Gambar halaman
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

two strokes ; under the nose several marks, resembling an M; from the corners of the mouth, to the middle of the cheek, were two parallel lines; and below them, on both sides, many straight stripes ; below and between her breasts there were some connected segments of circles, and down her arms the figure of a snake was depicted. This beauty wore no ornaments, except a necklace of monkey's teeth, Scarcely had she recovered from the surprise occasioned by our appearance, when she hastened with all speed back to her hut. We observed, that on the information given by her of our arrival, most of the Indians threw themselves into their hammocks, or hid themselves in their huts, and some others fled into the neighbouring wood.

When we reached the huts, no female was to be seen, except a few old women; the men lay silent, motionless, and with their backs turned to us, in their hammocks. Our military guide went first into their habitations, saluted the savages, and gave them to understand, as well as his knowledge of their language would permit, that we had come from a very distant country to visit them, and to employ ourselves in collecting birds, butterflies, and plants. This declaration seemed to make but little impression upon them, they swung, as before, silent in their hammocks, and looked at us only by stealth. Even good words and presents had no effect upon them; on our asking for a draught of water, one of them turned his head, and pouting out his mouth, and, with gestures indicating impatience, pointed to the neighbouring stream.'

At Guidowald they met with a tribe of Coropos, who had brought dried ipecacuanha roots, to exchange for cottons and iron ware.

They appear the most civilized Indians of the Minas. They are described as of a middling stature, and possessing a disagreeable Mongol countenance. The Coroados in the neighbourhood of Guidowald fled on the approach of our naturalists, imagining they intended to take them for soldiers; having convinced themselves of their peaceable intentions, by means of their spies, they gradually returned. Here they soon became familiar with the savages, and we have a full account of their habits and manners.

Their dances are of a lancholy kind. This very interesting part of the work cannot be abridged, it exhibits a view of human nature in the highest degree gloomy and humiliating, irradiated only by the hope that these wretched sons of Adam (for we will confidently venture to call them so,) will ere long be in a train of physical and mental amelioration. Though healthy upon the whole, they are afflicted with liver complaints, ague, and a riety of diseases, owing to their residence in the damp atmosphere of the woods. They practise venesection by discharging at the vein, from a small bow, a little arrow headed with crystal. The philologist will derive much pleasure from perusing the work; great pains have been taken in investigating the languages of the various tribes, and procuring




vocabularies. Having enriched their collections in the vie cinity of the Xipoto, and prevailed upon a young Coroado, by a present of brandy and a handsome suit of clothes, to accompany them to Villa Rica, they commenced their journey on the 17th of April, and arrived (after meeting with an alarming adventure which ended happily) on the 21st at the capital in the neighbourhood of which they made several excursions ; the first was to the top of Itacolumi, here the barometer at one o'clock in the afternoon was 23.6.75. the thermometer 68o. whereas, in Villa Rica the former was 25.2. and the latter 81°. According to De Luc, this gives for Villa Rica an elevation of 3760 English feet, and for Itacolumi 57 10. This mountain is composed of quartz slate, traversed with scales of mica, and towards the center contains specular iron. They next directed their enquiry to the chromat of lead, hitherto found only in Brazil, and on the Ural in Siberia. On their way to Congonhas do Campo, where it is met with, they examined the mines of Senhor Monteiro de Barros, from which the gold is obtained, 22 carats fine; about a league further is the mine called Cújabeira, now abandoned, where the chromat of lead was discovered : with considerable difficulty they succeeded in collecting a great number of specimens of this extremely scarce mineral, with which they returned to Villa Rica, pleasant valley, not far from the gold mines of Antonio Pereira, a very compact light grey calcareous stone stands out in masses, and extends up the mountain a considerable distance. After visiting several mines, more or less rich in the precious metals, and paying their respects to the venerable founder of the Hospicio de Nossa Senhora Mâi dos Homens, they again returned to Villa Rica, where they packed their valuable collections, sending them to Rio Janeiro, while they prepared to leave the land of gold for that of diamonds.

In a work sanctioned by authority, and undertaken with peculiar advantages, we expect accuracy and skill; and in the travels of Von Spix and Martius, we meet with both, in a considerable degree. They set out with minds stored with the riches of science, and strong powers of observation, which they have brought to bear upon a great variety of subjects. The botanical information contained in the work is of the first description, and of considerable extent ; geology has been enriched with an immense collection of facts. The primitive formation appears inost conspicuous throughout the whole extent of country described. The various modifications of granite, quartz, and mica, indicate a strong resemblance to the central mountainous districts of Europe;

while the almost total absence of lime and its numerous combinations, with the universal presence of gold, which is obtainable in a greater


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

or less degree throughout the whole of Brazil, form a distinguishing characteristic of the new world. The vast abundance of rich iron ores will be of immense advantage to this portion of America, limited, however, by the total absence of coal. The processes of metallurgy have a character of simplicity arising from the nature of the substance so eagerly sought after. When the recently improved method of separating gold from its matrix by anialgamation, finds its way into the districts abandoned by the washers, they will probably again teem with life, and become the objects of hope and anxiety. We wish that meteorology had been enriched with more frequent observations; we are, however, fully aware of the difficulty of transporting delicate instruments on the back of a mule, over rivers, swamps, and mountains,-a. difficulty which must be experienced before it can be properly appreciated. With the labours of the translator we have, little fault to find ; the style is, upon the whole, easy and unaffected ; and this in a work, the general character of which, is scientific, we hold to be indispensible.

