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contemplated with perseverance and other writers, Jamaica is, in several delight”-We shall here infert a respeits, a most desirable fruation : pal.ge, because it is short, and be- It is the beft poor man's cooncaule it furnishes some ideas concern, try in the worldand that country ing one of the principal products of must surely be good, that can convert this island.
poverty into independence, can smooth • A field of canes, when standing, the brow of forrow and despair, and in the month of November, when it occafion the heavy heart to leap for is in arrow, or full blossom,) is one joy : and where a man can acquire à of the most beautiful productions that competent fortune by persevering inthe pen or pencil can poflibly des- dustry and honeft gain; the liberal cribe. It in common rises from three mind will be less willing to envy, to eight feet, or more, in height; a than it will be defirous to applaud.' difference of growth that very itrong. As every human enjoyment, how. ly marks the difference of soil, or ever, has fome evil or danger attachthe varieties of culture. It is, when ed, so it is with this pleasant spor : ripe, of a bright and golden yellow; it has many disadvantages, and some and, wh re obvious to the sun, is, in direful enemies :-to ule this writer's many paits, very beautifully streaked language, the hurricane must, from with red: the top is of a darkish its deitructive pre-eminence, be deemgreen; but the more dry it becomes, ed the most formidable adversary the from either an excess of ripendis, or jugar cane bas to encounter, and the a continuance of drought, of a ruillet principal dread of the latitude in yellow, with long and narrow leaves which it grows.' depending; from the centre of which It is not wonderful that this author Moots up an arrow, like a filver writes feelingly, and is disposed to exs wand, from'two to fix feet in height; patiate, on such a scene ot horror as and from the summits of which grows that of the hurricane 1780, to which out a plume of white feathers, which he was a witness, and in which be are delicately fringed 'with a lilac was a sufferer : but it is posible that dye; and indeed is, in its appearance, the reader of these volumes may, on not much unlike the tuft that a- fome occasions, think that he launch dorns this particular and elegant es out into opnecessary subjects, or tree.'
detains him by refections which are The management of the sugar-cane, not requifite for a history of Jamaica from the first preparations and col. The panegyric on the King and ture, to its deposit in the hogshead, Queen, (vol. i. p. 193.) to which two and then in the vessel for exportation, or three pages are devoted, is very forms a very principal part of these allowable, especially when it is convolumes; which, as it affords fome a- fidered as written about the time of musing particulars for g-neral readers, his Majesty's recovery from the dif. also exbibits many obfervations that order so generally and so juftly des may be very profitably considered by plored. The praises on Dr Johnthole who are engaged in this branch ston, (p. 281.) are too laboured, and of business ; for the remarks are appear rather affected; that gigantic founded on experiments, and some prodigy of literary perfeverance and times arise from the mistakes which fucce's, as Mr Beckford terms him, the author acknowleges he made, and may receive all due re pe&t, without which served to afford him caution employing such swelling expreflions, and improvement, as they may also Dr Burnet also receives a share of do to others.
encomiums from this writer; they From the accounts of this, and of are introduced naturally enough, when mention is made of some mu- quently not capable of motion,' (or, as fical instruments used by the Negroes, we should rather suppose he means, particularly one who is called the cannot turn without great difficulty.) Bender, being formed of a bent stick; Of one which he had in his poffelhon, and others which are denominated he tells uș, “ he could scarcely touch Caramenteer flutes, being made from its tail with a stick, before it Inapped the porous branches of the trumpet it with its mouth.' tree.
