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ASTOR, LENOX AND
District of Pennsylvania, to wit:
• ••*•*• BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the thirty-first day of
• Seal. * January, in the thirty-sixth yearof the independence of the •*•*t*• United States of America, A. D. 1812, Farrand and Nicholas
of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"The American Review of History and Politics, and General "Repository of Literature and State Papers.
"necjue enim levia aut ludicra petuntur
"Prxmia. Virgil, Lib. xii.
In conformity to the act of the congress of the United States, intituled, " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned."—And also to the act, entitled, "An act supplementary to an act, entitled " An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned," and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
The fifth number of " the American Review," is now offered to the public. The undertaking has as yet experienced much indulgence, and will be assiduously prosecuted, in the expectation, that it will not only continue to attract attention, but finally engage in its support the literary talents of the country. Were the list of literary contributors such as it might be, or any way proportionate to that of the subscribers, nothing would be wanting, to insure the accomplishment of the important purposes, for which the work was instituted.
Some original matter of considerable interest and value, has been purposely excluded from the present Number, in order to allow place, to the documents accompanying the President's message, which, as state papers, are too important to be overlooked, and which it was thought preferable to publish in one body. It is intended to make hereafter, such a distribution of this journal, as to adapt it to the taste and pursuits, not only of professed scholars and politicians, but of the more numerous class of general readers. The correspondence on "France and England," will be resumed, and a suitable degree of attention given to American literature.
CONTENTS of No. V.
History and Politics.
Vol. III. JANUARY, 1812. No. 1
-Rapport Historique sur le Progres de VHistoire et de la Litterature Ancienne depuis 1789, et sur leur Etat actuel. Presents a sa Majeste P Empereur et Roi en son Conseil d'Etat par la Classe d'Histoire et de Litterature ancienne de P Institut. Imprime par ordre de sa Majeste. A Paris, 1809.
Historical Report upon the Progress of History and Ancient Literature since the year 1789, and upon their actual condition, presented to his Majesty the French Emperor and King in his Council of State, by the Class of History and Ancient Literature of the Institute. Printed by order of his Majesty. Paris, 1809.
In the year 1807 the several classes of the French Institute, were ordered by the emperor, to prepare for him, a history of the progress of the branches of knowledge peculiar to each, since the commencement of the French revolution.—This work was accordingly undertaken, and the result of the labours of the learned body submitted to his imperial majesty in 1808, but not given to the world until the ensuing year.—The volume which we announce, contains the report of the third class, and professes to treat much at large, of the advances made, from the epoch just mentioned, in the various departments of literature, to which the attention of the class is exclusively directed. —/These are—ancient philology;—the oriental languages;— ancient and modern history,—ancient and modem geography,,—-legislation and speculative philosophy.
The Report of the first class on the improvements and discoveries during the same interval, in the physical and mathematical sciences, is examined at some length in the twenty ninth number of the Edinburgh Review. That which we have now under consideration, is however, but slightly noticed, and, to judge from the terms employed, was read with very little attention: otherwise the reviewer would not have dedared, that he had found in it " great liberality with regard to foreign nations," no more than he would have asserted, had he enjoyed opportunities of personal observation, " that those branches of knowledge which are least favoured by the emperor, and to which his protection is not extended, are at this moment studied in France with great assiduity." The volume before us, deserves, in our opinion, even a more particular examination, than that which has been given to the Report of the first class of the Institute; not only because it contains some very curious, and interesting matter, but also, on account of its superior consequence in a moral and political point of view, the most serious and important of the aspects, under which,—— especially in these times,—any subject can be considered. With the cause of English literature, as well as with that of English, arms, we believe the highest interests of mankind to be at this moment intimately connected, and we are not without strong suspicions, that the report in question, was chiefly intended by the French ruler, to operate to the prejudice of the literary reputation of his enemy. With these impressions, we hold ourselves in some measure bound to dedicate a few of our pages, to an investigation of the general merits of the work. The passages which we shall translate for our readers, cannot fail to afford them entertainment.
Those who have attended carefully to the character and history of Bonaparte, will not certainly be willing to admit, that, in imposing on the Institute, the task of which we have been speaking, he was actuated by the magnanimous views ascribed to him in the Introductory discourse of the present Report. We cannot think him inflamed with zeal for the interests of science and literature, nor can we suppose, in conformity to the language of the Institute, that in this instance, his object was merely " to have under his view at once the universality of human studies;—to be able thus to appreciate them in their ensemble and in their several parts, and thereby to judge of the utility of which they might be rendered productive to. the happiness and prosperity of the great family of the human race." The general tenor of the work, and the language addressed to his majesty by the authors, furnish evidence of