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Critical Register of Books.
Attica and Athens; An Inquiry into the Civil, Moral and Religious Institutions of the Inhabitants; the Rise and Decline of the Athenian Power; and the Topography and Chorography of Ancient Attica and Athens. With a Map and Plan. Translated from the German of K. O. Müller, Grotefend, and others, by John Ingram Lockhart, F.R.A.S. pp. 194. Groombridge. This is a very judicious selection from the writings of five eminent German scholars. More than half the book (114 pp.) is occupied by Müller's masterly essay on the topography, natural features, political divisions, and public buildings of Athens and Attica. With this profoundly learned, but most unpedantic and unobtrusive guide at his elbow, the Greek scholar, sitting by his English fireside, may feel that he treads in soul, with a firm step and an untroubled eye, that glorious land that has hitherto, perhaps, worn for him the aspect of a lovely but bewildering dream. Grotenfeld contributes a short essay, the condensed result of much research and thought, on what may be called the natural history of the Athenian people, their origin and descent, and the accidents that determined the peculiar bent of their moral character, their mythology, their social and political institutions, and so forth. A chronological epitome, by Canngiesser, carries the political history of Athens down to the year 1690. Its political and civil economy, in ancient times, are admirably investigated by Gruber: and, lastly, a few pages by Von Hammer de
scribe the state of Athens and Attica about the year 1820.
Educational, &c. The Harmony of the Latin and Greek Languages. By the Rev. Thomas Hill, A.M. 12mo. pp. 55. Edwards. This is a parallel syntax of the two languages, in which the rules are expressed on the whole with much neatness and perspicuity, and illustrated by pertinent examples. The author has wisely abstained from any
thing like metaphysical disquisition; contenting himself with the simplest exposition of those phenomena in the construction of the two languages, with which it is the student's first concern to become acquainted as mere facts. It would give us much pleasure to find this little work become the text-book for Latin and Greek syntax in our schools. As it may be used for either of these separately, it may at once be put into the hands of the junior classes; whilst it must manifestly greatly lighten the labour of those who, having made some little progress in Latin, are beginning the study of Greek. O! that there had been such a book in existence some— no matter how many-years ago, in our school-boy days! We should have thought, full surely, the millennium was at hand, had any one laid before us a book that without compression might fit into the compass of a common sheet almanack, and yet containing, with tabular clearness and pointedness, the whole of the positive syntax of Greek and Latin. But we are no longer light-hearted schoolboys; stern critics are we, whose vocation it is nodum in scirpo quærere: we must, therefore, say that there are one or two slight blemishes in the book, which Mr. Hill will no doubt himself discover and correct in a future edition. One such occurs, for instance, at page 16, where he speaks of opus exceptionally governing the dative case, his example being, “Dux nobis et auctor, opus est."-Cic. Now the use of nobis in this phrase is not exceptional: opus is generally accompanied with a dative of the person and an ablative of the thing: the exceptional peculiarity consists in the thing needed being expressed in the nominative.
Richard Savage; a Romance of Real Life. By Charles Whitehead, Author of The Solitary." 3 vols. post 8vo. pp. 1008.
This work of fiction fully bears out its own description; it is indeed “A Romance of Real Life." The charac
ters, events, and incidents, are all real as they can possibly be, and still have the interest of romance attached to them. This proves the genius of the Author, and arises from his power to invest the individual with a universal interest. Mr. Whitehead, however, has given us a painful view of human nature; and his masterly dissection of the moral nature does not leave nearly so elevating a feeling as the dissection of the physical. When the nervous unpleasantness of the latter is conquered, a sublime wonder follows in the developement of the intricate construction of our mortal frames, and the beauty of the adaptation of the means to the end. But in the dissection of the moral nature, a hideous mass of meanness and depravity is revealed.
