Imágenes de páginas

Deity, the various evils of poverty and ignorance which confront us on every side. But it would be more reasonable, as well as more decorous, to inquire in the first place, how far such evils arise necessarily from the law of nature, and how far, on the other hand, they admit of easy mitigation, and only need that care and attention which the Christian religion enjoins every man to bestow upon his neighbour. When a South American Indian is seized with an infectious disorder, he is shut up in a solitary hovel, and abandoned to his fate. In our improved state of society, the sufferer under a similar calamity experiences the benefit of skill and care, and is probably recovered. But we must not be Europeans in our treatment of bodily maladies, and Americans as to the minds and morals of our fellow-creatures. The Author of our existence, when he did not exempt us from the civil or physical disorders of an imperfect state, ordained also that each should! have their alleviations; without which mankind would live miserably or perish prematurely. Those alleviations, indeed, are not definitely pointed out or prescribed. Neither was it possible they should be; inasmuch as they depend on circumstances varying at every point of civilization, varying in every climate and country, and even in the same country according to its progress towards opulence. The human race, whose faculties are infinitely improved by a state of advanced civilization, is bound to employ them in discovering and applying the remedies of those evils which peculiarly belong to each condition of society.

'It is a part of the system by which the Deity acts universally, to render man a free and spontaneous, but not a necessary instrument of his own welfare.

-Pater ipse colendi

Haud facilem esse viam voluit, primusque per artem
Movit agros, curis acuens mortalia corda;

Nec torpere gravi passus sua regna veterno.

Neither soil can

This is as true of the natural as of the moral world. dispense with cultivation. But both are so constituted as to be capable of excellent produce. Let that only be undertaken, which in our advanced stage of civilization is within the reach of practicable accomplishment, and the general state of society, like the country it culti vates, would on every side be full of "beauty to the eye and music to the ear." (pp. 290-292.)

Having already, we fear, more than exhausted the patience of our readers, we shall only observe of the evils and advantages of uncivilized life, that its evils seem evidently intended by Providence to excite the sufferers to those exertions which are to advance them in the progress of society;-and that we cannot agree with Mr. Sumner in classing what he calls its advantages under the head of compensations for those enjoyments which might be acquired by fulfilling the purposes of Providence. Such a statement confounds all our ideas of the scheme of moral government displayed in the previous chapters of the Essay, and appears to us to involve the absurdity of supposing that the Creator has infused into

his own plan ingredients of a nature to counteract the salutary influences which he expects from its application. This chapter, however, like all the rest, contains many ingenious remarks, and illustrations; and though it requires to be read with caution, will afford subjects of useful and agreeable reflection to a contemplative mind.

The practical inferences most necessary for and useful to mankind,' which by the terms of the contract were to be deduced 'from the whole,' are confined by Mr. Sumner within a space of twenty pages; and even the greater part of these is devoted to the removal of sceptical objections against the Divine goodness and justice, founded upon the absence of the frequent and visible interference of the Almighty in the affairs of men ;-a discussion evidently forming part of the main argument. At this scanty notice of so important a branch of the inquiry proposed, we cannot help expressing some surprize and regret. We should have thought that a more attractive subject could scarcely have been offered to a Christian divine and philosopher, than the inferences justly deducible from the dealings of God with man in the ways of providence and grace. Where HE has done so much for us, that we should be ready to sacrifice all for him, is a position, which even insulated from every other, involves all the modifications of self-denial and of humility, introduced by the various relations of ranks, and of individuals to themselves and others, but which every individual of every rank is so averse from investigating, and from practising even to the extent of his knowledge. We admit that a full detail of these duties would have been inconsistent with the limits of the Essay, and perhaps unnecessary from the facility with which access may be had to the knowledge of them in the works of other writers> But a concise and eloquent summary, enlarging occasionally upon those points which are least obvious, most difficult of attainment, and most imperative in the times and nation in which we live, would have been both within the powers of Mr. Sumner, and consistent with the limits to which he was confined. We shall be glad to follow him through such a summary upon some future occasion, and if he will now undertake it, we shall be very far from regretting that its execution was delayed.

ART. IV. A Voyage round the World, from 1806 to 1812; in which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands, and the Sandwich Islands were visited, &c. By Archibald Campbell. Edinburgh. 1816.


N one of the steam-boats that ply on the river Clyde, the appearance of a poor young sailor, who was playing on the violin for the amusement of the passengers, attracted the notice of Mr. Smith,

* 2


[ocr errors]

on her beam-ends, and precipitated the whole crew into the water: about fifteen of them clung to the mast, in the most hopeless situation, it being quite dark and stormy, with a heavy sea running, and no land within several leagues. They were forced, while on the mast, across several reefs, and the passage of each put an end to the misery of some of them. Campbell was once so nearly washed away, that he only felt the spar with the tips of his fingers; and, in this situation, he heard the mate, who was next to him, say, Damn you, are you going to leave us, too?-but another sea threw him back, and he regained his hold. When day broke, six only of the crew were left; but as the morning advanced, they perceived the bowsprit with eight others upon it. Before they reached the shore, three of their companions on the mast, overcome with cold and fatigue, were forced to quit their hold; but this, he says, gave the survivors little concern, as they expected every moment to share the same fate; however, the captain, the mate, and himself reached the shore; and shortly after the bowsprit took the ground, with four men upon it, two of whom were so exhausted as to be unable to walk,

The land on which they were thrown had a most dreary appearance; there was not a tree or a bush to be seen, and the ground was covered only with heath and moss; no trace of human habitation appeared. They gathered some large muscles, and carried a few to the two seamen who were not able to walk; but one of them was just expiring, and the other died about half an hour after his companion. Having eaten some raw muscles and passed an uncomfortable night, they collected the next morning a number of chests and other articles that had been driven on shore from the wreck; and procured twelve or thirteen pieces of beef and pork which some large birds, like ravens, had picked up, and dropped, from the casks which were staved among the rocks. In a small bay they discovered the long boat, and a barrel of fine biscuit, which, though soaked with sea water, was a most acceptable addition to their store. Several bodies were found, and buried in the sand; some of the seamen's chests also, and among them his own, drifted on shore.

