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Baron Maseres; Dr. Mason Good, (a name which science and literature alike delight to honour,) the Rev. T. Rennel, Dr. Cartwright, Lord Erskine, the enterprising and intrepid Belzoni, and the celebrated artists in stained glass, Mr. and Mrs. Pearson. *

The volume is preceded by a brief history of English sacred poetry, from the pen of Mr. Richard Ryan. of this we should have given a more extended notice, had we not learned that the present sketch is only the outline of a larger work by the same author, in which he proposes to give a full and complete account of all the sacred poets of England, with copious extracts from the works of the earlier ones

Many of the poetical pieces dispersed through the present volume, are also contributed by Mr. Ryan, and are calculated to give a very favourable impression of his talents, both for the sprightly and the pathetic.

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Grammaire Française et Italienne de Veneroni, contenant, &c.

huitième édition en deux volumes : revue, corrigée, et augmentée, par Romualdo Zotti. A Londres, chez l'Auteur. -16, Broad-street, Golden-square. 1823.

The office of a censor must ever be disagreeable to a well-disposed mind, even though the performance of its duties be demanded by circumstances. Any person, however, who is engaged in a work intended for the public advantage, must perform those duties, unpleasant as they may be to himself, and the parties affected by them. The above work is one, in which we are happy to see the best rules, with a few exceptions, for the acquirement of the Italian language, which any grammar can afford. These exceptions are some rules relative to the o, and e, close, and open, and the pronunciation of the letter s. These points may be considered as unimportant, and more suited to gratify the ill-nature of fastidious criticism,

* The unrivalled colouring of these admirable artists may fairly be considered as the triumph of the art. Mrs. Pearson, about two years since, paid the debt of nature: but the lovers of art will be pleased to know, that Mr. Pearson still lives, and at an age protracted far beyond that usually attained by man, continues to enjoy a degree of health and vigour which is rarely the lot even of the middle period of life. The great window of Salisbury cathcdral, executed by this gentleman, is one of the grandest specimens of art in the world. How much is it to be lamented that the large and beautiful churches recently erected should not be adorned by the productions of an art so peculiarly consonant with ecclesiastical archi. tecture.

than to furnish any fair ground of animadversion. Be it so. They do not now form the subject of our remarks; and therefore we shall not, at present, enter into the merits of that question. The topic, to which we direct our present observations, is the incorrectness of the eighth, and last edition of the work. Knowing, as we do, the merits of the grammar itself, we feel regret at seeing it appear before the public in its present dress. Errors occur in almost every page, not merely in the punctuation, or in the orthography, but in that very important particular, the accentuation. An intention is professed to mark by accents the o open, so as to afford facilities to learners in that difficulty of the Italian language. If the intention of Signor Zotti had been carried into effect, as he wished, great advantage would have accrued to all persons reading this grammar. From the bad manner in which the work has been passed through the press, these accents tend to deceive, rather than to instruct. The same observation may be made on the other accents. So glaring are some of the faults, that one would imagine a degree of ingenuity had been exerted, in order to commit them. These are to be discovered, not merely in the Italian, but also in the French; and, wherever it is used, the Latin. What the cause of these imperfections is, must be clear to every person acquainted with literary business,-the ignorance of the persons employed in correcting the proofs. Who these persons are, we cannot pretend to say, but certainly they cannot be superior to the mere readers of a low printinghouse. Yet these are the persons appointed to bring out a work of such importance as the grammar of Roumaldo Zotti in its “huitième édition,” as we find boasted in the title-page. It will probably be said, that the persons in whom the property of the work is vested, have availed themselves of the best means in their power of obtaining proper correctors of the press. To this it may be answered, that they must have confined their researches to a very narrow compass.

Were the names of Signor Cicchetti, or of Signor Caravita, both Romans, and both professors of Italian in the Royal Academy of Music, unknown to them? No, they could not be; for they were well acquainted with the talents and the fame of those two professors. Yet, in 1823, the eighth edition of such a grammar, in such a state, in such an age, is brought out! What the motives of the proprietors were for not using proper methods to produce a good edition, we must leave our readers to decide.

We forbear making any quotations from the grammar, as our readers need only refer to a few pages of it, to be convinced of the truth of our assertions.

It may, perhaps, be proper to remark, that the same ohservation ought to be made of most of the other Italian works; whether grammars, elementary treatises, essays on music, or music itself, owing, we are convinced, not to any difficulty in obtaining the assistance of the most excellent professors of the language; but from a species of ill-jadged and contemptible economy in not employing the assistance so attainable.

LITERARY NOTICES.

MR. Fielv, late Chief Justice of New ties, views, and heraldry, by Messrs. South Wales, is about to publish a small Hughes, Bupner, Mason, &c. ChroniCollection of Geographical Papers, by cles of London Bridge; comprising a varions Hands, respecting that Colony. complete history of ibat ancient and

In the press, Tales of Fault and Fcel. interesting structure, from its earliest ing. By the Author of “ Zeal and Ex. mention in the British Annals; traced perience.” 3 vols. 12mo.

throngh all its various destructions, reThe Prosodian's Alphabetical Direc- erections, and alterations, down to the tory, or Ready Guide to the Quantity commencement of the new edifice iv of every Syllable of the Latin Language. 1824 ; and interspersed with historical, By William Moseley, LL.D. will be ready literary, and biographical anecdotes ; for delivery by the time the schools re. and an accurate account of all the open in January.

principal buildings contiguous to the The same Author will publish, in the bridge. Compiled from

the most course of the winter, a Greek Direc- authentic and valuable sources, both tory on the same plan, and Greek Exer- public and private; consisting of charcises on the plan of the Eton Latin ters, ancient histories, manuscript re. Minora.

cords, original drawings, rare prints and In one thick volume, foolscap 8vo. books, and offirial papers. By an embellished withi numerous highly- Antiquary of London. finished engravings on wood, of antiqui

NEW WORKS JUST PUBLISHED.

