Page images

30. Introduction to the German Language; comprising a German Grammar, a German Reader, and a Vocabulary. By DAVID FOSDICK, Jun. New York and Andover: 1838. Gould and Newman. 12mo. pp. 271.

We have used this very convenient manual of Mr. Fosdick's enough to testify to the excellence of its plan and the general correctness of its execution, but not enough to say that it is without fault. It reduces the essential inflexions and principles of the German language to a much smaller compass than the grammars generally, and therefore prepares the pupil more rapidly to study the grammar in the language itself. The appendix furnishes important assistance in the more critical study of it, and is rendered easy of consultation by the tabular form in which the peculiar usages of the language are presented. We fully coincide with the author's opinion in his preface, that "he who makes use of the volume, may proceed at once from the due study of its contents to the perusal of any production of German literature." And we hope it may encourage many who enter upon the study of this language, so rich in the finest productions of the human mind, to be assured, that the careful study of so small a volume will give them a key to all the treasures in a new world of thought. The selections, both prose and poetry, are well adapted for beginners, and well chosen, as specimens of the beautiful compositions with which the language abounds.

31. The Personality of the Deity. A Sermon preached in the chapel of Harvard University, etc. By HENRY WARE, Jun., Professor, Boston: 1838. James Munroe & Co. 8vo. pp. 24.


THIS discourse, like every thing of Mr. Ware's, is written with great perspicuity and good taste; but there is nothing particularly beautiful in the thought or language, nothing new or striking in the manner in which the subject is presented, to entitle it to publication. Saying this, we ought also to add, that it is published by "request," and probably has some connexion with certain speculations lately put forth at Cambridge, which, in the apprehension of some, have threatened to disturb the unity of the faith among the members of the communion to which the author belongs.

The Personality of the Deity is a truth, as we conceive, for recognition and meditation rather than for deduction and demonstra

tion. It is necessitated by the reason and demanded by the wants of the heart; whatever there is in this discourse which is valid for the purpose of it, proceeds upon the implication of this; and wherever this truth is not recognised as implied in the very idea of a God, it will not be likely to be admitted as the result of a process of argumentation.

32. Wonders of Geology, with numerous plates and wood cuts. By GIDEON MANTELL, LL. D., F. R. S., etc. Being the substance of lectures delivered at Brighton, from notes taken by A. F. RICHARDSON. London: 1838. 2 vols. 12mo.

THE perusal of these two small volumes has convinced us, that in this work, science has gained another excellent elementary book, and we doubt not that all who may be induced by our recommendation to give it their attention, will be obliged to us for making it known to them. The title is a great deal too modest for the work; it might mislead, and but for the high reputation of the author, induce a belief that it belonged to that class of publications compiled by ignorance, without order and without system, which sell only by the aid of a deceptive name. It is, on the other hand, a work which may be read not less advantageously by those who wish to study the science, than by those who seek only the gratification of a momentary curiosity. We know of no elementary work which unites in so small a compass, and in so complete a manner, the preparatory knowledge requisite for reading the writing which nature has traced upon her subterranean volume. It was not originally intended for publication; it is the substance of a course of lectures given to an audience composed, as it appears, for the most part, of ladies. The author was therefore careful to free his subject from all discussions, and to state his facts with the greatest order and exactness. Instead of supposing his hearers acquainted with the other departments of natural history, he takes care to furnish them himself with all the knowledge necessary for the understanding of the geological or palæontological facts. In like manner, in speaking of fossil vertebral animals, he makes a digression into the domain of osteology, and gives his hearers a clear idea how a Cuvier, by the aid of a single bone, could reconstruct an animal no longer existing upon the earth. He proceeds in the same manner, when in the more ancient formations he has occasion to speak of zoophytes, of crustacea, of testacea, of plants, In a word, the object of the author seems to have been to explain what geology is, and how it made the discovery of the nu


merous facts which authorize the title of this work. This object he completely attains, and at the same time creates a decided taste for the study of the science. Numerous fossils are represented with great accuracy in the beautifully colored wood cuts which accompany the work. The reading of his book is attended with but one regret that is, of not having enjoyed an opportunity of hearing his eloquent lectures.

33. A Baccalaureate Address, delivered at the Annual Commencement of Geneva College. By BENJAMIN HALE, D. D., President. Geneva: 1838. pp. 30.

It is impossible within our narrow limits to do any thing like justice to our sense of the peculiar merits of this admirable discourse. At a time when such low and falsely utilitarian notions of education are prevalent, and when we have so much reason to fear lest the awakening interest of the public mind should fall under the direction of a narrow and selfish charlatanism, we think it matter of devout thankfulness that such a man as President Hale is to be found in the high places of education, and that he has spo ken out in the manner he has in this sound and most impressive address. His topic is, " Education in its relation to the full and free development of the reason and the understanding, and their attainment of the highest power of sound and safe action in the management of affairs." He insists upon a high degree of intellectual culture, as a thing more absolutely necessary for this country than for any other as being "to a republic, almost a condition of its existence." With great force he exposes the mischiefs of "that su perficial judgment of the useful," which, where it prevails, "puts an end to all thorough teaching"-which " aims at tangible results, and knows nothing, and cares nothing about that discipline, which, by an imperceptible, but sure process, brings the mind to the per fection of its powers."

