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strange ships had appeared upon their coast, was To
prove that I do not magnify the extremes of to permit my sinking in the snow; in case I had, willing to know who ihey were, and had according- cold in that part of the world, I beg to refer to Mr the guide with snow-shoes was near to render me !y sent with them, agreeable to their request, two Sauer's account of Billing's expedition, and the assistance. We were now frequently compelled interpreters, one of whom understood their own present Admiral of Saritcheft's account of the 10 wander about on the borders of precipices, and language as well as the Russian, while the other, same, when 43 degrees of Reaumur, or 74 degrees directing our route by the shade or appearance ineaning myself, understood the languages of most of Fahrenheit
, were repeatedly known. I will also of the snow; habit having accustomed me, as well maritime nations. The commissary desired, as add ny testimony from experience to the extent as the people of the country, to a pretty accurate from the Emperor, that all due care should be taken of 42 degrees. I have also seen the minute book calculation whether or not the snow would bear of
, and all duc respect paid to us, especially to my- of a gentleman at Yakutsk where 47 degrees of me. I have even seen the horses refuse to proself, who was one of the chief interpreters of the Reaumur were registered, equal to 84 degrees of ceed, their sagacity in that case being equal to empire.' After this opening harangue was com- Fabrenheit.
man's; nor will the leading dog of a narte, if he is pleted, the turn of which inspired me with some de- Indeed, there can be but little doubt that the local good, run the vehicle into a track where there is gree of hope, one of the most respectable of the situation of the Kolyma, bordering on the latitude deep snow or water. Tchuktchi got up and said, that he was in want of of 70 degrees, and almost the most easterly part of We had now only one day's meat left, but were no interpreter, and therefore would not take one.' the continent of Asia, is a colder one than Mel. fortunate in shooting a couple of partridges which This laconic reply completely disconcerted us. ville Island or the centre of the American Polar the guides brought me. We had still some rye The next, an old and cu'ining fellow, called Ka- coast. Okotsk, Idgiga, Yakutsk, Tomsk and To-four, and butter, and with that hoped to cross the charga, said that boys and girls should not be at- bolsk, are considered equally cold and exposed as river without any subsequent difficulty. At four tended to in a case of such importance; that he, the mouths of the Lena, Yana, or Kolyna. Even in the morning we had 13 degrees of frost by Reaua chief, had not demanded an interpreter, although Irkutsk, about the latitude of London, has yearly a nur, and at noon 73 degrees of heat of Fahrenheit. a nephew of his had done so.' He expatiated upon frost of 40 degrees of Reaumur, or 58 degrees below After forty miles of severe travelling we at length the iinpropriety of taking from those youths a coin. the zero of Fahrenheit; yet, the utmost degree of reached the river, which was to close this terrible munication of such importance, as should alone cold that I have observed, I have never known ar- journey, which was full of shoals and rapids, and have come from a chiet. I could not but approve tended by that crackling noise of the breath which may be declared useless. The islands in it abound the justice of the remark, and began to suspect the has been related, nor with those other strange sen- with birches, larches, and alders, as also with the whole was a hoax, and that they had not made any sations which some have described; though I have poplar, and a few pines. There is an abundance demand of an interpreter. It was therefore told seen axes split to pieces, and witnessed the ill ef- of wild berries of a fine favour; and the pastures them that two naries would be of no great conse- fects of touching iron, glass, or crockery, with the are exceedingly rich. The scenery was, also, in quence to them, and that as the Emperor had so naked skin, which will infallibly adhere to them. many places, bighly beautiful; and the river afsent, they ought to take us, for that we dared not However, I soon had reason to consider the coldest forded a novel spectacle, being confined by the return to merit his displeasure.' A fresh consulta- day as the finest, because it was then sure to be most beautiful natural quays of crystal ice, while tion was hereupon held by the savages, and they calm.
the river actually roared from the velocity of its came to a determination, that as the great Emperor himself wished to send two interpreters to Beh of his constitution, and declare it unequal- in with two white bears bound to the north, but
Well may our author exult in the strength
As we continued our melancholy route, we fell ring's Straits, of course he could have no objec
led. tion to pay for the transport of such people.' Upon
fear, probably on either side, kept us apart. Still inquiring what demand they would make, they said
It appears that the natives on the north- along the Okota, we reached twenty-five miles, the fifty bags of tobacco,' a quantity equalling one ern coast of Asia are not less voracious horses enjoyed very ine pastures, but our provipounds weight. To make such a present in ad. Cochrane tells us of one who " grumbled") of the last of the reindeer, the fleshi was so far hundred and twenty poods, or near five thousand than their brothers of America, for Capt. sions entirely at an end. The rains had again
overtaken us, and were rapidly swelling the rivers
. vance, was madness in me to think of, and the pro because he had only twenty pounds of meat gone that I could not eat it: the Yakuti, bowever
, ject appeared, as indeed it proved, to be wholly lost, for they added, that he could be no great Emperor in a day. This was a Yakut, and our author are so fond of putrid meat, termed in England game, who could not make so small a present, seeing that mentions one or two individuals of that tribe for indeed it was nothing else, that they finished it, he could command the riches of all his people.' whom he saw upwards of ninety years old. regretting only that it was so little in quantity, They also observed that “I must be a poor inter- Whether they too indulged in this enor rain, we made near fifty miles
, the horses swizr
The second day without food, and in a torrent of preter if I could not satisfy the demand myself.'Alas! they might as well have demanded five mil-mous eating does not appear; but we who ming and wading through thirty or forty little rapid lions as five thousand pounds of me.
