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in his Mappe de Portugal, enumerates only 62 epic and lyric writers, and 15 comic ones. But it is probable, that the greater part of the bards, whose names fwell the Spanish lift, are re membered no where elfe, when in th Portuguese account, common fenfé maj for once have checked the vanity f characteristic of the nation.
glory of Spain was deftroyed. We may be allowed to regret, that liberty and flavery fhould be fo ill difpofed, that a people, the most deferving of freedom, fhould be degraded under the vileft defpotifm, while the most worthlefs race in Europe are free: the Spanish character is capable of all improvement; but to degrade the Dutch, would be impoffible.
Affiliated with Spain, by the gentle ties of a Ruffian-like adoption, Portugal partook of its decline. She fhook off her chains indeed, but "the iron had entered her foul ;" and that nation which once excited the wonder, and deserved the admiration of the world, became contemptible to the rest of Europe, and terrible only to its fubjects. He who entertains liberal fentiments, if he be obliged to fubmit his productions to the fcrutiny of the Inquifition, will write with timidity; and it may fafely be afferted, that he who writes timidly, cannot write well. To look for the bold fublimity of genius where men are thus depreffed, were as rational as to chain a race horse, and expect him to win the
Mr Dillon's Letters on the Original and Progrefs of Poetry in Spain, wil give the reader a good general view of the fubject. It did not enter into this gentleman's plan to enlarge on the works of any particular author, or to give fpe cimens to the English readers; the few fpecimens that have been printed, ar untranflated, and selected chiefly to fhow their different metres. His work has been the companion of my Spanish ftudies: I have derived pleasure and inftruction from it, and have only to regret, that by not extending this work, he has left a lefs able pen to attempt the fupplement.
The fubject of Portuguese poetry has barely been touched upon by Mr Dillon; he has only deduced it from the Gali cian, and mentioned a very few of their authors; this field may therefore be looked upon as new.
I can promife the reader fome infor mation on these subjects; of this he may be affured, that I fhall not affume the appearance of information when I poffets it not in treating of those authors who
Thus has the tyranny of fuperftition co-operated with the decline of the country, to check the progrefs of literature in Spain and Portugal. Yet, during what may be called their Auguftan age, fuch was accomplished. The applaufe of Cervantes should exite fome attention to the productions of the two Leonardos;
he who admires the Lufiad of Camoens, are familiar to me, my own opinion may properly be expreffed; with re fpect to thofe of whom I know little, I fhall confequently fay little from myself: the man who can enjoy credit for ac quifitions which he does not poffels, must be dreadfully diftempered with va nity.
may wish to form fome acquaintance with his epiftles and fonnets; and he who has read the Vifions of Quevedo, will readily believe, that much genius muft exift in the fix quarto volumes of the works of this excellent author.
Spain has been wonderfully prolific in poets. In the Parnafo Efpanol, is given a lift of fuch only as are mentioned by their more celebrated authors; and this amounts to the aftonishing number of 571, which the Editor fays, is not a third part of the poets with whom the public are acquainted. The numbers in
The Spaniards call their nine most favourite authors, The nine Spanish muses: they are Garcilago de la Vega, Don Efteban de Villegas, Quevedo, Count Bernardino de Rebolledo, Luperico Leonardo de Argenfola, and his bre ther Bartolome, Father Luis de Le Portugal are ftrangely difproportionate; on, Lope de Vega, and Don Francif. for Father Joaon Baptifta de Caftro, in
co de Borja y Aragan, Prince of Efquilache: many of equal merit are excluded from the lift, and, perhaps, fome of fuperior: with thefe, however, I fhall begin my task.
