« PreviousContinue »
Tyrant has sent to me for explanation ; turn your of the Pacific. A young Indian, who usually eyes from the image of life to that of death. The discharges this important duty, swims in two days butterfly has left its former place and soars up- from Pomahuaco to Tomependa, carrying the few wards, the extinguished torch is reversed, the head of the youth has sunk, the spirit has filed to letters from Truxillo, which are intended for the other spheres, and the vital force is dead. Now province of Jaen de Bracarnora. The letters are the youths and maidens joyfully join hands, the carefully placed in a large cotton handkerchief, earthy substances resume their ancient rights; which he winds round his head in the manner of they are free from the chains that bound them, a turban. He then descends the Rio de Chamaya, and follow impetuously after long restraint the (the lower part of the Guancabamba,) and then impulse to union. Thus inert matter animated the Amazons. When he reaches waterfalls, he awhile by vital force passes through an innumerable diversity of forms, and perhaps in the quits the river and makes a circuit through the same substance which once enshrined the spirit of woods. In this fatiguing voyage the Indian Pythagoras, a poor worm may have enjoyed a sometimes throws one arm round a piece of a very momentary existence.—Vol. ii., pp. 255-257. light kind of wood, and he has sometimes the ad
The closing chapter of Baron Humboldt's work vantage of a swimming companion. They carry contains an account of the Plateau of Caxamarca, no provisions, as they are always sure of a hosthe ancient capital of the Inca Atahualpa, and pitable reception in any of the scattered huts surdescribes the first view of the Pacific Ocean as rounded with fruit trees, which abound in the seen from the crest of the Andes. After mention beautiful Huertas de Pucara and Cavico. Let ing the Quina (or fever bark*) producing forests ters thus carried are seldom either wetted or lost in the valleys of Loxa, and the alpine vegetation and Humboldt mentions, that soon after his retur and mountain wildernesses of the Paramos, our from Mexico 10 Europe, he received letters fron author describes the gigantic remains of the an
Tomependa, which had been bound on the brov cient artificial roads of the Incas of Peru, which of the swimming post. The “ Correo que nada,' formed a line of communication through all the as he is called, returns by land by the difficul provinces of the empire, extending more than a
route of the Paramo del Paredon. Several tribes thousand English miles. The road itself is 21 of wild Indians, who reside on the banks of the feet wide, and above a deep understructure was Upper Amazons, are accustomed to travel " by paved with well cut blocks of blackish trap por- swimming down the stream sociably in parties.” phyry. Station-houses, of hewn stone, are built Humboldt had an opportunity of seeing in this at nearly equal distances, forming a kind of cara
manner in the bed of the river the heads of 30 or vanserai. In the pass called the Paramo del 40 persons, (men, women, and children,) of the Assuay, the road rises to the height of 15,526 tribe of the Xibaros, on their arrival at Tomefeet, almost equal to that of Mont Blanc. the wide and arid plains between the Pacific and
When the travellers approached the hot climate the Andes, and also over the ridges of the Cor- of the basin of the Amazons, they were delighted ailleras, these two great Peruvian roads, or sys
with the splendid orange trees, sweet and bitter, tems of roads, are covered with flat stones, or
of the Huertas de Pucara. “ Laden with many " sometimes even with cemented gravel, (Macad- thousands of their golden fruit, they attain a height Amized.)” The roads crossed the rivers and of from 60 to 64 feet, and instead of rounded ravines by three kinds of bridges, “ viz., those of tops or crowns, they have aspiring branches like stone, wood, and rope, and there were also aque- a laurel or bay tree.” ducts for bringing water to the caravanserais and Not far hence, (says Humboldt,) near the Ford to the fortresses." As wheel-carriages were not of Cavico, we were surprised by a very unexpected then used upon roads, they were occasionally sight. We saw a grove of small trees, only about
18 or 19 feet high, which, instead of green, had interrupted by long flights of steps, provided with
apparently perfectly red or rose-colored leaves. It Testing-places at suitable intervals. Along with
was a new species of Bougainvillæa, a genus first their grand artificial paths, the Peruvians pos- established by the elder Jussieu from a Brazilian sessed a highly improved postal system. These specimen in Čommerson's herbarium. The trees splendid remains of the Incas, however, have been were almost entirely without true leaves, as what wantonly destroyed, and Humboldt mentions that, we took for leaves at a distance proved to be thickly in one day's journey, they were obliged to wade different in the purity and freshness of the color
crowded bracteas. The appearance was altogether through the Rio de Guancabamba twenty-seven from the autumnal tints which, in many of our limes, while they continually saw near them the forest trees, adorn the woods of the temperate zone remains of the high-built roads, with their cara- | at the season of the fall of the leaf.
