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Art. XIV. Picture of Valencia, taken on the spotcomprehending
a Description of that Province, its inhabitants, manners, and customs, productions, commerce, manufactures, &c. With an Appendix, con
taining a Geographical and Statistical Survey of Valencia, and of the « Balearic and Pithyusian islands : together with remarks on the Moors
in Spain. Translated from the German of Christian Augustus Fischer,
by Frederic Shoberl. Evo. pp. 309. Price 7s. Colburn. 1808 Art. XV. A Picture of Lisbon ;. taken on the spot: being a Description,
moral, civil, political, physical, and religious, of that Capital; with Sketches of the Government, Character and Manners of the Portu. guese in general. By a Gentleman many Years resident at Lisbon, 8vo. pp. 242. Price 68. Colburn, 1808. VERY publication which gives, or even professes to give, authentic in.
formation relative to any part of Spain or Portugal, will no doubt attract some notice at the present highly interesting situation of affairs in those amicted states. The two works which we have here classed together, are both evidently brought forward to meet the immediate demand of public curiosity; they are of very moderate value, but the former is by far the best.
Fischer is always an eulogist of the country, the inhabitants, and the manners he describes; but in this picture of Valencia, he excel's himself. All is equally admirable ; the Valencians are the best of human beings, their country the most delightful, even their earthquakes are nothing but slight transient horizontal undulations, to which the inhabitants are so accustomed, that they scarcely take notice of them.” The greatest part of the materials, the author capdidly states, are derived from Observaciones sobre la historia natural, geografia, &c. del regno de Valencia, por Don Antonio Josef Cavanilles, Madrid 1795-97 folio; his own personal observa tions down to 1803 being added, we presume that, making allowance for she immoderate effusion of panegyric, this picture of Valencia may be considered as of sufficient accuracy and merit to deserve some attention from the public. The style is most absurdly declamatory and rhapsodical and there are some scandalous indelicacies which regard for his ciaracter, if he had no better motive, should have induced the translator to omit.
The Picture of Lisbon is apparently a hasty translation of some insignificant French revolutionary writer, about the years: 1795 and 1796, which, on account of the temporary interest of the subjects has been raked out of deserved obscurity. From this miserable trash, however, we will transcribe one page,
for the purpose
of calling the public attention to a very fagrant abusc, far more prevalent in tliis inetropolis than its inhabitants are generally aware, but in which London itself must yield to Liston.
False witnesses at half a crown a head ; that is their established price in Lisbon, and every body knows it. The places in which they are to be found, the hours at which they assemble, and the token by which they may be recognized, are equally well known. Every day on which the courts of justice sit, a considerable crowd begins to assemble at ten o'clock in the forenoon, in a place situated at the extremity of the Recio, on one side of the Dominican convent, and before the palace, where the sittings of the Relação are held. This gang remains here till one o'clock in the after. HOOD. Here you see collected together, spies of the palace, pettyfogging lawyers, greedy solicitors, and all the scum of the courts. Among the rest there is also a class of beings whose sole occupation, whose only trade, is to appear before the courts, in order to attest truth or falsehood, by means of an oath taken to the supreme being. These men are at the ser. vice of the first applicant, whether he be known or unknown to them, whei her of their own nation or a foreigner. They say, they affirm, they swear whatever the party that employs them pleases. They are always ready, they know every person, though he comes from Japan ; they are acquainted with every fact though it (may) have happened in China. It is sufficient to give them their lesson well, either verbally or in writing, and they will repeat it faithfully in the face of the judges, and of the justice of a God who hears them.'
* All Lisbon is acquainted with their practises; the courts are acquainted with them. It is in vain that the scandal is evident, it is in vain that the public virtue exclaims against so revolting an abuse; they remain unpunished and the abuse is perpetuated. Art. XVI. An Essay on Public Worship. Published in Pursuance of
the Will of the late Mr. Norris, as having gained the Annual Prize instituted by him in the University of Cambridge. By George Cornelius Gorham, of Queen's College. 8vo. pp. 72. Price 2s.6d. Hatchard,
Burditt. 1808. IF
we mistake not, this is Mr. Gorham's first appearance on the literary
arena ; and on the whole, it is a very respectable one. It wou d give us sincere pleasure to know that all the compositions produced on this occasion displayed as much seriousness of mind and familiarity with Scripture as are evident in Mr. G.'s essay. His plan, which would probably have been more extensive had his limits permitted, is to recommend public worship as agreeable to reason, and as resting on the authority of Scripture, to defend it against objections, to discuss the proper mode or more especially to extol the liturgy established by law, and to state its importance and advantages. His remarks are commonly just and appropriate; his style is perspicuous and unaffected; and his occasional notes are creditable, thought not ostentatious proofs, of his theological and miscellaneous reading. Art. XVII. Letters on Literature, Taste, and Composition, addressed to
his Son. By George Gregory, D.D. late Vicar of West-Ham, Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Landaff, &c. &c. &c. 2 vols. 12mo.
