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which was issued by him in 1825, and flourished through thirteen numbers, and became extinct in 1832.
We have a strong objection to make to one feature of the "Miscellany." It is, that the questions proposed and resolved have infinitely more the aspect of trials of skill — tours de force than of productions destined to advance science, and foster a love for it, and knowledge of it, in the land. There are puzzles and abstruse questions and difficult integrations, all displaying considerable skill in analysis and problem-solving; but few of the practical uses of mathematics, and none of their great applications to the physical sciences, seem to have excited the attention of its contributors. We are aware that this defect (which prevailed to a greater extent in the Mathematical Diary) is of British origin, and doubt not the countrymen of Newton would have nearer approached, of late years, those of Laplace, but for the ability consumed in these pugilistico-mathematical exhibitions - isolating in lieu of diffusing science - solitary feats, where the strength expended would have been better applied to aid in raising what Richter calls “the universal knowledge-shed over the heads of all.” This is against the practical spirit of the day, and accords not with the cooperation which, in the division of labor, the analyst should afford the natural philosopher in return for the patient experiment.
44. Causes of the backward State of sound Learning in the United
States. An Address pronounced at the opening of the public exercises of the Irving Institute, October 4, 1838. By Charles H. Lyon, A. M., one of the Principals. New York: 1838. Harper & Brothers. 8vo. pp. 14.
An unpretending, but very sensible discourse, touching briefly, yet decidedly, and for the occasion, sufficiently, upon the causes in question, which are found in the character of our current literature — the wretched style of teaching, and premature entrance of boys upon the higher courses of study — and in certain influences growing out of the political and social condition of the country. We note this pamphlet as another of the pleasant indications of an awakening sense of the necessity of providing for the interests of high learning. No one can feel more strongly the importance of popular education, or rejoice more in the zealous efforts now making for its extension and improvement than we do; but we insist upon it as equally essential, that provision be made to secure a due proportion of the highest style of cultivation.
45. My Son's Book. By the Author of “My Daughter's Manual."
New York : 1838. F. W. Bradley and Co. 18mo. pp. 192.
An extremely nice looking book — which will be found, on examination, to contain a body of instructions of the highest importance to a young man, in the formation of sound principles and good habits. We heartily recommend it.
46. Campbell. An American Tale. By C. CHARLES BEAUMONT.
New York : 1838. David Baker. 12mo. pp. 84.
We have dipped into this tale, here and there reading a page ; the taste produced no inclination to read it through. It may possess some interest as a story; but, judging from what we have read, there is no poetry in it, and of course no merit as a poem.
47. The National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans,
By James HERRING, New York, and James B. LONGACRE, Philadelphia. In four volumes, royal 8vo. Volume 4th. NewYork: 1838. H. Bancroft. Philadelphia : H. Perkins.
The perseverance, energy, and ability of the conductors of this great national monument, have triumphed over the many obstacles which naturally arise in the prosecution of a work of such magnitude, and brought it to the close intended in the original plan. Nearly one hundred and fifty well written lives of the most distinguished persons of our country, each accompanied with a portrait engraved by an eminent artist, are given in these four splendid volumes. It should not be inferred that the publishers, in stopping where they do, imply that the field of their labors is exhausted, but there must necessarily be a limit to every enterprise, and they have now reached the one they prescribed to themselves. If any are aggrieved at not having been honored with a place in such a gallery of worthies, they should console themselves with the reflection that it is a glory to the republic to have had so many better sons. Intending, in a future number, to bestow upon this work that fuller attention which its importance deserves, we had no other object, iu now noticing it, but to congratulate the public upon its completion, and recommend it to their patronage.
45. Carl Werner, an Imaginative Story; with other Tales of Imagination. By the Author of The Yemassee, etc. New York: 1838. George Adlard. 2 vols. 12mo.
We consider this work as among the most noticeable of the appearances of the current quarter. It is a production of no common order in the class of works to which it belongs. We deeply regret that we are compelled to do what we are always sorry to do with a work of any original merit or pretensions — to dismiss it with such a general judgment. We would gladly give the grounds of our opinion, and state what are the peculiar characteristics of these tales, wherein their distinctive merits as intellectual creations, and what their moral spirit; but to do so to any purpose would require a space which we have not now to give. For a similar reason we say nothing at present of the “ Southern Passages and Pictures” by the same author. They too deserve, and we hope to give them, a thorough review.
49. An Oration before the Young Men's Association for Mutual Im
provement in the city of Albany, July 4, 1838. By William H. Fonder. Albany : 1838. J. Mansell. 8vo. pp. 40.
We should not at this late period take notice of an oration delivered and published so many months since, had we not a good apology for our apparent neglect; it was seen by us for the first time to-day. If the associations of young men will hear and hearken to addresses as full of good sense and sound principles as this is, there is no fear for the country - it will come out safe from the flames of philosophical democracy.
