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account of foreign literature; and fome of his principal works have already been introduced to the English reader in entire tranflations.

In this felection, Mr. Webb appears to have a farther view than merely that of introducing the writings of M. Pauw to more general notice. He feems delirous of directing the attention of the public to certain curious facts respecting the natural history, cuftoms, manners, arts, and commerce, &c. of various nations; either fuch as have imperfectly emerged from favage life, as the native American; or fuch as, having rifen to a high degree of civilization, still retain peculiarities which may excite the curiofity of the antiquary, or fuggeft matter of important inquiry to the philofopher. Mr. Webb, at the fame time, performs a higher office than that of mere felection. He often pauses to reflect on the facts which his author furnishes; and his reflections, though fometimes a little out of the beaten track, are always ingenious, and most commonly judicious. We fhall quote a fhort paffage from M. Pauw on the fable of the giants, with Mr. Webb's additional obfervations, which are throughout printed in Italics, that neither M. Pauw nor the author of the additions might be refponfible for what was not his own:

• The Abbé Pluche was of opinion, that the fable of the giants was no more than the allegorical hiftory of the early revolutions of our planet; and that all people had perfonified the phænomena occafioned by deluges and the ruinous combuftions of the globe.

On examining and analizing the name of the greater part of thofe giants, who fought as long as they could against the gods, one fees, in effect, that they fignify precifely derangements of the earth, atmosphere, and elements. The name of the terrible Briareus implies darkness, or light eclipfed; that of Othus, the confusion of time and the feafons; that of Arges, lightning; that of Brontes, thunder; that of Mimas, the fall of waters; that of Porphyrion, the chafms and crevices of the earth; that of Typhoeus fignifies a whirlpool of inflamed vapours; that of Enceladus, the rushing of torrents; that of Ephialtes, frightful dreams, or black clouds.

It must be confeffed, that there is in this croud of confenting etymologies a very clear meaning; but that which is not to be fo easily accounted for is the apparent confent of all the people on the earth to perfonify, after the fame manner, and under the fame emblems, meteors and phyfical catastrophes; that the Egyptians, Indians, Japanese, Peruvians, Norwegians, Mexicans, and Britons, fhould meet exactly in their allegories, and have confpired to metamorphofe terreftrial and aerial phænomena into giants; this, I fay, is remarkable indeed.

Admitting that the Greeks and Jews had derived this tradition from Egypt, it cannot be fuppofed that the Norwegians, who have compofed the Edda of the Icelanders, had any knowlege of the

Egyptian

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Egyptian writings; it cannot be fuppofed that the Peruvians, who have never known how to read or write, fhould have borrowed this fable from the ancient books of the Japanefe, from the Vedams of the Indians, or the writings of the Jews, of which no one exemplar had penetrated into the New World before the year 1492.

I must take the liberty in this place to obferve, that our author has not fated this particular point with his ufual candour. Let us jubstitute oral tradition in the place of written information, and a great part of the dif ficulty disappears. By what means of communication could the Peruvians have received fuch oral traditions? To answer one question by another -How came they by the ufe of the Chinese Quipos, or the circumcifion of the Egyptians? How came they by the caftration of males, and infibulation of females, ufages indifputably oriental? And again, whence their tradition that Mungo Capac, their first civilizer, came from a far diftant country; and that he and his family were children of the fun, an idea manifeftly of Afiatic origin? After all, the difficulty lies folely in our ignorance of the history of the earliest ages; a difficulty much increased by the obligation old, years we are under of believing that the world is not more than 6000 and that the history of man is included in that of one particular people.' Mr. Webb, with great ingenuity and fpirit, refutes the opinion of M. Volney that the antient Egyptians were negroes:

When from the account given by the Spirited and elegant Savary of the temples and fubterraneous excavations in Egypt, I pass to defcriptions of fimilar works in India, from the fill more elegant pen of our incomparable Orme, I fancy myself travelling through diftant provinces of the fame empire: by this, and other points of resemblance, fome have been led to conclude that the Egyptians and Indians were originally one and the fame people; but to this there is an infuperable objection-Alas! the Egyptians were Negroes.--Negroes! Oye Mufes, can ye pardon the profanation? To the inventors of letters ye ove your divinity. I have this moment in my fancy, a picture of Plato taking his lecture in philofophy under a Negroe Profefor. But how shall we look up to a Negroe Mufe? Dii Deæque! were ye not almost all of Egyptian origin, and had your first altars on the banks of the Nile?

