Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

THE

LONDON REVIEW,

AND

LITERARY JOURNAL,

FOR APRIL, 1818.

QUID SIT PULCHRUM, QUID TURPE, QUID UTILE, QUID NON.

[ocr errors]

Personal Narrative of Travels to the ing, that it was at Caraccas that M.

Equinoctial Regions of the New Con. Humboldt discovered a spirit more anatinent, during the Yours 1799--1804, logous to that of European society--it by Alexander de Humboldl and Aimé was at Caraccas that Franklin was Bonpland. Wrillen in French by konoured and Washington adored. Alexander de Humboldt, and trans “ Caraccas is the capital of a country lated into English by Flelsn Maria which is nearly twice as large at Peru at Williams. Pol. III.

present, and wbich yields little in extent

to the kingdom of New Grenada. This Ne continuation of M. Humboldt's country, which the Spanish government when every subject covaected with the General de Caraccas, or of the (united) Şouthern Continent of America acquires provinces of Venezuela, bas nearly a augmented interest and importance. million of inhabitants, among whom But independent of circumstances wbich are sixty thousand slaves. It contains, adventitiously enhance the value of the along the coast, New Andalusia, or the present volume, we are persuaded it will provioce of Cumana (with the island of be found to possess peculiar attractions Margaretta), Barcelona, Venezuela or for the general reader : it is more co Caraccas, Coro, and Maracaybo; in the pious in those personal details which interior, the provinces of Varinas and universally interest and please ; it offers Guiana, the first along the rivers of striking examples of that peculiar style Santo Domingo and the Apure, the seof description in which M. Humboldt is cond along the Oroonoko, the Casi. confessedly without a rival; and, above quiare, the Atabapo, and the Rio Ne. all (for the uoscientific public), it affords gro. In a general view of the seven more accurate information respecting united provinces of Terra Firma, we the geography, the agriculture, the civil perceive, that they form three distinct and political state of this immense coun- zones, extending from east to west. try, than has been supplied by any pre

" We find at first cultivated land ceding writer.

along the shore, and near the chain A considerable part of this work is of the mountains on the coast; next occupied by an account of the Chayma savannahs or pasturages; and, finally, nations, and of the religious establish- beyond the Oroonoko, a third zone, ments which, under the name of Mise that of the forests, into which we can sions, prevail in New Audalusia. M. penetrate ouly by means of the rivers Hunboldt gives a pleasing sketch of that traverse them. If the native inhathe monks with whom he associated bitants of the forests lived entirely on at Caripe, and a delicious picture of the produce of the chace, like those of his own contemplative and philosophi- the Missoury, we might say, that the cal existence. To this is appended a three zones, into which we have di. masterly disquisition on the Chayma vided the territory of Venezuela, preJavguage, and ou the constitution of sent an image of the three states of Indian and Colonial society. We pre- human society : the life of the wild face the following extract by remark- huuter, in the woods of the Oroonoko ; Europ. Mag. Vol. LXXIII. April 1819.

Uu

the pastoral life, in the savannahs, or and the Biscayans of Mexico,

the Cata. lanos; aod the agricultural, in the high lonians of Buenos Ayres, differ essenvallies, and at the foot of the mountains tially in their aptitude for agriculture, on the coast. Missionary monks and a the mechanic arts, commerce, and the few soldiers occupy here, as in all Ame objects connected with the unfolding of rica, advanced posts on the frontiers of the intellect. Each of those races has Brazil. In this first zone are felt the preserved, in the New as in the Old preponderance of force, and the abuse World, the shades that constitute its of power, which is a necessary conse national physiognoiny ; its barshness or quence. The natives carry on a civil mildness of character; its moderation, war, and sometimes devour one another. or its excessive desire of gain ; its kind The monks endeavour to augment the hospitality, or its taste for solitude. little villages of their missions, by avail. In the countries where the population ing themselves of the dissension of the is for the most part composed of Indians natives. The military live in a state of and mingled casts, the difference, that hostility with the monks, whom they manifests itself between the Europeans were iutended to protect. Every thing and their descendants, cannot indeed be offers alike the melancholy picture of so strongly marked, as that which was misery and privations. We shall soon observed anciently in the colonies of bave occasion to examine more closely Ionian and Doric origin. The Spaniards that state of man, which is vaunted as a transplanted to the torrid zone baviog state of nature by those who inhabit become, under new skies, strangers to towos. lo the second region, in the the remembrances of their motherplains and the pasture grounds, food country, must bave felt more sensible is extremely abundant, but has little changes than the Greeks settled on the variety. Although more advanced in coasts of Asia Minor, and of Italy, the civilization, men without the circle of climates of which differ so little from some scattered towns do not remain less those of Athens and Corinth. It cannot isolated from one another. At the view be denied, that the character of the of their dwellings, parlig, covered with Spanish Americans has received difskins and leather, it would seem, that, ferent modifications from the physical far from being fixed, they are scarcely constitution of the country; the isoencamped ju those vast meadows, which lated site of the capitals on the tableextend to the horizon. Agriculture, lands, or in the vicinity of the coasts ; which alone lays the basis, and draws the agricultural life; the labour of the closer the ties of society, occupies the mines, and the habit of commercial third zone, the shore, and especially the speculations : but in the inbabitants hot and temperate valleys in the moun. of Caraccas, Santa Fe, Quito, and Bue. tains near the sea.”

