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covered by Mr David Douglas among the Rocky Mountains. The specimens were exhibited on the table. Mr Wilson observed in general, that birds of this genus are of a hardy constitution, and patient of extreme cold. They only occur in northern or temperate countries, and have not yet been discovered in Africa, in the eastern parts of Asia, or in South America. The special localities which they affect vary according to the different kinds; and even the haunts of the same species admit of variation according to circumstances. The Wood Grouse-such as the Capercailzie
tween Duncan's "Braw Wooer," and Harvey's highly = meritorious picture, "The Cameronians." This lastmentioned work is evidently the fruit of severe and continued study. There is much variety and power in the -expressions of the different countenances, and great energy in the whole picture; but there is a want of knowledge of the human figure, and a want of harmony-the rugged asperity of nature being unsubdued by the feeling of art. The subject of Duncan's picture is neither so elevating, nor does it admit of such varied interest-and yet the effect it produces is infinitely higher, and more lasting. To what is this to be attributed?-to Duncan's preliminary studies, which have at once taught him more correct drawing, and cultivated his feeling of the beautiful. Duncan's greatest merit at present lies in his colouring. His carnations are occasionally too pinky or chalky (as witness the face of his Wooer); but all his other colours are good. There is a pleasure in looking at his "Portrait of a Lady," were it but for the colour alone. There is a great deal of richness in his "Jeanie Deans ;" and an exquisite beauty in the look of the child's eyes in No. 114, glancing out from the shadow of its ringlets. Where Mr D. most requires improvement, is in his carnations and chiaroscuro.
and laughs at the notion of ideal beauty and scientific = painting. But, from what we know of Mr Duncan's studies, and from what we see in his paintings, we shrewdly suspect that he is working under the influence of principles, which are not yet sufficiently developed within him to have become subject to his consciousness. The ideal forms of antique sculpture which he has been so assidu↑ously studying, have imprest a feeling of the beautiful in →his fancy, which he has unconsciously communicated to =the creatures of his own pencil. We cannot better illus-Tetrao Urogallus)-prefers forests of pine; the Red Grouse trate what we mean, than by instituting a comparison be-T. Scoticus) restricts itself to the sides of sloping mountains and moors, careless of more shelter than is afforded by the heath, or other alpine plants of yet more lowly growth, or even by the natural roughness of the ground. The ha bits of the Black-cock are intermediate between those of the species just alluded to. Ptarmigans seem to prefer comparatively temperate climates. The restriction of the common Grouse (T. Scoticus) to the two islands of Great Britain and Ireland, is a familiar though a singular fact in the geographical distribution of birds. The first and most remarkable of the specimens to which it was Mr Wilson's more immediate object to direct the attention of the Society, was the Tetrao Urophasianus, or Pheasant-tailed Grouse, the largest of the American species of this genus, and, excepting the Capercailzie, the largest to be met with in any country. This bird seems to have been first observed by Lewis and Clarke, by whom it is mentioned under the name of Cock of the Plains; and a notice of it was published, some time ago, in the Zoological Journal, by Chas. Lucien Bonaparte, who obtained an imperfect specimen of the male in London. The length of this bird (when full grown) is 32 inches; its girth, 22; its weight from 6 to 8 lbs. The female is considerably less than the male. Her plumage closely resembles his, except that she wants the lengthened filamentous feathers on each side of the neck, and differs slightly in the colour of chin, cheeks, throat, and breast. The flight of these birds is slow and unsteady. Their wings are feeble and proportionably small; their progress through the air is effected by a fluttering motion, rather than a direct continuous flight. When raised, their voice resembles that of the common pheasant. They build on the ground, beneath the shade of Purshia and Artemisia, or near streams among Phalaris Arundinacea. The nest is carelessly constructed of grass and twigs; the eggs (from 13 to 17 in number) are about the size of those of a common fowl, of a wood-brown colour, irregularly blotched with chocolate-brown at the larger end. The period of incubation is about three weeks, and the young leave the nest a few hours after they are hatched. In the summer and autumn months, these birds are to be found in small troops; in spring and winter, in flocks of several hundreds. They We have now gone over those of our artists whom we never perch; indeed, within their range, not a bush larger regard, from the insight they have attained into their pro- than a broom or common whin is to be found. Their food fession, and from their practical skill, as men to whom it consists chiefly of the buds, leaves, and fruit of Purshia has been intrusted to raise yet higher the state of art tridentata, Artemisia, the seeds of Cactus, brown and black among us. There are many meritorious artists,-many, ants, and sand-bugs. Their flesh is dark-coloured, and not perhaps, whom we may ere long be entitled to class along particularly well flavoured. They are plentiful throughout with those we have just mentioned, although, from their the plains of the Columbia River, and in the interior of North Carolina; but have never been seen east of the Rocky restricting themselves to a subordinate style of art, we Mountains.