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is marked by sharp and well-defined boundaries; that the facts are firmly grasped and distinctly stated; and finally, that over all there has presided a sound and impartial judgment. This is the very work, which, as we should suppose, every Christian scholar would wish to have in his library. We ought to add, that the translation has been made from the most recent edition, the earlier portions of the original having been re-written, and enlarged by the author, so as to make it almost a new work.
Mahomet and his Successors. By WASHINGTON IRving. In two volumes. Vol. I.
New York: George P. Putnam, 155 Broadway. 1850. The design of this work is fully set forth by the writer himself—" to digest into an easy, perspicuous and flowing narrative, the admitted facts concerning Mahomet, together with such legends and traditions as have been wrought into the whole system of oriental literature; and at the same time to give such a summary of his faith as might be sufficient for the more general reader.” Mr. Irving has accomplished all that he undertook to do. The facts are judiciously selected, the legends and traditions carefully separated from the facts, and the articles of faith distinctly stated, while the whole is arranged in lucid order. It is not necessary to say that the volume is well written. But besides these merits, the reader will meet with an unobtrusive philosophy which, without any appearance of effort, seems to place things in their true light, and a fairness of judgment in determining the motives and designs of Mahomet, which on the one hand is far removed from the conceited affectation of heroworship, and on the other, from those prejudices which can find nothing but designed imposture in all false religions. We might also recommend this work as a new contribution to the evidences of Christianity; for, it can not fail to leave the impression upon every candid mind--and the more powerfully because there is no prominence given to any such design—that the Christian religion stands apart from all other systems of religion, alone in its holiness, as the inspired revelation of God.
The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, including a variety of pieces
now first collected. By JAMES Prior, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; Member of the Royal Irish Academy; Author of the Life of Goldsinith, Li fe of Burke, etc. etc. In four volumes. Vol. I. New York: George P. Putnarn, 155 Broadway. 1850. Mr. Putnam, after having favored the reading public with the biography of Oliver Goldsmith by Washington Irving, *—the biography of the most delightful writer in the English language by a writer not less delightful-proposes to make the connection between these authors still more intimate by publishing an edition of the miscellaneous works of Goldsmith, uniform with his edition of the works of Irving. No association could be more appropriate. These two writers, though different in many respects, agree in that which constitutes the charm of their writings, a genial humor, a pure humanity, and a graceful style. We have no readers, we are sure, who need any remarks from us upon the writings of Goldsmith ; we have, therefore, only to inform them what they will find that is peculiar in this new edition. The present edition, then, is intended to embrace all his miscellaneous writings so far as they are known, not only all that is in the earlier edition, but all that has been collected by Prior and others. The present volume contains, first, the Bee, of which only eight numbers were issued from the press ; secondly, the Essays,
* Has not Mr. Irving killed off “ Uncle Contarine" too soon on page 75, since we read of him as still alive on page 102! We should hardly have noticed this, had we not been drawn on to read the book at a single sitting. VOL. VIII.
thirty-eight in the whole, of which fifteen were first collected and published in Prior's edition; thirdly, An Inquiry into the present state of polite learning in Europe, two chapters of which are new; fourthly, Prefaces and Introductions, one half of which are new ;-the whole making a volume of five hundred and eighty-six pages. The volume is well printed, and the edition we think will become the standard one.
The Provincial Letters of Blaise Pascal. A new Translation with historical
Introduction and Notes. By the Rev. THOMAS M'CRIE, Edinburgh. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, No. 285 Broadway. 1850. pp. 392.
In noticing a work so well known as the Provincial Letters, we do not think it necessary to do more than point out the merits of the present edition. There have been two translations of these letters into English, the one made at the time of their original publication in French, and the other in 1816. The present is the third translation. There seem to have been so great defects in each of the others, as to justify an attempt to give a more exact version and one written in a better style. A work so important as this, deserves the best possible translation. Mr. M'Crie has been very successful in his attempt, and we think no one who is acquainted with this translation, would think of using any other. It appears in a good English style, and is made from the best edition of the original. It is also furnished with useful notes.
Besides the translation, Mr. M'Crie has prefixed a valuable historical Introduction of sixty-two pages. He first gives an account of the origin of the controversy between the Jesuits and the Jansenists-tracing it back to Augustine and the Pelagian controversy of the fifth century, through the discussions of the Thomists and Scotists in the middle ages. Then, beginning with the revival of the controversy by the Molinists and Jansenists, he brings down his review to the publication of the Provincial Letters. In doing this, he has occasion to speak of the establishment of the Jesuits, and of their opponents, the Port-Royalists. In addition to this, he gives much useful information as to Pascal himself, the composition and publication of the letters, the various editions, and other literary matters of interest. In the conclusion, he makes a satisfactory refutation of certain attempts of modern writers to depreciate these letters—especially of Sir James Macintosh, who in his history of England, refers to a vindication of the Jesuits by a writer, whom it turns out Sir James could never have read, since the work to which he refers is on an entirely different subject.
We think the republication of these letters is a good service rendered to literature and to Christianity. We hope they may be extensively circulated.
