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To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. vances of which an English or Scotch
man has little idea, frequently a strong SIR,
mno:le of expressing them. They are TURNING over the first volume of kind and hospitable as far as their means
Dr. Blair's Lectures on the Belles allow, live under the same laws, enjoy Lettres, a few days ayo, where he speaks
the same popniar privileges, and have of the Collic language, the following landlords residing among them, at least passage unexpectedly presented. “This
part of the year, wl:o adorn the British tongue was gradually obliterated, and
court and senale with manners provere Biow subsists only in the mountains of
bially polislice, and talents not a little Wales, in the Highlands of Scotland,
distinguished. Are the country manand among the wild Irish.” Doubtful
sions of these gentlemen situated in des whether I had not read the latter extra
ter extra scris or hemmed-in by “wild Irish ?" orslinary phrase (tronconsly, I examined
Surely a little common sense or comisiin
Suurels litike it again; it was however correct; aud I observation
observation may reach us better. Where canuot bot express my astonishment at then arc thes to be found? Perhaus siichi a sentence in a grilve, didactic there are muclimbed menntains, or me work, prosessing to give us solie instruc- explored districts, in which these terrible tion, instead of absurd figures of speech; “ wild Irish” live among the rocks and and implying not only much prejudice, caves. These I could not discover. In but no small share of ignorance of ile
other parts of the kingdom, indeed, I country he spoke of. I call the expreso saw the lower classes quite as much, or xiun a figure of speech, for I am unwil
perhaps more, like wild people, that is, in ling to believe that any man possessing ihe Highlands and Westerii Islands of the smallest share of general knowledgo, Scotland, and portions of the mountains sixould seriously cail any part of the po. of Wales. Here the people and country pulation of Ireland, will. It miglit
are poor; poor in their habitations, poor joint all epigrain iliileed or furnish a in their clothing, poor in their food, and skit for a newspaper paragraphı; but, to preferring the use of their native law. be found in the public lectures of a re
guage, the Celtic, to that of Eugland; in voreni professor of the science of lan
all which points they intimately reseni. guage, scems so singular, that I am com
ble the people of the west of Ireland, pelled to believe the writer utterly un
withont an atom of superiority in any acquainted with the people whorn lie
respect. On the contrary, if civility and mentioned, or willally and injustly ill- attention to strangers, as well as a cer. tending to degrade them.
tain courteousness of behaviour peculiar Should lie not liave told,nis, at least, in
to the peasantry there, be any recomwhat part of the island the wild Irisha
mendation or claim to the epithet civi, reside? I am a lover of curiositics, Mr,
lized, there are few travellers who will Editor, and should therefore take espe.
mot prefer the Irish. Why thien should cial pains to beconie acquainted with the Doctor apply the tern wild to the lliem. I myself have becii over several
over several laster; and, by implication at least, be. parts of Ireland, but never saw any thing lieve the others the contrary? Was like will people; I have been over most
there a particular purposc to answer ? parts of the world, and have seen sa- Or is it a plirasc, of the same vaglic and Facesor what Dr. Blair would have indefinite nature as his scrmons,manucalled such, in Asia, Africa, and America; factured, as has been well obscrved. --fur but corifoss, with all my powers of per- any time, any country, and any religion, ception, and I look pretty closely at na- There was, however, a purpose to alle tional cliaracteristics, I never saw any swer, independent of that general oath thing of this kind in Ireland. Are they of allegiance wbicb most of onr Northern in de Noith? There I fund an active, nejebbours take to their cuntry, to industrious, jutelligent pensantry, equal praise it themselves, and everything perhaps to any in the British cominions, belonging to either, no matter whether not one of whom scarcely ((r at least one good or bad, beyond all other people, in ten) understands the native language. countries, and things in the world. The Are they in the South? There indeed Doctor, it seems, was meditating upon we see an oppressed and uneducated, Ossin. To make the poet and warrior but an open, generous, anıl high-spirited a Scot, would, lie probably thought, rejicople, with strong passions; and, wlien sound to the literary credit of his councndeavouring to get rid of local grie- try. But Ireland having awkward claims
