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thing but indisputable testimony could compel us to believe. Christians and preachers of this description, may, however, be best qualified to answer the apostle's inquiry, "What fellowship has light with darkness, or Christ with Belial ?”
The author, lastly, considers the stage merely as an amusement; and he shews that it is not a suitable recreation, either to relieve the mind from severe attention, or to recruit the animal spirits by a suspension of bodily labour. If there be any benefit derived from plays, it is obtained, for the greater part, not merely at expense and risk of property, but with serious inconvenience ; and not only with the sacrifice of a large portion of time, but always at the hazard of health, and often at that of limbs and of lives. The dreadful catastrophe at the Haymarket theatre is always liable to be repeated ; and from the still more awful eilects of conflagration, the playhouse can neither afford any certain security, nor a possibility of escape. What a place is the theatre for an entrance ou eternity !--for a departure to the tribunal of God!
Amusement of any kind can only be rationally pursued, as a needful relaxation from useful exertions; and it can only be beneficial, as it fits the mind and the body for resuming them. The stage produces directly opposite effects. As a medium of instruction, it is fallacious and ruinous: what it teaches as virtues, are really splendida peccata, brilliant sins ; what it exposes as pardonable follies, are vices that should be removed from public view. A theatre always has been, always must be, the anti-chamber to a brothel : and it is only on principles equally iniquitous with those on which public brothels are licensed in many countries, that play-houses are sanctioned in ours. In proportion to their number and their magnitude, national de pravity is at once evinced and promoted. While we lament that we have any, we rejoice that, compared with our Gallic neighbours, we have so few.
Mr. Styles is intitled to our acknowledgements, for his well-meant, and generally well-executed perforinance. As a composition, we think that its arrangement might have been more logical, and that its language, in a few instances, requires correction.
We would caution him against repeating the same ideas in different terms, using a needless multiplicity of epithets, and falling into a confusion of metaphors. It is only in the early part of his volume, that we have observed these slefects: they vanish as he pursues his argument, and may easily be removed from another edition of his work. We cordially recommend it, as exhibiting a subject of much practical importance, in a variety of convincing and impressive views.
lle would suggest, in closing our remarks, that no one ever can attend at a play-house, without promoting the damage of the community at large, as well as exposing himself, and bis more immediate connexions, in some measure, to the evils which we have described. Every visitor of theatrical exhibitions, at every season of his attendance, contributes to the support, encouragement, and sanction, of an institution, which is necessarily ruinous to public morals, and has proved fatal to the domestic peace, and the private welfare, of numberless individuals. To this “ path of the wicked” we may emphatically refer the wise man's exhortation : “ Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away !” Art. XI. A Tour through some of the Islands of Orkney and Shetland,
with a View chiefly to Objects of Natural History, &c. "By Patrick Neill, A. M. 8vo. pp. 250. Price 5s. Constable and Co. Edinburgh,
Murray, 1806. OUR author, who is secretary, to the Society of Natural
History at Edinburgh, embarked at Leith in July, 1804, in company with Sir Alexander Seton and some other gentlemen, on a northern party of pleasure; and arrived at Kirkwall, in the Orkneys, in three days. They visited Shapinsa, Stronsa, Sanda, Eda, Westra, Rousay, and Hoy; and after a stay of five weeks, proceeded to Lerwick, the principal town in the Isles of Sheiland. Thence they visited the islands of Brassay, Unst, Yell, Uyea, and Noss; but finding the season too far advanced to examine other parts of the Groupe, (in which they spent only eleven days) they returned southward; and Mr. N. published, (in several numbers of the Scots Magazine) a Journal of his hasty excursioni, accompanied with occasional remarks on the state of the inhabitants of the two groupes, their husbandry, and fisheries; partly from his own observation, but (as must especially be supposed of the more northern) mostly from information which he obtained from residents on the islands. His animadversions bearing rather hard on some of the Shetland Lairds, already smarting under repeated strokes from the lash of former writers, a paper war commenced. Of its progress, we have here the bulletins from Mr. Neill's head-quarters; but on these we shall not pretend to decide, without hearing the opposite party; as it is probable, that in this question, as in many others, much may be said on both sides.
