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number of the pages have slides, or slips of printed paper, pasted on them very neatly, as additions or corrections to the text' and the numerous long notes. The first volume commences with, Recommendations of the Work, a “ Dedicatio Deo-Omnipotenti” in Latin, an Address in Latin " ad Lectorem," and an English Preface. From these ma. terials, we shall extract as well as we can some account of the history of the undertaking.
This colossal work is the product of one man's labour; it has been compiled and written out by Mr. Davy alone, set up by himself, though ignorant of the art of printing, with a few worn out types, and printed off, one page at a time, by himself, at a printing press made with his own hands! It seems to have been begun thirty years ago ; in 1784, the MS. was shewn to Dr. Ross, Bishop of Exeter ; by him, says Mr. D. “ exploratum fuit, et rejectum'; nomen autem illius postremo in subscriptionem dedit.” Having procured some subscriptions, Mr. D. put some part of the work, six volumes apparently, to press; and then found himself deserted by many of his subscribers and burdened with a heavy debt to his printer ; for the first edition of the work, it seems, was not printed by himself. In reference to this disheartening situation, and his repeated failures in soliciting patronage of Bishops and others, he says, "Hoc neque me dejecit; Restudui ; Requisivi, et nil habui. Parcè ergò, et moderatè vixi : et moderatè parcèque vivendo (Ingenio manibusquè laborans,) satis rerum contraxi, ut republicarem ; (i. e.) ad materias acquiren dum, scilicèt detritos, et abjectos Typos a Typographo, quoad sufficiebant ad duas Paginas, und semèl a me excusá. Nulluni Typographum, in Adjutorem, habeo ; et Prelum-Typographicum ipse effeci." . p. iv. ad Lectorem.
He printed 40 copies of the first 300 pages of this second edition, in 1795, and sent 26 to the Universities, the Royal
Society, some of the Bishops, and the Reviews, by way of · Prospectus ; he received a few compliments, but no assistance:
he persevered nevertheless, and in 1807 completed fourteen copies
of a work containing not less perhaps than thirteen thousand pages. A copy is left for public irispection at each University, and at Mr. Hatchard's, Piccadilly:
The use of these copies, we apprehend, will be to remain as Curiosities of Literature, as monuments of the power of persevering industry, and as remarkable proofs of the blind strength which is observable in certain conditions of the human mind. We cannot help reverencing the potent'energy, which has sustained Mr. Davy's long-continued and much-discouraged efforts till they have terminated in the full accomplishment of their object: nor can we avoid smiling at the unprofitable di
rection of his diligence, the whimsicat simplicity of his manner, and the barbaris:ns of his canine Latinity. We shall quote his Dedication entire. 6. Cælestis Genitor!”
“Qui variis Temporibus, Modisque diversis nobis per Prophetas locutus es ;” Hoc opus ab illis undique collectum, et tui Auxilio perfectum, quamvis ab Hominibus rejectum, Tibi latum est.
• De Tu Laude, non opus est tractare; nequè ausus, nequè possum ; super - enim omnem Laudem et super omnem commendationenı prævectus
Tu mihi hunc Animum,Tu mihi Ingenium, cum Potestate, Materiisquè omnibus dedisti et locuplesti. Sicut Amnis, igitur, ab Oceano nutritus, in Oceanum rursùs revertit,
ego ad te; e Tuis tantùm nunc confero. • Multis non opus est Verbis, Tu enim in Coelo es, sum tantùm e Terrâ; sicùt, igitur per Te hoc fuit inceptum, atquè gradatè perfectum, sic, sit quoque finitum.-Da mibi subsidium.
A Tuo, quamvis in Labore maximo,
Gulielmo Davy.' Mr. Davy inserts at length a letter which was sent by “the late Vicechancellor of Cambridge” (Dr.Turner) “ to the editor on his receipt of the first edition, (as it must be of great weight with the public, in recommendation of this work from so distinguished a seat of learning);">"franked by his lordslrip, the bishop of Peterborough; whose judgment, therefore, ip this case, must be supposed to be united. In reference to a similar letter of acknowledgement from the secretary of the Royal Society, Mr. Davy remarks, in the same happy manner, that it was, as usual perhaps in such cases, (to do the greater honour) sent folded only, without any seal.”
The reader who remembers Parson Adams's eulogium, on bis own sermon upon humility, will be amused with Mr. D.'s expressions of gratitude to the Gentleman's Magazine, for inserting his address to the public, (Aug. 1795)--; their “ Prelude to it,” he says, “and judgment on the work, are (through modesty) rather referred to by the editor, than bere repeated,
While we congratulate Mr. Davy on the happy completion of a work which will probably not be soon forgotten, though it should be vever read, we cannot but deeply regret, as we look around us, that during the period of his indefatigable daily and nightly labour, so many thousands have been con suming their time in idleness, or employing their energies in criminal pursuits, and we sincerely hope that his performance and our notice of it may apswer at least some purpose, by in
citing the supine to useful diligence, and warning the active from obliquities in their course, which may expose them to pity, contempt, or condemnation.
Art. IX. The Modern Geographer; being a General and Complete Descrip
tion of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America ; with the Oceans, Seas, and Islande, in every Part of the World : Prepared and digested, upon a new Plan; from the latest and most accurate Authorities, with Notes, . historical, critical, and explanatory. By Francis William Blagdon, Esq. Vol. I., containing the Geography of North and South America. 8vo. Pp. 621. With Maps and Plates. Price 185, bds. Whellier. 1807. THERE is scarcely," says the author of this work, " any
system of geography extant in this kingdom which is not replete with errors of the most important kinds : suce cessive editions are published of those which have gained some reputation, and no trouble whatever is taken in their revisal, while the important territorial alterations, and the interesting discoveries that have occurred in astronomy, natural history, and natural philosophy, are equally disregarded." To rectify those errors, and to supply those deficiencies, has therefore been the object of Mr. Blagdon. The selections he has made; in the volume now under consideration, from the most recent voyages and travels, are valuable additions to the usual plan of systems of geography. Vancouver, La Perouse, Hearne, Mackenzie, Weid, Depons, and other cravellers, have cons tributed their stores, and render the perusal of this work both instructive and amusing to the geographical student.