John Howard, and the Prison-World of Europe. From original and authentic
documents. By Hepworth Dixon. With an Introductory Essay by Richard W. Dickinson, D.D.; slightly abridged. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, No. 285 Broadway. 1850. pp. 401.
There have been two Lives of Howard, previous to the present one. Neither of them, however, seems to have been very meritorious. The materials which the present biographer has used will best appear from his own account of them. “He has carefully collected,” he says, every document already printed-made, and caused to be made, numerous researches-conversed with persons who have preserved traditions and other memorials of this subjecttravelled in his traces over a great number of prisons-examined parliamentary and other records for such new facts as they might afford—and, in conclusion, has consulted these several sources of information, and interpreted their answers by such light as his personal experience of the prison-world suggested to be needful.” This investigation has brought to light some new matter, and the materials for the biography of Howard are now collected. Whether they are herein finally used, depends, as the writer says, on the verdict of the reader. We acknowledge we think the present is not the final use which will be made of these materials. This memoir has some defects. The author speaks of Howard too much as a man of great genius—which he certainly was not, in the usual sense of the word-instead of presenting him as a bright example of what can be accomplished by decision of character directed by Christian benevolence. He also has failed fully to develope the Christian character of Howard as growing out of his faith in the doctrines of the Cross -a defect, however, partially remedied by the Introductory Essay. And finally, the book is written in an inflated, latinized style. But notwithstanding these defects, which we feel bound to mention, it is a most interesting book. The matter of it is of such a character that no one can begin to read, without finishing the work. The first chapter treats of the prison-world before the time of Howard. The next three chapters speak of Howard's early life. In 1773 Howard commenced his career of philanthropy-and from this time to his death, he was constantly employed in journeyings in England and on the continent for the inspection of prisons and lazarettoes. The remaining chapters of the work follow him in these journeyings, and are intensely interesting.
A Copious and Critical English-Latin Lexicon, founded on the German-Latin
Dictionary of Dr. Charles Ernest Georges. By the Rev. JOSEPH ESMOND Riddle, M.A., of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, author of " A complete LatinEnglish Dictionary," &c., and the Rev. THOMAS KERCHEVER ARNOLD, M.A., Rector of Lyndon, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. First American edition, carefully revised, and containing a copious Dictionary of Proper Names from the best sources, by CHARLES Anthon, LL.D., Professor of the Greek and Latin Languages in Columbia College. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers. 1849.
The authors of this work say truly in their preface, that “it can hardly be said to have had any predecessor in its own kind.” The classical student in England and America, to whom this would have been just the manual he needed, has heretofore had no better English-Latin lexicon than the meager ill-arranged work of Ainsworth. He has, it is true, been able to consult such excellent helps to writing Latin as Crombie's Gymnasium, Dumesnil's Synonymes, Robertson's Phraseologia and other similar works, and, if familiar with the German language, to avail himself of the results of German industry and scholarship in this department of classical learning. But this course has generally involved much inconvenience or much labor-so much indeed as to constitute a serious obstacle in the way of those who wished to encourage the writing of Latin in our schools and colleges. Few learners know how to use advantageously the books named above, even if inclined to do so, and it has been necessary to use them, if they were used at all, as substitutes for a proper English-Latin lexicon.
The volume before us supplies the need which has been so long and so generally felt. It is an ample work, its arrangement is excellent and it is reliable. It contains upwards of seven hundred and fifty closely printed octavo pages, which, by the help of a system of signs, abbreviations and references, are made to contain an unusual quantity of matter. Although it is smaller than either of the German works from which it is chiefly derived, yet a comparison will show that the editors have used both judgment and skill in reducing the book to a convenient size-judgment in omitting matter comparatively unimportant to learners, and skill in condensing without omitting.
The names of the authors are in themselves no slight guarantee of the correctness of the work. Mr. Riddle's name has long been associated in the minds of scholars with Latin lexicography, nor could he well have had a better preparation for the laborious task which he has so largely shared in accomplishing, than he found in translating the great Latin-Ġerman lexicon of
Scheller, and in his more recent lexicographical labors. Scarcely less can be said of the fitness of Mr. Arnold for this particular work. His occupations hitherto have been such as not only to make him sensible of the urgent need of a good English-Latin lexicon, but also to qualify him to assist in preparing one which should meet the existing demand.
