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SELECT NOTICES OF FOREIGN LITERATURE.
[As we take the articles under this head from the foreign_periodical publications, chiefly the Revue Encyclopédique, we are responsible for the translation only.]
Der Prophet Jesaia.
The prophet Isaiah, recently translated from Hebrew into German, by G. Gesenius, Divinity Professor at Halle, in the circle of Mersebourg. Leipsic, 1820. Pp. 165, in 8vo.
Commentar uber den Jesaia, von G. GESENIUS. Philological, Critical and Historical Commentary on Isaiah, by the same. Leipsic, 1821. Pp. 140. 8vo.
M. GESENIUS has obtained astonishing success in teaching the Hebrew tongue. He has published the history of this language, a grammar and a dictionary, as well as other analogous books, much esteemed in Europe. The most learned Hebraists, and the most able theologians in Germany are inexhaustible in the praise of this new translation of Isaiah, the merit of the commentary, the erudition displayed by the author, and the justness of his reflections. He endeavours to point out, in his text, the prophetic annunciation of the Christian religion, the most remarkable traits of the life of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of his doctrine amongst the Gentiles.
Hebraische Grammatik, &c.-He brew Grammar, by the same. Fifth Edition. Halle, 1822. One Vol. in 8vo. Pp. 232.
At the end of this volume, the author announces a new edition of his Hebrew and German Dictionary, which is to assume the form of Hebrew and Latin, and in which will be found the etymologies, and a comparison of the Hebrew dialects.
de Seine, No. 48. In 8vo. Price 2 francs.
This work is more important than its title seems to denote: this remark we address to the translator. The title announces a polemical work, whilst the production of M. Bretschneider is entirely historical. It is a very interesting biography of the life and labours of the French Reformer. In it we find a precise and clear exposition of the theological doctrines of Calvin. M. de Felice, in translating the German work into French, has principally aimed at answering the calumnies of the Conservateur. In the book of M. Bretschneider is to be found a justness and originality of thought sometimes very remarkable, joined to a profound knowledge of the circumstances and spirit of the Reformation. There are also many details of the life of Calvin, hitherto but little known. I have remarked (pp. 34, 35) a brilliant parallel between Calvin and Luther. The author points out the noble features of the character of Calvin, considered as a legislator. He discusses fully the conduct of Calvin in the judgment against Castellio, J. Gruet, Bolsec and particularly Servetus. In the times in which we live, Protestant theologians ought at once to acknowledge that Calvin countenanced the burning of Servetus; that no one thinks of maintaining that the Reformers were men entirely undeserving of reproach, any more than the enlightened priests of the Roman Church maintain that the Popes were all perfect; neither should it be considered that the defects of their characters can at all diminish the gratitude the Protestants owe them for having, according to them, delivered reason from bondage and strengthened the sacred rights of conscience.
Notice sur l'Etat actuel des Eglises Vaudoises Protestantes des Vallées du Piémont.-Account of the present condition of the Protestant Churches of the
Valleys of Piedmont, followed by the intolerant decrees issued against the Christian Reformers, their petition to the King of Sardinia, and the statistical description of the Vaudois districts.
This account is drawn up by M. Charles Coquerel, one of the contributors to the Revue Encyclopédique. It is an useful supplement to the history of the Vaudois and of the persecutions they have undergone. Their present population amounts to 18,000 souls in 22 communes. It is the effect of the government they have been under since 1814, that they are precisely in the same condition as were the Protestants of France before the edict of 1787, that is, exposed to a mass of oppressive laws and regulations, which may at every instant be put in force against them. They are excluded from every employment and all public functions, except the profession of soldiers, without the hope of being promoted above the rank of sergeant: they are waiting for liberty of conscience to be restored to them; they live on hope, may they not be deceived!
