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we may congratulate him on the rank, which he has already gained, of which the momentary caprice of the public cannot long deprive him ; and with hearty good will, playfully, but we hope not profanely, we exclaim as we part with him, “Very pleasant hast thou been to me, my brother Jonathan !""
Correspondence of Lord Byron, with a Friend, including his Letters to his Mother,
written from Portugal, Spain, Greece, and the Shores of the Mediterranean, in
1909, 1810, anu 1911. Philadelphia. 1825. 12mo. pp. 200. This book contains those letters of Lord Byron, which were intended to form a part of Mr Dallas' “ Recollections,” and which were prevented from being inserted in the English edition of that work. This objection, however, as we observed in our review of the “Recollections," did not apply to the American edition, and they should accordingly have made a part of it. This course, it seems, did not suit the views of the publishers, so that we have first a voluine of “ Recollections” garbled, by being deprived of Byron's letters, and then another, of which abont one half is a mere reprint of the first. If the booksellers would publish the letters separately, why not publish them, by themselves, in a form calculated to be bound with the Recollections, to which they belong. We do not wish to pay twice for the same nonsense. The truth is, that the volume before us contains as much of Mr Dallas' production as is worth having; the volume of “Recollections” is altogether unnecessary; and, in fine, the whole affair is a specimen of impudent book-making, only to be paralleled by the publication of the Giaour by peacemeal,a circumstance, which probably most of our readers recollect. We hope the public will show their indignation at this method of proceeding, by treating it with the contempt it merits. And what, after all, are these letters, about which Mr Dallas has made such a disturbance, and which required the interposition of the court of chancery to prevent their promulgation ? Why, next to nothing; a few commonplace epistles to his mother, such as any young man of tolerable education and smartness might have written, and such as are written, we presume, by hundreds, every day, froin travellers to their friends in England and America. Besides these, we have a number of such notes as are constantly passing between writers and the publishers or editors of their works. Why, we would engage to furnish the public with a dozen such volumes yearly, from the scraps which are lying upon, beneath, and around our study table; and right glad should we be to turn them to some account other than that of lighting our candles. Lord Byron wrote directions for correcting errors of the press, striking out and amending lines, sentences, and passages, just as any body else does. The following are specimens.
TO R. C. DALLAS, ESQ.
Cambridge, October 25th, 1811. Dear Sir I send you the conclusion to the whole. In a stanza towards the end of canto 1st, in the line,
Oh, known the earliest and beloved the most, I shall alter the epithet to “esteemed the most.” The present stanzas are for the end of canto 2d. In the beginning of the week I shall be at
No. 8, my old lodgings, in St James' street, where I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you. Yours ever,
St James' street, 29th October, 1811. Dear Sir-I arrived in town last night, and shall be very glad to see you when convenient. Yours very truly,
TO R. C. DALLAS, ESQ.
December 17th, 1811. We will have the MSS. and extracts printed in an appendix. I leave to you to determine whether the lighter pieces in rhyme had better be printed before, or after the Romaic. Yours eyer,
BYRON. The letters to his mother are the only things in the book which have the slightest claim to the attention of the public; and these occupy by the assistance of spaces and margin, just fifty-four duodecimo pages. Printed in the same form with the “Recollections,” they would have made a thin pamphlet, easily inserted by the binder in their proper place in that work,-if any one should think them worth buying,--the rest of the book being a mere saddle upon these. In short, we are utterly disgusted with the whole matter, and desire to waste no more words upon it.
