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this point of view we are still one nation, though divided into two societies. The present little work is an admirable proof of this feeling, abounding, as it does, in information of the most essential kind. It is well deserving of attention from all persons interested in public affairs, and indispensable to those engaged in education. Some idea of the method in which the subject is treated may be formed by the following >
“ In the course of this tour I have seen many things to deplore, and many to admire ; I have visited countries where there is no national system of education at all, and countries where the minutest details of the schools are regulated by law. I have seen schools in which each word and process, in many lessons, was almost overloaded with explanation and commentary ; and many schools in which 400 or 500 children were obliged to commit to memory, in the Latin language, the entire book of Psalms and other parts of the Bible,-neither teachers nor children understanding a word of the language which they were prating. I have seen countries, in whose schools all forms of corporal punishment were used without stint or measure ; and I have visited one nation, in whose excellent and well-ordered schools, scarcely a blow has been struck for more than a quarter of a century. On reflection, it seems to me that it would be most strange, if, from all this variety of system, and of no-system, of sound instruction and of babbling, of the discipline of violence and of moral means, many beneficial hints, for our warning or our imitation, could not be derived, and as the subject coines clearly within the range of my duty, to collect and diffuse information respecting schools,' I venture to summit to the Board some of the results of my observations."
ANTONIO PEREZ AND Philip the Second. By M. MIGNET, Member of the
Institute of France, &c. Translated with the approbation of the Author, by C. Cocks, B.L., &c. Post 8vo. London : Longman & Co.
The French authors leaving the rhetorical diffuseness that so long characterised them, have latterly produced works uniting so admirably the historical and the dramatical that they have become the models of modern historians. M. Thierry tells us that this style owes its origin to Scott's Historical Romance, and that the perusal of Ivanhoe, in which there was so much truth of matter, but so much falsification of events, led him to endeavour to impart to facts the same force that the novelist gave to fiction. Monsieur Mignet is a soberer writer of the same school: we miss the energetic painting of Thierry or Michelet, but we have still a vivid narrative of startling events. The half-barbaric time is well portrayed, and we feel that we are in the midst of a throng of high-spirited barbarians, and in an atmosphere of morals and manners far removed from our own.
Don Antonio Perez had a life of extraordinary adventure even in his extraordinary age, when life was held by the gravest civilians at about the same value as a modern military hero would estimate it. He lived in an age of great action and little reflection, that is for the multitude ; and one of which it would be erroneous to judge by our own standard either as regards morals or manners. Politics were conducted by the most subtle intrigues ; deception had been reduced to a science, and was sanctioned as a proof of intellectual power. The forms and modes of the middle ages still survived. The struggle between the superior and the inferior chieftain had not been decided. Force was often called into the aid of craft; and the life that the executioner could not reach, although it was esteemed his due, was taken by the assassin. This last epithet, so hateful to modern ears, was by no means so in the days of Antonio; and therefore the murder, as we name it justly, that he procured for his master on Escovedo was by no means the atrocious crime that we should now regard it. His elevation to power, his struggle with his absolute master, his flight and adventures, and intrigues with the Princess of Eboli, are all very graphically and faithfully told, and as an illustration of the time, it is as instructive and interesting as the “Chronicles of Jocelyn de Brakelond;" we gather from fragments, or rather specimens like these truer notions of the actual condition of the period, than is possible from any merely political or philosophie histories. The one presents facts in a true view to the observation and the feelings, and the other an intellectual deduction from the sequence of cause and effect. One such narrative as either of these will do more to dispel the infatuated nonsense of those who would revive the forms of the middle ages than any argumentative refutation.
Such contributions to history as “ Antonio Perez and Philip the Second ” are especially valuable to those who wish to form their own notions as to former times and former social proceedings.
OVER POPULATION AND ITS REMEDY ; or, an Inquiry into the Extent and
Causes of the Distress prevailing among the Labouring Classes of the British Islands and into the Means of remedying it. By WILLIAM THOMAS THORNTON. Demy 8vo. London : Longman and Co.
The title of this book is not fortunate, for it seems at once to assume the matter in dispute, and to declare that there is over-population in the British islands. The term “over-population" is, however, much more logically applied in the body of the work, a very searching investigation being made as to the distribution, occupation, and condition of the labouring class, not only as regards our own country, but also as relates to the chief European kingdoms. Mr. Thornton then gives a rapid outline of the condition of the labourers in England since the Anglo-Saxon period, awarding to the Norman-feudal period the merit of best protecting and maintaining the agricultural peasant. The famines of this period, the terrific ravages of pestilence, and the savage insurrections, seem all powerfully to contradict this notion. That the Young England gentlemen, so rife since the production of the Waverley novels, and so elevated with false notions of pageantry and piety, should make this assertion is not surprising, but we regret to see a liberal and sensible writer like Mr. Thornton falling into a belief of this mirage. The narratives of contemporary writers give us glimpses of herds of debased and ferocious churls, that show human nature in its most abhorrent form.
The remedies for better trimming the balance regulating the demand and supply of labour are finally considered ; and this portion of the book contains some valuable suggestions, more especially that one recommending that, as an inducement to the recovery of the waste lands in Ireland, a right in them should be given to the peasants who redeemed them. Irish energy only requires to be put in a right direction; and it will, doubtless, ultimately redeem the nation from its wretched condition: and it appears that labour thus stimulated and applied would redeem land which the mere capitalist cannot make profitable.
Mr. Thornton is a strong, perhaps it may be said a vehement advocate for free trade, believing in its power to produce effects possibly beyond its reach. He also advocates the small farm and allotment systems; but like all theorists, is more eloquent as to their benefits than suggestive as to the means of their being brought into operation. He is also very decisive as to many speculative points of political economy, but we cannot say equally convincing. The book, however, is one well worth studying, and should be thankfully received as a useful addition to the literature of a subject of all others most engrossing and important.
