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impeded the progress of the arts; and if Raffaelle and Michael Angelo afterwards surpassed him in his own line, it is to him that justly belongs the merit of having first pointed out the road which they so successfully followed. It is easier to improve than to invent; but to him who had the courage to overcome the prejudices of ages ought to belong the gratitude of posterity, more than to those who, by following his precepts, increased their own reputation." A very beautiful head of Leonardo, engraved by Worthington, accompanies the present edition, which, with the outlines of figures intended as illustrations of the treatise, will render the book a valuable addition to the collection of an artist.
The Poetical Works of John Milton. The eighth and last volume of this edition of Milton's Poetical Works, edited by Sir Egerton Brydges, has made its appearance, and completes a work that will fill a hiatus which has been termed a disgraceful defect in literature.” Research, enthusiasm unchilled by age or difficulty, combined with a strict impartiality and the keenest critical acumen, were never brought into more successful or delightful play than in these volumes, which must remain a gratifying monument of the superior power of the accomplished editor, so long as Milton shall, in the minds of Englishmen, be regarded as the greatest of poets. The illustrations, by Turner, to this volume, are the “ Temptation of the Pinnacle" and the “ Shipwreck of Lycidas;" and are distinguished for that artist's usual display of imagination. Cruciana. Illustrations of the most striking Aspects under which the
Cross of Christ and Symbols derived from it have been contemplated by Piety, Superstition, Imagination, and Taste. By John Holland.
Beautifully illustrated works come upon us in crowds. This is unquestionably one of the most beautiful. It is printed and “ got up in Liverpool ; and certainly no London house could have issued a more perfect specimen of the art of typography; or have bound it in better taste. The volume is sufficient proof that the provincial press is capable of competing with that of the metropolis. Messrs. Marples and Co. of Liverpool have settled this point. It would not be easy for us to point out a publication so finely, clearly, and correctly printed. "It has, we think, never been surpassed. The object of the work is explained by the title, which we have therefore copied in full. Mr. Holland has already obtained a high reputation as a poet. In this volume also he appears to great advantage in that character. But his principal task has been one of research-to illustrate the most striking aspects under which the cross of Christ, and symbols derived from it, have been contemplated by Piety, Superstition, Imagination, and Taste. These four divisions are commented upon and explained in a graceful and skilful manner; almost every topic connected with the GRAND subject has been touched upon, and a moral is deduced from each. The book is embellished by several fine engravings on wood: they are so good, that we regret the name of the artist does not accompany them. Evolution on the Power and Operation of Numbers.
By Thos. Smith. As a treatise, uniting just and accurate investigation of the first principles of mathematical science with a style of explanation which renders what are generally considered the more abstruse properties of numbers comprehensible to any mind with the slightest tendency to reflection, we cannot but look upon the appearance of Mr. Smith's book as a benefit to
society at large, and as materially tending to advance a taste for one of the most beautiful of the studies accessible to the human intellect. The work itself, principally devoted to a consideration of Fractional and Decimal Arithmetic, and to the Involution and Evolution of determinable quantities, is inferior to no treatise yet published in the importance of its subject; while in the absence of all technical obscurities, and in its open and manly method of demonstration, we know of none which can be compared with it. The apparently mysterious process of the extraction of roots, so often performed in a merely mechanical manner, and of which so little explanation is afforded in most works on the principles of Arithmetic, gradually resolves itself, under Mr. Smith's hands, into a process as intelligible as could be wished by the least acute inquirer. Of how great importance it is that this process should be clearly understood need not be mentioned to any who have made the least progress in analytical investigations, or how great a benefit attends a thorough insight into the reasons of ordinary operations in which Fractions and Decimals are concerned. The work may be confidently and strongly recommended to all engaged in the instruction of youth, as well as to students of maturer years, who are pursuing the difficult path of self-tuition, as one of the best aids they can procure in facilitating their labours.
THE ANNUALS. These pleasant books are again before us ;-the greater number of them rather, for some have not yet made their appearance. They differ little, in character, either externally or internally, from that which they have borne for twelve or fourteen years. Substantial leather has indeed taken the place of flimsy silk; and they are now books for a year rather than a day ; but they are nearly the same as they always have been-gay, agreeable, and levying but a slight tax either upon the minds or the purses of their ten thousand patrons. It was at one period the mode to praise them too highly; it now seems likely to become the fashion to condemn them too much. They have never advanced very high pretensions- never indeed claimed to be considered as works of standard merit; their existence was supposed to continue but for a year, when they were to be set aside by their successors. Notwithstanding this, it is impossible to deny that they have contained contributions from nearly all-if not all-- the popular writers of the age and country. We will name a few of them. Moore, Southey, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hemans, Landon, Procter, Croly, Milman, Rogers, Wilson, J. Montgomery, Leigh Hunt, Bowles, Cunningham, and Hogg-in poetry. In prose, Scott, Bulwer, Marryatt, Landon, Morier, and a host of others. “It must be allowed also, that their embellishments have been, for the most part, of the very highest character-fine engravings from admirable pictures. There is not a single artist of repu. tation who has not supplied at least one work for publication in an Annual. We hope, therefore, they will receive the encouragement which the public . has hitherto extended to them. Without this, it is impossible for them to support the reputation they have so long maintained.
