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dwell upon

of the continent, for the last hundred ed from their original rock; then, valt years, is distinctly visible, being from banks of rolled pebbles and of gravel, two to three toifes annually. Near mingled with fragments of calcareous Slite and Kylle, in the same country, stone, of petrifactions, broken or chanare enormous stones, which rudely re- ged into flint, and even of bones. A present temples, giants, and colossal like fubversion of the original strata, Itatutes in their magnitude, yet worked and especially of the calcareous beds, out of the most solid rock, by the force has been observed in the environs of of the water.

the lake Onega, where those mountains “ The two very tall mountains of begin to rise which join the Laplandish Torsburgh and Hoburg, in Gothland, and Swedish Alps. These traces of are formed of calcareous rock, and were the sea may be observed in all the lands marked and hollowed out by the force contiguous to the Gulph of Finland, of the water, at the same time that all where, for the most part, the lefs solid Gothland lay immersed in the sea, ex- strata are removed from the surface of cept

these two mountains, which raised the ancient rock itself, too firm to be their heads out of the deep in the same affected. It almost seems sufficient to manner, and with

similar appearance


with an intelligent 10 the Carolinian islands (Carlsoc) in eye, in order to be convinced, that the their present state.”

great number of lakes between this gulf 十 t"

" The inhabitants of West Both and the white sea--that the islands, pia have observed, by marks upon rocks, rocks, and broken coasts of these rethat the sea decreases every ten years, gions, are effects of a deluge, which five inches and five or fix lines perpen. there fought an outlet [." dicularly, which amounts, in an age,

“ The idea of the indefatigable to about four feet and a half. Accord- Tournefort, and of the Count de Bufing to which calculation, 6000 years fon, concerning the ancient state of the ago, the sea was two hundred and se- Black Sea, and of its communication venty feet deeper than it is at present.” with the Caspian, is more and more

Not only in the Gulf of Bothnja, but confirmed by the observations of travelin that of Finland, is the withdraw- Jers. The phocæ, some fish, and some ment of the Baltic, very sensible. Pro-' shells, which the Caspian has in comfeffor Pallas observes : 6 As soon as mon with the Black Sea, render this from the marches of Ingria, which ancient communication almost indubitforms toward the Baltic a sort of gulf able ; and these very

circumstances also of low lands, you begin ascending the prove, that the lake Aral was once join. elevated soil of Russia, the inclination ed to the Caspian. I have traced (in

of which forms what are called the the third volume of my travels) the an· Mountains of Valdais, ancient traces cient extent of this sea over the whole

of the sea occur at every hep. At first, desert of Astrakhan, and beyond the in a foil interfe&ted with ravines, which Jaik, by the symptoms of coast with has vilbly suffered by an inundation of which the elevated plains of Ruflia borthe greatest violence, or rather by the der this desert, by the flate and the for flowing-off of an enormous mass of wa- til productions of this ancient coaft, ter : afterwards, in whole calcareous and by the faline mud, mingled with beds, which can only result from the sea-shells, calcined, which covers the deposits of a sea at rest, and which the whole surface of the desert itself. In scooping of the rivers has laid bare. the description of Ukrain, by GuilFirst, occur strata of deposited earth, laume le Vasseur (Rouen 4to. 1660) a mingled with blocks of granite, detach- passage (p: 9) ascribes the same appear

+ A. Cellii Obf. in A&. Acad. &c. Senciæ 6. Ada Acad. Prepolitanz, for 1777, p. 1743•


