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Notices of Recent Publications.
The Broken Vow, and other Poems. By AMANDA M. Edmond.
Boston : Gould, Kendall and Lincoln. 1845. 12mo. pp.
324. A Chaunt of Life, and other Poems, with Sketches and Essays.
By Rev. Ralph Hoyt. In sir parts. Parts I, and II. New York. 1845. 8vo. pp. 32, each.
Mrs. Edmond has put forth a volume in which “Rodolpho, or the Broken Vow" is the longest, and we are tempted to say the poorest, production. Many of the other pieces have a devotional character, and are apparently inspired by a sincere spirit of piety, always pure, though at times somewhat despondent and gloomy. This world, with all its brightness and beauty, needs not to be constantly brought into a disparaging comparison with another and a better, for which, rightly used and enjoyed, it is a fitting prelude. We wish for our authoress a temperament more uniformly happy, that she may henceforth look out upon a brighter sky, not seeking too anxiously for clouds in the distant horizon. To her own modest concession, that in her work “critical severity may find much to condemn," let us not add one ungracious word : it is high and just praise for her, that virtue, purity and piety will find in it no cause for reproach.
The “ Chaunt of Life" is an unfinished work, promising six cantos, but as yet producing only two. These two, however, afford favorable augury for those which are to come: it is to be hoped that embarrassments, alluded to in the advertisement of the publishers, may not prevent the completion of the poem. The phases of life which have been presented in the cantos before us are of a sombre hue, saddened with the recollections of departed friends and hopes that lie buried in their graves. There is a touching melancholy about these stanzas, not altogether healthful, yet perhaps none the less affecting because somewhat exaggerated. The reader will find the “Chaunt” sad and sweet, yet vigorous and manly. Should the cantos yet unpublished display to us life's brighter phases, we shall readily forgive the deepened shadowings of those now before us; at any rate, we pay to Mr. Hoyt the compliment of interested expectation. The shorter poems of these volumes are generally above mediocrity, two or three of them are excellent. The “Snow" is a peculiarly good piece of word-painting, as simple and beautiful as the subject which it depicts; the “ World for Sale " is sprightly and sarcastic, but not bitter; “Old” is plaintive and inelodious; “New" suggestive and truthful : all these pieces are worthy to be called poems, and deserve a grateful welcome. The "Sketches and Essays" exist as yet only in the promise of the title-pages.
Biographical and Critical Miscellanies. By William H. Pres
COTT, Author of “ The History of Ferdinand and Isabella," “ The Conquest of Mexico," etc. New York. 1845. Svo.
pp. 634. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. To which are added a few
Poems. By ALEXANDER H. EVERETT. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 12mo. pp. 563.
Both these volumes have the same purpose, and both will be recommended by the literary reputation of their authors. They are meant to preserve in a permanent form the contributions which each has made to the periodical literature of his country. A part of the interest which attaches to such papers on their first appearance must necessarily cease with the lapse of time; yet there is a peculiar pleasure in recurring, after a writer has established a wide and sure reputation, to his earlier or more ephemeral productions. The contents of Mr. Prescott's volume were, with a single exception, originally furnished to the North American Review. Having been prepared with more than the usual care bestowed, at least in this country, on such writing, they particularly deserve to be presented in a form in which they will meet many eyes that might never have seen them in their primitive condition. The typographical character of the volume is worthy of notice.
Mr. Everett's volume contains, we believe, only the smaller portion of the articles with which he has enriched our critical literature. The public, we suppose, are less familiar with his name as a poet than as a writer of prose. We are glad, however, to meet the productions of his muse in companionship with his miscellaneous essays. The volume will be welcomed by the public as embodying some of the choicest pages of our literary journals, and we hope that the writer may be induced soon to give us one or more additional volumes.
Physical Education and the Preservation of Health. By
John C. WARREN, M. D., Professor of Anatomy and Surgery in Harvard University. Boston: W. D. Ticknor & Co. 1846. 18mo. pp. 90.
This republication of a Lecture delivered by Dr. Warren before the American Institute in 1830, with an addition of nearly as much new matter, should be gratefully received by those for whom it is particularly designed, — persons of sedentary habits, of either sex. The name of the author will be sufficient to inspire confidence in his opinions, and in this little treatise he has given the result of much observation as well as scientific knowledge, in a course of plain, practical, and highly valuable remarks.
Notices of Recent Publications.
A Universal Pronouncing Gazetteer : containing topographical,
statistical, and other information, of all the more important places in the known world, from the most recent and authentic sources. With a Map. By THOMAS BALDWIN, assisted by several other gentlemen. Philadelphia. 1845. 8vo. pp. 550.
This is a good book in two ways. It was much wanted, and it is exceedingly well done. One need not be much of a student, in order to have frequent occasion for such a work; and the best read scholars, whether in Geography or Philology, will not be those least likely to avail themselves of its references. The principles on which it is constructed recommend themselves to us as sound and judicious. Great pains have evidently been taken, in collecting and verifying its multifarious contents. The plan of it is in some respects quite new, requiring to be carried out with a wide search and at the same time with the minutest accuracy. Both the diligence and the care, we think, have been bestowed. The most exact information has been sought from the best authorities, native and foreign, whether books or living men. The result has been a mass of instruction, various but unconfused; for some portions of which we should have to inquire in several directions, and for others might be at a loss where to apply. Its preparation must have cost some years of diversified and delicate labor. Doubtless, some inadvertencies may be discovered in so miscellaneous a work; and since it is no larger, some omissions will be regretted. But on the whole, if we do not much mistake, it will prove an important help to the teachers of public and private schools; and all who are curious in this kind of learning, or ambitious of pronouncing strange names correctly, will give it a place upon some shelf that is not far from their sight and hand.
