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As no writers are more vain and more irritable than poets, none are more hurt by the strictures of criticism. Mr. Hatt was probably offended by our notice of his Hermit," in Vol. Ixiv. N. S. p.102.; and we should augment his displeasure if we delivered our real opinion of the poems now before us : but, as he appears to be unfortunate, and as the lyre · fell unenjoyed from his hand at the sixth sheet,' we shall abstain from remarks. Art. 19. The Russian Chiefs : an Ode. By George Hardinge,
Esq. Second Edition. 4to. Booth. 1814. We again mention this ode, which we introduced to our readers in the Review for August last, in order to apprize them of the name of its distinguished author, who now avows the production; and to inform them that it has not only undergone a very minute and extensive revision, but has received several additions, in the text and in the notes. The punctuation has been throughout much amended, the obscurities have been removed, and some of the names of the eulogized chiefs are introduced. For all these and other attentions to our former remarks, our best bow of acknowlegement is due. Our hint of the parallel between the boat of Xerxes and the sledge of Napoleon has also been adopted, and has occasioned the introduction of thirtysix new lines, which have considerable felicity. A Preface, moreover, has been added, in which the author speaks of the unexpected glorious changes that have occurred since he wrote the ode, and complia ments the magnanimous conduct of Alexander with merited force. Art. 20. The Tyrant's Downfall; Napoleonics; and the White
Cockade. By William-Thomas Fitz-Gerald, Esq. 8vo. 25. Longman and Co, &c. 1814.
For a series of years, Mr. Fitz-Gerald has poetically recorded his detestation of Bonaparte, whom he terms the monster of our times.' To shew how uniform his sentiments have been respecting the fallen tyrant, he has reprinted various extracts from his Addresses to the Literary Fund, from the period of the French Revolution in 1799 to the year 1813 ; in which the blood nurs'd Corsican' is painted in the most abhorrent colours, and his fate is foretold. In the Address called " The White Cockade,' first published Jan. 13. 1814, so indignant is the poet against Napoleon, that he calls on the assassin
To rid the world, by one avenging deed,
Of Him who made devoted millions bleed!" Better advice follows, which exhorts the French to be again themselves,'' to break their chains,' and welcome home the White Cockade.' - The Tyrant's Downfall is an address which was recited by the author to the Literary Fund at Freemasons' Hall, May 5. 1814. Here, with undiminished if not with increasing energy, Mr. Fitz-Gerald pursues his subject, applauds the part which our statesmen and heroes have taken in the war, compliments England as the head and heart of the league, eulogizes our confederates, and exults in the completion of his former predictions by the downfall of Bonaparte. Rey. JULY, 1814
- "The World's Oppressor triumph'd in our times,
In glorious Alexander's diadem!'
MISCELLANEOU S. Art. 21. Substance of the Speeches of William Wilberforce, Esq.
on the Clause in the East-India Bill' for promoting the religious
Instruction and Moral Improvement of the Natives of the British · Dominions in India, 22d June and 1st and 12th July 1813.
8vo. Hatchard, &c.
When the moral and religious state of the Hindoos is considered, every true Christian must wish that their gross superstitions and abject depravity could be cured by introducing among them the knowlege of 'the Gospel : but the disproportion between the native population of our Eastern dominions (60,000,000) and that of their European governors, (say 40,000,) with the consequent precarious tenure by which we hold them, have led very intelligent and respectable men to be apprehensive of the result of openly attempting to convert them. Mr. Wilberforce, however, endeavours to obviate all arguments which have been employed by those who would discourage the Missionary-scheme from assuming the shape of a system sanctioned by Parliament, and with much eloquence advocates his side of the question. If he does not speak from actual observation and a personal acquaintance with the East; he has employed every means within his reach for obtaining accurate information, and adduces abundant evidence in support of his statements. He, takes a view of the gross immorality of the native inhabitants of India, and of their indecert and sanguinary superstitions ; contending that Christianity is the only remedy for these enormous evils. His amiable mind is shocked at the thought of sixty millions of the Asiatic subjects of the British empire, ' who are stated to have all the vices of savage life, without any of its virtues ;' and he rejects the notions of those who have maintained the impracticability of converting them. He urges Parliament to sanction a prudent attempt of this kind ; and delivers it as his opinion that we are impelled to the step by the strongest obligations of duty. From some striking facts, he argies that it is not so difficult to persuade the Hindoos to part with their errors as we are taught to imagine : but, however important these facts may be in themselves, and however instructive they may prove in the contemplation of the moral and religious improvement of the natives of India, we cannot think that they establish the point for which Mr. W. is so strenuous. It appears from the evidence of Colonel Walker, that he had the address to induce a sect to discontinue a cruel rite which superstition had long sanctioned: but it does not follow that the suspicions of the Hindoos would not be generally roused by a systematic attempt on our part to change the religion of the East. Mr. W. admits that we hold our Asiatic empire by a very precarious tenure; and ought we not to reflect that, by attempting too much in the way of conversion, we may lose our civil power in India, and with it the very possis bility of affording any religious instruction ? Caution is inculcated by Mr. W. : but, if it be generally known among the Hindoog that nothing short of making them Christians will content us, may they not revolt? By well-meant premature measures, we may retard the march of revealed truth. "The Lord will hasten it in his own time. Art. 22. Bookeeping no Bugbear, or Double Entry simplified, in
opposition to the insufficiency of the present Practice. By Michael Power. 8vo. pp. 202. 155. Boards. Rivingtons.
