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clined to have yielded this point of ceremony; but Sir George Staunton and the other members of the Canton mission took the most decided part on the other side. The result of their deliberations was a determination against the performance of the ko-tou, and the emperor at last consented to admit them upon their own terms, which consisted in kneeling upon a single knee. The embassy went to Pekin, and were ushered into an ante-chamber of the imperial palace.
[Scene at Pekin, Described by Mr Ellis.]
Mandarins of all buttons" were in waiting; several princes of the blood, distinguished by clear ruby buttons and round flowered badges, were among them: the silence, and a certain air of regularity, marked the immediate presence of the sovereign. The small apartment, much out of repair, into which we were huddled, now witnessed a scene I believe unparalleled in the history of even Oriental diplomacy. Lord Amherst had scarcely taken his seat, when Chang delivered a message from Ho (Koong-yay), stating that the emperor wished to see the ambassador, his son, and the commissioners immediately. Much surprise was naturally expressed; the previous arrangement for the eighth of the Chinese month, a period certainly much too early for comfort, was adverted to, and the utter impossibility of his excellency appearing in his present state of fatigue, inanition, and deficiency of every necessary equipment, was strongly urged. Chang was very unwilling to be the bearer of this answer, but was finally obliged to consent. During this time the room had filled with spectators of all ages and ranks, who rudely pressed upon us to gratify their brutal curiosity, for such it may be called, as they seemed to regard us rather as wild beasts than mere strangers of the same species with themselves. Some other messages were interchanged between the Koongyay and Lord Amherst, who, in addition to the reasons already given, stated the indecorum and irregularity of his appearing without his credentials. In his reply to this it was said, that in the proposed audience the emperor merely wished to see the ambassador, and had no intention of entering upon business. Lord Amherst having persisted in expressing the inadmissibility of the proposition, and in transmitting through the Koong-yay a humble request to his imperial majesty that he would be graciously pleased to wait till to-morrow, Chang and another mandarin finally proposed that his excellency should go over to the Koong-yay's apartments, from whence a reference might be made to the emperor. Lord Amherst having alleged bodily illness as one of the reasons for declining the audience, readily saw that if he went to the Koong-yay, this plea, which to the Chinese (though now scarcely admitted) was in general the most forcible, would cease to avail him, positively declined compliance. This produced a visit from the Koong-yay, who, too much interested and agitated to heed ceremony, stood by Lord Amherst, and used every argument to induce him to obey the emperor's commands. Among other topics he used that of being received with our own ceremony, using the Chinese words, “ne mun tih lee'—your own ceremony. All proving ineffectual, with some roughness, but under pretext of friendly violence, he laid hands upon Lord Amherst, to take him from the room ; another mandarin followed his example. His lordship, with great firmness and dignity of manner, shook them off, declaring that nothing but the extremest violence should induce him to quit that room for any other place but the residence assigned to him;
* The buttons, in the order of their rank, are as follows:– ruby red, worked coral, smooth coral, pale blue, dark blue, crystal, ivory, and gold.
adding that he was so overcome by fatigue and bodily illness as absolutely to require repose. Lord Amherst further pointed out the gross insult he had already received, in having been exposed to the intrusion and indecent curiosity of crowds, who appeared to view him rather as a wild beast than the representative of a powerful sovereign. At all events, he intreated the Koong-yay to submit his request to his imperial majesty, who, he felt confident, would, in consideration of his illness and fatigue, dispense with his immediate appearance. The Koong-yay then pressed Lord Amherst to come to his apartments, alleging that they were cooler, more convenient, and more private. This Lord Amherst declined, saying that he was totally unfit for any place but his own residence. The Koong-yay having failed in his attempt to persuade him, left the room for the purpose of taking the emperor's pleasure upon the subject.
During his absence an elderly man, whose dress and ornaments bespoke him a prince,” was particularly inquisitive in his inspection of our persons and inquiries. His chief object seemed to be to communicate with Sir George Staunton, as the person who had been with the former embassy; but Sir George very prudently avoided any intercourse with him. It is not easy to describe the feelings of annoyance produced by the conduct of the Chinese, both public and individual: of the former I shall speak hereafter; of the latter I can only say that nothing could be more disagreeable and indecorous.
