The Bulls and the Jonathans; Comprising John Bull and Brother Jonathan, and John Bull in America
By Charles Scribner and Company.. Edited by . PAULDING. New York :
“JOHN BULL and Brother Jonathan” is an allegory, conveying in a strain of fatiguing drollery the history of the relations between Great Britain and the United States previous to the war of 1812, and reflecting the popular feeling with regard to some of the English tourists who overran us after the conclusion of peace. In this ponderous travesty John Bull of Bullock is England, and Brother Jonathan the United States ; Napoleon figures as Beau Nappertv, Louis XVI. as Louis Baboon, and France as Frogmore. It could not have been a hard thing to write in its day, and we suppose that it must once have amused people, though it is not easy to understand how they could ever have read it through.
“John Bull in America " is a satire, again, upon the book-making tourists, and the ideas of our country generally accepted from them in England. It is in the form of a narrative, and probably docs not exaggerate the stories told of us by Captain Ashe, Mr. Richard Parkinson, Farmer Faux, Captain Hamilton, Captain Hall, and a tribe of now-forgotten travellers, who wrote of adventure in the United States when, as Mr. Dickens intimates, one of the readiest means of literary success in England was to visit the Americans and abuse them in a book. Mr. Paulding’s parody gives the idea that their lies were rather dull and foolish, and that the parodist’s work was not so entirely a diversion as one might think. He wrote for a generation now passing away, and it is all but impossible for us to enter into the feeling that animated him and his readers. For this reason, perhaps, we fail to enjoy his book, though we are not entirely persuaded that we should have found it humorous when it first appeared.