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be manifest even to the most superficial thinker, that it is impossible to conceive the genesis of a geometrical figure, whether line, surface, or solid, without including the idea of motion. Let the imagination be brought for a moment to fix itself either upon the mere geometrical description of a circle, a sphere, or a cone ---or the actual existence of a material cube, or cylinder, &c. or the placing any such thing in a particular part of space to-day, where it was not yesterday,---or the want of a thing today, in a place where it was seen yesterday; and it will be found as unnatural to exclude the idea of motion from any such cases, as it would be to affirm there can be an effect without a cause. Hence, then, so far is it from being improper to introduce the idea of motion into this extensive class of enquiries, that it is impossible to leave it out. A speculatist may through some strange bias, fancy he is working independently of it; but there it is, notwithstanding. He may say, as Mr. Creswell does, that a variable quantity is that which may have any value within certain limits,' and thus exclude the term motion, while he retains the idea. For a mathematical quantity cannot vary without becoming greater or less, longer or shorter, broader or narrower, more or less crooked, or more or less straight; and how it can receive any such modifications without motion is a greater mystery than ever the boldest writer upon fluxions attempted to explain. Let us, then, hear no more of the impropriety of introducing the idea of motion into our algebraical investigations, till there is established a
new law of human thought, which will compel us to think of war without bloodshed, gardening without spades, machines without wheels and pinions, chemistry without acids and alkalies, and astronomical systems without suns and planets.
Art. II. A View of the Society and Manners of the North of Ireland,
in the Summer and Autumn of 1812. By J. Gamble, Esq. Author of “Sketches of History, Politics, &c. taken in Dublin, &c. in
1810.” 8vo. pp. 400. Price 10s. 6d. Cradock and Joy. 1813. IF the makers of books have no kind and grateful sentiments
towards the tribe of critics by profession, the latter must cling the more strongly to the faith that virtue is its own reward. They have the consciousness of much benevolent interest for their brethren of the paragraph vocation, for which they would perhaps hardly obtain credit with any class in this selfish age. Their friendly cares often take a direction and proceed a length which ordinary good-nature could never surmise. We ourselves, for example, cannot glance over a map of the globe without one gratifying consideration which we think we might put it to the conscience of the oldest philanthropist, out of our tribe, to say honestly whether he ever fell upon in his musings of charity. This benevolent idea is, what a vist field this terraqueous planet will afford for making books about. For authors' sake we rejoice the place is so wide and diversified. How happy for them, we are tempted to exclaim, that it is not some trivial satellite, from which they would have been doomed to look through trackless space at the bulky principal, with desponding envy to think how much mightier a quantity of continent and island has been there got together, for the express purpose of making books about and upon. Placing out of view the vast scope, the almost infinite possibilities, furnished by this huge assemblage of matter for the scientific writing which labours upon the general principles and qualities of its consistence, rather than its local divisions, we are delighted to cast our eye over the ample squares marked out by the intersections of its geographical lines, over the noble spaces of mountain and plain, over the mazy definition of so many thousand leagues of coast, and the scattered multitude of its islands, with the consideration that there is no terrene spot, of sufficient extent to appear as the smallest point on the map, but what is capable of being made, and probably waits to be made at some future time, the subject of a book. What a stupendous quantity of money and fame is safely treasured under the surface of all these regions, to be got out in due time by the legion of active bcok-making spirits destined to traverse them during the remaining ages of the world!
So eminent is the good fortune of this class of authors, that, should they be ever so numerous, the world that they have to divide among them for their subjects is big enough to afford every one a competent share; besides that almost every one spot may legitimately be made the subject of a long succession of books by as many adepts at the quill as can afford to explore or even visit it. But it will be proper to suggest a cautionary consideration relative to the progressive quality of such a succession of works. The foremost, in point of time, of these travelling workmen, have a grand advantage. Those who bring the first descriptions of foreign regions, with any tolerable indications of honesty, have a good chance of obtaining attention however indifferent may be their claims in the precise capacity of authors, The rudest journal of a hunter, or a Fakir, or a shipwrecked sailor, that could just write and could not spell, if it described a country before absolutely unknown to us, would be read with an interest which a vast portion of elegance, or wit, or some other fine quality would be required to excite in reading a trip to E linburgh, or to Paris-if indeed France had not relapsed into the number of nearly unknown countries. And almost the same welcome would be given to the humblest contributor's authentic report of a country of which we have previously learnt but just eno"gh to excite our impatient curiosity. Drury's account of Madagascar was in its day a more stimulant work than ever was Addison's Travels in Italy. And let any lionest man, who would give proof of his having the use of his eyes, obtain the good luck of living twelve months in a state of freedom in the interior of Japan, and then steal out and come to England with his Notes, or even recollections, and he may be very sure of reducing a dozen contemporary classical tourists to wait unopened on the shelf till he has told his story quite to the end.
But as the series of works, illustrative of any one piece of the earth, advances, and all pretensions to novelty of fact must be laid aside, readers naturally come to make great and growing demands on the publishing traveller for such qualities in his book as it can derive only from his own talents and accomplishments. When they think they know very well already what sort of a country it is, they become rather too proud to let him assume all the airs of being a superior man to themselves, on the mere strength of his having eaten a certain number of dinners, and having been conveyed, by his own or better feet, a certain number of miles, in a district of ground that they had never been disposed to pay the required fares of coach, packet, or hotel, in order to see with their own eyes.
