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particular event or scene described, it is not surprising that they have been groundless and unsatisfactory. Mr. Bigland observes, "Amidst the vast accumulation of opposite opinions and vague observations made by historians and physiologists, it is often extremely difficult to place the connection between causes and effects in a luminous point of view. It has been generally assumed that the human body is invigorated by cold, but relaxed and enervated by heat, and, consequently, that a northern climate is the most favourable to courage and strength, as well as to health and longevity. But the writers who have treated this subject, advance such a farrago of unfounded assertions, isolated or unauthenticated facts, and contradictory arguments, as can have no other tendency than to perplex and puzzle the inquirer. Mr. Orme, in speaking of Hindoostan, says, "The courage of the people depends on the climate. In the northern parts, firmer fibres produce a proportionable degree of resolution: in the southern, all is sensibility, and fear must predominate in such as are infinitely susceptible of the minutest impressions." But he invalidates this argument by what he afterwards adds. He says, that "Persons of high rank and distinction are seldom wanting in an intrepidity as little sensible of the apprehension of danger, as the pusillanimity of the lower and meaner people is incapable of resisting such impulses." From this contrast between those who rule, and those who obey, it appears that some other cause besides the influence of climate, which operates on all, must occasion the difference. The only physical causes that can be assigned, must be the nature of their food, which amongst the lower classes, is not sufficient to give firmness and strength to the body, and the distinction of casts by which the Hindoos are divided into separate tribes, whose peculiar dispositions and characters are perpetuated from generation to generation. But the principal cause of so marked a difference is undoubtedly the state of depression and degradation in which the lower orders are held, and which deprives them of all magnanimity and courage by constantly impressing on their minds a sense of their inferiority."
Two of the longest chapters in the work, as the important nature of the subjects deserves, are devoted to the consideration of government and religion. In these the author traces the effects of some of the most celebrated religious and political systems of ancient and modern times. The observations which follow are from the chapter on religion.
"The Mahomedan system, while in its full vigour, afforded a remarkable instance of the effects which the sincere belief of one or two dogmas of faith may produce. The great motive by which the vivid fancy and intrepid spirit of the Arabians were stimulated to enterprise when they had embraced the Islam, was the promise of eternal life, and inexhaustible pleasures to those who should fall in the wars against infidels. The force of enthusiasm thus roused, was still further stimulated, and completely confirmed by the doctrine of absolute predestination, involving and determining the most minute particulars in the life and death of every individual. The followers of the prophet were, therefore, encouraged to fight without fear for the propagation of the faith, since they were taught that, besides the merit of this service and its eternal reward, no caution could avert their inevitable destiny, nor prolong for a moment their lives.
"If it be asked why these doctrines did not continue to excite the same dauntless courage and the same ardent spirit of enterprise in after times, as in the first ages of the caliphate, and why they have no v almost wholly lost their efficacy, the answer is easy, as the reason is obvious. Enthusiasm, however ardent it may be, or by whatever means it may be excited, seldom burns long with a steady and undiminished flame. Of this, history furnishes innumerable instances. Every new religion is adopted with a fervid zeal by its first votaries: it is then a matter of conviction: it is uppermost in their
thoughts, it occupies the principal place in their minds, and forcibly commands their attention. In process of time, being transmitted to successive generations, it becomes a thing of custom and course. It is no longer embraced with the same ardour, nor professed with the same zeal its impressions upon the mind grow more feeble: its precepts have less influence on practice; and amidst the novelty of rising events and changing circumstances incessantly attracting human attention, the fervour which it at first, inspired is gradually abated. It would, perhaps, be difficult to find among modern christians that indefatigable zeal, that dauntless perseverance, and that inflexible constancy under the severest trials, by which they were distinguished in the apostolic age, and in the second and third centuries."
Mr. Bigland closes his elaborate work by a succinct comparison of the ancients and moderns in regard to their intellectual and social state, a subject which at different periods has given rise to a good deal of keen controversy. If men are not yet agreed on this point, we think time will eventually bring them to a union of sentiment. Every year in fact alters the state of the argument, and surely the favourite prejudices of learned men cannot much longer resist the rapid improvements of modern science, and the slower ones of modern policy. From this comparison, we may lay before our readers what we hope will prove an interesting extract.
