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THE WORKS OF WILLIAM H. SEWARD
EDITED BY GEORGE E BAKER.
It has been well said, that there is no living American Statesman whose works embody so much that will fix and reward the attention of the student, the statesman, and the philanthropist, as those of Governor Seward. To the general reader-to those who wish to know who and what Governor Seward is, and especially to all who desire to obtain a complete history of the State of New York for the last quarter of a century-these volumes will be of the highest interest.
Popular Education in all its phases; internal improvements, embracing the entire history of the origin, completion, and proposed enlargement of the Erie Canal, and of the New York and Erie and other rail roads ; Slavery, its rights and prerogatives, the duties and obligations of the free States in regard to it; the Public Land Question, with a history and discussion of the Anti-Rent troubles in this state; Crime and its penalties ; Political Economy, in its adaptation to our national condition; the Fugitive Slavo Law the Annexation of Cuba; the Maintenance of the National Honor; the Protection of American Rights ; the Public Lande, &c., &c., have all been discussed with a freedom, vigor, and clearness, seldom if ever equalled, and afford information to all who wish to understand or discuss the great questions of the day.
In the execution of the mechanical portion of the work, it has been the aim of the Publisher that nothing
CONTENTS OF VOL 1
Speeches and Debates in Senate of United States.
Pacific Oceans, The Fisheries-Father Mathew-Sir John Franklin
CONTENTS OF VOL IL
Notes on New York.
Annual Messages to the Legislature,
CONTENTS OF VOL IIL
Orations and Discourses.
on Education, 1837-Do. on Agriculture, 1842–Ireland and Irishmen, 1844-True Greatness of our
Occasional Speeches and Addresses.
Letters from Europe.
From the New York Times. There has scarcely been a page of the three volumes over which our thumb-nail and pen have travelled together, which did not tempt us to copious extract; but the multiplicity of selection present difficulties quite as great as are afforded in the want of space in a daily sheet. But the volumes themselves will be rapidly placed in every well-ordered library, and then our distractions of critical selection can be well-appre dated by our readers.
The editor has performed his duty with tact and impartiality. The prefaces, the notes, and the memoir, are prepared with skill. Few memoirs are so succinct and so free from any taint of fulsomeness, as that prepared for volume first.
The publisher (who has been rapidly rising into public favor as a leading man in the trade) has taken front rank by the specimen afforded in the engravings the paper, the type, and finish of binding. The three volumes are even superior in these presentings to the subscription volumes of Mr. Webster's works published last summer in Boston With an extensive perusal, we have not found one typographical error or blemish. Need any reader of refinement be told how delightful it is to have a publisher so ably second an editor, and do so much justice by his craft to a national subject.
The first volume contains a biographical memoir—upon which we have not and shall not enlarge, because, while we depreciate too extended issues upon personal life, when that life contains an undeveloped future, the lucid sketch before us leaves no need of more than a reference--the speeches in state and national senate, and the best of the few reported addresses to juries at nisi prius, and arguments of law in banco. It might be appropriately lettered by the writer—“W. H. SEWARD, THE ORATOR" The second might stand by its side, in like manner—"W. H. SEWARD, THE PRACTICAL STATESMAN, continuing, as it does, his messages as Governor, his pardon papers, official
correspond enee, and various writings upon political topics of state moment. The third volume, were we publisher, should be designated W. H. SEWARD, THE SCHOLAR,” for in its pages appear his classical eulogies and agricultural discourses--selections from his general correspondence and notes of European travel. And yet there is not a speech, a paper, or a letter, in either volume, from which the critic could not discover the three characteristics of scholar, orator, and statesman. Senatorial speech and casual paper, executive message and agricultural remarks, spontaneous replies and labored answers alike exhibit severity of taste, compactness of thought, and classical rhetoric.
