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XXIII. Soldiers and Sailors.

A collection of "anecdotes, details, and recollections of naval and military life, as related to his nephews, by an Old Officer; with more than fifty engravings on wood, from designs by John Gilbert." The work takes the form of a dialogue, which is carried on spiritedly, and with a sufficiency of knowledge of the events of war, of the principals of discipline, the nature of service, and the characters of heroes. We must point the attention of our juvenile readers also to the free and easy manner of the "old officer" when he wishes to point a moral, which he constantly seeks to do, delivering himself in a veteran-like style. We should say that the passages in war's history have been well chosen, for the purpose of yielding proper lessons and very considerable information to youthful inquirers. The wood engravings are admirable specimens of this department of art, and tell their story excellently. In respect of design and execution, they are not surpassed by anything we have seen of a similar nature.

ART. XXIV.—Whist: its History and Practice. By an AMATEUR. WHIST, till now, was without an historian amongst us; but has at length met with a most cordial lover of the subject, and entertaining discourser of its merits. The little volume is full of curious information; and although minute in its rules and notices, such is the trim of the Amateur, that he delights while he instructs, and fascinates while he narrates. There is no driness in the writing; and its point is helped out in a singularly fanciful and facetious style by the illustrations furnished by Kenny Meadows. The book will make new as well as mend old rubber players. The manner of the Amateur may be in some measure felt on reading but one or two of his historical notices. "The youth of whist," says he, "like the youth of Shakspeare, is involved in obscurity; it is to be presumed that it attained its maturity only by degrees, for so grow all liberal arts; it might originally be something like children's game at odd trick; one age might add one improvement, another expand that improvement more fully, and so on, to the peerless and perfect whist We may confidently assert, however, that whist, as played by us, or, rather, by our sires and grandsires, was not established on a firm footing until the seventeenth century had gone 'to join the past eternity,' and the eighteenth had been some little while in almanacks and existence; and that it was not known as a polite game until, at most, the last eighty years. Charles Cotton-not he of 'Virgil Travestie,' though a contemporary,-in his 'Complete Gamester,' printed so early as 1674, says that-Ruff and Honours, by some called Slam, and Whist, are games so common in England, in all parts thereof, that every child almost, of eight years, hath a competent knowledge in that recreation.' In this lively and amusing way does the Amateur proceed. We have not, however, the means to communicate an equally just notion of the whimsical and merry illustrations. The handsome little book, in spite of its jest and fun, is destined, we should think, to become an authority among whist players.




ART. XXVIII.-Stow's Survey of London, edited by W. J. THOMS, Esq. THIS edition is reprinted from that "increased with divers rare notes of antiquity," published in 1603; and is illustrated by brief but valuable lights thrown upon obscure passages, which the industry and intelligence of Mr. Thoms has enabled him to collect. He has also prefixed a memoir of Master Stow; so that although the most informing edition that has ever appeared, at the same time that it is neatly got up, the cost of the book is only four shillings, being one of Whittaker's series of cheap reprints, and even of these the most desirable that has yet been brought out. Where else is there so much entertaining history and antiquarian information to be met with, even although Stow may not always be a safe guide? And yet he had the merit of indefatigable diligence in searching for original documents; whereas most of his successors as historians of London, have only taken up that which he and other industrious gleaners have left.


ART. XXV.-The Book of Scottish Song. Nos. I. to IV.

A COLLECTION of the best and most approved Songs of Scotland, ancient and modern; with critical and historical notices regarding them and their authors." This is assuredly a remarkable publication,—remarkable for its neat and elegant appearance, its beautifully small but readably clear type, and the sweetly diversified borders that stretch along the double columns. When the whole is published, viz, fourteen numbers at sixpence each, the volume, which will be square, may go into a coat-pocket without inconveniWe think it right to let the publishers be heard, while, in a few distinct sentences, they announce the various claims of this undertaking; for its most remarkable features have not been sufficiently indicated by anything yet said; and we cannot in smaller space than has been done for us, give the proper explanation.


