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ART. I.-1. St. Petersburgh [Petersburg]. A Journal of Travels to and from that Capital; through Flanders, the Rhenish Provinces, Prussia, Russia, Poland, Silesia, Saxony, the Federated States of Germany, and France. By A. B. Granville, M.D.; F.R.S.; F.L.S.; M.R.I.; F.G.S.; and M.R.A.S. Physician in Ordinary to H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence, Physician-Accoucheur to the Westminster General Dispensary, and to the Benevolent Lying-in Institution; Principal Physician to the Royal Metropolitan Infirmary for Sick Children; Hon. Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Madrid; Corresp. Member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburgh, and Hon. Member of the Imperial MedicoChirurgical Academy of the same town; Foreign Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Naples; Member of the Physico-Mathematical Class of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Turin; Corresp. Member of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Berlin; and Ordinary Member of the Natural History Society of Halle; Corresp. Member of the Prussian Physical Society of Bonn; of the Philomathic and Philotecnic Societies, and the Societé Médicale d'Emulation of Paris; of the Philosophical and Literary Society of Manchester; of the Georgofili of Florence; of the Medical and Scientific Societies of Marseilles, Florence, Pistoja, Val d'Arno, Padua, Venice, &c.; and Member of the Royal College of Physicians in London. London. 1828. 2 vols. 8vo.
2. On the Designs of Russia. By Lieut.-Colonel De Lacy Evans. London. 1828. Svo.
3. A Few Words on our Relations with Russia, including some Remarks on a recent Publication by Colonel De Lacy Evans, entitled Designs of Russia.' By a Non-Alarmist. London. 1828. 8vo.
E have printed Doctor Granville's short title-page with the long tail to it, to give a more extensive circulation to the existence of his polyonomous honours and occupations, than could be expected from that of a work of 1320 pages. The Doctor has truly titles manifold'; and these, when more generally known, will, doubtless, prove a passport for his volumes to the shelves of the learned; but old birds are not easily caught with chaff,' and, to speak for ourselves, we are not likely to be biassed one way or other
VOL. XXXIX. NO. LXXVII.
other by a string of initials stuck after a name, were they as many and as legitimate as the quarterings on the shield of the Baron Thunderdentronk.
Doctor Granville thinks it necessary to acquaint the public that he had three reasons for travelling, and three reasons for writing a book about his travels. There is great virtue, as every body knows, in the number three; but we must doubt its efficacy in the preThe first three are,-the health of the amiable Countess of Woronzow, whom he attended in the capacity of accoucheur; his own health;-his family affairs;-all good substantial reasons; but what had the public health, or the public affairs to do with them? As little necessity was there to publish to all the world, that,
When a medical man, fully engaged in practice in such a metropolis as London, whose services have, in common with those of many of his colleagues, been considered useful to the community, abruptly absents himself from his duties, and sets off, at a short notice, to post upwards of four thousand miles over the Continent-the public, whom he serves, and by whom he lives, have some right to ask what motives could have led to such a step. It is in deference to that right that the Author has thus openly entered into an explanation.'-Preface, p. vii.
We have a strong impression that the doctor, in this early part of his book, (for we are yet only in the preface,) betrays a smack of the common vice which too easily besets authors, and which, indeed, we had some suspicion lurked in the long title-page,-in a word, that this hero of etceteras has, unconsciously, perhaps, persuaded himself into a notion that he fills a larger space in society than his pretensions would warrant.* Doctor Granville is unquestionably a clever, shrewd man; and, though a foreigner, we should have thought he had lived long enough in London to know that the English public, so far from feeling any uneasiness at his absence, or exercising any 'right' to call for an explanation' of it, neither does now nor ever will care one straw where he goes, how long he remains absent, when he returns, or whether he ever returns or not, excepting, perhaps, those patients who may have confidence in his skill, which we have heard and believe to be considerable. And having settled this point, we now proceed on our journey through the Doctor's two fat octavos, assuring him that whatever
What else than a wish for public notoriety could have induced Doctor Granville to detail his grievances as a disappointed candidate for the obstetrical chair of the misnamed University of London, in ten or twelve interminable pages in a book on St. Petersburg, and to carry on an unanswered string of objurgations with an encyclope dical-gifted individual' as he calls Mr. Brougham, in the columns of a Sunday newspaper? How can he imagine that the public takes any interest whether Dr. Granville or Dr. Davis be appointed to deliver lectures, or any thing else, even the young Alma Mater herself, in Upper Gower-street.
little prejudice his title-page and preface may seem calculated to raise, no such feeling shall be permitted to affect, in the slightest degree, our estimation of his work.
Doctor Granville, it would seem, was nearly frightened from undertaking this journey by the perusal of the two foregoing doctors, Clarke and Lyall.
Mercy on me he exclaims, I am to be fleeced, cheated, and laughed at; I shall lie without a bed, starve on black bread, and swarm with vermin. The villages are of mud, and the towns of logs of wood, and the two capitals moonshine. There is no chance of seeing a handsome woman; the gentlemen are all ignoramuses, and the common people brutes. The government is despotic; the police troublesome; and the dogs bite differently from English dogs.' These scraps thus strung together made the doctor 'ponder;' but calling to his recollection that it is the fashion among some English travellers (of Dr. Granville's acquaintance) to maintain that St. Paul's is the finest church in the Christian world, and the Thames the largest river in Europe,' he took courage, and prepared for his journey.
