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to the world, how much of this plan the unfortunate officer was permitted to execute, after his departure from Botany Bay.
The latter half of the 3d and last volume is occupied by Supplementary Memoirs, which consist of detached papers on various subjects, that had been transmitted home by the Commodore, and by different scientific men who accompanied him in the voyage. Of these, are written by M. de la Pérouse, besides his correspondence, a memoir concerning Manilla and Formosa; and one concerning the fur trade. What is said: concerning Manilla is principally designed to demonstrate the great ease with which it might be taken from the Spaniards ; and the following curious fact is stated in this memoir : It is computed, that Luconia contains no more than 1200 Creolian or European Spaniards; and it is remarkable, that not a single Spanish family has lasted four generations, whilst the population of the natives has increased since the conquest.'- Respecting Formosa, M. de la P. writes with the same views. He thinks that the English would derive the greatest advantage from making themselves masters of that island; and that it would give them great influence over the Chinese; whereas, consi. dering the present state of our tea trade, he says, “I should not be surprised to see these Europeans (the English) in a short time reduced in China to the same condition that the Dutch are in Japan.'--Formosa is garrisoned by ten thousand Tartars, who are not so inferior to Europeans in courage'as in their mode of fighting'-The memoir on the fur trade contains the following remarkable information : that it is the plan of the viceroy of Mexico, to reserve to government the exclusive trade of otter skins ;' and in a letter addressed to the Minister of the Marine, he states, that the most northern of the Spanish factories furnishes ten thousand sea otter skins yearly; and if they continue to be sold advantageously in China, it will be easy for Spain to procure as many as fifty thousand, and by that means to give a mortal stab to the trade of the Russians.
In the correspondence, we find also a letter written by M. de Lesseps, after his arrival at Versailles ; in which he says,
- I also met with nine Japanese at Kamtschatka, who, by a gale of wind and the want of a compass, had been driven from the coast of their own island, of which its inhabitants take great care never to lose sight. They kept the sea six months in a little coasting vessel, the first land they made being the Aleutian islands, where they cast anchor with all speed, went on shore, and abandoned their vessel to its fate. Neither the night, nor the appearance of bad weather, nor the efforts of the Russians they found there, could prevail upon them to return on board in order to land their cargo, or
to put their vessel in a place of safety. Overjoyed at finding themselves once more on land, they thought no more about it, and left it exposed to the fury of the wind, which during the night drove it upon the coast. A very small part of their effects were saved. Of these the Russians took charge, and conveyed them to Kamtschatka in the vessels which they send in quest of furs. They carried thither also the nine Japanese, who are treated with particular kindness, and are speedily to be sent to Petersburg.
The small remainder of these supplementary memoirs contains descriptions in botany, and other parts of natural history; accounts of chemical experiments; geographical and political remarks on the places at which the ships touched during the voyage; and various other scientific matters.
The reader of these volumes will see, among the other valuable qualities of M. de la Pérouse, a mildness of character without affectation : yet there is sometimes occasion to remark, that he speaks of his intentions with the confidence of certainty, maka ing no allowance for the probabilities of disappointment from accidents :-perhaps it is not very unfair to say of this sanguine manner of speaking, that it is a national characteristic. As a navigator and a discoverer, his character will always stand high: though the visit which he made to the west coast of North America has been rendered of less consequence than it would otherwise have been, by the subsequent voyage of Captain Vancouver.-If some part of what M. de la Pérouse discovered, during the short time which he passed on the Ame. rican coast, has escaped the observations of his successor ; yet, in this part of the voyage, where differences appear in the ać. counts, it must be presumed that in most cases the preference ought to be given to that of the English navigator ; whose labours, for three successive seasons, were directed to the single object of examining the American coast.–We have already noticed that the plan of instructions given to M. de la Pérouse kept him in a continual state of hurry, having always more in contemplation than he had time to perform; notwithstanding that, in several instances, he made free use of the discretionary power allowed him, to vary, as he should see occasion, from the plan chalked out. Parts of the plan were directe ed to objects of no great importance; such as visiting Easter Island, the Society and Friendly Islands; places already well known, and at which M. de la Pérouse thought it so little necessary to touch, that in one of his letters he expresses his satisfaction that in 'so large a voyage, he shall have no occasion to put in at those everlasting Society islands.' In one of the more interesting objects of the voyage, that which respected Japan, the alteration made by M. de la Pérouse, of inspecting the Ff4
western instead of the eastern coast, which latter was recommended in the instructions, was perhaps the reason why the most material part of that article was not accomplished. “ With regard to Japan," say the instructions, “ he will endeavour to reconnoitre and inspect the north-east and the east coast, and go on shore in some of its ports, in order to satisfy himself whether its government in reality opposes any invincible obstacle to the introduction of commerce or barter with Europeans, &c.—Perhaps the prohibitory laws of this empire, which all the accounts of this country speak of as so severe, are not in force on the coasts to the north-east and east, with so much rigour as at Nangasaki and the south coast, places too near the capital to expect any relaxation in them.” To which it may be added that the western coast is probably more populous, and better cultivated, if not more civilised, on account of the nearness of communication with the Chinese, than the eastern coast; which has for its boundary only an immense open sea.
The discoveries of this highly-lamented navigator on the castern coast of China, and in the seas between that and Japan, are justly enti:sed to be considered as entirely new, and as forming a most valuable acquisition to geography.
On the whole, indeed, it may be pronounced that few accounts of voyages can be ranked with this in entertainment and interest, and that still fewer are so replete with valuable information. May no other ever have so melanchoiya termination!
Art. VIII. Canterbury Tales. Volume II. By Sophia Lee. 8vo.
