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three rings, which has been so often told ; but never, as far as we remember, with so much simplicity and pathos. It is at once characteristic of the style and sentiments of the author; and, although the moral of the tale may be pushed a little too far, it is impossible not to sympathise with the ardent benevolence, and the enlightened philanthropy, of the narrator. It is in the shape of a dialogue between Nathan and the Sultan, Saladin.
“ Nathan. In days of yore, there dwelt in east a man,
Saladin. I understand thee-on.
Nathan. From son to son, at length this ring descended to a father, who had three sons, alike obedient to him; whom therefore he could not but love alike. At times seem'd this, now that, at times the third, (accordingly as each apart receiv'd the overflowings of his heart) most worthy: to heir the ring, which with good-natur'd weakness he privately to each in turn had promis'd. This went on for a while. But death approach'd, and the good father grew embarrass'd. So, to disappoint two sons, who trust his promise, he cannot bear. What's to be done. He sends in secret to a jeweller, of whom, upon the model of the real ring, he might bespeak two others, and commanded to spare nor cost nor pains to make them like, quite like the true one. This the artist manag'd. The rings were brought, and e’en the father's eye could not distinguish which had been the model.
Quite overjoy'd he summons all his sons, takes leave of each apart, on each bestows his blessing and his ring, and dies. Scarce is the father dead, each with his ring appears, and claims to be the lord o'th' house. Comes question, strife, complaint-all to no end; for the true ring could no more be distinguish'd than now can the true faith.—Each to the judge swore from his father's hand immediately to have receiv'd the ring, as was the case ; after he'had long obtain'd the father's promise, one day to have the ring, as also was. The father, each asserted, could to him not have been false, rather than so suspect of such a father, willing as he might be with charity to judge his brethren, he of treacherous forgery was bold to'accuse them. The judge said, if ye summon not the father before my seat, I cannot give a sentence. Am I to guess enigmas? Or expect ye that the true ring should here unseal its lips? But hold you tell me that the real ring enjoys the hidden power to make the wearer of God and man belov'd; let that decide. Which of you do two brothers love the best? You’are silent. Do these love-exciting rings act inward only, not without ? Does each love but himself? Ye’are all deceiv'd deceivers, pone of your rings is true. The real ring perhaps is gone. To hide or to supply its loss, your father order'd three for one. - Saladin. O charming, charming !
Nathan. And (the judge continued) if you will take advice in lieu of sentence this is my counsel to you, to take up the matter where it stands. If each of you has had a ring presented by his father, let each believe his own the real ring. 'Tis possible the father chose no longer to tolerate the one ring's tyranny; and certainly, as he much lov'd you all, and lov'd you all alike, it could not please him by favouring one, to be of two the oppresser. let each feel honour'd by this free affection unwarp'd of prejudice ; let each endeavour
to vie with both his brothers in displaying
When this article was sent to the press, we were not sufficiently sure of the publicity of the translator's name, to feel justified in mentioning it in our remarks. We have since met with a critique on Nathan the Wise, in an early volume of the Edinburgh Review, which informs us that the present translation “ is from the pen of Mr. Taylor, of Norwich, whose admirable versions of Lenore, and of the Iphigenia in Tauris, have placed him at the head of all our translators from that (the German) language.” Edin. Review, April, 1806. Vol. viii.
Art. V.-A Voyage round the World, in the Years 1740, 1, 2,
3, 4, by George Anson, Esq., Commander in Chief of a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships, sent upon an Expedition to the South Sea. Compiled from Papers and other Materials of the Right Honourable George Lord Anson, and published under his direction, by Richard Walter, M. A. Chaplain of his Majesty's Ship the Centurion, in that Expedition. The Second Edition, with Charts of the Southern Part of South America, of Part of the Pacific Ocean, and of the Track of
the Centurion round the World. London, 1748. The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron, Commodore in a
late Expedition round the World, containing an Account of the great Distresses suffered by himself and his Companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the Year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746. With a Description of St. Jago de Chili, and the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants; also a Relation of the Loss of the Wager, Man of War, one of Admiral Anson's Squadron. Written by himself. The Second Edition. London, 1768.