"that in all ages innocent persons have been condemned to death." He brings forward the most celebrated and most lamentable proofs of it in his poem. Philosophical reasoning and quotations from history, sometimes damp the ardour and imagination of the poet. In luminous notes he discusses the opinions of Mably, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Filangieri and Montesquieu, immortal writers whom we regret not to see amongst the defenders of a moral truth, so victoriously demonstrated by the learned Beccaria, and in our days by the illustrious Pastoret, the ingenious Roederer, and so many other distinguished writers. M. Valant is worthy to walk in their footsteps: the moment is not, perhaps, far distant when the cause he defends will triumph: the epoch will arrive, when a whole continent, advancing towards a new and superior civilization, under the auspicious instruction of religion and liberty, will expiate the crimes committed formerly in its bosom by the guilty supporters of ignorance, fanaticism and slavery.
The lectures at our university con
De la Nécessité d'abolir la Peine de tinue to be much frequented. The
On the Necessity of abolishing the Punishment of Death, an Essay in Verse, followed by Four Discussions in Prose, in which are examined the Opinions of Mably, J. J. Rousseau, Filangieri and Montesquieu on that Subject. Paris, 1822. Pelicier, Place du Palais Royal. Pamphlet in Svo. Price 3 francs.
The work of M. VALANT, who when young pleaded this noble cause before the National Convention, is dedicated to one of the most respectable members of that assembly, whose eloquent and courageous voice abandoned neither a virtuous king in misfortune, nor his country bowed down under the weight of a brilliant despotism, to M. LANJUINAIS, whom our liberal and constitutional institutions still reckon amongst their most invariable supports. The motto of the pamphlet contains the principal idea that runs through it: "I dare remind the arbiters of nations," says the author,
number of pupils during the winter season was 1102, amongst whom 480 were studying divinity; 381 jurisprudence; 163 physic; and 74 philology. On the 1st of December, the total number was increased by 51 pupils. This prosperity is not astonishing to those who know the names of the professors. The celebrity of M. M. Rosenmüller, Hermann, Beck, Weiske, Kruse and Spohn, who preside over the philological studies, would convince us that in every department of science true merit alone has been entrusted with the care of education in this university.
Public Instruction.-Jesuits.—A great number of Jesuits, expelled from Russia, have been allowed to settle in Gallicia, where the direction of the gymnasium of Tacnopol has been entrusted to them. An imperial decree exempts them from the duties im
posed by the laws of amortisation, on condition that they shall declare all their acquisitions to the proper authorities. At the time of the arrival of the Jesuits from Russia, there was at Vienna a provincial of the order, who fixed their ulterior destination, keeping some in the Austrian states, and sending the others to Italy. At the same time, measures were taken in Hungary for their being well received there on their journey. Doubts are still entertained as to their order being entirely re-established in Austria. The Jesuits having obtained a noviciate house at Vienna, would seem, however, to decide the question in the affirmative.
The faculty of theology, assembled under the presidency of its dean, M. Gesenius, a learned man, distinguished by many works, and recently by the publication of an excellent Commentary of the Prophet Isaiah, has awarded the diploma of Doctor of Divinity to Mr. LEE, Hebrew Professor at Cambridge, as a mark of gratitude for the Syriac and Arabic Versions of the Bible which he has made for the Bible Society. The motives for granting the diploma are thus expressed :“Propter insignem linguarum orientalium doctrinam, permultis bibliorum versionibus antiquo nitori restitutis splendide probatam, atque ad propaganda sacra christiana piè adhibi
Great sensation has been excited in Germany by a work bearing the following title: "On the disgraceful Proceedings in German Universities, Gymnasiums, and Lyceums; or History of the Academical Conspiracy against Royalty, Christianity and Property. By K. M. E. Fabricius, Librarian at Bruchsal." This work, of about 200 pages, is dedicated to all the Founders and German Members of the Holy Alliance, their Ministers and Ambassadors to the Diet; and tells them things that make the hair stand on end. Men such as Kant, Fitche, Schelling, Campe, Loffler, Paulus, Krug, and a long et cetera of
names, to the number of 60,000 writers, are here denounced as corrupters and seducers of youth, blasphemers, liars, incendiaries; who have formed, directly and indirectly, an association, by which all thrones are threatened, and from which all the revolutions we have witnessed proceeded. M. Fabricius knows this association; he even prints the oath taken by the members. He proposes to abolish all the Universities, or at least to place them under the most rigid surveillance; for the tutelage under which they now are is very far from satisfying him!