One of the are scarcely recovered from a severe fit streams. These are formed by the rains and the knowing ones observed, and I mention it as evinc. of dyspepsia, would give all our copy melting of the snow from the eastern range of eleing the sagacity of those people, that ‘he doubled money and write reviews without stint, for wated mountains: they subside and dry up about whether I was an intepreter of the great Empe- a twentieth part of a Yakut's power of di- which was carried by the stream into the Okota.
the month of September. We lost one borse, ror's,' saying, that I could not even speak the Russian language, for that he noticed that the Russian gestion. We have little room for any of
At length by great labour we reached the fording Cossack interpreted from the Tchukskoi
to Mr Ma- our author's hair-breadth escapes, or details place at the Ökota. It was, however, impossible tiushkin, and Mr M. again in a different dialect 10 of his exploits in sliding down frozen moun. to attempt it, the guides observing, that the horsex me.' All this was too true to be denied. They tains and swimming over ice-cold rivers; might pass the river, but not loaded. We therefore tien asked, " of what use I could possibly, be to but in common justice to the Captain, we halted, and next morning
sound a place where was them, when I neither understood the Russian nor must insert some of them.
a canoe on the opposite bank. Thereupon unloadTchukskoi languages.' This last truism quite ap
ing the horses, we turned them into the river, and palled the whole of us, and from that moment the We were now much annoyed with a considera- they all reached the opposite bank in safety. The point was given up. It was not a little singular that ble fall of rain, and passed a bail night in conse question then was how to get the canoe over; I these rude people should all along have known quence. Next day there was every appearance of was the only person who could swim, but the water that a third Tojon, or Chief, for I was considered as the rain continuing, and I reduced the allowance of was still so cold that I felt no preference to that one, was in the fair, and demanded who and what meat one half. A hurricane coming on, we were mode. Necessity at last compelled me, and hav. he was. I have, however, no idea that their refu. obliged to halt, and were most unpleasantly off in ing procured a short stout piece of drift-wood, sal arose either from fear or ill will, but simply our wet leather clothes. As soon as possible, how. which was very buoyant, I crossed at a narrow from avarice.
ever, we resumed our journey along an elevated part of the stream, with a leather thong fast to my The account which Capt. Cochrane gives deep, presenting nothing for a fire, or for the sup- down above a hundred yards, but the Yakuti
, keepvalley where the snow was soft and dangerously waist. The rapidity of the stream carried me of the extremity of the cold in Siberia is port of the horses, nor a slirub of any description ing, by a sort of run, in a parallel line, were ready quite amazing ; far exceeding any thing en- to be seen. I have scarcely ever seen a place to haul me back, if necessary. I however reached dured by Capt. Parry in either of his expe- feet reach the earth in search of food;" here, how- took violent exercise. The breadth of the swin
where the horses could not by scraping with their in safety; and, instantly throwing off my clothes, ditions.
ever, the thing was impossible, from the depth of ming part might only have been fifteen or twenty The weather proved exceedingly cold in January the snow; and indeed the poor animals seemed to yards, and across the strength of the stream possibly and February, but never so severe as to prevent know it, as they would not waste their strength in not more than four or five yards; yet I barely acour walks, except during those times when the the attempt. The Yakuti put on long faces at the complished it. The feat was thankfully acknowl. wind was high; it then became insupportable out obstructions we met with, never having witnessed edged by the astonished Yakuti, when I returned of doors, and we were obliged to remain at home. such deep and difficult roads; for, in ordinary with an excellent canoe. Forty degrees of frost of Fahrenheit never appear times good pasturage is to be had in this part of the Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, and Joho to affect us in caloa weather so much as ten or fif. valley.
