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- By D. Longworth, JWew-York. Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs; complete in two volumes, with notes, &c.
By Isaiah Thomas, Jun., Boston. The Improvement of the Mind, in two parts—to which is added a Discourse on the Education of Youth and Remnants of Time, composed in Prose and Verse. Also, a Sketch of the Author's Life. OCP The edition is printed from the last London edition, and contains an additional quantity of matter to any former American or English Edition of the work. By William Elliot, JNew York. An Abstract of the Evidence lately taken in the House of Commons, against the Orders in Council, being a summary of the facts there proved, respecting the present state of the commerce and manufactures of the country. Price, fine copy 19 cents, common copy 12 1-2 cents.
By William Greer, Lancaster, (Pa.) The History of America, by William Robertson, D. D. Price $400. By David Hogan, Philadelphia. An Abridgement of Dr. Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History. 1 vol. 12mes
PRo Pose o BRIT Ishi Pu BLICATIONs.
During his stay in India, Sir James Mackintosh has employed his leisure hours in compiling a History of England, since the revolution, on the scale of Hume’s, to whose history it is intended as a continuation. It will form 4 vols. quarto. The booksellers have given him 6000l. for copy right.
* Roposed AM ERICAN Pu B I. ICATIONS.
- - By Kimber & Richardson, Philadelphia.
An Inquiry into the Diseases of the Mind. By Benjamin Rush, M. D. Professor of the Institutes, and Practice of Medicine, in the University of Pennsylvania. N. B. This work will contain about 400 pages 8vo. and will embrace not only all the different forms of Madness, but the Physical History of the Disease of the Passions, and their respective remedies.
By J. W. Burditt & Co. and W. Wells, Boston.
A compendious Treatise on the use of the Globes, and of Maps, compiled from the works of Keith, Ferguson, Adams, Hutton, Bryan, Goldsmith, and other eminent authors ; being a plain and comprehensive introduction to the practical knowledge of Geography and Astronomy; containing also, a brief view of the Solar System, a variety of Astronomical Tables, numerous Problems for the exercise of the learner, &c. By John Latrop, Jun. A. M.
Will shortly be published at Lancaster, (Pa.) An Accurate and Interestin Account of the hardships and sufferings of that band of heroes, who "...i the wilderness in the campaign against Quebec in 1775. By John Joseph Hen: ry, esq. late President of the second Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
By Bradford & Inskeep, Philadelphia. A new Novel, cntitled Self-Indulgence.
.5ketch of the present State of Caracas; including a Journey from Caracas through la Victoria and Valencia to Puerto Cabello. By Robert Semple, author of Two Journeys in Spain, &c. Crown 8vo. pp. 176. 6s. Boards. Baldwin. 1812.
MR. SEMPLE'S peregrinations in Spain have already been submitted to the consideration of our readers; and after he returned from the Peninsula, he appears to have embraced an early opportunity of visiting the regions connected with it in the West... Ardent, like other travellers, in quest of new scenes, and equally prompt with most of them in publishing his observations—for we are now reporting his labours for the fourth time—he differs from the majority of his brother-voyagers in combining with the gratification of curiosity the prosecution of a more solid object. That mercantile affairs engaged his attention we were induced, before we met with an acknowledgement to that effect, to suspect from his complaints (p. 39.) of the difficulty of conveying goods over the Caracas mountains, and by his prompt discovery (p. 118) of the commercial tactics of the Trans-atlantic shop-keepers. The revolutionary events which have of late been passing in that country, and, more recently, the dreadful calamity with which it has pleased Providence to visit it, are calculated to give interest to a traveller's descriptions; and Mr. Semple's little volume will be found productive of considerable information. He seems, on this occasion, to have made it a rule to aim at nothing magnificent either in thought or diction, and to have confined himself to a plain and brief account of all that he saw and heard. To this unassuming course he will, if
VOL. VIII. 2 2
our advice has any weight with him, continue to adhere ; carefully avoiding those effusions of sentimentality which are so contagious among travellers, and into which, from a luckless apostrophe at the outset, we were grievously afraid that he was about to relapse. His survey embraced the island of Curaçoa, the towns of La Guayra, Caracas, Victoria, Maracai, Valencia, and Puerto Cabello; and, though he visited them twice, it would have been desirable, in the present solicitude for information concerning South America, that his residence in them had been longer, or his circuit more extensive. Our statistical knowledge of that quarter is far from accurate; and, divided as the country is into contending factions, a more complete report of their relative character and strength could not have failed to be attractive.
