Page images

ART. XV. The Voyage of Hanno, translated, and accompanied with the Greek Text; explained from the Accounts of modern Travellers; defended against the Objections of Mr. Dodwell, and other Writers; and illustrated by Maps from Ptolemy, D'Anville, and Bougainville. By Thomas Falconer, A. M. Fellow of C. C. C. Oxford. 8vo. pp. 105. 4s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1797.

WE E believe that this is the first complete translation in English of a work which has been given in Italian by Romusio, in Spanish by Campomanes, and in French by Bougainville. The task, indeed, was not arduous; since the text, which is sufficiently correct, is comprised within the compass of a few pages. Mr. F. has added valuable matter in the form of dissertations, which, we think, would have been better and more convenient in the shape of notes to his version. Thus, p. 9, we read; In the neighbourhood of the mountains, lived the Troglodytæ, men of various appearances.' In the dissertation, p. 26, we read, I have translated araquog P85, "of various appearances:" it should rather have been," of an appearance different from the natives whom we had before seen." The best explanation of the expression is to be found in this passage of Robertson's America: "As far as the river Senegal, the Portuguese had found the coast of Africa inhabited by people nearly resembling the Moors of Barbary. When they advanced to the south of that river, the human form seemed to put on a new appearance. They beheld men with skins black as ebony, &c." Again, p. 11.

"Having taken in water there, we sailed forwards five days near the land, until we came to a large bay, which our interpreters informed us was called the Western Horn. In this was a large island, and in the island a salt water lake, and in this another island, where, when we had landed, we could discover nothing in the day time except trees; but in the night we saw many fires burning, and heard the sound of pipes, cymbals, drums, and confused shouts. We were then afraid, and our diviners ordered us to abandon the island. Sailing quickly away thence, we passed by a country burning with fires and perfumes; and streams of fire supplied thence fell into the sea. The country was impassable, on account of the heat. We sailed quickly thence, being much terrified; and passing on for four days, we discovered at night a country full of fire. In the middle was a lofty fire, larger than the rest, which seemed to touch the stars. When day came, we discovered it to be a large hill, called the Chariot of the Gods."

In the dissertation, p. 31, these circumstances are thus explained:

"In countries, such as we have been now describing, and such as Hanno was then sailing by, when he made the remark, there is no twilight. The stars, in their full brightness, are in possession of the



whole heavens, when, in an instant, the sun appears without an harbinger, and they all disappear together. We shall say, at sun-rising, the thermometer is from 48° to 60°. At three o'clock in the afternoon, it is from 100° to 115°. An universal relaxation, a kind of irresistible languor, and aversion to all actions, takes possession of both man and beast; the appetite fails, and sleep and quiet are the only things the mind is capable of desiring, or the body of enduring. Cattle, birds, and beasts, all flock to the shade, and to the neighbourhood of running streams, or deep stagnant pools. From the same motive, the wild beast stirs not from his cave; and for this too he has an additional reason: because the cattle he depends upon for his prey do not stir abroad to feed; they are asleep and in safety, for with them are their dogs, and their shepherds. But no sooner does the sun set, than a cold night instantly succeeds a burning day; the appetite immediately returns, the cattle spread themselves abroad to feed, and pass quietly out of the shepherds sight, into the reach of a multitude of beasts seeking for their prey. Fires, the only remedy, are every where lighted by the shepherds to keep these at a respectful distance; and dancing, singing, and music, at once exhilarate the mind, and contribute, by alarming the beasts of prey, to keep their flocks in safety, and prevent the bad effects of severe cold. This was the cause of the observation Hanno made, sailing along the coast; and it was true when he made it. Just the same inay be observed still, and will be, so long as the climate and inhabitants are the same *."