To begin with the Orkneys ;-on which we need not enlarge, having reviewed Dr. Barry's history of those islands, in our second volume. The only novelty that strikes us at Kirkwall, relates to a circumstance which is noticed p. 100 of that volume. • Among the public buildings of Kirkwall, we must not forget to rank the New Church, a large meeting-house, so called, belonging to the class of Antiburgher Seceders. It is a spacious church ; and the preacher, (Mr. Bradford) being popular, the audience seldom falls short of a thousand. p.9.
On the Kelp manufacture, among other observations, the following occur.
• Before leaving Stronsa, we paid a visit to Whitehall, formerly the seat of Mr. James Fea, the gentleman who, as we were informed, first introduced the manufacture of kelp into Orkney. Mr. Fea went to England in person with the first cargo, and sold it at Newcastle. This was in the year 1722. It is proper, however, to remark, that the possibility of making kelp in Orkney was known near thirty years before that period ; for Dr. James Wallace, in his account of Orkney, dated in 1693, thus writes : “ There is plenty of that tangle growing on the rocks, of << which, in other places, is made kelp for making of soap.” p. 28. * At the holm of Rouskholm, Capt. Richan,
the proprietor, has erected several reverberatory furnaces after the plan of Col. Fullarton's in Ayr, shire, for drying and burning the great tangle, or red-ware during winter, both what is tossed ashore by storms, and what is cut by his tenants at ebb-tide in moderate weather. The kelp manufactured in these furnaces is purer than the common kelp, and sells for a proporticnably higher price. The want of coals is a discouraging circumstance, which will probably prevent the general employment of these furnaces in Orkney,– peatfuel being thought not to answer well : by perseverance, however, the operators would doubtless acquire greater dexterity in using the peat-fuel.
In Orkney, every consideration is sacrificed to kelp. Agriculture is now very much and very generally neglected. Less grain is raised than was raised thirty years ago. Should a cheap process for extracting the soda from sea-water happen to be discovered, or should the market for kelp, on any other account, unexpectedly fail, the landholders of Orkney will find, when too late, the great imprudence of thus neglecting the cul. tivation and improvement of their lands.
• Kelp-making also occasions the almost total neglect of the fisheries. From the island of Stronsa we one day observed twenty or thirty whales, bounding and dashing along, at the distance only of a mile, or little more from the shore ; great flocks of gannets and other sea-fowls were also there : these appearances were certain indications of herring: yet no notice was taken of this shoal. Cod-fish and haddocks were at the same time abundant ; and when the poor natives did take some boat-loads of these, they had no salt to cure them; they merely dried them in the sun, without one particle of salt.' p. 32.
Mr. Neill's arrival in the northernmost cluster is thus announced.
• In the evening (Aug. 25) we passed North Ronaldsha light, which is very elevated; the tower rising, I believe, about seventy feet*. Early
* Of this light-house we do not perceive that Mr. N. takes any other notice. We presume it to be that to which we alluded, vol. ii. p. 92, (at the top).
in the morning I found that we were off Noness Head, in Shetland, having had a favourable breeze through the night. The general aspect of the country, as we coasted along towards Lerwick, was hilly, bleak, and steril. At 9, we anchored in brassay Sound; opposite to Lerwick. It being Sunday, the colours were displayed from Fort Charlotte, a fortress situated to the north of the town. We had scarcely landed, when some of the inhabitants asked of me, whether we were direct from Scotland ? a question that rather surprised me, as seeming to imply that the Shetland islands themselves did not constitute a part of that country. In Ler. wick there is only one established church, and there are no dissenters. The church appeared to be well attended, and the common people were in general very neatly dressed.
The town of Lerwick consists of one principal street next the quay, with several lanes branching off. No regularity has been observed, in former times, in the position of the houses, some of which project al. most quite across the street. The general appearance of the town has of late years been much improved by several handsome houses built in the modern style. The town is computed to contain about 1000 inhabi. tants. Fort Charlotte a great ornament to it. Several large cannon command the harbour and protect the town. This fortress is said to have been originally erected during the protectorate of Cromwell : it was completely repaired, by order of Government, in 1781, and named Fort Charlotte, after our gracious Queen. At present (1804), it is garrisoned by a part of the 6th Royal Garrison Battalion.' pp. 67, 68.
