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the seven Macabites, and of Saint Luphemia. They shewed also
one half of the pillar to which they tied our Lord the Messiah
when they scourged him.'. The whole of the treasure belonging to this church, was in the hands of its vakeels or attorneys, not being · entrusted to the Patriarchs.'
“ If the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned !" – It is difficult to conceive of a more abject state of the human faculties amid the darkness of utter heathenism, than is exbibited by this view of a corrupt church in the last stage of declension and moral imbecility. Well might Byzantium be styled New Rome, since, in guilt and folly, it has come so little behind its ecclesiastical rival.
Dr. Belfour has executed his task with respectable, if not consummate ability. The concluding paragraphs of his Preface are, however, somewhat too much in the style of Archdeacon Paul, to suit the taste of Western readers.
The History of the Afghans is a more valuable document. Its Author was the contemporary of Ferishta ; and the identity of the sources from which they drew their information in compiling their respective works, is evident from the verbal coincidence which may occasionally be detected in the style and thread of the narrative. The present work contains the history of the Afghans from Adam to the sixteenth century. The native traditions trace the national genealogy up to Afghana, the son of Talut * (King Saul), and make the nation to have emigrated from Arabia, subsequently to the time of Mohammed. Sir William Jones endeavoured to corroborate this statement, by adducing, among other proofs, the supposed similarity of the Pushtoo or Afghan language to the Chaldaic. This proof, Professor Dorn remarks, is the weakest that could be produced, for the • Pushtoo points to quite another origin of this people.' Neither in its grammar nor in its vocabulary, does it present, he says, the slightest affinity to the Hebrew or Chaldee.
• The fact, that the Afghans make frequently use of Hebrew names, as Esau, Yacoob, Musa, &c., and that their tribes bear Hebrew names, as Davudzye, &c., is as little proof of their Jewish origin, as the circumstance that their Nobles bear the title Melek ; which title, even according to their own assertion, was not introduced before Mohammed's time.'
In the Notes, the Translator has more fully explained his opinions, and discussed the historical and philological questions relating to the Afghans and their language; but, as all these are
* Paulos is pronounced Taulos in Ethiopic. Talut, for Tsalus or Saul, is not a greater change, than Tyre for Tsoor.
reserved for the Second Part, which has not yet reached us, we must defer any remarks upon the subject for a future opportunity.
Art. VI.-1. The Journal of a Naturalist. Sm. 8vo.
429. Plates. Price 15s. London. 1829. 2. Salmonia ; or, Days of Fly Fishing. In a Series of Conversations.
With some Account of the Habits of Fishes belonging to the Genus Salmo. By an Angler. f.cap. 8vo. pp. 350. Price 1 2s. London.
1829. 3. The Natural History of Selborne. By the late Reverend Gilbert
White, A.M. With Additions by Sir William Jardine, Bart. 18mo. pp. 340. Price 3s. 6d. Edinburgh. 1829.
IT does not often happen to us, to have an opportunity of
putting together three volumes of such delightful reading as those which now lie before us. The Natural History of Selborne is too extensively and too favourably known to require any further intimation from us, than that the convenient edition in our hand is a partial reprint-we wish it had included the entire collection --of the Reverend Gilbert White's works, with brief but acceptable notes by an intelligent observer of nature.
It forms a section of the series which passes under the name of Constable's Miscellany, and which is, on the whole, distinguished by judicious management.
