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they will continually feel conviction that no person, capable of inventing so natural and just a picture, would misuse his judgement and talents in fabricating an idle imposition. The simplicity of the language is unmixed with any mark of affectation, and we nowhere discover the smallest appearance of invention. The most valuable quality in Drury is the intimate acquaintance to which he brings his reader, with the character and manners of the Madagascar people; and this object is effected by strait forward narrative, undisturbed by any attempt at formal description. Another great merit in these adventures, and which more interests the reader than he is at first aware, is the frequency of natural touches of character, which are introduced, but without dwelling on them, and which are never obtruded on his notice.
In the new edition, the Publisher has done justice in the articles of paper, size, type, and ink: but in other circumstances, not less material, we have cause for complaint. To the original publication was affixed a map of Madagascar; to which the reader was glad to refer occasionally, that he might the better comprehend both the travels and the story: but the new edition is not so accompanied ; and we understand the reason for the omission to have been that the map to the original was very defective, and that it was difficult to Procure one that was good. In this case, an indifferent map would be much better than none: but a very good map for the purpose might easily have been made, by taking the outline of the coast from the modern charts, and marking the divisions of the country according to Drury's map: which, for the state of the interior in his time, must be indisputably better authority than any other. Another omission, equally ill judged, is the curtailment of the preface of the original. We likewise disapprove the alteration of Drury's orthography in the Madagascar word for a chief, which ac cording to him is Deaan, and is a title by which the chiefs are distinguished; while in the modern edition it is changed to Dean, for what reason is not explained.
Notwithstanding these defects, we consider the public as under obligations to the editor for rescuing a good book from the danger of falling into oblivion.
Art. 28. Compendium of the Laws and Constitution of England. By William Enfield, M. A. Author of the new pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language, &c. assisted by eminent profes sional Gentlemen. I 2mo. PP. 374 6s. Tegg. 18c9.
We should have preferred this little work if its title-page had professed less: but it is a clear and useful abridgement of Blackstone's commentaries; and it is well calculated to diffuse among the lower orders of society that knowlege of their legal rights and duties, which is the best security against the attacks of arbitrary power, and the only preservative from popular delusion.-We hope that it will be widely circulated.
Art. 29. Classical Descriptions of Love, from the most celebrated Epic Poets: Homer, Ariosto, Tasso, Milton, Virgil, and Camoens. By M. P. Grandmaison. Translated from the French. Crown 8vo. pp. 224. 6s. 6d. Boards. Blacklock. 1809.
Our readers may remember the original, or rather we should say the compiled poem of M. Grandmaison, (see Appendix to our 57th volume, p. 499.) from which a translation is here most unneces sarily obtruded on the public. The French author, in a style highly polished and exquisitely versified, displayed in his own language the most beautiful portions of the noblest poems: the anonymous English translator has copied M. Grandmaison's copies into bald and inflated prose, and has virtually announced himself as a competitor of the translations executed by Pope, Dryden, Mickle, Warton, Fairfax, and Hoole, and of the original compositions of Milton himself. It would have appeared impossible that the same language, which can boast that poet's description of the father of mankind in Paradise, should be insulted by the ensuing imitation of it:
In their form, however, some inequality distinguished the beauty of the two sexes: the one, majestic, displayed power and courage; the other, more attractive graces; the former lived in this charming spot, for God alone; the latter lived, for both God and her husband: the eye of the man sparkled gladly, and with conscious supériority; his long and black eye-brows, and his noble and august forehead, displayed the dignity of his rank; his hair, surrounding the top of his forehead, shaded it with various tresses; black as the hyacinth, they carelessly flow upon his beautiful neck; supported by his limbs, he raises erect his nervous frame; his arms and hands, the faithful servants of his body, hang freely in the air by his side, sometimes folded and sometimes stretched out; the feet under his limbs lightly bound forward, and, ready to obey the wish of the soul, perform their various duties.'
The title of this work seems designed to excite the curiosity and the passions of youth by vivid pictures of luxurious scenes: but we must do the translator the justice to say that his doubly.diluted draughts are not intoxicating.
We took notice, in our last month's Correspondence, of a letter from the Reverend Mr. Nares, and were inadvertently betrayed into a little mistake as to personal identity in speaking of the writer. In the course of our remarks, we called him Mr. Archdeacon Nares. We find, however, that it was not that gentleman, but his relation the Reverend Edward Nares, Rector of Biddenden, Kent, from whom we received that letter, and to whom the matter in question bore reference. We deem it right to apprize our readers of this circumstance, lest any future confusion should arise from the former misnomer.
Timothy Tangille's communication is in no degree connected with our office and judicature.
We repeat our wish to hear again from Z. Z. Z.
The APPENDIX to the last volume of the M. R. is published with this number.
ART. I. M. Laborde's View of Spain.
[Article concluded from the Review for August, p. 337-350.]
the former part of this article, we followed M. Laborde's itinerary to Andalusia, and we shall now accompany him to the adjoining province of Murcia. Its principal cities are three, viz. the capital, bearing the same name with the province, Carthagena, and Lorca. This last is a large inland town, containing 30,000 inhabitants; and it is of great antiquity, its castle having once been a place of considerable strength. The neighbourhood is fertile; and Lorca was, like the rest of Spain, in a course of progressive advancement, towards the end of the last century, when its prosperity was checked by one of those improvident acts which characterize a weak and ignorant government. Irrigation is the great source of agricultural improvement in Spain; and the inhabitants of Lorca were availing themselves, each on his own ground, of the waters that were diffused in various parts of the neighbourhood, when an individual succeeded in obtaining from government an exclusive privilege to collect the whole into a reservoir, whence he proposed to distribute it to the public at a fixed price. The undertaking was carried into effect, and a bason of immense extent was built and filled with water: but, from the inadequacy of the structure to resist so mighty a pressure, the water undermined one of the angles, and rushed out with irresistible impetuosity, sweeping away flocks, herds, villages, and woods. Several thousand human lives were lost on that melancholy occasion, and Lorca has never recovered this fatal perversion of its resources.
