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than half that of the earth j namely, 4100 (four thousand one hundred) miles.
Revolving between Mars and Jupiter are four celestial bodies, commonly called planets; but which are supposed to be the separated fragments of what was once a larger planet. The names of these bodies, which have all been discovered since tha commencement of the present century, are Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. They are so extremely diminutive, when compared with the other planetary bodies, that they seem only as specks in the creation; the largest being 1 GO and the smallest about 80 miles in diameter. They are not visible to the unassisted eye.
The largest planet in our system, is Jupiter. The diameter of this magnificent body is nearly 11 times that of the earth. It is estimated at 87,000 (eightyseven thousand) miles. For a man to walk that distance, would occupy very nearly 7 years j a steamcarriage would accomplish it in 5 months and 5 days. Saturn has a diameter equal to 10 times that of the earth, or about 80,000 (eighty thousand miles.) Next beyond Saturn, is Uranus, the most remote of the planets known to the inhabitants of our world. Its diameter is about 35,000 (thirty-five thousand) miles, rather more than 4 times that of the earth. The bulk of Uranus is equal to 80 such bodies as the earth.
The most transcendently beautiful of all the mighty orbs with which we are associated, is the Sun, the centre of motion, and the source of light, to the whole planetary system. In contemplating an object in its dimensions so stupendous, in its aspect so splendid, the mind is lost in wonder. The real diameter of the sun is estimated at 882,000 (eight hundred and eighty-two thousand) miles, exceeding, in this respect, the earth, in the proportion of llli to 1. In bulk, the sun is equal to 1,384,472 (one million, three hundred and eighty-four thousand, four hundred and seventy-two) such bodies as the earth.
To travel a distance equal to the diameter of the sun, would occupy a man, supposing him to proceed at the rate we have before mentioned, 58 years, 11 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days. A steam-carriage would be 4 years and 2 weeks performing the same distance. Proceeding uninterruptedly at the same rate, namely, 25 miles per hour, it would occupy 12 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 2 hours, for a steam-carriage to run a distance equal to the circumference of the sun, which is about 2,770,891 (two millions, seven hundred and seventy thousand, eight hundred and ninety-one) miles!
Here we lay down the pen. We have treated only of the magnitude of the bodies known to us, as composing what is termed, by its relation to the sun, the Solar System. We have said nothing of the respective distance of the planets from the sun, from each other, and from the earth; nor have we given any account of the velocity with which they move in their several orbits. These subjects will engage our attention in a future paper. Meanwhile, we shall do well to remember, with emotions of gratitude and humility, that the Almighty Being who has created, and who governs innumerable worlds, is concerned in sustaining the brief existence of the insect that floats unseen by us in the sunbeam. Amidst such evidences of infinite power, and such displays of unchanging beneficence, we need entertain no fears that we shall be overlooked or forgotten. Let our chief concern be, that whilst we are the objects of the providential care of our Heavenly Father, we may show, by our faith and good works, that we are also the partakers of His special grace.
THE NATURALISTS AUTUMNAL WALK.
The little excursions of the naturalist, from habit and from acquirement, become a scene of constant observation and remark. The insect that crawls, the note of the bird, the plant that flowers, or the vernal green leaf that peeps out, engages his attention, is recognised as an intimate, or noted from some novelty that it presents in sound or aspect. Every season has its peculiar product, and is pleasing or admirable, from causes that variously affect our different temperaments or dispositions; but there are accompaniments in an autumnal morning's woodland walk, that call for all our notice and admiration: the peculiar feeling of the air, and the solemn grandeur of the scene around us, dispose the mind to contemplation and remark; there is a silence in which we hear every thing, a beauty that will be observed. The stump of an old oak is a very landscape, with rugged alpine steeps bursting through forests of verdant mosses, with some pale, denuded, branchless lichen, like a scathed oak, creeping up the sides, or crowning the summit Rambling with unfettered grace, the tendrils of the briony (tamus communis) festoon with its brilliant berries, green, yellow, red, the slender sprigs of the hazel, or the thorn; it ornaments their plainness, and receives a support its own feebleness denies. The agaric, with all its hues, its shades, its elegant variety of forms, expands its cone sprinkled with the freshness of the morning; a transient fair, a child of decay, that "sprang up in a night, and will perish in a night." The squirrel, agile with life and timidity, gamboling round the root of an ancient beech, its base overgrown with the dewberry Crubus ccesius), blue with unsullied fruit, impeded in his frolic sports, half angry, darts up the silvery bole again, to peep and wonder at the strange intruder on his haunts. The jay springs up, and screaming, tells of danger to her brood, the noisy tribe repeat the call, are hushed, and leave us; the loud laugh of the woodpecker, joyous and vacant; the hammering of the nuthatch (sitta europaa), cleaving its prize in the chink of some dry bough; the humble-bee, torpid on the disc of the purple thistle, just lifts a limb to pray forbearance of injury, to ask for peace, and bid us
Leave him, leave him to repose. The cinquefoil, or the vetch, with one lingering bloom yet appears, and we note it from its loneliness. Spreading on the light foliage of the fern, dry and mature, the spider has fixed her toils, and motionless in the midst, watches her expected prey, every thread and mesh beaded with dew, trembling with the zephyr's breath. Then falls the "sere and yellow leaf," parting from its spray without a breeze tinkling in the boughs, and rustling scarce audibly along, rests at our feet, and tells us that we part too. All these are distinctive symbols of the season, marked in the silence and sobriety of the hour; and form, perhaps, a deeper impression on the mind, than any afforded by the verdant promises, the vivacities of spring, or the gay, profuse luxuriance of summer. Journal of a Naturalist.
