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ART. XVIII.-Sketches of Irish Character. By Mrs. S. C. Hall. Second Series. Svo, pp. 448. London: Westley and Davis. 1831.

Mrs. HALL is undoubtedly the best judge of her own interests; she may be warranted, for ought we know, in expatriating her comic muse, and in abjuring the pleasant country which gave her birth; but it must be confessed by her best friends, that she has taken rather an Irish way of putting in her justification. A more conspicuous testimony to the crime of her desertion could not be furnished, than the very work in which she has announced it. There are thirteen capital stories in this volume, and, as usual with every thing Irish, they rapidly alternate between the sigh and the smile. We have read a few of the sketches in other publications; but those which are entirely new, appear to us to be by far the best. Mrs. Hall's delineations of Irish character and manners cannot be exceeded for truth; they are in fact too strictly, too severely real, and we must say that the more durable impression of the Irish character, which we derive from her powerful scenes, is not wholly of a favourable nature, though we are aware of the amiable purpose which that lady has ever had in view when writing these national stories. And perhaps a better proof than this fact, could not be given of the fidellity of Mrs. Hall's sketches. We have read with pleasure many comic stories of Ireland from contemporary writers; some of them are admirable for the humour of the dialogue; some for the eccentricity of the characters; some again for the perfect imitation of the rustic English dialect of the common people of Ireland. Mrs. Hall unites these three excellences in most of

her tales. In addition, she invariably developes the genuine character of the peasant, and, in spite of herself, almost, is obliged to follow him through the obliquities of a timeserving and cunning dissimulation. Mrs. Hall, has, moreover, enough of good sense and true practical charity, to avoid every illiberal and partial view of the national character of her country. We trust sincerely that if this excellent writer should ultimately forsake the field, whence she has brought off so many well

deserved honours, it is with the intention of reappearing in a new, and not less delightful character.

ART. XIX.-German Poetical Anthology. By A. Bernays. 8vo. pp. 370. London: Treuttel and Co. 1831.

WE are glad to find that this work has reached a second edition, as the exertions which Mr. Bernays has been making for some years, in order to diffuse amongst us a love of his native literature, are well worthy of every kind of encouragement. The selections which be has given in the present volumes may be considered, for the most part, as indeed " Elegant Extracts." They are free from taint in a moral point of view, and are calculated to exhibit the poetical qualities of the German language in a very favourable light. The editor has prefixed to the Anthology, a short. account of the authors from whose works his flowers have been culled, and also a well written historical essay on German poetry, which, be-sides evincing a thorough acquaintance with the subject, shews that he is as well versed in the English language, as he is in his own.

ART XX-Marina; or, an Historical and Descriptive Account of Southport, Lytham, and Blackpool, situate on the Western coast of Lancashire. By P. Whittle. Svo. pp. 325. Preston: P. and H. Whittle, 1831.

WE are much obliged to Mr. Whittle for favouring us with a copy of his book, before it has been quite ready for distribution amongst his subscribers. It is with great pleasure that at any time we sit down to a topographical work, written by an individual, who is conversant with the localities which he describes, and pursues his subject with the enthusiasm, that naturally springs from early associations. Such an author passes over nothing in the features of the district, which he has undertaken to celebrate; its customs, its superstitions, the arrival of a king or of an admiral entered on its records, battles fought within its precincts, sieges and rebellions carried on there, are all displayed before us with a minuteness, and, generally speaking, a vivacity of detail, which are delightful. Particularly happy are we to light upon such a book, when drinking the spa, or purifying ourselves upon the seashore, from the smoke of this gigantic intellectual steam engine, as London may well be called. Then do we rejoice in exploring, with the industrious compiler, the old castles, and monasteries, and camps, of which he has preserved memorials we enter readily into his Botanical, Conchological, Icthyological, and all his other ogical labours, and listen with unwearied perseverance to his legendary traditions, and, in short, to every thing he has to say. Hence it will be readily believed that we approve, in the most unreserved manner, of Mr. Whittle's Marina.' In his section upon Southport he has, perhaps, given us too much

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about the sublimities and beauties of the ocean, inasmuch as his praises are as applicable to the waters that lave the beach of Scarborough or Margate, as to those which visit the shores of Lancashire. Perhaps also we might advise him to be a little more careful of his grammar and language, in the next edition. The accommodations for visitors is equal to any watering place in the kingdom, p. 31, will not do even in Southport. The following systems are taught by Mr. Walker and able assistants. Greek, Latin, &c.' Is Greek a system? We might quote many other similar blunders, which a little care will rectify. The advantages of Lytham and of Blackpool, as watering places, are not raised up in rivalry with those of Southport, but are, we believe, fairly stated. The lithographic Illustrations are, we regret to add, but mediocre specimens of the art.

