Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

about him. If he walks out and is his boyhood. The memory of things caught in a shower of rain, he makes long gone is in itself an existence ;--it amends for this unlucky accident by a calls up feelings in our bosoms as incriticism on the shower in Virgil, and stantaneously as if they had been concludes with a burlesque copy of touched by a wand of enchantment; verses on a city shower." He enter- like the spirits of romance, they rise tains us when he dates from his own to music of their own making, and apartment, with a quotation from Plu- circled by light of their own shedtarch, or a moral reflection; from the ding; it makes a fairy-land of early Grecian coffeehouse with politics; scenes, and gives a beauty and a sweetand from Will's or the Temple with ness to sorrow.

The second volume the poets and players, the beaux and of the Spectator sent our hearts wanmen of wit and pleasure about town. dering over innocent times, and

“ In reading the pages of the Tat- brought to us the days ler, we seem as if suddenly carried of splendour in the grass, of glory in the back to the age of Queen Anne, of flower. toupees and full-bottomed periwigs. The whole appearance of our dress We found ourselves seated with and manners undergoes a delightful the short-faced moralist, and with the metamorphosis."

good old white-haired knight, enjoyThis passage is long, but its good- ing once more their pleasant discourse. ness will atone for its length. We We have never seen, in the course of agree with our critic that there is a our reading, any mention made of this finer freshness, a more delightful ori. volume in particular. To us it apginality and simplicity in the Tatler, pears to be not only by very far the than in the Spectator, as a whole most excellent portion of the work, work: But the second volume of the but to be the most amiable descriplatter book seems to us as complete aš tion of a happy country retirement, any thing can be of the kind. It is a and of kindly and peculiar characters, perfect pastoral.

that we ever inet with. It is like a In our boyish days we read the smooth green field in spring. Though Spectator through with the greatest it cannot be expected that we should delight, and we remember that no vo be able to crcate a fondness for it in lume of a periodical work ever took others, equal to that which we oursuch an absolute possession of our selves enjoy ; yet we will just hastily hearts, or won so much of our time of run over the principal incidents and leisure, as the volume of this pleasant characters, to prove that we have book to which we have just alluded. some cause for this our enthusiasm. It was our early companion in the First,—There is the Spectator's ara fields,--it was the first and the best rival at Sir Roger's country residence, friend that said sweet things to the and the joy of the servants at the old heart and to the mind. The other Knight's return. Then, there is the evening we took it up by chance, af- venerable chaplain, with his plain ter having neglected it for some years. sense, sociable temper, and a turn for It is impossible for us to describe the backgammon. Sir Roger underhost of happy thoughts and feelings stands, too, that he is a good scholar, that started into life, as we returned though he does not shew it. He alto the old country residence of Sir Ro- ways dreaded lest he should be inger de Coverley, and once more mingled sulted with Latin and Greek at his own with the sociable and whimsical crea table. Next we meet with Will tures which are to be met with there. Wimble, who meddles with every Those who have loved some coune thing but thinking: Nothing can be try spot in their young days, and vi more amusing than his note to Sir Rosited it after years of absence, can ger,-it is full of kindness, simplicity, alone have an idea of our pleasure at and ignorance. He hunts and fishes retracing scenes and characters which away his life out of pure good nature; we had long been kept apart from. he does kindly acts all round the counThere is nothing so pleasant as the as try, and makes a May-fly to a miracle. sociation of ideas. No man leads só Will's way of telling the Spectator of sweet a life, as he who keeps those his having sprung a cock pheasant in feelings green round the heart, which the woods is very characteristic, and were first sown in the vernal days of it is pleasant to listen to him, wher

