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strict attention to the choice of words, and more precision in the use of them.
Of figurative language, Addison has always been acknowledged the most happy model. He was, indeed, the first of the English prose writers who were equally excellent in the choice and in the management of their figures. Of those who preceded him, it has been observed that they were frequently unhappy in both instances ; that their metaphors cither were such as tended rather to degrade their subject than to give it dignity and elevation; or that when they were well chosen, they were spoiled by the manner in which they were conducted, being detained under the pen until their spirit evaporated, or traced until the likeness vanished. Addison avoided both faalts: his metaphors are selected with care and taste, or rather seem to spring spontaneously from his subject ; they are exhibited to the mind but for a moment, that the leading traits of similitude may be observed while minute likenesses are disregarded-like those flashes of electric fire which often illumine a summer's night, they shed a vivid, though a transient lustre, over the scene, and please rather by the brightness with which they gild the prospect than the accuracy with which they shew its beauties.
• Should it be doubted, whether the improvement of style which took place in the time of Addison-that variation which substituted uniform and correct neatness in composition, for what was loose, in. accurate and capricious,—be justly attributed to him—the doubt will vanish when it is remembered that in no work prior to his time is an equal degree of accuracy or neatness to be found, and even among those periodical papers to which the most eminent of his cotemporary writers contributed, the Clio of Addison stands eminently conspicu. ous. It was, indeed, from the productions of that classic and copious mind that the public seems to have caught the taste for fine writing which has operated from that time to the present, and which has given to our language perhaps the greatest degree of elegance and accuracy of which it is susceptible for if any thing is yet to be added to the improvement of the English style, it must be more nerve and muscle, not a nicer modification of form or feature.
seclantem levia, nervi Deficiunt animique : While Addison was communicating to English prose a degree of correctness with which it had been, till his time, unacquainted, Swift was exemplifying its precision and giving a standard for its purity. Swift was the first writer who attempted to express his meaning without subsidiary words and corroborating phrases. He nearly laid aside the use of synonimes in which even Addison had a little indulged, and without being very solicitous about the structure or harmony of his periods, seemed to devote all his attention to illustrate the force of individual words. Swift hewed the stones, and fitted the materials for those who built after him ; Addison left the neatest and most finished models of ornamental architecture.
Of the character which is here given of these two writers it is unnecessary to give proof by quoting passages from their works, for
two reasons; the one is, that their works are in the hands of every body; the other, that the qualities which we attribute to their style are so obvious that it were superfluous to illustrate them.
• Besides those first reformers of the style of 1688, there were others, contemporary with them, who contributed to promote the work which they did not begin. Boligbroke and Shaftsbury, like Addison, were elegant and correct, and seem from him to have derived their correctness and elegance. Of this, so far as it concerns Shaftsbury, there is a most remarkable proof *. His tract, entitled “ An Enquiry concerning Virtue," was in the hands of the public in 1699, in a state very different indeed from that in which his lordship published, in the year 1726. It partook of all the faults which were prevalent in the style of that day, but particularly in the length of its periods, and the inartificial connection of them. In the edition of 1726 those errors were in a great mcasure corrected; the sentences are broken down, and molded with much clegance into others less prolix; and sharing in some degree all the beauties of Addison's style, except those which perhaps his lordship could not copy, its. ease and simplicity: Indecd Shaftsbury, in the form in which we now have hiin, appears to be more aitentive than Addison to the har. mony of his cadence, and the regular construction of his sentences ; and certainly if he has less simplicity has more strength. Bolingbroke, too, participating in correctness with Addison, has some topics of peculiar praise; he has more force than Addison-andwhat may appear strange, when we consider how much more vehe. ment and copious he is, has more precision. The nature of the subjects on which Bolingbroke and Shaftsbury wrote naturally tended to make them more attentive to precision than Addison. These subjects were principally abstract morality and metaphysics-subjects of which no knowledge can be attained but by close and steady' thinking, or communicated but by words of definite and constant meaning. The language of Addison, however elegant in itself, or however admirably adapted by its easy flow to those familiar topics which are generally the subjects of diurnal essays, was too weak for the weight of abstract moral disquisition, and too vague for the niceries of metaphysical distinction. It was fitted for him whose object was to catch what floated on the surface of life ; but it could not serve him who was to enter into the depths of the human mind, to watch the progress of intellectual operation, and embody to the vulgar eye those ever feeting forms under which the passions vary.'
