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square miles; Mowee, 600; Morotoi, 300; Woahoo, 1800; Atooi, 1000; making, with the small islands, about 10,000 square miles; possessing, according to a calculation of Captain King, made however from insufficient data, a population of 400,000 souls, of which Owyhee contains about 150,000. From their position in the midst of the northern Pacific, they may truly be termed, (what, indeed, the editor of Marchand's voyage has called them,) the Grand Caravanserai for all vessels which traverse that sea, between the ports of Asia and America, to the northward of the Equator; and it is this which will one day make them a bone of contention among the great maritime and commercial powers. To us they belong of right by a double title, a voluntary and solemn cession to the King of Great Britain from the sovereign, by and with the consent of all the chiefs and priests convoked for the occasion; and by priority of discovery; the latter of which, however, we hold to be a very slender title to authorize the strong to dispossess the weak. Slender as it is, however, M. Fleurieu has thought fit, in his dull and ponderous narrative of Marchand's voyage, to dispute it, and, out of pure hatred to England, to assign the credit of the first discovery to Mendana, because this able navigator, on his return voyage in 1568, passed at no great distance from Owyhee; and because he finds the island of Mesa laid down in the 19th parallel on the obscure and unauthenticated chart of Galion de Manille.
The English however, with all their claim to the legitimate possession of the Sandwich islands, are the least likely to profit by them. Campbell says, but we think he is mistaken, that preparations were made by the Russians at Kodiak, to form a settlement on them; that the Neva had a house in frame on board for that purpose; and that intimation was given to this effect in order to raise volunteers, but that none entered. Again, he says, on sailing along the shore of Owyhee, one Joseph Wynn, who called himself an American, but whose real name was Angus Maccallum, a Scotchman, came off in a canoe, to whom he told the circumstance; but that on this reaching the Russian captain's ears, be received from him a severe reprimand, and was ordered to say no more on the subject in future. As the Russians have nearly exhausted the Aleutian islands of the most valuable furs, and are spreading themselves down the north-west coast of America as far as Nootka, it may easily be conceived that the possession of the Sandwich islands would ultimately prove a most valuable acquisition to them; but we do not believe that they formed any part of the object of Captain Krusenstern's expedition, or that the time is yet arrived to make a forcible possession of them either necessary or politic.
The Americans are the people who have hitherto derived the greatest benefit from the Sandwich islands, and we may add the
least deserving of it. These adventurers set out on the voyage with a few trinkets of very little value; in the southern Pacific they pick up some seal skins, and perhaps a few butts of oil; at the Gallipagos they lay in turtle of which they preserve the shells; at Valparaiso they raise a few dollars in exchange for European articles; at Nootka and other parts of the north-west coast they traffic with the natives for furs which, when winter commences, they carry to the Sandwich islands to dry and preserve from vermin; here they leave their own people to take care of them, and in the spring embark in lieu the natives of the islands to assist in navigating to the north-west coast in search of more skins. The remainder of the cargo is then made up of sandal, which grows abundantly in the woods of Atooi and Owyhee, of tortoise shell, shark fins, and pearls of an inferior kind, all of which are acceptable in the China market, and with these and their dollars they purchase cargoes of tea, silks and nankcens, and thus complete their voyage in the course of two or three years. It seems, however, that with all this intercourse, they have gained but little ground in the good opinion of Tamaahmaah, and his chieftains; for when His Majesty's ship the Raccoon made the island in the year 1813, under American colours, the king would not trust himself on board till he had ascertained what she was, when he immediately set off with his three wives; and declared to the captain, as he did a mouth afterwards to the captain of the Cherub, that he and his people were subjects of the King of Great Britain. He lamented very much that the Americans were the only people who came to trade with them, as from constant communication his subjects were apt to consider them as friends, notwithstanding the tricks which they played them—such as selling them muskets and pistols that burst at the first firing, mixing charcoal in the gunpowder, &c. The king added that one of these American traders had defrauded him of 15,000 dollars, which he owed him for sandal wood.
We are not of opinion, however, that we should altogether lose sight of these islands. They completely command the navigation of the northern Pacific, and all ships passing from India or China, to the western coast of America, or the contrary, must be at the mercy of the cruizers from the Sandwich islands. They have excellent hogs; yams of the finest kind; bread-fruit, plantains and cocoa-nuts in the greatest plenty; sweet potatoes of the best kind, and tarroo root (arum esculentum) which may be considered as the staple of the islands, affording an excellent farinaceous food. The Cherub and Raccoon, two sloops of war, with each a complement of 120 men, were completely furnished at a moment's notice, with a three week's supply of fresh provisions; for which the king would receive no payment, but hoped (he said) that his master George III.
would send him a small vessel to sail about in, and collect his revenues from the several islands: such a vessel, we understand, has been directed to be sent from New South Wales. This circumstance makes us doubt the accounts received of the vast increase of his naval power, which in fact consists of forty or fifty small sloops, schooners, and decked boats, few of them exceeding fifty tons burden, and all laid up in a state of useless inactivity; in which they will probably be suffered to remain till the dry-rot consumes them.
ART. V. Shakspeare's Himself Again! or the Language of the Poet asserted; being a full and dispassionate Examen of the Readings and Interpretations of the several Editors. Comprised in a Series of Notes, Sixteen Hundred in Number, illustrative of the most difficult Passages in his Plays-to the various editions of which the present Volumes form a complete and necessary Supplement. By Andrew Becket. 2 vols. 8vo.
