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ing his perilous travels through European and Asiatic Russia. Whether we regard the courage manifested, the danger incurred, the fatigues endured, or the treacherous conduct of the Empress, which led to his final disappointment, we cannot help contemplating this adventure with extreme interest. He made many observations on the peculiarities of the Tartar race, to which we shall have occasion to refer in another place. In the mean time it will not be uninteresting to allude more in detail to his journey through Sweden, Lapland and Finland. This was occasioned by his disappointment, in not being able to pass the Gulf of Bothnia on the ice. It was performed in the midst of ice and snow; and the dangers attending it may be imagined from Maupertuis' description of the cold of Tornea, contained in the following extract.
“ The town of Tornea, at our arrival on the thirtieth of December, had really a most frightful aspect. Its little houses were buried to the tops in snow, which, if there had been any daylight, must have effectually shut it out. But the snows continually falling, or ready to fall, for the most part hid the sun the few moments that he might have showed himself at mid-day. In the month of January the cold was increased to that extremity, that Reaumur's mercurial thermometers, which in Paris, in the great frost in 1709, it was thought strange to see fall to fourteen degrees below the freezing point, were now down to thirty seven. The spirit of wine in the others was frozen. If we opened the door of a warm room, the external air instantly converted all the air in it into snow, whirling it round in white vortexes. If we went abroad, we felt as if the air were tearing our breasts in pieces. And the cracking of the wood whereof the houses are built, as if the violence of the cold split it, continually alarmed us with an approaching increase of cold. The solitude of the streets was no less than if the inhabitants had been all dead; and in this country you may often see people that have been maimed, and had an arm or a leg frozen off. The cold, which is always very great, increases sometimes by such violent and sudden fits, as are almost infallibly fatal to those that happen to be exposed to it. Sometimes there arise sudden tempests of snow that are still more dangerous. The winds seem to blow from all quarters at once, and drive about the snow with such fury, that in a moment all the roads are lost. Unhappy he who is seized by such a storm in the fields. His acquaintance with the country, or the marks he may have taken by the trees, cannot avail him. He is blinded by the snow, and lost
if he stirs but a step.” · Concerning the remainder of Ledyard's life, it is only necessary to add, that having arrived at London, he was engaged by several Englishmen of rank and philanthropy, in an expedition to explore the interior of Africa. He proceeded to Alexandria, and thence to Cairo, where he was released from all earthly suffering, by death, occasioned by a fever. His remarks on the inhabitants of Africa, and the “land of Nile,” though very brief, are marked by the
same close observation and discriminative power, for which he was so remarkable.
It will be seen by the above outline, that the subject of Mr. Sparks' Memoirs is one of sufficient pre-eminence to secure general attention. As a man, he was extraordinary; and the scenes, with which he was connected, were in themselves highly interesting. We regret that no more is said of his religious character. From the circumstance of his once studying divinity, and from some extracts of his letters, it might seem probable that he was a religious man; but we are disappointed in hearing so little about it. We are anxious to know how far he was sustained by an unshaken trust in Providence, amidst the ineffable hardships he was called to endure; and how far his views of the power of the Gospel might affect his opinion of the practicability of Indian civilization. Of his amiable disposition we have abundant proof; and of his grateful remembrance of favors, there is sufficient testimony in his well known eulogy on women. “I have observed among all nations, that the women ornament themselves more than the men; that wherever found, they are the same kind, civil, obliging, humane, tender beings; that they are inclined to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest. They do not hesitate, like man, to perform a hospitable generous action; not haughty, nor arrogant, nor supercilious, but full of courtesy and fond of society ; industrious, economical, ingenuous; more liable in general to err than man, but in general more virtuous, and performing more good actions than he. I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. With man it has often been otherwise. In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark, through honest Sweden, frozen Lapland, and churlish Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide spread regions of the wandering Tartar, if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, woman has ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this virtue, so worthy of the appellation of benevolence, these actions have been performed in so free and kind a manner, that, if I was dry, I drank the sweet draught, and, if hungry, ate the coarse morsel, with double relish.”
Having spoken thus far of the subject which Mr. Sparks has chosen, we now come to speak of the execution. It is with pleasure we can speak of this in terms of almost unqualified praise. We know not how copious may have been the materials, with which he was furnished, but certain it is, that there is nothing tedious or incoherent in his own remarks, or in the extracts from Ledyard's letters and journal. His style of writing is perspicuous and forcible. He is indeed too well known to the literary world, to be greatly affected by our censure or applause. Yet, such as it is, he is welcome to our hearty approbation. We conVOL. I.
gratulate the lovers of memoirs, that the “ Life of Ledyard” has fallen into such hands; and we congratulate the lovers of learning generally, that so valuable a journal as the North American Review is conducted by this gentleman. We could point to more than one article in that work, that fully justifies this opinion ; and we would name the one on ‘African Colonization,' not more for the intrinsic excellence it possesses, than for the opposition with which it has met in other reviews and papers.
But to return to our subject; we are quite certain that the “Life of Ledyard” will be considered one of the most entertaining and instructive biographies, which has appeared in this country for many years, and we doubt not it will meet with merited success.
