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the subject of one of them was “ The Bard” of Gray, so elegantly deo scribed in the following lines:
« On a rock, whose haughty brow
It is sufficient to say, that West has done full justice to so noble a subject, and has been animated in the execution of it by all the enthusiasm of the poet.
Having finished the examination of the works of Mr. West, we may sum up his character as a painter in a few words; he combines simplicity with elegance, correctness of design with boldness of expression, dignity, ease, and grace, with delicacy, softness, and exquisite execution.
Of Mr. West's domestic concerns we can say but little, we only. know that soon after his settlement in England, he married a lady from America, to whom he had been early attached, and whom he sent for as soon as he had a prospect of success in his profession.'
CORRESPONDENCE-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
I have observed in your periodical work for July and August, that a difference of opinion exists between two of your correspondents, “ Inquirer” and “P.R." as to the authenticity of Brydone's Tour through Sicily and Malta. I believe that there can be no doubt but Brydone, like many others, travelled to Sicily and Malta; but there are, in my mind, great doubts as to the extent of his travels and researches, especially of his ascension to the summit of Etna, notwithstanding the glowing colours, in which he has depicted the scenery which is presented, from the top of this gigantic mountain, at the dawn of day. I have frequently heard it asserted at the converzatione at Catania, by gentlemen of the first respectability, that this celebrated traveller did not ascend to the summit of Etna. I must therefore conclude that, the assertion of your“ correspondent Inquirer” is not without foundation. Brydone has, I presume, like many others, travelled over a chart of this mountain in his closet, and given us a poetical description of it, the basis of which, -he may have taken from the Sicilian historians. To examine this celebrated mountain with accuracy, a mountain whose volcanic productions take in a circuit of a hundred and twenty miles, and on the first region of which, three hundred thousand inhabitants dwell, surely would have required more time than Mr. Brydone appears to have allotted in exploring it, admitting the account which he gives to be authentic. What does the learned Abbé Farrara,* of Catania, say res. pecting this celebrated traveller? “Il Brydone, nella brillante relazione del suo viaggio in Sicilia, eseguito nell’ano 1770,” A Tour through Sicily and Malta, in two volumes, London, “ più impegnoto a divertire il suo dear Beckford, che a dare una sincera descrizione del Pacse che correa, ha tutto scritto a suo modo, e nelle lettere sull'Etna sul poco che ha copiato dagli altri, non ne ha fatto di questa montagna, che una descrizione Poetica. Altri viaggiatori hanno posteriormente fatto la Simia allo Scrittore Inglese senza averne lo spirito, e senza aver potuto render utili le loro relazioni. Il buon Conte de Borch si wide molto impegnato a dover far rilevare gli errori de Bryclone;" &c. which I beg leave to translate. “Brydone, in a brilliant relation of his travels in Sicily, performed in 1770, was more employed in diverting his dear Beckford, than in giving a true description of the country through which he ran; he has described the whole, in his letters on Etna, in a manner peculiar to himself; except the small portion whiclı he copied from others, he has done no more than give a poetical description of this mountain. Other travellers succeeding him have aped the English writer, without having either the spirit or capacity of rendering their relations useful. The good count de Borch is seen assiduously employed in removing the errors of Brydone,” &c.
I will not trespass further on your pages, except to request your ace ceptance of the homage of my high consideration and respect.
* A gentleman of this city, is now engaged in translating the Abbé Far. rara's valuable hisiory of Mount Etna.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, concludes his one hundred and eighty-eighth epistle with two words of Greek, Xapetes X&a putes. Now, sir, to appropriate a very favourite adage of his lordship, ex pede Herculem and I think it may be inferred that he was only a lord among scholars. His lordship certainly meant to use Xapıtış determinately, and consequently should have prefixed to it the article. I shall not insult his lordship’s manes by citing the grammar rule, but. quote a passage foom Bion which is to the purpose.
Αί Χάριτες κλαίον. "τ υιέα τα Κινύρας,
I am, sir, &c.
The work called “Reflections on Ridicule,” respecting which your correspondent, “ The Inquirer,” (vol. I. page 509) requests information was written originally in French by the Abbé de Belgrade. A copy of it (12mo. 1707) is now in the library of the library company of this city. In the same valuable collection are two editions of a translation of this work neither of which mention the name of the author or translator. They are both by the same hand, and have an original dedication prefixed, which does, though rather obscurely, acknowledge it to be a translation. One of the editions is in two vols. 12mo. London, 1739; the second volume of which contains a translation of a work by the same author, entitled “ Reflections sur la politesse des maurs, suite des Reflections sur le Ridicule:” this I have never seen in the original.
