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Fortifications of Gibraltar. by him in some measure carried into exe tures are broken through, where cannon of cution : but since his death more perfectly a very large calibre command the isthmus, completed by General O'HARA. They the Spanith lines, and a great part of the are constructed, not only for the protection bay. The top of the rock`is pierced of the men, but also for placing cannon to through, so as to introduce sufficient annoy

the
enemy

in situat ons inaccellible light to enable you to view every part of only by iuch a contrivance.

it. It appears almost incredible that fo These galleries are very extensive, large an excavation could be formed by pierce the rock in several places and in gunpowder, without blowing up the whole various directions, and at various degrees of that part of the rock, and still more of elevation; all of them have a com- so, that they should be able to direct the munication with each other, either by operations of such an instrument, so as to flights of steps cut in the rock, or by render it subfervient to the purpose of wooden stairs, where the passages are re- elegance. . We found in the hall a table, quired to be very perpendicular, placed, I suppose, for the conveniency of

The centinels may now be relieved those who are traversing the rock. The during a fiege from one post to another in cloth was spread, the wine went round, perfect latety, whereas previously to the and we made the vaulted roof resound .conftrneting of thele galleries a vast with the accents of mirth and the songs of number of men were killed by the conviviality. Having fufficiently reSpaniards, while marching to their several freshed ourselves, we mounted by a fight ftations. The width of thele galleries is of wooden Iteps to the outside of this about twelve reut, their height about portion of the rock, where seated on a fourteen. The rock is busken through crag that projected from the main body of in varicus places, both for the purpoie of it, I contemplated the simple, yet grand giving light and for placing the guns to objects that were before me; these were bear an the enemy. In different parts the isthmus that connects Gibraltar with there are spacious recesses capable of ac- the main land, the purple mountains of commodating a considerable number of Spain dying imperceptibly away into the

To these recefles they give names, atmosphere, and the Mediteranean, ter. such as

St. Patrick's Chamber, St. minated by the line of the horizon, which George's Hall, &c. The whole of these was now and then broken by the white fingular structures have been formed out fail of fome distant vessel that disappeared of the folid rock by blaiting with gun- almost the moment it was observed. Above powder. Through the politeness of an my head towered the stoney ridges of officer on duty, a place called Smart's Calpe. From this place we proceeded Reservoir was opened for our inspection, upwards by a winding road cut with which is a great curiosity and not infinite labour, till we arrived at the generally permitted to be thewn. It is signal house: This house is erected on a spring at a considerable depth in the one of the highest elevations of the rock, body of the rock, and is above 700 feet and a serjeant's guard is constantly on above the level of the sea ; we descended duty there to put up the signals that are into the cavern that contains it by a rope held out on various occasions. Every ladder, and with the aid of lighted candles evening a gun is fired at sun-set from this proceeded through a narrow passage over place. As several of the company were cryftallized protuberances of the rock till very much fatigued, and their curiosity not we came to a hollow, which appears to fo ardent as that of two or three belonging have been opened by some convullion of to them, they determined to proceed flowly nature. Here from a bed of gems arises towards St. Michael's cave without seekthe falutary fount, clear as the brilliant ing any more adventures. A Captain of the east, and cold as the icicle. We ****, another and myself determined to hailed the nymph of the grot, and prokrat- climb to the top of two lofty ridges that ing ourselves, quaffed hygean nectar from were out of the common road, and might her sparry urn.

When restored to the be considered as the very summit of the light of day, we obtained, through the mountain. In attaining this giddy height, medium of the fame gentleman, the key of our hands and feet were severely lacerated St. George's Hall, at which we arrived by and bruised by the edges of the crags and a very intricate and gloomy path to the the thorny plants that grew in their fpacious excavation, which is upwards of interstices. From the cloud-capt fummit an hundred feet in length, its height of this column of Hercules, we behold the nearly the fame. It is formed in a semi- fhore where ancient Atlas spreads his circular part of the rock; spacious aper: broad shoulders, an impregnable rampart

to

Dialects of the Aramic Language.

