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this done? In many different ways they have methods without num. ber of gaining fomething, which are not known in any place but Paris.
Thus, for example: a well-dressed man, of a noble appearance, who, over his dish of bavaroise, talks fluently, tells all kinds of pleasaot aneca dotes, and jokes with great ease and freedom, may be seen every day in the Caffé de Chartres; and how does he live? By the sale of bills pafted up, which every night, when all others are alleep, he tears down from the corners of the Itreets, and carries to the pastry-cooks, who give him a few sous for his trouble. He then lays himself dowo quietly on his bundle of straw, in some grenier, and sleeps founder than many a Cresus.
• Another who is seen every day at the Thuilleries, and the Palaig. Royal, and who, by his dress, might be taken for an ecclefialtic, is a farmer ; and what kind of a one do you think? He farms the hair pins which are lost in the Italian theatre. When the curtain drops, and the company are leaving the house, he makes his first appearance in it ; and while the lights are extinguishing, he goes from box to box in order to search for the loft pins ; not one of them escapes his Lynxean eye, let it lie where it may ; and when the last candle is extinguished, our farmer picks up his last pin, and with the hope of not dying next morning of hunger, haftens to the broker to sell him his treasure.' 111, 112, 113.
It is fair, however, to warn our readers against implicit confidence in this traveller, whose ignorance and imagination are perpetually misleading him. Lavoisier, he says, has made all ihe Parisian ladies so fond of chemistry, that they analyse the sensibilities of the heart by chemical rules, (III. 69). At a meeting of the Royal Society of London, he saw, what, we believe, has seldom been observed by others, the President' passing his judgment upon various works, but with great candour and moderation,' (III. 243). In Newgate he learnt that convicts often preferred being hanged in their native country, rather than being transported with bad company, (III. 232); and in a trading veifel, he heard a drunk steersman request the captain rather to throw him over-board than strike him, because that to an Eng. lishman is worse than death, (III. 322).
In England, the last object of M. Karamsin's tour, he is apparently so much exhausted with his previous delights, that he can scarcely enjoy himself at all. Besides, the English in general do not much care about sallad and garden herbs; roast beef and beef steaks are their usual food, and hence their blood becomes thick, and themselves phlegmatic, melancholy, and not unfrequently selfmurderers,' (Ill. 200). Their hairdressers, too, are dull and clumsy. • Alas, I am no longer in Paris,' he exclaims, 'where the powder-puff of the ingenious lively Rulet played like a gentle zephyr round my head, and strewed it with a resplendent white aromatic rime!' (213.) Moreover, the climate begins to affect even M. Karamsin. He surprises himself philosophiling; but this, he says, must be excused as merely the effect of the air, for here lived Newton, Locke, and Hobbes,' (215.) He meets, however, with some things to console him in his distreffes, particularly a number of beautiful children, all little Emilius's and Sophias ; '-a blind beggar and his dog, which understood physiognomy-some ballad-lingers, who gave him an opportunity of shedding tears: and then M. Karamsin is much more independent of external resources than most travellers; for he is happy if, after all the farigues of the day, he can once more behoid at night his dear portmanteau, ' (III. 218.) He returns to Russia by the Baltic, and on his approach to its happy shores, is overwhelmed with unruly joy.
This book was originally written in German, and we have sometimes been disposed to think, that the translator does not greatly improve his author. Thus, it is not usual, on the eaftern Gde of St George's Channel, to' hail the setting fun,' (I. 52.) But some tropes of the same description cannot, we fear, be laid upon the translator. For example, the headach in his heart, of which M. Karaman complains so pitcoully, (Vol. II. p. 116.); and the surprise which he expresses (ibid. 209.) at beggars and vagrants' having, since the Revolution, become unwilling to work. We think the concluding remark of this author extremely judicious. After saying that his letters contain a true mirror of his soul, his thoughts, and his waking dreams, he alks, “What is more interesting to a man than his own dear self? But perhaps others too will be amused with my sketches; perhaps that, however, is their concern, and not mine.'
• Rien (says Boileau) n'est beau que le vrai, et le vrai seule eft aimable.'
Art. VI. Scottish Scenery; or, Sketches in Vers, defcriptive of Scenes chiefly in the Highlands of Scotland ; Accompanied with Netes and Illustrations, and ornamented with Engravings, Ei. By James Cririe, D. D. Dalton, Dumfriesshire, 4to. pp. 420. Cadell & Davies, London, 1803. This is a very pretty book to look at, and we dare say would I be very much admired in a country where nobody underfrood the language in which it is written. It is full of plates, and very handsomely printed, and posteses exactly that form and dimensions that are most susceprible of the embellishments of a beautiful binding. In these particulars, the publication has unquestionably great merit. But we do not think it altogether so well calculated for reading; and are really afraid that most of
those who take it up with such an intention, will very speedily lay it down again. It is necessary to observe, however, that we have read it faithfully through from beginning to end, and not without a certain species of entertainment. The work appears to us to be a fort of curiofity; and some account of it may probably be interesting to those who love to speculate on the inequalities of human genius.