We bave thus presented our reaAmong the productions of this ders with a cursory view of this pubiland, the plantaintree obtains a place, lication, of which it was the less easy in the judgment of Mr Beckford, at to give an account, as it does not least next to the sugar-cane, and is, proceed on any express plan, and is in some respects, regarded as its supe. not divided into chapters. That the rior. He describes through several mention which we have made of impages, the tree, the fruit, the method perfections and mistakes, is not wholof cultivation, and the use to which ly groundless, will probably be perit serves : indeed he supposes it the ceived by the few short extracts that finest vegetable in the world; and we have inserted : yet, whatever are from the partiality, he adds, with their faults, we think that these vowhich it has been always mentioned lumes may be read by the public, as by circumnavigators, and even in they have been by us, with enterthose regions in which the bread fruit tainment and information. Beside abounds, it is natural to suppose that the useful observations of other kinds it has the preference of this highly which the author presents, he nnt unboasted and lingular production. frequently introduces religious and
In the account which is here given moral reflections, and thus aclapts his of the land and water animals, we work, in different respects, to the imobserve a paragraph concerning the provement of the generalty of his alligator, which, as it is fort, we readers. shall insert :
· The make of this creature, that Transactions during the reign of Queeri seems 'coated for firength, and whose Ann, fium the Union to the death of scales and colour may deceive, con- that Princefs ; by CHARLES Hamil. veys with the idea of danger the lures TON, Elq. of deceit ; and only flours an apparent log on the surface of the water, to CARDINAL de Retz, when men. . surprize its prey, and hurry it, unsuf- tioning fone transactions of the Fronde, pecting danger, to the depths below, of which he had never been able to It is amazing how bold and adroit dirudge the cause, obi :rves how little fome Negroes are in the capture of able historians, living at distant periods this fish. We are told thar the Af- from that of the actions they record, ricans will attack the crocodile with and writing from very imperfect makoives, and prove victorious in the terials, mult be, to account for many combat. The Negroes in Jamaica events, when he, a principal actor in will take the alligator without a wea. the scenes he describes, and living in pon, will inclose it in their arms, the most intimate habits with the oand force it on shore, without fear and ther parties concerned in them, was without asistance. Vol. i. p. 370. fo often at a loss to allign a cause' or
Mr Beckford contradicts the opi- motive for their actions. nion that the body of the ani. This wife ob crvation of the Carmal, on account of the contraction of dinal's, the historians of the present the scales, is not pliable, and conse, day seem very litue to regard. With
a bold scepticism, and a complete defi- ceit, and that there never was, por ance of lorg eftablished public opinion, ever can be, pure and difinterefted they have brought forth accounts of condud. Such opinions tend to lowthe conduct and pictures of the cha- er the digoity of our nature, and, by racters of the moft illustrious of our depreciating our esteem of ourselves ancestors, extremely different from as well as of others, to weaken every those of the most impartial and best generous effort, to damp every noble informed cotemporary writers, and exertiog. have endeavoured to unfix the histori- If we examine the nature of the cal belief of mankind with regard to evidence on which the authors to points on which it had long been set- whom we allude have built their opided.
nions, we lhall, I think, be inclined to This, except to a few persons of a doubt their folidity, as much as we particular turn of mind, is always un- deprecate their effects. This evidence pleafant. But it is particularly dif. confills of three kinds : ift, Anecagreeable when such authors deny or dctes or memoirs supposed to have derogate from the merit of personages been written about the time the perwhom we have, from our earliest days, fons treated of lived; 2d, Letters of been taught to esteem or admire. thofe perioos; 3d, Oral tradition. We That wile and benevolent structure of may be allowed some general observaour minds which disposes them to tions on each of thole ipecies of evifeel pleasure in the encomiam of vir. dence. tue in the abstract, gives them the fen- With regard to the firft, that of timent of reverence and gratitude to memoirs or anecdotes supposed to those persons whose actions have been have been written at the time, it may held to merit that encomium. Our be observed, that if they are the prohearts rise within us at the bare men- du&tions of persons who are themselves tion of their names, and we regard engaged in public transactions, or con. them as we do our patrons and our nected with any of the parties or facfriends. To be deprived of this sen- tions then sublifting, there is a fufpitiment, to be told that we have been cion against their testimony, which it déceived, to be informed that such per- requires a conviction not only of the funages, instead of being the objects candour but of the strength of their of our best affections, of our love and minds to remove. Let us judge the reverence, ought to excite in us only cale from the analogy of our own the feelings of hatred and contempt, times ; let us anticipate the researches mi ft neceffarils communicate a very of future historians, and suppose their disagreeable sensation. 'Tis to ex- judgment of the character of the change feelings the most pleasant for present time, to be drawn from the others the must painful ; 'ris like lof. party-writings of this day, and, I think, ing our beft friends, and having them it will be easy to pronounce on the inconverted in:o our bittereft ene nies. justice of their representations.
Nor is this all. Such a change of The next species of evidence, that fentiment is apt to make us doute of of letters or pallages of letters alledged the truth and certainty of all human to have been written by those persons virtue. Nothing can have a stronger whose characters are attacked, or attendency to lead the mind, for the mo- tempted to be depreciared, though of. ment ar lcast, to adopt the disagree- ten brought forth with an air of trium. able and ill founded opinions of cer- phant discovery, appears to be of a kind tâin philosophers, who have taken pains extremely uncertain and inconclusive. to convince the world, that all the pre. Let any one, who in the private walks tensio:s to virtue are founded on dę, of life has liad an extenfive and vari.
ous correlpondence, consider what it To this history of the latter part of would be to have his character judged Queen Anne's reign, the preceeding of, not by his actions or conduct, not remarks are applicable in the strongest by the train of his correspondence degree: Not only is the evidence, vy compared with his conduct, not even which its narrative is supported, of by the whole series of his letters com- those uncertain species we have enupared with one another, but by differ- merated, but their authority is less subent detached pasi'ages of these letters, ftantiated than is common in works written at different periods and to dif- that rest on the same fort of proof.ferent persons, without any knowledge Manuscript anecdotes are quoted of the circumstances in which they without its being mentioned by whom were written or of the persons to they were written, and ihey are very whom they were addressed, and he will seldom, if at all, given at full length, at once see the hardship of such a mode or, in the words of the anonymous of procedure. If this holds in private author from whom they are taken. life, how much more must be the in- Neither are the letters, but with few justice of such a mode of forming our exceptions, copied at large; and somejudgment of men concerned in the times when they are mentioned to various great and difficult transactions have been in the possession of the auof states and kingdoms ; in those trans- thor's father, no account is given of actions, where, from their very nature, the manner in which he became porthe weak must so often be flattered, fessed of them. Most of the anecdotes the violent conciliated, the interested derived from oral tradition, confessed. allured, the subtle counterplotied, and ly Aowed through the channel of the where State secrecy makes conceal- court of St Germains, to whose zeal ment and disguise but parts of the vir- for its unfortunate master we can eatue of fidelity.
