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whole ground, and critically distinguishing the various influences which were at work in this period, he has made the best possible arrangement of his materials.
The survey which the author takes of the second period, fills nearly two thirds of the work, since it embraces an account of the most distinguished writers in the language. He first describes the contest which about this time sprang up between the foreign and native schools of literature, and traces it down to the triumph of the latter. This may be regarded as forming a subordinate division, and the consideration of it brings him to the most brilliant era of Spanish literature, the era of Cervantes, De Vega, and Calderon. While the author follows a chronological order in speaking of the different writers, he also makes a division of the subject according to the forms in which the literature appears. The principal forms are Dramatic Poetry, Narrative Poetry, and Lyric Poetry. The whole of the second volume is taken up with these topics, the greater part of it, however, with a very complete survey of the Spanish drama. The Spanish drama, as it is here presented, is certainly a phenomenon in literature, remarkable not less for the form which it assumed, than for the action and reaction constantly going on between the church and the theater. In the remaining chapters of this period, the author treats of Satirical Poetry, Epistolary, Elegiac, Pastoral, Épigrammatic, Didactic and Descriptive; of Ballad poetry; of Romantic fiction; of Eloquence and Epistolary correspondence; of Historical composition and of Didactic prose.
It will not be necessary for us to speak minutely of the third period.
To the body of the work is added an Appendix containing much that is valuable; among other things, a philological essay upon the origin of the Spanish language, a bibliographical account of the various editions, translations, and imitations of Don Quixote, and several poems now first printed from the original manuscripts. In addition to all this, the work is furnished with a good index.
We may also mention in this connection, that the volumes are well printed and on good paper..
No one can read this work without perceiving the extensive and accurate scholarship of the writer. He has gone over the whole field; he has collected all the materials and made himself familiar with them. We must presume that there are not many native scholars, if there be any, who have a more complete acquaintance with Spanish literature. This complete knowledge of every part of the subject has kept the author from a fault which has been found with Hallam’s History of Literature, that the latter has given an undue prominence to those authors and to those eras with which he was best acquainted. Mr. Ticknor, on the contrary, has with true artistic skill assigned to each part its proper place, and thus given a beautiful unity to the whole. Another very great excellence in the composition of the work, is, that every part of it is equally well finished. There is nothing neglected, nothing slightingly done. The shortest note seems to be prepared as well as the author could do it. From beginning to end, every thing even the most minute, has received proper attention. The author has taken his own time to write the work and to print it; and this will appear to be no small merit, when we consider the incomplete state in which many valuable works are given to the publie. The criticism of particular works is always fair and manly. There is no affectation of profundity, nor any aim at philosoplizings too attenuated to have a real existence. A high moral tone pervades the work. Spanish literature is in portions of it free and licentious, but the author has wisely judged that it was not needful to reproduce its licentiousness in another language. In treating of a literature which grew up under the influence and auspices of the Papal church, the author has come into contact with much that he could not do otherwise than condemn, but he has always condemned with candor and philosophic calmness. The remarks on the reformation, the inquisition, and the interference of the church with the drama, are the more impressive from the very caution which has been taken that they should be
strictly just. We have only to add, that the work is written throughout in a pure and classical style—in a style befitting a work that is to take and to hold permanently a high rank in English literature.
This work makes a real addition to the stores of knowledge contained in the English language. It is not a rival of any existing work, for there is no other on the subject. It gives knowledge which the mere English scholar can not get elsewhere. Indeed, we do not believe there is to be found so complete a history of Spanish literature in any language. And it should be remarked that this knowledge is of great value. For, the history of the literature of a nation is a reflection of its political history; and with respect to Spain, its history and its literature are peculiarly interesting and important, as developing the influences of the Papal religion under circumstances the most favorable. No library of any considerable size can honorably be without this work.