ye

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So much for the first view of this fubject: but as the notion in queftion is feriously urged, it is fit it should have a ferious anfwer. It is founded on a paffage in Herodotus, thus rendered by an author in high esteem: "For my part, I believe the Colchi to be a colony of Egyptians; becaufe, like them, they have a black fkin and frizzled hair" To which M. Volney adds, "That is, that the ancient Egyptians were real Negroes.' The best answer to this pafage, or rather to its comment, will be another from Ilerodotus, by which the decifive article of "The pricfts of other nations have frizzled hair is quite done away. long hair, thofe of Egypt are clofe fhaved: in mourning for near relations, all other people cut their hair fhort; but the Egyptians, mourning for the dead, fuffer the hair of the head and chin to grow

-

*ergy, (Herod.) -Nor to susigauunor, Hefyc.)—intorqueri ; which, applied to the hair, we fhould render curled; unlefs, to ferves a turn, it should be tortured into frizaled."

long."

long." A change, which, from the nature of the thing, could not take place on the woolly head or chin of a Negroe-And now, my good M. Volney, the furprife is all over. As to the complexion of the Egyptian, make it as black as you pleafe, but for the honour of letters, in which few men are more interested than yourself, reftore to the preceptor of Solon and of Plato, a face with fome meaning, and a decent head of hair.

It has been admitted that the Egyptian was black; Herodotus is decifive on the point, when, Speaking of a certain prophetess, concerning auhofe country there was fome doubt, he obferves- In faying he was black, they mark that the woman was an Egyptian t.'

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It is probable, that the Negro was not known to the Greeks fo carly age of this hiftorian. Certain it is, that the ancients do not appear to have entertained the leaft diflike of a black complexion; nor should we, after the first furprife, did we not connect with it the image, and, with that, the character of the Negro.

• There are throughout Ajia numerous tribes of blacks, but with European features and abundant hair.

From among thofe tribes must have come that Sable Beauty, who thus afferts her pretenfions in the Song of Songs-" I am black, but comely, O ve daughters of Jerufalem!"

The reader will find many other amufing fpeculations in this volume; from which he will perceive that the author, whofe former ingenious productions on the beauties of poetry, painting, &c. (fee Review, vol. xxvi. p. 282. xli. p. 321,) have gained him high reputation as a writer of tafte, has not been unfuccefsful in his occafional excurfions into the fields of philofophy.

ART. III. Henry. By the Author of Arundel. 4 Vols. 12mo.
12s. fewed. Dilly. 1795.

IT
T is well known in the literary world, that Mr. Cumberland,
the author of that admirable comedy the Weft Indian,
and of many other dramatic pieces, is likewife the author of
this work; and, as in most of this gentleman's productions, we
find in it much to praife and much to cenfure. In a fhort pre-
face, he, with a fpirit which ought to be cherished by every writer,
difclaims all appeal to the compaffion of his reader; fairly
avowing that, if these volumes do not merit his approbation,
they have fmall claim on his candour; forafinuch as they have
been carefully and deliberately written, fome years having paffed
fince the first band was put to them; during which no diligence
has been fpared to make them worthy, both in ftyle and mat-
ter, of the public.'

Nor is this all. In imitation of Henry Fielding, whom of all other novelifls he appears moft to admire, Mr. C. has given Αναισι τας τρίχας αυξείναι, τας τε εν τη κεφαλής και των γηνεια.

Herod.'

* † Μελαιναν δε λέγοντες είναι, σημαίνει ότι Αιγυπτίη ή γυνή ην. Herod.' prefatory

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prefatory chapters; in which he has laid down rules for novelwriting. Several of these rules, which we think applicable, we fhall quote; being perfuaded that nothing can be more equitable towards an author, than to examine his own works by his own rules, when thofe rules are fuch as are generally approved. It is certainly our intention to be undeviatingly juft; though we fhall be obliged to point out various inftances, and we could greatly increase the number, in which, according to our opinion, the author has acted in direct oppofition to his own canons of criticism.

