H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

Vol. 1. p. 182 and 191, in the former of which Linnæus clearly anticipates the Hedwigian theory of the fructification of mosses, from which his difference to Dillenius subsequently diverted him, and in the latter he seems first to have conceived the idea of his arrangement of quadrupeds, principally founded on the teeth. If I knew,' says he, how many teeth, and of what peculiar form, as well as how many udders, and where situated, each animal has, I should perhaps be able to contrive a most natural methodical arrangement of quadrupeds.'

The district of Lulea affords many entertaining remarks on natural history, and the description of its ancient church, with its magnificent altar-piece is very amusing. The gilding of this is said to have cost 2408 ducats. There were statues of martyrs with cavities in their heads to hold water, which ran out at the eyes; and other figures whose hands were, at the pleasure of the priest, lifted up in adoration, by means of a cord.

In his approach towards the Lapland Alps, the patience of Linnæus was put to the test by the curate of Jockmock, who held his scientific knowledge very cheap, because he doubted that the clouds were solid bodies, striking the mountains, as they passed, and carrying away stones, trees and cattle. At page 268, is a singular delineation of the aspect of the Alps, of which our traveller first had a full view in his approach to Kromitis; and on the sixth of July, he ascended the snowy mountain of Wallavari.

"When I reached this mountain, says he, I seemed entering on a new world: and when I had ascended it, I scarcely knew whether I was in Asia or Africa, the soil, situation, and every one of the plants being equally strange to me. All the rare plants I had previously met with, and which had from time to time afforded me so much pleasure, were here as in miniature, and new ones in such profusion that I was overcome with astonishment.'

Here he first entered into the society of the mountain Laplanders, and partook of their hospitality. He gives an interesting account of their innocent and simple manners, their quiet peaceable lives, and their truly pastoral habitations. Many particulars also respecting the nature and economy of the reindeer, are highly curious.-Gradually ascending, our traveller arrived on the 11th of July, at more lofty regions of perpetual snow.

"Here the mountain streams began to take their course westward, a sign of our having reached Norwegian Lapland. The delightful

* Of some of these plants Linnæus formed new genera, which he dedicated to the honour of some eminent botanists, and though he afterwards changed the names, these genera have all remained unshaken. What he now called Jussiea was afterwards Sibbaldia; his Dillenia, Azalea; and his Bannistera, Diapensia, Rev.

tracts of vegetation which had hitherto been so agreeably interspersed among the Alpine snows, were now no longer to be seen. No charming flowers were here scattered under our feet, the whole country was one dazzling snowy waste.-At length after having travelled about three or four (Swedish) miles, the mountains appeared before us bare of snow, though only sterile rocks, and between them we caught a view of the western ocean. The only bird I had seen in this icy tract was what the Laplanders call Pago (Charadrious Hiaticula ).”

The following picturesque and striking description we cannot withhold from the reader:

"Having thus traversed the Alps, we arrived about noon upon their bold and precipitous limits to the westward. The ample forest spread out beneath us, looked like fine green fields, the loftiest trees appearing no more than herbs of the humblest growth. About these mountains grew the same species of plants I had observed on the other side of the Alps. We now descended into a lower country. It seems, as I write this, that I am still walking down the mountain, so long and steep was the descent, but the Alpine plants no longer made their appearance after we had reached the more humble hills. When we arrived at the plains below, how grateful was the transition from a chill and frozen mountain to a warm balmy valley! I sat down to regale myself with strawberries. Instead of ice and snow, I was surrounded with vegetation in all its prime. Such tall grass I had never before beheld in any country. Instead of the blustering wind so lately experienced, soft gales wafted around us the grateful scent of flowery clover and various other plants. In the earlier part of my journey, I had for some time experienced a long-continued spring (whose steps I pursued as I ascended the Lapland hills); then unremitted winter and eternal snow surrounded me; summer at length was truly welcome. Oh how most lovely of all is summer!"

Observing the activity of his two Lapland companions, Linnæus is here led to enter into a long disquisition on the causes of activity in the human body, and especially in these people. This is succeeded by an enumeration of the supposed causes of their healthy constitutions; among which are tranquillity of mind, moderation in eating, and the deficiency of spirituous liquors. Nevertheless these privileged people have, by their intercourse with neighbouring countries, become in some measure corrupted on the last mentioned subject. One purpose of the men who accompanied Linnæus to Torfjorden, was to purchase brandy; they drank it in the first place as long as they could stand on their legs, and having brought with them a number of dried bladders, these were subsequently all filled with brandy, tied up, and carried away by them.

Our author was induced to spend a few days in examining the

natural productions of this part of Norway, especially about the sea-shore, and met with a congenial spirit in Mr. John Rask, a clergyman settled here, who had visited the West Indies and Africa, and had published an account of his voyage, in which various fishes and plants are described in a very interesting style.' The preparation of various kinds of bread in this part of Norway, is next detailed, some of which give us but a miserable idea of the resources of the country. Our author had a narrow escape at this place, to which he often alluded in the subsequent part of his life; having been fired at by a Laplander, while rambling over the hills, in pursuit of his favourite strawberries. The first volume concludes with some entertaining anecdotes of the timidity and superstition of the Laplanders, and of the scarcely less superstitious severity with which they are persecuted, to give up their magical drums and idols, by the Norwegians.

The second volume opens with Linnæus's return over the Alps, comprehending pretty ample notices respecting the tents, and huts, domestic economy, clothing and diseases of the Laplanders, with much information relative to the reindeer. Their amusements form a part of the subject, especially a game called tablut, somewhat resembling chess. The ceremony of a Lapland courtship and marriage is also narrated with much particularity.