"Such a work, singular as the fact may appear, amid the innumerable collection of songs under which the press labours, has never yet been laid before the public; and this we may say almost without reference to size or price; for neither the four-volume publication of Alan Cunningham, printed in 1825, nor the judicious collection of Robert Chambers, printed in 1829, (the two largest compilations of the kind,) can be considered as very complete or satisfactory, whether we regard the number of songs quoted, or the annotations which accompany them. The character of the type adopted in the present work, and the double-columned form of the page, give vast scope to the collector, and will enable him to present to the reader, in comparatively little bulk, a larger body of Scottish song than has ever before been brought together in one publication-larger, by more than one half, both in number of songs and extent of commentary, than any collection hitherto published, whatever may be its size or pretensions. At the same time, while the amount of its contents shall thus far exceed that of any similar compilation of Scottish song, the character of the songs themselves, and their respective claims to insertion, shall be carefully considered. A song may have a title to our attention or regard, on various grounds: On its antiquity on its character as illustrative of former manners or histori


cal facts; -on its tune, with which it may be inseparably connected ;its authorship; on its literary merits;-on its general popularity, or on all these, or a portion of these combined. Most collections, from their limited nature, cannot embrace the whole points of recommendation here enumerated, and therefore restrict themselves to certain classes of lyrical composition; so that while one song-book is fitted mainly for the antiquary, another addresses itself chiefly to the modern musical amateur. A distinguishing feature, however, of the present compilation, will be the universality of its range. From its extent, it will be enabled to comprehend the songs both of former and present times, and to give (where such exist) the different versions of pieces, whether ancient or modern, that may be connected with any favourite air."

ART. XXVI.-Mitchell's Work-Table and Embroidery-Frame Companion. WHAT shall I present? are the words often used by husbands, fathers, lovers, and mothers, with reference to those who are dear to them; and hitherto very difficult to answer. But now the publication of a work, resplendent in beauty of outward ornament,

"Arabesque and gold,
And every floral hue,"

and equally valuable for its contents, set the dilemma at rest. Mr. Mitchell, of Red Lion-court, Fleet-street, has recently published "The Work-Table and Embroidery-Frame Companion," comprising the entire round of accomplishments dependent upon the needle, as a glance at the seven divisions of the work will show. 1, Fancy Needlework and Embroidery; 2, Knitting; 3, Netting; 4, Crochet or Tambour; 5, Domestic Needlework; 6, Tatting; 7, Baby's Wardrobe. This is the only successful attempt at rendering the subject interesting as well as intelligible. Not only in respect to the descriptive portion, but also the engravings, many in number, are explanatory as well of the make as the form, and may be referred to in the domestic circle and in schools as patterns, and therefore sure and lasting guides. Though georgeous, for gilding and harmonious assemblage of colour, both the binding and illuminated title are exquisitely chaste; and the engraved illustrations are worthy of all praise. Withal, the price, for moderation, is really marvellous.

ART. XXVII.-The Nursery-Rhymes of England, obtained principally from Oral Tradition. Second Edition.

THIS is just such a collection of relics as the research and reading of the editor, J. O. Halliwell, might be expected to gather and delight over, the first impression having been thrown off for the Percy Society. The rhymes are arranged under fifteen heads, tales, riddles, jingles, proverbs, lullibies charms, games, paradoxes, &c., being titles which indicate the sort of classi

fication observed, and the nature of the pieces. The whole are illustrated with much curious and antiquarian learning, displaying at the same time a wide range of sound information. These rhymes recal much of the simplicity and sweetness of childhood, many of them being charged with a charming quaintness and a quiet humour; while not a few throw light upon the manners and modes of thought of our rude and stout-hearted ancestors. But one cannot but wonder how such fancies entered the heads of the ladies and nurses of the olden time as live in these ditties. Take one specimen :

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ART. XXVIII.—A Collection of Problems in Illustration of the Principles of Theoretical Mechanics. By WILLIAM WALTEN, B.A.

