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EXTRACT FROM A LECTURE DELIVERED TO THE CHICHESTER LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
By The DEAN OF CHICHESTER, The President.
Tht. Lecturer, after detailing the process by which literature has gradually become cheap and accessible to all orders of society, proceeds to say:
"It is not, at present, a question, whether this state of things was to have been desired, or to have been deprecated. It is perfectly in vain for any man, however elevated or powerful, to offer the feeble resistance of his single strength to the course and impulse of events. But, for myself, I confess that (with certain restrictions and cautions, to which I shall presently allude) I cannot consider this state of things as at all to be regretted.
"As a general question, ignorance must ever be considered as an evil, knowledge as a good; and, in proportion as the former is circumscribed, and the latter diffused, so much is gained to the great cause of human improvement and happiness. Still less can the extension of knowledge be lamented, in respect to the cause of religion and morality. So long as
truth Is elicited, illustrated, and confirmed, we, who believe the religion that we profess, and the morality whose principles we acknowledge, both to stand on the basis of truth, cannot but rejoice. It must, also, be a matter of gratification, that the faculties with which God has endowed mankind should be cultivated and improved in the greatest number of persons. The imagination, the memory, the reason, are the gift of our common Creator; nor can any one of these faculties be neglected or disused, without derogating from the perfect man, exactly as he is deteriorated, if any of his bodily powers—his eye or his ear—were obstructed in the exercise of its proper functions.
"It surely must also happen that intellectual cultivation will, in many instances, call men off from gross and vulgar gratifications; will soften their ferocity, and curb their violent passions. Neither does it necessarily follow, that mental improvement will render them unfit or indisposed for performing those laborious offices, which indigence imposes on the great mass of mankind. Men pique themselves, not on what they possess in common with others, but on what exempts them from the ordinary herd. Were reading and writing universal, were the minds of all cultivated and improved, men would no more be vain of such accomplishments, than they now are vain of being able to walk or to see.
"It still remains a fact, that may be confirmed by reference to authentic documents, that the greatest number of crimes is committed by the ignorant) and it is also a truth, proved by experience, that the cultivation of the working classes has produced numerous cases of individuals, whose talents have been called forth, whose minds have been expanded, and who have been rendered happier and better by education, without their having been in the slightest degree unfitted for the duties of their humble station.
"I might cite the names of Struthers, of Millhouse, of Jones, of Colling. But I should be unpardonable in travelling so far from home, when our own city can, at this moment, afford the living instance of an individual*, who has successfully cultivated the poetical talents which Providence has given him; who has endured the trial of praise from the illustrious and the talented, without contracting a single habit unsuitable to his station in life; and who has made his cultivated intellect serve only as a means of maintaining a family, of affording to himself a solace and recreation from toil, and of delighting his mind with the bright and fair creations of the imagination."
THE SEVERE FROST OF 1684.
Jan. 24.—" The Frost continuing more and more severe, the Thames, before London, was still planted with booths in formal streets, all sorts of trades and shops, furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing-press, where the people and ladies took a fancy to have their names printed, and the day and the year set down, when printed on the Thames: this humour took so universally, that it was estimated the printer gained five pounds a-day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from other stairs to and fro, as in the streets; sleds, sliding with skaites, a bull-baiting, horse and coach-races, puppet-plays and interludes, cooks, tippling, and other lewd places; so that it seemed to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water j whilst it was a severe judgment on the land, the trees not only splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers places, and the very seas so locked up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in. The fowls, fish, and birds, and all our exotic plants and greens, universally perishing. Many parks of deer were destroyed; and all sorts of fuel so dear, that there were great contributions to keep the poor alive. Nor was this severe weather much less intense in most parts of Europe, even as far as Spain in the most southern tracts.
