ePub 版
[blocks in formation]



sisting of 600 men, the first of that description of force levied for the service of Great Britain, fencible corps ha

ving been formerly restricted to the defence of Scotland. The Corrispondence of the Right Honourable Sir John He afterwards raised another battalion of 1000 men for

Sinclair, Baronet ; with Reminiscences of the most dis. the defence of Ireland. In the promotion of all useful tinguished Characters who have appeared in Great public institutions he has ever exerted himself unweaBritain, and in Foreign Countrios, during the last fifty | riedly; and was the founder and first president of the years. 2 vols. 8vo. London. Colburn and Bent Board of Agriculture. His literary labours have been ley. 1831.

multifarious and important; among these, the “ Sta(Unpublished )

tistical Account of Scotland,” extending to twenty-one The Bishop of Blois characterised Sir John Sinclair as volumes octavo, the “ Code of Health and Longevity," * the most indefatigable man in Britain, and the man in in four volumes octavo, and the “ Code of Agriculture,” Europe of the greatest acquaintance.” The work now in one, stand pre-eminent. before us seems of itself to make good this praise, even From the mass of materials which the“ Correspondence without taking into consideration all the previous labours, and Reminiscences” present, it is impossible that we can voluminous as they have been, of the venerable Baronet. do more than select a few detached extracts, as specimens The mass of correspondence and reminiscences, both do- of the general contents of a work which abounds in enmestic and foreign, which these two volumes contain, is tertainment, interest, and instruction, and which we have almost, if not entirely, without a parallel in any similar no doubt will be read with pleasure, not only by Sir publication. Nor are any of the letters from persons of John Sinclair's numerous friends and acquaintances, but inferior note and consideration; but, on the contrary, by all who like to see additional sources of information are nearly all from those who have held the most pro- opened up concerning the illustrious persons of the last minent station among their fellow-men in every depart- half century. We commence our quotations with the ment into which society is divided, from the monarch on following account of a sovereign who possessed the mind his throne to the man of letters in his closet. Classed of a man in the body of a female : under different heads, we have Imperial and Royal Cor

AUDIENCE OF THE EMPRESS CATHERINE, AND REMINISCENCES respondence and Reminiscences, -Correspondence with British Cabinet Ministers, and Reminiscences of them,

“On the 25th August, 1786, I had the honour of being - Female Correspondence,---Naval, Military,–Cleri

presented to this great sovereign. The court commenced cal,- Agricultural,—Statistical,- Medical,- Political,

about half past eleven. The rooms were filled with about Literary,—and Miscellaneous Correspondence and Re- 400 courtiers. At twelve, the empress came from her priminiscences. Then, in the second volume, we bave an vate apartments to go to mass. A lane was made for her abstract of the author's travels over the continent of and her suite. She was preceded by the Princess Dashkow, Europe, with the correspondence and reminiscences of the and six or seven other ladies. The reason why there were most distinguished natives of every country through which no more present; was, that the ladies only came when the

court was held in the evening, unless when they attended he passed, together with some very interesting correspond- officially. Count Czernichew, vice-president of the admience with the first men of America.

ralty, took me to the chapel to hear mass. It was a very Prefixed to the whole is an Introduction, containing a poor building for such a ceremony; but the priests, with short account of the author and his writings. Sir John their long beards and rich vestments, made a striking and Sinclair was born at Thurso Castle on the 10th of May, imposing appearance. The empress stood by herself, and 1752. The foundation of his classical knowledge was

went through all the ceremonies with great decorum. When laid at the High School of Edinburgh, and he afterwards the service was over, I went to the ball where strangers attended the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and He was tall, (about six feet two,) and distinguished, not

were introduced, and was presented to Prince Potemkin. Oxford. In 1775, he became a member of the Faculty only by his height, but by the strength and manliness of of Advocates, and was afterwards called to the English his appearance. His countenance was not unpleasant, when bar, not with any view to praetice, but that he might he was disposed to be agreeable. He entered with great become acquainted with the laws of his country. In affability into conversation with me, which was uncommon 1780, he was unanimously elected the representative of at a first introduction. He spoke with much contempt of his native county of Caithness, where he had introduced the King of Sweden. He afterwards talked of my intended many of the most important agricultural and other im- pressed a wish that I should give him some advice how to

journey to Poland, where he had great estates; and exprovements. He continued an active member of the improve them. The return of the empress being announced, House of Commons, with the exception of a short inter- the foreign ministers, and those strangers who had been val, till July 1811, a period of nearly thirty years. His already presented, kissed her band. I was then introduced eldest son, George Sinclair, Esq., succeeded to the seat by Count Osterman. She asked me how I came to Peterswhich he then resigned. In 1786, Sir John took a very burgh ?-if

