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· We have seen every where displayed in our progress thus far the benignity of the author, and his anxiety at all times for the triumph of liberty and happiness. The duration of these freebooters was something more than three-quarters of a century, and their depredations extended on both sides the isthmus to the Phillippine and Caribbean Islands. As circumstances required, they either crossed the land between the Atlantic and the Pacific, or encountered all the difficul. ties and dangers of the navigation of the southern Cape, neither the mountainous solitudes of the one, or the icy rocks of the other, obstructing their bold designs. We do not say that there have been no vagrant warriors of the same description with those which are the subject of this narrative; but we may assert, that there are none whose adventures are recorded with the same accuracy and precision, and certainly none in which the agents themselves, by their observations and writings, have supplied so large a portion of the materials of which their history is composed.
All Europeans in these remote situations, if they were not Spaniards, whether peace or war prevailed between their respective countries, considered themselves as friends and allies, to whom the Spaniards were the common enemy. Of such emigrants the greater portion was probably French, and the English the second in rank as to numbers. The first hunting parties of these intruders was at Hayti, and the object was to provision the ships. Afterwards they engaged in the chase to procure skins, and to cure the flesh, which would be in a more advanced state of society; and it is certain, that the appellation of Buccaneer was not at all known in 1575, at the time of Oxnam's expedition across the isthmus of America to the South Sea.
Of the early events at Hispaniola there is no particular account, but the war which took place with the Spaniards was of the most sanguinary character, the regular government not being at all behind hand in this respect with its irregular opponents. It was in 1586 that the English Captain Francis Drake plundered the city of St. Domingo, and then it was that the French and English in the West Indies increased so rapidly, that the Spaniards were under the necessity of abandoning all the western and north-western parts of Hispaniola, and as we have seen, soon after that period, began the confederacy of the Buccaneers.
We shall now shortly dispose of the second part of this CRIT. Rev. Vol. IV. July, 1816.
fourth volume, which treats of the voyages and discoveries in the South Sea after the Buccaneers had withdrawn; and we in this place must object to the detail of unsuccessful expeditions, which the author introduces with the view, as he supposes, to render his production more complete. Of this we have an example in the voyage of M. de Gennes, who, on the 3d June, 1691, sailed from Rochelle with six ships, three of them of considerable force, and whose object was to pass through the Streight of Magellan, and who, after a merciless adventure in the Slave Trade, and long and useless delays, returned to the port of departure in 1697, without accomplishing a single purpose of his expedition.
In the third chapter of this division, we have the details of the proceedings of the Spaniards in California, and the conquest in 1697. In the fourth chapter, the promising enterprise, undertaken by a commercial company in Scot. land, is stated, when a colony was formed at Darien, wbich would have opened new sources to the Indian trade, but out of which, we are told, the settlers were starved at the request of the East India Company, and it was finally aban. doned in the year 1700. The ifth chapter supplies the voyage of M. Beauchesne Gouin, when an association was entered into in France for establishing colonies in the parts of South America not occupied by Europeans. Here the preparations were on too large a scale for the means, which was precisely the contrary in the voyage of Capt. William Dampier, recorded in chapter seven, who was provided only with an old worn-out vessel called the Roebuck, which foundered through the infirmity of age at the island of Ascension.'
The last voyage recorded here is the circumnavigation by Jacob Roggewein, and according to our view of the nature of the undertaking, this, as well as that of M. de Gennes, ought to have been excluded, and especially as the author has admitted, that “the voyage of Jacob Roggewein, from the obscure manner in which his track is described, has been productive of more geographical discussion than any other voy. age in the history of maritime discoveries.” Much, he adds, has been cleared up by later voyages; and why the modern reader is to wait for the light these afford until a future uncertain period, instead of having the obscurity re. moved under the advantages of the present state of knowledge, we can in no way imagine. If this extensive publi. cation were alone intended for amusement, like the tales of fictious writers, we should not perhaps object to such a scheme; but as it is designed to exhibit a full view of the present state of cosmographical science within the range of the South Seas and their several ramifications, we cannot at all approve of this useless and mortifying delay.
nslations of Hich and 107tles we reviewed
ART. VIII.-Memoir of the early Life of William Cowper,
Esq. written by himself, and never before published; with an Appendix, containing some of Cowper's religious Letters, and other interesting Documents illustrative of the
Memoir. London. Edwards, 1816, 12mo. Pp. 126. The works of the subject of this interesting piece of selfbiography, have been frequently considered in our former numbers. In our 53d and 60tb volumes we reviewed his Original Poems ; in the 74th and 107th, the different editions of his Translations of Homer; and in the 108th and 113th, the three quarto volumes of the Life and Posthumous Writings of the same author by Mr. Hayley. With regard to the last, we objected to the expensive form of printing, when so small a portion of the work was applied by the editor to the private history of his friend.
The deficiency we have just alluded to, is in some degree, and under the best authority, supplied in the little produce tion before us; yet it is more the history of Mr. Cowper's feelings than of his actions. Mr. Hayley divided his life into three sections: first, to his 50th year, when he appeared before the public as an author; secondly, to the ap. pearance of his translation of Homer; and lastly, from that period to his death. We do not at all impugn the reserve and delicacy of this gentleman, which led hiin so soon after the decease of Mr. Cowper to withhold the narrative in what respected the early situation of his friend; but now that so long an interval has elapsed, we are extremely glad to have the vacuum filled up, for no doubt, should unnecessarily remain with regard to a character of such importance to taste, literature, and morals.