"When we cast back our eyes on the flourishing ages of Greece and Rome, we, indeed, behold prodigies of intellect that form the pre-eminent glory of the human species. But these poets, philosophers, and orators, whom we so greatly admire, and who stand as Pharos in the sea of literature, were few in number amidst a vast population composed of citizens and slaves, almost equally ignorant and superstitious. They were as lamps hung out to illumine an immense gloom; and to these distinguished individuals belong all the applause that we are accustomed to bestow on Greek and Roman intellect; for certainly no one will imagine that the common people of Athens or Rome, during the periods of their greatest glory, could bear any comparison with the same class now existing in Great-Britain, Germany, France, or Italy, or, indeed, in any European country where books are numerous and cheap, and the means of acquiring knowledge are infinitely multiplied. Reading was not very common in Rome, and it was still less practised at Athens: even newspapers, if they existed in the former city, must, from their price, have been inaccessible to the far greater part of the people; and we have not the least intimation of any such publications in the latter. The great majority of the inhabitants of these two celebrated cities had no other means of acquiring information than by listening to the harangues of their orators in the forum. From the great expense of obtaining instruction, indeed, we may, with certainty, conclude, that the number of those who could read was comparatively small, and that, notwithstanding the talents displayed by a few literati, the multitude was involved in the most profound ignorance.
"Illumination of intellect collects its materials from the phenomena of the physical world, and from the history of man; but in both these departments of knowledge, the ancients wanted that experience which has so greatly enlightened the moderns. 'The opinion,' says Lord Bacon, which men form respecting antiquity, is vague, and incongruous with the meaning of the word. For the long duration and old age of the world, circumstances which belong to our times and not to its younger state as it existed in the days of the ancients, ought to be regarded as antiquity. That age, indeed, may, with respect to us, be considered as ancient; but with respect to the world itself, it was new.' The ancients, notwithstanding our admiration of their boasted at
tainments, had proceeded but little beyoud the boundaries of intellectual infancy. In all their literary productions we cannot but remark the contracted circles of their ideas, when compared with the extensive range of thought developed by modern writers."
The account which we have now given of Mr. Bigland's work, will be sufficient to awaken the curiosity of all who are interested in such speculations. To the young student it is a volume which will, no doubt, prove particularly useful, in teaching him to compare and to reflect, and initiatiug him into what has been called the "Philosophy of History," without which a knowledge of facts and dates will be little else than useless lumber in the memory.
Voyage of Discovery.- Four transports of about 300 tons each, are ordered to be doubled, (to secure them from the ice,) and to be fitted at Woolwich for the purpose of making a voyage of discovery and investigation to the northward of America, Europe, and Asia. The recent discoveries made by Lieut. Kotzebue, of the Russian navy, and the reports made this season by our own Greenlandmen, (see vol.i. p. 217) have given a renewed feeling of interest to the subject of a north-west passage.
Captain David Buchan, of the Pike, and Captaiu John Ross, of the Driver, are appointed to conduct the enterprize. These officers will have commands of ships, with each a brig, commanded by a Lieutenant, under them. Captain Ross's division will take the course through Davis's straits; whilst Capt. Buchan, with his two vessels, will penetrate as far to the North Pole as possible. The Dorothea (the late Congo, employed in exploring Africa) is the ship Captain Buchan is appointed to command. The doubling of the ships for the service is going on at Merchant's yard, under the inspection of King's officers from the dock-yards. Their bottomplank,of about two and a half inches thick, has been taken off, and is replaced by plank of about six inches thick, which will be sheathed with board, and then coppered. Their equipment, in every department, will be upon the most liberal scale; nothing will be withheld that may be suggested as likely to contribute either to the success of the enterprize, or to the comforts of those employed. The crews are to be seamen who have been accustomed to the Greenland trade, who are to receive double wages, and a gratuitous ample supply of every necessary article of
warm clothing. As the vessel will take no other kind of ballast but what will serve as fuel (coals, wood, &c.), they will have a supply of this necessary equal to five years consumption; the provisions will be stowed amongst it. The ships will be ready to proceed early in March next.
