Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 220

              [newspaper clipping]
  Self-Made Men.  By Charles C. B. Seymour.
(New York, Harper & Brothers; London, Low &
Co.)�More than sixty short biographies are here,
the largest number of subjects taken from that coun-
try of self-made men, America: though the English
are also reminded of the origin and early struggles
of their Arkwright, Brindley, Stephenson.  The
writing, generally, is not good: the theme being
one which calls for nerve, temperance and simpli-
city of style. Feathers, laces and ruffles are the
fit decorations of a Madame du Chatelet,�a Horace
Walpole.  �Self-made men� show best, we think, in
the dignity of plain apparel,�which, though plain,
need not therefore be Quakerish also.  But some
of the pages are marked with errors graver than
those of florid epithet.  We could specify offences
against propriety, when the living are spoken of,
the increasing frequency of which as means of
making a book saleable, does not deaden our aver-
sion to the practice.  The gratification of curiosity
about men of distinction by a thoughtless raking-
up of the scandals and sorrows of their lives, tells
badly on the reader�badly on the writer.  This
�Self-made Men� offends less than many of its pre-
decessors in this respect, but offence exists               
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