We vanserais. In the lower part of the same river, often found here the Porlieria hygrometrica, which, which, with its many falls and rapids, runs into by the closing of the leaflets of its finely pinnated the Amazons, our author was amused with the foliage, foretells an impending change of weather, singular contrivance of a “ Swimming Post," for
and especially the approach of rain, much better
than any of the Mimosaceæ. It very rarely de de conveyance of correspondence with the coast ceived us.-Vol. ii., pp. 279, 280.
* The Cinchona Condaminia (officinalis.) This beau As night was closing upon our travellers, tiful tree, though only six inches in diameter, offen attains a height of sixty feet
. The bark was introduced when they were ascending the eastern declivity into Europe in 1632 or 1640.
of the Cordilleras, they arrived at an elevated
plain where the argentiferous mountains of Gual After leaving the sea, the travellers ascended gayoc, the chief locality of the celebrated Silver a height about 10,000 feet high, and were struck Mines of Chota, afforded them a remarkable spec- with the sight of two grotesquely shaped portacle. The cerro of Gualgayoc, an isolated mass phyritic summits, Aroma and Cunturcaga, which of silicious rock, stands like an enchanted castle, consisted of five, six, or seven solid columns, separated by a deep ravine from the limestone some of them jointed, and from thirty-seven to mountains of Cormolatsche. It is traversed by forty-two feet high.” Owing to the distribution innumerable veins of silver, and terminated on of the often converging series of columns of the the N. W. by a nearly perpendicular precipice. Cerro Aroma placed one above another, “it “ Besides being perforated to its summit by many resembles a two-storied building, which, morehundred galleries driven in every direction, this over, is surmounted by a dome or cupola of nonmountain presents also natural openings in the columnar rock.” mass of the silicious rock, through which the in It had been the earliest wish of our author to tensely dark blue sky of those elevated regions is obtain a view of the Pacific from the crest of the visible to a spectator standing at the foot of the Andes. He had listened as a boy to the advenmountain. These openings are popularly called turous expedition of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the windows,” and “ similar ones were pointed out first European who beheld the eastern part of the to us in the trachytic walls of the volcano of Pin- Pacific Ocean, and he was now about to gratify chincha."
this longing desire of his youth. When they had On their way to the ancient city of Caxamarca, reached the highest part of the mountain by the Humboldt and his companions had to cross a suc- Alto de Guangamarca, the heavens suddenly becession of Paramos at the height of about 10,000 came clear, and the western declivity of the Corfeet above the sea, before they reached the Pa- dilleras, covered with quartz blocks fourteen feet ramo de Yanaguanga, from which they looked high, and the plains as far as the seashore near down upon the fertile valley of Caxamarca, con- Truxillo, "lay beneath their eyes in astonishing taining in its oval area about 112 English square apparent proximity. We saw for the first time miles. The town stands almost as high as the the Pacific Ocean itself, and we saw it clearly. city of Quito, but being encircled by mountains, *
The joy it inspired was vividly it enjoys a far milder climate. The fort and pal- shared by my companions, Bonpland and Carlos ace of Atahualpa exist only in a few ruins.
