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had a happy effect; the vessel did not blow up till ine was too far distant to involve the others in her disaster.'

The fourth letter presents us with an account of the Cape of Good Hope, the ouran outang, hippopotamus, and the Cape fheep, with some fingular customs of the Hottentots; after which detail, the author enters upon an ingenious comparison of a ftate of civilization with that of nature. In the next letter the feet, after failing from the Cape, arrives at the island of Johanna; the soil, produce, inhabitants, and government of which, the author describes, as usual, in a lively manner; and gives the following instance of the pious frauds practised by the mufti in this country:

• The fame arts that were formerly practised in the Roman Catholic church, to keep the people in ignorance, and increase their veneration for the priesthood, are to be seen here in full effect. But the instruments employed are much more simple than the relicks, flagellations, and miracles of the Catholic priests; being in fact nothing but a few holy ducks. These birds are supposed to be inspired with the knowledge of futurity, and the mufti is the only person who has the privilege of consulting them. When the men of the greatest wisdom are at a loss how to act in the af. fairs of the state, or are doubtful of the issue of some important enterprize, the high priest, in folemn procession at the head of his clergy, proceeds from the mosque to the ponds, where these facred birds take up their abode, and addresses to them his moft fervent prayers and supplications. If the ducks approach their reverend votaries of their own accord, the omen is good; if they keep aloof it is doubtful. In the latter case the priests entice them to draw near by offering such food as they are fond of, and the mufti having consulted them on the bufineis in hana, such a course of conduct is observed as they are supposed ta, dictate.?

The civil polity in the island of Johanna is more worthy of ap probation. The punishments inficted by the laws are calculated to be at the same time a correction of the offender and an example to the other inhabitants. When a criminal is convicted of theft, he suffers the loss of his hand. This punishment, the author observes, appears more likely to restrain men of evil difpositions then any now used in Europe. The death of a malefactor impresses the minds of the spectators only at the instant of the execution, and is soon effaced from their remembrance ; but a person so conspicuously mutilated is a constant example and living monument of the vengeance of the laws wherever he goes. The captain admits it is true that the man so treated is rendered useless and perhaps burthenfome to society; but the terror that be Atrikes into those who are inclined to similar acts of immo

fality,

a

rality, more than compensates for that inconvenience; and in Rhis we agree with our anthor.

Mr. Le Couteur, though a military gentlemen, reasons with much plaufibility on the cause of the scorbutic and febrile diforders, which seized on the crews of the ships in their paffage to Johanna. He ascribes the sickness chiefly to a deficiency of fresh water; observing that a pint of water in the day is insufficient to dilute a quantity of grofs and heavy food, and to repair the waste of fluids which pass off by perspiration in a hot climate. Though we have fome doubts with regard to the pathology advanced by the author, we cannot hesitate a moment to admit the justness of this remark. But why, in fuch an exigence, was recourse not had to the method of freshening fea-water? The water thus produced, we know, is not entirely palatable; but it might be rendered less offenfive by the juice of oranges or lemons, or even by a small addition of vinegar, dulcified, if required, with a little sugar.

In the next letter, we find the ships, after leaving Johanna, obliged, on account of sickness, to put into the bay of Morbet in Arabia. The author observes that it is difficult to account for the pompous epithet of happy which is given to this part of Arabia, unless indeed we should fuppofe it to be ironical; for they could perceive nothing neceffary for the fuftenance of human life for the extent of more than twenty miles of country. The whole coast offers no other prospect to the eye than a dismal chain of barren and rocky mountains. Our author, however, was afterwards told, though with what truth is uncertain, that in a remote period, the territory of Morbet was fo fruitful, as, not undeservedly, to be called a part of Arabia the Happy, bat a deluge, which laid the country under water, swept away the foil, leaving nothing behind but the naked rock. A vague tradition may not be regarded as fufficient for establishing the fact; but that fimilar events have happened in others parts of the globe, appears from history to be unquestionable.

Immediately on the author's arrival at Bengal he enters apon a detail of the military transactions in India, which he relates in a distinct manner, and, we have no reason to doubt, with fidelity. The narrative of these operations, through which we cannot pretend to accompany him, is frequently interspersed with anecdotes, and a description of the manners of different people. Nor bas the author been sparing of his reflections on a variety of occasions. Indeed he appears sometimes so much disposed to moralizing, that the narrative of the historian is lost in the fpeculations of the philosopher. But in all those disgressions, he aims either at being instructive or entertaining; and where we cannot award him the praisc of being profound or convincing, it must at leaft be acknowledged, that he is invariably ingenions and spirited. Whether his reflections on the conduct of officers be in any degree tinctured with prejudice, we cannot take upon as to determine; but he is very free in his animadverfions not only on general Mathews and admiral Hughes, but other officers in particular circumstances.

The following extract affords a lively description of the hardships fustained by the British prisoners at Chittledrough:

• Not having been permitted to shave, our beards foon attain. ed their full growth : this gave us so venerable, and at the fame tine so grotesque an appearance, that we could hardly forbear smiling at each other. Our stock of linen was reduced to two or three shirts each; and, to add to our distress, the washer was forbid to attend the prison oftener than once in a month or fix weeks ; so that we were two or three weeks without shifting. In the mean time our shirts accquired a brown crust, which gave them the stiffness of buckram, while legions of fleas, bugs, and lice, those fociable insects that never defert man in his misery, covered every part of them, or frolicked on our bodies, without allowing us any respite by night or day. In vain we waged cons ftant war with these pefts; they multiplied faster than we could defroy them, and revengefully satiated themselves with our blood, left us wounded to the very bone. The scorpions and snakes also were our visitors, and condescended to share with us. the horrors of the prison.

