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vice, but exalt to virtue ?-which open to the longer be delayed. Our wealth is so great, n peasant, equally with the prince, that pure has come on us so suddenly, it will corrupt if gratification which arises to all alike from the it does not refine; if not directed to the arts contemplation of the grand and the beautiful which raised Athens to immortality, it will in Art and in Nature? We have now reached sink us to those which hurled Babylon to per that point where such an election can no Idition.
It is remarkable, that although England is and though numerous and valuable books of the country in the world which has sent forth travels, as works of reference, load the shelves the greatest number of ardent and intrepid of our libraries, there are surprisingly few travellers to explore the distant parts of the which are fitted, from the interest and vivacity earth, yet it can by no means furnish an array of the style in which they are written, to posof writers of travels which will bear a compa- sess permanent attractions for mankind. rison with those whom France can boast. In One great cause of this remarkable peculiskilful navigation, daring adventure, and heroic arity is without doubt to be found in the widely perseverance, indeed, the country of Cook and different education of the students in our uniDavis, of Bruce and Park; of Mackenzie and versities, and our practical men. In the forBuckingham, of Burckhardt and Byron, of Par- mer, classical attainments are in literature the ry and Franklin, may well claim the pre-emi- chief, if not exclusive, objects of ambition; nence of all others in the world. An English- and in consequence, the young aspirants for man first circumnavigated the globe; an fame, who issue from these learned retreats, Englishman alone has seen the fountains of have their minds filled with the charms and the Nile; and, five years after the ardent spi-associations of antiquity, to the almost entire rit of Columbus had led his fearful crews exclusion of objects of present interest and imacross the Atlantic, Sebastian Cabot dis- portance. The vigorous practical men, again, covered the shores of Newfoundland, and who are propelled by the enterprise and exerplanted the British standard in the regions tions of our commercial towns, are sagacious destined to be peopled with the overflowing and valuable observers; but they have seldom multitudes of the Anglo-Saxon race.
the cultivated minds, pictorial eye, or powers But if we come to the literary works which of description, requisite to convey vivid or inhave followed these ardent and energetic ef- teresting impressions to others. Thus our forts, and which are destined to perpetuate scholars give us little more than treatises on their memory to future times the interesting inscriptions, and disquisitions on the sites of discoveries which have so much extended our ancient towns; while the accounts of our acknowledge and enlarged our resources--the tive men are chiefly occupied with commercial contemplation is by no means, to an inhabitant inquiries, or subjects connected with trade and of these islands, equally satisfactory. The navigation. The cultivated and enlightened traBritish traveller is essentially a man of en- veller, whose mind is alike open to the charm ergy and action, but rarely of contemplation of ancient story and the interest of modern or eloquence. He is seldom possessed of the achievement-who is classical without being scientific acquirements requisite to turn to the pedantic, graphic and yet faithful, enthusiastic best account the vast stores of new and original and yet accurate, discursive and at the same information which are placed within his reach. time imaginative, is almost unknown amongst He often observes and collects facts; but it is us. It will continue to be so as long as eduas a practical man, or for professional pur- cation in our universities is exclusively devotposes,
rather than as a philosopher. The ge- ed to Greek and Latin verses, or the higher manius of the Anglo-Saxon race-bold, sagacious, thematics; andin academies, to book-keeping and interprising, rather than contemplative and the rule of three; while so broad and sul and scientific-nowhere appears more strongly len a line as heretofore is drawn between the than in the accounts of the numerous and in studies of our scholars and the pursuits of our trepid travellers whom they are continually practical citizens. To travel to good purpose sending forth into every part of the earth. We requires a mind stored with much and varied admire their vigour, we are moved by their hard- information, in science, statistics, geography, ships, we are enriched by their discoveries; literature, history, and poetry. To describe but if we turn to our libraries for works to con- what the traveller has seen, requires, in addı vey to future ages an adequate and interesting tion to this, the eye of a painter, the soul of a account of these fascinating adventures, we poet, and the hand of a practised composer. Proshall, in general, experience nothing but dis- bably it will be deemed no easy matter to find appointment. Few of them are written with such a combination in any country or in any the practised hand, the graphic eye, necessary age; and most certainly the system of education, to convey vivid pictures to future times; neither at our learned universities nor our com
mercial academies, is fitted to produce it. * Blackwood's Magazine, Nov. 1844.
