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1799.]

Mr. W. Belsham's Vindication of Two Pasages, &c. 183 plication, at least ; which is indeed in- to what you are pleased to file “iny definitely the worst mode of preferring an cisive hoitility againit Mr. HASTINGS accusation. sit. It is said in confirma. at the time that genileman was under trial. tion of an opinion, which you are doubt. Our opinion, say you, concerning the less perfectly free to entertain, viz. that delinquency of Mr. H. is perfectly cothe characters of the history are often incident with the opinion of Mr. Belover-loaded, either with censure or en

SHAM, but nothing mould have extorted comium,-" William, Prince of Orange, it from us till a jury of peers, then fitting is so great a favorite, that even the maf; in judgment on the prisoner, had profacre at Glencoe is not suffered to disturb nounced their verdict of acquittal or his repose.

This expression is so cu- condemnation.” It is well known to rious and obscure, that I think it dif- the public that Major Scott has replied, ficult to ascertain its distinct meaning. no doubt with the full approbation of If this means any thing to the purpose, it Mr. HASTINGS, in two very able pammult import that I have admitted King phlets, to that part of the history which William to be the author of the mal- relates to India ; and I have moreover facre at Glencoe ; and yet, that I have before me at this time several letters of represented it as no blemish in his cha- Major SCOTT, privately addressed to me raiter,—a serious allegation indeed! On on the same subject. It is material to the contrary, however, it is not only my vindication to contrast his sentiments aflerted, but fully proved in the history-, upon tbis point with yours, and this must that King Williani was grossly imposed be my apology for the apparent vanity of upon in this business by two very artful the quotation :-(Feb. 16, 17955) “I do and deep-designing men, Lord Breadalbin not say that you ought to have postponed and Secretary Dalrymple. The massacre the publication of your history of i he preis every where spoken of in terms of the sent' reign until the close of Mr. HASutmost abhorrence, and the king himself Tings's trial; far from it, I think the is freely blamed, not as an accomplice in miferable and almost hopeless state of the barbarity, for that would be infamous England, unless soine change in her poinjustice; but for negligence in fuffering licy thall take place, rendered your pubhimself to become the dupe of lo execra- lication liighly important indeed at this ble a design, and lupineness in not pu- moment, and particularly your history nilking with sufficient severity the con. of the American war. I trust that the trivers of it. The truth is, that Dal- public will reap benefit from it; but, fir, rymple was a inan to whom the monarch, as the history of India makes a material not to say the nation, owed in many re- part

of your memoirs, it did behove you spects such high obligation, that the

to exert your great abilities fairly and king may op plausible ground be suf- honefly, in order to obtain the best pospected of a secret wish of extending too fible infornation.” Major Scott does, far his mercy to the unmerciful... And indeed, impeach, as he had unquestionto punish subordinate agents, while the ably a right to do if he saw realon, the principals were allowed, by a culpable authority of the facts; but he elsewhere Lenity, to escape, would have reflected no acknowledges, that if the facts themhonour on the justice of the government. selves are admitted, every one mult But all this mere suspicion; the vil- allow that the epithets are well applied. lainy, however enormous, was perpe- 'To this conclusion there is one, and protrated under the forms of law, by the bably only one exception ; for, while king's own warrant surreptitiously ob- you, gentlemen, profels to concur in opis tained ; and the declaimers upon this sub- nion with me respecting the delinquency of ject have never yet shewn that the king Mr. HASTINGS in its fullest extent, your had it in his power to inflict that ven- delicacy is shocked at my “virulence of geance upon the parties concerned in this invective.” Your couniel, had I been Bloody business, which they load his me- fortunate enough to have consulted you mory with reproaches for withholding. previous to the publication of the history,

The second allegation, is of a nature more would doubtless have been " to lash no immediately interesting; the charge is, sort of vice," hut to inake that pleasant that I have "stained the pages of the and playful fatirist my model, History of the House of Brunswick, by " Whole lly, polite, infinuating stile, an unbecoming and dangerous latitude

Could please at courtand make Auguftus of expression, or rather virulence of in

fimile." vective;" and this is explained to refer Yet viewing the political conduct.of Mr.

