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shews that Sir John was as influential amongst the children of Mercury as of Mars-tam Mercurio quam Marti. The subjects of those letters being in no instance theological, the reverend correspondents are in general charitable and decorous. The Bishop of Llandaff writes very amiably on agriculture and politics. Dr. Chapman, of Cambridge, acknowledges the present of a copy of an ancient edict against Bacchanals, without the breach of any commandment. Other letters follow from Dr. Tucker, on Sir John's tract on commercial freedom; from Dr. Price, on the national debt; from Dr. Kippis on a plan for retiring from Gibraltar (all works by Sir John Sinclair ;) then from individuals of the Scotch, American, and French clergy, one of the latter of whom presented him with an interesting biography of Robespierre. . The following anecdote, as it exhibits the necessity of exercising caution in the business of life, deserves to be preserved. To see such men as Whitbread foremost in an attempt to inflict an undeserved penalty, after a hasty and an erroneous judgment, ought to be a lesson of permanent admonition to us all.
*A motion had been made in Parliament for an inquiry into the conduct of Captain Lake of the navy, who was accused of having left a seaman called Robert Jeffery, on a desert island in the West Indies, where it was said he had actually perished ; and Captain Lake was therefore considered guilty of his murder. Mr. Archibald Lee, a gentleman attached to the American embassy, had requested me to procure him permission to hear the debates in the House, and we were sitting under the gallery together when this motion was brought on. Mr. Lee expressed his astonishment that the time of the House should be taken up about such a business, since he had actually received a letter by the last packet from America, stating that Robert Jeffery was alive and safe at New York. I was much struck with so singular à circumstance thus accidentally communicated to me, and having every reason to confide in the truth of the information given me, I thought it right to mention it to the House, to prevent any measure
I being hastily taken on the supposition that Robert Jeffery was dead.
It is astonishing the noise which this circumstance occasioned. The truth of my information was disputed in some of the anti-ministerial papers. I received anonymous letters reprobating me as the associate of murderers, and threatening me with vengeance; and Mr. Whitbread wrote to me to say, I should be glad if you would take the trouble to inform me of the name of the gentleman upon whose authority you stated in the House of Commons that Jeffery was alive at New York: and how soon he is expected to return to England, as I have received information of a very different complexion ; your immediate answer is requested.” Captain Lake's friends also applied to me, requesting to be informed on what authority I had asserted a fact of so much importance to their relation."
Sir John then goes on to give the particulars of other pressing applications made to him for the same purpose, and such was the degree of importunity by which he was assailed, that it is probable
repented of his interference. Sir John Sinclair commemorates, with much pride and pleasure,
the circumstance of his having been instrumental in rewarding the invention of the thrashing machine. It is a fact worthy the attention of the philosopher and politician, that in the very year in which the memory of the inventor of such an engine should have been held forth to public admiration, and credit taken by a living writer for having patronized him, the discovery should be treated as a nuisance of extensive mischief to the peasantry, and several machines be violently destroyed. The man's name was Andrew Meikle; and Sir J. Sinclair says, that he had the satisfaction of collecting for this individual, as a public testimony of admiration for his ingenuity, a sum of 1,5001. and of thus raising him and his family from that poverty which would otherwise have overwhelmed them.
A considerable portion of the work is occupied with remarks of a miscellaneous nature, on the various countries of Europe which Sir John Sinclair visited in the course of his very active life. These observations are chiefly of a political or statistical nature ; and numerous and no doubt correct as they are, many of them are rendered wholly fruitless by the changes which the current year is making, and has made, on the aspect of European affairs,
We never cease, however, all through the work, to entertain the fullest sense of Sir John Sinclair's benevolent nature. The industry and perseverance which he had devoted to the general good of mankind, would have secured a splendid fortune in any walk in life to one less disinterested than Sir John. Whether or not his success has been commensurate with his wishes and designs, the praise of meaning well and kindly to his fellow-creatures will follow the good old man to his grave. In contemplating examples of genuine benevolence such as that before us, we are always struck at the strange absence or imperfection of those necessary endowments, by which such benevolence could be most usefully and extensively carried into operation. Is this ever to be so? "Is it indeed a law of our nature that a man shall be incapable of being wise and good at the same time; that the very innocence which permits him to desire the happiness of his fellows, is inconsistent with the intellectual power by which such an object can be compassed? If Napoleon had had but the heart of Sir John Sinclair, united with the talents by which he was characterized, in what a world might we not now have been breathing !
