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in a style highly characteristic of its author. " The Dunce
and the Genius," hy Mr. Paulding, besides being full of
peculiar and admirable wit, has a moral value on account of
its fine satirical hits at certain very absurd and much cher-
ished notions about ^' genius," which have been the ruin of
many self-conceited, but otherwise tolerably clever young
gentlemen. Miss H. F. Gould has contributed several
sprightly pieces. Indeed every thing from her pen is sure
to possess a high degree of excellence. Most of her writings,
at least those which we have seen, are of the playful kind,
and in this she certainly meets with no common success.
We have often been attracted by the poetry of Mrs. E. C.
Embury. Her verses are harmonious and finished, and
breathe the deepest spirit of feminine tenderness. The
''Stanzas to a Sister" are finely conceived, and expressed
with a delicacy, pathos, and truth to the feelings of nature,
which none but a woman could have given them.

The engravings of this " Souvenir " are generally beauti-
ful. We must, however, take some exceptions to " Isidore."
This is copied firom the engraving of '' Liady Georgiana Agar
EUis," in the "National Portrait Gallery." They have
taken this lady, who is said to be (and the picture just re-
ferred to vindicates the assertion) one of the most beautiful
women in the dominions of his British Majesty, and given
her (Heaven pardon them for it^ dulness enough to spoil her
good looks, and christened her Isidore (which they had no right
to do without her consent and an act of Parliament), and
tacked to her four sentimental and rather silly stanzas, which
they had a right to do, if the spirit moved them thereunto.
We have also another ^Monsieur Tonson come again) " Lord
Byron in early Youth," accompanied by some more verses,
which, on the score of poetry, belong to the indifferent class,
but are otherwise highly censurable.

" Was it thy fault, or fate ? A future age
Will answer truly. Earth is now too rude,
In fitting characters thy name to page.
Thou hast offended in thy scornful mood,
The hypocrite, the bigot, and the prude"

Was it Byron's /ottft or fate that he lived in the daily and
wilful transgression of the laws of God and man ? Was it his

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156 Annuali for 1832. [Feb.

ftnilt or fate that be constantly yielded to the wildest im*
pulses of the passions, regardless of bis fair fame, despising
public opinion, reckless of the ties of kindred, of country,
of horae ? But alas ! " Earth is now too rude " to look
with approbation on a miserable career like his. One man
presumes to censure Byron's heartless sneers at virtue,-^
and he is a " hypocrite." Another ventures to put in a de-
tnurrer to his scoffs at religion, — -"and he is a " bigot." Pure
aitd delicate woman shrinks with horror from the coatempla-
tion of his abandoned and unbounded libertinism, — and she
i$ a " prude."

*' Thou hadst, to heal
Thy wounded spirit, in its fond appeal [?]

A mother's blasting taunts ; in thy bright way,
The ban-dogs bayed, till scourged with lash of steel ;

Kindred fell off, friends failed, and she, the ray
That should have blessed thy home, in cold clouds quench'd
thy day."

False sentiment generally produces confusion and ab-
surdity in language. To be a good writer, a man must be
a good thinker ; that is, the morale of his thinking must be
correct. There is truth, sober, deep truth, in the ancient
maxim, that a good orator must be a good man. Mr. Moore
gives an edifying picture of the fofid appeals which the
young Lord was in the habit of making to his unhappy
mother. '* Scourged with lash of sieeV^ A lash of steel
would have been a most suitable accompaniment, in reason as
Well as rhyme, to this same '' fond appeal " ; but we are in*
clined to think that lashes are not usually made of that mate-
rial. " And «Ac, the ray," &c. ; how a " ray " can " quench "
B man's " day," in "cold clouds," the poet did not pause to
tell OS. The purport of this passage is equally wide of truth.
A man is responsible for his own character, whatever may
have been his situation in early youth. If be is a bad maa,
in the maturity of his intellectual powers, it is his " fault,"
and not his " fate." Remove this principle, and you remove
the corner-stone of the great social edifice. But a greater
blemish in this piece (if possible) is the unmanly taunt
thrown out against Lady Byron. Ever since the unhappy
catastrophe which broke up the ill-starred union of Lord and
Lady Byron, small poets, who have just capacity enough to
mimic the false sentiment and maudlin misanthropy of the

