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gravings, representing the different varieties of the two diseases under discussion.
ART. V.- Letters from Paraguay, describing the Settlements
of Monte Video and Brenos Ayres, the Presidencies of Rioja Mlinor, Nombre de Dios, Št. Mary, and St. John, &c. &c. with the Manners, Customs, Religious Ceremonies, 8c of the Inhabitants; written during a Residence of Seventeen Months in that Country. By John Constanse Davie, Esq. Robinson. 8vo. pp. 293. 1805.
THE Spanish settlements in South America have been guarded from the intrusion of strangers with so rigorous a care, and the native and European inhabitants have had the powers of their minds so paralysed by a superstitious religion and a despotic government, that we have, comparatively speaking, few and imperfect accounts of these extensive and important districts. In almost all instances, our knowledge of them, at least of a very modern date, is confined to a superficial delineation of the shores, and even that degree of information we have not always attained. Whole provinces, countries equalling in extent and fertility the largest empires of Europe, are yet involved in this mystery, which for the last half century scarcely a ray of ,knowledge, has appeared to dissipate. Additional information ou topics so little understood, and more especially the accounts of recent observers, cannot fail to be received with a considerable portion of curiosity. And we entertain no. doubt, that the present work is the fruit of considerations of the kind now stated, and of calculations in wbich the one thing needful has not been forgotten.
Mir. Davie, potwithstanding his strange combination of names, assures us that he is a native of England, driven by a disappointinent of a tender nature to seek that happiness in an ever changing variety of scenes, which the monotonous uniforinity of his own country was unable to afford bim. Like the rest of the race of love-sick and heart-broken swains, he pours forth his sentiments and observations to sooth his own pains and exhilarate the friendly soul of a personage who is here embodied into a real form, and iniroduced to all company who please to visit him, first paying entrance money, as - Yorke, Esq.of Taunton Dean, in the county of Somerset, half brother of the author. We really
tbiok, and cannot help observing, that considering the casiness of the thing, this gentleman, the near relation of Mr. Davie, and surely somehow implicated in the publication of his work, might have been provided with a Christian name. In the letters addressed to him by Mr. Davie, it is also worthy of remark, that he is always styled friend, and never once saluted by the natural and endearing name of brother.
The scene opens at New York, whither our adventurer had directed his course, with the view, it would appear, of wandering about he knew not well where, on the continent of North America. From this resolution he iş diverted by the more enticing prospect of a voyage to that land of thieves and pickpockets, Botany Bay; and in order that the gratification of his avarice might keep pace with that of his curiosity and restlessness, he faced the dangers of the ocean, in company with an adventure of old clothes, which it seems are well suited to the persons and purses of the rogues of the South Sea. Before his setting out on this voyage, however, Mr. Davie entertains us to the best of his power, by sundry observations on the country and population of the United States, with the latter of which he appears not altogether delighted. Nature, according to bin, when forming that nether world, (why nether?) had exhausted all her treasures on the inanimate part of the creation, and consequently had been obliged to cobble up the inhabitants out of what shreds she bad remaining. When this magnificent flight was writing, surely the author bad forgotten that twelve bonest men exhausted a great deal more of their treasures in forming the present population of Ainerica, tban eyerdid Dame Nature in her most bountiful mood. Mir. Davie, however, is of opinion, that when the States once grow rich and powerful, the ideas of the Columbrians may expand. Then, exclaims he, philosophers, astronomers, and metaphysicians will spring up, with intellects as capacious and profound as that overgrown country seems to demand, that all its parts may be in uvison; that is, we suppose, with over-grown intellects.
Mr. Davie appears extremely disgusted with the AngloAmericans, on account of the very short time that they allot to their meals, which lie assures us are dispatched with as much assiduity as if their eternal welfare 'de pended on their expedition. This, which is an objection very natural for one of our countrymen to make, the delicate ticklishness of whose palates has been long celebrated, arises in our transatlantic brethren, froin their excessive eagerness to pursue the more gainfol projects of merchandise. Such privation of all luxuries is in these letters eeriously reprehended, and the food of the inhabitants of the United States is provounced to be plain, but wholesome, by a character named Jack Bacher, who is introduced for the sole purpose of uttering the oracular proposition, that no bellycheating kickshaws are introduced to tantalise the appetite. The American ladies, too, according to this author's account, are patterns of domestic economy, and practise in perfection that cleanliness which, with plentiful libations and hebdomadal activity, exorcises every dead and living thing' within the precincts of the mansion. Nor are these dames of the brush and broom more expert in using than in manufacturing the implements of domestic labour; and our author expresses unnecessary surprise at the making of a mop by one of his fair friends of the western continent. The male part of the Americans are here represented as altogether as much attached to the accumulation of wealth by commerce, as their better halves are to the acquisition of health by scrubbing their floors; and the love of these men o board their ricies is ridiculously attributed to a spirit of patriotişin which envies the pre-eminence of England, and longs to rival her power and counteract her influence. This tissue of speculation is curiously enough concluded by a zuery, which it has puzzled poor Mr. Davie to answer in a very grievous manner: this is no other than the inquiry, why does the pursuit of gain tend to narrow the mind? or, as it is here more learnedly and metaphorically expressed, the genial effusions of the soul, which in itself is free and liberal. Really it crossing seas and occans, and perambulating foreign lands, serve no better purpose than to raise these doubts without tending to their explanation, we envy not the benefits of travel; for surely it is no task of insura mountable difficulty to explain, why the pursnit and the love of pecuniary advantage follow each other, and operas ate by a direct influence to deaden every nobler feelingo of the human heart, and to blunt the fine edge of our more delicate perceptions.