245 to the tawny fons of Barbary ; while the resolved to proceed, and one of the holdest clouds rolling beneath our féet enveloped ci the sailors was the first that entered the in shade the mountainous coast of Anua- fifiure; in a moment he disappeared ; a luba. Beneath us on our right, the sons chill of horror crept through the pulse of of commerce sheltered their sea-worn barks every one present; haggard looks and in the bay, and on the other side, the deep filence marked the interval that billows of the Mediterranean laved with elapsed, till be was heard 'to exclaim, hol murmurings the adamatine base of “ I am not hurt; but my light is out." the rock. Contiguous to the spot where With alacrity we entered the fissure, and we stood every object aflumed the most listing up our lights beheld him fanding Lavage aspect; the wild boar eyed us at the bottom of a steep but linooth with terrific glance as he rustled through declivity, polished like the conical rocks the thorny vegetation, and hurried then to before mentioned. In an instant we joined the gloomy recelles of the rock. "The him, and congratulated him on his fafety. ape, with her young close clinging, leapt The place we were in, appeared the the precipices, inaccessible to man, and sanctuary of fupernatural beings; here grinned defiance to him on their utmolt the airy spirits of the Rosicrusian system verge. Half way down the steep, the seemned to weave their magic spells. As cormorant built her folitary neit; the the bats flitted through the dun milt that caverns return a harsh and melancholy filled the lofty concave, imagination echo to the discordant notes of the sea pictured them as bearing on their dusky fowl that hover over the deep. At St. pinions myriads of filmy gnomes to their Alichael's cave we joined our companions, leveral occupations. Finding by our who anxiously expected us; after re watches that it was almost fun-set, we cruiting our strength, we put on our hurried from the cavern, and fortunately jackets and trowsers, lighted our candles reached the gates a monient before they and flambeaux, and proceeded to explore were to be shut. Adieu, remember me the secrets of this surprising cavern. First particularly to, &c. &c. and believe me, we descended a steep declivity, which was dear Sir, your's sincerely, B, C. exceedingly llippery from the humidity of the place, till we approached a lofty For the Monthly Magazine. column, or rather cluster of columns, that

Concerning Two DIALECTS of the hot up to a prodigious height, and seemed

ARAMIC LANGUAGE. to support the roof of that part of the

Twenty yards further, amidst ARAM was formerly the commen large clumps of crystallized rocks, was a

name of all the countries included {pring of most delicious water, fo perfectly between the Mediterranean and the pellucid, that when poured into a tumbler, Tigris, as well as of the peninsula init was with difficulty distinguished from cluded between the Persian Gulf and the the glafs that contained it. From this Red Sea. Thus we meet with Arain spring, with cautious step and curious eye, Dainalced, as a designation of the distriet we trod the devious paths, fearful that about Damaicus, and with Aramı Nahafome yawning gulf might entomb us in raim (Syria of the rivers), as a designation its immeasurable abyss, when suddenly of Mesopotarnia ; and the three Arabias. the way became so narrow as to render it itill retain a denomination directly springdifficult, even for one to pafs at a time. ing from this root. The original tide of On one fide a frightful chafin, which none population seems to have diffused itself have yet been able to fathom, threatened to over this country from the district called enclose us in eternal night; on the other Eden, fatuate at its northern extremity, ude, Itupendous rocks raised their ponder Whenceloever the shepherds of Melo. ous masses to a height far beyond the potamia first derived their language, it reach of our feeble lights, and were loft, was very early divided into at least two with the roof they supported, in im- dialects, an Eastern and a western. The penetrable gloom; before us one only way family of Abraham, which was (Genepresented itself, and through a narrow fis xi. 31.) of Ur (betwee

the Mygdofissure, to which we were forced to climb nius and the Tigris), spoke a different over rocks of a conical form, that were so language from the family of Lahan, perfectly finooth, that they appeared to which was (xxix. 4.) of Haran (between be polithed by the hand of art; here fome the Chaboras and the Euphrates). Jaof our company were at a stand, and de- cob calls, by the Hebrew word Galeed termined to relinquish the design of pe- (xxxi. 47.), that which Laban calls Jehar Detrating farther, The rest however were jahadutha. It is evident then, that the

Hebrew

cavein.

