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In mentioning the Mice-Tower,' built by Archbishop Hatto on a rock in the river, near Bingen, the Author clips the venerable piece of history attached to it.
• According to a monkish legend among the old stories of the Rhine, the above Hatto, who, from the severity of his ecclesiastical discipline, was hated by clergy and people, though in other respects a worthy ruler, fled, in the time of a samine, from Ehrenfels, followed by myriads of swimming mice, to this tower, where they devoured him!'
Now, what right had the mice thus to invite themselves to dine upon the doubtless well-fed and savoury person of His Grace? The history says, they were judicially authorised to do so, in consequence of his baving said, in that time of famine, that the common people were but verwin that devoured the corn.
The mention of Oberwesel introduces the name of a person of whom we should have been pleased to have any further information, acquired in our Author's researches; John Ruchard, . called Johunnes de Wesalia, a man whose ideas were far beyond those of his age.'
• This individual came boldly forward as a Reformer fifty years before Luther, and his manuscripts against absolution and various dogmas, were condemned to be publicly burned at Mentz. On the very same day, a tournament was held there; which proves sufficiently that levity has long had a seat here and there in the world.'
This is too large an inference, we think, against the world. The historical fact does not prove the moral one, (the residence of levity,) beyond the particular place where it occurred. But it is not unlikely, that with less than our Author's diligence of research, there might be distinct proofs obtained against many other places, that levity has had, at one time or other, a seat in each of them.
At Newied, the lover of antiquity treads the classic ground of the Ubii and the Romans. In the neighbourhood, so many relics of the civil and military life, and of the superstition of the Romans, have been discovered by excavation, that our Author, with that patriotic complaisance with which we find him every where ready to transfer the characteristics of Italy to the borders of the Rhine, has denominated the place 'a German Hercula
neuin and Pompeii.' He justly regrets that this · harvest of antiquities' has not been placed in the garner of' a Museum.'There is at Newied a' convent-like colony of Moravians,
whose church-yard, which is without the town, bas all the appearance of an orchard. The inscriptions over the departed are short and expres. sive : “ Went home," or, " Gone home." The other religious sccts, even the Anabaptists, have also their churches at Newied; and the New Weda has long been the abode of Christian toleration.'
There is a disquisition, with a citation of multifarious opinions and authorities, respecting the places where Julius Cæsar crossed - the Rhine.' An opinion or suggestion offered by the Baron, will be of much more permanent weight than all their adjudgements, if he is not too sanguine when he says, ' Till all the doubts ' are satisfactorily removed, or till the spirit of Cæsar appear
among us to solve the enigma, the above conjecture, it is hoped, • will not be without its use in this controversy.'
The vine is the inost important production of the banks and vicinity of the river, within the points at which this description begins and ends. The Author distinguishes the spots most valuable or celebrated for its cultivation; and notes the respective qualities of the wines, but not in the most classical diction of high connoisseurship. The adaptation of the vine to dry stony elevations, has caused a verdure and beauty to be spread over many of the rocky heights of the banks, which would otherwise have appeared in mere rugged and frowning sterility:
The lengthened history and description of Cologne, has more of the appearance of a piece of good writing than any other part of the book; though there is a stroke or two of extravagance in the account of the grand cathedral. There appears to be good sense and taste in his remarks on the old pictures wbich have been brought on the public by the breakiug up, within the last twenty years, of an astonishing number of ecclesiastical establishments,
- the suppression, as he says, ' within this city, (and we know • not what extent of the surrounding territory) of fifty-eight • convents and fifty unnecessary chapels.' Some of the good people of the Rhine will not, as the 'Translator has hinted, be much obliged to bim for his exposure and ridicule of the practice of vamping up, in smart new colours, numbers of the old spoiled pictures; the foolish ignorance with which these have been admired and bought; and the bad taste and sense with which even pretended artists have been capable of preferring any of the best of the old Rhenish paintings to those of Italy in its best age of art. He at the same time discriminates and praises the merits eally possessed by some of these old German performances.
