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ERRATA in Volume XLV.
Page 58. 1. 10. from bott, put a comma after 'as.'
91. l. 7. Ditto, dele “dn.'
99. 1. 15. for caritatis,' read caritates.
1c6. 1. last, put a comma after vice,' and take it away from like.` 140. 1. 11. from bott. for 9 Nov. 1794,' read 29 Nov. 1774.
199. 1. 1. of Note, dele the's in erratas.'
259. J. 4. from bott. for destroyed,' read destroy.
378. 1. 26. dele' spurious."
409. 1. 8. for perlanti,' read pertanto; and 1. 9. for tute,' read tutte. 30. 1. 8. from bott. insert on before the origin.'
For SEPTEMBER, 1804.
ART. I. An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa. In which is considered, the Importance of the Cape of Good Hope to the different European Powers, as a Naval and Military Station, as a point of Security to our Indian Trade and Settlements during a War, and as a territorial Acquisition and Commercial Emporium in Time of Peace: with a statistical Sketch of the whole Colony; compiled from authentic Documents. By John Barrow, Esq. late Secretary to the Earl of Macartney, Auditor General of public Accounts at the Cape of Good Hope, and Secretary to Lieutenant-General Francis Dundas during his Government there. Volume the Second. Illustrated with several Engravings. 4to. PP. 452. l. 15s. Boards. Cadell and Davies. 1804.
THE 'HE commendation which we formerly bestowed on the author of this work, in reviewing his first volume *, for the variety and extent of his information, and for the pleasant mode in which it was communicated, has been ratified by the opinion of the literary world. It seems to us, however, on the present occasion, that Mr. Barrow has been too conscious of the rank which he holds in general estimation; since he has taken liberties which would not have been h zarded by a writer who was distrustful of his abilities, and who was appearing for the first time before the formidable tribunal of the public. He treats it, indeed, with so little respect, that he tells us in the outset that this volume, consisting of 452 pages, was composed in four months; and the knowlege of this cause did not allay the vexation and weariness which we repeatedly felt, from the repetitions and the diffuseness which very essentially diminish the value of this additional performance.
The chief motive for this publication originated in a wish to afford precise and ample grounds for the determination of a question, even now agitated, whether the possession of the Cape of Good Hope is important to the interests of the British
*See Rev. Vol. xxxv. N. S. p. 337-
empire; and since the documents now before us prove, by so evident a preponderance of argument, the great utility of that colony to our interests, we cannot but regret that they did not appear before that settlement passed out of our hands. The fate of war, however, may again subject it to our power; and, in a second negotiation, it may be considered as equally valuable with Malta or Trinidad.
The nature of our contest with France, without disjointing parties, has united all individuals in a zealous and vigorous. preparation for resistance against the common enemy. No one indeed can view its large and day-light robberies, or its foul and mid-night murders, without abhorrence! but, as the sentiment of abhorrence is so general, this author might have been excused if he had suppressed it; if he had been contented merely to point out the road for political wisdom to pursue, calmly and without passion; and if he had taught us how France and Frenchmen may be kept in awe,' without any sarcastic remarks on Gallic perfidy or Consular despotism.
Mr. Barrow confirms the maxim which is now very generally believed, that no circumstances ever estrange a Frenchman from his country: that to serve it, whether under a king, or directors, or consuls, or an emperor, he unremittingly uses his eyes and his ears; and that to promote its aggrandizement, he will forget the dictates of honor and the duties of gratitude.
Hence we find, (says Mr. B.) in every part of the world, Frenchmen labouring for the interests of their nation, in the various characters of ambassadors to the court, missionaries for propagating the Christian religion, commissaries of commerce, emissaries of a subordinate rank, and voluntary adventurers. A Frenchman, travelling in foreign countries, generally combines national with individual views. Since the late revolution they have been dispersed, like the Jews, over the whole world; but their dispersion is yet too recent to have obliterated the amor patria which, next to that of the ties of blood, clings, perhaps, closest to the heart. To their usual propensity for intrigue at foreign courts, and their national enmity against England, the emigrants have now the additional spur of doing something that may recommend them to the notice of their country.'
The author then adverts to the intrigues of the French in India, China, &c. ; which we see no reason to question, but which are here presented without proof.
Mr. B. produces abundant testimony of the paucity and imperfection of our knowlege respecting the Cape at the time of its capture by us. Not a survey of one of the bays could be implicitly adopted: the direction and distance of Graaf Reynet was unknown: at first it was said that the three country districts
could raise a militia of cavalry of nearly 20,000 men; whereas in the whole settlement, men, women, and children, white inhabitants, do not much exceed that number; and wheat was supposed to be produced in such abundance, that a cargo out of the captured store was sent to England, and the following year was witness to a famine.. Geographical errors equally glaring are also stated. Sparrmann, in one instance, makes an error in latitude of between two and three hundred miles: the defective map of Sparrmann was republished by Paterson; and in a partial map of the colony by De la Rochette, four and twenty rivers are made to flow in directions opposite to their real courses. In speaking of M. Le Vaillant, Mr. B. says:
With regard to the last-mentioned gentleman, I should not have noticed his map had he not endeavoured to impress the world with an idea of the great pains that were taken in collecting the materials, and of the assistance he afterwards received, and the attention that was bestowed, in putting them together. And in order to add force, as he supposes, to the value of his observations, with a pretended zeal for the cause of humanity (pretended because he knew that every line in his chart was false), he breaks out into the following apostrophe: -"Had my voyage been productive of no other good than that of preventing a single shipwreck, I should have applauded myself during my whole life for undertaking it!" The fact is, he has done little more, in the eastern part of his map, than copy from Sparrmann; and the whole to the northward of Saint Helena Bay is a work of fancy. Two instances will be sufficient to shew how very little he is to be trusted. He places Camdeboo, and the beginning of the Snowy Mountains, in the latitude of about 28° south, instead of 32° 15′ south, an error of more than 290 English miles! And he makes the Orange River descend from the northward, nearly parallel to the coast, which, in fact, takes its rise near the eastern coast, and ascends towards the north-west. Messrs. Truter and Somerville, who two years ago penetrated farther into the interior of Southern Africa than any Europeans had ever done before, calculated that they crossed this river in about 29° o' south, and between 23° and 24° east of Greenwich. I skirted its banks from 29°40 to 30° 15 south, and between the longitudes of 25° 45′ and 26° 30' east, which shews, as I said before, that its course is north-westerly. Monsieur Le Vaillant cannot be offended at my pointing out his mistakes, as he himself has observed, that "a traveller ought to conceal nothing that may lead to error in the sciences." Besides, I feel myself called upon to answer charge, preferred against me by Monsieur Grandpré, the translator of my former volume, that I have attempted to invalidate the truth of Monsieur Le Vaillant's work, because it was from the pen of a Frenchman. I can very seriously assure Monsieur Grandpré, that he is mistaken; that I consider the work of Monsieur Le Vaillant as replete with valuable matter, and ingenious observations; but they are so jumbled together with fiction and romance, that none but those who have followed his steps can pretend to separate the one from the other.'