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On page 113 there is a most inexplicable piece of misinterpretation. In the thirteenth letter of the first book, the Younger Pliny complains bitterly of the custom of so many of absenting themselves from the so-called recitationes which rhetoricians and authors were wont to give. Doubtless these were ordinarily very tiresome, but Pliny says in this letter that he made it a point to attend them all, and certainly implies that he enjoyed them. A part of this letter Prof. Lanciani has taken, and misinterpreting the idea as well as the language, presents à vivid picture of Pliny's disgust at such exercises, and the tricks to which he used to resort to escape. In this connection it may also be said that there is no evidence in Pliny's letter that there were any“ literary academies and societies,” or that they were accustomed to meet in the palace of the Cæsars. The reader of Prof. Lanciani's remarks in this place, would also infer, we feel sure, that Pliny wrote this letter during the reign of Claudius. It is hard to see how our author could have blundered so over this letter, for it cannot, of course, be supposed for a moment that he is not perfectly familiar with the Latin language. However, Pliny seems to be a stumbling block for him, for on pages 282 and 283 there is a translation of another letter, which is not wholly satisfactory. It is quoted as the “sixteenth letter of the sixth book," when it is really the sixteenth of the fifth book. Nondum annos quattuordecim impleverat” is translated “although she had not yet completed her thirteenth year;" and the last clause of the letter thus,—“and lastly seeks them (i. e. words of comfort) as the sweetest balsam for a wounded heart.” This is very fine, but is hardly found in the original" et clementer admotis adquiescit.” Why not be exact when there is no object in being anything else!
An archæologist's zeal may account for many seeming extravagances, and it is idle to be hypercritical, but there does not seem to be much sense in such remarks as we find on page 25 :“Archæology is a science which different from others, begins at once to repay the zeal of the student with deep moral satisfaction without obliging him to serve a dull tiresome apprenticeship. It is a science so noble and fascinating that it helps wonderfully to form the character of intelligent youths."
After making due allowance for such points as we have mentioned, it must be said that the book is very interesting and well worth reading. The book is most sumptuously printed and bound.
SAMUEL B. PLATNER. Adelbert College.
HISTORY OF THE NEW HAMPSHIRE FEDERAL CONVENTION OF 1788.*—It was in 1789, that the present national Constitution went into operation; and the approach of the centennial anniversary of that important event has invested with a new interest the proceedings of all the different State conventions which had first to accept it. Those who are investigating the constitutional history of the country, are indebted to the Hon. Joseph B. Walker, for the preparation of an account of the proceedings of the New Hampshire convention, which has just been published by Cupples & Upham. In that State there was at first a strong feeling of opposition to the proposed Constitution. According to Mr. Walker, the experience of the people of that State of the British policy under the Georges, and of the selfish administration of their provincial governors, had rendered them very cautious about surrendering to any superior central power a portion of the rights which they had just acquired by a profuse expenditure of blood and treasure. Then the public sentiment was so adverse to slavery which was gradually dying out within their limits, that the provision of the proposed Constitution which seemed to them conservative of that institution, awakened wide-spread disapproval. The inhabitants of New Hampshire, also, were almost wholly an agricultural people. The short coast-line of their State afforded but one harbor, and the hardy farmers of the interior felt but little need of a strong central government. At the first meeting of the convention in February, 1788, a majority of the delegates were found to be opposed to ratification. Under these circumstances, the friends of the constitution secured an adjournment in the hope that the recess would afford them time and opportunity to enlighten the people of the more inland towns. The effect of this was what had been hoped; and when the convention reassembled June 18th, 1788, the final vote, after a very sbort session resulted in a majority of ten for the ratification of the Constitution. It was, then, owing to this delay, that New Hampshire had the honor—as the “ninth State,” according to the provision of the Constitution—of being the key-stone of the great national arch, and of enabling the present national government to go into operation.
