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library; we cannot restore the manuscripts that have mouldered, or the buildings that have been destroyed: but it is in our power to exhibit a praiseworthy carefulness in preserving what remains from further injury; and in bringing an enlightened spirit of critical inquiry to the study of them, with liberal feelings and comprehensive views. We may therefore naturally expect that our advancement in all the separate branches of antiquarian science and art, as well as early literature, will proceed with a celerity and speed unknown before; that gradually error- will be removed and improvement gained: so that at length, if we may be permitted to use an illustration, Archæology, which in the seventeenth century appeared, in its rude and shapeless outline, like some old Celtic or Druidical temple, may in the nineteenth, under the direction of more skilful hands, and with improved knowledge, assume the scientific regularity, the beautiful order, and the attractive grace of the finished and august cathedral.
E PIJRIBUS UNUM.
OBITUARY : with Memoirs of the Duke of Argyll; the Earl of Bessborough ;
Viscount Aslbrook ; Lord Saye and Sele; Lord Cowley ; Rt. Hon. Sir H.
ARCHÆOLOGICAL INSTITUTE. - The licensed the Rev. J. C. Chambers, M.A. ensuing General Meeting of the Archæ. formerly of Emmanuel college, Cam. ological Institute at Norwich will com- bridge, and priest in the diocese of Ripon, mence on Friday the 29th of July. The to use his efforts to regain the congregareceptio i-room for the members is St. tion, lost to the Church for forty years. Andrew's Hall, and on the same after- Since the death of Mr. Skeete, on the noon the members will make an excursion morning of Christmas Day last, the ser to Caistor camp:
The next day will be vices of his chapel have been carried on devoted to the cathedral, where Professor by the Rev. John Dodgson, formerly Willis will explain its architectural charac- minister of St. Peter's chapel, in Montrose, teristics, and oth objects of curiosity in who was neither at any time recognised by the city. Saturday will be devoted to the Bishop of Brechin, in whose diocese Ely, where Professor Willis will also be Montrose is situated. In no way, therepresent. On Monday the members will fore, can the congregation under the late take the rail to Yarmouth, will visit Burgh Mr. Skeete, and at present under Mr. and Caistor castles, and dine in the Town. Dodgson, be with truth considered and hall with the Mayor. Tuesday will be styled Episcopalians. In the present respent in the sectional meetings, and in viving condition of the Scotch Episcopal other objects in Norwich. On Wednesday Church, and with the prospect of the either Castle Acre or Walsingham may be Trinity college being opened so immevisited, the travellers proceeding in either diately and speedily in the vicinity of this case by railroad to East Dereham. On town, it is desirable that the truth should Thursday the closing meeting will be be disseminated, and that “true Episcoheld.
palians” should know in whom they have SIGMA objects to the accuracy of the to trust. statement (copied from a newspaper), in MR. JAMES F. MORGAN would be our April Magazine, p. 444, that “the glad to know whether there are any male Rev. H. A. Skeete was minister of the representatives of Sir Thomas Rawlinson, Episcopalian congregation of Perth for Knight, Lord Mayor of London 1706. forty years.” So far (remarks our cor- His surviving children were, Thomas respondent) from this being the case, Mr. (Tom Folio); Richard, of St. John's, Skeete, though recommended by the Bishop Oxon; John; Constantine ; Tempest ; of Edinburgh to that congregation, with. Mary; Anne, Mrs. Andrews; and Honor, drew the people from the Bishop of Dun- who married first a Mr. Ellis, and, keld, and by that act rendered what was secondly, a Mr. Smith, who was her an Episcopalian congregation Indepen. cousin. dent. Again, when it is said that the In answer to the inquiry in our last congregation notwithstanding were recog. respecting the family of Dyer, the poet, nised as true Episcopalians, it is difficult Mr. W. Morgan of Bradford, Yorkshire, to imagine that they could be so recog- says there was a clergyman of the name of nised by any persons who understand Dyer, he believes the brother of the poet, the meaning of the term, unless indeed by officiating at St. George's church, in that term, wbich would at first sight ap- Southwark; he was afterwards Rector of pear anomalous and contradictory, the Llanbadarn-vawr, in Radnorshire, where soi-disant “ true Episcopalians" be de. he died at an advanced age, about the end sirous of drawing a line of distinction of 1803, or the beginning of 1804. between the Episcopalians as in England LL. B. inquires for “Vernon's Life of and those belonging to the Scotch Epis. Peter Heylin,” published about 1680, and copal Church. It is equally erroneous to " Bernard's Life of Peter Heylin," pubstate that the Bishop of Dunkeld, a few lished in 1663. [It is not within our weeks before the death of Mr. Skeete, ap- practice to advertise such wants; but if he pointed a gentleman to be his assistant will address the Editor of the Publishers' and successor. On the contrary, three Circular, that paper will do what he remonths before his death, the Bishop quires.]
