30 MARCH 1861, Page 19


Is the Notes of travel, edited by Mr. Galion, we have a kind of literary pie-silo. Thirteen gentlemen have sent in their several con- tributions, the editor being one of the thirteen. Waiving the ob- jection that they should not have sat down to table thirteen in number (because it is not lucky), we think their notion of a compo- site feast of reason and flow of soul a very happy one. This age is the age of locomotion. Some Ulysses is "for ever wandering with a hungry heart," crossing seas, traversing deserts, sealing mountains, or exhuming long-buried cities. It is reasonable to suppose that after having seen the manners of mee, after observing, inquiring, analyzing, dissecting, disputing, ascending and descending, some of these modern knights-errant might have something to say for them- selves, without having enough to make a traveller's library. We give credit to our thirteen tourists for their wise economy of speech, and for their perhaps yet wiser reticence. It is really cruelty to the vasassa 1/barists, and Notes of Travel vi 1360. Editod by Francis Galton, DLA. F.B.S. Published by Macmillan and Co.

reasonable animals called men to inflict on them those ponderous tomes, those true stories without an end, of which we have lately had more than one shocking example. A good man, we are told„ will be merciful to his beast—that is, in the present instance, to his reader or reviewer. This practical benevolence has been beautifully

illustrated by our vacation tourists, who although amounting in num- ber to a baker's dozen, give us their notes of travel, some of them very interesting, within the limited space of one not immoderately large volume.

The first contribution to the general entertainment is furnished by Mr. W. G. Clark, the Public Orator at Cambridge. It is pretty much the sort of paper that an observant scholar ought to write. The

subject of the essay is Naples and Garibaldi. We are glad to have such an easy., pleasant, trustworthy report of the impressions of an

English gentleman just returned from an Italian tour. We like to hear him speak, for example, of "Baron Charles Poerio, the gentlest and most innocent victim that was ever tortured by tyrant.' Mr. Clark noticed in Poerio and his fellow prisoners" a subdued man-

ner that was infinitely, touching, as if long imprisonment had crushed their spirit and robbed life of its vitality." Poerio told our traveller

that the now ex-King used to offer him a cigar, and treat him as a confidential friend, during his brief tenure of ministerial power, and that on the anniversary of his accepting office, while the chains were being put, in the court of one of the prisons, the benevolent monarch looked on from a window—which reminds us of another celebrated historic personage called Judas. At Naples Mr. Clark visited the prisons. Referring to the letter published by Lord Llanover in the

Times, early in October, Mr. Clark, while confirming the facts there stated, hesitates to accept some of the inferences drawn or implied.

Of the cruelties practised by Ferdinand he declares we have abundant evidence, but he does not think there is any proof that the prison system at Naples, under Francesco II., was at all worse than it was in England under George the Third. A case is never improved by over-statement. We therefore invite attention to Mr. Clark's ob- servations.

There are other notes of Mr. Clark's still more worthy of consi- deration. For instance, he states that the franchise in Piedmont is given to all who pay forty francs per annum in direct taxes, which he or his interlocutor considers, under the circumstances, to be al- most equivalent to universal suffrage. It is admitted, however, that all landholders are conservative, and that those of Piedmont Proper exercise this privilege admirably. Mr. Clark has no fear of the lazzaroni of Naples; a class which may be formidable in a revolution but which is no more organized for mischief than the mob of London. Italian hatred to the Bour- bons, and Italian exaltation in the conquest of freedom, the real or alleged mendacity of Cavour, and his consequent loss of popularity,. the admiration in which Garibaldi "the honest man and great cap- tain" is held, are all noted down in Mr. Clark's journal. The com- ments on the Dictator and his army; on the miracle of St. Januarius which it seems Mr. Monckton Manes (whom we congratulate on his acquisition of thaumaturgical power)" has not merely witnessed but

once performed ;" the account of Dumas, the religious man par es.. celksce, as he once called himself ; of the Neapolitan peasant who showed our tourist a place made before the world, "in the time of

another world, which was destroyed by a deluge," about two hundred years ago, when Jesus Christ made a great ship and put Noe in it; the passing criticisms on Tacitus and Tiberius; the explanation of Homer's epithet "wine-coloured "—applied before Homer, perhaps, by ruder poets to the sea—as meaning coloured, whether blue, or green, or purple, in contradistinction to the bright transparent water of a fountain and the dark water of a well; all these are topics which will inform or entertain the reader. While in Italy, Mr. Clark visited the enchanted Azure Cave of Capri. It seems there are two grottos, one a blue and one a green grotto. We cannot tell for certain why

