16 OCTOBER 1847, Page 18



Results of Astronomical Observations, made during the years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8, at the Cape of Good Hope; being the completion of a Telescopic Survey of the whole Surface of the Visible Heavens, commenced in 1825. By Sir John F. W. Herschel, Bart" K.H., M.A., &c.

Lectures on the Physical Phenomena of Living Beings. By Carlo Matteucci, Professor in the University of Pisa. Translated under the superintend- ence of Jonathan Pereira, M.D., F.R.S., Vice-President of the Royal Medi- cal and Chirurgical Society. The Characteristics of the Present Age. By Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Translated from the German, by William Smith. . Jane Eyre; an Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell., _In three volumes. The Poets' Pleasaunce; or Garden of all sorts of Pleasant :Flowers, which our pleasant Poets have, in past time, for pastime, planted. By Edea Warwiek.

[The Poets' Pleasaunce is a drawingroom or boudoir book, in which typographical beauty and graphic illustration are combined with a selection from our standard poets; the merit of the editor-author being confined to the conception of the original idea, and to the cleverness with which the parts are brought together so as to form a whole. The avowed object is to present a history of the poetry of flowers during at least two periods, into which it may be divided: but we scarcely see that this plan is carried out. The book begins with an allegory, pretty in fancy and elegant in style, but a mere imitation, if not a parody, of Addison; whose age Mr. Eden Warwick decries. In this allegory five ages of poetry are indicated: 1. from Chaucer to Shakspere: 2. the Elizabethan age; 3. its successor from 1640 to 1725, embracing the artificial style of Donne and Cow- ley, till the zenith of what has been called the Augustan age of English literature; 4. from the appearance of Thomson, whom Mr. Warwick holds to have restored a more natural taste, till 1780; 5. from Cowper to the present day. This survey, though slight, and chiefly directed to nature as shown in the treat- ment of flowers, is clever, and sufficient for the boudoir, but too one-viewed, and tainted by what was formerly called Cockneyism, to be authority in the study. These critical essays are followed by poetical selections, from Chaucer downwards, embracing passages where flowers are mentioned by poets; each flower • gm separately presented in a distinct chapter—as the daisy, the snowdrop. Nash division, however, forms a species of essay: as the passages are mostly frag- mentary, and not complete pieces, they have to be what is technically called "set," Literature, however, is not the feature of the volume, but the luxury of litera- ture. This is exhibited not merely in the general style of " getting up," but in an application of the old art of initial letters and ornamental borders. Each new chapter has a rich and graceful framework, in which the flower to be illustrated is made the artist's subject: but this is limited to the first page; in the other pages the framework is the same throughout the book, and somewhat monotonous in the repetition.] The Seasons. By James Thomson. Edited, with Notes, Philosophical,. Classical, Historical, and Biographical, by Anthony Todd Thomson, M.D., sm [It is possible that early association or some other accidental cause has led Dr. Thomson to overrate The Seasons, as well as the value which the present public put upon them. We suspect they have culminated, if they are not approaching their setting. The want of precision in many of the descriptions and the general• diffuseness of the style, rather fill the ear than occupy the mind; contrasting so greatly with the poetry of Cowper. However, The Seasons still sell, if they are not read so much as formerly; and there is no doubt that they require illustrating. The erroneous opinions on many subjects of natural philosophy, in which Thomson reflected the opinion of his age, need correction; the instinctive sagacity of the poet, which leads him to anticipate truths, are more impressed upon the reader when fully explained than when left in their original brevity; the historical and classical allusions are felt to be encumbrances by many readers, till faller information is given; and the same is the case with many contemporary names, which the poet introduces into his pages. Such as are the wants, so are the leading divisions of Dr. Thomson's commentary: it will be found a useful and an interesting addition to the text of The Seasons. The editor is informing and agreeable on all occasions; but he is strongest, as might be supposed, on na- tural philosophy and physiology. His commentaries on pale and convulsive anger, and on jealousy, are curious explanations of the physical effects resulting from mental emotion or passion. This edition of The Seasons is the book for those who wish to read James Thomson to advantage.] Principles of the Mechanics of Machinery and Engineering. By Julius Weisbach, Professor of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics in the Royal Mining Academy. of Frieberg. In two volumes. Illustrated with our thousand Engravings on Wood. Volume L Theoretical Mechanics. [This work forms part of the Library of Illustrated Standard Scientific Works, of whose design we gave an account in noticing its first number some two months since. The object of the work before us is to explain the principles on which the mechanics of machinery and engineering rest, and rather to give the know- ledge to apply them than the direct practical application, at least m this first vo- lume. The subjects of the volume are motion, dynamics, and statics of rigid bo- dies: a general acquaintance with some doctrines of natural philosophy, but es- pecially an intimate knowledge of pure elementary mathematics, is necessary for the understanding of the work; though the author has aimed "to give the de- monstration of all problems, important in their practical application, by the lower mathematics only. These circumstances render the book appropriate for system- atic study; but they militate against its use for purposes ofpopular review, from the necessarily abstruse or technical character of the matter.] The Parting and the Meeting, or the Burial of Yarmouth Bridge; a Poem, By James Stuart Vaughan, Esq., of Balliol College, Oxford. [ The Parting and the Meeting is the story of two humble lovers, who are sepa- rated, by the rather judicious advice of friends, on account of poverty on the part of the swain. The lovers do not meet again till the day of the accident at the Yarmouth Suspension Bridge, when the chains gave way, and precipitated the crowd into the water. Clara, the heroine, is drowned; and Charles, after bring- ing the body to shore, is overwhelmed by a settled melancholy. Treated natu- rally, the subject would have been suitable for a tale, in the style of Crabbe or of Wordsworth,—though the Yarmouth Bridge catastrophe, on which Mr. Vaughan seems to rely, is only an accident, adding little to the poetical element. Un- luckily, the author has not chosen a model adapted to his theme, nor taken a ra- tional, which after all is the poetical, view of his subject. The Parting and the Meeting is handled after the style of Byron's Oriental tales, with something of a Byronic philosophy. Mr. Vaughan seems to think that love is all and subsist- ence nothing, and that there are more love-matches among Black "barbarians" than civilized Whites; but, alas ! all "history and geography" tells a different story—throughout Africa and Asia man openly,buys his wile or wives.] Madeline; a Tragedy, in five acts. By Richard Bedingfield.

