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t with vigour and constancy, so will you arrive at knowledge, and obtain renown.
Do this ; and it is certain no future Haller will have cause to express surprise, that Surgeons have been undistinguished characters in the medical profession.'
Art. VI. Letters from Albion a Friend on the Continent. Written
in the Years 1810, 1811, 1812, and 1813. 2 Vols. pp. 260 and
281. Price 14s. Gale, Curtis, and Fenner, Paternoster-row. 1814. A MILITARY Lord has recently published a work descrip;
tive of “A forced Journey through several Parts of France. With either the merits or the faults of this work we do not pro · fess to be much acquainted; but we have heard a person who was bold enough to venture upon its purchase without waiting for the decision of the critics, and who, of course, deserved to be taken in; we have heard him complain of this Noble performance, on the ground of its comprising nothing inore than dissertations on good dinners and pretty women. Had we, in the present instance, been guilty of the misdemeanour that has been invidiously laid to the charge of Reviewers, that of merely looking into, and not actually reading, the works upon which they dare pass severe judgement, we might have been disposed to condemn the present production of a German Baron, on the same plea on which our disappointed friend censures the book of the British Lord; and, verily, there is a great deal too much, in the little volumes before us, of lippant, common-place, and gossiping jejuneness. All, however, is not so bad ; and we are of opinion, that in this book-making and book-buying day, many fourteen shillings are expended in worse bargains thau will be obtained by the purchasers of “ Letters from Albion.”
The history of these Letters is given in a short Preface.
• They arose from a correspondence which a foreigner, during his residence in this country, really kept up with an intimate friend on the continent. They were originally written in German, and, of course, not designed for publication. As, however, the author's stay here was protracted by the unfavourable turn in the affairs of Europe previous to the battle of Leipsic, he found a particular consolation in translating the letters into English. Hence, perhaps, some slight departure from the acquired idiom which may claim the reader's indulgence.'
The first of these letters the Author dates from Harwich, and in this be gives his friend an account of his journey from Berlin to Cuxhaven, and thence to the place from which he com. mences his correspondence. His route from Berlin lay through Hamburgh ; and in this place he expresses his indignant feel
ings at the cruel severity and shocking minuteness with which the edicts of Buonaparte were obeyed, in reference to the prohibition of colonial produce.
• As it proved a fine evening I took a range through the principal streets of the city, and stopped for some moments at the gate of Altona, where a spectacle new and unheard of engaged my attention. A never-ccasing throng of people appeared to block up the gate ; men, women, gentlemen and ladies, in carriages and on horseback, were stopped by the douaniers, and minutely searched for contraband. It is true that some dealers in colonial produce had employed women of the abandoned class to carry in sugar, tea, and coffee, in small parcels from Holstein, by suspending them round their bodies as an effectual security against all decent search. But a Frenchman is above such niceties; and the douaniers literally bared the prostitutes, to the great scandal of the gaping crowd. And as impudence, when unrestrained by public law, knows no bounds, they even ventured this abominable search with ladies of modesty and considera. tion, and neither the splendour of their equipages, nor retinue, could shelter them from such unexampled outrage. I assure you horror seized on all my limbs at seeing these brothel scenes; and I hastened back to my hotel, unable to conceive how the Hamburghers could see these atrocities every day, without being roused into fury, and butchering down their infamous oppressors.' p. 11,
Our Author shortly after quitted the Continent, and approached within sight of the English coast ;-a sight which he hails with so much of the true feeling of an Englishman, that we began to entertain suspicions respecting the genuineness of the professed origin of the work. Our doubts, however, we were soon compelled to relinquish, on account of the numerous transgressions against the English idiom with which it every where abounds. My curiosity,' he remarks, to see the coast of England, let me not sleep to a late hour. With the dawn of day I was on deck, and oh, ineffable delight! the coast ? of Albion lay expanded before my eyes. He lands at Harwich, and gives his friend a description of his breakfast, with a miputeness which can be tolerated only upon the principle, that every trifle helps to make up the peculiar character of a country and a people. But we do not see the necessity of an English reader being told the shape of a tea-caddy, or the kind of bread and butter which a traveller meets with at an English inn.
