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DOMESTIC LITERARY INTELLIGENCE
Rev. Dr. Smith's Work on Psalmody. 12mo. New-York. pp. 297. This is a very curious and entertaining work. Its object is to vindicate the practice of chanting, and to assert its superiority over the ordinary isochronous metre psalmody. These positions the author defends with great zeal, warmth, and ability, and with no inconsiderable share of learning. His style is exceedingly florid and animated, and occasionally rises into the boldest apostrophes and personifications. Though we took up the book with some prejudices against his side of the question, we confess that our objections were fairly swept away by the torrent of learning, argument, and imagination, which the learned author pours forth most copia ously, in favour of this primitive mode of devotion; and, excepting that he treats the venerable semi-ecclesiastical order of parish clerks with much less reverence than we have, from our childhood, been accustomed to ena tertain for them, we are willing to subscribe, toto animo, to all his doctrines.
In this cold blooded age, it is so refreshing to meet with a writer who engages with his whole heart and soul in any cause whatever, that we feel do disposition to cavil at any of Dr. Smith's assertions; though the musi. cal churchman may be a little staggered by his bold denunciation of voluntaries; and, on the other hand, our puritan brethren may, perhaps, be inclined to doubt whether it is so perfectly clear that the angels have no other employment than chanting prose psalms.
We were not a little amused by the wonderful variety of metaphor and illustration with which the learned doctor has contrived to decorate his favourite subject. We have no room for long extracts, but we cannot refrain from "giving one short specimen, of which our readers must certainly allow the ingenuity, even should they be inclined to doubt the originality of this mode of argument. In comparing the mechanical and unisonous chime of rhyming metre with the unfettered melody of chanted prose, he observes, that “ were a person on horseback to ride a day's journey uniformly in a walk, (in musical language in spondees,) or in a trot, (in proceleusmatics,) or in a canter, (in dactyls,) he would be more fatigued at night than if he had used all those movements occasionally diversified,” &c. &c.
We hinted that we a little doubted the originality of this mode of illustration; for we are inclined to suspect that it is borrowed from the system of the ever-to-be-remembered Cornelius Scriblerus, who is said, in the education of his son, to have used marbles to teach him the laws of mo. tion, nut-crackers, to explain the lever, whirligigs, the axis in peritrochio, tops, the centrifugal motion, and bobeherry to instruct him in the first principles of moral philosophy. But to conclude, we beg leave to recommend this publication to the musical, the literary, and the ecclesiastical world, as the work of an enthusiastic and scientific cultivator of church music, a scholar of extensive reading and curious research, a divine deeply skilled in all rubrical observances, and as orthodox in his opinions as he is in his taste.
Mr. Samuel Henry, of New-York, practitioner of medicine, bas lately published, in one volume royal 8vo.“ An American Family Medical Herbal.” The author professes to give, in this work, the result of thirty years' experience in medical botany; and to detail the healing virtues of a
great variety of plants indigenous to the United States, many of which are altogether unknown to the pharmacopia of the regular physician. The author is evidently an unlettered man; the scientific names which he professes to give are often grossly misspelt, or erroneous, and it will be readily anticipated that many of his nostrums and specifics are at least of doubtful authority.
Ať the same time he appears well acquainted with most of our native herbs and their simpler applications in medicine, and though we would most certainly be cautious of recommending the book as a family herbal, yet we should think that, in the hands of a scientific botanist, or an enlightened practitioner, it might be of great use. There can be no doubt that the powers of the healing art may be vastly extended by a more intimate acquaintance with
“ the power which lies
and it is the province of true philosophy to make the observations of the unlettered, as well as the researches of the scholar, alike tributary to the happiness and well-being of man.
Johnson and Warner, Philadelphia, bave lately published" The American Artist's Manual, or Dictionary of Practical Knowledge," by James Cutbush, in two thick and closely-printed octavo volumes. This work is arranged alphabetically, on the plan of the Domestic Encyclopædia, and similar works, and consists of a copious and well-digested selection from various European scientific works, of such descriptions of chemical and mechanical processes, and other applications of philosophy, to the useful arts, as were thought adapted to the present state of the arts in this country. These are interspersed with several valuable original articles, chiefly relating to practical chemistry; and the whole is illustrated by appropriate engravings. The reader will readily perceive that this is not a 'work whose merits can be judged of by a hasty inspection. Its object is utility, and its value can only be tested by frequent reference and use. It appears, however, to us, extremely well calculated for its purpose. The author has throughout preferred practical utility to the parade of science. This is a disposition which we are always prepared to applaud. Science is most honourably, when she is most usefully, employed; and is equally in her own proper element when analyzing the diamond with Davy, and when descending, with humble industry, to the assistance of the manufacturer at his loom, or the dyer over his vat.