The Spaniards of the south and centre of the kingdom are a race of much less vigour than their countrymen in the north. In no province is this inferiority more conspicuous than in Murcia, which is the favourite abode of indolence and ignorance. M. Laborde shews the inhabitants no mercy; and the picture which he has drawn will cause amusement or disgust to VQL. LXIII.
his readers, according to the particular disposition with which different individuals are disposed to view these exhibitions of human infirmity:
Murcia is situated upon level ground, in a large and beautiful valley, watered by the Segura. It is upon the left bank of that river, in the midst of a magnificent country, of which the mulberry trees form the principal ornament.
The population of this town and neighbourhood is com puted at 60,000 souls. It is no longer walled, and is open on all sides to the country, but there are four gates remaining.-The streets are narrow, winding, irregular, badly divided, badly paved, and laid out without order; they are inconvenient, by perpetually crossing one another, and forming a number of alleys, the sharp angles of which continually project and recede; there are scarcely three or four streets where two coaches can pass. - There are few towns in Spain so tiresome to a stranger: there are no plays, balls, or parties.
The Murcian scarcely ever goes out of the town which gave him birth; he is not to be seen at courts, or in camps, in courts of justice, universities, or commercial towns; he lives with apathy, a life of sloth and indifference. He eats, drinks, sleeps, counts his beads, and drags his cloak to a place where he sits himself down to think of nothing. He does not even suspect that there is a more agreeable life than that which he now leads; that there is a greater extent of knowledge than that which he possesses; that there are abodes happier than that which he inhabits; nay, he does not think that there exist men more useful than himself. We may, consequently, read the history of Spain from one end to the other without finding any names of Murcians who have distinguished themselves in arms, or in the arts and sciences. The common people participate this indolence; a countryman or a porter employed to carry ever so light a load, if it even weighed no more than twenty-five pounds, would lay it on an ass, and refuse to carry it himself.'
Such of the Murcians as have easy incomes never turn their minds to any kind of employment: true happiness with them is to be found in bed, at table, and in smoaking cigars. They give a few moments of the day to external acts of devotion. They never open a book, and the only information they seek is by prying into the conduct of their neighbours. They sleep twice a day; at night, and in the afternoon, and for a long time. They regularly make five meals two breakfasts, the first of chocolate, the second of a pimentodish, dinner, afternoon chocolate, and supper at night. Every other hour is spent in smoaking cigars, in which they take great pleasure, and go to it very deliberately; they sit down without saying a word, and smoak with the greatest gravity; they are, then in such a state of torpid bliss, that if every thing were going to destruction about them, they would not condescend to move.'
The women are equally indolent. Those of rank, or who are rich, make the same meals, sleep afterwards, and spend the rest of their time in sitting almost always with their arms folded. They never take up a book, or employ themselves in any of those little
works that are useful in a family, and which naturally belong to women. They are very seldom seen with a needle in their hand; they do not sew, or embroider, or even knot. We see the same indolence among the women of the lower class.'
There is one town, and but one, in the kingdom of Murcia, where the manners are totally different, and that is Carthagena, where we find affability, society, amusements, and pleasures. In entering this town, after travelling though Murcia, we may think ourselves in a new country: here strangers are well received, and the inhabitants are very sociable; but then, for it must not be concealed, there are very few Murcians amongst them; most of them are fo reigners, consisting of English, French, and Italians, and are either merchants, or sailors, or soldiers.'
Valencia is one of the most fertile and picturesque provinces of Spain, and its inhabitants are remarkable for a gaiety and a love of pleasure which do not in general belong to their countrymen. Like the rest of Spain, it contains very striking remains of antiquity, the ruins of Saguntum being still distinctly visible in the neighbourhood of the modern town of Murviedro.
< Celtiberian and Roman inscriptions (says M. Laborde) are seen on every side; we find on several modern edifices and in ancient fortifications, the stones on which they are engraven; we walk over them on the thresholds of the doors, and on the stairs; and often lament the ignorance of those who have degraded them, or who, by putting them to different uses than those they were intended for, have reversed or destroyed them. Saguntum had a circus, the walls of which are still distinguishable in the lower part of the enclosures of a succession of orchards, behind the convent of the Trinitarians. This circus had the form of a semi-ellipsis, the two extremes of which terminated at the little river Palencia. A greater portion of the theatre remains than any other Roman monument. It is at the foot of a mountain which shelters it from the south and west winds; we still see the semicircle where the spectators sat, the doors by which the magistrates entered, the judges' seats, those appropriated to the lictors, and to courtezans. The vomitoria, or passages by which the public came out, are still to be seen.'
The foreign trade of this province, and of a great part of the east of Spain, is carried on at Alicant, which takes rank among the Spanish sea-ports next to Cadiz and Barcelona. Its bay is large and secure, but deficient in depth; the number of vessels which annually enter it is nearly a thousand, of which a large proportion are Catalan ; and the population of the place amounts to 17,000. It is a town of great antiquity, and was formerly of considerable strength, being defended by a castle on an adjoining mountain. This castle, however, was greatly damaged in the war of the succession, and has never been repaired.