Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion goes, no where to be found, but that depression of spirits, and those in these two passages. If you read hypocondriac affections, which are the whole chapter, from which the always produced by this morbid hulines above are taken, and the pe- mour; and exemplifies his doctrine Iusal will abundantly repay your by one of the simplest and most tritrouble, you will find throughout a vial modes, which can possibly be great similarity of thought between conceived. the Philosopher and the Preacher.

Fling but a stone. In the short passage immediately Vou will not discover in this before us, the Preacher appears to have given more of pathos to the

plain sentence any great effort of subject, by a judicious amplification

imagination, any rich colouring of illustrating the general sentiment

expression, any thing either of noby specific instances, very happily

velty or beauty. But when to this chosen to affect the feelings.

so common an action is added the Dr. Ogden was undoubtedly well

unexpected image, under which is versed in all the works of Xenophon.

conveyed the promised benefit, May we not therefore suppose, . The giant dies. without any derogation from his all the circumstances attending an merit, that, while he was composing interesting history, which we have this admirable sermon, his thoughts been accustomed to read from our might take their colour from the childhood, and to think important tints, collected upon his mind by from an early reverence for the frequent communication with this writings, in which it is contained, fine writer ?

are at once recalled to the mind; Whatever may be your opinion and give to the passage a life and on this point, you will not, I am per- spirit beyond what the greatest suaded, regret my having called refinement of thought, with all the your attention to an old acquaint- embellishments of language, could ance, nor think your time misem- ever have produced. ployed in comparing the works of two such authors as Xenophon and Fling but a stone, the giant dies. Dr. Ogden; from either of whom Of the same class with this I have you cannot fail, as you read, of re. always considered that fine imageceiving the highest gratification. ry, under which Mr. Gray repre

I could amuse myself, if I thought sents the indications of genius, supit would be equally amusing to you, posed to discover themselves in the with tracing these literary resem: infancy of our immortal Shakspeare blances still further. But I rather ....the early promise of his future wish you now to consider with me greatness. On the awful appearanother species of imitation, if it ance of NATURE, who comes in a may be so called; "the manage majestic form to invest her darling inent of which,” Dr. Hurd says, with the happily-fancied ensigns of “is to be regarded, perhaps, as one that high office, which he was desof the nicest offices of Invention;" tined afterwards to fill with such I mean, the allusions often made by astonishing powers, the first writers to old rites and ce

......the dauntless child remonies, or to prominent circumstances in ancient or modern his

Strech'd forth his little bands and

snilld. tory.

Dr. Hurd somewhere notices a Did you ever contemplate the beautiful specimen of this delicate animated figure of this dauntless allusion in a poem, called the Spleen, child without recurring, at the same by Mr.Green, of the Custom-house. time, in your mind, to the fabulous The Poet is recommending exer- description of Hercules in the cracise, as a sovereign remedy against dle, grasping in his infant hands

Hie serpents, and throwing them næ commutationem, quæ vix intelplayfully at the feet of his father ? ligi potest sine magno sonitu ac fra.

gore. Stridor enim sonitum ac Hro aé' as adort' EDITITOION strepitum significat, non clamoHpayana

rem."

Thus do they go blundering on, Θηρε δυω χέρεσσιν απρεξ ΑΠΑΔΑΙΣΙΝ

rendering “confusion worse conέχοντα

founded,” not attempting, any of Συμπληγδην, ιαχήσαν' οδ' ες πατες' them, to describe the unusual figure Αμφιτρύωνα

which Fortune is here made to asΕρπετα δεικαναεσχη, επαλλετο δ' υψ sume. Had they attended a little efe xulipwy.

