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Translated by Francis George Shaw. New York: C. S. Francis & Co. 1855. 12mo. pp. 405.
In our country, a history written "for the people" would not be distinguished by any peculiarity in the mode of treatment. But, for the Swiss people," Zschokke seems to have thought it proper to adopt such a tone and manner as we should think suited rather to the capacities of children or of young persons. Allowance being made for this peculiarity, it is but just to say that the work is written in a simple, plain, straight-forward style, and, for the most part, in a condensed form. The author begins his account with the earliest notices that we have of the ancient inhabitants of Switzerland; and, passing cursorily over the contests of the Helvetians with the Romans, and the influx of the Northern barbarians, he enters on a more particular narrative with the commencement of the thirteenth century. From this time onward, the history becomes fuller and fuller, till it reaches the present day. The reputation of the elder Zschokke, as a historian, gives this work a high character as an authority, and the intrinsic interest of the subject will, we think, make it quite popular. It is hardly needful to observe that the history of the Swiss Republics, of their noble struggles for independence, and of their subsequent revolutions, has a strong claim on the special attention of the citizens of every free state. To such sources must we chiefly look for the lessons of experience to guide us in the preservation of that liberty which has been committed to us as a sacred charge.
17. My Mother: or, Recollections of Maternal Influence, &c. Boston: Gould & Lincoln, &c. 1855. 12mo. pp. 254.
manner in which these There is apparently no peculiar charm of simjudicious execution, we
Nothing can be more natural than the sober though tender reminiscences are told. effort to intensify them; every thing has the ple truth. As a matter of mere taste and would refer to this volume as exemplifying how much superior is the effect of such an unaffected manner, to that of a more ambitious A mother's gentle and sacred influence forming the characters of her household-this is the theme that pervades all the sketches, the thought that shines out in every pleasant or sad recollection of early life. Seldom is her agency, in this respect, adequately appreciated, its power is so quiet in its working. For this very reason it needs to be the more frequently and the more distinctly illustrated. After all that has been written and said upon the subject, few are aware how much the mother always does towards making her children what they become,-fewer still, how much she can do to improve or to pervert. Thanks to the author of this work for his valuable contribution, though it is in two or three places marked with exceptionable Orthodox notions. These, however, are incidentally, not
obtrusively, presented; and the general religious tone is worthy of all commendation.
18. Elements of Astronomy, for Schools and Academies, with Explanatory Notes, and Questions for Examination. By John Brockelsby, A. M., Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Trinity College, Hartford, &c., &c. Fully Illustrated, &c. New York: Published by Farmer, Brace, & Co., &c. 1855. 12mo. pp. 321.
The plan of this work is very different from that of Prof. Loomis's; it being more popular, more superficial, and adapted to a lower range of study. But for the purposes for which it was designed, as specified in the title, we think it the best class-book of Astronomy that we have seen,-clear, though concise, readily understood, well illustrated wherever illustrations were needed, and sufficiently thorough "for schools and academies.' Though we agree with the author, that "the hill of science will always be a hill" which can be ascended only with labor, and that it is futile to avoid the difficulties which demand "patient and earnest study," yet the attrac tiveness of his work, and the facilities it offers for the acquirement of the science, are good recommendations.
19. The Philosophy of Sectarianism; or, a Classified View of the Christian Sects in the United States; with Notices of their Progress and Tendencies. Illustrated by Historical Facts and Anecdotes, &c. By the Rev. Alexander Blakie, Pastor of the Associate Reformed (the first Presbyterian Church, Boston. Second Edition. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company. 1855. pp. 362.
While looking through this book, we thought it rather amusing, till we saw at the end the recommendations of some Honorable and Reverend gentlemen, who certify that they have profited by the reading of it, and aver that the friends of truth owe much gratitude to the author. Such being the case, it may be worth the while to state that the Philosophy of Sectarianism is in brief this, viz. that the true Scotch or Irish Presbyterian form of Church economy is the only kind of ecclesiastical regimen under which can be preserved the precious inheritances of downright old Calvinism, the Synagogue sort of public worship, infant-sprinkling, the doctrine of infant-damnation, (p. 231), the death-penalty, &c. With these, our republican goverment also is equally dependent, for its permanence, on the peculiarities of Presbyterianism. Papacy and Episcopacy are of monarchial tendency; Congregationalism is radical and anarchical; Presbyterianism, if of the right old Scotch stamp, holds the juste milieu,―the American copies having degenerated.
20. Louis Fourteenth, and the Writers of His Age; being a Course of Lectures delivered (in French) to a Select Audience in New York, by the Rev. J. F. Astié. Introduction and Translation by the Rev. E. N. Kirk. Boston: J. P. Jewett & Company. 1855. 12mo. pp. 413.
