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NEW BOOKS. Every person among us at the present day has some friend or brother in the colonies of Australia and New Zealand. Mr. George Baden Powell, in a well-arranged volume called New Homes for the Old Country (Bentley), has gathered up the results of his personal observation concerning that part of the world. The first division of his book presents a broad sketch of each great province separately: New South Wales, with the city of Sydney; Victoria, with its capital, Melbourne; South Australia and Queensland, all on the mainland of New Holland; Tasmania, the island to the south of that continent; and New Zealand, lying far to the east of it. The social character of each colony, as well as its geography and natural scenery, is distinctly brought into view, so that the reader will have no excuse for confounding these different places with each other, and remembering vaguely that some one of his or her acquaintance is “gone to Australia.” In the succeeding divisions of his work, which fills altogether 500 pages, Mr. George Baden Powell describes the ways and means of travelling inland; the habits of life in “the bush,” and the pastoral and agricultural employments of settlers; the gold diggings and other mines; the wild beasts, birds, fishes, and reptiles; the climate and vegetation; the native or savage tribes of mankind; the political institutions and legislation of the whole group of these “Australasian” colonies. They have a general similarity in those respects which belong to the condition of their British settlers, but their natural features, especially the climate, botany and zoology, and the native races of men, differ extremely from each other. It appears to us that Mr. Baden Powell has contrived, with remarkable skill, to set forth the general or common aspects of life in these widely separated colonies, under the special heads above named, while accurately noticing, at the same time, whatever each country has peculiar to itself. As a task of literary composition this cannot be easy to accomplish. Many other writers have failed in the attempt, leaving “confusion worse confounded” in the minds of their readers; for travellers and emigrants, with all their vigour of awakened intelligence in desultory observation, are seldom possessed of the faculties of methodical comparison, distinguishing, and combining, required to produce their large store of mixed knowledge in due logical order. This is the great merit of Mr. Baden Powell’s very useful work; and we have met with no other book, treating of Australia and New Zealand, which affords the same amount of information arranged in so convenient a form and expressed in such a clear and agreeable style. It is ornamented with forty or fifty woodcuts, from clever little sketches full of spirit, which serve to illustrate the most striking incidents of colonial experience. We heartily recommend this account of “New Homes for the Old Country” to all ladies and gentlemen here whose sons and daughters or other relatives have sought an abode in the southern hemisphere, and to all who wish for a correct general notion of what they may expect to find if they choose to go there. 13.7.1872