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of the most captivating kind. The fact is, that the sailors have so many reasons to believe in the notion that they are unable to resist the evidence : and it is certain that if a cloud of witnesses can be allowed to decide on a disputed point, there never was a fact more securely placed on an authentic foundation than this story of the Flying Dutchman. Mrs. Morrell mentions that an individual who appears to be well known under the name of Cotton Mather, in America, described a phantom which was seen near the harbour of Boston. A vessel had long been missing, and the friends of those on board her became distressed ; prayers were offered up for their safety, but when she was quite given over, a ship was distinctly seen by the people of Boston coming in under full sail. So distinctly was she seen, that men were visible on her decks; she came on swimmingly for an hour or two, when in an instant she vanished, and was never heard of or seen any more. It was considered by that pious and learned man, and of course by most others, that this was a kind vision from the Almighty to assure all those interested in the fate of the ship that she was lost, and all hands perished. Those who did not believe in this interference of Providence to shadow out such an event, did not know how to account for the phenomenon, and of course were silent upon it. For nearly two centuries this story was told, to the belief of many, and to the amusement of others, when an explanation was given by a similar appearance in the city of New York. In the fall of 1826, the appearance of several vessels was seen from the battery upon the horizon, clearly and distinctly, when the ships whose images were reflected were not within sight. These images, by refraction, were thrown on a cloud beyond them by the rays of the sun ; and while many wondered the philosophers explained, and a satisfactory solution of Cotton Mather's story was made out.
In a glowing passage which succeeds, Mrs. Morrell insists on the necessity of affording moral instruction to the sailors of her country, who have now grown into a body of considerable importance from its number alone. Taking the sailors of the navy of the United States and those connected with merchant yessels and the fisheries, she calculates that the total of this class cannot be under sixty thousand ; ten thousand being in the navy, and about forty-three thousand in the merchantmen. It is not a little extraordinary, observes Mrs. Morrell, that all nations should so far forget themselves as to have no system of instruction or discipline for sailors, except such as is left by law in the discretion of masters of vessels. There is in the world at least a million of seamen, who are engaged in fighting their country's battles, or assisting in the sailing of vessels of merchandize, or in the several fisheries, and hardly a school among them all. No farmer hires a man who is not recommended to him as an able-bodied man, and one well acquainted with his duties ; yet a merchant waits,
after he has fixed upon his voyage, selected his master, and got: his vessel loaded and just fit for sea, and then drums up his crew on short notice, only inquiring if they be good seamen, without thinking of their moral characters at all, or making the slightest: inquiry whether the man they ship is a pirate or an honest seaman. As long as this is the case, and there are so many bad men who resort to the seas, perhaps to escape the punishment due to their crimes, no wonder that so many deeds of horror are perpetrated. Inquiry should be made into every man's character before he ships, and then proper arrangements made to treat him well on the voyage as to food and instruction. She next lays down the principles of a plan of moral and religious instruction, which we trust we shall find carried into practice in America, if it were only for the sake of knowing the result of so interesting an experiment. Mrs. Morrell communicates some very interesting facts illustrative of the feelings of the Americans upon this question of moral education. She informs us that the merchants of the United States are making extensive provision by means of education and the inculcating of religious notions, to form their clerks into a body of conscientious servants, in whom they can place confidence. A plan has been also very lately suggested to congress, by a patriotic and intelligent member of that assembly, to make the whole army of the United States one great seminary of instruction, and to dismiss all its idle and inefficient members, for the purpose of opening a fair field, where the due meed of merit may be obtained by the candidate who shall prove most worthy to obtain it. From this subject Mrs. Morrell passes to some general refleétions on the naval prospects of the chief countries of Europe, and bestows, with a very proper preference, the best portion of the pages devoted to this subject on her own country. Nevertheless, at the moment when her patriotic sympathies appear to be roused to their utmost pitch, we find her faithful to that loyalty to truth which forms a very striking characteristic of the whole work. She still renders justice to England, by acknowledging the supremacy of its influence amongst the inhabitants of all the remote countries which admit European ships to their shores. England, she says, considers the ocean as her own; and she sails over its bosom like one who enjoyed unquestioned the dominion of the world of waters. The imposing appearance
