תמונות בעמוד

of being surrounded by a trackless forest, inhabited by savages, it is now intersected by a canal, which opens communication with regions peopled by a civilized, industrious race. What a marvellous alteration! It has also issued an octavo volume filled with erudite matter, the acquisition of which, by the author, must be considered creditable to him, however its misapplication may be regretted. Such a volume, issuing from such a place, may be regarded as a moral and physical phenomenon.

Our limits do not permit us to bestow more than a cursory notice on the other volume at the head of this article. Miss Livermore has been a changeling in religion as well as Mr. Thompson, and equally considers herself under divine guidance. It would, however, be no difficult task to show, that she has been under much delusion. Her imagination has not been controlled by her judgment; hence, she has fallen into extravagancies and inconsistencies common in such cases. Incoherent and rhapsodical as her Narrative is, it is not altogether destitute of value, contributing, like that of Colley Cibber's daughter, Mrs. Clark, to our stock of specimens of female extravagants. Both of them exhibit erratic dispositions, not properly curbed by parental authority, and setting at defiance public opinion: the one, however, is an itinerant preacher; the other was a strolling player. Lady Hester Stanhope, who has connected herself with a tribe of Bedouin Arabs, is, we suppose, of a similar turn of mind. Mrs. Royal and Miss Wright must, we think, be put in the same class, the great disparity in mental powers between some of these women being no proof to the contrary.

Miss Livermore's mode of interpreting the Divine will, may appear satisfactory to her admirers, but to others it will probably be deemed no more conclusive than Wesley's, when he resorted to sortilege, or Lord Herbert's, of Cherbury, when, being doubtful whether to publish his work, De Veritate," he prayed for a sign from Heaven, and immediately heard an unusual sound in the higher regions of the atmosphere! This he considered to be a proof of the approbation of God, and published it accordingly! The favourable opinion of Grotius, which he had previously obtained, would, it might be supposed, have been more relied on, by a man of Lord Herbert's philosophical mind, than such an equivocal answer to prayer. These things serve to show the proneness of the human mind, to believe in what is supernatural. By bringing them in juxtaposition, we are desirous of aiding the cause of vital religion, satisfied that that cause is often injured by the injudicious zeal of many of its advocates. The soul that is properly humbled before God, and desirous of ascertaining and performing his will, must necessarily beware of mistaking the fervours of an exalted imagination, for the dictates of the infallible monitor. Equally careful must it be to avoid presumption, in expecting visible signs in corroboration of the Divine purposes. We have judged it suitable to express so much, lest it should be ignorantly inferred, that while exposing certain extravagances in religion, our aim has been to discredit religion itself. Truth may assume the guise of fiction in order to become attractive; but when fiction would be received as truth herself, and not as her proxy, judgment must interpose and manifest the deception. The entire freedom of religious opinion and action, the mobility of the American character, the increase of the evangelical sects, the worldly advantages resulting from the affectation of inten: e piety, will occasion the United States to abound with self created" apostles of righteousness” and “new lights,” infatuated with their own theological notions, and restlessly anxious to get into their special keeping the souls of their neighbours.


No. XVI.



1.-Rough Notes taken during some rapid Journeys across

the Pampas and among the Andes. By CAPT. F. B. HEAD.

12mo. pp. 264. Boston: 1827. 2.-Sketches of Buenos Ayres and Chile. By SAMUEL HAIGH.

London; 1829.

No species of writing seems so well to adapt itself to the palate of every class of readers as well written travels. It is not a little remarkable, that this kind of composition is equally attractive to the philosopher and the trifler, the old and the young, the gay and the sedate, who all sit down to its perusal with eagerness, and rise with apparent satisfaction. We are unwilling to mispend time in exploring the sources whence this satisfaction flows, an inquiry which would be at once infructuous and irrelevant'; since perhaps few of our literary enjoyments surpass those which spring “we know not why and care not wherefore.” The earlier travellers enjoyed a distinguished consideration, as well as the adventurers in navigation; the wonderful improvements in which have opened almost every region under the sun to the examination of both, and our intellects and coffers have

reaped a like advantage. Travelling and commerce are now multiplied to a prodigious extent; and as commercial profits may be realized by all, so the means of improving our knowledge of the habitable globe, is no longer confined to a “favoured and enlightened few.”. The press in our day teems with books of travels

under the various titles of Journals, Tours, Views, Sketches, Rough Notes, &c. which are all readily bought up by our great reading public,” who find themselves thus enabled, with very little expense, and no hardships, to travel at home, and perform voyages by their firesides." The writers seem to think,

VOL. VIII. --NO, 16.


“A book's a book altho' there's nothing in't," whilst readers agree with Pliny, that “nullum librum tam malum esse quam non ex aliqua parte prodesset.