The following paragraph contains an anecdote, which is not, we believe, generally known.
« On the 28th of August we left Brassay Sound, in a large open boat for Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland islands. In passing out by the north entrance of the sound, the site of the Unicorn rock was pointed out to us ; but it was at this time covered by the sea. When Bothwell was driven to extremities, he, as is well known, commenced pirate. Kirkaldy of Grange, was sent in pursuit of him, in a vessel called the Uni
While Kirkaldy entered Brassay Sound by the south, Bothwell narrowly escaped by sailing out at the north entrance. Bothwell's pilots, it is said, had the cunning to sail very close by a sunk rock, with which they were familiar ; thus leading their pursuers, who, in the hurry of the chase, would naturally follow their track, to a hazard which actually proved fatal to them, and which ensured the escape of the unhappy fugitive. Since that day this rock has received the name of the Unicorn. This tradition is uniform and general, and may, I believe, be depend. ed on. pp. 72, 73.
The next, also, may assist historical elucidation. :. The remote situation of the Shetland Islands, and the little intercourse they have, especially during winter, with the mother country, frequently render the inhabitants strangers for many weeks to the greatest national occurrences. It has often been alleged that the Revolution in 1688 was not known in Shetland for six months after it happened. Thus Brand (Description of Zetland, 1701) says : “ The late Revolution, when his Highness the Prince of Orange, our present King, was pleased to come over to assert our liberties, and deliver us from our fears, falling out in the
winter, it was May thereafter before they heard any thing of it in Zetland ; and that, first, they say, from a fisherman, whom some would have had arraigned before them, and impeached of high treason because of his news.” But from an old letter in possession of Mr. Mowat of Garth, it is proved, that this common report is without foundation, or at least is greatly exaggerated : for it hence appears, that before the 15th of December 1688, the report of the Prince of Orange's landing in England had accidentally reached Unst, the most northerly of the islands,-though the fact of a Revolution having been effected, was not, probably, ascertained for some considerable time after, Having, with Mr. Mowat’s permission, copied part of this letter, I shall give the exact words : “ 15tii Dec. 1689...I can give no account of news, save only that the skipper of the wréckt ship confirms the forner report of the Prince of Orange his landing in England with an considerable number of men, but upen what pretence I cannot condishend. (Signed) And. Mowat.” (Addressed)
66 To the much honoured George Cheyne off Fslamonth." The Prince landed at Torbay on the 5th of November 1688.' pp. 76. 77.
The extinction of those dialects which most decisiriked our national origins, is interesting both to the philologist and the antiquarian, Mr. Daines Barrington explored, a tu years since, the dying embers of the Cornish language, which we apprehend to have been, at a remote period, generally diffused over England. Dr. Barry mentioned the Norwegian to be recently lost in Orkney. Mr. Neill adds,
• Upon careful inquiry we learned that the Norwegian language is now finally extinct in Unst, where it subsisted longer than in any of the other islands : for we were repeatedly assured, that, no farther back than thirty years ago, there were “ several old people that spoke the Norns,” i. e. the Norse, or Norwegian tongue.' p. 79.
It seems, from a paragraph, in which we have corrected an unfortunate transposition of names, that mice are not universal commoners in the British Islands. Uyea is a small island near that of Unst, the northernmost of the Groupe.
• It is curious that the common house-mouse has not yet found access to the island of Uyea. The bat is quite unknown. The untravelled natives of Unst had never seen either frogs or toads, and indeed had no idea of the appearance or nature of those animals.'
80. The following is Mr. N.'s account of Scalloway, formerly the capital town, and the occasional residence of the Earls of Orkney and Shetland.
• The castle stands on the brink of an arm of the sea, which being protected from the rage of the ocean by a number of little islands, Burra, Tondra, Oxna, Papa, and several holms, forms a safe natural harbour.
The town of Scalloway consists only of a few scattered houses in the neighbourhood of the castle. Only one of these is genteel or in the modern style: this is the house of Mr. Scott, of Scalloway. Around it is a neat garden, in which we observed several small fruit and timber trees, and different shrubę, all of which are case things in this part of the woild.