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popular work which she has selected for a model. How far such skeletons are really serviceable in the education of the young, and for the purpose of impressing upon the mind facts that best communicate the spirit of history, we have not had any practical means of ascertaining. To some the form of question and answer into which this effort has been thrown will be thought antiquated, yet it seems the simplest and happiest method that can be employed to rivet the attention upon particular dates, transactions, and characters. The work before us, we think, is a good specimen of the class to which it belongs, and is very creditable to the lady who is the compiler, for it displays great industry, and sound judgment.
ART. XVII.-Case on the 43rd Elizabeth for the Relief of the Poor. For the Opinion of Mr. Serjeant Snigge. GAWDY, Attorney. London: Longman. 1837.
THIS document has been lately cited as a genuine Case and Opinion both by those who favour and those who object to the Poor Law Amendment Act; and yet it is fictitious after all, having been written and partially circulated, as its present editor informs us, by Sir Thomas Bernard, Bart. above thirty years ago. We are also informed that Sir Thomas was a man of abilities, who had been educated to the law, and that he was fully competent to give a sound legal opinion upon the subject treated of. He seems to have turned his particular attention to the original Poor Laws, and to have perhaps amused himself by the successful manner in which he could imitate the style of such an eminent lawyer as Serjeant Snigge, who flourished in the time of James I. At that period and long afterwards this case might have offered constructions and laid down principles, which, we can believe, would have been justly considered as valuable. As the matter now stands, we think the document must be regarded as little better than a curiosity, and as an example of what talent and ingenuity may accomplish in the way of deceiving antiquarians, and thereby vitiating the sources whence the lights of history or of law may be sought.
ART. XVIII.-Observations on the Preservation of Health, in Infancy, Youth, Manhood, and Age, &c. By J. H. CURTIS, Esq. London: Renshaw. 1837.
LIKE the two former works by Mr. Curtis on the "Preservation of Sight," and on the "Preservation of Hearing," the present is plain, sensible, and divested of everything in the shape of scientific abstruseness or dogmatic quackery. It does not even labour under that objection which has, with great justice, been generally taken to the study of popular treatises on health-these treatises for the most part addressing themselves to the cure of disease, whereas this contains practical rules and lessons for the preservation of health. Mr. Curtis is of opinion, that the four stages of human life mentioned in his title-page, are beautifully shadowed out in the phy. sical world, in the successive seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter; and in a form which is much shorter, and more forcible than has hitherto been adopted, points out the directions which, if rationally observed, will contribute most assuredly to the prolongation, not only of
life, but of that equanimity of temper and sweetness of experience which render life a double blessing. That these "Observations" contain the wisdom, appositeness, and illustrative interest, which are sure to render them as popular and useful, as were those previously published by him on the Ear and the Eye, as testified by a number of editions through which each of them has passed, may be safely predicted by any one who will take a cursory glance at the volume, or at a portion of any one of its chapters. We quote a specimen from what Mr. Curtis has to say on the effect of one species of excessive mental excitement, that will show to the conviction of many, how correctly he has read human nature, and human history. is speaking of the vehemence of the passions-and thus delivers himself in a note to the general rule as laid down in the text-"The passion of love deserves to be mentioned, as being the most universally experienced and as having the greatest tendency to excess, and in that state producing the worst of maladies. Disappointment in love is one of the principal causes of suicides; and this fact clearly proves the deranging effect of the passion upon the mental faculties. The progress of the disease, of which excessive love is productive, may be thus described: as the force of love prevails, sighs grow deeper, a tremor affects the heart and pulse, the countenance is alternately pale and red, and the voice is suppressed in the fauces, the eyes grow dim, cold sweats break out, sleep absents itself, at least until the morning, the secretions become disturbed, and a loss of appetite, a hectic fever, melancholy, or perhaps madness, if not death, constitute the sad catastrophe." This is dreadful enough, but not more so than the ravings of despair have often been, as exemplified by love-sick dames and luckless wooers.
ART. XIX.-Three Experiments of Living. London: Parker. 1837. THESE three experiments consist of "Living within the Means, Living up to the Means, Living beyond the Means:" and though the account extends not beyond an hour's reading or so, it is impossible to peruse one page of it, without desiring to learn the whole before laying the volume down. There are proofs, not only of talent but of originality in the production, and originality is the criterion of genius. To use an idea, suggested in the Preface of the work, this little tract is calculated to effect far more, and far better things than the heavy artillery of many a royal The lessons it contains are excellent. quarto and imperial octavo.
ART. XX.-Peter Parley's Wonders of the Earth, Sea, and Sky. Edited by the Rev. T. WILSON. London: Darton and Clark.
We decidedly pronounce this to be a work of superior merit, for the purpose of introducing young people to the various branches of Natural History. The aim of its author has been to select a few of the Phenomena of the Kingdom of Nature which are best calculated to excite wonder and admiration, which is the surest path to useful and delightful instruction, -instead of fruitlessly attempting, by brevity and comprehensiveness, to embrace and explain everything, in a manner strictly accordant with scientific discovery, that is known in each department.
ART. XXI.-The History of the Borough of Preston, in the County Palatine of Lancaster. By P. WHITTLE, F. A. S. 2 Vols. London: Tegg. 1837.
THESE Volumes are worthy of the patronage of every person immediately interested in the district of which they treat, and, indeed, of every one who desires to obtain a minute knowledge of one of the most influential and important counties of Old England. To antiquarians, particularly, we recommend its precise and curious information.
ART. XXII.-On the Extent of the Atonement, in its relation to God and the Universe. By the Rev. H. W. JENKYN. Second Edition. London: Snow. 1837.
