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tion. “ The whole of the intervening country between India and China is a blank,” Mr. Hayman very truly states, “and of that which separates India from Russia, the knowledge which we possess is but in a very slight degree the result of modern European research, and is for the most part either unauthentic or obsolete.
The Russians are the only people who seem to have paid any thing like sufficient attention to this part of the globe, to which they have evidently been directed by political considerations, as it closely approaches their southern frontier. The embassy of Mr. Elphinstone to Kabul in 1808, introduced to the English reader the countries beyond the Indian Caucasus, since when, the travels of Lieutenant Burnes (now Lieutenant-colonel Sir Alexander Burnes) have enlarged the sphere of observation from Kabul to Bokhara, whilst those of Fraser and Conolly continued it to Khorasan. The greater portion of these labours were either undertaken at the instigation of the Indian government, or carried on under its approval; but “the most enterprising and in a great measure the most successful efforts to penetrate into central Asia from Hindustan, have been made by, or have originated with, Mr. William Moorcroft, and,” continues his editor, “ these were undertaken not only without the encouragement of the government of India, but without their expressed approbation.”
In short, while although this most persevering traveller was daily risking his life and all his property in his endeavours to extend the resources of commerce, and otherwise benefit the East India Company, he received from the authorities very disheartening treatment. He was the first European who crossed the Himalaya-an account of which arduous journey by way of Chinese Tartary to Lake Nianatarouara in Undes, will be found in the twelfth volume of the “ Asiatic Researches," and despite of almost insurmountable difficulties, he succeeded in all the chief purposes of the expedition, ascertaining also the region of the shawl-wool goat, and opening a way for the importation of the wool into Hindustan and finally into Britain : but his grand object was to penetrate to Kurdistan, to obtain thence a breed of horses, he was ambitious of domesticating in India, and although obliged to relinquish it on his first attempt, he made preparations for undertaking it under more favourable auspices by sending forward an intelligent native on the route he intended at a fitting time to adopt. The information obtained by Mir Izzet Ullah (published in the third and fourth volumes of the Calcutta Quarterly Magazine and Review), it was the object of Mr. Moorcroft very greatly to extend ; and accompanied by his friend Mr. Trebeck-a gentleman of high scientific acquirements, a good draughtsman, and an able geographer—and several native attendants, he left Bareilly in the end of October 1819, and proceeded on his long-desired expedition. The most serious obstacles met the party, but they were passed as they presented themselves, without any serious inconvenience, and various interesting discoveries were made.
“The journey of Mr. Moorcroft from Joshimath Sunagar, and thence to Lahore, and his march by way of Kotosh, Kulu, and Lahoul to Le, as well as the details relating to the principality of Ludakh, are entirely new in the annals of geographical research."
The adventurers remained at Lé for a period of two years, delayed by negotiations at Larkand, which ended in the Chinese authorities refusing them a passage through that city, and then proceeded to the capital of Kashmir, which city they quitted by the Pir Punjab_mountains, descending by a route new to European travellers, to the Punjab. At Kabul Mr. Moorcroft was plundered and delayed, but ultimately was allowed to continue his journey to Bokhara, where he remained five months. Here he purchased several valuable horses, and was on his return to Hindustan, when deviating from his road for the purpose of adding considerably to his purchases, he was taken ill of fever at Andhka, and soon afterwards died. His talented coadjutor shortly followed him to the grave, some of the attendants also perished, the rest dispersed, and most of the valuable property Mr. Moorcroft was possessed of at the time of his decease, was seized on by Ata Khan, the mutuwalis, or manager of the holy shrine at Mazar. With great difficulty the notes and field-books of the travellers were preserved, and from these Mr. Hayman has produced the two volumes now published. They are not only valuable contributions to geographical knowledge, but possess great interest as a personal narrative. An elaborate map, by Mr. John Arrowsmith, of the countries through which the travellers passed, and a few other appropriate illustrations, enrich the work.
