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For nature, shocked to view her own disgrace,
And to extinction doomed the monster-brood.'_V. 1059. Dr. Busby frequently rivals Creech, and sometimes undoubt-edly excels him, as in the following passage :
-, sed primum, quicquid aquai
But, lest the mass of waters prove too great,
But leşt too high the briny flood should swell,
Through former beds, and seek th' increasing seas. -Busby. In the following extract from the beautiful commencement of the second book, Dr. Busby is equally successful against Dryden, whose version is in every one's hand.
« Oh wretched mortals, souls devoid of light,
What though thy mansion with no silver shine,
Calmly they lie, nor dream of needless wealth.” Appended to each book is a body of commentaries closely printed, and a life of Epicurus. From this portion of the work we had selected several remarks, but we must retire, like satisfied guests. The style is generally turgid and inflated, the poetical illustration is mostly dug for in the mine of Wakefield, and the earlier Latin critics : and the philosophy borrowed frotn Creech, who himself pilfered without scruple from Gassendi. The Doctor throughout shews much unwillingness to acknowledge obligations of this nature,
On the whole, although we are not of the opinion of Possevin, that parts only of Lucretius ought to be perused, we think that parts only ought to be translated. The philosophical majesty of Lucretius is hardly attainable in modern language; such princi
; ples drest in poetry must ever be uninviting, and, in a great degree unintelligible. We speak however with deference discipularum inter cathedras, while our parties are enlightened by female metaphysicians, and ladies assist at Galvanic lectures. For the present, we are content with Creech ; and rest in the hope that when good versions shall have been made of those poets whose title to them we have cursorily examined, the docti furor arduus Lucreti will find a kindred soul in some translator of learning, discrimination, and poetical talent.
ART. VIII. 1. A Picturesque Journey to the North Cape. By A.F.
Skioldebrand ; translated from the French. London. Richard
son; 1813. Pp. 270. 2. Travels through Norway and Lapland during the years 1806,
1807, and 1808. By Leopold Von Buch, Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin. Translated from the original German, by John Black, with Notes and Illustrations chiefly Mineralogical, and some Account of the Author, by Robert Jameson, F.R.S.E. FL.S. &c. Professor of Natural
History in the University of Edinburgh. Illustrated with Maps
and Physical Sections. Pp. 484. 4to. London. 1813. -3. Voyage dans le Nord de l'Europe consistant principalement de
Promenades en Nerwege, et de quelques Courses en Suède dans Bannée 1807. Suivi d'un Appendice contenant des Remarques historiques et physiques, &c. &c. &c. Par A. Lamotte, avec des planches, et une carte de Norwège, &c. Pp. 244. 4to. A Londres. 1813
CHE north of Europe has been styled by a Gothic historian the
forge of the human race. I should rather call it,' says Montesquieu,' the forge in which those powerful instruments were fabricated which broke the chains rivetted in the south for the subjection of mankind;' and Scandinavia may claim the high prerogative of being the source of all the liberty we now enjoy. By the later historians of the Roman Empire, the Goths are described as a ferocious and uncivilized people, and hence we have been accustomed to connect with their name an idea of barbarism which by no means belongs to them; for instead of bringing mere havoc and devastation in their train during their progress southward, they imparted to the nations which they subdued, a spirit of independence, and a taste for military glory, that had ceased to exist in the corrupt ages of Rome; and although the bright Game of liberty which they introduced, was for a time obscured, it at length began to shew itself with various degrees of force, in the different quarters of civilized Europe. The northern tribes have from this cause acquired a domestic claim, as it is called by Gib
ba bon, to our attention and regard.
Independently however of the curiosity which we naturally feel to search into the early history of a people to whom we are so much indebted, and to extract some conclusive facts from the
, obscurity in which it is involved, there is something peculiarlyinviting in the first annals of these frozen regions; we dwell with
s delight upon the wild mixture of superstition and romance which pervaded their mythology and poetical compositions, and our admiration is excited by the chivalrous spirit and fearless intrepidity which so peculiarly distinguished the descendants of Odin. This chieftain, according to received tradition, was compelled by Pompey, after the fall of Mithridates, to abandon Asgard, his native seat, on the banks of the Mæotis, and to move westward with his tribe, the Ases, in quest of new settlements. He sought an asylum in Sweden; became the legislator of Scandinavia, and the founder of a new religion.*
Pontoppidan remarks that the
manners of the Norwegians are, in some respects extremely similar to those of the Georgians, as described by Chardin.
