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we love truth more ; and truth compels as to declare....that this Amer. ican edition of the Cyclopedia appears to be, at least in respect to the original editors of it, in some ciegred, a literary fraud. How far the publisher, Mr. Bradford, holds himself responsible for the contents of this edition, we do not know ; but we must say, that the manner in which it is to be conducted, judying from the present. half-volume, throws no trifling weight of responsibility upon the gentlemen in this country, who superintend the editorial department ; a responsibility, which we hope has not been the only motive for keeping their names from the publick. Strong as this language may appear, we trust the impartial reader will be satisfied, that it is not stronger, than is warranted by the facts, which we shall presently exhibit.
The prospectus informs us, that the English edition is published under the direction of Dr. Rees, the learned divine, whose name the work bears ; and that he is assisted by about forty other distinguished European literary gentlemen, whose names are given to the pubiick, and who therefore stand pledged for the faithful execution of the work, and (what is of not less importance) for the principles maintained in it.
Such is the work which the American publisher recommends to his subscribers ; a work, “ the execution of which (to use the language adopted by him) is guaranteed by the respectable names," which he gires to the public from the English advertisement. Not content,however with servilely copying the London edition, he promises, with a very commendable spirit of patriotism,“ amendment and addition in those parts,
at least, which relate to the United States," and informs us, that “ he “ has engaged the assistance of gentlemen, whose talents and celebrity “ do honour to their country, and will essentially enrich this important “ work." These were the editor's promises, and they were probably dictated by patriotism as well as interest, and, we have had the charity to believe, were made with the sincere intention of fulfilling them. Yet (it is painful, but we must make the inquiry) bow have these promises been fulfilled ? Why, either by the most unfortunate misconception of the nature of his undertaking, or, what we are loth to believe, by a most daring disregard of his word, he presents the first half-volume to the publick almost without a single claim to patronage on the principal ground, upon which it had been recommended ; we means....that it was to be a work guaranteed by the authority of Dr. Rets and his able coadjutors. The American editors must know, that it is not a work thus guaranteed ; it is not a work resting upon the reputation of able and responsible European literati, who have not been afraid to give their names to the publick, as a pledge for the faithful performance of their undertaking. It is not, in short, “ Dr. Rees' Cyclopedia," but the Cyclopedia of Drs. X, Y, and Z, of Philadelphia, New-York, &c. So far is it from being Dr. Rees' work, that we can point out parts of it, which are palmed upon the publick as his, that are directly in contradiction with what that gentleman has published in his owo edition ; sentiments which that learned divine, we venture to say, would not only disown, but would think it his duty to counteract by all the justifiable means in his power. No, this edition is the work of unknown and irresponsible « literary scientifick characters” (we take Mr. Bradford's word for the literature and science of the gentlemen) in our own country,
The publisher has thus, by a strange fatality, if it was unintentional, completely destroyed what he had just before held out to his patrons, as one of the great excellences of this work....the authority it derived from the known talents and responsibility of the European gentlemen,
who are engaged in it. . . The only mode, in which the authority (and, we should say, the chief
value) of the work could be preserved, would have been to distinguish, by some obvious mark, every addition or variation in the American edition. We shall be told perhaps, that this is already done in part ; this surely cannot be denied, but we must be allowed to add, that this partial designation is as mischievous as none at all, because some of the most material alterations are made, without being thus distinguished.
The first article of importance, which has attracted our attention,is the life of the celebrated ABERNETHY. As this article is a fair specimen of the manner in which other parts of the work are mutilated, we shall exbibit it pretty much at large ; and this will render a minute examinarion of many others unnecessary. We shall place the extracts from the two editions in opposite columns, and distinguish the variations by italicks. American edition.
English edition. . ABERNETHY John.