The attention which a beneficent Providence has shown to the well-being of its creatures, is beautifully illustrated by the following fact. When a bird sits on its perch at roost, the action of doing so, from the peculiar formation of the muscles of-the legs and thighs, draws the claws of the feet together, so that they hold tightly to the perch as long as the bird is in a sitting posture. But for this circumstance, the comfort and security of the bird would be endangered by every gale of wind while it repoaed.—-Gleanings in Natural History.
No. IX. The Battles Of The Pyrenees. When the news reached England of the battle that had been fought at Vittoria, and of the complete rout which the French had suffered on that occasion, it caused unbounded joy and exultation. The thanks of both Houses of Parliament were voted to the British general and his troops; and addresses of congratulation were poured in to the throne from various public bodies. The same feeling prevailed in Spain. By a decree of the cortes, the Marquess of Wellington was created Duke of Vittoria; and a grant of the lordship of Sota de Romano, in tho kingdom of Granada, was annexed to the title.
Yet this victory was not more brilliant in Its achievement than it was important in its results; for it was quickly followed by the retreat of the French from Spain. We mentioned in our preceding paper how precipitate was the flight of Joseph, and how narrow his escape from capture; his panic-stricken troops fled with equal rapidity, and they were pursued as hotly. They took the road leading to Pamplona, and on reaching that fortress, hastened to seek shelter within its walls; but they found the gates closed. Nevertheless, so strong was their alarm, and such their anxiety to place, themselves beyond the reach of their pursuers, that they actually endeavoured to force their way over the ramparts, and were only induced to desist, on being opposed by a serious fire of cannon and musketry.
Their stay was, however, but short. Having strengthened the garrison, Joseph resumed his flight; and then taking the main body of his army with him into France, he left the remainder in the valley of El Bastan, the possession of which was desirable, both on account of the fertility of its soil, and the strong positions which it afforded. Lord Wellington immediately took effective measures for dislodging this force; the enemy were forced to abandon every successive post which they occupied, and at length to retire into France.
The French still, however, retained the fortresses
of St. Sebastian's and Pamplona, which were both well garrisoned; and it became necessary to make preparations for reducing these, their last, strong-holds. Lord Wellington determined to besiege St. Sebastian's, because its proximity to the sea would allow the means of attack to be more readily obtained; and it was accordingly invested by 10,000 men under Sir Thomas Graham. Pamplona was closely blockaded by a corps of Spaniards; and intrenchments were thrown up on every side of it, to prevent the escape of the garrison, and to cut them off from all supplies.
These events could not fail deeply to fix the attention of Napoleon, and severely to wound his pride. He saw the object for which he had so long contended, on the point of being wrested from his grasp; and he felt that the most powerful efforts were necessary, even to protect the "sacred territory*" itself from invasion. His measures were taken at once, and they were regulated according to the emergency. Fresh levies were directed upon the Pyrenees, to recruit the exhausted ranks of his broken army; and that the general might be equal to the occasion, Marshal Soult, who had quitted Spain in the spring, and followed Napoleon to Germany, was hastily sent back to the scene of operations, as the "Lieutenant of the Emperor."