Price 13. bds. Phillips. 1808. HAVING remarked* that a very large portion of the previous publica.
tion ascribed to Dr. Gregory was copied from the Monthly Preceptor,' and having noticed in this latter work a succession of papers on the very same topics as the Letters now before us, we were naturally induced to take another peep into that noted repository of juvenile erudition. On resuming our search, we found that though the plagiarism is not so fa. grant and extensive as in the former instance, and though the sentiments here advanced are sometimes at variance with those in the Preceptor,'
* Lectures on Experimental Philosophy, &c. Ecl. Rev. Vol. IV, p.
938. VOL. IV.
the maker of this book has very freely availed himself of the observations contained in that work. . In many of the letters, several whole pages to. gether are copied verbatim ; in others the passages extracted are of less magnitude, varying, according to circumstances, from three lines to thirty ; and in many places so much ingenuity is evinced in transposing the paragraphs, and altering the arrangement of the subjects, that it is not a little difficult to detect the similarity. It ought to be observed that certain opinions and maxims, which were inserted without acknowledgement in the . Preceptor,' are here ascribed to their original owners, Cicero, Blair, and others. To this acknowledged source, together with a few others to which we are pointed in tiie work, may be traced a considerable pro-, portion of the matter which these volumes contain. In estimating the characters of the principal ancient historians, and some of the moderns, General Andreossy and Mr. Hayley are regularly summoned to give in their evidence, and are made to supply their respective quotas' of prose and poetry, as occasion requires: Some years ago Dr. Gregory published a volume of Sermons, and prefixed to it an Essay on the Composition and delivery of a Sermon, and this Essay his correspondent is taught to “ conclude has furnished many of the hints for the letter on the Eloquence
of the Pulpit. A comparison between “ two of the most finished orators that ever graced the British or any other senate,” Messrs. Fox and Pitt, is reprinted from a periodical publication in the conducting of which"
Dr. G. “I had some share.” The last letter in the «series contains a variety of judicious remarks on the uses, advantages, and abuses of classical learning, which were communicated by the Dr, some years ago to the Philosophical and Literary Society of Manchester, and were printed in one of the volumes of its Memoirs,
With the materials thus obtained, and a variety of others, some of which at least, if not 'many, are probably original, and which are altogether arranged and proportioned with very tolerable symmetry, and con:nected with the skill of a Master in the Art, two and thirty Letters are composed on the subjects enumerated in the title-page.
If we consider these Letters independently of the mode adopted in the compilation, they deserve considerable praise ; they certainly contain inany correct and important observations, with much judicious advice and sound criticism illustrated by appropriate examples, and well worthy the attention of young persons. The arrangement is somewhat different from that of Blair's Lectures, and other books of the same kind, but it does not vary from them sufficiently to need any distinct specification ; the
gene. ral distribution, however, of the subjects, iş very well adapted to afford a. distinct view of the whole. Exceptions undoubtedly occur to this fa. vourable
report ; and from many others we select the following. We have a right to expectvin every didactic composition, that the writer should not violate his own precepts': among the directions for attaining purity of style, Nr. G. observes - I know nothing that more enfeebles a style than beginning sentences with connective particles, such as, and, though, but," Lowever, therefore, &c. It seems to put the reader out of breath, and part:kes, in some measure of the ungracefulness and confusion of long sentences. It also destroys that compactness which gives energy to style. (Vol. 1. p 89.) In the same volume, however, we very frequently find Hot only sentences, but paragraphs, beginning with ope or other of these prohibited expressions; and there are not wanting instances, where even two of these words are used together, introducing the sentence with “ But though,” or “ Though however.” &c. For our part, we should object to the rule itself, because it contounds two different classes of particis; and, but, though, and many others, may properly begin a sentence, while therefore, however, perhaps, &c. must generally be inserted in the second or some remoter place in the phrase; the same distinction obtains in the Litin and Greek languages.
Of metaphors it is justly said, that they bestow dignity on composi. tion ; but the remark ought not to have bien left entirely without restriction. The examples produced to establish its truth, are peculiarly unlucky :- How much nobler is it to say 56 the vault of heaven" than to use the common word," the sky.” So we say " the evening of life,” for old age' (Vol. 1. p. 156) ; the alteration of one word would make this sentence correct; how much more ridiculous, or more pedantic, is certainly the true reading.