. In 1703, after having been for some . In 1703, after having been for some years at Dublin with a view to farther
years at Dublin with a view to farther improvement he was ordained at An. improvement he was ordained at An. trim ; where his publick performances trim'; where his publick performances were much admired, and where his gewere much admired, and where his ge. neral conduct and distinguished attainneral conduct and distinguished attain. ments recommended him to the esteem ments recommended him to the esteem of all who knew him. He was much of all who knew him. In 1716, &c. respected not only by his brethren in the
ministry, but by many of the laity, who
many violent antagonists. In 1716, &c. The interference of this assembly The interference of this assembly was repugnant to those sentiments was repugnant to those sentiments of which Mr. Abernethy had been led to religious freedom which Mr. Abernethy entertain by an attention to the BANGO. had been lead to entertain by the exer. RIAv controversy, which prevailed in cise of his own vigorous faculties and by England about this time. Many other an attention to the BanGORIAN controministers in the North of Ireland, by versy which prevailed in England about means of the writings of Dr. Hoadly this time. Many other ministers in the and his associates adopted opinions si- north of Ireland, formed more enlarged milar to those of Mr. Abernethy. They ideas of christian liberty and charity than instituted a society whose professed they had been accustomed to do by means aim was to bring things to the test of of the writings of Dr. Hoadly and his reason and scripture. This design was associates. With a view to the improve. probably suggested by Mr. Abernethy. ment of useful knowledge they instituted
a society whose professed aim was to Vol. 3. No. 8. 3F
English edition. bring things to the test of reason and scripture. This laudable design was probably suggested by Mr. Abernethy,
&c. AgainMr. Abernethy was justly considered Mr. Abernethy was justly considered as the head of the non-subscribers, and as the head of the non-subscribers, and he became of course a principal subject he became of course a principal object of censure and discipline.
of reproach and persecution. In an early period of this controver. In an early period of this controver. sy, viz. in 1719, he published a sermon sy, viz. in 1719, he published a sermon from Romans xiv. 5. in which he from Romans xiv. 5. in which he ex. professed to explain the rights of private plained the rights of private judgment judgment and the foundations of chris. and the foundations of christian lib. tian liberty.
erty. From that time the excluded mem- From that time the excluded members formed themselves into a separate bers formed themselves into a separate Presbytery. Mr. Abernethy found that Presbytery, and prepared to encounter, his former reputation was no security to many difficulties and hardships. Mr. him against the evils which he was now to Abernethy found that his justly acquired experience.
reputation, which he had uniformly maintained by a most exemplary life, was na
security to him against these evile. . Again
He continued his labours in Wood. He continued his labours in Woodstreet for ten years. But a sudden at street for ten years, and enjoyed great tack of the gout in the head, to which satisfaction in the society and estrem of disorder he had been subject, frustrated his friends. From the strength of his the expectations of his friends, and he constitution, the vigour of his spirit, and the died December 1740, in the 60th year uniform temperance of his life, there was of his age. Mr. Abernethy was twice reason to hope that his usefulness would married ; first soon after his settlement
have been prolonged. But a sudden at at Antrim, to a lady of excellent cha. tack of the gorrt in the head, to which racter, of whom he was deprived in disorder he had been subject, frustrated1712, and again after his removal to the expectations of his friends and he Dublin, another lady, with whom he died Dec. 1740, in the 60th year of his lived to his death.
age. For this event he was fully prepar.
ness of conjugal affection to his death. • Again
The most celebrated of Mr. Aberne. The most celebrated of Mr. Aberne. thy's writings were his two volumes of thy's writings were his two volumes of Discourses of the Divine Attributes, Discourses of the Divine Attributes which were much admired at the time which were much admired at the time of their publication and honourably re- of their publication and honourably recommended by the late archbishop Her- commended by the late excellerit arch. ring. Four volumes, &c.
bishop Herring ; and are still held in the highest esteem by those who are disposed to approve the most liberal or manly sextiments on the great subject of naturel religion. Four volumes, &c.
English edition. Again*He alső left behind him á Diary of He also left behind him a Diary of his life, consisting of six large volumes his life, consisting of six large volumes in 4to. of which the author of his life in 4to. of which the author of his life has given a large account, and from has given a large account, and from which he has made many extracts. which he has made many extracts which Biog. Brit.
bear ample testimony to the singular exe cellence of his disposition and character, Biog. Brit.