A message arrived soon after the Koong-yay's quitting the room, to say that the emperor dispensed with the ambassador's attendance; that he had further been pleased to direct his physician to afford to his excellency every medical assistance that his illness might require. The Koong-yay himself soon followed, and his excellency proceeded to the carriage. The Koong-yay not disdaining to clear away the crowd, the whip was used by him to all persons indiscriminately; buttons were no protection; and however indecorous, according to our notions, the employment might be for a man of his rank, it could not have been in better hands.
Lord Amherst was generally condemned for refusing the proffered audience. The emperor, in disgust, ordered them instantly to set out for Canton, which was accordingly done. This embassy made scarcely any addition to our knowledge of China. MR John FRANCIs DAvis, late chief superintendent in China, has published two interesting works, which give a full account of this singular people, so far as known to European visitors. . These are, Sketches of China, partly during an Inland Journey of Four Months between Pekin, Nankin, and Canton; and The Chinese: a General Description of the Empire of China and its Inhabitants. The latter work was published in 1836, but has since been enlarged, and the history of British intercourse brought up to the present time. Mr Davis resided twenty years at Canton, is perfect in the peculiar language of China, and has certainly seen more of its inhabitants than any other English author. The Journal of Three Voyages along the Coast of China, in 1831, 1832, and 1833, by MR GUTZLAFF, a German, is also a valuable work. The contraband trade in opium formed a memorable era in the history of Chinese commerce. It was carried on to a great extent with the Hong merchants; but in 1834, after the monopoly of the East India Company had been abolished, our government appointed Lord Napier to proceed to Canton, as special superintendent, to adjust all disputed questions among the merchants, and to form regulations with the provincial authorities. The Chinese, always jealous of foreigners, and looking upon mercantile
* They are distinguished by round badges.
employments as degrading, insulted our superintendent; hostilities took place, and trade was suspended. Lord Napier took his departure amidst circumstances of insult and confusion, and died on the 11th of October 1834. The functions of superintendent devolved on Mr Davis. “The Chinese, emboldened by the pacific temperament of our government, proceeded at length to the utmost extent; and not satisfied with imprisoning and threatening the lives of the whole foreign community, laid also violent hands on the British representative himself, claiming, as the purchase of his freedom, the delivery of the whole of the opium then in the Chinese waters—property to the amount of upwards of two millions sterling. After a close imprisonment of two months' duration, during which period our countrymen were deprived of many of the necessaries of life, and exposed repeatedly, as in a pillory, to the gaze and abuse of the mob, no resource was left but to yield to the bold demands of the Chinese, relying with confidence on their nation for support and redress: nor did they rely in vain; for immediately the accounts of the aggression reached London, preparations commenced for the Chinese expedition.” After two years of irregular warfare, a treaty of peace and friendship between the two empires was signed on board her majesty's ship Cornwallis, on the 29th of August 1842. This expedition gave rise to various publications. LoRD JocelyN wrote a lively and interesting narrative, entitled Sir Months with the Chinese Erpedition ; and Commander J. ELLIOT BINGHAM, R.N. a Narrative of the Expedition to China. Two Years in China, by D. MACPHERson, M.D. relates the events of the campaign from its formation in April 1840 to the treaty of peace in 1842. Doings in China, by LIEUTENANT ALEXANDER MURRAY, illustrates the social habits of the Chinese. The Last Year in China, to the Peace of Nankin, by
a Field Officer, consists of extracts from letters
written to the author's private friends. The Closing Events of the Campaign in China, by CAPTAIN G. G. Loch, R.N. is one of the best books which the ex
| pedition called forth.
[Chinese Ladies' Feet.]
[From Captain Bingham's Narrative.]