Cochrane the Okota. Of the two feats, mine was teen during the time of a breeze ; yet to witness The horses having to contend with such difficul surely the most difficult; his lordship was neither the aurora borealis, I have frequently quitted my ties, our journey was continued on foot. My snow- fatigued, hungry, nor cold, por compelled to his urbed in those extremes of cold, without shoes or shoes I gave up to one of the guides, in considera- dertaking; while I had each and all of those evils stockings, and with no dress on but a parka, ortion of his being very heavy, while, for myself, to contend with. frock.
with a quick motion, my weight was not sufficient When the rivers were too broad or too
swift to be swum, they were passed on rails ; | The Young Scholar's Manual, or Compan- capacities of children; and its principal somewhat after this fashion.
ion to the Spelling Book. By Titus claim is to revision and improvement. To starve on one side of the river, to be drowned Strong, A. M. Fourth Edition. Green- Of “ The Common Reader" we shall in it, or die upon the other side, appeared alike to field, Mass. 1822. 16mo. pp. 90. presently say some things in praise; but me; and I accordingly embarked our little baggage The Common Reader. By T. Strong, A. we must request Mr Strong to have pa. upon the raft, composed of ten logs of trees about filteen feet long, crossed by five others, and crossed
M. Greenfield, Mass. 1324. 12mo. pp. tience, till we have done justice to his “Diagain by two more, to form a seat for the person
rections relative to the Management of a taking charge of the baggage, which was lashed to we should fail of performing a most im- School," and his “ Rules for Reading". In the raft. er thongs, and two or three leather bags were cut portant duty as reviewers, if we neglected these, if in any thing, we should expect him up to increase their lengtb. Each spar was also con- those works which are designed for chil- to avoid errors, in both writing and sentinected to the one on each side of it by three grum- dren. These are to sow the seeds which ment. We endeavoured, in reading them, mets formed out of the green branches of the trees will take the deepest root, and which, not to be hypercritical, but must say that on the banks of the river; and the raft appeared to when they spring up, will bear most fruit. we observed vastly more faults than should his strong enough to resist a severe concussion, We This duty is rendered the more imperious, exist. Some of the errors are typographalso provided drift cars, to serve to steer, and assist in gaining the from the facility with which recommenda- ical; others relate to punctuation ; but many shore should an accident happen. My papers and tions are obtained for school-books possess
of them are of a higher order. journals were fastened round my body, and I took ing very inferior merits. We know several
Mr Strong says in his preface, that “fumy station in the bow, in order that I might avoid distinguished literary gentlemen, who will ture editions will invariably answer to the danger, and keep in the centre of the river.
It was with difficulty we moved our vessel into not recommend a work without examining present, both in matter and form;"the main channel, from the number of eddies; but it critically ; but every day presents some promise,-better broken than kept. having once reached it, we descended in a most as work, characterized by great faults, sanc
He proposes that the school should be ditonishing manner, sometimes actually making ihe tioned by great names. Their remark, that vided into classes, " the instructor being head giddy as we passed the branches of trees, they give the works “a cursory perusal,” governed in the distribution by a similarity rocks, or islands. No accident happening, and the furnishes no excuse. No man should re
of proficiency in the art of reading on the piations dening probe into formatul in my com: coinmend a book, merely from looking part of the scholars.” . It is hard copying
on the probability breakfasting the next day in Okotsk, hut as yet I had not got upon the over its pages;" and those who do, debase such clumsy sentences; but the next is not proper side of the stream, the islanıls and shoals equally their learning and their virtue.
better. “The classes may consist of from perpetually turning us off. The Cossack and Ya- The first of the books before us consists twelve to twenty children, and of those kut continued in a state of alarm, not entirely with of twenty-six short lessons, containing ques- who are able to read at all without spell; Series
for upen round in a point of land, we obtions and answers on such subjects, with a ing, ought not to exceed three in number.”
a large tree jutting into the river, with a tremendous and rapid surf running over it, the branches few exceptions, as children may begin to It is plain to common sense, that no such of the tree preventing the raft from passing over learn as soon as they can read. These oc- rules for classing scholars can be of any the body of it, which was so deep in the water as cupy a little more than half of the book,
The author advises that those who to preclude the hope of escaping with life, at least and the remainder is principally a diction are learning the alphabet should read sing
The and Yakut crossed themselves, while I was quietly ary of common words. The first lesson re- ly; but these profit at least as much by awaiting the result in the bow. We struck, and lates to letters, syllables, and words; the being classed, as scholars more advanced. such was the force of the rebound that I was in second to points; the third to marks; the So many may compose a class, as can conhopes we should have been thrown outside the fourth to capitals. In the third lesson the veniently read from one book. shaft in the subsequent approach. I was, however, mark for accent should have been given;
The Directions seem to us equally frivodisappointed, for the fore part of the rate was actu: and also the figures, as used by Walk- lous and useless, except that which recom
under so high out of the water that it completely turned er, to denote the sounds of the vowels. mends opening and closing the school with over, bringing the baggage under water; the whole These should have been applied to the a short prayer. At the close of the book then, with the Yakut and Cossack, proceeded clown words defined in the latter part of the book. Mr Strong has given forms of prayer for the stream, and fortunately brought up upon an The eighth lesson relates to the sciences; these occasions. He appears to be an or island about one hundred yards
below in the the ninth to grammar. These should have thodox” man, and some persons will object mean while my situation was dangerous ; being in been omitted, for they will give no informa- to several of his expressions: Cannot a
companjons had been able to do, for fear of being jam- tion to children at the proper age for using form of prayer be found, which will be permed in between the raft and the tree. I therefore this book. Several of the lessons which fectly unobjectionable as to doctrine; which quitted my hold, and with infinite difficulty, clung follow, relate to arithmetic, and contain the will express exactly all that is always most to the outer branches on the rapid side of the tree most important tables. These are well
, for proper to be said while praying ; which will me out of water but my head and arms. I could not they can be understood. The eighteenth, relieve the young and modest teacher from long remain in such a state; and making, therefore, on geometry, will not be sufficiently intel- all embarrassment
of every kind; and the one vigorous effort, on the success of which it was ligible. For example:
length of which which will be precisely clear my life depended, I gained the top of the
