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would behold unmoved all the hopes of posterity wasting away in chronic tabes. To such men England must not listen. Neither must she be advised by counsellors who would excite in her the strength of fever and delirium. There are men who, seeing the beautiful front of a magnificent edifice nearly finished, clamour loudly for the roof; while the wiser architects, knowing that the front alone cannot support the covering, continue in silence to construct the walls and partitions, and to place the beams and rafters, on which likewise it must rest. Yet the clamourers are vain enough to think that, without them, the roof never could have been invented.
Hitherto the years which France was condemned to drudge or to bustle before she could obtain the good things which England had secured, were one hundred and fifty; and, over, when those things were attained, they were not of half the value in the hands of the French, as in ours. But the ratio of time will now alter. The rapidity of communication, the opportunities for imparting impulses, the spirit already diffused must cause inferior nations to tread more quickly in the steps of those that take the lead. Whatever we discover in politics, in morals, in science, or in industry, we must expect to see imitated abroad, long before a hundred and fifty years have revolved. But, on the other hand, the distance which will separate English prosperity from that of France will increase; and what we lose in time, we shall more than gain in space. Though the French were thirty lustres before they attempted a wretched paraphrase of our Magna Charta, or a sanguinary burlesque of our revolution, they were not many years before they imported steam-engines or spinning-jennies. We speak not now of the spirit which rules the two countries. Here it is that the chief difference lies, and upon this we found our assertion that, though the French may stand nearer to us in time, in space they will be still farther removed than ever. Human powers, we know, have limits; and all limits, as we draw near to them beyond a certain degree, can be approached but by a retarded velocity. But we do not think that such a degree has yet been reached. Mankind is still in a state where the movements of civilization are accelerated; and they who have gone the farthest and the quickest will, for a long time, continue to advance the most rapidly. Such, most pre-eminently, has England been; and we do not think ourselves too sanguine when we say, that much as she has done, much as M. Dupin sometimes places her above other nations, as much will she still rise above them, even when taught by her. Neither do we think that, in this mighty career, the country which will come the nearest to us is France. We must not look to the old world for men who
VOL. XXXIV. NO. LXVII.
will gall our kibes by treading on our heels. Youthful nations will be quicker than Europe; and in our own vigorous children, in the United States of America, we already see the generations that, in reason and industry, are destined to stand beside Englishmen.
In past ages the only road to prosperity has been war; and nations seemed to think that without conquests they could not be great. Modern no less than ancient history gives proof of this; for every page of both is filled with battles and successes. The farther we look back, the more we find it true that violence led to splendour and renown. The early eastern empires have left great traces of magnificence; but far above the gardens of Babylon or the temples of Tadmor, rises the glory of conquerors. Of all that is recorded of Egyptian labour and Corinthian wealth, nothing equals in fame their contemporary warriors. The trade and merchants of Athens were not without profit to her; but to Marathon and Platea, to Salamis and Mycale she owes the admiration which present ages pay her; and Sparta flourished though condemned to idleness except in war and theft. The trade of Carthage fell before the sword of Rome, and not all the wares that heathen nations ever fabricated gave a twentieth part
power which the soldiers of the republic won. When Christianity was established, milder motives swayed mankind, and industry became a source of power. Venice, Genoa, Pisa, the petty states of Italy stood, by their ingenuity, among the largest empires; and created resources by trade which war could not have given. The Hanseatic league, the Netherlands, grew strong by industry; and, by labour, the Dutch republic was enabled to contend with nations much her superiors. What is it now but the struggle of trade and manufactures against alternate violence and cunning, that has secured success in the rudest contest which civilization ever had to maintain against depravity of every kind? What was it but British industry pouring out the treasures of Indus on the banks of the Neva, of the Danube, and of the Tagus, and vivifying the palsied chiefs of Europe with her wealth, that has preserved the world from barbarism?
Great as have been the triumphs of England, it is not to them that she owes her present superiority:
From her campaigns in the peninsula Spain and Portugal derived their safety; and the North a useful diversion of the French forces. At Waterloo all the nations were delivered, and the smallest among them was more benefited by that day than England was. It mattered not to her by whom the miseries and madness of the French revolution were subdued. All that she desired was to see them at an end; and in the very lap of victory she laid down the right to authority which
victory had given. But from war she turned to industry; and there she found again her ascendancy. In the field barbarians may surpass the wise in numbers, and equal them in valour. But genius is not measured by any such arithmetic. The glory of a great minister in the last century was, that he made this country flourish still more by war than by peace. The glory of the present æra is, that things have returned to their natural course; and that peace is become, as it ever ought to be, a greater restorer of national force than war. The age
which now discloses itself to our view promises to be the age of industry, to which no monarch shall affix his name-it shall be called the age of comfort to the poor,-if the phrase had not been so ill applied of late, we should say, the age of THE PEOPLE. By industry, alliances shall be dictated, and national friendships shall be formed. With one hand industry shall furl up the banners of war, and with the other scatter plenty through the world. Should future generations ask what causes so long delayed a practice so humane and wise, they will be told that France, with the blood of her revolution and the despotism of her glory, was the first of these. Should they then inquire who finally promoted so much good and made it prosper, the answer which history will proclaim is, ENGLAND.
ART. V.- Mission to the East Coast of Sumatra in 1823,
under the Direction of the Government of Prince of Wales's Island. By John Anderson, Esq. &c. Edinburgh and London.
1826. WE E doubt very much, if there exist, on the face of the globe,
two more fair and fertile islands (always however excepting our own) than Java and Sumatra; and they have given birth to two very excellent books every way worthy of them—the one on Java, by Sir Stamford Raffles; the other, on Sumatra, by Mr. Marsden. The latter we consider as a perfect model for topographic and descriptive composition; but as we had little or no intercourse with the eastern, or rather north-eastern coast of Sumatra at the time that Mr. Marsden wrote his History and Description, his account of that part of the island could only be very general and imperfect. What our jealous rivals the Dutch knew of it, they kept to themselves, from a dread of being disturbed in their grasping and monopolizing system. During the war which placed all their settlements in our possession, the north-east coast of this island had not been considered as an object worthy of any particular attention; but on the restoration of the Dutch settlements, and of Malacca among the rest, the authorities of Pinang deemed it expedient to send an agent to visit G 2
all the country between Diamond point and Siack inclusive, for the purpose,' as Mr. Anderson expresses himself, of anticipating the Netherlands, and keeping the chiefs of that coast faithful to their relations with the island of Pinang,'-in fact, to open a communication with the several petty states on that coast and in the interior, and so to establish, if possible, a friendly and commercial intercourse with a country, rich in the choicest productions of nature, and abounding with a numerous and highly interesting population, with whose character, pursuits and habits, we had but little acquaintance.'
In the east, however, we have now nothing to apprehend from the exclusive and oppressive policy pursued by the Dutch; that has at length incited the natives to rebel against their authority, and to assert their rights. The consequence will probably be, that their oriental possessions will speedily be wrested from their grasp; whilst a more liberal system is rapidly drawing the whole trade of the ultra-Gangetic nations and the Archipelago to our few remaining ports in that quarter, more especially to Singapore.
A very general view of the result of Mr. Anderson's • Mission' is what we now propose to take, not altogether from any great interest or importance we attach to the work, but because we would not wish at this time to omit noticing any authentic information, however scanty, that may be gathered from any of the numerous nooks and corners of the eastern world.
Mr. Anderson, among other necessaries, took care to be wellprovided with interpreters; for we find in his train a motley group of twenty distinct kindreds and tongues, unknown, and, for the most part unintelligible to each other; Siamese, Burmahs, Aboynese, Malays, Buggese, Chooliahs, Chinese, Chittagong, Hindoo, Portugueze, Manilla, Caffree, Malabar, Javanese, Padang, Batta, West India Creole, Danes and Germans. The Company's brig Jessy conveyed him to the mouths of the several rivers and as far up them as they were safely navigable. To follow him up these rivers, and to the several residences of the petty sultans and rajahs, would be an endless and useless task. Their names and genealogies—their quarrels with each other-their traffic and manufactures, may all be very proper objects of study for the government of Pinang, but could hardly be considered as matters of much interest by the European reader; and on that account our description must be as brief and general as possible. It
appears that this eastern coast of Sumatra, which forms the western side of the strait of Malacca, and extends upwards of 600 geographical miles from Pedro point in latitude 5° 35' N. to Lucepara point in latitude 3° 15' S. is in general low, swampy,
and fringed with a continuous line of mangrove trees, growing so close to the water's edge as to throw their roots into the sea. This almost level country stretches from 50 miles in some places to 140 in others into the interior, till it meets with the great range of primitive mountains, which runs down the middle of the island almost the whole of its length. From these mountains issue innumerable streams, which, after intersecting in all directions the flat country, are poured into the Straitof Malacca through various channels, some of which, as the Reccan and the Siack, are of very considerable magnitude. Immense quantities of sand and mud, the debris of the mountains, are brought down by these rivers and deposited along the coast, where they are constantly forming sandbanks and shoals, which in some places extend as far as ten miles into the strait, rendering the navigation of it extremely dangerous, even to vessels of a small size. It is stated indeed that the land, in certain places, has gained upon the sea from 15 to 30 miles, within the last two hundred years. If this be so, what with the immense quantity of alluvion carried down, and the incessant labours of the coral-making insects, the strait of Malacca stands a chance of becoming unnavigable in an assignable number of years. .
It may easily be imagined, that a country situated immediately under the equinoctial line, and covered with a deep alluvial soil, must be luxuriously fertile; but the enormous size to which many of its productions arrive is almost incredible to us who inhabit a more temperate climate. Some of our ancient oaks and yews might, it is true, compete with the grandest trees of a Sumatran forest; but we should look in vain in extra-tropical climates for any single flower measuring three feet in diameter, like that of the parasitical Rafflesia; or for a tuberous edible root weighing four hundred pounds; or for melons, pumpkins, and other species or varieties of the cucurbitaceous family, equal to half that weight; or for a shell fish equal to the Dutchman's cockle (chama gigas), on one of which four-and-twenty men make a hearty supper; or for one of the sponge species (Alcyonium?) as large and regular, and nearly as elegant, in shape, as the Barbarini vase.
Man alone seems here to degenerate, while other animals obtain the largest size. The elephants are equal in magnitude to those of Ceylon; the tiger, the rhinoceros, the buffalo, are superior to those of the continent. These animals infest the plantations and commit great ravages, more especially the herds of elephants, who are particularly fond of bananas and sugar-canes. The natives seem not to know the method of taking them by pit-falls," nor do they venture to make a direct attack upon them with their