ART. XI.--Standard Novels1. undoubtedly published, in the course
The Pilot. 12mo. pp. 420. of a single or joint career, several
2. Caleb Williains. pp. 452. novels which well deserve to be Tais is a good idea. Mr. Colburn, reprinted, and which, in a cheap and Messrs. Colburn and Co., have form, would obtain a much wider
VOL. II. NO. 1.
circulation than they have hitherto read it, but never could succeed. enjoyed. It was wise, therefore, We know others who have been to meet the spirit of the time, placed in a similar predicament. which, all-reforming as it is, most But still the " voice of fame” has especially desires to bring down the lauded this work to the skies; and price of books to a standard that though we cannot admit that, in this will render them generally accessi- instance at least, it has been ble to the middling and mechanical erring,” it has convinced many classes. The publishers have an- readers that the “ Pilot" is a capinounced their intention of issuing tal novel. “ Caleb Williams” has a series of such reprints, as com- our vote and best interest. There, panions to the Waverley Novels. If indeed, we are hand in hand with they limit their enterprise to those the publishers, to whose undertakworks which, in the language of ing we wish every success. their prospectus, have been stamped by the "unerring voice of Fame!" they will soon come tua close. “Unerring voice of Fame !” We never
Art. XII.-The Book of the Seabefore heard, that this celebrated sons ; or, the Calendar of Nature. distributor of laurels assumed to
By William Howitt. 12mo., herself the attribute of infallibility.
pp. 404. London: Colburn and
Co. 1831. But even if that were the case, who is to be judge of the particular works THERE are few subjects which we which have been so fortunate, as to more desire to see well treated than be favoured by her unerring admi- that so well chosen by Mr. Howitt. ration ? Where are we to look for He would seem, in every respect, the evidence of it? Are we to find peculiarly fitted to shine in it." He it in those pretty paragraphs which, loves nature with an unfeigned ensomehow or other, find their way thusiasm ; he has traced with a into certain newspapers, without tender vigilance all her various the title of advertisement prefixed features and changes; her clouds to them, but which the initiated, and sunshine; her serene hours, who are now indeed the public at and her angry tempests. His poetilarge, easily detect at the first cal tendencies have enabled him to glance ? Are these to be the proofs detect, with a keen eye, the thouof your "unerring voice of fame?" sand stores of loveliness which she or are we to collect them from the has hidden from the vulgar gaze, “ New Monthly Magazine," whose to catch the notes of the different independence in literary criticism is
songsters she has given to the so unquestionable ? Nous verrons. woods and fields, to discover the The first two numbers of the pub- many tufts of beauteous flowers lication, containing the whole of the which she has scattered, with a “Pilot," and“Caleb Williams," with plentiful hand, along the hedges, handsome frontispieces, are now and in the recesses of the mounbefore us; and though the type and tains. To these excellent qualifipaper are not quite so good as we cations for a naturalist, Mr. Howitt should wish, we must say that they adds a facility of diction, suitable to form an auspicious beginning. We the subject, and in itself meritorious are certainly no admirers of the "Pi
for its Muency and grace.
Neverlot," and we candidly confess that theless, if we were asked whether we have made many attempts to this is the Book of the Seasons,
which we want, we should say that how nun-like they cover with a white it is not. It is a little better, be- veil their modest and matchless cause more minute, than the calen- charms ! What a brilliancy do dar which is usually inserted in the these crocuses impart to every bed Almanacks, but it does not at all they adorn! They are the heralds excel that which will be fuund in of the summer as well as of the the “Time's Telescope" for the pre- spring !"
spring !” With such a person as sent year. The most important this, who, by expressing thoughts business of the farmer, this month, but faintly descriptive of his feelings, is to feed and comfort his dependent touches, nevertheless, the mystic animals. '--' Towards the end of chain of sympathy in our this month, (February,) we are glad- breast, we should at once quit dened with symptoms of approach the desk, and go to see the objects ing spring.'-Thrashing, tending which have kindled his admiration. cattle, early lambs, calves, &c., But this man is not Mr. Howitt. continue, as in the last month, to He never impels us to move into occupy the thoughts and hands of the fields, or, if we go there, we do the busbandman. Manures, too, not think of him, for Nature always are carried to grass lands.' These, surpasses, in her
power of enchantpages of sentences such as these, ment, the laboured catalogue of her together with tables setting forth the charms which he has recorded. It migrations of birds, form the staple would be unjust not to add that of Mr. Howitt's work, and may be he has written some pretty passa
any of the Calendars already ges; and that the verses from his published, as well as in his. The
own pen, as well as from that fault that pervades the volume, and of his amiable lady, interspersed renders it, in our opinion, a failure, through the volume, are marked is this, that the matter is not con- with genuine feeling and taste. nected with the man. The great charm of old Walton's angling lucubrations, consists in their being identified with his own feelings and