DE CLIFFORD; OR, THE CONSTANT MAN.
MR. PLUMER Ward's novels, and the success they have obtained-a success which promises to be as permanent as it has been general-may be regarded as the triumph of good sense and good feeling in the minds and hearts of the reading portion of the English community.
The author of " Tremaine" has pursued, unchanged, the calm and even tenor of his literary course, “ through good report and through evil report ;” putting forth, at due intervals, his well-pondered and carefully digested productions (writing, as it has been prettily said, not against time, but for it); and, at each appearance before the world, claiming new admiration, and gaining new gratitude at their hands, in return for the ripe stores of practical wisdom, the rich funds of worldly knowledge, the fair and fragrant flowers of moral beauty, and the solemn truths of religious faith, which he profusely pours out before them, all so fitly attired for the service on which they are sent, that they are hailed as almost equally welcome guests everywhere, --- from the prince's palace to the peasant's hut,—no less in the boudoir of the fashionable beauty, than in the closet of the lonely student, the bower of the love-sick maiden, and even the poor and bare hiding-place of the world-wearied ascetic, who has cheated himself into the belief that there is no moral beauty but in the figments of the imagination, no virtue but in books.
The secret of this universal reception of Mr. Ward's writings lies, we repeat, in that harmonious union of good sense and good feeling which at once dictates and presides over them, and which finds an echo and an interpreter in the national characteristic of which that union itself offers so admirable an example. Mr. Plumer Ward is the most English among our living writers ; and the consequence is, that his works comMay.--VOL. LXII. NO. ccxlv.
mand no ordinary share of popularity, even in a day when our literature is defiled by the native abominations of the “Newgate Calendar," and the imported abortions of the “ Maison des Fons”—when it is equally beset by the transcendentalisms of old Germany, the atrocities of young France, and the inanities of " fashionable” England ;—and that it will continue to grow in favour and in fame, when all these are despised or forgotten. The truth is, that the English, with all their faults, are a sensible, a sober-minded, and a right-feeling people ; and that the writers and the books which first gave, and have ever since preserved, to them this character, however neglected for a time, have always been held in regard among them, and every now and then have been taken anew into grace and favour, with all the fervour of a first love.
“On revient toujours
A ses premiers amours :Witness the unprecedented success of those reprints of our standard literary worthies, which in part redeem the literary taste of our own day.
But we have too long delayed to refer in detail to Mr. Plumer Ward's new novel, entitled “ De Clifford; or, the Constant Man;" which we do not hesitate to pronounce at least equal in vigour of thought, variety of character, freshness of feeling, justness of reflection, and dramatic truth of painting, to either of his previous productions ; while, in the force, as well as delicacy and subtlety of passion, and the high-toned sentiment, which pervade that entire portion of the work forming the love-story, and answering to the second title of the Constant Man,” the writer has unquestionably surpassed his former works : a fact the more worthy of note from another fact it calls to mind, which nothing but the author's own record of it in his charming dedication to Lady Frederic Bentinck, will induce the reader to believe-namely, that this new effort of his genius is the result of his seventy-fifth year !-the fact is one of the most interesting in the history of literature; and the simple and touching record of it by the writer's own hand adds to its value and virtue.