and the sight warm baths of Pultamarca, at which the Inca peculiarly impressive to one who like myself owed spent a part of the year, have a temperature of a part of the formation of his mind and character, 156° Fahrenheit, and are seen in the distance. and many of the directions wbich his wishes had The town is adorned with a few churches, a state assumed, to intercourse with (George Forster) one prison, and a municipal building, erected upon of the companions of Cook.” part of the ruins of the palace. On the porphy In the preceding analysis of the “Aspects of ritic rock upon which the palace stood, a shaft Nature,” we have found it very difficult to do jushas been sunk which formerly led into subterra- tice either to the author or to ourselves as renean chambers, and to a gallery said to extend to viewers. Owing to the great length of the the other porphyritic dome of Santa Polonia. " annotations and additions,” which extend to The room is yet shown where Atahualpa was more than twice the length of the original chapimprisoned for nine months from November, 1532, ters which form the text, we have been under the and the mark on the wall is still pointed out to necessity of incorporating the information conshow the height to which he offered to fill the tained in both, partly in our own language, and room with gold in bars, plates, and vessels, if set partly in that of the author, and have therefore free. In order to avoid being burnt alive, the found it impossible to give such copious and conInca consented to be baptized by his fanatical per- tinuous extracts as the reader might have desired. secutor, the Dominican monk, Vincente de Val- This difficulty, too, has been greatly increased by verde. He was strangled publicly in the open the admixture of scientific with popular details, air, and at the mass for the dead the brothers and by the use of technical terms which the general Pizarro were present in mourning habits.* The reader will sometimes find it difficult to interpret. population of Caxamarca did not, at the time of Regarding the work, however, as one of great value our author's visit, exceed seven or eight thousand from its science, and great interest from its subinhabitants.
ject, and as possessing that peculiar charm of lan* It is with some reluctance that, in imitation of Hum-guage and of sentiment which we look for in vain boldt, we throw into the obscurity of a note, a specimen in similar productions, we cannot withhold the of couri etiqnette at the palace of the Incas. “In con- expression of our anxiety that the popular matter formity," says our author, " with a highly ancient court in the “annotations and additions” should be inceremonial, Atahualpa spat, not on the ground, but into the hand of one of the principal ladlies present ;' " all,” corporated with the original text, and the techsays Garcilaso, " on account of his majesty." Vol. ii., nical and parenthetic references in the text, either p. 314.
When the possessors of a little brief authority thus degrade their office and their race, we feel that they converted into foot notes, or transferred to the have withdrawn themselves from the sphere of human" annotations." We should thus have a work sympathies, and we almost forget the cruelties of the truly popular, without losing any of its scientific Spaniards when we find them perpetrated against bipeds like Alahualpa.
The translation of Mrs. Sabine is like her trans- | always strongly opposed. Mr. Cuthbert Southey lation of Kosmos, admirably executed. We are had taken orders before his father died, and never offended with the harshness of a foreign remains still where he then was, with the duties idiom, and we never discover that the author and and pittance of a hard-working curate. One the translator are different persons.
would be tempted to ask if he had shown any We have thus endeavored to give our readers marked incapacity of intellect or character, but some account of a work full of wisdom and knowl- that evidence has been some time before the world edge, written by one of the most distinguished of his excellence in both. Mindful of the manner writers and philosophers of the present day, and in which church patronage is distributed, we must well fitted to draw our attention to a subject with plainly say of this neglect that it is the reverse which every person ought to be familiar. To live of creditable to its authors. It is notorious that upon a world so wonderfully made, without de- the matter was brought before the last ministry, siring to know its form, its structure, and its pur- and that among those who then refused a helping pose—to eat the ambrosia of its gardens, and hand to lift Southey's son out of a shabby curacy, drink the nectar of its vineyards, without inquir- were men who had offered to raise Southey himing where, or how, or why they grow-to toil for self, while their party was yet profiting by his its gold and its silver, and to appropriate its coal genius, to the empty rank of a baronet.