HASTINGS

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ope.

HASTINGS in the serions light I do, I being communicated to the public. I fhould have thought myself at once mean therefore send it to you, that if you

think and criminal to have suppressed the it inerits the notice of your readers, you emotions of my indignation. Is this may give it a place in your valuable miscarrying the boldness of historic licence cellany : too far?

About the middle of my garden stood “ So impudent, I own my felf no kŋave;

an old plumb-tree, which had gone to So odd, my country's ruin makes megrave.” decay, and loft most of its branches. As to the period of publication, I can

As it produced little, if any fruit, and truly affert, that it never entered into my be cut down towards the end of the year

shaded the green-houle, I ordered it to imagination to conceive that after nine years parliamentary investigation of the 1793. The head and the root were cut

off and burned, with a part of the trunk, question, after pamphlets, speeches, and the lower part of which, about eight or reports innumerable, had been circulated nine feet in length, lay on the ground all relative to it, that any thing I could say the winter. would, in the lightest degree, influence the judicial decision of the house of peers; occafion to make a boarded fence to

In the Spring of the year 1794, having or that a rule of discretion adapted to

screen the cucumber-bed, I ordered this common cases could possibly be supposed

old tree to be put in the ground as a to apply to this. Your opinion might indeed have carried great weight ; it might poft, merely to lave the expence of a new

As the spring advanced, I observed become you, therefore, to be silent ; and

several leaves Thoot forth toward the top the cases you see are not analogous. I of it, which I expected shortly to wither know not whether I ask too gitat a favor in requesting a place in your magazine summer; and the next spring, to my

away: but they grew considerably in the for these remarks. As they relate not to altonithinent, they put forth again, and my literary, but moral character, unjuftly several blossoms appeared. In the course and ungenerously, as I think, attacked by

of that year thele little thoots became you, I flatter myfelf they will not be rejected by persons entertaining fuch vigorous branches, and the year following delicate notions of honor ; and I dare much like a damson, but of a nuch

produced twelve or fourteen fine plumbs, venture to affirm, that as this is the first,

larger size. so it will, in all probability, he the last and only tiine that I shall ever solicit for and decayed, but the branches have con

The body of the tree still appears old the privilege of admission. I remain, fir, Your most obedient servant,

tinued to grow more luxuriant than those
of
any

other tree in the garden. Bedford, Feb. 18, 1799. W.BelsHAM.*

young The last year it was full of blossoms; but

the sharp north-east wind cut them all To tie Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

off. At this time there is the appearance

of a fine bloom. SIR,

As this tree stands at the entrance from HE following piece of natural history the garden into the burying-ground, it has friends so curious as to be worthy of traft, fo finely illustrated in the book of

Job, between " a tree cut down, of * We have inserted this letter entire, be- which there is hope," and the bodies of cause we think that as far as concerns the men, which, when once laid in the dust, defensive part of it, Mr. BELSHAM had a «rile not till the heavens be no more.' sight to require it; and with respect to any See Job xiv. 7--12. mixture of contemptuous acrimony which was I should be glad to be informed if any not effential to the argument, we less fear of your readers have ever met with an undergoing its effects, than the imputation instance of renovation in a fruit-tree of a of fupprefling it through a consciousness of similar kind, and whether this fact may deserving it. Mr. BELSHAM's literary ta

be applied to any practical use in garlents and exertions in the cause of liberty,

dening. cannot but command our esteen), whether it be returned or not The general character

I am, Sir, and contents of our miscellany will, we

Very respectfully, your's, truft, also fecure for us that of the public, Hackney, Merch 5, 1799. S. P. notwithstanding any individual expresfions of refeniment. EDITORS,

T.

