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been sustained ; and then the damages awarded would not have exceeded a fair compensation for the actual injury which had been proved. To make it a public offence, it was erected into a sort of virtual breach of the peace, which, again, by another equally contemptible fiction, is the king's peace; and thus, a libel against an individual became an offence against the king. Englishmen, who have been accustomed to hear, and to believe, that the law is the perfection of human reason, will be astonished to learn, that there is scarcely one, even of its good principles, which has any thing better than such fictions as the above for its basis. In fictione juris semper æquitas, say the lawyers. It is an assertion which they would not venture to put forth, were not the apathy of the public a sufficient security for its being believed without inquiry. Yet here is, at any rate, one instance (and every one who has examined the law without a resolution to find every thing as it should be, can supply many more), in which such fictions have been devised for the most mischievous of all purposes."
The next article is devoted to “ Schlegel's Lectures on Literature.” The reviewer gives Schlegel the credit of learning and ingenuity, but accuses him of endeavouring to pervert the public mind; his opinion of the work is thus summed up.
“We close our remarks on a book, which, possessing many excellencies, and teaching many truths, aims principally at introducing into the mind, under cover of an artful eloquence, the principles of slavery; and at perpetuating the dominion of bigotry and despotism undisguised and unashamed. Mr. Schlegel stands forward, the unblushing advocate of the debasing principles of the Austrian government; and makes even bis literary discussions the means of perverting the minds of the rising generation."
The third article gives a detailed account of the discoveries in “ Magnetism,” by M. Poisson in France, and Professor Barlow in England. It is an exceedingly elaborate as well as curious and interesting article. That part, which relates to M. Poisson's researches into the general laws of magnetism, we have not space to analyze, but must confine ourselves to a brief account of Professor Barlow's invention, which we noticed slightly in a former number of this Gazette. It has been observed of late years, that besides that variation of the compass needle, which takes place to a degree more or less considerable in different parts of the globe, and which is independent of any known external circumstances, except geographical position, there is another depending upon the local attraction of the iron, contained in ships. This has become more remarkable since the introduction of iron cables, ballast, capstans, water tanks, &c. Now it is obvious that the greater part of this mass of iron being between the compass, in its usual situation, and the head of the ship, it will have a powerful tendency to keep the needle in a direction parallel to the keel, or length of the vessel. It will therefore be of no consequence only when the ship is sailing on the magnetic meridian, or for the sake of clearness, throwing the natural variation out of the question, when she is steering north or south. On the contrary when she is steering east or west the local attraction will be exactly opposed to the natural direction of the compass, and not being known may lead to fatal accidents, as it undoubtedly has done in
many instances of otherwise unaccountable shipwrecks. This variation amounted in the Griper, swung for the purpose in the river Thames, to 14°, at east and west, making an extreme difference of 28°, or about two points and a half, and this increased so rapidly in high latitudes, that in some of the late northern expeditions, the compass was actually stowed away as an useless article. We are unable to detail the various experiments of Professor Barlow, with a view to the correction of this evil. It is sufficient to state generally, that he found that when the compass was placed over a large iron ball, the north end of the needle was attracted; when it was placed beneath it, the south end was attracted in like manner. By moving the ball vertically it was found to pass through a point which had no effect on the needle; and the same result was obtained, whether the ball was solid, or hollow with any thickness greater than one twentieth of an inch; or whether a ball, bar, or plate, was used. The result is, that he has been enabled to construct a plate, which, without being inconvenient from its size or weight, is sufficient when placed in a certain position abast and near the compass, to counteract and neutralize the disturbing forces already mentioned. This nautical guide is thus restored to its former credit and usefulness; and the merit of its restorer is certainly akin to that of its first discoverer.
