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Nevertheless, this lady deserves some praise for the patience which she has evinced in the compilation of this work; though it is unfortunately a virtue which her readers will be required to practise in perusing it. We would advise her, when she undertakes another book for the education of
young persons,' to publish it in a shape that will not burthen their hands, and at a price which will not lighten their pockets.
FOR JUNE, 1817.
EDUCATION. The Young Travellers ; or a Visit to the Grandmother. Containing, with a variety of incidental Topics, a Sketch of the Elements of Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, and other Branches of Natural History. By a Lady. Second Edition.
48. 6d. Boards. Godwin and Co. 1816. As this is a very amusing and instructive book, it both deserved and required the addition of a few plain engravings to illustrate the descriptions of objects of natural history. We must add that, as the system of Linné seems to have been followed in most of these descriptions, the author errs in speaking of the Pinna Marina and other muscles as fish, because Linné classes them among worms. Art. 11. Geography, in easy Dialogues for Children. By a Lady. Small 12mo.
Hailes. 1816. While we may commend this little volume as making the rudiments of geography intelligible and amusing, we must notice one or two trifling errors. In p: 5. ' Mama' is made to say, “You will find the British ocean and the Atlantic ocean both in Europe,' instead of " in the map of Europe;"- and at p. 47. is the following inaccurate sentence: ? In India, the few forests which there are contains some lions and bears.' Art. 12. The Little Warbler of the Cottage, and her Dog Constant,
By a Lover of Children. Small 12mo. Harris. 1816.
It may be objected that this whole tale is too romantic; and, among other censurable incidents, we observe that Clara's acquaintance with the · Little Warbler' is obtained through an act of disobedience ; thus making the consequences of her misbehaviour highly agreeable to her. Art. 13. The History of England, in easy Dialogues, for young
Children. By a Lady. Small 12mo. Is. 6d. sewed. Hailes. 1816.
Some of the most prominent circumstances in the English history are here related; and the succession of the different families, which children are usually puzzled to remember, is clearly explained.
The Oracle, or the Friend of Youth.
Half-bound. Darton and Co. 1816. We can recommend this book only to such young
readers as are not in possession of an earlier work called, " The Juvenile Spectator,” since this appears to be merely an abridged imitation of “ Mrs. Argus's” lucubrations. Art. 15. Elements of Universal Geography, Antient and Modern,
&c. &c. By A. Picquot. Second Edition, greatly enlarged, and brought down to the Peace of Paris. 1815. 12mo. 55. bound. Lackington and Co. 1817.
A compendious and useful work, in which the account of antient geography will be the more acceptable from the subject not being usually introduced into elementary books of this kind. Art. 16. The first Step to the French Tongue, designed as an
easy Introduction to, and consisting entirely of the Verbs ; with Practical Exercises. By A. Picquot, Author of an Abridgement of Levizac's Grammar, &c. small 12mo.
pp. 81. Law and Whittaker. 1817.
This collection of the French verbs is copious, and sufficiently well arranged to give the learner a competent knowlege of them. Art. 17. Stories for Children, selected from the History of England, from the Conquest to the Revolution.
Small izmo. pp. 186. Murray. 1816.
Praise is due to the simplicity with which these stories are related ; and they will make the history of England intelligible and interesting to very young children, who might be wearied and perplexed by more elaborate volumes.
Art. 18. Annals of the Reign of King George the Third; from its
Commencement in the Year 1760, to the General Peace in the Year 1815. By John Aikin, M.D. 2 Vols. 8vo. pp. 982. il. 5s. Boards. Longman and Co. 1816.
