Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

The

marvellous adventure. The bishop of Ephesus, Review.The Literary Pancratium, or, the clergy, and magistrates, visited the cavern, when, after conversing with the somnambulists, a Series of Dissertations on Theolothey quietly expired. The credit whieh was given

gical, Literary, Moral, and Contro. to this story is more remarkable than the event it pretends to relate. James, a Syrian bishop of the versial Subjects. By Robert Carr, and fifth century, devotes a homily to its praise; and Thomas Swinburn Carr. 8vo. pp. 356. the Seven Sleepers are found in the Roman, Abys.

Simpkin & Marshall. London. 1832. sian, and Russian calenders. Mahomet introduced the tale in his Koran, and gives to Allah the honour of preserving the bodies from putrefaction, by If the authors, of this volume could have tales : of the Hartz mountains, and the adven anticipated the idea of affectation, which tures of Rip Van Winkle, are closely allied to this

the word “ Pancratium" conveys, we think Eastern fable."-p. 172.

they would have selected one more familiar, From the marvellous in fiction, we now

or even have left their title-page without turn to the marvellous in fact, exhibited

any generic term. Pedantry is always cal

culated to in the surviving memorials of departed

create unpleasant surmisings, Ephesus

and to awaken suspicions, from which no

advantage can ever be derived. “ Sir Paul Ricaut remarks, and recent travellers Names and titles are, however, of less confirm the observation : ‘This place, where once Christianity so flourished as to be a mother church, importance to a book, than the subjects of and the see of a metropolitan bishop, cannot now which it treats, and the manner in which show one family of Christians ; so hath the secret

the task is executed. There can be no providence of God disposed affairs, too deep and mysterious for us to search into.' I was in Ephe

question that the topics discussed in these sus,' says M. Arundel, 'in January, 1824. dissertations are deeply interesting, and of desolation was then complete. A Turk, whose

the utmost moment to the great family of shed we occupied, his Arab servant, and a single Greek, composed the entire population, some Tur- man. They include “knowledge; the im. comans excepted, whose black tents were pitched materiality of the soul; the immortality of among the ruins. What would have been the astonishment of the beloved Apostle, and Timothy,

the soul; natural religion ; origin of natural if they could have foreseen that a time would religion; mental associations connected come, when there would be in Ephesus neither

with discoveries ; language; the existence angel, church, nor city.' «The changes

which have occurred in the sweep of the Deity ; and Revelation.” To each of of ages, since Ephesus emerged from the grey

these nine subjects a dissertation is devoted, mists of antiquity, give a far more striking lesson of human vanity and littleness, than the most im- and in every one we find some valuable pressive lecture of the moralist conveys ; and the observations. last transition from the highest eminence in the

We do not, however, conceive that these faith, to the depth of Moslem superstition, should prove a beacon to the succeeding churches of dissertations are very profound, or that Christendom, that the will of their supreme Head they contain any large portion of originality. cannot with impunity be disregarded. The city,

The authors admit that the source of cononce the busy scene of commerce and the arts of civilized life, has vanished; the temple, which sciousness is most probably immaterial, required the wealth of Asia and the genius of because they cannot conceive how those Ctesiphon to create, is gone; the idol, at whose shrine the Lydian, Persian, and Macedonian powers which we call mental, can originate bowed, is no more; and Christianity, which in in matter, either in its simple state, or troduced into this emporium of pagan pomp and idolatry, its bishops, churches, and councils, has

under any peculiarity of modification. likewise disappeared. It is impossible to find a Their investigation is, however, not purmore striking instance of the literal accomplish- sued with that vigour which its importance ment of prophecy, than in the fate of Ephesus. The avenging stroke has swept away every thing

seems to demand, and of which several belonging to it, but the "eternal hills,” the river, writers have proved that it is susceptible. and a few mouldering columns; and excepting the mournful cry of the jackal, the night-hawk,

Many objections they have omitted to urge and the owl, and the occasional voice of the way- and answer; nor have they concentrated farer, or the wild shout of the Turcoman, all is

that energy of reasoning which might be silence and solitude.”-pp. 199.