An article on Italy praises a work entitled “Rome in the Nineteenth Century, with a zeal and heartiness rather unusual among critics, and this praise is so well supported by the extracts from the book, that we cannot but hope it will be republished in this country. On the subject of the exportation of machinery, the reviewers are in opposition to the Quarterly. The reasoning is on the general principles of the advantages of free trade. Enable your neighbours, say they, to make silk, cotton, woollen, or any other goods, cheaper than they now do, and you will be able to buy them cheaper, your imports will be greater, and you will grow richer. You cannot sell without buying, and the cheaper your neighbours can manufacture, the better will be your bargain. In fact the policy of nations should be to sell any overplus that their neighbours will buy: and if they, say the reviewers, can make every thing else, why, sell them machinery, which it appears they cannot make. It seems to us that this reasoning is correct. If the maxims upon which the removal of restrictions and prohibitions are founded, are good for any thing, they are applicable to every article, and if restrictions upon the cotton, the woollen, or the silk trade are absurd and impolitic, they are just as much so, when extended to the exportation of machinery. The maxim, that it is best to let the natural course of commerce alone, appears to be the one which governments, whether despotic, limited, or popular, are least willing to learn. The British government are leading the way in this department of improvement, with decided steps, and it is among the deepest mortifications, which an intelligent American is called on to suffer, that his government, whose very key-stone is the abolition of absurd prejudices, should still cling to the miserable dogmas of the theory of restriction and protection.
[To be continued.]
Redfield ; a Long-Island Tale, of the Seventeenth Century. New York, 1325. pp. 214.
There is very little to be said about this novel. There is nothing in it to praise very bighly, and nothing that calls for very severe censure. It moves, for the most part, on a dead unvaried level of mediocrity, seldom sinking below, and as seldom rising above. The hero, Redfield, is a young gentlemen, who has left England, in the troublesome persecutions of the reign of Charles II. to take refuge in the colonies, and the volume is occupied with the narrative of his shipwreck,-his rescue by the Indians, -his introduction to an English gentleman-farmer on Long Island, with whose daughter he falls in love, his doubts and misgivings on the propriety of this passion. Then follows a history of his trading voyage among the Indians for furs, occupying some fifty or sixty pages, which we would recommend to the especial consideration of the North West Company, and of all persons engaged in a similar traffic;—his sagacity and prudence as displayed in the negotiation or rather the purchase of a treaty for the tribe of Indians, by whom he had been saved from drowning, which we believe might have been got for half the money ;and finally, his own marriage and that of a couple of his aboriginal friends ; which with some circumstances of minor importance, close the book.
It will be perceived that, except to an author of very powerful genius, the subject affords no opportunity for the excitement of strong feeling, and accordingly there are few striking scenes and little development of ipteresting individual character. The principal faults to be remarked, besides those which must be apparent from what has been said, are a looseness in the use of language, a carelessness in the construction of sentences, and occasionally some considerable defects of grammar. A few instances of such inaccuracies we subjoin.
“Here the rude sons of nature became expert whalers, the fat of which they tried down toʻoil.”
“There are few perhaps who have not heard the term, Indian file, made use of, which is this: the elder chief took the lead,” &c.
“ Tamane saw without a tear the conflagration of her nativity.”
There is a want of relish and spirit in the dialogue among some of the lower characters ;--this is not so remarkable; but among the gentlemen and ladies there is certainly a great want of colloquial powers. The following is a specimen; though, perhaps, not a very favourable one.
“What sail is that?' says he, as he looked upon the Sound. "Certainly 'tis a vessel. It cannot be a waterfowl! Miss Norwood now rose from her seat, saying, “ I will get the spy-glass,' and in an instant she handed the instrument into his hands.
“ He looked steadfastly upon the magnified object, saying, 'It seems a sloop, and is standing this way. Her sails are hanging loosely, for want of wind. The tide is, however, in her favour, and wafts her along with the help of sweeps, I perceive. Possibly it is the trader, returned already. I think the vessel
compares.' We suspect no gentleman in the reign of Charles the First or Second could have invented so outrageous an Americanism, as is put into the mouth of such an individual, p. 53.
“. And before I left the place, located upon this site for the erection of my buildings.'”