The Monuments of Egypt; or, Egypt a Witness for the Bible. By Francis L. Hawks, D.D., LL.D. ; with Notes of a Voyage up the Nile, by an Ameri
New York: Geo. P. Putnam, 155 Broadway. London: John Murray. 1850. 8vo, pp. 418.
This volume treats upon a subject of great and very general interest. The recovery of the ancient Egyptian alphabet, which had been for so many ages lost to the world, is one of the most wonderful discoveries of human sagacity. The knowledge, which has also been recovered in consequence of this discovery, is not less remarkable. The history of several ancient nations had been more or less connected with the history of Egypt. Men of letters, therefore, were eager to learn whether that which is now about to be read for the first time within the historic period from the records and monuments of Egypt, will recognize this connection and refer to the events which grew out of it. The Hebrew nation in particular had had early intercourse with Egypt, and the christian scholar waited with impatient curiosity to see whether any of the circumstances of this intercourse which are mentioned in Scripture, are also recorded in this volume of contemporaneous history, which, after being locked up for ages, and therefore placed beyond the possibility of being corrupted, is at last to be unsealed. The time has not yet arrived to satisfy this curiosity in full, but still some things have been established. The monuments of Egypt do in several particulars speak a language, now that they can speak at all, the same with the language of Scripture. Events and customs which are recorded in Scripture, are also recorded in the Monuments. This coincidence furnishes a kind of evidence to the historic verity of the Scriptures, which is as satisfactory as the discovery of it was unexpected.
It is the object of the present volume to point out some of the more important and best established of these coincidences. Such a book was much needed, for the works of original authority on this subject are too expensive to be accessible to the community in general. It is of course a compilation, as Dr. Hawks chooses to call it, but a compilation in which the materials have been well digested in the author's own mind, and which therefore reappear in the work as its original production-and we know not what more can be asked for in a compilation.
The author in the first chapter enumerates the ancient writers who have written on Egypt-Manetho, Herodotus, Diodorus and Horapollo—and speaks of the earlier attempts made by the moderns, especially by Father Kircher, to decipher the hieroglyphics. In the next chapter he gives an account of the manner in which the hieroglyphics were discovered to be letters and the alphabet was made out. This account is written with great perspicuity, so that we are sure no reader will have any difficulty in understanding the explanation ; and, also, with fairness, the author being careful to award due merit to all concerned in the discovery. The next chapter contains illustrations of the alphabet itself, and is written with equal clearness. Having the alphabet, the reader next wishes to know what there is to be read. In the following chapter, therefore, the author describes the general appearance of Egyptian ruins, and speaks of their arts of design as exhibited in painting and sculpture. This interesting portion of the work explains why it is that we have been able to learn so much of the Egyptians merely from what is written in their tombs and monuments. These chapters are preparatory to the main design. But before coming to this, the author very properly lays down the principles of evidence which should guide us in the investigation, and points out the nature of the conclusions which we are enabled to make by the application of them. This is one of the most important topics in the volume, and has been treated with sound judgment. Writers on the evidences of the Scriptures are apt to err in two opposite directions. Some are too hasty in attempting to explain away objections drawn from the supposed discoveries of some particular science, before the science itself has been fully established, while others catch at evidence in favor of the Scriptures from a new source, before it has been fully explored. If this has not been the case with the present subject, it is because it has fallen into the hands of judicious men. For this reason we are glad that Dr. Hawks has prepared this work, and in so doing, we doubt not he has performed a good service in the cause of truth.
The author in the remainder of his part of the volume, treats of the coincidences furnished by the monuments with events and circumstances in the History of Abraham, of Joseph, of the Bondage, of the Deliverance, and of the Wanderings, in as many consecutive chapters; and in the last chapter, of a most remarkable confirmation of the Scripture history of the invasion of Judea by Shishak, the king of Egypt, in the reign of Rehoboam.
