Search for Winter Sunbeams in Riviera, Corsica, Algiers, and Spain

By SAMUEL S. COX. With numerous Illustrations. New York : D. Appleton & Co.
MR. COX dedicates this volume to his constituents of the Sixth Congressional District of New York, and we beg to assure such of that highly respectable body as can read, that they may spend their time to far better advantage in looking over their Congressman’s book than in listening to his political speeches ; and that if they were minded to hold public meetings, and read aloud portions of it to their illiterate fellow-constituents, they would be doing an act favorable to civilization. The ground over which Mr. Cox passes is not strange to travel, and to many people outside of his district perhaps there would be no great novelty in what he says. Yet he writes in amiable spirit; he has a lively manner, and he is an intelligent and shrewd observer. He is at his best in Africa, which has not remembered his political offences against him ; and when he gets to Spain and talks of the revolution and the public men, he is to be read with profit. Of course we come in for a bull-fight: but it is not produced for a thrilling effect; and there is very little about art, and that is some compensation. The descriptions of the countries and people seen are clear and good; Mr. Cox has a poetical feeling for what is pretty or grand in travel, and the prevailing modesty of his rhetoric might be usefully studied by his fellow-Congressmen, and any young roughs among his constituents who chance to be forecasting the succession to his place. Not that we think his style good as a general thing: those short sentences, following one another like the detonation of Chinese crackers in an empty barrel, are easy things to understand, but grace or music is not in them; and then Mr. Cox has sad lapses of taste. As to his humor, it is dreadful, coming out in puns, and the like.