15 JANUARY 1831, Page 15


Oust space precludes the possibility of doing more than calling the at- tention of the learned and curious to this valuable and interesting work, whose extent and importance challenge the investigation of the scientific world. It professes to be "a perfect collection of all the existing Manu- scripts and Hieroglyphical Paintings illustrative of Mexican Antiquities ;" and contains fac-similes of those in the libraries at Oxford, Paris, Rome,

Bologna, Vienna Berlin, Dresden, &c. In three volumes folio, contain- ing eight hundred and fifty-five pages ; DUPAIX'S Account of the Mo-

numents of New Spain, with Commentaries on the Hieroglyphics, by French, Spanish, and Italian authors, all of which are translated, and illustrated by drawings of Mexican Antiquities, remains of Buildings

and Sculptures, in three volumes ; and SAHAGUN'S inedited MS. History

of Spain, in a seventh volume. The whole of the Hieroglyphic MSS. and the highly-finished lithographic drawings of the sculptures and

ruins, have been copied by Mr. AGLIO from the originals, and the colouring of the plates accurately executed under his direction. The hieroglyphics are very curious and brilliant, viewed merely as devices or combinations of colour : of their interpretation we cannot pretend now to speak.

The volume of Drawings of Mexican Antiquities, and their descrip- tion, we looked over with great pleasure. They consist of views of stupendous pyramidal temples raised in terraces ; some with broad flights of steps ascending outside in a direct line to the summit, others without any apparent means of ascent ; most of them are square, others circular. There are also artificial hills or mounds of earth, traversed

at the base by passages through them, intersected at right-angles, and meeting in the centre, which has a domed roof and a chimney leading to

the top. Palaces of immense extent and gigantic proportions, consist- ing chiefly of one floor, the architecture plain and solid, and orna- mented in a singular style ; temples adorned with bas-reliefs of figures, many of which, though rude, are not ill-proportioned, the limbs in action, the fingers and toes indicated, and the faces characterized by

barbarous but intelligible expression, and resembling Persian sculp- ture; while some colossal busts bear a- marked similarity to the Egyptian. Numerous little grotesque images of men, supposed to be Penates, or household gods, together with masks, figures of animals, serpents, &c. in baked clay.

The work is got up in an excellent style ; and, from the number of plates, it must have been one of immense labour. It has been accom-

plished under the auspices of Lord KINGSBOROUGIL, who has furnished

the translations and voluminous notes : he deserves well of all men of science for the production of so costly and unique a collection. The plates alone have occupied the artist six years, abroad and at home ; and their execution reflects the highest credit on his ingenuity and per- severance. This magnificent work should find a place in every large library throughout Europe, public or private. Will our Universities avail themselves of their privilege to claim, gratis, eleven copies of such a work ? The noble author will never be repaid the outlay ; though the satisfaction of having produced it must be worth something.