But it is absolutely out of our power to follow President Hale in the development of his subject. We hope to recur to him again; and we now commend his pamphlet to the profound consideration of all who would rightly understand the wants and the dangers of the age.

34. Notices of Men and Events connected with the Early History of Oneida County. Two Lectures delivered before the Young Men's Association of the City of Utica. By WILLIAM TRACY. Utica: 1838. R. Northway. 8vo. pp. 45.

THESE lectures embody a great deal of information in relation to the early history of Oneida county, from the first establishment of the late venerable Samuel Kirkland as a missionary among the Oneida Indians in 1766, to the beginning of the present century. Mr. Tracy has given us some interesting sketches of the characters and important services of Mr. Kirkland, Judge Dean, Judge Staring, and Judge White, the pioneers in the settlement of that portion of the country, with traits of Indian life, and incidents of the revolutionary war. We are glad to observe the zeal displayed in many of the newer portions of our country, in gathering up the materials of their history. At a future period, such labors will be highly estimated. The present contribution of Mr. Tracy is creditable to him, and will, we hope, have its influence as an example.

35. The Far West, or a Tour beyond the Mountains. New York: 1838. 2 vols. 12mo. pp. 263 and 241.

THE most remarkable feature in these volumes, is the author's improvement in the art of composition, between beginning the first and ending the second volume. In the former, the style is too affected and too fustian to be tolerated; the latter, with the exception of the two concluding pages, is an approach to sober writing. The author, therefore, has derived no small benefit from writing his book, and he must be satisfied with that reward-it will be of no service to any one else, nor confer any glory upon himself. Its worst defect is inanity; there is exceedingly little in it, and that little is not about the Far West, and has been better told by others. The writer is too ambitious of display of every kind, to have seen himself often in print; it is therefore fair to consider him as a young author. He shows us, that he has been in college, but probably left in his sophomore year-that he remembers something of his Latin, and can quote a passage from his "sweet bard of Mantua" —that he knows a little French, and but a little― that he carries with him a copy of the beauties of English poetry, in which a couplet is credited to Kirk White that belongs to Southey-and that he has learnt enough of botanical, mineralogical, and geologi33


cal nomenclature, to exhibit a sprinkling of its terms throughout his volumes. This may appear harsh criticism, and we must justify it by an appeal to the work. It is full of such affectations as, I remember me," "silvery cloudlets," "mantle of eld,” “thridded," "rifest fancy," "forfend," and divers other like expressions -and it is full of such passages as the following:

[ocr errors]

"Such moments are the crystal fount of the oasis, girt, indeed, by the sands and barrenness of the desert; yet laughing forth in tinkling melody, amid its sprinkled evergreens, in all the sparkling freshness of mimic life, to bathe the languid lip of the weary one."

"It is a season soft as the memorial of buried affection, mild as the melody of departed years, pure as the prayer of feebleness from the lip of childhood, beautiful as yon floating islet sleeping in sunset radiance on the blue evening wave."

"It was a glorious day. Silvery cloudlets were floating along the upper sky like spiritual creations, and a fresh breeze was rippling the waters; along the banks stood out the huge spectral Titans of the forest, bearing aloft their naked limbs like monuments of time departed."

"The rich purple of departing day was dying the western heavens; the light gauzy haze of twilight was unfolding itself like a veil over the forest tops; Maro's shepherd star was stealing timidly forth upon the brow of night."

"I remember me, when once a resident of the courtly city of L, to have been awakened before the dawn by a strain of distant music, which swelling and rising upon the still night air, came floating like a spirit through the open windows and long galleries of the building. I arose; all was calm, and silent, and deserted, through the dim, lengthened streets of the city. Not a light gleamed from a casement, not a footfall echoed from the pavement, not a breath broke the stillness save the crowing of the far-off cock proclaiming the morn, and the loud rumble of the market-man's wagon, and then swelling upon the night wind came up that beautiful gush of melody, wave upon wave, surge after surge, billow upon billow, winding itself into the innermost cells of the soul."

"Around them time has indeed flung the silvery mantle of eld."

And better than all :

"The buoyant bark bounded beautifully over the blue breasted billow."

The history of the work is fully explained in the preface; it is made up of hasty sketches, originally written for the columns of a newspaper, which gained the writer such flattering commendation from his kind friends, that he was doubtless fully convinced it would be a serious injustice to his country and age, not to rescue them from the possibility of oblivion.

36. Hear the Church: A Sermon preached in the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, etc. By WALTER FARQUAR HOOK, D. D. London: printed. Burlington, reprinted: 1838. J. L. Powell. 8vo. pp. 26.

THIS sermon, republished under the auspices of the Bishop of New Jersey, is a learned and able vindication of the Church of

« PreviousContinue »