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between the enlightened European Statesman and the untutored Chief of Africa.

No publications are more generally interesting than Voyages and Travels, where we can depend on the veracity of the relator; and this arises, in great measure, from their containing a kind of literary Mosaic work, formed of fragments of History, Geography, portions of Natural History, sketches of Character, and good Anecdotes, which are always valuable; both as they give an insight into the philosophy of the human mind, and furnish matter for improving conversation.

Mathematics, in its various branches, is admitted to be of great utility in forming the mind to a habit of study; in fixing the attention on a particular object: and the higher branches of this science are as necessary to the attainment of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, as its first principles are to commerce, and the business of human life.

The fine Arts may be considered as the luxuries of Science, as Poetry and the Belles Lettres are of Literature. They have an evident tendency to refine the mind, and improve the inanners; but it is much to be lamented, that, like other luxuries, they are too subject to degenerate into voluptuousness; and that the charms of genius, of wit and eloquence, are so often employed to gild the pill of sensuality.

In tracing the circle of the sciences and arts, it will be our aim to avoid and to guard against such abuses; and to make our Work not merely an EPITOME of books, but of information ; not excluding any subject of general utility, much less the important topics of morals and religion, which many of our Subscribers, particularly among the Clergy, have considered as too slightly treated in some volumes of the former series.

To give a more complete idea of the work, we beg leave to subjoin the Prospectus to our new series, which has been already circulated in our Advertisements.

PROSPECTUS.

THE Projector of Literary Journals was certainly a benefactor to mankind, as no other medium has been so useful in circulating knowledge. The best things, however, are often the most abused; and it cannot be denied that such Journals have, in too many instances, been made the vehicles of party, and even of private resentment. These circumstances have in great measure rendered them useless, so far as respects the opinion of Reviewers, and originally suggested the plan of this Work; the design of which is raiher to enable Readers to review for themselves, than to obtrude on them the opinions of an unknown Editor.

In order to this, nothing more seems necessary, in general, than to give the Author's design, a brief analysis, and such extracts as may be sufficient to shew his style, sentiments, and abilities. This plan has been in some degree already acted upon in the old series of this work; and five volumes of the Epitome are already before the Public, and have been honoured with a respectable degree of patronage.

Still, however, in some cases, a department for Original Criticism and Correspondence seemed desirable, and almost essential to the completion of the plan. Injured Authors, whose works have been sacrificed to private interest, or personal pique, may wish to bring their appeal before the Public. On the other hand, publications of a tendency dangerous to morals, and to the welfare of society, are often imposed on the world under specious titles, that may deceive the inexperienced and unwary; and it is a duty, both of religion and benevolence, to guard such, and provide an antidote against the deleterious poison : but extracts from such books would have a contrary effect. Many observations may also occur to our readers, and many articles of literary information, for which this department will form a repository. But in order to prevent this from encroaching on the original plan, eight pages additional will be given with cach Number; and if it be found requisite, a Supplementary Number added to each future Volume. The Monthly Catalogue will also be enlarged by the addition of new Music, new discoveries in the Arts and Sciences, &c. for which room will be provided by using a type somewhat smaller than in the other parts of the work.

To those who may enquire what advantage this work will possess over other literary Journals, we reply,

1. It will be more impartial. Giving no opinion ourselves, the reader will be furnished with sufficient documents to form his own; and as to the criticisms of our Correspondents, by comparing them with our analysis and extracts, the reader will be enabled to judge also of their propriety.

2. It will be more early. The humble department we have assumed will certainly require less time than that of an accurate review; besides which it will be a primary object with us to give the earliest information in our Monthly Catalogue.

3. It will be more comprehensive. Our Catalogue (at least) will comprehend the Arts of Music, Engraving, and Design ; though we wish it to be understood that our attention will be chiefly directed to works of general information and utility ; and our extracts be most copious from such publications (if important in themselves) as are most voluminous, expensive, and difficult of access.

4. It will be more interesting : leaving works of abstruse science, and professional studies in our Catalogue, we shall bring forward such works in our Epitome as coinbine entertainment with information, and gratify those to whom the original works may be inaccessible, as well as qualify purchasers to determine on their merits.

5. It will be more select. A due regard to the interests of morality, social order and religion, will exclude every thing calculated to corrupt or deprave young minds ; and in no case will any passage be introduced that could create a blush on the check of modesty. For this reason also no bills or advertisements, of an indelicate or an improper nature, will be suffered to be attached to our Epitome.

In short, to the lovers of elegant and useful Literature, to Schools, and Families, and especially to READING Societies, it will be our endeavour to present a Monthly Literary Journal, of greater utility than some others of more than double the expence and size.

In order to fulfil our engagements with the Public, it is necessary to solicit the assistance of Correspondents. Authors are invited to analyse their own works; to justify themselves against misrepresentations; and literary men in general to favour us with any species of information or remark, which may fall within the limits of our plan.

THE

MONTHLY EPITOME,

For JANUARY, 1802.