I had had a pleasant voyage ?--and added, that extensive journey through the northern parts of Europe, Swedish officer, and some of her own subjects, were after

she hoped I would find my stay in Russia agreeable. A in the course of which he visited Gottenburg, Copen-wards introduced; but she spoke to none of them. In short, hagen, Stockholm, Riga, Petersburg, Moscow, Kiew, | I found that I had met with what was considered to be a Warsaw, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, and most gracious reception, as she hardly spoke to any but Paris. In 1791 ke raised a regiment of fencibles, con persons of considerable distioction. The court had fallen

off much from its ancient splendour. To check the spirit distinguished statesmen which France then possessed ; and of luxury and expense, provincial, and even official uniforms to dedicate the evening to the society of the gay. Being a had been introduced, and none but foreigners were richly Member of the British Parliament, and known, from my habited.

History of the Revenue, as an author, I everywhere met “The mode of living adopted by the empress was ex with a most friendly reception. Having received an invitremely regular. She rose between six and seven, and tation to a family dinner with Monsieur Necker, I went dedicated the inorniug entirely to business. She dined about early, and had the pleasure of tinding the ladlies occupied in one, and after dinner retired to her cabinet. The evening a manner peculiarly gratifying to the national feelings of a was devoted to amusements of a general nature, either at Scotchman; for Madame Necker was reading Blair's Serthe theatre, or in the palace, with a select company of her mons, and Mademoiselle Necker playing Lochaber no private friends.

more,' on the piano. Monsieur Necker, orerwhelmed by “ Her information, particularly in regard to political the pressure of public business, did not appear till immesubjects, was very general and extensive. The instructions, diately before dinner; and even before the cloth was rewritten by her oren hand, for drawing up a code of laws, is moved, he received two or three letters, which he seemed a most extraordinary performance for a woman; being, I to peruse with considerable interest. Madame Necker said, believe, the only instance extant of female judicial legisla- that they probably related to the great political contest, tion. * I bave seen her correspondence with the famous which he was then carrying on with Monsieur de Calonne, Buffon, which proves how well she was acquainted with and which ultimately terminated in the removal of that 'philosophical subjects. She knew the French belles lettres minister from the helm. perfectly, and, in 1786, was reading Shakspeare in the “ When preparing for my return to London, I sent a German translation. She also wrote comedies herself; and note to Madame Necker, containing many grateful acin any part of the world would have been accounted, in knowledgments for the attention paid me by her family, private life, a most accomplished woman.

and a promise, at the same time, to send her daughter "" Her skill in government was great. In any progress (afterwards so celebrated as M. de Stael) some Scotch music, through her dominions, she suffered the meanest peasant to the beauties of which, I hoped, would induce her to honour address her; and they universally called her by the friendly Scotland with a visit. Though young," the answer she and emphatic name of matouskin, or mother. To the army, sent is expressed with that vivacity and elegance which and to the guards in particular, she was very attentive; distinguished her future writings.t and on certain fixed days dined at a table with the officers of the different corps. Neither was the church neglected ;

Mademoiselle Necker to Sir John Sinclair. "for besides much attention to individuals of character and

« Je suis bien reconnoissante de l'aimable attention de respect in that order, and a strici performance of all the Monsieur Sinclair, et je suis chargée de l'en remercier au outward forms of religion, she proved her zeal and devotion, nom de Maman et au mien. Je chanterai ces airs avec un by working, with her own hands, as the priests believed or intérêt nouveau. La patrie de Monsieur Sinclair me sera asserted, the most magnificent vestinents, for the use of the moins étrangère. Nous serons charmé de le voir. Mon principal ecclesiastics of her empire, when they celebrated père et ma mère n'ont aucune commission qu'ils puissent le public worship on any important festival.

prier d’executer; mais ils lui renouvelleront, avec plaisir, “She had a number of personal favourites, to whom she l'assurance des sentimens distingués qu'il leur a inspiré.” was very liberal. She was particularly attached to Land

Among the Correspondence with the British Cabinet skoi, and attended him personally during his sickness, like Ministers, and Reminiscences of them, we find a number a wife. She was, for some time, as inconsolable for him as Elizabeth of England was for Essex. It is said, that he of highly interesting names, such as those of North, Pitt, was the handsomest man that could be seen; but naturally Fox, Melville, Perceval, Castlereagh, Canning, Thurlow, of so weak a constitution, that he was unable to support the Erskine, Lansdowne, Hastings, Bathurst, Windham, and life of a courtier. Potemkin made the quickest of all pos- others. The following passage cannot fail to attract sible journeys from the Crimea, in order to console her. attention : He came in a kibicki, or common cart, the whole way.

