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indifferent or doubtful. The num- tain ages and intellects, the only ber of good novels, that is to say, books which they will read. If they novels that may be read with benefit were not thus employed, they would and pleasure by persons of good · be employed in a way still more trimor.Is and good taste, is very con- vial or pernicious. Pray, Crito, siderable. It is not true that the what do you think of the nitter? rest are particularly deficient in Why, my fair critic, you are a morality: The herd of romance warm and zealous advocate; and, writers, are, for the most part, goad- perhaps, defend your cause with a ed by necessity into authorship. little more eloquence than truth. I
They seldom bring to the trade more cannot but say, liowever, that my than a good education, and goud in- fancy has received more delight, tentions; and the deficiency is not my heart more humanity, and my in the moral purpose of the work, understanding more instruction from but in the taste and genius displayed a few novels I could name, than from in the execution. If there are many any other works; and that the merit insipid novels, it is because the whole of a score or two of these is, in my number is very great. The man of apprehension, so great, that they are taste easily discerns their defects, the first and principal objects to and lays them aside at the bottom which I would direct the curiosity of the first page. Boys and girls, of a child or pupil of mine. and men and woman whose judg. I think, however, you assert a ments are no better than those of little rashly, when you say that a boys and girls, read and relish them. profligate novel is an extreme novel. The food is suited to the palate, and ty. I could name half a dozon, they derive a pleasure from it which French and English, in a trice, that at least is innocent.
deserves this character; but all that The number of good novels, I re- your cause requires is, that there peat, is very large. It is not a task are a great many specimens of ficof such mighty difficulty, to distin- tion where merit is liable to no exguish them from the still greater ception; that there are the most Bumber which are trivial or insipid. popular and current works of the A list is easily formed, and those kind, and, consequently most likely who want a guide in the selection to fall into the hand of readers who may easily find one: and even the take up books at random: and that trivial and injudicious are not with- guides to a right choice are always out their use, since there are vast to be found. numbers whose judgment and education raise them just high enough to relish these meagre tales, and to whom sublimer fictions and austere I have heard very disastrous studies are totally unfit.
news to-day. A large part of thie They who prate about the influ- town of Norfolk has been destroyed ence of novels to unfit us for solid by fire, and property to the value and useful reading, are guilty of a of near two millions has been condouble error: for in the first place, sumed. The whole subsistence of a just and powerful picture of hu- some thousancis has been swallowed man life in which the connection up in a moment. They have been between vice and misery, and be- turned forth froin thcir dwelings at tween felicity and virtue is vividly aninstant's notice, in a winternight. pourtrayed, is the most solid and Their very cloaths, in many inuseful reading that a moral and stances, denied them: their furnia social being (exclusive of particular ture, their moveables involved in cases and professional engagements) clestruction, or lost, or stolen, or can read; and in the second place, shattered in remoral; and even the the most trivial and trite of these source of future subsistence cut cff performances are, to readers of cer. to many in the destruction of goods
VOL. I. NO. VI.
on the sale, or of houses on the rents, ness and infatuation. We build our of which they live.
houses of materials which a spark In the long and diversified history will consume, instead of such as fire of human folly, there are few things can take no hold off. Instead of more remarkable and more egre. brick, stone, tiles, and slate, which gious than the custom of building are so much more stable and durahouses of wood. It is almost impos- ble; which contribute so infinitely sible to count up the various evils more to quiet, comfort, and warmth, which flow from this practice. It and which not only give us absolute branches into such endless and in- security from fire, but supersede numerable channels that the most every troublesome precaution, and rigorous understanding would be lays to rest every tremor and inovertasked in reckoning or tracing quietude ; instead of these, we surthem.
round our beds with pine, oak, and The most obvious evils are those cedar; and commit our property and which arise from the sudden dis- our existence to the mercy of a rantruction of property, and the re- dom spark. duction to abject poverty of num In a city that could not take, or bers thrifty or affluent; but these, could not diffuse fire the tolling larum the direct consequences, are by no or the midnight outcry, would never means the only ones. The fear of be heard. Noassociations would be death, according to the proverb, is formed to extinguish fires, or indemworse than death itself; and the nify the sufferers: no engines would calamity of fire is little, compared thunder along the streets: and no with the terror of it, by which so sleep would be disquieted by appremany mindsare incessantly haunted. hensions. Neither negligence, nor Let us, likewise, reflect upon the ignorance, nor villainy would have injury which men incur in their it in their power to do this species health, in being summoned at unsea- of mischief: the easiest, most obsonable hours to a fire; perhaps at vious, and most practicable mischief the hours dedicated to repose, in the that can be committed. depth of winter. How many lives When the benefits of one sort, and have been shortened, and how many the disadvantages of the other sort have been incommoded while they of buildings, are so enormous and so lasted, by unseasonable exposure to manifest, what has induced manwet and cold.
