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Anecdotes, and Letters," before mentioned, are not here repeated, and are in fact wanting to make the collection perfect. It may easily be imagined, why the editor would not consent to melt down his own Tales into another work, but still the fact should be known to the reader. As to the original collections, it is clear, from abundant testimony, that there is great variation in them, some containing more and some fewer of the Tales. Nor is this extraordinary, as the work is evidently not the production of one person, but a collection of oriental tales, invented by different authors. It is mentioned in the preface to this edition, that the MS. in the Paris library does not contain the story of Sindbad; which nevertheless is found in a MS. in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. The arrangement of the Tales is also different in most of the copies. Dr. Russell's account of the manner in which such tales are usually recited in the East, is so characteristic and picturesque, that we cannot refrain from re-quoting it from the preface to the present work. It is taken from his history of Aleppo.

"The recitation of eastern fables and tales partake somewhat of a dramatic performance; it is not merely a simple narrative; the story is animated by the manner and action of the speaker. A variety of other story-books, besides the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, (which under that title are little known at Aleppo) furnish materials for the story-teller, who, by combining the incidents of the different tales, and varying the catastrophe of such as he has related before, gives them an air of novelty, even to persons who at first imagine they are listening to tales with which they are acquainted. He recites walking to and fro in the middle of the coffee-room, stopping only now and then, when the expression requires some emphatical attitude. He is commonly heard with great attention; and not unfrequently, in the midst of some interesting adventure, when the expectation of his audience is raised to the highest pitch, he breaks off abruptly, and makes his escape from the room, leaving both his hero and his audience in the utmost embarrassment. Those who happen to be near the door, endeavour to detain him, insisting on the story being finished before he departs; but he always makes his retreat good: and the auditors, suspending their curiosity, are induced to return at the same hour next day to hear the sequel. He has no sooner made his exit, than the company, in separate parties, fall a disputing about the characters of the drama, or the event of the unfinished adventure. The controversy by degrees becomes serious, and opposite opinions are maintained with no less warmth than if the fate of the city depended on the decision."

This is surely full as good, if not better, than our coffee-house politicians, disputing about measures which they neither comprehend, nor will on either hand consent to learn, otherwise than from partial representations. As for the address of the story

tellers, it is perfectly illustrative of the connecting narrative of the Arabian Tales themselves; where the Sultaness usually breaks off in a very interesting part of the story, that the Sultan may be induced to let her live to continue it. A most valuable accession to the present edition, is the "Introduction," comprising, in less than 90 pages, one of the most luminous views of oriental manners and customs that have yet appeared. The editor thus states the reason for placing it here, which no person can well deny to be perfectly valid.

"The incidents and machinery of the 1001 Nights, being for the most part founded upon the religious tenets, superstitious opinions, customs, laws, and domestic habits of the followers of Mahummed, the editor of these volumes has concluded, that a summary description of them may not prove unacceptable to most of their readers, as it is presumed they will not generally be persons who have paid much attention to such subjects. A brief account of the ground-work of the su perstructure will enable such to judge of its general fidelity, and possibly may render the tales more interestingly amusing."

That this will be the case we cannot doubt, when we observe with what skill the editor has compiled his account from the very best authorities, combining and illustrating it with that knowledge of the subject in which he has not many rivals. We have no hesitation in saying that no where, in so small a compass, can so much accurate knowledge of oriental manners be found.

We observe that no notice whatever is taken of the Tales published as a continuation of the Arabian Nights, and said to be "newly translated from the original Arabic into French, by Don Chaves, a native Arab, and M. Cazotte, Member of the Academy of Dijon." These were published in English 1794, and have been considered by good judges as palpable forgeries, which sentence seems to be confirmed by this silence of Dr. Scott. They contain certainly many incidents very inconsistent with oriental manners, and many that are palpably French, yet there was a time, when we thought, and were countenanced by good authority in thinking, that some at least among them might be genuine. We yield, however, if this be his opinion, to the superior judgment in such matters, of the present editor.* The first of those supplemental

* In one passage in his notes, Dr. Scott mentions the Tales of Cazotte, as allowing them to have a foundation of oriental original, though much disfigured in the superstructure. He says; "To this story [that of the first Lunatic, vol. vi. p. 43.] there is one similar in the Edinburgh continuation of the Arabian Nights. [The same nearly as the London.] It is called Halechalle [Halechalbé] and the unknown lady; but from the strange additions made to the incidents, and the language, any thing but oriental, of the young merchant and his beloved, it appears that Don Chaves, and M. Cazotte, who profess to have translated from the Arabic, did not understand, or wilfully deviated from the Original" Note 16.

Tales is that of Il Bondocani which has been dramatized among ns, and we believe also in France. It has certainly more of French intrigue than of Arabian simplicity: and Cazotte, the pretended translator, was a man of unbounded imagination, and well practised in the invention of Tales.

A few more oriental tales, undoubtedly genuine, were published by Mr. Beloe, in the third volume of his Miscellanies, which appeared in 1795. They were communicated to him by Dr. Russell, from a small volume which he had brought from Aleppo, and perfectly agree in style with the tales of the Arabian Nights, though it does not appear that they ever belonged to that work; they are, however, extremely original and entertaining, particularly the concluding story of Basem the blacksmith. Though we have said, decidedly, that these volumes do honour to the judgment of the editor, we are not yet satisfied with them as an edition of the Arabian Nights. These Tales deserve, as Oriental classics, a more splendid form, and a more extensive apparatus of notes. Those which are subjoined to the six volumes, are only 82 in number, and occupy about 20 pages.* They are, it is true, very instructive and valuable, but occasions might have been found, without much seeking, to render them more copious. At present, some of the inferior editions are in splendour much superior to this, which yet is, beyond all doubt, the best.

