Billeder på siden

you are not

[ocr errors]

bronzed ;" and take length detail the amusing colloquy care you have reasonable proofs, that which took place, upon an after occawhat you publish is authentic. sion, between the venerable and the

Now, in point, Mr Editor, I will real owner of the kettle. Suffice it to tell you a story, -a story well-known, say, he was no Roman,---but a sturdy though, of course, not to nine-tenths Highlander, who would havegiven hard of your readers.

blows to any Roman who dared to inÅ venerable, learned, and worthy vade his kettle, or any thing else becountry gentleman, who, had he been longing to him. In a word, then, his in life, would have found a pleasure story was this ;—that his wife “Shanin contributing to your " Repertory," et” had, twelve months ago, bought happened, in the course of a forenoon this identical kettle in the town of walk, to come upon some industrious and in her way home, having indulged people who were engaged in clearing too freely to cure a cholic, mistook her away the extensive moss of In path through the moss, plumped into the course of their operations, one of what is called a peat-bog, and was them met with a substance which re- glad to quit her kettle and save hersisted his spade. The spade was self; that Duncan's description of the thrown aside, and the pick-axe grasped size, shape, &c. of the kettle, and to " split in flinders" this resisting Janet's, exactly agreed'; and that there substance. Softly, , my friend,” said

was no doubt but it was their " nown' the antiquary ;

“ continue with your kettle. If your honour will only spade, and trench round; perhaps gie me back the kettle, I'll hing it in you may raise, entire, a Roman urn. the very middle kaiber o' the pothie, -For I have always been of opinion, to be a warning to Shanet to get trunk said he to himself,

" that this was

no more.” “ That is impossible Donthe line of march of the Romans.” ald,” said the venerable; “ but there The illiterate peasant knew as much is as much money for you as will buy about an

“urn," as, mayhap, he did two such kettles; and in order to corabout " Roman.” But his respect for rect Janet's colics, there is, beside, a the “ venerable” was too great not to copy of Macniel's History of Will and obey his orders. Well, then, he Jean, which you may cause your son, trenched, till at last it made its ap- Peter, read to his mother again and pearance. “ A Roman camp-kettle," again,—and you yourself will not be with enthusiastic pleasure, said the the worse for listening to the moral antiquary to himself. “ Carry it to the tale.” Donald accepted of the boon, HOUSE, 'Duncan, and I shall amply and, having repeatedly said “Got pless reward you."

He did so, and was and thank your honour,” withdrew. amply rewarded, befitting so inestima Now, Mr Editor, this is not a ble a treasure. For in all his actings bronze" !--no story of fancy ;-some he dealt justly,—succoured the needy of your readers will at once recognize was a repressor of vice-a promoter it, and will blame me for telling it só of industrious virtue. Such was our clumsily. venerable antiquary.

Well—I have just another story to It was placed on a table in his study. tell you, by way of introduction to He viewed it with admiration and de our future acquaintance, and then, for light,-it confirmed him in his opin- the present, I have done. ion,-its goblet form,-its moveable A select knot of antiquaries set out semi-circular handle; - all conspired. to explore classic ground. “Here, “ Unquestionably," said he, “the here!" exclaimed one.

“ Now we Romans must have made this their have it-look here! look at this line of march, and not that, as some stone ; perfectly distinct and plain ! ignorant writers have asserted. mark the letters! R. I. L-as clear

Pursuing these ideas, it has been as day, although our researches may insinuated that he wrote a learned dis- sometimes be covered in obscurity. sertation about this kettle, preparatory Quite plain and intelligible-R. I. L. to its being presented elsewhere. It Thus far, and no farther," he exultingis further said, that it was presented ly exclaimed; " Romani Imperii Liand received with equal veneration mes!" The antiquaries gathered around, and thanks.

and were struck with wonder : “ We However, to make " a long tale shall,” said one of them, “ find, to a short, ” Mr Editor, I shall not at full certainty, an urn, containing the bones Vol. I.




of some valorous Roman general.” to press, furnish you with some very Let us to work, said they, with one curious matter connected with the anconcurring voice, and with their mat- cient manners and history of our countocks they set furiously to the busi- try; and I think, that out of the great

Before they had proceeded far, materials I am possessed of, the article their attention was attracted by the will be upon “ Border Bonds of Manhallooing and bellowing of a sturdy rent.”—I am, &c.