Is it too and its iron, without studying their nature and late for their successors to redeem this reproach their origin—to tremble under its earthquakes, by an example of generous homage to the memory and stand aghast before its volcanoes, in ignorance of a powerful and honorable opponent? of their locality, of their powers, and of their No one will question that such epithets are origin—to see and handle the gigantic remains of justly given to Southey, and that the respect and vegetable and animal life, without understanding admiration of all who honor virtue and genius when and why they perished-to tread the moun- belong to him in his grave. Few men have tain range, unconscious that it is sometimes com- written so much, and written so well. Few men posed wholly of the indestructible flinty relics of have passed through a long life, almost always in living creatures, which it requires the most pow- the public eye, with a more honorable and unerful microscope to perceive-to neglect such pur-stained character, or purposes more free from suits as these, would indicate a mind destitute of blame. We may grieve that he so completely the intellectual faculty, and unworthy of the life threw off the opinions with which he started in and reason with which we have been endowed. It his ardent youth ; but those were days when is only the irreligious man that can blindly gaze opinions of the most resolute men were shaken. upon the loveliness of material nature, without Southey at least never forfeited his station or his seeking to understand its phenomena and its laws. title to esteem. He did not become a hack, or a It is only the ignorant man that can depreciate the party tool ; nor did the dignity of literature ever value of that true knowledge which is within the suffer in his person. grasp of his divine reason ; and it is only the pre This is hardly the time—with so brief a section sumptuous man who can prefer those speculative of his life as yet before us—
—to speak of the varistudies, before which the strongest intellect quails, ous public claims of Southey. But some things and the weakest triumphs. “In wisdom hast we may say with little dread of dispute. His Thou made them all,” can be the language only prose is of the best in the language. It is clear, of the wise ; and it is to the wise only that the vigorous, and manly ; with no small prettinesses in heavens can declare the glory of God, and that the it, but full and muscular as that of our older and firmament can show forth his handiwork. It is stronger race of writers ; and often sparkling with the geologist alone who has explored them, that a current of quaint grave humor which is singucan call upon the “ depths of the earth to praise larly fascinating. His larger poems, however the Lord ;” and he “ who breaketh the cedars of judgments may differ concerning them, are at Lebanon,” who “shaketh the wilderness,” who least written on solid principles, and with a sus“ divideth the flames of fire,” who “causeth the tained power of art. We are not very certain, hinds to calve,” and “maketh bare the forest,” indeed, if it might not be put as a good test of the has imperatively required it from his worshippers, (pure love of poetry in any man, that he should " that in his temple every one should speak of his like those Madocs and Rodericks and Kehamas and glory.”
Joans of Arc. For a man may adore Words
worth as a devotee to Wordsworth's system, and
From the Examiner. may be greedy for Lord Byron as for any other The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey of the stronger stimulants; but if he admires Edited by his son,
the Rev. Charles CUTHBERT these poems of Southey, it is as efforts of unmixed Southey, M.A., Curate of Plumbland, Cumber- imagination—as a child might admire whose land. Six vols. Vol. I. Longman and Co.
fancy is only to be touched by the wonderful and Che first remark upon the subject of this book beautiful; with the addition that he has a mind is suggested by its title-page. The professional to feel the great and elevating thoughts they career of the son of Robert Southey is likely to embody, and thoroughly to appreciate the simend where it began, unless he receives promotion plicity which is their groundwork. We take from that party in the state which his father Southey to be a real poet in the sense of Ariosto;
and as to his shorter poems, we apprehend that and equality, was in reality a departure from the no difference of opinion is likely to exist, now or natural habits and disposition of his mind. His in any time to come. They are as fine as any- discontent with Godwin, his evident dislike of his thing in the language. His range of literary ways of thinking, which often breaks out in these pursuit was extraordinary, and his unwearied dil- early days, is proof to us that he was himself unigence recalled the nobler and severer days of prepared to pursue to their lawful (or unlawful) English study.
issues those extreme opinions of which Godwin This first volume of this biography occupies the was the steady champion. Let us add, too, that period 1774–1798, conducting Southey to his to have written Wat Tyler, (which, curiously twenty-fifth year. It records his early life in enough, is not mentioned in the volume before us, Bristol and its neighborhood; his childish com- though it was certainly written in 1794,) is rather panions, privations, and enjoyments; his career an evidence to us that Southey did not understand at school and at college ; his days of doubt and what a republican was, than any proof of his own disbelief, excluding him from the church ; his republicanism. A man may be a republican, and speculative opinions, excluding him from his aunt conscientiously respect the rights of property : Tyler's house and protection ; his unsuccessful whereas that notorious production (which, it is attempts to be a doctor, which his tastes forbade, always due to Southey's memory to state, owed to be a lawyer, which he abandoned for the same its existence in print to a disgraceful fraud) is litreason, and to get a small official employment, to tle more than a piece of wild declamation against which his republicanism was the impassable bar; all such rights. his friendships with Grosvenor Bedford, Coleridge, Mr. Southey's materials, for that portion of his Lovell, Burnet, and Charles Wynne (who gives father's life which is contained in this