« AnteriorContinuar »
moirs of his own Life," with which Mr. C. has condescended to favour us, and of which we gave some account in our last Supplement.—We remember that, in an appendix to that same work, Mr. Cumberland proclaimed, or rather took the means of ADVERTISING (for an advertisement it was) that he was engaged in the composition of an EPIC POEM! and had associated as his fellow la
ARTICLE III.-The Exodiad, a Poem, by Richard Cumberland, Esq. and Sir James Blund
We know to province of literature in bourer, and partner of his destined immortawhich Mr. Cumberland has not set his foot.-lity, Sir JAMES BLAND BURGESS, as able a
We trace him from Comedy to Tragedy, and gentleman as can be found in the wide fields
left without parallel, but for those late "Me-up those steeps of fame, to which his insati-
LAY OF THE IRISH HARP, OR METRICAL FRAGMENT.
ARTICLE IV.-Lay of the Irish Harp, or Metrical Fragment, by Miss Owenson. Phillips,
Miss Owenson is a young woman of con- poem is formed upon the plan of Mr. Scott's siderable genius.We have read many of Lay of the last Minstrel," and was evi her novels, which abound in fancy, and a dently suggested by that popular poem.-It very pleasing delineation of character-Weis unequal to its model in most of the higher have read, likewise, something of her poe-qualities of writing. It is too wild in some etry,—in which, though she is evidently in parts, and too careless and tame in others; pursuit of a false taste, and invading the pe- but, upon the whole, it has that sort of merit culiar soil and demesnes of Della Crusca and which we expected from her pen, and we inLaura Maria, there is, nevertheless, a great cur no hazard of having our judgment dispu deal of true poetic spirit, and much elegance ted, by earnestly recommending it to our and delicacy of sentiment. The present readers.
[This department of our work might be swelled to an enormous extent: such, however is not our intention; we shall simply select Two of the most prominent works of the last six months, and bring our review to a conclusion.]
ARTICLE I.-Lectures on Belles Lettres und Logic,by the late William Barron, Professor of Belles Lettres and Logic in the University of St. Andrew's. Two Volumes, 8vo. Longman and Co.
THE Belles Lettres form an indispensable | The Professor delivers the following senpart of liberal education; and various books timents on the origin and formation of lanhave been written to assist the student in guage. analyzing the productions of genius, and in "Language, whether written or spoken, is guiding the judgment in the several depart-the great instrument of communicating knowments of taste. To be absolutely original ledge. An examination, therefore, of its strucin this walk is scarcely to be expected. La ture will form a proper introduction to our inHarpe and Blair may save the more recenquiries concerning eloquence. lecturer much trouble; and the temptation "Spoken language may be defined to be, is so great, that we are not surprised at their the art of communicating thought by means being often plundered. Were it not stated of certain articulate sounds, which have been that the lectures of Mr. Barron were intended adopted for that purpose by the common consent of society. They are called articulate, by him for publication, we should have supon account of the distinctness and variety with posed, from their resemblance to Blair's volumes, that the late professor designed them which they are pronounced, and because they merely for the private use of his pupils, species. They are obviously acquired by imiwithout meaning to subject them to be com- tation, and although there is nothing, perhaps, pared by the public critic with the work to in the conformation of the organs of inferior which he has been so evidently indebted, animals, that precludes the possibility of their and with which the comparison cannot be imitating the sounds of speech, yet they are, made but to his own disadvantage, almost all of them, destitute either of the ca
are in a great measure confined to the human
pacity or the inclination to make any progress of importance in this art. The sounds of language are called articulate for another reason, namely, to distingu sh them from the natural, but more violent expressions of emotion and passion, which are universally understood, and are nearly the same in all ages and nations. Some of these natural expressions make a part of language, and are arranged under the class of words commonly called interjections. Others of them, such as the sounds significant of pain, can scarcely be said to belong to language: they are the immediate voice of Nature herself diffused through the species, and even communicated to some of the inferior animals. The natural interjections are nearly the same in most languages; but articulate sounds, or words, are all arbitrary, and consequently are different in different languages.
In his Lectures on Style, the author nearly follows the divisions of Blair, but is not so happy in defining his terms. An elegant style he describes as follows:
concise or the simple, which, renouncing the gratification of the imagination, solicit only the attention of the understanding. consider all elegant compositions which interest the pas sions as addressed to the understanding, the imagination, and the passions in conjunction ; the matter, as before, engaging the understanding, and the matter and the embellishments captivating the imagination and the passion."