of her ships was well calculated to impress the minds of the people in every distant region they visited with an idea of the power and importance of the empire, especially when contrasted with the smaller size and inferior equipment of those of other European nations. The natives possessed no other means of judging of the relative importance of the countries which traded with them; and it is to be presumed that no endeavour was spared by those who navigated the British vessels to increase this favourable impression. From this cause it has arisen that every expression of
admiration and reverence that these aborigines have at command has been exhausted on the British navy. This influence is fairly earned, however inimical it may be to the views of nations at this day, when all are strenuously contending for their rights. Mrs. Morrell appears at last to shake off the lethargy which made her submit for so long a time to the consideration of subjects so foreign to the province, as she deliberately thinks, of a female, and, in the true style of an animated woman, she bounds off to the region of speculation, and, casting her eyes upon the heavens, is fixed in raptures on the wonders of the Aurora Borealis. But, instead of giving her description of the appearance to which she alludes, we prefer relating the anecdote of the influence of the Aurora on mundane affairs, with which she concludes the subject.
' A good story is told of the influence of the aurora borealis on the minds of some acquainted with its natural causes in the early part of the last century, in our country. A marriage had been agreed upon between the son of a merchant and the daughter of a highly respectable landholder. The first day of the year was named as the happy one.
The company, as it was usual in those days to invite all the connexions and relations, however remote, was very numerous, and in great glee; the sun set, and a most beautiful aurora borealis appeared; the streams of fire were thrown nearly to the zenith; all eyes were upon it, viewing the scene without fear, for they had heard that it passed away harmlessly when it appeared before. The good father of the young lady seemed distressed, and in the most solemn manner announced his determination to put off the wedding for that evening. This threw the whole company into
consternation. The young couple looked disappointed, but said nothing, for that was a period of parental severity. At length, the clergyman arrived: he had been delayed by making some notes upon the phenomenon then before their eyes. The determination of the old gentleman was communicated to him privately, of which he seemed to take no notice, but went on explaining to all present as much as was then known by philosophers on the subject, and perhaps they knew about'as much then as they do now, He expatiated upon the benevolence of the Deity, and suggested that this was probably one way which he had ordered to keep the atmosphere in the frozen regions in a proper state for respiration by the inhabitants, who were now without a cheering ray of the blessed sun; that many months would pass away before the luminary would rise upon them; and that the electricity agitated in this manner was as harmless as heat-lightning, and assisted the poor Laplanders and other nations to procure their food. He went on to illustrate his position by showing that the eclipses of the sun and moon, which were once supposed to portend disasters, were now used by the astronomer to measure time with accuracy, and to correct the chronology of past ages; and, in fine, to support the truths of the great volume of inspiration. The old man listened to all that was said with great attention, and at length came forward and avowed his conviction of his error, in viewing the northern lights as a manifestation of Divine displeasure. The marriage ceremony was performed, and all were happy.'
Mrs. Morrell is very sanguine in her notions of the good effects which would follow the colonization of the islands of the Pacific by her countrymen, with the protection of their government. She considers that there is no obstacle whatever in existence against the execution of a plan for this purpose; for though the kings of Spain and Portugal once planted their standards in many of these islands, still fresh discoveries would disclose new ones, which, in such a case, would belong to the nation who found them. Captain Morrell's experience was adduced as a proof of the facility of enlarging the number of such discoveries.