• Rats, which we might have turned to some account, were not less numerous than other vermin; it was not unusual to find two or three of them quietly feated on our faces when we awoke in the morning. Thofe gentlemen, who lept with their mouths open, sometimes suffered the most difguting defilement; in Nort they were so intolerable a nuisance, that we at last determined, whatever trouble it might cost us, to declare open war against, and extirpate them.

One night about twelve o'clock, when these vermin, without fear of traps, cats, or poison, were plundering our provifions, or strolling by thousands about the prison, we fprung out of bed arming ourselves with brooms, clubs, and sticks. Some of us were posted in ambuscade to cut off the retreat of the enemy, while others, attacking them in front, put them to rout with great Daughter. The noise of the battle, the cries of the dying, were heard a far; while the walls of the prison fhook, and the ground resounded under our feet. Our guards, in spite of all their valour, were panick-struck ; and confidering this tumult as a dreadful prelude to fome desparate attempt, uttered the most piercing cries of distress.'

In the course of these Letters, the author has given, from his own observation, a sketch of the manners, customs, and superfitions of the Hindoos; which though coinciding in general with more copious accounts, may be juftly regarded as a useful

and

and pleasing abstract on that interresting subject. Or the wholar these Letters afford much entertainment as well as variety of information. The translator, acknowledges that he has used much freedom with the original, but assures us, at the same time, that the meaning and spirit of the author have been carefully preserved.

a

Characters and Anecdotes of the Court of Sweden. 2 Volumes.

8vo. 125. Boards. Harlow. WE E are informed by an advertisement, that the materials con

tained in these volumes are taken from a manufcript, which came into the poffeffion of a traveller, lately returned from a tour in the northern parts of Europe. The author is fupposed to be a courtier; and his object is to give a circumstantial account of all interesting events, of which he had been an eyewitness, in Sweden, from the year 1770 till the month of June. 1789; with the characters of the most remarkable persons of both fexes, and anecdotes relating to their private life, as well as to the part which they have acted in public affairs.

The author is a desultory writer, apparently regardlefs of chronological order in his narrative; but the facts which be relates appear to be authentic, and the characters, though in general frivolous, seem to be drawn with juftness and discernment. He gives the following account of the king of Sweden:

• As to the character of the king of Sweden, he is generally allowed to be one of the most amiable and popular princes in Europe. He has a particular gift to gain the heart of every one, His conversation in public is full of wit, politeness, and a kind attention to make every one easy; in private he lpeaks with the cordiality and fimplicity of a friend; he grants favours with apparent satisfa&tion to himself, and knows how to refuse withOur giving uneahness. His clemency is founded on his great sensibility, which could never yet permít him to punish with death or infamy any one personally known to him. He has of ten wished that he might never unavoidably be forced to such an act of severity, because the remembrance would ever make him unhappy. It may be faid that he inherits bis father's heart

li with the genius of his mother. Had he been a private man, he would have made his fortune either in the line of politics or literature. His knowledge in history and diplomatics is pro digious; his public speeches in the diets, and upon other occabons, have an uncommon force and elegance, worshy {uch a speaker; and several plays he has composed for the newly con stituted national stage, are of a richness in their compofitioa and purity in their morals that bespeak the prince and the legiSlator, and notwithstanding all the pains he had taken to prevent

being known as the author, it foon became no fecret that they were from the pen of majesty.'

To what rank his Swedish majesty is entitled in respect of literary genius, as we do not recollect to have seen any of the royal productions, we cannot determine; but it is a circumstance which ought not to be admitted, that though an avowed author, he was never known to entertain the smallest jealousy of any candidate for literary fame. A want of fincerity has, it seems, been imputed to his majesty ; but the author of the manuscript is at pains to exculpate him from this charge; as he likewife does from a few others, indeed with all the appearance of jus: tice.

In such a work as the present, our readers may expect to meet with an account of the queen of Sweden: the author has not omitted to give some traits of so distinguished a personage; but they are so closely connected with a piece of secret history, that, to exhibit them properly, it is necessary for us to insert the whole of the following extract :

Next to the king, the queen is a worthy object of our attention. Among other eminent qualities in that princess, it is perhaps her first merit that the meddies not in politics : she is the king's wife, and nothing else., Sweden has had sufficient experience of the evils arising from female influence in political matters, and rejoices to see upon the throne a queen poffe ffed of all the charms of sex, and confining her ambition within the practice of its virtues.

With all her accomplifhments, she was not so happy at first as to captivate the inclination and confidence of her spouse, then prince of Sweden. Her countenance and manners, at her first arrival in that country, bore too visible ́marks of the constraint and severity of her education under the queen dowager of Denmark, and the reception she met with from the queen

of Sweden, her mother in law, was not at all encouraging. She had also about her person fume Danish domestics, who, to have her entirely in their power, inspired her with continual fear and dif. fidence, which naturally caused a reserve and coldness in 'her behaviour and totally removed the prince's affection.

• She led a very retired life as princess, but as soon as her husband had mounted the throne, and wished to see the court more frequented than it had been during the reign of his father, and had fignified his desire to the queen that she thould appear oftener in public and receive the nobility into her company; The readily obeyed, and appeared as content as the happiest queen in the world. She was the more a sufferer as the really loved the king; but thinking herself flighted, pride would not permit ber to betray the secret of her heart. She bore her dif. grace with patience and refignation for several years, until an

accident

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