« PreviousContinue »
decessors or contemporaries, wisely judging, that food and raiment are among the grand desiderata of comfort; has obligingly presented us with an enormous bill of fare of Citizen Very, the Restauratem, in the Palais Royal, and with the respective items of a washerwomen's bill. Being a professional* man, he has also presented us with a critical review of the theatres, actors, &c. of Paris; and with a precise and accurate account of the prices of admission to the different public places in that metropolis. Notwithstanding all this important information, Mr. Eyre's “Observations” do not excite any extraordinary interest.
“ The Letters of a Turkish Spy, GOLDSMITH'S “Citizen of the World,” with other similar publications, obtained considerable celebrity on their appearance; and the title, “ Letters of a Mameluket,' was recently wellcalculated to attract notice, M. LAVALLEB, the author of this work, the original of which is French, deserves praise for more impartiality and justice than we generally meet with in a foreigner. Whether he may have written as a Mameluke would have done, we shall not attempt to decide; but his letters exhibit some lively and spirited descriptions of the follies and eccentricities of the times, and his tracts of manners are sketched with considerable felicity. The notes of the translator possess some value, as they appear to have been written by one whose residence in France has given him an opportunity of knowing much of its internal history.
M. SEGUR, in his “ Treatise on the Condition and Influence in Society of Woment, has attempted to demonstrate the equality of the two sexes. He contends, that if the one seem to be endowed with peculiar qualities, not possessed by the other, the other possesses advantages equally valuable; that, where corporeal strength is wanting, strength of soul supplies the deficiency; and that, with the exception of inventive genius, the intellectual faculties of the fair sex are not inferior to our own. We confess that we have not been convinced by
* Mr. Eyre belongs to the Bath and Bristol theatres.
# Ditto, 467.
the reasoning of M. Segur; for, in our humble opinion', the inventive genius of women is much superior to that of men ; while, on the other hand, their mental strength is almost generally acknowledged to be inferior. M. Segur deals largely in fiction; and, though he is not a very profound thinker, he will generally be found, especially among the ladies, an agreeable writer.
The great reputation for wit and elegance which “ The Decameron *” of Bocaccio has preserved, during several centuries, has induced Mr. Dubois, the author of “ Old Nick,” to offer a new translation of that work. But even this, as well as the former translations, conveys but a very faint idea of the vivacity, wit, and spirit of the original. The licentiousness of the “ Decameron" may not be calculated to produce any real injury to morality; but every grosser and more licentious sentiment might have been omitted, and the reader might still have been equally delighted with a sprightly display of the manners of Florence in the fourteenth century.
Miss EDGEWORth has produced three volumes of " Popular Talest." This title is by no means a misnomer, for the tales possess such species of merit as must insure them popularity. The view of the writer is to convey entertainment and instruction, in a style and manner calculated by their simplicity to interest the homely- and unlearned, without disgusting the learned and polite. The object was laudable, and both plan and execution are excellent.
We have been pleased with the perusal of a little collection, entitled, “ Verulamiana; or, Opinions on Men, Manners, Literature, Politics, and Theology." A judicious selection from the works of the great Lord Bacon could not, indeed, fail of exciting interest and conveying instruction; but the present volume is much superior to the general run of things of this class; and the Life of Lord Bacon, which is pretixed, proves the writer to be possessed of a penetrating and discrimina. ting mind.
* Vide Notices, p. 4;1.
+ Ditto, 461.
« RINALDO's Travels*," translated from the French, is an excellent book for youth. The travels are imaginary, but they are the production of an author possessing a soundness of judgment and a skilfulness of discrimination not frequently met with. .
Miss EDGEWORTH's “ Early Lessons *" are well calculated to convey both amusement and instruction to the tender mind.
Among the numerous sermons which have appeared in the course of the year, Mr. Nott's volume, consisting of eight, which were delivered at the Bampton Lecture, on the subject of “ Religious Enthusiasm,” is entitled to warm commendation. This respectable author treats of enthusiasm solely as applied to religion; and his principal object is, to combat the opinion which confounds inspiration with enthusiasm.
* The friends of piety and religion will learn, with much satisfaction, that “ The Society for the Suppression of Vice” has now completed its internal arrangements, methodised its proceedings, and made considerable progress in the execution of those plans of utility and public advantage for which it was originally formed. We fear, however, that a considerable time mụst elapse before the metropolis will have attained that degree of improvement in its manners which the committee of this Society express their most sanguine expectations of effecting.
We have thus closed our rapid view of the state and progress of literature for the last year: and, in taking a retrospective glance of our labours, we feel high cause of congratulation to the literary and philosophical world. If in many books there be wisdom, we certainly possess an extensive increase; and, from the present aspect of affairs, we trust that a time, still more favourable to the cultivation of science, is approaching.
That beloved sovereign, for whose health all was recently alarm andanxiety, has been restored to our prayers, and now enjoys the choicest boon of heaven in all its glowing vigour. Our councils, too, are firm. We are
* Vide Notices, p. 464.
united at home; and, by our wisdom, magnanimity, and justice, are respected abroad.
" At once in mercy and in might to shine,
These ancient virtues, Albion, still be thine ;
Walker's Defence of Order.
DIRE of our art*, whose genius first design'd
verse, O great progenitor! be thine;
but sincere, where all thy worth shall shine:
influence of the Muse, sin
author is Mr. M'CREERY, a printer, who, courting the f the Muse, sings in these lines the origin, progress,
and advantages of the press.