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virtually acknowledges, that the persons he has in view are ne sect, by admitting, that they agree substantially with the more moderate and judicious members of the church in the doctrines they maintain; the doctrines, therefore, of course, which he himself, as one of those moderate and judicious members, maintains. But here we are reduced to great perplexity about the denomination of methodists as applied to such a. class; for we had imagined, that in the fashionable dialect this was the distinctive designation for a class of religionists, who insist with peculiar earnestness on the atoning merits of Jesus Christ, on justification through faith in him, on the operations of the Holy Spirit, and on the blessings of a particular providence. We find no means of getting out of the difficulty, and shall therefore content ourselves with transcribing a very necessary remonstrance and warning against enthusiasm.
• But bad as this is, it is not the worst evil which is to be laid to the charge of enthusiasm; the total destruction of human reason, the quenching of every faculty, the blotting out of all mind, fatuity, folly, idiotism, are the evils which it too often carries in its train. This is the spectacle at which they should tremble, who believe, that religious feelings do not require the controul of reason, and the aid of sound instruction; the specta cle of a mind dead for ever to all joy, without peace or rest in the day, or in the night, the victim of incurable hopeless madness: these are the proper warnings for those who are tired with the moderation of the English church, who ask for something less calm, more vehement, and more stimulating, than they can meet with here. At this moment, a thousand human creatures are chained to the earth, suffering, in imagination, all the_torments of hell, and groaning under the fancied vengeance of an angry God. What has broken them down, and what is the cause of their great ruin ? Zeal without knowledge; the violence of worship; passions let loose upon the most exalted of all subjects; utter contempt of all moderation; hatred and suspicion of the moderate; a dereliction of old, safe, and established worship; a thirst for novelty and noise; a childish admiration of every bold and loquacious pretender; methodism in every branch of its folly, and in the fullest measure of its arrogance.
Perhaps this sect is come too late.; perhaps, in spite of their incessant activity, it is not possible that mankind should again fall very extensively under the dominion of enthusiasm; in the mean time, whatever be their ultimate, and general success, this will be the character of their immediate proselytes; they will have all who are broken down by the miseries of the world, who fly to the drunkenness of enthusiasm, as a cure for the pangs of sorrow; they will have all men in whose minds fear predominates over hope, profligates who have exhausted the pleasures of life, will begin to blame those pleasures enthusiastically, and to atone by the corruption of their reason, for the corruption of their hearts. Designing hypocrites will sometimes join them, and throw a mask of sanctity over the sordid impieties of their lives. It will be a general receptacle for imbecility, fear, worn-out debauchery, and designing fraud.' Vol. I. p. 295. (To be continued in our next Number.
Art.. VII. Travelling Sketches in Russia and Saveden, during the Years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808. By Robert Ker Porter. 2 vols. 4to. pp. 302, 296. 51 plates, price 51. 5s. bds. R. Phillips, 1809.
So many qualifications are requisite to form the character of a complete traveller, that it were idle to expect a display of the whole assemblage in any single individual. Many of these talents are but rarely met with, even in a separate state, among men in general; and some of them are in their nature so different and even contrary to others, that they can scarcely ever be found in combination. It would therefore be absurd to insist that no person, who is not perfectly accomplished for the task of describing foreign countries, shall presume to publish an account of what he has seen or suffered in the course of his travels; and ungenerous to reproach a writer, who possesses many of these rare advantages, for not possessing them all. We, for our parts, have lived long enough in the world, and have been suffi ciently disciplined by events, to know the impossibility of uniting into one character all the varieties of excellence, and of associating into one life all the forms of happiness. We have long accustomed ourselves to say, with that mingled feeling which betrays itself by joining a sigh with a smile, Non omnia possumus omnes!--and have been pleased to observe a lesson of candour in the very phrase we adopted as a reflection of content. The time is past, when we could have indulged the hope of travelling in Russia and Sweden to take sketches for ourselves; and, in acquiescing with that arrangement which has fixed the bounds of our own habitation, we advert with no little delight to such an agreeable substitute for the enjoyments and hardships of a northern tour, comes within our reach in these elegant volumes. In perusing them, we have found so much to gratify curiosity, to excite sympathy, and to impart knowledge, that we have enjoyed many of the advantages of travelling in union with the safety and convenience of rest. And though we have also met with many suitable occasions for a recollection of the comprehensive hemistich, and an ample exercise of candour, we cannot refuse to acknowledge our obligations to Mr. Porter's pen and pencil, or deny him the praise of a very entertaining and intelligent writer, Reserving a few remarks on his defects for the conclusion of this article, we shall mention very briefly some of those qualities which give him a claim to the reader's esteem.
Every traveller, who writes for the public, should be a tolerable draughtsman. The gratification of the eye is 'the chief advantage of the actual over the imaginary tourist; Vol..
Statistics we can study, maps we can consult, anecdotes may amuse us at home; but he whose art transports us at once into the presence of a distant scene or spectacle, furnishes us with a satisfaction which nothing else, except actual travel, can supply, How irksome is it to hear the useless apologies and regrets of many, who are privileged to behold the magnificent and beautiful, aspects of nature, or the prodigies of art, for having neglected to acquire the possession of that talisman, which might have enabled them to convey to their native region some images of the glories which they had beheld, in remote countries, and communicate some vibrations of the extacy they had enjoyed alone to the circle of domestic privacy, or the extensive sphere of a literary people in all its various tribes andsuccessive generations. It is more irksome still, when a traveller will not content himself with barely or mournfully asserting the melancholy truth, that language is incompetent to convey any just idea of the scenery he professes to have admired, but thinks it incumbent on him to demonstrate the proposition, by making the attempt; assuredly, we would much rather assent at once to the rule as strictly axiomatic, than submit to the painful process of ascertaining it by this spécies of argumentum ad absurdum. We therefore feel much indebted to that race of travellers, notwithstanding their faults, who liberally supply us with the performances of their pencils; and confess ourselves to have dealt full leniently with a certain knight-errant, who has lately been seeking sights, jests, and adventures in Ireland, Holland, andScotland, in consideration of the numerous and well exc cuted drawings which embellish his costly quartos.