To give an example of the manner in which the author manages the subject, he first eliminates from the narrative concerning Abraham, the facts which are stated bearing on the points of his investigation, such as, that at the time Abraham went down into Egypt, it was a powerful nation, rich and civ. ilized; that its kings were known by the name of Pharaoh; that domestic servitude then existed there; that Sarah was fair and used no covering or veil over her face, and several others : and then inquires whether these facts are illustrated or incidentally confirmed by any evidence we possess relating to Egypt.
But as Joseph spent most of his life in Egypt, we should naturally expect the account concerning him to be the one, the most fully confirmed. If it is not an account of real transactions with which the writer was familiar, our present knowledge of Egyptian usages will enable us to detect the imposture; but if it is what it professes to be, we can authenticate it. For instance, Joseph was sold by his brethren to Arabian merchants, traveling with their spices, &c. to Egypt. Were Arabian caravans accustomed to go at that time into Egypt with merchandise ? Joseph was made overseer of Pharaoh's house? Was such an officer a peculiar and characteristic feature of Egyptian life? Joseph in prison interprets the dream of the chief butler and baker. Were there officers of this kind and of high rank? These questions are easily answered in the affirinative. Pharaoh changes Joseph's name into an Egyptian one and it is given in the narrative. Is this a genuine Egyptian name? Yes; Egyptian scholars recognize in it the Egyptian word, Psotomfeneh, the "Save ior of the Age.” Pharaoh, the narrative says, married Joseph to Asenath. Is that a genuine Egyptian name? Yes; Champollion read it on an Egyptian relic in the cabinet of the French king, Charles X.
But we can not follow the author farther. We remark in general, that the facts are cautiously adduced, the evidence carefully stated, and the conclusions judiciously drawn. We ought, however, to say, we think, that the portion of the volume not written by Dr. Hawks,—“Notes of a Voyage up the Nile, by an American”-very much mars the unity of the plan, and is so far inferior in point of literary excellence and even of precise and distinct information, as to be quite misplaced. We are glad to learn that in the second edition, which is now called for, it will be oniitted, and its place supplied with farther illustrations by Dr. Hawks. We have only to say in conclusion, that the volume is handsomely printed, and furnished with from forty to fifty useful engravings. We are glad to be able to recommend so useful and interesting a work to the notice of our readers.
A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History. By Dr. John C. L. GIESELER, Con
sistorial Counselor and Ordinary Professor of Theology, in Göttingen. From the fourth
edition, revised and amended. Translated from the German, by SAMUEL Davidson, LL.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Ecclesiastical History in the Lancashire Independent College. Vols. I. and II. New York: Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff street. 1849.
This history has two peculiarities, which at the same time are very peculiar excellences. The first is, that the text contains only a condensed but precise statement of the realities—the ascertained facts and opinions—of Ecclesiastical History. The second is, that the realities in the text are in all cases sustained in the notes, by quotations from the original authorities. In the extent and minuteness of the quotations, we are reminded of Lardner, and in the precision of the text, of Bayle. As we are anxious to give our readers who may not have seen the work, a clear potion of what it is, we will go into some detail. We quote from the author his view of the object of ecclesiastica] history.
“The object of Ecclesiastical History is to present in historical Development the entire course through which the Christian church has passed, and the influence which it has exerted upon other human relations, and to lay the foundation for a due estimate of it in all respects. As time consists of moments, so is history made up of circumstances connected together as cause and effect. Every condition of the church rests on a twofold relation. To its internal relations belongs, first of all, that religious faith, which forms its bond of union, both in its scientific development and life in the members ; next, the character of the public religious erercises ; and thirdly, the form of government. To the external relations of the church, belong its diffusion and its relation to other associations, particularly to the state. Though these relations are not independent of one another, but are developed by constant mutual action, they admit of a separate historical treatment. There arises, therefore, 1. A history of the church's external relations, viz.;
(1.) History of its spread and limitation.
(2.) History of its relation to the state.
History of opinions,
History of the theological sciences.
History of religious and moral life. (2.) History of ecclesiastical worship.
