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man, evidently acquainted with the matters on which he writes, states many home truths, and offers many suggestions which appear to us to merit attention; the question being of great importance, and the evils of impressmont avowedly serious and disgraceful. We cannot, however, enter into a detail of the propositions and regulations which be here submits to consideration ; and indeed we would prefer to recommend a perusal of his pamphlets at large to those who are interested in the discussion.
of the shameful manner in which the practice of impressment is often carried into effect, Mr. Urquhart gives a very glaring instance in his letter to Mr. Wilberforce; by stating the mode in which he was himself attacked, while walking with his wife and her sister in the streets of London, and Mrs. U. also sustained serious bodily injury. We are sorry to learn that he was not able to obtain adequate justice for the outrage.
NOVEL. Art. 24. The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornish
Man: taken from his own Mouth, in his Passage to England, from off Cape Horn in America, in the Ship Hector. By R.S. a Passenger in the Hector. A new Edition, embellished with Engravings. 12mo. 2 Vols. 1os. 6d. Boards. Allman. 1816,
This title-page announces that the work does not now appear for the first time, but no intimation is any where given respecting the period of its original publication, or the real character of the narrative itself. We have, however, discovered a report of it in our Review for December 1750: in which we remarked that it was a very strange performance, apparently the illegitimate offspring of no very natural conjunction between Gulliver and Robinson Crusoe; and much inferior to the meaner of those performances in entertainment and utility: having all that is impossible in the one or improbable in the other, without the wit and spirit of the first, or the just strokes of nature and useful lessons of morality of the second. Many things in the work also appear to be derived from hints drawn from the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.- Why such a production should be re-published, we do not know: even though Mr. Southey, in his notes to his excentric poem, The Curse of Kehama, chose to eulogize it, while he acknowleged that he had borrowed from it the idea of his Glendoveer.
MISCELLANEOUS. Art. 25. The Second Usurpation of Bonaparte ; or a History of
the Causes, Progress, and Termination of the Revolution in France in 1815; particularly comprizing a Minute and Circumstantial Account of the ever memorable Victory of Waterloo. To which are added Appendices containing the official Bulletins of this glorious and decisive Battle. By Edmund Boyce, Author of the Belgian Traveller, Translator of Labaume's Campaign in Russia, and Giraud's Campaign of Paris, &c. with accurate Maps, Plans, &c. 2 Vols. 8vo. pp. 830. 11. 45. Boards. Leigh. 1816.
The description of Mr. Boyce's labours conveyed in the titlepage sufficiently denotes that they are of that temporary nature, which conduces more to the emolument of the bookseller than to the fame of the author. He deals in translations, abridgments, and compilations; laying the news-papers of the day, both foreign and domestic, under rigorous contribution; and exercising no very scrupulous vigilance with regard to the consistency of the intelligence of which he renders himself the medium. The volumes before us contain in consequence a strange mixture of truth and error, of just remark and of common-place; without suggesting any other favourable conclusion respecting the writer than that, if he would take time to digest his materials and mature his thoughts, he might be capable of much superior composition. At present, he is fond of the inflated style that is usual with authors of little experience; and, as the same remark applies to the majority of the writers, whether news-paper editors, pamphleteers, or pretended historians, from whom he copies, his book is, from beginning to end, little else than a tissue of exaggeration. He relates, with all imaginable gravity, (Vol. i. p. 162.) the pretended interview between Bonaparte and the whole royalist army at Melun on his way to Paris in March 1815; the alleged attempt (p. 179.) to carry off the young King of Rome from Vienna; the secret conference (Vol. ii. p. 176.) between Lucien and his brother at the time of the second abdication; and a variety of other matters equally private in their nature, without ever informing us on what grounds he renders himself the channel of such mysterious intelligence.
Vol. i. begins with an account of Bonaparte in his residence at Elba, and, after having recapitulated the causes of the existing discontents in France, relates his successful attempt in March 1815, with the public proceedings that followed his entry into París. These comprize the Champ de Mai, the debates of the two chambers, and the preparations for the campaign in the Netherlands. — Vol. ii. opens with the operations against Blucher, and contains a very long narrative (compiled from various sources) of the battle of Waterloo, to which we have already alluded in our article on that subject in the Review for September. We hare next a report of the proceedings at Paris after Napoleon's return, of the advance of the Austrian and Russian armies, and finally of the removal of Bonaparte from Paris to St. Helena.