The Autobiography of Rose Allen. Edited by a Lady. [Rose Allen is supposed to be the daughter of a respectable farmer, who is over- taken by a series of misfortunes, and dies leaving his family in poor circumstances. Rose, with some of the other children, has to go out to service; and her autobio- graphy contains the account of her various places, until she marries a young man, a partner in a respectable business, with expectancies. The object of the story is to inculcate the reciprocal dependance of master and servant; but the in- cidents and circumstances seem too peculiar to illustrate any moral: the view is too much of "a lady's " view of poverty and "place"; and hence a sense of un- reality in the whole. But the tale is agreeably written.] On Ringworm; its Causes, Pathology, and Treatment. By Erasmus Wilson, F.R.S., Consulting Surgeon to the St. Pancras Infirmary. [A brief and perspicuous treatise on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of ring- worm, with notes on some analogous diseases. One object of the treatise is to give a new account of the characteristics of ringworm, drawn from life assisted by the microscope; another is to argue against its contagious nature. The arguments on this point are probable in themselves, but are not supported by extensive facts. The treatment suggested is simple in its elements, and con- stitutional as well as local; Mr. Wilson seeming to place as much reliance on hygienic as on medical remedies.] A Treatise upon the Political and Social Condition of Europe, from the

Fall of the Roman Empire down to the beginning of the Sixteenth Century. By Augustus Sasses Milbank.

[This cursory view does not profess to be founded upon original research, and it certainly has nothing like independent conclusions. The treatise is a mere repe- tition, in a cart and commonplace form, of the views of standard historians upon the political and social condition of Europe" daring the period in question.] Endeavours after Christian Life. Discourses by James Martineau. In

two volumes. Second edition.

The Elements of Commercial Arithmetic; containing an improved Deve-

lopment of the Principles of the Science, with the most general Calcula- tions in the practice of the counting-house, and in accordance with the present monetary system of the world. New and corrected edition. By Wiliam Tate.


A Voice from Stonehenge. By the Reverend H. M. Grover, B.C.L., Rector of Hitcham, Bucks. Part L [The object of this work is likely to be more curious in its inquiries than con- clusive in its results. Mr. Grover has a theory, that a "system of intercourse of almost universal prevalence existed in the world in times of extreme remoteness, and altogether beyond the reach of any direct tradition "; and that this system was put an end to by the rise of the great Assyrian and African "political pow- ers," which grew up after the patriarchal ages. A large and tasking field of in- vestigation this, especially if it be pursued with the cautious induction of an his- torical critic, rather than the haphazard assumptions of a hobby-rider. The subject, however, will be better considered when the whole is before us. The form of the work is in dialogue; the style easy and scholarly, but somewhat dif- fuse; the manner rather digressive, but this was intended, and dialogue chosen toEllow discursiveness.]


The Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia. Nos. L and IL July and August 1847. [Singapore is the birthplace of this new Colonial magazine; and The Journal of the Indian Archipelago does credit to that great emporium which the sagacity of Raffles called into being. The articles are real, solid, various, and informing, properly limited to the region expressed in the title; distinguished for literary merit in the larger papers, and for facts in all. The subjects are generally geo- graphical, statistical,. or geological, but in a large sense, so as to embrace travel- ling sketches, descriptions of manners, and natural productions; but Malayan literature will also be handled, and the first part of a curious poem has already appeared. Perhaps there is somewhat of dryness now and then, arising from the nature of the topics and the close packing of facts; but there are no " invented " tales or fancy sketches, and anything is better than magazine word-spinning.]


• Fulcher's Ladies' Memorandum-book and Poetical Miscellany, 1848. [One of the old-fashioned pocket-books, with calendar, ruled diary, a prose article or two, various poems, and prize enigmas-to be paid, we believe, in pocket- books.]