A Catalogue of American Minerals, with their Localities; including all which are
known to exist in the United States and British Provinces, and having the Towns, Counties, and Districts in each State and Province arranged Alphabetically. With an Appendix, containing additional Localities and a Tabular View. By SAMCEL ROBINSON, M. D. Member of the American Geological Society. Boston. 1925,
8vo. pp. 320. The rapid progress which the science of mineralogy has made in the United States within the last few years, may be fairly attributed to the industry and talent of Professor Cleaveland, whose Mineralogical Manual has not yet been equalled in any part of Europe ; other works of the kind are either too brief, too technical, or too learned for general use. The second edition of this work appeared in 1822, with some improvements, and a great deal of additional knowledge of the minerals which have been discovered in the United States. Notwithstanding the recent appearance of this edition, so much information has since been added to the common stock, by several periodical publications and essays by different individuals, that for localities, at least, a new edition is almost requisite for the convenience of the active collector. This deficiency is in a great degree obviated by the present publication, which presents a geographical view, alphabetically arranged, of all the known localities of mineral substances discovered in the United States down to the date of the publication. Localities will, of course, continue to increase by the unparalleled industry of the American youth, who are searching every hill and brook to add to the knowledge of the mineral productions of their country; but many additional species to the present extensive number can hardly be expected. And such additions alone would call for a new manual in the science. The present publication, therefore, drawn up with great fidelity and industry, may justly be considered as a very necessary and useful addition to our mineral knowledge; and an accompaniment of practical utility to the last edition of Professor Cleaveland's Manual. But, besides the extension of our geographical knowledge, which this Catalogue embraces, there are no less than seventy substances added to the Ameriaan list of minerals, which are not found in Cleaveland's last edition. The sources of information employed by the author have been also more numerous than could have been well imagined, for a science of such recent origin as that of mineralogy in the United States. It was, therefore, necessary for the collector at least to employ no inconsiderable number of expensive publications to acquire the necessary knowledge of the subject. The work is not merely an empty catalogue, as may be seen by its containing 320 octavo pages, but includes useful notes added or compiled by the author, on the uses and characteristic or remarkable traits of the substance.
A Practical Treatise on the Law of Partnership. By NIEL Gow, Esq. of Lincoln's
Inn, Barrister at Law. First American from the last London edition. With Notes and References to American Decisions, by Edward D. Ingraham, Esq.
Philadelphia. 1825. Svo. pp. 518. This Treatise on the Law of Partnership is valuable principally because it contains most of the recent decisions on the subject, and brings the law down to the present time. There were two excellent ones in use before,--those of Watson and of Montagu. The volume before us, bowever, differs very materially from both of these. It is much more elaborate, and perhaps more scientific in its form. The chapters and sections are in the nature of dissertations. The author writes as if he had thoroughly investigated all that has been said or decided on the Law of Partnership; but he gives us the result of his inquiries in his own language, without much quoting, and, indeed, with seldom more than a general reference to the authorities, on which his positions rest. The other two treatises we alluded to, have more the character of digests; or rather they are collections of legal decisions classified judiciously. This is particularly the case with the very popular one of Mr Montagu. After laying out his work generally, he states briefly, under each division, the principles belonging to it, and then inserts the decided cases, from which he has deduced those principles, either at full length, or at least so much of them as were material for the decision of the question before the court.
And we think this last is, on the whole, decisively the best way. The other, it is true, may exhibit more talent, and appear in a much more imposing form at first. There seems to be some play of original thinking about it. But a law-treatise is the last place for genius to shine in,indeed originality may here be a great defect. Gentlemen of the bar want to know how questions have already been argued and settled. It is fact—it is what has actually been said, done, and decided by those superior tribunals, who preside over the law,—that they hunt among musty folios for; and a practical lawyer will never repose full confidence in the most satisfactory treatise that ever was written, without recurring likewise to the original cases, on which that treatise was built. Able essays or disquisitions are of little authority in our courts of judicature. It is not always safe to cite even the best digests or commentaries. The decisions, or the adjudged cases themselves, out of which the digested principles are drawn, ought to be first examined and produced, if they are in existence; and it is only when these were never properly repeated, or when they have been lost by lapse of time, that the digest or the commentary is resorted to, as the next best evidence of the reality of those decisions, that the nature of the case admits of. These things have been applied to even the great work of Sir William Blackstone, one of the ablest judges who ever sat on the English bench. It was lately said of that work by an eminent jurist in delivering a judicial opinion: “I am always sorry to hear Mr Justice Blackstone's Čommentaries cited as authority; he would have been sorry himself to hear the book so cited; he did not consider it such."