nos Ayres, we recognize every where

something that belongs to the race, and " Where we seek to form a precise the situation of the people.” idea of those vast provinces, which have M. Humboldt discovered most scibeen governed for ages, almost like se ence at Mexico, most literature at Lima, parate states, by viceroys and captains- and the most enlightened views of pogeneral, we must fix our attention at licy in the Caraccas, where Washington once on' several points. We must dis was mentioned with veneration. In a tinguish the parts of Spanish America population of fifteen millions, diffused that are opposite to Asia, from those over the contineut, he computes three ihat are bathed by the Atlantic Ocean; millions of the Creoles, or Hispanowe must discuss, as we have already Americans, allowing only two bundred done, where the greatest portion of the thousand Europeans, population is placed; whether near the though unequally distributed, amouut coast, or concentrated in the interior, to a considerable number. Slavery in on the cold and temperate table-lands general assunies a milder form in the of the Cordilleras. We must verify the Spanish colonies ; yet the most atronumerical proportions between the na cious outrages are of committed, tives and other casts ; search into the to which the legislature affords no reorigin of the European families ; and dress. examine to what race, in each part of We are tempted to present another the colonies, the greater number of sbort extract, in which M. Humboldt whites belong. The Andalusian-Cana- demonstrates that philosophy is not in. rians of Venezuela, the Mountaineers, compatible with poetry, and that the

The negroes,

was

laborious researches of science do not of les Missions Etrangers, where he impede the exercise of a cultivated remained many years, eminently dis. taste.

tinguished by his moral and religious “ Nothing can be compared to the conduct, and hy his strict performance impression of majestic tranquillity which of his appropriate duties. In 1779, he the aspect of the firmament inspires in was introduced to the court by being this solitary region-following with the made Confessor to the Princess Elizaeye, at the entrance of the night, those beth. From this moment he was demeadows that bound the horizon, ibose voted to the Royal Family, whom he plains covered with verdure and gently followed through all the vicissitudes undulated, we thought we saw from of fortuve, with unshaken faith and afar, as in the deserts of the Oroonoko, fidelity: the surface of the ocean supporting the Involved in the revolutionary perstarry vault of heaven; the tree under seculion common to all the friends wbich we were seated, the luminous and partizans of that unfortunate jusects fiying in the air, the constel. family, he found it prudent to withlations that appeared toward the south, draw from Paris to Choisy, where, every object seemed to tell us, that however, he was not permitted to rewe were far from our native soi!- nain in privacy. The occasion of his ifamid this exotic nature the bellowing recall is related by binuself, in a man. of a cow, or the roaring of a bull, were ner at once so interesting and so 'simbeard froin the depth of a valley, the ple, that we cannot forbear to extract remembrance of our country it for our readers. It affords, indeed, a awakened, suddenly; in the sound they fair specimen of the work; the iotriu. were like distant voices resounding sic value of which is mucb enhanced by from beyond the ocean, and with ma the judicious forbcarance of the Editor; gical power transporting us from one in permitting the Abbé's genuine epishemisphere to the other.”

tolary composition to appear without correcting even those Gallic idioms

which lend the stamp of ubadulterated Lellers from the Abbé Edgeworth to his

authenticity, Friends, wrillen belween the Years

" The unfortunate Lewis XVI. fore. 1777 and 1807, wilh Memoirs of his seeing to what lengths tive malice of bis Life. By the Rev. Thomas R. Eng

cnemies was likely to go, and resolved land. 1818.