The characters in this novel, or rather this history of a certain set of human beings with fictitious names and circumstances, are vividly portrayed; occasionally, perhaps, betraying the labour with which they have been carved out by the author; but still strong, muscular, and palpable, leaving the impression on the reader of actual acquaintanceship. The description of inanimate objects is equally forcible, and every thing and circumstance is set before the reader in
the strongest relief. There is no straining after effect-no melo-dramatic excitation of suspense-no exaggerated and wire-drawn developement of events. Mr. Whitehead has relied on the power of nature and reality, and on his extraordinary skill to depict it.
For these reasons, the work must become a standard one. It may not at first captivate those who read only to be startled with a monstrosity, or tickled with a conceit: but it will gradually win its way. All who look for genius to introduce man to nature-who desire in their reading to find knowledge, and that of the profoundest and most useful kind, that of the human heart, conveyed to them, will approve of the Romance of Richard Savage. It will pass from hand to hand and from mind to mind, as a very masterly delineation of the human creature and character. It is
an addition to that knowledge of our infinitely versatile nature, which has already been so ably revealed to us by the greatest writers, Shakspeare, Cervantes, Rabelais, and Fielding.
We are not penning, nor have we any motive to pen, an eulogy on Mr. Whitehead: to do so would be an insult to him or any other man of true intellectual power; but we speak that which is true, and can be demonstrated. Mr. Whitehead has his faults; but they are chiefly faults of manner. He has also his unpleasantnesses, which may be faults of nature. He seems to look sternly on our race. He is indeed truly dramatic; for his own sensations are never apparent. He is totally independent of his characters, and he relates their vicissitudes and reveals their fortunes, as if he cared not for them as if all that this world could afford, either of good or evil fortune, was but dust in the balance. This casts a sombre hue over his pages, and leaves the reader in a very reflective, if not mournful, state of mind.
Not that the Author is deficient in powers of humour, but he is cynical in his application of them, and draws human frailty with an unflinching and uncompromising truth and severity. The great merit of his writing consists in the masterly manner in which he individualizes his characters. And this bespeaks the highest powers of invention and delineation. In doing this, most authors give us only characteristics, but Mr. Whitehead, at the same time, as all true geniuses do, gives the human being. His powers of observation must be acute and active, and his penetration into character extraordinary. The characters of Ludlow, Burridge, Myte, and many others, are essentially what are termed eccentrics; but they are such eccentrics as one immediately acknowledges-as much as if one saw them in their actual vitality. In this closeness of delineation of character of various form and kind, we will venture to say, to the immense peril of our critical reputation, that Mr. Whitehead exceeds Dickens, or any living English writer, and approaches the very few great ones, such as Cervan
tes, Shakspeare and Fielding; in whose high and severe schools we are sure Mr. Whitehead has studied, not for matter, but for mode. It is not meant to assert that there are not other qualities also required in a writer of fiction, in which Mr. Whitehead may be excelled. As a record of human character, skilfully and powerfully delineated, however, Mr. Whitehead may rest assured that he has done something more than add another story to the Circulating Libraries: he has turned over an additional page of the history delineating human nature. The scholarship displayed in the fidelity of the history of the hero and his numerous associates, is so inferior an attainment compared to those we have been dissertating upon, that it almost escaped us to say it is equal to his other powers. We, for our own part, could have wished he had named his chief personage Richard Dundas, or Richard Jackson, or any thing else; as the loading the memory of a wellknown person with fictitious events, confounds the just limits of biography and fiction, and has the evil effect of suggesting to the mind those points of character as facts, which, after all, can only be taken as the author's view of human nature,—in this instance, very safely but in studying mankind we should be careful to distinguish between the actual revealments of the phenomena of human nature, and even the highest author's exposition of them.
Mr. Leech's designs are well worthy to accompany the text; and this is saying everything for them.