We shall not presume to inquire whether, in the picture which Mr. Plumer Ward has drawn of the whole career of a youthful aspirant for political distinction,-from his school and college days to the period of his attaining the summit of his ambitious hopes, --- he has depicted any of the actual results of his own extended experience in a like career. Certain it is, however, that he brings the reader acquainted with a succession of characters, so individualised in their respective features, so truthful in the details by which they are worked out, so consistent at once with themselves and with human nature, so forcible in the general impression which they produce on the spectator (for one seems to see and hear, not read them), and so artfully and artistically connected with one another in the formation of a moving and breathing panorama of apparently actual life,--that they could not be more true to nature and to themselves, even if they were every one of them actual portraits; nor will many of them escape the imputation of being such. To glance at these characters, however briefly, would wholly exceed our limits ;--but we cannot abstain from piquing the curiosity of our distant readers whom the book may not yet have reached, by naming to them, among many others, Lord Castleton, the ideal of a high-souled and pure-minded statesman; the Marquis of Rochfort, equally high-minded, but all his noble powers lost, and his peace of mind with them, for want of a due control over his passions, and a due appreciation of public applause and popularity; Lord Felix, with every means and appliance of happiness but one-the capacity of being happy; Sir Henry Melford, a philosophic roué; Dr. Firebrass, an itinerant lecturer on Radical politics, who inculcates picking pockets as part of the social system ; Mr. Peter Paragraph, the backbiting editor of a “ liberal” newspaper; Messrs. Sourkrout and Spleenwort, makers and vendors of cut-and-dried criticism, &c. &c. Among the female characters we can only stay to mention that of Lady Hungerford, which is, to our thinking, the most perfect example our recent literature affords of a “woman of fashion,” in the highest and most attractive sense of the phrase—a being uniting with all the feminine graces of nature and of art, all those peculiar attributes which nothing but high birth and its concomitants ever yet gave.
This portrait forms the only modern pendant we are acquainted with to Congreve's exquisite and inimitable Millamont.
When we add (which is all our limits permit us to do) that the features above glanced at are connected with a love-story of intense and absorbing interest, we need scarcely say that “ De Clifford, or the Constant Man," will command universal attention and popularity.
THE BOOK WITHOUT A NAME.*
We are left to suppose that this work is intended to win itself a name, there being no necessity for its obtaining such a distinction for its clever authors, who possibly having seen how much the world has been deluded by attractive titles, are intent upon showing how unnecessary it is for a meritorious production to possess such a recommendation. Be this as it may, the odd way they have chosen to show their independence of prejudice, will doubtless draw as much attention to the volumes as the most promising of title-pages; and as the work abounds in the most legitimate and profitable entertainment, every reader who makes himself acquainted with it will be sure to congratulate himself on having for once made choice of a book, without allowing his judgment to be influenced after the established fashion.
“ The Book without a Name" is a selection of essays on a variety of subjects, chosen with singular felicity, and treated with a corresponding tact. With one or two exceptions, they are all of that lively character which is the most desirable feature in desultory reading. Where jest and earnest are so equally mingled, it is difficult to say which hath the preponderance; and where even the most serious arguments are supplied with such an abundance of illustration, we cannot but think the author is sometimes more intent on showing how brilliantly such a passage could be written, than how convincing is its truth. This liberal recourse to the sportive is, however, acceptable to most readers, who usually equally appreciate the dash of satire with which it is here accompanied.
• The Book without a Name. By Sir Cbarles and Lady Morgan. 2 vols.
English literature is peculiarly rich in the playful, (satirical essay.
WOOD'S JOURNEY TO THE OXUS.*
“The following pages,” states the author of this welcome volume at the commencement of his preface, “embody a slight sketch of my journeyings whilst employed under Sir Alexander Burnes on his late mission to Affghanistan ;" but modestly as Lieutenant Wood speaks of his labours, their result is as entertaining a narrative as we have ever met with, and the intelligent writer has evidently lost no opportunity of conveying the new and valuable information afforded him by the advantages he enjoyed when associated in his important mission with so talented a chief as Lieutenant-colonel Sir Alexander Burnes. He confines his observations entirely to the features of the extensive country through which he passed, leaving every thing of a political character to his superior: as, however, many of the scenes he describes are almost entirely new to Europeans, the reader will not miss the omission. The volume forms an admirable addition to those recently edited by Professor Hayman; and although we have had the country and character of the
A Personal Narrative of a Journey to the source of the River Oxus, by the route of the Indus, Kabul, and Badakhshan, performed under the sanction of the Supreme Government of India in the years 1836, 1837, and 1838. By Lieutenant Joba Wood, of the East India Company's Navy.