Page images
PDF
EPUB

of rearing the tender mind is commendable in itself, though, in the execution, it may prove fomewhat deficient *.

Some years past, indeed, fuch attempts were highly laudable, as being feldom made, and therefore much wanted. But it is a genetal remark, and in this inftance it is verified, that when any commodity is much called for, the market foon overflows.-Now, we have books on education one after another, in fuch rapid fucceffion, that teachers must be at a lofs which to prefer.

In our Review for January 1788, page 1, we gave an account of Mr. Meilan's tranflation of L'Ami des Enfans; and we there mentioned, that we understood Mr. M. was a foreigner, but we have face been informed that we were mistaken. We are forry for it, as we have now the fame reason to complain of his being unacquainted with the English idioms,' and not the fame apology to fuggeft. Negligence, therefore, muft now be affigned as the caufe of his Frenchified English, which might eafily have been corrected. However, as the work is intended for English readers only, and thofe not critics, the mistakes will be of little confequence; and, otherwife, the language is fufficiently correct and eafy for its young readers, who will alfo be pleafed with the variety afforded them by the little poems interfperfed in each volume.

Having premifed thus much concerning the tranflation, we now come to the work itself.-Those who were fo much pleafed with The Children's Friend, will find equal pleasure in this fequel to it. Chiefly written, indeed, by the fame Author, and in the fame manner, it will prove equally agreeable and inftructive to children who are a few years older than the readers of the former work. The pieces which Mr. Meilan has added of his own compofition, are in the fame fpirit and style, and deferve a fhare of that commendation which has been fo liberally beftowed on the writings of his prototype.

The pretty frontifpieces to each volume will, we do not doubt, contribute to the entertainment which this publication will afford to young readers. We must just mention, that the ftory of The Hufband fortunately rivalled,' in vol. vii. is evidently an abridgment of the beautiful novel called "Caroline of Lichtfeld." See Rev. vol. lxxvi. p. 265.

Art. 28. The Friend of Youth. Tranflated from the French of
M. Berquin. Complete in two Volumes. Izmo. 5 s. Boards.

Dilly, &c.

1788.

After the general judgment we have fo repeatedly given on M. Berquin's merit as a writer, and our particular opinion on this work in the preceding article, we need not dilate on the subject on the prefent occafion.

It should be remembered, however, that to this rule, as to all others, exceptions may be made: for inftances often occur, of perfons acting in a manner totally oppofite to every virtuous principle that was carefully implanted in their minds while young; and alfo of honest and virtuous men, who, when children, were fcarcely taught the difference between right and wrong. Such is the force of natural difpofition.

The

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The Tranflator tells us, that the following sheets contain what has hitherto been published entire by the Author on this plan;' and that this work in the original came out, as did the Children's Friend, in detached periodical pieces, and therefore has not yet arrived at the ultimate point to which Mr. B. propofes to continue it.'

Not having the original at hand, we cannot contradict this affertion; nor can we speak as to the fidelity of the tranflation, which appears, however, on the whole, to be tolerably executed. But we cannot perceive why a fourth part of the first volume was filled with a drama on the diftreffes of Charles II. during the inter-regnum ; nor why the fecond volume fhould open with Enfign Préntifs's Narrative of a Shipwreck*, published in 1782, and reviewed in our 67th vol. p. 153.

Repeating what we have already faid, that the Friend of Youth is a very entertaining and inftructive Friend, we have only to add, that thefe volumes are embellished with frontispieces.

Art. 29. Elegant Orations, ancient and modern, for the Ufe of Schools; originally compiled for the Inftruction of his own Pupils. By the Rev. J. Moffop, A. M. Mafter of the Boarding-school at Brighthelmftone. Izmo. 38. 6d. bound. Kearfley. 1788.

Perfuaded that reading and fpeaking with facility and accuracy are acquired in lefs time by the frequent ufe of harangues or orations, than by that of any other fpecies of compofition whatever,' Mr. Moffop here prefents a compilation, which he has himself used and made for the purpofe. We fhall not ftrictly enquire into the justice of his obfervation, because we are fatisfied that he cannot mean to exclude youth from other kinds of compofition; nor can we give any particular account of the collection he offers. Befide ancient names, as Demosthenes, Cicero, &c. &c. we meet with thofe of Walpole, Pulteney, Argyle, Dundas, Fox, Pitt, Burke, Sheridan, Thurlow, Burgoyne, Saville, Nugent, Beaufoy, North, &c. &c. &c. Their orations may no doubt prove of fome fervice to youth, especially if they are guarded against being misled by what is party and perfonal, and farther taught, that the mere power of declamation is not, in general, an attainment of the first importance. Art. 30. Original Stories from real Life; with Converfations calculated to regulate the Affections, and form the Mind to Truth and Goodnefs. Izmo. 2s. 6d. Johnson. 1-88.

