Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

upon it.

ted. In the winter season, when the winds are more fresh, these difficulties might not occur, otherwise, it would be imposible for anya vessel, which was not a very prime sailer, to whale here with suci ess; though at a certain feason any quantity of sperm oil might be prccured. The oldest whale-fishers, with whom I have conversed, as well as those on board my ship, uniformly declared that they had never seen spermaceti whales in a itate of copulation, or squid their principal food in shoals before ; but both these objects were very common off these isles, and we frequently killed the latter, of four or five fier in length, with the granes. Young spermaceti whales were also seen in great numbers, which were not larger than a small porpoise. I am disposed to believe that we were now at the general rendezvous of the spermaceri whales from the coasts of Mexico, Peru, and the Gulf of Panama, who come here to calve : as among those we killed, there was but one bull-whale. The situation I recommend to all cruizers, is between the south end of Narborough Ise and the Rock Rodondo: though great care must be taken, not to go to the north of the latter ; for there the current sets at the rate of four and five miles an hour due north. Narborough Ife falls gradually down to a point at the north, south, and east ends, and may be equal in produce to any of the neighbouring isles ; but of this I can only conjecture, as I did not myself examine it ; nor does it appear that the Buccaneers ever landed

“ The Rodondo is an high barren rock, about a quarter of a mile in circumference, and is visible as far as eight or nine leagues, has soundings round it at the dittance of a quarter of a mile thirty fathom. Here our boats caught rock-cod in great abundance. I frequently observed the whales leave these isles and go to the westward, and in a few days, return with augmented numbers. I have also seen the whales coming, as it were, from the main, and passing along from the dawn of day to night, in one extended line, as if they were in haste to reach the Gallipagoes.' It is very much to be regretted that these ifles have to this period been so little known but only to the Spaniards." --Pp. 146--- 148.

During the whole of the voyage Captain Colnett only lost one man, whose back was unfortunately broken by the jolly boat dashed against him by the violence of the surf on the rugged shore.

For though the crew were attacked with the fatal yellow fever, yet Captain C. by his observations when a' prisoner in South America, had the satisfaction of administering such medicines to them, and prescribing such a diet and applications, that he recovered them all. We publish his process for the benefit of future navigators.

“ The whole crew had been, more or less, affected by the yellow fever, from which horrid disorder, I was, however, fo fur'unaie, as to recover them, by adopting the method that I saw practised by the natives of Spanish America, when I was a prisoner among them. On

the

the first symptoms appearing, the fore part of the head was immedi. ately shaved, and the temples and poll washed with vinegar and water. The whole body was then immersed in warm water, to give a free course to perspiration ; some opening medicine was afterwards administered, and every four hours, a dose of ten grains of James's pow. ders. If the patient was thirsty, the drink was weak white wine and water, and a slice of bread to satisfy an inclination to eat. An in. creasing appetite was gratified by a small quantity of soup, made from the mucilagenous parts of the turtle, with a little vinegar in it. . I also gave ihe sick, sweetmeats and other articles from my private stock, whenever they expressed a distant wish for any, which I could supply them with. By this mode of treatment, the whole crew im. proved in their health, except the carpenter, who, though a very Itout, robust man, was, at one time, in such a state of delirium, and so much reduced, that I gave him over; but he at length recovered.

“ As the yellow fever seldom attacks any one twice, while he remains near the same place, my apprehensions were now confined to the scurvy and other incidental disorders ; but they were sufficient 10 quicken my anxiety, to find a place for refreshment, whenever it might he wanted. For though my crew were at present in good health and spiri's, I had learned by my former expeditions, that there is no circumstance which operates more favourably on the temper and disposition of sailors in long voyages, (whenever they are attacked with those diseases to which they are so subject and of course so fre. quen ly dread) than the certainty of a port or harbour to which they may be taken; experience having also taught then, that the smell of the shore and change of sea diet, in general, remove the greatest part of their complaints.*"--Pp. 80–82.

Captain Colnett returned to England, on November the ist, 1794, so that his voyage occupied twenty-two months. He was not so successful as a commercial man in the whale fishery as might have been expected, but, as a navigator, he has certainly supplied our merchants and nautical men, with

"I do not pretend to any other medical knowledge, but such as I may have acquired, by some little reading on medical subjects, and the attention I was obligated to pay to the diseases and complaints of feamen, in the various voyages I have made, as it frequently became a nice point to judge, whether a man neglected his duty from idleness or fickness. I also paid particular attention to the practice of the different Indian nations, when an opportunity was afforded me, and, from the circumstance of having no surgeon on board, it became a duty in me, to make part of my study, such an important subject, as the health of my crew ; and I was so fortunate as to succeed in the applications I used, as to restore health through means, which the suggeltions of the moment only dictated to me."

some

fome excellent charts and engravings. The work is dedicated to Sir Philip Stephens, who has both publicly and privately patronized the author ; it is illustrated by fix charts, and ornamented by a well engraved portrait of this Lord of the Adiniralty, and two other engravings. The margin is ur.commonly ample, and we conltantly meet with unclassical expreffions, as “ fouther'd our latitude,” “prepondering in my mind.” But, the information is correct, the longitude and latitude of places are given with precision and accuracy, and the whole voyage is entitled to the perusal, approbation, and thanks of the navigator and the merchant.

Art. VII. The History of the Progress and Termination of

the Roman Republic. By Adam Ferguson, LL. D. F. R. S. E. laté Protessor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, Member of the Royal Academy at Berlin, of the Royal Academy at Florence, of the Etrufcan Society of Anti uaries at Cortona, and of the Arcadia at Rome. A new Edition, in five Volumes, revised and corrected, with Maps. 8vo.

