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to Mr. Hunt, that he might have found the unattractive creed' a very consoling one under the sorrows and apprehensions which gave rise to the poem; and therefore, for the sake of others who may be visited in the same way if not for his own, he should hesitate before he lifts up his voice to undermine its influence.
But what shall we say of the next poem, addressed to J. Hunt four years old?--surely this must have been a real effusion for the nursery, and have crept into the volume by accident.
Ah, little ranting Johnny,
How can you-can you be so?'-p. liii. How master Dick can be so? may be matter of wonder; but it seems to us far more strange, how master Dick's father could be so ill-advised as to publish nearly a hundred lines such as those last quoted, that have neither fancy nor prettiness to recommend them, not even homely verity and simplicity to excuse them-nothing, in short, but affectation and silliness to distinguish them: they are neither a poet's address to his child, nor a nurse's lullaby—but just what might have been expected from a pert, forward boarding-school girl in her seventh or eighth year. Mr. Hunt however delights in such effusions; in the next page, on hearing a little musical box, he breaks out in this exquisite man
" Hallo-what? where?-what can it be
That little tin-box playing so.' If Master Dick loquitur' had stood at the head of this poem, there would have been at least a dramatic propriety in it; and if
, as we shrewdly suspect, the lines really were dictated by him, it
is a little unfatherly to deprive him of the honour of their production. But our limits oblige us to have done; we therefore
pass over the remainder of the foliage, that we may give our readers a specimen of the evergreens, as Mr. Hunt is pleased to denominate his translations from the poets of antiquity, imagining, we suppose, that copies however taken would retain the perpetual bloom of their originals. Mr. Hunt shall here be his own critic. “In the translations from Homer my object is to give the intelligent reader, who is no scholar, a stronger sense of the natural energy of the original, than has yet been furnished him.' This is the rule, now for the example; we refer our readers who are scholars to the 253d line of the last book of the Iliad; and those who are not, to the corresponding passage in that elegant mistake of Pope's in two volumes octavo, called Homer's Iliad.'
• Be quicker-do—and help me, evil children,
Down-looking set! Would ye had all been killed
ye get the chariot ready and set The things upon it here, that we may go ?'—p. 12. We hardly know whether to admire most the spirit or the fidelity of this rendering; but however good this is, Mr. Hunt is more confident of the other pieces, and he thinks he may venture to say, that the reader who does not feel something pathetic in the Cyclops, something sunny and exuberant in the Rural Journey, and even some of the gentler Greek music in the elegy on the death of Bion, would not be very likely to feel the finer part of it in the originals. All, however, that he answers for is, that he has felt them himself, like the sunny atmosphere which they resemble.' Now for the example again, and it shall be of the sunny and exuberant kind.
Dear Lycidas, cried I, you talk indeed
It is a feast we're going to. . Some friends
Than frogs the grasshoppers.'--p. 25. Who does not feel a glow reflected on him from the sunny atmosphere of these lines? A few hundred of them carefully packed and hermetically sealed would be a valuable addition to the stores of the Dorothea and Isabella, if, in spite of our hopes and predictions, they should chance to be frozen up in the polar básin.
We have done, and we trust Mr. Hunt' will pardon us these public compliments for our own sakes, and for sincerity's. He possesses talents, which might have made him a useful citizen, and a respectable writer; but he wants sound principle and Christian humility; and the want of them has made him as a citizen what we do not like to name, and as a writer only not contemptible because he is sometimes pernicious. Had he been thoroughly well principled, and properly humble, he might still have been anxious to improve the taste and manners of his countrymen as well as to correct the abuses of their government; but he would not have undertaken the task without a due sense of its difficulty, and a diffidence, at least, of his own ability to perform it. Instead of rushing with boy-like presumption to his task, he would have passed years in silent study and diligent observation; instead of panting with womanish impatience for immediate notoriety, and courting it in the poor publicity of a weekly paper, instead of demanding perpetually-renewed gratification for a diseased vanity, protruding every fresh fancy crude as it came from the brain, and sacrificing every thing for the worthless applause of the mob, he would, like Achilles, have abstained from the battle till he had possessed himself of the heavenly armour; in the mean time he would have derived ample enjoyment from his cause, and his conscience, and if he desired any other reward, it would have been the applause of the few now, and undisputed and immortal fame hereafter. How painful is it to turn our eyes upon the contrast before us! Mr. Hunt is indeed a most pitiable
man, and whatever he
think of us, we do pity him most sincerely. He began life, we doubt not, with pure and lofty dreams; he must now feel that he has taken the wrong course, that he can never realize them—he has put on himself his own trammels, he knows that he has done so, they gall him, but he can never break them. Henceforth all will be wormwood and bitterness to him: he may write a few more stinging and a few more brilliant periods, he may slander a few more eminent characters, he may go on to deride venerable and holy institutions, he may stir up more discontent and sedition, but he will have no peace of mind within, he will do none of the good he once hoped to do, nor yet have the bitter satisfaction of doing all the evil he now desires; he will live and die unhonoured in his own generation, and, for his own sake it is to be hoped, moulder unknown in those which are to follow.
