The Sayings of Doctor Bushwhacker and Other Learned Men
By A. Simpson & Co.. New York :
THE best thing in this book is that brief Sketch of travel, called “Up the Rhine,” in which the British tourist is presented with a delightful fidelity. Eyes that have once beheld him never forget him, and it is good to gaze upon him here in his extraordinary travelling-costume, with all his sightseer’s panoply upon him. It affects one like a personal recollection, when he addresses the American and says : —
“ ‘ Going to Switz’land ?’
“ ‘ Yes.’
“ ‘ Y’ got Moy for Switz’land ? ’
“ ‘ Moy ? I beg pardon.’
“ ‘ Yes, Moy, — Moy; got Moy for Switz’land ? ’
“ ‘ Moy ! Do you mean money ? I hope so ! ’
“ ‘ Ged gad, sir, no ! I say Moy.’
“ ‘Upon my word, I do not comprehend you.’
“ ‘ Moy, sir, Moy ! ’ rapping vehemently on the red cover of my guide-book that lay on the table, ‘ I say Moy for Switz’land.’
“ ‘ O, you mean Murray ? ’
“ ‘ Certainly, sir ; did n’t I say Moy ? ’ ” This is a touch of nature; and nothing else in the book is done with a hand so free and artistic. Doctor Bushwhacker is passably entertaining in his talk of tea and coffee and chocolate and wine and salad; but when he comes to speak of literature, he makes us suspect that the latest thing in criticism which his professional duties have left him leisure to read is E. A. Poe’s “American Literati.” He discourses of “ Accidental Resemblances ” between Mr. Longfellow and other poets, defends the venerable Halleck from the charge of copying “ Don Juan ” in his “ Fanny,” and pronounces Joseph Rodman Drake the only original American poet.
Among the contributions to these “ Sayings ” by other learned men than Dr. Bushwhacker, the most admirable are the two imitations of Macaulay by the late Colonel Porter; of their kind they are nowhere surpassed. But the editor of the book has left the retiring muse of criticism little to say of these productions of his collaborateurs. In his Preface he efficiently praises them all, specifying one as “sparkling,” and another as “excellent,” and others as coming from persons who have exquisite taste for true humor, and assemble in themselves great moral, religious, and literary merits ; and finally offers his thanks to the gentleman who indefatigably urged him to publish the collection.