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stances. The second is a resumption, or recapitulation, of the eight preceding sermons. Sermon ini. is thus intitled : • The culpabte absurdity of public worship, if it have no infiuente on mo, ality.' • To imagine (says the author) ihat the most assiduous attendance on pubiic worship can supply the place of goori morals, or compensate for bad morals, is the most absurd and dangerous of superstitions.- In vain you are the most scrupulous observer of all the parts of public worship, if it tend not to influence your conduct, and to direct your steps in the paths of virtue. All this is perfectly just : but was it requisite laboriously to establish so acknowleged a truism ?-in sermon the fourth, the preacher descants on the various causes which prevent the good effects of public worship. These, he thinks, are chiefly four; doubts about the truths of religion, ignorance, pride, and dissipation.
The five remaining discourses are called sermons des circunstances,' or occasional sermons; which the author has classed with those on public worship, because the first four have a sort of general relation to that subject, and the last has been pubblished at the desire of his auditory.
The subject of the first occasional sermon is : qubat is to be done in the time of Calamity, whether public or private : considered from Acts, ii. 37. “Men, brethren! What must we do?" A Fast-day sermon, full of good remarks. The second is a discourse pronounced on the Thanksgiving-day, Dec. 19th 1797, in which the preacher attempts to shew, ist. That the favors. of God do not authorise us to believe that he will not punish us, if we deserve punishment. 2dly. That on the contrary, those very favors furnish a proof that he will punish us more severely, if we hasten not to disarm his just wrathe-Sermon III. was a thanksgiving discourse preached November 29th 1798, on the victory of Admiral nelson. - The fourth is a fastday serinon, for Feb. 27th 1799, on the influence of good or bad morals of the prosperity of nations. The concluding sermon was preached on the Anniversary of the Swiss Society, on the love of one's country preserved evven annong foreigners.
The reader will not discover in these volumes the close and copious reasonings of Bourdaloue, nor the affecting pathos of Massillon, nor the neat elegance of Saurin : but he will find religion without superstition, zeal without rancour, and maxims of the best morality. The author everywhere speaks the langaage of a pieus, enlightened, and liberal theologian; and many of his arguments in favour of public worship are, in our apprehension, conclusive. Without some sort of public wors ship, religion, social religion, can scarcely subsist; a few phi. losophic minds may proudly fancy that it is net requisite: but the bulk of mankind are not philosophers.
any words separatarrangement in the work inden has
Art. VII. German Grammar, adapted to the Use of Englishmen.
By George Henry Noehden. Phil. D. 12mo. 78, 6d. Boards, Mawman. 1800. THAT a good grammar and dictionary of the German lan
guage, for the use of Englishmen, have been much wanted, is a fact acknowleged by all those who have lately wished and attempted to learn that language : which, although a sister dialect, is less easily attained by a Briton than perhaps any other European tongue. This difficulty arises not from the words separately considered, but from their very different construction and arrangement; and the principal defect of most grammars has originated in the little attention that has been paid to this subject. ' Dr. Noehden has in a great measure supplied this deficiency; and we consider this particular section of his grammar as the most useful part of the work.
An Introduction, of 21 pages, contains an historical account of the different German dialects, which, in writing, have gradually coalesced in what is now called High German : a term that ought not to be confounded with what is denomi. , nated Upper German, or that dialect which is spoken in the more southern parts of the Empire, and which is contrasted with Nether German, spoken in the north.
· Those two idioms, the Upper and Lower German, essentially differ from one another, not merely in the pronunciation of the same words, but in the words and phraseology themselves. They diverge more widely than the Attic from the Ionic, or the Ionic from the Doric, in antient Greece. The Upper German is in its elocution hissing and guttural, and abounds in deep and broad sounds. The Lower German, on the contrary, has a clear and soft enunciation, and generally avoids such sounds as are harsh and unpleasant to the ear. It renders the organs of speech supple and flexible, whereas the former so contracts or distorts them, that, in some degree, it disqualifies them for the pronunciation of any other language. Hence we find that those inhabitants of Germany, among whom the Lower German prevails, acquire with facility the pronunciation of foreign tongues, while those of the south, or Upper Germany, have to struggle with insurmountable difficulties.'
Dr. Noehden, who is probably a Lower German, gives the preference to that dialect; which, he thinks, is more harmonious than its rival. We have known Germans who thought otherwise: especially those who came from Franconia. The Upper German was cultivated at a much more early period than the Nether German, and maintained its pre-eminence until the reformation; when Luther, by embellishing his native dialect, the Upper Saxon, gave rise to a new language, which has been refining CC2
Il local pe and in
ever since, and is now called simply the German tongue : because it has ceased to be a provincial dialect, and has relitquished all local peculiarities.-The questions, then, are, where is it best spoken and in what part of Germany is it most eligible for a foreigner to learn it ?- The preference was long given to its birth-place, the Electorate of Saxony; and particularly to Meissen and Dresden : but of late years (says the author) his prerogative has been dispated by other towns, and in other provinces; for instance, in the circle of Lower Saxony, such as Hamburgh, Brunswic, Hanover, Göttengen, c. and some in the north of the Upper Saxon Circle, as Berlin: in short, all the places of note, within the verge of the Lower German dialect.' Dr. N. observes that the natives of Lower Germany possess a great facility in pronunciation, and more casily divest themselves of their provincial habits, than the Upper Germans; and hence, he thinks, they speak High Ger. man with a superior degree of purity and accuracy.
