Imatges de pàgina

men, deserve particular regard, as he seems to write from an intimate knowledge of the subject ; neither vaguely nor theoreti. cally. It is only because the objects of this work do not properly admit of discussion in a literary Journal, that we pass it over fo cursorily: we mean to recommend the subject, and the manner in which it is created, as highly important and meritorious.

Djagoge, five Janua Tusculana, for the Use of Grammar Schools. By · ibe Rev. R. Lyne. New Edition. 8vo. 25. Haydon and Son.

Plymouth. 1791. . Mr. Lyne's object is to avoid giving the learner too much afsistance, and facilitating the acquisition of the language to so great a degree, as to leave him ignorant of its nature and construction, while he endeavours with equal care to prevent his walling time in obtaining, with much trouble, rules that may be ea fily taught. Between thele difficulties be ftcers with some success; but bred in the larger schools, we have adopied perhaps some predilection for their methods, and we still think that what is eafily, attained does not alwas make suficient impression on the mind. Those things which we learn with disticulty, we generally retain molt firmly.

Interefing Anecdotes of Henry IV. of France, containing fublime

Traits and lively Sallies of Wit of that Monarch. Translated from The French. 2 Vols. 12mo. 6s. fewed. Debrett. 1991.

Henry IV. is the idol of the French, and luckily for Louis XV. was his ancestor and a Bourbon. The historian, the patriot, the collector of anecdotes, and the compiler of secret memoirs, are .confequently busy in their different departments, to collect what hilory or tradition has retained, and to invent what will probably fascinate the eager attention of the public on this subject. Among there is our prefent author. His anecdotes are selected from dif. ferent writers, ftrung together chronologically ; but they are not told advantageously, nor very accurately, unless some little in. advertences, as we suspect, may be attributed to the translator.

A Letter from Percival Stockdale io G. Sharp, Esq. fuggested to the

Author, by the present Insurrection of the Negroes, on the island of St. Domingo. 8vo. 15. Clarke. 1791.

The late insurrection at St, Domingo has induced our author to retail hackneyed arguments against the slave-trade and lavery. This event might have inspired different thoughts, and hown that, even in doing good, eager zeal may become highly ijusious,

An Account of the Sistem of Education, used at a Seminary for the

Adriillion of pupils on a liberal and extensive Plan. By the Rev. R. Turner. 8vo. 6d. Williams. 1761.

It is remarkable that, in this account, there is no mention of the place where this seminary is ftuated. The design is to in. struct boys, who are only admitted from five to ten years of age, preparatory to their going to public schools. The termination of the ftay at the seminary seems intend d to be about the age of fourteen ; but this will probably be at the option of the parents, and there appears more to be learnt than the generality of boys can aliain at that time. Chronology, history, French, and geo, graphy, have also their mare; and perhaps too much is crowded into this short space, to be diflin&tly acquired. In other respects, the plan seems judicious and useful.. Reflections on Duelling, and on the most efficacious Means for prevent

ing it. Evo, 15. Sewell. 1791. i Our author is an able and strenuous enemy to duelling. He argues with great force and judgment. But, as we have very lately, in reviewing the treatise annexed to Mr. Moor's work on Suicide, had occasion to give some remarks on this subject, we need not resume it. Trial berveen Henry Martin, E9. of the County of Galway, in

Ireland, and John Petrie, Esq. of the County of Ellex, for cria minal Conversation with the Plaintiff's Wife. Svo. 15. 6d. • Ridgway. 1791.

These examples of unprincipled profligacy are unpleafing. The pecuniary damages are crifiing: contempe and infamy ought to be the future lot of those who fo groby offend the moral law and focial duty.

An Abtract of the Evidence delivered before a Seleet Committee of

the House of Commons in the tears 1790, and 1791 ; on the Part of the Petitioners for ibe Alolition of the Slave Trade. 12190. 25. Philips. 1791.

A dismal tale of woe, and scenes that require rcíormation, But the 'ense recidendum' is calculated only for desperate maladies : the present, we liope, will succeed under a more lenieno treatment. A second Leiter addressid to the Inhabitants of W'arrick, in Reply to the Remarks upon the first Letter, &c. By W'. Field. Svo. Is. Johnson. 1791. We are sorry to see a continuance of this al:ercation, and should


be much more fo, if such actions as Mr. Miller and his friend are accused of, could with justice be ascribed to the ministers of any fect of Christians.

[ocr errors]

CORRESPONDENCE. WE have received Mr. Belsham's letter, allading to the complaint of his first volume not being treated with sufficient respect ; and it is, as may be expected, candid and judicious. We were very certain that it came from eager and inconsiderate friends; but it firit appeared in a news paper, and was afterwards circulated pretty currently in private conversation. We mentioned the report with a design of being enabled to contradict it ; for mean and despicable would be the critic who suffered a difference of opinion to prejudice him againit real knowledge, judgment, and learning. As on some political subjects we differ from Mr. BelSham, without an explanation, our characters might have suffered in this way.