REMINISCENCES OF LORD MELVILLE. Rushing into her apartment, he said, “What is the matter

“ Lord Melville began his political labours by enquiries with my empress ?' and when she answered that she was into the affairs of the East India Company, to whom he weeping for the death of Landskoi, he replied, Why, he performed the most important services. In 1784, he prewas a fool!'-'Ah!' said the empress, but he had an honest heart.'

vented the extinction of the Company as an independent “ To her ministers she was very liberal, and in general value of the stock from 11814 to 214, or 93), of additional

Corporation. In the space of eighteen years, he raised the followed their advice, except when she chose to let them price per L. 100 stock; and by his means some of the ablest feel, that there were times when she preferred being both and most distinguished characters in the kingdom were her own, and their mistress. When left entirely to herself, sent to India, under whose auspices the territorial possesand compelled to determine on matters of importance, it is sions of the Company became an immense empire, prosaid that she was apt to betray some versatility and weak- ducing a great revenue, and containing above sixty millions “When I visited her court, she was puffed up, beyond all into so bigh a degree of order, that he was enabled, for the

of inhabitants. He also brought the affairs of the Company, bounds, by the success of her reign, and the consideration in first time, to lay before Parliament, 'An Indian Budget.' which she was held by every power in Europe. She certainly in her heart preterred the English to the French, and War Department; and by his means a martial spirit was

He was afterwards appointed Secretary of State for the the Danes to the Swedes. In regard to the Germans, it was more from personal attachment to the emperor, and their mulated, which secured the nation from any risk of being

spread over the whole country, and a military force accujoint views upon Turkey, than from a full conviction of the policy of the measure, that she preferred the Austrian conquered, should an invasion be attempted. His talents to the Prussian alliance."

were next directed, first as Treasurer of the Navy, and

afterwards as first Lord of the Admiralty, to the improveTo this amusing narrative we shall add a notice of ment of our naval resources; and impartial observers have another female hardly less distinguished, but whom Sir justly considered him as the best friend the navy ever had. John Sinclair knew before she stood forth in the blaze of If Lord Melville, however, had done nothing else but planher reputation :

ned and executed the expedition to Egypt, his fame would have been established as one of the greatest benefactors to

his country. Who can think of the battle of the Nile, or “ In January 1786, I took an excursion to Paris, and, in the victory of Alexandria, without gratitude to that great the employment of my time there, endeavoured to combine Minister, by whom those achievements were planned, and useful and agreeable occupations. With that view, I was without whose exertions and genius they could never have accustomed to spend my mornings with the learned ; to been successfully executed ? These magnificent events first dine with the Count de Vergennes, M. Necker, and the other roused the different nations of Europe secretly to indulge

the hope of emancipation from the yoke of France. They * Upon examining the original MS., which is carefully preserved proved the immense resources of the British empire,-the in the repositories of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, I observed, that the whole of it was not published. The following paragraph, in She was born at Paris, on April the 22d, 1766, and consequently particular, upon the subject of marriage, was omitted: « Les filles was then in the twentieth year of her age. sont assez portées au mariage. Ce sont les garçons qu'il faut encou. † Madame de Stael's Works, when collected, amount to 18 rols. rager."




talents of those who governed the country,—the valour of opinion as to the measures that ought to be pursued at such its sailors and soldiers, -and the superior skill and ability a crisis.' I suggested the idea of a Loyalty Loan, and that of those by whom they were commanded.

every individual should be called upon, in proportion to his Lord Melville, when he first became a member of the income, to lend a sum of money to Government, at a fair House of Commons, never thought of entering into the interest, according to the rate at the time. He entered at field of politics; he was considered merely as an able Scots once into the idea. It was subsequently carried into effect, lawyer. It appears, indeed, from the subjoined letter, that and ultimately produced those taxes on income and prothe Ministers at the time had no idea of availing them. perty which enabled us to carry on the war, and to bring selves of the great talents he possessed, as an orator and it to so happy a conclusion.” champion in the House.

