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tion, in a country whose inhabitants are averse to migration, and exempted from the services of war.
On the subject of diet we can only remark, that it either varies very considerably in ditferent districts, or that some inconsistencies have found their way into the author's note-book. Thus, in one passage, we find the natives feeding almost exclusively on fish; in another, on milk and cheese ; and again, in a third, devouring their rein-deer with wasteful extravagance. In one place, we are led to infer, that water is their sole beverage ; nay, we are positively told, that they use no artificial spirits : yet honourable mention is often made of brandy ;-in all matrimonial negociations, it is a sine qua non ;-and, as we learn from the author's direct testimony, it is the liquor of which they are most passionately fond.
Linnæus not only confirms the accounts of other writers relative to the swiftness of foot for which the Laplanders have been celebrated, but formally discusses eight causes of their remarkable fleetness. Even a boat thrown over a man's shoulders, does not always retard this quickness of pace. “My companion, af• ter committing all my property to my own care, laid his knap6 sack on his back, and turning the boat bottom upwards, plac• ed the two oars longitudinally, so as to cross the seats. These • rested on his arms, as he carried the boat over his head; and • thus he scampered away, over hills and valleys,- so that the • devil himself could not have come up with him.
In the construction of their canoes and sledges, the harnessing of their rein-deer, the manufacture of fine thread from the sinews of these animals, &c. these demi-barbarians discover considerable ingenuity; but the ordinary details of their domestic economy bespeak no intellectnal superiority, and required not to be specially registered. To wbat purpose, for example, should we be informed, that some of the Lulean Laplanders clean their half-boots and harnessing with the fat of fish, while others procure blacking from Norway? Or, what will it avail us to know, that, in their huts, these same Luleans stir the pot, when boiling, with an oblong board, placed transversely at the end of a pole? Many objects of equal importance are not only described with phlegmatic circumstantiality, but, moreover, illustrated by sketches of a truly Scandinavian aspect.
If proofs were wanted of the boorishness of Lapland manners, it might suffice to mention, that the occupiers of a hut sleep, in the costume of nature, on skins of rein-deer, spread over a layer of dwarf birch ;---that the sexes rise from the simple couch, and • dress themselves promiscuously, without any shame or con• cealment ;'--that they never cut their hair ; and cnly occa
sionally employ a comb, or any similar instrument ;-and that the consequences are, accordingly, too moving to be described. Shirts and shifts, and a laundress or washerwoman, are alike unknown; but we must do them the justice to state, that they wash their dishes with their fingers, squirting water out of their • mouths on the spoons!' At one moment, we are told, that the women do almost every thing but actually wear the breeches; and, at another, we find that they really do wear them in winter, which, being interpreted, is at least nine months in the year. The men, however, seem to have reserved the exclusive privilege of cookery; so that the master of a family has no occasion . to speak a good word to his wife, when he wishes to give a • hospitable entertainment to his guests'When Linnæus, says the editor, wrote this sentence, he seems to have had a
presentiment of his own matrimonal fate,-just the reverse, in • this very point, of that he was describing.
The moral and religious character of such beings as we have contemplated, cannot reasonably be supposed to be of the purest or most exalted nature; and though they recal to the writer's imagination the silver and the golden age of Ovid, and the times of the patriarchs, and have suggested to Thomson some lines of beautiful fiction ; it must not be dissembled, that they are pinched by cold, or tortured by gnats; that they dwell in'smoke, with weak or distempered vision ; that they are filthy, lazy, ignorant, superstitious, and knavish. To complete the picture of their misery, their interests in the fisheries are postponed by government to those of Finnish colonists; and they are compelled, often at the risk of their lives, to attend on the church festivals, in the spring.
Before we close our report of this very extraordinary production, we deem it only an act of justice to the learned and laborious editor, to mention, that he has bestowed much trouble in decyphering the original manuscript, and in procuring a faithful version of its miscellaneous contents.' Even the fac-similes of the rough drawings, though executed in a very different style from the pretty plates of Mr Ackermann's Repository, contribute, nevertheless, to the graphic and ghostly air of the whole performance. We certainly could have tolerated a more literal allowance of marginal annotation, illustrative of the laconic, desultory, and sometimes contradictory alegations of the text: But Dr Smith has evinced his usual perspicacity in adjusting the nomenclature of many plants and animals which had been set down under vague or ohsolete appellations.
We should also, perhaps, advert to those blind worshippers of the name of Linnæus, who, we understand, have expressed 5
their regret, that a work which may be supposed to lower the dignity of their idol, should have been rendered accessible to the profane vulgar. But we must be contented briefly to remind them, that the scraps of a portfolio can never, by the thinking part of mankind, be assumed as the basis of literary reputation ; that the volumes before us are not infected with the nauseous vanity which pervades the author's diary of his life--but, under a rude and slovenly exterior, contain much curious information ; and that, unless we be permitted to contemplate distinguished individuals in their unreserved moments, we shall be in danger of forming very erroneous estimates of human character and of human nature.