From the Louisville (Ky.) Courier. These writings form a valuable and interesting history of the state of New York for the last quarter of a century, and include as clear, comprehensive, and fair 8 history, as exists, of the rise, continuance, and termination of many of the most im. portant political and social questions that have within that period agitated the publio mind, and received the attention of congressional and other legislative bodies
Mr. Seward deserves distinction not only as a politician or statesman, but also as a moral essayist
, a philanthropist, a stanch friend of popular education, and a writer of great force and eloquence in many departments of literature. He has one of the most active intellects in the country, and the death of Mr. Clay has left no abler man in the senate of the United States
From the Providence Journal. These volumes bear ample testimony to the industry, fidelity, and energy, of a very able man. It is of more importance to commend these works to the young men of the country; they need them. The young men of this country, connected with the educated and commercial classes, are losing tone, and nerve, and sinew, and are coming to think that the world exists for the purpose of developing large fortunes in successful trade by all expedient means. The nation must
, and will arouse itself, and shake off this low tone of thought, or it will rot. Now, here is a man who speaks in a higher strain, and from a better mood. Here is a man who does a full day's work in a day, and does not complain of his task. Is it a speech in the senate, an argument at the bar, or a letter to a friend !—it is carefully studied, correctly written, and worthy of the man, the occasion, and the subject. Here again is a man who understands himself, can make others understand him, and who adheres to his convictions through evil and through good report * * In our judgment, Mr. Seward is primus inter pares among the abler men of his country, and as such, we commend bis “works” to the careful study of his countrymen,
From the Phrenological Journal. These elegant volumes form a collection of writings on subjects of universal moment and interest, and in every respect may be regarded as one of the most valuable publications of the day.
No reader who cherishes an interest in the progress of social reform, or of mental development in general, should neglect perusing these instructive volumes.
From the Courier and Enquirer (N. Y.) Those who are desirous of seeing our book-printing rank with that of England, and who can appreciate the luxury of clean, large type, good paper, and a wide white margin, will unite with us in thanking Mr. Redfield for this admirable specimen of the art.
The three volumes before us contain all the most prominent state papers which have emanated from Governor Seward; and his speeches in the senate of the United States, and many of his private and public letters, in addition to his leading speeches at the dar, and selections from his letters from Europe. Also, addresses delivered before public societies, &c., &c., constituting together as complete a mirror of his mind as has ever been presented of any public man while living. The material by which to judge of William H. Seward, is thus placed fairly, and we trust impartially, before the public; and although the feelings of individuals may have been sacrificed to the one great purpose of the biographer, the public have cause to rejoice at the manner in which this work comes before them. The biography which precedes the work is full, and, no loubt, accurate.
From the National Intelligencer. The works of William H. Seward are able works. No reader of the National Intelligencer needs to be told, however, that in his general views upon certain public questions, the author of these productions entertains opinions differing widely from our own. As a statesman, a scholar, a man of refined cultivation, and a liberal promoter of the public welfare, according to his peculiar opinions, William H. Seward stands deservedly þigh before his countrymen. His public papers give evidence of great intellect, of study, taste, and generous feelings, and the warmth of his temperament appears in all that he says and does. We agree with the editor in thinking this the proper time for the publication of these volumes, for we deem the present state and temper of the national mind and conscience, such as to insure for him a candid hearing from many whose prejudices, if not extinguished, have been allayed, partly by the lapse of time, and partly by the moderation and ability which have characterized the later efforts of this distinguished Senator.
From the New York Tribune. It is rarely that a statesman can give so good an account of his public life, as is contained in these tolumes. During a career which embraces but little more than half a century from his birth, Gov. Seward has furnished materials for this voluminous work, alike honorable to his ability, industry, and native nobleness of character. It com. prises a range of subjects of remarkable extent; not limited to local or temporary interests ; discussed with singular gravity, insight, and force of argument; embodying profound principles of politics and statesmanship; and illustrated with a variety of learning, an originality of statement, and a beauty of rhetoric, which place the author in the front rank of American civilians.
The editor has acquitted himself of the responsible task of preparing this publication for the press, with excellent judgment and rare fidelity. The brief explanatory notes, the copious references, and the full and accurate indexes which accompany the work, greatly enhance its value, and betoken a pains-taking diligence, worthy of high commendation.
In regard to the typographical execution of these volumes, we can not omit saying, in justice to the liberal publisher, that in elegance and accuracy it vies with the most admirable productions of the American press. A portrait of Gov. Seward, and a view of his birth-place and of his present residence at Auburn, finely engraved on steel, form the beautiful embellishments of the work, which merits a place in every public and private library, no less for the tasteful finish of the exterior than for the value of its contenta
From the New York Herald. Mr. Seward is a hard-working man, and he has achieved no inconsiderable portion of his distinction by the pen. The letters he addressed to the Albany Evening Journal, while on a journey through Europe, about twenty years ago, would have made a capital book; and his subsequent writings on imprisonment for debt, and other subjects which from time to time bave occupied the public attention, though in many cases of transient interest, have generally been able, popular, and admirably adapted for their several purposes. His speeches in the senate have frequently been masterly historical dissertations comprehensive, exhausting, and pertinent.
