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• F. Will this method of yours assist us at all in settling the fa mous and long contested passage of Shakespear in the Tempest? “ These
Tempest, page 15, col. 1, Many peļsans, you know, and those of 110 mean authority, instead of RACKE read WRĘCK. And Sir Thomas Hanmer reads. TRACK: which Mr. Steevens says" may be supported by the fol lowing passage in the first scene of Timon of Athens”.
“ But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
Leaving no tract behind." H. The ignorance and presumption of his commentators have shamefully disfigured Shakespear's text. The first folio, notwithstanding some few palpable misprints, requires none of their alterations. Had they understood English as well as he did, they would not have quarrelled with his language. '* F. But if Racke is to remain, what does it mean?' P. 388.
After enumerating some errors of Dr. Johnson and Mr. Malone, with rather less asperity than his master, Sir Francis repeats :
"Upon the whole, What does Rack mean? And observe, you will not satisfy my question by barely suggesting a signification; but you must shew me etymologically, how the word Rack comes to have the signification which you may attribute to it.
* H.You ask no more than what should always be done by those who undertake to explain the meaning of a doubtful word. It surely is not sufficient to produce instances of its use, from whence to conjecture a meaning ; though instances are fit to be produced, it order, by the use of the word, to justify its offered etymology.
• Rack is a very common word, most happily used in the Tempest, and ought not to be displaced because the commentators know not its meaning. If such a rule for banishing words were adopted, the commentators themselves would, most of them, become speechless.
• In Songs and Sonets by the Earl of Surrey and others, page 61, we read:
" When clouds be driven, then rides the rackE." • By this instance also we may see that Rack does not mean the course of the clouds when in motion.
“ Sume time we see a clowd that's dragonish,
Antony and Cleopatra. page 362. col. 1, Mr. Steevens says--- The RACK dislimes, i.e. The fleeting away of the clouds destroys the picture."
• But ihe horse may be dislimed by the approach of the RACK, as well as by the fleeting away of the clouds : fur RACK means nothing but Vapour ; as Shakespear, ja a preceding line of this passage, terms it.'
P. 391. Mr. Tooke then, in his usaal method of giving importance to his opinion, subjoins numerous and tedious instances from ancient writers, and in page 393, seeins to draw towards a conclusion.
• Rack means merely- That which is Reeked. And, whether written rak, WRAICU, RECK, Reik, roik, or reek E, is the same word differently pronounced and spelled. It is merely the past tense and therefore past participle, neac or nec, of the Anglosaxon verb recan, exhalare, To Reek. And is surely the most appropriate term that could be employed by Shakespear in this passage of the Tempest; to represent to us, that the dissolution and annihilation of the globe, and all which it inherit, should be so total and compolete ;--they should so ''melt into ayre, into thin ayre ;"—as not to leave behind them even a l'apour, a Steam, or an Exhalation, to give the slighiest notice that such things had ever been.
• Since you seem to be in no haste to reply upon me, I conclude that the explanation is sutisfactory. And on this subject of Suburdition' (Where is the Subaudition?)' I will at present exercise your patience 110 farther, for my own begins to Aag. You have now instances of my doctrine (What doctine? that a word used adjectively is the past tence of another word used as a verb? Is that a doctrine, which liis man of straw is to take proofs of ?)
in a thousand instances' (where ten would have fully answered the end). • Their number may be easily increased,' (That we readily hclieve.) • ljut, lirust, these are sufficient to discard that imagined operation of the mind, which has been termed Abstruction: and to provë, ihat what we call by that name, is merely one of the contritances of lunguage, for the purpose of more speedy communication.' P. 390.
When the atheists discard a Deity from the universe, or any principle avalogous to intelligence, they substitute for them, chance, necessity, or the eternal laws of nature. We are far from imagining a man-nay, a clergyman, of Mr. Tooke's kuuwu orthodoxy, to have any purp sis beterodox of profane; and we know the risk of any imputation of that nature on so sacred a character ; but we inust be allowed to smile at the resemblance of the righteous and the wicked. Abstraction, or an effort at abstraction, is unquestionably an effort of what is denominated the mind. No, says Mr. Tooke -this would be poetry, and the substitution of a moral cause. • It is only the contrivance of lunguage.' And what is language, that it should have the faculty of contrivance? Is not this poetry? Is it not substituting a moral cause! He might as well have affirmed that algebra is not the restilt of reason or of the mind, but the contrivance of algebraic language to simplity and accelerate the communication of ideas.
We must trespass again on the patience of our readers, and once more deter the consideration of this iinportant work to our next. Number, when we shall take our leave of
(To be continued.)
ART. VIII.-A Tour in Zealand in the Year 1802; with an
Historical Sketch of the Battle of Copenhagen. By d Native of Denmark. The Second Edition. Sto. 58. Baldwin. 1805.