49. vol. 1,



ances, to the plains of the Borysthenes. greater part of Poland: that the Euxe
Chandler, in his Travels through Alia ine, the Caspian, and the Ara, were
Minor, thinks, that the sea formerly united with each other, and with the
extended to the sources of the Meander, northern ocean, by tracts of water co-
and formed a gulf between the moun- vering the deserts of Attrakhan aod of
tains of Mefloghis and Taurus. Others Munkithalk. EUROPE, then, origi-
have found recent traces of fea in the nally confilted of A
plains of Asia Minor and of Persia, and ISLANDS. The middle island will first
along the Danube, very far above the have been united with the Aljatic conti-
actual limits of the Caspian and the nent, with Sarmatia, by means of the
Black Sea. The ancient traditions of Polish isthmus, that being the more ele-
the sudden effusion of the Black Sea vated and extensive. The northern
through the Propontis, which Tourne- illand will next have been united with it
fort has supported by his Observations, by means of the Scandinavian isthmus.
seem, in all respects, more plausible And thus the isthmus of Astrakhan will
than the opinion which supposes the an- have furnished the earliest path to the
cient strait between the Black Sea and no-made nations of Asia to extend their
the Caspian to have been dried by the migrations into Europe.
accumulation of alluvion soil from the In reading the ancient writers, it is
rivers.” Ditto, p. 62.

convenient to keep in view this progrely The writer of this fragment, in a five change of form; for Europe appears journey through Polish Prussia, was led to have become a continent within the to remark the same fymptoms of exten- period of recorded history. The Arfive desiccation in the landy provinces gonautics of Orpheus are composed uwhich encompass the Delta of the pon the presumption, that it was poffible Weichsel (Vistula) and the Niemen. to sail from the Euxine into the Baltic; : From the report of an intelligent Swiss a proof that such a tradition was still

preofficer, in the Ruffian service, with valent among mariners. Ptolemy speaks whom he travelled a while, and whose of Scandinavia as an island.

military destinations had familiarised Scythian geography of Herodotus, is
him with the furface of Livonia and wholly unintelligible, unless we cover
Lithuania, it appears no less probable with sea a considerable part of Poland
that the morally low lands, bordering and Russia : yet these countries had, in
the Duna and the Nieper, were once his time, already acquired the rudi-
the bed of a frith, uniting the Baltic ments of their present form. And may
and the Euxine. Penzelius (De Arte we not suppose the tradition of an At
Hitorica, p. 78.) mentions the digging lantic island which had disappeared, to
up of an anchor in Novogrod, and other have preserved the original name of Eu-
proofs of a recent emergency of the re- rope in its insular (tate ?
gion, and supposes the salt.mines of Upon the whole, the testimony,
Wielicz to be the point of fubfidency or though not the opinion, of ancient gco-
latest station of the old sea. Various graphers *, appears more favourable to
local observations then conspire to prove, the doctrine of a progressive desiccation
that the Baltic once joined the White of the sea in all quarters, than to that
Sea by a tract of water, covering the of local or sudden removals of the wa-
lakes Onega and Ladoga, and the Black ters, by great convullions of nature.
*Sea by a tract of water, covering the Strabo, vol. 1. p. 49. 50.

THE following account is given by in which his cclebrated History of the
Mr Gibbon (in bis Miscellaneous Decline and Fall of the Roman Em-
Works lately published) of the manner pire, was planned and written :

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It was at Rome (says he) on the which I purchased, the Theodocian 15th of October 1764, as I fat muling Code, with the Commentary of James amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while Godefroy, must be gratefully rememthe bare-footed fryars were singing vef- bered. I used it (and much I used it). pers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the as a work of history, rather than of idea of writing the decline and fall of jurisprudence; but in every light it may the city first Tarted to my mind. But be considered as a full and capacious remy original plan was çircumscribed to pository of the political state of the Emthe decay of the city rather than of the pire in the fourth and fifth centuries. empire: and, though my reading and As I believed, and as I still believe, reflections began to point towards that that the propogation of the Gospel, and object, fome

years elapsed, and several the triumph of the church, are insepaavocations intervened, before I was se- rably connected with the decline of the riously engaged in the execution of that Roman monarchy, I weighed the causes laborious work,