"Elegance of style is a combination of all those qualities which are most generaily approved in writing; it assumes different qualities, or larger portions of the same qualities, according as the performance is addressed to the understanding and the imagination, or to the understanding, the imagination, and the passions, in conjunction. I consider all elegant compositions which attempt not to affect the passions, as addressed to the understanding and the imagination, on account of the important information they contain, and the ornaments with which they are embellished; for withou cubellishment the elegant relapses into the
After this the author proceeds to adduce examples of elegant composition, and to point out the faults to which an attempt to attain that style is most liable,
"When we consider written language as a symbol of spoken, and spoken language as a representation of ideas, and observe, at the same time, how little relation subsists between letters and sounds, and again between sounds and ideas, we are astonished at the artifice with which language has been constructed, and that it should accomplish so completely the purposes of communication. Some inquirers, mis'ed by the admiration excited by this singular effort of ingenuity, have been tempted to consider it as supernatural, and have ventured to assign inspiration as the only supposeable origin of lan- ing easy, a song seems to be the most suc
Singing is perhaps derived from the same causes as the cadences of oratory. Fatigue and loud speaking give it birth; ease, and perhaps the reputed sanctity of it, tempt its continuance. Of all expedients to render loud speak
guage: but the whole history of its progress, and the result of daily observation, oppose this supposition, if they do not even expose it to ridicule. The progress of language manifestly kees pace with the progress of society, both in point of knowledge and civilization; and in examining them confrontly, they mutually throw illustration on each other."
cessful: it consists of a short musical cadence, and every sentence is delivered nearly in the same circuit of sound. The speaker resigns every variety of elocution, to conform all his tones to the music of the same short song. The apparent melody, however, of the song, not to mention the sincerity and piety of which the vulgar generally account it a characteristic, recommends it to unpolished ears, and makes them often prefer it to a manner more natural and expressive. All the speaker has to do, is to pause regularly at the termination of his note, and to commence it with a full respiration. It is besides, an effectual preservative against all improper rapidity in pronunciation, which is extremely fatiguing to the speaker, is very consumptive of his matter, is an error into which he is extremely apt to fall when he warms with his subject, and has not committed to writing all he has to speak. In a word, let a preacher possess a good song and a firm confidence, and he will, with little trouble to himself, satisfy the most insatiable audience, both in point of loudness and length. I need not, however, observe, that the speaker who indulges in this manner has bid a final adieu to eminence: he may captivate the vulgar, but }
The arrangement observed in the second division of this work, which treats of public speaking, is formed still more closely ou Blair; though a variety of minute details are added, some of which may be found valuable in practice. In this class we do not include the instruction for a whining delivery, which is held out as rather a captivating manner, notwithstanding the general dissuasive that follows:
the utmost allowance he can expect is to be also the author seldom quits the footsteps of tolerated by men of taste."
His predecessor, and his deviations are seldom successful. Notwithstanding, this book may afely be put into the hands of those entrusted with the education of youth.
Volume II. commences with the third and last part of the Lectures on Belles Lettres, which embraces written Language. Here
THE CODE OF HEALTH AND LONGEVITY.
ARTICLEII. The Code of Health and Longevity; or, A Concise View of the Principles calculated. for the Preservation of Health, and the Attainment of a long Life. By Sir John Sinclair, Bart. Four Volumes. Byo. Cadell and Davies.
Turs admirable work is an attempt to || "2. Circumstances connected with the mind prove the practicability of condensing into a of the individual, whether relating, 1. To the narrow compass the most material informa- | faculties of the mind; or, 2, To its passions. "3. Circumstances connected with the place tion hitherto accumulated, concerning the different arts and sciences, or any particular where any individual resides, wh ther, 1. In a hot, a cold, or a temperate climate; 2. Whether branch thereof, by which health may be prein a high or in a low situation; 3. Whether to a served, a weakly constitution invigorated and regenerated, and longevity and the comfort southera or other exposure; 4. Whether on the of human life preserved. This task could not have fallen upon an abler man than the present author: his industry is commensu-ther in a dry, a clayey, or a marshy soil; 7. rate with his abilities, and his rank and reputation in the world naturally attracted to him information from the experienced in every quarter of the globe,
sea-shore, on the banks of a lake or river, or at a distance from water; 5. Whether in the neighbourhood of woods or otherwise; 6. Whe
Whether with an abundance, or a scarcity of fuel; 8. Whether in a wet or dry atmosphere; 9. Whether on a continent, in a large island, or in a small one; and, 10. Whether in a town, a viliage, or in the country.
Sir John Sinclair thus explains the plan of his work; it is divided into three parts:
4. Adventitious or miscellaneous circumstances; as, 1. Rauk in life; 2. Education; 3. Occupation; 4. Connubial connexion; and, 5. Exemption from accidents.
"Where a favourable condition of all, or the greater part of these circumstances occurs, there health and longevity may be expected.
