27 SEPTEMBER 1845, Page 19


From September 12th to September 25th.


The History of the British Empire in India. By Edward Thornton, Esq., Author of" India, its State and Prospects," &e. Volume VI. Rody the Rover; or the Ribborunan. By William Carleton, Author of "Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry," &c. (Duffy's Library of Ireland.) Prisons and Prisoners. By Joseph Adshead. With illustrations. [Mr. Joseph Adshead has strong feelings and views upon the important question of • on-discipline. In pursuit of his subject, he has visited a number of prisons in reat Britain and the United States, and studied the Reports of the Inspectors of Prisons and other official documents, besides inquiring into the Continental sys- tems. The result of Mr. Adshead's inquiries has been to make him a stanch friend to the Separate but not the Silent system—in fact, the system carried out in the Model Prison at Pentonville.

The volume before us contains the pith of Mr. Adshead's labours: but he has, unluckily, thrown them somewhat too much into a controversial shape. A large Wt of Prisons and Prisoners is occupied in opposing the "Fallacies of the Times," and the misrepresentations of Dickens in his Notes on America. Another portion of the book is devoted to exposing what the writer calls the "enormities" of the Metropolitan prisons, especially those under the control of the City authorities; the great defect of which is in the system though there are evils connected with the City prisons that seem to call aloud 'for remedy. The remainder of Prisons and Prisoners is devoted to a review of some American and Continental reports or plans.

The volume contains a good many facts; but as the author makes little use of his own observations, chiefly having recourse to official publications, it has some- what the character of extracts from a "blue book": there is a deficiency of vigour and freshness, with a want of completeness in the work.]

The Real Property Acts of 1845: being the Acts to render the Assign-

ment of Satisfied Terms unnecessary, to amend the Law of Real Property, to facilitate the Conveyance of Real Property, and to facilitate the Grant- ing of certain Leases. With introductory Observations and Notes. By Edward Vansittart Neale, Esq, of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at-law, Author of "An Essay an the Law of Feasts and Fasts." [This is a very useful little book, both for the professional lawyer and the general reader. In a perspicuous and unpretending style, it explains the aim of the acts entunerated in the titlepage; accounts for the provisions they contain, and also tells why some equally desirable have been omitted; notices incidentally the causes which led to the framing of the acts; and points out their bearing upon each other, and on other recent statutes. The book, in short, under the form of a review of the modif cations recently introduced into the law of real property,

supplies a distinct notion of the law as it now stands. Mr. Neale acknowledge' his obligations to the Report of the Society for Amendment of the Law, of win& . the Act to render unnecessary the Assignment of Satisfied Terms has been the fruit, to the writings of Mr. J. Stewart, and to the lectures of Mr. Caley Shadwell: but his book shows that he has made the matter of those writings his own, and is perfectly master of the subject. A specimen of a conveyance-deed prepared under the 8th and 9th Victoria e. 119, at the end of the volume, is perhaps better cal- culated than any comment to illustrate the practical value of the statute. Mr. Neale's work may also serve as a historical notice of the progress of law reform daring the session 1845.] An Inquiry into the Homceopathic Practice of Medicine. By William Henderson, M.D. [Most of the works on homosopathy hitherto published have been calculated to excite respect for the system by the evident confidence of the writers in the broad and unvarying applicability of the principle on which it rests. But Dr. Henderson shows nothing of this feeling. He conceives that a principle may have a partial existence; and consequently, although a convert to homceopathy, "he has no doubt that there are disorders which do not come within the remedial or even palliative powers of the homceopathic law." The publication is a public avowal of conversion to the new doctrine on the part of one who was lately Professor of Clinics/ Medicine in the University of' Edinburgh; but in other respects it does little to advance the cause. Dr. Ilenderson's faith in homceopathy seems to amount to this—that in all disorders curable by the old means it will generally effect a cure with greater certainty and rapidity, but that disorders hitherto considered in- curable will still remain so. Under his view, therefore, the discovery of the boasted law sets the seal on despair; for the highest medical philosophers have been ac- customed to cherish the idea that by the right application of medicine the means of combating the frightful amount of " uncontrolled " disease might same day be discovered, and if we have now got the " law,' and it leaves us so nearly where it found us, this hope must be abandoned.] Mesmeric Experiences. By Spencer T. Hall, Author of" The Forester's Offering," &c., and Editor of The Phreno-Magnet." Mr. Spencer T. Hall is the mesmerist who practised upon Miss Martineau; and this publication contains his professional experiences,—how he first heard and saw M. La Fontaine at Sheffield; how be next tried experiments himself; with the various results that followed from his success, till he became a lecturer and mes- meric doctor. "Truth is strange, stranger than fiction"; but Mr. Hall's literary power "as a member of the press" gives more vivacity and readableness to Mes- • meric Experiences than publications on this subject generally possess. There is - life and dramatic spirit in his narrative.] On the Nature of the Scholar, and its Manifestations. By Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Translated from the German, with a Memoir of the Author, by William Smith.