'It contained,' says Campbell, only one shirt and my bible, which I had put into one of those squares common in sailors' chests for holding case-bottles, and in which it was firmly fixed, in consequence of having swelled with the water. I was at great pains in drying it in the sun, and succeeded so well that I could read any part of it. It was afterwards saved from a second wreck; and in my future hardships and sufferings, the perusal of it formed my greatest consolation. It is still in my possession, being the only article I brought with me when I reBurned to my native country?'

Well do we remember that affecting passage where poor Knox first


meets with an English Bible in the midst of his affliction and deep distress, when a prisoner in the deserts of Kandy! He, too, was a British seaman and were these two the only instances on record in which this first and best of books has afforded consolation to the seaman in distress, we should say that the regulation, which is now acted upon, of distributing a Bible to every mess on board His Majesty's ships, cannot be in vain.

The survivors employed themselves eighteen days in recovering all they could from the wreck; when, for the first time, they were visited by a party of natives, who had traced them from the fragments of wreck along the shore; these people came in three skincanoes, each carrying one person; one of them, who was decorated with a gold medal, spoke the Russian language, and, having learned their situation, dispatched one of his companions for assistance to a village on the north of the island, and the other to the commandant of Oonalaska. He shared among them a bladder of train-oil and a basket of berries preserved in seal-oil; and caught them some fish with his hooks and lines; he then kindled a fire and broiled the fish, which afforded them the first comfortable meal they had enjoyed since their shipwreck the fire was kindled by laying a piece of soft wood upon the ground and taking another between the teeth; then putting a third piece of harder quality between these two, and twirling it rapidly round with a thong of a hide, as a drill, the dry grass placed round it burst into a flame.

The next day a number of Indians came to them, bringing berries, oil-blubber, and dried salmon, which they shared among the unfortunate sufferers with the utmost liberality. In the course of a week Mr. Bander, the Russian commandant of Oonalaska, arrived with twenty or thirty Indians, and took possession of the ship's cargo. Campbell, with some others, was dispatched in the long boat to Kodiack, the chief Russian settlement, distant from Sunnack or Halibut island, on which they had been wrecked, about 500 miles. On their arrival at Alexandria, in the Fox islands, the governor ordered a brig, then lying in the harbour, to be fitted for Sunnack, and sent back the long boat to give Mr. Bander notice of his approach. Immediately after their departure bad weather came on, and they were obliged to make for the land, which they reached in safety, but by some mismanagement let the boat drive on the rocks, where she went to pieces. The nearest settlement, Karlinski, was at a considerable distance to the west; to cross the mountains to it was deemed impracticable on account of the snow, and they determined to creep along shore at low water. In wading over a reef, Campbell's boots filled with water; the cold was intense, and the motion of walking did not prevent it from freezing; a point of a hill running into the sea was necessary to be crossed;

in attempting this, he fell down, and had nearly been smothered in the snow. He says,

'My feet by this time were frozen never to recover; and I was so ill able to ascend, that I was frequently blown over by the wind, and sometimes driven a considerable way down the hill. Exhausted by these fruitless trials to keep up with the rest, I became totally unable to proceed, and was left to my fate. I laid myself down on the snow in a state of despair. Having recovered a little, I resolved to make another attempt to follow the track of my companions, but had not proceeded far when I met them coming down the hill which had proved to be impassable.'

The rising tide prevented their return; and there was no resource but to pass the night where they were; it blew hard and the night was piercingly cold. In re-crossing the reef, where he had got wet, Campbell proved so feeble, and his feet so powerless, that a wave washed him into deep water, and another threw him back on the shore. After this it was necessary to scramble over a rock covered with ice; his feet being useless he was obliged to drag himself up by his hands, in doing which they were also frozen. On gaining the top, as he thought, he tried to lay hold of a projecting part of the rock, but his fingers refused to perform their office, and he fell to the grouud; but, by piling a few stones, he succeeded at length in getting over it. In this enfeebled state it was dusk before he could reach the hut from whence they had set out. I never again,' he says,' walked on my feet; but, by the blessing of God, recovered the use of my hands, with the loss of only two fingers." The Russians, his companions, treated him with great humanity, cut off his boots, wrapped his hands and feet in flannel, and laid him on a bed of dried grass, where he remained three days, subsisting on a little rusk and blubber. On the 4th, five canoes arrived and took them to Karlinski, a settlement consisting of a few Russians and about thirty Indian families; here Campbell was treated with great attention, conveyed to the cazerne, and laid upon a bed of skins; but as the place afforded no medical assistance, my feet and hands (he says) began to mortify, and my health was otherwise so much impaired that I was frequently in a state of delirium.'

[ocr errors]

From this time, the 28th January, to the 9th of March, poor Campbell was without the least medical aid, when he was landed from a baidarai, or skin-canoe, at Alexandria, and immediately carried to the hospital. The next day the surgeon took off one of his fingers and the joint of another, and told him that to save his life he must submit to lose both his feet. Accordingly one was amputated on the 15th March, and the other on the 17th April following: they were taken off below the ankle joint, and never healed; but by the


« AnteriorContinuar »