Obrázky stránek

relucted' comes very, reluctantly well exhibits the prudence and into the ranks. Lii' for lighted benevolence of Wasbington, has bitherto never been admitted into good company, and we hope never will be. At the entry of Washington into Trenton the

ART. 68. young ladies inchantingly sung' an ode ; but we wish the newspaper

A geological account of the United style had been changed. In a

States, comprehending a short di second edition, to which we hope

scription of their animal, vegete. Mr. B.incroft's essay will soon

ble, and mineral Productions, 07.

tiquities, and curiosities, Py come, he may easily correct such triling inaccuracies, as


James Mease, M. D. member of

the American philosophical soci. Torercome at [hy] the loss of ;'

ty, and corresponding member y *10 (wi'h] which the house con

the literary and philosophical r. curred ;"(the expectation that the war would this season terminate,

ciety of Manchester. Phirde! as a dr-am passed away,' The

phia, Birch & Small. 1801.

· 12mo, pp. 496. orthography of South-Carolina and New-York throughout the volume BooK-MAKING has of late pean we dislike ; and we believe the been practised with great succes names of 'de Ternay and Des. in England ; and it must be cob touches on page 268 are spelt fessed, that in this country wchart wrong.

already made great progress in From either of these books the learning this valuable art. Some públick could not reasonably ex- of the late, travels in England az pect any informition about pro- said to have been composed with jects or events, which may not be out the labour of journies, by the Found in the valuable volumes of assistance of former tourists, ia Crief Justice Marshal). In a note

the snug elbow.chair of a circulat indeed Dr. Ramsay has informed ing library. The work before los us, we know not on what authori- was undoubtedly, made in some ty, that had Washington declined such place ; but Mr. Mease has his appointment of commander in improved upon the plan, and by chief at the commencement of our using the words of the original av war, that office was to have been thors, has saved himself, the troui conferred on general Ward of ble of clothing their ideas in nex Massachusetts ; and this is the language which was before thought only fact, which he could not have necessary. In future, any person derived from Marshall, A very

wishing to become an autbor, need interesting relation is given by Mr. know nothing of the subject tupon Bancroft of the kindness of Wash, which he makes his book, be bas ington to the son of his old friend only to take such works of his pre the Marquis La Fayette, which decessors as are nearest at hand and will undoubtedly be read with ea transcribe quantum sufficit. ...? gerness for its novelty and ten. work of Mr. Mease is composed derness. We wish Judge Marof shreds from authors, who have shall had comprized in his last written upon North America. I volume a circumstance, that so is a patch-work, where, though. We

[ocr errors]


recognise the materials of authors give a short account of each of the who had once afforded us instruc- great lakes, which is principally tion and pleasure, yet we find taken from Morse's geography, them so cut up, arranged with so and Mr. Morse's name is put at little judgment, and joined in so the bottom of the page. The acclumsy a manner; that we forget count of lake Champlain however the delight we had derived from is transcribed from Williams' his. the originals.

tory of Vermont, but the name of The first hundred and eighteen Mr. W. is not mentioned. pages, upon the internal struc. From lakes Mr. Mease proceeds ture, the climate, and the winds of to rivers, of which he mentions but the United States, are abridged, a small number. The account of with a few little alterations and these is taken from Morse, Bel. some small additions, from the knap, and several others, but is English translation of Mr. Vol- quite cursory: At the end of ney's work on these subjects. Mr. this article he says : 'A further Mease does not inform us of this. description of the rivers of He says, indeed, in his preface : the United States would be un• In treating of the climate, the necessary, and not consistent with geology and winds of the United the nature of this work ; especialStates, the divisions and remarks ly too as they are so fully deof Mr. Volney have been assumed scribed in the excellent geography as the basis.' But this does not of Rev. Dr. Morse, whose work imply the superstructure and the should be in the hands of every whole edifice. Nor does Mr. one who wishes to become accu. Mease lead us to conclude, that he rately acquainted with this counhas copied the work of Mr. V. try. This compliment, we supeither by changing the first person pose, is meant to pay for the of the verb in the original for the goods he has stolen from the neuter tbird person; as, it is re- Doctor.. marked,' for I have remarked ; The next chapter is upon the or by citing, among other authori- soil and vegetables of the United ties, Mr. V. himself, to support States. The first article is exbis own text. A pote, indeed, tremely superficial, and contains a sometimes corrects the statement short paragraph upon the soil of in the text, as if it was the work of each state, mostly transcribed from some other person. We cannot Morse. He modestly allows, that give Mr. Mease much praise for the materials are principally from this abridgment. He has inserted that gentleman. . The other arti: some of those absurd passages, cle upon vegetables does not in, which we only pardon in Vote form us of any considerable num, ney :' for the excellence of the ber of the plants that grow in this other parts of his work he has country ; but it contains a toleraomitted some interesting details, ble description of a few of those and curtailed others. But as this that are mentioned. The account part of the work will come under of grasses is full and satisfactory; review, as the property of Mr. V. but we believe green-sward is not in some future member, we shall the only species that will root out make no further remark upon it clover the first year. The part at present.

