to prevail upon his incarcerated master, Mr. Pickwick, to commit a breach of the prison, and 10 fee to this country ; " then let him come back," says Mr. Weller, " and write a book about the · Merrikins,' as 'll pay all his expenses and more, if he blows 'em up enough.” That Mr. Grund has not, in the language of Mr. Weller, blown us up, is certain, upon a perusal of his work ; but it is not quite so clear to us, that he was not wiser than Mr. Weller, and that he did not anticipate that excessive eulogy would be little less attractive than condemnation, while, unlike the latter, it could give no personal offence. We would not venture to carry this suggestion further, lest we should do the author grievous injustice. And charity would lead us to suppose, what is so agreeable to our national vanity, that the terms of praise, constant and often exaggerated as they seem, are justified by our character and institutions. But Mr. Grund does not confine bis eulogy to America. He embraces England within its powerful charm. He extends the not very dainty dish with one hand to John Bull, and with the other to his brother Jonathan, who is, for the most part, unused to such moods of gentleness.
It would be difficult to find terms which could carry the English character further than the following paragraphs.
"It is true, there are ample apologies for the conduct of the English. They are really, in most respects, superior to other nations, and especially to their neighbours on the Continent. They enjoy, in the first place, a greater degree of political freedom than any other people, save the Americans, in the world. They have produced the ablest statesmen, the wisest legislators, and (with few exceptions) the bravest and most skilful commanders of armies and pavies. Their philosophers have been the glory of the human mind, and have wrested more truths from nature than all other sages combined together. They can boast of the most manly and classical literature of the moderns, and may, perhaps, add that there is not a valuable thought which the human mind is capable of conceiving, which is not already, and most happily, expressed in the English language. They have surpassed all other nations in the mechanic arts, and have become equally superior in every thing relating to manufactures. They have increased the facilities of commerce, by the establishment of powerful colonies, and have (with probably but one exception) distinguished themselves for the humanity and justice with which they have governed them. They have carried the blessings of civilization and religion wherever they went, and established, in every clime, the glory of the British name.” — p. 59.
“One of the greatest advantages enjoyed by the Americans, and which can never be sufficiently taken into consideration, consists in their being descended from the greatest and most enterprising nation in Europe. America, in her very cradle, was the child of freedom ; wrapt in chartered rights and immunites. She was the offspring of a strong, healthy, wellconditioned mother, who was determined not to spoil her by foolish caresses, but rather hardened her constitution by premature exposure. To the noble blood of her mother, she joined the superiority of education obtained in the school of adversity; and to the attachment of her parent to liberty, the sturdy love of independence.
“ The English have bestowed more blessings on humanity, by the establishment of their colonies, than any other nation in the world. To whatever quarter they have transferred their laws and institutions, they have contributed to improve the condition of the human race. The French, the Dutch, the Spaniards, and the Portuguese have also established colonies; but these have never risen to political importance. They were no nurseries of freedom, but administered only to the sordid cupidity of their parents. Even in achieving their independence they fall into wreck and ruin ; and the sickly progeny of diseased parents can hardly survive their sires. Compare to this the active vigor of the British Colonies; their legislative assemblies; their administration of justice, and the liberty of the press established in most of them!'
The spirit of the book is one of kindliness. There is in it a tone of good-humor, even where the author undertakes to censure. Indeed, there is something more ; there is an air of advocacy, which is constantly manifest
. This broad country, with its schoolhouses and churches, and various institutions, seems placed at the bar, and Mr. Grund appears as counsel for the defence. Against Mr. Hanilton he has particularly directed bis defensive attack. The work of this writer on “Men and Manners," is treated as the bill of indictment, in which are set forth the high offences of which we stand charged. In many instances an importance, scarcely justified by the circumstances, appears to be given to the assertions of this traveller; and Mr. Grund, in his reply to them, becomes as angry as is consistent with his nature.
pp. 154, 155.
If there be an American, with soul so dead as 'to be discontented with his native land, he may feel his patriotism revive, as he reads the earnest and argumentative eulogies of a cosmopolite, like the present author. Disposed to think well of our home and its institutions, as we are, and little inclined to despair of the republic, we are free to confess, that our love of country received a new impulse, and our confidence in its prospects gathered new strength, from these pages. The character of the people of the United States, social, moral, and political, is here subjected to a minute analysis, and the elements of strength, from which it is composed, are displayed. This is not, however, accomplished by any single picture, but it appears from the whole work. Every page discloses something of fact, or illustration, or argument, which goes to make up the final result.
To a foreigner, who is interested in the country, Mr. Grund's work will be of great value, from the amount of information which it conveys.
No other work, within our knowledge, presents a view so complete, of our resources in every department of life. Facts are accurnulated, and statistical tables are presented, which give it very much the appearance of a topographical survey.
The author not unfrequently indulges in speculations, but he never forgets to introduce the facts and tables which bear upon the subject. For this we are obliged to him, since it is placing before the public abroad, the surest means of judging us according to our merits. And this he has been able to do in a very satisfactory manner, as he had been for many years a resident in the United States. He was no tourist, who dedicated his summer rambles to this continent, or literary back, who left his home in order to gather some fresh materials for the press. He was a citizen, who had for years observed the operation of our institutions; who had left his father-land in early life, and devoted the affections of his manhood to his adopted country ; who had mingled in its society and business, and had felt the harsh alternations of its summers and winters. By birth a German, and, from circumstances, considerably conversant with the character and institutions of other pations, he has been able, at the same time that he wrote with the leart of a native, to make those observations which would hardly occur except to a foreigner. His work, moreover, is calculated to recommend liberal institutions, and to