[This tract is the translation of some lectures delivered at Erlangen by the elder Fichte, in 1805. The "Divine Idea" was a crotchet of Fichte's mind; and though he did not suppose that man could attain the perfectibility he dreamed of, he thought the effort of the "Scholar," at all events should be to approach it. To impress this view upon his class, and to body forth the character he proposed for example, seems to have been the object of these outpourings: for such they are, except where the author gives some particular directions upon industry or conduct; in which latter point the transcendental Fichte does not greatly differ from the man of the world Chesterfield. For example—" Everything is valgsz and ignoble which weakens spiritual power. I shall instance idleness : to mention drunkenness or sensuality, would be below the dignity of our subject. To remain without occupation of any sort—to cast a dull unmeaning gaze around us—will soon make us dull and unmeaning.'

A life of Fichte has been prefixed; which is of more interest than his own work, though it does not differ sufficiently from that of other German literati who have had to struggle with narrow means and the consequences of their own peculiar opinions, to require full notice.] Transactions of the Royal Agricultural Improvement Society of Irelan4 '

and Annual Report and Proceedings of the Council. For the year 1844. [The " Transactions of the Irish Agricultural Improvement Society principally relate to various draining-experiments upon Smith of Deanston's principles, by landlords and tenants in conjunction; and to some suggestions for introducing a better mode of building peasant and farm cottages, by the Hon. C. J. Trench., The experiments on draining were ten innumber, undertaken for two gold .medals; and the elaborate accounts of the process and expenses, by. the proprietors or their stewards, are followed by surveys of the professional judges appointed to decide upon the claims. The Annual Report of the Society consists of various topics, farn its list of prizes for the present year up to the extracts from the Re- ports of Local or Branch Societies. These, we must confess, are to us the most interesting feature of the whole. Merit is comparative even in prize-pigs, and cattle-shows, like other shows, may have more semblance than substance.' but district agricultural societies, supported by the gentry, possessing officers of some intelligence and activity, and offering premiums which respect for their landlords will induce some to compete for, must introduce better notions of agriculture, and stimulate the mind of the small farmer. Practically, indeed, this seems to be the case already: though the parent society is only four years old, improvement is continually mentioned as taking place. In time, and in conjunction with other things, this may reach the _peasant; for the Agricultural Improvement Society seems hardly designed for hun—ten acres of land and the spirit to strive for prizes argue Ir:sh competency.] The History of the Volunteers of 1782. By Thomas MacNevin,

Barrister-at-law. (Duffs Library of Ireland.) This little book is rather late in its arrivaL It formed the first number of " Daffy's Library for Ireland," and has already reached a fourth edition : so that the subject as well as the execution must have a strong attraction over the water. The author's cast of mind is strongly Irish, as was to be expected; but his book has none of the inflation and vulgarity of the Repeal oratory. The earlier

which investigate the origin of the Irish Parliament, are distinguished byPs= lie spirit and a sound judgment applied to antiquarian subjects. The History of the Volunteers will also be found a good Irishman's account of that popular middle-class movement, so far as materials exist: for it seems, notwithstanding the Volunteers' celebrity, their original records are few.] Woman in the Nineteenth Century. By S. Margaret Fuller. [The substance of this publication originally appeared in The Dial for July 1848, an American work edited by Emerson; whose peculiarities of style and manner Margaret Fuller has imitated to exaggeration, but without reaching the searching depth of thought he occasionally exhibits. The essay has been revised ed, and newly baptized.; its original title having been "The Great Lawsuit— Man versus Men, Woman versus Women " ; but it scarcely seems worth the re- printing in this country.] England and its People; or a Familiar History, for Young Persons, of the Country, and the Social and Domestic Manners of its Inhabitants. By Emily Taylor. Second edition. [This little book is well adapted to its purpose of familiarizing the leading events and characters of English history, and the condition and habits of the people at different periods, so as to interest and instruct juvenile readers. The salient points and popular incidents of our annals are presented in the clear and homely manner of a story; and at proper intervals descriptions are introduced of the mode of life, the dwellings, costumes, arms' and arts of the people. The view of politi- cal events and characters is fair and honest, and the religious sentiment is free from sectarianism- The cuts are not worthy of the text.]