Page images

found in his book, prove that he availed himself of the advantages
of his situation. His work contains a state of the poor at Lewisham,
in Kent, the parish of which Mr. S. was overseer. He proceeds
to give a cursory review of the sentiments of different authors on the
poor laws; and here he evinces an intimate acquaintance with
what had been previously written, and gives high and merited praise
to the exertions of Mr. Gilbert, Sir William Young, and Mr. Rug-
gles, in their attempts to rescue so large a part of the community
from the hardships and difficulties under which they labour, and to
render more extensively useful the liberal contributions which are : n-
nually made. A plan for the future government and control of all
that concerns the management of the poor concludes this well-written
treatise. Mr. S. considers most of the present evils attending the
system, as arising from the nature of the office of overseer, which in-
volves in it a medley of important and degrading duties; the form er
demanding the assistance of the liberal and independent classes of so-
cicty, and the latter absolutely precluding their interference.-He
advises a separation of the duties of collector and overseer, and the
placing the funds in the hands of a treasurer.All that he urges on
this subject is founded on good sense and experience, and we recom
mend the production to the attention of those who are entrusted with
so important a concern as the regulation of the poor.

Art. 45. A Treatise on the Law of Bills of Exchange, Checks on
Bankers, Promissory Notes, Bankers' Cash Notes, and Bank Notes.
By Joseph Chitty, Esq. of the Middle Temple. Svo. pp. 300.
6s. Boards. Brooke. 1799.


The great and extensive advantages, resulting to this country from the influence of commerce, have induced our Courts to afford it all the encouragement in their power; and the custom of merchants has been recognized and supported from the fourteenth century.The assignable quality of a bill of exchange, and of a promissory note, forms an exception to the old common law on the subject of Choses in Action; which, even in the present day, cannot be so completely assigned as to be sued-for in a Court of Law, in the name of the assignee; and this exception is admitted for the benefit of commercial transactions. The decisions on the subject of these transferable instruments are very numercus, and not easily reconciled with each other; and though there are various treatises on this branch of our law, we do not think that there is any one so complete as to supersede the necessity of farther discussion.

The author of the present publication has divided his work into two parts; in the first of which he considers the Right which acquired by a bill, check, or note; and in the second he explains the may be Remedies by which a payment of them may be inforced. He has also subjoined an Appendix of Forms of Declarations, &c. with Annotations, and a List of the Notary's Fees of Office, together with the Statutes relative to small Notes and Bills.-Much useful information will be found collected in this work, and arranged in a system atic and methodical manner.


[ocr errors]


Art. 46. The Lord Thanet's Case considered, as to the Question "Whether the Judgment be Specific or Arbitrary?" With the fullest Reports of the Cases on the Subject. By W. Firth, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. Barrister at Law. 8vo. 1s. Butterworth. The subject of this tract has occasioned much discussion, and has produced (as we understand) a difference of opinion among the great law-officers by whom the prosecution, in which it originated, was instituted. A criminal information was filed by the Attorney-General against the Earl of Thanet, Mr. Fergusson, and three other gentlemen, for a riot and assault, at common-law, committed by them at Maidstone, in the Court held under a special commission. This information consisted of five counts; in the first three the defendants were charged with a riot and assault in open Court, and in the last two with a riot only.-The Jury returned a general verdict of guilt against Lord Thanet and Mr. Fergusson, and acquitted the other gentlemen. When judgment was prayed against the defendants in the Court of King's Bench, the Chief Justice expressed a doubt whether the punishment to be named was specific, or discretionary in the Court: and he requested the assistance of the Bar on the question. The counsel not being then prepared to argue the point of law, it was ordered to stand over to a future day. In the interval, the Attorney-General entered a Noli Prosequi as to the first three counts, on which the question arose, and which thus never received a decision; and he prayed judgment on those counts which charged the defendants only with a riot in Court.

