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120' July 6A.m clock'6p.m

]3 71


1 710 770 730 2 70 78 74 3 172 76 172 4 70 71 71 5 77 74 6 73 76 72 7 72178 17+ 8 74 175 9 72 78 76 10 76 80 77 11 74 79 75 12 73 79 74

73 14 73 78 75 15 71

77 76 73 78 175 17 72 78 173 18 72 78 74 19 73 78 20 74 78 21 73 77 22 73 78 23 74 79 73 24 73 78 175 25 74 79 176 26 72 80 75 27 72 81 76 28 74 80 75 29 74 80 175 30 74 76 74 31 73 75 70

The 'early part of this month gavo promise of a continuance of very

favorable weather for all operations Remarks.

in agriculture, and more particularly for Coffee Planting not only from

the steady and copious showers of Cloudy.

rain, but from the probability of Flying showers. their continuance owing to the hot Do. Do.

weather of the preceeding months; Heavy rain.

these expectations were, however, not Cloudy.

realized, as towards the middle of Do.&tlying showers. the month, hot and dry weather set Brisk wind of fine. in, and continued for 8 or 9 days,

Do. Dó. raising great fears in the whole of

Do. Do. the seven Körles that the supply Cloudy.

of rain would not enable the culti. Du. Do.

vators to sow their Paddy: how. Strong breeze &fine.

ever, a few heary showers after Do. and cloudy.

the 16th about the hills on the Dull and cloudly. Kandy side enabled the owners of Flying showers. land to commence ploughing—but on

Do. Do, the Korvegalle side enough rain has
Do. Do.

not vet fallen, for Rice cultivation. Do. Do.

Throughout July bowerer the PlanDo. Do. ters of Coffee have not been much Rainy.

interrupted in their operations as Light showers. upwaris uf 100 acres were planted Cloudy.

in the month, all of which give very Do. rain.

fair promise. Fine.

Only 10 inches of 'rain have fall. Do, hot.

en, during this month, a quantity Do. Do.

far below the average supply. The Do. Da. Season has been one of unprece. Po. Do. dented heat and drought, and it has

Do. produced sickness to an alarming Heavy rain.

extent, principally fuvers, of which Du. Do.

very inany cases prored fatal in the

early part of the month; but the few Maximum.

latter days produced a change favorMinimum.

able to the sanitory state of this part Average range of the Central Province. of Thermometer.


176 81 77
170 74 70
173 178 174

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July 15th to 22nd. - Strong winds and frequent flying showers have prevailed during this week. Thermometer average 724 6 A. M. 750 2 P. M. 730 6 P. Ni Operations. -- An the Estates in this part of the country are taking adran. lage of the coil showers weather to form nurseries and plant out young trees, ju which considerable progress has been made. The old plants are, with few exceptions, looking remarkably well, and the berries, under the weight of which their boughs are bending, are fast filling out. The health of the neighbouring estates is decidedly better, though there are still cases of fever and dysentry occurring.

July 2id to 31st-Düring the early part of this week we had heavy raine and strong breezes, with cool; cloudy mornings: Thermometer average 7lv 6 A.M. 73. 2 P. N. 72. 6 P. M. , Operations are confined to planting out; and forin. ing nurseries is last week. Everyone is busily occupied at this work for we canunt calculaie upon a long continuance of these cool days, 60 favorable to the growth of the young plants. The weather already šppears to be breakjög up. No decided improvement in the general healih of these Estates though củses of fever are less frequent.

August ixi to 7th. --During this week very strong winds from the S. W. have pretailed accompanied hy clouds, and light showers. Altogether the clinaţe las been very cool and pleasånt. Thermometer average. 72 6 A. M. 750 2 p. $. 74.8 p. m. Operations same as last week. Thougħ much rain has, not fallen the little that has, and the cloudy weather that accompanied it; have been of great use to newly planted parts, nurseries, &c., by allowing their roots to take easy hold of the ground and to draw, some nourishinent and strength before the dry weather set in. All treeš in bedring are looking well and the, fruit is progressing in size... Notwithstanding the conl weather we have hari., intermittent fevers are still prevalent irith colds ånd *coughs; aufficierit rain has not yet fallen to produce a healthy state of the atmos. phere.

August Blh to 15th.--Fair and dry during this period with a little windy wediher and distant thunder on one or two evenings, otherwise is has been fire with a hot bright sun during the day and strong drying wind from the S. W.-Therinom. aver. 750 6. A.

M. 78, 2

M. 76v 8, P. M. Operations. This dry weather is all-important for cleaning both old and newly plitriteit estates, on which weeds and jungle have sprung up during the recent rains, also for cleariug such land as may be required for planting. In botu of these much is being done on the surrounding estates. - Ferers and colds still hang about; thougb upon ihe whole, the country is in an improved itäte of health,

Vale of Doombera, August 16th, 1840


B. D.



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Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quae ferrum valet, essors ipsa secandi :
Munus et officium, nil scribens ipse, docebo;
Unde parentur opes; quid alat formetque poetam.