and effects of the revolution, and conAs soon as I was released from trasted the narratives and apologies of the fruitlefs talk of the Swiss revolu- the Christians themselves, with the tions, (1768) I began gradually to ad- glances of candour or enmity which vance from the wish to the hope, from the Pagans have cast on the rising sects. the hope to the design, from the design The Jewith and Heathen testimonies, to the execution, of my historical work, as they are collected and illustrated of whose limits and extent I had as yet by Dr Lardner, directed, without sua very inadequate notion. The Clasics, perseding, my search of the originals ; as low as Tacitus, the younger Pliny, and in an ample dissertation on the miand Juvenal, were my old and familiar raculous darkness of the paffion, I companions. I insensibly plunged into privately drew my conclusions from the ocean of the Augustan history ; and the filence of an unbelieving age. I in the descending series I investigated, have assembled the preparatory studies, with my pen almost always in my hand, directly or indirectly relative to my histhe original records, both Greek and tory; but, in ftrict equity, they must Litin, from Dion Caffius to Ammia- be spread beyond this period of my life, nus Marcellinus, from the reign of Tra- over the two summers (1771 and 1772) jan to the last

age of the western Cæsars, that elapsed between my father's death The subsidiary rays of medals, and in- and my settlement in London. fcriptions of geography and chronology, No sooner was I settled in my were thrown on their proper objects ; house and library, (continues our auand I applied the collections of Tille- thor,) than I undertook the compofi. mont, whose inimitable accuracy almost tion of the first volume of my history. assumes the character of genius, to fix At the outset all was dark and doubt. and arrange

within reach the loose ful; even the title of the work, the and scattered atoms of historical infor. true æra of the Decline and Fall of the mation. Through the darkness of the Empire, the limits of the introduction, middle ages I explored my way in the the division of the chapters, and the or. annals and antiquities of Italy, of the der of the narrative ; and I was often learned Muratori ; and diligently com tempted to cast away the labour of separed them with the parellel or transverle ven years. The stile of an author should lines of Sigonius and Maffei, Baronius be the image of his mind, but the choice and Pagi, till I almost grasped the ruins of and command of language is the fruit Rome in the fourteenth century, without of exercise. Many experiments were suspecting that this final chapter must be made before I could hit the middle attained by the labour of lix quartos tope between a dull chronicle and a and twenty years. Among the books rhetorical declamation : three times did



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I compose the first chapter, and twice diligence and accuracy were attested the second and third, before I was to- by my own conscience. History is lerably satisfied with their effect. In the most popular species of writing, the remainder of the way I advanced since it can adapt itself to the highest or with a more equal and easy pace; but the lowest capacity. "I had chosen an the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters illustrious subject. Rome is familiar to have been reduced by three succeslive the school-boy and the statesman ; and revisals, from a large volume to their my narrative was deduced from the last present size; and they might (till be period of classical readingI had likecompressed, without any loss of facts wise Aattered myself, that an age of or sentiments. An opposite fault may light and liberty would receive, without be imputed to the concise and super- scandal, an inquiry into the human ficial narrative of the first reigns from causes of the progress and establishment Commodus to Alexander ; a fault of of christianity. which I have never heard, except from In this interval of my senatorial life, Mr Hume, in his last journey to Lon (continues Mr Gibbon) I published the don. Such an oracle might have been second and third volumes of the Decline . consulted and obeyed with rational de and Fall

. My ecclesialtical history still votion ; but I was soon disgusted with breathed the same spirit of freedom ; the modest practice of reading the ma- but Protestant zeal is more indifferent nuscript to my friends. Of such friends to the characters and controversies of some will praise from politeness, and the fourth and fifth centuries. My obsome will criticise from vanity. The stinate silence had damped the ardour of author himself is the best judge of his the polemics. Dr Watson, the most. own performance ; no one has so deep- candid of my adversaries, assured me ly meditated on the subject; no one is that he had no thoughts of renewing so interested in the event.

the attack, and my impartial balance of The first volume of my history, the virtues and vices of Julian was gewhich had been somewhat delayed by nerally praised. This truce was interthe novelty and tumult of a first session rupted only by some animadversions of of parliament, being ready for the press, the Catholics of Italy, and by some an(after the perilous adventure had been gry letters from Mr Travis, who made declined by Mr Elmfly,) I agreed, up- me personally responsible for condemon easy terms, with Mr Thomas Cadell

