« PreviousContinue »
give a factitious value to it in our estimation, from which every thing expressed in that language derives some benefit. There is also a novelty in the foreign attire of the thoughts, which adds a beauty to their appearance that we never find in their ordinary and common dress. We may remark, too, that a slight degree of obscurity is favourable to the charms of almost any sentiment we can meet with; the operation of a foreign language in improving the effect of ideas, is like that of a veil over a beautiful form, or of the mistiness which occasionally adorns a prospect on a summer evening, and is so exquisitely imitated in the paintings of Claude Lorrain.-It is only from considerations of this kind, that we can pardon Mr. Wenning. ton for thinking that four tales in German were worth translating, which in English are certainly not worth reading.
Art. XIX. An Inquiry into the Symptoms and Treatment of Carditis, or the Inflammation of the Heart; illustrated by Cases and Dissections. By John Ford Davis, M. D. &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 200. Price 4s. boards. Bath, printed; Longman and Co. 1808.
THE principal inferences, deducible from the cases recorded by Dr.
Davis, are, that syncope and irregularity of the pulse are not invariable symptoms of this terrible disorder, that delirium, and symptoms of high nervous excitement, such as wandering pains, and spasmodic affec tions of various parts, sometimes occur,-that pneumonic symptoms, palpitation, and vomiting, do not always appear, and that, if there be any pathognomonic symptom, it is the extreme anguish that is felt in the region. of the heart.' Dr. D. advises bloodletting, and the exhibition of digitalis, as affording the best hope of success. But all the three cases described, as well as a fourth briefly noticed, terminated fatally. The publication may not be altogether without its use; as it combines several detached observations, and adds a few novel ones to our scanty stock of knowledge, concerning a disorder which has happily been too seldom observed to be accurately understood.
Art. XX. Mentorian Lectures on Sacred and Moral Subjects, adapted to the Comprehension of Juvenile Readers. To which are added, Origi nal Miscellaneous Poems. By Aun Murry, Author of Mentoria. 12mo. pp. 254. Price 4s. 6d. Longman and Co. 1808. FEMALE education has of late been a subject of much discussion.
Some writers recommend the ladies to go through the same routine of education, as young gentlemen intended for the learned professions, They would have them begin with the elements of the dead languages, and, by degrees, proceed to an extensive acquaintance with classical literature. Afterwards the fair students must have private lectures on various arts and sciences, particularly Logic and Rhetoric; by which means they would enjoy all the advantages of scholars at the university. According to this plan, the ladies would not be mere listeners, when grave and dignified subjects are brought on the carpet; but might contribute a due share of intelligence, enliven abstruse topics with their wit and vivacity, give importance to trifling ones by profound observations, gain fair triumphs by force of eloquence, without claiming the allowances of cour tesy, and attain to such a degree of intellectual vigour as would make them more respected and honoured by the other half of the creation.
this class of writers are disposed to exalt the fair above their natural standard, there are others who would depress them too low. They agree with Milton in thinking, that one tongue is sufficient. They are afraid lest extensive knowledge should lead the ladies to encroach on the prerogatives of men; and unfit them for aiding in the lighter offices and recreations necessary for relaxing our minds, fatigued by laborious exertions. They would have it that the natural softness of the sex, sufficiently indi. cates that they were neither designed for the athletic efforts of bodily strength, which enterprizes of great pith and moment often demand; nor for the intellectual wrestling commonly requisite for making advances in science A third class of reasoners take a middle course, and assert that the attainment of knowledge should be regulated in all persons, whether male or female, by the situation. Some ladies, therefore, may with propriety be very learned; others very estimable, without learning; but all should know enough to qualify them for the duties arising out of their respective stations.
The present publication cannot be objected to, by either of these classes of disputants. It gives useful hints to those ladies who design to study hard; it will not impart so much wisdom as to endanger the prerogatives of men; and it affords instruction, in many parts, closely connected with the duties which all women have to perform.