There are, also, other advantages arising from a proficiency in the art of design, which contribute materially to the worth of a traveller's reports. We mean the habit of attentive observation, the talent of minute and vivid description, the heightened relish for picturesque beauty, and the refined taste in judging of natural objects or works of art, with which the readers both of Sir John Carr and of Mr. Porter may be entertained. The latter has not only given us views of remarkable scenes, edifices, and cities, but has added several very curious sketches of manners, and some valuable representations of different races of men, exhibiting their peculiar costume; of these plates there are no less than forty-one, and we truly regret the author's loss of many other drawings in crossing the gulf of Bothnia. (p. 160.) His style of drawing, though not so neat as Carr's, is abundantly more spirited. His manner of describing, we think, may deserve still higher comparative praise.
taniel cual drempedI Among the qualities which make Mr. Porter an agreeable tourist, we shall of course include those which must render him amiable as a man, It is a charm of these volumes, in our opinion, that they disclose so much of his character; am advantage which he seems to regret, but which we accept as a compensation for many of the faults naturally occurring in a publication, which, he assures us, consists of familiar letters addressed to his friend, the late Captain Henry Caulfield. We have been much gratified with the generous and virtuous enthusiasm, the tender and delicate feelings, and the noble sentiments, which in spite of every blemish cast a lustre and a dignity on various parts of this, performance. Writers of travels have it in their power, a power indeed which they have too often exercised, to injure most seriously the moral interests of their readers. It is a species of composition universally read, unsuspected of injurious tendency, and even affording some sort of pretext for the occasional -intrusion of licentious or irreligious remark. Mr. Porter is especially intitled to our praise, not merely because he has presented no poison to the public mind in this attractive form, but because he has in several instances made it the vehicle of just and salutary reflections.
Before giving a more particular account of the work, we will only notice one farther advantage which attached to the author. We mean the length of his residence in Russia, which enabled him to obtain a juster estimate of the inhabitants, a more correct knowledge of their manners, and a more copious store of various information, than are gene rally to be found in similar works. He was employed, it seems, professionally, to embellish the newly-planned Admiralty at St. Petersburgh, with a portrait of Peter the Great, and a series of paintings illustrating his life. He landed at Cronstadt in September 1805, and remained in Russia, sometimes at Petersburg, sometimes at Mosco, till December 1807.
Mr. Porter touched at Elsineur, where, however, he made but a short stay. His letter from this place is so much made up from Shakespeare, and Saxo Grammaticus, that it induces the reader to expect a greater display of book-making, and indeed less delicacy of expression, in the course of the work, than he will actually find; and also to suspect that, however scrupulous Mr. P. may have been to omit nothing which occurred in the familiar letters,' he had not been so cautious to preserve them from all subsequent addition. In the second letter, 'describing the appearance of the Danish coast from the Sound, he says,
• Mount Edgecumbe is looked upon as the paradise of England; and what Mount Edgecumbe is in one spot only, so appears the whole of
Denmark from Elsineur to Copenhagen. The land is high, and undu lating in various romantic and sublime forms. Rich woods, broken by park-like openings and verdant pastures, and interspersed with countryhouses and villages for an extent of twenty three miles, form the clothing of these beautiful hills. A striking contrast to the black and naked line' of the opposite coast. p. 13..
The last sentence, which has no verb, may serve as one specimen of our author's inaccuracy.
He gives in this chapter a very striking anecdote of Nelson, which is too characteristic of that extraordinary commander to require any authentication. While writing his note to the Crown Prince, amidst the heat of the battle of Copenhagen, proposing a cessation of hostilities on the terms demanded by the British Government, the Admiral ordered a light to seal in; but the boy who had been sent for the candle was killed by a cannon shot.
The order was repeated: upon which Colonel Stewart observed, "Why should your Lordship be so particular to use wax? why not a wafer? The hurry of battle will be a sufficient apology for the violation of etiquette." "It is to prove, my friend," replied Lord Nelson, "that we are in no hurry; that this request is not dictated by fear, or a wish on our part to stop the carnage from the least apprehension of the fate of this day to us, that I am thus particular. Were I to seal my letter with a wafer, it would still be wet when it reached the shore; it would speak of haste. Wax is not the act of an instant; and it impresses the receiver accordingly." p. 14.
Mr. P. is not chargeable with that excessive passion for story-telling of which the entertaining Sir John (whom he mentions very civilly) has been accused; but he makes no scruple of introducing a good thing of this kind, when it comes in his way. The following is one of the stories related of the 'magnanimous' Paul, as he was called by English politicians. during the Anglican fit of his insanity.
Amongst the many absurd whims which infected the brain of this monarch, was one for painting, with various discordant colours, the bridges, watch-houses, and imperial gates throughout the empire. These harle quin jackets were put on every thing that answered to this description, from one end of Russia to the other, by a special ukase, all in one day. The Red Palace was indebted for its present fiery hue to a very simple circumstance. A lady of high rank, of whom his majesty was a great admirer, happened to appear one night at a ball where he was present, with a pair of gloves of this colour on her arms. The fancy of Paul was so struck. that the next day it became his favourite tint; and he gave instant orders that his new residence should be painted accordingly. Hence it is called the Red Palace and a most frightful glaring appearance it makes. p. 39, 40.
Before we part with this writer for the present, it may be proper to insert two short specimens of his manner of des