Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

active employment; the remainder are distributed amongst the settlers as servants and labourers. The convicts in government employ work in gangs, under an overseer to each, from six in the morning till three in the afternoon; the remainder of the day is their own; they are clothed, fed, and lodged at the public expense. Neither the overseer of a gang, nor the superintendant of several gangs, has any power of inflicting punishment; the sitting magistrate of the week, at Sidney, may order a punishment not exceeding twentyfive lashes, and a bench of three at least may extend it as far as 300 lashes, or the culprit may be sentenced to work in the gaolgang from six in the morning till six in the evening.

The convicts distributed among the settlers are clothed; fed, and lodged by them; their hours are the same as for the public; or they work by task, and have the remainder of the time for themselves : the master cannot punish them, nor, if a magistrate, order them to be punished, but must have recourse to another magistrate. It was satisfactorily proved before the committee, that when thus domesticated in families, removed from their former connections, and brought into habits of industry and regularity, the chance of reformation was much greater than when they were worked in gangs.

Great abuses formerly prevailed in the distribution of female servants, who, on demand of the inhabitants, were received by them rather as prostitutes than as servants; but of late years marriages have become more frequent, and a restraint has been put upon that indiscriminate distribution which once prevailed. The committee differ entirely from Governor Macquarie in thinking that female convicts sent out are a great drawback on the prosperity of the colony; they, on the contrary, consider that such women as these were the mothers of a great part of the inhabitants now existing in the co

and that from such a stock only can a reasonable hope be held out of increase to the population, upon which increase, here, as in all infant colonies, its prosperity must in great measure depend. They attribute, and we think very justly, the present prevalence of prostitution to a deficiency of women; and they suggest the expediency of permitting in all cases the wives of male convicts to accompany their husbands into exile, as the most eligible way of providing the colony with women, and one which may, with advantage, be much extended beyond the present practice : the permission is now only granted, and that seldom, to the wives of men transported for life or for fourteen years.

To those convicts who, after the expiration of the time to which they had been sentenced, chuse to settle in New South Wales, a grant is made of forty acres of land, if the party be unmarried, but if married, of something more for the wife and each child; implements and stock are also advauced to them, and they are victualled

from nhan

lony;

from the permanent stores for eighteen months : and by this indulgence an opportunity is given of establishing themselves in independence, and by proper conduct of gaining a respectable place in society; and it is gratifying to learn, from the report of the committee, that such instances have occurred, though they are but exceptions from the general conduct of the convicts.

The charts, and indeed the whole of the decorative and illus. trative part of the work are very creditable to all concerned. Of this part, the direction, we believe, was entrusted to Sir Joseph Banks, to whom Captain Flinders expresses his warm acknowledgments, having found in him, what many others have found, a friend and patron.'--'Such,' says he,' he proved in the commencement of my voyage, and in the whole course of its duration; in the distresses which tyranny heaped upon those of accident, and after they were overcome.' Long may this patron of science live to distribute his bounty and his benefits, and to assist unprotected genius! for we are not afraid to say, that we know not where to find the man who could worthily replace him.

Art. II.-1. A Letter from Paris, to George Petre, Esq.

By the Rev. John Chetwode Eustace. 8vo. pp. 98. . 2. Paris in 1802 and in 1814. By the Rev. William Shepherd.

8vo. pp. 284. 3. Mon Journal de Huit Jours ; or, the History of a Week's

Absence from Maidstone, and of a Visit to France, in September, 1814. By the Rev. W. R. Wake, A. M. Curate of the

said Parish, and Vicar of Backwell. 8vo.' pp. 37. 4. A Visit to Paris, in June, 1814. By Henry Wansey, sen. Esq.

F.A.S. Svo. pp. 129. 5. Letters from a Lady to her Sister during a Tour to Paris, in

April and May, 1814. 12mo. pp. 170. 6. The Picture of Paris; or, Stranger's Guide to the French

Metropolis. By Edward Planta, Esq. 12mo. pp. 249. OUR readers will not be surprised at the number of titles that

precede this article, because they have probably themselves felt the epidemic curiosity of the last eight months, and will have been prepared to expect that many of the happy persons who were enabled to indulge their taste by a visit to Paris, would have the generosity to register and report their remarks, for the benefit of their less fortunate friends at home.

But we grieve to say, that the results of this communicative disa position have not been answerable to the generous intentions of the tourists; for nothing can be more unsatisfactory and meagre

than all the accounts which we have seen of these excursions. Mr. Eustace's letter, indeed, is that of a man of sense and observation; but it is merely, as it purports, a letter to a friend, and gives a very slight and hasty sketch of what he has seen, calculated rather to baffle than to satisfy curiosity. In his account however of what he saw, we find accuracy and truth, and in his expression of his thoughts and feelings, judgment and discrimination.

Mr. Shepherd is much more minute and particular; but he has bad the goodness to enliven his details by a great deal of smart inaccuracy; and though he is not incommunicative of such observations as he could pick up in coffee-houses, he is laudably careful not to ineur the responsibility of setting up for one of those deep thinkers, who consider it necessary that every object they see should excite an image in their imaginations, or add an idea to their intellectual stock. We are accordingly inclined to believe, that no man could have seen more or thought less, in the same space

of time, than Mr. Shepherd; and as seeing sights must be the great object of a Parisian tour, and as thinking is a dull and homely occupation, we are inclined to be of opinion that Mr. Shepherd's work will have a certain kind of popularity, and that a great many persons will find in him a very congenial tourist.

