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or heroic, and beyond our experience, we are borne upon and with it, as it were on the wings of the poet's genius, into a higher region, where we seem to see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears ; and where we are made to feel the beauty, and consistency, and reality, of the poet's imaginary world. Hence we discuss the virtues and faults of Shakspeare's characters, just as we would those of men and women whom we have known ; and doubts remain upon our minds in regard to them, just as happens in regard to our every-day acquaintances.
Mrs. Ellet, therefore, labors under the disadvantage growing out of the peculiarity of Schiller's genius, which we have very briefly indicated. The field of discussion is a narrow one, and the questions started in it are by no means difficult of solution Still the discussion is interesting, as it throws a broad light on the admirable character and genius of the poet. And though, as we have said, there are no intricate questions to be solved, as to the real drift of Schiller's dramatic characters, still the simple description of them is an interesting task for a person of literary taste.
Mrs. Ellet's book will have to undergo the ordeal of a comparison with Mrs. Jameson's incomparable work on the characters of Shakspeare, by which it was evidently suggested. If it should be found to fall below that exquisite work, it will be no discredit to Mrs. Ellet ; for Mrs. Jameson is the most accomplished and brilliant literary woman since Madame de Staël ; and, where Shakspeare is read and appreciated, there will Mrs. Jameson be acknowledged as one of the most profound and elegant of his illustrators.
8. — Travels of Father Hennepin. (Democratic Review, for
In a late number of our Journal, while treating of the early discoveries in the West,* we had occasion to speak of the Travels of Father Hennepin. It is well known, that, from the first publication of these Travels, the author's veracity, on certain points, has been more than doubted. In the article above alluded to, we expressed our opinion, after a pretty thorough investigation of the subject, that these doubts were well founded, and that the pretended discoveries
* North American Review, Vol. XLVIII. pp. 63 et seq.
of Father Hennepin below the mouth of the Illinois river were unworthy of credit. His narrative of a voyage down the Mississippi, we believed, and still believe, to have been fabricated in Europe, several years after he left America.
A writer in the 6 Democratic Review " has assumed the other side of the question, and undertaken to relieve the memory of Hennepin from the burden of these charges. He endeavours to answer some of our objections, and seems to look to us for a reply. We do not perceive, however, that he has brought forward any facts, which had not already passed under our notice, or that he has removed any of the obstacles, which stand in the way of the credibility of Hennepin's narrative. He has accumulated probabilities, to which due weight should be allowed, though, for reasons which we gave in treating the subject, they do not satisfy our minds. He points out no error in our statements, and neither produces new testimony, nor new materials of any kind, which, in our opinion, affect the merits of the question. He is so far from referring to any book which we had not consulted, that, for any thing that appears, he obtained most of his facts from our article. As to Ellicott and Stoddard, whom he finds fault with us for not mentioning with sufficient consideration, we did precisely that which these writers failed to do ; that is, we compared the two works of Hennepin together, and the supposed spurious one with that attributed to Tonti. The grounds, upon which, on a previous occasion, we had referred to the latter, were also fully stated by us.* So far from leaving any room for doubt, whether we were acquainted with Charlevoix's objections to it, we expressly cited and canvassed those objections. + And as to another fact, in respect to which the writer in April finds occasion for a rebuke to us, we had ourselves recorded it in January, in the paper on which he was commenting ; -we refer to Tonti's not being known to have returned to France, after his departure from it with La Salle. I
The editors of the “ Democratic Review " suggest their intention of investigating the subject to a greater length; and, when this task shall be executed, we shall not be reluctant to recur to it, should they succeed in collecting additional facts. The subject, being one merely of historical inquiry, should be discussed without prejudice or bias, and with no other aim than that of arriving at the truth. In this spirit we shall be ready to continue the discussion whenever occasion may offer.
In reviewing the writer's statements, however, we cannot forbear to express our surprise, that he should have so entirely overlooked the voyage of Father Marquette from the Wisconsin to the Arkansas, about which there is no question, and which was performed seven years before Hennepin saw the Mississippi. He lays much stress on Hennepin's map, and speaks of it as follows. “Hennepin gives a map of the country, till then unknown, from Florida to the South Sea, and traces the Mississippi considerably below the point to which La Salle authorized him to go below the Illinois, and beyond which its course was so utterly unknown, that La Salle himself hoped to reach China by it. In this map, nevertheless, Hennepin continues the course of the river, by a dotted line, to the Gulf of Mexico, fully intimating his knowledge of its débouche, nearly two years before the information acquired by La Salle was communicated to Europe." Now this map was published in 1683, ten years after Marquette's voyage, the particulars of which were well known in Canada, as Joliet, the companion of Marquette, remained there. Moreover, Marquette's narrative, accompanied by a map of the Mississippi from the Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico, was published at Paris, in 1681, two years before the publication of Hennepin's map. It is likewise to be observed, that Marquette's map is remarkable for the accuracy with which the rivers and other conspicuous objects are delineated. Where is the wonder, then, that Hennepin, with this map before him, should be able to construct another map, in which the same objects are delineated ?