upon oaks is from the valuable Mr. Mease next proceeds to work of Michaux.

.. The next chapter is upon ani- which, in the time of the foods, mals. Dr. Mease confines the bury the northern country. At the meaning of this word to quadru. Upper Coos, the river then spreads peds. Of the first article we twenty-four miles wide"; and for can say that he gives a tol. five or six weeks,ships of war might erable account of the few quad- sail over lands, that afterwards rupeds that he mentions. In produce the greatest crops of hay the other articles upon birds, fish- and grain in all America, People, es, insects, and reptiles, he treats' who can bear the sight, the groans, but of a few of each kind, and of the tremblings, and surly motion these in general superficially ; of water, trees, and ice througă though we would except the de- this awful passage, view with asscriptions of the locust,rattle-snake, tonishment one of the greatest and some others...

phenomena in nature. Here wa. The fifth chapter is upon miner- ter is consolidated without frost, als and fossils, and mineral springs. by pressure, by swiftness between The first article, we think, ought the pinching sturdy rocks, to such to have been introduced in the for- a degree of induration, than no mer part of the work, upon the in- iron crow can be forced into it'; xternal structure, &c. It is superfi- here iron, lead, and cork have one cial, and is rather an account of common weight ; here, steady as particular minerals, found in par- time, and harder than marble, the ricular places, than a general de- stream passes irresistible, if not scription of the minerals of the swift as lightning. The electrick United States. The minerals of fire rends trees in pieces with no New-England are almost wholly greater ease, than does this mighty Aeglected.

water. The passage is about four The last chapter includes natur. hundred yards in length, and of a al curiosities, cataracts, cascades, zigzag form, with obtuse angles.' caverns, Western antiquities, and This first appeared, we believe, in bridges. Among the natural cu. Peters' account of Connecticat, a riosities we find Aoating islands, romance written by a refugee in and solid rivers. Kind reader, we England, during the American - are not speaking of Gulliver's trave war; and it seems was too marels, but of a geological view of the vellous a story, even for the faith United States, in which we are told of Dr. Morse, from whom the rest that the most scrupulous attention of this article, excepting the natur. has been exercised in ascertaining al bridge of Virginia, is transcribthe accuracy of the facts and state. ed. Cataracts and caves occupy ments. The account of this solid the succeeding part of this chapriver is so great a curiosity, that ter ; then Western antiquities, we shall insert it for the amuse- from Harris' tour, and the whole ment of our readers, particularly of concludes with a long account of those who may live near its banks. the two bridges lately erected over 4 Two hundred miles from the the Schuylkill and Delaware. sound is a narrow,' (in Connecticut We have thus given a short outriver) of five yards only, formed line of Mr. Mease's book, and have by two shelving mountains of solid in some parts pointed out the aurock, whose tops intercept the thors, from whose works Mr. M. clouds. Through this chasm are has transcribed, We forbore from compelled to pass all the waters, fatiguing the reader and ourselves

