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diminished heads," if placed alongside the 72,000 legal enactments of Chile. Although the Spanish government has been taxed with indolence, their activity in legislation must have been most praiseworthy and conspicuous. Many, however, of these valuable laws are enjoying the luxury of profound repose; and the people are so ignorant as to think it scarcely worth while to awaken them. In most other countries there is some proportion between law and lawyers, and an increase of the one seldom fails to augment the other; Chile is an exception to this general rule. In physic, the Chilenos display as little taste; for they cannot be persuaded into liver complaints, nor induced, by the most elegant preparations, to bring on an affection of the nerves : and hence there is scarcely a physician of eminence, nor even a surgeon to be found; while the varieties of dentist, cupper, &c. are entirely unknown. Fortunately for the inhabitants of Valparaiso, which contains 16,000 souls, an apothecary has been induced to reside among them; and, in order that our readers may judge of the little encouragement afforded to pharmaceutical talent, we will just introduce them into the cabinet of this neglected son of Esculapius :
“Returning from my shopping, I stopped at the apothecary's (for there is but one,) to buy some powder-blue, which, to my surprise, I found could only be procured there. I fancy it must resemble an apothecary's of the fourteenth century, for it is even more antique looking than those I have seen in Italy or France. The man has a taste for natural history; so that, besides his jars of old-fashioned medicines, inscribed all over with the celestial signs, oddly intermixed with packets of patent medicines from London, dried herbs, and filthy gallipots, there are fishes' heads and snakes' skins; in one corner a great condor tearing the flesh from the bones of a lamb; in another, a monster sheep, having an adscititious leg growing from the skin of his forehead; and there are chickens, and cats, and parrots, altogether producing a combination of antique dust and recent filth, far exceeding any thing I ever beheld.”
Our notice of the political state of Chile will be very short. Many errors have been committed, and many opportunities lost, but much of evil has been removed; and the existing state of Chile is that of improvement: we have hopes of the future, but time will be a powerful agent in the work of amelioration. The inhabitants are daily acquiring knowledge, and, having tasted its sweets, will scarcely be prevailed upon to relinquish them: their constant intercourse with Europeans, and the numbers of enlightened individuals who have settled among them, will contribute to dispel the mists of ignorance and prejudice, which, in some favourite points, at present, attach firmly to their nature.
We cannot, as critics, help lamenting the inflated style and
bad taste in which their public addresses and state documents are drawn up, resembling, in manner at least, the halfludicrous productions of the heroes of the French Revolution: and we are sorry to observe the name of a British nobleman, - who has done the state some service," appended to proclamations, which, whatever may be their political merit, are in this particular eminently ridiculous. We have already said, that the climate of this country is most delightful, lying between the 30th and 56th degrees of latitude; it is sufficiently warm, while the cool air from the mountains, or the refreshing sea-breeze, maintain that equality of temperature which is so congenial to our nature; but, with all its advantages, Chile has one treniendous drawback. It is extremely subject to earthquakes, a hopeless evil, far beyond the reach of human means to remedy or prevent. The skilful sailor, in a stout and well-built vessel, encounters boldly the storm and tempest, and trusts with confidence in the resources of his art. Science has disarmed lightning of a portion at least of its destructive power; but an earthquake can neither be avoided by flight, nor evaded by skill : it attacks us in our strong hold, it gives no warning, but rushes on us in a moment. On the 19th of November, 1822, many towns in Chile were nearly destroyed, and incalculable damage sustained, by one of these appalling visitations. We shall lay before our readers the following description of its commencement:
“ The lightning continued to play uninterruptedly over the Andes until after dark, when a delightful and calm moonlight night followed a quiet and moderately warm day. We returned reluctantly to the house on account of the invalid, and were sitting quietly conversing, when, at a quarter past ten, the house received a violent shock, with a noise like the explosion of a mine; and Mr. Bennet, starting up, ran out, exclaiming, ‘An earthquake, an earthquake! for God's sake, follow me! I, feeling more for Glennie than any thing, and fearing the night air for him, sat still ; he, looking at me to see what I would do, did the same: until, the vibration still increasing, the chimneys fell, and I saw the walls of the house open. Mr. Bennet again cried from without, For God's sake, come away from the house ! So we rose and went to the veranda, meaning, of course, to go by the steps; but the vibration increased with such violence, that, hearing the fall of a wall behind us, we jumped down from the little platform to the ground; and were scarcely there, when the motion of the earth changed from a quick vibration to a rolling like that of a ship at sea, so that it was with difficulty that Mr. Bennet and I supported Glennie. The shock lasted three minutes; and, by the time it was over, every body in and about the house had collected on the lawn, excepting two persons; one the wife of a mason, who was shut up in a small room which she could not open; the other Carillo, who, in escaping from his room by the wall which fell, was buried in the ruins, but happily preserved by the lintel falling across him.”
Although there was a perfect calm, the trees were agitated in the most violent manner, and at times their topmost branches were bent nearly to the ground. A disagreeable sensation, resembling sea-sickness, comes over persons exposed to these violent shocks, which were repeated at irregular intervals, but almost incessantly, during the night, seldom a period of more than two minutes elapsing between them.