Again, the writer says ; “A singular feature in the whole matter is, the absence of authentic information respecting the discovery of the Mississippi until 1697. No trace of any account of it occurs in any remarks that we have met, written on the subject." And yet, twenty-four years before this date, Marquette had not only discovered the Mississippi, but had sailed down its waters from the Wisconsin to the Arkansas, a distance of more than one thousand miles ; and, sixteen years before, the account of these discoveries had been published in Paris !
In the same tone, the writer adds ; “Hennepin transferred to the literature and language of the old world, the Indian name of the great Mississippi, the hoary father of waters, which he first explored.” An extraordinary assertion; as Marquette had called the river constantly by that name, and affixed the name to the hoary father of waters” in his map. The writer also speaks of “Hennepin's name of
Illinois," although Marquette had both mentioned this name, and explained its meaning in the Indian language.
From these remarkable oversights, we should infer, that the writer had never heard of Marquette's narrative, if he did not allude to it in a way that leads the reader to suppose he was not ignorant of it. At any rate, it would have been better for him to spare such broad assertions, till he had thoroughly possessed himself of facts, and examined all the bearings of his subject. As they now stand, they essentially weaken his argument, and create the suspicion, that, if he could fall into such grave errors in one branch of the discussion, he may not be free from them in others. If this is a specimen of the accuracy, with which the editors propose to pursue their inquiries, it is to be feared, that their results will not contribute much to increase our stock of historical knowledge. Before they proceed further, we recommend to them a careful perusal of Marquette's narrative, and an inspection of his map, and we apprehend they will find there the substance of nearly all such particulars, contained in Hennepin's description of the lower Mississippi, as could not be easily supplied by a fertile imagination. Nor is it the least of Hennepin's delinquencies, that, even in his first work, he should not have given due credit to a traveller, who had preceded him in a large part of his actual discoveries on the upper Mississippi.
The writer in the Democratic Review” desires us to give further information relative to the map of Tonti, referred to by us. We wish we had it to give. But he will see, on a more careful reading, that, so far from professing to have seen the map in question, we expressly referred to Mitchell's preface to Joutel's “ Journal," as authority for our description, and added, that “the only original copy of the Journal, published as by Tonti, which we have seen, (that in Harvard College Library,) has no map."* On the other hand, what could this writer have had in his mind, when he suggests, that the map, thus referred to by Mitchell, must have been contained in the reprint of Tonti, given in the “ Recueil de Voyages au Nord”? Mitchell's edition of Joutel was printed in 1714. Was there any edition of the “Recueil” earlier than this? Was there any till twenty years later ?
On the latitude given by Tonti, the “ Democratic Review" says, an important point in the controversy turns. If the controversy respecting Hennepin's veracity be meant, we do not see how that latitude affects the question. There is
* North American Review, Vol. XLVIII. p. 82. note.
no doubt, that Hennepin's latitude, and description, of the mouth of the Mississippi, are more correct than that of the work ascribed to Tonti ; nor is the authenticity of that work upheld by us. We referred to his supposed map, incidentally, in speaking of our reasons for rejecting Charlevoix's general denunciation of his Journal. We do not suppose that Hennepin got his latitude from Tonti, for it agrees neither with his text nor the map mentioned by Mitchell.
9. — Letters to the Honorable James T. Morehead, on Tran
sylvania University, and the Necessity of a System of Education in Kentucky. By WILLIAM Pitt. Smithland, Kentucky: Charles A. Fuller. 1837. 8vo. pp. 28.
These very sensible and spirited letters we have understood to be from the pen of a gentleman, who, having a few years ago won a high reputation for talent and accomplishments at our Massachusetts University, has since been laboring, with an admirable zeal, to excite the people of bis native State to efforts for the establishment of a system of education, corresponding to their wants and means, and to the important place which Kentucky holds in the Union. The best testimony to the wisdom and energy of his exertions, made as well through this little publication as in other ways, is the fact, that, in consequence of them, (in addition, it is likely, to other endeavours to the same end, with which we are less acquainted,) an unusual attention has been awakened, in that community, to the subject of education in all its departments, and arrangements of the most liberal description have been made for its advancement. A literary fund, amounting, if we are correctly informed, to a million of dollars, has been established by the legislature, and a Superintendent and Board of Education have been appointed, under whose administration it is believed that a system of common schools will soon be in successful operation throughout the State. Meanwhile, energetic steps have been taken to raise the University at Lexington to a condition of greater usefulness, with a view, as well to the supply of competent teachers for the schools, as to the other objects of seminaries of instruction of the highest class. Among other means, to this end, more than seventy individuals have subscribed to its funds five hundred dollars each, to be paid in annual