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PHILOSOPHICAL AND ECONOMICAL INTELLIGENCE.
PROPOSED BRITISH PUBLICATIONS.
Messrs. Mathews and Leigh, announce their intention of publishing Sir John Carr's new work, a Tour in Scotland, which will appear early this season. The work will form one handsome volume in quarto, with highly finished plates, from drawings by the author.
Dr. Carpenter, of Exeter, is preparing for publication, an Account of the Structure and Function of the Eye, principally intended to illustrate the arguments contained in the first and second chapters of Paley's Natural Theology. It will be printed to correspond in size and type with that work, so as to bind up with it, if wished by the purchasers.
Mr. Bower has made considerable progress in a work which is intended to exhibit a complete delineation of the Life of Luther, and of the effects of that life upon the great revolution to which he has given a name. Mr. Bower has explored the original and voluminous documents respecting Luther, with which his own times, and those immediately succeeding, abounded; he has carefully analysed the whole of Luther's writings; and is persuaded that the materials which he has collected, furnish much information which has not hitherto been laid before the British publick, respecting the character and progress of this extraordinary man, respecting the gradual formation of his mind during the period of his education, the gradual expansion of his views during his efforts for the reformation of the church; and the character which the peculiarity of his mind stamped upon the reformation itself.
PHILOSOPHICAL AND ECONOMICAL INTELLIGENCE.
We have already had occasion to notice the intended travels into the East, of captain Hogelmuller, under the auspices of the Archduke Charles of Austria; and his invitation of questions respecting the countries to which his visits were designed to extend. The term fixed for the transmission of these questions, was till the end of February, 1808, and before Christmas he had received five hundred. Among the learned bodies by whom they were sent, were the academies of Petersburgh, Copenhagen, and Turin, with several universities of Russia, Germany, Holland, and Italy. Several statesmen had also contributed their inquiries.
The first volume of a Dictionary of the Teutonick Language has lately been published by M. Le Camp. It forms more than one thousand pages in quarto, containing 26,735 articles, and yet includes only the first five letters of the alphabet. The author admits all the dialects of the Teutonick tongue, and the technical terms of every art.
Among the new works published at Munich, one, entitled Gemählde aus dem Nonnenleben, Pictures of Monastick Life, has lately excited considerable sensation. It is compiled by M. Limpowsky, from the archives of the suppressed nunneries in Bavaria.
A projector at Paris has offered to construct a press capable of printing in twelve hours, 1200 copies of a work not exceeding twenty-four sheets, either in the common way or in stereotype. He further announces a press capable of working 30,000 sheets, with ordinary types in twelve hours, and also a new method of composition, much more expeditious than that now in use.
Experiments lately made at Venice show, that the oil of the Chinese radish is preferable to any other kind known, not only for culinary purposes, and giving light, but also as a medicine. From the experiments lately made by Dr. Oliviero, it is found to be extremely useful in rheumatick and pulmonary affections, and has been employed with much success in convulsive coughs. It is not liable to spoil by keeping, like other oils, nor is the plant injured by the hardest frosts. The seed, which is very abundant, is gathered in May and June.
FOR APRIL, 1809.
FROM THE BRITISH CRITICK.
Letters from the Mountains; being the real Correspondence of a Lady, between the years 1773 and 1807. The third edition. In three volumes. 12mo. London.
IN Mrs. Grant's volume of Poems, published in 1802, there was much to interest the feeling reader; and we remember that in reviewing them, we endeavoured to catch some features of the author's history, from the internal testimony of the poems. We had then no knowledge of her but what was thus obtained, nor have we now any, except what is further supplied by these letters. But the addition is considerable, and we are now enabled to trace her almost from her childhood to the present day, in a manner which makes her ten times more the object of attention and regard. Without any attempt to form a narrative, she gives us in her letters, which have every mark of being written under the impression of real circumstances and genuine feelings, a view of her friendships before marriage; of the marriages of her friends and herself; of the gradual increase of her family, and the loss of some branches of it; the sudden and unprepared loss of the amiable pastor to whom she was united; with some particulars of her subsequent struggles and sufferings. We can truly say, that very seldom, indeed, has any invented tale so strongly arrested our attention, or so warmly interested our feelings, as this genuine picture of real life. It is perfectly plain also, that a large part of the publick has felt with us; since the letters have arrived at a third, if not a fourth, edition, before we have found an opportunity to express our sentiments upon
It appears by the 34th letter of vol. 3, and some others near it, that the poems which we praised, were revised for the press while the loss of her husband was recent; an exertion of fortitude, which, considering the warmth of affection thus abruptly deprived of its object, is not one of the least considerable displayed in her history. The fortitude of Mrs. Grant appears to be the work of a strong mind, building on the sincerest and firmest principles of religion. That her mind is naturally strong, appears by many proofs in her letters; but natural strength would have sunk, in many instances, in which we see her rise to the occasion, by the buoyancy of religious faith and hope. In her mind we see the unusual combinations of ardour with steadiness; imagination with sound judgment; tenderness with fortitude; and the proofs of these qualities are brought together, by
the mere reunion of a series of letters, not one of which seems intended to express any thing but the feelings and sentiments of the moment. If this testimony from persons entirely unknown to her, shall reach her in some remote spot, let her receive it without the suspicion of any motive but the love of truth; and if any one should repeat to her, in future, the foolish cant that professed criticks have no feelings, let her do us the justice, in return, to say that it is false.
