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so salt, with a cocoa-nut (shell) with only a small opening.'* When these unfortunate men reached the isles of Radack, however, every hope and almost every feeling bad died within them; their sail had long been destroyed, their canoe long been the sport of winds and waves; and they were picked up by the inhabitants of Aur, in a state of insensibility. Three or four years had elapsed since their arrival, and Kadu had taken a wife, by whom he had one child; notwithstanding which he came up to Kotzebue, and, with a firm and determined voice and look, said, “I will remain with you wherever you go. His friends endeavoured to dissuade him, and even to drag him from the ship; but his resolution was not to be shaken, and when the time of departure arrived, he took an affecting leave of his friends and family, distributed bis little property among them, and embarked on board the Rurick.
Before they left the group, however, Kotzebue thought it right to tell him that he had no intention of revisiting the islands of Radack; and that he was about to proceed on a long and fatiguing voyage. He threw his arms around me, (says Kotzebue,) vowed to stay with me till death ; and nothing remained for me but to keep him, and with a firm determination to provide for him as a father.' M. Chamisso has given several anecdotes illustrative of the mild and amiable character of Kadu, who soon became a great favourite of the officers and men of the Rurick. We once only (says the naturalist) saw this mild man angry; and this was occasioned by some of the crew having removed a little collection of stones which he had formed, to a place where he could not find them. He continued during the voyage to conduct himself with great propriety; but on the return of the ship to the same group, he as suddenly changed his mind of continuing with Kotzebue as he had previously formed that resolution, and determined to abide with his friends :—the account which he received of the inelancholy state of his little daughter after his departure, was supposed to be the motive of this change; the reason assigned by himself, however, was, that he wished to superintend the new plants and animals which had been collected for the use of the natives, at the Sandwich Islands, and other places visited by the Rurick.
The Rurick sailed about the middle of March to renew her northern discovery; and on the 13th of April had reached the lat. 44° 30',-a frightful day, (says Kotzebue,) which blasted all my fairest hopes. A tremendous storm had nearly overwhelmed his little vessel; and he was thrown with such violence against a projecting corner of his cabin, that he was obliged to keep his bed for several days. On the 24th the ship reached Oonalashka, and on
* Chamissu states this circumstance more cautiously; he brought up cooler water, (he says) which,' according to their opinion,' was likewise less salt.
the 29th of June, having received on board fifteen Aleutians, proceeded to the northward. On the 10th of July they came in sight of St. Lawrence Island. Here Kotzebue inquired of the natives whether the ice had long left their shores ? The answer was, 'only within the last three days. My hope, therefore, (he observes,) of penetrating Behring's Straits was blasted,' (the lieutenant, or bis translator, has no great choice of words,) “as I could not espect that the sea would be cleared of ice for fourteen days.' He stood however to the northward ; and at midnight perceived (he says) to their terror firm ice, which extended as far as the eye could see to the north-east, and then to the north, covering the whole surface of the ocean.' Here he made up his mind, if that had not already been done, to lay aside all further attempt at discovery, and return to the more agreeable groups of coral islands. He thus states bis case :
My melancholy situation, which had daily grown worse since we had left Oonalashka, received here the last blow. The cold air so affected my lungs, that I lost my breath, and at last spasms in the chest, faintings, and spitting of blood ensued. I now for ihe first time perceived that my situation was worse than I would hitherto believe; and the physician seriously declared to me that I could not remain near the ice.
It cost me a long and severe contest; more than once I resolved to brave death, and accomplish my undertaking; but when I reflected that we had a difficult voyage to our own country still before us, and perhaps the preservation of the Rurick, and the lives of my companions depended on mine, I then felt that I must suppress my ambition. The only thing which supported me in this contest was the conscientious assurance of having strictly fulfilled my duty. I signified to the crew, in writing, that my ill health obliged me to return to Oonalashka. The moment I signed the paper was the most painful in my life, for with this stroke of the pen I gave up the ardent and longcherished wish of my heart.'-vol. ii. p. 176.
We have little more to offer on this unsuccessful it appears to us that its abrupt abandonment was hardly justified under the circumstances stated. It would not be tolerated in England, that the ill-health of the commanding officer should be urged as a plea for giving up an enterprize of moment, while there remained another officer on board fit to succeed him. But the great error, in our opinion, was committed in the first attempt. Had Kotzebue fortunately pushed on to the northward the preceding year, when the sea was perfectly open, and before his people had tasted the soft luxuries of the coral islands, he would unquestionably have succeeded in solving the problem as to the extreme north-west point of America, as Baron Wrangel has done that of the north-east point of Asia; and this would have been something: but we rather suspect that when the physician
Α Α 4
warned him against approaching the ice, the caution was not wholly disinterested on his part, and that the officers and men, like the successors of the immortal Cook, had come to the couclusion that the longest way about was the nearest way home.'
We cannot close this article without animadverting on the careless manner in which the Voyage' has been done into English.' The naturalist, Chamisso, in seeming anticipation of what would happen, has entered his caveat against translations of which he cannot judge,' and recognizes only the German text.' In truth, he will find here more than enough to justify his precautions. The present translator joins to a style at once bald and incorrect, a deplorable ignorance of his subject; hence the volume abounds in errors of the grossest kind. Many of them may unquestionably be attributed to the undue haste with which the work was produced:--but, surely, it can never be worth the while of any respectable publisher to run a race with the Bridge-street press, the monthly crudities of which, though they may precede, cannot possibly supersede translations made by competent persons, and brought out in a manner correspondent to the merit of the original works.