-The next species, in size and importance, is must as yet hold them as belonging to a lower rank. We Richardson's Grouse (T. Richardsonii,) so called in honour shall always be ready to do justice to their merits; but of the distinguished traveller of that name. There is a rewe must look to the gentlemen we have enumerated as markable difference, in this species, between the plumage of The weight of these birds varies those who are to fix the character of the Edinburgh school the male and female. from 2 to 3 lbs. Their voice is a continuation of distinct of painting. We conceive them all, though differing in their styles and opinions, capable of working in conform-hollow sounds, like the cooing of a dove. They build their nests of small twigs, leaves, or grass, amid coppices of birch ity to the same high principles. or hazel, in the vicinity of springs or mountain rills. They lay from 13 to 19 eggs, nearly as large as those of the dopas-mestic fowl, marked with red specks. Their flight is swift, steady, and peculiarly graceful. When startled, they drop from the branches of the pine-trees, their usual roosting-place, to within a few feet of the ground, before they commence flying-a circumstance which often deceives the hunter. This trait seems peculiar to the species. In spring, they are seen in great numbers, basking in the sun, on the southern declivities of low hills; and in winter, in flocks of sixty or eighty, in the vicinity of springs, lakes, or large streams. They are easily destroyed, continuing to sit with apparent tranquillity after several shots have been fired. Their flesh is white and excellent. They feed on the buds of the pine, the catkins of birch, alder, and hazel, and the fruit of the Esqrs. Fragaria and Vaccinium. They are very abundant in the A COMMUNICATION from James Wilson, Esq. was read, sub-alpine regions of the Rocky Mountains, in lat. 52 deg. containing an account of several new species of Grouse, dis-N., long. 115 deg. W., and still more numerous in the
We have to regret that the absence of any works of THOMSON of Duddingstone, and of WILLIAM SIMPSON, renders it impossible for us to show how their department is susceptible of being cultivated in an elevated spirit. The former stands high, from his solid and scientific painting, his poetry, and his power of impressing a moral feeling into his landscapes. The latter is unrivalled for his skill in representing the beautiful, and managing picturesque effects. Wanting them, the landscape department is this year comparatively poor.
[Our Third Notice of the Ancient Paintings is unavoidably postponed. In the last Notice, for" Mantigna," read Mantegna, sim.]
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES OF
THE WERNERIAN SOCIETY.
Saturday, 20th February.
rocky districts of the Columbia, in lat. 48 deg. N., long. 118 deg. W. They are rare on the mountains of the N. W. coast. The third species exhibited was named the smaller Pheasant-tailed Grouse (T. Urophasianellus.) The sexes resemble each other closely in colour, but the male is rather larger than the female, and his tail more fully developed. Their prevailing colour is pale brown, richly blotched and barred with black. The wing coverts, and the outer webs of the primary wing feathers, are marked with many rounded or oblong spots of a pale colour. Their flight is swift. noiseless, and steady. They are shy, and not easily approached by the sportsman. They are found in the same range of country with the larger species first described, with which they associate, and which they resemble much in their habits. The number of their eggs varies from 12 to 15, in size not much exceeding those of a pigeon, and in colour, of a light ash.