The Rioters: a Tale. By Harriet Martineau. Second Edition. 18mo. pp. 104. London: Houlston and Stoneman. This is a very timely re-publication; and those friends of order and good conduct, who have still a sympathy with the unhappy and misguided sufferers who think destruction can better their lot, would do a real service by largely distributing it. Miss Martineau's powers of telling a story, and her acquirements as a political economist, are too well known to require our eulogy. Her stern sense of principle, as recently manifested in her noble correspondence with the late
Government respecting a pension, must have convinced those not previously acquainted with her works, of her high and uncompromising character. The little work now alluded to fully developes these qualities of her mind and heart; and, coming from a warm friend to the people, the mode in which it points out their errors must be doubly valuable. The simplicity of the style, and the soundness and completeness of the arguments, should recommend it to every one interested in promoting right notions amongst the multitude.
Mainzer's Musical Times, and Singing Circular. A Fortnightly Journal, published on the 1st and 15th of every Month. Imperial 8vo. London, 340, Strand.
We cannot speak too well of the above periodical, whether as regards its object or its contents. Its great aim is to advocate popular musical education
a work in which its originator is spending all his energies, and they appear to be of no mean character. The paper consists of original articles by Mr. Mainzer and other musical writers of eminence; critical notices of musical books; biographies, and miscellaneous intelligence, &c.
We think it is certainly destined to take the lead of all the musical Journals. We should have been gratified in giving some extracts from the very interesting matter of the last two or three numbers, did our space permit. But we must be content to recommend our readers to peruse it for themselves. To the Profession, as well as to Amateurs, the "Musical Times" will be found to be of great interest and utility. The work contains sixteen pages of closely printed matter. We sincerely hope the spirited Projector will receive that extended public support which his undertaking so well deserves.
first attempt to elucidate the laws for procuring sleep at will, by directing the activity of the cerebral organs.
Many of our contemporaries have noticed this work in very eugolistic language; but it seems to us that they have all omitted that which distinguishes it from all others, namely, the fact of a physician purchasing a remedy, or supposed remedy, for sleeplessness, and presenting the recipe to the public. This is what Dr. Binns has done; and whether his plan be efficacious or not, for this act he deserves the thanks of the public. The Doctor defines sleep to be "the art of escaping reflection;" and thinks he can prove that sleep is an active, and not a passive, condition of the body. He places this faculty in the ganglionic system; and, in his preface, quotes Leibeg, Stevens, and Muller, in support of his doctrine.
Whether correct or not we will not attempt to assert or deny; but it has one recommendation which will go far with many readers, namely, it is novel. In the sixteen chapters into which the work is divided, we have, among many questions treated of, all in a popular form, a very remarkable one on dreams.
The author adopts Dr. Abercrombie's division of dreaming; but it is plain that there are many dreams which cannot be included in these four classes, and that there is still a book to be written on the subject which shall give a more general explanation of the phenomena. Indeed, Dr. Binns appears to be of this opinion, for he does not seem satisfied with what he has written on the subject, as he hints that it is his intention to pursue the subject in a separate volume. We should say there was a wide field yet unexplored, which would repay the labour of exploration. But the subject is one which requires very delicate handling.
The chapter on asphyxia, and death from strangulation, contains some very extraordinary cases of resuscitation after execution by hanging, especially of a butcher by the name of Gordon, who was hanged at the Old Bailey, of Dr. Dodd, and Fauntleroy, who, it appears by an affidavit made before the Court of Chancery last year,
is alive now in America! On this fact we shall offer no opinion, but state that Dr. Binns informs his readers that he learned from an American gentleman, that it was generally believed in the States that he was alive. We have no space to devote to a critical analysis of the mode of procuring sleep at will, but may add, that it is based on the single sensation of Cullen; and consequently, for this, and much amusing reading, we must refer to the work itself.
Retrospect of the Progress of Medicine and Surgery for the Year 1841-2. By Mr. E. O. Spooner and Mr. W. Smart. Read June 30th, 1842, before the Annual Meeting of the Southern Branch of the Provincial Medical Association, and published at its request. 8vo. sewed, pp. 87. Blandford: Shipp.