kind, in all ages, to build with wood? And what a troublesome and ex- The superior cheapness of timber pensive apparatus does the dread of will not solve the riddle, because all fire give birth to. Here is a com- mankind are not obliged to consult plicated engine to build and pre- frugality, and small indeed is that serve: a house erected to cover it: number who abstain from luxuries officers appointed to drag it to the because necessaries are cheaper. scene of destruction, and to manage Man must have a roof to shelter it when there: eight or ten thousand him, and if he cannot build a stoncleather-buckets : long hocks, and house, he must have a wooden one; enormous ladders; one to pull down but I repeat the number is very a roof, and the other to scale it. large, of those who can afford to con
If all this devastation was indur- suit not only safety, comfort, and ed, all this danger and terror in, convenience, but even elegance in curred; without any fault of our own, their habitations, who yet cling as and all this cumbrous apparatus pro- obstinately to wooden walls, wooden vided, to obviate a natural evil: an floors, and wooden roofs, as if difevil which the nature of things ren- ferent materials were impossible to ders inseparable from human socie- be obtained. tr, they wond excite no admiration; But is timber in whole, or in part, but the truth is, that all these are cheaper than stone and brick? This the consequences of our own mad- question will depend on local cir
eumstances for its answer. In this spired to fill me with a mixed emo-
Let my lamp at midnight hour,
His foot with all the world of waves. I have been reading Smeaton's history of his light-louse at Eddis Smeaton anticipates the curiosity ton. There is a good deal in the of the reader as to the means of book to instruct the architect; but persuading people to reside on this not a little likewise to amuse and stormy and comfortless spot. A inspire the imagination. The situa- salary of about one hundred and tion of this tower rising directly from twenty dollars a year, is, however, the waves, and far distant from any an adequate inducement, and there land; in the midst of a sea remark- are some lightmen who have passed ably tempestuous, and beaten almost thirty years on this rock, without constantly by billows so enormous as suffering their wishes or persons to to throw their foam far above the stray from it more than a few weeks summit of the edifice, which, never- in the twelve months. As their contheless, is a very lofty one, is such tract is from month to month, they as to fire the fancy. The solitude may be justly deemed their own of this mansion, ascending amidst masters, and their stay here must the waste of waters, the seeming be accounted voluntary. Little can, frailty, yet real stability of its foun- indeed, be inferred from men's wildation, the drearty uniformity of lingness to stay here as to the pleathe surrounding scene,
sures of the residence, since our
motive to stay in one place is geneDark, illimitable, wastful, wild,
rally no other than the impossibility all conspire to feed and harmonize of changing it for a better; and we with melancholy and ferocious pas- may, according to the mood we are sions. The gloomily sublime, and in, indulge either our wonder at that the awfully magnificent are no where pliability of temper, and that force so amply and terribly unfolded as of habit which enable men to find in the appearance of Eddyston in a charms in a dwelling of this kind, storm.
or our compassion for that wretched I am the more interested by this lot, which cannot be improved by a description, because it has been my change of abode. fortune to view this beakon by day and by night. I had a view of it in the morning on my voyage out, and at midnight, in a gloomy sky, on my I have been reading a very amusreturn. The danger of too near an ing controversy in the public papers, approach to the rocks on which it which originated in a duel. I took stands; the recollection that this it into my head to read it to the tower was erected not to invite the cynical Lysander, forgetting, for a wanderer to its shelter, but to warn moment, his inveterate animosity him to keep off; the star-like bril- to duelling: liancy of the light at a distance, and Lysander is neither tall nor strong; its splendour and scemingly rapid but he is agile and vigorous in promotion when near, altogether con- portion to his size ; and can handle
a stick with a dexterity to which few likely to recollect their contents in are equal. He has always resorted the hour of revenge or despair. to this weapon in resenting insults, The legislature has come in aid of and conscious of his ability to defend the moralist, and denounced heavy himself, he laughs at challenges. penalties against duelling. He that Duelling is a subject of perpetual kills his antagonist in a duel, is declamation to him, and on which guilty of homicide; and the exchange his eloquence is never tired, and his of challenges is punishable with indignation never exhausted. On heavy fines; and yet challanges are this occasion he, as usual, broke out bandied to and fro, without ceremointo a philippic against honour, and ny or reserve, and men continually ran volubly over ail the usual topics shed each other's blood in phantasagainst it,' drawn from the impiety tic quarrels with absolute impunity. and immorality of revenge and from The very makers and distributers of the folly of seeking vengeance in law, are the first to enter the lists ; this way, supposing vengeance to be and the most violent and unquestiona reasonable or Christian passion. able breach of the duty of men, as