volume, are solid proof of his friendship, as the volume closes, two-fold. He has had placed at his disposal in a voluntary gift of 1601. a year ;) his marriage his father's letters to early friends, which, by a and scheme of pantisocracy; his voyage to Lisbon connecting thread of comment, he makes available with his uncle Hill, the chaplain of the embassy as continuous narrative, throwing in his own rethere; his various ardent and impossible aspira- flections sparingly, and with the best taste; and tions; and his plans to support himself by lectures, he has availed himself of his father's own narraepics, and tragedies, ending in an engagement to tive of the first fifteen years of his life written write songs for the Morning Post at a guinea a thirty years ago, in a series of seventeen letters week. The volume leaves him living at a pretty to his friend Mr. John May. This narrative is little village near Bristol, loving his wife very printed by itself at the commencement of the volmuch, his impracticable opinions considerably ume, and occupies 157 pages. softened, publishing letters from Spain and Por We do not think the language contains a more tugal, preparing Madoc, editing the Annual An- delightful piece of autobiography, rich as are its thology-in short, fairly embarked in those studies treasures in that style of composition, than these of literature which he continued to love suffi- early passages of the life of Southey. It is full ciently through life, to find in them a full indem- of the vividest traits of truth and character, exnification for all life's chances and accidents. pressed with manly unaffectedness. The recol
Parson Hill describes him best at the pantiso- lections begin as early as three years old, and we cratical period of his life. “ He is a very good have the most perfect faith in their sincerity and scholar, of great reading, of an astonishing mem
His father, his mother, his aunts and ory: when he speaks, he does it with fluency; his uncles, the masters at the various schools he with a great choice of words. He is perfectly went to, the boys who used to laugh at him for correct in his behavior, of the most exemplary his cleverness, and persecute him for his curly morals, and the best of hearts. In short, he has hair, all start back into life at his bidding. We everything you would wish a young man to have, have before us a piece of the solid reality of Engexcepting common sense or prudence. Were his lish manners and society seventy years ago. Nor character different, or his abilities not so extraor- is the feeling with which the sketches are executed dinary, I should be the less concerned about him.” unworthy of their graphic power. They have a There is much truth here ; and the general im- quaint, yet genjal, humor, which is perfectly depression we receive from these records of him is lightful. In writing them, Southey seems to have more favorable even to his consistency than most thrown himself so absolutely into those early readers may be prepared to admit. We see that years, as to recover once more, in unison with his that absence of “common sense and prudence” man's intellect, the simplicity, intensity, good of opinion does not naturally cohere with the nature, and impressibility of childhood. We are general character of his intellect and tastes. reminded of the best passages of David CopperCharges of inconsistency are seldom wise or just, field ; and Southey's Aunt Tyler is the very comand still more seldom are they generous. We panion picture of Dickens' Aunt Betsy Trotwood. believe in Southey's case (as in others) that he We mean to have another article about this faswas thrown off his balance, at the critical period cinating piece of autobiography, and shall conof mental development, by the enthusiasm awak- clude for the present with a few extracts taken ened throughout Europe by the first French almost at random. The reader will at once perrevolution, and that his exuberant zeal for liberty ceive how rich the original must be.
Here are a few of the characteristics of his a fair hand anything that was set before him, aunt Tyler, in whose house most of his early whether in writing or in print; but it was done
letter by letter without understanding a single word. years were passed.
As to self-government he was entirely incompetent, When she went out, Miss Tyler's appearance and so much so that I think he could hardly be considmanners were those of a woman who had been bred ered responsible as a moral being for his actions ; in the best society and was equal to it; but if any yet he had an excellent memory, an observing eye, stranger or visitor had caught her in her ordinary and a sort of half-saved shrewdness which would apparel, she would have been as much confused as have qualified him, had he been born two centuries Diana when Actæon came upon her bathing-place, earlier, to have worn motley, and figured with a cap and almost with as much reason, for she was always and bells and a bauble in some baron's hall. Never in a bed-gown and in rags. Most people, I suspect, did I meet with any man so stored with old saws and have a weakness for old shoes ; ease, and comfort, anecdotes gathered up in the narrow sphere wherein and one's own fireside, are connected with them ; in he moved. I still remember many of them, though fact, we never feel any regard for shoes till they he has been dead more than thirty years. The attain to the privileges of age, and then they become motto to Kehama, as the Greek reference, when the almost as much a part of the wearer as his corns. abbreviations are rightly used, may show, is one of This sort of feeling my aunt extended to old clothes my uncle William's sayings. When it was found of every kind ; the older and the raggeder they impossible to make anything of him by education, he grew, the more unwilling she was to cast them off. was left to himself, and passed more time in the But she was scrupulously clean in them ; indeed, kitchen than in the parlor, because he stood in fear the principle upon which her whole household of his step-father. There he learnt to chew tobacco economy was directed, was that of keeping the and to drink. house clean, and taking more precautions against Strange creature as he was, I think of him very dust than would have been needful against the often, often speak of him, quote some of his odd, plague in an infected city.
