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Dotting on the sleepy stone ;
Sing him in glory to the sea.' The Epistles to dear Byron, dear Tom Moore, dear Hazlitt, and others, were worth printing, just to let people see who were the poet's correspondents. Mr. Hunt's attempts at playfulness are not graceful. His ethics and philosophy, which are of course freely dealt out in these familiar effusions, are those of The Round Table. There is a great deal about · Hampstead's
whole merits,' but the worst is, we never get out of the reach of the smoke. A most distressing cockneyism pervades Mr. Hunt's ideas of the beautiful iu scenery, which, in the sonnet to Horatio Smith, is indeed more than half-avowed. Vulgar," he says, is
• He who goes
Then come the squares ! ! And he might have added, the Tea-Gardens, with the original of some of his 'fair-limbed nympbs' and deities, in marble, wood, and lead.
Of the Translations we shall say little, because we can say little that is favourable. They will not give satisfaction to those who are acquainted with the originals ; they will not interest those who are not. They are disfigured by Mr. Hunt's usual faults of style, with here and there a touch of more than ordiDary vulgarity. For the insertion of one of them, be intimates a sort of apology, and our readers may guess what description of poem it must be, for which Mr. Hunt thinks it advisable to say, he needs not apologize ;' adding, that while he abominates grossness, he thinks that • voluptuousness, in the proper sense, is rather an ill-used personage.'
Although Mr. Hunt bas produced a volume not quite to our taste, nor worthy of his own talents, we bave to acknowledge that his poetry has at least administered to our cheerfulness. We hope he will forgive us, if he condescends to read them, the freedom of our strictures; for whatever he may think of us, we are, not less than • Sir Johu Edward Swiuburne, Baronet,' very fond of a bust over our organ' or book-case, as well as of flowers at the end of our room. A love of nature out of * doors, and of sociality within,' is a disposition we agree with Mr. H. in eadeavouring sedulously to cultivate, and we sincerely wish him as much enjoyment arising from these sources, as may consist with that morbid temperament which displays itself in his restless egotism, and bis habits of invective against a religion which, while he hates it, he cannot quite disbelieve. Art. XI. 1. A Report of the Miseries of the Off-Islands of Scilly.
2. Hints on a Plan for the Permanent Support of the Scilly Islanders. Extracted from a Report of the Miseries off the Islands of Scilly,
WE sladly lend our best assistance in giving the utinost
publicity to these distressing statements, although we can do little more than lay before our readers a few extracts from the Report which has been sent us, of which some account bas already been given in the newspapers. It seems that accounts of the extremities of sufferings to which the inhabitants living on the islands of Scilly were reduced, had frequently reached Peazapce. Some particulars, it is said, ' appeared so shock
ing, as almost to excite suspicion of the whole account ;' but at length instigated by repeated applications from the inhabitants, some benevolent individuals resolved on visiting the Islands, for the purpose of ascertaining their correctness, and of founding on the result of their inquiries, an appeal to the commiseration and benevolence of the public. Although at St. Mary's, they heard enough to prepare their minds for the most heart
rending tales,' the real state of many of the families on the Off-islands, in respect to food, clothes, and means of relief, was such as to exceed all that they could previously have realised. • It is not sufficient,' the Report states, to say it was shocking; rather, it was truly horrible, to hear their cries and feel ourselves incapable (save with a shilling or two) of alleviating their miseries.' And again : 'It is truly astonishing to hear • the very extraordinary exertions that fatbers and mothers • have made to get bread; and it is impossible to describe the • desponding tone in which they announced the utter failure of • their efforts. One only wonders by what strange tenacity of instinct or habit, the tenants of such dreary rocks cling to them as their country, in preference to any other spot on which they could but starve.
The means of subsistence in these islands, would seem to be at the best both scanty and uncertain in the extreme.
• The land is divided into small portions, and those who have land, endeavour to raise a little corn, and a small crop of potatoes, which, with great care, will last them six months in the year, or more; but the soil is so sandy, and the spray of the salt water is so constantly going over it in the winter, and is subject to so many casualties, as too much rain or heat, that nothing can be more precarious. The possession of a boat in a family, is also of consequence, as they can occasionally take a little fish, or get a vessel to pilot. Some of the boats have been seized, and many have been wrecked, while others are too old, so that numerous families have now no boats. To be destitute of land, therefore, and a boat, places a family in the most deplorable state, as they have then scarcely any one means of em. ployment or support.