We do not recollect to have seen before the two amuLeller from the Lord Advocate Dundas to Sir John

sing anecdotes of the Lord Chancellor Erskine which we Sinclair.

subjoin :

ANECDOTES OF LORD ERSKINE.--" Lord Erskine was, Edinburgh, 20th November, 1781.

the youngest of three brothers, all of whom were remark* Dear Sir,- I have received yours of the 11th. It is able for their wit and powers of conversation. The learned only your partiality which overvalues the importance of Lord was particularly addicted to punning, of which I remy presence in Parliament, for no person whatever has collect the following instance :- I bappened accidentally to mpade any request to me to attend.

inform him, that a female relation of his was unwell. He, “ Indeed, it would be most disagreeable and inconvenient asked me what was the nature of her complaint. My anfor me to come before Christmas; but I am so little accus

swer was, ' Water in her chest.'- If that is the case,' he tomed to put my own convenience in competition with the replied, she is not much to be pitied. It is very lucky, in wishes, or the interests, of my friends, that I volunteered in these hard times, to have any thing in one's chest.'. offering to come, if there was any anxiety about it; but “ Lord Erskine used frequently to compose short epithere is none, for I have never received any answer to my

grams, which often contained much point and humour. letter.

As a specimen, may be mentioned four lines he wrote on “ As to the small stills, it is simply impossible that any hearing that the spurs of Napoleon had been fvund in the movement can be made in it, at least before the holydays. imperial carriage after the battle of Waterloo. Lord ErsHitherto I have found all my attempts to get at the truth kine said, they ought to be presented to the Prince Regent, very unsuccessful. I send you enclosed some observations with this inscription :made upon your calculations, the author of which is very positive as to the truth of the data upon which he proceeds.

• These Napoleon left behind, I am, with great regard, dear sir, yours sincerely,

Flying swifter than the wind; “ HENRY Dundas.

Needless to him when buckled on, “ John Sinclair, Esq.

Wanting no spar but Wellington." * But he whose presence in Parliament was not request- Lord North’s :

Not less entertaining is the following good saying of ed by the Minister, and for whose at:endance no anxiety was felt by any one, soon afterwards burst forth a great

ANECDOTE OF LORD NORTH. political meteor, and became the chief prop of the party North's happiness of allusion, and playfulness of mind. He

“ The following anecdote will give some idea of Lord whose interests he had espoused.

“ I have often heard him, however, lament his having was often lulled into a profound sleep by the somniferous abandoned his original profession as a Scotch lawyer. Hai oratory of some of the parliamentary speakers. Sir Grey I remained,' he said, at the Scotch bar, I must soon have Cooper (one of the secretaries of the Treasury) mean while reached one of the bighest judicial offices in Scotland, and

took notes of the principal arguments of his opponents, might have spent a life of comfort and independence. In which, by glancing his eye over the paper, Lord North the important capacity of a judge, I might have been of use

was enabled immediately to answer. On a naval question, to my native country; whereas, by entering on the career

a member thought proper to give an historical detail of the of politics, I have been exposed to much obloquy, and have origin and progress of ship-building, which he deduced from, latterly experienced the basest ingratitude.'

Noah's ark, and, in regular order, brought down to the "My private intercourse with Lord Melville led to some Spanish Armada. Sir Grey inadvertently awoke his lordevents which it may be proper here to detail.

ship at this period; who asked, to what era the honourable * In December 1805, happened to meet with the noble gentleman had arrived ? Being told, to the reign of Queen Lord at St James's, when he said to me, It is a long time, Elizabeth,' he instantly replied, * Dear Sir Grey, why did Sir John, since you have been at Wimbledon. Name any