ART. XIII.-School and College reveries. If a person tell us that
Greek Classics. 1. Thucydides. the month of March is the time
2. Herodotus. 3. Æschylus' Prowhen ' inhabitants are in their gar.
metheus. 4. Euripides' Orestes. dens, some clearing away rubbish,
8vo. All Booksellers, some turning up the light and fresh YOUNG students, in whose hands smelling soil amongst the tufts of these new editions of the Greek snow-drops, and rows of bright classics shall be placed, before they yellow crocuses which every where have been troubled with any others, abound,' he tells us no more than can hardly be made to understand we already know, or may find in the deep obligations which they owe any book of gardening. But, if he to Mr. Valpy, who has thus so say, -" you shall come with me materially lightened and abridged into the garden; the old gardener the difficulties, that have long beset has cleared away all the rubbish this department of liberal educaof the winter,
and there you tion. Besides that in general the may now see him turning up the best texts are adopted, they are soil. What a wholesome fragrance printed in a clear and handsome springs from the newly exposed type, and are accompanied by Engearth! Look at these snow-drops, lish notes, in which sometimes the
various readings are mentioned, ard English Authors. Under the and occasionally difficult passages Superintendence of A. J. Valpy, are either translated, or so fully M. A. 12mo, pp. 278. London : explained as to render them easily A. J. Valpy. 1831. . intelligible. In Thucydides the ar
THERE can be no doubt that much guments of the different books are
useful information, and many happy also given in English, by the dis
thoughts lie scattered in the pages tinguished editor, Dr. Bloomfield.
of English authors, who, on account We have before us only the first
of the distance of time at which they volume of Herodotus, which makes
wrote, or other circumstances, are its appearance under the care of
but little, if at all, known to moDr. Stocker. Here also the argu
dern readers. Neither is it to be ments and notes are in our own
denied, that the collected remains of language, and we observe that those
some of these writers include a passages, which have hitherto pre
great deal that is unworthy of prevented this most entertaining his
servation. Again, we think it must torian from being familiarly intro- be admitted, that copiousness of duced to schoolboys, have been most
expression and diffuseness of style, judiciously omitted. The editor ap
too often characterize the works of pears to have taken a world of
even our most admired prose autrouble, in verifying and rectifying
thors. If these facts be undisputed, the references to classic writers
and we see no reason to anticipate throughout the mass of authorities,
that they will be questioned by any from which the notes are compiled.
reasonable person, we need say but These may
therefore be looked upon little in commendation of a project, as particularly valuable.
which proposes to give the quintesglad to see the Prometheus of Æs
cence of each of a certain descripchylus, and that magnificent tra
tion of eminent authors, freed either gedy, the Orestes of Euripides,
from such redundancies or peculiaprinted in a manner equally accept
rities, as would prevent the easy able. to the student. Indeed, no
comprehension of whatever is vaone who has not learned Greek
luable in their works. It is evident, without the facilities which Mr.
however, that the whole of the sucValpy has now supplied, can con
cess of such a plan depends on the ceive the great advantages which
manner of its execution. The matter they will afford for the acquisition chosen for the leading essay in this of that language to the rising ge- novel enterprize, is Paley's Moral nerations. We observe that Mr.
Philosophy. In the first place we Major (Master of Wisbech Gram
observe, that this “ concentration”. mar School) has appended to the
is only of half the dimensions of Orestes, which he bas edited, a se
the original work, yet we find that ries of questions which are intended
it faithfully preserves all the arguto assist the teacher in the process
ments of the great philosopher, and of examination.
indeed omits nothing for which Paley's work is worth perusing. To
á considerable extent the language Art. XIV. Paley's Moral and of the original is adhered to, and in
Political Philosophy condensed, some instances the progress of the being Vol. I. of an Epitome of argument materially assisted. Every
. English Literature: or a con- interpolation of this or any other centration of the Matter of Stand- kind, is distinguished by marks