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DETRACTION.

"Our innocence is not our shield:

And death is often ambush'd in their smiles :

That the British government has incurred cessarily the same, unchanged by custom, a most awful responsibility in the sight of opinion, or apology ; and, as such, is reproGod, for the encouragement, protection, bated by truth and righteousness. There is and support it has given to popery, in both at least one evil, which at no point of obserEngland and Ireland, for the last century, vation can appear otherwise than execrableis a fact, the proof of which will, probably, none can admire it—no, not even the creaere long, be written in characters legible tures who are found in the constant practice enough to be read in its punishment from of it. However suitable it may be to their the same source, by men of fewer eyes than purposes, or agreeable to their nature, and your correspondent professes to enjoy. God with whatever degree of sophistry they may grant that many eyes, now blind to ap- manage for a while to cheat themselves into proaching events, may not be opened to an imaginary approval of it, yet even they conviction, only to be instantly closed in a can scarcely avoid hating themselves, as they violent death! I am, sir, yours, are hated, it is-DETRACTION !

S. TUCKER. It is not always easy to account for things Brookhouse, Lancashire, Feb. 28, 1832. of whose existence we are most conscious,

and with which we are most familiar. There are ten thousand phænomena which every

moment press upon our notice, concerning (By the Rev. J. Young.)

whose nature, the light of science and the

research of philosophy have not been able They take offence who have not been offended,

to furnish any satisfactory explanation. This They seek our ruin too, who speak us fair,

is precisely the case with the present subject.

Certain general principles may, indeed, be We know not whom we have to fear.”--Dr. Young.

laid down, upon which theoretical arguments The observation made by Dr. Johnson, in may be raised, or, without reasoning at all, his elegant life of Addison, of the propriety it may at once be declared to result from rather to say.“ nothing that is false, than all the general source of all evil,—the deprathat is true,” is worthy the serious attention vity of human nature; and although this is of every person who has any regard for his certainly correct, it furnishes not such a soown respectability, or for the welfare of lution to the moral enigma as an inquisitive others. Whether the Doctor was always mind might desire. governed by the invaluable precept which All, however, are not slaves to this de. he uttered, is not necessary to inquire ; but basing and destructive evil, and yet all are that far too few of our fellows are so, re- naturally depraved ; but as this essay is not quires not all the subtile powers of learning intended to be a metaphysical dissertation to prove to be sadly certain.

on the subject of Detraction, but a simple Every city furnishes its delinquents, and exposé of its nature and evils, in order to every little market-town has its violators of induce a desire after a cure, I shall not purthe trite observation referred to. Here, as sue such a course of reasoning as I was from a hot-bed, the litigious shoot-up per. unconsciously on the point of entering into. sons, who being gifted with the wonderful It will be sufficient, for the purposes just faculty of understanding other people's stated, to observe, that detraction is the affairs better than their own, they are em- exhibition of a depraved nature, and of a powered, by inuendos and significant signs, little, contemptible, and uninformed mind. to communicate to their fellow-townsmen, It may, and doubtless does, in many arise not only all that exists concerning others, from what Ovid calls, Studiumque immane but that, likewise, which, excepting in their loquendi,—a huge desire of talking. And, own fertile imagination, never had a being.

as to such, it is a matter of perfect indifferEvil seems to possess chameleon proper- ence as to the subject upon which they ties, presenting different appearances as exercise their voluble powers—reckless of viewed in different positions. While to some, all consequences, they pounce upon the one species of evil appears hideous, to an- character of others, like the filthy carrionother it presents attractions which render it vulture of Carthagena, or disgusting aquiline perfectly harmless, or altogether irresistible; of Cairo. Or, perhaps, from long yielding still it is evil, and, under every modification, to the powerful and unconquerable propenremains in its nature substantially and ne- sity of talking, they have exhausted all

other topics to which their childish minds more especially, when a decree of one of their great and immutable councils, ordering that "no

could reach; or they have become so estabfaith should be kept with heretics, when the in- lished in this, that detraction is to them a terests of the church require its violation,” stands

kind of impure element in which they live. to this day unrepealed, is it prudent to trust such men with political power in a protestant state !

The motives to detraction are many

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dark, and intricate, while the malicious Occasions, however, will arise, to render
things which are searched out, as matter for it indispensable that defamation should be
their horrid purposes, are multiplied. Pas- confronted by truth, both for the sake of
sion, envy, hatred, and malice, are the public peace and safety, as well as for indi-
general sources whence the detractor obtains vidual and private credit. Any disruption
his poisonous supplies, and replenishes that can be effected between man and man,
himself with destructive materials. Indi- or want of confidence gendered in the bo-
viduals who have been raised by habits of som of one individual against another, is
industry, and the blessing of Providence, or striking at the root of that social compact
by low and cunning intrigue, to a standing which must, for general good, exist between
among their fellows, to which mind never the family of man. Every tie thus broken,
entitled them, conceive themselves justified tends fatally and effectually, although im-
in demanding from all, with whom they are perceptibly, to dissolve that entire union,
brought into contact, and where fortune has without which the prosperity of a nation
not shed her golden rays, the attention and can by no possibility exist. It is like poi-
homage due to superior beings; and woe son infused into the system, which, while
be to those who, in the exercise of their it destroys the vigour of health, and ener-
rational powers, dissent from, or uninten. vates the frame, works insidiously until the
tionally pass them by. There is, on the part vital spark itself is extinguished.
of such, what may without impropriety be What extent of mischief such are capable
called, a satanic ingenuity put into exercise, of accomplishing, is, perhaps, incalculable;
to devise means by which most effectually concerning such the old adage may be em-
to blast the character, detract from the use- ployed in its utmost latitude, “The hand that
fulness, and destroy the comfort of its ob- cannot erect a hovel, may demolish a
jects.

palace." They are a kind of moral vampyre, The invariable practice of the detractor of which animal, it is said, that they possess is, to seize upon every opportunity to attack an insatiable propensity to suck the blood and traduce the character of those whose of men and beasts during their sleep. Na. honest fame has raised them to an elevation turalists report, that they are frequently in public notice and esteem, which them- known, in the island of Java, to attack selves could never attain.

persons so situated, causing them to pass “They hate the excellence they cannot from sleep to death. Their dexterity is not reach,” and, therefore, torture their heavy less notorious than their thirst for blood. inventions to find means by which to reduce They insinuate their aculeated tongue into them, in public opinion, to a nearer level a vein, and continue to draw the blood with themselves. Alas! too many are the without causing pain ; and, during the proinstances in which such murderers of repu- cess, fan the heated air with their wings in tation have succeeded in their dark projects, so pleasing a manner as to throw the sufand brought down to misery and ruin those . ferer into a still sounder sleep than at first who, but for such assassins, would have overpowered him. lived-blessed and blessing. Nevertheless, With the soft insinuating tongue of prothe whole race of detractors is infinitely fessed friendship, the character we are conbelow the anger of a wise man, supposing templating fans off the fiery breath of sushe could lawfully give way to it. They are picion, and insinuates himself into the conmuch more fit objects for his pity or con- fidence of his unsuspecting victims, until, tempt. They appear too mean to contend with a subtility not surpassed by the with, and, having lost all sensibility; all the treacherous vampyre, they suck away the fine feeling which distinguishes man from life's-blood of their reputation. Of such the brute creation, reproof and advice to treacherous conduct (David had reason to such would, in all probability, be uselessly complain, “It was not an enemy that did employed.

it ;' not one whose nobleness of soul would The fable by Boccalini supports the have scorned the guise of an assassin, and above position, who relates, that a traveller have publicly challenged to combat; neither was so annoyed with the chirping of grass- was it one who proclaimed openly his hoppers, that he alighted from his horse in enmity, from such he could have defended anger, to kill the whole: “This,” says the or hid himself,-no! it was a professed author, was troubling himself to no man- friend, a bosom friend; "the words of ner of purpose. Had he pursued his jour. whose mouth were smoother than butter, ney, without taking notice of them, the but war was in his heart; his words were troublesome insects would have died of softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords, themselves in a few weeks, and he would Psalm 1v. These modern Ahithophels and have suffered nothing from them.”

Judases speak fair, and salute with a kiss of

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friendship, in order that they may more shafts of detraction. Mole-like, the calumsecurely and perfectly work their deeds in niator digs unseen, and, before any evil is darkness, and accomplish their schemes of conceived of, the fair palace of reputation is destruction. The fate of such, David, as a undermined, and, like a building whose prophet, has foretold in all the glowing lan- foundation has been sapped, it falls, perhaps, guage of awful certainty : “Thou, o God, into irretrievable ruin: shalt bring them down into the pit of de- The garb of sympathy is not unfrestruction,—deceitful men shall not live out quently assumed when the sappers and mi. half their days.”

ners commence their operations. With a face The means by which the detractor accom- drawn to unusual dimensions, and a seriousplishes his purpose are varied according to ness of look and tone awful as death, they the circumstances of the individual upon preface their destructive work with a halfwhom his infernal practices are to be exer- suppressed sigh, or significant palsied motion cised. No art, or stratagem, is left untried- of the head ; and then inquire, if the painno act of weariness is objected to, nor dark ful report which they have been compelled, insinuation of positive falsehood rejected, so although most unwillingly, to hear, be true ? that the absorbing desire of their souls can their own reputation they feel so implicated, be effected. They are, as has already been that they have been wretched past endurintimated, creatures of little and unfur- ance, since the sad, sad tale first reached nished minds, and perfectly impotent in all them. If, as is most likely, the inquired of but the conceiving and executing plans of de profess ignorance on the subject, a solemn traction,-of_RUIN; Lord Verulam finely & Bless me,” is ejaculated, “ have you not observed, “ That a man who has no virtue heard that,” &c. &c.; or, “ Well, I sincerely in himself, ever envies virtue in others ;" hope it may not be correct, but, I assure the most cursory observation will demon- you, I have heard it from such a quarter strate the correctness of the statement: that I dare not disbelieve it : however, I

It would be well, if the degrading vice, will hope for the best ; something is wrong, of which we are now treating, were con

that is most certain, or the report, you know, fined to the rougher sex; for although, in could not have existed; but, for the world, them, it is loathsome as putridity itself, yet do not repeat it, it may do harm where when the softness and sympathy which none was intended, and I am sure I would should possess the female breast are made not have my name mentioned, in such an to yield to the ruling power of detraction, affair, for any thing I know of.” it assumes a character so vile, so loath- Such kind sympathizing souls remind us some, that language seems tó labour to of the boa constrictor, which, upon the describe it, and the sensitive mind turns capture of any animal whose bulk renders away from its contemplation, even sickened it difficult to gorge bim, he commences his with a kind of climaxed disgust. “ I know task by licking the whole body over with not,” observes Sir Richard Steel, “ how it his tongue, and thus covers it with a mucicomes to pass; but detraction, through all laginous or slimy substance, thereby renderages, has been found a vice which the fairing his captive smooth and pliable of digessex too easily give into.” The evidence of tion. One uninstructed in the history and a man like Sir Richard, should be, I an

habits of this monster, might suppose, aware, received with the utmost caution; while beholding the process, that kindness and, did it not too fully coincide with al- and affection were displayed; but, alas, the most daily proof, might be at once rejected. sequel proves too plainly, that the creature However much it is to be lamented that was only preparing the victim of his voratruth should be found in such assertion, yet cious and insatiable appetite; and that all so it is; happily there are noble and multi- the apparent kindness displayed was only a plied exceptions to be found in females, who necessary preparation, to enable him more would

easily to make an end of his prey. Rather conceal the faults they can but see observes an excellent living author, "are the In either sex, than spread the infamy. Who love the excellence they may not reach,

sleek, wheedling, canting, insinuating morNor scorn to learn from those they cannot teach. tals under consideration.' “ The very kisses

Plato, hearing it was asserted by some of their mouths are deceit,” Prov. xxvii. 6. persons, that he was a very bad man, ob- We are, while thinking of such, strongly reserved, “ I will take care so to live, that no- minded of the saying of Tacitus, " There is body shall believe them.” This was speaking not a more pestilent enemy than a malevolent like a philosopher, and is a resolution worthy praiser ;" to which the Spanish proverb the adoption of all; but it will not always might justly be appended, “ Save me from be found to be practicable; at least it will my friends--I will save myself from my not always secure from the steel-pointed foes.”

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That persons of so low and base a cha- from 250 to 260 dollars each member, inracter should be met with in this unfriendly cluding children at the breast, as well as world, the inhabitants of which are described other people quite incapable of work. as using deceit with their tongues, and as “ The next party was exceedingly inbeing hated, and hating one another, cannot teresting. The principal person was a stout excite much surprise ; but that such should well-built man ; or, as the auctioneer be found in the church of Christ, professing called him, "a fellow who was a capital to be followers of him, whose example is so driver.' His wife stood by his side-a tall, eminently calculated to induce, and whose finely proportioned, and really handsome solemn and reiterated command is to love, woman, though as black as jet. Her left and love thinketh no evil-is passing strange; arm encircled a child about six nionths old, yet such is the fact. The wheat and the who rested, in Oriental fashion, on the hipiares grow together, but the harvest-time is bone. To preserve the balance, her body coming, when the uselessness of all profes- was inclined to the right, where two little sion, without principle, will be awfully de- urchins clung to her knee; one of whom, monstrated. Once again, He who will be evidently much frightened, clasped its motheir Judge addresses them, in order to re- ther's hand, and never relinquished it during claim them, Thy tongue frameth deceit; the sale which · followed." The husband thou sittest and speakest against thy brother, looked grave, and somewhat sad; but there thou slanderest thine own mother's son. was a manliness in the expression of his These things hast thou done, and I kept countenance, which appeared strange in a silence ; thou thoughtest that I was alto- person placed in so degraded a situation. gether such an one as thyself : but I will re- What struck me most, however, was an prove thee, and set them in order before occasional touch of anxiety about his eye, thine eyes," Psalm 1. 19-21.

as it glanced from bidder to bidder, when Happy will it be, if those who have long new offers were made. It seemed to imply been led captive by the evil spirit of De- a perfect acquaintance with the character of traction, shall find repentance and forgive the different parties competing for him; ness ; the genuiness of whose abhorrence of and his happiness or misery for life, he the evil shall be marked by an immediate might think turned upon a word! The departure from a course which can only whole of thi pretty group were neatly here foster the basest passion of their fallen dressed, and altogether so decorous in their nature-induce the most wretched experi- manner, that I felt my interest in them ence, which can be known in this world

rising at every instant. The two little boys, and lead to certain ruin, beneath which they who appeared to be twins, kept their eyes will be crushed in a future state !

fixed steadily on their mother's face. At first they were quite terrified, but eventually they became as tranquil as their parents.

The struggle amongst the buyers continued [From Captain Basil Hall's America.] for nearly a quarter of an hour, till at length “ My attention was arrested on the way by they were knocked down for 290 dollars aa circumstance which I might certainly have piece, or 1,450 dollars (about £330) for expected at Charleston, but somehow had the whole family. not looked for. On reaching the exchange, “ I learnt from a gentleman afterwards, in the centre of which the post-office is that the negroes, independently of the implaced, I heard the sound of several voices portant consideration of being purchased by in the street, like those of an auctioneer good masters, have a singular species of urging an audience to bid for his goods. I pride on these occasions, in fetching a high walked in the side of the gallery, over- price ; holding it, amongst themselves, as looking a court or square, in which a num- disgraceful to be sold for a small sum of ber of people were collected to purchase money. The fact, besides shewing how slaves and other property. The auctioneer difficult it is to subdue utterly the love of having told the names of each, and de- distinction, may perhaps be useful in teachscribed their qualifications, requested the ing us never to take for granted that any surrounding gentlemen to bid. One hun- one boasting the human form, however de. dred dollars for each member of the family, graded in the scale, is without some traces or 500 for the whole party, was the first of generous feeling. Indeed, I have freoffer. This gradually rose to 150, at which quently heard from judicious and kindsum they were finally knocked down; that hearted slave-holders--for many such there is to say, 750 dollars for the whole, or are (in America-that however difficult and about £170. Several other families were thankless it often proves, yet there is always then put up in succession, who brought sufficient encouragement-sometimes as a

THE SLAVE MARKET AT CHARLESTON.

BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.

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BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCE-
MENT

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NO. IV.

matter of feeling, sometimes a matter of whin was exhibited, in which it was shewn, interest--to treat these poor people not that beds of limestone, shale, and sandstone, as the inferior animals, with so many of lay above it. From which the author of whose attributes we are apt to invest them; the paper inferred, that it could not posbut, on the contrary, as men gifted more or sibly have been forced in under so many less with generous, motives, capable of being beds, without a most violent mechanical turned to account."

rupture, but of which we have no traces.

Mr. Murchison made a few observations on the paper, which, he said, was a very

valuable one. He, however, acknowledged OF SCIENCE, HELD YORK, that he preferred Professor Sedgwick's FOURTH DAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1831.

theory, and thought it very desirable that

the whin dykes in the county of Durham (Continued from p. 178.)

should be investigated, to ascertain whether On this day, Lord Milton took the chair, they were emanations from the great whin but, being obliged to retire, his place was sill, or had been formed posterior to it. supplied by the vice-president, Mr. Vernon One of these, Bolam dyke in particular, Harcourt.

broke off into various branches, all pointing The first paper read was one by Mr. to the whin sill, and he thought that they John Dalton, of Manchester, entitled, must have been forcibly injected into the “ Experiments on the quantity of food carboniferous limestone after its deposition, taken by a person in health, compared with and even into more recent strata. the quantity of secretions, and insensible Mr. Phillips gave it as his opinion, that perspiration.” The same paper had been the great portion of this basaltic mass had read before the Literary and Philosophical been thrown up from below during the deSociety of Manchester, on the 5th of March, position of the metalliferous limestone, and 1830. The experiment had been performed must, of course, have been anterior to some on Mr. Dalton himself.

beds, and posterior to others. He detailed, The next paper was by Mr. R. C. Potter, at considerable length, his reasons for this jun., of Manchester. The subject was, on opinion, and expressed his belief, that it a new theory of the reflection of light from was very probable, that the opposite theories the surfaces of bodies, as formerly proposed of Professor Sedgwick and Mr. Hutton by the late M. Fresnel. By calculations of would be found, on further investigation, to the quantity of light reflected from various be parts of one great whole. bodies, Mr. Potter endeavoured to shew Mr. Rotch thought that this subject that Fresnel's hypothesis was totally inad- opened the prospect for a discussion of missible.

great interest at their next meeting at The third paper was by W. Hutton, esq., Oxford, by which time it will have been Fellow of the Geological Society, on the viewed in all its bearings, and better inWhin Sill, in the north of England. The vestigated. Mr. Murchison observed, he basalt, generally called the whin sill, and had no doubt that they would then settle which formed the subject of this paper

, all their differences. rises in Alston Moor, about twenty miles The next paper was by Mr.J.F.W.Johneast of Carlisle. It has been traced in stone, and related to the new metal VanCumberland, Westmoreland, and Northum- adium, which is nearly allied to cromium. berland, for nearly one hundred miles, and It was discovered, almost simultaneously, its appearance minutely described by Mr. about the close of last year, by Sefstrom, a Hutton. During the whole of its course, Swedish professor, and Mr. Johnstone, who it is stratiform, and found in connexion with obtained it in combination with lead, at every species of rock in the formation. The Wanlock-head. Mr. Johnstone gave a most interesting part of investigation, is the minute description of the properties and relative age of the whin sill. Professor characteristics of the metal, and its various Sedgwick thinks that it was formed by the combinations. The one is found in hexlateral injection of volcanic matter, after the agonal prisms, in its crystallized state. It deposition of metalliferous limestone. Mr. was found in an old mine, which had not Hutton differs from the professor, and as- been wrought for five or six years; and cribes a much earlier date to it. He thinks part of the vein seemed to have suffered that it had been caused by an overflowing

great violence. of lava, and formed before the beds which Henry Witham, esq. then read a paper lie above it, and after those which lie under on Fossil Vegetation, and the Formation of it; instead of having been injected between the Coal-field. The business of the morning them. A diagram of a section of the was then concluded by Mr. Phillips reading

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