« ForrigeFortsæt »
The lines that follow flow very smoothly; though we must add, that we would willingly have dispensed with the comparisonmore quaint than appropriate—between jealousy and Vesuvius :
• Isles of surpassing loveliness, that seem
And harmless wild-flowers every spot bedecking.' Here again, in the sketch entitled "Venice,' is an observation true in itself, and most gracefully expressed :
Every being moving in the streets
Dreams of the glories of the days gone by.'
6 on return,' and the lines written in the 'Simplon.' The first, though unequal, contains some striking lines not unworthy of the subject, but is too long for our purpose. • Florence on return' embodies a common thought felt by every one, and often indeed expressed before, but which bears repetition from its simplicity and universality :
· Why looks fair Florence fairer than before,
Why doth Val d'Arno smile more beauteously,
More meagre, or their works of art less bright ?
power that minstrel sung, thus acting true,
Brings honour, virtue, charity, and peace.' Perhaps the most compact and best sustained of these verses ---certainly, on the whole, the best in point of diction, and the most harmonious in the flow of versification--are the lines entitled • In the Simplon. We do not hesitate to say, that both in thought and expression they are such as many of our more experienced versifiers might well wish to own :
• Basilicas of Florence, Rome, Milan!
With all your architectural tracery
With herbage interlaced, and here and there
Amidst the calm, nor slumbers in the storm.' In taking leave of Lord Robertson's volume, for which we heartily thank him, we may, perhaps, be allowed to take the liberty of offering him, in return, an advice, warranted by some experience—that as he has been most successful in this his first venture, he will not imperil the credit he has gained, by another poetical attempt. By his present volume, he has proved—and it is no small boast—that the labours of a dry, and, as is often supposed, heart-hardening profession, have not blunted his sensibility to natural beauty, or to the great creations of the liberal arts; and that the sagacity, tact, and humour, which have always been conceded to him, are nowise incompatible with a strong sympathy with all that is great and good, or kindly and genial, in our common nature. But the public, proverbially indulgent to a first essay, particularly from one who does not contemplate poetry or literature as a vocation, are by no means equally so in the case of a second. The candidate of that description who again presents himself for honours, must expect to have his commission curiously scanned, and his call to the poetical ministry rigorously scrutinized. He can no longer plead the privileges of a volunteer; he must submit to be dealt with like others of the regular corps, according to the strict rules of discipline. Tried by this test, and without the same natural apology for its appearance which the present little volume bears on its winning face, the fate of a second publication might be more than doubtful. Probably, however, no one better understands or appreciates the force of these considerations than Lord Robertson himself;--but our advice, if it be unnecessary, is at least tendered in all kindness; and in the same spirit, we are hopeful, it will be received.
Art. VIII.-1. Report from the Committee on the Hudson's Bay
Company, April 24, 1749. Reprinted in Reports from Com
mittees of the House of Commons. 1803, . 2. Hudson's Bay Company Charters and Correspondence. House
of Commons, Aug. 8, 1842. No. 547. 3. American State Papers. Presented at different times to Con
gress in 1826, 1828, and 18:38. 4. Travels in the Oregon Territory. By T. J. FARNHAM. 2 vols.
8vo. London: 1843. 5. The Oregon Territory. By John Dunn. 8vo. London:
1844. 6. On the Discovery of the Mississippi, and the South-western
Oregon, and North-western Boundary of the United States. By T. FALCONER. 8vo. London : 1814.
. 7. The History of Oregon and California. By R. GREENHOW.
8vo. London: 1844. 8. Narrative of the United States' Exploring Expedition. By
Charles Wilkes. 5 vols. 4to. Philadelphia : 1845. 9. The Life and Travels of Thomas Simpson. By A. SIMPSON.
8vo. London : 1845. 10. The Oregon Question. By T. Falconer. Second edition.
London : 1845.
the world yet unsubdued by cultivation. From about latitude 32° to 70°, and from longitude 125° to 95°, boundaries enclosing a space of more than 4,000,000 square miles, the real occupants of the country are the aboriginal hunters and fishers. Two or three Russian, English, and Mexican trading stations on the coast; and in the interior a few English hunting posts, and some missionary establishments supplied by Mexico and the United States-are the only points inhabited by civilized men. About 500,000 Indians, and about 10,000 whites, constitute the population of a district more than one third larger than Europe, and situated for the most part within the temperate zone. The whole is intersected from north to south by a chain called, to the north of latitude 42', the Rocky Mountains, and to the south of that parallel, the Sierra Anahuac; which is in fact a continuation of
the Andes. Between these mountains and the Pacific, from which they are at an average distance of 500 miles, run intermediate ranges, some parallel and some from west to east, so as to leave level a very small portion of the country. The rivers which flow from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains are the great rivers of North America—the Mackenzie, the Missouri, and the Rio Grande. On the western side they are few, interrupted by falls and rapids, closed at their mouths by bars, and, in the earlier part of their courses, generally confined by precipitous banks of 1000 or 1500 feet in height.
We have said that the occupants of the territory are the Indian tribes; but the greater part of it is under the nominal sovereignty of Russia, England, the United States, and Mexico. The Russian boundary begins at the southernmost point of Prince of Wales's Island, (lat. 54° 4.0',) then runs in a north-western and northern direction to the Arctic Ocean ; so as to include first a narrow strip of coast, and then a peninsula washed by three seas, and forming the north-western extremity of the Continent. The British portion includes all that is east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of latitude 49o. The boundary of the United States comprises all that is east of the Rocky Mountains, from latitude 490 to 42°; and then runs in a south-easterly direction, until it reaches the rivers which form the boundary of Texas. All that remains south of the forty-second parallel belongs to Mexico.
Between these limits lies the unappropriated Oregon country, bounded on the north by the parallel 54° 40', on the east by the Rocky Mountains, on the south by the forty-second parallel, and on the west by the Pacific. It is about 650 miles in length, and of an average breadth of about 550—narrower towards the north, and broader towards the south--the Rocky Mountains running, not parallel with the coast, but in a south-westerly direction. It contains, therefore, about 360,000 square miles ; more than three times the surface of the British islands. The northern part of the coast, above the forty-eighth parallel, is protected by numerous islands, the largest of which, Vancouver's Island, is about two-thirds of the size of Ireland. Along the straits which separate these islands from the continent, are many excellent harbours; but down the whole coast of the Pacific, from latitude 48° to Port San Francisco, far within the Mexican frontier, there is no refuge except Bulfinch harbour and the Columbia-the former of which can be entered only by small vessels, and the latter is inaccessible for eight months of the year, and dangerous at all times.