14 MARCH 1857, Page 29



THE circumstances of the time render Sir John Bowring's book on Siam the most remarkable publication of the week ; and the most attractive part of that book is the author's private journal, from the time he entered the Siamese waters until he quitted them, after being feted to his heart's content, and, what was of more consequence, -completing the treaty he went to negotiate. Siam and the Siamese—the King, who speaks and writes English, and has a turn for natural philosophy—the Prime Minister, who appears to be a moral philosopher—the White Elephant, that turns out to be a whity-brown or light mahogany colour— and various other matters, we must reserve for another occasion. Let us say at once, as a matter of justice to a man who has been much assailed, if not virulently calumniated, and by men before whom he is helpless, that this journal exhibits no sign of vanity, rashness, or love of contention, still less of bloodthirstiness. On the contrary, it shows the spirit of those Benthamite and philanthropic principles which the Governor largely dealt in some thirty years ago, tempered by time, experience, and responsibility. Time, too, appears to have mellowed his style, and sobered his goodnatured "self-esteem," as the phrenologists call it. Independently of its really interesting information, his journal will leave a more favourable impression of the author than any of his other numerous writings.

The Kingdom and People of Siam : frith a Xarratire of the -Mission to that Country in1555. By Sir John Bowring, I.R.S., her Majesty's Plenipotentiary in China. In two volumes.

The Spanish Conquest in America, and its Relation to the History of Slavery and to the Government of Colonies. By Arthur Helps. The third volume. The Second Wife: a Novel. In three volumes.

From Bombay to Bushire anti Biafora: including an Account of the present State of Persia and Notes on the Persian War. By William Ashton Shepherd.

Ballads and Songs by David Mallet. A new edition, with Notes and Illustrations, and a Memoir of the Author. By Frederick Dinsdale, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A.—The name of Mallet still lives in a sort of dubious existence, preserved by Johnson's Life, into which was poured some personal knowledge; by the simply natural ballads of "William and Margaret" and "Edwin and Emma " ; and by that "bustling in the world, [and] occasionally showing himself before the public," to which Johnson ascribes the life of his works even in his own day : for such not very creditable actions as the attacks upon the memory of Pope, (at Bolingbroke's instigation,) and upon the life of Admiral B3-ng, secure a person w niche in history. The two ballads and a few songs, even if we should with Dr. Dinsdale include "Rule Britannia" amongst them, would not suffice to fill a volume, still less the ample volume before us. The "Ballads and Songs" and "David Mallet" are in fact merely themes for illustration ; and very remarkably illustrated they RM. From some early associations of the editor, (one of which was his having gone to school at Bowes, the scene of the original story of Edwin and Emma,) he feels an interest in Mallet and his works, with which the literary and we fear the tne**1 critic cannot altogether sympathize. Some years ago, Dr. Dinsdale published an illustrated edition of the "Edwin and Erosion"; he has now extended his labours to the life of Mallet and the only works of his that are likelyto be read. No one but a lawyer and an archteologist would ever have undertaken such labours; no one but a man of strong will would ever have carried them through. Every parish has been as it were ransacked that could by any apparent possibility throw light upon the life or the ballads; newspapers and magazines, besides less fugitive publications, have been Closely examined for the same purpose ; and the result is a most extraordinary mass of facts—if the like has ever been collected before—to illustrate so small a man. The volume is got up with equal elaboration : views of the principal places connected with the themes, fac-similes of handwritings and monuments, even the music to which the poetry has been set, will all be found here.

Aldershot, and all about it ; with Gossip Literary, Military, and Pictorial. By Mrs. Young, Author of "Our Camp in Turkey," &e.— The bulk of this book contains a variety of sketches descriptive of the camp and camp life at Aldershot, with some "gossip" about the places of the neighbourhood and the keople who lived there,—as Cobbett, in a neighbouring farm, Swift and 1 empla at Moor Park. The descriptions are somewhat verbose, and the specific information might be advan tageously improved for the purposes of a guide-book. The comments on the arrangements of Aldershot itself are mostly sensible, and indicate that our late zeal for military reform is stopping short, in its effects at least. They exhibit the experience of the soldier's wife and the old campaigner, with occasionally the laxity that campaigning induces in hungry people. "Our Own Correspondent" may gloat over tEe French superiority in foraging, and Mrs. Young may indorse the statement, but men who are permitted to pillage at pleasure will always enjoy a superiority over those who are compelled to purchase from those who are willing to sell.