STRILA. peasant, who was hastening towards Edinburgh, 23d April 1817. the spot. When he had approached them, and stopping till he had gathered wind, he exclaimed, Hoot, hoot, lads! what's that you're about? mind It appears, from the notices inserted what the Bible says,-Cursed be he in the scientific journals, that the atwho removes a landmark.”—“Peace, tention of Sir Humphry Davy is at clown," said the junior antiquary,- present particularly directed to the

you are ignorant of the matter ; R. I. consideration of the chemical process L. that is, Romani Imperii Limes.of combustion ; and though we do not

Hoot, toot, lads !" said the country, consider ourselves entitled to suppose man, I ken Latin as weel as you do that all our readers can possess that yoursel-Do ye think I was na bred minute acquaintance with this subject, wi' Mr Doig, at Falklan school, wha which might justify us in presenting could hae learned the very kaes that it to them in considerable detail, we biggit in the auld palace to speak yet think, that on so very interesting a Latin, as my auld granny said, gin topic it is possible to convey such genthey had only leeted till him. And eral information as may be sufficientyou say, too, I am ignorant o' the mat- ly understood by every description of ter. But faith, birky, let me tell you, readers. No phenomenon, it is eviI should ken mair o' the matter than dent, presents a subject of more intera you,--for was na I present whan auld esting speculation to a mind of just Rab Roughcast, the mason, hewed and philosophical taste. The instantane pat in that very stane, in my gutcher ous transition from a state of darkness Robin Rantletree's time. Romani to that of clear and useful illumination, Imperii Limes, wi' a ban to ye ! I be which is produced by the presence of lieve ye are nae better than a band o' a lighted taper--the beautiful form tinklers, wha wad claim Rab Innes' which the flame itself is disposed to Lands as the property of ony Roman. assume the varied tints which charBut there's auld Rab Innes himsel', acterize this appearance from the mild poor feckless body, coming-we're no blue of its base to the white or orange owre thrang neebours, yet I wadna of its waving summit-and the unfaillike to see him wranged for a' that. ing steadiness with which it maintains But I’se gae my ways, and gif he lets its place, so long as the materials of you remove the landmark, I say again, its nourishment are afforded, present accursed be he wha does sae.”' an assemblage of striking appearances,

This onset gave the antiquaries no which, but for the inattention induced stomach to encounter Rab Innes, and by its almost-habitual presence, is betthey, precipitately, took a direction ter fitted, perhaps, to awaken the inwhich separated them equally from terest of a thinking mind than any Rab Innes and young Rantletrees, other phenomenon of daily occurrence. leaving the R. I. L. in quiet posses. It is a fact, however, that the resion of the field.

searches and theories of modern che. Now, Mr Editor, you must not sup- mistry have as yet been able to adpose that I intend to throw any dis vance but a very

towards a credit upon your Antiquarian Reper- satisfactory explanation of these aptory. Quite the reverse. All that I pearances.--The most obvious suppomean to deduce from what I have said sition unquestionably is, that the light is, a caution to you against being taken and heat which are essential to the phein by a gudewife's “ kail pat” for a nomenon, are derived from the burning “Roman camp-kettle," or by the land- body itself—and this, accordingly, it mark betwixt two decent cock lairds is universally known, was the opinion for a Romani Imperii Limes.

entertained by the followers of Stahl, In proof of my sincerity, I shall, whose doctrines exercised an unlimited D. V., before your June Number goes influence before the introduction of

little way

the present views, over the philoso. men, accordingly, were in this state, phers and chemists of modern Europe. it was opportunely discovered, that According to this philosopher, then, when a burning body is introduced incombustion was merely the evolution to a jar of common air, the mouth of from the burning body, when placed the jar being at the same time invertin circumstances adapted to this effect, ed over water, the oxygenous portion of a peculiarly subtile and active prin- of the air is altogether consumed, and ciple, to which, from the ordinary ap- the burning body is found to have acpearance which its evolution assumes, quired an additional weight, precisely he gave the name of Phlogiston-light corresponding with that of the oxygen and heat being those properties of this which had disappeared. From this body by which it adapts itself to the discovery it was immediately concludobservation of our powers of percep- ed, that combustion is in fact nothing tion. This theory, we have said, from else than the combination of oxygen the high reputation which its author with the combustible body—that the had obtained, was long unanimously light and heat are the consequences of adopted by philosophers—and being this combination, being necessarily in perfect agreement with the most given out by the combining oxygennatural and obvious judgment of man and that the whole process of comkind, scarcely a suspicion was allowed bustion is explained, when it is state to intervene, that there could be any ed to be the consequence of the sething imperfect or inaccurate in the paration of oxygen-first, from the theory. The progress of philosophical other constituent

