صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

would safely bear. For almost five centuries it was appealed to as the decisive authority on behalf of the people, though commonly so far only as the necessities of each case demanded. Its effect in these contests was not altogether unlike the grand process by which nature employs snows and frosts to cover her delicate germs, and to hinder them from rising above the earth till the atmosphere has acquired the mild and equal temperature which insures them against blights. On the English nation, undoubtedly, the Charter has contributed to bestow the union of establishment with improvement. To all mankind it set the first example of the progress of a great people for centuries, in blending their tumultary democracy and haughty nobility with a fluctuating and vaguely limited monarchy, so as at length to form from these discordant materials the only form of free government which experience had shown to be reconcileable with widely-extended dominions.

Whoever, in any future age, or unborn nation, may admire the felicity of the expedient which converted the power of taxation into the shield of liberty, by which discretionary and secret imprisonment was rendered impracticable, and portions of the people were trained to exercise a larger share of judicial power than was ever allotted to them in any other civilized state, in such a manner as to secure, instead of endangering, public tranquillity;-whoever exults at the spectacle of enlightened and independent assemblies, who, under the eye of a well-informed nation, discuss and determine the laws and policy likely to make communities great and happy;whoever is capable of comprehending all the effects of such institutions, with all their possible improvements, upon the mind and genius of a people, is sacredly bound to speak with reverential gratitude of the authors of the Great Charter. To have produced it, to have preserved it, to have matured it, constitute the immortal claim of England on the esteem of mankind. Her Bacons and Shakspeares, her Miltons and Newtons, with all the truth which they have revealed, and all the generous virtue which they have inspired, are of inferior value when compared with the subjection of men and their rulers to the principles of justice; if, indeed, it be not more true that these mighty spirits could not have been formed except under equal laws, nor roused to full activity without the influence of that spirit which the Great Charter breathed over their forefathers.--Lardner's Cyclopædia, vol. viii.



Hast thou ne'er heard of Time's omnipotence;
For, or against, what wonders he can do!
A moment, and the world's blown up, to thee;
The sun is darkness, and the stars are dust.

METHINKS on yonder ivy tower,
I hear the deep-ton'd bell;
Old Time has pass'd the midnight hour,
And bid the year farewell.

I stand as bifaced Janus stood,
When Rome was in her prime;
And in a melancholy mood,
Behold the flight of Time.

Ah! where is now that golden age,
When Time was in the bud?

Or that, whose rapine, lust, and rage
Were blanched in a flood.

Ah! where is David's, royal line?
And Levi's priestly seers?

And Salem's fane and golden shrines?
Lost in the tide of years!

Gone is the patriarchal age!

And the prophetic too;

And gone the seer, and gone the sage,
Like morning's early dew.

I view the wreck of nations past,
The column, fane, and tower;
Of empires in oblivion cast,
By Time's almighty power.
For nations flourish and decline,
As age succeeds to age;
The royal, the plebeian line,
Are hurried from life's stage.

Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and Rome,
By turns the earth controll'd;

But Time has swept them to the tomb,
And ages o'er them roll'd.

Marts, where the wealth of nations flow'd,
The princely merchants' pride,

And ports, where splendid galleys rode,
Are desolate and void.

Their zenith was a summer day,
Their bloom a flower brief;
They were-and quickly pass'd away
Like an autumnal leaf.

Ah! where is Sparta, where is Troy?
And where Achilles now?
And where that Macedonian boy
Who made the Persian bow?

And where the armies cas'd in gold,
By kingly captains led?

Where? Mingled with the common mould,
And writ among the dead.

Time is the drama, earth the stage,
Where man the hero hops;
Each act is a succeeding age,
And death the curtain drops.

The shifting scene before my eyes
In vivid tints appears;

This nation wanes, while others rise,
Then sink in following years.

Priest, hero, druid, poet, sage,
Who ruled, bled, or writ,

The stars of many a former age,
Before my vision flit.

And cities too, with columns high,
And marble temples gay;

Where sculpture did with painting vie;
But where, alas, are they?

Babel, Persepolis, and Tyre,
Like dreams have past away;

And Thebes, where Pindar strung the lyre
Has moulder'd to decay.


And Ecbatana's seven walls;
And Tadmor's, lie in dust; .

And Royal Susa's bowers and halls,
The Persian monarch's trust.

Time with his tarnish wore them old,
Like a moth-fretted robe;
Or rushing ages swept and roll'd
Their glory from the globe!
The cedar, marble, iron, brass,
That form'd each lofty dome,
Exhibit now a shapeless mass,
The loathsome reptiles' home.
Time leaves a rust on all below,
That wears it to the core;

A thousand wrecks his rapids show,
And ask a thousand more.

