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he alone could hope to return to his birth-place. To Florence * be still looked as the place of refuge for his old age, or, if he should not live, the resting place for his bones.
• If e'er the sacred poem that hath made
Paradise. Canto xx. Dante, it is well known died in exile at Ravenna, having just entered his fifty-seventh year. His life presents a noble subject for the biographer: it is, however in great measure, history, being interwoven with the fortunes of his couotry,
Art. VI. 1. Le Traducteur ; or Historical, Dramatic, and Miscellaneous
Selections from the best French Writers, on a Plan calculated to render Reading and Translation peculiarly serviceable in acquiring the French Language ; accompanied by an Abstract of Grammar, a Selection of Idioms, and explanatory Notes. By P. F. Merlet.
12mo. 6s. London. 1818. 2. Dictionnaire des Verbes François ; or a Dictionary of French Verbs,
shewing their different Governments. To wbich is prefixed a Table of the irregular Verbs, and some Remarks on the Tenses of the Con
jugation and the Article. By J. C. Tarver. 8vo 10s 1818. WE
E are always gratified by the appearance of elementary
works; not that their mere multiplication can in any way tend to facilitate the progress of education, but because we are intimately convinced that much yet remains to be done before instruction can be said to start from its right point.
ery fresh effort of this kind contributes in some degree, either by success or failure, to the promotion of this end ; but we despair of witnessing its adequate execution, until men of superior powers and attainments will be content to devote them to this important object. Something has been done in the way of simplification ; but the establishment of original principles, and the application of suitable examples, stated and upfolded in such a manner as to inform without encumbering, and at the same time addressed to the understanding as well as to the memory, yet rewain a desideratum in perhaps all the branches of juvenile acquisition. The institution of the Ecoles Normales in France, was a poble attempt to adjust the busi
ness of education by a regular and well calculated system; but the times were not favourable, and it failed,
Though the works before us do not aim at any very impor. tant invovations on the usual routine of instruction, yet they are not without claims on the patronage of the public. The first we think a very useful book, though we object to some of the selected matter, and feel regret that the very excellent plan has not been somewhat differently treated in its details. A few of the extracts are coarse in their sentiment and expression, and we feel surprise that any quotation should have been admitted, though without his name, from so detestable a writer as Pigault le Brun. The citation in question, is, we admit, nothing more than foolish and vulgar, but it is taken from the works of a wretch too depraved for contact. M. Merlet, after a sensible and available abstract of gramınar,' introduces a considerable collection of extracts from various writers, in all of which the peculiar and idiomatic expressions are printed in italics, and illustrated by notes. We think the plan so good, that we hope to see it executed on a more judicious scale. No exiract should be admitted but from sterling authors, and of intrinsic value, and they might range through all the varieties of idion and composition, from the gay and familiar, to the less capricious and more elevated varieties of style.
The second work will also be found valuable. The Author has taken considerable pains to exeinplify the various applications and uses of the verb, and he has on the whole performed his task very respectably. In a few instances, happier and more explanatory illustrations might have been found, and the plan is liable to the awkwardness of requiring the presence of another dictionary at the same time. The book, however, will be found to facilitate the labour of the pupil, and we hope that the Author may be encouraged to remove the small objection we have suggested, by the publication of a second part.
Art. VII. 1. Epistolary Curiosities. Consisting of Unpublished Letters of
the Seventeenth Century. With Notes and an Appendix. Edited by Rebecca Warner, of Beech Cottage, Bath. 8vo. pp. 214. Price 88.
London. 1818. 2. Original Letters from Richard Baxter, Matthew Prior, &c. &c.
With Biographical Illustrations. Edited by Rebecca Warner, of
Beech Cottage, near Bath. 8vo. pp. 303. London. 1817. WITH regard to the bulk of collections of the nature of
these before us, it may be said of the parts that are selected, that, like Gratiano's reasons, they are • as two grains of
wheat, hid in two bushels of chaff, you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them they are not worth Vol. XI. N. S.
the search. The autograph of an unpublished MS. is doubtless a treasure to its possessor, but let the precious original be once submitted to the inultiplying process of the press, and its value is destroyed. In much the same manner, the Bibliomaniac instantly loses his relish for some tall copy of a work which bad been the pride of his book-sbelves whilst it remained uncut, but of which some busy meddling friend, in ignorant zeal, has separated the leaves.
