PROGRESS OF PUB LICATION. THE merit and novelty of Astoria, and
the length to which its review has extended, have caused us to postpone the notice of some works, and to delay the examination of others that have reached us. Amongst these are two in the nature of HISTORY.
I. The First Volume of the Prince of Canino's Memoirs. A book of which our chief knowledge is, as yet, derived from partial ex- tracts from incomplete copies, that have appeared in other publi- cations. Tested by these samples, the book does not appear equal to the reputation for many good qualities which LUCIEN BONA- PARTE acquired. The picture of the social state of France reminds us of many others that we have read : its single persons and incidents may indeed differ, but the general form, character, and colour of the piece, is the same. The defence of NAPOLEON ap-
pears a servile and sophistical excuse for his selfish ambition; not that philosophical estimate which we had a right to expect from
a man who held himself aloof from the Emperor's schemes, and rejected the dependent crowns he would have thrust upon him, In a native, the eulogies on the beauties of the British Constitu- tion, and the solemn speculations about the inestimable value of Lords, would be twaddle. In any one they are too late in the day ; more fitted for the time of BILLY PITT than of the Reform Bill. The most striking part of the Memoirs appears to be the light thrown upon the connexion of the BONAPARTE family with public affairs. The Lives of NAPOLEON hitherto, speak of him as the maker of his brothers, and treat of his own advance as some thing miraculous. It would here seem that LUCIEN had set up for himself before his brother was in a condition to assist anybody, and that several of the family were more or less doing a regular stroke of business in the Revolutionary way. 2. A translation of HEEREN'S Historical Treatises. The sub- jects are three,—the political consequences of the Reformation; the formation and effects of political theories; and the rise and growth of the Continental interests of Great Britain. The name of the writer is a guarantee for thought and research. From what we have seen, the work appears less dry, and more adapted for popular reading, than several of the other productions of this learned, able, aud indefatigable German.
TRAVELS is the next division ; the specimens in which are also two.
1. An Historical Account of the Circumnavigation of the Globe, from MAGELLAN to COOKE ; forming the Twenty-first Volume of the Edinburgh Cabinet Library. When this series was first undertaken, now more than six years ago, we spoke highly of the merit of the first number, and of the promise which it gave.* The opinion we then ventured has been borne out by the successive performances. It is possible that, on examination, the volume before us may not turn out to be well adapted for ampler notice ; for an able book may sometimes be fitter to buy than review. In the present case we think we can almost guarantee the more valuable fitness.
2. The Continent in 1833; being the narrative of a tour made in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Savoy, and France, by Mr. JOHN HOPPUS, the Professor of Logic in the London University. From the titlepage we learn, that religion is one of the matters that oc- cupied the Professor; and in turning over his pages, we think he appears to have been more shocked at mere formal differences in worship than is altogether seemly in a Logician and a Professor of the Philosophy of the Human Mind. Further than this we can- not at present speak, on account of the late day on which the volumes reached us.
MEDICINE. The more promising books run in couples, and our medical works are also two. 1. Mr. COULSON'S Treatise on the Disease of the Hip Joint—a valuable contribution to medical science, and if not entirely original, the result of original observa- tion. 2. The pleasant, sensible, and gossiping Dr.JAMES JOHN- SON'S volume on the Economy of Health. To both of' them we shall endeavour to pay early attention.
The First Number of The Botanist is evidently one of the cheapest, as it promises to be one of the most useful works, which aim at popularizing science and stimulating its pursuit. The names of MAusm and HENSLOW are a guarantee for the minute exactness of the facts; the plan they propase to follow is an ex- hausting one. Every number will contain four plants, drawn the natural size, and exquisitely coloured. The natural mid artificial division to which each belongs is given, as well as technical and descriptive accounts of its genus and species, with a popular and geographical notice, narrating its introduction into England, its mode of culture, and other useful and pleasant information of an anecdotical kind. Nor is this all : the "Dictionary of Botanical Terms," by Professor HENSLOW, is, in popular parlance, to be " given in.
The department of Ornithology in LARDNER'S Cabinet Cydo- perdia, is commenced by the First Volume of a Treatise on the Natural History and Classification of Birds, by WILLIAM SWAINSON. Much as has been written of late on the prolific sub- ject of Ornithology, the reputation of SIVAINSON gives a fresh interest to the study. The great merit of this volume consists in the intimate knowledge it affords the reader, by minute de- scription, illustrated by numerous and beautiful wood-cuts, of the structure of birds, and the curious fitness of each part to perform its office. This forms the first portion of the volume; the second treats of the literature of ornithology, the nomenclature of birds, and the mode of preserving and arranging them; and the third enters more fully upon the subject of their scientific classification, and the relations a the different orders, tribes, and families. The use of' technical terms is unavoidable in a work of this nature; but the style is as lively and popular as can well be expected, where extreme niceness of discrimination in little points is essential to accuracy.
The First Volume of the Pictorial Bible is now completed. It • Spetator, No. 118; °dew 8th 1830. makes a goodly octavo of the imperial size, consisting of nearly seven hundred pages, illustrated by upwards of two hundred wood-cuts; and it ends with the Book of Ruth. The subjects of the engravings are of three classes,—those illustrative of the natural productions, costumes, and modes of life of Eastern na- tions, and the religious ceremonials of the Jews; topographical and antiquarian views of the Holy Land ; and copies of fine pic- tures of Scriptural scenes, by ancient, and in a few instances, modern painters. These last are engraved with farce and spirit ; but those of the first class are the best executed, as well as the most curious and useful. The great variety as well as number of the cuts, makes the book very attractive and interesting both to the young and to the adult ; indeed the painter, as well as the Biblical student, will fied much valuable material in them. The notes are exclusively explanatory ; elucidating the meaning of the text, by accounts of the habits, customs, and character of the Jews in particular, and the localities and climate of the countries in which they sojourned. All controversial matter is carefully avoided ; facts and things, not opinions, are employed to throw light on the sacred page ; and the most .recent researches of mo- dern travellers are made available, as well as the stores of many writers and many commentators, the Jew and the Christian, the historian and the critic, from JOSEPHUS to CALMET, and yet later.