246

Criticisms on the Pursuits of Literature. Hebrew was originally the East-Aramic To the Editor of the Morthly Magazine. diale&t, since it is that employed by the Ur family, and that the Chaldecasasche NFalle rand vitiated a talte, in diction

SIR,

To Roman en is called by our theologians) was the West-Aramic dialect, since it is that em- so horrid and obscure, in numbers so rough, ployed by the Haran family.

So scabrous, and inharmonious, crowded Babylon (xi. 9.), Damascus (xiv. 15.), with metaphors unsufferably strained and probably Jerusalem (xiv. 18.), and many confused, as Persius. He might well say other towns of consequence, were already of himself, that he had nothing to do with at this time scattered over Syria. It is pale Pirene. Yet this is the writer whom therefore most likely, that the migration the author of The Pursuits of Literature, of a single family would not materially and the epistle to K. Long, has chosen for affect the general distribution of dialect; his model, and far furpassed his original that the descendants of Abraham would in all the various faults of compolition acquire the West-Aramic in the west mentio: ed above. It becomes, therefore, country to which they passedl; and that a subject of surprise, to hear the “ British they would not superinduce their own Critic

commend a passage in the fourth Eart-Aramic language on the inhabitants dialogue, v. 132, as truly poetical, which of Mamre, of Gothen, and of Canaan, is overlaid with false and gaudy colours, It is yet more obvioully certain, that the and full of tumor and bomb:ít. What retreat of Abraham's family could in no- is the meaning of, painting in characters thing affect the language of Ur or of of lightof the spirit of the troublous Babylon; and that, if the Hebrew pre- clime—his steps ideal hafte~in semblance vailed in the east country at the time of frailfurely here are thoughts encount'ring their departure, it would continue, not- thoughts in conflict fierce ? withstanding their absence, to be spoken The same may be said of the following along the banks of the Tigris.

incongruous and harsh expressions: Albion Accordingly this identical distribution erects her energies—to burst with unappalled of language appears still to have fublifted profufionfiltrating tea through earth, andair in much later periods. Daniel, Ezra, Ne- and light-a pluvial prelate with his lawny, hemiah, who from their earliest years, wings—the natal splendour of the chequerd were educated at Babylon, and can hardly vejito shake pestilence with maddening have known the language of Jerusalem, freep-cho'd his cloister'd day-foaming bequeath to us their works (so far as these with th' archdeacon's critic blood-calm can be separated from interpolated mat- the borrors of Burke's claws in gold. And ter) in the Hebrew or East-Aramic dia. above all, as unrivalled pieces of obscure leet. Whereas the fragment of Ezra and far-fought conceits, might be men(iii. 7. to vi. 18.), written after the ac- tioned, the beginning of dialogue the fecession of the second Darius (iv. 24.), and cond, on Bishop Wilkinson's Journey to the fragment (ii. 4. to vii. 28.), of the the Moon; the tedious, ill-constructed book concerning Daniel, written after the allegory of the commentators on Shakesdeath of Alexander (xi. 4.) (two compo- peare, transformed into dogs; and the fitions which make their appearance at contest of the translators of Gray's Elegy. Jerusalem), are drawn up in the West. Such is the style and manner of a writer, Aramic dialect. So is the Targum of who dares to think he can succeed in a Onkelos and the other vernacular litera- fort of work, where, as he most affectedly ture of Palestine.

says, So that, if Hebrew be the fitter name The great Aurancian drove his primal car. for the language of Jerusalem, and Chal. 'dee for the language of Babylon, it is

To these little strictures I shall add no plain we, by a vulgar error, miscal the more at present, because I am informed Chaldee, Hebrew ; and the Hebrew, that a discourse is preparing, to fhew, at Chaldee. The language of Babylon, or large, from the four 'following circumEast-Aramic, being commonly called Rances, namely; from the aceumulation Hebrew; and the language of Jerusalem of useless Greek quotations; from vainly or Welt. Aramic, being commonly called supposing the whole world is alarmed and Chaldee ; a misnomer, which has eventu- inquiring after the fatirist; from the maally, if not intentionally, favoured the lignant unprovoked attack on many reperfuafion--that various writings, appa. spectable characters; and from bafely

. rently put togeher at Babylon, are the concealing his name; that, the author of unfophisticated archives of the Jewith The Pursuits of Literature," is, a PBn. tion,

DANT, a COXCOMB, a SLANDERER, à

I am, Sif, your's, T.L.M.