Easy Lessons on Reasoning. First American, from the second
London Edition. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1845. 12mo. pp. 180.
Judging from our acquaintance with men in the common intercourse of life, and from the character of the multitude of speeches which in these days are perpetually inflicted upon the public on all sorts of subjects, we should say, that the department of education most neglected, though most important, is that which teaches the mind to reason justly and forcibly; and here is a book, which we can with a clear conscience recommend as one, the judicious use of which in our schools will help to supply the defect. It is ascribed, and on good grounds we should say, to Dr. Whately, author of the two well known treatises, “ Elements of Logic,” and “ Elements of Rhetoric." VOL XL. — 4TH S. VOL. V. NO. I.
It may be said, in fact, to be the former treatise simplified in such a way as to render it adapted to a “course of elementary studies for young persons generally.” This process of simplifying knowledge often leads to very superficial attainments. We do not think, that this objection lies against the present book, which certainly cannot be studied without quickening the powers of intellect and aiding in the acquisition of habits of discriminating thought, and precision in the use of language. L.
The Book of Peace: A Collection of Essays on War and
Peace. Boston: George C. Beckwith. 1845. Small 8vo. pp. 490.
This volume is a collection of Peace tracts, very neatly printed, though on a type much smaller than we like to read. The object has been, to bring as much as possible of the soundest and best matter on this subject within the compass of a single, and not bulky volume. “The work,” says the editor, “ is truly multum in parvo, a thesaurus of information on Peace, containing a far greater amount of facts, statistics, and arguments on its various topics, than our own or any other language can furnish in thrice the compass." The compilation is made “from some of the best writers in the last three centuries, from men of every faith, Protestant and Catholic, Orthodox and Unitarian, Episcopal, Baptist, and Presbyterian.” We commend the book to the attention of all who feel an interest or a curiosity respecting the great subject of which it treats. It is especially a suitable book to put into parish or town libraries.
Poetry for Home and School. Part Second. Selected by the
Author of “Theory of Teaching," and “First Lessons in Grammar." Boston : S. G. Simpkins. 1846. 18mo. pp. 168.
Those who are familiar with the former “ Part” of this work will not need to be urged to procure whatever farther collection of poetry may be made by one who has shown so much taste and judgment in her selections. Our only doubt concerning this little volume would be, whether it is suited for use in a “school.” Many of the pieces require a considerable culture of the imaginative faculty, to enable them to be relished, or even properly understood. The longest in the book — Coleridge's “Ancient Mariner" - it is our misfortune to like the least, having always had a disposition to substitute such unman. nerly words as tedious and silly (we crave mercy for our dulness as well as rudeness) in place of the epithets used by its admirers. Most of the pieces, however, are better suited both in length and character, for school exercises.
Notices of Recent Publications.
The Library of American Biography. Conducted by Jared SPARKS. Second Series. Vol. VII. Boston. Little & Brown. 16mo. pp. 448.
The object of this series, to which we have occasionally referred, is to record the lives and deeds of individuals who have been born, or have won their fame and distinguished themselves, on the Western Continent. Of course history, as well as biography, forms the contents of the volumes. By far the larger proportion of the individuals thus commemorated have here for the first time received the full and careful notice of the biographer. The present volume contains the lives of some individuals who well deserve the honors here accorded to them. Mr. Sparks, the faithful and laborious Editor of the series, furnishes the Life of John Ribault, the enterprising and devoted pioneer of the French settlements in North America, who was worthy of a better reward than he was permitted to enjoy. Rev. Dr. Francis contributes a Life of Father Rale, the famous Jesuit missionary to the Abnakis Indians, of whose zeal we speak in superlative terins when we say that it equalled the jealousy which our fathers entertained of it. Dr. Palfrey furnishes the Life of his grandfather, William Palfrey, eminent in the days preceding and attending the American Revolution, of the army of which he was Paymaster General — an excellent, an honorable and a useful man.
The Common School Algebra. By Thomas SHERWIN, A. M.,
Principal of the English High School, Boston; Author of * Elementary Treatise on Algebra.' Boston : Phillips and Sampson. 12mo. pp. 238.
A Treatise on Algebra for the use of Common Schools, from the source from which this emanates, can hardly fail of meeting a favorable reception from the public. Besides an intimate acquaintance with the subject, Mr. Sherwin has the advantage of long experience in teaching, and knows precisely the difficulties encountered by the pupil, which he has taken some pains to lessen or obviate by a “series of introductory exercises.” Through the whole he has aimed at simplifying the science as far as consistent with the main object, which is “ not to save the learner the trouble of thinking and reasoning, but to teach him to think and reason,” and “ ensure a good knowledge of the subject.” We think that he has succeeded. His method is clear, his language precise and simple, the connexion and dependence of the parts natural and obvious, and for the purpose for which it was intended he has made an excellent book. L.