-The fourth species has been named, in honour of Mr Sabine, Tetrao Sabini. The plumage is rich and varied, and presents those singular appendages or shoulder knots, so conspicuous in the wood-partridge of the United States and Canada (Tetrao Umbellus.) The colours in the plumage of the female are greyer, and less richly toned -in other respects, the sexes do not much differ. weight of an individual bird is two pounds. Their voice is a continuation of measured sounds, not unlike the ticking of a large clock. Their flight is rapid, and consists of a quick clapping of the wings, and then of a sudden shooting forwards, without any perceptible motion of the individual parts. They feed on the buds of Pinus, Fragaria, Rubus, Corylus, Alnus, and the berries of Vaccinium. They pair in March, and build upon the ground, in coppices of Corylus, Amelanchier, and Pteris, and on the outskirts of Pine forests. Their nests are composed of the slender fronds of Pteris, dry leaves, and grass. Their eggs are of a dingy white, with red spots, and vary in number from 9 to 11. They are remarkable for attachment to their young. The Tetrao Sabini is a rare bird. During spring, it is found in small flocks, rarely exceeding eight or twelve; at other seasons, it seldom happens that more than three or four are seen together. Like the Tetrao Umbellus, which it resembles in the prevailing character of its plumage, it is in the habit of perching upon the stumps of decayed trees, in the darkest parts of the forests, and there performing the singular operation called drumming; which is effected by giving two or three loud distinct claps with its wings, followed by many others, which become quicker and quicker, until the noise appears to die away in the distance, like the sound of a muffled drum. This beautiful species was discovered by Mr Douglas, in the woody parts of the N. W. coast of America, between the parallels of lat. 40 deg. and 49 deg.-The fifth and last species exhibited, is called, in honour of the distinguished commander of the over-land Arctic Expedition, Tetrao Franklinii. Mr Wilson has as yet seen only the male. The general plumage is dark and glossy, composed of alternate bars of black and greyish brown. The head, neck, and breast, are almost black; the tail is entirely black. The upper and under tail coverts are black, terminated by a large white spot; and the lateral parts of the abdomen are likewise spotted with white. It runs with great speed over shattered rocks and among brushwood, and only uses its wings as a last effort to escape. When raised, its flight is similar to that of the last-mentioned species. Its alarm note is composed of two or three hollow sounds, ending in a disagreeable grating noise, like the latter part of the cry of the Guinea fowl. Like other birds of the same genus, it builds on the ground, not unfrequently at the foot of decayed stumps, or by the side of fallen timber, in the mountain woods. Its nest is composed of dead leaves and grass, and contains from five to seven eggs, of a dingy white colour, not larger than those of our wood pigeon. It is said to be one of the most common birds in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, from lat. 50 deg. to 54 deg. N., near the sources of the Columbia. It probably inhabits still higher latitudes. Mr Wilson remarked, in conclusion: "I have little doubt that some of these birds might be imported into this country, of which the soil, climate, and natural productions, are not so dissimilar to those of their native regions, as to preclude the hope of a successful issue to an experiment of a very interesting nature, which the wealth and zeal for field sports, inherited by many of our aristocracy, would render easy, and which might eventually prove of more permanent and substantial advantage. Their importation would certainly form a fine addition to the feathered game of Great Britain."
A communication, "On the Mustard Plant mentioned
in the Gospels," was next read by the Rev. Dr Scot; and afterwards a letter from Dr John Scouler, of the Andersonian Institution in Glasgow, containing an " Account of some Fossil Remains found near Kilmarnock."
Monday, 22d February. Professor RUSSELL in the Chair.
Present,-Drs Hibbert, Maclagan, Carson; James Skene, Donald Gregory, Gordon, &c. &c. Esqrs.
A number of donations were exhibited, after which there was read "An Essay on the Remarkable Coincidences between the Traditions of the Ancient Britons and certain Passages in the Hebrew Prophets; also a subsequent letter on the same subject, addressed to the Curator, by the Rev. W. J. D. Waddelove of Bacon Grange." No remarks were offered on this communication by any member, and the Society adjourned.
By Thomas Tod Stoddart.
I LOVE thee, ladye, as the wind
As the bright earth loves her sister-moon,
A holier light than gathers o'er
And there are images of love
Like the dew-drops that are sparkling in
I know full well the twin of mirth
That joy will blend with sorrow, like
And I have seen when, dream-like, came
Into those beautiful bright eyes,
But flowers, they look the fairer, in
And the purest of our smiles are bathed
Than all the smiles and flattery Of the adoring knee,
A welcome from thy loveliness Is dearer far to me.
Yet breathe not what thou know'st alone,—
On the altar of this heart, which will
Even as the solitary wind
Loves whispering to the sea,
As the bright earth loves her sister-moon, So, ladye, I love thee!
THE DARK KNIGHT.-A BALLAD.
THERE came a dark knight from a far countrie,
He came to a gay bridal, where the bride Stood, in rich robes, her destined lord beside, Who gazed upon her with a joyful pride.
And there was music in the sunny sky,
Yet ever and anon her look would fall
On the dark knight who stood apart from all,— Dark as his shadow, moveless on the wall.
