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public repositories. If books of useful knowledge are not among the familiars of men, one half of their value is in show. Something intermediate between the two modes are the circulating libraries of this country; against which, those who are satisfied with nothing have loudly declaimed. But we cannot agree with these well meaning grumblers. That circulating libraries have done harm, we firmly believe. But so has every thing. Men have been assassinated with a caseknife. The brains of a child were lately beaten out with the heel of a shoe. Yet it does not follow that men had better eat with their fingers, or wear no shoes, or put no nails into them. Circulating libraries, like all other commodities, must take their tone from the markets that consume them; and their general tendency may be estimated by inspecting their catalogue. Now, supposing the contents of these to be of equal value in both countries, (and from what we have just now seen this is not likely to be the case)—we say that the resources which each derives from them are infinite in favour of Britain. One single London circulating library could purchase the sum total of all the circulating libraries of all the towns of France. And yet our private libraries are certainly as fifty to one.
In the same category as the King's library in Paris, the French include their other public collections; such for instance as the Museum of Natural History, the Establishment of Arts et Metiers at the Abbaye St Martin, their galleries of pictures and statues. But of the latter we are inclined to judge somewhat differently. Wherever the productions of genius consist in sensible objects, their appeal must be directly made to the senses; and whatever stimulates the mind increases their effect. The greater the mass of talent which, at one glance, bursts upon the eye, the higher will enthusiasm be raised; and the more surrounding objects harmonize, the more deep and undisturbed will be our admiration. Many a mind which would pass indifferently by every object singly, is yet excited by contemplating them collectively; and only perceives the perfections of detail, when roused by the grandeur of the whole. In the fine arts, then, we admit the greater advantages of collecting the productions of superior talent. But, when we wish to reason, we must preserve an entire serenity, and unruffled calmness; and, were it possible that, by merely beholding the work which reflexion only can appreciate, enthusiasm should be excited, the archives of its treasures would be baleful to it. It is allowed that, as private property dispersed over England, we possess a greater number of capital pictures than are contained in the gallery of the Louvre, that is to say, nearly in all France. But even while we
any one col
boast that individuals in this country have done more than Government has been able to effect in that kingdom-though the chief superiority claimed over us is in the fine arts- we must allow that our mode of distributing is not so advantageous. In Italy, the disadvantages of dispersion are not so strongly felt. The whole country is a museum; and every spot is fraught with hallowed recollections. We cannot, however, give implicit credit to the French, for having made so vast a collection in favour of the arts. If the arts, thus collected, brought back to them no greater return of glory than does the diffusion of knowledge, we should soon see them fall into neglect.
The collection of machines is intermediate between a picture gallery and a library. It must be seen like the former, and understood like the latter. It may render essential services where such knowledge is not general; and may be convenient even where it is. In England, we may not have lection of machines equal to that in Paris. But the quantity of machines, not models, which we have dispersed over the whole country, not to look at, but to use, not to talk of, but to profit by, is many hundred times greater. Our fields, our farmyards, our mines, our manufactures, are our practical Abbaye St Martin; as the backs and cottages of our Yeomanry are our exhibition of national industry, and the minds of our enlightened gentry are our Royal library.
Another rule we may lay down respecting public collections is this.-- Wherever specimens are costly, rare, and cannot be multiplied, such collections are precious; but wherever, as is the case with useful books, they ean be put in common circulation, at a moderate price, collections lose their value, by the ease with which their contents can be set in hourly presence with the consumers.
We will conclude this article by an anecdote of Louis XVIth, whom we have shown, on a former occasion, to have been the only patron whom the Chevalier Pawlet found in France for his method of instructing children. His favourite study was geography. Mr Petit Radel mentions, as a piece of furniture belonging to the Mazarine Library, a globe, which, in 1784, Louis XVI. had ordered to be constructed as a record of the state of Geography down to his reign. He wished to have it made of the most durable materials; on the largest dimensions; and with all the care and skill which the ablest geographers of his kingdom, aided by foreign discoveries, could bestow upon it, in point of exactness. It was to have contained the results of nineteen voyages round the world ; to which was to be added, the voyage that Ļa Peyrouse was then perform
ing. Some parts of this machine were put in great forwardness, under the administration of Mons. de Vergennes; but the whole was never completed. One of the circles alone weighs 1500 lib. In its present state, the globe is suspended. The
ocean is coloured light blue. The land is yellow; and the mountains shaded. The project of La Peyrouse's voyage was submitted to the monarch, before that unfortunate navigator left France; and, on the margin, Louis with his own hand wrote several notes. The intention was, that the ships should separate after crossing the Line. The king's remark was, “ This separation • must not take place. It is too dangerous in seas so little • known.' He adds, that in the Southern ocean, as being calmer, the ships might separate; and one of them make for Easter Island, to ascertain whether, as Cook advances, the human race is becoming extinct there. He frequently marks his anxiety that the ships should keep together, as long as separation might be dangerous; and he concludes thus— The happi
est event of this expedition will be its termination without the • loss of a single man.' If Louis XVIth. had more resembled the nation he had to govern, he might have run his course of nature on the throne, and left his sceptre to his own posterity. But when subjects and their sovereign are so much unlike-no matter which is best or worst—the chasm which separates them must generally be filled with blood; and too often with the blood of the most innocent.