he talks of the jack-fish, and of his bough, every leaf is dear to him. It late invention for improving the quail is the pleasure-ground of his associapipe. Will Wimble is one of the most tions; the bower of his heart. There agreeable pieces of nothing in the is a fine touch of character in the folworld. Who would wish him a bit lowing observation which Sir Roger wiser or a bit better? The picture makes to the Spectator,—“You are gallery is a delightful place. Sir Ro- to know this was the place wherein I ger gives an excellent account of used to muse upon her; and, by that his ancestry in his simple manner. custom, I can never come into it, but There is the gentleman who distin- the same tender sentiments revive in guished himself in the tilt-yard at my mind, as if I had actually walked Whitehall, which, as Sir Roger well with that beautiful creature under observes, might be exactly where these shades.” The knight's account the coffeehouse is now.” His pre- of his life is very amiably told here. decessor had also a turn for music, as He is deluded into the passion by the bass viol hanging at his basket- learning that the widow looked upon hilt-sword could testify. Next, there him as the tamest and most human is the Maid of Honour, who brought of all the brutes in the country. ten children into the family, and who How touching is his strange and hopehad written out in her own hand, and less passion for this most charming of left, the best receipt in England both women! What can surpass the trefor an hasty pudding, and a white pot. mulous ardour with which he rememHow well Sir Roger then describes bers her fascinations, and dwells on the soft gentleman of the family, who the whiteness of her hand. The is drawn sitting with one hand on a heart of romance is in this. The hall desk, writing, and looking as it were of the old knight is well described, another way, like an easy writer, or with its trophies of deer horns, and a sonneteer; he ruined every body, otters' skin stuffed with hay. How but never said a rude thing ;-no- amusing is it to see Sir Roger in his thing can be better than the good old pride pointing out the fox's nose on knight's innocent satire on this kind the stable 'door, with the brass nail of personage.

'He left the estate driven through it. It cost him fif. L. 10,000 in debt, but, however, by teen hours hard riding, carried him all hands, I have been informed, that through half a dozen counties, killed he was every way the finest gentle- him a brace of geldings, and lost him man in the world.” Lastly, there is above half his dogs. This was looked Sir Humphry de Coverley, the hon- upon by the knight as the greatest our of the house, a man of his word, exploit in his life. The hare hunt is and a knight of the shire. We scarce- admirably told. The jolly knight ly like to quit the picture gallery." rides on a white gelding, encompasWe next come to the Spectator's ac- sed by his tenants and servants; the count of Sir Roger's behaviour in scene is inspiriting,--the weather is church, of his standing up and look- bright and cheerful, and the dogs are ing about him after a nap, to observe musical to perfection. Next, we have whether any other person has been a description of Moll White the witch, guilty of the same, -of his lengthen- and her cat, who is reported to have ing out a verse in the Psalms, half a spoken twice in her life. Then we minute after the rest of the congrega- have Sir Roger's philippic against con, tion,-of his earnest manner of pro- fidants, with the illustration of Will nouncing amen, and of his plan of the huntsman, and his lover. We counting the congregation, to see if like the account of Sir Roger riding any of his tenants are missing. The to the assizes with the Spectator,walk at a distance from Sir Roger's and of Will Wimble riding before house, which is sacred to the widow, them in company of Tom Touchy, a is beautifully described. It is the fellow famous for taking the law of spot which shaded him in the hope- every body, and the yeoman who just less hours of his affection, and every comes within the game act, and kills

his own dinner twice or thrice a week. It is very probable that this number The knight's boldness in court is ex of the Spectator suggested the picture gal. cellently set forth in his speech to the lery scene in Sheridan's comedy of the judge. - Lastly, there is the entertainSchool'tor Scandal.

ing account of Sir Roger meeting with

the gypsy.

The old knight's good Idler of Johnson. This part of the heart shines out in all he does or lecture is most powerfully written, says; he is all humanity!

but we cannot trust ourselves to inWe have lost sight of our critical dulge in further extracts. The chadignity in these long and pleasant re- racter of Johnson was never so well collections, and precluded ourselves understood before, or so faithfully from giving the observations in this given. The amiable writings of Gold lecture, which are ten times more va- smith are pleasantly noticed, but the luable than our own; but we con name of Goldsmith is but another fess the string of our feelings was name for humanity. The lecture touched, and we could not for our concludes with some remarks on the lives check its vibration. From the Lounger and Mirror, and with a short Tatler and Spectator, Mr Hazlitt pro- but well deserved tribute to the noceeds to a review of the Rambler and vels of Mackenzie.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

A Statistical, Political, and Histori new and distinct order of socie

cal Account of the United States of ty. North America. By D. B. WAR A great number of books of travels, DEN, lete Consul for the United professing to give the public full inStates at Paris. 3 Vols. 8vo. Edin- formation on every topic connected burgh, Constable and Co.

