« ZurückWeiter »
1791. In 1809, when the inquisition was abolished, by a decree of Joseph Bonaparte, Llorente was chosen to examine its archives, and write its history. His researches were continued for two years, during which many persons were employ. ed, at the expense of the government, in making copies and extracts from the original documents, found in the archives of that tribunal. At the end of this period, he published the first part of this history in Spain. The complete work was afterwards published in the French language, at Paris, in the year 1817, under the title of " A Critical History of the Spanish Inquisition.” It is obvious, that a work composed under these extremely favourable circumstances, must have greatly the advantage over all others. The history of Llorente is quite voluminous, consisting of four large octavo volumes, which are neatly abridged into the compendious volume before
The abridgment contains all the information that general readers would require, respecting the origin and proceedings of that extraordinary institution, and we have no doubt is a much more agreeable work in the perusal than the original, which was encumbered with many voluminous documents from the ancient records examined by Llorente. Both the work of Llorente, and the abridgment of Gallois, have been received with favour on the continent, and have passed through several editions. A translation of the work of Llorente has been published in London, but we cannot help thinking the abridgment much better calculated for the latitude of the United States.
American Annual Register.—Messrs. G. & C. Carvill, of this city, have just issued proposals, for publishing “ The American Annual Register, or View of the History, Politics, and Literature of each year," in an octavo volume, containing about eight hundred pages. The work is to appear in the month of August, annually. The price is five dollars, payable on delivery.
A work of this kind seems to be particularly called for in a country where the demand for political information is as strong as in ours. The most diligent reader of the daily papers, does not always remember at the end of the year all the important political events that bave taken place within it, nor is he always certain, that amidst the multitude of contradictory reports, he may not sometimes be mistaken as to the truth of facts. An annual summary of domestic and foreign history and politics, rejecting what is unimportant, and distinguishing what is doubtful, cannot but be exceedingly valuable, both in the way of instruction and of reference.
Those who read the European Annual Registers, will find them not only barren of accurate information with respect to American affairs, but stuffed with blunders, which are absolutely ludicrous. Thus the Edinburgh Annual Register, in giving the history of the Missouri question, states, that in the act which finally passed the two houses of congress, slavery was permitted in Missouri, on condition of its being abolished in Louisiana. All their accounts of American affairs are full of such mistakes, owing, no doubt, to the indolence of the compilers. An American Annual Register, properly executed, would not only supply these gentry with the information they so much need, but would also, no doubt, be consulted by all such persons abroad as might wish to obtain a correct knowledge of the politics of our
country, and would lead to a juster estimate of our national character and institutions.
Another object of no small importance, which would be effected by this work, would be to give a compendious view of the local politics of the different states of the union. Every body would like to know something of the struggle in the state of Virginia, between the convention and anti-convention parties, as they are called—the relief and anti-relief parties in Kentucky--the dispute between the state of Ohio and the bank of the United States—the claim of Massachusetts upon the national treasury, &c. It is, however, at present impossible to obtain any accurate information respecting them, without consulting the voluminous accounts of them published in the newspapers of the different states—a labour for which few have either time or inclination.
The following extract from the prospectus, will further explain the objects of the work :
“The history of our own affairs will be brought down in each year to about the beginning of July, while that of Europe will correspond to the ordinary annual division.
“By this arrangement, time will be afforded to conclude the accounts of European transactions for the preceding year, and to give the proceedings of Congress and of the State Legislatures in each volume, in a complete form.
“ A second part of the Register will be appropriated to Official Documents; and in a third division will be inserted such Biographical Sketches and Literary Essays as possess general and permanent interest.
“A fourth part will be devoted to an account of promotions in the Army and Navy, changes in the Diplomatic Corps, &c."
We bave only to add, that from what we are able to learn,
we have no doubt that the work will be conducted with ability and fidelity.
Observations on Electricity.--George F. Hopkins, of NewYork, has written and published a pamphlet, containing some curious facts and ingenious speculations relative to electricity, looming, and sounds, together with a theory of thunder showers, and of west and north-west winds. With respect to the exhibition of the electric fluid in the clouds, after stating a number of facts relative to those mysterious bodies, or masses of warm air, which are felt to be floating near the surface of the earth in the hot months of summer, Mr. Hopkins draws the conclusion, that as soon as these masses of heat rise, and come in contact with the cold vapours which form the clouds in the higher regions of the atmosphere, they explode, and produce the usual phenomena of lightning and thunder.