The very readable and valuable introduction to this volume contains the following passages: "Our progress in Science has been very respectable, and our progress in the material arts wonderful. The schools are elevating the standard of literature; but our unconcious deficiency is in historical science. Too little zeal seems to be manifested for that knowledge of man, of humanity as a unit, which includes the entire history of civilization, and which is supremely important to us." This Course of Lectures is published as an humble contribution to our stock of knowledge concerning the most brilliant, and, in many respects, most important period, in the history of France. The subjects of the Lectures are the following: The Age of Louis XIV, Pascal's Provincial Letters, Corneille, Fenelon, La Fontaine, Boileau, Racine, Moliere, Pascal's Thoughts. These headings will scarcely indicate to the reader the wide field of observation which is brought under the notice of Mr. Astié. We have read his Lectures with more than ordinary satisfaction. They are very suggestive, marked by a calm and discriminating judgment, unusually free from man-worship, and, by the skill of the translator, clearly and forcibly expressed.
In speaking of the great epochs of human history, Voltaire says: "The thinker, and, what is still more rare, the man of taste, will recognize but four periods of the world's history in which the arts were brought to perfection, and which, serving as epochs of the greatness of the human mind, furnish examples for posterity. The four happy periods are, that of Pericles in Greece; that of Augustus in Rome; that of the Medici in Italy; and that of Louis XIV. in France." Making all necessary allowance for Voltaire's partiality, it must be conceded that the age of Louis XIV. was an extraordinary period. The theory of absolutism had its full developement in "Louis le Grand." Adored by the people for those personal qualities which they admired, and for his entire devotion to the glory of France, his will was felt at the extremities of the nation, and all its resources were open to his view, and subject to his command. That was indeed the culminating period of despotic rule; absolutism was then in the full bloom. We recommend the Augustan Age of France to the reader. It is a valuable work.
21. Memoirs of Rev. Edward Mott Woolley. By his Daughter, Mrs. Fidelia Woolley Gillett, assisted by Rev. A. B. Grosh. With an Appendix, containing Selections from his Sermons, &c. Boston: Published by Abel Tompkins, &c. 1855. 12mo. pp. 360.
We merely insert the title of this volume, at present, as we hope to receive, in season for our next No., a review of it, from a correspondent who knows well how to sympathize in the filial piety of the author, and to appreciate such a character and experience as are here presented.
Inaugural Address at the Opening of Tufts College, August 22, 1855.
THE opening of a new College is one of those occasions that rarely occur. It is an event which probably but few of us have ever attended before to-day.
In these circumstances, it may not be out of place to observe, that the real importance of the present occasion greatly transcends the impression we might receive from the unfinished state of things, which you see, and from the appearances of incompleteness which everywhere surround us on this hill. These are the natural attendants on a beginning. Time and continued effort, it is presumed, will remove what is unseemly at the outset, and supply the appurtenances that are now wanting. It would be doing injustice even to the present, did we not take the future also into view; or rather, did we not embrace in our view the design which is here going on towards fulfilment, as well as the imperfect stage at which the actual execution has arrived. We need not hesitate to say, that amidst these partial and fragmentary preparations, and underneath these usual accompaniments of a holiday,the bustle and excitement, the curiosity and undefined expectations, which the gathering has called forth,underneath all these, there lie the elements of a power mightier and wider-reaching in its ultimate developments, than we can at present measure. This is the thought with which I rose to address you. The institution that we are opening to day, if it live and do its work in the world, cannot fail to produce results that may well be called momentous; the more momentous, because the larger part of them lie deep, and out of sight at a superficial view. This institution will very sensibly affect the cause of human culture. It will contribute something towards giving direction to leading minds that shall transact the business of the world. In some degree it will temper the influences that bear sway in all the depart ments of life. Consider, that whatever power it shall
have, will operate directly on those fountain-heads of civilization, learning, science, and the intellectual progress of society. And all this for ages to come! To-day, it is entering the field to take its share of control among these deep and paramount interests; to act as a new agent in helping to form the genius of our own times, and in guiding the destinies of future generations.
In saying this, we say it in no spirit of assumption or of exclusiveness, as if we would arrogate the field to ourselves in any such way as to ignore the claims or activities of others. I trust we shall not be suspected of conceitedly overlooking the fact, that the field of liberal education is already occupied-well occupied-by Colleges which have long been in operation, and that the work of which we speak is already prosecuted with success, under their superintendence. By ascribing so great an importance to the present occasion and its prospective consequences, we do not imply that the older Colleges have, in any respect, failed to perform their part faithfully, satisfactorily, honorably. On the contrary, if they had not answered their purpose,-if they had disappointed public expectation,-if they had proved to be inefficient, our College would never have come into exist ence, for want of any favorable prospect to induce a trial. It was their success that encouraged us. It was the manifest good which they have achieved, it was the powerful influences which they have so widely exerted, and the satisfaction they have given to all competent judges, that moved us to emulate their example, at humble distance. We cannot but honor them for what they have accomplished; and, if I do not mistake, the enterprise in which we are now engaged is a token of respect the most unambiguous and practical that we could render to their worth,
We are adding one to their number. And we judge of the power which this one will put forth, by the power they have put forth. We estimate its probable results, by what they have done, and are now doing,-making allowance meanwhile for difference in advantages, and dissimilarity of circumstances. And if we look at the matter in this way, through the light of these precedents, which are not likely to deceive, I think we shall see that there is little danger of overrating the importance of the field before us, even when we indulge the most enlarged anticipations.