Q. Of what does Geometry treat?
adapted to the occasion? Will it not be I was throwing off my upper park, when the branch gave way, and I dropped down, half drown- magnitudes in general
. A. of the description, properties and relations of better, in the next edition, to substitute the
Lord's prayer for those we have mentioned ? ing, to the island. It was a fortunate circumstance that the rast upset, as otherwise it could not have
Q. What is an angle?
We are surprised that the author-as he brought up at the island; which it did in conse- ineet but not in the same direction.
A. An angle is the inclination of two lines which undertakes to direct the religious exercises quence of the baggage lashed to the raft being so
of the school-omitted to recommend the deep in the water.
The twenty-fifth lesson is liable to the reading of the Scriptures. We are very We should, did our limits permit, make same objection.
far from wishing to encourage the use of some remarks on the of slavery ex- Q. What clouds?
them as a for common reading in some instances as that of the Indians and air from a quarter of a mile to three miles high, would certainly be most proper—at least Negroes in the mines of South America,
When they dissolve or fall to the ground, they before the morning prayer. previous to the revolution in that country.
cause rain, and in cold weather hail or snow.
The “ Rules for Reading” are said to be We think the book will furnish a few A. The moon casting its shadow is the same selected from Murray's Introduction to the hours' amusement to many besides Lord way upon the earth.
English Reader; but Mr Strong must be Melville, and we think too that it will in- These examples will also show that Mr answerable for their correctness. He has struct at the same time that it amuses. Strong is not always careful as to sense and faults enough, without .copying those of We hope that Capt. Cochrane may live to punctuation.
others. The following paragraph appears to make more journeys, and tell them as The plan of this Manual is very good, but be original. agreeably as he has told of this.
it is executed with too little regard to the The two first, and indeed principal qualifications
necessary to form a good reader, are voice and the style of the lessons, both in prose and
MISCELLANY. judgment. A defect in the former may indeed be verse, is almost invariably chaste, and is partially remedied by unwearied application and industry, but a defect in the latter will inevitably frequently elegant; and we have noticed prove fatal to improvement. no passages which are unquestionably ob
CUI BONO? What difference is there between the jectionable as to morals.
We give Mr
What's the use of't?
, and the principal qualifications for Strong this praise, heartily; and will leave reading?. A defect in voice, it seems, may book may be made highly useful, by re- bleness of the human understanding, than
him with an assurance, that we think his Nothing displays more clearly the feebe remedied by unwearied application and industry. What is the difference between formations which it will be easy to make. the illiberal prejudices which men very unwearied application and industry. Both,
generally entertain of their own personal it appears, are necessary to remedy a defect A familiar Introduction to Crystallography, pursuits. Science, which should correct in voice; but a defect in judgment will in- including an Explanation of the Common the dimness of the vision, and give to it a evitably prove fatal. But cannot a defect
and Reflective Goniometer, with an Ap- wider scope, serves only to increase it. Or Top in judgment be remedied by unwearied
pendix, containing the Mathematical Rela- rather like the telescope, it extends the application and industry? We suppose the tions of Crystals, Rules for Drawing their vision in the particular line in which it is diauthor thinks so, for he proceeds: “ To cul- Figures, and an Alphabetical Arrangement rected, to the entire exclusion of every fortivate this, therefore, should be the great of Minerals, their Synonyms, and Pri- eign object. “No anthor,” says Montesquieu, and leading object with every instructor." mary Forms. Nlustrated by four hun
“can hope to be esteemed by such as are The first Rule is, to be particularly care- dred Engravings. By Henry James not interested in the same branch of science ful to pronounce all the vowels distinctly. Brooke, F. R. S., &c.*
with himself. The philosopher has a soveWe think much more is gained by a con- This work is peculiarly adapted to the use
reign contempt for the man whose head is stant effort to pronounce the consonants of students in Mineralogy, and has receiv- only stored with facts ; and he is in his own distinctly.
ed the unqualified approbation of the most turn looked upon as a visionary by the perRule 3. As the art of reading depends much on distinguished mineralogists in Europe. The son endowed with a good memory.” This should
sagacious writer furnishes an exemplificaused with economy. The voice ought to be relieved / first part is devoted to the definitions of the tion of the truth of his own assertion, in at every stop; slightly at a comma, more leisurely terms employed in the description of crys- another passage of his Persian Letters
, at a semicolon or colon, and completely at a period. tals, which are given in a peculiarly disDoes this mean that we should take tinct and intelligible manner, and are am- whose profession it is to impose shackles
where he characterizes poets, as “ authors
, breath at every stop? A worse rule cannot ply illustrated by neatly executed diagrams. be given. Try it by reading.