collected,

to prove that matter cannot think. Respecting all the other Asiatic churches, In reference to the soul's immortality, extracts similar to the above might be tran. nearly the same languid process is pursued. scribed from this volume. But in each and In favour of the fact, they have expressly all we behold the same general features of informed us that no aid can be derived ruin, solitude, and desolation. In its ex- from metaphysical argument; but unhaptended outline, the picture is the same, pily they have omitted to erect varying only in degrees of shade, and cir- splendid or more substantial fabric in the cumstances of horror. But we must now room of that which they have thus demotake our leave of Mr. Milner, strongly re- lished. commending his book to the reader as one From some very respectable writers, of the most useful and interesting on this many passages have been transplanted into subject, that we recollect ever to have the pages of this volume, and, if their numperused.

ber had been increased, its value would not

more ment.

have been diminished by the weight of the Volume twenty-six describes, with intelobligation.

ligent minuteness, the manufacture of porWe readily admit, that popular argu- celain and glass. It is replete with valuable ments are in general far more extensively information to every one who feels an ininfluential than those which are profound. terest in the progress of arts and sciences, Being less abstruse, they are more easily and in the growing prosperity and welfare understood, and, as a natural consequence,

of his country. are more convincing to the great mass of The twenty-seventh volume is devoted to mankind. We must not, however, attempt the Italian republics; and in its history, like to infer from hence, that popular argument that of many other states, we find commois more conclusive than any other. In its tion, intrigue, ambition, perfidy, treachery, utmost elevation, it can never rise higher cruelty, and injustice among its distinguishthan strong probability; but he who seeks ing characteristics. Variety, however, renfor certainty will rarely be content to travel ders it mournfully interesting ; but we feel constantly in the beaten track.

disgusted at the sanguinary operation of In every part of this volume a sacred

ferocious passions, and sigh to think that homage is paid to the evidences, doctrines, the history of a civilized community should and authority of revelation; and many pri- be almost everywhere polluted with stains mitive, truths which have been ascribed to of blood. the discoveries of philosophy, are traced up Volumes twenty-nine, thirty, and thirtyto this divine source. We are well aware two conduct us to the dominions of Spain that the pride of human reason will hesitate and Portugal, the histories of which are to subscribe to this humiliating acknowledg- chequered with a strange intermixture of

But the more extensively and pro- light and shade. In many portions of these foundly we prosecute our researches, the volumes, superstition, cruelty, and entermore plainly shall we discover how little prise contend for the diadem of superiority, can be known with certainty, without a and each in its turn seems to triumph over humble reliance on the dictates of inspi- its powerful rivals. ration,

But neither the exaltation nor the degradation of a people can affect the character

of the historian. In all his delineations, Review.- Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia, fidelity should be his guide; and while he

vols. XXV.-XXXII. inclusive. Long- rigorously adheres to fact, the preponderman, London, 1832.

ance of light or shadow, in the picture which The general character of this work is so well he draws, is a circumstance over which he known, and its reputation so fully establish. has no control. ed, that it will be needless to expatiate on The history of Switzerland, in volume the distinguishing peculiarities and excel- thirty-one, is intrinsically interesting. We lences of each volume. They issue from behold a brave and virtuous people groanthe press in rapid succession, and, in an ing for a season under the wanton barbariextensive circulation, meet that patronage ties of oppression, till, goaded by cruelties which the series very justly merits.

no longer to be borne, they resolved either The twenty-fourth volume is devoted to to shake off the yoke of tyranny, or to perish the history and process of manufacturing in the attempt. Success attended the heroic, iron and steel; and in the description, the enterprise; and fame has erected a monuprogressive improvements which time, ne- ment to the memory of William Tell, and cessity, and genius have introduced, are föl- his brave associates in arms, on which she lowed in detail, and rendered interesting by has written an inscription that Time is for. the great mass of information imparted in bidden to efface. every chapter.

