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The first medical school in this country was founded at Philadelphia, in the year 1765. From that time the science began to advance with rapidity, and many eminent men have been found in ranks of the profession, who have sustained its dignity, and contributed to its improvement. The schools of New York, Harvard College, Dartmouth College, and of Maryland, were successively established, the last in 1807. Since that date, there have been twelve other medical schools instituted in different parts of the United States, all of which are now in successful operation. One hundred and fiftyeight years of our history elapsed,' says Dr Sewall, after the first settlement of America, before a single medical school existed in the country. In the fortyseven years that followed, five medical schools were founded, and in the twelve succeeding years, which period completes our history, no less than twelve have been added to the number. Sixty years ago, when but one school existed in the country, only ten students enjoyed the benefit of medical lectures. Twelve years afterwards, when only five schools were established, not more than five hundred students attended lectures ; while the sixteen medical schools now existing impart instruction to nearly two thousand pupils.' Besides these schools, there are in the different states twenty Medical Societies, incorporated by the legislatures, and embracing a large proportion of the most respectable physicians in the Union. These societies are formed for the regulation of the practice of physic, and the suppression of quackery, and their tendency is to produce a good understanding and harmony among the members of the profession.
The Notes to Dr Sewall's Lecture contain many interesting particulars, respecting the science of medicine in this country, and particularly biographical sketches of a large number of our most eminent physicians.
8.-A Discourse delivered in the Chapel of Nassau Hall, before
the Literary and Philosophical Society of New Jersey, at its first Annual Meeting, September 27, 1825. By SAMUEL MILLER, D. D. Princeton. 8vo. pp. 40. D. A.
Borrenstein. Few pens in this country have been more prolific in various branches of theology, than that of Dr Miller; but his labors have not been confined to that department. His Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century is a work, which manifests deep research into the political, literary, and scientific history of that period, and though hastily composed, considering its magnitude and the immense variety of its topics, yet it contains a body of facts and reflections highly useful, as illustrating the progress of the human mind during the eighteenth century. We know not any single work, which exhibits the picture within the same space, or more likely to produce a just impression, as to the comparative advancement of the various kinds of knowledge and invention. In the first volume of the Collections of the New York Historical Society for the year 1809, there is also a dissertation by Dr Miller, on the first discovery of New York, containing a full account of Verrazzano's voyage.
And we now have before us another effort of his to promote the cause of literature and science. An association has recently been formed, with the name of The Literary and Philosophical Society of New Jersey, and it was in celebration of the first anniversary of this Society, that the present discourse was pronounced. The author takes a broad range, going back to the time of Plato, and showing the great advantages then resulting from the associations of learned men, in the Academies and Porches of Greece. He comes next to the origin of literary and scientific societies in modern Europe, speaks of their wide influence, and represents them as having been important instruments of intellectual improvement. A brief history of the few societies of this sort, which have arisen in our country, brings him to the New Jersey Society just founded, and a statement of its objects and duties. These are neither few nor trivial. They extend to all the main subjects of historical, philosophical, and physical research, as well as to exertions more peculiarly literary; and their weight and value are well explained by the author. He opens fields for inquiry, which allows ample room for action to the most enthusiastic members of the Society, however various their talents, or ardent their zeal, or intense their thirst for knowledge.
9.- Gramática Completa de la Lengua Inglesa, para Uso de los
Españoles. Por STEPHEN M' L. STAPLES, A. M. Phila
delphia. Carey & Lea. 12mo. pp. 276. A GREAT merit of this Grammar is the accuracy, with which the idioms of the English and Spanish languages are compared, through all their grammatical forms. Its particular object is to teach the English language to Spaniards, but it may be consulted with much advantage by students of the Spanish. The author takes special pains to exhibit the powers of the letters of the alphabet, as they are expressed in the two languages, and with no little success. His fault is a tendency to too much refinement, and an attempt to designate sounds, which can only be communicated by the living voice. It is possible, however, that the defect of stopping short of the point, to which he has gone, would be as great a fault. The subject is not an easy one to manage, and will be differently regarded according to the ear and judgment of every individual.
The parallel view, which Mr Staples takes of the parts of speech in the two languages, is skilful and satisfactory. His rules are explicit ; in some parts too numerous, but commonly definite and pertinent. His notes, which are written in English, are judicious; brief in matter and pointed in manner. The chapter De los Idiomas is remarkably full, and it would not be easy to find a more complete list of the idiomatic uses of English verbs and prepositions. These are all explained by parallel Spanish phrases. The author states a broad position, when he says, in his preface, that “the English surpasses all other languages in the regularity and multiplicity of its significant initials and terminations. We will not stop to contest the point, but we distrust its accuracy. In short, we deem it essentially incorrect, and presume our opinion to be sufficiently supported, by citing the Greek, or even the Hebrew, if the author means by 'significant initials and terminations, what are commonly understood by prefixes, and suffixes, either in the character of indeclinable particles, or declinable pronouns. That the English has fewer roots, and a greater number of compound derivative words, than any other language, is a new doctrine in philology.
10.–Adam's Latin Grammar, with some Improvements, and the
following Additions ; Rules for the right Pronunciation of the Latin Language ; a Metrical Key to the Odes of Horace ; a List of Latin Authors arranged according to the different Ages of Roman Literature ; Tables, showing the Value of the various Coins, Weights, and Measures, used among the Romans. By BENJAMIN A. Gould. Master of the Public Latin School in Boston.
