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spirits !' Observe Dr. Reese's violent misrepresentation of the sentiment: 'Among other flagrant exhibitions of depravity and infidelity, we are here taught that Christianity only consecrated and extended the opinion of Plato and Socrates, as to the existence of spirits! Well may Dr. Brigham exclaim, 'Oh Shame! Shame! where is thy blush!'
* Doctor Brigham broadly intimates,' says the author of Phrenology Known by its Fruits,' 'that theatre-going is not objectionable, on account of being injurious to the body!'
Doctor Brigham answers, by the only quotation from his book that relates to the subject : 'Every one knows that attendance upon theatres and balls is injurious to health. That hundreds of females lose their lives from complaints produced by attending them, few will doubt,' etc.
Dr. Reese: “This' (viz., the influence of religion in preventing insanity) · Dr. Brigham not only overlooks, but utterly denies.' Dr. Brigham had said, 'It is important to consider it is scarcely more true, that great and violent religious excitements, like all others, are injurious to health, than that the entire neglect of devotion and religious duties is so.'
Doctor Reese professes to quote the following words from the work he reviews: ' In all ages, religion has been one of the most fruitful sources of insanity.' Dr. Brigham replies, 'You have made up this sentence, and attributed it to me.' In several sentences, also, the word 'only' is inserted, so as to distort the meaning; in others 'on' is substituted for 'by,' etc.
After a long and loathsome catalogue of similar misquotations, Dr. Brigham adds, 'If any person is not satisfied with the dishonesty of the reviewer, I will furnish twice the number of instances I have already.'
After this effectual exposure of the professional ignorance ard unfairness of his antagonist, Dr. Brigham inquires, 'What possible excuse have you for the abusive epithets which are on almost every page of your book ? I select a few from several hundred, to refresh your memory, in the hope - (a hope which has led us to make this abstract) — that, warned by your example, they will never again be used in a religious, medical, or any other controversy. A sufficient specimen of these epithets we have already reluctantly been forced to transcribe in this notice.
'Not content,' says Dr. Brigham,' with villifying myself, you treat others no better, and 'deal damnation round' on some of the most virtuous and illustrious of our profession. Thus you pronounce Georget a French infidel, and Esquirol another French infidel, Where is the least particle of evidence of the truth of these charges ? M. Georget died young — too soon for the good of science and humanity. But he lived long enough to acquire a reputation that has placed him in the front rank of dis.. tinguished medical men, and endeared his memory to the enlightened members of our profession in all countries, That he was an infidel, nothing in his writings indicates; and I presume you have not the least proof of your allegation, The illustrious Esquirol is still living-still devoting himself, though at an advanced age, to the welfare of suffering humanity. If there exists a man whose private worth, arduous and meritorious services, eloquent and useful writings, should have saved him from your calumniation, it should have saved him. That he is an infidel, is not true; and I trust there is not another medical man in our country but revolts at your attempt to villify him; and will with me rejoice, that after this exposé, it will be of no consequence what you say of any individual.'
" ' In regard to your charge of infidelity against iny book," says Dr. Brigham, 'I hardly consider it necessary to reply, farther than to say distinctly that it is wholly false.' "Words would have failed me, bad I attempted to state, in full
, my admiration of the religion of Christ, as exhibited in the gospel. In that religion, I see nothing but good,
and the highest good of mankind. It has already been, upon earth, the most powerful promoter of the welfare of man; but the good it is yet to accomplish, when its true spirit is generally perceived, I trust, will be far greater.
Then it will be found to be something more than a name, for hypocrites and useless drones to assume, to obtain that notoriety, and to gain that bread, to which no merit they possess, and no labors they perform, entitle them.'
Against this religion, I have never said one word; but, as a medical man, seeing evils, great evils, arising from certain practices lately introduced among some Christian sects, I ventured to address my countrymen.'
'I said that pure religion Christianity – had no such effect.'
'I stated, however, that great mental excitement and anxiety, produced by what are called religious protracted meetings sometimes protracted forty days, and sometimes exclusively for children — together with anxious meetings, camp-meetings, numerous night meetings, exciting preaching, and alarming doctrines, caused insanity, and other diseases. I remain of this opinion, and presume that every intelligent physician, every candid and well-informed man in the country, believes it to be correct.
