21 NOVEMBER 1835, Page 17


DR. WILSON is a Navy surgeon ; apparently possessing much geographical art, a good deal of general knowledge, and the temper and adoptability of manners found in most professional men, who have mixed in various societies in various and trying cir- cumstances, and practically feel that conclusion of the poet's which dandy Radicals only talk about, that "a man's a man for a' that."' The Doctor has also an adventurous spirit, and an iron constitu- tion, which he tries more than he would allow a patient to do. He appears, too, to have seen much service, especially in the manage- ment of convicts, and to have suffered some losses and many hard- ships in the course of his sea voyages. The cream of his Austra- lian experience is presented in the appendix of' the volume before us ; the text contains an account of his adventures and observa- tions in one of the many voyages he has made to the "fifth quarter' of the glob*. The title of the work is not in strictness accurate. Dr. WIL- SON can scarcely be said to have circumnavigated the globe; and both the interest and detail of his narrative cease with his voyage round New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. The tem-. porary value of the book, too, would have been much greater had it been published at an earlier period. Even in a permanent society like that of England, what changes have not taken place within the last six years !—how much greater, then, must these changes have been in settlements like Swan River and King George's Sound, where the tide of emigration is constantly intro-• duciog new inhabitants, and a year effects art alteration its the exter- nal appearance of the country itself? The picture of the new settle- ment, with its foolish-dreaming masters and idle servants, has there- fore merely an historical interest. The same remark may be ex- tended to the Doctor's accurate surveys of the country, and of the sea approaches to the Swan; as well as to his excursion into the interior from King George's Sound,--although this is varied by some very clever sketches of his companions, and of the pleasant hardships of bush-ranging. A similar objection might be sup- posed to apply to the other parts of the work; but not justly. The risks of a voyage amongst the thickly-studded seas of the Northern coasts of Australia, the bustle of a wreck, and the perils and privations endured in crowded boats during a run of 1300 wiles, are independent of time; especially when they are told with clearnessand truth, and incidentally display the general con- fidence of Englishmen in one another, the discipline which habit maintains in situations where all distinctions would seem liable to be confounded, and the thoughtless jollity of sailors that bursts 'out when immediate danger ceases and the spirits are raised by a double allowance of grog. The history of the deserted settle- ments on the Northern coasts of New Holland are also new, we believe, to the public : the author's account of the natives cer- tainly is so; and is not only amusing in itself, but valuable for the lessons which the prudent humanity of himself and the late Captain BARKER may read to all new settlers and the comman- ders of settlements. Of the practical value of the numerous geo- graphical facts the Doctor has collected, we are scarcely qualified to speak ; but, judging from the rare visits of scientific men, eith the requisite leisure and inclination, to the seas from Torres Straits to Timor, the numerous observations of the latitude and longitude of rocks, reefs, and islands, must be useful, whether they correct or whether they confirm the account of the charts.

Dr. WILSON embarked at Sydney, for Batavia, in the Governor Ready. After an unsuccessful attempt to double Cape Leuwin, on the Western coast, it was determined, although early in the season, to try the passage through Torres Straits. In this in- tricate channel the vessel suddenly struck upon a coral rock, and the crew escaped in their boats to Timor. Thence Dr. WILSON accompanied an official friend to the settlement at Raffles Bay ; And when that embryo colony was abandoned, sailed with the Commandant to Swan River, thence to St. George's Sound ; and finally embarked in a trader at Launceston, Van Diemen's Land, and reached England by way of Cape Horn. The book, as may be gathered from our remarks, is very read- -able; written in a clear and lively style, and with something of spirit and character. The whole, indeed, reminds one of the im- pressions made by the voyages of Coox and his successors; though Dr. WILSON of necessity lacks their freshness of informa- tion. As regards his manner, however, he may speak for him- self. Here is a passage from the wreck. They have been run- ning for several days through the channel which separates New Guinea from New Holland, with varying weather; but now it .comes on to blow—

The sea was now becoming formidable, the wind augmenting- in strength, and all appearances indicated that our dangers were increasing. 'We continued advancingtogether till noon, when we fortunately obtained the sun's meridian altitude, which showed our latitude to be 10 degrees 59 seconds ; but, much to our astonishment and vexation, there was no appearance of land. Just as we finished the observation, the skiff suddenly hove to, and the chief mate hailed us to do the Caine; but this was impossible, as we were compelled to run before the wind, even if it had been to certain destruction.

