Abbildungen der Seite

as did Ritson for a Newcastle ballad. In that amusing accomplishment, black letter erudition, our editor is likewise most laudably deficient ; we are therefore able to understand his explanations, to see and feel their pertinence and use, and be benefitted by them. We take it to be a decisive test also of the gentleman's general fitness for the office in which he appears, that he has begun the series with Massinger, as it is a proof that we are not to be pestered with long-drawn affectations about the earlier drama. We have seen one of the numbers of what is called a cheap edition of the old English dramatists, now we believe in course of publication. A specimen of the good sense which guides this aerial excursion, is seen in the fact that it begins with a very high antique, denominated in Christian language, “ Ralph Royster D'Oyster,” which, as far as our comprehension extends, is nearly as intelligible as the figures of speech that ornament the pyramids of Egypt. The total freedom from all these faults is perhaps one of the best recommendations which the volume possesses, both of itself and of its kinsfolk that are to be. Neither eccentric in his tastes, nor garrulous of his knowledge, the editor of this series is liberal of explanation and elucidation too, where they are called for by any verbal difficulty in the text. Cases of obvious necessity alone, however, obtain his interference; he supplies the requisite assistance, without obtruding it; sometimes from his own resources, at others, from unobjectionable authorities.—A better Cicerone, in short, could not be found than himself to conduct us over the resuscitated magnificence of our dramatic Herculaneum.


Art. XIV:--Elements of Natural History: or an Introduction to Sys

tematic Zoology, chiefly according to the Classification of Linnæus, and aided by the method of Artificial memory. By John Howard

Hinton, M.A. 4to. Holdsworth and Ball. 1830. We have not for a long time met with any plan connected with the important interests of education, half so ingenious, as the one contained in this volume, for teaching, and causing to be remembered too—which is of nearly as much consequence that most curious science-Zoology. The assistance of the plates being absolutely necessary to a clear elucidation of the scheme, we should be apprehensive of communicating to the public a very unjust impression concerning it, were we to attempt to describe it merely by words. Those who have devoted themselves to this science, or who purpose to do so, and have resolved to pursue it systematically, will find this a very desirable plan to adopt in their studies, as it is extremely simple, and attended with neither trouble nor expense.

[ocr errors]

Art. XV.-Conversations on the Natural Geography of Europe and

Africa, &c. &c., being a continuation of " Domestic Instruction." By Mrs. Matthias. In two volumes. 18o. London ; Seeley and Sons.



WHATEVER opinion was formerly expressed in this journal upon the merits of Mrs.' Matthias' “ Domestic Instruction," we can have no difficulty in recommending the little work now before us as one extremely well calculated to initiate young minds, not only in the Geography of Europe and Africa, but also in the natural aspect and productions of those two continents. The plan is very simple. . A family gather together--a large map is spread out before them, and the mother, the best of all teachers, carries on with her children a familiar conversation; in the course of which she makes them acquainted with the outlines of the countries indicated on the chart, and at the same time with the birds, and beasts, the remarkable insects, scenery, fish, &c., which they exhibit or produce. This mode of instruction gives to children an interest which otherwise they are not generally apt to take in Geography,ấa study, which from our own experience, we thought in the days of our boyhood to have been expressly devised for our perpetual torment. How could we ever expect to remember the names of so many mountains, rivers, countries, cities, and towns ? Mrs. Matthias' work also implants betimes in the mind, a love for natural history, than which we know of no branch of knowledge more desirable for persons in every station. It makes a man feel at home in the forest, on the top of the mountain, as well as by his fire-side.

Art. XVI.-The right of Dom Miguel to the throne of Portugal,

incontrovertibly established, and his character vindicated from the calumnious charges of usurpation, perjury, and cruelty. By W-—r,

Esq. 8vo. pp. 28. London: Wood and Son. 1830. The personage who now occupies the throne of Portugal, is, as our readers are aware, no great favourite of ours. We believe that we may say as much for nine hundred and ninety nine thousand out of every million of men in England. There never was a foreign prince, we believe, not even excepting Ferdinand of Spain himself, in such bad odour in this country as the present ruler of Portugal. Even Miguel, however, has, it appears, friends and able advocates amongst us. They have not yet succeeded, we believe, to any extent in instilling their convictions into John Bull; but still our motto is,-hear both sides of every question.

The little pamphlet, whose title we have above transcribed, is a shrewd and clever performance. It contains, within a narrow compass, an argument in favour of Miguel's right to the throne, and it attempts to vindicate him from a few of the thousand charges which have blackened his character in this country. The argument is well put.

• The framers of the resolutions of the Cortes of Lamego, in the year 1139, appear to have been chiefly anxious to guard against the accession of a foreign prince to the throne ; for they allege as a reason for the enactment of the law, relative to the manner in which females should inherit,





that they do not wish that the people should be constrained to obey any king not born a Portuguese.

Donna Maria was not born a Portuguese; her succession to the throne would therefore be contrary to the intentions of the framers of the resolutions of Lamego.