My Country! but I would not ring
A note of sad despair;

Or say, that future bards may sing,
That England's glories were!

Yet Time has ting'd thy locks with grey,
Thy youthful bloom is past;
And antiquarians sigh and say,
Thou art not what thou wast!

Yon abbey walls, yon ancient cross,
Yon ivy-mantled tower,

Yon castle keep, yon Roman fosse,
Are trophies of his power.

And should the hand a "Tekel" write,
That lays the proudest low;

Thy bloom shall wither in a blight,

And melt away like snow.

[blocks in formation]


From the voyages, dangerous adventures, and hardly-earned information of numerous travellers, they have produced a volume of great utility, entertainment, and interest; having condensed within a narrow compass nearly all that is important in the numerous works which they have consulted.

Commencing with a general view of the natural features of Africa, and noticing the knowledge of the ancients respecting this vast continent, they proceed to the settlements of the Arabs, and thence descend to the early discoveries of the Portuguese, the English, and the French. From these general views they follow the discoveries of about thirty adventurers, into these burning, barren, and dreary regions; extracting from their publications, the interesting materials from which their own volume derives its importance and value. Of their style and manner, and of the nature of this volume, the reader will be able to form a tolerable estimate from the following paragraphs.

Having made some cursory observations on the vegetable productions of the fertile regions, and traced them to the margins of the desert, where silence, sterility, and solitude hold undisturbed dominion, they thus characterize the animal tribes.

"The animal world in Africa changes equally its nature as it passes from one to another of these opposite regions. In those plains which are inundated by the great rivers, it multiplies at an extraordinary rate, and often assumes huge and repulsive forms. Throughout all this continent the wild tribes exist in large and formidable numbers, and there is scarcely a tract which they do not either hold in full possession, or fiercely dispute with man. Even the most densely peopled countries border on wide forests and wastes, whose savage tenants find their prey occasionally in man himself, as well as in the domestic animals which surround him; and when the scent of human

REVIEW.-Narrative of Discovery and slaughter is wafted on the breeze, bands of hun

Adventure in Africa, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time: with Illustrations of the Geology, Mineralogy, and Zoology. By Professor Jameson, James Wilson, and Hugh Murray, Esqs. 12mo. pp. 500. Simpkin and Marshall.

London. 1830.

To extract the substance of voluminous publications, and compress it into an essence, is an arduous undertaking, in which but few adventurers are happily suc. cessful. Every one, however, is ready to admit, that such compressions are in many cases desirable, but we learn from experience, that wishes are always more easily formed than gratified.

Among the fortunate competitors for fame in this field of difficult rivalry, professor Jameson and Co., in the work before

gry monsters hasten from every side to the feast of blood.

"The lion, that king of the desert, that mightiest among the tribes which have the wilderness for

their abode, abounds in Africa, and causes all her

forests to re-echo his midnight roar. Yet both his

courage and fierceness have, it is said, been over

rated; and the man who can undauntedly face him, or evade his first dreadful spring, rarely falls his victim. Wider ravages are committed by the hyena, not the strongest, but the most ferocious and untameable of all the beasts of prey. These creatures, by moving in numerous bands, achieve what is beyond the single strength of the greater animals; they burst with mighty inroad into the cities, and have even carried by storm fortified enclosures. The elephant roams in vast herds through the densely wooded tracts of the interior, disputing with the lion the rank of king of the lower creation: matchless in bulk and strength, yet tranquil, majestic, peaceful, led in troops under the guidance of the most ancient of the number, having a social, and almost moral existence. stead of the tiger, Africa has the leopard and the panther, belonging, however, only to certain of its districts.


"In the large and broad rivers of Africa, and through the immense forests which over-shadow us, have a claim to pre-eminent regard. them, a race of amphibious animals of monstrous

form and size display their unwieldy figures. The rhinoceros, though not strictly amphibious, slowly traverses marshes and swampy grounds, and almost equals the elephant in strength and defensive powers, but wants his stature, his dignity, and his wisdom. The single or double horn with which he defends himself, is an article of commerce in the East, though not valued in Europe. A still huger shape is that of the hippopotamus, or river horse, fitted alike to stalk on land, or march along the bottom of the waters, or to swim on their surface. He is slow, ponderous, and gentle; yet when annoyed, either by design or accident, his wrath is terrible; he rushes up from his watery retreat, and by merely striking with his enormous tusks, can overset or sink a loaded canoe. But the most dreaded of all the inhabitants of the African rivers is the crocodile, the largest and fiercest of the lizard tribe. He lies like a log upon the waters, watching for his prey, attacking men, and even the strongest animals, which, however, engage with him in obstinate and deadly encounters.