The principle upon which the reflective on good sense, and to bury reason under
agrémens, as women used to be smothered Love, hope, and joy, fair pleasure's smiling train ; goniometer of Dr Wollaston is constructed, under jewels and finery.” Montesquieu
was Hate, fear, and grief, the family of pain.'
and the application of this elegant instru- a wit and a philosopher, but it is clear he Mr Strong tells us that the points of in- ment, are so fully and clearly explained, understood little of the uses of poetry. terrogation and exclamation should be that all idea of its use being attended with The scholar contemns the man of business attended with a little elevation of the voice." difficulty is wholly removed. In rendering as one of « Nature's journeymen," useful in What he means by their being attended with the first part of his work quite elementary, keeping some of the coarser machinery of a little elevation of voice, is not obvious. Mr Brooke has enabled the young mineral- life in motion ; and the
man of business with If he means to repeat the old rule, that ogist, even if unacquainted with the rudi- equal charity regards the student as an inquestions and exclamations should be closed ments of geometry, to make very
consider- becile pedant, that knows nothing of the with the rising inflection, let him adopt this able progress in the science of Crystalloginflection the next time he interrogates his raphy. Those who are not in the habit of world, and is liable to have his pocket
picked at every turn. The metaphysician neighbour, « How do you do?" We wish mathematical investigations, and who can looks down upon the chemist, the mineralothat those wbo give rules for reading, would not avail themselves of the theory of decre
gist, the botanist, as
so many harmless either think and observe for themselves, or ments in tracing the relation between the consult Walker's Rhetorical Grammar. secondary and primary forms of crystals, of the earth, to the neglect of the immor
grubs, busily occupied with the outer rind rors in this part of the work. On page bles of the Modifications of the Primary again despise the metaphysician as a shal
We have not time to notice the other er- / will derive great assistance from the “ Ta- tal mind which presides over it; and these 38, we observe the first verse of the fortv. / Forms," in the eleventh section. These low theorist, spinning cobwebs out of his first Psalm quoted, with one error, and one will enable them to compare all the classes | brain, to entangle smaller fools than him interpolation. The typographical errors,
of simple secondary forms with each other, self. The treasures of the antiquarian are especially in punctuation, are very numerand with their respective primary forms,
mere rubbish in the eyes of the poet, and ous throughout the book. The authors of and will present a general view of all the the creations of the latter are silly dreams the various articles should have been menknown classes of the primary.
in the matter-of-fact apprehension of the tioned. We should render to every man his The fourth section contains a full explan- former. In short, every profession recipdue. This injustice is becoming common, of the secondary forms of crystals, and of
ation of the symbols used in the description rocates a most cordial contempt for its opbut we see no excuse for it. The errors which we have noticed, are the method of applying them.
posite; and the man of pleasure, who has sufficient to authorize us in saying, that they
In the Appendix, Mr Brooke has given them all, by despising them all equally.
no profession whatever, puts himself abore an outline of the method of applying the Even different branches of the same purshould not have been sanctioned by recommendations from the Presidents of Bowdoin theory of decrements, to determine the re- suit inspire no great respect for each other, and Middlebury Colleges, the Chancellor lations between the secondary and primary and the player," says La Bruyère, “ follof Brown University, Dr Lyman of Hat- forms, and of calculating the laws of decre-ing in his chariot, scatters the mud in the
ment. In these calculations he has sub- face of the great Corneille, to whose tragefield, and Rodolphus Dickinson, Esq. Mr Strong's selection of reading lessons, stituted spherical for plane trigonometry.
dies he owes his fortune. Chez plusieurs is, on the whole, very good. Perhaps he has not fully accomplished his object of the above work to have published an edition in this
* It was the intention of the learned author of savant et pédant sont synonymes."