Art. IV.--Memoirs of a Life chiefly passed in Pennsylvania
within the last Sixty Years. Edinburgh. 1822. pp. 431. MR.
R. GALT, to whom we are indebted for the present volume, is a person,
say the best of it, of a very uncertain taste. He has published a life of Cardinal Wolsey rather above mediocrity; and the ' Annals of the Parish,'. (favourably noticed in a former Number,) and 'the Ayrshire Legatees,' a work of the same cast, and, at least, of equal merit, are also attributed to his pen. On the other hand, the . Earthquake,' said to be his, is a romance ridiculous even among romances; and he now appears as the editor and eulogist of these Memoirs, which,-notwithstanding his high and solemn praise, both of their matter and manner, ture to pronounce to be in matter almost worthless, and in manner wholly contemptible.
Mr. Galt's dedication of the republished volume, to his Excellency Richard Rush, Esq. the American ambassador, acquaints us with all that he is pleased to tell of the author, or to advance in support of his favourable opinion of the work; and even this information, short and meagre as it is, is not without a tincture of absurdity. He thanks his Excellency for his attention to his inquiries respecting the author.' Of course we should infer, that inquiries so gratefully acknowledged produced an answer.
- we ven
If they did, he has kept the information to himself. If Mr. Rush could tell Mr. Galt nothing about the author, he hardly deserved such ostentatious gratitude; and if he did, it seems a little hard that the reader should be deprived of such valuable, and indeed necessary information; for we suppose it will be admitted that, in estimating private memoirs and a personal narrative, the name and character of the writer are of main importance.
This critical dedication next proceeds to state, that it is remarkable that a production so rich in the various excellencies of STYLE, DESCRIPTION, and IMPARTIALITY, should not have been known in this country, especially as it is perhaps the best personal narrative which has yet appeared relative to the history of that great conflict which terminated in establishing the independence of the United States. This is lofty praise; and we cannot therefore wonder at the editor's conclusion, that such a work will be a valuable addition to the stock of general knowledge, and obtain no mean place for the author among those who have added PERMANENT LUSTRe to the English language. In fact, it is this which has induced us to trouble our readers with an account of the book. In our examination, we shall follow the editor's own line of criticism.
And first, of this admirable style, which is to place the writer among the great luminaries of the English language. If we were merely to say that it is of that kind which the French so expressively call lâche, and which we should denominate loose and mean, we might possibly be suspected of prejudice; we shall therefore support our opinion with a specimen or two taken at random.
Having occasion to state that an American officer had been the dupe of a false alarm, he informs us that
Another emanation from the military defect of vision, was the curious order that every householder in Market-street should affix one or more candles at his door before daylight, on the morning of the day on which, from some sufficient reason no doubt, it had been elicited that the enemy would full surely make his attack.'—p. 41.
We confess that the order appears to us more intelligible than the observations on it.
The author's mother, it seems, kept a boarding-house in Philadelphia, and the following is the manner in which, with a style and taste that are ' to add permanent lustre to our language,' he bespeaks the respect of the reader for the heretofore ill-appreciated calling of mistress of a boarding-house.
“Those who have seen better days, but have been compelled, by hard necessity, to submit to a way of life, which, to a feeling mind, whoever may be the guests, is sufficiently humiliating, are much in
debted p. 65.
debted to Mr. Gibbon for the handsome manner in which he speaks of the hostess of a boarding-house at Lausanne. With the delicacy of a gentleman, and the discernment of a man of the world, the bistorian dares to recognize that worth and refinement are not confined to opulence or station; and that although, in the keeper of a house of public entertainment, these qualities are not much to be looked for, yet, when they do occur, the paying for the comforts and attentions we receive does not exempt us from the courtesy of an apparent equality and obligation. An equally liberal way of thinking is adopted by Mr. Cumberland, who tells us, in his Memoirs, that the British Coffeehouse was kept by a Mrs. Anderson, a person of great respectability.'—p. 57.
The pressing poor Gibbon and Cumberland into the service of his mother's table d'hôte, and investing the good lady with the various merits of Madame Mesery and Mrs. Anderson, is admirable; and the manner in which it is accomplished enables us to pronounce that the writer did not listen to the conversation at it without profit.
This polite table-society, however, did not long dispense civilization and good manners amongst the inhabitants of Philadelphia, although Major George Etherington, of the Royal Americans, was an occasional inmate of the house, from its first establishment on a large scale, until the time of its being laid down about the year 1774.' Major Etherington, no doubt, would have done honour to any company.
• He seemed to be always employed in the recruiting service, in the performance of which he had a snug economical method of his own. Ile generally dispensed with the noisy ceremony of a recruiting coterie ; for having, as it was said, and I believe truly, passed through the principal grades in its composition, namely, those of drummer and serjeant, he was a perfect master of the inveigling arts which are practised on the occasion, and could fulfil, at a pinch, all the duties himself. The major's forte was a knowledge of mankind, of low life especially ; and he seldom scented a subject ihat he did not, in the end, make his prey. He knew his man, and could immediately discover a fish that would bite : Hence he wasted no time in angling in wrong waters.'—p. 63.
This gentleman, himself so highly civilized, did our author the inestimable favour of superintending a portion of his education, which the family' had, it seems, neglected—namely the Graces; and, with the inveigling arts' so familiar to him, he' entrapped' the young recruit into a room, where a dancing-master had been previously secreted : the horror of such a degradation to manhood' as learning to dance, was soon overcome by the persuasions of the all-accomplished Major, and the reformed and elegant Cato became' (as he proudly tells us)' qualified for the enjoyment of female society in one of its most captivating forms.'