We pass over the advice to his patients to make Dover their residence as a watering-place; the blessing he bestows on steampackets; and his discovery that sea-sickness consists in vomiting, or something like it,'-thus clearing up the history of a malady which he assures us has puzzled most, nay all of the grave doctors, to find out what it arises from.' (vol. i. p. 8.) What may be more important for our readers to know, Dr. Granville says he prevented this distressing malady from visiting either the countess or himself by administering forty-five drops of laudanum at the beginning of the voyage; a prescription as old as some of our grandmothers. The doctor adds, and, however strange it may appear, we by no means disbelieve it, that both the lady and the doctor, in about four-and-twenty hours after their arrival in Calais, could scarcely be considered any longer as invalids-such is the almost instantaneous efficacy of a change of air, a change of scene, and the power of the imagination.
Doctor Granville paints Ostend in colours that certainly do not belong to it. Its commercial houses,' 'great canal,' ' vistas of the principal streets,' 'lofty narrow tower with its beaconlight,' the old and new ports,' 'bomb-proof and impregnable,'—these, he says, form' collectively' a landscape worthy of the pencil of Ruysdael!' Such encomiums on this miserable place have satisfied us, that his descriptions must be received with caution, and that his knowledge of the arts is not very extensive. Who but the doctor would have selected a low, monotonous, naked town without a tree, with some little shipping shut up in a basin, for
the peneil of an artist whose forte was in rugged mountain-scenery, rude rocks and foaming waterfalls, old hoary woods, and melancholy groves? Ostend is a poor, dull place, and, if a fit subject for any pencil, it would be that of a Vernet or a Vandevelde. We observe, indeed, other proofs in his book, that the doctor is not much of a connoisseur in painting. He says that the pictures of merit in the cathedral of Saint Bavon at Ghent are numerous, but those of the brothers Hubert and John Van Eyck, the inventors of oil painting, are justly considered as the most valuable productions of the Flemish school.' So say the guide-books; but his authorities have deceived the doctor in spite of all his Academies; the paintings of the Van Eycks are only considered as valuable for their antiquity; and as to their being the inventors of oil painting,' Sir Joshua Reynolds thought otherwise; indeed it has been proved that oil painting was practised more than a century before they were born. If Doctor Granville had looked sharp near the same part of the wall where he saw the Van Eycks, he might have discovered an old German painting with the date 1300 in the corner.
Again, at Cologne, in speaking of the picture of the crucifixion of St. Peter by Rubens, he says, that
for strength, truth, and colouring, it may be considered as far superior to most of the productions of that artist. Yet,' he continues, 'there are some connoisseurs who affect to believe that this painting is not the work of that master, but of one of his pupils. This arises probably from the absence of those huge, fleshy, exaggerated figures which are generally observed in most of Rubens' pictures.'
It is quite true that there are ignorant connoisseurs' who believe what he states, and among the number that ignorant connoisseur Sir Joshua Reynolds. As to the rest, our readers, who know any thing of the arts, will be able to appreciate the extent of Doctor Granville's acquaintance with the paintings of Rubens,
The palace of the new University of Ghent founded by William I. is certainly a noble building, and does infinite credit to the liberality and right feeling of the King of the Netherlands. Doctor Granville says, 'it is by far the handsomest architectural monument consecrated to the arts and sciences now existing in Europe. To this university there are three curators, nineteen professors, a secretary, inspector, and librarian. The number of students amounts already to more than five hundred. It contains collections of natural history, particularly of zoology and mineralogy, of comparative anatomy, and of medals; and in the library are upwards of sixty thousand volumes. There are also established an excellent botanical garden and a botanical society. The garden is extensive, tastefully laid out, and although in its infancy,
fancy, it can already boast of twelve hundred genera and five thousand six hundred species, all arranged according to the system of Linnæus.
At Ostend, and afterwards at Brussels, Dr. Granville met with the 'celebrated,' as he is pleased to call him, Capo d'Istrias; and is quite enraptured in praise of this distinguished individual.' He was no less struck with his personal appearance :-' the squareness and great elevation of his forehead; the extraordinary size of his ears, considerably detached from the back part of the head; and the remarkable paleness of his complexion, give him a very peculiar character.' The late Sir Thomas Maitland was not at all smitten with the peculiar merits of this broad-fronted, longeared gentleman, when he had to deal with him in his character of Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands-but doctors will differ.
At Brussels, we are told, some enterprising booksellers are reprinting the Paris novels, romances, plays, &c., which they can afford to sell at half of the Parisian prices; that Tarlier, one of the principal publishers, had reprinted, in the first six months of 1827, not less than 318,615 volumes, of the value of 1,183,315 francs. The publishers in Paris are, as may be supposed, up in arms against those of Brussels, and are about to establish a depôt at the latter place to undersell them. Thus do the public reap advantage from competition. The population of the Netherlands would keep pace with the multiplication of books, if, as Dr. Granville says, it had increased, since the year 1814, at the rate of one-tenth in ten years, or of doubling itself in a century. the doctor has mistaken the Netherlands proper for the whole kingdom of William I.; the provinces of Holland reckon hodie about 1,900,000 souls-which we believe is a considerable diminution since the commencement of the century. The improvements that have taken place in the Netherlands, under the present government, in commerce, manufactures, agriculture, and industry, in general, are very remarkable, more especially in the vicinity of Brussels, Antwerp, Liege, and Namur; and the arts and sciences, literature, and the fine arts, go hand in hand with the extended education, prosperity, and comforts of the people. In the Netherlands, the roads, in particular, are daily improving; but it is quite true as Dr. Granville says, that, from the moment the Belgian frontier is passed, they are intolerable, whether on the paved chaussée or on the sandy and clayey sides, as far as Cologne.
Brussels, we are told, may be said to be, next to Paris, the largest English colony on the continent; and that there are not fewer at this moment than six thousand English residents there,