So large a quantity of pure profe was never divided before, we believe, into cuttings of ten syllables, as Dr Cririe has here presented to his readers; and no instance has yet occurred to us, where so much labour has been bestowed on a poetical subject, with so complete a failure of poetical effect. We make these observations, however, upon the supposition that Dr Cririe intended to regulate himfelf by the ordinary standards of poetical excellence, and endeavoured to conform to the old and approved models that are commonly referred to in this department of literature. The uniformity and extent of his actual deviations, however, have compelled us to suspect that this is not the case; and that the reverend author, carried away by the innovating spirit of the age, has had the ambition of establishing a new school of poetry, and expected to set the example of an original manner of poetical description, · It cannot indeed be denied, that he appears to have borrowed a good number of hints from the inestimable treatise of the Baihos; but it must be admitted, that he has, in general, very much improved upon them, and that many of his devices for applying them are altogether and peculiarly his own. If we were to specify any one quality as peculiarly characteristic of this performance, we should pitch upon the admirable fidelity, and manly fimplicity of the descriptions, which occupy so considerable a part of it. In describing a city, for instance, a vulgar poetical writer is apt either to present fuch general and picturesque images to the fancy of the reader, as suggest a lively picture of its external appearance, or else to make some allusion to the great and interesting events that may happen to be connected with it. Dr Cririe, however, proceeds upon a much fafer and more satisfactory plan, and contents himself with a fair enumeration of the parts which compose it. Of Glasgow, for example, he notices
-- the beauty and extent,
Edinburgh is represented, with equal accuracy and effect, with
- High-tow'ring Arthur's Seat
Her bridges, buildings high, and spacious streets.' This plan of description, we must confess, is apt to give occasion to some apparent repetition; as the analysis of one city frequently affords pretty much the same results with that of another; but its advantages, in point of facility and precision, probably outweighed this inconvenience in the opinion of Dr Cririe.
In describing a landscape, the learned Doctor is scarcely less original. Painting to the eye, he knew, was extremely trouble. some and uncertain; and no colouring of words, he was senable, could ever convey an exact idea of the appearance and properties of every individual object. What, then, does he do? Words are the only instruments he can employ; and, guided by the maxims of the soundest philofophy, he conGiders that the words molt closely connected with external objects, and most fitted to suggest them with precision, are their proper names. And, accordo ingly, he inserts the proper name and appellation of all the objects around him, instead of embarrassing his readers with a vague or imperfect description. In representing the prospect from Rosneath, for instance, he favours his readers with this ample catalogue.
Loch-Long, Cumbray, and Clyde,
And rising still in beauty and renown.' p. 102. 103. Here, besides the great accuracy and beauty of the description, the reader is charmed with a number of fine sounding names, that could never have been introduced by a dealer in poetical landscape. This is a beauty, indeed, that is scattered with great profusion through the whole poem, which contains many fonorous and significant appellations, that probably never stood in verse before. We have Killicrankie, and Dunniquech, and Tummel, and Tynedrum, and Freuchlin, Coryvreckan, Au, Oich, and
Doch-Ard, and Lochy deep, Upon whose wooded banks stands Finlurig.' Upon the same principle, he does not scruple to infest in his poem, all the vulgar or ridiculous appellations that may happen to be appropriated to the object in question. Thus, he calls the canal that unites the Frith and the Clyde,' the Great Canal;' and celebrates the rugged mountains to the west of Inverary, by the name of ' Argyle's bowling green.' Whisky is called the water of life,' &c. &c.
Where the objects have no individual or proper names, he is contented with that of the species to which they belong, carefully avoiding every approach toward picturesque expreslion. In giving an account of a grove, for example, he disdains to speak of the mixture of colours, or the alternation of light and shade; but he gives a very exact and clear enumeration of the forts of trees which compose it. The sobriety of the whole passage, indeed, affords an admirable contrast to those gaudy and confufing descriptions with which the vulgar herd of readers are so much intoxicated.
· Here spreads the level lawn, well stock'd with deer:
That vies with talleit aged forest trees.' p. 60. Although we have said that Dr Cririe scorned to borrow an interest for his descriptions from any allusion to great and interesting events, yet it cannot be supposed that a man of his learning should pass such events over without any notice. The art, however, with which he guards against their communicating any degree of improper animation or fplendour to his work, is really surpriGng. He states the fact, in general, in the fewest and amplest words, and places it in such a detached position, that so far from raising up any unbecoming degree of emotion in the mind of the reader, it usually passes over it, like an extract from a chronological table. For instance:
• 'Twas here the Roman legions cross'd the Tay. '-
'Twas there his conqu’ring bands a check receiv'd. '
. In after-times, that caitle old was built,' &c. The same love of truth, and contempt for the vain exaggerations of ordinary poets, has led Dr Cririe, in many passages, to adopt a diction that is new in the poetical department. Thus, he speaks of a river, that wafts • manufactures’ abroad; and, instead of the trite imagery of a torrent rolling down swains, and trees, and cattle, he tells us that