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Art. 16. A Grammar of the German Language, for the Use of
Englishmen. By George Henry Noehden. Second Edition.
8vo. Pp. 468. Mawman. 1807. Art. 17. Elements of German Grammar, intended for Beginners.
By G. H. Noeliden. 8vo. pp. 107. Mawman. 1807. Mr. Noehden's grammar is undoubtedly not only the most complete, but also the most correct guide to the knowlege of the German language, thar has hitherto been published in England; and in fact it is the only work that can be confidently recommended to the student, Mr. N. is not one of those who, though they have never studied their mother tongue, yet conceive themselves to be fully capable of giving instructions respecting it to foreigners, and even of writing a grammar of it; for he has inquired into the nature of language in general, and has taken great pains to make the peculiarities of his own properly understood. The present edition has received many additions, corrections, and improvements, which manifest the author's continued investigation of the subject, and promise that a future impression will be still more distinguished by accuracy. We wish that he may also direct his attention to some general causes of the inflection of words in the German language, and of apparent devia.
tions from the established rule, which he has mentioned merely as i exceptions under their respective heads. Thus for instance the
observation, that the short sound of e is disagreeable to the German ear, after the letters l, m, n and r, particularly when they are preceded by another e, would have accounted not only for the mode of declining the substantives of which the author forms his second declension, but also for many of his exceptions in the uther declensions, and for many peculiarities in the conjugation of the verbs. Notwithstanding the great number of irregularities, so much system and logic preva I in the German language, that many difficulties in the acquisition of it may be removed by an early attention tosome general rules which grammarians have not noticed. The various forms of the adjective are casily explained, or reduced to one rule, by observing that the repetition of the mark of the gender is carefully avoided.
It is evident that Mr. N. has been very desirous of making his gramuar complere, and enabling the learner to consult it on every occasion ; and we have not observed any important omission : but he has sometimes taken too much notice of mere provincialisms, or universally admitted faults, and has not always kept himself quite free from them. In his attempt to define and describe the pronunciation of letters, to which he has, in our opinion, devoted too much space, he tells the reader to pronounce Ring, Gesang, &c. like Rink, Gesunk; &c. which is decidedly a faulty pronunciation ;-and would he really have'us pronounce herrlichen like herrli-en; and Gnade like Ginaile? We admit, however, that he has suffered but few such reprehensible passages to occur; and we must make allowance for the difficulties attending every attempt to teach pronunciation merely by description and comparison.
The sections on the compound verbs, and on the prepositions, which are among the most intricate parts of the German grammar, manifest much ingenuity, and will be found very satisfactory. The whole chapter on the arrangement of words also distinguishes this grammar very advantageously from all its rivals, though the rules may perhaps be susceptible of still greater simplification. A proper attention to this author's rules will remove the most im. portant difficulties, of which those who learn the German language usually complain.
We approve the omission, in this edition, of the Appendix which was subjoined to the former : but we wish that Mr. Nochden, or some other person equally qualified, would farther assist the student by a well arranged collection both of select German pieces and of exercises, to elucidate and teach the application of the rules of grammar; because all those, which have hitherto been published, are either thoroughly incorrect, or, from a want of proper arrangement, are unfit to be put into the hands of the learner.
The Elements form a short abstract of the Grammar, and contain merely the first rudiments. This short work is well adapted to its object, and is quite sufficient for beginners. . Art. 18. Dictionaire universel des Synonymes de la Langue Françoise,
&c. i. e. An universal Dictionary of Synonyms in the French Language, collected by M. de Levizac. 12mo, pp. 427. 6s. Boards. R. Phillips. 1807.
The public has been long in possession of the Synonymes françois of the celebrated Abbé Girard, in which the minute difference, existing between words that at first sight appear equivalent and convertible, are pursued and unfolded with so much delicacy and clearness, as to render a work of mere verbal criticism highly ine teresting as well as instructive. - With very few exceptions, the whole of the Synonymes of Girard are inserted in the present compilation : but they are outnumbered by articles of a later date, collected chicfly from Beauzée and Roubaud, with occasional contris butions by D?Alembert, Voltaire, Diderot, &c. ; the name of the writer being very conveniently subjoined to each article. . .
Among such a variety of authors, a great diversity of style will naturally be observable : but none fully attain the ease and perspi. cuity of Girard; and, finding the legitimate field of synonymic elucidation already occupied, some have undertaken to explain dif. ferences between words whicb have scarcely any resemblance, or in which the resemblance consists in sourd oply.
Nevertheless, the additions are on the whole highly respectable : and we recommend M. de Levizac's publication to all admirers of French literature, even if they be already possessed of the original work of Girard. Art. 19. A new Spanish and English Grammar, divided imto two
Parts. The first Part contains all the Spanish Words, abstractedly considered, and inflected under their prope Heads. The second containing the Spanish Syntax, illustrated by a Selection. of elegant and entertaining Extracts from some of the best
Spanish authors. By Thomas Planquais, Grammarian, Teacher of the Spanish, Italian, and French languages. Svo. pp. 494. 125. Boards. Law, &c. 1807.
