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Travels in the East are becoming actually stale of late, and would be intolerable if the romance of it were not inexhaustible. Consequently, in all descriptions of its localities or its customs, we find something to repay the misgivings we entertain of repetitions and monotony. Yusef is really an interesting sketch, and would be very much so if we did not meet with an irreverent levity where, at least, we are entitled to expect a grain of gravity. Catacombs and temples are not serious things to him. He can amuse himself over skeletons and shrines just as well as a group of gambling Arabs. He utterly abhors all sorts of unnecessary sadness, and means to indulge his humor whenever it is possible. It must be admitted, that he stumbles upon many curious incidents, and wields a pen of descriptive vivacity. The pages are embellished with a great variety of engravings, some of which are sufficiently ludicrous.
26. Annual of Scientific discovery; or year-book of facts in science and art, for 1853. Edited by David A. Wells, A. M. Boston: Gould and Lincoln. 1853.
The value of such a treasury of information as this and the preceding volumes contain is incalculable. The labor of collecting and condensing into a portable book, all the important accessions to human knowledge in science and art, during one of these active years of ours, must be immense. And yet it is done; done with judgment and fidelity, and we can set down in our arm chairs and at our leisure recount the achievments of industry and genius with which the world has been blessed. There is no department of inquiry that is not yielding its treasury to the investigations of man, and to know them, in an authentic and connected form, is to augment our happiness and increase our power of usefulness. Upon this book we put the seal of our approval and recommend its perusal to our readers. 27. Electro-Physiology: a scientific, popular, and practical treatise on the prevention, causes, and cure of disease; or electricity as a curative agent, supported by theory and fact. By Gershom Huff, M. D, Second edition. Embellished with numerous illustrations. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1853.
The press has already endorsed this treatise on health. It abounds with scientific information and profound practical knowledge respecting the physical constitution of man and its hygiene. Its exhibition of the muscular and nervous systems, as well by definitions as plates, is deeply interesting. It advocates the use of electricity as a medical agent with every appearance of truth and authority; a subject which has, of late, been attracting, to a great extent, the attention of professional men. It is written in a very perspicuous and pleasing style, and presents the conditions of health in terms intelligible to every reader; a blessing which very few works of real merit
28. Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates, with notes and an introduction. By R. D. C. Robbins, professor of languages in Middlebury College. New York: D. Appleton and Company. 1853.
The memoirs of the immortal philosopher by Xenophon are, to us, the most beautiful and attractive account of him transmitted to posterity. The style and the matter are full of charms. As a text-book it should never be omitted from the college course, both on account of its high moral tone and its classical idioms. The present edition by Prof. Robbins is executed with the taste and judgment of a scholar. The type is excellent and the paper very good. The introduction, containing the life of Socrates, is a valuable paper. A judicious analysis of each chapter is given, and a large body of critical notes very much enhances its value. The text is that of Kühner. It is vastly superior to any edition of the memorabilia which we have seen. 29. Second Latin Book; comprising a historical Latin reader, with notes and rules for translating; and an exercise book, developing a complete analytical syntax. By Albert Harkness, A. M. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1853.
Mr. Harkness was the editor of Arnold's first Latin book, which has been sometime before the public. This is designed to follow it. Its particular object is to drill and imbue the mind of the student with the ele ments and spirit of the language, as far as possible, before he enters upon the study of the higher classics; a most desirable end, and very frequently neglected. The reading portions are an epitome of Roman and Grecian history; the lessons and the exercises happily unfold the laws of the lan guage and gradually but surely induct the student into those arcana which have generally been so formidable. It is a great recommendation of the book, that it is the result of a long practical acquaintance with the difficulties of the student and with the requisitions of solid scholarship.
30. The History of English Literature; with an outline of the origin and growth of the English language: illustrated by extracts. By William Spalding, A. M. Professor of Logic, Rhetoric and Metaphysics in the University of St. Andrews. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1853. It is designed as a text-book for schools and academies. A consecutive knowledge of the English language and literature is possessed by very few men, even of learning. The history of it is an eminently useful and delightful study, but it has not been accessible to students generally. This singular and desirable privilege is offered in a most satisfactory manner in this work. It traces the progress and formation of the language and its resources from the remotest fountains, through its devious course. We discover, especially in the early part of the book, evidences of much research into the Anglo-Saxon source, with its literary monuments. There is, perhaps, no other means of obtaining so thorough an insight into this curious subject in so short a time.
31. Great Truths by Great Authors. A dictionary of aids to reflection, quotations of maxims, metaphors, counsels, cautions, aphorisms, proverbs, &c., &c. From writers of all ages and both hemispheres. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co. 1853.
The compass of this compilation is wide, but is well filled up, and its pretensions are sustained. It is a thesaurus of the best prose and poetic quotations upon all subjects, as germs of thought and means of illustration. It is the richest collection of the sayings of great men which we have. It is a very convenient book of reference for the study, and especially for professional speakers, who may be inclined to adorn their speeches and sermons with the sparkling gems of genius, or confirm them by the maxims of the wise. The binding is exceedingly tasteful.
32. Chambers' Repository of instructive and amusing papers. With illustrations. 2 vols. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1853.
The Messrs. Chambers of Edinburgh have distinguished their house by their efforts to diffuse popular information. Their Cyclopædia and their Miscellany have obtained an enormous circulation. The Repository is similar in style and character to the latter. Correct information, sound instruction and innocent amusement, under the control of good taste, are the qualities of the publication. The Boston publishers will issue, by arrangement, simultaneously, two beautiful monthly volumes, until the series shall have been completed. Our specimen is an auspicious token of their enterprize. We assure our readers that they will not be disappointed in the examination of these very instructive tracts. The topics are of sterling
33. A Digest of English Grammar, synthetical and analytical, classified and methodically arranged; accompanied by a chart of sentences, and adapted to the use of schools. By L. T. Covell. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1853.