to be prepared at all events, cast his To rescue from oblivion the memory eyes on me to assist him in his last of superior virtue, to vindicate religion, moments, if condemned to die ; but and to give digoity to human nature, by would not make any application to the exbibiting in his native colours one of ruling party, nor even mention my the most valuable and distinguished name without my consent. The mese characters of the day in which he lived sage he sent was moving beyond ex—such is the avowed and laudable ob pression, and worded in a manner ject of the present very interesting pubo which I never shall forget. A king, lication.

though in chains, had a right to comThe Abbé Edgeworth was in the num mand ; but he commanded not. My ber of those who shared in the perils and attendance was requested, merely as calamilies of the French Revolution: a pledge of my affection for him but although it is notorious that he at. as a favour which he hoped I would tended the ill-fated Louis to the scaffold, not refuse ; but, as the service was bis exemplary character bas hitherto likely to be allended with some danger been little known, and but imperfectly for me, he dared not insist, and only appreciated.

prayed (in case I deemed the dunger The Abbé was born at Edgeworth's to be too greal) to point out to him Tower, in Ireland, from whence bis a clergy man wurthy of his confidence, father, a Protestaot clergyman, thought but less known than I was myself: it advisable to emigrate, with his family, leaving the person absolutely to my in consequeoce of having embraced the choice. Catholic persuasion. From this period “ This message, as you may believe, his second son Heory was destined for gave me more to think than any mes the church. Having completed his aca sage I had received in iny life. The demical studies, he removed to Paris, geoeral opinion was, that the clergy. and became an iomate in the seminary man called to that awful ministry would

was

a

not survive the prince; and it must wards the side or which the rank be allowed, that the borrid policy that seemed to have less depth. All eyes prevailed at that time made this opi- were fixed on me, as you may suppose, niou probable enough. However, as but as soon as I reached the first line, far as I can judge, this consideration to my great surprise, no resistance was was out the one which preyed most made : the second line opened in the upon my mind; and if I do not de.

same manner; and when I got to the lude myself, I was perfectly resigned fourth or fifth, my coat being a comto my fate. But the confusion in which mon surtout (for I was not permitted, I saw the largest diocess of France, on this occasion, to hear any exterior now committed to my care,

marks of a priest), I was absolutely lost consideration of far greater weight with in the crowd, and no more noticed me, as I clearly saw myself lost for it, than if I had been a simple spectator whether I survived the King or not. of a scene which for ever will dishonour However, being obliged to take my France." party upon the spol, I resolved to conply with what appeared to be, at that moment, the call of Almighty God;

Sensibility, the Stranger, and other and committing to his providence all

Poems. By W.C. Harvey. Poolscap the rest, I made answer to the most

8vo. pp. 319. unfortunate of kings, That whether If the poetry of the present day was as he lived or died, I would be his friend generally profitable to its authors, as is to the last.'

the case with a few highly gifted indivi“ As soon as I had given the final an- duals, we should cease to be surprised at swer, I received orders to remain in the constant and unceasing increase of Paris, and not to stir out of my house volumes, similar to that before us. until' I saw what turn affairs would The case is, however, far, very far, take. Many days elapsed ; and I leave otherwise ; and to the love of fame, you to judge, in wbat tortures of mind rather than the desire of riches, must ibey were spent. However, 1 profited we look for the source of that unabating of them, to put my affairs in order : to food of poetry which sometimes make ny will, and provide, as well threatens to overwhelm us. The preas I could, for the diocess, in case sent production is scarcely in any res. of death."

pect distinguished from the multitude The Abbé continues to describe his of its compeers. The language is in impressions at that agonizing moment most instances correct and elegant, and when he had just witnessed the last the fables are jo geveral appropriate struggles of bis injured sovereign. and interesting: but in the present age,

“"You will undoubtedly be curious this is scarcely to be termed a compli. by what luck 1 escaped the danger, ment, as the art of writing good poetry which both friends and foes apprehendo appears of much easier acquisition tban ed on this occasion, for my life. To formerly ; and though our great poets this, the only answer I can give is, Ibat are not, perhaps, increased io pumber, I really know it not: all that I can say our second-rate bards are certainly far is, that as soon as the fatal biow was superior to those of any former æra. given, I fell upon my knees, and thus Youth, our author tells us, might be remained until the vile wretch, who offered as an apology for bad rhyrning i acted the principal part in this horrid but he wishes not * to propitiale cri. tragedy,came with shouts of joy, show: ticism by any such assertion :" of ing the bieeding head to the mob, and course, he does not deprecate our scsprivkling me with the blood that verily, and has no rigbi, therefore, to streamed from it. Then, indeed, I expect a leniency which he does not thought it time to quit the scaffold; solicit. The present Poems, however, but casting my eyes round about, 1 require not the advantage of any such saw myself invested by twenty or tbirty triie excuse; and with a general apthousand men in arms; and to pierce proval of the volume, we will point the crowd, seened to me a foolish, ont only two defects, as being those attempt. However, as I must take which our critical duties would not that party, or, by remaining, appear permit us to pass over.- Page 199 cogto share the public joy, my only re. Lajos a most palpable plagiarism from a source was, to recommend myself to poem generally attributed to the pen of Providence, and steer my course to. Lord Byron, and so little altered, as to

