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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 they 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 ly 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 Saritcheff's account of the to 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 meaning 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 due 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 cunning 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 Kolyma. 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 mur, 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 impropriety of taking from those youths a com- 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 at- journey, which was full of shoals and rapids, and have come from a chief. 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 flavour; and the pastures them that two nartes 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, highly beautiful; and the river af. sent, 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 dis pleasure.' 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 apașt. 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 fine pastures, but our provipounds weight. To make such a present in ad- Cochrane tells us of one who “grumbled” or the last of the rein-deer, the flesh 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, however 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 swim
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 vated 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-be month of September. We lost one horse, 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 which was carried by the stream into the Okota.
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 Okota. 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 horses 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 then asked, " of what use I could possibly be to but in common justice to the Captain, we halted, and next morning found 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 bad 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 Toion, 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
was in the fair, and demanded who and what meat one half. A hurricane coining or we were mode. Necessity at last compelled me, and havhe 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 shrub 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 bis expe. where the horses could not by scraping with their in safety; and, instantly throwing off my clothes, ditions.
feet reach the earth in scarch of food; bere, how-took violent exercise. The breadth of the swimThe weather proved exceedingly cold in January the snow; and indeed the poor animals seemed to yards, and across the strength of the stream possibly
the thing was impossible, from the depth of ming part might only have been fifteen or twenty 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 acknowlwind 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 frust of Fahrenheit never appear times good pasturage is to be had in this part of the Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, and John to affect us in calm weather so much as ten or fif- valley.
Cochrane the Okota. Of the two feats, mine was seen 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, nor compelled to his unbed 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 rafts; į The Young Scholar's Manual, or Compan-capacities of children; and its principal somewhat after this fashion.
ion to the Spelling Book. By T'itus 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 apon the other side, appeared alike to field, Mass. 1822. 16io. 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 paupon the raft, composed of ten logs of trees about fifteen feet long, crossed by five others, and crossed
M. Greenfield, Mass. 1824., 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. The spars were lashed together by leather 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 length. Each spar was alsn 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 be strong enough to resist a severe concussion, We This duty is rendered the more imperious,
exist. Some of the errors are typographalso provided ourselves with drift spars formed into oars, 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 dauger, and keep in the centre of the river.
-a bad 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 the 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 river widening. I began to congratulate my conpanions on the probability of breakfasting the next commend a book, merely from “ looking part of the scholars.” It is hard copying day in Okotsk, but as yet I had not got upon the over its pages ;” and those who do, debase such clumsy sentences; but the next is not
better. proper side of the stream, the islands and shoals equally their learning and their virtue.
“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 spellout cause, for upon rounding a point of land, we ob- tions and answers on such subjects, with a ing, ought not to exceed three in number." served 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 orer 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, use. 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 singimpossible to avoid being wrecked. The Cossack 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 raft was actu- and also the figures, as used by Walk- lous and useless, except that which recom.
rose so high out of the water that it completel, 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 down 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 “orisland about one hundred yards below. In the the ninth to grammar. These should have thodox” man, and some persons will object
; in the bow, I could not hold on the raft as my com- been omitted, for they will give no informa- to several of his expressions. Cannot a panions 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 my body was sucked under, and no part of me was 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
adapted to the occasion? Will it not be tree. I was throwing off my upper park, when the
Q. Of what does Geometry treat? 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
Q. What is an angle?
We are surprised that the author as he *hat the rast upset, as otherwise it could not have brought up ai the island; which it did in conse
A. An angle is the inclination of two lines which undertakes to direct the religious exercises
meet but not in the same direction. 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 state of slavery still ex- Q. What are clouds?
them as a substitute for common reading isting in Russia, which appears to us as severe
A They are vapours or fogs which foar in the lessons; but as a religious exercise, they in some instances as that of the Indians and air com 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 falle tolle ground, they before the morning prayer.
and in weather hail snow. previous to the revolution in that country. Q. What causes an eclipse of the sun ?
The « Rules for Reading” are said to be We think the book will furnish a few A. The moon casting its shadow ir 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 l'e 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
What's the use of't?
Trans. first, 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 feea be 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 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 author,” says Montesquieu, and leading object with every instructor.”