They then passed by a country burning with fire, which was accompanied with perfumes; and streams of fire, supplied thence, fell into the sea. This fact likewise is excellently illustrated by Mr. Bruce. "After the fire," says he, " (which was lighted for the purposes of destroying the cover for the animals which they hunt), has consumed all the dry grass in the plain, and, from it, done the same up to the top of the highest mountains, the large ravines or gullies, made by the torrents falling from the higher ground, being shaded by their depth, and their being in possession of the last water that runs, are the latest to take fire, though full of every sort of herbage. The large bamboos, hollow canes, and such like plants, growing as thick as they can stand, retain their greenness, and are not dried enough for burning, till the fire has cleared the grass from all the rest of the country; at last, when no other fuel remains, the herdsmen on the tops of the mountains set fire to these, and the fire runs down in the very path in which, some months before, the water ran, filling the whole gully with flame, which does not end till it is checked by the ocean below, where the torrent of water entered, and where the fire of course ceases. This I have often seen myself, and been often nearly enclosed in it; and can bear witness, that, at a distance, and by a stranger ignorant of the cause, it would hardly be distinguished from a river of fire."

In this little work, are several other explanations of the antient text, selected with equal judgment with the above cita* Bruce's Travels, vol. ii. p. 565, &c.'

[blocks in formation]

tion from the works of modern travellers. We wish to see the whole of the Greek geographers translated and illustrated, nearly on the same plan. Few works would prove

more useful, and none more entertaining.

Mr. F.'s translation deserves the praise of fidelity, and of as much elegance as the nature of the work either requires or admits.


ART. XVI. Memoirs of the Life of Lord Lovat: written by himself in the French Language; and now first translated from the ori ginal Manuscript. 8vo. pp. 468. 6s. Boards. Nicol. 1797. THESE Memoirs extend from the years 1694 to 1715. They are less interesting than might be expected from the character of their author. The incomparably largest portion of them is personal to himself, and relative to the defence of his behaviour in those particulars in which, he says, it had been so monstrously calumniated. Few men, indeed, were ever less indebted to fame; of which we shall produce the following proof from Macpherson's History of Great Britain; a work composed with no small degree of attention and caution, and published long after Lord Lovat had ceased to live, and when his past actions were no longer viewed through the delusive medium of either friendship or resentment. In speaking of what was called the Scottish plot in 1704, the historian says:

The principal actor in this political piece was Captain Simon Fraser, afterwards well known by the title of Lord Lovat. Destitute of principle and despising veracity as useless, he accommodated all his actions to his immediate interest; and all his words to the purpose of deceiving the credulous into his views. Habituated through time to this abandoned conduct, he became, in a manner, incapable of deviating from it; and thus his profligacy, by being generally known, carried its own antidote in itself. In the month of September 1697, Simon Fraser entered with an armed force the house of the widow of Lord Lovat, (who preceded Simon's father in that title,) seized her person, ordered the marriage-ceremony to be pronounced in the midst of the sound of a bag-pipe, with which he endeavoured to drown the lady's cries, and having stripped her naked, by cutting off her stays with his dagger, forced her to bed, and consummated the pretended marriage, amidst the noise and riot of his desperate attendants." Macpherson, v. ii. p. 281 and 282. In opposition to such dreadful accusations, Lord Lovat shall plead for himself:

It is somewhat extraordinary that, contrary to all honour, justice, and common sense, this author (Lockheart of Carnwath, in. his Memoirs of Scotland, to which, amid other documents, Macpherson refers) has had the impudence to let loose his spleen upon Lord Lovat, whom he did not know, and who is by his birth so extremely his superior; being the twenty-second Lord Lovat from fa


ther to son, allied to the royal family and to the first houses in Scot land; not to mention his personal merit, which has shone forth in France, as well as at home, in spite of the malice of his enemies. It is still more extraordinary, that this author, who pretends to advance nothing but unquestionable facts, and to write entirely from his own knowledge, should invent and give to the world such a farrago respecting Lord Lovat, composed entirely of incredible lies and palpable contradictions, without the shadow of probability, reality,

or common sense.

[ocr errors]

The design of the author is sufficiently evident. His book is entirely calculated to undermine the reputation, the interest, and the lives of the Dukes of Queensberry and Argyle, and the Earl of Leven, the most formidable enemies of his party; and to give to the world, as undoubted realities, the dark inventions of the Duke of Hamilton and the Lords Athol and Tarbat, produced by the fear of punishment for their correspondence with the court of St. Germains, at the same time that they pretended to be the zealous partisans of the court of London.

