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machines roll along, the clatter of hundreds of harshsounding instruments, and the general appearance of so immense a moving mass of human beings, produce, it must be acknowledged, an impressive, astounding, and somewhat picturesque effect, whilst the novelty of the scene lasts, though the contemplation of it cannot fail of exciting the strongest sensations of pain and disgust in the mind of every christian spectator.
The most shocking circumstance immediately connected with this procession of the idol Juggernaut, is the self-sacrifice of worshippers, by throwing themselves under the ponderous wheels of his car. This dreadful sight was witnessed by Dr. Buchanan in 1806. He thus describes the scene.—"After the tower had proceeded some way, a pilgrim announced that he was ready to offer himself a sacrifice to the idol. He laid himself down in the road before the
It is gratifying to add that the excess of fanaticism which formerly led the pilgrims to throw themselves in numbers under the wheels of the cars, has happily lost nearly all its influence. In four days Mr. Stirling says only three instances occurred, one of which it was thought was accidental, and the other victims were persons who having long suffered under excruciating complaints, chose this mode of self-murder in preference to any other, which the despair of a mind not upheld by christian hope might resort to. The waste of life however, caused by the pilgrimage from the most distant parts of India, to visit a spot of land deemed so holy, is frightfully great; it is occasioned by excessive fatigue, want of means to procure food, and disease caused by the immense multitude assembled together in a hot climate, at an unhealthy season, and communicating infection to each other. Of late years the cholera has made great havoc among them.
The abominations of this monstrous and disgraceful idolatry, seem to be fast drawing to a close. Nothing can long prevent the light of Divine Truth from penetrating into these " dark places of the earth," which are indeed "full of the habitations of cruelty." And unless it be upheld by the agents of a Christian Government, the whole system is likely to fall into ruin. Mr. Stirling's testimony on this point is decisive. He says "even the god's own servants will not labour zealously and effectually without the interposition of authority, and I imagine the ceremony would soon cease to be conducted on its present scale and footing, if the institution were left entirely to its fate and to its own resources by the officers of the British Government."
The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge has very lately presented a memorial to the government, praying that this subject may be taken into consideration. And wc cannot doubt that it will receive their serious attention.
The duty of this nation with regard to Indian idolatry is quite clear. The great Ruler of the world, in furtherance of the high purposes of his all controlling Providence, has committed India to our superintendence. And though we are not at liberty to resort to violence and persecution as the Mahomedans did, we are not guiltless before God, if we add one jot to the influence, or move one step to preserve from ruin, a worship that insults the majesty of the God, and that debases, corrupts, and blinds the creatures of his hand.
The Car of Juggernaut.
tower as it was moving along, lying on his face with his arms stretched forwards. The multitude passed round him, leaving the space clear, and as he was freshed to death by the wheels of the tower, loud sbonts of joy were raised to the god. The people threw cowries, or small money, on the body of the victim, in approbation of the deed. He was left to view a considerable time, and was then carried by the Hurries to the Golgotha, where I have just been viewing his remains."—" Yesterday," says Dr. Buchanan afterwards, "a woman devoted herself to the idol. She laid herself down on the road in a slanting direction, to that the wheel did not kill her instantaneously, as M generally the case; but she died in a few hours. This morning, as I passed the place of skulls, nothing remained of her but her bones, the dogs and vultures bad destroyed the rest."
MIGNONETTE. (Reseda OdorataJ
It is not yet an age since this sweet smelling weed of Egypt first perfumed the European gardens, yet it has so far naturalized itself to our climate, as to spring from seeds of its own scattering, and thus convey its delightful odour from the palace of the prince to the most humble garden of the cottager.
In less than another age, we foretell (without the aid of Egyptian art) that the children of our peasants will gather this luxurious little plant amongst the wild flowers of our hedge-rows.