The commendation is applied to the sentiments of this performance, but not to the style, without qualification, it is too ambitious to be the medium of so much sober thought. As a specimen of typography it deserves all praise.
50. The Christian Keepsake and Missionary Annual. Edited by
the Reverend John A. CLARK. Philadelphia : 1839. William Marshall & Co. New York: Sherman & Trevett.
The mechanical execution of this annual is beautiful. Some of the engravings have but little merit; two or three, however, are
very fine, namely, the likeness of Bishop Griswold, the Raft, and Aunt Edith and Nephew.
Of the literary merit of a work embracing such a collection of pieces by different hands, it is impossible to convey any precise and just impression by a general remark. Some of them are very excellent; but more of them are of that barely respectable mediocrity, which is so seldom exceeded in this class of works ; but we have no room for special illustrations of our opinion, nor should we think it worth while to give them if we had. It is enough to say, that while the literary character of this work will stand a fair comparison with the annuals generally, its religious and moral influence will be better. We believe, however, that the money it costs might buy much more edification and more genuine cultivatior, in another shape. Yet people will buy annuals, and that perhaps is a sufficient reason for having one of this sort. At the same time, we do not hold annuals in very high estimation : they tend to draw away attention from the best sources of cultivation – the great master works of literature and of art; and the money expended upon them might, we think, be much better employed in multiplying copies of a few of the choicest works of human genius.
51. The Life and Adrentures of Black Hawk, with sketches of Keo
kuk, and the Sac and Fox Indians, etc. By BENJAMIN DRAKE. Cincinnati : 1838.
This little volume contains an interesting historical sketch of the Sacs and Foxes, the coalesced tribes, from which a noble deputation of warriors visited the Atlantic cities the last year.
The most distinguished members of that delegation, it will be remembered by many among us, were Keokuk, the Chief, and the deposed Black Hawk and his handsome son. The personal adventures of these chiefs form the principal material of the work before us, and we need not say that they possess more than ordinary interest.
Mr. Drake is well known as a faithful annalyst, and a good writer, and we dare say that he has good authority for what he states, as historical or biographical truth, in compiling this volume. Whatever relates to the natives of the forest, is acquiring fresh interest daily, and all well authenticated accounts of them are sure to be favorably received by the public.
52. Address delivered before the Peithessophian and Philoclean So
cieties of Rutgers College, on the Literary Character of the Scriptures. By ALEXANDER H. EVERETT. New York : 1838. Jared W. Bell. 8vo. pp. 32.
THERE are few better scholars or more beautiful writers in our country, than the author of this address; and few have united, to the same extent, the opportunity of the highest cultivation, with very superior intellectual powers. That both have been faithfully used by Mr. Everett, we have conclusive proof, in the many rich contributions he has made to our literature. Among them are many of far greater volume than that we are now commenting upon, but none more chaste and finished in style, or juster in sentiment. The usage of imparting to our youth, in this living way, the results of study and the experience of maturer years, is one of the peculiar features of our institutions, and one of which the salutary influence becomes every year more manifest;— there is no channel of thought through which the lessons of practical wisdom can be more efficiently conveyed. And it must be regarded as no slight evidence of the deep interest taken by the elder part of the community in the more youthful, that our busiest, wisest, and most distinguished men, are willing to make the sacrifices which the performance of these duties require. We have remarked, that ihe subjects selected on these occasions are generally judicious, and we may instance that of Mr. Everett's as peculiarly happy;a nobler theme could not have been chosen, and it is handled by him in a manner every way worthy of a christian scholar. A sin. gle extract from his own pages, will show that we have done him but imperfect justice. We take the passage in which he speaks of the poetry
of the “ monarch minstrel :" “Philosophy and song have rarely taken up their abode in palaces, and when they have done so they have generally put on a loose and gallant dress accommodated to the scene around them. When the chivalry of Europe, in the middle ages, cultivated literature, it dwindled very soon into a gay science, to use the language of the time, comprehending little but romances and light love songs. Even in the hands of Solomon, the lyre of his lofty father begins already to send forth a softened and somewhat effeminate strain. In the works of David, for the first and only time in the history of the world, the sublime idea of Religion, that concentrated essence of all truth, — is embodied in the highest strains of poetry. Compare these divine odes with the best lyric poetry of any other nation. Compare them — I will not say with Anacreon, with Sappho, with the lighter portions of Horace, or with Moore, poets professedly of a free and almost licentious cast, – but compare them with all that ancient or modern lyric bards have furnished most excellent in sublimity, pathos, and moral beauty: compare them with Pindar, - with Horace in his highest flights, — with the French Rousseau, – the German Klopstock, Schiller, Burger, – the English Milton, Dryden, and Gray.— Of the whole list, Pindar alone sustains the comparison with some degree of success, - so far as the rere form of composition is concerned, — by the power, splendor, and fullness of his style. “Pindar," says his Latin imitator, "like a river descending from a