The Forget Me Not. This is, we think, of excellence superior to either of its predecessors. The frontispiece is an admirable engraving from a picture by Edwin Landseer-" The Actress at the Duke's”- the actress being, we believe, one of the fair daughters of the House of Russell. Of the other plates, we prefer“ King Alfred's return from the Danish Camp," by Mr. S. A.
Hart, A. R. A.; " The Dying Sister," by Miss E. Sharpe ; and “The Shepherdess," by Mr. Hancock. The literary contents are exceedingly good. There is an excellent sea-story by " the Old Sailor"; a capital tale of the American woods, by Mr. Stone; a tradition of Scotland, of intense interest; and other prose contributions of high merit, by Mr. Jerrold, Miss Isabel Hill, and Miss Lawrance. The poetry has been chiefly supplied by James Montgomery, James Hogg, Miss Landon, “ Deita," Mary Howitt, and Laman Blanchard. The poem of Mr. Blanchard is of rare beauty-one of the most brilliant productions of the year. We congratulate Mr. Shoberl, therefore, on the industry and vigour he has displayed in maintaining the interest and value of his work; and in proving that although it has reached its fourteenth year, its claims upon public support are as large and numerous as they ever bave been since he and Mr. Ackermann introduced into England the now flourishing exotic.
The Friendship's Offering. It is no ill compliment to the present editor of this work, Mr. W. H. Harrison, to say that we miss our excellent and lamented friend, Pringle, to whose good taste and sound judgment the volume is mainly indebted for its hold upon the public. We cannot say that Mr. Harrison has enabled us to forget that the " Friendship's Offering” is no longer under the care of him who so long and with so much ability conducted it. Mr. Harrison has prefaced his annual labours by a touching tribute to the memory of his predecessor-of his predecessors, indeed, we must say ; for after the death of Pringle the work was given in charge to Inglis, who also died before the year had gone. We have no doubt that Mr. Harrison will do justice to the choice of the publishers, and that his next publication will be of far higher merit, Its literary contents are chiefly from the pens of Miss Stickney, (the admirable author of “The Poetry of Life",) T. K. Hervey, Mr. James, Mr. Jerdan, who has contributed the best poem in the volume, Mr. D. L. Richardson, Miss Landon, Mr. D. Jerrold, and the Editor. Among its illustrations there are two or three- and only two or three-above mediocrity. “ The Festival” is, to our taste, the best in the collection.
The Keepsake. This volume has been transferred from the charge of Mr. Reynolds, who conducted it from its commencement, to that of the Hon. Mrs. Norton. However much we may desire to say of a lady only that which is pleasant, we are compelled to state that the change has not been advantageons to the work. It is in no way improved; the fair authoress herself has contributed largely and well; but she has failed in obtaining assistance of any value. The volume is, in short, made up of mere nothings,- if we except the excellent tales and poems of the editor. Now, Mr. Reynolds perhaps took a wrong course,-he sometimes mistook a peer for a poet, and thought a title before or after a name indicated genius of the rarest order. But even this error was useful to the work. It was always found upon the tables of the aristocracy; and as every Lord has at least a hundred cousins and a thousand admirers, “ The Keepsake" was of course in high repute. Mrs. Norton has cut the peers, but has not encouraged the poets. She has pressed but one Lord' and one member of Parliament into her ranks. The M.P. gives a few verses, and his Lordship a curious specimen of the nonsense that may be made to fill two pages where only one vowel appears; the said specimen being preceded by a venerable pun about writing with Ees. Mrs. Norton, however, has succeeded in achieving a triumph which Mr. Reynolds, with all his efforts, perseverance, and gold, was unable to obtain. She has induced Moore to write for “ The
Keepsake.” It is not his first appearance in the character, for last year he was lured into the Annuals by the Countess of Blessington. His poem is “ the Progress of Painting,"—a work by no means unworthy of his pen. Captain Marryatt has given an admirable sketch of a Nigger named "Moonshine." Captain Phipps a clever paper,“ The Autobiography of a Scotch Terrier.” Captain Chamier a "Fire at Sea." There are several anonymous communications. In spite, however, of our desire to imitate the gallant Captains and the gallant bard, whose names we have mentioned, and give our “aid'' to the accomplished editor, we cannot say that she has succeeded in improving “ The Keepsake," or of giving dignity to the class of works to which it belongs. Of the plates we may speak in terms less qualified. Many of them are exceedingly beautiful; those after Turner more especially. The frontispiece is the portrait of a lovely woman, from a drawing by Chalon; and a delicious vignette by Uwins forms the titlepage. Two of the most attractive prints in the collection are by Herbert, --an artist who has not been long before the world, but who bids fair to occupy a very prominent station in it. A sweet design of Stothard's—“ The Favourite Flower"-intended evidently as an illustration of Byron ; a picture of Leslie's; one by Cattermole; two by Stephanoff, one “The Hindu Girl," of exceeding interest; two, which do not please us, by Bostock; three sea-pieces of much merit by Vickers; and three of a character “rich and rare" by Turner, make up the collection. Its merit is sufficient to bear out the high reputation of Mr. Heath, and that is saying much for it.
