Page images
[blocks in formation]

N. B. Every species of human knowledge may be reduced to one or

other of these divisions.

Man, partly as a science, to dialectic..

Even law belongs partly to the History of

The 12 languages are,



Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese,

Hebrew, Arabic,


German, English.

1780. P. 192.

In the ensuing year he devoted all his leisure hours to the completion of his translation of the Moallakat, which was not totally finished, however, till 1783; he published about the same time his Law of Bailments; and, with an eye still directed to the supremacy of an Indian judicial court, translated an Arabian poem on the Mohammedan law of succession to the property of intestates. His late noble pupil had now been married for some months: and in the following affectionate letter to him there is so much playful vivacity, such a perfection of fine taste as well as fine feeling, that to suppress it would be unpardonable.


" 1 January 5, 1782. dear "O la bella cosa de far niente! This was my exclamation, my lord, on the 12th of last month, when I found myself, as I thought, at liberty to be a rambler, or an idler, or any thing I pleased: but my mal di gola took ample revenge for my abuse and contempt of it, when I wrote to you, by confining me twelve days with a fever and quinsey; and I am now so cramped by the approaching session at Oxford, that I cannot make any long excursion. I enclose my tragical song of " a shepherdess going," with Mazzanti's music, of which my opinion at present is, that the modulation is very artificial, and the harmony good, but that Pergolesi (whom the modern Italians are such puppies as to undervalue) would have made it more pathetic and heart-rending, if I may compose such a word. I long to hear it sung by Mrs. Poyntz. Pray present the enclosed in my name, to lady CRIT. REV. Vol. 4. January, 1805.


Althorpe. I hope that I shall in a short time be able to think of you, when I read these charming lines of Catullus *.

And soon to be completely blest,

Scon may a young Torquatus rise;
Who, hanging on his mother's breast,
To his known sire shall turn his eyes,
Out-stretch his infant arms awhile,

Half ope his little lips and smile.

(Printed translation).

What a beautiful picture! can Dominichino equal it? How weak are all arts in comparison of poetry and rhetoric! İnstead however of Torquatus, I would read Spencerus. Do you not think that I have discovered the true use of the fine arts, namely, in relaxing the mind after toil. Man was born for labour; his configuration, his passions, his restlessness, all prove it; but labour would wear him out, and the purpose of it be defeated, if he had not intervals of pleasure; and unless that pleasure be innocent, both he and society must suffer. Now what pleasures are more harmless, if they be nothing else, than those afforded by polite arts and polite literature; love was given us by the Author of our being as the reward of virtue, and the solace of care; but the base and sordid forms of artificial (which I oppose to natural) society, in which we live, have encircled that heavenly rose with so many thorns, that the wealthy alone can gather it with prudence. On the other hand, mere pleasure, to which the idle are not justly entitled, soon satiates, and leaves a vacuity in the mind more unpleasant than actual pain. A just mixture, or interchange of labour and pleasures, appears alone conducive to such happiness as this life affords. Farewell, I have no room to add my useless name, and still more useless professions of friendship.' r. 206.

In the line of politics, Mr. Jones was soon after elected a member of the society for constitutional information; and essentially contributed towards its views by various letters to its chief pivot Mr. Yeates: and he avowed himself, in an express letter to lord Kenyon, the author of the celebrated political dialogue for which a bill of indictment was found against the dean of St. Asaph. In his professional concerns, he found that his having been "amused and kept so long in suspense, to adopt his own terms, about the judgeship in India, had greatly injured him; but it was a suspense from which he was soon relieved by a fortunate change of administration-lord Shelbourne having succeeded lord North, and the application of lord Ashburton in his favour having

[ocr errors]

The original is quoted by Mr. Jones:

Torquatus volo parvulus,
Matris e gremio suæ

Porrigens teneras manuş
• Dulce rideat ad patrem,
Semi-hiante labello.

been instantly complied with. At this period also he ventured openly to pay his addresses to miss Shipley, the daughter of the very excellent bishop of St. Asaph; and was soon as highly favoured by love as by professional promotion.

ART. II.-Letters on Silesia, written during a Tour through that Country in the Years 1800 and 1801; by his Excellency John Quincy Adams, then Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to the Court of Berlin, &c. 8vo. 85. Boards. Budd. 1804.

SILESIA lies without the circle of the modern traveller, and few of its visitants have described its scenery in our language. Interesting from the war which it formerly occasioned, and the military events which it witnessed, this country has now sunk into oblivion; and Mr. Coxe, who hovered round it in his modern travels, seems to have paid no attention to its peculiarities or its beauties.

Silefia is a district of peculiar fertility and interest, when compared with the barren sands of Brandenburg, and the neglected plains of Poland. It lies between the two, on the north-east and north-west, and between Hungary and Saxony on the south of the same points. The Sudetic chain and its branches, separate it from Moravia and Bohemia on the south. There is much reason to suppose that the Baltic once covered the country on the north of Silesia, and that this district consisted of its shores, or was very widely overspread, while the sea was confined merely by the mountains. The former idea is the more probable, for there are no marine remains, at a considerable distance from the mountains, which are granitic.

