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after the first edition of the first volume, and almost certainly before the publication of the second volume. With Panzer (whom he makes of Leipsic!) and Ebert-nay even with what he himself has transcribed from these bibliographers, before his eyes, his blunder is inconceivable. From a note to the first of these additional letters, (p. 146,) compared with his account of the fourth edition, that of 1556, (p. 70,) he evidently imagines these six letters to have been first published and appended in that edition along with the Epistola imperterriti fratris, &c. The following letters,' he says, are added only in the later editions, and their author, as well as the occasion of their composition, un'known. In all probability they were the work of the still living ' authors of the first and second volumes.' Some lesser errors under this head we overpass, as Muench is here only a copyist.
The third condition, though of primary importance, and comparatively easy, our editor has not fulfilled. He professes to have printed the first volume from its second edition; he does not inform us from what edition he printed the second volume, or the appendix to the first. He has instituted no collation of the original editions: and nothing can exceed the negligence, we shall not say ignorance, which even this uncollated text displays. It was the primary duty of an editor to have furnished a text, purified at least from the monstrous typographical errors with which all former editions abound. The present edition only adds new blunders to the old.* These errata we should refer to a culpable negligence, were it not that Dr Muench is occasionally guilty of blunders, which can only be explained by a defective scholarship, and an ignorance of literary history. Thus, in his introduction, (pp. 55, 56,) he repeatedly adduces a passage from one of Hutten's letters, beginning rumpantur utilia, though every schoolboy would at once read rumpantur ut ilia.
To the accomplishment of the fourth condition, Dr Muench has contributed little or nothing. No work more required, as none better deserved, a commentary, than the Epistolæ. Our
Dipping here and there at random, we notice, p. 158, Wesatio for Wesalio, an old and important erratum; p. 192, positionem for potionem, old error; p. 132, Stulteti for Sculteti, ditto; p. 133, succo taphaniana drachmas iii., for succo raphani ana drachmas iii.; p. 88. nostrum. Petrum for nostrum, P. old error; p. 98, quot libeta for quodlibeta; p. 138, praeputiati for non praeputiati; ibid., non praeputiati for praepuliati, old error; p. 139, fuit promotus for fui promotus, old error; p. 203, cum contra semel articulos habuit Petrum, &c., for c. h. s. a. c. P.; p. 204, parem for patrem; p. 137, indoxicationem for intoxicationem; pp. 162, 163, solarium for salarium, old error, &c. &c,
editor has, however, attempted no illustration of the now obscure allusions with which they everywhere abound-no difficult undertaking to one versed in the scholastic philosophy, and the general literature of the period; but the biographical notices he has ventured to append, of a very few of the persons mentioned in the text, significantly prove his utter incompetence to the task. These meagre notices are gleaned from the most vulgar sources, and one or two examples will afford a sufficient sample of their inaccuracy.
The celebrated poet Joannes Baptista (Hispaniolus, Spagnoli) Mantuanus, General of the Carmelites, who died in March 1516,* he mistakes, and in the very face of the Epistolæ, for the obscure physician Baptista Fiera (he writes it Finra) Mantuanus, who died at a much later period.
Every tyro in the literary history of the middle ages, and of the revival of letters, is familiar with the name, at least, of Alexander de Villa Dei or Dolensis, whose Latin Grammar, the Doctrinale Puerorum, reigned omnipotent throughout the schools of Europe, from the beginning of the 13th to the beginning of the 16th century. The struggle for its expulsion was one of the most prominent events in the history of the restoration of classical studies in Germany; and the Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum are full of allusions to the contest. Yet Dr Muench knows nothing of Alexander. Gallus Alexander,' says he, as it appears, an able grammarian of the fifteenth century, an expe'rienced casuist,' &c.-all utterly wrong, even to the name.
Of the notorious Wigand Wirt, Dr Muench states that he was one of the Dominicans executed at Berne, for the celebrated imposture, in 1509. Though probably the deviser of that fraud, he was not among its victims: and had Dr Muench read the Epistolæ he edits, with the least attention, he would have seen that Wigand is in them accused of being the real author of the Sturmglock, written against Reuchlin, in 1514, and that he is living in 1516. (Vol. I. App. Ep. 6.)
Our editor confounds Bartholomew Zehender or Decimator of Mentz, with Bartholomæus Coloniensis of Minden. The former was one of the most ignorant and intolerant of the Anti-Reuchlinists; the latter, the scholar of Hegius, the friend of Erasmus, (who styles him, vir eruditione singulari,) and the ally of Bus
*The allusion to the death of Mantuanus, in the twelfth letter of the second volume of the Epistolæ, thus checks, to a certain point, the date of its composition, and would prove that it was written in Italy, consequently by Hutten. This, which has not been observed, is important.
VOL. LIII. NO. CV.
chius, Aesticampianus, and Cæsarius, had been banished from his native city, for his exertions in the cause of classical Latinity, by the persecutors of Reuchlin themselves.
What we have said will suffice to show that these Letters still await their editor.* Let the Germans beware. The work is of European interest; and, if they are not on the alert, the Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum may, like the poems of Lotichius, find a foreign commentator. Will Mr Ebert not execute the task?
ART. X.-Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Strait, to co-operate with the Polar Expeditions: performed by his Majesty's ship Blossom, under the command of Captain F. W. BEECHEY, Royal Navy, F.R.S., F.R.A.S., and F.R.G.S., in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. Published by authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Two vols. 4to. London: 1831.