We have not time at present to give the author's explanation of the phenomenon usually called looming.
As to the communication of distant sounds, the author adduces certain facts, which. render it very probable that their various degrees of loudness at different times, depends on that great process of evaporation by which the atmosphere is supplied with the vapours which form the clouds.
The author's theory of thunder showers, and of the west and north-west winds in our latitude, is ingenious; and his facts and reasoning on this subject, are deserving the attention of all who take an interest in watching the ever varying features of the firmament.
The style and composition of this little treatise are neat and correct, and the production altogether is highly creditable to the good sense, judgment and taste of the author.
It has been found necessary to state to the readers of the New-York Review and Atheneum Magazine, that the article in the last number, entitled, “ An Apology for an Essay," was inserted without the knowledge of the responsible editors, who, it is well known, have always entertained a high opinion of the importance of those studies against which the pleasantry of the article appears to be directed.
H. J. A.
ART. XXIII.--The Works of the Right Honourable Lord ByIn eight volumes. Philadelphia. H. W.
H. W. Pomeroy. . 1825.
WHEN we first saw this edition (purporting to be a complete one) of the voluminous poetry of Byron, we supposed that we had found a prize of no small value. During the life of an author, whose genius is prolific, it is impossible to preserve a regular and uniform collection of productions, appearing in different shapes, and got up occasionally in different forms, to suit the market, or the speculations of the publisher, who occasionally indulges his customers with a new and complete edition," consisting of the sweepings of the shop, and assorted according to the fancy of the binder. The fugitive productions which escape occasionally from a fertile mind, are also collected in various forms; and, in the instance of Byron, the effusions of others have crept into the American editions of his works. The lines on the death of Sheridan, for example, written by Moore, were inserted in many copies which we have met with as Byron's, instead of his own monody.
When, however, death, with his icy finger, has written Finis, it is preper and necessary, as soon as possible, that a correct copy of all an eminent author's writings should be printed, before time renders the authenticity of any of them apochryphal. The real lovers of books require an edition of this kind, and when it is so easy to comply with their wishes, they are entitled to be gratified.
We have been vexed and disappointed in examining the present edition. Whether it is printed after a London copy, or (which is, we presume, the fact) got up here, we do not know. The cold-pressed paper is very fair, the type is clean, and the pages are proportioned with good taste ; but the editorial department appears to have been resigned entirely to the print
er's devil-and, verily, we cannot compliment him highly on his ingenuity. He has, indeed, connected the cantos of Childe Harold and of Don Juan, severally, in their regular succession ; otherwise we should suppose that he had referred the order of the pieces to blind chance. Through all the rest of the eight volumes, there reigns the most admired disorder, and a glorious contempt for chronological arrangement, classification, or connexion of subject. This is very 'nonsensical. A few of the poems in the "Hours of Idleness,” are inserted; most of them are omitted. This is unwarrantable in the said printer's devil; because, though he may have heard that the book was cut up in the Edinburgh Review, and though the author himself might have been willing to consign some of his early efforts to oblivion, the community are entitled to the whole; and the first promptings of a muse so generous, are of the highest interest to the admirers of genius. Bonaparte's Farewell,” which is here inserted, was, we believe, never written by Byron ; and the translations from the French, or rather the odes purporting to be such, have been claimed by Mr. Agg, of Washington; and, unless we grossly err, were printed among the minor poems following the “Ocean Harp," published by him several years ago. Some of the more recent lyrics of the noble writer are omitted ; as, for instance, the drinking song to Tom Moore. This edition is also redundant in abominable typographical errors. This is very extraordinary, in a work printed at so much cost as the present.
Lord Byron has written so much, that it may not be uninteresting to our readers to give a chronological catalogue of his principal poems, which were generally accompanied with minor fugitive pieces. A hasty recurrence to the Reviews, supplies us with the dates and order of his productions.
The “ Hours of Idleness” appeared in 1807, with the noble bard's name, and addition of minor prefixed, as is said in some of Blackwood's doggrel,
6 Under and over,
And in prose prologomenous(Meaning prolegomenous, perhaps.) We see no reason, in this age of reviewing, why an author should not give his critics proper data whereon to found a ljudgment, not only as to the absolute merit of his productions, but as to his individual power and promise. Those who possess that illegal quantity of knowledge, technically called "all and some," who know eve