From this very interesting volume, many Volumes twenty-five and twenty-eight, affecting incidents might be selected, but are biographical, containing the lives of choice is attended with difficulty where a eminent British military commanders. This motive for preference is surrounded with a department furnishes strong indications of host of rival claimants. In almost every being carried to an immoderate length, page, the reader will find something resince both volumes contain the memoirs markable to arrest his attention, and the of only six individuals. If, therefore, this whole must be perused by those who wish procedure may be considered as a fair to make themselves acquainted with its specimen of what will follow; so prolific value. has this country been in the production of Of Lardner's Cyclopedia, thirty-two heroes, that another generation must arise volumes are now before the world. The before the series will be brought to a termi- subjects which they embrace are multifa. nation,

rious and diversified, but, as a natural con- continuance of this. Viewed in the aggresequence, are not alike interesting to every gate, these nine volumes embody much usereader. It is, however, pleasing to observe, ful information, and, without such an able that the exalted expectations, which this substitute and auxiliary as it finds in the work, on its first appearance, excited, have Cabinet Cyclopedia, we should have sinnever been disappointed. Its character is cerely regretted its discontinuance. still sustained without any deterioration ; and where honour, interest, and talents are happily combined, they furnish pledges that

Review.- Edinburgh Cabinet Library, are too valuable ever to be forfeited.

Vols. VII. and VIII. British India,

Vol. II. und III. 12mo. pp. 460–476. Review.- Lardner's Cabinet Library, Simpkin. London. 1832.

Vols. VIII. & IX. Longmun. Lon- These two volumes complete the historical don. 1832.

and descriptive account of British India, The exact degree of consanguinity which the commencement of which was reviewed this work bears to Lardner's Cabinet Cy- in our preceding number. We were then clopedia, we cannot accurately ascertain, favoured with a general survey of our but from their dress, magnitude, and cha. Eastern empire, and, so far as could be racter, should suppose they were brothers. ascertained, with the early events of its The materials of the two works are cer- history, until the British gained a footing tainly not identical ; but such is the rela- in that extensive and populous region. tionship between them, that an exchange We have now an opportunity of tracing of names would not be attended with much the progress of our conquests in the various inconveniency or loss.

territories of the native princes, of marking The eighth volume concludes the bistory the vicissitudes of successive wars until the of the life and reign of George the Fourth. final subjugation of all the countries over The ninth proceeds with the military me

which we extend our dominion in the East, moirs of the Duke of Wellington, tracing and of surveying the principles of governthe heroic deeds of this great commander ment, and the nature of that commerce, down to his victory at Waterloo, and leav- which conquest has enabled us to establish. ing him covered with unfading laurels, From men and manners we are carried and enjoying the plaudits of his grateful to the animal productions of nature, decountry.

scending downwards from the “half reaThe subjects of these volumes, being of soning elephant” to the “green myriads in modern date, are far more interesting than the peopled grass.” In this department the history of transactions which took place the forests, rivers, and seas are explored ; some centuries since; and it must be with- and when the author bas ranged through in the recollection or knowledge of every the varied kingdom of exhausted life, he one, that the periods to which we refer are descends into the regions of geology and pregnant with momentous events, that have mineralogy, and contemplates the natives an immediate bearing on the days in which in their scientific researches. These vowe live. To all the prominent occurrences lumes, therefore, which are exclusively which their circle conprehends, the authors devoted to British India, embrace nearly have respectively called our attention; and every subject of importance that belongs from many of the incidents lying within to the history of man, of animals, and of the sphere of our personal observations, we vegetable life, in this interesting portion of have an opportunity of estimating their the globe. historical fidelity. So far as our knowledge So numerous and diversified, however, extends, this duty has been discharged in are the topics which claim attention, that a very creditable manner; and hence we in many cases a compendium only is are naturally induced to place confidence given, and in no instance is the history in their integrity, where the topics of their extended in lengthened detail. These cirresearches elude our penetration.

cumstances keep alive the interest which From an advertisement, prefixed to the narrative, incidents, and occurrences excile; ninth volume, we learn, that the Cabinet and, as much useful information is scalLibrary is brought to a conclusion. This tered through every chapter, he who stores declaration excites in us no surprise. The his mind with the knowledge of India, ground seems to have been pre-occupied which these volumes communicate, will by the Cabinet Cyclopedia, and to that have more accurate ideas of our Eastern work subjects may be easily transferred, possessions, and a more extensive acquaintwhich might otherwise have prolonged the ance with them, than multitudes who have 20. SERIES, NO. 20.-VOL. II.

