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Mr. Barnes, of Philadelphia, in an introductory note, says that “ the book is a fine illustration of the proper manner of treating the subject of religion. It is full of strong, original, impressive thought. The views presented, are elevated, and are free from the affectation of piety, and from the mere technicality of religion ; and from every appearance of cant.” We see no reason to dissent from these commendations. The sentiments are such as are calculated to strike those young men favorably, who have independence of mind, or fastidiousness of taste. The word manly, is, in our opinion, employed too frequently. offend against good taste, and convey the impression that the subjects of religion need apology, and explanation, not being in themselves and obviously, adapted to the thoughtful and manly.
10.— The Old Jersey Captive ; or a Narrative of the Captivity
of Thomas Andros, pastor of the church in Berkley, Mass., on board the Old Jersey Prison Ship, at New York, 1781. Boston: William Peirce. 1833. pp. 80.
The Jersey prison ship was a sixty-four gun ship, which, through age, had become unfit for further actual service. She was stripped of every spar, and of all her rigging. No appearance 'of ornament was left, and nothing remained but an old, unsightly, rotten hulk. She was moored about three quarters of a mile east of Brooklyn ferry, near a tide-mill, on the Long Island shore. The nearest distance to land was about twenty rods. About eleven thousand American seamen perished in her! On the 27th of August, 1781, Mr. Andros was taken prisoner, and with his companions, incarcerated in this floating dungeon, where hundreds of prisoners were crowded together as thickly as they could stand. Twelve hundred men were at one time shut up in this black hole. Dysentery, small pox, and yellow fever, commenced their ravages. Two hundred sick and dying persons, were lodged at one time in one part of the lower gundeck. “ Disease and death were wrought into the very timbers of the ship. The water of the prisoners was good, but the bread was bad in the superlative degree-full of living vermin."
In a state between life and death, Mr. Andros obtained permission to go on shore, with some English sailors, who went for water to a neighboring spring. Pretending to search for some apples, he fled, unseen by his guards, to a dense mass of young maples, half a mile distant. He found an hiding place until night, under a large log, which was also a protection from a northeast storm. Under the cover of the darkness, he crept out, and finding a road, pursued his course unmolested. When about to meet any one, he retired to a small distance, and threw himself down in such a form as to resemble a small tuft of bushes or fern. In this manner, he wandered from place to place, lodging in barns, or in forests, constantly exposed to be retaken, and suffering extremely from fever, for a number of weeks. In the latter part of October, he reached his home at Plainfield, Conn. His narrative illustrates, in an interesting manner, the particular providence of God, and the energy and self-possession which adversity frequently imparts to man. It is valuable, also, as a revolutionary relic.
11.-The Life of Friedrich Schiller, comprehending an Eram
ination of his Works. From the London Edition.
Boston: Carter, Ilendee & Co. 1833. pp. 294. This distinguished German writer, was born Nov. 10, 1759, at Marbach, a town of Würtemberg, and died at Weimar, May 9, 1805, aged 46. His parents were pious, and his early acquaintance with the poetical passages of the Old Testament, contributed to develope his poetical genius. The visions of Ezekiel excited a great interest in him. He loved, at an early period, to repeat the sermon which he had heard at church on Sunday. He would stand on a chair and preach with great zeal, never omitting the divisions which the minister had made in his discourse. He studied successively, theology, medicine, and law. His principal works are tragedies, particularly the Robbers, Conspiracy of Fiesco, Wallenstein, and William Tell
. He published Historical Memoirs from the 12th century to the present time, and a history of the thirty years' war in Germany. In 1789, he received a professorship of philosophy at Jena. A very cheap edition of his works was published in 1822, by Cotta, in eighteen small volumes.
Frederick Schlegel thus speaks of Schiller—"In the first enthusiastic writings of his youth, he exhibits all the most striking symptoms of internal conflict, and breathes the full confidence of all those visionary hopes and violent opposition to existing institutions, which were the immediate harbingers of the French revolution. In some of his early works, he expresses a passionate and painful skepticism, an unbelief which is accompanied in his young spirit with so much sublime earnestness and fire of that we contemplate it not with aversion, but with compassion, and with the hope that a soul so fearfully agitated and so panting for the truth, would, in its period of manhood and maturity, attain the repose of faith. What a mighty change do we observe in the subsequent progress of his career! what a dignified struggle with himself, the world, the philosophy of the age, and his own art! Restless in himself, and perpetually tossed about in unquietness, he comprehends and compassionates the universal convulsions of the time."
One of his biographers remarks," that incessant study, pro
energy, tracted far into the night, and the use of stimulants, undermined his health.” Another says, “On sitting down at his desk at night, he was wont to keep some strong coffee, or wine-chocolate, but more frequently a flask of old Rhenish or Champaign, standing by him, that he might from time to time repair the exhaustion of his nature. In winter he was to be found at his desk till four, or even five o'clock in the morning; in summer till towards three. He then went to bed, from which he seldom rose till towards nine or ten.” This practice admits of no apology or excuse. It was a violation of God's law, and a sin against his own reason and common sense, yet a biographer remarks with extraordinary charity, “ It was one of those errors which increase rather than diminish our respect; originating, as it did, in generous ardor for what was best and grandest, they must be cold censurers that can condemn it harshly. We but lament and honor this excess of zeal ; its effects were mournful, but its origin was noble.” In a less etherial spirit, such a course would have been a protracted suicide. Schiller's genius, it seems, can alter the nature of virtue and vice.