both upon this tuneful ancient and his this being published, have thic anthor reputed poems, which neither lame ar. considerable celebrity. Mr. J , guments, nor bold, it may be said im- editor of the Review, likewise a limb of padent, assertions, could contravert, it the law, alarmed at the growing reputawas convenient thus obliqucly to throw tion of a rival advocate, though in a difa slur upon hier of barbarism ; for ifferent meridian from Edinburgb, took the people were wild when the Doctor 'the generous resolution of doing his utwrote, they must bave been, according most to throw him into the shade. The to fair induction, wretched savages in- unfortunate speech therefore was scized, deed in the days of Ossian, and there manicd, nay, attempted to be torn limb fore incapable of producing such a froin limb, by a critique, as remarkable writer or such poems. That this subject for literary and critical blunders as perwas near his heart, is evident from his haps any among the numbers of ihat dissertation, asserting, against all evi- kind contained in the series of the Redence, internal and outward, traditional vicw. It is remarkable, that not even and actual, the anthenticity of the works Mr. Phillips's party-attachments could published as his by Macpherson. It is save liin. No: though of the same opinot my intention to argue this point lur- nions on political affairs, the same vieirs ther than to remark, that the Doctor, in on religious disabilities, the same dishis Essay, displays much more nation- taste to the general policy of those in ality on this point than dispassionate power, he attempted to render himself judgment and inquiry. That Ossian eminent, if not cloqnent, in the line of may have existed, is probable; that he bis prosession, an effort which the Rewrote the poems, is questionable, perhaps viow determined to prevent. The arvery improbable, considering the utter
ticle was peculiar in many respects. It variance existing among barbarous peo- aimed at a certain tone of civility, to ple of the professions of poet and war- conceal a strong thongli evident feeling rior: that lie was born in Scotland, if a of professional jealousy; it scemed lareal personage, is more assumption; and boured with unusual pains, yet abounded that the poems are the produciion of that in mistakes and contradictions, arising country alone, is an assertion, among the from the unqualified wish to find fault, thousand broached on this subject, most not only with what was perhaps indif. absurd and unsupported by fact.
ferent in the specchi, but with those This air of literary and national ar- points which were generally admitted to rogance wliich so strongly pervadles our be inexceptionable. To do this, pasfrienils north of the 'I'wecd, is really in- sages, paragraplis, sentences, words, sufferable. Where they truly excei, no may even letters, were seized with an one. I believe, denies their mérits;-thry avidity of misrepresentation quite distheinselves take care their light shall not proportionate to their importance. One be lijden under a basliel;- I take plea- of the canons of criticism in this article sure in doing justice to it. But why is remarkable. Alter adınitting that attempt to monopolize what is not yet Ireland has had some orators, it adds, proved to belong to them; or assume that this arises fiom her imperfect civiThose gratuitous airs of superiority i: lizations. This is but a repetition of the civilization and attainments which Dr. slander of Blair ; yet liow any man, with Blair meant to convey. In bim, I must bistory before his eyes, coulil seriously confess, I was surprised to find it. Iu advar!ce this position to the public judgthe pert flippancy of the Edinburgh Re- ment, is astonishing, as it is not merely view, it is less extraordinary; but still contrary to fact, which indeed the Rethe same points are systematically we view cares little abont, but contrary also held, as if Scotland and its authors could to theory, the point in which it chiefly not exist in public opinion, if they ad- ainuscs its readers. Tlie truth is, wo milted of any excellence but their own. have no instance of any orator of emiI wish not to be ungenerous in these nence baving ever existed among imremarks, and am sure I am not unjust; perfectly-civilized nations; nor even one for the illiberality of Blair has been often in the darker ages of Europe. Grecce of late repeated in a variety of forms in possessed them only in her most polished that publication, one of which I cannot days; Rome in her highest state of reavoid noticing.