History of the Conquest of Peru. By W. N. Prescott. 2 vols.
THE History of the Conquest of Mexico, by Mr. Prescott, a work still fresh in the recollection of our readers, served greatly to increase that reputation as an historian which he had acquired by his Ferdinand and Isabella. The subject was happily chosen by him. His intimate knowledge of the Spanish language, and the manuscript documents and authorities which were freely opened to him at Madrid and elsewhere, gave him great advantage over those who had previously written on the same subject, while the rich and copious materials which he collected were so ably used, disposed with such skill and judgment, and adorned with such elegance of language and such picturesque variety of description, that his work appeared to possess at once the fidelity of history and the attraction of romance. The same subject indeed, the conquest of the two great nations of America by a few bold adventurers, so fascinating in its outline, and admitting such brilliancy of colouring, such striking contrasts, such new and vivid pictures of nature,—such delineations of men in a state half savage and half civilised, such novel forms of government, religious and social, and such intimate development of character-all seen amidst the dangers and glories of the struggle and the victory,—this subject had not been overlooked by some who were well able either to adorn it with the attraction of poetic genius, or to survey it with the cool eye of the philosopher, to draw from it fresh illustrations of social life, or to combine its new materials with what previous experience had afforded of the history of the human race.
It would however appear that whatever merit Robertson could claim * for the judicious disposition
* For the character of Robertson as an historian the reader may refer to the complimentary letters of his great rival Gibbon, to the friendly praises of Hume, and to the later ealogies of Lord Broughain. It is supposed that Burke reviewed the America in the Annual Register, which is said to bear marks of his pbilosophical criticism, and an extent of moral and political views similar to that which his writings usually display. See Bisset's Life of Burke, p. 290. We now lay before our readers the opinion of one whose historical researches and knowledge, as well as his love of truth, must command our respect and attention." Robertson,” says Mr. Southey, “in what he calls his History of America, is guilty of such omissions, and consequent misrepresentations, as to make it certain, either that he had not read some of the most important documents to which he refers, or that he did not choose to notice the facts which are to be found there because they were not in conformity to his own preconceived opinions. The reputation of this author must rest upon his History of Scotland, if that can support it: bis other works are miserably deficient.” Vide Southey's Brazil, i. 639. Again : “What Robertson has said of Ant. Solis may be applied to himself: I know no author in any language whose literary fame has risen so far above his real merits." Vide Omniana, i. 141. Again : “ Hume is chargeable with want of industry, and Robertson in a far greater degree, beyond any other writer of eminence, not even excepting the Abbé Raynal." Vide Annual Review, iv. 467. Another writer says,
of his matter, the graceful and subdued elegance of his style, and the careful selection of his language, yet that he was deficient in a more thorough and comprehensive acquaintance with his subject, and that his materials were inadequate to the success of his undertaking. Previously to him, Burke had rapidly passed over the same subject with that precision of touch, that justness of reflection, and that harmonious colouring of expression, that showed a master's hand ; while two French writers of great fame, Vol