one being blue, the other should be green; but in reply to our travel- ler's question why one should be blue, we quote what Hartwig says

in his delightful book, "The Sea and its Living Wonders "All the light that enters the grotto must penetrate the whole depth of the waters, probably several hundred feet, before it can be reflected into the cave from the clear bottom, and it thus acquires so deep a tinge from the vast body of water through which it has passed, that dark walls of the cavern are illumined by a radiance of the purest azure, and the most differently coloured objects below the surface of the water are made to appear bright blue." Perhaps in the Green Grotto the water is less clear, in itself, and the reflexion of its sandy bottom may mix with the blue tint of the water, which would thus acquire a green hue. Dr. Hartwig's book suggests this explanation, as well as a second, that the discoloration may be owing either to minute algte or small animals. It is scarcely necessary to add that the inherent colour of the sea is blue, and that the visibility of the colour depends on the depth of a stratum of water. Mr. G. A. Spottiswoode's amusing and informing paper gives us some account of a tour in civil and military Croatia and part of Hun-

pry. The military frontier of Austria is a long strip of territory-

extending from Dalmatia to Transylvania. The latter district, how- ever, does not form part of the military frontier properly so called. The country is divided into fifteen districts, fourteen of which furnish each a regiment of infantry, while the fifteenth maintains a battalion of rider artillery. Transylvania supplies five regiments. Along the whole line of the frontier, forts or stations are placed. From these districts Austria can raise a force of one hundred and forty thousand men, ready to march at a moment's notice into a disaffected province, as in the case of Hungary in 1848. A former resident and recent traveller among the Slavonic races cons denses a great deal of valuable information respecting the eighty-seven millions of souls of which the entire Slavonic population consists, into a brief and readable essay. The Eastern Slaves comprehend the Rus- sians, Servo-Illyrians, and Bulgarians,; the Western, the Chechians, the Polish or Leckian, and the Sorbian Wendish branches. The history of the Slave races may be traced back to the sixth and seventh centuries of our era, when they occupied the whole space between the Adriatic, Black, and Baltic seas, left vacant by the southward migrations of the Teutons. A Slavonic empire might possibly have been formed but for the invasion of the Hungarians in the tenth century, who, arrested in their further advance, and driven back by a coalition of Germany under Otho, succeeded in effecting "a lasting lodgment in the very centre of the Slavonic tribes." The author *of this paper commends the communal organization in Slave countries, glances at the Slave traditions, superstitions, and aspirations, and notices a peculiar institution, perhaps limited to the Southern Slaves, the Fadrerga, a species of communistic association, probably intended for defence in an unsettled state of society, and now gradually dis- appearing. The fourth essay, amid much lively and jaunty chatter, intersperses some landscape pictures which are vigorously dashed in, and shows us Sutherland as it was, and Sutherland as it is. The Sutherland "shifting" of the population, a matter often "raked up" and em- bellished, and "used as a means of annoyance to the present [now no longer the present] duke," is set in its true light in the paper before us. The measure, which was carried out in the time of the late duke's father, consisted simply in the removal of a starving popula- tion from the barren bills and straths to the productive borders of the sea, where there was plenty of good land and fish, for support, for sale, and manure. The measure was, no doubt, an unpopular one; but it was one that seems to have been justified by the necessity of the ease. The result of the so-called "depopulation" of Suther- land is that there are more people in it than there ever were before; "and of the turning of amble land into sheep pastures, that there is now a far greater breadth of land under cultivation than there ever was before, and that not only in the form of large farms, but of cotters' croffings." The author gives various details of the improve- ment of the Sutherlanders in agricultural art, which he does not hesitate to say is the most marked that has taken place in any part of Great Britain within the same period.

