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country, leaving to future topographers no other task than that of filling up the outlines thus accurately and permanently established. For this reason the maps of the new states, taken from the government surveys, are for the most part much more faithful, than those of the old states, where the surveys have been irregular, performed at different times, and for various purposes.
We have seldom seen so good a set of maps of the West Indies, as those in Mr Lucas's work. They are twenty in number, and mostly drawn by himself from the best published authorities, and from the charts and information afforded by practical seamen. To each of the large islands a map is devoted, containing the names of places, ports, harbors, and particularly pointing out the small islands, rocks, and shoals on the coasts, thus communicating knowledge equally valuable to the general inquirer and the navigator. The author would seem to have bestowed more than usual care on this part of his work.
Six maps of South America close the series, five of which, namely, Colombia, Brazil, the United Provinces, Peru, and Chili, were drawn by the author. These are finely executed, and present a more full view of the present topographical state of those countries, we believe, than is anywhere else to be found within the same compass. The author relied mainly on the authority of Faden's last edition of La Cruz, and to a higher he could not have trusted. For later changes he has examined the most authentic maps and documents.
In every respect this Atlas answers the object for which it was intended; it is an excellent compend of maps for practical purposes, being sufficiently copious and minute for all the ordinary inquiries in geography and history. Mr Lucas, we understand, has for several years devoted much of his time to the work, and his well known ability as a geographer and skilful draftsman would be enough to insure its accuracy, were this less evident than it is from internal testimony. As far as his work relates to America, both North and South, and to the West Indies, it is particularly valuable ; and if we were to select a single atlas, in which our purpose would be to obtain the greatest amount of matter within the smallest space, presented in a commodious form, and at a compara
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tively moderate expense, we should not hesitate to choose this in preference to any we have seen.
It has another commendable trait also, which ought not to be slightly passed over ; we mean the uncommon beauty and elegance of the mechanical execution. This characteristic prevails in all Mr Lucas's maps, and is not more creditable to his zeal for his favorite science, than to his taste and love of the arts. He is sparing of his mountains, and is not prone to multiply crooked and branching rivers, where none exist, for the sake of filling up a vacant space. Indeed, for neatness in the drawing, for the finished execution of the artist, and the exquisite beauty of coloring, no maps have come under our eye, either from abroad or among those published in this country, which can claim precedence to several specimens contained in Mr Lucas's Atlas.
We have cheerfully embraced an opportunity to say as much as we have done, in expressing our opinion of the works before us, considering them honorable to the country, and among the strong marks of our literary and scientific advancement; they are trophies of American enterprise, which it becomes a discerning public to regard with favor, and reward with substantial patronage ; and we hope the authors will be encouraged to pursue the labors, which they have thus far prosecuted with so much credit to themselves, and so much benefit to the community.
ART. XXIII.-Reflections on the Politics of Ancient Greece,
translated from the German of Arnold H. L. Heeren. By GEORGE BANCROFT. 8vo. pp. 350. Cummings, Hilliard, & Co. Boston. This volume, in the original, forms a portion of a large work, which is entitled Reflections on the Politics, Intercourse, and Commerce of the chief Nations of Antiquity. It appears to have been Mr Heeren's intention to treat at equal length all the ancient nations of historical importance. As yet, however, he has accomplished his design only with respect to those of Asia and Africa. He has discussed the subject of the Persians, the Phenicians, the Babylonians, the Scythians, the Indians, in Asia; and in Africa, the Carthaginians and Egyptians. The present volume, forming a disconnected work on the Grecian Institutions, is all that has as yet appeared on any European nation; and whether the learned and ingenious author will extend his researches to the states of southern and western Europe, the Romans, Gauls, Germans, and Britons, we have no information. The masterly execution of what has already appeared has long excited a wish, among those acquainted with these volumes, that the plan may be pursued in its full extent. Few writers, as we shall presently remark more at large, have better succeeded than Mr Heeren in treating questions of antiquity with the spirit of modern philosophical criticism. By this we are far from intimating, that he partakes of that skepticism, by which the authenticity of every account of the ancient world is made to depend upon its analogy with what is passing around us. Mr Heeren, on the contrary, is rather a disciple of the old school; or still more correctly, a prudent mediator between the bold speculations of some of his countrymen, and the credulous learning of the last century. We
We propose to present our readers with a brief analysis of this volume, and a few remarks on some of its important statements.