Mr. Firth contends that, on the whole record of conviction, the judgment of the Court was discretionary; and that the offence charged in the information did not subject the defendants to the specific judgment of the loss of the right hand, the forfeiture during life of their lands and tenements, the confiscation of their goods and chattels, and imprisonment for life, or during the king's pleasure.The author argues against this latter most severe punishment being incurred, on account of the omission of the precise word "strike" in the information filed against the defendants; so that they never could be said to be guilty of the offence of striking in the King's superior Courts of Justice, to which offence that particular judgment belongs.The words in the information, charging the defendants with an assault, are "beat, bruise, wound, and ill-treat;" which, though apparently synonimous to " strike," do not convey the precise meaning of that word; and even if they did, they would not, as Mr. F. asserts, (with great appearance of reason,) justify the omission, nor supply the place, of that term; which, he contends, is as necessary in such a prosecution, it being the very gist of the offence, as the word murdravit in an indictment of murder, burglariter in burglary, rapuit in rape at common law, mayhemiavit in mayhem, or (which is nearer the present case) sirike in a prosecution for striking in a church, on the flatute of Edward VI.-The cases here collected appear to support the author's position, since all of them, in which this specific judg ment was passed, contain the word in question.

The pamphlet is written with good sense, and with considerable information on the subject which it undertakes to illustrate.



[ocr errors]

Art. 47. An Enquiry into the Question, Whether the Brother of the paternal Grand-Mother shall succeed to the Inheritance of the Son, in preference to the Brother of the paternal Great-Grand-Mother? The Affirmative having been advanced by Mr. Justice Manwoode; acceeded to by Mr. Justice Harper, Mr. Justice Mounson, and the Lord Dyer; and adopted by Lord Bacon, Lord Hale, and the Lord Chief-Baron Gilbert: and the Negative maintained by Mr. Robinson (the late Chief-Justice of Gibraltar) and Mr. Justice Blackstone. By Charles Watkins, Esq. of the Middle Temple, Author of an Essay on the Law of Descents, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 40. 25. Butterworth.

After the history of this question which is conveyed by the titlepage, and of the authorities by which it is supported and resisted, it is necessary for us only to observe that Mr. Watkins, in the present pamphlet, and in his former publication of Gilbert's Tenures, (see our 21st vol. N. S. p. 114.) has considered the subject in the same point of view in which it had been previously placed by the learned Commentator on the Laws of England.

S.R. Art. 48. A Treatise on Copyholds. By Charles Watkins, Esq. of the Middle Temple, Author of the Essay on the Law of Descents, &c. Vol. II. 8vo. pp. 290. 6s. 6d. Boards. Butterworth. 1799.

[ocr errors]

We noticed the first volume of this work in our 24th vol. N. S. p. 452, to which article we would refer our Readers, as it contains an account of the author's plan, and our opinion of its execution.-We need only observe on the present occasion, that those subjects which are introduced into the second volume, and which complete Mr. Watkins's design, are discussed with the same ability which we have mentioned with pleasure, and in terms of praise, in all this writer's publications.

CLASSICS, EDUCATION, &c. Art. 49. Saggio di Novelle e Favole: Moral Tale and Fables, in Italian, by G. Polidori, Teacher of that Language. Small 18mo. embellished with neat Engravings. London, 1798. Printed for the Author, No. 42, Broad-street, Carnaby-market.

This little book seems well calculated to allure young students in the Italian language, by simple and interesting stories, within their comprehension. It is with propriety dedicated to the governesses of an eminent boarding-school, of which the author is one of the language-masters.-We have lately had occasion to speak of Signior Polidori as a tragic writer, of no mean abilities. See Rev. March last, p. 352.

Art. 50. Petit Parnasse François, &c. i. e. The Little French
Parnassus; being a Collection of the most beautiful Examples of
French Poetry in every Species of Versification; for the Use of
Students in that Language. By M. des Carrières. Pocket 4to. 58.
bound. Law. 1797.

We do not recollect to have before seen so well chosen a collection of French poems printed iu England, as is here offered to our accept




Dr B....y.


No lover of French poetry can open this miscellany without meeting with something that will seize his attention. Though most of the pieces are short, yet there are some of considerable length; such as l'Art Pactique, the Lutrin of Boileau, the Henriade of Voltaire, and the Ver-Vert of Gresset; each of which has frequently been deemed of sufficient length to be published alone as the contents of a whole volume, or at least a pamphlet, at a price equal to that of the volume before us; which contains nearly forty thousand DrB...


Art. 51. An Etymological Chart, exhibiting, at one View, just Defini tions of all the Parts of Speech; the Modifications and Inflections of such as are variable, &c. The Whole carefully compiled from the best Writers on English and Universal Grammar, but pecu liarly adapted to Lindley Murray's English Grammar. By Adam Taylor. A large Sheet. 6d. Darton and Harvey.

Of Mr. Lindley Murray's English Grammar, we have spoken with approbation more than once. To that work, this neat etymological chart is adapted by a similarity of classification: it forms, indeed, an epitome or compendium of it, and may conveniently assist the recollection of young persons who have learned their English by that authority.