Price il. 155.

Robinsons, London ; Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh. 1799.

N reviewing the edition before us, of a work so very im

portant in any period of literature and politics, but more especially in the present age, when the delire of innovation, so very prevalent, renders an appeal to the moral and political leffons of history and experience peculiarly beneficial, we Mall, for the sake of those readers who may not have recently perused Dr. Ferguson's History, give a short account of the work in general, before we come to the improvements of the present impression.

The contemplation of human nature has been the principal object to which this illustrious man has turned a mind, equalled by few of his time and country in acuteness, force, comprehensiveness, and depth; in the variety, multiplicity, and importance of its attainments. Thoroughly acquainted with ancient lore, deeply conversant with mathematics and physical science, the circumstances in which he was placed, and his own choice, have directed the principal exertions of this veteran in learning and philosophy, to metaphysical, pneumatological, moral, and political enquiries and deductions. He has analysed, investigated, and exhibited man's understanding and affections, with a rigid rejection of hypothefis, and an unvaried adherence to observation and expe

rience.

rience. Having anatomized both the cognitive and adive powers, he has also shewn them in operation, in the various afpects of society and stages of civilization, from the most savage states to the highest pinnacle of refinement, under the molt absurd and wicked institutions, and under the wiseft, most liberal, and beneficial. His labour has been to demonstrate what wisdom and what folly are ; what virtue and what vice are ; how they respectively work, and what effects they produce, beneficial or hurtful, to mankind. Having man before him in his powers, relations, duties, actions, and refults, in all ages and fituations, he undertook to write a history on a subject the most momentous that could engage the thoughts of a philosopher. The grand view he takes of the subject the reader will recollect, by re-considering it as ftated by the author himself, in his introduction :

“ The Romans," he says, “ who made their first step to dominion by becoming heads of the Latian confederacy, continued their pro. gress to the sovereignty of Italy ; or, after many struggles in that country, with nations poffeffed of resources similar to their own, united its forces under their own direction, and from thence forward became the

conquerors of many kingdoms in Asia and Africa, as well as in Europe ; forming an empire, if not the most extensive, at least the most splendid of any that is known in the history of mankind, In posesion of this seeming advantage, however, they were unable to preserve their own institutions ; they became, together with the conquests they had made, a prey to military government, and a signal example of the vicissitudes to which prosperous nations are exposed.

“This mighty ftare, remarkable for the smallness of its origin, as well as for the greatness which followed, has, by the splendour of its national exertions, by the extent of its dominion, by the ability of its councils, or by its internal revolutions and reverses of fortune, ever been a principal object of history to all the more enlightened nations of the weitern world. To know it well is to know man. kind; and to have seen our species under the faireft aspect of great ability, integrity, and courage. There is a merit in attempting to promote the Itudy of this subject, even if the effect should not correfpond with the design.

“ Under this impression the follo:ving narrative was undertaken, and chicily with a view to the great revolution by which the republican form of government was exchanged for despotism, and by which the Roman people, from being joini Sovereigns of a great empire, became, together with their own provinces, the subjects, and often

of a tyranny which was equally cruel to both. « As in this revolution, men of the greatest abilities, poflefled of every art, and furnished with the most ampie resources, were engaged, in opposition, or in concert together, the scene is likely to exhibit what may be thought, in action at least, the utmost range of extent

of

the prey

of a

of the human powers, and what may furnish to those who are engaged an transactions any way funilar, models by which they may profit, er from which they may form found principles of conduct, derived from experience, and confirmed by examples of the highest authority.

“ The event which makes the principal object of this history, has been sometimes considered as a point of separation between two periods, which have been, accordingly, treated apart...the period of the republic, and that of the monarchy. During a considerable part of the first period the Romans were highly distinguished by their genius, magnanimity, and national spirit, and made suitable attainments in what are the ordinary objects of pursuit--wealth and dominion. In the second period they continued, for some time, to profit by the advantages which had been formerly gained ; and while they walked in the tract of the commonwealth, or practised the arts and retained the lessons which former ages had taught, ftill kept their pofletlions. But after the springs of political life, which had been wound up in the republic, no longer continued to act, when the state was become the concern of a single person, and the veftige of former movements was effaced, the national character declined, and the power

great empire became unable to preserve what a small republic had acquired. The example, whether to be shunned or imitated, is certainly inAtructive in either period ; but most so in the transition that was made from one to the other, and in the forfeiture of those public advantages, of which the Roman people, in some part of their course, availed themselves with so much distinction; and which, in the sequel, they abused with so much disorder at home, and oppression of their subjects abroad.

“ With this object before me I hasten to enter on the scenes in which it begins to appear, and fall not dwell upon the supposed history of the first ages of Rome, nor even fiop to collect particulars relating to the forms of the commonwealth, longer than is neceffary to aid the reader in recollecting the circumstances which formed the conjuncture in which this interesting change began to take place."

The history of the commonwealth of Rome, whether we consider its unity and completeness, its beginning, middle, and end; the fplendour of the incidents which it contains, the force, variety, and importance of the characters which it exhibits-of all subjects of that species of composition, presents the most ample field for the exertion of genius and philosophy, and affords the most useful materials for moral and political instruction. Particular portions of Roman history are extant from ancient writers of great industry and genius. Livy, from his introduction, evidently projected the history of the rise, progress, and termination of the Roman republic; and, from the manner in which those parts of his work which have been preserved were executed, we have every reason to believe that he composed a history which exhibited the whole

series

« ForrigeFortsett »