The words were spoken, and the bridal o'er, And now the mirth grew louder than before; Why stands the dark knight silent at the door?
The hour grows late, and one by one depart
None in her father's hall are left but she
Yes, there is still a third-the vizor'd knight,-
He moves on slowly through the lofty room, And as he moves there falls a deeper gloom,That heavy tread, why sounds it of the tomb?
And through the castle there was stillness deep, A drearier stillness than the calm of sleep,Closer, in silent awe, the lovers creep.
In the old hall where fitful moonlight shone,
LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
In a late number we announced that a work was in progress among the students at Glasgow, to be called the Athenæum ; and we are now informed that, early in April, a rival publication will appear, edited by students of the same University, to be entitled, The College Album for 1830.
We learn that there will shortly appear in Glasgow, a work entitled Memoirs of the Rev. William Wilson, A.M. Minister of the Gospel at Perth, one of the four brethren, the founders of the Secession Church, and Professor of Theology to the Associate Presbytery, with Brief Sketches of the State of Religion in Scotland for fifty years immediately posterior to the Revolution, including a circumstantial account of the origin of the Secession. The work is from the pen
of a Divine in the west country.
We understand that the forthcoming Number of the New Monthly Magazine will contain, amongst other articles, an interesting and graphic narrative of an attack, by banditti, on Messrs Dickson and Neville, on the Plains of Puebla, in November, 1828, when the latter gentleman was killed. Though Mr Dickson received no fewer than nineteen wounds, he has survived to write the account of his extraordinary escape.
It has been stated in the newspapers, that Captain Dillon, whose recent voyage threw light on the fate of La Pérouse, has been engaged by the French Government to make another voyage of discovery, connected with the same event. This is not the case, the object of the intended voyage being of quite a different nature.
At a trade sale, a few days ago, in London, Lord Byron's executors sold the copyright of sixty-five of his Lordship's minor poems. A keen competition took place between Mr Murray and Mr Colburn, but the lot was at last knocked down to the former at the enormous sum of 3700 guineas. The copyright of Don Juan was next sold, and was bought by the executors of Lord Byron at the very moderate price of 310 guineas-not, we hope, with any view of suppres sion.
The Lives of the Bishops of Bath and Wells, from the earliest to the present period, by the Rev. S. Hyde Cassan, are announced.
The First Book of the Iliad, containing the parting of Hector and Andromache, and the description of the Shield of Achilles, being a specimen of a new translation of Homer, in heroic verse, by William Sotheby, is in the press.
Derwentwater, or the fate of Ratcliffe, a Tale of 1715, will shortly be published.
A work, entitled an Enquiry into the Production and Consump tion of the precious metals, and on the influence of their augmentation or diminution on the commerce of the world, by Mr Jacob, is announced.
Mr Thomas Moore is preparing a Life of Petrarch, for Dr Lardner's Cyclopædia. It is not unlikely that the analogies pointed out in the Life of Byron between that poet and Petrarch suggested the present work.
Miss A. M. Porter, the well-known novelist, has in the press the Barony, a Romance.
Travels in Russia, and a Residence in St Petersburg and Odessa, in the years 1827, 8, and 9, by Edward Morton, M. B., are preparing. Moore's Loves of the Angels have been translated into French verse by M. Eugene Ernoux, and are much relished by la grande nation.
The genuine Memoirs of Sanson, the public executioner, are shortly to appear, in four octavo volumes, at Paris. Sanson was an extraordinary individual; he possessed a magnificent library, was much attached to study and the sciences, and regularly attended the courses of natural history at the Jardin des Plantes. He states the following among other reasons for retaining his situation as executioner during the Reign of Terror: "A wretch chosen in my place by the tyrants would have added to their outrages. I was sure to preserve the respect which was due, and not to add insults to the anguish of mortal throes."-This is the march of intellect with a vengeance! The literature and philosophy of a hangman!
GORTON'S TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.-In the first number of this new work, which the southern critics have been praising at a great rate for accuracy and all other excellences, we meet with the
following piece of information :-" Achary Loch, a small lake in
NEW MUSIC. We have been favoured with a copy of a new Song, -the music composed by Mrs Orme, and the words by Mr Robert Chambers, from the Literary Journal,—“ O,'maid, unloving but beloved." The melody is exceedingly spirited and beautiful, and finely adapted to the words. Mrs Orme is likewise about to publish another song, the words also taken from the Literary Journal-"I've loved thee, Mary Jamieson"-of which we are in like manner able to speak highly. We conceive that this lady's musical talents have only to be known in order to be appreciated.