Mrs. Warner's volumes are not free from the fault which attaches to almost all other collections of the same kind. It by no means follows, because a thing has not been publisbed before, that it is worth publishing at all; nor is it quite fair that an individual, because he bears a great pame, should be expected on all occasions to prove himself a great wit, or a profound thinker; or that having said many clever things in his life-time, all the dull ones which lie, like other people, must have recourse to in the ordinary routine of all buman occurrences, should be promulgated to the world, with the solemn air of announcing an important discovery. For instance, we should be glad to know wbat additional honour will accrue to John Selden, 'the glory
of the English nation, and the great dictator of its learning, or in what new light the reader will be enabled to view bis character, from the publication of such a letter as the following: • " Noble Sir,
• “ This gentleman, Mr. Williams, comes from Dr. Chaunsell, Head of Jesus College, in Oxford, about the legacy of books made to them by my Lord of Cherbury. I presume he will take just care of the safe delivering of them, if he shall receive them from your hand, which I desire he may, together with the catalogue, to take a copy of it, and return it again. Sir, I ever am your most affectionate and humble servant, J. SELDEN. Nov. 1, 1648. White Friars." ;
Epistolary Curiosities, p. 40. We by no means intend to assert that the whole, or even the greater part of the letters in these collections, are quite of so trifling or uninteresting a nature. Some of them are curious from their subjects, and others are interesting for their sentiments. Of their genuineness, there appears no reason to entertain doubt. The principal part of the earlier letters are from the Herbert family, and from the immediate vicinity of the Editor to the magnificent seat of a descendant of that noble house, it may be presumed that the original manuscripts, which she states to be in her possession, have not travelled to her from any great distance. They relate chiefly to domestic affairs, quarrels produced by property, and evils occasioned by the want of it. The amiable character of George Herbert, well knowo to the public through the medium of Walton's Lives, appears to much advantage in a letter to his brother, Sir Henry Herbert, wherein he recommends three orphan nieces to his protection,
and pleads their friendless state to him with a feeling of delicacy and a discretion, which evince equally the warmth of his be nevolence, and the excellence of his understanding. A few lines are given from Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, characterized by Kirton, in his history of the Church of Scotland, as having passed the most uphappy life of any woman in the world. they are addressed to the romantic and wrong-headed Edward Lord Cherbury, as celebrated for his infidel notions, as his brother George was for his saint-like piety. The names of Cromwell, Fairfax, Monk, and others familiar to the readers of history, which occur in this collection, will awaken more curiosity than the contents of the Letters will satisfy. There are a few particulars rather interesting, relative to the deportment of James the Second, on his coming to the throne. The Letters from the ladies, in this collection, are, for the most part, in diction, grammar, orthography, and sentiments, such as a housemaid might be expected to write in the present day. Nevertheless, the most entertaining letter in the volume, at least the most characteristic one, is from the pen of a female, a Miss M. Offey, who writes to her cousio Henry Herbert, for his advice respecting the propriety and eligibility of her marrying a learned and ingenious man who had an income of six hundred a year, besides personals and contingencies,-no despicable property two centuries ago ; but then, the possessor of it had the misfortune to be a school-master, and this is an objection so terrible to the lady, that she, for a moment at least, seems inclined to balance a gaudy atheist with a very good estate,' against him, and bis learning and ingenuity into the bargain. Fortunately, however, worldly prudence comes into contact with worldly pride. She hesitates : " But then I consider the neglects of
such a creature, after being marryed a little while, would be 6
bad as this man's employment; and on the other side 1 am a slave to the world, and start when I think people would say • Mrs. 0. has marryed a scoule-master.' The consciousness she shews of her folly, warrants the hope that she had strength of inind and virtue enough to renounce it, and our confidence in her having done so is increased by her postscript, which has been said to be the place where we are sure to find a female's real opinion.
In the “ Original Letters," the names of Baxter, Prior, Bolingbroke, Pope, Cheyne, Hartley, Johnson, Gilpin, Newton, and others, occurring in motley misture, present a bill of fare which seems to aiin at pleasing all palates. The Collection opens with a letter from the venerable Baxter, to the Rev. Dr. Richard Allestree, giving him an account of some of the persecutions to which his steady nonconformity subjected him, during a stormy period of nearly fifty years of his life. The
curious original of this letter was found accidentally in a secondhand copy of Lyndewode's Provinciale, purchased some years since at Cuthell's, in Holborn. As if for the sake of contrast, the name of Baxter is immediately followed by the names of Prior, Bolingbroke, and Pope. The letters of Bolingbroke and of Pope are as cold, and beartless, and unsatisfactory, as any of those already laid before the public from the same sources; though Mrs. Warner seems to consider those of Pope to Judge Fortescue, as the most valuable part of her collection, as completing a correspondence, a part only of which has been hitberto published. They were found among the papers of that inestimable man, the late Richard Reynolds, of Bristol, and were communicated to the Editor by a person, his near relative, whom she styles one of the most perfect of buman beings, and who, we should imagine, among bis other perfections, may probably have modesty enough to blush at being made the subject of such unqualified praise.
Our readers will be more interested in the letters of Dr. Cheyne to Samuel Richardson, which breathe the full spirit of that cheerfulness and piety which distinguished their amiable author. Temperance is his darling theme, and the forming of a Valetudinarian's Catalogue his favourite hobby. Respecting the cardinal virtue which he practised as well as preached, our sedentary and studious readers may not be displeased to see what he prescribes to Richardson, at the time he was composing his Pamela, from his own actual experience of its efficacy in building up a feeble constitution, and sootbing a temperament naturally irritable, and rendered much more so by constant applioation.
• “ Now as to yourself: I never wrote a book in my life, but I had a fit of illness aster. Hanging down your head, and want of exercise, must increase your giddiness; the body, if jaded, will get the better of the 'spirits. If you look into my sheets, now printing, you will find that Sir Isaac Newton, when he studied, or composed, had only a loaf, a bottle of sack, and water; and took no sustenance then, but a slice of bread and a weak draught, as he found failure of spirits from too close attention. Even in my very lowest diet, of three pints of milk and six ounces of bread, in twenty-four hours, 1 abate one half when I study, or find my head clouded.”
" It is not material to your new regimen, these trimming intermissions you make in it; the only inconvenience in it is, that they continue your regrets for the flesh-pots of Egypt a little longer alive, and you must absolutely die to them, that you may live. I tried all those tricks long and much ; and only found they prolonged my dying pains. On experience, I found it best to do as Sir Robert said of the Bishop of Sarum, he bravely plunged to the bottom at the first jump. He who is in the fire should get out as soon as he can ; either the method is