Art. IV. Speeches of Lord Erskine when at the Bar, on Mise
cellaneous Subjects. 8vo. pp. 248. Ridgeway, London. 1812. IT
is now a considerable time since we called the attention of
our readers to the very interesting and important publication of which this volume forms the sequel. The opinions then expressed, although known to be those entertained by the enlightened profession
of which Lord Erskine was the chief ornament, have, as might be expected from party violence and ignorance, encountered some opposition ;-chiefly, however, among persons at a distance from the theatre where his talents were displayed, and not the most capable, in other respects, of forming a sound judgment on such subjects. The remarks which we made on the political persecutions of 1794, have been also attacked; and, as might be expected, with some bitterness, by the few remaining adherents of the system,—and the supporters of those weakand contemptible politicians who are seeking to remove the worst enemy they have to contend with-popular discussion-by reviving the measures formerly pursued against the liberty of the press. Having now had some leisure for maturely weighing both branches of the subject,—the merits of the orations in question, and the character of the measures of 1794,--and having had ample opportunities of observing the way in which those topics are canvassed by such as are competent to handle them, we have no hesitation in avowing, that our sentiments remain wholly unchanged. Not a word have we heard derogatory to the warm and unbought applause extorted from us by the great services which Lord Erskine has rendered to the cause of Liberty ; and we fancy that all who have had time to study the speeches, now go along with us in the tribute of admiration paid to their transcendent merits. Indeed there seems but one voice upon the matter. We heard some time ago of an exception or two, the particulars of which have escaped us; but we believe there was a newspaper written in the Scottish tongue, in some remote part of the country, which professed an inability to understand the beauties of the composition, possibly from ignorance of the language in which the speeches were delivered: and it was said, that an attorney, somewhere in Scotland, (and most likely from the same cause), was greatly offended at our praise of the speech for Stockdale, which he professed an inability to enter into ;--but was confident the best • Session papers' were very different things. With these slight exceptions, we take the opinion of the country, and of every part of the world where the language is understood, to be that of the most unbounded adıniration of these exquisite specimens of judicial oratory, and of great obligations to the editor of the collection.
uporr fame upon
Those obligations are now.considerably increased by the publication of the present volume, which contains some speeches less known to the world, because upon subjects of a private nature; but not at all inferior in oratorical merit to the finest of Lord Erskine's performances in State Trials. It is with great delight that we revert to so interesting a task as that of tracing the skill and genius of a first-rate orator, and of holding up his exertions for the instruction of those who may feel within themselves one of the noblest passions of our nature-love of the fame to be acquired, and the gratification to be felt, in wielding the feelings of a popular assembly ;-a passion only second to that of which Lord Erskine too holds forth so bright an example—the love of , earning that fame by the services which, in a free country, elo-quence may render to the rights of the people, and the best interests of mankind.
This volume contains seven speeches of Mr Erskine; three of which are on trials of a public nature--the speech for Hadfield, that for the Madras Council, and that for Cuthell. The other - four are speeches in private actions ; two in cases of adultery, one in an action for breach of promise of marriage, and one in the Bishop of Bangor's case. There is a circumstance, unavoidable perhaps, but greatly to be lamented, in the publication of the two speeches in cases of seduction: we mean the pain which a revival of such discussions must give to the feelings of the parties and their families. The publicity of their story inflicts some of the most acute of the sufferings arising from such transactions at the time, and it is painful to think how severely the same feelings must be wounded by the revival of the subject at a distance of time, when those may have become capable of heing wounded, over whose lappily tender years the first blast of evil fame had passed innoxious. For this serious evil we fear there is no remedy ; yet we do not the less regret it; and, in alluding to the cases in question, and quoting passages, we shall carefully abstain from mentioning names, that we may not have to reproach ourselves with spreading the mischief.
The speech for Hadfield contains one of the most sound and able disquisitions on the subject of insanity, as matter of defence against a criminal charge, that is any where to be found. Indeed, we view it as a peculiarly important addition to legal learning, and as going far to settle the question within what limits this defence shall be available. Most of our readers must recollect the singular transaction which gave rise to it
. We près fer recalling it to the minds of such as do not, in the words of Mr Erskine's exordium ; for they convey a lesson as well as a narrative of the fact.
• The scene which we are engaged in, and the duty which I am not merely privileged, but appointed by the authority of the Court to perform, exhibits to the whole civilized world a perpetual monument of our national justice.
· The transaction, indeed, in every part of it, as it stands recorded in the evidence already before us, places our country, and its government, and its inhabitants, upon the highest pinnacle of human elevation. It appears, that upon the 15th day of May last, his Majesty, after a reign of forty years, not merely in sovereign power, but
spona taneously in the very hearts of his people, was openly shot at (or to all appearance shot at) in a public theatre in the centre of his capital, and amidst the loyal plaudits of his subjects, YET NOT A HAIR OF Tile HEAD OF THE SUPPOSED ASSASSIN WAS TOUched. In this unparalleled scene of calm forbearance, the King himself, though he stood first in personal interest and feeling, as well as in command, was a singular and fortunate example.-The least appearance of emotion on the part of that august personage, must unavoidably have produced a scene quite different, and får less honourable than the Court is now witnessing ; but his Majesty remained unmoved, and the
person apparently offending was only secured, without injury or reproach, for the business of this day.' p. 5.
He then describes the peculiar indulgences which our treason laws extend to the accused; in so much that he who, for an attack upon the meanest individual, would be hurried away to trial, without delay, or counsel, or knowledge of witnesses, or of jurors, or of charges, is, when charged with a murderous design against the sovereign of the country, covered all over with the
armour of the law;'-a distinction which, when soberly considered, we may in passing remark, affords praise to the English law of treasons, at the expense of the other branches of eriminal jurisprudence. Mr Erskine, pursuing the topic, enters VOL. XIX. NO. 98.