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semblance as if they were under the influence of a spirit, and after various grimaces and contortions, appear to fall into a deep sleep. This they take care shall always be done in such places and on such occasions, as that there may be an abundance of spectators. After sleeping a short time, they wake snddenly, and relate to the people around them what the spirit has dictated to, them in their dreams. The command sometimes happens to be, that a woman or a man, a tattooed or an untattooed person, a fat or a lean one, an old man or a youth, out of the next valley, or from the next river must be seized and brought to them. The people to whom this is related, immediately post themselves in some ambush near a foot.path, or a river that abounds with fish, and the consequence is, that the first person that comes that way, bearing any resemblance to the de. scription given as seen in the dream, is taken, and brought to the Tana's morai, and eaten in company with his taboo society. It depends also frequently upon the Tana to determine whether any enemies shall be taken prisoners, and how many.' Langsdorff, p. 159.
Having stated the substance of the evidence on the character of these islanders, the Captain, whom we cannot help respeeting for the strong and honest emphasis with which he utters bis opinions as a censor of human depravity, propounces
that they have neither social institutions, religion, nor humane feelings in any degree, --in a word, that no traces of good qualities are to be found
among them; that they undoubtedly belong to the worst of mankind.' At the same time he acknowledges his estimate would have been different bad it been formed solely on the ground of what the Russians witnessed during their short intercourse with the people, in which they always shewed, (he says,) the best possible disposition, and in bartering, an extraordinary degree of honesty ; always delivering their cocoa-nuts before they received the piece of iron that was to be paid for them. At all times they appeared ready to assist in cutting wood and filling water, and the help they afforded us in these laborious tasks, was by no means trifling. Theft, the crime so common to all the islanders of this ocean, we very seldom met with among them; they always appeared cheerful and happy, and the greatest good-humour was depicted in their countenances. In a word, during the ten days that we spent with them, we were not once obliged to fire a loaded inusket at them.' But the two Europeans were so decided in the concurring declarations, as to leave it impossible to doubt that the fear of punishment alone and the hopes of reward deterred them from giving a loose to their savage passions. And the Captain confirms this by two remarkable facts :
• Some years ago an American merchant-ship put into port Anna Maria ; and the captain, who was a Quaker, suffered his people to go on shore unarmed; but the natives no sooner per. ceived their defenceless condition, than they assembled in order to attack and drag them into the mountains. Roberts succeeded, with the greatest difficulty, and with the assistance of the king, to whom he represented the treachery of their conduct, and the consequences it would infallibly bring on the whole island, in rescuing them out of the hands of hese cannibals. Nor did we ourselves want a proof of their being denied every feeling of justice and goodness; for although, during our stay, no one had ever shewn them the least ill will, but on the contrary every possible kindness, in order to inspire them with benevolence, if not with gratitude, our conduct seemed to have quite a different effect upon them. A report had spread that one of our ships had struck, occasioned by our being obliged, while in the act of sailing out, to brøg up close to the shore. In less than two hours a number of the islanders had assembled on the beach close to the ship, all armed with clubs, axes, and spears. Vi hat then could be their intention but to plunder and murder us? The Frenchman too, who came on board at that moment, acquainted us with the hostile intentions of the inhabitants, and of the whole valley's being in an uproar.' p. 181.
Their appearing all armed, at such a moment, seems to put their intentions quite out of question ; though Langsdorff, in mentioning the circumstance, is less positive in putting op it this interpretation.
It seems not easy to reconcile this promptitude to attack and aevour European visitants with the Captain's account of their superstitious estimate of these strangers.
• They consider all Europeans as Etua ; for as their ideas do not extend beyond their own horizon, they are firmly convinced that their ships come from the clouds; and they imagine that thunder is occasioned by the cannonading of vessels floating in the atmosphere, on which account they entertain a great dread of artillery. The king's brother happened to be on board when a cannon was fired; he immediately cast himself on the deck, clung round the Englishman Roberts who stood him : the greatest dread was painted on his countenance; and he repeated several times with a feeble voice, Matte, Matte,' (i. e. extinguish it.)
The information thus obtained concerning the moral condition of physically the finest tribe of savages in the world, would explode the last relic, if indeed any such thing were existing, of the vain dream of Rousseau, and the philosophers of his school, about the 'happy innocence of the state of nature
Roberts was solicited to accompany the expedition, but was
withheld by his attachment to his wife and child. It does not appear what determined him, no less than two years afterwards, to quit the island with his wife for Otaheite, in an English ship, and subsequently to make some voyages, at the conclusion of which we find him in Bengal, in 1810. Cabri was taken away by Krusenstern, unintentionally on the Captain's part, wbether intentionally on his own part, seems uncertain. He came on board as to take leave, and ask for some additional presents, and remained, notwithstanding the warning that the ship might probably put out to sea in a few hours, in blowing weather. The Captain says he kept out of sight till that took place, with the decided intention, he has no doubt, of being carried away. When the ship was leaving the bay, however, he begged to be set on shore in a boat, or even to be supplied with a plank to, help him through a very rough sea. All were, however, too anxiously busy about the ship in its dangerous situation, to pay any attention to him, and he was thus taken off. At all events, he soon lost all uneasiness about the circumstance, though he had a wife and children on the island, and became extremely useful as a sailor. For the rest,' says Langsdorff, he was but a mauvais-sujet.' The last we hear of him, is his being appointed teacher of swimming to the corps of marine cadets at Cronstadt,' where, though he has almost forgotten the language of Nukahiwa, made an incredibly rapid progress in the recovery of his native tongue, and by degrees became reconciled to European customs, he still thinks with delight of the men whom he formerly killed and exchanged for swine, or perhaps ate.'