From Putnam's Monthly. The publication will materially advance his (Mr. Seward's) reputation ; it will correet many false ideas that have gone abroad, and increase the general respect for his abilities and character.
The volumes contain nearly everything that has come from his prolific pen; nor is there any want of variety in the topics of which they treat.
From the Christian Inquirer. We have received three noble octavos, containing the chief works of our principal liberalist statesman, Seward. They exhibit a vast variety alike of subject and occasion. We must say that Seward has a very large share of our regard : in part for his learned and faithful statesmanship, but more from his hearty sympathy with every pulse of freedom.
From the New York Evangelist.
From the Northern Christian Advocate.
, and the consequence of the whole is, we have three of the most useful and elegant volumes ever issued from the American press.
From the Christian Intelligencer. It has often been the lot of public men to suffer from the blind zeal and silly adula tion of Boswellian editors. Mr. Seward has been more fortunate: he has not been rendered ridiculous through ill-considered eulogy. The contents of these sumptuous volumes have been arranged with careful deference to order, with explanatory prefaces, & The works will form a substantial addition to our political literature.
From the Christian Advocate and Journal. We assure our readers that they will find in these volumes rich stores of wisdom and knowledge, communicated in a style so chaste and forcible, as will entice every intelligent reader to read with attention and delight, and amply compensate for the reading
From the Independent (N. Y.) The foremost man to-day in the senate, is Mr. Seward. The many and able efforts apon which his reputation is founded, are gathered in these three large and handsome volumes, and are presented by them in a very appropriate and attractive form.
From the Christian Ambassador. The editor has done himself great credit in the selections, and in the arrangement, prefaces, and introductions, throughout the works. The publisher has brought them out in a style unsurpassed by anything which has yet appeared in the United States Whoever will candidly peruse the works, will find that their author is a statesman in the highest sense of the word
NEWS AND POPULAR WORKS PUBLISHED BY J. S. REDFIELD.–Continued.
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These are American Copyright Editions, the Notes being expressly prepared for the work. The English edition contains simply the text, without a single note or indication of the changes made in the text. In the present, the variations from old copies are noted by reference of all changes to former editions, (abbreviated f. e.,) and every indication and explanation is given essential to a clear understanding of the author. There are several thousand of these annotations. The prefatory matter, Life, &c., will be fuller than in any American edition now published.
SHIEL'S SKETCHES OF THE IRISH BAR.
THIRD EDITION, NOW READY.
NOTICES OF THE PRESS, They attracted universal attention by their brilliant and The editor, Dr, Shelton Mackenzie, has performed his work pointed stylo, and their liberality of sentiment. The Notes em commenced, by-the-bye, at the instigation of the illustrious body a great amount of biographical information, literary author, some years since-with great fidelity; and his knowgossip, legal and political anecdoie, and amusing reminiscen- ledge of politics and parties in Ireland, and his acquaintance ces, and in fact omit nothing that was essential to the perfect with most of the persons mentioned in the Sketches, have ren elucidation of the text.-New Yoric Tribune,
dered his annotations relative to the allusions therein perfectly To return to these portly and good-looking volumes of Shiel's intelligible to the present race of readers.-Charleston Courser. collected sketches, we must premise by saying that they are Dr. Mackenzie deserves the thanks of men of letters, particuthe best edited books we have met for many a year. They larly of Irishmen, for his research and care. He beirays a form, with Mackenzie's nott s, a complete biographical dic- close and intelligent acquaintance with the leading events and tionary, containing succinct and clever sketches of all the characters of Ireland for many years back, and his anecdotes famous people of England, and particularly of Ireland, to whom are told with a grace and finish that few can hope to equal. the slightest allusions are made in the texi.-The Citizen (John Altogether, the work is one that we can recommend in ihe Mitchel.)
highest terms.-Philadelphia City Item. No lawyer's library can be deemed complete without this Such a repertory of wit, humor, anecdote, and outgushing work.-Lowell Daily Journal.
fun, mingled with the deepest pathos, when we reflect upon After reasling Sir Jonah Barrington's Memoirs, they come the sad fale of Ireland, as this book affords, it were hard to find with an added relish.-Portland Transcript.
written in any other pair of covers.--Buffalo Daily Courter.