We have often had occasion to regret that the talents of men capable of original composition are, from the inadequate recompence of literary labour, confined to undertakings that require qualities of no higher stamp than those which are exercised in selecting, arranging, and condensing. Of this nature is the work before us, which proceeds from the pen of one of our most respected veterans in literature, who, from his earliest essays, indicated a capacity for its higher and more difficult departments. Still, if we must pronounce that this compilation is unsuitable to the talents of the writer, we have pleasure in recognizing in it that candour and modesty which pervade his former publications. • The volumes,' says Dr. Aikin, have no other pretension than that of a summary of the principal events of the present reign. My objects in point of composition have been perspicuity and strict impartiality, exhibited in the absence of every kind of colouring that might favour the purposes of party.' Acting on 14
this plan, Dr. A. has compressed a surprizing extent of matter into a very moderate compass, confining himself in general to a brief statement of facts, and entering very rarely into the field of political conjecture. Each year has its separate chapter, and each volume
with a very clear and comprehensive table of contents: but we cannot help regretting that an index was not added, in a case in which the variety of the information is so great, and the thread of the narrative is often suspended on account of a strict adherence to chronological order.
The first volume comprizes thirty-four years, viz. from 1760 to 1794, and the second contains the still more important transactions of the twenty-one years that elapsed from 1794 to 1815. It is needless to lay before our readers extracts from a work which treats of events so fresh in the memory of most of them, and which seldom if ever aims at arresting their attention by novelty as to facts or brilliancy of style. It is sufficient to say that the language is clear and unassuming, and that the statements of circumstances and transactions are, in general, correct. When the case happens to be otherwise, it is evidently owing not to prejudice and still less to intention on the part of the writer, but to some accidental defect in his materials, or to the haste with which publications for a temporary purpose are too frequently prepared. It is thus only that we can explain a number of typographical errors, such as (vol. i. p. 302.) Herbert for Hebert; the 17th for 18th of March (1793) as the date of the battle of Neerwinden; the 28th for the 29th of July (1794) as the date of the fall of Robespierre; and, which is more extraordinary than any, the death of George II. (vol. i. p. 1.) in the 24th instead of the 34th year of his reign.
These blemishes, however, will soon receive the indulgence of the reader, when he turns to any particular passage where the capacity or the impartiality of the writer is put to the test ; such, for example, as that much disputed point, the interior state of France in the spring of 1815, at the date of Bonaparte's return from Elba. We have had opportunities of ascertaining, from the most satisfactory sources, the nature of the public feeling at the time in question, and nothing can be more clear and correct than Dr. A.'s observations on the subject. They are divested of all that high colouring which is so lavishly brought forwards by writers who will attribute that extraordinary change to an extraordinary cause; and who can explain it no otherwise than by supposing some egregious mismanagement on the part of the Bourbons, and the existence of a grand conspiracy in favour of Bonaparte.Many other parts of the book are marked by equal claims to our attention ; and we conclude our short report by extracting a few sentences explanatory of the author's reasons for avoiding those conjectures relative to the private history of cabinets, of which many of his literary brethren are so much enamoured.
• Were it possible to attain more certainty with respect to such topics than can come within the reach of a private person, what, in general, would be gained, except a nearer insight into a drama of life representing the play of ordinary motives upon ordinary minds Rev. June, 1817.
a view of the secondary movements of a machine, the main springs of which are acting according to known and obvious laws? In reality, the great series of human affairs is directed by a chain of causes and effects of much superior potency to the efforts of individuals in any station, who for the most part are rather the subjects, than the rulers of events. While men in continued succession, under a variety of characters, probably at all times existing in nearly equal proportions, are pursuing a course influenced by their passions and interests, changes are operating in the large masses of mankind, the result of combinations of circumstances which the flux of ages has been requisite to produce. It is from the observation of these, and not from an acquaintance with courtintrigues and party-maneuvres, that the true philosophy of history is to be deduced; and an impartial record of leading facts is the grand desideratum for obtaining this important addition to human wisdom.'
The History of the Waldenses : connected with a Sketch of the Christian Church from the Birth of it to the Eighteenth Century. By William Jones. The Second Edition, corrected and greatly enlarged. 2 Vols. 8vo. 1l. 45. Boards. Gale and Fenner, &c.