To select, from a book where there is so much to give us pleasure, is not easy; or rather, it is not easy to cease selecting. That we may keep within bounds, we shall confine ourselves to three passages. The first is a literary anecdote, being an account of the death of James Macpherson, of Ossianick memory.
Laggan, Feb. 20, 1796.
Why dost thou build the tower, son of the winged days? Soon wilt thou depart with thy fathers. The blast from the desert shall rush through thy hall, and sound upon thy bossy shield," &c. &c. Do you recollect, dear madam, when I stopped with you at the gate of B-e, I repeated those lines, and observed what a suitable inscription they might prove for the front of poor James's new house. It would appear I was moved by a prophetick impulse, when I predicted that he never would see it finished. Friday last, C. V. R. dined there. James had been indisposed since the great storm, yet received his guests with much kindness; seeming, however, languid and dispirited. Towards evening he sunk much, and retired early. Next morning he appeared, but did not eat, and looked ill. R. begged he would frank a cover for Charlotte. He did so, and never more held a pen. When they left the house he was taken extremely ill, unable to move or receive nourishment, though perfectly sensible. Before this attack, finding some inward symptoms of his approaching dissolution, he sent for a consultation, the result of which arrived the day after his confinement. He was perfectly sensible and collected, yet refused to take any thing prescribed to him to the last; and that on this principle, that his time was come, and it did not avail. He felt the approaches of death, and hoped no relief from medicine, though his life was not such, as one should like to look back on at that awful period. Indeed, whose is? It pleased the Almighty to render his last scene most affecting and exemplary. He died last Tuesday evening; and from the minute he was confined till a very little before he expired, never ceased imploring the divine mercy in the most earnest and pathetick manner. People about him were overawed and melted by the fervour and bitterness of his penitence. He frequently and earnestly entreated the prayers of good, serious people of the lower class who were admitted. He was a very good natured man; and now that he had got all his schemes of interest and ambition fulfilled, he seemed to reflect, and grow domestick, and showed of late a great inclination to be an indulgent landlord, and very liberal to the poor; of which I could relate various instances, more tender and interesting than flashy or ostentatious. His heart and temper were originally good. His religious principles were, I fear, unfixed and fluctuating; but the primary cause that so much genius, taste, benevolence, and prosperity, did not produce or diffuse more happiness was his living a stranger to the comforts of domestick life, from which unhappy connexions excluded him. Tavern company, and bachelor circles make men gross, callous, and awkward; in short, disqualify them for superiour female society. The more heart old bachelors of this class have, the more absurd and insignificant they grow in the long run; for when infirmity comes on, and fame and business lose their attractions, they must needs have somebody to love and trust, and they then become the dupes of wretched toad eaters, and slaves to designing housekeepers. Such was poor James, who certainly was worthy of a better fate. His death, and the circumstances of it, have impressed my mind in a manner I could not have believed. I think we are somehow shrunk, and our consequence diminished, by losing the only person of eminence among us. 'Tis like extinguishing a light. Vol. III. p. 32.
The second specimen shall be one of the letters which were written soon after the melancholy event of Mr. Grant's death.
TO MISS DUNBAR,* BOATH.
Laggan, Jan. 1, 1802.