The remarks on the eloquence of the pulpit, in the sixth Letter, are for the most part judicious; and, brief as they are, might be read with advan. tage by some who have long been preachers. But we can scarcely imagine any thing more unlike, than the following miniature portrait of Dr. Barrow's eloquence. That this astonishing man“ possessed a more varied stock of learning than perhaps any divine of our church,” may be ad. mitted with some qualification; but this is by no means the prominent and characteristic difference between him and other men. We look further, and are told “ though his genius was mathematical, i confess there appears rather a want of method in some of his discourses. His style is in general plain and chaste. His periods are not full, but run smoothly from the tongue'; and his language, for the most part, preserves one even tenor." p. 283–1. Who that has ben delighted with the rich exuberance of Barrow, admired the rapid yet unequal torrents that flow through his pages, and observed, amidst the innumerable brilliances, the occasional roughness of his style, but must conclude that our artist had either never seen the object he was attempting to depict, or had only beheld it from a concave mirror, reversing every feature it received upon its surface ?
We might notice many little faults in the style, and many exceptionable criticisms ; but these are not of a nature to render the work less fit than others of the same kind for the perusal of youth. There is howa ever one error in principle against which the student should be warned; we mean the tendency of the instructions to produce a pomp and strange ness of diction too remote from the language of life ; our quotation or the subject of metaphor will be a sufficient specimen of what we condemn.
It is extraordinary that the admirable letters of Cowper should not have been noticed in the account of epistolary compositions Art. XVIII, A Discourse on Trouble of Mind, and the Disease of Melina
choly; with a Preface containing sever.I advices to the Relations and Friends of Melancholy People. By Timothy Rogers, M A. The Third Edition. To which is prefixed, a Life of the Author. 80, price 5s. Maxwell and Wilson, Williams and Smith, 1308. So many readers, even in this frivolous age, still prefer the lamp-scented
volumes of the past centuries to the light ephemeral reading of the
present, that the increased demand for the works of the old divines has at once enhanced their value, and rendered them difficult of attainment at any price. Hence the republication of many antiquated treatises has been loudly demanded ; and when undertaken with a judicious choice of subject, and with a due attention to economy, has seldom given the editor any reason to repent. Unless we are much too partial to the taste of our most serious readers, the sale of this volume will prove that a new edition of this work was a desideratum in sacred literature. The subject has all the tender interest which hovers over every thing melancholy: and the malady which the worthy author attempts to alleviate is unhappily not less frequent, than might be expected in a world where the derangement of sin produces such a tendency to gloom and so many circumstances to excite its operation. The writer was well qualified to " minister to a mind diseased ;". for he had all the ci nipassion and skill which are learned from sympathy and experience, while his own deliverance from the gloomy caverns of despondency enabled him to direct others, in a similar state of distress, to the true and only way
escape. A life of the author is prefixed ; and the volume is so closely printed, that pone who read it with due attention will complain that they have not had their pennyworth. Art. XIX. The African Stranger: A Sermon, preached at London Wall, on
the evening of Sunday the 17th of January 1808, for the Benefit of the African and Asiatic Society, and published at the Request of the Committee. By, Robert Young. D. D. Minister of the Scot's Church, London Wall. 8vo. pp. 47. price 1s. 6d. Richardson, Williams,
1808. Art. XX. Am I not a Friend and a. Brother? A Sermon, preached at the
Free Chapel, West Street, St. Giles's, on Wednesday Evening, June 15, 1808, for the Benefit of the African and Asiatic Society; and published at the Request of the Committee. By the Rev. W. Gurney, Rector of St. Clement Danes, &c. 8vo. pp: 40, price ls. 6d. Hatchard,
Ogle, &c. 1808. AMONG all the distinctions of Britons from other nations, there is
none in which they have so much reason to exult as in the zeal and Kberality of their benevolence. As the result of religious conviction under the operations of divine influence, as tending to recommend the faith they profess, to “glorify their Father who is in heaven,” to benefit their fellow men, to improve their own character and promote their immediate and imperishable happiness, they have reason to rejoice in every effort and institution of philanthropy with a gratitude incompatible with pride. "The case of the Africans and Lascars in this country, especially of the former, is very forcibly and pathetically recommended in these pamphlets ; and we sincerely hope their extensive circulation will greatly increase the resources and promote the views of the worthy men who have founded the society. The Institution unites the peculiar advantages of a Bevevolent Association and a Benefit Club; its funds are supported chiefly by gratuitous contribution, but according to a judicious rule are also aided by the subscriptions, very slender ones, it is true, of the unfortunate objects of its relief." This relief includes the supply of immediate wants, assistance in preparing for and obtaining honourable service, provision in cas : of sickness, and religious