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ought to embrace a tolerably full history of Brown University during the period of his connection with it; and we shall hardly object to the insertion of such additional notices of the college as are necessary to a complete view of its position and growth under his presidency.
But what shall be said of the numerous and sometimes elaborate sketches of other men, the teachers, associates, and pupils of Dr. Manning, or the large-hearted, munificent friends of the college? Do not these sketches turn away the mind too often from the central figure, the great personality of the work, and thus enfeeble the impression which his character ought to make upon the reader? Though exceedingly valuable to the student of the past, and most gratifying to all as evidences of careful research, do they not mar the unity and simplicity of the work, and thereby diminish its power for good to the mass of men? Must not a feeling of irritation disturb the reader, when the rapid and glowing narrative is suddenly arrested by a sign inviting him to learn below, in smaller type, what is the writer's authority for the exact shade of thought expressed in the text; or how far some previous historian has misrepresented a particular event; or when and where Mr. mentioned above, was born, graduated, settled, honored, and at last died? All these facts are instructive certainly, and the intelligent reader would be sorely perplexed, if required to specify any one of them which ought to be omitted; but do they not fill the book too full of truth? Do they not weaken the power of one great example, placed distinctly as in broad day before the mind, by calling attention to lesser forms dimly revealed, as in the twilight? This may be true for those who have a morbid love of excitement and a morbid dread of thinking; who delight to float on the surface, grasping at bubbles instead of diving for pearls, and who read history or biography for the same end and in the same way as they read the latest novel; but it will not be true for him who loves the paths of knowledge and understands the price which must be paid for it; who wishes to tread on firm ground in the past and to have its notable men and events set before him as they really were; who believes in history as the record of God's providence as well as man's imperfection, and would reverently study its lessons of admonition, of rebuke, and of encouragement. For such a man the subordinate sketches of this volume will be not only instructive but interesting. They will assist his imagination in reproducing the scenes of the past. Step by step they will bear him back into the society of other days, and cause him to breathe the atmosphere which surrounded the first president of Brown University.
Let us take, for instance, the single item of dates as affording aid to the imagination. The observant reader will of course be struck with the description of Dr. Manning himself. His person was graceful and his countenance remarkably expressive of sensibility, dignity, and cheerfulness; his manners were polite without affectation, his colloquial powers versatile,
his disposition amiable, and his voice an instrument of extraordinary compass and melody. Moreover, he was distinguished for sterling good sense, for superior learning, and for genuine piety. But the fact will also be noted that he was twenty-six years of age when the college was founded. Who then were the men to whom he looked for counsel, sympathy, and support in his difficult enterprise? Were they persons of his own age or much further advanced in life? Were they young, vigorous, hopeful, and perhaps rash; or were they ripe in years, mature in experience, wise in council, but slow in action? Let us look at a single group, by the assistance of these auxiliary notices. As the reflective reader passes on he will observe that Hezekiah Smith and Moses Brown were of the same age as Manning; that Samuel Stillman was one year older, John Brown two years older, Samuel Jones three, Joseph Brown five, and Nicholas Brown nine. To go no further, here is a group of seven in the prime of early manhood, from twenty-six to thirty-five years of age, forming an inner circle, it may be supposed, around their accomplished leader, understanding his views, sharing his hopes, kindled by his enthusiasm, and ready to push forward a noble enterprise to a successful issue. Other groups, composed of older men, will also gradually array themselves before the reader's mind, as, turning his eye ever and anon to the bottom of the page, he takes in at a glance the cardinal events of their history, and assigns them their appropriate places in the mental picture which his imagination is limning. We do not say that the reader will prefer thus to group the friends of Manning and Brown University. He may choose to classify them by means of their local, professional, or ecclesiastical status. But we say that the numerous biographies in miniature, which characterize this volume, will be of inestimable service to him in reproducing the scenes and comprehending the spirit of that age; and we have sought to illustrate this statement by showing how even dates of birth and death, the driest perhaps of all facts, may assist the imagination in giving to men their true place on the historical canvas. Indeed, it is becoming every day more and more evident that no one can be a trustworthy historian without having penetrated the mystery of dates and numbers.