Greek Patriotic Song.
When the Turks penetrated into the Morea, the Greeks of that beautiful country displayed an extraordinary heroism, worthy of ancient Greece. Thousands of young warriors, and even old men, sang with enthusiasm a noble patriotic hymn, composed by a Greek Professor, and set to music by a German musician. This song contributed much to excite the courage of the heroes who destroyed the army of Khourchid. The following strophe is particularly remarkable: "Our war is not that of ambitious conquerors and enemies to humanity, it is a sacred war. Nature and religion impose upon us the duty of driving out our tyrants that we may have a country."
The sciences and arts have to deplore the loss of M. GALIN, inventor of the Méthode du Métoplaste, member of the Philharmonic Society of Amsterdam, &c., who died at Paris, 31st August, 1822. Born at Bourdeaux in 1786, of an obscure family, he owed to himself alone all his instruction. He occupied himself whilst very young in mathematical studies, and was professor of the higher mathematics in the Lyceum of Bourdeaux, then in the institution of the deaf and dumb in the same town. He published, in 1818, his Method of Teaching Music, which is as remarkable for the clearness of the style as for the depth of knowledge which it implies. The method of the Métoplaste has obtained much success in
Holland and at Paris. The pupils M. Galin has formed in that city, do no less honour to his character than to his talents. It will soften the just regrets which the death of their Professor causes them, to know that an extensive work, relative to music, which he has left ready for the press, will soon be brought forward.
Madame de CONDORCET, (see Mon. Repos. XVII. 640,) widow of the illustrious Secretary of the Academy of Sciences, died at Paris, on Sunday, 6th September, 1822. The end of her life has given new proofs of that pure and sublime philosophy with which she was penetrated. Notwithstanding the acute and almost continual pains of her last long malady, the wants and future lot of those she assisted occupied her incessantly; and even when her voice became indistinct, it was the names of these persons which she articulated the best and most frequently. The same sentiment of philanthropy led her to wish for the plainest funeral. This lady, so estimable for the goodness of her heart and the soundness of her understanding, justly cherished and regret ted by all who had the happiness of approaching her, and sharing her affections, had made herself known in the literary world by an elegant translation of the Theory of Moral Sentiments by ADAM SMITH.
BERTHOLLET. The year which is near its termination will be distinguished by the great and numerous losses that have afflicted the learned world. The science of Astronomy has been deprived of D'Alembert and Herschel; the Ecole normale and a great number of eminent Professors are lost to us; the studies of the most celebrated school of medicine in the world are interrupted, and the very existence of that Institution is endangered; Haüy is no more; a few months after his decease, Berthollet follows him to the grave. The last-named calamity is the more afflictive because it was unexpected, the vigorous constitution of
this eminent scholar having lulled his
In the article which we shall devote
to Berthollet, a man so worthy of our regret, we shall follow him in his peaceful career of science, amidst the revolution in Egypt; we shall recal that glorious epoch when the arms of France had conquered the land of the Pharaohs with its monuments of grandeur; we shall contemplate Berthollet and Monge amongst the ruins of Tyre, enfeebled by disease, but animated by the love of knowledge and of their country, plucking with hands, bereft of their strength, some fragments of the walls and buildings of that ancient city, to subject them to scientific analysis. After having admired the scholar, we shall turn our attention, with varied interest, to the public man; nor will the private individual be less worthy of our regards. The task of the biographer of this good citizen, this sincere and judicious friend of liberty, this professor whose zeal and genius have given the character of demonstration to a science before imperfectly investigated, would be a task affording the liveliest pleasure, did not every line he writes recal to his memory, that death has put an end to the labours he is delighted to trace.
Additions to Obituary.
SAMUEL PETT, Esq., M.D.
(See p. 57.)
