« AnteriorContinuar »
'Ourreaders will perceive that this is a very uncommon, liberal, and comprehensive plan of education; and it will also strike them, perhaps, that even that part of it, which professes to relate only to those who are designed for commercial life, comprises subjects of the most abstract and abstruse kind; as those undoubtedly are which relate to inquiries into 1 the nature and intellectual powers of man.' No doubt, if Mr. Catlow can at the same time prepare his pupils to discharge properly the active business of life for which they are destined, and also initiate them in those higher and more philosophic pursuits in which even the learned sometimes find themselves bewildered, he will be well entitled to their thanks and those of the public: but we cannot help observing that it is infinitely more easy to form plans of this kind than to execute them.
Mr. C. gives ajso a minute detail of the management of his seminary as it relates to the food, air, exercise, and hours of study of pupils: it appears to us exceedingly judicious.
Art. ic. Pity's Gift: a Collection of interesting Talcs, to excite the Compassion of Youth for the Animal Creation: ornamented, with Vignettes. Selected by a Lady. 12 mo. pp. 148. 28, Boards. Longman. 1798.
A kind attention to the comfort of brute creatures, according to the state assigned to them by Providence, is an evident branch of virtue. Should a man be naturally void of such sentiment of feeling, which is surely rare, let him attend to reason, and especially to Christianity, which will awaken it, and teach its due regulation: for in this, as in other exercises of the heart and passions, there may be affectation or excess.—We trust that we may congratulate our countrymen on a considerable abatement of those cruel sports which former years have known. In great cities, especially in a metropolis, teeming with miseries of every kind, there will be too many proofs of a barbarous disposition: yet, amid these obstructions, we are willing to hope that humanity rather gains ground among us.—As Pity's cause ought always to be pleaded, we cannot but approve the exertions of this lady who presents these selections to youth, in favour of the animal creation. They are fifteen in number, and the greater part are drawn from the *' Gleanings" of Mr. Pratt, The stories, whatever minute defects they may have, will interest the attention of youth, and are calculated for their improvement.
Art. 16. Familiar Conversations for the Use of young Children, interspersed with Stories and adorned with Cuts by their very good Friend, Harriet Mandeville. 12mo. 2 Vols. is. Low. 1798. Mrs. Barbauld has excited numerous imitators in the line of early instruction; and several of her followers have, on the whole, succeeded very well. The present 1 very good' preceptress offers what is proper, and useful, to the attention of her young scholars. In page 40 of the second volume, she seems to separate poultry from the animal race: this, we have no doubt, is a mere inadvertence; yet things of this nature are of some little moment when, as instructors, we are addressing ourselves to children: whose first and leading ideas, we can easily sup* pose, will be caught and in sonic measure Used by these conversa-, lions,
Art. 17. Scripture-Histories^ or interesting Narratives extracted from the Old Testament, for the Instruction and Improvement of Youth. By Mrs. Pilkington. i2mo. 2s. stitched. Newbery.
»79.8' . ....
This lady is already well known in the line of writing for youqg
readers. * Having observed (she now »ays, in the introduction to the present work) the various gradations of the human understand-' ing, from its earliest state of pupilage to that of manhood, I have ever found, that it is much easier to lead to virtue, than to deter from vice, and that instruction makes a deeper impression, when indirectly conveyed, than when forced on the mind in the form of reproof.' On this principle, she proceeds in these essays for the assistance and improvement of the rising generation. The narrations from sacred history are here agreeably introduced, and interwoven with the circumstances and conduct of a lady and two nieces who were placed tinder her tuition. Eight or nine narratives are given, and in that manner and with those connections which have a very probable and powerful tendency, not merely to gain present notice, but to make a profitable and durable impassion on the heart. A pretty frontispiece decorates the volume.
Art. 18. Tales of the Cottage, or Stories moral and amusing for young Persons; written on the Plan of that celebrated Work, Let Veillees du Chateau, by Madame la Comtesse de Genlis. 12 mo. 28. Newbery. 1798.