The subjects which come under discussion are, Mental Cultivation, Moral Excellence, Taste, Sublimity.-The chapter on Mental Cultivation is very well written. That on Moral Excellence contains many good remarks, but it blends together things which ought to be kept distinct. Common discretion is placed on the same footing with duties of morality and religion. Some of the observations on charity are erroneous, and the definition of it is defective and inadequate. The analysis of ideal beauty, in the chapter on Taste, has merit. The first lecture on Sublimity, in which its general nature is discussed, is somewhat obscure and confused. Little new light can be thrown on this subject after Addison's Dissertation on the Pleasures of the Imagination. In the other Lectures, the author illustrates the sublime in composition, by specimens from the Scriptures. These extend to so great a length, that they occupy by far the larger portion of the volume, and give it the appearance of an historical epitome of the Bible. After some time, the subject which was to be illustrated is forgotten, and the author merely relates scriptural incidents which have no bearing on the original question. But although this may not be strictly logical, yet if it be consistent with the improvement of youth, we will not quarrel with the writer about it. And we willingly add, that the historical account of the Bible is drawn up in an accurate, concise, and perspicuous manner, calculated to engage the attention and inform the minds of the young.
The work is divided into a series of lectures, supposed to be delivered by a governess to her pupil. It is to be regretted, that the lectures are thrown into the shape of dialogues. The observations of Lady Louisa, the pupil, in reply to what Mentoria has advanced, or in request of some farther explanation, are dull. tautologous, and useless. The book would be more pleasing, if Lady Louisa's part were entirely expunged.
The poems are not poetry.
Art.XXI. Touth admonished to submit to the Guidance of God. A Sermon, preached at the Chapel, in Fish Street, Kingston-upon-Hull, Jan. 8. 1809 By George Payne, A. M. Published at the Request of the Church. 8vo. pp. 32. Price 1s. Baynes. 1809.
IN reading a sermon like this, it is but justice to reflect how few discourses, not directly intended for publication, will endure a minute and rigid examination in print. The defects of such a performance may reasonably be charged against those who request to have a sermon, which has pleased them from the pulpit, perpetuated and diffused by the press, rather than to the author who accedes to their friendly and flattering importunities; and such a request will be readily excused, even when the sermon is much less intitled than this to appear before the public, by those who remember how much force, novelty, and beauty, may be given to a discourse, by an accomplished speaker, which cannot accompany it on paper to the privacy of individual readers. The sermon before us appears both to need and to claim some degree of indulgence, on considerations of this nature. It is the production, we believe, of a young minister, who has not before presented himself at our bar; and it is far from being destitute of pretensions to our favour. We cordially approve the seriousness and the wisdom of his exhortations; and sincerely wish that they may produce their appropriate effects on the minds of those who have heard or who may read them. The text is, Jeremiah iii. 4; Wilt thou not cry unto me, My Father, thou art the Guide of my youth?
Art. XXII. A History of France, from the Commencement of the Reign of Clovis, in 418, to the Peace of Campo Formio, in October, 1797; after the Manner of the History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son. 12mo. pp. 422. Price 5s. 6d. bds. Darton and Harvey. 1809.
IT is only as a careful and faithful narrative of events, that we can venture
to recommend this publication. It bears but a slight resemblance to the popular work, professedly adopted as its model, excepting its epistolary form. It is in general rather deserving of tolerance than of approbation. With regard to style, it can pretend to little other merit than that of plainness and perspicuity; and though it is not chargeable perhaps with erroneous tendency, either moral or political, it employs but rarely and feebly any of the numerous occasions of inculcating lessons of wisdom. The latter part of the work perhaps would admit of most exception. The author appears to have taken pains in executing his task; and, as a performance of this kind is wanted for the juvenile book-case, he will in all probability obtain a sufficient remuneration.
Art. XXIII. Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of Mr. William Howard, who died at North Ferriby, in the County of York, March 2, 1784. By Joseph Milner, A. M. late Master of the Grammar School of Kingston-upon Hull, and Vicar of Trinity Church. Fourth Edition. 12mo. pp. 92. Price ls. 6d. boards. Hamilton, Hatchard, Riving tons. 1809.