ART. XXI.-). Leigh's Guide to Wales and Monmouthshire, containing Observations on the Mode Illustrated of Travelling, &c. with a Map of Wales, and Views of the Menai and Conway Bridges. pp. 356. London: Leigh. 1831. 2. The Welsh Interpreter: consisting of a concise Vocabulary,, and Collection of Useful and Familiar Phrases, &c. By Thomas Roberts. pp. 138. London: Leigh. 1831.

THE superiority of this New Guide to Wales over any that we have seen, consists in its embracing an account of any possible route in the romantic scenes of the principality, which the traveller may be induced, by whim or business, to select. Thus, in order to avail himself of the assistance of this work, it is not necessary that the tourist should

be condemned to any prescribed and beaten track. There is, however, a series of tours in Wales proposed by the editor, which he considers best calculated to display the various beauties of that charming country. The illustrations, antiquarian and historical, which are introduced, are in the usual style of spirited and correct narrative, which distinguishes the itinerary publications of Mr. Leigh. The Interpreter will be found a very convenient companion for tourists in Wales, but particularly for pedestrians. No one can have travelled in a strange country for a single day, without feeling the vast difference which will be made in his convenience and pleasures, by his being capable of communicating with the natives in their own language. The Interpreter is therefore a very happy invention, and calculated greatly to enhance the luxuries of a Welsh tour. A very desirable quality of this instructor, however, deserves to be pointed out, namely, the pronunciation, according to English models, of the Welsh familiar language; so that with this book in his hand, a genuine Londoner may soon be as well able to converse with a Welshman, as any inhabitant of Llangollen itself!

ART. XXII.-Few Words on many Subjects, grave and light. By a Recluse. 12mo. pp. 294. London: Longman, Rees & Co. 1831.

it embraces a great variety of subjects in law, politics, and literature. There is perceptible in all his reflections, a strain of shrewd common sense, which oftentimes gives them a piquancy that will not easily escape from the memory. The author, however, is of the class of timid politicians, who treat a thinking society as an inert, lifeless mass, that is inevitably subject to certain physical laws, and requires to have its balance permanently maintained by a power superior to itself. We greatly prefer the miscellaneous remarks of the author, which in general are the result of experience and considerable knowledge. The lovers of philology will find in this book " something to their advan tage."

We suspect that this modest little volume is the transcript of a common place book, kept by an elderly gentleman in easy circumstances, who has read and thought just as much as one, whose chief business in life is pleasure, may be supposed to do. Though his volume is small,

ART. XXIII.-The Sailor's Bride: a Tale of Home. By the author of the Months of the Year. 12mo. pp. 114. Charles Tilt. 1831. THIS is a sweet tale, peculiarly adapted to the mind of childhood; it strongly tends to cherish the best qualities which can characterize the period of youth, and prepare it for the nobler duties of the man.

ART. XXIV.—The Life of Thomas Muir, Esq. Advocate, &c. &c. By Peter Mackenzie. 8vo. pp. 160. Glasgow: W. R. M'Phun; London: Simpkin and Marshall.

1831.

In the Scotch state trials for 1793, the name of the unfortunate subject of this memoir occurs, as one of the honest and intrepid supporters of public liberty, whom a corrupt and wicked government had forced to become martyrs. The story of poor Muir and his companions has been too often brought before the coun

try in the page of the historian, or the lament of the poet and orator, to require that we should now revive any of its details. But we applaud the spirit which has dictated the publication of such a biography, at a time when the triumph of those principles, for which Muir suffered, is about to be achieved, and when the glory of success ought to be fairly divided amongst those, whose heroic constancy laid the sure foundation of that success. Mr. Mackenzie has performed the duty of biographer, with a spirit and enthusiasm that very considerably increase the attractions of this work.

ART. XXV.-A Playwright's Adventures. A Dramatic Annual. By Frederick Reynolds, 12mo. pp. 356. London: Longman

and Co. 1831.