The 'Letter closes as follows, and every unprejudiced reader must admit, that the caustic severity of the paragraph is well deserved :
“But it is time to conclude; and I gladly do so, by submitting to the decision of my countrymen, whether I have done a good or an evil service to the country, in the work I published. To my professional brethren — to the hundreds of enlightened medical men in your city-- I appeal for the correctness of the medical opinions I have advanced. Whether you have done a good service in assailing me, in the manner you have, and whether you have not been shown, in this short Letter, to be an ignoramus in your profession - a mere pretender to medical knowledge – a scurrilous controversialist -- a libeller of your medical brethren, and a perverter of the truth - I also submit to the decision of the same tribunal."
The merited rebuke which public journals (including several which are religious, in the 'orthodox' sense of that much-abused term) have given Dr. Brigham's reviewer, since the publication of the present unanswerable and scorching exposé of his mode of warfare, together with the marked disapprobation which such unprincipled criticism has elicited, wherever in society its merits are discussed, and its injustice known, must serve to convince Dr. Reese that he acted unwisely, when he perilled the questionable controversial laurels which he had previously won, by engaging in unequal conflict with one so well qualified as Dr. Brigham to lay bare his ignorance and dishonesty. Now that his inflated pretensions are brought down to a level with his talents, by a necessary and most effective puncture, it may be hoped that the discomfitted reviewer will be less anxious than heretofore to 'obtrude the private I upon the public eye,' or, at least, more guarded in the choice and use of his weapons offensive.
GIAFAB AL BARMEKI, A TALE OF THE COURT OF HAROUN AL RASCHID.
In two vols. 12mo. pp, 446. New-York : HARPER AND BROTHERS.
Madam Rumor, a lady not always to be believed, although there is generally a portion of truth in what she says, has assigned the authorship of these hard-named volumes to a professional gentleman of this city, who has never left his native country, and whose pursuits and duties have left him little leisure to prosecute literary enterprises. This may be, and we believe is, indeed true; but most readers will find it difficult to credit it, after a perusal of this his first offering to the literary public. They will find scenes of oriental splendor, and the manners and customs of the East, depicted in such faithful colors, as to lead them at once to conclude, that none but an eastern traveler, possessed of a quick eye and a ready pen, could have spread these pictures before them.
The time chosen by the author, and the Arabian despot whose reign marked that era, have before been employed, and with success, by writers who have nevertheless failed to impart the interest which these volumes are calculated to awaken. The main point upon which Giafar Al Barmeki' turns - the destruction of the Barmecides by Haroun Al Raschid — as is well known, is a historical fact. Connected with this, however, is an under plot, managed with skill, and rendered highly exciting by an active imagination – which, preserving all the attractions of romance, still keeps within the bounds of nature- and a style remarkably appropriate, when it is considered that the work is from an unpractised hand. We recommend 'Giafar Al Barmeki' to our readers, as a work of decided interest, and as a token, moreover, that the writer has the power, should he choose to exercise it, to throw a shadow over some American novelists whom we wot of, who have more fame but less genius than himself.
EAST AND WEST. A Novel. By the Author of 'Clinton Bradshaw.' In two volumes.
pp. 472. Philadelphia : Carey, LEA AND BLANCHARD.
CLINTON BRADSHAW should have followed the present work, in the order of improvement, for to our way of thinking, it is in all respects superior to 'East and West,' which, as a novel, lacks many essential attributes. In the first place, it lacks plot. There are incidents enough, and now and then sketches which evince the capabilities of the author, were he adequately to digest in his mind a traceable plan of operations. What, for example, could be more graphic than the description of the contest and encounter of the steam-boats Turtle and Alexander, the bursting of the boiler of the latter, and the scenes which ensued? But this and kindred portions are but separate fragments, and not parts of a well-finished whole. There is another objection to the volumes under notice, and it is one to which · Clinton Brandshaw' was also open, although to a much less degree. There is a want of refinement in the characters — especially in the male portraitures – which will strike the most casual reader. We should be loth to consider a western gentleman to be such as our author describes him. The defects, however, of 'East and West' appear to us more attributable to haste, and a want of well-digested method, than to lack of power on the part of the author. He is unquestionably a man of talent, and a close observer; and we look to see him avoid in future those drawbacks to his reputation, which have been pointed out in a spirit of kindness by his critics, and which we are sure his better judgment cannot fail to recognise.