Art. IV. Narrative of an Expedition to explore the River
Zaire, usually called the Congo, in South Africa, in 1816, under the Direction of Captain J. H. Tuckey, R. N.;—to which are added the Journal of Professor Smith, some General Observations on the Country and its Inhabitants ; and an Appendix, containing the Natural History of that Part of the Kingdom of Congo through which the Zaire flows. Published by permission of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 4to. Lon
don. 1818. PERHAPS it is not too much to say that, with the single excep
tion of the expedition now on its way for exploring the polar regions, no enterprize, since the voyages of Cook, excited a greater share of public interest than that of Captain Tuckey to explore the river Congo, and, by tracing it to the northward, to attempt the solution of that great geographical problem—the termination of the Niger--which, as Park has emphatically stated in bis Memoir to Lord Camden, may be considered, in a commercial point of view, as second only to the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope ; and, in a geographical point of view, as certainly the greatest discovery that remains to be made in this world. The occurrences and results of this ill-fated attempt are now before the public; and the volume which contains them must be considered as an important and valuable addition to the records of African discovery. As this subject has occupied a distinguished place in our pages, we take this early opportunity to resume it, in tracing the history of this unfortunate voyage; after which we shall take a brief prospective view, favourable, as we think, to the hope of better success inthe prosecution of future discoveries.
The motives which gave birth to the expedition for exploring the Zaire, the preparations for carrying it into execution, the selection of the officers, and the instructions given to Captain Tuckey, and the scientific gentlemen who accompanied him, are detailed at considerable length in a very interesting - Introduction by the Editor,' who is stated in the publisher's advertisement, though not in the title-page, to be Mr. Barrow, Secretary of the Admiralty. It contains also a few brief Sketches, which the editor has been able to collect, of the professional and literary history of those valuable men, who may
be said to have fallen the victims of a too ardent zeal in the pursuit of science, which, how much soever we may lament, leaves nothing for us to censure.' Of those unfortunate and enterprizing men we shall have to speak hereafter.
The voyage, as we are told, was planned with the view of solving, or of being instrumental in solving, a great geographical problem, in which all Europe had for some time manifested no common degree of interest. The immediate and primary object therefore was to determine, by tracing the Zaire upwards, whether the impressịon, which had been so strongly rooted in Park's mind, of this river being identical with the Niger, was founded in fact;should it turn out otherwise, the examination of this great stream would, at any rate, it was thought, furnish the means of procuring more correct, as well as more extensive, information respecting an important part of that ill-fated country, whose unhappy natives, without laws to restrain or governments to protect them, have too long been the prey of a senseless domestic superstition, and the victims of a foreign infamous and rapacious commerce.'
The arguments in favour of the identity of the Niger and the Zaire, an hypothesis first suggested by Mr. Maxwell, and strenuously supported by Park to the moment of his departure from Sansanding, we have already stated in our Review of Park's Journal of a Mission into the Interior of Africa';* in which we also endeavoured to combat the objections urged by his biographer against the hypothesis of their identity. As the same ground nearly is taken up in the Introduction, it will only be necessary for us, in this place, to refer our readers to the Article just mentioned. We shall see presently how far the hypothesis has been corroborated by the present expedition.
In making the necessary preparations, it was suggested by Sir Joseph Banks, that a steam-engine might be found useful to impel the vessel against the rapid current of the river, when the wind should fail or prove foul. It was known that, on the banks of the
* No. XXV. Art. VI.