Eminently conspicuous among those who have gained the palm of deserved celebrity, may be ranked the intrepid naviga
tors, by whose persevering resolution, undaunted courage, and professional skill, the paths of discovery were laid open, and science was enriched with the choicest stores of nature, gleaned from realms that were before unknown. The gallant officer who upheld the honor of his native land, and the glory of her Aag, was generally prompted by a desire of seeing his name enrolled among the deeds of the brave, and registered as the defender of his country's rights. But the enduring and indefatigable discoverer had a nobler aim in view—the extension of knowledge, and the civilization of mankind; and he has left to posterity a lasting fame, which can never pass away as long as the monuments of his research remain to perpetuate the remembrance of his enterprising spirit and patient investigation. Curiosity is strongly prevalent in our nature, from infancy to manhood-from maturity to old age, and hence arises the lively interest which is excited by the perusal of a book of voyages or travels-an interest which increases in proportion with the opportunities that are offered for its gratification. By means of these books we become acquainted with our fellow men who inbabit a different and distant region of the earth, and their manners, habits, and customs are rendered familiar to us. We exult in their prosperity, mourn their depravity, or commisserate their sufferings; and whether we visit the land of the luxurious Persian-sail round the coasts of New Holland, or wander through the wilds of Africa-indeed, wherever the traveller leads us, we follow with admiration and astonishment, deeply contemplating the wonderful works of creation, and the surprising ingenuity of man.
The accounts of the first voyagers are mingled with fabulous tales of giants and monsters, that could only have existed in the imagination of the writer; or, what is more probable, they were introduced by artful and designing men, for the purpose of deterring other adventurers from exploring the same spot, and enriching themselves with the supposed treasures it contained: but, on the whole, they convey much valuable information, and many curious remarks descriptive of manners of the times, when science began to arouse from its lethargy like a giant refreshed from sleep.
The inventive genius of foreigners first excited a spirit of maritime enterprize in England, and their efforts paved the way to that national importance and wealth for which she is so remarkably pre-eminent in the present day. The discovery of the valuable properties attached to the magnet, led to the invention of the mariner's compass (in 1302); and though it was at first imperfect in its construction, and rude in its form, it enabled ships to depart from their usual mode of coasting along shore, and by boldly launching on the trackless ocean,
eventually and materially contributed to the great discoveries which afterwards took place. In the first instance, it was supposed that the magnetic needle exactly coincided with the plane of the meridian ; and, consequently, that all the points of the compass agreed with the correspondent points of the horizon. This must have occasioned considerable embarrassment to the early navigators, and have caused a very great confusion in their nautical accounts. From hence, also, proceeded the numerous errors in the first hydrographers. Still no observation appears to have been made of that remarkable phenomenon, the variation of the compass from the true north and south points, till the voyage of Columbus to the Western World, a period of nearly two hundred years. It is, however, by no means improbable that it had been noticed before ; and, indeed, it seems almost impossible that it could have been otherwise, for the variation in his previous voyage to Greenland was, upon the coast of England, le points easterly; but, in his western course, as he also approached nigher to the Equator, so it would lessen the alti. tude of the polar star, and by its appearance more upon the verge of the horizon, presented a favourable situation for remarking and calculating the difference, and which, for many years (to 1634), was supposed to be continually the same. It has since been found to be constantly varying at different parts of the world. The discovery of America, under the auspices of Spain, gave rise to mutual rivalship, jealousy, and contention, with the court of Portugal; and the equitable distribution by the papal crown that all discoveries to the eastward were to be the property of Portugal, while those to the west were declared under the sovereignty of Spain, served (perhaps from motives of political peculation in Alexander) to heighten the discord. Still it produced its advantages for men of talent and ability, who, finding their application for employment rejected by one government, were immediately engaged by the other to forward its designs. This was the case with Ferdinand Magalhaens, or Magellan, a Portuguese of a good family, who had been brought up to the sea from his boyhood, and was well skilled in seamanship and navigation. Nature appeared to have moulded him for adventurous undertakings and great achievements; and in the accounts of this remarkable man, which have come down to posterity, a striking similarity is observable between his disposition and manners with those of the eminent and immortal Cook, and both met with nearly the same death. Magellan had served in India, under the justly celebrated Albuquerque, but finding his services were not valued, and his remonstrances treated with contempt, he retired with Falero, the astronomer, to the court of Spain. Men of their descrip