For these reasons, we think Mr Gow's treatise will not supersede the use of Watson and Montagu. It is certainly, however, a very able work. The editor, too, has added much to its value by the copious supply of American decisions, which he has introduced into it. And perhaps as an elementary book for the student at law, or for the general reader, who wishes merely for a broad view of the subject, and has no occasion to look into the original cases themselves, in order to see the exact application of them,-it is the most interesting of the three; but to the accurate practical lawyer, the other two are in their manner decidedly preferable.
Memoirs of the Life of John Philip Kemble, Esq., including a History of the Stage
from the time of Garrick to the present period. By JAMES BOADEN, Esq. Phi.
ladelphia. 1825. Two vols in one. 8vo. pp. 607. The history of the English Stage for the last fifty years, with memoirs and anecdotes of the principal actors, affords a subject for a moderatesized book, which might be interesting and valuable, not only to those more immediately connected with the stage, but to the general reader. But the size of this book is out of all proportion to the intrinsic interest of the subject of it, especially to readers in this country; and the ability with which the author has treated it, is not such as will atone for this inherent and appalling difficulty. Seven eighths of the huge volume is taken up in stating facts of no consequence to any one at the present time in relating stupid anecdotes of more stupid people-and in detailing with a tedious and provoking minuteness the bickerings and petty squabbles of a host of actors totally insignificant in the history of the stage. We do intreat our respectable and enterprizing publishers to spare the public from more such books as this. It can have but little interest, even with English readers, and much less with us. The mention of a few distinguished names in it may attract some no. tice, but that will make but slender atonement for the mass of nonsense in which they are involved. We do not profess to have read the book through, we would sooner give up our review than attempt such a thing. But we have read enough to acquire a thorough disgust for it, and to convince ourselves that the folly of the plan is only equalled by the feebleness with which it is executed. If others have patience and good nature enough to worry themselves through it, and can honestly arrive at a different conclusion, we shall be very happy to have our impressions corrected; but till that is done, we shall most conscientiouly believe it is one of the most stupid books with which we have ever been afflicted.
ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES AT PHILADELPHIA.
This is, perhaps, the most useful and active scientific association which at present exists in the United States. It combines a considerable number of individuals of talent, industry, and great zeal, and they promise to labour extensively in that almost untrodden field, the Natural History of America. It has been in existence several years, and its transactions have been submitted to the public; but the present year the first annual report of the Secretary of the Society, containing an account of its transactions for 1824, has been published. The view which it gives of its activity and zeal is highly honourable to the Society, and encourages us to look to this source for many important additions to the natural history of our country.
The meetings of the Society are, we believe, frequent, and are occupied by the reading of scientific communications or the delivery of lectures upon scientific subjects. The number of communications read before the Academy during the year 1824, was thirty-seven; of these some account is given by the Secretary under three heads, 1. Zoology; 2. Geology and Organic Remains ; 3. Mineralogy; with a brief abstract of their contents. The number of lectures delivered was twenty-five. Of these, fourteen related to the physiology or the natural history of animals, two to botany, four to mineralogy and geology, and the remainder to subjects of mathematical or general science.
The Academy, during the year, published two half volumes of the Journal of their Transactions, containing the greater part of the communications which have been alluded to; and several remained on band, which were to be put ,to press early in the present year. The report contains a most flattering view of the condition and prospects of the Society.
6 Whether we estimate,” says the Secretary, “the progress of this institution by the number of scientific communications submitted to it by the number or merit of the memoirs deemed worthy of insertion in your journal—by the interest taken in your proceedings by the members themselves, as evinced in their more regular attendance at the meetings, and in the increased number of lectures delivered this year-by the accession to our list of associates,-or, finally, by the improved state of our finances, we shall, in each of these bearings, discover great cause for rejoicing, and an assurance that our institution is daily increasing in importance, in respectability, and, what is still more desirable, in usefulness."
LIVINGSTON'S PENAL CODE OF LOUISIANA. In the number of the Westminster Review for January, 1825, is an article on the Penal Code of Louisiana, as drawn up by our distinguished countryman, Edward Livingston, Esq. The Code is examined in detail, and treated in a style of commendation very unusual in foreign reviews. The greatest praise is given to the principles advanced by