Our only remaining topic of remark is one on which we are obliged to dissent both from Ledyard and his biographer. We have before binted that this adventurous traveller speculated boldly and singularly concerning the race of Tartars. He thought them and the American Indians to be the same people. He seems indeed to have simplified the whole human family, so far as to ? ascribe their difference of manners and customs, and even of color, to their difference of circumstances. Had he lived to complete his African expedition, and to prepare, at leisure, his journal for publication, his theory concerning the human race would probably have been in many respects the most simple and unembarrassed, and supported by the best arguments, of any on record. Considering the great influence which he attributed to the difference of moral and national condition, it is singular enough that he should have thought the Indians incapable of civilization. According to his opinion, they may be placed in circumstances sufficiently diverse to change their color, but not sufficiently powerful to overcome i their predilection for savage life! The time in which he lived, and b the experience he had, might naturally enough have encouraged this belief, if he were strongly inclined to indulge it. But his biographer certainly lives a half century too late, to be the advocate of such a sentiment. We are surprised, therefore, to hear him hold the following language: “ There has never been a more idle i scheme of philanthrophy, than that of converting a savage into ! a civilized man. No one attempt, it is believed, has ever been successful.” The reason he assigns for this assertion is, that savages, brought into a civilized country, feel their own inferiority, and are thus driven back to their native woods. If this wert uniformly true, it might be accounted for from the fact that they have not been brought in sufficient numbers to encourage each other, nor kept sufficiently long, nor treated with sufficient kindness, to make a fair experiment. But what has this to do with the trial now going forward to carry the Gospel into their own habitations, and to instil into their wandering tribes the principles of religion
and of civil government? We appeal to facts, which are worth more than a thousand speculations. What is the Cherokee nation now doing? Let any one read their Phænix, edited by one of their number, who received his education in the midst of us. Let him study their laws, their governments, their improvements in agriculture and manufactures, their partial adoption of the Christian religion, with the restraints and habits which it imposes, and he will not hesitate to say, that Indians can be civilized. We could mention those among them, who would be an honor to any society, and in whose personal acquaintance we have taken great delight. And lest it should be said that these are in danger of apostatizing, we could name those who have already died in the enjoyment of a Christian hope, and who, for years before their departure, were an honor to the Christian profession. Similar experiments have been made in different parts of the world, and with similar success. Missionary labors in the Society Islands, and in the Sandwich Islands, afford incontestible evidence to this effect. We therefore read the remarks quoted above, with astonishment. They are disproved by facts of recent date, and of great extent and variety. We might indeed concur in them, if we looked merely to the influence of philosophy or civil government, without the aids of Christianity. But when we think of the Gospel of Christ, we cease to despond. We know that it is distinguished from every other system of religion in this respect,-it is wonderfully adapted to every feature of humanity. It is as much suited to raise the abject, as it is to humble the arrogant oppressor. We know that it has produced these effects, and we have reason to know that it will continue to produce the same. Wherever the indefatigable exertions of our missionaries are selt among the sons of the forest, there Christianity and civilization go hand in hand. And these results, we doubt not, will be more and more common and conspicuous. We are confident in the promises of God, that the time is approaching, when the wild Tartar that roams the Siberian waste, the African burnt by a vertical sun, the Islander in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, together with the afflicted tribes that wander up and down our own wilds, shall rise to the enjoyments of civilized life, beneath the influence of that benign religion, which converts into one brotherhood, the whole human race.
NOTICES OF RECENT PUBLICATIONS.
1. Remains of the late Rev. Charles Wolfe, A. B., Curate of Donoughmore, Diocess of Armagh; with a brief Memoir of his Life. By the Rev. John A. RUSSELL, M. A., &c. Hartford, H. &. F. J. Huntington, 1828. 12mo. pp. 294.
We took up this volume with something like an expectation of disappointment, when we recollected that the Rev. Mr. Wolfe was the author of the much celebrated “ Ode on the Burial of Sir John Moore," and when we considered how often it happens that a writer, by some happy hit, which may almost be termed accidental, is raised to an elevation in the literary world which he is afterward unable to retain. We thought it might be so with him ; and that perhaps we should find little in his “Remains” to support the high character which his first publication had given him. But this apprehension was soon removed. Wolfe was a man of sterling talent. In his mind, strength and brilliancy were, in an uncommon degree, united. The natural amiableness of his character, too, gives additional interest to his productions; and the sanctifying power of divine grace has left little wanting to the finished excellence of the author, or the man. The biographical part of the work is well written. The Editor, as he modestly styles himself, has very successfully avoided the “apparent self-obtrusion," which he feared, in preserving the memorials of a friend, “whose existence had been for many years blended with his own;" and has enabled us almost to forget that we are indebted, for the pleasure with which his volume is perused, to any one beside its dear departed subject. We cannot quite forget it however; and we sincerely thank him, in behalf of the literary and religious community, for a portrait of his justly valued friend, so delicate in its touches, and so full of living warmth in its coloring, as nearly to conceal the skilful limner's hand.
We find in Mr. Wolfe all that openness and vivacity, which, when chastened and refined by the influence of evangelical truth, so happily mingle with the more important qualities of a vigorous and cultivated mind; and which embellish the best specimens of Irish character which we have had opportunity to inspect. So discernible are these national peculiarities in the Memoir and Remains before us, that we are inclined to say of him, in his own playful language,
“ So bold and frank his bearing, boy,
In Lapland's snow,
Or Chili's glow,
You'd say, What news from Erin, boy.” p. 81. This scrap from one of his earlier and lighter poems, may prepare our readers to expect a rich variety of composition in the volume which contains it: and we can assure them they will not, in this respect, be disappointed. In his minor poems, written, like Cow. per's, for the entertainment of an endeared and attached circle of