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A Tour up the Straits, from Gibraltar to Conftantinople. Wib
the leading Events in the present War between the Auftrians, Ruffians, and the Turks, to the Commencement of the Year 1789. By Capt. Sutherland, of the 251b Regiment. 8vo.
55. 6d. Boards. Johnson. AS the pleasure arifing fron the perusa) of travels and voy.
ages depends entirely upon the novelty of the scenes de. fcribed, it necesarily lefíens in proportion as these become known. If any particular circumftance could counteract this effect, with respect to the volume now before us, it is that the fubjects of the author's remarks have a kind of irrelistible attraction. Captain Sutherland conducts his readers, almost always, over clasic ground; and where the intervals of his route can supply little entertainment from description, he endeavours to compensate the defect, either by appofite hiftoria cal retrospects, or a narrative of public occurrences. We cannot help thinking that, in regard to both these expedients, especially the latter, he is frequently too diffuse. The news of the progress of the belligerent powers, in 1788 and 1789, may have afforded gratification to the author's correspondents at the time ; but such information is of coo temporary a nature to prove interesting to the public long after the completion of thofe events. On this subject, however, we are willing to grant some indulgence to a military gentleman, who naturally considered the operations of war in a light of particular importance.
The first of the letters is dated from Carthagena, of which the author gives an account. He thence proceeds to the island of Caprea, Baia, and the other celebrated places in the neighbourhood of Naples. He describes the whole in a diftin&t and agreeable manner, not much differing from that of Mr. Swinburne. The following extract will serve our readers as a Specimen :
• We loft no time in seeing the wonders of this extraordinary country. Our first object was to follow Æneas to the Cumean Shore, and on our way thither, it was but just to pay our oblations ac Virgil's Tomb. This celebrated monument is close to the top of the Grotto of Pausilippe, on the left of the east entrance. The infide is a square of twelve feet, with three niches for urns on the cast and west fides, two niches and a door, through which you enter, on the south, and the fame on the north. The roof is arched, and about nine feet high. The outside was originally octagonal, but the angles being worn away, it is now circular, and at a distance looks like the remainsof a small tower. The materials are of the common kind, and
I did not observe any marble near it, except two modern inscripcons.
• Formerly the tomb was surrounded with laurels, but as every idle visitor took a leaf, there is not a sprig left. We could not help exclaiming againft such facrilege ; but our guide endeavoured to comfort us, by saying that the marquis Salcitro had ordered a new set to be planted,
• The Grotro of Poufilippe is at the west end of the suburbs of Naples. It is a public road cut through the mountain, near half a mile in length, and wide enough for two carriages to drive abrealt. Its height is very irregular, in fome parts eighty feet, and at others only five-and-twenty. In the day time you may see from one end to the other, by the help of two large apertures, cut diagonally from the center of the grotto to the furface of the mount; but at night we were obliged to ufe torches, which when any number of vehicles are driving together, trave a most beautiful effect. The bottom, like all Naples, is paved with square pieces of lavt. Its exact date has not been ascer. tained. The common people insist that it was done by enchant. ment, as a proof of which they allege that no stones were found near che entrance. It would be to 110 purpose to tell them, that those who perforated the mount, very naturally made ufe of the stone in building the town.
"But after all, the difficulty in accomplishing this paffage was by no means fo great as one would at first imagine, for the fone is so soft, that, until it has been for some time exposed to the air, you may crumble it to dust. Neither, in my opinion, is this celebrated excavation equal to the batteries, magazines, and communications, formed in the folid rock of Gibraltar by Mr. Inch, under the direction of general Eliott, and continued with astonishing success by major general O'Hara.'
While the thip, in which our author performed his voyage, lay off the coalt of Italy, they were honoured with a visit from the king of Naples, who came in a man of war brig of fourteen guns, attended by another of the faine force. As foon as he was within two miles he got into his barge, and rowed on board the vessel of the voyagers. His majefy, we are told, went all over the thip, praised every part of her, seemed much pleased, thanked them for the honour they did him, and invited the principal persons on board to dine at his casino. He afterwards sent the officers a present of some veq ry fine fish of his own catching, and in the afternoon rowed out again to take another view of the hip. His majesty, says our author, is thirty-fix years old, well made, and rather tall, lean enough to enjoy all his diversions, of a fair complexion, light hair, and an affable, open countenance.
After visiting Sicily the author prooceeds to the Levant, where he gives a short account of the different illands. In * formation to those who have not perused the accounts delivered by the travellers immediately preceding the present author. His defcriptions, in general, are marked with juitness and delicacy; and though he sometimes indulges too much in Boneceffary details, he never is chargeable with duiness,
Sbort Review of the British Government in India; and of the State of ihe Country before the Company acquired the Grant of obe Dewanny. 8vo. 35.
ód. Boards. Stockdale. Notwithftanding the affairs of India have occupied much
of the public attention for several years, the author of the present treatise afirms, that the true stare of that country, with regard to its laws, customs, and manners, the characters of its Mahommedan conquerors, and the conduct of the British government, has neither been fairly explained, nor rightly understood; and with a view, therefore, of supplying this deiect, he has produced the elucidation now before us.