THE RELIGIOUS OPINIONS AND CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON. By E. C. M'GUIRE. 12mo.
New-York: HARPER AND BROTHERS.
MR. M'GUIRE, the author of this book, is, as we learn, a highly respectable clergyman of Virginia, a man of talents, and by marriage a member of the Washington family; and he has for many years made it an object to collect and arrange the materials of this work. It may reasonably be accepted, therefore, as a conscientious production, which the perusal abundantly proves. Nothing of fidelity in the narration, of pains in research, of care and good judgment in the selection of matter, and of skill in the arrangement of it, seems to have been wanting to render the volume altogether the most pleasant life of Washington we have ever seen comprehended in the same space, with reference to the same object. Indeed, the task of bringing out the religious character of Washington has never before been fairly and well performed. It is, therefore, in this light, a welcome novelty, and ought to be as dear to every American Christian patriot, as if it were the only record of the life of a man so highly revered by his country, and by the world. Nay, it ought to be the more precious, and justly claims to have a place in every family in the nation, since of all the attempts to give the life of Washington to the world, it is the only one which unlocks and displays that secret of his character which made him what he waswhat he has ever been believed and known to be- an honest patriot; and which proves that he was honest, because he was a Christian. It has ever been the wonder of the world, why the idol of such a nation, in such circumstances, should have declined, perseveringly and to the last, all the advantages of his position, except so far as he could confer benefit on his country and upon mankind. It was because Washington was a Christian— because he had the fear of God before his eyes. Nothing could shake his purpose of living for others and not for himself. Washington is an exception to the history of our race under similar circumstances, and this book shows how and why he was so.
ASTORIA, OR ANECDOTES OF AN ENTERPRISE BEYOND THE Rocky MOUNTAINS. By
Washington Irving. In two vols. pp. 564. Philadelphia : CAREY, LEA AND BLAS
The general diffusion which this latest work of Mr. Irving will have attained, long before these pages can reach our readers, must be our apology for not attempting, at so late a period, a detailed review which could possess neither new. ness nor interest to those by whom the volumes themselves have been devoured up. But we cannot permit the opportunity to pass, without expressing in brief our admiration of the exceedingly graphic and picturesque descriptions of exciting expeditions and adventures by land and sea, and the fine sketches of character, with which the work abounds. Indeed, as a history of the 'American Fur Company,' and of the large and important operations by which an eminent citizen has arisen to opulence and distinction, these volumes were alone well worthy of perusal and preservation. But when to this is superadded the charms of a diction kindred to that which has thrown a literary halo around the history of the 'world-seeking Genoese,' the result may readily be anticipated. Without enlarg. ing, therefore, for the reasons stated, upon the merits of the work in detail, we proceed to transfer a separate picture, and the only one for which we can make room, of a striking scene, which we cannot but hope some American artist may think worthy – as it undoubtedly is – of the pencil.
It should be premised, that Mr. M'Kay is the interpreter, and that the Tonquin was a fine vessel, of two hundred and ninety tons burthen, employed in the first expedition planned by Mr. Astor, to carry out the people, stores, ammunition, and mer. chandise, requisite for establishing a fortified trading-post at the mouth of Columbia river. An Indian chief, receiving an indignity from a bluff trading-manager on board the ship, then lying at the mouth of Columbia river, goes on shore, and on the following morning his tribe return in canoes, for the ostensible purpose of trade, and, contrary to the caution enjoined by Mr. Astor, are permitted to clamber into the vessel from ever side:
"The officer of the watch now felt alarmed, and called to Captain Thorn and Mr. M'Kay. By the time they came on deck, it was thronged with Indians. The interpreter noticed to Mr. M'Kay that many of the natives wore short mantles of skins, and
intimated a suspicion that they were secretly armed. Mr. M'Kay urged the captain to clear the ship and get under way. He again made light of the advice; but the augmented swarm of canoes about the ship, and the numbers still putting off from shore, at length awakened his distrust, and he ordered some of the crew to weigh anchor, while some were sent aloft to make sail.
