The Crescent and the Cross . . .

THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS; (Wiley & Putnam’s Library of choice reading. No. XII.)

  This is rather a heavy book; the writer wants vivacity and individuality of expression, while he aims at both. But he has seen a great deal and with mind and eyes well prepared to see. The book presents a better wholesale account of ‘manners and population’ in the East, than other more captivating books we have had. We know almost enough now; Egypt and Palestine are getting to be as hacknied ground as Greece and Italy. Soon there will be no strange, wild places in the world at all, the pyramids will be watch-boxes, and ice-bergs hired out as summer residences. Ten or twelve years ago an Englishman was ready to commit suicide, because, looking down from the great pyramid he saw an English Abigail, with a green parasol; what would he do for solitude and retirement now? An ‘enterprising individual’ projects at Hamburgh a party of pleasure who are to take a trip round the world. “The arrangements are so made as to secure them perpetual summer!” Red Indians and Bedouin chiefs adorn the soirees of Parisian dames, and are entertained by reproductions of their own tents or wigwams in the garden of the chateau. The wild Kabyles are to be employed in draining or other sanatory measures required by their native domain to make it convenient for Europeans. Verily! he who wants romance will soon have to seek it exclusively in the heart of man, for none will be left in the mere circumstances of the outward world.*

“The Crescent and the Cross . . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 7 June 1845, p. 1.