Of all these classes, none find it so diffigiving those only, which are accommodated country, but being advised of the limited demand cult to persuade others of their fair preto the capacities of the first and second that could be expected for it, he relinquished the tensions, as the cultivators of the elegant classes in our common schools. It may also design, and has placed a few copies of the English arts; none are brought down with such be said, that too many of his pieces assume edition in the hands of Dr J. W. Webster, for sale a very grave tone of morality, and hence work may be addressed to Cummings, Hilliard, di cui bono? The collector of facts, the
at the cost in London, viz. $3,50. Orders for the severity to the cynical standard of the are unnecessarily tedions to children. But Co., No. 1, Cornhill.
practical man of science, nay the volga
mechanic, the blacksmith, carpenter, tailor, | touching upon all the sweets of miscella- | have been the theme of so much jealous &c. carry with them immediate conviction neous literature, as they were once accus- literary altercation from Plutarch to the of the object and utility of their labours; tomed to do, settle down upon some such present day? What of Dionysius, whose but in what way do the poet, the painter, dry and exceedingly wholesome topic as blackened reputation has been purified by the novelist, &c. further the great business" Tread-mill,” “ Arbitrary Government,” the labours of successive apologists, until of life? How do they supply its wants or “Combination Laws," "Court of Chancery,” the “ tyrant of Syracuse” sbines forth a even its comforts? What serviceable dis- “ Price of Tea," “ Holy Alliance," " Mine- pure and devoted patriot. What of Philip coveries have they ever made ? What ralogical Systems," Office of Judge Advo- of Macedon, who from a persidious oppresoperative and before unknown truths have cate,”. “ Dry Rot,” &c. &c.; all of them, sor, the character imputed to him by Dethey revealed ? In short, of what use are save the last, crowded into one of the very mosthenes, has been metamorphosed by they ? “ The Iliad and the Odyssey,” said last numbers of the Edinburgh Review. Mitford into a benevolent and enlightened a worthy mathematician, “may be very In our own country, the North American sovereign. How stand the ancient foundagood poems, but, after all, what do they has still an “ample verge” assigned to tions of Roman history ? Time has sapped prove?” The most enlightened sages, in purely literary discussion. But the spirit them cruelly, and the first four centuries of their esprit de corps, have not concealed of the nation runs quite in another direc- her royal and republican grandeur, which their contempt for pursuits so dissimilar tion; and the doctrine of utility is enforced have furnished the basis of so many fine from their own. Cicero, as Seneca records in its broadest extent. In our growing schemes of government, of the profound of him (Epist. 49), said, that “if his age state of society, where new relations are treatises of Macchiavelli and of Monteswere to be doubled, he should find no time constantly suggesting new wants to be quieu in particular, are now discovered to to throw away upon lyrical poetry.” The gratified, it is perhaps well that it should be mere * old wives' tales." poetry of Pindar! The Roman orator be so; and yet one might join with the
" Varias mutantia fornas is known, however, to have been guilty author of a very beautiful essay on the Somnia vana jacent."of bad verses bimself, and it was perhaps“ Value of Classical Learning,” in a late his ill fortune that led him to the splenetic number of the North American, in wishing
The glorious self-devotion of Scævola, reflection. “We cannot attain to it,” says that “a disinterested passion for the ele- Cocles, the Horatii, of Lucretia, the inspiMontaigne, let us avenge ourselves by gant and ornamental arts, might be super: it may be, and many other beautiful images,
ration of Numa, the patriotism of Brutus, abusing it.” Nous ne pouvons pas y attein- added to those sober and practical views of dre, vengeons nous par en médire. Pascal, utility,” by which the nation is distin- to which our fancies have fondly clung in his terrible - Pensées,” declares that guished.
from earliest childhood, must all be abanshonest people make no distinction be- But should the man of fiction be inclined doned as dreams (Selo ovugo, it is true) between the trade of a poet and that of an to encounter the man of fact on his own
fore the eye of modern criticism, which, embroiderer.” Pascal was a polemic and ground of the cui bono, the latter, may not
. This instrument to do us service once more
like the telescope-if we may call upon a mathematician. Every one knows what find himself to have so decidedly the adsmall account Locke has made of poetry, in vantage as might at first be suspected. What shall we believe of Carthage, that
sees clearest into the remotest objects. his valuable treatise on Education. “ Poetry Take the historian for example. Whatand gaming, which usually go together, are ever be his accomplishments as a fine writ- strange paradox of a faithless, savage peoalike in this too, that they seldom bring er, his value must chiefly rest upon his ve
ple, and one of the most liberal and perany advantage but to those who have noth- racity. Now what are our chances of lect governments of antiquity? Had her ing else to live on." “I know not what meeting with a fair and faithful narrative? historians survived, think you she would reason a father can have to wish his son a Glance your eyes over antiquity and point what shall we say of the Romans of a later
be registered in infamy as she now is ? poet,” &c. Everybody knows also the to the page whence we are to date the comreply of Lord Burleigh to Queen Eliza- mencement of a credible and consistent date, of Sylla, the scourge or the saviour of betli , upon her ordering a hundred pounds chronicle of events. To pass by the enor-ed patriot or the politic conspirator against
y? Of Pompey, the disinterestto be given to the author of the Fairy mous fictions of the Asiatic and Egyptian the liberties of Rome? What of Tiberius, Queen, whom the treasurer was pleased to dynasties, and the debatable ground of denominate a ballad-maker.
