« PreviousContinue »
public subscription, we agree cordially with his suggestions (pp. 33, 34.) on another point, we mean the nature of the work to be given out for the employment of the poor. We also join most sincerely in the censure, we had almost said the indignation, which he repeatedly expresses against those unblushing advisers, who speak of breaking faith with the public creditor and wiping off our responsibility with a spunge."
NATURAL HISTORY. Art. 30. Elements of the Natural History of the Animal Kingdom:
comprising the Characters of the whole (all the] Genera, and of the most remarkable Species, particularly those that are Natives of Britain ; with the principal Circumstances of their History and Manners. By C. Stewart, Member of the Linnæan and Wernerian Societies. The Second Edition. 2 Vols. 8vo. Il. 45. sewed. Longman and Co. 1817.
So long since as in the xlth volume of our New Series, (p. 247.) we entered, at some length, into the consideration of this useful introduction to the study of animated nature. Mr. Stewart, who, we are informed, is a zealous cultivator of this important department of knowlege, now puts his name to the title, and has not been inattentive to some of our friendly suggestions. In the class Mammalia, and in that of Birds, he has adopted the disposition of Blumenbach, a German zoologist of great eminence; he has made a separate class of the Mollusca, which is placed immediately after the Fishes; and he has, with Cuvier and others, disjoined the crastaceous animals from the class of insects, in which they had been included by Linnæus.' The whole, as now enlarged and improved, forms a respectable and popular guide to those who are desirous of commencing the study of zoology. Art. 31. Appendix to the First Edition of an Introduction to En
tomology: or Elements of the Natural History of Insects: with Plates. By William Kirby, M.A. F.L.S., Rector of Barham, and William Spence, Esq. F.L.S. Vol. I. Comprising the additional Matter inserted in the Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 30. Sewed. Longman and Co. 1816. These supplementary pages farther illustrate the ravages committed by certain species of the insect-tribes on vegetables and animals, and include a few instances of the larvæ of some of the coleopterous and dipterous orders infesting the human subject. The examples are mostly taken either from the writings of respectable naturalists, or from the personal communication of individuals whose testimony will not be readily impeached.
The Scotophaga ceparum is thus characterized:' Cinereous, clothed with distant black hairs, proceeding, particularly in the thorax, from a black point. Legs ingrescent. Back of the abdomen of the male with
an interrupted black vitta down the middle. Wings immaculate. Poisers and alulæ pale yellow. Length, three and a half lines.' The larva of this newly discovered species is said to prove very injurious to onions, especially in light soils.
In the xith vol. of the Linnæan Transactions, Dr. Leach seems to have first recorded the perforating activity of his Limnoria terebrans; and we are here presented with more alarming details of its destructive industry, which is always exercised on timber in salt water. We are not prepared to assert that this little subma. rine borer has not been imported from America: but the mere circumstance of its recent discovery is not conclusive of the affirmative of such a supposition; while its residence on the Bell-rock would rather intimate that it is indigenous to our own seas.
A second volume of this Introduction has appeared, to which we hope soon to attend.
RELIGIOUS. Farewell Sermons of some of the most eminent of the Nonconformist Ministers, delivered at the Period of their Éjectment by the Act of Uniformity in the Year 1662. To which is prefixed a Historical and Biographical Preface. Crown 8vo. pp. 449.
IIS. Boards. Gale and Co. 1816. * Some of the Nonconformists,” says Mr. Neal, speaking of the proceedings on the Act of Uniformity,“ quitted their stations in the church before the 24th August, as Mr. Baxter and others, with an intent to let all the ministers in England know their resolution before hand. Others about London preached their farewell sermons the Sunday before Bartholomew day; several of which were afterwards collected into a volume and printed with their effigies in the title-page; as the reverend Drs. Manton, Bates, Jacomb, Calamy, Matthew Mead, and others. The like was done in several counties of England, and such a passionate zeal for the welfare of their people ran through their sermons, as dissolved their audiences into tears.” (Vol. i. p. 382.) The anonymous editor of the volume now before us has not stated whether it be a reprint of that to which Neal refers; and indeed we perceive no great marks of his accuracy and diligence in other respects, in his editorial office. The Greek and Latin quotations which occur are frequently mis-spelt; the biographical notices are very meagre ; and his own style is neither grammatical nor pure. E. g.:
The convulsions which have for a series of years shook the foundation of thrones - have resulted not only in universal peace but in general improvement.'