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183S.] American Almanac. 157

bard, have vented their foolish spleen upon this accomplish-
ed woman. Now, how nice must that moral feeling be, how
lofty and chivalrous must that spirit of honor be, which can
sympathize with the self-inflicted or affected woes of an un-
governable debauchee, but has no sigh to spare, no tear of
pity to shed, for the secret agonies, the unspoken and un-
speakable pangs of a virtuous, lovely, and noble-hearted
woman, a disappointed wife ! It is time that such paltry
cant ^— that plague-spot in the literature of the present age —
should give place to sentiments of truth, justice, and honor.
It is time that poets, in whose souls the gentler virtues of
chivalry are supposed to reign with an especial power, should
cease to insult the name of a retired and defenceless lady, for
the sake of palliating the manifold wickedness of a literary

The above are the two principal Annuals. We have on
our desk also several others. " T%c Christian Offering^^
is useful in design, and highly interesting in matter. It does
not come forth in the splendid array of "The Token" or
" The Souvenir," but will be an acceptable present to the
lovers of correct taste and good moral feeling. "TAe Pearly'^
published in Philadelphia, is a pleasant volume, recommended
by good taste and purity of sentiment. " The Amaranth"
published in Newburyport, and hastily done, has several
extbllent contributors. We were particularly pleased with
two pieces, by the Rev. Mr. Withington, " Whitefield," and
" Advice to an Infidel." They are full of rich thought,
expressed in strong and felicitous language, and, excepting a
few carelessly constructed sentences, are every way worthy
of the reputation of their author.

Art. XL — Tike American Almanac and Repository of
Useful Knowledge, for the Tear 1832. Boston. Gray
& Bowen. 12mo. pp. 312.

Let not our readers smile at the subject chosen for this
review ; or, if they do, let it not be a smile of derision, but
of complacency ; like that, a little ambiguous it may be,
which we bestow upon some good-natured, talkative friend,
when he intrudes unwelcome ; but whom we would not repel,
since we can better spare a better man. An Almanac is a

VOL. I. NO. II. 21

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158 American Almanac, [Feb.

compairion ready at all times ; and we can better spare a
better book. It has something new to tell us every day ; but
not always the most pleasing news. It tells the industrious
out-door laborer bow many months he must wait for the
lingering dawn of every day, before he can ply his braw-
ny arms in their accustomed labor. It sometimes leaves the
merchant in no enviable suspense, lest the tide should rush
into his richly stored warehouse and spoil his goods. It puts
the timid evening visitor, having already worn out his wel-
come, to his wit's end, how to keep open the eyes of his
bost, till it announces that the queen of night is ready to
enlighten his homeward path. Not only does it tell us what
ie and is to be, but informs us also about much that has been ;
when some great men were born, and when they died ; when
one nation was convulsed by revolution, and another became
subject to foreign sway, and a third was triumphing in vic-
tory and conquest. Above all, it astonishes the ignorant and
delights the scientiGc, by foretelling various celestial phe»
Domena, and marking with precision the moments of theif
occurrence and continuance and termination ; thus revealing
to us, in their issues, some of the most sublime operations of
Deity in the material universe.

As every one must have an Almanac, some ingenuity has
been displayed in hitting the taste of different classes of read-
ers. Hence there are, or have been, in this country, •for
example. Almanacs and Calendars, with these various titles;
Health, Temperance, Anti-masonic, Churchman's, Clergy-
man's, Farmer's, New England Farmer's, Mechanic's, Chris-
tian's Almanac, and Christian's Calendar, Massachusetts Reg-
ister and United States Calendar, and others perhaps, the
names of which we have forgotten or never seen. There is no
Physician's or Lawyer's Almanac, we believe ; though mem-
bers of the latter profession have sometimes been charged with
poaching for anecdotes in those repositories, so abundant as
some of them are in stores of this kind. For we recollect some
years ago an eminent barrister chiding a younger brother
(who had made use, in his argument to the jury, of an illus-
tration not the most delicate) by asking, " out of what old
almanac the gentleman had picked up that story."