COWARD.

Mr. Erskine on the House of Commons.

247 For the Monthy Magazine. let us not, therefore, from a patriot zeal, Dis$ERTATION on the ORIGIN of the involve ourselves in the faint evidences of

English HOUSE OF COMMONS, de probability, but be contented to trace our livered before The MASTER, Fel- the reach of moral demonstration. There

political constitution from a source within LOWS, AND SCHOLARS of TRINITY is more honour in having freed ourselves COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE , in June 1777, from tyranny than in always having been By the Honourable Thomas ERSKINE,

free.

We know with certainty, that the To which the first Prize of the Year was Saxons had parliaments, but we know, adjudged.

with equal certainty, that the people at THE

HE English House of Commons "large had no representative share in them arose gradually out of the feodal te

the bulk of the nation were either vassals nures as introduced at the Conquest.

under the feodal lords, or Allodii t under Many of the wiseft and warmest affert- the king's government; the first, being ors of equal government have been fond of absolute llaves to their masters, could not looking back to the Saxon annals for the pretend to become political rulers, and origin of the English constitution; and, the last being not even united by the without the warrant of history or tradi- feodal bond to the community, could have tion, have considered the rise of our liber

no suffrages in the feodal councils : the ties under the Norinans, as only the Saxon lords, indeed, were free, but for restoration of immunities fubverted by that very reason, there was no public the conquest. This opinion, however, liberty; the government was highly arihas been propagated by its authors, nei stocratical, there was no shadow of that ther from a decided conviction on the one equal communion of privileges founded hand, nor a blind admiration of antiquity

on legislative institutions, which constion the other : a very generous, but mil

tutes freedom upon English principles, by taken motive, has often rendered it

which all who are the objects of the law

popular and energetic; it has been opposed in must personally, or by representation, be time of public danger to the arguments

the makers of the laws: this principla, of those enemies to their country, and which may justly be denominated the very indeed to all mankind, who have branded essence of our present government, neither the facred privileges wretted" by our pa- feodal chieftains, bending under an acci

did nor could possibly exist till the proud triot ancestors from the first Norman princes, as the fruits of successful rebel- dental pressure, were obliged to sacrifice

their pride to necessity, and their tyranny But, although the principle is to be to felf-preservation. applauded, the error cannot; and in this

But before our inquiries can be proenlightened age, happily need not be de- perly begun, at the period I have fixed, fended : the rights of mankind can never

before I can exhibit the elastic force of be made to depend on the times of their freedom rebounding under the pressure of being vindicated with success; they are

the most absolute government, I must sacred and immutable; they are the gift

call

your attentions to the genealogy of of heaven ; and whether appropriated for our feodal ancestors. the first time to day, or enjoyed beyond

They issued from that northern hive of the reach of annals, the title to them is fierce warriors who over-ran all Europe at equally incontrovertible: one individual the declension of the Roman empire; a may forfeit his property to another from race of men the most extraordinary that lupineness, and usurpation may strengthen ever marked or ditinguished the state of into right by prescription; but human nature; a people who, in the absence of privileges in the gross cannot be fo every art and science, carried the seeds of snatched

away ; there is no statute of future perfection in their national genius limitation * tó bar the claims of nature :

and characteristic; visible even then in

an unconquerable fortitude of mind, in There are certain limitations of time an inherent idea of human equality, temfixed by itatute in the reigns of Henry VIII. and James I. beyond which the subject (and + Allodii were such as held of no feodal the king by a late act) cannot apply to the superior, celles qui ne recognviffent superieur en courts of justice to regain the poression of fredalitie

. These Allodial lands were all sur, landed property, to recover personal debts rendered up at the Norman Conquest, and and damages, or to redress private wrongs. received back to be held by feodal tepure, as These acts are called in law pleadings, the appears by Doomsday Book. tatutes of limitation. MONTH, MAG. No. xxx.