A long geographical or topographical illustration accompanies a good map of the country of the Middle Rhine.-The Author has not spared labour in any part of his work ; which, though not exactly a book for reading, will be valuable as a kind of historical gazetteer of that part of Germany.
The great attraction will be in the plates. They are of the advaqtageous size of eleven inches by eight. The draughtsman is not a transient tourist of the Rhine, but, it is said, familiarly conversant with its scenery. The views carry their own evidence of being well selected ; and they are represented under lights the most favourable to their character. The engravings, in acquatinta, are done with much softness and refinement, and yet dis
tinctness, chiefly by Sutherland, a few only being by D. Havell. And the colouring, if we may judge of the rest from our own copy, (as we presume we may) is performed, in general, in a careful and delicate manner.* They are, on the whole, an uncommonly beautiful set of coloured prints, and will give a much more coinpetent idea of the romantic banks of the Rhine, than any work previously published in England. One fault will strike the eye,-a want of correspondence in the reflections in the water, in calm water, to the objects reflected. This we have observed in many other graphical representations; and it really seeins to be intentional and affected. A precise and mechanical imitation of the real object in its watery image, we need not be told, is inconsistent with the freedom and grace of art ; but it is perfectly obvious, that a wilfully dissimilar and vague reflection is an utter violation of the truth of nature.
In the Author's account of Mentz, we noticed what appeared to be meant as a sneer at the pure liberality' of the RhenishHessian government. A note toward the end of the work, appears, on the contrary, to praise sincerely this same government in the hands of its present administrator. We must therefore acknowledge that the intention of that former passage must be left in the dubiousness which the Translator himself says there is in the expression.
Art. II. Travels in the Interior of Africa, to the Sources of the Sene
gal and Gambia ; performed by Command of the French Government, in the Year 1818. By G. Mollien. Edited by T. E. Bowdich, Esq. Conductor of the Mission to Ashantee. 4to. London, 1820.
E are at all events rejoiced to receive back again, safe and
sound, one of the volunteers on the forlorn hope of African exploration. Not that M. Mollien is to be classed with the Ledyards and the Parks, the men of enlarged views, wellweighed schemes, and all but desperate adventure : his was an humbler range, a less daring enterprise, requiring little more than the exercise of prudence and self-command, and exposing him to scarcely greater casualty than such as might result from the influence of the climate on an European constitution. We hope, indeed, we most sincerely hope, that the list of scientific proscription is now closed; and that, excepting under circumstances of encouragement hardly yet to be expected, the enterprising traveller who burns with the passion for discovery, will turn to other regions as the field of his exertions, and leave the
• We wish we could say as much of the first specimen of the Tour of the English Lakes, publishing by Mr. Ackerman. Surely this is a scenery worth some care in the employment of his cclourers.
fiery skies and scorching marle of Africa, to the wretched and faithless tribes whose frames are seasoned to the climate. Perbaps a more effectual method than has yet been tried, of prosecuting further inquiries, might be found in the education of native youth at our settlements on the coast, and in the selection and preparation of such as should seem best fitted for the task by mental and bodily vigour, and by their diligence in the acquisition of science. After all, however, we confess, though the confession may be indiscreet, that our curiosity respecting central Africa is by no means intense. Investigation and commercial enterprise have nearly surrounded this continent with a broad zone of discovery, traffic, and partial establishment: the character and habitat of the Mohammedan tribes of Africa are known with sufficient accuracy; and little, probably, remains to be ascertained in the unexplored regions, but varieties of Paganism and Fetish-worship, or the determination of geograpbical problems which it is desirable, indeed, to clear up, but they are not worth even the risk of one of the many valuable lives which have been sacrificed in the effort to solve them.