Tay Art. 52. A Complete Introduction to the Knowledge of the German Language. Containing the Substance of the most approved German Grammars, particularly Adelung, and arranged on a Plan perfectly new and easy. By George Crabb. 12mo.

PP. 327.

6s. Boards. Printed at York: sold by Johnson, &c. London.


The author of this grammar has excited great expectations from it, both in the title page and in the preface: but we cannot think that it will promote the accurate knowlege of the German language. Throughout the book, we observe indications either of great haste, or of a very incompetent acquaintance with the subject; as will ap pear from a few examples. The genitives of Friederich and Mars are said to be Friederichens and Marsens, whereas the former ought to be Friederichs, and the latter des Mars. See Adelung's Grammar, Berlin, 1795, p. 161. sect. 260. We are surprised that Mr. Crabb, knowing that Adelung is considered by his countrymen as their principal grammarian, and professing particularly to pursue his plan, could have overlooked such explicit rules concerning the declension of nouns proper, as are contained in sect. 253-272. of that author's grammar. At p. 46. in the declension of zwey, Mr. C. has given the three genders of that numeral: but those genders, the student ought certainly to be told by his guide, are almost fallen into disuse, (consult Adelung, seet. 329.) and, if uttered by a polite speaker, would expose him to the reproach of affectation. At the same page, the word sworem exhibits two errors of the press, which is but too fre quently incorrect. The translation of nouns, though but a secondary consideration in a grammar, should at least not be such as to mislead the learner: but this would be unavoidable in the following mistranslations: Ballen, a ball to play with, (for a bale); Fladen, acus


sard, (for a bun); Hacke, an axe, (for a Loe), &c. &c. By what author, or in what province, the terms Heit and Kalmink are used, we should be glad to learn, having never heard of any such words in the German language.-We might considerably increase this catalogue of errors, if it would answer any useful purpose.

The syntax, and the exercises elucidating it, occupy the major part of this volume, and have more claim to praise than the grammar, though they are very exceptionable. At p. 125. the author says: 2 In the following cases, the Germans use the dative at the end of the sentence: Example. The book was John's; Das buch war dem Johann. No one, offering himself as a guide to the knowlege of the German language, ought to have thus arranged the words of a very easy sentence; which, according to the laws of grammar, must be changed into: Es zvar Johann's buch. (Consult Adelung, sect. 371. fin.) In the same page, we read the words he shewed rendered by er zeucht, instead of er zeigte; an error obviously not chargeable to the press, and too gross for a teacher of the language.-When the English say, there is, (il y a,) the German grammar substitutes other phrases, as es grelt, es ist, &c.: nothing is inore common :—but Mr. Crabb, p. 157. telis the beginner to translate the sentence, Is there any one who is always wise? thus: Ist bier-- weis. Here two not slight mistakes are committed in one line.-Virtuous, in several places of the exercises, as for example p. 139. is rendered by tugendsam, instead of tugendhaft: the former term has long been banished, as finical, from all good prose writings, as well as from conversation.

Through the whole of this book, indeed, we have met with so many words, turns, constructions, and spellings, which are erroneous, provincial, affected, antiquated, or totally foreign to the German tongue, that we suspect that Mr. Crabb was either not suf ficiently read in the best German authors, or never had an opportu nity of conversing with natives of Germany who had a competent knowlege of their own language. He tells us, in the title-page, that he has selected the substance of the most approved German grammars' but, though that method has been successfully adopted in grammars of the dead languages, the propriety of it may justly be doubted in modern idioms, the standard of which is unsettled, and is claimed by each succeeding age.-Even if the present clementary book could fulfil the expectations which we have a right to form respecting any new grammar, and especially one which holds out such promises, the errata in the German words are so numerous as to make it unfit for the use of beginners. At p. 127. we have counted fourteen errors of the press; and we doubt whether a dozen pages can be found in the whole book, that are exempt from such mistakes. A list of nearly seventy errors, in the first 110 pages, is prefixed by the author.

Art. 53. Practical Accidence of the French Tongue; or Introduction to the French Syntax; on a more extensive and easy Plan than any extant; shewing the Connection and Difference there is between the English and French Grammars: wherein Learners are brought to do, and consequently to understand, what it is customary to make them get by heart, and which will prove peculiarly useful to

I i4



« PreviousContinue »