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the next place he considers a train of perceptions with refpect to pleasure and pain. A man, he observes, is always in a pleasant state of mind, when his perceptions fow in their natural course: on the other hand, the resistance felt in retarding or accelerating the natural course, excites a pain, which, though scarcely felt in small removes, becomes considerable toward the extremes. He recommends the preserving a middle flate between uniformity and too great variety, and proceeds to examine how far uniformity or variety ought to be studied in the fine arts ? On this enquiry, he concludes, that in works exposed continually to public view, and in every fort of writing intended for amusement, variety is necessary; on which principles he examines and censures the works of some celebrated Authors.

Such is the scope of the first Volume; which, though it has led us beyond our usual limits, will not appear long to those who have a just sense of the nicety and importance of the subject. As to the merit of the work upon the whole, we suspend our opinion till the conclusion of the Article.


Voyages from Asia to America, for compleating the Discoveries of

the North-West Coast of America. To which is prefixed, a Summary of the Voyages made by the Ruffians on the Frozen Sea,

in Search of a North-Eaf Passage, Serving as an Explanation of a Map of the Russian Discoveries, published by the Aca

demy of Sciences at Petersburgh. Translated from the High Dutch of S. Muller, of the Royal Academy of Petershurgh,

With the Addition of three new Maps. By Thomas Jefferys, · Geographer to his Majesty. 4to, 6 s. sewed. Jefferys.

THE many bold undertakings, the many arduous entere

prizes, in which curiosity or interest'have in all ages engaged mankind, afford amazing instances of the influence of such powerful motives. Nature, however, has sometimes placed obstacles in the way, which not all the powers of induftry and ingenuity united, have been able to surmount. This hath hitherto been the case with every attempt, to effect a more speedy Navigation, from Europe to the East Indies, than by the present method of doubling the Cape of Good, Hope.

Various are the schemes, as the Editor observes, that have bcen projected to facilitate this Voyage, and to fave the time


and trouble of coasting round the continent of Africa. That of cutting a canal from the Levant to the Red Sea, and the other, of doing the same across the narrow neck of land at Darien, are well known, and have been long since exploded. Not that we are of opinion the latter is so impracticable as many will have it. In some future age of the world, perhaps, when America comes to be fully peopled, and the spirit of Improvement shall go forth among its inhabitants, the continents of North and South America may be disjoined, and a friendly communication opened between the West Indies and the South Seas. Nature herself, the best engineer, may probably affist in the work : nay, the earth, yielding by degrees to the sea, may pollibly effect it altogether; or, yawning amidst those dreadful convulsions to which it is subject, may afford a bed for the descending waters, while the waves, mixing to form a channel, describe the hostile bounds of two contending and implacable nations.

In the present state of things, however, all projects for effecting fuch a communication may be justly deemed visionary; the more sensible adventurers of later years have therefore directed their aim to the discovery of a North-Eaft or a North-West Passage. The latter has been several times attempted by our own countrymen, though without any great appearance of success. Indeed the discoveries of the Russians make entirely against the possibility of succeeding that way, while they serve very clearly to prove, that the sea is continued all round the northern parts of Asia, eastward to Japan and China. But although this be a nearer way than to go round the Cape of Good Hope, the obstacles which present themselves on account of the ice, will probably render its navigation for ever impracticable. The delay, occasioned by this circumstance, has been so very great, that the Russians bave been sometimes two or three years in making the voyage from the mouth of the Lena (a river rising in Siberia, and emptying itfelf in the Frozen Sea) to Kamtschatki ; they not being able, during the fhort summer of those parts, to pass through the ice before the winter sets in again. There is little probability therefore, that other nations, less inured. to the rigour of such climates, should fucceed where the Ruffians have failed; or, indeed, that they should ever attempt such a navigation again. So that Mr. Muller might have fpared himself the trouble of particularly dissuading them from it, by urging the impediments which he has recited in p. 24, of the second Parte .. .


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Some political views may, perhaps, be suspected to have entered into the motives for giving this advice, as the Ruffians have been very solicitous, in all their Voyages this way, to extend their dominions, by exacting tribute of the inhabitants of the several countries discovered. The French are famous for making wilful geographical mistakes, and other errors of this kind, with a view to deceive other nations, and discourage them from intermeddling or examining into their pretended claims. The Russians, however, we should imagine, need not in this case follow lo disingenuous an example; as, whatever use a North-East Passage might be of to other Europeans trading to China, &c. the climate through which they must pass seems too inhospitable ever to occafion any great disputes, relating to sovereignty and right of poffeffion. The publication of these Voyages indeed may serve to gratify the curiosity of the Geographer, but we will venture to say, they will never excite that of the Navigator to undertake so perilous a journey as is here delineated.

The first Part of this work contains an account of the leveral expeditions, made to discover the eastern extremity of Asia, and to determine whether the Frozen Sea was continued round the northern shores of Europe, along that of Asia, to Japan. The Russians had also another view, which was that of settling the boundaries of their extensive empire, and reduce the scattered nations, that inhabit those vast tracts of land, under some kind of subjection. In the course of these narrations we meet with several extraordinary particulars, selating to the customs and manners of the barbarous inhabitants of these regions, as well as to the natural history of the soil. Some of these particulars indeed have been mentioned in former works, but frequently mixed with so much falshood, as to carry with them rather the air of romance than true history. Thus when the Reader is told, that on the continent opposite the eastern extremity of Asia, there are a people who have tails like dogs, and another nation that have feet like ravens, covered with the same kind of skins; it is enough to make him suspect the veracity of every other part of such relations. Would not one doubt of the truth of what is asserted on the same authority, that there are in these parts a people, who cut holes through their cheeks in order to put large teeth into their mouths, made out of those of the seahorse ? And yet, from the repeated accounts of several travellers, this fact appears to be true. Nature produces many strange things, but none so absurd and preposterous as art.


The truth of the accounts we have had concerning the speedy vegetation of trees and plants in these cold regions, has often been questioned; we are here nevertheless assured of the following particulars. Speaking of Siberia, we are told, that “ Though very little corn is sown in this country, yet that which is, whatever grain it be of, thrives apace; but the ftraw never exceeds fix inches in height, for as soon as the corn peeps out of the ground, it immediaiely shoots into ears, and ripens in fix weeks time. The reason of this is, because here the sun is hardly ever below the horizon in lümmer, but affords its cherishing warmth, both night and day, to the ground. And what is most observable, is, that during that whole time it does not rain ; but the earth, though fat and black, yet never thaws above fix or nine inches deep: insomuch that the roots are plentifully supplied with moisture from below, whilst the constant heat of the sun above irradiates what is out of the ground : and this is the cause of so quick a harveft."

The received accounts of the Korjaki are also here related as true, particularly the story of the better fort of them getting drunk with the liquor of stewed mushrooms, while the poor among them catch the urine, made by the rich on those occasions, and get as heartily intoxicated with their favourite {pirit thus doubly distilled.

The following story is told us of the extraordinary kind of dogs, which they have at Kamtschatki. "On the east side of the country of Kamtschatki, towards the sea, there lives a people who keep no other sort of beasts but dogs; which, though they are but of a common fize, are remarkable, in that they have hair of fix inches long. In 1718, a certain Waiwode travelling in a sledge with twelve dogs, towards the city of Beresowa, got himself wrapped up in warm quilts, and girt fast in the sledge, in order to secure him from the severity of the cold, and to pre.vent his falling out in case the fledgeshould overturn... The Oftiack, who was his guide, skaited along side of him, (according to custom, in case the sledge should over-turn, to raise it up again) and coming on a large plain, where the ground is generally covered man's depth with snow, the dogs, (which the Oftiacks also use for hunting) espying a fox at à distance, immediately few in pursuit of their game, and run away with the Waiwode with such swiftness, that it was impossible for the guide to keep pace with them, and they soon got out of sight. The guide followed the track, but did

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nights, which was done convent of a whole pipe year 1718

not come up to his passenger till the next morning, whicle he found him in the fledge overturned, still well wrapt up, and tightly girt into it. By good luck the stump of a tree, which stood out above the snow, had stopped the fledge, or else it might probably have coft the Waiwode his life. There dogs are able to draw great burthens, for in the year 1718 Governor Knees Mischewski ordered a whole pipe of brandy to be brought from the convent of Ketskoe to the city of Beresowa,which was done by fixteen dogs. People never travel a nights, but only a days with dogs; in the morning, before they set out, each dog has two frozen fish, which is his allowance for the whole day. At night, when they come to their journey's end, these poor creatures are so weary that they cannot eat, but presently lie down to fleep. Whenever any passenger comes to a stage where he is to have fresh dogs, all the dogs of that village set up a moft terrible howling, knowing that they are some of them, to have the fame fate *.” . Of the Tfchuktfchi, or people to the north-eaft extremity of Asia, we are told a similar custom to what Paulus Venetus relates of the inhabitants of Camul; and what is observed by some other Writers concerning the hospitality of the other barbarous nations. “When a stranger, it is said, comes to them, let him be of their own or another nation, they offer him their wives and daughters as bedfellows. If they are not handsome enough, or are too old for the guest, they bring him some other woman from among their neighbours; whereupon the presents him with a bason of urine fresh made in his presence, with which he is obliged to rince his mouth. If he refufes the offer, they hold him for their enemy; but, from his accepting of it, they conclude his fincere friendthip."

Strange as such a custom as this may appear to Europeans, as being so contrary to the notions and practices of civilized nations, yet these very people seem to have a strong sense of liberty, and a high notion of independency; the men, when

• As Mr. Muller was himself some time in Siberia, and had an opportunity of knowing many things relating to these favage nations, his repeating these stories seems to authenticate them; if indeed they are inserted in his work, which however we cannot assure the Reader, not having she original German at hạnd, and as they are inserted in the Translation by way of note. The Translator, or English Editor, however, gives no intimation that they are added by him.


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