In a visit to some of his American acquaintances, Mr. Davie met with two emigrants from Ireland, who were bound to the banks of the Ohio, where they entertained reasonable hopes of obtaining independence and ultimate wealth. The occasion, however, is not lost by our author of uttering a string of ten times repeated observations on the impolicy of our government, in permitting these emigrations o proceed unmolested; but the real fact appears to be that
Hany parts of our own country produce more inhabitants than they can furnish with the means of a comfortable livelihood; and we are not of those who prefer a numerous and halfa starved population, to one of moderate numbers and plentiful comforts. But Mr. Davie is most unquestionably right in one thing, that the spirit of enigration is to be combated nol by nugatory and penal restrictions, but by providing at home the ineans of a decent subsistence. Yet, though something of this kind may probably be done in all the parts of the united kingdoms, the extention of such plans is limited within a boundary which the nature or eira. cumstances will prevent all exertions to surpass. Ainongst the emigrants of our country, however, Mr. Davie saw no Scotch, though he heard of many; and he takes occasion to remark that he does not wonder at their leaving their native places, where few will stay to till the barren soil, who can procure the means of removal. On this occasion, without any desire to prove the fertility of the Scotch soil, we wilt yenture to observe, nor fear the danger of contradiction, that never a man of our northern neighbours abandoned his natal spot froin the trouble of cultivating an ungrateful land; · but very many have for ever bid adieu to the shores of their ancestors for want of soil to lill, or employment to procure a subsistence. The 'Scotch are proverbially attached to their native country, and cling with the fondness of enthu. siasm to their barren and romantic rocks.: Mr. Davie's proposition inay be granted to be true, when' he, or any one else, shall be able to point out a corner of ground in Seotland turned to no account, for want solely of a hand to call forth its productive powers, or a manufactory at a stand from a deficiency of people to conduet it. · Towever, our author proceeds to remark, for he is a very remarking mail, that it is a scandalous thing in government to lose quietly so large a portion of their useful subjects, and above all to neglect so promising an establishment as the fisheries on our northern coasts, which might, if properly conducted, prove so beneficial to the national interests. Mr. Davie's scheme to correct these defects, is one not the most likely in the world to be adopted with success; he exhorts the nation to establish on a royal foundation this extensive branch of commerce, and pronounces with apophtheginatical condence that a royal fishery would provide not only herrings for our peo ple, but seamen for our navy. Now, though all this be a consummation devoutly to be wished, we leir there is little probability of attaining our purpose by such measures and when we hear of national fisheries, we cannot help refle non
ing on the fate of King James's colony on the Isle of Skye, which the envy of the ancient inhabitants pursued first to distress, and finally to utter ruin. We believe there are very few instances of any royal manufaetory or commercial concern turning out to royal profit; and to support any such establishment at an expence which the produce does not pay, is merely, in other words, to bestow a certain number of pensions and gratuities on tho e who, if they deserve na. tional assistance, should receive it in an open way, and if they do not deserve it, ought not to be paid for fictitious services. But the true and only method of encouraging fisheries, or any other commercial undertaking, is to render them beneficial for the adventurers, though it may often be a matter of extreme difficulty to discover how that is to be achieved; and nothing can be more ill judged than the remarks thrown out in this volume, that the fisheries are now in the hands of a few private individuals, who naturally enough prefer private emolument to public good. In all cases these two are inseparable.
We have already lingered so long with Mţ. Davie on the shores of North America, that we must hasten to put him on board his vessel, with his cargo from Rag-fair, and trust him to the mercy of the winds and waves. Accordingly he set sail from New York, for New South Wales, with fair prospects; but, as he sagely remarks, what man appoints God disappoints; and a calm first, and then a hurricane drove them for shelter into a port little frequented by Eng. lish vessels, that of Monte Video, in the great river La Plata. This incident it is which affords to Mr. Davie the means of inditing his epistles from Paraguay; for soon after his arrival in that country he was attacked by some disease incident to Europeans on their first going into these latitudes, and bis illness proved so tedious and so dangerous, that his American shipmates were obliged to abandon him to the care and humanity of strangers, and national enemies; but these strangers were Spaniards, these national foes were of that proud and honourable race, who disdain to triumph over weakness and misery, or to add private and unnecessary distress to the unavoidable horrors of warfare. How different would have been bis füle in the dominions of the French! But under Spanish controul his personal afflictions were alleviated, humanity held out her hand to restore his health, and no further restraint was enjoined him than the jealous maxinis of their government have long and universally put in practice upon individuals of every nation. Mr. Davie lodged in the house of a merchant from the Canaries, and was