with America, have been published

within these few years. Some of these TOPOGRAPHICAL accounts of Ame- ' works are of considerable value, and rica seem to be more popular at the supply, a great store of information ; present day than any other class of yet it has often been felt, that the acbooks. This may be attributed partly counts they furnish differ so much in to the existing ragefor emigration. The the most essential particulars, that, inpressure of population in most of the stead of leading us to clear and accuEuropean states, with the reverses and rate notions of the people and the vicissitudes to which numbers of per- country, we rise from their perusal sons in every rank of life have been perplexed and confused, by the oppoexposed during long and calamitous site and irreconcilable impressions we wars, have forced many to seek an a- have received. In these cases we feel sylum beyond the Atlantic. Such the necessity of having recourse to persons are naturally anxious to have such a work as is now before us, in full and minute accounts of the coun

which facts are separated from opitry to which they mean to remove, nions, and digested under general before they take a step, which, if heads, so as to throw light on each wrong, must be almost irretrievable. other, and lead us to solid and satisOthers also, who have no thoughts of factory conclusions on every point of emigration themselves, are yet curious importance. to learn what extraordinary attrac

Mr Warden's book differs in its tions a country possesses, for which plan from any work of the kind with such multitudes in every part of Eu- which we are acquainted ; and the rope are abandoning their native arrangement he has adopted appears homes. To this we must add the in- to us a decided improvement. It conterest excited among all classes by the tributes greatly to distinctness; the novel aspect which America presents. matter is rendered more accessible, and She has but newly emerged from co

bears more directly on general princilonial obscurity, and taken her place ples, than when piled together proin the rank of independent States; miscuously, as in the common books and though she has much in common of geography. To give our readers with other civilized nations, there some idea of this plan: we have first are yet so many peculiar features in

an introduction of forty or fifty pages, ber political, moral, and physical in which the author gives à rapid condition, that she may almost - be general view of the territory, populaconsidered as presenting us with a tion, and government of the United

66

States. This is followed by a short dulging much in discussion or specuchapter on the boundaries of the Unit- lation, for though, by following an oped States, in which the questions that posite course, he might perhaps have have arisen with Spain regarding li- rendered his work more acceptable to inits are discussed. We have then readers of a certain description, he a chapter “ On the General Aspect of would infallibly have lessened its auThe Country, its extent, and the na- thority in the eyes of more discerning ture of the soil;" a chapter on the judges, who always feel most confilakes and rivers ; another on the cli- dence in information presented withmate; and three chapters more de- out any mixture of opinion or hypovoted severally to“ the Forest Trees,” thesis. “the Quadrupeds,” and “the Diseases . We despair of giving our readers of America,” complete the first sec any adequate idea of a work so extention of the work ; which, with the sive and multifarious, in the small exception of the first chapter, may be space to which we must confine ourconsidered as treating of the natural selves; but we shall endeavour to nohistory of the country. The second tice some of the more interesting genesection, in twenty-seven chapters, ile-' ral facts, with the results and concluscribes the nineteen states, and eight sions to which they lead. territories or districts not holding the In looking at the situation of the rank of states, included in the pos- United States, one of the first circumsessions of the republic. A chapter stances that strikes us, is the great is appropriated to each state or terri- advantages they derived from their tory, and the description is given un- English parentage, if we may so exder the general heads of “Situation," press it. The Spanish colonies cer

Aspect and Soil," "Temperature," tainly enjoy a superior soil and cli

Lakes," “ Rivers," " Minerals," mate, and Mexico, in particular, has a ~ Forest Trees,” Quadrupeds," better geographical situation. These

Fishes, Population,” “History," colonies also, at least the latter, were “ Civil Divisions,” “ Constitution," planted nearly a century earlier. Yet, “ Religion,

;"“ Agriculture," “ Manu- with all these advantages, their profactures,” &c. In the third section gress has been much slower, their poof the work, which occupies sixteen pulation, which ought to have been chapters, the author has brought into inuch greater, is considerably less, and one view the facts relating to the po- they are infinitely behind the United pulation, agriculture, manufactures, · States in arts and industry, in wealth commerce, canals, and roads, govern- and power. This vast superiority, ment, judiciary, revenue, &c. of the which is every day becoming more whole Union. The fourth and last conspicuous, is justly ascribed to the section treats of the Indians.

superior intelligence and moral habits If this plan offers advantages to the of the first settlers of the English coreader, it is no less evident that it lonies. It is the industry, the raimposes peculiar difficulties upon the tional morality, the energy and indewriter. It tries the accuracy and ex- pendence of spirit which belong to the tent of his knowledge, and brings to English character, that have laid the light deficiencies which a looser ar foundation of that prosperity and rangement would have concealed. It greatness of which America is now so is but justice to Mr Warden to state, proud. This is fully admitted by our that he appears to have collected his author, though Americans at the prejoaterials with great diligence, from a sent day are not very apt to acknowvery wide surface; and the book un- ledge any obligations to England. questionably contains a great amount of information not to be found in any “ It was a favourable circumstance for other single work.

