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Republications. Discourses and Dissertations on the Scriptural Doctrines of Atonement and Sacrifice, and on the Principal Arguments advanced, and the Mode of Reasoning employed by the opponents of those doctrines, as held by the Established Church ; with an Appendix, containing some strictures on Mr. Belsham's account of the Unitarian Scheme in his review of Mr. Wilberforce's Treatise, together with remarks on the version of the New Testament, lately published by the Unitarians. By William Magee, D. D. F. R. S. M R. I. A. Dean of Cork, Chaplain to his excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, late S. F. T. C. and Professor of Mathematics in the University of Dublin. From the last London ed. With large additions. vols. 8vo. Philadelphia, S. Potter & Co. New York, E. Bliss and E. White. Boston, Cummings, Hilliard & Co. and R. P. &C. Williams.
System of Geography, by M. Malte Brun, Editor of the “ Annales des Voyages,” &c. Boston ; Wells and Lilly. Bliss and White, NewYork.
Mr. Edward Louvet, already known to the French and American public, as the author of several approved treatises on various subjects of Literature, Politics and Commerce, is about to establish, in this city, a French weekly Literary and Political Journal, which, we feel confident, will merit and receive a liberal support.
Subscriptions received at the office of the American, No. 3 Nassau-street; Behr and Kahl's, 129 Broadway; Berard and Mondon's, 20 Maiden Lane; E. Bliss and E. White's, 128 Broadway ; G. and C. Carvill's, 108 Broadway.
Residence of the Editor, No. 37 Liberty-street.
Note to page 258.–A discussion of the various methods which have been resorted to, in order to determine as nearly as possible the real figure of the earth, with an examination into the neture of the errors to which these methods are more or less exposed, and the most rational as well as most commodious system of correction, would form the subject of a curious and valuable paper. We shall at present confine ourselves to a brief remark with regard to the calculation of the most probable value out of a given number of observations and admeasurements, a problem manifestly of great practical importance.
The first person who laid down a just and rational method of solving the problem, was Boscovich, a very learned and ingenious Italian mathematician, who published his method about the year 1760. His plan was so simple and elegant, that it was employed by Laplace in the second volume of his incomparable work, the Mecanique Celeste, in which he discusses the problem of the figure of the earth with his usual superiority.
A few years after the publication of Laplace's book, two or three mathematicians were led by their researches to a new theorem on this problem, which reduced the speculation to one condition instead of the two conditions proposed by Boscovich.
In 1806, Legendre, an accomplished mathematician of the National Institute of France, published a work entitled "Nouvelles Methodes pour la determination des Orbites des Cometes,". &c. in which he stated a new rule applicable to many important questions ; and in the same work, he applies it to the determination of the ellipticity of the earth ; but he gives no investigation or demonstration of his rule, which he calls the method of Least Squares.
A year or two after this, Robert Adrain, now Professor of Mathematics, &c. Columbia College, Now-York, published a paper in the Analyst, in which he investigated a general method of resolr. ing all such questions as required the determination of any quantity derived from many observations. He gives two separate methods of investigation, by which he discovered the method, and applies it to several examples, some of which are of considerable importance. His rule agrees precisely with that given by Legendre.
In the Philosophical Transactions of Philadelphia for 1818, Professor Adrain has given the application of his method for the determination of the ellipticity of the earth, which he deduces from the fifteen observations of pendulum used by Laplace, for the solution of the same question. The result of the Professor's calculation gives 1-319 for the ellipticity, which, from the same data, was found by Laplace to be 1-336. The difference between these two numbers arises principally from some errors committed in the numerical calculations of Laplace, and when these errors are corrected, the ellipticity, by the method of Laplace, as taken from Boscovich, is 1-316 1-2.
Art. XXVIII.-1. An Oration, pronounced at Cambridge, be
fore the Society of the Phi Beta Kappa, August 26, 1824.
By EDWARD Everett. Fourth Edition. 1825. 2. An Oration, delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1824.
By EDWARD Everett. 3. An Oration, delivered at Concord, April the nineteenth, 1825.
By EDWARD Everett. Boston. "Cummings, Hilliard & Co. 1825.
We have.purposely delayed our notice of the orations of Mr. Everett, because we wished to speak of them as a lasting contribution to the literature of the country, and not as productions of a merely ephemeral interest. Yet in searching for the true point of view from which to regard them, it should never be forgotten, that they were designed for public delivery on particular occasions ; and such rhetorical efforts must be principally judged by their adaptation to gain their particular end, of interesting the audience for which they were designed. The philosophical coolness of a mind fearful of being misapprehended, and timidly careful to balance every general expression, and limit every broad assertion, would, in such cases, only weary the audience, and check the glow of the speaker. The man who will say every thing, draw out his ideas to the utmost, and limit them with the nicest precision, leaving nothing for the feelings of others to divine, or for their understandings to qualify, may make an accurate and voluble, though tedious writer, but will never succeed in attempts to sway the minds of a large assembly. Jf, therefore, in the orations of Mr. Everett, we find positions directly maintained, which require some limitations, we should only ask, whether the general spirit and tendency of the observations are just; and if in his highest efforts every thought coincides with the great principles of liberty and morals, we ought not object, even though in the application of those principles to historical subjects, he has no time to enumerate all the exceptions that might be made. I VOL. I.
a contrast have we here between the display of learning in our own country, and in the lands most famous for erudition ! Here the fruits of careful observation, long study, and mature thought, are presented to the public in a popular address; while there the discoveries and reflection of scholars are concealed in a learned idiom, or communicated in a language intelligible only to the professed student.