Over some of the remaining papers in this volume we must glance more rapidly. "A Visit to Peru,' by Mr. C. C. Bowen, sketches in a brief space the country, the inhabitants, the government and legis- lation of the republic; and records many facts, archseolog,ical and political, well worth knowing and remembering. In the four papers that follow, we ascend the Graian Alps and Mount Iseran with Sir. J. J. Cowell ; the Allelein-Hom with Mr. Leslie Stephen; stop Part way up Mont Cervix (Matterhorn) with Mr. F. V. Hawkins ; and contrive to get from Lauterbrunnen to the ./E,ggischhorn by the Lauwinnen in one day with Mr. John Tyndall. Those who have climbed, do climb, and shall or will climb, will do well to read all these instructive and picturesque experiences of mountain travel. For the advantage of some of Mr. Ruskin's admirers who may not take this advice, we may state that Mr. Hawkins is of opinion that the author of Modern Painters, in his extended discussion on the Matterhorn (vol. iv. pp. 183-199) has fallen into several curious misconceptions. He has not conveyed to his readers the true idea of its form as a gigantic tower • he does not know that its real top pro- baby lies but a little way behind the apparent top; nor does he seem to "realize the fact that the mountain falls almost sheer for thousands Of feet before the ridge is reached which stretches towards the Dent d'Erin." In the next two Travellers' Tales, we have Mr. J. W. Clark's descriptive "Journal of a Yacht Voyage to the Faroe Islands and Iceland," with its talk about Hekla, Great Geysers, Little Geysers, &c., and Mr. H. F. Tozer's agreeable and informing "screed" on Norway and its people, who are, it seem, distinguished by their liking for England and hatred for Sweden. "We love the English and drink tea; the Swedes love the French and drink coffee," is the epigrammatic statement of the popular Norwegian sentiment on this subject which Mr. Tozer saw in a newspaper. "A Visit to North Spain at the Time of the Eclipse" is the title given to the contribution furnished by Francis Gallon, the editor of this volume of travel His impressions of Spain are pleasantly re- ported, and his account of the phenomena of the eclipse, of the Co- rona and Corona light chiefly, is intelligible and attractive. The meteorologist, too, will read with pleasure Mr. Galton's scattered observations on the colour of the sky and distribution of cloud. A man, he says, standing at Chamouni and looking south over Mont Blanc, proclaims that the sky is Swiss (hard and pale blue). A spectator standing at Cormayeur, and looking north, asserts that the sky is Italian (soft and deep blue). In each case, however, the sky which the observer sees above the mountain's crest is on the opposite side of it. "Hence it is manifest that the characters of these aerial tints do not reside in the stratum that lies above the level of high mountains. The peculiarity of each of the two skies—the Chamouni and Cormayeur—is caused solely by the quality of the atmosphere of the two corresponding valleys. It is then the "lowermost stratum of air that has the greater power in giving a mellowness of light or an apparent depth of blue to the sky." As regards the average dis- tribution of cloud and blue sky, as distinct from rain and drought, Mr. Galton considers it to be far less uniform over any given distnct than is commonly supposed. In a country like England a difference of a few miles makes a difference in the average character of the sky: clouds collecting over clay soils and dispersing over chalk. Faulty as is our London atmosphere, the clearness of the sky at a late hour of night or early hour of morning is, continues our observer, probably unsurpassed in England. The cause of this peculiarity, he adds, has been well described by Sir John Herschel, whose article on Meteoro- logy in the late edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica he pronounces to be "the only worthy exposition of that science as a whole," sug- gesting its publication in an easily accessible form, and recommending it as a test book at our universities and other places of advanced education.

The last essay contains a digest of the experiences of recent Syrian travel, and some account of the Syrian tribes. It is the contribution of the Hon. Roden Noel, who writes, in an easy, spirited style, about Nile sailors, Abd-el-Kader, Bedawy sheiks, Lebanon, the Maronites and the Druses. The Druses, he thinks, are not as bad as they are sometimes made out to be. They have a chivalrous respect for woman, who has her place even in their Okhil assemblies—an almost solitary recognition of the social position of the gentle sex. The Druses are accused by the Maronites of idolatry and atheism. This irreligion, however, does not seem to be absolute, as, by their enemies' own showing, their atheism is a mitigated atheism ; for, says a Maronite sheikh, "the learned Druses assert that there was once a God, but he created a great wind, which carried him away ; so he is for ever whirled round and round, powerless, in his own whirlwind." The alleged Druse belief that there was once a God is the counter- part of the prospective creed of Southey's Theorist, who, though quite sure that there was no God, would not so far commit himself as to affirm that there never would be a God, but even thought it probable that, in the general progress of events, there might be one.

In the case of the Druses Mr. Noel denies that there is any ground to accuse them of atheism ; and thinks, rightly enough, that the story told by the sheikh is the caricature of a myth. Furthermore, he regards it as tolerably certain that at one time his proteges were flagrantly persecuted by the authorities; and their unvarying grati- tude to the English for kindness shown them by us in Ibrahim Pasha's time entitles them to the protection of England, whose inte- rest it is to encourage the strong and healthy Druse nationality of Syria.