Page images
PDF
EPUB

advance SHE, (that is, SHE, these United States,) has made in National opulence, in the period of thirty years.' Now, as to the resources and prospects of this country, we have searched the book in vain for any direct light on these important subjects. Speculations, or whatever else they may be called, we have in abundance, with one or two samples of which we will favor our readers. The author has stated, that 6 some striking difference in our lot, physical or moral, is obvious, on every comparison that can be made,' and after drawing several comparisons, he adds the following.

'Free, therefore, without and within, (that is, the nation,) so to express it, exempt from any entanglements constraining the nation in her measures regarding external relations; at home, exempt alike from the restraints of privilege, as well in all the routine of govermental (govermental?) regulations and measures for the public weal, as in the several vocations or pursuits of individuals, which have not been encumbered, for instance, with either corporation claims or compulsory apprenticeships ;-in a word, liberty in the nation, both collectively and individually, to pursue on equitable ground her own undeviating course; and that liberty connected with a command over nearly the whole amount of her periodical revenues, applicable consequently to her advancement,these are traits, which are not found in the circumstances of other nations.' p. 28.

The meaning of this paragraph we leave to our readers to decipher, and proceed to select for them another.

I say then, if these last positions, which, though I have stated them hypothetically, will probably be as little disputed as those which precede, be granted, it must, I conceive, likewise be granted, that the United States departs (depart) still more widely, that is to say, considered as a nation in the vigor of youth, from the precise line of analogy, or similarity of circumstance with other nations, ancient or modern; and, therefore, that her (HER, the United States,) prospective career is not to be measured in idea by any series of events, which have ever happened hitherto to them. In the speculation before us, we dismiss the ancient guide, and start with a new one. It is the act of comparing America with America herself; from the recent past, to infer the proximate future. Which, with the discretionary allowances always understood, will, I trust, prove a safe conductor, and lead to what time shall unfold to be the truth.' p. 31.

One more passage, in which the author sums up his labors, must suffice.

'In the review I have taken, my business has rather been with the physical, moral, and intellectual capabilities of this great country, and with our national institutions taken in the aggregate; assuming for truth, the general excellence of the latter, in virtue of

448

Newhampshire Historical Society.

[April, experience had, down to the present day, of their effects; also the probable stability of the same as to essential outline and feature, in virtue of a matter-of-fact or two, which, relative to that topic, I have stated. And, in thus treating the great subject, I have exerted my puisné strength in attempting to raise and cast aside a corner of the veil, which would seem as shrouding a MAGNIFICENT FUTURE.' pp. 98, 99.

These extracts will serve as specimens of the author's style, and his method of considering the prospects of America, by 'inferring from the recent past the proximate future.'

As for his 'statistical comparison,' showing our advance in national opulence for thirty years, it consists in a meagre selection of results, taken from the proper authorities, exhibiting the state of our commerce, navy, post roads, and population, in the years 1792 and 1821, all of which, and much more, may be seen at a single glance in Pitkin or Seybert.

We are next told of a 'collection of other interesting facts.' These we have not been able to discover, except in a few pages devoted to the canals, and facilities for the internal navigation of the country. Had this part of the volume been printed separately in a suitable form and type, accompanied by Mr Tanner's valuable map illustrating the subject, it would have been a praiseworthy undertaking. The matter, which now occupies thirty open pages, should have been brought into fifteen.

The work is closed with an entire reprint of the President's last message to Congress, extending to thirtyfive pages; and an Index, spread over twenty pages, which might with perfect ease, and much greater convenience to the reader, have been compressed into three.

4.-Collections of the Newhampshire Historical Society, for the Year 1824. Vol. I. 8vo. pp. 336. Concord. J. B. Moore.

THE Historical Society of Newhampshire was formed on the 20th of May, 1823, and regularly organised by an act of the legislature of the state, on the 13th of June following. Its plan is nearly the same as that of the other historical societies of New England, it being designed to collect and publish ancient manuscript documents, and such printed papers, as have become rare and difficult to be obtained, but which, nevertheless, contain interesting and important facts, which it is desirable to transmit to posterity. Among the most valuable parts of this volume, is a republication of Penhallow's History of the Indian Wars, with Dr Colman's Preface. This curious work, which gives much information on

the character of the Indians, and their modes of warfare, has become extremely rare, and is now very judiciously republished. It is accompanied with illustrative notes by the editors, and followed by a letter from Penhallow to Cotton Mather. Among numerous other papers, we have Mr Moore's Historical Sketch of Concord; a letter from Oliver Cromwell to the Rev. John Cotton; and original letters relating to Dr Belknap's History of Newhampshire.

