Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

CLIMATES OF MADRAS AND PHILADELPHIA.

441

drawers; who pursue their occupa. cult to put themselves into that tions with bare feet, bare head, and state, and recal to their imaginabare back, in the open air, without tion that view of things which exunusual efforts, or any consciousness isted previous to such changes or of extraordinary hardship.

discoveries. The actual steps in This intelligence led me to sus that revolution being slow, succes. pect, what indeed is true, that my sive, and many, the mind proceeds friend, like all others who describe to the distant goal without difficulty India, was a stranger, from the or surprise. We arrive at a cer. temperate climates of Europe ; tain point without any extraordinary enervated by habits, diet, and dress, emotion, and all around us appears foreign to the manners of tropi- familiar and plain. And yet, precal nations; that his feelings as viously to our setting out upon our an individual could not justly afford journey, had some power lifted us testimony to the general feelings of suddenly to a great height, and af. the people, and that as a stranger forded us a clear view of the point it was impossible to estimate cor we were destined to reach, conceal. rectly the relations between the cli- ing from us, at the same time, all mate and the health or ease of its the intermediate steps, we should native or long resident inhabitants. feel raptures of delight and wonder,

A native of Philadelphia is parti. and nothing but prophetic assurancularly well qualified to detect the ces could bring the attainment of errors to be found in the accounts of such a point within the verge of travellers from the north of Europe possibility. in the southern countries. Thus, Suppose some ingenious enquirer, my friend informed me, that the in the seventeenth century, had methermometer at Madras was almost ditated the possibility of a man's stationary, throughout the year, be. rising from the surface of the earth tween 80 and 85 degrees, but this to the height of two or three thouis not thought a degree of heat so sand feet, and passing, at this height, formidable by us, and the merchant, with confidence and safety, over land the artizan, and the ploughman are or water, at the rate of twenty or not deterred by it from vigorously thirty miles an hour, Would it be pursuing their several occupations possible to suggest to his mind any

Listen to the account given us, by project more chimerical than this ;
Denon and Wilson, of the heat, the any achievement more beyond the
vermin, and the dust of Cairo. known powers of the human species?
How will the Philadelphian reader Can we, at the present time, ima-
shudder at the thought of encoun- gine any future extension of human
tering this host of evils! But these powers more fantastic and incredi-
terrors will probably subside, when ble than such a project would ap-
he listens to Volney's description of pear to the minds of the inquisitive
his native city. What a revolution of a former age?
in his feelings, when Volney informs This supposed enquirer would na.
him, that the climate of Cairo is far turally form some notion of the
more equable, lenient, and agree- means by which these aerial voy.
able, than that of Philadelpha, and ages were to be made. Birds, buoy-
such as he would greatly prefer for ed up by feathers, would of course
his own residence!

occur to him as furnishing the hint
or pattern for such a magnificent

improvement. Mercury, with For the Literary Magazine. wings at his heels; Dædalus, with

pinions at his shoulders ; a griffin, THE BALLOON AND TELEGRAPH. with plumes at his sides, would rush

pell mell into his fancy, and all his WHEN great changes or disco- crude ideas of the future voyager veries are effected, men find it diffi- would have, for an inseparable in

gredient, an apparatus of wings, and he can overlook all that is going forthe motion, with whatever circum- ward in a field where Blanchard or stances blended, would suggest to Lunardi are preparing for an ascent. him unalterably the image of a man He sees the boal previously describflying

ed connected by cords with a piece If his friend were to dwell upon of silk or canvas above it. He sees, the constitution of the human body, upon the ground, vessels of earth or and while he admitted the possibility iron, and, perhaps, discovers some of forming wings sufficiently large, connection between these vessels flexible, and manageable to lift that and the aforesaid canvas. Presently body from the earth, should point out the canvas proves to be a large the impossibility of raising a man by empty bag, which gradually exthe hips or shoulders for any time, and pands into the shape of a globe, the to any considerable height, without contents of which are invisible to pain and dislocation, the other might him and incomprehensible, for the confess the truth of the representa- persons busy about it are not pertion ; but he would add, And yet, if ceived to do any thing by which this man be ever enabled to move about change in its shape can be by him in the air, it can only be by some accounted for. In due time this unsuch means.

substantial globe rising from the Should his communicative angel earth, carries up the boat or car go somewhat further, and inform beneath, manned by half a dozen him that man should be enabled, not persons. What wild astonishment only to rise in the air, but that this would all this excite in the Bacons should be effected without any ap- or Newtons of a former age ! how pendage whatever to his personi ; much like a fantastic dream would without any stress upon his limbs; it appear ! that he should ascend standing at Suppose the astonished sage to be ease upon a car or stage large conducted from the summit of the large enough to contain instruments tower to the bottom, and to find seand provisions for a voyage of seve. veral persons there anxiously waitral days, his belief would receive a ing for intelligence from the seastill more violent shock. To per- coast, of which the nearest part is form the feat at all would be suffi- one hundred miles distant. A per. ciently surprising; now much more son present, at length, ascends to the so to perform it in such a manner ! top of the tower, and, instantly re