Now, it may perhaps be allowed that Ireland has been till very recent times, one of those parts of the world of which we consciously knew so little, that a small portion of honest information, even though loaded with insignificant personal details, would be matter of stronger interest with us in a new book of travels than the finest shew of authorship, and that therefore a rather coarse or trifling performance might coinmand our attention by the advantage of its subject. Acknowledging this strange fact of our comparative ignorance, till lately, of Ireland, in both its physical and moral character, we at the same time think that the case is mending so fast, and that at length so considerable a measure of information has found its way into this country, that the time is quite come for putting an end to that suspension of the more rigorous laws of criticism with respect to the writers of travels in that island. They have had a good long day of indulgence for ostlers' and post-boys' jokes-tavern adventures-geographies of two or three great towns and the roads between them-civilities and dinners, or pretended dinners, at my Lords' or Sir Patrick's--sweepings, to the veriest dust, of the traditions of Dean Swift-drolleries about the community of men, pigs, and fowls in the occupancy of the same apartment-and the gambols of ragged or ragless brats on the road side to amuse the passengers.
must now begin to try at writing well, in some sense of the word, or reckon on being thrown into the rubbish of this division of literature, Mr. Gam-, ble's ought to be the very last book of the old series. Indeed, it would be very like defrauding not only the law, but the equity of criticism, to put his work on the protection of those precedents of lax adjudgement which have tended so much to encourage and encrease an evil that will not now be repressed without such a rigorous execution of critical law as will be loudly accused of harshness and malice.
The performance is of the scampering careless class, though it contains some matter of amusement, and as good a share of illustration of national character as we can expect from travelling reporters, till we can afford to send men of patient obser-servation and enlarged minds. The preface describes the work as a mixture of gloom and levity, and mentions, in explanation and excuse, a fact we are sorry to learn, the doubtful state of the author's sight, which has for some time suffered a distressing alternation between light and darkness. There might, however, have been a pensiveness or an elevation in the gloomy passages which would have more awakened the reader's sympathy, and a rectified spirit in the gaiety which would have given it a vivacity of effect which, the author may have yet to learn, it can never have by coarse jocularity.
The book has the advantage of a spirited beginning, in the relation of the voyage from Liverpool to Skerries, an adventure of dreadful peril. The captain, a 'drunken ruffian, having put to sea, persisted in going on in spite of the most unequivocal omens of tempestuous weather, which came upon them in all its violence toward the close of the second day, when they knew not where they were. The captain conjectured they could not be far from Drogheda; and though, in a night so utterly dark it would have been, even without a storm, a desperate hazard to drive thus blindly against the land, the measure was resolved on as the least hopeless thing in their choice. In the latter part of this fearful night the ship struck, but happily did not go to pieces till after all the persons on board had been conveyed to the shore by a large fishing boat. The author has given a very lively display of the moral scenes of the vessel during the storm and when it struck. There was a general and decided expectation of perishing; and he describes the course of his own thoughts, and the manners, the cries, and the devotions, of the rest of the condemned company, under the impression of this expectation. The most remarkable figure is made by a military Hon. Captain K—, a gay, intrepid, generous, and licentious young fellow, who had been in a number of the battles of the Peninsula. After the dreadful tumult and agony produced by the striking of the ship had somewhat subsided,
I observed,' he says, 'a very general disposition to kneel down and pray; there appeared to be no hope from man; they therefore
sought it from heaven, and, prostrate on the deck, snatched the few moments they could call their own, to recommend their souls to God. Captain K—, after kneeling a few moments, got up, and putting on his great coat, which he carefully buttoned up to the chin, said to me, (1 shall never forget the words) “now, I thank God, I am as ready to die, as ever I was to go to hunt.'
Mr. G. gives not the slightest hint whether he judged this an adequate preparation and a rational confidence, nor whether he thought even this short ceremony necessary for himself. Indeed, from various expressions in his book, we should be led to conclude that he would deem any sort of preparation little better than a waste of the time which he employed, or affects to have employed, in speculating on the scene around him. But why cannot we have the story from some other relater, to tell us whether this unbeliever in a future state did not play the same useful game as the redoubtable Volney in a nearly similar situation. We think it is very likely that even this Mr. Gamble did this once utter a prayer of emergency and fear,—though he might congratulate himself on soon recovering to a tone of feeling as little akin as possible to any such exercise ; and no doubt he still reverts to it as a manful and spirited thing, that a few hours after this deliverance from what he pronounces the
most terrible of deaths,' he could conclade the relation in the following sort of style.
• Sorrow has been always known to be dry; but besides drought, it gave us an appetite. We swallowed large potations of whisky till the breakfast was ready. It was so delicious that breakfast—long before that hour I had expected to be at one “not to eat, but to be eaten.” As to the devotions of the Hon. Captain KM, it will be easily judged how far they were indicative of any thing habitual in bis mind, when our author tells, and without much appearance of disapprobation, that on the evening of the day of this extraordinary escape, he endeavoured to entertain a grave clergyman and several ladies with boasting stories of his vicious gallantries, claiming the merit of a much greater degree of profligacy than Mr. G. affects to believe he could have been guilty of.
Our author's rambling began without delay, and was briskly prosecuted, in sundry modes of animal mechanism, through a succession of villages and towns, several of which have not yet become familiar in Irish tours. The narration dashes on as fast, except where it is suspended by a long story. It has considerable liveliness; not by means of wit or energy, but of a rough daring freedom of expression, a sort of impudent assumption to talk about any thing, in any manner, any where; a rude reeling sort of versatility, that frolics and founders this way and that, without design or rule, or ceremony or civility. He jokes, VOL. X.