During our stay we made constant trips to the surrounding islands; in one of which—at Tea Island– we had a good opportunity of minutely examining the far-famed little female feet. I had been purchasing a pretty little pair of satin shoes for about half a dollar, at one of the Chinese farmers’ houses, where we were surrounded by several men, women, and children. By signs we expressed a wish to see the pied migmon of a really good-looking woman of the party. Our signs were quickly understood, but, probably from her being a matron, it was not considered quite comme il faut for her to comply with our desire, as she would not consent to show us her foot; but a very pretty interesting girl of about sixteen was placed on a stool for the purpose of gratifying our curiosity. At first she was very bashful, and appeared not to like exposing her Cinderella-like slipper, but the shine of a new and very bright ‘loopee' soon overcame her delicacy, when she commenced unwinding the upper bandage which passes round the leg, and over a tongue that comes up from the heel. The shoe was then removed, and the second bandage taken off, which did duty for a stocking; the turns round the toes and ankles being very tight, and keeping all in place. On the naked foot being exposed to view, we were agreeably surprised by finding it delicately white and clean; for we fully expected to have found it otherwise, from the
* Macpherson's “Two Years in China.”
known habits of most of the Chinese. The leg from the knee downwards was much wasted; the foot appeared as if broken up at the instep, while the four small toes were bent flat and pressed down under the foot, the great toe only being allowed to retain its natural position. By the breaking of the instep a high arch is formed between the heel and the toe, enabling the individual to step with them on an even surface; in this respect materially differing from the Canton and Macao ladies; for with them the instep is not interfered with, but a very high heel is substituted, thus bringing the point of the great toe to the ground. When our Canton compradore was shown a Chusan shoe, the exclamation was, “He yawl how can walkee so fashion?’ nor would he be convinced that such was the case. The toes, doubled under the foot I have been describing, could only be moved by the hand sufficiently to show that they were not actually grown into the foot. I have often been astonished at seeing how well the women contrived to walk on their tiny pedestals. Their gait is not unlike the little mincing walk of the French ladies; they were constantly to be seen going about without the aid of any stick, and I have often seen them at Macao contending against a fresh breeze with a tolerably good-sized umbrella spread. The little children, as they scrambled away before us, balanced themselves with their arms ex- |
tended, and reminded one much of an old hen between walking and flying. All the women I saw about Chusan had small feet. It is a general characteristic of
true Chinese descent; and there cannot be a greater mistake than to suppose that it is confined to the higher orders, though it may be true that they take more pains to compress the foot to the smallest possible dimensions than the lower classes do. High and low, rich and poor, all more or less follow the custom ; and when you see a large or natural-sized foot, you may depend upon it the possessor is not of true Chinese blood, but is either of Tartar extraction, or belongs to the tribes that live and have their being on the waters. The Tartar ladies, however, are falling into this Chinese habit of distortion, as the accompanying edict of the emperor proves. ‘For know, good people, you must not dress as you like in China. You must follow the customs and habits of your ancestors, and wear your winter and summer clothing as the emperor or one of the six boards shall direct.” If this were the custom in England, how beneficial it would be to our pockets, and detrimental to the tailors and milliners. Let us now see what the emperor says about little feet, on finding that they were coming into vogue among the undeformed daughters of the Mantchows. Not only does he attack the little feet, but the large Chinese sleeves which were creeping into fashion at court. Therefore, to check these misdemeanours, the usual Chinese remedy was resorted to, and a flaming edict launched, denouncing them; threatening the “heads of the families with degradation and punishment if they did not put a stop to such gross illegalities;' and his celestial majesty further goes on and tells the fair ones, “that by persisting in their vulgar habits, they will debar themselves from the possibility of being selected as ladies of honour for the inner palace at the approaching presentation '' . How far this had the desired effect I cannot say. When the children begin to grow, they suffer excruciating pain, but as they advance in years, their vanity is played upon by being assured that they would be exceedingly ugly with large feet. Thus they are persuaded to put up with what they consider a necessary evil; but the children are remarkably patient under pain. A poor little child about five years old was brought to our surgeois, having been most dreadfully scalded, part of its dress adhering to the skin. During the painful operation of removing the linen, "
CAPTAIN BASIL HALL.