THE complaint of Benevolus is, we think, without fufficient foundation ; but we well know, that when an author is in posleffion of an idea, he is apt to forget that his readers are not equal. Jy informed. We ball, however, in future avoid every appearance of error. The remarks of correspondents so judicious and candid as those of Benevolus, we always receive with gratitude.


For FEBRUARY, 1792.

The Hisery of Philosophy, from the earliest Times to the Beginning

of the present Century; dracun up from Brucker's Hiftoria Critica Philofophiæ. (Continued from Vol. III. New Ar.

p. 467.) PHILOSOPHY assumed a consistent and alluring form in

Greece, a country where polished taste and refined manners gave to whatever it borrowed a peculiar grace, and diftinguished its own inventions by their elegance and their utility. The former we cannot now separate from the latter; nor is it of importance, for the accuracy of discrimination, the solidity of judgment, the force of mind, and the correctness of taite which the Grecians, in the greater number of instances, displayed, show that they were subtle, ingenious and refined. A nation, so peculiarly distinguished by natural talents, and by works of such singular merit in every department, it may feem of consequence to trace, and we own that, in this enquiry, with a view to the present article, we have employed no little time and care. The disquisition would, however, be too disproportionate and extensive, for we have found reason to differ from the greater nuniber of authors. It is sufficient to observe, that what may be called the continent of Greece seems to have obtained its inhabitants from Thrace and Illyria, the islands from the Phænician colonies, though this idea ought probably to be confined to the southern islands, and particularly to Crete. In no respect is this country indebted to Egypt for its inhabitants, and in a very remote, probably only in a secondary way, to Allyria. Its earliest benefactors, or those who first reduced the favage and piratical hordes to order and reason, were Minos in the south, and Orpheus in the northern parts. The latter was certainly a Thracian, and the former we have much reason to think a Phoenician z nor does this idea greatly militate against the opinion we have expresled respecting the intellectual attainments of the Phænicians, when we consider their extensive voyages, the varied information they must have obtained, and compare it with the real merit of Minos and his boalted legislative code. Of Orpheus we have

Crit. Rev. N. AR.(IV.) Feb. 1792.


few accounts, and those not to be depended on. Like the Zoroaster of the Persians, and the first Hermes of the Egyptians, his name has only descended to us; and his writings, if we give them their full share of merit, are but the imperfect recollections of his scholars, more probably the fictions of a later age *.

If we look beyond the immediate source of the population of Greece, it will be probable that Thrace and Illyria furnished two different races, a Scythian and a Celtic. That the Grecians were in general Scythians is highly probable, but there are many arguments to show that the western regions were of a different religion, and of different manners, and probably at firit had a diferent language. In manners and in religion, the Cretans also differed from the rest of the Greeks; but the fuperior genius of the Scythian race gradually assimilated the otiiers nearer to itself. The oak of Dodona in the west; the Egyptian fable of Tartarus in the south, and the worship of Tolus in the east, are superfitions of distant countries and a dillimilar nature. They were at lait brought together, and formed a system gross and immoral in its foundation, but fpecious, elegant, and fascinating in its form. It is time, however, to leave these general details, and to proceed to the lustory of philosophy.

Prometheus, Linus, and Orpheus are the three early benefactors of Greece, of whom we know little except what this fabling nation invented, respecting them, in subsequent ages. To there succeeded Mufæus, Amphion, and Hefiod, who to their musical and poetical merit added the cosmogony, that they had learned from the east, perhaps from the school of Mo

e, or at least from the fame fountain. Their system is wholly that of the Hindoos; and, from them also, as we have lately learnt, they probably derived the opinion, that the great benefactors of mankind poileled some portion of the divine nature, and deferved peculiar honours after death. The very fingular work, Sacontalà, or the Fatal Ring, of which we gave a full account, instructs us in this, as well as many other points of the early doctrines of Indoitan.

Epimenides, who succeeded these poets and philosophers, was a Cretan, and from his country he borrowed the farce of superstition as well as his affected trances. Solon, from the telgimony of Plutarch, has taught us to consider him as an impostor. Homer is next mentioned, who, in the opinion of his ada

* When Dr. Enfield tells us, froni Brucker, that Cicero quoted Aristotle to prove that Orpheus never existed, he m'ght have added, that in the passage, Poet.12 Orplicum secnis cm; hutical, and alludes only to a poet of this name, whose existence he denics. Fabricius has already noticed this explanation.


« AnteriorContinua »