In turning over the volumes, we observed some unsatisfactory references, backward and forward, ending in nothing, as “ Brunswick-Greensee Colour-making." “ Colour-making—see Brunswick Green." This is the crying sin of all encyclopædias and scientific dictionaries, the very opprobrium cyclopædiarum, and we do not wonder that Dr. Cutbush has not wholly escaped it. We trust that a second edition will enable him to correct this and every other error.
H.C. Southwick, of Albany, has issued proposals for printing, by subscription, in one volume, 8vo. a translation of Machiavel's Art of War. M. Genet, in a recommendation of the work, accompanying the proposals, mentions the very curious fact, which, says he, I had from the lips of my late illustrious friend General Moreau," that Bonaparte made this work his constant companion, and so important did he think it, that he actually had it by hcart."
The Washington and Georgetown booksellers advertise a new pamphlet, under the title of " A Narrative of the Battle of Bladensburgh,” by an officer of General Smith's staff
. This may be very interesting to those whose personal character is in any way implicated in the events of that action, but for ourselves we have no wish to inquire into the particulars of this unfortunate and disgraceful affair.
O, for one hour of Gaines's might,
And Bladepsburg been Chippewa.* There will shortly be published a work, entitled "A Digest of the Leio. of Maritime Captures und Prizes,” by Henry Wheaton, counsellor at law:
In the first chapter of this work will be considered, the mode of commencing war; and in whom vests the right to prizes made before the declaration of war, and by non-commissioned captors.
In the second chapter will be shown, who may make captures. The nature of letters of marque and reprisal will be explained; how. btained, and how forfeited. Under what circumstances captures are invalid, such as those made within a neutral jurisdiction, &c. What things are exempt from capture.
In the third chapter will be considered, enemy's property as a legal object of capture ; 1. Enemy's vessels and the goods therein ; 2. Enemy's goods in neutral vessels; and in what cases freight is payable to the neutral carrier; 3. Of the effert of liens claimed by neutrals, or the subjects of the belligerent state, upon enemy's property; 4. Of the effect of transfers of enemy's property in transitu ; 5. Of spoliation of papers; 6. Of resistance to visitation and search.
In the fourth chapter will be considered, the property of persons resident, or having possessions, in the enemy's country, as a legal object of capture.
In the fifth chapter will be examined, the liability to capture of property sailing under the flag and pass or license of the enemy.
In the sixth chapter will be considered, neutral property as a legal object of capture; i. As contraband of war; 2. For breach of blockade; 3. Carrying military persons or despatches in the service of the enemy.
In the seventh chapter will be considered, as legal objects of capture, 1. The property of the citizens or subjects of the belligerent state when engaged in commerce with the enemy; 2. In a commerce prohibited by the municipal law of the belligerent state ; 3. The property of the subjects of an ally of the belligerent state, taken in a course of trade forbidden by the express or implied terms of the alliance.
The eighth chapter will be devoted to the consideration of the questions arising from ransoms, recaptures, and claims for salvage.
In the ninth chapter the nature of the jurisdiction of prize-courts will be examined, the legal effects of their judgments considered, and their process and praetice
explained. In the tenth chapter will be considered the effect of a suspension of hostilities, and of the conclusion of peace, upon questions of prize.
A copious appendix will be added, containing the forms used in prize. proceedings.
*See the battle of Floddenfeld, in Marmian
FOREIGN LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
Mr. Seppins, of the Royal Society, has described his new system of shipbuilding." He observes that notwithstanding the rapid progress in all the arts and sciences, no improvement in naval architecture has taken place during many years. In order to make the simple but great improvement which he has introduced more intelligible, he begins by describing the old structure of ships, of their keel and ribs or timbers placed at right angles, and the bottom and decks composed of parallel planks. According to the new construction, on which three ships have already been built, and four more are building, the timbers are crossed with diagonal girders at angles of 45, so that the whole frame is rendered much stiffer or more inflexible, and all parts of the structure made to bear their due portion of the pressure at the same time. The first advantage of this plan is the prevention of what is called hogging, or having the centre to become convex on the upper, and concave on the lower side. Mr. Seppins fills up the space between the timbers with pieces of wood taken from old ships, made in the form of wedges, which are reversed, driven in tight, paid with tar, and made impervious to water, so that should an outer plank start, the vessel will be in no danger of sinking, as in the old system. This method not only adds greatly to the stiffness and strength of the vessel, but also prevents the timbers and flooring from becoming a prey to the rot, occasioned by moisture and stagnant air. Mr. S. exposes the notion of ships being elastic, and contends that they are stronger and better in proportion as they are non-elastic, and capable of resisting pressure in whatever direction it may be applied. Considerable advantage he also considers must attend his plan, from the superior stiffness and strength of the decks, composed of framework with diagonal binders, so that the deck, instead of being a series of parallel boards, having very little connexion with each other, and susceptible of being detached in any emergency, will presest a continuous mass of timber, having its grain placed in all directions best adapted to make the greatest possible resistance to any external force. There are many other minor improvements in this new method, such as ubviating the necessity of much iron work, so that no extra weight is occasioned by the filling up between the timbers; less ballast is required; much old ship timber can be used with advantage; and lastly, in the construction of a 74 gun ship, 173 trees, of 50 feet each, are saved.