The poet is indeed a citizen of the world; in every country, and in every age, he meets with fome congenial fpixit; to him time is annihilated, and he
converfes with Homer and with Offian:
ON THE INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE. MR HUME denies that phyfical en the dormant ingenuity of man, and caufes, by which he means thofe conquer that obftinate reluctance to exqualities of the air and climate, which ertion which tyrannizes over the barbaare fuppofed to work infenfibly on the rian in every fultry climate of the globe, temper, by altering the tone and habit and which may fairly be confidered as of the body, and giving a particular a distinguishing characteristic between complexion, which, though reflection the favage and the citizen. and reafon may fometimes overcome it, will yet prevail among the generality of mankind, and have an influence on their manners*:"-he denies that fuch caufes influence the genius and nature of man. I do not mean to dispute with him, that moral causes, such as the nature of government, the revolutions which may occur in public affairs, plenty or penury, that thefe caufes have not a moft perceptible and importent effect on the national character of a people; but I am inclined to believe, notwithstanding the plaufibility of Mr Hume's arguments, that man owes much of his temper, "to the genius of food, air, and climate ;" and that perhaps thefe moral causes, are, in reality, but effects, which flow from the phyfical ones.
It is agreed on all hands-by Mr Hume himfelft, that climate has an influence over every other animal except Now there is a state of fociety, if fociety it may be called, where man can boaft but little fuperiority above the beasts which roam around him; it is in this state that climate, if it operates at all, operates in full force. In a period of civility and refinement, the restlefs energies of mind counteract, in a very confiderable degree, the influence of fuch fubordinate agents: 2 thousand artificial wants roufe the native indolence, awakEffay on National Character. Ibid.
The error into which it appears to me, that Mr Hume has fallen, is this: that all his illuftrations, comprehensive and ingenious as they are, are drawn from civilized fociety. If we would know the influence of climate, we must not fix our obfervation on the different genius which diftinguifhed the dull phlegmatic Theban from the acute and lively citizen of Athens, and then deny this influence, because with fuch oppofite difpofition and character, they lived within a day's journey of each other; nor must we deny it, because the courage, and love of liberty which formed the character of an ancient Roman, may be contrasted with the timid and flavish disposition which degrades the modern; we must not deny it, because a mixture of manners and temperament is fometimes obfervable in nations, fuch as England, of but small extent of territory, and, confequently, of but little comparative difference in climate; or because an uniformity of character, a fort of monotonous difpofition, occafionally runs through the vast dominions of a fpreading empire, fuch as China, subject to confiderable atmospheric variation. Obfervations on fuch countries as thefe, only prove that other causes, befides that of climate, help to form the character, and not that climate has no fhare in the formation. Let us cross the At6 I 2 lantic.
mation of the utility and importance of the magnanimous maxim, "In no circumftances to defpair of the commonwealth."
lantic, and view the original uncivilized poffeffed, and to diftribute them among inhabitants of the. Western World. The the English fettlers, proved that, howfharp invigorating air of the Northern ever reduced in numbers, the courage of regions had rendered the natives of them the natives was daring and unconquerhardy, ingenious, and free and it was able. By a refolute exertion of valonly under the torrid zone, or in coun- our," fays Mr Belfhamt, tempered ties nearly approaching to it, that they as it appears, with no fmall degree of had loft their liberty, were indolent, and difcretion, did this handful of people ulftupid. In the West India islands, Hif timately establish their privileges and paniola, Cuba, Jamaica, &c. the dignity virtual independency, against the attack of the Caziques was hereditary, and the of a mighty power, which menaced their power of them almost unlimited: the total ruin and extermination; and the inhabitants of the cold climates in South treaty between the Caribs of St VinAmerica, and thofe eastward of the cent's and the King of Great Britain, Miffifippi, in North America, equally is a nonument of hiftorical curiofity, difdained the domination of a tyrant. So fingularly valuable, as a striking confir fenfible was Dr Robertfon of the influence which climate exerts on the conftitution and temper of untutored man, that he has actually made a divifion between the nature of the Americans in the torrid, and thofe in the temperate zones; in the latter, he has comprehended those who inhabit from the river St Lawrence to the gulph of Mexico, together with the Chilians and natives of Patagonia, at the extremity of the fouthern continent; in the former are included the dull iflanders, and the inhabitants of thofe provinces which extend from the Ifthmus of Darien, along the coaft of the Andes, to the fouthern confines of Brafil. The natives of the temperate zones, he fays, are the only people