But there are, marks of haste, which our readers will observe in many of the passages extracted, which we have selected for the matter rather than the manner. We object to the use of the thermometric division of Reaumur in the translation, whose scale, though generally adopted on the continent, is scarcely ever used in England. We hope, in a second edition, which we have no doubt will soon be called for, that this will be corrected. With regard to the plates, the less that is said about them the better, the execution and design of the greater part of them is very inferior, we think they would be advantageously exchanged for a good map; which, as we understand the work is to be completed in four volumes, we hope will accompany the remaining two; indeed, we consider the object, as far as geography is concerned, to be very imperfectly attained without one. In dismissing the work be- , fore us, we have great satisfaction in pronouncing it to be at once valuable to the man of science, and interesting to the general reader,

[ocr errors]

The Deserted City; Eva, a Tale in two Cantos; and other

Poems. By Joseph Bounden.- London : Longman. pp.

216. J2mo. This poem, in its title and structure, bears resemblance to Goldsmith's “Deserted Village;" a comparison with which, will not injure it in the estimation of the reader, and may add to

his pleasure in the perusal, by associating it, in idea, with that master-piece of the “ inspired idiot.

The geographical situation of Auburn has been a matter of dispute. The writer before us has not decided the locality of his Deserted City-Urburgh. We, however, have a shrewd guess upon the subject. The fancy of the poet is a bold one, which ventures to suggest that the extensive and extending capital of this our "father land,may be destroyed by war and tyranny.His imaginations have moulded themselves into the scenes the most familiar to himself, and he has dared to embody the possibility which was the theme of his song, in a strain of prophecy which looks upon the future as the past, and expatiates upon the solitude of the once populous streets of Urburgh. The rast Cathedral,- the Senate House,-the Tavern,-the Exchange,-the Bank,-the Theatre,-the Palace,-the Museum,--the Academy,--the Manufactory,--the College,-all pass in review before the poet, as the things that have been. There is much pathos in the following sketch : Here stood a home to shield the poor

and old,
Where childhood played, and age long stories told-
Where some, who trod the busy paths of life,
In sorrow clos'd its round of care and strife;
Whose past bright days, in bitter contrast brought,
Form'd the last efforts of expiring thought !
Collected here the wreck of human kind
The shattered frame, and the exhausted mind;
The hopeless spirit, and the sundered heart,
By anguish and misfortune wrencb'd apart -
In every stage of slow or swift decay,
Past the dim hours of life's autumnal day;
Falling like dry and yellow leaves around,
And souri, like them, to mingle with the ground !
There musing melancholy silent sate
Pondering the dark vicissitudes of fate;
And brooding on the past, in maddening thought,
When life with hope and energy was fraught.
There nerveless palsy shook her trembling head,
And hoary childhood prest his constant bed-
There the half maniac mused his dreaming day,

And idiotisin laughed its life away.
The energy of the following line is considerable :-

“And poems dashed from Genius' fiery pen.” The catastrophe is depicted in a spirited manner.

Yes! I remeniber well that fatal day,
When noble Urburgh fell, the despot's prey.

He describes the previous night,

And there was hurrying, rushing to and fro,
Of man and horse--a people whelm'd in woe!
And men were shouting for their friends; and cries
Of women trembled in the echoing skies !

All ranks abroad, as by one impulse, flocked,
Leaving their dwellings darkened and unlocked

[ocr errors]

Thousands departed ere the morning rose,
That saw the City traversed by her foes:
'Twas the last day that shone upon her fame-
The evening left her nothing but a pame-
That now resounds a warning word to all,
Of the sure causes of a nation's fall.
Who lived of her enslavers, fled the first
The hopeless-reckless-stay'd to brave the worst!
In sullen hate upon the foe they gazed ;
And cursed the bostile Aay that triumph raised ;
Borne by the very hands that oft before
Had lost the trophies Urburgh proudly wore.
In endless columns they advanced along,
Safe in her weakness, and in numbers strong;
Like the fierce torrent that the mountain pours,
Tearing the ravaged vales through which it roars.
The heavy tread of many thousand feet,
Shaking the ground, past on from street to street;
The tramp of steed follow'd the rumbling gun,
And noon was glowing ere their march was done.
The drums that peal'd their thunder on the air,
Rolld the last echoes of a land's despair;
And the shrill trumpet's loud and piercing breath,
Burst on the fallen like the blast of death!
Yes, there were bitter feelings none could speak -
And proud men look'd the wrath the could not wreak-
And they whose hopes had with their country's grown,

Long’d for a look might turn that host to stone!
The pride of manhood struggled with despair ;
And hands were clench'd as if a sword were there;
And the last feeling of the soul was shame,

That thus should set their country's star of fame. It is not to be supposed that the poet anticipates that London may become the desert which he describes. But where are the cities of antiquity? Tyre and Sidon, and Babylon and Carthage, and Rome and Constantinople! It behoves us to provide against the possibility; and the description which the poet gives of the signs of the times may not be useless, by

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »