milar means that man must learn to protect himself against the insect tribes, the most annoying of his enemies, and against many of whom there is no other possible means of defence. The white streaked eagle formerly built its nest on Tintholm, one of the smallest islands of the group, but which was then inhabited, as is proved by the still existing ruins of some houses. One day an eagle darted upon an infant, which was lying at a little distance from its mother, and carried it to its nest; this was upon a rock, so steep towards the summit, that the boldest bird catchers had never ventured to climb it. The mother, however, ascended; but she came too late. The child was dead, and its eyes torn out. This destructive bird is no longer to be found in Feroe; if at any time a solitary one strays thither, such an invasion is the unica necessitas which calls the inhabitants to arms. There is but one of the fal con tribe, the lanner, or falco lanarius, not so large as a pigeon, and yet the tyrant of these islands; the starlings, when pursued by this bird, will take shelter in a church or house, and seek refuge even in the presence of man. They often escape by means of what is called a wind house, a building for drying meat and fish, the sides of which consist of laths placed at a very small distance from each other. Through these the starling slips, and the lanner is frequently found jammed between them, the victim of its own eagerness. The little wren is called, by the Feroese, musabrouir, or the mouse's brother; because, like the mouse, it creeps through the clinks in these vind houses, and feasts on the dried meat.

The matin, which, in England, is still considered as bringing good fortune to the house, under the caves of whic, it builds its nest, is regarded as a bird of ill omen in Feroe. It never builds here, and the islanders dread it appearance, be

lieving that either there will be a destructive sickness in the country, or that a corpse will soon be carried from the house over which it happens to fly. The crows are singularly troublesome, deriving great part of their subsistence from plunder. Not content with picking seed from the field, they dig up the newly planted potatoes, destroy the barley before it is ripe, cut off the cabbage roots, and those of almost every other gar den vegetable; devour the fish which is hung up to dry, and carry off the goslings and ducklings. Necessity has made them omnivorous. They will even enter houses, where people are sitting, in search of prey. Those extraordinary assemblies, which may be called crow courts, are observed here as well as in the Scotch isles. They collect in great numbers, as if they had been alt summoned for the occasion. A few of the flock sit with drooping heads; others, says Landt, seem as grave as if they were judges, and some are exceedingly active and noisy. In the course of about an hour the company disperse, and it is not uncommon, after they have flown away, to find one or two left dead on the spot. Dr. Edmonston, in his view of the Zetland islands, says that some. times the meeting does not appear to be complete before the expiration of a day or two, crows coming from all quarters to the session. As soon as they are all arrived, a very general noise ensues, and shortly af ter, the whole fall upon one or two individuals, and put them to death. When this execution has been performed, they quietly disperse. The crows in Feroe feed also upon shell fish, which they let fall on the rocks from a considerable height. They manage better in this, than the he matopus ostrilegus, which sometimes, when a large muscle is gaping, thrusts its bill in, and is caught by the closing shell. The natives have a strange notion about the heron, attributing to it a ridiculous

practice for promoting or rather ensuring digestion, directly the reverse of that medical operation which old fablers have said was borrowed from the stork.


In the winter of 1797, a plague prevailed among the cats in Feroe. There was a very general mortality among them about the same time in England, and that it should have prevailed in these remote islands, when it could not possibly have been communicated by contagion, is a remarkable fact. Sea bathing was tried with little effect; emeticks were administered successfully, but the cases were not sufficiently numerous to establish the remedy. The life of a domestick cat is of some value there; for rats are very numerous; they will destroy a corn field in the course of two nights, and when they can get at the sea fowl, they commit such havock among them, that they leave little to be done by the fowlers. They have, however, since their introduction, nearly rid the islands of mice. The Hanover rat made his appearance there in 1768, arriving upon the wreck of a Norway ship, which was lost on the island of Lewis, and drifted to Suderoe. It is observed that he will not touch any thing that is poisoned. Sagacious as the rat is, this must be owing to the want of skill in disguising the poison; for in England, of which these vermin have made a more complete conquest than any former invader (having literally extirpated the original rat of the country) poison is the most common method of destroying them.

Hay tea, though in England regarded as a new discovery in feeding, is given to the cows in Feroe. It seems to have been long in use in other countries. Fifty years ago, the Dublin Society printed instructions for rearing calves with a portion of this food, according, as they say, to the method practised in divers countries. Kine are subject

there to white swellings in the corners of the mouth, which prevent the animal from eating or ruminating, but are easily cut out. If a cow loses its appetite from any other cause, the remedy is a superstitious one. All the churches are covered with living turf; two or three handfulls of grass plucked from that part of the roof which is directly over the choir, the altar, or the pulpit, are supposed to be a specifick. Whitelocke, in his journal (a book every way interesting) describes the sheep and goats as clambering up the Swedish country houses to graze upon the turf with which they are covered; the buildings being very low, and the roof just sloping sufficiently for the wet to run off. This mode of covering houses is common in Feroe. In one part of Stromoe, which is surrounded on all sides by steep hills (except toward the sea) every bull, which is either bred or brought there, becomes exceedingly ferocious and dangerous. The same fact is observed in Borrodale, at the head of Derwentwater, and for the same. reason; they are made furious by the echo of their own bellowing.

There is a curious section in this volume under the head of Amphibia. "In Feroe there are no frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, or serpents; and no amphibious animal of any kind, a circumstance which is worthy of remark." Certes; but not worthy of a whole section; for this is the whole. This, however, seems to be a Danish way of making chapters. In Horrebow's Natural History of Iceland there are two such; chap. 42. "Concerning owls. There are no owls in the whole island." And chapter 72. " Concerning snakes. No snakes of any kind are to be met with throughout the whole island." Would that our book makers were equally honest, and when they came to a subject upon which they had no information to communicate, would frankly tell us so, instead of

covering the shallowness of their meaning with the froth of their dis course! In the Danes this is not a trick of book making; it proceeds from their love of method.


One melancholy reflection arises upon perusing this interesting volume. The Feroese, inhabiting a group of rocky islands in a bleak and ungenial climate, and earning great part of their food by the peril ous occupations of fishing and fowling, are an inoffensive and good people. In the happier regions of Polynesia and of the sugar islands, where earth almost spontaneously gives its fruit, and man has no other business than that of enjoyment, we behold vices and atrocities disgraceful to human nature. Let it not be supposed that we impute this difference to the effect of climate. God forbid! Of all sophists, those who pretend to regulate morality by de grees of latitude, are the most pernicious. The crimes of the Polynesians are easily accounted for, with out arraigning Providence. They are savages; instruct them and convert them, establish among them a

good government and a good church
discipline, and their depravity will
be remedied. The crimes of the
Creoles are of a deeper die, for ig-
norance cannot be pleaded in exten-
uation. The cause is to be found in
the existence of slavery; and the in-
evitable demoralization which this
accursed practice produces, is not
checked by any due system of reli-
gious instruction. Let those who
doubt the efficacy of education and
religion, look at what Scotland is,
and recollect what it was two cen
turies ago. At present the Scotch
are, beyond all doubt, a peaceable,
orderly, and moral nation; two cen
turies ago they were as turbulent,
ferocious, and brutal as the wild
Irish are now. The Feroe islands
also invite us to a nearer compari-
son. There are no feudal oppres
sions; no sore grievances, and sorer
vexations to
to deaden the hopes,
check the industry, and prevent the
improvement of the people. Can we
say this of the Scotch islands? This
is a question which we shall soon
take occasion to examine.


The Conquest of the Miao-tsé; an Imperial Poem, by Kien-Lung, entitled, A Choral Song of Harmony for the first Part of Spring. By Stephen Weston, F. R. S. S. A From the Chinese. 8vo. pp. 58. 1810.

LITTLE did we imagine, when, on a recent occasion,* we were enumerating the many, and almost insurmountable difficulties, which opposed themselves to the student of the Chinese language, that our at tention would so speedily be recalled to the subject, by the appearance of the translation of another Chinese work; small, indeed, in point of bulk, and trifling in comparative im

portance, but more difficult, inas much as poetry, in proportion as it becomes more concise and conden sed, is more intricate and obscure, than plain prose. Such, however, is the fact. Mr. Weston, a gentleman not altogether unskilled in Asiatick lore, nor wholly untried, it seems, in Chinese literature,† has boldly soared into the metaphorical regions of oriental poetry, and visited the

* See Select Reviews. p. 22 of the present volume. Mr. Weston informs us in his preface, that in 1809, he published the translation of

a poem of 133 characters, called Ley-tang, by Kien-Lung.

is affixed to each character, in or- cording to one (who seems to have der to show in what manner it ought read his breviary to a good purto be enunciated. Without this tone, pose) if it has not exactly the fire for the gratification of the ear, or a of Pindar, and the sublimity of Hodue regard to the composition of the mer, it may at least be classed with characters, to please the eye, the the psalms of David! Another tells spirit of Chinese poetry must en- us that the Chinese poets study natirely evaporate, and what remains ture, and may, therefore, be comexhibit only a succession of unintel- pared with Boileau and Horace; ligible monosyllabick sounds. This and a third, with great naïveté, asmay be sufficiently illustrated, by serts, that none of those passages of writing the sounds of Chinese cha. Homer, wherein the sound is meant racters in the letters of our alpha- to be “ an echo to the sense,” are bet, which, in fact, is the only way surpassed by tang-tang, as an imileft us, to exhibit a few specimens tation of the sound of the gong. of Chinese oral poetry. In such a One thing at least is certain; the shape, it is almost unnecessary to study of Chinese poetry, by a Euadd, it is not only stripped of all its ropean, is not likely to conipensate embellishments, but exposed in a the labour which he must necessastate of perfect nudity.