This essay reflects much credit on the author, and seems well worthy of that mark of distinction which the Society has conferred on it. We could wish, however, that Mr. Wallace had not followed the philosophical grammar of the old school. We are so far admirers of the doctrine taught in the Diversions of Purley, that we feel rather intolerant in reading the follow, ing passage : "those few but important words which are used, not to designate things, but to exhibit the various positions tof
See Blair's Lectures.'
+ Sce p. 42. Diversions of Parley, &c.
the mind in thinking, to shew the relation which it means to establish between two propositions, or the different parts of the same proposition, must have been aukwardly and often improperly used.' (p. 43.)
On the Poetical Character of Dr. Goldsmith. By the Rev. Archdeacon Burrowes, M. R.I. A..
This memoir is valuable and interesting; valuable for much good criticism contained in it, and interesting because it places before us the sweet poetry of Goldsmith. What was said of Dennis's remarks on Cato, that we soon forgot the criticism and returned to read the work, with unabated ardour, may be applied with more justice to any criticism on Goldsmith. Still, however, no poet is above criticism, and Mr. Burrowes has commented with much judgment and taste.
[To be continued.]
Art. III. A Voyage to the South Atlantic and round Cape Horn, into
the Pacific Ocean, for the Purpose of extending the Spermaceti Whale Fisheries, and other Objects of Commerce, by ascertaining the Ports, Bays, Harbours, and Anchoring Births, in certain Islands and Coasts in those Şeas, at which the Ships of the British Merchants might be refitted. Undertaken and performed by Captain James Colnett, of the Royal Navy. 4to. Pp. 200. With nine Charts, &c. Il. 55. Boards. Egerton, &c. 1798. FROM the introduction to this volume, we learn that, pre
viously to the voyage here related, Capt. Colnett had been engaged in various commercial undertakings on the west coast of North America, and was one of the greatest sufferers by the unwarrantable conduct of the Spaniards on that coast.
He had also, when a youth, sailed with Captain Cook in his second voyage to the South-Sea. On these accounts, he was named by the Board of Admiralty as a proper person to be employed in the present voyage; which was planned in consequence of an application to the Board of Trade, from merchants concerned in the South-Sea fisheries. In a memorial, they stated
• The calamitous situation of the ships' crews employed in this trade, from the scurvy and other diseases, incident to those who are obliged to keep the seas, from the want of that relief and refreslıment, which is afforded by intermediate harbours.
• The Spaniards, it is true, had, of late, admitted ships into their ports for the
purpose of refitting ; but, from the latest accounts received, this permission was so restricted as to amount almost to a prohibition, in which it was continually expected to end.' It became therefore an object of great importance to obtain such a situation as our commerce required, independant of the Spaniards.'
The merchants therefore proposed to government, that arf officer should be sent in one of their ships, in order to discover such a situation. The Rattler sloop of war being deemed a convenient vessel for the intended service, an offer was made to purchase her from government, with which the Admiralty acquiesced; and she was fitted accordingly for the undertaking
Captain Colnett left England on the 4th of January 1993, and was absent during twenty-two months. He sailed round Cape Horn, and thence to the northward in the neighbourhood of the American coast, as far as California. He called at, and examined, most of the known islands in this track; and he has given descriptions of them, with directions for navigators who shall visit those parts. He also searched for lands to which situations have been assigned, but of which the existence is not well ascertained; and particularly, both in the passage out and on the return, but without success, for Isle Grande, supposed to lie to the eastward of the South American coast, in the latitude of 45°S.- Whatever information he has been able to obtaini, that can be useful to those who are employed in the southern whale-fishery, he has not neglected to give in this account.