In our lxxivth volume,p.191., we recommended to our readers the interesting narrative, which Mr. Jones had drawn up, of a people who resisted the corruptions of the Church of Rome at a period whence its own power, and the deep ignorance into which Europe had sunken, might seem to have promised them an universal and everlasting triumph over the simple truths of the gospel. We are glad to perceive that he has been enabled, by the sale of his first edition, to remove some of its imperfections ; especially by enlarging very considerably the account of the Waldenses, which now occupies the whole of the second volume. The interest which has been excited in this kingdom by the revival of persecution against the Protestants of the South of France, since the second return of the Bourbons, will draw a lively attention to the narrative of former outrages on the rights of conscience of which the same countries were the scene; and to the manly remonstrances on behalf of the sufferers, which were conceived by the mind of Cromwell and embodied by the pen of Milton.
Mr. Jones's title is, we think, scarcely a fair one. In a' History of the Waldenses connected with a Sketch of the Christian Church from the Birth of Christ to the 18th Century,' would any person anticipate that general ecclesiastical history would occupy one-half of the work ? Unity of subject is an excellence which should be cul. tivated by the historian, not less than by the dramatist or the epic poet. The first volume, which is intended to shew that dissidents from the Catholic Church, and not popes and councils, have preserved the tradition of pure Christian doctrine, is properly a distinct work from the History of the Waldenses in the second. To begin this history at the birth of Christ is like taking up the tale of Troy ab ovo Tyndaridarum.
RELIGIOUS. Art. 20.
The Christian's Manual, compiled from the Enchiridion Militis Christiani of Erasmus, with copious Scripture-Notes, &c. &c. By Philip Wyatt Crowther, Esq. For the Benefit of the City of London Auxiliary National Schools. 8vo. pp. 280. 8s. Boards. Rivingtons, &c.
Erasmus wrote his Manual of a Christian Soldier, in order to oppose a rational and practical system of morals to the superstitious practices in which the religious of his day made piety to consist. It is therefore not wonderful that it should never have been a favourite with enthusiasts and ascetics. Ignatius Loyola declared that he found his devotion cooled by reading it; on which Jortin observes, “ that the judgment of Loyola is altogether worthy of him; and every fanatic in the world, if he were to peruse this treatise of Erasmus, would be of the very same opinion; and would want something more pathetic and savoury, something with more unction and less morality and common sense.”. (Life of Erasmus, i. 22.) We dare not venture to assure Mr. Crowther that the present age is so free from this spirit, that he will be in no danger of hearing the same charge brought against his work. Some despise practical ethics because their own taste requires the more stimulating diet of religious controversy, and some because this art affords little opportunity for those flights of rapturous feeling to which they confine the name of religion,
Mr. C. has prefixed a sketch of that part of the life of Erasmus which was spent in England, collected from the numerous authors who have directly or incidentally written concerning his life. We wish that, instead of a series of extracts which often want the callida junctura that would lead the reader smoothly on, he had melted down his materials into a continued narrative; in doing which, no candid critic would have charged him with a desire to appropriate undeserved honour to himself. His language respecting the literary merit of his work is so unassuming, and his object is so benevolent, that we are unwilling to descend to literary criticism : but we cannot help recommending it to him, if he should ever pursue a similar plan with respect to any other work of practical morality, to be rather more sparing of his supplementary matter. Excellent as the authors are from whom this portion is derived, the text of Erasmus is sometimes rather incumbered than illustrated by Mr. Ci's extracts.
POLITICS. Art. 21.
A Letter on the Distresses of the Country; addressed to His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, in consequence of his Motion respecting “ the Revulsion of Trade and our sudden Transition from a System of extensive War to a State of Peace;" in which the supposed Influence of our Debt and Taxes upon our foreign Trade is investigated. By John Ashton Yates, 2d Edition. 8vo. pp. 230. 58. Longman and Co.
Mr. Yates begins by informing the public that his time is closely occupied in business, and that he has little leisure for the avoca