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nerated, like the modern Greeks or Romans, or, like the Goths, had dispossessed a more polished people and occupied a land once held by their superiors in industry and talents—that the latter is the case cannot be doubted. History will justify the conclusion that no nation ever degenerated retaining their martial characteristics, and the warlike propensities of the people found here confirm the opinion of their being conquerors; independent of this, there is much similarity between the mounds found here and those described by Humboldt as existing in Mexico at the present day.
The clearing of land upon the Ohio river and its tributaries, have had an influence on its current. The fallen timber, leaves of trees, and other impediments that formerly prevented a great quantity of rain and melted snow reaching the river, being now, many of them, removed, a greater quantity of water can suddenly pour into the river; and a consequence is, that floods are more sudden and more violent than formerly. These changes remarked by all intelligent people on the river, although they can furnish no precise data as to the amount of increase. Small streams and springs of water increase as the country becomes settled: several instances are known of streams that some years ago were considered unfit to turn a mill, now answering that purpose perfectly well.
The building of large sea vessels was at one time commenced on the Ohio river. Several vessels were constructed and actually floated to the ocean. This practice has been abandoned. Independent of the difficulties attending the descent of vessels of this description down a serpentine river, it has been found that the timber of the west, growing in a damp and fertile soil, is weaker, less solid, and not so durable as that found in the eastern states.
If it was at all doubtful that slavery retards the advance of a nation to wealth, the political economist might look with some interest for a decision of that question here. The Ohio river separates the states that prohibit from those that permit slavery. The climate is no impediment to a white man's working in the sun, and the similarity of soils strengthens the comparison.
It has been asserted by several writers that in advancing west from the Alleghany mountains, a difference of at least three degrees of temperature is discoverable greater than is found on the same parallel of latitude eastwardly. This opinion is, I think, erroneous; all the observations on which the comparison has been founded have been made on the immediate basin of the Ohio river. This basin is broad and deep, exposed to the rays of the sun, moistened by mists and fogs, and, above all, fanned for the greater part of nine months in the year by warm southwest winds that are scarcely felt from its margin. Its temperature is, therefore, greater than that enjoyed by the surrounding country either north or south. At a few miles on either side from the river, vegetation is four or five days later than on its banks. Between the valleys of Mad riyer and the Ohio, a distance of but fifty miles, there is a
difference of ten or twelve days in the appearance of vegetation' on the Sciota river, one hundred and fifteen miles north of the Ohio, snow is frequently found twelve inches deep, while on the Ohio they are planting in gardens; and between lake Erie, at the mouth of the Sandusky, and the junction of the Sciota with the Ohio, a difference of but three degrees of latitude and one hundred feet elevation, there is a difference of three weeks in climate.
But the most accurate observations that have been made, are those of the ingenious doctor Drake of Cincinnati, who proves, by a comparison of thermometrical observations, that Cincinnati, situated on the basin of the Ohio, is more exposed to cold than Philadelphia, although that place is fifty-four minutes south of the for
If then the başin of the Ohio river is colder than its parallel, how much more so must be the country in its vicinity?
This intense cold is readily accounted for, from exposure to the chilling blasts that come from the north and northwest, without interruption, over frozen lakes and ground covered with snow. This wind prevailing, in the winter of 1817, for three weeks without interruption, kept the thermometer twenty-four degrees below zero, and bridged firmly the streams, at the time when vessels were sailing from New York and Philadelphia. These places are somewhat protected from this wind by the Alleghany mountains, and the atmosphere, during the winter, is moistened by the warm air coming from the sea, especially from the Gulf stream.
In estimating, however, the variation between distant climates that nearly approximate in temperature, much difficulty arises in obtaining the true criteria by which the differences can be calculated. Thermometrical observations are subject to such variations from local causes, that they are little satisfactory in obtaining a general analogy, and the cultivation or appearance of particular plants or animals are insufficient to detect slight shades of difference. It is only by long and careful observations on the effect of frost upon rivers and vegetation, and a comparison of times of sowing and harvest, throughout a whole district, that true data can be obtained.