"London, by reason of the excessive coldness of the air hindering the ascent of the smoke, was so filled with the fuliginous steam of the sea-coal, that hardly tould any one see across the streets, and this, filling the lungs with its gross particles, exceedingly obstructed the breast, so as one could scarcely breathe. There was no water to be had from the pipes and engines; nor could the brewers and divers other tradesmen work, and every moment was full of disastrous incidents."
It appears, by the following extract from an old MS. account-book of a parish in the city, of sums expended, that, in consequence of the distress occa
"Charles Crocker, a shoemaker, author of the Vale of Obscurity, and other very pleating Poems.
sioned to the poor by this frost, a King s Letter was issued for their relief:—
1684. Collected on y« 13 and 20 of J any by vertue of his. M"TM letter for yc releefe of y poore people in distress by reason of ye extreame hard weather ye some of thirty-two pounds and tenn shillings. L.xxxii. %\
Drunkenness is the parent of idleness; Poverty is the offspring o.' idleness. The drunkard's work is little, but his expenses arc great. Dn. Johnson.
We proved, very lately, the healthiness of Great Britain, by the best of tests—the length of life which Englishmen enjoy over the inhabitants of other countries, provided they take no desperate courses to shorten their existence. We have now to contrast this pleasing statement, by pointing out one of the great and besetting sins of the land—one which, from its prevalence, brings with it, more than any other, the greatest mass of sorrow, wretchedness, and crime. We speak of drunkenness, and of drunkenness of the most dangerous kind, and which is brought on by the abuse not simply of intoxicating, but of poisonous liquors *.
Those who are most fatally and obstinate ly attached to this vice, must, in some interval of reflection (for such moments will occur), admit that the use of ardent spirits has both corrupted their minds, and weakened their bodies—thus destroying both vigour and virtue at the same moment. The unhappy sub. ject is rendered both too idle, and too feeble for work. So that while drinking makes man poor by the present expense, it disables him from retrieving the ill consequences by subsequent industry.
Dr. Willan, in his Reports on the Diseases in London, states his conviction, that " considerably more than one-eighth of all the deaths which take place in the metropolis, in persons above twenty years old, happen prematurely, through excess in drinking spirits."— "Some," he adds, " after repeated fits of derangement, expire in a sudden and violent phrensy. Some are hurried out of the world by apoplexies; others perish by the slower process of jaundice, dropsy, internal ulcers, and mortification in the limbs."
Our present object is to show the Results, the fatal results of drunkenness, as they affect, at the present moment, the good order arid well-being of society. Our facts and statements are derived from a valuable body of Evidence annexed to a " Report of the Hi/use of Commons, on the Observance of the Lard's Day;" for it happens, that amongst the many bad consequences of drinking, none is more striking than the desecration of the Sabbath, both by the drunkard himself, and all who administer to his miserable passion.
Doctor John Richard Farrk.
I consider that the use of spirits has greatly increased the diseases of the lower classes, and at the same time tended to demoralize their minds.
Are you acquainted generally with the habits, and wishes, and inclinations, and the general dispositions of the
lower orders of the people, from your practice ?- In all
classes; and during the earlier period of my life, as the physician of a public medical institution, I had the charge of the poor in one of the most populous districts of London. I have now been engaged in Great Britain in the study and practice of medicine forty years, and during that period, I have had an opportunity of seeing the destructive effects of spirits on all classes, on a large scale ; and I have no hesitation in saying it is the great enemy of the British constitution.
• In the year 1830, the home consumption duty on spirits was paid, in England alone, on upwards of twelve millions onao half of gallons, of which quantity, upwards of seven millions and a half were British. It is known that by different processes, the quantity of raw spirits is increased very largely—the before-mentioned quantity, therefore, great as it is, is very far indeed below the amount consumed.
Mr. John Wontner, Keeper of Newgate.
I consider, that the allowing public-houses and the ginshops to be kept open before Divine Service in the morning causes a greater breach of the Sabbath than almost any thing else. In my immediate neighbourhood, I see them at five, six, seven, eight, and nine o'clock in the morning, coming out of the houses in a state of disgraceful inebriation.