In prosecuting this design, he endeavours to throw upon the shoulders of the first mentioned noblemen the contrivance of a project, of which they knew as much as the khan of Crim Tartary. He represents them as sending for Lord Lovat, their intimate friend, whom (probably by a miracle) this visionary writer represents as acquainted with the nature and particulars of their plot, at the distance of two hundred leagues, and at a time when the commerce of letters was totally rendered impracticable by the war. In the next place, by a miracle not less wonderful, he converts Lord Lovat to the Popish religion, by the advice and command of his patrons, Queensberry, Argyle, Leven,, and Carstares, the pillars of the Presbyterian religion in Scotland: a most admirable means which this author has discovered, for advancing the interests of the Protestant succession!

• And upon this foundation, equally chimerical, false, scandalous, and diabolical, the author commences his narrative with calumniating Lord Lovat. He makes him, in the first place, guilty of a rape; a crime of which he was as innocent as the child unborn, and which the whole north of Scotland, where Lord Lovat has always been, and is at this day much loved and respected, knows to have had no foundation, but in the malicious invention of Lord Athol; in order to accumulate the crime of high treason against. King William, with which he charged him; and to make himself master of his estate: for which tyranny the name of Athol is regarded with odium and horror through the whole north of Scotland."

It cannot be expected that we should pretend to determine on which side the truth lies:-but, notwithstanding all that Lord Lovat can urge in his defence, we apprehend that most readers will say with Livy: Fama rerum standum est*.* Yet it is not an inconsiderable argument against the reality of the rape, that on the part of Lord Lovat the action would

* Lib. vii. c. vi.

have been a daring and dangerous crime, committed without any prospect of interest; whereas the imputation of it, on the part of his enemies, might manifestly originate in selfish motives.

The most interesting part of this publication is that which describes the condition and manners of the Scottish clans, about a century ago; when they affected the character of independent nations, and their leaders adopted the language of hereditary princes. We shall insert a passage of this kind, giving an account of an attempt made by Lord Salton, at the instigation of the family of Athol, to expel Lord Lovat from his possessions.

He (Salton) proceeded to Inverness, where he learned from undoubted authority that Thomas Lord Lovat and Simon the master were in peaceable possession of the honours and estates of their ancestors, and that the clan were resolute to defend them to the last; consequently, if he advanced any farther in the prosecution of his scheme, he would not fail to run an imminent risk of his life, since the highland clans did not consider themselves as bound by the letter of the law, like the inhabitants of the low country, but to a man would regard it as their honour and their boast, to cut the throat, or to blow out the brains of any one, be he who he would, who should dare to disturb the repose of their laird..

Lord Salton, who had little knowledge of the manners of these regions, had by this time severely repented the having left his own country. He wrote upon the spot a very humble and polite letter to Lord Lovat and his son; protesting before God that he had not left his own estate in order to disturb their tranquillity; but that he was come, like a good Fraser, to endeavour to terminate in an amicable manner the differences he had been told had arisen between Lord Lovat and the family of Athol; and that for this purpose he would now proceed to the residence of the Lady Dowager Lovat, which was at Beaufort, nine miles from Inverness.

• Lord Lovat and his son took this letter in good part, and answered Lord Salton, that, if he were come upon so good an errand, he was welcome to Lovat, and they would hasten to do him the honours of the country; but that, if he came to intrude into their concerns against their consent, he should dearly repent it.

Still, however, Lord Lovat and his son, and the principal people of the clan, were apprehensive that the Lady Dowager Lovat and her brother, the son and daughter of Lord Athol, together with the three or four traitor Frasers who were with them, would persuade Lord Salton to persist in their project. Lord Lovat was at this time at his large estate of Stratheric, which stretches along the western banks of the Ness; the estates of Lord Lovat comprehending the almost entire circumference of this lake, which is the largest and most beautiful in Scotland. The master of Lovat therefore intreated his father to cross the lake by the shortest cut, in order to meet Lord Salton at his seat of Lovat, the houses of Beaufort and Lovat

« EelmineJätka »