Kk

lions.

pered

248

Mr. Erskine on the House of Commons. pered with a voluntary submission to the subjection, without rights, and without most rigid subordination: the trial by even fimilar grievances to unite then jury too was understood and revered by would have been an easy prey to the prince all the northern inhabitants of Europe, in the meridian of his authority; and when they first appeared among the dege- despotism, encircled with a standing army, nerate nations that had lost it. Liberty, would have scattered terror through a driven from thie haunts of science and nation of flaves. civilization, seems to have fled with this

But happily for us, William's views talisman to the detarts, and to have given extended with his dominion: he forgot it to barbarians to revenge her injuries, that his barons (who were not bound by and to redeern her empire : in marking the their tenures to leave their own country) process of the constitution through the had followed him rather as companions in furnace of slavery, it must never be for- enterprize, than as vassals: he confided gotten, that such were our ancestors.

in a ftanding army of mercenaries; which When William had gained the victory he recruited on the continent; rivetted of Hastings, he marched towards London even on his own Normans, the worst with his victorious Normans, and found feodalieverities; and before the end of his (like other conquerors) an easy passage to reign, the English law the oppressors the throne when the prince is 1lain and his themselves among the number of the oparmy defeated; the English proffered prefied. him the peaceable possession of a kingdom This plan, pursued and aggravated by which he was in a condition to have leized his descendants, assimilated the heteroby force; rather chusing to see the brows geneous bodies of which the kingdom was of a victor encircled with a crown than composed : Norinans and English, barons with a helmet, and wishing rather to be and vaffuls, were obliged to unite in a governed by the sceptre than by the sword: common cause. Mr. de L'Olme, citizen he was therefore installed with all the of Geneva, by comparing the rise of folemnities of the Saxon coronation, and im- liberty in England with the fall of it in mediately afterwards annihilated all thofe France, has to clearly and ingeniously

, laws which these folemnities were instituted proved, that Magna Charta was obtained to perpetuate: le established his own feodal from this neceflity which the barons were system (the only one he understood); he under of forming an union with the peodivided all the lands of England into ple, that I Mail venture to consider it as knight's fees, to be holden of himself by a fact demonstrated, and shall proceed to military service; and as few. or none of an inquiry no less curious and important, the English had any share in this general where he and other writers have left a distribution, their estates being forfeited greater field for originality; I mean the from their adherence to Harold, and by rile of the English House of Commons, to subsequent rebellions, it is plain they its present distinct and representative could have no political consequence, fince staté. none but the vassals of the crown had The statute of Magna Charta, fo often seats in the feodal parliaments.

evaded, and 10 often folemnly re-eltaCould William have been contented blished, disseminated (it must be confessed) thus to have thared with his Norman those great and leading maxims on which barons the spoils of the conquered Eng- all the valuable privileges of civil governlish, and merely to have transferred his ment depend ; indeed the twenty-ninth feodal empire from Normandy to Great chapter contains every absolute right for

Britain, the facred fun of freedom had the security of which men enter into the probably then set upo! this island, never relative obligations of society: but prito have arisen any more; the Norinan vileges thus gained, and only maintained lords would have established that aristo- by the sword, cannot be called a consticracy which then distinguished the whole tution; after bearing a summer's blossom, feodal world, and when afterwards, by they may perifh as they grew, in the field the natural progression of that fingular of bittle: of little confequence are even system; when by the inevitable operation the most folemn charters, confirmed by of escheats and forfeitures, the crown legislative ratifications, if they who are must have attracted all that property the objects of them do not compofe part which originally isfied from it ; when of that power, without whose ccnsent they the barons themselves must have dropped cannot be repealed ; if they have no peacelike falling stars into the centre of power, able way of preventing their infringeand aristocracy been swallowed up in mo ment, nor any opportunity of vindicating narchy; the people already trained to their claims, till they have lost the benefit

of

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