The topic mentioned in the last paragraph reminds us, that we should say a few words upon Geography. This science, like all others, is much more general in England than in France. Were we to judge by the globe of Louis XVIth, and the labours of Danville, we should say the contrary. But globes happen to be one of the things in which our superiority in quantity, multiplied by quality, and divided by price, is extreme. At the exposition of the products of French industry in 1810, many globes were exhibited; and, in the number, one written by hand, which had occupied the writer two years of his life. The diameter was, we think, four feet. It was purchased by Louis XVIII. In point of clearness, distinctness, and neatness of execution, we should prefer Mr Carey's twenty-one inch globes at ten guineas the pair. At the same exhibition there were also engraved globes, of various dimensions, but so much inferior to Mr Carey's of the same diameter, one foot---so petty in all great points—so illegible, so vetilleux as the French would say—that one could hardly suppose them destined to the same purpose. The price too of the French globes, instead of being two-thirds of the price of Mr Carey's, was eight guineas; the English
globes being three guineas and a half; that is to say, in proportion to the value of money, about four times as dear as they should be. It is entirely owing to the great demand for these things, that is to say, to the great and superior diffusion of useful knowledge among the public of this happy Island, that our artists are enabled to sell them at so low a rate.
ART. VIII. Journals of two Expeditions into the Interior of
New South Wales, undertaken by Order of the British Government in the Years 1817-18. By John Oxley, SurveyorGeneral of the Territory. i Vol. 4to. pp. 408. Murray,
Albemarle-Street. London, 1820, Wh HETHER Botany Bay was made in a merry mood of Na
ture, or whether it was her first essay in making continents, we shall never know; but we may be quite sure, that every thing found there will be diametrically opposite to the ordinary productions and inventions of the Old World. Here are, for instance, two rivers, the Lachlan and the Macquarie, which Mr John Oxley, arguing upon analogy, supposes to flow on and increase till they empty themselves into the sea. But in three or four weeks he rides them fairly down into the bogs, where they are lost among millions of barren and unhealthy acres, impervious, unfit for human life, abandoned to reeds, ducks and frogs. A mouth for the Niger has of late years been loudly and arrogantly called for. The excellent Mr Park, some Čaptains, and a good deal of money, have been expended in its detection. Mr Oxley has shown, that Nature will have her caprices in spite of hydrographers and mapmakers—that she does not consult Mr Arrowsmith-and flows where she pleases, without asking permission of Mr Barrow, or inquiring what direction will best suit the hypotheses of Mr Maxwell or Mr Reichard. We have no doubt that some of our geographical people will be very angry with these rivers; but they must learn, in this age of discovery, to hold their theories at single anchor-often to acknowledge their supposed land to be fog-banks--and to turn flexibly and obsequiously, as they are impelled by the breath of science,
The year 1813 was very dry in Bctany Bay; the grass was consumed, and the cattle threatened with famine. Three gentlemen (as Scotchmen are in the habit of doing) * sallied forth in
* Better this than to gain it (as they often do at home) by the most abject political baseness.
quest of food, penetrated across the Blue Mountains, and discovered, on the western side of them, a beautiful country, admirably qualified for the support of man and beast. Governor Macquarie, the same year, despatched Mr Evans, deputy-surveyor of the Colony, who, proceeding westward from the point where the former discoverers stopped, passed through a mountainous country abounding in water and pasturage, till he arrived at the spot where the union of the Fish River with the Campbell River constitutes the River Macquarie. From this point he traced the Macquarie for eleven days, through a country abounding in game, water, timber, and grass, and offering every advantage to colonization. The next step was to construct a road over the Blue Mountains. Upon this, so constructed, the Governor passed, and founded on the Macquarie the town of Bathurst, commanding for many miles a beautiful and extensive prospect in every direction, situated on a clear and beautiful stream, and within a short distance of fifty thousand cleared acres, well adapted for every purpose of agriculture. During the Governor's stay in Bathurst Plains, Mr Evans was sent to explore in a south-west direction. This expedition produced the discovery of the River Lachlan; and the importance of examining the course of that river gave birth to one of the Journeys recorded in the publication now before us.
Mr Oxley commences his journey from Bathurst in the end of March 1817.
• Bathurst had assumed a very different appearance since I first visited it in the suite of his Excellency the Governor in 1815. The industrious hand of man had been busy in improving the beautiful works of nature ; a good substantial house for the superintendant had been erected, the government grounds fenced in; and the stackyards showed that the abundant produce of the last harvest had amply repaid the labour bestowed on its culture. The fine healthy appearance of the flocks and herds was a convincing proof how admirably adapted these extensive downs and thinly wooded hills are for grazing, more particularly of sheep. The mind dwelt with pleasure on the idea that at no very distant period these secluded plains would be covered with flocks bearing the richest Aeeces, and contribute in no small degree to the prosperity of the eastern settlements.
• The soil, in the immediate neighbourhood of Bathurst, is for the first six inches of a light, black, vegetable mould, lying on a stratum of sand, about eighteen inches deep, but of a poor description, and mixed with small stones, under which is a strong clay. The surface of the hills is covered with small gravel, the soil light and sandy, vith a subsoil of clay. The low fats on the immediate borders of the river are evidently formed by washings from the hills and valleys