Sea-Serpent.- Much interest has been lately excited by the reported appearance of an enormous Sea-Snake, between Manchester and Cape Ann, in Massachusetts Bay. The Linnean Society having requested several gentlemen to obtain facts respecting this prodigy on oath, one of the persons, Mr. Story, gave a deposition that he and his family saw the snake (as it is usually called at Cape Ann) soon after sun-rise; that he lay stretched at his whole length on the surface of the water, then very smooth, between a ledge of rocks near the eastern point, called Black Bess, and Ten Pound Island; and continued dormant during the space of half an hour, and that he appeared as if reposing; he judged the length of the part of his body visible (his head and tail being both under water) to be at least 50 feet, and, generally, that his body was round, and about the size of the body of a man. Many hundreds of the citizens of Cape Ann have seen this novelty; and the interesting fact of its being of the snake kind, is attested by the opinion of a great majority of the spectators. Captain Beach jun. has seen this animal from 12 to 20 times, and has taken an accurate drawing of him for exhibition. He describes him as being, in his most contracted state, about 70 feet in length, and of the size of a flour-barrel. Two thousand dollars have been offered for his skin.
The latest account is in a letter from
Newhaven, (America,) dated Nov. 13, which says, on the Nov. 11th, in the forenoon, while Mr. J. and Mr. W. Platt were on the shore, about 7 miles west of Newhaven light-house, they saw a strange animal, answering the description heretofore given of the sea-serpent, pass about 20 rods from the shore, going westward, his head about 2 feet above water, his speed far greater than that of any animal they ever saw move in the water; in their opinion he went a mile a minute; his wake was as great as that of a commonsized yawl; the wild fowl appeared much frightened, aud flew in every direction as he approached them.
In consequence of the reward offered, many attempts have been made to catch this strange animal, but none have succeeded; and in one instance it is said he turned upon his pursuers and frightened them back to the shore.
Antiquities.-There has been excavated in Pompeii a very curious monument, which has been carried to the Bourbon Museum. It contains, with various inscriptions, the scale of the different measures of weight and capacity iu use among the Romans, viz. the modius, the semmodius, the amphora, the congius, the hemina, the libra, and the quarternus.
The discovery of three votive inscriptions in honour of the goddess Concord, in the temple situated between that of Jupiter Tonans and the Mamertine prison at Rome, has removed all doubts respecting the destination of that religious edifice.
A precious monument has been dug up at Monte-Canino, near Genzano. It represents a young Esculapius with all his attributes. This statue is perfectly preserved, and is of the finest proportions. It is attributed, on the authority of Pausanias, to the celebrated Greek sculptors, Calamides and Scopas.
Geology. The geological structure of many districts of Scotland has been examined and explained by the members of the Wernerian and Geological Societies. Their interesting descriptions appear to have excited the attention of foreign mineralogists in a very particular manner, and several of them have traversed Scotland, with the view of studying its highly curious structure. Of these, that eminent naturalist Baron Von Buch is, we understand, engaged on a work illustrative of the geognosy of Scotland.-Professor Necker of Geneva, (a pupil of Professor Jameon's,) is now publishing in Geneva a work
on the mineralogy of the Hebrides; and Dr. Bouee, who also received his mineralogical education in the University of Edinburgh, is at present employed in Paris with a work on the mineralogy of Scotland.
Proto-canonical Epistles of St. Paul.The Abbate Angelo Mai, whose recent discoveries among the Codices rescripti in the Ambrosian library at Milan, we have had frequent occasion to notice, has added to
the number the Moso-Gothic translation of the thirteen proto-canonical Epistles of St. Paul, made in the fourth century, by Bishop Ulphilas, the loss of which has been hitherto a subject of regret. It fills two voluminous manuscripts, and is covered by Latin writing of a later period. We know from the unanimous testimony of the ancient historians that Ulphilas (who was called the Moses of his time) translated the whole Bible, except perhaps the two books of Kings. The whole of this work was lost, till at length, in 1665, the Codex argenteus of Upsal, containing a considerable part of the four Evangelists, was published by Francis Junius.-The learned Francis Knittel, upon examining a Codex palimpsestus, in the library of Wolfenbüttle, found upon eight of the pages several verses of the translation of the Epistle to the Romans, by Ulphilas. These fragments he published in 1762. The MSS. now discovered by M. Mai are much more extensive, and appear to have been written between the 5th and 6th century. What is wanting of the Epistles in eight of the Epistles are entire in both, so one of the MSS. is contained in the other; as to afford the advantage of comparison. The characters are large and handsome. The titles of the Epistles are at the head of the MSS. and there are marginal references in the same language. Of this discovery M. Mai designs to publish an extensive specimen in a preliminary dissertation. A gentleman of Milan, equally distinguished by erudition and liberality, has had a complete fount of Ulphilanian types, of different sizes, cast by an able founder, both for the text and notes. Besides the two MSS. M. Mai has collected twenty more pages in the Moso-Gothic language, extracted from several other Codices palimpsesti, in the same library. In these pages are found those parts of the Gospels by Ulphilas, which are wanting in the mutilated edition of the Codex argenteus, together with great part of the homilies or commentaries, and what is still more interesting, fragments of the books of Es
dras and Nehemiah- a discovery of the more importance, as not the smallest portion of Ulphilas's version of the Old Testament was bitherto known to exist. To accompany this considerable part of the labours of the Gothic prelate, M. Mai is preparing a new Moso-Gothic Lexicon, which will prodigiously increase the number of words of that language, and prove a most valuable present to the philologists of all those nations whose language are of German origin.
