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principles of translation, laid down by our author, we think any attempt to render our countrymen better acquainted with the sentiments of the ancient classical poets, highly honorable and useful. Still we should be far from recommending the Tristia of Ovid as worthy of particular attention, and think that Mr Arden has honored it much beyond its deserts, by naming it in the same sentence with the Fasti. Ovid carried little of his poetry into banishment, except the ease and melody of his versification. His five books of Tristia and four of Epistles from Pontus, are distinguished by a superabundant share of all the defects of his early writings, and by an almost total absence of his characteristic spirit and ingenuity. They are filled with childish exaggerations of the inclemency of the climate and the inhumanity of the people of Pontus, with servile intreaties to Augustus, and with petulant and unfounded complaints of the neglect of his former friends. We find a perpetual recurrence to the same ideas, a monotonous strain of doleful lamentation, which continually reminds us of the note of the whippoorwill. Not satisfied with the most simple and natural, and therefore most interesting expressions of his grief, he is perpetually striving to excite the sympathy of the reader, not by pathetic declamation, but by logical argument. He does not exclaim with the prophet, see if there be any sorrow like to mine,' but sets out to prove the point, by precedents drawn from history and poetry, by close parallels and nice distinctions, between his own adventures and those of some of the fabled heroes of antiquity. His petitions, his compliments, and his reproaches are all disfigured with the same intermixture of frigid reasoning. Let those who think these remarks too unqualified, turn more particularly to the second elegy of the first book of the Tristia. This purports to be a prayer to the sea gods, written by the poet in a violent storm, on his voyage to the place of his exile. Instead of a concise and impassioned petition, it is a collection of quibbling sophisms, which, if expressed in plain English prose, might be mistaken for the work of some of those sages of the law whose subtleties are detailed in Plowden's Commentaries. Defects like those which we have mentioned, can be concealed or repaired in no version whatever; and we cannot but think that our author, in attempting to render the Tristia interesting in an English dress, has undertaken a task, beyond not only his own power, but that of any poet.
Art. XVII.-Switzerland ; or a journal of a tour and resi
dence in that country, in the years 1817, 1818, and 1819 ; followed by an historical sketch on the manners and customs of ancient and modern Helvetia, in which the events of our own time are fully detailed, together with the causes to which they may be referred. By L. Simond. Two vols. London and Boston.*
Mr Simond is well known to our readers by a former workhis journal of a tour and residence in Great Britain-one of the best books of travels in the most difficult country to treat, which this age of travellers has produced. Rumor has long preceded the present work, and we think it will be found on perusal not to disappoint the expectation, of which it has been the object. It is throughout sensible, entertaining, manly. The observations are those of an original and profound thinker, clothed in vigorous, often in beautiful and eloquent language. Facts are detailed with great accuracy, not always perhaps with severe selection ; with a little too much occasionally of the traveller's gassip. We know not, however, but it is the general dignity of Mr Simond's work, which leads us to this remark, and causes us to take exception to trifles in him, which in the mass of journalists, whose pages are filled with inanities as idle abroad as they are at home, would pass respectable muster. We have at all events read the work of Mr Simond with great avidity, and venture to promise the intelligent reader, that he will be entertained and instructed by it, in no ordinary degree.
Few persons possess greater advantages than Mr Simond for traversing this portion of the European continent. A Frenchman by birth, he is of course fully possessed of the language of the greater portion of the country surveyed by him, and of that aptitude to understand continental matters, which is a kind of instinct that no Englishman or American attains, short of a long domestication abroad. But this instinct and the possession of the European language are almost the only advantages which Frenchmen, as such, possess for travelling. They in fact travel little, and their accounts of their travels are generally worthless. Mr Simond, on the other hand, by having passed twenty years in America, to which he appears to have fled from the horrors of the French revolu
By Messrs Wells & Lilly.
tion, has formed his mind to the severer discipline of the English stock; cast off all spectacle, unlearned the national vanity, which the French more than any other nation display ; and besides this, he appears to have made himself familiar with the most dignified and important studies. To those who look for science in a book of travels, who would have the margin a kind of hortus siccus, or a catalogue of fossils, his Switzerland will present few attractions. A little more geology, however, than all will understand, is introduced from time to time; though this is clothed in popular language and made still more intelligible, by means of a few simple and well imagined wood cuts.
