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(1.) Eldorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire. By BAYARD TAYLOR. London: Richard Bentley. 1850.
(2.) Personal Adventures in Upper and Lower California, in 1848-9. By W. R. RYAN. London: William Shoberl.
BLOWING bubbles is a remarkably pleasant | pastime. We were all engrossed with it here a few years ago; and sundry indisputable arguments were used for the purpose of showing why ours should be exempt from the fate of bubbles in general-that of bursting. Facts, however-and so much the worse for them-have contradicted this ingenious theory. Our bubbles have burst; our rockets have come down sticks. It remains to be seen whether the more dazzling ones that have attracted so many longing looks to the other side of the world, are to prove equally unsubstantial. Opinions differ widely about this; and to ascertain the precise value of Upper California to its present owners, and the world at large, would, at this stage of its progress, be no easy matter. Men's views and representations are influenced by their interests and prejudices at all times. But more especially are these apt to lead them astray in times of such extraordinary excitement as have been consequent on the recent
VOL. XXI. NO. III.
appearance of this region in an entirely new character, that of a gold-producing country. Astonished, bewildered, elated, with the prospect of gold for the having, it cannot be wondered at if many, with the best intentions in the world to be cool in their judgment and correct in their estimate, have begun by seeing double at least. And we must say that your sanguine people, who make no allowance for fiction, are about as great mischiefmakers as can be. While, if the honest and right-minded may be thus misled, and frequently are so, it must be borne in mind that there is always another class prepared to take advantage of this state of mind, and, knowingly, to foster extravagance of expectation, from any probable source of gain, in order to serve their own selfish ends. We have seen enough of this at home, and our "slang" has been enriched with terms to describe such men. It is unpleasant to recognize their existence; but there they are. What is worse, we are not always in a