This life of Schiller has been selected by the proprietor, Mr. Park Benjamin, as the first volume of a series of works of a high literary character. The plan is to present from time to time to the public a book, similar in size and appearance to the present volume, which shall be either an original work, a translation, or a republication. This life of Schiller is in some respects of a very high order. It was written in England, and is edited by Mr. Follen, the German professor of Harvard. It is a finished specimen of mechanical execution. The paper, engraving, printing, and binding, are all in excellent taste. The biography and remarks on Schiller's writings are discriminating, philosophical, and interesting in a remarkable degree. The English writer is not an Englishman or a German, but a citizen of the world. He has the heart of an universal scholar.
We have only to regret that talents so great as those of Schiller should have been devoted to such an extent to the theatre. If he had composed his dramas merely as literary compositions, without preparing them for the stage, we should remain silent. But this was not the fact. He lent all his great powers, as an author, superintendent, and auditor, to an amusement, which is at war with good taste and good morals. We do not find fault with his motives, nor in the least degree disparage his extraordinary endowment as a man, and a genius. But we can never cease to deplore the unfortunate direction in which his powers were employed. Every literary man is bound to make use of his energies in that way which will most fully advance the future as well as present interests of mankind. We fear there is more fine writing than truth in the following remarks of the American editor. “Schiller's poetry is distinguished by its moral char
acter. But its morality is not that of the philosopher who insists upon an entire separation of the moral principle from all natural desires; nor that of the theologian who maintains that holiness consists in denying and crucifying the natural affections. It is a morality that flows from the heart freely aird bountifully, receiving and merging in its wide and deep channel all natural desires and kind affections. It is the morality of nature, the beauty of holiness, the quickening spirit of love and happiness, which breathes in all his works, and sheds a saintlike glory upon his life and sufferings.”
We contend that a man to whose desires and feelings, the scriptural expression, “beauty of holiness” could be applied, would not have dedicated his life, or a greater part of it, to adorn and dignify the stage. 12.-Memoirs of Baron Cuvier. By Mrs. R. Lee, formerly
Mrs. T. E. Bowdich. New York :, J. & J. Harper.
1833. pp. 197. Mrs. L. thus states her connection with the family of Cuvier. “Struck with the facilities afforded for study in the French capital, Mr. Bowdich, after his return from his second African expedition, determined to remain there for some time. We both accordingly went to Paris in 1819; and from that moment the vast library of the baron Cuvier, his drawings, his collections, were open to our purposes.
We became the intimates of the family, with whom, for nearly four years, we were in daily inter
We left France with their blessings; and on returning alone to Europe, I was received even as a daughter. My correspondence with M. Cuvier's daughter-in-law, and other branches of the family, has been uninterrupted since that period. I have paid them repeated visits at their own house, and, for fourteen years, not a single shadow has passed over the warm affection which has characterized our intimacy."
Mrs. Lee details the various events in the life of Cuvier, gives an analysis of his principal works, and dwells with great fondness and affection upon his social habits, and domestic character. Her intimate acquaintance with the great philosopher has enabled her to preserve a number of striking and very characteristic anecdotes. Her delineations have all the benefits which can be derived from the most enthusiastic admiration of his character. She treasures his sayings, and details the honors which were paid to him, as though the one were the oracles of truth, and the other such homage as is due to an immortal. It is a panegyric rather than a discriminating view of his character. His political course, equally with his scientific, is the object of earnest eulogy; whereas another biographer makes the following statement. “ In general, the political course of Cuvier forms such a
contrast with his scientific one, and is, besides, of so little impor. tance, that we are very willing to pass it by in 'silence." Still, Mrs. Lee's memoir is of value. She supplies facts and incidents, and makes observations, which would not have occurred to a professed philosopher, or to a biographer of the other sex. Curier was truly a great man, the prince of naturalists, along with Bacon and Newton an high priest of nature, cautious, comprehensive, profound, performing a vast amount of labor, and performing it well. Few Frenchmen, or few men are so entitled to the love and confidence of other ages and generations. The service which he has rendered to revelation, by corroborating the Mosaic history, is not small. His belief in a superintending Providence in the midst of an atheistic age and nation is remarkable, though all his religious opinions, as explained by Mrs. Lee, we should be very unwilling to adopt.
He was born at Montbéliard, August 23, 1769, entered the university of Stuttgard in 1784, opened his first course of lectures at the garden of plants, on comparative anatomy, in 1795, made a member of the national institute in 1796, appointed professor at the college of France in 1800, named as one of the six inspector-generals of education in 1802, married to madame Duvaucel in 1803, appointed counsellor to the university in 1808, sent to Rome to organize the university there in 1813, counsellor of state by Napoleon in 1814, grand master of the faculties of Protestant theology in 1822, charged with the government of all the non-catholic religions in 1827, created a peer and appointed president of the council of state, in 1830, died May 13, 1832. The titles of his published works, which Mrs. Lee gives, amount to two hundred and twenty. The book would have an increased value, for the mass of readers, if Mrs. Lee had translated the many French terms and paragraphs which
13.— American Annals of Education and Instruction. Con
ducted by William C. Woodbridge. Boston : Allen & Ticknor.
It would be superfluous in us to commend either the object of this publication, or the manner in which that object has been promoted. One of the reasons why it has not received a more liberal patronage is, in our opinion, the want of sufficient variety in its contents. Connected with this is the tedium and monotony attached to the word education. However important it is in our vocabulary, and vast as the interests are which are involved in it, it will cease aster a time to strike a changing and in many respects thoughtless generation. Sufficient efforts have not been made by its editor, or publishers, or patrons, as the case may be, to obtain support. The competi