FROM THE BRITISH CRITIC.

Travels in various Countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. By Edward Daniel Clarke, L. L. D. Part the first, Russia, Tartary, and Turkey. Vol. 1. 4to. 760 pp. 5l. 5s. Cadell and Davies. 1810.

FEW modern publications have excited more of public curiosity and animadversion, than this very curious and interesting volume of Travels. In one respect all readers appear to be agreed, that the narrative is highly interesting and important, and the detail of the author's progress through the countries he describes, communicated in a very animated and entertaining manner. If any proof were wanted of this being the general, we might say the universal, feeling, it is sufficiently ascertained by the unusual circumstance of the volume's passing through two

* These notes refer only to the sixth volume,

editions in the quarto form, in a very short period of time. The only circumstance which has occasioned perplexity, doubt, and dispute; and which indeed has been the particular reason why we have so long delayed our notice of a book, from which we have derived so much and such pleasing information, is the representation which is here found of the Russian character. this is a prominent feature, and occasionally introduced with a force and boldness almost bordering upon caricature, we felt it a sort of duty, both to the public and to Dr. Clarke, to pause a little and employ such means as were in our power from assiduous inquiry and investigation, to ascertain the real fact. We will candidly acknowledge, that the result of our examination has not been entirely satisfactory.

We have communicated with some of the most intelligent and important individuals of different ranks, some of whom have long been resident in, and others have frequently visited the Russian Empire; with some who have been led to that quarter of the globe from curiosity and for information, with others who have been long fixed in Russia by official situations, or by speculations of commerce. Of these, some have informed us that what is here said by Dr. Clarke by no means outstrips the truth and fact, while others have strongly complained of misrepresentation and prejudice.

It is very certain that Dr. Clarke experienced much personal ill treatment in Russia, had unexpected and unreasonble obstructions thrown in his way, and was in some degree persecuted with a sort of vindictive temper. Allowing this treatment to operate on a temper, perhaps constitutionally warm, though universally acknowledged to be amiable, unnecessarily irritated and injuriously provoked, the common feelings of human nature, will explain, and to a certain degree justify, what to some readers has appeared to be malignant representation.

Of malignity we know Dr. Clarke to be utterly incapable, and it is a matter of common justice to him to state, that after due deliberation and a considerable interval of time, he in his second edition retains, and not only retains, but vindicates all the opinions and assertions which are exhibited in the first. To the weight of his own he adds the highly respectable authority of the late much-lamented Lord Royston, which on every impartial reader cannot fail to make a serious impression. We shall insert what the author says on this subject, in his second edition, and then forsaking it altogether enter on the more agreeable province of attending him in his interesting progress.

"After the fullest and most impartial consideration, the author is contented to rest the truth and validity of his remarks, concerning the

Russian character, upon the evidence afforded by almost every enlightened traveller who has preceded him. In addition to their testimony, the unpublished observations of the late Lord Royston may be adduced, to show that, subsequent to the author's travels, and under happier auspices of government in Russia, the state of society appeared to that gifted young nobleman, as it has been described in the following pages. Lord Royston, when writing to an accomplished friend, who was snatched from the pursuit of worldly honours, by a fate as untimely, although not so sudden as his own,† thus briefly, but emphatically characterizes the state of refinement in the two great cities of the Russian Emperor. A journey from Petersburg to Moscow is a journey from Europe to Asia. With respect to the society of the former city, I am almost ashamed to state my opinion, after the stubborn fact of my having twice returned thither, each time at the expense of a thousand miles : but although I had not imagined it possible that any place could exist more devoid of the means of enjoying rational conversation, I am now, since my residence here, become of a different opinion. Not that I have not been excessively interested, both during this and my former visit to Moscow. The feudal magnificence of the nobility, the Asiatic dress and manners of the common people, the mixture of nations to be seen here, the immensity, the variety, and the singular architecture of the city, present altogether a most curious and amusing assemblage.' In a former part of the same letter, the inattention of the superior Clergy to the religion of the lower orders is forcibly illustrated. The words are as fol

"The kindness of the Earl of Hardwicke authorises this allusion to his Son's Letters. Lord ROYSTON's name carries with it a claim to public consideration. Although the knowledge of his great acquirements had scarcely transpired beyond the circle of his academical acquaintance, his erudition was regarded, even by a PORSON, with wonder. The loss sustained by his death can never be retrieved; but some consolation is derived from the consciousness that all the fruits of his literary labours have not been annihilated. The sublime prophecy of his own Cassandra, uttering a parable of other times,' will yet be heard, in his native language, showing her dark speech,' and thus pourtraying his melancholy end.

"Ye cliffs of Zarax, and ye waves which wash
Opheltes' craggs, and melancholy shore,

Ye rocks of Trychas, Nedon's dangerous heights,
Dirphossian ridges, and Diacrian caves,

Ye plains, where Phorcyn broods upon the deep,
And founds his floating palaces, what sobs
Of dying men shall ye not hear? what groans
Of masts and wrecks, all crashing in the wind?
What mighty waters, whose receding waves
Bursting shall rive the continents of earth?'

Viscount Royston's Cassandra, p. 28."

"Rev. G. D. Whittington, author of an Historical Survey of Gothic Architecture,' published since his death by certain of his distinguished friends. See the elegant tribute to his memory, in a preface to that work, by the Earl of Aberdeen."

This letter is dated, Moscow, April 13th, 1809.

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