"We have not yet done with all the monstrous and prodigious forms which Africa generates. She swarms with the serpent brood, which spread terror, some by their deadly poison, others by their mere bulk and strength. In this last respect, the African serpents have struck the world with amazement; ancient history records that whole provinces were over-run by them; and that one, after disputing the passage of a river with the Roman army, was destroyed only by the battering engine."-p. 7.

Of the orang-outang, the account given is too singular to be omitted. This animal, which, in form and action, in many particulars resembles the human species, Mr. Wilson thus describes.

"Two species of African orang-outang seem to have been described by the earlier writers. These were probably the young and the old of the same species seen apart at different times, for later researches do not lead to the belief of their being more than one.

"The greatest of these monsters,' says Battell, is called pongo in their language; and the less is called engeco. This pongo is exactly proportioned like a man; but he is more like a giant in stature; for he is very tall, and hath a man's face, hollow-eyed, with long hair upon his brows. His face and ears are without hair, and his hands also. His body is full of hair, but not very thick, and it is of a dunnish colour. He differeth not from man but in his legs, for they have no calf. He goeth always upon his legs, and carrieth his hands clasped on the nape of his neck, when he goeth upon the ground. They sleep in trees, and build shelter from the rain. They feed upon the fruit that they find in the woods, and upon nuts; for they eat no kind of flesh. They cannot speak, and appear to have no more understanding than a beast. The people of this country, when they travel in the woods, make fires where they sleep in the night, and in the morning when they are gone, the pongos will come and sit by the fire till it goeth out; for they have no understanding to lay the wood together, or any means to light it. They go many together, and often kill the negroes that travel in the woods. Many times they fall upon the elephants which come to feed where they may be, and so beat them with their clubbed fists, and with pieces of wood, that they will run roaring away from them. Those pongos are seldom or never taken alive, because they are so strong, that ten men cannot hold one of them; but yet they take many of their young ones with poisoned arrows. The young pongo hangeth on his mother's belly, with his hands fast clasped about her; so that when any of the country people kill any of the females, they take the one which hangeth fast upon its mother, and being thus domesticated and trained up from their infant state, become exceed

ingly familiar and tame, and are found useful in many employments about the house."

"Purchas informs us, on the authority of a personal conversation with Battell, that a pongo on one occasion carried off a young negro, who lived for an entire season in the society of these animals; that on his return, the negro stated that they had never injured him, but, on the contrary, were greatly delighted with his company, and that the females especially, shewed a great predilection for him, and not only brought him abundance of nuts and wild fruits, but carefully and courageously defended him from the attacks of serpents, and beasts of prey.

"With the exception of such information as has been drawn from the observance of one or two young individuals sent alive to Europe, our knowledge of this species has not increased. We have become aware of the inaccuracy and exaggeration of previous statements, but have not ourselves succeeded in filling up the picture. It is indeed singular, that when the history of animals inhabiting New Holland, or the most distant islands in the Indian ocean, are annually receiving so much new and correct illustration, the most remarkable species of the brute creation, inhabiting a comparatively neighbouring country, should have remained for about 2,000 years under the shade of an almost fabulous name, and that the wild man of the woods' should express all we yet really know of the African orang-outang in the adult state."-p. 400.

To the geology of Africa Mr. Wilson has devoted an extended chapter. In another, the quadrupeds claim his exclusive attention. A third chapter delineates the characters and peculiarities of the feathered tribes. Reptiles, fishes, and insects, also hold a prominent rank in his catalogue, thus contributing their portion to the interest and value of this publication. We have not, however, either time or room for any further extracts. For additional information, the reader must have recourse to the work itself. We have perused it with much pleasure; and feel no hesitation in avowing our opinion, that for the trifling sum of five shillings, it presents to the public almost every thing of importance respecting Africa, which the most voluminous and expensive publications contain.