This little book appears without a name: we fufpect it to be the production of a female pen, which has very lately contributed to instruct and entertain us on the fubject of education. The prefent collection forms an agreeable and ufeful addition to the former. Among other excellent principles and morals, this Authoress is ftudious to recommend tenderness to the brate creation, but not that kind of foolish pity or delicacy which is fometimes felt, or affected, and is found to be very confiftent with an overbearing and info ent fpirit toward thofe of our own fpecies, or a great infenfibility and inatten tion to their wants and afflictions. It is folid piety and virtue which

The author's name is here fuppreffed.

this

this book inculcates, and prefents to the choice and cultivation of youth, in a judicious and engaging manner.

Art. 31. Le Livre des Enfans. The Children's Book; by a Grandmother. For her Grand-daughters. Part I. 12mo. I s. bound. Boofey. 1787.

This work feems calculated to fulfill our grandmother's wifh, of affifting the little children, fo as to enable them to read to her fome pretty French book.' It may however be afked, whether, while the children are inftructed in the French language, in the manner here propofed, there may not be a danger of their learning bad English?

SCHOOL-Book.

Art. 32. The Pronunciation and Orthography of the French Language rendered perfectly eafy, on a Plan quite original. By John Murdoch. 12mo. rs. 6d. bound. Forfter. 1788.

There is fomething peculiar in the motto to this book; Je ne fais qu'une chofe à la fois. De Witt. I do but one thing at a time.' The Author, we conclude, intends this to apply to the mistake of grammarians, who are fuppofed to involve too many fubjects in what they propofe to their scholars, instead of fimply offering a single object at once to their attention. He makes pertinent obfervations on this and other fubjects in his preface. His plan appears to be judicious, and likely to prove useful; but this must be determined by farther experiments. He devotes a confiderable part of his book to orthography and pronunciation, not concurring with the opinion, that the latter can be learned only by the ear. He admits that rules alone are infufficient, but is perfuaded that they are highly ufeful. Without farther remarks, we will difmifs the little volume, by adding the paragraph with which the Author concludes his preface:

6

If I might here moralize for a moment, I would humbly offer it as my opinion, that in proportion as method is attended to in the education of youth, they not only make progrefs in learning, but alfo in virtuous habits. If the love of regularity, order, or method, and the love of virtue, be not quite fynonymous terms, it must at least be allowed that they are nearly allied, and that the transition from the one to the other is easy. There are but few methodical men, comparatively fpeaking, who are either very foolish or very vicious: whereas thofe who are unmethodical, and indifferent about order and regularity, are, in general, the pefts of human fociety.' We leave this to the confideration of the reader.

MISCELLANEOUS.

Art. 33. A fure Guide against Waste in Drefs; or, the Woollen Draper's, Man Mercer's, and Taylor's Affiftant; adapted also to the Ufe of Gentlemen, Tradefmen, and Farmers: Shewing the exact Quantity of Cloth, &c. neceffary to make any Garment, from a Child to a full-fized Man. In Tables, &c. By M. Cook, Taylor. 8vo. 5s. bound. Egerton, &c.

No men can be fo early apprized of the rapid advances of literature, as those who are bound to read all that others chufe to write. When therefore the management of hair was reduced to principles of

art*, we were prepared to expect the taylor, the fhoemaker, and other mechanics, to follow, as foon as the refpective trades could produce profeffors who had attained to the auxiliary arts of reading and writing, with an ambition to exercise them. A taylor, quitting his goofe for a goofe-quill, has now ftepped forth to emulate the literary boldness of the tonfor; and has dared to afcertain the exact quantity of cloth necessary for all parts of drefs, under all circumftances, in a set of tables as nicely adjufted as thofe of fines and tangents, and, like the dog in the manger, without any allowance of cabbage, or recollection of hell. It is a new fubject; let the taylor explain himself:

Thefe tables will afford that information to every purchafer, which many, whofe profeffion requires that knowledge, labour in vain their whole lives to acquire.

The woollen-draper, man's mercer, &c. will alfo be informed of the real value of the remnants they have by them, and of the purposes to which they may with most propriety be adapted.