PP. 564. 55. Boards. Robinsons. 1798. The first volume of this work, from the pen of Miss Har. d riet Lee, was noticed in our Review for April last; and we then expressed a favourable opinion of the inventive powers of the fair writer, with which we would associate a similar judgment on this production of her sister. The story of the two Emilys, occupying the whole of this volume, abounds with a great variety of incidents, with many striking and affecting scenes, and is not without a considerable mixture of that distress and horror which are congenial to the present fashionable taste. The texture of the fable, however, is wild and romantic ; little attention is paid to probability ; and although manners are well described, and many observations are interspersed which seem to eyince a knowlege of the human heart, yet we cannot compliment Miss S. Lee on the truth and consistency of her characters. The Duke of Aber deen, on his entrance into life, gives no indication of that
cold, cold, selfish, unfeeling temper, and that turn for low debauchery, which disgrace him in his latter years, and which seem scarcely reconcileable with the energetic sense and strong passions which are ascribed to him. The diabolical malice and revenge of Emily Fitzailen are such as, we hope, never existed: the disguises which she assumes, in order to impose on the Marquis of Lenox, are scarcely within the verge of possibility; and though her marriage with that Nobleman doubtless surprises the reader, the astonishment may arise as much from the gross violation of probability, as from the skill and art of the writer.
We know not whether we can approve of that practice, among our Novelists, which is now very common, of killing their heroes and heroine i, and bringing them again to life. In the history of John Buncle, one of his many wives not only dies but is buried; yet she contrives to make her appearance again, and is introduced to her former husband as the wife of his friend. The revival of the Marquis of Lenox, after his duel, appears to us not less extraordinary.
The great defect of this novel, however, is that the perplexity, which in every tale is necessary in a certain degree to interest and agitate the passions of the reader, is occasioned not by those events which may happen in the ordinary course of human affairs, but by artificial concealments, the indulgence of absurd and unaccountable prejudices, and the wanton assumption of false characters. At the same time, in justice to the fair writer, we must observe that no objection can be made to the moral tendency of her work; that the prevailing sentiments are virtuous and pious; and that Emily Arden and her husband, the Marquis of Lenox, are bright examples of excellence in domestic life, and are rewarded with its neverfailing concomitant, true happiness.—The language may be considered by some as rather too florid, and is not always correct. :
We shall lay before our readers the following extract, which will enable them to judge of the descriptive powers of the author; and it will recall to their memory a calamitous event, which not many years since made a deep impression on every feeling and reflecting mind, and can never be con. templated but with sentiments of terror, mixed with reverential awe.
• It would have been much more agreeable to the Marquis, as well as the bride, had the return of their friends been a little de. ferred. However, as that must happen when it would, the lover was anxious to find Sir Edward, ere he reached the palace of the Count Montalvo ; as well to apprize him of the recent ceremony, as
to prepare him to avow a previous knowledge of his daugther's disa guise. Wanderings with this view, through those beautiful groves that on all sides border the shores of Messina, the pure air insensibly calmed the spirits, and sobered the brain, of the Marquis. He half wished he had waited the return of Sir Edward, ere he wrested from him his daughter; and turned towards the walk on the quay ; where he anxiously locked out for the bark of the Count. The grandeur and beauty of the view never struck the Marquis so sensi. bly : behind him arose the magnificent natural semicircle, with the lofty columns of the Palazzata; before him appeared the celebrated strait, once sung by all the Muses ; and the elegant fictions were yet present to his mind. Blending, in an hour and situation so singular, the romance of poetry with that of love, he threw himself on a marble scat by the fountain of Neptune, and repeated, as he gazed, the rerses of Homer. The blue strait, hardly dimpled by a breeze, was half covered with gaudy galleys, and the boats of fishermen ; the fires of the light-house were reflected in glowing undulations on the waves ; heavy black clouds, tinged with a dun red, seemed to scck support on the rocky mountains of Calabria ; and the winds, after a wild concussion, subsided at once into a horrible kind of still. ness. The rowers, whose laborious and lively exertions animate the sea they people, now made vain, though more vigorous efforts, to take shelter in the harbour. Suddenly the atmosphere became murky and oppressive; the clouds, yet more swoln and dense, sunk so low, they almost blended with the waters. Not a bird ventured to wing the heavy and unwholesome air; and the exhausted rowers could not catch breath enough to express, by a single cry, the agonizing fear that caused cold dews to burst from every pore. A tremendous sense of impending evil seemed to suspend all vital motion in the crowd late so busy around the Marquis; who impulsively partook that sick terror of soul, to which no name has ever yet been given. This awful intuitive sense of the approaching convulsion of nature was, however, only momentary. A tremendous shock followed; the Marquis felt all the danger, and tried to arise: the earth rocked beneath his feet. The marble fountain, near which he rested, was cloven in twain instantaneously ; and hardly could he escape the abyss he saw close over the miserable wretches, who, but a moment before, were standing beside him. Columns of the Palaz.zata, and other surrounding buildings, fell with a crash, as if the universe were annihilated. The horror yet raged in all its force, when the sudden rise of the earth he stood on, threw the Marquis, and a crowd around him, towards a wall, which must have dashed their brains out, but that, weak as they were, the wall was yet weaker, and fell before them in a cloud of dust. Oh! God, what it was to hear the agonizing shrieks of suffering humanity, blended with the thunders of desolation, and the deep internal groans of disjointed nature ! when, to complete the calamities of Messina, the sea, in one moment, burst iis bounds ; and boiling, as it were, with subterraneous fares, rolled forward, with horrible roarings, a mountainous deluge. As quickly returning, it bore away a train of bruised and helpless wretches; and among them, him who was so lately the gayest