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There are, undoubtedly, in Sir John Hawkins' book some awkwardnesses of phrase, and, which is worse, here and there, some unequivocal indications of a vanity not easily pardonable in a man of his years; but, on thu whole, it is amusing, and replete with information. It gives a great insight into the history of modern literature, and modern men of letters. Fifty years hence, perhaps, the world will feel itself obliged to him.
Boswell's Tour is amusing. There is indeed much trash in it, as there must always be in every narrative that relates indiscriminately all that passed. But now and then the doctor speaks like an oracle, and that makes amends for all. Sir John was a coxcomb, and Boswell is not less a coxcomb, though of another kind. I fancy Johnson made coxcombs of all his friends, and they, in return, made him a coxcomb; for, with reverence be it spoken, such he certainly was; and, flattered as he was, he was sure to be so.
We, who make books ourselves, are merciful to bookmakers.. I would that every fastidious judge of authors •were, himself, obliged to write; there goes more to the composition of a volume than many critics imagine. J have often wondered, that the same poet who wrote the Dunciad, should have written these lilies :—
"The mercy I to others show,
Alas! for Pope, if the mercy he showed to other* was the measure of the mercy he received!
In writing, perspicuity is always more than half the battle. The want of it is the ruin of more than half the poetry that is published. A meaning that does not stare you in the face is as bad as no meaning; because nobody will take the pains to poke for it.
It is useful to every man to be well grounded in the principles of jurisprudence. It is a branch of science that bids much fairer to enlarge the mind, and give an accuracy of reasoning than all the mathema'ties in the world.
Miscarriages, in authorship, are as often to be ascribed to want of pains-taking as to want of ability.
The great author of the Rambler (intimately acquainted with all the troubles that are too apt to attend the votaries of literature) has said, " that a Bookseller is the only Maecenas of the modern world." Without assenting to all the eulogy and all the satire implied in this remarkable sentiment, we may take a pleasure in ob"serving, that in the class of men so magnificently and sportively commended, there are several individuals, each of whom, a writer of the most delicate manners and exalted mind, may justly esteem as a pleasing associate and as-i liberal friend.
Let genius, true genius, conceal itself where it may, we may say of it, as the young man in Terence of his beautiful mistress, Diu latere nonpotest.
CHARACTER OF THE MALAY SLAVES.
Duris genuit te cantibus horrens
Caucasus, Hircanaeque admorunt ubera tigres.—Virg.
-^—— Thy parent was a rock,
And fierce Hircanian tigers gave thee suck.
The Dutch, at the Cape of Good Hope, import many slaves, both from Asia and Africa; those from the Malay Isles are particularly ferocious and vindictive. The slaves of the Malay race are tolerably numerous, and employed in many kinds of laborious work, such as gardening and attending the grounds belonging to the pleasure-houses round the town, and in the kitchens, and the drudgery-work belonging to them. They are also often employed in fishing and procuring fuel. This class of people are extremely vindictive, treacherous, and ferocious, implacable in their revenge, and, on the slightest provocation or imaginary insult, will commit murder. They are indeed a scourge to the people they come among Many shocking murders have been committed by the Malay slaves on their masters and mistresses; not for the purpose of robbing, but merely to gratify their thirst of revenge, which nothing but the blood of their object can satisfy, though at the certain loss of their own lives. When a Malay has determined on revenge, he takes a quantity of opium, to work himself up to a state of madness, when he rushes out with a knife, or dagger, which is called'a kreese; and, after putting to death the original object of his infernal passion, he next rushes at every one he meets, till he is at length, overpowered and taken.; which, perhaps, is not the case till several victims fall before him. Nothing but ra lucky shot or blow, that stuns him to the earth, will ensure the safety of his opponent, as he proceeds with such a savage fierceness and impetuosity, that it is reckoned a most arduous and dangerous service to encounter him in this state. This is what is called running a muck; on the slightest alarm of which, every one flies before him, and escapee the best way he can. Whoever kills a Malay, in the act of running a muck,\s entitled to a very high reward from government, and he certainly deserves it; for the most cool and intrepid are scarcely a match for the Malay, when worked to this pitch of desperate madness. The two following instances happened when I was at Cape town:—A Malay, for some insult, or necessary chastisement recei/ed from his master, drew a knife and stabbed him to the heart, and immediately rushed into the streets with the weapon reeking with the blood of his unfortunate victim. The first person he met was a very fine slave girl, about seventeen years old, into whose face he darted the dreadful weapon. Fortunately a country farmer was, at the moment, passing by Strand-street, where it happened; and, having a gun loaded in the waggon he was driving, fired and killed the Malay on the spot. If this shot had not succeeded in bringing him down, I and a brother officer, who came to the spot a few moments after, would, in all probability, have been his next victims. The poor slave girl died a few hours after. This was the second time that a slave of the Malay race, running a muck, was prevented from falling in with me. Once indeed, at Ponamala, in the East Indies, I very narrowly
escaped, having been slightly wounded in the arm by a Malay, who had attacked someseapoys; and it I had not been fortunate enough to give him, at the first cut, so severe a wound as to disable him, he would certainly have put me to death. The kreese he struck me with was poisoned; and my arm, in consequence, swelled to a very great degree, and, for some time, it was thought I should have lost it, if not my life. I must here remark, that I received the greatest benefit from the eau de luce, which 1 have reason to believe is a valuable antidote against poison; it has been found to prevent fatal effects from the most venomous bites of snakes. Dr. Anderson, of Madras, was the first who administered it in those cases, and found its beneficial effects.
Another instance of the barbarity of this race of slaves, which happened at the Cape whilst I was there, occurred in a Malay, who, on being refused leave by his master to go out to a festival, or merry-making, with his fellows, took a knife and stabbed him to the heart; then went to his mistress in the adjoining room, and committed on her the same barbarous and inhuman act. An old Malabar slave, who was cutting wood before the door, having observed him perpetrate these horrid murders, watched the opportunity as he was rushing out of the door, and, striking him on the head with the axe, with which he was cleaving the wood, killed him on the spot. The government was generous enough to reward the Malabar with his liberty and one hundred dollars. The Malays are certainly the most active and laborious race, do a great deal of work, and of every kind; and are equally useful in tilling and