Editorial paragraph.

volume 12 S. H. S. Papers is completed in this number, and is now ready for the binders. A glance at its table of contents will show, we think, that it is not one whit behind previous volumes in variety, interest and real historic value. We are now prepared to receive orders for this volume at the following prices: Unbound, $3; bound in cloth, $3.50; half morocco, $3.75; half calf, $4.

membership fees and past-due subscriptions have been, and are very much in request at this office, and we are seeking very earnestly to collect them.

We are meeting a measure of success, but have found some obstacles and some confusion of ideas on the part of members and subscribers, which would be amusing if it were not rather serious.

E. G.—Here is a specimen letter from a gentleman whose time expired in October, 1883, and who, therefore, owes us $3 from that date to October, 1884, and $3 for the next year, if he continues. But he coolly writes us that he ‘only subscribed for one year,’ and having paid for that, he considers himself under no obligation to pay for 1883-84. Now, there are several replies to this:

1. When one is enrolled as a member of the society he is continued until heformally notifies the Secretary of his wish to withdraw, and he is bound for his fees (at the rate of $3 per annum) until he gives such notification.

2. The postal laws are plain and emphatic that when a subscriber fails to notify a publisher of his desire to discontinue his paper, and the publisher continues to send it the subscriber is bound to pay the subscription. And surely it is neither good ethics or good law that one should receive our Papers for twelve months or two years, and then decline to pay for them.

the terms of membership in our Society are $3 per annum for annual, and $50 for life membership, and the payment of these fees entitles the member to ‘all the privileges of the Society, including the receipt of its official publications..’ For some years—from 1869 to 1876—the Society was unable to make regular publications, and the members paid their fees simply to meet the expenses incident to the prosecution of the work of gathering and preserving ‘material for the future historian,’ and received nothing in return. Since January, 1876, however, we have given our members a full quid pro quo for the fees they have paid. We have sometimes not been as prompt as is desirable in issuing our numbers, but we have never failed to mail to each member and subscriber every number to which he was entitled, [575] and when informed that any failed to receive special numbers we have promptly mailed duplicates. We mention this because we sometimes receive complaints (especially from one in arrears) of failure to receive numbers a year or more ago. A postal card sent at the time of the failure of the numbers will always receive prompt attention. But we beg to remind our members that their fees are due and are needed, whether they receive any publi-cations or not.

We are not using our ‘special fund’ (which is safely invested) for current expenses, and as we must promptly meet these, we need every dollar due us (though if we had to-day the half of what is due we should be very comfortable), and we beg our friends to send us their dues at once, without waiting for an agent to call on them, or for any further reminder.

Literary Notices.

The letters and times of the Tylers. By Lyom G. Tyler. In two volumes. Volume I. Richmond, Va.: Whittet & Shepperson. 1884.

We are indebted to the accomplished author for a copy of this valuable book, which, in paper, type, binding, and general get-up, are admirable specimens of the book-maker's art, and reflect high credit on all concerned. We must reserve for the future the full review which the book deserves, as we have space now for only a brief notice.

But we must say, that while any book on the ‘Letters and Times’ of these distinguished Virginians would be of interest and historic value, our author has shown industrious research in collecting his materials, and great ability in using them—that he wields a facile, graceful pen—and that he has not only written a most readable and entertaining biography, but has made a contribution of real value to the history of the important epoch of which he treats. While with filial hand he draws the portraits and vindicates the fame of his distinguished father and grandfather, he brings out clearly the times in which they lived, pictures the men with whom they came in contact, and describes the great measures of State and Federal policy with which they were connected. We cordially commend the book as one which should be in every library.

Fifty years observations of men and events—civil and military. by General E. D. Keys. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1884.

The publishers have sent us (through West & Johnston, Richmond) this exceedingly entertaining narrative of a gallant and distinguished soldier who has shown that he can wield the pen with as much facility as the sword. It is a gossipy, interesting book about men and things, and while we cannot, of course, accept all of the author's opinions, yet we are pleased with the kindly tone in which he speaks of many of our Confederate leaders. E. g., he says of Stonewall Jackson: [576]

‘The conduct of Jackson's campaign, in 1862, between Harpers Ferry and Richmond, justifies any measure of praise.’

He pays General Lee the following tribute:

The whole civilized world has reviewed the career of General Lee. The qualities of his mind and disposition have been recognized and extolled, and his fate has excited the tenderest sympathy in millions of hearts. A character like that of Robert E. Lee could not possibly be found in any human society in which the laws and public opinion do not sanction and approve of marked distinctions of rank among its members.

Lee's family was of the highest, and his cradle was rocked by a slave. His sense of superiority and fitness to command, being infused at his birth, was never questioned. From infancy to threescore he knew no physical malady, and the admirable symmetry of his person and the manly beauty of his countenance were the aids to his virtues which secured to him tolerance, affection, and respect from all with whom he mingled. He passed the four years of his cadetship without a single mark of demerit, and during my long acquaintance with him I never heard him accused of an act of meanness, tyranny, or neglect of duty His nature was genial and sociable, and he would join freely in all the sports and amusements proper to his age. He was exempt from every form and degree of snobbery, which is a detestable quality that appears most often among people whose theories of government presume an absolute equality. He was a favorite with the ladies, but he never allowed them to waste his time, to warp his judgment, or to interrupt his duty. To whatever station he was ordered, however secluded or unhealthy it might be, he would go to it with cheerfulness. Every kind of duty seemed a pleasure to him, and he never intrigued for promotion or reward. Nevertheless, no man could stand in his presence and not recognize his capacity and acknowledge his moral force. His orders, conveyed in mild language, were instantly obeyed, and his motives were universally approved In all the time in which I observed his conduct I was true to my own antecedents. I was a northern man, and no word dropped from my lips or was shed from my pen that did not testify to my origin and proper allegiance. I will not deny that the presence of Lee, and the multiform graces that clustered around him, oftentimes oppressed me, though I never envied him, and I doubt if he ever excited envy in any man. All his accomplishments and alluring virtues appeared natural in him, and he was free from the anxiety, distrust, and awkwardness that attend a sense of inferiority, unfriendly discipline, and censure.’

It is pleasant to read such a tribute from the pen of a Federal soldier, and we cannot do less than to heartily commend the book which contains it.

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