THERE exists anong the continental nations å marked fondness for iinitating whatever is English. It was for the purpose of combating this ruling ANGLOMANIA in the minds otbis countrymen, that M. Fierde, who now enjoys a place of trust under the French government, came over during the truce which succeeded the treaty of Amiens, and on bis return published his · Letters on England,' a work as full of misrepresentations or falsehoods, as ever issued from the pen of the most superficial observer, or the most audacious contemner of truth. The author of the present work, a native of Denmark, seems to be infected with the same partiality; for having had occasion to take a journey of business or pleasure, to the distance of a few miles from Copenhagen, a:d understanding that in this country it is not easy for any cne to travel from London to York or Canterbury without laying an account of his escursion before the worid, he was induced by the above motive, by the thirst of fame, or by desire of monej, to follow the example of Luglishmen. But recollecting that bis placid countrymen bad too much phlegın or too much sense to be entrapped into the purchase of a work which promised so ill to reward their liberality, be took his passage from Touringen, and put his manuscript into the bands of a London printer.
It is our duty to premise, that the correctness of the style and language with which this volume is written, does the greatest credit to the author, and, we hope, will encourage other foreigners to the study of the English language. He assures ús that he has only been two years in this country.
The English reader, who has probably but an imperfect acquaintance with the geography of Scandinavia, will be apt to expect in the present work, an account of the princi. pal productions of nature, and the most curious works of art, (if indeed there be any works of art in Denmark, except the great drinking-born at Copenhagen, described by Gathrie many years ago) he will look for inforination on the natural history and the government of the Danish dominions, together with observations, at least as profound as are asually met with in books of a similar description, or the manners and customs of their inhabitants. Such espectations will be damped when he hears, that this ‘Tour in Zealand' was. performed on foot in the space of somewhat less than a forta night, and that the limit of our author's excursion did not extend to more than thirty miles from the city whencë he set out. Any person therefore who should take a walk from London to Gravesend, and give an account of whatever happened to n:cet his eye in the villages through which he passed, would possess a store of materials calculated to fill a volume but more iinportant similar than the present, inasmuch as the neighbourhood of the British metropolis doubtless furnishes a greater variety of ertatic musicians, danciog bears, and puppet-shows, than the vicinity of the capital of Denmark. Our English tourist would commence bis work with an account of thie obelisk in St. George's fields; he would then turn out of his way to amuse his readers with a desctiption of the motley groupe of Sunday company, at the gara ders of the Dog and Duck; he would copy epitaphs from the church-yards of Newington of Deptford; and if fortunë had ordained that his journey should take place in Easterweek, the whimsical sports of Greenwich bill would gives interesting diversity to his narrative. Of precisely similar places and things, the pages before us contain a full, and, we doubt not, a true account. But as a candid critic never withholds praise where praise is due, so must we return our thanks to this author for not filling a larger volume with his descriptions, for not making more copious extracts froin the books enumerated in his preface, and for not extending to a greater length the speculations and reflections to which his own understanding hasgiven birth. Hlappily for reviewers and for literature, the iron age of folios is past; the present, which
is an æra of quartos, may fairly be ealled the brazen age of learning; and grateful must the public be to the man who brings us to the days of Silver, and confines his lucubrations within the limits of a modest octavo..
Let it not, however, be hastily imagined that we have derived vo gratification from the perusal of this work. The very first page is calculated to excite pleasing emotions in the breast of the philanthropist. It contains an account of the monument erected in the vicinity of Copenhagen, to commemorate the emancipation of the Danish peasantry. Humanity rejoices in the contemplation of an act which relects the highest honour on the head and heart that planned and executed it; which demonstrates the progress of civilization, the expansion of the human intellect, the increase of social happiness, and the extension of real liberty --of liberty founded on the principles of moderation, justice, and reason.
We set off in the month of June, by the Western gate, close without which a glorious monument stands on the high road, in cominemoration of the emancipation of the peasants.
'Four figures of white marble, emblematical of peace, plenty, content, and industry, occupy the corners of the pelestal; from the center of which rises a beautiful pyramid. On one square of the base is written, “ For Christian den syvende de Danskes og
Norgkes Konge af eenige og taknemmelige Borgere."* And on the other, “Grundsteenen blev lagraf Frederik Kongens Son, Folkets Ven. 1792.”+ The body of the pyramid contains two inscriptions, purporting, that the king considered liberty, rationally exercised, as an incentive to virtue, --a promoter of happiness, and a stimulus to loyalty and patriotism.
Such a monument cannot but gratify the feelings of every behoider. The affluent, who commiserated the former sufferings of the rustics, rejoice at this triumph of humanity; while the peasantry contemplate it.with enthusiasm, as descriptive of their rescue from slavery, and their elevation to that rank of society, which is the prerogative of human beings. Even the stranger is interested : On viewing it, he conceives a favourable opinion of the government which studies to give happiness to those, whose ancestry, by resigning their rights and privileges to the crown, estublished the basis of its independence." P. 1.
The concluding sentence of the above extract naturally
* “ To Christian the Seventh, King of the Danes and Norwegians, from anited and grateful citizens."
+ " The foundation stone was laid by Frederick, son of the king, the friend of the people. 1792."