An excellent treatise on the most solemn and arresting subject of which the human heart is cognisable. Its strictly scriptural and its tenderly benevolent tone is not more to be praised than its argument and illustration are convincing and satisfactory. Somehow, many works which treat of man's salvation and immortal destinies, although not open to any doctrinal objection, are forbidding or gloomy. Here, although there be no relinquishment of the truth or blinking of its denunciations, there is a delightful encouragement, which ought to induce every soul to rush to the fountain which gratuitously assuages all thirst, and perfectly extinguishes all sin.
ART. XXIII.—A Key to the Statutes affected by the Enactments of the Reigns of George IV. and William IV. By GEORGE FARREN, Jun. Esq. Chancery Barrister. London: Pickering. 1837.
"THE following work," says the Preface," has been arranged for the purpose of saving time in obtaining information of the material contents of existing Statutes. Great velocity of legislation has made it difficult, not to say impossible, for any one mind to collect and retain the volatile sapiency of the manifold enactments to which the last twenty years have given origin; so that an investigation of the statute law has become far less encouraging than would be the fabled exercise of tracing the needle in its meanderings through the mazes of a hay-stack; since the needle, when found, presents in itself the entire object of search; whereas it is of rare occurrence that any one statute comprehends the whole matter of which it professes to be the law-but merely points to other statutes as affected by it." This very clever and sarcastic sort of announcement, which no doubt cost its author a few revisings and corrections, ushers in a small tome that furnishes a Key to the altered and altering statutes during the eras indicated; a compilation which, if found to be generally acceptable, is to be extended from the earliest to the latest period of legislation. We think that the work will prove itself to be a ready and real assistant to practitioners, and that its merits are of such a kind as ought not to be hailed by those whose endeavour it is to perplex law and justice through the loop-holes and intricacies which multifarious legislation has created: and this is decided praise.
1. The Hunters of the Prairie, or the Hawk Chief. A Tale of the Indian Country. By JOHN TREAT IRVING, JUN. 2 Vols. London: Bentley. 1837.
2. Uncle Hordce. By MRS. S. C. HALL, Authoress of "Sketches of Irish Character," &c. 3 Vols. London: Colburn.
3. The Old Commodore. By the Author of "Rattlin the Reefer." 3 Vols. London: Bentley.
4. The Vicar of Wrexhill. By MRS. TROLLOPE, Authoress of "Domestic Manners of the Americans," &c. 3 Vols. London: Bentley.
5. Kindness in Women: a Novel. By T. HAYNES BAYLEY, Esq. 3 Vols. London: Bentley.
6. Stokeshill Place; or, the Man of Business. By the Authoress of "Mrs. Armytage," &c. 3 Vols. London: Colburn.
7. Ethel Churchill; or, the Two Brides. By Miss LANDON. 3 Vols. London: Colburn.
8. Ernest Maltravers. By the Author of " Pelham," &c. 3 Vols. London: Saunders & Otley.
DURING the last eight or ten weeks there has been a greater dearth of new publications than we ever remember to have noticed, even during the same dull period of the year. With the exception of an abundant crop of novels, of which the list at the head of this article only forms a part, the elections and the American crisis seem to have so blighted or absorbed the public mind as to have produced a stagnation of all its desires and enterprize. Indeed those who greedily long for new food for the intellect, and who are impatient when driven to digest that which has in by-gone times been furnished to them, must have been looking forward to a period of absolute starvation, and at no distant date, had it not been that, for lack of nutriment, they, no doubt, found an allowance in the quantity of sweet and hastily nurtured fruit, which the imaginations of some of our liveliest and most inventive writers have been bringing forth in
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the shape of novels. Of this sort of substance, as already stated, there has not only been a plentiful harvest, but a storing-up that ought to serve for winter provender, till the morning and twilight show us that spring has set in again.
Many are inclined despitefully to speak of novels, and treat them as if they not only belonged to a heap of trifles to which any idle or wild fancy may contribute, but as forming no sort of index either of the state of contemporary literature, or the changes which obtain in manners and the conditions of mankind. To this disdainful class of thinkers we do not attach ourselves; on the contrary, we look upon the lighter kinds of literature as being more faithful indices of the contemporary, it may be the transient, revolutions in the social and political condition of a community, than much more elaborate and much graver efforts under the head of history or speculation. It is certain, that both in this and foreign countries there have been alterations in the lighter fields of literature within the compass of the last fifty years, and, indeed, in the course of half of that period, which are not less remarkable than those which have been often noticed and described in reference to dynasties, political creeds, or national and individual character.
Prior to the French Revolution-to go to foreign parts-there prevailed in the country where that mighty and hideous phenomenon was first developed, a style of tales and fictions that contained little adventure, and comparatively few startling incidents, but only slight stories, which were made the vehicles of sentimentality and of the manners most approved of at that time. German literature was still in its cradle, but its fathers were in such productions as the "Sorrows of Werther" and the "Robbers" laying a foundation for the most extravagant, wild, and affecting imaginings that had ever excited mankind. The passion for this sort of fiction for a time continued amongst the people of Germany, and in the meanwhile was eagerly transplanted by the fickle and lively French into their own country, or rather engrafted by them on those political frenzies and revolutionary delights that sought for new and more awakening excitements, or rendered those that had been experienced more dramatic, picturesque, and harrowing. From one extravagance to another our Gallic neighbours rushed even in the dominions of fiction, till Victor Hugo and his followers have well nigh surfeited, we faintly hope, their nation with insane horrors and revolting indecencies. Indeed an auspicious reaction appears to have commenced.
While the imaginative literature of Germany was young, its career was reckless and different from what it was known ever to have been among any other people. Its vagaries in infancy and more advanced life have afforded many evidences how difficult it is to the unrestrained imagination to discover the olive leaf, or set foot upon the