finement; England and France alone, in Mr. Charles Phillips the Irish bar the brightest days of their literature. rister made, it seems, a very cloquent, These Dations possessed great orators, or supposed cloquent, specch at the bar; precisely because they were of all
others the most civilized. In Spain, For the Monthly Magazine. Italy, Portugal, and the northern nations, LETTERS from the HAVANNAH, descriptive we have not one, or scarcely one in
of the state of society, and ense stance, simply because the human mind
bracing ORIGINAL INFORMATION relawas contracted aud obscured by the po
tive to the ISLAND of cuba. licy of their governments. Oratory, in fiet, is more an art than a gift; an igno T SCARCELY need inform you that rant or an “imperfectly.civilized” man I the merchants first set the example cannot practice it; it requires, above all of providing elegant furniture for their other aris, a vast acquaintance with every apartments; but hitherto there have been thing animate and inanimate in nature ; few invitators. The principal families a deep insight into the human mind and of the island tenaciously adhere to their the springs of human actions, and a ready antique manners and pristine simplicity : application of ibis knowledge to the sulso you scarcely ever see in their saloons jects. Whether Demosthenes, Cicero, any other movables than trunks, thrown Massillon, Bossuet, Lord Chathani, here and there on chairs; these trunks and Burke, were “imperfectly civiliz- take the names of the different articles ed” men, must be determined by other which they represent. That which con. tribunals than the Edinburgh Review. tains papers is called the secretaire, and
It will be asked, what could be the that which holds the linen, the commode ; motives for broaching this absurd doc- so that they are no strangers to the use trine? One is, that the trade of an ano- of French furniture. nymous reviewer requires no responsi- In a comtry wherein the state and bility; and therefore any thing, no mat- condition of society are but in their in. ter what, may be safely asserted without fancy, spectacles, such as the play, the loss of reputation to the writer; for there ball, &c. are a sort of ncedsul distracis no question but Mr. J- would never tions. Let me say a word or two about publish such an opinion with his name the spectacles. They act bere very freto it. Another was covertly to exalt quently those sacred mysteries which so the reputation of Scotland. For, if it delighted our good forefathers. I have could be proved that Ireland, which had witnessed the triumph of the Ave-Maria, given birth to several eloquent men, bad a tragi-comedy, which closes with the done so only because she was barbarous, sudden appearance, in the midst of the it followed very naturally that Scotland, theatre, of a chivalrous worthy, mounted which scarcely ever owned one but Lord on a real horse, shaking at the end of a Erskine, must be at the summit of ei. lance the bloody head of an infidel. vilization. These petty tricks and little T his horrid exhibition excited a titter jealousies are very absurd, as well as ri- of enjoyment in all the spectators. The Diculous; and, 10 those who know any ladies in particular seenied to be higbly thing of Edinburgh, easily sern throngh. entertainedlo fainting fits, no nervons In politics and poetry, the theories and locks How could a mere fictio. dreams of the Editor have woefully aronize the blunt fcelings of women failed to the litter disconfiture of his bärdened by the spectacles of hull-fights, eritical reputation; and he promises to and almost every day meeting with the sustain equal disgrace on the subject of dead body of some human being who oratory. But, in common fairness, why has been assassinated? aim at monopolizing all talent for his The ball aud gaming-rooms are about countrymen. Scotland has her wore a quarter of a league froni the city; and thies, and descrvedly so; but other coulle
ut other count you proceed to them through an avenue,
i tries, it is presumed, have theirs also. at thie end of which appears a little peI know nothing of Mr. Phillips but from destrian statue of Charles III. with prohis publications; he appeared to me, portions but meagre, and a conformity huwever, to be very illiberally and un of costume which throws over the mo. justly trcated by the article in question,
narch an appearance rather grotesque, one of the striking contradictions of
I had almost forgotten to mention, wbich I have not noticed: it admits he that, close to the statue, and on the bigla is a man of genius, but neither an orator, road, vou see a block of marble rudely nur much of a poct; yet, what kind of
sculptured, surmounted with the bust of genius it is I caunot conjecture, as he Christopher Columbus. It is a sort of bas not, to my knowledge, appeared in shapcless mass of that great man, the print in any other character.