ELOCUTION-MR ROBERTS.-We think it right again to remind our readers that this gentleman, who labours hard to diffuse a taste for a branch of education too much neglected among us, is to deliver, to-day, his rhetorical Lecture and Readings. We understand that Mr Roberts, having found it impossible to obtain, as a mere teacher of elocution, that independence for himself and family which is the great object of all honourable industry, proposes returning to the stage, though, of course, he will still continue his classes. We are not aware that he has as yet entered into any engagement with Mr Murray; but we certainly think that he would form a useful and respectable addition to the company; and, considering the footing he has acquired in Edinburgh, we should be sorry to see him obliged to join any other establishment than the Theatre Royal.
HINTS FOR THE DISCOURAGEMENT OF FAMILIARITY.-Never accept a pinch of snuff, nor the share of an umbrella, from a stranger. Never allow a looker-on to hold your partner's shawl, scarf, or fan, while you are dancing a quadrille. Never, on any account, permit one you do not know to save you from drowning when you are sinking in deep water for the third and last time. If you are knocked down at night by a brace of blackguards, never acknowledge the officiousness of a passer-by who interferes in your behalf. Should your house take fire, and any one, at great personal hazard, rescue your wife and child, inform him that such freedoms will not be permitted in future.
NEWS FROM GLASGOW.-Alexander's Theatre is thriving, and the manager is supposed to be clearing about a hundred pound weekly. During Mathews's visit, he must have made much more. His company, however, still continues indifferent; but Vandenhoff and Miss Jarman are to visit him in a few weeks. It is a pity that Seymour's rival house, which is now much improved in appearance, is not in a more central situation. Seymour has a pretty fair company, of which the chief attraction at present is Fanny Ayton, who is at once an accomplished singer, a clever actress, and a young lady of engaging manners. By the way, if Murray is about to bring out Masaniello, would he not find her of service? The Patent question between the two Glasgow Theatres is still open.-There was a good Concert a few evenings ago, at which the native talent of Miss Thomson and Mr Nicol was aided by Miss Inverarity and Mr Murray.-The Glasgow artists are glad to see that their Brown, Gibson, Henderson, and, above all, Graham, who, though resident in Edinburgh, belongs to Glasgow, make so respectable a figure in the Edinburgh Exhibition. As miniature painters, Paillou, Robertson, and M'Nee, are also fast rising to celebrity. The Exhibition in Glasgow, next summer, promises to be excellent.-The Dilettanti Society, now under the zealous and able presidentship of Mr Smith of Jordanhill, is increasing in efficiency every day, and is preparing to establish a Life Academy and School of Drawing in Glasgow, A collection of casts from the antique, &c., is likewise about to be made.-Mr Smith, who is in the direction of the Andersonian University, has also organised a series of meetings, or soirees, to be held weekly, within the walls of that Institution, on the same plan as those which take place in the Royal Insti. tution in Albemarle Street. Tea and coffee will follow the reading of a paper or delivery of a lecture; and most of the Glasgow literati have promised their support.-The literary society of the town has made a valuable acquisition in the person of Mr Motherwell, now editor of the Courier, formerly of the Paisley Advertiser.-Another alteration has taken place in the newspapers ;-the Scots Times appears twice a-week, without any diminution of the spirit and talent it exhibited in its single hebdomadal appearance.-Mr Bennet of the Free Press is about to publish a goodly post octavo in three volumes. -Besides the newspapers, there are no less than three weekly journals, the Thistle, the Camera Obscura, and the Opera Glass. In the latter, there has been some clever writing.