If the space at our command would allow it, we should like to
* A History of the New Hampshire Convention for the investigation, discussion, and decision of the Federal Constitution; and of the Old North Meeting-house of Concord, in which it was ratified by the Ninth State and thus rendered operative, at one o'clock P. M., on Saturday, the 21st day of June, 1788. By JOSEPH B. WALKER. Boston: Cupples & Upham, 1888. 12mo, pp. 128.
give in full the speech made by Hon. Joshua Allerton in opposition to ratification, especially on account of the clause relating to the importation of slaves. He says: “The idea that strikes so disagreeably and forcibly those who are opposed to this clause, is that if we ratify this constitution we become consenters to, and partakers in, the sin and guilt of this abominable traffic, at least for a certain period, without any positive stipulation that it shall even then be brought to an end. ... Congress may be as much or more puzzled to put a stop to it then than we are now. ... We do not think we are under any obligation to perform works of supererogation for the reformation of mankind. We do not esteem ourselves under any necessity to go to Spain or Italy to suppress the Inquisition of those countries ; or of making a journey to the Carolinas to abolish the detestable custom of enslaving the Africans ;—but, sir, we will not lend the aid of our ratification to this cruel and inhuman merchandise, not even for a day. There is a great distinction between not taking a part in the most barbarous violation of the sacred laws of God and humanity and our becoming guarantees for its exercise for a term of years. Yes, Sir, it is our full purpose to wash our hands clean of it.”
WILLIAM L. KINGSLEY.
MR. GROUND'S EXAMINATION OF SPENCER'S PHILOSOPHY* has for its chief aim to prove that the fundamental principles of that philosophy logically terminate, not in Atheism or Agnosticism, but in Theism. Unlike many of Mr. Spencer's critics, he writes with a high appreciation of his principles and processes of reasoning. He believes that his philosophy, as a whole, has never been refuted, and that it can not be. It has, however, been greatly perverted by both its friends and its foes, and our author would seem to hold that it has not always been logically carried out by the author himself. Mr. Ground is a theistic evolutionist and conducts in this volume an able argument to support the thesis that Theistic Evolution is the true philosophy. His chapter on the “Teleological Aspect of Evolution” is an acute defense of the view that no system of evolution can be constructed without assuming teleological principles. He conclusively shows that Mr. Spencer's system implies such principles, and breaks down without them. It may be somewhat late to call attention to a book
* An Examination of the Structural Principles of Mr. Herbert Spencer's Philosophy: intended as a Proof that Theism is the only Theory of the Universe that can satisfy Reason. By the Rev. W. D. GROUND, Curate of Newburn, Newcastle-onTyne. Parker & Co. Oxford and London. pp. 351.
treating of a matter which has been so abundantly discussed in recent years, but it is undeniable that the determination of the true meaning, applications, and limitations of the idea of evolution is one of the chief aims of philosophical thought. That the coming philosophy of evolution must be theistic is ably demonstrated in the treatise before us.
GEORGE B. STEVENS. SCRIPTURES, HEBREW AND CHRISTIAN* is the title of an edition of the Sacred Scriptures of Christendom which is to be complete in three volumes. Vol. I., issued two years since, covers Hebrew History to the Exile. The present volume embraces, as its chief contents, the Psalms, Prophets, and the Old Testament Wisdom. The remaining volume, which is in preparation, will contain the New Testament. Vol. II. is composed of six parts whose titles are as follows: “History of the Jews from the Exile to Nehemiah ;" “Hebrew Legislation;" “ Hebrew Tales ;” “ Hebrew Prophecy ;” “Hebrew Poetry;" “Hebrew Wisdom.” The plan of this work is unique. It is a new grouping, according to chronological and logical relations, of the matter of Sacred Scripture. It might be called a new canon for the student. The most important portions of the Old Testament are here arranged according to historical order and grouped according to the class of literature to which they belong and presented in new and felicitous translations.
The book is a real contribution to the apparatus for a more thorough popular study of the Bible. The student has here the Biblical matter pure and simple, but he has it grouped for him by competent scholars, so that he can associate and compare kindred specimens of literature, and can read many of the Psalms and Prophecies in connection with the narratives of the historical events to which they refer or allude. This is a great advantage. If, when the Old Testament is to be studied, intelligent teachers in our Sunday schools could take this edition of the Biblical literature and conduct their classes along the course of Hebrew history and literature in its orderly progress, how much better would it be than is the present plan of studying here and there a passage which has no connection with what precedes or follows. Popular Bible study sadly needs to be made more comprehensive and consecutive. The use of these volumes could be made a valuable means to that end.
GEORGE B. STEVENS. * Scriptures, Hebrew and Christian, arranged and edited by EDWARD T. BARTLETT, D.D., and John P. PETERS, Ph.D., Professors in the Protestant Episcopal Divinity School in Philadelphia. Vol. II., Hebrew Literature. G. P. Putnam's Son's, New York and London, 1889. pp. 582. $1.50 per volume.
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