Recent accounts from Malta state, that the Weymouth store-ship had sailed from that island for Tripoli, to receive on board the curiosities destined for the Prince Regent by the Bey. They are represented as highly valuable and curious, consisting of massy columns of porphyry, statuary, and other fragments of ancient art. This collection has been made under the direction of Capt. Smith, R. N., who has been some time employed in surveying that part of the Africau coast, and is frequently with the Bey.
The Duke of Devonshire, when in Russia, paid great attention to the mineral productions of that empire, and became the purchaser of select specimens that the oldest collector might covet; amongst which are groupes of topazes, and one detached, near four inches, in diameter; aqua marinas of great rarity, &c. On the road his Grace frequently got out of his carriage to pick up curious rock specimens, and to observe the geology of the country. This is a good and meritorious trait in the character of a young nobleman, who possesses such immense mineral treasures in Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Ireland, &c.
Africa. A letter from Sierra Leone mentions the return to that place of the British scientific expedition for exploring the interior of Africa. They were completely unsuccessful, having advanced only about 150 miles into the interior, from Rio Nunez. Their progress was there stopped by a chief of the country, and after unavailing endeavours, for the space of four months, to obtain liberty to proceed, they abandoned the enterprize and returned. Nearly all the animals died. Several officers died, and, what is remarkable, but one private, besides one drowned, of about 200. Captain Campbell died two days after their return to Rio Nunez, and was buried, with another officer, in the same spot where Major Peddie and one of his officers were buried on their advance.
France. The Society for the Encouragement of the Arts at Paris has proposed the following prizes for the year 1818 :"1500 francs for a machine for making pack-thread; 1000 francs for a machine for cutting the fur from the skins used in hat making; 6000 francs for the manufacture of steel-wire for needles; 3000 francs for manufacturing articles of cast-iron; 2000 francs for a method of salting meat; 2000 francs for the manufacture of isinglas; 2000 francs for manufacturing enamelled metal vases; 1500 francs for the cultivation of the plants which supply pot-ash ; 1000 francs for making pipes without seams; 600 francs for the discovery of stones for lithography; and 1200 francs for their artificial composition.
The Society has deferred, until 1819, the distribution of the following prizes :— 1200 francs for the manufacture of artificial precious stones; 3000 francs for the discovery of a certain process for drying meat; and 1000 francs for the cultivation of oleaginous plants; the prize for the preservation of woollen cloth, which, in consideration of its importance, has been raised to the sum of 3000 francs; and that of 1000 francs for the construction of a mill for skinning dried vegetables, such as peas, beans, &c. will not be awarded till 1820.
The society has besides proposed nine others, viz.-1st, One of 2000 francs, to be given in 1819, to the person who shall raise, by the most certain and economical processes, and with the least possible loss, the greatest number of white Chinese silkworms. 2d, One of 600 francs, in 1818, for the invention of an extremely economical, agreeable, and wholesome fermented drink, which may be prepared by the poorest cultivators, and fit for the use of persons employed in out-door labour. 3d, One of 1200 francs, in 1818, for the manufacture of an unalterable green colour, of fine quality, and preferable to Scheele's green. 4th, One of 500 francs, in 1818, for the discovery of the best method of grinding oil and water-colours, to the degree of tenuity required by artists. 5th, One of 2000 francs, in 1819, for the manufacture of animal charcoal prepared from other substances than bone, and without the employment of pot-ash; and which may be as good and cheap as charcoal prepared from bones. 6th, One of 1200 francs, in 1819, for the manufacture of a new kind of economical floor-cloth, composed of strong paper covered with varnish. 7th, One of 2000 francs, in 1819, for the application of the steam-engine to printing