IF the dead could be supposed to take any interest in the integrity of their literary reputation, with what complacency might we not imagine our great poet to contemplate the labours of the present writer! Two centuries have passed away since his death-the mind almost sinks under the reflection that he has been all that while exhibited to us so transmographied' by the joint ignorance. and malice of printers, critics, &c. as to be wholly unlike himself. But-post nubila, Phebus! Mr. Andrew Becket has at length risen upon the world, and Shakspeare is about to shine forth in genuine and unclouded glory!
What we have at present is a mere scantling of the great work in procinctu-πιδακός εξ ίερης ολιγη λίβας —sixteen hundred 4 restorations,' and no more! But if these shall be favourably received, a complete edition of the poet will speedily follow. Mr. Becket has taken him to develop; and it is truly surprizing to behold how beautiful he comes forth as the editor proceeds in unrolling those unseemly and unnatural rags in which he has hitherto been so disgracefully wrapped:
Tandem aperit vultum, et tectoria prima reponit,-
Mr. Becket has favoured us, in the Preface, with a comparative estimate of the merits of his predecessors. He does not, as may easily be conjectured, rate any of them very highly; but he places Warburton at the top of the scale, and Steevens at the bottom; this, indeed, was to be expected. Warburton,' he says, is the best, and Steevens the worst of Shakspeare's commentators ;'
(p. xvii.) and he ascribes it solely to his forbearance that the latter is not absolutely crushed: it not being in his nature, as he magnanimously insinuates, to break a butterfly upon a wheel!' Dr. Johnson is shoved aside with very little ceremony; Mr. Malone fares somewhat better; and the rest are dismissed with the gentle valediction of Pandarus to the Trojans-asses, fools, dolts! chaff and bran! porridge after meat!' With respect to our author himself, it is but simple justice to declare, that he comes to the great work of restoring Shakspeare'-not only with more negative advantages than the unfortunate tribe of critics so cavalierly dismissed, but than all who have aspired to illumine the page of a defunct writer since the days of Aristarchus. As far as we are enabled to judge, Mr. Becket never examined an old play in his life: -he does not seem to have the slightest knowledge of any writer, or any subject, or any language that ever occupied the attention of his contemporaries; and he possesses a mind as innocent of all requisite information as if he had dropped, with the last thunderstone, from the moon.
Addison has well observed, that " in works of criticism it is. absolutely necessary to have a clear and logical head.." (p. v.) In 'this position, Mr. Becket cheerfully agrees with him; and, indeed, it is sufficiently manifest, that without the internal conviction of enjoying that indispensable advantage, he would not have favoured the public with those matchless restorations;' a few specimens of which we now proceed to lay before them. Where all are alike admirable, there is no call for selection; we shall therefore open the volumes at random, and trust to fortune.
"Hamlet. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time?" 'This reading,' Mr. Becket says, 'he cannot admit ;' and he says well: since it appears that Shakspeare wrote
"For who would bear the scores of weapon'd time?"
using scores in the sense of stripes.' Formerly,' i. e. when Mr. Becket was in his sallad days, he augured, he says, that the true reading was
'the scores of whip-hand time.'
Time having always the whip-hand, the advantage;' but he now reverts to the other emendation; though,' as he modestly hints, the epithet whip-hand' (which he still regards with parental fondness) will perhaps be thought to have much of the manner of Shakspeare.'--vol. i. p. 43. "Horatio. While they, distill'd Almost to jelly with the act of fear, Stand dumb, and speak not to him!"
We had been accustomed to find no great difficulty here: the words seemed, to us, at least, to express the usual effect of inordinate terror-but we gladly acknowledge our mistake. ‹ The passage is not to be understood.' How should it, when both the
pointing and the language are corrupt? Read, as Shakspeare gave it
'While they bestill'd
Almost to gelee with the act.
Stand dumb,' &c.- that is, petrified' (or rather icefied) p. 13. "Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd!"
With these homely words, which burst from the poor old king on reverting to the fate of his loved Cordelia, whom he then holds in his arms, we have been always deeply affected, and therefore set them down as one of the thousand proofs of the poet's intimate knowledge of the human heart. But Mr. Becket has made us ashamed of our simplicity and our tears. Shakspeare had no such 'lenten' language in his thoughts; he wrote, as Mr. Becket tells us, And my pure soot is hang'd!'
'Poor,' he adds, might be easily mistaken for pure; while the s in soot (sweet) was scarcely discernible from the f, or the t from the l’ -p. 176.
We are happy to find that so much can be offered in favour of the old printers. And yet-were it not that the genuine text is always to be preferred-we could almost wish that the critic had left their blunder as it stood.
that his bones
May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on them."
"A tomb of tears" is ridiculous. I read-a coomb of tears-a coomb is a liquid measure containing forty gallons. Thus the expression, which was before absurd, becomes forcible and just.'-vol. ii. p. 134. It does indeed!
"Sir Andrew. I sent thee six-pence for thy leman (mistress): had'st it?" Read as Shakspeare wrote: "I sent thee six-pence for thy lemma"- lemma is properly an argument, or proposition assumed, and is used by Sir Andrew Aguecheek for a story.'-p. 335.
"Viole. She pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy"-Correct it thus :
And with agrein and hollow melancholy"-p. 339.
Iago. I have rubb'd this young quat almost to the sense,
that is, or rather was, according to our homely apprehension, I have rubb'd this pimple (Roderigo) almost to bleeding:—but, no; Mr. Becket has furnished us not only with the genuine words, but the meaning of Shakspeare
I have fubb'd this young quat-Quat, or cat, appears to be a contraction of cater-cousin—and this reading will be greatly strengthened when it is remembered that Roderigo was really the intimate of Iago.'-p. 204.
In a subsequent passage, 'I am as melancholy as a gibb'd cat'we are told that cat is not the domestic animal of that name, but a F 4