The translations abovementioned are extremely literal, but preserve all the spirit of the original: they are, most probably, also by Collier, as they abound with the same Gallicisms mentioned by your correspondent.
Jeremiah Collier I imagine to be the same, who, in the beginning of the last century, published a work on the immorality and proplianeness of the English stage, which involved him in a controversy with several of the wits of that period. He was the author of a number of original works, and of several translations from the French and Latin. He appears to have been very desirous that this translation should have the credit of an original work, without at the same time expressly avowing it as such.
There is a short account of the Abbé given in the “ Noveau Dictionaire Historique:" &c. his biographer says that he was a Jesuit, but that after he was obliged to leave that society, on account of his attachment to Cartesianism, “il ne cessa d'enfanter volumes sur volumes:” that he produced translations of many of the works of the fathers, and of the prophane authors “ pour la plupart infidelles,” et“ pas plus estimées;” and concludes by saying, he had a facility and something of elegance in his style, “mais ses reflections ile sont que de mortalités triviales, sans pirofendcur ni finesse."
'FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
MEMOIRS OF HAYTI-LETTER VI.
The Cape, Island of Hayti, March 1804. On a future occasion as my information extends, I shall furnishi you with some biographical sketches of the most important personages among the Haytians. As the sphere of my acquaintance is yet limi- ; ted, I shall take every opportunity to procure such particulars as will enable me so to do. At present you must be satisfied with an introduction to a few who may be called little great men.
Richard, commandant of the place, is an African negro, ignorant and stupid, and a villain of the first order. It is his duty to examine all vessels on the morning of their departure, to see that no person, white, coloured, or black, belonging to the island, is on board, ----to regulate the police of the town, and to hold courts.
All petty prosecutions and disputes are decided before liim. He also furnishes the passports, with which every person travelling from one part of the island to another, must be provided. He never refuses a bribe, and whenever he has it in his power to extort money, he never fails to do it. His opportunities of extortion are frequent. When he is on board examining a vessel at her departure, and while she is under way, the scoundrel pretends that he has discovered something in the manifest, the exportation of which by a late order is prohibited; he then orders the captain to heave his vessel to, and cast anchor. It must at once strike you that a delay, even of a few hours, is a very serious inconvenience, and that the sacrifice of a few dollars to avoid one, is VOL. II.
a comparative trifle. Thus the villain imposes upon strangers, and seldom fails to receive eight or ten dollars, as a compromise. Richard can read and write after a manner, but the principal part of his business is transacted by Rimet his colleague, and a white clerk. The perquisites of his office, added to his extortions, are not sufficient to support him in style, and he consequently lives in rather an obscure state, and cuts but a mean appearance.
Felix Ferrier, administrator, or ordonnateur general, is a dark mulatto of about thirty years of age. He was formerly a saddler in the Cape, but being too indolent to work, retired from his trade, and set up a gambling house. By cunning and artifice he played his cards so well, as to gain the confidence of some of the great men, and was by degrees promoted to his present station. His power over commercial regulations is so great, that he can establish such as he pleases, and his influence with Christophe is so extensive, that his will becomes a law. Without his permission not a pound of coffee can be purchased, and he has declared that until he sells a large parcel which he has on hand, he will permit no person to buy but of him.
The ordonnateur is a civil officer acting under the minister of finances. There is one in each department, and a deputy under these again, called a proposer, generally resides in each sea-port town.
His duty is to purchase provisions, clothing, ammunition, &c. for the troops, and generally to furnish all articles which are wanted for the use of government. As the purchases made for government, are all contracted to be paid in produce, principally coffee (for not a dollar that enters the public coffers ever finds its way out) each administrator and proposer has a public store in which he deposits that portion of it belonging to the state, which is brought to the town within his jurisdiction. Thence it is carried to that port of delivery, at which the payment is to be made.
Ferrier lives in handsome style-has his gens d'armes at his door-wears a blue coat trimmed with gold lace, and a cocked hat with a long scarlet plume. He is excessively proud and haughty, and treats the Americans with studied insolence. Few in the island, can lay a better claim to the first rank of scoundrels.
Raphael, collector of the port, is an old negro, of perhaps near sixty years of age, of a venerable and respectable appearance, and is one of the very few of the Haytians who are possessed of principle. But he is not a proper man for the oflice he holds; he is rather thicksculled, and so slow in the performance of his duty, that it requires more than common patience to bear with himn.
In the custoin house, as in most of the public offices, there is a white clerk, yet notwithstanding his assistance combined to that of several mulattoes and blacks, the affairs are so slowly conducted, that