It is from inattention to the vast store
previous information requisite to make an ac- l works have been given to the world. Four complished traveller, and still more a writer among these stand pre-eminent, whose works, of interesting travels, that failures in this in very different styles, are at the head of Eubranch of literature are so glaring and so fre- ropeon literature in this interesting department quent. In other departments of knowledge, -Humboldt, Chateaubriand, Michaud, and Laà certain degree of information is felt to be martine. Their styles are so various, and the requisite before a man can presume to write impressions produced by reading them so disa book. He cannot produce a treatise on ma- tinct, that it is difficult to believe that they have thematics without knowing at least Euclid, arisen in the same nation and age of the world. nor a work on history without having read Humboldt is, in many respects, and perhaps Hume, nor on political economy without upon the whole, at the head of the list; and to having acquired a smattering of Adam Smith. his profound and varied works we hope to be But in regard to travels, no previous informa- able to devote a future paper. He unites, in tion is thought to be requisite. If the person a degree that perhaps has never before been who sets out on a tour has only money in his witnessed, the most various qualities, and pocket, and health to get to his journey's end, he which, from the opposite characters of mind is deemed sufficiently qualified to come out which they require, are rarely found in unison. with his two or three post octavos. If he is A profound philosopher, an accurate observer an Honourable, or known at Almack's, so much of nature, an unwearied statist, he is at the the better; that will ensure the sale of the first same time an eloquent writer, an incomparaedition. If he can do nothing else, he can at ble describer, and an ardent friend of social least tell the dishes which he got to dinner at improvement. Science owes to his indefatithe inns, and the hotels where comfortable gable industry many of her most valuable acbeds are to be found. This valuable informa- quisitions ; geography, to his intrepid persetion, interspersed with a few descriptions of verance, many of its most important discovescenes, copied from guide-books, and anecdotes ries; the arts, to his poetic eye and fervid elopicked up at tables-d'hôte or on board steam- quence, many of their brightest pictures. He boats, constitute the stock in trade of many an ünites the austere grandeur of the exact adventurer who embarks in the speculation sciences to the bewitching charm of the fine of paying by publication the expenses of his arts. It is this very combination which pretravels. We have no individuals in view in vents his works from being generally popular. these remarks; we speak of things in general, The riches of his knowledge, the magnitude as they are, or rather have been; for we be- of his contributions to scientific discovery, lieve these .ephemeral travels, like other ephe- the fervour of his descriptions of nature, almerals, have had their day, and are fast dying ternately awaken our admiration and excite out. The market has become so glutted with our surprise; but they oppress the mind. To them that they are, in a great many instances, be rightly apprehended, they require a reader unsaleable.
in some degree familiar with all these subjects, The classical lavellers of England, from and how many of these are to be met with? Addison to Eustace and Clarke, constitute an The man who takes an interest in his scienti. important and valuable body of writers in this fic observations will seldom be transported by branch of literature, infinitely superior to the his pictures of scenery; the social observer, fashionable tours which rise up and disappear who extracts the rich collection of facts which like bubbles on the surface of society. It is he has accumulated regarding the people whom impossible to read these elegant productions he visited, will be indifferent to his geographiwithout feeling the mind overspread with the cal discoveries. There are few Humboldts charm which arises from the exquisite remains either in the reading or thinking world. and heart-stirring associations with which they Chateaubriand is a traveller of a wholly are filled. But their interest is almost exclu- different character. He lived entirely in antisively classical; they are invaluable to the ac- quity; but it is not the antiquity of Greece complished scholar, but they speak in an un- and Rome which has alone fixed his regards, known tongue to the great mass of men. They as it has done those of Clarke and Eustace-itis see nature only through the medium of anti- the recollections of chivalry, the devout spirit quity; beautiful in their allusion to Greek or of the pilgrim, which chiefly warmed his arRoman remains, eloquent in the descriptions dent imagination. He is universally allowed of scenes alluded to in the classical writers, by Frenchmen of all parties to be their first they have dwelt little on the simple scenes of writer; and it may be conceived what brilliant the unhistoric world. To the great moral and works an author of such powers, and emisocial questions which now agitate society, and nently gifted both with the soul of a poet and SO strongly move the hearts of the great body the eye of a painter, must have produced in of men, they are entire strangers. Their works describing the historic scenes to which his are the elegant companions of the scholar or pilgrimages extended. He went to Greece and the antiquary, not the heart-stirring friends of the Holy Land with a mind devout rather than the cottage on the fireside.
