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to be governed as a family is to be governed—a nation cannot always take pattern by a village-a “ Lord of the Manor” may do much benefit within his own manorial sphere, who would do infinite bane if he were set to legislate and act for a great kingdom. Nevertheless there is good to be gathered from this volume, and no evil; and the good will not be the less effective, that it is conveyed (on the principle of Miss Martineau's Tales on Political Economy) through the medium of entertainment.
NOTES ON NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Ten Minutes' Advice to East India Voyagers. By Emma Roberts. We bave no hesi. tation in pointing this out as one of the most useful little volumes of its kind that ever came before us. Its object is expressed by its title ; but the modesty of the latter stands in the way of a due appreciation even of the design of the work, much more of its execution. If i: bad been only “ten minutes' advice" to the parties addressed, it would bave been of little value. It, in fact, tells the “ East India voyager" all that he, and still more emphatically, all that she, ought to know before entening on that somewhat formidable undertaking ; and in doing this, it conveys an amount of information that is at once indispensable, and that can be obtained from po other quarter whatsoever: for though Dr. Gilcbrist's General East India Guide and Vade Mecum is an excellent and comprehensive work of its kind, it scarcely conveys that preliminary information, in the absence of which the voyager to India is almost certain to suffer the most serious and lengthened inconvenience, to say the least of it. It is a great additional merit of Miss Roberts's book, that it is the result of actual experience, and, moreover, of experience acting upon a very acule and observant mind. We must not neglect to add that Miss Roberts's “ advice” is by no means confined to the “ voyager" to India. There is no class of our countrymen visiting our Indian possessions who may not derive benefit from her work, long after they have reached the place of their destination. But her supplementary information is chiefly addressed to cadets, both of the military and civil services. There is also an appendix, containing every necessary particular relating to the overland journey.
Michael Armstrong, the Factory Boy. By Mrs. Trollope. This striking and forcible tale improves on the reader at every step. Nothing can be more fearfully, yet touchingly true, than some of the descriptions; and the interest and excitement of the plot have now reached their beight, yet without affording any glimpse of the dénouement. Those will grievvasly mistake the design of this work who look to it for nothing beyond the mere amusement of an idle hour. It seeks at once to impress a deep moral lesson, and to work a great social change, and we are greatly mistaken if ii do not ultimately effect its purpose.
Sir James Alerander's Life of Wellington. Like the illustrious hero to whom its pages are devoted, tbis comprehensive life of Wellington progresses in interest and importance at every new step which it takes, and it, as there seems every reason to expect, it should be completed in the same spirit and with the same care that have hitherio presided over it, it will prove the best work on its subject that bas yet been given to the world.
Report of the Royal Dispensury for Diseases of the Ear, with Remarks on the Objects and Utility of the Institution. By John Harrison Curtis.-- In describing the various causes of deafness, Mr. Curtis lias taken occasion to point out, in this report, the nature of an experiment which was attended with a fatal result not long since.
“ The nse of the catheter and air-pump is, however, in my opinion, by no means so simple and harmless in its effects as some of its less experienced advocates would bave us believe. Operations of this kind are exceedingly doubtful in their results ; and certain recent cases, where death occurred either during or immediately after the employment of this mode of treatment, show, in the most decisive manner, that it
may often be productive of disastrous results; in fact, the general sense of the public appears to be growing more and more averse to operations of any kind, except as aids to, not substitutes for, constitutional treatment."
The Parents' Friend. By John Morison, D.D.-A little work well adapted for the object it has in view.
Debates on the Canada Bill in 1774.- To those whom it concerns, and they include a very importaut and extensive class, tbis volume will be found as acceptable and interesting at the present period as it must bave been wholly unlooked for. It consists of the Debates w bich took place in the House of Commons in 1774, on the “ Bill for making more effectual the Government of the Province of Quebec.” These highly important debates are part of those which took place in what has been called “ the unreported Parliament," and there was every reason to fear that they would never see the light. But the indefatigable researches of Mr. Wright (editor of the Parliamentary History, &c.) have at length been rewarded by what may unquestionably be deemed one of the most important discoveries in literary history-no other than an immense body of reports of the whole of the debates of this Parliament (whicb sat from 1768 to 1774), taken in shorthand by one of its own members, Sir Henry Cavendish, Bart., member for Lostwitbiel. The portion of these debates which is here given to the world relates exclusively to that important question which has recently occupied so large a portion of the public attention; and when it is stated (as it fairly may be) that the debates, now for the first time made public, might have almost been supposed to bave taken place in our own day, the value, curiosity, and interest of them may be readily conceived. We must not close our brief reference to this volume without stating that it is but the precursor of an extensive publication, issuing from the same newly-discovered source, and prepared by the same competent band. Mr. Wright proposes to publish a copious selection from these debates, uniform with bis Parliamentary History of England; and when it is stated that these debates contain no less than a hundred speeches of Burke, and a vast number byall of his most distinguished contemporaries, among others, George Greuville, Fox, Duning, Lord North, Thurlow, Wedderburne, &c. &c. the value and importance of such a work may be judged of.