IN this voyage,' says Captain Beechey, which occupied three 'years and a half, we sailed seventy-three thousand miles, and experienced every vicissitude of climate.' Such an achievement is not of every day performance. It is a work of labour, and toil, and perseverance, which, of itself, constitutes a certain title to distinction; nor is it possible for any man, however unobservant and incurious he may be, to travel so great a distance on the earth's surface, and under every variety of climate, without picking up in his transit some valuable information, and contributing towards the enlargement or correction of the knowledge previously acquired. But the misfortune is, that, in our country, contributions of this nature are, for the most part, made in a shape and form which render them nearly, if not altogether, inaccessible to the great mass of the public; that an aristocra
* Another edition of these Epistles, by Rotermund, we see announced in the Leipsic Mass-Catalogue for Easter 1830; and have been disappointed in not obtaining it for this article. The editor, whom we know only as author of the Supplement to Joecher's Biographical Lexicon, professes, in the title, to give merely a reprint of the London edition of 1710, (i. e. a text of no authority, and swarming with typographical blunders,) a preface explanatory of the origin of the satire, and biographical notices of the persons mentioned in it. As there seems no attempt at a commentary, we do not surmise that Rotermund has performed more in Latin than Muench had attempted in German; and the small price shows that there can be little added to the text.
tical taste predominates, even in the 'getting up' of books; that utility is frequently sacrificed to splendour-the improvement of the many to the gratification of the few; and that instead of a cheap octavo, which any body might buy, and a great number would undoubtedly read, there comes forth a brace of costly quartos, in all the magnificence of graphical and typographical embellishment, which the affluent alone can afford to purchase. An exclusive spirit seems to preside over the manufacture of all such productions. The people are graciously allowed the honour of defraying the expense of every expedition, wise or foolish, which their rulers from time to time think proper to send out; but when the period arrives for communicating the results, whatever these may be, to the public, care is taken that this shall be done in such a way as to render the communication of little or no avail.
The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are systematic offenders in this respect. We have no disposition to call in question either their patriotism or their love of science; and it is certainly not the fault of their lordships, if the voyagers and travellers employed by them have failed to reach the Pole, and discover the north-west passage. But whether an expedition of this nature partially succeed, or prove altogether abortive, there is one result which invariably follows; namely, the publication of an expensive, and sometimes ill-digested book, which seems to be considered an atonement for all errors, and a compensation for all failures. The intrinsic value of the materials, and the style of the embellishments, bear no reasonable proportion to each other; or rather, perhaps, the one bears an inverse relation to the other. Every thing that is of the least importance in the work before us, for instance, might have been advantageously comprised in an ordinary-sized octavo volume; instead of which we are presented with a couple of quartos, printed on paper of the finest quality, with a suitable amplitude of margin, and accompanied with a profusion of illustrations, which make a serious addition to the cost of the book, without in any degree enhancing its value. The narrative of the voyage is, upon the whole, instructive and interesting; but it is exceedingly diffuse, and frequently deformed by faults of diction and style; upon which, however, we do not feel ourselves called upon, in a work of this kind, particularly to animadvert.
Government having resolved that another attempt should be made to explore a north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by the way of Prince Regent's Inlet, an expedition. (the last which sailed on this difficult and hazardous service) was accordingly fitted out in the year 1824, and the com
mand of it again conferred upon Captain Parry; while, in order to connect the discoveries of Captain Franklin at the mouth of the Coppermine River with the furthest known point on the western side of America, and thus to ascertain the configuration of the northern boundary of that continent, a land expedition, under the intrepid officer just named, was at the same time sent out, with instructions to descend the Mackenzie River to its embouchure, and, there separating, to coast the northern shore in opposite directions towards the two points previously discovered; one party, under Dr Richardson, proceeding to the eastward, in order to determine the line of coast between the mouths of the Mackenzie and Coppermine Rivers; and the other, under the immediate command of Captain Franklin, proceeding to the westward, for the purpose of exploring that portion of the northern limit of the American continent which is situated between the embouchure of the Mackenzie River and Icy Cape, and, finally, to rendezvous, if possible, in Kotzebue Sound. But as it was next to certain, from the extent and difficulty of the services to be respectively performed, that both the naval and land expeditions, even if successful, would reach the open sea, on the western coast of America, nearly if not altogether exhausted of resources and provisions, it was also resolved, in the view of obviating these anticipated difficulties, to send a ship to Behring's Strait, there to await their arrival, to supply their wants, and to provide for their safe return to Great Britain. For this purpose, the Blossom, of twentysix guns, but on the present occasion mounting only sixteen, was put in commission, and the command of her conferred on Captain F. W. Beechey, who had served with distinction, under Captain Parry, in the preceding northern expeditions. She was liberally provided with every thing necessary for the voyage; and as the vessel, in her course, would have to traverse a portion of the globe hitherto but imperfectly explored, while, on the other hand, a considerable period must intervene before her presence would be required in Behring's Strait, it was judiciously decided to employ her, during the interval, in surveying such parts of the Pacific as lay within the route prescribed for her, and were judged of most consequence to the interests of navigation.
The Blossom sailed from England on the 19th of May, 1825, and, after touching at Santa Cruz, in the island of Teneriffe, reached Rio Janeiro on the 11th July. She remained there till the 13th August, when she took her departure for the Pacific, and doubled Cape Horn without encountering any of those gales which appear so formidable in the accounts of the early navigators, Since the days of Anson, in fact, the stormy spirit