The first objects of our Author's animadversion upon bis arrival in the metropolis, are the hackney coaches, which he describes as being more miserable and filthy vehicles than even the fiucres of Paris, which are renowned for their dirtiness.'
Alter passing some time in London, and being surprised at the splendour of its streets, and the comfort and happiness o its inhabitants, he finds his way to the legislative assembly.
• I went to the House of Lords, panting to behold the august Roman senate of modern times, but missed the Quirites. I was more fortunate at the House of Commons; for there I heard a member speak with noble boldness and winning grace, whose heart beats as warm for the weal of his country, as his tongue pleads the wrongs of the oppressed :-his name is Brougham.' p. 100.
Soon after this passage, we meet with a eulogy on the Edlinburgh Review, which is alınost immediately succeeded by a suf-. ficiently lively description of the Lancasterian Institution in St. George's Fields; and also Dr. Marsh's opposition to this institution. Of this latter circumstance he speaks in the following terms :
: I was not a little surprised at learning that from Mr. Lancaster's being a quaker, the whole body of the clergy of the established church had publicly stood forth his adversaries; and a dignitary, whose name I have forgotten, blushed not to preach against him in St. Paul's, telling his congregation, from the pulpit, that the devil himself had a hand in this work, to pervert the faith of the believers.' p. 107.
He objects against our trial by jury, the impossibility of bringing an individual before the bar of judgement twice for the same offence. He objects also against the law which exonerates entailed estates from the personal debts of the late proprietor. Into the arguments, defensive or objective, respecting these several particulars of our traveller's censures it would, of course, be altogether out of place for us to enter. We have, however, noticed his opinions on these subjects, both because we wish to give the reader as much insight as is consistent with our limits, into the nature of the work before us, and as there is always some degree of interest attached to independent and unprejudiced sentiments on national and controverted topics.
Influenced by these considerations, an Englishman must read with the most lively feelings the following eulogy on his native lapd, by a foreigner who had enjoyed opportunities of comparing it with other countries.
• What interests you here most (says our traveller) is man Wherever you turn you see happy faces, with ruddy, health-breathing cheeks; and even in persons of the lowest orders, a decent, often elegant dress, cleanly in the highest degree, and wanting nothing that can set off beauty and afford ease. And happy are they indeed, from the first lord in the kingdom down to the meanest tradesman. But particularly so are those families of the middling classes, whose circumstances allow them to reside in the country. There you should see how fond the faithful wife locks her happy partner to her beating breast, when in the evening he retires to his own home ; how his cherrycheeked children cling round his knees, and even the prattling babe stretches out to him its belpless hands. Oh, England ! (he adds)
blessed art thou among thy sisters; the image of thy felicity shall never be obliterated from my sentient heart!' p. 136.
Having exhausted all the interesting materials afforded by London and its environs, our Author sets out for Liverpool ; but his journey produces no observation worth recording. It is on the roads, indeed, that our German friend appears to the least advantage ; and we now and then meet with reflections and remarks, the triteness—we had almost said the extreme futility of which requires the exercise of all our English courtesy towards a stranger to tolerate. His attempts at wit, also, are oftentimes worse than failures.
From Liverpool he proceeds to Carlisle, and the most interesting recital in this division of his work, at least to an English reader, is the following curious story of an aptient castle which, in times of old, stood on the present site of Lathorn Hall, a mansion in the vicinity of Ormskirk, in Lancashire. “lo ran! sacking some English chronicles, found in this mansion, I found (our Author remarks) this tale to be true.?