Horat : De Arte Poeticari
Let me sharpen others, as the hone
Gives edge to razors, though itself has none :
Let me the poet's worth and office shew,
And whence his true poetic riches flow;
What forms his genius, and improves his vein.


Among the signs which portended the fall of Roman greatness, the eloquent historian of the Decline and Fall of that mighty empire remarks the state of literature. “ The name of Poet was almost forgotten ; that of Orator was usurped by the sophists. A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning; and the decline of genius was followed by the corruption of taste."


More than a quarter of a century has passed away since, as & youthful “ Reader," I first perased these striking sentences. I could not but feel then, as now, their close application to the state of literature in our own country,--for now, at least, forty years, from the commencement of the nineteenth century.

The resemblance becomes more striking every successive year. But bave not yet arrived at this final state of English literature. Critics and compilers and commentators darken the face of learn. ing." Modern publications dilute it. The divinity of genius is overclouded by the spirit of excitement. Like the Greek sophists of old, we seek after nothing but that which is new. Yet ne had, and we still have, poets who have struck the lyre with the bold hand of inspiration. We have had, and we still have, orators whose lips have breathed, and breathe, manly eloquence. The most brilliant oratory, however, has been but too often sullied by the disingenuous and sophistical spirit of party; and the most etherial poetry has been overcast by an opaque cloud of critics.* Compilations form the staple commodity of our modern literature. The novelist has usurped the place of the moralist. Our most ancient and glorious poets are almost buried and lost, and, were they not immortal spirits, would be crushed to death, beneath a pile of heavy commentators. We reverse the historian's picture of the state of literature during the decline of Rome. The corruption of taste, it is to be feared, will engerder and foster the decline of genius.

Shakspeare, Spenser, and Millou have been swollen into many bulky volumes by the dull, but sometimes useful labors of editors and conimentators. But Chancer, the father of English poetry, and a poet of the highest order of genius, las not had that labor bestowed on him, which the antiquity, and often obscurity, of his style and dialect demand, and which his great genius unquestionably de

Of the various commentators of Shakspeare it may be said that, while we are indebted to them for much silent emendation of his text, we meet with an abundance of needless discussion. Of Spenser and of Milton Mr. Todd has published editions, and col.

Witness the party hostility, for many years, of the Edinburgh Review against the writings of Mr. Wordsworth, now acknowledged by all to be the greatest poet of the age. The present writer is old enough to remember the expression of admiration of this great Author to have been the sigual of a general scoff.



lated the labors of former editors. Spenser's antique style re, quires a commentator well read in old English literature. But this exquisite poet is much more talt:ed of than rend ; and this remark applies almost equally to our great epic poet. · Milton bas, however met with some tolerable commentators, who display both the virtues and failings of this species of literary laborer. But he has been afflicted with one pedantic editor, who has presumed to attempt 10 correct his poetry itself. The learned name of Bentley cannot rescue bim from the charge of the greatest tolly, and even ignorance, of the first works of art, by his insane project of mending lhe almost faultless style of the Paradise Lost. Far it has been well said by a modern critic * in reference to his versification, and the observation is as just as it is beautiful, -" That the works of Milton are a perpetual invocation to the Muses, a hynny to Fame." In composition he is as perfect as Virgil bimself.

Į was many years ago led into these reflections by a perusal of the va, rious dogmatical opinions of Milion's poem of Paradise Regained, which are subjoined to Todd's edition of this exquisite and highly finished poem. Names, justly celebrated in other branches of literature, have lowered themselves by the dogmatical judgments which they bave recorded of the author of Paradise Lost having failed, either partially or totally, in his Paradise Regained. The classical Jortin tells us that It has not the harmony of numbers, the sublimity of thonght, and the beauties of diction which are in Paradise Lost; and that it is composed in a lower and less striking style, a style suited to the subject." That the style is “suited to the subject," is most true; but that, because more quiet, it is therefore " lower,"—and that it has noi passages of equal harmony and beauty, and even of sublimily, with the Paradise Lost,—is an opinion which has been very carelessly and injudiciously formed, and may, I think, be easily refuted.

Bishop Warburton, in his characterestic and decided manner, tells the world that “ the plan is a very unhappy and defective one;" that the poet ought 10 have dwelt on Christ's death and resurrection 'as the price paid for man's redemption ; and that “no opportunity is afforded of driving the devil back again to hell from his new conquest in the air.” In short, nothing he thinks was easier than 'to

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• Mr. Hazlitt in " The Round Table ;" No. XIV,

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