• Salmonia' is recommended to us, not by the subject, but by the name of its author, and by its execution. It was the work of the late Sir Humphrey Davy, as a passe-tems in hours of sickness and debility; and this, although, for ourselves, we should not choose to employ the season of 'severe and dangerous • illness' in writing dialogues on angling, must give a strong interest to the book, independently of whatever it may possess that is intrinsically valuable. There have been moments in our life, when it required some exertion to resist the temptation to take up the angling rod; and nothing but a rooted aversion from the very idea of mingling amusement and the infliction of suffering, could have withheld us from engaging in a pursuit so fascinating in itself, and so delightful in its associations. We have read Isaac Walton with a pleasure hardly abated by the cool and bland barbarity with which he dwells on the tortures of the hook; and we have been almost tempted, such is the spell of his enthusiasm, and such the charm of his simple but exquisite descriptions of natural objects and circumstances, to throw away our scruples, and participate in the pleasures of an angler's
life. And it must be admitted, that there are inany and
peculiar gratifications, some of a better and others of a more doubtful kind, to be found in its varieties. Skill, hazard, vicissitude, combine to make it a sort of gamester's pursuit in itself; while the attractions of scenery and the opportunities of philosophic investigation, surround it with higher and more legitimate sources of delight.
• It is a pursuit', says our · Angler,' of moral discipline, requiring patience, forbearance, and command of temper. As connected with natural science, it may be vaunted as demanding a knowledge of the habits of a considerable tribe of created beings, -fishes and the animals that they prey upon, and an acquaintance with the signs and tokens of the weather and its changes, the nature of waters, and of the atmosphere. As to its poetical relations, it carries us into the most wild and beautiful scenery of nature; amongst the mountain lakes, and the clear and lovely streams that gush from the higher ranges of elevated hills, or that make their way through the cavities of calcareous strata. How delightful is the early spring, after the dull and tedious time of winter, when the frosts disappear, and the sunshine warms the earth and waters ; to wander forth by some clear stream, to see the leaf bursting from the purple bud, to scent the odours of the bank perfumed by the violet, and enamelled, as it were, with the primrose and the daisy; to wander upon the fresh turf below the shade of trees, whose bright blossoms are filled with the music of the bee; and on the surface of the waters to view the gaudy flies sparkling like animated gems in the sunbeams, whilst the bright and beautiful trout is watching them from below; to hear the twittering of the water-birds, who, alarmed at your approach, rapidly hide themselves beneath the flowers and leaves of the water-lily; and as the season advances, to find all these objects changed for others of the same kind, but better and brighter, till the swallow and the trout contend, as it were, for the gaudy May-fly, and till, in pursuing your amusement in the calm and balmy evening, you are serenaded by the songs of the cheerful thrush and melodious nightingale, performing the offices of paternal love, in thickets ornamented with the rose and woodbine.'
This passage will satisfy our readers, that there is no deficiency of rich description and attractive composition in Salmonia'; and the character of its distinguished Author will be a sufficient security for a large admixture of scientific illustration. When we have added, that there are ample instructions for flyfishing, with valuable intimations concerning the improvement of angling machinery, we shall have briefly set forth the contents of the volume. Like Walton—the quaint old cruel coxcomb, as Lord Byron calls him-Sir Humphrey Davy has adopted dialogue as the medium of communication; but his interlocutors, instead of Piscator, Venator, and Viator, are gentlemen of Greek denomination ; Halieus, Poietes, Physicus, and Ornithes, men well approved in learning, eloquence, and admirable
faculty. The distinction of character is strongly kept up, and the little amiable sparrings which are occasionally introduced, are well managed. The scene shifts as widely as the changeful stage of Shakspeare himself. The first exhibits the party symposiacally engaged in London; the second, transfers them to the banks of the Colne; the third, exhibits them navigating Loch Marre in Ross-shire; the fourth, opens near Ludlow; the fifth, is at Downton; and the sixth, displays the falls of the Traun, in Upper Austria. Small but well-engraved representations of this scenery occur in six plates, by Finden, and, with the descriptive sketches, add much to the interest of the volume.