The Reseda Odorata first found its way to the South of France, where it was welcomed by the name of Mignonette, Little-darling, which was found too appropriate for this sweet little flower to be exchanged for any other. By a manuscript note in the library of the late Sir Joseph Banks, it appears that the seed of the Mignonette was sent in 1742, by Lord Bateman, from the Royal Garden at Paris, to Mr. Richard Bateman, at Old Windsor; but we should presume that this seed was not dispersed, and perhaps not cultivated, beyond Mr. Bateman's garden, as we find that Mr. Miller received the seed from Dr. Adrian van Royen, of Leyden, and cultivated it in the Botanic Garden at Chelsea, in the year 1752. From Chelsea it soon got into the gardens of the London florists, so as to enable them to supply the metropolis with plants to furnish out the balconies; which is noticed by Cowper, who attained the age of twenty-one in the year that this flower first perfumed the English atmosphere by its fragrance. The author of the Task soon afterwards celebrates it as a favourite plant in London :—
The sashes fronted with a range
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed.
The odour which this little flower exhales is thought by some, whose sense of smell is delicate, to be too powerful for the house; but even those persons, we should think, must be delighted with the fragrance which it throws from the balconies into the streets of London, giving something like a breath of garden air to the " close pent man." We have frequently found the perfume of the Mignonette so powerful in some of the better streets of London, that we have considered it sufficient to protect the inhabitants from those eflluvias which bring disorders with them in the air. The perfume of Mignonette in the streets of our metropolis, reminds us oddlyenough of the fragrance from the roasting of coffee in many parts of Paris, without which some of the streets of business in that city would scarcely be endurable in the rainy season.
The Sweet Reseda, or Mignonette, is now said to grow naturally in some parts of Barbary, as well as in Egypt. Monsieur Desfontaines observed it growing in the sands near Mascar, in the former country, but it might have been accidentally scattered there, or have escaped from the gardens of the Moors.
This tribe of plants, of which we have twelve kinds, was named Reseda by the ancients, from the word resedare, to assuage, because some of the species were esteemed good for assuaging pains; and we learn from Pliny, that the Reseda was considered to possess even the power of charming away many disorders. He tells us that it grew near the city of Ariminum, now Rimini, in Italy; and that when it was used to resolve swellings, or to assuage inflammations, it was the custom to repeat a form of words, thrice, spitting on the ground at each repetition.
We notice these absurd superstitions of the ancients, which are scarcely yet forgotten in many villages of this and other countries, to show how much the minds of the ignorant have always been prone towards the marvellous, and not that we
Hold each strange tale devoutly true.
The Mignonette is one of the plants whose unassuming little flowers never weary our sight: it is therefore made an image of those interesting persons whom time cannot change, and who, although deficient in dazzling beauty, attach us for life, when once they have succeeded in pleasing without its aid. Hence it is but a natural desire that we should wish to give a yearly plant a continual existence. This has, in a great measure, been accomplished, for the scented tree Mignonette is now frequently to be met with.
The Mignonette is changed into a lasting shrub, which dispenses its sweet odours at all seasons of the year, by the following simple treatment: a healthy
young plant should be placed in a garden-pot, with a stick of about two feet in height by its side to tie up its branches to, as it advances in height, the leaves and young branches being kept stripped off from the lower part, so as to form a stem to the height required. This stem will become sufficiently hard and woody to endure the winter; by being placed in a green-house, or the window of a common sitting-room, and may be preserved for several years, if air is given to it whenever the weather will allow, so that the young branches do not become too delicate. As soon as the seed-vessels begin to form, they should be cut off, which will cause the plant to throw out a fresh supply of blossoms: but these plants should never be suffered to perfect their seed, as it would greatly weaken them, and generally cause their entire decay j for the sweet Reseda grows yearly in its proper climate, and therefore naturally decays when it has ripened its seed.