enlightened, credulous rather than inquisitive. Inferior to Britain in the energy and achieve- Thirsting for strong emotions, he would be ments of the travellers whom she has sent satisfied; teeming with the recollections and forth, and beyond measure beneath her in the visions of the past, he traversed the places amount of the addition she has made to geo- hallowed by his early affections with the fondgraphical science, France is yet greatly supeness of a lover who returns to the home of rior, at least of late years, in the literary and his bliss, of a mature man who revisits the sci tainments of the wanderers whose scenes of his infancy. He cared not to inquire
Enchantment's visions draws,
what was true or what was legendary in these from either. He has not the devout credulity time-hallowed traditions; he gladly accepted of the first, nor the antiquarian zeal and knowthem as they stood, and studiously averted all ledge of the last; but he is superior to either inquiry into the foundation on which they in the description of nature, and the painting rested. He wandered over the Peloponnesus vivid and interesting scenes on the mind of or Judea with the fond ardour of an English the reader. His work is a moving panorama, scholar who seeks in the Palatine Mount the in which the historic scenes and azure skies, traces of Virgil's enchanting description of and placid seas, and glowing sunsets, of the the hut of Evander, and rejects as sacrilege east, are portrayed in all their native brilevery attempt to shake his faith.
liancy, and in richer even than their native " When Science from Creation's face
colours. His mind is stored with the associa
tions and the ideas of antiquity, and he has What lovely visions yield their place
thrown over his descriptions of the scenes of To cold material laws!"
Greece, or Holy Writ, all the charms of such Even in the woods of America, the same rul- recollections; but he has done so in a more ing passion was evinced. In those pathless general and catholic spirit than either of his solitudes, where no human foot had ever trod predecessors. . He embarked for the Holy but that of the wandering savage, and the Land shortly before the revolution of 1830; majesty of nature appeared in undisturbed and his thoughts, amidst all the associations repose, his thoughts were still of the Old of antiquity, constantly reverted to the land Worid. It was on the historic lands that his of his fathers its distractions, its woes, its heart was set. A man himself, he dwelt on ceaseless turmoil, its gloomy social prospects. the scenes which had been signalized by the Thut with all his vivid imagination and unrideeds, the sufferings, the glories of man. valled powers of description, the turn of his
Michaud's mind is akin to that of Chateau- mind is essentially contemplative. He looks briand, and yet different in many important on the past as an emblem of the present; he particulars. The learned and indefatigable sees, in the fall of Tyre, and Athens, and Jeruhistorian of the Crusades, he has traversed salem, the fate which one day awaits his own the shores of the Mediterranean-the scene, country; and mourns less the decay of human as Dr. Johnson observed, of all that can ever things, than the popular passions and national interest man-his religion, his knowledge, his sins which have brought that instability in arts—with the ardent desire to imprint on his close proximity to his own times. This senmind the scenes and images which met the sitive and foreboding disposition was much eyes of the holy warriors. He seeks to trans- increased by the death of his daughterma port us to the days of Godfrey of Bouillon and charming child of fourteen, the companion of Raymond of Toulouse; he thirsts with the his wanderings, the depositary of his thoughts, Christian host at Dorislaus, he shares in its the darling of his affections--who was snatched anxieties at the siege of Antioch, he partici- away in the spring of life, when in health and pates in its exultation at the storming of Jeru- joy, by one of the malignant fevers incidental salem. The scenes visited by the vast multi- to the pestilential plains of the east. tude of warriors who, during two hundred Though Lamartine's travels are continuous, years, were precipitated from Europe on Asia, he does not, like most other wanderers, furhave almost all been visited by