284. Boston. Cummings, Hilliard, & Co. 1825. The experience of successful and eminent instructers can best determine the merit of a grammar, designed to be a Manual in schools. In the common opinion, Adam's Grammar has well answered its end. If any other is preferred, we are not aware that it can either communicate much more, which is wanted, or even desirable, in a school book; or present, on the whole, a more convenient arrangement, in the parts of it which are to be committed to memory, or in those which are useful for occasional reference.
The present edition has appeared under more favorable auspices, than the majority of our manuals has enjoyed. It is a singular good fortune to secure for such a work, the supervision of an experienced teacher, and an exact scholar, to see each little syllable, with its marks of quantity and accent all entire, safely through the perils of the press. The edition, as it might be expected, has the merit of being uncommonly accurate, and the form of the printing, both for neatness and convenience, is not to escape without commendation, because it makes humble pretensions. For, in truth, many school books, and almost every Greek or Latin author reprinted here until within a very few years, literally abound with errors of the press ; so that often pupil, and teacher too, have given the name of a beautiful anomaly (curious felicity indeed!) to some printer's blunder. As to points, accents, and the like, they seem to have fallen out of the text as promiscuously, as travellers from Mahomet's bridge ; and sometimes they come into it, like uninvited guests at a supper ; more worthy, than they among the ancients, of the name of umbræ, for the shadow which they cast on the meaning.
But this edition, besides the merit of being printed with great fidelity and exactness, furnishes rules for pronouncing Latin, similar, in general, to those which have been used at Harvard University for two or three years. The basis of these is Analogy, as explained by Walker, in his Key to the pronunciation of proper names. The want most sensibly felt was, of some rule for determining the sounds to be given to the vowels. Walker resolved to make the analogy of his own language his guide in these. He left, bowever, two points unsettled. One of these was the sound of es and os, when final syllables. A custom had grown up so commonly of giving these terminations the long sound, that of ese and ose pronounced in one syllable,) that the ear recoiled from any innovation. In the rule for the sound of the vowel, (p. 244) Mr Gould makes an exception of plurals'in os to a general rule, that is a monosyllable end in a consonant, the vowel has the short sound; and he instances in nos and hos. But if there were reason to make this exception, it should be so comprehensive, as to include also the termination es, both singular and plural. For res is as commonly pronounced rese, as hos is pronounced hose. Besides, what reason can there be for limiting the exception to plurals? Can there be a propriety in giving to the same termination two distinct sounds, and only to distinguish the number? Must hos and nos be pronounced differently from os, cos, and mos ? This seems at least to be arbitrary.
But we are better pleased with making no exceptions to the rule, that the termination in every consonant has the vowel sound short. For, in the first place, it is universally adınitted to be true of every consonant but s; and of s too, with every vowel but e and o; (mas, rem, rebus, honor, pennis, are never pronounced mase, reme, &c.) and this is evidently the analogy of our language; and, secondly, it is as plainly not the analogy of our language to make the termination es and os long. Instances in monosyllables, are mess, loss, moss, in English. In a large proportion of words, es, the plural termination, forms one syllable with the singular, as in the word mates. In all other words, (Latin words of course excepted,) es has the short sound, as in farces ; and more purely in happiness, unless, where the doubling of the s has no effect on the vowel sound.
How this custom, of giving the long sound to the vowels in the terminations es and os, thus opposing the analogy of the vernacular tongue, could have been so general, is a point for conjecture and argument only. It is no explanation, that the Greek primitives in es were often in n and w, and therefore the adopted or derivative Latin word should preserve this sound, unless it is likewise reasonable, that the Latin derivative or adopted word should retain its short sound, when the Greek termination in es and os has cando For example ; if Adarces must be pronounced Adarcese, because the Greek ('Adápans) has e long (n); then Dæmones should be pronounced Dæmoness, because the Greek (Aalpoves) has e short (s). But the fact is, that in both cases, the termination has been pronounced long. And Walker, against his great principle, analogy, has given it this sound, in bis English Dictionary, in all Latin and Greek derivatives, without exception. Now it is sufficiently apparent, that to pronounce every final es and os short, can be no greater neglect of the original Greek terminations, than it is to pronounce thein long ; and, therefore, as we are left to decide the point by analogy alone, the preference of the short sound is natural and just; and the rule admits of no exception. For there is reason for refusing to make a distinction, to suit each various termination of the Greek. Besides its making the knowledge of another language essential to the pronouncing of the Latin, and besides its want of support or parallel in our own, it would impose no easy task on the memory of the best trained scholars; it would provide no rule for other words, not thus derived; and, what is still more worthy, we think, of observation, it would introduce two opposite ways of pronouncing the very same Greek vowel; as for instance, the n in Semele, in which the genitive, would be pronounced Semelese, but in the accusative, Semelen, not Semelene. Being left then to analogy, we confidently pronounce timentes like odóvres ; and feel as little remorse in the change, as in pronouncing tibi and sibi like mihi, and lini, and cibi (food,) and every other word of a similar kind, instead of making an exception in favor of those sounds, which custom has permitted