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Literary notices.


Works of Miss Emily V. Mason:

1. Southern Poems of the War--collected and arranged by Miss Emily V. Mason, of Virginia. This beautifully gotten up book is edited with Miss Mason's well-known literary taste, and contains many gems which should find a place in our household poetry. It should be in every library, and our children should be taught many of its soul-stirring verses.

2. “Journal of a Young Lady in Virginia, 1782.” This is a curious and very interesting sketch of the manners and customs of the best society in Virginia of the period of which it treats.

3. “Popular Life of General R. E. Lee.” The design of this book is clearly indicated by the following letter of dedication to Mrs. Lee:

My Dear Mrs. Lee:
With your permission I dedicate to you this life of our beloved hero. It may seem daring in one so unpracticed to attempt a theme so lofty. But I have hoped that the love and admiration I felt for General Lee would inspire me with ability to present him to others as I knew him.

Other writers will exhibit his public life, his genius and magnanimity. I wish to show more of his domestic character and private virtues; his unwearied industry, his self-control and self-denial, his unselfish temper; his generous kindness, his gentle manners; his modesty and moderation in success; his patience in difficulties and disappointments, and his noble fortitude in defeat and disaster.

That you who are most jealous of his fame should honor me with your approval, leads me to hope for the like indulgence from the American people, to whose history he belongs.


Miss Mason is an exceedingly clever writer, and has used her material with a skill and good taste which makes her book exceedingly interesting and very valuable as a picture of the inner life of our grand old Chieftain. [191] The whole range of ancient or modern literature would be searched in vain for more beautiful specimens of letter-writing than some of General Lee's letters which are given in this book. In a word, it is a work to carry into our homes, to put into the hands of our boys, to be read and studied as a fine portrayal of the character of the noblest man who ever trod this continent.

These books are all published by John Murphy & Co., Baltimore, to whom we are indebted for copies, and in paper, type, binding, etc., are beautiful specimens of the book-maker's art. Miss Mason has been generously devoting the proceeds of their sale to the education of the daughters of Conlederate soldiers, and this, in addition to their real merits, ought to secure for them a wide and continuing sale. They may be ordered directly from the publishers.

The poems of Frank O. Ticknor, M. D. Edited by K. M. R., with an introductory notice of the Author by Paul H. Hayne. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.

This book is very carefully and skillfully edited by the accomplished lady who has done the work and modestly withholds her name. The publishers have performed their part admirably, and thousands who have admired and wept over Ticknor's sweet poems that have appeared from tile to time in the newspapers, will rejoice to have these and others never before published collected together in this beautiful volume. Paul H. Hayne — himself no mean authority — concludes his admirable introductory by saying; “Burns, himself, was not more direct, more transparently honest in his metrical appeals than Ticknor. There are no fantastic conceits, no farfetched similes, no dillettanteism of any sort in his verses. The man's soul-sturdy yet gentle, stalwart yet touched by a feminine sweetness--‘ informed ’ them always; and, if it can hardly be said of his lyrics that each was ‘polished as the bosom of a star,’ still the light irradiating them seldom failed to be light from the heaven of a true inspiration.”

The Virginians of the Valley and Little Giffen of Tennessee, have long taken their places among the standard poems that will live, and we hesitate not to declare that there other gems in the volume equally worthy.

The book is published by subscription, and may be had by sending the price ($1.50) to Miss K. M. Rowland, 225 Freemont street, Baltimore.


Life and letters of Admiral D. G. Farragut. By his son Loyall Farragut. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

This book, in its type, paper, binding, steel engravings and other illustrations, is gotten up in the superb style for which this great house is famous. The son sketches, with skillful, loving hand, the life of his distinguished father, and interweaves his narrative with copious extracts from his own letters, journals and official reports, thus really making the Admiral tell the story of his own life. The book is of deep interest and great historical value (albeit there are a number of statements which we cannot accept and which [192] we propose hereafter to ventilate), and will doubtless have a wide sale both at the North and at the South. While there are some notable exceptions, the book seems, in the main, much freer from bitterness towards the South than might be expected in the biography of one who thought proper to side with the enemies of the State which gave him birth, the section in which he had so long lived, and the people from whom he had received so much kindness. And while deeply regretting that any son of the South should have brought himself to draw his sword against the land of his birth, yet it is a source of a certain sort of pride that the North was compelled to bestow her highest naval honors on this Southron, while she owed so much of her success in the field to Winfield Scott, George H. Thomas, Canby, Blair, Sykes, Ord, Getty, Anderson, Alexander, Nelson, and other Southern officers, and the 400,000 Southern born men (chiefly from Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee), not counting the negroes, who served in her ranks. How different the result might have been if all these had been true to their section and the principles of their fathers!


General Longstreet's paper in the Philadelphia times of March 13th in reply to Generals A. L. Long and Fitz. Lee will excite attention and elicit wile comment. We make here no criticism upon the article, and express no opinion upon the merits of the questions at issue.

But there is one statement made by General Longstreet which we feel called on to notice, for reasons which will appear. In reference to General Lee's “Final and full report of the Pennsylvania campaign and the battle of Gettysburg.” which we published in our papers for July, 1876, General Longstreet says: “Since his [Lee's] death another account has been published by unofficial parties as his official report. But it is a paper prepared after both sides were known and for the special purpose of readjusting the original reports so that it might be so construed as to meet the wishes of those who have combined to throw the responsibility of the failure upon my shoulders.”

Now if this statement is true, we made a very serious blunder in publishing as General Lee's report something patched up for a purpose after his death, and a grave suspicion is cast upon the authenticity of the reports we publish. But we think that even General Longstreet, had he done us the honor to read our introduction to the report (vol. II, pp. 33-34), would be compelled to admit the overwhelming proofs of the genuiness of this report. We have only space to repeat them very briefly :

1. The report was originally published in 1869--nearly two years before General Lee's death — by Mr. Wm. Swinton (author of the “Army of the Potomac” ) in the february number of the Historical Magazine, New York.

2. In April, 1869, General Lee told General Early that he had received the published copy of the report and that it was “substantially correct.”

3. Colonel Charles Marshall, General Lee's Military Secretary, stated that he had lent Mr. Swinton the original rough draft of the report from which a copy had been made for General Lee, and which was the same as that published in the Historical Magazine.

4. The copy from which we printed was a Ms. found among the papers of Michael Kelly, who was a clerk in General Cooper's office, and was identical with the copy printed in the Historical Magazine (and afterwards reprinted in the Southern Magazine, Baltimore, for August 1872). except that it corrected several verbal errors, and added several paragraphs at the close in reference to the conduct of our officers and men and our captures at Gettysburg. Our Ms. is evidently a copy of the finally corrected report of General Lee, and its authenticity seems to us beyond all doubt.

We have not space, nor is it necessary, to make any comment.

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