him, and de- nish us with a journal of every day's proceedscribed with the accuracy of an antiquary and ings. He was too well aware that many, the enthusiasm of a poet. With the old chro- perhaps most, days on a journey are monotonicles in his hand, he treads with veneration nous or uninteresting; and that great part the scenes of former generous sacrifice and of the details of a traveller's progress are heroic achievements, and the vast and massy wholly unworthy of being recorded, because structures erected on either side during those they are neither amusing, elevating, nor interrible wars--when, for centuries, Europe structive. He paints, now and then, with all strove hand to hand with Asia-most of which the force of his magical pencil, the more brilhave undergone very little alteration, enable liant or characteristic scenes which he visited, him to describe them almost exactly as they and intersperses them with reflections, moral appeared to the holy warriors. The interest and social ; such as would naturally be aroused of his pilgrimage in the east, accordingly, is in a sensitive mind by the sight of the ruins peculiar, but very great; it is not so much a of ancient, and the contemplation of the decay book of travels as a moving chronicle; but, of modern, times. like Sir W. Scott's Minstrelsy of the Borders, it is He embarked at Marseilles, with Madame a chronicle clothed in a very different garb from Lamartine and his little daughter Julia, on the the homely dress of the olden time. It trans- 10th of July, 1830. The following is the picports us back, not only in time but in idea, six ture of the yearnings of his mind on leaving hundred years; but it does so with the grace his native land; and they convey a faithful of modern times it clothes the profound feel- image of his intellectual temperament:ings, the generous sacrifices, the forgetfulness “I feel it deeply: I am one only of those of self of the twelfth century, with the poetic men, without a distinctive character, of a mind, the cultivated taste, the refined imagery transitory and fading epoch, whose sighs have of the nineteenth.
found an echo-only because the echo was Lamartine has traversed the same scenes more poetical than the poet. I belong to with Chateaubriand and Michaud, and yet he another age by my desires: I feel in myself has done so in a different spirit; and the another man: the immense and boundless character of his work is essentially different horizon of philosophy, at once profound, re
ligious, and poetical, has opened to my view; headlands pointed and coloured like the Coli. but the punishment of a wasted youth over-seum at Rome, while the other was violet took me; it soon faded from my sight. Adieu, like the flower of the lilac, the image of a vast then, to the dreams of genius, to the aspira- city appeared on the sea. It was an illusion, tions of intellectual enjoyment! It is too late: doubtless; but it had all the appearance of I have not physical strength to accomplish reality. You saw clearly the domes glancing any thing great. I will sketch some scenes -dazzling lines of palaces--quays flooded by I will murmur some strains; and that is all. a soft and serene light; on the right and the Yet if God would grant my prayers, here is left the waves were seen to sparkle and enthe object for which I would petition-a poem, close it on either side : it was Venice or Malta such as my heart desires, and his greatness reposing in the midst of the waters. The deserves! ma faithful, breathing image of his illusion was produced by the reflection of the creation : of the boundless world, visible and moon, when her rays fell perpendicularly on invisible! That would indeed be a worthy the waters ; nearer the eye, the radiance spread inheritance to leave to an era of darkness, of and expanded in a stream of gold and silver doubt, and of sadness !-an inheritance which between two shores of azure. On the left, the would nourish the present age, and cause the gulf extended to the summit of a long and obnext to spring with renovated youth."-(Voy- scure range of serrated mountains; on the ages en Orient, I. 49, 50.)*
right opened a narrow and deep valley, where One of his first nocturnal reveries at sea, a fountain gushed forth beneath the shade of portrays the tender and profoundly religious aged trees; behind, rose a hill, clothed to the impressions of his mind:
top with olives, which in the night appeared “I walked for an hour on the deck of the dark, from its summit to its base-a line of vessel alone, and immeised alternately in sad Gothic towers and white houses broke the obor consoling reflections. I repeated in my scurity of the wood, and drew the thoughts to heart all the prayers which I learned in in- the abodes, the joys, and the sufferings of man. fancy from my mother; the verses, the frag- Further off, in the extremity of the gulf, three ments of the Psalms, which I had so often enormous rocks rose, like pillars without base, heard her repeat to herself, when walking in from the surface of the waters--their formg the evening in the garden of Milly. I experi- were fantastic, their surface polished like flints enced a melancholy pleasure in thus scatter- by the action of the waves; but those flints ing them, in my turn, to the waves, to the were mountains-the remains, doubtless, of winds, to that Ear which is ever open to every that primeval ocean which once overspread real movement of the heart, though not yet the earth, and of which our seas are but a uttered by the lips. The prayer which we feeble image.”—(I. 66.) have heard repeated by one we have loved, and A rocky bay on the same romantic coast, who is no more, is doubly sacred. Who among now rendered accessible to travellers hy the us would not prefer a few words of prayer taught magnificent road of the Corniché, projected, us by our mother, to the most eloquent sup- and in part executed by Napoleon, furnishes plication composed by ourselves? Thence it another subject for this exquisite pencil :is that whatever religious creed we may adopt
“ A mile to the eastward on the coast, the at the age of reason, the Christian prayer will mountains, which there dip into the sea, are be ever the prayer of the human race. I prayed broken as if by the strokes of enormous clubs in the prayer of the church for the evening at huge fragments have fallen, and are strewed sea; also for that dear being, who never thought in wild confusion at the foot of the cliffs, or of danger to accompany her husband, and that amidst the blue and green waves of the sea, lovely child, who played at the moment on the which incessantly laves them. The waves poop with the goat which was to give it milk break on these huge masses without inter on board, and with the little kids which licked mission, with a hollow and alternating roar, her snow-white hands, and sported with her or rise up in sheets of foam, which besprinkle long and fair ringlets.”—(I. 57.)
their hoary fronts. These masses of moun. À night-scene on the coast of Provence gives tains-for they are too large to be called rocks a specimen of his descriptive powers.
are piled and heaped together in such num"It was night-that is, what they call night bers, that they form an innumerable number in those climates; but how many days have I of narrow havens, of profound caverns, of seen less brilliant on the banks of the Thames, sounding grottoes, of gloomy fissures-of the Seine, the Saone, or the Lake of Geneva! which the children of some of the neighbouring A full moon shone in the firmament, and cast fishermen alone know the windings and the into the shade our vessel, which lay motion- issues. One of these caverns, into which you less on the water at a little distance from the enter by a natural arch, the summit quay. The moon, in her progress through is formed by an enormous block of granite, the heavens, had left a path marked as if with lets in the sea, through which it flows into a red sand, with which she had besprinkled the dark and narrow valley, which the waters fill half of the sky: the remainder was clear deep entirely, with a surface as limpid and smooth blue, which melted into white as she advanced. as the firmament which they reflect. The sea On the horizon, at the distance of two miles, preserves in this sequestered nook that beautiful between two little isles, of which the one had tint of bright green, of which marine painters
so strongly feel the value, but which they can * We have translated all the passages ourselves: the never transfer exactly to their canvas; for versions hitherto published in this country give, as most the eye sees much which the hand strives in English translations of French works do, a most impersect idea of the original.
vain to imitate.