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HERE is as bad an attempt at a humorous novel as we have seen for some time, dressed up in Morocco and gold, illustrated by a variety of wood-cuts, and withal dignified by the title of A Dramatic Annual! The hero of the piece is a youth named Vivid, who, giving up his Coke upon Littleton for Shakspeare, and abandoning his chambers for the theatre, devoted himself, with little success, to the task of writing for the stage. Some of the incoveniences attending this mode of procuring a livelihood are, it must be confessed, touched upon by the author in a manner that occasionally provokes our laughter and our pity. But neither the experience which Mr. Reynolds has exhibited upon this part of the subject, nor the acquaintance which he has shown with the resources and practices of managers in general, can redeem his work from the dullness which, in the main, pervades it. After going through a series of improbable adventures, related with

an affectation of levity, but without any genuine drollery or wit, the hero has the honour of being raised to one of the most responsible offices of the state! and of being married to the daughter of Lord Carisbrook! We are at a loss to conjecture, why such a composition as this should have been called an "Annual." We suspect that instead of being renewable for any number of years, it will not be able to live out the term of even one year-nay, nor of half that time ; for though published only a few weeks ago, it is already forgotten. The wood cuts are miserable productions.

ART. XXVI.-Agapa: or The Sacred Love Pledge. By Mrs. Lachlan, Author of Leonora, &c. 12mo. pp. 567. London: Simpkin and Marshal. 1831. WHEN We state that under a numerous variety of general heads, appropriate verses from the Holy Scriptures are respectively arranged in this volume, we need scarcely add, that, as a work of daily reference, it deserves a place in every domestic library. Mrs. Lachlan bas exercised admirable taste and judg'ment, in the selections which she has made, and no work that we are acquainted with, exhibits in so striking and practical a manner, the perfect applicability of the Sacred Writings, to every state and condition of life. The printing and embellishments are beautiful.

ART. XXVII.--A Freemason's Pocket Companion; containing a brief Sketch of the History of Masonry, a Chronology of interesting events, &c. &c. 16mo. pp. 116. London: Washbourne. WITHOUT revealing any of the wondrous mysteries which appertain to

Freemasonry, the author of this miniature volume, a Brother of the Apollo Lodge, 711, Oxford, has contrived to present to his fellow masons, in a neat and portable size, a very useful epitome of that venerable and far-famed institution. It is quite true, as he states, that Preston's work, though excellent, is much too long for general use, and that Oliver's is too closely confined to mere antiquarian discussion. He acknowledges, however, that it is chiefly to the labours of those indefatigable masons, as well as to an article in the Encyclopædia Britannica, he is indebted for the information which he has collected in a concise shape in this little manual. He traces the origin of the society from its commencement, that is to

say from the beginning of the world, for he has no doubt whatever that Adam was a mason! With the greatest possible coolness he then proceeds- I pass on to the flood.' The builders of the tower of Babel were of course all brothers of the society, which next took root in Egypt, whence it crossed the sea to Europe, where it still flourishes in its pristine glory. It is pleasant to see grave men run wild upon a favourite theme. Let it not be supposed, however, that we wish to undervalue the Institution itself. Such a disposition we could not entertain for a moment, as we know that wherever Freemasons exist, they are always found the firm friends of humanity, freedom, charity, and peace.

MISCELLANEOUS INTELLIGENCE,

Connected with Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Scientific Congress.-Preparations have been making for some time, with the view of assembling in York, as the most central place, a number of scientific and philo-scientific gentlemen, from different parts of the united kingdom. The immediate object is, we believe, to establish a regular triennial meeting, at which French and German savans may also be induced to attend. It is manifest that the intercourse which would thus take place between the most enlightened minds of the most civilized countries in Europe, would be likely to lead to consequences of the most important character, connected with the progress of knowledge. Differences in matters of doctrine might be explained and reconciled, discoveries communicated and improved, new

enquiries instituted, and intrusted to those best able to conduct them, rewards proposed, and other measures adopted, for the encouragement of science, which is at present held in too little esteem by our own government. We shall observe the operations of this Panhellenium with the most lively interest. We may mention, as a circumstance worthy of notice, that the society of German scientific men, which is now what may be truly called a great national congregation, and which monarchs emulate each other in honouring, was, at its commencement, just nine years ago, an association merely of twenty persons. Even these met almost in secret; they were openly opposed and secretly watched by certain of the continental governments: their meetings

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