The American Almanac well deserves its comprehensive
name. The astronomical department is again executed by Mr.
R. T. Paine, a gentleman distinguished alike for the delight

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18390 BouriM'i Algebra. 169

which he takes in that department of science, and for the
accuracy of his results. This part of the Almanac is adapted^
both in the Calendar and in the accounts of the Celestial
Phenomena, to the various portions of the United States.

The Second Part of the volume for the present year con*
tains the last census, copious statistical accounts of the Unit-
ed States and single States, pertaining to government, religion,
education, &cc., besides notices of foreign countries, of which
more is promised hereafter.

The information has been derived as well from private
correspondence as from public documents, and embraces very
little matter found in the preceding volumes, except on topics
subject to annual change. This, with the two preceding
volumes, forms a valuable record of various matters, which
give it a just claim to that portion of its title in which it is
called the Repository of Useful Knowledge,

Art. XII. — ^1. Elements of Algebrayhy 'BojjuDO's, Trans-
lated from the French for the Use of Colleges and
Schools. Boston. Hilliard, Gray, Little, & Wilkins.
1831. 8vo. pp. 304.

2. Elements ofAlgebra, by William Smyth, A. M., Profesr
-aor of Mathematics in Bowdoin College. Portland. Shir^
ley & Hyde. 1830. 12mo. pp. 264.

Bourdon's Algebra displays more of the spirit of mod-
em analysis than any other elementary work on the subject
that we have yet seen. The thoroughness -and minuteness
with which he conducts bis investigations, must render him
most useful to the student that is about to launch into the
higher branches of the science. For he suffers no case of a
demonstration to escape his examination, and he does not
make use of any proposition, the truth of which he has not
previously established. His processes are for the most part di-
rect, and he seldom indulges in the ingenious devices to which
mathematicians have recourse for abbreviating their writingjs
and giving them a polish. These artifices have, we fear, too
often glided into our elementary works ; with all their bril-
liancy, they are to the inexperienced eye but monsters mys-
terious in their origin, that seem to guide to truth rather iq

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160 Bourdon^s Algebra. [Feb.

defiance, than by the aid, of reason ; and we think them to
be a great source of the dislike for mathematics at this time
prevalent among the young men of our country. ' The stu-
dent in the science of analysis, in that science which professes
to teach not merely the knowledge of facts, but the art of
acquiring such knowledge, is not to be satisfied with mere
demonstrations and solutions, however intelligible, but wishes
to learn how to solve problems and make discoveries for him-
self. Now, in every branch of mathematics there is some
one general method by which nearly all the investigations
may be conducted. This may often lead to long calculations
and prolix demonstrations ; but of what importance is this
compared with the consideration that the general method
requires but little more for its application than mechanical
dexterity ? And why not sacrifice brevity and it may be
even clearness of demonstration, rather than confuse the
learner by departing from the system which is sufficient for
all the ordinary purposes of the science, and which can never
perplex, though it may sometimes fatigue him ?

Bourdon introduces his Algebra with an explanation of the
different fundamental operations as indicated or performed by
means of letters and other symbols. This part of the work is
by no means sufficiently well defined and illustrated for begin-
ners ; the author seems to suppose his reader already famil-
iar with the mechanical processes, and gives him only an
abstract demonstration of them. His explanation of the
method by which a reflecting mind might arrive at the rule
for dividing one compound quantity by another, deserves a
careful perusal by instructers in the science. For he has
omitted, in his demonstration, to arrange his terms in any par-
ticular order, and yet he has preserved the simplicity of the
reasoning. Now any thing like this arrangement, that tends
to give an artificial character to a demonstration, ought to be
carefully avoided. The subject of division, however, has,
we think, been enlarged upon by our author more than is
useful in an elementary work.

In the second division of his book. Bourdon investigates
Problems of the First Degree. The only mode of elimina-
tion which he here illustrates, is that by addition and subtrac-
tion, and he elucidates the subject most fully by means of
examples, before he proceeds to the consideration of the par-
ticular cases that may occur. The first case that he then

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188S.] Bourdon's A^ehra. 161

considers is that of negative results ; and be is led hj induc-
tion to the general principles, that these indicate some incor-
rectness in the original equation, and that this incorrectness
may always be rectified by a change of sign. He next pro-
ceeds to a general discussion of all the cases that may be met
with in equations and problems of the first degree ; and this
part of the work seems to us rather curious than useful. For
the nature of the result is always, in these cases, suffi-
ciently evident from the very enunciation of the problem ;
and were it not so, the infrequency of these cases is too great
to allow them to occupy the space they do in the work
before us.