he had applied to Monsieur Gerard, of Brussels, keeper of the archives, and many other persons in the Austrian Netherlands, might have procured documents and in. formation which would have rendered the History of Italy something more than a bare splendid relation of facts, already known to every common historical reader.” Vide Thicknesse's Journey through the Austrian Netherlands, iii. 53. Humboldt's high authority is more favourable ; he says, “ Robertson's History, admirable for the sagacity with which it has been compiled, but too much abridged in the part relating to the Toltecks and Aztecks." Vide Researches in America, ii. p. 248. To which we add a reference to the Foreign Quarterly Review, No. XVII. pp. 108–110, for a cri. ticism on this work on America. See also Maitland's Dark Ages for remarks on Robertson's Charles the Fifth, pp. 10, 13, 25, 52, No. I. to No. IV., where he shows “the extreme carelessness with which Robertson quotes authorities;” and in the Preface, p. V., he is placed with Jortin among “very miserable second-hand writers." As in all probability we shall not recur to this subject again, we shall produce another authority or two which we happen to recollect. “The reader must beware of following Robertson's romance,-his 80-called History of Charles the Fifth.” Vide Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. i. p. 280. Again : “ Robertson, the most inaccurate of all modern historians, with, perhaps, the single exception of Hume.” Ibid. p. 278. See also the Life of William Taylor, of Norwich, for bis observations on Robertson, vol. ii. p. 169-171, and Professor Smythe on the French Revolution, vol. iii. p. 405. We quote, but without setting much value upon it, the sentiment of the following writer, where Robertson is censured for “his phlegmatic account of the Reformation, also the ambiguity of his opinion of the autbenticity of the Mosaic chronology, in his Disquisition on the Trade with India ; and bis Letters to Mr. Gibbon cannot but excite emotions of regret and shame in every sincere Christian.” Vide Wilberforce's Practical Christianity, chap. vi. note. For some offence against grammar committed by Robertson in his opening lines of Charles the Fifth, see Granger's Letters, p. 395. But where praise can justly be given it is an unworthy act to withhold it, and therefore it is with pleasure we mention, in conclusion of this note, that Mr. Hallam gives high praise to Robertson for his account of the Private Warfare in the Middle Ages. See Hallam, vol. i. p. 231. Our rule when noticing the errors of great writers, like Robertson, is taken from Polybius, lib. iii. c. 56 ; see also Fabroni, Vita Scip. Maffei, p. 109.-Rev.
* “ This work, called Account of the European Settlements in America," Sir Egerton Brydges says, “is supposed to have been written by Mr. William Burke, cousin to Mr. Edmund Burke, formerly secretary to General Conway, when Secretary of State, and several years Paymaster in India. Of this beautiful and luminous nar. rative the merits are above my feeble praise.” Vide Theatrum Poetarum, p. 307. But Mr. Prior, in his Life of Burke, states that Lord Macartney said this work was the joint production of Edmund Burke, Richard his brother, and his namesake and intimale friend, William Burke; pp. 51, 52. The editor of Stockdale's ed. 1808, saw the receipt for fifty guineas in Burke's writing. Lord Brougham says “Mr. Burke's account of the European Settlements, a work taken from Harris's invaluable compilation.” See History of Brazil, in Harris's Voyages, vol. ii.; and Brougham's Colonial Policy, vol. i. p. 582 ; to which we add that the author of this work was also indebted to the Abbé Raynal's Histoire des Indes. In our copy of the latter work we have marked the passages which Burke evidently bad before him, adopting even the language of the French historian. It must not be forgotten that the author of this elegant and amusing history has received the just praise he merits from the pen of who was well able to judge of the ability with which it is written, as he followed on the same ground the footsteps of an author, “whose ingenuity has illustrated and whose eloquence has adorned the History of America, l'Abbé Raynal.” Vide Robertson's America, vol. iii. p. 196. Had we space we might surprise some of our readers by giving them an account of the manner and purpose for which this work of Raynal's was written, the various persons who claim the honour of authorship, and the changes