These topics are all so familiar to our readers, and are related with so little novelty in the present work, that it seems unnecessary to make extracts, or to enlarge farther on the merits of the compilation. It is illustrated by two very good maps, one of the Low Countries generally, and the other of the districts adjacent to Waterloo ; as also with a plan of that battle, on a much larger scale than we commonly find in such publications. We are thus the more inclined to regret that a writer, who is capable of making a judicious choice of the accompaniments of his work, has not bestowed greater pains on the execution of it. — An Appendix of public papers is added : but, among other examples of carelessness, we must notice that the French official account of the great
battle is very badly translated; while a list of Lord Wellington's conflicts (Vol. ii. p. 99.) is so incorrect as to comprize in the number the actions at Corunna and Barrosa.
A conversation said to have been held by a countryman of our own with Bonaparte in the island of Elba, in December 1814, is inserted in Vol. i. p. 50., and forms one of the most curious passages in the work, if it be authentic: but we find no voucher for it, and therefore we do not quote it. Art. 26. Time's Telescope for 1816; or, a complete Guide to the
Almanack. Containing an Explanation of Saints' Days and Holidays; with Illustrations of British History and Antiquities; Notices of obsolete Rites and Customs; and an Account of the Fasts and Festivals of the Jews; Astronomical Occurrences in every Month, &c. The Naturalist's Diary; and a Description of British Forest-trees, &c. &c. 8vo. gs. Boards. Sherwood and Co.
We have not had an earlier opportunity of noticing this little amusing and instructive performance, although the present volume is the third of a series which it is intended to continue annually. From the title, the reader will doubtless understand it to be of a very miscellaneous character, and such he will find it: but the arrangement is very natural, and much interesting and some useful information may be gathered from many of its pages. Being intended to form a sort of companion to the almanack, it of course contains an account of all the remarkable feasts, fast-days, and saints' days; the time and reason of their institution, with the forms and ceremonies which are, or have been, observed on them; besides a variety of other particulars connected with antient customs, remarkable events, &c. &c.
Two of the most prominent articles for the year 1816 are the Introduction on the Elements of Botany, and the History of Astronomy. These are both written with considerable perspicuity, and in a popular and instructive manner ; well calculated to attract the attention of youth, and to give them a bias in favour of scientific researches. The astronomical history is treated in different sections, or divisions, under the heads of the several months; the first relates to the astronomy of the antients; the second to the state of that science among the Chinese, Persians, and Arabs; and the third to that of modern Europe, including the numerous discoveries which, within a very few years, have been made in astronomy by Herschel, Laplace, Lagrange, Olbers, &c. with the names of the several new planets, their situation, magnitude, periodical revo, lutions, and every other information that is to be expected in a popular historical sketch. - The only objection which we have to offer, respecting this part of the performance, is its separation into so many detached parts, for the sake of having one under each month.
The other subjects of the work agree very well with this sort of arrangement: particulars which relate to the calendar could assume no other form : the astronomical occurrences are of the same nature; and the parts respecting natural history and the
description description of forest-trees will also easily admit of the same divisions: but the history of astronomy, having no reference whatever to particular seasons, ought to have formed one uninterrupted article.
The volume contains many other interesting and instructive sketches, particularly on some parts of natural history. The author's account of ants is very amusing; and his relation of the trial, condemnation, and execution of Charles I., as well as of the great fire of London, both selected from scarce pamphlets, will be read with interest. It is true that the whole can only be considered as a compilation, but it is made with skill and judgment, and contains much desirable miscellaneous information. We may give a few specimens:
• MAY-DAY.— Antiently, all ranks of people went out a Maying early on the first of this month. “ The juvenile part of both sexes, in the north, were wont to rise a little after midnight, and walk to some neighbouring wood, accompanied with music and the blowing of horns ; where they break down branches from the trees, and adorn them with nosegays and crowns of flowers. When this is done, they return with their booty homewards, about the rising of the sun, and make their doors and windows to triumph in the flowery spoil. The after part of the day is chiefly spent in dancing round a tall pole, which is called a May-pole; which being placed in a convenient part of the village, stands there, as it were consecrated to the goddess of flowers, without the least violation offered it, in the whole circle of the year."
