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moment, and while under the dominion of a ferocious madman-that he was exposed to some personal ill usage--that he resided but a short time at St. Petersburgh, and, as is more than suspected, was rather unlucky in the social circles among which he was thrown that much of what is most offensive in his representations is told merely as the result of other men's opinions--and that he listened to the accounts he received with little opportunity, and, apparently, without much disposition to scrutinize their accuracy. But even in the absence of these grounds of distrust, there appears considerable reason to doubt the perfect fidelity of Dr. Clarke's portraits of Russian society. Notwithstanding the endless varieties in the situation and circumstances of mankind, there is still, among all nations and languages, a near approach to identity in the larger features of the human character, not less than in the general outline of the human form. The Yahoo is at least as unnatural a being as the Lilliputian--and Dr. Clarke's Russians have too much of the Yahoo in their constitution, not to induce a very strong suspicion of the truth of the resemblance. The book, in fact, we have reason to know, was received at St. Petersburgh with no little astonishment, and probably not without some mixture of irritation.
" Your countrymen certainly think but meanly of us"-was a remark frequently made to an English gentleman then residing in that capital : “ but do you believe that there is one man in England who will give credit to such a story as this?” But, on the whole, we owe too much to Dr. Clarke, to feel disposed to pursue any
further a censure which may seem to diminish the value of the praise we formerly bestowed on his very valuable and important work.
At this moment, however, our recollections of that interesting narrative are associated with thoughts too serious and too sad to be hastily dismissed. " Moscow is no more.' That splendid monument of barbaric greatness, the centre of the affections, the hopes, and sympathies of thousands and tens of thousands of our fellow men, has been swept from off the face of the earth, or exists only as the dreadful tomb of its former inhabitants. “ How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people ! how is she become a widow ! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" Wise, unquestionably, and benevolent as wise, are all the purposes of the great moral ruler of the world; but while we humbly acquiesce in his will, and repress our useless execrations against the monster who has been selected by him to be the scourge of mankind, it is yet impossible, without horror, or without an aching heart, to
contemplate these sad scenes, at once the proof and the punishment of human depravity. On the probable event of this great contest it would be now idle to speculate, even were this the proper occasion for such inquiries. But if, as some amongst us are disposed to believe, the struggle is still to be protracted, it then indeed becomes material to ascertain the character of that important body of men who form the natural aristocracy of the Russian Empire. It is in this view that Dr. Clarke's publication, the latest, the most learned and elaborate account we possess of the state of society in that country, acquires an interest which belongs to the writings of no other traveller. In this view, also, it becomes a matter of no light moment to inquire into his pretensions to the praise of an impartial and a competent judge of natural character. Our opinion on that subject we have already expressed; with what qualifications it is held, will more fully and properly appear in the course of this article.
The volume which we have now to examine, contains the result of Dr. Clarke's reflections, made during a journey of about six months' continuance, through Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Of these countries, already so amply described by Shaw, Pococke, Maundrell, and Chandler, our information is singularly minute and copious_s0 copious, indeed, as, in the opinion of many, to have contracted the dua ties of a writer of travels in the present day, to little more than the correction of the errors of his predecessors. We are not, however, disposed to be very fastidious in lamenting the multiplication of books which do really contain any kind of accurate knowledge. It is, no doubt, too late now to expect to hear much which we have not, in substance, heard before, of the usages, or habits, or even of the antiquities of Constantinople or Greece: but the observations made on these interesting regions by such a man as Dr. Clarke can never be unimportant ; never, at least, so long as we have, on the subject of which he treats, any error to rectify, or any prejudices to remove or while men will persist in preferring the works of a fashionable cotemporary author to the antiquated researches of our less lively and entertaining forefathers.
It would, however, be very unjust, were we to attribute the high celebrity of Dr. Clarke's volumes to any other cause than their own very great and somewhat peculiar merit. He is in fact a writer of travels, such as has but seldom appeared in any period of our literary history, and such as, till the publication of his work, was wholly unknown in our own days. And first of all, he is, in his character of a traveller, remarkably exempt from the common failings of his cotem
poraries. Though obviously of a temperament of mind rather exposed to error from an excess, than from any deficiency of warmth in his social affections, he makes no sort of parade of fine feelings and overflowing sentiment. And though it is quite beyond question that his attainments in geology, and in botanical and mineralogical science, are very considerable, yet he never forgets that the bulk of his readers, those for whose instruction he writes, are neither mineralogists, nor botanists, nor geologists. The information on these branches of natural history which he collected in the course of his journey, he has, accordingly, compressed into a space comparatively narrow; wisely resisting the temptation of inserting in his book philosophical essays, at once wearisome from their length to those who are ignorant of the subject, and from their necessary brevity, unsatisfactory to those who are conversant with it. Moreover, although Dr. Clarke possesses an almost unequalled power of conveying to his readers, without the aid of painting, a conception of the scenes he visits, scarcely less lively than that which painting itself could furnish; yet is he contented to leave undescribed all the wonders of art, and all the enchanting natural scenery, which he passed in his route, except where others had left unnoticed what it is really material to the subject he treats of to describe. He possesses, in a word, one excellence inseparably connected, we believe, with qualities still more valuable than even mere intellectual superiority-we mean a total absence of ostentation in the display of very rare and valuable accomplishments. In addition to what we formerly said of the general character of Dr. Clarke's composition, it may now be added, that his style is eminently adapted to the easy kind of narrative in which a sensible man naturally writes the history of his own travels. It is simple, versatile, and copious occasionally, indeed, bearing an unpleasant resemblance to the manner of Gibbon, and, in its more laboured passages, somewhat overwrought and turgid.