Not but that there is a drawback on Mr. Shepherd's claim to favour with even this class of readers; as he takes care to inform us in his journal, that of some twenty days or thereabouts which he spent in Paris, he was a considerable part of a considerable sumber busily employed,' as he happily expresses it,' in reading,' in the · Bibliothèque Nationale, or, to speak the dialect of the day, in the Bibliothèque Royale.' (p. 128.) What books these were that so, busily employed Mr. Shepherd, whether they were such as he could not find in the libraries of the British Museum, or of Oxford and Cambridge, or even in that of the Liverpool Institution, he does not inform us; but we cannot but lament, for the sake of his gentle readers, that so many valuable hours of his Parisian life were spent in these severer and anonymous studies.

The intimation which Mr. Shepherd gives us, that it is only in compliance with the fashion of the day that he substitutes the title of Bibliothèque Royale for that of Bibliothèque Notionale, has, even from this inaccurate dissenting divine, a little surprized us. We have read * that this collection was commenced so early as the reign of Charles V. and subsequently enlarged by his successors, kings of France, and particularly by Lewis XIV. XV. and XVI;-that from the year 1370, down to 1792, it was known as the Bibliothèque du Roi ;-that during the ten years of the republic it was called Bibliothèque Nationale ;-thàt it afterwards assumed the style of Impériale; and we, therefore, can hardly understand what Mr. Shepherd means by saying that the resumption of the old title of Royal is a mere compliance with the fashion of the day.

* Hainault's Abrégé, tom. I. p. 326.

The Rev. Mr. Wake's journey would appear, from its title, to have been the shortest and most rapid that has been detailed to the public since Jonas Hanway's time. A visit to France of one week! Prodigious celerity: but the reverend curate and vicar really does his expedition injustice; he might more properly have called it a visit of five days, for he landed in France on Tuesday night and left it again on Sunday afternoon. Our readers will be anxious to know by what vehicle our divine travelled, and the arrow of Abaris, the hippogriff of Astolfo, and the balloon of Mongolfier will all occur to his imagination. But to relieve them from the painful curiosity which they must now begin to feel as to the extent and mode of his flight, we proceed to inform them that his · Visit to France' is only a pleonasm or grandiloquacity for a trip from Dover to Calais, from Calais in the diligence to Boulogne, and from Boulogne back to Dover : and we must own that the original amazement excited by the title-page, how our author could have seen so much in so short a time, has, by our perusal of his pamphlet, been changed into a more permanent wonder, how, in' huit jours,' any man of common sense and observation should have seen so little, and fancied that he had any thing to tell.

But of all our travellers Henry Wansey, sen. Esq. Fellow of the Antiquarian Society, is by much the most original, and we may add, instructive ; for his work certainly relates circumstances of which we have never heard or read before, and which every other tourist has altogether overlooked. A few extracts from the work of this learned gentleman will, we presume to think, gratify our readers in a very extraordinary degree, and (even though they should have lately visited Paris) will, we are satisfied, convey to them information on several curious and important points of which they are at present totally ignorant.

The very first night he entered Paris, he intimates that he had the good fortune (which certainly never happened to any other traveller) of seeing the celebrated · Talma' perform in one of Molière's plays;'* but on this and other occasions (pp. 26,70) Mr. Wansey observes upon and laments one very singular' defect of the stage, which is that the same scene continues through the whole play;' this defect however is counterbalanced by the curious circumstance 6 of the performers being in general very perfect in their parts.'

* Ou a subsequent night, however, he sends his son George to see this distinguished actor 'play in tragedy.' (p. 7 2.)

On

On the interesting subject of the Column of the grand army he has discovered a curious fact--the Latin inscription has been hitherto understood to mean that the German war,' which it celebrates, ' was, in the space of three months, brought to a happy conclusion; and we have always heard that the column was three years in building; but our Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, in his translation, acquaints us that, not only the campaign, but the column itself, basso relievos, statues and all were finished in three months !

But the originality of Mr. Wansey's mind does not display itself merely in translation and chronology; some of his architectural and topographical observations are equally curious: he expressly states, for instance, that the pont de Jena, which all the world bas erroneously gone ou mistaking for a stone bridge, is, in truth, like the pont d'Austerlitz, an iron bridge with five iron arches, (p. 39,) and he also places the palace of the Luxembourg on the banks of the Seine, (p. 40.) which every one will agree is a prodigious improvement to that edifice.

The citizens of London will be proud to hear that the Palais Royal is exactly the same form as the Royal Exchange ;' but their pleasure will be a little damped by Mr. Wansey's subsequent observation, that it is so indeed, except that the Palais Royal is an oblong square and five times as large.' (p. 42.)

Mr. Wansey seems to doubt our power of judging his agreeable sensations on entering the picture gallery of the Louvre', but we think he has, by a slight hint, enabled us perfectly to appreciate his taste; for he classes · Rubens and Guido' together, and assures us that of the works of these two alone there are more than one hundred.' (p. 49.)

On the subject of the celebrated arch of triumph of the Carousel, he incidentally makes a very curious discovery. He says the bronze horses are led by two golden Victories as large as life.' (p. 60.) He does not state by what means he has ascertained the exact size of a living Victory : all that we can say is that if these Victories are no larger than the life, the real size of a Victory greatly exceeds that of any man or woman in these degenerate times.

Mr. Wansey also acquaints us, (but we think with some symp- . toms of his own personal dissent,) that

the French affect to be Grecians, affirming that the Athenians had a place which they called the Thuileries, which word is of the same meaning as Cemaricos* ; and they also say that their taste for statuary and sculptúre is very similar to that of the inhabitants of Attica, as well as their love of spectacles.'-p.61.

These facts, however, and particularly that of spectacles having been known to the Athenians, Mr. Wansey appears to doubt, and

* Sic in orig. VOL. XII. NO, XXIII.

does

D

« ПредишнаНапред »