At Santiago much mischief was done; but Valparaiso was nearly destroyed, whole streets being converted into heaps of ruins. At Quillota
“ The market-place was filled with booths, and bowers of myrtle and roses; under which, feasting and revelry, dancing, fiddling, and masking, were going on, and the whole was a scene of gay dissipation, or rather dissoluteness. The earthquake caine,- in an instant all was changed. Instead of the sounds of the viol and the song, there arose a cry of Misericordia! Misericordia !' and a beating of the breast, and a prostration of the body; and the thorns were plaited into crowns, which the sufferers pressed on their heads till the blood streamed down their faces, the roses being now trampled under foot. Some ran to their falling houses, to snatch thence children forgotten in the moments of festivity, but dear in danger. The priests wrung their hands over their fallen altars, and the chiefs of the people fled to the hills. Such was the night of the nineteenth at Quillota.”
There is much truth in the following remarks, suggested by the state in which the author found the inhabitants of Valparaiso :
“As I approached nearer, the tents and huts of the wretched fugitives claimed my undivided attention; and there indeed I saw the calamity in a light it had not hitherto appeared in. Rich and poor, young and old, masters and servants, were huddled together in intimacy frightful even here, where the distinction of rank is by no means so broad as in Europe. I can quite understand, now, the effect of great general calamities in demoralizing and loosening the ties of society. The historians of the middle ages tell of the pestilence that drove people forth from the cities to seek shelter in the fields from contagion, and returned them with a worse plague, in the utter corruption of morals into which they had fallen.
Nor was plague in London' without its share of the moral scourge. 'Sweet are the uses of adversity' to individuals and to educated men; but I fear, that whatever cause makes large bodies of men very miserable, makes them also
wicked.” During six weeks the earth continued to experience occasional shocks of greater or less force, and generally several in the course of each day; and even when no otherwise perceptible, the surface of mercury proved it to be in a constant
state of agitation. The permanent effect of this convulsion was the retirement of the sea along the coasts, leaving about four feet less water in the harbour than before. We are far from being willing to subscribe to any of the theories that have been invented on the subject of earthquakes; the best of them have their weak places, and it will probably be long before this very interesting problem is satisfactorily solved.
In concluding our remarks upon the work before us, we may observe, that the author has arrived at the best means of information, and has intimately mixed with the highest circles. She appears to have been an attentive observer of whať was passing around her, and a diligent collector of facts. We are, however, not quite sure that she has dispensed them in the best order; indeed, the form of a journal necessarily facilitates the introduction of much, which, though it may be interesting to the individual, can have little claim upon the public. About one-fourth of the work consists of an introduction, which is exclusively political, and contains a spirited sketch of the persons and events which have occupied the theatres of Chilean independence. A copious appendix of 100 pages, written by Mr. Yates, contains the history of Jose Miguel Carrera and his brothers, who took so conspicuous a share in the early part of the revolution, and whose melo-dramatic adventures, hair-breadth escapes, and disgraceful death, seem scarcely to belong to the period of the nineteenth century. We are favoured with a liberal supply of state papers of various degrees of importance, and one of which, an address from the Director O'Higgins, is printed in the Arancanian language, which, we doubt not, is abundantly sweet, flowing, and persuasive, notwithstanding the length, and apparent impracticability of its words, most of which contain twenty, and some above thirty letters. The English have been accused of making long speeches, in spite of the monosyllables with which their language is crowded ; but what limits could be assigned to an orator who came armed with words like this,-Lacctamasinchiscunallamantatac.
The author has printed several letters to the government, and addresses to the people, by Lord Cochrane; some of which are well written, and breathe an independent spirit, which is congenial to the English character. We can make every allowance for the warmth of private friendship; but, we confess, we were not prepared for the following rhapsody:
“ How my heart yearned to think, that when our own country lost his service, England
“Like a base Ethiope, threw a pearl away,
Richer than all its kind.'
This is going rather too far. We cheerfully acknowledge Lord Cochrane to be a bold and skilful seaman; and, having said this, we stop.
Mrs. Graham is an agreeable writer; and the volume before us may be perused both with profit and pleasure; it embraces every topic, from the sublime elevation of political truth to the humblest detail of domestic life. Although the work of a female traveller, it is, upon the whole, free from sentimental affectation : sometimes, indeed, the delicate hand and neat crow-quill is employed'in producing a sample of fine writing, which, however, soon gives place to the plain sensible recital of facts. The Chinese fire-works are only let off now and then.
Specimens of the earlier English Poets. 12mo.
We regard the attention which has lately been given to the earlier English poets as indicative of considerable improvement in the public taste. It is not many years since they were treated with total neglect, and the very existence of the greater part of their works was scarcely better known in England than in China. A few literary men, however, whose taste was not formed in the trammels of conventional criticism, have succeeded in attracting notice to these fountains of pure and genuine poesy; and many of the majestic bards of the olden time," now receive the meed of popular admiration which they so well deserve.
The volume before us is a very laudable endeavour to extend the acquaintance of the general reader with the works of our earlier poets.
The compiler is evidently a man well acquainted with the ancient literature of his country, and fully capable of appreciating its value. Upwards of seventy pages, at the commencement of the volume, are occupied by a selection from the works of Marlowe, consisting of his poem
of Hero and Leander, and some fine extracts from his Doctor Faustus. Of Hero and Leander, “Ben Jonson, a man conscious enough of his own abilities, was often heard to say, that it was more fit for admiration than parallel.” Faustus is an astonishing specimen of dramatic power, and contains some passages probably unequalled except by some of the finest parts of Shakspeare. The story is generally known. The following, extract exhibits the termination of his career as delineated by
VOL. 1. PART II.