The embassy of Lord Amherst to China was, as we have related, comparatively a failure; but the return voyage was rich both in discovery and in romantic interest. The voyage was made, not along the coast of China, but by Corea and the Loo-Choo islands, and accounts of it were published in 1818 by MR MACLEod, surgeon of the Alceste, and by CAPTAIN BASIL HALL of the Lyra. The work of the latter was entitled An Account of a Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great LooChoo Island. In the course of this voyage it was found that a great part of what had been laid down in the maps as part of Corea consisted of an immense archipelago of small islands. The number of these was beyond calculation; and during a sail of upwards of one hundred miles, the sea continued closely studded with them. From one lofty point a hundred and twenty appeared in sight, some with waving woods and green verdant valleys. Loo-Choo, however, was the most important, and by far the most interesting of the parts touched upon by the expedition. There the strange spectacle was presented of a people ignorant equally of the use of firearms and the use of money, living in a state of primitive seclusion and happiness such as resembles the dreams of poetry rather than the realities of modern life.
Captain Basil Hall has since distinguished himself by the composition of other books of travels, written with delightful ease, spirit, and picturesqueness. The first of these consists of Ertracts from a Journal Written on the Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Merico, being the result of his observations in those countries in 1821 and 1822. South America had, previous to this, been seldom visited, and its countries were also greater objects of curiosity and interest from their political condition, on the point of emancipation from Spain. The next work of Captain Hall was Travels in North America, in 1827 and 1828, written in a more ambitious strain than his former publications, and containing some excellent descriptions and remarks, mixed up with political disquisitions. This was followed by Fragments of Voyages and Travels, addressed chiefly to young persons, in three small volumes; which were so favourably received that a second, and afterwards a third series, each in three volumes, were given to the public. A further collection of these observations on foreign society, scenery, and manners, was published by Captain Hall in 1842, also in three volumes, under the title of Patchwork.
Mr H. D. INGLIS.
One of the most cheerful and unaffected of tourists and travellers, with a strong love of nature and a poetical imagination, was MR HENRY DAvid INGLis, who died in March 1835, at the early age of forty. Mr Inglis was the son of a Scottish advocate. He was brought up to commercial pursuits, but his passion for literature, and for surveying the grand and beautiful in art and nature, overpowered his business habits, and led him at once to travel and to write. Diffident of success, he assumed the nom de !. of Derwent Conway, and under this disguise
e published The Tales of Ardennes; Solitary Walks through Many Lands; Travels in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, 1829; and Switzerland, the South of France, and the Pyrenees in 1830, 1831. The two latter works were included in Constable's Miscellany, and were deservedly popular. Mr Inglis was then engaged as editor of a newspaper at Chesterfield; but tiring of
this, he again repaired to the continent, and visited the Tyrol and Spain. His travels in both countries were published; and one of the volumes—Spain in 1830—is the best of all his works. He next produced a novel descriptive of Spanish life, entitled The New Gil Blas, but it was unsuccessful—probably owing to the very title of the work, which raised expectations, or suggested comparisons, unfavourable to the new aspirant. After conducting a newspaper for some time in Jersey, Mr Inglis published an account of the Channel Islands, marked by the easy grace and picturesque charm that pervade all his writings. He next made a tour through Ireland, and wrote his valuable work (remarkable for impartiality no less than talent) entitled Ireland in 1834. His last work was Travels in the Footsteps of Don Quirote, published in parts in the New Monthly Magazine.
sIR FRANcis HEAD.
SIR FRANCIs HEAD has written two very lively and interesting books of travels—Rough Notes taken during some Rapid Journeys across the Pampas, 1826; and Bubbles from the Brunnens of Nassau, 1833. The Pampas described is an immense plain, stretching westerly from Buenos Ayres to the feet of the Andes. The following extract illustrates the graphic style of Sir Francis :—
[Description of the Pampas.]
