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with him expired many of the wholesome laws, institutions, and regulations established by him.'
Mr White frequently visited the principal naval arsenal at Saigon, where he saw timber and planks far exceeding in size any employed in the British and American navy yards. 'I measured one plank,' he observes, whose dimensions were one hundred and nine feet long, more than five inches thick, and perfectly square to the top, where it was two feet wide. It was sawed out of the trunk of a teak tree, and I believe there is no part of the world where these gigantic sires of the forest arrive at such magnitude as in Cochin China. I have seen in the country a tree, that would make a natural mainmast for a line of battle ship, clear of knots ; and this I learned is not unusual.' The whole establishment was on a most extensive scale, and in the finest order. Just after the arrival of the vessel, a work had been completed bearing the features of true Roman magnificence, but at a lamentable expense of human life. This was a river, or canal, twenty three English miles long, connecting the city of Saigon with a branch of Cambodia river. This canal was 'twelve feet deep throughout, about eighty feet wide, and was cut through immense forests and morasses, in the short space of six weeks. Twenty six thousand men were employed night and day by turns in this stupendous undertaking, and seven thousand lives sacrificed by fatigue and consequent disease.'
The prevailing religion of the Cochin Chinese is polytheism, but they treat their temples and idols with very little respect, and seem to view the whole subject with utter indifference. The Roman Catholic faith was, however, tolerated in the country, and, according to the statements of the priests, professed by no less than seventy thousand people. There was a christian church in the very centre of Saigon, under the care of two Italian missionaries. To the principal of these, who was styled Father Joseph, Mr White was materially indebted for several important good offices, and much useful information.
The following anecdote contains an instance of true apostolic disinterestedness, which is above all comment.
A few days previous to our quitting Saigon, Father Joseph begged of us some wine and four, for a particular purpose, as he said. Knowing his abstemious habits, our curiosity induced us to ask him, to what use he intended to apply those articles ? He informed us, that as the king had frequently been indisposed of late, and in the event of his death, an extermination of the christians was feared, the wine and flour were designed as elements to be used at the celebration of the Eucharist; of which he intended to partake with his converts, at their last extremity. No persuasions could induce this worthy, conscientious, and intrepid man, to quit the country with us; he answered, that it would be disgraceful for him to desert his post in the hour of danger, and leave his flock to the mercy of the wolves; that now was the time to evince his zeal and sincerity in the service of his master; and though an obscure individual, his sphere of action small, and fate had placed him in this remote part of the globe, his conduct would be the same as it he were in the most exalted station, and the eyes of the whole world upon him.'
We have devoted so much room to extracts, that we must refer to the work itself, for many curious accounts of the police of the Cochin Chinese, of their medicine and surgery, their domestic habits, their food and dress, their public and private buildings, their language, their climate and soil, their natural productions, both vegetable and animal.
Upon the last of these topics, however, we shall venture to mention one or two incidents. The elephants of Cochin China, which are the largest in the world, besides performing the various warlike services, required of that class of animals in other countries, are made to answer the
purpose of a hook and ladder company.
In case of fire, they are driven head foremost against the adjacent buildings, and the efforts of one, or at most two of them, are amply sufficient to level with the ground any of the slight dwellings of the Cochin Chinese. This country abounds also in royal tigers of uncommon size and ferocity. A female of this species was presented in a cage by the Viceroy of Donnai to Mr White. She was generally fed by throwing live puppies into the cage. the following remarkable incident occurred, which shews, in a striking light, the effect of first impressions on the brute creation.
A puppy, not at all remarkable, or distinguishable in appearance, from the common herd, was thrown in, who immediately, on perceiving his situation, set up a dismal yell and attacked the tigress with great fury, snapping at her nose, from which lie drew
One day some blood. The tigress appeared to be amused with the puny rage of the puppy, and with as good-humored an expression of countenance, as so ferocious an animal could be supposed to assume, she affected to treat it all as play; and sometimes spreading herself at full length on her side, at others, crouching in the manner of the fabled sphynx, she would ward off with her paw, the incensed little animal, till he was finally exhausted. She then proceeded to caress him, endeavoring by many little arts to inspire him with confidence, in which she finally succeeded, and in a short time they laid down together and slept. From this time they were inseparable; the tigress appearing to feel for the puppy all the solicitude of a mother, and the dog, in return, treating her with the greatest affection; and a small aperture was left open in the cage, by which he had free ingress and egress. Experiments were subsequently made, by presenting a strange dog at the bars of the cage, when the tigress would manifest great eagerness to get at it; her adopted child was then thrown in, on which she would eagerly pounce; but immediately discovering the cheat, she would caress it with great tenderness.'
Upon the whole, we have seldom seen so many new and valuable facts in the same compass, as are comprised in the work before us. However unfortunate in a commercial point of view, Mr White's voyage may have been to himself and his employers, he has rendered it productive of a large accession to the intellectual wealth of his fellow citizens. Besides the general information, which it affords us, of the state of a country hitherto little known and greatly misrepresented, his book abounds in accurate geographical and nautical remarks respecting the seas that he traversed, and the ports he visited, which must be of no ordinary use to our seafaring brethren. It affords one of the most striking, though by no means the only instance, of the important information, which has been diffused through our community by the laborious and judicious exertions of our intelligent shipmasters, of whom it is but scanty justice to say, that in cultivation, whether of mind or manners, they are not surpassed by those of any other country.
Independent of all that it contains, this work possesses a negative merit of no very common kind in books of travels its freedom not only from every thing indelicate, but from all which is tedious or irrelevant. The style is spirited and easy. The author's fear of falling into a coarse and uncouth mode of writing, an apprehension in our opinion quite groundless, has sometimes led him, especially in his first chapters, to construct his sentences in rather an ambitious manner. This fault, which is the only one worth noticing, will be viewed with indulgence by those, who remember the circumstances under which the work was composed, who place a just value on its numerous and solid merits, and who consider the high credit, which the industry and research of Mr White reflect both on himself and on his country.
ART. VIII.-A Discourse concerning the Influence of Ame
rica on the Mind, being the Annual Oration delivered before the American Philosophical Society, at the University in Philadelphia, October 18, 1823. By C. J. INGERSOLL. Philadelphia. A. Small. 8vo. pp. 67. Seven or eight years ago the plan of the American Philosophical Society was enlarged, by instituting a committee of history, moral science, and literature. Its objects before that period were confined chiefly to the natural sciences, to mathematics, astronomy, physical philosophy, medicine, natural history, chemistry, trade and commerce, mechanics, architecture, and husbandry. This new arrangement has given a much wider scope to the exertions of the Society, and enabled it to enlist a greater amount of active talent in promoting its liberal purposes. Our stock of historical knowledge has already been enriched by the curious and valuable papers, which the committee has published, concerning the manners, characteristics, and languages of the Indians. We are glad to learn, that, through the zeal and vigilance of this branch of the Society, several manuscripts of early date have been brought to light, some of which are now preparing to meet the public eye.
On a former occasion we presented to our readers a notice of the eloquent and interesting anniversary discourse, delivered by the corresponding secretary of the historical and literary committee.* ' The one now before us by Mr Ingersoll
* See a review of Mr Duponceau's Discourse in our Number for April, 1822, Art. XXII.
was the next in succession. The subject, which the author has chosen, is deeply interesting and of broad extent, claiming the attention not more of the lovers of knowledge, than of the friends of American improvement. In tracing the influence of America on the mind, the author is led into a review of the progress and tendency of our political establishments, and the springs of our civil and social, mental, literary, and scientific advancement, from all which he is conducted to results most encouraging, in regard to the forming features of our national character, and the enduring texture and renovating spirit of our free institutions. He pursues his argument by way of a comparison between this country and the countries of Europe, pointing out as he proceeds the advantages we enjoy by having thrown off the shackles of an entailed despotism, which, in some of its forms, still oppresses and afflicts nearly all the inhabitants of the old continents.
Mr Ingersoll approaches this subject with a mind evidently accustomed to enlarged thought and close reflection; and, by the diligence of his research, the amplitude of his knowledge, and his philosophical views of men, principles, and events, he has proved himself adequate to his difficult undertaking. He speaks of things as they are, and rests his positions on the immovable basis of reason and truth; nor can we deem it a trifling achievement, that, in discussing a topic of so general a nature, the fruitful soil of theory and speculation, he has perseveringly avoided the path into which most persons would have been tempted. He neither starts hypotheses, nor amuses himself with conjectures, nor sees prophetic visions ; but, standing on the solid ground of fact, he collects his materials from the storehouses of reality, and combines them into things, which have a shape and a being. This trait of his discourse invests it with a practical value, rarely to be met with in compositions of a similar kind, and inspires a confidence in his facts and general statements, which every one feels to be well placed. But we cannot better convey our impressions of the merits of this performance, than by drawing out some of its leading parts.
The author begins with what he justly considers the first spring of human improvement, as well as the sustaining pillar of American liberty and happiness, namely, the education of