fily pardon that pliant belief, those vioThe third sort of evidence we men- lent prejudices which are to decorate tioned, that of stories or anecdotes the characters of his friends,' and to handed down by oral tradition, it is depreciate those of bis enemies. scarce necessary to comment further Exclusive of the errors, to which, on, than to suggest that it is clearly from the above mentioned circum. liable, and indeed, in a much stronger stances, this narrative is liable, it may degree, to every objection that has be further observed, that, from the been made against the frst. Its ori- very singular account which the augioal imperfections are as great as thor gives of himself in his preface, he those of written memoirs or anecdotes, can hardly be supposed to be altoge. and it is liable, besides, to that increas- ther dispaMonate or unprejudiced on ed uncertainty, which succeedingigno- the subject of his history. We mean rance or prejudice may occasion. not by this to infinuate, in the most
We have been induced to make diftant degree, that the author (who those general remarks, not only as they we have heard is a most upright and apply to the work before us, but, as benevolent man) would intentionally we think they may not improperly be misrepresent or falsify any particulars ; kept in view in perusing some other but it is requisite only to read a few modern narratives of former transacpassages of his book, to be satisfied that tions and other modern portraits of he is too much heated, and under too former statesmen, which contradict the much irritation, to be a cool and imgeneral opinion, and strike at the ve- partial historian of the period he has Deration which the public have long chosen. What but this heat, this inbeen accustomed to pay to some of its temperate zeal, could have led him illustrious ancestors.
gravely to retail the ridiculous story, that the set of dissipated and thought- rupters, of our poet's text; and great less young men, recorded by the Spec- corrupters indeed, be proves them tator under the title of Níobucks, were both, in the course of the work, 10 men hired by Prince Eugene to com- hare been. . . mit riots in the streets, and dip their • Mr Malone appears to have been hands in blood, that they might be at great pains in collating the several hardened to the atrocity of political copies, and by means of an indes, or massacres ?
table formed for the purpofe, to have The vehemence and zeal of this detected every variation in every copy; author have not only prejudiced his by which means “ many innovations, belief, but also degraded his language transpositions, &c. have been detected, below the dignity of historical, or the many hundred emendations niide; and decorum of improved expression. To I truit (says he, with that modely call the Duke of Marlborough, whole which is displayed through the whole) Shining talents and military exploits a genuine text has been forined.”. have ranked him with the ableft latel- Among the introductory matters conmen and most confummare generals, a tained in the first part of the first vo. fiend, a daftardly veteran, is to use a lume, the prefaces of Theobald, Han. freedom with history and with his mer, and Warburton (on the latrer of readers, which we are persuaded the whom Mr M. is pretty fevére,) are author, upon cim review, will thank not admitted--not appearing to the 'us for having pointed out to his cor- editor to throw any light on the aurection. [Edinburgh Herald.] thor or his works.
Dr Johnson's preface, Mr Steeren's Advertisement, Catalogue of ancient
Translations from Claflic Authors, The Plays and Poems of William Mr Pope's Preface, the Players de
Shakespeare, collated verbatim with dication and preface to the third folio, the most authentic Copics, and revif. Rowe's life of Shakespeare (with maed; with the corrections and Illuf ny notes by Mr Malone, and, what is trations of various Commentators; better, a promise, at a future period, to which are added Notes by Edmond of a comp!cat life,) his will and a Malone. 11 vols cr. 8vo.
mortgage, Poems on Shakespeare, Lift
of the ancient and modern editions of IT appears the principal aim of Mr the plays and poems, and Mr MaloMalone, in this edition, to ascer- 'ne's effay on the chronological order tain the genuine text of Shakespeare, of the plays confiderably enlarged, from the earliest editions. This, as form a volume which is called the he very justly observes, ought 'ever to first part of the fortt volume. · be the first duty of an editor; his The second part of the first volume next aim is to explain and illustrate ; begins with Mr Malone's history of and in this latter he has shown great the English Stage, now of itself neardiligence, attention, and extent of ly sufficient to form a moderate book 'reading of contemporary writers. (and to such a book we wish much to
The editor of the second folio, and fee it extended ;) and then proceeds Mr Pope (observes Mr Malone in to the plays, of which the tempeft "his preface,) were the two great cor- ranks the first..