We return with partial fondness to the oration, pronounced at Cambridge; and as a fourth edition of it has been demanded within a year of its publication, we may justify our admiration by an appeal to the public voice. We are equally pleased with the spirit in which it is conceived, the style in which it is executed, and the opinions which it maintains. It glows with patriotism and a love of letters; there reigns in it a mind elevated by the direct contemplation of the works of great men. and called into exercise by a love of glory, and a desire to do service to the cause of truth and science. The style of the orator is finished and engaging ; in his descriptions, he permits his diction to become exuberant and splendid; while in his appeals to the feelings, (who does not remember the address to La Fayette ?) he trusts to the force of truth, and the simplicity of natural expressions.
The principles which Mr. Everett maintains, are such as we may delight to adopt. He believes that liberty is the best nurse of intelligence, and affords the strongest inducements to intellectual exertions of all kinds. The best reward of a great writer, next to the consciousness of having advanced the interests of truth, is glory, the esteem of good men, the sense of being received into the number of those whom mankind agree to venerate and consult for instruction. He, who wishes to be introduced into the inner temple of glory, must so raise his own conceptions of greatness, that his most difficult task will be to please himself; and then he must have that security and personal independence, which may permit him to express himself without reserve, and without disguise. He must possess a firm will, and be capable of presenting clearly to his own mind the great principles of truth, and also of giving them utterance with force and animation. It is the intellect which is employed, and it is his higher nature which claims the reward. And what honour can be put in comparison with the general applause of a free and intelligent people ? The promise of wealth, and the hope of patronage, never yet inspired the poet, or taught the philosopher to reason. The sweetest tones have been called forth, the truest expressions of passion have been heard in a land of liberty. We may permit a great poet to speak in be
half of himself and his rivals; he introduces the muses exclaiming, however malice, or ignorance, or vileness may conceal it,
“La vera madre nostra è libertade.” Every thing in our country is of favourable promise for letters. An active and thrifty people is rapidly collecting the means of executing any vast designs ; and those who are proud of intellectual exertions, cannot but feel the same general impulse imparted by the public prosperity. Our history is full of the noblest models of every human virtue; nature has crowded her marvels within our territory; waterfalls, compared with which the boasted cascade of Terni is but a plaything; rivers, encompassing almost a hemisphere in their course ; cities, at the mouth of streams busy with the commerce of the world ; towns, springing up in the wilderness as by the voice of enchantment; and every where the hum of successful enterprise ; personal security and independence, and the spirit of liberty pervading all things, blessing and cheering every exertion, and fostering the love of action. And are men of letters the class in society who are to remain dead to all this? Have they no pride in their country, and no sympathy with their fellow citizens ? No: the love of intelligence is a kindred sentiment with the love of liberty, and none can feel more earnestly excited to zeal in their vocation by the happy circumstances surrounding us, than men of letters and science. Nor is the public indifferent to the efforts of our scholars. Every literary talent is sure of being cherished by general favour, and in no instance remains unacknowledged or unrewarded. Every new author of any merit, is greeted as he enters on the literary career, and a full measure of praise and good will is bestowed upon his efforts. It is remembered, what passionate curiosity was excited a few years ago to witness a horse-race, which seemed to interest men on either side of the Potomac, and divide them for a season, at least, into parties. But the horses which were then run against each other, were among the fleetest of their kind, and the race itself almost without a parallel for its speed. Let but a native poet rise up among us, and write what shall be the best of its kind, and see how such a poem will be received. There will not be a village from one end of the union to the other, but will ring with the writer's name. While a century was needed, under a despotic government, for Milton to gain the glory due to his inventions, the fame and productions of such a poet would spread among us with all the speed of our most rapid means of communication; and the newspapers in
every place would repeat the good report, till it should be known to every American in the land. Let us hear no more, that our republic holds out no inducement for the exertion of literary talent. It offers fair opportunity, and the reward, incalculable in its value, of the praise and good will of the people.
It is the nature of free governments to give a political tendency to the exertions of intellect. While this supports democratic institutions in their integrity, and fills the road to public honour with aspirants of commanding minds, it sometimes returns to the literary treasures of a country more than it wins from them. The original tendencies of men's minds, not less than their acquired habits, are essentially different. There is an amiable class of men, who are led by their natural predilections to prefer contemplative pursuits. They mix in the busy world, not to take part in its transactions, nor to join in scrambling for common distinctions, but to watch the passions and principles by which the world is moved, to gain by observation the power of delineating the outlines of moral character, and of describing the exercise of the affections. It is their delight and occupation to woo the muses. Whether in the country or amidst men, in active scenes or among groves and brooks, they listen to the voice of their celestial visitant, the harmony of better hopes, and unearthly aspirations. The promise of gain can never teach them thrift, nor the prospect of success encourage them to engage in political emulation; for to them, neither public distinction, nor the accumulation of wealth, is the leading object of life. Their minds, not framed for submitting to the forms and details of business, or encountering the clash of arguments and passions, were designed by nature to remain aloof from the public arena, and to bless mankind by increasing the sources of intellectual enjoyment. But others who are conscious of sufficient strength to uphold them in the collision of mind with mind, are urged no less by a necessity existing within themselves to enter the career of action, to do good and great things, not to admire virtue in studious tranquillity, but to imitate the generous deeds of others.
The highest honours belong to those men, who have united active talents to the power of fine writing-who have joined contemplative ability to practical skill. The air of Parnassus, when once inhaled, may become the vital principle, so that they who have breathed it can live on no other; but many departments of literature can be best pursued by men who have mixed with the world on even terms, and filled stations of active responsibility. The lessons which teach the wisest