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inspiration than the wondrous talent with which she draws from every person around her his peculiar excellence. Talking better than anybody else, and narrating, particularly, with a graphic power that I never saw excelled, this distinguished woman seems striving only to make others unfold themselves ; and never had diffidence (??) a more apprehensive and encouraging listener. But this is a subject with which I should never be done.

• Some one remarked that Scott's Life of Napoleon was a failure. “ I think little of it,” said Moore ; “ but, after all, it was an embarrassing task, and Scott did what a wise man would do—made as much of his subject as was politic and necessary, and no more.” “ It will not live,” said some one else ; " as much because it is a bad book, as because it is the life of an individual.'',

We presume it was nobody but Mr. Willis that could have made this last remark to the author of the Life of Sheridan, the Life of Byron, and the Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Lady Blessington, no doubt, felt rather awkward; but Mr. Moore turned the corner adroitly and airily:

““ But what an individual !” Moore replied. “ Voltaire's life of Charles the Twelfth was the life of an individual; yet that will live and be read as long as there is a book in the world ; and what was he to Napoleon?

Mr. Moore might have appealed to better things than Voltaire's Life of Charles the Twelfth ; but let that pass. We much doubt if all the pretty things which we have quoted will so far propitiate Lady Blessington as to make her again admit to her table the animal who has printed what ensues :

• O'Connell was mentioned. “ He is a powerful creature," said Moore ; " but his eloquence has done great harm both to England and Ireland. There is nothing so powerful as oratory. The faculty of thinking on his legs' is a tremendous engine in the hands of any

There is an undue admiration for this faculty, and a sway pero mitted to it, which was always more dangerous to a country than anything else. Lord Althorp is a wonderful instance of what a man may do without talking. There is a general confidence in him-a universal belief in his honesty, which serves him instead. Peel is a fine speaker, but, admirable as he had been as an oppositionist, he failed when he came to lead the House [!!!] O'Connell would be irresistible were it not for the two blots on his character—the contributions in Ireland for his support, and his refusal to give satisfaction to the man he is still coward enough to attack. They may say what they will of duelling ; it is the great preserver of the decencies of society. The old school, which made a man responsible for his words, was the better. 'I must confess I think so. Then, in O'Connell's case, he had not made his vow against duelling when Peel challenged him. He accepted the challenge, and Peel went to Dover on his way to

France,

man.

France, where they were to meet; and O'Connell pleaded his wife's illness, and delayed till the law interfered. Some other Irish patriot, about the same time, refused a challenge on account of the illness of his daughter, and one of the Dublin wits made a good epigram on the two

"" Some men, with a horror of slaughter,

Improve on the scripture command,
And honour their' wife and daughter,

"That their days may be long in the land.” The great period of Ireland's glory was between '82 and '98, and it was a time when a man almost lived with a pistol in his hand. Grattan's dying advice to his son was, “Be always ready with the pistol!!

Talking of Grattan, is it not wonderful, that with all the agitation in Ireland we have had no such men since his time? Look at the Irish newspapers. The whole country in convulsion people's lives, fortunes, and religion at stake, and not a gleam of talent from one year's end to the other. [!] It is natural for sparks to be struck out in a time of violence like this—but Ireland, for all that is worth living for, is dead! You can scarcely reckon Shiel of the calibre of her spirits of old, and O'Connell, with all his faults, stands alone in his glory.'

With this passage we conclude—from it alone the reader will. see what is the distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Willis as an unsafe' traveller. The freedoms taken by many preceding writers in describing scenes of social and domestic life, abroad and at home, have often excited pain and disgust. We have not a word to advance in extenuation of the bad taste of such things ; but this we must say, that in as far as we are acquainted with either English or American literature, this is the first example of a man creeping into your home, and forthwith printing-accurately or inaccurately, no matter which—before your claret is dry on his lips—unrestrained table-talk on delicate subjects, and capable of compromising individuals.

Art. IX.-A Steam-Voyage down the Danube. With Sketches

of Hungary, Wallachia, Servia, and Turkey, 8c. By Michael

J. Quin, Author of ' A Visit to Spain. 2 vols. London, 1835 THE application of the power of steam to the purposes of navi

gation, by propelling or towing vessels, was first discovered, as we have on a former occasion stated, by Jonathan Hulls, whose little book bears date 1737; but it was then considered either as altogether visionary, or as a scheme too expensive to be even tried. In later times, some feeble experiments were made by the

late

late Lord Stanhope, Miller of Dalswinton, and Symington, by which, however, Fulton benefited largely before he was enabled to carry the plan into full effect in his own country. Navigation by steam having been successfully introduced among ourselves immediately after, if not simultaneously with, Fulton's proceedings, -it was not long in finding its way to the commercial nations of Europe-by some it was soon applied to coasting and to harbour purposes-by others to the conveyance of passengers on rivers, and lakes, and close seas--and latterly we have extended it to the navigation of the Indian Seas, and crossed the Atlantic by means of steam.

