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"point, may, owing to a variety of circumstances, be good from ⚫ another point."
These sentiments are certainly not absolutely incompatible with an endeavour to improve Lowdore waterfall. Yet a landscape-painter will pause, in reasonable apprehension of danger, at the temerity of such experiments, as appear to be recommended in the concluding paragraph of the author's observations:
"The trees about Lowdore (he says) are in too great profusion: "to take one half of them away would be much to improve this "deservedly-admired place. The chasm through which the river
passes is immense; and therefore the fall of water is generally "subdivided and obscured: the course of the stream ought to be ❝conducted on the western side of the chasm to that part of.the "rock, which is nearest to the mill, from the summit of which it "would tumble in one grand unbroken sheet down to the channel "below; and thereby be rendered the most splendid waterfall 66 among the Lakes."
Lowdore is already, after the rainy season, when it is seen in perfection, the most splendid and the most picturesque waterfall among the Lakes, as Grasmere is of those lakes, already one of the most delightful. He must be bold, and should be supremely tasteful and judicious, who attempts to improve nature where she is most beautiful. Upon the whole, in recollection of the justness of the tenour of these preliminary observations, I cannot say less-nor can I say more, than that if the improvement of Lowdore waterfall, or Grasmere lake, should be undertaken, I hope no man will presume to lift an axe there, who has not previously shewn himself as well qualified for the task as Mr. Green, or whoever else may be the writer of these "Observations."
TRAVELS IN ASIA AND AFRICA. BY ABRAHAM PARSONS, ESQ. CONSUL AND FACTOR-MARINE AT SCANDEROON. 4to. pp.
346. Longman and Rees.
WE are induced to notice this work, as well from the general interest which every class of readers must feel for whatever relates to those regions of Asia, so celebrated in classical story, and so dear to us from the connection they bear with our religion, as from another cause of a more trivial nature. The coast of Asia Minor has been visited by certain modern travellers, who appear to us at least, highly to excel in those powers of description, which, according to a celebrated antient critic, always indicate a sublime imagination; we mean, a great command over the surprising and the marvellous: and we must candidly confess, we turned to the work of so plain a man as Mr. Parsons, with the hope, that we might either be enabled to overcome those doubts which clouded our minds, in spite of the extraordinary degree of faith with which as Reviewers we are gifted, or else that we might be reconciled to the tales we see related. The feelings which we experienced, after a long and painful examination of these Travels, we hasten to give to our readers, with that liberality which, in this point, ever has characterized the profession of a critic.
The writer before us is introduced with a pomp answerable to his rank of British consul, in a preface by Mr. Barjew of Bristol. Whatever was the excellence of Mr. Parsons as a factor-marine (on which, among his other eulogies, it is strange Mr. Barjew has not dwelt), we can only venture to praise him for one merit, which may, for aught we know, be of a novel kind. It is obvious that many travel-writers, and authors of various other descriptions, have had an eye, of late, in the composition of their labours, to the double but
unfair advantage of disposing of them, at some future time, by weight. We will do Mr. Parsons the justice to say that he does not appear to have been actuated by this selfish motive, as his volume is neither very large nor very heavy: although, indeed, after his readers have toiled through the moderate quantity of 346 pages of a neat quarto, it might perhaps occur to some of them, to inquire by what dexterity and skill in the art of authorship, he contrived to fill so large a portion of space with so little matter-a problem which we believe Mr. Abraham Parsons himself, with all his admiration of the Sphinx, could never, even till Doomsday, have had time enough to answer.
We are induced, indeed, to think that this work has been published, in common with many others of a similar description, in consequence of some observations in a journal of great celebrity, on the importance of the communications of those we may call mercantile travellers. The journalists who have openly given encouragement to these travellers, pretend that the means of their information are greater than those possessed by the generality of voyagers, both from their usual long residence in different countries, and from their consequent intercourse with the natives.
It is false, however, to estimate men merely by the situations into which they are casually thrown, and not by the capability they possess of benefiting by them. An ignorant man would scarce be the wiser, although he were transplanted to the moon, and it is difficult to see how he should make others so. It is impossible, indeed, that he whose education has not been liberal, and whose mind is narrow, should well describe the countries and the people he visits. To the jaundiced eye all is yellow; to such a traveller every thing dissimilar from that to which he has been accustomed, appears deformed and monstrous: he looks only on the artificial and obvious distinctions between the modes of society in states
he knows nothing of the more recondite discriminations that separate, as it were, the souls of communities; and, even in the midst of the most liberal and enlightened intercourse, keep nation distinct from nation. Whilst passing with him through remote countries, we appear, as far as relates to improvement, not yet to have quitted our own. Freedom, with him, cannot emanate beyond the cliffs of Britain; civilization is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas: Asia was created only to supply England with teas; and Africa to furnish her with ship-loads of elephants' teeth. But what delights him most, and what he manages with most dexterity, is the balance of trade. This he fancies to be a subject, from his mercantile habits, peculiarly fitted to his comprehension; and there is no subject on which he so much expatiates, saving only such dishes as prawns or john-dories. Not that we mean to call in question the learning of British merchants, for amongst them are to be found, statesmen, historians, and poets; but we confidently affirm, that it is not from such factors as usually proceed on voyaging expeditions, that we are to look for valuable information relative to foreign countries. Auctioneers might, indeed, over the hammer, discuss with eloquence the merits of a dappled steed; but it does not altogether lie within their province to decide on the interests of colonies:-no! not although they were, for a very long time, vendue-masters at the Demerary. Much less do we think that a factor-marine (a word, by the way, which we have been in vain endeavouring to turn out in the dictionaries), possesses such great scientific advantages from the dignity of his situation, as to compensate for bad grammar and bad We speak this, we must confess, with some degree of diffidence, as we do not exactly know the office of a factormarine, or the functions he has to perform. Perhaps, from the hardness of his name (which is compounded of facio, to make, and mare, a sea), that those luminaries are usually
chosen to be factor-marines, who, by the force of native genius, unaided by education, attempt the most difficult and praiseworthy undertakings.
Be this as it may, Mr. Abraham Parsons now deserves our attention, who, if a fondness for good "caponing" be one of the qualifications of a justice of the peace, was as well entitled to form one of the quorum, as any country gentleman on this side the Tweed. Of this happy propensity, we have such proofs in every page of his book, that we must confess, to our sorrow, our review-like appetites were frequently provoked, as frequently to be suppressed; and, although not Scotsmen, we could not help a thousand times wishing ourselves from home, with Mr. Parsons, his prawns, and his john-dories.
The travels before us were originally written by Mr. Abraham Parsons," consul and factor-marine at Scanderoon, in "Asiatic Turkey." The manuscript, however, being somewhat inelegant and unpolished, its verbal and grammatical inaccuracies were corrected, and, in some instances, the arrangement of its sentences completed, by the labour of Mr. Barjew of Bristol. To the editor, therefore, the public owe it, that this work possesses the great merit of grammatical purity, as well as so many elegancies in its style and diction -advantages which cannot be estimated too highly, as we are to receive from it "original and instructive information "in points but lightly touched on by former travellers, and 66 a more clear and natural view of society and manners in ♥ "the East, than in many more elaborate and florid publi❝cations."
Scandaroon is situated at the extremity of the Mediterranean Sea, in lat. 36. 40. N. at the south-east angle of the bottom of the gulf of the same name, and approaching so very near to exceeding high mountains as to be within half an hour's walk to the ascent of them. The town is unhealthy from its low and