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1999.) Hieroglyphics, and the Origin of Alphabetical Writing.

185 To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. calioned by the desire of priests employ,

ing these hieroglyphic signs to conceal SIR,

what they recorded in them from the INAR NARTICULATE sounds are insuf- discovery of the vulgar. By all these

ficient for the mutual communication means would the system of hieroglyphics of the knowledge and the desires of ra- be at length wrougḥt into a curiouly tional and social beings, such as men. complex and artificial structure; just as Articulate language has been, therefore, spoken language that, at first, conlifted invented: Even this is insufficient to but of the timple name and interjection, commemorate the past, or to transmit has been gradually reared into a complex information to those who are at a distance. fabric of parts of speech, declinable Hence, among even the rudest nations, and indeclinable, of infiexions, numbers, arifes the use of moveable, material signs modes, genders, comparisons, and formis of thought; and of hieroglyphics, paint- of construction. ings, and sculptures.

In this progress of abbreviation, it was Hieroglyphics were, in their first in natural that the attention, at least, of the vention, simply painted or sculptured more unlearned among those who made imitations of the objects of which the use of hieroglyphics, Thould be at length ideas were meant to be conveyed. To turned to think more of the relations bethis class were almost immediately added tween those painted signs of thought and other painted ligns, expressive of the articulate language, than of their rciageltures, attitudes, and situations, in tions to things: Adjectives, pronouns, which different actions were respectively all the indeclinable parts of speech, even performed, and meant to communicate, very many verbs and nouns, representing by means of these representations, the things which were not susceptible of benotions of the actions themselves. Those ing painted, and which could scarcely be, figures which fcantiness of idea, paucity by every underttanding, even precisely of words, inaccuracy of conception, and and definitely understood, mult in conardour of sentiment, quickly introduced fequence of these circumstances have been into speech, were to be expressed by a denoted in hieroglyphic painting, by correspondent figurative use of the signs figns having, not a natural, but an arbiof hieroglyphic painting. Such feem to trary and positive connection with the have been the three principal modifica- things signified. While this connection tions under which hieroglyphics exifted, arole, it was impossible that the attention after they were first enlarged into a fystein of the writers and rcaders of these arbiof permanent signs, and before they had trary fignis should not be, in very many yet begun to be, in any considerable de- instances, fixed particularly upon the regree, abbreviated for the ends of myste- lation between the found and the painted rious concealment, or quicker use. sign, and upon that almoit alone.' This

In the progressive application of these was one grand ftep in the transition from hieroglyphic ligns, they were gradually the use of hieroglyphics to that of alphaaltered and abbreviated. Qualities, betical writing. The conversion of me, energies unconnected with external atti- taphorical terms into fimple ones, the tude or gesture, afñrmations and all the diificulties arising from the attempt to varied transitions of thought, with thofe express different spoken languages by the notions of generalization, in which the same common system of hieroglyphic mind endeavours to combine into genera signs, the merely technical variations and and species the individuals of nature, abbrsviations of different writers, would were necessarily to be marked in hiero- all likewise contribute to separate, in the glyphical writing by other contrivances ideas of those by whom hieroglyphic than that of limply painting the object writing was used the greater purt of fignifi:d. As in speech, as in the alpha- the hieroglyphics, from the thing, they betical writing with which we are ac- originally reprelented, and to leave them quainted, innumerable abbreviations are, in affociation, merely with the vocal artifrom time to time, almost unconsciously culate figos denoting those things in introduced by mere use alone, unaslifted speech. by any prospective plans of improvement; After the alliance between founds and lo would hieroglyphics, in a manner little hieroglyphic figns has come to be moe dissimilar, be gradually abbreviated in regarded than the relation between these the hands of the priests of India and lat signs and the things fignified, w Egypt, or of the merchants of Phoenicia. discoveries to direct continued abbrevia Other abbreviations were no doubt oc- ation, are quickly made by the conMONTHLY MAG. No, XLIII.