On the 23d of July, Linnæus descended from the Alps into Lulean Lapland. From this part of the journal to August the 5th, we find various miscellaneous remarks on natural history, a description of the Lapland sledge, of the mode of tanning among the lowland Laplanders, and some particulars of their agriculture. On arriving at Tornea, the acuteness and scientific skill of our traveller, were exercised to great advantage, in detecting the cause of a most destructive disease among the horned cattle, of which he had heard some tidings at Lulea, as mentioned in Vol. 1. p. 245.-This malady he determined, beyond a doubt, to rise from the animals' feeding on the waterhemlock (cicuta virosa) which they crop while under water; for when it rises above the surface they will not touch it. *

In the course of his route homeward, through East Bothland, numerous agricultural and economical remarks occur. Nothing very material is found in the rest of the tour. Passing through Wasa, Christinestadt, and Abo, Linnæus arrived at the ferry which carried him to Aland, from whence he proceeded to the main land, and arrived at Upsal on the 10th of October. He does not forget in closing his remarks piously to ascribe to the

More ample observations than occur in the journal relative to this subject, (one of those, into which Linnæus was commissioned particularly to inquire,) are given by the Editor in a copious note translated from the Flora Lapponica.

Maker and Preserver of all things, praise, honour, and glory for ever.'

The Appendix consists of two parts. The first contains a compendious account of the whole journey drawn up by Linnæus himself, to lay before the Academy of Sciences at Upsal: in which, though partly a repetition of what occurs before, many new circumstances appear, and the whole throws great light upon the preceding pages. The second part of this Appendix is particularly valuable; being an extract from Dr. Wahlenberg's 'observations made with a view to determine the height of the Lapland Alps.' This curious fragment, translated from the Swedish, was communicated to the editor by the late Mr. Dryander, and, with an accurate philosophical style of observation, unites much picturesque effect in botanical geography.

Not the least curious part of this book, are the wooden cuts, about sixty in number,-fac similes of the rude sketches made with a pen in the original manuscript. They represent either agricultural implements, or similar objects, in the rudest possible style; but several insects, and a few plants, as well as two or three Medusa, are done with more care, and with considerable effect; as Cicindela sylvatica, Vol. 1. p. 175; Tipula rivosa, p. 186; Cerambyx Sutor, p. 232.

Upon the whole, though these volumes contain a considerable degree of information, conveyed in an artless and engaging manner, yet we cannot but look upon them as giving too slight a sketch of so interesting a tour. Had the author ever revised his manuscript with a view to its meeting the public eye, there would most probably have been no ground for this complaint; but the hasty observations made by any traveller on the spot, simply for his own use, cannot be supposed to possess the advantage of a regularly digested and corrected journal. The observations, though highly curious and important in themselves, are so disjointed, that it is impossible to get a clear idea of the different objects of curiosity which the country presented, in any regular method. Yet as the admirers of Linnæus have long been clamorous for this account of his tour to Lapland, they ought to congratulate themselves upon the publication of it, even though coming forth with all its imperfections on its head.' The style of the translation calls for no particular remark; it adheres professedly, as near as possible, to that of the original. A strange mistake occurs, as we conceive, in V. 1. p. 127, where the Laplanders are said to be necessitated occasionally to drink warm sea water.' This we presume must mean the water of their lakes, contrasted with that of those cool springs, near which they pitch their tents in summer.

FROM THE BRITISH CRITIC.

The Works of James Barry, Esq. Historical Painter; formerly Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, Member of the Clementine Academy at Bologna, &c. containing his Correspondence from France and Italy with Mr. Burke. His Lectures on Painting delivered at the Royal Academy. Observa. tions on different Works of Art in Italy and France. Critical Remarks on the principal Paintings of the Orleans Gallery. Essay on the subject of Pandora, &c. (Now first published from manuscripts, and illustrated by Engravings from Sketches, left by the Author.) And his Inquiry into the Causes which have obstructed the Progress of the fine Arts in England. His Account of the Paintings at the Adelphi; and Letter to the Dilettanti Society. To which is prefixed, some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author. 2 vols. 4to. pp. 1228. 51. 5s. Cadell and Davies. 1809.

THERE are few subjects on which the opinions of artists and connoisseurs have more widely differed, than the merit of Mr. Barry. We know that during his life he filled a considerable space in the temple of living fame, and we have sometimes thought that his works even derived some advantage from a contrast with his personal eccentricities; but since his death, censure has perhaps been too busily employed, and has frequently con. founded the oddities of the man with the genius of the artist. The volumes before us, therefore, are highly valuable, as affording that complete evidence which we did not before possess, and which will enable all who have a right to form their decision with strict impartiality. That the decision will, on the whole, be in his favour, we have little hesitation in affirming, while on the other hand we are willing to allow, as clearly proved, that his defects were numerous and conspicuous. If, however, we do not dwell on the latter at much length, it is because in many instances they appear to have arisen from that which ought always to prescribe tenderness and compassion; the irritations of a mind not sufficiently sound.

The life of Mr. Barry in these volumes is formed chiefly from his correspondence, a mode which has lately become common, although we think it may be necessary hereafter to prescribe bounds to it. The biographer, it is true, is hereby relieved from the trouble of narrative, but the reader's attention is too much distracted from the principal object, and such works, unless the compilers will take a little more pains, we must consider as materials for a life, rather than the life itself. The outlines of Mr. Barry's history appear to be these:

He was the eldest son of John Barry and Julian Roerden, and was born in Cork, Oct. 11, 1741. His father was a builder, and Vol. VII.

3 M

« TrướcTiếp tục »