you not let me sleep a century or two more ?!" time when you can spend a day with us, and we shall be Among his female correspondents, Sir John Sinclair most happy to see you.' By accident I fixed upon the last has the good fortune to rank, besides Madame de Stael, day of that year. Upon reaching Wimbledon to dinner, I the Princess Daschkow, Madame de Genlis, the Duchess found Mr Pitt there. Lady Melville, and the beautiful of Gordon, Lady Craven, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs AbingMiss Duncan, (afterwards Lady Dalrymple Hamilton,) were the only ladies present. We spent the evening priz- ton, Miss Joanna Baillie, and Mrs Hannah More. The cipally in conversation, but also played a short time at following account of the circumstances which led to the cards; and about eleven we went to bed. As soon as I got production of Miss Baillie's play of “ The Family Leup next morning, I proceeded to Mr Dandas's library, gend" on the Edinburgh stage will be read with interest: where I found him reading a long paper on the importance of conquering the Cape of Good Hope, to add to the secu “ There is no dramatist of modern times more distinrity of our Indian possessions. I said to him, on entering, guished for splendour of genius, or poetic powers, than Miss * I come, Mr Dundas, to wish you a good new year, and Joanna Baillie. In her style of composition, she often re-, many happy returns of it.' His answer I shall never for- sembles Shakspeare. It was much to be lamented, thereget; I hope that this year will be happier than the last, | fore, that her plays, though fitted to make a powerful imfor I scarcely recollect having spent one happy day in the pression in the closet, were less adapted for representation whole of it." On this remark the following reflections na on the stage; and that she had taken a particular prejudice, turally occurred: • Here I am living in the same house against the London theatres, in consequence of a play writ. with the two men the most looked up to, and the most ten by her, though possessed of great merit, not having sucenvied of any in this country. I have just beard the decla- ceeded. ration of the one, and I am convinced that the feelings of “ From respect to her great talents, and desire to see the other are not materially different. Can any thing inore them successfully employed, I took the liberty of suggesting, strongly prove the miseries attending political pursuits ?' to her the composition of a tragedy, more adapted for stage

“ After breakfast Mr Pitt asked me to return to London effect ; and, as an inducement to undertake the task, proin his carriage, when he immediately commenced a politi- posed that she should dedicate the prolits of the play to a cal conversation. He said, that the finances of the country specific charitable purpose. I had sket hed out the plan of were getting into a state of great disorder, from the enor a tragedy, · On the Fall of Darius,' which seemed to me an mous expenses of the war; and he was apprehensive that it excellent subject; and had sent the plan to Dr. Baillie, to would be extremely difficult to raise the necessary supplies be communicated to his sister. The following is the reply for carrying it on much longer. He then added,'. As you which I received from the Doctor, enclosing Miss Baillie's have attended so much to those subjects, and have written answer to my proposal. As it does her much credit, I the history of our finances, I should be glad to have your think it right to preserve ler letter in this publication.


this way.


[ocr errors]

Nov. 20, 1805. The first volume alone of this important work contains “ Dear Sir,-I enclose to you my sister's answer relative fourteen Parts, each comprising a distinct set of Correto your proposal. I hope it may prove serviceable to Mrspondence and Reminiscences. We must at present con

's family, if it be agreeable to them to be assisted in clude with a short extract from the fourth part--the “ The public will be gratified when your work upon

Naval Correspondence,-promising to give our readers health and longevity comes out, as it will comprehend every This they will thank us for the more, as we have been

some extracts from the remainder of the volume next week. thing which is known upon this important subject. I remain, dear sir, your most obedient humble servant,

politely favoured with the earliest copy of the work in « M. BAILLIE. sheets, which is not yet entirely out of the printer's

hands : Hampstead, October 19, 1805. “ My Dear Brother,—I have considered the proposal contained in Sir John Sinclair's letter, and the ingenious

Communicated by the late Earl Manvers. sketch for a tragedy that accompanies it, with the attention

“ In the ye:r 1807, I happened to pay a visit at Thoresby they deserve; and very much regret it is not in my power Park, in Nottinghamshire, the seat of my friend Lord to make the good use of them which he does me the honour Manvers, who had been bred to the sea, and who

recollectto suppose I might, and which I should have so much plea-ed, when young, the following singular anecdote of Captain, sure in attempting. You may well know I am so circum- afterwards Admiral Swanton : stanced, that I cannot possibly offer any play for repre “ Captain Swanton happened to command a 70 gun ship, sentation to either Drury-Lane or Covent-Garden, nor

