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was too late, they added, to join with any one in fixing the plan of the work. This answer was given on the 10th September 1816: the first fruit of the Academy's exertions, and of their boasted progress, was published about the end of 1843—only twenty-seven years after-and we are told it will probably take thirty years more to be completed! This is marching certainly with academical gravity; like Greco, when he went to visit Fiammetta,
“A guisa che di dar tema nel vetro.” The churlish refusal of the Academy was taken to heart by all those who felt the national disgrace of the “Vocabolario, and knew the positive injury which it caused to the language of Italy. Above all others, it roused the indignation of Vincenzo Monti, with whose name, as that of the greatest Italian poet of our times, our readers are familiar. That great man, to a powerful imagination, united the most exquisite taste, and a familiar acquaintance with the Latin as well as the Italian classics. He had made the language which he so greatly adorneå the special object of his studies and researches, and had brought to it the powerful penetration of eminent talents, together with the keen discrimination of a distinguished scholar, and the innate sense of beauty of a great poet. Under the modest title of “ Proposta di correzioni ed aggiunte al Vocabolario della Crusca,” he produced the best work as yet written on the Italian language, and one of the best in many respects that has appeared on any language. The acuteness of his observations is often remarkable, and the arguments which he advances always clear and convincing. His illustrations are learned, numerous, and brought forward with the originality of a poet, and the elegant taste of a good critic.
The “Proposta” of Monti produced a great sensation, and was received with enthusiasm all over Italy, with only two exceptions. All those who directly or indirectly support their Austrian masters, tried to run down a work which tended to turn the mind of the Italian nation to its Nationality. The majority of the Florentines too, who dreaded to hear the name of Italian applied to the language of Italy, attacked it violently. Dictionaries were compiled by distinguished men at Padova, Naples, and Bologna, aiming more or less at carrying out Monti's principles. They have sought to cleanse the “ Vocabolario” of its provincialisms, forged words, and indecencies, and to substitute more logical definitions, and, above all, words authorized by universal consent and the use of good writers from all parts of Italy. At Florence itself a gentleman from Romagna, Manuzzi, has published a dictionary in which he professes to have introduced not less than one hundred and seventy thousand improvements on
the works of his predecessors. This is perhaps the strongest censure that has been passed on the last edition of the “ Vocabolario" of the Academy.
From the Crusca we expect a larger work, but not a better one, than any of the Dictionaries which it has hitherto published. Although it is impossible to judge in detail from the few words which fill this First Part, (from A to Abbeverare,) even in these there is enough to discourage hope. Their pretensions about the language are just the same as they ever were. Their very first rule for improving the Dictionary, and preparing this fifth edition, is to make use of all writings of the fourteenth century, and of only some select ones of more modern authors. If one were to think of publishing an English, German, or French Dictionary, in which it should be set down as a principle, that Chaucer, the Niebelungen Lied, and the Fabliaux et Contes, as well as their respective contemporaries, were to be indiscriminately quoted in preference to Bacon and Burke, Luther and Schiller, Pascal and Voltaire, and such of their cotemporaries as enjoy a distinguished reputation, any Englishman, German, or Frenchman would conclude that the intention was to produce a dictionary of the antiquated and obsolete language, for the use of philological archæologists. If a compiler should collect the words used in street-ballads, or in the farniliar conversation of vagabonds, trampers, and cheats, the conclusion would be, that his intention was to produce a vocabulary of slang and cant language. The Academy of the Crusca, professing to compile a dictionary for present use, departs on principle from the rules which every one else would adopt for the purpose. It adheres most obstinately to those whicli would be followed by an antiquarian, or by the compiler of a vocabulary of the dregs of the language. It presents us in the issue with a long series of volumes, containing matter, one-fourth of which is either doubtful or unintelligible, another obsolete, another disgusting, and the last alone suited to the design. Reasonable men may ceed in writing in Italian tolerably well, if, possessing a correct taste, they avoid the “ Vocabolario della Crusca," and peruse the great writers of Italy with the independence which becomes men of education and sound judgment. Such are some of the effects produced by the Accademia della Crusca, and by its Vocabolario, on the language and literature of Italy.
British Association for the Adrancement of Science.
ART. IX.-1. First Report of the Proceedings, Recommendations,
and Transactions of the British Association for the Advance
ment of Science. York: 1832. 2. The British Association for the Advancement of Science.
1850. In the PALLADIUM, No. II., pp. 194-215. September, 1850.
The British ASSOCIATION has now entered the year of its majority. It has assembled twenty times since its establishment, holding its meetings in the following places :York, 1831.
Erlinburgh, 1850. At fifteen of these cities the Association has met once, and at five of them it has met twice, at the earnest solicitation of their Universities and literary institutions, and there are, at this moment, several applications from large and influential cities where the Association has not yet been assembled. Thus countenanced and sustained by all the Universities, and by all the scientific and literary societies in the kingdom, the British Association, in entering the year of its manhood, may now be regarded as a permanent institution for the advancement of science to which all others have yielded a willing supremacy, and which may, without presumption, invite the attention of the public to its history, its constitution, and its labours. As the last, and, in the estimation of many, one of the most successful of its meetings, was held in Scotland, it will not be deemed inappropriate in a North British Review to devote a few of its pages to the history of an institution which originated in the North, and which, on two occasions, has received such distinguished support from the philosophers in our metropolis.