The Third Part begins with the Extraction of the Square
Root and the calculation of Surds, and the author seems
aware that a thorough acquaintance with these subjects can
be obtained only by long practice. He therefore hurries
from them to the consideration of Quadratic Equations ; and
he applies his principles for resolving these to several well
selected problems. His '* General Discussion of the Equa-
tion of the Second Degree " is most complete and satisfac-
tory ; yet we fear that its perfection will be lost upon most
of our American students. Much of it, however, is neces-
sary for the important section that succeeds, on Maxima and

From Equations of the Second Degree, Bourdon proceeds,
in his Fourth Part, to the Indeterminate Analysis of the First
and Second Degree. This analysis is most important to a
practical mathematician, and ought to find a place in every
work on algebra. Bourdon has given it a dress, which ren-
ders its application as simple as that of the Resolution of
Equations, and has himself applied it to several problems.

The Fifth Part contains the Formation of Powers and the
Extraction of Roots of any degree whatever. The demon-
stration of the Binomial Theorem which he has here given,
does not appear to us sufficiently simple, though it may be
the most elementary one. The theory of combinations and
permutations, on which it is founded, is to most minds ex-
tremely obscure and intricate.

The Sixth and last Part contains a few Chapters on Arith-
metical and Geometrical Progressions, and the work con-
cludes with a simple and useful elucidation of the theory of
Logarithms and of the method of using them. At the end of

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162 Olmsted^t Natural Philosophy. (Feb.

the Algebra is annexed a Hiost judicious note on Continued

Fractions, and an excellent collection of '' Questions for

But with all the claims that this work has to be considered
the best work on Algebra that has yet appeared, we do not
chink it so well adapted to the present wants of our country,
us the more unassuming treatise of Professor Smyth.

No work that we have seen appears to us better adapted
than this latter one '^ to the purposes of elementary instruc*
tion." Its explanations are unaffectedly clear and simple,
its examples are numerous, and selected with care, and it
comprehends all that is necessary for any but the professed

Art. XIII. — An Introduction to Natural Philosophy ;
designed as a Text-BooTc for the Use of the Students
in Yale College. In 2 vols. Vol. L — Mechanics and
Hydrostatics, Compiled from variov^s Authorities. By
Demsok Olhsted, a. M., Professor of Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy. New Haven. Hezekiah Howe.
1831. 8vo. pp. 346.

This volume contains the " Mathematical Elements of
Mechanics," and " Practical Applications of the Principles of
Mechanics to the Arts and to the Phenomena of Nature, and
Hydrostatics." In the First Part, which contains the " Math-
ematical Elements," the following subjects are discussed*
The laws of motion, gravity, the ascent and descent of bod-
ies near the earth's surface, the composition and resolution
of motion, the centre of gravity, the collision of bodies, the
motion of projectiles, the mechanical powers, the motion of
bodies upon inclined planes, and the doctrine pf the pendu-
lum. The whole is illustrated by a copious collection of
examples for practice, which seem well adapted to convey
clear and precise knowledge to the learner.

The Second Part contains practical observations on the
principles already discussed, and their application to the art
of gunnery, to machinery, to the regulation of machinery,
with a chapter on " Friction," and another on " The
Strength of Materials and the Stability of Structures."

The remainder of the volume is devoted to Hydrostatics.

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1889.] Zmner^s Church itfenc. 169

in it are discussed, liquids or non-elastie fluids in equilibriutD,
liquids or non-elastic fluids in motion, the cohesion and resist*
ance of fluids, capillary attraction, the undulation of fluids,
and the formation of waves.

The anlhor's plan appears to be well executed, and we
cordially recommend the work to those who are not desirous
of extending their studies beyond the simple elementary
portions of mechanical science.

Art. XIV. — Church MusiCy consisting of New and Orig-
inal Anthems, Motets, and Chants, for Public Worship,
By Ch. Zeuner, Organist to St. Paul's Church and to
the Handel and Haydn Society. Boston. Richardson
& Lord. 1831. pp; 151.

