Слике страница

While these are taught the advantages of piety, integrity, and industry, the more favoured few are instructed in the equally important lessons of humanity, charity, and economy. High and low, rich and poor, may peruse the sketches of the distinguished authoress with like advantage.

“ Live and Let Live" evinces as much, probably more, talent in the conception, than " the Rich Poor Man and the Poor Rich Man;" while it is far inferior to the latter in polish and finish. We should judge it to be a hasty production. This deduction is rather to be inferred from its abrupt terminationthe story, indeed, being defective both in the orderly progress and conclusion which mark her former work. Haste, however, is more apparent in the composition itself; the style being occasionally careless, and defects of grammatical construction not infrequent. This latter is a deficiency which we confess we did not look for in one possessing so deservedly high a repute. We may say, with perfect freedom, of a writer who, like Miss Sedgwick, can endure criticism, that the defect is altogether unpardonable. No publication is permissible where

. time and leisure are not afforded for the correction of grammatical errors which are so constantly the attendants upon rapid composition. Great injury is done by the sanction of a distinguished name to inaccuracies of this description, particularly where a general looseness upon the point unfortunately prevails.

The mistakes to which we refer occur not merely in the dialogue of persons to whose want of education they might seem appropriate; but they are placed in the mouths of the principal characters, such, for instance, as Mrs. Hyde, who is intended, and most properly, as a specimen of intelligence, education, and refinement. The author, too, herself, when speaking in her own proper person, is equally wanting in her respect for the rules of grammar; a science, which if more cultivated, both in conversation and composition, would have a beneficial influence upon our literature. The phrase "you was,” is a favourite one. The connection of the two preterites in such instances as these: “I had intended to have done" so and so—is also to be found; -and the selection of the past tense of the verb to form, with the word “having," the past participle; as, for example, " having drank,for drunk," "may be encountered. It was by no means our purpose to present each individual case of the kind, but merely to indicate some as justifications of our criticism ; which, indeed, would have placed such matters to the account of errors of the press, had not their frequency checked this charitable inclination. In any event, the charge of remissness in the correction of the proofs would still have remained.

In the sentiments of the book we in general most cordially



concur with the fair author--and admire exceedingly the novelty of their exposition, and the frequent proper boldness which she displays in announcing them. There are occasional remarks however to be found which we cannot acquiesce inand one which we may be permitted to regret. After giving the observation of the heroine, Lucy, with reference to a little child, Eugene, to whom she was much attached, and whom she was in the habit of carrying in her arms—that “I sometimes felt, when his head lay on my bosom, as if we were worshipping together"-she puts the following sentiments into the mind of Mrs. Hyde ; “Oh, how much better is this true worship, than formal prayers and set days.” Now we would quarrel with no one's religious belief; but when we reflect that all Christians recognise" set days' as the express appointment of the Almighty—and a very large proportion of them regard “formal prayers” as supported by almost equally high authority-we are disposed to think that it would have been as well if Miss Sedgwick had qualified the expression, or omitted it altogether.

The true spirit of prayer all sincere Christians aim at, though they may differ as to the means.

To show how very difficult it is to get rid of “set days" or "times," if it be desired that any thing-religion includedshould be properly attended to ; Miss Sedgwick herself makes Mrs. Hyde say-in the very sentence following this mental ejaculation against periodical devotion—“ Take a few moments before you leave your room to consider your duty to God and your duties in the family.Now this anti-formalist prescribes here nearly every thing embraced in the idea of “set days' and “i formal prayers." She prescribes the time—a few moments"

-the place“ before leaving your room”-the subject—"the consideration of your duty to God and your duties in the family;" the set days--because the injunction is general--for every day. Why not let “the formal prayer” given by our Lord, compose part of our petitions ?

In another point, also, we are unfortunate enough to differ. Miss Sedgwick presses the utility of a servant being qualified for every duty. Learning in turn cookery, waiting, chamber work-in a word, all the details of domestic service with which, of course, a lady is more familiar than ourselves-he or she is to be equal to every emergency. This is all very well in the abstract-but in practice, the Jack of all trades, as the old adage runs, is very apt to be master of none. The theory of the division of labour, experience has shown to be most conducive to perfection in every branch ; and we are disposed to think that a proficient in any will never be out of employment in a country where the habits of the people are so adverse to the perfectibility of servants.

[ocr errors]





257 Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. Vol. 37. London, 1827. II. ELEMENTS OF Logic.

294 Elements of Logic. By Richard Whately, D. D., Archbishop of

Dublin. From the last London edition. New York.

Song of Songs; or Sacred Idyls. Translated from the Original
Hebrew: with Notes, Critical and Explanatory. By John Mason
Good. 8vo. London, 1803.

The Book of Canticles. By Mr. C. Taylor. (Calmet's Bible


330 1. De l'art du fontenier sondeur, et des puits Artesiens, par F. Garnier, Ingenieur au corps royal des mines, ancien élève de l'ecole polytechnique. A Paris, de l'imprimerie de Madame Huzard, 1922.

2. An Essay on the Art of Boring, with hints towards forming a
new theory for the rise of waters. Rutgers press: New Brunswick,

N. J., 1826.

350 Memoirs of Aaron Burr, with Miscellaneous Sclections from his Correspondence. By Matthew L. Davis. In two volumes. Vol. II.

New York, 1837.

1. Precis Historique des faits relatifs au Magnetisme Animal,
jusques en Avril, 1781. Par M. Mesmer, Docteur en Médecine de
la Faculté de Vienne. Londres, 1781.

2. Report of Dr. Franklin and other Commissioners, charged by the King of France with the examination of the Animal Magnetism as practised at Paris. Philadelphia, 1837.

3. Letter to Dr. A. Brigham on Animal Magnetism : being an ac. count of a remarkable interview between the author and Miss Loraina Brackett, while in a state of somnambulism. By William L. Stone. New York, 1837.

4. Exposition, or a New Theory of Animal Magnetism, with a Key to the Mysteries : demonstrated by experiments with the most celebrated somnambulists in America. By C. F. Durant. New York, 1837.

« ПретходнаНастави »