Seandinavia is described by Pliny as an island of considerable though uncertain magnitude, and no precise limits are assigned to it by any ancient author with whom we are acquainted; to the eastward we find Finningia, another island of not less importance, and the modern names of Schönland or Scania, and Finland, by which these countries are now designated, are expressive of the supposed beauty of the regions to which they belong. Though we may reasonably attribute to the imperfect knowledge of geography which the ancients possessed, the mistaken notion as to the insular position of these countries, it may also be accounted for in another manner. The diminution in the height of the Baltic sea, is an object to which the attention of the Swedish philosophers has for some time been directed, and it is noticed by two of the travellers whose works we have under review. If the sinking of the water in this quarter has continued in regular proportion from the carliest times, at the period when Pliny wrote, the flat country of Scandinavia must have been covered with the sea, and the high lands appeared, as they are described by him, as so many islands of various forms and dimensions. That at least is the opinion which is hazarded by Gibbon on a subject which admits of much curious speculation.
The adventuroụs spirit of individuals has by degrees afforded us the requisite information respecting many parts of the globe with which the ancients were but imperfectly acquainted ; and we are much indebted to those travellers, who have in various directions traversed countries little known, and which promised but scantily to repay
their labour. It is with this impression that we have ventured to call the attention of our readers to the translations of the Travels of Skioldebrand and Von Buch, who by different routes explored their way to the North Cape. The former may not be unknown to them as the companion of M. Acerbi ; and though we nust confess that his book wears a most unfashionable
appearance in these days of ponderous and oppressive quartos, we are not disposed on that account to treat it with contempt. The original work, which was published at Stockholm, is of larger dimensions, as the engravings form the chief and most valuable part; from these M. Acerbi has apparently borrowed most of the plates which accompany his volumes, and this he has done, so far as we remember, without any acknowledgment.
Colonel Skioldebrand is an officer of some reputation in the Swedish service. In the year 1905 he was ordered to conduct a brigade which he commanded, to the support of the army then opposed to the Russians in Finland; in this expedition he was not fortunate. We believe he has since been serving under the Crown Prince in Holstein, as we observe his name in more than one of en are
the Swedish bulletins. The occasional reflections with which his work is interspersed, give us a favourable opinion of his sense and feeling; and the artist-like manner in which he describes the scenery he visited, inclines us to think more highly of his taste, than of the common run of picturesque travellers.
He sets out from Stockholm, as he tells us, with the expecta- . tion of confirming his previous opinion, that good and evil equally distributed to the inhabitants of all parts of the world, and hoping still to hear,
• The shiv'ring tenant of the frozen zone
Boldly proclaim the happiest spot his own.' The first object which arrests bis attention on leaving Griselham, is the appearance of the Frozen sea, which he was preparing to cross, and we were somewhat surprized to find that he was not more familiarized with this singular spectacle. A native of more temperate climes might indeed be excused for entertaining some uneasy sensations whilst driving at a distance from land, through vessels imbedded in ice, or amongst glaciers which the wind and currents have beaped up: but there is no part of the sea which washes the Swedish coast, that is not partially frozen over in severe winters. After some trifling disasters however on the passage, our traveller reaches the rock on which the telegraph is placed, which communicates with Griselham, about thirty miles distant from the Swedish coast. His satisfaction on setting foot again on terra firma, appears here to have transported him beyond his usual tone of sober description, and to have blinded him to the inconveniences of the spot. He babbles, like Falstaff,
green fields, and a tavern, neither of which pleasing objects we, for our parts, were ever able to discover, though we had full leisure to observe all the qualities of the isle,' during a dreary sojourn of several days, in hourly expectation of crossing the gulph to Sweden. Nothing in fact can be more beautiful than the appearance of the islands in this part of the Baltic sea during the summer months, nor can more desolate quarters be imagined during the long night of winter.
On the eastern side of the gulph are situated the flourishing towns of Abo, Wasa, and Ulleaborg, all places of considerable traffic in the raw materials with which the north of Europe abounds. Owing to the gradual diminution of the water of the Baltic, it is said that the barbours at these perts are much deteriorated; but the population of Abo is still reckoned at upwards of 8000, and that of Ulleaborg, which is next to Abo in importance, at 4000.
The Ostrobothnians are an honest and industrious people. Their habitations, though not exaetly fitted up according to our ideas of