A feature in the population of this country is the small nuraber of females in proportion to the males: In Ohio the males are to the females as 100 to 86.7 Kentucky
100 to 90.9 Tennessee
100 to 9S. In Rhode Island the males are to the females 100 to 104.8 the Northern states
100 to 100,7 the Southern states
100 to 97. This disproportion is an unfortunate state for society. The women marry too early to pay much attention to attractions merely agreeable or the fascinating arts of pleasing, and their whole lives are afterwards unremittingly devoted to domestic cares. Society is, therefore, without that refinement and brilliancy which accomplished women are capable of giving it; and, in refusing to devote
themselves more to society, the influence is lost that nature intended they should exercise in softening, improving, and polishing the manners of the men. In Kentucky, however, there is considerable taste for the elegancies of life:-social pleasures are cultivated, liberal hospitality is freely exercised, and those amusements and delights that flow from an exchange of civilities and the exercise of social feeling and intercourse, are not unknown.
In fifteen years extensive emigration from the states east of the mountains to this country must cease. Experience in the west proves that emigration is always in the ratio of the distance to be travelled, and that its current is invariably checked or diminished as soon as the best lands, and those contiguous to water courses, fall into the hands of individuals. In fifteen years the good land east of the Mississippi will all be so occupied. The new states are already becoming capable of sending forward emigrants, and the distance for an eastern emigrant is daily increasing and forms a serious impediment to removal. Although the people of the United States are a migratory race, they are not destitute of the sentiment that bind men to their homes. The desire of improvement of situation may induce men to remove a few hundred miles, when encouraged by the influence of example and the expectation of meet. ing old neighbours: but nothing short of stern necessity can induce an individual to remove a thousand miles from his home, to overcome that attachment to localities found in the natives of every clime, and that feeling which protests against a dissolution of early associations and connexions:--no such necessity at present exists on this continent.
Two obstacles offer themselves to the extension of our settlement west of the Mississippi. The country, in advancing towards the Rocky mountains, becomes destitute of timber and of wood. These two wants, although they form no invincible objection to the country's becoming settled eventually, are difficulties that can only be estimated by those who have watched the progress of a new settlement:—the excavating of a well costs nearly as much
as the first instalment now paid by the emigrant for his land, and the want of timber for the construction of houses and enclosures, is an impediment of the first magnitude.
These circum stances are destinedto exercise a powerful influence on the politics of this nation. The flow of emigration checked may not operate like a cessation of circulation of blood in the human body; but it is a stagnation that will produce consequences worthy the investigation of the politician. Art. VII.-Specimens of the British Poets; with Biographical and
Critical Notices, and an Essay on English Poetry. By Thomas Campbell. In seven volumes. 1819.
[From the British Critic.] THESE long expected volumes contain, we believe, the substance
of a course of lectures delivered some years since, at the royal
institution. We cannot pretend to assign a reason for the very unusual period which has been allowed to elapse between their first announcement, and their appearance from the press; but now they are published, we may venture to congratulate their readers upon a very elegant edition of elegant extracts, superior both in form and in substance to any which has preceded it. We do not know that we should always have selected, or omitted to select, as Mr. Campbell has done; but this is a mere question of taste, upon which he has quite as good, perhaps a better right, to determine than his reviewers. His Critical and Biographical Notices, for the most part, contain much information and entertainment, condensed in a few words; and his Preliminary Essay is quite as well as any essay on the same subject can hope to be.