Poems by JOAN TURVIL ADAMS. New Haven. 1825. 12mo. pp. 47. Who John Torvil Adams is, we do not know, and we are glad that we do not. We set ourselves to read his poems through, but, while reading the first page, were surprised by a shadowy consciousness, that we had seen something like it before ; as we read on, the mist began to clear away, till at length we took up our copy of Bryant's “ Ages;” and exclaimed, in the words of Wordsworth, "Like! but oh how different!” If any one will have patience to do as we have done, co.npare Mr Adams' “Our Country” with Bryant's “ Ages,” he will see a curious process of transmutation; and learn that, though no alchymist may have succeeded in changing lead into gold, Mr Adams is a proficient in the art of transmuting gold into lead. The first half or three fourths of “ Our Country,” may be tolerable poetry to those, who have not read the “ Ages;” but after that, where Mr Adams has been either thrown upon his own powers, or has poached upon a less luxuriant manor, the drivelling is insupportable. As to the smaller pieces annexed, they are, if possible, worse. Truly, if there were not two or three such men, as Percival, Bryant, and Hillhouse, we should give up the poetical department of our review in bopeless disgust. We trust, however, there are more such men yet to make their appearance; and we consider it our duty to the young whose minds may be tainted by trash like these poems, before they have learned to discriminate, occasionally, to brush such insects as their author away from the fields of our springing literatúre. It is never our wish to depress hope, where there is any ground for hope; and if we could have found one good line, or hemistich even, in this volume, which we believed to be original, we would gladly have quoted and praised it; but we have travelled from the Dan to the Beersheba thereof, and it is all barren.
SUBSIDENCE OF THE BALTIC.
A very singular and interesting fact has been ascertained respecting the level of the Baltic. It had been long suspected that the waters of this sea were gradually sioking; but a memoir, published in the Swedish Transactions for 1823, has put the change beyond a doubt. Mr Buncrona, assisted by some officers of the Swedish piloting establishment, has examined the Swedish coast with great care from latitude 56° to 620, and Mr Halstrom has examined those of the Gulf of Bothnia. The results of both inquiries are given in the form of a table; and though, as might have been expected, they are not completely uniform, they correspond sufficiently to place the subsidence of the waters beyond dispute. The Baltic, it is to be observed, has no tides, and is therefore favourably situated for making observations on its level; but with regard to the periods within which the changes observed have taken place, it was of course necessary to rely on records or oral testimony. At the latitude of 55°, where the Baltic unites with the German ocean through the Categat, no change seems to be perceptible. But from latitude 56°
to 639, the observations show a mean fall, of one foot and a half in forty years, or four tenths of an inch annually, or 3 feet ten inches in a century. In the Gulf of Bothnia, the results are more uniform and indicate a mean fall of four feet four inches in a century, or rather more than half an inch annually. The Baltic is very shallow at present, and if its waters continue to sink as they have done, Revel, Abo, Narva, and a hundred other ports, will by and by become inland towns; the gulf of Bothnia and Finland, and ultimately the Baltic itself will be changed into dry land.
SAY'S AMERICAN ENTOMOLOGY. The first volume of this work has been published, and so far as mechanical execution is concerned, it fully answers the most sanguine expectations which had been formed respecting it. Of its merits in a scientific point of view we do not pretend to be competent judges; but there can be little doubt, from the well known talents, science, and industry of its author, that it is deserving of equal commendation in this respect. As a work of American art it fully keeps up the character established by Wilson's American Ornithology ; and the engravings of some of the most beautiful insects are executed in a style not inferior to that of the most celebrated foreign productions of the same kind. In its plan, however, we fear that this book is essentially defective. As a book to be read, it is fit only for the mere scientific entomologist; it consists almost wholly of the dry details of technical description, with very little notice of the manners, habits, physiology, &c. of insects, wbich are the only interesting parts of this subject to the gen. eral reader, and ought to be the most so even to the entomologist. The charm which the excellent work of Wilson possessed to all readers was derived from this source, and the subject of entomology is capable of being made almost as interesting as that of ornithology. At present the work of Mr Say is not exactly what is wanted, by either the man of science or the general reader. It is too costly and ornamental in proportion to its quantity of matter, to suit the purposes of the former, and too dry and technical to be relished by the latter, except as a book of fine engravings. We hope however, notwithstanding this, which we consider a mistake in the plan, that it will receive the ample encouragement which it deserves as a specimen of art and a monument of the talents and science of its author.
ITALIAN NOVELISTS. Mr Thomas Roscoe has translated selections from the Italian novelists, in four volumes 12mo, and added notes, critical and biographical. “It is interesting to observe," says a reviewer of the work, “the progress of that mental alchymy, by which metal, base, soiled, or shapeless, becomes delicate in its polish, and graceful in its proportions. Into no worthier hands could the task of selection and translation have fallen than into those of Mr Roscoe; he has both the industry for research and the taste for appreciation. The character of these Italian novels is well known ;-partly historical facts dressed up romance fashion ;-odd hoaxes ;-love tales, purely imaginative, and others of a humorous and satirical turn. They reflect the whole spirit of the age in which they