The great plain, or Pampas, on the east of the Cordillera, is about nine hundred miles in breadth, and the part which I have visited, though under the same latitude, is divided into regions of different climate and produce. On leaving Buenos Ayres, the first of these regions is covered for one hundred and eighty miles with clover and thistles; the second region, which extends for four hundred and fifty miles, produces long grass; and the third region, which reaches the base of the Cordillera, is a grove of low trees and shrubs. The second and third of these regions have nearly the same appearance throughout the year, for the trees and shrubs are evergreens, and the immense plain of grass only changes its colour from green to brown; but the first region varies with the four seasons of the year in a most extraordinary manner. In winter the leaves of the thistles are large and luxuriant, and the whole surface of the country has the rough appearance of a turnip-field. The clover in this season is extremely rich and strong; and the sight of the wild cattle grazing in full liberty on such pasture is very j". spring the clover has vanished, the leaves of the thistles have extended along the ground, and the country still looks like a rough crop of turnips. In less than a month the change is most extraordinary: the whole region becomes a luxuriant wood of enormous thistles, which have suddenly shot up to a height of ten or eleven feet, and are all in full bloom. The road or path is hemmed in on both sides; the view is completely obstructed; not an animal is to be seen ; and the stems of the thistles are so close to each other, and so strong, that, independent of the prickles with which they are armed, they form an impenetrable barrier. The sudden growth of these plants is quite astonishing; and though it would be an unusual misfortune in military history, yet it is really possible that an invading army, unacquainted with this country, might be imprisoned by these thistles before it had time to escape from them. The summer is not over before the scene undergoes another rapid change: the thistles suddenly lose their sap and verdure, their heads droop, the leaves shrink and fade, the stems become black and dead, and they remain rattling with the breeze one against another, until the violence of the pampero or hurricane levels them with the ground, where they rapidly decompose and disappear—the clover rushes up, and the scene is again verdant.
M. SIMonD, a French author, who, by familiarity with our language and country, wrote in English as well as in his native tongue, published in 1822 a work in two volumes—Switzerland; or a Journal of a Tour and Residence in that Country in the Years 1817, 1818, and 1819. M. Simond had previously written a similar work on Great Britain, and both are far superior to the style of ordinary tourists. We subjoin his account of a
[Swiss Mountain and Avalanche.]
After nearly five hours' toil, we reached a chalet on the top of the mountain (the Wingernalp). This summer habitation of the shepherds was still unoccupied; for the snow having been unusually deep last winter, and the grass, till lately covered, being still very short, the cows have not ventured so high. Here we resolved upon a halt, and having implements for striking fire, a few dry sticks gave us a cheerful blaze in the open air. A pail of cream, or at least of very rich milk, was brought up by the shepherds, with a kettle to make coffee and afterwards boil the milk; very large wooden spoons or ladles answered the purpose of cups. The stock of provisions we had brought was spread upon the very low roof of the chalet, being the best station for our repas champetre, as it afforded dry seats sloping conveniently towards the prospect. We had then before us the Jungfrau, the two Eigers, and some of the highest summits in the Alps, shooting up from an uninterrupted level of glaciers of more than two hundred square miles; and although placed ourselves four thousand five hundred feet above the lake of Thun, and that lake one thousand seven hundred and eighty feet above the sea, the mighty rampart rose still six thousand feet above our head. Between us and the Jungfrau the desert valley of Trumlatenthal formed a deep trench, into which avalanches fell, with scarcely a quarter of an hour's interval between them, followed by a thundering noise continued along the whole range; not, however, a reverberation of sound, for echo is mute under the universal winding-sheet of snow, but a prolongation of sound, in consequence of the successive rents or fissures forming themselves when some large section of the glacier slides down one step.
