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mass of men; and, almost suffocated, and faint with the loss of blood, I knew nothing more till I opened my eyes on my faithful attendant. He had dragged me from the very grasp of the enemy, and bad borne me into the rear, and was bathing my temples with waWe speedily regained our friends and what a spectacle presented itself! It seemed that I beheld an immense moving mass heaped up together in the greatest confusion. Some shrieked-some groaned some shouted-horses neighed and pranced-swords rung on the steel helmets. I placed around me a few of my hardy men, and we rushed into the thickest of the enemy in search of Clavers; but it was in vain. At that instant his trumpet sounded the loud notes of retreat; and we saw on a knoll Clavers borne away by his men. He threw himself on a horse, and, without sword, without helmet, he filed in the first ranks of the retreating host. His troops galloped up the hill in the utmost confusion. My little line closed with that of Burley's, and took a number of prisoners. Our main body pursued the enemy two miles, and strewed the ground with men and
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Remains of the late Alexander Leith Ross, A. M. With a Memoir of his Life. Pp. xlviii. and 521. 8vo. Price 10s. 6d. Aberdeen,
horses. I could see the bareheaded Clavers in front of his men, kicking and struggling up the steep He halted sides of Calder hill. only a moment on the top to look behind him, then plunged his rowels into his horse, and darted forward; nor did he recover from his panic till he found himself in the city of Glasgow."
"And, my children," the laird would say, after he had told the adventures of this bloody day, "I visited the field of battle next day; I shall never forget the sight. Men and horses lay on their gory beds. I turned away from the horrible spectacle. I passed by the spot where God saved my life in the single combat, and where the unhappy Captain Arrol fell. I observed that, in the subsequent fray, the body had been trampled on by a horse, and his bowels were poured out *. Thus, my children, the defence of our lives, and the regaining of our liberty and religion, has subjected us to severe trials. And how great must be the love of liberty, when it carries men forward, under the impulse of self-defence, to witness the most disgusting spectacles, and to encounter the most cruel hardships B. of war!"
We are about to present our readers with an account of a young
man of a most powerful mind, of a most amiable and pious disposition, and, for the age which it pleased a sovereign and gracious Providence that he should reach, of most distinguished, we might almost say, of unparalleled acquirements. That we enter on this task strangers to
⚫ I find this fact recorded in Cruickshank's History, vol. i. chap. 13. But the au
thor does not mention the name of the laird by whom Arrol fell.
partiality, we will not be so disingenuous as to pretend. Conscious, however, that we should abhor the idea of sacrificing the cause of truth at the shrine of friendship-know. ing, too, that, while the work before us is in perfect accordance with those opinions and measures which we uniformly endeavour to advocate, it may justly challenge the admiration of the scholar and of the critic-we can see no reason why we should affect to suspend our judgment on the occasion, or be backward to indulge our grief on account of the early departure of one who was so deservedly dear to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.
"Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus Tam cari capitis?
Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit,
We shall endeavour, however, to abstain from all farther encomium at present, and to enable our readers to form their own opinion.
Alexander Leith Ross was born in Aberdeen, in 1797. He was the only son of the Rev. Dr. James Ross, senior minister of that city. He had two sisters, both of whom died in infancy. His mother, too, died when he was between four and five
years of age. "Samuel, who is his own biographer, has most judiciously drawn a veil over his infancy. Childish prognostics of future eminence are generally ridiculous and contemptible; they can impose only on the partiality of parental affection, or the credulity of superstition. The cynic snarls disdain at the relation of these premature prodigies of dawning wisdom; and the sage smiles indulgence on the fond belief." We quote these words of Dr. Hunter, not with entire approbation; for though there is doubtless much truth in them, there is also some asperity. Be sides, although very sanguine anti
cipations have been generally disappointed, many, perhaps the majority, of those who have been very eminent in advanced life have shown signs of cleverness, we do not say in infancy, but when very young. The example of Samuel, too, is certainly not very favourable to the idea which it is adduced to support. With regard to the tender years of the subject of this memoir, his biographer has kept to the happy medium. Enough is noticed to excite hope; but nothing is carried too far, and nothing is stated that partakes of the marvellous. Alexander Ross attended the grammar school of Aberdeen, and enjoyed, at the same time, the advantage of a private tutor. Though the delicacy of his health prevented his application to the Latin language from being quite regular, his progress was very respectable. It is very pleasing to observe that, owing both to judicious treatment and to his own ardour, he was never urged on beyond what he could completely master, but on the contrary himself anticipated often by a long way the studies which might have been prescribed to him. At the age of fifteen, he entered Marischal College. He gained what is called the "silver pen," which is the first prize in the Greek class. He had very early discovered a fondness for natural history, and gradually formed a considerable museum. His progress in mathematics and the other sciences was quite to the satisfaction of the Professors; but he had now formed a decided predilection for the study of languages.
About the age of sixteen, he began to turn his attention to oriental literature; and what first inspired him with a desire for this study was the perusal of an account of Sir William Jones's Persian Grammar, in the Eclectic Review. With this Grammar, and Richardson's Per
sian and Arabic Dictionary, he, without any other assistance, qualified himself for entering on an extensive course of reading in Persian. During his attendance on the Natural Philosophy Class, he began the study of Hebrew. He had a strong passion for almost every useful species of reading, and allotted stated hours for every occupation. He acquired, also, the two excellent habits of early rising and of copious writing. Of this latter habit, the manuscripts he left behind him furnish a striking proof. Besides those inserted in the "Remains,” which we shall notice afterwards, there are among his manuscripts, Fragments of Natural History, two small volumes-Extracts from Hyde's Religio Veterum Persarum-Miscellaneous Fragments, containing the Chinese Decalogue, the Names of the Hindoo Constellations and Days of the Week, the Names of the Persian and Attic Months, and Collections on the Affinity between Latin and Greek, and between these two languages and Sanscrit-Several volumes and sheets of Translations from the Persian-Persian Idioms, a large volume, the commencement of a work alphabetically arranged-Selections from the Gulistan, in Persian and English, with Notes, apparently the beginning of a work intended for publication-Several volumes with Translations and Analyses from Greek authors. He had also translated, (with the exception of a few of the last pages,) from the German, Professor Bouterwek's volume on the History of Spanish Literature. This he intended to publish, with notes of his own, and we recollect of its being mentioned in our list of works preparing for the press.
In 1817, he entered the Divinity Halls of Marischal and King's Colleges. In the language of the "Memoir," into which we are oc
casionally falling without marking quotations,
"During the progress of life, and amidst all the literary occupations in which he engaged, the early impressions of religion that had been made on his heart were never obliterated, but were more and more confirmed as he increased in knowledge and tracted his attention, the Bible possessed
understanding. Of all the books that at
the chief place in his regard, and was the object of his sincere belief and reverential study. He was well aware that human knowledge, however valuable, is insufficient of itself to direct its possessor in the most important of all inquiries, the pursuit of happiness; and that its value is in proportion as it is made subservient to the knowledge and practice of the divine will. He felt on his own heart the power and influence of the Gospel of Christ. He was fully convinced that it is the only effectual means of the moral renovation of the nature of man; and, from this sincere conviction, he deliberately made choice of the clerical profession as the one most congenial to his own habits, and as presenting to him the greatest prospect of being useful to others."
In 1818, when about twenty years of age, he was engaged by Professor Stuart, (who found it necessary to retire from the labour,) to teach the two Greek classes in Marischal College; and he voluntarily added a third. He entered on this occupation with great ardour, and prosecuted it with distinguished acceptance and success.
The Chinese language early attracted his curiosity, and was pursued by him with great keenness. The classical, and several of the eastern languages being mastered, those of Europe were of comparatively easy acquisition. The French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German followed in succession. But, without attempting an account of his progress in these languages separately, we shall now, postponing the remaining particulars of his life, proceed to submit to the notice, and (we confidently anticipate) to the admiration of our readers, several extracts from his "Diary of Studies," which is introduced im
mediately after the "Memoir," and which occupies 113 pages. Let it be kept in mind all along, that he was only twenty-three years on earth.
1817. Jan. 18. I have been looking at Hindustanee lately; it is very similar to Persian. Indeed, a person who is well grounded in Persian and Arabic may almost say he is master both of Hindustanee and of Turkish. Some of the sonnets of the Hindoo poet Souda are really very pretty, and have much of the fire and energy of Hafiz, the famous bard of Schiraz, though they want that elegance and simplicity which so much distinguish the writings of the Persian poet."
"Jan. 23. I have now almost finished the first book of the Gulistan of Sady, in the original Persian. He is an excellent moral writer; and from all the numerous stories which he gives in his works, he never fails to draw some moral conclusion. Take his works as a whole, he is one of the most elegant and pleasing of Persian writers. A person must know Arabic before he can peruse his works with any pleasure, as he blends this language very frequently with his native Persian. His style is simple and unaffected, and, at the same time, elegant in a high degree. Near the end of the first book of the Italia Liberata of Trissino, a scene occurs which resembles much the genius of Ferdusi's poetry," &c.
March 3. I have carefully read Marshman's Dissertation on the Chinese Language, and I find that the acquisition of it is by no means so formidable as I had been led to imagine. Indeed, Mr. Marshman says, in the conclusion of his work,
that, instead of being the most difficult, it will be found amongst those most easy acquisition.' A good deal, it is evident, must depend upon a knowledge of the 214 keys, of one or other of which every word in the language is compounded. After these are perfectly mastered, and a knowledge of about thirty prepositive and auxiliary characters acquired, the language lies open to the student. The Chinese language is more adapted to speak to the understanding, and the eye, than to the ear; and a sentence, in the written character of China, may possess a considerable degree of force, on account of the expressive nature of the characters, which would lose its beauty, in a great degree, by the disadvantage of a translation. Thus, the Chinese character expressing to inquire, is compounded of two characters, signifying a door and the mouth literally, mouthdoor."
"April 16. I have gone over Lumsden's Persian Grammar, in two volumes, folio, and Gladwin's Persian Munshee. I have
also read twice the Poeseos Asiatica Com
mentarii, by Sir William Jones. All succeeding writers have borrowed from Sir William. His genius disdained to be indebted to the labours of his predecessors, while he had it in his power ipsos accedere fonte atque haurire, &c. Sir William Ouseley seems to possess an enthusiasm for eastern literature, from which the world may hope to derive great advantage. Scott Waring's Tour to Scheeraz contains a great deal of information on Persian poetry, and some excellent translations. D'Herbelot, whose great work, the Bibliotheque Orientale, contains a vast fund of information, is a very voluminous and laborious writer. His work is very amusing; and what I read of it interested me much. His acquaintance with the writers of the east seems to have been very extensive, more so, perhaps, than that of any other European, not even excepting Sir William Jones."
"April 23. I have read Major Broughton's Selections from the Popular Poetry of the Hindoos. Some of the Hindee poets are very pretty; they write in a simple and unaffected strain, and are not nearly so full of metaphor as many of the Persian writers. The Hindee differs considerably from the Hindustanee; the former borrows from the Sanscrit, the latter from the Persian and Arabic, &c. &c. The following is an image we often find in Persian writers:
"Whence is thy skill, my fair one, say?
the whole book of Joshua, and have now "April 25. I have read, in Hebrew, begun Judges. I have read a chapter of
the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament regularly before breakfast, for a con siderable time, and hope, by adhering to this plan, to get through, in time, the whole Bible. My studies in Persian have been directed to Hafiz of late. I read some odes every day, if possible. In Italian, I have been reading a translation of Paul and Virginia; and in Greek, the Anabanished. In Latin, I have read a book of sis of Xenophon, which I have nearly fiCicero, De Natura Deorum, and am busy at present with Virgil."