“ The Indians now offered to trade with the captain on his own terms, prompted, apparently, by the approaching departure of the ship. Accordingly, a hurried trade was commenced. The main articles sought by the savages in barter, were knives; as fast as some were supplied they moved off, and others succeeded. By degrees they were thus distributed about the deck, and all with weapons.
" The anchor was now nearly up, the sails were loose, and the captain, in a loud and peremptory tone, ordered the ship to be cleared. In an instant a signal yell was given: it was echoed on every side, knives and war-clubs were brandished in every direction, and the savagcs rushed upon their marked victims.
“The first that fell was Mr. Lewis, the ship's clerk. He was leaning, with folded arms, over a bale of blankets, engaged in bargaining, when he received a deadly stab in the back, and fell down the companionway. "Mr. M‘Kay, who was seated on the iaffrail
, sprang on his feet, but was instantly knocked down with a war-club and Aung backwards into the sea, where he was despatched by the women in the canoes.
“In the meantime, Captain Thorn made desperate fight against fearful odds. He was a powerful as well as resolute man, but he had come upon deck without weapons. Shewish, the young chief, singled him out as his peculiar prey, and rushed upon him at the first outbreak. The captain had barely time to draw a claspknife, with one blow of which he laid the young savage dead at his feet. Several of the stoutest followers of Shewish now set upon him. He defended himself vigorously, dealing crippling blows to right and left, and strewing the quarterdeck with the slain and wounded." His object was, to fight his way to the cabin, where there were fire-arms; but he was hemmed in with foes, covered with wounds, and faint with loss of blood. For an instant he leaned upon the tiller wheel, when a blow from behind, with a war club, felled him to the deck, where he was despatched with knives and thrown overboard.
"While this was transacting upon the quarterdeck, a chance medley fight was going on throughout the ship. The crew fought desperately with knives, handspikes, and whatever weapon they could seize upon in the moment of surprise. They were soon, however, overpowered by numbers, and mercilessly butchered.
" As to the seven who had been sent aloft to make sail, they contemplated with horror the carnage that was going on below. Being destitute of weapons, they let themselves down by the running rigging, in hopes of getting between decks. One fell in the attempt, and was instantly despatched; another received a death blow in the back as he was descending; a third, Stephen Weekes, the armorer, was mortally wounded as he was getting down the hatchway.
"The remaining four made good their retreat into the cabin, where they found Mr. Lewis, still alive, though mortally wounded. Barricading the cabin door, they broke holes through the companionway, and, with the muskets and ammunition which were at hand, opened a brisk fire which soon cleared the deck.
“Thus far the Indian interpreter, from whom these particulars are derived, had been an eye-witness of the deadly conflict. He had taken no part in it, and had been spared by the natives as being of their race. In the confusion of the moment he took refuge with the rest in the canoes. The survivors of the crew now sallied forth, and discharged some of the deck guns, which did great execution among the canoes, and drove all the savages to shore.
“For the remainder of the day no one ventured to put off to the ship, deterred by the effecis of the fire-arms. The night passed away without any further attempt on the part of the natives. When the day dawned, the Tonquin still lay at anchor in the bay, her sails all loose and Aapping in the wind, and no one apparently on board of her. After a time, some of the canoes ventured' forth to reconnoitre, taking with them the interpreter. They paddled about her, keeping cautiously at a distance, but growing more and more emboldened at seeing her quiet and lifeless. One man at lengih made his appearance on the deck, and was recognised by the interpreter as Mr. Lewis. He made friendly signs, and invited them on board. 'It was long before they ventured to comply. Those who mounted the deck met with no opposition ; no one was to be seen on board; for Mr. Lewis, after inviting them, had disappeared. Other canoes now pressed forward to board the prize; the decks were soon crowded, and the sides covered with clambering savages, all intent on plunder. In the midst of their eagerness and exultation, the ship blew up with a tremendous explosion. Arms, legs, and mutilated bodies were blown into the air, and dreadful havoc was made in the surrounding canoes. The interpreter was in the main chains at the time of the explosion, and was thrown unhurt into the water, where he succeeded in getting into one of the canoes. According to his statement, the bay presented an awful spectacle after the catastrophe. The ship had disappeared, but the bay was covered with fragments of the wreck, with shattered canoes, and Indians swimming for their lives, or struggling in the agonies of death; VOL. IX.