• The following are the resolutions, which were proposed to King Dom Juan, the founder of the Braganza dynasty, and accepted by him. The reader will recollect that the Portuguese, weary of the Spanish yoke, renounced their allegiance to Philip IV of Spain, and conferred the crown on the Duke of Braganza, much in the same way as they have lately done on Dom Miguel. Resolutions II. and III. of the popular delegates, con'tain among others the following:

[ocr errors][merged small]

· Donna Maria is not a natural and legitimate Portuguese, born in the kingdom ; ergo, she cannot succeed to the throne, not possessing the requisite qualifications. Dom Pedro did not dwell and personally abide therein ; ergo, he could not be sovereign of the kingdom of Portugal, though he had not abdicated.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

• The first resolution of the nobility, after dwelling on the policy of requiring in the prince, who would reign over them, the various qualifications enumerated in this first resolution, proceeds-

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

place to be pleased to order a law fore the succession to the throne to be enacted, by which it may of Portugal cannot devolve on be ordained that the succession of him; nor on his children, notwiththis kingdom shall not at any time standing they may be next of kin come to a foreign prince, nor to to the last in possession. Donna his children, notwithstanding they Maria is therefore also excluded may be next of kin to the last in by this resolution. possession.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

· The ecclesiastical estate it appears did also enter into resolutions, which as far as they relate to the succession are precisely similar in spirit and intent. These resolutions were adopted by the founder of the Braganza dynasty, who affirms, that of his own free option and full knowledge, as well as with plenary, absolute, and royal power, that in and for every thing the same be fulfilled and kept, and have effect, equally as entire as he has so willed and declared in each of the answers aforesaid, &c.'

It is very certain, that our government, from the beginning of the negotiations concerning Portugal, reserved the personal rights of Miguel to the throne; but after all, the question is now more likely to be settled by the sword than by the pen.

ART. XVII.-Reasons in favour of a Moderate and Constitutional Re

form of the Commons House of Parliament, in a Letter to Viscount Althorp, M. P. from Charles Eyston, Esq. 8vo. pp. 20. Abingdon :

C. Evans. London: Baldwin & Co. Reading : Cowslade & Co. 1830. Mr. Eyston is a gentleman of property in Berkshire, whose talents we hope the public will, at no distant period, have an opportunity of appreciating in the House of Commons. This pamphlet shews that he can



write well, and we happen to know that he can speak well, accomplishments which are essential requisites in a useful legislator. Though liberal in his political principles, Mr. Eyston is by no means a friend of sweeping

The reform which he proposes has nothing in common with Annual Parliaments, universal suffrage, and election by ballot, all of which he looks upon as highly objectionable. He considers that such towns as Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester, ought not to be without representatives ; that the influence of the peerage in the lower house is an evil of appalling magnitude, and in order to diminish it, he thinks that all decayed boroughs reduced below a population of two or three thousand inhabitants, ought to be allowed to return one member only, and that the withdrawn members should be transferred to large counties and towns. One member he would allow still to remain for the decayed places, as he admits the necessity of some small boroughs which may give seats in Parliament to the ministers, and to useful men of business, who cannot secure their re-election for popular places.' Mr. Eyston further proposes . the extension of the elective franchise in counties to respectable copyholders and lease-holders,' as he justly feels that the character of this description of persons is altered since the time when the franchise was limited to freeholders. The franchises of corporate bodies he would also have extended to all resident householders paying a certain sum in taxes or local rates. Above all things he is anxious to see bribes completely put down, by making him who gives, as well as him who receives them, amenable to the law, and the expense of county elections diminished by having the poll taken at more than one place. This is a summary of Mr. Eyston's suggestions, and we think no man of common sense can read them without admitting that they are at once safe and practicable, and that before long they must be adopted.

[ocr errors]

Art. XVIII.--The Tradesman's Law Library : consisting of Familiar

Treatises on the Laws, which Tradesmen in general, for their governance, in the ordinary affairs of business, ought to be conversant with, or have an opportunity of immediately referring to, as occasions may arise. By G. H. Tompson, Attorney at Law. I vol. 8vo. pp. 1024.

London : 1830. It would be impossible to find a more accurate, and every way a happier description of what a book ought to be, than we have in the preface of this work, and we have only to lament that a project so well conceived, did not receive its full development from the luminous pen of its author. Mr. Tompson proposes by this book, to arm every person in trade, who is not invincibly abandoned to litigation, with such a knowledge of the law, as will enable him to keep at a civil distance from its embrace.

No greater service could be rendered to the public by an officer of the law, than the accomplishment of such an undertaking--but we fear that such a work is still a desideratum, as we shall shew. In the first place, the law of Landlord and Tenant is altogether omitted, being, as all the world knows, a source of as much misapprehension, and consequently, of irrational litigation amongst the trading classes, as almost any other part of our code, except, perhaps, the construction of wills, with reference to which, our au

[ocr errors]


« ZurückWeiter »