He has added the United States, that the country was comuch to its value by introducing a

lonized chiefly by population drawn from number of useful tables, many of the most enlightened nations of the old which we have never before seen in world, and at a period when a variety of print. His statements, too, are gene- mind of some of its worst prejudices.

happy changes had disabused the human rally given in a concise form, without What would have been its situation if the obtrusion of individual opinions, peopled by some of the other nations of or a parade of philosophy. Indeed, Europe, is apparent from the state of the we think he has wisely avoided inSpanish colonies. The English, who

formed the leading part of the colonists, western side of the Mississippi. The had been emancipated from superstition population, which is yet almost enand priesteraft by the reformation ; they tirely confined to the former, extends, had imbibed more liberal ideas than other with various degrees of density, over nations in politics, and had made greater a surface of 700,000 square miles. progress in arts and industry; The first From the account he gives, there apsettlers, no doubt, considered their removal to this country a painful sacrifice, but, af- pears to be a remarkable simplicity in ter they had acquired strength to maintain the physical features of this portion themselves against the Indians, the advan- of North America. The breadth of tages of their situation began to appear. the continent at the latitude of 40° is It was an unoccupied world, of the richest about 2200 miles, and in this space soil, and most favoured climate, spread out there are but two elevated chains de. before a small number of men, who pos- serving of the name of mountains, the sessed the skill and industry of a 'mature one following the line of the Atlantic society.

coast, at the distance of two or three “ j'heir society, held together by com- hundred miles from the sea ; the mon wants, and moulded by their circum- other following the coast of the Pacific stances, was disencumbered of many of those corruptions and abuses which time Ocean, at a distance about three times and accident accumulate in all old com.

as great.

The altitude of these munities. A fortunate combination of mountains corresponds to their discircumstances, by bringing them all under

tance from the sea. The rocky mounone government, left them free from the tains, or the western chain, at the distractions of war; and they had no point where they were crossed by powerful neighbour, jealous of their pros Lewis and Clarke, were but about perity, to compel them to load themselves eight or nine thousand feet high, and with a great military establishment. They the Alleghany or eastern chain, south were placed at too great a distance from of the Hudson river, does not exceed Europe to be often embroiled in its quar three thousand feet. These eleva rels, and yet near enough to share the be- tions, which are quite inconsiderable nefits of its commerce and its improvements. They lived under the protection

when compared with those of the Euof the most liberal and enlightened govern

ropean mountains, show that the surment then in the world ; and though they

face of the country is much more ledid occasionally suffer from its ignorance

vel and uniform. It is to this ciror violence, the force of circumstances ge

cumstance our author ascribes the vast nerally prevailed over the errors of their extent of inland navigation the Unitrulers, and bore them through their diffi- ed States possess. Vessels of small culties with little injury.”

size ascend by the Mississippi, Ohio, The great range of country over and Alleghany rivers, to a height of which the Americans extend their

1200 or 1400 feet above the sea, withclaims, and which they are likely to out the help of canals or locks. The occupy much sooner than is generally great basin of the Mississippi, situatsupposed, is one of the most singular ed between the two chains, has a facts connected with their situation.

breadth of 1400 miles at the latitude This is an advantage which can sel

of 40°, and is unquestionably the dom be enjoyed on such a scale. The richest and finest valley in the world. world cannot furnish many continents Though stretching to the distance of like North America, to allow future more than a thousand miles from the colonies equal room to multiply; and

ocean, it possesses, by means of its considering the rate at which the numerous rivers, almost all the adAmerican population increases, though vantages of a sea coast, and a facility the polar regions were rendered ha of conimunication unparalleled. Mr bitable, and the ocean itself convert- Warden, in his chapter on Lakes and ed into fertile land, the whole would Rivers, concludes his description of soon be occupied, were no political the various streams that water this arrangements to interfere. The ex- valley with the following observas tent of country claimed by the Unit- tions : ed States between the Spanish colonies on the south, and British Cana

66 The whole of the rivers we have now da on the north, our author estimates the Mississippi, of which they are properly

described flow into the Gulf of Mexico by in round numbers at 2,700,000 square branches. The country watered by these miles. About one-third of this lies streams, which may be considered as the on the eastern, and two-thirds on the basin of the Mississippi, consists of the vast

« ZurückWeiter »