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us! Within these hallowed walls, on the very spot where we are now assembled, the Fathers of our Reformed Church resisted the power and malice of their persecutors, and bore resolute testimony to "the truth, as it is in Jesus." Within the precincts of our University, they sealed that testimony by their blood. Men indeed they were, not exempt from the weakness and imperfections of their nature: but they were men, second to none, whom Almighty God ever sent in his mercy to bless a favoured land, either in natural ability; or in acquired learning; or in the Christian graces of humility and meekness; or in the patience, wherewith they investigated the truth; or in the fortitude, with which they defended it, through disgrace and tribulation; during temptation and persecution; amid imprisonment, in the flames, and unto death. May God Almighty give us grace to serve him faithfully, as they did; to tread steadfastly in their footsteps; and to" bear up the pillars" of that Church, of which they laid the foundation.'
In this prayer we are persuaded that a large majority of those would heartily concur, who yet may not agree with Mr. Mant in all his points of doctrine. Notwithstanding the eye of suspicion with which they are commonly viewed, we believe them to be cordially attached to the establishment; not only because their own interests are inseparably connected and interwoven with it, but because they devoutly consider it as the best and purest part of that true and catholic Church, which it is their duty to enlarge and their pride to defend. They value, and most justly value it, as having preserved this kingdom, under God, by the persons whom it has nourished and instructed, comparatively free from the religious and moral corruptions which deform the features of too many European nations; they venerate, and justly venerate it, as the shield which has turned aside the shafts of infidelity, and repelled the assaults of avowed opposition: and we rely confidently on their assistance, if occasion should unhappily call for it, in defending this safeguard of our national security from the hands of the enemy.
ART. VI. Travels in Southern Africa in the Years 1803-1806.
By Henry Lichtenstein, Doctor in Medicine and Philosophy, and Professor of Natural History in the University of Berlin; Member of several learned Societies, &c. &c. Translated from the original German, by Anne Plumptre. London. 1812.
was said long ago by Aristotle, that Africa was always producing something new. We may still say the same; for if it yields no other novelty, it is at least abundantly productive of new books. A barren nook of the southern extremity of this huge con
tinent has furnished even our humble collection with near forty volumes, twelve of which are goodly quartos; and we verily believe that, without taking into account a number of Dutch folios, dick as all dis cheese,' we could enumerate as many more. Yet the laborious countryman of the indefatigable Grævius, in addition to the ponderous quarto now before us, threatens to increase the heap by three more volumes of the same size and on the same subject, which he thinks it necessary to mention for the benefit of those who may purchase this first volume.' (Pref.) Nay a fifth, 'being the account of our sea voyage,' is advertised in a note (p. 3,) with a hope that it will be useful to future voyagers:'-useful, we suppose, to instruct them how to effect a Dutch passage from the Texel to the Cape of Good Hope in five months, which other navigators generally make in two.
The present volume is a probationary one, and Mr. Lichtenstein has therefore, wisely enough, put forth his whole strength upon it : he has not only laid under heavy contributions Kolben and Vaillant, Sparrman and Barrow, the last of whom serves as his general text-book, but he has enlisted into his service the journal of the Governor-General Jansens, the digested observations of Mr. Commissary-General De 'Mist, Alberti's account of the Kaffers, recently published in Holland, and the information gleaned from the missionary Van der Kemp, who resided some time among these people. Yet with all this host of auxiliaries, Mr. Lichtenstein has contrived to make just as dull and uninteresting a volume as we have yet been doomed to wade through. The southern extremity of Africa is, in one respect, but a barren subject for 'a member of several learned societies;' it exhibits no traces of a cultivated race of men; no remains of ancient monuments; not a vestige of the arts of civilized life. In wild and uncultivated nature it is, however, abundantly rich; and here it affords endless opportunities, and an infinite variety of subjects, to exercise the talents of a doctor of physic and philosophy,' and to employ the zeal of a professor of natural history in the University of Berlin,' both for the instruction and amusement of those who are doomed to stay at home.