So that, in point of fact, the law permitting the publichouses to remain open until the hours of divine service, gives the opportunity to many to get into such a state of intoxication, that they are quite unfit for the religious duties
of the day; is not that so? Quite; they are indisposed
to it also.
In your experience, have you found these gin-shops to be
the source of almost all the crime in the metropolis?
I have found prisoners innumerable, I may say, as to whom the love of drink, and the fault of being able to obtain it at so cheap a rate, has been the ruin of them, and the cause of bringing them to distress.
The Rev. J. E. Tyler, Rector of St. Giles's.
There are many families of the lower class of English mechanics and labourers, which I know from my own knowledge to be truly religious, and within their sphere very exemplary ; but they, especially the younger branches of their families, are now more than ever exposed to the worst sorts of temptation in the streets, and round the doors of gin-shops and public-houses. It is lamentable to see the number, of young girls especially, to whom the present gin-shops give such facilities for their wicked doings as they never had before.
Drunkenness has been lamentably on the increase; and notwithstanding all the efforts of myself and those inhabitants who act with me, great outrages are constantly taking place whilst we are going to church and returning. I earnestly press on the gentry in my parish, not to use their carriages to come to church on Sundays, but the dreadful scenes of intoxication and debauchery to which they are exposed, as they walk along the street, quite disarm me in this respect.
Will you have the goodness to state to the Committee the observations that you have made, applicable to the observance of the Lord's-day? 1 have been most painfully
reminded of the habits of drunkenness, dissipation, and profligacy, prevailing on Saturday night and Sunday, in a degree far more lamentable than through the rest of the week. The cases of cholera are reported to me, as chairman of the Board of Health, in writing every evening, and by an officer every morning. The cases of cholera on Sunday and Monday, generally exceed those of any other day, sometimes two-fold, at others four-fold, ten-fold, and even as fourteen to one.
The Hon. And Ret. Gerard T. Noel, Curate of Richmond. Drunkenness is a vice which accelerates pauperism beyond every other; make a man drink, and you bring him soon upon the parish;
Mr. George Wilsow, formerly Overseer of St. Margaret's, Westminster.
Will you have the goodness to describe what scenes have been exhibited on the Sabbath morning in your
parish? 1 should say that drunkenness, and riot, and
debauchery, on the Sabbath morning, exceeded the whole aggregate of the week besides, in Tothill-street, Broadway, Strutton-ground, and those low parts of Westminster.
Then people who assemble on Sunday morning do not
assemble merely for the purpose of marketing? No, not
merely for that purpose, the streets are very much impeded by a number of persons making their purchases, but the number is certainly greatly increased by drunken persons, male and female, who are turned out of the public-houses. It would be impossible for myself and my family to attend the church in the Broadway; I have attempted sometimes to take my family there; I have six children, and it is not safe for their persons to approach the church, for at eleven in the morning the public-houses are discharged of their contents, and the great proportion of the people who come out of them, are in a state of beastly intoxication; mechanics, labourers, prostitutes, and thieves, who are quarrelling, and sometimes fighting, and talking in the most obscene manner; I cannot permit my children or female servants to come in contact with the horrid scene; and it ill fits the
mind, even of myself, for those devotional feelings which are essential when we approach the house of God.
I would beg to state, from the observation I have made, and particularly during the time I was in office, that the scenes of drunkenness appeared to me to commence from the period of the mechanic receiving his pay on the Saturday night; he would frequent the public-houses on the Saturday night, and get a stimulus, and then he would wait for the opening of the public-houses on Sunday morning, when he completed his intoxication by church-time, and then fall into the hands of women of the lowest class, by whom all these houses are filled; he is taken by them to their huunU, where, if he has any property, the work of destruction is completed, and on Monday morning he is unfit to attend to his usual avocations, frequently gets discharged, and subsequently applies to the parish for relief.