REVIEW.-The Present State of Australia; a Description of the Country; its Advantages and Prospects with reference to Emigration.-Manners, Customs, and Condition of its Aboriginal Inhabitants. By Robert Dawson, Esq., 8vo. pp. 484. Smith, Elder, and Co. London. 1830. THE increasing importance of New South Wales, is every day attracting a considerable share of public attention. The situation, extent, and internal resources of this vast, but in a great measure unexplored territory, already display the seeds of future empire, in a state of healthy, luxuriant, and promising germination. From the period of its settlement to this time, the rapid advances which have been made in coloniza


tion, agriculture, and commerce, furnish prognostics of its approaching greatness; and it is not improbable that an equal number of years will present New South Wales as a phenomenon to excite the astonishment of the parent country, if not of all the nations in Europe. Every work, therefore, which tends to analyze its power, to trace the progress of its enterprising spirit, and develop its general character, cannot but prove acceptable to the English reader. The work before us contains a considerable fund of important, useful, and entertaining information. In those portions which relate to the aboriginal inhabitants, it is particularly interesting. The numerous anecdotes and incidents respecting them with which it is enlivened, serve to develop their character in a more decisive way than any formal dissertation, and dry detail can possibly afford. By these we are introduced to their manner of living, their domestic scenery, modes of warfare, habits of wandering, readiness to repel aggression, and disposition to revenge the unprovoked injuries, which, in too many instances, they have been doomed to sustain from the white invaders of their country.

The following extract will shew, that the term savage might be transferred from the natives to their calumniators and destroyers, without any great abuse of language.

"The natives are a mild and barmless race of savages; and where any mischief has been done by them, the cause has generally arisen, I believe, in bad treatment by their white neighbours. Short as my residence has been here, I have, perhaps, had more intercourse with these people, and more favourable opportunities of seeing what they really are, than any other person in the colony. My object has always been to conciliate them, to give them an interest in cultivating our friendship, and to afford them protection against the injuries or insults from the people on this establishment, or elsewhere within my jurisdiction. They have usually been treated in distant parts of the colony, as if they had been dogs, and shot by convict servants, at a distance from society, for the most triding causes. There has, perhaps, been more of this done near this settlement, and on the banks of two rivers which empty themselves into this harbour, than in any other part of the colony; and it has arisen from the speculators in timber, who formerly obtained licenses from the governor to cut cedar and blue gum wood for exportation upon land not located.

"The natives complained to me frequently, that white fellow shot their relations and friends, and shewed me many orphans, whose parents had fallen by the hands of white men near this spot, They pointed out one white man, on his coming to beg some provisions for his party up the river Karuah, who they said had killed ten; and the wretch did not deny it, but said he would kill them whenever he could. It was well for him that he had no white man to depose to the facts, or I would have had him off to jail at once."-p. 58. This latter circumstance throws over the white man's character, a shade much deeper than that with which the skin of the natives

Port Stephens, about 120 miles N. of Sydney.


is tinged. In a subsequent page, Mr. Dawson thus sums up his opinion of them.



They are, however, one of the best natured people in the world, and would never hurt a white man, if treated with civility and kindness. I would trust myself any where with them; with my own blacks by my side, as I call them, I should feel myself safe against any enemy I could meet with in the bush. They are excellent shots, and I have often lent them a musket to shoot kangaroos, when it has always been taken care of, and safely returned."-p. 63.

The character thus given of the untutored natives, is illustrated by numerous facts and incidents which fully warrant the author's conclusions. His intercourse with them was of three years' continuance, and his situation as chief agent to the Australian agricultural company, furnished him with the fairest opportunities of forming an accurate judgment of the people whom he describes. The result is highly favourable to their understandings, and to their notions of justice and propriety, on all the important questions in which their reputation as a people is concerned. We cannot, therefore, but infer from the varied and multiplied statements respecting them, given in this volume, that they have been both injured and calumniated by many writers, whom justice, or more correct information, should have taught a very different lesson.

Of the country at large, its natural productions, and physical capabilities, Mr. Dawson has given a general and satisfactory account. His eye and ear were always open to appearances and passing events. Hence, his narratives, descriptions, and details, are always interesting; and, on many occasions, particularly respecting the natives, more instructive than those of most other preceding writers.

To such as calculate on emigration to these distant regions, his volume affords much valuable information. The advantages and disadvantages he appears to have balanced with discriminating impartiality; and to all who are turning their attention towards embarkation, a perusal of this volume becomes indispensable.

On those portions of New South Wales which he had an opportunity of inspecting, Mr. Dawson has thrown a clear and steady light, and respecting others of which he could obtain any authentic information, the report in general is in unison with his own representations. We cannot follow

him through the numerous scenes and topics which occupy thirteen chapters and an appendix, but we can say in general terms, that we have been much gratified with a perusal of what he has written. The information which it contains is both diversified and important, while the domestic

scenes which it unfolds, and the anecdotes with which it is enlivened, entitle it to the character of a useful and entertaining publication.

REVIEW.-Cabinet Cyclopædia, conducted by Dr. Lardner, assisted by eminent Literary and Scientific Men. History-

United States. Vol. I. 12mo. pp. 354.
Longman, London, 1830.