Mr. Lichtenstein, we think, has completely failed to effect either the one or the other. If it were not for a box of Halle's medicines,' which he purchased at the Cape, and a glass of pulvis antispasmodicus' which he gave to a woman in hysterics, with an assurance that the boors are mighty fond of essentia dulcis,' by which, we suppose, is meant either treacle or sugarcandy, we could not possibly have discovered that he had taken out a medical diploma. We beg pardon-he has made at least one discovery in pathology, which must be exceedingly consoling to dram-drinkers;
this is, that the stone in the bladder, which is a common complaint among the Dutch boors, is to be ascribed solely to the want of spirituous liquors! We are the more desirous of bringing forward this important discovery, as his fair translator, in admitting the novelty, seems inclined to doubt the reasonableness of the cause assigned.' (p. 88.) Be this as it may, the physician of the commissary-general' tells us, with much complacency, how he drew after him the Dutch farmers, as if he were able to perform like miracles with those recorded by the Evangelists.'
Of his philosophical acquirements, moral, physical or experimental, the book affords but little elucidation; and we almost regret, though at the expense of a sixth quarto, that he did not, as he had once intended, furnish us with a sketch of his history,' that the reader' might be acquainted with his modes of thinking.' A note, however, of three lines has given us some incidental information on this point, Colonel Gordon, who signed the capitulation for the surrender of the Cape, was a professed adherent of the Orange party. A few days after, this otherwise upright man, made a public confession of his error to the world by destroying himself." Here is more philosophy' than an ordinary reader may at the first glance perceive. Colonel Gordon was governor of the Cape, a mau of universal benevolence, extensive charity, and remarkable for his attention and hospitality to strangers. The capitulation, which, as governor, he was called upon to sign, was more favourable to the vanquished than could have been hoped for in the distracted state of the colony, with so large a force before it; it secured to the inhabitants their laws, their religion, their property, and, what it ought not to have done, it guaranteed the paper currency with which their friends the French had inundated them. Yet, because Colonel Gordon was a faithful subject of the sovereign to whom he had sworn allegiance, he was guilty of a crime, it seems, which could be expiated only by self-destruction!
Though Mr. Lichtenstein assures us, we know not why, that he never had any temptation' to swerve from his undeviating adherence to truth,' (p. 3,) he has often been tempted to set down' things which betray rather too much credulity for a doctor in philosophy.' Thus he meets with a Malay slave of 120 years of age, with another of 107, and a third above 100. (p. 168.) He is assured by experienced hunters, and he believes them, that in the forests of Sitsikamma there are elephants eighteen feet high, which run in troops of 500! He sees a vagabond colonist seven feet high, the living figure of a Hercules, the terror of his enemies, the hope and support of his friends.' This favourite of Mr. Lichtenstein, who had been outlawed by the Dutch, was one of the 'warmest patriots, and opposers of the Orange principles,' (p. 210,)
and he hated the English to the doctor's heart's desire. He believes too, that the English spent sixteen millions sterling on the Cape, yet left it in a ruinous condition! (p. 42) and he was present when a hunting party brought home the flesh of seventeen elands, from seven to eight hundred pounds a piece,' (about thirteen thousand pounds,) in a single waggon! p 97,) &c.