We are not sure whether the title of the volume is successfully chosen, to convey a complete and accurate notion of its contents. It embraces some subjects, which do not generally find a place under the head of politics; and all that belongs to politics are not discussed. The translator has justly observed, that it is 'a series of essays, which relates solely to subjects connected with the political institutions of Greece, and may be regarded as an independent collection of separate historical sketches.'
In the general preliminary remarks some curious topics are briefly touched. One of them occurs in the very outset, and is the superiority of the European race over every other race of men. Conceding the superiority in natural gifts to other quarters of the earth, 'in everything which is the work of man,' says the author, the nations of Europe stand far above those of the other continent.' In Europe alone,* the institution of marriage has been brought to a state, in which it is the foundation of domestic life and virtue. Here slavery alone has been abolished, and free constitutions of government permanently established. The greatest improvements in arts and sciences, useful, ornamental, and speculative, have been made in Europe; and though the East is undoubtedly the birthplace of many inventions, the credit which might be due to her, on that account, is more than counterbalanced by the barbarous infancy in which, notwithstanding these inventions, she has remained. It is an equivocal compliment, which has been sometimes paid to the Chinese, to say they preceded Europe in the knowledge of the art of printing, and of the Mariner's Compass, when we consider the state of their literature and navigation, compared with that of the western nations. Our author will not even concede to the other continents a political or military reputation.
* It needs not be said, that the remarks of our author of course extend to the nations of European descent,
Nor can we less admire that political superiority,' says he,' which the nations of this small region, just emerging from the savage life, immediately established over the extensive countries of the large continents. The East has seen powerful conquerors; but it was only in Europe that generals appeared, who invented a science of war really worthy of the name. Hardly had a kingdom in Macedonia of limited extent outgrown its childhood, before the Macedonians ruled on the Indus as on the Nile. The imperial city was the heiress of the imperial nation; Asia and Africa prostrated themselves before the Cæsars. Even in the centuries of the middle age, when the intellectual superiority of the Europeans seemed to have sunk, the nations of the East attempted to subjugate them in vain. The Mongolians advanced into Silesia; nothing but the wastes of Russia remained for a time in their power ; the Arabs desired to overrun the West ; the sword of Charles Martel compelled them to rest contented with a part of Spain ; and the chivalrous Frank, under the banner of the cross, soon bade them defiance in their own home. And how did the fame of the Europeans extend its beams over the earth, when, through Columbus and Vasco de Gama, the morning of a fairer day began to dawn for them. The new world at once became their prey ; more than a third part of Asia submitted to the Russian sceptre; merchants on the Thames and the Zuyder See seized on the government of India ; and if the Turks have thus far been successful in preserving the country, which they have robbed from Europe, will it remain to them forever? Will it remain to them long ?' pp. 2–3.
We suppose no one, upon the whole, will be inclined to deny the justice, with which the superiority of Europe is here maintained; unless there may be some who think that Europe has only for two or three thousand years had its turn; that the Eastern nations had theirs earlier, and attained a perfection, in many of the arts and improvements of life, of which the monuments have perished, and the tradition is lost; that the European superiority seems to us decisive, because we survey it from a nearer point of view, while it is out of our power to take a station, from which we can penetrate to the unrecorded ages of Oriental achievement. Such a mode of surveying the question has something to recommend it, especially, if we consider the forgotten greatness of the East, and the present predominance of Europe, as two acts only in the history of man.
When we look forward to the future, new combinations of national character and national fortune seem 10 be rising up, in no very distant perspective. We fear the past history of the world does not favor the belief, that while such a vast development of energy is taking place in the continents of America, no diminution will result of that, which is in action in the old world. In Roman and Grecian antiquity, national character, glory, and power appeared necessarily to gather about one centre. The sceptre seemed literally to pass from one to another. Whether we seek the illustration in the fabulous traditions of the oldest empires, of the primitive conquerors of Thebes, and Babylon; and the succession of Egyptian, Assyrian, and Chaldean dynasties; or whether we confine our remarks to events more within the range of history, the solemn procession of the Persian, Macedonian, and Roman supremacies, it would seem not only that Asia, but the earth itself, could bear but one lord; and that a high degree of eminence could be attained only by one political community, at a time. In modern ages, the capacities of man are certainly widened. A spiritual religion, the art of printing, the perfection of navigation, and the institution of representative government, have given an extension to improvement unknown before. They have made it possible that several refined, powerful, cultivated nations should coexist, and what is still more, many of them exist in unpropitious natural positions. Cold, mountainous, and rocky regions