Mr. Thomas Baker, Superintendent of the C, or St. James's Division of Police, describing the evils resulting from what are called pay-tables, at public-houses, where workpeople are, most improperly, paid by some persons, instead of at their masters' work-shops, says:— These poor wretches, who have been standing or waiting an hour or two in the public-house, have become three parts intoxicated; the foreman then comes; he pays them their wages, stops out of that for their week's drinking, which he answers the publican for, and they can drink as much as they like, so that they do not go beyond their wages; and these men thus deprive their children and their wives of three parts of what they earn during the week. The wife comes to the public-house; she gets nothing whatever of the wages. In the course of an hour or two, one of them is carried by my police, in a state of insensibility, perhaps followed by one or two of his companions, and he has perhaps a few halfpence, or a few shillings in his pocket, and it is stated by his companions, that he received so and so, and he had so much when he received his wages, and he has lost all but these few halfpence or shillings; he is locked up during the night; on the Sunday morning I release him. This is the main-spring of the disorder, and the debauchery, and I may say also, the immoral acts. In the division, it is altogether dreadful; the scenes which spring from the disorder of those public-houses. Then his companions come, and perhaps his wife comes in the morning, to see by the books what was found upon him, and perhaps there are a few halfpence only, and he has been ei her robbed, or spent away all the rest of his week's earnings, and the wife begins to cry out, and says, there are so many children, and there is not a loaf of bread in the house, and perhaps she will scramble together a few halfpence on the Sunday to go to provide what she can for the children and herself during the Sunday. H. M.
The study of literature nourishes youth, entertains old age, adorns prosperity, solaces adversity, is delightful at home, unobtrusive abroad, deserts us not by day nor by night, in journeying nor in retirement. Cicero.
Observation and instruction, reading and conversation, may furnish us with ideas, but it is the labour and meditation of our own thoughts which must render them either useful or valuable.
Hasty conclusions are the mark of a fool: a wise man doubteth, a fool rageth, and is confident: the novice saith, I am sure that it is so; the better learned answers, Peradventure it may be so, but I prithee inquire. Some men are drunk with fancy, and mad with opinion. It is a little learning, and but a little, which makes men conclude hastily. Experience and humility teach modesty and fear. Jeremy Taylor.
Fortune is like the market, where m»ny times if you can stay a little, the price will fall: at other times she tumeth the handle of the bottle first to be received, and after, the belly, which it is hard to clasp. There is no greater wisdom than well to time the beginnings and onsets of things. ■ Bacon.
No man can be provident of his time, who is not prudent in the choice of his company.—Jeremy Taylor.
Idleness travels very leisurelv, and Poverty soon over takes her, Hunter,
ORIGIN OF PROPERTY.
The first objects of Property were the fruits which a man gathered, and the wild animals he caught; next to these, the tents and houses which he built, the tools he made use of to catch or prepare his food; and afterwards, weapons of war and offence. Many of the savage tribes in North America, have advanced no farther than this, yet; for they are said to reap their harvest, and return the produce of their market with foreigners, into the common hoard or treasury of the tribe.
Flocks and herds of tame animals soon become property; Abel, the second son of Adam, was a keeper ,»f sheep; sheep and oxen, camels and asses, composed the wealth of the Jewish Patriarchs, as they do still of the Modern Arabs. As the world was first peopled in the East, where there existed a great scarcity of water, wells probably were next made Property; as we learn, from the frequent and serious mention of them in the Old Testament, and contentions and treaties about them, and, from its being recorded, among the most memorable achievements of very eminent men, that they dug or discovered a well.
Land, which is now so important a part of property, which alone our laws call real property, and regard upon all occasions with such peculiar attention, was probably not made property in any country till long after the institution of many other species of property; that is, till the country became populous, and tillage began to be thought of. The first partition of an estate which we read of, was that which took place between Abram and Lot: and was one of the simplest imaginable: "If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
There are no traces of property in land in Ceesar's account of Britain: but little of it in the History of the Jewish Patriarchs; none of it found among the Nations of North America ; the Scythians are expressly said to have appropriated their cattle and houses, but to have left their land in common.
