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THE author of "The Backwoodsman," Mr. J. K. Paulding, who has attained considerable literary celebrity in America, is not unknown to the English public. His merits have been appreciated as one of the joint-authors of "Salmagundi," a work which some time ago excited considerable attention. To the same gentleman, also, the literary world of America is indebted for the "Letters from the South," which contain much curious information respecting a portion of the United States, but little known to European travellers. In the title-page to the "Letters from the South," we are likewise informed, that he is the author of a work called "John Bull, and Brother Jonathan," the idea of which was far from original, though the

execution of it was occasionally clever. In the style of his prose compositions, there is a very wide difference between Mr. Paulding and his friend Mr. Washington Irving, whose name and merits are too well known, to require any eulogy in this place. Mr. Paulding, in his affection for the democratical institutions of his country, has adopted a style of writing, certainly not of the most polished and courtly kind-he seems to delight in expressing himself boldly and carelessly, without paying too nice a regard to the decrees of taste, and the canons of criticism. The humour which he displays in his "Letters from the South," is not always of the most refined nature, and his satirical attacks are perhaps more vigorous than witty. The compositions of Mr. Irving, on the contrary, have attracted great admiration on both sides of the Atlantic, by the elegance and the delicacy of sentiment which they display. Of course it must be expected, that some of those peculiarities, which have been mentioned as affecting Mr. Paulding's other works, will in some degree tincture the style of his poems. There is, in fact, something of the same roughness of character visible in them. This quality seems to be natural to the writer, and

it therefore bears no appearance of affectation, and indeed it is very seldom so excessive as to become unpleasing. From many parts of "The Backwoodsman," it is evident that Mr. Paulding possesses great poetical feeling, and a keen perception of the beauties of his native country, which though it may not rival the bel paese of Italy, yet abounds with magnificent and delightful scenery. It is on this account more particularly, that the productions of Mr. Paulding's muse are entitled to our attention and esteem. Some of his descriptions are very striking and vivid, of which that of the Storm, which will be found in the following pages, may be mentioned as an instance.

It would appear from the following lines, which are quoted from the poem of "Fanny," a portion of which is inserted in the present volume, that the reputation of Mr. Paulding stands higher in America as a satirist than as a poet. The propriety of this opinion will probably be questioned by many who are familiar with him in both cha


Homer was well enough; but would he ever
Have written, think ye, the Backwoodsman ?-Never.



Alas for Paulding-I regret to see

In such a stanza one whose giant powers, Seen in their native element, would be

Known to a future age, the pride of ours. There is none breathing, who can better wield The battle-axe of satire-on its field,


The wreath he fought for he has bravely won :
Long be its laurel green around his brow!—
It is too true, I'm somewhat fond of fun,

And jesting; but for once I'm serious now.
Why is he sipping weak Castalian dews?
The Muse has damn'd him-let him damn the Muse.

The story of "The Backwoodsman" is of the simplest kind, and merely consists of the adventures of a settler and his family; and as the author himself informs us, it was only adopted for the purpose of introducing, in an easy and natural way, a greater variety of scenery, it has been thought unnecessary, in making the following selections, to attempt preserving the thread of the narrative. The edition, from which the extracts are taken, was published at Philadelphia in 1818.

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