. : Taking this whole article together, and comparing it with the real, character of Abernethy, as attested by the united voices of biographers, we do not recollect a more insidious attempt to rob the defenceless dead of a well-earned reputation, and to exhibit a mere corpse of character (if we may use the expression) stripped of all animation and of every positive quality, than here discovers itself. If it was of iin portance to know any one circunıstance of Abernethy's life, it surely was so to be distinctly informed, that his excellent heart, as well as head, se- . cured him the esteem of all to the last,“ even when a change of his religious sentiments had excited the opposition of many violent antagonists." Yet the paragraph, which expressly exhibits this part of his character, is expunged from the American edition ! If, too, it was of consequence to know, that Mr. Abernethy's “ sentiments” differed from many who were around him, we ought to be informed what sentiments. are alluded to. Yet the American editors, instead of informing us that they were “ sentiments of religious freedom," (as is done in the original) suppress these last words, and leave us to infer what sentiments are intended, from our acquaintance with the Bangorian controversy : a con, troversy, of which, we venture to say, not onę reader in a hundred knows any thing, Nor is this all : the English work tells us, that these sentiments were not merely the result of his attention to the Bangorian controversy (which makes them in a degree the consequence of party-bias), but also of the exercise of his crin vigorcus faculties." This last; and, we should say, this material circumstance if A.'s authority is to have any weight on these questions, is wholly suppressed in the American edition !
Our second extract from the English edition says: “this laudable design (of bringing things to the test of reason and scripture) was probably suggested by Mr. Abernethy." What could be more unexceptionable than this expression ? What, we ask every liberal man, can be more lauiluble than “ to bring things to the test of reason and scripture”? Do they then really mean to insinuate, that reason and scripture are not to be the test of things? If so, what must we think of the principles of the man, yo conduct this new edition of the Cyclopedia, and of the minner, in which they intend to republish the work ? Yet our American editors expuge the word laudable, and leave us to presume, that, in their julgmunt, such a design was not laudable.
In the next extract the latter part of the sentence, which speaks of M. A.'s " justly acquired reputation,” is partly altered and partly sup-.. pressed. Instead of fairly presenting to the reader, what kind of reputation Mi. A. enjoyed and how loag he had maintained it, they just tell ų. coldly of his “formar reputation." Grucious heaven ! is this the
-treatment deserved by this emi- to confess the difficulty of procurnent man ? is this history ? is ing suitable assistances to the task this biography ?
of criticism. This obstacle we 1. But the first of our two last ex- have formerly stated, and we are tracts discovers more of the mo. again called upon to acknowledge -tives and temper of the American its continuance. We have inquir. .editors, than any of the preceding. ed, but in vain, for the poem of .They suppress the passage, ex. Boiardo, and its refaccimento by pressive of the high estimation, in Berni ; and we have not been able which Abernethy's works are said to procure the subordinate auxil. to be held at this day ; and though iaries of Crescembini and Tira, they admit that fornierly these boschi. Of course, we were forcworks were honourably recommen- ed to consult the accessible author. ded by archbishop Herring, yet, ities of other writers, who merely apparently lest the reader should reflect a feeble heat and cast a faint think the archbishop's recommen. illumination on the decaying poedation was worth something, they try of an Itatian author, once high. do not forget to strip the venerable ly distinguished. These circum. prelate of a little epithet (the epi- stances demand an attention to the thet « excellent"), which liberality state of our publick libraries; would allow after death to any they exact the solicitude of men man, who possessed a little more of riches and rank, to promote than common honesty and com- the establishment of large colmon abilities.
lections for the service of literOne more remark shall finish ature. The patrons of learning what we have to say upon the should be found among the favour. highly reprehensible manner, in ites of fortune and the dispensers which this article is republished. of power. If these cannot settle The important words of the last pensions, or bestow offices, they extract, which mention the singu. can at least accelerate the progress lar excellence of A.'s disposition of knowledge, and direct its exerand character, are wholly suppres, tions, by exhibiting, what has fora sed in the American edition. And merly been ascertained, to the reyet, after such unwarrantable mu- searches of the literary missionary. tilations,...such criminal suppress Poetry may continually delight in pressions of historical facts,...these the study of nature, may find 'set. gentlemen cite the Biographia mons in stones, and books in the Britannica, as their authority! running brooks'; but scientifick To be continued.
criticism must dwell in the cabinets
of the curious, and range through . Art. 39.
the alcoves of literature.
The work we are about to re, The Enchanted Lake of the Fairy
view is a translation from the poMorgana. From the Orlando
etry of an old Italian author, now 14..Inamorato of Francesco Berni.
little known. In this country it New-York. Riley & Co. 1806.
may well be considered a singular - 8vo.tp. 67.
production, and therefore we shall 4. In reviewing so singular a pro- make no apclogy to our readers
duction, as an American translation for introducing the review of it by of an episode in the Orlando In- some account of the life of Berni, morato of Berni, we are obliged of his character as an auther, and