with pointing out the author. of ness of our climate makes it more each particular paragraph. It will healthy. The account he introbe sufficient to say, that we have duces, attributing the superiour found about three quarters of this mildness of the English winter to book transcribed from Volney, the gulf-stream is certainly erroMorse, Williams, and other wri. neous; for when that stream strike's ters upon North-America, in gen- the banks of Newfoundland, aleral literally, but sometimes the though the greater part may be words a little altered. Had we turned off towards Europe, yet a taken the trouble to have examin. part returns in an eddy along the ed, we have no doubt but we should shores of Maine and Massachuhave found the greater part of the setts, and would produce a greater reinainder transcribed in the same effect upon our climate, than the manner. Yet, with all this as- larger body would upon the climate sistance, Mr. Mease does not give of England, (even supposing it even a tolerable idea of the United reached that country) after having States. Excepting in that part traversed the Atlantick. which is taken from Volney, no The style must of course be as general idea is given upon any various as that of the authors, from subject. He mentions but a small whom Mr. Mease transcribes. We number of the rivers of the United shall give one instance to show States, and refers to Morse for the with how little ability he has put remainder. In the same manner his work together. In speaking he describes grasses and oaks mi- of the Monongahela, he says : At dutely, while the greater portion sixteen miles from its mouth is of the vegetable tribe are passed Youghigeny ; this river is navigaover without notice. His account ble with batteaux and barges to the of birds includes only eleven spe- foot of Laurel hill. This river is cies ; and under the head of rep- four hundred yards wide at its tiles, we find an account only of mouth.' The transcription from the rattle-snake. We should like- Morse begins with this last senwise from this book suppose New- tence, and in his work applies to England destitute of minerals, nor the Monongahela; but" as it is inshould we know, that there were troduced by Mr. Mease it is said more than two bridges in the u- of the Youghigeny. Morse says nion. To have given a correct the Muskinguin is one hundred general idea of the United States, and fifty yards wide at its mouth ; wouid' have required judgment Mease in copying says two hunand investigation ; Mr. Mease has dred and fifty. It would be needexercised neither, but has content- less to point out other errours. ed himself with giving whatever Whether Mr. Mease meant to depresented itself upon the subject ceive the publick by passing this of his work. He introduces suf- off for an original work, we know ficient original matter to let us not. On the one hand, he generknow that he has strong American "ally refers to the authors, from feelings. He would show, that our whom he has borrowed ; on the animals are larger, our soil more other, he speaks of using them productive, and our country more only as guides and authorities, salubrious, than those in Europe. He never uses double commas, but

He would even attempt to for short quotations, and frequentprove, that the extreme variable. ly does not refer to the author from

whom he has transcribed. In pas- of a similar kind, have been sacrising sentence, we should not bring ficed for the supposed crime of him in guilty of theit, but only of philosophical heresy. He does taking withoui leave ; that is, if he not, however, iostitute an exact was detected, we believe he could parallel between himself and Ga. show, that he had inserted the au. lileo, (whose case he cites) nor thor's name, and therefore only seem to aspire to any high order meant to borrow ; if he escaped of martyrdom ; but he affirms, tha discovery, he would be very glad the man who is deterred, by op to enjoy the benefit of the theft. position and calumpy, from attackBut allowing Mr. Mease the right ing what he knows to be funda of making use of any authors in mentally wrong, is no soldier in the manner, that he has done those the field of literary combat." that we have mentioned, we can So much for the exordium : we scarcely conceive of bis having now come to the principal subject produced so miserable a book. A of the letter ; to the writer's .re school-boy would bave deserved marks and statements, intended as whipping for not making a better. a brief sketch of the errours and We can think of but one motive imperfections in Johnson's dictionfor its publication, and that is pro- ary, and the lexicons of other la. bt. , If Mr. Mease finds the trade guages, now used as classical books lucrative, and means to continue in our seminaries of learning.' it, we would advise him in future We regret that Mr. W. has not to prefix his name, lest the commenced this part of his per sale should be injured by a rememo formance with that indiscriminate brance of the present work. and malignant abuse of Joboson's

Dictionary, which originally isseed from the foul pen of Horne

Tooke. Though he has qualined ART. 69.

this stuff by expressions, wlich

imply that he would not be thought A letter to Dr. David Ramsay, of quite to countenance the ungener

Charleston, S. C. respecting the ous. calumny that he quotes, vet errours in Johnson's dictionary, we cannot but in fer that he is willand other lexicons. By Noah

ing it should pass for sometising Webster, Esq. New-Haven, Ol. very near the truth. iver Steele & Co. 1807. pp. 28, Mr. W. has undoubtedly inves

This letter is written in answer tigated with much industry, and to one which the author received entirely to his own satisfaction, the from Dr. Ramsay, in which the Teutonick languages, and the cir. doctor remarks, that the prejudi- cumstances of the introduction ices against any American attempts to Great Britain of those dialects, to improve Dr. Johnson, are very whence many of our words were strong in that city ;' and it differs derived. But there is something froin the usual form of epistolary singular, if we rightly understand correspondence, in being trans- him, in his charging Johnson with mitted through the medium of the "a most egregious errour, in supe press.'

posing the Saxon language to have Mr. W. is not surprised at the been introduced into Britain in the prejudices mentioned by his cor- fifth century, after the Romans respondent, since many, from those bad abandoned the island ; where."

« PředchozíPokračovat »