more to this circumstance, it would Theoc. Idyl. xxiv. perhaps saved them much of the

trouble, in which they have involvIn these examples every thing is ed both themselves and their readplain and obvious. The propriety ers. and aptitude of the allusions are Bene, says a modern Editor, in seen at once. But it has often oc- general an acute and sagacious incurred to me, that we lose many terpreter of his author, Baxter, beauties in the ancient poets from

cum stridore acuto, cum ante posu

cum stridor not knowing the facts, to which erit rapax, adinstar scilicet procel. probably, frequent allusions are losi turbinis. made, to us, at this distance of time

This roar of storm and thunder totally inexplicable.

seems also to have rumbled in the I have been led into this train of ears of M. Dacier; though, when thought by an obscure passage in one on second thoughts

on second thoughts he explains strin of the Odes of Horace; which has dore acuto by the sounds made by created no small perplexity amongst

st the wings of Fortune, he seems to the scholiasts and commentators,

have caught a glimpse of the real such of them I mean, as have ven

image, which the Poet had in his tured to remark upon it; for some eye, that of a soaring eagle; as of the first order, as Bentley, Ges

will appear from an extraordinary ner, and others, with a reserve not occurrence related by the historian. very unusual where real difficulties

I will beg leave to transcribe the occur, have kept a wary silence.

passage.

“ Ei (Lucumoni) carpento se. .....Hinc apicem rapax

denti cum uxore, AQUILA suspenFortuna cum stridore acuto ..

sis demissa leniter alis pileum aufert Sustulit, hic posuisse gaudet. superq. carpentum cum magno CARM. LIB. 1. 0. 54. clangore volitans rursus, velut mi

nisterio divinitus missa, capiti apte. It may not be unamusing to ob- reponit ; inde sublinis abiit. Acserve for a moment, how these cepisse id augurium læta dicitur learned Critics puzzle themselves Tanaquil, perita, ut vulgo Etiusci, in endeavouring to explain what, by celestium prodigiorum mulier. Extheir aukward attempts, they very celsa et alta sperare complexa viplainly shew that they did not at all rum jubet. Eam alitein ea regi. understand.

one cæli, et ejus Dei nunciam ve. One gravely interprets the term nissc. Circa summum culmen hoe rapar by mutabilis, acuto by luctu- minis auspicium fecisse. Levasse 080.

humano superpositum capiti decus, Another, by an exposition still ut eidem divinitus reddcret." Lir. more extrardinary, renders rupar lib. i. c. 34. sustulit by clam sustulit.

Wonders and frodigies ever ata A third, with great importance, tend the remoter periods of great on the words cum stridore acuto, states and kingdoms. They never « his verbis puto significari Fortu- fail to be recorded in their earlier annals; are superstitiously deliver- rubbish thrown over it, from time ed down from father to son, and to time, by professed critics and lareceived with an easy and willing borious annotators. Reposing secredence amongst the populace. Of curely on this assurance, for the this description is the tale of LUCU- present I will bid you mo and the EAGLE; which I doubt spine of the scapula differs essen- covered with a shell or crust of tially from all other animals. And, enamel, which is merely external, independently of any other variation and exists as well in the cavities as in form, all the bones of the limbs in on the ridges; which is not the case particular, are astonishingly thick with other teeth. This enamel is and strong.

Adieu. not was as familiar amongst the Romans, as well-known, and as of ten repeated, as with us the legends of King Arthur, and the Knights of A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE MAMthe Round Table, Guy Earl of

MOTH. Warwick, St. George and the Dra. gon, &c.

By Mr. Rembrandt Peale. Thus it appears, that the Poet, when he attributed so uncommon a THE Mammoth is so called from figure to Fortune, with so singular the Russian name, supposed to have a mode of action, alluded to a popu- been derived from the Hebrew lar story in every body's mouth. Behemoth, Job, chap. xl. It is proThe allusion, of course, was imme- perly continued, both words being diately acknowledged by the reader expressive of a large and extraordi. and felt in all its force.

