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improved by representation. It will be found, upon due consideration, that every work, which in the least approaches to sublimity, chronicles, under forms more or less ambiguous, the mighty and never ceasing struggle between the principles of good and of evil. Surrounding these powers with their respective glories and terrors, keeping their personifi. cations in all the vast indistinctness of grandeur, and, finally, winning all our aspirations to the virtuous agency, be it either triumphant or van. quished, are the great materials of both the epic and the regular tragedy. Of these the author of “ Ion” has availed himself nobly. He has taken the abstract principle of good, and placed it in opposition to the power, and even the insolence of evil, which he has not only vanquished but converted. In effecting this he has called into action the best sympathies of our common nature, and embellished his scenes with some of the highest attributes of poetry. We repeat, that no scenic representation could do it justice-yet, to an audience only a little refined, we are confident it would afford, on the stage, a feast of the most intellectual description, and meet with the most decided success. We can feel with and love “
Ion," notwithstanding the isolation of his character, and the idealism of his virtue. We are inclined to think that this tragedy would be more grand, and more complete, with the omission of the character of Cleanthe. Certainly she is a beautiful being, but she too much diverts the mind from the solemn action of the piece, and the severe unity of its design. Altogether, we think “ Ion a production that would do honour to any age, and we think that after the learned gentleman has been satisfied with the varieties of his political and legal successes, and the calmness of many years shall settle upon his mind, he will look back to the creation of “ Ion ”with more than feelings of unalloyed satisfaction.
The Sacred Classics ; or, the Cabinet Library of Divinity. Edited
by the Rev. B. CATTERMOLE, B.D., and the Rev. H. STEBBING, M.A. John Hatchard and Son, Piccadilly; Whittaker and Co., Ave Maria Lane ; Simpkin and Marshall, Stationers' Court, &c. &c. The twentieth number of this national work contains the following selections from the works of the Rev. John Horne, M.A., namely, “God's prescience of the sins of man,'
," " the vanity of this mortal life,” and “the Redeemer's dominion over the invisible world.” There is also given a memoir of the author, by Mr. Taylor, favourably known as the author of the “Life of Cowper,” and “ Memoirs of Bishop Heber.” Hitherto this publication has demanded and obtained our unqualified approbation. Our sincerity therefore cannot be doubted, nor our motives misrepresented, when we respectfully suggest to those who have the election of what shall appear in these classics, that they should, as much as possible, avoid every thing that might lead either to disputation or visionary doctrines. The article on “ God's prescience of the sins of men is polemical. The true Christian will never wish to limit the attributes of the Creator on the one hand, or take away responsibility from the created on the other. These mysteries had much better be left in the hands of Him only who can and will solve them in his own good time. The article of the “ Redeemer's dominion over the invisible world” is also too speculative. The impious wish to know and to explain every thing was the rock on which the Papists first split. However, too much praise cannot be given to the portion, entitled, “ The vanity of this mortal life.” We confess, most willingly, that the other subjects are well handled; but why, in a work of such immense circulation, touch upon them at all ?
Sept. 1835.-VOL. XIV.NO. LIII.
Rainbow Sketches, in Prose and Verse. By John FRANCIS, Author
of “ Sunshine," &c. &c. Joseph Thomas, 1, Finch Lane, Cornhill; C. Westley, 162, Piccadilly.
We have many reasons for wishing well to this little and elegantly produced publication, and, to secure our aspirations, we earnestly beg the ladies to take it under their especial protection. They will find it extremely elegant light reading, mixed up with just enough of the acid of satire to prevent its sweetness from being cloying. Indeed, Mr. Francis, in perpetrating his little severities, reminds us of a lady playing at snapdragon, he makes a desperate dash amidst flame and fire, but immedi. ately that his hand is withdrawn, after all his boldness, we find that he has extracted nothing but sweets. That we think well of his productions, we need only inform our readers, that several of them have appeared in the “ Metropolitan,” and his ballads of the boudoir, and of the drawingroom, have had so much success, as to beget a crowd of indifferent imi. tators. But why did our gentle John suffer such vile affairs to disgrace his elegant letter-press, as the lithographic abominations interspersed between his gilt-edged leaves? We should heartily wish for a rapid sale of his first edition, if it were only to see these miserable scratchings utterly extirpated in the second.
Observations on the Preservation of Sight, and on the Choice, Use,
and Abuse of Spectacles, or Reading Glasses, &c. By John HarRISON Curtis, Esq., M. R. I., Oculist and Aurist. H. Renshaw, 356, Strand.