THIS work is now so well known, that we shall not waste either the reader's time or our own in needless recommendations. The following particulars, relative to the Indians, cannot fail to awaken general interest.Every thing connected with their history, character, and destiny, is calculated to excite our sympathy, as the period seems fast approaching when their whole race will become extinct.

Tradition of the Indians respecting their origin.-According to the unambitious belief of the Osages, a people living on the banks of one of the lower tributaries of the Missouri, they are sprung from a snail and a beaver. The Mandans believe their ancestors once lived in a large village under ground, near a subterraneau lake; that by means of a vine tree, which extended its roots to their cheerless habitation, they got a glimpse of the light; that, informed by some adventurers, who had visited the upper world, of the numerous buffaloes pasturing on the plains, and of the trees loaded with delicious fruits, the whole nation, with one consent, began to ascend the roots of the vine; hut that, when about the half of them had reached the surface, a corpulent woman climbing up, broke the roots by her weight; that the earth immediately closed, and concealed for ever from those below the cheering beams of the sun. From a people who entertain such fanciful notions of their origin, no valuable information concerning their early history can be expected.

Education of Indians.-The Indians never chastise their children, especially the boys; thinking that it would damp their spirits, check their love of independence, and cool their martial ardour, which they wish above all things to encourage "Reason," say they," will guide our children, when they come to the use of it; and before that, their faults cannot be very great." They avoid compulsory measures, and allow the boys to act with uncontrolled freedom; but endeavour, by example, instruction. and advice, to train them to diligence and skill in hunting; to animate them with patience, courage, and fortitude in war; and to inspire them with contempt of danger, pain, and death-qualities of the highest order in the estima tion of an Indian.

By gentleness and persuasion they endeavour to imbue the minds of their children with virtuous sentiments, according to their notions of virtue. The aged chiefs are zealous in this patriotic labour, and the squaws give their cordial co-operation.

Indian Resignation.-The Indians bear disease with composure and resignation; and when far advanced in life, often long for the hour of dissolution. "It is better," said an aged sachem, "to sit than to stand, to sleep than to be awake, to be dead than alive." The dying man exhorts his children to be industrious, kind to their friends, but implacable to their enemies. He rejoices in the hope of immortality. He is going to the land of spirits, that happy place where there is plenty of game and no want, where the path is smooth and the sky clear. Polite Slaughtering of an Enemy.-At times, an Indian warrior, when about to kill and scalp a prostrate enemy, addresses him in such terms as the following:

"My name is Cashegra: I am a famous warrior, and am going to kill you. When you reach the land of spirits, you will see the ghost of my father: tell him it was Cashegra sent you there." The uplifted tomahawk then descends upon his victim.

Indian Officers of Justice.-In some of the tribes peace is preserved, and punishment inflicted in a very summary manner, by officers appointed by the chief for that purpose. These officers are distinguished by having their bodies blackened, and by having two or three ravens' skins fixed in their girdles behind, so that the tails project horizontally. They have also a raven's skin, with the tail projecting from their forehead. These officers, of whom there are two or three in a village, and who are frequently changed, beat any person whom they find acting in a disorderly manner. Their authority is held sacred, and none dares resist them. They often attend the chief, and consider it a point of honour to execute his orders at any


Indian Religious_Creed.-They believe in one Great Spirit, the Creator and Governor of the world, on whom they continually depend, and from whom all their enjoyments flow. Although they have no public or social worship, yet they are grateful to the Great Spirit for past favours, thank him for present enjoyments, and implore from him future blessings: this they sometimes do with an audible voice, but more frequently in the silent aspirations of the heart. They believe in the doctrine of immortality and future retribution; but their conceptions on the subject are vague, and modified by their peculiar manners and habits.-CHAP. II.

[blocks in formation]

In the twelfth volume of the Imperial Magazine, col. 644, the first volume of Bishop Sherlock's Works passed under our review, and elicited a tribute of approbation to which the productions of his pen are justly entitled. This volume is a continuation of the same great author's Works; but what is of more importance, it is a continuation of that vigorous spirit, of that acuteness of intellect, and of that extensive range of thought, for which the author was remarkably distinguished.

When we look back on the writings of these venerable men, we can hardly avoid exclaiming," there were giants in the earth in those days." Through the changes which constantly take place in language, many of their expressions have a quaint appearance, and some of their phraseology is become obsolete; but the energy of thought, the beamings of intellect, and the intimate acquaintance with the sacred records, which they almost uniformly display, lead us to suspect that our modern prelates and divines have lost more in strength than they have gained in refinement.

Among the divines of former years, Bishop Sherlock's name is deservedly held in high esteem. His works have never

« السابقةمتابعة »