M. Mollien was on board the Medusa frigate in 1816, when that vessel was wrecked to the south of Cape Blanco. While journeying along the coast towards the French settlements on the Senegal, he had an opportunity of experiencing some of the fatigues, privations, and sufferings, which travellers in Africa are compelled to undergo. He was, however, determined not to profit by the lesson. Having imbibed from the representations of Leo Africanus, notions a little tinged with the marvellous, be amused himself with anticipating, instead of sterility, cities of con
siderable magnitude;' and—we cannot well conceive how-he contrived to find in the narratives of Mungo Park, nutriment to his wild imaginations, hoping to discover, instead of uninhabita'ble deserts or ferocious people,' civilized nations, the relics of
Egyptian or Carthaginian colonies.' There is something very unaccountable to us in the ideas of antiquity with which a Frenchman manages to fill his head. The connexion between Carthage and Foutatoro, the strong similarity of the hero of Canna to the Damnel of Cayor, who destroys and depopulates his own villages, the resemblance between the mud buts and straw palaces of Sedo or Ouamkrore, and the avenues and temples of Thebes with its hundred gates, may be extremely obvious to M. Mollien, but we are constrained to confess that they escape us altogether. But although he was doomed to fail in his quest after a Poula Memphis, or a Serracolet Carthage, he was successful, supposing his information to have been correct, in discovering the sources of three great rivers, the Gambia, the Rio Grande, and the Senegal, together with the springs of the Falcmé, an important tributary to the latter.
M. Mollien returned in 1817 to France, for the purpose of obtaining the patronage of the Government in his projected journey; but his application was unsuccessful: he persevered, however, in his design, and in 1818, procured from M. Fleuriau, Governor of Senegal, the necessary sanction and the very moderate outfit required for his arduous undertakiog. To a preliminary visit to the neighbouring Damel (or King) of Cayor, who is described as a young and corpulent negro, with a sweet voice, but ferocious look, M. Mollien was so fortunate as to obtain a friendly interview with the monarcb. Previously to setting out on his main journey, be received from the Governor a brief paper of instructions, specifying the sources of the Senegal, the Gambia, and the Niger, as the chief objects to be ascertained, directing his attention to certain subordinate inquiries, and enjoining the utmost prudence and the avoidance of all unnecessary risk. A native Marabout, or Mohammedan priest, was engaged to accompany him. Having provided himself with a good horse, and an ass to carry his baggage, together with a small
assortment of coral, amber, tobacco, beads, powder, and ball, he set off, in the end of January, on his enterprise. In the early part of his journey, M. Mollien unadvisedly assumed the Moorish dress, which exposed bim to the suspicion and hostility of the negroes, who hold the Moors in the utmost dread and abhorrence, as rob. bers and murderers: happily, be ascertained this in time to remedy bis error, by sending back to St. Louis for his European garb. The first stages of his course lay through villages either already ravaged by the army of the Damel, or in constant appre. bension of a similar fate; but, as he approached the frontiers of the state, he seemed to leave the traces of this scourge behind him, and to find every where the signs of a more tranquil and contented condition.
At Coqué, he saw, for the first time, the Baubah, the monarch of the African forest ; but his notices of the appearance and character of this fine tree, are extremely ineagre. M. Golberry, in bis valuable Fragmens d'un voyage en Afrique, has devoted a whole chapter to the description of this noble plant; and we shall borrow from his authority a lew particulars in illustration of its qualities and aspect. It is described by him as the giant of the vegetable tribe, slow in its growth, and indestructibly vigorous in its constitution: it flourishes in sites where all other verdure perisbes, and, amid sterile and arid sands, shoots up its enormous truok, and strikes deep and wide its prodigious roots. One of these trees which be visited in the valley of Gagack, measured in circuinference one hundred and four feet, and more than thirtyfour in diameter. This patriarch of African vegetation bad in its trunk a large hollow, twenty feet in either diameter, which the negroes had taken some pains to adorn with rude sculptures;