"April 26. I have attempted to paraphrase the following verse of Petrarch:
Erano i capei d'oro a l'aura sparsi, Che'n mille dolci nodi gli avolgea, E'l vago luma oltra misura ardea Di quei begli occhi, eh'or ne son si scarsi.'
• Sweetly floats her yellow hair,
“April 28. The following is translated from a Canzonet by Chiabrera :
• Del mio sol son ricciutegli,' &c.
And on her cheeks two roses fair
the celebrated Spanish poet, Lopez de Vega, and Schlegel's History of Literature." Sept. 11. For some time past I have been busy with Spanish and German, particularly with the latter, of which I am extremely fond." "Independently of every other consideration, the great number of excellent writers, on every department of literature, that Germany has produced, af. fords every encouragement to the lover of letters to make himself well acquainted with the language; which is grand, dignified, and sonorous.
"Nov. 21. This day was employed in reading Tasso, (Gerusalemme Liberata,) and the Persian Translation of the New Testament, by the late Rev. Henry Martyn, printed at Petersburgh; which, from what I have read of it, appears to be very elegant, and far superior to what we find in Walton's Polyglot. Part of my time was also devoted to Greek."
"October 19. I have been continuing my studies in Chinese; and have now read twice, with the greatest attention, the first chapter of the Lun Yee of Confucius, consisting of sixteen sections. I have made it a rule never to pass by a character until I have been able to analyse it, and find out the key under which it is arranged in the dictionaries; and I have derived much more advantage from this method, than if I had read a great deal more in a superficial I am firmly resolved, if it please God to give me life and health, to prosecute this very interesting study. I have been busy, for some time past, with the beautiful Persian poem, called Secander Nameh, or the History of Alexander. Besides possessing a very accurate manuscript of this poem, I have also obtained a copy of an edition of it printed at Calcutta, to which is added a very good commentary explaining every difficult passage. whole is in Persian, and may be considered as a very important addition to our stock of oriental literature. My principal object in reading this interesting poem is, to collect what eastern writers say of Alexander, and to compare their accounts with those found in the Greek and Roman authors. I find the Secander Nameh of Nizami much more difficult than the Shah Nameh of Ferdusi."
"1818. Feb. 21. Read the 24th chapter of first Samuel; continued the Greek exercises; read upwards of fifty lines of the Iliad. The time that remained before breakfast was occupied with the Estelle of Florian. The greater part of the forenoon was spent in reading the odes of Hafiz; the remainder was devoted to Tiraboschi, and a few odes of Horace. In the afternoon, I resumed the study of Chinese, and finish ed the elementary characters, which, I think, I have now mastered pretty accurate. ly. I intend, however, to write them over very frequently, to impress them more strongly on my memory. The whole of the evening was devoted to Homer, and the Greek grammar."
"May 9. Read the sixteenth chapter of John in Greek; proceeded with Ferdusi; and read a hundred lines of the fifth book of the Eneid. In the forenoon, I read some Italian sonnets, by Alessandro Marchetti, and resumed Thucydides; continued the Lun Yee of Confucius. In the afternoon, I translated accurately a tale from the Tuti Nameh, which I intend to lay aside for some time, and then turn it again into Persian. By this exercise, my knowledge of the style of the best authors will, I hope, be considerably increased, as I intend carefully to compare my own transla tion with the original, and correct any mistake into which I may have fallen. In the evening went over the Greek grammar, and finished the story of Suhrab, from Ferdusi. I have lately read Lord Holland's Life of
VOL. XXI. No. XI.
A considerable number of extracts was necessary to convey any adequate idea of the nature of this "Diary of Studies," the greater part of which is of equal interest with the specimens given. There is not merely the assertion, that certain authors and languages have been studied, but in the admirable remarks and condensed views, there is perpetual proof that they have been carefully and successfully studied. Some of the ablest sketches, however, are the longest, and, of course, least fitted for quotation.