, ning, with the best critics, the fpurious respectable bookseller, and Mr Wil- text of the three heavenly witnesses. liam Strahan, an eminent printer; and The piety or prudence of my Italian, they undertook the care and risk of the translator has provided an antidote publication, which derived more credit against the poison of his original. The from the name of the thop than from 5th and 7th volumes are armed with that of the author. The last revisal of five letters from an anonymous divine the proofs was submitted to my vigi. to his friends, Foothead and Kirk, lance; and many blemishes of style, two English students at Rome; and which had been invisible in the manu. this meritorious service is commended Script, were discovered and corrected by Monsignor Stonor, a prelate of the in the printed sheet. So moderate were same nation, who discovers much reour hopes, that the original impression nom in the fluid and nervous style of had been stinted to five hundred, till. Gibbon. The critical essay at the end the onmber was doubled by the pro. of the third volume was furnished by phetic taste of Mr Strahan. During the Abbate Nicola Spedalieri, whose this awful interval I was neither elated zeal has gradually swelled to a more by the ambition of fame, nor depresled solid confutation in two quarto volumes. by the apprehension of coatempt. My


4 F 2

--Shall I then be excused for not hay. that I wrote the last lines of the last ing read them. ?

page, in a summer-house in my garden. The brutai insolence of Mr Travis's After laying down my pen, I took fechallenge can only be excused by the yeral turns in a berceau, or covered walk absence of learning, judgment, and hu- of acacias, which commands a prospect manity; and to that excuse he has the of the country, the lake, and the mounfaireft or foulest pretension. Compared tains. The air was temperate, the sky with Archdeacon Travis, Chelsum and was serene, the silver orb of the moon Davies assume the title of respectable e- was reflected from the waters, and all nemies.

nature was Glent. I will not difsemble The bigotted advocates of popes the first emotions of joy on the recovery and monks

may be turned over even to, of my freedom, and, perhaps, the estathe bigots of Oxford ; and the wretch- blishnaeot of my fame. But my pride ed Travis still smarts under the lash of was foon humbled, and a sober melanthe merciless Porson. 'I consider Mr choly was spread over my mind, by the Porson's answer to Archdeacon Travis idea that I had taken an everlasting leave as the most acute and accurate piece of of an old and agreeable companion, and criticism which has appeared fince the that whatsoever might be the future date days of Bentley. His ftri&tures are of my history, the life of the historian founded in argument, enriched with must be short and precarious. I will learning, and enliveped with wit ; and add two facts, which have seldom ochis adversary neither deserves nor finds curred in the composition of fix, or at any quarter at his hands. The evidence least of five quartos. 1. My first rough of the three heavenly witnesses would manufcript, without any intermediate now be rejected in any court of justice : copy, has been sent to the press. but prejudice is blind, authority is deaf, Not a sheet has been seen by any human and our vulgar Bibles will ever be pol- eyes, excepting those of the author and luted by this spurious text, sedet ater. the printer: the faults and the merits numque fedebit.

The more learned ec- are exclusively my own clefiaftics will indeed have the secret satisfaction of reprobating in the closet

" * Extract from Mr Gibbon's Common-place

Book. what they read in the church.” Our author then concludes the ac- Decline and Fall of the Ron an Empire, be

“ The IVth volume of the History of the count of his Roman Fhistory as follows:


March ist, 1782--ended June 1784. “ I have presumed to mark the mo- “ The Vth volume, begun July 1984ment of conception : I shall now com- ended May ist, 1785. memorate the hour of my final deliver

“ The Vlth volume, begun May Isih, ance. It was on the day, or rather 1786-ended June 27th, 1957.

“ These three volumes were sent to press night, of the 27th of June 1787, be. August 15th, 1787, and the whole impreftween the hours of eleven and twelve, Gon was concluded April following."


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The imprisond winds, releafed with joyful sound,
Proclairn their liberty to all around.

ANON. THE two friends having made the with flowers, till the fatal instant which promise which he required of inviolable discovered the abyss in which I secrecy, Giaffar thus ertered upon his nearly overwhelmed. I have lost every wonderful story

thing, even to my very Dame; the in“I AM thirty-six years old, and my habitants of the East mention it Bill career is completed. I have passed with benedictions; the affection of a through it with honour, perhaps with grateful people perpetuates the rememglory ; both love and fortune strewed it rance of it, and yet it must not be borne


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