French Company have also sustained some heavy losses. M. Cloup's wardrobe, valued at L.1600, has been totally consumed. The Theatre was uninsured, owing to the high premium demanded for buildings of this description. Neither Covent Garden nor Drury Lane are insured. A free benefit is to be given at the Italian Opera House to the unfortunate French actors. The English Opera House will be rebuilt with all convenient speed, and the site of it partly changed, it having been for some time wished to open a new street where it for merly stood.-A new piece, called "The Heart of London, or the Sharper's Progress," has been brought out with success at the Adelphi. It contains a number of disgusting scenes of the lowest life in London.-Donzelli and Blasis are, as yet, the only attractions at the King's Theatre, which continues to be poorly attended.- Malibran has become the mania in Paris.-Dowton, Horne, Calcraft, Miss Smithson, and Miss Byfield,lare the principal attractions in Dublin at present.-Mademoiselle Rosier," from the Royal Academy of music and dancing," (!) is at present performing in Ducrow's Amphithestre at Liverpool.-Vandenhoff had a well-attended benefit here on Monday last; but the performances, which consisted principally of acts from different plays, were rather hotch-potchy. On Tuesday evening, Miss Jarman made her first appearance in the part of Jeanie Deans, which she played with fine effect and great truth to nature. On Wednesday, Young commenced an engagement of twelve nights in the character of Iago, which is one of his best, and to which he never did more justice. OLD CERBERUS informs us that he will have something to say concerning Young next Saturday. Miss Mitford's new Tragedy of "Rienzi" is in rehearsal. Mr Murray is making extensive preparations for the production of Masaniello, which will be brought out on the termination of Mr Young's engagement. New scenery and dresses are getting ready, and the assistance of a corps de ballet will probably be obtained. Mr Wilson is to play Mssaniello. We observe that Braham gives a morning concert here on Tuesday, at which Miss Eliza Paton, Miss Phillips, and Mr Wilson, are to sing. Mr Braham proceeds afterwards to Liverpool, where be is to sing at the subscription concerts along with Mr and Madame Stockhausen, He gave a concert upon Tuesday last at Aberdeen, on the conclusion of his theatrical engagement there, which was well attended.-Talking of Aberdeen, we observe it is announced in the newspapers of that city, that on the 4th of March "the Theatre will be honoured with the patronage of the gentlemen composing the Little Club." Who the " gentlemen composing the Little Club" are, we are sorry we do not know. Is it Thomas Little, or Little in contradistinction to Six Feet?-We understand that Miss Isabella Paton will probably appear on the stage here for a few nights, about the end of April or beginning of May.
WEEKLY LIST OF PERFORMANCES.
Theatrical Gossip.-The destruction of the English Opera House by fire, has, for the last ten days, been the principal topic of conversation in the theatrical circles of the metropolis. "At half-past twelve on Monday night," says the Court Journal of Saturday last, "we were witnessing the close of Potier's delightful performances, Le Beneficiere, and Le Cuisinier de Buffon, in presence of a brilliant audience, consisting of the elite of fashionable life; and two hours afterwards, we were witnessing the whole scene in question a volume of fire, blazing up to the clouds, and speedily level with the ground!" The loss to Mr Arnold, the proprietor, is estimated at L. 10,000. The Managers of the
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS.
We shall positively have to publish half a dozen additional Num bers one of these Saturdays, else our extra matter will lock up all the types of the Ballantyne Press.
Reviews of Sir Thomas Munro's Memoirs, and of several interesting works, though in types, are unavoidably postponed.-We have been obliged to curtail the Letter from Glasgow, which we were more willing to do than to allow it to stand over till its contents be came stale.-Our Dublin Correspondent writes to us that the Theatre there is quite neglected, and no exhibitions are yet open.-"P." is mistaken in supposing that we are " ill pleased at his long letter."
The "Sonnet" by Thomas Brydson shall have a place.-We can not conscientiously say that we greatly admire the long Poem with which "B." has favoured us.-The Verses "To my Sister Ellen" are in types." Norah O'Conner," and the Stanzas " To Orynthia," do not strike us as their clever author's most successful effortsThe "Lines Inscribed to Alexander Maclaggan," by "M." of Arbroath, are good, and shall be forwarded to him."The Elder's Grave" does not quite come up to our standard.-The "Ode to Mu« sic," and the "Lines on seeing an Infant at Play," will not suit us.
EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL;
WEEKLY REGISTER OF CRITICISM AND BELLES LETTRES,
SIR THOMAS MUNRO was one of the few great men whose history we peruse without once feeling our pride in belonging to a class of beings capable of such excellence, dashed by the contemplation of weaknesses, the more depressing from the startling contrast they offer to the virtues with which they are allied. He was prompt and decided in action, yet mindful of the feelings and in- | L terests of others; he possessed a clear judgment, a warm heart, and no inconsiderable degree of imagination. His turn of mind was essentially practical, and averse to all empty show, yet far removed from being either prosaic or commonplace. But his best eulogium will be the able and judicious biography of Mr Gleig.