I Voyages from Montreal, on the being familiar with toilsome exertions River St. Laurence, through the Con in the prosecution of mercantile purtinent of North America, to the Fro- suits, I not only attempted the prac. zen and Pacific Oceans, in the Years ticability of penetrating across the 1789 and 1793; with a preliminary continent of America, but was confiAccount of ihe Rise, Progress, and dent in the qualifications, as I was present State of the Fur Trade of that animated by the desire, to undertake Country

. Illustrated with Maps, the perilous enterprise. and a portrait of the Author. By “ 'The general utility of such a disALEXANDER Mackenzie, Esg. covery has been universally acknowQuarto, pp. 552. Cadell and Davies, ledged, while the wishes of my parti, Strand; Corbett and Morgan, Pall- cular friends and commercial associMall; and Creech, Edinburgh.

ates, that I should proceed in the pur

suit of it, continued to quicken the The preliminary account, in this execution of this favourite project of of the Fur Trade, carried on by Ca- pletion of it extends the boundaries nadian merchants

. In the counting- of geographic science, and adds new house of one of these, says Mr. countries to the realms of British Mackenzie, “ I had been five years, commerce, the dangers I have enand at this period bad left him, with a countered, and the toils I have sufsmalladventure of goods, with which he fered, bave found their recompence; had'entrusted me, to seek my fortune nor will the many tedious and weary at Detroit. He, without any solici- days, or the gloomy and inclement tation on my part; had procured an nights which I have passed, have been insertion in the agreement, that I passed in vain. should be admitted a partner in this “The first voyage has settled the dubusiness, on condition that I would bious point of a practicable north-west proceed to the Indian country in the passage; and I trust that it has set that kollowing spring, 1785. His partner long agitated question at rest, and excame to Detroit to make me such a tinguished the disputes respecting it proposition. I readily assented to it, for ever. An enlarged discussion of and immediately proceeded to the this subject will be found to occupy Grande Portage, where I joined my the concluding pages of this volume. associates.History, p. 19.

“ In this voyage, I was not only Our author, assigning his reasons

without the necessary books and ina for engaging in these voyages, says, struments, but also felt myself defi

1 was led, at an early period of life, cient in the sciences of astronomy and by commercial views, to the country navigation: I did not hesitate, therenorth-west of Lake Superior, in North fore, to undertake a winter's voyage America; and being endowed by na, to this country, in order to procure ture with an inquisitive mind and the one and acquire the other. These enterprising spirit, possessing also a objects being accomplished, I returnconstitution and frame of body equal ed, to determine the practicability of to the most arduous undertakings, and a commercial communication through

the continent of North America, be- adorned by it, is about three miles in tween the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, breadth, and is confined by two lofty which is proved by my second jour- ridges of equal height, displaying a nal. Nor do I hesitate to declare my most delighiful intermixture of wood decided opinion that very great and and lawn, and stretching on till the essential advantages may be derived blue mist obscures the prospect. Some by extending our

trade from one sea parts of the inclining heights are coto the other.” Preface, p. iv, v. vered with stately forests, relieved by

The history of the Fur Trade con promontories of the finest verdure, tains a particular account of the per- where the elk and buffalo find passons engaged, and method of carrying ture. These are contrasted by spots on this traffic, an account of the estab- where fire has destroyed the woods, lishment of the north-west company, and left a dreary void behind it. with a description of the rivers and Nor, when I beheld this wonderful country through which they pass, and display of uncultivated nature, was the manners of Indians with whom the moving scenery of human occuthey trade. The method of carrying on pation wanting to complete the picthis traffic is by a number of canoes ture. From this elevated situation laden with goods, to exchange with ! beheld my people, diminished as the Indians for their furs, provision it were to half their size, employed for the people employed, andesuitable in pitching their tents in a charming implenients for their voyage. “ An meadow,and among the canoes, which, European, on seeing one of these being turned upon their sides, preslender vessels laden, heaped up, and sented their reddened bottoms in consunk with her gunwale within six trast with the surrounding verdure. inches of the water, would think his At the same time the process of gumfate inevitable in such a boat, when he ming them produced numerous small reflected on the nature of her voyage; spires of smoke, which, as they rose, but the Canadians are so expert that enlivened the scene, and at length few accidents happen.History, p: 29. blended with the larger columns that

On account of rapids and falls in ascended from the fires where the the waters, this employment is very suppers were preparing, It was in laborious, as the men are frequently the month of September when I enobliged to carry not only the greater joyed a scene of which I do not prepart of the lading, but the canoes, and sume to give any adequate descripthat often over rocks: of these places tion; and as it was the rutting seathe author gives particular accounts, son of the elk, theswhistling of that one of which is subjoined.

animal was heard in all the variety “The Portage La Loche, where the which the echoes could afford it." canoes with their lading are carried, History, p. 85, 86. is thirteen miles in length, and is a The present establishment of the level, until you come within a mile of north-west company is in latitude 58. the termination of the Portage, where 38 north, longitude 110. 26 west, there is a very steep precipice, whose called Fort Chipewyan, and formed ascent and descent appear to be on a point on the southern side of the equally impracticable in any way, as Lake of the Hills,' the arrival at it consists of a succession of eight hills, which place from Canada the author some of which are almost perpendi thus describes : cular; nevertheless the Canadians “ Here have I arrived, with nivety contrive to surmount all these diff. or an hundred men, without any culties, even with their canoes and provision for their subsistence ; for lading.

whatever quantity might have been This precipice, which rises up. obtained from the natives during the wards of a thousand feet above the suminen it could not be more than plain beneath it, commands a most sufficient for the people dispatched extensive, romantic, and ravishing to the different ports; and even if prospect. From thence the eye loolis there were a casual supérfluity, it was down on the course of the little river, absolutely necessary to preserve it by some called the Swan river, and untouched for the demands of the by others the Clear Water and Peli- spring. The whole dependance, therecan River, beautifully meandering fore, of those who remained, was on for upwards of thirty miles. The val- the lake, and fishing iniplements, for ley, which is at once refreshed and the means of our support. The nets

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