This appointment restored, in a certain degree, the confidence of the French army, for the reputation of Marshal Soult stood high. The marshal joined his command on the 13th of July, and began his preparations with energy and activity. The army was re-organized, its several corps were again provided with their necessary equipments, and great exertions were used to increase the efficiency of the cavalry and artillery. A proclamation was issued, admitting the dispositions and arrangements of the British general to have been prompt, skilful, and consecutive, and the valour and steadi
* Buonaparte had boastinrly given this name to France, implying that that country alone, in. the whole continent, was free from the calamities of war.
ness of his troops to have been praiseworthy; but assuring the French soldiers that their disasters were owing merely to the errors of their leaders, and speaking very confidently about chasing the allies across the Ebro, and celebrating Napoleon's approaching birth-day in Vittoria.
In the mean while, the difficulties of the British general were not slight. "The situation of Lord Wellington," says the author of Annals of the Peninsular Campaigns, "to whom the progress of the campaign had hitherto been little else than one continued march of triumph, was become one of considerable hazard. Having to cover the siege of two fortresses, with a wide interval between, he was under the necessity of extending his line in a dangerous degree. The positions occupied by his divisions were indeed strong; yet, by the impassable nature of the country, they were cut off from all direct communication with each other, and the enemy enjoyed the advantage of being able to direct the whole volume of his force against a single corps, while the other divisions, separated by almost impenetrable barriers, could lend no assistance.
The distribution of the allied army was made in the manner best calculated to effect the various objects of guarding the passes of the Pyrenees, covering the siege of St. Sebastian's, and the blockade of Pamplona, and opposing the efforts which the enemy might make for the relief of these fortresses.
The first object of Marshal Soult'was to relieve the fortress of Pamplona, which possessed fewer means of resistance than St. Sebastian's. With this view he collected a large body of troops at St. Jean de Pied-de-Port, and on the morning of the 25th of July, marched, with 35,000 men, against General Byng's post at Roncesvalles. Sir Lowry Cole moved up to his support, and these officers maintained their post throughout the day; but the enemy turned it in the afternoon, and Sir Lowry deemed it necessary to withdraw. General Dronet led 13,000 men against the right of Sir Rowland Hill's position in the passes of Maya. Two videttes had been stationed in advance, to give notice of the enemy's approach; but the heat of the day had overcome them, and they had fallen asleep. The French were thus enabled to advance unseen, and were down upon the piquet almost before an alarm could be given. The attack was sustained by the British with their usual steadiness; but the disparity of numbers was too great for the contest to last long, and they were compelled slowly to retire. Reinforcements were brought up, but the necessity of guarding the other passes prevented the moving up of a sufficient number of troops at once to repulse the enemy; the fight was unequal, and the British were gradually forced back, till about six in the evening, when they were joined by the brigade of Sir Edward Barnes; the lost ground was then regained, and by nine o'clock, the French were driven from the pass.
When Soult began these attacks on the right and centre of the British line, the Marquess of Wellington was at its opposite extremity, near St. Sebastian's. The news reached him, that the enemy were in motion on the night of the 25th, and he adopted immediate measures for concentrating the army towards the threatened quarter, still providing for the siege of St. Sebastian's and the blockade of Pamplona. The right wing was already in full retreat, when they received an order from the Marquess to halt; and as they were taking up their ground, he himself arrived, and in person directed the occupation of an advantageous position, completely covering Pamplona.
Soult had now penetrated to within a few miles of
that fortress; and, on the morning of the 28th, he commenced strenuous efforts to dislodge the allies. He first attacked their left; but his troops were soon driven back with immense loss. The next attempt was made against the centre. A strong column marched up the hill on which it was posted, and dislodging a Portuguese battalion, obtained a momentary success; but, General Ross advancing with the Fusileers, the enemy were speedily driven down again.
The battle then became general along the whole front of the heights occupied by the fourth division under Sir Lowry Cole, and Soult made repeated attempts to establish himself on the line of the allies; but all his efforts were unavailing. The contest was severe, and the bravery of our troops was never more conspicuously shown; and "the gallant fourth division," said Lord Wellington in his despatch, "which has so frequently been distinguished in the army, surpassed their former conduct." Every regiment in it charged with the bayonet; and some no less than four several times. Convinced at length of the hopelessness of his exertions, Soult drew off his troops.