The re-appearance of these discourses will doubtless gratify those by whom their authors are regarded as the confessors and martyrs of their own faith : but the general reader, who considers only what such an occasion as that on which they were delivered might be expected to call forth, will probably be disappointed. Several causes conspire to make the pulpit-oratory of these times, both in the church and among the Non-conformists, unsuitable to modern taste ; such as the prevalence of the phrases of a technical theology, the profusion and perversion of Scriptural language and allusion, the scholastic minuteness of subdivision, and the great change in the English language which has made their words and constructions obsolete. How different a place in general literature do the great preachers of the age of Charles II. hold, from
their contemporaries of the court of Louis XIV.! While Bossuet and Massillon continue to be models of French style, we read Taylor and Barrow very much like authors in a dead language.
As a practical exhortation, we think that Mr. Baxter's discourse is one of the best in the volume : but much unaffected dignity appears in the conclusion of Dr. Bates's sermon.
• I know you expect I should say something as to my non-conformity. I shall say only thus much. It is neither fancy, faction, nor humour, that makes me not to comply, but merely for fear of offending God. And
if after the best nieans used for my illumination; as prayer to God, discourse, study, I am not able to be satisfied concerning the lawfulness of what is required; if it be my unhappiness to be in error, surely men will have no reason to be angry with me in this world, and I hope God will pardon me in the next.'
The following passage from Mr. Watson's sermon is perfectly characteristic of the times:
Ninthly, get your hearts screwed up above the world, “ set your affections upon things above," Col. iii. 5. We may see the face of the moon in the water, but the moon is fixed above in the firmament: so, though a Christian walk here below, yet his heart should be fixed above in heaven. There is our best kindred, our purest joy, our mansion-house. Oh! let our hearts be above, it is the best and the sweetest kind of life. The higher the bird flies the sweeter it sings, and the higher the heart is raised above the world the sweeter joy it hath. The eagle that flies in the air is not stung by the serpent. Those whose hearts are elevated above the lower region of this world are not stung with the vexations and disquietments that others are, but are full of joy and contentment.
• Tenthly, trade much in the promises. The promises are great supports to faith. Faith lives in a promise, as fish lives in the water. The promises are both comforting and quickening, they are mitralia Évangelii, the very breast of the Gospel; as the child by sucking the breasts gets strength, so faith by sucking the breast of a promise gets strength and revives. The promises of God are bladders to keep us from sinking when we come into the waters of affliction. The promises “ are sweet clusters of grapes
grow upon Christ the true vine;” O ! trade much in the promises, there is no condition that you can be in but you have a promise. The promises are like manna, that suit themselves to every Christian palate.
MEDICINE, &c. Art. 33. Pharmacopeia Collegii Regalis Medicorum Londinensis, 1809. Editio altera. 8vo.
pp. 215. 7s. Boards. Longman and Co. Art. 34. The Pharmacopoeia of the Royal College of Physicians of
London, 1809, translated into English, with Notes, &c. The Third Edition. By Richard Powell, M.D. &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 484. 128. Boards. Longman and Co.
We made our remarks at full length on the new Pharmacopeia of the London College on its first appearance, and we did not scruple to point out many circumstances in it which we thought were imperfections, as well as a few instances of gross inaccuracy. About the former, a difference of opinion might prevail, and the points were such as to afford a fair object for discussion : but, with respect to the
only one sentiment could exist. A national work, like that in question, should have been exempt from any defect which might have been prevented by taking advantage of the information not merely of the members of the corporate body from which it proceeded, but of all men of science who were able to contribute to its improvement. Still more culpable than any inaccuracies of the kind to which we are alluding, were the typographical errors with which the volume abounded ; and these consisted not merely in the mis-placement of a word or a letter, which might be at once obvious to the eye, so that no mistake with respect to the sense could be occasioned, but it happened, by a kind of singular misfortune, that some of these errors attached to figures denoting the strength or proportion of compounds: especially in two preparations in which, of all others in the whole work, correctness was peculiarly desirable.