We are slow in yielding our assent or approbation to the almost interminable list of English grammars which are making their appearance. Each one vaunts some improvements; while, in reality, no improvement is observable. But there is an accuracy and completeness in the definitions in this which struck us immediately. There is evidently a knowledge of the philosophy of language not often found in similar productions, and an order and conciseness which admirably fit it for the school. A number of practiced teachers have given their most unequivocal testimony to its superiority over every other grammar before the public.
34. A Memoir of the Rev. W. A. B. Johnson, missionary of the Church Missionary Society, in Regent's town, Sierra Leone, Africa. With an introductory notice, by Stephen H. Tyng, D. D. New York: Robert Carter & Brothers. 1853.
The subject and his biography are separated by the interval of thirty or
forty years. The tribute due to extraordinary usefulness has come at last, and it is a precious and worthy offering upon the altar of the Church, of missionary zeal and success. The pure fire of self-devotion and self-sacrifice burns in every page, and inflames the heart of the pious reader. It ought to be read by all, and especially by the young, who will find noble incentives to devote themselves to the service of Christ, and how, with limited means, they may accomplish the greatest good.
35. The Captive in Patagonia; or, Life among the giants. A narrative. By Benjamin Franklin Bourne. With illustrations. Boston: Gould & Lincoln.
Of Patagonia and its inhabitants we have little but conjecture. It is, even to travellers, the land of fable and of monsters. Mr. Bourne's residence amongst them, and his sad experience, has qualified him to write advisedly about them. One of the early voyagers to California round the Cape, he was captured by the Patagonians, and detained amidst great perils and sufferings, until by a desperate effort, he escaped from their hands. He learned all their habits and customs, and from personal knowledge describes the country and the people in the most authentic manner, while his adventures give his narrative the fascination of the marvellous. It is nevertheless a record of facts. To the ethnographer, the philosopher and the Christian, there is a fund of matter concerning this strange people which, perhaps, could not have been obtained at less cost than the captive sojourn of Mr. Bourne.
36. The Virginia Mineral Springs, with remarks on their use, the diseases to which they are applicable, and in which they are contra-indicated, accompanied by a map of routes and distances. A new work. Second edition, improved and enlarged. By William Burke, M. D. Richmond, Va. Ritchies & Dunnavant. 1853.
No portion of the world is more favored by Providence in mineral waters of great value and undoubted virtue, than the mountains of Virginia. A scientific and digested account of their qualities and effects, with directions as to their use, by a competent medical gentleman, is here offered to the public; also a map of the routes by which the several watering places are reached. To invalids, especially, who are directing their attention to nature's remedial agents, we commend this as a travelling companion. It will direct their choice and guide their journey in search of the dearest boon on earth. They will here obtain more information respecting these fountains of health than from any other source whatsoever.
37. Matrimony: or love affairs in our Village twenty years ago. Caustic. Second edition. New York: M. W. Dodd. 1853. This title savors of the novel; yet the substance of it is a matter of fact, a little disguised, to give it better effect. The following passage of the serious author significantly points out its entire bearing. The necessity of
its admonitions is but too apparent to all who observe the dangerous snares of modern society. "Its design is to call the young, especially young Christian professors, to a consideration of the follies which pervade fashionable circles, and the evil consequences which certain courses of conduct in love matters are sure to bring in their train." A word to the wise is sufficient.
38. Marco Paul's voyage and travels in Boston, by Jacob Abbott, (Harper & Brothers) is a familiar attempt to impart to the young, accurate information about the city, as well as to afford them amusement. He enlivens his narrative by imaginary incidents, but his descriptions of places, institutions and scenes are perfectly truthful.
39. Letters and Diaries of Philip Saphir, of Pesth, Hungary. Edited by his brother. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers. 1853.
The subject of this little memoir was a converted Israelite of Pesth, of a respectable Jewish family, all of whom were brought to Christ about the same time. This record, traced by a brother's hand, is without ostentation; a simple portrait of Christianity in a son of Abraham, who aspired to be active, and whose abilities promised extensive usefulness, but were forestalled by disease and death. A most useful tract for a Sunday school.
49. The following list of most valuable books for young persons and children, were sent us by the Messrs. Carter and Brothers, in addition to their publications mentioned above. Their juvenile publications are above all praise. We cannot and need not speak individually of these. We cordially commend them to those parents who are selecting suitable reading for their children:
(1). Clara Stanley; or a summer among the hills.
(2). Three months under the Snow. The journal of a young inhabitant of the Jura.
(3). A Shepherd's call to the Lambs of his flock. By Rev. Cornelius Winter Bolton.
(4). A hundred short tales to children. From the German of C. Von Schmid.
(5.) Sequel to Mama's Bible Stories. Chiefly in words not exceeding two syllables.
(6.) An Orphan Tale, told in Rhyme. By Rev. Geo. Fisk, LL. B. 41. Pleasant pages for young people; or, book of home education and entertainment. By S. Prout Newcombe. With numerous illustrations. Boston: Gould and Lincoln. 1853.
This book has peculiar excellences of its kind. It is the reproduction of the English edition. It is a repository of knowledge given in such a manner as to interest juvenile minds. It is a little pleasant system of home education, of sterling worth.