design abandoned almost as soon as pro0.P. Q.
jected, the postare, lying in the dust at physiognomy full of expression, and the the fcet of a king, is a pretty significant handsomest little feet in the world, emblem of tho ungrateful treatment would in any country excite an emohe experienced from the husband of tion in the breast oven of a stoic; but he Isabella.
would be quite astonished to find also a Five or six handred volantes convcy soul and senses. the ladies and gentlemen to the ball. At the other end of the room are the rooms. These carriages can only be men, alike seated, but throughout the compared, in point of clegance, to the ball, the two confronting parties do not most ordinary post-chaises; they are mingle; there are certain chevaliers of drawn by a couple of horscs, with a honour who accommodate the dancers black postilioni mounted on one of them. with invitations. In short, there is such On entering the ball-rooms, yon perceive an air of strictness and decorum perthat dancing is but a sċcondary objcct vading the assembly, that one might of the assembly; the first apartments fancy it was copied from the rigid ccthat you cross are supplied with tables remonials practised by the Jesuits of covered with gold and silver; and im- Paraguay, in the balls they gave the mense sumns are lost and gained here natives. with a rapidity and a degree of phlegm All the balls open with a minuct, and unknown in Europe. An additional it is often repeated, not so much by preamusement is, to survey, in the groups, ference as from necessity. It is rather a marchioncss or a countess seated bc- walking however than dancing, being tween a Spanish monk and a Dutch sea. just suited to a country, where the least inan, that waft to her, from the right motion puts you out of breath, and is a and left, the fragrant fumes of their drain upon your strength. cigarres.
When the ladics rise up from their Here the vicious tendency of gam. scats, they lese in a moment half of bling is not soured by public opinion; the graces which fancy had imputed to there is the priest, the noble, the magic them. They bound as if they were lame; strate, the merchant, all sitting in pub- and indeed, the narrow shoes that comtic, about a board of green cloth, with as press their feet, pinch thein severely at much indifference as we can appropriató cvery step they take. Their counteto the most trivial actions. The fa. nances pretty plainly give a different thier of a family goes to place his wife expression to the features. They have and daughters in the dancing-rooms, no corset to keep up their shapes, and and then returns to the gaming-room; they do not know how to put on the all this is in the order of their manners, robe which they wear, the use of robes and no sense of public morals or decorum being of recent introduction. Ten years seems to be hurt by it. Nor does the ago, the ladies used to appear in public slightest disgrace attach to the bankers much in the simple costume of a woman that hold the gaming-money, for some getting out of bed. of these bankers are members of the Themen display superior graces in most illustrious families in the colony. motion, from being more at ease in their It is true that the laws and the ordonfeet; but they appear dostitute of that nances of the governors hold out threate dignity and noblc air which so well be. ening penalties against gaming, but those come the minuet. They are besides towho are to put the laws in execution tally unacquainted with the real chafind it to their advantage to screen the racicr of this dancc; thesc semi-barbaoffenders with their protection. They rians can step up to the ladies very fregive the governor and the intendant to quently in a riding-coat, and always understand that gaming is a necessary either without a hat or else with a round evit; and it should seeni that they back one. .. their assertions with weighty reasons, as It is only the whites that are admitted the doors are always kept open, and to such a ball as I am describing, and it tbey play, one miglit almost say, in the already appears that they cannot boast open air.