So young, and such a novice in sorrow, you have not yet learnt the weakness, the extreme languor, into which the mind sinks when the first violent bursts are over; incapable of raising itself to the true source of consolation, and ready to lean on every reed. In this state sympathy is most availing, and in this hopeless and dispirited state your letter found me. -Why then apologize for what excites my warmest gratitude? Your dear, worthy mother and you I have long known and esteemed, through the medium of your humble friend. This proof of your goodness to so great a stranger, convinces me that you are all I have been taught to imagine you. You wish to know how I bear the sudden shock of this calamity. I bore it wonder. fully, considering how very much I had to lose. Still, at times, the Divine goodness supports me in a manner I scarcely dared to hope. Happily for me, anxiety for a numerous orphan family, and the wounding smiles of an infant, too dear to be neglected, and too young to know what he has lost, divide my sorrows, and do not suffer my mind to be wholly engrossed by this dreadful privation, this chasm, that I shudder to look into. A daughter, of all daughters the most dutiful and affectionate, in whom her father still lives (so truly does she inherit his virtues, and all the amia ble peculiarities of his character) this daughter, is wasting away with secret sorrow, while, "in smiles, she hides her grief to soften mine.". -I was too much a veteran in affliction, and too sensible of the arduous task devolved upon me, to sit down in unavailing sorrow, overwhelmed by an event which ought to call forth double exertion. None, indeed, was ever at greater pains to console another, than I was to muster up every motive for action, every argument for patient suffering. No one could say to me, "the loss is common." Few, very few indeed, had so much happiness to lose. To depict a character so very uncommon, so little obvious to common observers, who loved and revered without comprehending him, would be difficult to a steadier hand than mine. With a kind of mild disdain, and philosophick tranquillity, he kept aloof from a world, for which the delicacy of his feelings, the purity of his integrity, and the intuitive discernment with which he saw into character, in a manner disqualified him, that is, from enjoying it; for who can enjoy the world without deceiving or being deceived? But recollections crowd on me, and I wander. I say, to be all the world to this superiour mind; to constitute his happiness for twenty years, now vanished like a vision; to have lived with unabated affection together even thus long, when a constitution, delicate as his mind, made it unlikely that even thus long we should support each other through the paths of life!What are difficulties, when shared with one whose delighted approbation gives one spirits to surmount them? Then, to hear from every mouth his modest, unobtrusive merit receive its due tribute of applause; to see him still in his dear children, now doubly dear; and to know that such a mind cannot perish, cannot suffer; nay, through the infinite merits of that Redeemer, in whom he trusted, enjoys what we cannot conceive-Dear Miss Dunbar, believe me, I would not give my tremulous hopes, and pleasing, sad retrospections, for any other person's happiness! Forgive this; it is like the overflowing of the heart to an intimate; but your pity opens every source of anguish and of tenderness. Assure your kind mother of my grateful esteem, and believe me, with sincere regard much yours. p. 110.
This is the genuine and unaffected language of feeling, and as such cannot fail to produce sympathy; especially regulated as it is by a true submission to the Divine will. The next is a poetical fragment, written not many months after, at Bristol hot-wells, to which place the author had been hurried from her home, to attend a daughter dangerously ill.
One very stormy night, lately, I could not close my eyes, nor yet read; so I had recourse to my pencil, for relief to my overburdened mind, and here is the result of this vigil of sorrow; at least as much of it as I can transmit in a letter.
Yes, to my soul, those northern winds are dear,
Blast, whose swift wing has swept our Alpine snows,
* This and some following letters were written in answer to one Miss Dunbar had, at her mother's desire, addressed to the author, condoling with her on the loss she had recently sustained.
Say, hast thou wak'd my wild harp's mournful strings;
To deck with kindred sweets a father's tomb. p. 166.
The reader will be pleased to know that the daughter recovered, and the wishes of the fond mother were realized. These slight specimens from a work, the primary charm of which is the gradual knowledge which it gives of a very estimable character, can have no effect if they do not excite a desire to read the volumes. The observations of Mrs. Grant, whether on books or manners, are usually judicious; and we are much mistaken, if she will not have more or less of a friend in every reader of her letters.
FROM THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
The new Practice of Cookery, Pastry, Baking and Preserving, being the Country Housewife's best Friend. By Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Donat, present and late Housekeepers and Cooks to Mrs. Buchan Hepburn, of Smeaton, and published by her Permission. pp. 242. 8vo.
Culina Famulatrix Medicine; or, Receipts in modern Cookery, with a Medical Commentary, written by Ignotus, and revised by A. Hunter, M. D. F. R.S. L. & E. The second Edition. York. pp. 268. 8vo.
IT seems to have been a complaint familiar in the mouths of our ancestors, and which we have too often seen cause to reecho in the present day, "That God sends good meat, but the devil sends cooks." The irritability, the obstinacy, and the perfidy of the present culinary race, indeed, obviously demonstrate their ascent from regions even hotter than those which they occupy upon earth; and, while the direct attacks of the arch enemy are opposed and counteracted by the clergy, who may be considered as the regular forces to whom our defence is intrusted, it is with pleasure we see a disposition, in the learned and experienced among the laity, to volunteer against the hordes of greasy Cossacks whom he detaches to those quarters, as marauders upon our daily patience and our annual income.
In first entering the field upon this occasion, we had some difficulty to settle the rank of these auxilaries amongst themselves, or, to drop the metaphor, we were at a loss, after considering the high claims to attention preferred by both publications, to which we ought to give the precedence in our critique. It is true, Mesdames Hudson and Donat prefer a bold claim to the grateful recollection of those who have regaled on their dainties. " It becomes them