in the new world who are in- Indeed, it can hardly be difputed, debted for their freedom to their valour; that the warmer regions have naturally they are more robuft, more active, more a tendency to enfeeble the frame of courageous; and in them the human body §, and with an enfeebled frame fpecies appears to be manifeftly more, of body, the fpirit is languid, and every perfect. That there are exceptions, is effort of the mind proportionably weak. indifputable, but it is probable they ori+ Memoirs of the Reign of George III, ginate from fome local caufes. Such an Vol. 1, p. 356, &c. exception is particularly obfervable among the inhabitants of fome of the Caribbean ifles; the vigorous and effectual refiftance of a thoufand Caribs in the island of St Vincent, in a very late period of English hiftory*, the British troops fent at the defire of the planters, who wanted to wreft from their hands the fertile diftricts of which they were Within the reign of his prefent Majefty
Dr Robertfon conjectures, from the diftinction in character between the Caribs and the inhabitants of the larger islands, and from an obfcure tradition among themselves, that the former are quite a feparate race; that they were defcended from fome continental conquerors (probably from Florida, as there is an affinity between the language and hardy manners of thofe two countries); that the original iflanders were extermi. nated, and that their lands and women were taken poffeffion of by the victorious invaders ‡.
See note 69. to Vol. 2. of Robertfon's
Climate has a confiderable effe on the duration of life. rapidly arrive at maturity, and with equal In fultry regions, peopic rapidity decay. Buffon obferves, that in cie vated countries there are more old people than in low ones; the mountains of Scotland, Wales, Auvergne, Switzerland, abound with inftances of fuch extremic longevity, as are rarely furnished by the inhabitants of Hol land. Flanders, Germany, or Poland.
This confideration led me to fufpect four feet and a half in height, and ethat the moral caufes, fuch as govern- very mark of mental imbecility, which a ment, religion, &c. which Mr Hume vacant eye and the dulleft phyfiognomy confiders as alone influencing the na- can betray, is printed on his countetional character, were themselves but nance. Some, indeed, have a voice, effects flowing from the phyfical ones but the deaf and dumb are extremely of air and climate. Where these are numerous; they die very young, and of a nature to induce on the favage during their existence, one appetite only fuch exceffive laffitude, fuch beastly in- rages among them with uncommon fudolence, that he will lie day after day ry, that for the propagation of their ftretched under the fhade of his lofty fpecies; there have been feveral genetrees, like a log of wood, is it to be rations of them," and what proves to expected that he will trouble himself a degree almoft of mathematical certito curtail the authority of his cazique, tude," fays Sir Richard Clayton, in the or oppose the ambition of any one more memoir before alluded to, "that there alive and active than himself? If he is is fome phyfical reafon for the dreadful fo unconquerably ftupid, fo grofsly care- fingularity, is the fingle circumftance lefs, about futurity, that in the morning that a family coming from a distance to he will fell the hammock he has juft refide within the district, has, in a few flept in, forgetting he fhall want it a years, occafion to lament, on its ingain at night, is it to be wondered at creafe, that idiocy it was before a that he should not anticipate the confe- ftranger to." The Cretins also, on quences of an encroaching ufurpation; removing from the Pays de Vallais, in or that the forceries and incantations of a few generations, lofe the melancholy his priest (for even among favages there diftinction of their race. Government are pricfts and governors to fupport is now taking every precaution to preeach other) fhould be regarded with vent the diffufion of Cretinage, which moft religious and unfearching credu- feclufion from fociety, and the prohibility? This ftate of mind, then, may tion of fexual intercourfe can effect; furely be confidered as phyfically ari- and an hofpital is appropriated to the fing from the ftate and temperature of care and maintenance of them at Sion. the climate, and may rather be efteem. For a more particular account of thefe **ed the cause of a moral effect, than the people, I refer my readers to Sir Richeffect of any moral cause. ard Clayton's paper on the fubject, and But it is unneceffary to wander over fhall content myself with obferving in the valt regions of America, for in- the words of the ingenious baronet, refftances illuftrative of the influence of pecting their climare, that "they reclimate on the nature and character of fide in a fort of vast bafin, full of excefman in an uncivilized ftate. A most five exhalations from the Rhone, and curious and interefting account has late- the marshes on its fides; and the rely been published by Sir Richard Clayton*, of a fet of beings who inhabit a spot of ground (comprising about thirty miles in length, and about eight in breadth) of the Pays de Vallais, in the fouth-west of Switzerland. The Cretins, by which name they are denominated, feem to be an intermediate fort of animals between the Ouran Qutang and the Man; their ftature is about * In the Memoirs of the Manchester Tranf actions, Vol. 3.
flections of the fun from the furrounding mountains, which are almoft vertical, form an atmosphere very fingular for its humidity and its heat."
Whatever collateral caufes may contribute to produce Cretinage, climate muft furely be confidered as a principal one. To afcertain what, or whether any fuch collateral caufes really exifted, requires much more information on the origin, nature, hiftory, and perhaps anatomy of these people, than has yet been
communicated to the public. If climate alone produces this melancholy degradation of the human fpecies, I acknowledge it to have much more pene- The arguments of Mr Hume against trating and powerful effects than I had the influence of physical causes, I have formed an idea of; and the circum- already faid, appear to me rather plauftance mentioned by Sir Richard, that fible than valid; they only prove, that in two or three generations, Cretinage fuch phyfical caufes may be counteracted may either be removed by emigration by others, which, in civilized society, from the Pays de Vallais, or produced are more powerful than themselves. If Cretinage be irresistible to the inhabitants, whether native or foreign, of the lower Vallais, that climate ftamps a character on man, will hardly be again difputed. T. S. N.
in the fame period of time, by emigration to it, feems to indicate, that fuch is really the cafe. Experiments highly interefting and important might furely be made on this fubject: and it is
not a little extraordinary, that the Cretins fhould have fo long existed, and been fo little known.
ON MATRIMONIAL DIFFERENCES*.
"Question all who fhall hereafter come to you with matrimonial complaints, concerning their behaviour in the time of courtship, and inform them that they are neither to wonder nor repine, when a contract begun with fraud, has ended in disappointment." JOHNSON. AS it is pretty generally acknowledg- tion in attempting so vaft an addition to ed, that the holy ftate of matrimony is human happiness; but, indeed, I am not always attended with that happinefs far from flattering myself that I fhall which the parties who enter into it, be able to fucceed. I have only some have taught themselves to expect, and few hints to throw out, rather of the as we find people in general rather ea- negative than the pofitive kind, and gerly difpofed towards it, notwithstand- fhall rather ftate what I think is not ing the many cafes of difappointment a- right, than propofe a complete remedy. mong their neighbours, and efpecially Obfervation will probably affist me in as of late fome inftances of matrimonial the former, but I much question whether difagreements have appeared in parties 1 poffefs inventive powers equal to the latter. However, I fhall, without farther preface, communicate what has occurred to me on the fubject; and the worst I have to fear, is the being claffed with those numberlefs fpeculators, whofe object feems to be to fhow the fertility of their invention at the expenfe of their experience. My fchemes, indeed, will not be found quite fo extenfive as theirs, and I hope I fhall appear fomewhat lefs confident in the fuccefs of them.
of high rank and diftinction, it strikes me that the man who could invent a remedy for thofe diforders, would ccafer a more lafting benefit on mankind than ever was conferred upon them. It may at first fight, indeed, appear an impoffibility. The fubject is of a very complicated nature, involving many very important confiderations, and neceffarily connected with many stubborn prejudices. So that he who attempts a reformation will probably fhare the fate of all other reformers, although he has fo many more difficulties, to encounter, and his object is of univerfal concern and benefit to his fellow creatures.
I fhall, therefore, principally confine myfelf to the caufes of matrimonjal mifery. These are generally stated to be, the parties coming together from im proper motives; from motives of intereft, or of temporary paffion; from the compulfion of friends on whom they depend; from youth and thoughtleffnefs; and from age and fecond childhood.