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Denis and Gerion; he draws various important conclusions from the occurrences, and vouchsafes much valuable advice to Egyptologists, concluding with' : "the truth is, tbis discovery of the deification or canon. ization of the Egyptian kings is a new idea to the learned, and its effects on Egyptian history were not duly weighed before our present work was written.”
But we have already devoted more time and space to this book than it deserves, and we are quite sure also that we have given our readers a sufficient taste of its quality to enable them to decide whether they will continue to pin their historic faith upon the dicta of the savans, the men of books, the philosophers, the ethnologists, the Humboldts and the Prescotts, or whether they will emancipate their intellects from such servitude, and will accept and enjoy the new light spread before them in the pages of Mr. Robert Anderson Wilson.
Tue Rosetta STONE AND ITS INSCRIPTION.—A very curious volume has recently issued from a Philadelphia press; we can hardly say that it has been published, since it has no proper title-page or imprint, and, so far as we can discover, was printed only for subscribers and for private distribution. Its origin was upon this wise : some two years and a half ago, a plaster cast of the celebrated Rosetta stone, whose trilingual inscription is the key which has unlocked the long-closed secret of the ancient Egyptian written character and language, was presented to a literary society in the University of Pennsylvania. The circumstance aroused, or quickened, the archeological zeal of some in the society, and it was resolved to attempt the complete deciphering and explication of the three forms of the inscription, hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek; since, although the work had engaged more or less of the attention of all Egyptologists, their results had never been assembled and put in a connected and conveniently accessible form. Three young men connected with the society, Messrs. C. R. Hale, S. H. Jones, and H. Morton, accordingly took the matter in hand, and the results of their two years' studies are laid before us in this elegant volume. It is a small quarto of about one hundred and sixty pages, lithographed from the manuscript of its several authors; it is profusely decorated with colored views of Egyptian scenery and monuments, illustrative of the matters treated of, and many of its pages are embellished with illuminated borders-all devised by the fertile fancy, and drawn by the skillful pencil, of Mr. Morton, and printed in colors at Rosenthal's lithographic establishment. The work contains a complete analysis and explanation, character by VOL. XVII.
character, of the hieroglyphic text, a version of the demotic text, with a fac-simile of the same, a detailed analysis of a line or two, and a full demotic alphabet, and a careful translation of the Greek inscription; also, various brief essays upon matters brought to notice in connection with the monument. The labor was divided among the three collaborators, each contributing his share over his own signature, and in his own hand; the bulk of it appears to have fallen to Messrs. Morton and Hale, the former being also, as already noticed, the artist of the trio. We have not so carefully and minutely examined the methods and results of the work as to be prepared to say what is its value as an independent contribution to Egyptian science; nor, indeed, is it to be judged and estimated according to that value; from beginners in a study so difficult and complicated we bave, of course, to expect rather an ingenious and useful compendium of the labors of others, than much that is new and original; but we are sure that the leisure time of two years has been well and profitably spent by these young men; that the volume which they have brought out as its fruit does a great deal of credit to their capacity, their scholarly zeal, their perseverance, and their good taste; and that it will prove an attractive and a valuable aid to any one who is seeking an introduction to Egyptian studies. We hope we may also hail in it a pledge of continued devotion on the part of its authors to this most important and fruitful branch of learning, and a promise of future labors which shall increase our knowledge of Egyptian archæ ology, and bring honor upon American scholarship.
ABBOTT'S EMPIRE OF AUSTRIA. -We notice some improvement, since the publication of the Napoleonic Histories of Mr. Abbott, in his style of composition and tone of thought, and in those qualifications generally which may fit him to excel as a writer of “lives."
By the time he has finished the “ Biography of the Monarchies of Continental Europe," announced in his preface, this industrious compiler may possibly deserve to be considered a reliable historian. Though we cherish a painful sense of his unpardonable sin, in attempting to exalt the modern Ghengis-Napoleon-to a throne in the affections of mankind by the side of George Washington, we regard with satisfaction any indication of the return of the hero-worshiper to sober opinions. A sign of this desirable change is seen in unstinted expressions of his wrath against such “territorial robbers” as Louis XIV, and Frederic
* The Empire of Austria, its Rise and present Power. By JONN S. C. ABBOTT. Mason Brothers. 1859. 8vo. pp. 520.
II, especially against the “ royal highwayman," Frederic. It occurs to us in passing that it would be difficult to specify any difference between the occupation of Silesia, which is considered one of the most abominable acts of the Prussian King, and the invasion of Egypt, or Spain, or the seizure of Venice, by Napoleon, that does not favor the northern rather than the southern despot; or to point to any compact to which Frederic was a party, more atrocious than Napoleon's treaty of Campo Formio,
The bulk of this volume appears to have been abstracted from "Coxe's House of Austria,” without the omission even of its mistakes. That work is too expansive in many parts and is without general reflections. Mr. Abbott is still more vague and unphilosophical, particularly in those portions which require comprehensive statements, to the exclusion of minute, warlike details and anecdotes.
Only six pages, out of five hundred and twenty, are allotted to the reign of Joseph II, the most important era, as well as the most difficult to be explained, in Austrian annals. One balf of this space is occupied with an account of a pleasure excursion of the Empress Catharine. The “present power of the empire,” announced in the title of the book as one of its main topics, is confined to a page and a half.