Sir H. Davy having conjectured, in his third Bakerian Lecture, that the diamond owes its peculiar characters to a small portion of oxygen, has availed hiinselfofan opportunity, while at Florence, to operate on this substance with a very powerful lens and the concentrated rays of the sun, instead of the Voltaic pile. He made a variety of experiments on the combustion of small diamonds laid in a platina cup and placed in a glass globe, through which the solar rays were made to pass and burn the diamonds; but in none of them was there any oxygen evolved: whence he was induced to abandon the idea of oxygen forming any part of the diamond. He next dit eted his attention to ascertain wliether, according to the opinion of Guyton Morveau, hydrogen or water might not exist in diamond; but the result was similar, no trace of either appearing. Moisture, indeed, in his first experiments was discovered; but it was entirely owing to an imperfection in the apparatus, which was afterwards remedied. Charcoal was then submitted to similar experiments, and emitted some hydrogen. Hence Sir H. concludes that diamond is perfectly pure carbon, and that its hardness and transparency are derived from its crystallization, and not from the admixture of any other elementary body.
Mr. Sotheby will soon publish a volume containing five tragedies, entitled, the Death of Darnley, Ivan, Zamorin and Zama, the Confession, and Orestes.
A very important work is in the press, and will be speedily published, from the pen of Mr. Colquhoun, on the population, wealth, power, and resources of the British Empire-in one volume 4to: a body of more valuable information and interesting facts than has, perhaps, ever been disclosed to the public in so short a compass, and in which will be found detailed the value of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of all the Colonies, Dependencies, and Settlements in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia, including the Territory under the management of the East-Índia Company. The whole illustrated by copious statistical tables, constructed on a new and comprehensive plan, so as to be intelligible to the meanest capacity.
Early in June was published an Introduction to the Study of Bibliography, to which is prefixed a Memoir on the public Libraries of the Ancients, by Mr. Thomas Hartwell Horne. This work embraces a general view of the different subjects connected with the Study of Bibliography, the materials used for books in different ages of the world, the origin and progress of writing and printing, the mechanism of the art; the knowledge of books, their relative values and scarcity, choice and classification of books, for children, &c. &c., together with a copious notice of the principal Authors who have treated on Bibliography, and accounts of the chief modern public, and private Libraries.
M. Baptist Lendi, of St. Gall, has invented a new hygrometer, of which the following description is given-In a white fint bottle is suspended a piece of metal, about the size of a hazel nut, which not only looks extremely beautiful, and thus contributes to the ornament of a room, but likewise predicts every possible change of weather 12 or 14 hours before it occurs. As soon as the metal is suspended in the bottle with water, it begins to increase in bulk, and in 10 or 12 days forms an admirable pyramid, which resembles polished brass; and it undergoes several changes, till it has attained its full dimensions. In rainy weather this pyramid is constantly covered with pearly drops of water; in case of thunder or hail, it will change to the finest red, and throw out rays: in case of wind or fog, it will appear dull and spotted ; and previously to snow it will look quite muddy. If placed in a moderate temperature, it will require no other trouble than to pour out a common tumbler full of water, and to put in the same quantity of fresh. For the first few days it must not be shaken.
At a late meeting of the Gloucester Severn Association, a gentleman exhibited the following statement of the benefits likely to accrue from the effectual preservation of the Salmon Fisheries in the Severn. He had carefully ascertained the number of eggs in the roe of a salmon, weight 71b. ; they amounted to 11,350 ; supposing each egg to yield a fish of one pound, the quantity of food thus produced would equal five tons; the same number at ten pounds would give fifty tons; and 100 spawners of the same weight would give no less than 5000 tons. A quantity of human food equal to the produce of 10,000 acres of wheat, at twenty bushels peracre, when converted into flour at the rate of 56lbs. per bushel.