« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
a. Chippeways on the south of the upper lakes :
9. Messisaugers, Messisagues.
4. Nehethawa, Nehetwa.
E. The northerly coasts of Greenland and Labrador to Beh
ring's Straight, and from the peninsula of Alaksa to Prince Williams Sound :
Eskimo stock. Karalit.
4. Humoky dialect.
1. Inhabitants of Prince Williams Sound.
6. Jakutat.' Such is the outline of the vast work now in contemplation ! And we have been led to bestow the more pages upon it, from an earnest desire to incite our countrymen to exertion, in the new and extensive field of literary inquiry, which is now opening in our own continent. In the American languages we have a subject full of interest to the philosophical inquirer, peculiarly our own, and in respect to which the learned of Europe are eager to obtain all possible information. How mortifying is the reflection of our learned countryman, Mr Du Ponceau, that we Americans must go to the universities of Europe,' to the Germans and Russians our masters, for almost all that we know respecting the languages of our own continent! Will it be asked, why we should study these languages ? Not for the literature contained in them, it is true ; but with a view to the philosophy of language, as we have remarked more at large in a former number of our work.*
We cannot close this article without making one reflection, which has often occurred to us, and is now called up again by the present work. How is it that the distinguished statesmen and other public men in Europe, are able, amidst the cares of their official duties, to produce works of such vast labor as we daily see coming from their hands? The learned author of the present work now bears the title of counsellor of state of the Russian empire. Baron Humboldt, to whose work on the primitive language of Spain we have alluded above, was for a long
* N. A. Review, vol. xi, p. 103. Review of Dr Jarvis' Discourse.
time Prussian ambassador at Rome, and is now a cabinet minister. And yet these two distinguished public men have been able to present to the republic of letters works which we should expect from none but professed literary men, and which would seem to require the leisure and labor of a professor in his closet. How is it too, that in England, our magna parens,' Mr Fox (to take one example for many) was able to discuss nice questions respecting the Greek metres with a professed scholar, like Gilbert Wakefield. And how is it, that we have nothing of this kind from our own public men? Is it because of any inferiority in native powers of intellect? We trust not; for the foreign nations, who are acquainted with us, have done us ample justice in that respect. Is it then, in consequence of the imperfections in our education ? We leave the answer to our intelligent and candid readers.
Art. X.-Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable William
Pitt. By George Tomline, D.D. F. R. S. Lord Bishop of Winchester, and prelate of the most noble order of the
Garter. Philadelphia, 1821. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 916. DR TOMLINE, formerly known by the name of Pretty man, is not without his own reputation and dignities. His theological works, however, we believe, are thought to display more industry of compilation and purity of composition, than either uncommon intellect or much originality of investigation. He has already enjoyed the rare fortune and distinction of having filled two or three rich bishoprics in the church of England. Nevertheless, we account it the most remarkable circumstance in his life, and one to which he is probably indebted in part for the preferments we have just recorded, that he was the private tutor of William Pitt, and had the management of his education at the university ; that for some time he acted as his confidential secretary, and at all times maintained an uninterrupted intercourse with him, in all matters connected with his official situation ; that he was favored and honored by a constant and unreserved friendship with that eminent individual to the hour of his death, at which time he was present and administered to him with his own hand the last offices for the dying; and finally, that he was appointed one of his execu
tors, and in that capacity had access to all his papers. We cannot, however, in conscience, compliment Dr Tomline, on having very successfully employed the advantages with which he has himself acquainted us. We cannot, it is true, estimate the industry and intelligence with which the right reverend biographer has examined the papers of Mr Pitt; but we are able to judge of the degree of knowledge, which he possesses of the motives and causes of that statesman's public acts, and of the secret but bewitching history attending all negotiations, both foreign and domestic. We speak now only of those private and often trifling facts and circumstances, which constitute what may be called, the train of public events, which are set down in the green-room for the direction of the players, whispered in cabinets, or to confidential secretaries, but which a minister does not open with his budget, nor insert in the protocols of his treaties. These are the paragraphs after which readers now hunt with the keenest avidity ; these form the plot, the romance of public life, and in dexterous hands would make the history of every warrior or statesman another ·Kenilworth,' or Memoirs of a Cavalier.' But of these details there is a most unhappy and pitiful want in the memoirs by Dr Tomline, a want which we cannot feel to be altogether justified by the remark of the distinguished prelate, that in writing the history of so recent a period, he has felt it incumbent on him to suppress many circumstances and anecdotes of a private nature.
But above all, we are bound to complain of the utter neglect of the papers of Mr Pitt. An individual, who had been premier of Great Britain for more than a score of years, and whose daily occupations during all that time were with the concerns of millions of people, must have abounded in portfolios containing the most curious letters and documents of which the publication at this time could put in jeopardy neither persons nor nations; more especially as we find that many families in England, such as the Sydney, the Harrington, the Grantham, and others of less note, who may perhaps have once furnished an ambassador at a foreign court, or minister to the cabinet, now possess valuable collections of papers. But Dr Tomline has thought proper to withhold every such paper, with the exception of a few private letters from the king; and the exquisite charm of those letters does but heighten our regrets, for the numerous compositions of a dipNew Series, No. 9.
lomatic nature, which must have existed in the same archives. In short, we can look upon these memoirs in no other light than as a pleasing compilation, composed in an easy and intelligible style and manner, and though we do not profess to have gone through the comparison with perfect accuracy, we are, nevertheless, justified in making the remark, with some degree of confidence, that every fact and anecdote of much importance in this work may be found in the Parliamentary History, the Political life of William Pitt, by John Gifford, (which we are far from mentioning in the way of commendation,) and in the Speeches of Mr Pitt, collected by Hathaway, of which the third edition was published as early as 1817; speeches from which those reported by Dr Tomline have been, in many instances, copied word for word, and in all have stood as the basis of his reports. At the same time we consider these memoirs as amusing and instructive, and we earnestly recommend them to all who feel a curiosity about political matters, or who partake with us in a sentiment of highest admiration for the memory of Pitt.
We cannot better employ this period of political tranquillity, than in presenting a rapid sketch of a few of the principal occurrences of Mr Pitt's life. His memoirs can now be read and his conduct estimated without prejudice, for the great measures of which he was the author, and which were adapted to the peculiar state of things in which he lived, have passed away beyond the reach and control of the present age. The age of Mr Pitt expired at the battle of Waterloo, and the statesmen and warriors who survived that battle, may regard his administration as a most brilliant episode, but as by no means belonging to the regular series and accustomed policy of British administrations. We, therefore, may consider ourselves almost in the light of a distant posterity of that generation, in which Mr Pitt lived, and we may examine and deliberate upon his measures with the same fairness and candor, with which we should discuss those of the earl of Clarendon or sir Robert Walpole.
In a review of a work of this nature we are necessarily obliged to exercise a great degree of forbearance, and to mako a selection of those topics, which we think will be especially interesting. But it is not our intention to enter into any discussion on any of these topics; for we feel no disposition to take a share in the politics and prejudices which prevail in