Imatges de pàgina

the eyes of philosophers. It would be superfluous to discuss all the superstitious ceremonies invented afterwards by priests at different periods; but the origin of that worship is here explained by facts, too, palpable to be rejected.'

This subject requires farther confideration than it has yet received. The sacred groves, which surrounded all oracles, the oak of Dodona, the groves and the oaks of our own Druids, show, that some common original must have suggested the same or similar rites to distant nations. The oracles at Dodona and at Delphi were no more the foundations of the original inhabitants of these places, than the Druidical system and rites; which it is necessary to observe, did not receive the appellation from opòs an oak, but from the Cumraig word drw, a fage. This, however, is from our purpose.

Our author's account of Thermopylæ, is by no means accurate. The Spartans, as we had formerly occasion to show, were surrounded, but they might have escaped, had it been consistent with their character, or suitable to their wishes. We shall, however, transcribe M. Pauw's narrative, merely as a specimen of the accuracy and precision with which miJitary subjects are treated. Though the argument, in this inItance, is carried too far, the narrative is on the whole judicious.

" When the Greek writers, guided by their enthusiasm and national vanity, made use of continual exaggerations, they did not suppose that posterity would discover such an art as historical criticism, to tear away from truth the veil of fiction. It is easy by this method to estimate justly the exploit of the three hundred Spartans against the Persian army at the straits of Thermopylæ. In the first place, it is impossible that ever any combat, such as historians have described, could have taken place there, because the defile was then closed by a very folid wall, extending from the foot of the moun. tains to the sea. The Lacedæmonians, placed to the south of this rampart, so far from being able to attack, were prevented by their own works from even discovering the enemy towards the north ; and the position they had chosen was contrary to all the rules of war then in practice. The Persians having detached a body of troops by some neglected paths on mount Oeta, hemmed them in so completely, that they could not escape ; and, as Titus Livius observes very judiciously, their death was by far more memorable than their combat. In fact, the whole of that affair was nothing more than the massacre of some men, whose lives were thrown away without any utility either to tlieir own state, or the rest of Greece.

• The same fault was afterwards committed in that very place by king Antiochus, who encountered a most signal defeat from the Romans, That prince likewise constructed an insurmountable wall,


without thinking of the other passes, through which Cato found means to penetrate, as the Persians had done when they exterminated Leonidas. It was certainly the greatest imprudence on the part of the Lacedæmonians, and likewise of Antiochus, to occupy such a confined post, without having fortified all the other paisages through which an enemy could fall on their flank and rear, as they experienced successively.'

The character of the Lacedæmonians is drawn with a sombrę pencil. Every unpleasing figure is exaggerated, every common one distorted. The Lacedæmonians needed not this art, for they seldom afford a pleasing subject of inquiry or conlideration. We shall conclude our account of these volumes with one other extract:

• None of the writers, who have mentioned that the virgins appeared naked at the gymnasia, ever pretended to assert this froni their own knowledge ; and as the circumstance appears almost incredible, it is necessary to explain their assertion one way or another.

"At Athens a man was said to be naked, when he had quitted his cloak, although he continued to wear his tunic; and as this manner of speaking was very common throughout Greece, a woman might probably be said to be naked, when the appeared in a robe, without wearing the veil, called peplos. The latter was so eflential a part of dress with the Grecian dames of distinction, that they wore it in all public places at Argos, Athens, and Thebes; while the virgins of Lacedæmon, during the excessive heat at the foot of mount Taygetus, frequently threw aside their veils to exercise themselves in running and dancing on the banks of the Eurotas. In this situation, a part of the breast remained uncovered, as well as the legs and arms; but it was far from that state of absolute nakedness, imagined by Propertius in an elegy, and by Plutarch in that romance, called the Life of Lycurgus.

In a country so irregular as Laconia, covered with thick woods and steep rocks, nothing could have been more inconvenient than long garments. It is not, therefore, extraordinary that the women, who were frequently employed in the chace, should adopt, amidst a military people, a ipecies of clothing very immodest in the eyes of the other Greeks, who were accustomed to the floating drapery of the peplos.

• A more exact idea cannot be formed of the virgins of Laconia, than by observing fome ancient statues of Atalanta or Diana. Their robes, adapted to a mountainous country, did not flatter the shape; for the folds of the tunic, lying fo thick on the hips, rendered those parts enormously bulky. From the same cause the women of Melos appear aukward and disagreeable to strangers at first fight; and yet they cannot properly be called phenomerides, although this epithet was given to those of Sparta, because they were not covered to the knee.


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. It is very probable, that anciently a great difference could be observed between the Achæan women, who inhabited the towns, and those of the Doric race, employed in hunting, with exactly such bows and arrows as were ufed in Crete. Befides, the climate in that country, extending beyond the thirty-seventh degree of latitude, had a very considerable influence on the complexion of the inhabitants. This is still remarkable in the Mainots, called Cacovougnis or banditti of the mountain, who, exposed to the impreslions of the air on the high rocks of Cape Tenarus, appear very tawny in coniparison with the Turkish families, inhabiting the more shady country around Misitra.' • To this translation two maps, one of antient and the other of modern Greece, are annexed; but we are sorry to be obliged to remark, that they are copied with little care from some im. perfect charts.

The Wanderings of I'arwick. By Charlotte Smith. 12010.