• It has often been said, Have they not plenty of fish around the Islands? We have already observed, few have boats :-In addition to this, we found that fish can only be obtained at certain seasons of the year, and when weather will admit. Mr. L. the collector of customs, assured us he had been four months without any fish on his table. It is very often extremely dangerous to be out fishing, as the undertow or revulsion of the sea, and frequently she general swell around the
rocks, is so violent, that many are lost. About two months since, a í boat with four men perished by these means, who went out to fish
near the Island of St. Agnes. Some have said, Why do not the inhabitants go to sea, when such wages are given in the merchant service? It ought to be considered though all the men are used to the sea, few are brought up to the duty of a merchant ship. In times of peace seamen are wanted, now the greater part of the men at Scilly are only accustomed to boats ; they are useful for their own rocky shores;- but in general would not be suitable to take the station of able seamen for foreign voyages ; and as to the coasting trade, plenty of men are to be found along the shore for those ships that need them.
• It has been said by persons at a distance, could not the men of Scilly be employed in the mines of Cornwall? Independent of their unfitness for the work, it is sufficient to add, that hundreds of real miners are now out of employ in this county, and anxious to obtain bread by any kind of work. pp. 8, 9.
During the winter, hundreds of ships are driven about the Scilly Islands, and exposed to the most imminent danger. The value of the pilots, who, in such cases, tempted by the prospect of remuneration, launch out in the worst of weather to their assistance, must be, as regards the commercial interests of our country, incalculable. Though almost all the men are pilots, the number of those who have a license from the Trinity house, by virtue of which their widows are allowed £10. per annum, is very small.
• About four years since, four men perished, only one a licensed pilot :Two years since, eight men were drowned; and last Christmas four others perished ; all these were going out to vessels in distress, and left no provision for their families. Exertions were made for the above eight drowned near St. Mary's, and some money obtained for them; but with the greater part who are drowned their families are left unprovided, save what the neighbours in their Island, or the respectable families at St. Mary's, may contribute immediately on the first paroxysm of grief into which the family is thrown. It is very remarkable that such is the healthy state of the Islands, that there are but few men die natural deaths until old age. The greater part of the widows therefore, have lost their husbands by drowning. The distress produced in the families by the deaths of those poor men is most dreadful; with very few exceptions, the wife and children lose all their stay, and all their dependence for temporal
support; and until the children grow up to work for bread, the 1 family lead a wretched life. But now those children who have
become able to work, have not work to do. The distress, therefore, of the widow at present is doubly aggravated.' p. 12.
What has, however, produced the extreme misery now described as general in the Islands, is the severity with whick
the preventive system' has been recently enforced. This has entirely destroyed the trade by barter, by which many obtained
a precarious subsistence.
Before this was established, men were always on the look-out for homeward bound vessels, and as soon as one was descried, every man and boy was alert in making off to it with fish, eggs, fowls, potatoes, and other articles of barter. The captain seldom paid them in money, but usually was glad to give in exchange a bottle of rum, some coffee, or some sugar, which obtained at St. Mary's a ready sale. Now, one pound of sugar would expose the boat to • seizure, and the men to imprisonment;' of which several most distressing instances have occurred. Some of the best boats are now lying on the beach, ruining with the sun, and some men have been sent to the Fleet prison.'
• It seems, it was conjectured that some persons must fall a sacrifice to the extreme severity of the preventive system, and the inhabitants of the Off-Islands of Scilly appear to be the victims To some, however, has appeared, that the great expense attached to building a large boat and watch houses on the Islands, providing for so many men, and supporting officers, must be greater than what the revenue would gain by the measure; but this is a business with which we presume not to interfere, as it has now become an established law, and therefore must be obeyed.' p. 22.
Yet, if Government knew the miseries,' it is remarked, to • which the people have been reduced by these things, they • would surely be disposed to relax a little, in favour of a rega' lated mode of barter, if some plan could be struck out, with
out injuring the revenue.' Five bundred pounds had been voted by Government for the relief of the Islands, but fears were .entertained that this would be employed chiefly in the building of sea-banks, while nothing short of immediate relief will save the wretched people from perishing. Of this, a specimen or two will give sufficient proof.
Old Grimsby.-F. J. nine in family, very poor.-H. J. three in family, have lived very hard, chiefly on limpets; poverty is visible in their countenances.-F. J. aged 74, wife 73, very poor; the wife has of late been down every morning to the sea side cutting sca weed, and carrying it on her back to obtain a little bread; she complained of this as a great hardship at her time of life, and declared she was hardly able to do it, yet at the same time felt thankful that God had disposed any one to speculate in Kelp, as it obtained bread for many families, who would otherwise at this moment be starving:-J. J. nine in family, very poor, suffered greatly last winter, lived chiefly on limpets and barley corn, burnt, as a substitute for coffee, wife just lain in, no prospect of support for the next winter; every thing about this hut, as well as the appearance of the family, indicated grief, despondency, and poverty.S. J. eight in family, sold almost every thing they had, last winter, to obtain bread; lived for three weeks almost wholly on limpets; when they had bread, obliged to limit the family to one or two pounds a day, for the wbole eight;