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inverted. In the composition of the sentences, there are too many members and useless adjectives. Two or three instances of bad grammar are discoverable. The relatives, that and which, are too often elliptically omitted, and the former is sometimes used, when the latter should have been preferred, both on account of perspicuity and euphony. We are willing to believe any thing commendatory of Gen. Gadsden, but the generality of readers would have been more pleased with a biographical narration, than loose eulogy in the body of the discourse, and disjointed historical facts in the notes. From the present work the future historian can glean nothing ; and no funeral orator of an illustrious statesman or renowned commander will consider it as a model for eloquence or enco
ART. 1 1.
4 sufftlement to Johnson's English Dictionary. By George Mason. Re-printed from the London Quarto edition. New York, for I. Riley & Co. 8vo.
MR. Mason has unquestionably produced a very useful work, which we recommend to all the proprietors of Johnson's dictionary. We are sorry to find in his preface, that he has treated the
Wol. III. No. 2, Q
great luminary of his age with disrespect, and, we believe, with injustice. He talks of his inaccuracies, of his various inconsistencies with himself, of his want of diligence, of the narrowness of his intelligence, of his mistakes, of his negligence, and deficiency, of his highly ridiculous observations,
The dictionary of Johnson is a stupendous work, considered as the production of one man ; and has been regarded by the best judges, as superiour to the French lexicon of the forty academicians. According to Garrick's compliIment,
He has beat forty French, and will beat forty more.
The genius of Johnson ought not to have been degraded to the mechanical drudgery of such a work, though no man living could have executed it so well. It was Hercules cleansing the Augean stables, the most arduous, and least glorious of his labours. The task of Mr. Mason was comparatively easy. He had only to pick up what might have dropped or been overlooked by the labouring hero. The task was performed by the removal of the filth. Nothing remained for Mr. Mason but the light labours of the broom. Mr. Mason, in his attack on the Doctor, reminds us of Shakespeare's “flea on the lip of a lion.”
If authors and publishers will therefore con
Jent to communicate, not only notices, but a copy of all their publications, Juch use might be made of them as would promote, what all unite in ardently wishing, the general interest of American literature, and the more
It is in the department of ancient classicks, that the emulation of the German literati appears chiefly to be stimulated. Many have come forth from the school of Hyne. The edition of Homer's Iliad, by Professor Wolf, who prefixed an elaborate collection of proofs, deduced from internal and external circumstances, that all the poems ascribed to Homer were not written by the same hand, has excited great attention in France, where it has been opposed by the learned Reviewer of the historians of Alexander the Great.
The doubts which have been started in England, on the authenticity of the four celebrated orations supposed to have been delivered by Cicero after his return from exile, and which had been refuted by Gesner in his lectures before the Royal Society at Göttingen, from 1753 to i759, were revived by Mr. Wolf, who reprinted, in 1801, the arguments on both fides of the question, with his objećtions to those of Gesner, and intimations that the authencity of another famous oration of Cicero might be disputed. Accordingly, in the following year, he printed the oration pro Marcello, with an introdućtion, and commentary, maintaining it to be spurious. These effays, which we apprehend to have been morely sportive, threw the publick censors of literature into no small perplexity and consternation ; and they seem to have thought Wolf, like Antæus, to be invincible on the soil from which he sprung,