We have made the same experiment on other annual plants, which have survived through the winter, and produced blossom on the following year, when their flower-stalks have been cut off before the formation of seed has taken place. By this means, also, Stocks and Wall-flowers, which blossom in the spring, will be found to flower a second time in the summer, if their branches are cut off. We have frequently made the experiment on early-flowering Honeysuckles, and obtained a fine display of corollas in the -autumn; for it appears almost like instinct in plants to endeavour to perform their office to nature in rendering up their various seeds. The reason of this is, that the roots have drawn up and furnished the trunk with the due proportion of nourishment required to perfect the seed-vessels and the seeds, and the vital principle of the germ also rests in the trunk and branches until it be drawn forth by the various seed-bearing parts, which is prevented by separating these parts from the branches; consequently, the juices are forced into other directions, and form a second attempt to expand themselves, agreeably to their various natures.
Some florists, who considered the Tree Mignonette as a distinct species of the Reseda, obtained seeds of the tree Mignonette from their seedsmen, who, considering it was the tall-growing Reseda Lutea, sent such, which, after having been nursed up with care and potted with attention, proved to be only the common Reseda, or Dyer's Weed of our fields.
It is frequently observed that the seeds of the Sweet Reseda, which scatter themselves in the autumn, produce finer plants than those that are sown in the spring, which should teach us to sow a part of our seed at that season of the year, when, if not successful, it may be repeated in the spring; and we have generally found those self-sown plants most productive of seed.
To procure early-flowering plants of mignonette, the seeds should be sown in pots or boxes in the autumn, and kept in frames through the winter; but when this is omitted, the plants may be forwarded by sowing the seed on a gentle hot-bed in the spring. A small border of Sweet Reseda will produce seed sufficient to scatter over a large portion of hedgerowbanks, and if one seed out of ten spring up amongst the bushes, it will be sufficient to fill whole vales with fragrance, "like a stream of rich-distilled perfumes."
FASHIONABLE DRESSES. In England a taste for splendid dress existed in the reign of Henry VII, as is observable by the following description of Nicholas, Lord Vaux. "la the
17th of that reign, says Lord Orford, at the marriage of Prince Arthur, the brave young Vaux appeared in a gown of purple velvet, adorned with pieces of gold so thick and massive, that exclusive of the silk and furs it was valued at a thousand pounds."
In those days it not only required great bodily strength to support the weight of their cumbersome armour, but their very luxury of apparel for the drawing room would be oppressive to modern limbs.
In the following reign their dress was perhaps more generally sumptuous. Shirts were embroidered with gold. Gloves were lined with white velvet, and splendidly worked with embroidery and gold buttons, and were perfumed.
In the time of Queen Mary the people were so partial to square toes that they were obliged to issue a proclamation that no person should wear shoes above six inches square at the toes. Was this custom one jot more absurd than the hoops of the last century, or the enormous bonnets of the present? The wearing of great breeches in the reign of Queen Elizabeth was carried to a most ridiculous excess. They used to stuff them out with wadding till they resembled woolsacks; and it is said that scaffolds were erected in places of public resort on purpose for these beaus.
TRIALS OF GUILT IN SUPERSTITIOUS AGES.
It is melancholy to reflect on the strange trials to which, in remoter ages, those suspected of guilt were put. The Ordeal consisted of various kinds: walking blindfold amidst red-hot ploughshares, placed at unequal distances; passing through two fires; holding in the hand a red-hot bar; plunging the hand into boiling water; challenging the accuser to single combat; the swallowing a morsel of consecrated bread; the sinking or swimming in a river in the case of witchcraft, and various others:
'' One cannot (says the learned and excellent Blackstone) but be astonished and surprised at the folly and impiety of pronouncing a man guilty unless he was cleared by a miracle: and of expecting that all the powers of nature should be suspended by an immediate interposition of providence to save the innocent whenever it was presumptuously required. And yet in England, so late as King John's time, we find grants to the bishops and clergy to use the " trial by iron, fire, and water." But though they used to preside at these trials, which were performed only in churches, or in other consecrated ground; yet the Canon Law very early declared against trial by ordeal, as the fabric of Satan: and it was abolished in England by Act of Parliament, or rather by an order of the King in Council, in the reign of Henry the Third.