We apprehend that Doctor Lichtenstein was made' Professor of Natural History in the University of Berlin,' in consequence of a box of insects presented to that learned body; for we find nothing in his book which indicates the slightest knowledge of the science. He sometimes, indeed, talks of birds and butterflies, but whenever he ventures upon a name, he is almost sure to blunder. The common sea-gull, (larus canus,) which he saw in the inland arm of Saldanha bay, he misnames the diomedea exulans, the great albatross, at least five times the size of the sea-gull, and met with only on the wide ocean. (p. 45.) He makes the klipspringer, the greisbek and the duiker, three distinct species of the antelope, to be one and the same animal, (p. 72,) and the little antelope (pygmaa) he confounds with the orebi. He saw also, what no human being besides ever saw, the cervus elephus or red-deer, close to Swellendam. (p. 165.) Now it happens, that, as neither of the Americas furuishes a single species of the antelope tribe, none of the stag kind has yet been discovered in the south parts of Africa, and it is even doubtful whether this whole continent ever produced a single species. The little spotted hog-deer is a native of Java, Sumatra, and the oriental islands, and not of the Cape, as some have erroneously supposed, In no department of natural history has Mr. Lichtenstein brought forward a new object; nor can we discover any of that important information' of which, he tells us, (Pref. 5,) he obtained in his first journey no inconsiderable stock.' Indeed, had Mr. Lichtenstein been gifted to the extent implied by his many titles, he was so overlaid with the 'train of followers,' and the baggage which the rank and dignity of Mr. Commissary-General de Mist' was supposed to demand, as to be utterly incapacitated from exploring the country. This expedition de parade consisted of de Mist and his son, a lieutenant, an ensign, and a corporal, with seven dragoons, a serjeant, twelve hottentots and four slaves, a surgeon, (besides the doctor,) a clerk, a steward of the household, two gentlemen of the bedchamber, a French-horn-player, and a courier; and, to crown the whole, Miss Augusta de Mist, the commissary's daughter, a young lady of nineteen, in whom was a singular union of feminine softness and tenderness of heart; she was accompanied by another young lady of the Cape, and two female servants. It was not very discreet, we
think, in the commissary-general, to carry this paragon of ' feminine softness' into the midst of a horde of brawny Kaffers, who stalk about in perfect nudity:-but bashfulness and modesty are no features of the female character, in the new morality' of the German school.*
Thus encumbered, we could pardon the want of ability to collect, and even of capacity to communicate-but the insufferable vanity, not merely shewing itself obliquely through all the efforts to preserve an appearance of modesty and humility,' (Pref. 1,) but the lumbering German vanity, which, with the most undisturbed placidity, describes its own leaden labours as better than any preceding ones,' and as correcting whatever has been erroneously represented by other writers,' is too contemptible for indignation, and too stupid for amusement.
We never were more at a loss, than on the present occasion, to convey, in any reasonable space, an intelligible account of the volume before us, since (as the author justly observes) no travels into the interior of Africa resemble it in any way.' (p. 7.) It would answer no good purpose to trace his route (without any map to guide us) across the open plains of Africa, from Brakkefontein, where the water was bad, to Hartebeest-krall. where it was no better; from an Ausspannplatze to Neiuwe-jaarsdrift, and from Hermannuskraal to Modderfontein in Agterbruintjeshoogte: nor would it afford our readers much amusement to hear, that Schalkvandermerwe's grandmother was an orphan from the Weeskammer, sent to the Cape to promote population;' or that Zwellendam is derived from Swellengrebel, and ought to be spelt with an S. We shall therefore, as the best service which we can render them on the present occasion, employ a few pages in gleaning from those other authors' whom Mr. Lichtenstein affects to despise, a concise and rapid sketch of the principal objects likely to engage the attention of an intelligent traveller in the southern extremity of Africa; taking Mr. Lichtenstein along with us, and suffering him to tell his own story whenever he has any thing worth communicating. At the same time we must premise that this probationary volume carries us no farther than Graaff Reynet, to which place the grand expedition of the commissary-general proceeded through the most frequented districts of the colony, and consequently the least likely to afford any thing new.
General Jansens, the year preceding, travelled among the hostile Kaffers, attended only by his private secretary and half a dozen dragoons; and his observations form the best portion of Mr. Lichtenstein's book. Jansens was born a gentleman, and bred a soldier. Mr. Commissary Uitenhage (for we are told De Mist, Belg. dung, is his title,) was bred an attorney; at the French revolution he became a patriot, deserted his sovereign, and had precisely Mr. Lichtenstein's modes of thinking.'