16 NOVEMBER 1867, Page 22

Visible Speech : the Science of Universal Alphabetics ; or

Self-inter- preting Physiological Letters for the Writing of all Languages in one Alphabet. By Alex. Melville Bell. Inaugural Edition. (Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.)—We cannot pretend to grapple with the contents of this book. It lends itself easily to satire, yet we have no wish to make fun of it. It attempts to reverse the judgment brought on man by the Tower of Babel, yet we do not care to denounce it for impiety. All we can say is that we do not understand it. Perhaps Mr. Melville Bell will take this to be a compliment. Perhaps ho will think that we have not devoted sufficient time to the study, and this conjecture will not be un- founded. But sufficient time with a book of this sort means two or three months, and if Mr. Bell's sons acquired a perfect knowledge of his system in a few days it must be remembered that they were taught by their father in person. Moreover, the sons of an inventor may be sup- posed to have inherited some of their father's powers. We cannot look forward to mastering the system within a reasonable time, and must content ourselves with chronicling the appearance of this volume, as well as the refusal of the Government to undertake the expense of its publication.