On the following day both armies remained quiet But Lord Wellington's arrangements were, in the mean while, fully completed; Sir Rowland Hill had fallen back, and a communication was firmly established between his corps and the main body to his right, by the intervention of the Earl of Dalhousie's division. "This," says Colonel Jones, "was a deathblow to Marshal Soult's system of manoeuvres, and even placed him in an awkward dilemma, should he attempt to retire without a further effort;" but the Marshal was not a man to be easily daunted, and he set to work to accomplish his object by a different system. The position which he occupied was one by nature extremely strong, and little liable to be assaulted if moderately guarded; he resolved, therefore, to march the bulk of his troops to join General Drouet, and thus endeavour to turn the British left
On the morning of the 30th his troops were observed moving in great numbers towards Drouet's position. Lord Wellington instantly perceived the intent of this manoeuvre, and determined on attacking the formidable position in his front, that his right wing might not be detained inactive by an inferior force. His arrangements were completely successful, and the enemy was compelled to abandon a position which the British general declared to be "one of the strongest, and most difficult of access, that he had yet seen occupied by troops."
In the mean while, reinforcements had been sent to Sir Rowland Hill, who was vigorously attacked in front, while a large body of troops were manoeuvring upon his flank, and endeavouring to turn his left Sir Rowland repulsed every attack, and maintained his position till Drouet was absolutely round his flank, when he leisurely retired to a more favourable range of heights close in rear, and bade defiance to the enemy's utmost efforts to dislodge him.
In the night the French withdrew from their position, and on the morrow were discovered to be in full retreat. A pursuit was instantly commenced; several smart engagements took place, and many prisoners were captured. On the 1st of August, the enemy had withdrawn into France; and the alUes were again masters of the passes through the mountains, occupying nearly the same positions as before the attack of the 25th of July. Such was the termination of the great conflicts which are called the Battles of the Pyrenees'; and highly creditable it was to the British general and his army.
THE NORTH WIND, THE StJN, AND THE TRAVELLER.
'Tis said a warm dispute begun
"Boast not;" replied the Orb of Day,
"Well," said the North Wind, " look beneath,
Besting his chin upon a cloud,
With swelling cheeks and heated brain,
Peeping from his pavilion blue,
Our Traveller, among the rest,
'Twas then the Sun serenely smiled,
and heated brain, l t his labour vain, > tli might and main; J
The art of spreading rumours may be compared to the art of pin-making. There is usually some truth, which I call the wire; as this passes from hand to hand, one gives it a polish, another a point, others make and put on the Lead, and at last the piu is completed —Rey- J. Newton.
THE YAK OF THIBET.
The following account of a valuable animal, very little known in Europe, is taken from a new volume of the Oriental Annual, ably edited by the Rev. Hobart Cauntfr. The engraving is from one of the beautiful plates, after Mr. Darnell's drawings, with which the volume is illustrated.
Before we quitted Serinagur, we visited the Rajah's stable, in which was a beautiful animal of the bovine species, called a yak. It is the domestic bull of Thibet. I do not believe that a single specimen of this creature now exists in Europe. In Thibet it is found both in the wild and tame state, though chiefly in the latter. As the wealth of the Tartar hordes consists principally in their cattle, they have large herds. These are their most valuable property, for they live almost entirely upon the milk. They sell the hair of the yak to great advantage, as it is in much request.
This animal is about five feet high, and has much the form and bulk of a common English bull. The chief point of dissimilarity between the yak and every other animal of this genus, consists in its sides being covered with long glossy hair which extends over, the whole body, except the head and legs, and hangs from the flanks quite down to the hocks. The head is not so long as that of the English bull, and the ears are smaller. The horns are of greater length, tapering from the skull to the extremities, and forming a horizontal arch; they gradually incline towards each other until near the end, when they make a sudden curve upwards. The forehead seems to protrude considerably, but this is probably owing to a thick tuft of curly hair which traverses it, partly shading the eyes, and giving rather a heavy expression to the animal's features. The eyes are large, though not bright, and project boldly from the sockets, without, however, conveying the disagreeable impression which a projecting eye-ball is apt to create; as the hair of the forehead neutralizes the effect.