We do not know that it is always advisable to let a poet write about poets and poetry, unless he gives ample security to keep the peace in plain inoffensive prose. Of Mr. Campbell's claims to the character of a poet, we would wish to speak with all the respect which he so fully deserves: and this is by no means slight or inconsiderable; although we cannot persuade ourselves that he has hitherto ever done justice to his genius, or called forth his powers to their complete exercise. The Pleasures of Hope is a fine specimen of rich and glittering diction, of versification ringing in the ear, of imagery dazzling to the eye. It was a production of the highest promise; and few writers in our language, at so early an age (we believe it was written before Mr. Campbell was twentythree), have commenced so brilliantly; but we are far from speaking of it as a finished poem, or as one which ought to content the maturity of genius. It would be an invidious task to point out the faults of a work which has long since passed unharmed through the critical ordeal; and no one, we are convinced, will see or acknowledge them more readily than the author himself. Of his Gertrude of Wyoming we cannot speak so favourably; in spite of some very beautiful passages, we neither think him fortunate in the choice of his subject, nor the management of this stanza. The story is defective in interest, and the manner of telling it obscure, and marked with that kind of sickly affectation which has obtained the name of mawkishness. Instead of appealing to these two larger poems for the rank which Mr. Campbell is to claim on the English Parnassus, we would rather give our judgment from some of his minor pieces. In these we think him pre-eminent above all his contemporaries; for we know not where there are more thoughts that breathe and words that burn,' than in the few short stanzas entitled, “Hohenlinden,' or the impetuous and Tyrtæan war song, beginning · Ye Mariners of England. But to revert to the publication now before us; the chief fault which we have to find with the essay prefixed to these volumes is, indeed, that one into which we expected the essayist to fall; it is too poetical. In the very first paragraph we are astounded by a simile, and obliged to look about us before we could determine whether it was to the Norman con,
quest or the Nile that we were preparing to be introduced. Puto ting aside a few of these involuntary bursts of inspiration, which come across a bard without his own good will, like the hot fits of a quartan ague, there is a great deal of sound research, good taste, and correct criticism in this dissertation. It is not, perhaps, a very enlivening task to the general reader, to trace the origin and early stages of our poetry; but the subject is here touched lightly and gracefully. We smiled at the followed passage relative to Robert de Brunne.
• It is amusing to find his editor, Hearne, so anxious to defend the mora Imemory of a writer, respecting whom, not a circumstance is known beyond the date of his works, and the names of the monasteries where he wore his cowl. From his willingness to favour the people with historic rhymes for their “ fellawship and gamenn,' Hearne infers that he must have been of a jocular temper. It seems, however, that the priory of Sixhill, where he lived for some time, was a house which consisted of women as well as men, a discovery which alarms the good antiquary for the fame of his author's personal purity. Can we therefore think, continues Hearne, “ that since he was of a jocular temper, he could be wholly free from vice, or that he should not soinetimes express himself loosely to the sisters of that place? This objection (he gravely continues) would have some weight, had the priory of Sixhill been any way noted for luxury and lewdness; but whereas every member of it, both men and women were very chaste, we ought by no means to suppose that Robert of Brunne behaved himself otherwise than became a good christian, during his whole abode there ” This conclusive reasoning, it may be hoped, will entirely set at rest any idle suspicions that may have crept into the reader's mind, respecting the chastity of Robert de Brunne. It may be added, that his writings betray not the least symptom of his having been either an Abelard among priests, or an Ovid among poets. Vol. I. p. 47.
Adam Davis, the marshal of Stratford-le-Bow, who flourished in the same century with the above half-forbidden chronicler, was more pious in his themes. Among other pieces, he wrote The Battle of Jerusalem;' in the course of which poem, Pontius Pilate challenges our Saviour to single combat. Robert Langlande, or whoever else he be, who wrote * Piers Plowman's Visions,' soon af. ter, in the reign of Edward III. is not less whimsical in some of his notions, In one of his dreams, the power of grace or christian life, confers upon him four stout oxen to cultivate the field of truth; these are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the last of whom is the gentlest of the team. He afterwards assigns him the like number of stots or bullocks, to harrow what the evangelists had ploughed; and this new horned team consists of Saint or Stot Ambrose, Stot Austin, Stot Gregory, and Stot Jerome. Langlande, it appears, to use Mr. Campbell's very fine and delicate distinction, taking satire not in its mean and personal acceptation, but underVOL. XIV,