The provincial aberrations in the Upper Saxon mode of , speaking are these; - a want of discrimination between b and pid and t; g and k; for example, they pronounce baum, paum; der, ter ; gott, kott. They confound s with sh, and say shprechen for sprechen, and dursbt for durst.-On the other hand, the principal misnomers of the Lower Saxons are these ;-They change the hissing sounds where they should not, and say stagen for schlagen. They pronounce the letter &, like our s, and say yott for gott ; garten for garten, &c. At Berlin, we believe, this is the common pronunciation, which is certainly more smcoth than the other; although the present writer tells us that it is ' unjustifiable, and that the true sound of that letter is the same with that of our hard g.
The grammar itself is divided into two parts, of which the former treats on etymology, and the latter on syntax. Respecting the pronunciation of the letters, we think, the author is rather prolix, and might have greatly condensed his matter. Sect. 3. on the accent, is well worth attention. In the other parts, we observe nothing uncommon; except, as we have already stated, the remarks on the arrangement of words. This is the subject of the 3d ch. of part second, and should be carefully perused by every learner of the German language. Indeed it is almost indispensably necessary : since the Germans have a settled method of arranging the parts of speech in a sentence, which is at present so incorporated with the genius of the language, that any deviation from it may be regarded as a grammatical offence.'-There have been some authors, we are told, who have wished to depart from this system, but they failed; and
ng uspendix contains with a literal Hoff collection of phrasein',
their ineffectual endeavour has only served as a test of the prevailing usage.
The appendix contains a few extracts from Wieland, Herder, Goethe, and Schiller, with a literal English version for the use of beginners : followed by a very short collection of phrases ; which, we are inclined to think, might have been better chosen, and not seldom better translated. Here we cannot help observing that, in an elementary, book, that translation of words and phrases which comes nearest to the idiom of the words and phrases to be translated is always to be preferred, though it be not always, perhaps, so elegant as other expressions. For example; we would have der mgen translated, the maw ; kleidung, cloathing ; schweinefleisch, swine-flesh: adding, when necessary, the more common terms, stomach, cleaths, pork, &c. In like manner, we would not render sie essen nicht, "you do not eat," but "you eat not:"_nor eilen sie nicht « do not be in a hurry," but “ hurry yourself not.” Even when a literat version deviates from the English idiom, it would be more useful to the learner to have it presented to him. For ins stance: wollen sie zit inittag bey mir éssen : "will you at mid-day with me eat." i. e. will you dine with me.-Darf ich sie bitter, “ dare I you beg."--Wie weit ist Berlin von hier'; “ How wide is Berlin from here."-- Kann ich über niht hier bleiben? " Can I overnight here stay?" It is inconceivable how much a Chrestomathia of this sort contributes to the rapid progress of the scholar. We speak from experience.
The author promises us a dictionary, English and German, and German and English, in octavo : in how many volumes, he says not : but in order to be in any degree like a complete Lexicon, it cannot be comprehended in less than four. In the German and English part, we recommend it to Dr. Noehden to take Schwan's German and French for his model.
Arr. VIIL The History of France, Civil and Military, Ecclesias.
tical, Political, Literary, Commercial, &c. &c, from the Time of its Conquest by Clovis, A. D. 486. By the Rev. Alexander
Ranken, one of the Ministers of Glasgow. Vol. l. Svo. pp. 540. . gs. Boards. Cadell jun, and Davies. 1801. The division of his subject, which Mr. Ranken has adopted,
I will naturally bring to the recollection of our readers Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain, and the mode which he pursued in the composition of it. In his preface, Mr. R. has thus stated the reasons for his adoption of this plan: .
• Many years have elapsed since I began my enquiries into French history, and to write essays on that subject. The plan which I pre
ferred when I resolved to publish, required both that these essays should be considerably altered in their form, and that others more recently composed should be added: this will account for that variety which may appear in the style. :The plan was not suggested by Dr. Henry's History of Great Britain ; but in attempting to arrange the several essays afterwards, a similarity was observed; and on farther deliberation I resolved to adopt his plan, and proceed in composing what was then wanting to complete it. I admire his work, and will be content if I shall be thought to have successfully imitated it.
The First Book, therefore, which this Volume contains, is di. vided into Seven Chapters. The First Chapter is the History of Civil and Military Affairs ; the Second, is the History of Religion and of the Church'; the Third, is that of Laws and Government; the Fourth of Literature; the Fifth, of the Arts; the Sixth, of Commerce ; and the Seventh, of Language, Customs, and Manners.'
The author considers the conquest of France by Clovis as the origin of the French monarchy; and he does not extend bis inquiries higher than that period, because he justly repre, sents their previous annals as involved in impenetrable dark. . ness; and obscurity. The Franks, before that time, were German Tribes, having no sovereignty but over their own families, without any certain or settled territory, and almost without a fixed name. From the conquest of Gaul by Julius Cæsar, (observes Mr. Ranken,) till its conquest by Clovis, the history of the Gauls belongs to the history of the Roman Empire, and could not with propriety, nor with success be detached from it.' This period, as also a considerable part of that which is discussed in the present volume, is illustrated in Mr. Gibbon's great work; and it would form no unpleasant nor unprofitable occupation to compare the statements of the two historians. The plainness and simplicity of Mr. Ranken are strongly contrasted by the study of ornament and the affec'tation of singularity which are so evident in Mr. Gibbon ; and This opposition of manner and style struck us more forcibly in the character of Charlemagne, than in any other instance. If it should be urged that the present writer is too favourable in his account of that illustrious monarch, it must be allowed that “the historian of Rome" (a title which Mr. G. was fond of appropriating to himself) has been unjust to his merits, and treated his memory with unbecoming levity.
The detail of the conduct of the different Princes of the Merovingian race is curious and interesting, though our feelings are frequently shocked by the enumeration of those enormities which were too common in all countries at so early a period of society. Pepin le Gros (also called d'Hcristal, from his Palace of that name,) first successfully contended with the monarchs of that