of the air, and next, opinion upon this subject, however, from the light and heat which it conpresents, we think, a very instructive tained before it began to experience instance of a disposition which seems this separation,-and also, of the comuniversally characteristic of mankind, bination of this gas with the body that, we mean, of employing any fa- whose combustion was actually oba vourite principle to account for every served. A few of the more intelligent appearance which presents itself, how- and cautious of the learned might still ever little warranted such an appli- entertain a very invincible opinion, cation may be by the circumstances that the phenomenon in question had most characteristic of the phenomenon not really been accounted for—but the in question. It is accordingly very great multitude of the studious, who generally known, that about the latter seldom condescend to a very careful part of the last century, and while the examination of any particular subject, doctrines of Stahl were in all their received the doctrine as impregnably vigour, the existence and properties of established-while, in the public de oxygen were discovered, and immedi- monstrations of professed teachers, the ately excited the utmost attention in difficulties that remained were either all who were devoted to philosophical entirely unnoticed, or were hastily pursuits. The discovery was, in re- concealed from the view of the curious, ality, both beautiful and instructive by ambiguous language, or unsatisfacin a very uncommon degree. The tory conjecture. increased illumination communicated From the application of this statem by this gas to any ignited body which ment, however, we conceive ourselves the operator immersed in it—the pure bound to exempt all the more enlightand apparently ethereal nature of the ened and illustrious chemists. Sir gas

itself-the very energetic proper- Humphry Davy, we believe, in his ties it was found to possess and the public lectures, always expressed himvast variety of bodies into whose come self upon this subject with much beposition it was discovered to enter- coming freedom of opinion-and Dr all contributed to point out this sub- Thomson has repeatedly, stated, in stance as one of the most important his excellent system, that he still instruments in the economy of nature, considered the explanation of the pheand insensibly produced a very gene nomena of combustion as in a very ral disposition to receive its operation imperfect state. The opinion of this as a complete account of any former latter philosopher, indeed, if we are unexplained phenomena, with whose not much mistaken, has always coinexistence and properties it might have cided exactly with that which we are any connexion. While the minds of anxious at present to submit to the


notice of our readers, viz. that in the ON THE ORIGINAL OF MILTON'S SAcommon explanation of this phenome TAN, WITH EXTRACTS FROM CRAnon, only one of the circumstances SHAW's “

SUSPICION OF HEROD." connected with it, that is, the disappearance of the oxygen, had in reality MR EDITOR, been accounted for, while the exhibi- In the learned and elegant dissertation of light and heat, which really tion, in your last Number, on the Proconstitute what is essential to the phe- metheus of Æschylus, an old opinion nomenon, are altogether unexplained. has been revived, that Milton took the

Conceiving that this view of the character of his Satan from the Promatter must now be very generally ad- metheus of the Athenian poet. Both mitted, it is with much satisfaction personages are stern and unbending, that we perceive Sir Humphry Davy to and so far, certainly, the resemblance be actively engaged in the investiga- holds good; but such a Satan as Miltion of what has justly been denomi. ton had to delineate was already nated the most important problem in sketched with a masterly hand by the chemistry. His attention seems to Italian poet, Marino, in his poem on have been naturally directed to this “ The Slaughter of the Innocents," investigation, by his recent invaluable one book of which, “The Suspicion of discovery of the safety-lamp for coal Herod," was translated into English mines, and by the very curious pro- by Crashaw, and gipen to the public perties of flame which were suggested long before Paradise Lost was written. by that discovery; and he has accord- The poem of Marind I have never been ingly read several papers, at different able to procure even a sight of ; but I meetings of the Royal Society, detail- have sent you some extracts from the ing the experiments he has made, with translation, which, bwing to the genethe view of elucidating the properties ral bad taste of Crashaw, it is probable of flame. His opinion, as recently ex- few of your readers are acquainted pressed, seems to be, that flame con- with; and those who are, will readily sists of gaseous bodies heated above pardon you for reprinting some of the whiteness. Many other curious pro- finest lines our poetry can boast of.perties, however, of ignited bodies The suggestion, that Milton has borhave been discovered by him in the rowed from them, is not new, but has course of his recent researches and been little attended to. we have little doubt, that before he

DIGAMMA. relinquishes the investigation, he will either be able to go farther towards a solution of the difficulty than former translated by Crashaw, from Marino,

From “ The Suspicion of Herod,” experimentalists have been able to advance, or will at least succeed, by ex

beginning at stanza 8. hibiting an accurate statement of the

BELOW the bottom of the great abyss, case, in giving currency to a more sci- There, where one centre reconciles all things, entific mode of considering this sub- The world's profound heart pants ; there ject, than that which has so long been placed is implicitly adopted by the multitude of Mischief's old Master ; close about him more superficial and careless inquirers. clings -It is at all times a treat of the high- A curl'd knot of embracing snakes, &c. est kind, to follow the progress of sci

The Judge of Torments, and the King of entific discovery--but the gratification He fills a burnish'd throne of quenchless