nary animal. By the light hence thrown on the For a number of years past many subject, whatever there was of ob- large and extraordinary bones and scurity has vanished, all difficulties teeth have been discovered both in are done away, every expression Siberia and America which at first resumes its usual and proper signi- were generally attributed to the fication, and the sentence becomes elephant,* except some very large clear and luminous.

teeth of the carnivorous kind totally The term rapax is not, you see, different from those of any animal to be understood as epithetical to known. Fortuna, but to be taken, as adjec- In Siberia they were attributed tives are often used by the poets, to the mammoth, whose fabulous adverbially, and joined in construc- existence they supposed to be under tion with the verb sustulit. Rapar ground, and of which Isbrand Ides sustulit, i, e, rapaciter sustulit, ra- pretends to give a description. In puit.

North-America these large bones By the expression stridore acuto, and carnivorous grinders have been the great stumbling-block of the found in great abundance on the commentators, are plainly signified, Ohio and its tributary streams, as intimated by a vague conjecture washed from their banks, or discoof the learned Frenchman, the vered by digging in salt morasses sounds made by the eagle clapping in the neighbourhood of Cincinnati; its wings, and screaming in its where they are found intermixed flight; which the historian expres- with the bones of buffaloes and deer, ses by the words magno clangore. which a tradition of the Indians

I will not fatigue you by dragging states to have been destroyed by a ycu further through these dry and tiresume disquisitions into the nice. " Naturalists were led to this idea ties of grammatical arrangement, in consequence of finding, in a few which, I suspect, are not much to instances in America, but frequently your taste. You will not however in Siberia, sorte large graminivorous think that labour in vain, which teeth, which probably belonged to an tends in any way to clucidate the

Pluscitare the animal of the elephant kind, though sense of a favourite author, and to

certainly of different species from any

known: these teeth are remarkable draw forih into more open view a for size, and in the number of lamellatent beauty, which has so long fored veins of enamel which pervade lain buried under the accumulated them.

herd of these animals which came that of the elephant, vet on examiupon them from the north. This nation even the general figure is event happened, the Indians believe, found to be considerably different; as a punishment for their sins; but principally in the effect of the tusks, they say the good spirit at length structure of the head, prominence interposed to save them, and, seats and pointedness of the back over ing himself on a neighbouring rock, the shoulders, its great descent where they show you the print of thence to the hips, together with his seat and of one foot, huried his the comparative smalliess of the thunderbolts among them. All were body and the necessarily detached killed except one male, who, pre- eifect of the hind-legs....proofs of senting his forehead to the shuts, greater activity than in the cleshook them off, until, at length phant. On a closer examination, wounded, he spruns over the Wa- thecharacteristic featuresaregreitbash, the Illinois, and the Great ly multiplied; and with respect to Lake, where he still lives.

the hind-legs, the idea of activity is These bones were forwarded confirmed from the structure of the with great eagerness to all parts thigh-bones, which are extremely of Europe, and deposited in muse- broad and fat, and well adapted for ums, where they attracted the curi- great exertions of strength, berond osity of all naturalists, whose con- that of the elephant, whese thighjectures and theories on them were bones are not flat, but round. This very various, until Dr. Hunter, by effect of strength likewise prevails a more accurate comparison be in the ribs, which are of a very tween them and the bones of other unusual structure, being bent edgeanimals, determined that they must wise and having their greatest thickhave belonged to a large non- ness at top, gradually becoming alescript animal of the carnivorous smaller towards their junction with kind, somewhat resembling the hip- tie cartilage; whereas in the elepopotamus and the elephant, yet phant they are bent ikatwise, like essentially different from both. those of the ox, and are narrow at