Christian Records: a Short History of the Apostolic Age. By L. A. 'Merivale.—This historical commentary is mainly founded on the Acts and Epistles ; pretty copious quotations often telling the story in the words of the New Testament. To these materials are added facts drawn from other sources, and a good deal of exposition or comment. The composition is clear enough, but not remarkable in its tone or its grasp; nor have the views any particular depth. Without making claim to originality, the author thinks he is offering "to the public something more (or less, as the value of the work may be rated) than a more compilation." We should rather intline to say that it is a compilation ; but it will furnish a useful introduction to the history of the world during Apostolic times, in relation to morals and religion ; where the reader may proceed further on, or stop.

Deborah ; or Fireside Reading* for Household Servants. By the Rev. Norman Macleod, Minister of Barony Parish, Glasgow, Author of "the Earnest Student."—Really a aeries of sermons, though originally delivered as a lecture at an institution, on the duties and importance to domestic comfort of household servants, with some hints to masters and mistresses on their reciprocities. The author belongs to the platform school, and there is much of its laboured and iterative force in his style ; but there is also some of its exhaustive manner, which dwells upon a topic to weariness, at least in a book.

The Burnish Family.—This prize tale of the Scottish Temperance League is superior to the general run of prize publications. The incidents are of course extreme, pointing the misery that accidentally may, rather than the evils that necessarily do, result from drinking. Neither is the conduct of the story altogether probable, though as much so perhaps as the nature of tho subject admits. The scenes aro vigorously drawn, without being overdone.

Dark Deeds. By the Author of "The Gaol Chaplain."—Stories of criminals, derived from the Newgate Calendar or similar sources. If anything is contributed to the original records by the Gaol Chaplain, it would seem to be the mural and religious reflections with which the book is pretty thickly sprinkled. It is one of the numerous cheap books.

The Comic Cocker, or Figures for the Million.—A skit upon tho rules of arithmetic, illustrated by wood-cuts, in which cuts the perceptible part of the joke very often lies. This is also a cheap book.

The Abbey and other Poems. By T. N. Beasley.--The only piece in this small collection that at all differs from commonplace is "The Lost One's Home,"—a penitent returning to her mother.

The new editions are not remarkable, unless the completion of "Charles O'Malley" in the collected edition of Lever's Works is to be called so. "Old Times" is merely the collection into a volume of the

" parts" of a serial story.

Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon. By Charles Lever. With Illustrations by II. K. Browne. In two volumes. Volume II.

Old Times : a Novel. By William Wills. With Illustrations by the Author. The Water Cure, its Principles and Practice: a Guide in the preservation of health and cure of chronic disease. By Janie* Wilson, M.D., Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, late Fellow of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, London, Stc. Third edition.


The British Expedition to the Crimea. By W. H. Russell, the Times Correspondent; with Plans, Illustrations, &c. No. I.—A revised edition of the celebrated Crimean letters that appeared in the Times from "our own Correspondent." The illustrations of this first number are a burlylooking portrait of Mr. Russell and a fancy sketch of the "Guards at Scutari.'


Atlas of the United States, British and Central America, ife. By Professor Henry Darwin Rogers, of Boston, U. S., and A. K. Johnston, F.R.S.E., &c., Geographer to the Queen.—" It never rains but it pours.' A few weeks ago we had a large and complete Atlas of North America from Mr. Black of Edinburgh ; and here is another from Mr. Murray, publishing in conjunction apparently with some American house ; Professor Rogers of Boston being one of the compilers, Mr. Johnston of Edinburgh the other. It is a very handsome book ; the mountains distinctly marked by various gradations of shade to note various heights, and the swamps similarly indicated by touches of the graver. The roads, canals, and railways, appear to our eye not so distinctly marked as they might be ; the colouring has a novel effect from its brightness; the index is in a new style being a map. The smaller divisions of counties, &c., are fully exhibited in the United States and the British Possessions; and

there are plans of the principal cities. It strikes wi that, compared with Black's Atlas, the United States and Central America are more fully ex hibited, the British Possessions not so fully. There is a general letterpress introduction, noting the broad natural and statistical characteristics of the regions.