But still further. Whoever would excel in this department of literature must have a well nigh religious veneration for original manuscripts and all the primary sources of historical knowledge. Feeling that nothing is too minute for his patient scrutiny, he will gather up the stray leaves and broken sentences of the past, and transform them into a well-ordered narration; for the common-place of history will be clothed with fresh interest by a writer who has explored its by-ways and hidden retreats, finding in the latter many a record with which to correct, adorn, and enrich the former. Mr. Guild has given us this sort of proof that he was inwardly called to prepare the work which has occasioned these paragraphs. We were surprised as well as delighted to find in this volume so
large a collection of Dr. Manning's letters. These are all authentic expressions of his character. They also indicate the nature and extent of his labors, especially for the college. Moreover, they are a voice from the times in which he lived, touching freely and with a Christian spirit the great questions which filled the thoughts of his contemporaries. They take us through the period of the American Revolution, and enable us to breathe again the atmosphere of freedom in heroic conflict with power. They reveal the heartiness and unanimity with which the Baptists of this country embraced the cause of the colonists, though deeming themselves oppressed in religions affairs by the standing order. And they call out a no less interesting testimony to the fact that their brethren in the old country approved their struggle for civil liberty; for in a letter to Dr. Manning, written soon after the return of peace, the Rev. John Rippon of London speaks of "the late bloody and unrighteons war," adding this remark: "I believe all our Baptist ministers in town, except two, and most of our brethren in the country, were on the side of the Americans in the late dispute" a sign and pledge (may we not hope ?) of the position which will be held by a far greater portion of honest men in the same land, should the course of its government and nobility in our present difficulties bring on, at some future day, another conflict with her power.
It was our purpose to have spoken at length of some of the lessons taught by this volume; but circumstances beyond our control have rendered it impossible. The work of Mr. Guild is, however, we believe too instructive and entertaining to escape the notice of those who wish to understand the important period of which it treats, the growth of a flourishing university or the character of a distinguished educator, patriot, and Christian.
NEW EDITION OF WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY.1
The following are the contents of the present edition: A Preface by Prof. Porter; Index to a Classified Selection of Pictorial Illustrations; Editor's Preface to the Revised Edition of 1847; Author's Preface to the Edition of 1828; Memoir of Noah Webster, by Chauncey A. Goodrich, LL.D.; A Brief History of the English Language, by James Hadley, M.A., Professor of the Greek Language and Literature in Yale College; Key to the Pronunciation; Principles of Pronunciation, with Explanations of the
1 An American Dictionary of the English Language. By Noah Webster, LL.D. Thoroughly revised and greatly enlarged and improved, by Chauncey A. Goodrich, D.D., LL.D., late Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, and also Professor of the Pastoral Charge, in Yale College, and Noah Porter, D.D., Clark Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics in Yale College. 4to. pp. 1768. Springfield, Mass.: C. and C. Merriam; London: Bell and Daldy. 1864.
Key; Orthography; Abbreviations and Explanations; The Dictionary proper; Explanatory and Pronouncing Vocabulary of the Names of noted Fictitious Persons and Places, including also Familiar Pseudonyms, Surnames bestowed upon Eminent Men, and such analogous popular Appellations as are often referred to in Literature and Conversation, by William A. Wheeler, M. A.; Pronouncing Vocabulary of Scripture Proper Names; Pronouncing Vocabulary of Greek and Latin Proper Names; Etymological Vocabulary of Modern Geographical Names; Pronouncing Vocabularies of Modern Geographical and Biographical Names; Pronouncing Vocabulary of Common English Christian Names, with their Derivation, Signification, etc.; Quotations, Words, Phrases, Proverbs, etc., from the Greek, the Latin, and Modern Foreign Languages; Abbreviations and Contractions used in Writing and Printing; A Classified Selection of Pictorial Illustrations.