Illustrated 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 per Rule 3. As the art of reading depends much on distinguished mineralogists in Europe. The son endowed with a good memory.” This the
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 dis- where he characterizes poets, as s authors,
Does this mean that we should take tinct and intelligible manner, and are am- whose profession it is to impose shackles breath at every stop? A worse rule cannot ply
illustrated by neatly executed diagrams. on good sense, and to bury reason under be given. Try it by reading.
The principle upon which the reflective
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 minera!- 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 imquestions 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 Crystallog: world, and is liable to have his pocket inflection the next time he interrogates his raphy. Those who are not in the habit of
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 who 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
grubs, busily occupied with the outer rind consult Walker's Rhetorical Grammar.
We have not time to notice the other er- will derive great assistance from the "Ta- tal mind which presides over it; and these rors in this part of the work. On page
bles of the Modifications of the Primary again despise the metaphysician as a shal38, we observe the first verse of the forty- 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
of simple secondary forms with each other, self. The treasures of the antiquarian are interpolation. The typographical errors, especially in punctuation, are very numer- and 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 men- known classes of the primary.
The fourth section contains a full explan- former. In short, every profession recipe
in the matter-of-fact apprehension of the tioned. We should render to every man his
ation of the symbols used in the description rocates a most cordial contempt for its opdue. This injustice is becoming common, but we see no excuse for it. of the secondary forms of crystals, and of
posite; and the man of pleasure, who has The errors which we have noticed, are the method of applying them. 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 above an outline of the method of applying the Even different branches of the same pur. should not have been sanctioned by recommendations from the Presidents of Bowdoin theory of decreinents, 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, " loll? of 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
* It was the intention of the learned author of savant et pédant sont synonymes.” has not fully accomplished his object of the above work to have published an edition in this 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
the J. Webster, snle be said, that too many of his pieces assume at the cost in London, viz
. $3,50. Orders for the severity to the cynical standard of the a very grave tone of morality, and hence work may be addressed to Cummings, Hilliard, & cui bono? The collector of facts, the are unnecessarily tedious to children. ButCo., No. 1, Cornhill.
practical man of science, nay the vulgar
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" shines 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 perfidious 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 constant suggestin 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 formas is known, however, to have been guilty author of a very beautiful essay on the Somnia vana jacent ef bad verses himself, 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. ration of Numa, the patriotism of Brutus, abusing it.” Nous ne pouvons pas y attein- added to those sober and practical views of it may be, and many other beautiful images, dre, vengeons nous par en médire. Pascal, utility,” by which the nation is distinto which our fancies have fondly clung in his terrible “ Pensées," declares that guished.
from earliest childhood, must all be aban“honest people make no distinction be- But should the man of fiction be inclined doned as dreams (Douce ovsugos, 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
like the telescope-if we may call upon a mathematician. Every one knows what ind himself to have so decidedly the ad- this instrument to do us service once moresmall account Locke has made of poetry, in vantage as might at first be suspected. sees clearest into the remotest objects. his valuable treatise on Education. Poetry Take the historian for example. What- What shall we believe of Carthage, that and gaming, which usually go together, are ever be his accomplishments as a fine writ- strange paradox of a faithless, sarage 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 fect 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. Every body 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 to be given to the author of the Fairy mous fictions of the Asiatic and Egyptian the liberties of Rome? What of Tiberius, beth, upon her ordering a hundred pounds chronicle of events. To pass by the enor- bis country? Of Pompey, the disinterest
ed patriot or the politic conspirator against 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 posterinot be multiplied of the bigotted partiality has himself seen,” say his advocates, “ is to ty? Who can gravely give credit to all of the most liberal minds for their own pe- be believed.” And is this all! Out of this 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, especially when these lasted, to which the historian can personally prea, of the incestuous incendiary Nero, or seem to shrink from a trial of their own testify! His books,“ poetæ mendacia dul- of Caligula conferring the consulship upon worth, at the merciless ordeal of the cui cia," have indeed other claims than their
his horse. 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, economy, 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 bow,” 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, reprewhat 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 proberless obliquities 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 bad In the detence which we bave 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 enof 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 bim immediate conviction of the you, that sweep away all your previous con- of Tyrtæus, the sentence pronounced upon usefulness of his labours. “No man,” 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,-had 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
But, says 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, "have 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 illo 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 unwholesome 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 All his honest intentions, to detect the one copies from hearsay or written report, the vicious from grosser pleasures, and shed a