'' But the grand end which the liberal arts are appointed to
subserve, is the harmonious education, the ennoblement of the
soul. For, as I conceive, the happiest state of man's intellectual
nature roust mainly consist in the most perfect harmony attain-
able of his ardent feelings, the clearness of his faculties, and
the agreement of both with the determinations of an enlighten-
ed will.

*^ I have thought it not improper to say thus much of my idea
of arts and their purposes, because, if the intention of the Crea-
tor had been only what the author above cited has told us,
[i. e. the amusement of mankind] art would be no more to
man than the thistle to the ass."

From these passages, which are taken from the Preface to
the work under consideration, and which we think are forci-
bly if not beautifully written, it would seem that the author
takes more elevated views of the character and dignity of his
art, than is common in this country at the present day. He
assigns to music a rank among the fine arts, and believes it
capable of doing something more than merely contributing to
the gratification of sense. He thinks that music, like its kin-
dred arts, painting, sculpture, and architecture, is capable of
acting upon the mind^ and of contributing its share towards
the moral education of man. It seems to us, that it has been
too common in this country, to degrade music from its station
among the liberal arts, to the level of mere sensual enjoy-
ments. This circumstance has exerted a very powerful influ-

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164 Steams on Real Actions. [Feb*

ence upon our sacred music, and caused It to lose almost
entirely its character as a means of adding to the solemnity
of public worship, and of raising and sustaining the devotional
feeling of the worshipping assembly ; so that it has degene-
rated into a mere exhibition of awkward attempts to surprise
by the execution of music, difficult enough to be sure, but
with little or no intrinsic merit. In its best estate our church
music seems now to be thought of only as a pleasant inter-
ruption of the more severe exercise ot prayer, or an agree-
able recreation after the fatigue of listening to a long sermon.

We cannot help thinking that Mr. Zeuner is right in his
views, and we hope that he will contribute something towards
raising his art to the dignity and estimation which it deserves.
We recommend the whole of his Preface to our musical rea-
ders, as containing more just criticism on music as an art, and
more judicious advice concerning the practice of singing, than
we have ever met with any where else.

As a composer of sacred music the author appears to us to
have much merit. His work consists principally of chants^
and those which we have examined appear to possess ori||in-
ality, and are composed in a pure and correct taste. The
harmonies, without being too difficult of execution for choirs,
are often wonderfully rich and effective. We sincerely hope
that the success of this work may be such as to induce the
author to continue his publications.

Art. XV. — A Summary of the Law and Practice of
Real Actions ; with an Appendix of Practical Forms.
By AsAHEL Stearns. The Second Edition, with Addi-
tions. Hallowell. Glazier, Masters, & Co. 1831. 8vo.
pp. 495.

The law of Real Actions as existing in Massachusetts, and
in other states following in her steps, has till lately been a
subject of difficulty to the student and the younger members
of the profession. Deriving the law and the precedents from
the common law of England, it has been a serious question,
how far, in the circumstances under which we are placed,
that common law has been adopted by us. It was not till
some years after these shores were first settled, that the ques-
tion was much considered. For the early proceedings in

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1882.] Steams on Real Actions. 16$

al! our courts of justice \vere extremely simple, being diTested
of almost every thing technical, and each party being allow^^
ed to tell his story pretty much in his own way. It was but
little more than the settlement of family difficulties according
to the Equitable views of the parent.

But as population increased and real estate became more
valuable, and the proceedings in court more regular, greater
regard was paid to the substance and to the forms of law.
Discretion yielded to authority ; not the authority of the per-
son, but of those wise rules that had been established from
age to age to guard the rights of all.

As it regards the New England States, correct legal prac*
tice had no existence before the eighteenth century, and
even then was of gradual growth. One claiming property in
land would commence his action for a fee simple, and sum*
mon the other party to answer in a plea of the case. But
after some years, writs of entry were introduced ; and it will
probably be found by an examination of the old declarations,
that they never were in use until the time when regulariy
educated lawyers appeared in the courts. During the pre-
sent century, by the efforts of Chief Justice Parsons and

Online LibraryJoseph Lyon MillerAmerican monthly review → online text (page 18 of 54)