“On the two sides of that marine valley rise | writers down to the close of the eighteenth two prodigious walls of perpendicular rock, century, are lost in vague generalities. Like of an uniform and sombre hue, similar to that almost all descriptions of battles in modern of iron ore, after it has issued and cooled from times, before Napier, they are so like each the furnace. Not a plant, not a moss can find other that you cannot distinguish one from the a slope or a crevice wherein to insert its roots other. Scott and Chateaubriand, when they or cover the rocks with those waving garlands did apply their great powers to the delineation which so often in Savoy clothe the cliffs, where of nature, were incomparably faithful, as well they flower to God alone. Black, naked, per- as powerfully imaginative; but such descrippendicular, repelling the eye by their awful tions were, for the most part, but a secondary aspect-they seem to have been placed there object with them. The human heart was their for no other purpose but to protect from the great study; the vicissitudes of life, the inexsea-breezes the hills of olives and vines, which haustible theme of their genius. With Labloom under their shelter; an image of those martine, again, the description of nature is the ruling men in a stormy epoch, who seem placed primary object. It is to convey a vivid imby Providence to bear the fury of all the tem- pression of the scenes he has visited that he pests of passion and of time, to screen the has written; to kindle in his reader's mind the weaker but happier race of mortals. At the train of emotion and association which their bottom of the bay the sea expands a little, as- contemplation awakened in his own, that he sumés a bluer tint as it comes to reflect more has exerted all his powers. He is much more of the cloudless heavens, and at length its tiny laboured and minute, in consequence, than waves die away on a bed of violets, as closely either of his predecessors; he records the netted together as the sand upon the shore. If tints, the forms, the lights, the transient effects you disembark from the boat, you find in the with all a painter's enthusiasm and all a poet's cleft of a neighbouring ravine a fountain of power; and succeeds, in any mind at all fa. living water, which gushes beneath a narrow miliar with the objects of nature, in conjuring path formed by the goats, which leads up from up images as vivid, sometimes perhaps more this sequestered solitude, amidst overshadow- beautiful, than the originals which he por ing fig-trees and oleanders, to the cultivated trayed. abodes of man. Few scenes struck me so From the greatness of his powers, however, much in my long wanderings. Its charm con- in this respect, and the facility with which he sists in that exquisite union of force and grace commits to paper the whole features of the which forms the perfection of natural beauty splendid phantasmagoria with which his meas of the highest class of intellectual beings; mory is stored, arises the principal defect of it is that mysterious hymen of the land and his work; and the circumstance which has the sea, surprised, as it were, in their most hitherto prevented it, in this country at least, secret and hidden union. It is the image of from acquiring general popularity commenperfect calm and inaccessible solitude, close surate to its transcendent merits. He is too to the theatre of tumultuous tempests, where rich in glowing images; his descriptions are their near roar is heard with such terror, where redundant in number and beauty. The mind their foaming but lessened waves yet break even of the most imaginative reader is fatigued upon the shore. It is one of those numer- by the constant drain upon its admirationous chefs-d'ouvre of creation which God has the fancy is exhausted in the perpetual effort to scattered over the earth, as if tó sport with conceive the scenes which he portrays to the contrasts, but which he conceals so frequently eye. Images of beauty enough are to be found on the summit of naked rocks, in the depth of in his four volumes of Travels in the East, to inaccessible ravines, on the unapproachable emblazon, with the brightest colours of the shores of the ocean, like jewels which he rainbow, forty volumes of ordinary adventure. unveils rarely, and that only to simple be- We long for some repose amidst the constant ings, to children, to shepherds or fishermen, repetition of dazzling objects; monotony, in or the devout worshippers of nature."-(1. 73 sipidity, ordinary life, even dulness itself,
would often be a relief amidst the ceaseless This style of description of scenery is flow of rousing images. Sir Walter Scott peculiar to this age, and in it Lamartine may says, in one of his novels—“Be assured that safely be pronounced without a rival in the whenever I am particularly dull, it is not withwhole range of literature. It was with Scott out an object;" and Lamartine would someand Chateaubriand that the graphic style of times be the better of following the advice. description arose in England and France; but We generally close one of his volumes with he has pushed the art further than either of the feeling so well known to travellers in the his great predecessors. Milton and Thomson Italian cities, “ I hope to God there is nothing had long ago, indeed, in poetry, painted nature more to be seen here." And having given the in the most enchanting, as well as the truest necessary respite of unexciting disquisition to colours; but in prose little was to be found rest our readers' minds, we shall again bring except a general and vague description of a forward one of his glowing pictures: class of objects, as lakes, mountains, and “Between the sea and the last heights of rivers, without any specification of features Lebanon, which sink rapidly almost to the and details, so as to convey a definite and dis- water's edge, extends a plain eight leagues in tinct impression to the mind of the reader. length by one or two broad; sandy, bare, Even the classical mind and refined taste of covered only with thorny arbutus, browsed by Addison could not attain this graphic style; his the camels of caravans. - From it darts out into descriptions of scenery, like that of all prose the sea an advanced peninsula, linked to the