As compared with his former volume, it is not improbable that the majority of readers will esteem the present a little uninteresting. For one man who will study a quarto volume of travels through the Troad, the Greek Islands, and the Holy Land, you shall probably find a hundred who will peruse with delight the new, lively, and unexpected detail given by Dr, Clarke of the habits and manners of the Russians and Cossacks. We all love to contemplate animated pictures, whether accurate or inaccurate, of the character of our own species: but it is a very small number, comparatively, who
are much concerned to know whether the site of Ilium was on the banks of the Hellespont, or in the vicinity of Alexandria Troas. It cannot be denied, too, that there is a degree of heaviness about the volume now before us, which, not even that rich colouring with which the descriptive powers of the author have adorned it is at all times sufficient to relieve. The truth is, that there is a tedium almost unavoidably resulting from the want of unity in the subject of his work. The narratives of a traveller must, after all, depend for their interest upon very much the same principles as those to which the charm of all other narratives is owing; among which, some, perhaps, of the most certain and copious sources of pleasure, will be found to consist in strong sympathy with the personal fortunes of the narrator, or hero of the tale-in rapid and lively transitions—in full, minute, and highly finished representations of the scenes or characters about which the narrative may be conversant-or, fically, in a succession of images opposed to each other in marked and striking contrast. In the former volume of this work, the two last-mentioned requisites of interesting narrative were to be found in sufficient abundance. Nothing which curiosity could have required, was wanting to the completion of the portraits of the Russian and the Cossack; nor could any contrast have been imagined to the stupid inanimate brutality of the one, more perfect or amusing than the erect deportment and courteous liberality of the other. In the travels of our author through Greece and the Holy Land, we confess we very much desiderate these animated pictures of life and manners. With a dignified and not ungraceful reserve, Dr. Clarke has usually avoided any mention of his own personal adventures: and the circumstances of his journey, in which his literary pursuits seem continually to have been impeded by the more pressing avocations of his mercantile and military associates, have prevented his exhibiting, in this volume, any of those complete and entire views of the state and condition of the different countries he visited, which we noticed in our former numbers as the characteristic excellence of his composition. Except, however, the inevitable inferiority of interest which the difference of subject produces, we do not know that this volume is in any respect inferior to the last.
We are rather, we think, inclined to prefer it.
Dr. Clarke is a man of an active, inquisitive, and ardent mind-more than usually gifted with such knowledge as is acquired by solitary studyand not ill acquainted with mankind; but somewhat deficient, we apprehend, in candour and caution in his judgments on his fellow creatures, and not very eminently distinguished (10
use a term often very grossly misused) by a philosophical mind. To such an understanding, subjects affording large scope for the investigation of disputed facts, antiquarian, historical, or literary, (and such are the inquiries connected with the present journey of our author,) appear better adapted than those more comprehensive speculations as to the general character and future destiny of nations which occupy so considerable a part of his former volume. All the subjects, moreover, to the elucidation of which his labours are here directed, possess even yet a never failing, and almost unequalled charm. Nothing can be indifferent to us which throws any new light over the institutions, the habits, or the arts of that wonderful people who inhabited the celebrated regions which were once the seat of Grecian empire. The history of Greece forms the most extraordinary, and, at the same time, the most authentic record in the annals of mankind, of the influence of taste, liberty and science upon human character. The lapse of eventful intervening ages has not yet made it possible to cast even a passing glance at the story of that extraordinary people without astonishment. The unequalled energy with which they encountered difficulties apparently insuperable--the vast extent of their military resources--the spirit and gayety of the national temper-their undoubted superiority to the whole human race, as well in the lighter graces as in the higher efforts of genius—in a word, that intellectual superiority to which they owed their unnatural political elevation, not only secured to the monuments of the empire and of the sciences of Greece the reverence even of their conquerors, but, through all succeeding ages, have commanded the admiration and directed the inquiries of mankind.
In the latter ages of the Roman empire, when the ravages of the barbarians had ultimately swept away all the Grecian schools of rhetoric and science, which the extinction even of Roman liberty had not destroyed; all that remained of literature and knowledge in Greece appears to have been transferred to the capital of the Eastern empire, and to the still flourishing cities of the lesser Asia. In the days of her last emperor, the city of Constantine, though often desolated by the ignorant rapacity of her sovereigns, still preserved entire many of the most splendid ornaments with which the everactive spirit of the Grecian artists, degenerated though they were from the taste of their forefathers, had embellished that metropolis of the East. Of the ravages of the Turks more seems to have been said than is consistent either with probability or with historical tradition. The conquest of Constan