of having an accurate tradition of the · But now for the dancing apartment. minuct. This honour may be claimed It is decorated with taste and elegant sim- exclusively by the free ncgrocs. How plicity: a hundred wax-candles reflect much was I surprised to see these nctheir sparkling justre on the women groes of a noble and supple shape, seated at one end of the room. Your respectfully advancing to their ladies entrance is the most favourable moment with a three-cornered hat in hand, and to catch the illusion; large black eyes, a with a dignity wbich begins to grow MONTHLY MAG. No. 337.
scarce in Europe? The negresses are where the emigrant and his family would not eclipsed by their cavaliers; all their wish to settle. Now, how is this possi. movements are replete with grace and ble, when we have no survey of that nobleness; nor do they torture their feet country, although we have had it in our to conceal their true dimensions. A possession twenty years. How different right taste presides at their toilettes; the French government on those occatheir rich dresses do not jostlc with ele- sions! The first thing they do, on taking gance; and they wear their rohes with possession of a new colony, is to set an ease that would create admiration in their engineers to work to survey it, and the most assiduous of our opera loun- publish the plan immediately. Our gogers.
vernment sent out a general officer to I had entered the negroes' ball, to take the Island of St. Domingo, with a make mcrry for a few minutes at their map taken out of the Gentleman's Ma: expense; but that was impossible. What gazine! I beheld was far superior to what I had Without an accurate survey of a quitted; and had any one then addressed colony, those who go out there to settlo me on the subject of comparison, main- must lose much time, and spend the taining the superiority of the whites over principal part of their money, before the blacks, I should have given a short they know where to pitch thcir tent, as answer: "Only open your eyes, and speak suitable to the line in which they are to plainly what you think.'
follow; whether a wine-growcr, a farThe decent gaiety of these blacks, mer, a grazier, a miller, or in pursuit of men and women; the mildness of their mines; because, if there are mines of iron, physiognomy, and the affability of their and I am told there are, and that the iron manners, render it iinpossible to refuse ore yields from sixty to eighty per cent.: them the sentiments of our benevolence. if this be the case, is it not necessary to Nature has gifted them with the endow- know whereabouts those mines are ? in ments of improvisatori and musicians; what district; whether they are far distant and I do not hesitate to predict, that if from the coast; if they are near to a river ; over the island shall possess a colonial if therc is fuel to burn near hand, or if literature, it is the blacks that will en- there is coal; if it is possible to havo gross the merit of the obligation. water-communication, &c. &c.
My letter so far is pretty long, and I Now, I say it is impossible for a fafeel the call for repose. If I recruit my mily to go out on such chimerical ideas, strength in another month, I intend to as many perlaps will adventure, with report the condition of the blacks in out ruination to themselves, unless they slavery; the state of the arts and sci have an accurate map of the country; ences; to notice the government and the and as government have held out to the tribunals, the clergy and noblesse, the world, that they will assist in the emi. political bias of the population, the plan- gration, they should have published betations, culture; and, lastly, the deplor- fore this an accurate map of that coun. able lut of such Europcans as resort try. Pray, what is the whole herd of hither with the hopes of realizing an engineers about, but eating the bread of establishment. I mean also to furnish idleness, spending their money and time you with some statistical notices that at billiard-tables and coffee-houses ? may prove interesting to the amateurs. Why do not the government, if they
have any maps, publish them? But I To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. doubt it. The people bave a right to SIR,
expect this information. What are T HAVE just read Mr. Burchell's all the excessive taxes for, but to pay 1 letter to those emigrants who are these people in their several depart. disposed to go to the Cape. I under- ments? Why not, in this time of peace, stand he has lately returned from thence, make them go out? Our government where he had been nearly four years tra- is supine, and behind every other govelling in search of natural history, bo- vernment in these things. tanical collections, and mineralogy; and, What have we done at Ceylon? We as he must know the country better than know nothing of that island; no surrey. any one, bis information must naturally What bave we done, or wbat do we be more useful than of any gone before know, of Demerara ? a colony, if it was him. He mentions some things as actually known, worth half our West most highly necessary. He says, that India possessions put together. We the first step is, to pitch upon the spot have no survey of that colony, no know.