The Vanguard, (we had then no 74's in our service); and suffer one of my writing to be offered to either of those

was cruizing with Admiral Hawke, off the coast of France, theatres through any medium whatever. To give up all in the hope of intercepting a French Heet from Louisburgh, idea, however, of being useful to a orthy family, on whom when his ship was so damaged in a gale, that he was orderbad fortune has borne so bard, is very painful to me; and, ed home to refit ; and in his way to Portsmouth, he most therefore, though I cannot undertake what Sir John has unfortunately came within sight of the very fleet that Hawke pointed out, there is another way in which I might attempt

was in expectation of intercepting. The French, seeing an to serve them; and if it should meet with his approbation, English ship of war so much disabled, and apparently quite and be at the same time perfectly agreeable to Mr. and his family, I shall set myself to work in it most cheer- its immediate surrender, the Admiral, by a signal, detached

alone, thought it would be an easy conquest; but to insure fully; that is, to write a tragedy upon some interesting,

an 80 gun ship, and a 74, to take possession. The officers but more private and domestic story than that of Darius, of the Vanguard, knowing the state of their own vessel, and which appears to me only fitted for the splendour of a large seeing such a superior force coming against them, gave theatre, and to put it into Sir John's hands, to be offered to

themselves up for lost, and said to the Captain, It is imthe Edinburgh theatre, or any theatre in the United King: possible to stand against such fearful odds ; we must make dom he may think proper, those of London excepted. If up our minds to see Brest.? — No, gentlemen,' said Captain the piece should prove successful, though it might not bring Swanton, a ship of this force must not be surrendered by in a large sum from representation, yet it might be pub

a British crew, wbilst there is any hope of safety. Go to lished afterwards, in any way that should be thought most advantageous for Mr and his family, (whose pro- the last !'

your quarters, prepare for action, and let us tight it out to perty I should completely consider it as having become,) and produce something considerable.

“ No situation could apparently be more completely des"I beg you will communicate this proposal to Sir John perate.. The French 80 gun ship came vapouring down, Sinclair, along with my acknowledgments for the obliging that instead of striking, it returned the fire with great spirit

gave the Englishman a broadside, but was surprised to find, expressions on my account contained in his letter, and for and effect. The 74, when it approached, met with the same the pleasure I have received in reading his outline of a

reception. This astonished not only those two ships, but tragedy, which, if properly filled up, would no doubt make

the French Admiral, and his whole fleet. They began to a striking spectacle in a grand theatre such as Drury Lane. conjecture, that the disabled ship was merely a decoy, and

“When he has considered it, I hope he will bave the that Hawke must be near, otherwise no officer in his senses, goodness to let you know his opinion, without loss of time; I would have made any resistance against so great a superiorand if it is favourable, no exertion in my power shall be ity; and apprehending, if the action continued, that their wanting to complete the work.

ships might receive so much injury as to be an easy prey, 6. The play having been composed, was represented on the if Hawke actually should appear, the French Admiral was Edinburgh stage. I was not present, but received from a induced to recall ihe two ships, and Captain Swanton, by correspondent there, the following account of the reception his spirited and judicious conduct, was ihus enabled, after it met with : «Miss Baillie's play went off with loud applause. The rate situation, and to bring his ship triumphantly into

beating off so great a force, to rescue himself from his despehouse was very full, and it is to be repeated every night this Portsmouth. week. Henry Mackenzie furnished an excellent epilogue. “On the road from Thoresby, I was led to reflect on the Some of the critics here, think the inferior characters have circumstances above detailed, and it accidentally occurred to too much to do, as they were very badly sustained here; but me, how much better it would be, instead of teaching childthat objection would be obviated on a London theatre.' ren the Fables of Æsop, or of Pilpay, or giving them alle

“Upon sending this account of the reception her play had gorical instructions of any sort, to communicate to them met with at Edinburgh, to Miss Baillie, I had the pleasure anecdotes of real life, and stories of their own species. It of receiving the following communication from her: is absurd in the extreme to tell our children, that lions and

“. Miss J. Baillie presents her compliments and thanks other animals formerly conversed together, and that men, to Sir John Sinclair, for the honour of his obliging note, the lords of the creation, could possibly benefit by their reand the extract of a letter which accompanied it. Nothing marks. Nor are the fictitious stories of Allworthy and can be more highly gratifying to ber, than the very favour- Tommy Goodchild much better. The question the children able reception her Highland play has met with from her naturally ask is, 'But is the story true?' And when they countrymen at Edinburgh, and the kind interest her friends find that it never actually happened, it loses all its effect. everywhere have taken in its success ; and it is an addition Let a collection therefore be made, of real anecdotes of the to her satisfaction to think, that it may still, in one way or human species, adapted to the capacity of children, and the other, be made of some small use to the family, for whose impression made upon their minds will be infinitely greater, benefit it was originally written, if such assistance should much more lasting, and still more useful, than can be exstill be wanted. *

pected from any fictitious stories, either of birds, or of quad"Hampstead, Feb. 7, 1810.""

rupeds, or even of men."