If people, for their own good, will not read a big book, a true philanthropist, like Mr. Curtis, will ingeniously tempt them with a little one. Not that the large work has not met with unexampled success, but the less must, necessarily, from its low price, and popular form, come into the hands of thousands, whose means or opportunities will not enable them to procure the larger treatise. Indeed, the latter is more directed to the medical practitioner, whilst the former ought to be in the hands of almost every one. To lose or to injure one's sight, is drawing a veil over all the glories, and almost all of the comforts of this life. The author of this little treatise, warns us against all that may be injurious to that first of blessings, the eye-sight, and we must be mentally blind indeed, if after reading this, without some unforeseen casualty, we become physically so. The perusal of this work is particularly calculated for youth, and those having the control of youth; for that delicate organ, the eye, is often injured by inattention to early symptoms of disease, and often by adopting as remedies, what is often actually deleterious. Had we sufficient space, we should certainly quote the whole of the well-written preface of this publication. Mr. Curtis well expresses his honest indignation against the barbarous predilection, becoming so general, of having so rashly recourse to the operating knife. Indeed, we have seldom seen so much useful information so elegantly condensed in a space so small. The author has also much benefited society by the invention of his wire gauze spectacles, or rather sight preservers. This discovery was suggested to him by a source apparently the most unlikely to benefit science, the custom of the semi-barbarous Tartars, and the wholly barbarous Esquimaux. We would insist still longer on the merits of this little affair, were we not assured that it must work its way speedily into general circulation, and become, in some measure, a household work of reference, whenever the eyes are threatened with any ailment.
A Plain Treatise on the Family Game of Cribbage, or Six Card
Cribbage, with Rules for Learners, the Laws of the Game, and copious Illustrations for Reference and Practice. By Lucius P. Bond, Esq. Hurst, St. Paul's Church Yard.
We have a venerable maiden relative, who counts at least ten more years than there are holes in this family game, and who has been, since her fifteenth year, fifteening it with laudable assiduity; for as she could induce no one to take her hand, from that epoch to the present time, she is constantly holding it herself, and taking, though still unpaired, one for her nob, and two for her pair. To this lady, as in duty bound, we submitted Lucius's lucid treatise. Looking through it, she took her spectacles off repeatedly, and wiped them with a spotless cambric handkerchief-we thought, perchance, a tear of delight might have dimmed the glasses: no such thing—it was nothing but the diagrams and figures, that, by sympathy, caused that confusion in her sight, that was distracting her mind. She then flung down the book with a contemptuous jerk, that we are sure it did not deserve, and with no small degree of asperity, whilst the flush that she so often held in her hand was displayed in her countenance, she exclaimed, “ That she would any day, or any night, in any way, or by any light, stake her tortoiseshell tabby against Mr. Bond's wig—for she is sure that he wears one-at twenty-one games, though she never read a word on the subject in her life.” Now this is all the reward that men get for showing people how very scientific they are without knowing it-disdain and defiance. We don't agree with the old lady in her notions of the folly of writing books upon such subjects, but rather coincide with Averunculus, who told the nephew of the Emperor Galba, who laughed at him for taking lessons in the art of pairing his nails, that, “Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.” If by reducing push-pin to a system, that venerable game could be improved, we see no valid objection to the attempt. However, the lovers of cribbage are much bound to Mr. Bond for the trouble he has taken in making his very elaborate calculations, and for his well-expressed digest of the rules of
The Poetical Works of John Milton. Edited by Sir EGERTON
BRYDGES, BART. With Imaginative Illustrations, by J. M. W. Turner, Esq. R.A. John M-Crone, St. James's Square.
This third volume is just what it ought to be. If we said that the illustrations were worthy of the poetry, we should not be believed. Yet, are we sure that they will fully satisfy the poetical mind. The engraving after Westall, by Graves, of Satan, horror-plumed, is certainly one of the best conceptions of that artist. The burin has well caught the expression of the pencil
. For the vignette title-page, we have the fall of the rebel angels. We did not very heartily approve of Mr. Turner's two former illustrations. The one before us is beautifully imaginative, and the poet's idea is well followed out. This volume concludes the first epic of our language, the “ Paradise Lost.” In all the extrinsics of a book, these volumes leave us nothing to wish for. The letter-press is very clear and perfect, and the binding at once rich and chaste. It is also well edited, and the selection of the notes at the termination of every book the best that the language affords. We do not know of any edition at once so convenient for general use, and worthy to occupy a place on the literary shelf, in rank with the well-bound classics of all countries.
Tales of My Neighbourhood. By the Author of the “ Collegians."
