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The establishment is amply entitled to patronage, and its promoters to the gratitude of their country.
With regard to the poems themselves,' observes Mr. Boscawen, with a modesty which is sure to obtain its request, it is hoped the candid reader will not require in compositions, all of which relate to one subject, that variety, which a multiplicity of topics and occasions might be expected to produce. The writer of this introduction is well aware how many defects may be justly imputed, and how few merits can be ascribed to his own contributions. But he trusts, that other parts of the collection, which, on the respective recitations, were warmly applauded, will be found worthy of being preserved; and that his own attempts, if they obtain no credit to his talents, will, at least, P. 163. secure indulgence to his motives.'
It is not to be supposed that all the flowers of this living Parnassus are possessed of equal excellence; but we see no one that is altogether unworthy of notice. The following, by the elder captain Morris, recited at the annual meeting in 1796, is among those which have best pleased our
To soothe the needy sage in Sorrow's bed,
This loved society in glory shine?
And, while Suspicion seeks to cloud her day,
Sees Charity on learned labours smile,
• If once I fear'd our dissolution near,
And shouts of triumph hail her on her way.' P. 181.
We can only find room for one more insertion, and shall appropriate it to the following address, written and recited at the anniversary, 1801, by Mr. Fitzgerald.
Poets were ever poor, the fact's allow'd,
That still is murmur'd by the breath of Fame:
The great Augustus, and Maecenas too!
They felt him generous, and they made him great!
France, though oppress'd, was flatter'd still to find
And, while she view'd the splendour of his throne,
Glorious they made the tyrant's reign appear,
Your bounty, though less brilliant to the eye,
ART. V.-Travels in the Crimea.-A History of the Embassy from Petersburg to Constantinople, in 1793. Including their Journey through Krementschuck, Oczakow, Walachia, and Moldavia; with their Reception at the Court of Selim the Third. By a Secretary to the Russian Embassy, Svo. 7s. 6d. Boards. Robinsons. 1802.
THIS little work consists of two parts, travels in the Crimea, and the journey in which the author accompanied the embassy from Petersburg to Constantinople. Each is independent of the other, and both are related in the simple
style of an attentive and faithful observer. The author does not attempt to exalt himself in the reader's opinion, but plainly relates what he witnessed.
• The narrative of the following Travels was not originally intended for the press. It was written at first purely as a homage at the shrine, of friendship; but many of those persons for whose private amusement it was destined, as well as others distinguished for their science and information, having pronounced the manuscript to be both interesting and instructive, their judgment has had sufficient weight with the writer to induce him to present his observations to the public at large.
Though the rapidity with which the traveller proceeded, permitted him to cast only a transient view upon the different objects worthy of remark which offered themselves to his attention, yet the historian, the geographer, and the statistical observer, will perhaps find some scattered hints in these pages, which they will deem not unworthy to be registered and remembered.
The most interesting parts of the narrative will no doubt be found to be the journey of the writer across the Crimea, and the minute and ample account of the expedition of the famous embassy from Petersburg to Constantinople, as well as of its residence in the capital of the Turkish empire, in 1793. The public as yet knows nothing, or knows very little, respecting the interesting route of this deputation through a considerable part of Europe; a part hitherto almost unfrequented, and respecting which we have scarcely any authentic information; while the voyage of lord Macartney to Pekin and the other provinces of China, has been detailed with emphasis, published with splendour, and is in the hands of all the world.
• This Russian embassy, composed of a train of nearly seven hundred persons, and which presented a spectacle of truly Asiatic luxury, consisted, strictly speaking, of a single caravan. A detachment of infantry and cavalry opened and closed their march; they advanced by very slow stages; every evening an encampment was formed according to all the rules of the military art; and every third day was devoted to relaxation and rest. It was not till the sixth month after they left Petersburg that they arrived at Constantinople, and their ceremonial entry was in an uncommon degree memorable and brilliant. All the curiosities of this ancient metropolis were exposed to the view of the ambassador and the principal persons of his suite, by the express orders of the grand-signior; and the author of the following sheets exerted as much vigilance as eagerness, to keep an ample and exact journal of every thing he saw.' P. iii.
We shall step, with the author, immediately into the Crimea, a country which we have lately glanced at with professor Pallas, in the course of which we mentioned the present journal. The plain of Oczakow is a vast surface, almost wholly choaked with weeds, without a bush or a babitation, except an occasional post-house. Cherson, a town on the Dnieper, beyond the river, which was once the boundary between Russia and Turkey, is no longer necessary as
a barrier town; yet over the gates is still to be seen the following significant epigraph- This is the way to Byzantium' -a way which we trust Russia will never explore or attain. On crossing the Dnieper, our author arrives at Perecop, whence the moat, that divides the Taurida from the main land, is only half a league distant. From Sympheropol, where our author resided, the distance to Perecop is inconsiderable; and his description is equally luxuriant with that of Pallas, whose account of this part of the Crimea we lately noticed. The Tartars can scarcely reconcile themselves to the customs of the Russians, though the conduct of the governor is particularly liberal and attentive. The Tartars, in return, are kind and hospitable to strangers and even Russians, though, as we have just remarked, they feel a repugnance to adopt either their manner of living or their customs.
The first of our author's excursions was to Sewastopol, a port in the south-west; and the singular configuration of the rocks, preserved in the plates illustrative of Pallas's travels, excites his astonishment. In penetrating the valleys of the interior, he sees the ancient Arcadia almost realised; and surveys, with admiration, the numerous flocks of the Tartars, and the peculiar sheep of the Crimea, whose fleeces are so much valued. The port of Sewastopol is yet in its infancy, but it is extensive and convenient.
The second excursion was to Sudak, in the interior of the Crimea, delightfully situated among mountains of very picturesque forms. Its chief production is wine. The avenues leading to the mountains are diversified with numerous villas and gardens rising to their summits, whence the sea and land prospects are peculiarly beautiful.
The third excursion was to the mountain Tsherderdak, the highest in the Crimea. Of the view from its summit, we shall select our author's description.
I had the pleasure of beholding underneath me the beautiful peninsula in all its extent, its mountains, its valleys, its woods, its towns, and its villages. I continued eight whole days in this place, without being able to exhaust the vast picture that on all sides excited my admiration and astonishment. Towards the north, I discerned distinctly the little town of Perecop; towards the west and the south, the Black Sea, which waters the coast of the peninsula; towards the east, the sea of Asoph, which however, on account of its distance, was not so easily distinguished.
I had scarcely enjoyed this majestic and enchanting scenery half an hour, when the sky became covered with black clouds, which very soon descended half-way down the mountain, substituting for the spectacle I had been enjoying, another, which, though less agreeable, afforded me however, on account of its novelty, very high pleasure. A most violent storm took place beneath my feet, and filled my soul