Fire ordeal was performed either by taking up in the hand unhurt, a piece of red-hot iron, of one, two, or three pounds weight; or else by walking blindfold and barefoot over nine red-hot ploughshares, laid lengthwise, at unequal distances; and if the party escaped unhurt, he was adjudged innocent; but if it happened otherwise, as without collusion it visually did, he was then condemned guilty. Queen Emma, the mother of Edward the Confessor, when suspected, is mentioned to have cleared her character by this latter method.
Water Ordeal was performed cither by plunging the ban arm up to the elbow in boding water, and escaping unhurt; or by casting the person suspected into a river or pond; and if he floated therein, without any action of swimming, it was deemed an evidence of his guilt; but if he sunk, he was acquitted. It is said that secrets were known in those times, by
which these trials might be passed unhurt; particularly with regard to the ordeal of boiling water we are told, they used to rub their arm a long time with the spirit of vitriol and alum, together with the juice of an onion. We cannot vouch for the truth of this recipe.
The trial by Bread was thus conducted. A piece of bread, or of cheese, was consecrated (how shockingly degrading was such superstition!) with a prayer, desiring the Almighty that it might cause convulsions and paleness, and find no passage, if the man was guilty; but might turn to health and nourishment if he was innocent. This piece of bread, called the corsned, or morsel of cursing, was then given to the suspected person. Our historians assure us, that Godwin, Earl of Kent, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, abjuring the death of the king's brother, appealed to his corsned, which stuck in his throat, and killed him. Though this custom has been long abolished, we are too often reminded of it by the very unwarrantable language of inconsiderate people, in such phrases as "May this morsel be my last!"— "May this piece of bread choke me!" The superstitious people who practised this mode of trial, were very particular in the making of this bread and cheese. The bread was to be of unleavened barley; and the cheese made of ewe's milk in the month of May j no other of the twelvemonths having any power to detect a criminal. Another most extraordinary trial, was that of " the bleeding of a corpse." If a person was murdered, it was said, that at the touch, or at the approach of the murderer, the blood would gush out of the body at various parts. This was once allowed in England, and is still looked on, in some uncivilized parts, as a detection of the criminal. We trust such remains of credulity and superstition are rapidly passing away, never to return.
These trials of ordeal were mostly of Saxon origin: the trial by battel, or single combat, was derived from the Normans. Of that we will add a few words in a future number.
BY MARY MARIA COLLING, A SERVANT GIRL.
Through the vales the breezes sigh;
Now behold! the blushing sky
Glory, beaming from on high,
The fountain of content must spring up in the mind; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing any thing but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove. —Johnson.
When once infidelity can persuade men that they shall die like beasts, they will soon be brought to livt like beasts also.—South,
ANECDOTES OF ANIMALS.
We know a doe, still alive, that was brought up from a little fawn with a dairy of cows; with them it goes a-field, and with them it returns to the yard. The dogs of the house take no notice of this deer, being used to her; but if strange dogs come by, a chase ensues, while the master smiles to see his favourite securely leading her pursuers over hedge, or gate, or stile, till she returns to the cows, who, with fierce lowings and menacing horns, drive the assailants quite out of the pasture. Even great disparity of kind and size does not always prevent social advances and mutual fellowship. For a very intelligent and observant person had assured me, that in the former part of his life, keeping but one horse, he happened also on a time to have but one solitary hen. These two incongruous animals spent much of their time together in a lonely orchard, where they saw no creature but each other. By degrees an apparent regard began to take place between these two sequestered individuals. The fowl would approach trie quadruped with notes of complacency, rubbing herself gently against his legs, while the horse would look down with satisfaction, and move with the greatest caution and circumspection, lest he should trample on his diminutive companion.
THE EVENING PROCEEDINGS OF ROOKS, &C.