.

indace us to suppose, that the soi-disant any other false religion. In the six author must have long siuce given over thousand years which the world has blushing as an inconvenient appendage counted, scourges and evils of every to authorship; the other blameable sort have existed, and Muhammedanism piece, occurs at page 261, and should after Christianity, is no greater proof the work ever bappily reach a second of the failure of the divine goodness, edition, we hope Mir. Harvey will make than the existence of Paganism before the amende honorable for these impro- it. prieties in his first.

T. The volume now under notice, pre

sents us with a liberal view of the his

tory and actual state of the professors An Hislory of Muhammedanism : com of Islamisın, with the causes and mode

prising the Life and Character of the of the establishment of the religion : Arabian Prophet, and succinct Ac. and no writer could select a more incounts of the Empires founded by the teresting subject. It comprises a perind Muhammedan Arms: an Inquiry into of twelve hundred years; it covers a ike Theology, Moralily, Lows, lite- large space of geography, and it is conrature, and Usages of the Muselmans, nected with the temporal and spiritual and a View of the presenl Slule and happiness of a population scarcely inEstent of the Muhammelan religion. ferior to the Christian world. If the By Charles Mills. The Second Edi- subject be interesting, the mode of tion, revised and augmented. pp. 490: trealing it is equally difficult, and these

Tøe analogy between the natural and two circumstances have a reciprocal moral worlds suggests many arguments influence in estimating the merits of capable of removiug the secret doubts the work before us. Difficulty will of the wavering, and of repelling the beget candor in the reader, and interest open blasphemy of the infidel. Though will forbid presumption in the writer. analogical reasoning is not ibe highest More than half of this volume is occu. species of proof, yet it has its merits, pied with a sketch of the annals of the and those are peculiar. Moral cer- various people who have embraced tainty may be attained by the evidence Islamism, so far as those annals are of focis, and may produce submission connected with the establishment of of miod, but reasonableness is as im the religion. The grand and general portant as authority; and when we features of this portion of hisiory, the know that any objections to Christianity causes and consequences of events are strike at the rooi of religion altogether, all that are insportapt. The details are ibe most daring sceptic will pause ever the same, ever savage, brutal, and before he runs into the dreary wastes of sanguinary. Yet in this map of human Atheism. The existence of evil in the woe, the philosophical observer of man moral world, the varied dispensation of casts his eye on some particular characthe gifts of Providence to the natural, ters. Our attention is arrested by the are facts plain, palpable, and solemn; author of a mighty revolution. Panaand imply the agency and creation of ticism gave rise to his empire, and the some superior Being. The gradual pro. word spread it from the Ganges to gression of nature's works is evident to Gibraltar. Mahmud, the founder of the most careless enquirer, and that the Muhammedan sovereignties in India, great law and principle must rise into and Tamerlane, are names familiar in the inind, whenever it is templed to ask our mouths; but Zingis was the greatest the question, why Christianity was not of all the Tartarian heroes. His power contemporaneous with the birth of died not with him. When he descended time. The variegated appearance of the into Persia with four hundred thousand natural and intellectual worlds, is as men, he did not head the undisciplined strikiog as the fact is true, that the sun rabble of Tartary, but a well governed of Christianity has as yet but partially people; and at his death he left a fair shone. Comparative similarity of de and ample in heritance to his children. sigu, appears in nature and grace; and Mr. Mills' comparative view of Zingis reason and revelation cry aloud, that and Tiniour, is one of tbe best executed the God of this earth and the God of passages, and the most original portion the Christians are the same. If, then, of the historical part of his book. It inequality does not imply imperfection, is, however, too long for an excerpt. we caunot wonder at the origin and When the din of arms bad ceased, continuance of the Muhammedan, or 'and the standard of Islamism was dis

« AnteriorContinuar »