Tears, derived from this source is necessarily enhanced to an incalculable amount, And for his old fair robes of light, he wears when there seems reason to appre- A gloomy mantle of dark flames; the tire hend, as in the present instance, that That crowns his hated head on high appears, the perseverance of the philosopher is Where seven tall horns (his empire's pride) on the point of being rewarded, by aspire ; the developement of some views of And, to make up Hell's majesty, each horn prominent importance. The curiosi- Şeven crested Hydra's horribly adorn. ty of a liberal mind admits, in fact, of

His eyes, the sullen dens of Death and no higher gratification (the delight of Startle the dull air with a dismal red ;

Night, the discoverer himself excepted) than Such his fell glances as the fatal light that of being permitted to watch the or staring comets, that look kingdomes event.


fire ;

what great

His breath Hell's lightning is, and each Which, like two bosom'd sails, embraced deep groan

the dim air Disdains to think that Heaven thunders With a dismal shade, &c. alone!

He tossed his troubled eyes, embers that glow Three rigorous virgins, waiting still be. Now with new rage, and wax too hot for hind,

Hell. Assist the throne of the iron-scepter'd King; With his foul claws he fenced his furrowed With whips of thorns, and knotty vipers brow, twin'd,

And gave a ghastly shriek, whose horrid They rouse him, when his rank thoughts yell need a sting.

Ran trembling through the hollow vaults of Thus reigns the wrathful King, and while Night. he reigns,

Yet, on the other side, he fain would start His sceptre and himself both he disdains. Above his fears, and think it cannot be, &c. Disdainful wretch ! how hath one bold sin cost

While new thoughts boil'd in his enraged Thee all the beauties of thyonce bright eyes?

breast, How hath one black eclipse cancell'd and His gloomy bosom's darkest character crost

Was in his shady forehead seen exprest. The glories that did gild thee in thy rise ? The forehead's shade in grief's expression Proud morning of a perverse day! how lost there, Art thou unto thyself !

Is what in sign of joy among the blest

The face's lightning, or a smile, is here. From Death's sad shades, to the life. These stings of care that his strong heart breathing air,

opprest, This mortal enemy to mankind's good A desperate “ Oh me!” drew from his Lifts his malignant eyes, wasted with care, deep breast. &c.

“Oh me !” thus bellowed he; “ oh me! He calls to mind the old quarrel, and what spark

Portents before mine eyes their powers adSet the contending sons of Heaven on fire : vance ? Oft in his deep thought he revolves the dark And serves my purer sight only to beat Sybil's divining leaves; he does inquire Down my proud thought, and leave it in a Into the old prophecies, trembling to mark

trance ? How many present prodigies conspire Frown I, and cangreat Nature keep her seat, To crown their past predictions, &c. And the gay stars lead on their golden dance? Heaven's golden-winged herald late he Can His attempts above still prosperous be,

Auspicious still, in spite of Hell and Me ? To a poor Galilean virgin sent :

He has my Heaven, (what would he How low the bright youth bowed, and with more ?) whose bright what awe

And radiant sceptre this bold hand should Immortal flowers to her fair hand present.-He saw, how in that blest day-bearing And, for the never-fading fields of light, night

My fair inheritance, he confines me here The Heaven-rebuked shades made haste To this dark house of shades, horror and away ;

night, How bright a dawn of angels with new light To draw a long-liv'd death, where all my Amaz'd the midnight world, and made a day cheer Of which the morning knew not.

Is the solemnity my sorrow wears, He saw a three-fold sun, with rich increase That mankind's tormentwaits upon my tears. Make proud the ruby portals of the

East. “ Dark dusky man, he needs would single He saw the temple sacred to sweet Peace

forth, Adore her Prince's birth

To make the partner of his own pure ray: He saw the falling Idols all confess And should we Powers of Heaven, spirits of The coming Deity. He saw Heaven blossom with a new-born Bow our bright heads before a king of clay ? light,

It shall not be ! said I; and clomb the north, On which, as on a glorious stranger, gaz'd Where never wing of Angel yet made way. The golden eyes of Night, whose beam made What though I mist my blow ?-yet I bright

struck high, The way to Bethlem, and as boldly blazed And to dare something, is some victory. (Nor asked leave of the sun) by day as night. “ Is He not satisfied ? means He to wrest Struck with these great concurrences of Hell from me too, and sack my territories ? things,

Vile human nature, means he not t’invest Symptoms so deadly unto Death and him, (O my despite !) with his divinest glories ? Fain would he have forgot what fatal strings And rising with rich spoils upon his breast, Eternally bind each rebellious limb. With his fair triumphs fill all future stories ! He shook himself, and spread his spacious Must the bright arms of Heaven rebuke





these eyes,

« ForrigeFortsæt »