The jolly, boat came on with us, and those on board her expressed an earnest desire to be received into the long-boat. We did not at all relish this proposal ; and they were rather harshly reproached with having lost courage, and admo- nished to be of good cheer. We shortened sail, and tired several muskets for the skiff to join us ; but we had the mortification, in a short time, to lose sight of her, by which circumstance we were greatly depressed.

The wind and sea were gradually acquit ing strength; and those in the jolly- boat renewed their pressing solicitations to be taken on board the long-boat. We were greatly annoyed at this, more particularly as they seemed to be "dodg- ing" about us, in order to seize an opportunity of jumping on board, regardless of consequences; but we succeeded in getting to windward of therm when they waved their hands and bade us farewell.

We then hailed, and informed them, that, should the weather become worse, we would consider whether we could receive them on board before dark. At this time the sun broke through the clouds, and we seized the opportunity of ascertaining the apparent time. Some thought they saw the laud bearing S.S.W. ; but! believe it was only a heavy, low cloud. As the night drew on, the weather grew more tempestuous. We now deliberated whether we ought or ought not, under existing circum- stances, to take the jolly-boat's crew on board. She was a fine boat, and had behaved and was behaving remarkably well ; while the long-boat was already too deeply laden, and required the constant labour of two hands to keep her free. However, we unanimously agreed, although with much increased hazard of our own lives, to admit them on board, as they had evidently yielded to -des_pair, and consequently could not exert their energies in case of emergency.

We made known to them our determination ; but previously to receiving them (trusting to the rain), we thought it prudent to pump off a cask of fresh water, which, with several other things, we threw overboard to lighten the boat. They were then cautioned to come on board carefully, one by one, in case of doing irreparable injury to our frail bulwark : this they agreed to do ; but, unmindful of their promise, as soon as it was in their power, they all jumped in together. This imprudent action might have been attended with fatal consequences, if several of us, who had little dependence on their pro- misee, bad not taken the precaution to place ourselves on the larboard side, and thereby balanced the boat Few were the greetings between us and the new- comers, who were placed in different parts of the boat to preserve her trim. The jolly-boat, thus abandoned, skimmed away like a sea-fowl over the waves ; while the long-boat, overpressed by her additional burden, could scarcely swim. To add to our uneasiness, the night was coming out, the wind increasing to a heavy gale, accompanied by a deluge of rain, and the sea ran mountains high. It now behoved us to be most attentive to the steerage; as the neglect of a moment might prove our ruin. We kept W. by S. for Melville Island ; but our hdpes of reaching it were very slender. By great vigilance we managed to elude the encroachments of the waves, till about nine, p. en., when a heavy sea, whose death-denoting sound still lingers in my ears, rolled over the lar- boald quarter and filled the beat. For a moment we were paralyzed, believing that we were going down, without the most distant hope of any one of us being saved. Finding, however, that the boat still floated, we took heart, baled away, and threw every article of no essential importance overboard. The sea had upset the compass, extinguished the light, and rendered it im- possible for us to obtain soother; yet we managed (although the task was dif- ficult) to keep this boat right before the wind. Just as we had got her baled out, she was again filled by another wave. We now determined to hazard the dangerous experiment of taking in the mainsail : this being effected, awl the reefed-jib set, we could do no more than quietli submit to the willof Him who " rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm. '

It was fortunate that we acted thus, as not even a spray broke over its afterwards. Often did we expect to be overwhelmed by the following sea, whuee dismaying roar seemed a summons to eternity ; but our gallant beat be- haved beyond all expectation well,. bearing us in safety over the curling sum- mits of the highest waves.


Throughout the passage, rigid discipline and strict impartiality being els- aerved, no insubordination nor the slightest disturbance occurred among the crew ; whose behaviour was highly creditable to themselves, and well worthy of imitation by others, who may hereafter be placed in the same trying saint. tion. We lived very sparingly, from motives of prudential caution ; yet we did not experience any very great privations. Besides having a little biscuit daily, we had either a bit of cheese, or a morsel of salt beef; and although we had to eat the hitter raw, it did not prove unpalatable, when we reflected on the horrible means to which others, similarly circumstanced, had been compelled to resort ; the dread of which being constantly in our minds, made us exceedingly frugal ; so that, on our arrival, we had sufficient provisions to support life for nearly a month longer. We had, as before-mentioned, a littlebrandy in the boat ; which being issued daily after dinner, in the proportion of one third of a wine-glassful to each indi- vidual, lasted till the day before we made the land ; and, small as the quantity was, it added comfort to our scanty fare. From our having pumped off a cask of water, before receiving the jolly-boat's crew on board, it behoved us to be and we were exceedingly cautious in the expenditure of this important article; but the rain generally affording a supply, we suffered little or no inconvenienc: front thirst.

