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G. W. NICKISSON, 215 REGENT STREET,
(Successor to the late James Frasen);
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS AND NEWSMEN
IN TOWN AND COUNTRY.
We have before us the remarks of a history, the age of Charlemagne, very amiable and accomplished gentle- from which, as from a mountain-top, man upon one of the most important the old empire of the world is seen subjects, that can be brought within to recede and set, while the new the range of critical or philosophical rises with a faint but gathering splenvision. To say that he has per- dour. The narrative of the progress formed all that he proposed to himself, of civilisation contains within itself or has presented to our eyes the the elements of all history the panorama which may have been pre- flower, the essence; whatever is picsent to his own, is more than the turesque, or beautiful, or ennobling, writer will expect, or than truth per- or magnificent; the enterprise of mits us to affirm. The chief error commerce, the enchantment of art, of the work resides in its title. It is and the embellishments of literanot a history of civilisation, but a ture; the old manor-house sendcommentary upon it; not a series of ing forth its little band to fight views composing a circular landscape, for the Holy Sepulchre, the merevery object clearly defined, the dis: chant over his ledgers at Amsterdam, tances happily marked, and the light or Titian behind the sunny window and shade naturally disposed; but a in Venice; each and all are reprecollection of detached and distinct sentatives of the figures that await views, in themselves pleasing and the pencil of the annalist of civilisaimportant, but deficient in unity of tion. How is he to arrange bis expression and harmony of combina- subject ? how group his crowding tion. We would not be misunder- sitters ? how impart to his drawing stood. The historian of civilisation force and animation, and to his comust assuredly be guided by certain louring brilliancy and truth? How seasons marked by striking events, ought history, in general, to be linked with those that preceded, and written ? According to Fox, it should influencing those that followed them; assume the shape of continued narepochs fulfilling their Greek deriva- ration, neither deviating into comtion, by furnishing high places from mentary nor admitting the illustrawhich the eye looks back over the tion of notes—a picture gallery, in past and forward over the future. which nothing of the exhibitor is Of this kind, in Scriptural history, are to be seen except the wand. Thus the creation of Adam, the deluge, the he narrowed the whole duty of the call of Abraham ; and in modern author into the small limits of telling
* History of Civilisation, by W. A, Mackinnon, F.R.S., M.P. In two vols, London, 1846. VOL. XXXIV. NO. CXCIX.