Austria was the last to avail herself of this valuable discovery, -at least, till very lately, her dominions had seen nothing of the kind, except one or two crazy steam-boats on the Italian lakes, and one heavy and tardy concern, moving between Trieste and Venice, chietly for passengers, which had been established by an English mercantile house, and which has subsequently extended its beat along the shores of Istria and Dalmatia. Closed around by other

powers, in the centre of Europe, and possessing no sea-coast but the fragment we have mentioned, and not much traffic, her government may have considered navigation as an object of secondary importance. Her attention, however, has recently been called to the state of that noble river the Danube, the first and largest in Europe, the Volga not excepted, which flows in an uninterrupted stream of 1700 miles through the very heart of her dominions, intersecting them in every direction. It is the common drain of that great basin which is surrounded by the western, northern, and eastern Carpathian mountains, and by the chain on the south, commencing from the Balkan on the shore of the Euxine, and continuing under different names to the Adriatic. That large and important portion of this empire, Hungary, is, in a particular manner, intersected in every part by the Danube and the numerous streams that flow into it from all points of the compass ; and many of these are sufficiently capacious to be navigable by steam-vessels, which will, no doubt, in process of time, supplant the miserable craft now upon them, especially as coal is to be found in various parts of the great basin of Hungary.*

This * On the northern side of the Danube

The Marsh, or Marowa, after intersecting Moravia by its various branches, joins the great river at Presburg ;

The Waag, after traversing the northern part of Hungary, falls into it at Komorn; The Gran, swelled by its branches, joins it at Gran;

The Theiss, with its affluents, the Maros and numerous branches, intersecting the north-eastern and eastern parts at Hungary, fall into the Danube a little to the eastward of Peterwardin; The Temes, after receiving many tributaries, falls in near Semlin.

On

This important subject is the principal feature of interest in the book now before us. Its author made his literary début by an interesting work on Spain, which we noticed favourably in a former Number, but can scarcely say reviewed, -other matter pressing upon us at that interesting crisis, when a French army invaded Spain.* We feel that Mr. Quin did not receive on that occasion all the attention which his ability deserved, and we shall, therefore, now endeavour to make amends. The novelty of many of his subjects, his lively and characteristic descriptions of the various people he meets with, and his felicitous manner of arranging them in groups, well entitle him to a better sort of reputation than can be aspired to by most modern travellers. In his exhibition of men and manners, as they show themselves on the surface, he leaves, indeed, nothing to be wished for—to study them deeply would have required a long residence, and he has too much good sense to pretend to more than his opportunities put within his reach. With regard, however, to the various objects of natural history, the nature of the river and its two banks, the breadth, depth, and velocity of the one, and the products of the other, we should undoubtedly have looked for more detailed and definite information, even under the circumstances of the case, than our author has supplied. A flying traveller, or one dropping down the current of a river with considerable rapidity, is not, to be sure, the person most likely to collect exact information; it must be observed, however, that what with frequent landing, getting aground, and transhipping, opportunities were not wanting to Mr. Quin for acquiring some portion, at least, of the knowledge we desiderate. This, however, is a failing but too common with travellers, who content themselves generally with a vague description of an object, which conveys no distinct idea, whereas nothing so easy, even for an illiterate person, as merely to describe with accuracy:

To give an instance of our meaning from Mr. Quin.—He sees at Vostizza a large plane-tree, the finest specimen of vegetation he ever beheld, each branch being as large as an ordinary tree-extending so far, that the tradition of numerous armies having encamped beneath its ' broad umbrage' may easily be believedits hollow trunk often used as a state-prison, and capacious enough for a family of five or six persons to live in it without inconve

On the southern side the Danube receives-
The Mur, which takes its rise in Styria;
The Drau, or Drave, which rises in Carinthia;

Lastly, the Sau, or Save, crossing Illyria, falls into the Danube at Belgrade, and as far as this place forms the southern boundary of Hungary. Besides these, a multitude of streams flow through the Turkish provinces from the southward into the Danube.

* Quarterly Review, No. LVII., Art. IX. VOL. LIV. NO. CVIII,

2 I

nience

nience—and enjoying the reputation of being at least two thousand years old! Now we should like to have known the size of this ancient Greek monster, which, passing a string round its trunk, and pacing from one extremity of its branches to the opposite one, would have enabled him to set down with sufficient accuracy. Then again, at the same place, and treading close on the heels of the tree, we have a very minute and detailed description of an object, which notwithstanding affords no clue that can possibly lead to the discovery of what it could be, -whether the fragment of a split crystal, or a piece of imperfect talc, or of painted glass. It was, he says, a marine substance—transparent - with fragments of some scales of a fish attached—somewhat larger than the palm of the hand in thickness, varying from a quarter to an eighth of an inch-it was not a shell, but more like a petrifaction—a sprig in a graceful manner spread on the outer side, and a second within, &c. &c. But now comes the most curious part, in which we apprehend the power of a vivid imagination has been not a little taxed. We shall find more specimens of it as we proceed.

* But I have still to describe the most surprising characteristics of this marine formation. When held up against a good light, in one angle two human skeleton heads appertaining to one body are to be seen, and a philosopher appears to be examining them. At the opposite angle the greater part of the figure of a donkey is plainly discernible; the head, the pricked-up ears, the eyes, the mouth, the nose, the neck, the fore-legs, and a considerable portion of the body and one of the hind legs, are as clearly defined within the substance by the hand of nature, as if they had been delineated by an artist. A sack, apparently filled, is on the donkey's back, and a man with a turban on his head is as distinctly seen walking by his side, with his left hand resting on the back of the animal, who looks the patient drudging creature of earth to the very life. Towards the centre, the head of an ox presents itself peeping over the scales, as we sometimes see a cow, anxious to get to its young one, looking over a gate. This transparency, or whatever the conchologists or mineralogists may choose to call it, is in my possession, and I shall be happy to show it to any known scientific gentleman who may wish to inspect it.'vol. ii. pp. 216, 217.

Mr. Quin drops no hint, by the way, of his having had any objects but those of an ordinary traveller in this excursion. We have, however, heard it whispered, and there are many things in his book which seem to justify the rumour—that he started in a demi-official capacity. If this was the case we think the government chose their agent judiciously—but that they limited him to far too small a space of time. However, let us now proceed with

him on his voyage:

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