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is all at once to execute thy kangaroo compositions. Such is the epithet which he has himself given to them, although he complains of the kangaroo or jumping practice in the compositions of his contemporaries. We have never yet seen written instructions which enabled even the most ingenious persons to teach themselves to perform with any tolerable degree of success, upon the most common instruments, and we need but cite the very first paragraph, in which M. Bertini, endeavours to explain his first table,—in order to shew that his 'New System' affords no exception to the general rule.
'Plate 1.' says the Signor,' presents a table with all the different clefs, and the number of transpositions, above and below, which may be made on a piece of music. The ciphers represent half tones. That note which is placed in the middle of each stave, being precisely the same note on the instrument or voice, presents a specimen of the seven different characters in which it may be written, by having recourse to the seven different clefs.'
Place this passage, which is not the A. B. but the very A, the first letter in the alphabet of Bertini's 'New System,' before any person uninitiated in the elements of music, and see whether he, or she, can make any thing of it! We do not mean to deny that these tables may assist a pupil, who is under the care of a master, but to every other description of learner, they would be the means rather of puzzling his ignorance than of removing it.
ART. XXII.-The Annual Obituary: 1831. Vol. XV. 8vo. pp. 508. London: Longman and Co. ALTHOUGH the present volume of the Obituary can boast of but a small portion of original matter,
yet it is one of the most valuable that has been published for some years. The abridged lives which it contains of his late Majesty, of Mr. Tierney, Lord Redesdale, Dr. Gooch, Sir. Thomas Lawrence Mr. Huskisson, and Mr. Hazlitt, would alone be sufficient to entitle it to a place in every miscellaneous library. There are, besides these, interesting memoirs of Bishop James, Dr. Somerville, Admirals Penrose, Montague and Harvey, of Sir Charles Brisbane, Major Rennie, and Mr. Bulmer, the celebrated typographer. Indeed, since the former volume appeared, Death has swept away more than his usual annual proportion of distinguished characters. The records of their career which are collected in this volume, are generally marked by impartiality, and good sense. In no part of the work have we traced the slightest tendency to malignity on the one hand, or to adulation on the other.
ART. XXIII.-A Grammar of the
German Language. By C. F.
DR. BECKER has already made himself well known in Germany, by several works connected with the formation of the language of that country, and with the philosophy of language in general. His Grammar published at Frankfort in 1829, has met with general approbation. It was originally destined for the use of Germans only, but the author, who, though residing at Offenbach on the Maine, is so well acquainted with our dialect as to be able to write it with remarkable correctness, conceived that the utility of that production might also be extended to England. Accordingly he has founded upon it the
work now before us, which we venture to predict will soon supersede many German Grammars that are now in use amongst us. It gets rid altogether of the antiquated Latin forms of instruction; it simplifies rules which have usually been laid down in an unnecessarily complicated form, and thereby materially facilitates to Englishmen the acquisition of a language, rich in original literature, and which has been hitherto surrounded with so many difficulties as to deter great numbers of persons from attempting to learn it.
ART. XXIV.-A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs, &c. By James Elmes, M.R.I.A., Architect, Surveyor of the Port of London, &c. London: Whittaker and Co. 1831.
having a clue to get out of it. We have further, the boundaries, liberties and precincts, of the municipal divisions of the city, with an account of the extent and principal streets of each ward; the various public buildings where any body may have any possible business, or haply even only to gratify his curiosity; those belonging to private as well as public bodies; offices also, private and public; institutions, literary, religious, commercial and miscellaneous; churches, halls, &c.-the whole of these, without exception, find a place in this all-grasping repertory. Nor is the author contented with barely indicating a site, or a locality, or an edifice; on the contrary, he annexes a list of its principal officers; frequently he gives us antiquarian and useful particulars of its history. The account of the livings of London, their patrons, incumbents, &c., is very valuable. No public office, indeed no house of extensive business, should be without this guide for a single hour.