(3.) History of the internal constitution of the church.” But the historical representation of the facts requires also a division according to time. The author divides the history into Periods by means of Epochs. He makes four Periods; the first, extending to the time of Constantine, the first development of the church under external oppression; the second, to the beginning of the image controversies, the development of Christianity as the prevailing religion of the state ; the third, to the Reformation, the development of Papacy, prevailing over the state; the fourth, the development of Protestantism.
The first Period is divided into three divisions, the first extending to the time of Hadrian, A. D., 117; the second, to Septimius Severus, 117–193; the third, of course, to Constantine, 193–324. Each Division is again divided into chapters, and has a special introduction. The introduction to the first division treats particularly of the religious and moral condition of the nations at the time of Christ's birth and during the first century, under two heads—the condition of the heathen nations, and the condition of the Jewish people. Then follow the chapters, which in the first division are three; the first, containing the life of Jesus ; the second, the apostolic age to the destruction of Jerusalem; the third, the age of John, from 70–117. Each chapter is divided into sections. Thus the first chapter has five sections—the chronological data relative to the life of Jesus--early history of Jesus—John the Baptist-public ministry and doctrines of Jesus-alledged contemporary notices of Jesus, not in the New Testament. The formal division is carried no farther. But, then, each section is substantially divided, for almost every sentence contains definite facts and opinions, each of which is authenticated by its proper proof in the notes the author thus passes from the broad combination of facts which makes up the epoch to the individual moments of time, and the reader has before him both the synthesis and the analysis of the historic elements. We will take an example to illustrate this last particular, from Period first, Division first, Chapter 2d, Section 30, on the Constitution of the Church. “The new churches out of Palestine formed themselves after the pattern of the mother church in Jerusalem. Their presidents were the Elders (Apeo3vtepol, érioxonov,) officially of equal rank, although, in many churches, individuals among them had a personal authority over the others.”. We subjoin a part of the first note. both appellations are the same follows from Acts xx, 17,28: Tit. i,5,7: Phil. i, 1: 1 Tim. iii, 1, 8. Acknowledged by Hieronymus. Epist. 82, (al 83,) ad Oceanum: Apud veteres iidem episcopi et presbyteri, quia illud nomen dignitatis, hoc ætatis-idem ad Tit. 1,7. Idem est ergo presbyter, qui episcopus : et antequam diaboli instinctu studia in religione fierent, et dicereter in populis : ego sum Pauli, ego Apollo, ego autem Cephæ, cominuni presbyterorum consilio ecclesiæ gubernabantur.” But we must omit the remainder of this note, and the whole of the next.
But in addition to these quotations there are very numerous references to passages which are not quoted. Besides, there is prefixed to the Periods, the Divisions and the Chapters, an enumeration of the original sources of the facts, and of the important works upon the general subject, while in the notes, there is most abundant reference to the various works which treat of the pasticular topic under review.
The great advantage of this mode of writing ecclesiastical history is obvious. It enables the reader to become himself an original investigator. He has the evidence before him and can judge of the validity of the conclusion which is drawn from it. It is very true that mere facts are not history, any more than a mere skeleton is a living man; but it is equally true that there can be no re-calling of ancient times and manners to a new existence in the present by a mere act of the imagination. · Broad generalizations, picturesque descriptions, vivid portraiture of character, when founded on a sufficient substratum of facts, are very well in their place, but without this support, they have neither the sanctity of history, nor the charm of fiction. But we ought not to intimate that this history contains only a mere detail of facts. There is a sober and sound philosophy pervading it, which connects these facts together, and the very precision with which they are expressed, gives a kind of reality to the statements.
In regard to the execution of the work, we remark, that the field of knowledge which it surveys is immense; that the research in this field is precise and accurate and minute; that the selection of quotations and authorities, though they are almost innumerable, is peculiarly choice; that the divisions, by which this vast collection of materials is arranged into a consistent order,