Sir Isaac early Grecian story, the heroic ages, and Nero, Domitian, &c. &c. the whole show of Newton quotes Barrow, without dissenting the expedition to Troy, let us come down to imperial monsters, whose black reputations from him, as baving defined poetry “a kind the Father of History. How much do we
Tacitus, like a righteous executioner, has of ingenious nonsense.” But instances need here find to rely upon? “ All that Herodotus hung up in chains, to the terror of posteri, not be multiplied of the bigotted partiality has himself seen," say his advocates, « is to ty? Who can gravely give credit to all of the inost liberal minds for their own pe- be believed." Ảnd is this all! Out of tbis the recorded atrocities of the exhausted culiar walks, to the utter disparagement of copious chronicle, is that only to be receiv- octogenarian voluptuary in his isle of Cathose of others, esp..cially when these last ed, to which the historian can personally prea, of the incestuous incendiary Nero, or secm to shrink from a trial of their own testify! His books, “ poetæ mendacia dul- of Caligula conferring the consulship upon
bis borse. worth, at the merciless ordeal of the cui cia,” have indeed other claims than their bono. “Of what use is it?” said a famous eloquence to be patronised by the names of
_“ Credat Judæus Apella; French critic, on hearing a poem highly the Muses. Even in the account of coneulogized by some of his friends, “will it temporary transactions the reader finds his But to quote no other examples from anlower the price of grain ?"
organ of credulity (if such there be in Dr tiquity of the perversion of historical truth, This disposition to estimate every thing Gall's scheme) very liberally taxed, and what shall we say of the accredited reports upon the scales of the cui bono has been one may meet with some strange incongrui- of George, bishop of Cappadocia, who, after gaining ground in the world during the ; ties in the Persian expedition and charac- a life of merciless extortion and gross imlast century. Not that elegant arts are ter that would lead him to the belief, that, piety, has been canonized as a Christian abandoned, but attention is much more had a Persian historian told the tale, the martyr, as “ the patron saint of England, of strongly and widely drawn to practical pur. characters of Xerxes and his nation might chivalry, and of the garter.” suits (so called), to physical science, to poli- have fared somewhat differently.
In modern times, however, when the press tics, cconomy, statistics, &c., in short to those How are we to reconcile the contradic-diffuses knowledge rapidly and widely, studies which seem to have a more direct and tions of character imputed to some of the when truth may be freely and innoxiously
effectual influence upon the condition of so- leading personages in Greece, in a riper recorded and reported, when the science ciety. Take the leading foreign journals period of her glory, when she became the of politics and government is more generfor instance in Great Britain, a good test of seat of philosophy and letters? What shall ally as well as more thoroughly understood, public opinion in this matter, and you will we believe of Socrates, of Aristophanes, the we may expect to meet with veracious tesfind that the critics now-a-days, instead of philosopher and the poet, whose principles timony, “But baw,” says that subtle poli
tician, the Cardinal De Retz, can I rely path that leads to truth in despite of the many latter from personal observation and per on the reports of writers who tell me of the hundreds that lead to error.
sonal feeling A just history represents motives and measures of the cabinet, when But supposing both the man of fact and of events as they are, and men as they appear. I, who am one of the actors, scarcely know fiction to be virtuous and able writers in A skilful fiction, on the other hand, repre. what is passing there myself?"-Without their peculiar departments, it may still be sents men as they are and events as they running over the inconsistencies and num- doubted whether the former makes a wider appear probable. Which then should prá berless liquities in modern history, obli- and more penetrating, impression upon the duce the deepest effect upon the mind, quities which seem to have been multiplied public mind, than the latter. What history, upon the character of the reader? by the extended interest, and the share for instance, can be pretended to have had In the defence which we have set up for now taken by men in the conduct of public the same intellectual
, moral, and political works of fancy, we may seem to have wanaffairs, and which have added the prejudices influence upon the character of a people, as dered somewhat from the original ground of party zeal to the other sources of histori- the poems of Homer. A very discerning of discussion, which was not a vindication cal infidelity, let us simply cast our eyes critic pronounces them “the bond which of any particular profession, but an exposiupon the chronicle of our mother country, held the Greek nation together.” Herodo- tion of the frequency of an undue estimaas compiled by her temperate and ablest tus informs us that“ the whole theogony of tion of the practical importance of our own historian. Without reverting to the hasty the Greeks may be referred to the composi- pursuits, to the exclusion of dissimilar ones. compilation of the early floating traditions tions of Homer and Hesiod.” The Greek And as an illustration of this we have en of the Saxon dynasties, look at the latest tragic drama, fashioned upon a similar ele- deavoured to show what argument could be period to which Hume has continued his vated standard, had an obvious effect of sus- offered in favour of pure fiction, as being work, and after having adopted the appar- taining that exalted tone of public feeling, a class of composition least defensible on ently dispassionate views of the philosophic for which that people were so remarkable; the score of utility. The man of fact, from historian, turn to Brodie's account of the and their comedies, from a very opposite the highest deductions of science, to the same period, and behold a new current of cause, held a more positive controul over humblest effort of mechanical ingenuity, carfacts as well