· Lathorn House belonged, in the reign of Charles I. to James, Earl of Derby, a famous person, who miserably lost his life on the scaffold by the fanatic fury of the levellers, for his unshaken fidelity to the king's family Whilst he was sent to defend the Isle of Man, the Countess Charlotte, his wife, a daughter to the Duke of Tremoaille, was besieged in Lathorn House during four months, by a corps of 3000 of the parliamentary troops, under one Captain Rigby, without surrendering. Though her garrison consisted only of 400 men, yet she beat back the enemy's assaults with so much courage and success, that they were unable to capture the strong hold, till Prince Rupert coming up relieved the besieged heroine. She was prevailed upon to go to the Isle of Man, but left at Lathorn House a more numerous garrison, which, in the prosecution of the war held out a second siege, with the same dauntlessness, for many months together. The earl's chaplain carried on the correspondence in cipher, in which he was assisted by one widow Read, of the neighbourhood, who brought in, and carried out despatches by means of sallies appointed for that purpose, on a signal given by her whenever she wanted to come in. This hazardous service she faithfully performed for above a year; and when at last taken with ciphers about her for King Charles and Lord Byron, she refused, with so much perseverance, to disclose the secret, that Rigby caused her to be burnt with matches between her fingers, till three of them dropped off. After the loss of that friend the chaplain found another expedient. Having observed a hound frequently to come and go bet wixt his master, at Lathorn House, and his mistress, three miles off, he found means to let the larly know, that as often as the dog came home she should look about his neck for a thread with a small letter wrapped round, and send it to the king, directing her to tie papers, to be sent into the house in like manner about the dog's neck, and,
after having kept the animal a while hungered, to open the door and beat him out. Thus the poor dog, being beaten backward and forward, conveyed all the intelligence into and from the house for nine successive months ; till once leaping the enemy's works he was shot by an ill natured soldier, without however losing his despatches, which he ca ried to the gate and there expired. When, at last, the house was reduced, only 209 foot soldiers were found in it, their horses being killed and eaten by them. The parliament was so en. .raged at the obstinate resistance, as to order Lathorn House to be levelled with the ground.' p. 241.
Our traveller then proceeds to Glasgow; and passing on his way by Gretna Green, it leads him to give an amusing account of the marriages of clandestine notoriety, which take place at that spot; and he sagely remarks, that the English, in order to prevent elopements, ought to pass a marriage act, granting to impassioned couples the same facility of being united as is enjoyed in Scotland.
His account of the far-famed Loch Lomond is narrated in a very interesting manner. Having arrived at the summit of Ben Lomond, he extracts the poet's beautiful description of it.
There I breath'd, 'mid Scotland's pride,
On Ben Lomond's lofty brow;
Castles, towns, and shires below;
Lay the smiling crystal sheet.' « Since my descent from Vesuvius I had never (he says) beheld a bolder horizon.' (And, after describing the surrounding scenery, he adds). But the greatest beauty in this immeasurable landscape was Loch Lomond, which, expanding like a mirror at my feet, reflected the blue sky, the bulging falls, and the hanging woods, that here frighten and cheer the eye. This expanse of water, which covers a surface of ground of 20,000 acres, has features so grand and peeuliar to itself, that neither the lake of Geneva, nor that of Lucerne, can be assimilated to it, though both do not want daring scenes. The mountain air, the shivers of rock that cover the peak's sloping sides, the frightful ravines, the silvan seclusion, the pellucid waters below, all remembered me of Switzerland, and threw my soul into delighttul reveries ; but when, in my descent on the opposite side, I waded through a trackless waste of brake, where the eagle bursting from its retreat soared to the skies, and the plover screaming left its nest ; when I beheld the mountaineers with their blue caps, and overheard the Gaelic dialect in their melancholy tunes, then I felt I was far from the enchanting banks of the Limmat.' p. 59. Vol. 2.
Our Author appears by no means to advantage in his communication from Edinburgh. In the description of the metropolis of Scotland we should have expected, from a foreign visiter,