The let

Mr. Adams, who resided in a public capacity at Berlin, thought this country merited some of his attention; and proceeding westward, to Frankfort, directed his course southerly athwart its boundaries, and wandered through its higher regions from Schemnitz to Glatz, among the mountains, catching every pleasing prospect, and visiting every interesting scene. He winds to the west, on his return through Dresden and Leipsic, whence he again reaches Berlin. ters, descriptive of this tour, written in an easy familiar style, to his brother, were published in a periodical paper at Phila delphia, and are now republished from that compilation. We have read them with great pleasure; and, on the whole, think that they are what every tour thould be,-easy, unaffected descriptions of the scenes and objects presented to a traveller of taste and judgement. In the map prefixed, some trivial geographic liberties are affumed, probably to render the different, towns more conspicuous. The longitude is too far extended,

and the relative situations of the adjoining countries not aceurately laid down. It is, however, sufficiently clear and explicit to illustrate the tour in Silesia, which perhaps was its only object. It fhould nevertheless be remembered, that erroneous ideas, once imbibed, are not easily corrected; and that placing the north at any other part than the top of a map, confuses for a time even an experienced geographer. We had lately occasion to give a strong instance of this in Mr. Gell's map of the


In the whole of this tour, Mr. Adams displays considerable information, and a correct discrimination. He ridicules with success the modern ideas of virtue and simplicity in secluded peasants; and, in his devious wanderings over the Giant Mountains, points out features of a very different, and of a much less pleasing kind. In his commercial views, he displays much judgement, and indicates the only real foundation of successful commerce-punctuality and honour. In mechanical speculations, he is not always equally correct; but, in his account of the various machinery which he has occasion to notice, he pays an ample tribute to the abilities and industry of our own nation. Indeed, Americans must consider themselves as Englishmen. Gallo-mania can be but of short duration; and events that have occurred in France, and in St. Domingo, will hasten to dissipate more rapidly the delusion. As a politician, our author is rational and judicious: and his views of the scenery of the more romantic parts of the province evince his taste and feeling. Having given this general view of his work, it remains only to select a few passages. As many of the districts were new to us, they were also interesting: for this reason we may be tempted to enlarge a little beyond our common limits, as we may fairly conclude that the descriptions will be also new and interesting to many of our readers.

Mr. Adams wades through the sands of Brandenburg to Frankfort, which contains 3000 Jews, squalid and dirty beyond the powers of language to describe. He shortly notices the Frankfort fair, and sneers a little at the plan of producing sugar from beet roots. We think that we can see, in the back ground, the sugar from the maple implicated in the same sarcasm. Our traveller, on his entering Silesia from the electorate, soon discovered a striking change; since he only paid one third of the price for a good dinner, which had been before demanded for a bad one. The different state of the peasants in the electorate and Silesia is pointed out in the following anecdotes.

As happens to be just now the harvest-time, we passed many groups of reapers, a sight which would have afforded us more satisfaction had we not known that they were far from gathering the boun

ties of the season for themselves, and had they not, by frequently soliciting our charity, proved the wretchedness of their condition. We travelled through Saxony, a part of the March, and a corner of Bohemia, last year at this time, and then we also met many companie s of reapers; we saw several last week as we came from Berlin, but we never before beheld them beg. Since we entered Silesia, yesterday and the day before, certainly more than twenty times, as we passed by troops of peasants of both sexes who were gathering the harvest, a woman from among them, and sometimes two or three, ran from the fields to our carriage with a little bunch of flowers tied up with some cars of the grain which they were gathering, and threw them into the carriage at the windows, by way of begging for a dreyer or half a groschin. The reason of this is, because the condition of the peasant in Silesia is much worse than in the Electorate. For although personal servitude exists alike in both provinces, yet the serf in the March is never compelled to labour for his lord, more days than there are. In Silesia he is often obliged to furnish ten days work in a week: judge then, after the man and his wife have both laboured five days in seven for the lord, what sort of a subsistence they can earn in the remaining two (one of which is a Sunday) for themselves.'

P. 28.

Silesia was formerly a catholic province, and at this time one half of its inhabitants are catholics. Though the toleration or the scepticism of the Prussian government has introduced maxims of mutual forbearance; though the manners of the age have favoured the progress of indifference to every form of religion; yet the Lutheran and the catholic in Silesia still indulge the worst of animosities, the odium theologicum.

The brown pottery of Bunzlau, the ingenuity of Jacob and Hütig, a weaver and carpenter of this town, are not without their interest, but must not detain us. The whole indeed is untrodden ground, and offers much novelty. We shall, however, prefer attending to the bolder and more characteristic features of nature in this peculiar country. The following is a scene in the Riesengebirge, the north-western point of the Sudetic Chain, which terminates on the south-east in the Carpathian Mountains.

This day was devoted to the view of the Schneegruben, or snowpits, which are considered as among the greatest curiosities of the mountains; and, likewise, to visit the source and the fall of the Elbe.

At seven in the morning we took to the cart, and after jolting over the rocks up-hill for two hours, came to the place beyond which no carriage can proceed. From the time when we left the cart we ascended, for about one hour, a steep of which you can form an idea, when I tell you that it was, throughout, about equal to the steepest part of Beacon-hill in Boston. We then came to a peasant's hut, here called a baude (pronounce it in English bouder), of which there are many upon these mountains, and of which, as they and their inhabitants have several distinguishing peculiarities, I shall say something

« PreviousContinue »