Sir 0 Ileo, and Other Poems, has found its way to us from the seemingly uncongenial soil of Little Tower Street; though the contents of the tiny volume approach closer to poetry than nine out of ten that solicit our judgment. The minor poems consist of songs and sonnets: Sir 0 !leo is the tale of a knight, whose lady is abducted by the Fairy Monarch, and whom he recovers after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The versification is smooth, and sometimes sprightly ; but the author is only a reproducer of melodies,—with this advantage, that he has a wider range and a more varied manner than many of his brethren. He reechoes the old ballad, as well as SCOTT and BRYON.
The design of the publication of Select Plays from, Shakspeare, is the praiseworthy one of making the great poet a classic in schools. by choosing a few of his finest plays, and expurgating the gross- nesses that through the licence of the time, and in many cases the impertinent interpolations of players, became intermixed with them. By this process, little if any of the wit is lost in the graver plays; awl of such this selection consists; the volume comprising Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard the Third, King John, Coriolanus, and Julius esesar. Foot-notes, simply explanatory of obsolete terms, allusions now becotne obscure, and phrases of dubious meaning, are added. The book is handsomely printed, in a bold, clear type.
Of the three religious books before us, we first take up Mr. JosHuA VAN OWEN'S Manual of Judaism.
The object of this little book is to supply, what is said to be, a desideratum in Hebrew instruction, a brief exposition and defence of the Jewish creed. It also proposes to stimulate the mind of the young reader, so as to excite him to further inquiries. It is plainly written, in the form of a dialogue between a Rabbi and his pupil ; and contains, we suppose, the Alpha and Omega of Ju- daism—commencing with proofs of the existence of a God, and closing with the calendar. Judging from the reasoning part of the work, we should not consider the Hebrews dabs at contro- versy. Where the mind is not overborne by authority, Mr. VAN OWEN'S arguments are rather refined than cogent, or he proves by assuming the proof.
After treating of Taxation, Colonies, Polity, and Agriculture, with other things good for the body, Mr. MONTGOMERY MARTIN takes our souls in hand, and publishes a Scriptural treatise de officiis, or a ready way to be good. The book is termed an Analysis of the Bible : the process of manufacture is this. The compiler has taken upwards of a hundred and fifty heads of sub- jects—such as Abominations, Charity, Murder, Mysteries—and collected under each the various texts he has met with bearing on the subject. The result is a hodge-podge of ceremonial, gospel, and ethical directions, jumbled together without much regard to their applicability. Thus, under the head of "NATION (CURSED)," ••• we have, from Deuteronomy, nearly four pages of threats against the Jews, whose figurative application to any existing people is very questionable, but their literal application evidently im- possible; whilst a feeling continually agitating every human bo- som is thus disposed of—
Do all things without murmurings and disputings.—Phil. ii. 14. The Christian Lacon is a collection of sound and sensible re- ections on a variety of subjects, distinguished by a truly Catholic hberality of feeling, and conveyed in language of considerable force, though displaying more of rhetorical point than of Spartan pith and brevity. The publishers of this nice little book are DAR- TON and Son, and it exhibits all the neat richness of getting-up which marks the books of that house.
The present volume of Mr. BENTLEY'S "Standard Novels" contains that capital sketch of Oriental manners and Persian his- tory Zohrab the Hostage, and forms—what does the reader think ? the fifty-fourth number! and some, as in the case of BECKFORD'S Vathek, containing three works. By the beard of ARISTOTLE, father of criticism, the fact is a bibliopolic wonder ! Whatever our age may be in other respects, who can deny that it is rich in prose fiction ? Nearly sixty novels published at a cheap price in a uni- form shape, awl all stamped with marks of public approval before they appear in the collection. What an encycloptedia of interest and amusement ! what a galaxy of famous names both of past and present time,—HORACK WALPOLE, GODWIN, INCHBALD, PORTER, LEE, GALT, AUSTEN, DE STAEL, THEODORE HOOK, COOPER and BLTLWER, Mrs. SHELLEY and Mrs. GORE, and last not least, 'WASHINGTON IRVING ! What a library even for a cir- cumnavigation, or a winter or two in the Polar regions!
Besides these, several other publications of various kinds are on our table soliciting a line of comment. As, for instance, a second edition of Ma triage the Source and Perfection of Social Hap- piness, by the Reverend II. C. O'DONNOGHUE ; in which he strict& to make his subject "a matter of serious consideration, not of blisd experiment," and treats of love with all the eloquent warmth to be expected from an Irishman and a Lord's chaplain. A new and revised edition of Mr. TAvson's Catechisms on the Currency and Exchanges : where the peculiar notions of the ingenious writer, touching " taxation-money " and other matters, may be seen writ at large. The completion of Mr. Munie's corrected awl adapted edition of JOHN WESLEY'S Compendium of f Natural Phi- losophy, in the •• Family Library." Several numbers of Serial pub- lications, whose scope and character we described on their first ap- pearance.