A collection of interesting stories; the actuating principle of which is, according to the account in the preface, 1 to promote 2 love of virtue, and create an abhorrence to [fromj] vice.'—We observe a mistake, p. 214. 1. 17. where the word latter should no doubt have beenformer;—and again, p. 43. L I. * had broke from' should be • had broken from.' These, and some other little inadvertencies, derogate not much from the real merit of the work; which may safely be recommended to the attentive perusal of those for whom it is particularly designed, as calculated to please, inform, and improve. Art. 19. Moral Ammementi, or a Selection of Tales, Histories, and interesting Anecdotes, intended to amuse and instruct young Minds. 121110. is. 6d. Vernor and Hood. 1798. So many are the selections of this kind which have presented themselves to the public, that it can hardly be supposed that, in one form or another, and in different works, we should not have met with those which are here collected. The editor has given neither preface nor advertisement to usher them into the world; nor does he pretend that they are novel. Their tendency, however, which is to promote a virtuous benevolent conduct, certainly recommends them to notice; besides which, the tales are interesting, and can hardly fail of exciting young minds to proper reflections ;—reflections, which, when attended by suitable regulations and admonitions, from more experienced and faithful friends, may prove very beneficial to the instructed, and in their consequences useful to others. Art. 20. True Stories, translated from the French, for the Amusement of good Children. By a Mother. 121110. is, Egerton,
Why does the title-page of this pretty little volume confine the circulation of it to good children? We should rather suppose it intended for the use and entertainment of any, or all; to make them good, or to assist in confirming them in what is commendable.—The tales are short, agreeable, and well adapted to inspire just and right •entiments in young and flexible minds, and to encourage the growth of happy dispositions.
Alt. 21. Augusta; a Novel, in French. i2mo. 3 Vols. 200 Page* in each. Dulau and Co. London. Augusta, an English young iady, accompanies her friend to Paris, where she falls in love with a French coxcomb, the Marquis of Valbont; whom she improves. Her father arrives with a Mr. George, to whom her hand is destined, but who very properly promotes her union with the Marquis, on learning the ttate of her heart. There are some episodes: in which, as in the whole work, we see little either 1o praise or to blame.
Art. 22. Rosalind Je Traccy. By Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins, Author of the Victim of Fancy. !2mo. 3 Vols. 10s. 6d. sewed. Dilly. 1798.
If the critical reader should not meet, in this work, with language so elegant, sentiments so refined and appropriate, and characters so boldly conceived and delineated, as in a few productions of the highest order in this class, he will yet find in it a talc not uninteresting, and a concatenation of probable incidents, connected with such displays of life and manners as will amuse the fancy without vitiating the heart. We reckon it among the merits of this production, that it exhibits no very aggravated pictures of human depravity, nor creates characters heroically and perfectly virtuous; for we agree entirely with Mrs. D'Acre, one of the most interesting personages exhibited in this groupe, in ' entertaining very serious objections to such compositions as display crimes which rather tend to harden than amend the mind;' and we cannot perceive that to decorate humanity with superhuman virtues is calculated either to instruct or to amuse.
Among the characters introduced, are those of a family of gaolers; which, we think, will appear as entertaining in this representation at they are ridiculous and disgusting in reality. The following passage will give the reader a sample of them.
«The ladies had not yet entered the drawing-room, on the evening the party were expected, when they were announced; nine in number. Mrs. D'Acre hastened to receive them, and Rosalind returning her compliments for their inquiries, all observed her altered looks—Mrs. Haye, in the usual strain of quotation, saying:
"Sickness sits on her like an untimely frost Upon the fairest flower of the field." « Upon this Miss Catharine, in a low voice, said " The field so • late the hero's pride." Miss Mary, drawing up her glove, muttered M Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it." And Mrs. Haye saying she hoped all danger of a relapse was over,
even even trie younger sister could not let it pass without sighing out "Hope, thou nurse of young desire." i"
* Some general conversation was, however, entered on, and they were evidently under more restraint than when at home; and sate still without any violent expressions of anxiety or curiosity on the passers-by in the great road, which, though remote, was within view of Mrs. D'Acre's windows; only now and then an observation would drop, that such a man was like Hudibras; that he rode as if he had but one spur on, and the appropriate lines quoted, which another immediately answered :—
"Lady, your bright. And radiant eyes are in the right."