The subject is now completely top and broad at the lower ends. elucidated. Not long since some This peculiarity in the ribs of the farmers in the state of New York, mammoth is worthy of particular digging marle from their morasses notice, not only on account of the in the neighbourhood of New-Wind- unusual position of strength, but sor, accidentally discovered several because, from their clistance between of these bones, which were preserved each other, they show the animal to by physicians in the neighbourhood. have had considerable flexibility in In the autumn of 1801, my father its body ; to which the breadth and Charles W. Peale and myself, hav- proximity in the ribs of the elephant ing obtained possession of these as well as the ox, are a certain imbones, persevered for nearly three pertiment. Besides, as I observed months, at the expense of much before, the body is comparatively time, labour, and money, in a search smaller, in consequence of the small for the remainder of the aniinal; length of the ribs, and were fortunate enough to obtain The spines of the back over the two skeletons, found in two distinct shoulders are of an unusual magnisituations, and unmixed with bones tude, which gives the appearance of of any other individual whatever: a hump, like the bison, and are calone of these is preserved in the culatcil to give power and motion to museum at Philadelphia, and the the head. Those in the elephant other is now exhibiting in the old are not so large over the shoulders, academy-room, Pall-Mall, previous- but much more so all the way to the ly to its being taken to Paris. sacruin : consequently his back is

The skeleton of the mammoth more arched. The proportionate bears some general resemblance to length of the processes froin tine

VOL. 1....NO. IV.

[ocr errors]

required in the cavities, because the We now come to the head, where teeth interlock with each other, the the most striking features of this prominences striking into the cavianimal are to be found ; and since ties. between the corresponding parts of An uniform composition of tooth, all animals there is a general ana- as it respects the intermixture of logy, it is the province of compara- enamel and bone, is observed to tive anatomy not only to trace out prevail in those of the elephant, the points of distinction, but, since horse, ox, &c. principally differing they originate from certain fixed from each other in the figure which principles, in the discrimination of those veins of enamel assume, and variations, to confirm their proprie- by which alone they may be discrity by an examination of the princi- minated among themselves. On the ples on which they are founded. other hand, carnivorous teeth, in

Although it is sufficiently evident crusted with enamel as far as the to those who are accumstomed to gums, yet vary in the form and num. this kind of investigaticn, from the ber of their protuberances, so as observation of a few facts, that this generally to designate their species: animal must have been carnivorous; yet among them there is a very proyet to others it is necessary to intro- per distinction to be observed, which duce every proof and conclusive is, that those carnivorous animals, evidence. Many persons, from a the form of whose teeth and the false impression, believe that teeth attachment of whose jaws allow are determined to be carnivorous them the side or grinding motion, merely from their having a rugged are always of the mixt kind. Man, surface: with this opinion they very the monkey, hog, &c. are carnivo. properly ask, “ May not the vege rous animals, because their teeth table food be of a coarser quality ?” are incrusted with enamel, and beIt is true that the surface is roughest cause they do eat flesh; yet they are on those graminivorcus teeth which adapted for other food, by the rota. are employed in the mastication of toiy motion of their jaws and the the coarsest vegetable substances, form of their teeth : this rotatory not only because such roughness is motion does not exist in the jaws of requisite, but because the teeth are those animals which live entirely rendered so from the quality of the upon flesh; for they are attached by food, the bony interstices wearing an oblong head or process inserted down more easily than the ridges of into a transverse groove, and conenamel, which operate as the rough- sequently have no other motion than ness in a mill-stone. It is not there- up and down. In graminivorous fore from this species of roughness animals the under jaw is attached that we presume on so important a by means of a considerably round determination: the roughness exist- head (condyloid process to a proing on the surface of carnivorous minence of flat surface, so that they teeth is of another nature, much rotate ; and, to favour this motion, more strongly marked, and far from the coronoid process is generally being rendered so by usage : the thicker and not so long as the conmore they are used, the more even dyloid ; whereas in carnivorous do they become. The tooth of a gra- animals the coronoid process is exminivorous animal is composed of tremely flat and long, being never alternate veins of enamel and bone, acted on except lengthwise. which thus pervade the whole mass But it must not even be supposed ....those of carnivorous animals are that an an'm may be of the mixt

« PreviousContinue »