Property in immoveables continued, at first, no longer than the occupation, that is, so long as a man's family continued in possession of a cave, or his flocks depastured upon a neighbouring hill—no one attempted, or thought he had a right to disturb, or drive them out; but when the man quitted the cave, or changed his pasture, the first who found them unoccupied, entered upon them by the same title as his predecessors: and made way, in his turn, for any one that happened to succeed him. All more permanent property in land, was probably posterior to civil government and to laws: and, therefore, settled by these, or according to the will of the reigning chief. Paley.
Upon A Man Sleeping 1 do not more wonder at any
man's art, than at his who professes to think of nothing; and I do not a little marvel at that man who says he can sleep without a dream; for the mind of man is a restless thing; and though it give the body leave to repose itself, as knowing it is a mortal and earthly piece, yet itself being a spirit, and therefore active, and indefatigable, is ever in motion. Give me a sea that moves not, a sun that shines not, an open eye that sees not, and I shall yield there may be a reasonable soul that works not. It is possible that through a natural or accidental stupidity, a man may not perceive his own thoughts (as sometimes the eye or ear may be distracted, not to discern his own objects); but, in the mean time, he thinks that, whereof he cannot give an account; like as we many times dream, when we cannot report our fancy. Since my mind will needs be ever working, it shall be my care that it may always be well employed. Bishop Hall.
THE WAY TO BE HAPPY.
BY JOHN BYRON, M.A.
A Hermit there was, and he lived in a grot,
And the way to be happy, thty said he had got,
As I wanted to learn it, I went to his cell,
And when I came there, the old hermit said, " Well,
Young man, by your looks, you want something, I see,
Now tell me the business that brings you tome?"
"The way to be happy, they say you have got,
"Tis being, and doing, and having, that make
That prudence which the world teaches, and a quick susceptibility of private interest, will direct us to shun needless enmities; since there is no man whose kindness we may not some! time want, or by whose malice we may not some time suffer. Johnson.
THE SURINAM TOAD. Of all the species of Toad, there is perhaps none more disgusting in appearance, or more curious in its history than that shown in the annexed figure. It is found in great numbers in Surinam, and other places in the warmer latitudes, as well as in both North and South America. The peculiarity for which it is most remarkable, consists in the extraordinary manner in which its young are hatched. After the female has deposited her spawn, her partner places portions of it, with the assistance of his fore-paws, upon her back j she then takes to the water, and those parts on which the spawn is laid begin soon to swell, and the egg becomes attached to her skin, while a thin film is spread over it; the spots, containing her future young, appearing like round projections. By degrees a small hole is formed in the back of the mother for each of the eggs, and in these chambers, protected by their filmy covering, the young undergo all their changes of form, the parent, in the mean time, never quitting the water. To explain these changes, it will be only necessary to describe those that take place in the common toad of England.
The eggs of the toad are found, in large masses, in stagnant waters, covered with a kind of jelly, and may be easily distinguished from those of the frog, which appear in long strings, like so many rows of pearls, with a black spot in the centre of each. This black speck in the egg of both animals, by degrees, enlarges, and becomes at length of the size of a pea, with a black thread, like a tail, attached to it. The jelly-like covering, on which the young one feeds, becomes gradually thinner, and at length bursts, and the young toad begins its life in the water, in the form of a tadpole. When it has first left the egg, that part which forms the head has small black fringes attached to either side, and with these it is supposed to breathe; these fringes soon disappear, and it then breathes by means of gills, in the same manner as a fish; it remains in this form for several weeks, feeding, as most fishes do, upon any animal substances that come within its reach: it is soon, however, destined to undergo another and most extraordinary change. At the hinder part of the black mass that looks like its head, two legs appear, and, if carefully examined, two others may be seen in front, but underneath the skin; the tail also becomes shorter, and at last disappears; the forelegs are set at liberty; a horny beak, which, till now, had covered the extremity of the nose, falls off, the opening of the gills is closed, and the perfect animal appears; it is no longer able to breathe while -under water, it refuses all dead animal substances, and seeks the land, to hunt insects for its living.