The following anecdotes are from the account of the aborigines at Rattles Bay. "Wellington ''—of course a nickname—is a na- tive chief; and " Miago," one of his people, who from a longer standing in the settlement has gained an inlluence which is grating to his superior. " Mandrowillie" means a person of the lowest class—

While we were at tiffin in the cabin, Wellington came down and requested that no present might be given to any person but himself. This prohibition was directed in a special manner against Miago. Then turning round to the Captain's steward, he inquired his name, and what he was. On learning that he was a mandrowillie, he immediately took him by the back of the neck, and endeavoured to thrust him out of the cabin. Being requested to desist, he did so, but with sonic reluctance ; he requested permission to sit down with us, and was gratified by receiving the desired indulgence. He then resumed the old grievance about Mingo, with great vehemence of jargon and gesture. In the midst of his oration, he happened to turn round, and to his astonishment beheld Miago standing at the cabin-door, listening with great tranquillity and composure to his harangue ; when, with dexterity that could not have been ex- ceeded by a civilized man of the world if caught in such an awkward predica- ment, he immediately changed the subject, pretending to be talking of something else, and at the same time very graciously and condescendingly presented some fish-hooks to Miago, who received them with sulky indifference. • Next day, the same party were taken on board the ship Reliance, after having received particular instructions not to throw aside their dress (which they were apt to do) in the presence of the ladies. As the ship had no guns, and was °the' wise unlike the Satellite, Wellington called her a mandrowidie ship, and paid little attention to any thing on board. He had, however, sufficient good taste to admire the ladies, and was particularly struck with the beautifully luxuriant ringlets of one of them.

We will conclude the specimens with a quotation from the ex- cursion into the interior at King George's Sound.


The party having exerted themselves, soon completed our encampment, kindled a fire, and the kangaroo was speedily cooked in various ways. While these operations were going on, I endeavoured to ascertain from Mokara, who understood a little English, whether be, or any of his tribe, had any notion of a future state of existence, or of a Superior Being ; but I felt some difficulty in making hint comprehend my meaning. I stated to him, that man was composed of two parts ; one of which when he died, was just like the kangaroo, and all other animals, which did not speak; that the other part did not die ; and if the man were good, he ascended to the sky, where Ile lived happily with his maker, and the maker of the su,n, moon, and stars ; whereas, the bad man went down beneath the earth, and dwelt with a malignant being, named "Devil," whose sole occupation consisted in tor- menting. He immediately said that they had the same opinion ; but I run con- vinced he only caught the idea from me. He asked who were bad men? I told him those who killed others without just cause. He answered, "Very good, bad man to go to the Dehil." He ad- mitted it was all right, so far as regarded killing a white man ; but I could not persuade him that there was any harm in one black fellow spearing another; which, on the contrary, he considered in some cases meritorious. I then told him that all those who stole were also bad men. He started ma amazement, and repeated with an air of incredulity, " Quepd ! " (to steal.) It was evident, that he viewed this action in a ntore favourable light than even the Spartans did. I learned from him that it was usual, on such a night as this, for the natives (who seldom travel in the dark) to steal privately on those whom they wished to destroy, and despatch them. He knew several of the stars, but pretended to a knowledge of more of theta than be really possessed : however, on cross-examination, I was convinced that he was acquainted with Venue and the Atlantic Sisters; likewise with Ones, Canopus, and Achernar.

The principal papers in the appendix are—a description of the manner in which convicts are managed during the voyage (which may be resolved into regularity and indulgent strictness, never allowing any deviation from order, and punishing the first fault); some sensible advice to emigrants to the Australian Colonies;

and a pretty full vocabulary of the native dialects at Raffles Bay and King George's Sound. For the practical purposes of opening a communication with the natives, the vocabulary will be amply sufficient for the navigator ; the philologist will desire something more. Dr. Wiesox does not seem to have been aware that the languages of all the Polynesian nations are monosyllabic in their character; or he has forgot it. Bad this principle been kept m view, he would not have given a free, but a literal translation of phrases, compound words, or (we suspect) verbs ; for it is by a literal translation alone that we can acquire a knowledge of the nature of the language. It is probable, too, that a remembrance of the principle spoken of, by guiding his inquiries, would have facilitated and extended them.