Mafters of academies, captains, &c. of the navy and army, wishing to have their, or their children's cloaths, made to fit with eafe, elegance, and tafte; may have a fuit, or any garment, made at fix hours notice, by fending their cloth, &c. and mentioning the part of the book they took the quantity from; or fending their height and width, as defcribed in this work, and the f fhion or fancy they would have their cloaths made, without the trouble of their being measured (if they are not deformed †), and their cloaths fent to any part of the kingdom.

The Author likewife makes lufty men's breeches, and fends them to any part of the kingdom, by gentlemen fending the length of the fide-feam, waistband, and width round the knee below the garter of the breeches, on a new plan. Thefe breeches give room to the belly, and fet up about the loins, by the affittance of an elaftic ftrap, which prevents them from coming down; without which method the loins are left expofed below the waiftcoat, from whence a multiplicity of diforders enfue.'

Now, without being taylors, we may prefume to remark, that our Author affumes his men to be as regularly formed as triangles, of which, by having any three parts given, we can complete the figure: but there is fo little correct fymmetry in the human frame, that we apprehend a coat made for one man five feet fix inches high, and thirty-nine inches in girt under the arms, fhould it chance to fit eafy and becoming upon him, might be very uneafy and awkward upon another of the fame given dimenfions, without any obfervable deformity in either of them.

*See Barker's Principles of Hair-dreffing, Rev. vol. lxxii. p. 471. + We should have fuppreffed this very awkward parenthefis, out of regard to a literary taylor, could we have reconciled it to the principles of integrity; as it is certainly unpolite in Mr. Cooke to admit the poffibility of deformity in any of his cuftomers. It would have been more delicate, to have expreffed himself by a periphrafis, fomewhat in this manner: Suppofing no peculiar deviation from the common proportions.' Rav. Sept. 1788.

T

We

We fhall, probably, in due time have a Complete Black and White Milliner; with The Artificial Hat-maker; and The whole Art and Myftery, Compofition and Application, of Cofmetics, &c. &c.

Art. 34. The prefent State of Sicily and Malta. Extracted from Mr. Brydone, Mr. Swinburne, and other modern Travellers. 12mo. 35. fewed. Kearsley. 1788.

Those who have not the originals whence this compilement is taken, or cannot afford to purchase them, will be glad to perufe the extracts here collected for their entertainment. The materials of which this little volume is compofed are certainly interefting, in the greatest degree; and will be particularly fo to young perfons. Among other abftracts, we here meet with the fubftance of Vertot's history of the valorous exploits of the Knights of Malta; particularly the memorable fiege of that place, in which the Chriftians, in garrifon there, baffled the whole force of the Turkish Emperor, Solyman the Second, at that time the most powerful Prince in the world. Perhaps the efforts on both fides, the courage of the befiegers, and the defperate defence of the befieged, were never equalled, certainly not exceeded.

Art. 35. The Effays of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Alban, and Lord High Chancellor of England, on civil, moral, literary, and political Subjects. With the Life of that celebrated Writer. A new Edition. 8vo. 2 Vols. 125. Robson,

&c. 1787.

The Effays of Lord Bacon are fufficiently known to the Public. The prefent edition of them comes forth without the name of the editor, who, as we have found on examination, hath taken no fmall liberties with the original. All of the Effays, which we have compared, are altered by changing the ftyle, and fome are mutilated by fentences being left out. Of both we would give fpecimens, had we not lately been under the difagreeable neceffity of pointing out fimilar faults in the last edition of Bacon's Life of Henry the Seventh; and we would not difguft our Readers with a continuation of fuch criticifm as we have really no pleasure in making, and which, we are fure, they can have little entertainment in reading.

The volumes before us, however, contain a Life of the Author, by Dr. Willymott, which feems correct, and well written. Authorities are not quoted by this biographer; but the facts, we believe, may be relied on, fince, on a comparison, they are found to agree with thofe related by other biographers of this great man.

Art. 36. Memoirs of Frederick Baron Trenck. Written by himself. Tranflated from the German Original, by an Officer of the Royal Artillery. 8vo. 2 Vols. 6s. fewed. Egerton. 1788. For an account of the Memoirs of Baron Trenck, we must refer our Readers to the 11th Article of this month's Review. The prefent tranflation is said to have been attempted merely as an exercise in the German language.' It is evidently the work of a man who is little accustomed to literary exercises. The inaccuracies are many

* See Review for October 1787, p. 309.

and

« PreviousContinue »