Should his supernatural instructor turning, brings back word that an direct his attention to a light vessel enemy has landed on the coast ten floating in the tide, and tell him that minutes before ; that this intellithe boat in which his posterity should gence was received from town sisail through the air would be simi- tuated on the coast, and, though lar, in structure and materials, to conveyed to him, is entirely unknown that; and that it should rest and to every one in the intermediate more about, in the same manner, on country. We may safely aver, that the aerial wave, occupied by several all the ingenuity of Newton or Bapersons, he would be still at a loss to con could not discover how this was conceive by what means beams and effected. The fleet of the invaders boards of cedar or pine would be could not be seen with the eye, aided endued with a faculty of rising from or unaided, of one stationed upon the the surface.

top of the tower. No trumpet or An actual exhibition of the ascent cannon assailed the ear, so that it of a balloon would only thicken the could not be conveyed through that mystery, and plunge him deeper in- medium. It was day time, and no to wonder. To imagine his obliging fires were kindled on the tops of devil (a kinsman, we will suppose, neighbouring mountains. On the of Le Sage's) has carried him to the contrary, he is told that the inforsummit of suine tower, from whence mation was written down in words

upon the coast itself; that he had countenance, and share the disgrace just read the eighth or tenth copy amongst us. or transcript of the words ; and that If Russia ever succeeds in her no further time was required to con- enterprises, and can get once fairly vey the intelligence than was re into the Mediterranean, she may quired to write down, ten times, the show us how to treat these piratical words, “ The enemy is arrived, and states; for she has the only troops is now landing." These words be sufficiently acquainted with such ing written in a language totally un- enemies, and she will probably be known to all the transcribers, they wise enough to keep up that knoware therefore the instruments of ledge by frequent wars. Any other conveying information to others power, who may have occasion to which they cannot comprehend attack them, would perhaps do well themselves.

to borrow a Russian general, and In this light would probably be some other of their officers. received the two great discoveries or Tobeconquered by a civilized and inventions of the present age, the generous nation would be a happy balloon and telegraph, by those who event for these poor Africans. They lived before they were thought of. have hitherto so long been saved And yet we are wholly unaffected from it: we can hardly tell how, or by these circumstances, because we why, when we consider the enterhave witnessed the gradual progress prising spirit of modern Europe. It of the revolution. The wonders of has probably been owing to our exthe balloon and telegraph are as or- hausting wars with each other, and dinary and familiar to our appre- to those apparently greater objects hension as those of the lighting of a of the western and eastern worlds, farthing candle. To change the in the search of gold. But it may substance of fat and yarn into that justly be doubted, if those objects be marvellous substance light, is a pro- greater. These northern parts of cess which every stupid clown finds Africa are capable of all sorts of abundantly easy, and yet it is a useful productions, of more value transformation of all others the most than gold, and nearer home. surprising and unexpected to a mind These regions have often been diş not previously conversant with it. rectly invaded, but always unsuc

cessfully, for reasons very obvious. They can only be subdued from the east or west. The conqueror must

previously acquire Egypt or EuroFor the Literary Magazine. pean Turkey, and then the downfall

of Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers may REFLECTIONS ON THE BARBARY be easily and

safely effected. Had the French succeeded in

their late attack upon Egypt, Bar. From a letter written at Tunis. bary would quickly have become a

province of their empire. France, I NEED not inform you that no indeed, from the progress of its pomodern nation has yet found the pulation and ambition, and from besecret of making either war or ing shut out, by its naval rivals, peace with these freebooters, to from diffusing its superfluous numa any advantage proportioned to the bers, and indulging its colonizing difference of science and discipline. spirit, in Asia and America, will It is amazing, even to themselves, naturally turn her attention to these to see the nations of Europe, with parts of Africa. England will hardly all their superiorities, become so be able always to suppress these vi. submissive and tributary to them. gorous efforts, or perhaps a merely We seem to keep each other in emulous or precautionary spirit may

POWERS.

VOL. III. NO. XXI.

ras;

establish the English here, as it car- industry. Enigmas and acrostics riel them, for a little while, to abound in our own language, and Egypt and Ceylon, and may still overflow the pages of magazines carry them to Brazil and Perú. and diaries; but what are now ma