The work is based on that of Georges, but Kraft has been made to contribute an important share, especially in the class of words and phrases which represent things peculiarly modern. Georges shrinks from making the Roman tongue speak of railroads and steam-engines. But with Kraft's help, you might almost write the directors' report to the stockholders of a railroad company, and that too with a surprisingly near approach to classical Latinity. Besides the works named, the editors have incorporated in this lexicon whatever they have found useful in Freund, Krebs, Hand, Doederlein, Bonnell and others. That the work has cost them many years of labor, we readily believe. To make an English-Latin out of a German-Latin lexicon, is a much greater undertaking than one would at first suppose. It would be comparatively easy to translate a Latin-German lexicon. In the latter case, the order of the words is already settled. The progress of the translator from page to page is regular. But in the other case there must be a new digest of the two languagesthe English and the German—in respect to their correspondences. The metaphorical uses of those words, which in their primary signification agree, are very diverse; indeed, are rarely coincident. The difficulty alluded to is illustreted on every page of the book before us. Take for instance, the word to cut. The translator, in preparing his English work, turns to the corresponding German word schneiden. A part of the article can be directly translated and appropriated. But he soon comes to such phrases as Gesichter schneiden, which in English means to make wry faces, Geld schneiden, equivalent to pecuniam facere, and others, which from their signification in English must be placed in a new neighborhood in the English work. Again, the English work requires a group of phrases in the same article, which are scattered through the whole length of the German. "To cut a figure,' 'to cut one's acquaintance,' 'to cut, i. e. to run,' 'to cut capers,' 'to cut one's teeth,' 'to cut short,' are phrases which bear no relation to the German schneiden. But we need not enlarge on the difficulties which the editors have had to encounter, especially as they have shown that these difficulties were not too great for them. They have made a very valuable and important contribution to classical literature. Long and frequent use can of course be the only test of its complete accuracy, but from the examination of its plan and execution which we have been able to give it, we feel no hesitation in recommending it to the use of all who are teaching or learning the Latin language.
Dr. Anthon, under whose superintendence the American edition has been issued, has anticipated the English editors in giving to the public a dictionary of Proper Names, in the form of an appendix to the lexicon. This is much more copious than the Geographical Appendix to Kraft's GermanLatin Lexicon, yet the latter might have been used to make the former still more complete than it is. It would have been especially appropriate and useful for learners if Dr. Anthon had prepared an introduction to his appendix, similar to that of Kraft, containing a statement of the principles in accordance with which vowels and terminations are changed in the transfer of proper names to and from the Latin form. As it is, however, it forms a valuable ad. dition to the English work.
European Life and Manners ; in Familiar Letters to a Friend; by HENRY Col
MAN, author of European Agriculture, &c. Second edition in two volumes.
MR. COLMAN's letters have become very popular and with good reason. No
cially in England. Palaces, town residences and country seats of the nobility, hunting grounds and all kinds of agricultural estates and improvements, were freely opened to his inspection. He was received on terms of confidence and intimacy, by domestic circles, into which few men from abroad, are permitted to penetrate. Few men have had an eye so quick to observe, and a pen so ready and so felicitous in describing what he observed. He wrote with the utmost familiarity to intimate friends at home. We do not approve of all the liberties taken in this volume with the privacies of domestic life, nor do we relish all the notices of some of the minutiæ, or rather trivialities on which he dwells with such freedom. The naiveté with which he expresses his astonishment at the luxury and comfort of high life in England, reminds one of the air of a countryman, passing through Broadway or Washington street, gazing at the signs and shopwindows. Certain familiarities of allusion occasionally occur, which offend good taste, if they do not offend good morals and good manners. But these letters as a whole, are invaluable, for they do more effectually than any other and all other books of travels, enable the American to comprehend something of high life in England, and on the continent.
Lowell Lectures, on the application of Metaphysical and Ethical Science to the
Evidences of Religion. Delivered before the Lowell Institute in Boston, in the winters of 1848–49. By Francis Bowen. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown. 1849. 8vo, pp. 465.
This volume is well fitted to interest the earnest student in metaphysical and ethical science. Few volumes have appeared from an American author, that indicate so extensive reading with such accurate and discriminating thought, as this volume by Mr. Bowen. We are glad, that the gentleman, whose duty it is to appoint the subjects and the lecturers for the courses of popular lectures, by which Boston is so splendidly distinguished from the other cities of the world, does not disdain themes of an import like those of ethics and natural theology. We are quite certain also that Mr. Bowen was well entitled to be selected as a lecturer upon such topics.
The Lectures as originally delivered, constituted two courses, the one preparatory to the other. The subjects are as follows: "The distinction between physical and metaphysical science. This distinction applied to Philosophy and Theology. The Idea of Self, or Personal Existence. T'he Idea of Cause, and the nature of Causation. Fatalism and Free-will. The argument for Freeagency continued : Reasoning from effect to cause. All events in the material universe a proof of the presence and agency of God. Inferences from the general character of the phenomena of the Physical Universe. The argument from design.-Second Course: Characteristics of the Skepticism of our day. The human distinguished from the brute mind. The principles of activity in human nature. The nature and functions of conscience. The nature of moral government. The contents of the moral law a revelation of the character of the Deity. The enforcement of the moral law. The goodness of God. The origin of evil. The unity of God. The immortality of the soul can not be proved without the aid of revelation. The relation of a Natural to Revealed Religion. The nature of the evidence of a Revealed Religion.". These subjects are discussed in twenty-one Lectures—and with a knowledge of the subject, a studious and accurate acquaintance with the opinions of others, a thoroughness of discussion, and a clearness of style, which are rarely seen in combination. We can not criticise the opinions of the author. They are not in all cases our own opinions. We might notice also some defects in the handling of the topics, as not sufficiently illustrative and fervid, for the miscellaneous and popular audience for which these lectures were prepared. But we can say very honestly as we do very heartily, that this volume will take a very high rank, among American contributions to the metaphysical sciences. It does honor to its author, and to the memory of the distinguished