* To the custom of “going out a Maying," Shakspeare alludes in his Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i. sc. 1.
6 If thou lov'st me then,
There will I stay for thee.” · Saint PATRICK, — The tutelar saint of Ireland was born in the year 371, in a village called Bonaven Tabernie, probably Kilpatrick, in Scotland, between Dunbriton and Glasgow. He spent many years in preparing himself for the holy functions of a priest, studying intensely till his fifty-fifth or sixtieth year. Being successively ordained deacon, priest, and bishop, he received the apostolical benediction from Pope Celestine, and was sent by him, about the beginning of the year 432, to preach the gospel in Ireland. He died at the good old age of 123, and was buried at Down, in Ulster.
• The shamrock is said to be worn by the Irish, upon the anni. versary of this saint, for the following reason: When he preached the gospel to the Pagan Irish, he illustrated the doctrine of the Trinity, by showing them a trefoil, or three-leaved grass, with one stalk; which operating to their conviction, the shamrock, which is a bundle of this grass, was ever afterwards worn upon this saint's anniversary, to commemorate the event. (Brand.)
« The Order of St. Patrick was instituted by his present Majesty, in the year 1783.'
Among Among the descriptions of forest-trees, a very interesting account is given of the oak, but we can allow ourselves only a short. abstract from it:
Oaks have obtained (attained) an immense age and size. The Magdalen Oak, which grew close by the gate of the water-walk in that college at Oxford, survived nine hundred years; but this is not an extraordinary age for an oak. Tradition traces the age of the Fairlop Oak half-way up the Christian era. It is a very noble tree, and, though fast verging to decay, its branches overspread an area of nearly three hundred feet in circumference: the girth of the stem is thirty-six feet. At Worksop grew an oak, whose branches covered the space of ninety feet. The circumference of Damory's Oak, near Blandford, was sixty-eight feet at the ground, and seventeen feet above the ground its diameter was four yards. Among other celebrated oaks, may be named Hern's Oak, in Windsor Forest, the Haveringham Oak, &c.
There is now an oak at Blenheim, supported by props, which has stood, at the least, eight hundred years. The Swilcar Oak, in Needwood Forest, measures thirteen yards in circumference at its base, eleven yards round at the height of four feet from the earth, and is believed to be six hundred years old. It is situated in an open lawn, surrounded by extensive woods.
* The large Golenos Oak, which was felled in the year 1810 for the use of his Majesty's navy, grew about four miles from the town of Newport, in Monmouthshire ; the main trunk, at ten feet long, produced 450 cubic feet; one limb 355, one ditto 472, one ditto 235, one ditto 156, one ditto 106, one ditto 113, and six other limbs of inferior size averaged ninety-three feet each, making the whole number 2,426 cubic feet of sound and convertible timber. The bark was estimated at six tons; but as some of the very heavy body bark was stolen out of the barge at Newport, the exact weight is not known. Five men were twenty days stripping and cutting down this tree; and a pair of sawyers were five months converting it, without losing a day (Sundays excepted). The money paid for converting only, independent of the expence of carriage, was 82l.; and the whole produce of the tree, when brought to market, was within a trifle of 6ool. It was bought, standing, for 4051.; the main trunk was 9] feet in diameter, and, in sawing it through, a stone was discovered six feet from the ground, above a yard in the body of the tree, through which the saw cuť; the stone was about six inches in diameter, and completely shut in, but round which there was not the least symptom of decay. The rings in its butt were carefully reckoned, and amounted to above four hundred in number, a convincing proof that this tree was in an improving state for upwards of four hundred years; and, as the ends of some of its branches were decayed and had dropped off, it is presumed it had stood a great number of years after it had attained maturity.
• The oak is one of the most valuable and majestic trees; its leaves are eaten by horses, cows, goats, and sheep; deer and swine fatten on the acorns, and squirrels and other small animals lay them up for winter repast. A luxurious pasturage is afforded, by the