In conclusion, we must not forget to allude to the * In the Scotch Magazine for February 1810, there is a critical analysis of Miss Baillie's play, to which she had given the name of highly curious and interesting collection of about two « The Family Legend." Its appearance, it is said, ought to be con hundred autographs which accompany and illustrate these sidered as forming an era in the literary history of Edinburgh; for, since Douglas, no tragedy had made its first appearance on the

volumes. We do not recollect to have seen anywhere a Edinburgh stage, or at least had attracted general attention. The more complete or diversified set of fac-similes of the hand. beauties of the Family Legend indeed are such, as to establish its daim to be ranked as a popular and pleasing addition to our stock

writing of eminent individuals. It gives us pleasure to of acting plays

observe, that in speaking of this collection, Sir John alludes

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



to our own paper upon autographs in the Twenty-eighth

" In the list of the moral duties of a Brahmin occur the Number of the Journal, the sentiments contained in following : -- Let him never oppose priests

, cows, or perwhich appear to have met with his approval.

sons truly devout; nor deny a future state; nor throw a stick when angry at another man.' A twice-born man is forbidden to assault a Brahmin, on pain of being whirled

about for a century in hell; even smiting him in anger with The Orientalist ; or, Letters of a Rabbi ; with Notes. tions into impure quadrupeds; and shedding a Brahmin's

a blade of grass must be expiated by twenty-one transmigraBy James Noble, Oriental Master in the Scottish blood is punished in a horrible manner. many partiNaval and Military Academy Edinburgh. Oliver cles of dust as the blood shall roll up from the ground, for and Boyd. 183). 8vo, pp. 368.

so many years shall the shedder of that blood be mangled somewhat upon the plan of Goldsmith's “ Citizen of the Noble's work, we select, from many more which may be This is an amusing and instructive work, written by other animals in his next birth."»

As still more characteristic of the general spirit of Mr World." Under the assumed character of Ishmael No- found in it, a few bilius Oleander, a learned Rabbi, resident in the city of Alexandria, the author communicates, in the familiar and agreeable shape of letters, addressed to“ Wilfred Wa- chant had an acquaintance, a person who was hard of bear

THE DEAF MAN AND THE PATIENT." A certain mer. verley, Doctor of Laws, the great story-telling Rabbi of ing. By the act of predestination, the merchant became the Western World,” much curious and entertaining in- sick. The deaf man went to enquire after him, and, while formation concerning the customs, manners, literature, going along in the way, he made up this discourse :- After and peculiarities of different Eastern nations. Though haviug saluted his honour, I will tirst ask this question, Mr Noble is evidently quite at home on these subjects, : Tell me, sir, how is your health ? He will say, Bethe does not affect the pedant, but studies rather the most I will ask, “What food do you take?' He will say,

ter ;' and I will say, Ameen! may it be lasting !' Then popular and simple modes of conveying instruction. In Rice pudding ;' and I will say, 'Good appetite to you ! addition to many incidental remarks and subjects discuss- My next enquiry shall be,- Who is your physician?' He ed as they occur, we find in the work an account of a will say,– The great Dr Such-a-one;' and I will say,– journey to Babylon, observations on the Arabic language, May God grant a complete care by his means!' At notices of an overland journey to India, a history of a length, having entirely made up this plan, he arrived at Rajpoot sepoy, or native soldier of India, a full descrip- the bouse, and, having made the usual salam, he sat down tion of the ceremony of the Suttee, a disquisition on the

near the patient, and began to ask,—. Tell me, friend, how

is your health ?' The patient answered, — Why do you doctrine of metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, remarks on the characteristics of English, Persian, Hebrew, this, he exclaimed, --- Amen, may God cause it to be so ?

ask ?-I am dying with a fever.' Immediately on hearing and Chinese poetry, an account of the funds whence The helpless sick man was in a complete ferment with his Oriental story-telling is drawn, and finally, an immense disease, and this speech caused him to be even more so. He Dumber of Eastern stories not hitherto translated into next asked, My friend, what victuals do you eat ?' The English. Some pieces of poetry are also interspersed, to patient replied, – Dirt. — May your appetite be good !" give the reader an idea of Eastern imagery. Mr Noble, answered he. On hearing this, he became even doubly enit will thus be evident, enjoys the great advantage of having your physician?' In a most excessive rage, the patient re.

raged. Again he rejoined,— Pray, tell me, friend, who is turned up fresh ground, and that, too, in a manner which plied, -—. The angel of death!- I give you much joy!' reflects much credit on his own talents and discrimi- answered he; I hope God will graut a speedy cure by his nation.

hand ! " That we may interest our readers still more in the

The Youth AND THE OLD CHEAT.“ A certain youth work, we subjoin a few specimens of its contents.