The first dialogue is merely introductory, and after some preliminary comment on the defencibility of angling on the score of humanity, ends with an engagement to meet at Denham, on the Colne, for a day's fishing. In vindication of his favourite recreation from the charge of inhumanity, Sir Humphrey Davy uses no evasion; he would never, but in great emergency, resort to other than artificial bait; he stipulates for the immediate destruction of life; and he adverts to the probable deficiency of sensibility in cold-blooded animals. The hook usually fixes in the cartilaginous parts of the mouth, where no nerves are found, and fish are observed, after having broken loose from the line, to seize the natural fly, and feed with apparent indifference; while pike have been caught with four or five hooks in their mouths, to all appearance without pain or inconvenience. It is, at the same time, frankly admitted, that there is danger in analysing too closely, the moral character of any of our field sports.'
The second and third days contain much interesting information on miscellaneous subjects; the different kinds of salmon, the various rivers of England that are attractive to the angler, the habits and natural history of fish, the varieties and seasons of the insect-tribes which frequent the water : on all these, the details are valuable and pleasantly communicated, though not in a shape suited to our purpose. Passing by, then, these desultory observations, we shall cite a curious anecdote that occurs in this part of the volume.
• A manufacturer of carmine, who was aware of the superiority of the French colour, went to Lyons for the purpose of improving his process, and bargained with the most celebrated manufacturer in that capital, for the acquisition of his secret, for which he was to pay a thousand pounds. He was shown all the processes, and saw a beautiful colour produced, yet he found not the least difference in the French mode of fabrication, and that which he had constantly adopted. He appealed to the manufacturer, and insisted that he must have concealed something. The manufacturer assured him that he had not, and invited him to see the process a second time. He minutely examined
the water and the materials, which were the same as his own, and, very much surprised, said, “I have lost my labour and my money, for the air of England does not permit us to make good carmine." “ Stay," said the Frenchman, “ do not deceive yourself, what kind of weather is it now?". “ A bright sunny day," said the Englishman. “ And such are the days,” said the Frenchman, “on which I make my colour. Were I to attempt to manufacture it on a dark or cloudy day, my result would be the same as yours. Let me advise you, my friend, always to make carmine on bright and sunny days." "I will,” says the Englishman, “ but I fear I shall make very little in London.",
The ostensible subject of the fourth, fifth, and sixth days, is fishing for salmon and sea trout’; but, as usual, the excursive dialogists are wandering in their talk to all points of the compass. It may be worth noticing, for the benefit of culinary amateurs, that the true epicurean way of eating fresh salmon, is without any other sauce than the water in which he was boiled”; and that the only fit condiment for trout is vinegar and mustard.
The seventh and following days are of the same character with a changed text-grayling-fishing. The ninth and last day presents the same party fishing for the salmo hucho in the Austrian river Traun, and the varied interest of the dialogue is kept up to the end. Krakens, cockneys, and craniology, fish and frogs, fat and flesh, waterfalls and Benjamin West, are all laid under contribution and criticism.
The Journal of a Naturalist’ is a pleasing and instructive book, though we should have been gratified by the occasional introduction of a more vigorous cast of thought and expression. The principal value of the work consists in the illustrations which it affords of the advantages and accessibility of physical science, the appearances and operations of nature, the qualities of animate and inanimate things. The Writer is a keen observer, and he describes well; but we shall be sparing in our extracts from a volume which is likely to be in the hands of so many of our readers. In the description of an autumnal walk, there is, with a little sentimentality not much to our taste, some reasonably good description. We shall leave out the first, and extract part of the last.
• There is a silence in which we hear every thing, a beauty that will be observed. The stump of an old oak is a very landscape, with rugged alpine steeps bursting through forests of verdant mosses, with some pale, denuded, branchless, lichen, like a scathed oak, creeping up the sides, or crowning the summit. Rambling with unfettered grace, the tendrils of the briony (tamus communis) festoon with its brilliant berries, green, yellow, red, the slender sprigs of the hazel or the thorn ; it ornaments their plainness, and receives a support its own feebleness denies. The agaric, with all its hues, its shades, its elegant varieties of form, expands its cone sprinkled with the freshness of the morning, a transient