While we fully agree with Mr. Power as to the difficulty, of which he appears perfectly aware, that is attendant on the introduction of any innovation in mercantile counting-houses, we must tak, the liberty of adding that he has not been careful to adopt the course most likely to obviate this difficulty. Engaging to point out the
advantages advantages of brevity in book-keeping, he has involved his ideas in more diffuse and complex language than we could have supposed to be possible, on a subject so much calculated to suggest a plain and direct phraseology. He is, however, perfectly right in premising that very few mercantile houses keep their books posted to the current day'; and indeed the practice of monthly entries, and not unfre. quently the want of a proper distribution of labour in a countinghouse, are the causes of delay to an extent by no means suspected by persons out of business. These delays are attributed by Mr. Power, and with some reason, to the circuitous mode now followed in making entries. Before a sum is charged to an individual in his definitive account, in the ledger, it has generally passed through three or four preliminary books, each adapted to exhibit the course of transactions in a particular form; these books are different in different houses, but they consist most commonly in a cash-book, waste-book, and journal. On the contrary, he proceeds on the plan of disusing the journal, and of posting entries at once from the waste or cash-book into the ledger.
It was formerly a general practice to make a record of all transactions in a waste-book as a kind of basis for the subsequent entries; which record consisted in notes or memoranda made by the partner or the clerk, who had transacted the business in question, and was generally couched in plain terms, without reference to the technical forms of book-keeping. To reduce it to the latter was the charge of the professed book-keeper, who posted these entries daily, weekly, or monthly, into a regular journal. In late years, merchants have disused the waste-book; and the book-keepers have posted the journal at once from certain auxiliary records, such as the cash-book, bill-book, invoice-book, account of sales-book, &c. This was a considerable improvement, inasmuch as perspicuity and accuracy are promoted by classing cash, bills, &c. in separate books; and, when once entered there, they needed no repetition in the waste-book. Mr. Power acknowleges the advantage of these auxiliary books, but is inclined to retain, for certain transactions, the old method of a waste-book-entry. He gives to the latter, however, the plain name of memorandum-book, and considers that it should be open to every clerk of the house who may have a transaction to record. He makes it a receptacle for noting all bargains, and their principal conditions, as soon as they are settled: but this is nothing new; and the merit of his system rests almost exclusively on the question of the propriety of omitting the use of a journal, and of posting entries directly to debtor and creditor in the ledger. In order to make his plan more intelligible, he exhibits examples by way of contrast between his method and that of Mr. Jackson. It is at present common among merchants to make the ledger-cntries very short, - little more, indeed, than a reference to the journal : but Mr. Power makes the ledger. entry minute and particular, thinking that a full explanation can be placed no where with so much propriety as on the face of the account. — The circuitous form of regular book-keeping has made many merchants adopt, for personal accounts, the more direct plan of an account-current-book : but this, under Mr. Power's rule, is unneces. sary, the ledger serving the same purpose both in fullness of explanation and in promptitude of posting.
Mr. P. admits that his plan is useful chiefly to persons who keep their own books, and who will naturally prefer dispatch and diminu. tion of trouble to the arguments generally alleged in favour of the present system : those who keep clerks are less likely to forsake the established plan. He has, however, unluckily brought forwards his arguments with too much pomp of language ; his method being no. thing more than that which, to our knowlege, has occurred to indivi. duals who had practised, in their partnership-concerns, book-keeping on the established plan, but were contented to keep their private books in the summary mode which, to Mr. Power, appears in the light of so fortunate a discovery. We do not, indeed, wish to represent the plan as generally known : but it has long been the custom in some houses of trade to disuse journal-entries regarding cash-transactions, and to post the ledger from the cash-book at once; and this was a consider. able approximation to Mr. Power's method. The journal is generally recommended as a duplicate of the ledger in the event of accident : but, in lieu of it, Mr. P. suggests the propriety of a regular transcript of the ledger. He reeommends, also, that the inventory or general statement of a merchant's affairs should not appear in the journal ; a book which is open to every clerk in the house. - He admits that his method is not so favourable to fine writing in books as the established practice, but he argues that it is quite as little or indeed less liable to error, because mistakes frequently occur in the repetitions which are necessary in the course of the different modifications of the present plan. "
We are fully satisfied, with Mr. Power, that book-keeping may be considerably improved ; and that it would be highly expedient to put merchants on a plan which would have the effect of preventing the occurrence of the delays at present so frequent in posting their accounts : but the mode of doing this is involved in difficulty, particularly as different branches of business require distinct applications of the rules of book-keeping. - By way of general observation, we would throw out the idea of rendering the task of book-keeping, which in general is irksome, the joint occupation of two persons, whenever such co-operation is practicable. Nothing tends more to animate or quicken labour than arrangements of this description. Even in a house of consequence, the entries for the transactions of a week might be made in the course of a few hours by two persons, one of whom should be qualified to dictate to the other. Another idea, not undeserving of attention, is the propriety of confining to a private ledger those explanations relative to the capital and profits of a house, which at present are open to the eye of the clerks in the same way as transactions in which secrecy is not in any degree an object. Art. 23. Letters addressed to Two absent Daughters. By Mrs,
Rundell, Crown 8vo. 8s. Boards. Rees. 1814. Mrs. Rundell prefaces these letters by saying that she lays no claim to originality, but desires to obtain credit for the goodness of her intentions ;' and this praise needs not be denied, since her book is uniformly moral, and contains some sensible and useful reflections ;