As the construction of the languages of our southern neigh. bours is simple and uniform, little more is necessary to the student at his first introduction, than an exhibition of the regular and ir. regular verbs, with a cursory view of the other parts of speech. From this step, he may boldly proceed to actual translation ; though the drudgery of continual reference to the dictionary will be materially lessened, if he make himself previously acquainted with the more common words and phrases, by the help of a vocabulary and well selected dialogues. With regard to these fundamental points, Mr. Planquais' Grammar appears to be unexceptionable: but in a work containing nearly 500 pages, information of a higher nature might reasonably be expected. We accordingly hoped to find, in the first place, a theoretical and practical elucidation of the use and force of the different tenses of the verb, in the proper application of which the chief (we had almost said the only) difficulty of the learner consists; the Spanish language having retained two of the Latin tenses which the Italians and French have wholly lost. A few more pages might also have been filled with remarks on the most striking peculiarities of Spanish phraseology. There was room, likewise, for a full exposition of the rules of Spanish versification, in all itsevaried forms, many of which are unknown to the rest of Europe.- None of these objects, however, are attempted by Mr. P :: but the volume is swelled by extracts from Cervantes, Lope, Mariana, Saavedra, Isla, and Yriarte, which would indeed have formed a valuable exercise for the student, had they not been accom. panied by a literal but rather incorrect translation. Art. 20. Evening Amusements, or the Beauty of the Heavens disa
played : in which several striking Appearances to be observed on various Evenings in the Heavens during the Years 1805, 1806, 1807, and 1805, are described, &c. by W. Frend, M.A. 12mo. 38. each Vol. for each Year. Mawman. We bave been tardy, and remiss in our duty, in not having sooner noticed and recommended these ingenious volumes. At a small price, we find here prepared for those who enjoy youth and leisure, very easy and amusing Lectures in Astronomy. For every month, and for individual days, the particular state of the heavens is described; and when the reader shall have devoted ten minutes to the author's statement he may step into his garden, and verify the description.
. Mr. Frend suggests several very simple modes of mapping the stars, of forming pasteboard quadrants, &c; and the account of these may be perused at any time, and at leisure. The book itself is nos to be read through by a continual and strenuous effort : if so studied, it will probably fatigue : but the whole year may pass away before it shall be completely examined. A few pages daily,-thofe that are assorted to the respective days-should only be consulted : and then the utility of the work will be felt. Thus used, it will certainly neither fatigue nor disgust.
These tractates in some degree supersede the use of the globes ; and in several cases they describe more than globes alone can shew, that is, they describe the moon's path, the situation of the planets, &c. They are also less expensive than globes, and more bandy. Yet with the Nautical Almanack and the Globe every thing (we believe) may be understood which these volumes propose to make plain ; and although we strongly recommend them to the public, we by no means advise that the use of the globes should be discontinued..
Art. 21. Portable Mathematical Tables, containing Logarithms of Numbers ; proportional Parts, Artificial Sines and Tangents, &c. to every Degree and Minute of the Quadrant ; and a Table of Square and Cube Roots to No. 180. By Thomas Whiting. 12 mo. 45. Boards. Longman, &c.
A very commodious and portable set of Logarithmic and Trigonometrical Tables, nearly of the same size as Lalande's Tables Portatives. For all common purposes, the present Tables are sufficiently exact, and they are much more manageable than the bulky Tables of Taylor, which in ordinary cases have no advantage over these : for where it is likely that a considerable error in observation and experiment may occur, such error renders numerical accuracy, beyond a certain extent, totally unnecessary and useless.
POETRY. Art. 22. An Heroic Fpi tle to Mr. Winsor, the Patentee of the
Hydro-carbonic Gas Lights, and Founder of the National Light and Heat Company. 410. 15. 6d. Spencer. 1808.
If projectors cannot succeed with their schemes, poets of the sly satirical tribe know how to manage projectors, and to administer that ridicule to which vaid and over-confident pretenders are so richly intitled. Mr. Winsor's Gas Lights have here procured for him the notice of a poet of no ordinary powers, from whose mind the stream of poignant wit Aows with more abundance and more brightness than inflammable air from pit-coal. The satire is directe ed with great skill; and all readers (Mr. W. excepted) must feel obliged to the author of this Heroic Epistle.-The poem opens with a sublime address to Mr. Winsor as · the Hesper of Science, and records the wonders expected from his hydro-carbonic gas in diffusing corporeal light ; afier which a wish is expressed for the extension of light to the mind, on account of the wonderful consen, quences which would result from it :
O! could thy Gas with equal power convey,
A novel species-an eolightened throng;
E'en Bond-street loungers bright ideas gain,
And London rival Laputa in NOTE.' When the poet's satirical car has been for some time in motion, it acquires a momentum by which it runs from Mr. Winsor in Pall. Mall to the upper end of Albermarle strect, and stops all at once at the Royal Philosoplical Lecture-Shop. Here the poet, standing up, read a Lecture on Lectures :
• See from the INSTITUTION's crowded fane,
The lovers had not found a watery grave.' Though, however, the poet digresses, he does not lose sight of the light-and-heat-giving Mr. Winsor, nor does he take leave till he pronounces that gentleman's apotheosis ;-or, which is a more ap. propriate designation till, he has converted him, after death, inte & patent planet :
• And when-ah Winsor! distant be the day,
Perhaps, translated to another sphere,
Balloon’d with purest hydrogen shall rise,
Then some sage Sidrophel, with HERSCHEL-eye,