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¦( 56 )
¦( 56 )
X—Notices Of Books.
X—NOTICES OF BOOKS . - _&* .
, The Thomas History Carl Of Yle Frederi...
_, The Thomas History Carl of yle Frederick . Four Yols II . of Prussia Chapman , called and Hall Frederick . the Great * By
The first lialf of Mr . Carlyle s great work lias now been for some six months before the publicand almost every organ of the press
lias had its say upon the subject , ; so that by dint of much reading of the book itself , and of the opinions of others upon it , it would
appear to the intellect of a candid reviewer to be next to impossible to say anything oriinal of Frederick the Great . _? ' : _-
Yet this is b g far the most remarkable book of the autumn seasonnayof y the whole year ; ( forfend us Mr . Buckle !)
inasmuch ; as whole , hoards of buried facts are herein dug up and _, exposed to view ; and it shares , in common with every other pre- *
sentment of fact , many sided relations to different classes of mind . None of the disquisitions alluded to have so much impressed
us as that to be found in our contemporary " Fraser , " for the month of Decemberin which the witty and ingenious reviewer ,
excuses himself from , really perpetrating a review of the Life of Frederick the Greaton the wholesome plea thatexcept from the
, , two new volumes actually on his table before him , he really knew next to nothing about him ! Thereupon he summons up the
convenient presence of two or three imaginary friends , and proceeds to chat about the work in question in a highly suggestive and pleasant
manner , without any pretence of being more thoroughly up in Prussian history than Mr . Carlyle himself .
But if " Fraser " professes prior ignorance on the dusty details now for the first time inspired with life and meaning , to what
amount of knowledge or of critical judgment shall the " English "Woman ' s Journal" lay claim ? Potsdam and Sans Souci are not to
us _xmknown , nor are the wide streets of Berlin , wherein this story _, shaped itselfa mere vision of our imagination ; yet of nearly all that
, Mr . Carlyle has so delightfully told us , we were before as ignorant ( Heaven help us ) as the babe which has never learnt its letters .
. Let us therefore imitate the reviewer in " Fraser , " and summon our council of friends ; and this time they shall be ladies , if you
please , who read " Frederick the Great" with avidity for the wonderful amount of hearty human gossip which the book contains , a
• very good and veritable element in any history , and likely to be remembered when diplomacy has vanished from the face of the earth .
Do we not all cherish the tit bits of history , —Fair Rosamond , Queen Catherine , and the boxing" of Lady Essex , —to the exclusion of
much weightier matter ? Did not King Charles , of unblessed memory , scramble into an oak tree after a battle whose name . we have
forgotten , the result of a series of quarrels of which " ship money "
English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), March 1, 1859, page 56, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ewj/issues/ewj_01031859/page/56/