164.- VOL. XIV.

зс

spent nearly the whole of their lives in authors in this volume bear evidence to the these sultry climates.

rank which they justly sustain among the The Edinburgh Cabinet Library began classical authors of antiquity. under very auspicious promises of high The thirty-first volume commences with respectability. The first volume fixed the Cæsar's Commentaries, written by himself; elevation of its character, and each in suc- after which, an account of his future wars cession has tended to confirm the exalted in Gaul, is continued by A. Hirtius. Few rank which it sustains,

works, perhaps, that have reached us from what has been called the Augustan age,

are better known, or more highly esteemed Review, Farnily Classical Library,

than the Commentaries of Cæsar; and, what Vols. XXVII.-- XXXI. 12mo. Valpy. is still of superior importance, they stand London, 1832.

unrivalled in deserving the fame they have

so extensively acquired. In our preceding numbers, we have had

In this translation, by Duncan, professor occasion to notice the early volumes of of philosophy in the University of AberPlutarch, whose writings are concluded in deen, the spirit of the original has been the first three now before us. In their admirably preserved. On its first appearaggregate, they occupy seven volumes in

ance, in 1752, it was admitted by all com. the Family Classical Library, and many petent judges to be both faithful and ele. circumstances conspire to give them an in

gant ; and although fourscore years have trinsic value. The name of Plutarch is chiefly known character. It is a translation which no one

since elapsed, it still retains its original by his biographical sketches of illustrious has the vanity to mend, or the temerity men; and, perhaps, his “ Lives,” is one

of attempting to supersede. of the most interesting portions of ancient Of this excellent translation, Mr. Valpy literature, which the stream of time has has availed himself, and the very low price brought to us unimpaired. It would,

at which the volumes of this family clashowever, appear from the list of his writ- sical library, are published, will give to the ings, that several of his memoirs have dis- wisdom and learning of antiquity a diffuappeared ; and if the catalogue which sion far more extensive than any former bears the name of his son may be deemed

age was ever permitted to enjoy, authentic, much more of his moral and critical compositions have been lost than preserved.

REVIEW.-A Three Months' Tour in Throughout the whole of Plutarch's writ

Switzerland and France ; illustrated ings, there is a vein of strong morality, occasionally blended with a spirit of piety,

with Plates, &c. &c. By the Rev. but frequently degenerating into super

William Liddiard. 8vo. pp. 280. Smith, stition. In depth of penetration, and

Elder & Co. London. 1832. eagle-eyed sagacity, he has not been Travels, narratives, and tours, are in thought to excel, but good sense and ge. general very interesting compositions. The nuine candour almost invariably accom- reade renters on a perusal of them with unpany his sentiments. It is vain, however, defined expectations of pleasure, to be deto expatiate on the writings of a man rived from a delineation of customs and whose name has been inscribed on the manners, which bear little or no resentablets of fame for nearly two thousand blance to those of his own country, and years.

