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For JULY, 1848.
ART. I.-Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell Burton, Bart. With Selections from his Correspondence. Edited by his Son, Charles Buxton, Esq. 8vo. London: John Murray.
THE annals of benevolence are amongst the best records of human life. They are full of instruction, and are worthy of diligent study. Other things may be more attractive to the light, the thoughtless, and the sensual, and may continue to engage, as they have hitherto done, a disproportionate share of public notice. The politician and the soldier, the hero of the cabinet and of the field, may secure more attention, and be deemed more important personages. Their history may be more widely known, the narrative of their lives be more generally read, but their deeds are questionable, their characters are complex, and their labors are commonly more productive of mischief than of benefit. Their reputation is for the most part artificial, the growth of ignorance, and of defective morality. It springs from the mental childhood of their compeers, and is perpetually lessening, as the knowledge and virtue of mankind advance. The heroes of a former age are, in many cases, now forgotten, or if remembered, are viewed only as specimens of a class which has been the opprobrium and curse of their race. No doubt there have been noble exceptions. Our own country has supplied many. The world has been bettered by our Alfreds, our Eliots, our Cromwells, and our Somerses, but, taken as a whole, these men have little claim on our admiration or gratitude. VOL. XXIV. B