THE concluding volume of this elegant edition is before us; and in its completion justifies the prediction we hazarded on its ap- pearance, so far as the Poetry of MILTON is concerned. The text is all that a critical bibliographer could desire; and the notes appear to contain all that is worth preserving in previous commentators and critics,—except in the case of Joustsors, where the phobia of the editor has induced him to omit the fine closing passage of the critique on Paradise Lost. The introductions, and the notes which Sir EGERTON has himself supplied, are distinguished for a poetical enthusiasm ; and if he is occasionally deficient in the severe impartiality which should characterize the critic, he re- deems the fault by rarer qualities,—a mind so deeply imbued with the spirit of' his author as to seem akin to it, a richness of diction and propriety of epithet not often met with, and something of a Miltonic march in prose.

The design of embracing selections from the author's Prose Works has been abandoned. The contents of the Sixth Volume consist of the Minor Poems,—" Lyeidas," " L'Allegro," and "II Penseroso," the Sonnets both English and Italian, the Odes, Miscellanies, and Translations, together with his three books of Latin Poetry. Of these, " L'Allegro " and "Ii Penseroso" are perhaps the most popular works of the author; and " Lycidas," though not, we imagine, so much read, and certainly not so well liked, is yet extensively known. These may therefore be passed without comment; but we will linger a brief space over the hymn " On the Morning of Christ's Nativity." Had this piece been written at any period of life, it would have been entitled to the praise of extraordinary ; but, considering that it was composed when the author was only one-and-twenty, and was probably written as a college exercise, it may be called wonderful. It is true that MILTON had not emancipated himself from the tram- mels of the fashionable metaphysical style; and the poem is dashed by quaintness and conceits, and once or twice by a familiarity almost puerile: but it displays an amazing extent of learning and depth of study. ; it exhibits a complete command of the strength and compass of our language; life is breathed into its imagery ; and its full resounding verse rolls with an ocean- like majesty and reverberation. Perhaps there is no more magni- ficent stanza in English than that in which the universal peace which preceded the Nativity is alluded to The stillness of all earthly passions, even of ambition itself, on the advent of the Son of God, is indicated with an ease and subliMity not perhaps sur- passed in Paradise Lost.

" No war, or battle's sound, Was heard the world around : The idle spear and shield were high up hung; The hooked chariot stood Unstained with hostile blood ; The trumpet spike not to the armed throng ; And kings sat still with awful eye, As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by."

Nearly, if not equally powerful, are the stanzas embodying the widely-spread opinion that the oracles ceased at the birth of Christ. They are also curious as containing the germ of that scene in Paradise Lost where the chiefs of the fallen angels "come flock- ing" round their leader. T.W ARTON, indeed, prefers the "sullen Moloch" of the hymn to the "horrid king" of the epic. In taking our leave of this edition, we may reiterate our pre- vious recommendation. Of all the embellished reprints, it is by far the most worthy of public or indeed of national patronage. The discontented energy, the gloomy splendour, the worldly wit of ByeoN—the brilliant animation, the life-like pictures, and the healthy feelings of Scow—the stern truth of CRABBE, and the charming transcripts of COWPER—shrink before the powers of MILTON, as all natural and artificial lights pale before the sun. But the more obvious though inferior merits of these moderns, will, we suspoct, enable their publishers to receive a more substantial reward. Experience and observation alone may teach a man to appreciate SHAKSPEARE ; but Mums( requires in addition both thought and study. "I think more highly of him now," said JoHN- SON at sixty-four, "than I did at twenty. There is more thinking in him and in BUTLER than in any of our poets." The striking excellencies of the works of man, like the superficial qualities in the productions of nature, are perceived at once ; it is a science to discover the latent. The experiments of' the natural philo- sopher and the powers of the microscope exhibit the minutely w. onderful works of the material and the animal worlds. In the intellectual world, practice and reflection supply the place of rules and instruments; but, alas ! they cannot be transferred to others at will.