Pol. I. 4s. lowed. J. Bell. 1794. THE productions of Mrs. Charlotte Smith, though marked

1 with pretty different degrees of comparative merit, are all ftamped with knowledye of the world and fertility of inven. tion; they all shew confiderable powers of description, and a vein of poetical fancy, and are all intitled to rank far abovethe common run of these kind of publications,

The present story is built upon the ground-work of her last novel, The Old Alanor Houfe, and is a kind of episodiacal story of one of the dependent characters, so that the author has not the trouble of introducing her hero to us as a new acquaintance. We are not sure whether this is perfectly judicious; it rather tends to take off the interest, by taking off the gloss and novelty of the flory; and, perhaps, implies niore recol. lection of the preceding picce, than an author has a fuil right to expect with regard to a fictitious story, which has been now published some time. Not but in reality the Wanderings of Warwick make a compleat story by themsclves. They contain the adventures of a gay young ofiicer and his wife, who having disobliged their friends by marrying for love, encounter many hard thips and difficulties in various climates, partic:ularly in the Weit Indies, and in Spain and Portugal; so that the scenery is suíficiently varied. A little adventure in Jamaica is so well told, and conveys so itriking a moral, that we shall give it entire to our readers. Warwick, aiter inentioning a planter with whom he had been intimate in the former part of his life, says:

- This gentleman had a daughter, heiress to his great estate, whom in confideration of my relationship to nobility, and of being the presumptive heir of general Tracy, he seemed not unwilling to give me; and I very soon perceived that young lady was not disposed to let me despair : she was handiome enough, very lively, and apparently very good-humoured. But at that time being little more than eighteen, I felt a prodigious aversion to matrimony. 'I was determined to be one of those agreeable rakes for whom I saw, in England, all the women dying; and nothing could be better calculared than Jamaica for beginning with considerable success the career of glory. I was already contended for as a partner at every ball, and distinguished from my companions by the name of the handfome ensign. To sacrifice all these advantages, and become a married man, was not to be thought of, though my fair creolian could have given me the whole island. But the advantage her fortune offered appeared in quite another light to a young lieutenant of the fame regiment: a cadet, like me, of an honourable house, who had nothing but his pay; and to whom therefore a fortune of near four thousand a year was by no means a matter of indifference. _“ You don't care about that girl, War.vick?” said he, one evening after a ball at which I had been dancing with her.

Not I,” anfwered I carelessly. “ And you have no thoughts of availing yourself of the favour you are in with her and her father?".

* None upon earth."

“ Then perhaps," rejoined my friend, “ you would not cut my throat if I tried an experiment which they say seldom fails—whether in the opinion of such a girl the most agreeable man is not he who flatters her the moft?”.

66 Oh!" answered I, “ try it, dear Jack; I have not the least objection. On the contrary, I shall be obliged to thee, my friend; for I find it fatiguing to administer so continually to one woman's vanity."

6° And thou wantel more to administer to thine. But understand me, Warwick If I can pofless myself of an advantage to which you seem totally indifferent, and carry off this heiress of the isle--have I your consent?" .

u With all my soul, and I heartily with you success-making only this bargain, Jack, that I won't have it faid the left me for you--No, damn it, that would be too mortifying-No, no; I will have it known that I might have had her if I would.”

• My friend had sense enough to humour my ridiculous and boyith vanity while he despised it; and it was agreed between us, that I should relax in my attentions while he grew more aliiduous. The scheme succeeded; and the nymph became niore partial to the lieutenant than she had ever been to me, whom ihe could not forgive for haý. ing deserted her for the attractions of a young widow, who had lately re-appeared in society after her mourning for a husband who had left her a noble estate; and who, though four or five years older, was in beauty and in wealth her rival, and of course heartily detested.

• Though no:hing was further from my thoughts than matrimony, and though my lively widow seemed to understand the value of the liberty she had regained too well to be willing soon to resign it, the good-humoured Jamaica world talked loudly of our attachment; while my friend succeeded so happily in his, that the father of the lady, perceiving her affe&tion for him, had consented to their marriage. On the part of the young lieutenant, what began with intereited views was now become a serious affeétion; and my friend, who was a very amiable and worthy young man, believed himself likely to be most happy in an alliance where pecuniary advantages were added to personal attachment.

Every thing was preparing for the sumptuous celebration of the wedding, and the happy lover was admitted to visit his mistress with that degree of freedom which their approaching marriage allowed. She had lost her mother some years before; and had, though only seventeen, been long inistress of her father's house, who treated her with the most boundless indulgence.

o It happened that the lieutenant, who had been upon duty at Kingston, was dismissed by the commanding officer sooner than his turn of duty was at a end, on another subaltern's taking his place} and as he was to be married in a few days, he hastened at a very ery hour of the morning to the country-house where his mistress resided.

• He took a gay leave of his comrades, for it was probable that he would be married before he rejoined them: though the day was not yet fixed, but was to be left to the decision of the lady herself; who would not, he flattered himself, name a very distant one.

But my surprise was extreme to see him amid the violent heats of the same day, when nobody ever thinks of stirring out, enter my room, where I was about to take my fiesta, with an air fo dejected that I immediately perceived something very disagreeable had hap. pened.--I inquired eargerly after his intended bride: he answered coldly that she was well.--. And when is the wedding to be?” cried I with vivacity. Never," replied my friend ;-and throwing himself into a chair, he yielded for some time in Glence to the ex. treme vexation he felt. But I at length drew from him the following account:

* I entered the house,' said my friend, “ as I usually do, after giving my borse to the negro who waited in the stable.--You recola lect that above stairs there is an open calonnade that runs round the house: I was thewn into the apartment where Miss Shaftesbury fits in a morning--it was elegantly dreiled with flowers ;--her toilet was taitefully fet out;--lier musick-book was open at a pathetic song :--.

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