We lay aside “ The Empire of Austria, its Rise and present Power,” without having learned much about Austria--that muffled, and mysterious monarchy, which has for six centuries alarmed and perplexed the civilized world. A story of the boisterous fortunes of the House of Austria, the Hapsburg dynasty, is not a history of the Empire. We want to know more about its political changes, its system of public instruction, elementary schools, lyceums, universities, literary men, and the condition of its millions—more about the organization of the state—the relation of tce central power to the subordinate provinces and monarchies— the working of its iron machinery of government, and the solution of its apparent contradictions. With such a field for quiet investigation in view, no intelligent reader is satisfied with descriptions of marches, countermarches, forays, battles, sieges, campaigns, and bloody revolutions; comprising full returns of the reported number of killed and wounded.
In this, as in his other works, Mr. Abbott is somewhat obnoxious to minute criticism. A few errors will be briefly noticed ; such as the
neglect to record the year of the election of khodolph of Hapsburg, the founder of the House of Austria, to the imperial crown. Attoka, king of Bohemia, is called the most powerful prince of Europe, in his time. In the project for dismembering the House of Austria, agreed to by France, the king of Prussia, the elector of Bavaria, and other German princes, Lower Silesia and not Upper, which was to go to Poland, was assigned to Frederic. It was Lord Hyndford, and not Sir Thomas Robinson, who offered Glogau to Frederic at Molanitz. It is not true of that monarch, strictly speaking, that he assigned no pretext for the invasion of Silesia. He did it under the plea of enforcing a prior claim to that Duchy. In the account of the negotiation, carried on at the camp of Molanitz, some scenes are introduced for the purpose of enlivening the narrative, not put down in the original dispatches of the British embassador-such, for example, as “ Mr. Robinson throwing in some soothing words to calm the ferocious tyrant,” and “Frederic arising in a rage, with loud voice and threatening gestures." For these and a few more new things, no authorities are cited. The book contains but three short foot-notes, and one of these conveys the recondite information that Caesar Borgia was the son of Alexander VI. Mr. Abbott is a pleasing narrator, as well as a vigorous compiler. After all we can commend his work to such young readers as may not have access to fuller accounts of " The Empire of Austria, its Rise and present Power."
RECORDS OF THE UNITED COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND.*--J. Hammond Trumbull, Esq., of Hartford, has transcribed and published in a handsome quarto volume of forty-six pages, several valuable State Papers never before printed, which he has found among the records of the United Colonies, filed in the office of the Secretary of State of Connecticut.
He says that
“The acts and proceedings of the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, transcribed from the original minutes attested by their signatures, were 'at large set down in the books of their records, whereof every colony had one.' Winth. Jour. II., 246. Two, only, of these copies are preserved, -that of Connecticut, and that which formerly belonged to Plymouth colony, now in the Secretary's office of Massachusetts. The latter was copied by Mr. Hazard, for publication in his second volume of State Papers, in 1794, and is soon to be again published, (as a portion of the Plymouth colony records,) by authority of the State of Massachusetts. The Connecticut copy is in good preservation. Its collation with such of the original minutes as have been preserved, attests its general accuracy; and it comprises the records of several meetings of the commissioners which
* Extracts from the Records of the United Colonies of New England. Comprising such portions of the Records as are not published in the second volume of Hazard's State Papers. From the original manuscript in the Secretary's office at Hartford. Hartford : 1869. 4to. pp. 46.
are omitted from the Plymouth copy ; namely, the informal meeting at Plymouth, September, 1652; the special meeting at Hartford, August, 1673; meetings at Hartford, September, 1678; at Boston, August, 1679; and at Hartford, Septem. ber, 1684. These records are now, for the first time, printed from the original manuscript; and with them are incorporated such letters and reports, belonging to the files of the Commissioners, as are preserved in the Connecticut archives."
Mr. Trumbull will receive the cordial thanks of all who are interested in the early history of New England, for this new contribution which he bas made to its archæology.
Dr. Bronson's HISTORY OF WATERBURY.*—Every town in New England has a history that ought to be written out. The story of what the first settlers did to make a comfortable home for themselves in the wilderness--the story of their discouragements and disappointments, their hopes, their plans, their successes, their ways of living, cannot fail to interest those who come after them, and are reaping the fruits of their labors.
Dr. Bronson has prepared a history of Waterbury which will interest not only the people of his native town, but one which will prove a valuable addition to the history of the state. It is published after years have been spent, by his father before him, and since his death by himself, in collecting full materials. It has been a labor of love, as the ample size of the volume and the fullness and particularity with which everything of interest or value has been detailed bear abundant witness.
The first actual settlement was made in Waterbury as far back as 1678, when a company of hardy pioneers from Farmington pushed over the hills and found and took possession of the valley of the Naugatuck.
“They were all farmers. Some of them had trades—such as are in most demand in new settlements—to which they devoted a part of their time, par. ticularly when the weather was unfavorable for farm work. There were among them a few men of substance; but generally they were in moderate circumstances. None was rich, none very poor. All labored with their hands. As to family and station, they were from the great middle class'—that which lies at the foundation of society and which perpetuates the race. Several were honor. ably, or rather respectably, connected, but there were no patrician families. Not one of them bore a name which was particularly distinguished in the early history of the colonies, with the exception of Hopkins, the town miller; and he is not known to have been a relation of Gov. Hopkins. I have not succeeded very
* The History of Waterbury, Connecticut. With an Appendix of Biography, Genealogy, and Statistics. By Henry Bronson, M. D. Waterbury: Bronson Brothers. 1858. pp. 582.