66

From these letters it would seem, that authors were not better encouraged, to say the least, thirtyfour years ago, than they are now. On the 17th of February, 1791, the legislature of Newhampshire, in a fit of extraordinary generosity, 'voted that the Rev. Jeremy Belknap have and receive out of the treasury of this state fifty pounds, as an encouragement for his laudable undertaking of compiling and perfecting a history of this state.' The following is an extract of a reply sent by Dr Belknap to the Honorable Nathaniel Peabody, who had communicated to him the vote of the legislature. After expressing his thanks for this grant, he adds, "You will excuse my saying I cannot view it as a recompense," when you consider my attention and labor for more than eighteen years past in collecting, compiling, digesting and copying the history, together with the expense and risk, which I have incurred. The expense of publishing the first volume was upwards of 250 pounds, and I expect that these which I have in hand will cost 400 pounds; the payment of which, excepting what the Assembly have granted, will depend on the sale of the books. The paper, printing, engraving, and binding, besides incidental charges, must absolutely be paid for by the author; for I cannot find, that the tradesmen concerned will risk anything.' Such are the rewards of authors, and such the bounty of patronage,-fifty pounds granted by a state legislature, for eighteen years' waste of strength, and talents and spirits, in searching after forgotten documents, and writing a history to perpetuate all that is most worthy of being remembered in the deeds of those, who first settled that state by their courage, and of those who afterwards adorned it by their wisdom and virtues !

We have only one hint to suggest to the committee of publication of the Historical Society, which is, that a good deal of interest would be added to the articles they publish, if each were accompanied by a few remarks on its origin, the mode in which it has been preserved and obtained, or any other collateral facts of history bearing on the point.

5.-A New Spanish Grammar, adapted to every Class of Learners. By MARIANO CUBI Y SOLER. Second Edition. Revised, corrected, enlarged, and greatly improved. 12mo. pp. 464. F. Lucas, Jr. Baltimore. 1825.

NEXT to our own language, the Spanish will be likely at a future day to become the most important in this country. The new theatre of enterprise, which is opening to the whole world in the vast extent of the South American republics, and the intimate intercourse, which, from proximity of situation, and similar principles of government, must necessarily grow up between those republics and the United States, will make the language a desirable, if not an essential acquisition to our men of business, as well as to scholars and politicians. Hence any judicious efforts, to facilitate the means of learning the Spanish, will hardly fail to be well received by the public. Mr Sales, the experienced instructer of French and Spanish at Harvard University, has translated from the French Josse's Grammar of the Spanish Language, with valuable additions and illustrations of his own, adapting it to the English student. This work, together with the Exercises, also translated from Josse, Mr Sales has used with great success in bringing his own pupils to a quick and accurate knowledge of the language, and it may doubtless be considered as possessing all the essential requisites of a good grammar.

Without pretending to institute a comparison between this work, and that of Mr Cubi now under notice, we may be permitted to express our high approbation of the latter, as showing much ability in the author, both in regard to the methodical arrangement of his materials, and the clear expositions he has given of the principles and difficulties in the grammatical construction of the language. We have compared the two editions, and think the second in some important respects an improvement on the first. His views are well explained in the preface, from which it is evident, that he has studied the subject with care, and gained much practical knowledge from experience. In the full conjugations and copious list of irregular verbs, and in the illustration of all the rules of syntax by explanations, remarks, and well chosen examples, this grammar is decidedly superior to any we have seen. This we deem particularly worthy of notice, because the success of the learner in studying Spanish, as perhaps almost every other language, depends very much on the readiness with which he may become acquainted with the verbs and syntax. That terrible crux to all beginners, the different uses of the verbs ser and estar, the author has labored with earnestness and ingenuity to remove. He has explained the difficulty with as much clearness, probably, as the nature of the subject will admit. Practice only can make nice distinctions familiar.

Mr Cubi has published in this country a small Spanish Dictionary, compiled from the best authorities, designed as a manual for learners; and also selections from classical Spanish writers. Within the last year he has published a grammar in Spanish, intended chiefly for the South American market. To a gentleman of his talents, zeal, and industry, we cannot but wish a success, proportioned to his ardor and exertions in making known in the United States the language and literature of his native country. By a note contained in Mr Cubi's preface, we may be encouraged

to hope, that the public will soon be favored with the means of a much more perfect acquaintance with Spanish Literature, than it has hitherto possessed. We give the author's words.

'A course of Lectures, on the History and Criticism of Spanish Literature, has been written by Professor George Ticknor, of Boston. This is certainly the production of much taste and labor. Although it has not yet been published, we have had the pleasure of perusing it; and we do not hesitate to pronounce this work, for plan and execution, the best of the kind, that has yet appeared. The perfect acquaintance, which this gentleman possesses with the Spanish language, the access which he has to the best editions of the many works he mentions, and his indefatigable industry in the pursuit of literary and scientific knowledge, have rendered him so completely master of the subject he handles, that his production may be considered an invaluable acquisition, and entitled to the thanks of every friend of literature and science.'

A very full Syllabus of the Lectures here mentioned has been printed, occupying an octavo pamphlet of eightyfour pages, prepared chiefly we believe for the use of the classes in the University at Cambridge, for whom the lectures were specially written. This syllabus justifies in its fullest extent the spirit of Mr Cubi's commendatory notice. In an advertisement, Professor Ticknor states, that the whole number of lectures is about thirtyfour, and that together they will make two printed octavo volumes. The whole course, as laid down in the syllabus, is divided into three Epochs, each of which is subdivided into other appropriate heads. A general outline is here presented.

EPOCH FIRST.

[From about 1155 to about 1555.]

The literature that existed in Spain between the first appearance of the present written language, and the close of the reign of the Emperor Charles Fifth; or the period that contains the elements, from which the best literature of the country was afterwards produced.

FIRST DIVISION. That portion of the literature of the first epoch, which was essentially untouched by the influence of any foreign literature.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »