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though he has traced war's ruthless paths, and trodden on the yet smoaking ruins of a bleeding country, yet its theatre is too vast to present more than a mere outline. He is well aware that his province is a very peculiar one, his views of man and country must be rapid and hurried; the impressions made on bis senses, by these views, must necessarily be rapid also ; although perhaps vivid in colouring, they must be light and delicate ; they must present all those lights and shades which were passing across the mind of the author when writing, and which, by a correspondent transition, must throw their tints over that of the reader, and thus keep bis attention constantly excited. He knows that it is out of the nature of his pages to be heavy and prolix ; they inust not be impressed with the stamp of lucubration, they must not be tinged with the gloom of the closet. He must bid adieu both to theory and to contemplation, and, as he mingles with new scenes, his mind expands and illumines, his pages eatch the kindred spark; they grow, as it were, with the subject, and the sacred light of truth marks them with its unerring stamp. His works are not to be judged by the standard of schoolmen. His facts are collected under many disadvantages. He has “ to look that he may learn,” not " to learn that he may look.” He must draw his information from uncertain sources; the answers he may receive to his questions may be as differert and incongruous as the people from whoiu lie asks them. He has no alternative : he must adopt the one, explode the other, or draw conclusions from both. He must think for himself and himself solely. Opinions and characters of man and country must be taken on the spot, and according to the exact stamp of the moment. They must not go before the moment, because it shews a reference to other authorities, and thus weakens that spirit of originality, which ought to be the very essence of his pages : they must not come behind the moment, or it will be loading the memory uselessly.
Each individual spot, which the traveller traces, has its peculiar cbaracter; the very nature and disposition of the rocks and mountains, the shape of the lakes, the surface of the soil, the numerous errors of the maps, as well as the manners of the people, ought to be particular objects of his remarks.
Amidst all that vast mass of observation which these northero regions stretch out to him, pone can be more interesting than tine
influence of climate on the physical, and its corresponding influence on the moral constitution of their natives.
In a political point of view, never perhaps was there a period in which the affairs of the North, and particularly Russia, could be of more interest than the present. Every Briton must feel a conscious glow of pride in looking at the glorious alliance of Russia with his country; long have they been joined in the bands of a holy and sa. cred war, and long way they be kindred in the spirit of peace !
There is no æra, in the history of nations, more interesting to isquire into, hor more difficult to delineate, than that which interrenes between their ruin and their restoration ; between their subjugation and that new existence, which they derive from a recovery of their rights, &c. At this critical period, their character, with that of its people, undergoes various changes ; it assimilates with the nature of the existing revolution. Their moral existence becomes tied down by their political creed, and vibrates with its fluctuations. All is in a state of uncertainty, and there is no fixed standard, by which to judge of its identity as a nation.
Most particularly has this been the case, at least in many respects, in those countries in which the author has travelled, and most precisely has this been the period at which his observations were made. The time when he travelled was indeed critical and embarassing botii to the countries and to himself. Scarcely had they begun to heal from their wounds, scarcely had the storm of war ceased to thunder through them, and scarcely bad that pivot rested, on which their fate had been so long vacillating.
To these points therefore he lays principal claims for the interest of the following pages. Let it not be supposed, however, that their character will be merely political : his chief object is to develope the principal and prominent features of that vast line of country along which he travelled ; to point out their present state, and notice those objects most worthy the attention of their rational visitor. He treads lightly and rapidly. His views, characters and impressions were taken on the spot, at the moment, and under many disadvantages. His labours and privations were many, his paths were dark, dreary and intricate ; but the bright star of enthusiasm, like the clue of Ariadne, has carried hiin along, and if even one gleam of its sacred light can dawn on him who turns over these pages, their labour will be forgotten, and the author rewarded.
&c. &c. &c.
Dantzick, June, 1814.
When a traveller first sets out from his native land, and afterwards publishes his tour, it generally happens that the pages of his book keep pace with the stages of his journey, and that, whether in idleness or amusement, in dulness or instruction, both correspond and sympathize with each other. This may be very
well, when he arrives at a certain distance from home, and visits countries which cease to be familiar; but to devote his pages to the oft trodden tracks of his own country, and those immediately around it, is too often an useless evaporation of their interest, and an idle fatigue to their reader.
After a short, and not unpleasant, residence in Denmark, having made the necessary arrangements for our journey to the Russian empire, we took leave, and not without regret, of our Danish friends. It is not the object of the following pages to attempt
illustrating a nation so well known as Denmark, nor á metropolis so splendid, and whose features have been so often portrayed, as Copenhagen,—where elegance of taste,-social virtues, and the most liberal institutions of charity, equally claim the attention, respect, and admiration of every stranger.
Yet we cannot but behold, in this little nation, a striking instance of the mutability of events. The Danes were the greatest people of the north, after the destruction of the Roman empire, and continued, for a length of time, to plunder, destroy; and even to give laws to countries now the first in the world. When it had risen to the plenitude of its power,
and its flag rode triumphant from the Baltic to the Mediterranean seas, a combination of commercial towns under the name of the Hanseatic league, opposed its daring outrages, and overcame what all the powers of Europe could not effect: from that time Denmark gradually diminished in power, wealth, and territory; and, from having once stretched from the banks of the Rhine to the North Cape, it is now confined to the peninsula of Jutland and the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, with the islands of Zealand, Funen, Laaland, Falstaff, etc. scarcely a shadow of its former greatness, but still valuable, in point of local situation, to commerce.
As the power of nations now depends both on the number and bravery of its people, it might be an
advantageous exchange to Denmark and Great Britain, were the island of Zealand delivered to the latter power for the electorate of Hanover. Zealand, under the protection of Great Britain, would soon become the mart of the northern commerce, as it was in the beginning of the sixteenth century, when the commercial power of the Hanse towns was diminished. The Sound dues, collected at Elsineur, might be raised to a sum sufficient to defray the expenditure of the colony. The value of Zealand, at present, is at its lowest ebb. The whole island, from agricultural neglect, does not produce any thing in sufficient quantity for exportation. One half of the island is covered with excellent wood, and little more than one fourth of its surface is cultivated. At present the average purchase of land is, from seven pounds to fifteen pounds an English acre. Its situation, strengthened by the power of Great Britain, would become the key to the Baltic commerce; and, if in friendly alliance with Russia, would be connected with that of the Caspian and Black Seas, independently of the Mediterranean communication. Thus the British might claim the exclusive privilege of navigating the Baltic. Denmark, on the contrary, would acquire extent of dominion and
population, and might fix the royal residence in Hanover. Her commerce would be increased, from the facility of trading with Copenhagen, besides the in