AS we could wish to give all possible extent to the circulation of this valuable performance, we scruple not to recommend even a fourth edition of it to the notice and patronage of every reader. The change
of character in the subject of the narrative was so decided and conspicuous, the principles of that change were so scriptural, the comments of the excellent biographer are so judicious and impressive, and his style is so nervous, that we cannot but regard the publication as at all times promising the highest benefit and meriting the warmest praise. It may be regarded as one of the superior class of religious tracts ;" and may not only be perused with pleasure by the devout Christian, but circulated among general readers with great prospect of utility.
Some press errors, we observe, that affect the grammatical construction, have been suffered to pass uncorrected.
Art.XXIV. A Concise and Impartial Statement of the Religious Opinions, General Character, Sc. of the most eminent Sects and Parties which divide the British Christian Church, &c. &c.; in a familiar Conversa. tion between a Youth and his Friend. By C. Hulbert. 12mo. pp. 59. Shrewsbury, Wood; Crosby and Co. 1809. ILL-WRITTEN and superficial as this statement is, we should probably have let it pass with only a brief and lenient notice, or perhaps with entire neglect, but for the dangerous notions of the innocence and harmlessness of error in religion, which it evidently tends to inculcate. In this respect, it somewhat resembles a publication, which by its priority, specious appearance, and professions of liberality, has obtained unmerited patronage from the public. We refer to Mr. Evans's "Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World." And we cannot omit this opportunity of strongly stating and deploring the very pernicious effects, which it is adapted, and has been observed to produce, on light and sceptical minds. To expose the various instances of unfairness and partiality which it contains, would not be very difficult; but we only complain, on this occasion, of its manifest tendency to diffuse a spurious candour, an unscriptural charity, and an indifference concerning religious truth. Our regret for the prevalence of this evil would be still deeper, were it not for a remedy which is extremely well suited to counteract it. Many of our readers, undoubtedly, are acquainted with the "Essay on Truth, containing an Inquiry into its Nature and Importance, with a Statement of the Causes of Error, and the Reasons of its being permitted," by Mr. Fuller; prefixed to his improved edition of "Adams's View of Religions. We would beg leave, most earnestly to recommend this excellent tract as an antidote, and the accurate and comprehensive work of which it forms part as a substitute, for the publications against which we have felt it an imperious duty to protest.
Art. XXV. The Church-Yard, and other Poems. By George Wood. ley. Foolscap 8vo. pp. 155. Price 6s. bds. Tipper. 1809. UNLESS the elegant, yet modest appearance, of this little volume, has too much prepossessed us in its favour, it has many claims to commendation. The principal poem, on a very affecting subject, which * Published, 1805, in 8vo, and 12mo. Sold by Williams and Co. Button, &c.
the author has treated copiously and ingeniously, contains numerous passages of real merit. We extract one as not an unfair specimen.
Hark! with what awful tone the drowsy clock
Chaunt their nocturnal service to the moon!
Struggles to quit the gross encumb'ring clay,
And, sighing, sinks again into herself!' pp. 35-37.
The serious turn of the sentiments in this work, and the very amiable character which it inclines us to attribute to the author, will strongly recommend it to the patronage of those who rejoice in the association of poetry and devotion.
The minor poems are by no means despicable. There is one intitled • Poor Hannah,' written in the ballad style, and in the same plaintive stanza as "Twas on a Winter's Evening," which is truly pathetic. The stanza How could you praise my beauty,' &c. was probably suggested by a charming verse in the ballad of " William and Margaret; and the subjects of the two poems are not very dissimilar. In the present, the betrayed and abandoned Hannah dies, at the moment when her penitent lover returns to renew and sanctify his vows. He finds her expiring on a bleak cliff, in a dreadful tempest; and while he is venting the agonies of remorse and despair in the following lines, is struck by a flash of lightning.
"Awake, arise! 'tis Henry calls; 'tis Henry at thy feet, Who comes, a weeping penitent, thy pardon to intreat ;
O God! what horror chills me! what do mine eyes behold-
"Curst be the hand that rudely plucked the flow'r so pure and
pp. 112, 113.
A fine engraving, by Landseer, is prefixed as a frontispiece.