The evening proceedings and manoeuvres of the rooks are curious and amusing in the autumn. Just before dusk they return in long strings from the foraging of the day, and rendezvous by thousands over Selborne-down, where they wheel round in the air, and sport and dive in a playful manner, all the while exerting their voices and making a loud cawing, which, being blended and softened by the distance that we at the village are below them, makes a confused noise or chiding, or rather a pleasing murmur, very engaging to the imagination, and not unlike the cry of a pack of hounds in hollow echoing woods, or the rushing of wind in tall trees, or the trembling of the tide on a pebbly shore. When this ceremony is over, with the last gleam of day they retire for the night to the deep beechen woods of Tisted and Ropley. We remember a little girl, who, as she was going to bed, used to remark on such an occurrence, in the true spirit of physico-theology, that the rooks were saying their prayers; and yet this child was much too young to be aware that the Scriptures have said of the Deity, that "he feedeth the ravens who call upon him."— White's Nat. Hist, of Selborne.
MUNGO PARK IN THE DESERT. Mungo Park, during his travels in the interior of Africa, was stripped and plundered by banditti, on leaving a village called Kooma. When the robbers had left him, almost naked and destitute, he tells us, "I sat for some time looking around me with amazement and terror. Whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone; surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once upon my recollection; and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative, but to lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, aided and supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still
under the protecting eye of that Providence, who has condescended to call himself the stranger's friend.
At this moment, painful as my reflexions were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss, in flower, irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to shew from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of the roots, leaves, &c, without admiration. Can that Being (thought I) who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image? Surely not! Reflexions like these could not allow me to despair: I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed—in a short time I came to a small village."
THE LORD'S DAY.
Earth, and their armies, sanctified and blest,
Perpetual memory of the Maker's rest!
Arose! That day his Church hath still confest,
At once Creation's and Redemption's feast, Sign of a world call'd forth, a world forgiven. Welcome that day, the day of holy peace,
The Lord's own day! to man's Creator owed, And man's Redeemer; for the soul's increase
In sanctity, and sweet repose bestowed; Type of the rest when sin and care shall cease,
The rest remaining for the lov'd of God! D. C.
An hour of solitude passed in sincere and earnest prayer, or the conflict with, and conquest over, a single passion or "subtle bosom sin," will teach us more of thought, will more effectually awaken the faculty, and form the habit, of reflection, than a year's study in the schools without them.
A reflecting mind is not a flower that grows wild, or comes up of its own accord. The difficulty is indeed greater than many, who mistake quick recollection for thought, are disposed to admit; but how much less than it would be, had we not been born and bred in a Christian and Protestant land, very few of us are sufficiently aware. Truly may we, and thankfully ought wc to, exclaim with the psalmist: "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding even to the simple."—ColeRidge's Aids to Reflection.
It is a secret known to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.—Addison.
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, 44d, (WEST) STRAND.
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Though the great geographical question, the existence of a north-west passage to India, has hitherto baffled every attempt at its discovery, yet the enterprises to which it has given birth have not been undertaken in vain. The recent expeditions, undertaken by order of the government of this country, have been attended with very important benefits. They have thrown great light on the geography of the Northern regions; and no great enlargement of the bounds of science has ever taken place without being productive of substantial advantages to mankind. Our whale fisheries have already profited by our extended knowledge of the Arctic seas;—Captain Parry's plans for securing the health and comforts of his ship's companies will afford the most valuable lessons to every succeeding commander who shall be engaged in exploring remote parts of the globe; and the volumes Vol. I.
in which he and others have embodied the results of their labours, are among the most delightful and valuable contributions which in our times have been made to the literature of England.
Among these, none is entitled to a higher place than Captain Franklin's Narrative of his land journey to the shores of the Polar Sea. This expedition took place at the same time with the first voyage of Captain Parry; and it was fitted out by government in order that it might co-operate with that navigator in exploring the northern coast of America. Captain Franklin, accompanied by Dr. Richardson, and Messrs. Back and Hood, two officers of the navy, left England in 1819; and, after arriving at York Factory, a station on the eastern side of Hudson's Bay, set out on a land journey through the deserts and frozen lakes of the northern continent, which they crossed