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who was just placed in the chair by Louis XVIII, when that mo. narch was driven from his throne by the basest treachery that ever disgraced a civilized people. Had M. de Guignes lost it by bis homage to Buonaparte? With all our abhorrence of this man, and all our contempt for his adherents, we should be sorry if that were the case; and we merely put the question from a conviction of the great superiority which De Guignes possesses over M. Abel de Remusat who, we perceive, betrays, on the very threshold, an unpardonable ignorance of his subject, by broadly asserting in his introductory lecture on the Chinese language, that the English have done nothing in it since the time of Hyde. Has then this new professor never heard of the Translation of the Tu-tsing-leu-lee; the Code of Laws of the Chinese Empire, by Sir George Staunton? a work that yields in nothing to the Laws of Menu, by Sir W. Jones, who had the aid of a learned pundit, whereas Sir George Staunton had no assistance, in a language infinitely more difficult and obscure than the Sanscrit? -Has he never heard of Mr. Marshman's valuable Introduction to the Chinese Language, and his ponderous volumes of translation from Confucius ?-nor of Morrison's Horæ Sinicæ, or his translation of the whole of the New Testament into the Chinese language ?-nor, yet more, of the Ly-tang and the Conquest of the Miao-tsé, two imperial poems of Kien-Lung, and the Siao-tsee-lin and the Chinese Genesis, and last and best, the translation of Fan-hy-cheu, a moral tale, all of them by the Rev. Stephen Weston, F.R.S. and F. A. S.? Surely Mr. Professor Remusat must have dreamt away the present century, to be so grossly ignorant as to assert that Hager is the only person who has done any thing in Chinese literature in England! Did he never hear of Montucci, the bold and successful antagonist of this high German doctor? He hints something indeed rather obscurely of the conscription having interrupted his Chinese studies; perhaps—but this is conjecture -he may have been dragged away to the army;
it will account at once for his total want of information on a subject on which he bas undertaken to deliver lectures.
With all the imperfections of M. de Guignes's Dictionary, we are thankful for it in its present form.. Whether Mr. Morrison will give us a better, or (if it be true that the Directors of the East India Company have taken the alarm, and thought it prudent to dispense with his services) whether he will give us one at all, we consider as very doubtsul; but if Mr. Marshman would undertake to print a translation of Kang-hy's dictionary, we are fully persuaded that it would supersede all others, and be the most acceptable present which he could possibly make to the cultivators of Chinese literature in Europe. Europeans find a great obstacle to the dissemination of Chinese literature from the inconvenience and expense of cutting the blocks or single dies for the impressions of the characters. An attempt was made, and is stated to have been partially successful, to print them by types in the ordinary manner, by arranging the component parts of the characters as the compositors do the letters of the alphabet, and joining those parts together so as to compose the character required; but this we conceive to be a hopeless undertaking. The compositor, unacquainted with the multitude of parts and their endless combinations, would unavoidably commit innumerable errors, and consume a great deal of time in effecting little progress: but there is another, and, we believe, an insurmountable difficulty; the parts of the characters cross each other in all directions, wbich would make it impossible to put them together in the fount; for
instance, how could the two parts
be put toge
in the frame? yet this is a simple character in
comparison with the general mass of characters that occur. The best way unquestionably is that of the Chinese, who have one block of wood for each page. It is liable however to this inconvenience, that for a popular work, such as an Encyclopedia, of which the Chinese have a very voluminous one, it would require a whole warehouse to preserve the blocks for future editions. After all, it is neither more nor less than our recent invention, as we are pleased to call it, of the stereotype.
ART. III. A Statistical Account or Parochial Survey of Ireland,
drawn up from the Communications of the Clergy. By William Shaw Mason, Esq. 8vo. Vol. I. pp. 652. Dublin. 1814. E have received this volume from the sister kingdom with
great satisfaction. It has long been a reproach cast against us by the Irish, that we are grossly ignorant of all that relates to Ire
and we do not pretend to deny the fact—though we must deny that it affords any peculiar ground of censure ; for, we will ask, are the Irish themselves better informed on this interesting subject? Local details, undoubtedly, which fall under the observation of each individual, are known almost exclusively to the inhabitants of any particular country; but we are really at a loss to name that Irishman, to whom we could venture to refer for a general and enlarged view of the situation of his native country, in respect to the great objects which constitute the essence of national prosperity. We are sure that no books exist to which we could appeal for information.
We have seen some pamphlets which appeared to us liberal in their views and candid in their judgments; but slight declamations, however eloquent, are not the fountains of knowledge. On the other hand, we have had thick octavos of statistics, and heavy quartos of laborious detail, so disfigured by the ignorance, the presumption, and the political rancour of the writers, that we turn away from what they call facts with doubt and perplexity, and from what they would pass off as reasoning, with contempt or disgust.
Under these circumstances we cannot but feel, that the readiness with which the Irish impute to the English an ignorance of their country,--which is common to themselves, and which, either with regard to themselves or to us, they have taken so little pains to remove,- partakes rather of the querulousness of those who know themselves to be in the wrong, and are ashamed to confess it, than of the candid desire of attracting the notice of intelligent inquirers.
Under these circumstances also, we are inclined to be satisfied in Irish statistics with much less than we should have expected from a similar work relating to England or Scotland;-nay, we are inclined to be pleased even with the deficiencies which are so obvious in Mr. Mason's reports. It could scarcely be hoped, under the present state of Ireland, that one comprehensive yet accurate representation could be obtained of its political condition and national character—to have executed such a work is much beyond the powers of any individual, and we do not believe that any society of authors could be found so far agreeing, even in general facts and opinions, as to concur in the preliminaries necessary to such a conjoint undertaking.
