'Belier mon ami, si tu voulois commencer par le commencement, tu me ferois grand plaisir!-an expostulation almost involuntarily suggesting itself to the sympathetic feelings of every reader of Sir John's pamphlets.

Need we refer to that admired Arabian miscellany, which is well known to contain the most faithful and lively picture of the manners and customs of the East, for the story of the talking barber's third brother, who was remarkable for his skill in instructing and training Rams to single combat, and who had this farther peculiarity that he considered himself as defrauded by a magician who paid him in paper money?

Does not Rutgersius represent Robertus Titius, as quoting from Publius Victorius, the positive assertion that the sons of kings were anciently wont-in ariete equitandi rudimenta didicisse-to learn to ride, in the first instance, on a Ram?

Apollonius, as our readers cannot but remember, attributes to the Ram a human voice; in which he is followed by Hecatæus. Dionysius of Mitylene goes so far as to represent the Ram as the preceptor or privy counsellor of a prince. But Manilius speaks still more to our purpose, when, describing the Ram among the heavenly constellations, he declares him to be not only a privy counsellor, but a whole Council in himself.

Concilium ipse suum est Aries, ut principe dignum est;
Audit se, Libramque videt.

Man. Astron. 1. ii. v. 485, 6.

The Ram's the Privy Council of the skies;
Hears his own doctrines; on himself relies;
And still on Libra bends his wary eyes.

Whether it be here understood that the Ram is conversant with the Balance of trade, or Balance of payments, or that he has an eye to the nature of the Pound sterling,-(either of which translations will answer correctly to the Latin word Libra,)-it is equally plain that our author could not have been more appositely nor more honourably mounted.

Far therefore from consenting to separate the Knight and his Courser, we are much more inclined to agree with those who recommend that as in their labours on earth, so, in their celestial honours, they should be inseparably associated.

Virgil proposed the ascription of Augustus to the Councils of the Gods, and the formation of a constellation in his honour, as being auctorem frugum, (patron of husbandry,) a qualification in which he cannot be pretended to have rivalled the eminent author of whom we are treating. He undertook too without hesitation that the scorpion should contract his claws to make room for the star of Augustus. What Scorpius would have

[blocks in formation]

done for Cæsar, Aries no doubt would readily do for Sir John: but a more eligible spot can be selected for his accommodation.

According to the Roman rites, this transplantation into the stars must be preceded by the ceremony of an apotheosis. The formality of previous sepulture might in the present instance be dispensed with; but, with that single exception, the whole might be conducted according to the forms which all our classical readers no doubt will remember.

An image of the person to be deified and subsequently constellated, as large as life, and moulded in wax, must be placed on an elevated ivory bed, with curtains, and a coverlet of cloth of gold, If wax should not be to be had in the present state of our foreign commerce, the figure might be cast in native suet or prime tallow: the cloth of gold would of course be exchanged for British kerseymere. The image lies in an easy attitude, and appears rather pale and sickly. During seven days, one or more members of the medical (or veterinary) college occasionally attend to feel the patient's pulse, and finally declare that his longevity is terminated. The body is then conveyed to the Forum Boarium, (or Smithfield,) where it lies in state; after which the procession, passing by the Erarium, (or Bank,) marches forward to the Campus Martius, (or Artillery-ground,) in the centre of which is erected a pyramidal pile of wood, straw, and other combustibles, on which, under a rich canopy, and surrounded by banners inscribed with the titles of the deceased, (and in this case with the titles also of his various compositions,) is placed the ivory bed with its statue. According to the Roman custom a comedian, or mime, representing the person of the deceased, pronounced some characteristic speech, or recited, or imitated some remarkable action or habit of his life. Thus it is recorded that in the case of the financial and economical Vespasian, the mime, who personated him, enlivened the ceremony of his funeral by some satirical sallies against the profusion of its expense. In the present instance, the supposed defunct being fortunately alive to witness the honours paid to his waxen or sebaceous representative, might execute this part in person. He would probably deliver a long oration on the merits of the Restriction Bill, comparing it to the more ancient Ler Papiria, which was intended to liberate the Roman Republic from the ponderous currency of their original Asses.

This oration being, at length, concluded, the whole assembly rise, and utter a shout of exultation. The pile is then set on fire, and at the same instant an eagle or kite (in the present instance a paper one would be most appropriate) is detached from the summit, and soaring high in air, appears to convey into the clouds all


that is immaterial of the person who was the object of the solemnity.

Here properly the ceremony of the apotheosis ends. All that remains is to find a proper place and denomination for the required constellation.

The desiderata seem to be, 1st. That it should contain at least one star of the first magnitude; 2d. That such star should, in this climate, be constantly above the horizon, a condition not fulfilled by Aries, or the Ram; 3d. That it should recal to the imagination of the observers, the earthly propensities, and favourite occupations of the subject of the apotheosis; 4th. That it should, if possible, express whether he was a M. P., and for what county or borough; 5th. That it should distinctly point out one, at least, of his most brilliant and beneficial discoveries.

Now our readers, we are persuaded, must have anticipated our remark, that there is but one star in the heavens which combines all these qualifications, and which is therefore pointed out by nature as the appropriate basis of the new constellation. This is the alpha of Bootes.

1o. It is only surpassed in splendour by Sirius and the Spica Virginis, to the latter of which, as will presently be seen, it is nearly allied. 2o. It never sets. 3°. The sympathies between the terrestrial pursuits of Bootes (in Latin Bubulcus, and in French Le Bouvier) and those of the illustrious personage whose obsequies we have just celebrated are so numerous, that those who believe the doctrine of transmigration, must suppose the former personage to have actually submitted to the inconvenience of being born again, for the sole purpose of reviving under the name of the latter. 4°. The fourth condition, which appears the most difficult, is nevertheless most accurately fulfilled: the imagination of every stargazer being naturally directed from the alpha of Bootes to the island of Boota, (Anglicè Bute,) which will owe all its future celebrity to the circumstance of its being actually represented in parliament by the very person to whom, (according to the hypothesis of his previous existence,) it must have been originally indebted for its name. 5°. And lastly, the advantages which the inhabitants of an insular empire like ours must, ultimately, derive from extensive matrimonial alliances with that race of sub-marine females, with whom our author has made us acquainted, alliances from which will spring a race of Britons truly deserving our vaunted title of Lords of the Ocean,' naturally suggest that the constellation to be appropriated to his use, should be called the Phocana major or Mermaid. As to the stars to be employed in its composition, a line drawn from the alpha of Bootes above


mentioned, through alpha Lyræ, alpha coronæ, alpha delphini, and alpha aquarii, will form a beautifully waving configuration of great extent, terminating at one end in the spica virginis, and at the other in the splendid star called Fomalhaut, or the great fish; thus exhibiting a type of the long doubted union between Virgo and Pisces so fortunately revealed to Sir John, and by him communieated to the universe.

'Such honours Ilion to her hero paid;

And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade."

ART. VIII. A Statement of Facts delivered to Lord Minto, Governor General of India, &c. on his late arrival at Madras. By William Petrie, Esq. Senior Member of the Council at - Madras. With an Appendix of Official Minutes. 8vo. pp. 100. London. Stockdale. 1810.

A Reply to the Publication of William Petrie, Esq. regarding the late Transactions at Madras. 8vo. pp. 70.

An accurate and authentic Narrative of the Origin and Progress of the Dissentions at the Presidency of Madras, founded on Original Papers and Correspondence. 8vo. pp. 257. London.


A Letter from an Officer at Madras to a Friend formerly in that Service, now in England: exhibiting the Rise, Progress, and actual State of the late unfortunate Insurrection in the Indian Army. 8vo. pp. 116. London. 1810.

An Account of the Origin, Progress, and Consequences of the late Discontents of the Army of the Madras Establishment. 8vo. pp. 294. London. 1810.

A Postscript to the Account, &c. &c. By the Author of the Four leading Letters of the original Work. With Remarks and an Appendix, containing a variety of Interesting Documents never before published. 8vo. pp. 96. London. 1810.

Papers relating to East India Affairs. (Madras Army.) Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 25th May,


THE HE interest, which the first news of the disturbances at Madras excited in the public mind, appearing, after a short intermission, to revive, we have thought that some attempt on our part to discuss the merits of the subject might not be unpleasing to our readers. Unequal as we may feel to the task, our efforts have not been wanting to qualify ourselves for a due performance


of it, both by a careful inquiry into the facts, and by an attentive consideration of the principles, which the discussion involves; and, on the strength of this preparation, we shall venture to place ourselves on a somewhat different ground than is assumed in any of the publications which the question has yet drawn forth.


It seems to us, in the first place, that, in most of those publications, the Madras government is treated with great injustice. We make the statement without any embarrassment or reserve, because, from the misrepresentations current respecting the transactions in question, we ourselves entered on the investigation of the matter with impressions not very favourable to that government, and have, in the course of that investigation, been weaned from those impressions only by the force of what strikes us as the truth. At the same time, means may be found, we believe, to reconcile a full approbation of the conduct of the government with the admission of better palliatives for that of its opponents, than have been furnished by their own apologists. Nor does this mode of determining the matter at all resolve itself into that grand refuge of indecision, the principle that both sides were to blame; but it is the result of certain general views and maxims applied to the consideration of the particular case. Those views and maxims we shall in the first instance submit to the reader.

Since, however, in the developement of these fundamental ideas and principles, a reference to some of the works before us, may occasionally be requisite, it will be convenient to prefix some general account of them. The best, we think, is the Accurate and authentic Narrative, &c. The enemy has pronounced this pamphlet to be written by an agent of Sir George Barlow, the governor of Madras. It evidently comes from a warm partisan of that gentleman; and should, therefore, be read with caution; but we have, on the whole, found it an able and interesting composition, and, with some unimportant qualifications, should feel no great difficulty in subscribing both to its statements and its doctrines. The Reply to Mr. Petrie, we mention next, only because it is on the same side of the question; it is not written in a very agreeable style, but is acute, temperate, and generally satisfactory. The pamphlet of Mr. Petrie himself deserves, perhaps, more extended consideration, not so much from its intrinsic merit, respecting which there may be two opinions, as because the author was a member of the council of Madras during the period of the disturbances, and, in that situation, stood forth as the grand opponent of the measures adopted by Sir George Barlow. On the policy which Mr. Petrie declares himself to have recommended, we shall hereafter have


« VorigeDoorgaan »