THE subject of this memoir was born on the 24th of September, in the year 1765, of a respectable family of Protestant Dissenters, at Liskeard, in the county of Cornwall. He received the rudiments of his education at the GrammarSchool of that town. In 1781, and in his 16th year, he entered the Dissenting Academy at Daventry, then under the superintendance of the Rev. Thomas Belsham, the present minister of Essex Street. (Mon. Repos. XVII. 285.) His excellent character shone out in this early period of his life, and some of his most valuable friendships were formed with persons who were his fellow pupils. For his tutor he entertained sentiments of the highest respect and esteem, and for no one of the many gentlemen under his care did the tutor feel a warmer regard. In an affectionate letter, written on occasion of his death, Mr. Belsham says, in reference to his character as a student, "Entering with his whole soul into the innocent gaieties of youth, he was distinguished at all times by the steadiness of his conduct, by his respect for religious principles, and by an ardent thirst after knowledge and ambition of improvement; while, at the same time, the suavity of his temper, and the courtesy of his manners, rendered him the object of universal affection and esteem." On leaving the Academy, he was for some time undecided in the choice of his profession. He entered himself of one of the inns of Court in London, and for a short period turned his attention to the law; but not finding legal studies agreeable to the bent of his mind, he exchanged them for those of medicine. To pursue these to the greatest advantage, he enter ed in 1789 the University of Edinburgh. Here he passed three sessions: but be ing called home to England by the pri vate concerns of his family, for one winter, he did not graduate till the year 1793. His Thesis for his degree, printed at Edinburgh, in that year, bears the following title: "Dissertatio Medica Inauguralis de Colica Pictonum. Quam, Annuente Summo Numine, ex Auctoritate Reverendi admodum Viri D. Gulielmi Robertson, S.S.T. P., Academiæ Edinburgenæ Præfecti, necnon Amplissimi Senatus Academici Consensu, et nobilissimæ Facultatis Medicæ Decreto; pro Gradu Doctoris, summisque in Medicina Honoribus ac Privilegiis rite et legitime
consequendis; Eruditorum examini subjicit Samuel Pett, Anglus. Soc. Med. Edin. Soc. necnon Soc. Nat. Stud. Edin.,Soc.Extr. et nuper Præses annuus. Ad diem 24 Junii, hora locoque solitis." On printing his Dissertation, Dr. Pett dedicated it to his respected tutor and valued friend, Mr. Belsham, in the following appropriate terms: "Reverendo Thomæ Belsham, cum ob Consilia et Præcepta, tum ob Amicitiam, qua perplures annos illum dignatus est, semper colendo; hoc Opusculum, animi gratissimi et devinctissimi testimonium, sacrum voluit Auctor." As a member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh, Dr. Pett contributed a paper on the office of the Membrana Tympani, which is amongst the Society's manuscripts. Before this period he had had the happi. ness of connecting himself in marriage with Mary Aun, the eldest daughter of Jonathan Eade, Esq., of Stoke Newington, the proprietor of the mansion in that village which was long the seat of the Abneys, and which is still an object of curiosity as the residence, for many years, of the learned and pious Dr. Watts.-Dr. Pett's first settlement in his professional character was at Plymouth, in which place and the neighbourhood he was well known and much esteemed. His success was quite equal to his expectations, and would have been probably such as to attach him to this place for life, had not the party-spirit excited by the war of the French Revolution led him to feel that the metropolis, or its vicinity, was a much more congenial situation for a Protestant Dissenter and a friend of freedom. He removed in 1796, and took up his abode at Clapton. Unambitious in his sentiments and retired in his habits, he contented himself at first with the life of a private gentleman, and would, in all probability, have continued in retirement, had he not been overruled by the importunities of friends to resume his profession. Some medical practitioners of the first eminence, amongst whom were the late Drs. Pitcairn and Saunders, strongly urged him to fix in the metropolis. To this he objected, on the ground of health, and, it may be, from feeling himself unequal to the anxiety and effort required to a successful London practice. He was, besides, increasingly bound to Hackney by several valuable friendships; and here accordingly, in compliance with the wishes of many, he again took up his professional character, in the year 1804; and the event proved that his decision was wisely formed, for his practice soon