There is no apparent revolution nufactured only by boys and girls, arising in the horizon of future pro were deemed the choicest products bability, of more importance to this of learning and diligence in the thirpart of the world, and to the im- teenth and fourteenth centuries. I provement of mankind, in that of have been astonished at the number their commefüt, population, arts, of enigmas, in particular, which are and industry. The practicability to be found in antiquated folios, A and utility of such measures may be riddle in the Latin language, how="" perceived from the history of Car. ever uncommon in the present times, thage, of Rome, and of Portugal. was formerly a favourite and almost These countries have always re- universal form of composition, when ceived colonies, and have been im no language but Latin was thoughtproved by them. It is of consequence worthy to be written. The follow. that they should come from the most ing, on Sleep, is a tolerable speciimproved nations. Mahomedan con men of these enigmas:, quest from Asia having spread itself along this fine African coast, and Sponte mea veniens varias ostendo figu. its being left there so long to degenerate, and then to intest and Fingo metus vanos nullo discrimine veri; plague the rest of the world, is a

Sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina great shame to polished Europe,

claudit. But she must probably, in time, recover and assert her natural supe. What at present is known by the riority here too, as the Mahomedan name of charade, and which some power of itself declines.

may probably think a modern in. vention, has been familiar to monastic wits these five hundred years.

There are few words in the Latin For the Literary Magazine.

language which have not been care-, fully dissected, and a riddle extracted, not only from the whole, but

from each of its component parts, SINCE the days of the

Spectator; had a meaning. The fruit of this

when these parts, separately taken, it has been fashionable, among cri-, tics, to laugh at those wits who disc ingenious operation is dignified with play their ingenuity, not in weaving

the sonorous name of griphus, or a tissue or thread of striking and logogriphus. Among numberless brilliant thoughts, but of effecting examples of the griplius, take the strange and diflicult combinations, following, built upon the word muscontrasts, or coincidences among dismembered into mus, musca, mus

catum, a nutmeg; which may be mere sounds. These wonders were

tium. regarded in ancient times in a very serious light, and the practice of Si caput est, currit; ventrem conjunge, this solumn trifling occupied tlie se.

volabit; cluded hours of the studious and Adde pedem, comedes ; et sine ventre, learned, to a degree which at pre-, bibes. sent appears incredible.

I have just been amusing myself But the most fertile of all these with a collection of these flowers, contrivances is the anagram. This gleaned from an immense number, consists in taking the letters of a which, at different times, have given word, and forming new words sprung from monastic leisure and out of them, by dropping some of

VERBAL WONDERS IN LATIN.

them, or by changing their order. in putting these numbers together, The way in which this kind of in- some marvellous coincidence is disgenuity, or rather labour, is design- covered. This species has been ed to affect us, is by contrast or si- learnedly denominated eteostichon militude. Thus that literary pio- or chronostichon. neer, John Alstedius (or Alsted), So much regard did the chronoshas given us a happy specimen of tichon formerly attain, that the resthe characteristic anagram, in mo

toration of Charles II, 1660, was delling the letters of his name into commemorated by a medal with the word Sedulitas. This brilliant this inscription : discovery gave birth to the following lines, which the Clarissimus Alste. CeDant arMa oLeæ paX regna serenat dius chose for his motto.

et agros.

Ut possis, mea mens, doctis que deoque One of the grandest and most veplacere,

nerable efforts of this kind of inge. Sit pia sedulitas; sedula sit pietas. nuity displays itself in the acrostic.

Examples of this occur in the arThus, also, another patient genius guments of Plautus' comedies, and took the letters of the words, Ru- in many other classical productions. dolphus secundus de Austria impe. In more recent times volumes might rator, and combining these dispecta be filled with the acrostics that have membra anew, produced the follow- built upon the names Jesus and ing:

Christ only. The latter, if we be

lieve St. Austin and Eusebius, is Ardoris vacuus, tu de splendore trium. found, in this shape, in certain syphas.

billine verses, whose authenticity it

would be heresy to question. The There is another species of the following is a famous acrostic on anagram, which consists in taking, the name of Jesus, and its complexfrom a given word, those of its let. ity and ingenuity certainly lay claim ters which denote numbers, and to some praise :

I nter cuncta micans Igniti sidera cæl I
E xpellit tenebras E toto phæbus ut orb E
Sic cæcos removet JE. S US caliginis umbra s
V ivicans que simul V ero præcordia mot U
Solem justitiæ

S ese probat esse beati S The echo is a mode of filling up a the palindromus, which is the apsentence significantly, by repeating pellation given to a verse, the words, the last syllable or syllables of a syllables, or letters of which may be question or sentence. Butler, in his read backward without a total de. Hudibras, gives us an amusing ex. struction of sense or of harmony. ample of this conceit. The follow Thus some minute critic has dising is a specimen in Latin, in which, covered that the words in the folparticularly the first and last lines, lowing line of Virgil, there is a good deal of shrewdness :

Musa mihi causas memora, quo numine Dic an dives ero, si carmina scripsero? læso,

Sero. Ipse ait hoc? Ait hoc. Cur ita clamat? may be read backward without any Amat.

variation of numbers or sense, thus: Vere novo sponsum me fore reris? eris. Quæ res difficiles sunt in amore? More. Læso numine quo memora, causas mihi

The greatest subtlety, however, is displayed by those who work at Philelphus presented the follow

musa.

« PreviousContinue »