The delivered a hundred deenars to an old man, and went on a following amusing passage describes

journey. When he came back, he demanded bis deenars. The old man made denial, and said, 'You did not give them

to me.' The youth made known his case before the Kazee. " A Brahmin must' wear a pair of bright golden rings in The Kazee sent for the old man, and asked him,- Did his ears; he must not gaze on the sun ; nor step over a string this youth deliver the money to you?" He replied, “No!' to which a calf is tied; nor run wbilst it rains; nor look on

The Kazee said to the youth, "Have you any witness ?' his own image in the water : by a mouud of earth, by a cow, He answered, “No! The Kazee said to the old man, by an idol, by a Brahmin, by a pot of clarified butter or of You must take an oath.' The youth fell a-weeping, and honey, by a place where four ways meet, and by a large tree said to him, . He has no regard at all for an oath; he has well known in the district, let him pass with his right hand many a time taken an oath to a lie.' The Kazeé said to towards thein. He must not sleep alone in an empty house; the youth, ' At the time when you delivered the money to nor interrupt a cow whilst she is drinking; nor make any him, where were you seated ?' He answered, · Under a vain corporeal exertion; nor take pleasure in asking idle tree.' The Kazee said, “Why did you tell me you had no questions; nor strike his arm, or grash his teeth, or make

witness? That tree is your witness. Go to that tree, and a braying noise ; por wash his feet in a pan of mixed say to it, The Kaze sends for thee.' The old man gave a yellow metal; nor eat from a broken dish; nor sit on a smile, and the youth said, 'O, Kacee! I am afraid the tree broken seat; nor tear his nails with his teeth ; nor break will not come for your order.' The Kazee said, • Take my mould or clay; nor cut grass with his nails; nor ride seal, and say to it. This is the seal of the Kazee. It will on the back of a bull or cow; nor pass otherwise than by assuredly come.' The youth took the Karee's seal, and the gate into a walled town, or an enclosed house ; nor ap went away:

After a space of time, the Kurde asked the proach the roots of trees by night; nor play with dice; nor old man, . Will that youth have arrived near the tree yet?' eat whilst he reclines on a bed; nor sleep quite naked; nor

He answered, • No! When the youth had gone near the go anywhere with a remnant of food in his mouth; nor tree, having shown the Kazce's seal, he said to it, The sleep with his feet wet; nor advance into a place undistin- Kazee sends for thee;' but he heard nothing from the tree. guishable by his eye, or not easily passable ; nor pass a river He came back sorrowial, and said, • I showed your seal to swimming with his arms; nor stand upon hair, ashes, bones, the tree, but it gave me no answer.' The Kazee said, “The potsberds, seeds of cotton, or husks of grain; nor stroke (or tree caine, and, after having given its evidence, it went scratch) his head with both hands; nor, after his head has away again.' The old man said, “0, Kuzee! what speech been rubbed with oil, touch with oil any of his limbs; nor

is this?-there was no tree came here. The Karze replied, receive a gift from a keeper of a slaughter-house or oil-press,

* You say the truth, it did not come; but at the time when I fior from a king not born in the military class who is de- asked you, " Has the youth arrived at the tree?"- you gave clared to be on a level with the keeper of ten thousand for answer, “ He has not arrived." If you had not got the slaughter-houses : he who receives a present from an ava- money from him under that tree, why did you not say, ricious king, and a transgressor of the sacred ordinances,

“ What tree is it? I do not know it.' Froin this it be goes in succession to twenty-one bells,'—which it is need comes evident that the youth says what is true.' The old less at present to enumerate, but which, I recollect, include man got conviction, and gave the money to the youth." the hell of iron spikes, the sword-leaved forest, and the pit THE BANKER ROBBED NEAR THE EMPEROR'S PALACE.. of red-hot cbarcoal.'

“A certain bau ker' was robbed under the very eye of the


« 上一頁繼續 »