The British Association took its origin from a discussion on the decline of science in England, and the neglect of scientific men, which excited much attention between the years 1826 and 1831. Sir John Leslie, Professor Playfair, and others, had previously given expression to their opinions of the national discouragement and decline of science, and of the superiority of foreign to British scientific institutions; but it was not till about the year 1827 that these views excited general attention, and were supported by distinct and specific statements, which neither personal nor national prejudices could gainsay or contradict. The abolition of the Board of Longitude, and the transference of the manufacture of achromatic telescopes and astronomical instruments from England to Bavaria and other parts of the Continent, had roused the indignation of the cultivators of astronomy and optics. In a brief memoir of the life of Joseph Fraunhofer,* who was cut off in the fortieth year of his age, Sir David Brewster thus speaks of that illustrious individual, and of the honours and rewards which were conferred upon him :
“ Of all the losses which science is occasionally called to sustain, there is none which she so deeply deplores as that of an original and inventive genius cut off in the maturity of intellect and in the blaze of reputation. There is an epoch in the career of a man of genuine talent when he embellishes and extends every subject over which he throws the mantle of his genius. Imbued with the spirit of original research, and familiar with the processes of invention and discovery, his mind teems with new ideas, which spring up around him in rapid and profuse succession. Inventions incompleted, ideas undeveloped, and speculations immatured, amuse and occupy the intervals of elaborate inquiry; and he often sees before him, in dim array, a long train of discoveries, which time and health alone are necessary to realize. The blight of early genius that has put forth its buds of promise, or the stroke which severs from us the hoary sage when he has ceased to instruct and adorn his generation, are events which are felt with a moderated grief, and throughout a narrow range of syın. pathy; but the blow which strikes down the man of genius in his prime, and in the very heart of his gigantic conceptions, is felt with all the bitterness of sorrow, and is propagated far beyond the circle on which it falls. When a pillar is torn from the temple of science, it must needs convulse the whole of its fabric, and draw the voice of sorrow from its inmost recesses.”—Pp. 1, 2.
And after giving an account of the life and labours of Fraunhofer, the author concludes his Memoir with the following words of remonstrance and advice :
“Bavaria has thus lost one of the most distinguished of her subjects, and centuries may clapse before Munich receive within her walls an individual so highly gifted and so universally esteemed; but great as her loss is it is not rendered more poignant by the reflection that he lived unhonoured and unrewarded. His own sovereign, Maximilian Joseph, was his earliest and his latest patron, and by the liberality with which he conferred civil honours and pecuniary rewards on
* Elinburyh Journal of Science, July 1827, vol. vii. pp. 1-10.
Joseph Fraunhofer - Foreiyn Putronage of Science.
Joseph Fraunhofer, he has immortalized his own name and added a new lustre to the Bavarian Crown. In thus noticing the honours which a grateful sovereign had conferred on the distinguished improver of the achromatic telescope, it is impossible to subdue the mortifying recollection that no wreath of British gratitude has as yet adorned the inventor of that noble instrument. England may well blush when she hears the name of Dollond pronounced without any appendage of honour and without any association of gratitude. Even that monumental fame which she used to dispense so freely to the poets whom she starved, has been denied to this benefactor of science, and Westminster Abbey has not opened her hallowed recesses to the remains of a man who will ever be deemed one of the finest geniuses of the age, and who exalted that genius by learning and piety of no ordinary kind.
“ Thus neglected and mortified, it is not a matter of surprise that this branch of science and of art should seek for shelter in a more hospitable land, and that the pre-eminence which England had so long enjoyed in the manufacture of the achromatic telescope should be transferred to a foreign country. The loss of Fraunhofer holds out to us an opportunity of recovering what we have lost, and we earnestly hope that the Royal Society of London and the Board of Longitude will not allow it to pass. Great Britain has hitherto left the sciences and the arts to the care of individual enterprise and to the patronage of commercial speculation ; but now, when all Europe have become our rivals, when every sovereign, like the Ptolemies of old, is collecting round his throne the wisdom even of foreign states, is it not time that she should start from her lethargy, and endeavour to secure what is yet left? The British minister who shall first establish a system of effectual patronage for our arts and sciences, and who shall deliver them from the fatal incubus of our patent laws, will be regarded as the Colbert of his age, and will secure to himself a more glorious renown than he could ever obtain from the highest achievement in legislation or politics."--Pp. 10, 11.
At the risk of some repetition we quote the observations of the same author in a Review of Fraunhofer's great “ Treatise on the refractive and dispersive powers of different kinds of glass."*
“ In this manner has the supineness of our Government on the one hand, and the omnipotence of scientific skill on the other, transferred from England to Bavaria that sovereignty over this branch of the arts which we first established, and which we so long enjoyed. The loss of a branch of manufacture and a source of revenue effected by the successful rivalry of a foreign state is an event rare in our history; but these events will increase both in number and in magnitude, unless some effectual step is taken to elevate the condition of scientific men, to stimulate and reward their labours, and to protect the pro
See Foreign Quarterly Reviev, Nov. 1827, vol. i. pp. 424-435.