In the review of works of this kind, however, the most unpleasant part of criticism, that of detecting errors, is necessarily more called into exercise, than the detail of excellences, the latter can only be stated in general terms, while the former require particular comment; and we are sorry to say that Mr. B. has not so successfully fulfilled his purpose in avoiding the mistakes of his predecessors, as he has in supplying their deficiencies. We had marked even more numerous list of inaccuracies, than that which we now proceed to notice.
It certainly is highly improper, as the author has done (p. 53) to class Trinidad, Margarita, and Curaçoa, among the North American islands; they evidently belong to South America, Labrador and Hudson's Bay are not described in the chapter which treats of the British possessions in North America, but occur among those countries that are unoccupied or unclaimed by any civilized nation. Among the European powers who possess the West India islands, Sweden is omitted ; and St. Bartholomew's, a Swedish settlement, is said to belong to
the French. The important and extensive range of the Lucayos or Bahama islands, is wholly unnoticed; although the first land that Columbus discovered was one of them; and they are now valuable appendages to the British empire, both as the resort of extensive traffic, and as producing large quantities of cotton. In a note to page 501, it is said that the Spanish bloodhounds “ were employed in Jamaica, about 14 years ago, to subdue the refractory. Caribs, who, after a most sanguinary warfare, were all banished, by their own consent, to Canada, where they have ever since remained peaceable :” the Maroons, principally runaway negroes, were, upon their reduction in Jamaica, shipped, according to the terms of the capitulation they entered into, to Nova Scotia, whence they were sent some years afterwards to Sierra Leone. St. Lucia is enumerated among the French West India islands, though in a note Mr. B. says he has some strong reasons for believing that the island of St. Lucia was taken by the British at an early period of the present war :.this is the fact; and as it might have been easily ascertained, we have some strong reasons for thinking this is not precisely the way in which it should be stated in a voluminous System of Modern Geography. In the first line of page 507, St. Martin's is described as a French island, and at the bottom of the same page, as a Dutch one: the fact is, that it formerly was possessed partly by the French, and partly by the Dutch, but has laiterly passed wholly under the dominion of the former. It was not St. Johii's, but St. Thomas's, that suffered by fire in 1801 and 1806; and Santa Cruz, so far from being an insignificant island, is the only one of the three (late) Danish islands that is of any consequence in an agricultural point of view; it produces large quantities of sugar, superior in quality to that of any other West India island, the clayed sugars of St. Domingo and Martinico excepted: these Danish islands are now all in the hands of the English,
Castile del Oro (p. 511) is translated the Golden Coast, instead of Golden Castile. In describing the viceroyalty of New Grenada, it is called an inland province; but the provinces of Papayan and Quito, which form part of it, extend for ten degrees of latitude along the Pacific Ocean; and Quito, though cursorilý mentioned in the next chapter, as having formerly constituted part of Peru, was deserving of more ample notice, from its ancient splendour and its modern ima portance. Payta, which in page 548 is erroneously stated as belonging to New Grenada, appears again in the next page, in its proper place, as a seaport of Peru. The author has fallen into a singular mistake with respect to the herb of Paraguay, which he says is an excellent emetic: it is an herb that is used as a substitute for tea, and constitutes a-more universal beverage in South America, than even tea does in England. There is no such port as St. Salvador on the north shore of La Plata, (p. 596) belonging to the Portuguese; that of Colonia, or St. Sacrament, has been at various times in the possession of the Portuguese, but was finally ceded to the Spaniards in 1778. The islands of Nootka are, by a most egregious blunder, considered, in the last page of this volume, as an'appurtenance to South America. We shall finish this disagrecable task, by expressing our surprise, that, in enumerating the natural curiosities of Mexico, Mr. B. bas omitted that singular animal the Mexican hog; and that he has taken no notice of the pitch pine of the Southern States of America, which is growing rapidly in estimation, as yielding timber inferior to none but oak in durability and hardness, and of which large quantities have recently been imported into England, both for private and public purposes.
The first division, which treats of North America, is by far the best, and appears to be a judicious compilation of what is most interesting and most authentic in the various authors who have written on that country: we are sorry, however, to.perceive a bias in Mr. B.'s mind against America and Americans, wholly inconsistent with the impartiality, which ought to prevail in all works of cosmography. Nothing but that bias could have induced him to copy. so much and so indiscriminately from a traveller like Parkinson. · We must also most pointedly condemn the sneers in which our author has indulged, in many of his notes, at the highly respectable and valuable labours of Mr. Pinkerton in this department of science; if his own work is superior in merit to Mr P's, he should bave left the public to find it out. In several instances, haste, and a defective arrangement of subordinate matters, are discernible, which may be attributable to the original form of the work in numbers, a method that does not admit of a sufficient concoction, if we may be allowed the . term, of the materials, or of a due revision of them, as forming a whole. The mode adopted, of commencing with America, instead of with Europe, as has generally been practised in ot er systems of ge.graphy, is unobjectionable, and perhaps judicious. We shall notice the succeeding volumes as they come in course before us, and shall conclude this article with a general recommendation of the Modern Geographer, decidedly favourable to its plan, but qualified by the preceding strictures with regard to its execution.