a description of scenery that will charm by The thirtieth volume contains a trans- its varied beauties, or absorb his contemlation of the works of Hesiod, Bion, and plative faculties by exhibitions of grandeur, Moschus, Sappho, Musæus, and Lyco- or displays of awful sublimity. phron. These ancient authors, though of In works of these kindred classes, inciless celebrity than Plutarch, are not un. dent, episode, and anecdote are hailed known in the galaxy of ancient glory. with inexpressible delight. They tend to Hesiod is presumed to have been contem- break down the monotony of narrative, and porary with Homer : and from such of his frequently communicate more accurate and writings as have reached us, we learn, that more lively ideas of national character, and he was a man of strong intellectual powers, domestic habits, than the most laboured and highly favoured by the muse. Of descriptions that are closely confined to Sappho, only a few fragments remain, but simple detail. they seem to have been sufficient to secure It would appear from the contents of her immortality. The writings of the other this volume, that the author passed over a vast extent of territory, and visited, during purity of their principles, and the beneficial his journey, many places of a highly inte tendency of what they have respectively resting character. But when we are told written. in the title-page, that no more than three We are not aware, however, that a cloud months were devoted to his observations of gloom is suffered to hover over the pages and researches, we are naturally led to of this book ; but we cannot be ignorant infer that his survey was transient and that a religious publication has no charms superficial, and that this is a book not for any one whose heart is not in harmony much calculated to augment our stores of with the songs of Zion. To the younger philosophical information.

part of the religious community it will be Such is precisely the character of this an acceptable acquisition, and an elegant volume. The author notices what he saw token of remembrance to be presented to as he passed from place to place, mentions any youthful friend. various parties into whose company he We learn from an observation at the happened to fall, relates occasional con- conclusion of the preface, that “Remember versations, dines, looks round the town, Me,” will be discontinued in its present sleeps tolerably well sometimes, and, after form, but that it will be succeeded by a detentions arising from various causes, somewhat similar volume under a different renews his journey, and again relates the title. In this we shall rejoice, as works of little adventures of the day.

sterling utility are much wanted to counter The whole of this three months' tour is act the delusive glare of tinsel glitter. comprised in twenty-six letters; and to the friend who received them, there can be little doubt that they were both welcome

Review.-Illustrations of Political Ecoand interesting epistles, but, beyond the nomy, Nos. 4, 5, and 6. By Harriet

Martineau. 18mo. Fox. importance which local friendship imparts,

London, we find very little to command public

1832. attention.

Each of these numbers contains an inteThe style is sprightly and flowing resting tale, not merely a tale that is calcuexpressive of that buoyancy of spirits lated to amuse the fancy without reaching which a flying tourist may be supposed to the understanding, but one that bears in possess, who, on his return, will be able hard round numbers upon existing evils of 10 recount how many miles he travelled in enormous magnitude, and that makes a three months. In all his epistles, Mr. Lid- powerful appeal to every feeling heart. diard has been careful to disfigure his “Demerara,” in No. 4, whips slavery pages

with
scraps

and terms of foreign lan- with as much sincerity as a negro driver guage, which, without any translation, would whip the slaves under his control. every person is presumed to understand. The castigation given to the accursed fiend,

To a reader who wishes for amusement serves only to increase our detestation of its that will neither impose labour on thought, horrors, and our wishes to see it perish on nor levy a tax on reflection, this volume the gibbet of infamy. will afford gratification. He will not be

“ Garveloch,” in No. 5, is both amusing detained long in one place, and every one

and scientific. Its lessons are of high imknows that rapid changes and sudden portance; and the genius displayed in the transitions add much to the felicities of composition, impresses it with a character life. To this praise the volume before us which any author might be proud to assois fairly entitled, but beyond this we can

ciate with his name. hardly extend our notes of approbation.

“ Weal and Woe,” in No. 6, coincides with the preceding. Its chapters have very

interesting titles, and their contents invariably Review.-" Remember Me,a Token of nothing romantic, nothing to surprise belief,

keep political economy in view. They exhibit Christian Affection consisting of entirely nothing to demand more evidence than ocoriginal pieces in Prose and Verse. 24mo.

currences of life and manners every day pp. 192. Simpkin. London.

supply. This elegant little volume being confined The first three numbers of this work we entirely to original pieces, the reader will be have not seen ; but presuming that they are in no danger of repurchasing articles which in accordance with those before us, such he has already seen. To this we must add, happy illustrations of political economy are, that all the compositions are of a religious perhaps, not to be found, so condensed and character, and are associated with authors, yet so sprightly, within the whole compass whose names become vouchers for the of English literature.

« ForrigeFortsæt »