THE plan and execution of this work combine to render it, with reference to its size and its object, one of the best contributions to topographical literature with which we are acquainted. A very brief summary of its contents will enable the reader to appreciate a book which is really a curiosity, from the ingenious way in which useful matter is accumulated and digested in its pages. The work is arranged in the alphabetical form, and comprehends every particular of information which any person who ever turns his thoughts upon London, may have to enquire about. All the streets, squares, lanes and roads, are enumerated, with this remarkable addition, that the relative position of each to neighbouring streets is described; so that with this book to guide him, a stranger may venture into any labyrinth of alleys he pleases within the sound of Bow bells, with the most satisfactory certainty of
ART. XXV.-Historical Sketch of the Bank of England: with an Examination of the Question, as to the prolongation of the Exclusive Privileges of that Establishment. 8vo. London: Longman, Rees, and Co.
THIS is evidently the production of one who is well acquainted with the subject of which he treats, and appears confident that the view which he takes of the affairs of the bank is such as fair discussion will show to be the true one. A full and lucid history is given of the public transactions of the Bank since its foundation in 1694-embracing many interesting particulars. After describing generally the manner in which these transactions were executed, the writer
proceeds to the question of the prolongation or renewal of the charter. This question, he says, resolves itself into two others—the one being "whether or not the privilege of issuing notes in London be confined to one body or given to many"and the other, "supposing one body to be preferable, ought the Bank of England to be that body?" Our author answers both these queries in the affirmative, and we think supports his case with sound argument-but at all events with great temperance and ability. He contends that in sustaining the Bank and its privileges nothing is hazarded, whereas by altering the existing system, all guarantee for the public is lost, and a thousand practical difficulties arise.
ART. XXVI.—A Statement of the Consequences likely to ensue from our growing excess of Population if not remedied by Colonization. By John Barton. A pamphlet. London: Harvey and Darton. 1830.
MR. BARTON, whose previous works prove that the momentous subject of his brief statement has been, for some time at least, a theme of deliberation with him, commences by arguing that we are arrived at a crisis when the increase of population has gained ground on the increase of food, and that if instant means be not adopted for equalizing the number of consumers and the amount of food to be accessible to them, consequences the most disastrous must ensue. Indeed, he says, that looking back to the days of Elizabeth, and observing that the same inordinate increase of population had then taken place, he does not hesitate to predict, that, if no remedy be applied, this increase will
only be got rid of in the same manner as before; and that the number of mankind will only be thinned at last by a terrible pestilence, such as visited us in the first half of the 17th century. Mr. Barton has no objection to such remedies as increased prudence in the formation of marriages-to the extension of cultivation by rendering waste lands serviceable, and to spade husbandry, the merits of which he successively examines. But the grand remedy, in his opinion, is colonization, the common objections to which he fairly and elaborately discusses.
ART. XXVII.-Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion, derived from the literal fulfilment of Prophecy, &c. By the Rev. Alexander Keith, Minister of St. Cyrus, Kincardineshire. 12mo. pp. 432. London: Whittaker and Co.
A SIXTH edition, which Mr. Keith's book has now attained, sufficiently attests its popularity. We lament that he did not omit his observations in the text and the appendix, upon the "General Apostacy;" as, besides their falsehood in every particular, they will tend to keep his volume out of the hands of a very large class of readers, who might otherwise have perused it with feelings of unmingled satisfaction. The proofs which have been collected within the last twenty years, by various travellers, of the literal fulfilment in many parts of the east of several of the prophecies, are collected and arranged by Mr. Keith in a very creditable manner. He has inserted in this edition two very good plates, contributed by Sir Robert Ker Porter, of the site of the ruins of Ancient Babylon, and
of the remains of the temple of Belus. What interesting monuments are these for the contemplation of the Christian! One would think that the bare fact of their existence, and of their attestation to the truth of Scripture, ought to be sufficient to confound infidelity in every part of the world!
ART. XXVIII.-The History and Topography of the United States of North America, &c. &c. Edited by J. H. Hinton. 4to. Parts VII., VIII., and IX. London: Simpkin, &c. 1831.
spirit of candour and amity in which it is written, and shall most probably take an opportunity, when the work shall have been completed, of reviewing it more at length.