We, therefore, approve the modesty and good sense of Mr. Mason, who contents himself with rendering a less brilliant, but a more solid benefit to his country. He does not aspire to any higher title than that of a collector and editor of a series of statistical tracts on the several parishes, which (in consequence of a circular application) he is in the course of receiving from the parochial clergy of Ireland; and we think that nothing could be more judicious than the application which Mr. Mason addressed to the clergy, and nothing more honourable to themselves, and more pregnant with advantage to their country, than the manner in which, it seems, they are disposed to answer this call. Mr. Mason asked not political or philosophical disquisitions, which many 'could not have given, which many would have declined to give, even if they could, and which, if given, could not have failed to partake of a party spirit, or a tone of political discussion unfavourable to the cause of truth, derogatory to the character, and dangerous to the comfort of the minister himself. The readers, therefore, of these tracts must not be surprised to find sometimes a dry, and what may, at the first glance, appear an
uninteresting statement of facts': on a more nature consideration, he will see in them the evidences of the present state of national character and civilisation, and the materials of the future history of the people; and he will be pleased to find that many of the reports are distinguished by much accuracy of inquiry,'force of reasoning, and very eminent literary ability,
The following is a table of the sections in which the account of every parish is arranged; and without entering into any discussion whether the arrangement is sufficiently scientific or comprehensive, we think we may assert, that it includes all the great ohjects of inquiry,' and that, at all events, nothing can be more satisfactory, and uliimately advantageous, than the general adoption of one fixed scale or formula, even though it should be in some degree imperfect in its theory.
'1.--The name of the parish, ancient and modern ; its situation, extent, and division, climate and topographical description. * II.-Mines, minerals, and all other natural productions,
III.- Modern buildings, both public and private, including towns, villages, gentlemen's seats, inns, &c.--the roads, scenery, and superficial appearance of the parish.
IV.-Ancient buildings, monastic and castellated ruins, monuments and inscriptions, or other remains of antiquity.
• V.- Present and former state of population; the food, fuel, and general appearance; mode of living and wealth of the inhabitants; diseases and instances of longevity.
* VI.-The genius and dispositions of the poorer classes; their language, manners and customs, &c.
VII.—The education and employment of their children, schools, state of learning, public libraries, &c. collection of Irish MSS. or historical documents relating to Ireland.
- VIII. --State of the religious establishment, mode of tythes, parochial funds and records, &c.
• IX.-Modes of agriculture, crops, stocks of cattle, rural implements, chief proprietors' names, and average value of land, prices of labour, fairs and markets, &c.
* X.-Trade and manufactures, commerce, navigation and shipping, freight, &c.
XI.--Natural curiosities, remarkable occurrences, and eminent men.
XII.-Suggestions for improvement; and means for ameliorating the situation of the people.
‘APPENDIX-Consisting of statistical tables, containing the value of the stock, annual produce of the parish, &c. &c.'
The volume now before us (the first of a series) contains the accounts of twenty-nine parishes, arranged in the foregoing order. It is not our present purpose to enter into any criticism of the abilities with which the parochial clergy have filled up the outline traced to them by Mr. Mason. Indeed, we are anxious to avoid
any thing which might tend to repress the zeal of individuals to contribute to this work; and we might do ultimately more harm than good, by observing, with the distinctions of praise or censure, (which, however, we have not failed to make in our own minds,) upon the exertions of persons who publish, not for fame, nor for money, but-gratuitously, and in the execution of what they conceive to be a duty befitting their stations, and advantageous to the great interests with which, as Christian pastors, they are charged.
But though this feeling forbids us to descend to the minuteness of criticism, and though the very nature of the work disables us from offering to our readers in extracts, any view of its merits or defects, yet perhaps we may be allowed to make a few general observations in the sincere desire of contributing to its improvement.
In the first place, we must lament that Mr. Mason has not thought himself justified in using somewhat of an editor's privilege, either in suppressing irrelevant or tautological observations, or in adding (by the way of notes) supplementary information—the correction of mistakes--references to scattered passages relating to the same matter-and, finally, some endeavour, at least, to reconcile or explain contradictory statements.
To the text of the original reports we certainly should not wish him to add any thing: but surely it cannot be necessary to print them literally as they are transmitted to him. In such a body as the clergy of Ireland there will be found men of very different tastes, habits, and talents; and—all having the best intentionssome undoubtedly will not at first hit upon the best way of executing them. It would seem, therefore, to be the duty of Mr. Mason to endeavour to persuade his reverend correspondents that this or that passage was misplaced, or liable to misapprehension, or unnecessary; and if it should be his ill fortune (as perhaps it cannot fail to be) sometimes to encounter an author so blind as not to see his own faults, and so obstinate as not to adopt his editor's advicewe trust that Mr. Mason will not feel himself obliged to print, merely because another has written, a dull, bigoted, or mistaken report, but that he will endeavour to obtain froin some other quarter a statement more worthy of his work and of the public.
We could wish, for instance, that the account of one parish had not been interrupted by the insertion of a ballad written by a farmer on a village sempstress; or that of another, by a translation of the first ode of Horace, by a mountain bard. Verses ought to be very good or very curious, and should, in either case, be immediately connected with localities, to be admitted to a place in such a work. We hope Mr. Mason will be more strict on this point in future.
We regret, also, to perceive some instances of mere declamation --that against absentees, for example in which, let us venture to