tinual

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tinual comparison of the founds with the the fimple fourds in words and fyllables,
figns. It is obvioully perceived that the at last complete the invention of alphabe-
different articulate founds are far from tical writing, and hieroglyphics are no
being equally numerous with the different more.
Syllables or words in any language; that, These ideas concerning the use of hiero-
the complex articulate sounds of words glyphics and their gradual tranfition into
and tyllables, are fusceptible of being alphabetical writing, have long been
analysed into a few, simple, primary, mine. To have detailed that induction
elementary sounds, the endlessly varied of facts on which they are respectively
combinations of which, form all the in- founded, would have been here unseasona-
finite diversities of speech. Rude lan- bly tedious. I was for a moment afraid
guages conlist chiefly of monofyllabic that in the communication of them to the
words, or of words which, although public, I had been anticipated by Sir
long, are made up of syllables, having George Staunton, in his account of the
each separately, the powers of a word. Embally to China; but he has only
In a language of this character, therefore, thrown out some valuable hints concern-
it is easily feen, that, there must be many ing the manner in which hierog!yphio
among its monofyllabic words agreeing ligns come to be first associated in the
in sound. Nothing can be more natural minds of those who use them rather with
after this has once been perceived, and words than with things : I admire his
after hieroglyphics have begun to be or- work, as alike masterly in composition
dinarily reterred to words in preference and rich in important and interesting
to things, than that it should be attempt- information ; but I cannot think that he
ed fa:ther to abbreviate these hieroglyphics, has exhausted the subject of hieroglyphics.
by ceasing to use more than one hiero. Perhaps my notions concerning them are
glyphical tign to denote all those words good for very little.
or Tyllables which are the same in enun- Edinburgh, Sept. 1798. R.H.
ciation. By this new artifice of abbrevi-
ation, the number of the hieroglyphics DESCRIPTION OF MALTA.
necessary for ordinary use, is greatly
diminished. This is another grand step [The following valuable article respecting an

Itland which has always attracted the in the progress toward the analysis of ar

attention of mankind, and which has riculate founds, and their written repre

lately become a very interesting subject of fentatives into their ultimate and inost

political speculation, has been communi. general constituent principles,

An ex

cated to us by a gentleman whose opporceedingly near approach is now made to tunities of collecting original information actual alphabetical writing.

are confiderable, and who has combined The very next remarkable change pro

with his own materials those of all the duces alphabetical writing. It is quick

writers who have had occasion to describe ly perceived that syllables are susceptible

it.) of analysis into principles yet more timple

(Concluded from page 121.) and more general; and that by this new "HE city of Valetta is built on a pe:

, analysis of syllabic founds, the number of the signs requisite to denote language tween it and the sea is the celebrated calin writing, may be infinitely diminished. tle of St. Elm), accounted the chief for. Among those ligns which are at this time tification in the island; here it was where in use, is found a certain number of the Turks, (under Solyman himself, the which one has already been applied to fame who hau driven the knights from the Every fimple elementary found in the lan- Iile of Rhodes), loft so many men in their guage ; for all the primary, fimplest, and famous fiege : they could not carry this most general founds are to be found fub- fortress till the very last knight who defufting as diftin&t feparate words among

fended it was llain. It is now far more the valt multitude of its monosyllables, impregnable than ever. Beyond Valetta, The selection of thote hieroglyphic figns on the land lide, lies what is called the which thus embrace in the words to which Lower-Town, both it and Valetta being they are feparately applicable, all the simple defended by fortifications which appear Counds each different found a different - impregnable; and all of these are, notword--tach different word having its withttanding, covered by other works at peculiar sign ; the rejection of all the rest nearly equal importance, called Florian, cut of the use of writing; the combina- from the name of the engineer who con tion of these few primary ligns in a man- structed them. This latter fortification, Key corresponding to the combination of called also the Citadel, is, as well as St.