We shall mention a few of the most remarkable circumstances which occur in the narrative of the voyage. In the passage from England towards Cape Horn, Captain Colnett relates that
• The autumnal equinoctial gale,' (the month of March, being in south latitude,) came on, and held upwards of four days, with frequent claps of thunder, accompanied by lightening, hail and rain. It blew as hard as I ever remember, and, for several hours, we could not venture to shew any sail. At the same time a whirlwind or typhoon arose to windward, from whence in one of the squalls, two balls of tire, about the size of cricket balls, fell on board. One of them struck the anchor which was housed on the fore.castle, and bursting into particles, struck the chief mate and one of the seamen, who feli down in excruciating tortures. On examining them, several holes ap. peared to have been burned in their cloaths, which were of flannel : and in various parts of their bodies there were small wounds, as if made with an hot iron of the size of a sixpenny piece. I immeJiately ordered some of the crew to perform the operation of the Otaheiteans, called Roro mee *, which caused a considerable abatement of their pains, but several days clapsed before they were perfectly recovered. The other ball struck the funnel of the caboose, made an explosion equal to that of a swivel gun, and burned several holes in the mizen-stay-sail and main-sail, which were handed. the height of the storm, the barometer was at 280.'
< * Roro mee. It consists in grasping the fleshy parts of the body, legs, and arms, and working it with the fingers."
This was near to the situation given to Isle Grande; where likewise they saw such numbers of black whales, that the Captain says, “if half the whalers belonging to London had been with me, they might have filled their vessels with oil.'
Being at the Gallipagoe Isles, about the end of June, the places which had lately contained fresh water were then
• I was very much perplexed (says the author) to form a satisfactory conjecture, how the small birds, which appeared to remain in one spot, supported themselves without water : but the party on their return informed me, that, having exhausted all their water, and reposing beneath a prickly pear-tree, almost choaked with thirst, they observed an old bird in the act of supplying three young ones with drink, by squeezing the berry of a tree into their mouths. It was about the size of a pea, and contained a watery juice, of an acid, but not unpleasant, taste. The bark of the tree produces a considerable quantity of moisture, and, on being eaten, allays the thirst. In dry reasons, the land tortoise is seen to gnaw and suck it. The leaf of this tree is like that of the bay tree, the fruit grows like cherries, whilst the juice of the bark dies the Aesh a deep purple, and emits a grateful odor: a quality in common with the greater part of the trees and plants in this island: though it is soon lost, when the branches are separated from the trunks, or stems. The leaves of these trees also absorb the copious dews, which fall during the night, but in larger quantities at the full and change of the moon; the birds then pierce them with their bills, for the moisture they retain, and which, I believe, they also procure from the various plants and ever-greens. But when the dews fail in the summer season, thou. sands of these creatures perish ; for, on our return hither, we found great numbers dead in their nests, and some of them almost fledged.'
In these seas, being near the American coast, they saw numbers of turtle floating on the water, and innumerable flocks of boobies. • When the appearance of the weather foretold a squall, or on the approach of night, the turtle generally, afforded a place of rest for one of these birds on his back; and though this curious perch was usually an object of contest, the turtle appears to be perfectly at ease and unmoved on the oce casion. In return, the bird generally eased the turtle of the sucking fish and maggots that adhered to and troubled him.'
On the navigation round Cape Horn, Captain Colnett makes the following remarks: I have doubled Cape Horn in difa ferent seasons, but were I to make another voyage to this part of the globe, and could command my time, I would most certainly prefer the beginning of winter, or even winter itself, with moon-light nights : for, in that season, the winds begin to vary to the eastward, as I found them, and as Captain (now Admiral) Macbride observed at the Falkland Isles,' The weather experienced by Admiral Anson's squadron is not