Blindness. A Poem.—The interesting subject of this poem, no less than its praiseworthy object (that of advocating the cause of the indigent blind), will assuredly preserve it from all adverse criticism, even if they should not obtain for it that popularity which, for the present, even the very bighest order of poetry fails to command.
Guide to the Pentateuch. By G. Thompson, M.A.-This little volume has for its object to facilitate the study of the Old Testament, by propounding a series of questions relative to the matters therein contained, and not answering them fully, but giving references to works in which the appropriate answers may be fouud. It evinces a laude able industry in the compiler, and will afford a valuable exercise to that of the student in biblical lore.
Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry-This excellent and highly interesting reprint of Percy has now reached its completion, and forms a handsome volume, con taining an amount of type that is usually distributed through ball-a-dozen. The celebrated “Hermit of Warkworth" is appended (for the first time we believe) to the collection, and the whole forms a volume whose price and poetical character should command for it a place in every library.
Fra Cipolla.—This elegantly-printed volume will not, even on a much more strict and critical examination of its contents iban we are able to give them, belie the care and beauty of its “compliment extern ;" for though the poetry which it presents to us is not of the bighest order, it is poe ry—and such poetry as can only emanate from a mind and beart as happily constituted by nature as they bave been highly cultivated by art. Literature owes real thanks to Sir John Hanmer for giving to the world a volume like this, at a period when poetry is, generally speaking, a drug, in a double sense of the word, that is to say, both onsaleable and unsavoury. His work will be bighly acceptable to that "fic audience” who are best worth pleasing: and it will find many admirers among a much more extensive class, to whom the very highest order of poetry does not make appeal in any age.
Cure of Club Foot. By G. Krauss, M.D.- This pamphlet is well worthy of atten. tion at the hands of those philanthropic persons who seek opportunities of benefiting their necessitous fellow-creatures, by administering to those distressing ailments which require the early aid of medical skill to prevent them from being permanent sources of misery. The views of the writer are at once judicious and judiciously set forth, and we recommend bis Essay to public notice.
Zillah.—Zillah must unquestionably rank among the most effective romances of our own day. We need scarcely remind the reader that it is a Hebrew story, which carries the imagination back to the most picturesque period of the most picturesque people and country of the world, and that it delineates the manners and customs of that people and country in the most graphic and brilliant manner. We have bere another number of that highly successful and valuable publication, “ Colburn's Standard Novelists," which already includes many of the most deservedly popular works of fiction that have given a new character to the literature of the day and country, and which promises to present a series, rich in every quality that constitutes excellence and commands admiration in an undertaking of this nature. The most popular works of the most popular writers :-such was the desideratum to be attained by the publisher in this instance. And the result as already before the world is, the “ Petnam" of Bulwer, the “ T'REMAINE” of Plumer Ward, the “ FRANK MILDMAY” of Marryat, the “RICHELIEU" of James, the “ Granby" of Lister, &c. &c. Eacb, too, at one-fifth the price of the original editions, and in a form infinitely more elegant and commodious. With regard to the present number of the Standard Novelists, “Zillab," to say that it is perhaps the best among all Mr. Horace Smith's talented productions, is sufficient to pronounce its praise.
Fiori Poetici. Scelti ed illusirati da Carlo Beolchi, LL.D.—This pleasing and wellchosen collection of the flowers of Italian poetry, will be found not only extremely well suited to those students who have made some progress in the language, but well adapted to convey au adequate impression of the poetical character of most of the poets who have illustrated Italian literalure since the days of Dante. It also contains brief biographical notices of the principal bards of Italy, and forms altogether a very useful and agreeable volume.
The Pictorial History of Palestine. Parts 1, 2, 3.—The title of this important and valuable work, the three first parts of wbich are now before us, does not sufficiently, characterize its object and contents. It will not merely offer a “pictorial" history of the interesting country to which it is devoted, but a general and complete one as regards all the features, past and present, wbich that country offers to notice and record—a history including all the physical features of the country, no less than the intellectual ones, and offering no less claims to the attention of the antiquarian and the biblical student, than to that general body of readers to whom illustrated works may be supposed more especially to address themselves. The work is divided into two distinct departments, each separately paged, but making their appearance simultaneously ; one setting forth the pbysical, and the other the intellectual and social history of Palestine, and both claiming the title of “pictorial,” in virtue of the exqui. aite wood engravings by which they are enriched at almost every page. This new undertaking of Mr. Charles Knight deserves our utmost commendation, as being at least equal in interest and value to any of the numerous works of a similar character which bave preceded it from the same quarter.
New Zealand in 1839. By J. D. Lang, D.D.-Any one having the means of conveying to the world practical knowledge on the subject of colonization, and especially of the colonization of New Zealand, deserves to be heard with attention at the present moment; and Dr. Lang's pamphlet claims particular notice, as the production of a person well qualified to treat of this subject, from bis lengthened residence in the most interesting and important of our colonies, South Australia, and the position he held there as Principal of the College, and senior Minister of the Scottish Church. His information is full of interest, and his view respecting the proper mode of colonizing New Zealand, deserves careful attention.