1

187

1799. ] History and Description of Malta. Elmo, situated between the two ports; ones. All their thips and gallies likewise and although the front on the land-lide is were well supplied with excellent arthought to be tov extensive, it is reckoned tillery. one of the best and most perfect works Indeed, it must raise the astonishment which the art of defence affords. The of a stranger to conceive how this nation access, both to Florian and the Lower has ever been able to execute such great Town, is mostly over precipices and steep and noble undertakings, than which norocks; besides which, Florian itself is thing can be bolder, or wrought in a betcompletely overlooked by the city of Va- terityle ; at once simple and dreadful! letta, whofe batteries effe&ually prohibit These immense and truly masterly conall approach to it. The works of Florian structions are more like the works of a also, on the covered ways, are mined and mighty and powerful people, than of so counterinined to a considerable extent; petty ftate. To forin, however, a and as this citadel is the only point on proper idea of thein, and give them all which it is posible to direct an attack on the admiration they delerve,it is absolutely Valetta from the land-fide, it is ealy to necessary to see and observe them on the conceive what a number of obstacles must spot. All the boasted catacombs of be surmounted ere an enemy could effect Rome and Naples are trifles compared the reduction of the city: and after all, with the immense excavations that have even if Florian were taken, it would he been made in this little island. Valetta, impossible to keep undisturbed possession in particular, is wondertully strong, both of it, on account of its being commanded by nature and art, and has certainly been by Valetta, which must necessarily be be- planned in the finest situation imaginable, feged.

betwixt two of the finest harbours in the It is a fortunate circumstance for the world. The artillery alio which defends Maltese, that their island is fo difficult of their coast is immenfe. Although the approach, insomuch that (as the Chevalier greater part of the works on the island Folard observed) 10 or 12,000 men are have been constructed or repaired after the sufficient to hinder a descent, although manner of Vauban, there are yet fome 30,000 would barely fuffice to defend the remaining, which serve to evince the imworks alone (in the cities and other parts provement which the art of fortification of the territory); which works, daily aug- has undergone during the last 200 years. menting, consequently become weaker, The city of Valetla, properly so called, and require more roops to defend them. with the citadels of Florian and St. Elmo,

If a descent be once accomplished, the require no more than about four or five principal dependance of Malta will be in thousand men for their defence. If the The works which encompass and defend Maltese, from various causes, were come the port. From what has been already pelled to abandon their other works for observed, it is evident that nature designed the defence of these places, it would be an the execution of each of these works, and easy matter for the enemy, being masters that nothing has been neglected hy art to of the island and the sea, to block up the improve her advantages. No country in garrison by land, with a body not much the world, of such finall extent, abounds superior in number; and by forming enwith so many various works; a thirst for trenchments, supported at each port, and fortification, carried almost to a pitch of out of the reach of the cannon, would at extravagance (considering that they could length force theni to surrender merely for never support a sufficient number of fol- want of provisions, diers to maintain them) has constantly In these forts there are exceedingly good pervaded the Grand Masters and the and spacious magazines hewn in the rocks, whole order ; yet these very works, if left fufficient to contain provisions, &c. for defenceless, would, in case of an attack, three years, and sheltered from all exteronly prove so many intrenchments for nal annoyance; consequently the surrentheir enemies. The whole territory of der of the forts can only depend on the Malta is surrounded, as it were, with quantity of provisions contained in the fortifications, mortars, and cannon. Of magazines. these last there is a vast number ; in one Besides the ciferns which every inhaplace only, the great circumvallation, bitant is obliged to have in his house, ncar Vaietta, called La Catonera, (from there are water-houses cut in the rocks, the name of the Grand Master who built which, when filled, contain fufficiency of it), there are upwards of 1500, of which water for three years; it is kept very sou are of brass; yet the Maltese were good, and used at all times. Little adcontinually purchasing or casting new vantage would, therefore, be derived from

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