He who should happen to read the prefatory chapters, and not the work, would imagine that no man could be more averse to groffnefs than the author of Henry. He tells us, vol. i. p. 4. that, though the real fcenes of life can hardly fail to contaminate the page that records them, the writer who invents impurities is without excufe.' Again, p. 95. Those rules which a well-bred man lays down for himself, when he engages in the difficult task of telling a long ftory about perfons unknown to the circles he is in, may with equal propriety be adopted by an author, in the conduct of a novel.'- A ftory will intallibly difguft if it is told in vulgar and ill-chofen language. If a man (vol. ii. p. 5.) runs about from place to place with no cleanlier purpose than to fearch for filth and ordure, I conceive his office to be that of a fcavenger more than a fcholar.'

Of the ferious nature, indeed, of the task which he had undertaken, few men feem to have had a ftronger conviction:

It is a very facred correfpondence (vol. iii. p. 114.) that takes place between the mind of the author and the mind of the reader; it is not like the flight and cafual intercourfe we hold with our familiars and acquaintance, where any prattle ferves to fill up a few focial minutes, and fet the table in a roar; what we commit to our readers has no apology from hurry and inattention; it is the refult of thought well digefted, of fentiments by which we muft ftand or fall in reputation, of principles for which we must be refponfible to our contemporaries and to pofterity.'

.

Again, (p. 116.) An author cannot be harmed by a bad critic and why fhould he be afraid of being benefited by a good one?' To the first part of this fentence we cannot affent: we think that authors and literature are daily harmed by bad critics: but in the latter we entirely agree; and, with an endeavour to be as good critics as our time, our means, and our knowlege will admit, let us proceed.

We shall labour under fome difadvantage with thofe readerswho may not have perufed the work in queftion: for many of the paflages and pictures, which we think deferving of cenfure,

we

we likewife think improper to be quoted. There is one general feature, however, with fome and but few exceptions, in which our author's females all resemble each other. They are fach viragos in what he calls love, but which we should be induced to ftigmatize by another epithet, that it is dangerous for a man, of a certain make of body, to come within arm's length of them. Sufan, Jemima, and Fanny Claypole, three of his principal characters, are fo impelled by licentious promptitude, that Potiphar's wife, with fuch traits as a Dutch painter of the laft century would have bestowed, is generally present when thefe females are on the scene. The inftances are too numerous to need reference; they cannot have escaped the attention of any one who has read the novel.

There are moments in which Mr. Cumberland perfuades himfelf, and almoft his reader, that he cannot think but with a chaftened, difcriminating, and delicate imagination; yet how oppofite to these are the pictures which he draws of the ficknels of Zachary, the recipes of Alexander Kinloch, and the effects produced by Dr. James's Powders! Again, we dare not quote: we are obliged only to hint at what Mr. C. broadly defcribes: for we are not adventurous enough to adminifter emetics to the imagination. Those who delight in them may, in the firft of these four volumes, find fufficient for a whole pharmacopoeia. We are well convinced that the author is really a lover of mankind, and has a fincere defire of promoting good morality but it is somewhat astonishing to us that he should have fo miftaken the means for we think that those parts of the work, which we here condemn, are as immoral as they are offenfive; and likewife that they are highly improbable, with the colouring and circumstances under which they are here heightened and combined.

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The admiration of Mr. C. for Fielding has induced him to imitate not only the great outline, but one in particular of the minuter parts of that work: we allude to the prefatory chapters already mentioned. Thefe difcourfes, in Fielding, have. been, as we believe, injudiciously praifed. Whatever the value of the remarks which they contain may be, they are certainly out of place they impede the progrefs of the ftory. What ever makes a paufe in the main bufinefs, and keeps the chief characters too long out of fight, must be a defect.' So fays Mr. C. himself, (vol. ii. p. 216.) and fo fay we. Now each of thefe chapters is a marked, diftinct, and painful paufe; foreign to the subject, and generally dedicated to the egotism of the author. It is a difplay of critical knowlege, which ought to be exhibited in the work itfelf; and not in maxims against which, if the author be not very attentive, he is in continual

danger

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