24 DECEMBER 1831, Page 20


I. We are glad to have received the Life of the Great FRE- DERICK of Prussia, by Lord DOVER. It appears impartially and perspicuously written. The new materials which he has had access to, consist chiefly of the MITCHELL Papers in the British Museum, and the Correspondence of Lord MARISCHAL and Field-Marshal KEITH, in the possession of Admiral FLEMING. A principal fea- ture is the caution the author has used in employing materials which emanated from VOLTAIRE. The first volume—all we have had an opportunity of perusing—relates in a great measure to FREDERICK'S father and his own youth, and is very amusing. It could not fail to be, since a great part of it is drawn from the Memoirs of the Margmvine of BAnErrn,—perhaps the most curi- ous account that was ever given of any court in the world since kings began to reign. Next week we shall have an opportunity of giving an ample re- port of the work.

2. The Lays for the Lords is a pamphlet in verse, apropos, of course, to the present state of politics. We can say, at least, that it is "well-meant," and there are some energetic stanzas in it Without considering it of much importance, we can recommend it as pleasant pastime for those whose opinions are already made up. The verses we transcribe will pretty well show its quality. The writer is speaking of the Wellington Administration—

And then they governed John upon their word, At least as cheaply as they could afford ; And doubted much if he could get a man To insult him for less money as times ran; Nay, more, economy had interfered, And hirthlese clerks by hundreds were cashiered ;-1- And all this that the country might afford Another sinecure to suit my lord, Or my lord's son, or nephew, grandson, or Some distant relative of v lord's last —.

Who does not know the fashion of to-day,

That for the younger spawn the public pay; That their proud title's representative With splendour worthy of his race may live?

• " Birthless, nameless villains."—Rob Roy. "Time greater portion of this saving had been effected, not by the reductions in the military force, but mostly in the civil establishment. One item alone (in the Ordnance department) was the reduction of two hundred and forty clerks."—,S'ir H. Harchnge ; Report in the Morning Chronicle, Feb. 23,1823.

3. The Trials and Proceedings before the High Court of Justi- ciary in Scotland, selected from the Records, by ROBERT PITCAIRN, writer to the signet, are interesting documents, and give us an insight into the violent manners of the fifteenth century. The crimes are all of a violentilescription,—such as stoutluief, hanging, rape, burning, abduction. The criminals are most commonly per- sons of family and property. The crimes however atrocious, are usually commuted, and the " HANGED " only follows some very pe- culiar circumstances or very peculiar condition of the persons. Among others, is the interesting trial and defence of Lady JANE DOUGLAS, Lady of Glamis, who was beheaded on a false charge of' endeavouring to poison the King. Women in those times were ge- nerally put to death by drowning. It was considered indecent to expose the persons of females in the ordinary method of execution; but after the discovery of the Maiden, they were indulged with be- heading. The Trials have now reached to the Eleventh Part. The editor appears an accurate and industrious antiquary.

4. Sir JOHN SCOTT LILLIE has written an Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of Parliamentary Corruption. He traces the corruption to the reign of HENRY the Eighth ; and shows, from the evils which have arisen from it, the imperious ne- cessity of Parliamentary Reform. The author is a zealous Re former, and his views are worth attention.

5. The pamphlet on Church Reform, by a Layman, is a sensible production. It broaches opinions on the Union of Church and State which are every day becoming more generally entertained. The enmity to Reform displayed so generally by Churchmen, is attributed to their tenacity in respect of pluralities and sinecures; but is it not strange blindness in the curates and subalterns of the Establishment, that they, who must gain by Reform, share the opinions of their greedy employers? The fact is, that curates dream of fig livings ; and dreams, though never to be realized, are often enough preferred to solid hopes and judicious expectations.

6. The Pirate of Bofine, by Mr. DUNNE, is a regular romance of the old school: The scene lies in Ireland, in the sixteenth cen- tury, and the actors are Spaniards. It is full of shrieks, dark looks, verdant spots, beetling rocks, turret-crowned castles, dark mantles, knights rushing here, and scowling monks stalking there, and all the venerable furniture of the most mysterious chambers of Leaden- hall Street.

7. The Time's Telescope for 1832 is unusually attractive. The Obituary is various, and well drawn up. The Cometary Astro- nomy is peculiarly interesting, and full of' facts of great curiosity, illustrated by several good pates. The Notes of a Naturalist, by Mr. RENNIE, are copious ; and indeed any one of these depart- ments is well worth the price of the whole book. To our unsophisti- cated tastes, the Time's Telescope is the best annual yet published. The Cometary Astronomy is applicable to the appearance of two remarkable comets expected this year.

8. Mr. BUTLER'S Etymological Spelling-Book and Expositor is a. great improvement upon the old works of this kind ; chiefly from the syllabic division he has introduced, and partly from his lists of above 3,500 words, classified according to their etymology. The edition before us is the fourth.

9. The Parliamentary Pocket-Book is a volume of information respecting the two Houses of Parliament, of so bulky a character, that in our age the pocket has not been seen that could contain it. It is composed of various lists of the two Houses, in various forms. It gives us all the intelligence respecting their persons, titles, offices, and connexions, that may be supposed useful to a political or other inquirer. There is a complete reprint of the Standing Orders of both Houses, which we do not remember to have pre- viously met with in any work of reference. There is, moreover, a kind of chronological history, or annals of the Parliament, which in a brief space supplies a. very considerable quantity of useful in- formation. Numerous notes are interspersed, which are for the most part appropriate, and all in the spirit of these Reforming, times. It appears that the work has been a long time in prepara- tion : the consequence is, tIrtt changes have taken place since the early portion was printed : these changes are subsequently corrected to a certain extent ; so that the Pocket-Book gives us the per- sonnel of both the late and present Parliament. It is clear that this work is the result of the application of con- siderable time, labour, and expense ; and as such, it is worthy the patronage of the public. It will be found a work of useful reference to clubs, reading-rooms, &c.; and though not exactly a Black book, it is not the merely dry official enumeration of the Red one.