Sir Thomas Munro was born at Glasgow on the 27th May, 1761. He was remarkable, while at school, for a peaceable and unoffending disposition, but likewise for the most undaunted courage, and for a strength and activity of frame which enabled him to become an adept in every manly exercise. He kept a high station in his classes, though this was more owing to quickness of apprehension than laborious study. Yet, however ardently attached to active sports, he was by no means deficient in mental industry; for, at an early age, he devoured, with indiscriminate and intense interest, Plutarch, the History of England, Shakspeare and Spencer, Smith's Wealth of Nations, and Don Quixote, in the original Spanish-of which language he had made himself master by his own unaided exertions. His father seems to have spared no pains in cultivating a temper and talents so promising. His parents were anxious that he should pursue the mercantile profession in his native city, but the total embarrassment caused in the affairs of his father, who was a Virginia merchant, by the American war of independence, sent his son into another line of life. A cadetship in the East India Company's service was procured for him; and in January, 1780, he reached Madras, in the nineteenth year of his age, to fight his way, unaided, through the world. He had little time allowed him for the undisturbed study of the native languages, or of the theory of his own profession, to both of which, however, he devoted himself, for a few months, till the war with Hyder Ali broke out. Munro then commenced a career of active service, which was destined to terminate only with his life. But, notwithstanding his constant employment, he found time to make himself master of a great proportion of the languages spoken in the south of India. From the commencement of hostilities by Hyder in 1780, till the cession of Barramahl by Tippoo in 1792, be was almost constantly in the field. His regular promotion went on as slowly as is usually the case in the Indian army, for, at the end of twelve years, we find him
SATURDAY, MARCH 6, 1830.
The Life of Major-General Sir Thomas Munro, Bart. and K. C.B. late Governor of Madras. With Extracts from his Correspondence and Private Papers. Rev. G. R. Gleig. In two volumes, 8vo. and 454. London. Henry Colburn and Bentley. 1830.
By the Pp. 520 Richard
still lieutenant; but, nevertheless, his talents and gallantry must have been appreciated by his superiors, for he was employed on many services of delicate import. Even all his extra allowances were regularly transmitted to during his maiden campaign he lived upon his pay, and Scotland. His letters to his family breathe a spirit of deep attachment, though generally expressed in a sportive, half-jesting manner-a characteristic of all truly nervous and manly minds, who are uniformly averse to nursing their feelings, and allowing an undue power to sentiment. His letters to his father are generally occupied with details of the military and political events that were taking place around him, and display a reach of comprehension and sagacity of inference far beyond his years and experience. The happy balance of his mind is admirably shown in his power of expatiating with rapture on the beauties of nature, conjoined with a delicate tact for the discovery of spurious enthusiasm.
The cession of the Barramahl to the British by Tippoo Saheb in 1792 induced, for a time, a considerable change in the avocations of young Munro. There was at that period a great deficiency of information among the civil servants of the Company in regard to the state of India and its inhabitants. The slovenly manner in which the territorial government had been managed was a matter of comparative insignificance, as long as the Company's domains comprehended only a comparatively narrow district, in which long use had reconciled the natives to the British supremacy. But the settlement of a newly acquired territory demanded men of nervous character and extensive practical knowledge of the country. Aware of this necessity, Lord Cornwallis placed Capt. Read at the head of the Revenue department in the Barramahl, and that gentleman, being well acquainted with Munro's talents and acquirements, selected him for his assistant. He continued to discharge the duties of this new office till the year 1799. During this period, he was employed in keeping extensive and intricate revenue accounts, corresponding with the board, and travelling from place to place, for the purpose of ascertaining the condition of the people, and the capabilities and produce of the soil. Amid all this multiplicity of business, he found time to maintain an extensive epistolary intercourse with his friends at home. His letters to his father are, as formerly, chiefly devoted to political and statistical details. Those addressed to his mother, sister, and brothers, discuss, in a cheerful and shrewd manner, questions of all kinds, from family concerns up to the most abstract questions of morals. The most striking feature of his mind, as displayed in these documents, is a spirit of manly independence, united with a rare power of cheerful acquiescence in the situation assigned him.
In 1799, Read, who had now attained the grade of colonel, gave in his resignation, and Munro entertained a hope of being appointed to succeed him; nor, when we consider how instrumental he had been in settling the province, can this be regarded as an unreasonable expectation. The government at Madras were, however, by this time too well aware of his talents to admit of his wish being attended to. The province of Canara, on the west