The two volumes of the work are disconnected with each other, the former only containing the journal, the latter the historical sketch. It cannot be denied that this division has led Mr Simond to protract each part, beyond its necessary limits; while the plan of following his journal chronologically and setting down separate visits made to the same spot after a considerable interval, has occasioned the repetition of several remarks, some thrice and many twice. Mr Simond is a writer, who could afford to make a small book. His metal is too pure to make it necessary to catch the eye, by spreading it over a large surface; its value would have been apparent in dimensions however small. As we trust moreover our quaintance with him is not here to rest; but that we shall, in due season, hear of him from the Ausonian bounds, we look forward with some concern to a proportionate number of volumes from Italy. With concern, not because we fear the volumes will be bad; we should then have a speedy remedy : but because we doubt not they will be good; and because in the region of the mind the reverse of Mr Malthus' doctrine seems to hold. In the physical world population increases geometrically and food arithmetically. In the mental, the quantity of intellectual aliment—the number of good booksincreases so much faster than leisure or strength to consume them, that unless the Tartars take pity on us, and send us another Omar, there is danger of a general surfeit of the understanding. Since, however, the complaint against the multiplication of books comes with no very good grace from those, who, like ourselves, are favoring the public with one every three months, we shall without further ado proceed to share with our readers the gratification we have derived from perusing Mr Simond's Switzerland. New Series, No. 12.
His notes begin with Fontainbleau, on the way to Switzerland, where he was shown the stairs, by which Napoleon came down to the great court, (to review for the last time the remnants of an army, with which he was going to part,) and the small table upon which he signed his abdication, as well as the mark of an angry kick which he gave to that table; an antichamber anecdote, adds Mr Simond, for the correctness of which I do not vouch. Another anecdote regards the pen, with which the emperor had signed his abdication. It became, as may be supposed, an object of great interest to curious or idle travellers visiting this place, that is to the English, who form the great majority of these travellers. One of them bought this valuable pen for much more than its weight in gold, to the great disappointment of those who followed. But the good nature of the domestic, who shews the apartment, suggested to him the expedient of supplying another pen, and it soon found an amateur, who would have it to himself. Matters could not stop there, and no English traveller has since been disappointed of the true pen of the abdication. This expedient is in truth as old as relics themselves; and we have all heard of the standing miracle, which till late years was wrought at the tomb of Whitefield, in Newburyport, whose cassoc, constantly cut off in fragments by the devout, was never found to grow narrower or shorter. Mr Simond saw also at Fontainbleau, the apartment where the present pope was confined. • Bonaparte,' says he, treated the Roman pontiff alternately with great respect and much insolence; oppressing him at one time with his visits, and at another time remaining months without seeing him. One day, after an angry conversation, which went the length of threats on his part, he tried what soothing would do, to obtain his purpose, “ tragedia,' observed the old man, calmly, "poi commedia !" :
Mr Simond, with a few touches of his powerful pen, has conveyed, we presume, a very just idea of ihe state, in which the revolution found the rural gentry of France. Long before the revolution,' he remarks, Chateaux had been forsaken by their seigneurs, for the nearest country town, where Monsieur le Comte or Monsieur le Marquis, decorated with the cross of St Louis, made shift to live on his paltry seigniorial dues and rents, ill paid by a starving peasantry; spending his time in reminiscences of gallantry with the old dowagers of the place, who rouged and wore patches, dressed in hoops and
high heeled shoes of full four inches height, and long pointed elbow ruffles ballasted with lead. Not one individual of this good company knew any thing of what was passing in the world, or suspected any change had taken place, since the days of Louis XIV. No book found its way there, no one read even a newspaper. When the revolution burst
this inferior nobility of the provinces, it appeared to them like Attila and the Hụns to the people of the fifth century ; the scourge of God, coming nobody knew whence, for the inere purpose of destruction ; a savage enemy, speaking an unknown language, with whom no compromise could be made.'
Mr Simond took the road of Dijon, and his first halting place in Switzerland was Giez. Hence he made an excursion to
Motiers-Travers, the retreat of Rousseau, and famous for his lapidation. His house is still shown, and his desk against the wall, where he wrote standing, and the two peeping holes, in a sort of wooden gallery up stairs, through which he could unperceived watch the people out of doors. Some old inhabitants remember the philosopher. It is now more than fifty years since he was here. They admit there were a few stones thrown at him or the house, by the boys of the village, but question whether it was on account of his writings, (les lettres de la Montagne,) and rather suppose they were instigated by his gouvernante, who was tired of the place, and wished to disgust him with it.'
At Yverdun, Mr Simond visited the famous school of Pestalozzi. • The whole life of this well known veteran has been devoted to usefulness, but in endeavoring to promote the welfare of mankind, his own has been always out of the question. His apostolical poverty and simplicity, the homeliness of his appearance, and above all, his obscure and perplexed elocution, had never recommended his active and energetic virtues to the notice of the world, if public calamities had not called them forth into action on a conspicuous stage. The bloody 9th of September 1798, having left many children of Underwalden fatherless, Pestalozzi collected at Stantz about eighty of these destitute orphans, and undertook to provide for their wants of body and mind : but the house he occupied having been soon taken away from him for a military hospital
, he had with his adopted family to seek shelter elsewhere. Berne provided him with another house, and made him liberal offers, hut in the year 1804, he finally settled at Yverdun, where an