as of inferences let in upon popular manners. The familiar anecdote ries with him immediate conviction of the you, that sweep away all your previous con- of Tyrtæus, the sentence pronounced upon usefulness of his labours. “Noman,” Voltaire clusions in an entirely opposite direction. Homer by Plato, the ordonnance of the has somewhere remarked, “ is so much reveEven the gloomy characters of Richard III, Spartans prescribing the cultivation of a renced by the world as the professor of an and of Cromwell, find their advocates in certain class of poetry, all show the im- obscure and difficult science, whose results this benevolent age, and two eminent Eng- mense weight attributed to this species of are applicable to the common purposes of lish writers have endeavoured to wash them composition among the enlightened Greeks. life.” An enlightened mind, however, as white as those of most sovereigns. But to descend to our own times, it may be should penetrate deeper. The positive in
But why should we go to Europe for ex- difficult to point to any one, or two, or any fluence of speculative pursuits on man, alamples in point, when they are so rife in dozen regular histories that have produced though less rapid in its operation than that our own country, nay, at our own doors. a stronger pulsation of public feeling than of practical pursuits, is not less certain. Notwithstanding the many circumstantial the Waverley Romances. Exhibiting in the The physical enginery of the latter (if we narrations of the first and most important broad light, which they do, all distinguishing may so express ourselves) furnishes the battle of our revolution, the name of the features of national character, all the local necessaries, the comforts, the luxuries of veteran who virtually commanded in it, 'for and hereditary attachments, the prejudices life. The moral enginery of the former he absolutely controlled the point of dan- transmitted from their ancestors, and made works only upon the heart and the underger, and with his own troops, sustained the dear by such a descent, all the beautiful standing. Inventions in mechanics, diswhole weight of the attack, the name of fancies, the romantic superstitions, that coveries in philosophy, researches in histoPrescott has been hardly noticed, except have arisen out of the speculative temper ry, supply the wants of human life, and in the incidental and scattering records of of the people and the wild complexion of store the mind with such knowledge as the few last years ;-Botta, in his celebrat- their scenery, all the momentous objects for may direct it in the conduct of human afed history of our war, has copied the same which they have contended, and the princi- fairs. The productions of elegant art, the injustice, and our national painter, deceiv- ples which have animated them in the con- speculative creations of genius, of whatever ed by history, has assigned the commander test, in short, all those habits of thought, kind, present beautiful and lofty subjects of in the redoubt the station and the appear- of feeling, of adventure, which have set contemplation to the mind, that give a rel. ance of a common private. “Oh, quote me them apart from all others and made them a ish to life, or rather that raise us above life. not history,” said Lord Orford to his son nation-bad histories similar to these by the “Because the acts or events of true histoHorace, “ for that I know to be false.” author of Waverley appeared at an earlier ry," says Lord Bacon with that nice dis
the man of fact, after all this period, before the Scottish people had been crimination which distinguishes him equally stringing together of insulated instances of cemented by so many other associations, on subjects of taste as in philosophy,“ bave misapprehension or mendacity, there will they might have formed a bond of union as not that magnitude which satisfieth the still remain behind a large mass of valua- coercive and as lasting as the fictions of mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and ble and incontestible truths. And how far Homer. And should a novelist of equal events greater and more heroical; because superior, of how much greater moment to powers arise in our own country, youthful true history propoundeth the successes and mankind, is the historian, who from uncol- and plastic from its youth, as its national issues of actions not so agreeable to the oured facts draws sane and philosophic character now is, and altogether unexer- merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy deductions, to the writer of fiction, who cised by such an impulse, it might not be feigns them more just in retribution, and spins out of his invention an ideal state of easy to predict what would be his influence more according to revealed Providence: things that in conduct either leads to noth- in binding together the scattered energies, so as it appeareth, poesy serveth to magnaing or leads to error?
the conflicting sentiments of the people, nimity, to morality, and to delectation. It is true, bad works of every description and animating them with a central princi- And therefore it was ever thought to have are to be deprecated; but whether an ill. ple of feeling and action.
some participation of divineness, because it written novel or poem is as prejudicial to so- We have but one word more to say of doth raise and erect the mind, by submitciety as an ill-written history, may admit those peculiarities in which history must ting the shows of things to the desires of of a doubt. What we know to be false, yield to fiction. The former depicts men the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and can never have the same vnwholesome in- as they play their part in public life, that bow the mind unto the nature of things." fluence upon our conduct, as what we re- is, en masque ; the latter, as they are dis- Even inferior productions of imagination ; ceive as true, but which, in reality, is false. closed in the unsuspicious intercourse of by presenting a means of innocent recreaThen how difficult for the historian, with private and domestic life. The former tion, wean the mind of the indolent and the U his hopest intentions, to detect the one I copies from hearsay or written report, the vicious from grosser pleasures, and shed a