The Landscape Annual. Mr. David Roberts has made a most successful tour : his volume this year is better than that of last ; it is, in fact, one of the richest and most interesting collections of landscapes that could be placed before us. Andalusia is fertile in fine subjects for the pencil. There are so many glorious relics of old Moorish greatness scattered over its gorgeous scenery of plain and water, that the artist finds abundant matériel wherever he may travel. Mr. Roberts long ago achieved fame; if he had not done so, this book is sufficient to maintain his claim to the highest honours his art can bestow. The work is one of exceeding beauty, interest, and value, and merits the most unqualified praise we can bestow upon it. Mr. Roscoe has also performed his task in a very satisfactory manner. He has traced with much skill the history of the province; and has introduced several striking and exciting stories which give a zest to the more sobered and solid descriptions. It would have been advantageous if he had applied himself somewhat more to details of the later events which have made Andalusia remarkable.
The Amulet. “The Amulet" again advances its claims to public patronage: among its contributors are those to whom it is so largely indebted for the reputation it has so long maintained, Dr. Walsh, Miss Landon, &c. &c. "The volume contains a curious account of the Island of Jerbi, with its tower of human skulls,-a place hitherto unknown, we believe, to modern travellers. It is enriched by poetical contributions by L. E. L., the Ettrick Shepherd, Allan Cunningham, Viscount Strangford, Elliot of Sheffield, the author of Darnley," Horace Smith, Laman Blanchard, &c. &c.
The Picturesque Annual. There are few pleasanter travellers than Mr. Leitch Ritchie. He dashes off a sketch as if he wrote as rapidly as he thought. We fancy him always on the gallop, and feel certain that neither his horses nor his postilions are ever permitted to proceed at a quiet pace. He is sure, however, to
collect much information on his way, and takes especial care to gather as much of the marvellous as may serve to give a due relish to his descriptions of persons and things. Here is a book of agreeable and useful reading, giving us a brief, but we believe accurate, account of Russia and the Russians, relieved by several deeply interesting stories, and abundant sketches of the habits, customs, and leading characteristics of the people. The plates are all striking ; they partake, perhaps, too much of the coldness of the climate, and are too much alike; but they afford a just idea of the magnificent buildings-churches, palaces, and quays—so peculiar to the country; and Mr. Vickers, the artist, has performed in a very creditable manner his portion of the partnership "journey."
The Juvenile Forget Me Not. This is the oldest of the Annuals for the young, and we may spare it a corner. The materials have been collected with sound judgment: there is here nothing that can be in the remotest degree objectionable. It is evident that Mrs. Hall has studied how to cater for youth, so as to make information and amusement pay their visits together. The task is not an easy one ; writers too frequently go either above or below the comprehensions of children, and the one is as disadvantageous as the other: it requires no ordinary skill to hit the happy medium. The literary contents of this volume are contributed by Dr. Walsh, Mary Howitt, Mrs. Hofland, Miss Stickney, Miss Landon, &c. &c.; and it contains eight good plates, in keeping with the character of the work.
The Book of Beauty. This is beyond question the most perfect Annual the year has produced. Its illustrations are the best; and its literary contributions are of the highest order. Lady Blessington has approached nearer to our ideas of what such a publication ght to be than any other editor. She has succeeded in obtaining the assistance of a large proportion of the more popular writers of the country. Among them are Mr. Bulwer, Washington Irving, Miss Landon, Mrs. S. C. Hall, Mr. Procter, the Author of “ Vivian Grey," Mr. N. P. Willis, W. S. Landor, Lord Morpeth, Lady Charlotte Bury, Lady E. S. Wortley, Mr. Grattan, and though last, not least, the accomplished editor herself. Mr. Bulwer has supplied a glorious story of Eastern magic ; Washington Irving, a romantic incident—“ The Haunted Ship;” Mrs. Hall, a pleasant sketch of a little Irish maiden—" Poor Dummy;” Mr. D'Israeli, a delicious tale, in which love is tried and not found wanting; Barry Cornwall, a series of rich “ Fragments;'' indeed all the contributors have done well. They have written with an evident desire to give to the “ Book of Beauty" the highest character among the Annuals; and they have succeeded. We must not, however, omit to notice a very sweetly written tale of sin and sorrow by Mrs. Fairlie. It is briefly told; but with a degree of pathos we have seldom seen equalled. The prints which illustrate the “Book of Beauty" are in keeping with its literary contents; they are all beautiful-beautiful in nature and beautiful in art. The most attractive, to us at least (but upon this point opinions will widely differ), are the “ Armina," by Liverseege; " Alice," by E. T. Parris; the “ Lady Augusta Baring” (the frontispiece); Mary," by D. McClise; and the “ Reverie," by S. Lover, who graces the volume also as a poet.
The Biblical Annual. Among the Annuals, there are few that have better claims upon the public than this, which contains descriptions of scenes familiar to all who is study the Scriptures.” The designs have been “ taken on the spot," by travellers who have sojourned in the Holy Land, and in other places which