We sometimes saw a blue line suddenly drawn across a field of pure white; then another above it, and another all parallel, and attended each time with a loud crash like cannon, producing together the effect of long-protracted peals of thunder. At other times some portion of the vast field of snow, or rather snowy ice, gliding gently away, exposed to view a new surface of purer white than the first, and the cast-off drapery gathering in long folds, either fell at once down the precipice, or disappeared behind some intervening ridge, which the sameness of colour rendered invisible, and was again seen soon after in another direction, shooting out of some narrow channel a cataract of white dust, which, observed through a telescope, was, however, found to be composed of broken fragments of ice or compact snow, many of them sufficient to overwhelm a village, if there had been any in the valley where they fell. Seated on the chalet's roof, the ladies forgot they were cold, wet, bruised, and hungry, and the cup of smoking café au lait stood still in their hand while waiting in breathless suspense for the next avalanche, wondering equally at the death-like silence intervening between each, and
the thundering crash which followed. I must own, that while we shut our ears, the mere sight might dwindle down to the effect of a fall of snow from the roof of a house; but when the potent sound was heard along the whole range of many miles, when the time of awful suspense between the fall and the crash was measured, the imagination, taking flight, outstripped all bounds at once, and went beyond the mighty reality itself. It would be difficult to say where the creative powers of imagination stop, even the coldest; for our common feelings—our grossest sensations—are infinitely indebted to them; and man, without his fancy, would not have the energy of the dullest animal. Yet we feel more pleasure and more pride in the consciousness of another treasure of the breast, which tames the flight of this same imagination, and brings it back to sober reality and plain truth. When we first approach the Alps, their bulk, their stability, and duration, compared to our own inconsiderable size, fragility, and shortness of days, strikes our imagination with terror; while reason, unappalled, measuring these masses, calculating their elevation, analysing their substance, finds in thern only 3 little inert matter, scarcely forming a wrinkle on the face of our earth, that earth an inferior planet in the solar system, and that system one only among myriads, placed at distances whose very incommensurability is in a manner measured. What, again, are those giants of the Alps, and their duration—those revolving worlds—that space—the universe—compared to the intellectual faculty capable of bringing the whole fabric into the compass of a single thought, where it is all curiously and accurately delineated How superior, again, the exercise of that faculty, when, rising from effects to causes, and judging by analogy of things as yet unknown by those we know, we are taught to look into futurity for a better state of existence, and in the hope itself find new reason to hope: We were shown an inaccessible shelf of rock on the west side of the Jungfrau, upon which a lammergeyer (the vulture of lambs) once alighted with an infant it had carried away from the village of Murren, situated above the Staubbach: some red scraps, remnants of the child's clothes, were for years observed, says the tradition, on the fatal spot.
MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY-MR JOHN BARRow— REW, MR WENABLEs.
Since the publication of Dr Clarke's first volume, in which he gave a view of Russia, that vast and in many respects interesting country has been visited by various Englishmen, who have given their observations upon it to the world. Amongst the books thus produced, one of the most amusing is Recollertions of a Tour in the North of Europe, 1838, by the MARQUIs of LoNDoNDERRY, whose rank and political character were the means of introducing him to many circles closed to other tourists. MR Jori N. BARRow, junior, son of the gentleman already mentioned as author of a work on China, and who has, during the last few years, devoted some portion of his time to travelling, is the author, besides works on Ireland and on Iceland, of Ercursions in the North of Europe, through parts of Russia, Finland, &c. 1834. He is invariably found to be a cheerful and intelligent companion, without attempting to be very profound or elaborate on any subject. Domestic Scenes in Russia, by the REv. MR VENABLEs, IS39, is an unpretending but highly interesting view of the interior life of the country. Mr Venables was married to a Russian lady, and he went to pass a winter with her relations, when he had an o tunity of seeing the daily life and social habits of the people. We give a few descriptive sentences:[Russian Peasants' Houses.]
These houses are in general extremely warm and substantial; they are built, for the most part, of unsquared logs of deal laid one upon another, and firmly secured at the corners where the ends of the timbers cross, and are hollowed out so as to receive and hold one another; they are also fastened together by wooden pins and uprights in the interior. The four corners are supported upon large stones or roots of trees, so that there is a current of air under the floor to preserve the timber from damp; in the winter, earth is piled up all round to exclude the cold; the interstices between the logs are stuffed with moss and clay, so that no air can enter. The windows are very small, and are frequently cut out of the wooden wall after it is finished. In the centre of the house is a stove called a peech [pechka], which heats the cottage to an almost unbearable degree; the warmth, however, which a Russian peasant loves to enjoy within doors, is proportioned to the cold which he is required to support without; his bed is the top of his peech; and when he enters his house in the winter pierced with cold, he throws off his sheepskin coat, stretches himself on his stove, and is thoroughly warmed in a few minutes.
[Employments of the People.]
The riches of the Russian gentleman lie in the labour of his serfs, which it is his study to turn to good account; and he is the more urged to this, since the law which compels the peasant to work for him, requires him to maintain i. peasant; if the latter is found begging, the former is liable to a fine. He is therefore a master who must always keep a certain number of workmen, whether they are useful to him or not; and as every kind of agricultural and outdoor employment is at a stand-still during the winter, he naturally turns to the establishment of a manufactory as a means of employing his peasants, and as a source of profit to himself. In some cases the manufactory is at work only during the winter, and the people are employed in the summer in agriculture; though, beyond what is necessary for home consumption, this is but an unprofitable trade in most parts of this empire, from the badness of roads, the paucity and distance of markets, and the consequent difficulty in selling produce.