The toad is distinguished from the frog, by its clumsier appearance, and sluggish crawling movements; its body is covered with small pimples, from which, when alarmed, a fetid humour flows, capable, in the instance of the Surinam toad, of blistering the skin when applied to it; but which has been improperly considered poisonous. The most probable use of this liquid is to moisten the body of the animal when exposed to the heat of the sun, the warmth of whose rays would otherwise render its skin so dry as to prevent its movement, and in the end cause its death. Disgusting, however, as this creature appears, the negroes in Surinam will eat the hinder legs of the species figured in our engraving. In winter, these animals remain torpid in the mud at the bottom of ditches and ponds, and only recover their activity when the warmth of the spring has hatched or restored to animation the numerous tribes of insects on which they feed. Toads are known to reach a very great age.
Pennant, in his British Zoology, gives a curious account of a toad's having lived in a kind of domestic state for more than forty years, and of its having been in a great degree tamed or reclaimed from its natural shyness or desire of concealment; since it would always readily come out of its hole at the approach of its master and other inmates of the family, in order to be fed. It grew to a very large size, and was considered as so singular a curiosity, that even ladies requested to see the favourite toad, and admired its beautiful eyes; it was therefore often placed on the table, and fed with various insects, which it seized with great quickness, and without seeming to be embarrassed by the presence of company. This extraordinary animal generally resided in a hole beneath the steps of the house-door fronting the garden; and might probably have survived many years longer, had it not been severely wounded by a raven, which seized it before it could take refuge iii its hole; and notwithstanding it was liberated from its captor, it never again enjoyed its usual health, though it continued to live for above a year after the accident happened.
MONDAY, 14th JANUARY. Oxford Hilary Term begins. 1742 Edmund Halley, the astronomer, died. 1753 Berkeley, the amiable Bishop of Cloyne, died.
Duke of Gloucester, bora. 1550 Queen Elizabeth crowned at Westminster. 1761 Pondicherry captured by the English; being the last settlement possessed by the French in the East Indies. 1795 The Prince of Orange took refuge in England, on account ot Holland being occupied by the French army. WEDNESDAY, 16th. 1556 The Emperor Charles the Fifth resigned the Crown of Germany to his son, Philip, and retired to a monastery. 1589 M. Busty-le-Clere, who had the command of Paris, during its siege by Henry the Fourth, sent the Parliament to the Bastille, where they were fed on bread and water only. 1794 Edward Gibbon, the historian, died. 1809 Sir John Moore, K.B., killed at Corunna.
THURSDAY, 17th. 1756 Mozart, the great composer, born.
1792 George Home, Bishop of Norwich, author of the Commentary on the Psalms, &c, died. .
FRIDAY, 18th. Pruca. Old Twelfth Day. 1595 Mahomet the Third, succeeding Amurath the Third, Sultan of the Turks, put to death, by strangulation, twenty-one of his brothers, and ten women. 1719 Sir Samuel Garth, M.D., author of The Dispensary, died.
SATURDAY, 19th. 1472 Copernicus, the astronomer, born. 1728 If illiam Congreve, the poet, died.
1736 James Watt, the engineer, born, at Greenock, in Scotland. SUNDAY, 20th. Second Sunday AFTEn Epiphany. 1327 Edward the Second, King of England, deposed. 1771 Dissolution of all the Parliaments throughout France; and
the Grand Council of the King converted into a Parliament. 1788 Australia, or New South Wales, began to be colonized. 1790 William Howard, the philanthropist, died, at Cherson, in New
Russia. 1813 Wieland, the German poet, died.
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