The island furnished a plentiful supply of wood and water, but only a very moderate quantity of cocoa nuts, or breadfruit, and nothing worth mentioning in the form of animal food. The hogs on the island were not abundant, and they were so much valued by the epicurism of the aristocratic class of native eaters, that they were sold with very great reluctance. At another point of the island, where the ships slightly touched in passing, the great chief of the valley brought one for barter, and disposed of it, but then reclaimed it, and was backward and forward on the bargain, with a great number of alternations, and a most ludicrous distress. From the impossibility of obtaining any tolerable supplies, the Captain advises navigators not to shape their course with any sort of regard to this island.
But the case was practically no better at Owhyee, a great part of which the adventurers coasted at the distance of some miles, with the expectation of attracting to them, without the delay of going into any port, a number of canoes with provisions. But they were utterly disappointed, very few traders coming near them, and such as did think it worth while, bringing extremely little animal provision, for which too they demanded an exorbitant price, and would accept nothing but cloth, an article the Russians had never thought of putting
among their stores for the South Sea market. In their persons these islanders, (many of them affected with disease, appeared as much inferior to those they had so lately visited, as they were evidently superior in intelligence.
Here we find it necessary to close for the present month our account of these volumes, though we are far enough from having surveyed the whole of their contents. In our next number we shall have to notice Dr. Langsdorff"s second volume; and that notice shall be preceded by a brief view of the transactions,—very unimportant ones, no doubt,-in Japan.
Art. IV. The Ruminator : containing a Series of Moral, Critical, and
Sentimental Essays. By Sir Egerton Brydges, K.J.M.P. 2 vols.
feap 8vo. pp. 302 and 328. price 18s. Longman and Co. 1813. IF a sanguine reader should first open upon the table of
contents of these volumes, he might begin a perusal of the essays with great eagerness, for he would find therein many very important subjects to be treated. After having done this ourselves, we are entitled to say, we very much fear that he would be deceived in his expectations. The truth is, that often, where the most is promised, two or three ideas, and those, perhaps, not original, nor the most correct, diluted by a prodigious proportion of words, are spread over several pages; and the reader, after having gone through this, endeavours in vain to collect in bis own mind more matter from what he has been reading than would furnish him with three tolerable sentences. We cannot bring instances to substantiate the justice of this remark without quoting whole essays : the impression, however, left upon our own minds is of this nature; and, where the critic is candid and judicious, a general impression is more to be relied upon, than an opinion regularly deduced from two or three particular quotations.
Another fault of the work is the inflation of the language. The sentences are always formed and rounded, and too often involved. In some places the style is abominably tawdry and unmeaning. Speaking of a person of genius, the author says,
• If there remain records of his mental occupations, if his opinions, his feelings, and the rainbow-like colours of his fancy can be
remembered, and properly told, they will contribute essentially to the best and most interesting department of human intelligence.' vol. i.
· The fountains of er works of much greater merit are still as much concealed as those of the Nile.'
of Eliphaz's vision,
• The dark veil of impenetrable mystery thrown over the form of the appearance ;' voi. i. p. 62.
The rainbow again,
• Yet Burke himself, whose radiant mind was illuminated by all the rich colours of the rainbow, had nerves tremulous at every point with incontrolable irritability.' vol. i. p. 93.
Surely a person who, while reading the following sentence, should be asked, like Hamlet, what he read,' might reply with him, 'words, words.'
• That mighty gift of the Deity, which enables mankind to cast a glance over the whole surface of creation, and even to penetrate occasionally with some success into its internal movements, is sadly limited in its faculties by the exclusive contemplation of individual excellence, even though the most wonderful and super-eininent in the annals of human existence.' vol. i. p. 173.
of one, whose mind is his kingdom,'
· Too vehement for affectation or precision, we expect to see him with a neglected person, and eyes beaming an irregular and fearful fire.' vol. i. p. 180.
There is now, it seems, in our nobility, • No liberal regard to genius, no feeling of the enthusiasms of eloquence, no sense of the splendour of the past, no conception of “the shadowy tribes of mind; no conscientious delicacy towards ancient pretensions ; but a sad and low submission to the operation of shillings and pence, covered over with new or half-old titles, ob. tained by servility and corruption in office, and considered as grounds of monopoly and exclusion of all but themselves ! vol. i. p. 188.
Only one passage more :
• His tongue indeed often died away in murmurs, but his countenance spoke the intenseness of his pleasure.' vol. i. p. 226.
There is the same verbiage throughout, and in the general mist of words, every object is magnified and indistinct.
At p. 12, of vol. i. we meet with the following passage ;
• I believe the most stupid and ignorant peasant receives as much temporary gratification by a view from a hill, or in a pleasant dale, as Gilpin himself ever did. Possibly indeed much more.
In what, then, does the pleasure, which Gilpin, or which