Amongst the numerous works on the subject of South Ameri, can affairs, which have been of late ushered into the world, the excellent Memoirs of General Miller, embracing a great deal of interesting matter concerning Buenos Ayres and Chile, seem to have revived the attention of the public to those important countries. A short time before the “Memoirs" appeared, Mr. Head, who had been sent from England to examine and make report concerning some of the mines of the United Provinces, published many curious particulars about the Pampas and the Andes. We are willing to excuse much of the inelegance and clumsiness which appear throughout these Rough Notes, in consideration of the fund of entertainment afforded, and because the urgent duties of the author obliged him, as he himself assures us, to ride upwards of six thousand miles against time. The Sketches of Mr. Haigh are posterior to the others, and although he tells us at starting, that his volume is not intended either as an historical, statistical, or political description of the countries he has seen, but merely the result of observations jotted down in his noto book, and containing details of the various impressions left upon his mind, yet his observations are valuable, his descriptions spirited, and his style racy and agreeable. Indeed, without wishing to bestow too extravagant an eulogium, in reading his journey across the Pampas and Cordillera between Buenos Ayres and Chile, we were sometimes reminded of Horace's inimitable journey from Rome to Brundusium. As we purpose to confine our remarks principally to Buenos Ayres, we take great pleasure in recommending to the perusal of our readers both the volumes which stand at the head of this article, the limits of which will not permit us to do more than to make a few occasional extracts. But before we proceed to these, a brief review of some of the leading historical events of Buenos Ayres may not prove unacceptable.

In the year 1515, the Rio de La Plata* was discovered by Juan Dias de Solis, who was lured to the shore by the friendly demonstrations of the natives, and by them treacherously assassinated.t In 1526, Sebastian Cabot penetrated into the interior. He changed

• This river was called, originally, Paranaguazu, or Parana, by the natives. “Navegando este insigne nautico (De Solis) con Vincente Ñañez Pinzon, habia sido el primero que extendió velas Europeas, en el famoso rio llamado entonces Paranaguazu."-Funes Hist. Civ. tom. i: p. 2.

Ce fleuve s'appelle par les Indiens Paranaguazu, et ordinairement Parana, &c. -Les Indes Occidentales par A. Herrera, p. 75.

t Funes informs us, that De Solis, and his companions who ventured on shore with him, were actually devoured by the natives in sight of the launch.-Ensayo de la Hist. Civ. tom. i. p. 3.

the name of the river from De Solis, which it had taken from its discoverer, into that of De La Plata, or the river of Silver, fondly imagining, from some trinkets he found among certain of the savages whom he encountered on its banks, that mines of that metal would be discovered in the neighbourhood; and it is matter of regret, that an evident misnomer should have deprived the discoverer of an honour which he won at the expense of his life. The first attempts to settle this region were attended by great difficulties, and after the lapse of two centuries, there was no place of importance but Buenos Ayres. This town* was founded by Pedro de Mendoza, in 1535, but was abandoned three years afterwards, and its inhabitants removed to the town of Assumption, in Paraguay. In 1580f it was rebuilt by the governor of Paraguay, from which time it gradually emerged from obscurity, and became the seat of the viceroyalty. In 1679, the Portuguese attempted a settlement on the north bank of the La Plata, when Garro, governor of the province of La Plata, by order of the viceroy of Peru, expelled them. In 1778, this settlement, which had long been in dispute, was ceded to Spain.

In 1586, the Jesuits made their first appearance. In 1609, Father Torrez obtained authority from the governor of the province to form the converted Indians into townships, independent of the Spanish settlements, and vast numbers were brought to habits of industry. But the Portuguese, who are doomed to be the neighbours and rivals of the Spaniards, both in the old and new world, constantly made incursions into their peaceful territories, and swept away great numbers. It is said, that upwards of two hundred thousand Indians were either slain or enslaved, and about four hundred towns destroyed in Paraguay and Buenos Ayres, within a hundred and thirty years, by the Mamelucos or Paulistas of Brazil. To defend their territories, the

• Mendoza gave it the name of Nuestra Señora de Buenos Ayres, because of Its healthy climate.—Southey, Hist. of Brazil, vol. i. p. 59. But we are told elsewhere, that the admiral of Mendoza's fleet, on escaping the foul smell of his ship and enjoying the pure air of the shore, exclaimed, “Que buenos ayres son estos !” and that thence the town derived its name.-Dobrizhoffer, i. 5.

† Its former name had been Nuestra Señora de Buenos Ayres: Garay, with a strange disrespect to the Virgin, altered its invocation, and called it La Trini. dad de Buenos Ayres; long titles, whether of place or person, are always curtailed by the common sense and for the convenience of mankind; the one invocation is now as little remembered as the other, and Buenos Ayres is the name of the city. Some time afterwards, Garay was slain by the Indians; but the city began again to thrive, and the ship which sailed to Castile, to convey the tidings of its re-foundation, in 1580, took home a cargo of sugar, and the first hides with which Europe was supplied from the wild cattle, which now began to overspread the open country, and soon produced a total change in the manners of all the adjoining tribes.-Southey, Hist. Brazil, vol. i. p. 348. # For an account of the Mamelucos, see llist. Paraguay, Tucuman, and Bue.

yres, Nicholas del Techo, a Jesuit. 4 Churchill's Travels, 757. And see Southey's Hist. of Brazil, vol. ii. p. 300, et seq.: and Muratori's Relation of the Missions of Paraguay, p. 53.


« הקודםהמשך »