"It will hardly be disputed, that while individuals differ so much from cach other with « Rules for preserving Health and promoting Lonregard to a variety of important particulars, as the climate in which they reside, the manner in which they are formed, &c. that there must necessarily be a material difference with respect to their health, and the duration of their lives. It is essential, therefore, in the first place, to ascertain what these particulars are. It seems to me, that they may be all comprehended under the following general heads:
"Circumstances which necessarily tend to promote
Health and Longevity, independent of individual Attention, or the Observance of particular
"It is evident, that if men lived uniformly in a healthy climate, were possessed of strong and vigorous frames, were descended from healthy parents, were educated in a hardy and active manner, were possessed of excellent natural dispositions, were placed in comfortable situations in life, were engaged only in healthy occupations, were happily connected in mar"1. Circumstances connected with the person riage, &c. &c. there would be little occasion of the individual, as, 1. Parentage; 2. Perfect for medical rules. But it is universally known, birth; 3. Gradual growth; 4. Natural consti- that some individuals enjoy a part of these adtution; 5. Form; 6. Sex; and, 7. Where Na-vantages, whilst others possess hardly any of ture makes an effort to renew the distinctions them complete; hence arises the necessity of of youth, attending to those rules, which observation and
experience have pointed out, as being the most likely to counteract the disadvantages arising from so material a want, as of any of the naturai or incidental advantages above enumerated. These rules relate,
"1. To objects essential for man in every situation, and without which he cannot exist, even in a state of nature; as, 1. Air; 2. Liquid food; S. Solid food; 4. Digestion; 5. Labour, or exercise; and, 6. Sleep.
"2. To articles not so essential, but which are highly desirable, more especially for men in a state of civilization and refinement; these are, 1. Clothing; 2. Habitation; 3. Amusements; and, 4. Medicine.
And, 3. To articles of a miscellaneous nature; as, 1. Temper; 2. Habits; 3. Cleanliness; 4. Bathing; 5. Relief from accidents; and, 6. Travelling, or change of residence.
It is proper to observe, that many of these rules are not applicable to all situations, but mut vary according to climate, constitution, the pro-ress of life, &c.; and that the object of this publication is merely to give information, regarding the general system that may be pursued, leaving it to each individual to apply the rules therein recommended, according to times and cir
" PART III.
"Regulations for the Health of the Community.
"It is in vain, however, that either Nature has formed an individual for long life, or that he observes all those rules which are necessary for the preservation of health, unless attention be paid by the government of a country to the happiness and safety of its subjects. This is a point which has seldom been attended to in the manner in which its importance deserves. While the attention of lawgivers is unceasingly directed to a variety of less important objects,|| those regulations on which the safety of the people at large depend are unfortunately neglected: yet what can be more pernicious, than to suffer the climate of a country, for instance, to con inue noxious to the health of its inhabitants, merely for want of drainage, cultivation, and improvement, when thousands of instances might be adduced of the advantages which have resulted from the adoption of an opposite system? What can be more impolitic than to permit unwholesome provisions and other articles to be sold, without punishing those who thus attempt to injure the health, perhaps to destroy the existence, of their fellow-creatures? What more dangerous than to permit public amusements of a pernicious nature; to authorise improper customs; to neglect the education of youth, when the founda
tion ought to be laid of their future health and strength; to suffer public institutions to become the seminaries of disease; to disregard the safety of those who are trained for the public defence; to sanction the sale of noxious or doubtful medicines; and, above all, to per. mit the least risk of contagious disorders being admitted into a country, by which its whole population may be affected?
"The Police of Public Health, therefore, is a most important branch of the proposed inquiry; and the events which have recently hap pened in Spain and at Gibraltar have given it add tional interest. It may be treated of under the following general heads:
1. Police of Climate.
2. Police of Physical Education.
4. Police of Public Amusements,
Police for the Health of Sailors and Sol diers.
8. Police to prevent contagious Disorders. And,
9. Police of Medicine, and the Means of promoting its Improvement.
"But though it may be proper to give a general view of these important subjects, it is not intended to enter much into detail, as the Police of Public Health, to do it ample justice, would require a separate and very extended discussion.
"Such is the plan of the intended work, which others might doubtless have executed with more ability, but none with a more auxious wish, that it may prove substantially serviceable to the interests of human nature; or, at any rate, useful to those who may apply their talents and industry to render the investigation therein carried on still more complete."
It would be difficult to determine, in this most valuable and entertaining volume, from what part to make our extract, The first chapter, in part the first, of vol. i. is perhaps the most entertaining and the best exe cuted; we shall therefore give it entire.
"PART I. CHAP.
"Circumstances connected with the Person of the Individual, favourable or adverse to Health and Longevity.
"The circumstances connected with the person of the individual, having a material tendency to promote health and longevity, and which, at the same time, are almost totally independent of any care or exertion on his part,