And on Mrs.Haye's mentioning, that her son would have been with them, but was gone to receive an intimate friend of his just expected from India, who had been detained uncommonly long on the sea, Miss Mary emphatically repeated "There let him sink, and be the seas on him:"—adding—
"Le sage a souvent fait naufrage
Qiiand ilcroyoit toucher au port."
* On Mr. Leslie's entrance, their spirits being enlivened, the budget was opened: anew he complimented each on their looks, and the young ones on their growth, since he last saw them; but mistaking the name of the youngest, who always set him right, he begged her to excuse him, to which one immediately said,
"I am myself, and call me what you please;" and on Mr. Leslie's saying, such errors would happen where the name V'as thought less of than the face, her sister answered for her;
"Her face, my thane, is like a book where men
* Miss Mary, who was seated on the other side of him, hitching only at the word error, repeated
"Are we in life thro' one great error led, Is each man perjurM, and each nymph betray'd ?** And Mrs. Haye, who attended more to the conversation of her children than any thing else, called out in a voice unusually loud^ for a drawing-room;
"Of the superior sex art thou the worst,
There is perhaps something overcharged in this picture: but praise must still be allowed to Miss Tomlins tor holding up the mirror to a «et of Beings who impede rational and original conversation, by the extreme abuse of an elegant talent.
Art. 23. Anecdotes of two well-known Families. Written by a Descendant. Prepared for the Press by Mrs. Parsons. 12mo. 3 Vols*. 1 os. Boards. Longman.
Though thi6 novel does not exhibit those highly-wrought scenes of distress of which writers of fictitious history are generally fond, it i*
sufficiently impassioned to affect the heart and to engage the attention. "The character of an artless and innocent girl, blest with a good understanding and educated in virtuous principles, is well supported in the delineation of Ellinor, the heroine; and the mystery which hangs over her bir.th [the old 1 lory) fully answers the desired purpose of keeping the reader in snspence: but we think that the manner in which this mystery is at length dissipated is liable to some objections.—Lord and Lady P. are well delineated; and to those who are best pleased with the contemplation of virtuous characters, Lord and Lady B. may furnish rational entertainment, and perhaps excite laudable emulation.—It. were to be wished, however, that the writer had not been so fond of introducing Bridget and her mother. Mrs. Parsons should have recollected that low characters are to be tolerated in novels only when they display considerable wit or drollery, or some •triking peculiarity.
The laudable tendency of this work is to inspire a love of virtue, with a consequent detestation of vice.
RELIGIOUS and CONTROVERSIAL.
Art. 24. An Essay on Universal Redemption; tending to prove that the general Sense of Scripture favours the Opinion of the final Salvation of all Mankind. By the Rev. John Browne, .M. A. late of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. 8vo. is. Cadell jun. and Davies.
This author assumes ' that the common opinion of the eternity of future torments has made many unbelievers,' and that the *ujfigc of the New Testament implies a limited duration of time, which refers solely to that state of things which is immediately to succeed the second coming of our Lord. Waiving any decisive opinion, we extract the corollary of his argument, as an example of easy diction and ingenious discussion:
* But it has been objected to the doctrine of Universal Redemption, that it has a tendency to weaken the ties of morality and reli-r gion, to make men careless of their conduct in this world, and to induce them to neglect the concerns of futurity. "If (it has been asked) the terrors of eternal punishments are not sufficient to restrain the evil propensities of men, how can it be imagined that the apprehension of those of a limited period will have that effect?" To this objection, so often and so triumphantly urged, it seems sufficient to reply that, although the punishments of futurity may not be, strictly speaking, eternal; yet, compared to the powers of our imagination, they are so, when we are assured that they will be much longer and much more severe than any we may meet with in the present life. The word aiSn, , though it evidently relates to a finite duration, yet it as evidently refers to a very long period, which, compared to our limited conceptions of it, may be said to be eternal, and which, when duly considered, must I think have the same practical effect.
'I will even hazard the conjecture, that one great reason why the sanctions of futurity have not had their due effect on the conduct of mankind, is this notion of the eternity of future torments. That it has produced much open infidelity is sufficiently evident; that it has also