The yak has all the genuine marks of high breeding and unmixed blood. The nostrils are small but open, the nose is also small and delicately shaped, presenting likewise that roundness and smoothness of surface so common to animals of a pure breed. The neck is short but arched; and, as in the Brahminee bull, peculiar to Hindostan, there is a high hump between the shoulders: this is coated with a profusion of short curly hair, extremely soft, and of a texture very different from that which covers the other parts of the body. This soft fur, for such it really is, overspreads the shoulders, and continues, though in less profusion, along the back, extending to the root of the tail, which is composed of an immense tuft of long bright hair, that almost sweeps the ground, and adds greatly to the elegance of this singularly beautiful animal. It is far more copious than the tail of the largest English cart-horse; not so long, indeed, but much thicker, while the hair is finer and more glossy, eutircly enveloping the tail, and is as great an ornament to this fine creature, as a luxuriant head of hair to a handsome woman. In some of these bulls it is perfectly white, every other part of the animal being qiiite black, except the soft fur which covers the shoulders, hump, and spine. This order is frequently reversed, though occasionally, the colours vary considerably; but black with white, as seen in the accompanying engraving, is the most prevailing order, and I think the most striking.
The legs of the yak are very short, while the oody appears disproportionably large, from the profusion of hair with which it is overpread. On some of these animals, this is so long as to trail upon the ground which gives an ungainly appearance to the creature's movements, as, when walking slowly, it exhibits the creeping motion of a large reptile. The soft fur upon the hump and shoulders is manufactured by the natives of Thibet, into a fine but strong cloth, and if submitted to the test of European skill, might no doubt be made to produce a very superior fabric. This animal is not generally fierce, but if intruded upon by strangers, it sometimes manifests very formidable symptoms of impatience. It has generally a sullen appearance, though that, I think, is greatly caused by the projecting forehead, which tends to give a stern aspect to the countenance. It, however, certainly expresses no signs of gratification when approached by those with whom it is most familiar, discovering none of those indications of pleasure so generally evinced by other animals under similar circumstances. When excited it is not easily appeased, and is exceedingly tenacious of injury, always showing great fierceness whenever any one approaches who has chanced to provoke it. The cow is called dke, of which the wandering Tartars have large numbers. These Tartars, like the modem Bedouins, and those nomadic races of more primitive times which nearly overspread the East, dwell chiefly under tents in the hills or in the deserts, wander from place to place, and have no means of subsistence but those supplied by their flocks and herds.
The yak, which they pasture upon the tops of the mountains and in the deep glens of Thibet, affords them at once warm clothing and wholesome food. They use it also as a beast of burden, and it answers the purpose of the horse in transporting them over those bleak and rugged mountains among which they dwell, as it is very strong and sure-footed. It scarcely ever falls, and when this does happen on steep declivities, where it is so generally employed, the accident is almost invariably fatal. Instances of such casualties, however, are rare.
The herdsmen commonly convert the hides into a loose outer garment that covers the whole of their foodies, hanging down to the knees, and it proves a sufficient protection against the lowest temperature of the cold and desolate region which they inhabit. It
furnishes at once a cloak by day and a bed by night. The long hair, when carefully taken from the skin, is skilfully manufactured into a sort of tent-cloth, which is remarkably strong, and quite impervious to the wet. They convert the same material into ropes, which are much stronger than those composed of hemp, and resist more successfully the influence of climate and of friction. The yak's tail is an indispensable appendage to the costume of an eastern court; it is used throughout India, and when not to be obtained in sufficient quantities to answer the demand, is very successfully imitated by those cunning artificers, who are equalled only by the Chinese in these and similar deceptions. The tails are converted into chowries, a sort of whisk employed to keep off the flies and musquitoes from the heads of those who can afford such a luxury. The dhe, or cow of the yak, yields a large quantity of milk, and this is so rich as to produce better butter than that of any other of the bovine species in Asia.
We were much gratified at having the opportunity of beholding so fine a creature of its kind, as this animal is seldom seen below the mountains of Thibet; no one, I believe, having yet thought it worth while to introduce the breed into Bengal, and most probably the experiment would fail if attempted.
Serinagur, situated in the snowy regions of Thibet, where this animal was seen, is described as a place looking like a white drapery hanging from the skies over the blue tops of the distant mountains. It seemed perfectly detached from the hills, above which it rose to an elevation that appeared to blend it with the heavens, whilst its surface of unsullied whiteness, catching the rays of the sun, reached the eye through the distance, softened into a purity of effect that carried the imagination to a world unknown to man, of which it seemed to form a part.
The inhabitants appear to be a mixed race, exhibiting in their features, the blended lineaments of highlander, lowlander, Patan, Tartar,Chinese,and Hindoo; and often showing the especial peculiarities of those several races. They are a mild and inoffensive people.