Settlements, she proposes, should be made on some of the islands which the Captain had been the first to visit, so that the commerce of the seas in the district could be secured to America, if not exclusively, at least in common with other nations. The United States, she contends, should endeavour to maintain the rank to which she has so unexpectedly been elevated; for though no more than two centuries old, and though recognized as a member of the great family of states only within half a century, yet she has arisen to the third rank in the scale of commercial greatness. America proved to be a prosperous nation as long as she acted as the carriers of the productions of other countries-why should she not be equally successful in turning carrier to herself? The first step, however, to be taken is the transport of missionaries to these islands, and Mrs. Morrell calls upon her countrywomen to do all in their power to assist in this good preliminary work. She calls on them to consider what has been done for education in other countries: witness, she says, the exertions and capabilities of Hannah Moore, Miss Edgeworth, and Mrs. Hemans, in England; and of Mrs. Sigourney and Miss Sedgwick of America. Look moreover, enjoins Mrs. Morrell, at Mrs. Somerville, who, in those branches, of which mathematics are the basis, has transcended all who have attempted to instruct youth in these matters before. After finishing upon this topic, Mrs. Morrell describes her return to America, and concludes with an account of the mingled feelings of joy which she experienced at meeting the remaining members of her family, and of sorrow at the loss of some of them who had paid the debt of nature during her absence.
ART. V.- History of Arabia, Ancient and Modern, being vol. 13,
of Edinburgh Cabinet Library. By Andrew Crichton, with a map and ten engravings. 2 vols. 12mo. Edinburgh: Oliver
and Boyd. 1833. WE fully participate in the feeling of surprise, mingled with regret, which has been expressed by Mr. Crichton, that, whilst the annals of every nation almost that possesses the least political importance has found an able historian amongst the cultivators of British literature, the Arabs alone should be regarded with indifference by them. And yet, in what portion of the habitable world shall we find a people whose story, political, civil, or religious, comprehends a more curious and instructive fund for meditation than the children of Arabia. We hail then, with great pleasure, any attempt that may be made to remove the reproach which this apparent neglect of England has involved, and we rejoice in this event, the more as it is accompanied by circumstances which confer an auspicious aspect on the undertaking.
The volumes before us enter into the antient and modern history of the Arabs in very considerable detail. An author, in giving a complete account of any people, is compelled to dwell upon many points connected with them, which may not prove interesting to the generality of readers; this observation particularly applies to the present work, and renders it necessary for us to be guarded in our selection from its contents.
Arabia is a peninsula forming an irregular triangle, lying between the Red Sea on its western side, and the Persian Gulf on its eastern. Mr. Crichton advances no specific calculation as to the amount of miles comprehended in the tract of Arabia, but modern authors appear generally to agree in fixing its area as measuring about one million square miles, and further assign to it a population of twelve millions. Its limits are, longitude 32 deg. and 60 min. east from Greenwich; and latitude 12 deg. 45 min., and 34 deg. north. It is unnecessary for us to follow the author through the principal divisions of this territory, and we shall content ourselves merely with some general notices of its climate. In the plains and valleys, the most intense heat prevails, whilst the greatest cold continually exists in the high places. The thermometer, in almost all parts of Arabia, varies singularly, exhibiting a remarkable diversity in the temperature within very short periods. The great feature of the country however is its dryness, and years sometimes pass away, in succession, without rain. The consequence is extreme drought, and the destruction of all vegetable growth; for Arabia is unhappily distinguished by another peculiarity, the absence of rivers, or perennial streams in the interior, with some slight exceptions. The winds partake very much of the uncertain character of the temperature, and Arabia is particularly liable to the visitation of the Simoom, a pestilential wind, under whose malignant influence all nature appears to languish and decay.
From the account of the geographical properties of Arabia, the author proceeds to the history of its early inhabitants, which he carries out to a considerable extent. But there is no certain authority, almost, to warrant any confidence in the tenth of the common descriptions of the antient Arabs. - We may, however, be satisfied, that, for a thousand years, the Arabs have maintained their independence, the faith, freedom, and peculiar manners handed down from generation to generation, defying every inva