Our author observes, it is the prevailing opinion that the British government in India has been a system of tyranny and injustice; but whatever may have been the faults of fome individaals, he contends that fach an imputation, when applied to the government in general, is totally erroneous; that it is founded on partial reports, and fostered by fallacious accounts. • What has tended chiefly, says he, to propagate and sopport this opinion, is, the great pains and talents which have been employed to circulate it, and the unavoidable ignorance of those into whom it has been instilled respecting the country of India, the fruation in which we found it, and the nature of its inhabitants; their laws, religion, and manners ;' fome knowledge of which is absolutely requisite to form a judgment on the subje&t.
Our author, with much appearance of justnefs and difcerament, imputes the misrepresentations refpecting the affairs of India partly to the nature of the government, and partly to the nature of things; the former of which he proceeds to explain. It was originally composed, he observes, of a council, consisting of a governor and thirteen members; but this number has Auctuated occasionally from fourteen to four, at which it was fixed by an act of parliament in 1784. In this council, which deliberated on every measure of government, relative to peace, war, revenue, or commerce, the governor had 'no other pre-eminence than that of having the cafting vote'; but he was the magistrate inveiled with the power of executing the resolutions of the council; and he enjoyed leveral honorary distinctions, which rendered his office a ftation of some degree of envy and jealousy. A difference of opinion, which is natural to all deliberative assemblies, took place in the council at Calcutta ; and both the passions and interests of the several members being excited, their debates were frequently maintained with heat and violence, which, of course, were infused into the records of the company.
The consequences of those intestine divisions are thus de." fcribed by our author :
« As it is a rule of the East India company's governments, that the opinion of every meinber shall be dilivered in writing, and recorded, and as there were generally to le:s of men in council in opposition to each other, opinions are to be found diametrically opposite on the same measure; and, very frequently, both the measure, and the men who proposed it, are loaded with heavy abuse. This was one great caule of injury to the reputation of the British government in India ; for when the ministry at home were inclined to condemn or reprobate any of its acts, they justified themselves by the opinions of the very members who were on the spot at the time there acts were done, and quoted the sentiments of one party as irrefragable arguments againit the other. Thus the language of irritated animosity has been frequently appealed to as proof of mal-administration, and mere insinuarions and assertions, thrown out in the heat of contentious debate, have been brought forward as so much specific evidence of actual criminality in the persons against whom these insinuations and affertions are levelled.'
This mode of appealing to the opinions of one party in the council, against the determinations of the other, was doubtJess a most dangerous expedient, by the opening which it afford. ed to envy and detraction; but its pernicious effects were aggravated, as our author observes, by a similar diversity of opinions prevailing likewise in the court of directors; by whom the sentiments and prejudices of the members of the council were refpectively adopted, and maintained with equal animosity. The author shews, by a candid detail of facts, the bad consequences resulting from those internal divisions, which exasperating the minds of the different parties, disposed them not only to traduce the characters, but counteract the mea. fures of each other, and sacrifice the interests of the company either to their own, or the gratification of private resentment.
The author next proceeds to explain the other causes of prejudice against the British government in India, or those which he diftinguishes as arising from the nature of things. Under this head he comprehends the fituation of the country, and the fyftem of the company's commerce; the former of which, Vol. LXIX. May, 1790.
he letter from Smyrna, he observes, that though the British Levant trade is more flourishing than it has been for many years past, yet its rise is considerably checked by our own laws, and by the want of a regular lazaretto in England. This defect has been repeatedly complained of, and appears to be fully comfirmed by the remarks of the present voyager.
The scene of the battle of Marathon seems to have been faveyed by our author with peculiar satisfaction; and, in a letter to lord Heathfield, he makes several observations on the subject. We shall select the descriptive part of his account, as affording a more clear idea of the disposition of the two armies than we have hitherto met with.
• This celebrated field is about twelve miles io circumference, and a day's march from Athens. It is washed by the sea on the east, and surrounded by mountains on e.ery other side, except the south-east corner, where the fiat is continued a short space along the more, and afterwards terminated by hills. The part where this flip joins the grand plain, has a large morass in its center, which extends pretty cloie to the hills on one side, and mear the water's edge on the other,
• There are two roads from the plains to Athens; the one by the morals, the other through the town of Marathon, whici lies at the foot of the hills, nearly opposite the center of the plains.
• Miltiades’army, in point of numbers, was not equal to one tenth of the Perfians ; but he knew that by waiting for them under the walls of Athens, he should abandon the country to their ravages, and submit to see them receive their convoys, and gather provisions unmolefted ; and potlibly even subjc&t himself to a famine. He therefore determined, at all events, to keep from between the enemy and the capital, and wait for an opportunity of attacking them to advantage. And this fortune foon gave him. The Perfians having reached the plains of Marathon, accompanied by their feet, pursued the road nearest the sea. Their van had already ascended the heights, their main body filled the flat beneath, and their rear was pats, ing the narrow space on the sides of the morass. Hiftorians tell us, that Miltiades drew his whole strength into his wings, and particularly his right, leaving his center almost open. But as they have not been fufficiently minute in describing the scene of this memorable action, I could not thoroughly perceive the excellence of his disposition, until I beeld the field of baiele.
The morass fupplied the place of troops in his center, The space on the left was but narrow, consequcnily his greatest exertions were required on his right. This the general tho. roughly understood, and at the moment the Pertians were in the lituution I have just described, he rushed from the town of