3 Vols. Saunders and Otley, Conduit Street.
The author of these volumes can afford to have it said of him, that he has not succeeded so well in his own “ Neighbourhood” as at College. It may be an invidious act, but the mind cannot resist the impulse to draw comparisons, and measure the strength of the author's last work by that of the preceding one. The little inferiority that we notice, may have proceeded, perhaps from the subjects, perhaps from that careless disdain so common to a successful writer. Measured by his own works, we find this decadence; by others, we should pronounce “ My Neighbourhood” as of a very high order of fiction. These volumes contain a series of tales of great variety, and which embrace almost all the incentives to the different emotions which we are so fond of administering to our minds, from imaginary sources. The first tale is called the “ Barber of Bantry,” the first part of which is an amusing chronicle of the dynasty of “Tipsy Castle," a kind of more saddened Castle Rackrent. In all this we see Irish manners faithfully as well as wittily portrayed. The Barber comes and closes up the tale. His character is singular. He is a fine specimen of domestic romance, and his wife is rich in all those sterling qualities that affection tries and proves. However, the barber is a somnambulist without knowing it. This failing very well supplies the place of super-natural agency, and produces some very curious and startling events. The parts of the tale that call for pathos, are, indeed, finely written, and go home to the heart. The “ Visit to the Great House," the tale next in order, is purely comical, and truly comic withal. It would form the basis of a good farce. In “A Night at Sea,” we much admire all that does not relate to the yacht. The language of which the yacht-struck hero is so lavish, is not that of a seaman.
The burlesque, perhaps, preponderates a little too much in some of the minor characters. But the story is a good story, and is rich with fine sentiments, and inculcates a beautiful moral. “Touch my honour touch my life,” is a very fair ex. posé of the absurdity and immorality of duelling. It is pathetic and well developed. The letter of the bereaved wife to the remorse-stricken friend, is the strongest treatise against the barbarous practice that we have ever read. “Sir Dowling O'Hartigan ”is an ancient legend, and very Irish. We certainly gloated over the idea of one witch borrowing a lake from another, for a week or so, and when she got it safely embedded in her own country, refusing to return it. But we cannot thus go on commenting and particularising every tale in the order it is printed. The whole publication is a bonne bouche for the lovers of elegantly narrated and graphic fiction. There may be, in these volumes, a little too much straining for originality, a feverish wish to create novel characters, and a too great tenacity of a good part, but these are but trivial drawbacks to the spirit, humour, and exciting interest that all these tales so redundantly display. We have no doubt but that they will be generally read, and afterwards remembered with that great pleasure, with which we love to recall striking incidents and humorous associations.
Every Englishman his own German Master ; or, the Shortest and
Easiest Introduction to a Knowledge of the German Language. By J. T. REINENDER. Richter and Co. 30, Soho Square. We think this a well-digested book of instruction and worthy notice. The expositions are in English, and are lucid and ample. The work also contains very extensive vocabularies and dialogue.
The Diary of a Solitaire ; or, Sketch of a Pedestrian Excursion
through part of Switzerland. With a Prefatory Address, and Notes personal and general. Smith, Elder, and Co. Cornhill; H. Sotheran, York.
The body of this book is like that of the swallow, the wings of which, on either side, constitute most of its apparent magnitude. Take away the addresses from one side of this Diary, and the notes from the other, and we shall have but a very little book indeed. However, amply winged as it is, its flight is neither very wide nor very high. It is written with a good feeling, and amusing. Pedestrian tours, when narrated, can hardly be otherwise than interesting. We do not expect that this work will obtain a circulation beyond the extent of the writer's acquaintance. It is certainly not likely to create a sensation; but we can safely say that the time will not be lost that is occupied in perusing it.
The Pleasures of Imagination, with other Poems, National and Lyric.
By John M.Pherson. Anderson, Jun., Edinburgh; MLeod, Glasgow ; Simpkin and Marshall, London. In this little volume we see one more of the many pretty painted bubbles, that a vivid imagination, moderate talents, and a feeling for the beautiful, produce, by a sudden effervescence, on the turbid stream of time. This will float its limited space down the current, burst, and be remembered no more, except in the regrets of the author at his ill success, and the little prevalent taste for poetical compositions. Though in these various poems, there is much, very much, on which the ruthless fang of criticism might righteously fasten, and justice not cry out, “ Hold, enough ;" yet we assure our readers that they contain many passages of beauty, and some of originality. We wish the author much more success than we fear he is likely to obtain. We ask him friendlily, is he not very unfortunate in his title, as provoking injudiciously a dangerous comparison ?
The Translator's Guide; or, Exercises for Latin Prose Compositions,
being Translations from Ancient Authors, and Extracts from Modern. Grant, Cambridge ; Simpkin and Co.; Whittaker and Co.; Washbourne and Priestly, London ; Reid and Co., Glasgow.
This useful affair, which has attained a second edition, is introduced by a very instructive and sensible preface. There could not have been a better selection, on which the tyro can exercise his talents and incipient erudition. We recommend it to general use. We have also received some other works from the same publisher, Mr. Grant, principally from the pen of Mr. Latham. This author has certainly, in these, his rudimental works, surprised us by the depth and variety of his learning, as much as by the boldness of the innovations he wishes to introduce. When these latter have excited a more general sensation, (if it ever be their lot so to do,) it may become incumbent on us to pronounce upon them. We certainly are reluctant to force them upon the public attention, as it would involve a lengthened, and perhaps not a very generally interesting, discussion.