Odd Moments, or Time Beguiled. In Laws, dedicated to the Commissioners 1 vol. 12mo. with an engraving after a of Stamps, &c. 68, 6d. design by Corbould.

Scripture Natural History of Qua. A practical Epitome and Exposition drupeds, with Reflections designed for of the whole Stamp Law and Duties, the Young. By Henry Althans. 28. in specifying what Duties have been lately extra boards, with numerous elegant Repealed, and all that are now Payable, wood-cuts; or in Six Parts, neatly done with directions concerning Deeds and up in atiff covers, 4d. each. Instruments, in which Property in Ire- Scripture Natural History of Birds land or elsewhere may be included, and and Insects. By the same Author. In Assignments of Mortgages and Recon- Montbly Parts, 4d, each. veyances of Annuities; Legacies and Creation's Friend : Lines addressed Probates or Administrations, Executor- to, and published with, the approbation ship Accounts, and Return of Probate of the “ Society for the prevention of Duty, &c. illastrated with all applica. Cruelty to Animals.” By W. R. Hawkes. ble Cases and Decisions, some of them Small 8vo. 3d. specially regarding Leases, Mortgages, The Spirit of the Public Journals for and Pärchases : to which are added, 1895; being an impartial Selection of Copious Annotations on Material Points; the most exquisite Essays, Jeux the whole arranged in strict Alphabeti. d'Esprits, and Tales of Humour, prose cal Order for easy reference. By J. A. and verse; with explanatory Notes. Heraud, author of the Digest of Stamp 12mo. 10s. 60.

ERRATA. Vol. I, page 425, line 20, for “ Milton” read . Pope." In the present Number-p. 160, 1. 38, for “parent," read “nurse."--p. 166, 1. 39, for "• thy rown," read “they frown."-p. 180, 1.32, for “heart," read "hearth.”.

THE

PHILOMATHIC JOURNAL,

APRIL 1825.

THE

HISTORY OF ETHICS. .

The difference between the various writers on morals has been less relative to the subject itself, than to the principle into which it is to be resolved. Mankind, from the very earliest inquiries after right and wrong, have arrived, for the most part, at the same conclusions, but they have not deduced them from the same source. Paley has justly observed, that if it be asked, “Why am I obliged to keep niy word ?” six different persons will give as many different answers to this important inquiry. “Because it is right,” says one: “Because it is agreeable to the fitness of things," says another: “Because it is conformable to reason and nature," says a third: “Because it is conformable to truth,” says a fourth: “Because it promotes the public good,” says a fifth: “Because it is required by the will of God,” concludes a sixth. These are the principal, although not all the bases assumed by those who have written on Ethics. The first, begs the question, which is to ascertain what is right. The second, places morals on intellectual superiority, which is necessary to decide on the fitness of things. The third, perplexes the inquiry with metaphysical disquisitions, from the perplexities of which the mind escapes bewildered, with the mere advantage of finding that it is unable to decide by such a mode what is conformable to reason and nature. The fourth, advances a position, without assigning a reason why we are obliged to conform to truth; asserts the principle, without supporting its claims. The fifth, makes it a question of jurisprudence, rather than of morals generally. The sixth, lays à basis which will be found to be the only

VOL. II. PART II.

R

secure one, but is met with the objection, How is the will of God to be ascertained ? Is it by revelation that is limited at present in its circulation, and the obligations of morals are universal. If not-by what means shall this will be learned? and by what argument shall the fact be established, that any supposed duty is really so; that any particular requisition is conformable to the Divine Will? This supposes a knowledge of the Divine Being, which has not obtained universally, except in so limited a degree that it can be scarcely so termed.

Yet will these men, setting out as from the different points of a circle, converge towards a common centre. They will arrive at the conclusion, that to keep one's word is a moral dutyand, at variance as to the principles which they advance, they will ultimately coincide in respect of the object. This is a most important fact in connexion with Ethics-a demonstration that, whether we can develop the process or not, the law of our nature, and that of morals, is coincident: and the system which most closely approximates them, tracing both to the Deity, is most likely to approach nearest the truth. To trace distinctly the operation, may be more difficult than to find the basis-but to agree in the result, even while we differ as to the detail, establishes morals beyond dispute. The subject has engaged the attention of every civilized country-and man in a savage state, which has perhaps been unjustly called a state of nature, since we have no certain reasons to conclude that he was from the beginning what he is found to be in an uncivilized condition, ---man, even in a savage state, is not without his fixed principles of moral action, and a sort of intuitive perception of duty. To argue that such a perception supersedes the necessity of moral investigation, would be absurd: but it is here alluded to, simply to shew, that the basis of morals, whatever it is, is laid in the very constitution of our nature. No language is to be found in which terms expressive of virtue and vice, describing the boundaries of right and wrong, conveying praises and censures as connected with the one and with the other, do not subsist. Language is the communication of feeling the vehicle of imparting thoughts, convictions, principles, perceptions; and such terms argue correspondent impressions, or they had never been invented.

The question relates to the origination of this common principle: and I cannot but think metaphysical disquisition has clouded the subject which it intended to elucidate. Because fables were abused, and because tradition was sometimes absurd, Aristotle resolved to reduce every thing to reason, and to account, therefore, for every thing. He perplexed himself; and others, who adopted his mode of investigation, without possessing his magnificent powers, and his discriminating judg.

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