Though originating no new views, this offspring of the provincial medical press may not be undeserving of the attention of the profession at large, as a refresher to the memory, and a summary of the salient points in the medical and surgical history of the last year. On the whole, the authors evince good sense and discernment in the selection of their topics and their mode of handling them; but, for our own part, we should like their paper better without the pieces of monstrously fine writing, tagged on here and there to its general work-day texture. Some little extra flourishing, we suppose, must be allowed for in consideration
of the pomp and circumstance of the occasion. There is a Pickwickianism in these proud gatherings that soars above the level language of ordinary life. Still it is rather too strong for our taste to find our worthy reporters "lamenting, with the poet, the concealment of many a gem in ocean's depths serene." "
Lectures on Electricity, delivered at the
Royal Victoria Gallery, Manchester,
Frictional electricity constitutes the subject of the present volume, which is to be followed by another on Galvanism, &c. It appears to be a verbatim transcript of a full popular
course of lectures by the author, who has been long and advantageously known as an electrician. It may be a question whether he would not have done better, in preparing his lectures for the press, to modify their form in some respects. The arrangement suitable to the lecture-room may not be the best adapted for private reading. More serious students will prefer the order observed in Professor Daniell's Introduction to Chemical Philosophy. On the other hand, Mr. Sturgeon's plan has something in it of a dramatic interest, that will, probably, recommend it to a large class of readers, who would shrink from the severity of thought required by such works as Daniell's. The book before us abounds with interesting facts, and may be recommended to those who approach the subject without much previous scientific discipline.
A Treatise on Protracted Indigestion and its Consequences; being the Application to the Practical Department of Medicine of the Results of an Inquiry into the Laws of the Vital Functions; addressed by the Author, on his Retirement from the Medical Profession, both to the Members of that Profession, and the well educated Public, particularly Parents. By A. P. W. Philip, M.D., F.R.S., &c. 8vo. pp. 367. Longman and Co. This is the eighth edition of the work. Were it purely technical, there would be no need that we should do more than announce the fact of its publication;
but as it has been coniderably modified, with a view to rendering it accessible to general readers, it may not be superfluous to drop a word or two by way of introducing Dr. Wilson Philip and his work to the latter. Be it known, then, that the Doctor has been nearly forty years an ornament to the profession from which he retires, and that during the greatest part of that time he has been, if not singly the foremost, at least conspicuous among the few foremost, original investigators of physiology in this country. The present work is intended for an exposition of the most important practical applications of the principles elaborated by the patient labour of a long life. To the public its more immediate utility will consist in its warning and arming
them against the insidious approaches of that Protean disorder, indigestion; that yearly slayer of thousands. Dr. Wilson Philip's inquiry into the nature of the vital functions was undertaken for the express purpose of remedying what early struck his acute mind as existing defects in the practical department of British Medicine. That inquiry was not, in the author's opinion, completed till the year 1836; its results, therefore, have not yet been fully adopted by his professional contemporaries; indeed, it was not till within the last few years that their practical importance became clearly known to himself. There seems, therefore, no escaping the alternative put by the Doctor: those persons to whose cases his principles are applicable, must either read his book, that so they may be able to compel the attention of their medical advisers to its principles, or they must wait till a new race of practitioners has come forth from the schools where these principles are now taught. Death, however, may in the meanwhile put his veto upon the latter resolution. Descriptive Anatomy, By J. Craveil
hier, Professor of Anatomy to the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, &c. 2 vols 8vo. pp. 1217.-Library of Medicine. Whittaker and Co. Cruveilhier's "Descriptive Anatomy" needs no encomium of ours to enhance its European reputation. The present translation has been executed, with the express sanction of the author, by Dr. W. H. Madden, and revised throughout by Professor Sharpey. It is accompanied by occasional notes, which are just what notes to such a book ought to be ;-perfectly subservient to the text, brief, and embodying such subsidiary facts as ought to be known to the English student. The work is abundantly illustrated with small, but finely executed, woodcuts, the great utility of which will be readily appreciated. The form of the book (no trifling consideration with respect to one that is to be carried to and from the dissecting room) is the most convenient compatible with the voluminous nature of its contents. Each volume will fit snugly enough in one of the pockets of those hyperborean gar