That the apt sayings, and have that sort of feeling for his better rooms might be kept clean, she took posses- memory, that he is one of the persons whom I sion of the kitchen, sending the servants to one should wish to meet in the world to come. which was underground; and in this little, dark, confined place, with a rough stone floor, and a sky
As a pendant to this picture, we must have that light, (for it must not be supposed that it was a best of the accomplished individual of whom uncle kitchen, which was always, as it was intended to William learnt to chew tobacco. The reader who be, a comfortable sitting-room ; this was more like shares in any manner Chesterfield's dislike to that a scullery,) we always took our meals, and gener- contortion of visage which is consequent on a hearty ally lived. The best room was never opened but
roar, must be warned off this anecdote. for company; except now and then on a fine day to be aired and dusted, if dust could be detected there. The man of whom he learnt the use, or rather In the other parlor I was allowed sometimes to read, the abuse, of tobacco, was a sottish servant, as igand she wrote her letters, for she had many corre- norant as a savage of anything which he ought to spondents; and we sat there sometimes in summer, have known ; that is to say of everything which when a fire was not needed, for fire produced ashes, ought to have been taught him. My mother, when and ashes occasioned dust, and dust, visible or in- a very little girl, reproved him once for swearing. visible, was the plague of her life. I have seen “ For shame, Thomas,” she said, “ you should not her order the teakettle to be emptied and refilled, say such naughty words ! for shame! say your because some one had passed across the hearth prayers, Thomas !”—“ No, Missey !” said the while it was on the fire preparing for her breakfast. poor wretch, “I shan't ; I shan't say my prayers, She had indulged these humors till she had formed I never said my prayers in all my life, Missey ; and for herself notions of uncleanness almost as irra- I shan't begin now.” My uncle William (the tional and inconvenient as those of the Hindoos. Squire he was called in the family) provoked him She had a cup once buried for six weeks, to purify dangerously once. He was dozing beside the fire, it from the lips of one whom she accounted unclean ; with his hat on, which, as is still the custom among all who were not her favorites were included in that the peasantry, (here in Cumberland, at least,) he class. A chair, in which an unclean person had always wore in the house. You, perhaps, are not sat, was put out in the garden to be aired; and I enough acquainted with the mode of chewing to never saw her more annoyed than on one occasion bacco, to know that in vulgar life a quid commonly when a man, who called upon business, seated him- goes through two editions; and that after it has self in her own chair ; how the cushion was ever been done with, it is taken out of the mouth, and again to be rendered fit for her use, she knew not! reserved for a second regale. My uncle William, On such occasions, her fine features assumed a char- who had learnt the whole process from Thomas, acter either fierce or tragic; her expressions were and always faithfully observed it, used to call it, in vehement even to irreverence; and her gesticula- its intermediate state, an old soldier. A sailor detions those of the deepest and wildest distress, posits, or, if there be such a word, (and if there is hands and eyes uplifted, as if she was in hopeless not, there ought to be,) re-posits it in his tobacco-box. misery, or in a paroxysm of mental anguish. I have heard my brother Tom say, that this practice Uncle William was a not less notable person.
occasioned a great dislike in the navy to the one and
two pound notes ; for when the men were paid in William Tyler, the second brother, was a re- paper, the tobacco-box served them for purse or markable person. Owing to some defect in his pocket-book in lack of anything better, and notes faculties, so anomalous in its kind that I never heard were often rendered illegible by the deep stain of a of a similar case, he could never be taught to read; wet quid. Thomas' place for an old soldier bethe letters he could tell separately, but was utterly tween two campaigns, while he was napping and incapable of combining them, and taking in their enjoying the narcotic effects of the first mastication, meaning by the eye. He could write, and copy in ) was the brim of his hat; from whence the souire,