The voyage from England to Curaçoa, as long as it is conducted on the open ocean, is exempt from those apprehensions, which annoy the mariner on coming within the chain of the West-India islands. Along the Caracas coast, the navigation is rendered particularly hazardous by a line of rocks and small islands, extending westward all the way from Grenada to the Gulf of Venezuela. Notwithstanding the vigilance exerted on board of the ship in which Mr. Semple was a passenger, considerable danger was incurred; and he is anxious to prevail on future navigators to adopt a new course. Within his own knowledge, three vessels have been wrecked on these rocks or islands; and as they all lie nearly in the same latitude, the seaman who is not locally acquainted with them becomes unable, when once entangled in them, to distinguish, by solar observations, the one from the other. The currents in this sea being both variable and violent, it would be much better, in Mr. Semple's opinion, for vessels bound to Curaçoa, or La Guayra, to keep well to the northward until near Buenayre; or, otherwise, at once to penetrate, and keep to leeward of the whole chain, even should they come in sight of the main-land of America. When arrived at Curaçoa, the mariner rests in a safe harbour; formed, not by the embouchure of a river, but by a deep inlet of the sea, narrow at the entrance, and widening afterward into a kind of small lake interspersed with shoals. The principal batteries are placed at this narrow entrance; but their terrors were unable to keep back the small but gallant squadron of British frigates which sailed in, as our readers will remember, a few years after the beginning of the war, and carried the place by assault. The island, having been successively in the hands of the Spaniards, Dutch and English, exhibits a strange mixture in population, and a still greater mixture in respect to language. Dutch, Spanish, English, French, are all spoken ; either separately, or confounded with a Creole jargon of African origin. The distance of only forty or fifty miles from the main-land makes Curaçoa well situated for intercourse with the whole of the neighbouring coast ; and, as long as the condition of Venezuela remains unsettled, the shippers of British merchandize will be induced to deposit their property, in the first instance at least, under the protection of British law at Curaçoa. This island is less unhealthy than most of our WestIndia settlements, the moderate height of the hills permitting a free circulation of air, and the soil being of a kind which speedily absorbs moisture :
“The regular defence of the island,” says the author, “ was, at this time, entrusted almost entirely to a black regiment, the Eighth West-Indian, which had been stationed here upwards of six months. I saw it under arms, and was struck by its steadiness and appearance; at the same time, that a long line of black faces, in the English military dress, produced a singular effect. Previous to its arrival, the inhabitants were in the utmost dread of such defenders, and witnessed the departure of the last European battalion with the most gloomy forebodings. Such, however, had been the discipline and good conduct of these black soldiers, as to form a striking and most favourable contrast with their predecessors. Robberies, quarrels, and drunkenness were far less frequent than before ; and the inhabitants, instead of apprehension and mistrust, were becoming inclined to regard them as the most peaceable regiment they had yet seen. The remembrance of the horrors of St. Domingo, however, still haunts the mind of every colonist of the West-Indies. In the hurry of alarm, and in the midst of prejudice, the atrocities committed at St. Domingo are attributed to the negroes, merely because they were black men, and not because they were ignorant slaves, suddenly made free. It is forgotten that colour has nothing to do with the question, and that atrocities at least equal, and proceeding from the very same source, were committed at Paris, Nantz, Lyons, and Toulon.”
Proceeding from Curaçoa to the Main, Mr. Semple landed at La Guayra, a sea-port placed at the foot of lofty mountains, which rise behind it with an ascent apparently perpendicular.— This town, though at a considerable distance from the city of Caracas, serves as its port, and contains about 8000 inhabitants: but it is badly built, and offers nothing deserving the attention of the traveller. What is called the harbour is a mere road-stead, open to the north and east, and only slightly sheltered to the west. During winter, La Guayra is not unhealthy, but in the summer months the case is far otherwise. In that season, the heat reflected from the mountains is intolerable to Europeans, and the fever, makes dreadful ravages among those who have not been long inured to the climate. The use of carriages for the conveyance of goods being unknown, all packages must be reduced to such a size as to admit of being placed on the backs of mules:
180 lbs. being the general burden for each. Mr. Semple, having determined to see the country at leisure, set out for Caracas on foot :
“For about a mile,” he says, “the road continues along the shore until we reach Macuta, a neat and pleasant village, close upon the sea, where most of the richer inhabitants of La Guayra have houses. Here the mountains recede a little from the shore, and leave a small opening, certainly better adapted for the situation of the port than the rude spot on which it has been built. I have little doubt that Macuta will one day surpass La Guayra in size, as it now does in neatness and regularity. In the steepest parts it ascends by zigzags; but sometimes it is so narrow, that two loaded mules cannot pass each other; and the banks are high and steep on each side. We continue constantly to ascend. At the height of about a thousand feet, we begin to breathe already a lighter and cooler air; and, turning back, enjoy the view of Macuta and the coast beneath our feet. We see the white breakers along the shore, and hear their noise, which now sounds like a hollow murmur among the woods which begin to crown the steeps. Here and there spots are cleared away, plantations are formed, and the experienced eye can distinguish the various hues of the fields of coffee, sugar, or maize. As we advance, the steepness increases, so that the mules, and even the foot traveller, can only proceed by crossing obliquely from side to side; and even that is attended with difficulty after rain or heavy dews, on account of the smooth round stones with which the road is paved. But the great and enlivening change experienced in the state of the atmosphere removes all difficulties. Never within the tropics had I before breathed so pure and so cool an air. Instead of the stifling heat of the coast, where the slightest exertion was attended with profuse perspiration, I walked fast for joy, and thought myself in England. It was four o'clock in the afternoon when I left La Guayra, and it was now become dark when I reached La Venta, or the inn, a poor house, but well known upon the road as being about half way between Caracas and the Port. It is situated at the height of about 3600 English feet above the level of the sea, at which elevation the heat is never oppressive. Here, having supped and drank large draughts of delicious cold water, I repaired to sleep, unmolested by heat or musquitoes. At three o'clock, being a fine moonlight morning, we resumed our journey, having still a considerable distance to ascend, although the worst of the road was now past. In an hour we had passed the highest point of the road, and proceeded along an uneven ridge of two or three miles before beginning to descend towards the valley of Caracas. When we had passed the ridge, and were descending towards Caracas, the day began to dawn. Never had I seen a more interesting prospect. A valley, upwards of twenty miles in length, inclosed by lofty mountains, unfolded itself by degrees to my eyes. A small river, which ran through the whole length of it, was marked by a line of mist along the bottom of the valley. Beneath my feet was the town of Caracas, although only its church towcrs were visible, arising above the light mist in which it lay buried.