The reader will see at a glance, that this new edition of Webster's Dictionary contains much new matter; some things which were never · before published in any form. The volume stands as a monument of the fact, that no great work is the product of any one mind. We speak of Webster's Dictionary, Webster's Definitions etc.; but what we ascribe to him is often the result of severe and protracted labor expended upon his principles by his successors. Prof. Hadley's "Brief History," etc., and Mr. Wheeler's "Vocabulary" are original and highly valuable contributions to the present volume. The "List of words spelled in two or more ways" is very convenient and useful, and mitigates one objection heretofore made against Webster's orthography. The Pictorial Illustrations are neat and exact. Dr. Mahn of Berlin has revised the Etymologies of Webster, and has evinced in this revision rare learning, judgment, and skill. The etymological researches of this eminent foreigner, and the scholarship as well as tact evinced by Professors Whitney, Gilman, Dana, and others in the definitions of the present volume add an immense value to it. By comparing the definitions of the present work with those given by Johnson, Perry, Walker, and Richardson, one sees the great advance made in English philology. The vocabulary of this volume contains more than one hundred and fourteen thousand words- - about ten thousand more than are found in any previous Dictionary. "At the same time, the Revisers have been actuated by no desire to swell the list to the greatest possible number. Words which were the offspring of the individual conceit of a whimsical and lawless writer, which did not conform to the analogies of the langauge, and which were never accepted or approved by good writers of their own or a subsequent generation have not been admitted." Self-explaining compounds have been designedly omitted by hundreds, if not by thousands: while care has been expended to introduce and explain those which need to be defined" (Preface, p. vii). We well remember the day when our dictionaries boasted that they contained "about forty-three thousand,”
or "about seventy thousand words," and even then we quoted the old stanza which was written when the number of recognized terms was much smaller :
"Let foreign nations of their language boast,
I like our language, as our men and coast,
Thomas Fuller says that Queen Elizabeth begun her speech at Cambridge with the words: "Et si foeminilis iste meus pudor, - elegantly making the word foeminilis; and well she might mint one new word, who did refine so much gold and silver." ["Moneta ad suum valorem redacta,” was part of her epitaph]. On the other hand, it is reported that Marcellus said to Tiberius Cæsar: "You, Cæsar, have power to make a man a denizen of Rome, but not to make a word a denizen of the Roman language.” The tendency of the present age is to confer upon almost any writer the authority for coining new terms. We think that when a word has no better authority than that of Dickens, or Thackeray, or De Quincey, it should not be admitted into an English lexicon, unless under some form of a protest. The temptation of a lexicographer is to gather up such terms as are not in current use. He may do this with safety, provided he will note the distinction between the language of books and that of private intercourse; between the established and the recent, the usual and the rare, the respectable and the vulgar, the dignified and the playful, the general and the local, the obsolete, the obsolescent, and the present. We are pleased to see that Webster does this often; we could wish that he had done it oftener. Mr. Gilbert Wakefield states that he collected from Milton "five hundred solid and nervous words" not to be found in Johnson's Dictionary. More than a thousand words are found in Shakspeare, which are not acknowledged by Johnson as modern English. It is important that an English lexicon designate all such terms as are not sanctioned by modern use, as the present lexicon, for example, appends [Rare] to the word Stylistic. So will the purity of our language be preserved. The first three books of Spenser's Faery Queen were published in 1590; but without the glossary appended to them would now be difficult to understand. Yet they were published only twenty-one years before our present version of the Bible. Thomas Hobbes died in 1679; yet Sir James Mackintosh says of him: "Two centuries have not superannuated more than a dozen ot his words." A preacher of the gospel needs all the helps which he can find for keeping up the purity of his style, and avoiding the archaisms as well as novelties of the day. The old rule remains good:
"Be not the first by whom the new is tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside."
We do not intend, in this brief notice, to enter into a criticism of