Just such a book as might be expected from a batchelor of arts, who has been bred in the meridian of Cambridge; but at the same time such a collection as we would as much strive in vain competently to handle, as to popularize. It is the furthest possible from being a book for the readers of light literature; it is not even intended for tyros in the study of Statics and Dynamics; for Mr. Walten's principal aim has been to offer facilities in the study of theoretical mechanics to those who have already overcome, at least the elementary difficulties of the subject; presenting a systematic collection of problems in illustration of the more important principles of the science, and thus also conducing to a practical familiarity with its historical developement. Much importance was attached by Leibnitz, D'Allembert, Euler, and other great discoverers of the mechanical theories, to the full discussion of numerous problems; but hitherto the want of a systematized collection of them perplexed and retarded the student. We are persuaded the void will be in a great measure filled by the elaborate and philosophic volume If we may venture an opinion as to the style of illustration, we that it is remarkably neat as well as skilfully free, affording a good specimen of what may be called mathematical eloquence.

before us.

should say

We have referred to the impossibility of rendering theoretical mechanics a subject for gratifying a popular interest. And yet there are curiosities connected with the study of the science, that would entertain the general reader. The problem of the Brachystochrone may be specified. It would


be as unintelligible as Hebrew to the many, were we to introduce Mr. Walten's scientific explanation of what is meant by the learned term; but the following particulars are, as far as the anecdote goes, for the apprehension of all-The problem of the Brachystochrone was proposed by John Bernoulli, as a challenge to the mathematicians of the day. Six months was the time allotted for its solution. Leibnitz was immediately successful, and communicated his good fortune, by letter, to Bernoulli, who, in conformity with the desire of Leibnitz, consented to prorogue the term of the challenge to the following Easter, the results obtained by himself and Leibnitz being suppressed for that interval. A programme was accordingly published at Groningen, in January 1697, again announcing the problem, and repeating the challenge. In consequence of this delay, solutions were obtained by three other mthematicians; by Newton anonymously.

We need not quote a word about the difference or the merits of the solutions of a problem which deals with a class of mechanical curves, and where gravity is the accelerating force; but the passage in mathematical history may show to the ordinary reader, that the subjects treated in the present volume, are not for the unlearned in the exact sciences, the volatile, or the unpersevering.

ART. XXIX.-De la Voye's New French and English Lexicon. THIS shall be our French and English Dictionary; it will not be less serviceable and suggestive to him who has mastered the elements of the French language, than it is certainly calculated to be in schools and to beginners.

It is by far the most useful and ingenious work of the kind that we have met with, and must become a model for succeeding lexicographers, as well as a standard book itself in education wherever an intimate acquaintance with the English and French tongue is simultaneously desired; for, be it observed, while it must greatly facilitate the acquisition of the latter to him who can only speak the former, it cannot perform this office of teacher without stimulating and also satisfying the reasoning faculties, without initiating the learner into the science and mysteries of branches of grammar, and yielding constantly in the consciousness of practical advancement, the most encouraging rewards.

There is much that is original in the plan of this compact and portable volume, while the precision and accuracy of the manner in which the execution is followed out, not less justly claim our notice. The great feature of the work is the introduction of all the inflected forms of verbs and nouns that can seriously perplex the learner, and that stand in his way to the meaning of any part of speech, whether in a regular or an irregular shape, contracted or taken out of the ordinary course in any respect. By merely casting the eye at the top of each page, the student finds a sure and wide. opening key to the solution of a multitude of difficulties; while the rules laid down for reference, with regard to words not to be found in dictionaries, are perspicuous and comprehensive beyond what we could have thought attainable. Nor must we fail to mention that the number of terms and technicalities, commercial, nautical, &c.-not met with in similar books, adds

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