A second and third edition have, however, successively appeared, both of the Pharmacopoeia itself and of Dr. Powell's translation; in which, it is to be presumed, the errors are corrected, and the most obvious defects supplied. We cannot, however, commend the temper with which the Doctor's preface to this third edition is written. It betrays great irritability of feeling, and a consciousness of the existence of errors which it was necessary to rectify, but which he felt a strong reluctance to acknowlege.
It will be seen that the alterations adopted refer, first to some important processes, to which reasonable objections have certainly been urged, on the score either of manipulation or of product, as, for instance, in the preparation of Antimonium tartarizatum, which though it answered repeatedly according to the former process, upon a small scale, before the committee, has certainly failed upon a large one, and under other circumstances : secondly, to some changes in the names of substances, as in giving up that principle (which was before considered to be sufficiently distinctive) by which sub and super were only employed where both the salts were used pharmaceutically for the purpose of distinguishing between them, without regarding the actual relation of their constituent parts : so that the salt which was at first named carbonate of ammonia is now named, as it really is, a subcarbonate: thirdly, to the introduction of new articles, which have been sparingly adopted : fourthly, to the restoration of some which had stood in the Pharmacopoeia of 1787 and been omitted ; and lastly, in a very few omissions from the last edition. Although these alterations have been made after a mature and impartial deliberation, there probably will be many persons to whose ideas they may be neither sufficient nor satisfactory, and who will have sufficient confidence in their own opinion to hold it as matter of faith, that no other can be right or deserve to be adopted.' · In another part, he speaks of the abuse of others,' of personal attacks,' of being attacked with a virulence beyond even that of sectarian controversy ;' with other expressions which can proceed only from a man who writes under the impression of anger.
In this edition, we believe that many of the more gross and obvious inaccuracies are corrected, and some improvements are unquestionably introdaced: but still we regard the Pharmacopæia as very far from exhibiting that state of perfection which the science of this age and country might have accomplished. Indeed, what could have been expected from a body legally representing the medical profession, but virtually excluding the greatest part of the indiyiduals who are eminent for their learning and information? All extra-collegiate suggestions are viewed with a jealous eye, and are considered as acts of hostility against the privileged body; they are resisted, as far as it is possible to oppose them; and they are received with a bad grace, and in an indirect manner, when their necessity becomes too apparent to be any longer denied. With respect to Dr. Powell's translation, we must observe that it is still remarkably inaccurate : at the end, is a list of errata to be amended,' consisting of not fewer than 30 articles; and some of them are of considerable importance, not merely literal, but affecting the sense of the passages in which they occur.
CORRESPONDENCE. A “ Constant Reader,” of whom our notice has been accidentally delayed, has given us a very good statement of the reasons that should induce the trustees of Savings Banks to make a modification of their plan, so far as to render the depositors proprietors of the stock, instead of considering themselves in the light of proprietors, and of course under the obligation to make good the money lodged in their hands, even should the funds experience a fall
. He quotes with this view the example of the Bath-Institution, where the rule is to keep back a sixth of the dividend to defray the necessary expences; a charge which will decrease according to the accumulation of the general fund. Though the hazard of a fall in the stocks should not be great, still, as no liability beyond that of punctual discharge of the business ought to rest with the trustees, we willingly join our correspondent in recommending the above hint to their consideration.
It is not within our province to take notice of the communication forwarded to us by Mr. Galignani, junior.
We regret the delay in our report of the works mentioned in Mr. J. B. B.'s letter, which has been occasioned by the long illness and finally the decease of two members of our board.