IN our last number we noticed the first six parts of this work. We have now before us the three subsequent numbers, containing besides. the stipulated portion of letter-press, nine plates, excellently designed and engraved. The ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, New York; Lake George; and the view near Conway, Hampshire, would do credit to any publication. They are almost equal in execution, as well as in beauty of scenery, to the best of the Landscape Illustrations of the Waverley Novels. The view of Yale College and of the State House at Newhaven, Connecticut, offends the eye by too great a number of level lines. The same observation applies to the view of Newport, Rhode Island. But these are trifling imperfections, which we notice only in order that they may be avoided in the remaining numbers. The work has in other respects our most unqualified approbation. We admire the
ART. XXIX.-Observations on the History of the Preparation for the Gospel, and its early propagation; from the dedication of Solomon's Temple to the end of the first Christian Century. By the Rev. J. Collinson, M.A., Rector of Gateshead, Durham. Svo. pp. 448. London: C. J. G. and F. Rivington. 1830.
THIS is an extremely clear and well written summary of the leading events relating to the preparation which was made by Providence for the establishment of the New Law, and for its early propagation among the Gentiles. Prideaux, Fleury and Mosheim have related these events in great detail, but their works are voluminous and expensive, and are accessible only to a few compared with the number of those who are directly or indirectly interested in this important subject. The author has executed his task in a most able manner. His object is to assist those missionaries who are too often sent out from this country with but a very imperfect knowledge of the mode in which Christianity was propagated by the Apostles and their companions. We trust that it may have the effect of rendering the labours of those travellers more useful than they have hitherto been.
Connected with Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Sounding Boards.-One of these ingenious and useful inventions is about to be placed in St. Sepulchre's Church, in Londou. By means of this apparatus, the sound is very much increased, and thrown powerfully, as well as distinctly, to the most distant parts of the building; thus enabling a preacher of weak vocal powers to perform the duty of preaching in a large church, with ease to himself. These boards are used at Birmingham, at Plymouth and Guernsey, and in Professor Farish's Church, Cambridge, and some other places.
Feathers.--An accident which occurred to one of the wings of a bird, which was recently sent to the Royal Institution, proves that tossed or rumpled feathers may acquire their natural form and beauty, by being placed for a short time in boiling water.
Fire Engines.-A very decided improvement has been introduced by Mr. Ruthven of Edinburgh, into the construction of these engines. The working of the handles which used to be vertical or up and down, is now horizontal-a change that gives great comparative advantage to the strength employed upon them. But the most useful part of the improvement is the extreme portability which the engine has assumed, under Mr. Ruthven's ingenuity and skill; a character which is obviously invaluable, considering the purposes of such a machine.
Cotton Sails.-The result of experiments made by some of the officers of the American Navy, as to the strength and durability of sails made from cotton, is decidedly in favour of using that fabric.
Gasometer. At Dunfermline, a magazine has just been started under the extraordinary title of "The Gasometer."
Isthmus of Suez.—At one of the Northern Societies of Arts, a few weeks ago, a very interesting paper was read in which it was proposed, to connect the Mediterranean and Red Seas, by means of a Rail-road across the Isthmus of Suez. This way, it was intended, should be contrived for the conveyance of ships, which were to be propelled by locomotive engines.
Malt Liquor Test.-A chemical test by which the adulterations of malt liquors may be detected, has been discovered by some chemists who have been employed by the excise department for the purpose. The same gentlemen are engaged in ascertaining a similar test for spirits.
March of Science.-The two most remarkable presents which have heen recently made to his Majesty, are a light Summer Waistcoat, made of Cast-Iron! and a New Testament, of which the letters are in gold, and are impressed on porcelain paper.
Hearing. We have seen in the Journals an account of the discovery by a French Philosopher, of an instrument which so modifies sounds to the ear, as to increase or lessen them to almost any degree. The late Dr. Wollaston had a very extraordinary facility of producing one of these phenomena on his own organ of hearing; and could at any time shut out disagreeable noises, by the peculiar exertion of a pair of muscles connected with the tube of the ear.