rily bestow, to acquire even a very The following is part of the re- imperfect knowledge of the plainest cord of an eclipse of the sun, taken compositions of this kind. Among from the Shee-King:

these, the imperial poems of Kien

Lung are not to be classed, if we “Ché yue, tehé kiao

may credit the account which Pére Chou ge sin-mao

Amiot has given of them; namely,
Ge yeou ché tché
Ye koung tché tcheou

that, after more than thirty years apPei yué eul wei

plication to the study of the Chinese Tsé gé eul wei

language, in which he wrote and Kin tsé shin min

conversed daily, he would have Ye koung tcho ngai."

found it utterly impossible to put Of which, the following may be the “ Praise of Moukden" into an taken as a pretty literal translation:

intelligible shape, had he not also

been conversant with the Mant“ Tenth moon's conjunction, first day choo Tartar language, by which he sin-mao, sun had eclipse. All portend bad. was enabled to compare the corresWhether sun covered or moon covered, ponding passages. Yet this poem, people in general fear bad.”

as he calis it, has neither metre nor We shall add but a single verse

rhyme. The Ode on Tea, from the of one of their most popular songs:

same imperial pen, is fit only, in

our plebcian judgments, to occupy “ Hau ye to si-en wha

a place in the Almanack des GourYeu tchau yeu jie to tsai yo kia mands, or Mrs. Glass's Art of CookGo pun tai poo tchoo mun

ery; and as neither of those valuable Twee tcho si-en wha ul lo.”

compilations possesses the empe“How delightful this fresh flower! one rour's receipt for making tea, we day morning found it in my house. Being shall insert a translation of this culimine I wear it not out of doors, but keep


ode: fresh flower and am content !" All this an European will be very slow

fire; fill it with water of melted snow;

“ Set an old three-legged teapot over a apt to pronounce sad stuff; yet we

boil it just as long as is necessary to are assured by the French missiona

turn fish wbite, or lobsters red; pour it on ries that it is très superbe; that, ac- the leaves of choice in a cup of youé. Let it remain till the vapour subsides into a the venerable ruins; but of which thin mist, floating on the surface. Drink neither the site, nor the plan, nor this precious liquor at your leisure, and the elevation has yet been discoverthus drive away the five causes of sorrow."

ed. History affords no light to clear If the merit of Kien-Lung's Mouk- up this interesting subject. There is den rested on the selection of its not, in all Hindoostan, a single page characters, and consequently was that deserves the name; and, almeant for the eye. His Miao-tsé is though the Chinese boast of a reof a different kind, and puts in its gular and well authenticated series claims to gratify the ear. This is of annals carried back, in an uninsufficiently evident, from the regu- terrupted succession, more than lar mcasure in which it is compo- 2000 years before the Christian era, sed, and still more so from the me. yet they are silent, or unsatisfactory, lody to which it is set, and of which as far as regards the rise and proMr. W'eston has endeavoured to gress of the arts and sciences.. convey some idea by affixing the But to return to Chinese musick. monosyllables sol, fa, inc, ut, &c. to Their gamut, or scale of musical the Chinese words in each stanza. notes, is the same natural or diatoMusick being thus the invariable nick scale as that of the Greeks, companion of what may strictly be consisting of five whole notes and called oral poetry; or, in other words, two semitones. These they distinall measured sentences being meant guish by so many characters; but to be recited in a peculiar tone and they have neither lines nor spaces modulation of voice, it may not be to assist in noting down musick, nor deemed irrelevant to the subject in do they employ any marks or chahand, if we take a concise view of racters to denote the time, the key, the state of the musical art as prac- the mode of expression, &c. In point tised in China; for it can scarcely be of fact, their scale for instrumental said that in this country, musick has musick, and the instruments themyet taken the shape of science or selves, are very imperfect, and the system. Like that of the Greeks, it keys so inconsistent, wandering from would appear rather, as the abbé flats to sharps, and the contrary, Roussier has observed, to be the re- that the performers are usually maining fragments of some com- obliged to be directed by a small plete system, now no more, belong- bell or cymbal. While they are thus ing to a people more ancient than playing, a by-stander would say either of them. The ingenious Baile that they had not the least knowfie was pretty much of the same ledge of semitones, and, indeed, opinion with regard to the remains doctor Burney was of opinion, that of astronomical and mathematical there were no semitones in the Chi. science discovered ainong the Hin- nese scale. The doctor, however, loos. Indeed, throughout the whole would have altered his opinion, if an peninsula of India, in China, the opportunity had been offered him of bordering regions of Tartary, and in hearing a Chinese sing; he would all the inferiour nations of Asia, so then find him exhibiting such a dismany dazzling fragments of art and play of half and intermediate tones, of science are every where scatter- brought out in so drawling and ed around, but so distorted and dis- drowsy a manner, as to be perfectly jointed, or so awkwardly put toge intolerable. In their transitions to a ther, as to leave little doubt that fourth or fifth, instead of rising or there existed, at some remote pe falling, as we do, to the intermediate riod, in some of those regions, a third, they sweep through all the insplendid and magnificent edifice, of tervening whole tones, half tones, which these detached masses are and even quarter tones.

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