The alternate employment of the same man in the field and in the factory, which would be attempted in most countries with little success, is here rendered practicable and easy by the versatile genius of the Russian peasant, one of whose leading national characteristics is a general capability of turning his hand to any kind of work which he may be required to undertake. He will plough to-day, weave to-morrow, help to build a house the third day, and the | fourth, if his master needs an extra coachman, he will mount the box and drive four horses abreast as though it were his daily occupation. It is probable that none of these operations, except, perhaps, the last, will be as well performed as in a country where the division of labour is more thoroughly understood. They will all, however, be sufficiently well done to serve the turn—a favourite phrase in Russia. These people are a very ingenious race, but perseverance is wanting; and though they will carry many arts to a high degree of excellence, they will generally stop short of the point of perfection, and it will be long before their manufactures can rival the finish and durability of English goods.
Excursions in the Interior of Russia, by Robert BREMNER, Esq. two volumes, 1839, is a very spirited and graphic narrative of a short visit to Russia
of the interior are valuable, for, as he remarks, “even in the present day, when the passion for travel has become so universal, and thousands of miles are thought as little of as hundreds were some years ago, the number of Englishmen who venture to the south of Moscow seldom exceeds one or two every year.” Mr Bremner is a lively scene-painter, and there is great freshness and vigour about all his descriptions. The same author has published Ercursions in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, two volumes, 1840. Before parting from Russia, it may be observed that no English book upon that country exceeds in interest A Residence on the Shores of the Baltic, Described in a Series of Letters (1841), being more particularly an account of the Estonians, whose simple character and habits afford a charming picture. This delightful book is understood to be from the pen of a young lady named Rigby. The most observant and reflecting of all the writing travellers of our age is undoubtedly MR SAMUEL LAING, a younger brother of the author of the History of Scotland during the seventeenth century. This gentleman did not begin to publish till a mature eriod of life, his first work being a Residence in K. and the second a Tour in Sweden, both of which abound in valuable statistical facts and welldigested information. Mr Laing resided two years in different parts of Norway, and concluded that the Norwegians were the happiest people in Europe. Their landed property is so extensively diffused in small estates, that out of a population of a million there are about 41,656 proprietors. There is no law of primogeniture, yet the estates are not subdivided into minute possessions, but average from forty to sixty acres of arable land, with adjoining natural wood and pasturage.
“The Bonder, or agricultural peasantry,” says Mr Laing, “each the proprietor of his own farm, occupy the country from the shore side to the hill foot, and up every valley or glen as far as corn can grow. This class is the kernel of the nation. They are in general fine athletic men, as their properties are not so large as to exempt them from work, but large enough to afford them and their household abundance, and even superfluity, of the best food. They farm not to raise produce for sale, so much as to grow everything they eat, drink, and wear in their families. They build their own houses, make their own chairs, tables, ploughs, carts, harness, iron-work, basket-work, and wood-work; in short, except window-glass, cast-iron ware and pottery, everything about their houses and furniture is of their own fabrication. There is not probably in Europe so great a population in so happy a condition as these Norwegian yeomanry. A body of small proprietors, each with his thirty or forty acres, scarcely exists elsewhere in Europe; or, if it can be found, it is under the shadow of some more imposing body of wealthy proprietors or commercial men. Here they are the highest men in the nation. * * The settlers in the newer states of America, and in our colonies, possess properties of probably about the same extent; but they have roads to make, lands to clear, houses to build, and the work that has been doing here for a thousand years to do, before they can be in the same condition. These Norwegian proprietors are in a happier condition than those in the older states of America, because they are not so much influenced by the spirit of gain. They farm their little estates, and consume the produce, without seeking to barter or sell, except what is necessary for paying their taxes and the few articles of luxury they consume. There is no money-getting spirit among them, and none of extravagance. They enjoy the comforts of excellent houses, as good and large as
during the autumn of 1836. The author's sketches
those of the wealthiest individuals; good furniture,