New General Biographical Dictionary. Part 1.- This is the commencement of a pew and important undertaking, and one which deserves especial encouragement. We have unquestionably no English biograpbical dictionary which corresponds with the advanced state of our literature in other particulars. The most available existing work of the kind is a French one, in which French pames, of course, greatly preponderate : we allude to the “ Biographie Universelle.” And those which we have in our own Janguage are deficient in various ways, which seriously trench upon their utility. Whether the present undertaking will duly fulfil its important and difficult office, is more than we can judge of from a first part. But the number before us is one of fair promise, and claims accordingly that extensive public support, in the absence of which works of this nature cannot be expected to attain their end.
NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF THE LATE JOHN HOME, ESQ.,
AUTHOR OF “ DOUGLAS,” AND OTHER WORKS.
(Containing some pieces never before published.)
BY A NEAR RELATIVE.
The eagerness with which the world seeks to be acquainted with every circumstance connected with the life of an illustrious man, while it operates as an encouragement, is likewise assumed as the defence of all biographers. Were I to commit myself to this protection alone, I have little doubt that the fame of the author of “ Douglas" would stand me in good stead; but I have another advantage : besides the lustre of his name, the high moral excellence of the individual of whom I am to speak, gives assurance where doubt prevailed, and frees all apprehension : for to the noble mind how is the sense of gratification increased when the lifted curtain, instead of disclosing (as is too often the case) discordant elements of soul whose very strife elicits the gleam which dazzles the world, reveals a fair and beauteous mechanism of mind where pure and exalted principles alone are recognised.
I have long observed how interesting to all descriptions of people is the name of “ Douglas,” and how strong and increasing the admiration of his writings. To confirm this favourable prepossession, to heighten even, I say confidently, this admiration, I am induced to enter on a brief memoir of John Home, in the hope that I shall be able to exbibit him in a light singularly attractive, and place him (if without presumption it may be said) on higher ground than that on which he has hitherto been displayed to the world.
Having by chance acquired possession of a large collection of his papers, which with great difficulty I have examined, I have found John Home a person almost new to myself; and saying this alone he appears to me worthy of a new biography.
I would not, however, excite expectations that I may be unqualified to fulfil; for, though nearly related to the poet, the difference of our ages was so great, that my opportunities of familiar intercourse with him were not very frequent. When I was twenty, or thereabouts, John Home was nearly seventy years of age; yet, what I have seen, and what I know, I shall relate truly, believing that it will be acceptable to the world.
Nov.- VOL. LVII. NO, CCXXVII.
The expectations of the reader, and the general practice in undertakings of this sort, point out to me the steps I should take in bringing forward my subject. I am bound, it seems, to conduct my reader to the birthplace of John Home, and willing, or not willing, look on the very cradle of the poet. A spirit like his might well have illustrated such a theme, and called forth the fine imagery that belongs to it; but I can only speak of it, and all that is to follow, in plain and ordinary terms.
John Home was born in Leith on the 22d of September, 1722. He was second son of Alexander Home, town-clerk of Leith, and grandson of Home, of Flass, in Berwickshire, the lineal descendant of the ancestor of the present Earl of Home. Of course John Home was connected by the branch collateral, as heralds say, with the earldom of Home.
He attended the high-school of Leith for the rudiments of his learning, and in allusion to this in after years, I have heard him tell with much glee of the singular exhibition which the fashion of that time had instituted for the diversion of the boys at school. Each scholar had his game-cock, and on the morning of Fasten's Eve, the school-room was suddenly converted into an arena for cock-fighting; the owner of the victorious cock became the hero of the day, his cock was decorated with bells, and he and the cock were borne home in triumph by the boys. It might puzzle philosophy to say what the effects of a scene like this might be on the fancy of the future poet.
In due time he became a student at the university of Edinburgh, where he soon acquired the reputation of a first-rate scholar. He was destined for the church, and to that line chiefly, his studies were directed.
To the classics of Greece and Rome in particular he applied with much assiduity. The beauties of these great master-works of human genius early struck his fancy, and kindled a corresponding fire in his youthful breast. At all times of his life, his writings are strongly imbued with the spirit of ancient literature. It seems always present to his mind, and, with its striking passages, he frequently embellishes his own theme. In the noble dedication of his first volume of plays to the Prince of Wales, laying aside all jealousy of his great predecessors in literature, he introduces the names of Homer and Longinus as familiar things, and ascribes to them the merit of being the founders of those great principles which have actuated the minds of all subsequent ages in their noblest efforts.
It has justly been said the professions may be acquired, but the poet must be born a poet. Accordingly, before John Home had taken his first full repast in the beauties of ancient literature, we find his own native spirit breaking out in poetry. At the age of twenty, he projected and commenced his first tragedy of “ Agis," and not long thereafter, it was finished.
During the ordinary routine of college-study we find him still indulging his poetic humour. In some of his college-essays, and early compositions as a divine, we meet with scraps of poetic effusion introduced into the margin of his writing, and sometimes interrupting the more sober strain, strikingly indicating the imaginative bent of his mind.