We may in a very few words state the simple facts or incidents of the life of Mr. Cowper, as they are related by himself, to the year 1765, with which period this publication concludes. At six years old, he was taken from the nursery, and sent to a considerable school in Bedfordshire. At eight he was committed during one year to an oculist for the cure of a weakness in his eyes. From thence he went to Westminster School, and at twelve or thirteen was attacked
where he eyed to Dr C complete
by the small-pox. At eighteen years old he was withdrawn from Westminster, and having staid nine months at home, he was placed with an attorney to acquire the praco tice of the law. When he was of age he entered on chambers in the Temple, and being seized with a dejection of spirits, he niade an excursion of some months to Southampton. A place being offered him after his return, con. nected with the conduct of the journals of Parliament, he studied their contents, with the view to prepare himself for the duty; but it being required that he should be examined at the Bar of the House of Lords, that his competency might be ascertained, he made several attempts at suicide; death being more tolerable to him than such a public exhi. bition. In a state of coinplete derangement he was, in 1763, conveyed to Dr. Cotton's establishment at St. Albar's, where he remained for eighteen months, and one third of that interval under the immediate care of the physician. About this time he resigned his situation of commissioner of bankrupts, on the conscientious ground of his being inadequate to the duties of it; and being now disengaged from all business, in June, 1765, he repaired to private lodgings at Huntingdon; and in November of the same year he was received as a boarder into the family of the Rev. Mr. Unwin of that place.
He gives the following melancholy account of himself prior to the time appointed for the public examination to which we have alluded.
« One evening in November, 1763, as soon as it was dark, affecting as cheerful and unconcerned an air as possible, I went into an apothecary's shop, and asked for an half ounce phial of laudanum. The man seemed to observe me narrowly; but if he did, I managed my voice and countenance so as to deceive him. The day that required my attendance at the bar of the House, being not yet come, and about a week distant, I kept my bottle close in my sidepocket, resolved to use it when I should be convinced there was no other way of escaping. This, indeed, seemed evident already; but I was willing to allow myself every possible chance of that sort, and to protract the horrid execution of my purpose, till the last moment; but Satan was impatient of delay.
“ The day before the period above mentioned arrived, being at Ricbards's coffee-house at breakfast, I read the newspaper, and in it a letter, which the further I perused it, the more closely engaged my attention. I cannot now recollect the purport of it; but before I had finished it, it appeared demonstratively true to me, that it was a libel, or satire, upon me. The author appeared to be acquainted with my purpose of self-destruction, and to have written that letter
on purpose to secure and basten the execution of it. My mind, probably, at this time began to be disordered; however it was. I was certainly given up to a strong delusion. I said within myself,
your cruelty shall be gratified; you shall have your revenge;' and flinging down the paper, in a fit of strong passion, I rushed hastily out of the room; directing my way towards the fields, where I intended to find some house to die in; or, if not, determined to poison myself in a ditch, when I should meet with one sufficiently retired.
“ Before I had walked a mile in the fields, a thought struck me that I might yet spare iny life; that I had nothing to do but to sell what I had in the funds, (which might be done in an hour) go on board a ship, and transport myself to France. There, when every other way of maintenance should fail, I promised myself a com: fortable asylum in some monastery, an acquisition easily made, by changing my religion. Not a little pleased with this expedient, I returned to my chambers, to pack up all that I could at so sbort a notice; but while I was looking over my portmanteau, my mind changed again; and self-murder was recommended to me once more, in all its advantages.,
• Not knowing where to poison myself, for I was liable to continual interruption in my chambers, from my laundress and her husband, I laid aside that intention, and resolved upon drowning. For that purpose, I immediately took a coach, and ordered the man to drive to Tower Wharf; intending to throw myself into the river, from the Custom-house Quay. It would be strange, should I omit to observe here, how I was continually hurried away from such places as were mo-t favourable to my design, to others, where it must be almost impossible to execute it ;—from the fields, where it was im. probable that any thing should happen to prevent me, to the Custom-house Quay, where every thing of that kind was to be expected: and this by a sudden impulse, which lasted just long enough to call me back again to my chambers, and was immediately withdrawn. Nothing ever appeared more feasible, than the project of going to France, till it had served its purpose, and then, in an instant, it appeared impracticable and absurd, even to a degree of ridicule.
“ My life, which I had called my own, and claimed a right to dispose of, was kept from me by him whose property indeed it was, and who alone had a right to dispose of it. This is not the only occasion, on which it is proper to make this remark; others will offer themselves in the course of this narrative, so fairly, that the reader cannot overlook them.
" I left the coach upon the Tower Wharf, intending never to return to it; but upon coming to the Quay, I found the water low, and a porter seated upon some goods there, as if on purpose to prevent me. This passage to the bottomless pit being mercifully shut against me, I returned back to the coach, and ordered it to return to the Temple. I drew up the shutters, once more had re