Roscoe's LIFE AND PONTIFICATE OF LEO THE TENTI, Edited by his Son,
(including the copyright portions.) With fine Portraits. Post 8vo.
London : H. G. Bohn. SCHLEGEL'S LECTURES ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY, translated from the
Gerinan, with a Memoir of the Author, by J. B. ROBERTSON, Esq. Second Edition, revised ; fine Portrait of the Author. Post 8vo. London: H. G. Bohn.
CHEAPNESS has reached its zero point in these two volumes ; for the matter, print, and binding are equal to that of the usual full price. It is a bold speculation on the part of the publisher, and the sale of thousands can alone remunerate him. Still, doubtless, the thousands will be found, especially as regards Leo the Tenth-a masterly work that has already stood the test of time. Mr. Roscoe's style was not so lucid and
taking as might be desired; but his diligence, his knowledge, and his sound judgment have established him as an acknowledged biographical historian. A standard work is now within the reach of the humblest student.
With respect to Schlegel's Philosophy of History, we cannot think the selection equally judicious. It was certainly written in the decline of Schlegel's powers, and is tinged with the religious enthusiasm and mysticism of a new convert. It is an effort to reconcile theology and history in a manner in which the preconceived theological idea is allowed to predominate. It was impossible for a man so profoundly learned as Schlegel, to write any work that would not contain much that was important, and some of the earlier chapters comprise extensive and just views of the subject, and the work is one which must demand the attention of the historical student.
Mr. Bohn has a series of these kind of works, and the manner in which they are issued is extremely advantageous to those whose pecuniary means are not commensurate with their intellectual riches. It would take us too far to examine by what process it is that improved editions of works are published at so much less than their original price ; and how it is two-guinea books come to be sold for three and sixpence. It is a question embracing the interest of authors, publishers, and the public, more than may at a glance appear. The rights of authors form the foundation of the theme, and it may be worth our while some day to endeavour to show that a mean between the first exorbitant and the last equally extravagantly low price would be better for all parties.
NARRATIVE of a Four Months' Residence amongst the Natives of a Valley
of the MARQUESAS ISLANDS ; or, a Peep at Polynesian Life. By HERMAN
MELVILLE. London: Murray. • Is there any one whose eye may fall on this page, weary of the conventionalities of civilised life-some toil-worn Sisyphus bowed to the earth with his never-ending task of rolling up the hill of life the stone that ever threatens to fall back on himself-dispirited with the energies he has wasted on unrewarded or uncongenial pursuits—cheated with Hope until he regard her as a baffled impostor who shall cheat him no more ; whose heart beats no longer high for the future ; but whose best affections are chilled, and loftiest aspirations thrown back on themselves. Is there any one sick of the petty animosities, the paltry heartburnings and jealousies, and low-thoughted cares of what is called, in bitter mockery, society ?-Oh! “if such man there be,” let him take the “ wings of a dove," or what perhaps will bear safer the weight of himself and his woes—a berth in a South-sea whaler, and try the effects of a “Residence in the Marquesas," and take a “ Peep at Polynesian life," and if he likes the peep make that life his own.
Here, and we call Mr. Herman Melville into court, he need not fear the single rap at the door which dissipates his day-dreams as surely as the kite in the air scares away the feathered minstrelsy of the grove ; nor the postman's knock that peradventure brings the letter of the impatient dun or threatening attorney ; nor butchers' nor bakers' bills; nor quarter-days with griping landlord and brutal brokers ; nor taxgatherer ; nor income-tax collectors guaging with greedy exactness the drops that have fallen from his brow. Here, strange to say, he will find no money, no bargaining, no bankers with overdrawn accounts or dishonoured acceptances ; no coin, and therefore no care ; no misery, and therefore no crime. No corn-laws, no tariff, no union-workhouse, no bone-crushing, no spirit-crushing, no sponging-houses, no prisons. But he may live as the songster wish'd, but dar'd not even to hope he could live
“in an isle of his own In a blue summer ocean far off ;" but not " alone.” For here are Houris even more graceful and lovely than the flowers they are perpetually weaving to adorn themselves with chaplets and necklaces, their only ornaments, but worthy of the court of Flora herself; inviting him to repose his weary limbs beneath the shadows of groves, on couches strewn with buds and fragrant blossoms.
Here the bosom of Nature unscarified by the plough, offers up spontaneously her goodliest gifts ; food the most nutritious, and fruits the most refreshing. The original curse on man's destiny, appears here not to have fallen, "the ground is not cursed for his sake;" nor“ in sorrow does he eat of it all the days of his life.”
In this garden of Eden, from which man is not yet an exile, there are no laws, and what is more agreeable still, no want of them ; unless it be an Agrarian law, which works to every one's satisfaction. In this paradise of islands, you have only to fix the site of your house, and you will not be called upon to produce your title deeds; and you may call upon your neighbours to help you to build it, without any surveyor being called in to tax their bills. Here you may, instead of going to your office or warehouse, loiter away your morning beneath the loveliest and bluest of skies, on the margin of some fair lake, reflecting their hues yet more tenderly; or join the young men in their fishing-parties or more athletic sports; or if more quietly disposed, join the old men seated on their mats in the shade, in their "talk” deprived of only one topic, your everlasting one, the weather; for where the climate is one tropical June day, “melting into July," it leaves you nothing to wish for, positively nothing to grumble at.
Such is life in the valley of the Typees; and surely Rasselas, if he