Lysander has declaimed all his moral, reasonable, and sociable belife on this subject without making ings, are daily observed with indifa single convert. All the moral and ference or approbation. religious writers of the age have Experience has, by this time, suftaken up arms in the same cause, ficiently proved, that duelling is and employed in the warfare all proof against argument and jest, manner of weapons. They have against religion and law; and those attacked duelling with argument who employ their time in framing and with jest, they have endeavour- laws and declamations against it, ed to convince the judgment by had better turn their attention to Sylogisms, to seduce the passions subjects on which men are capable by tales of terror and pity, and to of acting up to their convictions. gain over pride itself by loading honour and revenge with scorn and ridicule, and yet this universal conspiracy and strenuous combination For the Literary Magazine. against custom, has produced no effect. Custom, the godofthis world, AGRICULTURAL ESSAYS. has still as many votaries as ever, and will slacken and disappear, merely through the caprice and in Every Farmer who had a mind stabi ity of human nature. In no in the least degree inquisitive, must case is the tyranny of custom more be şratified by knowing something conspicuous than in this. Nobody of the general nature of plants, and pretends pablicly to justify; yet the history of vegetation: for such every body praciices the rules of the following explanation is intendhonour,
erl, for which I acknowledge myself I have met with a couple of quar to be chicfiy indebted to the Georgitoes,che upondvelling, and theotherca! Essays of the ingenious and upon suicicie. We are generally so learned doctor Hunter, of York, ia fully convinced by our owa reasons England. ings, that no doubt the writer of The seed of a plant, after it has thesc bulky volumes fondly imagin- dront írom its receptacle, may be ed that after their publicatio, duel- considered as an impregnated egg, ling and suicide would never more within which the embryo plant is be heard of; and yet, how small a securely lodged. In a few days after
the reading world ever it is committed to the earth, we may heard of these books; and those who viscern the rudiments of the future liare prevailed upon themselves to plant. Every part appears to exist travel through them, are not very in minature. The nutritive juices
of the soil insinuate themselves be- like form, and spread themselves tween the original particles of the in a horizontal direction, as being plant, and bring about an extension the best adapted to receive the rains of its parts. This is what is called and dews. the growth of the vegetable body. The radicle, or small root, every
Seeds have two coverings and two hour increasing in size and vigour, lobes, or distinct parts. These lobes pushes itself deeper into the earth, constitute the body of the grain, and from which it now draws some nuin the farinaceous kind, such as tritive particles. At the same time wheat, rye, oats, &c. they are the the leaves of the germe being of a flour of the grain. Innumerable succulent nature, assist tire plant by small vessels run through the sub- attr: cting from the atmosphere such stance of the lobes, which, uniting particles as their tender vessels are as they approach the seminal plant, fit to convey. These particles, howfrom a small chord to be inserted ever, have not in their cwn nature into the body of the germe or sprout. a sufficiency of nutriment for the Through it the nutriment supplied increasing plant. by the lobes is conveyed for the pre The young animal enjoys the servation and increase of the embryo milky humour of its parent. The plant.
vegetable lives upon a similar fluid, To illustrate the subject, let us, though diffirently supplied. For its with Dr. Hunter, take a view of use the farinaceous lobes are meltwhat happens to a bean after it has ed down into a milky juice, which, been committed to the earth. as long as it lasts, is conveyed to the
In a few days generally the exter- tender plant by means of innumeranal coverings open at one end, and ble small vessels, which are spread disclose to the naked eye part of the through the substance of the lobes; body of the grain. This substance and these vessels uniting into one consists of two lobes, between which common trunk, enter the body of the seminal plant is securely lodged. the germe. Without this supply of Soon after the opening of the mem- balmy liquor, the plant must inevi. brances, a sharp pointed body ap- tably have perished; its roots being pears. This is the root. By a kind then too smail to absorb a sufficiency of principle which seems to carry of food, and its body too weak to aswith it some appearance of instinct, similate it into nourishment. it seeks a passage downwards and A grain of wheat contains within fixes itself into the soil. At this two capsules, a considerable share period the root is a smooth and po. of flour, which, when melted down lished body, and perhaps has but into a liquor by the watery juices of little power to absorb any thing from the carth, constitute the nourishithe earth for the nutriment of the ment of the tender plant, until its germe.
roots are growia sufficiently large to The two lohes now began to sepa- absorb their ow food. Here is rate, and the germe, or sprout, with evidently a storehouse of nutriment. its leaves may plainly be discovered. And from that idea it is plain that As the germe increascs in size, the the plumpest grains are the most lobes are further separated; and the eligible for seed. tender leaves being closely joined For a more full illustration of this push themselves forward in the form interesting subject, I must recomof a welge.
mend the work from which this is The leaves take a contrary direc- *extracted to those who can procure tion to the root. Influenced by the it. sainc miraculous instinct, if we may be allowed the expression, they seck a passage upward, which having Mentioned in a conimencement obtained, they lay aside their wedge of tliis essay.